Title: Magic Provides
Series: Magic, Darkness, and Love
Fandom: Harry Potter, Criminal Minds
Tags: EWE, Not Canon Compliant, Weasley Bashing, Dumbledore Bashing, No One Is Safe From Bashing, Soulmates, Canon Divergence, Cross Over, First Time, Threesome, Romance, Canon-Typical Violence,
Pairings: eventual Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy/Hermione Granger, Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom/Luna Lovegood, Various Background Pairings,
Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Entire Book Series & TV Show
Summary: Draco Malfoy grew up in the Wizarding World, he trusts in magic more than he ever should. He knew the line that magic provided to those who were in need. He just never thought that when he was promised something for betraying his father by Magic herself, it would be this. The world was still reeling from the catastrophic war that had just ended. Would it survive the knowledge that Draco was promised not only one Soulmate but two? Would Draco survive a relationship with two-thirds of the Golden Trio: Harry Potter and Hermione Granger?
Notes: This is being posted as is after a quick read through. All mistakes are my own and pointing them is going to get you nothing.
Warnings: Use of Love Potions, Minor Character Death,
Banner made by rivermoon1970
July 31, 1991
The Record Keeper didn’t leave his hall where the Book was very often, but sometimes he felt the urge to walk around Diagon Alley. When he did magic obscured him to where no one recognised him for who he was. If someone came to the book to see if they had a soulmate, the arch would not let him through, and he would be called back. Apparition was allowed for the Record Keeper no matter where he was. Magic provided for those who did her will, and it was never more evident than in the Record Keeper for the Book of Bound Souls.
The voice of an excited child drew the Record Keeper’s eyes toward where a young girl was chatting with a resident of the Alley. As the girl talked her magical aura flared a little, and the Record Keeper was intrigued. He walked toward where she was and stayed near her. There was something very shiny about her magical aura, and the Record Keeper knew precisely what that meant. Outside of the Hall, the Record Keeper was the only one who could see that part of magical auras, and it meant that she had a soulmate.
There was a fifty percent chance that her soulmate was going to be at school with her and she and he or she and the witch would grow slowly into love. It would be lovely, and it would be sweet. The longer that he looked at her, the more that the Record Keeper knew about her. She was Muggle-born with a robust magical core. He had seen one like her many years before, and her death had been a sharp pain in the Record Keeper’s heart for a long time. He knew those who were destined for greatness. It was an effect of being drenched in magic like he was all of the time. He was the only one who could see it that he knew of but it was still humbling.
After so long the pureness of magic still made the Record Keeper feel humble and sometimes like he was unworthy of magic. The Muggle-born child laughed at something the other person said, and her aura flared again, and this time the Record Keeper saw the reason why he was out and about in the Alley that day. There was a purple tinge to the edge of the aura and that only meant a single thing.
Turning around to look, the Record Keeper tried to see if anyone else’s aura was flaring in response but there was none. He frowned because he hoped that she would find her two mates that day. Magic would be kinder to the three of them if they met before they went to Hogwarts, their love would grow with each class shared and each meal that was eaten together. They would be fast friends and inseparable by the time they hit their third year, yet the other two were not there.
Almost an hour of wandering around later, the sound of a loud speaking man drew the Record Keeper’s eyes over to where that man was. The Record Keeper stayed where he was as he watched a half-giant walk with a young boy who looked like he needed help in many ways. The boy’s clothes were oversized to the point of it being stupid, yet no witches or wizards on the Alley looked twice at him. The Record Keeper frowned at that because it was profoundly stupid of them. Magical Britain was becoming too insular, and he knew it, but he could do nothing about it.
The boy seemed happy to be with the half-giant, but the Record Keeper wondered where his parents were. Even if the child were a Muggle-born, his parents would be allowed to be with him. When the boy stopped at one point to look around, the Record Keeper gasped, and it drew a few eyes to him, but he waved those eyes off and held up a hand before taking it to his mouth to fake sucking the blood off of it. The eyes turned away, and the Record Keeper followed the child from a discrete distance. The Record Keeper knew those eyes, he knew them well, as well as that hair. The child was the spitting image of his father with his mother’s eyes, and that explained why he was with someone who was not his parents but surely whoever had been raising him would have come with him?
The boy’s aura flared when he got excited about something, and there was the purple. The Record Keeper turned to find the Muggle-born girl, but she was gone from his sight. Magical triads were rare enough that there was no way that the two of them weren’t going to start to bond long before they hit their third year. Following them around, the Record Keeper was shocked that the boy was like he was. This was not the child of his favourite bonded pair in the last years. He had their blood, and he had their magic, but he was not as he should have been.
Stopping when he saw another familiar face, the Record Keeper watched a set of parents with their son. When he turned back, the other boy was gone. The Record Keeper cursed himself before focusing on the Pure-blood family. The son looked stern, and there was unhappiness on his face as he looked around. He was looking for someone and as he got more and more upset that he couldn’t find him his magical aura flared.
The Record Keeper nearly fainted when he realised the full extent of why he had been drawn to the alley that day. A triad was going to be formed at Hogwarts in the coming years as the three children that he saw around the Alley came together. A Pure-blood, a Half-blood, and a Muggle-born coming together as a triad was going to be the talk of the British magical world for a long time to come.
September 19, 1996
The Record Keeper stayed out front the entire day and only went inside the room with the book when someone came in but given that it was school time he wasn’t sure if who he was waiting on would come or not. There were allowances for children at Hogwarts who wanted a trip to the Book. It didn’t happen often, but it was better to allow them to come with a professor from the school than for them to sneak there and possibly injure themselves.
The end of the school day came and went, and the Record Keeper was getting more and more upset as the one he wanted never came. When darkness fell, he knew that she was not coming to him and that made him sad. He walked to his bedroom and laid down, wondering what was keeping her from him.
June 5, 1997
The Record Keeper stayed inside the room with the Book because he was a guarantee that the young man was going to show up. It was a Pure-blood tradition to come on the day of their seventeenth birthday to see if they had a soulmate or not. The rest of the custom was to show up after lunch but before dinner, so that one did not seem eager but also, so that one did not burden the Record Keeper with working late into the day.
It was a game that the Record Keeper, no matter who he was never told them was stupid as he did not feel tired and no matter what he never stopped working.
Lunch came and went, and so did dinner, and for a few minutes, the Record Keeper thought about going out to see if the young man was too scared to enter on his own and was in the atrium or even out on the sidewalk. When night fell, he stepped out into the atrium, but there was no one. Outside the Alley was full of the late night shoppers who worked all day. There was no sight of white blond hair anywhere.
There was something horrible going on, but he had no way to prove any of it, and that made him mad.
July 31, 1997
It was the last chance, and the Record Keeper knew that, if the Half-blood didn’t show up then none of them was going to and that meant that things were worse than even the papers said. That things were worse than what Magic was whispering to him. With the sweeping changes that were everywhere, the regular guards for the book were gone and instead it was a group of Goblin guards who made sure that the Record Keeper and the Book were safe.
No war, no matter the leader, had ever breached the hall where the Book was. Even those who sought to change the world never touched the book with ill intent. Not after Magic herself burned an entire army down when it marched on her halls hundreds of years before. This war was no different, no one was coming for him and his book.
The triad had gone horribly wrong, the Record Keeper thought as time ticked on and turned into August. If they had bonded like they should have, they would have sought out the book to confirm what their magic was telling them, even if they waited for the youngest of the three of turn seventeen.
Magic was going to burn the world, and the Record Keeper was going to sit back and watch it happen.
October 9, 1999
The Record Keeper heard the doors outside open and looked at the magical time display that was above the arch, it was just after four in the morning, and he had no clue how was arriving to check if they had a soulmate. The Record Keeper stood up from his seat, and he saw the same young man who had come on this day a year before. That confused him because no one else ever came a second time, even after finding out their soulmate. The utter pain on the young man’s face was still there when he looked at the book.
“Welcome,” the Record Keeper said with a smile on his face. The young man looked at him and pushed back his hood before taking the cloak off. Tucked under an arm was a package of some kind.
“I could not sleep, and I knew that you would be awake at this hour, even if you were sleeping when I entered you would wake up. I brought us breakfast.”
“Visiting isn’t going to change what is.”
“No it’s not, but at least you are someone who understands why it hurts even though I have never even spoken to him. You might not have felt the pain, but you understand.”
“My best friend doesn’t, but then he has no wish to visit the book.”
“Your best friend?” The Record Keeper asked as he invited the young man back to his room where there was a table set up for eating. The young man set out several pastries and expanded a large thermos of something. When he took the lid off, the Record Keeper could smell excellent coffee with just enough sweetness and cream to it.
“Yes, I tried to get him to come last year on his birthday in June, but he scoffed and told me that he had no soulmate. Draco can be very stubborn.”
“Draco?” the Record Keeper asked, and he looked at the young man again. That was not a fact that the Record Keeper knew. He had no clue that the two young lords were friends, but it made sense in a way.
“Draco Malfoy, his father convinced him that he had no mate and that it would be stupid for him to come on his seventeenth birthday like all other Pure-bloods do. I tried again last night to get him to come today, but he refused. He’s too busy with his post-Hogwarts schooling.”
The Record Keeper wondered at a Pure-blood father keeping their child from what was the tradition. There were ways of seeing soulmates if one was not the Record Keeper and if the Lord had figured out who at least one of his son’s soulmates were, he could see that man keeping his son from the Book to make sure that no one ever knew. Family seers were the best way for it to happen. There were some who could see it and wrote down information in family records to say if a future member would or would not have a mate.
If the Record Keeper had the power, he would force the young Lord to come and see what his father denied him but he could not. Coming to see the book had to be willing and free of all compulsion.
“So are you going to keep trying?” the Record Keeper asked.
“Yes. Because one of us deserves a happy ending.”
The Record Keeper bit his tongue to keep his words to himself because he knew that volunteering to remove that information from the young man’s head would hurt. The young man was the kind to keep a hold of a pain to remind himself that he was alive. His life was nothing but pain, and only his soulmate could remove it, but first, that soulmate had to fix himself.
October 1, 2000
“You are the worst being in the world,” Draco said looking at the Elf that was standing there with a tray of food in his hand that he wasn’t sharing.
“You say that every time. Yet you still come back. You like me calling you stupid and worthless and a waste of Master Spence’s air.” The Elf was glaring at Draco, but there was a quirk of a smile on his face, but Draco was used to looking for it.
“You are a stingy little creature. I should talk Spencer into giving you clothes.” Draco reached out for a strawberry from the plate that was in Qan’s hand.
“Master Spence never give Qan clothes. Master Spence be lost without his Qan.” Qan glared at Draco, and when he reached for another piece of fruit, he found himself up in the air, hovering above the dining room table. Draco glared at the Elf but he wasn’t even looking at Draco, he was eating a piece of pineapple. Draco’s stomach growled, and he crossed his arms over his chest. He knew that he looked ridiculous floating in mid-air and glaring at an Elf, but he didn’t care.
Draco was subjected to watching Qan eat all of the fruit off of the tray, and when Libby came out with a dish of warm bread for the meal she was preparing for Spencer and him for dinner the smell made Draco’s stomach growl again but Libby did not even look up at him. Draco flipped himself over to where he was hanging upside down and tried to reach a roll, but he was pushed up further to where he couldn’t even reach them. Draco tried to flip back up, but he was unable. His shirt was slowly sliding up, no down his chest to where anyone who walked in could see his stomach.
“Did you try and steal Qan’s dinner again?” Spencer asked when he walked into the dining room with a book in his hand. He was reading it and didn’t even look up at Draco. Spencer kept on walking until he was level with his chair. He pulled it out with his free hand and dropped down into it. Spencer looked up only as he set down the book. Spencer smiled, but Draco could see that the smile was not a genuine one. There was something very wrong with Spencer. Draco looked at the book in Spencer’s hand and realised that it was one of his father’s journals.
Draco had allowed Spencer to ransack the Malfoy Manor for all things Dark before he had cleaned it all out of everything that he didn’t want. Of course, Draco wasn’t staying there, and neither was his mother. After Lucius Malfoy had died at the hands at Harry Potter when Draco’s father had attacked Potter just a month after the Final Battle in the middle of Diagon Alley because Potter had spoken out about Draco and about Draco’s mother in the hearings that followed but he had not spoken out about Lucius at all. Instead, Potter had made sure that Lucius had been charged for everything that could be charged for. Lucius had made it out on bail but that had been revoked, and he was being hunted. He had tried to take out Potter in a last-ditch effort to remove what he considered the person who ruined his life.
The Wizarding World had braced for a fall out because everyone knew the turmoil that existed between Draco and Potter, but in that instance, Draco had no ill feelings for Potter. Potter had done what Draco couldn’t to save his mother from the horribleness that was his father.
“I did not try and steal the whole dinner, this time,” Draco asserted.
“Qan,” Spencer said. Spencer didn’t even need to look at his Elf or do more than saying his name. Draco was jealous of the relationship that Spencer had with his Elves, but Draco wouldn’t sacrifice his mother for it. Draco adored his mother much like Spencer adored his but the mental problems that Diana Reid had were not worth Draco having friends that were true friends.
“Fine, I’ll let the asshole down,” Qan said. He wiggled his fingers in a mock toward Draco and very quickly Draco started to fall. Draco felt invisible hands grab him and he was lowered gently down to a chair beside Spencer. Qan sighed and looked at Spencer like he was distraught. “Not even let Qan get his jollies off with watching the Pure-blood fall on his face on the table.”
“Last time I let it happen Libby bitched because dinner was ruined,” Spencer said.
“There is nothing but rolls on the table. She make more of those easy. Qan wanted to see him mussed up.” Qan inhaled deeply and exhaled before walking back into the kitchen.
“Must you?” Spencer asked as he finally closed the book and slipped it to the side just seconds before a bowl of soup appeared in front of him as well as a glass of wine. Draco leaned back in his seat after getting himself actually settled in it and a glass of what Muggles called pop appeared in front of him followed by a bowl of soup. Draco would get wine with the second course, but Libby indulged Draco’s fascination with the drink that he had fallen in love with when he and Spencer had spent weeks in the American south after Spencer had graduated and Draco had taken his N.E.W.T.s. Draco had come home from America with a love of Dr. Pepper. Spencer would drink it on occasion, but mostly it was Draco.
“It keeps him young,” Draco said which was his answer for Spencer questioning the way that Draco antagonised Qan. Draco looked at the journal with a wary eye before he made himself focus on other things.
“How did classes go today?” Spencer turned toward Draco a little in the chair.
“Fine. I still like the classes I am taking now better than I have liked any of the other that I have taken. Mother didn’t like me taking the others, but I have a good mind for investments and things, so Spitehex is taking my tutelage well on bank matters. I think that I agree with you, finally, on just taking over the Malfoy holdings and maybe see about setting up a small firm that I would manage alone on doing loans and things to businesses.”
“Hmmm. You’ll be able to do that in what? Three months?” Spencer asked.
“Yes. The classes will be over then, and I’ll be given the ability to manage all of the Malfoy holdings. Father never much cared for doing the work himself and while the Goblins love to make money, they do like it when a Wizard or a Witch actually cared to learn the subtle art that is banking. Spitehex is even discussing allowing me to rent one of the rooms in that new complex they have started to build that has access through a side door into the bank.”
“That would be good as many things you would need their help on, transferring funds and such things. I’m glad that you are liking what you are doing finally. When will you make the decision?” Spencer’s tone was normal, solid and gentle. Draco didn’t know if it was just the way that Spencer was after the war or if there was something more going on with his best friend.
The friendship had started when Spencer had been a first year. Draco had been in his third year at Hogwarts and still near crushed under the weight that was trying to please his father. No one liked Spencer, even Slytherins, even though they were supposed to be all for their House members. The first of the Reid family to ever sort into Slytherin was someone to be feared, even Draco had been shocked when the Sorting Hat had called out Slytherin after three and a half minutes of sitting on Spencer’s head.
