Stereo Hearts

Title: Stereo Hearts
Author: Saydria Wolfe
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Fix-it, Rule 63! (Harry Potter)
Relationships: Harry Potter/Hermione Granger
Content Rating: PG
Warnings: n/a
Author Notes: I was gonna expand this in both directions for a QBB but recently learned that Rule 63 is not allowed in QBB so here you go!
Word Count: 13,629
Summary: Hari and Hermione discuss recent events on the Wizarding Wireless.

 

 

“I did know your parents,” the woman in front of her, Glenda, admitted. “Everyone knew them at Hogwarts, they were very popular. They were fifth years when Brad and I started and in Gryffindor but Lily Evans was a prefect and James Potter drew a lot of attention. He was loud and brash, a breath of fresh air in Dumbledore’s stuffy school And, he was best friends with the prettiest boy there was—it’s a pity, what he became.”

“You mean Sirius Black?” Hari asked.

“Yes,” Glenda admitted before she hastily changed the subject. “Lily was lovely. Patient and so smart, she always had time for younger students. Even if they weren’t in her House.”

Glenda Chittock was a puzzle to Hari. She wasn’t traditionally beautiful—

Her nose was too big, but she wore a large, shining piercing in it anyway. Her overbite was almost like tiny white fingers reaching out to get you, but she never stopped smiling. Her hair was a fine white cloud—like white candy floss—curling just under her chin. Her jewelry was overlarge but somehow still tasteful and she wore a white wrap dress—simple but flattering. She was highly emotive as well, despite her profession as a radio host. She was singular and fascinating.

—but she acted like she was the most beautiful woman and focus of every person in the room at all times from what Hari had seen.

Hari decided Glenda had to be the bravest witch she’d met since Hermione.

A wizard peaked into the room where they were having tea. “Glen, ten minutes.”

“Time for us to get in there, then.” Glenda stood and led them out of the room. On their way down to the basement recording studio, she told them. “This is going to be your show, so take us in whatever direction you want. Brad and I are here to be your foils and make things feel official to the listener. We’ll ask questions where they seem to fit and maybe discuss things between us if you seem to need a break but don’t be afraid to change directions on air if you’re unhappy with anything. Okay?”

“Okay,” Hermione nodded.

Hari was too choked up to speak. Her Fame Advisor at the Bank felt it would be best for her to be open about recent events. That it could and probably would save her godfather’s life and keep rumors about her involvement in recent changes from taking an ugly turn but, now that it was time to do it, Hari wasn’t so sure.

They settled down in the studio easily enough.

The table in the middle was large and round. Glenda and her boringly respectable husband, Brad, sat on one side while Hari and Hermione sat on the other.

They all pulled on oversized headphones that weren’t dissimilar to what a muggle radio jockey would wear but made out of magical materials and with no cords. That felt normal and the weight of them was comforting.

Hermione sat down the box of scrolls and folders they had already shared with the Editor-in-Chief of the Prophet and would be sharing with Glenda and Brad live on air. That helped. It reminded her that the facts and the law were on her side. It reminded her that Hermione was on her side.

The clench in Hari’s chest eased a bit. She could do this.

“Good evening, witches and wizards, I am Glenda Chittock and this is the Witching Hour. As you might have read in the Daily Prophet this morning and been reminded of in the Evening Prophet just before dinner, I have some very special guests with me tonight. Three special guests, to be exact—a very magical number.

“First, we have my husband, Bradford Chittock. Brad is a reporter for the Daily Prophet. You’ve no doubt been following his reports on Sirius Black’s progress across the countryside. Sightings and safety tips have been brought to you by my husband, on the front page of the Prophet, since news of the escape was released. Anything to add, Brad?”

“Yes, I have been in constant contact with the authorities on the matter of Sirius Black. I’ve also been attempting to research the trial and sentencing of Sirius Black. Over the years, I’ve found that the behavior of people when they are confronted with their own crimes can be quite telling when it comes to future interactions.” The man cleared his throat. “Normally this is useful in interviews, not escapes. Unfortunately, I’ve reached something of a brick wall with the Ministry. I believe your other guests might be able to shed some light on the subject, my love.”

“Yes! My other guests!” the woman crowed. “It is my distinct pleasure to announce that tonight, live, for her first ever interview, we have Hari Potter!”

The two adults left a moment for a dramatic pause.

Then the man teased. “Not that this should be a surprise for anyone, if they read the Prophet at all.”

“Oh hush, you scallywag,” Glenda scolded. “But, no. You’re right. But this will surprise the audience at home! It says here that the girl your brought with you—your classmate and House mate, Hermione Granger—is your wife. That can’t be right, can it?”

“It is exactly right,” Hari said firmly. “Though we both prefer Potter-Black, if you don’t mind.”

“But your wife?” Glenda objected. “You’ve just turned thirteen!”

“Thirteen is the youngest witches and wizards can make oaths on their magic and not outgrow them in a few years,” Brad interjected. “It’s one of the earlier stages of magical maturity and as such thirteen is the international standard age at which witches and wizards can marry on the condition that Magic himself blesses their oaths—which, obviously, he has for Mrs. And Mrs. Potter-Black.”

“And this standard cannot be altered on a local level unless the member country wishes to be removed from the ICW without discussion,” Hermione added.

“Quite right.” Brad nodded.

“But, why?” Glenda whined more then demanded.

“That’s as good a place to start as any,” Hari offered as she glanced at her wife.

Hermione gave a decisive nod. “It is but first, may I ask a question?”

Harry snorted and Hermione shot her a glare.

“Well, that’s new!” Glenda grinned teasingly. “Normally we’re the ones asking questions! Yes, of course, you can. Give us all of your questions immediately!”

“My question is for Mr. Chittock—”

Glenda’s husband pointedly cleared his throat.

“—for Brad,” Hermione corrected herself. “You have two dicta-quills going but you’re taking notes as well. Why?”

“Ah, I didn’t explain. Apologies, apologies.” Brad paused to get his thoughts together. “We discussed the purpose of the quills when the four of us bonded with them so they could record who said what.”

“Blood bonded with them,” Hari interjected. “You promised we could burn them after.”

“Yes, of course, and we will,” the man agreed. “That fire has already been lit.

“The reason I have two quills running is because they focus on different things.

“The blue quill writes in blue ink and records every word that is said. All of them. Every single word said within its range, by the people bonded to it, from the moment it is activated until the moment it is deactivated.

“The red quill—writes in red, of course—and only records the truth. The truth-detection spell is activated with its other features upon bonding and is powerful enough that it is accepted in the International Justice System as evidence in the court of law.”

Handy. “Will the different colors show up in the Prophet tomorrow?” Hari wondered.

“Yes,” Brad agreed. “Due to the documents that you have provided and given permission to appear in tomorrow’s edition of the Prophet, my editor has agreed to print everything including this conversation’s manuscript in full color.”

“And you’re taking notes because?” Hermione pressed.

“There are reactions the two of you will have that the quills will not record but they will help the audience place themselves in this interview when they read it at a later date.”

“Like crying,” Hari said.

“Or laughter,” Brad agreed. “We are also recording this session to be re-played at various times during the days for the next week.”

“Any more questions?” Glenda asked.

“Sorry, no,” Hermione laughed. “Not currently.”

“Very well, I’ll ask a question, then,” Glenda decided. “Why?”

“Why, what?” Hari asked. She smiled when the older woman huffed playfully at her.

“Why give an interview now? You’ve been famous almost your entire life, why are you here now and not before?”

“Well,” Hari considered that, “I was raised isolated in the muggle world. I didn’t know I was famous until Hagrid took me shopping for my school supplies.”

“Rubeus Hagrid,” Brad interjected. “The Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts?”

“Yes,” Hari confirmed.

“Rubeus Hagrid took you shopping for your supplies?” Glenda repeated. “The groundskeeper? Dumbledore didn’t even send a professor for you?”

“No,” Hari confirmed, more curious than she would admit. “Is that odd?”

“Flitwick took my parents and I shopping,” Hermione told her.

“He took me, too,” Brad agreed.

“Slughorn took me,” Glenda added. “He’s retired now so you wouldn’t know him. He taught Potions and was the Head of House for Slytherin before Severus Snape who is just a few years older than Brad and I are.”

“Huh,” Hari frowned. “It hardly matters. Hagrid is great and we got everything on my list so I don’t see a problem.”

Hermione gave a hum like she maybe didn’t agree but didn’t actually say anything.

