Pairings: Harry/Tom(Voldemort), Seamus/Blaise, Ginevra/Theodore, post-Ron/Hermione, Salazar/Godric, Sirius/Remus
Warnings: This will have slash(Guys on guys, ppl.), Dumbledore bashing, Ron bashing, TORTURE SCENES, blood, screaming, liberal usage of the Cruciatus Curse.
Disclaim Her: Getting a lip ring would be cool, don't you think?"
Key: Okay, you might need these:
A/N: Yet another Time Warp!!
This is the last chapter of Abandon! Savour it!
Harry smiled at the graduating Juniors seated in their usual circle. Hermione and Neville sat in chairs apart from the circle, each holding a twin. "This will be our last meeting here on Hogwarts grounds," he started, walking around the outside of the circle. "From now on, meetings will be held at either Slytherin Manor or Malfoy Manor. The necklace will burn when you are called, as you well know by now."
"Harry, why aren't the sixth years here?" Terry asked darkly.
"Terry, why are you questioning me?" Harry shot back evenly, pausing to meet the other's gaze. Terry looked away first and Harry nodded before returning to his circling and talking. "To answer Terry's question, the sixth years aren't here because this doesn't concern them. Any meetings for them will be in Hogwarts next year. You all will be out in the real world and, as such, will have to attend meetings in the real world."
Harry stopped at the other end of the circle from Neville and Hermione and looked around. "From now on, you will be attending full Death Eater meetings and, chances are, I won't always be there. Voldemort is the one you will listen to if that occurs, of course, as we always plan together on such things. As things have always been for the Juniors, you will not be expected to go on any raids. Instead, you will be expected to gain information for the Dark Order, recruit other people, and help in any other ways required of you.
"If I ever need any of you for anything, I will contact you my own way. Strange messages may come for you at strange times and in strange ways. My mark will always be the crossed green and red wands. Voldemort's mark is the Dark Mark. Those symbols will tell you who the message is from. If one of you need to get in contact with another member but you aren't expected to meet with each other, send a message to myself or Voldemort through an acceptable route. If you cannot find an acceptable route, owl me and hope I get to it before the Order does.
"Missing meetings or coming to meetings unforgivably late are not in your best interest, especially if I am not there. If I'm not there, Voldemort's rules apply and I guarantee he'll Crucio you if you don't have an excuse he finds to his taste. I'd tell you to make some up, in case you are caught by him, but I know he'll be likely to catch it. Your best bet is actually going to the meetings. If I'm the one who catches you for missing or coming late, you'll probably get off without being hexed, but I will not save your hides if Voldemort gets pissed. Keep that in mind.
"What about Blaise, Draco, and myself?" Theodore inquired.
"You are Juniors," Harry assured the three Slytherins. "You answer to me before Voldemort. You may have to go on raids, at times, to keep your cover, but I'll do my best to keep that from happening. You'll have enough on your hands with trying to stay ahead of Dumbles as it is."
"If it's urgent we get into contact with you, how do we do it?" Lisa inquired. "Life threatening information or something?"
"I'm sure you've all figured out where I'll be working come September," Harry offered them a brief playful smile. "If it's that urgent, come to me with it immediately. A quick excuse, like, say, a bit of information you've picked up for the Order, will get you past even Dumbles. I've already told him that I've got friends in this year's graduating class that have offered to help me get information in the Ministry, but don't wish to join the Order of the Phoenix. He'll just be pleased with himself for uncovering one of my contacts."
"But be careful after such an action," Hermione offered gently. "Dumbledore will be watching you closely."
Harry nodded grimly. "Try and find another way than running in and grabbing me, please. It would make life difficult for you later."
Gerda gave a loud gurgle, as if in agreement with her godfather, and everyone laughed.
Harry walked over and took the baby from Neville, who sighed in relief. "Aren't you just adorable?" he cooed, cradling her and wandering back up to his spot at the head of the circle. "Anything else?"
The group of seventh years traded looks. "No." Susan shrugged, glancing back up at Harry. "I think we're good."
Harry smiled. "Brilliant. Now, as a warning, I'm planning something wild for our graduation, because I can get away with it. Don't be surprised, though you may wish to act like it." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively. "Dismissed."
"You're horrible," Hermione declared, walking up to her friend, Galvin sleeping peacefully in her arms. Neville walked over with her and gladly handed the baby bag to Harry.
"Are you surprised?" Harry inquired teasingly, pulling a bottle out of the bag and giving it to the small girl in his arms before hanging the bag on his shoulder.
"I shouldn't be," Hermione agreed. "Are we headed back to the room, then?"
"I think so. Nev, you said you needed to go talk to Severus, right?"
"Yes..." Neville glanced around at the retreating backs of the Juniors nervously.
Harry grinned. "Pan!"
The Slytherin glanced back at Harry with a smile. "What's up, boss-man?"
"Can you take Nev up to Severus and make sure the old git doesn't bite his head off for me?"
Harry nodded to Neville, who looked like Christmas had come early. "Go on, then. If Sevvie gives you shit, send him to me and I'll set him straight."
"If that man is straight, I'm a toad," Hermione grumbled as Neville waved and ran off to go with Pansy.
"I was wondering about that croak," Harry teased, eyes shining brightly. He ducked the swat Hermione sent his way with practised ease. "Stop. You'll startle poor Gerda."
"You spoil that child." Hermione sighed, motioning for them to head for the air platforms to Gryffindor.
"You knew I would," Harry shot back lightly, falling into step with her. "And I, technically, spoil both of them."
"They're going to be absolute nightmares when they're older, you know. Between you and Gin, that is."
"Ah. And they'll be Slytherins, if Marcus has any say in it."
"Speaking of, where was Marcus? He's usually at the meetings."
"Last minute meeting, or something. I think Dumbles wanted a word with him." Harry shrugged and nodded to the platform. "Up you go, Herm."
"No, you go first. I can never get that door open." Hermione sighed helplessly.
"Oh, yeah." The green-eyed wizard smiled slightly and stepped onto the cushion of air. Moments later, he and Gerda were zooming up to Gryffindor Tower, the baby gurgling gleefully on the way. Harry grinned at her. "See, you and I love riding this thing, don't we, love? Mommy's just silly."
Once the pocket of air had reached the landing place in the Tower, the teen stepped out onto solid ground and started down the stairs to the common room. There he found himself met with many smiles and one very annoyed sister. 'Where have you been?!' Gin called furiously.
Harry sighed. "Walk with me to the room." he murmured, setting his free hand on her arm. Gin frowned at him for a moment before nodding and falling in to step with her brother. Once out of the common room and walking down a charmed hallway that let out near the fireplace, Harry spoke again, "I called a meeting."
'You didn't want me there?' the young witch asked with a pained expression.
"No, Gin, no." Harry paused his steps and drew the redhead in for a one-armed hug while Gerda mumbled nonsense. "I needed to talk to the seventh years about meetings after this school year. They had to know a few things that you and Luna shouldn't have to worry about yet, that's all."
"Ah, sibling love." Hermione sighed from behind them. The two leaders of the Juniors shot the witch matching dark looks as she grinned at them.
"Yes, Herm?" Harry inquired politely when the staring contest got boring.
Hermione's smile faded. "Professor McGonagall is out there looking for both of us, Harry. She says Dumbles wishes to talk to us."
Harry frowned. "Very well. No point in dropping anything off, I suppose."
'Stupid old coot ruins everything.' Gin complained as she and Harry fell into step behind Hermione.
"Noticed that, did you?" Harry replied dryly.
"Ah, finally," Minerva said upon seeing them.
"It only took two minutes, Professor," Harry replied with a grin. "Surely 'finally' is the wrong word."
"You, Mr Potter, are a menace to the sane people of this school," Minerva declared.
"I hope you're not counting yourself among them, Professor," Harry answered teasingly.
Minerva shook her head helplessly. "Come along, you two."
Harry shook his head minutely at Gin as she opened her mouth to ask to come with. The red head scowled, but kept silent. Harry offered her a sad smile before falling into step with Hermione, following their Head of House from the common room.
"Please, take seats," Albus said lightly as his Deputy led the two seventh years into his office.
Harry took a seat immediately, shooting the Headmaster a sharp look. Hermione, however, paused to get a look around. "Herm," Harry murmured when the Head Girl started towards the book shelf along one wall.
Hermione startled and hurried to the free chair next to Harry, blushing faintly. Galvin giggled as Harry hid a smile. "Shut up, Harry."
"I didn't say anything."
"You were thinking it."
Minerva cleared her throat, drawing the attention of the two students back to herself and a smiling Albus. "Argue on your own time."
"Sorry," Harry replied before meeting the twinkling blue orbs of the Headmaster calmly. "What's up?"
"I believe you should tell Ms Granger what you'll be doing next year," Albus replied.
Harry rolled his eyes before turning to his best friend. "Herm, I'm sure you've got a good guess. What do you think I'll be doing next year?"
Hermione blinked at the Boy-Who-Lived for a brief moment before answering, "Teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts here at Hogwarts."
Harry sat back in his seat and shot the Headmaster a satisfied smirk. "Told you she'd figure it out." Gerda gave a loud squeal, as if in agreement with her godfather.
Albus sighed. "So you did." He turned to Hermione, who was frowning thoughtfully. "Harry has requested that you be allowed to remain here also, next year. He's gone around to the staff and made sure you'd always have something to do, of course."
