Disclaimer: Nope, Don't own it. Never have. Harry Potter that is.
AN: I got my idea for this story after reading The Mandatory Marriage Contract Fic by Itsme66. The author did a really good job with that story and I thought it would be fun to expand the Morag character.
AN: There is a lot of background info in the first few pages of this chapter.
Harry Potter, the boy who lived, the man who conquered, and the man who escaped sat at a street side café in the Scottish town of Aberdeen. He was watching the people moving by in the quaint shopping district and just enjoying his anonymity. He knew there was a magical shopping district close by but he wasn't too concerned over being seen. He was wearing sunglasses and an Aberdeen FC (football club) ball cap to help hide his features and of course he was out in the muggle world. He had counted on the fact that most in the wizarding world weren't too bright when it came to common sense and that very few would think about trying to locate him here. He was sipping his tea as he pondered his life and how he had ended up here.
** (Harry is thinking of the last few years.)**
Harry had come to the realization, not too long ago, that to get any peace, he would have to stay away from the wizarding world. He had always been subjected to more press and attention than anyone had a right to be and it seemed to only get worse in recent years. You see, in the year he was supposed to be attending his seventh year of school, he and two friends were out actively seeking a way to destroy one of the most feared Dark Lords in almost a century.
Harry sat thinking about how he had to leave his friends due to the constant badgering and hype surrounding him and that was from his friends and family. The press was far worse.
Harry had just turned twenty one years old and it had been going on four years ago that he had finally defeated Voldemort. The next year, Professor McGonagall had convinced him to return to school for one final year as Head Boy. Looking back now, Harry knew she had used him much like everyone else in his life. Although he could understand it, he felt she should have been straight forward with him as to her reasons. She knew that with Harry there, the enrollment would go up and that would also push forward the efforts to repair the castle and gain the school additional funding.
He felt he was offered the Head Boy position as a publicity stunt to get what she wanted and needed. At this point, the woman he once thought of as a mother or grandmother figure lost his respect. He continued in the position mainly to appease his best friend Hermione Granger. She had always dreamed of being Head Girl and was roped into it the same as him. The only problem was even with all her intelligence, she couldn't see she was being used.
That year saw Ron and Hermione's relationship progress to the point where he proposed marriage. Ron had taken the option to join the Auror corps using the offer given by the Minister of Magic that any of them could have any job they wanted at the Ministry. Since Ron and Hermione were focused on each other, Harry ended back together with his former girlfriend Ginny. Even though he considered her a friend, his feelings for her had changed and he just felt something wasn't right between them anymore.
They graduated that June and continued to see each other as Harry tried to figure out just what he wanted to do with his life. He first tried his hand at professional Quidditch but left after one season. He had been heavily recruited out of school and finally signed with Puddlemore United team which also had his old captain, Oliver Wood, as the keeper. Harry quickly found that he was just being used as a publicity stunt to sell more tickets. He rarely played even though he was better than the starting seeker. He was primarily slotted as the reserve seeker and after a year of this, he didn't renew his contract and moved on.
The next thing he tried was being an Auror. True to his word, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic, took him on and gave him the position of a high ranking Auror. Harry soon found out that again he was being used for his fame to support the current Minister. Harry spent most of his time behind a desk or in front of an audience and soon became disenchanted with the Ministry and especially Minister Shacklebolt. He really felt betrayed that his old friend would do that to him and resigned after nine months on the job.
This is where problems really started developing between Ginny and him. While she craved the spotlight that was always shining on Harry, he didn't and he quickly realized that she was using him for his fame. She would push him harder and harder to be in the limelight so she could shine beside him as his girlfriend. He finally had enough and ended it after dating her for three years.
After graduation, Harry had moved into Grimmauld Place and tried to fix it up somewhat but his house elf Kreature preferred the house as it was so he wasn't able to make much progress with it. He had remained there up until about six months ago. While the house was safer than any in London, it had one slight problem. It was still under the Fidelis Charm from its days as the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. As such, Harry did not get any privacy there as too many people who were aware of the secret.
After his and Ginny's break up, Harry had a constant stream of Weasleys and other coming to try and get him to reconsider his relationship with her. Among those was his best friend Hermione who just couldn't understand why he ended the relationship. Whenever Harry tried to explain, she would cut him off and try to tell him what was best for him. Harry finally realized that he would get no peace of mind there anymore.
