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, violence, torture, and a bit of gore.
Chapter 7 – Bloody Morning
When Harry woke up it took him a few moments to remember where he was. When he did he let out a tired sigh and wished to just fall asleep again.
He still couldn't believe what Ron and Hermione had done the previous night. How could they just bind themselves to him? He understood that Ron's magic was almost forcing him to do it, but Hermione had no such compulsion. Did they truly trust him that much? What if he went power crazy and decided to take over the world? Had no one thought about that?
He snorted when he thought about the demons' probable reaction to that. Yeah, his demons would be rather overjoyed. He was pretty sure they would volunteer to lead the slaughter.
Still, world domination plans aside, he had two other bloodlines sworn to him. He would have to call the other ten. He needed to start moving, start planing. The longer he stayed still the more wizards would be in danger, not only from Voldemort but from their own blood as well. That didn't mean he knew what to do though. The last thing he wanted was to publicly claim his throne. He didn't even want to think about how the wizards would react.
It could go either way. Either good or bad, but he was sure that either of them would be extreme reactions and he truly didn't want to deal with that.
He was almost sure that it would drive an even bigger bridge between the muggleborns and the purebloods. And this time even the so called blood traitors would be against the muggleborns. He could see it. The muggleborns wouldn't feel that pull, as such they were most likely to disagree with him and wouldn't want to bind themselves so fully to him. That would make the pure-bloods despise them, shun them more than ever. It would be a disaster, he was sure of it.
And he couldn't force them to take the Oath. Magic wouldn't accept a forced Oath, and that would just make the purebloods even more bitter.
He groaned. When had his life become such a mess?
"Little one." he heard coming from his right and glanced up to see both his demons standing beside the bed. He hadn't even noticed them entering the room.
"Good morning." he said, smiling at them. No matter how messed up his life had become he would change nothing about it, if only because it had gotten him his demons.
"Good morning, little one." Abanddon smiled at him, "Your little mortals are downstairs. They are talking to your parents."
"Have they been up for long?" he asked, getting out of bed.
"Only about an hour."Caym replied, "We decided to let you sleep in."
"You have a couple of letters waiting for you." Abanddon added.
"Who are they from?"
"The twins, your dogfather and the wolf."
Harry almost winced. He didn't want to think about what his godfather had to say about him leaving the Order Headquarters the way he had. Not going back for the night won't make it any better. He had to wonder if Mrs. Weasley had calmed down. He sincerely doubted it.
"Right," he muttered, "I guess hoping for a quiet day was too much to ask for."
Both demons chuckled and followed him out of the room.
"What were you thinking about when you woke?" Abanddon asked him.
"I was thinking about the Oath. About what to do next. About calling the ten families and discuss things with them." both demons smiled and Harry looked at them warily, "What?"
"It pleases us to see that you are finally accepting your role." Caym answered, while Abanddon looked rather pleased. There was this smug look about him and Harry shook his head. If he ever claimed the throne he was sure that the demons would become insufferable.
"I just don't want to be the cause of so many people risking losing their magic. It wouldn't be fair to them to lose their magic because of my inaction. They have the right to decide for themselves."
"Always such a pure soul, our little Master." there was a note of wonder in Caym's tone and Harry blushed a little. He couldn't stop it, even though it wasn't the first time he had heard them talking about him in such a tone. Still, it never failed to make him blush. He couldn't understand the fascination that the demons seemed to have with him.
"Harry!" the call of his name brought him out of his thoughts. His mom was calling him and he walked towards her. She was in a frame with his dad, both talking with Ron and Hermione. They smiled at him and he sat down between his two friends.
"Slept well?" he asked them, smiling.
"Yes." Hermione replied, while Ron nodded.
"It beats Grimmauld any day." Ron added making Hermione snort.
"And it has nothing to do with your mom being there and not here, right?"
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with self-preservation!" Ron protested and Harry laughed, he could certainly see where his friend was coming from. Mrs. Weasley was terrifying, he wouldn't want to be there when she was in one of her moods. Though that made him pity those they left behind a little.
"Good-morning, baby." his dad greeted him, smiling, "Did you have a good night?"
Harry smiled at his parents. He was so relieved that his dad was talking to him, that he seemed to be getting over the whole demons thing.
"Yeah, I had a good night." he replied, "Did you have breakfast?"
"Your house-elves gave us breakfast." Hermione glared at him and he almost groaned.
"Don't start Hermione," he wasn't begging, "I didn't even know I had elves, and even if I did I won't free them. You can feel our bond now, would you force another being to lose something like that?"
"It's not the same thing." she argued.
"It is rather similar." Ron disagreed, "It's just a different kind of binding, but they would feel the loss just as much as you would."
"It's true." his father added to the conversation, "Lily thought the same as you, but house-elves can't really live without a bond. They start to lose their will to live and end up fading away. They need a bond. Sometimes they just don't have much luck with whom they bond, and that's unfortunate, but they still need the bond."
"Fine!" Hermione exclaimed exasperated, "I won't say anything about the elves, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. I can still do something for those that have bad families."
"That's the spirit." his mom cheered.
"So, what's the plan for today?" Hermione asked, smiling again.
"I was thinking about calling the ten families, to talk to them. They... I don't think... Half of them sided with Voldemort, I'm not sure how well they will deal with each other."
"Who are the ten?" Ron asked, looking a little uneasy. Just because they were now sworn to Harry didn't mean he wasn't a little weary about meeting anyone who had sided with Voldemort. They had to have done it for a reason and some things didn't change just because they took an Oath.
"Longbottom, Macmillan, Abbott, Greengrass, Gamp, Flint, Avery, Nott, Malfoy, and Lestrange."
"Bloody hell," Ron muttered palling slightly, "Flint, Avery, Nott, Malfoy, and Lestrange? Those aren't some no name Death Eaters, Harry. All of them were Inner Circle members. They are rumored to be some of the worst that V-v-vol-voldemort had."
"I know." Harry replied, "But they took the Oath. They seemed quite eager to do it actually. And... well, Lestrange told me why he joined Voldemort. I don't agree with his reasons, but I can understand them." he then told them what Malfoy and Lestrange had told him. Not everything, just why they had joined. Though he focused more on Lestrange since the man had actually gone to school with Tom Riddle.
"I see." murmured Ron when he was done, "I understand."
"Was it really that strong? The desire for their King?" Hermione asked Ron. There was a sympathetic look in her eyes, but Harry knew that it would be more difficult for her to accept it. She had suffered through their prejudice, and even though she had a big heart, certain wounds took a little more to heal.
"The older the family, the stronger it is." Ron replied somberly, "I can't imagine how those families suffered, especially the First Ten. It must have been horrible for them. Did you ever wonder why they called us blood traitors?" he asked her, "Because to them it's what we were. We were betraying our Oath in their eyes by believing that the Royal Line was dead and accepting muggleborns so openly, people who had no connection to the Royal Line and could betray them in a heartbeat."
"All this prejudice because of the Oath? Because their magic was compelling them?"
"Yes, though their personalities contributed to it too. The Longbottoms, for example, they are just as old as the Malfoys but they reacted in different ways. They were more open-minded, even if deep down they couldn't understand how some families could believe that the Royal Line was dead." Ron sighed and closed his eyes, "Though, now with the return of our King all of this will be a thing of the past." he smiled and Harry couldn't help but smile back. He just wished he had as much faith in himself as Ron seemed to have in him.
"Don't forget to read the letters from the twins and your dogfather." Caym told him from his spot behind the sofa making Hermione and Ron jump from their seat. They had completely forgotten that the demons were even in the room. In Ron's opinion it was rather creepy how they could just fade into the background. Beings that dangerous shouldn't be able to just fade away, it made them even more dangerous.
"Oh, yeah. Do you have it?"
Abanddon took out both letters and handed them over. Harry opened the one from the twins first and couldn't help but snort when he reached the end. He grinned at Ron and the red-head paled.
"Do I want to know?" Ron couldn't help but ask.
"The twins advise you to stay away till your mom calms down. They congratulate us on an epic prank and asked to be included next time."
"That bad, huh?"
Harry chuckled and opened Sirius' letter. Well, it could have been worse. At least Sirius wasn't freaking out.