Harry nodded as Hermione's eyes filled with tears. "Remember, Herm, you're family," he said softly. "And I'm going to need help grading papers."
Hermione let out a sound somewhere between and sob and a laugh. "You are a monster."
That time, Hermione did laugh.
"Where is he?" Morag hissed to Neville.
"Harry?" Neville shrugged. "No idea. He didn't tell me anything."
Mandy leaned back in her chair, still facing forward. "Up to no good, knowing Harry. Look, Marcus is the only one who doesn't look all that worried about him missing."
"Mandy, would you ple–!" Susan started, turning around. She froze, mouth hanging open as she saw something.
"Wha–" Mandy turned around to look, eyes going wide when she saw. "Oh, hell, please tell me he hasn't..."
"He has." Susan whispered in horror.
Lavender, Gregory, Neville, and Morag also turned around to look. When Lavender started to breathe hard, Mandy shook herself from her stupor and hurried to assure the Gryffindor that it was just Harry, not Voldemort.
In the doorway of the Great Hall stood a sight that could have been very amusing, but was also rather horrifying, for there stood Voldemort, flat-nosed and scarlet-eyed, hunched over so he was shorter, with gigantic round glasses placed precariously on the end of his nose, Gryffindor House robes, and the lightning bolt scar shot through the centre of his forehead. The only thing missing was the famous mop of hair on top of the "Dark Lord's" very pale head.
As people started turning around to find out what the six graduates and a large number of teachers were staring at in a mix of shock and horror, Tom stood up and motioned to the wizard standing in the doorway, pointing at the top of his own head. The false Voldemort reached up to touch his head, then froze, eyes widening in horror at what he forgot. He tugged a piece of loose string from the sleeve of his robe and transfigured it into a sloppy wig before tossing it onto his head. Tom groaned and sat back down as the fake Dark Lord started down the aisle, smiling cheerfully and waving.
Albus watched until his student was about to sit before addressing him. "Harry, was there a point to this?" he inquired dryly.
"Hm?" Harry blinked up at the Headmaster, sitting awkwardly. "Yes, but I'll explain it in my speech, if you don't mind, Dumbles." The students around him let out an audible sigh of relief at the very Harry-like answer to the question.
"Very well, then." Albus sighed, taking the stage. "Another year, another graduating class of excellent students–"
"With one possible exception," Seamus called out, pointing to the boy who sat in front of him and to his right. Harry turned around and flicked his roommate in the middle of his forehead with an annoyed look. The Great Hall filled with laughter.
"Yes, well, Mr Potter and I will have a nice long chat about coming late for the Graduation Ceremony later." Albus chuckled. He rose his arms out on either side of him as the laughter died. "Welcome, family, friends, and students, to the Graduation Ceremony for the Hogwarts' Graduating Class of 1998!" There was a loud cheer following this and Albus waited for it to quiet before continuing. "It's been a long, hard road for all of us, but I can say that it was worth it. Every moment was a new adventure and, if it wasn't new, at least it wasn't boring!
"Now, I shall hand the stage over to Miss Hermione Granger, our Head Girl, who has agreed to give the Heads' speech." Albus took a bow, then re-took his seat to the applause of the audience as Hermione took the stage with a smile.
"Fellow students, families, and friends. Welcome." She smiled as a few people cheered, waiting for silence before speaking again. "I recall my first day at Hogwarts as an exciting new experience. There was so much to learn! I recall my first friends, Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley, and our first adventure, saving the Philosopher's Stone. We all thought Professor Snape was the one helping Voldemort, since he was such an evil git." Hermione smiled as the room filled with laughter and Severus shook his head helplessly. "We were wrong, I know now. We were young and foolish then.
"As the years passed, we all learned many things. I learned about friendship, bravery, trust, understanding, and myself. Other students have, no doubt, learned other things. I've seen death and fought evil, and I've lived to tell about it. I've faced my fears and made friends with some of the best people there are in this world, as well as some of the worst. I can truthfully say that I grew up while I was at Hogwarts in a way I never would have anywhere else.
"I have gone from a child, to a woman. From an 'insufferable know-it-all', to a person who can admit that she doesn't always have the answers. From a loner, to a best friend. From a follower, to a leader. From one who can't protect herself, to the one who protects others. I am ready to face the world, and so are those who stand with me today. I can only hope the world is ready for us." Hermione nodded to the audience, who cheered, as she stepped down from the stage and walked back to her seat next to Anthony.
Minerva took the stage with a nod. "Thank you, Miss Granger. That was beautiful," she said, applauding again with the rest of the audience. Once there was silence, she began again. "It has been my pleasure to teach this class of graduates. They've all brought something unique to my classroom and they've all done it in their own ways. Some more unique than others, of course." She shot Harry a look at this, getting a grin in response. "Speaking of, I believe it is Mr Potter's turn to speak." She sighed before returning to her seat.
Harry walked up to the stage with confidence, scarlet eyes glinting dangerously as he took his place. "Welcome. May I first apologize for scaring those people who looked absolutely terrified. Marcus and I attempted to set this up to have a touch of humour so as not to cause too much of a ruckus. Since nobody fainted, I shall assume we did it well, hm?" Harry smiled faintly as there was laughter at this. "But, as I said, there is a reason for this ridiculous get-up. That reason is, actually, quite simple. I think you need to be aware of who you are facing.
" 'I am Lord Voldemort', a sixteen-year-old boy once told me. This boy was the memory of a boy who went to Hogwarts over fifty years ago. His name was Tom Riddle and he was one of Hogwarts' most brilliant students. We like to joke that Hermione is a know-it-all, but even she must admit that she has nothing on the young Lord Voldemort. There are at least three teachers behind me who went to this school at the same time as Tom, and Professor Dumbledore taught him Transfiguration. I've been told more times than I can count that Tom started out good, but something happened and he went bad. He became the Dark Lord Voldemort.
"I have faced both Voldemort and Tom Riddle on a few separate occasions. Neither are pleasant and neither would be someone I could call a friend. In fact, I call both, my enemy." Harry paused to look around at the sea of stony faces. "I can hear you asking me what this speech has to do with anything already, so I'll just cut to the chase, hm?
"Next year, I am starting a group at Hogwarts that will take place every Saturday after lunch. This group is open to any and all witches and wizards in the United Kingdom, no matter your age or your education, though we do ask that you know how to wave a wand." He smiled. "In this group, I, along with a few teachers, and a few members of this graduating class, will teach you everything we think you'll need to know to fight Voldemort. We'll teach you as patiently as we can manage, because we do believe this is important. An Auror won't always be there to protect you when Voldemort comes knocking on your door, you know. The Order of the Phoenix won't always be able to come to your rescue when you're out shopping. And, let me tell you, those Death Eaters won't stop their attack long enough for you to attempt a Shield Charm six or seven times because it just won't stay up. You'll need to know how to do that Shield Charm right the first time and also use it to protect a few other people who can't perform a Shield Charm.
"I'm asking you to please help us in this fight against Voldemort. I'll be right up there in the very front, I promise you, but I'll need to know that there's someone behind me, blasting down that Death Eater who's sneaking up on me while I'm fighting off five others." He sighed and suddenly morphed back into himself, gathering a general gasp from the room. "Now that the stuff I really needed you to listen to is over, I think I'll be myself again to tell you everything else," he offered, ending the transfiguration on the "wig" as he spoke. "Anthony kindly gave up his speech to let me cause trouble worthy of the Weasley Twins themselves, who I know are around here somewhere. Remember to watch what you eat and drink!
"At any rate, after all that amazing stuff Herm said, I can't really think of anything to top it. I mean, who could top Hermione? Well, Ron, but we'll ignore that for now." He grinned at the laughter, and at Hermione, who flipped him the birdie. "Not that I'm complaining, Herm. After all, I got two beautiful godchildren out of the deal!"
"Harry James Potter, you are so dead when I get my hands on you!" Hermione shouted over the laughter, grinning herself.
Harry bowed. "It's been great learning from all the teachers I've had. From the mystic, and slightly crazy Trelawney, to the stern, never smiles, couldn't-laugh-if-you-told-her-the-funniest-joke-on-the-planet McGonagall! From the wild and insane Dumbledore, who we all know has no sense of colour coordination, to the snarky, evil, ultra git Snape, who must be colour-blind, since his wardrobe is nothing but black! From the teeny-tiny Flitwick, to the ultra huge Hagrid! From the evil toad Umbridge who taught us not a thing, to the kind old werewolf Lupin who taught us all he knew! From the overly paranoid and only slightly crazy Moody who claims he fears nothing, to the stuttering Quirrell who was afraid of his own shadow! From the wild and eccentric Lockhart who had no clue what he was doing and couldn't hex a dead fly, to the gorgeous and controlled Brutús who knows a few Dark Wizards personally and could even best them!" The teen shouted, soaking up the laughter that followed each wild description of the staff like a sponge. "I have loved every moment of my time here at Hogwarts. In fact, I loved it so much, I let Headmaster Dumbledore talk me into teaching here next year, so everyone can feel secure with the knowledge that we'll have at least one more competent teacher in the Defence Against the Dark Arts position!
"Now, I've talked enough and got you cheerful again after starting out so gloomy, so why don't you all sit back and let the staff do their thing!" Harry left the stage to cheers and took his seat with a grin.