“At the heart of it, I’m here because of this hateful fame that I have. For whatever reason, it makes people feel they have the right to tell me what to do with my time and my things and I’ve made decisions that many of them won’t understand. Rather than dealing with the mindless many trying to decide what I should have done to gain justice for myself and my family, the Bank advised me to lay all the facts out there, so that all can see that I made the only choices I could and then close the book on recent events.”

“The Bank?” Brad asked.

Hateful fame?” his wife sputtered. “What does that even mean?”

“What is she famous for?” Hermione demanded as Hari sat back in shock. “A dark lord murdered her family. Four generations of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Over forty relatives and they were all murdered. Horribly.”

“My father was torn to actual pieces,” Hari agreed. “He had been hit with so many dark curses they had to ritually burn his body before they could bury him in the family graveyard. And my mother” Hari shook her head. “I will spare you the details but Voldemort’s followers were called Death Eaters for a reason.”

“I imagine she would have preferred to be burned before she was buried, too, rather than go to the next life with their crimes written on her skin!” Hermione hissed.

“I’m the last Potter left. Not for Voldemort’s lack of trying, but I am it. And that is what I’m famous for.” Hari was furious but it was a wet fury, unfortunately. All she wanted to do was cry and that never accomplished anything—it was one of the first lessons she had learned from her aunt.

“I hadn’t thought of it that way,” Glenda admitted softly.

“Most people don’t,” Hari admitted, “but every time someone calls me the Girl Who Lived it’s like they’re rubbing my face in everything they have that I’ve lost and, yes, that is hateful.”

Silence reigned for several minutes.

“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry,” Glenda offered.

“Thank you,” Hari nodded encouragingly to the older woman. “I’m sorry, too. I— I didn’t mean to get into that. I usually keep that opinion to myself.”

“We were going to talk about our marriage,” Hermione reminded them as the silence lingered.

“Right,” Hari agreed, mind racing. She shook her head and forced herself to focus “It goes back to our first year, actually. I had made friends with a boy on the train. He was my first friend and I was desperate to prove I could be a good friend and faithful and just all of the things my Aunt Petunia had claimed my mother and I were both incapable of. Then I met Hermione and we both Sorted to Gryffindor so we were roommates.”

“We had so much in common, our friendship was inevitable,” Hermione added. “Raised by muggles. Isolated among our peers in the magical world and outside of it. Wanting good grades.”

“But This Boy hated Hermione,” Hari said picking up the thread. “At first sight, and for no reason that I could discern, but he was my first friend so I didn’t say anything against him.

“Then, on Halloween, he was so mean to her during class that right after she ran off to the loo to have cryfest.”

“Hari!” Hermione objected.

“What? It’s the truth! The red quill wrote it down!”

Hermione huffed but didn’t argue.

Hari continued, “Unfortunately, like an idiot, I decided to give her the space she clearly seemed to need rather than go after her like a proper friend.

“That night at the feast, Professor Quirrelmort came running into the Great Hall, announced there was a troll in the dungeon, and fainted. Now, I had no idea what a troll was other than dangerous enough to make the man in charge of defending the school faint, but I knew that Hermione had no idea that such a thing was in the castle so I slipped off by myself to find her.”

“I was in the bathroom, having my little pity party,” Hermione admitted. “I had just decided that I was going to go home at Yule and would refuse to return when the door was pushed open and standing there was this giant, stinking troll. He screamed. I screamed. He started waving his club.”

Glenda and Brad laughed then looked ashamed to have done so.

“Thankfully, trolls have terrible motor skills, so his missed me by quite a margin but the damage he did to the bathroom was extensive. Sinks exploded. Bathroom stalls folded like cards. Water was rushing everywhere. It was proper terrifying.

“And then Hari was there,” Hermione recalled. “I swear, she was glowing—all fierce and magical. She moved between me and the troll and she did not waver.”

“Hermione!” Hari spluttered, blushing.

“It’s true!” Hermione defended herself. “Look! The red quill wrote it down.”

“Oh my— Any way!” Hari cleared her throat. “I only knew one spell. Professor Flitwick had taught us the levitation charm earlier that day and Hermione was the only one to get it right in class but I waved my wand and it worked. I took the trolls club from him and beat it with it.

“It was…a bit of a mess.”

“Just a bit?” Hermione rolled her eyes. “So, the troll fell over dead and Hari fainted. I managed to touch Hari’s wrist, trying to make sure she was alive, but then I fainted.”

“Next thing either of us know, we’re in the infirmary.” Hari added. “When McGonagall asked us what we had thought we were doing, I told her the truth. This Boy had harassed Hermione into hiding and no one else had noticed she was gone so I went after her. I got twenty-five points for sheer dumb luck and that boy got two weeks of detention for harassment.”

“This Boy,” Glenda interjected, “you don’t say his name,”

“We can’t,” Hermione interjected. “It’s all tangled up in something else that we’ll get to later.”

Glenda nodded. “Alright, we’ll wait.”

“It was obvious, once we left the Infirmary, that our magic was pulling us together,” Hermione told them. “It took a bit of research but we soon realized that a Life Debt had settled between us and our magic was pulling us together because we needed to settle it in some way.”

“The resources on the matter at Hogwarts were incredibly limited,” Hari said. “Every book we found indicated that marriage was the only way to settle the bond but were too young for that.”

“Clearly the Hogwarts Library needs an update,” Brad muttered.

Hari snorted a laugh but didn’t disagree. “Now, all along This Boy had been making comments about things he and I would do together in the future. Comments about things he expected from me.”

What?” Hermione demanded. “Like what?”

“Like how he wanted a new broom for Yule and he decided I would get him one. We had known each other a month when he told me that, for the record.

“When I didn’t give him a broom for Yule, he told me that he expected one for his birthday and that if he had to, he would accept the one I had previously been given.” Hari huffed, still outraged over Ron’s presumption. “It was the second present I can ever remember being given and he talked about it like me giving it up to him would be the same as me giving him a pair of used socks.”

“You didn’t give it to him,” Hermione said.

“No, of course not. That was when he told me that I would regret being so willful and embarrassing him when we got married. I thought he was going to hit me, so I reported him to our head of house. He was ordered to leave me alone, got a month of detention, and was banned from becoming prefect for repeated harassment.”

Hermione laughed meanly and Hari rolled her eyes.

“Anyway. He clearly intended to marry me but I had no interest in that. He was a bully and I have no time for bullies.” Hari glanced at Hermione. “Though, I do have to wonder if he picked on you so much to try and keep you away from me. To make me think he was my only option later in life.”

“Well, that’s just dumb,” Glenda snorted, reminding Hari she was there. “You could have anyone you wanted. I’m sure the offers are already piling up in your post. It’s because of your fame, which is terrible, but This Boy would never be your only option.”

“That’s not really the point,” Hari reminded the witch. “The point was I had a boy that seemed to think he could force me to marry him and a Life Debt that—to my knowledge—could only be resolved by marriage. The books made it clear that Life Debts were some of the strongest magic on Earth so certainly it would beat out whatever This Boy thought he could use to force me to marry him.

“I asked Hermione if she would marry me. After some negotiation, she agreed and we made oaths to marry as soon as we legally could.”

“Negotiation?” Glenda grinned.

“Well, yes,” Hari blushed. “At that point, I had learned from Hagrid that my parents had enjoyed a deeply romantic and magical marriage. I wanted that and I didn’t know if Hermione did or if she could ever love me.”

“But, of course, I do love her,” Hermione interjected. “I’m not quite sure when it started and surely it isn’t romantic yet but I love her as my very best friend. This year we’ll start with dates in Hogsmeade and see where we can go from there but no matter what else, we are partners. Our goals are aligned and we are dedicated to each other’s welfare.”

“We have established boundaries,” Hari told their hosts. “We have an honestly policy—fairly standard for people in our age group—but several couples we’ve both seen at Hogwarts take it too far. Honestly does not mean sacrificing your privacy to another person. Even being married doesn’t change that.

“We also agreed we might want a husband at some point, since the magical world allows for plural marriage.”

“Applications for Nuptial Consideration are to be mailed to the Bank!” Hermione interjected quickly. “We have established our requirements with the Potter Account Manager and it should be known that lying to an Account Manager in a situation like this would be considered fraud against the Bank so be honest or you’ll lose your head!”

“Can we get a rundown of these requirements?” Brad asked.

