A/N: Some stronger language but its really not much. Just don't want any flames saying I didn't warn anyone.
Chapter 9: The Passing of Time
Christmas and New Years passed with the Greengrass' staying in the Black family home while a three-month pregnant Elizabeth dragged her fiancé off on their long overdue honeymoon. During that time, Walburga had tried everything to keep the young engaged couple from doing anything more than sitting on opposite sides of the room while un-chaperoned. This, of course, led to lots of eye rolling on Harry and Daphne's parts and more than a little reminiscing on from the Greengrass parents. Blaise and his mother joined the group on Christmas day to open presents before the pair headed off to Italy to visit the Zabini Famiglia and the di Stefano elders.
During their stay, Belladonna locked herself in the library and with the help of a few portraits in there, was able to break the curse the Dark Lord had placed on her so many years ago. It was also during this time that Harry learned just how backwards society could be.
"Why don't you have any siblings if your mom has remarried before, Blaise?" Harry asked after lunch. An uncomfortable air filled the room as Blaise began the explanation. Daphne and Astoria quickly excused themselves from the room so as to not make a scene.
"Well Harry, a witch as you've most likely learned, is thought of a second class citizen. Marriage is supposed to be for life, even if their husband's cheat they cannot ask for a divorce unless there is proof of physical abuse. When a woman becomes a widow after conceiving and delivering a healthy heir, she is no longer eligible to give an heir to another man, unless there are extenuating circumstances. She is no longer able to expand her family past a new husband, which is only to help provide for herself and her child or children until the money her husband left her child/children can be used. A second marriage, should the first provide an heir, is for companionship and financial comfort for the witch, nothing more." After hearing this, Harry vowed to not die on Daphne if they had a child before he could accomplish all of the shit the world expected him to do.
After Blaise and his mother left for Italy, Daphne and Harry had to meet up late at night to get to know one another properly. Without someone their age around, Walburga and Morgaine had become much stricter about how they spend their time together and where they spend it. What they say and how they act was also monitored during these chaperoned afternoons, after Harry had finished his schoolwork for the day. At the rate he was going, he would be part way through third year by the time he saw Daphne again at Easter.
Daphne and the rest of Clan Greengrass returned to Greengrass Manor the Sunday following New Years and Daphne returned to School the following Monday. Sirius and Elizabeth also returned home that Monday January 4th, but not until several hours before midnight. When Harry went to ask about their honeymoon, all he got was a smile and a quick "We'll tell you when you're older" before they raced off to bed, leaving behind a grossed out Harry.
On the continent, Clara had been teaching her descendant and forming plans of changing a child. Her descendant, a 22-year-old orphan who had to take care of her five younger brothers and sisters, was a prodigy, much like Clara when she was alive. However, certain aspects of the art could only be achieved through death and rebirth, otherwise known as being turned into a Vampire, something Petra Moldovan had point blank refused but still pouted about. And, as far as Clara knew, none of her "misdeeds" (in her husbands eyes) had been found out yet, if all went according to her plan, she would have a child by summer.
Harry took the equivalent of his second year end of the year exams the week of March 1, a bit later than anyone had expected but not off schedule. This meant that his 'vacation time' was cut down to a week instead of the original two he was promised. He had tried to argue that third year curriculum so soon after second year might make his head burst. However, Walburga was having none of it, stating that most purebloods have their children tutored during the summer so they are a step ahead of their peers when they return in the fall. Harry did not like that idea one bit.
His free week was spent flying in the back gardens, writing Daphne and Blaise, and figuring out which books he would need Elizabeth to purchase for this new 'school year'. After much debate, it was decided that he would learn Ancient Ruins and Arithmacy while using his free time to read up on magical creatures. Divinations, Walburga had screeched, was a useless subject and a waste of time unless you had the gift. Luckily or unluckily depending on whom you asked, Elizabeth was out of the room for that conversation, otherwise Harry might have gotten an extra week off due to in house fighting.
Apolline and Gabrielle had also come to visit during this time, stating that they needed a break from M. Delacour and his business partners that had taken to having business talks in every used part of the manor- except the bedrooms. The two stayed for three days and Harry thought that it was three days too many by the end. Gabrielle was about to turn 7 and, as such, was in a superior mood throughout the visit, insisting that everyone wait on her hand and foot because it was her "birth week" or "semaine de naissance". She still had yet to speak a full sentence in English as well, choosing to speak entirely in French, or when her mother glared at her, a mixture of both French and English. It was during this visit that Elizabeth started to get cold feet about her own child that had yet to be born. At just about five months pregnant, Elizabeth knew her pregnancy was far from over and she was not looking forward to carrying twenty extra pounds in the summer heat.
