CHAPTER TWENTY: Contracts and Circuses

October 10, 1991
McGillis House
Kingston upon Thames

"Thank you, Dayn." Carmus took the glass of wine from the house elf and leaned back in his favorite chair in the library. Narcissa and Lucius shared a love seat while Severus sat in his own chair. The children had been sent to bed, even 'Harry'. The look on his son's face as 'Simon' crawled up on his lap and disappeared into him. He promised Simon that one day he would teach him to create a doppelganger. Which lead of course to the whole thing about family magick. The book he had handed his son was a good primer on family magicks. Dudley for once was silent, which worried him but perhaps we was thinking Sirius' lesson over. "Sorry? I was thinking about Dudley. Please forgive me."

Narcissa shook her head, "It is no matter but we were talking about marriage contracts. Once it is clear that Harry Potter is alive and well and engaged in Society, obviously many requests for contracts will come in. We were asking what method you had in mind for handling them."

Carmus eyes widened a fraction. "Oh dear, that is true. As his magickal sponsor, it will fall on me."

Severus tilted his head. "Isn't his family, his Magickal Guardians?"

"Yes, but they aren't his Sponsors. The whole pairing up the Muggleborns with the Purebloods is what we mean as a Sponsor. Sometimes they are the Magickal Guardian but a Guardian is terminated upon adulthood, sponsors are not. It's an old system, similar to fostering but since Purebloods are raised in this society, they have an understanding of the rules than a Muggleborn may not have even after fifty years. So the Sponsor may be in charge of making contracts on their behalf including marriage contracts or simply introducing them to society. It's like godparenting without the same tie. I am Harry Potter's Sponsor because I'm handling all matters between the Wizarding World and him, even though he lives here. So, the marriage contracts will come to me. You've not had a Sponsor?"

Severus shook his head.

"Yes, my father." Lucius replied.

Severus turned towards him. "Explain."

Lucius put his drink down and leaned forward, templing his hands. "Surely you knew, Severus. My father cared about you. He found in you a protégé of sorts. Bright, intelligent, talented and above all a desire to succeed. He may have even loved you a bit."

Severus nodded. "I see but I don't recall ever asking him or making him my sponsor."

"Your father did it. Do you remember when your mother died? Carmus' father had sent him to America and Hayes was ill. It was the summer of your fifth year…

Severus stared down at the hole. The coffin wasn't very large or well-made but it was at the least a coffin. Made by government workers to bury paupers in. Just as this space set aside was a pauper's graveyard. His eyes fell to the ground, at least the grass was well tended and yet, the hole was like a void, a ragged wound torn into the side of the earth. The graveyard was quiet now that the priest had finally retreated. Why he was even there when his mother wasn't all that religious anyways, well not that religion. Not that Snape would care.

From the moment the police told him that she had been found in an alley with bruises, he knew what had happened. Snape had come home dunk once again, wasting what little money they had for booze. He had beat her and she had run out. He probably chased her but lost her in the night, and she had slept the night in the alley but never woke again.

"Who in the hell are those ponces?"

Severus looked up; already detecting the aroma of liquor on his… he hesitated to call the man 'father'… on the man's breath. A man in his mid-thirties, he looked older than he was, with dark brown eyes. Bloodshot even though it wasn't even noon Dressed in sagging dark pants, stained white shirt, and a worn and patched jacket over it, he looked like he the drunk he was. "Likely the gravediggers to bury her. You can leave as you never wished to be here."

"Don't you be talking to me like that, boy. I can and will make you learn to respect me."

Severus raised his face and stared at the man, no, at the stupid male in front of him. "You can do nothing. I am sixteen and already can sell my own potions. I have money that you do not control. My tuition is paid for the next two years, so you have nothing to threaten me with. If you are lucky, you won't be buried next to her in three years. Do you understand me?"

"I do think you have made your point clear, young Severus." A rich tenor answered from behind him. "So you must be Tobias Snape. You should be proud of your son; he is an upcoming star in the Wizarding World. I am Lord Abraxas Malfoy, this is my son and heir, Lucius. Unfortunately Severus' other friends can not be here for him."

Lucius looked around at the drab grave plot. "Yes, my father floo called Lord McGill, but unfortunately Carmus is attending a camp in the Americas and Sean… he is no better but he is no worse. We could not let you bury a witch of such stature by yourself, Severus. No matter what anyone said about her, she was clever and she raised you to be the young man that you are. And for that alone, I would honor her."

Severus nodded. "Thank you, Lucius, Lord Malfoy."

"So now you got them, you think you don't need me, is that right? Bet I know what talent of that brat you enjoy, because it's not his face or his charming personality. If you want him, then take him! I wash my hands of him. Keep him!"

Abraxas Malfoy looked at the man. "You are distraught and do not know of what you speak. I will excuse it this time if you will leave us to mourn in peace."

"I'm leaving, never should have married that bitch, never would have if she hadn't been stupid enough to get pregnant!" Tobias Snape turned and walked away, muttering and fumbling in his coat for something.

Abraxas stepped forward, one hand pressing against Severus' neck under the hair. "Severus, this is something your mother would have taught you but since it can only be done on the death of a witch or wizard, she couldn't teach you yet. Wand out. Your job is to direct the magick, my job is to provide the power. Lucius' job is to monitor the flow. But before we do this, let us do something about this 'coffin'."

He pointed his wand at the coffin and took a deep breath, a deep dark golden glow grew at the tip before slowly reaching out to the grave. It flowed like thick honey over the coffin. Slowly the glow faded and when it did, what lay inside wasn't a simple box but a casket, made of a dark golden wood, with gold accents and a golden nameplate that said 'Eileen Prince, Mother of Severus Snape, Cunning Witch'. Another wave of his wand and the grave filled with soil.

"Now, Severus, I want you to think about your mother, about how you felt about her."

Severus closed his eyes and thought of his mother. Her strengths, her weaknesses. The times she had taught him and the times she had ignored him. When she had protected him and when she had put him out of harm's way.

"Plaga una diligitur gravibus."

This time the glow was green, a bright summery green as it shone throw his eyelids.

"Enough. Look now, Severus."

Laying on top of the grave was a grave stone. It was slate grey but not slate. On it was an image that was his mother but not. She did not look as worn and tired as usual. Below the image were four lines.

Not the most lovely but beloved,
Not the smartest, but still she brightly shone
Not the easiest but faithful none the less
A Mother, a Wife, a Witch of Old lies beneath this stone.

