Title: A Family Matter
Category: Books » Harry Potter
Language: English, Rating: Rated: M
Published: 09-04-06, Updated: 02-26-08
Chapters: 10, Words: 34,740
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Severus felt a shiver of apprehension from his fiance as the shrieking snarling gates made their displeasure known. Severus ignored the old wrought iron gate and focused in pulling the car into the drive. It was a nice old car, a dark black hearse with a polished hood and a custom silver Slytherin serpent badge and hubcaps. Harry had bought the car for Severus as his wedding present, but being that the car was so large, and they had needed some form of transportation to use while in America, Harry had presented it to him early.
Severus had gone on a rant that Harry had jinxed their wedding with an early present, until Harry had reminded him that he was taking Harry to see his dangerous and volatile American relatives and what could possibly jynx up their wedding plans worse than that?
"You will have to babysit my young cousins as punishment!" Severus had shouted.
"From the way you describe your relatives it will be my funeral! Or theirs, come to think of it..."
"Well then! I think you'll fit in quite well with my relatives!"
It had not been a pretty argument, but the make-up sex in the back of the car had given Severus something to daydream about on the plane ride across the ocean.
Now they were stepping out of the car and Harry was looking up at the old ominous mansion with a vague wrinkle of his nose.
"Is this it?" Harry said, turning to look at Severus. "You said it was frightening."
"Yes, I think you will fit in quite well," Severus repeated with a smirk, then rang on the doorbell.
Harry jumped when the doorbell did not ring, but made a long moaning sound like a foghorn. Severus smirked. Harry's eyebrows went up to his hairline when a very tall pale man, the butler, answered the door.
"You rang?" said the man, in a very low voice.
"Yes, we certainly did," Severus chuckled. "May we come in?"
The butler nodded and backed away to allow them to enter. Harry had a good look around the entryway before the butler lead them into the side parlor. An elegant woman with long black hair and a long black dress sat on a wicker chair knitting what appeared to be long black and white striped socks. Her husband sat in his own chair, a cigar in his mouth a newspaper open in his hands. As soon as the man spotted them he jumped up from the chair.
"Severus, old boy!" said the man, laughing and clapping Severus on the shoulders. "We've been expecting you!"
"Gomez, you old dog, you haven't aged a bit! Morticia," Severus inclined his head at her. "Beautiful as ever."
"Oh Severus, the things you say," the woman lifted her hand smiling to accept a kiss upon it from her cousin. Her gaze then turned to regard Harry. "Well, Severus, this must be the handsome young man you wrote to us about."
"Yes," Severus said, taking Harry by the hand. "Harry, this is my cousin Morticia and her husband Gomez Addams. Gomez, Tish, this is Harry Potter. My fiance."
One nice thing about the Addams family; gay marriage to them seemed trivial, nothing to get upset about. Considering how accepting they were of every other odd, creepy, strange and unusual person, a gay couple to them must have been extraordinarily ordinary.
"Welcome, welcome," said Gomez brightly, motioning them both into chairs to sit. "You must be exhausted from your flight. I suppose that wonderful black hearse in the driveway belongs to you?"
"A wedding present from my love," Severus said, looking over at Harry fondly.
"How lovely," said Morticia, putting her hands elegantly on the sides of her chair. "But won't that jinx the wedding, getting your presents early?"
Harry winced visibly and Severus chuckled.
"Precisely," he said, and had to duck the well timed blow Harry sent his way.
"You certainly have enough pep to handle Severus," Gomez said to Harry. "But I'm sure you would both like to rest up and have something to eat...Maybe have a look around the grounds..."
"Oh there's no rush," Severus said, ignoring the sour look Harry cast him. "It's been almost too long since I've been here and I'd like to catch up a bit. Where are the children?"
"Oh they're out and about. Fester is teaching them a new game called 'Minefield Dodgeball'..."
A loud, ringing, explosive KA-BOOM filled the house and all talk ceased for a moment, before Gomez broke out into a cheerful grin.
"Sounds like they're having fun! Maybe later you can go join them."
Severus turned to look at his fiance pointedly. Harry's eyes were bugging out a little, but being used to loud bangs, explosions and kabooms from Hogwarts, he smiled tentatively.
"Sounds like a plan to me."
Severus had to hand it to Harry. He had held up rather well to the shock of being subjected to the Addams family for fifteen whole minutes. He rather hoped it would last, he really really wanted his family to like Harry. But then, it was very rare that he had brought home a boyfriend who fit into the family niche. Most were scared off after ten minutes alone with Wednesday.
Severus and Morticia were cousins. Morticia's mother, Hestia Prince, had married a Frump, a very macabre sort of oddball vampire, who rarely showed his face at family reunions unless the reunions were held at night. Together they had produced the beauteously deadly Morticia, who was as naive about her own brutal nature as Harry was naive about not using Severus' toothbrush. Eileen Prince, however, had married a muggle. A very odd British muggle, Tobias Snape. Severus had resulted, but he'd had no trouble fitting in with the many different branches of Addams cousins and next of kin and all that. Everyone in the family seemed to handle death, darkness, doom and gloom very well.
Severus wasn't so sure about Harry though, who had declined walking across the minefield so that the children had to come over to them on the safe, mine free grass to be introduced. The two kids had been very happy to see their cousin, but Wednesday, as he predicted, had given Harry a very very mistrusting look. Not surprising considering some of the ladies who had tried to marry Uncle Fester for the family's money.
"Harry, would you like to play with us?" Pugsley asked, all innocent smiling expression on his face.
"Oh, I suppose I could," Harry said, looking a bit sweaty.
"Wonderful!" Gomez said. "That's the spirit!"
But Severus wondered vaguely if it was a good idea after all. He should have been worried about Harry getting hurt; Morticia's children did like to play a little rough. But he was worried. Was this a good sign or a bad one? He'd never experienced such deep worry for a lover before.
"Are you sure he'll be all right with the children?" Morticia had asked as soon as they returned to the manor house. "He seems rather...normal..."
"Oh, Harry's tough," Severus said, crossing his legs and accepting a glass of wine (or was it blood?) from the butler Lurch. He took a sip. It was wine. "I'd be more worried about the children. Harry didn't get the reputation as the Boy Who Lived for nothing."
"I'm sure you wouldn't bring somebody into our home we couldn't trust..." Gomez commented calmly, picking up his newspaper once again and pretending to be nonchalant.
"Still...I wonder if..."
An earth shattering KABOOM rocked the house and Severus froze in his chair, heart pounding in his chest. Gomez recovered the quickest, laughing and saying something about 'children' before taking a sip of his own wine. Morticia raised an eyebrow and looked straight at Severus, as if saying 'I told you so.'
A tremulous silence followed, in which none of them spoke.
What the hell am I thinking, bringing Harry here? Severus thought wildly. Dear god, he could be killed! He could have JUST been killed! I have to...
Pugsley suddenly rushed into the room, jumping up and down and laughing.
"You should have seen it, oh wow, I couldn't believe it, he went up like a rocket! BOOM!"
"Who?" Morticia said nonchalantly.
All four of them stopped moving as a soft humming sound suddenly filled the air, which very quickly increased in volume. There was a loud CRASH and they all looked up to see Fester's head sticking down through the ceiling.
"Hey, it's cousin Snape!" said Fester, grinning madly. "You're looking good, old man! Hey! That friend of yours is one of the best minefield dodgeball players I've ever met! Though..." Fester's head turned to the side. "He kept narrowly avoiding the mines themselves, even when I pointed them right out to him! I don't think he's gotten the whole gist of it yet..."
Severus chuckled and went with Gomez and Lurch to help pull Fester out of the ceiling. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.
"Severus, they tried to blow me up!"
It was later that night after a tentative supper, (in which Harry refused to eat the blue blood pie, with real blood, and ordered a pizza instead), that they had resigned to their bedroom on the third floor for the evening. The argument had started the minute they had stepped into the door and had not stopped nearly and hour later. Harry now stood with his hands on his hips, in his underwear, a toothbrush sticking out the side of his mouth.
"It's just their way of having fun," Severus said, very close to losing his patience now. "Its not like they can do any real damage to you, with your curse. They really like you, so far."
"So far!" Harry snorted, and went back to brushing his teeth. "What happened to all the 'other' boyfriends Wednesday mentioned you'd brought to visit? Did they get blown up?"
"Never you mind! And please kindly return my toothbrush to my suitcase when you are done with it!" Severus retorted, not wanting Harry to learn how close to the mark he really was.
Even if the Addamses were a little...morbid...they did at least try to understand normal people. Severus had to thank Gomez for his sensitivity. Their bedroom suite was free of chains, spikes, whips and knives, and had an attached bathroom with a large comfortable bathtub. Although, the cherubs on the headboard were a bit much.
Morticia claimed the bedroom hadn't been used in some years. Severus could understand why.
"Severus, before I came here I was worried about my curse killing people," Harry said, coming out of the bathroom and crawling under the blankets next to him pointedly. "Now I'm worried they're going to somehow kill me instead!"
"Not likely," Severus snorted. Then sighed at the stricken look Harry was giving him. "If that's how you feel we can always leave and find another place to have our wedding..." Severus said resignedly.
"No, I like it here..." Harry shrugged. "The location is perfect for the wedding, really. I just don't know about the Addamses. Couldn't you...tell them to just..."
"...Not be themselves for a week or two?"
Harry winced and curled up against Severus lovingly.
"I see your point," Harry sighed. "Any advice then on how to handle them?"
"Just go with the flow," Severus commented, and pulled Harry close to his chest. "I'll put some protective charms on you in the morning as well if you like."
"Yeah," Harry said, smiling brightly. "Cause Wednesday said she was going to teach me a game called Death Row..."
"Er..." Severus coughed. "Maybe we can start looking at potential wedding spots tomorrow instead?"
"Good idea," Harry said thickly. "I wouldn't want to end up needing that hearse I bought you."
Severus waved his wand to turn out the lights and curled up under the covers softly with his lover. Sex would have been nice, but Harry seemed to fall asleep almost as soon as the lights were off.
A long trip, a very long day, he must be exhausted. And we've only just arrived. My poor Harry.
"Well then," said Gomez as they arrived bright and early out into the dismal spitting morning rain. "Where to first?"
"I'd say the cemetery," Severus replied immediately. "I want to introduce Harry to the ancestors..."
Wednesday was not happy that Harry had chosen to forgo playing with her in the morning and it took a promise of a game of hide and seek later to get her to settle down.
"Isn't she a little old now for playing hide and seek, Tish?" Severus commented, watching the two children speed off after their Uncle Fester, whom was planning a big fireworks display as his gift to the married couple. "How old are they now?"
"Oh, Pugsley is thirteen and Wednesday is fourteen," said Morticia proudly, causing both Harry and Severus to stare. "Her growth seems to be stunted and wonderfully abnormal! I'm sure she'll stay short for some time, like her great Aunt Petina."
"I'm sure..." Severus said. "And where is your youngest, Pubert? Two years old now isn't he?"
"Oh I'm sure he's around somewhere," Morticia said brightly. "He's been getting into all sorts of trouble since he's learned to fly!"
"I can fly too," said Harry. "I'm the Seeker for the Appleby Arrows."
"Good! You and little Pubert can race!" Gomez said. "I'm gonna warn you, he's a bit of a cheater..."
Harry laughed. He seemed to be enjoying their trip to the family cemetery, learning about the hundreds of family members buried on the property and their history. But he hesitated when Gomez suggested they have the reception there.
"No room to dance," Harry said, weaving his way around the gravestones. "And no room for the tables. Everyone would be squished in..."
"Sounds delightful! But perhaps you're right," Morticia said elegantly. "Maybe, Gomez, we could show them the Grand Ballroom next?"
"You mean, have the wedding outside," Severus commented, stepping carefully over the gravestone of his Great Uncle Runspier. "And then retire indoors to the ballroom for dinner?"
"A delightful suggestion," Gomez chortled, leaning on the statue of Great Auntie Eugenia. "What do you think, Harry my lad?"
"I think it sounds great," said Harry, leaning down to peer at the indiscernible script on one crumbling gravestone. "If we can find a suitable outdoor location. I don't know. The statues here are nice, but they sort of overshadow the place a bit..."
"Don't want the dead to be more ghostly than the grooms now, do we?" Gomez commented in a chirp.
"Well, we can try the sand pits," Morticia commented. "Or the moat, the swamp..."
"As long as we don't go near the minefield," Harry said, shuddering slightly.
"Fester will be using that area for the fireworks display," said Severus cordially, taking Harry by the hand. "Shall we carry on then?"
After a very long walk around the Addams' estate, in which Gomez pointed out every bottomless pit, bat infested cave and slime coated statue to be found, they came upon the swamp. Flies were flitting about in the afternoon heat while horny toads, toads with horns, stuck out their tongues to lick up the flies. The Bog Monster, Severus' favourite attraction of the swamp, was sun bathing in the shallows. Crocodiles grinned from beneath the lily pads and live pirhanas in the waters snapped as they jumped up out of the water to try and latch onto the sweet little bejeweled dragon flies that Severus remembered were only allowed to breed as food for the other irksome denizens. Nothing grew, swam or flew in the swamp that Gomez didn't allow.
But the minute they stepped beneath the tangled trees, long fronds reaching down lazily to try and strangle them, Harry grinned.
Severus stopped midstep and Gomez laughed.
"You like it? I must say the swamp is quite magical, more mysterious at night, under a full moon..."
"Yeah, one of my guests is a werewolf," Harry said softly. "I'm thinking a crescent moon would be a better time. With all the stars out..."
"Sounds good to me," Severus said, stepping along a rickety bridge. "How were you planning on having this ceremony in the swamp?"
"Oh I have some ideas..." Harry said coyly.
As soon as they returned to the manor Wednesday and Pugsley came out of seemingly nowhere to grab Harry by both hands.
"Uncle Fester has been too busy to play with us," Wednesday explained pointedly.
A loud wailing sound of a baby crying suddenly filled the house.
"Well, that must be Pubert now," Gomez said heartily.
"It's time for his afternoon feeding," Morticia said grandly. "Sour skim milk, pruned venomous tentacula vines, all his favorites."
Harry's face contorted into disgust.
"C'mon cousin Harry," said Pugsley, pulling his arm; Wednesday was practically dragging him out of the room all by herself.
"Go ahead Harry," Severus said, smirking at the look of panic on his lover's face. "You did promise."
As soon as Morticia, Harry, and the kids disappeared upstairs, Gomez pointed down the hallway.
"I want to show you something..."
Severus followed Gomez through the many secret passages of the house to the Library, where Gomez stopped a moment to start trailing his fingers along the books.
"This is in the family vault, I presume?" Severus guessed pointedly.
"Yes yes," Gomez said heartily. "Ah here we are..."
Severus had only been in the family vault twice in his life, it was a very closely guarded part of the house and for good reason. Many a person had tried to get the Addam's family riches through some unsavory scheme of some sort, but all of them had failed to get their hands on even a single cent of the vast piles of gold, jewels and ancient artifacts that the Addams family had been coveting beneath the family property for many centuries. Some of the coins in the vault were minted before Hogwarts was even built. Severus had a feeling that if Gomez Addams and Draco Malfoy compared their bank balances, that Draco would seem a pauper in comparison.
"See Severus, when you told me of Harry's little...problem...I remembered something from the vault..."
Gomez had dragged Severus far far back into the vault, where many pieces of strange jewelry were on display. Gomez handed Severus a very old chunky looking ring that was encrusted with many diamonds and emeralds which formed the shape of a little dragon. The little dragon itself was animate; it sat up and greeted them both with a flick of its ruby tongue.
"Gomez, why are you giving this to me?" Severus asked direct and to the point.
"You said you don't have a wedding ring to give Harry. This'll take care of both problems at once."
"Both problems?" Severus choked.
Imagining Harry wearing this little cheerful dragon on his finger brought a sudden warmth to his heart.
"It's been in the family for generations, but nobody has ever worn it," Gomez explained nervously. "It's a curse reversal ring. Whatever curses are on the wearer, this nullifies them. It may just help your Harry."
Severus held the little dragon ring up to the light to inspect.
"Gomez...I can't take this..." Severus swallowed. "It must be worth a fortune..."
"Take it," said Gomez, waving a hand in front of his face nonchalantly. "You are an Addams, so you already own it."
"I...thank you Gomez..." Severus said, holding the little box in his hands in awe.
When they finally returned to the parlor for some wine and male conversation they were joined by Uncle Fester, who had a crown of blinking light bulbs on his head and a magnifying glass over one eye.
"Testing those little wires sure does pack a punch, I'm working up an appetite for lunch! Hey, that rhymed!"
About this time Morticia came down, a two year old Pubert following her along like an obedient puppy, his bat wings and mustache making him look like a miniature vampire. He immediately ran over to Severus to climb in his lap, pull his nose and climb down again, which was apparently his own way of greeting people he didn't know very well.
"He's getting big," Severus remarked.
"Yeah, he's already started shaving!" Gomez commented brightly. "Come sit with me son!"
Severus watched Pubert run over to his father and climb onto his knees, the batwings giving him a bit of propulsion for getting himself up. It was sort of beautiful, all the family sitting in the parlor, going about various individual tasks, yet all enjoying the spare time together. Pretty soon Pugsley and Wednesday both came in, Wednesday actually skipped, and Severus suddenly got a weird shivery feeling in his stomach.
"Oh he's upstairs," Pugsley said smiling. "I'm sure he'll be down eventually..."
"Yup, any day now," Wednesday said, smiling innocently.
"Children, what did you do with cousin Harry?" Morticia asked sternly.
Before Wednesday could open her mouth in protest, a cough caused everyone to turn their heads towards the doorway. Morticia said 'oh my' at the same time as Gomez, Wednesday smirked and Pubert said 'charcoal', the first word he has spoken since coming into the room.
Charcoal indeed. Harry's clothes were shredded, his skin was covered in black ash and soot and tufts of his hair stuck up, burning at the tips. Smoke was pouring off his body, which was jerking slightly, and he had a deadly look on his face.
"We were playing Death Row," Pugsley said brightly. "Harry won!"
Uh-oh...that's not good... Severus thought with dread. "Harry, are you all right...?"
Harry opened his mouth to retort angrily but a big puff of smoke was emitted instead, causing the boy to shut his trap in astonishment.
"My you look, uh...dashing," Gomez commented, smiling nervously.
"I'll just...take him upstairs to clean up," Severus said, standing promptly from his chair.
It was a good two hours before Harry could talk again without emitting great puffs of smoke, but the first words out of his mouth were an angry tirade that caused Severus to put up a silencing charm, less the children become upset.
"She electrocuted me!" Harry yelled at the top of his lungs. "In an electric CHAIR!"
"It's what she's used to!" Severus replied exasperatedly. "She plays this game all the time with her brother! She isn't used to playing normal children's games!"
"She's pure evil I tell you!" Harry said wildly, tears pouring down his face. "And so are the rest of those nutcases you call relatives!"
Now that was drawing the line.
"My relatives are NOT nutcases!" Severus said hotly. "You're the strange one to them!"
Harry muttered an angry oath then went into the bathroom and locked himself in there. Severus muttered every curse word he knew, which was many, and found some clothes for his petulant lover.
"I left some clothes on the bed," Severus snarled towards the bathroom door. "I'm going for a walk!"
"YOU DO THAT!"
As soon as Severus opened the door to the bedroom he encountered a very widely smiling Gomez, who had his knuckles up to the door as if he was going to tap it.
"I've been tapping here for about twenty five minutes, old boy," said Gomez smiling. "Like to keep people waiting do you? Of course I didn't entirely dislike the wait."
"I had a silencing charm on the suite," Severus explained, quite annoyed.
"So how are you liking the accommodations? You know this room has magical properties of its own. Tish holed herself up here during all three of her pregnancies..."
"But...she said this room hadn't been used for years..."
"'Used' no," said Gomez with a wince. "Slept in, however, yes. She slept in here, I slept elsewhere, if you catch my drift...?"
