Disclaimer: See Chapter One
A/N: Sorry for the long wait on this chapter, I struggled with it a bit. Also I was busy getting my Irish on this weekend to concentrate on the story. ; )
A lot of very insightful comments on the last chapter, I really appreciate those. I know some are wondering what will happen with Luna and Hermione now that Harry has made his decision on where he will be staying. They will not be coming to the past…sorry! This chapter does give a small hint about Luna's future, but I don't think I'm quite done with Harry's timeline just yet; there may be one or two more journeys back. And I'm not done with the Room of Requirement either! No guarantees though, just some ideas in the back of my head.
Again thanks for all the wonderful reviews and without further ado here is Chapter 18 of Passageways!
A/N2: Some very observant readers pointed out that I had already made Bella and Harry's marriage know in chapter sixteen. So I have changed that reference in this chapter. Sometimes even authors make mistakes. Thanks to those who pointed out my error!
The next morning, Harry had received a crash course on wizarding society and information on the Potter and Black family histories and familial dynamics from Dorea and Bellatrix and of course from Walburga's portrait that just had to put in her two cents. It was an eye opening and frank discussion on pureblood politics, the House system, the legal process and its duplicitous nature where bloodlines were concerned.
Dorea prepared Harry for the inevitable discussion of alliances, which her brother Arcturus would undoubtedly bring up during their visit to Black Hills. The bonding that occurred between he and Bella would be Arcturus' angle on solidifying an alliance of equals between House Black and House Eveningshade, and thus become a warning to those who might stand against his house.
"Harry…" Dorea began. "Arcturus is a very shrewd politician, but a pragmatist, he will see the precarious position that House Black is in. With House Black wands having been turned on Voldemort, the darker families that have embraced the purist movement will be targeting our house now. He will shift the family politics to the center in an attempt to find allies to surround himself with.
This is where you are extremely valuable, Harry. The Eveningshades have a well deserved reputation of crushing those who they set their eyes upon. That alone will make the old darker families think twice about engaging House Black if the Eveningshades are allies. But your family name has been silent for over a hundred years and the newer, dark aligned houses will not have the same trepidation as the older houses.
But with the neutral, older houses who still remember the Eveningshade name, the pull to align themselves with you would be great indeed, even if their motives are purely centered around self-preservation. The task before Arcturus is to demonstrate to the neutrals that there is a real need for an alliance by showing them a clear and present danger to their Houses and their wealth." Dorea explained over her morning tea.
"How do you think he will accomplish this?" Harry asked.
Dorea chuckled setting her tea cup back on the table. "The Blacks have been involved in politics for centuries, Harry. And are masters of manipulation. A whisper here, a veiled threat there, a promise or two of political or economic favor, and wa-la, you have an ally. And of course he has his ace in the hole…you."
"Me?" Harry asked confused.
"It is already being whispered that it was an Eveningshade who killed Voldemort's men in Diagon Alley and in Hogsmeade. Without realizing it, dear, you have declared war on the purist movement; you have killed members of some of the darker families who support Voldemort. The only question now for many is where exactly you stand. Are you a light wizard or are you a gray?
Once knowledge of an Eveningshade is out there, you will be courted not only by the dark families, and grays, but by the light families as well. And from my talks with you, I know you are not a Dumbledore supporter, and seeing as the majority of our world sees him as the leader of the light, when you reject his offer of alliance many will assume that you are gray or at the very least neutral. But I think the neutral ship has sailed with the two recent attacks." Dorea winked at him with a smile.
"That's why Uncle Orion and grandfather Arcturus will shift their allegiance from dark to gray, Harry." Bella added. "They have betrayed the dark families by fighting against them in Hogsmeade, and they suspect you are not a light wizard because you had no hesitation on killing your enemy. That is something the light tends to avoid, much to their own detriment." Bella continued receiving an approving nod from her great-aunt.
"So what does all this mean?" Harry asked his grandmother.
"It means dear, that there must be a third faction in the upcoming war if we are to survive, and it must be large enough and powerful enough not only to stop Voldemort but to stop Albus as well. Albus…the fool, sees things only in black and white, and he will see your actions as dark." Dorea stated with a huff.
"Dumbledore has passed a lot of legislation, love, making it more difficult for aurors to use deadly force and for everyday witches and wizards to defend themselves. He believes that passivity and compromise will lead to a peaceful outcome." Bella replied with disgust in her voice. "Compromise and passivity didn't help Mr. Bell!" She fumed. "Or save those people and students killed in Hogsmeade!"
"We need a stronger government Harry, one that will take the necessary action against aggression. Dumbledore has weakened us by polarizing the Wizengamot to the point that our governing body is largely ineffectual. If we can gain a majority in the Wizengamot we can begin to undo the damage that Albus has caused. To do that Harry, we need to unite the neutral and the gray families." Dorea's tone was serious and grave.
"The old fool should be run out of the Wizengamot and the school if you ask me!" The portrait of Walburga spoke up for the first time this morning. "Especially after learning what he has done to Harry!" She added with a dangerous scowl.
Dorea and the painting of the Black Matriarch had spent most the prior evening after Harry had gone back to sleep talking about the events of Harry's timeline up until Walburga's death in 1985.
Needless to say that Dorea was motivated more than ever to help her grandson in changing the future. To learn of the destruction of House Black and the near collapse of the Potter line was something that ignited a fire in her belly. She knew that alliances needed to be made, strength gathered, and political muscle needed to be flexed…and soon!