"Thank you, Mr Potter, for giving us a speech in that original style of yours," Albus said as he and the four House Heads got up on the stage. He waited for the general laughter to die down before starting his speech again. "For those of you who have never been to a Hogwarts' graduation before, let me give you a general walk-through. I and our four Heads of House here will hand out the graduating certificates. Next, I get to hand out a few very special awards. To end everything, we have a reception banquet along the far wall and you are welcome to mingle.
"Now, first on our list of graduating students: Mr Anthony Goldstein!" Anthony got up from his seat and took his certificate from Albus and shaking hands with the old headmaster before going down the line and shaking the hands of each of the House Heads. "Miss Hermione Granger!" Albus called as Anthony headed back to his seat. Hermione followed down the line of Heads of Houses, but, instead of a handshake, Hermione got a hug from her own House's Head.
Hannah, Terry, Ernie, Draco, Pansy, Padma, and Parvati followed the same general pattern, the two Patil girls and Hannah all getting hugs from their House Heads instead of handshakes. When it was Harry's turn, he took his certificate, then gave Albus a large hug, much to the Headmaster's joy, and proceeded to bestow both a hug and a kiss on the cheek upon both Minerva and Professor Sprout, a bear hug upon Professor Flitwick, and a hug and a pat on the head to Severus, laughing when the Potions professor muttered something under his breath. The rest of the room had to laugh as well when Harry sauntered back to his chair while Severus looked upwards, as if asking for patience.
It was then Minerva's turn to take the lead. She called the last of her students in alphabetical order, then let Sprout, Flitwick, and Severus do the same in turn. All of the students followed the general example from before them, the females hugging their favourite teachers, as long as it wasn't the glaring Potions professor, and everyone shaking the hands of everyone else. The only other males to hug their House Heads were Neville and Seamus.
Once the certificates were done, Albus took centre stage again with a much smaller handful of certificates. "First, I'd like to award both our Head Girl and Head Boy for doing a fabulous job this year. I don't have any certificates for you, so I hope you'll just keep your badges and be proud of them. I'd also like to award all eight of our Prefects, especially the ones who took over for our Head Boy and Girl this year and our one Prefect who took over from Mr Weasley in the middle of the year. Be proud of all the good things you've done here.
"Now, for the certificates. Miss Granger, please come up here?" Hermione came up and stood before the Headmaster with a nervous smile. "There are two students in this year's graduating class that have made a major impact on this school. One of them is Miss Granger. Our top student, bested only in Defence Against the Dark Arts, and the young woman who came up with the idea for the original DA, from what I've heard. Miss Granger has also managed her duties as Head Girl and kept her studies up despite her unfortunate pregnancy at the beginning of the year and the birth of the twins in the middle of May. Miss Granger has been a role model for all and I know we're all extremely proud to have called her our student. Here you are, Miss Granger." Albus held out a certificate.
Hermione took it and gave him a giant hug, smiling through tears. "Thank you, sir," she whispered before heading back to her seat. Draco discreetly passed her a handkerchief.
"The other student who has made a major impact on this school is none other than Mr Potter." He beckoned Harry up, who walked up to the stage as Albus started talking again. "Mr Potter was the one student who managed to surpass Miss Granger in a subject, and that subject was Defence Against the Dark Arts, which he'll be teaching next year. He took over the position of Gryffindor House Prefect from Mr Weasley in the middle of the year and has managed to calm even the hottest of tempers when faced with a fight. He's been a great help to the staff this year, even though he's spent more time pranking us than working with us." Harry grinned at that. "But no matter how much trouble he's caused, he always finds a way to make it up in his own way and helps to protect the school when he can. He is the leader of the DA and the most popular student in Hogwarts, or so I've been told, so I dare say he's deserving of this award. Here you are, Harry."
Harry took the award and hugged Albus again. "Thanks, Albus." He grinned, then hopped down to his seat while the onlookers laughed, since the teen had turned the Headmaster's beard into a rainbow of colours.
"You should have given him the award for being the prank master!" Fred shouted from the very middle of the crowd of friends and family. Everyone laughed as Harry stood up and took a bow.
"Perhaps I should have. How many times have you gotten me this year?" Albus glanced at the teen.
Harry shrugged. "I have it all written down, but I'm afraid the paper's packed away in my trunk. I'll be sure to owl you about it later."
"And I'll be sure to frame it when you do," the Headmaster promised, smiling as people laughed again. "Now, for the not so serious awards." He winked, picking one out from the pile in his hands. "This one is awarded to Mr Seamus Finnigan for being the most likely to come to class drunk. Come on up here, Mr Finnigan!"
Seamus took the certificate with a wide smile and waved it in the air after receiving it. "And I'm not drunk this time!" he shouted.
"I give it ten minutes!" Dean shouted back as everyone laughed. Seamus stuck his tongue out at his best friend and returned to his seat.
Albus chuckled. "This next one is for Mr Dean Thomas for being the best artist in the school! Come on up, Mr Thomas!" Dean walked up and took his award with a large grin, then returned to his seat. "This one is to Mr Draco Malfoy for being the guy most likely to scream if there's a silk worm in his hair." Albus gave Harry a dirty look and the teen cracked up. "You might as well come get it, Mr Malfoy."
Draco walked up in a dignified manner, took the certificate then walked over to Harry and used it to smack the top of the Gryffindor's head before taking his seat. Harry fell out of chair, he was laughing so hard. Hermione turned around and shot a Calming Charm at the Boy-Who-Lived so he could sit back in his chair.
"Thank you, Miss Granger. Please tell me you didn't add any others, Mr Potter."
Harry shook his head. "No. That was just so I could see the look on Draco's face." Draco scowled.
"I see." Albus shook his head in amusement. "This award is for Miss Sally-Anne Perks, from Madame Pomfrey, for being the best mediwitch assistant she's had to date! Come up here, Miss Perks." He motioned Poppy up as well and let the mediwitch give the student the certificate and a big hug. As both sat down, Albus pulled out then next one. "To Mr Neville Longbottom for being the student to have improved the most over the past seven years! Mr Longbottom?"
Neville came up with a grimace and took the certificate. "Thank you, sir." He sighed before returning to his seat, smacking Harry on the way, since the teen was sniggering silently.
"And last, but not the least, to Mr Terry Boot, who appears to be the most likely to disagree with Mr Potter." Albus cocked an eyebrow at Harry.
"I didn't write that one sir." Harry shrugged.
"No, I did," Hermione offered. "It's always amusing to watch you two argue over something totally stupid."
"Gee, thanks, Herm," Harry said dryly.
"Yeah, thanks, Hermione," Terry agreed, walking up to the stage to get the certificate. He followed Draco's example on the way back to his seat and swatted Hermione over the head with the parchment. Most people laughed.
"Since that's all done, why doesn't everyone get some food!" Albus called out.
Harry grinned as he stood and accepted a hug from Hermione when she ran up to him. "Hey there, Herm."
"You, Harry Potter, are horrible," Hermione declared as a few of their other friends walked up.
"I second that," Draco decided. "Really, Harry. A silk worm?"
"I was trying to be pleasant. I could have put cockroach…"
Draco scowled. "Silk worm is fine."
"That's what I thought."
"So, Harry," Theodore wrapped an arm around the Boy-Who-Lived's shoulders, "who all knew about that speech of yours?"
Harry smiled. "Well, Marcus helped me write it, and Albus okayed it, but they were the only ones who'd heard it before." He nudged Theodore in the ribs. "So, yes, he knew."
"Who knew what?" Tom inquired, stopping behind Harry and Theodore.
"Oh, nothing." Harry smiled back at the Dark Lord.
"Move it, Mr Nott," Tom ordered.
"Sorry, Marcus." Theodore grinned, letting go of Harry.
Harry spun around and immediately grabbed the Dark Lord in a hug, burying his face in the older wizard's chest. Tom smiled and wrapped his arms around his younger lover, resting his chin atop Harry's head. "Summer," Tom murmured. "Is finally here. No more Albus. And no more teaching bratty little children."
"Just me!" Ula said rather suddenly as she, the Weasleys, and the Grangers came over.
The Dark Lord buried his face in Harry's mop of hair with a groan. "Damnit."
Harry laughed. "Oh, Marcus, stop that." He tugged back enough to reach up and tug Tom's mouth down to his. "I love you, you bastard," he added once they'd parted.
Tom smiled and kissed Harry's scar. "Imp," he declared before pulling away and nodding to the Grangers. "You must be Hermione's parents."
Hermione's father nodded. "I'm Clive, this is Julia. You must be Marcus Brutús," he said, holding out a hand to shake.
"I am indeed," the Dark Lord agreed before glancing at the Weasleys. "Arthur, Molly, Gred, and Forge."
The twins laughed at the old names. "Marcus got it right!" George declared.
"Really." Molly gave both twins dry looks. "As far as I know, your birth certificates still say Fred and George."
"They just got mixed up while they were writing our names down," Fred explained.
"I wrote your names down," Molly replied.
'Run now, guys.' Gin suggested, hugging Harry. 'Congratulations for getting past the student stage, big brother.'
"Mm. Sometimes I wonder what I was on when I agreed to teaching here next year," Harry agreed.
"Father. Mother." Draco nodded to his parents as Lucius and Narcissa stepped over to them.
"Congratulations, Draco, everyone," Lucius replied, watching the Grangers out of the corner of his eyes, since the Muggles were giving his hostile looks.
