A/N: I'm humbled, truly humbled by the enthusiastic response last chapter got. Not so big a chapter this time, but still respectable I'd say. I'm also over the moon that this story has over 1300 followers and has more than 130,000 views. So thank you for your continued support!
PS I had many reviews that Ted Tonks was a muggleborn, my mistake! I've corrected that dialogue in chapter 17
Now, on with the story! As always enjoy and please REVIEW!
Tony looked up from where he was sitting at Teddy's bedside. In the door opening stood a wide variety of people. Tony shot a quick glance at Harry who was in deep conversation with Andy. The two wore wistful smiles. From what Tony could gather, they had talked about people who had died in the war. Reminiscing about times before everything truly had gone sour.
He had heard stories about Sirius when he was younger, Harry's godfather he remembered. He had heard the indulgent chuckles Harry had uttered about the hair-brained schemes she had regaled him with.
Returning his attention to the door, he saw the most dreamy woman he had ever laid eyes on. Next to her were an old woman, older than Andy, and a man about Harry's age with scars around the outline of his face.
"Harry!" The woman called, a huge smile on her face. Harry looked up, a loving smile appearing on his face the moment he recognized the people in the doorway.
"Luna! Neville! Augusta!" He called out, standing up to greet them properly. Tony looked on as he saw the, now named, Neville walk up and gather Harry in a bear hug.
"Merlin, it's good to see you Harry!" He exclaimed. Luna came up and gathered both men in her arms. Quite an accomplishment, Tony had to concede, considering how tiny the woman was.
Harry released them, only to walk to the older woman.
"Augusta Longbottom, it has been too long." He spoke more formally, and grabbed her by both hands in an affectionate gesture.
"It has indeed Harry Potter. I should clip you over your head for not keeping in touch with my Neville, but now is not the time." The woman spoke even sterner than Minerva, Tony noted.]
Harry chuckled embarrassed. He knew he should've kept in touch. But, well, he didn't know who would stand by his side.
"I know, Augusta, believe me I know. My only excuse is that I was in quite a dark place at that time. And after that, well, how can you cross that bridge?" He tried to explain the woman. No matter what age, Augusta Longbottom still had the effect she had on the boys when they were eleven.
"Now, introduce us to him, Harry." Luna cut in. Harry smiled at her.
"Luna, Neville, Augusta… This is Tony, my love-"
"And newly announced Consort of the House of Potter and Black. Yes I know Harry. You could have announced it in a more, ah, modest way you know!" Neville chuckled.
"Yes well, when Rita Skeeter is screeching and pointing at the Rings… You sort of have to top her to make sure the real story is sensational enough." Harry grinned unabashed. Neville chuckled and nodded in agreement.
"Tony, this is Luna and Neville, friends from Hogwarts. And this is Neville's grandmother, Dowager Augusta Longbottom." Harry gave Tony a quick wink as he turned towards him.
The introductions were cut short by Teddy.
"Uncle Nev, Aunt Luna!" He scrambled off his bed and hugged the living daylights out of them.
"Grandmother Longbottom," The old lady bended down so he could give her a kiss on her cheek. With a pet on his head, Augusta walked towards Andy's bedside.
"Andromeda, old friend." She greeted the woman in the bed. The two began to say their goodbyes. Harry had a lump in his throat. The Healers had been clear; this would be the last hours of Andromeda Tonks. She would die this day. Even after all the death Harry had witnessed, he still had trouble to believe it. It seemed so surreal.
The rest gathered around Teddy's bedside. They talked about light topics, not wanting to admit the death that was swiftly approaching. The group was once again roused from their conversation by the door opening up. In the door opening stood Kingsley, Minerva, Filius and to Harry's surprise; Narcissa Malfoy.
The last time he had seen the latter was at her trial, where he had testified that she saved his life – and the war effort – by lying to Voldemort. The ten years hardly had an effect on her visage. She still held the stiff pure-blood mask, with smooth skin and blond hair. But the widening of her eyes could not be hidden, once she had spotted Harry in between the expected people in the room.
"Mrs. Malfoy," Harry spoke softly, involuntary rising from his chair.
