A/N: So I did it again, and honestly I am sorry, certain parts of this chapter were like pulling teeth. However, I managed to get it up before the year was out so I'm counting that for something. Sorry guys, I know I make you wait, but you can be assured that I will never abandon my works – I recently updated Twins: A Different Life after 4 YEARS! So I can promise this fic will do on!
Thank you so much for every follow, favourite and especially to everyone who takes the time to review my work; you guys rock!
Finally, I give you the reactions to the Wizengamot and the Ginny confrontation – on we go!
Warning: Slash, language and mentions of violence.
Disclaimer: If you haven't realized I'm not JK after this many chapters then there is nothing I can do to help you :D – this plot is mine, though.
With the reaction the Order gave once Dumbledore arrived and described the Wizengamot session, Draco couldn't wait to have his own personal viewing of it. He had made transcripts on the conversations and the half formed plans the Order, or rather Dumbledore's sycophants, had scraped together, but there was nothing definitive as of yet. They were all still reeling over what had happened. Dumbledore had been completely blindsided and without access to the castle the old man was forced to reevaluate everything he had planned. Not only that, but there reaction of the change in leadership was something Draco was going to remember for a very long time.
Thankfully, finding out his father had been elected minister gave him plenty of time to compose himself before he went under the scrutiny of the rest of the school, especially the other Slytherins. With everything that was about to be revealed, Slytherin House politics were about to change rapidly and he was both looking forward to it and dreading it. Blaise thought the whole thing was set to be hilarious, with the huge powershift not only in the ministry but in general status many people were going to have to change their actions and behaviour quickly or suffer for it; clearly the hidden sadist that Blaise was wanted them to suffer. Draco also knew that his fellow Slytherin couldn't wait to be able to claim his Gryffindor publicly before anyone dared to try and get their claws in what was his.
Watching the Order lose their collective minds had been satisfying, not only that, but Dumbledore's insistence that the Trio and Neville had gone Dark was received somehow worse that news of their breaking free. Draco understood the sudden change of plans to have him hold back with the House of Rosier, he knew they didn't want to be using the time-turners too much as they had many plans that were going to be reliant on their use. But by Merlin did he wish he had witnessed the session first hand. He knew Blaise felt the same, the usually stoic Italian had all but been twitching as they waited for the time to pass until dinner. The evening Prophet promised to be incredible and it took all of his etiquette training to stop himself watching the clock as the time until dinner slowly fell away.
They weren't bothering with a full meeting until the next day as the plan was to go over everything with all parties present and if Draco knew Harry in anyway he had probably roped the Dark Lord into being involved somehow. Plus, the Gryffindors wanted to reach McGonagall before the paper came out which took precedence over any meeting. When dinner finally rolled around, the sixth year Slytherins made their way up to the great all together as per Slytherin rules.
It had become shockingly quiet for their year since Parkinson had been withdrawn from school, his mother had told him that Pansy was being re-educated in order to conform to the correct behaviour of a Daughter of the House of Alyn and honestly Draco didn't know if it was going to stick. He and Pansy used to be close, but she became more shrew-like as the years past and come the end of third year he could honestly say he couldn't stand her; her simpering and her grovelling had become nauseating and her clawing at him in an effort to secure a place as the next Lady Malfoy made him want to curse her. He knew her father had been pushing it, and was responsible for many aspects of her changed behaviours, so without his influence maybe she could become a respected Daughter of Society once again, but he wasn't counting on it.
Without Pansy's shrieking, giggling and gossiping, the problems within their year had dropped dramatically, and the issues their other Housemates had with their year because of the constant point loss and drama vanished. It was surprising the effect just one person could have and he hadn't realised that her behaviour had been such a cause of strife. Unsurprisingly, Theodore Nott had been very quiet since they had returned from the Yule holidays. Draco knew that both he and Blaise had been distracted with Harry's episode but the usually quiet bookworm had become an utterly silent shadow. Draco couldn't remember the other teen saying a single word since they had gotten back and the Malfoy heir couldn't tell if that was a good or bad thing.
With his father assumedly being punished for his actions and his grandfather retaking the Lordship, a lot had happened for the House Nott over the holidays and it had quickly gotten around to those who were in attendance to the Malfoy ball just what Izar Nott had been hiding. The Nott/Greengrass contract had been voided, and from what Daphne had mentioned they were going to renegotiate but both Lord Greengrass and Lord Nott had decided to ask the pair if it was something they wanted and they both had declined. Of course, Daphne had grumbled that she should have the kept the contract to keep the vultures of off her back as now polite society knew the eldest Greengrass daughter was open for contracts the offers had come rolling in. Some brave souls had even approached the girl in person and Draco winced in remembrance; there was a very good reason the girl was known as the Ice Queen.
They arrived in the hall with little fan fair, both he and Blaise taking their seats even as their eyes scanned the hall looking for others in their group. Luna was swaying at the Ravenclaw table, her head in the clouds act making people give her a wide birth as she appeared to be humming to herself. Usually, Neville was at the Gryffindor table hunched over and keeping to himself but this time he was absent, however the female Weasley was sat surrounded by her friends and even from where he was sat Draco could see she was waving around the fake Potter ring.
She was going to have a nasty ending.
Not only did Harry himself want to gouge out her eyes, the Dark Lord got pissed off when someone looked at the Potter-Black Lord with anything closely resembling desire, the girl who dosed him with love potions and tried to ensnare him by forcing him to impregnate her was definitely on his hit list. It honestly wouldn't surprise Draco if the Dark Lord kept her for his own morbid amusement and just tortured her until he finally got bored. Though, given just how possessive the man was of Harry it would probably last many years before he felt the punishment was enough. Draco couldn't help his eyes flickering up to where the owls would be flying in before he scanned the head table, he honestly couldn't wait for the reaction of the entire hall for this paper and by Blaise' bouncing leg next to him the Italian teen was also impatient for the paper to arrive.
"What are the pair of you waiting for?" Daphne's voice cut through Draco's musings and he looked over to his fellow blond housemate, raising an eyebrow at her question only to get a deadpanned expression in return. Tracey, always sat next to Greengrass as she was, looked amused by the silent interaction but didn't say anything.