"You're kidding?" Severus said with a moan. "Are you saying that this room causes a lack of sexual interest between two people?"
Gomez coughed. Harry was now swearing so loudly the neighbours down the road could probably hear him.
"In a manner of speaking," Gomez said, grinning sheepishly. "So..."
"Did you WANT something cousin?" Severus asked with a sneer, guessing pretty much that his cousin was simply poking his nose where it wasn't wanted.
"Tish wanted to let you both know that tonight will be the last night she gets to cook supper and she hopes you can both join us this time. Grandmama is coming back from her vacation tomorrow and you know how picky she is about people in her kitchen."
Harry suddenly poked his head out of the bathroom, demanding that both men leave so he could come out and get dressed in some proper clothing. Neither man was stupid enough to disobey those direct orders from a cranky Harry so they beat a hasty retreat, Harry slamming the door shut as soon as they were out of the room.
"You know Severus," said Gomez, pulling out a big cigar and sticking it into his mouth. "You might try taking Harry down to the dungeons for a couple hours if he gets really mean..."
Severus muttered an oath and Gomez waggled his eyebrows.
Harry gets electrocuted by my cousin and I'M the one being punished for it! I KNOW he's probably just frustrated by our lack of intimacy these past two days, but until I can find a bedroom for us in this house that isn't cursed, hexed or jinxed in some way, sex is entirely out of the question. How could this trip possibly get any worse?
Severus and Gomez both had to jump back against the closed bedroom door as a fully naked Pubert came flying down the hallway, being chased by the rest of the Addamses at full throttle.
"Pubert!" Morticia said sternly as she ran passed. "Come back here with Cousin Sev's car keys this instant!"
Why do I even THINK things like that? Severus mentally groaned, and turned to help give chase.
At dinner that night Harry was still not talking to Severus, or really anybody, and glared at Severus from across the table over his plate of hiccuping hummus, which he seemed to be having trouble digesting. Severus sneered back at him in an orderly fashion, then glowered at Gomez, who kept raising his eyebrows with a goofy smirk on his face. Wednesday had a very smug look on her face as she poked her hummus with her fork, seeming to enjoy the little jolts it gave, which sent splotches of hummus across the table. Pugsley sat listlessly in front of his own plate, eating slowly and methodically until Morticia told him to stop behaving himself and play with his food.
I bet Wednesday is planing to break me and Harry up, Severus decided, looking between his two young cousins, who were sending knowing looks towards the glowering Harry. I shall have to talk with them later. But first, Harry...
"After supper I thought I could show you around the rest of the House," Severus said politely to Harry, putting on a neutral tone. "You haven't seen the dungeons yet. You know how I adore dungeons..."
Severus then sent a warning look to Gomez, who looked about ready to bust his buttons at this comment. Harry just shrugged sourly and poked at his hummus, causing it to hiccup loudly. Harry looked like he was going to be sick.
"I bet I can make mine hiccup louder!" Wednesday boasted.
"Nuh-uh," Pugsley countered. "You've already poked yours all over the place, it's got too many airholes now!"
"I can too! Just watch!"
A very messy hummus hiccuping contest ensued, and Harry fled from the table with his hand over his mouth, running in the direction of the closest bathroom.
"Yay! Cousin Harry wins again!"
Severus was quick to follow Harry to the bathroom at this comment, lest some weretoilet or fanged beasty bathtub eat his beloved fiance.
-THIS IS THE SECTION WITH THE ADULT RATING! IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO READ MATURE RATED MATERIAL PLEASE GO AHEAD TO CHAPTER 2!-
"Severus...why did you drag me down here to this miserable, cold dark dungeon anyway?" Harry asked as they strode along the damp narrow corridor.
This was the sub-sub basement level of the house, AKA; the Dungeons. It was a series of small cells with various instruments of torture, pain and and punishment hanging from every wall. Severus could feel the chill from the cold damp stones even through the leather of his shoes.
"I brought you here to make a point," Severus said softly. "You've been acting, for want of a better word, as if staying here with my family is some sort of torture. But you know what real torture is."
Harry shivered visibly and Severus could understand why; the Addams Family Dungeons could easily have shared geography with the dungeons where Harry was kept manacled and cuffed by Lord Voldemort for two years. Not a pleasant memory to be bringing up, but it was a valid point nonetheless.
"What my family does is just mischief. Playing. But if they feel that their family honor is offended, or that a person means to harm them, they can get become quite serious in their actions. Do you know what the family motto is?"
Harry shook his head, looking very pale in the dim light of the torches.
"'Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc'," Severus said, letting the words flow over his tongue. "'We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.'"
"I see," Harry said, peering in through the barred window of one cell. "I guess I could be in worse a position."
"Exactly," Severus said softly, reaching forward to turn Harry to face him. "I know Wednesday plays rough, and I think she may be trying to break us up. She's tried this before, usually successfully. But she's a child still. She doesn't quite understand the limits of pain that regular people have. She's learning. We Addamses have an extremely complex tolerance for pain and it is a regularly included part of our day to day routine."
"I've noticed," Harry said, still shivering. "I sense that there's an unspoken 'but' to this lecture..."
"But..." Severus smirked. "We also have an extremely sensual side when it comes to pain. Pain and pleasure can be very close. I'm sure that one day when Wednesday is a woman, and she finds herself a husband, that she'll use her perfected knowledge of pain to her own personal advantage...like her parents before her."
Harry's eyes widened.
"Pain...as...pleasure...?" he was trying to comprehend it.
Poor Harry, thought Severus softly. He's only ever experienced pain as pain, and his sexual side has only been vanilla at best. I've kept things tame with him, of course, he's been hurt so much. Especially by the curse. But perhaps now is the time, perhaps he'll respond to the 'Addams' treatment.
"Well, why don't I show you," Severus purred, giving Harry a hungry, sultry look. "Stay here."
"Severus?" Harry said, sounding a little scared, rather nervous, and just a bit sulky at being left alone in a dark cold corridor.
Severus made his way quickly down the row, pulling out his wand. These ancient lower level parts of the house had many subtle, primal magics still resting between cold slick stones, and he didn't want to awaken any strange spirits or curses by accident with what he planned to do. Once he had found a cell that seemed...suitable...he double checked that the room was a magical dead point and that nothing would interfere with his plans. It seemed almost eerie that all the locks were well oiled, all manacles ready for use.
Perfect... Severus smirked, and lead the still rather sulky Harry into the cell.
"Severus...what exactly are we doing in here?" Harry said, sounding just a little frantic at seeing the instruments of torture and other implements that surrounded them.
Severus closed and locked the door behind him with his wand, planning each action carefully, and turned to look at Harry with a hungry, predatory gaze.
Harry swallowed heavily and Severus strode towards him slowly, putting the wand inside his outer robes before letting them slip from his shoulders. He allowed himself to enjoy the sound of Harry's harsh breathing before bending down to take the man's lips with his own, pulling Harry to him and feasting hungrily on that soft warm mouth. A few moments passed the point where both of them would need to breath, they broke apart in a gush of air, Harry's eyes glazed over and needy, his lips bruised and swollen.
Around this time they would usually retire to a bed and just fuck in the traditional manner. But Severus had a better idea. He took Harry by both hands and led him over to the rack by the wall, which lowered to a more suitable position, and laid Harry on top of it.
"S-Severus...are you going to...tie me up?"
Harry looked so naive that for a moment Severus pitied him. It was only for a moment, then he thought about what Harry was going to experience at his hands and grinned, almost feeling the anticipatory gleam that had come to his own eyes.
"Do you trust me?" Severus asked in a purr, nibbling along Harry's collarbone.
"Well, I dunno," Harry teased, and the sulky tone was now entirely gone from his voice. "But I love you so I'm willing to...let you...try new things..."
"It's called 'experimentation'," Severus said silkily. Boy, Harry really is vanilla! I'll have to whip him into shape, literally. "Lift your hands up so I can shackle you in."
"Oh, right," Severus retrieved his wand and used a spell to remove Harry's clothes and, after a thought, to shackle him onto the rack as well.
Oh but Harry looked heavenly! His mouth was bruised, his body was stretched out and taught. His cock was flaccid, but as soon as the cold chill in the air hit Harry it broke out in goose pimples. Severus cast a slight warming charm on the cell. No need for his lover to chatter his teeth off during sex.
"Now then," Severus said, rolling up his sleeves. "Lets see just how much torment you can stand. I have one more thing I need to do..." and he lifted the adjustable leather cock ring up to Harry's eyes to show it to him, grinning maliciously at the wide eyed look the man gave it.
Harry knew what it was. He'd had a couple other boyfriends before Severus. But Severus was sure Harry's ex lovers had never taken the age old equation as far as he was going to take it. Severus bent in to kiss Harry deeply on the mouth before cupping his lover's balls and carefully encircling his balls and cock with the ring, adjusting it until the fit was perfect. Now they were secure, and there wouldn't be any ejaculating for his lover until Severus decided he could.
Harry moaned, and leaned his head back as Severus gently massaged his scrotum, grinning as Harry was already starting to become hard.
"Ah, I like that..."
"You do? Well you'd best enjoy it, you'll be in this position for awhile," Severus bent his mouth to worship Harry's neck with his lips, continuing to fondle and play with his lover's penis. Harry was making the most adorably whimpering sounds Severus had ever heard.
Time to see if Harry has what it takes to be an Addams... Severus thought with a smirk, and proceeded to kiss, nip and lick every inch of his lover's skin...except his cock.
That he was reserving for a little later, but it must have been horrible for Harry, who now tried desperately to shove his cock up against Severus wantonly.
"S-severus...please...take it off...I can't..."
"Not yet I think," Severus said firmly, and pulled away from his lover to examine him carefully.
Oh this was definitely a sight worthy of the imfamouse Addams Family penchant for torture. Bruised lips, skin pink from all the nibbling and love bites, cock twitching rather ominously, Harry could have probably seduced even the severely heterosexual Gomez in this state. Severus carefully bent over his lover to examine the cock ring. No, it wasn't cutting off his circulation. Harry was just being the wonton little impatient sex-addict that he was.
Time to turn up the heat a bit.
Severus marched over to the racks of implements and carefully inspected them, knowing that Harry was probably going crazy trying to figure out what he had planned next.
Nothing too over the top or Harry will balk, though this has promise...
Severus lifted from the rack a simple little black leather tawse. It was like a regular strap, but there was a split down the middle to separate it into two very little evil smaller straps. It had merit. He didn't plan to do any damage to his lover so early in their experimentation...he would just nip him a little. But it was amusing nonetheless to see Harry's frightened look at seeing the strap.
"Well Mister Tawse," Severus said sweetly, coming back over to the rack. "Shall we see whether Mister Potter is able to handle the Addams Family partiality towards pain?"
Harry made a disparaging sound. He hated it when Severus gave their sex toys names. Severus smirked lovingly at him before bringing the tawse sharply down across his chest.
Harry gave a little shocked gasp, looked at Severus in horror, and squirmed most deliciously. But he didn't ask for it to stop, so Severus brought the tawse down again, this time on his lover's belly. Harry shook deliciously, gritting his teeth, eyes watering. Severus went over to lay his hand upon the punished flesh, and the pink welts he had raised on Harry's pale pretty skin.
Oh he's either going to chew me up and spit me out the minute he's free or repeat my own performance on my OWN skin. Well, next time I shall have to be more thorough, but for now, things shall have to progress a little more quickly.
Severus brought the tawse down again, across Harry's legs, and then gave his lover a satisfying leer, before bringing it down again; across his cock.
Oh this was a satisfying sound to hear. Coupled with the jerking, gasping, and the tears at the corner of his eyes, Harry was quite the delicious sight to behold. Severus dropped the tawse, no longer caring about tormenting his lover. His trousers were quite uncomfortably tight. He pulled his clothes off quickly and climbed into the straddling position over his lover's body, bending down to lick and suckle Harry's neck, rubbing their erect cocks together hungrily.
"S-ev...need to c-c-ome...s-so bad..." Harry said choking.
Right, the ring...
Severus freed his lover from the confines of the cock ring and was surprised that Harry didn't come right away. Instead he moaned and bucked against Severus, rubbing their cocks piteously together. Severus clutched Harry tightly when the man finally came, shouting some colorful expletives and splashing a trail of white hot semen along both their abdomens up to their necks. Severus shivered and came next, with an almost anticlimactic pleasurable jerk. He didn't come quite as explosively as Harry, but Harry was young and had been in that cock ring all evening.
Harry shuddered and collapsed, eyes dilating momentarily as he hummed softly and almost a little hysterically. Severus gently rubbed his lover's shoulders and face, worried he may have done damage to Harry's psyche.
"Harry, are you all right?" he said, softly, almost fearfully. "Did you enjoy it?"
And then Harry did something totally unexpected.
"Sì sì, mio amore, era incredibile!"
Severus heard these words like a punch to the gut and his heart pounded fiercely in his chest. Harry had spoken in Italian.
Harry didn't KNOW Italian. He'd never spoken a word of it in his entire life. The astonishing reality of what had just happened between them warmed Severus over completely and he collapsed onto Harry's chest in happy relief and absolute dread at this startling revelation.
Well that settles it, he decided hollowly. Doesn't it?
"So Severus," Harry purred, shivering faintly. "Do I get to tie you up now?"
Oh this was going to be an interesting night indeed.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Morticia Addams sat herself grandly down at the breakfast table. Her children had consumed their breakfast in quick gulps before running off to help Uncle Fester with his fireworks display. She hoped that he could keep them out of trouble for one day at least, and give her some time to learn more about their guest. She poured herself some green tea, and being the caffeine junky that she was dropped in a square of chocolate. Gomez sat next to her, pouring his own cup of coffee and settling in with the morning paper as Lurch made them both some deviled eggs. It was strangely quiet in the house.
"I wonder where Severus and his love are this morning?" she commented.
"Oh they're probably just sleeping in today..." Gomez replied with a yawn. "Harry seems young enough that he still needs a good lie in from time to time."
Morticia agreed with that assessment. Harry Potter seemed quite normal to her. The poor dear had not been having a very good time, he probably needed the rest. She wondered maybe if he'd be happier staying with Severus at a hotel during the nights. It certainly would be more comfortable for them, since Harry's diet was so...normal.
But Grandmama would be back today. As soon as breakfast was through Lurch would go pick her and Thing up at the airport. Morticia knew that Grandmama loved to cook for normals.
"Something new and different! I can try putting more salt and less gunpowder in my shoe fly pie!"
But this was the least of Morticia's problems. Her children had been behaving very strangely to Harry, and she knew very well that they were planning his imminent unpleasant departure, as soon as was convenient. Which meant whenever Wednesday and Pugsley had time from playing to do so.
Severus loves Harry, she thought morosely, getting comfortably into her dreary mood. Why would the children want to send Harry away?
She had posed this question to her husband and had gotten some noncommittal reply from him, as men tended to do, but she had noted he hadn't quite met her eyes when he had replied.
Do the children and Gomez know something that I do not?
She knew next to nothing about Harry, no more than she had before he arrived! Gomez did not share his private correspondences with Severus with her, and her cousin's letters to her had been vague. Frustrated, she put another square of chocolate into her tea as a result.
"You seem rather tense this morning, my love," Gomez commented softly, taking a drink of his coffee. "You don't usually add chocolate to your tea."
"I'm worried about them," Morticia admitted. "What if their fighting all the time delays the wedding for them?"
"I'm sure they'll be all right," Gomez said. "No need to rush getting them married, I've never seen Severus so delightfully frustrated. It's wonderful!"
"Oh, you like to play with my cousin," Morticia accused softly. "You like to get a rise out of him."
"It doesn't happen often, he keeps that cool calm and collected mask of his up around the clock."
"True," Morticia nodded. "Only Harry seems to be able to get him out from behind that mask. It's really quite shocking, actually."
"Did I hear somebody say my name?" asked a sleepy voice from the doorway.
Morticia jumped a little in fright, but collected herself quickly.
"Good morning Harry," Morticia said softly. "How was your sleep?"
"Nice," Harry said, yawning widely.
Harry shuffled towards the kitchen table reluctantly. Morticia thought it was adorable how disheveled and sleepy he looked. He was wearing his pajamas still, but they were obviously not his own as they are oversized and hastily put on.
"So where is Severus?" Gomez asked amiably. "Still sleeping in is he?"
"We're both going to be going back to sleep soon," Harry commented, scratching his sides. "Sev is grumpy, sent me to get a tray of some tea, like the greasy git couldn't come down himself..."
"Oh you look tired," Morticia commented. "Lurch can bring some tea up for you, and breakfast. Go back to bed."
"Yes'm," Harry said, yawning again, and ruffling his hair before turning back towards the kitchen door. "Oh and you have a lovely house by the way. The room is nice, but Severus was hoping you could move us into a more...what was the word he used...'useful' bedroom?" Harry looked genuinely puzzled, Gomez snorted into his coffee and Morticia pursed her lips.
"As you wish."
As soon as he was gone, Morticia turned to glower at her husband.
"Sorry Tish," he recovered quickly. "Looks like Severus has found something 'useful' to do after all."
Morticia couldn't help herself. She huffed, and threw a piece of burnt toast at his head.
Severus snorted and jerked his head when Harry arrived.
"So you're back at last," Severus commented softly. "And where, exactly, is the tea I sent you down for?"
"Lurch is going to bring it up," Harry said sleepily, crawling back into bed. "Move your bony legs, and lemme in..."
"Why are you grinning like an idiot?"
"Because, I dunno," Harry shrugged. "You just look adorable this morning, all grumpy under the sheets..."
After that night's romantic exercises in the dungeons, Severus seemed much more comfortable with Harry, and vice versa. It had never occurred to Harry before that night that Severus might have had a problem with sex, because of the lack of bondage and whips and stuff. Sex had always seemed the easiest part of their relationship to Harry.
Before last night Harry had been convinced that their relationship was doomed to failure. It seemed that they couldn't stop fighting with each other, and it had been that way since day one. Severus' frustrated and objective behavior had seemed to mirror all of Harry's worries until last night.
Last night something had happened to break the impasse. Something had caused Severus to resign himself, almost visibly, to Harry. Harry could see it in his eyes; there was a wonder there, a joy, some sort of secret happiness that hadn't been there before. Harry was sure it had only a very little part to do with sex. It was time to find out what it was.
"Severus..." Harry said, stifling yet another yawn. "You seem very happy now. Was it really that important? The, er, bondage I mean..."
Severus rolled over onto his back and observed Harry for a moment with lidded black eyes that were calculating and a tad bit concerned.
"No, the bondage was incidental. It was what you said..."
"What I said?" Harry blinked, sitting up onto his elbow. "I can't remember half of what I said last night Severus..."
Severus had closed his eyes painfully for a moment and Harry allowed the man a moment to compose himself.
"You spoke in Italian Harry..." Severus said at last. "You said it was incredible, you said that you...loved me..."
"I did?" Harry was genuinely confused. "I mean, I spoke another language, again?"
As if parsletongue wasn't enough, now Italian?
"Harry," Severus sat up fully, rubbing his face with his hands. "You anticipated, in that glorious moment, just exactly what would give me the most joy. You spoke in a language you didn't know, without realizing that my Mother is Italian, that Italian is my native language."
Harry was now very confused. Severus had never spoken Italian in front of him before. Or maybe Severus was so British now that using his first language hadn't been something he was used to doing anymore, so he never bothered.
"But how could I have spoken Italian if I don't know any Italian?"
It was clear Severus was a little frustrated, and Harry bent forward to kiss his cheek and rub circles on his shoulder with his hand. It was probably the bedroom's magic that was causing such miscommunication between them this morning, and not a lack of understanding.
"You spoke Italian because you are bonded to my soul. You're my soul mate, Harry. We were meant to be together."
Now this caught Harry of guard and a lump rose up into his throat. He knew enough about the idea of soul mates to understand the concept. Ginny Weasley had turned down his proposal of marriage because she had found her soul mate...Draco Malfoy, who had rescued her from the Death Eaters at great personal risk of life and limb; literally, he had lost his left arm in the process. Which rather went well with Ginny since she had lost her right leg during the war.
