Daphne blinked awake slowly, her brain struggling to comprehend the loud voices that were flooding her bedroom. As the ceiling was coming into focus, her right hand shot out, searching for Harry. Her awareness increased sharply when she determined he was not there.
"...you not understand that? We must present a united front if we hope to prevent Voldemort's followers from uniting under a new leader. We must get past this childish disagreement, Harry."
"I will not become your poster boy, Headmaster. I defeated Voldemort without any assistance or input from you, and I refuse to pretend otherwise." Daphne smiled at Harry's voice. She turned her head to see him standing firmly in front of the door. His hand was up, ready to bar Dumbledore from the room if he should try to enter. Daphne wondered how the man had even managed to enter the house. She would have to have a word with her father.
"You are young, Harry, and naive about the ways of the world. You will need help navigating through all the intrigues that will try to snare you. Can you not see that you would be stronger with my help?"
Though she could not see his face, Daphne could just imagine that he was rolling his eyes at the old man's audacity. "With all due respect, sir, you have never provided me any help in the past, and I see no reason why it would be any different now. There are plenty of people that I trust to help me, and I will happily turn to them."
Daphne had to stifle her laugh at the look on Dumbledore's face. She didn't want to alert either of them to the fact that she was awake.
"Yes, and some of those friends concern me even more. I realise that you are tied to Daphne for life, but is it really necessary to be so trusting of her family and friends? You have alienated some of your oldest friends by doing this. You need your best friends strong around you right now, Harry, not those who would seek to exploit you for their own gain."
Daphne tamped down her own anger as Harry's back went stiff. "That is enough, Headmaster; you do not know whereof you speak. I would thank you to keep your manipulative fingers out of pots that are none of your concern. Steffan Greengrass has never tried to use me for his own gain, despite the fact that he knew very well I would have done most anything he might have asked. The friends I have made through my Daphne have done nothing but be my friends. And as for the friends I've lost, you must be mad. If someone cannot accept the one person who has given me true happiness for the first time in my life, then they are no friend of mine. You are asking me to make nice with a girl who tried to seduce me, naked I might add, in the hallway, a girl too stubborn to understand that I would never allow her to control my life, those who cannot understand or accept that something drastic has happened to me and things cannot continue to go on as if nothing has happened." Harry stopped and Daphne could see his shoulders heave as he pulled in breath.
Knowing that he was going to lost control soon, Daphne climbed quietly out of bed, idly wondering how she had come to be dressed, and walked to his side. She calmly took his hand in one of hers and snaked the other around his waist, slipping it under the hem of his shirt and onto his abdomen. She felt as he relaxed slightly under her touch.
"Do you not see?" He asked, calmer now. "This remarkable woman knows when I need her and is instantly there at my side. Daphne and I will decide, together, who we will allow to influence us and with her by my side I will navigate through whatever life may throw at me next. The best thing you can do for me is to let me, for the first time, live my own life." Harry's hand left hers and wrapped around her, pulling her close to him. "But if you are unable to do that, it will make no difference to me. I will live my life as I see fit, whether you let me or not."
"Harry, I really think..." As he was speaking, Dumbledore took a step forward.
Harry reacted instantly. His hand snapped up once more and a brilliant red shield erupted across the doorway. Daphne bit her cheek to keep from laughing at Dumbledore's expression as he bounced back into the hall.
Daphne stepped forward. "Good day, Professor," she said as she calmly shut the door in his face.
Harry chuckled as he drew her back into his embrace. His hands carefully searched over her body, assuring himself that she was really there. She suspected it would take him a very long time to get over the fear instilled over the last few days. But as she did not mind being in his arms, she did not consider this a hardship.
Knowing that they would soon be inundated with well-wishers, Harry took Daphne back to the house in Nice, France that night. He handed her a small slimy plant which she grimaced at but dutifully chewed. With a large grin on his face, he stripped her bare and pulled her into the warm ocean water. They sunk to the ocean floor, entwined and kissing furiously. He loved her feverishly fast against the sand before pulling her gleefully through the water. She stared around wide-eyed at the underwater wonderland. They found a glittering cave, and sunk into its depths, loving continuously. When her Gillyweed ran out, he simply fastened his mouth to hers and breathed for her.