"What did they say?" Hermione asked him, looking a bit worried.
"Sirius just wants to know where we are and if we're alright. Remus also said he would like it better if they could join us wherever we are."
"Do you want to get them?" Ron inquired.
"I don't know." Harry glanced at both demons, "What do you think?"
"They are both bound to you," Caym replied, "They would make good allies."
"Do you think it's a good idea to tell them, though?" asked Hermione, "What if they tell Dumbledore?"
"Dumbledore is bound by the Oath too." Abanddon told them, "There would be nothing he could do to our little Master. He may try, but anything that would go against our Master would make Dumbledore's magic rebel."
"Then why hasn't magic punished him yet?" Ron looked confused, "Dumbledore hasn't really been acting in Harry's best interest."
"But it has," Caym said, smiling wickedly, "He's been getting weaker. He thinks it's age catching up to him, but it isn't. His magic is punishing him, though since he didn't actually do anything to harm our little Master he still has his magic. If he had been able to imprison him in Grimmauld, then... well, I suspect that his magic's reaction would have been harsher."
"So, there would be virtually no risk in telling Sirius and Remus?" Hermione confirmed.
"Not really, no." Abanddon answered.
"Alright." Harry nodded, "Then maybe the best thing to do would be to bring Sirius and Remus here, tell them the truth and then summon the Ten Families."
"Do you know what to tell the families?" Ron looked at him curiously and Harry sighed.
"Not really. I just want to get them together and see if they can get along and not try to kill each-other."
"That's a good plan." Hermione nodded.
"Could you get them?" Harry asked his demons and both smirked, disappearing in the blink of an eye.
"Maybe I should have told them not to scare anyone in the Order." Harry muttered, glancing at the place his demons had been.
Ron snorted, a small smirk appearing on his lips.
"I don't know if it would have done any good. Either way I think a good scare is what the Order needs. I have to admit that part of me can't wait to see their reactions when they learn who you are."
"Honestly, Ron, it's no joking matter." Hermione scolded, "If things aren't done right it may cause more harm than good."
"What do you mean?" Ron looked baffled, "Every witch and wizard will be overjoyed at having their King back."
"No, every pureblood, or half-blood that knows our history will be overjoyed. Muggleborns on the other hand... they don't know the history behind it and they won't feel the call of their magic. I can't see them just submitting without some sort of explanation. And even then most may not want to take an Oath as binding as this one."
"Oh," Ron murmured, understanding dawning in his expression, "That... that would be bad. They would be crucified, quite literally, by every family. Hell, even the Light families won't accept it."
"That's why Harry has to be-"
The sound of two loud bangs, followed by almost identical groans cut her off and the three teenagers looked up to see both demons standing with a smug smirk on their lips, with two lumps of blankets at their feet.
Two moving lumps of blankets.
Harry glared halfheartedly at the two demons, not really surprised that they had done something like that. He couldn't quite stop the blush that spread on his cheeks when they threw him the most adorable innocent look he had ever seen.
"What the hell!" Sirius' voice came from amidst the blankets and Harry could see Ron trying to stifle his snickers. Not that it was being very effective but at least he was trying.
"Hey, Sirius." he greeted his godfather and the cursing, rather creative curses at that, that were coming from the blankets ceased. Then there was a scuffle, for a moment Harry thought the blankets would win, and finally two heads popped out of the tangled mess.
"Harry!" Sirius exclaimed, a bright smile lightening his face. Remus remained silent, though his smile was no less bright.
"Sorry about the landing." Harry apologized, "I should have known that asking Abanddon and Caym to go get you was asking for trouble."
"It's fine," Sirius assured him, though he did throw a quick glare at both demons, "I'm just happy to see you are alright. You left quite a mess at Headquarters. Molly was still shouting hours after you were gone. Though it may please you to know that a few Order members were rather impressed with the three of you."
"So," Ron started, "From one to ten, how much does my mom want to murder me?"
"Oh... I would say about a fifteen." Sirius told him cheerily and even Remus had a small smirk on his lips when Ron groaned.
"As happy as I am to be here, I doubt you only called us over to see how murderous certain people were." Remus said, having untangled himself from his woolly prison, while Sirius was still struggling.
"Yes, speaking about bringing us over... where exactly are we?" Sirius asked, glaring at a blanket that was still wrapped around his right leg and didn't seem to be letting go anytime soon.
"I'm shocked you don't recognized it, Paddy. But I guess old age is finally getting to you."
At that both marauders looked up, their eyes wide and mouths open, Sirius had even gone a shade or two paler.
"Prongs?" came the whisper from Harry's godfather, since Remus seemed to be too shocked to say anything at all.
"In the flesh," James grinned, "Well, not really, but you know what I mean."
"Merlin." Remus almost stumbled over to the portraits.
"No, Moony, not Merlin. James. Repeat after me: James. S. James. Though I'm kinda flattered that you think so highly of me."
Lily was beside her husband shaking her head.
"Honestly," she muttered, glancing at her husband with sheer exasperation on her features, "You're incorrigible."
James just smiled innocently back at her.
That was all it took for Remus and Sirius to burst out laughing. Both men standing beside the portraits and looking at the occupants with tear filled eyes and happy smiles.
"It's good to see both of you." Lily smiled at them.
"Nowhere near as good as it is to see you." Remus countered, still looking a little dazed but his joy was clear for all to see.
"You could have come to the Manor any time." James said, his eyes sad, "You were never taken from the wards."
"I..." Remus words' caught in his throat and he looked away.
"We understand." Lily assured him, a small smile on her lips. "At least you are here now. And you, you mutt, we have much to talk about!" Lily glared at Sirius and the man actually winced, "What were you thinking!?" she shouted, "If I hear one more time that you blame yourself for what happened then so help me Merlin, I'll find a way to come back from the dead and curse you into next week! Do you understand me?"
Sirius was speechless while Remus had a satisfied smirk on his lips. James was just nodding solemnly beside his wife, though he did throw Sirius a pitying look when he thought Lily wasn't looking.
"I-I u-u-understand." Sirius stuttered, slowly inching away from the portrait as if afraid that Lily would jump right out of it and hex him.
"Good." Lily nodded, all sunshine and daises again.
That seemed to be the last straw and Ron burst out laughing, holding his stomach and tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Oh Merlin, that was too funny." he managed to get out while trying to catch his breath. Hermione was beside him nodding her head.
"Well, at least we know where Harry got his temper from." she remarked earning a glare form the boy in question, "Don't look at me like that, it's true. Your temper is quite legendary, I don't think that I have ever seen the Gryffindor common room empty as fast as when you are about to blow. It's one of those situations that's every man for himself, take cover and hope for the best."
Harry glanced at Ron, hoping to find some support from his best friend, only to be met with solemn nods. He looked away in a huff, a small pout forming on his lips, missing the fond smiles that his friends and family threw him.
Meanwhile Remus and Sirius had taken a seat on the couch opposite the teens, smiling at their bickering. It was always such a joy to see how close those three were. Just like the marauders, but without a traitorous little rat in their midst.
Remus cleared his throat, gaining back their attention.
"So, what did you want?" he asked, looking at the teenagers curiously. At the moment he was truly expecting anything. Nothing would really surprise him, especially since he didn't think that anything could beat demon butlers, or bodyguards, or whatever they were.
"Well," Hermione said, glancing at the boys at her side, "Harry has something to tell you." she deflected. She truly thought that it would be better if it came from Harry, it was his news after all. Also she kinda wanted to see their reactions. They would be a good example of how people may react. Especially Remus. He was a magical creature, would they have a different reaction to the Royal Family? Would the Oath even bind them? Logically it should, since they were magical, but would magical beings that had a deep seethed prejudice against wizards even want to take the Oath? She expertly ignored Harry's glare and continued to observe both men.
Harry sighed and looked at them both. Telling them was harder than telling everyone else. These two men were family to him. The last link to his parents. He didn't know how he would react if they started behaving all subservient to him because of the Oath, or even worse if they resented him because of it. He knew they didn't have much of a choice in the matter. Even if they didn't take the Oath they were still bound, they still wouldn't be able to go against him.
"Well, what do you know about the Marcius Bloodline?" he asked, might as well get it over with.
