Chapter 30 – The Scenes You Thought You Missed
Ch. 3 – Percy Gets Told (Off)
Percy had unexpectedly attacked Harry for the article in the Daily Prophet that had suggested that he and Lady Greengrass had been intimate. After Harry had been rescued he and Ginny had thrown Percy into the Weasley pond and locked him out of the Burrow. Then they explained the truth of the matter to the rest of the Weasleys - that Harry was getting to know Daphne as a marriage contract between them had been revealed in the reading of her parent's will. Molly and Arthur apologized for their son's actions and Harry asked them not to disclose the whole truth to Percy.
It was right after Harry had went upstairs with Ginny, Daphne and Astoria that a very nervous Percy cautiously looked in the front door to the Burrow.
"You may come in. Harry has gone upstairs with Ginny and the Greengrass girls."
Percy pointed at his drenched clothes and then his throat. His mother looked at him very hard for a long moment and then cast a rather brusque drying charm on him. "Ginny said she removed the silencing spell as well as the locking charms on the windows and doors. Luna would you come with me and help gather some beans out of the garden? I'm quite not in the mood to address my son at the moment."
Percy was confused why his mother wouldn't look at him at all on her way out and that Luna seemed ready to strike him. He watched them head out to the garden and turned back to see his father staring at him also.
"Quiet! Don't say another word! Come in and sit down Percival. I don't believe your mother and I have ever been so upset and disappointed in you. You will listen to some real facts now."
Arthur Weasley turned to walk into the living room and a confused Percy silently followed him. He took the chair his father indicated and then noticed his brothers; George and Fred were slouched on the couch with their arms crossed over their chests. Ronald, meek and easygoing Ronald, was pacing back and forth in back of the couch and seemed to be restraining himself from shouting at him.
"I was just trying to defend Ginevra."
"You promised her and us that you would give Harry a chance to explain. DID YOU?"
"No but he…"
"Didn't have a chance to say a word before you attacked him. That's my friend. You prat!"
Percy was surprised at the outburst from his youngest brother. Arthur shook his head. "That was a vile and despicable act; one that I never believed you of all my sons would take. Dear Merlin, where and how do I start this? Okay, Percy how would you describe the Daily Prophet?"
"It's the most comprehensive and accurate paper in magical England. It goes out of its way to support the Minister of Magic and the Ministry in general."
"And your opinion of Rita Skeeter?"
"She gets insightful scoops on a number of important issues. Her reporting is usually very accurate if a little colorful."
George voiced his disagreement. Rather strenuously too. "Colorful my…"
"… arse. She's a headline grabbing…"
"…rumor spreading sensationalist. Watch your language boys!" Arthur finished for Fred.
"And you fell for it like a first year and the rumor mill at Hogwarts" George said as Ron came around then end of the couch. Fred stood up and physically stopped him from rushing at Percy.
"Was fully prepared to wait until Harry could explain things to us."
"How could there be an explanation for Harry consorting with that Slytherin girl?" Percy barked out.
"Oh Percy. This is the time you get emotional? Since you're the one that's started a job at the ministry would you mind reminding your brothers what the penalty is for attacking the head of an Ancient and Noble Family?"
"The standard penalty is fifteen years confinement at… Oh, Merlin! What have I done? It's okay; if it will save Ginevra from that scoundrel, it will have been worth it."
Ron growled and did rush at his older brother then. Arthur stopped his charge by putting himself in between them and getting Ron into a rough hug. The boy looked up into his father's face for about twenty seconds and then retreated to the couch and sat in between the twins. Arthur turned around and gently pushed Percy back into the seat he had risen from. Looking into his son's eyes from about a foot away Arthur just shook his head sadly. "For what you did to Harry, he has the right to demand that I expel you from our family. And right now, neither your mother nor I would refuse that request."
"But nothing, your actions could have led to a full scale blood feud between our families or Harry challenging you to a wizard's duel. It may still although Harry seems to be willing to overlook such a blatant attack because you are Ginny's brother."
"He's only a third year. I should be able to beat him."
"You're bonking mad!" both the twins yelled out.
Fred straightened up on the couch up glaring. "Who do you think you just assaulted? That was Harry. Remember…. Harry… Potter? The Boy-Who-Lived? He got that title by defeating You-Know-Who when he was in nappies! The same person that rescued Ginny by killing a 60 foot basilisk! You wouldn't last two seconds in a wizard's duel against him. I'm almost willing to see what Ginny might still do to you for attacking her husband!"
The blunt description finally got through Percy's outrage and his face whitened. "But the article about running off with Lady Greengrass?"
