Title: Dirty Deeds
Author: Saydria Wolfe
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Fix-It, Rule 63 (Harry Potter)
Relationships: pre-Hari Potter/Bill Weasley
Content Rating: PG-13
Warnings: I don’t think I wander into the realm of Character Bashing, but I am not friendly toward Albus Dumbledore or Ronald Weasley. Also, I took Draco’s “I didn’t know you could read” from the second movie and ran with it. /shrug
Author’s Notes: Sequel to Thunderstruck. I’ve got a theme, okay? lol
Word Count: 10,464
Summary: Because I wanted to write more showing off the ripple effects.
1 September 1993
“Where is everybody?” Hari asked, staring at the bustle of Platform 9 ¾.
“Uh, Hari,” Hermione paused and glanced around pointedly. “The Platform is packed.”
“No, I mean—” Hari huffed. “Where are the Twins? They’ve helped me with my trunk on the train every year. Where’s Oliver Wood, making sure his team all came back? Where’s Lee Jordan with his insane and inappropriate bets that always happen? Where’s—”
“There’s Percy,” Ginny interrupted. “Let’s ask?”
It was Percy—wearing Ravenclaw colors with his Head Boy badge.
“What happened to you?” Hari blurted when she was close enough to be heard. Then she blushed because that had not been the polite greeting she had intended.
Thankfully, Percy just laughed. “The Sorting Hat was under a curse that was broken this summer. He insisted on every student being resorted. Rather than make the entire student body sit through the resorting, the new staff had fourth through seventh years ride in two days ago and got us all resettled—Prefects and Quidditch Captains got selected again and the like.
“You lot will have to be re-Sorted, too, but it shouldn’t take too long.”
“New staff?” Hari asked. There had been a ton of upheaval reported in the Prophet, but Hari wanted to know if Percy had any new insight after being physically at the school for two days.
“A bunch of curses were lifted,” Percy said. “The ethical concerns the IMEA found were extreme. Binns was finally allowed to move on. Dumbledore and Pomphrey were fired. Snape died—it was unrelated to the school situation. A bunch of the staff were underqualified or unlicensed. Classes were added. This year is going to be very different than any the school has had—probably in about a century.”
Which translated to since Dumbledore started teaching to Hari—but that was probably just the suspicious part of her brain talking
“Sounds fun,” Hermione decided, and she actually meant it.
All three of them were looking forward to the changes, actually.
Master Aggnar had stuck his foot into the process as a representative of the Horde, with Hari’s permission, on Slytherin’s behalf. She had no problem with her Account Manager’s uncle, the Chieftain of the Goblin Horde, owing her a favor for borrowing her influence on the future of the British wizarding world. Especially not when his ideas for improving the school made a great deal of sense and they listened to her about taking what worked from the equivalent muggle systems and implementing them with wizards.
The etiquette, civil responsibilities, and government classes were a surprise, but she felt no objection toward them. Even if they were in addition to history classes rather than in place of them during certain years, as she had proposed.
Magical History was complicated. Who knew?
“You three better get on the train,” Percy told them. “I expect, we’ll be leaving soon.”
They said their goodbyes and hunted up an empty compartment. Hari had written a handful of people and requested face-to-face meetings with them on the train.
All three had agreed to find her when they could, so all she had to do was wait for them to come to her.
The first one, Neville, found them before the train left the station. “Heya, Hari. Ginny, Hermione,” he nodded to her vassals individually. “What did you need to talk about?”
“Come inside, have you found a compartment?” Hari asked.
“Yeah, my soulmate is holding it for us. She tested out of second year; she’ll be joining us in third. I’m hoping with the re-Sorting stuff, she’ll join us in Gryffindor where I can watch out for her. Ravenclaw has been right nasty to her.”
“Luna Lovegood,” Hari guessed. “Your soulmate is Luna Lovegood?”
“Yeah,” Neville nodded and tipped up his soul cover to show her Luna’s first name. “You’ll help me watch out for her, right? She’ll be in your dorm.”
“If we end up in the same House, of course we will,” Hari promised.
“Probably even if we don’t end up in the same House,” Ginny muttered and Hari agreed.
“Neville, I’m not sure how to start what I want to say.” Hari frowned.
Neville shot her an amused look. “Gran would say the beginning is usually the right place.”
Hari laughed. “Are you aware that you are descended from the Gryffindor mainline through your muggleborn mother?”
“Uh, yeah?” Neville frowned. “Gran had me do all the inheritance and soulmate stuff at the bank this summer. Thirteen is the usual age for it in most families.”
Hari nodded. Ginny had mentioned that at the time.
“Someone else has the Sword, though, so I can’t claim it or anything. Took the Longbottom Barony from my da.” Neville scratched the back of his head in frustration. “Hated to do it, but the Legacy needed it. Gran is standing as my regent until after my first mastery. How about you?”
“I claimed House Peverell through my father and House Slytherin through my mother.”
“Wow.” Neville rocked back in his seat a bit. “A Founders Heir? That’s huge, Ha—Your Grace.”
“Two, technically. I have the Sword,” she told him, and Neville’s jaw dropped. “I can’t be the Duchess of two Founders’ Houses though so, after much consideration, I have decided I am willing to surrender the Sword to you. Will you accept?”
Neville blinked at her like he couldn’t believe what he had heard. He sputtered, “I would be honored, Hari. You have to know that. We are…we’re siblings in magic.”
“God siblings,” Hari agreed. “I hope we can work together to seal the breach that has been manufactured between Slytherin and Gryffindor for Dumbledore’s political gain.”
“It’s a crime, what Dumbledore did,” Neville said, “to the Sorting Hat. For generations, too. My gran doesn’t see it that way, but he could be to blame for the last blood war.”
“That’s how I see it,” Hari admitted. “You might want to consider someone other than your grandmother for the Gryffindor proxy once it’s yours.”
“I heard you were using a goblin.” Neville grinned suddenly. “Not illegal, certainly, but it made a lot of people angry.”
“I plan to keep Master Aggnar as my Proxy for as long as I can,” Hari confided and Neville laughed out loud. “Goblins aren’t caught up in the legend and sentiment surrounding Dumbledore,” Hari continued. “A human panel would never even bring charges against him, but nothing will stop the goblins from pursuing the letter of the law.”
Neville pursed his lips. “Maybe I need a goblin for my proxy. At least until the Dumbledore issue is settled.”
“Pomphrey, too,” Hari added. “She didn’t fulfill a single one of her duties to muggleborn or mugge-raised children at the school. There’s probably generations of them that were crippled for life because of her lack of care—including both of our mothers.”
Neville took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I need to take a walk,” he admitted. “You need me for anything else?”
