Harry trudged up to the Headmaster's office wondering what the old coot could want now. Ever since the night that Sirius died Harry's opinion of the old man had deteriorated. Dumbledore acted as if everything was fine and continued to treat Harry like a child in spite of the promises made that awful night.
Coming to a halt in front of the Gargoyle guarding the entrance to Dumbledore's office Harry took a moment to compose himself and push all his dark thoughts to the back of his mind where he hid them behind several layers of protective shielding. He wasn't quite ready yet to let the Headmaster know what he really thought of him and he wouldn't be surprised if the old bastard tried Legilimens on him to ensure that his weapon was still loyal to him.
Taking another deep breath and letting it out slowly Harry stated the password, 'candy canes' and walked through the doorway the moment it was clear. Riding up the staircase he checked one last time that his mind was secure and then knocked on the door and entered.
"Ah, Harry my boy. Come in and sit down. A lemon drop?" Dumbledore asked with a jovial smile gesturing for Harry to come closer.
Harry obeyed with a small smile and settled into the comfortable armchair. "No thank you Headmaster." he said declining the offered sweet with a small shake of his head.
Dumbledore merely shrugged and popped one of the sweets into his mouth. "So, Harry, excited to start your last year here at Hogwarts?" he asked, eyes twinkling as if he already knew the answer to his question.
It was Harry's turn to shrug. "A little I guess." Deciding that he needed to elaborate a bit he continued: "It is both exciting and a little bit sad. Hogwarts has been the only place that felt like home to me." Not to mention that I never expected to actually live long enough to see my graduation, Harry thought gloomily.
Dumbledore nodded looking pleased. "Yes, I know your life with the Dursleys wasn't always fun and roses. But I think I have found a solution to several of our problems." he beamed.
Harry gritted his teeth. I knew it! The barmy old fool just had to interfere in my life! Again! Will he never learn? Well this time I won't stand for it. What ever he wishes me to do I won't do it!
Unaware of the rebellious thoughts coursing through his pupil's mind Dumbledore cheerfully continued to outline his plans.
"It has come to my attention that Voldemort is planning something for either Halloween or for Christmas." Dumbledore began.
"With all due respect, sir, Voldemort is always planning something. And he always fails." Harry interrupted as politely as he could.
"Yes, but this time his plans are a little different." Dumbledore explained gently leaning forward in his chair doing an excellent impersonation of your favourite grandfather. Not that Harry had ever had one so the effect was wasted on him. "You see. Voldemort no longer wishes to kill you. He wishes to bind you to him."
"That way he removes his biggest threat and he gets access to your powers. Once the two of you are bonded nothing will stop him from gaining world dominance." Dumbledore finished leaning back in his chair, plopping another sweet into his mouth and peered at Harry from over his glasses.
Harry was stunned. He had gotten so used to all the plots Voldemort had hatched to kill him that the threats no longer faced him. But this? Was the man insane? Well, hello? Of course the man is insane! Harry thought sarcastically to himself as his mind raced. Actually it is a rather clever plan. Like the old fool said, it gets me out of the way and he gets access my power as well. I wonder who came up with it. Certainly not old Voldie. Malfoy perhaps? Draco may be a drama queen but Lucius can be both subtle and devious at times. Fortunately for us those times are rare and far between.
"What are we going to do?" Harry asked knowing full well that there was no 'we'.
"I and a few others in the Order have given this a lot of careful consideration and the only solution we see is for you to be bonded before Voldemort manages to finish his preparations." Dumbledore said carefully.
"What? Are you insane?" Harry shouted exploding out of the chair and stepping towards the desk separating him from the Headmaster. Planting his fists on the desk top he leaned forward, boring into those thrice damned twinkling eyes. "And who exactly are you going to bond me to? You?" he sneered. "How exactly is this different from what Voldemort is going to do? Tell me that!"
"Harry! Calm down!" Dumbledore thundered watching pleased when Harry pushed away form the desk. "I know this came as a shock for you but let me explain."
Harry began pacing around the office doing a 'go a head' wave with his hand indicating that he was listening.
"I understand this came as a shock for you but like I said there is a simple solution to the problem. A solution with several benefits to you that I don't think you have realised yet." Dumbledore said soothingly, watching his furiously pacing student carefully. The only one who could throw all his plans off kilter was Harry but he was sure he could bend Harry to his will and after the bonding he would never need to worry about the boy's loyalty again.