“Any wizards interested in joining our marriage must be virgins, of course. That is non-negotiable for reasons we will not discuss,” Hari said firmly. “He also must have a blue aura because we expect him to join us in ritual to create children.”

Hermione nodded. “We are both intelligent and ambitious so we want our husband to be the same. No less than ten OWLs, seven NEWTs, and I would prefer three Masteries. We’ll settle for one Mastery, though, because Hari pointed out and is, of course, correct that three Masteries are outside the financial means of most unmarried male wizards. Allowances will be made for where the applicant is in life but our marriage contract will require this standard to be met before anyone gets pregnant.

“An example for clarity: if the applicant is younger than us, we can’t expect them to have even taken OWLs at this time, but that gives them the time to plan their course schedule accordingly.”

“He has to be entirely willing,” Hari added. “We don’t want someone coerced into marrying us by their parents or society or anyone else. He also has to be able to love us both. Not equally because that’s an impossible demand to make of the heart but I have no interest in marrying someone that adores Hermione but can barely stand me.

“Our full requirements will be printed in the Prophet tomorrow,” Hari told them. “Gringotts worked up an announcement poster that they will post on the doors of all their storefronts once the paper goes out tomorrow.”

“I can’t wait to read it,” Brad admitted. “Just speaking with the two of you for this short time we’ve had makes me confident that your requirements will be well considered and thoughtful. Probably even an example for your entire generation.”

“Thank you,” Hari blushed.

“A question though,” Brad frowned, “a blue aura?”

“Ah,” Hari exchanged a look with Hermione. “It’s a bit of a side track, but its common in the muggle world for people—even people of means—to shop at used book stores. Used book stores have eclectic stock and you never know what someone has given up through ignorance or apathy. Before Hermione and I went to the Bank this summer, we stopped by the used book store to look for cheap references different from the Ministry-regulated stock of Flourish and Blotts.

“While we were there, the owner was crating up a number of books for disposal. They had been on her shelves for too long, no one was interested in them, and she was going to get rid of them for new stock.”

“Most of them seemed to be in a foreign language,” Hermione added. “I had never even seen such an alphabet as these were written in. It was entirely strange!”

“But I could read the books,” Hari said. “They looked like English to me. And these books were old, they resonated with power. Figuring they might hold what we needed, I asked if I could buy them. She almost refused to charge me for them but I insisted on paying her a galleon per crate. She reminded me that all sales were final and sold me three crates.”

“It took us a bit but we realized the books in the strange language were written in parseltongue,” Hermione interjected. “Among them was a set of books written by Merlin himself!”

Brad spit his tea and Glenda stared at them, wide eyed. “Merlin?” Brad demanded.

“He called himself Myrrdin Wyllt, which is another name for Myrrdin Emrys,” Hari told them. “A lot of it was basically court gossip from Camelot and quite hilarious—Merlin was a gifted bard—but not all of it was so amusing. He wrote in one of the books that he knew he would not live to see his heir but he wanted him or her to know what he considered the most important magics.

“We all know about the standard biological reproduction. Sperm plus egg equals baby, right?” Hari asked.

Glenda nodded. “Right.”

“There is also a magical alternative. One that is not dependent on physical fertility and guarantees magical children.”

“And that is?” Glenda prompted.

“I’m still translating the book. I don’t have any knowledge of ritual magic and barely any knowledge of magical theory,” Hari admitted. “I’m not even a third year yet,” she laughed. “But what Merlin did make clear is that there are three distinct magical dynamics. He named them by the different color auras they have—red, blue, and yellow.”

Brad frowned. “I’ve never seen auras that weren’t a shade on the white-to-black gradient.”

“Auras that have been projected,” Hermione guessed and the wizard nodded. “Our auras are layered and deep, they protect us even before we learn to shield ourselves with various spells and disciplines. Only the first six layers can be projected and they reflect the type of magic a person believes they have casted. The dynamic colors start on layer seven.”

“They Bank has a simple spell they can cast to reveal your dynamic to you in a very clear way,” Hari assured the man. She could cast it too but she’d rather no one came to her for such services. They would surely expect her to do it for free and the Bank only charged a sickle for the service. “Now. Biological gender and magical dynamic are entirely unrelated. Females tend toward red and males tend toward blue but these are only about eighty-five percent of the time.”

“And yellow?” Glenda prompted.

“Parselmouths are always yellow or gold,” Hari said. “But golds are not always parselmouths. Albus Dumbledore wasn’t a parselmouth but he was a gold. So is Sirius Black and so am I.”

“I take your search for a suitable blue means your wife is red,” Glenda guessed.

“Yes,” Hari confirmed. “My parents created me in ritual and I’m fairly powerful.” The three sitting with her all snorted at her statement. “I would like my children to enjoy such circumstances and Hermione has agreed, provided she doesn’t have to carry them. As I have a womb, I’ll carry our children in my body.”

“Wait,” Brad held up a hand. “Your parents created you in a ritual that requires three different dynamics but there are only two of them.”

“And you know that Sirius Black is a gold,” Glenda added, her gaze was unexpectedly sharp. “I’m guessing that Sirius Black is your third biological parent?”

Hari smiled at them. They figured it out more quickly than she had expected. More quickly than most of her peers would have managed. Maybe cleverness did come from muggle schooling. “We’re getting ahead of ourselves but, yes. Sirius Black, James Potter, and Lily Evans were all married and created me together in ritual. They hid Sirius’s place in their marriage and as my parent due to the war. They weren’t sure how Voldemort or Dumbledore would react to them deliberately using a ritual to create a magical child.”

“We should get back to the original story,” Hermione prompted.

“Right,” Hari agreed. “First year. Life Debt.

“We swore on our magic that we would marry as soon as we were legally capable. We had to re-swear a few times because as our magic shifted and developed, they didn’t bind us anymore and Hermione, as the debtor, would start suffering but, overall, it was fine. We had our fix. It was as taken care of as we could manage.

“Eventually, we realized Dumbledore was hiding a Philosopher’s Stone in the school behind a three-headed dog that he had no right to keep without a license and—I checked!—it was entirely illegal for him to house in a school full of children. Especially, after he made sure to tell us where to find it at the Sorting Feast.” Hari had to pause and take a breath. “And then we realized the Professor Quirrelmort was trying to take the Stone.”

“Quirrelmort?” Glenda asked. “That’s the second time you’ve said that name.”

“At first we thought it was Snape,” Hermione admitted. “His hate for Hari was epic and we figured he wanted it so he could make gold and stop having to work at the school since he clearly hated children and was a terrible teacher. Or maybe he wanted to use it for Voldemort—we had seen a wraith feeding off of Unicorn blood in the Forest earlier that year, it didn’t take much to realize the wraith was Voldemort.”

“Time out,” Brad put his hands together like a ref at a football match. “Quirrelmort? Voldemort? A wraith? What are you talking about?”

“Oh,” Hari looked at Hermione only to see her looking as confused as Hari felt. “Well, Voldemort was possessing Professor Quirrell, our Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor. They were working together to try and get Voldemort a new body. They drank Unicorn blood to stabilize their body sharing and strengthen Voldemort’s spirit and they wanted to Stone so they could make Voldemort immortal.”

“Voldemort’s dead,” Brad said without hesitation, proving he was just as brave as his wife.

“He’s dead now,” Hari corrected. “The prophecy went dark a week ago. He wasn’t dead in my first year, the prophecy was still glowing and therefore hadn’t been met. He was only disembodied when he attacked me when I was a baby.”

“We’re getting out of order,” Hermione pointed out.

“Right,” Hari agreed. “Long story short, Hermione helped me though the traps protecting the Stone—traps two first years made it through without injury, so how exactly they were supposed to be a deterrent to a grown witch or wizard, I will never know. I went through the last trap alone and faced off with Quirrelmort. Well, Quirrell burned to ash but Voldemort escaped his body, screamed at me, and left the school.”

“There wasn’t enough solution to get us both through the last trap so Hari had gone on and I had gone back for help.” Hermione sniffled. “Quirrell nearly choked her to death.”

Hari took her wife’s hand. “But he didn’t. And I survived because you brought Madam Pomphrey to me just in time.”

Hermione nodded but couldn’t speak just yet so Hari continued.

“Second year was a mess. I was being harassed by a House Elf that was supposedly trying to save my life. Then the Chamber of Secrets was opened and I was hearing voices… turned out there was a basilisk in the walls and I’m a parselmouth.” Hari shrugged. “Who knew?”