"Your eyes have flicked around the hall more times than I care to count." Daphne pointed out, "and I've known Blaise for nearly eight years now and I've never seen him bounce his leg; ever."
"Also, if you get any tenser you may actually snap." Tracy added amused. Draco and Blaise shared a look before turning to smirk at the girls.
"You'll see for yourself soon enough." Draco told them.
"Let's just say we imagine there will be an Evening Prophet." Blaise suggested and both girls looked briefly surprised.
"Does it, per chance, have anything to do with the Yule season everyone seemed to be up in arms over?" Daphne wondered and before either Draco or Blaise could answer, Theodore snorted from behind his book.
"I have absolutely no doubt that it has something to do with the Yule season." He muttered.
"Of all the years we had to miss out on the balls." Tracey sighed, "there's been so many rumours."
"Trust me, they don't even touch the real thing." Theodore assured her and then vanished back behind his book.
"So Yule was crucial, and today is the annual opening Wizengamot session." Daphne remembered. "It has to be something big if its going to come out in an Evening edition."
"You'll get nothing from us." Draco stated, "besides, I'd hate to ruin the surprise."
"And what a surprise it's going to be." Blaise murmured, before breaking out in an uncharacteristic grin as the sounds of hundreds of owls swept through the hall causing a rise in sound as people reacted to the appearance of an Evening Prophet. Draco barely managed not to snatch the paper off of the own when it landed in front of him, instead he calmly laid it out on the table and allowed a malicious smirk to curl on to his face as he saw the huge photos dominating the front page. His own father's face stared back at him and underneath it featured Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville all looking barely recognisable in their Wizengamot robes with their crests proudly on display. The girls sucked in sharp breaths as they took in the front page and then it was like a silencing charm spread through the hall instantaneously as the rest of the school, teachers included took in the front page and the headline.
Opening Wizengamot Session Sees Changes to the Ministry
New Arrivals Cause Huge Power-Shift
In a stunning show of power and control, Cornelius Fudge was ousted from the Ministers Office in an uncontested Vote of No Confidence brought forth by Lord Hadrian Greengrass.
Lord Greengrass has sat on the Wizengamot for over a quarter of a Century and has been stalwart in House Greengrass's Neutral stance, leading the Section with grace and aplomb during his tenure. He also gained notability upon his appointment as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, fixing the shameful mess left behind by the corrupt Dolores Umbridge. Last year it was revealed that Umbridge was responsible for torturing our children with a blood quill and while the Hogwarts board of Governors acted instantly there was a suspicious silence from our ministry. Now, my dear readers, I can reveal that Lord Greengrass was able to uncover the horrifying truth; Minister Fudge gave permission for the use of the blood quill. This along with a number of other offences, which are currently being investigated by the DMLE at this time, lead to his unceremonious ejection from Ministerial office.
Due to the subsequent ousting of Fudge from the Minister's position, the Wizengamot was forced to enact a rare procedure and induct a nominee in to the position of Interim Minister. An Interim Minister has all the power of Ministry but holds the position as if by proxy, automatically gaining entry into the upcoming Ministerial election upon selection. With tensions already high in the Chamber, Lord Kingston Shacklebolt was first to rise and nominate Rufus Scrimgeour for Interim Minister. Scrimgeour, a decorated auror who rose through the ranks quickly during the first war making head auror at almost record time and was easily selected as the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement upon Lady Amelia Bones' health related retirement, has already been selected as a candidate for the Ministerial Election. The position of Interim Minister would have granted him an unparalleled opportunity to show our country how a Scremgeour based Administration would benefit our country. However, Scrimgeour's nomination wasn't alone and Lord Lucius Malfoy was quickly nominated as an alternative candidate for the prestigious position. Lord Malfoy has held his position on the Wizengamot for fifteen years and has always shown a keen eye for politics and international relations, dedicating much of his time to bettering our world through his position and his many charitable exploits. With no other candidates proposes, the Wizengamot went to a vote. It quickly became apparent that the vote was going to be close but in the end, Lord Malfoy was chosen and sworn in as our new Interim Minister due to some very unexpected votes.
While I would like to be able to tell you that this was the catalyst that shook the roots of the Wizengamot, dear readers, it would be an outrageous lie. For not only did the opening session of the year bring us truth about Fudge and a new Interim Minister in the shape of Lord Malfoy, it brought forth a new power dynamic that nobody was prepared for or expecting. As the session opened, the Chief Warlock, recently dismissed Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, called upon the magic of the Wizengamot and it was revealed that there were fellows waiting to be inducted into distinguished halls. First, shocking his fellow Lords and Ladies, revealed to be Lord Theodore Nott, who stepped down abruptly from the position sixteen years ago after the death of his wife and first born son. Swiftly reclaiming his seat and keeping the House Nott firmly in the Dark Section of the Wizengamot, the reappearance of the ex-head of Section brought forth many rumours surrounding his son and previous Lord, Izar Nott. While surprising in his entrance, his appearance didn't touch on the arrival of the next four arrivals. Lord Ronald Prewett, formally Ronald Weasley, Lady Hermione McKinnon, formally Hermione Granger, and Lord Neville Longbottom, whose grandmother Augusta Longbottom previously held the seat but had been removed due to crimes against the House Longbottom, claimed their seats and yanked all of their not so considerable power out from the Light aligned section placing it firmly within the Dark and Neutral territories much to the disbelief and outrage of the Light Lords and Ladies.
