Author's Note: Thank you to those of you whom read and reviewed my last chapter... Dryadalis, Bloly, Guest, KraZiiePyrozHavemoreFun, BluOwl, Allen's Matchmaker, ripper34, angelaneahwalker, FatesShadow83, Charlie0925, Ladymadonna1899, Mari Wollsch, FairAris, I-Love-Trunks1, griffin blackwood, Cherrie 101, Lientjuhh, gtbmel, way of life, Kendra Dhyanna, biblioholic, mizzrazz72, and itachisgurl93

Title: Thousands Of Reasons To Smile

Author: Brightsidetolife

Genre: Family/Romance/Humor

Parings: Harry/Alphard, Charlus/Dorea, Tom/Minerva, Ignatius/Lucretia

Disclaimer: I own nothing

Thousands Of Reasons To Smile

Chapter Fifty-Three

Somewhere I heard that life is a test
I been through the worst but still I give my best

- Aloe Blacc

It was too dark to see, and navigating in the dense forest was already tough enough.

Suddenly the wolf pounced at them from its hiding spot. It flew out from behind the trees with a howl of fury. The Slytherin Alphard Black barely had enough time to react. He threw himself quickly out of the way. It landed mere meters away from him, eyes never leaving him-locked onto him.

"Run Al!" Was Harry's only warning to his boyfriend before he transformed into a miniature Siberian husky dog and Harry himself started running.

For some reason, no matter how hard Harry tried, he was always a miniature animal. Julius Bellamy, Harry's godfather, said it had to do with Harry's age and not his magic.

Harry ran with Alphard always just behind him, twisting through trees and over the undergrowth, every now and again glancing back to, one, see if Alphard Black was still with him and, two, to check if the wolf was still following them. Eventually, when Harry looked over his shoulder, it was to empty woods. He and Alphard slowed to a jog, then a walk.

"Did we lose it?" Alphard asked, words almost lost by panting breaths.

"For now," Harry said transforming back to human, and then looked around. They had ended up at a large and clear lake, the surface of which was smooth as glass. Alphard, too, looked around.

"This place," Alphard said, between gasps, "It seems familiar."

"Er, yes," Harry said, "We've been here before."

"Have we?"

"Yeah, there were fairies and vampires and kidnapping and Morgan was sort of the ring leader and they wanted to sacrifice you…" Harry trailed off, and waved a hand, "You know what, it's not that important. Remind me to tell you about it –"

Alphard shushed him, and turned to stare at the trees. "What?" Harry asked, "Did you hear –"

Alphard pushed Harry forward and started running again. Not needing to be told twice, Harry pulled his wand out and bolted after Alphard, hearing the wolf bark angrily and charge after them once again. The two teens could hear the wolf plummeting through the bushes behind them as it took chase.

"How long is this going to last? We've been chased by Darlene for practically half an hour now?!" Alphard yelled out.

"My guess is until we make it to the border line to the next course." Harry yelled back.

"Black behind you!" the voice snapped angrily as an arrow shot past Alphard, nicking in his ear, the gold blur of the arrow shooting at Darlene the wolf; but she dodged out of the way just in time.

Harry was turning to see what was happening when he was blasted from behind knocking him across the clearing, and into a tree. Jarring his head hard, Harry blacked out.

"Alphard we need to get him to the medics," that was Nixie. Harry felt himself being pulled tightly against something solid.

Someone was calling his name, cool hands patting at his face, his arms. Harry squinted, a searing white light piercing the blackness. There was a distant throbbing behind his eyes, the beginnings of what felt like one hell of a headache, and there was a sickly sweet taste in the back of his throat that he couldn't place.

"...arry...Harry!"

"Harry, open your eyes, mate, you're freaking me out," Alphard's voice said, loud and clear.

"Can somebody please get me down from here dammit!"

Harry decided he needed to wake up as he called out, "I'm fine, just rattled my head a bit."

Strong fingers slowly started messaging Harry's temples. "You okay, Harry?"

"Pay attention Harry, you're going to get yourself hurt worse next time!" Nixie Conway said sighing then glared upwards at the hovering wolf now transforming back to Darlene.

"That's cheating Conway! You're not supposed to help your rival!" Darlene was dangling upside down with a rope around her ankle.

"The border line is this way, everybody is practically already there," Nixie said to Harry as she latched her bow and arrow around her back. "I was getting worried when you hadn't showed up yet."

"I was here with him, Nixie." Alphard said scowling at the girl.

"Yes and I had to help you take out the miniature sized wolf. Some help you were, you were supposed to protect Harry."

"Nixie-" Harry said moving to try and get out of Alphard's arms.

"Get me down-!"

"Shut up, Darlene!" Nixie yelled up at her.

"Al, I'm fine, please let me up."

"Let him up, Black. You're treating him like a baby. We're wasting time here as it is." Nixie said as she pulled out her wand to loosen the rope on Darlene's ankle.

"You're a totally different person here Nixie than when you're at Hogwarts, did you know that?" Harry asked her as he watched Darlene transform to a wolf mid fall next to him and Alphard.

Nixie was dressed like she meant business. She wore a black jacket with a single yellow stripe on the chest on top of a white undershirt; long dark brown pants, tucked over black, knee high boots with silver accents. She had her bow and arrows strapped behind her back and she wore black fingerless gloves.

"This isn't a game, Harry. We take these battles seriously. Anybody can get hurt and everybody here plays dirty. You and Black need to get better at this or maybe just stop teaming up with each other all the time. Either way, you two are going to get kicked out for being last to arrive every single time." Nixie walked away before either boys could get a word in.

Darlene howled and ran past Nixie to the next obstacle course.

"Did we just get reprimand by Nixie Conway? Huffelpuff Nixie Conway?" Alphard asked Harry looking both shocked and annoyed at the same time.

"I guess we better prove to her and the other students that we are just as good as them if their standard of us is pretty low."

"I agree." Alphard said walking with Harry to their next task.

Magic School Academy for Elite Potentials was a very demanding school. You had to be the best at what you do and there was no time for imperfection or terrible conduct. Today the principal was making cuts on whom he thought should stay at the school and who shouldn't. Whom was making progress and who wasn't.

"Alright, the rules are simple, whoever gets to the top and retrieves the ring is crowned champion. Is that clear? Simple enough for your adolescent hormonal brains, isn't it?"

The students whom were participating were circled around a big, tall obstacle tower.

"No killing or maiming-sadly, that hasn't changed." The defense Professor Gary Miller sighed as he aimed his wand into the sky. "Ready? Go!" he shot his wand up making it blast out a big bang noise, and immediately, everyone started sprinting to the tower and shrouding it-people pushing each other, stepping on each other; it was a real mess.

"Come on, Black! I know I've got this in the bag- but you at least have to put in an effort- don't be so pathetic!"

"Al!" Harry shouted at his boyfriend.

