A/N – Written for my personal Writing Challenge using the pairing Harry/Daphne and Halloween, and for a prompt challenge at nosmutforyou on LJ using the prompts breakfast, wake, and welcome. Thanks to csitokyo3 for his help in editing this thing on short notice. Sometime in November, I'm going to put up another Writing Challenge poll to decide the pairing of my next one-shot. Once the poll goes up, I leave a link in my FF profile.
Disclaimer – J.K.R. owns Harry Potter.
Story 3 – Guess Who's Coming To Breakfast
As he heard his wife rummaging about their bedroom, Harry burrowed deeper under the covers. After having worked long hours over the past few weeks, the last thing he wanted to do was get out of bed any time before noon. But he knew that was impossible; especially considering Halloween was one of the most important holidays on the Wizarding calendar.
"Get out of bed, Harry," Daphne's voice rang through the sheets.
Rolling her eyes as the only response she got was a tired groan, she continued about her morning ritual. Stupid boy.
She knew that Harry wouldn't really wake up until the last minute, or until she ran out of patience. What aggravate her even more, is she wanted nothing more than to crawl under those covers and join him. The curses of being a woman, she thought as she headed for their bathroom and a bath.
He sighed softly, hearing his wife's footsteps fade away. Harry knew he had to wake up and get going, but the last thing he wanted to do was to go to some stuffy family event. Especially seeing as they also had the Ministry gala this evening. Sighing softly, he tried to figure out which one he was dreading more. Aren't holidays supposed to be fun?
Lately, these were the moments that he wished he had had a normal life. While with his money and fame, he could now do almost anything he wished, the thing he wished for most was a normal life. He wanted to spend his Halloween like most wizards and witches would be today. Getting to sleep in, not having to go in to work, enjoy the day with friends and family that he actually liked, and the large traditional dinner, especially when prepared by Mrs. Weasley. He'd even enjoy the Muggle side of the holiday; candy, children dressing up in costumers, trick-or-treating, and the candy. Another thing he had missed out on with his wonderful childhood.
Rolling over to his other side, he was slowly starting to drift back to sleep when the covers were torn off him, and the mattress tilted upwards, tossing him off the bed. Scrambling to his feet, Harry stood up and looked across the room.
Standing there, his wife scowling at him with her arms folded across her chest, clad in a robe with her hair wrapped in a towel. If he didn't know better, he would say he was in trouble. But having spent the past three years with the woman, he could read her better than that. The way her eyes were practically sparkling with mischief, told him that the way she had chosen to wake him up was partly a means to an end, but a means she had wholly enjoyed.
"I told you to wake up and get out of bed."
Harry smirked at her. "You're just mad because it takes me barely 10 minuets to get ready, and it takes you-"
Realizing he was entering dangerous territory, he simply grinned. "Long enough to be perfect."
"Very good, Mr. Potter. At least some of what I'm trying to teach you is sinking in."
"My teacher has some very persuasive methods," Harry said as he moved around the bed and approached her.
Daphne rolled her eyes again, but smirked. "Too bad you have to get ready," she told him, to the effect of throwing a bucket of ice water over him.
"Why do we have to go?" Harry whined.
"Halloween breakfast is an old tradition with my family. I remember going to my Grandmother's ever since I was a little girl."
As he passed her on his way to the bathroom, he fixed her with a look. "And didn't you call the woman a wicked old hag."
"I never said I enjoyed spending time with my grandmother," Daphne said sarcastically. "But that's what family is, having to spend time with people who you hate."
"Family gatherings usually are," Daphne muttered to herself as she headed for her closet. For old blood families, family gatherings were a time to show off and brag, and to reinforce that you were the most successful one in the family.
This was an idea that was whetting the appetite of Artemis Greegrass, Daphne's father, as he sat a few hours later in the parlor of his mother's home. The middle child of six, he was often overshadowed by his siblings. But that certainly changed last Christmas. For so many reasons, there's nothing quite like informing the family that your eldest daughter is betrothed to the savior of the Wizarding World.
Again this year, he felt he had the upper hand. There was another marriage to announce, this time his youngest daughter, Astoria. The Greengrasses would be welcoming another of Britain's Wizarding Elite to the family.