"Our Kings?" Sirius asked, slight awe slipping into his tone.
"Well, there isn't much we know about them. At least nothing concrete. We know we are bound to them, we know that the bloodline is still alive even though we don't know who it is. We know that if our King takes his throne again balance would come back to the Wizarding World. We know that some families are still searching for them and still take the Oath even though there is no one to accept it. We know that there were ten families, the First Ten, that started it. Those ten are the most loyal to the Royal Family and to this day still do everything they can to find our Kings. And that's about it." Remus replied, his sharp eyes taking the teens in. He was curious about why they were asking about it, especially since the demons lived during that time and would be able to give Harry all the information he asked for.
His eyes widened when that thought popped into his head. He had always wondered how a family could have such control, could achieve as much as the Marcius Bloodline, but if they had demons... well, that changed everything, didn't it?
His eyes focused on Harry, the wheels turning in his mind, but even with the answer practically screaming at him, he didn't want to believe it. At least not without Harry confirming it.
"Well, I'm the last of that Bloodline."
Remus closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Well, that was the confirmation he had been waiting for. It seemed he had been wrong. There were still things that Harry could say that surprised him.
Oh dear Merlin, their King was back. Their King was sitting in front of them. Their King was their little cub.
"Oh dear Merlin." Sirius muttered, staring at his godson, "You're our King?"
"Yeah, that's what I've been told." Harry slumped a little on the couch.
"How... I just... How?" Sirius muttered, not really knowing where to start or what to say.
"Well, you remember my trial, right?" when Sirius and Remus nodded Harry continued, "Well, Abanddon and Caym were helping me to find a way out of it if Fudge decided to ignore all the evidence that pointed out that I hadn't done anything. So that's when they told me about the Marcius Bloodline. How my family gave up the name Marcius after five hundred years, just as they did with every other name. So I'm the last of the bloodline, heir to the throne."
"Wait..." Remus interrupted, "I know for a fact that the Potters had daughters, so the Marcius Bloodline had to have spread into other lines."
"They didn't." Caym told them, and Remus almost jumped out of his seat. Dear Merlin he had forgotten that the demons were in the room, "After we were bound our first Master told us to make it impossible for those of his blood to have daughters, just to prevent a situation where the main line died and we would end up bonded to someone who had forgotten the Bloodline's history."
"Which is rather ironic since we did end up bound to someone who didn't know anything about the Bloodline." Abanddon remarked.
"But there were Potter females." Sirius said, slightly confused, completely ignoring Abanddon's remark, as well as the resulting pout. He knew for a fact that there were females since he had been forced to memorize his family tree and there had been two Potters who had married into the Black family.
"They were adopted children." Abanddon told him, "The Bloodline searched for muggleborns, either in orphanages or in abusive homes, took those children, de-aged them, gave them appearance altering potions to resemble the new parents, and introduced them as their children."
"What?" Hermione looked scandalized, "Why would they do that?"
"Because they didn't want anyone to find out that they only had boys." Harry replied, "They did everything to keep their most guarded secret, the demons, and people would start to find it strange if they only had boys. So they did what they had to."
"The children were as cared for as those they gave birth to." Caym assured the young girl, "They learned the truth about us as well, though they were sworn to secrecy. They never knew that they weren't blood."
"That's... wow." Ron muttered.
"So, Harry's really the last of the Marcius Bloodline." Sirius whispered.
"Yes." Abanddon confirmed, "And he claimed his birthright right in front of the Wizengamot. No one will be able to contest his claim."
"Besides, the crown would appear to no one but the true Heir." Caym added nonchalantly.
"The c-crown?" Sirius stuttered.
"Yes." Caym nodded, "Our Master called his birthright to him, in front of the whole Wizengamot." he repeated, "Which means that the crown appeared on his pretty little head, with the Marcius Family crest above it."
"That's why you were so sure that no one would say anything." Remus remarked, remembering how Harry had looked so certain that there would be no one who would reveal whatever secret he had told them.
"Yeah, besides Abanddon and Caym spelled the room. They wouldn't have been able to say anything even if they wanted." Harry muttered, "I was approached as soon as I left the courtroom, and the letters came soon after."
"Letters?" Remus asked.
"Asking for meetings." Harry replied, "The First Ten asked to renew their Oaths. Ron and Hermione took theirs yesterday."
"Oh dear Merlin," Sirius murmured, "The First Ten? They have already renewed their Oaths." he seemed to be passed dazed and Remus was in no better shape.
Harry was still nervous and was sitting completely still. He didn't know what to do, he had no idea what was running through their minds. They were still far too dazed for him to be able to tell how they would react.
"I want to feel it." Sirius stated suddenly.
"Feel? Feel what?" Harry asked, slightly confused.
"Your magic. Let it free, I want to feel it." Sirius stated seriously but Harry continued to look at him in confusion. Let his magic free? Wasn't it already free? He didn't remember ever restraining his magic. He glanced at his demons, a habit he had acquired when he was confused, afraid, or unsure, and needed their unwavering support.
They smiled at him and leaned against the couch he was sitting on.
"Your magic is always masked. We believe you came into the habit of doing it while at the Dursleys," Abanddon told him, "It's why most people think you are only slightly above average in magical power, because if you were more powerful they think that they would be able to feel your magic since you're still young and wouldn't be able to mask it."
"None of them bothered to look deeper, to see if there was more." Caym added.
"So how does Sirius know that there is more?" Harry asked, focusing only on his demons.
"He has known you since you were born," Abanddon said, "He knows your magic."
"I see," Harry murmured, "But I have no idea how to do what he wants."
"We'll help you," Caym murmured, leaning closer to him, "Trust us." he whispered in his ear and Harry had to stop himself from shivering.
"I trust you." he whispered, his eyes closed.
He didn't see the feral smiles on the demons' faces, nor the widening of his friends and families' eyes. He could only feel his demons on either side of him, their magic surrounding him and invading his body. For a moment it felt like he was drowning, their magic was everywhere. Then it seemed to plunged deeper into him. He had never felt so exposed, but he didn't feel as if he were in any sort of danger. He felt safe, protected. He wanted this feeling to last, he never wanted their magic to leave him. And then it got better. Something inside of him felt warmer and it started to expand, he felt it envelop his whole body. Then his demons' magic retreated but he was still warm and safe, there was still that warm cocoon around him.
The sharp gasps around him brought him out of his haze and he glanced around, still a little out of it.
Ron, Hermione, Remus, and Sirius were gaping at him. He felt a little self-conscious. They had never looked at him like that, not even the previous night when Hermione and Ron had taken their Oaths.
"What?" he said defensively. Maybe there was truly nothing more to his magic and they were disappointed?
"Nothing." Remus replied, "We were just surprised, that's all. We hadn't expected your magic to have grown so much, nor for it to feel as it does."
"It's even more pronounced now." Hermione muttered, "Our bond feels even deeper."
"His magic isn't masked," Caym explained, "As long as our little Master doesn't mask it again you'll feel it like that all the time. Unless, of course, he's angry. In that case his magic will react to his feelings."
"So... this is what you wanted to feel?" Harry asked, looking at Sirius.
"Yeah," Sirius replied, nodding a little distractedly. He still seemed to be somewhat stunned by Harry's magic, "You said that the First Ten already took the Oath? I always wondered who the First Ten were, can you tell me?"
"Longbottom, Macmillan, Abbott, Greengrass, Gamp, Flint, Avery, Nott, Malfoy, and Lestrange."
Both Remus and Sirius paled.
"An-and they all took the Oath? You accepted?" Sirius asked, with a slight trace of skepticism.
"Yes, to both questions." Harry replied, narrowing his eyes.
"You do know that at least five of those families serve Voldemort, right?" Sirius asked again, anger slipping into his tone.
"Not anymore." Harry said, "They took the Oath, they are loyal to me."
"But how could you accept the Oath?!" Sirius shouted, jumping from his seat, "They are Death Eaters!"
"And what would you want me to do, Sirius?" Harry asked, a sneer appearing on his face, "Condemn a whole Bloodline for the errors of a few? Should I punish the Black Bloodline as well? Bellatrix is a Black by blood after all, should I condemn you to a life without magic because of her mistakes?" Sirius paled and a malicious smirk spread on Harry's lips, "Yes, let's not forget the fact that most pure-blood families have intermarried over the centuries. So what you are asking me is to destroy the whole Wizarding World, leaving only those of new blood with magic."