"They did not run off together. He was invited by Lady Greengrass to spend some time at Greengrass Manor so that Hermione and Ginny could spend some time alone with their mothers after that kidnapping. Both his wives knew that Harry and Daphne were discussing business arrangements between the various companies they own."
Ron had a particularly evil grin on his face when he explained further. "And Lord Gryffindor was there supervising and being a chaperone."
"Yes, her guardian. Would you like to take him on as well for insulting his ward so badly? Or attacking Harry who he's really close to?"
Percy shook his head. "I… I seem to have made a horrible mistake."
Arthur shook his head. "Seem? Seem! That would be an understatement of dragon-sized proportions."
"Hey, a little glimmer of intelligence…" came from Fred.
"… from our overprotective but very misguided sibling. We may still disown you Percy; you've really hurt our sister and our little Harrikins."
Arthur placed a hand on Percy's shoulder. "Now do you finally understand the enormity of the wrongness of your actions? You'd better go upstairs and apologize to Harry, Ginny and Daphne. By the way, Daphne has just informed us that her parents' will disclosed an arranged marriage contract with the son of a very well-respected family."
Percy silently bowed his head. "Oh Merlin, I'm so sorry father. Ginny will never forgive me will she?
Arthur shook his head. "Odds aren't too good but the quicker you go, the more they may believe a sincere apology."
"On your knees would be the proper place for groveling brother" George supplied.
"I'm heading up now but if you hear another scream, I'll probably be heading back to the pond." Percy stood and squared his shoulders before heading reluctantly for the stairs. His footsteps were heard climbing upward and Arthur finally let himself relax.
"Well. That's about all we can do for him; I hope they all forgive him."
"It's Harry. He may not like it but he'll eventually forgive the idiot."
"Okay, you boys better make yourself scarce. Ron, you may want to walk Luna back home now."
"Why?" Both the twins and Ron wanted to know the reasons for leaving the Burrow.
"Well, I think your brother's been publicly embarrassed enough. But…"
"Your mother hasn't talked to Percival yet."
"We'll be out flying" the twins said quickly as they headed for the door.
"And I'll be back before supper" Ron said as he hurried out after them.
Arthur was suddenly in an empty living room and wondered if any of his sons wanted company. It would not be quiet in the Burrow for a long while in spite of silencing spells. Arthur looked up the stairway and then whistled a tune as he headed outside. He hadn't visited with Xeno Lovegood in a long time and now seemed a good opportunity to correct that mistake. At least his error didn't involve facing the wrath of a number of powerful youngsters. Or…
Calling out to his wife in the garden Arthur shouted "He's going upstairs to apologize but then he's all yours."
Molly nodded and gathered up her basket to go into the Burrow.
Ch. 9 and ¾ – The Littlest Request
It was three days before Daphne's Greengrasses 15th birthday and she, Astoria and the three Potters were all quietly working on their own projects in Harry's study. For Daphne, it meant catching up with a few days' worth of correspondence concerning the various businesses that made up Greengrass Industries. Hermione was perusing the latest 5th year Charms textbook as a review and possible inclusion in the DA lesson plans she had already started outlining for Harry's approval. Ginny was writing her brother Charlie and telling him a modified version of the rescue of their mother, Dee Granger and Gracie Christchurch-Black from the Death Eaters. She also told him of their dealings with the Griffins since she knew her brother would be very interested in the powerful flying creatures. Astoria was reviewing the potions essay homework that Narcissa Black had assigned to all her first year students.
Harry was finishing the last of the summer reading assignment Professor McGonagall had given out when there came a rather tentative knock on the door to the study. Looking around to see if anybody was anticipating visitors, Harry called out for the person or persons to enter. The door opened and closed almost silently and Harry had to stand up to see who had entered. It was the second smallest member of the household- Harmionny. (A small male house elfling named Wellky had been borne a few days before to Greija and Jatin, both excellent gardeners and growers.)
Harmionny walked forward very shyly and Harry could see that she had something clutched in her hand.
"Good morning Harmionny."
"Good morning Harry, Ladies Ginny, Hermione, Tori and Daphne."
The rest of the girls had put down their parchments and books and came over to see the little house elf and wish her a good morning. She smiled at them all but then her face got all serious and she took a couple of steps toward Harry and opened up her little fist. Harry tried not to frown as he beheld one of the small griffin pins he had given the elf's parents. Harry tried remembering the latest language lesson he had learned from Tride and Dobby as he went down to his knees to address the elfling.
"Is that your Aita's (father's)?"
"Why did you borrow it Harmionny? I am not upset but your guarasos (parents) may be."
"They told me this was a token you gave so that they could come and talk to you at any time."