Harry and Hermione traded looks and Harry stepped in. "Drs. Granger, this is Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Lucius, Narcissa, these are Herm's parents, Clive and Julia Granger." The look he sent at the Malfoys quite clearly said 'Play nice or else'.
Lucius nodded and extended his hand to Julia, who was closer. "I apologize for our last meeting. I have been enlightened of a few things since then, including how special a young lady your daughter is."
"Aw, thanks, Lucius," Hermione teased. Lucius shot her an annoyed look.
"Yeah. When was the last time you showed poor Dray with such praise?" Harry threw in, grinning.
"Oh, please don't drag me into this, Potter," Draco grumbled.
"It could be worse," Pansy pointed out. "He could be hitting on you again."
"Pansy!" Harry hissed, glancing nervously at Tom, who was looking rather confused. "You promised to keep your mouth shut!"
"Oops. My bad. Sorry." Pansy sighed, shrugging and not sounding the least bit sorry.
The Dark Lord rested an arm on top of Harry's head and gave the teen and annoyed look. "Have you been cheating on me again?"
Harry gave his lover a tearful look. "I'm sorry. I know I promised not to do it again, but, his skin's so soft!"
Those who knew who the Dark Lord was watched him warily as he blinked at Harry for a few moments. Tom bowed his head, shoulders shaking, rather suddenly and Harry grinned widely, winking at Draco, who made a big show of being relieved. "You imp!" Tom said suddenly, looking up and crushing his lips to Harry's. You're lucky I can read your mind, you know.
Oh, come on, Tom. You know I'd never cheat on you, Harry replied, ruffling the Dark Lord's light brown hair.
Tom pulled back and worked on flattening his hair with a scowl. "Do you mind?!"
"Of course he doesn't!" Sirius said cheerfully, throwing an arm around the Dark Lord's shoulders cheerfully and holding out a bottle of opened butterbeer to his godson. "Congratulations, everyone." He offered, winking at Hermione, Draco, Ted, Gin, and Pansy.
"Black, if you do not remove yourself from my person within ten seconds, I will hex your arms behind your back and hang you from the ceiling," Tom growled darkly.
Harry smiled and unhexed the bottle of butterbeer before taking it from his godfather. "I'd let him go, Siri."
"Oh, fine," Sirius let the Dark Lord go and smirked as Tom cast a Cleaning Charm on himself. "By the way, Harry, you'll never believe who I was sitting next to!"
"Remus Lupin, by any chance?" Tom said dryly.
Sirius shot him a dirty look before smiling at Harry again. "Your aunt, actually."
"Aunt Petunia came?!" Harry grinned. "I didn't think she'd be able to make it! Where is she?"
"Remus was helping her pick food out." Sirius shrugged. "I let him handle it. He'll bring her over here when they're done."
"Probably for the best that we keep the mutt away from the food," a dark voice said from behind Lucius. The blond glanced over his shoulder, then moved to one side to let Severus into the small sort-of-circle they'd created.
"Hi, Sevvie!" Harry chirped, running over and giving the Potions professor a hug.
"Harry, if you hug me one more time, I'll have to start testing potions on you." Severus groaned. "And don't call me 'Sevvie', for the last time!"
"Aw. You're no fun, Sevvie." Harry pouted. The people around the circle laughed.
"You're almost better off getting used to him, Severus," Remus offered as he led a thin woman into the circle next to Sirius.
Harry smiled and walked over to give his aunt a much calmer hug than he'd given Severus. "You made it."
"Yes." Petunia smiled. "Thank Saber for me, next time you see him. He brought me on the Knight Bus."
"Will do." Harry nodded, then glanced around with a worried look. "Do I have to introduce you to everyone?"
Petunia laughed at that. "No, that's fine, dear." She ruffled his hair fondly. "Congratulations on getting a job for next year, by the way."
"Of course, Harry's the only one who Albus knows he can trust to teach his precious brats." Severus snorted.
Harry grinned. "He just knows that I can, Severus. Trust is another issue entirely."
"Yes. Knowing Harry, they probably had another long talk about pranks." Tom snorted.
"Oh, it wasn't that long!" Harry grinned. "He just said that I have to okay any pranks with him first."
"And me," Severus cut in.
"Nope. Sorry, Sevvie. Albus never said anything about my okaying pranks with you." Harry laughed
"Albus didn't, but I am, you little horror," the Potions professor shot back.
Lucius sighed, glancing at a watch. "I'm afraid we must leave. Pansy, we're to take you to the manor until your parents get back from Mexico."
"Sleepover! Cool!" Pansy chirped, grabbing on to Draco's arm and looking at Harry. "I'll have to wait to stay over with you, Har. Sorry."
"Oh well." Harry shook his head sadly. "I'll see you all next week sometime."
"Of course. The tea date." Narcissa nodded. "I should put it on the calendar at home."
"Yes. We'll see you Friday, then?" Tom agreed.
"That should be perfect," Lucius agreed.
Harry glanced discreetly at Hermione and got a quick smile in response. Herm'll be at the meeting, then. I'll check with Nev before we leave.
Best catch him now, then. Looks like his Gran is dragging him out, Tom warned as the Weasleys also offered their good-byes. The meeting had been planned so early so that they could all come before they left the country.
Damn. Harry smiled at everyone after giving his sister and Molly a hug. "I need to go catch Nev, if that's okay?"
"Oh, go on, then. We'll surely find some way to amuse ourselves without you," Hermione teased.
Harry rolled his eyes and jogged over to his fellow Heir. "Hullo, Madam Longbottom. Nev, could I have a quick word with you?"
Neville blinked. "It's about those lessons you promised me, right? I hope you don't mind, but I already told Gran about them."
Harry gave his friend a relieved smile. "Yes, yes. That's fine." He scratched the back of his head. "Is it alright if I come get you before noon on next Friday? I'll need to take you into the house the first time so you can find it and we can set the wards for you."
Neville glanced back at his grandmother. "Is that okay, Gran? I'll probably be gone all day."
Madam Longbottom nodded. "That should be fine. I'll just invite my knitting friends over so I don't get bored," she decided.
"Great!" Harry grinned. "I'll see you on Friday, then!"
"Right." Neville nodded and the two shared a brotherly hug, which appeared to shock Neville's grandmother, before Harry hurried back to where the Grangers were getting ready to leave.
Harry gave Hermione a big hug. "I'll send Hedwig to you tomorrow so you can send me a letter to let me know when you're visiting."
"Oh, alright." Hermione rolled her eyes as she took Gerda from Severus, who had been holding the baby for his ex-student. "Say good-bye to your godfather, Gerda."
Gerda let out a gurgle and waved a pudgy hand at Harry. The green-eyed wizard leaned over and blooped her nose. "You be good for your mum and grandparents, little missy," he said warningly, smiling when the baby giggled. Then he turned to Galvin, who was watching his godfather from his grandmother's arms. "You too, Gal. You don't want to annoy Gin by annoying your mum again, now do you?" Galvin mumbled a string of baby nonsense in response, looking quite downcast.
Hermione smiled. "I'll see you later, then."
Harry smiled and kissed her cheek. "Stay safe. Don't let old Voldies get ya." Hermione laughed and followed her parents from the Great Hall.
"Well, my little imp, we should probably head out as well," Tom sighed, dragging a laughing Ula away from Sirius.
Harry nodded and glanced at his aunt. "Aunt Petunia, have you got a way to get home?"
"Well, I was going to take a portkey home, like Professor Dumbledore said I could..."
"Nonsense," Tom cut in. "We'll drop you off. Harry can do an Apparation Circle."
"You can Apparate Muggles?" Sirius gaped.
"It's possible, but I wouldn't recommend it," the Dark Lord responded evilly before glancing at Harry. "Think you have the strength?"
Harry frowned thoughtfully. "I should be fine," he agreed out loud. Quietly, he added, But you'll need to do the second Apparation to the manor.
I was planning to anyway, Tom assured the teen. "Good. Now say good-bye to your godfathers and let's head out."
The teen grinned and hopped over to Remus and Sirius while Tom turned to talk Ula into calming down. "I don't know if Marcus'll let you into the manor, Siri, but I'll try talking him into it, right?"
"Nah, don't bother. I'll see you sometimes, I'm sure." The Animagus shrugged. "Remy'll let you know if I want you to visit, I'm sure."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Probably."
Sirius tugged Harry into a hug. "Just take care of yourself, Harry," he murmured.
Harry returned the hug desperately. "Don't do anything foolish, Padfoot," he whispered fiercely. "I cannot lose you again."
"You won't lose me again, pup. I swear," the Animagus agreed soothingly.
Harry nodded as he pulled away and wiped at a tear that had made a shimmering trail down his left cheek. "Good."
Remus grinned and leaned on his long-time friend. "Don't worry, Harry. I found his old leash. He won't be going anywhere."
Harry laughed and gave his other godfather a quick hug. "Make sure you tie him up outside before you leave to go anywhere, right? Don't want him pissing on the furniture."
"You little monster!" Sirius laughed as Harry waved and walked over to join Tom, Petunia, and Ula.
Tom silently handed Harry a handkerchief and picked Ula up, since she'd been demanding it. "There should be a few carriages left that we can take down to the gate. Come on."
On their way out, Albus approached them. "Marcus, Harry, could I have your mailing address, in case I need to owl you?"
Tom grimaced. "The manor's unplottable and has wards against most owls, Albus. Your best bet is sending any mail to the owl post office in Dundee."
