Harry Potter and the Price of Being Noble

Harry helps Fleur in the second task of GOF and pays the price. HP/Fleur/Gabrielle/Hermione. A Veela bonding fic based on love. T Rated and it will stay that way. Thirteen year old Almost fourteen Gabrielle to start the story. Good Dumbledore.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5403795/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Price-of-Being-Noble

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19. Chapter 19 Basilisk Prices and the Twins

"They picked the wrong man this time," Vernon Dursley mumbled to himself. The previous day had been the worst day of his life, "Well second worst day since the day the freak was dropped off here was the worst," He reminded himself.

"Petunia I'm calling our solicitor tomorrow. I'm going to sue this...this..." He looked down at the letter they had received announcing the winning of the trip that had accompanied the tickets again, "Black Moon Promotional Company for every bloody thing they've got," They had been humiliated in front of numerous people. Vernon had argued everyone the previous day that there was no way he'd been tricked. It was only after the constables had been called to escort them away that Vernon realized he had been fooled.

"They deserve it after tricking us that way. We were treated like common criminals," Petunia agreed. Worse for the long-necked woman was the fact she'd bragged to all of her neighbors about the trip and what she was going to buy on 'the continent'. Now when they asked, she was going to have to admit what had happened.

"They won't get away with it, that's for sure," Vernon said. He looked down at the mess on his plate. Half-cooked eggs and burnt bacon. He turned and was going to ask his wife to recook the breakfast, but from her pursed lips he knew she wasn't in a good mood either. He started moving the food around looking for something edible. The scraping of his fork on the plate hid the first sound of creaking coming from his chair but nothing could have covered the loud crack as the chair gave way.

Vernon reached for anything he could to try to prevent the pull of gravity from exerting itself on his body but the only thing his hands found was the plate of food that had been in front of him. The mess of runny eggs, burnt bacon and bacon grease followed him to the floor, covering several of his chins and his face.

"PETUNIA!" Vernon screamed from his prone position amidst the remains of the chair as his entire backside felt like it was on fire.

Petunia raced over to her husband and slipped in some of the bacon grease that was next to him and ended up sitting on her husband's face smearing the remainder of his breakfast into his face and her backside. It took Petunia an hour to get Vernon up the steps to the bedroom where he stayed for the next two days with a sore back and arse.

%%%%%%%%%%%%

During the next few days Harry and his bond mates only ventured into the Chamber to make sure Moony had his wolfsbane potion. Remus had requested the time without them so he could rest a day before the full moon and another couple of days recovering. On more than one occasion during that time, Hermione and Fleur hauled their bondmate into Fleur and Gabrielle's room in the Beauxbatons carriage to ensure equal snogging time with him that they normally had when in the Chamber. One of those occasions happened when Gabrielle was studying with Ginny.

"It must be difficult," Ginny said to Gabrielle, "to always have your sister around you and Harry."

"Non, she's very supportive of our relationship," Gabrielle replied as she wrote another line of her essay.

"Don't you feel self-conscious when you're snogging Harry near her?" Ginny persisted.

It was at that time a smile encroached upon Gabrielle's face as she felt her sister kissing their bondmate. "Non, I'm sure she will do ze same with 'er boyfriend."

"I know when I was at the Yule Ball with Neville I felt every one of my brothers watching us," Ginny said. "I think if he'd tried to kiss me, they would have all hexed him to pieces."

"If 'Arry gets too far out of 'and she might give 'im a good, what is it you say, tongue-lashing," Gabrielle replied. "Like she's doing right now."

"So is Harry a good kisser?" Ginny asked. Gabrielle cocked her head questioningly at her friend to which Ginny continued. "Just girl talk Gabrielle. I know he's yours. Most witches in the castle are wondering the same thing."

"No telling all ze ozzer witches, but 'Arry is a very very good kisser."

%%%%%%%%%%%%

"Petunia dear," Vernon said. "Where did you leave the car keys?"

"You were the last one to drive the car," Petunia replied. "So why would I know where you left them?"

"I always hang them up here next to the door and they're not there."

"Well obviously you didn't this time. Where's the spare key?"

"You know I keep the spare key in my desk at work. Now help me find them. I'm going to be late for work and I already missed yesterday. I've got a major appointment in two hours that I can't miss."

Twenty minutes later Vernon found his keys dangling from the ignition as he looked in through the locked door window. He called his office to have them reschedule the appointment for an hour later when the locksmith he had called reported it would take him at least an hour to get to their Surrey home.