As Artemis smiled politely as he listened to one of his sisters drone on about something or another one of their children had accomplished, he made sure to keep an eye out for Daphne's arrival. He eagerly awaited his daughter's arrival for two reasons. The first, of course, to inform her of her sister's engagement. The second, to prepare her. While the rest of the family was sure to welcome his new son in-law with open arms, he wasn't so sure how well his current son in-law would take it.
A sudden burst of chatter from the parlor's main fireplace alerted Artemis to someone's arrival. Glancing over, he felt proud as he watched Daphne parry their relatives away from Harry.
"Excuse me," Artemis finally interrupted his sister. "Daphne has just arrived," and with a small bow of the head, he left his sister and moved to intercept his daughter.
"Father," Daphne greeted with a small smile and polite hug. While Daphne got along with her family better then most of her old blood counterparts, it was their etiquette to be guarded and less expressive when out in public, even amongst family.
"Daphne, Harry," he greeted in return, and linked her arm through his. With Harry following them closely, he led his daughter out of the parlor and to a large study.
"Have you spoken to your sister?"
Keeping a serene expression, though the two men noticed the corner's of her mouth twitch a bit in a scowl, "Not recently, no."
Daphne and Astoria did not get along well, Daphne felt her sister was too impulsive, outspoken, and did things for the wrong reasons. Astoria was in constant competition with Daphne, even if she didn't want to be. If Daphne earned four O.W.L.s, Astoria had to get five. After a while, Daphne became fed up with the competition she never wanted, and kept contact with her little sister to a minimum since leaving Hogwarts.
"Why? What has my darling sister done now?" Daphne asked, barely able to hide the sarcasm in her voice.
"She is about to become the hit of the party," Artemis bragged. Like so many fathers, and sometimes mothers, he was somewhat oblivious of the degraded relationship his daughters shared with each other.
"What has she done now?" Daphne drawled.
"She's become engaged to a rather prominent wizard. Though his name as been tarnished with the unfortunate business of the past, his family is still within good standing."
Why am I not surprised? Once again, she just has to one up me. I get married, so now she has to. She's not even ready to have a real relationship with anyone, much less get married. How could that fool do something so stupid? Well, you know what; I'm done putting out her fires. If she wants to get married, fine.
Daphne glanced at Harry, who had begun to pace a little. Even though he hid it well, pretending to browse the collection of books in the room, she knew he knew what her father meant. That their future brother in-law had some kind of Death Eater ties.
"Well, good for her then," Daphne said while walking to quickly collect Harry. "We're going to return to the party," she said as she began to pull Harry towards the door.
"Don't you want to know to whom?" Artemis called after them.
"Not really," Daphne answered back dismissively from the hallway.
As she led him, Harry could tell Daphne was upset. While she had a placid expression on, if the way her grip was tightening around his forearm was any sort of clue, she was pissed off.
"Daphne," Harry said softly as she paused to swipe a drink off of one of the waiter's trays. "Either tell me what's wrong or let go off my wrist before you break it."
Daphne glared at him out of the corner of her eyes, but let go of him as she gulped half of the wine glass's contents. "Stupid little girl," she muttered.
While he knew that Daphne wasn't best friends with her sister, he never knew their sibling rivalry was so intense. "So your sister is getting married. What's the problem?" Harry assumed it was the type of person she was marrying; he had no clue that that barely scraped the surface.
"The only reason she's getting married is to try and show me up," she told Harry, and sighed a little at Harry's confused expression. Lucky bastard. An only child, and even if he hadn't been, wouldn't have had to put up with the old ways.
"I married you; she saw the circus that was our wedding, and now she wants to be the main attraction of her own. She sees the money, power, admiration. I didn't marry you just because of all that."
"Well, that's nice to know," Harry interrupted sarcastically.
Daphne glared at him for a moment, before giving him a small grin. "I was lucky, women of my… background, usually aren't. Even if she wasn't getting married for all the wrong reasons, she's far too immature to even be thinking about such things."
"It's funny. Hearing you talk just now. You certainly don't talk like a typical stuffed robe, old blood."