Spencer had stayed up all that night worrying about what was to come with dawn and the letter from his parents on his sorting. Draco had expected a Howler, but instead, it was a short letter that he read over Spencer’s shoulder. If William Reid had been able to disown Spencer for becoming a Slytherin, he would have, but the Reid family honour stopped that from happening.
Draco had never seen anyone who was so scared of his father than Spencer, and it had hurt to see a young man so frightened to go home. Spencer had stayed through all of the holidays even though he missed his mother dearly. When the summer came, Spencer had looked like he was going to his death when he had boarded the train to leave. When the news started around that Spencer had killed William, Draco had not been shocked at all. Draco’s father had been all for sending Spencer to Azkaban right up until he came home from the Wizengamot meeting and spent the entire evening drinking and looking green around the gills. Draco hadn’t asked his father about it, but he had started to write to Spencer then, making sure that he knew he still had a friend.
Spencer had shared the full memory with Draco when they had got back to school the next year. From that moment on, Draco had stayed firm and hard friends with Spencer in public and in private. Many in Slytherin house saw it as Draco protecting a student who had no parents left, not really and doing his duty by his house but it was so much more than that. Draco was allowed to be himself with Spencer and Spencer could be himself around Draco.
“Draco?” Spencer asked.
Draco looked up from where he had been staring at his soup.
“Sorry. I got a little lost in though there. I will make my decision in a few weeks. ” Draco looked at the journal again before he made himself eat. When the soup and the pop were gone, a salad and a glass of wine appeared on the table. Spencer was eating his soup slower than usual. Draco knew that something was wrong and he was sure that it had to do with the journal.
“Your father is fortunate that he was killed before his journals came to light.”
“Should we be talking about this while eating?”
“What I want to tell you right now is just confirmation of what you already know.”
Draco nodded. He had wanted Spencer to be the one to read the journals for two reasons, Spencer was an Unspeakable and that meant that if there were anything that needed to be taken care of by the government, Spencer would be better to have the news come from than Draco. The second reason was that Spencer read twenty thousand words per minute and that meant that he could get through them a lot quicker than Draco.
Spencer talked throughout all of their dinner about what Spencer had found out. When dessert was finished, and the coffee that Libby had brewed was drunk with the overly sweet dessert, Draco felt like there was more that Spencer wanted to tell him. If Spencer was holding back, it was going to be horrible.
“Your father told you that a Seer in your family line predicted that the grandson of Abraxas would have no soulmate?”
Draco looked at Spencer, and he really wanted to shoot a stinging hex at his friend for that reminder that he had gone through everything that Spencer had, some things better and some things worse only to have no gift for him from Magic because he had no soulmate. Spencer while unable to go and claim his soulmate still had the knowledge that one day he would get his chance at true love.
“Why are you bringing this up?”
“Not because I want to hurt you but because Lucius lied to you.”
“What?” Draco stood up, and his chair fell backwards. He looked at Spencer and wanted to know that he was joking. His father had done everything that he did for the Malfoy name and trying to hold on to a world that was slipping away.
Draco felt a poke in his back and turned to see Libby there.
“Take him up to the library if you are going to piss him off.”
“Come, Dray,” Spencer said as he stood up and nodded at Libby.
Draco followed behind Spencer as they made their way through Reid Manor. Draco had moved in with Spencer when the war ended. Draco had been unable to live in the Malfoy Manor where Voldemort and his cronies had reeked such havoc. Draco’s mother had moved into a flat off of Diagon Alley and was quite happy there.
The library was full of books, and there were piles of the journals on the desk that Spencer used to work at. Draco saw that Spencer had some kind of order going on with them. Draco left them alone. The journals that were not needed, Draco wanted to burn when it was all said and done. He would like to do it to the Manor as well when the time was right.
“There was something wrote down about your soulmate in Lucius’s journals there was something that I didn’t think much of however a second mention, or well first as it was in the journal I was able to figure out was written just after you were born. You’ve heard the story about how you and your mother were attacked by a man in Diagon Alley, and your father wanted to kill him until it was figured out that he had been dosed by a poison that ate away at his mind?”
“Yes. I was treated at St. Mungo’s for it.”
“Yes on August first of the year you were born. It seems that when you and your mother were leaving, another family was checking out after the birth of their firstborn. You and that firstborn became quite attached to each other. Later that night your father found the account of the Malfoy Seer.”
“What did it say?” Draco asked because there were several children born at the end of July that year but two of them stood out in Draco’s mind. Longbottom and Potter.
“That you and the Potter Heir would claim the brightest witch of the age as your wife and soulmate.”
Draco dropped down into the chair that was behind him. He had been in the process of sitting down, but his legs had just given out. He looked at Spencer and wanted to force him to tell the truth, but he knew inside that Potter and Granger were his soulmates. He had been drawn to Potter since meeting him in the alley and seeing him on the train and knowing who he was, seeing him with Weasley had made Draco’s blood boil.
“Potter is engaged to the female Weasley.”
“Yes, I know that. Granger is dating the youngest male, Weasley. We have to take care with this. Neither of them was raised in this world, and they don’t know the lore around soulmates. They won’t go to the book and you going to the book after your father has proclaimed far and wide that you have no soulmate after Abraxas died would draw a lot of attention to you.” Spencer picked up a book and held it out to Draco before sitting down on the arm of Draco’s chair. Draco looked down before he looked up again at Spencer not understanding why Spencer was going to make him read it.
“Just recite it.”
“This is not that account. This is the gossip journal that Lucius kept. Most of it isn’t anything that would actually be of any use now, but there is one thing that is. Molly Weasley née Prewett was married to Arthur Weasley as a punishment. She brewed a love potion and was going to use it to make a child with another Pure-blood at Hogwarts before they turned seventeen as she was sure it was the only way that she was ever going to get the man that she wanted. Her father forced her to start dating Arthur Weasley and marry him under a magical family directive.”
“What do you think that means?” Draco asked.
“Ginevra Weasley looks exactly like Lily Potter. I wouldn’t fuck a woman who looks like my mother with a fallen off Death Eater cock,” Spencer deadpanned, but it did what Spencer wanted, and that was make Draco let out a laugh.
“I don’t know what to do.”
“We plan like we do with everything. Granger is a solid mind, and she would be the first one to approach. She will be the level head.”
“Granger will be better to go to yes. I really don’t want to…no matter what they are not going to take my word or the word of a Malfoy Seer.”
“Which is why the best bet is to get them to go to the book. The Book can’t be charmed to lie. The book can’t be forced into a memory to lie. Granger will research the hell out of it and then force Potter to go with her to the book.”
Draco leaned into Spencer’s body a little bit and closed his eyes before sighing.
“I’m glad you have a plan.”
“I always have a plan.” Spencer leaned his head down and butted it into Draco’s. “I’ve had enough wine that I think I’m ready to pass out. Did you want to join me in bed?”
“Sure. I’m sure that I’m going to have a nightmare of some kind. Why did I get them? I mean your soulmate isn’t much better with his grand job killing Death Eaters left and right. But I have two third of the Golden Trio. I have the bloody Boy-Who-Lived and his most staunch supporter.”
“At least you have two, you and Potter would kill each other without her in the middle.”
“Don’t make me think of sex.” Draco turned his head a little to inhale the scent of books and burned herbs that clung to Spencer. In the aftermath of the war, Spencer had been the only one who had stayed with Draco through it all. Spencer had saved Draco from being marked a Death Eater even though it nearly had Voldemort going after the only Reid left alive.
If it hadn’t been for Spencer, Draco had no clue what his life would have been like.
October 2, 2000
Hermione Granger settled into the desk where she would probably be stuck until something better came along. Her internship at the most prestigious law firm in London came with a penalty; no one wanted her there. She didn’t want to be there either, but the internship had been extended publically, and there was no way to turn it down without ruining her chances at every other firm in the area. Hermione could stick it out while she tried to find another place to work while she worked on her degree.
Hogwarts was good for primary education, but Hermione had figured out early on that anything to do with following a career in being in a courtroom there was nothing to help that in Hogwarts. The classes to become a magical solicitor was three two years of intense classes with the first year being hell. Hermione had survived it with the top grade, and that was why she had been offered her internship. The Boyles firm was the best, and every year they offered their sole internship to the student with the top grades. Hermione was almost shocked that they hadn’t come up with a reason not to extend it to her.
“Granger,” one of the junior solicitors said as he entered her office. It was after lunch and Hermione knew that with the work on her desk she would be there for a long time before she got to go home and get some sleep before classes the next morning.
“Yes?” Hermione said as she looked up at him. Edwards was his name, and he wasn’t as bad as some of the other men who worked in the firm.
“You have a visitor in the open conference room on the seventh floor. I trust you can get there on your own?”
Hermione nodded, and the man left before her head even came up on the first nod. She frowned because it wasn’t like Ron or Harry was going to be visiting her. Ron had not spoken to Hermione after she had ended things with him. Him leaving Harry and her to their own devices had made Hermione see him for what he was. When it all was all said and done, neither Harry or Hermione trusted Ron to do anything but take care of himself.
Grabbing her work satchel with all of her things in it, Hermione slipped out of her office and cast the charms needed to lock it. While it wouldn’t stop anyone from entering it would make sure that they left with nothing and could touch nothing.
Hermione entered the lift with a small group of people, and she shot her magic at the buttons and pressed the seven. Two of the ladies in the lift looked at her with frowns on their face. The seventh floor was where all of the very high profile solicitors worked. That Hermione was heading up, there was not good. Either Hermione was being let go of, or something big was up, and Hermione was being invited in.
The glass that surrounded the room was darkened meaning that Hermione could not see inside as she approached after getting off the elevator. She really didn’t like that. There was no guard outside, but if she were going to be escorted out, the guard would show up after she was in the room. Touching the doorknob, Hermione took a deep breath before she opened the door.
There was a single man inside the room, his back to the door and he was looking out at the section of the room that looked out over Muggle London.
“Miss Granger,” the man said, and the voice was one that she knew that she should know but wasn’t able to place it. He had long chestnut coloured hair, and it was allowed free, a style that not many high profile WIzards used on a day to day basis. “I remember you from Hogwarts.”
“Lord Reid,” Hermione said as the name shot to the front of her brain. Reid turned around, and he had a smile on his face.
“I’m glad you remember me.”
Hermione stayed where she was because it wasn’t like she could forget him or what had happened to him at the hands of her house. She had tried to stop the younger Hotchner from making his life a living hell but as Hotchner was a Pure-blood and she a Muggle-born, Hotchner did not listen to her.
“What can I do for you, Lord Reid?” Hermione asked. It was well known that the firm represented Spencer Reid and Draco Malfoy. She never thought that she would be the one to work with them. If Reid asked for her, it couldn’t be good for her. Hermione knew that she hadn’t done enough, but she didn’t think that Reid would take that out by having her lose her internship.
“I’m actually here for you. What do you know of the Book of Bound Souls?” Reid asked.
“I know that it’s the record of soulmates for the world. Anyone can visit it and find out if they have a soulmate. I’ve not read into it too much.” Hermione had a lot of reasons, but only one would pass with the young Lord in front of her. Reid was known as very logical.
“I’m shocked. You read everything that you can get your hands on.” Reid did sound shocked and looked even more shocked.
“The books that are not in the restricted section did not have much on it, and I never wanted to ask for permission to look at those specific books.”
Reid stared at her for almost a minute before he nodded with a look of understanding on his face. “Understandable. What do you know about the wards on it that Magic herself placed?”
Hermione felt that he understood more than she wanted him to about why she didn’t look into the lore that was the Book of Bound Souls. Hermione was proud to be the brightest Witch of the age, but it came with the fact that she was told over and over that she was a Muggle-born and didn’t have the same entrenchment into magic as the Pure-bloods and even the Half-bloods had. Hermione would rather never step up to that book than for it to not open for her.
“Strongest in the world. While the names of the soulmates are collected by Magic and placed in the books, it is not the only way to find out if one has a soulmate. Many families have Seers in them, and they are very reliable.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Hermione didn’t understand, and she didn’t like that.
“You do remember a few of my magical gifts don’t you?”
“You read fast though I never got the exact number and you remember everything that you read. Many in Ravenclaw were upset that you did not sort into their house with a brain like that.”
“I was served the best by Slytherin because if I had been sorted into any other house, I don’t think that I would have had the strength to make sure that my father didn’t kill my mother. I probably would have been killed, and it covered up that a Death Eater had done it because my father refused to serve Tom Riddle.”
Hermione didn’t know what to say to that. There were the rumours that had gone around the school about what had happened over that summer, but each had been more and more outlandish, but the core had been that Reid had killed his father in the protection of his mother. Harry had never disliked Reid for what he had done, but Ron had hated him and helped Hotchner with tormenting the Slytherin. Harry had stopped Ron when he noticed what he was doing, but Harry had other things that year to worry about, mainly the Triwizard Tournament. Ron had spent part of the years apart from them, so neither had been able to stop Ron from doing what he wanted. Hermione had no base for even thinking of killing a parent in the protection of the other. Her parents were still madly in love with each other, but she had seen other families that were not that lucky so theoretically she could understand it.
“You still haven’t explained anything to me.”
“No, I haven’t. With my reading speed, I have been tasked with going over journals and other bits of paper that have been seized from the various Magical folk who were either put in Azkaban or killed during the war. It’s slow going as many have deep enchantments to stop others from reading them. I cannot reveal what I know just that I know that you have a soulmate.”
“A family Seer predicted that the Brightest Witch of the Age would bond with her scion of this generation. You need to go to the book and see it for yourself I know, but I think it’s best that you don’t go alone. Take Potter.”
Hermione stared at him, and she tried to figure out his angle. It was well known that Ron was not close with them and that most of the Weasley family was actually on the outs with Harry for not siding with Ron when the final explosive conversation happened that ended Hermione’s relationship with him. There was something else there though in Reid’s words and taking Potter was too specific.
“Does Harry have a soulmate in that book?”
“How would I know that? I’m not reading anything to do with the Potter family as those were gone over after the defeat of Riddle in the eighties to try and see how Potter survived the Killing Curse. Family Seers only see those in their family or the ones that are going to be bound to the family with soulmate magic.”
Hermione couldn’t tell if Reid was lying or not. She watched him as he reached into an inner pocket on his robe and pulled out a small hard case that was the colour purple. She frowned, but he opened it and pulled out what looked like a cigarette. He offered her one, and she shook her head.
“Draco took up stress smoking his seventh year at Hogwarts, and it stuck with me as well.”
“Those are bad for you.”
“Human cigarettes are bad for humans. Wizarding cigarettes are not bad for Wizards.”
Reid slipped the butt of the cigarette between his lips and cupped his hand around the tip. Hermione watched as a small flame popped into existence in the middle of the palm of one of his hands. She watched as it grew just enough to light the cigarette before disappearing as Reid lowered his hands. She wondered if it was some kind of runic magic as he had not said a damned thing or used a wand. Wandless magic was hard, silent wandless magic was near impossible for most Witches and Wizards.
“You could do that,” Reid said as he leaned back. He shot forward again and wiggled out of his robe before tossing it across a chair behind him. Hermione’s eyes tracked over the elegant suit that he was wearing. He had always dressed well in Hogwarts when she saw him without his robes much like Malfoy had but with less ponce to it all.
“I could do what?”
“Wandless, silent magic. It’s really not that hard for people of our levels of magic. I can show you all that you want about it.” Reid conjured a slip of paper, and it took a few seconds for Hermione to realise that it was a business card. A pen, a regular Muggle pen appeared in his hand next. He wrote down a few things on the business card before he reached over and touched a runic symbol on the table. The doors behind Hermione opened, and she tried not to turn around to figure out who was there. She didn’t like unknown people behind her. “Tomorrow afternoon Miss Granger is coming with me to discuss her future in this firm. Tell your bosses not to expect her at all.”
