Shadow Team Chapter 4-Epilogue

Chapter Four-Fall 2015

Part 1

Aaron stepped up to the townhouse that Dave owned in one of the more expensive areas of London. Aaron didn’t mind visiting him, the house was well protected. Spencer was staying at his place for the meeting that was coming up. He was keeping himself busy with all of the information that Potter was getting from Foyet.

The sun wasn’t even up yet, but Aaron felt better rested than he had in years. The night before had been less about sexual intimacy and just more about intimacy. The Elves had kept them supplied in fruit and cheese and even crackers and some meats that all went together well. Aaron never heard them come in and never saw them leave.

Waking up that morning had been strange as Aaron hadn’t realised where he was until he had seen the back of Spencer’s head. Instead of getting up, Aaron had moved to wrap himself around Spencer. He knew every single spot on Spencer’s body that gave him pleasure, and Spencer knew the same on him. They had talked about everything that came to mind.

“Good morning, Aaron,” Dave said after opening the door to the house. Aaron looked past him to see Morgan standing there.

“Where did you stay last night?” Morgan asked.

Aaron held off the sigh that wanted to escape. “Does it really matter?”

“I don’t understand how you can trust him. He readily admits that he worked in the Department of Mysteries and now this case.”

“Why do you think he is out to hurt me?”

“Everyone knows that Malfoy talked Potter into putting him on the team. He’s a fucking Slytherin, Hotch and we can’t trust him.”

“Prentiss is a Slytherin, and you trust her. You have from the moment that you met her. You saw past her Hogwarts house and saw her. Why can’t you do that with Reid?”

“He can tote being a grey wizard all he wants, but he’s dark. Look at his Manor. It looks like a fucking death castle.”

“To you. You’ve never once given him a chance. Why? He accidentally killed his father protecting his mother from being raped and tortured by him. You want the full details of what was revealed when the Healers at St. Mungo’s found on her exam after that?” Aaron had read the file as Spencer had given it to him that morning.

“He killed his father.”

“And your father was killed by teenagers who were playing at being dark lords. What do you think that it’s his plans? Infiltrate the dark lord hunters and play them for fools? You only see your prejudices. He has never lied to me.”

“He turns into a dragon!” Morgan yelled.

Aaron heard a knock on the front and Dave moved to answer it.

“None of you have ever asked me about my animagus form. I never use it because, in my form, I can’t do a damned thing to help other than attract attention.” Aaron tugged on that bit of himself that he didn’t use often. He did shift into Animagus form enough that he could do it quickly. The world changed, and Aaron had the pleasure of watching the team just stared at him in shock from his location on the floor. He was about to shift back when he felt hands on him.

“Ashwinder. That’s an interesting Animagus form,” Spencer said as he lifted Aaron up and slipped him around his neck.

“Aaron said that you were going to stay at your place and work on the case,” Dave pointed out as he drew level with Spencer so that Aaron could see him.

“I was going to, but Potter came to see me. Foyet has given up the location of where Haley is going to strike. Hogwarts. Foyet transferred all the power that was taken from Rutland and channelled it into Haley. She plans to destroy all of the wards around the school and take Jack with her. She wants Jack because she thinks that Aaron would do anything to protect him.”

“And you think he won’t?”

“I think that Aaron won’t have to.” Spencer’s head turned towards Aaron’s head, and he hissed something. Sauron unwrapped himself from around Spencer’s arm. Aaron slid down his shoulder and then arm and let himself hit the floor. He shifted back and looked at Spencer.

“Why won’t I have to?”

“Potter, Malfoy, and Granger are already at the school. It survived Voldemort, and the school will survive Haley Brooks. Baster will protect Jack, and as soon as we get to the school, Sauron will go to him as well. If Haley goes through Hogsmeade, she’s an idiot, but then again she’s insane. I think she’s going to go through the Forbidden Forest. Aurors are already on location.”

“You believe him?” Morgan asked.

“Yes. Who else here does?” Aaron asked.

“I don’t,” Morgan said.

JJ and Prentiss though stepped up with them, and Dave stayed where he was. Garcia looked torn.

“Haley Brooks set up a relationship with George Foyet before she was put away. He has an issue with the Auror Corps and wants to see it, and the Ministry burn. He was an unmarked Death Eater, and from what has been found out by Potter in the search for him, he wanted to use Haley as a scapegoat. There are three other men that this team will be hunting after Haley is taken into custody.”

“What is it that you want out of this?” Morgan demanded.

“What I want, I’ve already got Morgan. I already have everything that I want out of my life. I could have claimed what I wanted out of my life without ever coming onto this team. I don’t have to steal a damned thing. What are you afraid of Morgan that I’m seducing Aaron into my bed to what? Money? I have more than enough. Fame? I have more than him. His job? I’d never be named the head for at least another decade. Haley Brooks stole what was mine, I did not steal what was hers. She’s insane and just look at what she has done. She talked her father into helping her out of Azkaban and put her sister in there in her place. Because she thought that she deserved to be Lady Hotchner?”

“What do you mean that she took what was yours?” Prentiss asked.

“Spencer is my soulmate. The Book of Bound Souls showed it to me.” Aaron didn’t really want to get into that, but he knew that he had to.

“You knew that he was your soulmate before you joined the team?” Garcia asked. Her eyes were locked on Spencer.

“I did, and I was content to watch from afar. I only joined the team and went through Auror training because it’s what Potter wanted. I never said anything about soulmates, and I didn’t push Aaron to look at the book. Haley forced this all out.”

“What kind of spells exist that would make the Book lie?” Morgan asked.

Aaron looked at him. That kind of talk he could see from Garcia. She was Muggle-born. It was well known that no spell could mess with the Book.

“I was in school when the main battle happened,” Spencer said. He looked at Garcia and then stared at Morgan. “I was one of the few Slytherins to stay and fight in the castle. After that I went back to my life, being bullied by the students I had helped. I left school a year early because I couldn’t take it. Allowances were made because of my intelligence.”

“The Book doesn’t lie, Morgan,” Dave said. He looked at Aaron and shook his head. Aaron knew what he was thinking. There was no way that Morgan was going to stay on the team. Aaron was loathed to lose him, but if it was better in the long run, it was better. “We had better get to the school.”

“Reid is going nowhere without me,” Morgan said.

“I will be staying in Hogsmeade along with Malfoy and Granger. As they are not Aurors they cannot participate in the protection of the school but Hogsmeade is public property, and they can help just in case.”

“Haley is not alone, she has the other people who participated in the ritual with Foyet.”

“No, Foyet had Haley killed them. Aurors have already found the dump site. Haley killed them and harvested their magic. She’s a walking battery that Foyet hoped burned out before Aurors could talk to her. No one would have thought anything different about Haley doing what she did for any other reason than she wants Aaron.”

“Catching Foyet was a big break. Think about what would have happened if we hadn’t known.”

“Yes, well what would have happened?” Morgan asked.

“That’s it, Morgan. You are going back to the Ministry, and if I hear anything that tells me that you didn’t, you will be written up. Garcia, go with him. Try and look into Foyet’s past and see what link they have.”

“Hotch.”

“No. You…You have some kind of anger inside of you that I can’t trust you with the team much less my soulmate. You’d gladly see him injured or even kill because you can’t see that grey isn’t evil. That he’s not whoever the hell you think that he is. I mean it, Morgan. Ministry now.”

Morgan and Garcia moved to the door, taking a wide berth around Spencer. Aaron waited until the door was shut to look at Prentiss. She looked shocked.

“What about your ability to work with Spencer?” Aaron asked.

“I…” Prentiss looked at Aaron with a hard look on her face. “I let Morgan and his distrust cloud my mind. I’m good now. Reid would never do a thing to hurt you, and unlike what Morgan thinks, I don’t think that Reid is out to get your eye for anything. He’s right, he could have made it known in a million other ways that he was your soulmate. Less invasive ways, less alarming ways. Potter has always done what he wanted when it came to the Auror division. We are too light for what is coming. I’ll follow your lead wherever it goes, Hotch.”

“JJ?” Aaron asked.

“I never questioned his place on the team after seeing what I saw with what happened to his mother. Even if it hadn’t been an accident, I don’t see anyone getting a charge upon him for death. It was a shield charm. It shouldn’t have killed him. The charge of emotions and his own ill intent on Reid is probably what caused his death, and I say good riddance. He was the kind of people that this team was formed to fight. He was touted as the lightest of light, and he was the darkest of the dark. You’ll have no issues with me on Reid being on the team.”

“Dave?”

“I have tried for years to get you to do anything that had to do with moving on from Haley. I understood why you pushed me back at each turn. I understood it, but I didn’t like it. She did mess you up. I always took that depression that you got around this time of year had to do with her and not being able to fully let go with what happened. I didn’t see it as this. As you mourning someone that you didn’t know but I agree that Reid made the right decision and left you alone to heal and accept what happened. I think that this would have been a thing of anger and of mistrust, and even downright ugliness if he had stepped forward before now. Soulmates never have a good time of it. It’s never good, and it’s never easy but it is what it is, and I have to accept that. So far Reid has been good for you and don’t think that I haven’t thought about what you two probably did all day yesterday while we worked but then Reid has been pulling more hours than any of us, and he looks a lot better than he did yesterday. His features are also not going all dragony on us, so I figure that you’ve tamed that beast. For good or for ill with what happens, I’m behind you both all the way.”

“Once Haley and what she has planned is out of the way, I will deal with Morgan. Potter won’t allow him to stay on the team if he is a danger to him and right now I can’t ever see him not being a danger. Soulmates are a gift of magic, and there is no way that he could ever hurt me.”

“Haley was always a little gone on you but I never…” Dave frowned. He had always seen it as a failing of himself and the other Aurors and Curse Breakers that Aaron worked with on why it wasn’t found before the point when Jack was born. Aaron knew that the guilt was one of the reasons why he had not retired even though he was burnt out on the work they did. Aaron kept a good eye on him but maybe with Spencer around he would actually retire. “We need to deal with her and protect Jack.”

“Let’s go.”

Part 2

Hogwarts looked like it had the last time that Aaron and Spencer had been there, just a week before. It felt like a lifetime ago. JJ was with Madam Pomfrey in the infirmary getting it set up in case there was a fight. Prentiss and Dave were talking with the teachers while Aaron was waiting for Jack to be found and brought to him. Due to the nature of Aaron’s work, tracer charms were repealed off of Jack, at the time it had seemed like a good idea but now it was driving Aaron nuts. Spencer had stayed in Hogsmeade like he said and Aaron wanted to send for him to come up and onto school grounds.

“Jack’s fine. He’s like you, Auror Hotchner, in that he likes to be alone. We checked the bathroom like you said but we have no other way of tracking him at the moment.” McGonagall was waiting with him as the prefects, and Head boy and girl looked for Jack.

“I know he likes to hide away. He is entirely my son. I think Muggles use the word clone.”

“Yes,” McGonagall said. She was still just looking at him as she had since the team had arrived on the school grounds. She wasn’t happy that someone was after one of her kids and she was more than willing to allow the team all access to the school. “The only thing that I am happy about is that he has to be where we can find him. He’s not found the Room of Requirement. None of the students have. Well, none that understand what it actually is.”

“I only heard rumours about that.”

