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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36. Chapter 36 A Trip to the Past

July 5th 1995

The next morning Fleur and Harry were awakened by owls hooting and a yelp from Gabrielle. They were out of bed and in the living area brandishing wands in an instant. Gabrielle was holding her finger in her mouth while Hedwig was berating a large brown owl, whose returning booming hoots were deafening. Hermione was frantically looking around trying to find a way to quiet the large owl.

"What's going on?" Harry asked as he tried to figure out what might have happened.

"That owl has a letter for Fleur," Hermione explained as she pointed at the large owl. "Gabrielle told the owl that she was her sister and reached for the letter saying she'd give it to her. When she did the owl bit her, then it started hooting as loud as it could."

Fleur walked over to the foreign owl and asked for her letter. The owl immediately stopped hooting as it examined Fleur for a short time and then it held out its foot. As she turned back to the rest of the bonded she said. "My guess is it's from Marl. Papa did say 'e would be writing."

"Eet bit me," Gabrielle complained as she held out her finger.

"Let me see," Harry said as he walked over and looked at her finger. He brought it to his lips and kissed it.

"Ze letter wasn't for you," Fleur replied shrugging. "It's obvious ze owl 'as been trained to only deliver messages to ze person it is supposed to no matter what."

"BANG!" The backdoor of the house could be heard flying open. "RUDDY OWLS!" Came the loud voice of Vernon Dursley. "GET OUT HERE BOY!"

Harry rolled his eyes as he looked at Fleur.

"I need to get dressed before I can go out zere," Fleur responded. She was standing there in just her pajama top. A thin short sleeve shirt that was easily seen through. One she specifically wore for her night with Harry.

"BOY!" The voice of Vernon boomed out again. Looking out they could see him storming across the garden toward them only to get to the muggle repelling wards where he stopped and looked back at his house.

Two minutes later Harry along with Fleur who had one of Harry's shirts and a pair of pants thrown on, was strolling out of the tent. Fleur had her wand clearly out in front of her and a glare in her eyes as she walked beside her bondmate. Fleur clearly was not in a good mood.

"Yes?" Harry asked his uncle.

Vernon opened his mouth and was clearly about to start yelling when Fleur raised her wand along with an eyebrow. "I 'ave not 'ad my morning coffee yet and I was awakened by ze same owls. Think very 'ard about what you are going to say."

He closed his mouth and swallowed while his knees moved reflexively inwards in a protective gesture. "Uh..." He finally started. "owls... noise... woke... sleep," Vernon was throwing out random words from a prepared diatribe he had planned as he stared at the wand in Fleur's hand. His own hands had worked themselves down to join his knees in protecting what had been seriously injured the previous day.

"We're sorry," Harry said looking straight into his uncle's eyes. "We weren't expecting it either. As you can hear, we've dealt with the issue. Now if there's nothing else..."

Vernon was seriously torn. The boy was staring at him defiantly. That in itself made Vernon want to rip the freak's head off, but in the last two days he'd had his hand broken in numerous spots and his bits had been hexed so badly he'd had trouble using the bathroom the previous day. But too many years of dominating the boy prevented Vernon from allowing the freak to get the last word. "If you can't keep that ruddy owl quiet you can get out."

Harry chuckled at his uncle's blustering. "Do you really think I WANT to be here? When I do leave I will be spending the rest of the summer at the Delacours' home," His arms went around Fleur and Gabrielle, who, along with Hermione had joined them. They were also glaring at Vernon. Each had brought their wands just in case.

"Who'd want to live in France," Vernon sneered. "Whole ruddy country is a waste. The fact you'll be going there will only add one more reason to stay away from the place."

Fleur couldn't help herself with a smirk she explained. "Our family 'ome is on one 'undred and sixy-two 'ectares east of Cassis with over four hundred meters of it on ze Mediterranean. Zat is where we could be staying. In two weeks we will be swimming in ze sea, but right now we are stuck 'ere protecting an ungrateful pompous English cochon."

Vernon Dursley's expression was beyond priceless as he sputtered in an attempt to speak but nothing came out except spittle. It was obvious that his mind was computing what that actually meant in terms of money and status, the two things he respected above all else. Worst to him was that it was the freak who was going to be enjoying it. It would be a while longer before he realized he'd been insulted.

"We'll do our best to keep the owls quiet," Harry said. With a nod of his head he indicated they should all go back to the tent. As they were walking toward it, Harry glanced back to a Vernon still standing where they left him. "At least he didn't get castrated," He said with a smile to Fleur.

"Eet would 'ave made ze dog sick," Fleur replied with her own mischievous smile.