"Lord Potter-Black," she bowed her head respectfully, given proper due to his station.
"It seems the years passed since our last meeting have agreed with you, my Lord." She kept up her masks, making polite conversation.
"Indeed, Mrs. Malfoy. I can't deny that you are looking well." He smiled closed-lipped.
She responded to that with her own polite smile to the younger man.
"Allow me to introduce you to Anthony Stark, Consort Potter-Black." At this, Tony stood up and walked up to the woman. With a polite bow, he reached for her hand. Giving her a perfunctory kiss on the knuckles, he murmured.
"Delighted to make your acquaintance, Mrs. Malfoy."
"The same, Consort Potter-Black," Her voice was still stiff.
"Mrs. Malfoy is Andromeda's sister and daughter of the House of Black," Harry explained to him.
Tony nodded to him. He could feel the tension in the room. With what Harry told him, he could understand it. He did not know what had happened in the decade since Harry had left Britain, but if the Weasleys were as stupid as he witnessed them… Well he could guess that relations had not exactly mellowed out between them and the Malfoys.
Harry seemed to be ready to be civil with the Malfoys at least. He snorted inwardly, that would go over swell with those redheaded morons.
And speaking of the devils, those menaces were walking through the door. George came in first, clearly distancing himself from the rest of his family.
The rest of the family came in pairs through the door. It was clear that George had expected to see Narcissa Malfoy, as he just made the formal greeting to her and politely asked about her son and his family. Talking about Scorpius brought a genuine smile to the cold witch's face. Harry saw the kind grandmother shining through the façade she held up to the rest of the world.
It was also perfectly clear when Ron couldn't hold it in anymore. It hadn't been hard to hear the scoff of derision Ron made when he had seen Narcissa Malfoy. The stiffening of Arthur's posture had also been telling.
Arthur kept his peace, Harry could guess he would not want to argue over Andy's deathbed. Ron, though, didn't seem to be so averse to make such a scene in the hospital room.
"What the hell are you doing here?" The angry tone was, for once, not directed at Harry. It was directed at an older enemy of his.
"I've come to say goodbye to my sister, Mr. Weasley." The disdain was practically dripping from the witch's voice. The warning in it was clear as well.
"You have no right to be here!" Ron clearly did not get the warning.
"Ronald Weasley!" Mrs. Weasley started, but she was cut off from her ranting by Harry.
"Really Weasley, I will allow you and your family to remain her, due to your closeness to Andromeda. I, however, am Lord Black here and Andromeda is a daughter of my house. Do not presume you can and may make decisions who says goodbye to a Black elder."
Silence reigned as the veiled threat finally went through the thick skull of Ron Weasley. Arthur nodded at Harry curtly. He knew this was also an indication that Harry would remain civil at this time, for Andy's sake.
The silence was broken as the door once more opened and the Hogwarts professors and the Minister came walking through. Minerva, Filius and Kingsley all wore deep purple robes, signaling the passing of an important and wise person from this realm. They all carried a different flask made of the finest crystal.
Harry knew the ritual would be conducted by those three, as Andy had requested. He could have done it, as a Lord, but he was too young to conduct such a ritual on an elder. Not even crossing the age of thirty, it would have been not done to lead the passing rituals.
Everyone gathered in small groups. There was a distinct divide in the room, of those opposing and agreeing with Harry. He didn't care, he was here for Andy. Speaking of her, she was beckoning him to come closer. Teddy had moved from his bed to lying next to his grandmother.
"Harry, as is my duty as a Black elder, I would like to perform a blessing on your union together with Cissy." Her breathing was labored, and Harry was painfully aware this really were her last moments. Narcissa had quietly walked up to the bed and nodded affirmative at Andromeda's words.
"It would be an honor to bless the union of our Lord."
Harry looked at the two sisters, searching for something in their eyes. There! He saw the pleading glimmer in both Narcissa's and Andy's eyes. This was a small way of apology to him, a formal way to give his life, his choices the blessing of mothers. Harry bowed his head in agreement and walked to Tony, where he was talking with Minerva and Neville.
"Tony, sorry Minerva," he spoke softly. "You need to come with me. Andromeda and Narcissa decided to give us one last gift."