It wasn't a hardship.
When the darkness became too much, he pulled her gently to the surface, and she stared around in awe at the moonlight on the water. Harry stared only at her, her skin glowing.
It was only then that Harry realised they weren't alone.
He had met the Merpeople that inhabited the lake at Hogwarts; the beings in front of him bore no resemblance to them whatsoever. Besides, of course, the large tail they had in place of legs. No, these were the beautiful Merpeople of legend. And they were staring at him in awe. After much gesturing and screeching, Daphne was handed a fresh amount of Gillyweed by one of the Merwomen and they both sunk back under the water. The education they received on the history of both the Merpeople and the Sirens surpassed any resource Harry had seen. Daphne began to plan for the book she would publish to contain this information. After all, between Harry, Fleur, and the Merpeople here she had access to the best sources.
She wondered what it would take to convince Harry to let her write about him.
YOU-KNOW-WHO DEFEATED BY BOY-WHO-LIVED
By Simon Diggs
Yesterday afternoon, Harry Potter announced that he had permanently defeated the Dark Lord. It is unknown how exactly he accomplished this amazing feat, but he alluded to the use of his Siren powers. He also claims to have done so aided only by Ministry Auror and close personal friend Nymphadora Tonks. It is expected that they will both receive the Order of Merlin for their efforts.
Mr. Potter also claims that there is no chance of You-Know-Who returning again, and the Minister herself claims to have watched as the body was thrown through the Veil of Death in the Department of Mysteries. For those of our readers who are unaware of this artefact, it is one of the many mysteries studied in that department, and is said to be a one-way portal to the next life. There is no chance of coming back. Indeed, there are rumours that Sirius Black, Mr. Potter's recently exonerated godfather, perished by Veil this last June.
During his announcement, Mr. Potter revealed that his defeat of You-Know-Who was prophesied before he was even born, hence the 1981 attack that resulted in the deaths of his parents. He, himself, has only been aware of the prophecy for a handful of months.
We at the Prophet can only express our extreme thanks that our hero has once more defeated the great evil that threatened to take over the land.
DUMBLEDORE, WHERE WAS HE?
By Clarice Tanner
Conspicuous in his absence at the momentous announcement yesterday was Headmaster and Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore. It had been assumed that the Headmaster was guiding our hero in his fight against evil, as they have always stood together in the past. However, new information is coming to light. It was revealed yesterday that it was in fact Dumbledore who withheld the information about the prophecy from Mr. Potter, and refused to provide any training or help to the young lad, despite knowing his destiny. Mr. Potter also alluded to the fact that the Headmaster was responsible for placing him among his Muggle relatives as a babe. As he was prophesied to save us all, wouldn't it have been more expedient to ensure he was trained and prepared from a young age?
We at the Prophet look forward to learning more about the relationship between these two great men.
DON'T MESS WITH ME AND MINE, SAYS BOY-WHO-LIVED
By Laurelie Mangaman
It seems that Harry Potter will not back down from protecting his mate. From any perceived threat. Yesterday, after an allusion to certain damaging articles that might come out, Harry cast an unknown spell on a reporter, claiming that Daphne Potter would be left alone. The or else was strongly implied.
It is this reporter's delight to reveal that the reporter in question this morning tried to publish a rather derogatory article about Mr. Potter and his past relationships, calling into question his choice of mate. I had the great fortune of being present when this article was presented to our editor. Suffice it to say the article was destroyed and the reporter in question will not be seen in public for some time.
Personally, I would question the wisdom of challenging Mr. Potter's protection of his mate. It seems he nearly single-handedly defeated a Dark Lord for her; there is nothing else I would put passed him.
On Monday morning, Harry had to make use of his impenetrable shield to allow them to make their way to the Gryffindor table where Ron was saving them seats for breakfast. Once seated, Daphne's coaching was evident as Harry graciously accepted thanks with only a hint of embarrassment. Neville, Blaise and Ron took up posts around them, making it clear that no one was to approach without permission and that questions should be respectful and quick.