"It is permanent, none can dig her up, it will not crack, nor will it fade."

Severus nodded. "Thank you."

"If there is nothing you need from your house, then you will be coming home with us."

Severus nodded and walked from the grave.

Lucius looked at his friend. "Father went back to Spinner's End six months later. He asked if Mr. Snape felt the same way. He was quite rude to Father but he persisted. He finally ended up leaving the relinquishment forms. When Father came back a month later, they had not been filled out so Father had a house elf constantly bedevil him until your… parent filled them out. When he did so, Father accepted you as our Sponsored child. It's not Godparenting like McGill said but it does overlap.

"As a Sponsor, he could make apprenticeship and even marriage contracts for you, which one can't do as a God Parent. Godfathers and Godmother have to wait until they actually take over the child's living arrangements to have that power. Before then, they can suggest but not actually make the decision. Both parents and God parents are sometimes considered to be too close to a child to make a deal for their best interests. However, Sponsors are only for Muggleborns or those of the lower class entering the Nobility."

Severus nodded. "Abraxas never told me. So Sponsors are basically a Magickal godparent with extra rights to navigate the social, political, and territorial climate that a Muggleborn would find themselves in once entering the Wizarding World."

"Indeed. And so, now it is time for me to give you something that Father Abraxas gave to me." Narcissa said softly. A small motion and a Malfoy House Elf stood beside her. "Rally, please get my special box."

"As Mistress wishes," Rally replied and disappeared with a crack.

"Father Abraxas left with me some letters and papers with instructions to give them out at certain and specific times. This time, I believe is now." Narcissa opened the book and removed two slim letters. Holding them out to the two men, "For you, dear Severus and you, Carmus."

Severus took his letter and looked at it. It was written in Abraxas' hand. Turning it over, he noticed the seal imprinted in the wax. Cracking it, he pulled three sheets of paper and another sealed letter from within. Carmus nodded and waited patiently, his own letter in his hand.

Severus opened the folded pages and read it slowly. After a moment, he sat back and shook his head, astonished. "I…"

Severus set the pages on the table and tapped it once with his wand. A warm tenor voice started to speak.

My Dear Severus,

If Narcissa has done what I asked and I feel sure that she has since she has ever been a good daughter, then you are receiving this then you have found out that I am your sponsor and likely the conversation has turned to marriage contracts. As your Sponsor, I am entitled, rather demanded to make the best marriage possible for you.

Before we go into that, perhaps I should tell you how much you impressed me with your talent, with your determination to fit into our society. The society your mother left behind. I understand why she did it, though I would never make that choice on my own. She had no way to know that you would be such a strong wizard. Most mixed pairs either result in a wizard of basic power in which case you could be taught at home or in a squib. Relativity few strong witches and wizards result from this. Usually if they do it is because the so called 'Muggle' is not truly a Muggle but the product several generations of squibs with recessive genes. To put it nicely, your father was a squib. That makes you more like a pureblood than a half blood. And yet, this is not why I have taken you in. If you need ask why, merely look to your right.

So it seems to me that if we, the Wizarding World wish to keep such strong blood in the community then we should seek to give you the best of reasons to stay. I could not and would not drive you from us with a bad marriage. So the person has to be someone you can respect, who can understand your work, someone who would not be put off by your humor nor your mood. It would have to be someone on most exquisite potential.

As I sat in my office thinking of who it should be, an owl appeared with a directive. Not a request but a directive concerning you. I do not at the best times take directives from strangers but this was stamped with the seal of the Vale of the Penumbra. You probably recognize the name because of your friend Hayes, as a haruspex he was oathed to them so that they could help him control his visions. Those same visions that kept him from your side when your mother passed. Yet it was not from him. In it I was told that someone would approach me for your hand and that they would ask for certain things. Terms that would not be onerous but if I accepted them then I had a chance to free you from 'the stealer of paths'. I recognize that this term is an appellation for some figure that is central to a prophecy they consider important. I was ordered to request one demand in particular if I would save you.

And I would. You, Severus Tobias Abraxas Snape, are part of this family. So I have named you, so you are. You are my sponsored child and I would save you from anyone who would dare set themselves against fate and steal your destiny. And so when this person approached me a week later, I felt find to hear his suit. I believe that you will like and love the person with whom I have oathed you to. They are strong enough to bear you even when you believe yourself to be weighted down with the earth's weight. They will keep you safe even at the risk of your anger. They will fan the passion that you hide so well. They will make you the man I know is within you.

Of course once you are married, then the other things come into play. I took the liberty to research your grandparents. They never disowned your Mother and so you are heir of the Prince line. However to receive your title, gifts, money, and house you need to be wed. One reason we have delayed this notification.

Yes, I purposely delayed this. Right now, I am sitting in my office after having retrieved my son from the Ministry. When I asked after you, I was blocked by Dumbledore. I do not know why he is interested in you but I fear for you in his clutches. Knowing how manipulative he is, I fear that he is the one who will try to steal your path. I hope that I am wrong and will pray to the Lady that is so. Yet, I doubt it, that young woman you are so fond of adored the fool. Even now, the fact that our poor Lord has been apparently destroyed by the infant of that woman bothers me. I do remember you asking him to spare her if possible and wonder if the fact that he did kill her was part of the reason the curse backfired. Yet to seek help from that dunderhead… I fear what demands he will make of you. I am only reassured that the Muggle-loving fool will not be able to take too much from you because we, myself and the father of your intended have blocked him. He won't even notice.

And now so at this time, when you finally are breaking the bonds of the fool, I can now reveal to you the protections that I have put into place for you. You can still claim your mother's name. Since you are her only child. Of course if you had achieved full adulthood, then you would have less than five years to make that choice but according to the marriage contract, you do not achieve 'full adulthood' until you are either past your fortieth birthday or until you are married. Of course since this means that any contract that Dumbledore should try to force on you, even if you agreed to it can not be enforced unless your Sponsor who is myself or your fiancée, once he has achieved his full adulthood, approves it. Somehow I do believe that your fiancée will only have your best interest in mind.

On the next page you have a listing of all your vaults, estates, seats and gifts. Use them wisely, my dear.

With Affection,
your sponsor
Abraxas Malfoy
in my own hand

Carmus frowned. "My dear, not to be unbearably nosy but I thought you were already Lord Seacrest?"

Lucius sat back and stared at his friend who grimaced.

"What do you know of the deal that Dumbledore made to get me freed?"