“It was used a lot in the years that Potter and his friends were here and I’ve come to find out that Auror Reid used it a lot to hide away from bullies.”

“He did?” Aaron looked at McGonagall. Would Spencer have told him about it? The bullying wasn’t as bad on Jack as it was on Spencer but a place like that would have been good for Jack. “How are you certain that he hasn’t told Jack. I know that you set them up as Pen Pals.”

“How did he figure that out?” McGonagall asked, shocked filling every syllable of her words.

“He is intelligent Ma’am, and he happened to hear me talking about Jack to Dave. There is more that you should know but before we do that I need to get Spencer up here.”

“Spencer huh?” McGonagall asked. Her eyes narrowed, and Aaron remembered why she had been scary. “I thought that those kinds of things were frowned on within the team, especially between a superior and subordinate.”

“I would say that Jack in is the room and I think that maybe Spencer should be the one to go inside and get him out. Whatever setting the room is on it might let Spencer in before it would let me in. And Ma’am, that only covers normal relationships. I’m sure by now that Potter is well aware that Spencer and I are intimate and he’ll do nothing against us as we are soulmates. Excuse me.” Aaron looked to where he could just see the edge of the village, and he saw that Potter was coming towards him with Spencer on his heels. Potter had a piece of paper in his hand.

“Hotch, he’s not in the school. Spencer thinks he might be in the Room,” Potter said as he came up to Aaron.

“Yes, I came to the same conclusion. Spencer, go and see if you can get in there.”

“Yes, Sir.” Spencer took off at a run, and Aaron almost yelled at him for the Sir comment.

“So that’s settled?” Potter asked.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that I know what he looks like after he’s had sex and since you stayed with him last night, I hope that the truth is out and you didn’t bed him without knowing.”

“Bed him?” Aaron asked as he and Potter started up to the school with McGonagall in the lead. Spencer had taken off at a run. “You have been spending too much time with Malfoy.”

“Spending too much time with him is a good thing. It stops me from killing people who piss me off. Answer the question, Auror Hotchner.”

“You know that that has never worked on me. But yes, I saw the book entry with my own eyes. I know that I am his soulmate and he is mine.”

“And that’s going well? Where is Morgan?”

“At the Ministry. He couldn’t accept Spencer on the team before he knew that and I’m not going allow him to work on the same team as him. Even if Spencer were to ask to go into the regular Aurors, I doubt that it wouldn’t be long before Morgan started to question me. I’m tainted by proximity.”

“Where did Lord Reid go?” McGonagall asked.

“What do you mean?” Aaron looked and saw that he wasn’t on the staircase where he had been just seconds before. He had been keeping an eye on his ascent up the stairs, but he was gone before he got to the fifth floor.

“That boy and his knowledge of the castle. If he had become friends with the Weasley twins, this place might have blown up. Lord Reid knew of more passageways around the school than I think Albus Dumbledore knew. His ability to hide away from those who were after him was legendary.”

“Why was nothing ever done to stop what was happening to him?” Aaron asked.

“Because it was always Albus who took care of it. I hate to speak ill of the dead, but as it was two high rankings children that were mainly getting into the scuffles, it was out of my purview, even though one of my students was the main one doing it. It wasn’t until after the war was over and I heard rumours that I started to look into it. I would have probably sent your brother home, Lord Hotchner and not welcomed him back to my house if I had known. I’ve cracked down on what I can. I have made sure the Heads of Houses know that anything that is overt is not tolerated, but I know that more goes on than what I see and I have made it clear that if a student is injured, no matter what the student who harmed them will be sent home. Jack is hard to get to admit that he is being bullied. I’ve seen marks but he flies a lot, and he crashes a lot as well.

“He’s not given me much and never enough to name a name, but I do make sure that he understands that those who bully him are probably doing it to others and it’s his right to make sure that it stops. I don’t think that has sunk in.”

The staircase knew that McGonagall was in a rush, so it made sure that they got to the right floor as soon as possible. Aaron stopped when he saw scratch marks on the floor outside where he was sure the room was.

“What is that?” McGonagall asked.

“That is not good. McGonagall, is there any way to make the castle let us in there?” Aaron stepped up to the central area where the door usually was, and he was shocked when he saw one appear. Aaron drew his wand and opened the door. He felt the full aura of Potter’s magic flare at his back, and he shuddered at it, but it wasn’t anything like what blasted from inside of the room. Aaron felt his own magic trying to respond, but the sight of blood everywhere in the room had Aaron’s gut churning. He tried to look away from the blood, but he was scared to.

“Dad?!” Jack called out, and Aaron swung his head the way the sound came from. Aaron’s knees went weak at the sight of Jack in the corner of the room with Spencer in full animagus form in front of him. Spencer’s eyes were wild, and Aaron stayed where he was. He wanted to run over, but he didn’t want to scare him. He had allowed Aaron to touch him yesterday, but that didn’t mean a thing right at that moment.

“Fuck me. Hotch, have you met Reed yet?” Potter stepped closer to the dragon, but the dragon all but hissed at him. “And he’s wild. Where did all the blood come from?”

“Reed?” Aaron asked.

“It started out as a joke by his Elves. That his dragon form was just like him, skinny as a Reed but after a time it was very apparent that he was very different in his Animagus form. Have you met him?”

“Briefly. He was out for a few minutes when Morgan threatened me.” Aaron looked at his son and saw that while he was scared, he looked more scared to move away from the dragon. “Jack, what happened?”

“JJ said she needed to talk to me in private. I brought her up here, and as soon as we got in here, she tried to give me a potion. I fought her off and then this dragon burst in. He slashed at her and played with her chasing her. He cut her until she couldn’t walk and then he…” Jack stopped and looked at Reed. “Why did JJ try and hurt me?”

“It wasn’t JJ, Jack. That was Haley.”

“How did she get past the wards?” McGonagall asked.

“Dad, who is this?” Jack asked.

“That’s Lord Reid, Jack.”

“Really?” Jack laid his hand on Reed’s back, and the dragon turned to look at him. “That was fucking awesome, Pen.”

Aaron took a few steps closer, and Reed’s head whipped around and narrowed on Aaron, but he didn’t make any moves that seemed threatening. Aaron conjured a towel and a bowl of water. Reed was still blocking Jack from the rest of the room, even though it as all the people that he trusted. The sound of running feet had Reed looking at the door as Prentiss, JJ, and Dave ran into the room.

Reed didn’t react at all as Aaron crouched at his head. The Vipertooth was the smallest of dragons, but Spencer’s Animagus form was still on the large end of size for the breed. Fifteen feet long and much more substantial than Aaron remembered him being the day before. He dipped the towel in the water before reaching up to wipe at his mouth. There was blood all over him.

“Dad?” Jack asked. There was so much to that simple question. Aaron looked back at Potter and motioned for him to leave. He needed to tell Jack everything. Potter and McGonagall ushered the others out of the room. JJ and Prentiss looked a little sick. Aaron was a bit sick to his stomach as well. While it wasn’t unheard of for Animagus to eat prey while in their second form, it was rare for them to eat humans. It was unusual for someone to have the magic and the will to have a dragon as an Animagus.

“There is a lot of changes for me right now.”

“But Haley’s been out of your life for a while. Why would this upset you?”

“It’s not this,” Aaron said pointing around at the room around them. “Not in the way you are thinking. This case, chasing Haley around and everything. At this point in time, our Elves have basically moved you and me out of the Manor, and he’s been all perfect, and I haven’t had the chance to talk to you about him and then here we are.” Aaron snapped his mouth shut. He hadn’t meant to let a lot of what he had said slip from his mouth. He looked at Reed and saw the humour in his eyes. “You are no help.”

“Who is this he?” Jack asked.

“My soulmate. I found him Jack, and he’s perfect. I don’t love him, not yet but he makes me happy.” Aaron didn’t lie to Jack, he never had, and he wasn’t going to start.

“When did you find him and when can I meet him?”

Part 3

Aaron didn’t get a chance to say anything. Reed leaned in a little and nuzzled at his cheek. He kept his mouth shut, but he exhaled over Aaron’s neck.

“Pen?” Jack asked.

“Yes, Jack. And I meant it when I said that our Elves have moved us out, I mean it. With the threat of Haley, they just kind of took it running. Spencer’s Elves have been working on expanding his closet so that all of my things fit. Your things are already moved.”

Jack looked at Reed for a few seconds before he smiled.

“You mean it? Spencer is your soulmate?”

“Why do you think that he did this?” Aaron waved to the blood covered room before he went back to finish cleaning off the rest of the blood on Spencer’s snout.

“He did this because he is your soulmate?” Jack asked.

“No, he did this because he loves you. I’ve found out that he’s been watching and protecting us from afar, but he did not know that he was writing you when he wrote those letters. That part he didn’t skip around the truth on.”

“The letter that he sent me last night was more interesting. I’m happy that you found him and I’m thrilled that he’s your soulmate.”

“Why?”

“He’s never treated me as a kid in the letters. He doesn’t think I am weird. I really just like him.”

“I’m glad. I know that the school year has just started but Hogsmeade weekends, case permitting, he and I will come and join you. You can get to know him in person as well as your letters.”

“Will he use the boxes that we use?” Jack asked.

“I’ll ask him if he wants to.”

“How long is he going to stay like this?”

“I don’t know. Until he settles down or he knows you are safe?”

“He’s a dragon, Dad. That’s awesome.”

“Yes, it is. His Patronus is a Ukrainian Ironbelly.”

“Has he seen your Animagus form?”

“Yes. He’s properly intrigued.” Aaron used the towel to clean the claws on Reed’s forearms. He wasn’t sure what he thought about this entire debacle.

“Why did she want me?” Jack asked.

“She thought that having you would force me back to her. She knew that I had a soulmate and that was why she had the plan to break out.”

“How did she get out?”

“She had her sister take her place in Azkaban. Spencer is already providing for her to get her back on her feet and settled into a life away from her father.”

“Why?”

“Why what?” Aaron asked. He released the last digit on Reed’s forearm, and the dragon settled down, wrapping a wing around Aaron in a protective hold.

“Why is he taking care of her?”

“Spencer is very caring to people who can’t help themselves, especially given the fact that this was all to keep him from me.”

“After I met him I looked him up. Everything with his dad and his mom.”

Reed huffed and shifted a little. Aaron pulled away from him, and Jack took a step back. Seconds later, Spencer was sitting there. Aaron looked him up and down and saw a small bit of blood on his stomach. Aaron reached out, and when Spencer hissed in pain and his stomach contracted to get away from the touch, Aaron got worried.

“Spencer?”

“She ripped a scale off. It’s fine. Just a little sore. Jack, I’m sorry if I scared you. I opened that door and saw JJ and knew that she wouldn’t be there. JJ was in the infirmary.” Spencer’s hand reached out, and Aaron pulled it into his own, pulling Spencer until he was fully leaning on him. “This is not how I wanted to meet you as your father’s soulmate for the first time. I was planning a Hogsmeade weekend, and then the case turned towards you as a focal point, and then I changed to this one with us talking after we had Haley in custody.”

“Not eating the woman who birthed me?” Jack asked.

“I’ve not eaten a human in a decade.”

“You’ve eaten one before?” Jack asked.

“Yes.”