They both completely ignored the glares coming from Dumbledore. Of course, Harry knew that the old man would have to be confronted, and so was not surprised when Dumbledore approached them as breakfast was ending. The usually calm and grandfatherly persona was completely missing as Dumbledore glared at them.
"Mr. Potter, if you would come with me please?"
Harry turned around calmly. "What do you wish to discuss, Sir? Is my school work not acceptable?"
"I wish to discuss the events of yesterday."
Harry gave a tight smile. "My apologies, Headmaster. The Minister of Magic has declared the details of the defeat of Voldemort a state secret and required my oath that I would tell no one but my family. Was there anything else?"
It was that moment that Albus Dumbledore was completely marginalised. And no one but him seemed to care.
Dolores Umbridge stared in horror at the thing in front of her that used to be the journalist Rita Skeeter. She had no idea how Potter had managed to do this to the woman. Rita was known for being impossible to intimidate and bully, for doing anything to get her story; if she had to make up a few details here and there, it didn't seem to faze her. And yet with one unknown spell Potter had managed to do so much damage to the woman she doubted if Skeeter would ever write a story again.
Dolores Umbridge was a shrewd woman. If she wanted to retain any of her natural beauty and charisma she would have to stay away from Potter. Both of them.
On Thursday afternoon, Daphne accompanied Tracey to the Slytherin common room as they discussed their project in Arithmancy. The two girls took their usual corner of the room, only stopping to exchange brief greetings with Astoria and Blaise as they arrived. It was an hour before dinner time when Ted Nott entered the room, a sneer on his face. With a nod to several people, the room exploded in flying spells. The younger years were cowering in corners and behind sofas, terror written on their faces as they watched. It was a small first-year girl, who was still reminiscing happily about getting to shake Harry's hand on Monday, who was brave enough to dash for the door, Daphne's screams ringing in her ears.
Nott looked up as the door shut behind her, scowling. With a flick of his wand a sickly green shield erupted across the door. Satisfied, he turned to the beautiful girl crumpled at his feet. He smiled with satisfaction as his wand came up. "I will teach you proper pride."
The young girl was frantic as she ran through the halls, screaming for help. It was a worried Minerva McGonagall who first found her. "Heavens, child! What is wrong?"
The poor girl was sobbing by this time. "The mean sixth year, Ted, has Mrs. Potter and is hurting her. Please help!"
Minerva paled and immediately was transformed and running down the hall. She was much faster as a cat. However her speed was fruitless. When she reached the Slytherin dorm, she was able to open the door but unable to penetrate the strange shield covering the entire entrance. However, she could see into the room. Daphne was screaming as Nott held her under the Cruciatus. Sick with dread she sent a Patronus to Harry. Inside the room, a sneering Nott changed his target to a terrified Astoria. As she watched, Nott alternated between the two girls.
Harry arrived a scant 43 seconds later, wings unfurled as he had evidently flown through the corridors in his haste. With a nod to Minerva, he stepped confidently up to the shield. She watched in shock as his entire body glowed vibrant red, and he stepped clean through. Harry didn't even say a word, he simply lifted both hands and pushed. Nott and his five companions were bodily lifted into the air and thrown against the wall. Harry stalked forward, his emerald eyes fixed on Daphne. He quickly scooped her into his arms before turning to look at the others. With a flick of his wrist Tracey and Blaise came to, Blaise quickly on his feet.
Harry's gaze flicked to Astoria before meeting Blaise head on. "You will take care of her?"
Blaise nodded and Harry turned sharply. As he stepped back through the shield it collapsed around him. Minerva sighed in relief as he stopped in front of her.
"If you want Nott to live, he will be out of this castle within the hour."
Without waiting for a response, he was striding purposely to their rooms, Daphne still cradled in his arms. By the time they emerged the next morning the message had been sent to every occupant of the castle. Harry Potter could not be kept from his mate. As messages go, it was fairly effective.