Carmus frowned. "Not much, father attended most of those meeting, he didn't want me involved but if I remember right, Dumbledore vouched for you then pledged to watch over you for a certain amount of time. He claimed that you were a spy in the organization and that you only did as much as you absolutely had to get the information necessary to defeat Voldemort. Of course I later found out about you overhearing the prophecy, you told me about it. Yet whenever I asked about how you got out of serving any prison time. Last time I asked, you walked out on me. I rather not ask and have you here than ask and lose you again."

Narcissa turned her face away allowing the emotion to be unobserved.

Severus shifted in his seat. "It was merely my pride."

Carmus nodded and waited.

"To get me out, he did more than vouch for me. He basically ordered me to be under house arrest, by declaring me unfit to manage my own life. He got the minister to co-sign an Act of Subjugation, binding me to him until he declares that I have learned to behave in accordance with the law and his wishes. Eventually, someone asked how was I to learn that without some responsibility and so Dumbledore gave me the Lordship of Seacrest so that he can say that he is rehabilitating me. In actuality, he has no intentions of me ever being emancipated from his grip. Perhaps not even after his death because he could leave me to someone else in his will, like a robe."

Carmus looked up, grey eyes sparking with rage. "Then I understand why Abraxas did as he did. Severus, what else did the contract with Albus demand? Why are you teaching? How are you paid? Where do you live when you are not teaching? What about the Malfoys?"

"I teach at Hogwarts because he is headmaster, thus providing me with 'adequate supervision' but as to how I am paid, I'm not. Supposedly all funds are deposited into a Gringott's account from which I can withdraw no more than fifteen galleons a month without his permission and he receives a copy of my financial statement every month. He is allowed unfettered access to my rooms, my labs, my finances, my mail, and anything else he see fit. After all, how can he adequately supervise me if I am allowed to hide anything from him. When I am not teaching, I am allowed by his gracious permission to live in my old family home of Spinner's End. As to the Malfoy's, since I was Draco's godfather before this, he could do nothing about it but question me." Severus voice grew more and more controlled as he spoke.

"HE dares! He dares! And Lucius, of course Severus wouldn't let you do anything. Pride, your foolish pride! Now, of course Abraxas' plan is a bit more clear."

"Then please do tell me." Severus bit out.

"Dumbledore never counted on you having a Sponsor, someone who could write a contract in the Wizarding fashion. Tell me, did Dumbledore have you sign a contract?"


"It's invalid. You can't surrender your freedom under an Act of Subjugation because you never had it. No minor can sign a contract and have it be legal. You were not a full adult until either you reach 40 years of age, and you were not or until you got married and you are not married. So you can't surrender what you don't have. In fact, if I am right, then whoever they betrothed you to is your actual 'guardian' until you get married. And they never signed the contract."

Light grew in the dark eyes as comprehension dawned. A face that was line with years of bitterness relaxed before hardening again. "Then who is my guardian?

"I suggest you open that marriage contract and see."

Severus picked up the second envelope in his lap, it was adorned with three ribbons, one was the black and silver of the Malfoys', another was the gold and umber of the Princes and the third… was familiar. Breaking the seal, he pulled out several sheets of paper. Looking it over, he frowned.

"Severus, as personal as it is, I need to know the name of the person they have betrothed you to."

"Do you? Need to know?"

"Of course, for they will have to be brought into our conspiracy or handled until we have destroyed Dumbledore then I will kill them. For sure they would have call to call me out for duel over my relationship with you but we can plead the lack the knowledge but it would mean that we could not be together from now on and I have no intentions of not sharing any night you give me, my beloved. So tell me the name. For no matter how much protection they have arranged, I have waited too long for you only to give you up. The box on the mantel, you know what it holds. What it has always held. What it will forever hold until you remove it. Only for you, my love. So, tell me the name of whom I shall murder."

Severus chuckled. "Open your letter from Abraxas first. It is important you do so before you swear to murder anyone."

Carmus sighed and with a flick of his fingers, slit the top of the envelope. Pulling out several sheets, he started to read.

On this day, in my own hand, I write this formal contract of betrothal as Accepted Sponsor of Severus Tobias Abraxas Snape, last known Scion of the Venerable Prince Family. In accordance to the conditions later hereforth mentioned, I accept on his behalf the contract to bind Severus Tobias Abraxas Snape to Carmus Riordan Fredrich McGill…

Carmus let the papers fall as he stood up and knelt beside his lover's chair, taking one stained hand in his. "My father was wise, if I had known then what I know now, I would have fought for you and Dumbledore would have destroyed me and you. But now… now we have time. You are only thirty one and we have until you are forty but do me one thing, my love. Even if you won't wear it now, take the box from the mantel."

"With pleasure." Severus stood up and walked over to the mantel. The small box still stood there as it always had. A polished wood box maybe two inches on each side but a dome lid. Inside was a ring, a ring that he had found many years ago but that Carmus promised that he would know the reason for one day.

Behind them Lucius cleared his throat, "Severus, one thing I do not understand. Why would Dumbledore believe that you had betrayed us?

"Because I didn't want the Dark Lord to kill Lily. I asked him not to. She was my first friend. And when have I ever abandoned a friend?"

"Never, it is one thing that Father respects about you. Yet that was all it took to convince Dumbledore that you no longer wished to follow our Lord?"

"Your Lord." Carmus murmured before moving to pick up the papers he had scattered unintentionally. "You were upset at her death. You went to him for answers since he promised to protect her. What happened?"

"He made me oath to protect her son. He believes that I was in love with her."

The three other Slytherins looked at each other before small smiles broke out among them. Narcissa raised her glass to cover a chuckle.

"Strange, that he should think so considering the rumors about him."

"Rumors, Lucius?"

"Hmmm yes, something my father mentioned. Seems that when Dumbledore was in his sixth or seventh year, a young man appeared. He was from some Eastern European country by his accent. Apparently he was sent away from Durmstrang. In any case, Dumbledore quite chased this young man about. Then about half a year after they met, he left. Supposedly they had a fight and then Dumbledore's sister died. Since then, our dear headmaster has not been linked romantically with anyone since."

Carmus frowned, "Now this is information that I did not have. Please, next time you speak to your father, ask him more about this. Dumbledore disappeared for a couple of years and it's the only time I do not have him accounted for. If he was perhaps spending time with this young man, perhaps it will make sense of some of his actions."

Lucius nodded.

"And now for a pleasant duty." Carmus wandlessly floated a quill from the desk in the corner to his hand.