Minerva gasped in comprehension as Tony stared confused at Harry. What the hell was happening now? He already felt way out of his depths here, and now they are gifted with something that was pretty heady. At least, judged by Minnie's reaction to it.
But he followed Harry easily, and stood next to him at Andromeda's bed. On the other side stood her estranged sister. They had joined hands and raised them to the space between Harry and Tony. Harry grabbed Tony's right hand with his own and raised them to the place were the sisters were gesturing at.
"Magicks of our house, Black!" the women intoned with grave voices. Tony gasped as he saw dark swirls, looking like vapoury snakes, come into existence over their joined hands.
"We, elders of the house, have seen a union and favor it." The sisters continued.
"Harry James Potter, Lord Potter and Lord of our house Black, has been gifted with a love strong, deep and enduring. For this, we bless his love and his union." Tony took a quick peek at Harry and saw him being completely encased by the vapors. Through them, he could clearly see Harry smile in ecstasy.
"Anthony Edward Stark, Consort Potter and Consort to the Lord of our house Black, has been gifted by the love of our lord. We have witnessed your love that is strong, deep and enduring. For this, we bless his love and his union."
Tony could now see the vapors rising over his own form as well. And then, it happened. He felt the Magicks of the Blacks go deep within him. He felt the connection it made with his Consort ring. And then he could feel approval that was not his own. With a shock he realized that it was the Magicks approved of him. It was sentient! And by God, did that feel good now! Tony didn't realize that he was wearing a similar smile as Harry.
After what seemed like an eternity at rest in the black smoke, it receded until no one could feel it anymore. Slowly the two man opened their eyes and looked at each other. There was deep contentment in both their expressions, and a strong conviction of the other's love.
The two Black sisters smirked when the family magic finally laid to rest. Though it had been many years since there was a blessing done with the magic – not since Narcissa's own bonding with Lucius – they could clearly recall how those events went. And never had they seen a blessing ritual that reacted that strongly with the blessed couple. If it was because it was a blessing of the Lord Black, or because of Harry's magical power, or because of the deep union that the magic blessed… They didn't know. But by Merlin and Gaia, the blessing would hold strong, that was one thing they were sure of.
Harry looked at Andy and gasped. The blessing she did with her sister had weakened her severely. Beads of sweat were visible against her red blotched face. He knew the end drew near.
"Teddy," he tried to keep his voice calm and steady, but he himself could hear the tremble his voice had. "It is time to say your last goodbye to your grandmother."
Teddy sniffed and walked slowly to the bed. Harry put his hand on her forehead and intoned the words he had learned a long time ago.
"Andromeda, daughter of my house, go with the magic to our origins and greet the line of my forefathers. Be at peace, so mote it be." Harry once again felt the family magic rise and mark Andromeda as a departing soul. He could not for the life of him keep his tears at bay.
He stepped aside to give Teddy his last moments with his grandmother. He jumped as he felt the warm embrace of Tony coming from behind. The slow murmur in his ear bringing him back to yesterday evening, when he had explained to Tony the honor of the death rituals and the mark of the departing soul.
"It shows respect for the person she has been in life. If the lord of the house marks you as a departing soul, well it's sort of like getting a reserved spot in the afterlife niche of the ancestors. Or that's the belief anyway. Not actually something we can prove true or false until after our passing." Harry was explaining to Tony what he could expect from a magical deathbed.
"Now the rituals are actually much more important, and something we can prove true. The most important aspect is that the body of a departed witch or wizard can be used to create, well you call them zombies. But they are the most horrible puppets, tied to their puppet master through the darkest magic. But if you give a dying witch or wizard a death ritual, it sort of locks the body for such nefarious purposes, like Necromancy."
Tony had looked shocked. "You can make zombies?"
"Well, I have a Mastery in various aspects of magic. One of them is Defense against the Dark Arts. I know the theory of creating Inferii, not the practical aspect of it. Not something I was particularly interested in, you understand." Harry's tone was flippant, and Tony snorted his shock away.
"So, there will be some mumbo-jumbo while she is dying?"