Harry's nerves had been on edge for two weeks since the attack on Daphne, and his protectiveness had been extreme. The result was that it all came to an explosive head one Thursday afternoon when Daphne walked in on Astoria and Harry nearly screaming at each other. With a sigh, she pulled her wand and silenced them both, levelling them with a calm look when they both turned to glare at her.
"Now which one of you wants to explain to me what is going on?"
Harry waved his hand over himself before speaking. "Some little tosser was harassing her. All I did was stop him and she started screaming at me."
Daphne pursed her lips before turning to her sister and waving her wand. "Astoria?"
"He was not harassing me. He was asking me on a date! And I like him!"
Daphne sighed. She was worried something like this would happen. "I'm very happy for you and I expect to hear all about it. Now, why don't you leave Harry to me?" Astoria beamed. "However, it might be prudent to remind him that Harry will be watching out for you, and so he should behave... prudently."
Astoria rolled her eyes but gave a nod, then hurried out of the room. Then Daphne turned to her fuming husband. "Care to explain yourself?" She asked.
"You didn't see him," he hissed. "He was practically leering at her."
"I have no doubt. I had my fair share of the same." Harry growled. "But she has to learn to deal with it on her own. You cannot protect her from everything."
"Because she will hate you for it. She needs to grow up, and so has to experience some of the dirty side of life."
"I... I don't know if I can do that."
"Well you had better figure it out, because I refuse to allow you to smother our children so much that they are unable to live. If you try and pull the same thing with them I'll remove your influence completely."
He recoiled in shock.
Her eyes softened a bit. "I love you, Harry Potter, but you need to get over this. Now, I suggest you go take your anger out on something that can't fight back."
"You'll... you'll be here when I get back?"
"Of course. Even when I think you're an idiot I'm still insanely in love with you, Potter."
He gave a weak smile, then turned and took off out the window. Behind him, she released a breath of relief. They had disagreed, about something important, and it hadn't torn them apart. She had lived in fear for weeks now that any disagreement they had would end as the last one. She didn't think the vision of Harry on the ground struggling for breath would ever leave her. It was comforting to know that her fears were groundless.
Harry was leaning casually against the wall outside the potions dungeon, waiting for Daphne. Hagrid had let them out early so he figured he would pick her up; he was still a little nervous leaving her alone with the Slytherins. The door slammed open and several harassed looking Ravenclaws rushed out, nearly breaking into a run. The Hufflepuffs were right behind them, followed by Hermione, the lone Gryffindor still taking Potions. She gave him a sad disappointed look but hurried quickly down the hall without speaking. Then the Slytherin students exited, Daphne wandering out last following behind Tracey and Blaise. As she stepped through the door and his eyes landed on her she stopped and looked up, grinning. She hurried and launched herself into his arms, their mouths meeting hungrily.
"Potter," a voice growled out behind her.
Harry pulled away from her and looked up to see Snape steps away, a pained expression on his face. "Professor."
"I... thank you."
Harry's eyes widened in shock, but he gave a nod of acknowledgement before Snape turned hastily back into his classroom. Severus Snape was always going to be a complete git, and he despised Harry Potter for the rest of his life, but some things are more important than personal opinions. He, better than anyone, knew exactly what Harry had done for the world.
Of course, he would never again admit it to anyone.
"So how much did you pay for her, Potter?"
Harry turned around slowly, eyes narrowed. "Boot. What are you talking about?"
"My father had been negotiating for Daphne for nearly five years, and you come in and steal her away. So how much did you pay for her?"
Harry growled softly. "Watch yourself Boot."
"I'm just curious. You landed the hottest girl in the school, and someone with more than several reasons to stay away from you. And I've seen how she is around you; she must be worth every penny. I just want to know how much I have to fork out to have a chance at her sister. I'm sure more than looks run in the family."
When the school came down for breakfast the next morning, everyone was snickering about the new rumours. No one was sure how, but Terry Book had shown up in the hospital wing claiming acute pain in his male parts. His screams as Madam Pomfrey attempted to heal him were heard several floors away.
Harry and Daphne were sitting side by side in the library, working on separate essays, when a throat cleared quietly behind them. Harry tensed slightly before turning his head.
