Chapter 15

Previously in History

"I call into commencement the Meeting of the International Council of Wizards, date October 23rd, 1901. The topic of discussion is today is Clause A of the Self-Defense Law, i.e. Vampyre, established under reign of Duke Blanc Montesquieu on 7th April, 1838. The floor recognizes Mugblood Monsieur Augustus Comte from Germanic-Ruse region, Liasons Officer to the Romanian Coven of the Elder Vampires Stefan and Vladimir. You have three minutes, Monsieur. You may begin."

"My Lords and dearest Ladies, good afternoon. It is my honor standing here to stand here before you and beseech you that the law established in 1838 by Duke Montesquieu must be revised. The law allows for the on-spot execution of any vampire, whether he is attacking or simply standing. It allows for the execution of a breed of people under the so-called "Self-Defense". Only in the past three months, eighteen vampires have been beheaded and lit afire. Such acts breed contempt within the Vampyric race, leading to more violence and attacks. An emotional outburst of vengeance and revenge. It breeds hatred in our society. Discrimination. Prejudice. And most importantly…"

"If I may interrupt…"

"The floor recognizes Pureblood Archibald Wintergreen-Malfoy, a first-order high General of the ICW."

"Mugblood Comte, I really must question your grasp of safety for mere mortals like us. Maybe you have forgotten the Vampire Massacre of 1835 after which this law came into effect. Let me remind you, 17Purebloods, 19Halfbloods, and 71 Mugbloods were massacred across London, Paris, and Berlin. Do you remember?"

"Yes, Pureblood Malfoy. I do remember, but do you remember that the massacre occurred because a vampire coven was destroyed through no fault of their own than the reason that the Pureblooded Rockwood family wished to occupy the land the coven called its own. A coven of three vampires burnt by nineteen Hitwizards."

"Land? The question was not about land. The area had been seized from the esteemed family. And the family had gone to make negotiations. Only when the youngest Vampire attacked the heir of the Rockwood throne, did the Hitwizards as you call them, or Bodyguards as I call them, make a defensive move. A move that cost them seven men. And to make it even clear. The incidents you speak of, three months and eighteen vampires killed? Eight of them were newborns. Bred and brought up solely for the reason of attacking the First-Order Generals like myself of the ICW. Such a move…I would not think you would approve, would you Mugblood Comte?"

"Those reports of attacks were just conjectures, Malfoy…the coven was nowhere near any of the high-order Generals!"

"You would do well to call me, First-Order General Malfoy, Mugblood. Ladies and Gentlemen, we would all agree that vampires are blood thirsty beasts. They are barbarians that cannot be in civilized company. They lack the ability to control themselves and are slaves to their constant hunger. They feast on human flesh and blood. They prey on the weak and relish in their pain. I do not say let us go out there and vanquish their race, for then we would degenerate ourselves to their standards. But I do say, that given the circumstances of these beasts, we should at least have the right to defend ourselves, our loved ones, our society from falling prey. To not do so would be cowardice, and we wizards are no cowards. We are the finest race in the Magical World. We must be allowed to protect ourselves. So I plead with the council, we cannot repeal the Self Defense Law established under his Highness, Duke Blanc Montesquieu. To do so would be folly."

"The council has deliberated on the words of the Romanian Coven, through Mugblood Augustus Comte; we have also heard First-Order General Pureblood Archibald Wintergreen-Malfoy. We cannot but see it wise to trust more in the words of General Malfoy. Vampires are a threat to the wizarding society. The right to self-defense is entitled even to a Muggle and a Mugblood, therefore it must also be entitled to us wizards. To not do so would be to put our heads in a Cerberus's mouth. But in keeping with the Law, we would reiterate that there is to be no hunting for Vampire covens. This is the centuries old agreement made amongst the ICW and the Volturi. We follow and respect that. Case dismissed."



