Disclaimer:This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made.
Warnings: this story will have slash.
A.N.: I want to thank all of you who spread around my link for my campaign for my original work. The campaign is coming to an end and even though I'm nowhere near close to the established goal your support meant the world to me. Though even after the end of the campaign the link will remain up and anyone who wants can pre-order my book. So if you are interested, or just want to see what it's about you can find it at: igg. me/ at/ unclaimedthrone-exile
Chapter 6 – Home
Harry dropped gracelessly into one of the couches when the door to the study closed. He had the last meeting with his... followers? Subjects? Well, it didn't really matter. What mattered was that it was the last meeting and he was exhausted. And if that wasn't enough he could feel them. It wasn't overwhelming, but he could still feel them. As well as the strongest emotion they were feeling at the time.
How had his family done it? How could they have had thousands of people bound to them if they could feel them as he felt the ten that were bound to him? How hadn't they gone crazy?
Though that was a matter of perspective. He doubted that his family was particularly sane, they had after all destroyed a whole civilization just because they didn't want to change how they lived. That didn't really scream sanity.
The meetings with Nott, Avery, Flint, and Gamp had gone more or less like the previous ones. They had been overjoyed when he accepted their Oath. He could still feel their overwhelming pride.
It was a little disconcerting. He had done it but now he had no idea what to do with them. He said that he didn't want to be King, but they were almost forcing him to become one.
"Do you want me to be King?" he asked the demons sitting beside him.
"Yes." they replied in unison. It truly didn't surprise him. Now he could see how they were pulling the strings, how they were leading him in certain directions. There was no way they wouldn't know how people would react if he announced that he was the last of the Marcius Bloodline. Especially these ten families.
"Why?" he wanted to be angry with them, he really did. But he wasn't. They hadn't lied to him. They hadn't been underhanded in their methods. They had given him several other options. True, they didn't believe they would have worked, but they had given him those options anyway. It was his choice to use the Marcius Bloodline as a way to get out of the trouble that Fudge was causing him. Abanddon and Caym may have paved the road, but he was the one who walked it.
"It is nothing else than what you deserve." Caym stated.
"You should have them kneeling at your feet." Abanddon added.
"We may not have liked your Bloodline, but at least they did something right." Caym muttered, "They created the foundations of an Empire for you to rule."
"They had an Empire." Harry corrected, "All I have are broken Oaths and dying bloodlines."
"No." Abanddon stated firmly, "You have the foundations of an Empire. An Empire far greater than the one your forefathers ruled."
"But I don't want an Empire!" Harry exclaimed exasperated, "I'm fifteen. I don't want to rule an Empire. I don't even know how to rule an Empire! I just want to be a normal teenager. I want to go to school, fall in love, have a family. I want to live."
There was a moment of silence after his explosive exclamations. He didn't really know what he was expecting from them, but it wasn't for them to sit closer to him. I wasn't for Abanddon to pull him into his lap and for Caym to stroke his hair.
"Little one, having an Empire, ruling said Empire, won't stop you from doing any of those things." Abanddon said softly, "The reason why we want you to be King isn't because we want to prevent you from having those things. We want you to be King because it's the best way we know how to keep you safe and protected."
"With them sworn to you they can't hurt you. When you take your place as King, you'll be safe." Caym explained, "We want you to live and this is the best way to achieve that."
"Besides, have you forgotten who Caym and I are?" Abanddon asked with a slight smirk, "We know everything there is to know about ruling."
That got a chuckle out of him and he looked at both of them fondly. He couldn't help but believe them. He wasn't happy about it, but he understood where they were coming from. Still he had no intentions of accepting any more Oaths. He didn't even know what to do with the ten that he had, he couldn't even imagine what to do with more.
"Will you show me around the Manor?" he asked them, "I want to see where my dad grew up. And tell me all about the ten families afterwards?"
Both demons agreed and after he argued with Abanddon, the demon wanted to carry him around, they left the study.
Harry was enchanted with the Manor. It wasn't only the fact that the Manor was beautiful, it was the fact that it was home. He never had a home before. Having this piece of his family meant more to him than anything else. The demons pointed little things out to him. His grandmother's favorite tapestry, his grandfather's armchair. To anyone else it might have been worthless little things, but to him they were priceless treasures.
"Well, finally! We had started to believe that there were no more Potters left." a voice grumbled as soon as they stepped into the family living room. Harry would deny it to his dying day but he let out a small squeak of fright. He wasn't afraid, it had surprised him, that was all. At least that was what he told himself. Then his eyes landed on the wall farthest from him and he couldn't help but gap.
"Mum? Dad?" he whispered, looking at the paintings awestruck.
"And what are we? Chopped liver?" the same voice grumbled and he glanced at the portraits beside those of his parents.
"Honestly, Charlus," a woman that resembled Malfoy's mother quite a bit sighed, sounding slightly exasperated, "Leave the poor dear be." then she turned and looked at him, a warm smile on her lips, "Hello, darling. I have been waiting to see you for a long time."
He knew that he should do or say something, he knew that. However all his attention was on the portraits of his parents. Parents that were looking at him just as intently.