"Harry... Daphne." Ginny spoke quietly as she twisted her hands nervously in front of her.
"Ginny," Harry nodded his greeting. The youngest Weasley had been largely absent since their confrontation on the train, for which Harry was grateful. "Did you need something?"
"I was doing some reading, and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind answering a few questions?"
Harry turned to look at Daphne. She smiled gently and nodded slightly, so he turned back to Ginny. "Sure." He gestured to the seat across from them and she sat down.
"What was it like when..."
Graduation was a quiet affair for the two Potters. They both had their plans firmly in place already and leaving Hogwarts was more a formality at this point. They had sat down throughout the year and outlined the things that would need to change in order to prevent another Dark Lord from rising. However, neither of them wanted to be the figurehead for the movement. It was against Daphne's nature and made Harry extremely uncomfortable, so they had looked elsewhere, and were surprised by the individual they had chosen.
Next week Neville Longbottom, the Longbottom of Longbottom, began his career as the spokesperson for the Sothis Foundation. (A/N: Sothis is the Greek name for the star Sirius.) Ron Weasley had happily signed on as a strategist for the foundation, and Harry had placed the entire Black fortune at its disposal.
Sothis was going after the creature restriction laws first. Harry's popularity was at an all time high, and they thought it was the perfect time to strike. But Ron was planning several other campaigns if that was successful. Their long-term goal was to remove all the festering parts of society that had allowed Voldemort to flourish.
The last train ride was uneventful. They spent most of the time in a large compartment with their friends, only sneaking away to the luggage car once. But when Harry stepped onto the platform he was instantly greeted by the smiling face of Molly Weasley. Releasing a long suffering sigh, he gave a brief smile.
"Hello, Mrs. Weasley."
"Harry, dear. It's so wonderful to see you! We missed seeing you at Christmas this year."
"That's very kind of you to say. Unfortunately, I had other family obligations this year."
She pursed her lips briefly before plastering a smile on her face. "Of course. I know how important family is to you. I actually wondered if I might discuss something with you."
Harry shrugged, but nonetheless followed her as she headed towards a disserted corner of the platform. When she turned back around to look at him it was with a positively feral look.
"You're Daphne really is a lovely girl, Harry." He chose to ignore the revulsion that momentarily showed in her eyes.
"Thank you, Mrs. Weasley. I love her dearly."
"Of course, dear. I hope she can provide you with the family you have always wanted."
"I have no doubt she will."
"And if you, perhaps, wanted more... well, with you and Daphne bound instead of formally married we would love for you to marry our Ginny. Between the two of them you could have as many children as you wished."
Harry's expression froze on his face. He shut his eyes briefly before fixing the Weasley matriarch with a harsh stare. "Mrs. Weasley, I'm sure you meant well with your offer, but I must refuse."
"But... why? Wouldn't having both of them help you better control your... urges?"
"Regardless, my Bond with Daphne is based on my fidelity. If I were with another it would break the bond." He ignored the happy gleam that came into the woman's eyes. "Of course, my very life force is bound up in that bond, so if it breaks I would die." Her expression fell. "So, you see, I really will never even think about another." Without waiting for a reply he turned sharply and strode away.
June 21, 1998
On a deserted moor deep in the heart of Wales a small group of people were gathered for the event of the century. Of course, no one but those invited would find out it was taking place until afterwards. This was a security measure put in place so that the press and Ministry would stay away, as well as the less savoury elements of society.
On the morning of June 22nd, several people passing by would report hearing a scream of pure outrage coming from the Daily Prophet building.
Harry stared down the long aisle between the guests. The setting sun was shining brightly, perfectly illuminating his bride as she walked slowly towards him. His breath caught in his chest, and he blinked his eyes furiously to reign in his emotion. In that moment, he knew that he was without a doubt the luckiest man in the world.