"Wait." Harry frowned. "Marcus, could a phoenix get through the wards?"
The Dark Lord blinked a few times. "I have no idea. If you'd like though, I suppose we could program Fawkes into the wards."
Albus nodded. "You're taking Petunia home first?"
"Yes. Marcus says it's possible to Apparate a Muggle, and it's always a good idea to find out just what I can manage," Harry agreed.
"I'll send Fawkes to catch up with you at Privet Drive, then, and you can take him with you the manor," Albus decided, then smiled. "Have a good break, my dear boy. And you, Miss Thorald. And, of course, you, Marcus." He winked before walking off.
"That man is so odd," Marcus decided, shifting his hold on Ula, who giggled. "Off we go, then."
Harry and Petunia fell in behind the Dark Lord. "Having fun, Ula?" Harry called up to the girl as they walked out of the Great Hall and out of the school.
"I can see everything!" Ula agreed.
Harry grinned and paused in front of one of the carriages to stroke the thestral standing there. "I know. Marcus is tall!"
"What are you petting, Harry?" Ula inquired as Tom set her down and opened the door for the women.
"Hm? Oh, thestrals." Harry shrugged and kissed the noses of the team that would be pulling their carriage before following everyone in.
"Thestrals?" Ula shuddered. "They're unlucky, you know," she mentioned as the carriage started moving.
"Yes." Harry nodded. "At least, that's what I've been told, but they've never caused bad luck for me, and I like them."
Ula blinked at Tom. "Can you see them?"
"Yes." The Dark Lord inclined his head. "But, then, being a killer means such things happen."
"How can you be so calm about that?!" Ula cried.
"It's who he is, Ula," Petunia offered. "I'm assuming she actually knows who you are?" She glanced at Tom.
The Dark Lord nodded. "Yes."
Petunia glanced at the young witch. "Then you should expect such things from him."
Harry chuckled as the carriage stopped. "Oh, come on." He hopped from the carriage and started out for the gates.
Ula quickly caught up with the Boy-Who-Lived and grabbed his hand. "He's really creepy," she whispered.
Harry squeezed her hand gently. "He's had a hard life, Ula, and he's rather jaded. Yes, he can be creepy, but he has his good moments, too, and they're becoming much more frequent than they once were."
Ula sighed. "I know, but that doesn't keep him from being creepy."
"No, it doesn't," Harry agreed, stopping a little past the end of the wards. "Have you ever been Apparated before? I know parents will sometimes Apparate their children when they have to get somewhere."
"No. Mum can't Apparate," Ula replied.
Harry nodded. "Then this should be a bit of an adventure for you."
Tom and Petunia walked up to them. and the Dark Lord looked at Ula warily. "Are you against holding my hand right now?"
"No," the girl decided, holding out her free hand for him to take. Tom motioned for Petunia to stand between himself and Harry.
"Okay." Harry grinned. "I'm not sure how well this is going to work, so I insist on silence. Ula, I need you to concentrate your magical energy towards me, alright?" Ula nodded and closed her eyes, so Harry turned to his aunt. "Aunt Petunia, I just want you to concentrate on me. Marcus is an adept at this, so he'll play back-up for me, right, love?"
"Yes." Tom nodded and cast a silent and wandless spell on his teal eyes to allow him to see magick threads to watch for any mistakes.
"You will teach me that," Harry murmured, closing his eyes. When he got the mental 'Go' from the Dark Lord, he cast the spell, tweaking it to allow for his aunt, "Apparate Omnes!"
Once they'd reappeared just off Wisteria Walk, Tom applauded his younger lover. "Good job, Harry. You didn't need to boost the spell quite so much, but that's okay."
Harry grinned. "Good to know."
"Tired?" Tom asked in concern. Petunia and Ula both turned to look at the Boy-Who-Lived.
"A little, yeah," Harry agreed before covering a yawn.
Tom nodded and picked the smaller wizard up, hugging him to his chest. "You don't eat enough," he muttered, nodding to Petunia to lead the way. The Muggle smiled slightly and took the lead, grabbing one of Ula's hands in her own so the girl didn't run off.
"Leave me alone," Harry replied, resting his head on the Dark Lord's shoulder.
Tom chuckled faintly. I don't trust Albus' bird, you know, he added mentally.
But I do.
With your life?
Yes. Harry blinked up at the worried teal eyes. And yours, Tom. Fawkes won't 'spill the beans', as it were.
I have never gotten along with that bird. Anyway, what makes you think the mascot of the Order of the Phoenix is going to be pleased that you're staying with the leader of the opposition? the Dark Lord demanded.
It'll be okay, Harry murmured, kissing his lover's chin. You'll see.
You trust too easily, Tom complained as Petunia unlocked the door of her house. The wizards and one witch followed the Muggle in and all were greeted by a flaming bird.
"Phoenix!" Ula exclaimed in excitement.
Fawkes flew over to Harry and landed on his shoulder to preen the teen's hair, totally ignoring the dark looks Tom was shooting him. °°Are you okay, Harry?°°
Harry smiled. "Just a little tired. Nothing to worry about. Marcus, you can put me down, you know."
The Dark Lord snorted and set Harry on the ground carefully. "If you start to wobble, I'm picking you up again."
"Yeah, I know." Harry smiled at Tom before turning back to Petunia and Ula. "Aunt Petunia, Ula, this is Albus' phoenix, Fawkes. Fawkes, this is my aunt, Petunia Dursley, and Ula Thorald."
Fawkes bowed his head to the ladies. °°A pleasure to meet you both.°° Then he turned to Harry. °°Ula is the daughter of Galatea and Xylon, correct?°°
"Yes," Harry agreed before turning to Tom. "Marcus, we should probably head out to the manor so Fawkes can get back."
The Dark Lord nodded and motioned for Ula to come over to them. "Say good-bye to your aunt, Harry."
Harry nodded and gave his aunt a hug. "If you get into any trouble, use that mirror I gave you to let us know. I'll send Saber to come get you and you can stay in the manor."
Tom nodded when Petunia looked at him. "There's plenty of room for you to hide if you don't want to see our ugly faces."
Petunia laughed. "I'll keep that in mind, then." She kissed Harry's cheek. "Stay safe, Harry. And you, Marcus, Ula."
"Of course." Tom nodded while Ula grinned. "Come on, Harry."
Fawkes chimed in as Harry walked back to Tom. °°Where are we going? I could take us. Probably easier if Marcus has to reset the wards to allow both Ula and myself entry.°°
Harry looked up at Tom. "Hey, Marcus, would you like it if Fawkes transports us?"
The Dark Lord blinked a few times before shrugging. "Sure." He nodded to the phoenix. "We're going to the owl post office in Dundee. I told Hedwig to wait for us there, so we'll have to pick her up."
°°Of course.°° Fawkes nodded. He waited until Harry was touching both Tom and Ula before letting out a sharp note. Fire surrounded the four magical beings and they disappeared.
Tom waited until after the phoenix had left the manor to drop his Glamour. "Home sweet home," he muttered, pulling things from his robe pockets and resizing them before dropping them on the floor at his feet.
Ula and Harry traded looks before laughing. "Tom, love, are you okay?" Harry inquired, leaning down slightly so he could look into the Dark Lord's eyes.
Tom tossed the last bag on the floor, then snapped his fingers twice. Two house-elves appeared, both wearing clean tea cosies with the Slytherin crest dashed across the front in sharp detail. "What can Slinky and Giggles do for Master?" one of them, the elder-looking one, asked, bowing
Tom crouched down so he was level with the small creatures. "These two will be my guests for the summer. This is Harry, and that's Ula. Could you take Ula's things and show her to the Copper Room, please, Giggles?"
"Giggles would be happy to, Master!" the one who hadn't spoken before replied. She bounced over to Ula while Tom smiled. "If Mistress Ula will point out her things, Giggles will get them and show Mistress Ula to her room!"
The young witch looked started. "Ju-Just Ula, will do," she murmured, tugging out her trunk and a small shoulder bag, which she slung over one shoulder.
"Right this way, Ula!" Giggles said with a large smile before bouncing down the hall, trunk in tow. Ula hurried after her, eyes wide.
Harry chuckled. "Perhaps Giggles should have been named Bouncy, eh, Tom?"
The Dark Lord rolled his eyes. "Perhaps." Then he looked back at Slinky. "Slinky, could you take the rest of this stuff to my suite, then make sure everyone knows that Harry and Ula will be here? Also, make sure someone keeps Ula busy for today."
"Of course, Master." Slinky bowed. "And what time shall Slinky have dinner ready for Master and Master's guests?"
Tom glanced up at Harry, who shrugged. "I think it's best if we just call for it whenever we're hungry, don't you think? Then Ula can have her dinner whenever she'd like," the teen suggested.
"Let's go with Harry's idea, then," Tom decided, nodding.
"Very well, Master. And what time will Master and Master's guests be having breakfast tomorrow?" Slinky asked, collecting the leftover trunks and bags.
"Have it ready at nine, and make sure Ula knows," Tom ordered, standing.
"As Master wishes," Slinky agreed before disappearing with a 'pop', taking all of the things with him.
"Slinky is the Head Elf," Tom told Harry, offering his arm. "If you want something done, you'll have to ask him."
Harry grinned and slid his arm around the Dark Lord's waist, resting his head against the taller man's shoulder. "I'll keep that in mind. They all look very happy."