"Maybe Marge will visit," Harry smirked. "It might be funny to see Ripper getting sick that way," Harry had told the girls of his childhood experiences with Aunt Marge and her dogs, especially that one particular one. He was finding it easier and easier to discuss his past life with them since they already had seen quite a bit of it.

Fleur finally opened the letter when they were back inside the tent.

"It is from Marl," She said after scanning the letter. She then read it out loud.

"I presume your father has already informed you to expect this letter. Somehow he convinced me to return to France and train the famous Harry Potter along with you, your sister and another person he said was like another daughter to him. He believes your lives are in danger from Voldemort, which I presume is from the battle that I read about last week. I owe Alain so I agreed. I'll start the training here. If you opened this letter and you are not one hundred percent positive that you are inside a portkey proof ward, then you should consider yourself captured or killed by your enemies."

Fleur looked up and grimaced. "I presume we are, but I'm not positive," She said.

"Dumbledore wouldn't have overlooked that possibility," Hermione stated. "I'm sure of that."

"This guy sounds like the bogus Moody with his constant vigilance," Harry muttered.

"Which means the real one is probably the same or Dumbledore would have noticed," Hermione pointed out. She looked at Fleur. "What else does he say."

"More of ze same," She said before continuing the letter. "If you're trying to hide, I could have easily put a tracking charm on my owl, if I can do it so can anyone else. First thing all of you need to do is imitate the Potter boy and have your mail blocked."

"What does he mean?" Harry asked. "I don't have my mail blocked. I get letters during the summer. I was saved from starvation because of it."

"Of course it's being filtered or blocked," Fleur replied. "Think about it. You 'aven't received a single letter from anyone except people you know. You're ze Boy-Who-Lived. You should be getting letters from everyone in zis country, especially after zose stories. Remember what 'Ermione got from just zat one article?"

"Eets true," Gabrielle said as her cheeks blushed. "I tried to send you a letter three years ago, but our owl wouldn't go."

"But how..." Harry started and knew the answer immediately. "Dumbledore. He must be controlling who can owl me."

"Makes sense," Gabrielle said. "E was trying to protect you; and as Marl said, if an owl can be tracked to you..."

"Yeah I guess," Harry replied with a sigh. "But I wished he'd tell me these things," He looked at his still slightly blushing youngest bondmate. "And what did you write in that letter?"

Gabrielle looked into Harry's eyes and replied. "I just told you about myself and asked if you'd ever want to come visit me."

Harry pulled Gabrielle into his arms. "I'd love to."

"So it's obviously blocked, so we can ask Dumbledore when we see 'im," Fleur said. She looked back at the letter. "Zere is more. I am not coming over there for my health. If I'm going to train a bunch of kids, I expect you to give it your best effort. Do what I say and we'll get along, whine and you can find another instructor. Now as I understand it, you can't practice magic until you get to France, so for now work on your physical skills. You can start with running. I expect you to be able to run two kilometers in twelve minutes by the time I see you. If you think you're too good to be physically fit then you aren't worth my time in training."

"Two kilometers?" Hermione asked.

"Oui," Fleur responded. "Zat's what it says."

"After all of our trips down to the Chamber and up to the seventh floor, it can't be that bad," Harry added confidently.

"...no...not...that bad?" Hermione gasped at Harry an hour later as they stumbled back into the tent. She had a pain in her side and was pouring sweat. She knew she had at least two blisters. "First...first of all Scotland is...is a heck of a lot cooler," She continued to try to talk and gasp for air at the same time. "And we get...get to sit down after we walked to those places."

Harry was faring slightly better than Hermione as was Fleur. Gabrielle was much worse. Harry had tried to get her to stop when she was obviously laboring halfway through the run but she refused. She had told him through gritted teeth that she would not quit. Currently though, she was leaning on Harry to even stay up as he guided her toward the sofa. Tears were in her eyes as she limped along beside him.

Harry could feel the pain she was in, so once he sat her down, he knelt in front of her and gently removed her shoes. He gasped as he removed her first sock and could see two large blisters had developed and one of them had burst.

"You should have quit," Harry said gently as Fleur knelt beside him.

"Non," Gabrielle replied wincing as Harry pulled her second sock off. "I will not be ze.. ze weakling."

"You're not weak Angel," Harry said softly. "But you don't have to do it all the first time." He could see her ankle was slightly swollen. He looked at Fleur for what she might suggest.

"Let 'er be for now. 'Er Veela magic will probably fix it by morning," Fleur said. "As long as it's not too severe, ze magic will fix anything zat prevents us from being beautiful."

"That's a problem then," Harry countered. "Since I think both of you are beautiful right now even with blisters, sweat and swollen ankles," He looked at Fleur. "In fact I thought you were most beautiful in the final task when you had scratches here..." he touched his finger to her cheek where the scratches had been. "and you had a smudge of dirt there," again his finger touched another spot.