An hour and a half later Vernon Dursley climbed into the front seat of his car after paying what he considered an exorbitant amount of money for someone to spend thirty seconds opening a car door. As he muttered under his breath at the fee he turned the key in the ignition and… 'click' he turned it again…'click'

In his rage Vernon Dursley snapped the key off in the ignition. He never made his appointment.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Harry recognized the look Remus Lupin had. He had seen it every month the previous year, but at the time didn't recognize it for what it was.

"How're you feeling Remus?" He asked with genuine concern. He was there to escort Moony out of the Chamber.

"It's never easy Harry, but at least I have Sirius again," Lupin said in a voice that was trying to hide his pains. "Even though I'm safe with the Wolfsbane, there is always that feeling of isolation I have when I'm a werewolf. Having Sirius around reminds me of the times with him and your father."

"Anything we can do?" Harry asked.

"You're already doing it," Lupin replied as the two of them walked down the tunnel toward the steps. "Just being around people who accept me for who I am means so much. It's another thing that brings back memories of my student days in this school."

"Thinking about Fleur's offer?"

"I'd be a fool not to, but I want to talk to her father first," Remus replied. "I don't want charity, but if they seriously could use me for something that's important, I...I would like the opportunity."

"She was serious in her offer," Harry told him. "And I've met her father. I know he'll listen to her. He's going to try to help Sirius when we announce our bond."

"He knows about Sirius?"

"Only that he's innocent and my Godfather," Harry explained. "He's going to ask for a full investigation of me once the bond is announced, and that should bring Sirius into the picture. Once it comes out Sirius never had a trial, he'll push for one. With Dumbledore changing his testimony that Sirius was the secret keeper they shouldn't have a case."

"I hope it's that simple, but the Minister doesn't like admitting the ministry makes mistakes," Remus said. "We'll need to make sure we have a solicitor lined up for Sirius before the trial."

They continued to converse on various subjects as they left the Chamber area.

Remus found that his tent, gloves, books and the rest of his rendering equipment had arrived in Hogsmeade. He made his way to the store and paid for and picked them up. After shrinking them down, he made his way to the local post office, where he placed several envelopes into post that would be converted into muggle mail. He smiled as he watched the owls fly away and thought, "Well Padfoot, your first prank against the Dursleys is underway."

The owls landed a short time later at a wizarding/muggle post conversion station where the envelopes were taken from the owls and put into the standard muggle post. A couple of days later those envelopes made their way to several magazine processing points where the order was fulfilled. Two subscriptions of magazines were placed for number Four Privet Drive, while a third was an order for the same name but for number Fourteen Privet Drive. Harry assured Sirius that neighbor was on par to his Aunt for neighborhood gossiping.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Over the next several days they studied in the Chamber, where they were practicing learning various spells from Fleur. She would cast the spell and Harry would experience it in his mind. After he perfected the spell Gabrielle and Hermione would learn it from him the same way.

Remus was studying both French and the books on dealing with the Basilisk. One of the evenings he was standing next to the large carcass deep in thought, when Harry came over to talk to him.

"What's this thing good for Moony?" He asked.

Remus had been thinking about how and where to begin with the rendering and at Harry's question, he looked startled. "Oh, sorry Harry, lost in thought. What's it good for you ask? Well from what that book says," He nodded at the book lying open on the table, "Almost every part of this thing has value. Considering that almost all Basilisks have been killed off over the years and one hasn't been killed and harvested in almost ten years the backlog of demand for the various parts has driven up the prices astronomically. The book has some numbers in it, but its two years old so you have to presume a higher price now. An example would be the venom. It's especially in high demand and two years ago it was selling for one hundred and fifty galleons an ounce."

Harry remembered the white hot pain of the Basilisk venom as it coursed through his body and he gave a slight shudder. "What's the venom used for?"

"Several things actually," Remus explained, "it's a critical ingredient in several high end potions and it's also an effective means to kill dangerous magical resistant creatures. An example given in the book is an enraged dragon that can't be controlled. You can risk several dragon handlers' lives in attempting to kill it, or less than an ounce of basilisk venom can take it down. Of course getting the venom into the dragon is dangerous in itself, but the risk is far less."

By now the others had gathered around them, "So how many ounces of venom do Basilisks have?" Hermione asked.

"Not ounces, gallons. The average Basilisk will have between four and five gallons of venom," Lupin explained.