"When you are bonded to someone, especially if that witch or wizard is magically strong, several things happen. One, you will get a never ending support of love. Love is a wonderful power Harry, one that will help you heal and that will get you the emotional stability you have lacked all your life."
Harry gave Dumbledore a dark look but managed to bite back the comments he wanted to say about whose fault that was.
"Furthermore you will be able to share your bonded's magic and strength and hopefully this will be enough for you to finally end this war. So you see my boy, it is a win win situation."
"I see. And who is it that you plan to bond me with? Do I even get a say in who it is?" Harry gritted out through clenched teeth
"Of course you'll get a say in who you will be bonded with!" Albus scolded gently. "I must caution you to be careful whom you chose though. After all, you will be spending the rest of your life with this person."
"And if there is no one I feel that way about?" Harry asked though he had a feeling he already knew the answer to that.
"Don't worry Harry. The binding spell I plan to use will ensure that you and your bonded will fall in love with each other even if you do not feel that way at the present." The twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes was back at full force. He had won. Just as he knew he would. Soon this all would be over and he could finally get some peace and quiet.
"How long will I have to make my decision?" Harry asked, needing to get out before he lost control of either his anger or his magic.
"I need your answer in two days Harry. The ceremony will take place on Saturday at noon."
"I see. Then I'd better do some thinking. I hope you will explain to my teachers why I won't be in class. Good day Headmaster." Harry managed to say and swept out of the office before he did something he wouldn't regret. Like wringing the old coot's neck!
Dumbledore watched him leave with a small frown. He hadn't meant for the boy to be skipping classes. Thinking about it a bit he decided that maybe it would be better this way. Deciding on who to bond would be an important decision after all and the fewer distractions the better. Yes, this way was much better and the few classes the boy missed he could easily catch up with. Reaching for a parchment and his favourite quill Dumbledore sat down to write his staff a note excusing the Boy-Who-Lived from class.
> > >
Harry stalked down the corridor not caring where he went as long as he was moving. How dare he? How dare he dictate Harry's life like that? And without as much as a by-your- leave! But that was all the old fool did, wasn't it? Manipulated other people's lives! As if he was a God or something! And people let him! They just rolled over and said Yes Master or No Master and just went with the flow! But not this puppy! Oh, no! Not this time! Harry had taken as many punches as he was going to and nothing or no one was ever again going to dictate how he would live his life!
But what was he going to do? Run away? Harry paused and thought the notion over. It would be very satisfying to do just that. Let them think they had the weapon firmly in their hand only to have him slip away in the dark of the night.
Harry grinned at the imagined looks on peoples faces before he with a regretful sigh let the fantasy slip away. For that was all it was. A fantasy. Dumbledore would never allow him to slip away and would send everyone he could get his hands on after him. He might be free of Dumbledore but he'd live his entire life always looking over the shoulder. No that was not what he wanted.
His face darkening in a scowl Harry continued walking. He needed to come up with a better plan. One there he would be left alone when all was said and done. But what?
Harry had no idea how long he'd been stalking the corridors of Hogwarts when he found himself on the same floor as the Room of Requirements. Blinking in surprise he looked down the corridor. Feeling as if he was waking from a bad dream he suddenly grinned. Of course! It was time to do a Hermione! Before he could make a plan to escape, he needed to know what he was escaping from!
Pacing up and down the corridor he asked the room to get him a place to study, all the books ever written on bonding and marriages and something to eat. Suddenly he was ravenous and he couldn't help but wonder what time it was.
Opening the door and stepping inside his eyes lit up at the feast waiting him. Then he groaned as he saw the stack of books waiting for him. He had expected a couple of dozens or so of books but this looked to be a couple of hundreds of them! Ah well, it was only the rest of his life at stake here. He'd tough it out, somehow. Too bad he couldn't ask Hermione for help.
Closing the door firmly behind him, putting up several privacy charms Harry walked over to the stacks of books and began to look them over. Picking one up that looked promising he settled down to read and eat.
> > >
"Harry, my boy. Come in, come in. I must say I was expecting you somewhat earlier than this. You have come to a decision then?" Dumbledore asked eagerly, righting his night cap. It was shortly before midnight and the Headmaster had been heading for bed rather upset that Harry hadn't been to see him. But that was all forgotten now that the boy was finally here.
"I've spent the last few days thinking." Harry began.
"Yes, yes, using the Room of Requirement. Quite clever of you I must say. The castle refused to allow anyone to enter, only reassuring me that you were fine."
Harry hid a smile. That must have driven the old man barmy, not being able to interfere for once, he thought amused.