“No, there will be a bit of a ceremony for the Passing of the Sword after Sorting tonight so be ready.”
“Is there anything specific I have to say?”
“No script for you,” Hari assured her godbrother. “Say only what you mean.”
“Will do. Thanks, Hari.”
“Yeah, talk to you later.”
Ginny snorted a mean little laugh the second the door was closed behind Neville. “I can’t wait for those mean little bitches to realize they’ve been bullying a duchess.”
“Cho’s face is going to be amazing,” Hermione agreed.
Hari rolled her eyes but didn’t argue. Cho was going to regret every life choice she had made since she had laid eyes on Luna Lovegood. Feng Chang, Cho’s father, was going to regret her choices even more.
“Dobby,” she called, and her first elf appeared. Hari scribbled a quick note to her soulmate and Dobby popped away with it. To her soulmate. Who she hadn’t met yet. Who was arranging the Passing of the Sword on her behalf.
Hari sighed and Hermione handed her a book. It was just one of those days.
Her second and third meetings found Hari simultaneously.
There was a knock and the door opened to reveal Daphne Greengrass standing next to the Patil Twins. Hermione immediately put her book away—without even a hint of complaint over doing so, which Hari felt was a sign of definite character growth. Ginny popped up out of her seat on the bench across from them and took the seat at Hari’s unguarded side.
“Come in,” Hari gestured the girls forward. All three entered and sat. “I have private family business to discuss with all of you so I would prefer we do this separately but if you want to have one discussion all together, we can.”
“Parvati and Daphne are soulmates,” Padma blurted. Daphne rolled her eyes and Parvati slipped her sister a sly look. “I’m just saying. Why have two meetings? We are all family,” Padma said to defend herself. “Aren’t we?”
“Fair enough,” Hari agreed. “Padma, Parvati, it is my understanding that your father’s mother is the younger sister of my father’s father, is that correct?”
“Correct,” the twins confirmed.
“In that case, as we are related within three degrees through our fathers, I can offer the protection of House Peverell to your family. Specifically, your paternal grandparents, your parents, you, and your siblings. You would all have to take the Peverell name, and we would have to do some formal family recognition rituals—preferably over Yule break—but I’m willing to do it.”
“Hari!” Parvati gaped at her. “That’s huge, you know that right?”
“It is,” Hari agreed. “You would gain my protection legally and magically.”
“We would also gain any familial gifts the Peverell Legacy has,” Parvati added. “What gifts does the Peverell Legacy have?”
“The Peverells are elementals,” Hari explained. “Hermione was gifted with the elemental magic of earth. Ginny with wind. They are my sworn vassals, so they’re embraced by my family magics as well.”
“What element were you given?” Padma asked astutely.
Hari winced. “Death.”
All three girls gasped.
“This is a Family Secret.” Hari pulled back her robe sleeves to show the dull silver runic bracelets she had worn since she had discovered the ability. “That ability of mine is contained, so I am safe to be around,” Hari promised.
“The bank is searching for resources to help me learn control.”
She had accidentally killed a goblin with a touch after he had startled Hermione. She had held Griphook’s life force or soul—or whatever it was—in her hands for five minutes before she figured out how to put him back. He had recovered with no issues, but Hari had been shaken.
“I would have much preferred fire,” Hari admitted. “Or wind. Once she figures her abilities out, Ginny should be able to fly without a broom.”
All three girls grinned. “Wicked,” was Daphne’s opinion.
“We have books on the sort of behavior that will be expected of you once you join the House of Peverell,” Hermione added. “But you will also have the Peverell resources—monetary resources, properties, and intellectual resources. Many family secrets will be at your disposal as well—at our lady’s discretion, of course.”
“Of course,” the twins agreed together.
“The books also have a copy of the oaths that will be required between us.” Hari held out her hand and Hermione placed three copies of the same book in it. Hari passed them over to Padma. “For your review.”
“We will share this information with our family and provide you with their answer as soon as possible,” Padma promised.
“Our grandmother has mentioned wanting to write to you, as the last living piece of her brother, but she wasn’t sure she would be welcome in your life,” Parvati interjected. “Would she be welcome?”
“Yes,” Hari decided somewhat impulsively. She would love to know more about her father and his family. “All of those that might join the House of Peverell are welcome to write to me. I understand you have three siblings other than each other?”
“An older sister and two younger brothers,” Padma agreed.
“Is it my turn now?” Daphne asked.
“Unless Padma and Parvati have anything to add?” Hari asked.
Both twins shook their heads.
“Okay.” Hari paused to order her thoughts. “It’s my understanding that the House of Greengrass is related to the House of Slytherin.”
“We are,” Daphne agreed. “From an illegitimate line, originally.”
“But you earned your own nobility, since.”
“And you’re a matriarchal house?”
Daphne nodded though she squinted at Hari in suspicion.
“I have claimed—through blood, magic, and combat—the headship of the House of Slytherin,” Hari explained.
All three of their visitors stiffened.
“Congratulations, Your Grace,” Daphne offered.
“Thanks,” Hari nodded. “Now, the blood relationship between me and your family is too distant for magic to trace, so I cannot recognize you as family as I hope to at some point with the Patil Family. However, if you were to ascend to the Headship of House Greengrass, I am willing to take your oath as vassal to the House of Slytherin.”
“I have had no luck whatsoever trusting human adults—ever—before or since my return to the magical world,” Hari said flatly. “I have no interest in trying to trust one now.
“I know you. I would not call us friends, but I will accept an oath for your House from you and no other. Your aunt can still be your House’s public face and perhaps one day I will trust her enough to handle more tasks for our allied Houses—but that is a possibility for the future.”
“Do you have any books on the matter?” Daphne asked.
Hari chuckled and signaled Hermione. Her head vassal passed the books directly to Daphne. “One for you, one for your aunt
“The position of vassal requires an extensive oath between us, but the Legacy of the House of Slytherin will grant you access to parselmagic,” Hari gestured to her eyes, “and once our oaths are sealed, I will grant you a place in the inner circle of my coven.”
“That’s what’s wrong with your eyes?” Padma asked curiously. “All three of you.”
“Once we completed the ritual to activate our more advanced magical gifts, we were granted snake eyes, yes,” Ginny agreed. “It’s part of being a parselmage.”
“The Dark Lord is said to have had snake eyes,” Daphne offered.
“Red ones,” Hari agreed.
She rather thought his red eyes had been a sign of a deeper defect. Her own eyes were bright green. A color that was found in nature that she quite liked since it stayed in the same family of colors as her mother’s eyes. Ginny’s were electric blue and Hermione’s were a shiny gold that almost made her look blind.
“I’ll get those if I become your vassal?” Daphne asked, staring at Ginny. Which made sense to Hari, they had both had eyes of a similar blue shade before Ginny’s were changed.