However, as seems to be the trend for him, it was the last Lord that truly put the cow amongst the dragons and did the impossible: entering the Wizengamot and claiming not one, not two, but four titles and corresponding seats, Lord Harry Potter-Black showed us all why he is known for the impossible revealing his position as Lord to the Houses Potter, Black, Peverell and Gryffindor and the single most powerful individual within the Hallowed Halls of the Wizengamot. Not only did he rip the core power foundation away from the Light Aligned and place all of his power within the Dark Section, Lord Potter-Black openly claimed proxy for the Imperial House of Slytherin giving him power over two of the Founding Houses leaving him unquestionably without equal. As if Lord Potter-Black shifting his seats so drastically didn't announce it clear to everyone, Albus Dumbledore's subsequent reaction to Lord Potter-Black's appearance would announce clearly a definite separation between the powerful duo. Dumbledore has often been held in high regard as the mentor of our saviour which begs the question of why they have parted ways so drastically; has the recent reveals of Dumbledore's character brought forth this sudden split or are there more underlying secrets yet to be uncovered that are the true reason for Lord Harry Potter-Black not only parting ways from Dumbledore but shifting so sharply to the Dark? With Lord Potter-Black and his famously close friends being the deciding factor in Lord Malfoy's appointment it is very apparent that the Potter/Longbottom Alliance is as strong as ever and the previously known Golden Trio are working together and are thinking in to the future indicating there to be no reconciliation between the powerful young Lord and Dumbledore.
Never before has there been such unrest in our political climate, with a new power dynamic within the Wizengamot and an Interim Minister many things are set to change within the upcoming months. What has Dumbledore done to the Potter-Black Lord? What does the new quad know of the situation? Is this the reawakening of the alliance between Houses Potter-Black and Malfoy? And crucially, who is the mysterious Slytherin Lord and how does he know Lord Potter-Black? One thing is for sure, dear readers, this reporter will be following along eagerly to bring you the news and promise to continue the relentless search for truth leaving no stone unturned in the latest chronical of events.
Rita Skeeter: Special Correspondent to the Daily Prophet.
There had been quite a few looks of confusion as people looked at the pictures and not really recognised them, but it quickly became apparently just who they were looking at the further they got into the article; and then the hall exploded. Gasps and exclamations of shock bounced around the from most of the hall, and a burst of sudden sound indicated plenty of speculation running wild surrounding Harry and Co's sudden appearance and the power shift they represented. The discussions became louder and louder and even the teachers seemed to be equally inclined to discuss rather than control the students. People start craning their necks to see if they can spot the now famous quad but soon realised they were nowhere in the hall which only served to make the noise rise even more wondering just where the four Gryffindors could be and what their response to the article would be.
Draco couldn't help but sit up proudly, allowing himself a slight smug tilt of his lips as people turned to him in surprise about his father's new position. Even his fellow Slytherins' were full on gossiping, regarding him with contemplative looks at this change, obviously considering the alterations this would make to the in-House politics. The Malfoy Heir didn't let a single look bother him, with Harry and co also being responsible for his father's placement and the revelations about their placement shift, a couple of looks were the least he was going to get. Blaise released a low whistle, looking at Draco with a raised eyebrow to which the blond smirked slightly making the Italian shake his head with a smirk of his own.
"So they didn't just go for it, they went for it."
"Yeah, they really did."
"This changes everything." Daphne stated, her usual composure broken by widened eyes.
"I'll say. This is an alteration to the very foundations of the Wizengamot as we've known it for over two decades." Tracey agreed with a level of morbid excitement Draco was mildly concerned over.
"He was astonishingly generous." Theodore murmured looking alarmed. Both Draco and Blaise nodded.
"You can thank your grandfather's friendship with Him for that."
"What are you talking about now?" Tracey demanded.
"There was an incident at my family ball that could have ended up much worse considering the information that has now been revealed."
"Ugh, I cannot wait for the Act of Silence to be released." She sighed.
"I know my father is releasing ours in the next couple of days." Draco told her, "I can't imagine the others will last much further after that."
"No, my father intends to release his tomorrow." Daphne agreed, "I need to write to him also, I wish to know about the Wizengamot session."
"Oh I can't wait to see her fall." Blaise said seemingly out of the blue, but Draco followed his line of sight and saw the She-Weasley trying to put on a brave and smug face under the barrage of questions she was getting from a lot of the Gryffindors. However, even from the other side of the hall, Draco could see that her act was failing, she hadn't known anything about this surprise and by the looks of things she may not have known about all of Harry's titles. Still, she kept waving around that fake ring and Draco caught a flash of a smirk on Luna's face as the Ravenclaw also watched the red-head. The noise in the hall was becoming unbearable when McGonagall stood up and released a fire cracker from her wand silencing the hall almost instantly.
"Now. I know there has been a surprise with the paper this evening, but that is no reason for any of you to conduct yourselves in such an outrageous manner." She barked, looking at them sternly. "Furthermore, anyone who decides they have the right to harass, harangue or harm those featured in the article or their relations will find themselves in detention at the sole discretion of Professor Snape."
More than one person squeaked in fear when the Potions' Master's lips curled into a somewhat feral smile of pleasure, and though Draco knew the man would never harm him even he felt uneasy by the sheer malevolence coming from the Slytherin Head of House. Merlin, that was a very good threat if ever he had seen one. There wasn't a single person who wanted to be subjected to whatever Snape would think up, even the man's own Slytherins' were looking concerned.
"I have to thank you, Headmistress, for seeing being the first one to preventively shield me from harassment."
A drawling voice was easily heard throughout the quiet hall and everyone span to look at the doorway where four figures were suddenly stood. Draco barely hid his smirk at the silence that enveloped the hall as the student body took in the four of them, the real them, for the first time, and he couldn't help but notice they had dressed for the occasion. Elegant yet casual day robes, colour co-ordinated to show unity without clashing, they managed to show every part of their pureblood heritage and wealth without being obvious or obnoxious.
"You all have the right to your own privacy, Lord Potter-Black, even if your actions have drawn attention." McGonagall replied evenly, "this is a school, not the Wizengamot."
"Still, we thank you, Headmistress."
The four of them moved forward as one, heading towards the Ravenclaw table, a pointed move given the Eagle House's neutrality, and took seats in the spaces Luna had cleared around her. The spacey blond went from crazy to calm in seconds, accepting the kiss Harry pressed to her cheek as if it was her due, and adopting the manner of a true pureblood heiress with ease much to the alarm of the Ravenclaws, especially the ones who took pleasure in making Luna's life hell. The Potter-Black Lord eyed them all in contempt before he looked towards Draco and Blaise and smirked, raising an eyebrow in almost challenge which made the two Slytherins' smirk themselves.
