A/N: Chap 28 review responses available in my forum. And a note-this is one of those inevitable, absolutely necessary character-building chapters that is slow on action, but essential to establish Astoria in the fic.
Chapter Twenty-Nine: And Then There Were Three
Astoria, or Tori as she preferred, suffered from nightmares worse than any Harry had experienced. It started with a low moan and a hard kick to Harry's shin. He woke and sat up, conscious of the small girl beside him thrashing. Opposite her, Luna sat up in alarm as well.
The moan turned to a loud cry of pain, and the pleading: "Daphne, don't! Please don't! I'm sorry! Please don't give me to him. Please. I'm sorry…."
Harry wrapped his arm around her chest and pushed his magic into her. Tori went perfectly still at the sudden heat of his touch before suddenly erupting in great, body-shaking sobs. Harry let go long enough for her to turn to him and bury her face in his shoulder, clinging to his body desperately as she cried.
It was the cursed magic of their brand new bonds that turned what should have been innocent comfort into desperate coupling. Worse yet, she kept crying even as she kissed him and ground into him with all her petite body could give. Only when they were done and she collapsed into him was Harry able to simply hold her.
"I'm sorry," she finally said. "I didn't mean…"
Harry shushed her with a finger, kissed her forehead, and gently pulled her head back down on his chest. It was odd that, though she was more petite than even Luna, she actually felt heavier on his chest than Hermione because of how limited her magic was. Luna or Hermione could actually sleep on his chest—had done so, in fact—and he rarely felt anything because their own magic made them light to ease their mutual comfort. Without an excess amount of magic to affect it, though, Astoria's body felt her actual weight.
Even so, he did not mind. "You're mine now, Tori," he said as he gently stroked her hair. "And I'm yours, just like you and Luna belong to each other, or you and Hermione. We will never hit you, or hurt you like that again. I swear on my magic."
"I don't deserve this," she whispered.
"That's the wrackspurts talking," Luna said. "If anything it's far overdue. I'm just sorry it's going to get so crowded."
Tori sat up on Harry, causing him to grin at the sensation. She was such a thin girl, with tiny breasts that rose as barely visible humps from her chest, and yet she was also amazingly sensual. "What do you mean?"
"That girl you saw in the hospital wing, helping guard you?" Luna asked.
"You mean Bones and Abbott?"
"No, they're bonded to Neville already. I was talking about Justine."
Harry could see she meant absolutely nothing by it. She used the world only because that was how she'd been taught to speak. Rather than be angry, Harry sat up and suckled her small breasts to get her attention. Wide-eyed, she looked down at him, and it was then he said, "Since you are a part of this family now, you need to know that we don't use that word. It's mean."
She cringed and tried to back away, but Harry held her tight. "Tori," he said quickly, pushing magic into her again until she flushed. "Tori, please listen. I was raised by Muggles. They were trash, but I was raised in the Muggle world. So was your sister wife, Hermione, and so was Justine. They are good people, Astoria, and I care very much for them. They've shared my bed, and when we finish our O.W.L.s, I will bond with Justine as well."
She stopped struggling and stared at him in shock. "So I'll really be a part of a…"
"We are going to form a new coven," Luna confirmed as she scooted over to sit right beside Harry. "And you are going to be a part of it. But we are not going to be like the Black Coven. Our coven is going to champion the rights of wizards and Muggleborns."
Astoria actually looked confused. As if the idea were so preposterous she didn't know what to think. "Why…why would they need any rights?"
"Imagine a world, Astoria, where what Daphne and your mother did to you was illegal?" Harry said. "Where Aurors would have come and arrested them and taken you to live someplace safe."
"Like here, with us," Harry said, fighting to keep it simple. "Wouldn't that be nice, to have a world where daughters, even young daughters who don't have as much magic as others, were treated properly and loved?"
"I suppose," she said, still unsure of such a place ever existing.
"That's how the Muggle world is," Harry said. "I mean, sure, it's not perfect, but the Muggle government actually tries to protect its children. If not for the wards on my house, the Dursleys couldn't have managed half of what they did, but even then it wasn't as bad as anything you faced. The coven system is broken, Tori. Look at us! You're just now fifteen, and yet we're married. That's not the way it's supposed to be!"
"And next you'll tell me there's only supposed to be one wife, like in those Mad Muggle funnies," she said.
"Magic and our biology dictate otherwise," Luna said. "We aren't Muggles, so some of our customs will remain different. But we believe very strongly that the Sabbat should not have the right to force wizards to bond against their will. We believe that witches should not be forced to try poaching boys younger than them; or be given as gifts by their dames to old, lecherous, bonded wizards or goblins. We believe this, Tori, and we're going to fight for it."
"And you're going to be a part of it," Harry said.
She pouted and looked down at her flat chest. "I won't be much good. I fired a stunning curse at Leona Hensley last month and all it did was make her trip. The whole class laughed at me because my magic was so weak."