“At the party at the Malfoy Manor that was crashed by a few Death Eater holdovers. There was a body that was listed as unable to be claimed.”

“He stabbed me, and I reacted badly. It wouldn’t have been so easy, but I was in the middle of a time where I couldn’t sleep. I have a lot better control of my Animagus form now.”

“When did you change for the first time?”

“Fifth year at Hogwarts. I was doing the meditation that is outlined in the book. The bigger amount of magic that someone has doesn’t mean that taking an Animagus form easier. It’s harder. How long did yours take?”

“I started reading and meditating in my third year, but it wasn’t until after Hogwarts that I changed the first time. Jack’s been doing a little bit of reading into it all, but I’m making sure he’s not stupid like a few kids in his grade. There have been a few partial changes in his grade. One kid almost died.”

“The way that the Animagus forms are handled at the school is backwards. We have to go and get this taken care of.”

“JJ and Dave are probably right outside the door. I can go and get them so they can start evidence collection.”

“Go ahead. I’m calm.” Spencer smiled at him, and Aaron leaned in, kissing his cheek.

“Jack, stay with him.”

“Yes, Dad.” Jack sat down beside Spencer on the floor. Aaron opened the door and found the rest of the team there as well as McGonagall, Pomfrey, and another adult that he didn’t recognise. Behind then were Potter, Malfoy, and Granger there. He nodded at them. They followed everyone else inside. When Aaron looked at his soulmate and his son, he saw that their heads were leaned in towards each other and they were talking. Spencer’s hands were moving quickly, and Aaron felt happy that they were at least getting along a little. Liking someone as a Pen Pal and even friend wasn’t the same as living with them as your father’s soulmate. It was going to be rough.

No one approached Jack and Spencer until Aaron nodded JJ over towards them. Aaron watched her crouch at his side and make him let her look at his wound.

“Harry tells me that Spencer ate Miss Brooks,” Granger said as he stepped closer to him.

“Yes, I’m still processing that.”

“Dragon Animagus are rare. Merlin was one. There are records I have found that states that he ate his enemies too. Spencer’s personality is hearty, and he is very much a dragon. I am not shocked that he changed to protect Jack. I am also not shocked that his Elves and your own have given you guys no choice in who is moving in with whom.”

“I get a lot of talk for how I let the Elves run my life but I just…” Aaron looked over at Spencer and Jack. “I had a son to raise, a life to get back in order, plus a job, and the Hotchner holdings. I took all the help that I could get, and the only ones I trusted were my Elves.”

“After Spencer killed his father, no one wanted to touch him. Draco knew but he wasn’t able to help, and his father was more involved in trying to survive what he had stupidly done when he was younger.”

“I remember the trials that happened after the war ended, the sanctions that were made and the full study into the dark mark was done. How much behaviour modification was done over it.”

“Men marked their children before they were able to fully understand what they were giving away.”

“I remember rejecting the therapy, but I saw the changes in the men and women who were marked before they were done developing. The ones that didn’t take it willingly. There was a lot that Voldemort attracted that was insane or just as fervent.”

“Pure-bloods hate Muggle-borns because they feel that they are endangering our way of life. Instead of embracing them, too many try and destroy them.”

“The primary school is a good way of bridging that gap. There is a reason that many of our generation have done the best they can to keep it going. Instead of keeping them apart, the school shows them that are not different. The only thing that we haven’t been able to change is the house hatred, but we are working on it.” Granger smiled as Malfoy walked up behind her. He whispered something in her ear. Granger nodded.

“Lord Hotchner, we have a getaway house here in Hogsmeade. You and Spencer are more than welcome to use it, and if Jack wants to stay the night, I am sure that given what happened today, Headmistress McGonagall would allow it.”

“That’s generous, Draco but Aaron and I will be going into work and then going home. If Jack wants to come with us, he can. Headmistress McGonagall cannot keep him away from us with what happened as long as we have him back at the school by first class on Monday.” Spencer tucked himself into Aaron’s side.

“And there is Lord Reid’s memory of the charter of the school. Yes, Mister Hotchner is free to go with his father, and if he so wishes, he is allowed to take a few days off of school. He was attacked on school premises by an adult that should not have been able to get inside of the school.” McGonagall seemingly appeared out of nowhere just behind Aaron.

“Do I get to go into the office with you?” Jack asked.

“Yes,” Aaron answered, and he saw the smile on his face. He had to make sure that Jack was involved elsewhere while he talked to Morgan. Maybe he had turned his son and soulmate loose in the research room. Aaron was convinced that Jack could keep Spencer in there for hours. Aaron wasn’t looking forward to talking to Morgan or telling him that he was off the team.

“Hotch,” Potter called out as Aaron started to shuffle the three of them out the door to the Room of Requirement. “Morgan has already set in his transfer from the Shadow Team. I’ve already approved it and added him into the regular Auror roster. We had a new person who hasn’t worked out already. Tuffy has the forms at the Manor that need to be filled out, and you can send them in via Tuffy or the other Elves. This team is on stand down for a week before you guys are going to be searching for another Auror to fill the spot left open by Morgan.”

“You are barring us from the office aren’t you?” Aaron asked.

“I am. This case was a bad one, and it’s not hit yet but it will. What happened with Morgan?”

Spencer untucked himself from under Aaron’s arm and pulled Jack with him out of the room.

“He won’t back down on Spencer, and he will never trust him.”

“You were going to have him transferred weren’t you?”

“Yes. I was going to talk to you about it as soon as we got back but you’ve waylaid that. What is being done about Roy Brooks?”

“He is back in America, and I’ve been in contact with the Defense Department over there, and they are looking for him. As soon as I know anything, I will let you know, and his case has been pushed up to the ICW. The case with Haley Brooks is closed and over, but Roy Brooks is a wanted man all around the world now.”

“You told the ICW that Roy helped in trying to dismantle a soulmate bond didn’t you?” Aaron asked.

“Yes. Because it was the only thing that was going to get Roy looked for by anyone other than us.”

“You…” Aaron looked at Potter and remembered in that instance that he did everything he could for justice, no matter who he trampled on. It was why he was the youngest Head of the Auror ever.

“Spencer will yell at me and probably get both Hermione and Draco upset with me for a few days. I won’t get sex for a week, and they’ll sleep alone in bed, and I’ll be on the couch, but it’s worth it.” Potter didn’t look that upset about the other two parts of the triad were going to be upset with them, but Aaron knew that they would forgive him, eventually. “I’ll miss Draco’s blowjobs.”

“I would have liked a notice.”

“I told the ICW an hour ago. I got yelled at by the ICW for manipulating the meeting between two soulmates, but it was just a yell and not a reprimand since I’d been keeping the secret for years. You are lucky that you never took me up on the offers of the dinner parties. Those were totally to get you and Spencer in the same house.”

Part 4

Aaron was worried as they crossed the lines that marked the outer warding edge of the Reid Manor. Spencer had wanted to add Jack to all the wards so that none would ever have to be lowered to let him in. Aaron felt that he had always been keyed to the wards and that spoke of Spencer getting a lot closer than Aaron ever thought.

Jack moved ahead of them as they crossed the first ward. The Hotchner Manor was seated in the middle of London where the Reid one was on the edges, in the country. The grounds were sprawling, and Aaron knew that at least that aspect, Jack would like.

“I can go anywhere?”

“Yes. The wards will let you know when you are approaching the edge of my lands. I have three hundred acres though so that won’t’ be an issue. Elegie is setting up your room right now. There is only a single room that is off limits in the house, and that is my mother’s room unless Bast lets you in. Jessica is being cared for in there, but mom doesn’t like strange people in her place.”

“Can I meet her?” Jack asked.

“My mom or Jessica?”

“Either, both.”

“When Jessica gets better, I will leave that up to her, and as to my mother, the next time I bring her home, you can meet her.”

“Do I have to get a tour or can I go to the library?” Jack asked.

Spencer laughed. He waved his hand, and Jack took off running towards the front door.

“How does he know where he is going?” Aaron asked as he wrapped an arm around Spencer’s shoulder to pull him close.

“Because he knows that my library takes up half of my third floor. One end is my bedroom, mom’s, Jack’s room and another room that is empty at the moment, the rest is a massive library. One side of the hall is all Muggle and Magical nonfiction while the other side is fiction. There is a wrap around at the end of the hall that connects the two.”

“That’s a big library.”

“Quirinus is already figuring out what to do with your not too small library.”

“Those are Jack’s mainly. The Hotchner’s didn’t care about a library. I started building one for Jack though. He was reading at age two all by himself. Elegie says that it wasn’t him. It was like he knew how to read magically.”

“Have you had him tested for anything?” Spencer asked. His face was thoughtful.

“Like what?”

“Memory, intelligence. That kind of thing.”

“No. I…” Aaron stopped and looked at Spencer. The Hotchner’s were no slouch when it came to intelligence, but Jack’s was more than Aaron’s on a massive scale. “He’s my genetic clone. While some of his genes have expressed themselves differently. The Healer explained it as regular twins and not identical, even though our DNA is the same. He can’t have more than me in him, and while I have a high IQ, I am not smart enough to be called a genius.”

“But I am.”

“And?”

“Magic provides.” Spencer was looking at him in fond exasperation.

“What are you talking about?”

“Magic gave me part of my gifts, they are in the well of Reid magic, but still Magic has to choose to give them to people, like parseltongue. I bet that Jack’s magic is slowly turning into a well of mine and yours. Jack wasn’t supposed to be born, you know that. That the ritual even allowed his conception meant that you are strong.”

“So Magic is adopting Jack into your magical line as if a blood adoption had been done.”

“I think so. Some traits it gave him from birth. Before two is when I started to read. Jack is at the top of his class in his House and for the whole year, which I know pisses off the Ravenclaws. I had to deal with that when I went there.”

“Do you think that he’s going to develop an affinity for parseltongue?”

“I don’t know. Drake bonded with him at a young age, even that could awaken it inside of him.”

“I’ll leave that to you. As well as testing his magic. I wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

“Do you want to see the gardens?” Spencer pointed over towards where Aaron knew they were. He nodded, and Spencer started that way. Aaron followed behind him at a slow pace. Taking in the grounds around them. The drive towards the manor was long, but given that most people apparated to the edge or flooed inside, it wasn’t a hindrance. Aaron saw that the wall that was around the garden wasn’t made of stone. It was a ruby quartz and was a show of money that he had not seen really in the Reid household before. “Mother wanted the quartz and father got it for her as part of her first-anniversary present. Even when things were at the worst for her, she wanted to come out here. The Elves have always kept it in peak condition.”

Spencer waited for him at the entrance and Aaron wasn’t sure what the look on his face was, but when Aaron was even with him, he wrapped his arm around him. Aaron smiled as the first bit of the garden they were in was the spring garden. Aaron was amazed as there were butterflies on the flowers and even bees.

“Qan has a small bee box in the summer garden, and the bees go back and forth between the gardens, except the winter.”

“That’s interesting, I didn’t know that it could be done.”

“Magic.”

Aaron laughed and saw that there was a wall that he could push Spencer into. Spencer was chuckling and wasn’t expecting to be pushed into the wall. His eyes widened as Aaron settled his hands on either side of his head.

“I don’t want a tour of the garden.”