Harry Potter was not a fool. He knew very well what he was dealing, what he was required to do in such a position, and what disadvantages plagued his situation. But Auror training had instilled at least this basic fact of self-preservation in him (accompanied by the multiple attempts on his life since he was one and the life-affirming instinct he had developed at the Dursleys) that he must always be one step ahead of his opponent. Some people called it acting before thinking. Harry called it 'Self-Defense'. Or rather Protection-Duty. Hesitance for a split second could have disastrous consequences. He knew that very well. He had seen a team-mate get mauled by a werewolf because he hesitated.

Harry was not going to let such an occurrence happen when there was so much at stake in this room. Life of his best friend, his soulmate, her brother, her other whoever those people were, and his son could possibly be in this house. No. Harry had to be one step ahead. No hesitations.

Quicker than lightening, a red fiery cordlike spell sashayed out of the Elder Wand, crackling with power it lunged towards the vampire, quicker than the creature's own speed and latched itself on his neck, wrapping it in a death-like grip. Harry gripped the wand tighter in his hand, the muscles in his arm clenching as he raised it and bent his wrist. Gritting his teeth, he forced more power into the spell. Vampires were damn tricky creatures, one second of distraction and they would vanish into thin air, or kill him with their venom. The spell pulled the vampire up from his feet, he tried to grab the cord on his neck, but it was a mere spell and energy, and could not be touched. The vampire's eyes pulled up as it clenched itself in obvious pain. The area around the neck where the cord had wrapped itself was crackling slightly.

"Why are you here, vampire? SPEAK UP!"

But before it could answer, a sight more beautiful than Harry had ever seen in his life manifested herself in front of him. "Stop it! STOP IT!" she shrieked. Never before, in real life or in an Auror situation, had anyone come up to them and objected to their actions in such a way. Hell, they weren't even prepared for such a situation in any simulations they had conducted. It was that distracted second in which Harry lost the grip of his wand and the spell retracted back. But Harry hardly noticed, okay so he noticed the big-ass brown wolf shifter that protected the vampire against Harry. Seth in front of the wolf and…her.

It was her eyes that Harry noticed first. They were brown. Not like dusty drown but like the earth after the rains. Deep dark brown. Filled with obvious pain, at seeing the vampire suffer? Harry didn't understand. But there was also a shock at Harry's own actions. Mirrored by disgust. It startled him. He fell back a step.

"Harry, you idiot!" Hermione screamed in his ear, "That's the Stregoni Benefici the Benevolent. You do not attack a vampire of his ranking!" She rushed up to the vampire despite Harry trying to clutch onto her wrists, evading the wolf-boy and the wolf-wolf bodyguards and started muttering all the healing spells she knew. As the vampire and his best friend talked, Harry could see Hermione getting red at the attention the vampire gave her. No, it did not seem like the vampire was using his allure. But still…

"I seem to be out of the loop, I thought wolf-shifters were supposed to protect these lands against the vampire covens. What was my sou…Miss Leah doing in such close proximity to one?" But everyone in the room was too shocked at his blatant declarations of the secrets of their tribe. It was Hermione who replied, answering his curiosity as she had done for the past so-many years.

"Harry, this is no normal vampire. He is Stregoni Benefici a three hundred-fifty year old vampire. In the 1740s he used to work with the Volturi trying to convert them to his way of life, a vampiric life sans human blood. He is an animal-drinker. He has a five-vampire coven. Regina and I are doing a paper on his style of life. His last sighting was here in Washington, and I was supposed to arrange an interview series for the Department of Minority Affairs. And you RUINED IT!"

Harry was taken aback by the ferocity of Hermione's words. Never before had he faced such a rant from her. Ron had, sure. Loads of times. In fact he could probably give him tips on how to handle it. He looked around the room for some support that this was utter madness that Hermione was spewing, but found none. Especially in those warm brown eyes. They were looking at him like they had never seen this side of him before. Of course, Miss Leah really hadn't seen him, but it was a metaphor! Harry gulped back the nausea that hit his stomach and grasped his wand harder.