Fleur eyes closed as she enjoyed his touch and relished the love she felt from him in the bond.

"Fortunately," Gabrielle started then winced again as she moved her ankle. "Our magic is more picky zan our bondmate."

"Would ice help?" Harry asked. "To maybe stop the pain for the time being."

"For now, later I'll see about mixing a pain reducing potion," Fleur replied. "But I need to rest first. I'll need a steady 'and."

Though tired and with his own hamstrings sore, Harry spent the afternoon taking care of the three women he loved. He carried Gabrielle to the bedroom and had Dobby freeze ice for him to put on her ankle. Fleur made the potion a few hours later to include more for the coming days. None of them were up to dancing that evening, so after Dobby made a dinner consisting of some kind of fish soup along with fresh loaves of bread, they sat around the living room reading. Harry had first picked out a book about Quidditch, but as he looked and saw all of his bondmates with various educational books, he felt guilty. He went back to his trunk and started digging through his other books but nothing looked interesting. When he pulled out his Divination book he felt a wave of disgust pass over him. He sat on his bed and stared at the book as he thought of the class and its instructor. He didn't think he could return to Trelawney's class knowing that she had inadvertently caused all the pain in his life. Even now he could see the vision of her rising above Dumbledore's pensieve and reciting the prophecy. To have her continually referring to his death in class when he knew she'd truly predicted the possibility of it would be emotionally painful. "I don't think I can make up ways that I might die anymore."

"Zen don't," Fleur voice floated over the bond. "Take another class," The last part Harry heard out loud and looked up to see Fleur and Hermione in the doorway to his bedroom. Each of them moved over to the bed and sat down on either side of him. Hermione took the copy of 'Unfogging the Future' from Harry's hand and sat it aside.

"Take something else," Hermione agreed.

"Can I?"

"I would think so," Hermione said. "You can't be in our year, but you should be able to sit in a third or fourth year class or maybe private tutoring. Dumbledore would surely realize why you would want to give up Divination."

Harry nodded. "I don't want to see her; at least not for a class."

"So what would you want to take?" Hermione asked. "Muggle studies would be easy for you even if it's a hundred years behind the times."

Harry looked over at his long time friend and now bondmate. She had the book she had been reading in her lap. 'Advanced Runic Concepts of the Ancients,' He sighed. "No I should be doing more. What do you think would help me more with what I need to do, Runes or Arithmancy?"

Hermione smiled sadly. "As much as I love hearing you want to better yourself, I'm sorry for why you need to. Last year I'd have given anything to hear you say that but now..." Her voice trailed off as she leaned over and kissed him.

Fleur reached her arms around Harry. "Arithmancy takes years to do anything productive," She said. "Runes is something zat can 'ave a more immediate effect."

"I agree," Hermione said. "I am reading about runes that allow for one thing to imitate another. If you use it with a Protean Charm..." She stopped when she saw the amused look on Harry's face. "What?"

"As I said shortly after we bonded, I have never appreciated you as much as I should have," Harry explained. "You really are brilliant you know. Both of you in fact," Harry said as he took both Fleur and Hermione's hands. He then remembered Fleur's handling of his uncle. "As Ron would say, brilliant but scary, but a good kind of scary."

Hermione blushed but replied. "And you have done as much for me. Shall I mention trolls and werewolves?" She got up and went to her trunk. She returned with one of her books. "Here is my Runes book from last year," She said as she handed it to Harry. "I'll be glad to help you with it and maybe we can get you to a level where you can be in Gabrielle's class next year."

"Thanks," Harry replied.

By the time Harry was ready for bed, he'd finished reading the first two chapters in the book. It wasn't the most exciting book he'd ever read but he hadn't realized how many things depending on runes including his own Firebolt. When he'd read that broom manufacturers used certain industry specific runes along with their own proprietary spells to make brooms fly, he'd rushed into his room and pulled out the Firebolt only to find those runes carved delicately where the ash handle met the birch twigs. He'd only thought they'd been artistic designs before. He never noticed the smile his bondmates had as they watched him grow more and more interested in the subject.

Finally fatigue set in and he looked over at Hermione. "Are you sleepy love?" He asked.

Hermione's eyes left the book she was reading and found his. It was only a few seconds more before the book was left behind and she made her way to the bedroom to change and prepare for bed.

"I still have trouble believing it sometimes," Hermione said a short time later as she climbed into Harry's bed. There was no hesitation like she had experienced the first time. "I still wake up sometimes expecting this was all a wonderful dream, but then the bond is there..."

"Ever regret it?" Harry asked as he looked into her beautiful eyes as he took her hand in his and brought it up to his lips.

