First of all I want to thank everyone for their reviews. It was wonderful to receive so many heartfelt comments and I really appreciate all those who shared a bit of their own personal stories/feelings.
To avoid confusion the beginning of this chapter takes place before Marvolo meets with Harry and the Malfoy's for dinner in the last chapter.
With only a tenuous grip on his temper and a pitiful death eater in tow Marvolo apparated into his manor's foyer. Summoning a house elf he instructed the nervous little thing that he would tolerate no interruptions before dragging his captive in the direction of his dungeons by his, rather greasy, hair.
The man, a young wizard named Kasper Falown had foolishly revealed information about the Dark's new plans in the middle of the ministry in order to impress a new recruit to the dark. Unfortunately one of the ministry worker's in earshot had been one of Dumbledore's little playthings. If it wasn't for the quick thinking of the new death eater, Timoteo Sevez, Voldemort's recent changes would have been common knowledge to the light.
Sevez had restrained those in earshot with a quick binding spell, thank Salazar they had been in one of the areas with fewer monitoring spells, and had stunned his foolish companion before sending in word through the dark mark.
Suffice to say Sevez had been slightly awed when his Lord appeared within the ministries walls. It was always surprisingly easy for Marvolo to sneak into the ministry with parsel magic, at least the upper levels. Though he couldn't do so very often without risk of exposure. You'd think after all this time of knowing about his parseltongue ability they could better guard against it, but no. The current ministry was all about maintaining the status quo after all.
Marvolo had quickly obliviated the five, making sure to spend extra attention to Dumbledore's man to ensure the headmaster's powerful magic couldn't break through his obliviation. He then left Sevez to put things back in order. The young man had proved himself quite competent after all, and returned home to administer a fitting punishment to the pathetic fool who dared endanger his plans for a mere ego boost.
It was a blood soaked and still decidedly angry dark lord that left the dungeons two hours later. He hadn't killed Falown yet, and if the idiotic fool survived the night at least he would have a nice break from his paperwork tomorrow.
Unfortunately most of that paperwork would consist of trying to find a replacement for Falown's position at the ministry, and that meant he would be backlogged. With far less time for the more entertaining pursuits of training his followers, speeding along his plans and spending time with Harry.
He could put it off, but Falown had been one of the few spies he had in the Department of Mysteries. Given, it was only an assistant position but still a valuable one for gaining useful tidbits of information.
How someone so stupid had gained admittance to a department known for intelligence was beyond him.
After he washed up, he couldn't very well enjoy dinner with his little naga soaked in blood now could he? One of his house elves informed him that Timoteo Sevez was waiting in his study to give him a full report.
On the way there, Marvolo decided it would be best if he sent Orpheus along with a message for the Malfoy's and Harry that he would most likely be late.
He then made his way to his office and attempted to get his temper in check, it had always been one of his weak points. It wouldn't do to take his anger out on the one who helped him solve the problem.
Even if his dinner and his time with his lovely little naga was delayed.
He opened the door to find the young dark haired wizard sitting before his desk. Sevez quickly stood and bowed low.
"Sevez. I trust everything went smoothly?"
"Yes my Lord."
Sevez then spent the next hour detailing the events, and since he was already here, going over his weekly report.
Sevez was in the same department as Jasper but with far more chance of promotion due to his high NEWT scores. He was currently working with the Unspeakables documenting the effects of prolonged exposure to the Veil. He was only allowed to review the notes and organize them, not participate in the actual study, but it was still useful information. If not exactly practical to his plans.
That idiot Falown had been working with the Unspeakables experimenting with new types and modifications to warding. Now that had garnered some useful information. Like where the grounding stone for the ministries wards was.
Not only had Falown lost him one of his most convenient positions in the Department of Mysteries, according to Sevez the Unspeakables were now suspicious. It turns out that blasted boy had been selling intel on the side and they had caught on. Now all the personnel who weren't actual Unspeakables were under higher scrutiny.