The Potters and the Blacks were well connected families with ancient bloodlines, which held a lot of sway with many of the other older houses, houses that would need to be approached and brought to their camp. From what she read in the book on Voldemort that Harry gave her last night. Voldemort and his supporters had become so far entrenched into the magic community, that when the people began to realize just what Voldemort represented it was too late.
The ministry had been on the brink of collapse until the night the lunatic killed her son and his wife and then tried to kill her grandson. She would need to use all of the political influence of the Potter and Black families to change all their fates.
"Well spoken Walburga!" Dorea replied to the avatar in the large frame mounted on the wall above the fireplace.
"I thought that the Potters were avid Dumbledore supporters, grandmother." Harry asked cocking his head to the side with an inquisitive look. Dorea looked utterly insulted by the remark.
"Who on earth told you that?!" Dorea asked with an arched eyebrow.
"Well…um…Dumbledore did and Hagrid as well. Mum and Dad were part of his Order of the Phoenix, so I just assumed." Harry replied.
"Were they now, I'll have to see about that!" Dorea replied incredulously. "Charlus does respect the man, especially after he defeated Grindelwald, but he is not oblivious to Albus' shortcomings. During the Great War, the Potter's leaned more gray than light, and more than once did your grandfather standup to that old crackpot in the Wizengamot.
The Potters believed in meeting force with equal or greater force. We did not try to exchange niceties to those who were trying to kill us." She explained haughtily. Harry had to suppress a grin that threatened to appear on his face. He really liked his grandmother's no nonsense attitude.
At length the discussion turned to Harry's secret. It was agreed that beyond those that already knew, it should not be revealed that he was from the future or who his parents and grandparents were. That kind of knowledge could be very dangerous should it slip to the wrong people.
That being said, they also believed that Harry should keep his identity secret, at least for now, when out in public, the great success of House Eveningshade's longevity was that very few outside of the family ever knew what the head of house Eveningshade looked like. In this manner he could never be directly targeted by enemies. He was a mysterious and elusive person and that anonymity only inspired more myths and legends about the family.
Dorea had heard about the loyalty oaths that members of the Eveningshade clan were obligated to take, though she did not know the specific oath; she assumed that somewhere in the Eveningshade Grimoire the spell and oath existed. She suggested to Harry that he find the oath in question and require all members of the Black and Potter families to take the oath and any others he may bring into his confidence, if they wanted to form an alliance.
"Grandmother?" Harry began tentatively.
"Yes dear?" The older woman asked.
"About my mum…I was wondering, should I…"
"Should you tell Lily that you are her son, and from the future?" Dorea asked.
"Um…yeah." Harry replied.
Dorea sat back in her chair and regarded her grandson for a moment. She saw two men in her grandson at that instant. One undoubtedly would become the powerful enigmatic Lord Eveningshade, a force of nature and magic that could shake the very foundations of Wizarding Britain, should he choose to do so.
She could see and feel all the untapped power that the young man had within him. She had no doubt that in time and with proper training he would eventually become an arch mage if not a full blown sorcerer, surpassing Dumbledore and being on the same level as Merlin himself. But right now his magical core was not stable enough or strong enough to handle all the power he would one day wield, only time and maturity could properly prepare him for that day.
The other man she saw was not really a man yet at all, but an insecure and scared teenager longing for love, a family and validation and support from a parental figure. And the way he looked at her now, she could tell that he was hoping that she would be that person for him. He wanted to put all his trust into her. Affection for the dark haired boy blossomed in her chest, 'and why shouldn't it' she mused, 'he is after all my grandson.'
So it made it more difficult to tell him what she thought about bringing Lily or James for that matter into the secret. For starters, Lily and James were only eleven years old and she doubted very much that informing the two preteens that they were destined to be married and would have a son and oh by the way here he is! And he's four years older than you! Somehow she thought that it would be something that they were not quite mature enough to handle...or believe.
"Harry, dear." She began with a sigh and a look of sympathy. "As much as it pains me to tell you this…I think it best that you do not approach your mum and dad with this secret. Telling them could harm the natural development of their relationship. And who knows how they would react, you could unintentionally drive them a part." Dorea told her crestfallen grandson. She leaned forward and took his hands in hers.
"That does not mean that you can't be a part of her life, Harry." Dorea stated tenderly, Harry looked up into his grandmother's deep gray-blue eyes, a common trait amongst the Blacks.
"How do you mean?" Harry asked.
"She is an Eveningshade, Harry, and family. If you wanted you could claim her as a member of your house." Dorea explained.
"But I thought we wanted to keep a low profile." Harry asked confused.
"Who you are, Harry, and Bella as well. We want to keep who you and Bella are a secret as the Lord and Lady of House Eveningshade. But Lily you can still claim, and it would give her instant ancient status amongst the old houses and it will provide her protection from certain unsavory elements of our society who could get away with crimes against a muggleborn, but would not get away with a crime against a member of an Ancient House." Dorea informed her gobsmacked grandson.
"But how can I claim her as an Eveningshade without revealing who I am?! I'm sure she would want to know how it is I knew she was an Eveningshade and how we are related." Harry told his grandmother.