Even more examples were now coming to mind, most of the people close to his own heart. Nobody could ever deny the fact that Hermione and Ron were soul mates from the moment they met. Ron had been able to drive a muggle car the minute he climbed into one and knew more about muggles than his own father, who had once worked for the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts department. Ron had anticipated Hermione's very need to stay close to her muggle family and friends and so they had moved to a flat in muggle London before they were even married. Ron himself had even resigned to staying at home and looking after their child so that Hermione could continue to work as the Minister of Muggle Relations. It was only now that Harry could see the connection between their relationship, and the relationship between Harry and Severus.
"K-kind of like when I bought you that hearse," Harry guessed with a sniffle, surprised to discover that he was crying. "You have a penchant for the macabre and I thought you might get a kick out of it, but you were genuinely very happy with it."
"It was the right sort of gift, from the Addams perspective..." Severus agrees.
Harry chuckled, and they curled up together in bed, trying to untie their tongues from the 'celibacy' magic in the bedroom by kissing each other softly. Severus was content to leave it at that and Harry was content to let him.
"I never knew, before meeting your relatives, that there were also different types of magic besides the type of magic that you cast with a wand," Harry continued. "The Addamses don't exactly practice magic as a rule, rather they have magic as part of their physical nature..."
"Definitely..." Severus agreed amusedly. "Gomez is particularly muggle in some of his behaviors. Here's a big tip: never play golf with him."
Harry giggled and kissed Severus on the cheek.
"When I told them, by the by, that we were hoping for better accommodations, he was quite amused. Is there something you aren't telling me about Gomez?"
"Well," Severus snorted. "It was Gomez who, uh, suggested the dungeons..."
"Oh, oh oh!" Harry huffed. "Remind me, who it was exactly who said that he never took sex advice from interfering family members?"
Harry didn't have time to duck when Severus smacked him with the pillow.
"Well, if it ain't my little nephy back from Britain!"
Severus blushed a very striking shade of crimson when Grandmama, a rather short, bent, wild haired lady, stretched her arms up to hug him around the neck.
"And where's this no good fiance of yours?" Grandmama teased.
"Now just a minute," Harry said with a huff, and Severus laughingly introduced them.
Both of them clicked immediately. Severus could tell and he knew his Aunt was just itching to try out some muggle recipes for Harry. Severus meanwhile shook hands with Thing, since well, what else could you do with a disembodied hand? He had never been able to figure out how Gomez communicated with Thing, probably sign language. Harry had gaped upon seeing Thing, so Thing was more than happy to take Grandmama's baggage up to her rooms.
"Severus..." Harry whispered under his breath. "Was that what I think it was...?"
"Don't be so surprised," Severus scowled. "You've seen inanimate objects given life before, why not body parts?"
Harry couldn't argue with that.
"So how was your trip?" Gomez asked Grandmama, once she had all settled down into her favorite chair in the parlor.
"Oh, wretchedly sunny," Grandmama muttered. "Spent most of my time inside the hotel, though we did have a lovely tropical storm come through..."
The children were happy to have their Grandma home again, but it seemed almost too suspicious that Wednesday crawled into the couch next to Harry and leaned against his shoulder.
"Are you going to play with us today?" she asked him as soon as the opportunity arose.
Severus momentarily panicked.
"I actually was hoping to fly my broom today," Harry said quickly. "You can come join in, I'll show you how to play Quidditch."
"It's a British wizarding variation on Quodpot," Severus put in helpfully. "Quite popular in Europe..."
Grandmama perked up at this.
"I used to be a dab hand at Quodpot myself, maybe I should get the old Comet Sixty Two out of storage..."
"It wouldn't hold a candle to my Firebolt," Harry boasted to her with a wink.
"Can you go very fast?" Pugsley said excitedly, ignoring his sister's scowl.
"Sure can," Harry grinned.
Severus breathed a sigh of relief. Well, at least Harry had calmed down a might. But he would have to have a talk with the kids, before they tried anymore of their tricks.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Morticia was having an enjoyable afternoon. Pubert was with Gomez somewhere, getting shaving lessons likely. Fester was down at the supply store buying trip wire and dynamite. Her children were off playing somewhere, most likely with her cousin and his lover. And she herself was getting some much needed free time. Her knitting was finished and this gave her some time to trim some pesky buds off her rose bushes. She was half way through her clipping when Harry entered the room, broom in hand, looking windswept.
"Mrs Addams, can I talk to you?" he asked timidly.
"Please, call me Tish, and do sit down," she put her shears down and dropped the buds in her hands into a bucket beneath the table. "Where is Severus?"
"Oh, he took the kids somewhere for a talk, I don't know what about. And Grandmama crashed her broom so she's taking it to be repaired..." Harry smirked a little at this, but not in a cruel way, Morticia knew. Grandmama was ever so competitive with her broom flying.
"Well then, my dear, what was it you wanted to talk about?"
Harry took a very heavy intake of breath before speaking.
"Well, mostly I wanted to talk about wedding stuff. My friends will be coming to America within a week and I wanted to get all my preparations in motion."
"Oh of course darling! Sometimes when I have company I forget about these things. Do you have an itinerary?"
"Yes, and I've got a list of ideas for the swamp..."
Morticia was then so distracted with planning Harry's wedding that she didn't notice when Severus came in until he spoke her name.
"Morticia, I was thinking of taking the children to the zoo, like I normally do when I come up here. Gomez suggested I take Pubert along as well, since he isn't used to me yet."
"Are you going to take them in the hearse?" Morticia said with slight concern in her voice. "Its a little too sunny outside to walk and I think the children would enjoy riding in your new car."
"Certainly," said Severus, and then looked at Harry. "Darling did you want to come...?"
"No, wedding planning, and I think its a good idea to keep the kids playing somewhere while I work out there on setting up everything."
Morticia noted that Severus frowned in annoyance, but brushed it to the back of her mind when Gomez swept grandly into the room.
"Are we doing wedding planning then?" Gomez said brightly. "Its certainly a miserably sunny day for it..."
"Well the swamp will be nice and cool," Morticia said sweetly. "Or sickeningly hot and sweaty."
"Wonderful!" Gomez said cordially. "I'll leave you to it then! Its been ages since I've gone on an outing with the kids!"
It seemed like there was a lot of comotion at the doorway before they left, and a lot of pouting from Wednesday when she learned Harry wasn't going to the zoo with them. Morticia could imagine she was planning all the ways in which she could feed somebody to the lions. When the house was empty of everybody save Morticia, Harry and Lurch, a soft quiet descended upon it, like the calm before the storm.
"I'm so happy you decided to do this with me today," Morticia said, as they trekked out to the swamp. "I rarely get time alone from my children, my husband..."
"Well, its nice to take a day off. Plus I have an alternative motive for bringing you out here. I was hoping to talk to you alone, away from prying ears, about something..."
"Oh? What about?"
Harry quickly explained what he wanted from her, and the mischievous gears of Morticia's brain started turning in clockwork motion.
"Don't worry, my dear, your friends will be well cared for. Now shall we start warding the swamp? I'm sure it would be a shame if your guests were eaten by the alligators. Although, Gomez would be thrilled, its been awhile since they've been properly fed..."
Harry had the good grace to keep the smile plasted upon his face.
Taking the children to the zoo had been a wonderfully enjoyable experience, and had helped him to keep his mind of of all his worries.
"Go to America Severus," his mother had admonished him. "I'll bring your test results with me, and let the doctors know you've recieved them when I return home."
Severus put a hand to his head and rubbed it, though it ached. He longed to know where this pain was coming from, these spasms of headaches. But his mother would be bringing him that information when she came to the wedding. She would be bringing that book with her as well.
"Uncle Severus, do turtles really live inside their shells all their lives?"
Severus looked down at Pugsley, who was pointing in to the turtle pen with a single fat finger. He was only starting to show his age, and being the middle child had to have felt somewhat neglected. It was true that Pubert and Wednesday seemed to get all the positive attention. Perhaps it was a good thing then that he was at the zoo with them. Most of Wednesday's attention had been drawn by the predator cats exhibit and Gomez had taken Pubert on the children's tour, so Pugsley had some time to spend with his cousin.
"That they do," Severus said, and handed Pugsley the booklet they had been given with all the animal information.
"That's really sad. Nobody should live inside a shell. How boring?"
"Well, the shell keeps them protected from predators." Severus decided.
"But they never get to feel rain on their backs. Or the sun. It must be hot inside that shell."
Pugsley was a lot more thoughtful than Severus had initially thought. He rewarded the boy's train of thought by purchasing him a book about reptiles at the zoo gift shop. Of course Wednesday had to be dragged from the lion exhibit by her father with the promise that she could come back another time, and bring the whole family.
I'm going to have to warn Harry, Severus thought pointedly, then winced as another throbbing spasm of pain jolted through his skull. Eurgh, and get Gomez to drive us next time. Maybe I should call home. Now I just have to convince Harry to take Wednesday off my hands for the evening.
Lightening cracked in his vision as he pulled into the driveway with the hearse, the children chattering in the back seat, and Gomez cradelling a sleepy Pubert on his lap.
That's timely. She'll enjoy playing in the rain with Harry. And maybe he'll get over his nerves about his curse. Nothing's going to kill him now, and he knows it. Nothing.
Harry looked at Wednesday. Wednesday looked at Harry.
"Come on, cousin Harry, you're so good at this game!"
Harry stared at the electric chair of death and rolled his eyes.
I promised Sev I've watch her while they took Pugsley to get his tuxedo fitted. Morticia had to abandon me to take Pubert out in the rain.
"Are you sure you don't want to go outside? Its a nice rainy day, all gloomy and lightening..."
Wednesday did look at the window for a moment with a bit of a longing look. But she quickly turned back to the task at hand.
"I want to play with you! Its only 1000 volts of electricity." Wednesday pouted. "Are you scared?"
"I'm not scared," Harry said in a huff. "I'm just..."
He swallowed. There were far worse games she could be playing with him. Like guillotine (though Severus had told him that she only played that game with her dolls.) The object of this game seemed more of an excuse to torture someone and less of a game to Harry, but he had a feeling that if he didn't play with Wednesday now, that somehow this was going to catch up to him, somewhere, someday. Possibly with sharp pointy objects involved.
"Fine! But you have to let me have a turn too!"
"As you wish."
Severus was quite concerned when he came home to find all the lights were out, and Fester, sitting in the parlour with a lightbulb in his mouth so that Grandmama could knit with some light.
"What, is the electricity out?" he asked, coming into the room.
"Something isn't working," Grandmama said. "Morticia's gone with Lurch and Thing looking for the generator to restart everything. There's enough candles though, we can do for a spell if we have to. Where's Gomez?"
"Took Pugsley to the swamp to show him the work Harry's been doing out there. Where is Harry?"
"Dunno," the old women pulled on a thread. "Been playing with Wednesday all morning, so Morticia tells me. Pubert's sleeping. Its been pretty quiet."
Severus took a deep calming breath.
Don't panic, Fester plays with the electricity all the time...He probably blew a fuse with all those mechanics of his...
Severus took a candle, and thing, and went to explore the upper stories of the house. The darkness of night time and lack of electric artificial light seemed a little ominous to Severus, and he had to shake his head.
I grew up in this house, practically, I know every hallway and bedroom and doorknob...Shouldn't be so spooked.
It was quite a delightful sensation actually. Severus found himself enjoying the thrill of exploring the dark and dreary manor, with its many mysterious rooms, by candle light. He finally approached Wednesday's doorway, eyes round in his head as he raised his hand up to tap.
A voice interrupted before his hand could hit the wood.
"And Little Red Riding Hood said, "My, what big eyes you have Grandma!"
"Oh oh I know the next line!"
Severus poked his head in the half open door, and couldn't contain the smile that creapt over his face. Harry now sat in a chair next to Wednesday's bed, where the girl lay sideways, curled up under a blanket, the nursery rhyme book held open in his hands in a way so that she could see the pictures. A candle was flickering on the bedside table, and the many accoutrements of a daytime of playing games were littered across the floor, including the head of some fifty or so barbie dolls, and what looked like a smoking pile of clothing, it was hard to tell in the candle light. Harry noted Severus, but didn't stop in his reading, which was punctuated by interruptions from the girl.
He's reading nursery rhymes to her... Severus thought with wonder. Wait a minute...she's enjoying it. Is she ill?
A momentary concern filled him until Wednesday said,
"And that's when the wolf eats her up right?"
"Now now, let me get to that part!" Harry admonished softly. "So Riding Hood says, "My, what big teeth you have Grandma..."
Severus turned around and gently left them to their story. When he arrived in the parlor he found Morticia there with Lurch, Thing, Fester, and an inscensed Gomez, all quibbling about the lack of electricity, and not having electricity so not being able to call a repairman. (Fester was complaining that they didn't need a repairman, he could fix it!) Gomez noticed Severus Severus at last, and seemed to notice the goofy smile on his face.
"Well old boy! You look cheerful! Want to give us a hand with this perhaps? If we figure out what caused the black out we might be able to find a solution."
"Oh its all right," Severus said, confusing his relatives to no end with the beautific smile on his face. "Harry and Wednesday were just playing again. I'm going to the kitchen for some tea."
And he did so, leaving a group of frowning, befudled Addams behind him.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
"So Harry," Severus purred that night, as they were curling up into bed. "What exactly did you do with my cousin?"
Harry stiffened, and pulled the expensive red satin sheets around him grumpily. This bedroom was much more interesting than the last one, with roses and red stained velvet everywhere, and little stone vases with dancing skeleton relief. The walls were black, the bedframe was black, and even the ceiling was black. It seemed quite suitable for Severus; their own rooms back at home had a similar gothic motif.
"She called me a sissy, because I wouldn't electrocute her," Harry pouted, curling up in bed. "Then the lights all went out before I could...pull the thing..."
"Hah! I knew it! Fester DID cause the blackout!" Severus laughed and threw his hands up in the air in victory. "Sorry, you were saying?"
"I really don't get the purpose of that game, Death Row..."
"Of course you don't, its a girl's game. Talk to Morticia about it honey."
"But it felt so wrong in every concievable way, that I was going to electrocute your cousin!"
"Seriously, hon, that electric chair wouldn't kill a weasley. It says it can go up to 1000 volts, but its only 10 at most, with magical smoking effects and the like; smoke, burning smells. Morticia wouldn't let her children play with that much live electricity at that age. Even they couldn't handle it. Eventually they'll have to work up to greater amounts as they become adults..."
"Oh thank god!" Harry moaned and covered his face. "I thought it was my curse keeping me alive!"
"It really kicks the immune system into gear though doesn't it," Severus teased, pinching his lover's side. "We shall have to try some electro-sex ourselves one day..."
"Not if you ever want to have sex with me ever again," Harry retorted, and pulled his lover to him.
A few constructive hours later, Severus relaxed in the afterglow of their lovemaking, and carressed Harry's hair.
My poor love...he thought miserably. I really feel bad about lying to you...but what would you think if you knew how much electricity that chair was really capable of? You seem to be made of tougher stuff, like an Addams. One day you'll come to realize just how much like us you are.
Fester seemed to be of the mind that if his fireworks display was already causing blackouts, then it was going to be the best fireworks display ever! Gomez has gone into to town with him to order a backup power generator for the manor. They went through about sixteen every year.
As Harry had become more willing to play with the kids, they seemed less willing to try and off him. Instead, Severus found them one gloomy rainy day flying kites with keys hanging from the string. Severus didn't say a word.
Severus found himself wandering the manor in almost a dream as various Addams went blustering about the place making preperations for the coming wedding. Morticia was in charge of finding a magical florist who would deliver venusian butterfly traps and venemous tentacula live, Gomez was organizing the Addam's side of the guest list for Severus, (Harry and Severus had long ago conceded that they had far too many friends and relatives to have a restrictive list, so their wedding was to be more of an open house.) Fester was stockpiling dynamite and light bulbs like there was no tomorrow, and Grandmama was going back to the grocery store and hardware store almost every day looking for new ingredients for her intriguing creations. When Molly Weasley arrived, she would be in charge of the normal food, and the wedding cake.
Lurch and Thing were making themselves available in a billion little ways, from Thing scratching off names from the guest list for Gomez as he sent invitations to Lurch answering the door eigth times a day as various neighbours stopped by to find out what was going on.
It was really happening. He was really getting married.
God, when Mum gets here I'm going to be deep baked in a frikasee for all the trouble I've caused her. She simply hates Addams weddings! Her own wedding was quite normal, in fact...
Severus found himself walking down to the swamp at least twice a day to see what Harry and Morticia were doing there. Planting flowers, installing floating platforms for the chairs on the water, keeping the bog monster and pirahnas well fed so that they wouldn't chew on the wedding furniture.
"Severus, can I talk to you?" came Harry's voice from somewhere behind him.
"Harry?" Severus turned away from where he had been standing at the parlour door, waiting to be made useful in some way. "Is something wrong?"
"I'm..." Harry shrugged. "Stressed out a little. I feel edgy. My family and friends are coming this week..."
"Family...wait the Dursleys are actually coming?" Snape's eyes went to his hairline when Harry nodded.
"They've always wanted to visit America, and since we're paying for the air fair of all the British guests it was an opportunity for them to do so. I don't think they'll stay long enough to actually participate in the reception or dinner. Just the wedding for appearances sake. But they've been a bit better about magic since..."
Harry didn't finish the sentence, just went straight into his lover's arms. Who could not have been effected by it? Severus had brought Harry into the Great Hall of Hogwarts covered in blood and dirt, emaciated from starvation, and bleeding from the crusted stumps that had been his arms and legs. No normal human should have survived what Harry had, and it was then that Severus realized his admiration for Harry's perseverance was coming from the Addams side of his personality more than the wizard side. It was then that he started to see Harry more as a potential lover and mate than an annoyance.
"You never told me why the Dursleys were at Hogwarts to begin with."
"For their protection..." Harry said simply. "I guess Minerva realized that Voldemort might go after them when he couldn't kill me. He might have thought the magic my mother placed on me was still protecting me through Aunt Petunia."
"No...I don't think any of us could have imagined your curse..."
"Saved me more than once..." Harry admitted, looking up at Severus and smiling cheekily. "I would have loved to see the look on everybody's face when they saw you walk into the Great Hall with me."
"No you don't," Severus said, shaking his head in sorrow. "I..."
"Talk," Harry said firmly. "You never talked about this with me before..."
"There was nothing to talk about before...we weren't ever this close before," Severus admitted. "I found you and I was so deathly afraid that you already were dead. But when they saw me with you they thought you were dead, and that'd I'd brought you to gloat. It took them almost eight days to trust me, and exactly that long to restore your hands..."
Harry nodded, and fingered the ring of scarred flesh on his right arm. Voldemort had decided to cut Harry hands and feet off and let Harry bleed to death. It must have scared the liver out of Peter Pettigrew when Harry's hands, severed from his arms, jumped to life and proceeded to attack anything in their path with magic.
"I was told my hands were alive for a time, following me around like puppies...like Thing. That's why he freaked me out so much when I first saw him..."
"Ah, I thought that might have been it...I'm sorry I should have forwarned you..."
"No, I'm not angry. I have to stop being so sensitive about it and move on..."
"Don't be too strong. I like to believe there's still a sensitive side of you that's able to cry when he's hurting..."
Harry did tear up then, then smiled coyly and sniffed.
"I cry like a leaky faucet, all the time," Harry admitted pouting. "I'd like to see you cry sometime."
"Oh I'm sure I'll cry, during the wedding at some point. Just saving up the waterworks for the approriate moment."
Harry grinned cheekily, then got up on his tip toes to kiss Severus on his cheek.
"Want to go for a walk with me?"
"Certainly...Where shall we walk to?"
"I dunno, the swamp maybe?"
"Too busy, Morticia's still out there, and the children. I have a better idea..."