“Most likely,” Hari agreed. “A number of people in your family may as well, depending on their age and how well they embrace serving the House of Slytherin.”
“This is a great deal to consider and a choice to make that will affect my entire family for generations, Your Grace,” Daphne said diplomatically. “May I have time to consider and consult with my family?”
“Of course,” Hari agreed. “If you aren’t ready by Yule, we can complete the rites this summer.”
Any longer than that and Hari would be insulted not to have an answer, even if the answer was no. She didn’t say that, but Daphne was a Slytherin to the bone, Hari didn’t have to say it.
“Thank you for your indulgence, Your Grace. We will not stress your patience.”
“Oh, good, you’re dressed,” the boy that threw open their compartment door said, without even the courtesy of a hello. “My name is Malcolm Morecock, I am the fifth-year prefect for Gryffindor. Please proceed to the front of the train and join the rest of your year for your departure to Hogwarts.
“Yes, we are departing by year. Yes, there are more first years than normal or expected. No, nothing is wrong; all will be explained after re-Sorting,” he rattled off as if he had done it a hundred times already. He just might have. “Any other questions?”
“How are you handling the significant time delay Sorting will cause in dinner service?” Hermione asked.
It was a good question; Hari was hungry enough to eat Fluffy and she really did not want to wait for half the school to get Sorted to eat him. Hari focused on the prefect.
“Time magic,” the boy answered. “A small delay, authorized by the IMEA to reduce the younger years perception of their wait. The older you are, the longer you will perceive your wait to be.”
…that was not the answer Hari wanted.
“Now, if you would,” he gestured them toward the front of the train.
Hari shrugged when her vassals turned to her, and they went.
It was weird, not seeing Hagrid on the platform. There were whispers of concern about him, but she hadn’t asked his permission to alert anyone outside of her immediate group to the groundskeeper’s change in circumstance. Hari wasn’t entirely sure what had been made public knowledge. Everything she had learned was knowledge she had gained either as his friend or as Lady Slytherin, so she didn’t say anything at all.
Hari certainly had no interest in violating Hagrid’s privacy.
The IMEA’s review of the school had seen Hagrid exonerated of Myrtle Warren’s death and seen his wand rights returned to him. The ICW’s Ministry Review had seen him paid damages for being placed in Azkaban without a trial last year as well.
She had had lunch with him two weeks pervious at the bank. They had done his shopping together to prepare him for his apprenticeship abroad. The IMEA had made resources available so he could choose a private master to study under rather than having to sit in classes as an adult with actual children.
Neville and Luna joined Hari and her friends in their carriage.
“My brothers told me you have to wrestle a troll to get Sorted,” Ginny announced through a teasing smile.
They all laughed.
“I heard it was a basilisk,” Hermione corrected in the bratty tone she hadn’t used since she and Hari had become true friends. More laughter ensued.
“Did you read about it?” Hari asked. “In Hogwarts, a History?”
“Sounds like Hari is the only one getting Sorted then,” Ginny snorted.
“Do past deeds count?” Hari asked. “Or do I have to kill a fresh one? Can it be a team effort? I certainly couldn’t have killed the other one without Hermione.”
Hermione blushed, speechless for once in her life.
“I’m just glad they didn’t put dementors around the school,” Neville shuttered. “Fudge was planning on it. Gran was furious. Thankfully the ICW intervened.”
“…What’s a dementor?” Hari asked, almost afraid to.
“They’re Dark creatures that feed on happiness,” Hermione explained. “A wraith-like creature and one of the foulest things on Earth. I heard about Fudge’s plan while we were in the bank this summer—” Hari loved that Hermione made it sound like their had been a trivial visit. Like they didn’t spend almost all of August at the bank.
“They guard Azkaban,” Ginny chimed in. “Constant exposure to them destroys the prisoners’ minds and magic. And Fudge wanted to put them here.”
“In a school,” Hari finished. “Was Fudge trying to destroy future generations of Magical Britain?”
“Not so far as Gran could tell,” Neville answered. “They’ve questioned him under veritaserum, of course. It seems Lucius Malfoy was behind it—a bit of a conspiracy for the control of House of Black—but Malfoy died in July so no one can get answers out of him.”
“Why would Fudge keep going with it, if Lucius was dead?”
The carriage stopped and Neville was the first one out. He helped the rest of them down, but Hari was the one that led them into the entrance hall.
Entering the Great Hall was interesting but…strange. Physically it looked the same, exactly what she expected. Socially….
Socially, Oliver Wood was at the Slytherin table. The Weasley Twins were at the Ravenclaw table. Lee Jordan was in Hufflepuff. Cho Chang was in Gryffindor. Angelina Johnson was in Gryffindor, but her best friend, Katie Bell, was a Hufflepuff.
Cedric Diggory was looking gorgeous in green and silver.
Hari shot her vassal a look and watched Hermione flush scarlet. She was enjoying some interesting eye contact with her soulmate. Then she noticed Hari’s look and socked her playfully on the arm.
“Children! Welcome!” A woman slightly larger than Hagrid greeted them. Her accent was thick and French, and Hari found it absolutely magical. “My name is Olympe Maxime, you may call me Madame Maxime. I am your Headmistress. I was born and raised in France, and I attended Beauxbatons Academy for Magic as a girl. I have a Mastery in Charms, which I taught at Beauxbatons for fifteen years. I was Deputy Headmistress of Beauxbatons for four years and I am fully certified to stand as your Headmistress.
“I say this to assure you that I have no investment whatsoever into how you are Sorted. The Sorting Hat—you may call him Francois—has been verified curse free by myself, the IMEA, the Curse Breakers of Gringotts, and the enchanters of the Veela Nation.”
They all stopped in front of the stage that their Headmistress was standing on. The staff table was arrayed behind her in an almost stadium-like arrangement.
Hari hadn’t thought about how much new staff the new classes and students required. It was a lot.
“We will begin the Sorting,” Madame Maxime lifted the Sorting Hat off of the stool and unrolled a scroll in a dramatic one-handed fashion. “His Royal Highness Draco Wischard Ostberg, Prince of Alburna.”
Hari didn’t know what surprised her more: that she wasn’t the first one Sorted, that someone outranked her legally, or that Draco was a prince—of Magical Scandinavia, no less.
Upon seeing him, she decided she was surprised by his look. Golden blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes were typically considered attractive, but mostly it left Hari confused. Draco wasn’t tan. Draco wasn’t…sporty in a physical, muggle way.
Something weird was going on.
Then the Hat cried “HUFFELPUFF!” and Hari glanced around for Scully and Mulder, for the Man behind the Curtain. Something to explain the weird.