"Don't be so dramatic Harry; your head of house ring will identify her as a member of your family. She is already good friends with Narcissa; it would not be hard to set up a situation where you meet the girl. You could be introduced as Bellatrix's fiancé and when you greet her, you shockingly reveal to her that she has the Eveningshade bloodline, and you as head of House Eveningshade, could reinstate her into the family and explain what that could mean for the girl and her family." Dorea sat back with a congenial smirk.
"You make it sound too easy, grandmother." Harry replied with an arched eyebrow. "I've been told all my life that my mum was a very intelligent witch. I think she would find it more than a little convenient that all of a sudden some lost relative showed up in her life and claim that she is a member of an infamous pureblood family."
"You'd be surprised Harry. Lily is basically alone in our world; sure she has a friend in Narcissa, but nothing else that really connects her to this marvelous world she now finds herself in. If she were to learn that she isn't here by some fluke that she actually has a magical lineage…a magical family as old as any in our world. Tell me she would not be excited about it and jump at the chance to learn all she could about it." Dorea smiled.
"Perhaps you are right." Harry sighed nervously. "I just don't want to frighten her away."
"I doubt you would Harry, you have a very trustworthy air about you." Dorea smiled warmly at her grandson and patted his hands. "Now are you all packed to leave this morning?"
"We are." Bella replied.
"Good, you and your sisters will take the Hogwarts Express to Kings Cross, your father and your Uncle Orion will meet you on the platform, and from there you will travel by portkey to Black Hills. Harry you will be with them."
"Where will you be, grandmother?" Harry asked.
"Charlus and I will arrive with James before dinner. Oh and before I forget. Harry, if we are to keep your secret you must not call me grandmother in front of others." She stated seriously.
"What should I call you then?" Harry asked a little saddened that he couldn't use the term of relation.
"While at Black Hills you should address me as Lady Potter and I will call you Lord Eveningshade. We must observe the formalities. However, socially we are equals, so after we are formally acquainted we may give each other leave to use our first names. In private I would feel very happy to have you call me grandmother or grandmamma.
And Harry, remember you should practice several glamour's that you will use in public. Bella can help you there; she is quite skilled in that particular area. For now I think we need to do something a bit more…permanent to avoid unwanted questions about the way you look."
"The way I look?" Harry asked incredulously.
"You look remarkably like your father, except for the eyes of course. The unruly black hair is a Potter trait that goes back for generations, and you have the Black bone structure in your face. There isn't anything we can do about your bone structure, but we can do something about your hair." Dorea explained ruffling Harry's black mop.
"We are not changing his eyes though, auntie! I love his eyes." Bellatrix put her foot down.
"Nor would we want to dear." Dorea told her niece in indignation. "Those eyes are the hallmark of an Eveningshade. All Eveningshades' had them. There is a legend you know, a legend that the Eveningshade's created the Avada Kedavra curse, and gave the curse the color of their eyes.
Whether it is true or not, no one really knows, but it added to the mystique and fear of the family. It was said that when you would see the glowing green of their eyes, death soon followed. It was brilliant psychological warfare dear." Dorea explained. Bella was impressed at how much myth seemed to surround Harry's family, and how they had used it to their benefit.
The Eveningshades seemed to be the pinnacle of Slytherin ambition in Bella's mind. They were cunning, and resourceful, they were ambitious, and ruthless to those who opposed them, loyal to none but their own. They followed their own path and that was something Bella admired.
"So what are we going to change?" Harry asked, breaking Bella out of her thoughts.
"Well, you are a Lord from an Ancient House, so wearing your hair long would be socially acceptable. The Potters have not worn their hair long for nearly two hundred years so it would create a distinction immediately between you and the Potter line.
However, the Blacks do keep their hair longer and usually have ebony hair, accept for the occasional blonde that pops up like Narcissa. A Veela somewhere in the family, but that's neither here nor there." Dorea waved her hand dismissively.
"So I think with adding length to your hair we need to soften the color, maybe a chestnut brown with a hint of red in it. What do you think Bellatrix?" Dorea asked the younger witch.
Bella looked at Harry speculatively, walking around him as if she were examining him. She came to a stop and stood just in front of him raking her fingers through his short jet black hair. She bit her lip and appeared to be in deep thought.
"Yes, yes I think he would look rather dashing with the longer and lighter color hair." She concluded stepping back.
"Do you think you could do it then?" Dorea asked her niece, knowing she had inherited the gift of enchantment from their mutual Black family ancestor.
"Oh yes." She replied confidently, taking out her wand. "Now just stand still, Harry."
Harry gulped and his eyes widened as Bella began to weave her wand around Harry's head, he could not make out the words of the incantation but he could tell that they were in Latin. Suddenly Harry felt his scalp begin to tingle and then itch. Within seconds he could feel his hair begin to lengthen and grow over his ears and down his neck.
A minute later and his hair had reached just below his shoulder blades before it stopped. Bella had paused briefly before beginning to weave her wand in patterns around his hair again. He then felt something like the feel of cool water washing over his head; it gave him a slight shiver.
Bella stepped back and looked quite pleased with herself. He looked every bit the pureblood lord. His hair was long and silky looking; the mix of brown and red highlights suited him perfectly making his green eyes pop. The magic was permanent only she could remove it so there was no worry that it would revert back accidentally.
"Well done Bellatrix…well done!" Dorea complimented her niece as she inspected her grandson. "I don't think anyone would notice any family resemblance unless they really looked for it."