Alphard Black had been so lost in his thoughts, that he hadn't even headed onto the tower- and his antagonist, Nixie Conway, was already halfway up the tower, Harry Potter in toe.

Alphard headed to the tower, quickly climbing up, getting closer to Harry and Nixie.

"Bout time you caught up." Harry said as they both were climbing side by side on the odd sort of rock wall with what looked like metal rods. "She's just on the other side." Harry said, he was talking about Nixie.

"Well," Alphard replied with a smirk, "guess we gotta get to the top before she does."

"As if!" Nixie scoffed on the other side of the rock wall, "Not even in your dreams could you beat me, Black."

"Oh yeah?" Alphard countered, "We'll see about that."

With all his strength, Alphard pushed one of the metal rods and heard Nixie make a noise- a surprised, angry one. Alphard had gotten her.

"Lose your balance, Nixie?" Harry laughed, starting to climb with Alphard.

"You'll pay for that, Alphard." Nixie threatened.

"Oh, wow, so quick to judge- for all you know, that could have been Harry!"

Nixie pushed the rod back to Alphard, causing him to lose his grip on it, hanging onto a rod with one hand.

"Yeah," she said, "pretty sure it wasn't Harry." Nixie started to climb again, getting farther up. "See you at my victory party!" Nixie laughed.

Harry offered his hand to Alphard, yanking him up.

"I never knew that Nixie was so competitive, I think I might actually like her. Don't tell her that though!"

"Your secret is safe with me." Harry sighed as the both of them started to climb up.

"I'm not going to let her win, she plays dirty and that's no way to play at all!" Alphard growled out.

Nixie was getting closer and closer to the top.

"Out of my way, Andrew!" Nixie shoved a guy off the tower, he screamed, and grabbed onto the first thing he could, but his grip wasn't tight enough, his shoe had gotten caught into a net, and a big spinning machine whirled him back and forth as his head and torso dragged against the dirt.

"Help me!" he pleaded. "Please!" He just kept spinning and spinning.

"I'll get him- you go after Nixie, don't worry." Harry nudge Alphard, before he could respond and did a back flip off the tower and slid down to the boy named Andrew, trying to assist him.

Alphard went after Nixie, he went as fast as he could, his heart was pounding, adrenaline pumping, but then, the music stopped, and a horn sounded. The crowd was cheering something. It took a minute to figure it out, they were chanting Nixie's name, she had gotten the ring.

"Bloody hell! Damn it!" Alphard punched the wall.

Alphard knew that Nixie wasn't going to let him hear the end of it.

"It's girls like her why darkness was created," Alphard said as he climbed down from the obstacle tower and jumped down at the last block next to Harry.

Harry gave Alphard a mocking smile as he wrapped his arm around Alphard's shoulders.

Alphard Black's outstanding traits is his adversarial relationship with Harry, whom he is loyal to. Alphard had gotten taller than Harry by two inches. His hair was brown and clean shaven and his eyes were a silvery gray. Alphard was good-looking in an elegant, casual way.

Alphard likes to think he can handle everything, but when he can't, he is not above asking for help. He is a practical joker, a tiny bit egotistic, kind, and compassionate, vastly different from his sister Walburga Black whom he doesn't have a good relationship with. Alphard Black definitely had a rebellious or brave bone in himself.

"Don't be offended by Nixie, she doesn't mean anything by it. Otherwise she would be a Slytherin like us instead of a Huffelpuff."

"We have to get better sleep next time. Crime-fighting is no fun without sleep."

"Oh is that what we're doing? Crime-fighting?" Harry teased.

"Well preparation for the real world."

"Today is my lucky day." Nixie said coming up to Harry and Alphard.

"Why? Did you look at yourself in the mirror and it didn't break?" Alphard asked with a smirk.

Nixie Conway is actually a very competent fighter, so her bragging is not entirely baseless. She can climb very well with no problems. Nixie has great balance with no problems, her agility is great, and her reflex is great dodging outcast fighting.

Nixie was also half water faerie. Water faeries are associated with the magical element of water. In general, Water Faeries are mermaid-like beings that have blue eyes and blond hair. Unlike the other faeries, water faeries have no wings and, as such, cannot fly.

Nixie though, was half water faerie, so her powers are limited. She can control water and Nixie can breathe underwater and if she gets hurt water can heal any wounds that she has.

"You have no idea how to stop talking, do you?" Nixie said scowling at Alphard.

"As if you do," Alphard replied back cheekily.

"At each others throats again I see."

Harry looked up and smiled at his godfather, Julius Bellamy as he came up to them.

Julius Bellamy was six foot, muscular with eden green eyes and clean retro black hair. Julius is a sweet and humble man. He's a sensitive guy according to his wife Nadia Bellamy and step daughter Nixie Conway.

His real name was Sirius Sr. Black, but Julius changed his name once he lost his family and was turned into a vampire and was ridiculed and accused of murdering his own family. It was all untrue of course, but Julius didn't want to remember his past life as it would seem.

Julius was strong. He was a fighter. A warrior. Nothing could stop Julius once he goes after something. But he was also kind, absurdly intelligent, loyal and… a wonderful person.

For a couple of years now, for Harry, Julius has been acting as an second father figure, which Harry doesn't mind in the least. Harry didn't know who worried about him more, Julius or Boniface.

Julius swatted at a bug in front of his face. "I hate the great outdoors," Julius muttered sourly. "Three hours of watching you brats train and I'm tired, sore, and now the mosquitoes have discovered me. The things I do for you misfits." He slapped another one. "Damn things."

"It's just a mosquito, Julius." Nixie said.

"They're little bloodsuckers, draining me one drop at a time."

Harry rolled his eyes. "It's one bug!"

Julius responded gruffly, "And if a swarm came at me, they'd suck me dry."

"Ooo... vampire mosquitoes!" Alphard said grinning.

"Honestly, I'm glad this is over with, I need a shower." Harry replied sighing in relief. "Julius can you heal me before I go home? My parents will have a fit-"

"Tom will have a tantrum-" Alphard cut it.

"if they see me like this." Harry finished.

Harry found mostly minor injuries between himself and Alphard; a sprained ankle, nasty gravel rash in a few places and a couple of small cuts, not to mention, bruises everywhere, turning their skin a deeply mottled palette of greens, blues, blacks and yellows. Attractive.

These training courses were brutal.

"Yeah, no problem. I don't like getting yelled at your parents and I don't like getting yelled at by a over protective, enraged fourteen year old either."

"You noticed that to?" Alphard asked. "It's like Tom thinks Harry is his son or something, right?"

"I'm not the empath, I wouldn't know," Julius said dryly, "but in any case, it would be wise not to anger someone that can make your life a living hell. Especially if their property got damaged."

"Well, that's not exactly how I'd put it..."

"Are we done here?" Harry asked exasperated.