Hermione and Fleur both did the math rapidly in their heads, "Zat's over seventy thousand galleons," Fleur said. "Just for ze venom?"

"Actually I said the average was four to five gallons," Lupin explained. "The average Basilisk is only thirty feet long. Considering this one is over sixty feet, if there is a corresponding increase in venom, you could be looking at over thirty to forty gallons based depending if the venom cavity has a corresponding increase in both diameter and length."

"What do you mean?"

"The venom sac is a cylinder like mass near its head. A normal sac is about twenty five centimeters in diameter with a length of forty centimeters, if this one has one fifty centimeters by eighty centimeters, the volume increases to over thirty gallons. If there are thirty gallons of venon in this beast.."

"Over four hundred and fifty thousand gallons," Hermione whispered.

"Correct again. Minus, of course the amount is less whatever you'll have to pay to whoever you are getting to sell it for you."

Five people were shocked, but finally Sirius let out a whistle. Now he knew why Dumbledore didn't want this kind of money floating around the ministry. This basilisk alone could buy enough influence in the government to change major policies for good or bad.

"And your cut Moony," Harry reminded him. "And do not tell me it's too much, you agreed to the amount," Fleur had determined that the normal fee for rendering a magical animal down was four percent of the total value if there was no danger to the person, six percent if there was danger. Fleur and Remus had argued again about the final amount and finally agreed on eighty percent of five percent or overall a four percent of total value.

Remus had already computed that just extracting the venom was worth between three and eighteen thousand galleons, more money than he had had in his life, and that didn't even cover the rest of the Basilisk. The rest was worth less per piece but a lot more overall. He knew he was going to have a full vault at Gringotts when this was over.

"So what else has value?" Hermione asked.

"The fangs are pretty valuable as potion ingredients," Lupin replied. "The Goblins will also pay very handsomely for them. They like to carve them into swords. Again with these being larger than average Basilisk fangs the value increases exponentially. Then there's the skin. It's extremely resistant to magic but in a special way that it absorbs magic instead of reflecting it like dragon skin does. Well-to-do families and businesses will line a room with the material to have a magical training room."

"Can it be used like dragon skin to protect you?" Harry asked thinking of Hagrid mentioning he might need dragon hide to line his robes with.

"If you're a giant maybe," Remus said.

"What does that mean?" Hermione asked.

Remus went into the tent that had been set up in a corner and brought back a small piece of what they recognized as Basilisk skin. "Fleur helped me cut this off the skin in the tunnel yesterday," He handed it to Hermione who almost dropped it because she hadn't expected it to be so heavy. "Heavy isn't it?" Lupin asked. "Basilisk skin weights about twenty kilos for every square meter. It would be too heavy to wear for any length of time and if you're an Auror having to face the killing curse on occasion, moving quickly is very important than the additional benefits this would give you."

"Can't it be lightened with a spell?" Hermione asked.

Remus looked at her and smiled. He mentally counted and when he reached four he saw Hermione's eyes reflect the answer he knew she would get.

"If it could be magically lightened, it wouldn't be resistant to magic," She answered her own question.

"Exactly," Her old defense professor exclaimed. "Dragon skin is naturally light or the Dragon would never be able to fly, but Basilisks never developed a need to have lighter skin."

"Ow much is ze skin worth?" Fleur asked.

"Depends on the usage. Selling it as it is, about a thousand galleons per square meter," Remus said. "But believe it or not there is a market for basilisk skin in the fashion industry. With the right potions the skin can be broken down into layers which does lighten it. It takes about three years of continuous soaking and the skin loses all of its magical protection but you end up with five times the amount of skin you started with. People pay a lot for Basilisk skin boots, robes and other articles of clothing. You can make more money by selling some of it that way, but since they get five times the amount in return they don't need as much."

Hermione had been mentally calculating the surface area of the Basilisk, and came out with about two hundred and fifty square meters. At a thousand galleons per square meter the skin alone was going to bring in another two hundred and fifty thousand galleons.

Remus saw the look in her eyes and asked. "Did the math?" and when she nodded, he asked, "Did you remember there are three other skins to be harvested as well? The one in the tunnel and Sirius and I found two more up in the statue area. They are all smaller, but still a lot of skin."

"How much are you talking about for the Basilisk in its entirety?" Hermione asked as she thought about the enormity of the amount it was already at.