"I... I hadn't thought about that." Sirius replied, looking horrified.
Harry's features softened, a warm smile on his lips.
"I didn't mean to be so harsh, Sirius," he murmured, "But it isn't as simple as you want to believe. The world isn't black and white. I'm responsible for every single witch and wizard in the Wizarding World and my decisions will either damn them or save them. I have no wish to damn them."
"Sorry," Sirius looked down, "It's just... certain things are hard to let go."
"I know." Harry replied, "That's why I plan on getting the First Ten together and see how things go. I know that some of the families have a less than a stellar relationship. I can't force them to become best friends, but if our society has any chance of surviving what is to come than we need to at least be able to work together. Especially those families since they are the personal servants of the royal family. The Greengrass are the Healers, the Lestranges are the Bodyguards, the Macmillans the Historians, the Abbotts are the Enforcers, the Longbottoms are my Botanists, the Malfoys my Diplomats, the Gamps are the Merchants, the Flints are my Soldiers, the Notts the Scholars, and the Averys are the Explorers."
"That... that kinda makes sense." Sirius murmured.
"Sense?" Harry asked, "What makes sense?"
"The positions those families hold." Sirius replied, "As a Black I had to know everything about every pureblood family that my mothered deemed 'worthy'. So I had to study their history and such. I never noticed before, but those families always worked in something or did something that was somehow related to those positions."
"They have?" Harry wasn't the only one looking surprised.
"Yeah. Even those that married into other families worked in something related to it. It makes so much sense now. They wanted to keep their skills for when our King returned."
"That does make sense." Remus agreed, "You know what this means, don't you Sirius?" Remus asked then, looking at his best friend.
There was a moment of silence and then Sirius' eyes widened slightly.
"Our King." he whispered, a touch of awe entering his tone, "Moony..."
"Yeah." Remus nodded, that touch of awe entering his expression as well. It was as if they had only realized in that precise moment just what Harry had been telling them. Not that they could be blamed for it, it wasn't every day you were confronted by something you had longed for your entire life after all.
Then both men fell to their knees, their heads bowed, and their wands at Harry's feet.
"What seems to be the problem?" he asked as soon as he walked through the Floo and saw the commotion in the kitchen.
"They disappeared!" someone shouted, he couldn't really pint-point who it had been, and his eyebrows rose slightly.
"Who disappeared?" he asked, more than a little confused and just a bit worried.
"Remus and Sirius disappeared." Kingsley told him, though he didn't seem the least bit worried about the fact that two Order members had disappeared from Headquarters.
"What do you mean they disappeared?" right, now he was a little more worried. Things weren't going well, first Harry vanished from Headquarters, taking young Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley with him, and now Sirius and Remus.
"He means," Alastor said, appearing beside him, "They disappeared. They were in their rooms and then they weren't, and they didn't leave the house through the front door."
"You don't seem all that worried." he remarked.
"Come now, Albus, I would bet both my eyes that they're with Potter." Alastor said.
"Truly? Did you see anything?"
"I saw that they were in their beds this morning and then they weren't. Do you know anyone else who would have been able to do that aside from Potter's demons?" Alastor asked, both eyes looking at Albus.
"No, I can't say I do." he replied, "Now we just need to know why they took them. Though why wasn't I told sooner?" he asked.
"They are Harry's godparents, even if Remus isn't official because the Ministry doesn't allow it." Kingsley remarked, "It is likely that Harry wanted them with him."
"And you weren't told because Molly only just found out, since she went to call them for lunch, and I didn't think it would matter if you knew or not since there would be nothing you could do about it." Alastor replied.
"Do you really think so?" he asked Kingsley, for the moment ignoring Alastor's reply. It was true, there truly was nothing he could have done, but that didn't mean he hadn't wanted to know about it, "Harry made it quite clear that he wanted nothing to do with the Order."
"That's not how I saw it." Kingsley murmured, though he caught Alastor's eye and said nothing else.
Albus either hadn't heard him or ignored him completely and called the Order's attention.
"I believe that neither Remus or Sirius are in any danger." he assured the worried members, "Headquarters is rather well protected there is no way they could have been taken against their will." though if the demons had truly taken them he doubted that whatever protections they had around the Manor would have done any good.
As far as he knew there was no known protection against demons. They had been lost to time, the demons themselves had become nothing but myths. The fact that there were even demons had been forgotten by most. They had forgotten who had given them their magic. Not that they had done it intentionally. From what he remembered of the old stories, ages ago a demon raped a young woman, which resulted in an unexpected pregnancy. That's when the first magical child was born. Half-demon, half-human. They were all descendant from that one child. That child had been so powerful that he rivaled the demons, and his children were quite close as well. Fortunately they had retained their human minds. They hadn't been evil, just normal humans with power. However as time passed their power waned and they became what they were now. Witches and wizards, far more powerful than an ordinary human, but nowhere near close to the power of a true demon. Well, at least that was what the stories told, he had no way of knowing if that was actually what happened. He suspected that the demons knew, but he doubted that they would answer his questions.
Startled he looked back, seeing his potions Master almost falling out of the Floo, looking worse for wear.
"Severus? Severus, what's the matter?" he asked, worry starting to grow as he noticed blood on Severus' robes.
"Albus," Severus seemed to be slightly out of it, and he practically threw himself into a chair, "It was... Albus, it was a bloodbath."
"A bloodbath?" he asked, highly alarmed, "Where? What happened? Was it Voldemort?
Severus shivered, going a few shades paler.
"Oh Merlin," Severus murmured, "The Dark Lord..." though more didn't come out of the potion Master as his eyes rolled back and he fell into unconsciousness.
Harry could hardly believe it. He had seen it, he had accepted it, but it was still hard to believe.
Sirius and Remus had taken the Oath. They had knelt at his feet and had taken the Oath.
They didn't resent him, they weren't angry. They were proud. It was clear as day in their eyes. They were proud that he was King, they were proud to call him their King.
It made him feel strangely good about himself. It was different from the other bonds. Completely different. It felt more intimate somehow. Not that the others weren't, they could feel him and he could feel them. They were in the back of his mind, a constant presence, assuring him that he was never alone, and they felt that same assurance. But with Remus and Sirius it enhanced the family bond they had. He could practically feel their love for him and it made him unbelievably happy.
"Now what?" Sirius asked, looking a little euphoric.
"Now we call the other families." Harry decided, knowing that he would have to get it over with, "Abanddon, Caym, can you summon them? I don't want them to take to long, tell them it'll be done before lunch. It'll be a small meeting, nothing formal. Can you do that?"
"Of course, little Master." Abanddon told him, "We will tell all of them and bring them here." then they were gone without a sound.
"They'll be a little shocked to see a convicted murder here." Sirius muttered, leaning back on the couch.
"I think the Death Eaters will be their main concern." Ron countered.
"Yeah, and that's what they think I am." Sirius argued back.
"Well, at least we'll get all the awkwardness out of the way." Remus tried to see the bright side of the whole thing, and Harry couldn't help but snort.
"Do you think so?" he raised an eyebrow, "How do you think people will react when we get the ones that are in Azkaban?"
"Those in Azkaban?" Sirius almost squeaked.
"Yeah, do you think that I would let them remain there?" Harry asked incredulously, "Especially after their families took the Oath?"
"They're dangerous." Remus remarked, his eyes narrowing.
"I know, but I'll deal with it. Don't think I don't know how to deal with those that are loose cannons. They are bound to me, and I'll use that as need be."
"Harry... they would be no better than slaves." Hermione murmured, "It would be inhumane."
"I know." Harry replied, "Though I can't in good consciousness let them roam free."
"Then why not leave them in Azkaban?" Remus asked, a frown marring his expression.
"Because the crimes they committed under Voldemort could have been prevented if my family hadn't given up the Throne. Aside from that they are bound to me as well, I can't just ignore their plight. They'll have their second chance with me, an opportunity to redeem themselves."
"Is it truly redemption if you force them to do it?" Hermione asked.