“Her Grace Hari Belladonna Potter, Duke of Slytherin, Marques of Peverell.”
In a daze, Hari went up to the stool and sat down.
Did that really happen? she wondered.
“It did!” the Hat chuckled in return.
You aren’t really Sorting us, are you? she asked the Hat.
“Checking myself, dear. Curses on an enchanted object are particularly insidious to us. Don’t worry, this shouldn’t take long.
“As I said before, you belong in SLYTHERIN!”
To say people were shocked was an understatement. Hari didn’t know why—they were all told she held the Slytherin Legacy before she was Sorted.
Slytherin shook off their shock and started cheering as she rounded their table.
Wood popped out of his seat, threw his arms around her, and dragged her to his seat beside the Head Girl, Penelope Clearwater.
“Thank Merlin, you got Sorted properly, Hari. I mean, thank the gods. All of them. With you as Seeker and Diggory as my lead Chaser, the Cup is ours. Everything will be perfect! Wait until you see the training schedule I made. The Headmistress hasn’t approved it yet, but she will! We’re going to make professionals jealous, just you wait—”
“Oliver!” Penelope protested, gracefully inserting herself between them and giving Hari room to breathe. “Let her sit, the Sorting isn’t finished.”
Neville and Luna went to Gryffindor, as expected. Hermione and Ginny joined Hari in green quickly.
“Hey,” Cedric smiled charmingly at Hermione.
“Hi,” she said shyly in return. Hermione couldn’t or maybe wouldn’t even look at him directly. It was ridiculous.
“If you could not damager her IQ by smiling at her, that would be great,” Hari instructed Cedric.
“Hari!” Hermione protested, her shyness forgotten.
Cedric grinned but obediently turned to focus on the Sorting.
Daphne and Parvati came to them in short order.
“Where are Crabbe and Goyle?” Hari wondered as Blaise Zabini joined the Ravenclaw table.
“I heard they were kicked out,” Daphne said. “They didn’t meet the academic standard for admission and were admitted on probation that they didn’t pass.”
“How can you not meet the standard?” Ginny demanded. Then her mouth dropped open in a little ‘o’.
“What?” Hari and Hermione both asked.
“The admission standard requires students be able to read and write in a single language,” Cedric said delicately. “That language does not have to be English.”
“Did they get any support?” Hari demanded. “A tutor to teach them so they could pass their probation?”
“Could you imagine Professor Snape teaching someone to read?” Daphne asked with a shudder. “I would have made my parents take me home immediately rather than deal with him.”
“Did they lose their wand rights?” Hermione asked, frowning. “Because no one would help them? That’s wrong.”
“They’ll have until they’re seventeen to earn three OWLs and twenty-one to earn a single NEWT. If they do that, they keep their wand rights,” Cedric assured his soulmate. “Either they’ll learn to read, or they’ll apprentice to a Master that doesn’t require it.”
Hermione frowned. “I suppose that’s fair.”
Hari did too, but she still rather wished someone had said something. They might not have been friends, but she would have done her best to help them.
Had Draco helped them? Had he known about their literacy problems? Had he even cared?
She wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
She did wonder, however, if Crabbe and Goyle would have failed their probation if Dumbledore had been the pass/fail arbiter, rather than the IMEA. She had a feeling he wouldn’t have failed them, though she couldn’t see what Dumbledore would have gained from it.
Ron was the last of their year to get Sorted—marking him as the lowest ranked socially and scholastically. He went to Gryffindor, to no one’s surprise.
Hari had figured that Gryffindor was taking one for the team, there.
Ron wasn’t overly intelligent, and there wasn’t a cunning bone in his body. Last year, she had learned that he was only loyal as long as it was easy to be loyal, but he could be brave enough, she supposed. Physical bravery—going after the Stone and trying to get into the Chamber—that he could do. Emotional or social bravery—standing with his so-called best friend after she was outted as a parselmouth against her will—that he emphatically could not do.
The second years were brought in and Sorted. The first years were Sorted shortly after. There were three times as many first years than there were second years.
“It’s hard to believe the Board of Governors denied that many students a magical education,” Hermione said.
The IMEA had reached out to everyone that had been wrongfully denied a magical education. For the most part, they were working to catch students up with their appropriate years with the goal of them joining the student body by Yule.
The previously denied first years were starting on time with their year, of course.
The previously denied second years had been given the choice of joining first year or getting caught up and joining their appropriate year. As a result, the starting class was huge.
“There is business we must all partake in before I allow you to depart,” Madame Maxime announced as the last first year scampered off to join the Ravenclaw table. “For now, we have waited long enough. Let’s eat!”
Food appeared on tables across the Great Hall, and they ate.
“Now that we have all had our fill,” Madame Maxime began as she stood before the student body, “it is time for business.
“Tomorrow is Thursday. This will be an easy day for us all. We will meet for breakfast and then every House will meet with their new housemates and Head of House to become acquainted. In the afternoon, we will have an assembly during which the head of each department will give a brief overview of their subject and introduce their staff.
“Friday, first and seventh years will begin classes.
“Second through sixth years will spend the day taking placement tests. Do not fear, my lovelies, placement tests cannot be failed. We merely wish to place you in the correct classes for you to succeed at your own pace now that we are meeting IMEA requirements and year advancement is no longer guaranteed. Be sure to take your time and do your honest best.
“Over the weekend, your Head of House will meet individually with all of you taking these tests to discuss your needs, goals, and desires as a student. These meetings will be used to generate your class schedules for the rest of the school year.
“The remaining schedules will be distributed, and school will begin in earnest on Monday.
“For those of you who have attended Hogwarts before, there are many changes in this school. Myself and my staff request your patience. We will endeavor to see you each fully prepared for the challenges we will face together.
“Before I dismiss you, the Heirs of the Founders have their own business to conduct. As current members of this glorious institution, all students and staff are honor bound to witness this historic event. You will sit quietly and listen.”
“Thank you, Madame Maxime,” a gorgeous man said as he left the staff table to address the group. He was tall and slim. His robes were blue and bronze—Ravencalw’s colors. His hair was black with a deep red patch at his hairline above his left eyebrow.
“My name is William Arcturus Black—” Hari’s heart stopped. Her soulmate. This was her soulmate. “—Duke of Ravenclaw, Earl of Black.”
A second man joined him. He was even taller than her soulmate and nearly as large as two of him. Golden to the point of almost shinning, he looked like some Norse god of war. “My name is Wischard Andreas Ostberg. Crown Prince of Alburna, Duke of Huffelpuff.”
Hari stood from her place at the Slytherin table. She felt Hermione’s magic wash over her and by the time she had ascended the stage, she was dressed entirely in green and silver.