Perhaps he'd let Severus have a go at the traitorous fool as well. He was always a bit cranky before school started and a little playtime would make the man easier to bear.
Not to mention he was very inventive and if Marvolo remembered right, Falown had been one of the potion master's worst students.
He strode into the dining room well aware that his mood was still not at its best and fully intending to let the elder Malfoy know it. After all Lucius had been the one to bring the cause of his irritation into the death eater's ranks.
Marvolo could admit that this was childish but, he was the bloody dark lord. He could act however he damn well pleased. It was one of the perks.
And at least he wasn't going to crucio the man.
As he sat down to dinner, Malfoy on his left along with his wife and Harry on his right and no sign of the two other teenagers he proceeded to share what had caused his delay. He was momentarily sidetracked however, when his little naga snaked his hand under the table to grab his own.
A quick glance showed only an inscrutable look on Harry's face, although there was a faint blush dusting his cheeks.
Marvolo hesitated for only a breath, before curling the naga's hand more firmly in his. He couldn't recall the last time his hand was held, if it ever had been.
And he had the sneaking suspicion it had been the same for Harry. So why was Harry the way he was? Marvolo pondered in the back of his mind while outwardly enjoying how uncomfortable Lucius was and how Narcissa seemed to be amused.
A truly wonderful witch with her delightfully teasing nature. Or maybe she just caught Harry and he holding hands?
But that wasn't important at the moment. Figuring out this conundrum was.
Harry had lost his parent's to an insane megalomaniac (he could admit to it!), had been abused by magic hating muggles, used by a grandfather figure he thought he could trust, and been put through all sorts of heartache because of yours truly.
All Marvolo knew was that his own experiences with loathsome muggles, self-righteous purebloods and manipulative headmaster's had left him anything but forgiving. Even before he had lost his sanity.
So why was Harry so loving? So quick to forgive him? To move on? Was it the bond, or perhaps there was something else?
As his mind ran around in circles contemplating these foreign thoughts he let himself be calmed by the smaller hand in his and the unusual sense of peace that stemmed from it.
Later that night he made his way up to the attic of his mansion. He sorted through the different boxes and dust covered trunks until he came to a black dragon hide violin case. It seemed the preservation charms were still working as it was free of the grime that littered everything else. Hopefully the years of neglect hadn't damaged the inner contents either.
Marvolo opened the clasps and ran his hand over the smooth surface of the first thing besides magic that had brought him joy.
As he sat on the dusty floor and hesitantly adjusted the strings and tightened his bow his mind filled with convoluted remembrances and shadows. And for the first time since he had regained his sanity, he let himself walk down old paths, lit by the stanzas' that were the inspiration for that singular charm Harry had chosen.
"OUR share of the night to bear,"
He remembered the first time he heard a violin. He had been about six or seven, and had run from the orphanage in an attempt to escape a few of the older boys and their twisted sense of fun. It had also also the day the orphanages patron would be coming by to 'check in'. Especially with those occupants who had caught his roving eye.
It was always better to be gone on those days. So he made sure to run good and far so it would take a while to get back. Who knows, he might have even had the fortune of getting lost and never having to go back to that abominable place.
Our share of morning,
He had finally stopped for breath on a street corner several blocks away, hands clutching his sides as he gasped for breath, wincing at the sharp pain from his bruised ribs.
Our blank in bliss to fill,
As he slid down to sit on the dirty, muddy sidewalk he had heard it. A wonderful sound that seemed woefully out of place in the bleak setting of London's mucky streets.
He had stood then, and made his way towards the sound. He was surprised to see it coming from a man. An old, wrinkled ugly man. But the sound. The beautiful notes. For a boy who had known nothing of beauty or peace in his entire existence it was entrancing.
Our blank in scorning.
He had stayed till it was dark, listening to the songs and watching how the ignorant bystanders just walked on past, oblivious to the piece of heaven that was gracing their lives.
