Harry Potter, The New Dark Lord

A/N:What's this? An update? Another one? Surely you think I jest? Nope. It's an update. A real update! Extended A/N will be at the bottom.

Chapter 12: Dark Roots in Paradise

Harry side along apparated Hermione to Potter manor. Appearing outside, Harry walked Hermione to the main door and into the manor. Closing the door behind him Harry looked to Hermione. She had stopped in the middle of the entry way, unmoving. It filled Harry with sadness to see his friend so broken. The once inquisitive girl, eager to learn with a strong sense of equality, particularly to the house elves and other creatures, had been replaced by a hollow doll.

Harry was sure she would cope in her own time. For now though he would help her as best as he could. "Mindy," Harry called out followed by the soft pop of the house elf.

"Yes, Lord Potter sirs." said the family elf.

"Mindy," Harry said quietly, not sure how Hermione would react right now. "My friend here, Hermione, has recently been through quite the ordeal and will be staying in one of the guest rooms for now. However, she needs some of her things from her... home. Could you please retrieve them and place them in the room next to hers?"

"Yes Lord Potter sir," said Mindy before disappearing again. Harry wanted her tings in a different room so Hermione could deal with them on her own time. It would not do her any good to surround her with fresh reminders just yet.

"Come on Hermione, lets find you a room." Harry said placing his hand on her shoulder. Breaking from her daze Hermione followed mutely behind him. Harry led her through the mansion to the guest wing. Opening one of the first rooms he led her inside. She quickly sat on the bed and looked out the window tow the grounds.

The room was simple yet elegant. It had nothing too fancy or elaborate, just enough for any guests to spread out and relax when not interacting with the Lord or Lady of the house on extended stays. Making sure Hermione was as settled as possible, Harry told her he would return shortly after he checked on Daphne and Ginny. If Hermione heard him she gave no sign.

Just as Harry left the guest room, Mindy returned. "Master Harry sirs, I is doing as asked."

"Very good Mindy," Harry smiled. "Now, I want you or another elf to discreetly watch Hermione. If she needs anything please attend to her as you would me."

"Yes Master Potter's sir," said Mindy before vanishing again.

Looking back to the room Hermione was staying in Harry marched down the hall to the other guest room that Ginny was in. Opening the door he saw that Daphne was still in the room watching Williams work.

"Ah, Lord Potter. It's good to meet you without the subterfuge." he said smiling slightly.

"Indeed," Harry said simply looking to Daphne. She barely acknowledged his presence, merely looking at him with a blank expression. 'Great, she's still mad about something' thought Harry.

Harry moved closer to Daphne on the opposite side of the bed from the healer. "How's Ginny?" he asked nobody in particular.

"Well," started Williams. "I've manged to stop part of the internal beading at least so she can breathe. Thought she is by no means out of the woods yet. It will be quite some time before she regains conscious, let along get out of this bed." he gestured.

"but she will live?" Harry asked the important question.

There was silence for a moment as Rick Williams, the healer, thought on his question. "Yes and no." he replied after a moment. "If she is monitored closely for the next week or so she will regain consciousness. However, she has extensive damaged to her spine and other bones. Even with potions such injuries are very dangerous and tricky to heal. She could very well be confined to a bed for the rest of her life."

"Thank you," Harry said solemnly. "Doctor, when you get a moment, I would like to speak with you later." Williams nodded. Leaning down to Daphne, Harry quietly said, "can we talk?"

Nodding Daphne got up and left the room Harry close behind, "don't hex him too bad sweetie, I already have my hands full with this one!"

"I won't harm him too badly," Daphne smirked as she called back.

Harry frowned as Daphne led him to the library. Harry sat down in one of the couches as Daphne paced in a frenzy behind the other couch in front of him.

"What's wro..." he started to say.

"Cut it," she growled as she continued to pace. Her mind an ocean of thoughts. All of which seeming to fuel her ire. "I'm not going to be something you keep in the house and parade around when it suits you."

"Daphne, what are..." Harry stated to say again.

"I said, cut it!" she yelled stopping to look right at him. The fireplace and the end of the library casting dark shadows across them as she continued to stride back and forth several more times. "When you fight, I expect to be right there with you." she stopped pacing and stared at him again. She was leaning forward, her arms out to grip the back of the couch. It gave her a rather intimidating look.

"I don't care if it's on the battle filed or the board room." she said with force. "I will be by your side."

"But you're not..."

"Not what," she said. "Strong enough? Smart enough? I may not be Harry 'too many abilities, next Merlin' Potter, but I guarantee I'm just as strong and smart as you." she growled. Harry could only nod.