"Tom?" Valerie came walking into the kitchen and looking over Tom's shoulder.

"Yes?"

"You've been awful quiet, Thomas." Valerie Potter looked at her son with her hazel eyes. She tilted her head, causing her dark, silky hair to spill from over her shoulder.

"Is something wrong?"

"Wrong? Uh, no. I'm thinking about an assignment I got at school."

"Anything I can help with?"

"No. I'm supposed to write a story using people I know as fictional characters."

"Really? That sounds fascinating!"

"Not so far. Everything I write comes out bad. I have no story."

"What are the other students writing?"

"They're not. This is an extra assignment just for me."

"Oh!"

"A punishment for being smart."

"Now come on Tom. I'm sure you'll do a great job if you just put your mind to it."

"You are very, very wrong."

"Hey Tommy." Harry walked straight to the refrigerator in a white cotton shirt and sweatpants. He looked like he just came out of the shower, which he most likely did.

"Harry go sit at the table, I'll fix you boys some cheese sandwiches and tomato soup."

"Thanks, mum! Hey, Tom, are you still working on that assignment?"

"It turns out that my life up to now has been a sham. I can't write. I can't produce a simple story."

"Wow, Tom. I never figured you for a lack of imagination."

"I have imagination. I can come up with all sorts of ideas. But none of them feels true."

"Well, what's your definition of true?"

Tom sighed. "Something that says something."

"What? Anything?"

"No, something about something."

Harry raised an eyebrow. "Let me get this straight. You're telling me you want to write something, not just anything, that says something about something?"

"Yes."

"Blimey. Who'd ever believe you'd had trouble communicating?"

"Why the frown, son?" Boniface came into the kitchen and made himself a cup of water. "What's wrong?"

"Oh, Tom is having a hard to time writing his assignment." Valerie said tasting her pot of tomato soup.

"It's this idea of using people I know as characters. I think I might be better off with a bunch of characters I just made up."

Boniface hummed in thought. "But that's the challenge of the fiction writer, Tom, to take what we learn in real life and turn it into something that not really real, but has a real life all its own."

"Well, that sounds great in theory. I think. But I can't figure out what my characters should be doing."

"Okay. That's not a problem. Alter the assignment slightly. It should include an activity of some kind. Let's see, a forest fire? No, that could end in tragedy. I know! A game of cards!"

"A game of cards?"

Boniface smiled, "Sure! And it can be any card game you want."

Tom rolled his eyes. "Well, thanks, father. That will really help."

"Sarcasm duly noted, son."

"Maybe you're trying too hard. Maybe you don't have to write something meaningful, just something honest." Valerie said placing two bowls of soup next to Harry and Tom.

"I can do honest. I look around me. I describe what I see."

"How about describing what you'd like to see? Honestly?"

Tom frowned at his mother. "What do you mean?"

"Tom, the easiest thing in the world for you is being honest about what you observe."

"And..."

Valerie place the toasted cheese sandwiches in the middle of the table. "What's hard for you is being honest about your wishes, about the way you think things should be, not the way they are. You gloss over it with a cynical joke and nobody finds out what you really believe in."

"Aha. So my evil plan is working."

"If you really want to be honest, be truthful about what you'd like to happen. There's a challenge!"

"When did you learn so much about me?" Tom asked with his head tilted to the side as if he was actually trying to figure his mother out.

"It's a funny thing Tom, you help raise a kid for about four years and you just get an urge to keep tabs on them."

Charlus came storming into the kitchen and plopped down in his chair next to Harry and covered his face with both his hands.

"So what brings you here, Char? Shouldn't you be with your princess? The slightly tall, moody one?" Harry teased.

Charlus just groaned out loud in response.

Charlus Potter is a fun, easy-going teenager. He's laid back and casual about almost everything-except, of course, on the issue of his two adopted brothers safety and well-being.

He doesn't take too many things seriously. Charlus is very family-oriented, and was raised to respect family, friends, and community. He is extremely loyal. Especially to his family and friends. Charlus is very cheerful and optimistic which annoys his brother Tom to no end.

Charlus is obsessed with Quidditch and his girlfriend Dorea Black.

And, of course, Charlus had grown so far to an handsome young man. For this reason, he can be sort of cocky. But he just so happens to be very sincere as well, which balances out any ego-bloating on his part.

"So your time with Dorea went that well huh?" Boniface asked as he sat at the table with his sons.

"I just figured out why Dorea didn't tell her parents about me. If our relationship doesn't work out, she'll have to spend the rest of her life listening to her parents ask, 'Whatever happened to that guy who had it all? You know, Charlus Potter?'"

"Well, why didn't Dorea tell her parents about you before you started dating?" Tom asked.

"Clearly she was inebriated by the Potter magic from the start."

Boniface snorted while drinking his water. "Even I didn't go for that one!"

"Hey Charlus, why do you treat this thing with you and Dorea like it's a game you have to win? What if she's the one?" Harry asked Charlus frowning.

"I don't know, Harry. Is she?" Charlus asked sarcastically.

"Charlus!" Dorea came storming into the kitchen, barely two minutes after Charlus did. It surprised Harry to see Dorea in their house. He usually didn't see Dorea during the summers unless it was his birthday and that wasn't until next week.

Dorea's arms were tightly crossed against her chest, and eyes narrowed as she gazed down at her boyfriend. She was angry. It felt like the air always heated up around Dorea when she felt a lot of anger.

"I don't want to talk to you!" Charlus said scowling, not at all threatened by Dorea. He's had a lot of experience with her anger anyway to be detoured by it.

"Oh how mature-!"

"Why didn't you tell your parents about me? They think I'm your little friend?!" Charlus said standing up out of his chair.

"Dorea!" Valerie exclaimed as she reached out towards Charlus girlfriend, drawing Dorea against her so she could kiss her cheeks.

"Look at you! You are so beautiful you take my breath away! I have no breath!"

"Uh, thanks?" Dorea muttered blushing. Dorea's sandy blonde hair had three dimensional braids starting at the side of her hair, flowing down to her shoulder.

Dorea Black is rather short tempered (something which Alphard Black points out frequently) and often hits people who have angered her in some way. However, she can be very kind and compassionate on many occasions and has shown to have a lighter side.

Today Dorea had stormed into the kitchen wearing in a beautiful Isabella thistle lace dress. The dress looked way to mature and sophisticated for Dorea's age. Though Dorea was always trying to act and talk older than she actually was.

The color of the lace is a metallic grey or green, almost a teal, the contrast under dress is a warm stone with a hint of purple. There is a matching teal green taffeta belt around the waist and the dress went to her knees.

"Okay you two, please sit down. Charlus, Dorea, I'm sure you're both hungry. I just made some grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup." Valerie said going back to the stove to pour some tomato soup in a couple of bowls.