Hear a star, and there a star,
He had spent all of his extra time scrounging around for sheet music after that. And once he was at Hogwarts it had been amazingly easy to separate foolish purebloods from their pocket money and soon he had purchased his very own violin.
He had stayed up late, interspersing his studies in the dark arts with music. Those times in Slytherin's chamber had been the happiest moments of his life.
Some lose their way.
And he had thrown it all away.
Logically he knew it had been instigated by Dumbledore. Knew the man held the blame. But he couldn't help but hate himself a bit. Both for his own weakness in losing to that manipulative bastard, and for losing to his fear.
For letting it overshadow everything else.
Here a mist, and there a mist,
He had been gone for so long. Had let his own heart be filled with hatred and fear. Even his magic had been twisted.
Afterwards – day!"
But he had recovered. His plans were now set back on track and fate seemed to be rewarding him for once in his existence.
But dare he risk it? Dare he risk indulging in the things he had once tossed so carelessly aside? Was it just tempting fate, asking it to take everything away again?
Perhaps. But as he thought back to Harry's smaller hand clutched in his and that strange feeling of contentment he found he could do nothing else.
And as he drew the first crisp note from the violin, he realized, vaguely, why Harry was the way he was.
It was the little things in life, the short moments of happiness that made the rest of the troubles worthwhile.
He would have to be sure to keep Harry around so he wouldn't forget.
At eight o'clock Monday morning Harry strode through Gringotts front lobby and after a brief conversation with Bogrud he found himself once again sitting in front of Griphook's desk.
"Good day Lord Potter-Gryffindor. What can we do for you?" the goblin said giving the naga in front of him the goblin version of a welcoming smile.
"Quite a few things actually." Harry replied smiling wryly. "I'm afraid you're going to get tired of seeing me soon."
Griphook guffawed. "Hardly Lord Potter-Gryffindor. You seem to bring a nice share of mischief and mayhem in your wake, particularly for one Albus Dumbledore. I not only speak for myself but also Chief Ragnok, and even that grump Bogrud when I say we goblins haven't been this entertained for years. Your interview this weekend was delightfully cunning."
Harry blushed a bit under the praise. "Thank you Griphook." And said goblin replied with merely an airy wave of his long gnarled fingers so Harry went on.
"I was actually hoping to get an update on the matter of Albus Dumbledore stealing from my vault. And what you plan to do."
Griphook grew a frown. "We've taken the initial steps in retrieving your funds by beginning a private audit of the Dumbledore's many vaults. So far it seems the majority of the funds removed from your vault have been written off as going towards funding his little group, the Order of the Phoenix. We've also uncovered several other vaults he has illegally withdrawn from using various methods. Once the audit is complete Gringotts will be pressing charges. Though the families whose vaults were tampered with can press their own charges. The rest of your funds as you know were in the possession of Mr. Vernon Dursley. We have informed him of the lack of legality of the acquisition of his funds and have removed nearly the entire 500,000 pounds from a multitude of bank accounts, leaving them empty. We have also foreclosed on his home to regain the remaining amount. The 50,000 galleons will be redeposited in your vault in a matter of days. "
"How long until the audit is complete?" Harry asked with a rather blank face although inwardly he was cackling a bit insanely at the thought of the plight his 'relatives' were now in.
"Given the number of vaults compromised and the shear amount of assets Dumbledore has accumulated it will most likely take until Yule."
Harry nodded absentmindedly. "Are you planning on keeping this quiet until then?"
"That was our intention. The less Dumbledore is aware of the less he can tamper with. We did send him an owl informing him that as he was no longer your magical guardian he had no access to your vault, but he has not responded."
"That's fine. You mentioned the other day you could recommend a solicitor, who do you have in mind?"
"Terrwyn Kanis. A rather brilliant, no nonsense witch. Her address is number 6 Vertical Alley. She has worked well with us in the past. May I ask what you are planning?"
"Dumbledore is a sneaky bastard. I'd like to keep this in my back pocket to put him in his place further down the line but I want to get things organized and ready. Do you think Miss Kanis would be agreeable?"