"If the internal organs are still intact, you're probably looking at somewhere between three and four million galleons. With a good seller who knows the market, maybe a lot more. Remember that I'm using numbers from a book that's a couple of years old."

Harry had never really cared about money, he knew he had more than the Weasleys and it often made him feel bad about having more than they did. But even he knew this was a lot of galleons. What was he going to do with three million galleons?

"I wanted to give some of it to the Weasleys," He said.

"You can't give them that much Harry," Sirius said.

"Why not?"

"Arthur is a Ministry employee. He has to report any amount of money above ten thousand Galleons given to his family," Sirius explained. "It's one of the ways that corruption is supposed to be kept out of the government."

Fleur snorted at that comment. "But eet 'appens anyway. Just ze 'onest ones can't take money for good reasons while ze dishonest officials 'ave it given to zem zrough various means to disguise it."

"I'm not arguing with you Fleur," Sirius said. "That's exactly what happens. But If Harry gives them more than ten thousand galleons Arthur will report it because the man doesn't have a dishonest bone in him. When he does, Harry will have to explain where it came from. If he does that, Fudge will be demanding all of the money from the Basilisk go to the Ministry."

"I'll talk to Mr. Weasley about it when I see him," Harry said. "No, not I, we need to talk to him after we figure out what we would like to give them. This money will belong to all of us."

"Harry, I can't take part of that fortune," Hermione said. "It's yours. You killed it."

"I thought we were a family Hermione," Harry said. "If we are, then there is no me when it comes to things like this, it is only us."

"Of course we're your family, but…" Hermione stopped and then started again. "Fine, just remember that I loved you before you were rich."

Harry smiled at her, "Of course love, but you three ladies made me rich long before the thought of these galleons came into our lives," He looked at Fleur and Gabrielle, "And no complaints from you two either."

"Arry, as long as we 'ave you, anything else is not important," Fleur replied.

"I hope you three have a clue with what do with all of this money," Harry said. "I don't."

"Once ze galleons exist, we can ask Papa to recommend a good financial adviser," Fleur replied.

Sirius turned to Remus faking a frown, "I guess he doesn't need me anymore. I mean who wants a mangy old mutt around when he's got those ladies to spoil him."

"Hmm," Remus pretended to think hard on the subject, "Mangy mutt or three beautiful ladies? Tough one there Padfoot, but I'll have to agree. If I was in his shoes I'd go with the women also."

"Shut it you two," Harry said blushing. "My family will always have room for the mangy mutt as you call yourself."

Sirius transformed into his animagus form and started bounding around the chamber.

A couple of minutes later all of the bond mates started laughing. Remus looked over at them with a questioning look.

"Hermione said we can only keep him if he's housebroken," Harry replied to the unspoken question.

"But it was Fleur who said we might have to have him neutered," Hermione said. This caused Sirius to transform back and give Fleur a pitiful look causing them all to break down laughing again.

Later when Harry and the girls had left, Remus looked at Sirius, "Almost word for word what Lily said wasn't it."

"Yep," Sirius replied to his friend. "I just want to know why women immediately think of neutering when they see Padfoot."

%%%%%%%%%%%%%

"Bloody pillock!" Vernon Dursley snarled at the unknown driver ahead of him who'd picked rush hour on Friday evening to break down on the motorway. The walrus of a man was in a very bad mood after a very bad week which had just ended with even worst news.

"I miss one bloody meeting, one," Vernon snarled to himself again. The man whose meeting he'd missed earlier in the week had notified him that he'd be taking his drill business to a competitor. "I told him it wasn't my fault, but did the git listen? No," Though had Vernon Dursley thought about it, he'd have realized he'd missed at least six meetings with this particular person. "Now my boss will be giving me a right bollocking on Monday. For what? Nothing."

He'd finally maneuvered into a lane that was slowly moving past the broken down car. As he passed it, he laid into his horn and shouted an insult to the driver. "That'll show him," Vernon thought. "He should get a real car," Those thoughts brought back the memories of his car issues earlier in the week. The locksmith, the new battery and having to have the key piece removed from the ignition, not to mention the expense of the hired car he'd had to get.

"Damn Solicitor," He snarled next. It had been another phone call he'd received that morning. All of Vernon's thoughts of what he'd do with the money he was going to get when he sued that Black Moon company disappeared into thin air.

"I'm sorry Mr. Dursley," Solicitor Goodwin had said. "There are no companies listed by the name of Black Moon anything. The only thing I can suggest is that you turn this matter over to the police. If they can identify someone we might be able to build a case, but I seriously doubt you'd get very far. It seems you've fallen for some kind of prank."