Dorea went and sat beside Charlus. "Charlus, I don't want you to think that I didn't tell my parents about us because I'm ashamed. I need my friends and my boyfriend with me when I tell them, especially my Mum. She doesn't usually fake a heart attack when there's company."

Harry laughed.

"Your mother fakes a heart attack?" Tom asked frowning.

"When a person has three heart attacks, they're dead. My mum has had fifteen."

"That still doesn't make it right."

"Oh, give it up, Charlus," Dorea said, grabbing Charlus hand. "Can you just, for once in your life, let it go?"

"What do you think I should do instead?"

"Let me worry about it. My parents will probably not even notice you soon enough if we're lucky."

"This isn't something you should joke about."

"It's how I cope. That and avoidance."

"Dorea-"

"It's not you," Dorea told Charlus, "Wait, I'm sorry. I just realized who I'm taking advice from."

"I'm not that bad at relationships."

"We've broken up more times then I can count, Charlus." Dorea said sighing.

"Yeah but we never actually mean it."

"Harry, son why are you eating so fast?" Boniface asked.

"I have to get properly dressed and meet up with Abraxas in ten minutes."

"Why?" Tom asked.

"He's teaching me how to use a sword."

"Why?" Tom asked again frowning.

Harry rolled his eyes. "I want to learn how to use a sword, Tom."

"When are you going to be using a sword in your life? Wizards use wands, not swords."

"I like my varieties, doesn't hurt. Besides, it's a bonding moment between cousins."

Tom's only response was to continue frowning at Harry.

Valerie came and levitated bowls of soup to Charlus, Dorea, and her husband. She also placed a plate full of toasted cheese sandwiches in the center of the table.

"Do you want to join me?" Harry asked with a raised eyebrow.

"No thank you, I have other obligations that I need to tend to."

"Of course." Harry said smiling as he stood up. "Thanks for lunch, mum." Harry said bring his dishes to the kitchen sink.

"Have fun with Abraxas, honey." Valerie said.

"Later, Charlus, bye Dorea," Harry gave her a kiss on the cheek as he passed by, "bye dad!"

"Be careful, Harry." Boniface replied back.

"No promises!"

Boniface smiled and shook his head negatively as he grabbed a toasted cheese sandwich.

"Are you happy being with me?" Charlus asked Dorea.

Tom sighed out loud and got up from the table, taking his dishes to the kitchen sink where his mother was currently washing Harry's.

Dorea looked back at Charlus frowning once more, "Why are you asking?"

"I just want to know."

"I'm going to the library." Tom said to nobody in particular as he left out the kitchen.

"Yes, I am happy," Dorea took Charlus hand in her own once more, looking at it and giving it a reassuring squeeze. "I never expected things to turn out this way, but I'm glad it did. What about you?"

"I detest it."

Dorea glared at Charlus as she let go of his hand, but her features softened as she saw Charlus smile.

"I jest, luv. I am sickeningly happy," he pressed a playful kiss to Dorea's nose.


"Harry, Harry stop, you're doing it wrong!"

"What am I doing wrong now?!" Harry whined while not changing his position in the slightest. His arms still held his sword like he would hold a baseball bat.

Abraxas let out a breath and stuck his blade into the deck. For days now Abraxas had been trying to teach Harry how to handle a sword and it was becoming increasingly clear that Harry's hands were only meant for a wand.

"You can't just rush at me all the time with your sword up in the air like a barbarian swinging a club. You have to at least attempt to protect your middle or one of these days, cousin, someone is going to gut you. It's stupid and predictable."

"But I'm going on the offensive. I'm not just gonna wait for you to attack me."

"Fine…fine. Come at me just as you are now."

There was a moment's pause before Harry ran forward. Abraxas picked up his sword and, at the last second, he side stepped quite easily and tapped his blade against Harry's torso. They both stood still.

"You, dear cousin, are dead." Abraxas said sighing.

Letting out a small sigh, Harry lowered his arms. "Alright, what should I do then?"

"You should wait." Abraxas told him, "Whether you like it or not Harry, you lack skill. Stay on the defensive and use it to you advantage. Now, assume the position."

With a roll of his eyes, Harry moved toward the other end of the field, where a cherry blossom tree was blooming.

They had been practicing on Abraxas Malfoy's new home and property for days now and Harry was still making very little progress. Now that Abraxas had graduated from Hogwarts he was training to work in the ministry. Abraxas had moved out of his parents house and married his wife Venus. Harry, just finding an excuse really to spend quality time with Abraxas since he was no longer going to be attending Hogwarts, asked his cousin to teach him how to sword fight knowing that it was Abraxas best skill he learned in Magic Academy in America.

For whatever reason, Abraxas had gladly accepted Harry's request. And here they were, a few days later, both covered in bruises and making absolutely no progress with anything other than their mounting level of frustration.

The fact that this was a huge mistake was not lost on Harry.

Snapping out of his reverie, Harry turned to face Abraxas, who had his sword already raised. Harry tried his best to match his stance, but he could tell from the look on Abraxas face that he was messing something up.

"Seriously? Come on, I can't be that bad." Harry practically pouted.

All Abraxas did was give Harry a look that pretty much said; yes…yes you are that bad.

"Don't trouble yourself, we can't all be me." Abraxas hesitated then before sheathing his weapon and walking toward Harry. Harry watched as he moved to stand behind him.

"What are you doing?" Harry asked confused.

"Shut up and face forward." Harry didn't hesitate, turning from Abraxas he kept his eyes forward. "Now, you're playing defense remember?"

Harry nodded, his eyes still forward.

"I'm obviously going to attack your left," his hand was on Harry's waist; he turned Harry slightly so that Harry's right leg was forward.

"Watch your opponent, I lead with my right so you must protect your left side. Try keeping the amount of space you occupy as small as possible. The less of you facing forward, the smaller the target." His hand glided down Harry's arm, keeping it fluid, covering Harry's hand at the hilt of his sword.

"Don't be so stiff, but don't loosen your grip entirely. You've dropped the sword one too many times. These swords aren't meant to be swung, they are meant for thrusting. You are going to feel it all the way through your arm when they connect, be ready for it."

Harry corrected his stance and just like that Abraxas was back in front of his. "Got it?" he asked, his voice sounding exasperated.

"Let's just go already so I can fail again." Harry said rolling his eyes.

"You're bringing me down, Harry. Okay, go!" he shouted, bringing his sword up with a grin.

Expecting Abraxas to come at him as soon as he raised his sword, Harry flinched when Abraxas feigned to the right. Abraxas seized the perfect moment to come at Harry's left and Harry was completely caught off guard. Just as he was about to pull his blow, Harry blocked. The metal clashed together, sending vibrations up Harry's arm. If Abraxas had done what he said he was going to do, Harry would've been saved a jolt of pain.

Gritting his teeth, Harry pressed forward against him, "You said you were going to attack my left!"

Abraxas smirked, typical. "And that I did, but you can't expect me to give away all my secrets."