“My name is Hari Belladonna Potter,” she announced, the magic of the stage made her voice carry across the Hall. “Duke of Slytherin, Marques of Peverell.” Mentally, she called the Sword of Gryffindor to her hand. “I call Neville Franklin Longbottom to the stage.”
Neville stood and walked to her with enviable dignity. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the students in the back stand to watch as Neville knelt before her.
Hari laid the Sword across her palms. “Neville Franklin Longbottom, you carry the blood of Godric Gryffindor in your veins.”
“I do,” Neville confirmed, “I descend from Lord Godric through my muggleborn mother, Alice Longbottom nee Knight. Gringotts has confirmed my claim in blood and magic.”
“Your claim is well documented,” Hari agreed. “Twice, you have been Sorted into Gryffindor House and your deeds have proven you a true son of Godric. You need only this sword to claim your rightful place among our people.” Hari looked down at it. The weight had always been exactly what she needed it to be and now was no different—the weight was so minor she felt she could hold it all day. “This sword came to me, the daughter of a secondary line through my muggleborn mother, Lily Potter nee Evans. I used this sword in combat against a basilisk—the very battle that proved my claim to the Slytherin Legacy.
“I, Hari Belladonna Potter hereby surrender my claim to the Gryffindor Legacy to Neville Franklin Longbottom. I bid you rise, Duke of Gryffindor.”
Neville stood and took the Sword from her hands. Hermione’s magic slid past her, and Neville’s robes shifted from the school’s standard black to red and gold.
The entire school cheered as he held the sword aloft.
Neville hugged her, then shook hands with each of the other Dukes. Hari shook their hands as well and they all retired to their seats.
“Wonderful, wonderful!” Madame Maxime enthused after she gained control of the crowd. “We have witnessed history this night!”
There was another deafening round of applause.
Madame Maxime proved her formidable nature by deftly gaining control of the crowd again. Without using magic.
“Now, we must bid good night. Ravenclaw, as the House with the furthest trip to their dorm, you may leave first. Vite, vite! We all require our beauty sleep.”
6 September 1993
“How bloody dare you.”
Hari frowned and turned to see Ronald Weasley glaring at her hatefully.
“You’re my soulmate,” Ron declared. “You have no business sorting into Slytherin. How could you embarrass me like that?”
“We are not soulmates, Ron,” Hari rolled her eyes. “I have seen the Book of Souls. It placed a name upon my wrist and that name is not yours.”
“The Book is broken,” Ron declared. “You are my soulmate.”
“She can’t be your soulmate, Ron, you’re a No Match,” Ginny declared. The rest of Gryffindor tripped over each other as they backed away from Ron with excessive haste.
“Shut up, Ginny.” Ron turned redder than his hair. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I was there,” Ginny said. “I saw the book refuse to open for you—after it opened for Fred and before it opened for me.”
“You stupid bint—”
“Mr. Weasley,” an authoritative voice interrupted. Every student in the hall turned to see a man with scars on his face holding open the new history classroom’s door. “That will be twenty points from Gryffindor. You are speaking to a noblewoman, young man. No matter your blood relation, you will address her appropriately.
“All of you, inside.” The man turned and they followed him in.
Hari took the closest seat to the professor she could, knowing Ron never sat near the front specifically to hide the lack of effort he put into learning.
“My name is Professor Remus Lupin,” the new history professor told them. “That is Marla St Johns. Ms. St Johns is my apprentice. She will be working as my teaching assistant and official grader. We have a great deal to cover to prepare the lot of you for your OWLs in three years rather than the usual five.
“You should have noticed that your textbook is much more extensive than the one Professor Binns assigned.” Professor Lupin rested his hand on the five-book boxed set he had sitting on his desk. “Our goal is to cover the first book this term and the second book next term. If we can cover more than that, we certainly will.
“We will begin today by reviewing the syllabus for this term.” Lupin gave one of the stacks of parchment on his desk a firm tap, and pages flew out to land one per student on their desks around the room. “Class participation is mandatory and one third of your grade. This will include reading from the book when called upon and answering questions when you are inevitably asked.
“There will be tests and quizzes, of course, worth a third of your grade.
“The final third of your grade will be based on the group projects we will complete and the presentations you will be required to make to the rest of class.
“As the teacher of your first class of the school year, it is my duty to inform you that all classes will be graded on a scale of one hundred from now on.” Hari noticed several of her classmates looked confused. Silly Wizards. “This is the international standard as it is entirely based on achievement rather than the opinion-based, entirely arbitrary, and outdated wizarding method Hogwarts had been using.
“For those of you unfamiliar with the one-hundred-point scale, the highest grade that can be received is one hundred. Students must receive a minimum of seventy points to be considered passing.
“Students must pass their individual classes to advance to the next year of that course. If you do not pass for the entire year, you will repeat the course,” Lupin said firmly. “If you fail to pass a course three times, you will be dismissed from that course and ineligible to take the OWL.
“I will remind you all, you are required to pass three OWLs to keep your wand rights and to be accepted into NEWTs-level classes.
No one raised their hand. Hari figured there had to be a ton of questions and probably complaints from at least half of the purebloods, but no one asked.
“Very good,” Professor Lupin nodded. “Now. Our syllabus.”
20 September 1993
“Lady Potter, stay behind,” Professor Lupin ordered.
Hari swallowed and waved her vassals off when they looked ready to protest.
When the class was gone, Lupin came down off his riser and sat on the bench of the desk across the aisle from Hari’s habitual seat.
He looked concerned and was quiet for long enough for Hari to worry before he said, “you are aware that harassment is a violation of the school rules, are you not?”
Hari felt like she had been slapped. “I’m not harassing—!”
“No, you’re not. However, Mr. Weasley is harassing you,” the Professor said gently. “It’s been two weeks and every time I open my door, I have heard him insulting or otherwise denigrating you or your vassals.”
“I’ve told him to stop,” Hari objected.
“Twice,” Lupin agreed. “But you have not involved any of the staff. He has refused to honor your request; you must involve the staff.”
“I… would that even work?”
“And if it doesn’t?” Hari pressed.
“You, of all people, have resources to make him stop.”
Hari… had no idea what the professor was getting at.
He sent her a sad look. “Do you think Mr. Weasley would be allowed to attend Hogwarts if the Lady of Slytherin declared him her enemy? If any of the Founders’ heirs did?
“You need to think about the example you’re setting,” Lupin urged. “Allowing that pureblood boy to harass a noble witch sends a very specific message. One that expresses the power of blood over legal rights and rank. Is that a message you want all the girls—and boys, of all blood statuses—watching you to take to heart?”
Hari shook her head mutely.
“The Headmistress’s password is flegotherium pteroni,” Lupin told her. “She’s expecting you.”