They shared a look before rising from their seats and moving to sit with the four in an open show of alliance, Draco sliding in next to Hermione and Blaise next to Ron. The hall burst in to whispers, though nothing was directed at the group as the student body was taken McGonagall's threat very seriously. Draco only just stopped himself snorting as the four that caused such a stir sat there calmly eating their dinner as if they hadn't just shaken the foundations of their political system.
"Do you feel better now?" Draco wondered as soon as the privacy charms were raised, and Harry shot him an innocent look.
"I don't know what you mean, Draco. We were merely late for dinner."
"Oh my mistake." The blond drawled with a roll of his eyes. "I'm sure you can't feel the burning questions directed by all these eyes."
"No not at all." Ron disagreed.
"Don't seem to notice a thing." Hermione continued.
"Seems like an everyday dinner." Neville finished and this time Draco didn't bother masking his snort.
"Well I don't know about burning questions, but someone is definitely burning you with their glare." Blaise murmured, eyes flicking over Harry's shoulder to where the Gryffindor table was situated.
"Ouch yeah," Ron grinned, "I honestly can't tell if that's just you, Har, or all of us. Oh – no – yeah that's definitely all of us. She's glaring directly at me now."
"Honestly she should be spending her days doing something better, she's on borrowed time." Luna said with a haughty sniff and Harry chuckled.
"That's the understatement of the century."
"He's taking the reveal well then?" Draco wondered somewhat sarcastically.
"Most definitely. He didn't at all threaten to gouge out the eyes of everyone who looked at me in desire." Harry replied in the same tone.
"Wow, real well then." Ron snorted.
"It's a Slytherin trait to be possessive; he's just got the most of it though blood." Harry joked.
"I want to deny that but I can't." Blaise sighed.
"It's true." Draco agreed.
"Rabastan has been nothing but a gentleman." Hermione countered and everyone scoffed.
"You're not official, Hermione. Once that changes he'll protect what's his like the dragons that all Slytherins' hide in their hearts." Neville told her seriously much to the amusement of the non-Slytherins.
"Okay, I know we'll get to see it tomorrow, and I know we're very much not discussing anything today but you have to give us something from the session." Draco redirected the conversation and the four shared a grin.
"Let's just say Dumbledore absolutely did not see it coming." Ron said with amusement.
"No one saw it coming." Hermione corrected, "But his reaction was particularly beautiful."
"I know why we've done it this way, but Merlin do I wish I entered with you." Draco groaned.
"Tomorrow you'll enjoy viewing the session and today you get to watch me ditch She-Weasel." Harry consoled.
"That'll have to see me though."
"Do you think she'll say anything tonight?" Hermione wondered and Harry scoffed.
"I can feel her glare from here, there's no way she isn't saying anything as soon as she can."
"I bet she starts as soon as we get up to leave." Neville added and Harry pointed his fork as him.
"That right there."
"Hm I don't know if I wish for it to happen or for her to wait." Hermione mused.
"Why? On the one hand public humiliation and on the other hand delayed public humiliation." Blaise pointed out with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes, true, though her confrontation now will be all her, if she waits we can see how Dumbledore wants to deal with the situation through her."
"She is too much her mother's daughter to wait." Luna declared, "besides, her reporting the confrontation now will give us a better idea of Dumbledore's actions further on. He'll know that all of his plans are completely shattered."
"Also, if he hasn't already contacted her then he's probably already written off using her as part of his plans." Ron pointed out.
"Ah well, she shouldn't have agreed to whore herself out for him anyway." Harry said without sympathy.
"There's a lot of things people shouldn't have agreed to do in our lives mate."
"Don't remind me." Harry complained, "I don't need it."
"At least things are changing." Hermione assured them, "we're on the up and we should be free to move as we wish now."
"I'm just glad McGonagall threatened the rest of the students with Snape." Neville said with a grin, "did you see his face – you couldn't pay me to get detention with him for the next year."
"Honestly, even I was concerned about how happy he looked." Draco agreed with a shudder.
"We just have to see which Gryffindors are brave enough to risk it." Ron laughed and Luna smirked at him.
"It'll only take a three of them before the word will spread; it's really not worth it."
"Oh I don't think I want to even imagine what Snape has planned." Hermione wrinkled her nose.
"It's one of the most effect threats she could have given." Harry mused, "No one likes Snape's detentions."
"Yeah, the Slytherins aren't exempt from that either." Blaise added, "actually, we usually get worse detentions from him as he's pissed we were caught and that he's been forced to punish us."
"Merlin, can you imagine if I had been sorted in to Slytherin before all of this came to light; he would have killed me." Harry exclaimed looking slightly horrified.
"…I want to deny that but probably yeah." Draco agreed.
"I would like to stop in and see Remus after dealing with Her." Harry informed them, "I haven't actually spoken to him properly since the holidays."
"Yeah, he would have gotten the paper himself so it'll be good to speak with him." Hermione agreed.
"Not only that, but we need to tell him about the meeting tomorrow." Ron added and Harry nodded.
"That would be helpful."
"Then shall we meet in the Gryffindor rooms once you're done with Weaselette?" Draco suggested.
"I think someone is fit to burst by now." Luna announced, eyes glinting somewhat maliciously. "Shall we take our leave?"
"You know we always listen to you, sister." Harry replied with a smirk. "Let's just make it look like we don't know it's coming."
"Won't be hard, we'll look like we're leaving and we'll draw a crowd just by our moving." Blaise remarked standing up, "the Slytherins alone will follow us because they'll want answers in the common room. Not that we'll actually go straight there of course."
"Oh the joys of House politics." Draco grumbled also rising to his feet.
"Yeah, glad I don't have to deal with that." Neville stated with a grin, following as the rest of the their group got up and Luna dispelled the privacy charm. There was a dip in the sound from the hall as they moved towards the door then the noise picked back up as some students also rose to leave. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry spotted Ginny do the same as they got to the door and bit back a smirk knowing he was going to enjoy the upcoming confrontation way more than he probably should.
