This is absolutely UN-BETAED for the moment, be gentle. I just couldn't wait to post it.
This has been the worse chapter to write so far. I simply had no idea how to introduce Harry to his new family with everything that was supposed to happen on the same day (breakfast, contract, wedding, reception, nosy reporters…). Bottom line is I'm not happy with this chapter and one day I'll try and fix it, but it has taken too long already, so on with the fic!
AND… I know it has been too long. I'm sorry, but the combined effect of a major writer's block and a lot to do in real life had me running blind for a while. Just remember none of my fics are abandoned.
The Baudelle Family.
A few people asked me about the family tree and I'm not so sure I answered them all. So, here it is.
Harry's Veela Family:
Michael - Hortencia
Margueritte Rosely Violette - Andrei Mihailov
Daisy – Richard Evans (Phillips Family)
Vernon – Petunia Lily – James Potter
Dudley Harry – Draco Malfoy
"Draco, who are they?" Harry whispered to the blond at his side while they waited for the Council members to enter the breakfast room.
"I don't know. I've never seen them before." Draco answered frowning. Who were those people? And offering his arm to Harry, he asked, "Shall we find out? Oh, we have to complete a few formalities this morning, nothing to worry about, let me do the talking and take your cues from me. Everything will work out just fine."
"Sure," agreed Harry still uneasy of how to act in front of so many Veela and added before he could get a hold of his mouth, "What could possibly go wrong?"
Draco had to use his entire social training no to laugh in front of that room full of people.
The room was quiet waiting for the young couple to be announced. Many Dominants were still spotting large bruises and were discretely kept away from the couple's path by their families. Nobody was willing to challenge an established claim again, especially after the strange display of power the day before.
Much like the first time, Harry and Draco entered the room and were greeted by a few people on the way, but nobody made an attempt to halt them. Once they reached their table, Lucius Malfoy and the two other men got up and formally said good morning to Draco, who in turn returned their greetings and them greeted the ladies at the table before introducing Harry.
"Good morning, Draco Malfoy," stated Lucius rather ceremoniously, "may be a good dawn for your house."
"Good morning, Lord Malfoy," the two other men offered, "may be a good dawn for your house."
"Father, gentlemen, may the sun continue to shine on yours," Draco replied before turning to the women, "Ladies, you honor us with your presence. May I introduce my bonded mate, Harry James Potter."
"Good morning, may your bond be long and happy," was the formal reply. After that they were sited and breakfast was served. Leaning over to Mrs. Weasley, who was thankfully sited by his side, Harry asked something that was bothering him ever since the doors were opened.
"Mrs. Weasley, who are they?" Harry said in a whisper.
"Oh, Harry, so much has happened in the last few days…" the red haired woman could barely contain her enthusiasm, "the Veela Council has found out where your Veela genes come from." Looking around she noticed all the eyes on their table, "it's not the time right now, right after breakfast we will tell you all about it."
Harry could tell they were the very center of attention and did his best to contain himself. 'Family, my family,' he thought looking over to the smiling people on the other side of the table. They seamed nice enough, but why didn't they ever come forwards before? Why didn't they do something about his life when he was a child? Breakfast could not end soon enough.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world seemed to have different opinion on that matter. As soon as it was politely acceptable a long stream of well wishers made sure to come by the table and greet them making breakfast extent to an unbelievable amount of time.
Finally, the eldest man, Michael Baudelle if Harry remembered correctly, got up and addressed Lucius Malfoy in a loud enough voice to be heard by the whole room while still being polite about it.
"Mr. Malfoy, we must take our leave now. Our family will need a few moments alone in order to get to know each other. Perhaps you would agree to meet in our rooms for lunch and discuss the finer details of the contract?"
"It would be my pleasure, Mr. Baudelle," Lucius agreed. The whole table got up and proceeded to the doors. While not strictly protocol, leaving early was acceptable under the unusual circumstances in this match, a recently reunited family was expected to spend some time together and they would have very little of it with the wedding being on the same day and all.