March 12, 1999
BILL OF RIGHTS PASSES WITH CLOSEST VOTE IN A CENTURY
By Simon Diggs
The Sothis foundation celebrated its first successful campaign today with the passing of the so-called Creature and Being Bill of Rights. The bill gives basic rights that have long been denied to various sentient creatures such as Sirens, Veelas, Centaurs, Werewolves, House Elves, Merpeople, and even Ghosts. The movement was spearheaded by Neville Longbottom, though Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley often were found on the forefront of the campaign.
We at the Prophet wonder what else our Hero and his friends have in store for our society.
November 1, 1999
A lone figure appeared out of thin air on the darkened corner of Privet Drive. Moving completely silently, it made its way to the home of Vernon and Petunia Dursley, and with barely a pause stepped inside.
It was two days before the authorities were called to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the three Dursleys. Strangely, there was nothing to be found: no evidence of their presence or of any foul play. The smallest child of Number Seven remembered seeing a pretty girl with long black hair and bright blue eyes early in the morning when he came down for some milk. No one else saw a thing.
After a year, the house was impounded and sold at auction. No one had seen the Dursleys and, quite frankly, no one cared.
July 23, 2001
It took precisely three seconds after Daphne's first labour pains began for Harry to find a way to relieve most of her suffering. He used the same method he had successfully pioneered with Bill Weasley nearly three years ago to transfer some of his own powers to his wife, and, as delivering a child was most definitely a labour of love, the Siren magic he gave her immediately took care of most of the pain.
Daphne later told him that it was only this that got her to agree to having any more children.
In deference to this, Harry had talked Daphne into naming the baby after Bill, as without him they would have never figured out how to share the power. Of course, it had originally been for a completely different reason. After defeating Voldemort, Harry had tackled something that he thought was vastly more important: helping out the eldest Weasley with his rather unconventional relationship issues. After a good deal of experimentation, it turned out that Harry's blood, given in love and friendship with an oath thrown in for good measure, was sufficient to share a small portion of Harry's abilities. It had been an ecstatic Bill that had returned three days later and nearly squeezed the life out of Harry while thanking him for helping Bill to finally be enough for the woman he loved.
Harry discretely offered his services to any other members of Fleur's family, provided they would make an Unbreakable Vow of secrecy.
July 10, 2021
Daphne Potter was firmly convinced it was her husband's magic that had kept her from getting pregnant except for between the 1st and 31st of October. Every single one of their five children had thus been born during the month of July. As she watched her husband pacing up and down the corridor outside of their eldest daughter's room, she decided it was most definitely a good thing, for Harry Potter would have gone insane if he had to endure the transformation of one of his children during the school year. This way, she knew, he could safely hide them away from the world for several weeks, making sure they were prepared before they went out and faced their heritage.
Either that or he was just scared to death to let them bond.
In either case, it was with an absurd amount of relief that Harry discovered that their eldest son Bill had not turned into a Siren on his seventeenth birthday. This had meant that Harry had an additional three years before he had to worry again. Of course, their next child was a girl and so it was inevitable that she would be Siren. Daphne idly wondered if Harry would let Lily out of the house in the next decade.
The point turned out to be moot when they received a Floo call two weeks later. Fleur Weasley had asked her eldest son, Francoise affectionately known as Frank, if he would call over and ask if she could borrow a book from Daphne. Harry and Frank were locked in Harry's study for three hours before Harry let the handsome young man leave with his daughter. Daphne simply smiled and idly wondered what the mix of Siren and Veela blood would do to her grandchildren.
April 7, 2153
Julie Potter Longbottom stood with tears streaming down her face as they lowered the casket into the ground. It was only three days ago they had buried her grandmother, and the whole family had known that Harry Potter would not long survive his wife. Indeed, he lived just long enough to see each member of his large family and set his affairs in order, and then died with a smile on his face.
Some questioned how he had even lasted that long.
A/N: It's over! And no, there will not be any more of this story. It is now my intention to get back to Elemental, and occasionally work on my new stories that I haven't posted yet. As I have finally (!) graduated I should have plenty of time this summer before starting my new job.
I hope you're all satisfied that we fixed Bill's problem. I didn't like it, but I was using it as a foil for Harry and needed it.
I hope you enjoyed this, even with its faults. Have a wonderful summer!