"Another thing," she said after a moment, her anger building again. "Just why did you invite the littlest redling here?

Harry frowned. 'Why was she upset that Ginny was here?' he thought. "She sent me a letter," he said.

"And?" Daphne growled for him to continue.

"She said she did not feel safe at home with the two traitors. I felt she would be a good ally and so I invited her here."

Daphne's eyes narrowed as she stared him down across the center table. "You invited another woman here. Without speaking to me." she growled.

"Daphne," Harry said speaking with conviction. "Ginny Weasley, is nothing more then a friend..."

"I don't care." she said matter of factly. "I expect you to inform me when you invite someone here."

"What about Granger?" she then snapped. Harry was briefly surprised that she knew Hermione was here. "I know she's here. I'm keyed into the wards just as you are. I 'felt' her enter. Besides I saw her in the guest room."

"Again, nothing more then a friend." Harry stated trying to figure out how to calm her down. Harry could see as well as feel that she as starting to loose control. "She's more like the sister I never had. She lost her parents tonight Daphne, she needed somewhere to go. Needs, somewhere to go."

"Don't tell me you're thinking about adopting her!" said Daphne. "you are aren't you!" followed after seeing his expression. "this is rich, you're younger then she is, what makes you think you can adopt her!"

"Snape was responsible for the deaths of her Parents, Daphne." Harry said. "Professor Snape, who is not only close to Dumbledore, but Voldemort as well. The attack may have been ordered by Voldemort, but I'm sure Snape told Dumbledore. And he seemed really focused on getting control of her, no doubt to either finish the deed, or more likely free his pet."

"It's not going to happen!" Daphne retorted. "Whether you're emancipated or not, she is still older then you."

"She's perfectly fine to take care of her self. I'm sure I could offer her own emancipation soon after."

"She's still older then you. Not by much sure, but the courts will not see it that way." she said. "You will surely loose any fight for custody."

"I have to try." Harry said with conviction. "She's my friend. Right now, she needs my help."

"Whatever," Daphne said with finality. "I'm,going to bed."

"Me too," Harry said thinking it was over. "I'm exhausted."

"Not tonight you aren't." said Daphne. "you will be sleeping here tonight."

Harry sat back down crossing his arms while muttering under his breath, "aspiring dark lord, and I can't even sleep in my own bed." he grumbled.

Several hours later Harry Potter lay awake on the couch in the library. A fresh set of linens were laid out for him thanks to Mindy. The fire place behind him now dimming, was still casting soft flickers across the room. Harry was trying to sleep but he could not get the situation with Daphne out of his mind right now.

Sighing, Harry swung out of the couch and put a night robe on that was laying on one of the arm chairs. Putting it on he wandered through the manor. Taking a peak into the master bed room he saw Daphne on her side of the bed, the blankets wrapped around her except for one hand reaching across his side. Her previous face of anger replaced by peaceful sleep.

Closing the door behind him Harry made his way back through the manor in search of his Parents portraits. He soon game to a special room on the ground floor under the guest wing. Opening the double wood doors Harry entered the portrait room.

The room was very simple, almost bare. The only major furniture was the portraits of Potters past across the walls. Not all of them were here of course, only lords and ladies of the family and significant family members. Between each portrait was a candle and arm holder all of them giving a nice even light across the room, not too bright, and not too grim given the dark wood floors and paneling.

As he walked to the back he noticed that most of the portraits were asleep. In the very middle of the back wall was the two portraits that he was looking for, those of his parents. Coughing lightly Harry woke them up from their 'sleep'.

"Oh, hello Harry dear." said his mom, Lily, giving a fake yawn. "wake up James, Harry's here." she then said looking over to her husbands portrait. James however continued to 'snore'. Reaching into his portrait from hers, she smacked him gently.

"Whaaa," James said sleepy. "oh its you Lily, I was just having the most wonderful dream. It was back on our honeymoon and you had just..."

"James!" Lily hissed. "Harry's here!"

"Harry?" James questioned. Looking over to where a now blushing Harry was James said, "oh, hello there."

"Hello," Harry could only say.

Sensing the now awkward conversation, Lily said, "Harry, can we help you with something?"

"Yes," said Harry breaking from the moment. "I need some advice."

"With?" Lily questioned.

"Daphne," Harry said.

"Ah, the young Lady Potter, how is she?" asked James.

"Kinda pissed at me actually." Harry stated.

Lily asked him to explain. As Harry went through the story the portraits of his parents patiently listened. He explained to him the attack and that he did invite Ginny to stay with him, as well has his plans to take custody of Hermione to his conversation with Daphne before he was banished to the couch for the night.

"Harry," said Lily, "how did you and Daphne marry, and how long have you known each other?"