Hermione came close and bent down beside the youngster. "And you wanted to make sure that we would listen to you."
The little elf nodded quickly. Harry sighed but grinned. "Harmionny, you don't need to have that griffin pin to talk to us. Unless we are in the midst of supper or dealing with other visiting human grownups we will always have time to talk to you or any of our Lasterketas. You are all part of our family here."
"I will have to tell my guarasos I borrowed it?"
"You should Harmionny" Astoria said. "It is a matter of trust in your family. Grandelf Knop may be upset that it could be seen as a deception."
"Oh no!" The little elf seemed very upset at the explanation but Harry held out a hand to take up Harmionny's. "It will be okay when you tell Llasol and Rettus your reason. What did you want to ask us?"
"It's not important now. I will leave."
"Please stay apurlagun(little one); I wish to know what you want."
The little elf was suddenly shy. "I request nicely that you play a song on your tresna and sing? Maybe in the welcoming hall?"
"I think we can do that" Harry said as he looked around at his ladies. "What kind of song would you like to hear? A lullaby or something loud and fast so you can dance around?"
"A song for your wives and mates? I like to hear them even if I don't understand all the words yet."
"Hmmm? Okay. But you must go and ask if your Lehengusa can come with his guarasos." Harry had learned during his language lessons that the house elves had a very complex social structure involving family and staff relations. Lehengusa was a term for the closest one in age out of all the elves bound to the Lord or Lady of the House. It was a role of guide and friendship as far as Harry could understand the description that was given to him.
Harmionny actually shivered in anticipation and disappeared with a sudden pop. Harry got off his knees and looked to the others. "You can stay here if you'd rather not take a break."
"Oh no, we're coming. You're supposed to be singing to us" Ginny declared smiling.
Harry held out his arms and Ginny and Daphne were quick to latch on to his elbows while Hermione and Astoria grabbed on to their free hands. While there wasn't room to walk through the door like that, the main hallway was just wide enough for the five to walk abreast of each other. Harry altered his pace and his direction a few times just to keep Ginny laughing and Astoria off balance. When they got to the welcoming hall, Harry was not surprised to see a number of house elves other than the few that he expected. He wasn't too upset as he and his ladies had done a few impromptu concerts with singing or playing instruments since they had taken possession of Potter Manor.
Knop had a quick word with Harry after he unlinked arms with the girls and he nodded over to Jatin and Greija who were holding a small bundle between them. Llasol was waiting three steps up the staircase with Harry's mandolin. Harry made a little nod to her when she handed it up to him. Beckoning Astoria over to their place, Harry handed the instrument over to her to hold. Nodding to Knop, the head elf clapped his hands and dress robes appeared on Harry, Hermione and Ginny. The two wives stepped up to the fourth step and each placed a hand on Harry's shoulder.
Harry called out for the new parents and they stepped forward holding a bundle that was their young elf Wellky. Harry welcomed the newest member of the Potter Household and went through the Protection Vows for the young elf. Both Ginny and Hermione helped with the oaths and promised their own support for the new family. About to finish with the ritual, Harry was surprised when Daphne stepped up and asked to speak. He looked at her strangely for a second but then nodded. Daphne gave a slightly nervous look to her fiancé but stepped in front of him to address the trio of house elves and then the others.
"My congratulations on the increase to your family. While I am not as powerful or important a figure as Lord and Ladies Potter, I wish to extend the protections and guarantees of House Greengrass for you, your son and any and all of elves presently bound to House Potter. I do this freely and of my own volition by way of the ancient custom of Innuptus Sponsare."
There was evident surprise on the faces of most of the house elves that were gathered but Knop was the first to smile and bow down to Daphne. The rest of the house elves present did the same and Lady Greengrass returned their salute with a curtsey of her own.
The elves were still talking to themselves when Daphne turned and leaned up to give Harry a small kiss.
"What did you just do?"
"Two things. I welcomed all your house elves and invited them into a secondary voluntary bonding with House Greengrass; it will increase their level of magic. And the 'Innuptus Sponsare' told them that we are pledged. It is a rarely used custom for privacy and acknowledgement of a future together. They will hopefully recognize the bond we are growing and will have an increased loyalty to Astoria and me in serving you and your wives."
"You are a very smart Lady."
"As the need arises my Lord."
Harry noticed smiles and some outright affectionate glances aimed at both Daphne and Astoria from the members of his household. He would have to talk some more about magical customs and practices with Daphne and was sure Hermione would also be interested.