"We'll see you later." Draco told them as if he was actually going to the common room with Blaise. Said Italian had gone straight up to Ron and pulled him into a toe curling kiss in the doorway in front of the whole Great Hall without hesitation, something that Ron didn't seem at all opposed to by the vigorous reciprocation on his behalf. There was loud exclamations from the students and Ron's ears went red even if he grinned at Blaise, who looked quite pleased with himself as he looked back at the red head.
"Are you, per chance, marking your territory?" Neville questioned sardonically.
"Can't have anyone even thinking about sniffing around il mio leone." Blaise stated unapologetically.
"So much for subtlety." Draco scoffed with a roll of his eyes and Blaise raised an eyebrow.
"Aren't you writing a contract for you and your twins so legally people can't go near them?"
"I don't have enough black robes to kill people in." Draco replied without shame.
"Wow." Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville deadpanned in unison while Luna's delicate laugh bounced around them. The two Slytherins headed towards the dungeons with no particular speed while the Luna and the Gryffindors moved towards the Grand Staircase as just as Harry had put his foot on the first step he head Ginny calling out to him.
"Here we go boys and girls." He murmured, continuing to climb the stairs even as her calls got louder, drawing the attention of the nosy students and slowly creating a crowd. They managed to get half way up the stairs before Ginny obviously lost her temper and her voice echoed through the entrance hall.
"HARRY JAMES POTTER YOU WILL STOP IGNORING ME RIGHT NOW!"
Harry paused, turning around and taking a step down leaving his friends to loom behind him somewhat threateningly. A quick glance around saw that many of the students has poured out of the Great Hall to watch whatever spectacle may be about to commence, and lingering at the back of the crowd Harry could see Tom as Professor Drield eyeing the female red head like a carnivore looking at fresh meat. Silver-blue eyes flashed up to meet green and Tom quirked an eyebrow as if to say 'give me a show'. Harry blinked once before turning his focus back on Ginny, he needed to get this confrontation right so he didn't look like the bad guy or like a raving lunatic and given the schools propensity to turn on him at the drop of a hat this whole situation had to be handled right. Thankfully, he had a plan.
"I have nothing to say to you, Miss Weasley." Harry told her, his voice calm and even. "Please leave me alone."
"I can't believe you would do this to me!" She exclaimed, her tone and volume a clear contrast to Harry's.
"What, exactly, have I done to you to cause this scene?" Harry questioned and she flushed, eyes narrowing as her fists clenched.
"I can't believe you would be so callous to ignore me now you've got a taste of power." She yelled, "so easy for you to cast me aside now when you think you have better prospects."
Harry scoffed, barely managing not to laugh at her dramatics, instead shooting her a look of contempt as he crossed his arms.
"We both know that's not the reason I don't want anything to do with you, Miss Weasley."
"Oh please, you've got your Lordships and suddenly I'm not good enough for you." She declared loudly and Harry huffed.
"You're right, I have my Lordships and you're not good enough for me but neither of those things are linked." Harry sneered, "You know what you've done; don't try and turn this on me."
"How can you say that!" She cried, tearing up and shaking her head as if she honestly had no idea why he had such a change of heart, and Harry had to admit he was impressed with her acting.
"I've done nothing wrong. You are causing a scene over your own actions, Miss Weasley. Show some decorum."
"You played with my feelings, you t-took my virginity and even went as far as to send me a promise ring just to turn me away now." She wailed holding up her hand with the ring on before hugging herself and stirring up the crowd some more, "and now you're turning me away. Are you so much a coward that you won't face up to the fact you might have gotten me pregnant."
There were multiple gasps throughout the crowd and whispered broke out, Harry had to give her props for creativity, he honestly didn't think she had it in her but she was really selling it. Of course, if this was how she was going to play it then Harry was only too happy to ruin her game. He barked out a laugh just this side of cruel and turned to Luna.
The blond Ravenclaw smirked and waved her wand unravelling the spellwork she had completed to make the ring look and feel like a Potter heirloom, much to Ginny's horror the exquisite ring faded into a simple silver band.
"You really think I would ever let you wear anything that came from my family?" He snarled, stepping down a few more steps advancing towards her, "after everything you've done did you really think you would ever be worthy of a Potter family promise ring. Don't make me laugh."
"You promised me, after sleeping with me you promised!" She wept and Harry scoffed.
"I, Harry James Potter-Black, to swear upon my magic that I have never has sexual intercourse with the witch known as Ginevra Molly Weasley, so mote be it." Harry declared allowing the magic to swirl around him recognising his vow before casting a Lumos in proof. Ginny recoiled in horror and Harry bared his teeth in a vicious grin.
"I would never voluntarily sleep with the likes of you." He spit out, "besides, you haven't been a virgin in a long time."
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE! YOU LIED TO ME!" She screamed, the fake tears and hunched form disappearing as she screeched at him, "HOW DARE YOU IMPLY I'VE SLEPT AROUND!"
"It's not implied it's a known fact; everyone knows you'll open your legs for just about anything with a pulse." Harry hissed, "and I lied to you? How many love potions did you use on me? How many compulsions webs and other spells were needed before I even looked in your direction, huh?"
There was an explosion of noise from the crowd at his declaration and Ginny suddenly stopped looked so confident, her eyes wide with shock and horror as Harry glared down at her.
"What? Didn't think I'd find out? I wonder how you thought you were going to get away with line-theft and mind control for the rest of your life because I would never voluntarily touch you for all the money in the world." He snapped, "you are nothing more than a despicable, gold digging whore that would sell out her own family if you thought it would raise your status."
Her eyes darted over to Ron, who was stood loyally at Harry's back and the red head sneered at her.
"Don't look at me, I know exactly what sort of bitch I'm unfortunately related to." He growled, "I've never been more disgusted with any of my siblings."
"You were only too willing to wade into this storm," Hermione said coldly, "now you will deal with the consequences."
"You'll pay for your actions." Harry declared, drawing himself up straight and proud, "and you will never again get away with bespelling or potioning me ever again."
The crowd that had built up in the entrance hall started jeering at Ginny, calling her out for her actions, mocking her and the younger Weasley looked around wildly trying to spot a friendly face. When it became obvious that she didn't have a single person there in her favour she ran away in actual tears, pushing through the people and slipping into a side corridor followed by raucous laughter. Harry felt a burst of amused pleasure coming from Tom, and the Gryffindor spared the man a quick glance spotting his smirk even from a distance. The Dark Lord nodded once and Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville and Luna used the distraction Ginny had given them to hurry up the Grand Staircase and away from the masses.