Vernon Dursley spent the next half hour ranting into the telephone at his solicitor. At the end of the conversation he'd got even worst news. "And you're at the same address Mr. Dursley? Number Four Privet Drive?"

"Yes of course, why?"

"Oh just verifying we have the correct address to send the bill. We had six billable hours looking into this matter and of course this phone call," Solicitor Goodwin had replied. "You will make sure the bill is paid promptly?" He then hung up.

All Vernon now wanted was to get home have a stiff drink and relax for the whole weekend and forget the whole bloody week ever happened. When he pulled into his garage he double checked that he had his keys and proceeded into the house. His wife was standing right inside the doorway with some kind of red garments in her hand.

"VERNON DURSLEY! WHAT ARE THESE DOING IN YOUR BED TABLE DRAWER?" Petunia screamed. "WHOSE ARE THEY?"

The relaxing weekend Vernon had desired never happened as he spent the entire time trying to explain something he had no explanation for. He ended up sleeping on the couch for several nights. It also didn't help when a second chair collapsed under his weight. This time Petunia refused to help. Even to go so far as to step over him as she went about her cleaning. He eventually was able to crawl to the couch, which wasn't very soothing to a bad back.

%%%%%%%%%%%

Harry had seen the Twins a few times since the conversation the previous week, but the Twins had not brought the subject of Fleur back up. Harry and his bond mates had discuss the possibility of telling them but were still undecided. They trusted the two, but they all knew the more people who know a secret the more chance of it getting out. It was after a prank review session with Remus, where the Twins were pretty sure they had modified their time tape to work as needed, that they decided to let them in on the secret.

%%% April 1st 1995 %%%

April first was, appropriately, the Twins' birthday. Lee Jordan and the rest of the Twins' friends threw them a tremendous party in the common room.

"Thanks Hermione," One of the twins called out as they lifted the muggle jokes and pranks book she'd bought for them. "Just what we need, more pranks that can't be traced back to us because of our magical signature."

"Just what you needed, I'm sure," She replied. "Just don't terrorize the first years."

"Who us?" The twins answered in unison.

The next gift was a fairly large box wrapped in light blue paper. When they saw who it was from Fred looked at Fleur and Gabrielle. "What did the lovely ladies find for us?"

"Zere is a joke store in Paris zat 'as some unique things that I didn't see at Zonkos," Fleur explained. "I thought you might like a few of zem. My Maman sent zem."

"Thank you," George said when they looked in the box, "and thank your mother. But since this is our birthday, all seriousness must be put aside."

"What about you Harry?" Fred asked. "Nothing from you?"

"Just this," Harry replied as he handed over two envelopes. "One's from Moony, but don't open them until afterwards."

When everyone was gone, the twins reached for the envelopes. They read Harry's first. It only had two sentences.

"Time to tell you the secret you wanted to know. Tomorrow after dinner," When the twins read the letter they looked over at Harry and nodded as they grinned at him.

"I think I might scrounge you up a real present by then," Harry explained.

Remus' letter also only had two lines.

"Now that you are seventeen, I invite you to join me for a return visit to number Four Privet Drive this weekend," This brought an even bigger grin.

"You know what this means Fred?" George asked.

"Of course. Our first legal magic outside the castle is going to be pranking," Fred replied with a devilish grin.

"This very well could be the best birthday ever."

The next evening Harry and Hermione fell into step beside the twins. Fleur and Gabrielle were already in the Chamber making sure that Sirius was in his animagus form.

"Well are you two ready to learn our secrets," Harry asked as he led them to Myrtle's bathroom.

"Of course," George said.

"You know we would never…hey why are we going into a girls' bathroom," Fred said. Both of the twins looked cautiously around the loo expecting some sort of a prank.

Harry grinned. "Where else would you hide the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets guys, and where else would it be appropriate to tell you the secret except in the Chamber of Secrets."

"Cool."

"We always did want to go down there."

"But Ron and Ginny wouldn't tell us where it was."

"You couldn't get in anyway," Harry explained. "Unless you are a Parselmouth," He turned to the wall and hissed, "§Open§" and the wall section disappeared.

Fred looked at George. "The great Chamber of Secrets of Salazar Slytherin is in a girl's bathroom?"

"And I guess we can't rub the Slytherins' noses in it, can we?"