"You cheated!" Harry snapped while aiming a kick at his shins. Unfortunately, Abraxas was able to dance just out of reach.

"Don't be a sore loser, that's not attractive."

Harry almost laughed as he held his position; Harry was not going to be taken off guard again.

Abraxas was coming toward him once more and he struck out with a step frontward, which Harry matched with two steps back, keeping his body out of his range.

"Good!" Abraxas shouted, an odd showing of pride, "You're paying attention."

Taking a step and a chance, Harry thrust forward, twisting his blade around Abraxas.

"Fast learner." Harry replied as he took a step back, batting his sword away. Then Harry spun and swung his sword overhead.

Abraxas was ready for Harry. Their blades connected high; their bodies almost touching.

"Why," Harry questioned, pushing forward, "did you decide to learn swordsmanship?"

Reaching up, Abraxas caught Harry's wrist and brought it and Harry's sword between them, "Trust me, there are better ways to have fun, but this gives me a thrill I've never experienced before."

Harry laughed as he tried to free his wrist, "Yeah, if I wasn't so horrible at this, I think I'd enjoy it to."

"Some people are born with a sword, some aren't."

"I'm pretty sure you're remembering that wrong. As I recall, we were both born with a wand." commented Harry after he was finally able to untangle himself from Abraxas grip. Harry took a second to collect himself before raising his sword again.

Abraxas grinned while doing the same.

"Are we really going to continue with this?"

"I came here to learn how to use a sword and you, Abraxas, are going to teach me." Harry grinned back.

"As you wish," Abraxas grinned even wider before coming at Harry again.

Abraxas thrust his sword to Harry's left and Harry attempted to bat it away, but ultimately failed as Abraxas was able to twist Harry's sword out of his grasp and knock Harry to the ground.

Harry sighed in defeat.

"Do you want to try again?" Of course, Abraxas hadn't even broken a sweat.

Harry flipped Abraxas off.

Abraxas laughed and helped Harry back to his feet. "You're a stubborn jackass and I hope you know that."

"I could have totally beaten you, Brax." Harry replied picking up his fallen sword and sheathing it.

"If you've actually heard me and watched me show you the instructions on swordsmanship, why don't you try following them, Harry?"

Harry waved a hand dismissively. "That's all very well and good in the light of a 20/20 retrospective, but in the heat of actual battle, there isn't time. I do what needs to be done. End of story."

Harry couldn't count the number of times he had been told that 'his impulses would get him into trouble one day.' Truth be told, they had already gotten him into trouble countless times over the years.

Abraxas sighed and guided Harry forward to his house. "Let's get some food in you and you can tell me how you're doing at the Academy."

"I take it you guys did your own shopping?" Harry snorted, eying the pitiful contents of the fridge; he had seen more food in dorm rooms. "I think there are people dumpster-dive who eat better."

Harry settles onto the kitchen counter, cross –legged.

Abraxas raises his eyebrows at the posture.

Venus on the other hand, glared at him, clearly unimpressed by Harry's candor. She picked up a loaf of bread and started pulling out slices, setting them on plates. "We have to be careful here, Harrison. We can't run around buying five hundred dollars' worth of muggle money in groceries in one go," Venus said, opening a jar mayonnaise.

"And if you don't like it, you can go get the groceries next time." Abraxas added.

"Right," Harry said, leaning his hip against the table. "Point me at the store and I'll take care of it."

"You can't flash a lot of cash around here, around muggles," Venus grumbled, looking up from her sandwiches.

"This is a small town, Harry – they don't get a lot of people here aside from tourists, and the ones who come here are the poor ones. Besides, with the war and everything, food is kind of scarce." Abraxas sighed.

"Why are you living here? I thought Malfoys lived luxuriously. Do your parents know where you live?"

"Don't be silly," Venus said, thinly distributing ham onto each sandwich. "This is only temporary. We don't need expensive food right now, Harry."

"You're a bit of a miser, did you know that?" Harry asked, rolling his eyes.

"And you're a bit of a whiny brat," Venus said, smiling over his shoulder. "Did you know that?"

"I did know that," Harry said, with a shrug. "But what can you do?"

"I'm sure you'll figure something out," Venus said.

She turned back to her sandwiches and finished them off with a wafer of cheese, lettuce and tomato. The first plate, naturally, went to Abraxas – not that Harry was complaining.

"My parents don't know where I live. I don't want them to. Not right now anyway. They think I'm vacationing somewhere in Australia."

Venus handed Harry a plate and then started eating her own sandwich, her eyes trained on Abraxas the entire time. Young love Harry supposed as he watched the two giving each other sappy love eyes. Harry jumped off the counter and sat next to Abraxas.

"About the food, you guys know I wasn't being serious there, right?"

"Of course, Harry. Your wit is always as sharp as ever." Abraxas replied back.

Harry rolled his eyes and continued to eat his food.

The three of them ate in a comfortable silence while Harry tried to find the words to best say what he was thinking.

He was saved from that when Abraxas poked him in the arm with his fork, "Something on your mind?"

"What are you, in High school?" Harry murmurs, pushing Abraxas fork away.

To Harry's surprise, Abraxas actually understood what Harry meant, when he says, "Just trying to match your maturity level."

It makes Harry laugh. Or at least want to; but he really did have something on his mind that he wanted to speak on.

"Can I ask you a weird question?"

"Do you have any other kind?" Abraxas counters, still smiling.

"Did you tell Venus about my birth parents?"

Abraxas looked over at Venus whom looked down at her hands nervously.

"Yes... she needed to understand about the bond-"

"Do you remember a girl named Ambrosia? Or Rosemarie? Mikayela and Leo Nelson?" Harry interrupted, not in the least bit perturbed about Venus knowing about him.

"No I don't, but they seem to mean something to you?"

Harry sighed out loud. "I was afraid you'd say that."

"Which part? About not remembering? Or that they mean something to you?"

"Both actually."

"What's wrong Harry?" By some miracle, this is the thing that Abraxas takes seriously.

"Nobody remembers who they are and my brothers and I practically spent the who summer being ignored by them, well Mikayela liked me, and I guess Rosemarie liked Charlus, well Ambrosia, Rosemarie, Mikayela, and Leo liked my brothers, but didn't like me-"

"Slow down, Harry. What are you talking about?"

"They were from the future! I can't believe you don't remember them! They were my future cousins, sibling, relatives, whatever-"

"I would have remembered something like that-"

"But you don't and I do! Nobody remembers and I didn't make them up! Charlus, nor Tom, nor Al-"

"Harry, time is an inconstant thing. My guess is that your progress here is changing how things fair out in the future."

"So I killed my future family? They're not going to exist?"

"Or you did something where there was no need for them to come in this time era in the first place." Venus added.