"You're the best in your year at potions," Luna pointed out.
"Don't need much magic for that, do I?"
"I'm pants at potions," Harry said. "You can help me with my work, then, and…what?"
"You're hard again," Astoria said, wiggling in delight. "I like shagging you, Harry Potter. You're nice about it."
"Isn't he, though?" Luna said.
After, they realize it was almost time to wake anyway, so Harry carried his new bride to the expanded washroom while Luna filled a tub with hot water for them, and he and Astoria climbed in together. Hermione wandered in a few minutes later, her hair a mess.
"So, you two had fun then," she said.
"Oh yes!" Astoria gushed. Then, with a look back at Harry, said, "I'm sorry if I ever called you Mudblood. I'll try not to remember to say it."
"I appreciate that," Hermione said carefully. "So have you filled her in, Harry?"
"Baby steps, Hermione," Luna said. She then padded to the shower. "So, sister, care to wash my back?"
"You know I don't…." Hermione blinked at looked at the large, full tub, then back at Luna's wry smile. "Oh blast it, why not?"
Luna hopped in place and clapped. "Oh, goody!"
As the two girls stripped and ducked into the shower, Astoria turned to Harry and whispered, "For a Mu…I mean, Muggleborn, she is really pretty. I wish I had baps like that."
Harry leaned close and kissed her nose. "Tori, you've shagged me rotten all night, more times than either of those girls have ever been able to with me at once. You're pretty bloody cute."
She blinked and stared at him as if struck before just the hint of a smile graced her lips. "Well, it's a nice thing to say, I suppose."
"I'm going to have to shag you again to convince you I'm serious, aren't I?"
"Wouldn't hurt," she said.
In the shower, Luna rolled her eyes while Hermione stared back. The sounds of moans and splashing water were clear. "How many times does that make it?"
"Seven since last night," Luna said.
Hermione gaped, but then started laughing. Luna pouted and said, "And why is that funny?"
"She's doing to you what you used to do to me," Hermione said, not bothering to hide her laughter. "It made me so jealous to wake up next to the pair of you shagging. You tried to keep quiet, but it was a bad job of it, let me tell you."
Luna grinned, and then laughed. "Turnabout is fair play, I suppose. Just wait until your friend Justine joins us. We may never have Harry again."
Hermione stopped laughing. "Now that's a sad thought."
Given everything that had happened they chose to eat together in their room that evening. Fortunately, the castle elves were willing to provide a meal to them, since despite the kitchen area in their suite there was no food there to actually cook.
It was awkward if only because the introduction of the Slytherin broke the delicate balance that Luna and Hermione had developed since Christmas. It was further complicated by the fact that, because of when her birthday fell, Hermione was a year and a half older than both girls despite only being a year ahead. In fact, she was almost a year older than Harry was as well. Not only did this mean she was older, it also meant she was more developed emotionally and physically.
The newly turned 15-year-old Astoria Greengrass was on the other side of the maturity spectrum. Harry, being a teenage boy himself, wasn't able to catch a burp in time. He said excuse me, but Tori started giggling as if it were the funniest thing in the world.
A moment later, she farted. The other three at the table looked up and stared, surprised. Astoria turned bright red before she started laughing uproariously. "Tori, honestly, it wasn't that funny," Hermione said.
The younger girl blew a raspberry at her, and then started laughing again. Suddenly Harry leaned in his chair an unleashed a prolonged, cheek-flapping explosion of flatulence that left the entire room staring in shock. Until, that is, Astoria fell out of her chair, laughing. "What?" Harry asked with feigned innocence at the glare of his other two wives. "My tummy is upset."
"Mine is too, now," Hermione said archly. "Honestly, Harry, that was foul!"
Astoria grabbed the edge of the table and said, "It didn't smell good, either!" She collapsed back to the floor, laughing at her own poor joke.
Later that night, after dinner, Hermione asked Astoria if she had any homework.
"I don't care about homework," the younger girl said. "I'm married now; I don't need to go to school anymore."
"Oh, really?" Luna said with one arched brow.
Astoria sank in her chair a little. "Well, mum didn't after she got married."
"And how did that work out for her children?" Hermione said.
Tori looked as if she'd been slapped, and a moment later launched herself at Hermione, screaming like a banshee. Hermione was completely unprepared for the sheer viciousness of the attack, but fortunately was literally twice the girl's size and was able to overpower her and pin her to the floor.
"You fucking Mudblood cow, don't you talk about my mum!" Tori screamed, flecks of spittle at her mouth and complete, overwhelming rage possessing her whole body.
Hermione fought hard not to slap the girl; given what she knew of Tori's past, it would only make things worse. Instead, she pulled her to her feet and said, "Go to your room!"
"You can't tell me what to do, I'm second wife!" Tori screamed back.