She snickered after thinking about what she had just said. "Bad influences in my life. They've got my priorities all screwed up," she teased him. "I'm going to have to blackmail someone tonight."
Harry just rolled his eyes as Daphne giggled quietly to herself. Their conversation was quickly interrupted by the fireplace roaring back to life, and followed by the sound of someone clinking a wine glass for attention.
"May I have your attention," Artemis' voice rang out. Once the conversation had quieted down a bit, he continued. "Before our beloved Matriarch of the noblest Greengrass family, I would like to formally announce the engagement of my second daughter, Astoria Aurora."
As other family members gave their congratulations, Harry glanced over at Daphne. He tried not to snicker at his wife's annoyed expression.
"Just like my first daughter, Daphne," Artemis continued, and raised his glass in his eldest's direction. "Astoria has won the heart of another noble wizard."
By now, Harry was trying not to laugh at the spectacle. Daphne was irritated, Artemis seemed to be going overboard with his speech, and he had seen more sincere people at his trial in the Ministry back in fifth year. Then, came the important piece of information, and it became much less funny.
"May I introduce, Astoria's wonderful fiancé-"
"Malfoy," Harry growled through clenched teeth. Just as Artemis was introducing the couple, the crowd parted, giving Harry a view of Astoria and the pale skin, white blonde hair of her fiancé, Draco Malfoy.
Daphne felt Harry's body practically seize up with tension, and looking back at him, she could tell he was not happy. The back-story of Harry and Draco was well known. For a time, Draco fashioned himself Harry's rival, when in truth he never measured up. Years later, Daphne learned that Draco was more a nuisance then anything to Harry. Like a fly constantly buzzing around your head.
What brought such a fierce reaction from Harry this morning was how the Malfoys got away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist after the war. He felt they should be granted some leniency, after all. If Narcissa hadn't lied and said he was dead, things would be vastly different. But when he learned of the full pardon given to them, he was less than pleased.
"Harry?" Daphne asked cautiously, noting the same look that had just been on her face was now on his.
Harry watched as Draco's eyes swept across the room dismissively, then Draco spotted him. It came as no surprise that he wasn't surprised to see Harry here, but Harry took a small bit of pleasure in seeing fear in Draco's eyes, if only for a split second before the mask was placed back on.
Not one to normally drink at breakfast, Harry snatched a flute of champagne from the waiter's tray and downed it in one gulp. As he grimaced while the vile liquid slid down his throat, Daphne gently tugged on his arm to get his attention.
While sipping her own flute, she took a quick look around to make sure no one was eavesdropping. "Harry, as much as I would love to see you wipe that smug grin off that ferret's face, I'm asking you to not do anything rash. Don't let him get under your skin. You said it yourself, there's no rivalry. It's just like those Ministry parties; if the idiot should choose to talk, let him talk himself into trouble." Daphne then let a hand slip across Harry's waist. "And, if you play nice with him, I just may let you play nice with me later."
Harry cleared his throat as he tried to pull his thoughts back together from all different directions. "It's in the past. If he wants to fight old battles, let him."
Daphne smiled a little, even though she knew it was going to be harder to do than to say. As most of the crowd was still focused on the new couple, Daphne took it as her opportunity to step out. Grasping her husband's hand in her own, she led them back out of the parlor for some air.
After a hour or two of inane conversations, mindless chit-chat, and other boring things, Harry was itching to leave. He'd never thought he would ever discover something as bad as a Ministry event, but these family get-togethers were miserable. Most of the Greengrass family was true to old blood stereotype; stuck up, prejudiced, elitist, and manipulative. Everything Harry hated, regardless of it being Wizarding or Muggle.
Taking a drink from his glass, he felt a little exposed without Daphne near by. He could handle the crowd by himself, but he didn't like to. He would much rather just ignore them all, but there was no way he could do that. Plus, he was a little jealous of how effortless Daphne made it seem.
Glancing about, he happily noted that those around him were lost in their own conversations. At the moment at least, he could enjoy a little peace.