Ginny plucked at Harry's wrist and pointed to where Harmionny was standing impatiently with her parents Llasol and Rettus. She was shifting her stare from where Astoria still stood with his mandolin and Harry himself. Harry chuckled a bit and reached out for the instrument. He began tuning it up and watched as the young elf came right up to the bottom of the stairs and sat down waiting for the music to begin. Hermione and Ginny took off their formal robes and went and sat down beside her. Daphne and Astoria were quick to conjure some pillows for everyone and then joined them sitting on the floor.
Harry began playing and singing 'In My Life' and watched as happy faces started smiling back up at him.
Ch. 18 Wrotkill and the Tale of Failures
Harry emerged from the floo at the Leaky Cauldron with none of his usual clumsiness or velocity. He looked around and saw that nobody had noticed him with the hood up on his robes and wished he had thought to bring Hermione along as a witness to his regular arrival.
Nodding to Tom who was serving some firewhiskeys to a pair of older wizards at the bar, Harry walked to the entrance to Diagon Alley and tapped the bricks in the sequence that opened the portal. Diagon Alley was sparsely traveled this morning and Harry had no interruptions in making his way to Gringotts. He stood in line to ask for an audience with Wrotkill but Griphook quickly came up to his side and led him away from the lobby.
"What may I do for Lord Harry today?"
"Good morning Account Manager Griphook. May the blood of your enemies be a warm and comforting carpet under your feet. I wish to see Wrotkill about a prior manner that he wanted information about. If he is not available, I will leave a request to make a formal appointment."
"Follow me and we shall go inquire."
Griphook led Harry through the maze of little offices, down a flight or two or stairs and through a small passageway of torch lit stone before they arrived at a very ornate rune covered door. Harry stayed back a few steps as Griphook passed his hand over a combination of runes (intrusion and privacy) before rapping on the door itself. Griphook went into the office but came back out within about 30 seconds.
"You may enter and need not worry about any disturbances while meeting. I shall wait and escort you back to the lobby or any of your vaults if you so desire."
Harry made a proper bow and baring of his teeth to thank the young goblin and then entered Wrotkill's office. He went directly to the High Mage and went to one knee. "NuqueH, pIn'a' Wrotkill!"
"Greetings Friend Harry. Is this a business or social visit?"
"Actually Master Wrotkill it is a professional one. I have some information that my mates and I have discovered about those eight artifacts that were discovered in the Valcommon vault. I thought you would be the best one to inform Ragnorak since the investigation hasn't been totally completed yet"
Wrotkill pointed to a pair of chairs, stools actually, that sat in a secluded corner of his office behind an open credenza that held a number of devices, magical artifacts and a small collection of odd shaped skulls. Harry tried not to be too inquisitive of the contents of the small bookcase but felt a tug or two of magic as he passed by. Harry hoisted himself up sit in one of the seats and a tray of drinks appeared in midair between him and Wrotkill. Harry cautiously took a mug that looked and smelled like it contained butterbeer while the sorcerer lifted up a small stein of a dark bubbling liquid.
"So what have you found out about the mysterious objects?"
Harry took a sip of the cool liquid before starting his narration. "After we left here that day, my first stop was to Demzelda's and Master Craftsgoblin Cafzod. He had no idea of what material, metal or otherwise, those bracers were made out of but recognized some of the runes on it as dwarvish in origin. Godric Gryffindor's portrait confirmed that they were elemental conduits that belonged to the race of dwarves."
A tightening of his grip on the stein and a barely perceptible nod was the only visible indication that Wrotkill was expecting that information. "I thought it might be that but I was hoping I was wrong."
"Excuse my ignorance, but why did you not tell me that you might know where some of those symbols came from?"
Wrotkill ground his teeth and vanished his half-finished stein. "Because of the history and curse that the Jaght (dwarves in your language) represent. Our wars with the miners over territories, resources, ambitions and objectives ended in the annihilation or disappearance of one race. And a curse placed upon the race of goblins."
Harry was very intrigued at this point about the information of the Dwarves and the curse to the goblins. He wasn't sure if it was right, proper or allowed to ask any further question about what he had heard so far. Wrotkill must have guessed Harry's dilemma so he continued. "Ragnorak may question my judgment about telling you any further but you have shown yourself to a friend of the Goblin Nation Harry Potter. I shall tell you of the goblin version of the dwarves and the curse that was inflicted upon us because of our hatred of one another."
"To our way of thinking Dwarves were always been competitors against us. They built their cities and their highways underground and took up space that we could have used for mining and exploiting the other treasures within the earth. We found their practice of smelting and creating not only weapons but pretties for just ornaments or decorations unseemly. Where is the profit in that – it was totally wasteful and an insult to our goblin way of life."