The door shut with no more words spoken and Hermione just looked at Reid in shock. He slid the card over to her, and she picked it up by rote. There were three words scribbled on it.
“There is a phone booth on the side of the Ministry building, not the normal one that is used to get inside but on the south side of the building. It has a Superman symbol painted on it with spray paint, purple. Step into the booth after you are done with classes and utter those words. You’ll arrive in the Department of Mysteries, and I’ll meet you. If you bring anyone else, they will be ejected in a prison cell inside the Ministry. If you don’t trust me, go through the normal Ministry entrance and ask for me. Someone will send for me, and I’ll collect you.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“The Magical world is not being served by the backward politics that allowed a blood purist to rise from a man who had a Muggle for a father. It’s stupid, and Magical Britain is being looked down on for it. We used to be the seat of magic for the world, but in the aftermath of Merlin and Arthur, we grew too insular. Muggle-borns are born for a reason, and it’s to make sure that magic doesn’t die out. I’ve tried to get the other Pure-bloods to understand that the reason why Squibs are wholly being born in Pure-blood families is because of inbreeding but they refuse to think that a Muggle ideal that marrying a sibling or having a child with a father is what is ruining their family lines. Thankfully my mother and father had no common blood, one of the few rare families that can claim that. I would adore teaching you wandless magic and silent casting if for anything than to shove it into the faces of the first person to attack you for who you are within this firm.”
“Is that why you came here today instead of going to the school to talk to me?” Hermione asked.
“Yes. You would be a force for good in this stupid and backward world, and I look forward to making sure that you can do it.”
Reid inhaled on his cigarette and Hermione watched as the ashes fell down but as they did, they started to disappear. She was fascinated with it. Reid offered the cigarette to her with the butt turned toward her. She took it, but instead of taking a puff she watched the smoulder of the fire dance down the burning end and saw that the traces of the paper were burning away and leaving nothing behind. She turned it after watching it for a minute before she threw caution to the wind and took a small puff.
Hermione had tried Muggle cigarettes with a cousin when she had been thirteen, and she hated them, but this was very different. She felt herself start to calm down as the smoke filled her lungs.
“Mild emotion stabiliser that works better as a cloud of smoke than a liquid. The tobacco leaves are soaked in it. I also like the spiciness of cinnamon.”
Hermione took a deeper puff, filling her lungs with it and exhaled. She would have to figure out where he got the cigarettes because with those she might not kill the idiots in the law firm. Hermione started to hand the cigarette back but saw that Reid had another lit. Reid stood up and grabbed his robe, slipping it over his arm before offering his other arm to Hermione. Hermione stood up and looped her arm around his. Reid started to walk towards the door and the door opened before they even got to it. Hermione tried not to freak out as every single eye in the place was on her, including the head of the firm Newt Boyles. Reid kissed her cheek after he exhaled smoke. Hermione realised that there was none of the horrible smell of Muggle cigarettes in the air.
“The perfect thing about Magical cigarettes is that one is allowed to smoke them everywhere. So tomorrow after you are done with classes. Send a note along if you don’t get a chance to eat lunch. My House Elf, Libby makes wonderful food, and she would adore making something to send along.”
“Oh, that sounds wonderful. Surprise me, I adore being surprised on food.”
Reid smiled at her and nodded. He kissed her cheek again making Hermione blush.
“I’ll take my leave so that you can get back to work.” Reid disengaged from her arm, and then he was sweeping out of the office without looking at a single person even though a few called out to him. Hermione looked around at the people who were looking at her with less derision in their eyes. There was so much swimming in Hermione’s brain. She couldn’t wait for dinner with Harry that night to tell him everything.
Harry Potter settled in at his desk in the middle of the living room. His flat was small, and there was only a single bedroom, and there was no room in it for his desk. He had only a little bit of work that he needed to have done before training picked up again that next morning. Harry was a disadvantage compared to a few of the other Aurors-in-training that were in the program. Hermione had helped to tutor Harry through the repeat of their seventh year and made sure that Harry came out with a good grade. Harry picked up the Muggle pen that he used as a chewing object so that he didn’t chew his quill. It was a habit that had been picked up after he had taken up smoking for a month after the Final Battle. Up until Hermione had caught him and berated him into submission on not smoking. It was stupid given the rate of cancer attached, and Hermione was right that he shouldn’t do stupid shit that would lessen his life.
The door opened, and Harry fought the urge to draw his wand. Hermione was the only one that was able to slip through the wards without Harry knowing.
“Harry, you would not believe the day that I had.” Hermione settled a bag of food down on the table in the middle of the kitchen before she stepped back into the living room to take off her winter cloak. She was still dressed in the skirt suit that Harry knew meant she had not changed after leaving the law firm. Usually, she changed, so she wasn’t stuck in that for the entire time that she was at Harry’s. “I need to change. Okay if I use your room?”
“Sure.” Harry closed his books and rubbed his eyes. There was a lot of reading on the law that surrounded what an Auror could and couldn’t do. Harry was glad that it was getting over with during the second year of training. His first year had been a little learning on law and things but mostly making sure that the Aurors could protect themselves and their partners. Neville was doing well in training, better than Neville thought that he would while Harry always had faith that Neville would do well in whatever he chose to do.
In the aftermath of the Final Battle, Neville had changed, and it wasn’t precisely for the best in Harry’s mind. He wasn’t as soft anymore, but he also did not allow anyone, even his Gran to push him around. Neville was a boss when it came to training. There was no other pairing of those in training, whether it was the class above or the class below them that had ever won against them in mock fights.
Hermione came back into the living room, wrapping her hair up at the back of her head and holding it in place with a spelled pencil. Harry shoved himself back from his desk and stood up to walk into the kitchen. Hermione made him eat at the table for at least one meal a day, and it was evening unless she slept on his couch because of staying too late.
“So at the firm today I had a visitor.”
“A visitor?” Harry asked as he held out his hand for the first box of food that Hermione pulled from the bag. With starting Auror training, there were a wealth of food options open to Harry for him to try. At Number Four, Harry never ate anything but what he cooked. Even if his Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin got take-out, Harry was relegated to eating what was in the fridge as they didn’t like to waste money on him. Hermione had eaten out a lot with her parents growing up, so she was helping him expand his palate. Thai though was a favourite, and he hoped that Hermione got him the spicy curry.
“Yes. I was allowed on the seventh floor and wasn’t forced to be there with a senior partner. I was allowed alone which I was told that I would never happen with those we represent.”
“Who was it?” Harry asked. He sat down in the chair and popped the lid on the food. Hermione had got the spicy curry, and it looked spicier than usual. Hermione handed over a pair of chopsticks before she slipped a box into the fridge. Harry grinned at her. She indulged his love of Pad Thai Chicken for breakfast. He burned enough energy in training that he was on a strict diet to pretty much eat as much as he could. He had dropped what little baby fat he had in the first two months of training before collapsing one day while running. After that, the head Healer for the Aurors had made him her personal project. He had weekly checks with her and a potion regimen that was scary as hell. Harry had gained a great deal of muscle over the past year since that had happened and he felt better than he ever had.
“Lord Spencer Reid.”
“He wanted a meeting with you?” Harry asked, almost asking before he had swallowed his first bit of food but he didn’t want Hermione slapping his hand. Harry shoved another bit into his mouth as he was starving. He hadn’t realised that so much time has passed since he had left the Ministry. Hermione was actually early, but usually, Harry had a snack of some kind not long after getting home.
“That’s what I thought. You’ve heard of what he’s doing now haven’t you?”
“He’s an Unspeakable. Has been since before the war fully started from the rumours around the Ministry. I can see it. Sometimes I think he’s too intelligent for his own good. I’ve seen him a few times in the Auror halls.” Harry tried to chew as fast as he could, but with Hermione’s glare at him, he slowed down. He just tried to take as big of bites as he could get away with. Harry tried to be good at meals, but sometimes he was so hungry that he didn’t keep to good manners. Though really the manners that his Aunt had instilled in him was not the type of manners that ordinary people had.
“He’s been going through seized journals of Death Eaters and just anyone who was part of the war and finding things that needed to be taken care of.”
“Yes, some of the things that he’s found have been shown to us in the training groups as things to look for in an investigation. I know that he’s found a lot of horrible things that have been sealed to just the Head Auror’s purview.”
“Yes, well. One of the sets of journals that he’s been going through have family Seers talking about soulmates in families. I didn’t even ask which family he had the journals off because if he has the journals, then it’s a family that was either a Death Eater or the family was mostly wiped out.”
“He’s got a good bit of light families things as well. The Ministry seized a lot of things after the end of the war in the guise of finding the whole truth and even what happened on the light side is needed.”
“Well, that makes me feel better.”
“What did he want?”
“He asked me why I had never gone to the Book of Bound Souls.”
“Oh.” Harry let his fork drop down at that. He hadn’t thought about going there since the end of the War. Harry had thought about it briefly when he turned seventeen, but he didn’t want the name of a soulmate, if he had one, make him make a choice that would have been to live just for them instead of dying for the greater good. He had meant to go when the war was over. The Book wasn’t in the hands of the Ministry and never would be so no matter when he went, he never would have been injured or captured.
“He said that my soulmate is mentioned in the journals that he’s read. He didn’t say that yours was mentioned, but he said that I needed to bring you.”
Harry leaned back in his chair before picking up the fork again. He played with his food for a few minutes. Hermione stayed silent which told Harry that she was worried about what it meant. As far as Harry knew all of his families things had been seized upon the death of his parents, what wasn’t in the vaults that was. What Harry had read of some of his parent’s things, there was nothing about a Seer anywhere in the Potter family line for over two hundred years.
“You don’t think it’s something from my family do you?”
“No. But you know that a lot of families believe in that shit a lot and who knows who has said what to each other. There could be things mentioned about you in the journals even though we can’t prove it.”
“What do you think?” Harry asked.
“I know that he’s been upstanding in everything.” Hermione bit at her lip and frowned down at her food before jabbing at a piece of chicken in her meal hard enough that the container scooted across the table a little bit.
Harry stood up to grab a bottle of wine from the fridge. He had no wine glasses, but it didn’t stop them from enjoying the wine on occasion, and it seemed like this was an occasion for it. Harry poured out a little in each glass before setting them down and plucked the bottle down. Hermione picked up her glass and took a sip while Harry downed everything in his glass. Hermione’s eyebrows raised in shock at him.
“After claiming my family ring and becoming the head of the Potter line, I have been allowed access to the trial that he faced. I can’t tell you more than what you already know, but if that had been me and someone was hurting my mom like that, I wouldn’t have killed them with a charm that was meant for protection.”
“What?” Hermione looked even more shocked than normal, and it was a good look for her. Harry liked to shock her, in good ways.
“You know that emotions affect how strong a spell we cast is. That’s why the Patronus does better with memories that are dear and loving. Well, he cast a charm that has never killed before, but when he cast it, it expanded so much and became so powerful that his father was thrown into a wall and his body shattered. There was no way to charge him with a damned thing once his memory of the event as well as the two Heads of Houses that arrived that night to check on him after he asked for help. Diana Reid’s memories of what happened are a little foggier, but the utter pain and the torture that she went through before Reid intervened is the reason why everything is being kept as quiet as it is. William Reid was from a light family, he was a good man to the world but look what he did in private. It was when the world was starting to go dark again. Death Eaters knew that Riddle was gaining power and Fudge was all about keeping everything silent that wasn’t good.”
“And I think more and more that Fudge could do anything to make me hate him anymore.” Hermione filled up her glass and took a healthy drink of it. She frowned at it and stood up before setting it down, empty.
Harry watched Hermione walk over to where her winter cloak was hanging, and she pulled two things out of it. Harry frowned as he could only really see on and it looked like one of those fashionable cigarette cases that women used. Hermione set down a pack of cigarettes in front of Harry before opening up the case in her hand and taking one out as well as a Muggle lighter. She lit one up before looking at Harry with a raised eyebrow. Harry grabbed the pack in front of him and broke the spells that kept them fresh and unable to be messed with before pulling one out. Hermione handed over the lighter.
“Reid was smoking these. He gave me the name of the shop by owl as he realised after he left that he hadn’t. Magical cigarettes are damned good.”
Harry took a puff, and he felt the magic settle over him.
“Emotion stabiliser. Also, you don’t need an ashtray. The ashes disappear on their own. Even the butts can be vanished. No chance of cancer at all.”
“Really?” Harry looked at the cigarette in his hand.
“Yes. These are more expensive with the potions in the leaves, but the shop is nice. We can go tomorrow if you want.”
“This is what Reid smoked?”
“He had cinnamon in his, but I got lavender for mine and nothing in yours.”
“So besides luring you into the smoking world, what else did Lord Reid want?” Harry knew that technically he could call him Reid as they were on equal footing with them both being Lords but he had called him Lord Reid for many years, and it was a hard habit to break.
“You mean the soulmates things wasn’t enough?” Hermione asked with an arched eyebrow.
“I know you. You are saving what you think will upset me the most for last. I have a soulmate, that’s good. We both know that it’s Ginny. You have a soulmate, I’m glad, I really hope it’s not Ron. You started smoking, and you gave me something to calm me when wine wasn’t doing it so drop what’s next.”
“Lord Reid has invited me to the Ministry to teach me or at least show me how to teach myself wandless and silent magic tomorrow.”
“You are going to go to his lair for all intents and purposes?”
“He’s not going to do a single thing to me. He’s a good young man who got dealt a shit end of life. You know that better than most or was that Half-blood therapist you saw for shits and giggles?”
“You know that you got mean when you broke up with Ron.”
“I have always been mean I’ve just tried to not act like it because it never got me friends in Muggle school.”
“I don’t know you might have had a few other guys panting after you if you had chopped their balls off.”
Hermione laughed, and Harry was glad for it because she didn’t laugh as much in the aftermath of the war, neither of them did, but Harry hated to see her so sullen all the time. Harry hoped that her soulmate was going to treat her well because he was not above killing them if they were an asshole. Harry and Hermione polished off the bottle of wine with the rest of their dinner. Harry tried again to talk her into sleeping in his bed, and he would take the couch. She never took him up on it, and he had no clue why. Harry’s couch sucked. He kept meaning to get a new one but the flat sucked too and putting a new couch in a dingy flat didn’t seem right. Once Harry was out of training he would look for a new flat. Once he was out of training, he would do a lot of things.
October 3, 2000
Draco hesitated as he entered Diagon Alley from Muggle London. He had a plan, and he needed to stick to it and not be tempted to go into the hall where the book was. It was easy to ignore it, but the urge to see them would be impossible if he saw their names written in the book. Draco had shopping to do, and he had classes in the afternoon. With the knowledge that he was going to have two soulmates, Draco knew that taking care of each other was going to be strained. Two Gryffindors and a Slytherin living together was going to be interesting and fraught with issues.
The sound of two pops behind him had Draco turning around and took in the two House Elves that were looking up at him. Draco sighed and closed his eyes. Nibby was not trying to be subtle at all. Nibby adored Draco living with Spencer as it meant that there was someone inside of Reid Manor besides Spencer for the first time in a long while. However, she had taken to mothering Draco. Which wasn’t bad because she didn’t try and dictate Draco’s life but she was trying to get Draco to find a place to live that was his own so that he could start to establish himself and that meant finding House Elves. The Malfoy Elves had all been freed by his mother when Voldemort ha moved into the Manor. Voldemort would have killed them all. Draco had made sure that they all found new places and while a few had made comments about returning to Draco, Draco wanted to start over from scratch. He wanted his Elves, especially with who is soulmates were.
“Jibby, you can go back to the Manor. When I need you, I will send for you. Xibby, you can stay and help me with my shopping today.”
Xibby turned and stuck her tongue out at her sister. Draco kept the laugh he wanted to let out to himself. Nibby had four children, and all of them were personalities of their own. Draco adored them but had soft spots for Xibby and Jibby, which was why Nibby had been sending them to Draco. There were too many Elves inside of Reid Manor and with Nibby’s three youngest all of age now to bond on their own, Xibby and Jibby wanted to go elsewhere. Not too far though as they would want to visit their family as much as possible. Draco had already told Spencer that when he moved out, he would gladly accept their bonds but Draco liked the game that he was playing.