12 October 1993
“Good morning, Your Grace,” Pansy Parkinson said as Hari passed her on her way into the Hall for breakfast.
Hari nodded to the girl. Pansy had been greeting her cordially for weeks. Why? Hari didn’t care. It was nice to have someone outside of her immediate circle being nice to her, so she didn’t want to look at it too hard.
“Okay, stop,” Hermione said. Ginny stopped and Hari frowned at her ranking vassal. “Why are you being polite to my lady?” Hermione demanded possessively. “Shouldn’t you hate her for taking your place in Slytherin and sending you off to Ravenclaw or something?”
Pansy gave Hermione a look full of doubt. “Ravenclaw is perfectly respectable. I would appreciate it if you did not discuss my House as though being part of it were some sort of punishment.”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
“I do.” Pansy sighed like they were all such a trial for her. “Do you understand what your lady did for Slytherin House? Truly? Weasley had been acting as if he understands it, but we all know he was just being an ass.”
Hari frowned. “What are you…?”
“You chose Slytherin,” Pansy looked at her, fierce in her regard. “Any other Gryffindor—hell, half the Slytherins I once shared a dorm with—would have chosen Gryffindor, if given the keys to both vaults the way you were. You didn’t.
“You chose Slytherin and in doing so, you told the world that snakes are not the bad guys. That you don’t hate us, and that they shouldn’t either.
“Choosing Slytherin could have destroyed you socially and you did it anyway.” Pansy shook her head like she had no idea what to make of it. “So, I wrote my grandfather—he’s the head of my ancestral House—and told him what you did. You have earned the consideration of House Parkinson and my personal friendship.”
Hari…didn’t know what to make of them. “Come, it is almost time for breakfast.”
Pansy shot her a bright smile and followed as Hari led their little group over to the Slytherin table.
“Your family wishes to swear to my House?” Hari asked wearily as she waited for Hermione to finish with the fresh fruit bowl.
“No,” Pansy shook her head as she served herself some oatmeal. “If my family were to swear ourselves to anyone, it would have to be House Black as grandfather and I are both Ravenclaws.
“Friendship and vassalhood are quite different, Your Grace, as I’m sure you’ve taken note.”
Hari nodded, she had. Having loyalty and consideration ensured by oaths was…nice. Reliable. Safe, but not nearly so rewarding as friendship. She wouldn’t say her friendships with Hermione and Ginny had been ruined when she took them as vassals, but they weren’t the same, either.
“I’ve decided that I will be the best friend you’ve ever had.” Pansy pointed her spoon at Hari authoritatively.
Hari was charmed.
“That’s not how friendship works,” Ginny said doubtfully.
“It kind of is,” Hermione disagreed. “It’s supposed to be mutual, but the process is two people deciding they want to be friends—to like and trust each other and all that.”
Ginny looked at Hermione like she was crazy but didn’t argue.
“Alright,” Hari said, focusing on Pansy, “we can be friends.”
Pansy looked delighted and held out her hand. They shook on their agreement to be friends, to Hari’s unending amusement.
“Plans for Yule?” Hari asked, trying to be natural about it.
“None,” Pansy answered, ignoring the awkwardness that existed between them like a queen. “Other than burning the Yule Log and standing vigil with my family on the twenty-first.”
“I’m taking a trip to the Slytherin Ancestral Property over Yule. It’s off the northern coast of Egypt. Consider yourself invited.”
“I will write to my grandfather for permission,” Pansy swore.
“We need some non-House restricted group study areas,” Hari realized as she tried to wrap her head around the logistics of making friends with a Ravenclaw. It wasn’t like they had any classes together.
“Like the Library?” Hermione asked.
“Places we can talk,” Hari corrected with no little amusement. “To promote inter-House…fellowship. Ginny, will you write Master Aggnar on my behalf? There are dozens of unused classrooms that could be reconfigured and repurposed for the cause.”
“I will have the letter ready for your review at lunch,” Ginny promised.
7 November 1994
“Hari,” Hermione called Hari’s attention as she joined her table in the library. Moments later, they were joined by a larger body.
Hari did a double take as she recognized the recently-selected Durmstrang champion, Viktor Krum.
“Hermione?” Hari asked, watching the older boy cautiously.
“Viktor is a friend,” Hermione told her. “He has an idea that he originally proposed to me, but I can’t do it. It occurred to me, however, that you can.”
“What’s the proposal?” Hari asked the other seeker.
“I would like to practice being in a relationship,” Viktor explained. “My soulmate is ten years younger than I am and while I will certainly do my duty to prepare my country for her to meet her fate, I do not wish to…be alone until she is ready to meet me as an equal.”
“Duty?” Hari questioned.
Viktor nodded. “It is accepted in my country that soulmates with an excessive number of years between their births—seven years or more—is not a mistake. We are born this way for a reason. The younger partner is believed to have a fate they must meet while the older partner comes first to prepare the way for the younger.”
Hari wondered what Bill had to do with her defeating Voldemort. “My soulmate is eleven years older than me. He was ten when my parents were murdered and has been in Egypt every time I have faced Voldemort since.”
“His tasks may not be completed yet,” Viktor warned her. “Or his actions have affected you in ways that are not obvious.”
Hari considered that. She had found her path to defeating Voldemort after Ginny had called her to the bank. Perhaps Bill was the reason Ginny had called her to the bank.
“So, you want to date me?”
“I do,” Viktor confirmed. “I admit, I found Miss Granger more interesting at first—”
Hari laughed and waved him off. “Trust me, I find her more interesting between the two of us, too.”
Viktor gave her a crooked grin. “You are more famous than I am, so I do not have to worry about you using me for publicity. Same with money. I understand you play Seeker, that is something we have in common. I believe there will be more things we have in common should we take the time to come to know each other.”
“I would want to write to my soulmate,” Hari said. “I like the idea of it, of having relationship experience before I commit myself to him, but I would like to discuss it with him first.”
“And if he forbids it?” Viktor raised a single eyebrow.
Hari snorted. “I said I wanted to discuss it, not that I was asking permission.”
“Ah,” Viktor gave her a wry smile. “My mistake.”
November 19, 1994
“Hari,” Ginny tugged urgently, “my sibling, Charlie, is here, have you met them?”
Hari frowned. “Charlie? Aren’t they the one that works at a dragon preserve?”
“They are,” Ginny confirmed with a grin.
“Shouldn’t they…be at work?” Hermione asked, frowning as well. “In Romania?”
“They are working.” Ginny was frowning now. “They are here for work.”
Lead settled in Hari’s stomach.
“Ginny,” Hermione looked like she might faint. “Your brother that tames dragons has come to Hogwarts for work?”
“He said he would be here for another week.”
“Gin, the first task is in five days,” Hari told her. Both of her vassals were terribly pale now. “That could be considered a week.”