"You fought about aesthetics?" Harry said a little disbelievingly.
"It was not only that but their infernal arrogance of looking at us as lower creatures to be subjugated or tossed aside. It was a racial war of increasing hatred and disregard on both sides. The final blow to any chance of reconciliation happened at a peace conference held a long, long time ago. That happened near the present town of Ober Fenwickgarten in what is now Germany. It was a meeting to split territories and to try and establish some amicable trade agreements and inter-species understanding."
"The second day at daybreak the gathering was overrun by a horde of vile creatures. Ogres, Dire wolves, Sphinxes, Cerberuses, Lava dragons and Inferi from both races. It was a slaughter, despite the weapons both the dwarves and goblins had at hand."
"And each side blamed the other for the attack by the foul beasts."
"As you summise."
"So it went to all out genocide against each other?"
"Unfortunately so for both our races. Almost 50 years passed before the last of their race was exterminated. It was a mountain clan in Bulgaria that was the last stronghold. It was almost the end of the goblins also; very few of our families survived intact. It has taken many, many generations to rise to our previous numbers; in spite of having to defend ourselves against the magical humans just for our own survival. We no longer have the overbearing hatred for another species although you humans sorely aggravate us. We changed our focus of being to banking and other endeavors you haven't the slightest knowledge about. And most know now not to test our capability and resolve to fight."
"You spoke of a curse. May I ask?"
"It is not a thing a goblin speaks of – to anyone. Let us just say our appearance is not the same as it was when we engaged in war with the dwarves. Whether it was a final curse from the dwarven shamen, a punishment from what we considered ancient gods and demons or the result of our own evilness turned against us is only speculation now. If you find the origin or history of those still unknown runes on those bracers, you may solve an age old mystery that might somehow lift this curse from our race."
"I promise we will continue to investigate Master Wrotkill."
"I wish you luck and courage Friend Harry in both learning to use those elemental channels and the truth we both seek."
Harry stood and bowed to the suddenly weary-looking wizard. "Qapla' Master Wrotkill. I apologize for bringing sadness to your day."
"Qapla' Lord Harry. Death to all our possible enemies."
Harry joined Griphook on the walk back to the Gringotts lobby and wondered if the sense of loss he was feeling was for the dwarves, the goblins or himself.
Ch. 22 - Bungalow 23
Once out the classroom after the Technomancy lecture Harry sought out his wives mentally. Sirius and the rest of the group were slowly cruising back to the hotel dock but Ginny estimated that they would be almost an hour before they would arrive and could change for lunch. Daphne got a smile on her face when she heard that news and hurried Harry across the lobby to one of the little transport rooms.
"What's the hurry?" Harry asked as Daphne shut the door behind them.
Daphne didn't speak a word but threw her arms around Harry's neck. "Do I really have to say it?"
"I'd like to hear it; at least once in a while."
"Very well, but I'm not going to make a habit of this. Harry, please take me back and snog the socks off me for a while."
Harry picked the shorter blond up and kissed her. "You're wish is my command, Lady Greengrass."
"You can call me Sweetums for a while" Daphne said with a wink.
Harry opened his mouth to say something but it suddenly got busy with something entirely different. The two were still lip locked as the portkey activated.
Harry felt the floor shift ever so subtlety under his feet and knew they had arrived at their own bungalow. Daphne reluctantly relinquished his lips and then looked around. "We're all alone here; not even the resort elves are around now."
"I know Harry; I'm just trying to decide where we should go."
"To snog silly. If you want to."
Harry's answer took Daphne's breath away and Harry led her to the nearest couch. "How about this then?"
"Ginny, Nonnie could you give us a call before you return to the bungalow?"
"Having your wicked way with Harry then?"
"Just a little bit."
Harry had a slightly amused smile on his face after Daphne finished her mental conversation with his wives. "You don't want any interruptions?"
"I just thought it would be nice if we got dressed before they got back. I know you don't care but what if Astoria or Gracie or even Amelia came with them?"
"You are a crafty witch."
Daphne responded by tugging Harry's shirt out of his trousers and over his head. She ran her hands over Harry's muscular torso and then raised her arms. "Your turn!"
Harry leaned in for a quick kiss and then took her sundress by the waist and raised it over her head to drop it on the floor. Harry just could help himself from taking a step back to get a good look at the blond beauty. Daphne's hair was just a little tussled from the removal of her outer layer of clothes and she swayed her hips just a little bit from side to side. Daphne had a set of light grey semi-sheer bra and knickers and all her treasures were highlighted and visible to Harry's appreciative eyes. "Almost done here - care to remove my bra?"