It was that talk with Hermione that prompted Harry to go to Gringotts and see about his inheritance. The Goblins were still angry over the damage he had caused there during the war which led to a meeting with the head Goblin to try and work out a mutually beneficial agreement. They ran some blood tests on Harry and found that he had come into possession of quite a few families' vaults and titles by rights of conquest. Harry was told that since he killed them, he basically got their stuff. Well, in order to keep the assets of Potter and Black houses untouched, Harry signed over the contents of those vaults to the Goblin nation. The only thing Harry took from them was the collections of books stored there. The Goblins said they had no use for them and were glad to give them to Harry so that they didn't have to waste time and resources disposing of them.
With everything settled, Harry received a list of all the assets of both of his houses. Other than Grimmauld Place, he didn't own any other manors. Potter Manor had been destroyed during the first war when he lost his grandparents and the cottage his parents had been murdered in was now owned by the Ministry as a national monument. There had been other manors in the past but they had been sold to help fund the war effort. On the Potter side, all he had left were several properties scattered about Great Britain all with unknown conditions. Grimmauld was the only Manor on the Black side and most of the houses had been taken by the Ministry for harboring Death Eaters. The only plus to all this was that his vaults were overflowing with gold. He had enough to live comfortably for several lifetimes.
The Death Eaters titles he claimed were absorbed into the Black line and between both lines, he had accumulated twelve votes or seats in the Wizengamot. Harry was well aware that if he were to appear in the Ministry building he would be mobbed. He didn't want to deal with that and with the way he had been used by the Ministry; it was really not an option for him to join in said government. Harry went to his old friend Neville Longbottom and had several long talks about the wizarding world and what they felt was the direction it needed to take. When he was certain that he and Neville shared similar views, Harry assigned all his votes to Neville by proxy. After they had finished, Harry did a rare thing, he gave Neville a brotherly hug and said "You're a good man Neville. I feel things would be safe with you."
Neville had an eerie feeling the whole time during their talk and finally just asked "You're leaving aren't you?"
Harry turned and said "Between you and me Nev, yeah I am. I just can't take it anymore. No one will leave me alone anymore and I think I've already done my part. More than anything now, I just want to be Harry."
Neville nodded and said "Good luck Harry, um...thank you for what you did for all of us. If you ever need me, just know I will be there."
Harry turned and flooed back to Diagon Alley and went to the shop that was the house elf employment agency. He interviewed several elves and finally found one he liked named Chuck. Harry hired him and they popped into Grimmauld where he sent Chuck to pack all his belongings while he had a talk with Kreature. He left Kreature in charge of Grimmauld stating he couldn't live there at the moment since no one would leave him alone. Kreature understood and told Harry that he was just a call away if he was needed. Harry and Chuck visited the various Potter houses finding each one in complete disrepair. They were so bad that they eventually would just demolish them and banish the rubble. They had learned that the houses were no longer being cared for by house elves as they were released from their bonds when Harry's grandfather had died. They were down to the last property to visit and it was way up in Scotland. When they got there, the house wasn't in too bad of shape and could be made livable very easily.
The first thing Harry did was shrink all the furniture in the house and throw it in the fireplace. They then started stripping everything out of the house and redecorating it. By the end of the week, they had the interior completely done and Harry went out and purchased furniture for the house. Once they were satisfied with the inside, they started on the outside. After another week, Harry had a quite charming cottage and the grounds surrounding it were immaculate. One of Harry's favorite features of the house was the balcony off his bedroom that had a good view of the sandy stretch of the beach near St Cyrus where the house was located. The cottage had four bedrooms and three baths of which Harry felt the master suite was perfect for him and he had given Chuck the choice of one of the bedrooms.
The house was a non magical house to Harry's surprise. That meant he had electricity and even a TV. It also meant that he was not connected to the floo network. That meant a lot to Harry as no one could track him through the floo network.
Even though there were times the house reminded Harry of Shell Cottage, this was the first place he really felt he could call home. The house of his relatives was definitely not a home to him and Grimmauld was a place to live but definitely not home especially since Sirius died. For a long time, he considered Hogwarts his home but looking back he knew he never really felt safe there. There was also the fact that as soon as he stepped into the school, the staff and students all wanted something from him. They wanted to use him for their own personal gain or ideas. Sadly, the only feelings he associated with the castle at this point in his life were sadness, sorrow, and pain be it physical or emotional. He also felt saddened by the situation with his friends. The friendships he thought would last a lifetime were dying because they too wanted to use him for his money or fame.
Another thing he liked about the house was that it was in a largely uninhabited area and he had no neighbors for miles. He used the quiet to his advantage and started going through his mother's journals on charms, enchantments, potions, and runes. He also found some of his father's transfiguration journals in the family vault and started studying them as well. With the aid of the journals, he progressed quickly in those fields and decided he would eventually get his masteries in those subjects.