"The thing is I can't think of anyone I'd want to spend the rest of my life with so I guess we'll have to find another way to foil Voldemort's plans." Harry said looking dejected.
"Don't worry about it Harry. Like I told you, the love will come after the bonding. I guess I shouldn't have burdened you with this but I figured that if you were already in love it would be much easier to make the bonding ceremony to work. But don't you worry. I know just the perfect candidate for you." Dumbledore twinkled in pleasure at the thought of bonding his two most loyal and powerful persons together. "Just make sure to come to the Great Hall on Saturday. Formal dress of course, and I will take care of everything."
"Yes sir." Harry mumbled and quickly left the office, not even bothering to ask who his intended was. He had a feeling he already knew.
Albus never noticed that Harry left. He was far to busy making plans. Should he tell Severus now? He thought the question over carefully. No, he shook his head. Severus could be even more stubborn than Potter when the mood took him. Better to have him there as one of the witnesses and spring the trap when all were present. Severus was less likely to balk then, especially as it would look as if Harry was willing to the union. Yes, that would be the best cause of action.
Clapping his hands together in glee he sent one of the house elves to wake up Minerva. They had a lot of planning to do before Saturday. Oh this was going to be a splendid occasion! Yes indeed!
> > >
Harry spent the next three days as if in a fog. He ate, attended classes and slept but he was utterly numb. He couldn't believe this was happening. He had always know his life wasn't his own, that the wizarding world considered him their property but he had never in his wildest dreams figured they'd do this to him.
The marriage had been leaked to the Daily Prophet and Friday morning huge headlines splashed for everyone to see that The-Boy-Who-Lived was going to get married the following day.
Harry shook his head at their stupidity. If they were going to marry him off to some poor sod to prevent Voldemort from getting his hands on him, why tell the world, giving the Dark Lord a chance to ruin their plans, just as they were trying to ruin his? Was everyone in the wizarding world an imbecile?
Harry shrugged and went on with his life as best as he could. His class mates were trying to find out who he was marrying - the rumours and guesses were wild enough to get a smile or two out of him - and pestering him for invitations to the big event. Through it all Harry just smiled and refused to answer. When things got too much he'd find an empty class room and locked himself in there with only Dobby for company.
> > >
And then the big day arrived. Harry woke to a brilliant September morning. The sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky. Unable to resist the temptation he swiftly dressed and went flying. High up in the air with nothing but his broom and the fresh clear air Harry finally relaxed. He hadn't realised until know how tense he'd been. But all the plans were in place and for better or for worse, when this day was over he'd either be free or trapped forever. Flying lazily around the Quidditch Pitch doing what ever tricks that took his fancy Harry mentally went over his plans one last time. It had to work out. It just had to.
He stayed out on his broom until 10 o'clock. Landing gently outside the entrance to the castle he dismounted his broom and headed for the kitchens for some breakfast. He was too nervous to be hungry but he knew he needed the fuel so he ate as much he could stomach before heading for the dorm to get ready for the most important day of his life. He wished with all his might that he was someone else!
> > >
Albus Dumbledore was standing on the raised platform where the teacher's table usually was and looked out over the Great Hall, beaming. Things had went smoother than he'd dared to hope for and finally the day had come that would see the end of the war. Harry would become more powerful than anyone had ever dreamed of and Voldemort would be no more.
And no one would ever be so foolish as to dare and oppose Albus again! He would finally have what he had dreamed of ever since he killed off Grindewald. Yes this was a glorious day indeed. All they needed now was for Harry to appear.
Dumbledore looked out over the Hall once more. The imbecile Cornelius Fudge was there with his wife and a few choice members of the Ministry. Potter's friends were also present, including the Weasleys, their children and Lupin. All the Order members were there, naturally, and a few others Albus hadn't been able to resist to Lord over, like the Malfoys. Yes, this was going to be a day that went down in history, never to be forgotten!
Suddenly the doors to the Great Hall opened and Harry appeared. He paused just inside the Hall and looked around before walking forward. Dumbledore smiled proudly at his protégé but the smile turned to a frown when he saw what the boy was wearing. It was a formal robe, as he had requested, but it was done in black. All the boy's clothes were in black, of finest silk, but never the less black.
The frown deepened when Harry came to a halt in front of him and slowly turned around, looking out over the assembly. Outlined on the back of the boys robes were a phoenix, done in emerald green. Surrounding the grand bird was several snakes, done in silver. Albus didn't know what the boy was trying to say with that design, but it was not suitable at such an occasion as this! Forcing the frown away Dumbledore was once more smiling by the time Harry was facing him again.