"I won't force them to do anything. I will just stop them from doing certain things. I won't be telling them how to act. They'll have their freedom, it's their decision what they'll do with it." Harry replied.
"Alright," Hermione nodded, "I have no idea if it will work, but at least it'll be something. I always thought that Azkaban was far to cruel."
Their conversation was halted when Abanddon popped into the room, Lord Greengrass beside him.
"Master," Abanddon bowed, "Caym and I have split and are gathering your subjects." he indicated the man standing beside him, "I brought you Lord Greengrass." with another bow he was gone, no doubt to collect another Lord.
Harry stood, the other four following suite and Lord Greengrass bowed.
"Gregory, welcome." Harry smiled at the man, he had been rather nervous when they had first met, but he had like the man. Besides, from what he could feel from their bond the Greengrass Lord was overjoyed to have been called. He just couldn't bring himself to be cold towards him. His family had truly caused a lot of damage, "Please take a seat, I'll introduce everyone as soon as the others arrive."
Gregory stood straight once more and took a seat in the armchair beside Remus, looking curious at the other four.
"Sire, if I may, who else will be coming?" he asked, once Harry had taken his seat.
"The First Ten." Harry replied and Gregory's eyes widened further.
"They... they all took the Oath? You accepted, Sire?" he seemed shocked but Harry could feel how fiercely happy he was at the prospect.
"Yes." Harry smiled again, "They all took the Oath and I accepted."
"That's great, Sire." Gregory smiled, his eyes sparkling, "We have been searching for so long, I'm sure they were just as relieved as I was."
"They were rather happy." Harry replied, a small chuckle leaving him. Rather happy didn't even come close to describing their emotions.
Though before they could say anything Caym popped back in. He gave Harry a quick bow and indicated the man beside him.
"Lord Macmillan, Master." then he was gone.
Harry stood again, motioning the seats near them.
"Lord Macmillan, welcome. Take a seat."
"Your Highness." Macmillan bowed and took a seat on the armchair beside Gregory.
Not a second later Abanddon was back.
"Master, Lord Flint." and he disappeared just as quickly.
"Lord Flint, please take a seat." Harry instructed, wondering if he should just stay up.
"Your Highness." Flint bowed as well, opting for seating himself on the couch beside Sirius.
Harry wasn't sure but the man seemed to recognize Sirius, since Harry noticed how his hand twitched towards his wand. Though if that were the case he wondered why Flint had chosen to sit beside a supposed convicted murderer. Hermione seemed to be thinking the same thing if her frown was any indication.
Sirius and Remus were a little tense as well, having recognized Flint as a Death Eater. It was difficult to say if Gregory was nervous as well, since he seemed to be rather at ease and Harry could feel almost nothing beside joy. Though Gregory was a pureblood Lord, so Harry wouldn't be surprised if he could mask his feelings quite well.
The demons kept popping up for the next fifteen minutes, bringing all the Lords with them. Twenty minutes later they were all sitting around the small coffee table, some looking a bit uncomfortable and glancing at the people around them with weary eyes.
Harry took a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves, and stood.
"Thank you all for coming on such a short notice, especially since it's so early." he smiled at them.
"There is nothing to thank us for, Sire." Lucius said, bowing his head, "We live to serve."
"Merlin," Hermione murmured, "That will take some getting used to." Ron nodded beside her, his eyes jumping from Death Eater to Death Eater.
"Even so," Harry continued, "I will do my best to call you with a little more time for you all to get ready. However this meeting was rather unexpected. I needed to talk with all of you and after these four took their Oaths, I believed it would be a good time to talk with you, before I decide to do anything else, since you ten are the First Ten and these four people are the people I trust most."
There was silence for a moment, while the First Ten looked at the new people that had been added to their circle, people that seemed to be rather high in their King's regard.
"I'm not sure if you all know each other," he said, looking at them all, "So I'll introduce everyone before we proceed with the meeting. Beside me are Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. They took the Oath yesterday, after I told them about my heritage. On the sofa beside ours are Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Marius Flint. Beside them we have Gregory Greengrass, Ernest Macmillan, Stephan Abbott, Lucius Malfoy, Algeron Longbottom, Christian Gamp, Teodred Nott, Cassius Lestrange, and Alexei Avery."
"Sirius Black, Sire?" Stephan Abbott asked, glancing at the Black Lord curiously.
"Sirius never betrayed my parents. He never served Voldemort. He was framed by Peter and sentenced to Azkaban without a trial."
"Without a trial?" Stephan sounded scandalized, truly outraged by the mere thought of something like that. Harry supposed that the man being the Royal Family's Enforcer, wouldn't take well to something like that.
"Yes," Sirius nodded, "I was broken after their deaths, I blamed myself. They heard me say that I had killed them, that it was my fault, and that was all they needed to hear. They threw me into Azkaban and threw away the key."
"Peter was a very well kept secret." Lucius added to the conversation, "Even those in the Inner Circle didn't know about him, at least most of us didn't. I think only Bellatrix and maybe Barty knew about it."
"Why those two?" Harry asked, curious despite himself.
"They were the most trusted, Sire." Cassius replied, "Not that he trusted them, but he liked to say they were his most loyal."
"Why them though?" Harry tilted his head slightly, "You actually went to school with him, you knew him better, if there was anyone he should trust it should be you, no?"
"You hit the nail on the head, Sire." Cassius gave a small smile, "I knew him best. All his perceived faults. He could never trust someone he believed would be able to cause him harm, or had seen him as anything but the supposed all powerful, immortal wizard he wanted everyone to see him as."
"That doesn't really surprise me," Harry mused, "From what I know of him it seems like something he would do. Still, why were those two so important?"
"Bellatrix fancied herself in love with him, Sire." Lucius replied with a sneer, his thoughts about his sister-in-law clear for all to see.
"Barty on the other hand, well... his is a sadder tale, Sire." Marius said, "His father, Crouch, was rather abusive. His mother wasn't all that sane to begin with, and she started to get worse when he went to Hogwarts. His father when he wasn't ignoring him was abusing him. He was starved for any kind of positive attention. Voldemort knew how to use it, and he did. By the end of it he had twisted the poor child so much that he saw Voldemort as his own father. No matter how much he was tortured he never saw fault in anything Voldemort did, he could do no wrong in his eyes." all the Death Eaters in the room looked rather saddened.
"He was such an innocent child." Cassius murmured, shaking his head, "It's just one more life he destroyed."
"I don't think I was ever happier than the day I realized that he wasn't our King." Alexei remarked.
Harry could see that most of them were looking at the Death Eaters surprised. He was sure that none of them had expected something like this. He sure as hell hadn't.
"I see." Harry murmured, "I'll have to see how each of them react once they are out of Azkaban. I already told my family that I will be binding them. Though I won't force them to do anything. I'll just prevent them from hurting people."
"My sons will serve you, Sire. They will not need to be ordered to do anything at all. They only joined because if they hadn't they would have been killed on the spot, they did it for me. I would have never survived their deaths."
"In that case why did they attack the Longbottoms?" Harry asked, aware that Neville's great-uncle was looking rather pained.
"They didn't. Bella and Barty did, Sire." Cassius said, his head lowered, "They were there, but they didn't cast any curses at them. They protected the young child, Neville I believe his name is, They shielded him when Bella and Barty tried to use the child to make the parents talk. From what I learned, and from what I saw in their memories, both Frank and Alice thanked them for keeping their son safe and for keeping Bella's and Barty's attention on them instead of their son."
"Why didn't they say anything at the trial?" Harry asked, remembering both brothers' trial from Dumbledore's pensive and both had been silent through it.
"I believe they were ashamed, Sire." it was clear that it was paining Cassius to talk about it so he changed the subject, not wanting to subject the elder Lord to unnecessary pain.
"What do you think about Bellatrix than?" he asked, directing his question more towards Lucius.
"She's a lost cause, Sire." Lucius answered promptly, "She was damaged before she joined the Death Eaters. Her infatuation with the Dark Lord didn't help matters. She will follow no one but him."
"For once, I agree with Lucius." Sirius remarked, "Bella... Bella was a lost cause even before she joined the ranks of the Death Eaters. I doubt that she could have improved there."
"She didn't." Lucius confirmed, "She would gladly kill her whole family for Voldemort. Hell, she killed her firstborn for Voldemort."