“No?” Spencer asked. His hands settled on the belt loops on Aaron’s trousers. “What do you want?”

“To talk. We’ve moved fast some of that is us, and some of that is the Elves. But I want to make sure that this is something that you want, Spencer. Not the relationship that I know but the moving so fast. Going from living alone to living with my kid and me.”

“I could have stopped my Elves from getting the first room ready for Jack. They would have listened if I had been passionate about it but I’ve been ready for a while, Aaron. I stayed away from you guys because it hurt more. I was at the park a few years back. I was there collecting a sample of the wild marjoram that grew there to compare it to what I was growing in the greenhouse. You and Jack were there. I watched you play Muggle football with him and a group of other kids and their parents for hours. A woman came up and talked to you. You were so uncomfortable. I thought that it was just a woman thing but one of the other father’s hits on you and you were just as bad.”

“I took a long time to heal from that. Some thought I might never do it. I know I should be upset with how much you’ve manoeuvred around me, given my history with Haley but you never did anything overt. Your love is evident on your face when you look at me, and you don’t think I am looking. The utter adoration on your face makes me want to kiss you and not stop.” Aaron leaned in took Spencer’s mouth in a kiss. He poured his emotions into that kiss.

Spencer kissed him back with fervour, the younger man’s body was trembling. Aaron pressed him into the wall. Aaron ran his hands down his side, he hadn’t meant to start this, but he wasn’t going to say no. His body wanted to make up for fifteen years of solo orgasms. He wanted to take him to bed and not let them leave until he was too tired to ever think of an erection again. He wanted a lot of things, but he wasn’t sure that he would ever get all of them, but he had damned sure try.

“Go to your room,” a voice said. Aaron turned his head to see a House Elf there. He was dressed in a pair of overalls. Qan, Aaron’s mind supplied.

Spencer laughed and buried his face in Aaron’s neck. Aaron felt Spencer’s hand move, and he looked to see Spencer flipping the bird to the Elf. Qan laughed and moved towards the winter gardens.

“Let’s go inside, and I’ll finally give you that tour of the manor.”


Monday morning came too quick for Aaron. The weekend with Spencer and with Jack had gone by too quickly. Aaron was sleepless from wanting to spend every moment with Jack. They all went to bed long after the sun had gone to hide and got up before it even became visible. The more that Aaron spent around the two, the more he believed what Spencer said in that Jack got the magical gifts of the Reid family. Jack had embraced Spencer with a happiness that was born from the fact that just being around Spencer made Aaron happier.

“Why so pensive this morning?” Spencer asked as he sat up in bed. Aaron looked at him, the younger man was naked except for the sheet that was now pooled on his lap.

“Don’t want to send Jack back. I want to have more time with him and you together.”

“We can see about a house in Hogsmeade. Spend weekends there. McGonagall will deny us nothing as long as his grades don’t slip. Until a time that I father a child, Jack will be my heir. I have a right to access to him to teach him of my house and my holdings.”

“He had learned those in hours.”

“Yes, and then we can just enjoy every other weekend that follows.” Spencer shifted on the bed and laid down on his side so that he was looking at Aaron. “We will eke out time where we can to be with him. Becoming a family will take time.”

Aaron stood up from the window seat he had been sitting in. Spencer didn’t wear clothes inside the bedchamber much at all. The Elves had stopped coming in unless they knocked but still Aaron always put on a robe when he was naked or even in his underwear. Spencer found it cute which made Aaron blush. He stalked over to the bed and pushed Spencer onto his back. His lover bit his lip in anticipation of whatever Aaron was going to do. Aaron straddled him on the bed, the robe covering them both of eyes that weren’t there only to groan when a knock came not on their outer door but the inner door.

“Dad! I don’t want to be late for school!” Jack yelled.

“That he gets from you,” Aaron said as he sat up.

“I’d say it’s joint because you get up early too. Like today. Sitting in the window and brooding instead of sharing my warm bed.” Spencer cupped the sides of Aaron’s face and pulled him into a kiss. “Now we have to get ready for the day and take Jack to school. If you wish, we can hang around the school.”

“Why?”

“Because your brother didn’t care what he did to me but seeing you and me eating with the school, together might change a few minds.”

“You really think that it will?”

“It really can’t hurt. Breakfast with the rest of Jack’s house, my house will show that you don’t hate them. Your brother’s legacy is strong in the school. You can show them. The team, we have someone from every single house working together, being friends. The legacy of the houses is only because their parents tell them that it matters more than who someone really is on the inside. The Sorting Hat sees who they are on the inside when they are eleven and casts them into a house. Their lives are determined by that.”

“You don’t ever just do what you want to do?” Aaron asked.

“My life has been a battle of prejudices. For being put into Slytherin, for killing my father. For not being what anyone thought that I should do. I do what I want, but I don’t hurt others when I can help it and right now, we have a chance to get ahead of what the school is going to think of Jack when the word gets out that you and I are soulmates.”

“Potter is going to make sure that everyone knows it. He’s told the ICW.”

“We are going to make headlines, and Harry wants to get ahead of it. He doesn’t want it hidden.”

“I hate politics.”

“I’ve learned to live with them. Let’s go before Jack comes back,” Spencer said as he kissed Aaron again.

Chapter Five-Fall 2015

Part 1

Aaron laughed at the joke that Spencer told as they walked into the Ministry. Potter had given them the full week like he had said. The rest of the team has sent letters and Prentiss had floo called twice to speak to Spencer over their break. Potter had made sure that the case was documented and everything was cleaned up before they got back. He had sent word that morning that there were a few cases that might need their eye.

“No one else laughs at my jokes.” Spencer smiled at him, and Aaron could tell that it wasn’t forced in any way and the fact that he smiled inside of the Ministry was something because he never had before in Aaron’s memory. Sauron shifted slightly on his neck. The snake had decided that he was going to stay with Aaron today, which had caused Spencer to pout.

“Because they don’t read Muggle literature.” Aaron wanted to kiss him, but they had agreed to no open emotion displays at work. Spencer stopped walking, and Aaron stopped as well before he could look to see what had him stopping, someone started to talk.

“Lord Reid?” a man asked.

Aaron looked up to see a few Aurors that he vaguely remembered from one of the first classes post the second war with Voldemort. Spencer looked up at Aaron, and the smile left his face. Aaron reached for his wand but before he could, he was grabbed, his arms restrained. Aaron tried to fight out of the hold, but he didn’t want to hurt anyone. Another man stepped up to Spencer and wrapped a cuff around his wrist. Aaron couldn’t tell what kind it was.

“Lord Reid, you are being charged with potioning of a Ministry official, lying to a Ministry official, and illegal charms,” the Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt said. He looked grim. “Among a slew of other charges. You will surrender your wand and submit to the Aurors detaining you.”

“I see,” Spencer said. He looked at someone behind Shacklebolt and Aaron saw it was Morgan and Garcia. “As Lord of House Reid, you have to tell me my accusers when I ask. I also demand that my rights be upheld. This Animagus suppression cuff is the only magical containment that I agree to, and I want you to remember that if I want it gone, you have to remove it because as a Lord accused of a crime, removing my right to defend myself is against the law. Too many Lords killed in holding.”

“You’ll have your trial, and as long as you promise to not escape, you will be held in the holdings we have for Lords. And your accusers are Auror Derek Morgan and Researcher Penelope Garcia.”

“Minister,” Potter said as he strode from the lifts. Aaron felt like he should probably try and get between Potter and the Minister but he wasn’t going to do anything stupid. “You have an arrest warrant in your hand for Lord Reid that was not signed by my department. You have violated the laws that you saw put in place.”

“Reid’s your friend. You would have never signed it,” Morgan declared. Potter looked at him, and he took a few steps back.

“I had my two soulmates paraded around in the gossip that followed our outing. Do you really think that this can’t be proven?” Potter demanded. He looked at Spencer. “He’s staying in your hands because he doesn’t want to be what Morgan thinks that he is. Morgan didn’t think this through. He wanted Reid to react emotionally because he thinks that what he should have done. If he had fled, his claims would have been proven. How long until his trial?”

“He goes in front of the Wizengamot tomorrow morning to answer for the crimes against him.” Shacklebolt looked at Aaron. “As soon as Lord Reid is in his holding cell, release Lord Hotchner.”

Aaron watched as Spencer was hauled off out of the atrium and into only Magic knew where inside the Ministry. The Lord holdings were one of the biggest secrets to stop killings from happening. Aaron felt a burst of anger and then it was gone, as was the weight on his shoulders. Sauron wasn’t a happy snake. There was the sound of movement around him, but he didn’t care. He felt a well of anger inside of himself. The one bit of anger that he had tried to keep down because it would make him no better than his father.

“I’d worry more about getting Auror Morgan and Researcher Garcia out of his place. Lord Hotchner is well within his rights to kill them.” Potter stepped up to Aaron as the Aurors fled away, taking Morgan and Garcia with them. Aaron straightened his clothes as his eyes looked at where his soulmate had been taken. The lights in the atrium flickered on and off, on and off, before finally going off and staying off. There few a few screams and the sigh that Potter let out was funny, even if Aaron didn’t appreciate it.

“Potter,” Malfoy called out. Aaron had learned from Spencer that Malfoy reverted to Potter when he was angry. “I just got a worried House Elf in our bedroom. Granger is on her way into the office, and she is not happy. I was told to be a living howler and let you know that she is not happy and you have to fix this. She wants a copy of the charges as soon as possible, and I get to be her law clerk again.”

“I have a copy of the warrant in my office. It was buried in a great deal of paperwork, so it was hidden on purpose. I’ll get you a copy, and we can work from there. Better call Tuffy to watch him.”

“Tuffy is who came and got me.” Malfoy looked behind his legs, and Aaron saw the Elf there. Aaron waved him over.

“Master Pence no hurt you. Why Mister Morgan think so?” Tuffy asked.

“I don’t know, but I aim to find out. Potter, I want to read the warrant as well, and obviously, I can’t have my team working a case so if anything pops up another team is going to have to look it over and do what they can. I’m down three members and haven’t looked at files for new ones.”

“I think that you are better off going to Gringott’s,” Malfoy said. Aaron looked at him. “They threatened to have Haley hunted for sport. You are going to have to curb their want of Spencer’s blood.”

“They aren’t going to do a thing. I had him added to my accounts and the Hotchner accounts. They are satisfied with the claim and had me tested for several charms and potions.”

“Getting them to give that up will take longer than tomorrow morning,” Malfoy pointed out.

“Morgan is smart, he had the trial rushed. The rituals that would reveal soulmates, the potions for them take longer than twenty-four hours. He either believes it but doesn’t want you bonded to him or he’s afraid that any longer and something bad would happen.” Potter looked upset. Aaron felt like he was drowning. He needed a plan, and he needed to figure it out soon.

“I’m going to the Manor. Spencer has every single soulmate book in existence as well as the law books covering them. I’ll try and find something to help.”

“Where is Sauron?” Malfoy asked.

“He disappeared as Spencer was being taken into the back. He was pissed.”

“You felt that?” Potter asked.

“Yes. I assume he’s with Spencer.”

“Go look through the books. We will get Hermione started on getting in to see him. If she is acting as his lawyer, they can’t keep her from him. And I will make sure that Shacklebolt is read the riot act,” Potter said.