Draco took off his cloak and handed it over to Xibby who shrunk it and slipped it into the outfit that she was wearing. Spencer let his Elves dress as they wanted and Xibby liked skirt suits. She never dressed outlandishly like some of the other Reid Elves, and it was why Draco wanted her with him that day and not her sister who was stuck in the seventies of Muggle fashion. Xibby made all of her clothes and most of the clothes for the rest of the Reid Elves. It was an enjoyable hobby that she had picked up when Spencer had been younger. Many of the rest of the Elves still bought some of their clothes and Spencer would make sure that more were bought when Xibby became Draco’s.
“Master Draco?” Xibby asked pulling Draco from his thoughts.
“Why you here? You’ve been letting Jibby do all of your shopping.” Xibby wasn’t upset at asking a very personal question, and Draco was glad. He had seen how robust a House Elf could be if given a proper bond and a secure knowledge that they were no inferior. Draco wanted that for his Elves.
“I don’t think that house shopping should be left to Jibby.” Draco smiled as Xibby started to bounce on her feet. She held out her hand, and a House Elf sized clipboard appeared in her hands as well as a Mont Blanc pen. He was sure that the pen was Spencer’s, but as he was at work, it wouldn’t matter.
“So what are we looking for?” Xibby asked.
“Why don’t we go to the new coffee shop and we can settle in there and figure that out?” Draco asked.
“Yes, yes.” Xibby reached out for Draco’s hand, and he took it, but he didn’t start to walk. Instead, Draco lifted her up to where he could set her on his shoulder. She crossed her legs into a very prim and proper pose and wrapped the arm closest to Draco’s head around it to keep herself there. The Alley was very busy, and Draco knew that many in the Wizarding world wouldn’t care about kicking or even stepping on a House Elf. Draco had been that way at one point, that was before Spencer. The friendship with Spencer had changed Draco in so many ways.
Draco opened the door to the coffee shop and inhaled the scent of freshly roasted beans. The shop was lovely and employed both House Elves and young witches and wizards who wanted a little extra money while in training for their future jobs. Draco had yet to meet the person who owned the shop, but the kind old House Elf who ran the front of the house was sitting at the counter like she always was.
“Hello, Sera,” Draco said.
“Young Master Malfoy and Miss Xibby, welcome. Would you like your usual?” Sera asked.
Draco was astounded at her words, but he knew from Spencer’s Elves that if the Witch or Wizard cared the speech of an Elf could be near perfect.
“Yes and one of those newer Earl Grey iced lattes for Miss Xibby please.”
Sera nodded and shooed them away.
“Latte?” Xibby asked.
“Do you remember that drink that Spencer brought home, and Jibby stole it from him? That was one of the hot Earl Grey lattes. You love a good strong Earl Grey but don’t like it hot so I thought that iced would be good for you.”
“Oh, yes please.”
Draco plucked Xibby off of his shoulder and settled her down in the chair that had it’s back to the door. Draco didn’t want anyone sneaking up on him, and he was glad that there was nothing behind him. He didn’t trust much of the Wizarding world at the moment, given their lack of care of what Draco’s actual part in the war was.
“So what do you think that I need?” Draco asked Xibby as he started to put up wards that would allow no one to hear what they were saying. The knowledge of his soulmates was better kept a secret until their bond had been cemented or at least the other two knew about it.
“You needs an office. I hears you and Master Spence talk about what you want to do and you needs an office, no matter where you think you going to work from, you needs a home office. Room for babies.”
“Babies huh?” Draco asked with a grin on his face. He turned to look at the young House Elf who was walking up to the table with a plate of scones in her hands. Draco didn’t try and take the plate from her at all as he knew that it would upset her. She was one of the better servers in the shop, but she was still petrified of quick movements after being subjected to torture at the hands of a group of Death Eater wannabes in the aftermath of the end of the war. She had bound herself to the owner of the restaurant as soon as she had found that person but the name was never spoken. Draco knew that he could look up who owned the property, but he hadn’t yet. It was a fun little game.
“Thank you,” Draco said. He had yet to get the House Elf’s name from her.
“You are welcome. Lattes are coming up soon.” The House Elf popped away as soon as she said the N in soon.
“So how many babies am I supposed to have?” Draco asked.
“Three. We’ve already discussed that.”
“We meaning you and Jibby and not you, Jibby, and me.”
“You don’t know what you want.”
“Well, you might be right on that.”
There was a pop and Qan appeared in the middle of the shop. He looked at Draco and sighed. He tossed a book onto Draco’s lap right over the napkin he had placed over his lap.
“New book came in for the young asshole. Enjoy it well and don’t hurt the pages.” Qan left before Draco could say anything. Draco laughed and shrunk the book before slipping it into his suit pocket. He would get the Elf back when he arrived back at Reid Manor that evening. He had some knew itching powder that he would love to try on Qan. Spencer indulged the little verbal war of the words that the two of them got into, and recently it had taken on an epic proportion that included pranks.
“So three babies. Might want to talk to my at-some-point wife about that.” Draco didn’t know if they would marry as a triad or not, but it would be a long time from then.
“We make her see the light.”
Draco looked at Xibby and knew that he needed to tell her the truth of what was coming if for no other reason than she wouldn’t get attached to a place that would not suit the Lords of two Houses. Draco rubbed at the knuckle of the finger that held his family ring. Draco slipped out of his seat and kneeled beside Xibby. She looked a little worried as he held out his hand.
“Master Draco?” Xibby asked.
“I will offer the same to Jibby when we arrive home. Spencer has already given you permission to bond with me whenever I wanted you to and had lessened the bond you had with him, enough to keep you healthy but also enough to where it wouldn’t hurt you when you bound yourself to my House. So what do you say we do that now?”
It was a quick little exchange of words, and Draco felt her bond with him settle on his magical core. Draco pressed a kiss to her forehead before he settled back in his chair. Xibby had tears streaming down her face that she dotted at with a serviette from the table. As soon as the bits of wet paper hit the table, they disappeared.
“Hello Draco,” a voice called out from the doorway that led to the kitchen area of the coffee shop. It was Luna Lovegood, more recently Luna Longbottom. Draco stood up from his chair.
“Luna. You look lovely.” Draco had heard about her time in the Malfoy Manor, but Draco had been safe with Spencer during that. He had tried to get his mother to come with him, but she refused.
“Thank you. Marriage agrees with me. I was popping out to get a few things from the market when I felt the swell of magic. What have you been doing in my shop?”
“I bound Miss Xibby here to my magic is all.”
“Lovely. I had better go before the crowds hit the market.” Luna leaned over and kissed Draco’s cheek before she started to walk toward the door. Draco adored the wards that he used because it allowed for his conversations with other people to be heard if they were inside of the bubble or he spoke to them. There was also the fact that those who owned a property could call out and be heard back and forth. It was a lovely bit of magic that came from Canada and Draco was grateful for it.
“The Manor that I am looking for.”
“Manor?” Xibby asked, looking a little shocked.
“Yes. I’ll need an office and so won’t each of my mates.”
“Mates? Each? Master Draco what nonsense you be speaking?”
“I have two soulmates.”
“Two? That be so lovely. Jibby and I have our work cut out for us.” Xibby started to write on the paper on the clipboard. “What they do?”
“One is in training to be an Auror, and I figure that it won’t be long after that he is made the Head Auror. The other is in school to be a lawyer.”
“Master Spence met with a lady yesterday that is trying to become a lawyer. Miss Hermione Granger.”
“Yes.” Draco tried not to think about her or Potter.
“What else you need to make mates happy?”
“A lot of land, I want a Quidditch pitch on the property. I adore playing and while I won’t have a whole team around the Auror and I were both seekers so we can play against each other that way. Also a large library. I want a lot of books. Bedrooms for each of us or a large master bedroom that we can change to have three suites off of it. My mates and I have a lot of problems to overcome before we can even think of bonding and I want this house to show them that I mean it when I say that I want them.”
“You act like they would be horrible to you.”
“We were horrible to each other in school. Spencer is the only thing that stopped me from becoming what my father wanted me to be, Xibby. I am all in on this. Magic thinks that we are perfect for each and I trust in that. They will not.”
“They be Muggle-borns?” Xibby asked.
“As close as. The female is Muggle-born but very book knowledge smart. She’s not delved much at all into the lore behind Magical soulmates. The male he’s Half-blood, but his education in the Magical world lacks a great deal. He had very lax teachers growing up.”
Draco had never asked before who raised him. Dumbledore had told the courts time and again that Potter was safe and they trusted him. A young man stepped out from behind the counter with Draco’s plain latte, and a tall cup that was made for House Elf sized hands with Xibby’s Earl Grey iced latte inside of it. He set down a pitcher beside the cup that made up the rest of the standard sized drink. Xibby leaned forward and took a sip of her drink before putting a straw in it. She beamed at Draco before taking the straw from the young man.
Potter had lacked in a lot of information that Draco had assumed at the time was him just not caring about the social standards of the Wizarding world. Draco wondered about the first time that he had met him with the oversized clothes. Potter had worn clothes like them all the time when he was not in school robes, and he wore school clothes more than any other student in the school. Yet when he had appeared in public the first time after the end of the world, he had been in much better clothes. He looked like the young Lord of an Ancient and Noble House. Draco had been shocked by the change and assumed that someone had instructed him on how he should dress.
Everything that Draco had assumed was Potter flaunting the social etiquette of the Ancient and Noble houses could be explained by not having a Wizarding guardian. Draco felt a little shame at that. Spencer had asked him once if anyone knew who had raised him and Draco had been unable to tell him.
“Or he was raised in the Muggle world with no education on Wizarding society until he came to Hogwarts,” Draco admitted.
Xibby looked at Draco with a look of shock on her face. She looked down at her notes and then back at Draco before taking a long drink of her latte.
“Please, Master Draco, say their names.”
“Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.”
“Oh dear. That going to be…” Xibby swallowed and looked at Draco with a look of support on her face. The whole of the Elves that lived in Reid Manor knew of the issues between Draco and his two soulmates. “You going to have to be on your best behaviour. You no same my new House with treating your mates like you have for years.”
“I know this very well, Xibby. I will try not to be a git as Qan so lovingly calls me.”
“When we meet them?” Xibby asked.
“Well, that’s where it becomes an issue. They don’t know that I am their mate. My father tried to hide it from me, but Spencer found word of it in a journal. I am going to get the Manor ready for them and then approach them. I want to show them that I am in on this. I need to set up a new Manor anyway. I have to show the new Malfoy image.”
“You be good Lord Malfoy, Master Draco. Jibby and I make sure you not a git.” Xibby looked at the paper in front of her. “You want Quidditch pitch for you and for Lord Potter. What you want that is just for you?”
“Space for a potions lab and a tub big enough to swim in.”
“You know that this going to be hard to find.”
“I’m okay with having people come in and do the small things like the tub. The library, potions lab, and land big enough for a pitch are not negotiable.”
“Can work with that. Did you want me to go while you do other things or go together?”
Hermione straightened the collar of her cloak before wrapping it tightly around her body. The October air was biting on her skin. She was worn out from a morning of classes and sleeping like shit on Harry’s couch. Hermione knew that Harry didn’t understand why she wouldn’t take his bed and it had solely to do with the fact that she was afraid of what she would be surrounded by the scent of him. He attraction to Ron had been solely for the fact that he had paid attention to her. It had been sloppy attention, but it was more than she had ever got before.
Surviving the war and seeing Harry struggling in the aftermath made Hermione grow up the rest of the way. She got rid of things that did not do her well at all, and the main thing on that was getting rid of Ron. It had been hard to endure what came in the aftermath of that, but Hermione was very glad that she had never given into Ron’s want of sex. That was part of what made Hermione see him for what he was because he cared little for things that were not sex-related. Hermione knew that she was considered frigid by the standards of many of the Witches and Wizards in Hogwarts. Hermione had no qualms about sex or about having before marriage. The only wedding rights that would demand her enter the marriage a virgin were ones that she would never agree to because she would give up any chance of divorce or to keep any children that resulted from the marriage.
“Excuse me,” a voice said.
Hermione looked up to see that she had stopped in the mouth of the alley where she was headed. Her mind might have been elsewhere, but it seemed her magic knew what it wanted.
“Sorry.” Hermione looked up as she spoke to see that it was Malfoy who had spoke and he looked at her in a way that he never had before. Hermione had no clue what that look was. Hermione stepped to the side to allow Malfoy to leave the alley. It was the first time that she had been around Malfoy since the Final Battle.
“It’s perfectly fine. You were standing there for over a minute before I spoke. You come on into the alley out of the cold,” Malfoy said. He stepped to the side a little to allow Hermione to enter the alley. Hermione unclasped the hook keeping her cloak at her neck as she stepped into the alley. She dropped her hands, and a gust of wind rushed through, and Hermione tried to grab her cloak, but it was carried off by the wind. Hermione grabbed her wand, but by the time that she was able to see it, it was being run over by a car. It was her only cloak. Hermione had not worn long sleeves because of joining Lord Reid in his lab, and she was unsure of the temperature of the place.
“Bloody hell.” Hermione didn’t care about the cloak as much as she didn’t really have the money for a new one that was as good as that one. She had a small trust from her grandparents but had spent most of it on her education and books needed. If she asked Harry for help, he would give it to her. She just didn’t know if she could do it.
“Here.” Malfoy stepped up to her with his cloak outstretched. Hermione looked at his hand before looking at his face again. “It’s not going to bite.”
“I know.” Hermione reached out and took it without even thinking. She put it on when the wind picked up again, bringing rain down as well as an even chiller wind with it. It was only a little warm from his body heat, but it was softer than her own had been. She felt it start to warm up even more. It was well charmed, which hers had not been. Her’s had been Muggle.
“You can owl it to Spencer tonight when you get home or keep it until you get a replacement. The weather is just supposed to stay cold the next few days.”
“Thank you, Lord Malfoy.”
“Draco, please.” Malfoy stepped up to Hermione and closed the clasp on the cloak and pulled up the hood. She felt herself start to get warm and she wasn’t sure that it was all the charm work on the cloak. “It looks good on you. Much better than it does on me. Mother has her ideas of what looks good on me, and I think most of the time that it has to do with keeping me a child. I think it was a bit of destiny. Please, Miss Granger, keep it as it does look much better on you.”
“If you insist on me calling you Draco, please call me Hermione.”
“Hermione. Don’t keep Spencer waiting. He’s quite hungry but demanding that he wait for you to eat lunch.” Malfoy smiled at Hermione before sweeping past her with barely a glance back. Hermione turned to watch him leave unsure of just what the hell had just happened. She waited until he disappeared around the corner. She almost rushed after him to hand it back as she was going inside and he seemed to be walking around. When Hermione made it to the opening of the alley, she saw Malfoy turn into a shop that sold Wizard and Muggle clothes down the block.
Hermione turned and walked back to the phone booth, and she said the words that would take her down to where she wanted to go. There was no music in the lift as it started up. However, instead of doing down, there was an opening on the side of the building, and that was where the lift went. After a few seconds of travelling, it stopped and turned direction to head perpendicular to where it had been going before. The door opened into a lab, and she saw Reid standing at a desk with a bunch of books spread out around him. Hermione exited the lift but didn’t go any further into the room. There was no one else in the room, and Reid seemed to be lost in his own world.
After three minutes Reid reached out with a hand to pick up what looked like a pretzel stick and snapped it in half before popping both pieces into his mouth. He chewed on them as he started to write something out in a Muggle notebook beside him. Hermione gave it another minute before she cleared her throat.
Reid looked up and his face split into a grin. “Welcome, Miss Granger. Please come in. Please. I’m thrilled to have you here.” Reid closed the book that he was reading and stepped around the table that he had been standing in front of but stopped when he took her in the whole way. “Why are you wearing Draco’s cloak?”