"She did what?" Harry and his friends snarled, magic crackling around them.
"She killed her firstborn." Lucius replied, glancing at Cassius who had a stoic mask in place, though Harry could feel their bond thrum with anguish.
"How could she?" Hermione asked in a broken whisper.
"Voldemort asked it of her. So he could use the body of the child in a ritual." Marius answered, he was looking at Cassius as well. He shook his head and tried to erase that night from his mind. That had been the turning point for many of the Death Eaters. They had already been disillusioned with the Dark Lord, that had been the final nail on the coffin so to speak.
"Harry," Harry glanced at Ron, noticing the deadly tone, "Leave her there."
"Voldemort will take her if I do."
"Let him have her." Hermione snarled, "The second she turns against you she loses her magic. It's nothing less than she deserves."
"Hermione..." Harry sighed when he noticed the tears in her eyes, "Alright. I'll see what I can do." he had to be careful, if she went against him it could damn more than her magic and he didn't want for others to suffer for her insanity.
"If you want to, Master, we'll deal with her." Abanddon purred from beside them, a blood thirsty smile spreading on his lips. Most of those present almost jumped from their seats, having forgotten that the demons were in the room. Harry almost snorted, how could they not notice them? He never lost track of where they were, he didn't think he could. Their magic was like a beacon for him.
"Would you?" he asked sweetly, noticing both set of eyes starting to shine brightly.
"Anything for you, little one." Caym purred, "You only have to ask."
"You spoil me." he said, smiling at them and turning to look back at his guests, "So, Bellatrix is dealt with for the moment. I'll have a closer look at it later, either when Voldemort breaks them out of Azkaban or when we decide on when to bring my people out of Azkaban. Now, one of the reasons why I actually called you all." he was happy to see that Cassius seemed to come out of his anguish. He truly like the elder Lestrange and didn't want to see the man suffer. He had suffered enough, "I said I would keep you appraised if anything happened and if I made any plans, so I called you to inform you about these four taking the Oath, since these people are the closest thing I have to a family I consider them quite important. I probably won't tell you every time someone new takes the Oath, unless of course it's someone that will in some way influence how we do things, or will be able to help us, for example someone from the Wizengamot or with a high position in the Ministry. All of you, and possibly your heirs will be my Council. I'll call upon you, discuss things with you, and ask for your opinion. I ask that you always be honest with me. If you do not agree with something tell me, I don't guarantee that I will change my mind but I will take your opinion into consideration. I know that Hermione and Ron are young, and most of you must think that they are too young to be in the Council, but they are my brother and sister and I trust them with my life. Hermione is brilliant and Ron is as well, we have been through a lot together and I trust their judgment. Aside from that they will be quite useful at Hogwarts, which will be a little more difficult for all of you to access."
Harry couldn't believe how they were sitting there listening to him talk. It was slightly overwhelming to see that they truly took what he said seriously. From someone who was used to have things hidden from him because he was a 'child' it was a rather drastic change.
"I'm trying to do everything I can so that I don't damn the Wizarding World. As I told Sirius, I can't see the world as black and white, I can't condemn a whole Bloodline because of the mistakes of a few. I can't and I won't. It would condemn everyone if I did. Most pureblood families intermarried, I don't even want to think what would happen to the Wizarding World of Britain."
"Not just Britain, Sire." Lucius corrected, "The Malfoys come from France, we have been in Britain only for about three hundred years."
"And we come from Russia, Sire." Alexei added, "We've been here for about five hundred years, and our name change a little, but we came from the continent."
"And we come from Greece, Sire." Greengrass said.
"What?" Harry looked at them a little stunned.
"We are spread all over the world, Sire." Algeron told him, "The Wizards that went to the States are from pureblood families, so it is more than likely that most of them over there are in some way bound to you."
"But that's..." Harry was sure that he was almost gaping, "That can't be!"
"Sire, it has been a long time since the Royal Family disappeared," Ernest told him gently, "Even though many bloodlines died out, many survived. They survived, they prospered, they spread, Sire."
Harry looked at both demons, who were looking back at him stoically, and he closed his eyes. They had tried to warn him, but he hadn't listened. He hadn't believed them.
"So, they truly left me an Empire." he murmured, opening his eyes again. He truly couldn't blame them, they had warned him. He should have listened.
"They did, little Master." Abanddon and Caym chorused.
"I'll need a bit of time to see what I'll do about this," Harry murmured, "How many people are we talking about here?" he asked the room at large.
The First Ten traded a look, before Nott sighed.
"I believe around twenty million, at least, Sire." Teodred answered.
"Twenty million?" Harry did not squeak, no sir, he did not, "That's almost half of all the Wizarding population world wide."
"Yes, Sire." Teodred confirmed, "Though I am not including the Squib lines, since those lines went muggle and if they don't have magic then the Oath doesn't bind them. However if they produce a magical child then the child is bound as well." and Harry had to use all his will power not to groan.
Dear Merlin, what would he do with about twenty million people bound to him? Where would he even put them? He was coming to terms with him being King, but he could hardly be King if his people were spread all over the world. And he could hardly just walk into another country tell them he was King and that they had several of his subjects living there, and would they mind terrible if he used their country as some sort of empire. Yes, he could see how well that would go over.
"What's the problem, Harry?" Ron asked, "You didn't seem half as stressed a couple of minutes ago."
"A couple of minutes ago I didn't think there were around twenty million people bound to me." Harry snapped.
"It's only a little bit more, aside from that, nothing changed." Ron persisted.
"Everything changed, Ron!" he exclaimed, "If it were only Britain I would take care of the Ministry and change things. We would overthrow them, put competent people in charge and work from there. Sure it was a half baked plan, it needed work, but I knew where to start. Now though? I have no idea. I can't just walk into a country and say I'm a King and tell them they have my subjects living there. It doesn't work like that. And I can't have all those people move to Britain. We are short on space as it is, can you imagine how bad it would be to have twenty million more people here? The muggles would notice it for sure, and that's not even taken into account that there is nowhere they could live." he sighed and slumped a little on his seat, "I will have to think long and hard about this."
"Be that as it may, Sire, we are here for you, no matter what you need us for." Algeron told him, and Harry looked up, noticing that they were all nodding.
"That's good. I will need your help." he murmured, "I'm happy to see that we can put our differences aside and work for a common goal, and I can see no worthier goal than the survival of our society."
"We're honored to be able to help, Sire." Stephan replied.
"Well, that will be all then." Harry said, standing, "I'll think about this and then I'll call all of you. If you want you may bring your Heirs or family to the next meeting, though only if you have already told them about me and only if they want to take the Oath."
"Yes, Sire." the Ten bowed.
Harry dismissed them and they were all escorted towards the Floo in the Entrance Hall by a house-elf, leaving Harry alone with his family.
"Well, that went well." Harry murmured, slumping on his seat.
"Don't look so down, Harry." Remus smiled, "It could have been worse. They got on rather well. Besides they started to see the Death Eaters with different eyes, and not just them, I believe we did as well."
"I sure wasn't expecting some of the things they said." Sirius muttered, "Though can't say that I'm all that surprised about Bellatrix. She was never all that sane, even as a child."
"Still, I can't believe she would kill her own child." Hermione murmured, "That's just... I don't have words for it."
"At least we learned that the younger Lestranges didn't do anything." Ron tried to see the bright side of it, but he was just as angry as the others about what he had heard. Family meant everything to him, to think that Bellatrix Lestrange had killer her child just to please Voldemort... it filled him with rage. He was rather happy that Harry was thinking about letting his demons have their way with her. If anyone deserved it, she did.
"Yes, which helped make things less tense between Longbottom and Lestrange." Remus remarked, "Hopefully things will work out between the families."
"Yes, it's one less problem I have to worry about. Now I just have twenty million more." he grumbled.
"We'll come up with something, Harry." Hermione assured him, "You don't need to have the answers for it right this moment. Now that we know what you have to deal with we can plan accordingly. Besides, I doubt that your demons won't help you."
"The girl's right, little one." Abanddon said from behind him, "We will help any way we can. Do not forget just who we are. There is very little we cannot handle."