“He wanted things like this to never happen. There were three others that are allowed to sign warrants that deal with matters that I am close to. That he jumped all of them and took care of it himself means that Morgan scared him.”

“I won’t be happy until apologies are made,” Aaron said. He didn’t give Potter or Malfoy a chance to talk. He took off in the direction of the offices and only went as fast as Tuffy could go. Aaron had known that they were going to be getting into work late. He hadn’t cared at all. Dave, JJ, and Prentiss were in the office already.

“What happened? We were on lockdown.” Dave asked as soon as Aaron entered.

“Minister Shacklebolt detained Spencer on charges of lying to a ministry official, potioning a ministry official, and a bunch of other charges. Morgan went to him and convinced him that Spencer is potioning me into believing that I am his soulmate.”

“Why did he do that?” Prentiss asked.

“I don’t know the exact reasons why but he truly thinks that Spencer is lying to me. The Minister has Spencer being held in the holding cells for Lords, and Spencer has already made it known that he will defend himself.” Aaron moved to his desk and grabbed a few files.

“What is going to happen?”

“I don’t know. Hermione Granger is going to act as his counsel, and I’m going home to research. You guys handle the office. Anything that needs someone looking at it, please send it to another team. Potter is livid so be prepared for a rough day at the office.”

“Hotch, if it’s tomorrow…” JJ trailed off.

“I know, and the penalty for doing what he is being accused of is death. It’s not a Kiss, it’s death. I won’t see him killed.”

“You do what you gotta do, Aaron. We have the office.”

Aaron nodded and left. He felt Tuffy grab his pant leg, so he stopped and picked him up. He made it out the door before he even thought about what he was going to do. He stopped and looked around. Spencer had said that Granger handled all of his legal matters and so he trusted that but he hands were tied as well as his own. Time wasn’t a friend in this case.

Apparition inside of the grounds was getting easier for Aaron. He landed on the front stoop and found Queenie opening the door.

“Quirinus is pissed. He’s going through the books and muttering. Tuffy! What happened?” Queenie was standing with her hands on her hips and glaring at Tuffy. Aaron set the Elf down and moved past them. He started for the stairs and ran up them. He wasn’t going to lose his soulmate after having him for such a short time. He wasn’t going to let him die until they were old and had many grandchildren. The answer was in the books it had to be. Knowledge was power, and Spencer had a lot of power in his manor.

Part 2

Aaron was waiting for the Wizengamot to open the doors. Granger and Spencer had already gone inside. Aaron had been shocked by the dress robe that Spencer had been wearing. A deep green colour that Aaron hadn’t seen outside of Malfoy’s clothes but what had really been shocking was the thin lining of dragon hide on the inside. Battle robes. Spencer wasn’t taking chances. Potter was leaning against the outside wall and watching Malfoy pace up and down. Aaron heard the doors start to open and he stood, just as Sauron wrapped himself around his wrist and started up his arm. Aaron looked down expecting to see nothing, but he could see him.

“Sauron is totally pissed,” Potter said. He brushed a hand down Sauron’s head. “He doesn’t like to be seen in public.”

“I know. I would say that it’s all for show.” Aaron started forward and wasn’t shocked when Potter and Malfoy trailed behind him. The other members of the Wizengamot started to filter in over the next ten minutes.

“Given that the Reid vote is null-”

“Actually it’s not,” Granger said interrupting the Chief Warlock. “Lord Reid is allowed to elect a secondary to vote in his stead given that he is on trial.”

“Only an heir can be filled in, in this case, Miss Granger.”

“Yes, and Lord Reid’s heir is here today.” Granger looked up into the area where Reid’s seat was, and there was Jack. Aaron smiled at his son as he finished taking his seat. “He is of the age where he can make a vote for either or both the House of Reid or Hotchner.”

“This is highly irregular. Lord Reid is being tried for convincing Lord Hotchner that they are soulmates.”

“And yes young Jack went to Gringott’s today and claimed his spot as Lord Reid’s heir and Lord Hotchner’s heir. He wears both rings signifying that. That is a law matter that this body can’t touch. He claimed it, he can make the vote.” Granger was smirking at the Chief Warlock, and the man just shut his mouth. It seemed the Goblins had made a stand, one that no one could fight. With Jack there, he could appeal the vote, and it would go to the ICW and Spencer had a chance, if what Aaron wanted to do failed. There was a better chance now.

“I…” The Chief looked at the man who was presenting the case. The man shook his head. There was nothing that could be done. Aaron relaxed in his seat as the rest of the Lords and Ladies filled in the spots around the room. The entire room was packed, and Aaron found that funny given that when Haley had been on trial, only the needed eighty per cent had been there. There were no holes. A one hundred per cent turnout.

“Chief Warlock, I have a question before we begin,” Hermione said before the Chief could even get everyone’s attention.

“This is highly irregular,” the counsellor for the Ministry said.

“I’ll allow the question but may not answer.”

“What testing was Lord Hotchner put under to prove the claims made by Auror Derek Morgan and Researcher Penelope Garcia?”

Aaron laughed because a Healer was sent out to him late in the night to do a cursory check for spells and potions. It had been rushed, and Aaron knew that the one who had done it hadn’t done a good enough job. He had left it alone though because it would do well at getting them to push the trial back and give them more time.

“A Healer met with him at the Reid Manor and did the tests.”

“Why were the results not given to me when I asked for them four hours ago?” Granger asked.

The Chief looked like he had swallowed a rotten egg. The counsellor for the Ministry pulled out a sheet of parchment and did a duplication spell before handing it over. Aaron noticed a man behind Granger for the first time. He was dressed in the robes that Aaron had found out were indicative of an Italian Healer.

“May we start?” the Chief asked.

“I just wanted all the information that should have been supplied to me before the trail started so that it’s one less thing that I can have this trial turned over for.”

The Chief looked like he wanted to strangle her. There was no love lost between the Wizengamot and the Lords and Ladies of the realm and Hermione Granger. She didn’t allow anything to happen that wasn’t lawful. When Potter and Malfoy had come out as her soulmates, it had been a big scandal, but when they had married her, it had been bad. At that point, she became the Lady of two Noble and Ancient Houses. It had been hard for those who had treated her bad to correct their mistakes. Especially Ron Weasley.

“Lord Hotchner, I would ask that you join me down here,” the counsellor said.

“I’m sorry, but I do not agree to these proceedings. I didn’t start them, and I am not on trial. I will gladly testify, under Veritaserum. But these charges are not being brought up by me but by someone else without my consent.”

“You can give testimony at a later point in time. I must demand that you come and sit down here.”

“Fine. I give my vote to my son to cast.”

The Chief didn’t look happy, but he couldn’t protest it. Being down on the floor would help Aaron though. He stood up and walked with his head held high until he sat down at the table with the counsellor. As far away from him as he could get. It put him farther away from Spencer than he wanted to be but he could deal with that.

“Call your first witness,” the Chief said to the counsellor.

Aaron barely paid attention as Morgan, and then Garcia was called to the stand. They could only give their eyewitness testimony and given that they both had to agree that he didn’t act any different after Spencer had joined the team as before, it was not very damning. Dave was called next. As he had worked with Aaron the first time around that he had actually been potioned and then in the aftermath, he concluded that Aaron wasn’t under a potion or a spell. Following him was seven different healers who all detailed what traits that he was showing that matched up to a potion that was hard to make and near impossible to make correctly.

“And how many copies of the book are in circulation?” the counsellor asked Darius Twenter, the rare book dealer that had been the next witness.

“There are twenty copies in circulation with only five that are in the hands of a private person.”

“And is Lord Reid one of those five?”

“Yes. He has the original. It is touted to have been in the collection since it was published.”

The counsellor let it rest there, but Granger stood up, signifying that she had a question to ask of him.

“You state that it is in the hands of Lord Reid. A book on medieval potions.”

“Yes.”

“Can you prove that he has read it?” Granger asked.

“No. I cannot prove that he has read it.”

“Thank you.”

“Do you have any further witnesses?”

“No.”

“Then Miss Granger, do you?”

“I do have a witness. Lord Hotchner.”

“Proceed.”

Aaron stood up and took the witness chair. It was spelt for honesty, so that was something that worked in his favour. He looked at Spencer and found that he looked worse for the wear. He looked like he hadn’t slept at all. His fingers were on the edge of the table, and he was tapping. He was tapping a lot, and Aaron knew that it was a sign that his brain was going at a mile a minute.

“The snake has to go.”

“Actually he doesn’t have to go,” Aaron said.

“Excuse me?” the counsellor asked.

“Bonded familiars cannot be removed from their bonded or the bonded soulmate of their bonded.”

“Yet, this is trying to show that you are not soulmates.”

“You haven’t proven it yet so you can’t remove him from my person.”

“How are we sure that the snake is not how he is controlling you?”

“You are an idiot if you think that. Familiars are a magical boon. The bond cannot stay between a wizard or a witch if they go dark. Nor can it be healthy. The bond between Nagini and Voldemort was a twisted version of what Lord Reid and Sauron have.”

“So you aren’t going to take him off?”

“No.”

“When did you find out that Lord Reid believed you to be his soulmate?”

“I never found that out.”

“Excuse me?”

Aaron smirked and relaxed back in the chair. He crossed his right leg over his left. “I didn’t find out that he believed it. I found out when I opened the Book. I saw my name with his and that he was my soulmate.”

“You believe that happened.”

“Are you saying that he manipulated my memory?”

“Auror Morgan states that you and Lord Reid went alone.”

“Are you really trying to say that he created a memory and stuck it in my head that relives the moment I found out my soulmate with him in that place instead of whoever my soulmate is.”

“There are those that would say that what Miss Brooks did was out of trying to save you.”

“And she thought that she was my soulmate and yet we could never have a child, and the child that was created was wholly mine.”

“And if I said that I had proof that Lord was causing that to happen? That was potioning you and at the time Mrs Hotchner?”

“I would want proof, and given that Healers from seven different magical hospitals in Great Britain did full work ups on both of us, I want to know why you think they would miss something like that.”

“It’s another potion from the book, and it only has to be given once to both parties and the next time they copulate together, they can never create a child together. It was used in olden times in cases of extreme abuse by the Ministry, but it was pulled years and years ago.”

Aaron looked at the counsellor and tried to gauge his age. He looked like he might have gone to school with Spencer. He got it then.

“So you are telling me that he has been manipulating me since before he was even of age before he was even in school? Because Haley and I started in Hogwarts. We weren’t exactly the greatest with protection charms and even after Hogwarts, I barely used them. Lord Reid was barely a year old when Haley and I got together. He was two when we graduated from Hogwarts. When exactly did he do this to us?”

“I…” the counsellor moved back to the papers he had on the desk. Aaron looked at Spencer who was at least looking a little happier. Granger looked smug.

“When did Spencer first beat you, counsellor? Was it during your first year or later?” Aaron asked.

The Chief cleared his throat, but Aaron just ignored him. He looked at Spencer who was looking at the side of the room where a coat of arms was that represented the legal side of the magical law. Aaron stared at him until the younger man looked at him.

“All of your basis is on the fact that he’s potioned me to loving him?”

“Well yes.”

