Not So Muggleborn
Disclaimer: Not mine. Things would be very different if it were. Of course, then kids couldn't read it, either, as, unlike Jo, I'm well aware of what teenagers get up to…
A/N: Many thanks to Vern (aka Herman Tumbleweed) for his magnificent betaing skills and oh-so-appropriate suggestions. Also, thanks to the members of the HermansTumbledweeds Yahoo! Group for their support and many (often amusing) suggestions.
The rest of the school year passed in relative peace. People were still somewhat afraid of Hermione, though, but she and Harry didn't let that bother them.
They spent the summer split between the Grangers' home in Crawley and Castle Drakul. With Vlad's help, Harry was able to gain access to the Potter Vaults and retrieve his Family Ring, as well as learn something of them through the documents stored there. They spent the summer as normal children should: laughing, playing, and expanding the limits of their friendship and newly-realized love.
It was during this time that the Count approached the Wizengamot and re-asserted his control over Magical Britain. At first, the Wizengamot members laughed at the old vampire, but that only lasted until he exercised his control as Liege to all but the Potter, Longbottom, Bones and Greengrass families. Even though the Wizengamot and the Ministry of Magic were left in place to perform their same functions, he made it clear how he expected things to be run and what changes were to be made. It would take several years for all of the changes that he wanted made to be implemented, but eventually the Magical UK would catch up with the rest of the Magical World.
That summer also saw the release of Sirius Black. The documents in the Potter Vault proved without a doubt that Peter Pettigrew was their Secret Keeper, not Sirius as had been previously thought. Even though he'd spent much of his time in Azkaban in his Animagus form (a large, black Grim), he was still suffering from the effects of his long proximity to the Dementors. Vlad took his duties as Liege-Lord to House Black seriously and arranged for Sirius to undergo whatever treatment he needed to help him regain his magical, mental, and physical strength. Harry, unfortunately, would have to wait quite some time before he could get to know his godfather.
Second year came and went as any school year should – uneventfully. Josef Krum returned as Defence professor and was very popular with the students and staff.
After the Welcoming Feast, Harry and Hermione were cuddled in their regular spot in the Slytherin Common Room, discretely listening to the gossip from their fellow second-years.
"Where's Draco?" Pansy Parkinson was questioning everybody as she hadn't seen him since they got off the train in June.
Everybody looked to Crabbe and Goyle for an answer, but the bookends just shrugged their shoulders in confusion.
"I heard a rumour," offered Blaise Zabini. "I heard that… he… visited them."
Pansy perked up at this. "You mean," her voice dropped to a whisper, "the Dark Lord has actually returned?"
"No, you silly bint, I mean the Count." Zabini shuddered in fear. "You all heard him back at Hallowe'en. He told Draco's dad that he'd deal with him later. I guess it was finally later."
The children all stared at him as thoughts of horrible torture passed through their young minds.
"Maybe he killed them?"
"I heard that his mum was being forced to, er, take care of all the men there."
"Or maybe they're all vampires, now."
"What if he took their magic and they have to live as Muggles?"
The young couple snickered quietly, knowing that Narcissa and Draco were living in a flophouse in Knockturn Alley, begging for scraps. Lucius, on the other hand, was dead and his head was presented to the Wizengamot as a reminder to those who might be foolish enough to forget their Family Vows.
The only other item of note that year was that Harry and Hermione met Moaning Myrtle, a ghost who haunted one of the girls' loos. After many conversations with the sad teenage ghost, she finally told them the story of her demise, which led to the discovery of the legendary Chamber of Secrets. Vlad was especially happy about this as it allowed him to reminisce about his old friend and correct the many misconceptions that had been passed down through the centuries.
Harry, Hermione, and Albus convinced him to tell some of his stories of the Founders and the building of Hogwarts to the history classes. The ancient wizard, to his own great surprise, found that he quite enjoyed sharing the classes with his old friend, Cuthbert; even if only for a while. Even Binns took extensive notes so he could pass this rare information on to future generations of Hogwarts students.
The so-called monster was proven to be Slytherin's basilisk familiar, who had been tasked with protecting the school. Harry, as a Parselmouth, was able to confirm that Willie would continue to serve this duty without harming the staff or students.