Harry nodded a little numbly and reached for the front clasp of the underwear but Daphne spun around quickly and laughed over her shoulder. "You'll just have to do it the hard way today."
"Tease!" Harry exclaimed.
"And you're disappointed?"
"Not really." Harry stepped forward so that his front was pressed right into Daphne's back. As he reached under her arms to get to the clasp, Daphne wiggled her bum into Harry's middle. Harry laughed as Daphne felt the reaction she was hoping for. Harry's hands grasped the impressive globes that were within reached and squeezed them a time or two. Daphne hummed her approval and turned her head to kiss Harry's lips. Harry walked his fingers across her breasts and tweaked the growing nipples gently before he found and released the clasp that held the material together. Harry gently drew the sides away and kept caressing her flesh with both full hands and massaging fingers.
Daphne turned in his arms suddenly. "I promise to take care of Em eventually but I'd really just like to kiss you."
"At your Lady's pleasure. Shall we take advantage of this lovely, comfortable couch?"
Daphne grinned and then pushed Harry backward until he sprawled across its length. The blond took great care in arranging herself to slide down on top of him. Harry did his part by holding onto Daphne's chest to both slow her descent and to give both of them some pleasure.
Laughing as she looked into her fiancé's deep green eyes, Daphne lowered her lips to captured Harry's with her own. Tongues stroked lips quickly and some time was spent exploring each other's mouths. Harry reached across Daphne's bare back as they kissed and ran his hands slowly over her muscles in a private and intimate massage. Time flowed around and they lost themselves in the taste and feel of each other's lips.
Daphne struggled to control her breathing but finally had to raise her head to gasp at the unexpected sudden rise in temperature and moistness from her middle. Harry's face was just a little on the dreamy side and he opened his eyelids to see that Daphne's normal sky-blue eyes had turned a lot darker. "So far so good?"
"I don't know where you think I'm complaining about anything?"
"Well, in that case, I feel that it's okay to do this." With a quick clasp to his front and a sudden twist of his hips, Harry switched places so that he was above Daphne now.
"You like the view from up there?" Daphne asked with a shy grin.
"I like the view any and every time I see you Sweetums."
The laugh died in Daphne's throat a she felt the intensity and sincerity of Harry's words. She dipped her head to keep him from seeing the sudden tear that came to her eye but Harry took advantage of that by diving in and nipping Daphne's jugular with his lips. Daphne threw her head back in surprise and then Harry was darting in and out on both sides of her neck licking, kissing, and playing with the sensitive flesh. Another wonderful sensation was added to Daphne's almost overwhelmed body when a hand came creeping up her side to fondle and flick a nipple. A hiss escaped Daphne's lips and Harry took that as a sign to continue onward and downward with his touch.
Daphne felt Harry's lips travel across her collarbone in an amazing sense of wonder as he seemed to find the exact location of every sensitive nerve she had. Harry worked his way back across the hollow of her neck and she was sure that Harry was feeling her rapidly increasing heartbeat through his lips.
When Harry turned southward in his explorations, Daphne's hand came up to carefully hold the back of his head and guide him to where she really wanted his lips and tongue to be. Daphne bit her lip to keep from crying out in joy as Harry's lips started playing with her nipple. Harry felt his head pushed harder into Daphne's breast and tried to remember to keep her other nipple occupied with his fingers as he played with the one he had in his mouth. It was some minutes before Harry eagerly switched sides but as soon as he mouthed the other protrusion Daphne grew rigid under him, whimpered softly and then let out a sudden groan. Harry felt the hands holding his hair tugging him upward and he looked up to see a very surprised look on Daphne's face.
"Did I do something wrong?" Harry anxiously asked.
"No love but I owe Ginny another apology for not believing her."
"She told me you made her come once just by…. doing what you just did to me. I didn't think that it was possible. I was sooooo wrong."
Harry smiled and Daphne raised her hand up to cup his cheek. Harry smiled and leaned into the contact and then turned and kissed her palm. Daphne smiled back at him but then got confused as she saw Harry's face fall.
Harry grimaced and rolled off of Daphne to sit on the floor. Daphne felt her body still tingling just a little bit as she joined him. She waited and finally turned his head so he would look directly at her.
"I'm such a doofus."
"No you're not Harry."
"Excuse me, but if we're getting married someday, that means we're presently engaged, right?"
"I suppose so. And….?"
"I haven't gotten you a ring. That's horrible."
Daphne stared at the messy haired wizard. He was really upset that he had totally overlooked this trivial detail.
Harry felt two arms surround him and he was gently pulled sideways into Daphne's shoulder. "It's not really important you know. But I will accept a rain check or a total postponement until our engagement is publicly announced."