“Stupid weather got worse and took mine for a ride, and it landed under the tyre of a moving car. Draco gave me this. He said it looked better on me and told me to keep it.”
“It does look better on you than him. Bless Narcissa, she’s trying to make up for years of having to act a certain way by taking Draco clothes shopping. I hope you are hungry. Libby found out that I was sharing food with someone today, so she pulled out all of the stops. There are five courses for this bloody meal.”
“Five courses?” Hermione asked. She reached up to unclasp the cloak, but as she touched it, it came undone on its own but didn’t even start to slip down. She would have to owl Malfoy to ask just what the hell the cloak did.
“Come on. No one is going to bother us so come in and settle in. I have a book for you to read over before we get started so if you don’t want to keep up with small talk you and I can both just read books.” Reid waved at a table that was on the far side of the room that had food trays laid out on it as well as plates and what looked like a bottle of wine. Hermione stepped forward to try and read it, but the words were in a language that she didn’t know. She thought about how it could have been Reid himself that was her soulmate, and instead of just saying it he was wooing her with deception.
“I think maybe this was a mistake,” Hermione said, and she touched her throat, and the cloak closed the clasp again. She turned, but the lift was not there anymore. Hermione pulled her wand and turned to look at Reid. He looked crestfallen. Hell, he looked gutted.
“I messed up dammit. He’s going-” Reid pressed his lips together, and his face turned back into what kind of looked like a blank slate. There was no emotion on it. “I’m sorry, Miss Granger that I freaked you out. I sometimes forget that no one likes me for who I am except for my Elves and Draco. The lift only works on dropping people off but there is an apparition point over there in the corner it only goes out to the alley. Have a wonderful day.”
Reid turned away from Hermione, and as he turned, he waved toward a corner. Hermione opened her mouth to call out, but Reid disappeared through a doorway. Hermione tried to follow him but was stopped by a barrier. It probably led to the rest of the Department of Mysteries, and this was probably his office that was why he had access that wasn’t through the Ministry.
There was the sound of a pop and Hermione turned to see a very cute looking female Elf by the food. She touched each tray, and her frown deepened as she touched the bottle of wine. The Elf turned and jumped when she saw Hermione.
“Excuse me, ma’am. Where be Master Spence?” The Elf took a step towards Hermione and looked very upset.
“I upset him, and he disappeared into the Department, I think. He went through that door.” Hermione pointed toward where the door was. The Elf’s frown deepened.
“Why you upset him?”
“He-” Hermione stopped and pointed at the food. The Elf turned and looked at it.
“You don’t like the food? I can make you whatever you like. If you don’t like fruit juice, I can get coffee, that weird Muggle fizzy stuff that Master Draco likes even. Tea. I can make you any kind of tea that you want. My name be Libby, and I Master Spence’s chef Elf.” Libby looked very excited at the prospect of getting her something else to drink.
“That’s fruit juice?”
“Oh yes, Polish. Master Spence like it since he was a child. His mom brought it home for him after a trip with bad Master. What did you think it was?”
“Wine? Oh no. Master Spence only drink wine at night. Never during work.” Libby looked behind Hermione, and that made Hermione turn around to see Reid stepping into the room again. He stopped when he saw Hermione still standing there.
“Don’t go,” Hermione said loudly when it seemed like he was going to go backwards out of the room.
“Yous sits down, Master Spence,” Libby said.
Reid looked at the House Elf for a second before he started fully into the room and skirted past Hermione before sitting down on top of another table and not in front of the food like Libby had pointed. Libby sighed, and the look on her face said that she was used to it.
“I think that we got off on the wrong foot, Lord Reid. I assumed things with looking at the food. I thought that you were trying to get me on a date without calling it a date.”
“That’s…Miss Granger, I promise you that I am very firmly gay. I can appreciate the assets that a woman has, but tits and a slit between the legs don’t do a damned thing for me. I should have started with that. Or at least that I am not the secret soulmate of yours. If you wanted to know though I would tell you.”
Hermione looked at Reid and watched him as he acted a lot more sure of himself than he looked to be feeling. Hermione understood what he said though about people not liking him for him. Hermione had felt like that until Ron and Harry. Ron though had been false it seemed, but Harry stuck with her through everything. He made staying in the Wizarding world worth whatever abuse she took.
“No, please keep it a secret for now. I’m already talking Harry into going with me to the book. I think in a few days I can have it happen. I would rather see the words for myself than to know them beforehand and not go out of spite. Do you have a soulmate?”
“Yes, I do. I went to the book the morning that I turned seventeen. It’s going to be a long time before he would ever look in my direction as anything other than someone that he hates.”
“Oh Lord that’s…” Hermione trailed off and stepped over to the table that he was sitting on. She hopped up beside him and took off the cloak. She looked around for a safe place to put it, but Reid held out his hand, and she handed it over. He let go of the cloak as soon as it was fully in his hand. Hermione watched as it flew off to the side of the room and settled on a coat rack there along with what looked like about five others.
“I always remember to wear them into work but forget them when I leave. Tibby, my personal Elf, comes and collects them when I run out at home.”
Hermione gasped when the table that had the food on it transfigured in front of her to a bar style table and scooted closer to them.
“You are going to show me how to teach myself on all of that right?”
“Of course. I have the book I want you to read here and a few others you can take with you, but the one can’t leave my side as it’s an entailed Reid family book. The others I have purchased for you to take with you as there are more copies than what exists in my library.”
Reid held out his hand, and a book flew to it. He handed it over. Hermione traced her fingers over the grooves in the cover that spelled out the title of the book as well as the name. A. Merlin Reid was the author’s name.
“My great-great-great-great-great grandfather had high hopes for his son. Ambrosius Merlin Reid. He went by Merry to everyone. He was book smart instead of a potion maker or a spell creator, but he was damned good at wandless and silent casting. It wasn’t really that big then, just as it is now. I think it has more to do with being forced to use a wand to do magic as if you don’t have your wand, you can’t do magic.”
“Do you use your wand?”
“When in public but then it’s only for show. I’ve not needed since I turned seventeen. When I finished my magical maturation, I didn’t need it at all anymore.” Reid held out his hand, and a wand shot out into it. He looked at it before grabbing a napkin from the stack beside the food. He wiped a few things off of the wand. “As you can see I tend to lose track of it inside of my lab.”
There was a pop and Hermione looked around to see that Libby had left.
“She worries when I don’t eat by a certain time.”
“No, no. Assumptions are horrible, but I can see where you would think what you did. It’s forgotten, I promise.” Reid tapped the book. “So into reading. All of the food is finger foods. Even the salads. I don’t even want to know where Libby got the idea to wrap a salad in a larger leaf of lettuce. They are good. She made them for dinner last night. You ought to have seen Draco. He kept poking them with his fork and expecting them to explode or something.”
Hermione laughed as Reid smiled. It changed his face to something very beautiful.
“What’s Malfoy like? I know what he was like at school, but he’s very changed after the death of his father and really that whole year of hell. He’s…softer in a way that I never thought that he would be.”
“Lucius Malfoy loved the idea of his son and his son being the perfect son, and that was never going to be Draco. He tried. Right up until Lucius started to talk about Draco taking the Mark. Lucius knew that Riddle was trying to find a new body, and working on making one if needed. It could have been stopped. I didn’t find out about it until after Diggory and Potter took the cup. By then he was back. Lucius was in the stands, and I was spying, but then they were back, and it was very evident that Diggory was very dead. Fudge refused to see what was coming. Then I went home and found Unspeakables outside of my Manor. Nibby was keeping them out, but I let them in.”
“So early? I knew that after it was all said and done the Unspeakables stood up for you and Malfoy.”
Reid picked up a lid off of a tray, and Hermione looked at the little salad pods for lack of a better term. Reid picked one up and popped it into his mouth, chewing slowly but humming. Hermione followed suit. There was just enough of the dressing inside to make it like a perfect bite of salad.
“I don’t know if she cooks like this for finger food, I might have to pay her to cook for me. I can eat without having to stop reading, and that is all kinds of wonderful. I’m intrigued by what is under the last four lids.”
“All in good time,” Reid said with a laugh. He picked up a few of the salad wraps and held them up with between each of the four fingers on his hand. He lifted his hand up to drop one in his mouth. He poked at Hermione’s book with the other hand before he leaned back on the table and tucked his legs up to where he could lay his book that appeared in his hands on his lap. Hermione watched him read for a few seconds before she adopted the same pose. She heard the tray scrape on the table to see that Reid pulled it up to where it was between their feet on their table. She grabbed a handful of the salad wraps and dropped one in her mouth.
Hours passed by with Hermione eating whatever Reid opened up next. Each of the trays of food was wonderful, and Hermione was tempted to ask him how much a small version of lunch like this would be each day. Between classes and working at the Law Firm, Hermione would get a lot more done if she could eat lunch without having to actually block out time to eat. Reid read seventeen books in the time that it took Hermione to read the one book but when she read what she could of Reid’s books it was all to do with summoning creatures and things. She didn’t want to ask, and he didn’t offer.
The afternoon was one of the better ones that Hermione could remember she ever had. She made a plan to ask him for more afternoons like it except maybe on weekends. She was looking forward to a friend who liked to read as much as she did. Hell, she was looking forward to a friend in general.
Harry pulled off the robes that signified him as an Auror in training. Underneath he was dressed in a simple pale green jumper and jeans. He was enjoying buying his own clothes and knew that as Lord Potter he had an image he had to maintain. There had been several stories about the way he dressed when he was younger as compared to then in the papers and magazines. Harry had ignored every single one of them. The lack of care of a child wearing oversized clothes for years and then all of a sudden changing that when he was on his own showed that they cared nothing for his actual living situation.
Hermione was nowhere to be seen, but Harry wasn’t shocked about that. She was probably stuck talking to Reid, either b her choice or his. Harry didn’t know what to think of Reid’s all of a sudden interest in her. Harry had spent most of the day thinking about it.
“Harry?” Neville called out.
Harry turned to face his partner and smiled at him, making Neville frown even more. Neville gripped Harry’s arm and tugged him over in a corner to where they could see everything and anyone approaching them.
“You’ve been staring off into space for five minutes and didn’t hear m the first five times I called out to you.”
“Just worried about something, Nev.”
“Hermione’s day with Reid?”
“How did you know?”
“It’s the talk of the Ministry. However, you don’t have to worry about him trying to get in her clothes. He’s gay and wouldn’t know what to do with a woman and pleasure.”
“Do you remember him from school? I barely do, and it’s mainly to do with the one Hotchner kid making his life a living hell.”
“Growing up, before I went to Hogwarts I played with him a lot. After I went to Hogwarts, he stopped coming around. After his first year, I figured out why. He stopped hanging out with everyone around the time that his mother supposedly went ill. I asked him about it one day in the library our fifth year and his third. He was afraid that his father would kill his mother.”
“I read everything over after I claimed the Potter title. There were many records of him going to the Aurors. Going to Dumbledore. That was a situation that was very much in line with turning him into another Riddle; you know that right?”
“I stayed away from reading about that. I didn’t want to bias myself either direction, and it was done and over with.”
“Dumbledore wanted him sent to an orphanage that Half-bloods are sent to when their parents die since no one wanted to claim him. If it weren’t for his solicitor who claimed him until he could legally make himself an adult, he would have been. That would have been hell. I would rather have stayed with the Dursleys than go to that place. I went there after the war. It was horrible. I understand why Dumbledore didn’t want me there but if it wasn’t good enough for me, how the hell was it good enough for anyone else.?”
“I don’t know. We’ve been working on it though. Every single Pure-blood family donated to the new orphanage that you turned that one Potter property into. I think it was mostly guilt, but it’s a good place. Love to stay and chat but Luna is expecting me at the shop.”
“Putting you to work?”
“Taste testing. She has a few new desserts she wants to run, and I am her taste tester.”
“So a fun evening?” Harry clasped Neville on the shoulder and looked at the lifts. One door opened and Hermione and Reid stepped out. Harry felt a shock at the way that he looked. The style for young lords of houses had changed with Harry steadfastly refusing to grow out his hair. Neville had followed suit as did many of the ones that Harry had gone to school with. After Malfoy had cut his into a short shag, some of the older Nobles had done the same.
Hermione was more animated than Harry had seen her in a long time. Reid was smìling, and it was making Harry a little hot under the collar. Which shocked harry as it had been a very long time since anyone, but Ginny had made him feel like that. Harry didn’t know what to do. He loved Ginny, but her demands on him lately had been getting to be too much. She hated that he donated to charity instead of spending it on her. Hated that he ate meals with Hermione more than with her. Ginny wanted meals out and dancing in clubs that Harry didn’t want to do. Hermione didn’t want to go out at all an preferred to eat in and made no demands on harry besides just being in the room. If Harry didn’t want to talk, she wouldn’t make him. Either filling the silence with her own words or just sitting and reading. Harry kept dates with Ginny to the weekend where he could stay out late and not be too tired for Auror training.
“And it really did that?”
“Oh yes. Professor Vector was astonished. It made her smile and after the war, making her smile was worth the detention I got. Oh, hello,” Reid said when he looked up to see Harry who had stayed where he was, and Hermione had directed the both of them towards him.
“Hello, Lord Reid,” Harry said.
Reid’s face crinkled in displeasure. “Call me Spencer, please.”
“Harry then.” Harry held out his hand for a shake. Reid looked down at it for a few seconds before he actually took it. Harry was shocked at how strong the hold on his hand was. It wasn’t like Reid was trying to dominate the handshake but more that it was someone who wasn’t used to shaking and didn’t want it to be too weak. Harry relaxed his grip and Reid’s relaxed down to a normal pressure. “Hermione convinced me to not just rush out to the book to look at the name and that I should not pressure you for the name as well. I think she was afraid that I would trap you in a room and demand it.”
“Harry James Potter!” Hermione said.
“Like you would have a chance of keeping me anywhere that I wouldn’t want to be.”
Harry raised his eyebrow at Reid and his statement. The sound of a pop happened, and Harry looked about to see a House Elf standing beside Reid on the side of him that was not Hermione’s side.
“My sister kindly requests your presence at dinner, Miss Hermione,” the House Elf said looking at Hermione as he spoke.
“Oh, I had plans with Harry for dinner.”
“Lord Potter can come to dinner as well. Libby can make for one or three.”
“Draco was coming to dinner.”
“Yes, and his mother talked him into an International portkey to Paris and back for dinner. Draco also wanted NIbby to talk you into going out to eat, but I knows you not want to so Libby mentioned asking Miss Hermione and if Lord Potter wanted to come, he could.”
“We shouldn’t, Harry but I want to. Lunch was so good.”
“I would adore having you both over. Draco has been my only dining partner for a while.”
Harry thought about that fact that Malfoy spent a lot of time with Reid and that didn’t sit well with him, and he didn’t understand why.
“You know, Hermione has been my only dining partner other than Ginny, and I think that some guy time would be lovely.” Harry stepped closer to Reid and touched his arm. He had no clue what he was doing, but he sidled just a little bit closer, and he watched as Reid’s eyes tracked his movement and his pupil expanded a little in shock or excitement. Harry knew that Ginny’s eyes did something like it when they were snogging after dinner. Harry knew that he was flirting, but he hadn’t ever really done it before, and it felt weird.
“Well guy time with Hermione,” Reid said, and he waved at someone who was on the other side of the room. Harry looked up to see who and when he looked back, Reid was on the other side of Hermione and giving Harry weird looks.
“I’m used to being considered one of the guys. When your two best friends growing up are guys, you get used to it.”
“That’s a shame. You are so lovely I’m shocked that no one else tried to slip in and steal you from them considering that you turned out so beautiful and so intelligent.”