Soon they found themselves weaving through the cemetary in the bright morning sunlight, the eyes of many statues following their movements with amused whispers and nods. Severus found the grave of Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Gramma and Grampa Addams, a statue of twin male and female grecian characters in a warm embrace, flowers in their hair. It seemed too beautiful and innocent for an Addams grave, until one learned that this was the grave of two vampires, who were still alive, and living in France.
"Harry, I've been meaning to give you something..." Severus said pensively. "Which Gomez has been prodding me about for days. I was going to save it for the wedding, but since you have plans for the twin silver bands for the ceremony, and I never did properly ask you to be my husband, and you don't have a wedding present like you gave me..."
"Severus you asked me to marry you maybe eight times before we came here," Harry teased. "In the car on the way to the Ministry to request Arthur officiate, on the announcement board at my Quidditch Finals, you've asked...believe me you've asked."
Severus humphed and pulled the ring box out of his pocket.
"Well fine then, cheeky brat, here you are then! Well put it on before I grow cobwebs..."
Harry took the velvet box and gently opened it, and his eyes nearly bugged out of his sockets the moment he saw the tiny jewelled dragon sleeping on its finding.
"Oh...Severus..." a gleam of tears came to Harry's eyes. "Its beautiful! Wherever did you find this?"
"Gomez..." Severus admitted. "It has magical properties. It...magically nulfifies the curses of the wearer, although I have had it in my pocket for almost a week and a half now and it has done nothing to remove the spell you have placed upon my heart..."
"Severus," Harry did start crying, and laughing at the same time, slipping the dragon ring onto his finger. "Its wonderful! You, my love, are just full of surprises aren't you."
Severus bent down to kiss Harry fully on the lips. The dragon sat up from its sleepy spot, breathed a tiny puff of ruby and amber flame at them both. Harry giggled.
"Certainly is a feisty little thing."
"I think there's a spell you can use to change the dragon from still to animate," Severus stated wryly, as the dragon was now attempting to free itself of its permanent perch by flapping tiny emerald wings.
"Oh, I doubt I'll be using that spell often," Harry said, petting the dragon's tiny head. "This is adorable. Do...do you really think it will work for me?"
Harry looked at Severus meaningfully, and Severus didn't have to think twice to understand what he meant.
"Perhaps it will," Severus said, not quitre understanding why his heart was pounding fearfully in his chest at the thought. "Perhaps it will..."
Severus and Harry returned to the house for lunch. Harry's stomach seemed to have settled down now, and he observed the meal presented before him with more curiosity than disgust.
"Don't tell me what its made of, just let me try it..."
The lizard egg salad was well recieved, though the raw liver pie didn't delight. Severus had never liked liver pie himself, but he was surprised that Grandmama's ka-pow punch went over so well.
"So my fellow Addams," Gomez said, rising to his feet. "Today might be the last day we eat lunch as one, for tomorrow we have the first visitors might coming from Britain and it will be a busy week. Our family may not always eat as a group, and there will be much preperation. So let us have a toast!"
Gomez had been delighted to see the little dragon ring on Harry's finger, and had taken time to pull him aside and discuss its various properties.
"I understand that one of our guests is expecting a little one?" Morticia said calmly, as she tried to feed a squirming Pubert his liver.
"Hermione," Harry said at once, poking his pie with a fork. "She's very squeamish so she probably will choose to eat alone, or at various weird hours of the night...Ron's about ready to go mad from lack of sleep."
"Ah," Gomez said with a knowing look. "Now I know why you wanted them to have that room."
Harry and Severus both glared at Gomez, Morticia chortled and Pubert finally gave in and had another bite of his food.
"Cousin Itt will probably be showing up sometime this week too!" Fester said brightly. "He's got quite a little tribe of his own now."
"Its quite sickeningly adorable how in love those two are," Morticia said, with a soft knowing smile towards Severus. "Itt was ever so upset that he wasn't asked to officiate..."
"I know," Severus sighed, and poked his pie just as iritably as Harry had. "We did ask Arthur first, of course."
"He's very excited about it..." Harry admitted. "He's never officated a wedding before..."
Morticia and Gomez shared an uncomfortable look of unease. Harry pushed away the rest of his pie, claiming a nervous stomach, and Severus tried to wolf down the rest of his as quickly as possible so he could join Harry for a walk.
"No, I think I'll go out and walk alone for awhile," Harry said, getting up from his chair. "I need some time to think."
"Hon? Are you all right?"
"I'm fine..." Harry said, though his face had turned a sickly shade of green. "Just need a little air."
"Harry, while you're outside, maybe you can go find where Thing got off too..." Morticia suggested. "He wasn't here for lunch..."
"Oh he's out in the bomb shelter doing some things for me," Fester said brightly. "Be careful of the minefield..."
Harry nodded, and the Addamses watched him leave with looks of worry and curiosity.
"Is cousin Harry all right?" Wednesday asked.
"I don't know..." Severus said. "I'm kind of, well, amazed, that he handled lunch that well."
"So was I," Grandmama said firmly. "I didn't even cook with a normal in mind today, I was just so busy..."
"I'm sure he'll be fine...I've found he's made of a bit tougher stuff..." Severus lifted his ka-pow punch and took a sip.
"Well, there is that curse of his, after all," Gomez said.
"What curse?" Wednesday piped up, suddenly quite interested.
"Cousin Harry's got a curse?" Pugsley said. "That's cool!"
Gomez looked at Morticia firmly, and she shrugged and looked at Severus. The kids looked at him as well, then Grandmama, then Fester.
"Well," Severus said, coughing, and pulling on his collar. "Its the Curse of a Thousand Knives..."
"Oh I've heard of that one!" Fester said quickly, pushing his empty pie plate away. "Isn't that the one where you can only die of old age?"
"Or, to put it bluntly, being killed by a thousand knives stabbing you at once," Severus said, nose wrinkling.
"Poor cousin Harry," Morticia said softly. "I can't imagine not being able to die...Its almost scary..."
"But Cousin Harry's got that ring now right Mother?" said Wednesday. "He'll be okay."
Severus put his cup to his lips and paused in thought. Both Addamses looked at Severus at the same time. A moment of silence filled the dining room, when for a moment none of them stirred.
And then the air was filled with a gigantic, earth shattering KA-BOOM.
All eight people at the table jumped at the same time, Severus dropped his cup of fizzing punch, which burnt a hole in the floor, and ran to the back door.
The Addams family followed Harry, seven sets of feet (and a pair of wings) beating as if it were no tomorrow. Severus ran in the direction of the minefield, until Fester grabbed him and pointed towards Morticia's headless rose garden.
"Calculating for the trajectory of launch..."
"Fester that isn't helping!" Severus said, but sped towards the rose bushes anyhow.
Seven sets of feet stopped in mid run at once, and Severus felt his breath fill his chest all at once. A silence filled the air, as if vaccuum had been opened in time and space, sucking all happiness, all joy and life from the world. Severus took a ragged step towards where his lover now lay, head to toe covered in dust, ashes and suit. He looked very very still.
Thing was grasping Harry's hand, tugging insistantly, but Harry wasn't moving. There was a stillness about his smoking body that was eerie. Wednesday gave a tiny sob from somewhere behind him. Severus approach Harry and fell on the ground and grabbed his chest.
"HARRY! Harry come on! No playing! Wake up! Wake up you selfish brat! Come on!"
Pugsley and Grandmama were crying now too. Fester was stammering something about how he had tried to combine gunpowder and nitroglycerin, Gomez was shaking his head.
Something must have snapped inside Mortica for she came over and put a hand on Severus.
"I'm sorry, so sorry, I...we thought...We didn't realize that the curse, the ring, a normal person...we..."
Severus took Harry's free hand and kissed it tenderly, and felt his tears come, and he said every thing in the world he could possibly say to make it right. Every word of love he had never spoken, just aching and hurting and sobbing, ignorant of all thought. His very heart seemed to have stopped beating altogether, and the rose bushes around him seemed to be painted in gray.
Then Thing slapped him.
Hard. And pointed at the hand he had been tugging.
Severus took Harry's hand up and stared. There was the dragon ring.
"What, Thing...What...? OH!"
Thing snapped his fingers and helped Severus fumblingly take the ring off of Harry's hand. A sudden sound of desperate coughing and air filling lungs followed, and then the air seemed to fill with the sounds of a million butterflies singing as two green eyes slowly opened.
Harry looked up around him at the Addams, all standing their with tears in their eyes, then at Severus. Life seemed to beat in Severus Snape's heart again and Harry smiled.
"That was fun!" Harry said, sitting up, and wiping the soot from his shirt. "Can I do that again? And why are you all crying? Did you see that awesome loop de loop I did in the air?"
Harry was quite confused when Severus took him into his arms and sobbed.
"You, Harry Potter, are truly an Addams," said Gomez, and he stuck a cigar into his mouth.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Harry arose bright with the sunlight and knew, just from the beautiful light streaming in his window, that the Addamses would probably be missing all day, holing themselves away in their rooms to escape the beautiful weather. Which meant that Harry had the whole outdoors to himself to work on the last of the wuthering rose bushes lining the walkway.
Morticia had conceded that since it was Harry's wedding he could have as many blooming flowers as he wanted, provided that they weren't planted into the soil where they could leave roots behind, so all the 'nice' flowers were in planters or hanging baskets. But she allowed the rose bushes because once the wedding was over she and Wednesday would have much fun together cutting off their heads. Severus had told Harry that it was a woman's thing.
But today his friends were coming. Today Ron and Hermione would meet the Addams, then somewhere along the week the rest of Ron's family would arrive, then all the guests would start pouring in. It would be mad!
Today at least I'll be able to get some time to myself. Severus will sleep in. His headaches are getting worse.
A week had passed since the accident with the minefield, and the event had brought a strange change in his lover. There was now a strange urgency in Severus to be wherever Harry was, shadowing his footsteps.
Probably because I wouldn't let Gomez lock up my ring in the vault again. I love it, but its a shame I can't wear it. I'll have to see if Bill can remove the spells on the ring; cursebreakers are handy that way. I think I prefer my curse and potential long life and dying of old age to wearing a ring that could get me killed at any second. Although...
Harry looked down at his sleeping lover and gently pushed the hair away from his face. Severus's gaunt sleeping features were peaceful, but troubled, and Harry hesitated to go.
I never want to be parted from him. And despite Gomez's enthusiasm I doubt Severus would ever let me bring him back from the dead with some dark ritual, should he pass on...
A moment passed in which Harry wanted nothing more than to lay back down and hold onto his fiance protectively.
But I want to get those rose bushes tended before Ron and Hermione arrive so we have time together this afternoon. I don't know when they're coming either, anytime they said, so I'd better get to it.
Pulling himself out of bed and getting dressed was probably one of the most difficult tasks of Harry's morning. It was tragic to see Severus's features go from peaceful to bereft and awake in almost the same instant Harry got out of bed.
"Harry love, is it time to get up?
"No, you sleep in hon, I'm just going to the driveway to work on the roses, that's all."
Severus yawned and curled up, though his face was a mask of concern. Nearly losing Harry had been hard on him. Apparently the ring had only delayed Harry's curse, not prevented it, and as such he had been trapped in a suspended state of death until the ring was removed, since his spirit was unable to actually leave his body.
Nothing could reverse his curse.
"I don't know Harry, I just get this bad feeling..."
"Believe me hon, there's nothing dangerous about wuthering roses. You go ahead and sleep, take your potion. I hate to think that I brought about another one of your dazzle headaches."
"Not your fault," Severus said grumpily. "I still blame the Order for delaying my medical treatment because they didn't think I deserved it. My eyes haven't been the same...Damn Malfoy and his conjunctivitis spell!"
"I still don't know how you even found Hogwarts, half blind as you were..."
"You take twenty curses and crucios by the Dark Lord at every death eater meeting and you quickly learn to find your way in the dark...Give me a kiss before you go, I'm sure I'll pass out and you won't see me until the afternoon."
Harry spent a lovely two minutes just kissing Severus, letting their tongues twine together before pulling free with a laugh and heading to the door.
"Any more kisses like that, and I'll never make it to the roses."
Severus raised an inquisitive eyebrow, then winced and rubbed his head.
"Yes, sleep is a good idea then..." He said resignedly, and pulled the covers over his head. "Close the curtains would you? That light is positively blinding."
My fiance is practically a vampire, like the rest of his family, resting in the brightest hours of daylight, obstaining from normal human food...
Harry wondered what it was about Addams stomachs that could allow them to drink and eat so many poisonous and weird substances. But then Severus had once told him that one of the reasons he made a good spy and Death Eater was that he could drink poisons and not be gruesomely affected by them. That made Harry feel so much better.
The wuthering roses were only buds now, but it would only be a short while before they blossomed. Harry had decided to cross breed his roses with some of Neville's infamous disco daisies, and with all the enhancements he had placed on them during cultivation they were now capable of changing colors not only depending on the light and the time of day, but of each individual petal as well. At present they were a nice monochromatic butter yellow color, reflecting the brightness of the sun, but at night they would be blue or even deep indigo, or a kaleidoscope of shades of blue and black. Gomez had even congratulated Harry for his successful gardening skills upon seeing the wild configurations the roses took under moonlight.
If I ever retire from Quidditch, I might take up that nice greenhouse contract Neville keeps offering me every year...Oooh, bumble bees!
Harry had to work carefully around the roses now so as not to get stung, which explained why Gomez allowed the adorably buzzing bees onto his property. But the light streaming overhead was lovely, the last of the darkness of night was passed and the rose bushes were slowly changing from yellow to orange and shades of red. Gorgeous. Even the old manor house seemed to take on a life of its own, light catching every closed shuttering and giving the creaky old building an antiquated beauty. Everything seemed at peace this morning. Almost nothing could break this beautiful and quiet calm that he felt.
His peaceful gardening was suddenly shattered by the loud snarling of the old wrought iron gates as a chugging clunker of a car pulled its miserable way into the driveway. Harry recognized the old stationwagon with its mismatched plates, and laughed heartily as the gates smacked the car in the rear fender for waking it from its sleep. His friends were here.
The unlocking of car doors, the loud sound of two arguing voices, and Ron and Hermione stepped out of their respetive sides. It was as if Harry was waking from a dream, that Hogwarts and England and the usual life he had lead had melted away for a short time under the short peaceful retreat he and Severus had shared with his family. Now Harry's friends were here, Hermione and Ron, who were the soul siblings of his youth and his most trusted companions through thick and thin. The dream was now reality, the happiness blended into so many more variations of color brought upon by his two best friends. Could life GET any better?
Ron pushed the shaggy mat of red hair from his eyes and grinned fully. Hermione smiled, her face beautiful and warm in the late morning sunlight.
Hermione soon was waddling over to Harry as fast as she could for a tight hug.
"My god," Harry said, looking down at her swollen belly. "Have I been gone that long? You weren't so big when I left..."
"Near enough," Ron said, patting Harry on the back. "I must admit, when those gates started acting up I had a bad feeling, but this place is great! You plant these roses yourself? I even saw a great quidditch pitch or something on the way up the drive, not far a walk from here I bed. I wonder why we bothered delaying our trip!"
"Harry needed rest and time to prepare for us!" Hermione countered immediately. "And New York was quite lovely for shopping. I've never been there you know, it was a lovely time."
"I know," Ron grumbled. "You bought enough New York stuff to fill up the trunk!" Upon seeing his wife's features turn dark, he quickly added, "So, where to, Harry?"
"Inside, I suppose. I just got finished up with clipping the roses. Severus is inside sleeping, he's got another of his headaches, and the Addamses aren't usually active until well into the evening. Might be in the kitchen having breakfast now though, they take a late breakfast..."
Lurch and Thing met them at the door, which gave Ron a bit of a double take and made Hermione squeak, and then took their bags for them. Harry quickly introduced them to the bear rug in the hallway, which tended to bite the toes of strangers, and then clapped his hands.
"Well, let me see, its a bit early, we can go looking for the Addams family to introduce you, or go right up to your rooms so you can get settled, or I can give you the grand tour of the mansion."
"Oh let me help you Cousin Harry!" said a bright voice from the staircase, which turned out to be Pugsley.
Harry quickly introduced them, then the tour of the house began. It did seem as if the rest of the Addams family had dissappeared. Pugsley seemed more partial to sunlight than the rest of his family, either that or he was just highly curious about Ron and Hermione. Then Harry got the idea that maybe Pugsley wanted breakfast, and with nobody awake was expecting Harry to keep him occupied until then. The boy quickly absconded himself to other parts once the smell of breakfast cooking began to fill the house, so Harry guessed that this estimate was probably correct.
Bacon and devil eggs, if I'm not mistaken. Grandmama must be up now...
"We could go out for breakfast," Hermione said hesitantly, after they had toured the main areas of the house. "It really is very early...And bacon just makes me so nauseous lately, I don't think I could handle it."
"Well we could have out breakfast on the patio..." Harry decided. "Light tea might be best."
Ron gave Harry a broad nod and they soon were ensconced on the patio with a pot of English Breakfast tea and biscuits that Harry had prepared in the second kitchen.
"The Addams have different dietary habits, so we have our own kitchen for cooking in..." Harry explained, not going into details. "We'll probably be eating at different times, they keep odd hours."
"S'allright," Ron said, not bothering with his tea and looking longingly towards the direction that the frying bacon smells were coming from. "We've been keeping odd hours too."
"Harry are you all right?" Hermione said immediately. "You look pale."
"Well," Harry looked around the bright patio and then shrugged. "Just a little nervous about you meeting everyone. This is going to be my family now too, and I want everyone to get along..."
"We'll be all right," Ron said. "Why don't we go in now? There's clouds coming in, getting a bit cool and breezy..."
Harry's worries were at once negated when Morticia met them at the patio door, in her breakfast shawl and looking quite vampiric and beautiful as per usual.
"Harry, you silly dear, why didn't you tell me that our guests had arrived?" she said at once, and introduced herself. "I'm Morticia Addams, welcome to my home..."
They all sat down in the kitchen with the rest of the family, after some quick introductions, though Hermione abstained from any of the black fried bacon and poached, not devil, eggs they offered. Quite unusually normal fare, for the Addams, until Harry heard Pugsley whisper how sad he was that his egg wasn't jumping anymore; he'd poked it too much. Gomez was reading his usual newspaper and greeted them with a very cheerful hello and a kiss to the hand of Hermione. (Which drew several angry looks from Ron and Morticia.)
"So did you have a pleasant trip?" Gomez asked brightly over his cup of coffee. "I hear that tropical storms were making air travel quite wonderfully turbulant."
Ron and Hermione didn't seem to be bothered by the Addams's weird mannerisms at all, though Hermione did turn a few more shades of green when Morticia commented on how wonderful childbirth would be.
"Blood is of course to be expected, and the pain; it was such blissful agony when Wednesday was born. A beautiful and pleasantly agonizing experience. Sadly it gets a little easier with each one, though it is still a wonderfully gruesome..."
Hermione wasn't the only one who turned green. Ron looked like he would be sick as well at the colorful descriptions of childbirth and its various bodily liquids. Hermione jumped immediately up and ran for the main floor bathroom.
"Morning sickness?" Morticia asked softly. "How delightful!"
Pubert was soon awake in his crib and screaming from the top of his lungs for all to hear that he was hungry. His bat wings made Ron do a double take, but soon he was in his own chair playing with his food, more of it getting on his face than in his mouth; raw bacon and egg puree. Which made Hermione ill upon seeing it and she ran off once more to the nearest bathroom. It seemed she spent more time during breakfast in the bathroom then she did at the table. Harry quickly pulled Ron aside.
"I'm sorry Ron..." Harry said, feeling panicked now. "I should have warned her about...well...the food..."
"Nah," Ron shrugged. "She'd throw up at seeing a weird stain on the carpet mate. Maybe we'll go upstairs for a bit and she can take some of that nausea potion she brought."
"Good idea..." Harry finally said nervously, tugging on his shirt collar. "I'll come with you."
The Addams were sad when they left the kitchen, making their excuses, but Morticia promised Hermione and Ron a tour of the grounds later once the weather darkened up a bit.
