Title: Best Served
Author: Saydria Wolfe
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Neville Longbottom, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
Word Count: 1000 on the nose!
Warning: No beta, discussion of love potions
Summary: Neville seeks some clarity and gets rewarded.
Neville doesn’t quite get Hermione Granger.
No, that’s not right. He gets her as much as anyone with only periodic flashes of her time and attention can.
He doesn’t get her friendships.
Not with Harry, of course. Everyone gets her friendship with Harry though Neville knows, now, that the two of them view Harry differently than others.
Other people see his fame, his arrogance, and possibly his money.
Neville and Hermione see the kind boy neck-deep in bad circumstances. His quiet isn’t arrogance. It’s fear. Or a need for privacy. And the money? Well, the Potters were a merchant family better off than most noble families. They were the inventors of several things modern magicals take for granted but a single look at Harry -at that hair– is enough to know he has no access to his legacy or his inheritance.
Not the point. Friendships. Ron, the Rude, Opinionated Numpty
And Hermione’s sudden developing of feelings for Ron? At the same time Harry just happens to develop feelings for Ginny? When everyone had Harry and Hermione’s future marriage basically pegged since the Troll first year?
No. Something’s not right here. He wouldn’t be able to consider himself their friend if he didn’t speak up but how?
Neville turns to his usual source of guidance when uncertain. His Gran.
A few letters later and he’s inviting Harry over for Christmas because his Gran was James Potter’s Auror trainer once upon a time and she still has some of his stuff. He invites Hermione because Harry’s going.
Sirius, too, because while they aren’t Blacks directly they are Black enough to know something’s going on there and that Harry bleeding Potter is in the middle of it.
Not Ron because, oh, tough break, his mum won’t let him come.
They hadn’t believed him, or Gran, or Uncle Algie when they told them their suspicions. They hadn’t believed the first healer or the second. Or even the third they let Hermione pick and portkeyed in from America.
They had taken the flushing draughts prescribed, though, since if all these sources were wrong the draughts simply wouldn’t do anything.
They’d had a good time of the brewing the draughts themselves while Sirius regaled them with stories of James’s potions brilliance.
Then they’d taken the potions and suffered their way through the cleansing.
Then the rage and the fury and betrayal set it, followed by the most stonecold planning session Neville had ever witnessed much less taken part in.
The result? The first Black Family Christmas Party is almost two decades.
Held at Longbottom Keep, of course.
The Malfoys came through first, icily beautiful and completely furious.
The Weasleys next, confused but unable to deny the call of the blood they received from grandparents on both sides.
The Bulstrodes, the Crabbes, the Rosiers, the Lestranges, the Yaxleys. The MacMillans, the Hitchens, the Tonkses
Lord Prewett all on his own. Alphard Black, also alone.
They all eye each other, frustrated by the Family Magic-enforced peace that keeps them from even speaking rudely to one another, which the majority of the Dark families’ social jockeying consists of.
He and his Gran are host, of course. And Gran is always a gracious host even when she’d rather set her visitor on fire. Considering what they know is coming, it’s not even a lie to say “Glad you could make it!” or “It’s so nice to see you!”
Even to the Lestranges, though confused is not a good look on Bellatrix. At all.
Finally, just before the clock strikes eight and a flourish of trumpets sound.
Sirius Black walks out onto the landing above his guests. He looks stately and refined, every inch of the noble lord he really, truly is.
A gasp flutters through the crowd and Bellatrix looks like she’s swallowed a live goldfish.
“My family.” The falsely-imprisoned lord greets, spreading his arms wide. “It has come to my attention that we have been divided for too long. We have squabbled over petty things and lessened our power when we should be coming together for the good of magical life everywhere. To correct this, I have accepted the gifts of my fathers and brought us all together. For safety. For strength. For unity.
“Family Black, hear your Lord’s commands. The Lord and the Heir of House Black are sacred to you, from this day until your last day. We are first in any and all choices you make for the rest of your lives. Our Will will be done.”
Sirius pauses and all these good, highborn twits answer, “Your will be done.”
The Marauder smirks. “The concept of blood purity is foolish and hereby anathema to the House of Black.”
The Death Eater contingent stirs but they don’t speak. Can’t complain.
“The use of love potions is foolish and hereby anathema to the House of Black.”
Molly Weasley turns as red as her hair but, again, can’t complain.
“Non-consensual wedding contracts are foolish and hereby anathema. Divorce, however, is not foolish and I will personally free anyone subject to a marriage they do not wish to continue.”
The only woman that doesn’t glance around at that is Narcissa Malfoy, which is …interesting.
“Now, it’s time for you all to meet my Heir.”
Draco Malfoy puffs up and starts to saunter forward but Sirius holds up a hand. The Lord Black shakes his head, a not-quite mean smile quirking his lips.
Sirius turns, gestures for the doors behind him to open, and they do. Revealing Harry and Hermione, standing arm in arm, dressed to the nines and displaying great dignity as they make the walk they have practiced over and over into Sirius’s immediate regard.
“My Heirs by Choice and by Life Debt, Harry and Hermione Potter-Black.”
Sirius pauses to let that sink in, reveling in the horror all of the Death Eaters can’t hide.
“Oh and I forgot!” Which he didn’t, the liar. “Of course, I need to introduce you to their spouse! Neville Longbottom-Potter.”
Molly Weasley faints.
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