There were times when it got too lonely out there and he would take advantage of the fact that Aberdeen was a short apparition away. It was one of these times that Harry now found himself sitting at the café just watching people go by.
Harry snaps out of his thoughts to notice a very attractive brunette sitting at a table across from him. He takes the time to casually look her over and while she is shorter than what he thinks he is attracted to, she is quite curvy and well blessed in all the right places. He takes in her curly brown hair and very earthy appearance. She is quite cute with a scattering of freckles across her cheeks. He glances at her again and somehow thinks he knows her from somewhere but cannot place where. He graces her with a small smile and goes back to his tea and people watching.
Harry loses himself in thought once again and doesn't notice the woman come towards him and take a seat at his table. It had taken all her courage to approach him as she was pretty sure who it was behind those sunglasses. Unknown to Harry, the woman who had caught his attention had been crushing on him since their third year at Hogwarts. She wasn't a fan girl and was truly interested in Harry and not the boy who lived or whatever ridiculous title they had given him now.
She had gathered all her courage to approach him. Her stomach was fluttering from the butterflies flying around. She really didn't know what to say and just said "Come here often handsome?"
Harry blinked and came out of his own little world and said "Um…Yeah, I seem to pop in here several times a week."
She said "That's good. Maybe we will run into each other again soon."
"Um…Yeah its very possible." Harry thought far a minute and said "This isn't a pick up line but I'm sure I know you from somewhere."
With a shaky voice she whispered "I really don't understand why you would want to hide those beautiful green eyes behind those sunglasses."
Harry looked at her but still couldn't place her. When she noticed this she said "We've really only met once but you left a lasting impression on me. In fact, I could say you ruined other men for me."
Harry looked at her and frowned. He then said "And just how may I have done that?"
She said "Oh Harry, don't worry. Your secret is safe with me. It's the least I could do for my rescuer."
Harry still had no clue as to how he knew this beautiful young woman.
She said "I'm sorry Harry, I don't mean to be so vague so let me just say that you saved me from an upper year in third year. You found me sprawled out on the floor with my books everywhere."
"Yep, that's me but please call me Mhor. It is the name I go by here."
"Ever since that day and the kindness you showed me, you have been the standard that I held my dates up to. Sadly, they came up wanting."
"Don't be. You helped me gather my books and then when I couldn't walk due to a sprained ankle. You carried me all the way to Madam Pomfrey to be looked after."
"Yeah, I remember you were so embarrassed by me having to carry you that you glowed all the way to the Hospital."
"Well yes, it was embarrassing but what had me blushing was being wrapped in your protective arms."
Harry raised an eyebrow at her and then smiled.
She said "That act of kindness changed me forever. I mean, as a little girl, I always fancied the great Harry Potter but it changed that day. No longer did I fancy the boy who lived but I then fancied Harry, the kind, gentle, caring, protective, and gorgeous young man that helped an ugly and plain bookworm who didn't watch where she was going."
"Mhor, you were never ugly or plain and the proof is in the stunning woman you have become."
"Why thank you Harry. You're not so bad yourself."
He bowed his head to her.
She laughed and said "You can relax Harry, I'm not some crazed fan girl or stalker but I have watched you over the years and that was how I was able to recognize you."
He raised his eyebrows a little.
She then said "Until you became friends with Luna, I was your most staunch supporter in Ravenclaw. Since that event, I knew who the real Harry was and liked what I saw."
Harry smiled back at her.
"So that brings me to my question. Judging by what I've heard and read have you truly walked away from the magical world?"
"Not really, I still love magic and still use it. I just can't deal with the people in that world anymore. No Offense."
"None taken. Now I think I can understand but not everyone is like them."
"I'm sorry but you would have to prove that to me. Almost everyone I once called friends have only been out to use me."
"I guess you just need some new friends then."
"Yeah like that can happen, as soon as they find out who I am, they will start seeing what angle they can work to help themselves."
"I'm not here looking for an angle Harry. I just thought maybe I could help or at the least lend an ear for someone who was thoughtful enough to help a girl he didn't even know."
"I'm sorry Mhor. These last few years have left me somewhat jaded in my views on people."
She nodded and thought for a second and then smiled at him.
"Well if I can use my Ravenclaw brain to screw up enough courage to come talk to you then I think I will just take it a step even further and ask you on a date or at the very least invite you for dinner with my parents tonight."
He studied her for a minute and knew he had felt no deceit from her. He finally said "Mhor, my life is not easy and being my friend will subject you to all kinds of stuff if it is ever discovered. I had to come up here to hide from it and I continually have to look over my shoulder to make sure I am not found. My whole life has been controlled by someone else up until six months ago. I am definitely looking for something different but want you to be aware of what being my friend means."