"Oh Harry," Morticia said as Harry was leaving. "I shouldn't bother Severus today if I were you; he was wonderfully rude to me when I brought him up some tea...and demanded I bring him a headache potion as soon as I finish breakfast. Poor dear."
Harry nodded, a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach at the thought that Severus was too ill for tea, and then followed Ron and Hermione upstairs to help them settle in.
Harry found himself in an odd position. Sitting on the end of the bed while Ron put away his belongings and Hermione cleaned up in the attached bathroom.
Harry didn't say a word, just watch them as they quibbled and passed back and forth from the bathroom to various parts of the bedroom as they unpacked. Harry had learned long ago that Hermione was notorious for doing everything perfect the first time, and he had a feeling she was holding back about something that she wanted to talk to him about. He wasn't looking forward to that conversation.
Finally, when everything was put away, she came over to Harry, arms crossed and that look in her eyes.
"Okay, Harry. You've been tense and twitchy since we got here! What exactly is wrong?"
Harry blinked, puzzled. He expected that she would be the one complaining and questioning him about the Addams, but that didn't seem to be the case at all. What was going on with these two? They were behaving so rationally, it didn't make any sense! Ron sat on the other side of the bed, smirking pointedly.
"I know what's wrong," he said. "Its all right Harry. Snape warned us his relatives were weird. He knew you would mince about it and not say anything until the last second, so he sent us a letter all about it."
"You mean..." Harry felt like he was going to be sick. "You knew?"
"We knew we should expect them to behave oddly..." Hermione said, somewhat bashfully now. "Though their breakfast fare did sort of...surprise me..."
"I figure if they're Snape's relatives then he gets his creepiness from them," Ron stated. "No biggie. They seem relatively fine to me."
Harry didn't know what to say. He was shaking his head. Severus had told them? Told them and not told Harry and let him think...let him believe...
"Its okay Harry," Hermione said, then sat next to him and hugged him. "They're your future relatives, and we all want to get along. We'll see how it all goes. I mean, everybody has weird relatives. And you picked a great location for getting married! This place is so old and traditional, perfect for your gothic fantasy theme!"
"I'm more worried what Mum is going to think of this place," Ron admitted. "Its covered in dust, and you know she likes the Burrow to be clean."
"Oh, that's because Morticia dustifies the house every day," Harry said. "She'd put layers of the stuff down if she could. She loves the little footprints Pugsley's pet tarantulas make in it."
Both Hermione and Ron had to process this for a moment. It seemed to click in their heads, and they both grinned at once.
"Well this is certainly going to be a strange wedding," Hermione laughed.
"Hope there ain't going to be dust and cobwebs all over the alter!"
"Nah, I'd be more worried about the piranhas," Harry commented wrly. "We're having the wedding in the swamp. Do you want to go see what we've done so far? Its quite beautiful, especially at night...and I was hoping Hermione that you could give me some help with some of the trickier spells, we're having a problem with the way the seating is arranged you see..."
Both of them did a brief double take at the word piranhas, but quickly got their jackets on ready for a tromp to the swamp. Hermione's face was soon glowing with the excitement of planning the wedding.
"You're finally getting married!" she said brightly. "All three of us at last then! It'll be fantastic! I can't wait to take pictures of it all!"
Ron smirked and Harry quickly closed the door behind them. Last thing he needed was to dampen their spirits by dwelling on problems that didn't exist.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
"Well honey, what do you think of the Addams Family?"
Hermione rose her head sleepily to look at her husband, who had an impatient look on his face. It was late at night, and a day of helping Harry with all the different wedding preparations had drained her. The Addams family had been helpful, but for the most part had left them to it while they dealt with their own aspects of the wedding. She had to admit she was quite looking forward to Fester's light show, considering all the explosives and fireworks he had been amassing. She did love a good fireworks display.
"They're all right, I guess. Seem friendly enough for all their weird habits. Morticia even offered to sign me up with her hex of the month club."
"Yeah. Really friendly," Ron agreed. "Gomez offered to take me golfing with him. I've never golfed before. But..." Ron sighed, and seemed to be getting around to whatever had been bothering him in the first place. "That hand thing really freaked me out when I saw it."
"Well, that's what makes me feel good about them," Hermione decided, rolling over onto her side to face him directly. "I know now that they'll be good help for Harry. They seem to understand where he's coming from, what he's suffered and all that. They have some type of basic fundamental magic that maybe we British wizards take for granted."
Hermione sighed, feeling rather awake now, and unable to cope with the close proximity of her husband. She wondered if there were some sort of magic in this room that was making things difficult. She would have to ask Harry about it later; he had said that this room had been used by pregnant witches for many centuries. She wondered why.
"Anyway, tomorrow you'll be going with Harry to get his robes done," said Hermione with a yawn. "So you'll probably need sleep. And Morticia is going to be helping me work out Wednesday's outfit and hair for the wedding."
"Women's stuff, basically," Ron smirked. "Yeah, we'd better get to sleep."
Both of them seemed to think about this for a moment, then nodded, curling up with their backs to one another. Yes, Hermione would have to talk to Harry about their room in the morning. But for now, it would just have to do.
"So mate, where to first? The robes shop, shoes or something to eat first?"
Harry paused, looking around the little wizarding village they had driven to with some concern. Severus had gone with Gomez and Pugsley to get his own robes done, Fester had gone into the city to pick up the new generator, so that left him alone with Ron, and Hermione alone with Morticia, Pubert and Wednesday. It was giving him a momentary quiver of the stomach, thinking of Hermione alone with young Wednesday, but he hoped Morticia got time away from Pubert to help Hermione with planning what the young girl would wear to the wedding.
Morticia was going to be hand sewing her dress, which was a tradition for the Mother of the flower girl, or as Wednesday was going to be, the venusian flytrap girl. He had a feeling that Morticia was very proud of Wednesday for willingly allowing herself to be a part of this wedding.
He didn't know about the rest of his family though. Would the Weasleys and the Addams handle well?
"I think my robes first. Get that done while I still have the energy for it. Then the shoes so that I can match them to the robes I choose."
"Everything is going to be water spelled, so you and Severus don't come out of the swamp soaking wet..."
"Wow," Harry laughed, following Ron down the street. "You said his name!"
"Well," Ron said, looking down at his feet for a moment. "Hermione said I should. After we saw...Thing...we realized you made the right choice. We're really proud of you mate. For sticking to your guns and not letting us all change your mind."
Harry smiled, feeling warmth in his heart, and then his smile turned into one of his goofy grins.
"Thanks," Harry said. "I couldn't have chosen a better best man if I'd had every famous wizard in all history to choose from."
Ron turned bright red at this and nodded, and the two friends strolled down the quaint village streets, laughing and talking about Quidditch and other nonsense like they had done for many many years.
Hermione had settled herself into the parlor with some of her knitting, expecting Morticia to be done with changing Pubert soon, and wondering where young Wednesday had gone. Today they would be working on the girl's dress, and later this afternoon more of their guests would be arriving.
Soon all would be prepared. Hermione did want to get her booties done though, in case the baby decided to make an unexpected early appearance. But mostly she was doing this to pass the time.
The house felt quiet. The headless rose bushes in the garden were ruffling in the breeze. Somewhere in the distance she could hear the sound of cars on the main road, but none of them came to the house. She was all alone.
Well almost all alone.
Hermione looked up, and smiled when she saw Wednesday Addams standing there, looking particularly dark and sinister with her braids and her dark sombre dress and black and white socks.
"Hello," said Hermione. "I've been wondering where you where."
"Did you really go to Hogwarts with cousin Harry?" asked the girl, ignoring the friendly comment.
"Yes," said Hermione, putting her knitting in her lap. "So did Ron, my husband."
Wednesday seemed to think about this and Hermione knew the look in the girl's eyes. She was a little jealous, seemingly. Hermione knew that Morticia's children were home schooled. The Addams family took offense to the wizarding curriculum at the standardized schools, which didn't take into account other forms of magic besides wizard magic, nor did they teach the Dark Arts, which Morticia fancied. Hermione had a feeling that Wednesday did not share their opinion on this, but didn't speak to her about it, letting the girl comment herself about it.
"I wanted to go to the Salem school," said Wednesday. "But Mother said no. Then Pubert was sick, because we were all going our own ways, I was at camp with Pugsley and father was ill, and all that. Bert's a...what are they called?"
Hermione thought about it. Morticia had told her briefly about this, but had forgotten until now.
"Energy vampire," said Hermione gently. "He thrives around other people and lives off of positive energy."
"Yeah, energy vampire," said Wednesday. "Did you learn about that at Hogwarts?"
"Yes," said Hermione.
It seemed that Wednesday was taking a shine to this conversation, and not asking her to play children's games, as she would with somebody she wanted to really get under the skin of. Hermione's mother had always told her to treat young women just as they were, young women, mature and able to think for themselves. Somehow she would have to be able to connect to this girl, get her respect, or things could go badly, if what Severus had told her was true.
And then she had it.
"You know Wednesday, I have something upstairs in my suitcase I'd like you to have. It would be just lovely for you to wear for the wedding, and I think it would match your eyes. Would you like that?"
"Yes," said Wednesday, a gleam in her eyes. "Okay."
The Addams family penchant for jewels, Severus had told them, was sometimes stronger than their penchant for the weird and strange. Hermione carefully walked up each step, taking her time to get to the second floor, and breathing a little harder than usual. She hated being overweight, and she hated that her husband always sprinted up the stairs as if there was nothing wrong at all. She wanted her energy back more than anything, and her ability to go for long walks to the park like she used to.
Wednesday followed her into her bedroom, where Ron had left his own suitcase open and spilling its contents out on the bed, and pointedly went over to her own neat and tidy suitcases to start looking through them for her jewelry box.
"Now let me see, ah, here we are."
She lifted the little silver chain choker necklace, with the tiny blue teardrop crystal, so that Wednesday could inspect it. The girl seemed very surprised by the necklace and a little blush spread to her cheeks, as if she didn't know how to react.
"Why don't you try it on? I bet it will look lovely on you."
Wednesday reached out with trembling, careful hands to accept the gift, and Hermione held up the girl's braids for her so she could put it on.
She did look lovely. Of course, the braids and the girlish outfit was a childish contrast to the necklace, and the girl seemed to realize that, for she turned to look at Hermione with wide eyes.
"Hermione," she said, totally mispronouncing the name, but speaking it anyway. "Will you...do my hair for me?"
Hermione smiled, feeling that she had gained an important victory by befriending this young girl.
"I would be happy to."
Severus could feel a headache coming on almost the same minute he walked back into the house, Gomez laughing and chattering, and Pugsley nibbling the edges of his ice cream cone, getting more ice cream on the floor then in his pudgy face.
If I have to listen to another one of Gomez's stories about his own wedding, I'll go bananas, thought Severus, as they took off their jackets. At least it rained. The rain might help clear up my headaches.
By chance of luck Harry and Ron arrived at the same time they did and so the men all went into the parlor, whilst Pugsley ran off in search of his sister. Severus settled down into a parlor couch, Harry slid in beside him to cuddle and Ron settled himself to listening animately to one of Gomez's long tirades about the sport of golf, which the man promised Ron he would teach him. Presently Fester returned, joining them for a time, and the whole group of them chattered about the new generator and how it would be put to use for the fireworks display. Harry looked bored and tired, and would probably want to take a nap to escape the sound of the rain that was now pattering on the windows.
Suddenly Pugsley burst back into the room, and he was grinning from ear to ear.
"Wait until you see Wednesday! Wow oh wow!"
Gomez jerked his head up, as did Harry, who had been dazedly resting until this loud exclamation. Hermione slipped into the room and went to join her husband where he was sitting, and Morticia herself gently stepped into the room, with Pubert in her arms. Both women had wide smiles on their faces.
"Oh Gomez, wait until you see her," said Morticia breathlessly. "Its what we've been hoping for."
"It...is?" said Gomez, looking weakly concerned and puzzled.
Morticia stepped aside, smiling ear to ear, and her husband leaned his head around in order to get a good view of their only daughter.
Gone were the braided pigtails and knee high black and white striped socks. Gone was the girlish printed dress with the white collar. Now Wednesday stood before them with her hair flowing free, two silver dragonfly barrettes keeping her tawny tresses out of her eyes. She wore a silver teardrop necklace around her pale neck, and she was wearing a black dress that was collar free and had long flowing sleeves and skirt with decorative black lace trim. Her shoes were the same black, but rather than the usual tall boot cut, she was wearing short cute shoes that showed off her ankles, which were decked in bright red socks trimmed in lace. She smiled at them, a smile like nothing Severus had seen on the girl before, and he could plainly see that they had decorated her face in some of Morticia's makeup; her lips were red to match the small red details of her costume and her eyes were lined in black. She was looking, for want of a better description, like her mother.
"Now," said Gomez with a breathy sigh. "There is my daughter."
He rose and went over to her to take her hand and kiss it.
"Do you really like it father?" she asked. "Do I look all right? I mean, this isn't what I'm wearing to the wedding, but Mother thought I should get all dressed up, since I have my new hair style..."
Wednesday had never talked so excitedly before. She was usually so calm and collected like her mother. But right now she was behaving much like her father, and it was a strange sight to see. Gomez got onto one knee and smiled at the girl, his mustache stretching widely across his cheerful face. He was quite clearly delighted.
"You look beautiful Wednesday. Wednesday Addams, my beautiful, grown up daughter."
There were no words to describe it in Severus' head, and he could almost feel the tears that must have been on Morticia's face, but he only could stare at his young cousin with a feeling akin to deep delight.
She was positively glowing, and she looked every inch a young woman now. It was enough to make him weep with joy.
"I'm so proud," said Gomez, and they could hear the sad joy in his voice. "So very proud."
"How'd you do it Hermione?" asked Harry, as he was walking along with her to her room upstairs. "How did you do it?"
"Women," said Ron with a huff. "They know one another better. Just give them a trinket I suppose and they'll do anything."
"Now Ron, seriously," said Hermione with a huff. "You know very well it wasn't the gift, but the way I treated her and respected her."
"Sure," said Ron, looking largely at Harry. "I suppose."
They entered the bedroom and Hermione immediately pointed out Ron's messy suitcase for her personal disproval, which he grumpily began to pick up.
"But seriously," said Hermione, sitting on her bed. "She's so much more mature than she lets on. She just doesn't have any girls her age around here to talk to, or take examples from. She only has her mother and her brother, and her mother has been so wound up in taking care of the baby that she's often left with her brother all the time. If only she could go to Salem!"
"Well, Morticia has talked to me and Severus about this," said Harry with a sigh. "She's worried about putting her into an institution like that, and so far away from home. I think Gomez would be all right with it, if Morticia would concede. But she seems very firmly set against it."
"Maybe she's afraid they'll turn her normal," Ron joked, and Hermione smacked him. "Ow!"
"If only there were some way we could convince her that she'd be happy there..."
"Well," said Harry. "Severus and I will be living up there now that he's got a Defense Against the Dark Arts post there. He'll never be able to work in England again, with his record. Maybe she'll feel better about sending her this year if she knows we'll be there to watch over her."
"A school full of girls," Ron said, looking at Harry in amusement. "Poor you."
Hermione hit him again.
"This will be the last chance," she said, settling down on the bed with some resignation. "If she doesn't go this year, she doesn't go at all. She'll be too far behind to catch up after that."
Harry nodded and sat next to Hermione on the bed, patting her shoulder. Ron looked a little miffed by all this, but remained quiet.
"Don't worry Hermione," said Harry. "Salem recruits at thirteen so she's only a year behind really."
"I suppose if you and Morticia talk about it, woman to woman, she may feel better," Ron suggested.
"And Morticia knows that Wednesday is always welcome to come stay with me and Severus. Maybe if she hears it from another woman..."
"Maybe..." Hermione said gently, nibbling on her fingernail. "I mean, Morticia is very delighted that I joined her hex of the month club, and I'll be going to her Grave Ladies Luncheon and all that. I think it would be lovely. I know she went to Salem herself, I don't what the problem could be."
Harry thought about that for a moment and then decided resignedly to ask Severus about it.
"Well, we'd better get to working on the wedding," said Harry with a sigh. "Dursleys are on their way, your family Ron, and then the rest of the guests, this week is going to be too darn busy for much else."
"You're right," said Hermione. "And I wanted to show you what I had in mind for that little, you know, thing you have planned."
Harry grinned, and after they changed into their rain clothes they all trekked out to the swamp so Hermione could show him her plans.
This was going to be one heck of a wedding.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
When the low loud groan of the foghorn doorbell filled the house Harry was not looking forward to opening the door. Thankfully they had Lurch for that sort of thing.
"You rang?" said the tall butler when he opened the door.
"Yes I ruddy well did!" said the burly voice behind the door. "I'm the bo...Harry's ruddy Uncle...here's my invite."
Lurch took the envelope and moved out of the way so that Harry could greet his uncle with a stiff nod of his head. Vernon glared at him. Harry glared right back. Petunia tried to get into the house but was laden down by about eighteen boxes, which were wedding gifts, or else something else. Harry couldn't be sure; the Dursleys had never given him any gifts like this in his entire life. Maybe they were trying to look like they were related to the groom in some important way. Or maybe, more likely, Petunia had finally found a way to get rid of all the gifts people had given her that she hadn't liked.
Dudley came in finally, taller than his dad by two feet and brawnier than his dad, but there was no mistaking the two men came from the same family line. In contrast was Dudley's girlfriend Winifred, who was as skinny as Aunt Petunia, just as blonde and had freckles all over her nose. She was wearing a pink and white polka dotted dress and had one of those tacky fake fur pink purses on her arm.
"Dudders, this place is positively dark and dreary," she said to him quietly, but Harry could hear her perfectly fine.
"Well boy," said Vernon to Harry. "Finally getting married, though I don't see how you could call it legal..."
"Its legal for wizards," Harry said firmly. "Now where are, oh there they are, Uncle Vernon, this is Gomez Addams, my fiance's brother-in-law and the Master of the house, and his wife Morticia Addams."
Gomez walked across the hall to greet Vernon, the two men talked about the weather, Vernon complaining more and more, and Gomez smiling more and more. It was almost like they were getting along by saying the exact opposite of what each other said. Morticia meanwhile went over to greet Petunia and had Lurch take the wedding gifts and their luggage upstairs.
"Come in, you must be very tired from your long trip. The wedding has been delayed for a few days due to the rain," she smiled softly. "But that means we'll have plenty of company. I've got rooms prepared for each and every one of you."
Harry was dreading the next few days with the Dursleys and the Addamses in the house together. Until Wednesday, Wednesday of all people, strode over to Dudley and his girlfriend and smiled.
"May I show you to your rooms?" she said politely, with an almost too innocent grin on her face.
Harry saw Severus' eyebrows arch up to his hairline. They both knew what that meant. Pugsley went in line with her sister and offered to show the two adults their rooms as well. Harry had a feeling that the children would be doing more than showing them their rooms. After a debacle with Uncle Vernon getting bit on the toes by the polar bear rug and Petunia complaining about the dust, they were all shown upstairs.
"My Harry," said Morticia, with her hand to her chest once they had left. "Your relatives are so positively, completely..."
"Normal?" Gomez put in brightly. "Why, that Vernon character seemed downright angry about all this lovely rain! Why, this is golf weather it is!"
"Not like Harry at all," Morticia said sadly. "Are you sure they're your relatives?"
"I'm afraid so," said Harry grinning. "But by blood only. My heart family will be here sometime today too. The Weasleys."
Morticia and the others had heard quite a bit about the Weasley clan. They were really looking forward to meeting them.
"Oh, I'm sure Arthur would fancy a game of golf with you and Ronald," said Severus smoothly.
"Unless he decides to help Uncle Fester with the wiring," Harry agreed. "He loves electricity. I would keep him away from it though. He doesn't know how it works."
Suddenly there was a horrible screech from upstairs and Winifred came squealing down the stairs followed by Dudley.
"Come on Winny, it was only a Tarantula! Lots of kids have them as pets!"