When Sirius noticed her change in mood, the two locked themselves in the bedroom for most of the afternoon on the first day, returning to the company of their guests only for dinner. Walburga would have lectured them about being terrible hosts had Apolline not hugged Elizabeth and asked if she was feeling better. Pregnancy, as the portrait and the half Veela knew, was not the best experience the first time, nor the second as both of them had chosen to stop after two for a reason.
During this absence of his godparents, Harry was forced to play host, learning on his feet the dos and don'ts. Luckily, Apolline was not offended when he made mistakes. Instead, she would laugh it off and correct him patiently, understanding that the fine art was not a talent one was born with, like being a Metaphormagus, something Harry had been born with and would be learning to use as soon as Tonks had time to come over and teach him.
Apolline and Gabrielle left the day before her birthday with promises to send Fleur their love and acceptance to spend part of the summer back in London so the children could form better alliances. It was also rumored that the rest of the Black Family, along with the Greengrass Clan and the two London dwelling Zabinis would be in attendance.
Daphne hated the Weasley Family. The youngest and only girl though, was not all bad and neither were the twins when they got pasted their near sightedness of the houses. Unfortunately, the other two Weasleys were awful. The Prefect made her want to vomit with how much aftershave he wore and the perpetual holier-than-thou attitude while the youngest boy in her year made her want to gauge her eyes out and hammer her scull until it caved in. His voice was almost as bad as Pansy's and he thought he was the shit because he had been all buddy-buddy with The-Boy-Who-Lived for a year. Of course, without Harry here, more and more people were getting fed up with him and even Granger was having a hard time dealing with him. Unfortunately, the girl's taste in men (aka, her infatuation with the stuck-up asshole) was what kept him from being entirely alone. As long as someone was there to listen, his ego would continue to suffocate them all. It was almost as bad as Draco's, almost.
During the time Harry had to put up with a little girl's visions of grandeur, Daphne had to deal with an overly crude Draco and an annoying, lying Gryffindor. She had almost given up the secret of where Harry was several times but Blaise would always stop her while Tracey would later confront her about her closeness with Blaise. All in all, Daphne had a migraine that would not go away. Luckily, none of the teachers had noticed anything unusual about Daphne's reactions, otherwise, she might have been forced to tell against her will and she wanted a happy marriage, thank you very much.
Throughout the trying time, Daphne found that the letters she continuously received from 'Cousin Porter' were the only things keeping her sane. Harry had sent her no less than a dozen letters since the last time they had seen each other, and everything she would read them several times, respond and then hide them away in the false bottom of her trunk. This was her lifeline while she was stuck in this wasteland of hormones and egos otherwise known as Hogwarts. What she wouldn't give to be home tutored alongside Harry at the moment. But being pulled out now would raise too much suspicion. She would have to wait until at least after OWLs, if not, finish her education at Hogwarts, all seven years. She didn't know if she would have the patience to do that though. Sighing to herself, Daphne closed her bed curtains and proceeded to reveal the secrets of the latest letter, hoping it was as entertaining as the last and would help her get a better grip on her ever slipping sanity.
Dear Daffy-Duck.Oh, he wanted to tease her, two could play that game, she thought to herself with a smile. The letter continued on and on bringing her news from one of the saner but completely dysfunctional pureblood homes in England. The part about Gabrielle made her laugh, the parts with Sirius and Elizabeth made her sigh at the romance, and the news of Walburga and her insane house elf made her take pause in her family's decision to marry into this family. It was like reading a good book and it was under 2000 words. Daphne set about writing a response before sealing her savoir in her trunk and getting her homework out. Oh how she hated homework. What she wouldn't give right now to be beside her future husband, learning what he was learning and keeping her sanity even through a tougher course load. Yes, she decided, even if he wasn't really allowed out, Harry Potter had it easy.