“I have to tell Fleur,” Ginny shot up out of her seat and ran out the door.
“Cedric,” Hari ordered when Hermione hesitated. “Go. I’ll tell Viktor.”
Hari and Hermione left their dorm at a run. They separated at the door to the Great Hall. Hermione entered the Hall; Hari left the castle entirely.
“Viktor,” Hari called when she saw him working out on the bank of the Black Lake, “Viktor!”
She ran directly at him. Viktor caught her against his chest—causing his audience of teenaged girls to huff in outrage—as she tried to stop but failed because of the mud.
“Little lion?” he asked her gently. “You’re shaking.”
“Dragons,” she whispered breathlessly into his ear. “The First Task is dragons.”
He pulled back and blinked at her stupidly for a moment. Then he took her hand and started tugging her toward the Durmstrang ship. “Come.”
“How do you know?” Viktor asked her once they were on the deck, well away from prying eyes and ears.
“My vassal. One of her siblings works as a dragon tamer in Romania but they are here, at Hogwarts for the next week. What happens this week?”
“The first task,” Viktor concluded. Then he cursed softly. “How can I defeat a dragon? They are bigger, stronger than any human can ever be on the ground.”
On the ground. “What about in the sky?” Hari asked. “Big does not mean quick? Particularly in the air, right?”
“I’m not allowed a broom,” he reminded her.
“You can have a wand! Summon one!” Her class was learning the spell in fourth year Charms, Viktor had to know it already.
“We were forbidden to bring our brooms,” one of Viktor’s school mates broke in.
“I have one,” Hari countered, “it’s even a Firebolt!”
“You have a Firebolt?” the same boy asked.
“My godfather gave it to me for Yule last year.” Hari turned away from the other boy and focused on Viktor.
“You will let me use your Firebolt?” Viktor asked, staring into her eyes intensely.
“Of course,” was all she got out of her mouth before Viktor cheered and grabbed her around the thighs. He spun, holding her aloft, as his schoolmates cheered.
Hari rolled her eyes as Viktor set her down. “What kind of girlfriend would I be if I said no?”
Viktor laughed and kissed her cheek.
“You need to get one of your friends to stage it on the grounds somewhere, though,” Hari cautioned. “You won’t be able to call it from my dorm and Rita Skeeter’s been following me around like crazy.”
“I can do that,” Viktor promised with a significant glance at the nosey kid.
Nosey Kid nodded. “How about the grounds keeper’s hut?”
September 4, 1995
“Ritual Magic,” Madam Hooch said as she settled into her squashy chair at the front of the class.
Unlike other classes, the Ritual Magic class had always been informal. There were no desks, just cushions or mats on the floor for student use. Lap desks were provided for those that wished to take notes, but it wasn’t mandatory. Even wearing their school robes was discouraged within the class.
Some days there wasn’t even a lecture, just yoga and other forms of meditation.
When there was a lecture, it was more of a highly interactive discussion in a way that would have driven Professor McGonagall spare.
“It is the oldest of our arts. There was a time when magic could only be done in ritual but as humanity grew and evolved, so did magic. Now, only our oldest, most formal or most complicated magics must be done in ritual.
“Lady Potter, you have performed rituals.”
Hari raised an eyebrow. “Yes, I have.”
“Tell us what you are comfortable with about the rituals you performed.”
“I have cast people from my Familial Legacies as well as taken some in,” Hari said after a minute of consideration. “I have declared enemies to my Familial Legacies and taken on sworn vassals. I have also embraced the gifts my Legacies have granted me in ritual and aided others to do the same.”
“You have participated in Ritual Combat,” Professor Hooch added.
“I have participated in magical combat,” Hari corrected. “I’ve never cast a ritual in combination or preparation for combat.”
“Just because you did not cast the ritual does not mean you did not participate in Ritual Combat,” Professor Hooch countered. “To be the victor in the Rite of Conquest, the combat between two lines of a single family must be Ritual Combat and victorious side must win three times.”
“So, Voldemort had to cast the ritual,” Hari realized, she ignored the hisses and flinches her enemy’s name garnered. “I didn’t even know we were related until after the Slytherin Legacy had embraced me and told me to cast him out.”
“The Slytherin Legacy told you to cast Lord Voldemort out of it?” Professor Hooch asked.
“Yes,” Hari confirmed. “Salazar Slytherin left an imprint of himself within the Legacy magics to act as an avatar and instructor to future generations.”
There were a number of frowns around the room.
Hari hastened to explain. “It’s not actually him. My ancestor did not participate in the type of black magics that would preserve his body or his soul for thousands of years so he could speak with me.”
“Then what did he do?”
“He poured his knowledge and his magic into the Legacy Stone to aid in the formation of the Familial Legacy and advance its intelligence through a series of sharing rituals. The Legacy used his form to interact with me. It has some advanced personal knowledge of Slytherin himself and at first it did act as if it were him for my comfort.
“When I realized the sorts of magic that could allow my ancestor to truly survive in this way, I had the Goblins evaluate the Legacy for black magics. I have been assured that no such rituals were done.
“The Bank has a policy of destroying black magic devices. If the Slytherin Legacy had been corrupted by such a thing, it would no longer exist.”
“What does exist?” Pansy Parkinson asked. “The Chamber of Secrets?”
“The Chamber is said to be the seat of Salazar Slytherin’s power.” Parkinson leaned forward eagerly. “Is there a ritual circle down there? Artifacts? Tomes?”
“Yes, yes, and yes.”
Hermione frowned. “Really?”
“You can’t think I’ve shown you all of it,” Hari teased. “It is the Chamber of Secrets.”
Hari laughed. “Relax. The things I haven’t shown you I cannot show anyone. They are Secrets only myself and my heir—for some of them, at least—can see.”
“She showed us the ritual circle,” Ginny reminded Hermione.
“Would you be willing to show the class?” Professor Hooch asked. “Part of what we will all be doing this year is learning how to create a ritual space of our own. The other classrooms along this hall have been set aside for this purpose. Seeing the end goal would be helpful.”
Hari considered that. “Slytherin’s Circle is a very formal, very powerful ritual space. I would not feel comfortable allowing anyone access to that space that is not part of my personal coven.”
“Permanently?” Pansy asked shrewdly.
“No, I am willing to allow short term membership.”
“It would have to last until we leave Hogwarts,” Hermione added. “You can’t expect Hari or her circle to be used for anyone’s convenience.”
Hari was…touched by her vassal’s concern. “Thank you, Hermione.”
Hermione nodded firmly.
“Would swearing ourselves to your coven prevent us from forming smaller circles of our own?” Parvati asked. “We all need experience leading rituals, right?”
