Chapter 4: The Hogwarts Express
Harry's head quickly spun back and forth from Ragnok to Tonks, and from Tonks to Ragnok.
"Yes, Mr. Potter, you are now required to be married to Ms. Tonks here. The contract says that you are to be given one year to get to know each other before you get married, but from what I can see, I don't think that year is necessary."
The new couple blushed a deep red, and the sounds of muffled laughing was heard from behind.
"Anyway," Ragnok continued, "the marriage ceremony must be done before you turn 18, though, so I'd suggest getting to know each other more intimately," the old goblin said with a scary grin.
"Uhh...Ragnok? What happens if I don't marry Tonks?" Harry asked.
"Well...since this is a magical contract, it means that if you break it, your life is forfeit."
"Bu-bu-b-b-but I'm too YOUNG to be married!" he yelled.
"As I said before, you have until your 18th birthday before needing to be married. Now, if you have no more questions, I must bid you a good day. I. unfortunately, have a lot of paperwork to go through."
"W-w-wait! I still ha-"
Harry was suddenly cut off as a grinning Bella and a giddy Tonks dragged him out. "Have a nice day, Mr. Ragnok!" Bella called back.
Once outside the bank, Harry was still sputtering in denial and shock. The duo dragged him to the Apparition point and disappeared back to Privet Drive.
Bellatrix and Tonks pulled Harry's resisting body up into his modified room, as his legs refused to listen to him. He was still sputtering with all the dignity he could possibly have at the moment. Unfortunately, the two women decided that being dunked in a freezing tub of water would do wonders for his mental health.
The sputtering immediately changed into screams of pain. "IT'S COLD! COLD!" he yelled at the top of his lungs.
The two women can not help but fall down laughing, as the wet form of Harry stepped out of the large tub to where they were lying.
"You are soooooo gonna pay for that!"
And thus, a chase around the room started. Now normally, playing tag inside a bedroom isn't too smart, but playing tag inside a magically enlarged room...Well that must've been fun.
An hour later, a sweating Harry plopped down on a couch and rubbed his forehead. "Oh man, marriage..." he moaned.
"Don't worry," Tonks said softly, coming up to Harry. "We can take it slow. In fact, why don't we start slow now?" And with that, she pressed her lips to Harry's.
Behind the two, Bella stood there, as if in a trance. "I just...wish I had a romance as nice as theirs. All I've ever had was Rodolphus, and that prick was as straight as a circle."' Bella's face contorted into a depressed frown. Turning back around, she walked off to her own bed, leaving the future husband and wife to their own devices.
It was the middle of August, and Harry's training as a wizard was coming along nicely. His training in Charms, Dueling (which was basically Defense against the Dark Arts), Transfiguration, and Potions was nearing the level of a master. Not only were Tonks and Bella good teachers, they also provided many tomes from the Ministry's library (Tonks) and from shady Knockturn dealers (Bella).
To celebrate (and to have some time off), the trio left their home secretly and headed towards Diagon Alley (in disguise of course). After arriving, the master, his girlfriend, and his slave headed towards Florean Fortescue's. They walked in and prepared to order their delectable ice cream.
"Hello sir and madams!" The jovial proprietor greeted the three. "What can I get for you today?"
"A triple chocolate fudge sundae for me, and…" he paused to look at the girls, who answered for him.
"A double scoop of vanilla please," Bella said demurely.
"A…a…ten-scoop of strawberry," Tonks nearly shouted.
Harry, Florean, and all nearby customers coughed, raised an eyebrow, or covered their mouth in a sign of amusement at that.
"What?" she asked, "I couldn't think of the word for ten and I like my ice cream."
While the ice cream was being prepared, Tonks leaned in towards Harry and casually flicked her wind, bringing up a charm that would block anyone from trying to eavesdrop on their conservation.
"So what are your plans once at school? Expecting another attack by a DADA teacher, perhaps?" Tonks asked.
Harry shook his head, as Bella leaned in to also listen. "I'm just gonna try to have a normal time this year. I won't show off my abilities, and I'll stay out of trouble!" he ended his speech with a firm resolution to do just that.
However, his fiancé/girlfriend had something to say about that. "Don't you mean that trouble finds you?" she asked with a giggle.