Harry smiled at the demons, feeling his nerves calm considerably. It was strange how he felt the most at ease with these beings that most people wouldn't even trust to walk behind them. It was difficult for him to understand how people could fear them, how they could call them evil, when everything he felt when he was with them was an overwhelming sense of safety. He knew nothing and no one would hurt him if he had his demons with him.
"Hey," Sirius suddenly exclaimed, jumping from his seat, "Why don't we go to Diagon Alley? We could buy your things for Hogwarts, and have a little fun. It will do you some good to go out and relax a bit. It's still early, we'll miss the lunch crowd so there shouldn't be that many people out yet."
"Well, there were a couple of books I wanted to buy." Hermione muttered.
"It's been a while since we went out." Ron added.
"Do you really think it's a good idea?" Remus asked, looking a little unsure.
"Don't worry Moony." Sirius grinned, "With Harry's demons there I doubt anything would happen to him. He's as safe as can be."
"I was more worried about us." Remus grumbled, "I don't really want to run into the Order."
"Don't worry Moony, I'll keep you safe from the mean Order members." he teased his former professor, making the others snicker.
"You laugh now, but let me see you laugh when you are confronted with Molly." Remus muttered.
Sirius, Ron, and Hermione immediately stopped, while Harry only grinned and looked at the demons.
"You'll save me from angry gingers, right?" he asked, still grinning.
"Of course, little one." Caym answered, his eyes shinning brightly, a smirk on his lips, "No ginger could hope to beat us."
Harry laughed and turned back towards his friends.
"I'm still safe." he told them smugly.
"See, Moony?" Sirius grinned, "Our cub is still safe. Won't you be brave enough to face the horde of angry Order members for our cub?"
"Very well. For our cub I'll face the horde of angry Order members." Remus replied, releasing a long suffering sigh, though the amusement was clear in his eyes.
"Then let's get going, if you plan on avoiding the lunch crowd we shouldn't waste much more time." Hermione got up, pulling Ron along with her.
Not ten minutes later they were stumbling out of the Floo in the Leaky Cauldron. Harry was happy to see that Sirius had been right. The place was almost empty and no one seemed to be paying them any attention. Not that he was worried but he would rather avoid any unnecessary hassle.
He glanced at Sirius once more, just to make sure that the glamor he had on hadn't slipped. He couldn't quite stop the smirk from spreading on his lips. Dear Merlin, who would have thought that Sirius would look so good as a witch?
He caught Ron's eye and both almost burst into laughter, especially since Sirius was still grumbling about his disguise. Remus' assurance that he was rather fetching wasn't helping matters.
Though Hermione had been right, no one would even think that the blond, green-eyed woman was Sirius Black. Harry doubted that even the Order would recognize him.
"So," he tried to get everyone's attention, "Does anyone need to go to Gringotts?"
"Nah." Ron said, "I won't be buying anything. So I'm good."
"And I have enough with me." Hermione assured him.
"Alright." Harry nodded, "Should we start with the bookstore? Then we can use the rest of the time to do some window shopping."
"That's seems fine." Remus agreed, "Though please don't wander off," he looked at the three teenagers, "Even if we are rather safe there is no reason to risk it."
The three nodded, seeing the logic in it. There was no need to tempt fate.
They made their way towards the bookstore, Hermione looking more excited the closer they got to the store. Harry shook his head, she really liked her books. Harry was sure that if she could she would live in a library.
Though he was a bit enthusiastic about it too, his demons had introduced him to rather interesting books. Nothing as dry as those he had to read for school. As it turned out when he wasn't forced to read what his professors at Hogwarts told him he quite liked reading and learning new things.
However he was sure that certain books that Abanddon and Caym had gotten him wouldn't be found in Diagon Alley, they didn't seem all that legal. Though he couldn't understand why, there hadn't been anything that seemed all that bad. There were only a few rituals, a couple elemental spells, and some wards. Nothing that seemed all that taboo, but according to Caym the book had been outlawed by the Ministry. There were a couple other books that were rather similar so he supposed that they had been outlawed as well. Just as the books about Legilimency and Occlumency had been.
That was just one more thing he would have to look into when he took the Throne.
Oh dear Merlin, now he was even thinking about taking the Throne. Alright he was coming to terms with being King, but he was sure that he hadn't been actively thinking about it. And now, after one meeting he was suddenly sure that he would take the Throne, that he would be King. Had he changed so much in a matter of hours? Had it been the meeting that had made him think about it? Seeing the impact that he had on their lives?
If things kept going like this he was sure that he would be insane in a matter of days. Life had been so much simpler only a few months back. Though if he did lose his mind he would blame everything on his demons, somehow he knew it was their fault.
He glared a little at the demons that were walking beside him. They must have felt it because they glanced back at him and upon seeing his no doubt terrifying glare they smirked. He pouted a little, though he would deny it to his dying day, and turned away from them. It was so unfair. How was he supposed to intimidated demons? Especially since the demons in question were a good head taller than him? Life sometimes really wasn't fair.
He heard them chuckle and his glare was back just as quickly as it vanished.
"Little one," Caym murmured, his warm breath caressing his ear, "You look like an adorable kitten."
He turned bright red and spluttered indignantly.
"I-I-I'm not ad-adorable!" he hissed, barely able to say the dreaded word.
Their smirks only grew and Harry saw Ron, the little traitor that he was, trying to muffle his snickers.
Harry huffed and quickened his pace, joining Remus and Sirius at the front.
"So... a kitten, huh?" Remus had a mischievous grin.
Harry glared at Remus, ready to snap at him as well, when his eyes opened wide. Instinctively he tackled Remus, both missing the curse coming their way by an inch. Though that seemed to be the start, since Harry could hear curses flying all around them, most hitting the stores but going by the screams Harry could guess that a lot of them hit people as well.
He glanced up, his wand already in his hand and a shield charm on his lips, and he caught sight of a sea of black robes and white masks.
"Dear Merlin." he heard Remus whisper with just as much disbelieve as he was feeling. That second that it took him to understand what was happening seemed to last an eternity.
Death Eaters were attacking Diagon Alley.
He had only a moment to spare to think about his people, wondering if they had been called as soon as they left him, if they were alright, and then he was moving. Almost dragging Remus with him, trying to find some kind of shelter. He knew his shield would never be good enough for some of the curses being throw around.
He caught a glimpse of blond and red hair and look back, noticing Sirius had Ron and Hermione with him. All three of them crouching behind a wall of debris from what seemed to have been the front of a store.
He breathed in relief, at least his family was safe.
He looked around trying to locate his demons when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Are you alright, little one?" he heard Abanddon whisper in his ear and he almost sagged against the heat that was at his back.
"I'm fine." he murmured.
"You're shaking." Caym's warmth joined Abanddon and he closed his eyes. His demons were with him, there was nothing to worry about.
"He's just shocked." Remus replied from beside them, his eyes scanning Harry for any injuries as well.
"Yeah," he replied, "Wasn't expecting Voldemort to attack Diagon." he growled, looking around, the screams almost drowning his voice, "Oh." he whispered, and before any of them could react he had run out into the street. He heard his family calling his name, he could hear their panic, but he didn't stop, he couldn't stop.
Then pain exploded all over his back and he could hardly hold in his scream, before he crashed to the ground. He could feel blood drenching his clothes but it was all worth it.
"Hey," he murmured, his pained green eyes meeting fearful blue ones, "Are you alright?"
"Yes." the child, she couldn't be older than six, he had shielded muttered, tears gathering in her eyes, "Where's mummy?"
"I don't know." he told her, tightening his arms around her, "Don't worry we will find her." he tried to assure the small child.
He tried to sit up, but before he could he was picked up, the child still in his arms, and was taken back to his and Remus little shelter.
"Little one," Harry almost didn't recognize the growled voice, but the arms holding him were unmistakable, "You're hurt." Abanddon sounded almost pained.
"I'm fine." he replied, handing the child to Remus, who was doing his best to calm her. Though Remus was shooting him concerned looks. However neither Abanddon nor Caym were letting him step any closer.
"You're not fine." Caym growled, his eyes shinning brightly.
"No, little one." Abanddon was doing his best to try and contain his overwhelming anger, "They went too far."
"They weren't actually aiming at me." he tried to reason, but he knew that it was no use, both Abanddon and Caym were far too gone.