Looking about the room, he felt weird at the lack of decorations. Halloween was one of the biggest holidays in their world, and beyond a few floating candles and small jack-o-lanterns about the place, it would be hard to tell this was any other day. He wasn't looking for anything lavish; he even felt the Ministry went too over the top. But, he'd like to see something. It's more fun causing havoc with props around, Harry thought to himself sarcastically. He snickered to himself, remembering one particular Halloween prank. At the last Halloween Gala the Ministry held, he caused a floating jack-o-lantern to implode, dumping the messy debris all over a pompous windbag who had been annoying him earlier.
As Harry turned around, he bumped into another man turning the other way. He knew within seconds who he had bumped into.
"You troll. This is pure silk."
Harry's eyes narrowed in annoyance. "What was that Malfoy?"
Draco's head practically whipped upwards at the sound of Harry's voice. "Potter."
"Malfoy," Harry mocked.
Once again, fear showed on his face, not sure how Harry would react, but it was quickly hidden behind the all too familiar sneer. "Going to welcome me to the family, Potter?"
For a brief moment, Harry wanted to go into the old routine, were the two would fire sarcastic remarks back and forth, as it slowly became heated and they would like draw wands. But then, he remembered that even back then, Malfoy was nothing. So one question came to his mind, Why am I going to play these old, stupid games?
Instead, he choose another tactic that had served him well, a very dark sense of humor. "Not really," Harry finally said. "Though, I'm not sure which one to feel more sorry for, you or Astoria."
Draco bristled, and would've loved nothing more than to knock the smirk off his face. But deep down, Draco knew if he even tried anything, Harry would quickly counter anything he threw at him. Just as Draco opened his mouth to snap back, they were joined by the Greengrass sisters.
"Isn't this wonderful, Daph," Astoria practically cooed as she wrapped her arm around Draco's and snuggled close. "We'll both be married now, and to such great and powerful wizards."
Hearing Harry snort, Daphne took her black stiletto heel, and stepped on Harry's foot before he could say anything. While he was trying to ignore the pain in his foot, Daphne tried hard not to roll her eyes or sound too condescending to her younger sister. "There are more important things that a witch should marry for other the name and power."
"Like what?" Astoria questioned, as she gazed up at Draco.
"Well… love," Daphne answered, saying the first thing that came in to her head. She wasn't surprised that Draco and Astoria practically laughed in her face. A loving marriage wasn't too common among the old bloods, at least a love that went deeper than aesthetic things.
"Well, love doesn't get you a honeymoon in the South Pacific, does it?" Astoria asked rhetorically, once again bragging about where the couple was going on their honeymoon.
"Or a country estate," Draco added. "You should come by and see the place, Potter. I'd imagine we could fit your little flat inside, tenfold."
Daphne glanced at Harry, and was happy to see the placid look on Harry's face. He wasn't rising to the bait. The little flat Draco mentioned was a little small than she was normally accustomed too, but you got what you could get in the heart of London with a great view.
"Here's my new happy family," Artemis announced as he and Rhea, Daphne and Astoria's mother, joined the group.
"The heavens have definitely shown our family favor," Rhea said. "Especially to bring such wonderful men to our daughters."
"Come, come," Artemis motioned everyone towards the exit. "It's time for breakfast, and we must properly ask mother for Astoria's hand in marriage," he explained as he draped an arm around Draco's shoulder. "Now, Draco, when everything is settled, come see me. There's some business we need to discuss."
As the two men walked away discussing politics and money, closely followed by Rhea and Astoria, discussing the wedding, Daphne snagged Harry's arm and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.
"I hate you," she said teasingly.
Slipping her arm around his, like a snake coiling around its prey, "For making me grounded, and opening me up to different things. It's your fault I'm become more opened minded."
As they walked, the pair snickered at each other. "Oh, like you're not corrupting me."
"And you're not enjoying every minute of it?" Daphne laughed harder as Harry gave her a wide grin and shrug. Let Astoria have her fame, power, and money. She'll learn that's not enough to make you happy. I guess I was lucky. I ended up more interested in the goof that is Harry, and not the legend of the slayer of Voldemort.
"So what exactly do you serve at these breakfasts?" Harry asked, drawing her out of her thoughts.
Smirking, always thinking with his stomach. "Now what fun would that be if I told you?"