“A parselmouth?” Brad demanded.

“It’s not a dark gift,” Glenda told her husband sharply. “It has a bad rap here in Britain but I went to France to research it when I heard some boys talking in the Three Broomsticks about Mrs. Potter-Black talking to a snake during their Dueling Club last year. Male parselmouths are the most advanced healers in the magical world. The ultra-rare female parselmouth are magical warriors in a class all of their own and are only born in times of great need. That Mrs. Potter was born in our country at the height of Voldemort’s war was a gift from the Purple Dragon himself.”

“Can I read your research?” Brad asked.

“Perhaps you should turn her research notes into an article for the Prophet?” Hermione offered.

“That’s a fine idea,” Glenda agreed.

“It is.” Brad flipped his page and made a quick note.

“You can also ask the Bank for information,” Hari offered. “They’re interviewing possible Masters to teach me parselmagic in case I end up in combat again… which it seems like I might.” Hari raised an eyebrow at Glenda.

The older witch laughed. “I’ll let you read my notes, too.”

“And I will talk to the Bank,” Brad promised. “But now, the Chamber of Secrets.”

“Oh yeah,” Hari made a face. “Hermione got petrified but she still managed to prepare me for the basilisk. I was going to tell Professor Lockhart about it because a.) it was his job to deal with such things, and b.) McGonagall hadn’t believed me about the Stone first year, so why would she believe me about the Chamber? Dumbledore never had time for me and Snape hated my guts but then That Boy came to me. His sister was missing and they found a note on a wall saying that Her skeleton will lie in the chamber forever. He was in a complete state and begged me for help.

“When we made it to Lockhart’s office, the git was packing his stuff up to run away.” Hari huffed. “I was entirely offended. That Boy and I pulled our wands and made him help us.

“In a moment of insight that I still can’t explain, I knew where the entrance to the Chamber was. We made Lockhart go through the entrance first but the path was long and he got the drop on That Boy. Lockhart tried to obliviate us but the spell backfired and caused a cave-in. I had to go on alone.

“In the Chamber, I found a specter named Tom Riddle. That Boy’s sister was passed out on the ground and…the specter was in color rather than the shades of gray of a ghost and I knew something was very wrong. He admitted to being a half-blood boy, Head Boy when he was at Hogwarts, and that eventually he had changed his name to Lord Voldemort. He wanted to know how I had defeated him as a child which was stupid because I was just fifteen months old and couldn’t have deliberately done anything so if someone defeated him, it was one of my parents that did it and it just happened to take effect when he tried to attack me.”

“What do you mean if someone defeated him when you were a baby?” Brad asked. “He was defeated.”

“Yeah, everyone knows that,” Hari admitted. “But this summer Hermione and I learned there was a prophecy at play between me and Voldemort. I mentioned it earlier. It’s dark now but according to the Unspeakable that works in the Hall of Prophecy, it didn’t actually activate until Voldemort tried to kill me in 1981. Fate, the Gold Dragon, could have been the one to take him down when I was a baby. Or my parents did something they were Fated to do.”

“It’s impossible to tell,” Hermione concluded.

“Right.” Hari nodded. “So, Tom or Voldemort, set his ancestor’s basilisk on me but I defeated it. Then I destroyed the enchanted diary the girl was clutching and that destroyed the wraith before he could get a body.”

“Wait,” Glenda held up a hand. “You defeated Voldemort once with the Stone and twice in the Chamber of Secrets?”

Brad paled. “You defeated him three times.”

“Right, which activated the Rite of Conquest,” Hermione told them all. “Which brings us to current events.”

“I turned thirteen on July thirty-first,” Hari said, accepting her cue. “But I was in a highly warded location, so Hermione didn’t suffer for failing to fulfill her oath. Then, there was a…kerfuffle and I blew up my aunt by marriage.”

Glenda and Brad both burst out laughing.

“It’s not funny!” Hari protested. “She was very disagreeable and I was freaking out. I’d been falsely accused of breaking the Statute of Secrecy the summer before because of that crazy house elf and I was terrified they were going to take my wand from me! I knew Voldemort was still out there so losing my wand would kill me! I had to run, but Hermione was in France and I couldn’t get to her. I was blocks away from the house. Alone. In the dark. With all my stuff, my owl was having a fit, and I had no idea what to do or where to go. Then I see this big black dog that I was entirely sure was going to eat me so I pulled my wand and nearly got run over by the Knight Bus!”

“That does sound traumatizing,” Glenda agreed gently.

“I had no idea what the bus was, of course,” Hari told her, “Because I received no introduction to the magical world whatsoever, but they told me they could take me where ever I wanted to go. I knew I could get anything I might need for life on the run on Diagon Alley so I told them to take me to the Leaky Cauldron.

“Of course, then I get there and the Minster for Magic is waiting for me!” Hari huffed.

Brad and Glenda snorted in amusement.

“Welcome to the roller coaster that is my life,” Hari muttered. “For a second, I was terrified he was there to take my wand himself but then he assured me that no, no, no I wasn’t in trouble, it was just Accidental Magic and had already been fixed. He was just glad I was safe and the Ministry would put me up in the Cauldron for the month of August to let the tensions in my family cool off but I absolutely had to be sure that I stayed on the Alley and didn’t leave it. He didn’t tell me why, of course, either assuming I knew or to keep me from being scared but I was too relieved to ask questions.”

“Of course, the second Hari left her highly warded muggle home, my magic woke me. In the middle of the night. In another country. Demanding I keep my oath to marry her since we were both now of age to do so,” Hermione added. “She was a bit surprised to be woken up with me knocking on her door.”

“Your parents were probably more surprised to find you had left France without them,” Hari muttered.

Hermione blushed. “Yes, certainly, but the books Ragnok sent them on magical oaths and compulsions cleared that up rather well. They are furious to have missed our wedding though so we’ll have to have a big society party for them later.”

“Sounds good,” Hari agreed.

“Wait,” Brad held up a hand. “Ragnok? As in Ragnok Stonefoot, High Chieftain of the Goblin Horde?”

“His title is actually War Chieftain,” Hari corrected, “the females of their species run the Horde itself. The males interact with the Outer World—you know, us—and fight battles to defend the Horde, which really says a lot from that they expect from us in the long run.”

“And the g-word is a racist slur based entirely on muggle antisemitism,” Hermione added. “Shouldn’t magical people do better that mindless muggle hatred?

“They call themselves The People in their language which is so magically protected by Magic Himself that no one outside of The People can learn it without His blessing. They will accept humans referring to them collectively as The Bank as well since they do enjoy a ninety-five percent market share on banking and investments needs in the magical world.”

“I take it you’ve spent some time at the Bank,” Glenda offered, looking dazed.

“Yes, we needed answers. We didn’t realize the age of marriage was thirteen and weren’t sure why Hermione’s magic was hurting her. There are no public libraries in the magical world so we were going to have to buy books. Her inheritance in the muggle world was all locked up due to her age which meant we needed to know how much we could spend on books from my account.”

“The Person we asked for information at the Bank, Griphook, was quite shocked to receive us and asked why we weren’t talking to Hari’s account manager,” Hermione explained. “When we told him she didn’t have one, he told us to wait and marched off. An hour later, the War Chieftain showed up and pulled us into his private office. He’d been researching the matter since Griphook brought our concerns forward.”

“It turns out that the Executor of my Parents’ Will was put in Azkaban and rather that execute the Will themselves or allow the Bank to do so, Dumbledore as recently appointed Chief Warlock with the Minister for Magic Millicent Bagnold and Head of the DMLE at the time, Bartemius Crouch, froze my parents’ accounts.”

“They only do that to criminals!” Brad objected. “To keep them from fleeing justice! Not— Not heroes!”

“Criminals and my parents, apparently.” Hari glared at nothing for a second before she took a deep breath and continued. “No one but me once I was legally an adult could override their freeze without legal intervention from the ICW which was controlled by Dumbledore as High Mugwhump—Dumbledore who had been responsible for the freeze in the first place, I will remind you—so we didn’t think we could gain that body’s attention in a helpful way.”

“But being married would make you legally an adult,” Brad said in a tone of understanding.

“Right,” Hermione agreed. “So, of course, the first thing we did was research marriage customs. All we needed was the right oath and two highly magical witnesses. Ragnok explained the oath requirements to ensure it would resolve our issue and then he and Griphook stood as our witnesses as we swore our marriage right there in the War Chieftain’s office.”