Abanddon's hand on his lower back brought him out of his thoughts and he glanced at the demon.
"Go say hello, little one." Abanddon urged him forward, smiling slightly.
He nodded and took an unsteady step towards the four portraits.
Caym sighed, picked him up, ignoring Harry's squeak, and walked towards the portraits of his former Masters. He ignored them and deposited Harry in front of them, keeping an arm wrapped around his waist.
"Oh, sweetheart," his mother broke the silence, tears streaming down her cheeks, "You got so big." she looked at him in wonder. "Look at our baby, James. He's so beautiful." she said to his father's portrait and grabbed his hand, a smile spreading on her lips. "Our baby, James."
"Yes," his dad seemed just as awestruck as his mom, "Our little Prongslet."
Harry smiled at them shyly.
"Hi." he greeted them, not really knowing what else to say.
"Hi, luv." his dad's smile was brighter than the sun.
"Oh, yes. I'm fine too, thank you." the portrait beside his father's grumbled. Charlus, wasn't that the name the other portrait had called him? "No need to introduce us at all, no, no need at all."
James looked sheepish and smiled over at the grumpy portrait.
"Sorry, dad." that caught Harry's attention and his head snapped to his left, his eyes looking over the portrait of his grandfather and, what he guessed, was his grandmother.
"Well, he truly is a Potter." his grandfather remarked, "Though he does have Black traits." he smiled at the witch beside him.
"Yes, he does." the witch stated, "I believe introductions are in order. I am Dorea Potter, your grandmother. The grump beside me is Charlus Potter, your grandfather. It is very nice to met you, Harry dear."
Harry couldn't quite stop the snort that left him when he saw his grandfather's indignant expression.
"Why did it take you so long to come here?" his father asked.
"I didn't even know the Manor existed till this summer." Harry replied, leaning against Caym. He completely missed the looks traded between his family, however Abanddon and Caym didn't and Caym's grip on Harry tightened ever so slightly.
"What do you mean, you didn't know the Manor existed?" Charlus asked angrily.
Harry knew that none of them would take what he was about to tell them all that well. He briefly entertained the idea of not telling them at all. However he quickly discarded it. He knew that he had no other choice. Besides he had questions for them. A lot of questions.
So he told them. He told them everything. The more he talked the more horrified their expressions grew. When he finally reached the third task and his kidnapping, his dad snapped.
"Where were you?" he snarled, looking at both demons, "We told you to protect him!"
Harry felt Abanddon tense slightly and he heard Caym's low growl.
"We did what he could with the orders we were given!" Abanddon retorted, "We couldn't go to him until he called us and he didn't even know we existed!"
"Then how are you with him now?" his mum asked, stopping whatever it was that his dad had been about to say.
"We circumvented the rules." Caym stated, "He called for help, for someone, anyone to help him. Technically we are someone."
"You saved him." his mum breathed, "Thank you."
"Why did you?" Charlus asked them shrewdly, "Don't misunderstand, I am glad that my grandson his safe, but why did you do it? If he died you would have been free."
"We wanted to." Abanddon told them simply.
"You wanted to?" the other three looked just as incredulous as Charlus sounded.
"Yes." Caym confirmed.
"I don't believe it. You must have something planed. Beings like you never do anything just out of the goodness of their hearts." Charlus was firm in his conviction and it pained Harry to see his dad nodding along, "I doubt you even have a heart."
"Don't say that!" Harry finally snapped, "Abanddon and Caym have been there for me when I had no one. They took care of me. They protected me. I trust them. They saved me from Voldemort. They protected me from the Ministry. I won't let you talk badly about them even if you are my family."
"They protected you from the Ministry? Why did you need to be protected from them?" Lily asked worriedly.
"Fudge, the Minister, didn't believe that Voldemort was back," Harry told her. He felt a little out of it and anything that wouldn't require him to think all that much was welcome. He hadn't meant to snap at his grandfather, but he couldn't stand the thought of anyone talking like that to both demons. Besides he still had that niggling feeling in the back of his mind that told him that his family hadn't been particularly kind to them. He hated to see that the feeling was most likely right. "They came up with some questionable charges and I had to go to a hearing. Fudge didn't even listen to what I had to say so I used our Bloodline to get out of trouble."
"Our Bloodline? What about our Bloodline?" James asked.
"You didn't know everything about our Bloodline." Harry told them, "Abanddon and Caym said that even we had forgotten most of the families we came from. They said that after the Head of House died without telling his son everything there was to know about our Bloodline that more and more knowledge was lost. They said that we knew where we came from, but not everything that happened from that time till now."
"That is true." his grandfather agreed, looking at him shrewdly, "We used what we needed but never went deeper than that. We intended to be as inconspicuous as possible."
"Well, inconspicuous wasn't really an option for me." Harry remarked somewhat bitterly.
"What did you do?" Charlus asked, his eyes narrowing slightly.
"Did you know that we are the descendants of the Marcius Bloodline?" Harry asked instead of answering and he saw his grandparents and his dad pale.
"What?" came the whisper from his grandmother.
"We are the last of the Marcius Bloodline." Harry repeated, "I am the last of the Marcius Bloodline."