“I don’t love him. I’ve not known him long enough for that. I like him, and his mind intrigues me, but I don’t love him, and he knows that. Someone who is potioned can’t say that. So Mister Fancy Counselor, what do you have to say to that?”

The man stuttered but said nothing that Aaron could understand.

“I, Aaron Hotchner, bind my person and my magic to Spencer Reid, now and forever until the day we no longer draw breath.”

Spencer’s eyes widened, and his breathing shallowed. Aaron knew that he recognised it.

“Aaron, no.” Spencer stood up, and Granger just looked at him in shock. “There is a better way, a safer way, to show that we are soulmates. I don’t need this from you.”

“I don’t care. I’m sick of fighting. I don’t want anyone to ever question this again.”

Spencer closed his eyes, sighed, and looked back at him. “I, Spencer Reid, bind my person and my magic to Aaron Hotchner, now and forever until the day we no longer draw breath.” Spencer looked at his left hand as Aaron felt the spell take on his own body. Bands of almost ribbon wrapped around his hand and wrist, much like a handfasting ceremony. Aaron’s were purple when he looked down, and Spencer’s were blue.

“You are a fucking Gryffindor through and through, Aaron Hotchner,” Spencer said as he sat down in his chair, his right hand going to his left and tracing the now permanent tattooed magic on his skin.

“And you love me anyway.” Aaron looked at the Chief. “We are done here.”

Part 3

“What was that?” the counsellor asked.

“That was the soulmate bonding spell,” Longbottom offered as he stood up from his seat. “It was discovered in the year eight hundred by a couple who were being forced to marry people they didn’t love, and they bound themselves with magic. Only soulmates can use it, and only soulmates get the evident bond. Those tattoos won’t ever go away, and it shows their soul bond.”

“And we only have your word?”

“Neville Longbottom has worked with Lord Hotchner for years. Are you telling me that you think he is lying? Protecting a man that he barely knows over a man that he respects greatly,” Granger asked.

“Lord Longbottom does not lie.” A voice called out from the rest of the Lords. Several other voices called out in agreement.

“The spell though is rare,” Spencer said. He was still rubbing his fingers over his now marked skin. “It’s listed in a single book that there are only three copies of, that include the spell. The ICW has one, the Australian government owns the original, and I spent five years tracking down the third copy. I bought it when I was sixteen.”

“Why is the spell not in other copies?”

“Because the magical cost of casting it and not being soulmates is high. You lose the ability to ever fall in love again. You are bound to that person forever, and you know that they are not the love of your life. You know that your soulmate will never find you.” Spencer laughed. “Even with him knowing that we were soulmates, the fact that Aaron wanted to do it, wanted to prove it that make shows why the Sorting Hat placed him in Gryffindor.”

“And yet you love me anyway.”

“We’ve established that,” Spencer said.

“I thought that marriage ceremonies ended in a kiss,” Malfoy said from somewhere behind Aaron.

“Go kiss your own Gryffindor,” Spencer said.

“I don’t understand why you guys aren’t arresting him again!” Morgan yelled. Aaron turned to look at him.

“Lord Hotchner is sitting a chair spelt for honesty. It’s better than a dose of Veritaserum. There is no way to break it, so he was telling the truth.”

“No matter what Reid says about his stance, he’s dark. He’s as dark as You-Know-Who,” Morgan demanded.

“Derek Morgan, you are at this moment relieved of your duties as an Auror. Your services are no longer wanted. I will not block you from getting another job as long as it’s not in the Ministry,” Potter said. His voice was a lot closer than it should have been and Aaron turned to see him and Malfoy moving to put themselves between Morgan and both Aaron and Spencer. Morgan huffed and stood up from the spectator seating in the room. Garcia was there beside him, and she looked at Aaron like she was disappointed. Aaron knew then that he had lost two friends. He had thought that they would at least be friends the rest of their lives, but that look on even Garcia’s face said that she believed that Aaron was Spencer’s soulmate but that she expected him to turn him away. All because they thought that Spencer was dark. The Aurors guarding the door stepped up to the both of them and escorted them out.

“That was a grand statement Lord Potter,” a female voice said.

“There is no way that he could ever settle for being an Auror working in the same department as Lords Reid and Hotchner. The Shadow Team works with the other Auror teams on cases over the entirety of England. You can’t tell me that he would ever work a case with the Shadow Team with an open mind. Haley Brooks was interrogated over the course of two weeks to get the full breadth of her crimes. Lord Reid was the only one to read her journals, yes, but that’s all of your own faults. You are lazy and with his memory, no one else offered to read them. He’s protected his soulmate as well as he could from the moment that he found out about him, which was when he was seventeen. Draco spent a week with him as he mourned a man that he thought was in love with another person and didn’t want to ruin their life together. Just two short years later, he found out the truth as did the whole of the Wizarding World. Then he spent fifteen years watching his soulmate as he slowly pieced his life back together. I was the reason that Spencer joined the team. I backed him into a corner and made him join using logic, the one downfall that he has. I’ve been trying since Spencer finally told me who his soulmate was, several years after knowing him, to get them together. Aaron has had an invitation to every single event that three of us held. He never joined.”

Aaron watched as Malfoy moved over to Spencer, his hand brushed over the tattoo on Spencer’s wrist with a smile on his face.

“We understand better than anyone else what it means to accept, wholly, that the Book of Bound Souls tells the truth and knows us better than we know ourselves. The friendship that I had started to form with Harry in the fallout of the destruction of Voldemort was tenuous at best. Hermione tagged along because, at that time, Harry was her only friend left after Harry rejected the marriage offer that Arthur and Molly Weasley gave on behalf of their daughter. So we all got smashed and made a promise that we were going to the Book when we were sober. Because after the hell of our childhood, Magic owed us something. That moment where Hermione opened the book, and I saw my name with her and Harry’s, I accepted her and him with no judgement. That isn’t to say that we didn’t have our issues. Two years of fights and hurt feelings followed, but we knew that in the end, we would be stronger for it. Lord Reid accepted at the moment that he opened the book that Lord Hotchner was his soulmate and instead of going to him and destroying his life, he wanted Aaron’s happiness more than he wanted his own. You all look at him like he’s less than you when he made the hardest decision of his life when he was seventeen. So you tell me that he would ever do a thing to hurt the man that he loves.”

There was just silence after Malfoy’s speech. None of the other Lords or Ladies was looking down at them. In fact, they were looking anywhere but at them. Malfoy helped Spencer to stand and ushered him out of the room with Granger and Potter looking at Aaron. Aaron stood up, and when he walked off the dais that the chair was on, he found Jack standing right there with a smile on his face. Aaron wrapped an arm around his shoulder, and they walked out together.

Spencer was standing in the middle of the hallway, his eyes still on his wrist. Aaron knew by the look on his face that he had made the right decision. No matter the fallout of what just happened in that courtroom, the marriage bond that he had just formed between them was the best decision. The triad was off in a corner, talking in soft tones. Aaron ignored them as he stepped up to Spencer. The younger man looked up at him. There was a wealth of emotion in his eyes and Aaron was having trouble cataloguing them all but the most significant feeling there was happiness. Sauron hissed, and Aaron felt him sliding off of him, Jack was there to take him.

“What did he say?” Aaron asked.

“He hates exchanges of saliva,” Spencer whispered.

“Husband,” Aaron whispered as he took Spencer’s tattooed hand in his own. He traced the bands of ribbon before clasping that hand with his own tattooed hand. Completing the circuit as it was. Aaron used his other hand to tip Spencer’s head up to kiss him. It was a simple press of lips on lips, but it felt so good.

“Husband,” Spencer whispered back when Aaron let his lips go. “Bloody Gryffindor.”

“I had to do something to make sure that no one could ever question it again. You are mine, and no one is ever going to take you away from me.”

“That shouldn’t be as thrilling as it sounds,” Spencer said with a smile on his face. Aaron reached up and traced his thumb over Spencer’s bottom lip before pulling it down a little. The pout on his face was making Aaron want to laugh. “You know that the Elves are going to be upset that they missed us getting married. Queenie and Nibby especially. Serene is going to be so mad. She might actually send you to bed with without supper.”

“I can go to bed without supper as long as you are there.” Aaron dipped his head down and kissed Spencer again. Spencer wrapped his arms around him and deepened the kiss.

“I think that you two need a few days,” Potter said from behind them.

“We’ve had days off.”

“That was before Spencer was thrown in jail and Morgan and Garcia tried to have him killed. And are you really going to tell me you don’t want a honeymoon?” Potter asked.

“I’d rather plan a honeymoon when still aren’t getting to know each other,” Spencer said.

“We also have a team to find members for,” Aaron said.

“And a Minister to sue.”

“What?” Aaron asked.

“Oh, don’t worry, Hermione is taking care of that. We will just need testimony.”

Spencer looked at Aaron with a raised eyebrow. Aaron didn’t like to make waves when it wasn’t needed. Spencer wasn’t built that way, and Aaron knew that. Aaron relented and nodded.

“Whatever you need.” Aaron pulled Spencer into him, tucking him in his side.

“Take the day. Tomorrow can be for paperwork. I’ll have the files of all Aurors who had expressed an interest in the team,”

“Good. I figure that a few will rescind those offers in the aftermath of this.”

“You’d be surprised. Do you want the files on the researchers?”

“I don’t know,” Aaron admitted. He hadn’t thought about replacing Garcia that much. It was nice to have a researcher on the team, but with Spencer’s wide knowledge, a dedicated one wasn’t necessary. Before Aaron had found Garcia, they had just used whoever was on hand in the regular Auror Corps. They could go back to that again. “No. I think that we will be fine working with the regular pool of researchers.”

“I figured that you might. Spencer do you have your wand?”

“I do. I did not let them take it from me. I spent two hours citing regulations and laws until they relented and left me alone.”

Spencer’s stomach growled, and Aaron narrowed his eyes at him.

“I didn’t like what they offered me for lunch, or dinner last night and breakfast was a joke. I wouldn’t have offered that to Morgan.”

“Let’s get you home to where the Elves can feed you.” Aaron kissed the top of Spencer’s head and tucked him into his body closer. He could feel that Spencer was exhausted with how much he was leaning into his body.

“There is an apparition point in the bedroom. The corner where the dark green tapestry is. We can just go right there. I want to sleep.”

Potter was smiling at Aaron. Aaron knew when why Potter had wanted them to not work. Aaron was sure that Spencer hadn’t slept all and it and not eating meant that he needed to recharge.

“Tell the team what happened and let them know that I’ll be back tomorrow and Spencer’s return is dependent on if the Elves allow him to return to work and when.”

“Nibby is going to be a mother hen. How were they last night?” Spencer asked.

Aaron pulled him towards the lifts that would get them out of the Ministry. No one tried to stop them, and he was pretty sure that it was the two people following them more than anything else. He could hear at least two people behind them and figured that it was Malfoy and Granger but turning would mean having to stop and stopping what not what he wanted.

“I’ll send a letter when I get some details down,” Granger said as they passed through the apparition ward on the Ministry.

“Thank you, Hermione. I know that you had spent all night working on the case and Aaron kind of just bulldozed over it.” Spencer’s eyes were closed, and Aaron was sure that the moment he laid down, he would be asleep.

“It’s fine. Every single point that I researched will still be valid on why the trial was a sham. I would have expected that under Fudge.” Granger looked like she had been given the best gift in the world.