"Before she is dead, preferable. Considering the mark is set upon the departing soul, not the body left behind. And the ritual draws upon the magical core within the one dying, so yes alive would be best for that." Harry was impressed how easy Tony seemed to take to all aspects of the wizarding world.
The two of them watch silently with grave expressions as Kingsley, Minerva and Filius prepared the death ritual. Teddy clung to his grandmother with desperation written all over his face. Andromeda held one arms over his body, pressing him to her side. She was whispering to her grandson, no one could hear what the two were discussing. Harry didn't mind. He understood this was an intimate moment, almost like your mother dying in front of your eyes.
He could feel the silent presence of Narcissa Malfoy drawing up next to him. He looked at her swiftly before returning his gaze to the two on the bed and the three preparing their oils and brews.
"I cannot thank you enough, my lord, for allowing me this closure with my sister. Although it may not have seemed like it when you were a part of her life, I do love my sister very much." Narcissa spoke quietly, her gratitude easy to hear. Tony's arm contracted for a moment before he forced them to relax again.
"Narcissa, I do know that, no matter what has happened between you two, blood will remain. Andromeda talked about the better times, did you know that? She spoke how you two would always hide from Bellatrix and put hair-coloring potions in your mothers afternoon tea. You should be allowed the option of saying goodbye. And I would be honored to have you present at the wake with your son and grandson, if they so choose."
Narcissa turned to face Harry at that. Sharp, intelligent eyes were searching his face to see if the offer was genuine or a ploy in some way.
"You would allow Draco in your home?" She could not keep the incredulous note out of her voice.
"I should hope that your son has matured enough not to make a scene or be drawn in an argument at the night of the House wake." Harry spoke benign, but the warning was clear for the Slytherin. Narcissa nodded at him.
"I can assure you, that Draco would be honored to be present with his wife and son at the wake for his aunt. They had established some contact, Theodore and Scorpius had a few playdates in the last two years. Draco is saddened by his aunt's coming passing." Narcissa smiled sadly, convening that she too would be saddened by Andy's death.
The chanting started up, and all the people in the room focused on the three standing around Andromeda's bed. Harry stepped up and hoisted Teddy up in his arms. Teddy struggled against the arms keeping him against his godfather's chest. The arms didn't relent though.
"Teddy, I know you want to be with Andy now. But you can't. they're doing the death ritual right now, and you can't touch her at this moment." Harry spoke soothingly in his ear. Teddy sacked in his arms, and Harry put him down on the ground but still held him close to his body. It was the first time Teddy truly met death.
"Do you really want to stay here for this, Ted? I understand if you want to leave the room. Andy would understand as well."
Teddy shook his head vehemently.
"NO! I want to stay, I need to stay. Please Harry!" the boy looked up and shifted his eyes to his father's golden brown color. Harry quickly brought him back in to a hug.
"Okay, cub. We'll stay. We'll stay to the end, I promise."
Tony was impressed with the solemn affair. It was in some weird way a beautiful scene that was unfolding before him. He looked on as the brews were massaged into Andromeda's scalp, how the oils were poured over her hands and feet. He saw the colors of the magic that the chants brought forth, how it settled in Andy's very being. And the three conducting the ritual had tears tracking steadily over their cheeks, but did not bother wiping them away.
He casted a quick glance left and right. Every witch and wizard looked on with unreadable facial expressions, the solemnity evaporating from their skins. Tony had to admit, this was a way to say goodbye like he had never witnessed before. They prepared the one dying while still living, conscious and all. So that the dying would know they were ready in every way possible.
And then, the chanting stopped.
"As magic commands, so mote it be," every magical one murmured. Tony looked at Andy's face, he saw how much it cost her to stay with her loved ones for just a bit longer. Then a smile appeared at her face and Andromeda Tonks, née Black, passed from this worldly realm to the next.
Tony looked at his love, he felt him shaking.
"For the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure," Harry spoke blandly. It seemed to bring everybody out of their trance.
"NO! GRANDMA NO!" Teddy screamed out in disbelief that his grandmother, his rock, had left him alone. He tore out of Harry's embrace and jumped back on his grandmother's bed.