"I tried to put my memories in a pensive to prove to my brothers that I wasn't crazy, but they couldn't see what I could see! It's ridiculous-"

"Harry," Abraxas says, "It might be better to leave things as they are."

Harry scoffs. "Too late for that," he says under his breath.

"Perhaps," Venus says, because of course she heard that, "But the past and the future is not something you should keep tampering with. Eventually it won't be able to take the strain and it'll break."

Harry sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. Today was not going well.

"I heard that Magic School Academy is going to be participating for the Triwizard Tournament that's going to happen at Hogwarts."

Harry eyes widen. "That's going on this year?!"

"It was supposed to be a surprise, Venus." Abraxas chastised his wife.

"You and I both know that his godfather was bound to tell him." Venus defended herself.

"Yes, well, I suppose that's why the academy is working you guys so hard this summer. Trying to toughen you up and find the best champion to represent them."

"Well, that's not going to involve me or my brothers, we aren't old enough to participate and we only go to the academy during the summers. We don't count anyway. We're Hogwarts students."

"The Tournament has been renowned for being extremely dangerous: champions have died while competing, and so it was discontinued after 1792. But one of the ministry officials, Harold Potter being one of the main voters, thought it'd be a good idea to try to reunite all the popular schools together.

I think it has something to do with showing Gellert Grindelwald that we are united and that we as a whole community can take him on. I don't know, don't quote me on that. The Tournament is revived with restrictions in place in an attempt to stop any potential deaths. One of these restrictions is that all applicants have to be of the Wizarding Age of Majority (which is 14) or else they would not be allowed to apply to be champion."

"Fourteen is the age majority? It was seventeen in the future. Why do I get the feeling that Harold has a great deal to do with the age requirement?" Harry asked smirking.

Abraxas smiled knowingly and shrugged. "The schools whom are going to be participating is Magic School Academy of Elite Potentials, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Durmstrang Institute, Salem Witches' Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic."

"Sounds like it's going to be an interesting school year. Though this time around, I would like not to be forced to participate."

"No?"

"I got my fair share of that drama and I would never like to have that repeated."

"Your great grandfather will be disappointed."

Harry shrugged his shoulders. "If he knew what I went through, I know he'd understand. Anyway, I think it's about time that I go home."

"Thanks for visiting," Abraxas said to Harry as they walked towards his fireplace.

"Thanks for letting me visit. I like your house. I think I understand why you chose to move in a quiet private land away from everybody. It's pretty peaceful."

"You're —" Abraxas stopped himself. Then began again. "When I said 'you're welcome to visit anytime' I meant that. I mean, I literally meant that. You're welcome to stay over whenever you need. Venus even made you your own room here. We... erm... we do consider you a part of our family, a son. This is really awkward."

Harry smiled, a trace of surprise in his eyes. "Thank you. I appreciate that."

Abraxas nodded and Harry laughed and hugged Abraxas one more time. Harry could tell Abraxas wasn't really an emotional kind of guy but deep down there was still things; there was love, there was care and there was peace. He wasn't such a bad guy and after all these years he's been the best friend and cousin Harry could even ask for.


Next Morning, Saturday

Harry woke up to the sound of Tom's voice through his shared link with his brother. A command for him to wake up and join him in the kitchen. It didn't sound urgent at all.

It was 5:25 am. Only two more hours till he had to go to summer school. He only had one class to go to, so that wasn't to bad and it was a class he really liked.

Groaning, Harry turned on the lamp beside him, scrambled out of bed, crossed the room, opened his wardrobe, and peered into the mirror on the inside of the door. A skinny, slightly muscled boy of fourteen looked back at him, his bright green eyes sleep glazed under his untidy black hair. Harry had let his hair grow longer, medium length; more to just annoy Tom really, he hated seeing Harry with long untidy hair.

Harry put on his school uniform from his wardrobe and then ventured out of his room into the rest of the house. Tom didn't have to go to school today, neither did Charlus.

"Tom?" Harry found him in the kitchen. "Are you… are you making breakfast?"

"You like bacon and eggs, right?"

"Yeah, I do, but —"

"I wanted to try my own cooking, so I made enough for two. Come and sit down, they're almost ready. I was about to come wake you."

"You know how to cook," was all Harry had left to say.

"Yeah. Why not?" Tom shrugged.

Thomas Potter was extremely ambitious and dedicated to his goals, which was apparently to become the next Minister for Magic. All Tom's piers thought that Tom came off as seeming arrogant or pompous since he constantly tried to look and sound dignified. Much like Dorea Black. A lot of Tom's piers thought for sure that Tom would get along better with Dorea Black as his girlfriend than of Minerva McGonagall; they thought that Charlus and Tom should switch girlfriends.

People who were closer to Tom, mostly his family and close friends, knew that Tom was all about family and loyalty. The very thought of Dorea Black being a possible girlfriend made Tom frown in annoyance. In honestly he didn't understand Charlus relationship with Dorea Black, but he would never ever consider being in a relationship with her. He had a very low tolerance level with dealing with a girl that was just as angry and moody as himself. No doubt Minerva got angry once in a while, but it was always with cause.

It can be deduced that Tom, at the very least, is capable of love and fondness. Tom's black hair was always neat and tidy, and his eyes were a bright blue. He had gotten exceptionally taller, the same height as his brother Charlus. Harry was the shortest among the brothers.

Tom brings the plates as he sinks down onto the kitchen chair to Harry's right. He's made eggs over-easy, bacon, and toast. Though the thing that really gets Harry grinning like a fool is that one of the toast has no crust. Which is kind of funny, because that's not the one that Tom sets in front of him.

"That's messed up."

Tom glances over at Harry. "You say something?"

"Don't play, prat," Harry says. "You know you made that plate for me."

"What? You think just because it doesn't have any crust on it that I made it special for you?"

Harry's answer is a pointed look. "That's sweet and everything, but stop playing; I'm hungry and patience isn't my strongest virtue by a mile."

Luckily, Tom doesn't hold out on him long. "Yeah, alright. Take your breakfast prat." Harry switches his plate with Tom.

"Why did you make breakfast for just us?"

Tom huffed. "Ok, are you just being a ungrateful prat, or are you actually interested in having this conversation?"

A little caught off guard by the vehemence in Tom's voice, Harry could only raise an eyebrow. "Something you want to tell me?"

Put on the defensive, Tom shrugged. "Don't know, something in particular you don't want to hear?"

"Hey, hey." Harry leaned over the kitchen table and put a hand on Tom's arm. "Didn't mean to anger you."

"I'm sorry. I'm not... very kind in the mornings most of the time. Charlus usually ignores my attitude with enthusiasm and it can be quite annoying. Sometimes it's hard for me to be kind when really I just want to hit something or yell."

"Kindness will come to you, as it comes to us all." Harry muttered.

"You a philosopher now?" Tom asks, just as quietly as Harry, but he's smiling.