Harry scowled in return and continued, as if he hadn't heard her. "I'll study hard, get good grades, and basically, just try to be a normal student."
Dropping her act of silliness, Tonks asked, "Alright then. Have you considered a career for after your time at school? Although you have enough money to last until your great great great great grandchildren, it would be a good idea to have something to do. Unless, of course, you want to continue your training. Despite the fact that you are reaching the level of a master in the four base classes, your work is too…textbook to be considered a real master. Real masters are usually given the title after they invent something new that revolutionizes the world of magic, or being to develop their own style to do their work. For example, the man who invented the flame spell, Flammas, Gregory Flammas, reached the mastery level by presenting his spell to the board of masters."
Harry interrupted here to ask a question. "Board of masters? What's that?"
"The board of masters is basically a council of the most talented masters of each noteworthy subject: namely, Potions, Herbology, Charms, Transfigurations, and Duelling. Anyway, another example is back when Potions was extremely popular (today, Potions is unpopular, due to the fact that a decade or two of students have lost interest due to Hogwarts' very own Potions teacher), a man trying for his master developed a whole new field that branches off Potions. Nicholas Flamel has invented the field of Alchemy. Flamel is probably the only one to create a more well-known field, although it is very true that some masters have created their own minor specializations."
Tonks was once again interrupted, although this time it was by the arrival of their ice cream. The trio ate their ice cream in silence for a few minutes, before Harry thought of something new.
"Oh man," he groaned. "I can't believe this! In all the training we've been doing lately, I totally forgot about Animagus training! And Occlumency training! Oh Merlin, we even bought BOOKS on Occlumency!"
Both women looked at each other before slapping their hands to their foreheads. Apparently, the ladies just realized this too.
"Well, we have two and a half weeks to start on it, Harry," Tonks contributed. "Let's go get some books and reutnr back to your home as soon as possible."
The trio quickly entered the bookstore and bought several large tomes on Animagus transformations.
As soon as they left the shop, Harry remembered another little detail.
"Oh, I forgot, I need some treats for Hedwig. While I do that, you two go buy three magical trunks. One for each of us. Connect the trunks through an inter-floo system, and make sure that each trunk has at least a room, a library, and a dueling room."
He turned around and headed towards the Magical Menagerie. Upon entering, his senses were assaulted by the cacophony of noises and smells. Heading over to the owl section, he quickly grabbed several packages of owl food before heading towards the counter to pay for his items. On his way, he passed the snake section, where several hissing sounds caught his attention.
"It's so boring here," hissed one snake.
"You're right, but I'd rather be here where I don't have to do anything and food is handed to me," replied another snake.
Then the first snake emitted a noise that resembled a sigh. "Of course."
A third voice entered the conversation. "You guys are a bunch of useless pets," it hissed disdainfully. "A true snake should be out enjoying the sun's rays, catching small mice to feed on..."
Harry slowly approached the tank where the third snake was held in. A small sign read "Ashwinder – the Fire Serpent, perfect for giving your fireplace a nice cozy feeling to it!"
Harry couldn't help but stare at the sign. I mean, really, did anyone actually believe this stuff? It also didn't help the fact that the sign was covered in dust, probably as a result of no one having been near here (besides the person feeding them of course).
"Stupid fleshbag, staring at me like I'm so sort of animal on display."
At this Harry let loose a snort. Stupid fleshbag? That was most certainly a new insult.
Hearing the snort, the Ashwinder looked up at Harry, as if he heard him.
"Eh yeah right. The chances of this pathetic fleshbag being able to speak the noble language of the serpents is slim to none," the snake hissed to itself, as if to reassure itself that all was right in the world and that the apocalypse wasn't approaching for at least another year.
"Well, I suppose that I make the impossible possible…" Harry hissed to the snake.
The snake's head immediately sprung back up towards him.
"Are you…are you really a speaker?" it asked with much hope in its voice.
"What'd you do if I said no I wasn't?" Harry replied sarcastically.
"You are, you are! You're a speaker! Please, please buy me! Take me from this boring place of insanity! Please, I beg of you! I am an Ashwinder, and I will be able to protect you in exchange for freedom!" The begging in the snake's voice was practically tangible. Yeah, that's how desperate the snake was.