"They are, I think," Tom agreed, settling his arm around Harry's shoulders. "Of course, they really don't like it when my Death Eaters come around, but there's little I can do about that. Shall we head towards the bedroom?"
"Sure." Harry smiled. "So, do I get a tour of this place tomorrow?"
"Of course." Tom chuckled. "I'll give both you and Ula the grand tour after breakfast."
"Mm. And what ever shall we do until then?"
"I've got a few ideas."
Harry slipped into the room of Juniors with a faint smile. "Good afternoon, everyone."
"Good afternoon, boss," came the cheerful reply of the gathered Juniors.
Harry took his place at the head of the circle, nodding faintly to Hermione and Neville, who stood next to one another in a shady corner. He glanced around at the familiar faces for a long moment before speaking. "This will be the first full meeting for all of you, I believe, so let me tell you what to expect." He stepped back, shaking his head when everyone turned to watch him. "First thing, face forward. You don't need to see me to listen."
"Oiy. Wouldn't it be more respectful to watch you, so you know we're listening?" Morag inquired.
"Voldemort doesn't want to see your face. He likes submission," Harry responded gently, starting to walk around the circle of witches and wizards. "I know I've mentioned before that one of the differences between the Death Eaters and the Juniors is my more friendly approach?" The Juniors nodded, some watching him curiously. "In a full-fledged meeting, we play by Voldemort's rules, and he's not so nice at Death Eater meetings. Just because you got an O for the year doesn't mean he won't Crucio you."
'That MEANS, face FORWARD!' Gin added in large, sharp lettering. Everyone's head snapped back to inside the circle.
Harry nodded his thanks to his second. "When you all first met Voldemort as himself, were you afraid of him?" he inquired gently.
"Yeah," everyone murmured.
'Well, guess I'm the only exception to THAT rule.' Gin snorted.
Harry gave his sister an amused look. "You feared him just as much as the next person the very first time you met him and understood who he was."
"Point to Harry," Remus murmured.
Harry snorted. "Enough." He shook his head at them all as he took his place at the head of the circle again. "You'll have to be serious in the meeting, my friends," he said, giving them all sharp looks. "No laughing, no teasing each other, no silently hexing the Death Eater next to you." The Boy-Who-Lived glanced at the Weasley twins and smiled at their serious looks. "Good."
'While we're in the meeting, neither Harry nor I can protect you if you step out of line.' Gin added seriously. 'Just because we're high-ranking doesn't mean that we can talk you out of a tight spot. If you piss off Voldemort enough for him to Crucio you, you probably deserve it.'
"Consider this your only warning," Harry added firmly. "Now, when you get into the meeting room, most of the Death Eaters will be mingling, for the most part. When they start lining up, line up with them. Take a random place in the circle and stay quiet. When Voldemort and myself come in, you're expected to kneel. Don't question it, just do it."
"What if we don't kneel?" Terry snorted.
"You'll be learning to like the Cruciatus Curse, that's what," Draco snapped. He glared across the circle at the Ravenclaw. "The Dark Lord isn't the nice guy you had as teacher, Terry. He's cruel and hateful. If you don't do as you're supposed to do, you will find yourself on the wrong end of his wand. You can learn that now, or you can learn that later, but I promise I'll laugh when you start screaming."
"Draco," Harry murmured, gazing at the Slytherin calmly.
Draco pursed his lips, but bowed formally. "I apologize, Harry, but sometimes you need to be harsh to make your point."
Harry's lips twitched. "So I'm learning." He glanced over at Terry. "Draco is right, though. Lord Voldemort will not smile if you crack a joke. He'll turn around and Crucio you until you're sobbing and can't breathe anymore and are coughing up blood from screaming so hard," the green-eyed teen said softly.
Terry winced. "Understood."
"Great." Harry smiled. "Gin, would you like to lead them all to the meeting room? We've got a few minutes yet before Voldemort calls the Death Eaters, so you can all get a look around."
'And you?' Gin inquired, motioning for everyone to put there masks on and hoods up.
"Neville, Hermione, and I are going to find them a place to hang out in while the meeting's going on," Harry replied easily.
"And after the meeting?" Theodore inquired from behind his white mask.
'The Juniors have their own little private meeting and lunch.' Gin responded. 'Let's go, kiddies.'
"Behave," Hermione added, giving everyone her best Head Girl expression, which had everyone cracking up as Gin herded them from the room.
Harry smiled at the two supporters. "Well, come along then. You can play with Ula, I suppose. I'll just send one of the house-elves to come get you when we're done."
"That should work," Neville agreed.
Harry chuckled and motioned for them to follow him.
:No wise cracks this time, right?:
:None what-so-ever.: Harry rolled his eyes at the red-eyed man across from him. :I'm supposed to be setting a good example for my gang, I know.: He flicked a lock of hair from his face before speaking again. :Are we inducting Dray, Ted, and 'Bini today?:
:Yes.: The Dark Lord nodded. :They will be remaining behind after both meetings for their test, then they will be marked.:
:What's their test?:
:They get to torture your cousin.:
Harry blanched, then shot the Dark Lord a sharp look. :Lovely. And you're going to want me there, of course.:
Voldemort smiled faintly. :If you wish to call an out, love, I give you permission. None of us will think any less of you for it.:
:I know.: He looked up at the ceiling. :But I'll be there anyway.:
The Dark Lord let out a sigh. :Very well.:
Harry couldn't help but smile at his lover. :And Gin? I seem to recall her calling dibs on my lovely cousin.:
:I don't know. Ask her.:
:Perfect.: Voldemort straightened and brushed down his robes, which drew a snort from Harry, then turned to the doors they'd been standing next to. :I think they're ready.:
:Let's hope mine behave,: Harry muttered, taking his place next to the taller man.
:Well, if they don't, I get to Crucio them,: Voldemort replied cheerfully.
:And we all know you've been wanting to do that since the beginning of the school year,: was Harry's dry response.
:Oh, I don't know. They didn't cause nearly as much trouble as you,: Voldemort hissed in Harry's ear before pushing the doors open and leading the way into the room.
Harry noted, with relief, that all the Juniors knelt in unison with the other Death Eaters. Thank Merlin!
The Dark Lord's end of their link radiated with amusement even as he looked over the gathered group with a frown. "Stand," he ordered, then nodded when everyone rose quickly.
:What's wrong?: Harry inquired, keeping his face emotionless as he gazed over the group himself.
:Some of mine are missing,: Voldemort responded.
:Anything in the Prophet this morning that I missed?:
:Doubtful, though the Prophet might not even know.:
:True.: Harry frowned thoughtfully. :Ask.:
:Harry...: the Dark Lord murmured.
:Oh, fine, I'll ask. Who's missing?: Harry responded, mentally rolling his eyes.
Plato Bole, Ward Warrington, Roger Davis, and Lyle Bletchley, Voldemort whispered in their minds, not wanting to say them out loud, since some may catch on to the names. It had happened in the past.
Harry nodded. "Bole, Warrington, Davis, and Bletchley are missing. Where are they?" he asked in a sharp voice, eyeing the crowd.
"Davis has a Quidditch game in Bosnia," came the quick response from one of Roger Davis' friends, Septimus Cauld.
"Make sure he knows to speak with us about that when he gets back," Harry ordered, waiting for the answering nod before gazing around the group again. "Bole, Warrington, and Bletchley."
"I saw Bole and Bletchley yesterday at the Ministry, my Lord," Cassidy Hayes answered suddenly. "They were talking to Amelia Bones."
"What would they need to talk to her about?" spat Antonin Dolohov furiously, which started an argument among about ten Death Eaters. The Juniors and Death Eaters not arguing stepped back out of the way, eyeing the arguers warily.
Voldemort and Harry traded looks. We'll need Susan to grill her aunt, the Dark Lord muttered.
I'll ask her, Harry agreed. Now, aren't you going to end this argument, oh great Dark Lord?
Are you mocking me, Potter? Voldemort replied with a tinge of amusement. Harry smirked. Brat. Yes, I'll step in, right as soon as those not in this little fight get out of the way...
Harry winced internally, catching on to the Dark Lord's train of thought. Ever thought about just shouting for them to stop?
What would be the fun in that?Voldemort inquired, levelling his wand at the small cluster. "Crucio."
The argument ended rather suddenly, letting the following screams rip through the air unhindered. Harry noticed a few of his Juniors flinching and, those close to one another, gripping each others' hands. Gin mouthed 'ouch' silently to herself as she gazed at the mass of Death Eaters from Harry's right. The Death Eaters not caught up in the Cruciatus Curse were watching on stonily. Love, you have a sick sense of humour, Harry offered cheerfully.
Why, thank you, Voldemort replied, ending the curse with a snap of his wrist. He stalked over to the pile of human bodies and kicked the one closest to him. "Get up. All of you," he ordered coldly. They all started struggling to their feet, but the Dark Lord didn't seem to think they were moving fast enough, for he roared, "NOW!" at the top of his lungs, making everyone else flinch and one of the ones rising fall over.
"My Lord, we apologize," Odoric York said quickly as he regained his feet.
"You, are all pathetic," Voldemort hissed sharply. "I don't know why I bother."
"Because you can't defeat the Order of the Phoenix alone?" Lach Goyle responded dully from the ground.
Voldemort turned his wand on the dumb man. "Prone Seco," he hissed, making a slicing motion
Lach screamed as the front of his robes split open, revealing a deep cut from his right shoulder to just above his groin. Blood started pooling around him at a sharp pace.