"Duddykins! I'm not staying in this horrible house another minute with spiders and biting rugs and dust and grime! I'm going to the hotel like we should have!"
"You are not!" Dudley shouted, startling Harry and everyone standing there watching. "It would be rude to go to a hotel when we've been invited to stay! Its only a pet! Its not like the girl was trying to kill us!"
Harry wasn't so sure about that, knowing Wednesday. Winifred looked like she was on the verge of a near Dudley-like tantrum. But Dudley was showing more maturity and manners than Harry had seen him show in all his life so he wasn't sure he should call it that any longer.
"Winny you're making a scene!"
"I'm not going up there!" she said with a shout.
"Well then stay here and sleep on the bear rug! I'm sure he'll fancy you more than the spider!"
Winifred looked horrified; she had been standing on the bear skin rug this whole time. She did a squeaking jump into Dudley's arms and he pulled her, firmly, back up the stairs.
"Sorry Harry," said Dudley with a roll of his eyes. "I'm grateful for a place to spend the night that isn't a seedy hotel room, or some trailer park without working electricity. Winny!"
Harry stared as the two muggles stumbled back up the stairs again, Winifred squeaking at every flash of lightening and Dudley saying, "Its just a storm, perfectly normal, upstairs now!"
"They'll be delighted by his room then," said Severus with a chuckle. "I've never seen so much pink wallpaper in this house in my entire life. I don't know how you convinced Tish to re-paper those two rooms for them."
"Oh it was easy," said Morticia smoothly coming over to their side. "Harry promised me that I would be very amused by having his family stay to visit. And I am, quite amused. Quite entertaining."
"Wait until the wedding," said Harry, grinning pointedly. "They'll be twice as entertaining I'm sure."
Gomez chuckled brightly and went with his wife upstairs to make sure the kids weren't playing Death Row with Harry's relatives.
"Why do I get the feeling that you're enjoying all this?" Harry said, turning to look at Severus firmly.
"Oh quite," said he with a grin. "It never fails to amuse, seeing the way muggles react to us and our home."
"Oh I'm sure," said Harry. "Well, I better get upstairs and start writing my vows. What are you going to do?"
"I'm finished mine actually," Severus said nervously. "I...think I may go golfing with Gomez later," he then winced. "If this headache will let up a bit."
"Oh," Harry said gently, and went over to kiss him on the head. "Go upstairs and rest. I'll do my writing in the library."
"Oh...oh all right I suppose."
Harry smiled. His husband just looked absolutely adorably tragic right now. He was tempted to go to bed with him. Until the clock rang the hour and he was reminded pointedly that they would have been married tonight if half the guests hadn't been trapped in muggle airports because of the rain.
Lets hope everybody gets through this storm all right, Harry thought with a shiver. Or we could have another disaster on our hands that we hadn't reckoned for besides having the Dursleys spend the night. No guests.
Later that day Harry was going downstairs to the second floor from the library and came upon a highly amusing site, which put paid to Morticia's comment that the Dursleys were amusing her.
They were more than just amusing her. They were entertaining her greatly and keeping her busy. Petunia was going down the hallways with a feather duster and vacuum cleaner, trying desperately to get rid of the layers and layers of dust on every surface and window sill. Harry would have been horrified by this cleaning of another person's house by his Aunt if he hadn't noticed Morticia, following her silently behind, adding a layer of dust to each light sconce and side table that Petunia had just finished cleaning.
Once Petunia had disappeared around the hallway, Harry stopped Morticia and tried to hide a chuckle.
"Does she know that you're re-dusting after she dusts?" he asked, trying not to laugh too loud, lest Petunia hear him.
"No," said Morticia with delighted puzzlement. "I don't think so. But I'm very glad she thought to remove the old dust. I was hoping to get a proper re-dusting in before the wedding, and the removal process is always so dismal. I enjoy the re-applying part much more than the removal."
Harry snickered and left her to her patient tossing of dust onto each lintel. If Morticia was amused by Petunia Dursley, then all was well. He came down to the main floor just in time to see that Uncle Vernon was with Ron and Gomez, all three of them with bags of golf clubs. Vernon did not look happy, and Harry could probably understand why; it was still raining like cats and dogs.
"The rain's made the water hazards so much more delightfully hazardous, so we're out for a spot!" said Gomez brightly. "Care to join us Harry?"
"No, thats all right," said Harry, looking at Ron's amused expression. "I think I'll just make some tea and sit in for a spell."
"So where is this driving range you were telling me about?" Vernon said gruffly. "Been awhile since I exercised the old driving swing of mine."
"Oh its just out back, and don't mind if we accidentally hit a few into the neighbor's yard, he's rather used to it. Has all those little balls in a bucket by his window that he collects. Such a golf fan..."
Harry highly doubted that. He watched them amusedly as they made their way out the back porch, Ron giving Harry two thumbs up before they left. It was part of Ron's job today to try and make his Uncle feel more comfortable here, at least until Ron's family arrived and somebody else could take over that job. Harry knew that Vernon wouldn't want to spend too much time with Harry himself, no matter how polite they were being by coming to the wedding.
Two Dursley's down...one to go, now I wonder where...oh of course...
Harry sought out the kitchen and found Dudley in there enjoying a ham and cheese sandwich that was making suspicious oinking sounds every time he bit into it, with Pugsley sitting across from him likewise eating. Grandmama was also pouring him a drink which looked suspiciously like her ka-pow punch.
"This is the strangest sandwich I've ever had," Dudley commented. "But its not bad. A bit of salt will do it up fine."
If there was anyone in the world who could stomach Grandmama's strange cooking, it was Dudley.
"Hey Dudders, glad to see you're getting on," said Harry, quite pleasantly surprised.
"Yeah, sorry about the rest of the family, you know," said Dudley, pointedly. "I guess even after all these years I'm the only one who's gotten used to it all."
"Used to what?" asked Pugsley. "The curse?"
Grandmama made a hushing motion but Harry chuckled.
"Don't worry, Dudley knows about that," he said, raising an eyebrow. "No I think he means the magic."
"Yeah, magic," said Dudley. "You know this place is more what I thought about when I thought of magic. Not some loopy castle with kids in it, but a big mansion with vampires and bats and things."
Grandmama cackled and offered to show him the cemetery where her own parents were laid to rest. Dudley thought that was cool.
"So, um, where's your girlfriend?" Harry asked, feeling strangely gobsmacked by the idea that Dudley was actually happy with all the creepiness.
"Meh," said Dudley. "Went with your friend and the girl, can't remember their names..."
"Hermione and Wednesday," said Pugsley firmly, finishing his meal with a hiccup. "They went to shop for girl's stuff."
"Ah," said Harry with a smirk. "All right then."
Well, that was the rest of them down. Now, where was Severus?
Oh I know where he is, thought Harry, begging a tray of tea off Grandmama before heading back up to the second story with it. Still in bed with a headache. Hope he doesn't have a headache on our wedding day, that'd be awful!
But when Harry came to their bedroom, it was empty.
Now where could he have gone? thought Harry, and he turned decidedly in the direction of the third story, where Petunia was now having an argument about the dusting with Morticia.
"Tish," said Harry quietly, interrupting his Aunt's angry tirade. "Have you seen Severus?"
"Oh, he went to pick up his Mother at the airport," said Morticia. "Poor dear got rained in, can't drive in this sort of weather herself, and sent us an owl."
"He...went out?" said Harry, weak in the stomach. "He didn't tell me."
"He didn't want you to try to come with him," said Morticia nervously. "Severus and Eileen are very particular people and don't always get along well. It would not have been a comfortable trip for you. I'm sure he meant to spare you from it."
"Oh, well, in that case, would you two ladies like to take a break from your...housework...to have tea with me? I have a whole tray that I was bringing up to Severus and since he's not here there's nobody to share with me."
"Oh that would be lovely!" said Morticia. "How about the second parlor on the landing here? We rarely use it, but its a lovely place with a nice balcony."
"I suppose," said Petunia stiffly, the wind taken fully out of her sails. "Very well."
Harry breathed a little easier that at least Morticia hadn't hexed the apron off his Aunt for making presumptions about the household chores. But now he was worried about Severus. How serious could his rift with his mother be that he wanted to pick her up from the airport alone?
By that late afternoon there was no sign of Severus and his Mother. Harry was frantic now and could not be distracted by anything, not even when Gomez came back in with his soaking wet golfing crew. Vernon had a golf bag stuck on his leg and Ron had several golf clubs wrapped around himself in various amusing configurations. Apparently Gomez was a bad sport when he lost.
"Severus is missing?" said Gomez, as the family all assembled in the hallway together. "Now that is highly unusual. Its only an hour to the airport."
"Did everybody hear about this trip but me?" Harry said in frustration.
Hermione came up behind him but he shrugged her off and marched into the parlor. There was nothing anybody could say to him now. Fester offered to go out with Ron and Gomez looking for them, in case they were struck by lightning. He was an expert in such things. Lurch and Thing were now on watch at the windows to keep an eye out, in case anybody came while the men were away. Harry stayed with them now, unable to take the idea of going in a car with Gomez and possibly finding his lover somewhere dead or crashed at the side of a road. And so he waited with Lurch and Thing. Morticia gave him a softly consoling look and took the other women of the house upstairs to the parlor for some sewing and girl talk. Uncle Vernon had finally managed to get the golf bag off his leg and he went upstairs with Dudley and Pugsley to play some board games.
Harry wasn't even bothered by the idea that Pugsley was playing games with two Dursleys. He sat on the couch in the parlor downstairs, watching the dark sky flash with sheet lightning, listening to the howl of the rain and the pulse of water flowing down the windows. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, beating its painful tune. It seemed like hours had passed since he had sat down. Eventually he leaned back and watched the water streaming down the glass windows of the back doors, watched the water that leaked under the door - the Addams family loved a good indoor flood - and listened to the sounds of the wind, letting his heart dwell hopefully on the sounds of the shutters banging, which sounded like cars coming into the drive. Or the rattling of what sounded like gates opening, or the voices, the pounding of feet...
Harry sprung to his feet and ran to the door, just as it sprung open and Gomez came in, a wide grin spread across his face.
"We found them!" said Gomez.
"Boy did we ever," said Ron to Harry, coming into the house dripping wet. "Come on in everybody!"
Harry was suddenly alarmed as a whole host of people came in through the door, trying to avoid stepping on the biting rug and handing their luggage to Lurch.
First came Molly and Arthur Weasley, then Fred and George, Percy and his wife Penelope, Bill and Fleur, Charlie and Oliver Wood, the whole Weasley gang. Then there was Ginny and Draco Malfoy, who shook Harry's hand stiffly and handed him his scarf as if he were a coat rack. Then Thing popped out of nowhere, startling the heck out of both Malfoys and everyone else there and took the scarf from Harry's hand. Apparaently Thing could apparate.
Neville and a very pregnant Luna entered next, followed by Remus and Tonks and their baby son Timothy, and finally, thankfully, Severus and his stern looking mother, Eileen Snape. Each and every one of them was dripping wet from the rain.
"Where did everybody come from?" said Harry, gasping and grinning at the large crowd of people pulling off coats and trying to unlace sodden shoes.
"We all got stuck at the airport," said Arthur in delight. "Charming place, but there wasn't a taxi to be had. Then Severus here arrived for his mother..."
"Who was travelling with us," Remus interrupted, putting an arm around Tonks.
"And we ended up trying to wait out the storm in the airport, the lot of us, because we all couldn't fit in the hearse and we wouldn't hear of leaving anybody behind," finished Arthur. "But then Gomez and Fester here came to our rescue. Delightful!"
"Wicked house," said Fred at once, followed by George. "You've been staying here Harry? You lucky bugger!"
"Mind your manners!" said Molly firmly. "Hello Harry dear, nice to see you."
"Wotcher Harry," said Tonks, ruffling his hair. "Getting married are you? Can't wait to see what you've got in store. I know you've been pretty creative with all the parties you've catered."
"Harry works for my catering business when he's not flying his broom," Molly told Gomez brightly. "I'll miss having him around to work with me now that he's going to be married," and she burst into happy tears.
"Mum's been crying a lot lately," whispered Ron to Harry. "She always cries when someone's getting married."
Harry stared at them all, both smiling and awe struck that so many of his friends had arrived all at once.
"Well, I'm sure the rest of the Addams clan will start showing up too," said Gomez brightly. "I'll go find Tish and we'll give you all the grand tour!"
But the women upstairs had already heard the commotion and soon everyone was greeting everyone, the whole hallway seemed to be filled with laughing talking people.
Then there followed an extremely awkward moment when Eileen Snape, finally free of her sodden jacket, had approached Grandmama cautiously to hug her. It hadn't crossed Harry's mind that Eileen and Grandmama could be related but they were, they were sisters, who had chosen their own strange paths and their own strange husbands. And this woman, this buttoned to the nines woman with her tight gray hair bun and slate gray clothing resembled more of a stern school marm than a mother.
But she was. She was Severus Snape's mother. The man of his heart.
"Aunt Eileen," said Morticia, going towards her to hug her delicately. "It has been so long."
"Tish," said the woman in response. "Well, I told my son, I told him that nothing save the most dire circumstances would cause me to travel all this way again on one of those horrible muggles airplanes, and you can be sure, it is a dire circumstance."
Eileen spared a moment to give a firm glance at Severus, who was glaring at the ground like a ten year old boy that had gotten mud on the floor. But then she turned to smile warmly at Morticia again.
"But oh, it has been too long since I've seen my family last. Lets not stay apart this long ever again!"
"Tell me," said Morticia, as she went with Eileen and Grandmama upstairs. "Is it really as rainy in England as Harry says it is? If so I should think we could come to visit you more often."
Harry realized now that everyone was watching Eileen go up the stairs with awkward unease, until finally she was out of hearing range and the twins gave a great sigh of relief.
"I don't envy you Snape, having her for a mum," said George.
"Just awful," agreed Fred. "All the way on the plane over, 'I can't believe he's marrying that awful Potter boy instead of a proper woman his own age!''"
"Please! Mister Weasley," said Severus, hissing. "I had to listen to it in the airport for several hours and on the car ride home, I don't need to hear it again!"
"Well cheer up cousin," said Gomez brightly. "She came didn't she? And look at all the relatives and friends of Harry's that came with her! How wonderful!"
"Yes," said Molly brightly. "And we're all dripping on the Addamses nice wooden floor. I think we should all head upstairs and change and maybe have a late supper before bed. Hermione?"
Immediately Hermione and Wednesday went towards the steps, followed by Tonks and the twins, to start grabbing luggage and helping them carry it up. Ginny and Draco stood in the doorway a moment, until Thing jumped up and tapped Draco on the shoulder, pointing to the stairs.
"That a boy Thing, show them to their room!" said Gomez brightly. "He just loves to help out!"
"I'm hungry," Fred complained as he marched up the stairs, carrying his own luggage. "And so's my stomach!"
"Our stomachs!" corrected George with a sulk.
"I wouldn't mind a spot of tea actually," said Arthur softly. "It was a long drive..."
"Or perhaps something stronger to warm you up a bit?" Gomez suggested with a raised eyebrow. "Why don't you come to the library and have some brandy with me, and let the rest of them do their lot. You too Mister Lupin, I was meaning to ask you about my cousin up in England you might have met..."
Remus went off with Arthur and Gomez to the library, all three of them chattering about werewolves, and soon a commotion began of people all trying to go in the same direction at once. Lurch and Thing directed them to their rooms and took their parcels and luggage from them.
"Ugh," said Severus, coming over to Harry at last and wrapping his arms around him tight. "Rain rain and more rain. Gomez can have it. I want to be normal, just for a day, please."
It must have been a shock to everyone when Harry broke into tears and hugged Severus tight, sobbing into his shoulder.
"W-was it something I said?" Severus asked alarmed.
"Never dissappear without telling me where you're disappearing to again!" Harry said. "I mean it! It was bad enough I disappeared the first time, don't need it happening to you too!"
Severus coughed and nodded nervously, well aware of the looks they were both getting, and then directed Harry towards the stairs. It didn't matter to Harry one way or another if they were in the bedroom or in the hallway, as long as he was holding Severus. As long as his beloved was safe and whole and in Harry's arms.
Now even the rainstorm could drown the happiness in his heart.
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Draco Malfoy walked down the hallway towards the library, feeling quite out of sorts. This house was strangely familiar to him. It had all the feel of Malfoy Manor and twice the dust. He thanked the seven heavens that he had decided to buy a new house for himself and Ginny. He dreaded to think of raising children in the stuffy mansion he was raised in.
Come to think of it, thought Draco sourly. I wonder if I haven't been here before? I'll have to ask Severus.
But as he was trying to find his way around the house, and getting completely lost in the process, he discovered to his alarm that he was being followed. He could quite firmly feel the presence of eyes at the back of his head, though when he turned around he saw nothing.
I hope it isn't that hand thing again, Draco thought sullenly, as he hesitantly reached towards his pocket for his wand. Or I'll blast it from here to hades, polite or not. That thing gives me the willies.
But it wasn't Thing that was following him. It turned out to be a girl, a young girl, maybe fourteen years old, who was peering around the corner at him now as if afraid of something. Draco looked at her pointedly, and she looked back at him.
He knew that look.
Merlin no, not this!
"Come here," he said, sounding too much like his father for comfort.
The girl strode forward ghostlike and twitchy and Draco looked down at her, trying to put some authority in his stance. Her eyes were practically glowing with interest.
"What's your name girl?" he said, trying to sound important, but coming out more as being condescending.
"Wednesday," said the girl, and she pulled on her dark hair nervously.
"Wednesday, lovely name. Going to Hogwarts next year are you?"
She shook her head firmly.
"Salem," said she, and Draco tried not to sigh in relief.
Not enough that I have the young girls at Hogwarts in my classes crushing on me, I have to have one here too! But that's the price for being gorgeous.
"Very good school I hear. Severus and Harry will be teaching there," Draco commented. "Listen, Wednesday, I think your mother and my wife are having tea with all the women in the parlor downstairs, some sort of special luncheon..."
"Grave Ladies Luncheon," the girl imputed for him. "Its been put off because of the rain. But I'm too young. Not allowed."
"I see," said Draco. "Well, I'm off to meet with Severus, and give him his potion, so I'd better get to it. Ta."
He turned on her and started walking away when the girl piped up,
"If you outlive your wife, will you marry me?"
Draco froze, and turned to look at the girl wide eyed. He considered this comment momentarily and then grinned.
"If Ginny died before me I would quickly die of boredom myself," Draco said. "Either way, if Ginny died, it would be over my own dead body."
Wednesday stood stock still at this, and Draco gave her a firm look, not sure why he was doing this but knowing that it was vitally important in some way.
"Aw fine," she said, turning and slumping down the hall. "Have it your way then."
Draco chuckled and opted to start back on the main floor in his search for the library. At least his trying to find his way around the place today had given him something to do, even if it did not bode well for harmony between young Wednesday and his Ginny.
Severus accepted the potion through the door from Draco pointedly, then on second thought welcomed him into the excessively male environment of the library, where Gomez and Lupin were having another chat about their werewolven kin over drinks.
"Gomez, your daughter has a crush on me," Draco said, cutting right to the bone of the matter. "You might want to get her carted off to Salem as quickly as possible."
"It all depends upon Tish of course," Gomez said, startled by the comment. "My, I barely recognized you when you came in the door boy. You don't look like that picky ten year old child you were when you came here last."
"Ah, I knew I'd been here before," said Draco, sitting on a couch. "I recognized this place, but my own memories have been...off and on. Severus if you don't drink that potion I'll shove it down your throat. It took me two hours to make and that was hard enough without people coming down to the dungeon to pester me."
Severus looked down at the fizzling potion, then swallowed it down, not that it made any difference.
"Headaches are getting worse," Severus commented smartly, shaking his head. "Mother insisted I share that book with Harry, so now its just up to him to decide."
"He already knows about the ritual?" Gomez queried nervously.
"It was his idea," Severus admitted. "He discovered the book in the library of Hogwarts but couldn't get his hands on a copy of his own, so I owled Mother for hers. He tells me he'd rather die then be separated from me, and I believe him."