"You used that knowledge." his grandfather stated and Harry nodded, "I see. What will you do now?" Harry could see that his grandfather wasn't all that happy with his choices, but he couldn't really bring himself to care. He had done the best he could with what he had.
"I don't know. Ten families renewed their Oaths. Though I'm not sure what I'll do with them. I know I have to do something. Now that I have awakened the Bloodline again the Oaths are waking as well. With the war starting up again... If I don't do something many of the families will lose their magic if they act against me."
He slumped a little. The reality of what was happening crashing into him. He had know but he hadn't truly understood. Now that he had spoken it out loud it was finally sinking in that he didn't have much of a choice in what he had to do. If he didn't act thousands of people would lose their magic. He couldn't live with himself if he let that happen. The least he could do is give them a choice.
"So you'll take control of the wizarding world? Become it's King?" Charlus snapped harshly and both demons growled.
"Mind your tone." Caym snarled.
"It's alright, Caym."
"No, it isn't, little one." Abanddon told him, looking just as enraged as Caym. "That mortal should mind his tone when speaking to you. They left you! They have no right to judge your choices."
"Abanddon..." Harry almost sighed, "They died. I doubt that they left me because they wanted to."
"They had us!" Caym growled, "They could have prevented it."
"I didn't know you cared." Harry remarked, trying to alleviate the anger that he could feel coming from the demons.
"We don't." both demons replied.
"We couldn't care less for the mortals." Abanddon added.
"But they left you. They hurt you." Caym stated, "If they had done things differently then you wouldn't have had to go through everything you did. So the least they can do is treat you with respect and not condemn your choices."
"Abanddon, Caym..." Harry whispered, warmth filling him. He hugged them, ignoring the looks from his family.
"Harry, son..." his dad murmured, his eyes looking from the demons to him. Harry could see the disbelieve in their eyes, the mistrust in his grandfather's but he didn't care. Abanddon and Caym were worth it. They were worth the scorn he was sure he would have to face from his family, they were worth everything. Even losing the chance he had to have his family in his life in some way.
He looked back at them defiantly. He wouldn't turn his back on his demons.
"What are you doing with those things?" his grandfather sneered.
"They aren't things!" he glared at the portrait. He hadn't like the insinuation at all, "Abanddon and Caym are my friends, I trust them. I absolutely despise what our family did to them and I can't believe that you would treat them this way. What did they ever do to you?"
"They killed our family!" his grandfather growled.
"Over three thousand years ago!" he exclaimed exasperated, "For how long are you going to hold a grudge?"
None of them said anything and Harry looked away in disgust. He just couldn't understand how they still blamed the demons for what happened. It made no sense to him. Hadn't Abanddon and Caym suffered enough? They had been enslaved, their will taken from them. How could they still not be satisfied?
"Sweetheart," his mum's warm voice made him look up, "What are you going to do now?" she asked him. She wasn't judging him, she was truly curious. Though he could hear an undercurrent of worry in her tone.
"I don't know yet." he told her truthfully, "The only thing I know is that Abanddon and Caym will be with me every step of the way." the hands that were still on his shoulder and waist tightened briefly and he smiled at them.
"Your mind is made up than?" his grandfather grumbled, his eyes narrowing when they landed on the hands still holding him.
"I see." then he turned around and disappeared from the painting.
His grandmother sighed and shook her head.
"I'm sorry, dear." she said, "But your grandfather is a Potter, they know how to hold a grudge. Though the most important thing to them is family. I'm sure he just needs a little time." she smiled at him and followed his grandfather out of the portrait.
Harry glanced at his dad. He could see the struggle he was having with himself.
"How can you trust them?" he ended up asking. Harry could almost feel the incredulity coming from the portrait.
"How could I not?" he retorted, "They make me feel safe. They protect me, care for me. How could I possibly not trust them?"
"Harry, they are demons. They never do anything without a reason."
"I know." he replied, "I don't care. Even if I end up dead by their hand-"
Two ferocious growls broke him off. He looked towards Abanddon and Caym and his breath caught when he was the glowing eyes with snake-like pupils.
"We would never." Abanddon snarled, his canines elongating slightly.
"You are precious to us," Caym told him, looking far calmer than Abanddon, "We would never hurt you. Do not say such things again."
"I'm sorry," he whispered, "I didn't mean to offend you."
Both demons deflated slightly, their anger leaving them in the blink of an eye.
"You didn't." Abanddon assured him.
"It distresses us to hear such things." Caym took a deep breath, his eyes going back to his usual ruby red, "Please, don't say it again."
"I won't." he promised, melting into their embrace. He felt just as safe and protected as ever when he was with them.
He saw movement form the corner of his eye and looked back to his parents. His mother had a small, sad smile on her lips. Though his father looked faintly horrified. He had the same expression that Sirius had the previous night. He knew he was missing something. Though he didn't really care all that much at the moment.
"Will you be staying here?" Lily asked, ignoring his dad and focusing only on him.
"No." he replied, smiling at her. She was just as he had pictured her. There was worry in her gaze, but none of the prejudice that was in his grandfather's and father's eyes. "I have to go back to Headquarters. I'm sure that Dumbledore has lunched a search for me already." he rolled his eyes and didn't even try to mask his exasperation.