The summer after Second Year brought a change to the kids' summer routine. In addition to the usual fun that twelve and thirteen year olds were expected to have, they spent time with Grandpa and some of his retainers learning about their places in society and magic long thought lost. By this time, Hermione had completely broken Harry of his Dursley-inspired habit of underachieving and they advanced quickly, becoming very powerful in the process.
The summer ended with Dumbledore announcing that he would be stepping down from his positions as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards. He had stayed on this long only at the request of the Count to facilitate an orderly transition of power.
Third year started with the continued presence of Professor Krum, finally convincing everyone that the apparent curse on the job was well and truly broken. By Christmas, Hermione's and Harry's growing hormones had led them steadily closer and, although they'd yet to take the final step in their physical relationship, the young couple was already thinking in terms of making life-changing decisions together.
This year also was the first time that the two were able to form other friendships. The changes in British Magical society, along with the other students' growing familiarity with the Drakul Heiress and the Boy-Who-Lived, caused some of the fear to fade and some brave students started to approach them. Most notable of these were the Weasley twins who, after realizing that Hermione's threats on the train were a devious prank, became life-long friends and their most staunch supporters. Oddly enough, Neville Longbottom, Susan Bones, and Daphne Greengrass – the heirs to the only other old British families not Oathbound to the Clan – were also among the very few that Harry and Hermione could truly call friends.
The following summer continued their lessons until it was time for the Quidditch World Cup where they finally met Professor Krum's son, Viktor. For the first time, Harry and Hermione were able to form a friendship that wasn't coloured by fear or uncertainty. Viktor, having been raised in the Clan, was mostly unaffected by their noble rank and accepted them as the people they were.
Fourth Year saw the return of the Triwizard Tournament. Harry and Hermione, to the consternation of their Hogwarts classmates, cheered for their friend, Viktor, rather than Cedric Diggory, the Hogwarts Champion. Harry, of course, was just happy to not have to worry about things like dragons, merpeople, and creature-filled mazes.
They were studying with Viktor in the Hogwarts Library the day after the Yule Ball had been announced when Hermione asked their friend, "So, Viktor, who's the lucky girl going to be?" She was teasing him as virtually every girl in the castle had been hovering around him, hoping to be the date of not only a Triwizard Champion, but an international Quidditch star.
"I don't know," he grumbled in frustration. "All these girls want the sport player, or the champion. But… there was one girl I met in here last week that didn't even seem to know who I was. She was a bit odd, but I found her rather endearing. We seemed to connect, somehow."
"Who was she?" Harry asked.
Viktor pointed across the room at a slight girl with long, straggly blonde hair dressed in Ravenclaw colours.
Harry and Hermione stared at each other in astonishment. Viktor and Luna Lovegood? Go figure.
The night of the Yule Ball, Harry and Hermione were strolling through the Rose Garden, looking for some privacy when they ran across Viktor and Luna who had, evidently, beaten them to the best spot. Who knew?
That summer, Harry, on his fifteenth birthday, formally took his place as The Head of Clan Potter in front of the Wizengamot. The same evening (after previously discussing it with both Grandpa and Ralph), he presented the Heiress of Clan Drakul with a promise ring. Their private celebration took them closer than ever to what they both really wanted.
Hermione and Harry had been surprised to find Prefects' Badges arrive with their book lists. After much discussion, they decided to decline the appointments as they really didn't want the additional responsibility or attention. They knew that they'd have enough of that in the future.
Grandpa Vlad, however, convinced them otherwise. He reminded them that they would need the experience before they took on the greater Wizarding World. It would also help them to judge who their friends really were. So, in spite of their misgivings, they became the new prefects for Slytherin House.
Fifth year marked the beginning of the new and improved Hogwarts. For the first time in its history, the Muggle subjects of Basic Mathematics and Science would be required, starting with that year's incoming First Years. Also, depending on whether they were Wizard or Muggle raised, a class in either Muggle or Wizarding culture would be required.
These weren't the only changes, however. All of the established courses were streamlined and updated to match recent developments in Magical theory, and Divination was slowly phased out as those currently enrolled in it either graduated or dropped the class. Also, the OWL and NEWT examinations would be brought up to meet the ICW standards, rather than the antiquated ones established by the British Ministry two hundred years before.