"Potter is a fool, if an honest fool," said Draco. "If he said it he means it. Though, I wouldn't have the guts to do what you two are doing tomorrow night."
"Now now," Lupin countered. "Harry can be clever when he chooses to be. But what is this ritual all about anyways?"
"Choose being the operative word," said Severus. "And the ritual is a ceremony that is meant to bring immortality to those who choose to undergo it. Its a matter of two lovers offering themselves in sacrifice as proof of your devotion to one another. Very complicated."
"Good heavens!" said Remus in dismay. "And you would willingly do this?"
The only response from Severus was a nod.
"Its a shame you cannot be there, Remus," said Gomez jovially, giving the werewolf another glass of brandy. "Its a very powerful ritual, and I've only seen it performed once successfully. But this must take place during the full moon for the magic to be at its strongest."
"Don't worry about it," said Remus nervously. "I'm almost afraid to witness this, whatever it is. What if it doesn't work?"
"Then we both die," said Severus. "But if this ritual does work, it will not only break Harry's curse, but make us both immortal."
"Just where is Potter anyway?" asked Draco, changing the subject with a nervous jerking of his blue eyes.
"Harry went to go pick up the wedding rings and...holy smokes!" Severus jumped to his feet suddenly in alarm. "Gomez!"
"What is it?" said the man, looking as if he already knew exactly what conclusion Severus had come too.
"The ring! Harry's ring! Do you think it could work on..."
Severus turned his head to look at Remus Lupin pointedly. Lupin looked back at him, then at Gomez questioningly, wondering what this was all about.
"Well, you'd better go get Harry and find out," said Gomez brightly. "I'm sure if it works, then Remus will be able to attend the ritual after all."
Lupin looked highly alarmed by this.
"I'll go find Potter and tell him," said Draco, rising from his seat pointedly. "If only to warn him about Wednesday's crush on me. I bet he'll get an amusing moment out of it."
"Don't get Harry's hopes up that it would work," Severus countered firmly. "You know Harry's more firmly set on finding a cure for lycanthropy than anybody I've met."
"And too right he would be," said Remus sadly. "I'm the only part of his father he has left...aside from you of course."
The only response Severus would give him was a scowl.
If this ritual works he won't need Lupin! Severus through acridly. I'm all the love and family he'll ever need!
Morticia strode forward under the trees of the swamp with Gomez, Harry and Severus slowly following behind her. The starlight of the sparkling midnight swamp, with the almost-but-not-quite-full-moon, would have been a perfect setting for a bit of conversation with her husband, if not for the seriousness of the task at hand before her.
"A long day its been," Gomez said. "I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by."
"I can't believe how much Wednesday is aging," said Morticia primly as she looked down into the watery swamp below her. "Already crushing on older men. A black widow ready to spin her web..."
"As long as she doesn't hurt Ginny," said Harry firmly. "She's already been hurt enough."
"I understand," said Morticia grimly. "I'm so glad I decided to send her to Salem. She'll have no boys to torment there, and plenty of girls to befriend."
"Its a good idea," said Severus. "We were all just waiting for you to come to the same conclusion we had."
Morticia smiled brightly, then waved her hand in front of her face to get rid of the mosquitos that had been swarming in front of her eyes. Gomez came to her side and put a hand on her arm as if to steady her, but she offered him only one of her sad soft smiles in response.
"Well, enough about Wednesday," said Severus pointedly. "We have a mission tonight."
"Are you sure you want to do this?" said Gomez thickly. "You know there's no going back."
"Its this or death," Severus said pointedly. "Either way, we don't have much time."
Harry looked up at Severus with bright worried eyes, and reached up to touch Severus on the side of his head. The man responded by leaning down to kiss him.
"If the ritual doesn't work, we'll have dozens of wedding guests witnessing our deaths," Harry said softly.
"Piranhas," said Gomez with a shiver, looking into the water in search of their glinting silver bodies. "I wouldn't have thought..."
"The Curse of A Thousand Knives," said Harry. "The thousands of teeth of killer fish could be considered knives. I have to be pierced a thousand times."
"Either way if this doesn't work we'll both die quickly," said Severus, looking into the water likewise where Gomez had. "But if it does work, we'll both be quite immortal."
"Ah, immortality," said Morticia. "Maybe people try to claim it. But few dare...few dare this ritual..."
"They dared it," said Severus strongly, eyes blazing in the dark. "They dared it, and They live. They both live. Somewhere out there..."
"And you shall live," said Gomez brightly. "Morticia?"
"Very well," said Morticia nervously, and she rose her hands over her head and began to cast her spells.
Severus and Harry watched her as she manipulated the water around the wedding platform, so that the sparkling silver shapes under the water swam left and right but couldn't leave the watery prison they had been surrounded within. Morticia quickly spun another spell to open wide the trees above them and to guard the seats of the guests with magical barriers. Once she had finished spinning her spells, Severus and Harry strode to the watery prison of the piranhas and dropped their chosen stones into the midst. The piranhas darted and flashed around the twin stones, jade and opal, but did not take them. Severus watched them sink, holding Harry's hand tightly in his.
"Tomorrow it shall all be done," said Morticia softly, and the two lovers strode back over to her and Gomez. "Tomorrow we'll dress Wednesday to recite the ritual, for it must be done by a virgin girl..."
Harry nodded stiffly and Severus put a hand on his back.
"We'll have to coordinate everything precisely," Severus commented quietly as they strode back towards the house. "Or they will all be witnessing our slaughter."
Harry said nothing, just leaning into Severus tightly. They had both decided upon this together, but neither had been willing to suggest it to Morticia until tonight, until Severus had finally come to terms with the pains in his head he could not ignore. It was his mother who had approached them with the book and told them to try it; she would not lose her son, the last of her children.
It is for the best... thought Severus grimly. I will be forever with my love or neither of us will live. Either way about it, our life, or our deaths, shall be a glorious spectacle to behold.
Hermione finished combing Wednesday's hair and deftly rolled it up into a bun.
"Why do we have to start getting ready now?" Wednesday said with a pout. "My cousins will be here soon."
"Your hair needs to set," Hermione said pointedly, putting the stray ends of Wednesday's black curtain of hair into curlers. "You have a special job and your Mother wants you to memorize those lines to the exact word."
"Yeah I know," Wednesday complained. "But I wanted to show off my new look."
Hermione rolled her eyes, then looked over at Morticia. The woman had been acting very nervously today, and was already in the process of putting her own hair into curlers.
"We'll be down there to greet the guests soon," she said softly. "We have all the time in the world to spend with the guests."
There was something about the way she said that which made Hermione herself nervous. She finished putting Wednesday's hair into curlers and shooed the girl to her room where she could properly memorize her lines.
"Morticia," said Hermione as soon as the girl had left. "Why did your relatives all mostly stay in hotels? All Harry's guests came to stay here."
Morticia turned to smile at Hermione.
"Our whole family couldn't fit into the one house," said she. "There will be hundreds of guests here. Hundreds. And all of them will be planning to stay in this state for some weeks if only to enjoy a vacation. This rain has been just scrumptious."
"Lets hope it doesn't rain tonight," Hermione said firmly, as she started to put curlers into her own hair.
"Oh it won't be," said Morticia. "it won't be."
For some strange reason, this comment coming from Morticia made Hermione's blood go cold.
Does she know something that I don't?
Whatever the case, the infant inside her stomach was deciding to make himself known so she took a moment to sit and rest, putting a hand on her stomach to cradle the child within it.
Too many pregnant people here, or people with babies; me, Luna, Morticia, Tonks. It must be the season for children.
She mentioned this to Morticia, who only smiled another one of her strange sad smiles.
"A Season of Birth always follows a Season of Death. The Dark One's powers are no more."
It was only later, when Hermione really had a chance to think about it, that she realized Morticia hadn't been speaking of Lord Voldemort.
"Itt old man! Come in come in, and the lovely Margaret...and...is that little What?"
Harry stared as the strangest family he had ever seen came through the door. They consisted of a man who was short and entirely covered in hair, who spoke in a gibberish language that Harry couldn't quite understand at first, until Severus bent down and breathed a spell into Harry's ear. Then suddenly it made complete sense.
"You look the same as always Gomez," was the hairy man's comment, followed by much complaining about the sunny weather they'd been putting up with down south, and his hopes for the hurricane season to bring up a nice gale.
Next came Itt's wife, a tall leggy woman with red hair who was carrying a toddler who, like his father, was entirely composed of hair. The woman smiled and laughed as Gomez kissed her hand, then Harry spent the next ten minutes in a deeply involved conversation with Itt whereas they spoke about the weather, the wedding, and of course the messy subject as to why Itt couldn't officiate.
All the while they were being stared at by Harry's guests, who couldn't understand a word Harry and Itt were speaking to each other. Severus chuckled.
"Look Gomez, he's already a part of the family!"
Gomez gave Severus a stern smile, then the men had to step aside as Morticia, Molly, Luna and Hermione went over to gush over the toddler.
"Oh he's so cute!" said Luna dreamily.
"Meep!" said What, sounding angry. "Meeeeeep!"
"We'll take him upstairs to play with Pubert," said Morticia with a soft coy smile.
Severus shook his head in disgust.
"Women!" he muttered. "Mothers especially."
"Hush Severus," said Morticia. "Its a shame you and Harry won't have any little ones of your own to take care of."
Harry gave Severus a teasing look of mischief and said, much to his lover's horror,
"Who says we won't?"
This gave everybody a laugh, and Severus turned bright red. Harry would have teased him further but other guests started to arrive. Fester's girlfriend Dementia came along with her beautiful younger sisters, whom Fred and George tried to show off for. Many more odd Addams cousins came through the door to be greeted by Harry. Fester, Severus and Gomez stopped in their chatter pointedly when the siamese twins entered the house, both women grinning coyly. Harry glared pointedly at Severus and Dementia took Fester pointedly from the room by the ear. And since Morticia had went upstairs that left Gomez free to move in for the kill.
"How good to see you both!" Gomez said to the twins pointedly, striding over to greet them with a kiss to each hand.
"Gomez, you flirt, you really know how a treat a girl," said one head.
"Or several," laughed the other head.
Harry, quite frankly, couldn't see the attraction. But there were far too many guests for him to greet, and they were all shown by Thing and Lurch to the dining hall for a late lunch and some conversation with the Weasley clan and the redoubtable Dursleys. Addamses, it turned out, could celebrate for hours. They would be up all night after the wedding to celebrate into the wee hours of the morning, until the last guest had wandered back to their car or crawled into a bedroom to sleep. It was enough to drive anyone insane.
After about an hour of having about a hundred people congratulate him on a marriage that wasn't due to occur for some time, Harry'd had enough.
"Severus," said Harry, pointedly tugging on his lover's arm. "Can we talk for a moment? Sans friends, family, and other unidentifiable fauna?"
Severus chuckled and once they were alone in the downstairs bathroom Harry nibbled on his lover's neck and buried his face there.
"You...wanted to speak with me lover?" said Severus, smirking as Harry's hands snaked into his pants.
"Four hours until we get married, four hours until we either live or die from this gambit of ours. Four hours until we jump into a magical tub full of piranhas. I wanna fuck."
"Dungeon," Harry agreed.
Several constructive hours later, in which Harry found himself subject to much pleasure, pain, torment and bliss, the two of them lay together on the cold stone floors of the dungeon and stared up at the ceiling, talking softly to one another in Italian.
"It must be nice, heaven," said Harry gently, pushing the hair away from Severus' eyes. "Like a sort of nice place you'd want to be."
"Wherever you are is heaven enough for me," said Severus. "Don't talk about death hon. I want to remember this day as a positive one."
"Unless we die," Harry said. "But...what if we don't go to heaven?"
"Of course we will," Severus snorted. "All Addamses go to heaven, or else we retire to Florida with the rest of our vampiric kin."
Harry breathed a sigh and buried his head in Severus's chest.
"Harry," Severus said guiltily. "About the brain tumor...I..."
"No, its fine," said Harry. "I know why you didn't tell me. And your Mum is great for making you tell me. Its no wonder she came all this way when she doesn't approve of our wedding."
"She thinks I'm going to be dead before long."
"Yuh. But she did give us that book along with your catscan results..."
It was cold in the dungeon, so the two of them eventually retreated up to their rooms to get ready for the ceremony.
"Its a good thing about the ring," said Harry brightly. "I'm glad Remus could use it, and I hope it works for him."
"He says he already feels a million times better," Severus commented, as he was looking for his clothes. "I'm sure once Bill Weasley has figured out how many spells are on it, and what they are, they can make rings for every werewolf...if it works of course."
"I have a feeling it will," Harry said, and pulled off the last of his soiled clothes. "At least something is going to go well tonight."
"Don't jinx it Harry, it'll all be fine."
But Harry was scared. He was happy knowing Severus would be there with him through it all. Yet what if he still survived, and Severus died in the end? Would he still want Remus to have the ring? Or would he take it from Remus and plunge himself to his death somewhere in the dark cold seas?
Till death do us part indeed...quite frankly, I wouldn't want to survive if Sev didn't. Its all or nothing.
Harry only hoped his friends would understand. There was nothing worse than being parted from a lover in death. As far as Harry was concerned it was a fate worse than death, a fate he would spare himself at any cost.
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
-I finally figured out why everybody was saying that Severus's tumor thing seemed a little sudden. A whole section of writing was missing from chapter three. That section is now back in place. I have also seen fit to edit every single chapter of this fic for you to re-read and enjoy, and here is Harry and Severus getting married! As a surprise gift to my readers for this Hallows Eve. ;) Happy Halloween everybody!
"In the beginning," said Wednesday Addams in soft shades of wonder, "Was chaos. A void of explosive stars and swirling matter, of demon dragon gods whose teeth and claws tore into the universe, leaving it a ragged mess of silenty crying stars."
Before her the crowd of guests sat on their floating chairs over the water, all of them watching her with rapt attention as the soft sounds of Pugsley's very soft piano playing filled the air. She could feel their eyes on her midnight blue dress, upon the venus flytraps that trailed in a train from her hair to the water. She could vaguely see Harry's friend Arthur Weasley, standing on the floating platform off to the right, waiting for his turn to officiate.
If all went well. Before her in the water was a glowing cylinder of light, from which tiny shapes of silver were writhing in a mass of furious hungry shapes. Invisible to the guests from their distance, but quite close enough to her for her to recognize them as pirahnas. Her mother had vaguely told her what would be happening, but hadn't mentioned the pirahnas. This was why her memorization was so important.
"It was in the midst of all chaos, and the constant warring of dragons, that two gods were born..."
This was the cue for the soft piano playing to rise into a romantic haunting refrain, accompanied by Lurch's thrilling violin. From the shadowy sides through the forest, down the platforms of floating stone steps on either side of the guests, came Severus and Harry, who were so beautiful to behold that Wednesday had to stop in her talking to look upon them with almost jealous fascination.
Half naked, wearing diaphanous waist wraps of sapphire (Severus) and starlit pale blue (Harry), they came down towards her, both of them carrying golden goblets of pure water. She watched them approach the basin of glowing water with their goblets, waiting for her to continue the ritual.
"Together they offered these gifts to the dragons, to appease their hunger, the waters of creation..."
Both men were looking at one another with the most adoring looks of love as they poured the pure water into the basin, which the guests were watching now with much more curiosity. Surely this wasn't a traditional wedding in any sense of the word. And Wednesday was sure that Harry and Severus had not informed any of their guests about this part.
"And next, they offered their raiment of blue skies and swirling atmosphere, which was the breath of life..."
On cue both men removed their robes is swift motion, which caused some of the guests to make surprised noises. Both dropped the cloth into the basin of glowing magic, upon which the robes were pulled down immediately by the deadly creatures within.
Naked, and glowing under the light, both men now looked at one another, eyes damp and a look of love there that only Wednesday could see from this place. By this time the guests had realized that something was in the glowing cylinder of water, and Petunia Dursley even lifted her feet away from the water below her into her floating chair as if afraid of falling in.
"And finally, the last gift, their offering to appease these dragons, to bring peace at last to their hearts of chaos, the gods offered the sacrifice of flesh, the flesh which was the soil, the trees, and the mountains, and the dragons consumed it all in their ravenous gluttony."
Both men looked at one another, both glowing now from something which was much greater, and much more fragile and beautiful then pure moonlight. Between them both Wednesday could see a haunted look of love and wonder, and the brief sorrow that filled their eyes as both of them plunged together into the glowing water, which exploded before her with a flurry of chaos and swirling light.
A vortex of glowing stars seemed to surround him. Thousands upon thousands of lights that danced before him and teased him with their light, calling towards him with outstretched shimmering fingertips.
And he danced towards them, skipping along the path of planets they wove before them, his feet even finding purchase upon the empty surface of space as he danced towards the stars and their light.
Beyond him the sun seemed to tease him, offering him secrets, the whole of universe before him, stretched out for his fingertips. He could take that light in his hands and embrace it for his own. The universe was his, and he noticed that planets seemed to spring forth of their own creation wherever he stepped.
But he was alone. He felt very much alone. Where was his love?
Yes, that was his name. Somewhere in this expanse, his love had to be there. Together they would find the stars, and discover the secrets of the universe.
He called, and he danced along the planets, searching, seeking, ignoring the fingers of light that were reaching towards him entreatingly.
A desperate cry, and the universe seemed to bend before that cry, parting for him so that he could travel at faster speeds in his search of he to whom his heart belonged.
That voice seemed distant, and Severus swirled through the universe, looking for the source of it.
"Harry! Where are you?"
"Severus! Come back Severus!"
"Come to me! Don't leave me, come back please!"
And he did.
"And thus, from their sacrifice, the Earth was born, and the gods arose from the chaos, having appeased the hungry dragons, and took their rightful place in rule over all of creation."
Morticia watched with a fearful breath, the glowing tub of primal magic that was swirling beneath her daughter's feet. Fear gripped her now, panic, and a silent plea to the gods to please please, grant these two lost children their sole wish to be together.
Oh please, let them live. They have lost so much, must they also lose their lives?
It seemed long moments had passed, wherein none of the guests moved, and nobody spoke, as the monstrous swirling of violet and red light filled the water. Red as fire...red as blood...
And then something did emerge from the water. A great glowing sphere of light which rose in shades of rainbow light, swirling and shimmering as the sphere took the shape momentarily of the earth, before exploding with a sound of sucking air and leaving behind a pair of glowing shapes floating above the waters, which were dark and black, and frosted with the tiny embers of light that were falling from the shimering robes of the showy pair.
Morticia choked back a sob seeing that dear Harry and Severus were alive and well, and had seemingly succeeded in their task.
Harry was dressed in pure jade robes which hung from his shoulders and waist, and the jade stone he had chosen was now impaled within his bare chest, a permanent reminder of his immortal life. Severus was dressed in opal black, and said black opal stone was likewise impaled within his own breastbone. They both were holding hands, floating above the water, but looking only at one another.
A breathy sigh escaped Morticia's lips, and Gomez likewise sighed in relief, and the glowing pair floated over to Wednesday's platform to stand at last together, the light slowly abating from their glowing forms and leaving them as solid and mortal looking as they had when they entered the waters.
At once the crowd began to applaud and cheer. Even the Dursleys, who were impressed with the light show.
"Great special effects," Dudley said, clapping hard.
"A little arrogant to call themselves gods though," Vernon huffed.
If only he knew, Morticia thought tearfully as she likewise clapped her hands.
At once Arthur went up to the platform to take Wednesday's place, and the wizarding legalistic aspect of the wedding began, though Morticia knew that the true marriage had already occurred beneath those shivering silver waters.
Bravo my loves, Morticia thought softly, dabbing her eyes with her handkerchief. Bravo.
"We are gathered this night to witness the marriage of Severus Tobias Snape and Harry James Potter. If any should have any reason why this marriage should not occur...please let it be known, or forever hold your peace..."
