It Ain't Easy Being Lord-Baron Potter-Black
Ron Weasley wove his way through the aisles at the Diagon Alley Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes shop, his arms full of the new shipment of CC No See underpants, one of George's new ideas. The idea that wearing a certain pair of underwear would make wizards invisible to the Muggle recording devices was a good one, but the first batch made people break out. After making his way to the downstairs storage room Ron was chuckling to himself, thinking how they'd sold a dozen to Seamus Finnegan, when he bumped into something. A something that he couldn't see.
After dropping the boxes instantly and taking out his wand Ron backed up. "All right, who's there? Only certain people have access to this room. Show yourself now!"
A sheepish looking Harry Potter pulled off his invisibility cloak. "It's just me, Ron."
"Blimey, Harry, don't do that! Where have you been the last month, Hermione and I have been trying to find you, got a lot to ask, all the pictures in The Prophet and…" A smirk broke out on his face as he bowed. "Excuse me, Lord-Baron Potter-Black, I, Ronald Bilius Weasley of Ottery St. Catchpole did not mean to offend."
"Cut it out, Ron. You know how I hate that crap." Harry ran a hand through his hair, exposing the Potter crest ring. He held up his hand. "And I really hate this ring."
After conjuring a couple of chairs Ron sat down. "What's wrong with being a Lord and a Baron? You're swimming in Galleons, mate."
Harry sat down and shook his head. "Oh yeah, the Galleons are great. It's just…" He sighed. "Ok, here's what's bothering me. You know…"
"Wait a tic; what were you doing hiding down here?" Ron picked up his wand again. "Do we…"
"No, nothing like that. Right. Ok. You know how I just got landed with the whole noble house bit last year. I should have been given all this stuff when I was seventeen and came of age, not now when I'm twenty." He noticed Ron nodding as if he wasn't surprised. "Hermione?"
"Yeah, she read up after you got all lorded up."
"Figures." Harry shook his head. "Well part of that is the whole ring thing. I don't have to wear the Black ring because it's the 'lesser' house. Plus it's ugly as shit. But the Potter ring, I have to wear that one. Right after the whole ceremony thing I put the ring on and felt it tingle, so I just figured it was recognizing me as the rightful heir." Harry shook his head. "Merlin I can't believe this."
"It can't be bad, can it?"
"Oh, it's bad all right."
"I'm sure we can take it to Hermione or McGonagall, they can read up on it, probably…"
"No, Ron, I know exactly what the enchantment is…and by Godric, is it ever a powerful one. Right. I'm the last of the Potters. One of the things all old 'noble' families did was to make sure the line carries on." He looked at Ron but it hadn't sunk in. "There's a heir compulsion charm on the ring."
After Ron's laughter died down he shook his head. "So the next time you shag a bird BAM! Pregnant, right? Who's the lucky girl? And have I mentioned how glad I am you and Ginny aren't dating anymore? To think you and my sister…"
"I thought you got over that? Besides, she's got that Quidditch bloke. Never mind Ginny, Ron, did you get what I said. An heir compulsion charm. Key word there is compulsion."
"Still not getting it."
"Jesus, Ron, have you been sniffing the Peruvian Darkness Powder again? Will I get women pregnant with this? Yes. But that's not the bad part…every single woman over the age of seventeen goes mental when I'm nearby. Seriously."
"Sirius would love this."
"Shut up. Yeah, you're right, I'm sure he would. So all those pictures you've seen of me in the paper with those women?"
Ron's eyes went wide. "You've shagged them all?"
"So…you and Lavender?"
"Bloody hell. You jumped Susan's bones?"
"Real mature, but yes."
Ron sat back and scanned his memories. "The Patil twins? At the same time?"
"They drew straws to see who would go first."
After the laughter subsided Ron became suddenly quiet. After a long pause he looked up at Harry rather nervously. "There was a picture of you and Hermione when you two spoke at the Wizangamot about the house elves."
"Nope. Good thing you two got married this year."
"Thank Merlin." Ron smirked. "Anyone else?"
Harry closed his eyes and sighed. "You have to remember Ron, this is a compulsion. It's like I'm there but I'm not. Don't get me wrong, it's always great, but I really have no control. Neither do they; it's a really shitty thing. And do you know why it's so damned strong? Apparently the last Potter to wear the thing without being married first was Horatio Potter. I looked it up at Gringotts, in one of the books in the vaults. Since Dad was already married to Mum when he became Lord Potter the compulsion crap didn't go into effect. It stored it up, made it even stronger."
"So when did Horatio Potter…"
"1759." Harry shook his head. "Now you know why it's so strong. Think of the worst possible name you can think of."
"That's easy, Malfoy. That would be hilarious. Would you get pregnant or would he?"
After a few seconds Harry glared at him. "Eligible females, Ron. God, that's sick. It is the worst possible name though. But only by a little bit. Think again."
"No." Ron shook his head. "Not her. Parkinson?"
"Twice. Ran into her at the Leaky once and then in Flourish & Blotts. Ended up buying a lot of books on cauldrons because they were 'affected' according to the bloke in charge."
"What'd you do afterwards?"
"Took the longest shower of my life. Went overboard on the scouring charms. At least the compulsion let me off that week, don't want to think what would have happened. That was the week I saw the Harpies match and took pictures with them afterwards."
Ron looked disgusted. "You were so close to the dream and you let it slip away, just like that?"
"Dammit, Ron, this is serious! I can't go to work, all the female Aurors in my department? What would a team meeting in Robards' office look like?"
After a few moments Ron looked at him with sympathy. "So what are you going to do? And why are you down here?"
"I have no idea what I'm going to do and I'm down here because I saw Millicent Bulstrode walking down the street."
"Holy shit. Don't blame you there, mate." Ron looked at his watch. "Listen, just stay down here for a while. I'll bring you something to eat and owl Hermione. We'll figure something out."
Ron made his way back upstairs and began waiting on a couple of kids who not only wanted to buy everything but only had five Sickles and three Gnuts. After sorting out what they could afford he began restocking the items and ran into George.
"Hey George, you got a minute? Need to ask you something."
George shook his head. "Sorry, brother of mine, no time. Manning the door. I'll be happy to help once Verity's back."
"Where is she?"
George motioned over his shoulder. "Sent her down to the storage room to pick up more Skiving Snackboxes."
Ron closed his eyes. "Aw hell."
11 Years Later
The Hogwarts Express was almost ready to leave for Hogwarts, and the crowd of parents saying goodbye to their children covered the platform. Ron and Hermione stood there with Rose, their oldest, as Hugo held onto his father's hand.
"I see 'em, Dad!"
"Thanks, Hugo." Ron looked over his shoulder and nodded to Hermione. "Here they come."
Lord-Baron Potter-Black and Lady Black walked towards their friends. Lady Black held the hand of their youngest as the oldest Potter daughter pushed her trolley. Eventually they made it over to the Weasleys. As their daughters began chatting away Ron stepped away from Hermione and went over to his best mate.
"So, ready for this?"
"Don't really have a choice." Harry looked over at his wife. "Hannah's been a mess with Athena leaving this year."
"I bet." Ron looked as another crowd began walking their way. "Looks like it's time to say goodbye, Lord-Baron Daddy."
Ron watched as several women with their children walked up to Harry and smiled as Harry acknowledged his black-haired offspring. Ron even said hello to Verity even though he'd see her back at the shop in less than an hour. He watched as Professor Longbottom walked by, not bothering to cast a glance their way, as usual. Most were cordial, especially Lavender, but Pansy? Even after all these years, and even after she'd received the same settlement from the Potter estate for her son, even then Pansy was still a bitch.