His mum giggled and his eyes lit up with pleasure.
"I'm sure he did." she agreed, "Don't let him push you around, sweetheart." she told him, "There is no one who knows what you should do better than yourself. Ask for advice if you need it, but don't let anyone dictate your path. I am proud of you, son."
He felt tears in his eyes and nodded, doing his best not to let them fall.
His father didn't say anything but there was a smile on his lips and Harry knew that even though he didn't understand or like the relationship he had with the demons he would support him.
A weight he hadn't know he had on his shoulders lifted and he felt like he could breath for the first time since he saw them. Maybe he wouldn't have to lose them after all.
Maybe he shouldn't have let his demons apparate, or whatever their mode of transportation was called, them directly to Grimmauld Place.
Only their quick reflexes prevented them, more likely him, to be cursed to next week. When the shields came down he glared at the Order members in the kitchen, grumbling under his breath about trigger happy idiots. Some of them looked sheepish, though one or two glared back.
"So..." he said, "The kitchen looks a little more packed than usual." he made a show of looking around at all the people there.
"Harry," Ron said, standing up from his place beside Hermione, "Meet your brave rescuers."
"I didn't realize I was in need of rescue." he deadpanned, ignoring the snickering twins standing in the corner.
Ron nodded solemnly and Harry had to give him credit, he was an excellent actor.
"Yes, it's rather tragic. But, as you know, Dumbledore knows best and if he says that you need to be rescued, even though more than one person insisted that you were perfectly safe and not a prisoner in this house, then you need to be rescued." now the twins were laughing so hard that they made no sound. Harry was sure that in a few seconds they would start turning blue from lack of air.
"Yes," Hermione's bored drawl joined their conversation, "Since Dumbledore does the thinking for everyone around here, save for one or two souls, if he says you need rescuing, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, then there are people falling over themselves to rescue you."
"Ronald! Hermione!" Harry had wondered when Mrs. Weasley would interfere, "Watch what you say about the Headmaster! Apologize at once!"
"Mum, you always told me not to lie." Ron remarked, "Or should I only tell the truth when it doesn't offend people's delicate sensibilities?" Harry had never seen Mrs. Weasley that shade of red.
"Well, Ron, you know that people don't like to be confronted with their shortcomings." Hermione commented nonchalantly and Harry almost gaped. It was quite rare to see Hermione add fuel to the fire, though it was always so satisfying when she did.
Again Ron nodded solemnly and turned towards the Order members that were either gaping at them or outright glaring.
"I apologize for pointing out your shortcomings. I failed to notice that you hadn't realized your inadequacy." he turned back to his mum, ignoring the gaping and spluttering Order members, "There, mum, I apologized. Happy now?"
Harry was sure that any second curses and hexes would have started flying, though the floo coming to life prevented it, at least for the moment.
Dumbledore stepped through, closely followed by Snape and the Order members fell silent. Harry almost snorted, the sheep analogy could truly be applied to this particular situation. They were looking at Dumbledore like little, lost sheep that needed a shepard to lead them home. And these were the people that had looked so indignant when Hermione had implied that they couldn't think for themselves. Well, there hadn't been much implying involved. She had outright stated that they were sheep. For being so indignant they sure were in a hurry to prove her right.
Dumbledore's eyes swept over the room, landing on his little flock before finding him. As soon as he saw him his eyes started to twinkle and a grandfatherly smile spread on his lips.
"Harry, my boy, it was very irresponsible of you to leave Headquarters," he sounded so very disappointed, "Though I'm glad to see that they found you safe and sound." the little sheep puffed up proudly, and Harry rolled his eyes.
"It wasn't all that difficult to find me since I popped right into the kitchen." he remarked bursting their little bubble and enjoying it far more than he should, "Though, as Hermione already pointed out, considering that they seem rather lost without their shepard I quite agree that they should be rewarded for finding me. Even if I was right in front of their noses." the last bit was whispered under his breath and he could feel Ron shaking with silent laughter.
Dumbledore lost his twinkle, several Order members were looking at him as if he had declared his undying love for Voldemort, while others, those who knew him, were doing their best to look disproving even if their lips were twitching suspiciously. Harry would have sworn that he had even seen Snape's lips twitch. Mrs. Weasley was turning an alarming shade of red and Harry was quite sure that if it weren't for Mr. Weasley's hand on her arm she would have erupted like Mount Vesuvius. The twins on the other hand were looking at him with unholy glee painted all over their faces and for a second he wanted to groan. That look couldn't mean anything good for him.
"Be that as it may, it was still quite irresponsible of you to leave." Dumbledore persisted.
"Oh? Why do you think that?" he was done dancing to the old man's tune. He had given him countless opportunities to be honest with him, none of them had been taken. Dumbledore had omitted, tweaked, and outright lied about far too many things. To put matters quite simple, Harry just didn't trust him. Not anymore at least. Abanddon and Caym had been quite happy with that outcome.
"Harry, you know perfectly well that now that Voldemort is back it isn't safe for you to be out and about." the disappointment that Dumbledore was projecting was almost suffocating, "If you try to leave again I will have to make sure that you don't put yourself, or anyone else, at risk."