"I wouldn't do that. No matter how much I wish you would, Carmus." A voice came from above their heads. Severus turned and looked up at what had been an empty picture frame only moments before. "I would love for him to sign it, Severus. You… I have loved you like a son for years. Yet Malfoy and myself arranged it like this to protect you. I tried to get you alone to speak of what we did but the ministry trusted Dumbledore too much. They had no intention of letting you meet with Dark or Dark-aligned persons.

"You see, as both of you are under a certain age, it behooves your elders to make the contract for you, so you can actually claim ignorance of it. However, once either of you signs, you can not. I know that Abraxas explained his handling of the contract and that any contract that Dumbledore has ever had you signed is not valid without your fiancé's signature. Every year, Dumbledore has you sign an extension to your teaching contract, yes?"


"It is accepted because supposedly you sign it without coercion. But it is never approved because the legal ploy Dumbledore used would have defaulted your custody and in this specific order: Abraxas, myself, then Carmus. Abraxas is no longer in country and you had no idea. So until one of them signs it, it is not valid. I would suggest, if Abraxas does not mind, that you let him be the stalking horse. Say that Lucius went to look up a contract that his father did not tell him about and it was found that Abraxas is his sponsor. Abraxas will then sue not only for 'custody' under the supposed Act of Subjugation, but if you do not mind, dear one, he will publically call Dumbledore out for what he has done to you. He will rail about how Sponsorship which would help Muggleborns adjust to our lifestyle has been neglected. He will get more pureblood on your side.

"Then, once he is obvious, then get married. So that even if Dumbledore dares to harm Abraxas, Severus will be safe. I believe Abraxas to be a good man and with enough foresight to see what he would one day be called to do." Aden McGill said, before he sat at the desk in the painting.

Lucius nodded, "Your father is right. My father would find this challenge stimulating. I will write to him about this and about that young man Dumbledore was so taken with."

Aden frowned. "I remember something about that… Dumbledore had a close relationship, though we don't think it went as far as sex. The boy was from Durmstrang, it happened sometime around 1897 to 1900. I couldn't access Durmstrang's records. He did attend Hogwarts for a bit, but Dumbledore seems to have expunged all record of him. Ask Dayn to check my file for him. I do remember something but it doesn't seem to make sense. At first I thought he was fleeing from the beginning of Grindlewald terror but the timeline is wrong. It was just a bit of conversation, not even conversation but something Dumbledore muttered when there was talk about love. 'Für das wohl. A közjóért. Pentru o mai mare bun.' We got it from a pensieve memory. It means for: 'for the whole, a larger good, for the best of good'. We might say, 'For the greater good'. It's why we thought he was talking about someone who had fled from Grindlewald. His troops used it as a rallying cry."

"Yet perhaps he wasn't, McGill. Perhaps the young man he was so attracted to was part of Grindlewald's inner circle. It is said that he was from Durmstrang. For all we know it could have been Grindlewald himself!" Lucius chuckled. "As for getting access to the Durmstrang's student records. I might have an idea. Igor Kakaroff is the headmaster there. If he thinks that it is for the Dark Lord…"

"True. You will have to work on him, perhaps lead him to believe that there's someone of a specific bloodline that you need to research for some plan's sake." Severus templed his fingers and frowned.

"Yes, but enough." Standing Carmus reach one hand out to Severus. "Lord and Lady, while I enjoy your company, it is getting late and I'm afraid that I am in much need of rest. So if you do not mind, I must retire but you may stay as long as you want. Merely call to Dayn and she will lead you to your rooms."

He bowed once more to Lord and Lady Malfoy as his now-fiancé placed a hand in his and they left the room.

Carmus lay back on his bed, their bed one day, and waited for Severus to join him. Severus came out of the bathroom in his summer green quilted robe, dark hair loose and free of protector so it was soft and light, it even made his sallow skin seem different.

"Beloved, this summer you are getting some sun. I do not know why you punish yourself with trapping yourself in the dungeons all summer but not this one. I want to see sun in your skin, or if I can, just you lying in the sun with absolutely nothing between you and the air. Oh yes, I want to see that!"

Severus flushed. "Enough."

"Never, my love. My love, my betrothed, my fiancé." Carmus smiled happily.

Severus slipped out of his robe and slid into bed. Turning to face his betrothed, he smiled. "You were willing to kill whomever had my troth."

"Of course I was. For the same reason I want to destroy that fool who marked you. You don't belong with him. You belong with me, our children, our friends, our godchildren. Why do you think I was so furious with Lucius. You are mine! As I am yours, you are mine and I have no wish to share you with that death obsessed fool!"

Severus stared at him before placing one potion stained hand on his lover's cheek. A kiss followed, long and lingering before a whispered, "Nox."

October 11, 1991
McGillis House
Kingston upon Thames

Simon groaned and put his head down on his arms. He slept, he knew he had slept so why was he so tired. A cool hand rested against his neck for a moment before a small glass bottle was placed on the table.

"Thank you, Uncle Sev."

A flick on his ear as the man walked past.

Carmus raised an eyebrow. His own eyes looking tired.

"He's just a bit exhausted. Even though he slept, he's a bit tired since yesterday was difficult emotionally and Magickally. You could use a dose as well."

Carmus shook his head. "I can't. This is part of the price I pay for doing that 'trick'. Magic demands I recover slowly and not use potions to fix myself. It will however only take a day or so before I recover, beloved."

A moue of distaste crossed the potion master's face, as he lifted a hand to turn Carmus' face first one way then another. "Then you are going back to bed. You will rest and recover from your little… 'trick'."

"And what little 'trick' was that, my son?" A voice asked from behind the boys.

Simon turned around and noticed a painting that he hadn't seen before. And how had he missed a new painting in the breakfast room? A frown crossed his face, they weren't at Hogwarts. "Did you just talk?"

"Of course, my dear. The magic is in the portrait, not the building. There are many paintings that can speak. And I would love to speak to you, my dear grandson, but first I wish to know what little trick did my, shall we say, intrepid son pull this time, dear Severus?""

Simon moved closer to the painting. "You're my grandfather?"

"Yes, that is Aden Richard McGill. Apparently he has been hiding since your father brought you home. Which is a shame since as the red sheep of the family he was sorted into Gryffindor." Severus replied.

"Yes, a shame to his supposed bravery. And I doppled yesterday."

"You did what?! Severus Snape, I betrothed my son to you to keep him and you safe. How could you let him Dopple!" The man in the painting roared.