Luna Lovegood stood in the center of the large open entrance hall of Hogwarts Castle, her eyes were unfocused and she seemed to stare mesmerized into the nothingness. Students of every house gave the odd Ravenclaw a wide berth as they whispered to friends about the strange blonde with the radish earrings and Butter Beer cork necklace.
Luna was looking at all of the temporal echoes that seemed to flood the area with great interests, to the normal or ungifted seer, there was no rhyme or reason to the chaos of images that assaulted the senses, and even to one possessed with the gift as Luna was, it was still difficult to follow and give order to what she was seeing around her.
The future was in constant disordered motion now as was the past and the echoes would come and go, and blink out of existence in a blink of an eye, ever changing ever rewriting themselves. It was difficult for a mind to make sense of it all, and it is why many who had possessed the gift throughout time had gone insane. The life expectancy of a seer who could not completely detach themselves from a linear way of thinking was very short, due to the abnormal amount of stress to their minds.
Luna, however, had no such issues and could detach herself at will, which made her seem odd and sometimes mental to others. Luna had also learned how to follow the stronger temporal echoes; these were the echoes with the highest probability of becoming her reality.
The echoes were rushing around her at greater and greater speeds, and her eyes danced in her sockets trying to look at one long enough to follow its path. Then she spotted an echo directly in front of her, it was moving much slower than the rest and definitely had more substance to it. She watched in fascination as it continued to move directly toward her.
Her reality seemed to almost come to a crawl, student's movements around her slowed; a student here and there would just disappear while another would suddenly come into existence. The echoes moved even faster now and were becoming fainter with each passing second as her focus on them waned. All of her attention now was solely on the echo still coming toward her.
The echo came to a halt just inches away from her face, it leaned in toward her and suddenly there was a loud whooshing sound, a sound like a dozen trains rushing by her all at once. Suddenly there was a slight warm gentle pressure against her lips.
Luna closed her eyes and then smiled widely when the pressure stopped. She opened her eyes to find a very real pair of dazzling green eyes lovingly looking back at her. "Mmm…butterscotch."
The overall feeling at the train station in Hogsmeade was solemn for the most part. The older years who had been in Hogsmeade during the attack were still dealing with the traumatic effects of watching fellow classmates and townspeople cut down by masked witches and wizards. The Daily Prophet and the Ministry of Magic were now calling these terrorist by their own admitted nom du guerre of "Death Eaters."
The general consensus of most of the students was that these Death Eaters were evil witches and wizards who were nothing more than murderers and terrorists. But to a modest group of Slytherins and a spattering of other students from the other houses, they called them freedom fighters and revolutionaries fighting for the preservation of tradition and blood purity.
The Daily Prophet had printed several scathing articles about the Purist Movement and the elusive and mysterious Lord Voldemort, who was the political head of this organization. The paper reported that a spokesman in the Wizengamot for the Purist Party had stated that the "Death Eaters" were simply a misguided action group of concerned witches and wizards alarmed about the dilution of magical blood and corruption of our traditions by the integration of muggleborns into "our" society, and was not affiliated in any way with Lord Voldemort or the Purist Party.
To those with a keen sense of the obvious however, saw this for what it was…the beginnings of another wizarding war. After all it was not so long ago that Grindelwald had tried something similar, though his methods were admittedly more abrupt and obvious.
Harry had stayed beneath his invisibility cloak until he reached the outskirts of Hogsmeade. Once there he removed it and he and Bella walked hand in hand toward the train station where they were to meet Andromeda and Narcissa.
"Bella!" A young voice called out. Narcissa Black sprinted to her sister and through her arms around her waist, burying her head in her chest. Bella returned the hug and smiled warmly at her youngest sister.
Andromeda, however, had walked more sedately toward her sister. Andromeda had been uncharacteristically subdued over the past few days; she was having nightmares about being trapped in the burning building in Hogsmeade.
Every time she closed her eyes she could see the orange flames and the billowing black smoke pouring in from all sides, she could still feel the suffocating weight in her lungs from the swirling soot and ash, and the burning of her eyes as the intense heat devoured any moisture in the air, and her ears could still hear the screaming from those who shared her hell in that inferno.
Harry recognized the blank stare and the bags under Andromeda's eyes as someone not dealing well with what had happened to her. He had the same exact look on his own face after the Tri-Wizard tournament. Harry stepped toward Andromeda while Bella was busy with Narcissa.
"Miss Black." Harry softly called to her. Andromeda looked up with haunted eyes and Harry felt his own heart break for the girl. Harry reached for her left hand with his right and then gently covered it with his left. Andromeda looked down at her covered hand and then looked up inquisitively at Harry.
"I was standing right next to a classmate who was killed by the killing curse. We were standing so close to each other that I could hear and feel the rush of the spell as it crashed into his chest. The impact tossed his body several feet away from me. When I close my eyes…I still see the green of the spell and the vacant look in my classmate's eyes.
I was then tortured and forced to duel a wizard who had decades of experience on me. He wanted me dead but decided to toy with me first to prolong my suffering and agony; he wanted to make me suffer to the point that I would beg for death. By luck I was able to escape…but, there is still a part of me that lingers in that place where my life almost ended.
It was the most horrific and with frightening thing I have ever lived through. But I did live through it. And since that night, though it took me quite some time, I've learned to take some comfort in that thought that I did survive." Harry looked deeply into Andromeda's eyes with understanding.