Suddenly the atmosphere seemed a lot more oppressive and low growls could be heard coming form both demons. It didn't take long for Dumbledore to figure out that he had said something that he shouldn't have.
"So, let me get this straight, if I don't do what you want you'll keep me a prisoner in this house?" his voice was low. He saw Ron take a step closer to him and Hermione got up from her seat and stood beside him.
"Now, Harry, I never said that. I would not keep you a prisoner-"
"Correct me if I'm wrong," Hermione cut him off, "But isn't the definition of prisoner: a person deprived of liberty and kept under involuntary restraint, confinement, or custody?"
Some people were fidgeting in their seats and Moody was nodding, a spark of approval flashing in his eyes. Kingsley looked uncomfortable and slightly disproving, though it wasn't directed at Harry; the auror had his narrowed eyes fixed on Dumbledore.
"Well, yes, it is." Dumbledore said, looking at them as if they were unruly children who just didn't understand how the world worked. Harry didn't think he had ever seen anything quite as condescending, "However we only want to keep Harry safe. It's for his own good."
"Considering who I have with me," he glanced at Abanddon and Caym, "I could be sleeping in Voldemort's," he enjoyed their flinching far to much, maybe he was spending too much time with Abanddon, "Bed and I would still be quite safe."
"Even so," there was a flash of irritation that broke Dumbledore's grandfatherly persona, "You will be staying at Headquarters." Dumbledore proclaimed. A few sheep threw him somewhat smug looks and Harry wanted to sneer.
"On who's authority?" that made the smug looks disappear in a heartbeat. Had they really thought that just because Dumbledore said so he would do it?
"What?" he had never seen Dumbledore at a loss for words.
"I asked: on who's authority? Who gave you the authority to say what I can and can't do?"
"He's Dumbledore!" one of the sheep exclaimed, apparently not able to hold it any longer. Maybe he should learn their names, he couldn't continue calling them sheep.
"Yes, yes he is." Harry nodded, "I still don't see how that gives him the right to order me to do anything at all."
"He's your headmaster!" that same sheep added.
"True, and while I'm at Hogwarts I will comply with the rules and regulations. However that still doesn't explain why he has the right to order me around when it isn't school related."
"He's the leader of the Order of the Phoenix!" the woman persisted.
"Which I am not a member of. You are just proving my point."
"That's enough, Hestia." Dumbledore interfered, glancing at his little sheep, "I am your Magical Guardian, as such I do have authority over you." Dumbledore stated and Harry almost scowled. He had no idea what a Magical Guardian was, but he could guess and he didn't like it one bit. However he felt Caym's hand on the back of his neck and he glanced at both demons. There was a smirk on their lips and their eyes were almost shinning with glee. It seemed they had quite enjoyed the show and were about to step in as well.
"Actually," Abanddon's voice was nothing more than a dangerous purr. He saw several people shiver and he had to contain a smirk, "You are not our Master's Magical Guardian. The moment the Minister decided that our Master would stand before the whole Wizengamot for a hearing without his Guardians or Magical Guardian present he stated, quite clearly, that our Master was an adult, since only adults can stand before the whole Wizengamot without Guardians present. As such you no longer are our Master's Magical Guardian and have no authority over him."
A smirk spread on Harry's lips and he couldn't quite stop the small chuckle that left him. He saw Hermione and Ron shake their heads, though he could see a smirk on their lips as well.
"Well, that cleared that up." he chirped, smiling brightly at all the sheep.
"Harry," he turned around at Dumbledore's stern voice and his eyes narrowed when he saw the wand in his hand, "I must insist that as long as you are at Grimmauld Place you do not leave. You must stay inside Headquarters."
Harry glared at the old man. How dare he? Wasn't it enough that he lied to him, now he wanted to force him to comply? Sure it may not seem like much, he just had to stay inside, but that was beside the point. If Dumbledore was ready to force him to do this, what other things would he be forced to do? He could understand, now more than ever, why Abanddon and Caym were so set on doing anything they could to give him independence. Even if that meant leading him towards a throne that he had no wish to claim.
He felt Ron and Hermione grab hold of his arm. Only then did he notice that his wand had appeared in his hand. He took a deep breath, trying to keep calm but when he saw the smug look on Hestia's face he snapped.
"Alright." he ignored the incredulous look the twins were throwing him and relished in the look of accomplishment that Dumbledore had. In a second that look would be no more, "Then I'll be leaving." he smirked at the confusion he saw on their faces, "You said I would have to stay inside Headquarters as long as I was at Grimmauld Place. In that case, I'll just leave."
"Harry, you can't."
"I can, and I will." he stated firmly, "I am not your pawn, or your weapon, Headmaster. I am my own person and I can make my own decisions. If I need help I'll ask for it from the people I trust. At the moment you are not one of those people. And if you believe that I will let you move me around on your chessboard then you are sadly mistaken." he glared at the spluttering people around them grabbed Hermione's and Ron's hands and squeezed. He got an answering squeeze back and when he looked at them he could see the determination in their eyes. He nodded once and turned towards both demons, "Abanddon, Caym, take us home." before anyone could react both demons grabbed them and in the blink of an eye they were gone.