"Let… Father, let? I do not need his permission to use my family Magicks! As for stopping me, how could he when you never did? I find your anger all out of proportion, especially since you were never strong enough to use our family Magicks. Severus, my dear, I shall retire now. I leave the children in your capable hands." Carmus gritted out before leaving with a burst of speed.

Severus pinched the bridge of his nose before letting out a deep breath. "Aden."

"This is one reason I have not been around as of late. I can never talk to him anymore."

Simon shrugged. "Maybe you shouldn't have yelled at him. Instead of yelling about how stupid he was, maybe you should have asked him, politely mind you, why he did it. If what I read in the book last night is right, Family magicks should be used to defend family."

"Indeed they should, Simon." Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy stepped into the room. "I saw Carmus heading to his room."

Severus nodded. "He is still tired from using magick yesterday. Apparently he is not allowed relief."

Narcissa nodded. "Yes, there are some family magicks that won't permit it. If you do relieve it, then Magick itself backlashes you. Better to suffer now than to suffer the backlash. And you are right that family magicks should be employed to protect family. Sometimes they are extreme but necessary."

Simon nodded. "Then perhaps Grandfather Aden should appreciate the fact that by doing that, he protected the youngest of this family. Me. Now I'm going to take a nap with father, Uncle Sev."

"Go ahead. Take your potion first."

Simon nodded and drank it down, leaving the bottle on the table, he followed his father.


"What he did was very dangerous, Severus. Never let him do it. He could get stuck in that body forever or his magick might be stressed enough to destroy both bodies." The painted man whispered before he left his frame.

"I see. Then perhaps tomorrow I will talk to him. Today, we will wait for Simon to wake from his nap then we will go out for the day, leave him alone to recover."

Lucius nodded. "Good."

11:15 AM

Severus opened the door to his lover's bedroom and noticed his godson splayed out across the bed. Carmus had rolled over towards him, one arm lying across his son's back. Loathe to disturb them, he still moved to the other side and placed a hand on Simon's back.

"Wake up."

Simon blinked sleepily. "Don't wanna."

"Then you don't want to come with us to the Fair in Rome?"

"Fair?" Simon lifted his head only to feel his father pull him closer.

"Yes, the Fair. If we can disentangle you from octopus Carmus." Severus smiled.

"He is a bit clingy." Simon said softly.

"He gets like that when he doesn't feel well. He always picks fights then goes off to cuddle someone. But I'll have Dayn check on him. Get up, get dressed in something comfortable and a casual robe." Severus leaned over and stroked Carmus' arm. As the other man turned towards him, he waved Simon off. He pulled the covers up and tucked him in. "Sleep well, love."

742 Evergreen Terrace

Dear Dr. and Dr. Granger,

My name is Robert Smithe and I am the head of the Muggle Rights and Responsibilities Office. To help our Muggleborn students better integrate into the Magickal world we have decided to take some steps that we admittedly should have done long since. Our first step is to reissue an updated list of, revised editions, and MRRO approved editions of introductory books:

So You Are A Witch/Wizard! What Now? By Vari Able (2nd Edition)
A Beginner's Guide to the Wizarding World by B. N. O. Stranger (5
th Edition)
What Are My Magickal Rights And Responsibilities? By C. I. Vics (12
th Edition)
Why Do I Have To Keep It A Secret? By N. O. Scere (3
rd Edition)
A Muggleborn's Guide to the Wizarding World by Angelica Jones. (7
th Edition)

Included in here is a voucher that you can take to any of the bookstores in Diagon Alley to redeem for the books. If your books do not have the raised seal of the MRRO office, merely accept the books, keep your receipt and bring it to our office.

Next we are making appointments for each Muggleborn student, present and former with at Gringotts. There you will participate in a small blood ritual. It is designed to trace your magickal lineage. If you have a blood connection with a modern Wizarding family then the next policy will help you greatly. It may turn out that you or your child is the first magickal inheritor of a line long believed that had died out and may be able to claim an inheritance.

Next we are instituting an older and more traditional procedure. It is the procedure known as Sponsoring. Sponsoring was an old and noble practice by which a Muggleborn family legally contracts with a Wizarding family to provide support for their child. We in the Wizarding World have many peccadillos and laws that a Muggleborn may not understand, especially since they were not raised as a Wizard. Just as you as a Muggle understand your world better than any Wizard. It means that the person being sponsored can not enter a Contract or any other legally binding issue without the permission of their sponsor until they reach a certain age. Which is to protect them. However, if you look in What Are My Magickal Rights And Responsibilities?, there is a chapter on Sponsorship. There are some changes however, to facilitate understanding between both worlds. The main one will be a requirement for the Wizarding family to share some holidays and break time in the Muggle world with their Muggle family, likewise the Muggle family will be contracted to spend some holiday with the Wizardng family in the Wizarding World.

Finally, we wish you to join us at Hogwarts for Halloween or as we call it, Samhain. We wish it to be a surprise for the children so, don't let them know. There is a form to fill out providing us with information such as what you are allergic to as well as instructions on how to catch the Hogwarts Express. We even have an extra special surprise for the Muggle parents.


Robert Smithe
Head of the Muggle Rights and Responsibilities Office

Dr. Granger nodded and looked at her husband. Flipping to the next page, instead of the form she was told to expect was another letter.

Dr. and Dr. Granger

As I mentioned in my main letter, we are instituting the sponsorship program to protect and support our Muggleborn students. Now, I mentioned the blood test because family means quite a bit to a Wizarding family. I don't know yet if you know how much blood means. I capitalize it because it is its own powerful Magickal Susbtance. Blood is one of the greatest bonds in the Magickal world.

An example. Say that your test proves you are related to the Yaxleys. They are one of the strongest voices in excluding Muggleborns. Say for mere example you were related to them. Well their family beliefs won't let them exclude you or your child. They would then have to change.

However, the reason I mention this is because one family in particular has asked to contract with you. The Malfoy family. Your daughter is acquaintances with the McGill heir. His father is the one who suggested the Malfoys and they have agreed to think about it. So, I have included the contract, for you to read and talk about. If you have questions, please visit our offices. We are located down the street from The Leaky Cauldron at the intersection of Brisbane and Cooldridge Road. There you will find a phone booth. Enter and dial 6-2-4-4-1-2. When it is answered tell them what department you wish to go to and they will bring you to the front desk. Otherwise you can enter Diagon Alley and at the end of the road, you will see another entrance. Merely enter and ask where to go at the front desk.