"The nightmares don't come as often anymore, though they do still come. What helps me to overcome them is telling myself that it's okay to move on…to live and be thankful for that life. But more importantly I have found someone who is willing to share my burden." Harry cast a quick sideways glance at Bella, who was now watching him with eyes watering with pride along with Narcissa who had tears in her eyes as well.
Andromeda was beginning to show for the first time since the incident, the pain, the fear, and the guilt she had been holding in. "If you want Andi…" His voice was soft but earnest. "I would be honored to be that someone you can speak with and share your burden. I know that opening up to someone else is very hard, but it has helped me deal with my demons, and I know it could help you with yours."
Andromeda looked up into the warm green eyes of the man she had just barely met before the attack. He had impressed her then with the little time they had interacted. And now, she again felt impressed by his gentleness and empathy. He had known what she had been feeling, had felt it himself and now he had offered to help her, an almost total stranger.
She did not know what Bella had done, to have the fates be so kind to her as to be sent such a wonderful man but she was very happy for her sister. Andromeda regarded Harry for a few moments longer before she spoke.
"Thank you, Lord Eveningshade." Andromeda whispered with a watery half smile. "That is most kind of you to offer. I-I may just take you up on your kindness." Bella walked up to her sister and enveloped her into a crushing hug.
"I'm here for you too, Andi." Bella whispered. Andromeda tightened her hug on her sister, and nodded her head into Bella's shoulder.
"Not that I'm complaining." Narcissa smiled coquettishly at Harry. "But why are you coming to Black Hills with us?" Narcissa asked interrupting the moment, feeling a little left out.
"Well, for starters he is our brother-in-law." Andromeda supplied.
Harry and Bellatrix looked and Andromeda in surprise. "How did you know, Harry was coming to Black Hills?" Bella asked.
"It was in the letter father sent me, when he informed us we would be going to Black Hills this weekend." She replied.
"What!" Narcissa almost yelled. "You knew about him coming and didn't tell me?!" Narcissa waved her hands between Harry and Bella. "And didn't tell me?! Oh this will be an interesting weekend!"
"Just slipped my mind." Andromeda shrugged apologetically. "I haven't quite been myself lately."
"S-sorry.' Narcissa apologized quickly to her older sister. Andromeda gave her a weak smile in return.
"It's alright Cissy." Bella released Andromeda and turned to Narcissa. "It was kind of a spur of the moment kind of thing. I'm a little concerned how things will play out with the family." She looked back over her shoulder at Harry with a nervous look.
"Wish, you could have had a real wedding." Narcissa groused. "I could have gotten a new dress out of it." She pouted.
"Well, I hope to have a proper wedding sometime in the near future." Bella looked over her shoulder at Harry playfully.
"And a proper honeymoon." She winked saucily at him. Harry blushed but smiled back and nodded.
"How cool is it to have a brother in-law that can kick arse!" Narcissa crowed. Harry and Bella chuckled at the small blondes antics. "Can't wait to tell those gits in Slytherin, they'll be shaking in their boots when they find out who my brother-in-law is!"
"Actually, Cissy, we need to keep Harry's identity a secret for now." Bellatrix explained to her sister.
"What! What for?!" Narcissa pouted.
"For his safety and ours. Eventually we will reveal ourselves to the public but for now we need to keep it quiet until we are ready. Do you understand?" Bella asked.
"No." She crossed her arms over her chest defiantly.
Harry knelt in front of the blonde and took her hands in his. "It's important to me to keep you and your family safe, until I'm ready for our society to know of my existence, and even then, my name must be kept secret. Will you keep my secret until then?" Harry asked sweetly kissing the tops of her hands and smiling at her.
Narcissa swooned and blushed at the kisses Harry had placed on her hands. "Okay, I will keep your secret." Narcissa replied with a demure look in her eyes.
"That's enough, you big flirt!" Bella swatted his shoulder playfully.
"There is something you can help me with Cissy." Harry stated.
"Really?! What is it?" She asked excitedly.
"Your friend, Lily. Do you know if she will be on the train today?" Harry asked.
"Lily? Yes, she'll be on the train. But what do you want with my friend?" Narcissa asked suspiciously.
"You see, she is also an Eveningshade, though she does not know it yet." Harry whispered.
"Are you serious?!" Narcissa asked flabbergasted.
Harry nodded his head. "I am, and I would like a chance to talk to her. Do you think you could find her once we're on the train and invite her to our compartment?" Harry asked the small blonde.
"Wow!" Narcissa breathed. "Sure, we were planning on getting together anyway. Merlin will she be surprised!" Narcissa stated shaking her head in amused disbelief.
"Brillant! Thank you Cissy." Harry stated with a smile.
The three Black sisters and Harry boarded the train and searched for an empty compartment. They found one near the end of the train and settled in for the long trip to London. The group noticed the presence of several aurors at Hogsmeade Station, but was surprised that there were several who were on the train as well. They imagined it was for added security, they just all hoped they wouldn't be needed.
As soon as the train began to move, Narcissa left the compartment to find her friend Lily Evans. Narcissa was totally excited that her best friend was actually a member of the infamous Eveningshade family. If those boneheads in Slytherin knew that they been harassing a member of one of the most feared families in British Wizard history, they'd be wetting themselves in fear of reprisals. Narcissa smiled to herself.
Ten minutes later, Narcissa found Lily with a group of other first year Gryffindor girls. The two friends hugged each other in greeting, and quickly became the target of suspicious glares from the other Gryffindors in the compartment, who did not approve of the friendship at all.