"More explanations…please."



The worst thing that Harry couldn't help noticing as the explanation went on that Leah was sitting on the opposite end of the couch. It made Harry feel like a flobberworm, ready to disappear into the Earth and hide forever. But he finally got the entire explanation, how some weeks ago Leah and Hania had been attacked by a newborn vampire, how this was Carlisle Cullen, Sire of the Olympic Coven, how there was a 50-year old treaty among the Natives and the Vampire. His "heroic" intervention had been unnecessary and well made him come out a complete fool to his soulmate and her family. Harry felt like he was grasping at the last shards as his dignity was trampled on the ground. To make him feel even guiltier, Remus' body as he lay dead on that Great Hall floor appeared in his thoughts. "Your father called it my 'furry little problem'"… "You're not a monster, Remus!"… "I don't care! You are not too old, too poor, or too anything for me! I am in love with you, you bloody werewolf!"

And he had judged someone so harshly, attacked them, no better than those muggles that mercilessly burnt witches and wizards, other humans in the 1600s. Stupid Auror instincts had instilled such discriminatory attitudes in him. For the first time since ever, he didn't feel like touching his wand. It was now a weapon. Not for protection, but for ruthless intimidation. He wanted to apologize to this vamp…no…to this man. He seemed to be doing that a lot these days. His inner Gryffindor shined through and he did manage to squeak out a heartfelt apology. But the vampire waved it away and started packing his things in his briefcase. He seemed quite relaxed for a man who had just recently been choked to almost-death. Maybe it was a vampire thing.

"Miss Leah, can we talk?" Harry said as he finally managed to speak. He wasn't sure he could convince the entire room about his well-meaning intentions but he needed just one person at his side, and Hermione, who was currently glaring daggers at him from the other corner of the room really didn't seem like she was agreeable towards him.

He saw her start to get up but Seth stepped in between them and started towards his sister. Harry saw the effect her glare had towards her brother and would have almost-smiled if it were not for the deep shit he was in. She was like Mrs. Weasley when she was glaring down at the twins. And they in return were cowering in front of her mighty temper. So Leah was an alpha-wolf in her house, huh? Harry was an alpha-wolf too! Well technically, the only wolf in his "pack". 'Mr. and Mrs. Alpha,' he caught himself thinking. He shook himself mentally and followed her as she started out the backdoor of the house.

They looked at each other for the longest time. Both wanting to say so much and yet having nothing at all to say. Harry blushed and looked away but caught himself once again peering into those big black eyes. For some strange reason he thought about Professor Snape. But he had never in his wildest dreams imagined those black eyes would show anything for Harry than the most intense hatred. Not the most intense love. He gagged a big mentally. But wait, love? She did not even know him. She had not even heard the name Harry Potter in her life. How could she love him? A small voice in the corner of his mind said the way he loved her and Noah ever since he had seen those dotted lines connect them to his name in Gringotts. The way he had been so caught up in the ecstasy of having a child, the way he though Leah was the most beautiful woman in the world.

"So…uh…" they both said at the same time. It broke the ice between them as they laughed. Harry waved his hand signaling her to continue.

"I have to know. How old are you?" She looked at him with a ready wince on her face as if she already knew the answer but was waiting for his confirmation.

Harry laughed. That was the first question he expected out of her but he knew exactly why Leah was asking the same. He looked a lot younger than he felt and Leah looked a lot older. "21," he replied with a grin and Leah winced and groaned in agony. "What?" he questioned.

"My little brother just turned 20 and I am 25!"

"Well to be fair I will turn 21 in July so technically am just 20 and a half!"

Leah looked even more horrified. "You mean I raped you that day?"

Harry quieted down. "Legal age is 17 where I am from. So, not really. But anything other than that that you would like to ask me?"

"Well, it would be strange if I didn't ask you what that was back there, wouldn't it? I mean, I have never seen anything other than us wolves having those leeches...vampires out on their asses. I mean if it was me in your position trust me I would have attacked first and questioned later. I understand the situation you were in completely. And it was one heck of a display!"