Pausing briefly outside the doors, Draco draw Harry close and kissed him. "Go with your family, love, I think you have a lot to talk about. We will see each other at lunch to talk about the wedding."
"Oh, ok" Harry agreed with a strange weigh on his chest, he didn't want to be apart from Draco. It had taken them so long to be together that it seemed unfair that they had to be apart now, but on the other hand finally getting a family of his own and not knowing anything about them was driving him insane.
"Don't worry," the blond said kissing him again, "We will be together soon, I promise." Harry could only nod as Mrs. Weasley gently led him up the stairs to their rooms near the Gryffindor's dormitory while Draco joined his parents and walked down the hallway that led to their quarters.
Harry sat in the couch with Mrs. Weasley and looked around the room. These people seemed nice enough but years with the Dursleys made him feel a bit uneasy around 'family', what if they felt he was not good enough, like the Dursleys did. Would he be forever stuck in between worlds? Not wizard enough just like the Dursleys said he was not normal enough to live around decent people.
From where he was sitting he could see Sirius in dog form partially hiding behind some curtains and took comfort in the fact that at least his godfather and Mrs. Weasley would be there for him.
"Well," said Mrs. Weasley after a short uncomfortable silence, "it is a great pleasure to have you all here. Isn't it dear?" she offered patting Harry's hand gently.
"Yes," Harry hurried to agreed, not sure how to go about meeting the fancy dressed people in front of him, "It's… nice."
"It's very nice to finally meet you too, Harry," said Mme. Baudelle, the only woman in the group. From what Harry was able to understand, she was sort of his grandmother, on her mother's side. Since when were the Evans wizards?
"How exactly are we related then?" Harry asked a bit hesitantly.
"Oh, dear. Now that is a bit of a long story isn't it?" Mme. Baudelle said. She brushed Harry's bang out of his eyes and sighed, "you have Mihailov's eyes. I must admit that he was a looker."
"Mihailov?" Harry was confused, he had never heard that name before.
"Many years ago, when our daughter Violette, your great grand-mother, was about your age, she decided that she should have a bit of peace and quiet before her mating season. She was quite beautiful, you see, and a few Dominants were trying to convince her to mate before the engagement season had really started, but none of them caught her attention, they were only annoying her, so when she asked to be allowed to stay home instead of going back to school, we accepted. I guess you can say she was a bit spoiled, but she was our baby and we saw no harm on indulging her."
The rest of the room was quiet, waiting to hear the rest of the story. Even Harry, who didn't considered himself a very knowledgeable person when it came to reading other people, could tell by the looks shared by the older couple that is was a bitter sweet moment for them. Mme. Baudelle seemed pretty shaken by the memories; her husband took over the story telling.
"She stayed at home that year, but we didn't want her to neglect her studies, so we hired tutors. That was how Andrei Mihailov came to live with us. He came highly recommended of course, a master in his field and all that. He wasn't Veela and we saw no harm…" the older man took a deep breath, "they fell in love and he came to ask for her hand in marriage. There he was, this penniless nobody without a drop of Veela blood in his body, standing in front of me, telling me that they had fallen in love and wanted to get married. I said no, there was no way my perfect little angel would have fallen for him, he was delusional, mad… he was right and I was wrong. I told him to leave and never came back and I told Violette that we had arranged her marriage with the son of an old friend of the family. They had known each other since birth, I though love would come in time… the next day she was gone. Left us a note and that was it."
"We were so mad," Mme. Baudelle whispered softly, Harry barely heard her and she continued with a stronger voice, "we sent search parties after them, but as we said, he was a master in charms and they managed to get away. After that we decided that she was dead to us and refuse to acknowledge we even had a third daughter. It took us five years to realize that we were the ones who drove her away, she had found her mate but because he was not Veela, we refuse to accept it. It is very rare to mate with a non Veela, but it does happen. We decide to start searching for her again. We discovered that they had traveled as muggles so we focused our searches there, but by then the muggle world was in chaos, the World War, they called, it certainly claimed enough lives to seem that way. Records were lost, whole cities too, we could only hope that she was still alive."