The two friends left the compartment together. If they saw the hostile looks from the other girls in the room, they gave them no mind. Hand in hand the two friends made their way back to the where Harry and the other Black sisters were sitting.
The two friends were giggling about something when they entered. Lily smiled at Andromeda and Bella whom had been very nice to her and welcoming. She then noticed the lone boy in the compartment who was looking at her strangely. It wasn't a creepy or hostile look, if anything it appeared to be a happy look, a look one would see from a long lost friend who had missed you terribly.
Harry stood from his seat and approacehed the girl with a smile and an outstretched hand. "Hello Lily, I'm Harry. It is a pleasure to meet you." Harry introduced himself, and shook her hand his eyes sparkling and his lips turned up into a welcoming grin.
Lily felt a slight tingling in her hand when she had touched her hand. "Lily Evans." The small redhead curtsied, curious to where the strange feeling a familiarity was coming from.
"Please come in and sit down." Harry offered, pointing to the seat directly in front of him and Bella who was sitting next to him. Lily sat down across from him and Narcissa took the spot next to Lily still holding her hand. Andromeda took the seat next to Bellatrix.
"I've heard a lot about you?" Harry began warmly. "I hear you're an exceptional student."
"Um…thank you." Lily began. "I can't say that I know anything about you." Lily asked blushing slightly at the intensity of the boy's gaze. It was then she really noticed his eyes. They were a brilliant green. If she didn't think it was possible she would swear that his eyes looked exactly like hers.
"He's Bella's mysterious boyfriend. Remember me telling you about him?" Narcissa reminded her friend.
"Oh! Oh yes…so your Bella's boyfriend?"
"Well, more than that now." Narcissa giggled, until Bella gave her a withering look that had the blonde wincing apologetically.
"Actually, if you can keep a secret just between us girls..." Bella whispered conspiratorially. "I'll let you in on a secret."
"Sure, I can keep a secret!" The excited young redhead replied crossing her heart.
"Harry and I are actually magically bound; in the eyes of our society, that means we are considered married." Bella smiled warmly while squeezing Harry's hand affectionately.
"Wow! I've read that wizards and witches tend to marry early…but wow!" Lily replied with interest.
"It's actually not uncommon amongst the older houses to make arranged marriages between their children, usually for political reasons." Andromeda put in with a disdainful snort.
"Is yours a political marriage then?" Lily asked Harry and Bella curiously.
"Um…no." Harry supplied. "Our union was kind of spontaneous."
"Spontaneous?" Lily asked.
"It's old magic Lily." Bella began. "When a witch and wizard declare themselves for each other, magic can sometimes bind them together. It is very rare and generally requires a really powerful wizard to begin the bond."
"What if the witch doesn't want to be bonded?" Lily asked. "I mean can a powerful wizard do this to any witch he fancies?"
"No, Lily. The desire to bond has to be reciprocated by the witch." Bella explained.
"Well that's a relief!" Lily replied dramatically earning her giggles from Narcissa.
"Afraid that Jaime is a powerful wizard and might want to bond with you?" Narcissa laughed hysterically.
"Not funny Cissy!" Lily swatted her best friend on the shoulder. "Ug! That boy drives me insane, always lurking about and staring at me!"
"You know you like it!" Narcissa teased. Bella and Harry gave each other knowing smiles.
"I'd rather date a buber tuber!" Lily huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
"But then we'd be family." Narcissa replied pulling Lily into a one armed hug. "Wouldn't that be brilliant!" The blue eyed blonde said excitedly.
"Speaking of family." Harry took the segway that was conveniently offered. "Do you know much about your father's family?" Harry asked seemingly innocently.
"My father?" Lily asked confused by the sudden change in topic, but grateful nonetheless to get off the topic of James Potter.
"Yes, do you know much of your family history?" Harry asked.
"Not much really. I asked my dad once about it for a school project on genealogy." Lily replied thinking back to primary school.
"What did you learn?" Harry asked curiously.
"Well, all I know for certain is that our surname was changed a little over a hundred years ago. When I asked my dad what it had been he said he did not know. He had asked his grandfather about it when he was a little boy, but he refused to tell dad what it was. He assumed that our ancestors must have been bad people and they wanted to escape the name."
"Interesting." Harry replied. "Can I ask you another question Lily?"
"Of course." She replied.
"What color were your dads eyes?" Harry asked.
"Green, why?" She replied curiously.
"And your grandfathers?"
"Green as well."
"Would you say that there eye color was exactly the same?"
"Um…yeah." She replied after thing about it.
"The same color as yours?" Harry asked.
"I suppose so yes." She replied wondering where this was all going.
"Were they the same color as…mine?" Harry finally asked slowly looking straight at the young redhead.
Lily shifted uncomfortably in her seat. She looked at all the occupants in the compartment and noticed that they were all paying very close attention to her and Harry. Lily gulped audibly as she wondered what was going on.
"I don't know what you're trying to get at Harry. But you're making me feel…awfully nervous." Lily told the young man in front of her.
"I don't mean to make you nervous Lily, but…please. Look into my eyes and tell me…do they look like yours and your father's and your grandfather's." Harry asked gently.
Lily had always known, because it was such an oddity, genetically speaking, that her eyes were the exact same shade and color of not only her father's, but of her grandfather's and from what she had heard from her father exactly like her great-grandfather as well.