"She is well known for her discretion and I believe the challenge of going against the Light's so called Leader will be more than enough to entice her to work with your plans."
"Excellent. I'll send an owl and set up a meeting. I was also hoping to set up something for my post. I'm getting flooded."
"That can be done." And Griphook pressed the button on his desk asking Gadrud to bring in the appropriate paperwork. It arrived in mere moments and Griphook wasted no time explaining the particulars.
"By signing this contract you are allowing us to use an imitation of your magical signature for the sole purpose of owl mail. This faux signature will compel the owl to deliver your mail directly to us. Once it has been screened we will place it in your box located in our establishment. It will then be sent directly to a matching box in your possession, I believe the large would be best considering." And Griphook checked something on the parchment and both Harry and Whisper were startled when a large box, as long as his arm and about a foot and a half wide suddenly appeared on the table. "It can be shrunk down and carried with you but must be restored to its original size to receive your mail. In the event the item is too large to deliver in this manner you will be notified to come and pick it up. If that is not possible, for a small fee it will be delivered personally by one of our own heavily warded carrier birds."
Harry nodded and signed the contract before taking out his wand and tapping the post box to shrink it down to fit in one of the large pockets of the slightly baggy cargo pants he was wearing today.
After that was dealt with Harry brought up the last reason for his visit today. "I was wondering if I could get a few wards for my apartment today. I expect I'll be wanting to bring visitors over soon and I'd really like to have a few more protections in place for both my safety and privacy."
"Of course. I believe we have someone available to start working on it this morning even. Would you be opposed to having them inspect the premises right away? Then we can see what sort of timeframe we'll be working with."
"That would be great. I have a meeting at ten but until then I'm free."
"Good good." Griphook then opened one of his desk drawers and drew out a sheet of parchment. He then handed it and a quill over to Harry.
"Here is a list of the types of wards we offer. Check off the ones you desire. The wards themselves will be tied to a wardstone that is custom made with the appropriate runes in place to anchor the wards. The wardstone will then be placed in a safe, well-protected location in your home."
Harry nodded and took the list. He began to scan it, tickling Whisper's nose with the large feathered quill in between marking off the ones he wanted.
In the end he only chose two. An anti-tracking spell ward and a Modified Fidelius ward which would only allow people to enter or see his home while in his willing company and unless they were keyed into his wards they would forget both the location and vicinity after they left.
After Harry finished both making his choices and pestering Whisper Griphook had Gadrud go and fetch someone to begin the work. Harry was surprised to see that the person the goblin returned with was none other than Bill Weasley.
"Harry!" the man greeted with surprise before his face lit in a grin and he came over and gave Harry a one-armed hug, careful not to dislodge the nekomata perched on the younger boy's shoulder.
"Hi Bill." Harry responded, relaxing when he didn't sense any ill will towards his person. In fact, Bill's magical aura was somewhat soothing. Harry took that as a good sign. "I thought you were working in Egypt?"
"Don't just 'hi Bill' me. The whole family's been worried sick about you. As for why I'm here, well I just thought it would be a good time to stay closer to home after last year's…events. So instead of working as a cursebreaker Gringotts has me dealing with their warding jobs and a whole slew of deskwork. I think they're trying to drive me back to Egypt."
Harry flushed. "Sorry about worrying everyone. I'm actually meeting them for school shopping today."
"Great! What time?"
"Noon at the Leaky Cauldron."
"That's when my break starts. Would you mind if I dragged Fleur along and joined you guys. I'm anxious to hear what you've been up to."
"I'd like that. And by Fleur, do you mean Delacour?"
At this Bill's face grew a wide grin. "Yes. She started working at Gringotts to improve her English and things just…"
"Went from there?" Harry completed, amused. Bill nodded, cheeks slightly tinged before changing the subject.