"I just mean to say that you can be defined by your actions. Everybody needs to yell or hit something once in awhile. Nobody is perfect, but I just hope you know that, you don't have to... hide that part of you that needs to let loose. It can be healthy sometimes as long as you don't... you know, hurt innocent people."

"Very... settle, brother."

Tom has been working through the years on identifying the things that triggers the appearance of his more dangerous side of his heritage and trying to eliminate, or control it, at least. The most obvious causes - his anger, extreme fear, even threats to his safety – he has gotten a grip on, with varying degrees of success.

Harry looked down in embarrassment. "You know what I mean."

"Yes... I do."

"What's that look for?" Harry knows that look. Tom's thinking, and he's not happy about what he's thinking about.

"You."

"Whoa, there, don't overload me with details," Harry says dryly. "Seriously, what's the deal? If you're worried about me, don't be. I'm fine. And if you're angry at me, don't be that either."

"I'm not mad at you."

"Which means...you're the other thing?"

"I'm always the other thing."

In Harry's opinion, right now, Tom pretty much has the Riddle side of him under control, ninety-nine percent of the time.

"Right. So, when did you learn how to cook?"

A subject change Tom will obviously notice. That's not even from left field; it's straight from freaking Mars.

Tom sighed and rolled his eyes. "I'm very observant when our parents cook us meals."

"Right erm...So," Harry starts, and he's surprised at how he's suddenly anxious and nervous, and he doesn't know what to do with it as he tries to make sure that Tom doesn't continue the other subject, "would this count as our first date?"

Harry feels as much as hears the low rumble of Tom's chuckle. Tom knows Harry's changing the subject on purpose. But he also knows he's trying to take his mind off the real issue, and he's grateful for that. So, he goes along with it. "Not a chance," he says.

Harry wonders if Tom is lowering his voice for Harry's benefit, or if it's just an unconscious thing.

"First date I would take you somewhere much nicer."

Harry smiled. "When are you and Charlus going to stop growing? You two are freakishly tall for fourteen year olds. Did you know I had to lean my head up yesterday to talk to you two?"

"How tall are you now? Four foot one? Four foot two?" Tom smirked at Harry's scowl.

"Five foot three."

"Five foot three compared to our five foot five, maybe five foot six for Charlus. See you shouldn't feel to bad, Charlus is an inch or two taller than me."

Harry shook his head and rolled his eyes.


"Good morning, Charlus," said Tom as he was in the process of changing out of his pajamas.

"Why are you a morning person?" Charlus mumbled, wrapping his arms tighter around his pillow. "It's annoying."

"One of us has to be, and considering it's almost seven in the morning and you are just waking up, the duty falls to me automatically," Tom replied, a teasing tone in his voice.

"Smart ass."

"I believe the phrase is 'Takes one to know one." Tom said grabbing a pair of slacks and putting on a clean white shirt and a pullover knitted blue sweater

Charlus rolled his eyes and sat up, stretching out his joints. Tom observed him quietly.

"What now?"

"Not a morning person?"

He shook his head in a few stiff, aborted movements. "Never was."

Charlus took a moment to observe his brother. He seemed alright but...

"Go on, Charlus, ask the question."

"What question is that Tom?"

"The one you can't decide if you should ask, Charlus."

"How did you sleep?"

Charlus was very good at reading people. Sometimes it felt like he was getting right inside your head, something which had made Tom nervous on more than one occasion. He didn't like people in his head. There was plenty of stuff in his head as is and he didn't need someone else messing with it or finding out just how much of a mess it already was.

Which was ironically funny because Charlus felt the same way about Tom as well. That Tom was just as observant of his thoughts and on reading him as well.

"I had a lot of things on my mind."

"Like what?"

"Just things, Charlus."

"You're not even trying!"

"I don't sleep much and that's okay. Takes up an awful lot of time, and I can always find something productive to do. Sometimes I think, 'What's wrong with all you people, snoring your lives away?' Night is the best part of the whole day."

"That doesn't make any bloody sense, Tom! You can be so stupid, the word special definitely comes to mind. You must have insomnia or something."

"Charlus-"

"Tom," Charlus sighed and got out from underneath his blanket and sat up on the side of his bed in front of Tom, "why don't you just tell me what's really going on in that brain of yours? Does it have to do with Minerva? You two seemed to be getting better this summer."

"It's not, Minerva, Minerva and I are fine-"

"Fine?"

"Better than fine, okay? It's not about Minerva."

"Then it must be, Harry."

"Why do you assume-"

Charlus just gave Tom a look that explained it all.

Tom sighed and took a defensive pose with his arms crossed to his chest.

"I just... I don't like to sleep okay. I've been having constant nightmares lately."

"You have nightmares about Harry?"

"I have nightmares about me... about me being Voldemort."

Charlus frowned in confusion. "I don't understand. Why would you be having dreams about something that hasn't and will never happen?"

"It's just, I've noticed how down Harry seemed to be lately. You know... when he was telling us about his future family that we don't remember, but he does. I don't remember seeing any family of Harry's last summer, that's something we would both remember," Tom sighed again and ran his hand through his hair.

"Sometimes it seems like it happened to someone else, like maybe it was a story I heard. Even though I know it happened to Harry and it's the reason why he's here, I can't help feeling that it's still going to happen. That I'm going to ruin something and... Harry has so much confidence in me-"

"Tom, you've got nothing to be sorry for or ashamed of. That future that Harry lived in, it's never going to happen! I would never let anything like that happen to you. I would never let you believe or think that you're not family or, or that you're not loved or wanted. You're a Potter, not a Riddle."

"I don't live with my emotions on my sleeves like you do, Charlus. I'm not an emotional person and it may be the the thing that turns me-"

"We all have evil inside of us the way we all have goodness inside of us, Tom. It's what we choose to nurture that decides."

"But what if what you think is good really is evil?"

"You think about what you're doing, you judge your actions or at least try to."

There was a couple of moments silence. "Look" Charlus then sighed, "Harry is the type of person who's quick to forgive, not only that but he loves you. Besides, I think Harry is kind of your conscience. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself."

Tom finally stood up and turned away from Charlus.

"Hey Charlus," Tom said as he went to his personal desk where his books and parchments were.

"Yes?"

"The sun is shining. Don't you have things to do today?"

"Probably." Charlus said shrugging his shoulders.

"So... why don't you get dressed and do them?"

"Are you dismissing me?"

"No, just a simple suggestion."

Charlus smile faded. Tom was such a killjoy."I'm going to go and eat breakfast and when I come back up here, hopefully you'll be in a more cheerful mood. I'd hate to knock more sense into you."

"I'm fine." Was all Tom said as he sat down in front of his desk and sorted through his parchments.

"Right," Charlus said as he got up off his bed and walked up behind Tom's chair and hugged Tom around his neck and kissed his left cheek, "love you, Tom."

Before Tom could respond back, Charlus had quickly released him and left out their bedroom.