"And I'm first wife," Luna said with forced calm, "and Hermione is older than either of us. As far as I'm concerned, she outranks you. Now go to your room."
Just then Harry walked into the room with a few books from the library in hand. Tori darted past Luna and Hermione, launched herself into his arms, which caused him to drop the books, and kissed him passionately.
"Harry, they're picking on me!" Tori cried. "Make them go to their rooms!"
Hermione gaped at the sheer gall of the girl. She looked at Luna and said, "Is she serious?"
"I think she is," Luna said.
Harry stared wide-eyed at all his wives, gently put Tori down, and then said, "You know, I think I forgot something at the library!" He turned and left the room at a run.
"Coward!" Hermione cried.
"I think that was quite wise," Luna said.
Tori, though, looked as if she'd been slapped. "He left me," she moaned, before collapsing the floor in a torrent of tears.
When Harry came back an hour later, it was to the sight of Hermione and Luna sitting at the table in the kitchenette area with a half-empty bottle of wine between them. He knew wine was available from the kitchen to older students, but still it was an odd sight. "Er, hi," he said. "Where's Tori?"
"She's in your room, crying," Luna said.
"Why?" Harry asked.
"Because you left her," Hermione said with icy, precise enunciation. "She's an abused child, Harry. She probably watched Daphne go to an authority figure every time she wanted to get Tori in trouble, and because she thought you were the authority figure, she tried to do the same thing to us. She's grown up believing love was what her mother did for Daphne, and so that's what she was expecting."
"Whereas we," Luna said archly, "were expecting our husband to be a part of our family, and help with a difficult situation."
"We were all a bit disappointed now, weren't we?" Hermione said. She finished a last swig of wine—it was a dark red colour.
"You're mad at me," he said.
Luna snorted, while Hermione pursed his lips. "Harry," she said, "has she really shagged you stupid? Of course we're mad. We needed you and you just ran away!"
"It looked like you were handling it!" Harry said quickly.
"Didn't you tell us you wanted things handled by all of us as a family?" Luna asked. "I could just start making decisions for all of us as First Wife. What to wear, when to go to bed, who to associate with. She's in there, Harry, because she refuses to do her homework. She physically attacked Hermione. And then she had the gall to try and get us in trouble with you."
Harry ran a hand through his hair. "I don't know what to do," he finally said. "It's not like I ever had a dad to tell me how to handle these things."
"She's a pureblood witch from a dark traditional family," Hermione said. "So, maybe we should treat her like that. By tradition, who has the most authority in the family?"
"The Dame, then the Elder, then the First Wife, then the second wife, then the husband. Any other wives are considered subordinate since they're so rare. But she doesn't acknowledge our authority," Luna said.
"This Alphard, what do we know of him?" Harry asked.
"During the hols, Sybil said he was a sickly wizard, not even a century old but already weak. She speculated it was because of Dame Cassandra had him poisoned. The only other men Tori's known were the ones Daphne gave her to." Hermione frowned at this. "It is barbaric, really."
"And those men all had a type of authority over her," Luna noted. "A harsh, dominating authority, because her sister or mum gave her to them. That's why she's gravitating toward Harry."
"That sounds really sick," Harry said, deeply uncomfortable with what they were suggesting.
"Harry, you're used to us," Hermione said. "I've always been rather…mature for my age, I suppose. And Luna has her vision, and is also very mature for her age. Tori—Tori is one of the few girls I know who actually acts like a teenage girl. She's rebellious, angry and violent sometimes, and will not hesitate to manipulate you. You're going to have to go in there and put your foot down."
Harry shifted uncomfortably. "When Uncle Vernon said that, he meant taking a belt to me."
Hermione flushed, but Luna took his hand. "What we mean, Harry, is that you're going to have to set the rules down for her. She'll accept them from you. And you're going to have to be willing to punish her."
"I won't hit her," Harry said fervently.
"Of course not," Luna said with a sigh. "I'm talking about making her stay in her room alone, or doing lines, or chores. If she's really bad, threaten to withhold sex."
"Luna!" Hermione said.
Luna, though, shook her head. "It's the only type of physical affection she knows, Harry. Remember how much the isolation curse hurt Hermione? The only touch Tori has had, was either abuse, or sex, or a combination. Even I have to admit, she's actually quite good in bed. At some point or another, she learned that sex could get her what she wanted, or at least could reduce her punishments, and more importantly it was touch that she needed, but which didn't hurt as badly as being beaten. If you threaten sex, you are threatening the only physical means of affection and control she understands, and that will get her attention. At least try it. We need to gain control of the situation quickly."
Both girls were looking sharply at him. "Whose idea was this again?" He asked.
"Narcissa Black's," Hermione pointed out. "Draco's mother, and someone who probably wants us all dead."