“The bond knocked us both on our bums, I’m not ashamed to say.” Hari laughed wryly. “And it forced some dark magic out of my scar but the Bank was able to save my life—a service they offer to all account holders that get harmed by any means within the Bank itself.”

Both adults snorted in amusement.

“Here is a copy of the Potters’ Will,” Hermione said, pulling it out of their box of documents. “We’ve already given this to the Editor of the Daily Prophet for tomorrow. He’s promised to give it a full page to itself and offered to have the legal expert on his staff write a detailed explanation if necessary, so no one can claim confusion.”

“We, of course, agreed to the legal interpretation,” Hari told them.

“Because some people don’t seem to think you have any basic rights,” Glenda said distractedly. “It says here…Sirius Black was not the Potter Secret Keeper?”

“No, not at all.” Hari found herself glaring again. “Due to the structure of the Fidelus that Dumbledore cast for my parents, the Secret would have been ended when my father died and Dumbledore would have known that Peter Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper but he allowed Sirius Black to be thrown in jail and froze my parents accounts anyway.”

“As for Lord Black’s supposed mass murder of muggles,” Hermione scoffed. “The man was an auror, the best in his class at the Academy, and he was on the fast track to joining the Department of Mysteries. He would have never shouted a spell for muggles to hear it. And. AND! At least three other lords of the Wizengamot or their heirs—men of the equivalent rank to Lord Black at the time—have killed even more muggles than he supposedly did. Each! And when they were tried in front of the Wizengamot, all three cases were dismissed as accidents.”

“Why did the law only apply to my third magical parent and yet not protect me or the two parents that died for me?” Hari asked quietly.

“I’m…entirely convinced he never had a trial,” Brad said after a moment of wounded silence. “And I swear on my magic that I will find proof one way or another.”

“We already have proof,” Hermione admitted. “Amelia Bones found it as soon as Dumbledore wasn’t around to get in her way anymore. She ordered the Dementors hunting Lord Black back to Azkaban when it became clear that someone had paid Minister Fudge to ensure Lord Black never had a chance to speak in his own defense and she’s seen them escorted back to the prison herself. There is an emergency Wizengamot session for tomorrow morning. We expect Lord Black to receive an official apology and reparations to be made to both him directly and the House of Black as both suffered for the loss of him. After a new Chief Warlock and Minister for Magic are chosen, of course.”

“Part of the reason we wanted to do this tonight was so we wouldn’t have to attend the Wizengamot tomorrow,” Hari told them. “Everything we’re saying is being documented as truth by the strictest standard available for every magical person on the planet to hear and see. They have no reason to call either of us to testify.”

“And Hari’s healer would have a complete fit if she were subjected to the magic of the witness stand,” Hermione added. “Her muggle relatives were terrible. She was never given a full physical and never even received her magical vaccinations because of them! She can’t go putting herself or her magic at risk like that! I would destroy anyone that dared and three of the Matriarch’s Council of the Horde have sworn their clans to my cause should anyone try.”

“It says here, in the Will, that if anyone placed you with your muggle aunt Petunia Dursley nee Evans or her husband Vernon Dursley, for even a day, they would become the sworn enemies of the House of Black.”

“Like Hermione said,” Hari re-iterated, “My muggle relatives are terrible people. And Sirius Black is my third magical parent. I have my birth certificate to prove it.”

“Can I see that?” Brad asked.

Hari pulled it from the box and passed it over. “That’s also going in the Prophet tomorrow.”

“I’m not familiar with this notation,” Glenda asked, looking at the document for herself. “Hari-slash-Polaris Potter-Black?”

“When she was born, he loved her so much and the oaths he took were so extensive that Sirius Black convinced his grandfather, Lord Arcturus Black, to change the rules in the family charter to allow a woman to inherit,” Hermione told the older witch bluntly. “Lord Arcturus agreed but he had two conditions. The Black Family Magic would not accept anyone as its Lord that didn’t have the Black surname and a star for their first name as their Family Magic is centered around death and the Void—that is the black in the night sky.”

“After much discussion—according to the journals Lily and James left me that I finally received after the Will was executed—all three of my parents, together, picked a second name that I would have to use if I became the Head of House Black. That name is Polaris Potter-Black.”

She also had to use it in magical rituals, but if they didn’t know enough about ritual magic to understand that, Hari certainly wasn’t going to enlighten them.

“I’ve legally taken the Potter-Black surname to honor all three of my wife’s parents,” Hermione told them.

“To honor and protect my only living parent’s magic, I took up the heir ring and entered a ritual circle. There, I declared the man responsible for my placement with my muggle aunt the enemy of the House of Black.”

“Albus Dumbledore,” Glenda guessed.

“Yes,” Hari confirmed. “What I didn’t know what that he had looted my parent’s cottage and had taken a number of family heirlooms from the Potter vaults. He was displaying many of them in his office and allowing people to assume they were his inventions. Some of them were quite powerful. For his theft and his lies and his enemy status, Magic executed him.”

“Magic compiled a full list of his crimes,” Hermione said, “It is in chronological order and quite extensive. We’ve both read it. At the urging of the ICW, we’re keeping most of it back but the parts immediately applicable to Hari are being published tomorrow as well as an article written by the Supreme Justices of the International Court of Magic about how even just that portion were executable offenses before the ICW. They reviewed the full document but their oaths of service keep them from giving more than generalized opinions on any legal issues they review.”

“To Hemione’s relief, the IMEA has taken Hogwarts in hand,” Hari said and Hermione laughed a bit. “Dumbledore made himself look more impressive by discouraging intellectualism, independence, and curiosity. Over his many years at the school, he cut the number of classes offered to the bare minimum required by the IMEA to qualify as a school at all.”

“But they are all coming back,” Hermione said with palpable excitement. “Including Year Zero which serves to introduce students to the wider magical world and their rights and responsibilities in it. Magical theory, ritual magic, magical runes. English, Latin, Music and other Arts—and they are all going to be taught at least this first year by established, experienced teachers!”

“They haven’t said but I think the IMEA is pulling some retired teachers back to teach while they source new teachers.” Hari shrugged. “I can’t figure out where else they would have gotten qualified teachers so quickly. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll be interesting enough some of them will stick around. It would be nice to have a variety of teachers. All of the ones we have graduated from Hogwarts either in the same year McGonagall did or in the same year Snape did. There is no middle ground and no one that didn’t attend Hogwarts teaches there at all. It’s so odd.”

“That is odd,” Glenda frowned. Brad and Hermione nodded their agreement, both frowning.

“And after you declared Dumbledore the Enemy of Your House?” Brad prompted.

“So. For those of you that don’t know, the Dark Mark cannot be given to someone that is not entirely willing. Imperius and other attempts to compel consent make Marking impossible because it has to be done in ritual. The vows the Death Eaters made are a variant of the vows would be vassals make to their king.”

“Do you have documentation of this?”

Hermione passed Brad the document the Bank had been able to work up. “The Bank has been studying the Dark Mark for years at the request of certain account holders. The last bit they had needed access to was the person holding the oath bonds.”

“Did you know that Rite of Conquest passes all fealty oaths a person has to the victor?” Hari asked.

“Oh, no,” Glenda said, clearly seeing where this was going.

“Yeah,” Hari nodded. “So. They swore to Voldemort as their King. I defeated their King three times…”

“And you became their King,” Glenda finished. She scrubbed a hand over her face, “that’s why…?”

“Well, it’s part of why a bunch of people dropped dead last week,” Hari said. “Because I’m their king, but they’ve actively tried to hurt me or my family. Or they participated in things that actively hurt me or my family. That’s a direct violation of their oaths. Magic does not take kindly to oathbreakers, so the first time I entered a ritual circle and was fully exposed to the Elder Dragons…they got a little mad.”

Glenda gave a burst of inappropriate laughter and then hid it behind her hands.

“Magic, Death, and Fate all showed up in my ritual circle,” Hari admitted. “In their human forms, not their dragon forms. They wouldn’t have fit in their dragon forms but you better believe every other ritual circle I enter in this life will have room for all seven Elder Dragons. In whatever form they want.”

“You’ve found religion, then?” Glenda asked, shocked. It was rather unusual for someone muggleborn or raised to take of the religion of the magical world. Those influenced by muggles rarely saw the Elder Dragons as actual gods, so her shock was expected.

“Meh,” Hari shrugged. “They don’t really care about worship? They said that they don’t actually need it. They do expect our respect, though, which seems fair since they gave us magic.”