Harry sighed. "Very well."
He stuck his arm into the tank, and the Ashwinder wrapped itself around his arm.
"To freedom!" it hissed, as Harry continued his trek towards the front counter.
At the front counter, Harry showed the clerk the box of owl treats, and pulled his sleeve up to show the Ashwinder wound around his arm.
"I'll take this Ashwinder too," he told the clerk. The clerk, who happened to be totaling up Harry's purchases, looked up and let loose a quick shriek at the snake.
"Y-yes, of course sir," the man said, while his shaking hands attempted to calculate the total costs. After a minute, Harry finally paid for his purchases and left. He met up with Tonks and Bella, who showed the shrunken trunks in their hands, before apparating away.
Two pops later, and the trio were back in Harry's enlarged room. Bella took out their new books and put it in Harry's new magical trunk, along with their previous books.
"Why did you get the inter-floo system, Harry?" Tonks asked.
"Well, I thought it was kinda obvious. That way, we can still visit each other, since I'm gonna be at Hogwarts, and you're gonna be doing Auror work."
Turning back to the trunk, Harry asked aloud, "So what other features does this trunk come with?"
Bella responded, "Besides the initial bedroom, dueling chamber, and library you requested for, there's an extra bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen in each of the trunks.
"Very good," he complimented. "Now, I took so long at the Magical Menagerie because I found another new pet."
His Ashwinder crawled out from his sleeve, and looked around, before curling itself around his neck lightly, looking like a stylish scarf.
"Now, what to call you," he pondered aloud. "Do you have a name? I'd rather not continue to call you Ashwinder."
"My name is Seras," the Ashwinder replied.
"He told me his name is Seras," Harry relayed to the girls.
"And I'm a female," she added.
"She told me her name is Seras, I mean," Harry corrected.
After everything got settled down, the trio got ready to go to sleep, seeing as how they wanted to start training early tomorrow morning.
The next two weeks and a half before the first day of school were very eventful. Harry and Bella managed to discover their Animagus forms, while Tonks found out that she didn't have one, since she was already a Metamorphmagus. With extensive training due to the tent, both Harry and Bella managed to become full Animagus forms.
Although they did spend a lot of time in the tent, they realized that the tent decreased strength a lot quicker, so that they could not stay too long in the tent. Otherwise Harry would've trained past master level in his courses in the tent.
Their work on Occlumency also worked. All three of them managed to build average barriers to protect their mind. It wasn't enough to totally block Dumbledore's probes, but it was certainly enough to detect them, so that they could quickly look away. Since the book they had on Occlumency were on Mind Magics and not Occlumency specifically, they also managed to learn a very primitive form of Legilimency, so that their probes could detect surface thoughts of their targets. Any practitioner of Occlumency would be able to immediately sense their probes and defend accordingly, but to those who didn't study Mind Magics, this was a great boon.
Currently, Harry, Tonks, and Bella were at King's Cross, at Platform 9. Entering the magical platform would be suicidal, seeing how people didn't understand that Bella was his slave now, and not a Death Eater anymore.
"Since Bella can't come to the platform with me, let's just say our goodbyes here. I'm sure you have new duties, now that your job of guarding me is over, Tonks. Bella, you can do anything you want while in my room. Study, relax, whatever. If you want, we can all meet up every night at a certain time, say ten? Alright then. Seeya guys then." With that, he kissed Tonks on the lips and kissed Bella on the cheek.
He turned around and walked through the barrier to Platform 9 ¾.
As soon as Harry reached the magical platform the noises hit him. There were many faces he recognized in the crowd, and many he didn't. Parents sending off their children, exchanging hugs…
Ah, if only he had that…
His eyes finally landed on the giant scarlet train. This was the magnificent Hogwarts Express.
A/N: Sorry about the long delays. So many stories to read...Brawl may also be a big reason why I haven't been updating recently. It's an AWESOME GAME!
Anyway, the ending to this chapter was a bit rushed to me, since I just wanted to post this on a day where I have no homework. I dunno when the next day like that will come, so...yeah.
Thanks for reading!