Tom looked away from where Charlus walked out the door and muttered a, "Love you to."


Harry ignored the few surprised looks he received when he walked in.

"What?" Harry asked eyebrow roused as he walked into the classroom. "I'm on time."

"I know, it's a miracle." Professor Julius Bellamy said smirking as his godson walked into the room right at the front desk.

All the students in Professor Bellamy's class were all new sets of vampires. With the exception of Jared Morgan and Josh Roy. The two vampires were best friends.

"Hey, Harry!"

"Al, you got here before me I see."

"Harry, why don't you come sit next to me." Jared Morgan said patting down a desk that was next to him.

"Get over yourself, Morgan." Alphard snapped.

"You know, I'm really tired of this. It's an everyday occurrence with you two!"

"He's always flirting with my boyfriend, Julius-"

"Professor Bellamy, Mr. Black."

"Why are you taking his side, Professor?" Alphard asked fuming.

"I'm not taking any side. We are going to settle this today. Everybody, out of your seats." Julius commanded as all his students did as they were told.

Julius made all the desks and all the equipments and books disappear with a wave of his hand. "Mr. Black, Mr. Morgan, go and stand in the middle of the room please."

Both boys did so with Julius following after them.

"Now after this, I don't want to see no more fighting in my classroom, no more jeers, no more back talk."

Professor Julius Bellamy stood in between Alphard and Jared Morgan.

"All right, here are the rules. Well, there aren't no rules. Hitting below the belt's allowed... eye gouging's allowed..."

While Julius was talking Jared smirked at Alphard.

"Alphard, you don't want to fight me. I'm a vampire, super strength and I'm a brick wall to you humans."

"Are you kidding? I've been waiting for this chance for months and besides, Harry already helped me with the brick wall problem with some wicked magic. You'll feel every punch, don't worry."

"Yeah, well, see, you're just a human-"

Alphard punched Jared in the face.

One of the classes mates, Josh, another vampire, was outraged. "Hey! He jumped the bell! What are you doing? He jumped the bell!"

Julius quickly left the center of the fight and put up a huge clear dome like shield around both Alphard and Jared.

"Should've known you'd cheat."

Alphard kicks Jared in the leg.

"That's for always hitting on my boyfriend!"

"Harmless flirting!"

Alphard punched Jared in the face again. "That's for kissing him!"

"I was just trying to see if he would kiss back..."

Alphard punched Jared twice. "And that's for kidnapping me in the forest!"

"Okay, yeah, I did that on purpose."

Alphard punches Jared again. "That's for making me kiss you!"

"How the bloody hell did I-?!"

Alphard kicks and punches Jared. "That's for sending Harry love letters and this..." Alphard kicks Jared in the stomach, "is for whatever stupid thing you do next!"

"Kick his ass, Jared!" Josh yells.

"Okay. That's it." Jared snarls, showing his fangs.

Alphard goes to kick Jared again, but Jared grabs his leg, punches him, and shoves Alphard to the ground. Before Alphard can get up, Jared kicks him. Alphard lands five feet away from Jared groaning in pain.

"Al! You got this! Just... be smart!" Harry yells.

Alphard gingerly stands up and Jared smiles."My turn, now, you little shit."

"What did you just call me?" Alphard snapped, standing up straighter.

Jared chuckled. "You heard me. S-H-I-..."

Alphard throws a fireball at Jared and as Jared ducks, Alphard takes the opportunity to kick Jared in the groin.

Julius students groans in sympathy for Jared. Jared stops in his tracks, wide-eyed with pain. Alphard pushes him a little and he falls over.

"Looks like I win asshole."

"That's just low!" Josh Roy said.

"Yeah, well, I said anything goes." Julius said shrugging his shoulders. "No more fighting in my classroom over Harry Potter. He's not even that handsome."

"That hurts." Harry said as Julius put his classroom back together.

"Just trying to deflate your ego."

"I never had one, Professor."

"Oh, please. Those two idiots fighting over you had to have done some kind of damage."


"How about you come downstairs and get something to eat, something to drink, and maybe some sleep afterward?"

Tom looked confused for a minute before his lips quirked back up. "Those are some pretty extreme requests, Harry."

"I know. I'm a terrible person."

"The worst. But I have a feeling that the only way I'm getting you and Charlus out of here is if I leave with you, so let's get going."

"I made lunch! BLT! Hope you like your bacon extra crispy." Charlus said cheerfully.

Tom looked at Harry whom was smirking and trying his best to not look back at Tom. Not a good sign.

"Tommy, it is good to see you out and about. Sometimes you can be so nonsocial, but I am happy to see you here for lunch."

"It's Tom, mum."

"That's what I said, sweetie pie." Valerie smiled and kissed Tom on his forehead.

Tom blushed in embarrassment.

"I told Tom that I made lunch, Mum!" Charlus said taking a seat next to his father.

"I'm sure there will be no trace of doubt about who made lunch, Charlus." Boniface said smirking himself.

The bacon wasn't crispy. It was burnt. "We have to have like, hundreds of cookbooks here and in the library and none of them can tell you the proper cooking time for bacon?" Tom asked as he played with his food.

"Oh like you have any room to complain about my cooking skills,"Charlus said scowling, "those scrambled eggs you made this morning had egg shells in them! I almost chocked!"

"At least they were edible!"

"You really know how to put a damper on my good mood," Charlus replied.

Harry was chewing through a tough bit of bacon as he replied, "Are you two competing with each other?"

"The only one competing here is, Charlus!"

"Am not!"

"I made breakfast so you had to make lunch?"

"Hey! It was only fair that I cooked to!"

"You call this cooking?! Your food could choke a maggot!"

"Take it back!"

"Are you guys just going to let them argue?" Harry whispered to Valerie.

Valerie let out a small laugh, her smile as lopsided as ever.

"..IF you never liked my cooking why didn't you say so before?" Charlus asked folding his arms to his chest defensively.

"Probably because I knew you wouldn't have taken it well."

"Yeah well, one day I'm barely coping with my annoying brother and the next he's jumping down my throat about my cooking. It's a lot to deal with." Charlus said with an eye-roll, to punctuate his point. He grabbed a glace of water by his plate and drank it slowly. "I wanted you to like my food."

Tom blinked in that way that he did when he was fed up with Charlus, but his lips were curled into a small smile. "Were you trying to impress me, brother?"

This time, Charlus was the one that was embarrassed. "No! Merlin, you complain a lot. You complain about a lot of things. I should just tune you out..."

Harry just laughed along with his parents.

tbc


Author's Note: I know this has taken ages to update, I'm sorry! I'm trying to finish this story, but then it's like, I'm not seeing my usual readers and then I'm I like is it really worth me updating? I love the reviews and I love writing for fun. I don't take this story seriously, lol, but it's never good to not finish what you started! So shame on me, sorry!