Glenda tipped her head in acceptance.

“Still, they told me to call upon them for Judgement of those that have wronged me. A bunch of people died or lost their magic thanks to that. Including a bunch that I didn’t expect.” Like Molly Weasley. She had died. Arthur Weasley had lost a large portion of his magic for his deliberate ignorance of his wife’s evil plans and Hari would be surprised if he survived the next six months. “Honestly, I don’t see how the Ministry is going to operate if we don’t start luring people here from other countries.”

“The ICW will take care of that,” Brad told her. “In cases of emergency—or, in this case, Acts of the Gods—the ICW has a number of relief programs they can and will be activated to help us.”

“That’s cool. I didn’t realize so many people had been so terrible to me. Apparently, the man that wrote those foolish books about me living in a castle and taming dragons as a child was one of the Dumbledore’s regular guards to keep me confined with my muggle relatives. He knew for a fact what my life was like and he made up fairy tales about me anyway.

“Dumbledore, who put me in that terrible situation in the first place, was carrying around a family heirloom from before my paternal line were even Potters and was using it as his wand. Death was really mad about that.”

Brad and Glenda winced.

“Yeah. I have orders to kill anyone that tries to take it from my line ever again and I was left with the impression that Death Himself would help me do it and get away with it, so hopefully nobody is that stupid.”

“I wouldn’t count on it,” Hermione muttered.

Hari had to agree. “The kids of people that wronged me whether they actively helped or suspected their parent was up to no good but didn’t say anything, are now under some pretty heavy Karma Curses. Those curses will last seven years. Some of them won’t survive.

“I’m trying really hard not to feel guilty about that,” Hari admitted softly.

“The results of a Karma Curse are entirely in their hands and not your fault at all,” Glenda offered, “but you know that.”

“It’s just hard,” Hari said and Hermione squeezed her hand supportively. “I know they messed up first but they’re kids, not that different from me. I didn’t speak up when That Boy hurt Hermione that October and I barely knew him. How can I expect them to speak up against their parents?”

You didn’t expect anything from them,” Hermione assured her fiercely. “The Elder Dragons made the choice to lay the curse and that is Their choice. The Karma Curse reflects the bearer’s actions, those are their choices.

“None of that is on you.”

Hermione didn’t mention how Hari’s abuse left her with a warped sense of boundaries and behavior she could expect or accept from people. They had agreed before they even scheduled their appearance on the Witching Hour that they would admit her time with the muggles had not been good but they would never outright call it abuse. Such an admission would leave Hari in a vulnerable position, legal adult or not, and that would in turn endanger Hermione with was just unacceptable to Hari.

“So, a lot of people have died,” Brad coaxed.

“Yeah,” Hari nodded. “Did you know all the land Godric’s Hallow sits on belonged to my family? Godric’s Hallow itself was established by my great grandmother? Sree Potter nee Mishra wanted to live in a magical village that was not periodically overrun by school children. She had been living in Hogsmeade at the time and decided to take a piece of land that had been in the Potter Family for hundreds of years and start a village.

“She designed the town herself. The Bank handled the construction and the warding. When it was done, she invited a dozen businesses to fill up the shopping district. Since she owned everything and wasn’t in it for the profit, she kept the rent on every building regardless of type very low.”

“That’s amazing!” Glenda enthused.

“We thought so, too,” Hermione agreed. “But with the Potter Accounts being frozen, the Ministry claimed all of Godric’s Hallow and forced residents to sign foolishly overpriced mortgages to buy their properties or be turned out of their own homes. All of their belongings and savings would, of course, be confiscated to compensate the Ministry for the inconvenience.”

“That can’t be legal,” Glenda objected.

“It wasn’t and Time was right furious about it,” Hari agreed. “The plot was traced to about a dozen Ministry officials and sitting Lords. As the money was going directly into their private accounts in the Bank, Gringotts confiscated it all. Including the copies of the mortgages which were found in a vault all twelve held jointly.

“The documents and accounting books have been placed in my family’s historical vault. We have returned their stolen funds to the people of Godric’s Hallow and the original leases were re-signed.”

“You’re not going to give these people their houses?” Brad asked.

“No,” Hari frowned. “Why would I? The entire town belonged to my great grandmother and as far as I’m concerned it always will. The land the town is on and around it is part of the Potter Family Trust. The people that moved there knew that when they moved there. The Ministry’s crimes don’t change historical fact.”

“Honestly, the citizens of Godric’s Hallow get a fantastic deal,” Hermione agreed. “The Potter Family Trust maintains the town’s amenities and they deal with no property taxes. Because it all belongs to the Trust, property values are locked in unlike in the muggle world or on Diagon Alley. Their leases are long term and inheritable, even if they can’t be sold. The holders of the leases pay sickles to the galleon what equivalent properties around the world would fetch in price.

“Even paying a decade of back rent wasn’t a burden to them once their stolen funds were returned.”

“And they are allowed to customize their properties—something most leases don’t allow at all, in our world or the muggle world,” Hari added. “Painting walls, changing doors, growing food, keeping animals. None of those are allowed on many leases.”

“I have to ask,” Brad defended himself. “Because you know others will.”

“Yes, because they don’t seem to think my wife has rights,” Hermione snarled.

“How about your future plans?” Glenda asked. “We know how you got here—more about it than we have the right to know, honestly—but where do you go from here?”

Hari blew out a breath and considered. “We’ve hired the Bank to renew the protections around Godric’s Hallow and we’ve had the cottage my parents died in torn down.”

“The Ministry was keeping it as-is as a memorial,” Hermione explained, just in case they didn’t know. “It was ghastly.”

“Yeah,” Hari agreed. “I’m not in love with the statue but at least that was put up by the residents of Godric’s Hallow rather than the Ministry. Its sincere and actually honors the parents that died for me so I’m not upset about it. But the Ministry’s management of Godric’s Hallow left a lot to be desired. Streets needed to be repaired. Buildings needed to be fixed. They don’t seem to have done any maintenance despite the unlawful taxes they charged the residents.”

“We’re interviewing solicitors to represent the Citizens of Godric’s Hallow in a suit against the Ministry,” Hermione told them. “Their rights were trampled on and if they don’t stand up for themselves it could easily happen again or to someone else.”

“Best to keep the Ministry in their bounds,” Brad agreed.

“Exactly.” Hari took a deep breath. “We’re turning the place where the cottage stood into a public garden. In it there will be an oak tree with a rope swing because my mother told me her Patronus memory was swinging in such a swing—pushing and being pushed by her father in turns.”

“That’s lovely,” Glenda practically cooed.

“Yeah, I’ve been reading about the Patronus spell and I think my mother would like to give future generations what they need to protect themselves in that way.”

“We’re also building a public library for the citizens of Godric’s Hallow,” Hermione interjected. “Since education was such a high priority for Lily Potter.

“Public Libraries are common in the muggle world and they’ve proven to positively impact sales in bookstores so no business people need worry about negative repercussions.”

“For those of you at home that don’t know, a public library is a building full of books available for public use,” Glenda said into her microphone. “You might be familiar with the Hogwarts Library, but rather than serving students, a public library serves a certain area. Citizens of the Library’s area of service are allowed to borrow books and take them home at no cost for a short period. Generally, two weeks.”

“Correct,” Hermione nodded. “Up to seven books at a time.

“The primary problems muggle libraries face are stolen books and damaged books. All of the books will be enchanted to prevent damage and to automatically return books to the library at the end of their borrowing period. If a reader requires a book for longer than two weeks, they can bring the book back to the library themselves to renew their borrowing.”

“That’s the part that encourages book sales,” Hari told them. “Those that have the means to buy books tend to get tired of having to return and renew them. They buy their own copies as a result.”

“Or, you could be like Hari and choose to write in your book,” Hermione glared at her wife. “If anyone wants to know why our marriage required negotiation, Hari has some ghastly habits. One of them is writing in her books! Thankfully the books in the public library will not allow for that nonsense.”

“It’s not nonsense!” Hari laughed. “It’s a family trait!

“My grandfather corrected his potions texts extensively,” Hari told their hosts. “He was a gifted potion’s master and he ensured his son carried his copies of those books at Hogwarts. My account manager is reaching out to the publisher of the books and the International Potioneer’s Guild to see if updated copies can be made with my grandfather’s corrections.”

“I wish I had had that at Hogwarts,” Brad laughed and Glenda agreed enthusiastically.