"Dearly beloved..." he began to greet the guests.
"I must say I never expected this many to appear at my wedding." Harry said calmly, sweeping an arm around the room. "But then I shouldn't have been surprised, should I? After all, I'm the Boy-Who-Lived, who wouldn't want to attend my bonding ceremony?" he asked no one special.
"Are you aware of the real reason for this... gathering?" he continued ignoring the whispered order to be quiet coming from Dumbledore. "You see, old Voldemort came up with the excellent plan to bond him and me together. That way I would no longer be a threat to him, and he could focus his attention to other things than coming up with ways to kill me. Albus Dumbledore in his infinite wisdom decided that the only way to save me from the Dark Lord was to bond me with someone. He didn't care that there is no one at this time I wish to bond with. Wouldn't that make our esteemed Headmaster just as bad as Voldemort? What do you think Mister Malfoy?" Harry asked the blond doing his best to choke down his laugh. The looks on the faces of those gathered around were priceless. He'd need to put this moment into a pensive to make sure he never forgot it.
"As I've already told Harry." Dumbledore said never giving Lucius Malfoy a chance to open his mouth sending a dark look at Potter. He should have known the boy would try and wriggle out of this. Ah, well. He might try but the hook was set too deep for him to get out of it now. "This is the best option open to him. Being bonded he will get the love and support he need to continue to grow and it will help him deal with the more unpleasant events of his past." There, that would get the tender hearted on my side. Molly is already weeping in her handkerchief, Albus noted in satisfaction.
"It will also give him the added bonus to be able to use his bonded's magic which should enable him to get rid of Voldemort once and for all. And as we all know. Love comes after the bonding." he finished with his best grandfather smile. And that should take care of those only interested in power. Fudge is hooked, probably writing the speech that will make this sound like it was all his idea. The man is an imbecile, but a useful imbecile.
"So none of you are going to argue with this bonding, even though I don't love who ever I'm going to be bonded with?" Harry asked looking out over the crowd once more. Dumbledore's speech had done it magic though. No one was as much as looking his way. He shrugged. "I see. Very well."
Turning so that he looked directly at Dumbledore Harry smiled and snapped his fingers. A wave of magic washed over the room and suddenly everyone gathered found that they couldn't move. The only thing still under their control was their eyes.
"You see Headmaster. I gave your plan some thought and discovered a huge flaw. I refuse to be your puppet anymore. So this wedding you were planning, it won't happen. But since everyone present is expecting one, I decided to not make all these fine people disappointed."
Harry's smile turned a bit nasty as he snapped his fingers once more. If they had been able to they would have screamed. Standing beside Harry was Voldemort. The Dark Lord looked stunned and not pleased at all.
Grinning like a loon Harry drew his wand and levitated the Dark Lord to stand beside Dumbledore. Collecting himself Harry closed his eyes for a moment taking a deep breath. He couldn't believe he was actually doing this.
Opening his eyes once more he gathered his magic and began to utter the word that would bind his two enemies together for life.
Concentrating utterly, his entire being focused on the words and his wand movements. He would only get one shot at this, if he failed... No! Failure was unacceptable. Narrowing his concentration even more he managed to get through the complicated binding spell without mishap.
As the last of the magic seeped into the two wizards a silvery cloud appeared around their left wrists and as the spell ended there was a flash and two intricate bracelets appeared on the bonded pair. At that moment Harry sank to his knees feeling utterly drained and everyone was able to move again. Not that anyone did. They were still frozen in shock by what had happened.
Voldemort was the first one to react. He jerked his wrist up to eye level and inspected the runes on the bracelet. He probably is more used to his plans going to hell, Harry mused. Dumbledore probably is so used to getting his way that when he doesn't, he can't deal with the shock. Ah, well, not my problem, he thought smugly.
"Potter! What have you done!" Voldemort roared, pulling his wand and sending a Crucio at the still kneeling boy.
"Tom!" Dumbledore cried and wrenched the hand away, disrupting and thus ending the spell.
"I want to know what that cloth head has done to me!" Voldemort screamed, looking wild around the eyes.
"I do too but this is not the way to go about it!" Dumbledore scolded. Turning to Harry he gave the boy the most stern look he had. "Harry, what have you done!"
"The same thing you and Voldemort were going to do." Harry replied smiling angelically as he finally had the strength to get back on his feet.