"Not yet," Harry said. "Besides, it wasn't a bathroom when he made it."

"So?" Fred replied. "It's still nose rubbing material if I ever saw any."

A few minutes later they passed the snakeskin in the tunnel. "What the bloody hell Harry?" George asked.

"It's just a skin," He replied and continued walking while the twins kept looking back at the mass of skin laying in the tunnel.

"When they got to the Chamber itself, Hermione, to the twins' amazement, hissed it open and they entered.

"Hermione's a Parselmouth too?" George said. "We didn't know that."

"Not really," Harry replied as he grinned at the twins. "She's just good at faking it," That earned Harry a tongue stuck out at him.

In the Chamber, the twins did what everyone else did when they first enter the Chamber; stare at the carcass of the Basilisk. "That's the bloody thing that you saved Ginny from?" Fred asked in awe.

"I guess. It never attacked Ginny since she was already unconscious when Riddle turned it on me," Harry replied. "I had Dumbledore's Phoenix helping me though. It was a sort of memory of Voldemort that I had to kill to save Ginny," Harry said as the twins flinched at the name.

"Bloody hell," Fred said as he and George walked around the monstrous creature.

It was only after they had thoroughly looked over the carcass before they realized there was also a Hippogriff and Harry's dog in the Chamber. "Have some kind of animal farm going down here Harry?" George asked.

"Something like that."

"Where'd you get a Hippogriff?" Fred asked.

"He's a friend," Harry replied. "I really can't tell you more than that," He looked over at Fleur and Gabrielle who were seated at the table with Remus. "Now I think we said we'd tell you a secret."

"You know Harry, you don't have to," George said.

"That's not to say we don't want to know," Fred said.

"But if it is going to cause problems with your girlfriend and her sister, we'll understand."

"It's alright guys, we've been debating it for the last week or so, and we decided to tell you," Harry said. "You have a good point about misinformation, and we are hoping for one other thing from you this summer."

"Name it Harry."

"We'll explain it after the secret," Harry replied and then continued. "You know Gabrielle is my girlfriend of course."

"A lovely choice if we must say so ourselves," Fred joked.

"Is Moody covering any magical beings in your class this year?"

"No, he's pretty much stuck on constant vigilance and how to protect ourselves by causing us as much discomfort as he can."

"Yeah, same in our class. Oh well, you know Gabrielle and Fleur are part Veela?" Harry asked and the twins nodded at which Harry continued. "Well they have the ability to develop a love bond with another person. It's a permanent connection between the Veela and her bondmate."

"And you and Gabrielle have this bond?" George asked.

"Yes," Harry said as Gabrielle walked over and put her arms around him.

"So that's the big secret?" George asked, looking a little confused and disappointed. "Why is it even a secret?"

"It's part of it," Harry explained. "You asked what was going on between Fleur and me and you correctly pointed out she looked at me just like Gabrielle did. Want to guess why?"

It took the twins only a few seconds to realize the answer, but to emphasize the point, Fleur had also joined Harry and Gabrielle and wrapped her arms around both of them.

"Two?" George asked.

"Veelas?" Fred chimed in.

"Sisters?"

"Yes, yes and yes," Harry said.

"Shall we bow now, or wait until we are ready to leave oh mighty one?" George panned.

"And this was the Harrikins who was having trouble approaching a girl about the Yule Ball?" Fred asked his brother.

"We are so proud," Both twins said in unison as they each wiped an imaginary tear away.

"But seriously," George said. "Well if we can be serious after that kind of news. Wow."

"Yeah wow," Fred continued. "But we and a lot of other people really thought you would end up with Hermione."

"Yeah, we really did," George agreed. "I mean you two have been mostly inseparable for years."

"I guess it's time to retire that pool," Fred said to his brother.

"What pool?" Hermione asked.

"When you and Harry would finally get together of course," George replied.

"Were we the only two people in the whole castle who didn't realize we were supposedly going to be together?" Harry asked.

"Well if you didn't," Fred nodded at his brother, then looking back at Harry, "Yeah pretty much."

"So who all was in on this pool?"

"A lot of people actually, including professors," George replied.

"Just don't tell me Snape had a bet down."

"Let's see he said you two would get together..." Fred started and then started laughing.

"No, nothing from Snape. No Slytherins were invited," George admitted.

"Out of curiosity," Hermione asked, "Who had February twenty-seventh?"

"Why?"

"Oh, just curious."