"GRANDMA! GRANDMA! Please, come back. I don't want you to leave, come back." And with that, he broke out in heartbreaking sobs, interlaced with desperate pleas for his family to return.
Tony felt tears appear in his eyes, and felt Harry shaking in his arms at the grief his boy had to carry from now on. Nobody moved, but Harry could no longer bear to see his Ted cry and break apart like that.
He shook himself out of Tony's embrace and walked over to the nightstand between the two beds. Out of its drawer he got a calming draught. He knew he had to administer it, but not yet. Teddy needed to cry out his first shock over this. Otherwise he would force it all behind a wall, not able to grieve properly.
Like you do yourself, you mean? A malicious voice pointed out his own impossibility to grieve.
Harry sat behind Teddy on the bed, one hand on the boy's shoulder and letting him cry his heart out. Tony stood still like he was a statue carved out of marble, looking on as his love tried to be the rock for his newly acquired son. Harry turned his head to look at Tony, and what Tony saw in his eyes…
Tony swallowed the lump in his throat. The grief, normally not even visible in Harry's eyes was now on the forefront. And Tony could see the pain of losing his family, friends and loved ones, even a decade ago. And with a sudden shock he realized; Harry never grieved before. He had just hidden his pain in the recesses of his mind, not to bother him every again. Because pain was emotion, showing emotion gave power to those who can and will hurt you.
It had taken Teddy twenty minutes to get over his first crying fit. The Weasleys had tried to give him a potion earlier, but Harry had glared at them all.
"How long did you cry when you first realized Fred was gone, Molly?" Harry spoke in icy tones, making it abundantly clear he would not force Teddy out of his first-stricken grief.
Molly had reeled back as if Harry had slapped her, but nodded her defeat. Though the way Harry explained his reasoning had been below the belt, it did make her understand what he meant. Grief needed to be out in the open, at least in the mind. Forcing those first feelings behind artificial calm would not help.
Harry had sat with Teddy all the time, keeping his hand on his shoulder as he clung to his now dead grandmother. With quiet tones and gestures, he had arranged for Narcissa and Minerva to take the body for preparations and all that would need to be arranged.
When after the twenty minutes the tears seemed to stem, Harry had brought Teddy in a fierce hug. Ted had clung to his living and breathing godfather, holding on to the anchor he provided. After some coaxing, Harry had been able to give him the calming draught. He was out cold under a minute.
Harry and Tony left the hospital with a sleeping Teddy in their arms. But they were not granted any respite, for there stood the entire Weasley clan. And by the look of things, Hermione and Ron were on the warpath.
"Well, well. Who would have thought Lord Black would bond with a muggle?" Hermione sneered.
Harry had shook his head in exasperation, did the nagging hag really think now was the appropriate time for this conversation?
"And not just any muggle, o no. Why, it is Tony Stark 'Merchant of Death'. Or, the DaVinci of our time."
Tony replied as flippantly as he had answered little Miss Brown before Afghanistan.
"That's ridiculous, I don't paint." He heard the derisive snort Harry tried and failed to suppress. Hermione ignored them both.
"If you think I will allow you to bring Teddy in your home when you are exploiting your debauchery with a muggle that has no morals, you have another thing coming!" She was furious.
"If you think I will allow you to insult my husband, you have another thing coming Hermione!" Harry shot back before sighing. He took a quick glance at the precious boy he was carrying. Tony looked incredulous and mouthed 'debauchery' to George, who for once was not looking amused at his family's antics.
"Look Hermione, no more fighting. You hate me for who I am, fine. But I know that Teddy wants you in his life, so if you want to do the right thing by Teddy you have to find some way to co-exist with me."
Ron looked at Harry incredulous, before he busted out in laughter.
"You think you'll get custody of him?" He shook his head in faux-amusement. "After the wake, we will petition the Wizengamot and WCS. And we will gain custody over little Teddy here. After all," Ron's voice turned cruel. "No one wants the son of two of Britain's heroes to leave the country, now do they?
Harry was shocked, they would really do that, wouldn't they. Well, if they thought he would just hand over his godson they had another thing coming.