Easter and the end of the school year for Hogwarts and Beauxbatons came, followed by the end of the year for Durmstrang and a short vacation for the Auror Trainees. This meant that everyone who hadn't already passed on, which Lucretia and Cassiopeia had just before Christmas, was gathered at Black Manor on Grimmauld place. It was nothing short of a miracle that no one had unwanted noticed and that everyone fit with the added guests of the Delacours, Greengrasses, Zabinis, and several Vampires that decided to drop in. Harry was finally able to meet cousin Mira, who was a carbon copy of Sirius except with Hazel eyes and a French accent. Fleur had done the introductions even though Mira was a year behind her but they both ran in the same social circles at school.
Phineas and Belinda had come with their first born, a son named Regulus Wilkes Black, in honor of the Phineas' deceased cousin who had died trying to do the right thing. The boy had just reached 6 months and was already trying to be the center of attention, not that his barely older cousin, Asterope, would let him. While the Vampires all departed on June 11, it was on June 12 that the festivities came to an end, or would have if Elizabeth had not gone into labor an hour before the guests were supposed to start departing.
As fate would have it, Elizabeth's baby chose the mid-morning of the 12 to decide it wanted to leave it's mothers womb and poor Elizabeth had to spend the next seven hours while everyone was down stairs in labor. At five pm exactly, six hours after everyone was supposed to have left, Elizabeth gave birth to the Black Heir, Phoenix Gemini, followed by his surprise twin, Leo Gemini, the second Black heir. After the shock wore off, it was only natural that the Black Heir be a twin as they were born under the sign of the twins. Elizabeth had not been happy to have twins right off the bat but decided that maybe further down the road, a little girl wouldn't be too challenging with twins, she hoped.
Harry had been named Godfather, an honor that he took with great pleasure. Harry knew it would have been James, his father, had things been different, but Harry reasoned, there was no use crying over a spilled potion. Everyone left the manor two days later, after a celebration for their birth had taken place. Unknown to the newborn twins and everyone else at the party, the twins shared their birth with another individual.
Clara Dracula knew that today was the day. After months of planning and sweet-talking this child, she would turn her and finally have a child. Knowing this girl, the forgotten daughter of a widower teacher, would have no qualms leaving her old life for this one, she happily took the girl to the forests surrounding the fortress where the sweet taste of this young teens' blood filled her mouth. Almost unable to stop, Clara drank and drank but the need for a child to fill the whole in her dead heart was able to convince her to finish the changing ritual and smuggle the girl back to her secret room in the tower. June 12 marked the death and rebirth of Katrina Poliakoff as Katrina Dracula.
Several hundred miles away, a similar looking girl wept with sadness and joy. Adrianna Poliakoff, Katrina's cousin, had known the hardships and sadness her beloved younger cousin had gone through because of her father. She could not hold this tempting decision against her cousin, knowing it had eaten at her until Adrianna had helped her decide. She would miss her cousin but she had an arranged marriage to see through and heirs to produce. She had always known her place in this world, but that hadn't stopped her from weeping at the thought that she wouldn't share it with one of her closest companions anymore.
Elizabeth found out just before the first Christmas she would celebrate with her twin sons. And she had been furious with Clara for not informing her when she left all those months ago. The summer had been spent with Elizabeth worrying and trying to take care of twins while Sirius and Walburga took over Harry's lessons when he wasn't with Daphne, Fleur, Mira and Blaise. Astoria and Gabrielle had bonded as well, despite their age difference. The two girls had taken every chance they could to tease and taunt their older sisters, both of whom had perfected the bored, impassive look and their little sisters quickly lost amusement from the game.
Christmas, a much less grand affair than the summer get together that was being planned again, was a time for the betrothed to get to know one another and their foreign friends to catch up on their respective school years. As third years, Blaise and Daphne were also taking Ancient Ruins and Arithmacy, choosing to do their own self-study for Care of Magical Creatures and forego Divinations entirely, a subject many in their year had taken as a filler class to goof off in.
After the issue between Elizabeth and Clara was settled, Katrina was introduced to the Black family and their Allies. Since being turned, Katrina's light brown hair had darkened a bit, something that could not be helped as exposure to the Sun would kill her at this point in her short undead life, and her blue eyes had red rings, something she had been told would go away in a few years, when she had learned to control her blood lust. As Katrina was forever trapped in the body of a small, barely 17-year-old girl, she got along relatively well with Fleur, someone less than two years younger than her, but was having trouble relating to the rest of the group. The visit was short, as Clara did not want to risk Katrina's low self-control in an environment with young children.