This, of course, caused a panic amongst the students, who found themselves spending long hours in the newly expanded Hogwarts Library. Harry found himself constantly trying to reassure Hermione that she'd do fine, especially since they had been studying during the summer. It was easy to see, in retrospect, that that was part of why the summer sessions existed in the first place.
In early April, after another of Hermione's many panic attacks, it took a two hour visit to a nearby (and conveniently empty) classroom for Harry to calm her down enough to explain this to her. Once she finally accepted it, she rewarded him with another very pleasant hour.
OWLs came and went and another summer started. Harry spent even more time involved as The Potter while Hermione prepared to take her own place in Clan Drakul. As Harry's Sixteenth birthday approached, he spent more and more time sequestered with Grandpa Vlad. Hermione took advantage of this to prepare a special birthday celebration for her love.
The day of the party finally arrived. It was held at the castle and was attended by family and the few friends they had at Hogwarts, as well as Viktor, Luna and their families. Harry was surprised and quite emotional over all the fuss being made over him, yet he countered it with a surprise of his own – he proposed to Hermione in front of the whole gathering.
That night, they finally gave in to their hormones. Sensing the magical release from their first time while sitting quietly in his study reading a book, Vlad thought with amusement, "It's about time. Now I can finally start planning my retirement." His face blanched as another thought crossed his mind, "I hope they remembered the charm…"
Sixth year saw the addition of the Muggle course of Writing and Composition. Also, Harry and Hermione made it a point to initiate as many places in Hogwarts as they could; including the Prefects' Bath – the password to which had mysteriously appeared on Harry's bed the first night of term each year since their second year. They didn't recognise they loopy handwriting, but they were grateful to whoever it was as the huge Roman-style bath had become one of their favourite places and they were now able to appreciate it even more.
Another summer came and went, with both Hermione and Harry taking on more responsibilities within their respective families. Also, with the support of Grandpa Vlad and Alice - and Ralph after much coercion (from Alice) and threats (from his great-grandfather-in-law), they shared a bedroom in both Crawley and Transylvania. The young lovers took time from their duties and wedding planning to explore the various Potter properties and settled on Potter Manor in Wales to be their primary home.
Seventh year passed as quietly as the previous years. Harry and Hermione had accepted the Head Boy and Girl positions in preparation for assuming their duties in the greater Wizarding World. The fact that they would have their own suite of rooms off of the Slytherin dorms also factored heavily in their decision.
The Grey Lady and Nearly Headless Nick were floating down the corridor past the Slytherin Common Room, doing their part to prevent the students from having too much fun, when they heard a series of loud screams, moans, howls, and cries.
"I say," commented Nick, looking around excitedly, "do we have a new ghost in the castle? It would be nice to meet someone new."
"No," the Grey Lady softly replied, "I don't believe so."
Moaning Myrtle passed through the wall in front of them, giggling madly. "You two are so silly. It's just the Head Boy and Girl breaking in their new bed after collapsing the last one." At their looks of mixed confusion, intrigue, and disgust, the teenaged ghost continued with a lascivious smile, "They are very energetic and imaginative. I've been watching couples the whole time I've been here and haven't ever seen anyone like them before." She floated off with a dreamy expression on her pale face.
The senior ghosts shared a look of horror and quickly left the area, each planning on not revisiting that particular corridor for the rest of the school year.
Hermione began to panic over the upcoming NEWTs as she had the OWLs, but this time, Harry had much, much better ways to distract her. She finally calmed and accepted the fact that panic would solve nothing, and they simply enjoyed their last year of formal schooling. After all, even though their futures were assured, it was still important to them that they be at the top of their class.
Summer once again came all too soon. In order to satisfy everyone, Hermione and Harry had finally decided to have two ceremonies. In the morning, they had a small Muggle wedding for their Muggle family and friends at the church in Oxford where Ralph and Alice were married. That afternoon they had the formal Wizarding ceremony at Castle Drakul, which was attended by the Clan and their friends, as well as a very few essential Wizarding society members. The only member of the press that was permitted to attend either event was Xenophilius Lovegood, as his daughter, Luna, was one of the couple's few friends.
The following summer, they celebrated Viktor and Luna's wedding, standing up for them as the newly-married couple had done for them the previous year.