"You can try, Weasley. You can try, but there's no way on earth that you would win." And with those parting words, Tony embraced Harry and with a small pop they vanished on the spot.
"Harry?" Minerva knocked hesitantly on the door to the bedroom. She never had been in this part of the house, but Kreacher had led her here.
"Come in, Minerva," she heard from the other side of the door. She slowly opened it and smiled involuntarily at the sight before her.
Harry was walking out of the closet, while Tony was sitting on the edge of the bed with an arm slung around Teddy. They all wore formal mourning robes, as was expected. Tony did look a bit uncomfortable in them, where Harry looked like the lord he was.
"Everything is set up, Narcissa is downstairs. She asked to tell you that Draco and his family will arrive shortly." Harry nodded and smiled a little at her.
"Thank you, Minerva, for everything in the last couple of days." And she really had been a godsend. Teddy was distraught and continuously clamored for attention. The little man didn't know how to handle his grief. He had found a protector in both Harry and Tony.
It did leave very little time for the arrangement that had to be made. Minerva had jumped in at that time, handling all that with Narcissa (who was glad she could do this for her sister). This left him free to focus his attention on his new family.
Teddy's eyes were red, it was clear he had not really stopped crying the last days. But that was okay, really. Minerva knew how many of her students were still crying sometimes over the loss of one or both of their parents. And now, Teddy had lost his constant guardian. She sighed, it wasn't fair.
"Well, kiddo, I guess it's time to face the music." Tony brought him in, before releasing him. Teddy nodded and stood up as well.
The family made its way downstairs and said their goodbyes to Minerva. The night watch was only for members of the house. Narcissa looked up as they entered the drawing room. There, under a heavy black velvet cloth with the weapon of the Blacks embroidered on it with gold thread, laid the body of Andromeda.
Teddy didn't cry as he did in the hospital, but silent tears were leaking out of his eyes as his eyes fixated on the figure. Harry laid his hand on his shoulder.
"Look away, Teddy. It's not Andy as she was. Not anymore. Her kindness and her smiles, and her scoldings are now in the halls of the origins." Teddy nodded and swallowed hardly, before turning his back resolutely to the bier.
Kreacher, also clothed in mourning uniform, entered the room with Draco, Astoria and Scorpius in tow. Scorpius immediately tried to run to his friend, and cousin. But the firm hand of his mother made that impossible. Harry stood up and walked to the three standing at the door.
"Draco Malfoy, son of my house, Lord of the House of Malfoy, be welcome at the watch this night." Harry intoned the formal words.
"Lord Potter-Black, I am honored to do my solemn duty to a daughter of the house." Harry extended his hand as Draco grasped it and bowed his head over it. Acknowledgement that Harry was the Lord of the house Black, and his subjugation to that, Tony knew.
"My lord, allow me to present my wife Lady Astoria Malfoy," Harry and Astoria also greeted each other formally.
"And my son and heir, Scorpius Malfoy." Harry looked down on the boy, almost identical to his father.
After the introductions, the four seated themselves.
"Draco, allow me to introduce you to the consort of the house; Tony Stark," With this, Harry signaled informal speech.
Tony stood up and held out his, Draco shook it bemused. Astoria had a glitter in her eye.
"Oh dear husband! That I could live to see the day you shake hands with a muggle," she laughed genuinely. Draco looked up bewildered, but before he could speak his son beat him to it.
"Are you really, the Tony Stark?" the little blonde was looking at him in awe.
Tony grinned. "Sure am, Scorp."
"Am I missing something?" Draco cut through. Narcissa shook her head at her son.
"My dear, I always said you needed to keep up with the muggle news as well, even if you never set foot in their world. Anthony Stark is the CEO and well, owner, of Stark Industries. He's worth more than the Malfoy estate." Draco's eyes shot back to Tony, comprehension dawning in them. He chuckled merrily.
"Don't say you made a muggle the official consort to the House of Black?" Harry smirked and nodded. Draco burst out in laughter, shaking his head bewildered.
"Oh! How I wish that Bellatrix lived, just so I could witness the horror on her face when news reached her." Narcissa chuckled lightly as well. Tony looked on.