Harry made an exasperated noise in his throat and climbed back to sit in a corner of the couch. "It's still not right."
Daphne held her hand up and Harry pulled her upright. She leaned over him and kissed him gently before asking permission to sit on his lap. Harry nodded and Daphne sat down and made herself comfortable by throwing an arm around his neck. "If you promise to quit kicking yourself about it, we'll go shopping when we get back to England."
"Instead of shopping, how about we go look through the various vaults at Gringotts I have and you can pick out something you really like?"
"I would like that Jamie. I'd like it a lot."
The two were still topless and cuddled up together on the couch when Hermione and Ginny returned. They were curious about what had happened but Daphne laughed and told the pair she hadn't quite had her way with Harry… yet. She invited her future spouses to join her and Harry in the bedroom to take care of that oversight. Harry made a very feeble effort at protesting as the three girls led him smiling into the bedroom and closed the door behind them.
Ch. 28 Minister Fudge and the Founders
That left two people who hadn't stepped forward with the rest of the tour guides. The group watched as the young lady pulled the small-looking wizard forward. The boy smiled, cleared his throat once and spoke up. "Lord Harry and Lady Hermione Potter – 4th year Gryffindors."
Minister Fudge had risen from his seat and started making his way directly to the Potters. He made taken about two strides before a firm hand grabbed his shoulder and halted him. Fudge looked around to see who had dared touched him.
"Black! Let me go I must go talk…"
"Harry and Hermione are here doing a favor for Albus and at the express request of Ambassador Ferraforte. I doubt you would want reports getting back to him or other members of the ICW that you had interfered with this official function."
Another hand fell on the Minister's other shoulder and he turned to look at a female with very distinctive violet colored eyes. "Lady Hogwarts?"
"Hello Vika. Glad you could join us."
"And good morning to you too Sirius. Minister Fudge, Lord Gryffindor would like to talk to you. Now!"
Cornelius Fudge glared around the room even more angrily. "Loxley's here? What does he want with me?"
Vika shook her head. "Not Robb; Godric – the original Lord Gryffindor."
Fudge looked a lot less confident suddenly and hoped the two Aurors who had remained as his guard were going to rescue him. Vika followed his gaze and then motioned the two closer as not to disturb Dumbledore's ongoing speech. "I think that Godric wouldn't mind meeting either of you Aurors Tonks and Shacklebolt. You may travel along as well."
Before another word could be said Vika, the Minister and the two Aurors disappeared from the Great Hall without a sound. Sirius walked back up to where the rest of the staff was waiting and winked at Remus. The History of Magic professor covered up his grin with a soundless cough.
Cornelius Fudge's ears popped with the sudden change in location. He had been to Godric's chambers a few times to meet the Founder's but this was a totally different place. It looked like a common office but not one he had ever seen before; this one had shelves full of books along one wall. Minister Fudge and his two auror guards were still looking around when his name was called out. Cornelius reacted slowly to following Vika as she led the way over to the large painting in a corner of the reception room.
A picture of the Hogwarts library held the living essences of the three founders and Cornelius started making his respectful greetings to Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, and Rowena Ravenclaw. The portrait of Lord Gryffindor rose when the Minister started talking but the two ladies just nodded their heads at him after he stumbled to a halt. Godric looked over at the two Aurors who were the Minister's remaining bodyguard. "I guarantee the safety of Minister Fudge while he is here for this meeting. Rowena has extended an invitation to avail yourselves of the whole of the Repository of Knowledge while we are conversing. Vika will escort you to through those doors and advise you of those book collections that might be hazardous to you."
Aurors Shacklebolt and Tonks knew a dismissal when they heard it and with slightly awkward looks to Fudge they followed Vika though the double doors to Helga's personal library. Fudge heard a couple of exclamations of surprise from the two before the door closed. He turned back to look at the Founder's. Godric had taken a seat but it was Rowena that stood in his place. "Dumbledore has taken it upon himself to try and catch us up with the modern wizarding world. To that end he, one of the other professors, or a house elf read us the current copy of the Daily Prophet. We are particularly interested in any articles that concern the students- past and present. Today there were two articles about one of, if not the brightest witches in this school - Hermione Potter. It was with some pride and joy that I realized that the studious witch had been revealed to be the inheritor of one of my own associated houses and was deserving of the title of Lady in her own right."
"Mrs. Potter was a surprising person to read about" Cornelius Fudge stated a little nervously.
"That's Lady Cressington-Potter" a thoughtful Lady Hufflepuff re-iterated.
"Quite so … yes."