“We’re also building a team to explore Charlus Potter’s potions journals,” Hermione added. “His gifts for potions were extreme and innate. It’s a shame to leave his ideas on a shelf when they could be helping people.”

“He had ideas on curing werewolves,” Hari said. “He dedicated quite some time to it once his son—my father—made friends with a werewolf. The werewolf in question is dead now—he was part of Dumbledore’s team keeping me with my muggle relatives despite knowing my parents didn’t want me there for even a second—but there’s no reason to let others suffer when we can stop it.”

“A worthwhile goal.”

“We think so,” Hari confirmed.

“We’re also working on establishing another village like Godric’s Hallow,” Hermione told them all. “To honor Sree Potter’s legacy. It will, of course, have a Lily Potter Memorial Library of its own.”

“We are not calling it that!” Hari objected.

Hermione huffed but their hosts laughed.

“Have you named the village?” Glenda asked.

“Not yet, we’ve chosen land within the Potter Family Trust holdings and the Bank is doing the work to prepare the land. It will be a while before we need to name it.” Hari considered. “But I would accept suggestions from the wizarding public. Remember this is to honor my great grandmother. I would love it if either Sree or Mishra were incorporated in the village’s name.”

Glenda laughed. “I don’t think your Account Manager is going to thank you for that.”

“It’s a good thing he’s paid to put up with my nonsense,” Hari shrugged.

“Merlin, what all have we covered?” Brad said in recap. “You’ve gone through a great deal of nonsense at school.”

“Right.” Hari agreed. “Hopefully now that Dumbledore and Riddle are dead, that is all in the past and Hermione and I can focus on our educations.” Hari wasn’t convinced the prophecy she had suffered under had been about Riddle at all. Not that she thought the Wizarding public in Britain could handle that idea just yet.

“What about This Boy that you go to school with but will not name?” Glenda asked.

“Ah.” Hari glanced at Hermione. She would have thought it was rather obvious at this point. “Legally speaking, we’re adults. He is still a minor. Even in the magical world, adults can’t go around saying terrible things about children without there being legal consequences.”

“Good point,” Glenda nodded. “And, yes, the magical world’s legal protections are not nearly as comprehensive as the muggle world’s. We’ll just stick with the higher standard of behavior, shall we?”

“We shall,” Hari agreed with a grin.

“There’s also several social mores about not talking about those that have been Judged by Magic Himself,” Hermione added. “We aren’t required to forgive or forget, but dragging their name through the mud after their scales have been balanced in unseemly.”

“Is it balanced though?” Glenda asked. “If he’s a child, then his punishment would have landed on one or both parents.”

“That would be worse, I’d think,” Hari opined. “To know you are at fault for whatever befell your parent. I’d rather never feel responsible for the terrible things that happened to my parents.”

“And let’s not forget the Karma Curse the Elder Dragons put on everyone they Judged for the crimes and cruelties against Hari,” Hermione reminded.

“I understand you were quite ostracized last year,” Glenda pointed out. “People accusing you of being the Heir of Slytherin.”

“Or just being terrible when they realized I was a parselmouth,” Hari agreed. “I can’t imagine anyone other than Hermione, Neville Longbottom, or perhaps Luna Lovegood not getting a touch of the curse for that.”

“Blaise Zabini,” Hermione offered. “I heard him defend not you, specifically. but parselmouths in general, once.”

“Huh.” Hari was impressed with Zabini’s daring. Defending something even adjacent to her must have made his life extremely difficult in Slytherin.

“I understand you’ve spoken to a colleague of mine about Albus Dumbledore’s crimes,” Brad offered.

“Rita Skeeter, yes,” Hari confirmed. “She has more depth of character than we expected. Her public persona is deceptive and leads you to discount her but she’s truly brilliant. She asked for and received a copy of Dumbledore’s crimes from the ICW to use as a reference for her book. They are all in chronological order so they paint a decent picture of his timeline and motivations. I do believe she was required to swear an oath never to give or reveal the full list to anyone.”

“But they’re letting her write a book about it?” Glenda asked with a raised eyebrow.

“She’s not listing his crimes outright and she’s just giving context to what he did,” Hari explained. She honestly doubted most of the magical world would be able to pick out his specific crimes from Rita’s narrative style. “It’s already been established that he deserved death for what he did so it’s doubtful anyone will try to emulate him or continue his plans and the ICW has required the right to certify her final draft as truth.”

“That will impact Rita’s writing style,” Brad rolled her eyes. “She leans hard toward the inflammatory.”

Hari gave the man a small smile. “Her title is quite something. I’m not sure the ICW will let her keep it, but I would be amused if they did.”

“What is it?” he asked.

The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore!

“I have nothing to say to that,” Brad admitted.

“It will cause a riot!” Glenda argued.

“The Bank has established security for her and they are invested in private security for Hari and I,” Hermione told them. “But. Depending on the fallout of this interview, we might not even be able to return to Hogwarts.”

“You’re going to give up your education?” Glenda asked, aghast.

“No,” Hari shook her head, “we’ll attend a different school or hire private tutors. I think attending Beauxbatons would be lovely. The pictures in their pamphlet are gorgeous.”

“I’m in favor of private tutors,” Hermione confided. “Even if we can, we will return to Hogwarts. After reading Lily Potter’s journals, I can’t say she would want anything less for her daughter and daughter in-law that the generally-positive, formative experience she had.”

“What are these journals?” Glenda asked. “You’ve mentioned them several times.”

“Ah,” Hari considered. “While my parents were in hiding, they took the time to write letters to me, so I could know them if they died and I survived. Honestly, they seemed to know they were going to die and I wouldn’t. I got the journals after their Will was finally executed. They were…amazing people. My mother was clearly focused on the future. The things she wanted for me, her personal goals for the family and such. My father was focused on the past, on teaching me all the things our ancestors had done so I would have a firm base to stand on if I was forced to stand without them.”

“That’s lovely,” Glenda said.

“Agreed. And I absolutely had to share it with my wife.” Hari paused. “Well, I didn’t have to but she’s more analytical while I’m more intuitive. Between the two of us, I believe we’ve come up with plans to honor them both that they would be proud of.”

“Agreed,” Brad nodded. “From the sound of it, you have wrought justice on behalf of your family present and past. I don’t see how they could object that.”

“I’m sure many people will,” Hari disagreed. “But I don’t think my parents would have. Or do, if they can see what I’ve been up to down here without them. Especially if we can recover Sirius. It was clear to me that both of my parents loved him deeply. My mother outright said that missing him was like missing a limb while they were in hiding.”

“Do you think he is recoverable?” Glenda asked. “Most people that leave Azkaban are quite…damaged.”

“Sirius Black is well and will recover from the injustices he’s suffered. He left Azkaban to protect Hari Potter. Peter Pettigrew, the Potter’s betrayer, was living as one of Hari Potter’s House mate’s pets. That pet was on the front page of the Prophet. Once Sirius saw Peter, he had to go to Hari. To protect her.” Hari blinked rapidly and shook her head. “I’m sorry, I’m not sure why I said that.”

“Pretty sure Magic made you.” Brad cleared his throat. “Your eyes were, uh, purple.”

“You glowed,” Glenda seconded.

“We know Peter Pettigrew is dead. His body was discovered by one of our classmates in Egypt,” Hermione said. Ron had found Scabbers, of course, because he had been living as Scabbers for over ten years.

“Sirius Black was prepared to do his duty to you as your parent even after a decade in Azkaban,” Glenda said, reframing the event. “That’s truly impressive.”

“My great grandfather Lord Arcturus always said Sirius was the best of the House of Black,” Hari agreed.

“Quite a number of people have died recently,” Brad said, re-directing them again. “Are they all guilty of crimes against you and your family?”

“I wouldn’t assume that.” Hari shook her head.

“People die every day from all manner of causes,” Hermione immediately agreed. “And depending of the depth of their bond with their family, they can take spouses or even children with them. I know children are unlikely, but it happens and has been thoroughly documented by the ICW in the past.”

“Well said,” Glenda agreed. “I think, with those that did wrong already fatally punished, we should not assume the worst about those left behind. Unless the families make statements about what their lost loved one did, we must give them the benefit of the doubt.”

“I can agree to that.” And she did. Hari could imagine Fred or George or even Percy suffering the rest of their lives for their mother’s foolish plans and she certainly didn’t want to see it happen. “And to make it clear, we don’t have a full list of crimes from everyone that was Judged and all of their crimes. All I was given was what was relevant to me and I consider those lists the private business of my Houses. So don’t ask.