Even the air seemed to be standing still, Harry couldn't even blink, afraid to lose a single word. Mme. Baudelle continued with her soft voice tinted by emotion.
"By the end of the war, we started to search again, years went by before we learned that they had left the continent even before the war had started. It was a feeble tread of information, but we held on to it. It was hope."
"Then a second World War came and this one had its Wizarding counterpart, Grindelwald caused more than his share of chaos in our world. Again, we lost records, family, friends…" Mr. Baudelle picked up when his wife couldn't go on, "We did find out that Mihailov had taken them to London, but we were informed that he and his family had died during some sort of raid, something was dropped on his house apparently. They were living in the muggle world and we never knew up until now that most of the children had been taken out of the city. The Wizarding world was never officially evacuated and we live in France, so we never knew. We thought they were all dead and stopped looking."
"So…" Harry asked, "They had children, but the children were not living with them at the time?"
"The muggles felt it was safer to send the children away." The man who was clearly English spoke, "our family talked about it, but in the end we decide to stay. Our wards are pretty impressive, but no everyone was so lucky. "
"Yes," Mr. Baudelle agreed, "from what the Record Keeper was able to find out, Mihailov and Violette sent little Daisy away and that was how she survived. After the war, the Wizarding World asked everybody, even the squibs, to come forward so they could try their best to reunite any families that had been affected by the war. Daisy was already 16 when the war was over, she volunteered at one of the posts for wizards and squibs who lived in London and that is how she met Richard Evan, who later became her husband."
At that point he looked over to Theodore Phillips, who nodded and took over the story telling.
"Richard was… not an easy person," Theodore said hesitantly, how could he tell this child about all the dark feelings, the fights, the greed, Richard always brought with him to the house? Still, Harry was family and he had been denied of so much for so long because of the greed and bigotry of Richard, Petunia and Vernon.
Making up his mind, Theodore told everything, little by little, measuring his words and being very careful with how he was exposing his young cousin to his family's recent history.
"I could have gone to you? I could have lived with you all this time and she d… she didn't…" Harry broke down crying and was immediately hugged by Hortence while Molly kept running her hand through his hair trying to sooth him.
Sirius was seething, he could barely keep his animagus form, he wanted to pay a visit to the Dursleys and rearrange some of their facial features.
"Harry," Phillips called, "there is one more thing I should tell you now."
"What is it?" Harry asked tiredly still leaning into his great-grand-mother's embrace.
"I'm taking back all the money gifted to them and the house. They broke the contract and it is my right to do so, I'm not going to let the abuse of a family member go unpunished."
"No, please," Harry shook his head, "I just want to move on, I don't want to remember them or worry that they are homeless or something. I just want to forget all about them and move on."
Over Harry's head, Michael Baudelle and Theodore Phillips exchanged a knowing glance, Harry's reaction was exactly what they had expected. Michael laid a hand on Harry's shoulder making the young man turn to look at him.
"How about we try to reach a compromise?" He said preparing to offer the deal they had discussed earlier.
As predicted, after some discussing, Harry accepted that both the Phillips and the Baudelles were entitled to some measure of revenge. The Phillips would take the money, but leave the house and the Baudelles would use some of their Veela powers to damage Petunia's perfect little life… just a bit.
Harry was pleased because he managed to avert most of the punishment planned for the Dursleys and the others were pleased because there would be punishment and even if it seemed as little at first, in the long run it's effects would be felt for years to come... and Harry was unaware of that particular fact.
The group then started to get to know each other better. Harry was delighted to know how big his family was now and couldn't wait to meet a few of his new found cousins.
While the newly found family sat around drinking tea and exchanging family stories, Sirius Black left his hiding place and decided to pay a little visit to Snape in the dungeons, as much as he disliked the man, it was the only way he could get access to the Malfoys quarters and he had important matters to discuss with his cousin and her husband.