"Well that felt good." Harry burst out as soon as they could no longer here the student body.
"The fall out for that is going to be glorious." Ron proclaimed with grandeur that was unneeded much to their amusement.
"No doubt it will reach the wider public soon enough." Luna said with a smirk, "you standing with Harry, Ron, is going to make an impact."
"We're in this together as we always have been." The Prewett Lord stated, "she knew I'd stand with Harry beforehand or I wouldn't have been Obliviated and spelled."
"She's a much better actor than I remember." Hermione mused, and the Gryffindors nodded.
"I almost bought it." Neville agreed, "the tears and the stutter were a nice touch."
"Her face when Luna got rid of the magic around that ring brings me joy." Harry decided with a grin.
"Her face when you made that magical vow brings me joy." Hermione continued and they shared a laugh.
"How bad do you think the Howler will be tomorrow?" Ron wondered and Harry snorted.
"Not even going to consider it."
Once they arrived at Harry's rooms they immediately shadowed to the Gryffindor rooms where Draco and Blaise were already there waiting for them with Remus.
"That was beautiful." Draco announced as soon as they were in the rooms and Harry grinned.
"Take a deep breath and relish in your first day officially free from her influence forever." Blaise told him and Harry sighed in relief, flopping down half on the sofa and half on Remus and rubbing himself all over the werewolf. Remus chuckled at the teen, running a hand through his hair and wrapping an arm around his shoulders when he sat up.
"Are you feeling better now, Cub?"
"More than you can believe." Harry responded with a smile. "Have you seen the paper?"
"Not yet, I was a bit caught up in research." Remus admitted somewhat sheepishly and Harry snorted.
"Of course you were."
"Here," Luna handed over a copy of the paper she had put in her bag to the surprise of no one. It didn't take long for Remus to read through the article and once he was done he released a long whistle of appreciation.
"Well I'll be." He murmured, looking at Harry impressed, "if you wanted to make an impact I think you were a little bit successful there, cub."
"How badly was Dumbledore pissed?"
"Oh he lost his shit completely." Ron said pleased the other three who got to witness the old fool's loss of control could only grin in memory.
"And you managed to get Malfoy in as Interim Minister all in the same session."
"His face when I nominated Lucius was one I'm going to remember." Hermione sighed wistfully, "what a day."
"For the first time ever we can fully be who we are and the best thing is that we've done this so publicly that it'll be impossible to change us back now." Neville added sounding relieved.
"Not that Dumbledore won't try something." Harry pointed out, "but it's going to be so much harder and we're staying near the castle to give him less opportunity."
"You have to be careful now though, cub." Remus advised, "you've surprised him now, but you've also lost the ability to predict what he's going to do next with any set guarantee. I don't want you hurt."
"We'll be careful, Moony, I promise." Harry assured him, "we've got one more thing planned to hit out at Dumbledore directly before we're left winging it."
"Which is another reason why we're here – other than to celebrate you removing Ginny from your person." Blaise pointed out and Harry nodded.
"Yes, tomorrow we're having a full meeting with us and the Elite to plan on how we're going to move forward from here." Harry told the werewolf.
"I imagine we all have a lot of work to look forward to." Remus mused, "Malfoy's campaign, the planning for the government if we manage to swing this election and actually getting rid of Dumbledore on a permanent basis."
"Yeah, and that's only the things on the top of the list." Draco agreed, "I know we also need to work on securing the castle better and reforming the education, but that it going to have to wait until my father is actually in power fully; he only has so much pull as Interim."
"So what time are we meeting tomorrow?" Remus asked.
"We're all living the day first as we want to see the second article that will no doubt come out tomorrow." Neville replied, "but I don't know anything other than that."
"We'll be having lunch at the manor before the meeting because Narcissa scares everyone and the host in her will make her feed us before doing anything." Harry continued causing multiple snorts throughout the group.
"We'll deal with the day monitoring the reactions of everyone around us and any howelers or letters we get in response from the order before turning back the day and heading to Malfoy Manor for the meeting around midday." Hermione decided, "as we're going to eat we can skip first dinner and by the time we're back from the meeting it will probably be dinner time once again so it won't look like we've missed anything."
"That'll work well, we will need to deal with the Slytherin House politics and I want to be able to go back and inform father about how they have responded." Draco allowed.
"They're going to be insufferable." Blaise said with a weird amount of delight.
"Right, enough with the serious stuff, we're managing all of that tomorrow." Ron announced, snapping his fingers and asking Winky to bring them drinks. Once the elf returned he raised his glass with a grin. "To publicly removing Ginny from our persons and screwing over Dumbledore."
"How many people, do you think, will recognise the comment of 'turning on her family' with Ron standing by Harry?" Neville wondered and Luna smirked.
"Oh it may take a bit but people will catch on." She told them, "the solid Weasley family that is portrayed will soon crumble."
"Some of the Slytherins definitely will, a lot of them live and breathe subtle keys especially those training to take over Headships." Draco predicted and Hermione snorted.
"If a howler comes tomorrow from Molly even the most politically dense will understand the significance."
"And as you're the one with the title, from your mother's birth House no less, it's going to impact even more." Malfoy added and Ron shrugged.
"Thankfully, there is no family directly linked to the Prewett House other than my great aunt Muriel, who will be pleased as long as the Prewett House continues. She's happy in her cottage with her vault and has been avoiding Molly, unless to criticize her, for years." Ron told them, "everyone else is a Weasley now."
"Speaking of," Blaise picked up, "don't you have other older brothers?"
"Yeah, thankfully they're both out of the country right now." Ron answered, "Bill took a place in France with Fleur, and getting Charlie away from his dragons is like pulling teeth so dealing with them is going to be fine because Molly won't want to involve them as they probably won't agree with her actions. As for Percy; who the fuck knows?"