"Right, well, she's doing a bang up job." Harry took the bottle of wine and finished the rest of it. "Gah, horrible stuff."
"You're an unrefined heathen," Hermione said archly.
"But you have a cute arse," Luna added.
"Good to know."
He walked like a condemned man to the door of the room he'd slept in with Luna and that night, took a deep breath, and then stepped inside.
Tori was lying naked on her stomach in the middle of the bed, paging through an old copy of Hermione's Witch Weekly magazine. She looked up and grinned. "Harry, you came back! Come shag me!"
She ran off the bed and jumped into his arms, grinding her nethers against him. Her weight forced him stumbling forward until he collapsed onto the bed with her under him, her legs around his waist and her hands pulling at his shirt and buckle. She had a look of intense, desperate concentration on her face when she undid his pants, freed his smaller head, and to his utter shock took his whole member into her tiny mouth.
"Tori!" He backed away and straightened himself. She sat on the edge of the bed, her mouth still open, her eyes wide. A moment later she spun and dove face first into a pillow, screaming and punching the bed.
Still shaking from the experience, Harry walked back to the bed and placed a hand on her back. She screamed louder. "Tori, please talk to me."
"Go away!" she screamed.
Harry recalled what the other girls told him, stood up, and in his best McGonagall voice said, "Young lady, you are going to sit up and listen to me right now!"
Astonishingly, it worked. Tori sat up, her face red and blotchy with tears and mucus.
"Now Hermione and Luna told me what happened earlier."
"They were just lying to get me in trouble," she said in a small voice.
"Tori, Luna is First Wife. She can pretty much punish you any way she wants. They don't need me to get you in trouble."
"They can't make me do my homework!" Suddenly she shifted from anger to pleading faster than Harry could follow. "You have money, Harry. You don't need me to finish school, do you? Please let me drop out. I'll shag you twice a day. If you don't like it in my mouth, you could put it in my arse. I'll…I'll do anything. Put a baby in me, put twenty, I don't care. Just don't make me go to school anymore. I hate it here!"
The sight of his naked wife pleading was almost more than that he could bear. "Tori, you'll need your O.W.L.s to be a witch in our society. Your Mum has her O.W.L.s, doesn't she?"
"But she doesn't need them, she's a Dame!"
"She couldn't have been a dame without at least her O.W.L.s," Harry said. "Tori, I'm sorry, but you're going to have to finish this year and pass your GCSE exams, and you're going to have to go back next year for your O.W.L.s. Hermione and Luna are both very smart. You need to let them help you and do what they say."
"Or what?" she demanded.
What he said next was the hardest thing he'd ever said, and he hated it. "Or I won't shag you anymore, and you'll have to sleep by yourself again."
Tori stared at him in open horror, before diving back into the pillow and screaming for him go away. Harry went, feeling miserable with himself. Luna and Hermione were where he left them, only now doing their own homework. He wondered if the wine made the homework easier or harder. It also reminded him that he had a Transfiguration Essay due. He was so desperate to get the Slytherin out of his mind he actually fetched his things and started working on it.
Half an hour later, Astoria stepped out of the room, just as naked as when he last saw her. As she walked across the room, Harry was startled by just how young she looked. Despite having shagged her silly the previous night and day, it struck him how terrible the girl's life had been, and how wrong it was for her to be married as young as she was. Wizards, he realized, were not the only victims of the Coven system
She walked up to the table and stood beside Luna, her head bowed. She wiped away a tear from a blotched face, and said, "I'm sorry, Sister."
Turning to Hermione, she repeated herself. Finally, she walked over to Harry and started sobbing. "I'm sorry, my husband."
With a desperate look at the other girls, he gathered Tori onto his lap as she cried. "It's okay, Tori. We're not mad at you, I promise. We just need you to do what we ask. It's for all our sakes."
"I will," she promised.
"Do you have any homework?" Hermione asked gently.
Tori nodded. "Biology in Muggle Studies. I don't understand it."
"Merlin, that nearly killed me too," Harry said, trying his best to lighten the mood. "But it just so happens your sister wife received top marks on all her GCSE core and elective subjects. Go fetch a robe and your books, and I'm sure she'd be willing to help you."
"If…if I do well, and try real hard, will you still sleep with me?"
She beamed a smile at him before jumping off his lap to get her things. When she was gone, Harry said softly, "I feel filthy."
"We are as the Covens and magic intended," Luna said. "Randy because our magic compels us and married ridiculously young because the Covens were threatened by us. But I think it's for the best, Harry. It's obvious that among all of us, you are her authority figure, and Morgana and Merlin know she's better off with us than with her old family."
"Just make bloody sure you never abuse that authority," Hermione said darkly.
"Never," Harry agreed.
Author's Note: Very special thanks as always to Teufel1987, JR and Miles for beta reading. If there are any major faux-pas, they are entirely of my own doing.