"You're looking very good Harry. I was surprised to hear of your inheritance, everyone was. But I must say you look better, happier than I ever remember seeing you. But you know mum's going to have a fit when she sees you." And Bill reached out to flick the dangling amethyst drop in his ear.
Harry sighed, grateful he had decided to get his tattoo in such an unobtrusive place. Molly would have a heart attack if she knew about that. "I know."
"Don't worry, we hooligans have to stick together don't we? And with Fleur around she probably won't give it more than a passing scolding. Mum doesn't like her much. Don't really know why though." and Harry laughed in response. Their conversation was then interrupted by a slight coughing noise and both Harry and Bill turned sheepish looks upon Griphook.
"If you're finished we have business to attend to." He muttered looking slightly miffed but the amused look in his eye ruined it. "Lord Potter-Gryffindor would like these wards placed upon his home." And he handed Bill the list, pointing out Harry's marked selections for good measure. "Am I correct in assuming you have a few wards currently in place Lord Potter-Gryffindor?"
"Yes. I have three. An anti-apparition, an anti-portkey and also a defensive one."
"It's more than likely that instead of being tied to a wardstone that your current wards are merely anchored to the property, significantly reducing their strength. If that is the case would you like them reanchored to your new wardstone? They would be much stronger."
"That would be good." Harry replied before they finished up their business and Harry left, heading home with Bill in tow.
After a brief tour of the apartment, with Bill jotting down certain dimensions and notes in the small red leather notebook he had pulled from his pocket the cursebreaker turned Gringotts employee got to work.
As it turned out, Bill would be able to have his new wards up and running in merely a few hours. Apparently the jade oak tree carving Harry had taken from the Potter vault was actually a very powerful wardstone. Bill had been ecstatic with the find. Gushing like a school girl over the dozens of runes etched into individual leaves to anchor nearly thirty different sets of wards. Including the ones Harry wanted. And it would increase the strength of his existing wards by nearly fifty percent.
All Bill had to do was power them up and key the stone to Harry. Which was done right at the start with a drop of his blood. After that he left Bill to work his magic, needing to get organized for his meeting with the minister and send an owl out to Terrwyn Kanis. With the knowledge that Bill was sworn to secrecy by the magical oath Gringott's required of their employees and the fact that Whisper and his own senses seemed at ease with the man, Harry had no problem trusting Bill alone in his apartment. He only hoped he would feel the same about the rest of the Weasleys.
Harry leaned back in his chair, any distinctive features hidden in the shadows of the back far corner of the Leaky Cauldron. The notice-me-not charm he had cast on himself after leaving his meeting with the minister, not wanting to face the rather large group of witches and wizards that had gathered outside of the establishment Fudge had chosen to meet in, had been removed after taking his seat in the pub. He had briefly considered wearing his glamour necklace, had it ready in his pocket actually, but he didn't want to reveal it in front of the Weasley's.
His meeting with the minister had gone very well. A few carefully placed comments and compliments that Lucius had suggested, mainly centering on his growing distrust for Dumbledore and his agenda, smoothed any lingering feelings of doubt or frustration Fudge felt for him.
Whisper had even taken it upon herself to endear herself to the wizard. Allowing Fudge to stroke her ears while she purred in response. Though she told him exactly what she truly thought about the "pompous, slimy, foolish slug in human guise' through their bond. Demanding Harry repay her with some nice fresh tuna when they returned home.
Harry couldn't help but agree with her assessment and demand. Merlin knows he certainly deserved some sort of recompense for being in the man's presence. It made him feel slightly ill. At the moment it appeared Minister Fudge had no intention to harm him and while remarkably weak, though Harry wondered if it was only his exposure to such powerful Wizards as Marvolo and Lucius, his core had no taint beyond what seeped over from his greedy, conniving desires.
The feeling of which had only been compounded by the gathering hoard of onlookers.
Marvolo would defiantly have to reward him for his effort.
He then had to explain away his resulting blush as nervousness after Whisper mentioned what sort of 'reward'' Marvolo was likely to bestow.