“Not many men in the Wizarding world care for a woman who is intelligent,” Hermione said with a not small amount of derision in her voice. It pulled Harry back, and he looked at her. He tried to say something to tell her that he would have done it. The thought was fleeting, and when Harry blinked to clear his sight before shaking his head to clear it, he saw that Reid and Hermione were looking at him at the exit point onto the Muggle streets. Harry jogged to catch up.
“It’s stupid really marrying someone who is not equal in intelligence is disserving,” Reid said.
“Then why aren’t you trying to find someone other than Hermione to slip into your bed and make babies with?” Harry asked before he could think and he didn’t know why it came out.
“HARRY JAMES!” Hermione spun on her heel and whack Harry’s arm.
Harry opened his mouth to say that he was sorry and he didn’t know why he said it or where it came from. He knew that Reid was gay. Even before Neville had said it, there were rumours.
“I think that maybe it’s best if I was not around Lord Potter at the moment as much like being around Draco I just bring out the worst in Lord Potter. Good day to you both.” Reid tipped his head in a mockery of tipping a hat to them before he stepped through the wall that was an exit only, put in after so many fights inside of the Ministry and no way out for others that didn’t take forever. Reid turned an apparated away as soon as he was clear without a backward glance at all.
“What the hell was that?” Hermione demanded of Harry.
“I don’t know. I just really don’t know. Tomorrow after I am done with training I’ll stop by his office and talk to him. I just don’t know where that came from.”
“He’s gay, Harry and knows exactly who his soulmate is but is afraid of being rejected wholesale so he doesn’t even look up anything on him. We talked about it, and he’s so damned lonely and isolated. I think that you behaving like that was just one thing too many. I made an assumption before, and I hurt him as well. He told me that he forgot that no one but Malfoy and his House Elves likes him for who he is. What kind of life has he had if Malfoy and his House Elves are his only friends?”
Hermione looked to be on the verge of tears, so Harry wrapped his arm around her and coaxed her out of the Ministry. He didn’t have an answer to that. He thought about his first real friend that he ever considered that he had. Hedwig. He thought about her in his flat and missed her at that moment even though it had only been since that morning since he saw her.
“I never had friends,” Harry started as they walked down the street. This wasn’t something that he wanted to really go into, but he wanted her to understand him. “Dudley made sure that everyone that we went to school with thought of me as a freak. Then I got this weird letter, and Hagrid showed up. He bought me my first birthday present ever, Hedwig. After I got back to Number Four with all of the things that I needed for school, I spent the entire night reading everything that I could on magic, and I told Hedwig all about it. I consider her my first friend ever and then there was Ron, and I stayed friends with him longer than I should have because he was the first human friend that I had. I can understand not wanting to give that up but I look back, and I know that after the Triwizard Tournament I never should have allowed him to be my friend anymore. You have always been a truer friend than him, and I hate that sometimes I ignored you in favour of him. I don’t want to lose you, Hermione.”
“Making new friends isn’t going to make me forget you, Harry. You and Ron were my first friends as well. Those I considered my true friends. I had girls that I was kind of close to growing up, but it was just because we were close in age and where we lived. My first summer back home after our first year, none of them wanted to hang out with me anymore. Neville and Luna keep inviting me over for tea on Sunday afternoons, but I keep refusing. I stay at Mom and Dad’s, and I work on school work. Double checking everything even though I know it’s perfect because it’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done, but nothing in life is going to change if we don’t get out there and do something. Weekdays we focus on training and on classes but what if on the weekends we do stuff for us again? We can start with going to Neville and Luna’s and have tea.”
“Ginny likes to go out dancing on Saturdays after we have our very public date. I think that a afternoon tea would be wonderful.”
“You’ve not…” Hermione stopped walking and looked around. She bit at her lip for a few seconds. “Can we go to your place?”
“Sure.” Harry tugged her even closer to his body. He was best at side-along apparition, so it was never a question of her pulling him along with her. They appeared in the closest spot to the flat that Harry felt safe appearing as it was a Muggle area of London. Hermione pulled her cloak in tighter, and Harry realised that it was a new one. “Where did you get that? A present from Reid?”
Hermione looked at Harry with a look of shock on her face, and Harry realised that he said Reid’s name like it was a curse. Harry wanted to shut his mouth and never speak again. He was messing everything up.
“Malfoy gave it to me after mine was ruined by a car running it over during that horrible storm this afternoon. He was a perfect gentleman about it as well. He said that he liked the look of it on me better than how he liked it on himself.”
Harry couldn’t say anything about that. There was no rush of emotion which Harry knew that there should be because a gift from Malfoy wasn’t good. Why the hell did he have an issue with a gift coming from Reid but not Malfoy? Malfoy was an asshole and the one big part of Harry’s childhood that he hated.
There was silence as they made their way to the lift that would take them up to the fifth floor. After a few minutes of doing everything but talk, Harry turned to look at Hermione to see that she was looking out the window into Muggle London.
“I think that I’m just stressed out with Auror training. Please don’t…I don’t know what the hell I am saying what I am saying and I don’t understand it. You do need friends outside of me.”
“We need friends outside of each other, Harry. We’ve clung to each other too tight since the end of the war. We went through all of that therapy, and we did well with it, but we’ve not expanded on it. You have Ginny, but no one else in the Weasley family gives us the time of day after I broke it off with Ron. We are an island, and we don’t need to be anymore.”
“Reid is the type of person that I think you should have made friends with in school. I never saw past his house and then what happened with his father. I hate that I let Ron’s hatred of Slytherin colour me in the way that I did. I hate that there were some that could have been stopped from following their parents if anyone had shown them that there was something different. Look at Malfoy, he kept out of it all and denounced all friends that were even suspected of taking the Mark. We were children who were making stupid decisions, and no one in that school tried to help. It’s like we were rewarded for making the Slytherin house the scapegoats for everything.”
“I thought you let go of all of that?” Hermione asked as she stepped up to Harry and pulled him into a hug. He hugged her back just as tight.
“I did, but it comes up sometimes, and I look at Reid, and I see what he is and think about what he could be if anyone had actually done more than slap Hotchner’s hands and call him a bad boy.”
“That’s why you’ve been speaking about the Hogwarts houses in interviews isn’t?”
“House loyalty is all well and good, just like a sports team though you don’t fucking hate people who are close to you that like a different team.”
There was a pop in the room, and Harry turned toward it. He only had Dobby as his House Elf, the Elf had been able to be healed after being attacked. He almost hadn’t. However, Dobby wasn’t there. Dobby was spending his days helping a few families that needed help after the war, single parents who needed a little help to care for kids and such. Dobby was finding more and more Elves to help him with it as well. Unbonded ones and getting bonds for free with the families. Harry was able to keep his own place clean. A piece of paper dropped down to the kitchen table. Harry tried not to feel a sense of dread as Hermione walked over to pick it up. She turned her face to Harry with a smile on it.
“Libby, that’s Spencer’s chef Elf, is willing to feed us still but you have to call an Elf named Rael so that she can cross your wards.”
“Rael,” Harry called out before he could talk himself out of it. The Elf that appeared looked so damned adorable. Harry smiled at her as she held out a bottle of something. Harry couldn’t read the words.
“Polish sparkling fruit juice. A favourite of Spencer’s. We had this at lunch. Thank you, Rael. You can bring the food into the kitchen here. You look adorable.”
“Thank you. I went to a fashion show with Miss Narcissa a few months back. She bought me several outfits. This was one of them.” Rael grabbed the edge of her skirt and did a little twirl. Flowers arced off of the dress but when they hit the floor, they disappeared. It was damned adorable, and Harry could see why Reid sent her. There was no way that even a Death Eater would hurt her unless they were truly fucked up. Harry made a mental note to formally apologise to Reid the next day.
October 4, 2000
Draco was bored out of his mind as he looked at each of the files for the Manors for sale through the person who Draco had found. None of the properties looked like places that he wanted to actually live in the long-term. It Draco didn’t want anything as large as the Malfoy Manor but big enough for his two soulmates and himself to have a bedroom alone as well as one for all three, enough bedroom for kids if they had any and a floor for offices. Changing his brain to think of them as Harry and Hermione instead of Potter and Granger would take time.
The night out with his mother in Paris had been lovely. Draco had known there was a reason for the trip and he allowed his mother to stew in her words before she spoke. It wasn’t as bad as Draco thought it was going to be. She wanted to moved to Paris for a while to get away from London and the stigmata of being a Malfoy. She had already found a home that she wanted to purchase and just needed Draco to okay the funds out of the Malfoy holdings. Draco hated that he had to approve every single purchase of his mother’s, but she insisted on it. Draco had been willing to give her enough to live on the rest of her life and put it into a vault, but she hadn’t wanted to do that.
Xibby poked Draco in the ribs. Draco looked at the woman in front of him before he closed the final file.
“None of these fit what I want.”
“I’m sorry Lord Malfoy these are the only properties for sale in and around London that fit what you asked for.” The woman looked very upset at what Draco said. The commision that she would make on a sale like that would be a great deal of money.
“I’ll have to change what I want them. I’ll contact you when I figure it out.” Draco stood up and pushed the folder back to the woman. He held out his hand, and Xibby slipped from her chair and linked her hand with his.
Jibby was clearing everything that Draco wanted out of the Malfoy Manor and taking it to Spencer’s to be ready for when Draco found a place for him and his two soulmates. It was slow going of course, but then he had time. It would be a long time before Potter and Granger were going to want to move in. Draco stopped just outside of the Wizarding Realtors and thought about what he really wanted, and he had been thinking Manor which was vastly different than a castle.
“Xibby, can you see if Spitehex is willing to meet with me today?” Draco asked her.
“Of course, Master Draco.”
Draco found a spot to sit down on a bench in front of Flourish and Blotts, and he resized the book that he was currently reading. A Muggle story about politics that Spencer thoughts that he would enjoy. After Draco had made it through the first quarter of the book, he had been able to really get into it. The discussion about the blue eyes and the substance that was called spice but wasn’t anything that was Muggle or Wizarding in comparison had thrown him. Draco could see why Spencer thought he would like it though as the politics of whole book and the series as a whole were very intriguing. It was warmer in the Alley than it was anywhere else. The in and out of the shops made for warming charms. Some businesses used them more than others, but Draco liked to go from shop to shop and not have to worry about taking his cloak on and off. There was a pop beside him, and he looked at what page number he was on before looking to his left at the little Elf that was there.
“Hello, Rael, it’s rare to see you out of Reid Manor.”
“Master Pen sent me last night to be the person who took Miss Hermione and Lord Potter their dinner.”
“Oh, really?” Draco smiled and leaned back. Rael was a very small Elf, her family line of Elves was always very small. Draco had felt like he would break her by touching her. Spencer had acquired her as part of a Wergild from the Ministry for their failure on protecting him before he was forced to kill his father. She had been a very timid little thing before Spencer had started to educate her on what he wanted from her. Spencer though had always said that her bond wasn’t as strong with him as it was with the rest of his Elves. He felt more like Magic wanted him to protect her until it was time for her to find her true master or mistress.
“Miss Hermione’s magics were very nice.”
“Really?” Draco asked. He crossed his legs and leaned back before he patted his knee. Rael climbed into his lap before moving to sit on his knee. She sat there like she would on a horse while riding sidesaddle. Rael frowned for a few seconds before she sighed and a small glass of what looked like iced tea appeared in her hands. Draco kept his laugh to himself. Spencer hated Draco for introducing iced tea to his Elves, as well as iced coffee.
“I talked to Master Pen about it. He not sleep well last night. He said it’s sometime to do with his soulmate. Something about his magics acting weird and he can feel it’s because of his soulmate.”
“I see. I’ll keep an eye on him tonight. Maybe if he has trouble sleeping tonight, you can come and get me.”
“Sleepover?” Rael asked.
Draco allowed himself to laugh at that because it was what all of the Elves had always called it when Draco had illegally apparated to Reid Manor when things were bad at home during the summer and ended up curled up in Spencer’s bed.
“Yes, a sleepover.”
“I make sure that Nibby makes sure Master Pen in good pyjamas.”
“So why are you here talking to me about everything but what it seems you want to talk to me about?” Draco asked.
“Master Pen said that I had to ask you before I offered to bond with Miss Hermione.”
Draco looked at the little Elf and frowned at her. She had said that Granger’s magics felt good, but Draco hadn’t seen that coming. He would adore seeing what Granger said about a House Elf wanting to bond with her. After getting out of Hogwarts Granger had got a very quick lesson on what a House Elf’s magic would and wouldn’t allow a Master or Mistress to do to them. Dobby had stayed at long as he had with the Malfoys because of Draco. Draco had never had the nerve to ask Potter what happened to the Elf. Spencer had said that Granger lived with her parents so he had no clue what Rael would do for her.
“You think that she’s the one for you?” Draco asked.
“Yes. She feels really good, kind of like you do, but Lord Potter feels the same way. You two feel alike while she feels like a furnace. I didn’t like leaving, so I made them think that I left and cleaned up. Lord Potter’s flat is very…lonely. He’s not happy at all, and he doesn’t like it there, but he doesn’t want to leave either. Mistress Hermione feels the same way when I followed her to her childhood home this morning. They need something more to feel alive, and I make sure at least that Mistress Hermione has it.”
“You’ll be a wonderful Elf for her.” Draco looked around to see that no one was really that focused on them but this was not the time and place to tell her about his soulmates. Draco felt for them.
“Spitehex tells you to come after lunch,” Xibby said as she appeared in the spot where Rael had been sitting.
“Good. Your sister promised me a good lunch today if I could convince Spencer to eat breakfast. I got him to eat breakfast so let’s see what kind of lunch Libby has cooked up for us.” Draco had wondered about why Libby had promised him a spectacular lunch for getting Spencer to eat breakfast. Draco picked up Rael and set her down before he stood up and allowed the two Elves to pop him back to Spencer’s Manor.
Spencer’s soulmate was a very touchy topic. Draco had been the one to help him come to terms with what happened when he turned seventeen, but Spencer had never shared the man’s name with him. Draco had been tempted several times to get Spencer drunk and get the name from him, but he wouldn’t know what to do with it. Spencer saw it as his soulmate was happy and in love, with someone else, the best thing that he could do was allow his soulmate to be happy with the life that he wanted and not the life that fate forced on him. At one point, Draco had wondered if it was Potter because that man was gone on Ginny, but Spencer had admitted the man was over five years older than them and one of the fighters in the war.
There were a lot of fighters in the war, and more than one of them was in a steady relationship. There was, of course, Potter who Draco thought more and more that Spencer was right and he was under the effects of a love potion, but the thing was that none of the potions that were typical acted like Potter was acting. Draco understood now what Spencer meant by the fact that he didn’t care about himself.
Draco’s world had shifted when he had read the words in his father’s hand about who he was destined to be with. Drac wanted them both happy. None of them had a happy life growing up, Granger’s had been the best, but it was still not the best with being best friends with the one person in the United Kingdom that had a target painted on their back from the day they were born. Draco knew that Potter’s life couldn’t be that good. One didn’t have as much money as Potter did and live in the place that he was.
Fate put people together who made each other better and Draco wanted the chance to show them both that he was different now, he was better. Free of his father’s influence Draco knew that he could be a better person. He had slowly been becoming a better person since making friends with Spencer. The changes had been more dramatic has he had seen the aftermath of the war and what it did to everyone.
The purity of one’s blood no longer matter to Draco, and he understood why magic created Muggle-borns, to begin with. Magic did what she wanted but seeing what had become of the Gaunts and how it had created Tom Riddle had opened Draco’s eyes to his father’s politics.
“I can smell smoke,” Qan said loudly.
Draco shook his head to clear himself of his thoughts and saw that all of the Elves were seated around the table. Nibby was sitting down with a plate in front of her looking almost done eating. She ate fast as she had to make sure that she was able to keep up with the rest. Tibby was on one side with an empty seat between him and Paddy. Qan was on the other side of him. On the other side of the table was Xibby, Jibby, and Quirinus making up the other side. Rael stepped up to her seat and took it beside Quirinus. It was homey to Draco now after so many years. Bast was away at St. Mungo’s where she lived helping to take care of Diana Reid. Draco thought about the fact that soon three of the Elves would be leaving the house but he doubted that the lunches together were going to stop. There was a reason that Spencer had such a large house.