Harry seemed to be walking on clouds today. He was happily mated, expecting a child and surrounded by people that not only loved him and made sure he knew it, but was also related to him by blood. Harry was finally home and Sirius would be the last person to do anything to spoil that for him, that was why he had to leave.
The Baudelles and the Phillips were all good people with good hearts and good souls. They would offer exactly the right measure of revenge to reassure Harry that he was loved and that they cared enough to do something about the people who had hurt him in the past without weighting him down with guilt, Sirius was cut from a different cloth and he intended to see that HIS standards were met, Harry would never know, he didn't need to know, but the Dursleys would soon learn not to harm a cherished person of the house of Black.
It was time to bring the Malfoys and the marauders to the revenge business.
The unimaginable truce
Severus Snape sat in his quarters nurturing a glass of firewhiskey. The past few days had been an extremely trying experience and he was surprised he was still in one piece.
"This farce is not yet over," he spoke out loud in the empty room, "still plenty of chance to meet a sticky end."
A knock on the door made him regretfully set his glass on the side table. He really hated the world right now. Couldn't they wait just a few more hours before complicating even more his life?
Apparently not, Sirius Black stood in the dark hallway until Snape silently moved aside to let him in.
"What do you want, Black?" Snape asked tiredly, his days were getting longer and longer with this whole mating business.
"You know about Harry's… home life." It was not a question and Snape acknowledge that with a curt nod, "that is something that can't simply be forgiven. I intend to see that justice is met."
"As noble aspiration as this might be, I fail to see how I can be of any assistance. You know I cannot provide you with any potions, I have no reason to involve myself in your quest."
"I need you help at getting to Narcissa and Lucius. I am a wanted man so I can't simply walk up to their door as a man and I think a dog trotting by itself around the hallways will draw too much attention."
"I still don't understand why this is so important, Black," Snape proud that he could at least pretend to be civil to the man in front of him, "certainly the boy's family will take care of any retribution needed, and the Malfoys are not his family as of yet, strictly speaking."
"Oh, no, Harry's family has every intention of seeking retribution," conceded Sirius, "on their own 'light family' way. The Phillips will take back some money and the Baudelles will make Petunia obsess about how presentable she and her house are."
"I see," muttered Snape, "I'm sure they consider that a suitable punishment."
"They do and they understand that any more than that will upset Harry."
"I still fail to see…"
"I'm a Black, Snape!" Sirius shouted, "Harry is my godson, their so called revenge is far too little, far too late. They are taking back the money, not even taking money away as a compensation, which would still be very mild in my opinion, they are taking some money back, money they gave to those muggles in the first place… and… and making Petunia obsess about how pretty her garden is? What sort of revenge is that?"
Snape couldn't help but find it extremely amusing the show Black was putting on. The mutt was pacing back and forth and waving his arms around, but amusing as it was, Snape could see that Black was right. That was hardly acceptable as revenge. On the long run, perhaps, their revenge would take its toll. From everything he had learned about those muggles in particular, perceiving themselves as inadequate or below the 'good' standards of their pitiful society would slowly grate on their nerves and amount to something that could constitute as a suitable revenge, maybe, but then again there was something they could do to achieve the result a bit sooner.
'Just a gentle push in the right direction' thought Snape starting to see the possibilities, 'or maybe a very hard shove.'
And Black is the boy's godfather, it is his right to see that whatever wrong was done to the boy meet its fair retribution. If he wants to bring his cousin, who was also a Black, into it, it was also his right… the fact that the said cousin was now married to a Malfoy and that they would have reasons of their own to want to take part on the said retribution was a mere technicality, certainly any court in the world would see that… and since he was Draco's godfather, it was his right to be in it was well.
Yes, he decided, he could do with the stress relieve a good revenge would bring.
"Let's go, Black," Snape waited for the other man to turn into his animagus form before opening the door, "we have our own family meeting to attend."