After some pleasant, though long-winded conversation, in which Harry thanked the Minister for clearing Sirius' name and discussed a little with the Minister about his goals and aspirations who in turn shared his own viewpoints. They moved on to important matters.
Fudge was not so subtle in his hope that Harry would use his new weight on the Hogwarts board to help push some of his own ideas. And Harry was more than happy to oblige the request of an additional get-together, this time with Lucius, to discuss who would be best to nominate for the vacant defense position at the upcoming emergency gathering of the board. Held solely to fill the void Dumbledore had had no luck in filling.
All in all their time in the café had amounted to little over an hour and a half, much to Harry's relief. They parted after a brief pause for a photo shoot with a photographer from the Daily Prophet, Minister Fudge staying to sop up the attention and make a few comments while Harry made his escape through the back door. Courtesy of a sympathetic, if a little star struck waitress.
And now he found himself waiting for the Weasley's with about fifteen minutes to spare. Thankfully the pub wasn't too crowded and none of the patrons that were there seemed to grate too heavily on his senses. And he was able to lean back and relax for a moment with Whisper kneading his lap as he ran his slightly longer than normal nails down her sides.
"If you stop I will bite you." She informed him bluntly and he responded by chuckling and moving his free hand to scritch her chin.
A short while later Harry's gaze was drawn to the fireplace as the first of the Weasley brood made their way though together.
Both Fred and George appeared well, and a cursory perusal revealed nothing hostile about them. In fact there was the same comforting feel coming from the pair that had come from Bill. And Harry breathed in relief as some of the tension left his shoulders. He had always liked the twins. It would have hurt terribly if pair that could always make him laugh abandoned or betrayed him.
As they stood there, dusting each other off and grinning as they peered around, Ron made his way through, and Harry frowned. Beyond the distrust and unease he felt in response to the boy, there was something else…
"There is something that smells strange about him Harry." Whisper commented, amethyst orbs pinned on his 'best' friend.
Harry nodded in agreement. But he couldn't quite pin down whatever was off about the redhead. His earlier thoughts about the possibility of more of Dumbledore's tampering flittered through his mind. He would definitely have to do something about that soon. Even if he knew his and Ron relationship might never be the same, he at least owed him if Ron's mind was being tampered with simply because of his closeness to the boy-who-lived.
And as the next person came through he decided he didn't even want to dwell on what he felt from Ginny. And he flicked Whisper's ear in retaliation for the immensely inappropriate comments she was making.
Kittens weren't supposed to know that kind of language.
His sweet little familiar did not appreciate Ginny's obsession in the slightest, which seemed to roll off her person in waves. While Harry had felt some of the people around him respond with lust or other emotions he couldn't help think there must be something completely barmy about the girl to account for such extreme feelings. And to distract himself from how uncomfortable it was making him feel, Harry asked Whisper why she hadn't gotten so possessive around Marvolo and in fact seemed to encourage any sort of debauchery between the two of them. She simply responded that she enjoyed the Dark Lord's hands, and if sharing her snake with the man got her access to those simply magical appendages than it was a sacrifice she would gladly make.
Both Arthur and Molly had arrived while he was speaking to Whisper and Harry couldn't help the joyful smile that formed on his face when he turned his attention to the two. He could tell they had meant what they had written in the letter. And he was immensely grateful that they still worried and cared for him even after it had been revealed he was consorting with the Malfoy's in his interview.
Quietly, after Whisper had jumped up to perch on his shoulder, he made his way over the rather boisterous group.
George gazed about the Cauldron, eyes searching for any sign of the mop of messy black hair that was the trademark of, at least to he and Fred, their youngest adoptive brother.
He still remembered how scared he felt when Dumbledore had summoned his parent's for an Order meeting because the wards around Harry's home on Privet Drive fell. And how relieved he had been when his parents returned with the news that Harry had simply left home and would not be returning since he was now a legal adult after his inheritance.