Robert Smithe

Ellen Granger lay both letters and the form on the table. "Alan, bring the notepad. We need to take notes."

2532 Cracklin Street

Craig Carrowick frowned at the bird that was standing on his table. He hadn't gotten a letter by owl since he left the Wizarding World some fifteen years ago. Sighing, he picked up the letter from the table.

Dear Mr. Carrowick,

My name is Robert Smithe and I am the head of the Muggle Rights and Responsibilities Office. You are a graduate of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We have recently found out that due to interference you never received the proper introductory books for Muggleborns. These books were necessary to explain Wizarding customs, your duties to the Wizarding World as well as ours towards you.

Imagine if you will, that you fund a scholarship or school program to help transfer students. You do this because you need to attract their particular talents. You have seen such programs in the Muggle world. They will provide an education in Education in return for teaching in an at-risk school or they will help someone go to Medical school in return for serving five years in underdeveloped countries. So imagine you fund such a program and when they graduate they do not fulfill their duties. Worse, while they were going to school, a school you funded and literally built, they despise your customs. They never ask after your customs but assume they are 'primitive'. Then when they graduate they leave without a care. Can you not understand the resentment this breeds? How this resentment is passed on to new students who are learning under the same program?

This is how the purebloods feel about you and the other Muggleborns. This is due to a mistake in communication. They believed that you had read the books because you were supposed to have read them but rather than ask questions about what you didn't understand in the books, you went on with your life. So there was the belief that you understood which is why they were offended when you left without fulfilling your duties.

This was not your fault. Albus Dumbledore replaced the mandated books with books of his own. Why? We are unsure, however we have decided that since this is not your fault, we, the Ministry, have decided to replace the books. With this letter is a voucher to buy the new updated and revised lists of books.

So You Are A Witch/Wizard! What Now? By Vari Able (2nd Edition)
A Beginner's Guide to the Wizarding World by B. N. O. Stranger (5
th Edition)
What Are My Magickal Rights And Responsibilities? By C. I. Vics (12
th Edition)
Why Do I Have To Keep It A Secret? By N. O. Scere (3
rd Edition)
A Muggleborn's Guide to the Wizarding World by Angelica Jones. (7
th Edition)

As a Muggleborn graduate, you were granted a title of Small Lord or Lady. Meaning you were titled but you have no land, properties, or resources to go with your title. It entitles the first recipient of each family a seat in the Wizagamot. That seat lasts as long as your family will last. It is understood that you did not know this. Therefore we have instituted three programs to help you.

First, we are making appointments for each Muggleborn student, present and former with at Gringotts. There you will participate in a small blood ritual. It is designed to trace your magickal lineage. If you have a blood connection with a modern Wizarding family then the next policy will help you greatly. It may turn out that you or your child is the first magickal inheritor of a line long believed that had died out and may be able to claim an inheritance.

Next we are instituting an older and more traditional procedure. It is the procedure known as Sponsoring. Sponsoring was an old and noble practice by which a Muggleborn family legally contracts with a Wizarding family to provide support for their child. We in the Wizarding World have many peccadillos and laws that a Muggleborn may not understand, especially since they were not raised as a Wizard. Just as you as a Muggle understand your world better than any Wizard. It means that the person being sponsored can not enter a Contract or any other legally binding issue without the permission of their sponsor until they reach a certain age. Which is to protect them. However, if you look in What Are My Magickal Rights And Responsibilities?, there is a chapter on Sponsorship. There are some changes however, to facilitate understanding between both worlds. The main one will be a requirement for the Wizarding family to share some holidays and break time in the Muggle world with their Muggle family, likewise the Muggle family will be contracted to spend some holiday with the Wizardng family in the Wizarding World.

Lastly, we have decided to give classes about Wizarding World, Customs, Duties, and so forth. After you take the class, there will be tests similar to the NEWTs. Once you have passed it, we will reinstitute your Lord/Lady ship.

There will be an orientation that will go over all this. We will be having six information sessions, please see the form included and mark the session which you wish to attend.


Robert Smith
Muggle Rights and Responsibilities Office

Candidissime Pegasus

Simon laughed as the carriage approached the ground at speed. His godbrother was enjoying it as much as he was. Too bad their godfather wasn't. The felt the carriage pull up throwing them back against the inside of the carriage, magickal restraints keeping them from falling out. Too soon the ride was done and the two boys were falling out the carriage and stumbling over to the Malfoys.

"Lucius, that was… WICKED! Severus, can we go again?!"

Severus twitched and debated whether or not to pull his wand on his godsons.

Narcissa grinned. "Carmus expects his son in one piece tonight."

"I'll sew him back together." Severus gritted out.

Lucius tried to hide a chuckle as he directed the boys towards an open air eatery. "That was inexpressibly cruel, Simon."

Both boys started laughing as they heard their godfather listing all the useable parts of them for potions. Severus' eyes fell on Dudley and frowned.

The large boy shook his head. "I saw it before we got here. I wasn't crazy enough to go on that!"

As they approached the other four who had already been seated, Severus looked at them. "And why is the muggle the only one who has common sense?"

Lucius tried not to laugh again. "Enough, Severus." He raised his eyebrow as his friend sat. A wave brought over a server and they all placed their orders. Soon enough each of them had a small dish of gelato in front of them to enjoy before their dinner.

Dudley tasted it carefully before digging into it.

"Gelato, one of the Italy's specialties. Simon, Draco, do you two know of a young girl name of Hermione Granger?"

Simon nodded, "Yeah, she's in my house. Really smart but a bit stiff. She tries too hard."

"The child is an insufferable know it all who destroys any chance of any other child being able to learn anything in class." Severus groused.

Draco shrugged. "She doesn't see it that way."

"And yet it is so. The child has no concept of restraint. Waving her hand in the air like it's a banner. Bouncing, so eager to answer the question rather than let anyone else answer."

Simon frowned. "She's bad, Sev but she's just excited."

"She is not! Do you realize that most of your class has no reason nor impetus to read their book since they'll just let Granger tell them the answer. And they do. Why read when she will shout out the answer. Worse she is often rewarded for it."

Dudley looked at Simon and shrugged. "I don't get it. I thought teachers liked it when students read the lessons."