Harry's eyes shot away from the gruesome sight to where a scuffle had broken out in a corner. He recognized the forms of the younger Goyle fighting against Draco and Vincent and swept silently over to them. All three froze when they saw him coming. "Greg, go over to the corner by the door and help Sal outside," the Boy-Who-Lived ordered evenly, nodding to where Sally-Anne stood unsteadily with Susan's support.
"But, Harry, my–"
"Greg, if you go over there now, the Dark Lord will do that to you too," Vincent hissed. "Listen to Harry."
"Go," Harry hissed as the Dark Lord started yelling. "He won't kill him."
Gregory's shoulders slumped and, with a faint nod, he dashed through the shadows over to the two Hufflepuffs and helped Sally-Anne from the room.
"Thank you," Vincent murmured to Harry once Gregory was out of the room.
Harry nodded and settled a hand on the Slytherin's shoulder, glancing at both young men. "Good job," he offered before spinning sharply and stalking back to his place in the broken circle.
Voldemort stalked up to his younger lover, eyes flaring dangerously, as Craig Crabbe and Walden Macnair helped Lach from the room. :I should have killed him,: he spat to Harry.
Harry cocked an eyebrow at the older wizard. :But, if you killed everyone who pissed you off, there wouldn't be anyone left. What would be the point in ruling then?:
Voldemort snorted. :Stop trying to cheer me up, Harry,: he muttered before returning his attention to the slowly returning circle of Death Eaters and Juniors. "Move it!" He shouted, then smirked as everyone quickened their pace.
:But, love, if I don't try cheering you up, who will?: Harry offered, eyeing a flurry of motion against one of the walls. :Be right back.:
:What?: Voldemort turned to watch Harry sweep over to the motion he'd seen with a frown.
Harry cocked an eyebrow at the Patil twins. Parvati was hugging her sister tightly, who was bowed over sobbing silently. "What's wrong?" the young leader murmured, kneeling before the girls. He smiled faintly when the Dark Lord barked out an order to draw the attention away from them.
"Padma's feeling ill," Parvati whispered. "She's never seen that much blood before."
"Understandable." Harry nodded. "I'll take her out. You get back into the circle and pay attention."
"Yes, sir." Parvati nodded, then pulled away from her sister to hurry back to where Lisa and Morag had left her a space.
"Padma, can you stand?" Harry whispered, setting a gentle hand on the young woman's back.
"I–I think s–so," Padma agreed. She allowed herself to be pulled to her feet, then led from the room. "A-am I going t-to be i–in tr–trouble?"
"No." Harry pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to the Ravenclaw. "I'm not surprised that some of you got sick," he added as they stepped into the room where he felt Gregory and Sally-Anne's pendants
"S–some of us?" Padma inquired shakily as she pulled off her mask and used the handkerchief to wipe at her tears and snot.
"Yeah," Sally-Anne agreed, eyes red and swollen. "Greg helped me out."
"Harry made me," Gregory reported as Harry helped Padma sit next to Sally-Anne.
"Your father is fine," Harry reported sternly. "If you'd tried to stop Voldemort from cursing him, you would both be hurt. I stopped you for a reason, so stop giving me that look."
"Harry was right" Sally-Anne added, shaking her finger in Gregory's face. "Now shut up."
Harry smiled. "You certainly seem better, Ms Perks."
Sally-Anne made a face. "You shut up too."
"Hey! Are you four having a party without me?!" came a sudden voice out of nowhere.
Harry turned and smiled at Ula. "It's not one you want to attend, love," he offered, then glanced up at where Hermione and Neville stood behind the young Gryffindor. "You two look tired."
"She's worse than Gerda and Gal," Hermione declared as Ula hopped into Harry's arms. "How do you deal with her?"
"How do you think he put up with Ron for six years?" Neville offered dryly, taking the open seat next to Gregory. "Okay there, Greg?"
Gregory pursed his lips. "No."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Greg, would it make you feel better if you could go check up on your father?"
Harry nodded and snapped his fingers with his free hand, as he was holding Ula still. A frowning elf appeared before him. "What can Ordor do for Master Harry?" he asked in a monotone.
"Take Greg up to the second floor in the left wing, where his father is," Harry responded evenly.
"As Master Harry asks." Ordor bowed. "Come along Mister Goyle."
"Thank you, Ordor," Harry offered the elf as he led Gregory from the room. Then he returned his attention to Ula. "I need to put you down, Ula. I have to get back to my meeting."
"Awww..." Ula pouted. "Can I come?"
"You really don't want to be in there," Sally-Anne slipped in. "Come here and I'll teach you a hand-game, hm?"
"Okay!" Ula chirped. She hopped over to Sally-Anne happily.
Harry gave the Hufflepuff a thankful look, then nodded to Hermione and Neville. "I'll see you two in a few minutes. Make sure you find a place for her?"
"We'll try our best," Neville promised weakly.
Harry snorted in amusement and slipped back down the hallway and into the meeting room. Voldemort was yelling again. Love, I think they get the point, Harry chuckled mentally as he slid into his place next to the scarlet-eyed man.
The Dark Lord turned to him, ending his triad rather suddenly, which made a few Death Eaters and Juniors startle. :I had to improvise, and they obviously don't get it, since they still haven't gotten it right.: He scowled heavily.
Harry gave his lover an amused look. :Perhaps, if you didn't yell and spoke in a normal voice, they'd get it?:
Voldemort's scowl deepened. :Where's the fun in that?:
Harry sniggered, then turned to their wary audience. "Ladies and gentlemen of the Dark Order, when Voldemort screams his orders at the top of his lungs, can you even understand what he's saying?"
:Harry,: Voldemort said warningly.
:I'm curious. Hush,: Harry responded calmly, totally ignoring the red eyes glaring a hole through his head. "Well?"
"N-not...r-r-really..." Wormtail volunteered, then cowered when the Dark Lord shot him a furious look.
:Point. Stop screaming,: Harry turned and graced the annoyed Dark Lord with a brilliant smile, ignoring the wand pointed at his heart.
:I should Crucio you,: Voldemort growled.
:But you won't,: Harry pointed out calmly. :Because, if you do, there will be no one here to make you see sense.:
:I don't need anyone to try and show me sense!:
'Gentlemen, perhaps this isn't the best place for this.' declared quick words that appeared between them. 'Argue in your bedroom, not at the meeting.'
:Your sister is right. We will have this discussion later,: Voldemort decided, forcing himself to calm down before he returned to the circle of Death Eaters. "Next month, we have a raid. You will be further informed when that date comes closer. For now, be warned it's coming. Also, we will be inducting three new members into the Death Eaters tonight," he said coldly. "Lucius, remain."
Harry nodded, all business, as he also addressed the group. "Death Eaters In-Training, follow Gin. She'll take you to our meeting room."
Then, as one, the two leaders said, "Dismissed," and turned to sweep from the room, Lucius following.
"Perhaps, Harry, you shouldn't interrupt meetings like that?" Lucius offered calmly once the doors to the meeting room had fallen shut behind them.
"My sentiments exactly," the Dark Lord grumbled as he reverted to his human form. "How the hell am I supposed to keep control of meetings if you continue to do that?"
"You rule your way, I rule mine," Harry replied, frowning, as he leaned against the wall. "Anyway, your meetings are always out of control. Someone usually ends up in pain by the end, which causes chaos for at least as long as you hold the curse, usually longer. Yes, Tom, you have their fear, but you don't have their attention in the way you wish."
"You're saying I need to be more friendly?" Tom hissed, eyes flashing.
"I'm saying, that your meetings are chaotic without my help, so stop yelling at me," Harry responded calmly.
The Dark Lord leaned over until he was nose-to-nose with the smaller wizard. "You rule your way, I rule mine," he said coldly. "In my meetings, we rule with fear. In your meetings, we rule with friendship. Know the distinction."
"I'm well-aware of the distinction, thank you," Harry shot back, tone matching that of his lover's. "I'm merely not comfortable with it."
"And you think I'm comfortable with joking around at your meetings?" Tom asked, eyes narrowing.
Harry let out a sigh, resigning himself. "Very well. I will behave in your meetings."
"And I won't Crucio any of your Juniors," Tom agreed evenly. "Deal?"
"Deal." Harry nodded, then crossed the short distance between them and bestowed a firm kiss on the other's lips.
Lucius coughed politely, earning him glares from both of the more powerful wizards, which he ignored. "I believe we have a meeting to get to?"
Harry blinked at the blonde. "You're coming too?"
Tom sighed. "I invited him. He needs to know how to deal with your brats just as Gin needs to learn how to deal with my people."
"Very well." Harry poked the Dark Lord's side. "Shall we?"
"We shall." Tom agreed, then spun and led the way to the main dining room, where the meeting would be held.
Dudley's head shot up when the door to his cell opened. In stepped the blond man that he saw from time-to-time that would smirk at him from just outside his reach and threaten him. Dudley wasn't sacred of the man anymore, though he had been at first. He'd figured out by now that the man wouldn't hurt him.
As four cloaked forms stepped into the cell after Lucius, unnoticed by Dudley, Lucius commented, "Good evening, Mr Dursley."
"Oh, is it evening then?" Dudley shot back.
"Actually, it's late afternoon," offered an emotionless voice as Harry and Voldemort stepped into the cell. "How rude of you to mislead him, Lucius."