“Correct,” Professor Hooch answered. “Membership to lesser covens entirely depends on the wording of the membership vows Lady Potter will require.” The reminder Professor Hooch had set with her wand went off, warning them that the class’s end was imminent. “Homework! Read the first three chapters of Ritual Spaces for Intermediate Learners by LJ Abernathy and write a ten-to-fifteen-inch essay regarding your needs and desires for a personal ritual space. Additionally, research coven membership oaths and come to class prepared with a membership vow for mine and Lady Potter’s consideration.” The period bell rang, signaling the end of the period. “You will present your choices in our next class, and we will work together to craft a final version to be sworn in class on Friday!”
25 December 1994
Hari looked up to respond to Hermione only to find a golden envelope floating in the air in front of her. Hari grabbed the thing. It was three small cards of gold, sealed with the Gringotts crest.
“What’s this?” Hari asked. She was surrounded by enough purebloods and magical raised people that someone had to know.
“That is a Gringotts-certified letter,” Viktor answered her. “Very expensive, this process is typically used to initiate contact between two magicals previously unknown to each other.”
“Like a…business proposal?” Hari frowned.
“No, that would go through your House’s legal or financial representative. This would be more intimate.”
Hari frowned. She had a financial representative, Master Aggnar, through the bank. None of her houses had a legal representative.
She would need to fix that.
“What exactly does Gringotts certify about this letter?” she asked as she slid her finger under the bank’s seal.
“Whatever sentiments expressed in the letter are exactly what they say it is,” Viktor told her. “Whether it is declaring war between you and the other party, peace between you, or something else.”
“Whatever it is, I can take it to the bank,” Hari muttered. Hermione laughed, being the only one to get the muggle joke.
“It has already been taken to the bank,” Viktor corrected.
Hari waved him off and raised the top plate of gold as she would on a muggle envelope. The larger two plates swung open on their own and a scroll was presented.
Hari unrolled it and settled in to read. She could feel several sets of curious eyes on her, but she ignored them all.
Finally, she looked up to consult with Hermione.
Her vassal was already looking at her, waiting for her to speak.
“My Uncle Vernon,” she started. Hermione nodded to show she was listening. “He— His mother is married to some rich person in America. When Dudley and I were little, my uncle wanted Dudley to form a good relationship with Gram Helen, in the hopes that he would be included in her Will.”
Hermione made a face that clearly expressed her distaste and Hari had to laugh.
“For some reason that I will never know, Aunt Petunia told Gram Helen that Dudley loved comic books. That Christmas, Dudley received a box of—I don’t know, thirty?—comic books. You know, the expected big names but also some really obscure ones.”
“Dudley didn’t want anything to do with them,” Hermione guessed.
“Not a thing. He saw books, threw a fit, and threw them away from himself. But I took them, and I read them, and in an effort to please my aunt, I wrote Gram Helen a letter. Uncle Vernon took it from me, and I was afraid…”
Hari didn’t say what she was afraid of. She refused to give those secrets to most of her current audience. Hermione knew, however, and Hermione nodded her understanding.
“So, Uncle Vernon took Dudley out to pick some stationary. He brought it home and had me copy my letter onto it, but I wasn’t to sign it. Dudley signed it. Aunt Petunia mailed it off and the next time Dudley received a box of comic books, it happened again. Boxes of comics would show up every Christmas and for Dudley’s birthday and I would write thank you letters back. Eventually, she started writing Dudley back an additional time or two a year and I would respond.”
“And?” Hermione prompted.
“And,” Hari repeated. “Uncle Vernon never talked about Gram Helen much other than to say she was rich and how he deserved her money.” Hari held up the scroll. “She’s writen to me. Without me living there, Dudley couldn’t keep up the charade of writing to her.”
“What does she want?” Viktor asked.
“To be my Gram—or my Grand Aunt, if I would rather since that’s what she technically is—my Grand Aunt by marriage.”
“Which means what?” Hermione asked.
“I don’t know,” Hari admitted, “she wants me to set the boundaries for our relationship and even offered me her son from her second marriage as a vassal, if it would make me more comfortable. He’s the new Head of the House of Crouch.”
Hari frowned and turned to where Pansy Parkinson was flipping through Witch Weekly, “what do you know about the House of Crouch?”
“Neither Ancient nor Noble but pureblood for many generations. There was a recent marriage into the House of Black—in the last three generations or so. House of Black was attempting to shape the House’s Legacy when it formed, and the Crouch Family was trying to use the House of Black to achieve nobility sooner.”
“How would that work?” Hari wondered.
“Typically, in this sort of arrangement, the grandson of the female Black that married into the lesser Family would swear himself as a vassal to his grandmother’s house and therefore ensure their nobility. He would be accepted as a vassal automatically due to the perception that he was shaped by his grandmother’s influence on her children in general and him in particular. But—” Pansy paused for effect.
“But,” Hari repeated because she knew what Pansy expected of her after more than a year of friendship.
“But, Charis Crouch nee Black’s grandson was a Death Eater. Her son, Bartemius Crouch Sr, was ruined politically after he was forced to send his own son to Azkaban for life.
“Junior and Senior both died in the summer before our third year, I’m afraid I don’t have the details.”
“Gram Helen is Senior’s older sister, it seems. Her father married her to a man she wasn’t very compatible with. They had two squib children—my Uncle-by-marriage Vernon and his sister Marge.
“I’m unclear on what happened but it sounds like her brother ended her first marriage.”
“He probably hit her,” Pansy supplied. “Once a woman without rank marries a pureblood wizard with rank, marital abuse is the only grounds for divorce I can think of. It’s terrible but not surprising. I imagine he blamed her for bearing squibs and physically punished her for it.”
“Was he her soulmate?” Hermione asked.
“No, Hari shook her head. “She got to marry her soulmate the second time, her brother was much more reasonable than their father. The soulmate is the rich person—an heiress. Their only son is magical. He and his soul mate crafted a Family Legacy Stone and they nurtured it with the birth of their first child—a daughter they named Harriet Helen Crouch.” Hari rolled her eyes.
Hermione grinned. “How old is the child?”
“Did they ask you to be her godmother?” Pansy asked. Hari frowned at her friend and Pansy shrugged. “They clearly tried to name her after you. Somewhat indirectly but still. It’s typical for a witch or wizard to stand as godparent for their namesake.”
“That was not mentioned in the letter,” Hari admitted. “But Gram Helen did ask if they could come visit me this summer.”
“They may intend to ask in person.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Hari promised. “I don’t know if I… can’t we just be family? Without oaths and contracts?”
Viktor and Pansy exchanged looks, then they turned to include Ginny in their Silent Communication Hour.
“I’ll research it,” Hermione promised. “For now, we have a Ball to prepare for.”
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