“I want to give my sincerest apology of what happened but thank Merlin she has a project,” Malfoy said as he wrapped an arm around Granger and they disappeared.

“Can we go home?” Spencer asked.

“Of course.”

Part 4

Aaron felt the body under him shift, and he tensed, expecting Spencer to roll over. He didn’t though. The lithe body stretched, and Aaron stayed where he was. A hand trailed down and came to rest just below his head. Spencer’s thumb brushed the top of his head, and Aaron shivered.

“What are you doing, Aaron?” Spencer asked, his voice rough from sleep. The younger man had barely made it through a simple meal of vegetable soup that Queenie had made. He had passed out on the bed where he had sat down to take off his shoes. Aaron had undressed him and got him under the covers. He hadn’t been tired, too worked up from the trial to even sleep, so he had read in the corner for a while little while before he had shifted to his Animagus form. He had not explored Spencer’s room in that form. He found that there were ways up onto the bed, the dresser, and into a window that was charmed to be warm with sunlight all day long. There was even a way up onto the table in the anteroom. Aaron figured that it was way for Sauron to get around in his smaller form and when he was younger.

After two hours of exploring around the bedroom and anteroom, Aaron had slithered up into bed with Spencer and had curled up on his stomach. He had napped a little on and off but had been awake for what he thought was the past hour.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” Spencer said, lifting the blanket with his other hand and looking at Aaron, curled up on his stomach. “Are you comfortable?”

Aaron hadn’t ever really tried to speak in this form, so he tried it. He heard hisses and watched as Spencer’s eyes narrowed. The hand on his neck squeezed just a little, and Spencer’s breathing deepened.

“Your voice is almost the same, just a little deeper and has a raspier quality. I don’t know what to think. I didn’t think that you could get sexier but this…” Spencer threw the blankets off of them. “You have three seconds to get into human form, Aaron Hotchner.”

Aaron snickered, watching Spencer’s eyes the entire time as he took his time stretching out on Spencer’s body, his body uncurling down Spencer’s groin and leg. His scales brushed along the base of Spencer’s hardening cock, and Aaron wasn’t sure about any of what he was doing, but Spencer wasn’t stopping him. Aaron’s head was resting on Spencer’s sternum, and he slipped up just a little farther. He curled his body a little, so he bent a little and kind of wrapped around the base of Spencer’s cock more.

“Haven’t you got adventurous?” Spencer asked as Aaron kept moving up his body. Aaron hissed out nonsense words as he flicked at Spencer’s nipple with his tongue. Spencer’s back bowed, and Aaron rode the wave of it before he slithered up a little more. He moved onto his neck and let his tongue tease over Spencer’s Adam’s apple before he shifted. He was damned good at shifting in an out of his Animagus form. As soon as he had his human head fully formed, he bit at the skin he had been tasting before. Spencer’s hand buried itself in his hair and held him right there, his legs came up, bracketing Aaron’s hips and making sure he didn’t go anywhere.

“Your skin tastes different in my Animagus form,” Aaron whispered across Spencer’s skin.

“I wasn’t aware that I had a snake kink.” Spencer tipped Aaron’s face up so that they could actually kiss. Aaron pressed him down into the bed, settling his full weight on his husband. That thought made him moan and thrust their groins together.

“You have an Aaron kink,” Aaron whispered as he pulled back so he could look in Spencer’s eyes. “I want you. Can I have you?”

“You have me. I’m yours forever.” Spencer smiled at him.

“No, I mean can I have you.” Aaron trailed his right hand down Spencer’s body and cupped his ass cheek, letting his fingers dig in just a little and brush Spencer’s hole.

“Oh…we…” Spencer kind of curled his lips inward and Aaron could tell that he was biting them. His eyes were wide, and there was a little bit of anxiety there. “We’ve not discussed that before.”

“No, we haven’t. We don’t have to. We don’t ever have to…” Aaron sat on his heels, laying his hands on Spencer’s inner thighs and kind of rubbing up and down there. “If you don’t want to ever have sex that way we don’t have to. I really enjoy everything that we have done so far. I just thought that on our wedding night, we should do something new.”

“And if I wanted to have you that way?” Spencer asked.

“You can. You can have me if you want. I just thought that since you’ve taken the lead in most of our sexual encounters, I wanted to take the lead this time.”

“There’s that romantic person in you. You can have me anytime that you want, Lord Hotchner. I’m yours. So to answer your question, yes you can have me.”

“Then why are you tense?” Aaron could still feel his tense muscles in his legs.

“I’ve never had penetrative sex before.”

“You’ve never had penetrative sex before?” Aaron asked.

“I never wanted to do that with anyone else. I’ve sought out sexual partners when I just couldn’t stand my right or left hands anymore, but I never have done that with anyone.”

“You’ve never…why?” Aaron wanted to understand.

“I didn’t want that connection with anyone else. I’d thought about it for a short while, and I was on a date with a guy before Malfoy pulled me away for an emergency Wizengamot meeting.” Spencer looked away from him, and Aaron wasn’t sure why he wasn’t looking him in the eye.

“Spencer?” Aaron reached forward and gripped the younger man’s chin and made him look at him.

“I was nineteen. Freshly nineteen.”

“Oh.” Aaron leaned down and forced Spencer to look at him by holding him right there. “You don’t have to be ashamed. You never have to be ashamed with anything that you do or don’t do.”

“You aren’t…upset?”

“Upset that my husband has a few things to share with me that he’s never shared with anyone else. That we both are in at least a small way virgins, only sharing that with each other.”

“But that first night, you were happy that I was so much more knowledgeable to gay sex.”

“Because I’ve done the fumbling around thing where both parties know nothing. Feelings can get hurt, but even if you haven’t had penetrative sex, I’m sure that you’ve experimented with others or at least know what you are doing. You can’t tell me that you don’t know what you are doing.”

“I know the spells.”

“For?” Aaron knew that talking, getting Spencer talking would help to calm him down.

“Lubrication, a muscle relaxation charm that targets the area being touched, a cleaning charm to specialise in after the sex, so we don’t even have to get out of bed. I thought before that it was stupid but right now, even though I am horny as hell, not getting out of bed sounds awesome, and you have learned my quirks way too easily.”

“Good. So have you decided who is getting taken?” Aaron asked, smirking before he kissed Spencer’s cheek. He placed open mouth kisses all along Spencer’s jaw and neck. He glanced down and saw that despite what they had just talked about, Spencer was still hard. Aaron’s own erection had flagged a little, but he knew that it wouldn’t take long for him to get fully hard again. Spencer groaned as Aaron found his pulse point and licked over it. Aaron had learned what he liked as far as what Spencer did to him, and he had done some learning of what Spencer liked but now was the time to make him come undone.

“You can have me.” Spencer brushed a few knuckles down Aaron’s cheek. “I want you to have me. I want it.”

Aaron ducked his head a little farther and licked at the nipple that was already hard and sticking up. Spencer let go of him and grabbed the bedsheets instead. Aaron paid a little attention to it before he moved to the other one. Down he moved, learning the areas that drove Spencer nuts. He was down to Spencer’s cock before he even thought about what exactly his plan was. Licking from the base of Spencer’s cock to the tip, Aaron laughed a little at the sound that Spencer made, it was like he had strangled himself. So he licked over the head, taking in the drop of fluid there.

“You have learned quickly,” Spencer panted as he looked down at Aaron. Aaron smirked before he moved a little farther down Spencer’s body. He took one of Spencer’s balls in his mouth, sucking and rolling it around before pulling off. He muttered a few words, pressing his thumb over Spencer’s hole. He had done a little of his own research the day before, he had found the sex books in the library and had taught himself the lubrication charm. His magic settled over Spencer’s body, and the younger man shivered. Aaron pressed his thumb inside of Spencer, slowly.

“You…” Spencer trailed off as Aaron pulled the thumb out some before pushing back in. He laid his head on Spencer’s thigh and looked down at Spencer’s cock. “Another.”

Aaron pulled his thumb free and pushed two fingers inside of him. Spencer moaned as Aaron found his prostate, brushing his fingers over it.

“Now.”

“Spencer,” Aaron chastised.

“No, I need you inside of me now.”

Aaron uttered the spell again, this time his hand was wrapped around his own cock. He heaved himself up and settled in between Spencer’s legs, pressed the head of his cock at Spencer’s hole. Slowly he slipped inside his husband inch by inch. Spencer’s eyes were closed, but Aaron could tell by how relaxed his face was that he wasn’t in pain. Aaron bottomed out inside of him and leaned down to kiss Spencer.

Spencer let go of the bed finally and wrapped his arms around Aaron’s shoulders, holding him there as Aaron started to move in and out of him. Spencer was tight around his cock. It felt better than he had ever thought that it could.

“Talk to me, Aaron.”

“You want to hear how good you feel? Wrapped around my cock.” Aaron laid his head on Spencer’s shoulder. “How tight you are.”

“Talk to me however you want, husband.” Spencer’s head shifted, and Aaron felt nails on his back at the same time that his cheek was licked. “Harder, faster. You wanted to have me, so take me.”

Aaron wrapped one of his arms around Spencer’s shoulder and held him close as he picked up the pace. Spencer tucked his legs up and wrapped them around his waist, changing the angle and giving Aaron more access to him. Aaron turned his head to the side and claimed Spencer’s mouth in a kiss, swallowing the moan as he picked up the pace, fucking Spencer as hard and fast as he could. Stamina wasn’t something that Aaron lacked. He exercised to stay in shape because it was one of the main reasons that Aurors were killed in the line of duty was that they didn’t stay in shape. Aaron didn’t let up, keeping Spencer’s mouth engaged throughout his rough fucking.

There was a single reason that Spencer had goaded him into doing what he was doing and he knew that it was because he wanted to see Aaron lose control but Aaron was more than willing to do it. When Spencer had him for the first time, it could be gentle and loving, but Spencer needed this. He needed to know that he was Aaron’s. That he was wanted. That Aaron was his as well.

Spencer unwrapped his arms from around Aaron. He trailed his hands down Aaron’s arm and linked their hands together. Aaron tightened the hold and pressed those hands down into the pillow on either side of Spencer’s head. Eyes locked, Aaron rocked in and out of him. He had learned the sound of Spencer’s breathing when he was close, so Aaron kept the pace. He was close himself and wanted to make sure that Spencer came first.

Sharing breath, Aaron kept their eyes locked.

“Your eyes truly are windows,” Aaron whispered against Spencer’s lips.

“Aaron,” Spencer whispered back.

“I adore you. I want you more than I should. You look at me like I’m the only thing you want in the world. You are going to give me an ego.”

“It’s worth it. Aaron, I’m-” Spencer’s back bowed, and his ass squeezed Aaron so tight that he was forced into orgasm as he pushed inside of him. Aaron kissed Spencer again for as long as he could, but he was still panting, so he ended up just breathing into his mouth.

When he could move, Aaron gently pulled out of Spencer, and the younger man rolled to his side, giving Aaron the option of snuggling into him. He heard a low hiss come from Spencer’s mouth and Aaron felt a deep cleaning charm wash over his body. Another low his and Aaron heard Spencer humming. He had to make sure to learn that spell as soon as he could. Aaron wrapped himself around Spencer. The covers covered them, and Aaron wasn’t sure if it was an Elf or Spencer, but he really didn’t care.