"Harry, I will take my chances. Now will you take a chance on me? I swear I won't let you down."
He thought for a few minutes and finally said "Dinner with your parents sounds really nice. I would love to."
He was rewarded with a bright smile and a kiss in the cheek which caused her to blush. She took out a piece of paper and wrote the address down. "Dinner is at seven, here's the address and don't be late." She said with a smile.
Harry arrived at the MacDougal's house at the appointed time. He had dressed in what he called nice casual in a pair of khakis and an oxford shirt. He wore his dragon hide boots just because he really liked the way the fit and for the fact that they were the nicest non dress shoes he had. For some reason he had become more nervous as it got closer to dinner. Harry reflected that it was a feeling he hadn't felt in a long time.
Harry was openly welcomed by Mhor's parents and he instantly felt at ease. They had treated him like family and dinner became a very comfortable occasion for all of them. The good conversation continued as Harry helped them with the dishes and cleanup and then moved into the sitting room. None of them noticed the time as they were all having an enjoyable conversation. Harry finally glanced at his watch and paled. He said "Oh. I'm so sorry. I was enjoying this so much that the time got away from me. I apologize for taking up so much of your time and keeping you up so late."
Mhor's father, Monty, said "Harry, it is quite alright. We were enjoying ourselves too."
Harry stood as did the others and said "I have had a wonderful evening and as much as I hate it to end, I think I'd better go so that you can get your rest."
Monty offered his hand which Harry gladly took and before he knew it Mhor's mum gave him a very comfortable hug. (Comfortable for Harry was quite rare) They escorted him to the door with very warm farewells and asking him to come back soon. Mhor escorted him outside to the gate which is where she received a rare hug and kiss in the cheek form Harry.
He said "Mhor, thank you for inviting me tonight. I really had a great time."
She replied with a grin "I could tell. You forget that I have studied you for years and can read you pretty good."
'Um…Mhor, this has been the best evening I have had in several years. I was wondering if you were busy tomorrow evening."
"As far as I know I have no plans."
"Do you think maybe we could go out somewhere?"
"Definitely, I will be ready by six." She got on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek.
That first evening was the start of something rather unexpected by either of them. Harry and Mhor were so comfortable and at ease with each other that they spent almost every evening together. They would sometimes go out but mostly they would hang out with her parents for the evening. The time Harry spent with them gave him a new feeling of home and he couldn't get enough of it. He also became less paranoid about being found and drug back to London.
Harry would quite often receive letters from various people trying to get him to come back. Harry had learned to check the letters for portkeys or traces and would usually not respond to the letters and send the owls on their way. One evening, the subject came up and Harry bluntly said that they'll never leave him alone. Monty had a solution and taught Harry a charm that would hide his magical signature so that owls couldn't find him. As soon as he cast the charm, he had finally disappeared without a trace.
Three months after they had begun 'dating' or hanging out as they saw it, they went out to dinner. It was still fairly early and the weather was so nice that Harry decided to give up one of his secrets and apparated them to his home. Since it was her first visit there, she was given the complete tour and introduced to Chuck. He then grabbed her hand and led her out to the beach for a moonlit stroll. The evening was so perfect that he turned and gazed into her eyes. They leaned forward and shared their first true kiss. While he had kissed several girls over the years, there was no comparing this one to them. They could both feel the love shared between them and just knew this thing between them had just changed for the better.
While before the kiss they had talked of many things, afterwards was even better as they shared their dreams and desires for the future. They also shared their past with each other and while Mhor's had been mostly pleasant, Harry's had not been and she sat there and held him as he dealt with some of his most painful memories.
She learned a lot about Harry over the next few months. She found out that he was so rich that he or his grandchildren would never have to work a day in their lives. She also learned that he needed a purpose and to feel useful. During their talks, she helped him realize that he had a desire to work with his hands. He felt it must have been in his genes as the Potters had started out as potters. In his family books, they found examples of some of his ancestors' works and were amazed by the beauty of it.
Their talks had resulted in a realization that he wanted to do woodworking and more specifically, he wanted to make wands and brooms. She told of her desire to obtain her masteries in several fields. They discussed it some more and Harry wanted to join her in her pursuit. He already had a Mastery in Defense due to his efforts during the war. When he took his newts, the testers had extended his exam and tested him for the mastery level as well. His results granted him a grand mastery as he scored higher than anyone else ever had.
Harry and Mhor decided they wanted to gain masteries in runes, charms, transfiguration, and enchantment. She worked with him for a month on runes to catch her up to him. They had help in the form of his parents' journals and were quickly ready to start their formal studies.