"Everyone here thought that forcing me to bond was an excellent idea. Anything to end the war, right? I mean, the end justifies the means, right? And everyone was delighted that I would finally be getting the love and stability I needed to heal and grow. Well, if anyone is in need of love it is Voldemort. You said it yourself Headmaster. Tom Riddle never experienced love and I bet you a thousand Galleons that Voldemort has even less notion what love is. And who better to show him than Albus Dumbledore? He has lots and lots of love to give and no one to show it to. Now he does. And the best of all." Harry crooned happily. "This means the war is over."
Everyone gasped and began to whisper to their neighbour.
"Think about it!" Harry called cheerfully. "Who are the two opponents in this war? Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort. Now they can sit in their cosy living room and talk about their differences and I am sure that in time they will come to some sort of compromise and that can only benefit us all right?"
"Harry! You had no right doing this to us!" Dumbledore snapped beyond livid. Voldemort on the other hand looked like he was about to burst out laughing.
"And you had no right to force me to bond with some stranger. Who were you going to bond me to? Severus Snape?" Harry snarled back, tired of the charade. The surprised look on the aged Headmaster's face said it all.
"Since this whole mess has been resolved, you no longer will need me. So, I'm going off on a much needed vacation. See you around. Or not." and with that Harry strode out of the Great Hall leaving a stunned audience behind him.
"You were going to bond me and Potter?" Severus Snape shouted suddenly when the boy's words had finally sunk in. Livid he pushed his way towards his employer.
"Now, now Severus. It was for the best." Albus tried to sooth the angry man. "You know that you are the best match for Harry when it comes to magical strength and I am sure you would be able to keep him out of harms way," he tried to explain.
"Did it ever occur to you that the boy and I loath each other?" Severus snapped, not at all appeased.
"I know you are nursing some childish grudges Severus, but I am sure that given time you would've been able to look beyond all that."
Severus looked even less pleased after that salvo. His eyes narrowing and his hands twitching he was seconds from hexing the living daylight out of Dumbledore when Lucius put a hand on Severus' shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "Don't hex him Severus. I don't think our Lord would appreciate having his wedding night postponed," he smirked.
The two men on the dais suddenly looked ill.
"You are quite correct, what was I thinking?" Severus agreed, quickly catching on to what his fellow Slytherin was doing. "My apologise, my Lord, Albus. I am sure you are eager to be alone and get to know each other. I better go and find Potter and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid." He bowed elegantly towards the two men and made a hasty retreat.
"I think I will come with you Severus. I wish to thank the young man for ending the war for us," Lucius said and bowed as well.
Albus and Voldemort watched them leave unable to believe their ears. Their two strongest supporters had just left them! Without lifting a finger to help them find a way out of this predicament! To make things worse the doors had barely closed behind the two of them before hysterical laughter could be heard. It was muffled but it still carried to every corner of the Great Hall.
"Headmaster Dumbledore, I and all the elves wishes to whish you a happy bonding sir," a shrill voice said interrupting the thoughts of revenge for this desertion the two were plotting.
"Dobby?" Dumbledore said in surprise.
"Yes Headmaster. Dobby has come to take you to your honeymoon." the little elf said, beaming.
"Now wait just a minute!" Voldemort snapped. "I never agreed to any of this! This is preposterous!"
"Never the less, everything has been arranged." Dobby said with a happy grin.
"Who arranged this?" Dumbledore demanded to know.
"Why Master Harry Potter of course sir." the elf said proudly.
"You! You helped him, didn't you!" Albus snarled as several pieces of the puzzle came together."
"I is only doing what Master wishes." Dobby answered giving the Headmaster a screwed look. Stepping forward he took hold of the two bonded men and brought them with him as he left.
Looking around in disbelief Albus and Voldemort found themselves standing on a sandy beach in front of a small cottage.
"Master Harry Potter says you can stay here for as long as you like. Dobby and Twinky is happy to look after you, sirs." Dobby said happily, bouncing in place. With a snap of his fingers he was gone, leaving two stunned wizards behind.
"This is all your fault Albus!" Voldemort snarled.
"My fault! This is the fault of that blasted Harry Potter!" Albus shouted enraged. "How dare he? How Dare He do this to me?"
"It was what you were going to do to him! You gave him the idea!"
"I would never have considered this if it wasn't for you!" Dumbledore shouted, momentarily forgetting who he was talking to.
"Me! What did I do?" Voldemort asked perplexed.
"You were going to bond Harry to you and..."