Fred reached into his robed and brought out a roll of parchment, he unrolled it and looked down the list, "We had two people for that week, Hagrid and Katie Bell."

"Well that's a problem," Hermione said as she walked over to Harry.

"Why?"

"Because you can't pay the winners without telling them they won, but we aren't telling anyone when it happened."

Fred and George looked utterly confused. "Winners, what do you mean?"

Hermione wrapped her arms around Harry and kissed him before smiling at her bondsisters.

"Guys, well actually I have a third bondmate, it's Hermione."

It was one of the few times anyone had made the twins speechless. Similar to Remus' reactions the jaws came down, words tried to form but nothing materialized for several seconds. A certain large black dog was jumping around barking in glee. Finally George recovered and just like Lupin he thought a fast one was being pulled on them. "Okay Harry, you got us, and we thought you were serious."

"Not a joke or a prank guys," Harry said. Then letting out a deep sigh, he looked at his bondmates, "I'm stuck with these witches for the rest of my life."

"But you said it was a Veela thing?" Fred asked. "How can Hermione…I mean she's not Veela unless we missed something along the way."

"Not to say you're not attractive," George quickly said to Hermione. "But...but..."

"I prefer to not go into the details, but it is Veela magic. Hermione had the choice to join the bond and we realized what everyone else seems to have known all along, that we loved each other and she chose to join Fleur and Gabrielle in bonding with me."

This time Fred and George did drop to their knees and started bowing with their arms outstretched in front of them. "Oh mighty one, we are but unworthy humble servants in your presence. Teach us oh mighty one."

"Oh shut up you two," Hermione said as Fleur and Gabrielle started giggling.

"That is our secret guys and I hope you can understand why we want to keep it secret," Harry explained. "We are going to announce the bond this summer, so the Prophet can finish their stories of me before school starts back up. Besides, you know Rita Skeeter is going to find some way to slant this badly."

"We understand Harry," George replied. "Wished we had your problem, but we do understand."

"Do you think you can announce your bond the last week of July or the first week of August?" Fred asked.

"Why?"

Fred smirked at his brother then turning back to Harry, "We have that time in the pool."

"We thought maybe it would be your birthday party," George said. "We had planned on pushing for you two to be at the Burrow for it."

"We'll see guys, but wouldn't that be cheating?" Harry asked.

"Cheating is such a strong word," Fred said pretending to be hurt. "Giving you love potions or having Moody put you under the Imperious Curse would have been cheating. 'Accidentally' locking you and Hermione in a closet…not so much."

"Besides the Galleons would come in handy to make our dreams come true," George said.

"Your joke shop?" Harry asked.

"We think we can do better than Zonkos," Fred said.

"I'd bet on it," Harry replied. "So you want us to help you win the pot. Didn't you already clean up at the World Cup?"

Fred and George looked at each other and their normal cheery faces lost their smiles. "Yeah, well since you've let us in on your secrets, we'll tell you one of ours. Bagman ripped us off," George said.

"Paid us off in Leprechaun Gold, he did. It was gone by the next day," Fred explained.

"We've been trying to talk to him about it, but he keeps avoiding us."

"We first thought it was an honest mistake, but we've started to think otherwise."

"Anything you can do about it?" Hermione asked.

"No real proof," George replied. "People saw him give us our Galleons."

"Besides if we make a big stink about it, mum will find out," Fred said. "And you know mum. We'd be out our Galleons and have to listen to her all this coming summer."

"Yeah, too bad mates," Harry said. "Speaking of your Mum though, that's the other thing we hope you can do for us. What do you think she's going to do when she reads Rita's slant in the Prophet of our bonding?"

"I doubt Percy will be getting any more work done at the Burrow afterwards, since there won't be a quiet moment for some time," George said.

"The only good thing is George and I won't be at the end of her temper for a while."

"That's what we thought," Harry said. "Your family has been wonderful to me guys and I really don't want to lose that connection, but..." He left the sentence unfinished.

Again the twins looked at each other before George replied. "We understand Harry. I presume you want us to soften Mum up a bit before the articles appear?"

"Something like that," Hermione said.

"We thought we could get you books on our 'eritage and you can give your muzzer some facts before it 'appens," Fleur said.

"We'd be glad to," Fred said. "Out of curiosity, you wouldn't happen to have a cousin," He looked at his brother, "or two interested in two slightly odd fellows would you?"

"If we are going to learn about Veelas, practical application afterwards would definitely be more fun."