"She approached me with proposal," Harry started. "a marriage contract for one year, during which she would teach me things I needed to know. As for low long I've known her, I knew of her at school. Didn't know her really until she approached me."

"That contract is actually similar to the one my parents tried to arrange with Lily" said James.

Harry was a little shocked at that bit of information. "I never thought you and mom were contracted?" he said looking at both of them.

"No, we weren't." James explained. "Though when my parents learned of my crush on Lily, a muggleborn witch..."

Seeing the look of confusion on his face, Lilly explained further. "James's parents fount out about his crush on me at the end of seventh year." she said. "Knowing that I was muggleborn, James's parents approached mine with a proposal."

"The proposal was," James continued. "In exchange for protection, Lily would give me a chance for a few months."

"That seems like an odd arrangement," Harry said.

"It was," Lily said. "James's parents wrote to mine, asking if they could come over to discuss the current state of things. And that they would like to propose an arrangement for James and myself."

"My parents explained that there was a new 'dark lord' rising in the wings." said James. "that he was starting to attack with increasing frequency. Among is favorite targets, were the muggleborn and their familys."

Harry listened with rapt attention as the portraits of his parents explained how they got together. They continued to switch off who was speaking. They explained that when James's parents visited Lily's, they offered to ward their home in case of attack and to ensure their safety, as well as that of lily.

At first Lily was strongly against it. Telling her parents that James was a jerk who spent too much time pranking and making a fools of others. Lily's parents eventually got her to agree. The contract that the Potters drew up offered the Evans protection even after Lily gave James a chance.

The reason that the Potters were so adamant that Lily give James a chance, was that they were fierce opponents of the pure blood movement. This earned them the animosity of not only Voldemort and his followers, but those who supported them indirectly. Voldemort's forces were starting to cause terror throughout warding Britain.

Those who opposed them were quickly dying off by 'mysterious' means. It was because of this that many were marrying young just out of Hogwarts, or contracts were made, usually between those who were already dating. The contracts cemented the safety of the family in case the worst happened or to make their family appear as neutral as possible. This left the dating pool very restrictive. If you were with someone who's family was either accused of being dark, or light. You were hated by the other. Things were worse for muggleborns. The only options they really had at the time was to date someone strongly against Voldemort and his ilk as well as their belifs.

"After I agreed, my parents wrote back and a date was set to meet at Gringotts to sign the contract." Lily continued. "However, before that day came..."

"My parents were murdered," James said solemnly. "Attacked in their home one night. I almost didn't make it out myself."

"Why weren't they staying here?" Harry asked. "Surely they would have been safer here then anywhere else?"

"My father never liked Potter Manor," James said simply. "he always felt it was too big for the three of us. We did stay here occasionally. Only for big parties or occasions though."

"If grandfather was dead," said Harry, "how did the contract work out?"

"It didn't." James said simply. "I was so broken after the death of my parents. And I never thought lily would agree to the contract if I was the one vouching for it."

"At the time I wouldn't have," Lilly agreed. "Thought he did have some wards put up anyway, which was sweet." Lily smiled.

"I couldn't do a whole lot though," said James. "Even though I was the only one left of the Potters at the time, the will my parents wrote only left me modest sum until my 17th birthday. After that though I would have access to everything. It seems my parents knew of my exploits at Hogwarts and didn't think it best to give a 16 year old with a history of pranking a large sum of money." James smiled.

"I only wish I as able to do more," James added. "After we graduated, shortly before we married, Death Eaters attacked Lilly's home, killing her parents."

The portrait of Lily cried for a moment. "When we started school again." she said. "My joy at being head girl was marred by learning that I shared the privilege with James. Something that eventually proved to be a blessing." she smiled at James who smiled brightly.

"With my responsibility as head boy and the events of the summer, I grew up a lot." said James. "I still pulled pranks. But I stopped picking on specific people or groups."

"Needing to work so closely together James and I got very close," said Lily.

"Soon we started dating, and at the end of seventh year, we married." James finished.

"Wow," Harry could only say. He was amazed by how everything seemed to nudge them together little by little.

"The point is this Harry," said James. "She may be mad at you right now, and you both may hardly know each other. Use this year under the contract to get to know each other. If things don't work out you both tried. But sometimes, two people come together in the most unlikely of situations."

"Marriage is not something entered into lightly." Said Lily. "if she was the one who approached you, you can be sure she as some feelings for you. Though she's lily unsure what. Give it time. It will work or it wont."

"What if she's just using me?" asked Harry. "Trying to ride off my fame, fortune, or ambition."