Severus sighed. "We do, however when we call on people in class it's to show they have read it, allow them to make mistakes so that we can correct them. Say we are working on a Cleansing Potion and you are required to slice Yarrow Root finely but not in a straight line cut, but in a diagonal. So I ask what ingredients are needed and their preparation. She is waving her hand around, desperate to answer as she believes that she is the only one capable of answering. Meanwhile ever other Gryffindor no longer bothers to answer because they are always wrong and she is always right and they know it. She is called on and says, 'Sliced Yarrow Root, thinly.' Now every single one of your fellow housemates will remember that and slice the damn thing horizontal or vertical slices. They may even slice it thinly. Yet, thinly isn't finely. Finely means so thin that you can see through every part of it.

"So then I have four useless potions because those dunderheads who know that she is always right, now are paying attention to her and screw up their own potions. Yet for some reason, she doesn't seem to understand that in her efforts to show how much she knows she is damaging all the other students; education!"

Simon stared at him, eyes wide before turning to Draco, "Why don't you like her?"

"Mostly the same as Severus. She's always so quick to show off; she doesn't want to let anyone else answer a question because if they do, she takes offense at it. She has to be the smartest, the shining star in every class. I'm good in transfiguration, great in potions, fair in most of my other classes. There are some classes that I will shine in and some I won't but I know I don't have to be the best even everything. She acts like if everyone doesn't know how brilliant she is, then it's a crime!" Draco answered, scraping the bottom of his bowl with his spoon.

"Oh. I didn't think of it like that. If you want, I'll talk to her when we get back. I don't think she understands it that way. I think she wants to show that she has just as much right to be at Hogwarts as either of us."

"That's stupid. If she didn't, she wouldn't have gotten a letter. Either you are or you aren't. And we are."

"It doesn't work that way in the Muggle school system. You can get in and then later be kicked out because you aren't performing a level they expect of you, or get in trouble, or fail too many tests."

"I see but this isn't the Muggle world, Simon. What matters is magick and the strength of her magick. Unless she loses all her magick they won't kick her out. Yes, sometimes they threaten expulsion but they rarely do it because magick untrained is magick out of control. It's more dangerous to allow it to go wild than anything else. Your behavior or conduct on tests can't get you kicked out. That is why admission is based on absolutes. Magickal power." Lucius pointed out. "Well, I can see we will have much to talk about with her and her parents. Carmus has suggested that I sponsor Ms. Granger."

Draco dropped his spoon to the table and stared at his father. "Truly?"

"Indeed. Regardless of your annoyance with her, tell me Draco, would it be beneficial to her or to us?"

Draco nodded, biting his lip as he thought.

Severus closed his eyes and tilted his head back. Eyes moved quickly under pale translucent eyelids. After a few moments, he brought his head forward and opened his eyes. A minute later a sigh issued from his blond godson.

"Her parents are doctors, truthfully they deal with teeth but they likely know other doctors as well as people in the community. They are most likely one of the pushing forces behind HAARP. Granger is powerful and will be a powerful witch, with a little training she might even be able to lead the Muggleborns of the school. We could make her a Duchess or even Princess of Gryffindor. She needs education in subtlety, manner, presentation, dress, and diplomacy. For us, it will show that the Malfoy family is current, that we are trying to heal the Rift. Even perhaps show that Dark isn't evil in a better way than anything else. It would eviscerate the threat of Dumbledore and his fellows against us. Politically and socially, it would put us at the forefront. As to the future…" Draco held out his hands and moved them apart. "Only time will tell."

Lucius nodded. "Severus."

"Against my better nature, I say do it. Not to mention, that I am wondering what other prophecies Sean left him."

"Indeed and he won't reveal if it was. Narcissa?"

"I have always wanted a young witch to mentor."

"Then I will meet with her parents and accept the sponsor contract."

"Excuse, Mr. Malfoy? What is a 'sponsor"? Dudley asked.

"Well, first tell me what you think a sponsor is?"

Dudley frowned. "Well, sometimes companies sponsor athletes to wear their clothing or shoes so they will be advertised. In school, sometimes a teacher sponsors a club, meaning they watch over the students and make arrangements only adults can make like for field trips. If you are doing like a read-a-thon or walk-a-thon then sometimes people will pay you for each book your read or mile you walk. If you wanted to get in a club, then someone can put your name forward. Like Dad wanted Mr. Fallon to do. Basically you put your name on the line vouching for that person."

Lucius nodded and waited for the server to clear their bowls and place the plates down. "Yes, it is very similar to the last one. What a sponsor does in this case is to give the Muggleborn student a pureblood background. When we sponsor Ms. Granger, she can ask me, Narcissa, or Draco about anything in pureblood culture or customs. We are responsible for teaching her. We will help her become a member of the Wizarding World rather than her demanding it change to suit her.

"It also has legal complications such as preventing her from signing any contract without our knowledge so that we may advise her instead of her falling into a trap laid for her by virtue of her lack of knowledge about our world. Since it is a magickal contract it will enforce itself. I will have to make any contract that is best for her and her future. In return the contract will force her to at least ask questions that she needs to ask."

"So it's a good thing?"

"Yes. The contract has to be fair to be magickally enforced."

McGillis House
8:15 p.m.

Carmus watched as his family, and he could even admit Lucius was part of it, stepped though the floo. Standing up, he entered the floo room and stepped up to his fiancé for hug.

"Welcome back. Dayn is wondering if you are all hungry. Severus, you have a letter from Albus. It's been checked."

Severus held him for a moment longer before releasing him. "He probably wants me to check in. I'll be in the study. We went to the Candidissime Pegasus."

Carmus watched as he left, feeling a small hand slip into his. He looked to see his son leaning against him.


"Did something happen with you and Sev? He seems… different."

Carmus nodded and carefully led the way out of the room, without letting go of his son. Leading them into a sitting room, he pulled his son into his lap and beckoned Dudley closer.

"He's being openly affectionate. Purebloods in private act differently than in public. In our homes, with only family we are more free, we drop our masks. In fact it is considered rude to keep up your mask. If you are angry at me, show it on your face. In this home, in this place, there is only family. Only us."

Simon nodded, "But Lucius and Narcissa isn't family as you defined it."

"Yes, they are. Last night we discovered something interesting. Abraxas Malfoy, Lucius' father is Severus' sponsor."

Dudley jerked at that. "We talked about that earlier at the dinner."

"Good, so I don't have to explain what it is. However, a sponsor can write out a marriage contract for their person. In fact, they usually do. Their job is to integrate the Muggle born or Muggle raised into Wizarding society and they make the best first marriage possible. Do you understand?"

"First marriage?"