She hesitantly looked deeply into Harry's eyes and gasped as she looked at a pair of emerald green eyes that appeared to be exactly like hers. "How is this possible?" Lily whispered.
"Lily, within the magical community, at least with many pureblood families there are certain traits that are passed on from one generation to the next. A family's magic is also passed down through the bloodline. I believe Bella has explained this concept to you, correct?" Harry asked.
Lily nodded her head, remembering the conversation that she had with the Black sisters on the train ride to Hogwarts to begin her first year.
"Sometimes, a child is born to magical that cannot access their magic. These are known as…"
"Squibs." Lily offered. Harry nodded and smiled at his mother.
"Correct…squibs. They still posses magic they just can't access it. Many of these squibs will leave the magical world and seek a new live in the muggle world." Harry paused for a moment.
"Now, sometimes a squib or a descendant of a squib will give birth to a child that does have full access to their magic, and they are then brought back into the magical community. Many are mistaken as muggleborn, but in truth there are no muggleborns. Anyone who has magic had a magical ancestor somewhere in their family." Bella replied, picking up on Harry's train of thought.
"Sooo, you're saying that I had a magical ancestor." Lily replied slowly.
"Exactly!" Harry smiled.
Lily began to put things together now, as she took what Harry was saying about certain traits in magical families and Bella's statement that there were no real "muggleborns" and that all magicals no matter their ancestry had a magical somewhere in their family history.
Lily looked hard at Harry for a moment before speaking. "Are you trying to tell me, that we may be…related, Harry?"
Harry gave her a soft smile. "Not just maybe, Lily. Allow me to fully introduce myself. I am Lord Harry Eveningshade. Lord and head of the Eveningshade family. And you Lily Evans are in fact an Eveningshade." Harry announced.
Lily sat back in her seat, half in denial and half in shock at the revelation. She turned to look at Narcissa who was beaming at her with a wide smile. "How-how can you be so sure? Surely just having the same eye color is not enough to make such a claim?"
"There is more than just your eye color Lily. As head of House Eveningshade, I wear a signet ring that can identify a member of my house no matter how distant that relation may be. When we shook hands, my ring pulsed, informing me that you are indeed from the Eveningshade family; in fact you are from the main branch of the family.
I believe your great-great grandfather changed your name to Evans, after he left the magical world." Harry told the stunned redhead who remembered feeling something as well when she had shaken his hand…a since of familiarity. For some unknown reason, she felt deep in her heart that she could trust this young man and that he was telling her the truth.
"Soo, what does all this mean?" Lily asked finally after some inner discussion. "Does it change anything?" Harry smiled at her seeming acceptance of the bombshell he had just dropped on her.
"Being from an Ancient House, gives you all kinds of benefits and protections!" Narcissa told her friend, squeezing her hand.
"Benefits? Protections? I don't understand." Lily replied.
For the next several hours, Lily was informed about the politics and cultural of magical society, and how the purebloods, as unfair as it was, were treated differently from those considered of lesser blood. Lily was on an emotional rollercoaster as her moods went from stunned, angry, happy, confused, and finally accepting, however grudgingly to what life as an Eveningshade could offer her.
Harry and Bella had educated Lily on House Eveningshade, at least as much as they themselves had learned. The history and myths that surrounded the family stunned the young redhead, and made her very eager to learn more about the infamous family…her family.
Bella had found the family spell in the Eveningshade Grimoire that would officially bring Lily back into the family, making her an Eveningshade in full standing. Lily had agreed to it after she had been told that she would not have to give up her family and that actually her mother and father by extension of her membership were also brought under the protection of House Eveningshade.
Unfortunately they could not make her father a member in full standing because of his lack of ability to use his dormant magic. But Harry and Bella had promised Lily that they would meet with her parents during the Christmas holidays.
It was a simple spell, that in the end had created a small blood red ring with a black Phoenix that was formed from both Harry's and Bella's blood as the Lord and Lady Eveningshade and a few drops of Lily's. All the blood was dropped into Harry's cupped left hand, once the incantation was spoken; the blood from all three began to merge and formed the ring that would forever identify Lily as a member of House Eveningshade.
The train rolled into Platform 9-3/4's in the early evening hours. The group stepped onto the platform and after a promise to meet Lily early Monday for the train ride back to Hogwarts. Lily, much to Harry's joy, gave him a firm hug, before she turned to walk through the barrier to meet her parents.
Two men in expensive looking cloaks approached Harry and the girls. With a slight bow one of the men greeted them. "Lord Eveningshade, it is a pleasure to meet you again."
"And you as well, Lord Black." Harry responded formally, bowing his head slightly.
"Uncle Orion." They responded together.
"Lord Eveningshade" Cygnus Black bowed.
"Girls." The father of the sisters greeted his children. One did not show outward affection in public. It was quite unbecoming of a proper pureblood.
"We our honored, that you accepted our invitation, Lord Eveningshade. I do hope you will find your stay with us to be enjoyable and beneficial." Orion Black offered respectfully.
"I'm sure it will be a very enlightening visit Lord Black, I'm very interested to learn more about the Lady Eveningshade's family." Harry tersely replied to the man and emphasized Bella's position who the two men did not address properly.
Harry would do as his grandmother had taught him, and that was to always show strength and power. The two Black's had just insulted his wife by not addressing her correctly by her title while in public.