They appeared in the family room that had his families portraits. He glanced at the far wall and noticed that they were all empty. He released a relieved sigh, he would rather talk with Hermione and Ron without his family there, at least for the time being. He had a lot to tell them.
Hermione and Ron were looking around curiously.
"Where are we?" it didn't really surprise him that Hermione was the first to ask.
He took a seat, Abanddon and Caym sitting next to him, and motion for Hermione and Ron to sit as well. They did, though Hermione was looking at him expectantly.
"We are at Potter Manor." he told them and their eyes went wide. They looked around again, though this time with far more interest.
"This is were you came, this was the personal business you mentioned." Hermione concluded and he smiled at her.
"I have been asking Abanddon and Caym about my family. They mentioned the Manor several times. It's where my dad grew up." he explained, "I want to thank you, for standing up for me." he whispered, looking at his lap. He wasn't the shy, insecure, little first year anymore, but he was still incredibly grateful for their friendship. They would always mean the world to him. They had been there for him when he had no one and he would never forget that. That's why he was going to tell them the truth. They deserved it.
"There's nothing to thank us for." Hermione told him, "They were being incredibly dense. I never thought I would say it, but the way they follow Dumbledore's every word is sickening. He's human! He's bound to make mistakes but do they accept that? Of course not, they take his word as if he were Merlin himself." she sneered and Harry smiled.
"Yeah, mate. Though if my mum kills me, I hope you write on my tombstone: He faced a fire-breathing dragon for his best mate, unfortunately he didn't live to tell the tale." Harry snorted and Hermione smacked Ron over the head.
"Honestly, Ronald." she sounded exasperated, though there was a slight smile tugging at her lips.
"What? It sounds much better than: His mum killed him because of his lack of respect for supposed authority figures." Ron argued.
Hermione shook her head, apparently giving up on Ron, and turned towards Harry.
"So, you where here the entire day?" she asked, moving the conversation along and Harry took a deep breath. Now or never.
"Yes." he replied, "I had a few meetings."
"Meetings?" even Ron looked interested.
"Yes. Several things happened at the hearing. What do you know about the Marcius Bloodline?" he asked them.
Ron's eyes opened wide, though Hermione had a slightly confused expression.
"The Marcius Bloodline?" Ron whispered, tone tinged with awe and longing.
"What? What is the Marcius Bloodline?" Hermione asked, her eyes on Ron studying his reaction.
"The Marcius Bloodline, they... they are our Kings." Ron murmured.
"Kings?" Hermione almost shrieked, "I didn't know the wizarding world had a Royal Family. Why weren't we told?"
There was a brief flash of pain in Ron's eyes and Harry wondered how much he knew about the Marcius Bloodline.
"We don't, at least not anymore. The Marcius Bloodline is believed to be extinct." Ron told her and Harry leaned back, he would let Ron do the explaining, he was curious to hear what he thought about the whole thing, "Though there are still a lot of families out there that believe that the Bloodline is simply dormant. They are still loyal and believe that our Kings will return to us one day." Hermione was fascinated, her eyes were shinning with interest. She was devouring every word coming from Ron, "The wizarding world was scattered before they came. They created an Empire. It spread throughout what is known today as Europe. Every single witch and wizard that lived in the Empire was sworn to them. They were loved by the people and every new witch or wizard was more than happy to take the Oath when they were brought into the Empire. But one day the Royal Family disappeared. No one knows what happened to them. The families searched for them but there wasn't a trace of them anywhere. The Empire fell apart without the Royal Family and slowly separate government bodies spread all over Europe. However they were still loyal to our Kings so everyone who went to work for the Government had to swear a modified Oath. They still do it to this day."
There was silence for a moment. Harry could see that Hermione was deep in thought and Ron had a wistful smile on his lips.
"What do you mean they took an Oath?" Hermione asked.
"An Oath of fealty and protection." Ron told her, "I don't know the actual Oath, but my mum told me that there are families who still make the Oath even if there is no one to accept it."
Hermione nodded absentmindedly. Harry was sure that she was thinking of ways to find all the information that she could on the Marcius Bloodline.
"Why did you ask about them?" she directed her question at him and Harry sighed, knowing that there was no way he could avoid the question. Not that he wanted to, but he was slightly afraid of their reaction.
"As you know Abanddon and Caym were helping me with my hearing. They thought about several things I could use, however they all somewhat depended on Fudge actually listening and not being a prat. As you can imagine he didn't listen and he was a prat." Ron snorted and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like pompous windbag, Harry tactfully ignored it and continued, "So I used the last thing I had up my sleeve." both looked at him curiously and he did his best to calm his nerves, "I am the last of the Marcius Bloodline."
It became oppressively silent. Sure, there hadn't been much noise to begin with, but now it seemed somewhat more. Ron was outright gaping at him and Hermione's eyes were as round as a saucer.
"What?" Ron whispered. That single word was laced with so many emotions that Harry couldn't pinpoint one specifically.