"The goblins reacted exactly the same way, and Harry has the most devilish smirk when someone says it."
Narcissa decided to take pity on him.
"Our family history isn't exactly what one would call, light." She started to explain. "It has long ago been descending into darkness that only magic can create. And only very few turned away from its dark destiny. I was bound to my husband, Lucius Malfoy, who as you may or may not know was a dark wizard in his own right. I would not exactly call myself a light witch, but never would I voluntarily delve into the soul tainting arts that are the darkest of magic."
Harry sat back as he saw Tony listening almost entranced by Narcissa. She got the attention of both Scorpius and Teddy as well. Neither did know a lot of the dark histories.
"The very few were Andromeda, Sirius and in the end Regulus. Andromeda was the eldest of us three, with Bellatrix the second and I the youngest sister. Her name was actually on the betrothal contract with the Malfoy family. But she fell in love with a muggleborn wizard named Ted Tonks. I think what hurt mother even more was that he was sorted into Hufflepuff." Narcissa smiled deprecatingly at the memories of her mother's fury.
"She ran away with him. But the contract was already signed and Bellatrix already courted by Lestrange. So I took her place and bonded to Lucius." She sighed, discarding all her masks as she was with family. Tony was surprised to see the witch so animated. It seemed that in the magical world politics were always at play.
"The other two were Sirius and Regulus, sons of the former Lord Black; Orion. Sirius was the firstborn, and Orion and Walburga tried to raise him in a manner befit a Black." Narcissa smiled indulgently, as Harry chuckled an cut in.
"Many things could be attributed to Sirius' personality." Harry was silent for a second. "Manners were not part of that."
The rest laughed at that.
"No, Sirius was not of the same mindset as his parents, or mine for that matter. He was always insolent and questioned everything his parents tried to teach him. When he went to Hogwarts, it bothered him that he could be sorted into Slytherin. But on the train, he met James Potter, and together they were sorted into Gryffindor."
Tony's eyes flicked reflexively to Harry, who was calm as his father was mentioned. He already knew this story of course.
"Well, needless to say that the environment in Gryffindor is completely different from that in Slytherin. And soon, Sirius was dissuaded from the beliefs held by our family. His mother especially was incensed by that. She tried everything she knew to bring him back in his 'right mind'. When in the summer before sixth year she held him under a cruciatus curse, he ran away to Potter Manor. His mother disowned him after that."
Tony was shocked, he hadn't known Harry's godfather had that in common with Harry. He looked at him and saw the wistful smile playing around his mouth.
"Regulus did believe what his parents told him and eventually joined The Dark L- Voldemort," Narcissa amended. "In his service he was disenchanted to say the least. He was part of the safe-keeping of one of the objects that gave Voldemort immortality. He went back and switched it with a duplicate. It cost him his life."
Silence came over the group as Narcissa concluded her tale. It was Tony who broke it.
"Well, not the be a nag or anything… but it still doesn't explain why even goblins reacted like that."
Draco replied this time.
"Let's put it this way; my great-aunt Cassiopeia Black tried to pass a law through the Wizengamot that would allow witches and wizards to hunt muggles legally." Tony's eyes widened at that.
"You're shitting me!" he choked out.
Everyone but Harry looked confused at his phrase. Harry clipped him over the head.
"Tony! Mind your words, will you! Besides, you're in Britain at the moment. No one understands your Yank phrases." Harry tossed a wicked smile his way.
"You're on my turf now, boy, and I will have the verbal upper hand!"
Teddy and Scorpius giggled at that.
"But what does it mean?" Scorpius asked confused. Tony turned red at seeing the six year old gazing up to him inquisitively.
"Nothing worth repeating," he stammered as Harry looked amused at his predicament.
They talked on. About what Harry had been doing ('Hey! I like working with my hands and with food. I will not be a stuffy Lord that only keeps his estate, besides goblins are far better at that!), to how he had met Tony ('Huh, never guessed that he has his own personal Granger deluxe' Draco mumbled). Narcissa told them stories of her and Andromeda growing up.
Kreacher popped in every now and then with refreshments and snacks.