Orion and Cygnus realized that they had already made a serious miscalculation in testing the young lord. Orion internally grimaced at the reaction that Arcturus would have when he discovered that his sons had already insulted prospective ally.
"I apologize, Lord Eveningshade; we meant no disrespect to the Lady Eveningshade. We are still adjusting to her…new position." Orion bowed in apology, but inside he was seething at playing nice with this whelp, even if he is an Eveningshade. It was he who had brought his family to their current precarious position. If not for him, Bella would still be betrothed to Lestrange and none of this madness would have occurred.
"We will be more mindful in the future." Orion replied.
"I should hope so Lord Black, after all the proprieties' must be observed, or we are no better than a commoner." Harry retorted. In truth he could care less about pureblood protocols, but Orion and the other Blacks did, and he had to play the part of the dangerous lord if he was to have their respect. Dorea and Walburga had emphasized this.
The Blacks respected power and strength and so did many wizarding houses, he had to assert both from the very beginning with them or they would try to take whatever advantage they could over him. If he failed it would be an uphill battle to get that respect back.
"Of course Lord Eveningshade." Orion replied. "If you and the Lady Eveningshade are ready to leave, we can portkey to Black Hills." Orion deferred to Harry.
"I believe we are ready Lord Black." Harry told the man.
Cygnus produced a long length of rope in front of him. "If you'll all take hold, we'll be off."
Once everyone had taken a hold of the rope, Orion spoke: "Activate!"
There was a familiar tug behind the navel and the entire group vanished into thin air before suddenly appearing in an ancient looking forest. Harry was silently congratulating himself for actually landing on his feet this time. His previous experience had him sprawled out flat on his face last time he attempted this form of transport.
The group walked about ten yards until they came to a large Roman archway. Orion, still furious about his dressing down by Harry, decided that the boy needed to be humbled and so did not inform the boy about the defensive ward in the archway.
If the ward was not deactivated it would deliver a serious shock of electricity and throw the one trying to pass through it a good twenty feet into the air. It was just what the little snot nosed kid needed to put him in his place.
"Just through the arch my Lord, and straight on to the manor." Orion gestured with his hand. Cygnus was about to stop him when Orion shot him a look that told him to be silent. Bella, and the others had never been here before and therefore did not know of the wards.
Harry looked at the arch and saw the powerful wards that surrounded it. Harry began to fume inside as he realized Orion's intentions. His magic began to pulse within him as his temper rose. He immediately took hold of his emotions and quieted the swirling magic within him.
Harry smirked as he walked toward the archway, reading the patterns of the wards and easily found the small gap within them. Using the one bit of Eveningshade magic that he could control he walked through the arch widening the gap to allow his body to walk through unharmed, and then closing it as he passed through.
Orion and Cygnus looked dumbstruck, a look that quickly turned to fear as they looked up to see Harry glaring back through the archway at them his eyes glowing in rage and his cloak swirling around him in an invisible wind.
Suddenly Harry's voice erupted like a sonorous charm on steroids as it boomed and echoed through the woods, shaking the very stones and trees.
"YOU FIRST INSULT MY WIFE! YOU THEN ATTEMPT TO HARM ME WITH YOUR PITIFUL WARDS! CROSS ME ONE MORE TIME ORION BLACK OF HOUSE BLACK, AND I WILL BRING SUCH HORROR TO YOUR HOUSE THAT NOT A SINGLE SOUL IN OUR WORLD WILL EVER DARE SPEAK ITS NAME AGAIN! Harry roared, his whole body seemed to glow ominously.
Orion and Cygnus threw themselves onto the muddy ground, prostrating themselves in front of the enraged demon that was Lord Eveningshade. Every horror story that they had ever heard about House Eveningshade was coming to their minds eye as clear as if it were just told to them.
"P-p-please my lord! Forgive a foolish man his trespass against you! Do not harm my house! I swear on my life and magic that neither I nor anyone from my house will ever do anything that would earn your wrath or ire or in any way harm you or anyone from your house. We are your servants!" Orion pleaded, knowing he had royally screwed up.
"SWEAR TO IT!" Harry ordered.
"S-So I swear, s-so mote it be!" Orion swore on his magic, a white pulse of magic sealing his oath.
Harry's impressive aura began to slowly diminish, but his glowing green eyes remained. Orion and Cygnus slowly rose to their feet and Orion lowered the wards in the arch. Bella was the first through and ran into Harry's arms.
She could feel the slight trembles in Harry's body, letting her know that once again he had used a little too much of his magic and he had weakened himself. She hoped it wasn't too much to where he would pass out again; he still had the rest of her family to meet after all.
One good thing did come out of her uncle's arrogance though, and that was he had just forced himself to in essence swear loyalty to her husband and that was definitely a good thing. And scaring the living hell out of him was just an added bonus.
A/N: Hoped you enjoyed the chapter, I'm personally looking forward to writing Harry meeting the entire Black and Potter families. That will be the next chapter. I know that there will be some of you who will question my decisions to bring Lily into the Eveningshade family, but I think the story will work better with her as an Eveningshade and I have a few great arcs with her in them planned.
As always I would love to read your reviews, comments, or critiques on this last chapter or on how you feel about the progression of the story. The pacing of the story will begin to move a little faster but probably not for at least three or four more chapters…don't hold me to it though. I like to write organically and the story will dictate how fast I move things. Thanks again!