Which both he and Fred fully supported. They still remembered those bloody bars on the smaller boy's bedroom window, the multitude of locks on his door and the threadbare state of the room. Especially noticeable given the condition of the rest of the home. Though they had seen only the hall really.
And then there had been that article in the Prophet, which he would have normally dismissed out of hand simply because it was the Prophet and that paper really was no better than a pile of rubbish on the best of days, but the photo was most definitely of Harry, although he looked a tad different. Chatting, if not enthusiastically but politely with Rita Skeeter of all people! Revealing his new status as Lord Potter Gryffindor and as a Naga.
He had no clue, and Fred hadn't either, why Harry had decided to reveal information he had kept guard over for years. Nearly snapping and snarling defensively whenever the subject of his relatives or home life was brought up in anything more than a passing comment.
But if he knew Harry, and both he and his twin knew quite a bit more about the boy than anyone else might have guessed, then he had done so for an important reason. And it obviously had to do with Dumbledore.
Not that he or Fred would blame him. Harry certainly had a bone to pick with the Headmaster. But he had a feeling it wasn't just personal. His change of tune about what happened during the third task was proof of that. Harry would never do something with such drastic repercussions for something as childish as revenge. He wasn't too concerned at the moment though. Harry would surely clue them in if he needed too.
And if they had too, he and Fred would certainly be able to weasel it out of their little snake in lion's clothing. Harry had too much of a habit of hiding things from the people who cared about him that he really shouldn't.
After all, how could they support and help the little bugger if he didn't let them know what was going on? Not to mention it just wouldn't do for Harry to hog all the fun and mischief George was certain he was planning.
He was starting to get a little antsy. Fingers ready to delve into all sorts of chaos when Fred tapped his shoulder and nodded discreetly in the direction of a rather dark corner of the pub. Squinting his eyes, George recognized the familiar color of the emerald eyes that had been observing their family but had caught on both he and Fred once they noticed their attention. Green eyes filled with amusement and Harry raised a finger to his lips as he stood quietly to make his way over.
George felt his eyes widen minutely, sure the same look was on his brother's face, as they took in Harry's new appearance as discreetly as they could without giving him away.
The once thin, almost haggard looking boy now moved across the dingy pub with serpentine grace and far more confidence than he had ever before shown. And, not that he hadn't always been attractive, but now Harry was downright gorgeous. With his bloody bright eyes, slender frame and attractive features. Both he and Fred had never had any problems appreciating a fine body, whether male or female.
And Merlin, were they appreciating now.
It almost made him wish they didn't consider the younger boy a sibling.
Both boys snickered as Harry caused their mother to let out an undignified squeak as he snuck up behind her.
"Oh Harry dear! It is so good to see you!" said their Molly mum as she enveloped the smaller boy in an almost bonecrushing hug as Arthur patted him warmly on the shoulder.
"It is good to see you Harry. You're looking well."
Harry beamed up at the man. Well, as much as he could while being half smothered. "It's good to see you all too."
After a rather awkward greeting from Ron, who seemed to flinch back from his supposed best friend, Ginny attempted to give her version of Molly's hug, though in a decidedly less chaste manner. George and Fred outright guffawed when the previously unnoticed little gray kitten with two tails on Harry's shoulder hissed menacingly at their little sister. Halting her attempts at subtle molestation.
Though Harry apologized, George could see the boy was relieved. And while being careful not to jar the little kitten Harry introduced as Whisper, his familiar, he and Fred slung an arm each around Harry's shoulders. Offering their support and effectively shielding him from their rather rude siblings.
"Well little brother,"
"It's good to have you back."
Harry ducked his head a bit shyly and Whisper gave the arm closest to her, Fred's, a delicate sniff before deciding to ignore it altogether.
So. Marvolo is OC. Very OC. Especially in some bits of this chapter. Let me know if I managed it in an acceptable manner. Not really sure about it myself but it just felt right.
Also I'm going back and re-uploading chapters with grammar and structure problems fixed. Nothing important to the plot has or will be changed.