"Harry!" he turned towards Sirius, who was running towards them, Hermione and Ron close behind him, "Harry, are you alright?"
As gently as if he were made of glass Abanddon handed him over to Sirius.
"Keep him safe." was Abanddon's growled order and then both demons were gone.
He heard Sirius muttering a couple of spells and he could feel his pain numbing, and sighed in relief.
"Thanks." he murmured, feeling far to weak to do much else.
"What were you thinking?" Sirius whispered, his hold on him tightening, "You could have been killed!"
"The little girl would have died." he defended his actions, and he heard four exasperated sighs.
"You never change Harry." Ron grumbled, leaning against the wall and looking incredibly pale, "You scared the hell out of us, mate." he muttered a little bit of color coming back to his features.
"Sorry." he replied, giving them a small smile.
"Yo-" whatever Hermione had been about to say was completely drowned by the scream that filled the street. It was nothing compared to the previous screams. Previously the screams had been full of fear, panic; but these, these were agonized, pain filled screams that would haunt their dreams for days to come.
"They hurt him." Abanddon's voice was as silent as a breeze but Caym heard him as if he were shouting.
"They did." he agreed, his voice just as low.
"Our little one." Abanddon growled.
"Yes, our little one." Caym nodded, moving as silently as a shadow across the Alley.
They saw him, the one who had dared to harm their little one.
They appeared beside him, startling the Death Eater. They ignored the person he had been cursing. They cared nothing about the noise around them, about the people running and screaming. They saw nothing but the mortal in front of them that had dared to harm their little one.
"Hello, mortal." Abanddon's voice was icy and Caym could see the mortal shiver.
"Do you know what you did?" Caym asked, leaning closer.
The mortal's eyes widened behind his bone white mask and he tried to take a step back, only to collide with Abanddon's tall frame.
"Where do you think you are going, mortal." Abanddon's voice was more feral than he remembered it being in centuries. It made a bloodthirsty smirk spread on his lips. Oh, how he had missed this.
"W-who're you?" the mortal stuttered, trying to appear fearless when Caym could practically smell the fear rolling of him in waves.
"We are your damnation." Caym whispered, all his teeth showing.
"What?" the man asked, confusion appearing in his eyes, though there was still that fear present. That fear that came to all mortals when they came face to face with something they knew they couldn't face, something that was so otherworldly evil that their souls could feel it and just wanted to flee.
"You just had to hurt him, didn't you?" Abanddon murmured, and Caym could see the shadows of wings spreading behind his fellow demon. He was sure that the same was happening to him.
In the blink of an eye the man was standing naked before them. Caym took a step back and observed their prey, who was shaking where he stood, far too terrified to even care that he was naked.
"Now, scream, mortal!" Abanddon snarled and the mortal screamed. Abanddon grinned savagely and Caym chuckled darkly.
"Pretty little corpse." he remarked, looking over the bleeding body. Abanddon had really done it this time. He had ripped the skin right off the body. He heard a whimper and glanced back at the body, "Oh, still alive?" he nudged the body with his foot, gaining a pained whimper from it.
"Of course." Abanddon replied, "Do you think I would let him off so easily after what he did to our little one?"
"Ah," Caym nodded, "I had wondered." he was quite happy that he would be able to show his displeasure towards the mortal as well, "Say, Abanddon, isn't it a little chilly?"
"Now that you mention it, it sure is."
"How about a bonfire than?" Caym asked, and in the next second the whimpering body caught fire and the screams were breathtaking, such a wonderful symphony.
"Now, let's hunt." Abanddon growled, his eyes having a feral edge that had been absent for centuries.
Severus looked around, making sure that no one was noticing him and cast a few shield charms towards a couple of children that were near him.
He cursed his luck when he noticed the destruction around him. He cursed the Dark Lord as well while he was at it. He was far more paranoid than he had been in the previous war. Not giving them any details to his plans at all. Severus hadn't even suspected that there would be an attack and he had no way of alerting the Order. The only positive side of it was that the Alley wasn't as full as it could have been if it were later in the day.
He turned sharply at hearing the name, years trying to keep the brat safe made it an almost instinctual reaction, and tried to spot that messy mop of black hair.
His breath caught when he saw the brat being hit by whichever curse the Death Eater had cast. What the hell was Potter even doing in the Alley? He took several steps towards the brat only to stop in his tracks when he saw two blurs moving towards him. In the blink of an eye the brat's demons were beside him, picking him up and taking him towards shelter. Though he remained frozen in place for several moments after they brat was gone.
Dear Merlin, may the gods help them all.
The scream that filled the air brought him out of his stupor, but even so he could do nothing but stand there and watch. He didn't think he had ever been as terrified, he didn't think he would ever be as terrified. Though he dared anyone to look at the face of a demon and not feel the blood freezing fear he felt. This was what those things hid behind their seemingly human appearance? This monsters that could be nothing but the worst nightmares a person could have?
Rationally he knew that the demons looked the same as they usually did, but there was something much more feral about them, there was absolutely no illusion of humanity left. He watched, frozen in place, as they skinned the Death Eater alive and then set him on fire. And for a second he had thought that that would be the end of it.
He should have know better.
The blood lust in their eyes was all to visible, they wouldn't be satisfied with just that one death.
He could do nothing as they turned their eyes towards the helpless Death Eaters. He hadn't thought that he would ever feel pity for the followers of the Dark Lord, though as both demons moved through the Alley leaving a trail of blood and agonized screams behind them, he was proven wrong.
He couldn't even see what they were doing, he didn't even see them cast any spells. They moved and all they walked by ended in a pool of their own blood. Some were left with missing limbs, others were left inside out, though none of them were given a painless and quick death. He could hear their screams even as they tried to keep their intestines inside their bodies.
Then they were in front of him and he screamed, feeling something rip through his body.
"Severus," a darkly seductive voice whispered and he locked eyes with shinning amethyst orbs, "We'll let you live." even as the demon before him said that, he felt whatever had pierced him move out of his body. He had only a second to realize that it was the demon's hand, "Spread the word, Severus. Tell them what happens when one hurts our little one."
Then they were gone, leaving a bloodbath in their wake.
A.N.: Hello all. I hope all of you had wonderful holidays and a great New Year.
So... I'm aware that some of you may want to kill me for the long wait, and I completely understand, but it was completely impossible for me to post these last few months. I haven't been home and I had no access to Internet, nor did I have my laptop with me so anything that I wrote was in my notebooks, the old fashioned way; you know, with pen and paper.
This one was the first one I was able to type and as soon as I finished it I put it up. Now, for those who read my other stories as well, I'm working on typing the chapters and as soon as I'm done they'll be up as well. If you are wondering the next one up will be Death's Son.
I'm sorry you had to wait so long and I'm so happy that you still stick with my story. We're finally moving along and Harry has finally understood just how screwed he is. Poor, little Harry has no way of wiggling out of it. He'll be King one way or another. And the demons finally had a little bit of fun, though it won't be the last time that they'll show their true colors. This was only a little warning, but as you all know Voldemort doesn't listen to warnings... though in this case he really, really, really should have. Now, here's a little SPOILER so if you don't want to know don't read; Voldemort won't be the biggest problem in the story, he won't even be a problem for very long.
So many of you want to know about the demons' and Harry's relationship and what Sirius and a few of the other know that Harry doesn't... Well, I can't tell you. Well, actually I could but it would give a lot of the plot away. I can give you a little hint if you want but that's about it. Alright, so what Sirius thinks and what the demons' actual fascination with Harry is are completely different things. But Sirius only knows of that one thing, so he assumed that it was that and the demons are in no hurry to correct him.
Don't get me wrong, the demons are in no way innocent or anything of the sort, but they truly mean Harry no harm, at least not in the way that most of the people that know a bit about the demons perceive it. END SPOILER
Well, that's about it. I hope you enjoy the chapter and continue to like the story.
Next chapter: Well have the First Ten and their families in a meeting with Harry before they all go to Hogwarts. Voldemort's and everyone's reaction to the Diagon massacre, as well as Dumbledore trying to ban the Demons from Harry's side.
Again thank you all for reading and reviewing :) It always makes my day when I see all of your reviews :)