"We do 'ave a cousin, but she is ze wrong age," Fleur said with a smile. "But come visit sometime and I'll see what I can do. I'm sure some of my relatives would show you what a fireball is if you treat them badly."

"Uh...yeah. You can do that?"

Fleur nodded. "If I get very upset or angry. Now you two wouldn't ever want to make me or my bondmate angry would you?"

"Uh...no," Fred replied and looked at Harry. "We've seen Hermione's temper and now you have two... Merlin help you Harry. You like living a dangerous life don't you?"

"I guess dangerous living gives the greatest rewards right?"

Fred and George both looked at the three women. "You know he does have a point."

"That he does."

"Thanks guys, now there is one other thing we are going to tell you," Harry said. "More of clear up a misrepresentation," Harry looked over at Lupin before turning back to the twins, "Sirius Black did not betray my parents. It was Pettigrew who did."

"But Black was out to get you," George said.

"No, he was out to get Pettigrew."

"But he's dead. Black killed him," Fred replied.

"That's wrong also," Harry said. "Now this is something you cannot tell or even hint at anyone but I know you look up to the Marauders and I didn't want you to have the wrong opinion of my Godfather."

"Your what?" George asked.

"Sirius Black, Padfoot, is my Godfather," Harry said. "He is innocent, and someday I hope it will be proven and he can stop running."

"So why did he try to kill Ron last year?"

"He didn't," Harry replied. "Pettigrew is an animagus. His form was a rat. Do you happen to know of an ordinary rat who seemed to live forever?"

"You can't mean…no way…not Scabbers?" George said.

"Pettigrew was Scabbers," Harry confirmed. "Black was trying to get to him to protect me."

"How did he know?" Fred asked.

"Did you read the article last year in the prophet about Pettigrew? About what was supposedly left of him when he was killed by Sirius?"

"Only a finger I do believe."

"Was there anything peculiar about Scabbers?"

"He was missing a toe," Both twins said simultaneously.

"And your family including Scabbers was on the front page of the prophet. Sirius saw it and broke out of Azkaban to try to protect me and kill Pettigrew."

George looked at Fred, "And we had so many chances of killing him."

"True, but he did turn him pink on more than one occasion," And Fred looked at Harry. "Sorry mate, if we'd known we would've been glad to have tortured him for you."

"That's alright. I just wanted you to respect the correct Marauders," Harry said. "Right Moony?"

"I would prefer if Sirius's name wasn't thought of badly," Remus said. "Now Fred, George I do believe we have an excursion we need to make this weekend. Are you two up for it?"

"Of course, we wouldn't miss it."

"It's going to take a lot longer this time," Remus explained. "We are going to Floo to Diagon Alley and then muggle our way to Surrey this time. We'll have to come up with something to get them out of the house so we can get in."

%%%%%%%%%%%

Late Saturday evening Remus, Fleur and twins arrived back at the Castle and they were discussing what they had done that day.

"This bottle," Fred said holding up a standard looking bottle of clear liquid. "Holds some fun your Uncle shall experience tonight."

"What does it do?" Gabrielle asked.

"You're familiar with dreamless sleep potions?" George asked.

"Of course."

"Well this is the opposite," Fred explained. "It's dreamfilled sleep potion."

"When a little is added to the pillowcase or bedding, it will put the person into a deep sleep and force them to dream a particular dream over and over," George continued, "and best of all it will not come out in the standard wash."

"What will he be dreaming about?" Harry asked.

"Waterfalls," Fred replied with an evil grin. "Lots and lots of waterfalls."

"We also added some to your cousin's bed as well."

"So every time he sleeps on that pillowcase, he will…"

"Yep," George said and everyone started laughing.

%%%%%%%%%%

They next morning Vernon woke to a warm, wet feeling. It had been a great night and he felt very rested. He clearly remembered the vivid peaceful waterfalls of his dreams. As he came to full consciousness he realized the cavity his weight carved out of the mattress was completely soaked along with his bedclothes and a strong smell of urine permeated the air.

"PETUNIA!"

The shower he took to clean himself off was cold. For some reason the water heater wasn't working.

I really have no clue about Snake skins and weight, so if I am wrong, just presume it's the magical properties of the Basilisk and let it go.

I am going to explain the pranks on the Dursleys from here on out by starting the scene with a quote of Remus, the twins or Fleur saying what they did, which goes back to the last little meeting in this chapter. Then the actual prank which may happen sometime in the future will unfold.

 
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