"I was not! I was going to finally kill him this Halloween!" Voldemort snapped. "I had the most wonderful plan! Foolproof too! But that's not what you said to Potter, is it?" Voldemort said, his red eyes narrowing in thought. "You told everyone that I was going to bond with the boy so you could do the same, as the only mean of defence. And they have the nerve to call me cold-hearted!"
"Yes, well, I needed an excuse to bond Harry and Severus together. Those two can be so infuriatingly stubborn at times. I really don't know why I put up with them." Dumbledore sighed morosely.
"Because you need them," Voldemort stated smugly. "I don't know about you but I have no intention of standing around in this sun any longer. I'm gong to find out what kind of prison Potter had arranged for us." And with that the Darkest Lord for centuries headed off towards the small cottage he had been given.
Looking around in defeat The Great Albus Dumbledore sighed before following his bonded.
> > >
Severus and Lucius barely made it out of the Great Hall before they collapsed in hysterical laughter.
"Di-did you see the l-look on their fa-faces when they r-realised what Po-potter had done?" Lucius stuttered, leaning weakly against Severus.
"I thought they were going to blow up the castle then and there!" Severus whopped gasping for breath. "Never in a million years did I think anyone would get the drop on those two!"
"I had no idea the boy was such a Slytherin!" Lucius agreed once he had calmed down a bit. "Do you really think he will be leaving?"
"I don't know. For some reason I will be sad to see him go." Severus said with a thoughtful look on his face.
"Shall we go and find him?"
"Lets," Severus nodded pushing away from the wall. He had no desire to remain here when the ones still inside managed to gather their wits about them.
It took some doing but with the help of a few House elves they found the Boy-Who-Outwitted-Them-All in his dorm, packing.
"Going somewhere?" Severus asked amused.
Harry looked up at them sharply. Deciding that they were no threat he went back to packing, not that he had much left to pack.
"Like I said, I figure I need a vacation. I take it you are not here to extract revenge for what I did?" Harry eventually said when he had finished.
"On the contrary," Lucius replied. "We have come to offer our thanks and to congratulate you on a most successful revenge. Most Slytherin of you," he added slyly.
"Well, you do what you must to survive in this world." Harry said striving for blasé. It was ruined thought when he almost childlike continued: "It was rather neat though, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it was most... neat." Severus agreed.
"Tell me Mr. Malfoy, did Voldemort really plan to bond him and me together, or was that something Dumbledore made up to get me to agree to his plans?"
"Please, call me Lucius. And no, I am not aware of any such plans. My former Master's latest plan involved you and a maze filled with monsters. He was planning a little Halloween get together with you as the main entertainment," Lucius said almost apologetically.
"Huh, thought so," Harry murmured.
"You suspected it was a hoax from the start? But how?" Severus asked. Not even he had been sure if the threat had been real or not.
"The truth? The plan didn't sound like something old red-eyes would have come up with. I figured he for once was listening to Lucius here." Harry admitted with a grin. "But the more I thought about it the more... wrong I guess... it felt. So I decided to make some plans of my own. Fortunately for me, they worked."
Lucius and Severus both cracked up again.
"I'd say they worked." Malfoy said when he could talk again. "What do you plan to do know? You still need to finish your education you know."
"I know. But I don't think I can do it here thought. Things will be pretty crazy around here for a while. Fudge will hound me. The press will demand interviews and now that the notion has been planted in everyone's head I will be swamped with marriage offers and what not." Harry stated glumly.
Severus and Lucius shared a glance. The boy had helped them by getting rid of the Masters behind this war. It was time someone gave the boy a hand.
"Why don't you come to Malfoy Manor until you have decided what you want to do?" Lucius offered. "The wards are some of the best in the country; no one will bother you there unless you want them to."
"I don't know." Harry hedged completely thrown by the offer.
"I know you and I have been on opposite sides of the war until now but the war is over. It is time for all of us to begin and rebuild our lives. Besides, there isn't one Death Eater alive today that won't thank you in their prayers. The Dark Lord has been utterly impossible to live with these last few years. Being a bodiless spirit changed him and not for the better. I almost feel sorry for Dumbledore. But only almost."
Harry gave the blond a hard stare. Glancing over at Snape he tried to figure out what to say. The offer was generous. And according to the Rules of Hospitality Lucius couldn't harm his as long as he was a guest at the Manor.
"Very well, I accept!" Harry agreed holding out his hand for Malfoy to shake. He was probably going to regret this but what the heck. What was a life without some excitement?