"Abanddon and Caym have been telling me about my family. When the hearing came about they told me about the Marcius Bloodline. They told me about the Oaths and what they meant. Fudge wasn't listening to anything I was saying. He was so obviously dismissing anything I said that I found myself backed into a corner. When he asked for a vote I couldn't risk it. I laughed. That sure captured their attention, and when I had their attention I remembered them about their Oaths. There was one or two people who understood immediately what I was implying. They were quite shocked. However most didn't know. So I explained. I recited the Oath. I, pledge upon the magic in my bloodline, to uphold the will of my chosen King. I pledge my bloodline to Him and His descendants. May the strength of our magic, mind and body be at their strongest when in Their service. May Magic forsake my bloodline if we ever stray from our path. We pledge our loyalty to the Marcius Bloodline, blessed and chosen by Magic to lead us. So we pledge it, so mote it be." Ron's sharp intake of breath was exceptionally loud in the silence that followed. However Harry plunged on, he had started it, now he would finish it, "Of course, most didn't believe me. So I called my birth right to me. I claimed my birthright. After that... well, they knew I wasn't lying. Several Lords asked to talk with me after the hearing. I received their letters and agreed to a meeting between ourselves. The meetings were today. Ten families swore the Oath and I accepted it."
There was a heartbeat of stunned silence.
"The first Ten." Ron whispered, his voice tinged with awe. Harry guessed he knew that the Oaths started with ten families, though he didn't appear to know who they were.
"I... I don't understand." Hermione murmured, "Are you King now?" that seemed to snap Ron out of his awed stated and his eyes bored into Harry's. A small part of him had expected to see bitterness and jealousy in his gaze, however there were none of those feelings there. There was joy, happiness, longing, and relief. Somewhat similar to what he had seen in the eyes of the others but more profound, more intimate. Harry supposed it was because Ron knew him in a way that the others simply didn't.
"No." he stated, "I didn't claim my throne, only my birthright."
"But your throne is your birthright!" Ron exclaimed, "You can't step down now!"
"I'm not. I can't. Do you have any idea what will happen to countless families if I do? The Oaths are awakening. Anyone who has even the smallest trace of Old blood in them... if they went against me... The magic would be ripped from the family line. I couldn't allow that to happen."
"What? What do you mean the magic will be ripped form the family line?" Hermione asked and there was a hard edge to her tone.
"Didn't you hear the Oath? They didn't just pledge themselves. They pledged their Bloodline. Now think about the purebloods, even the newer Lines. They marry each other to keep the Lines pure, the older the Line the better. The only ones truly free are the muggle-born, and even that is only the case if they don't work for the Ministry. If those tied to the Oath go against my family they are punished by magic. That's where squibs come from. When that happens is when the offense isn't grave enough to strip the magic from the whole Line. Why do you think that purebloods like the Malfoys are so ashamed of squibs?"
"I always thought that it was because they didn't have magic." Hermione replied.
"No. Most people who don't know the old stories think that," Ron told her, "But it's because they know that they somehow went against the Royal Family and are ashamed of it. That's why so many believe that the Marcius Bloodline was still alive. And they were right." he ended in a whisper. Then his eyes landed on Harry the intensity in them making his breath catch. He was stunned into stillness when Ron went down on his knees, and put his wand at his feet, "Harry James Potter, last of the Marcius Bloodline, my chosen King, I, Ronald Billius Weasley, pledge upon the magic in my bloodline, to uphold the will of my chosen King. I pledge my bloodline to You and Your descendants. May the strength of our magic, mind and body be at their strongest when in Your service. May Magic forsake my bloodline if we ever stray from our path. We pledge our loyalty to the Marcius Bloodline, blessed and chosen by Magic to lead us. So we pledge it, so mote it be." Harry could feel the magic call to him and he could do nothing but gap at his friend, his brother in all the ways that mattered. "Please, Harry." Ron whispered, when several seconds had gone by and he still hadn't moved, "I grew up knowing about our Kings, hearing about how one day they would come back to us. Part of me always longed for it, though another part was afraid. Afraid that they would end up being someone like the Malfoys, or worse, like You-Know-Who. I would have still been loyal, I would have no other choice, but it frightened me. But now... I know you, Harry. I take the Oath not because I have no other choice but because I want to."
Harry looked into his eyes and saw nothing but truth in them. He nodded and got up. He stood in front of Ron, feeling at once much more comfortable and much more terrified than he did with any of the others.
"I, Harry James Potter, last of the Marcius Bloodline, your chosen King, do accept your Oath. May Magic find you worthy, may your devotion and loyalty be rewarded. May your bloodline flourish in my service and perish if you ever stray from your path. So I say it, so mote it be."
The magic sealed the Oath and Ron let out an exhilarating laugh. His eyes were shining with pride and Harry couldn't help but smile at him.
"What have you done?" the quiet whisper broke them out of their joy and both glanced at Hermione. She was looking at them, part in awe and part in horror, "You... you... your family! What will they think?! You bound them without their knowledge!"
A small smile spread on Harry's lips. They truly should have expected that reaction form Hermione. She wasn't against the Oath, only against it being done without someone's knowledge.