"Yes, first marriage. The first marriage is for the Wizarding World. Remember we are Lords and Ladies of the Wizarding World. Our duty to every other Witch and Wizard is to take care of them and protect them. To make sure this continues we need children of strong magickal strength to replace us. Should we do nothing and wait for a Muggleborn to show up? I do doubt that. We breed for magickal strength but only the first marriage. They are usually contracts that fulfill after a time period or after having a certain number of children.

"Sometimes, the two people fall in love. When that happens, they change the contract, have a ceremony and likely they will never divorce. Lucius did. He fell head over heels for Narcissa and so, he and she had the ceremony when Draco was two years old.

"Abraxas Malfoy has arranged a first marriage for Severus. Being Sev's sponsor makes Sev Lucius' foster brother, essentially. So, that makes him Sev's family. Now comes the link to our family. When Abraxas made the contract, he contracted Severus to me. My father accepted on my behalf a betrothal contract. He is mine, that changes the Malfoy standing to our family. He's now Sev's brother for all intents and purposes.

"Which means when I marry Sev, I will need to find a new Godfather for you. Politically, I should ask Sirius Black because of the connection to Harry Potter, however the bonds of family and affection say that I should ask Narcissa and Lucius."

Simon lay back and closed his eyes. "So does that mean you forgive Lucius?"

"Forgive him? For what?"

"For whatever he did to make you mad. I can see it when you are around him."

"HE was the one who introduced Severus to a madman. One as bad as Dumbledore. Both of whom ill used him. I don't like it when people hurt the ones I love. Have I forgiven him? No, I don't think I have but the knowledge that he is family will make sure Lucius never betrays him in that way again. So I can put my anger aside and rejoice in the combining of our families. Does that explain it better?"

Simon nodded. "Yeah, just like with Dudley."

"Yes, and all three of you are tired. Up you get and go to bed. I'll be in to check in with all of you."

The three boys stood up and moved quietly to the door. Simon frowned and turned back. "Does this mean I can call him 'Uncle' Lucius?"


"My dear boy, I was worried about you." Albus' face hovered in the flames.

"We returned late last night. Today I was detached to take the boys to the Candidissime Pegasus since last night was so stressful. Black acted rather sanely until the end. He decided to show Potter some memories of his. He chose three. The first was when Potter received his Head Boy badge. The second was when Black tried to murder me. The Third was just after Lily gave birth and the younger Potter was sleeping in his mother's arms.

"The meal was fine. He has redone his brother's old room for Harry. Bought Harry as well as Draco and Simon new brooms. The boys seemed to have fun. Rather than exacerbate Black's insanity, we kept the conversation away from the ministry, you, the Dursleys or anything else and merely spoke about family news." Severus reported succinctly.

"I see… what spell did he use to show the memories?" Albus questioned gently.

"Lingering Memory."

Albus frowned. "That's borderline dark."

"It uses no blood, nor any other body fluid."

"No, but it does involve giving into emotions, it is unlike a pensieve in which a copy of a memory is made. It is rather that he must put himself back into the mindset at which he remembers, otherwise the memory be changed. For example, if Sirius felt remorse of what he did to you, it will shade the memory to be less brutal than it was."

"I see." You think I do not know that it does not, you color blind fool.

"Indeed. How did young Potter respond to the memories?"

"He was found it fascinating to see his father act like a teenager. He was furious at Sirius for what he did to me. Claimed that he was little better than the Dursley brat. That's when he showed him the last memory of him sleeping in his mother's arms. Lily… she was exhausted but she wasn't willing to let Harry go."

"Yes, it is the power of a Mother's Love. And Harry?"

Severus shook his head. "He… it didn't disturb him so much as shock him. When we returned McGill sent him to bed immediately to let him 'process'. Then this morning, he sent me with him and the others to the Candidissime Pegasus to distract him. Tomorrow, McGill is going to speak with him and has his therapist on call before he returns him to his new family."

"And you know nothing about this new family?"

"I know everything about them but the oath I took when I first treated him. Until McGill gives me permission, I can't speak of anything I do with him. He already gave me permission to report to you tonight." Severus pointed out, eyebrow rising.

"I see. However Harry is well, yes?"

"More than. He is growing, at least a couple of inches and he's put on weight. Weight he needs."

"Thank you, Severus. Enjoy the rest of your night."

"And you, Headmaster."

Carmus entered his study after settling the boys in, he still had quite a few bags under his eyes but he looked more rested than he was previously. Retrieving a letter from his desk. Taking the letter, he walked over to the sofa where Severus sat and sat next to him, leaning against him slightly. "Lucius, Narcissa. Do you remember what you asked of me in return for joining the Alliance? "

Severus turned towards him. "He sent me this letter with two requests. Well one request, one contract. I am in favor of the contract. The problem was with your other request. Severus, did you know that Lucius wishes more children? McGills are found far and wide, more so than you think. Some that you may never consider to be a McGill is a part of this family. So I sent the question to those who those who might be able to help us, I received almost an immediate response. They have noticed this problem before I did. Apparently many with Dark Marks face the same problem as you. I can not promise you that this is the sole reason for your inability to have another child but it is a best guess. I am assuming that you have done the traditional investigation. Therefore my only conclusion can be that the Dark Mark prevents you from getting Narcissa pregnant without the permission of Voldemort."

Narcissa's hand trembled as she lowered her head.

"There are other ways, and it is possible get around the restriction but it will involve a bit of magic and muggle technology. To discuss this, I may have to be slightly crude, forgive me in advance? Muggles have this thing called in-vitro fertilization. Basically they take the sperm from the man, the egg from the woman and mix it in ta muggle lab. Once they see conception happen, they implant the now fertilized egg into a woman, who then is pregnant. Now just because conception happens doesn't mean it will implant in the uterus. So usually they inject anywhere from two to eight, in the hopes that just one takes root.

"I've gotten our experts well versed on them muggle side but the magic side is a bit finicky. However, they estimate that given three to six years, they should have it perfected enough to use on humans. We might even be able to perfect gender selection. There is one risk, which I must mention."

Lucius nodded, taking his wife's hand. "What risk?"

"We don't know what effect is on the fertilization of the egg outside the body. It may affect the child's magick, they may be born with no magick what so ever considering that magick is so inextricably linked with nature and life. One thing we are exploring is seeing if the sperm killing magic is only at ejaculation, if so then we need only collect the sperm before ejaculation. If not then we may have to use a different method. Since it is interference in a natural process…"

"We will accept that risk." Lucius turned towards Narcissa.

Carmus nodded. "Very well."