It was around one o'clock that Harry was talking to Narcissa and Tony with Draco. The boys were lying on a sofa, out for the night. They were expected to stay the night in the room, but not awake though Teddy had tried. Harry could hear Tony explaining to Draco what his company all dealt in, and what his new plans were. He focused his attention back on Narcissa.
"Narcissa, as you know, Andromeda was my proxy for the Black seat on the Wizengamot." Narcissa nodded, everyone in magical Britain had known that.
"I want you to be my proxy. I would like to keep it in the family, and I'll be returning to America." Narcissa's eyes widened in shock.
"But, we never had the same political beliefs!" She stammered.
"Narcissa, I kept up with the news here, mainly through Minerva and Kingsley. Are you telling me that your charity work integration muggleborns in wizarding culture, especially for the girls, was only an act to repair the damage to the Malfoy name?" Harry asked amused.
"Well, no." Narcissa was overwhelmed. But she had been raised a Black and a Slytherin. Politics was in her blood. The idea of using her well-trained mind in such an arena was appealing to her.
"As long as I have your oath not to follow the former pure-blood agenda, especially in upcoming creature laws, I want to name you proxy."
Narcissa understood what Harry was saying. He had caught wind of the changes that could be happening. By casting Narcissa in a neutral, egalitarian role, it could give enough counterweight to stem it. It was a heavy responsibility, but she could not deny the thrill of excitement it send through her body.
"I agree," she was convinced that Harry was trying to do the right thing. And she was now free to make her own stand. And Harry was right; if the old agenda was pointed on the creature laws, it would have devastating effects on the community.
Harry smiled at the witch and held out his hand to seal the deal.
"I do have to make an appearance at the coming Wizengamot session. In that session I will name you my new proxy. That will give Skeeter something to blow her quill over." Narcissa winked conspiratorial.
On the other side of the room, Draco was becoming more and more amazed by what Tony explained to him.
"The moon?" he couldn't believe it. "You say that in the sixties, muggles put men on the moon?"
Tony nodded amused.
"Why are you so surprised? In 1945, us Yanks dropped two atomic bombs in Japan. If we would go into a world war right now, the earth will be destroyed by the amount of damage done by nuclear bombs. My dad worked on the Manhattan project, he used to say 'peace means having the biggest stick'. Someone needs to guard the world." Draco's head was spinning, before he forced himself to sift through all the information.
"But you shut your weapon manufacturing." Draco cried out. Tony nodded.
"I was in Afghanistan, and I saw that the terrorists there had somehow come into possession of my weapons. Harry is suspicious of the board, I just don't know what the hell anymore with my company. So I shut it down, better safe than even more sorry." Draco could tell this was not all there was to that story, but let it lay for now. They just met this evening, he wasn't ready to tell about all the horrors he witnessed as a Death Eater either.
"Draco," he looked up and saw Harry watching them, he smiled hesitantly. Draco smiled back.
"I've never realized. There's still a debt to settle." All the Malfoys stifled at those words. Tony ruthlessly pushed down the urge to cackle in glee. He could see the mischievous light in Harry's eyes. There was no way this was going where the Malfoys feared it would.
"Yes, there is." The words came out stiffly.
"I hereby absolve Draconis Lucius Malfoy from his life debt to my, Harry James Potter. So do I swear, so mote it be." Draco could only gape at him in astonishment, Harry just shrugged.
"What? You're family now, guess that means no debts and all that crap."
Draco shook his head in disbelief. He decided that no matter how hard he tried, he would never understand Potter.
When the dawn came, the Blacks rose as well. Saying quiet last goodbyes to Andromeda, and promising each other to keep in touch, they departed.
Harry and Tony put Teddy in bed and made their way to their own room. Lying in bed, and in each other's arms, they talked more.
"In a week there's the Wizengamot session." Harry held his hand in front of his mouth as he yawned. "That'll be a blast."
Tony kissed the man.
"You'll rule it, gorgeous." And cuddling close to each other they fell asleep.
The morning came, and now with Andromeda's night watch over, it was time to look ahead at the future.
Next Chapter: Wizengamot session (with Tony!) and seeing Hogwarts before returning to the States. So only one chapter after this before going on with Iron man storyline...