"Don't you think you should maybe pre-emptively cut off her options anyway?" Blaise suggested, "just in case. There's nothing stopping her from lying though her teeth if she contacts them."
"He's not wrong." Hermione added, "it doesn't have to be much."
"I'll write to them both, but it can't be too much just in case they turn out to have too much Molly in them." Ron conceded. "Eventually, I'll have to meet with them with Harry and Hermione as backup."
"This, of course, all hinges on whether or not they'll keep up with the news." Remus pointed out and Ron grimaced.
"Charlie definitely not, but Bill, it's possible that he will hear on his own due to Fleur's family."
"Yeah, it's best you write to them first, mate." Harry stated and the red head nodded in acceptance.
"So how are the wolves, Moony?" Neville asked the older man, who grinned in response.
"The plans for the expansion has gone well, we've managed to organise the use of the entrance hall and the front court yard three times a day and the all the wolves have been alerted that we're just waiting on a date now with the goblins." He responded and Harry winced.
"Ah yes, I'll be going to see them soon enough; I need the official paperwork showing Dumbledore's actions regarding my accounts to go with the official healer paperwork we got from Narcissa the other day."
"It's not a huge rush so don't worry too much," Moony reassured. "The wolves are more than happy with the way things are currently."
"Good, I'm glad this has worked out so well." Harry commented and Moony nodded.
"We've also got to the point where we're soon going to be completely self-sufficient. Many of them have been learning the ins and outs of farming and not only have we got vastly successful potions ingredients growing in the greenhouses – which have been bringing in money – but there are portions of the land being prepped for vegetables and for purchasing our own cows, sheep, chickens and goats."
"That's brilliant!" Hermione exclaimed, "The only out costs would then be ingredients that cannot be grown or collected from the forest, and things like ink and parchment, and they can be bought with the income from selling the excesses from the greenhouses."
"Inks are also being made as well as quills from the many birds around the manor, the only thing we're buying in is parchment and the costs of that are covered by the excess."
"Hopefully, within the year, the sanctuary will actually be earning money. That's better than anything I could have predicted." Harry said pleased and Remus nodded.
"Many of the wolves feel the need to give back to the place that practically saved their lives so they are only too happy to work towards the betterment of their homes. Not only that but with access to education, they themselves are actually feeling like worthwhile people which goes a long way as motivation."
"What are you doing for wands?"
"Ah, we haven't quite got that far yet." Remus admitted, "many are using borrowed wands, a lot of the packs have a couple of wands shared between them all, so we've been teaching the best we could with what we have. Thankfully, well that's not the best word to use but its true none-the-less, everyone is so far behind on theory that it hasn't been a huge problem."
"Shall we put it to the whole group tomorrow about solving the wand issue?" Ron suggested, "no doubt the Elite have a broader reach than us when it comes to the illicit making and selling of wands."
"Good idea," Neville agreed, "we're going to need a lot of them, and if I'm correct, there are certain countries that outright ban werewolves from having wands entirely so the internationals are even more questionable than our own wolves."
"I want to be glad this country didn't sink that far but we basically made it legal to hunt wolves so…" Hermione trailed off with a shrug and Harry snorted.
"Right. We suck just as bad."
"Ugh just thinking about the work we've got coming up makes me feel a little sick." Ron groaned.
"It won't be as bad as you think." Luna assured and Ron pouted.
"Given how bad I think it's going to be that's not actually not that reassuring."
"Eh I tried." She shrugged and Harry snickered.
"Thank you, sister." Harry said with a grin, "how should we expect the Ravenclaws to react."
"They'll be smart enough to avoid me for the time being." Luna told him with a smirk, "they're not risking your wrath."
"Good. The moment that changes we'll hurry to correct that behaviour." Harry stated.
"The Gryffindors are going to be the worse."
"Oh no doubt; you claiming the Slytherin seat will be enough to guarantee that." Hermione snorted.
"Not just the Gryffindors; the Slytherins will be equally outraged by who has the Slytherin seat. Though, those in the know will be questioning just what is going on." Blaise pointed out.
"I can't wait until that side of things is fully revealed either. We can do that now Dumbledore knows where we are." Harry mused, "I'm sure Tom has something suitably dramatic prepared."
"I swear the man only has two settings; sneaky or showcasing." Remus scoffed looking amused and Harry barked out a laugh.
"Couldn't agree more, not that he'd like that of course, but we all know it's true."
"I will never even think of such things in his presence." Draco stated mildly horrified.
"Eh it's alright, I'll probably end up telling him for a laugh." Harry shrugged and the rest of the group shook their head as a collective.
"You have problems." Ron decided and Harry raised an eyebrow.
"… and this is a surprise to you why?"
"Oh it isn't, I just thought I'd remind everyone." The red head responded easily much to their amusement.
"Cheers for that, Ron."
"You are most welcome."
Harry rolled his eyes at his friend before turning back to Moony.
"You'll be able to come out of hiding then as well, Moony."
"Yeah, it's definitely something to look forward to." The werewolf agreed, "though I feel like I've had a better hand than you as I've been constantly surrounded by the other wolves and I was given my own pet Death Eaters."
"Let's not make it a contest; Dumbledore screwed us all over." Hermione said with a frown, "soon he's going to truly feel the consequences."
"Something we're all looking forward to."
They spend their remaining time drinking to their success and Harry was only too happy to lean against Moony and relish in their actions, if he was being honest with himself he was surprised they had gotten this far so well and it was nice just to take the time to relax. They had so much work they needed to get through in the coming months that this would probably be their last purely relaxing evening they would have together for a while yet. He was nudged out of his contemplations by Moony, who motioned for Harry to follow him as he moved towards the room he had claimed as his own.
"What's wrong?" Harry inquired when Moony merely looked at him.
"Are you finally going to tell me why everyone seemingly vanished from my vicinity for a week or do I have to guess?"
"Ah, they were not as subtle as they thought they were then."
"Given that I seen nearly all of this group on a daily basis at the sanctuary in the very least, no not really." Remus deadpanned.
"Yeah, that makes sense." Harry sighed before running his hand through his hair. "Don't be mad at them, they thought it was for the best."
"You still haven't answered my question, cub."