“We be talking later about getting married with no ceremony,” Serene whispered as the bed warmed a little. Aaron didn’t even want to think about that.

Epilogue-Fall 2015

Aaron smiled at the breakfast laid out in front of them. They weren’t in the dining room but a small nook in the kitchen. Serene had expanded the table too where Jack and Aaron could fit as well as Spencer. Aaron found out that Spencer had eaten most of his meals there over the years. Since Aaron and Jack had come to live there, they had been eating in the smaller dining room.

Jack sat down at the table and smiled at Spencer who was reading the paper. Jack was mesmerised by how quickly Spencer’s eyes were moving down the page.

“Eatup Jack, so we can drop you off at school. I’m sure that Headmistress McGonagall would like to have her student back.”

“Yes, dad. Queenie is making my food right now.”

“Didn’t want what we are having?” Spencer asked from behind the paper.

“I wanted sausage, not bacon.”

“We can make sure to have some ready for the times you are here.”

“I don’t want sausage all that often. So I’ll just make sure to tell them when I wake up. Speaking of the Headmistress, she agreed to weekend jaunts for me to Hogsmeade for lessons. Given the uproar that the…” Jack trailed off when Aaron looked at him. “You guys haven’t heard?”

“Heard what?”

“I’m not shocked our papers haven’t reported it but don’t you get other papers, Spencer?”

“They arrive in about twenty minutes. What is going on?”

“The ICW is coming down hard on the Wizengamot for yesterday’s farce of a trial. They are allowing Granger to keep up the suit, but they are backing her. There is a process that happens when soulmates are brought into question. The burden of proof falls to that potion, and given how quick it all happened, the ICW knows that the Wizengamot never intended to do that part. They know that Spencer was going to be killed that day if you hadn’t done what you had, Dad. Which they find odd as the Wizengamot let Potter, Malfoy, and Granger do the potion.”

“How do you know this?”

“Armando at school told me this morning. He called the mirror that he gave me. His father is a Hit Wizard for the ICW, and he knew that Armando was friends with me. He’s being reassigned to the Ministry for the time being.”

“Really? What for?”

“I think to protect-” Jack trailed off as the doorbell sounded.

“Who be showing up this early?” Queenie demanded as she set down a plate of food in front of Jack. “Tuffy, you be the bigger asshole. You deal with them.”

“Has Qan had coffee?” Spencer asked.

“No,” Queenie answered him. All of the Hotchner Elves look at Spencer with an odd look on their faces. Everyone was eating at the same time, which was a standard in Spencer’s household.

“Qan go be asshole to asshole who show up while people still be in bed,” Qan said as he moved towards the door. Jack was laughing.

“He really is my asshole Elf. He only likes plants. He’s sweet with mom though when she’s in the garden.”

“You let him be that way though.”

“I don’t believe in forcing someone to be something they are not. My Elves do as they wish and be as they wish.”

“The Wizarding World is not ready for you.”

“The Wizarding World wasn’t ready for me over two decades ago.”

Qan appeared and cleared his throat.

“Master Pence, Master Aaron, A Mr Lee Jordan is here to see you.”

“Lee Jordan? How did he get access to the grounds?” Aaron asked. Jack moved to stand but Aaron glared at him, and he sat back down. Spencer closed up his paper and looked at Qan.

“Send him to the sitting room overlooking the small copse of dead trees, Qan. Don’t be nice.”

“Qan won’t be nice to the wanker.”

“Qan is never nice to Gryffindors,” Spencer said.

“Who is he?”

“Schoolmate friend of the Weasleys. After Fred Weasley died, he left England. Didn’t realise that he had ended up at the ICW.”

“How do you know that he did?”

“I have an amulet that is charmed to get past my wards that the ICW has a hold of. I felt it pass through my wards. Do you want to come or get Jack off to school?”

“Which do you prefer?” Aaron asked.

“I don’t care either way, but I don’t want Jack to be late. I don’t want him going with an Elf just for the fact that it would be better to see one of us doing it. I wouldn’t be shocked if the press is outside the school watching. My land doesn’t allow them on it.”

“How far past the opening of the drive does your land go past?”

“Not far but they can see this far in. The few pictures that have been released of my land were taken with permission. I don’t allow other on my land, but I do give kudos to Jordan. He walked the entire driveway down.”

“I’ll take Jack to school and then come back. Don’t do anything stupid.”

“I’m not a Gryffindor. I don’t do stupid things, Lord Hotchner.” Spencer kissed Aaron’s cheek, grabbed his cup of coffee and left the kitchen.

“No, only stupid thing he done is get married where we can’t see,” Tibby said from the other side of the kitchen.

Aaron sighed as he looked at his son. The Elves were pouting but still hadn’t really sat them down to bitch at them. Aaron watched his son scarf down the rest of his breakfast. The ring on his middle finger of his right hand shone in the light. Aaron remembered wearing that ring for a very short period of time. When Jack stood up and carried his dishes to the sink, he kissed Queenie’s cheek and then Libby’s as well before he started out of the room. Aaron followed behind, and they moved to the floo. They were going to floo to the Manor and then apparate from there.

The second ring on Jack’s other hand caught Aaron’s eye as they exited the floo in the dark manor house.

“You took on a burden that I didn’t want you to, Jack.”

“No you didn’t, but I gladly did it. I knew the stakes, and no one talked me into it. I went to Gringott’s and only messaged Mr Potter after I had done it. The Goblins were very bloodthirsty, and I think that it was their way of saying fuck you to the Wizengamot.”

“Yes, well, still. It’s a heavy burden, especially for two Ancient and Noble Houses.”

“You never lied to me dad, about what happened to make me be born the way that I was. I knew that whoever your soulmate was, I’d have to accept who they are. I do accept that, and I will gladly learn everything about the House of Reid until you two get on the same page and create another kid.”

“Jack…” Aaron glared at his son as they approached the front door.

“What? The House of Reid needs a blood heir, and we both know that you created me on your own so there is no way that a ritual would fail for the two of you. I look forward to a little sibling. I’ll get to really enjoy watching them grow since I am so much older. And will get to be a proper sibling to them. They’ll be just getting to a really fun age when I get out of Hogwarts.”

“Where is Baster?” Aaron asked, realising for the first time that he hadn’t seen him.

Jack didn’t answer at all. Instead, he just moved out the door and to the edge of the apparition ward. Aaron let him because they still had the walk to the school proper. He had an inkling as Spencer had mentioned that Jack had been talking about someone that he liked. It had stopped, though, in his daily letters to Spencer after Jack had found out that Spencer worked with Aaron.

“Jack,” Aaron said as he wrapped his arm around Jack to bring him along in the apparition. Jack stumbled slightly on his feet, trying to get away but he stopped just a few seconds later. Aaron looked at him and followed his line of sight. There was a boy at the school gate, and Baster was sitting on his shoulder. That told Aaron where his son’s familiar was. “Better bring him around on a Hogsmeade weekend. Spencer won’t like hearing that I met him and that he didn’t get to.”

“Yes, Dad. Can I go now?”

“Go.”

Aaron watched Jack race for the gate. It opened when he got close and closed just as he crossed over. The boy on the other side moved in close to Jack, but they didn’t touch. Baster flapped his wings. He needed to get back to Spencer and see why their guest was there.

Instead of backtracking like he did, Aaron went to one of the shops and flooed straight to the manor and then from there to home. They’d have to shut the manor access down to the Reid home when they were fully settled in, but at the moment it made for easier getting around.

“So,” Aaron said as he entered the sitting room where he saw that there was more than one person there. Aaron stopped when he recognised the Supreme Mugwump, Babajide Akingbade, sitting and having tea with Spencer and his guards behind him. Who Aaron assumed was Lee Jordan was sitting down beside him. Sauron was curled on the ground in his full size between Spencer and the ICW wizards.

“Lord Aaron Hotchner, Supreme Mugwump Babajide Akingbade. Mr Akingbade, Lord Hotchner.”

“Magic choose well for you out of looks, Lord Reid.”

“Now that he is here, we can get to the heart of the reason you are here and send a Hit Wizard no less to prepare your arrival.” Spencer smiled at Aaron and patted the arm of his chair. Aaron moved to sit there. He figured there was a reason and he had worry about it later.

“The Ministry of Magic for Europe has sealed its fate as far as the proper handling of matters. The trial that happened yesterday never should have. Lord Potter had us waiting in the wings to swoop in and help, but Lord Hotchner figured out a better way to deal with things. I congratulate you on your nuptials, and now I have to ask you two for something that is above and beyond what you should have to deal with after the horridness that was the case you just worked on, but we can’t trust the Ministry. We want to rip its heart out and build it up from the bottom again. For that we need information.”

“Treason?”

“No. Whatever happens, the ICW and the Goblins stand behind you. The first act that we will be doing is taking over the control of the protection of the European Book of Bound Souls from the Aurors of England and placing it in our hands. There will be no changes to it other than our guards will watch it, and we might make an apparition point inside. The amount of access that the press of Europe has to stalk those who go to the book is appalling.”

“You say first like there is going to be more.”

“Lady Hermione Granger was hired on as our solicitor going forward dealing with all England cases. Lord Draco Malfoy has agreed to be her law clerk and busybody. Also, the man knows more dirt on people than anyone else.”

“What do you want out of us?”

“Eyes and ears. That’s all for now. Nothing that would harm England or her people.”

“We’ll give you our answer in a week,” Spencer said.

Akingbade nodded and stood up. Aaron showed him out, with his entire entourage.

“There is something wrong inside the Ministry.” Spencer was seated in the same spot when Aaron came back in. “That trial would have never made it that far that quick before. Shacklebolt was too easily led on the wrong path.”

“I want to think on it for a few days, and then we can talk.”

“Of course.” Spencer inclined his head in agreement.

“Jack has a boyfriend,” Aaron said as he sat back down on the arm of Spencer’s chair.

“Really? That’s interesting. Is that where Baster was over the past two days?”

“Yes, it was.” Aaron was more than willing to discuss Jack and work and not think about what the ICW wanted out of them. It didn’t seem that they were going to get time to rest at all between cases, their own jumbled personal lives, and whatever was out there, gunning for them it seemed.

With Spencer and Jack with him though, Aaron was ready to face it.

The End

 

8 thoughts on “Shadow Team Chapter 4-Epilogue

  1. This is every bit as good as I remembered from RT. Being abe to read both Magic Provides and Shadow Team close together, really brings home your talent. You’ve written two brilliant interconnected tales that can both stand alone, but when read together, the added depth… Thank You.

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  2. This is my second time reading this story. Do you plan to continue this story any further? I am interested in how Morgan had so much influence over Shacklebolt. I also was hoping to find out who the father of Hermione’s twins is. I would have been neat for both Harry and Draco be a father to one of the twins. However, It would also be interesting to have Draco father both of the twins. I just want to conclude this note with how much I love your stories and enjoy your writing.

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    1. I do plan on adding more to this series. At the moment, I have a few small stories set to bridge the time gap between Magic Provides and Shadow Team and then after I don’t have anything plotted but I do have some planned. I’m glad you love my stories and enjoy my writing.

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