Like the previous year, Daphne and Harry had exchanged letters through coded means and had started to really like each other. Aside from being able to make each other laugh, no matter the distance, Daphne brought Harry word of what his so-called friends had done in his absence, while Harry had brought Daphne into his world and away from the stress Hogwarts caused her.
Since Harry's disappearance, Ron had tried to rally everyone around him, stating that, as his best friend they should all listen to him incase Harry sent word of what they should do. Hardly anyone listened to shit Ron Weasley spewed from his mouth, but Hermione Granger did, something the hit Harry very hard as she had always seemed to be the more level headed one and had seemed like a genuinely nice person. Dumbledore had done nothing to stop Ron or anyone who had started any rumors about where Harry might have gone. Hogwarts was apparently the starting point of a lot of the rumors the Daily Prophet still printed about him apparently. Even after a year and a half, the papers still ran front-page stories about him. Luckily it was never anything too horrid but whenever Ron was the source the papers used, Harry would go into a funk that only Daphne's letters could pull him out of.
Blaise had taken a different approach than Daphne, who would write ever increasingly long letters to Harry in her stress. Instead, Blaise used all of his family's teachings to start to make Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger's lives a living Hell. From pranks to switching good homework's for bogus ones, Blaise was slowly making the pair go insane with paranoia. And just like the perfect Slytherin, no one ever caught him.
Monday, December 20, 1993
Despite the shining sun, the occupants at Malfoy Manor were in mourning. Draco had just gotten off the train for Christmas break the night before and his father had seemed fine. Although Lucius had been suffering from over-exposure to a cursed item, one he had admitting to destroying and had fallen ill due to the backlash, he had passed in the night, after asking the healer to shave his head. The woman had done so and had left for the night, giving the hair to Narcissa and telling her she would be back in the morning to check to see if Lucius was starting to go insane.
Now, they were planning a funeral and paying off the healer to not speak a word of this to anyone. Lucius had left enough hair for Narcissa to impersonate him at various points for the next three years, just before Draco could take over. It was Lucius' death that had Narcissa re-prioritizing Draco's education and his attitude.
"Draco, we are going to my sisters for Christmas, the house needs to air out so your father's soul can find its way back to the goddess. Do not be sad, your father died because he saw the error of his ways but it was too late for him. You must not become your father, Draco; the Dark Arts are not the answer. Yes, I will admit that I am not fond of Muggleborns but the times are changing and we must change with it. I loved your father but preserving the old ways will only cause more fighting within our world. We need it united before the Dark Lord tries to return. He will only wreck our way of life more and you need to realize that before it is too late. We can gain power and prestige without resulting in mass bloodshed and war. Draco, are you listening to me?"
Draco was shocked, everything his father had brought him up to believe, he had not believed? This was madness but maybe that was why he had been trying to tell him all those crazy things over the summer. This was too much for Draco to handle. He almost couldn't take it. Shaking his head in neither a negative nor a positive response, Draco went called and elf, Dobby, to pack some clothing and his presents for the holiday before going through the fire to the Tonks household.
Narcissa, cradling a babbling Caeli, called her personal elf, Gingy, to pack her and her daughters clothing and presents as well as some all the hygiene items they would need, something her teenage son had forgotten about. Shaking her head, she followed her son through the fire to see him crying in his Aunts lap, collapsed on the floor in front of the couch where she was sitting. Andromeda didn't need to be told what had happened as she motioned for her sister and niece to sit next to her before Narcissa too broke down crying, followed by Caeli who was crying just because her mother was.
And that was how Ted and Tonks found them a half hour later, the four weeping for the untimely death of Lucius Malfoy.
After being sworn to secrecy as a secondary Black Member, Draco had been let in on the secret and had spent the rest of the school year in the company of Blaise Zabini. He was still his snarky self, but he had ditched Crabbe, Goyle and Pansy in exchange for the quiet solitude the dark skinned Italian boy allowed him. No one really took notice, except Professor Snape and the Headmaster, but after seeing Lucius at a Board meeting, had brushed it off as a sign of him growing up.
Summer passed much in the same way the last had, without any births or pregnancies though and with the addition of Draco Malfoy, someone Astoria instantly took to and Fleur found annoying, as he could not control himself around her Veela Allure. It was only if Astoria or someone else decided to distract him that the he could properly hold a conversation with the older girl. When Gabrielle wondered why he did not react to her the same way he did to Fleur, Apolline had to explain that the Allure of Veela do not kick in until puberty and she, Gabrielle, still had a long way to go. At this, the younger girl pouted but was soon distracted by her "enemies" arrival, Katrina Dracula.