Time passed and the British Wizarding World slowly, and with a great deal of reluctance, grew accustomed to the changes instituted originally by Count Dracula, then later by his Heiress and The Potter. Eventually, the British wizards and witches realized that entering the twenty-first century wasn't all that bad and, as a result, all of Wizarding Europe began to prosper.
Viktor's Quidditch career had an unexpected effect on the Wizarding world. Luna accompanied him on his travels, which gave her the opportunity to search for the strange creatures that she'd claimed for years to exist.
To the surprise of all but her husband, she found many of them.
After the first ten years of Hermione and Harry taking full responsibility as the Clan's voice in Britannia, Vlad stepped back and gave them control of the rest of the Clan's holdings. The old vampire smiled to himself as his retirement finally began.
Many more years went by as the Potters' children passed through Hogwarts, embarked upon their own lives, started their own families and sent their offspring to what was now the premier magical school in the world, as the Founders had always planned it to be.
One day, as Hermione and Harry were relaxing in one of the smaller sitting rooms at Potter Manor, Grandpa Vlad appeared. After the usual warm and affectionate greetings, he took a seat, pleased to see that his Heiress and her husband were sitting in a position similar to the one he caught them in in the Slytherin common room so many years before.
They exchanged the usual pleasantries, until Vlad took a deep breath. "My children," he began, "I'm very proud of how you've handled yourselves in our society; so much so that I'm ready to finally retire for good."
Hermione and Harry exchanged worried glances. They'd thought that Grandpa had already retired as they'd been overseeing the combined Potter and Drakul Clans for many years.
Anticipating their reaction, the old vampire raised a hand to cut them off. "I'm not going anywhere. I just plan to remove myself from society." He took another deep breath. "I have some research I want to continue that Albus started before he died and I really need the solitude to continue it." Seeing their faces fall, he reassured them, "But don't worry, I'll still come to visit. I can't abandon my favourite grandchildren, now, can I?
"Besides," he went on. "I've been doing this for three millennia. My time is done and yours is just beginning. In light of that, I have an offer for you: one that I've never made before, but I think that you're both deserving and capable of accepting."
Hermione and Harry perked up at this.
"One thing that I feel has contributed to our success as a Clan has been continuity of leadership, however, I'll admit to taking that to an illogical extreme. I would like to offer you a gift of extended life."
"Y-you mean…" Hermione began, and then stopped in shock which was mirrored on her husband's quickly whitening face.
Grandpa Vlad nodded slowly. "I'd be willing to turn you both. Now, this isn't to say that I don't think your sons are capable of running the Clan as they most certainly are. It's just…" he sighed deeply, "it's just that you two, in my eyes, have earned the right to the life that I've enjoyed. Most people look on this as a curse – and it can be – but it can also be a blessing if you have the proper attitude and I think that the two of you have the temperament necessary to enjoy it fully. I'll also admit to a bit of selfishness in this, as well. The two of you have become an important part of my life and I'd hate to lose you from it."
He slowly rose from the comfortable sofa that he was seated in. "You don't need to answer me now. In fact, I wouldn't accept an immediate and hasty decision, anyway. Take your time to think it over; perhaps a decade or so. We'll talk about it more after you've had a chance to digest this as I can see that this is rather a shock… one that I fully expected. I'll see you in a couple of days." With that, he disappeared.
The couple turned to each other. "Did he really just…" they started together before falling into each others arms, laughing.
"What do you think, Harry?"
"I dunno, love. It would give you the time to actually read all the books in his libraries," he remarked with a smirk.
A smirk of her own formed on his rather passionate wife's face and she cuddled in closer, pressing her whole body firmly into his as she nibbled on his ear. "And think of the sex after a few millennia of practice," she purred throatily.
He reacted by turning and pinning her down with his body on the couch they were on. "Then," he growled while placing gentle kisses on her throat and working his way down, "we should definitely give it some serious consideration."
Clothing vanished rapidly as they continued, comfortable in knowing that whatever they decided, they would do it as they had everything else since a young Muggleborn witch was sorted into the notoriously anti-Muggle House of Snakes: together.
A/N2: There you go, I actually finished one. I've been humbled by the rash (the good kind – the kind that doesn't make you itch) of reviews that I've received for this story. Thanks to all of you who have read and reviewed. Remember to tip your house-elf on your way out.