"There was a bit of an incident with me and Tom, and it wasn't looking particularly good at the time, so they all decided that it would be for the best if they stayed away from you as you'd be able to smell if they were lying or misleading you; one problem at a time." Harry explained, wincing again slightly when Moony's eyes sharpened at the mention of an incident.
"What exactly happened?"
"Well everything came to a head and I have been reliably informed that Tom and I have been in a relationship for a while now, but we were unaware of that fact. So when I blurted out that I loved him, I panicked, ended it and ran away."
"Ah," Moony frowned for a moment before giving a sniff. "well I still smell him all over you so that couldn't be the end of it."
"No, I was in the middle of some… questionable decisions before Tom came to speak to me. Apparently, Nott Sr talked some sense into the man which made him able to talk sense into me." Harry told the werewolf, "we're together officially now and have no plans to change that fact in the near or distant future."
"I imagine there's a bit more to it than that but I won't push you." Moony allowed before pulling the young Lord into a hug, "you're okay now though?"
"Never better; with the Wizengamot and everything going in our favour and Tom and I being stronger than ever its been a long time since I've been this good."
"Next time, I'd like to be kept in the loop anyway." Remus said and Harry nodded.
"Yeah, I think they were just worried about dealing with angry werewolf while trying to get everything else ready. No one was sure if I was going to make it to the Wizengamot on top of everything else."
"No I understand, but it's only us left now and I want to know anytime something happens to you for my own piece of mind." Remus assured.
They moved back over to the group to enjoy the rest of the evening before heading back to their respective dorms/room just before curfew. There was no way any of the group, other than Harry, would be able to get away with not dealing with their housemates and as they had a long day tomorrow they wanted to get it out of the way that evening in the smallest amount of time possible.
"I assume we'll meet in Harry's rooms tomorrow before the meeting?" Draco confirmed and Harry nodded.
"Yes, live the day and do all what you need to then turn back just before dinner. Also, remember to turn back long enough to squeeze in a nap as well." Luna reminded them all before they went their separate ways. Harry immediately shadowed back to Tom's rooms and was not even a little surprised when he was pulled down on to the sofa with a pissed of Dark Lord hovering over him. The man had been getting steadily more impatient as the evening wore on.
"Where have you been?"
"Relax; I went to see Moony." Harry told him, rolling his eyes when the man above him narrowed his.
"You were supposed to come to me immediately." He stated, tone harsh and Harry shot him a look.
"No, I said I would be coming back to you, as you knew I would be anyway, and that as soon as I got to you you wouldn't let me out of your sight." He corrected, "which is exactly why I went to see Moony first so I could stay with you after with no interruptions."
"Do you have any idea how many people wanted you when you arrived in the Hall?" The older man demanded, "how many of their insipid little minds immediately went to how they could make you theirs?"
"Oh I imagine most of them." Harry replied lightly, and when Tom wordlessly hissed at him Harry huffed in exasperation. "Really? It's my fault now?"
"I did not say it was."
"Then calm down; they're never going to have me, are they?" Harry pointed out, "You are never going to let me go."
"The sooner the world knows exactly who you belong to the better." Tom growled, "there will never be any doubt that you are completely and utterly taken."
"Well now I'm free from Ginny and will never again have to even act like I belong to anyone else, and tomorrow as we will no doubt spend most of the day at Malfoy Manor you can display exactly who I belong to to your blackened hearts content." Harry reassured him which finally got the tension to bleed out of the older man's shoulders. "Now, are you going to let me up?"
"Hm, perhaps. I quite like having you pinned beneath me." Tom replied even as he sat up and pulled Harry with him. The teen scoffed at the comment, throwing his legs over the older man's lap and leaning back against the arm of the sofa.
"Now tell me what you think of the article and getting rid of Ginny."
"The article was very leading, and no doubt speculation will run wild but that is exactly what Rita does best." Tom said impressed, "No doubt she will have a follow up article tomorrow."
"Definitely, none of the quotes we gave her were in this paper so this is mainly pure Rita today and our input tomorrow." Harry confirmed.
"Good, I cannot wait to see the damages done from this alone."
"Sooner or later you'll need to deal with your faction as I now hold your seat and I do not want to have to deal with curse-happy Death Eaters for 'stealing' your birth-rite."
"Ah, a plan for that is already being put into place." Tom brushed off but Harry perked up.
"Ooo what is it?"
"You'll have to wait and see, won't you?"
"Awh Tom! Can't you tell me?"
"Do you ever intend to tell me any of your plans unless they directly need my interference?!
"You have your answer."
"That's not nice."
"I'm not nice." Tom pointed out
"Fine, have your secrets, as long as it ends with me not having to curse your people." Harry allowed graciously, much to Tom's amusement, then the teen paused, "actually, I wouldn't mind cursing them at all."
"I need them alive thank you."
"Such confidence you have in me." Harry said pleased and Tom rolled his eyes.
"As for removing your limpet, while satisfying, I will not be happy until she is no longer breathing." Tom stated and Harry barely bit back a snort.
"I don't think there is a single person who knows you who is even a little surprised by that statement."
"Do not act as if you do not wish to kill her, either." Tom bit out, eyes flashing at the mere thought of her, "she deserves everything that will be rained down upon her."
"Why do I have a feeling you have planned her death in excruciating detail?" Harry wondered.
"Excruciating is the correct word." Tom said, declining to say anything else.
"I've told Moony about the meeting so tomorrow we'll live a day and then come back before dinner, Luna insists we nap and then go to the manor." Harry said, changing the subject.
"We should be back from the meeting just before dinner once again so we don't have to have any other time adjustments to make it to the meal where all eyes will be on you." Tom picked up easily making Harry grin.
"Exactly," the teen got up and stretched before making his way towards their bedroom.
"Where do you think you are going?" Tom questioned, watching him closely and Harry tossed him a smirk.
"You mentioned something about liking me pinned beneath you?"
Honestly, Harry wasn't surprised when Tom beat him to the room.
Okay, so I won't promise anything huge, but I do have a plan laid out for the next chapter so hopefully it will write itself better than this chapter did. As always, I love reading your reviews and I promise I read each and every one of them!