“Smoke?” Draco asked.
“From you thinking too hard.”
The rest of the Elves broke out in laughter as trays of food appeared on the table before Libby stepped out and took a seat beside her brother.
“You know that you could just give in to the urge and bond with me if you really want to keep insulting me for the rest of my life,” Draco said.
“Master Snake be horrible for me, and Master Spence needs an asshole to take care of the people that he don’t want to talk to. You asshole enough that no one will force you to talk to them. You not need me. You can train Jibby to be an asshole.”
Draco started to plate up his food, grabbing a chicken breast with his fork before anyone else could. He had learned to get what he wanted early. While Libby always made sure there was enough, Qan was good at grabbing the best cuts of meat. Draco heard the growl from the Elf as he missed grabbing the breast that he wanted.
The Elves talked about the gossip from various sources as well as the fact that Lady Haley Hotchner was due to go into labour any day and the Elves were very upset at how they were being treated. Draco heard the name of Queenie but wasn’t sure who that was as he paid no attention to Lord Aaron Hotchner’s life as the man had been the epitome of Gryffindor. Loyal as a fault to England to the point that he had almost been thrown in jail for trying to fight what the Ministry was doing to Half-bloods and Muggle-borns during the war. He had been how the Ministry had been found out to be taken over. He had been the one to pull Hogwarts out of the hands of Death Eaters before the end of the war. Personally, Draco had no issues with the man, but he was stern, and Draco tried to not talk to him at all if he could help it.
Draco shivered as he felt an Owl crossing over the wards of the Manor. That meant that it was Spencer or someone else who was actually allowed to send mail. He heard the wings flap before a letter landed beside him on the table. The owl took off before Draco could even pick it up but he knew the owl well, it was from Gringott’s.
The note was short, and it only had a direction for him to walk out from a certain tree at the edge of the Reid Manor’s lands. It was signed with Spitehex’s signature as well as his seal and the magic on the letter was his.
“Xibby, what did you tell Spitehex when you went to talk to him?” Draco asked.
“I told him that all of the Manors the lady showed us were not good enough for you and your mate. I not tell him about two mates. I told him you wanted a massive home and lands enough for three Quidditch pitches.”
“Then you miss mate not have to watch you two get into seeker fights and won’t have to see the land that much.”
Draco narrowed his eyes at Xibby, she had gone above and beyond, and Draco was glad of it but the fact that she knew that Granger hated Quidditch meant that Xibby had been spying or having Rael spy. He let his Elf so what she wanted though because it had never served him wrong to let them do what they wanted, even when they were Spencer’s wholly.
“Rael, if you want to go to Miss Hermione and offer her a bond you may. I don’t know that she will accept it at first. She’s very Muggle in her understanding, but she’s a good person and would love you. You might have to give her time.”
“Thank you,” Rael said, and she started to bounce in her seat.
Draco had no clue if Potter had any Elves but Granger having at least one would be helpful.
“Xibby, Jibby, I would like the both of you to come with me when I go to meet Spitehex. Which I am to walk to it seems but it does not tell me how far we are going?”
“Which tree?” Quirinus asked, and Draco just looked at him. “There are four trees planted on the grounds. Master Spence had them instilled with Goblin magic to grow very fast but be part of what wards the grounds after his father died. Each tree is named. Angmar is to the north, Erebor is to the east, Minas Tirith is to the south, and to the west is Bree.”
Draco had no clue what the hell those names were from but probably from a Muggle book of some kind or even four different ones if he knew Spencer.
“The Lonely Mountain named so because directly to the east of us is a large castle with grounds that have sat empty and in Goblin control for one hundred and seventy-one years as of today, which now is how long Smaug had control of the Lonely Mountain.”
“Smaug, that stupid dragon from that book series where Spencer got the name for Sauron?”
“Yes. All of the names of the trees come from things from Middle-Earth. I’m shocked that Master Draco remembers where Sauron got his name.”
As if saying his name drew him into the room, Draco heard the hiss of Spencer’s familiar Sauron. The snake wound up Draco’s chair leg and shrunk to settle into his lap. Sauron had been staying by the fire in the sitting room that Spencer mostly lived in and Draco wondered if it was because of what was going on with Spencer’s magic. Draco had got out of the habit of asking about him over the past two weeks as Spencer would just ignore the question. Spencer’s mood was greatly affected by his familiar and vice versa.
After the meal was cleaned up after, Draco headed out with his two Elves. He trusted in Xibby knowing where they were going so he followed behind. The two were very chatty as they talked about the property. He felt when they left the bounds of the wards on the Manor, and there was Spitehex.
“I forgot how far out his lands are. I think that you will like his property, Lord Malfoy. For you and your mate.”
Draco looked at Spitehex. The goblin was bound to keep Malfoy secrets as long as they harmed no one.
“Mates. I have two, and those two have varied interests from me and even from each other.”
“The property that I want you to look at has strict wards on it as it’s been the sight of many…jaunts on the illegal side with young Witches and Wizards. I will have to bring you over the ward boundary which is just enough to walk between as that is all that the legalities force when it comes to magical properties that are this close. These two lands are actually mirrored images of each other. Many hundreds of years ago a set of twins settled the land, and they married they had the Goblins make the land mirror images from the size of the property to the placements of the homes. While the house on this land was destroyed and rebuilt a castle three hundred years ago, they are still in the same spot. The Goblins are well aware of the almost brotherly relationship between you and Lord Reid. So when Xibby came to talk to me about these things I knew that this was the only one that I wanted to show you. Now Xibby said that when it comes to bedrooms, you are looking for something very specific.”
“With a soulmate triad, I know that there is not going to be all of us sleeping in the exact same bed every night. I wanted something that would allow for four rooms, one larger for all of us and separate bedrooms out from the main one. How many wings does the castle have?”
“FOur. One is very much the master wing and would allow for something like that while the other three wings are smaller.”
“So I could move into one of the small wings and then invite my mates to live in other wings while we got settled?”
“That is rare in soulmate triads.”
“Yes, well…I need a vow on your magic before I reveal who my mates are.”
Draco listened as Spitehex gave it willingly. Many would hate that Draco would ask for it, but Goblins held no higher magic than the one that bonded soulmates. The Goblins had their own book that told them their mates if they had them.
As soon as they were across the lands, Draco looked at what he could see, and he could see the castle.
“I’ll take it.”
“The names?” Spitehex asked.
“Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.”
The look of utter shock on the Goblin’s face almost forced Draco to laugh. Almost. He kept it in though to not disrespect the Goblin. Still, he would show Spencer the memory and then laugh his ass off them.
“At least the library will be big enough for Miss Granger.”
Hermione was staring at the door of her office because the whole of the law firm was in an uproar about something and she didn’t like the noise. She had shut the door just ten minutes after getting into the office. Rael had brought Hermione her lunch just as she had been leaving the building where she was taking her classes. The original school for education had been damaged in the war, and the wards were acting up, and so far the Ministry hadn’t cared too much about asking the Goblins to help so instead they were forced to allocate various magical buildings for that kind of stuff. Malfoy had even given up a few empty buildings that he owned to it. Rael had given her a wrap that had been so good, stuffed with raw veg and meat and some kind of sauce that had been so good that Hermione had moaned in public. She had eaten it while walking to the law firm.
Rael appeared in front of Hermione, scaring enough that she squeaked.
“Miss Hermione. What do you know about me?”
“Umm…” Hermione looked at the Elf before she waved her into a chair in front of the desk. Hermione came around to sit in the one beside it. “You are Lord Reid’s Elf.”
“I was not one of the ones that he found for himself. I was part of what the Goblins forced the Ministry to give to him as part of a Wergild to make up for what the Ministry did to the House of Reid. Master Spence always knew that I wasn’t going to stay with him but just until the time came that I found someone that my magics really liked.”
“You speak very well.”
“Master Spence gets us tutors for talking. He found it disgusting that many never give Elves education that even small humans get. He thinks it an insult to his House that we be forced to be stupid when we are the ones who most talk to people. He allows us to be assholes to people who are assholes to us.”
Hermione bit her lip because seeing the tiny Elf say the word asshole was kind of adorable.
“He’s a very good master to you isn’t he?”
“He much better than the ones I had before. I small so not many actually want me. Master Spence want me but understand that I have found my new person. My magics really like them. So I want to offer them my bond. Master Spence’s bond with me is just enough to keep me alive but easy for me to break and it not hurt either one of us.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Hermione asked.
“Master Spence and Master Draco tell me you be the smartest Witch of your age, Miss Hermione. I don’t knows that I believe them.”
“Why?” Hermione asked.
“You who I want to bond with.”
“I don’t have the money to pay Spencer for your bond, Rael.” Hermione looked at the Elf in utter shock. She had learned that the majority of Elves were happy where they were. While they were not paid for their services to their Masters and Mistresses in monetary means, they were given the magics of their bonded and food and a place to sleep. Hermione had seen after the war House Elves dying because they did not wish to be parted from their now dead masters. She had been terrified of the pain that they went through as they died of magic starvation.
“Master Spence not make you pay. He didn’t need the Wergild in the first place, he got his revenge in other ways. He kept me because forcing me to go elsewhere would hurt his pride. Master Spence has a lot of pride. Seeing me happy would be all the payment that he needs. You not going to make me unhappy are you?”
Hermione looked at the Elf and wondered precisely what Spencer had taught her because that sentence was very much something that she could see Spencer saying.
“You would have sorted to Slytherin wouldn’t you?” Hermione asked.
“All of Master Spence’s Elves probably would have. Except for Quirinus, he is a Ravenclaw. Bast might have sorted to Hufflepuff but she stronger now.”
“I’ve not met Bast.” Hermione tried to think if she had missed the name when all of the Reid elves had been talked about by Spencer.
“She be with Mistress Diana at St. Mungo’s. She was Mistress Diana’s personal Elf and helps care for her. Bast only one who can calm her down sometimes.”
“So how does this work?” Hermione asked. She had never thought that she could every buy a House Elf even though she understood that she was basically paying not for the Elf themselves but the knowledge and skills that they had. She just couldn’t do it nor did she ever think that she would have the money to buy one. She hadn’t looked up the bonding spell.
“It be easy. Master Draco has bonded with Xibby and Jibby recently.”
“Why?” Hermione had heard nothing of that, but then Spencer wasn’t exactly the most talkative when it came to Malfoy. She understood that they were friends, but she still had a hard time seeing the sweet Spencer has friends with him.
“Elf magics know when someone is compatible. Miss Nibby had four children. Tibby is Spencer’s personal elf, and she had been his Nanny Elf. Libby’s magics really like Master Spencer’s but Xibby, and Jibby’s didn’t, but they liked Master Draco’s. They just be waiting for Master Draco to be ready to take over the whole bond. They were sort of bonded as they have been the ones to take care of Master Draco’s room and make sure that Mistress Cissa be okay. Now Master Draco getting ready to move into his new home and he needs Elves. Old Malfoy Elves are still kind of more loyal to the House of Malfoy than Draco, so they bonded to Mistress Cissa and not Draco.”
Hermione made a mental note to find books on House Elf bonds and what exactly Rael was talking about. She needed to not be lacking at all.
“My parents would be uncomfortable with a House Elf living with them. I don’t know where you would stay.”
“I can stay at Master Spence’s until you find a place to live. Or even with Lord Potter.”
“Why do you call him that?” Hermione asked.
“He’s not asked me to call him anything else. Master Spence tried to get us to call him Spence again after he became of age, but our magics does not allow it as he fully adult. So, Master Spencer, it became. Like you are Mistress Hermione, but I can get away with calling you Miss Hermione. It’s all very complicated. Master Spence has a book on it. You want to borrow it?” Rael looked excited about it and before Hermione could answer she was gone from the room.
Two minutes later, Rael appeared in front of her again with a stack of shrunk books in her hand.
“Quirinius had these ready for me. All of the books that he has on House Elves and everything to do with us, even medical care.”
“Oh, thank you.” Hermione took them from her and stood up to slip them into her bag that held all of her school books. She looked at the paperwork on her desk and then back at the Elf. As much as she wanted to keep on talking she had work that she had to do. “I need to get back to work, Rael. I do adore talking to you.”
“Rael know you are busy. Give me your hand.” Rael held out her hand, and Hermione slipped her into the Elf’s. Hermione felt her magic expanding, and then it snapped inside of her, and she could feel Rael inside of her body. It was the most surreal feeling she had ever had. “Wizards make a big deal out of words and the things that we Elves care not for. You magic opened to me, and I allowed myself to bond with you. It’s as simple as that.”
“I’ll read these as I have time.”
“I know. Now, Lord Potter’s house is a mess. He needs help and he forcing Dobby to not be there. I go and make the house pretty.” Rael was gone before Hermione could tell that Harry probably would like that. She wondered how Rael had as much freedom as she did to enter there. The House Elf magic was different from Witches and Wizards, and she needed to learn more.
There was a knock on the door before it opened. She looked at Newt Boyles. He looked very flustered.
“We need you in a meeting, now.”
“Yes, Sir.” Hermione grabbed her notepad and stood up.
Newt looked around like she was shocked to see her alone. Hermione wondered what he felt when Rael had bonded with her. There was no way that the magic hadn’t been felt by him.
“Where is your new Elf?”
“She going to do her level best it seems to make Harry feel like he’s the dirt under her shoes by cleaning his flat.”
Newt smiled at her and Hermione wondered what that was about. Newt had never given her the time of day after he had extended the internship offer.
“One of my personal Elves is going to see of the moving of your office.”
“Because it’s been pressed upon me that you are someone that I want on my side instead of on the opposite. The briefs that you have written up read like something that one of my solicitors who has been here a decade would write. I want to see what you can do when given a chance to expand your wings so to speak. This meeting that I need you at, you are not going as Miss Granger, Intern at Boyles but as Hermione Granger, smartest member of the Golden Trio.”
Hermione had no clue what the difference was, but she nodded her agreement.
“Your new office is going to be on the seventh floor across from mine. My secretary, Ashton will make sure that it’s all set up.” Newt turned on his heel and left, leaving Hermione to scramble after him. He was waiting in the elevator for her and held it open. Hermione said nothing as they went up to the seventh floor. Hermione had no clue what the hell was going on, but she was sure that most of it rested in the fact that Spencer had made friends with her. Spencer and Malfoy were two of the biggest people who used the firm and upsetting one upset the other so she could see him getting upset if she was treated like shite.
The conference room that she was led to was filled with a bunch of older men who Hermione knew were the principal solicitors for all of the big names in the firm. Newt was the chief solicitor for the Houses of Reid and Malfoy, and he handled them and a third that she had never figured out who it was. Newt directed her to a seat that was beside him but not at the table. She was not the only woman in there. There were five women, and all of them were solicitors that Hermione knew brought in a great deal of reputation and money to the firm.
“There is no reason that we should be brought in on a matter like this, Newt,” one of the men said who looked to be about fifteen years older than Newt. “A Pure-blood woman giving a harmless love potion to a Half-blood male is for those on the fifth floor.”
“Even when it’s one of our clients?” one of the women asked.
“Newt won’t even tell us who the damned person is. Can’t be that important. Though why we aren’t representing the Pure-blood is beyond me.”
“The Weasley’s don’t have the money to afford even an intern of ours,” Newt said.
Hermione dropped her notebook, and she looked at the note. There was only a single female Weasley beside Molly and Arthur was not a Half-blood.
“Now you understand why you are here, Hermione. Lord Reid has paid the retainer for us to go after Ginevra Weasley with all that we have. While Lord Potter is not aware of the relationship that this firm has with the Potter’s, it’s been pressed upon me that he was not raised to understand anything to do with the way that the world works for Wizards of his standing. I’ll be making sure that it’s corrected.”