"I apologize, my Lord," Lucius responded, bowing slightly. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Fucking whore!" Dudley screamed suddenly, pulling at his chains as he reached for his cousin, who flinched. "Come over here and fight me like a man!"
"That would be an unfair advantage," Theodore hissed from beneath his hood. "Since you're no man."
Dudley ignored the insult, intent on staring at Harry and tugging on his chains occasionally. He seemed aware that it unnerved Harry as well, as he was smirking slightly.
Almost as one, the four cloaked figures moved to block their leader from Dudley's view while the snake-like Voldemort engulfed Harry in a hug, shooting Dudley a poisonous look. "I want him screaming, you four," the Dark Lord hissed, pulling Harry with him as he stepped back against the wall.
Dudley shuddered. "Queen Voldemort," he muttered.
Voldemort offered the not-so-fat teen a chilled smirk. "That's right," he agreed coldly as Lucius joined him and Harry against the wall, placing a hand on Harry's shoulder.
Harry pulled away from his lover and glanced up into the scarlet eyes, smiling at the concern he saw within them. :I want one shot. No wand.:
:Harry...: Voldemort murmured, frowning.
:Please, love? You did say fighting back helped, remember?: Harry pointed out.
The Dark Lord let out a sigh. :One shot,: he agreed.
Harry nodded and spun, a cold smile shaping his lips. "Juniors, move." The four Juniors shot him wary looks, but moved to either side, leaving a strip of bare ground between Dudley and Harry. Slowly, the Boy-Who-Lived moved forward. "Lucius tells me that he's not done you any physical harm, save starving you a bit," the wizard commented in an off-handed manner.
"Just like the pathetic wimp he is," Dudley agreed.
Harry stopped before his cousin. "Really? Lucius never struck me as pathetic."
"That's because you're the most pathetic wimp of them all," Dudley sneered.
Harry delivered a sharp kick to the side of his cousin's head, making Dudley see stars, and leaned in so close, their noses almost touched. "Let us see who the true wimp is, hm? I bet five pounds that Lucius or I could stand being under torture twice as long as you." He smirked. "I give you a minute, max, before you start to scream." Harry spun sharply and stalked back up to where Voldemort stood, leaning against the wall, and forced the Dark Lord into giving him a searing kiss.
'Okay, that's hot.' Gin let out, pulling her hood back.
"I think I'm insulted." Theodore sighed as he, Draco, and Blaise also pulled their hoods back.
"Try harder," Draco suggested, pointing his wand at Dudley, who was staring at Harry and the Dark Lord. "Oiy, fatso. Close your mouth."
"How can you stand kissing him?" Dudley shouted.
"The same way you can stand looking at yourself in the mirror, I'm sure," Blaise offered.
"My Lords, not to be rude, but, uh, can we hex his mouth shut?" Theodore inquired, waving his wand towards Dudley, who didn't notice.
"No," Voldemort responded as Harry pulled away from the kiss to turn and look at his Juniors and cousin, both wizards keeping their arms around the other. "I want to hear him scream."
"Keep in mind, Juniors," Harry added smoothly. "If you kill him before five minutes, you fail."
"Not that that's going to keep them from becoming Death Eaters," Lucius muttered as the four Juniors turned to Dudley, whose eyes had widened in fear.
"Or Gin my second," Harry agreed brightly.
"Begin," Voldemort ordered, slipping a hand over Harry's mouth to silence his lover's cheerful tone.
"Can we practise our Unforgivables on him?" Draco inquired just before a red burst of light left Gin's wand and forced Dudley to scream. "Guess that answers that question."
"Guess it does. Hey, Gin, let us all have a turn," Blaise snorted.
Gin ended the curse with a cold look. 'That's just a taste, Dudley.' the words of Gin's spell said in icy lettering. 'No one hurts my brother and continues unpunished. You just happen to be the first in a line of people I'm going to kill.'
Dudley shuddered at the dangerous brown eyes from where he hung, just above the ground, due to his knees giving out. "You leave my gang alone!" he shouted, voice already turning raspy from his screaming.
"I think not!" Draco spat. "They're going to Hell with you, Muggle! Crucio!" Dudley started screaming again, and the screams intensified as both Theodore and Blaise added their own Cruciatus Curse to the mix, gazes cold.
Alright there, love? Voldemort inquired through his connection with Harry as he ran a spidery hand through the younger man's hair.
What did I do to gain such faithful friends? Harry replied.
The Dark Lord smiled faintly. You were just yourself.
Harry shook his head. Whatever.
Harry had left his lover to Mark his friends in favour of wandering around Malfoy Manor on his own, letting the thought that Dudley was finally dead seep in. It was strange that his childhood bully had been killed by the people of the man who had been one of the causes of his being placed in that house. To think that his ultimate saviour had been the one he'd been born to kill. It was mind-boggling.
A voice cut through Harry's thoughts sharply. "Well, if it isn't ickle Hawwy, all by himself. Did Hawwy's little protection squad leave him all by his lonesome?"
Harry blinked up at Bellatrix. "You want me to Crucio you?"
Bellatrix laughed. "You couldn't Crucio me even if you tried, brat! You're just a child playing at an adult's world! Go back to your crib, widdle Hawwy, lest the evils of the world come out to get you!" Her eyes danced insanely.
Harry levelled his wand at the older witch, and, without any preamble, stated, "Crucio."
Bellatrix's screams ricocheted off the walls of the manor, making them seem twice as loud as they really were. Harry finally ended the curse when blood had started bubbling out of her mouth and dribbling down her chin to the floor. Still, she continued to twitch.
"I do believe, Bella, that I warned you," Voldemort hissed as he stepped up behind Harry.
"Really, Aunt Bella. Have you no tact?" Draco sniffed as he, Gin, Theodore, Blaise, and Lucius filled in the hallway around Harry and Voldemort.
'Zero tact. Yup.' Gin offered, shaking her head. 'How so very sad.'
"Get up, Bellatrix," the Dark Lord ordered. Everyone was silent as the woman slowly struggled to her feet. "Harry has permission to kill you, Bellatrix. I would not push him if I were you."
Bellatrix and Harry locked gazes. "This isn't over," the woman spat before turning and slowly limping down the hallway.
"I should hope not." Harry relaxed against his lover. "I claim her, by the way. You don't get to kill her now."
Voldemort sighed. "I know." He ran a hand through Harry's hair. "I'm sure everyone can get home on their own?"
"Yup," Draco replied cheerfully, which earned him a few amused looks.
"Great." Harry entwined his left hand with the Dark Lord's. :Voldie.: The two disappeared from sight as the portkey on Harry's finger activated.
:Nice,: Harry commented when they landed in their bedroom.
:I rather thought so,: the Dark Lord murmured, slipping one hand inside Harry's robes to pinch one of the younger wizard's nipples.
Harry closed his eyes in pleasure. :What's the occasion?: he inquired of the sudden advancement.
:I'm horny,: the Dark Lord responded promptly as he tugged at Harry's robe.
:I can see that,: Harry replied, amused, as he tugged away so he could take his robe off himself. :Now, what's making you so horny?:
A predatory smile took over Tom's face as he watched Harry undress. :Didn't you know, you little imp? Torture makes me horny.:
Harry snorted. :That explains a lot.: He let his robe slide to the floor at his feet and smirked at his lover, who had been naked since Harry had started getting undressed. :But I could have sworn you were just fine while you were Marking my friends.:
:Watching you torture Bella was fucking sexy,: was the blunt reply. :Now get over here, imp.:
Harry laughed and slid up to the taller man. :I'll have to remember that,: he whispered before the Dark Lord pulled him into a sharp kiss.
Tom stepped them backwards until the back of Harry's legs hit the edge of the bed. Then they tumbled back onto the green silk sheets, Harry landing on top. Harry pulled away to give his lover a questioning look, which earned him a smirk. :Fuck me.:
Harry's eyes widened. :You want me on top?!:
:Yesssss.: Tom brushed a hand through Harry's hair gently, eyes burning hungrily. :Show me how possessive you can be, my Harry.:
CUT DUE TO LEMON!!
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Tom recovered first and wrapped his arms around the teen gently. "Love you," he whispered against wild black hair.
Harry smiled and kissed the Dark Lord's chest. "Love you too."
Tom smiled and let his eyes slip shut. "Thank you."
Harry rose his head to blink up at the older man. "For what?"
Smiling scarlet eyes gazed at the teen. "For loving me."
Harry's eyes widened in surprise for a brief moment before he smiled in reply. "An eye for an eye," he offered impishly.
The Dark Lord chuckled. "Go to sleep, you little monster."
Harry nuzzled the elder man's chest. "Good night, Tom."
"Good night, Harry. Sleep well."
A/N: -sob- What a happy little ending. Just brings tears to your eyes, doesn't it?
So, this is the end of Abandon. -sighs sadly- I have to thank you all for hanging in there with me. This fic wouldn't be what it is without you all. And, truth be told, I probably would have dumped this thing many times over without all your support. So, I thank you all and I love you. -hugs and kisses and chocolate and random Harry Potter plushies to everyone-
So, I keep thinking every time I get a review saying they can't wait to read the sequel, that I should probably change this note so it no longer says that Reclaim will be coming soon, as it's posted and finished. Moreover, I took out the preview of the first chapter, since it seems silly to have you read it twice. -winks-
All of Reclaim – lemons and all – is posted both on my livejournal and on HPFandom(dot)net. Links to both places can be found on my bio page.