Harry stayed quiet for a long time wondering how to explain it to her. Should he tell his story? But she hadn't really asked had she? So if he spoke would he come out looking like an arrogant fool. He didn't want to look any stupider than he already had, thank you very much.

"There are some liberal theoreticians that believe that the Earth is composed of not only the rock, water and lava that has come to define common science, but in fact a strand of energy that runs within its core. Access to this energy however is differentiated. Some Wiccan cults prevalent especially in America have tried to bind themselves to it and have been successful to a limited extent. Theoreticians however believe that there is a mutated gene within some human beings and animals that is passed down the blood line, being hereditary in nature, that allows generations to access the Earth's energy. We call it Magic. I am Magic. Well...more like a wizard, a human man with the Magic gene that allows me to access the Energy around us and perform deeds that seem impractical for most. But not for you. Because you are also magic. You are able to manipulate your body to differently access the world around you. Magic. Its as simple and complicated as that. You believe me?"

She nodded and accepted the explanation. Just like that. "What's not to believe? Would you lie to me?" and Harry in that instance knew he could never again lie to her. She shifted her body. And then shifted again. And again.

"What is it? Are you uncomfortable? Do you need to go inside?" She mock-glared at him and he fell silent. Okay, no overbearingness. Got it.

"No, I just haven't felt this comfortable in a long time. My shoulder doesn't ache as much anymore. It's strange."

"I felt your pain you know. Back in England. It was the day I had gone to the bank and seen yours and Noah's name added to my family tree...magical spells and all that...don't ask, I have no idea about the "science" behind the spells. I had taken out the notice Miss Cullen had put in every newspaper in England and called them. When I felt your pain and I collapsed."

"You mean fainted?"

"I mean collapsed!" Leah bit her lip to keep from laughing. Harry glared at her. "Anyway, when we got to the magical hospital. There is a whole community of us by the way, witches and wizards, own government, own hospitals, own banks, shops, blah blah. So when I gained consciousness the healer told me about the bond and how you drew sustenance from me to keep from... you know, collapsing, the forever kind. I think the closer we are the stronger the bond and you are drawing on my life-force, my magic to heal faster. Maybe. We can check the progress in another two days."

Leah nodded. "It was a party. I thought Hania and I should walk to the venue. La Push is a small reservation. On the beach Hania pointed out a shining head in the water. It was a vampire. My wolf blood is not appealing to them but Hania is a human so I asked him to run to get him out of the way. And I attacked. Next thing I know I hear a huge crack sound. Apparently our little boy teleported to the party and cried for help. The pack ran out to help me. I was out of practice. I lost awareness of my surroundings. Never making that mistake again for sure."

Harry nodded. "Same thing happened with my parents you know. They were under threat from this magical terrorist-serial killer so they were in hiding. A spell was cast over our house to make it invisible to the rest of the town. Like people's eyes would just pass-by it without thinking anything was wrong. The person who held the secret of the house's existence or the "Secret Keeper" betrayed them. My parents were out of practice. They had been in hiding for more than a year. My father didn't even have his wand when Voldemort attacked! My mother stepped in front of me to give me a chance to live. She too died that night. I am glad you and Noah are both okay."

Leah bit her lip. She did not know what to do, so she squeezed his shoulder. Harry looked at her and nodded. Thankfully she didn't have the horribly fake, 'oh my god, I am so sorry' look on her.

"Some parents die for their children," Leah started her eyes distancing themselves, detaching, a cold look settled on her face, "And some children kill their own parents. My transformation in front of him. It was too much for him. Heart attack. My daddy just collapsed. Never woke up. I killed my own father...I try not to think about that. Can't make it through life if I did. But just wanted you to know what kind of person I was." She hugged the hurt arm closer to her. Wrapping her body as if some sort of a healing ritual. "It's a bit chilly. Wanna go inside?"

And with that she walked off.