"Do you not trust the goblins to do a simple inheritance test Minister?" Fudge felt the hidden threat in the tone of Godric Gryffindor's voice.
"Yes but a muggleborn has never tried to claim a title in such a manner. It is unprecedented in fact."
"Hippogriff Dung!" boomed Lord Gryffindor as he stood up suddenly.
"What… what do you mean?"
"Where do you think wizards and witches come from?" This was a question directed at the Minister by Lady Ravenclaw.
Cornelius Fudge pondered the answer he knew versus the answer that would not upset the Founder's. He, having a long history as a politician, settled on a middle position that didn't express his personal views. "It's a commonly held notion that the best and strongest magicals come from a traditionally long historied family with magicals as their mothers and fathers."
"So purebloods in your current vernacular." This comment came from Lady Ravenclaw.
"That would be an honest assessment I guess."
"And a totally false one" Godric rapidly proclaimed.
"I'm afraid I don't understand."
"You seem to be following the stated goals and doctrines of this Lord Voldemort."
Fudge's face fell and his complexion turned an even whiter shade of pale than normal. He stammered for an reply but couldn't deny that his own personal views reflected that purebloods were more powerful and worthy of having magic.
"If there was some sort of scale that measured magical ability and strength, how do you think you would fare against … Dumbledore?"
"There would be no comparison Lady Ravenclaw. Dumbledore is the strongest wizard alive today and my strengths are not entirely in magic."
"Well the first part of that statement is also in error but we will not debate that now. How would you compare yourself magically to say… Harry Potter?"
"The boy has a lot of potential but, to be honest, he is stronger than me."
"Finally, a bit of honesty. Very good Fudge." The Minister bristled at Gryffindor's subtle insult but held his tongue.
"Can you tell who are purebloods, half-bloods, or muggleborn by simply looking at them Cornelius? If you didn't know their names, their parents, or the different ways they dressed."
"I… suppose not."
"Which of us Founders is which then? Could you hazard a guess?"
"You're not all purebloods?" Fudge was totally gobsmacked at that possibility. So much of their magical heritage and foundations were based on the fact that the Four were all purebloods.
"No. You have so many wrong ideas and beliefs that it's difficult to sort them out and make any sense of them. The fact that there were and are long lineages that appeared after us makes no difference in magical ability or the right to have it. Your society of emphasizing and rewarding the pureblood families will eventually cause them to die out from inbreeding or class warfare."
"No! Our traditional way is the best."
"Only to you and the families that prop you up. Are you the Minister of Magic for all of Magical England or just the minority that have the money to grab and keep the power?"
Minister Fudge didn't, couldn't answer. He was confused, very confused at all the sudden surprises that had been revealed on this day.
"Let's just tell him something that he will understand Ricky" Helga Hufflepuff said.
Godric stood up and glared down so fiercely at the Minister that Fudge took a few steps back in self-defense. "It appears that Lady Cressington-Potter wishes to reclaim her seat in the Wizengamot. Could you even imagine the problem you would create by not recognizing her? Do you wish to make an enemy of Harry Potter, Sirius Black and most assuredly Albert Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore who judges magicals by their intents and prowess and not some silly idea like blood purity?"
Minister Cornelius Fudge could not figure out if he was more mad, embarrassed or scared right at that point. It had been a humbling experience to say the least. He was still silent a few minutes later when Lady Hogwarts returned with Shacklebolt and Tonks.
The tall black wizard brushed by Fudge to pay his respects to the three Founder's. "I thank you all and especially you Lady Ravenclaw forgiving us permission to see the Repository of Knowledge. I wish the Auror library had a tenth of the defensive spell books we have just seen."
"Thank you Auror Shacklebolt. Maybe Lady Bones should come and see for herself. I would not want to deprive the Ministry's forces from learning some of the older ways to defend all of the magical people in England."
Shacklebolt bowed again as did Tonks beside him. Godric bowed his head back to them and smiled. "I think Minister Fudge has had about all of the conversation with us he can stand for the day. It is time to return him back to Hogwarts and he may want to use the Headmaster's office to go back to the Ministry."
One of the seated figures called out for Minister Fudge again before he made ready to leave.
"Yes Lady Hufflepuff?"
"Could you at least try to see all the people around you and not just the votes or galleons that are there?"
Cornelius Fudge took a long time to nod his agreement. He, Vika and the two aurors disappeared a few seconds later and the portraits settled down to discuss if they had made any difference in the self-aggrandizing wizard.
Th-th-tha-tha- that's all- f-f f-folks! I'll be taking a little break to organize my thoughts and untangle my typing fingers before I start posting again. Thanks. Captain Compass