Ever since the younger girl had met the recently turned Vampire teenager and heiress of the Dracula Clan, Gabrielle had found a competitor for male attention in the house. Being the youngest, Gabrielle had been used to everyone playing attention to her and no one really contradicting her. She might admit to being the slightest bit spoiled but she could not stand that everyone pays more attention to the quiet Vampire girl with crazy eyes than her, the cute little quarter Veela child. It had driven her crazy. Of course, Katrina found the whole thing ridiculous and knew the younger pest would grow out of it, unlike her who would never grow again.
Katrina had found that as long as she was only at the gathering for a day at a time and took a day to be alone afterwards, the blood lust was minimal and could be dealt with easily. The Dracula Clan had also accepted her with relative ease, having an ancestor as the official scribe and historian for the Clan. Being a Vampire was a wonderful change compared to being human. Although she missed her cousin dearly, she knew her cousin would have too much on her hands in the coming years than to deal with her mood swings and bouts of depression. Being turned had been one of the best decisions in Katrina's young mortal life.
"So wait, your cousin, is Viktor Krum, THE Viktor Krum's fiancée?" Draco Malfoy practically squealed in excitement. Since Harry had not returned to school for second year, he had missed Draco becoming a reserve and then starting seeker on the Slytherin Quidditch team, while Dean Thomas, the boy of questionable parentage in Harry's old house, had made Seeker. Both boys were evenly matched but normally Draco won due to having the faster broom.
At Katrina's nod, Draco got all star-crossed thinking of meeting the international Quidditch celebrity. Gabrielle glared a bit but also could not help but wonder what it would be like to meet the gorgeous, mysterious looking man that played seeker for Bulgaria. "Yes, although we are Romanian and he is Bulgarian, our ministries in Eastern Europe are basically all under the same few leaders with the main Ministry in St. Petersburg, Russia. His father and Adrianna's father are both members of our version of your Wizengamots. They knew that an Alliance between their families would also bring about an Alliance between their parties and so they betrothed their children and have had them spend summers together ever since we were five. I was never allowed to go due to my father being an asshole and the contract stating that they had to know each other for at least four full years before they could officially become engaged. They circumvented that by having them spend three summer months together for twelve years."
"What kind of ridiculous clause is that? No offense…" Astoria asked, blushing when she realized she asked it out loud.
Katrina chuckled darkly a little before answering, "Their mothers cared too much about them to truly let them get married out of no where before even meeting each other. I'm sure your families intended to raise you both together, Harry and Daphne, but the fates were cruel and took that chance away. At least they have been kinder these past few years and have made up for the pain and suffering we have all gone through." Katrina was a very moody Vampire the group of mortals came to realize. Clara Dracula really knew how to pick them.
Harry, after the twins' birthday and the end of the family gathering, took and passed the equivalent of the end of first semester exams for fourth year. The second semester of the equivalent of his fourth year would start after a two-week break, during which, Daphne was allowed over for small, unsupervised portions of the afternoon. The two continued to get to know each other better and tell stories that they had to leave out in their letters.
The twins had started walking and talking and had finally done some accidental magic as well during this time period. The twins were identical, down to the small freckles that were on their back. Sirius refused to let Elizabeth do more than cut the children's bangs, leaving their ebony locks to fall in loose curly waves to their shoulders. Walburga had a fit.
With the coming school year, Harry Potter was declared unofficially dead until his body was found and the warrant for his and Sirius Black's arrest were terminated, thinking that both were dead as they could not find any trace of both man and convict anywhere. Only Dumbledore had a small idea of where the pair could be but he wasn't saying anything until he got his hands on that brat. The piece of shit was making his life hell and he could do nothing but continue with the grandfather act until the boy was back in his grasps.
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger had a "mourning period" of a month before going back to sucking at each others faces in front of everyone, much to the disgust of every student and teacher. Unfortunately, Dumbledore was able to stop all detentions and point deductions from his little spy and his unknowing informant who had spent a good solid year helping Harry down the "proper" path.
The Triwizard Tournament was announced and with it, Scabbers aka Peter Pettigrew escaped to help Resurrect his master.
A/N2: I'm stopping there, I could keep going but I think if I want to keep to a similar timeline as the one in the actual stories, then I need stop skipping through time now. I'll try to update soon again.