"Hermione, my family is already bound." Ron told her, getting up and taking his place back on the couch, "What I did was renew the Oath and bind my own bloodline. When I have children they will follow the King as well. It won't affect my parents or siblings, at least not more than they already are. It affects my direct bloodline, my descendants. If my parents would have made the Oath it would have affected me directly and my children indirectly. Me taking the Oath just bounds me and my descendants closer to the King."
"But that's... that's... You are taking away their rights!" she exclaimed.
"Not really," Ron shrugged, "Hermione, you have to understand, this is about more than rights. This is about our magic. Our magic longs for this connection. I only took the Oath mere seconds ago and I already feel the difference... it's indescribable. I never truly understood just how feeble my magic was, how sluggish. Now it's invigorating. What was set in motion over two thousand years ago cannot be changed, we are bound, we will always be bound. You don't understand because you are muggle-born. I'm not disrespecting you," he added quickly when he saw the glare Hermione was aiming at him, "But your magic isn't longing for this. You'll never understand just how much we suffered over the centuries missing our King. That is one of the reasons why muggle-borns started to feel shunned and to be shunned. In the old Empire as soon as a new muggle-born was discovered he was given the choice of making the Oath or leaving the Empire. It was extremely rare for people to leave. So the muggle-borns were integrated into our society; there was none of the prejudice that appeared later on. When the Royal family vanished the Empire crumbled. There was no one to take their place because everyone was bound to them. The muggle-borns not bound that appeared were children, far to young to be even considered for the position. Besides, people were far too loyal to the Royal Family to simply accept a new King. Don't you see, Hermione? This will make our society better. The Royal Family is back, magic will be strong again. Dark Lords, Light Lords, they'll disappear. Things will be as they should be."
They were silent for a moment. Both Harry and Ron knew that Hermione needed to think about everything that had been said. Harry himself was a little surprised by Ron's words. He realized he shouldn't be. Even if they were called blood traitors, they were purebloods, it shouldn't surprise him that Ron knew so much about the Empire. Stories about the Empire must have been told from generation to generation, becoming bedtime stories and household tales.
Though he had to admit that he hadn't expected Ron's reaction. It was a bit overwhelming but at the same time so incredibly rewarding. He felt so grateful for the trust and faith that Ron was putting in him. That, more than anything, made him realize that he had to do something. He wanted to live up to those expectations. He didn't want to fail them. Yes, them, not only Ron but the others as well. He wouldn't fail them.
"What will you do, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"I don't know yet. But I will have to do something. The ten that took their Oaths, more than half of them served Voldemort. They are loyal to me now, but how many other families that serve Voldemort are purebloods? If they go against me, they'll lose their magic. I can't let that happen."
"It's going to be such a mess, Harry." she told him, sounding somewhat resigned.
"I know, but I have Abanddon and Caym. They'll help me. They are rather set about me becoming King, even if I don't want to and have no idea how to do it." he threw a playful glare at both demons who grinned back innocently. It was really unfair how good they could pull of that look.
"Alright than," she whispered. Harry was beyond stunned when Hermione went down on her knees and put her wand at his feet. He could practically feel how pleased both demons were by her actions, "Harry James Potter, last of the Marcius Bloodline, my chosen King, I, Hermione Jean Granger, pledge upon the magic in my bloodline, to uphold the will of my chosen King. I pledge my bloodline to You and Your descendants. May the strength of our magic, mind and body be at their strongest when in Your service. May Magic forsake my bloodline if we ever stray from our path. We pledge our loyalty to the Marcius Bloodline, blessed and chosen by Magic to lead us. So we pledge it, so mote it be."
This time he reacted faster than he had with Ron.
"I, Harry James Potter, last of the Marcius Bloodline, your chosen King, do accept your Oath. May Magic find you worthy, may your devotion and loyalty be rewarded. May your bloodline flourish in my service and perish if you ever stray from your path. So I say it, so mote it be."
The new Oath was sealed and he looked at her when he heard the sharp intake of breath. Her eyes were slightly glazed and a soft smile was on her lips.
"Oh," there was such wonder in that little word, "This is how you feel?" she asked, turning her head to look at Ron. He smiled warmly and nodded, "This... This is wonderful. I feel like... like I'm part of something bigger than just me. I... I feel as if I belong." there were tears of happiness in her eyes and Ron gave her an awkward one armed hug.
They were silent for several moments, Harry still coming to terms with what Ron and Hermione had done and both of them enjoying the feeling the Oath was giving them. Though after a few moments they pulled themselves together and went back to their seats. Hermione and Ron looked lighter and had small smiles on their lips.
"So, what's next?" Hermione asked.
"Next, we work on establishing our little one's Empire." Abanddon replied and Harry groaned when he saw the enthusiastic glint in his best friends' eyes.
A.N.: Well, here is the new chapter. I hope you all enjoyed it. Lines are being drawn now and things will start to move forward next chapter. The demons will also show that they are demons. It will be rather bloody, but they deserve it. They have been behaving so well, it's only right that they get a little something for their good behavior lool
Harry is feeling a little trapped, the poor dear, but he will come to accept his role. He may not want to be King, but it is what he is. He can't really change that and he is starting to realize it.