Severus instinctively looked towards the seated guests, in search of his mother, but she said not a word. It occurred to him upon looking at her that she had been crying, though he couldn't understand why. She never cried for him.
"Very well. Do you Severus Tobias Snape take Harry James Potter to be your lawfully wedded husband, to hold him and cherish him, to honor and protect him, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?"
Irony of ironies, that.
"And do you, Harry James Potter, take Severus Tobias Snape, to be your lawfully wedded husband, to hold him and cherish him, to honor and protect him, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?"
"I do," Harry said, his voice sounding hoarse and sad, though the smile was on his face...that god awfully adorable smile.
That did it for Severus. The tears started flowing and he couldn't stop them if he wanted to. He was just so happily in love with Harry now that he couldn't, didn't have time for propriety.
"Very well, the rings?"
Wednesday had been wearing them on both her fingers. She strode forward now to offer them, and they both accepted one from her to slip onto one another's fingers. They were keeping this part of the ceremony simple, after the big showy chaos of the initial ritual.
"And now, please hold up your wands tip to tip, and repeat after me..."
They both had to get their wands from Wednesday as well, since they hadn't wanted to risk having the fragile wooden objects within the water with them. Once their wand tips were together, Arthur grinned and recited the Latin, which they repeated.
"Permissi amor exsisto donum nostrum conventus..."
Let love be the gift of our union, Severus thought softly as he and Harry recited the phrase.
At once the tips of their wands ignited, sending up a shower of stars which turned into silver ropes which briefly bound their hands and wands together before sinking into their skin.
This spell had an interesting effect upon the stones embedded in their chests, for both briefly glowed silver in color, tingling with warmth.
"I now pronounce you bonded for life."
On cue Severus scooped Harry into his arms for an amorous kiss amongst many whoops and cat-calls from the audience. Harry's lips were warm and yielding, full of warmth and the newfound breath of life that was shared between them.
Severus had a feeling that all he had to do was kiss Harry and they could create beautiful magic together as they willed. Harry looked up at him with sparkling eyes, and then Arthur presented them to the crowd.
"May I now present Harry and Severus...Addams."
Astonished gasps, and then applauds from the Addams side of the family. Harry grinned.
Ah, so he hadn't shared with his loved ones that he'd be taking the Addams name. Well its traditional. No matter what your surname was, when you join this family you become an Addams.
A magical platform rose from the water to fill the center aisle and allow Harry and Severus to walk down it between the rows of their seated guests, touching them, shaking hands, accepting congratulations.
Remus was right beaming with delight. Although his face was covered in hair, he was still human enough to attend the ceremony, and Harry was delighted by this.
"So good to see you here," Harry said, and hugged the man, and Tonks, with tears in all their eyes.
"Congratulations," Remus said, shaking Severus's hand.
"Thank you," Severus said in return.
Soon they were being ushered back towards the house by all the relatives who followed them. A brief pause occurred as Morticia took both of them in her arms to kiss fully on their cheeks and hold close.
"Oh my darlings, my precious dears, so beautiful..." she said tearfully.
"Congratulations," said Gomez, grinning almost maniacally. "Well done Severus and Harry, well done."
Severus inclined his head to his cousins, and then gave them both the honor of escorting him and Harry up to the house, where the party festivities would begin.
But all the world, all the joy in his heart, was for the beautiful man who stood next to his arm.
Harry felt the intense gazes of his friends upon him as he mingled with the guests, moving from Addams to Weasley like a butterfly from flower to flower, collecting pearls of nectar in the form of conversation before going off to the next person. It seemed as if everyone was staring at the stone in his chest, and wondering at the strange ritual which they had performed before the wedding.
He wasn't inclined to disillusion them as to the true intent of the ritual.
"Just something we were thinking of, a little bit of theatrics, but Wednesday's bit was the crowning touch. You know she wants to take the Magical Theatre course when she goes to Salem..."
Chattering, talking, laughing, gossiping and congratulatory friends and relatives. Fred and George Weasley chatting animately to the Siamese Twins. Severus, Gomez, Uncle Vernon and Cousin Itt all chattering and laughing, (in Vernon's case complaining, mostly about the language barrier between him and Itt) and just about shocking Harry into a heart attack with their getting along.
Hermione was doing her part keeping people from smothering Harry by offering up party games and topics of conversation at key points in the festivities. Winifred and Dudley had snuck out the back for a moonlit walk the moment the formal sit down dinner had ended. Petunia had darn near shocked the heck out of Harry by wrapping both arms around her 'nephy neph' and kissing him on the cheek. Apparently the magic of it hadn't been lost on her, even if it had been lost upon her husband and son.
Molly's cake went over quite well with the Addams guests, though it was too 'plain' for Grandmama's taste. Severus and Harry danced their first dance, followed by all the guests, with Addams pairing up with non-Addams and with couples and non-couples just trading partners and enjoying themselves. Wednesday danced with half the male guests, from her own cousins to Harry's friends. She was really going to knock em dead at Salem.
Finally, Harry got to witness the old sacred Addams family tradition that was the Mamushka. Fester and Gomez had taken great pains to re-teach Severus what he hadn't done in a very long time, and the crowd laughed and clapped their hands at the knife tossing and and kicking up of their heels.
"Mamushka!" Severus cried, and turned to give Harry a laughing grin.
"Show off!" Harry called, when Severus caught a knife in his mouth.
Funny that I'm not afraid anymore...he's so talented...I trust him, even with knives being thrown at him.
Severus finally managed to untangle himself from his great host of relatives to join Harry near the buffet table, taking his hand to kiss it fondly.
"Harry, did you want to go upstairs briefly and escape the party for a little while?"
"Briefly," said Harry. "So I can cover myself up. I feel naked now, for some reason."
Severus nodded and escorted Harry from the room, having to push passed their relatives and friends with the excuse that they needed a breather and to 'freshen up'. Upstairs they went, up up to their room through the dark creaking house.
Severus put a hand to Harry's chest stone the moment they were alone together, and immediately it started to sing. The opal on his chest started to join in with a soft chorus of its own.
"I hadn't realized this would happen," Severus said softly. "Our immortal souls tied into these stones."
"So simple really," Harry said, reaching up to touch Severus's opal with tears in his eyes. "We'll survive as long as these do. Like horcruxes, except it was our own deaths and not another's that resulted in this."
"I understand now," Severus chuckled. "The Moonstone Ritual. I didn't under why an actual moonstone wasn't involved, and now I understand it was for the lack of a space in the word."
"Bad grammar they had in those days. Moon Stone Ritual indeed," Harry chuckled, and kissed his husband. "Hmm, should we go back downstairs and enjoy the company of our guests?"
"Momentarily, first, you said you wanted to cover yourself?"
Harry nodded, and went searching for the matching shawl he had bought for his original blue robes, just for such an occasion. He hadn't realized that the robes he had bought would not survive the attention of the pirahnas, but thankfully Severus was a dab hand at wandless magic and had given them both clothing of sorts before they emerged from the water.
"You are so beautiful," Severus said, as soon as Harry was dressed. "I would rather just ravish you then go downstairs again."
"And disappoint all our guests who are waiting for cake and ice cream?"
"Hm, I supposed we should let them eat cake," Severus said regretfully.
Harry laughed. Severus covered himself with a dark velvet cloak of his own.
"Yes, I suppose we should," Harry concurred, taking his husband by the arm and kissing him softly on the lips. "After all, we have all the time in the world to spend alone together."
"Which is time enough for me," Severus agreed, and kissed him once more.
-Happy Halloween! Enjoy this chapter because I'm doing NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow and won't be updating anymore of my fics until possibly December or January. On an odd note I got the idea of the stones in their chests from the video game 'Legend of Mana' if anybody has played it, for Playstation One. If you haven't play it, find it, rent it, and play it, you'll like it much!
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
Morning brought the rain, and with the rain came the many many goodbyes. After a breakfast of deviled eggs and toast, the guests left in a sad trickle of hugs and tears, and promises of visits and letters. First the Addams half of the family, since many of them had to return to their hotels and change out of their formal clothes, which they had been wearing all night long, followed by the British guests, who had to catch various planes and busses and deal with their travel plans.
Many friends, new and old, tearfully congratulated Harry and Severus with hugs and kisses and promises for more than just visits and letters; the British guests planned to go back and tell everyone of the wonderful kindness and friendship of Severus Snape and his family, and hopefully might restore Severus's reputation to what it was before the death of Albus Dumbledore. Many of Harry's friends promised to send them both gifts and things from Britain that were hard to find in America, such as British wizarding candy and books, broom catalogues, chocolate frogs, anything under the sun. The Twins had promised the prototypes of some of their more interesting new products, to use on their unruly female students. This had caused Harry to panic at what the Twins might be concocting, and caused Severus to raise an eyebrow in stern admonition, which the Twins of course ignored.
Mister Weasley promised that he'd convince the American Minister of Magic to ease restrictions on flying cars as transportations so that Harry and Severus could fly their Hearse to Britain, or that Hermione and Ron could come visit in their Stationwagon, and Molly had promised to send them sweaters to deal with the cold Salem winters.
"Really, that's not necessary," Harry said as she tearfully hugged him and congratulated him. "Really," and he looked at Severus briefly; his fiance had a very dismayed look on his face at the idea that he was now going to be receiving Weasley sweaters for Christmas.
Saying goodbye to Ron and Hermione was the hardest part. Hugging Hermione, still annoyed to still be pregnant and anxious to get it all over with, Harry promised to come visit as soon as the baby was born.
"I'll come, you know it," he said, moaning with a longing to just go with her and Ron back to England, back to the place where he had grown up and lived most of his life. "I wouldn't want to miss it!"
"You'll be his Godfather, or hers," Hermione said whilst crying. "Oh Harry, I have to...I have to say it. I just have to! What you did was so beautiful! I've read all about the Moon Stone ritual you know. Its so sad and beautiful! You're so brave and and..."
And she started crying and hugging him again. Ron had whispered to Harry that Hermione was going through mood swings. Harry hadn't bothered to enlighten Ron as to the truth.
Harry was then shocked beyond measure by the Dursleys. Petunia kissed him goodbye, promised letters, then went out with Vernon to their car with something that was almost a smile on her face. Dudley shook Harry's hand firmly.
"Congratulations," said he. "You have a good family here Harry, I'm almost envious. You know I'll be coming back here in the summer. Since, well, Pugsley is...a squee...squee...what do you call it?"
"A squib..." Severus put in thickly. "Barely just..."
"Yeah, a squib. Since he's like, not going to magical school, his parents thought maybe he could have a live in tutor for the summer and asked me to come back."
Harry was highly surprised, and out right gaped. That Dudley was going to tutor Pugsley, despite his own mediocre education, was one thing. But that he actually wanted to come back to visit the Addams family was too much.
"Is this...a trick?" said Harry, once Dudley was out of ear shot. "Did I miss something? Since when did Dudley suddenly become...well...less normal?"
"Since last night," said Severus, with a smirk at Harry's very Addams-like use of the word 'normal'. "I think I saw your cousin dancing with a certain cute little pink haired relative of mine."
"The girl with the elf ears?" Harry said, smiling widely. "No wonder Winifred went home last night. She must have been royally pissed."
She had actually tried to leave without telling anybody, which is a serious no-no. They had only known she was leaving when her screeching had suddenly filled the house. The Polar Bear, ever the vigilant protector of the house, had snapped at her heals when she had tried to sneak out the front door without saying goodbye. She had caustically insulted the Addams for not having the thing muzzled upon her previous requests and had stomped right out into the pouring rain. Lurch had been more than happy to close the door behind her.
"Yeah, but...Dudley teach? I mean, what is he going to teach Pugsley?"
"Sports mostly," said Morticia softly, coming over to them with a soft gliding step. "I don't like the local high school the normals go to, because he would have take all those extra classes to be enrolled in the sports teams there. Pugsley just adores soccer...what you call football in Britain, and your cousin offered to coach him over the summer. Better than him having to study and do exams and book work for subjects he's not interested in."
Harry smiled keenly and laughed. The Addams were purely sensible about these sorts of things, irregardless of muggle standards in education.
"I think that sounds like a plan. Dudley, though not good at the maths or spelling, is one of the top rated boxing and football champions of his league. Sounds like he's exactly what Pugsley needs."
The last person to say goodbye to Severus and Harry was Remus Lupin and Tonks. Remus looked like he could outshine the sun with the beaming grin on his face, and Tonks was so happy that she and her son could now spend Full Moons with his daddy. The relief on her bright face was apparent for anyone to see.
"I have so much to thank you for and no idea where to start," said Remus anxiously. "I swear, as soon as Bill figures out all the spells you'll have the ring back again."
"No need," said Harry, waving his hand. "We have our stones now to symbolize our marriage. Keep it. Pass it down the generations. It'll be a famous family heirloom one day, the ring that helped bring an end to lycanthropy."
Remus beamed and hugged Harry, then shook hands with Severus, who looked strangely passive at this gesture.
"Forgive me?" said Remus. "For not seeing your pain all those years ago?"
"I think it is I who needs to be forgiven, for not sympathizing with yours," said Severus seriously. "Perhaps next summer you can come down for another visit and we can have a good talk about it. And you could always drop by Salem. I'm...not sure I am ready for it right now."
"Of course. Its not a wound you can heal in one day."
But on that day, under the full light of a sparkling rainy morning, with all the Addams family in attendance, the two old enemies hugged and laughed together as if they were friends.
"Well, that about does it," said Harry, putting the last suit case into the hearse. "Car's all packed."
The Addams family was all assembled on the lawn, ready for their final goodbyes. Morticia was the first to say goodbye. She didn't cry like Molly or Hermione, but the sorrow was in her pale beauteous face all the same.
"Oh my lovelies," said Morticia, reaching out to hug Harry and Severus. "I wish you didn't have to leave. But parting is such sweet sorrow."
She kissed them both, then went over to Wednesday, hugging her tightly.
"You will write to me?" she said to her only daughter, who nodded vigorously. "And if those Salem girls are mean to you, you don't mess around with telling a teacher, you hex them good."
"I promise," said Wednesday, causing Harry and Severus to moan and look at one another.
"Pubert," said Morticia. "Come say goodbye to your sister now. You'll not be seeing her for awhile."
Pubert immediately left his father's side to run over to Wednesday. He had grown since the first day Harry and Severus had arrived on the Addamses doorstep; his bat wings now had a fine layer of hairs on them now, and his shaving lessons had been going quite well. He was almost able to do shave on his own.
"Bye bye Bert," said Wednesday. "And don't you be sad, or get sick, I'll be back in the winter for the holiday. Okay?"
The toddler nodded, sadly as ever, then made a face when she kissed the top of his head.
"Wenay," said the boy suddenly, causing them all to jerk.
"Oh, he said another word," said Morticia. "How delightful. Yes, Wednesday isn't going to be gone for long. She's going to school."
Pubert smiled then and ran over to his mother to be picked up by her. Harry and Severus both kissed him goodbye, (with more scrunchy faces from the toddler), and then it was Gomez's turn to say goodbye.
"Well then old man," said Gomez, as he approached Severus. "You're finally married, ready to settle down, start teaching, and be hounded by the hundreds of young girls under your tutelage. Congratulations."
"Thank you Gomez," Severus said, grinning just as widely as his cousin. "You write to me and let me know how Pubert's potty training goes."
Harry chuckled pointedly as the two men shared a good laugh at each other's expense, then shook hands with Gomez firmly.
"Thanks for everything," Harry said.
"No, thank you," said Gomez. "I'm very proud to have you in my family. Couldn't be prouder of the both of you."
Harry nodded, then had to avert his eyes sadly as Gomez was hugged tearfully and tightly by Wednesday. It was not a pretty sight when Wednesday cried and her crying actually had a quite magical effect on men, something that they hadn't realized until she had cried at their wedding reception when Draco Malfoy had turned down her multiple requests for dances.
She could literally break hearts with her tears, and almost had with Malfoy. Fortunately his marriage to Ginny was just to strong to break under the onslaught of magical misery and Gomez had stepped in to prevent further disaster.
"You have grown so well, and beautiful," said Gomez to her now. "You'll do well there. I know you'll write to me."
"Every day Father," the girl said sniffling. "I'll tell you every single thing!"
Fester was up next. He hunched his head down into his shoulders and hugged Severus, who laughed.
"I can't believe you finally did it," said Fester, grinning ear to ear.
"I can't believe you proposed to Dementia at my wedding reception," said Severus, rolling his eyes up. "So corny."
"Well, I was inspired," said the man, and they shook hands firmly.
Harry didn't know what to say to Fester, but the man beat him to the punch.
"Next summer, minefield dodge ball playoffs. We work out the rules and make it an official Addams sport with all the cousins. What do you say?"
Harry grinned, and barely had to think about it.
"All right, but let me know if you're planning any strange explosive concoctions to add to the mines, so I can try them out first!"
They both laughed, and then Fester went on to hug his niece tightly, and slip her a tiny stick of dynamite to put into her purse.
"For the road," he whispered to her.
Pugsley shuffled over to Severus and Harry for hugs, and Pugsley shrugged awkwardly.
"You know, if you hadn't been married, I wouldn't have known I was a squib," he shrugged. "I kind of glad I figured it out, before I got stuck on some magic carpet one day and found it couldn't carry me."
"Don't worry," said Harry. "There's still plenty to do in life, even without magic. And I'll take you up on my broom with me any time. Summer isn't that far away you know. You'll be studying soccer with...one of the very best atheletes I know."
Severus practically choked at this but Pugsley grinned wickedly, then went over to his sister.
"You're not really a squib you know," she said with a huff. "I've electrocuted you lots of times and you were fine."
"But I can't cast spells like you can," said Pugsley sadly.
"So I can use you to practice on during the summers," she suggested, an idea that he surprisingly liked.
"All right. You'll write to me too right?"
"Yup sure," said Wednesday, then bent down to his ear to whisper, just out of their parents hearing range, "And I'll find you a girlfriend at Salem."
Pugsley's eyes went wide as saucers and he nodded. Harry had to struggle not to laugh.
Finally Lurch and Thing shook their hands. Thing patted Harry on the head, and then tweaked Wednesday's nose before going back to join the others. Lurch held the car door open for the both of them to get inside.
"Have fun at Salem! Write to us!"
"We will! Bye!"
"Goodbye Mother! Goodbye Father!"
"Bye Wednesday darling!"
"See you at the winter break!"
They all shared anxious, sad and somehow joyous parting waves from the window of the car, then Severus hit the ignition. As the hearse pulled out of the drive, down through the snarling gates out to the main road, carrying them away from the house, and The Addams family at last, their hearts and their futures seemed to be going with them, like tiny drops of water trickling over the sparkling surface of the smooth stones fused to their hearts.
"Cousin Severus, can you teach me how to drive?" said Wednesday, once they were out of site of the house.
Harry and Severus shared a look, and Severus smirked.
"All right then, put on Harry's invisibility cloak and get into my lap. And if the invisibility booster on this thing is working like Weasley promised, we can even test this thing's ability to fly."
Wednesday squealed with delight, Harry moaned, looking up to the heavens, then shuffled about in his side of the car as Wednesday climbed over the front seat to climb into her cousin's lap.
This is going to be one kooky year, thought Harry. Thank goodness for that!
-And there is part-the-last. Done. Finito. Finished! An epilogue, very brief, will possibly follow. Or a sequel once I get through all my back log of fics to finish. Until I decide what, just consider this fic done. :) Thanks so much everybody for the delightful reviews, and responses. I know this last chapter wasn't as heavy on sex as the first, and I know I sort of avoided anymore sex scenes. I will probably go back over this fic in detail, may write more adult rated stuff in, may not, we shall see. Right now I'm just happy to have it done!
If you haven't checked out my site, then please do. Once I've gotten through the back log of fics, I'll only be keeping one work in progress up here on fanfiction dot net at a time, and keeping the rest of works in progress on my website. And all those missing fics on my profile are also on my website, in Azkaban, waiting for parole. Go give them a visit if you miss them, it may be awhile until they see sunshine again. And the site is also under construction while I decide just where everything else will go.
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