“I initiated Judgement—as instructed by Magic, Death and Fate. They Judged all of those that in some way hurt me or that hurt the Potter Family or the House of Black in an attempt to do illegal things that negatively impacted me but once the Elder Dragons start Judgement, they don’t stop until everything about every possible target has been weighed and measured.”

“To clear that up, he started with his own list of people that Magic himself decided had hurt Hari and then judged those people’s entire lives to date,” Hermione interjected. “And then, should those people have others they committed crimes with or for, those people were Judged too.

“Right, so when he was done, all I was given was a list of crimes that were perpetuated against me—either deliberately or through apathy or neglect. So, for Dumbledore the list I received included fraud for his refusal to see my parent’s Will executed and any theft he committed against my House while no one could stop him, placing me with my muggle relatives and preventing authorities from checking on me—things like that were on the list I received. His full crimes regardless of the victim were delivered to the International Court of Justice for Magic.

“I’ve seen it and it is longer than I am tall, but I do not have a copy of it nor do I control access to the master list.”

“Who would want to?” Brad asked.

“Other than Rita Skeeter?” Hermione asked.

“Other than Rita Skeeter,” Glenda grinned. “To recap. Again. Nonsense at Hogwarts. Justice for your Family. Love and protection of your third parent. Memorials for your Mother. We’re currently on future plans. You’ve mentioned plans that benefit the rest of the wizarding world—public libraries and magical villages—but what about your individual plans?”

“Get the best educations we can and see what we can do to help our world,” Hari decided. “The Potter Family has been very profitable for generations. So profitable that my forefathers married into several noble houses despite their lack of pureblood pedigree. I think it’s time we took that profit and used it to help others. Medical care needs to be improved across the board in the magical world. Education as well. Creature and human rights are laughable in many countries and that needs to be corrected. I’d also like to expand the Magical Village Project.”

“There are a number of Potter properties all over the globe that could be turned into magical villages,” Hermione offered. “We’ve discussed expanding the Magical Village Project internationally, if the ICW will allow us to. So, I’ll probably start studying for a Mastery in Law to further these projects.”

“But you love transfiguration,” Hari objected.

“Yes, well, three Masteries,” Hermione reminded her wife primly.

“That’s fair. I trust the Bank to handle the management of my family trust or, at least, I trust my current account manager so I’ll focus on projects to make money for the family holdings. I’ve been reading about runes and warding recently. It’s all fascinating, so I’ll start there.”

“I understand from what you’ve said, that this Magical Village Project is about building homes and communities for our people, but it would be lovely to have some sort of vacation destination where witches and wizards can relax and still be magical,” Glenda offered.

“Glenda’s Getaway,” Hari offered.

Glenda flushed and stuttered. “You don’t have to— That’s not what I meant!”

Hari grinned. “Helga’s Haven, then. There is an island in the family holdings that we could use for that project. Off the coast of Lisbon, I believe.”

“That, you can name Glenda’s Getaway,” Brad declared with a laugh. They all joined him in his humor. “I do have one question. I wasn’t going to ask but its nagging at me and I find I can’t let it go.”

“Okay?” Hari tipped her head in curiosity.

“You’ve said that you were given a broom that was the second gift you can remember being given.”

“It is, I received it anonymously from Professor McGonagall.” Hermione gave a snort at that. “Anonymously, probably from Professor McGonagall,” Hari corrected herself. “My first gift was my owl, Hedwig. Hagrid bought her for me when he took me school shopping.”

“What about your fan mail?” Brad asked.

“Fan mail?” Hari laughed in shock. “I don’t receive fan mail.”

The two adults exchanged surprised looks.

“Of course, you do,” Glenda told her. “I receive fan mail and I’m not nearly as famous as you are.”

“We’ve each sent you twenty-five galleon gift certificates twice a year—for Yule and your birthday,” Brad agreed. “And we have since we left Hogwarts. My mum’s a witch and she sent them on behalf of the family from the time your parents were murdered.”

“That’s fifty galleons every year for more than a decade,” Hermione objected.

“From each of you?” Hari was so confused. “But you don’t even know me. We just met today.”

“That doesn’t matter,” Glenda said firmly. “I know at least a dozen families that have done the same. Your family saved us from extinction at the hands of a madman. A few galleons a year is the least of what you deserve.”

“I know two men that left you their entire estates for what you’ve done,” Brad agreed.

Hari was reeling. What? How?

There was a familiar pop and she managed to focus on the house elf that had arrived. “Dobby. What are you doing here?”

“Master Aggnar says to be telling you that when Headnasty Bumbledore dies, a mail ward drops off you. He put new one and Mister Grippy be working with curse breakers three days to find yous mail.” The elf tugged on his ears regretfully. “They not have it yet. He hope to tell yous in trust meeting tomorrow.”

“Tell them to check Hogwarts,” Hermione instructed the elf. “And Nurmengard. They were each the seat of Dumbledore’s power and the home of his biggest secret. Surely, he would put them there.”

“I goes,” the elf agreed and then he popped away.

“Nurmengard?” Brad asked.

“Dumbledore was married to Grindelwald,” Hermione told them because Hari couldn’t. “Grindelwald faded within days after Dumbledore died so they had a deeply magical marriage. Not that it served Dumbledore for anyone to know that.”

“But Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald!” Glenda objected. “You can’t draw your wand with intent to harm on your bonded spouse.”

“No,” Hari agreed. “You can’t.”

She felt dizzy. She knew she was famous but the idea that she had fans was strange. That people she didn’t know had given her things, blew her mind. Gifts were few and far between in her world. Gifts given without expectation of return were even rarer. She didn’t know how to handle the thought of complete strangers sending her hundreds or thousands of galleons in gifts. Or that they had been for years.

“Hari?” Hermione prompted.

“How do I thank all of those people?” Hari blurted, feeling unmoored. “They must think I’m terribly rude!”

“Oh, bless,” Glenda murmured, “What a dear.”

“Clearly, Hari had no idea anyone was sending her fan mail or gifts,” Hermione told their hosts as she rubbed Hari’s back in silent comfort. “Once everything is located, we’ll work on ways to thank everyone for their generosity.”

“Trips to Glenda’s Getaway,” Brad offered, trying to lighten the mood.

“We’ll work on it,” Hari immediately agreed. Maybe Brad and Glenda should get a free vacation house on Glenda’s Getaway? Was that too much? She had no idea. Gifts were outside of her realm of experience.

“I believe we were wrapping up the interview?” Hermione asked.

“Yes, unfortunately even with very special guests Watching Hour only ever lasts an hour,” Glenda agreed. Then her tone changed. “That’s it for Witching Hour’s exclusive interview with the Heir to the House of Black, Hari Potter-Black and her wife Hermione Potter-Black.

“Heir and Mrs. Potter-Black will be back next week on August thirtieth to answer polite questions submitted by our listeners both locally and internationally. All letters must be addressed to:

Questions for Lady Potter-Black
C/O Witching Hour
C/O Wizarding Wireless Network
14 High Street
Hogsmeade, Scotland, Great Britain

 

“Coming up, Tilden Toots will begin the review of the legal documents the Potter Family has released to the Daily Prophet with a surprise legal consultant! First on the docket? Lily and James Potter-Black’s Last Will and Testament.

“For now, please enjoy the latest musical stylings of Jarvis Crocker.”

The music of some unidentifiable stringed instrument filled the air and a firm hand clenched on Hari’s wrist. She followed the wrist upward to find Ragnok Stonefoot himself looking down on her with concern. A hand took her other wrist and she turned to see Hermione standing with their Fame Consultant, Arlia, behind her.

She was safe.

“Can I have some tea?” she asked.

They all laughed.

 

 

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7 Comments:

  1. That was great. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Lovely, simply lovely! I think your characterizations were on point and loved the karma come to call! Thank you for an outstanding story.

  3. I really enjoyed iyour EAD offering. I am not sure if it can be considered truly evil since it seems pretty complete as a one shot. Though I would be happy to revisit this if you are ever inspired to write more.

  4. Lovely story thanks for this EAD offering,

  5. I love that the Wizarding Wireless was used to get ahead of everything. It was a great interview and a fascinating story. The wireless is tragically under utilized IMHO.

  6. just WOW
    extremely well done, both lovely idea and beautifully executed.
    Thank you (:

  7. Hot damn, this is freaking awesome!

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