“How the hell was it figured out that someone was potioning him?”
“He has a soulmate. Lord Reid found that out in the course of his work and told me to tell him. I also found out that I have a soulmate as well. We have not gone to the Book to check. How is he, Sir?”
“After the meeting is done, you’ll be going as our representative to talk to him, but last I heard he was asleep. Lord Reid is guarding him like the dragon that he is and I kind of hope that Miss Weasley goes to see him before we can find her. Lord Reid would kill her, and the mess will be sorted.” Newt grabbed a glass of water and filled it form a pitcher. A stand appeared between him and Hermione, he set the glass down on it. “This firm has many Half-bloods that it represents and I want to see that number go up. We need to embrace the fact that it’s going to happen.”
“What the hell is this?” several of the older men said at the same time.
“Lord Reid and Lord Malfoy have both come to me with the fact that if we do not represent all wizards and witches who can afford us, they will go elsewhere. While the new Lord Malfoy has not brought us many clients his father did, and most of them are dead or in jail. Our world is changing, and all that clinging to old ideals is going to get us it no clients. Right now if Lord Reid and Lord Malfoy leave, there is only a single family that will stick with is, and that’s because no one tells him what to do. Lord Hotchner likes fairness, but I think that after a while even he would leave us for greener pastures if we go down in reputation. That’s what their money buys is our reputation. If you will not stick with the new edict of this firm, you can leave.”
Hermione watched as several of the older men left without a single word. Whether they were actually going to leave the firm was yet to be determined.
“Hermione, you will be going as our representative. I know that Lord Potter is very untrustworthy, but if Lord Reid is right about what he suspects of childhood, I can understand why. I have already had a talk with your professors, and they will make sure that you can make up all work that is missed. You will be added on with the pay of a junior solicitor. You will stay in contact with me and me alone about what is happening with Lord Potter. As much as he will allow you to say. I will handle making sure that Miss Weasley is found and put in jail.”
“Sir, how did Lord Reid come to be involved in this?”
“He is the one that gave Lord Potter the flushing draught that got rid of the love potion in his body. Given the reaction that Lord Potter had, he has been given the potion for many years. He’s going to be in St. Mungo’s for a while overcoming this. I have been in contact with the Ministry about his spot in the Auror training, and it will be held.”
“Why have you never approached Harry before now?”
“I assumed that he wanted nothing to do with the firm. I’ve not taken money for anything more than the managing of the contracts for the lands that Lord Potter owns that are rented to others. The Goblins have been maintaining most of his money and have made sure that no one takes advantage of him. Lord Reid told me that Lord Potter doesn’t understand much of his place in this world and I will see that corrected, even if it’s just teaching you and you making him do it. Lord Malfoy said that it was the best way to make sure that Lord Potter does what is needed of him for things like this.” Newt smiled at her with a fond look on his face which was woefully out of place on it. “Go dear and make sure that he is taken care of. The head Healer in charge of his care is named Christina Stout, and she’s good at what she does and cares nothing about her patient except that they get healthy. She healed Death Eaters so that they could stand trial. She will take care of your Harry.”
Hermione nodded and stood up. She didn’t know what to do first. She really didn’t. She needed to go see Harry, and she needed to tell their friends. Hermione stopped because the only real friends that they had were each other. Ginny was the one who had done this to him, so the Weasley’s were out the question. Neville should have been with Harry, but she had no clue how Harry had been given a flushing draught to start off.
“Might I suggest going and getting clothes for him to wear, things he likes to lounge around in. St. Mungo’s will allow that,” one of the ladies in the room said.
“You can leave from this room. I’d also maybe find your Elf to make sure that she takes care of the both of you?” Newt offered.
Hermione concentrated on Harry’s flat, the place she felt most safe since the end of the war. Rael would be needed and so would Dobby. If she didn’t tell Dobby, he would be distraught, if he hadn’t felt it already. Hermione wondered if Harry being under the potion was the issue that had caused Harry to send Dobby out to help others, not trusting Ginny with him. Ginny hadn’t liked him much to begin with.
“A list. I’ll go to Harry’s and make a list. Rael is the name of my Elf and Dobby is the name of Harry’s. If you need me, get one of them.”
Newt nodded, and Hermione apparated away. She appeared at the spot that was used to land to head into Harry’s flat. Hermione felt such a rush of anger in her body. She was afraid of what she would do if she ran into Ginny before the Aurors found her.
Harry cursed Neville silently in his head. Neville had talked him into going into the shop that Luna ran to eat lunch. The food was too good, and Harry had stuffed himself. He felt sleepy. The afternoon was full of things in the training rooms and not desk lessons which Harry was insanely happy for. If he sat at a desk, he was going to go to sleep. He thought about taking a fifteen-minute nap before the afternoon session started up but when he entered the training room with Neville beside him, all thoughts of a nap stopped. There was a group of Unspeakables in the room. One of them was rare, but a group of ten was unheard of in the Auror training rooms.
“This can’t be good,” Neville said.
“That’s one of each of the pairs,” Harry said.
One of the Unspeakables looked up and at Harry. None of the others paid the returning partners even a single glance, so Harry wondered who that was. Unspeakables were always the talk of the Ministry, mainly because no one knew who they were or what they did. Harry knew that Lord Reid worked as one but there were a lot of people who did and no one ever knew who was who.
After twenty minutes, all of the Aurors in training were back. The group of Unspeakables turned nearly as one and formed a line that stretched out across the head of the room. Auror Foster stood in the middle of them.
“Today’s afternoon lessons are being pushed back a day. After a large discussion that started late last time between a group of Aurors and a group of Unspeakables, a hole in our training has been pointed out to us. Every person reacts to some potions a certain way, and it’s almost never the same as anyone else. Aurors use potions a great deal in the field to keep themselves in fit form or even to make sure that they don’t die in the middle of a fight. If Auror partners don’t know how each other reacts to potions, how can you know if your partner needs more help than normal? That is why the Unspeakables are here. Healers will be arriving in a few minutes as we all know that a few people can have severe reactions to potions. If you do, don’t worry you aren’t going to be kicked out. A large note will be placed in your file, and if the reaction can be negated with another potion, you will not go into the field without it as well. However, if you can’t be treated with it, then your partner knows what to expect when giving it to you and can get you the help you need when it’s safe to do so. Me, I’m allergic to one of the ingredients in the Pepper-Up potion, but it’s mild enough that I have used it before when I would have passed out otherwise and be in harm’s way. My partner was able to find me with my help and get me to a Healer. Whereas without taking it, I would have passed out, he never would have heard me, and I would have died from the injury that I had taken.”
The other partner groups shifted on their feet. There had been no time that they had ever been dosed with things like that, and it was a little weird to be doing it now.
“In the interest of making this so that you aren’t taking things that you need. The Unspeakables have brewed the potions needed as well as flushing draughts to be taken after each one when it’s found that no reaction is there or if a reaction is there a Healer will be called over to deal with it and not everything.”
Harry looked at Neville who at least didn’t look up upset. Neville shrugged, and Harry shrugged back. Harry was used to taking potions for things. He had been on a regimen of them to get his body into better health since the end of the war. Thankfully he was off the daily potions and was just on maintenance ones that he took in his Healer’s office at his monthly checkups. Ginny had been thrilled to set Harry up with her healer that she had been going to since she was a child. It was a group of them that worked out of the same location and served all of the needs that a patient would need. Harry raised his hand.
“Yes, Auror Potter?”
“I take nutrient supplements and other things for bone and organ health.”
One of the Unspeakables stepped forward. “We have tailored the flushing draught to not take effect on those lines of potions that are taken for health reasons. Women need not worry about potions taken for menses either.”
Harry looked out of the corner of his eye as the five women that were in training with him lowered their hands. Harry knew that women who spent time together could sync up their periods but he hadn’t thought about working together like this would do it, but it would explain why they asked Neville to bring them chocolate every few weeks from the shop. Harry needed to remember to have some of those things that Hermione used for hers with him if they were going anywhere for an extended trip like the two-week camping/training exercise.
“Each pair has an Unspeakable that has personally brewed the potions you are going to be given, they will take a vow if you wish them to and will reveal themselves.” Auror Foster looked at Harry as he said this and that told everyone that it was something that they were taking seriously but usually only because Harry refused to take anything given to him by anyone unless it was a Healer. After a protego had gone wrong in a training exercise and a stationary wooden fighting dummy had been thrown across the room and crashed into Harry, breaking his arm in three places, everyone knew that. Harry had refused the potions from many of the older Aurors who carried things like that one them all of the time.
“Spread out and be prepared for privacy wards to be erected. Diagnostic spells will go up that will track everything that happens inside of the ward for notes in your file, but no one else needs to see the reactions that you have,” the one Unspeakable who had spoken before said.
Harry wandered to the corner of the room that was farthest from the door and from everyone else. The same Unspeakable that had talked to them as a whole wandered over to them. Harry tried to see if he knew the person by the way that they walked or even just small mannerisms but the hooded robe that the person wore made it impossible.
The wards went up, and Harry shuddered at the feel of them. He could see outside, but none of the rest of the groups was visible anymore. Healers arrived and started to mill around the room. There were twenty of them which meant that each of them had one. Harry did not see his Heale there. In fact, all of the Healers were high up in the St. Mungo’s chain of Healers on staff. That was a shock as well.
“Ready?” The Unspeakable asked before lowering the hood. Lord Reid was standing there.
“Yes,” Neville said, and his voice sounded relieved. Lord Reid gave Neville a smile before sticking out his hand for a shake. Neville stuck his hand out as well, but instead of shaking it, he pulled Lord Reid in for a hug. Lord Reid looked flustered when Neville finally let him go. Lord Reid looked at Harry and offered his hand. Harry grinned as he just shook the man’s hand.
“This flushing draught was made to get rid of anything that is, not health related like I said. The flushing draughts after are going to clear whatever I have given you. By the end of today, you are going to hate the taste of the flushing draughts because we are going to not just track single potions but combinations that are used together regularly. We are going to do each one on its own first and then start to combine after that. Now if there is anything that you regularly take at any point in your life, we can see how things react to it but remember that even simple things can react. Thankfully, outside of severe allergic reactions, no one has ever had a problem with health potions and standard recovery or quick fix potions.
“I’ve not taken anything besides my standard health potions at the direction of my Healer in months. I’ve not had a headache in nearly a year, besides the one that I got when I had a training dummy tossed into me.”
“I didn’t sleep well last night, so I took a Pepper-Up potion this morning.”
“That’s okay. I still am going to have both of you taking the flushing draught.”
“What if we react to this?” Harry asked.
“Then we have a lot more problems as no one has ever had a reaction to a flushing draught and its base is the same base as a lot of other potions.” Lord Reid handed over a vial to each of them. Neville uncorked him, and the cork disappeared as soon as Neville had it all the way off. Harry looked at Lord Reid in shock.
“Our supplies are tailored to go right back to our stores to be cleaned and used again. As soon as it’s clear of the vial, all corks go back, and as soon as the potion is out of the vial, it disappears as well. Saves a lot of money on staples. Now if it’s broke, it doesn’t come back. One of the first spells I ever created.”
“That’s kind of awesome. When did you come up with it?”
“My fifth year. I was bored.” Lord Reid shrugged that off.
Neville downed his potion, and Harry waited to see if there was a reaction. There was none even after a full minute, so Harry pulled the cork free of his vial and marvelled at it disappearing before starting to raise the vial. Harry looked at Lord Reid who looked anxious, not like he had poisoned the vial but like he knew that something was going to happen. Harry wasn’t sure what the man was expecting. Harry dumped the whole vial into his mouth before he swallowed. He felt the small puff of magic as the vial disappeared before he could even get his hand down. The potion started to warm up his throat as it went down. Harry didn’t know if that was the way it was supposed to feel or not.
“Harry?” Neville asked looking weird.
“Poison?” Harry asked as he felt the wards around him drop.
“Help over here!” Lord Reid yelled.
“No, not a poison. You have something in you that it’s flushing out.” Neville grabbed Harry’s arm as Harry started to feel his legs give out. He had never felt anything like this before in his life. He was warm and cold, and he felt like he would never be anything but too warm and too cold in his life.
The first cramp set on his stomach and Harry doubled over in pain. Harry felt another set of hands on him, and he looked at Lord Reid.
“No, I suspected and when you are awake, and over the effects of what is happening to you, I will explain it all as well as why I did it this way.”
“Spectacle.” Harry had his back to the rest of the room, but he could hear the voices that were everywhere.
“Sometimes the only way to make sure that something doesn’t go away is to make it a spectacle. I’m sorry to say that in your case, Harry, you will need this to be a spectacle to make sure that you get what you need in all of this.”
“I’ve seen this before,” Neville said.
“When?” Harry asked.
“When I was visiting Mom and Dad, I saw someone going through something like this, but they didn’t…Harry your pores are leaking blood.”
“Not his blood,” Lord Reid said.
“You called me Harry.”
“I think that the time to be formal has gone full out of the way, don’t you?”
“Yes, Spencer.” Harry looked down at his arm as his whole body started to cramp. He felt little pain just the knowledge that his body was not under his control. “Whose blood?”
“The person who potioned you. I have a list of potions that it can be. Don’t worry I won’t let anyone give you anything else unless you absolutely have to have it. My personal Elf, Tibby is going to go with you St. Mungo’s until we can find Dobby.”
“How do you know about Dobby?”
“He used to be Draco’s. Draco wanted him safe, and he started to talk to him about the famous Harry Potter and how Harry Potter needed a friend. He wasn’t expecting the Elf to take his job as your protector that seriously but he did. The hope of youth. I’ll find Dobby so that his Harry Potter is not alone, but Tibby will keep you company until that time.”
“Thank you,” Harry said, and he felt his whole body shiver, and he leaned forward because he felt like he needed to puke.
“Don’t fight what your body wants,” Spencer said.
Harry leaned over more and puked out everything that he had eaten as well what looked like everything that he had eaten for months. There was blood in it as well.
“Not your blood, remember. All of your organs are collecting the other blood and flushing it out through whatever means possible. Skin is easier because there is a lot of it, but inside it’s easier to just shove it through your normal system of waste. The Healers at St. Mungo’s will take care of the end result from the waste system but what’s in your stomach has to come out some way and well puking is so easy. Neville hold him.”
Harry felt his arms start to shake and he knew that it wasn’t at its worst yet. It felt like he was going to be like this forever. Harry forced his head to look at Spencer.
“You know who my soulmate is, don’t you?”
“I do, and it’s not GInny.”
“I love-” Harry stopped because those words felt forced and he couldn’t make them come out. He groaned as a cramp gripped his stomach again. Harry puked and tried not to think about how much blood there was in it as well as how much blood was coming out like sweat. He was covered in it from what he could see of his soaked clothes. The truth of everything was smack in Harry’s face, but he couldn’t think about it at the moment. He knew who had potioned him, but he didn’t know when.
“Don’t try and speak,” Spencer whispered.
“How long what?” Neville asked.
“How long have I been given this?”
“Too long,” Spencer whispered in Harry’s ear, for him and him alone. “No one noticed, or no one cared. Except it hurt one close to you who is your mate but they kept their mouth shut because they would rather have you in any way they can get than to never have you at all.”
“Don’t let them get me,” Harry said. Neville made an inquisitive noise. It wasn’t hard to figure out that Ginny had been potioning him for years but it wasn’t just her that he was scared of.
“No one is going to have access to you except for your Elf, my Elf, Healers, and Hermione. I will make sure of it. Now in a few seconds, you are going to start to feel extremely sleepy. The draught wants to purge the rest, but you are better off passed out for it. So don’t fight it.”
Harry nodded and looked Neville. Neville pulled Harry close.
“Don’t worry,” Neville said. Harry allowed Neville to pull him to where he was leaning against his partner. “I’ll protect you.”
Harry nodded and slumped down into Neville all the way and let the sweeping darkness take him.