"A reasonable thing to worry about," said James. "Though If I remember right, the Greengrass family has always been quite respectable. Not sure how well off they are but they've always been rumored to be quite wealthy. As for ambition, what is yours?" asked James.

Harry took pause for a moment. He was uncertain how much to tell the portraits of his parents. Did he tell them he was turning dark? That he knew of the Potters secret linage? Did he tell them, that he was sick of the fighting over who's better? Muggleborn or Pure-blood? That he was tired of their world living in secret, that he was determined and prepared to bring unity, though force to bridge the worlds?

Harry didn't think that was a good thing to tell them, not yet. "I'm not entirely sure yet." he lied. "I was thinking about being an auror. Now, I'm looking at other, options." Harry said smoothly.

"well let us know when you do." said Lily to which Harry nodded. "No matter what you do, I'm sure we'll be proud."

"Thanks," Harry said. "I'm going to go check on Hermione and Ginny. And move into one of the guest rooms." said Harry moving to leave. Harry didn't know why he didn't do that in the first place.

"Harry," called Lily. "If Daphne already thinks that you have feelings for Ginny and or Hermione, you may want to just stay in the library tonight. Otherwise she's probably going to be more mad than she already is..."

This cause Harry to grumble, "dark lord, can't even sleep in a bed." he muttered as he left waving goodbye to his parents.

"Did he say, 'dark lord'?" questioned James as Harry closed the door behind him.

"I think so," Lily replied. "Do you think he knows about the secret lineage?

"It would be safe to assume he does," James said, now serious.

"What do we tell him, if he's embraced it..."Lily asked softly.

James moved over to her portrait and held her close to him. "We support him as best we can. No matter what he's still our son." he said with conviction. "Are you ok with this Lily, I know I told you about it before we married but..."

"I'm fine James," she said. "I expected that it would be our Harry. Now do we tell him that we know, or let him tell us?" The question hung in the air for a moment before they went back to their 'sleep'.

Harry moved through the house and back up to the guest wing. First he check in with Williams to see how Ginny was doing. She was still in a dangerous condition but he was sure she would recover. When Harry entered to check on her, Williams was just preparing to leave as he needed to get some ingredients for some potions. He could not take any from Mungo's as they needed their stock.

Nodding Harry filled him in on the location of the manor so he could return. The special form of the fidelius limiting guests to those who were invited or brought here. Williams was not gone for long. Returning only after a half hour or so with what he needed, which was a lot. He brought with him two full extended trunks full of tools and ingredients.

Satisfied that Ginny was in good hands Harry moved across the hall to check on Hermione. Knocking softly on the door, Harry entered the room. She was still sitting up looking out to the grounds through the tall window. Moving around the bed Harry looked at his friend. She still had that haunted look, but her hands, previously flat on her knees were balled into fists.

"My parents are dead," she said sounding more like a question than a statement.

"They are," said Harry.

"A professor Killed them." she said simply. "a teacher. Murdered my parents." her voice now carried a hard edge to it, replacing the doll like tone she had when she previously spoke. "as a teacher, their job, is to impart knowledge, skills, and wisdom. Making the next generation better than the one before."

Harry moved closer to her, the moon light was shining through part of the window, lighting up only half the room, and half of Hermione.

"Snape," she spat. "Violated that bond. Where he should have brought wisdom, he brought misery and pain. And now I am alone..." for the first time that night, she turned to look at Harry. The moon light light up one side of her face while casting the other into shadow.

Her body still showed that she was depressed. Her eyes changed though as Harry looked at her. One, lit by the moon, burned with anger. And in the other shined with a new fire. Despite being hidden by shadow, it burned bright and strong.

"he will pay."

Harry never expected the tone of malice coming from his friend, and he smiled.

-TNDL-

A/N: Sorry if this chapter feels a little rushed and low quality. There isn't much that needed to be done for this chapter as it's basically continuing where the last one left off as we move on to other things. The next chapter or two may be on another delay. I know what they will be about most likely, (one Harry meets Daphne's parents and sister as well as brings in Draco. The other will probably be either more on Nickolas or Hermione. Also, Harry and Daphne will have a deeper conversation dealing with the nights events.)

For those who have commented that Hermione is becoming the next Bella, you're right sort of. I don't think she's going to be as much of a fighter as Bella. Her strengths are mental, not physical.

Anyways. I'm not sure what else needs or can be done for this chapter so I'm going to go ahead and upload it. I know you guys have been waiting patiently for more, and I thank you.

If you have a specific question a PM is better then a review. I try to answer those as best as I can but I keep PM notifications in my inbox longer then those for reviews.

If there are any errors I will fix them ASAP. Right now, I have to get ready for work!

Until next time!