"No," She replied as she intertwined her fingers with his. "But ask me again in fifty or sixty years and I'll let you know if that changes."

"Yes ma'am," He replied as his lips sought hers.

"How are your feet?" Harry asked after a few moments.

"Mmm?" Hermione answered, her mind quite fogged by the intimate nature of them being together in bed and sharing the previous kisses. "Oh...fine," She pulled then from under the covers and reached down to look at the heel where the major blister was located. She ran her finger over the skin that was now smooth with no indications of any injury.

"Did Fleur heal it for you?" Harry asked.

"No..." Hermione responded as she turned her foot one way and then the other to get a better look. The skin was flawless. In fact she noticed that not just the skin, but her toenails were now a perfect length. A thought came to her mind and she instantly raised her hands to look at them. "It...well I think it's the Veela magic," Hermione finally told Harry. "I've always bit my fingernails but look..." She held out her hand for Harry to see. "And my toenails."

"So your hair and now it's healing you too?" Harry asked.

"It appears so," Hermione replied. "I just told Fleur and she says we should send Professor Berceau an owl tomorrow about it."

"Think it's anything to worry about?" Harry asked.

"It's not hurting me and I'm definitely not complaining about my hair or any of this," Hermione replied. "But honestly, I'd feel better if I knew why and to what extent it's going to affect me."

Harry pulled her back into his arms. "Okay, we'll send the owl tomorrow, but for now I'm just glad your feet are better."

"We'll see if they stay that way when we're running again tomorrow."

"Do we really want to meet this Marl person?"

"Mr. Delacour trusts him and he seems to know his stuff."

"Yeah I guess," Harry replied. "It's just... I don't want you or Fleur or Gabrielle hurting because of me."

A flash of hardness appeared in Hermione's eyes as she sat up and stared at Harry. "And how much hurt would we suffer if something happened to you and a few blisters would have prevented it? If this Marl person can make me better in preventing anything from happening to you or Fleur or Gabrielle, then I'll suffer whatever it takes just like you would and so will Fleur and Gabrielle. We are all in this together. We know it, we accept it and you better too."

Harry was caught off guard by the resolve in Hermione's voice and could only nod.

"Besides, I am muggleborn and Fleur and Gabrielle are Veela. All of us would be persecuted by the pureblood sentiment that Voldemort believes in," Hermione put her head on Harry's shoulder as she continued in a softer voice. "Even if we weren't bonded with you, we would need something like this to fight back. I think that is what Professor Dumbledore is thinking when he made that offer to Fleur. Even as she teaches others to defend themselves, we can keep practicing what we learn this summer and learn more."

Harry pulled Hermione tighter into his arms. It seemed impossible that he was the one that must kill Voldemort, but he did truly believe the three women he loved were brilliant. If anyone could help him do it, it would be them. He found himself stroking her hair. He let out a sigh. "I just wished..." his voice trailed off as Hermione put a finger on his lips.

"Don't fret about what we can't change," Hermione whispered softly. "You will do it. I know you will and we'll be there helping in whatever way it takes."

"But how?"

Hermione shrugged. "We'll find a way, but I know that you are going to have to believe in yourself as much as we believe in you. Now enough about that, you don't want to spoil my night with you do you?"

"Definitely not," Harry replied with a smile.

"Good," Hermione replied as her hand started running across his chest as she laid her head on his shoulder.

After several minutes of caressing they finally drifted off to sleep with Hermione snuggled into Harry's chest breathing in the smell of the man she loved. A very large smile was upon her lips.

**** E E ****

In a small fenced plot of land on a large estate, a young man sat staring at the headstone of his father. Tears threatened to come through his stoic exterior facade as he continued his vigil. Finally as the light started to fade the young man made a quiet vow to his departed father. With one last glance he turned and walked slowly out of the small family cemetery toward the large Manor House. Behind him the final rays of sunlight seemed to linger on the white marble monument that read.

Lucius Malfoy

Beloved Father and Husband

1954-1995

Inside the Manor home, Narcissa Malfoy sat in her music room drinking a cup of tea as she listened to music that reminded her of years gone by. This was the only room in the large mansion that did not have reminders of her husband. The last week had been very rough as she found out just how loyal her friends were. She and Draco had stood alone while her husband was lowered into the ground. Though several business acquaintances and people she once considered friends were there, none of them offered anything beyond a simply worded condolences and then departed as soon as the dirt was in place over her husband's grave. Since that time no one had been by to check in on her or to offer any support. As she absentmindedly stirred her tea she thought. "Only when you are in your deepest needs do you find out how shallow you life really is."

Narcissa heard the back door open and soon she saw the blond hair of her son pass by the doorway.

"Draco," she called.

It was several moments before he returned and entered the room. "Yes?" He asked in a cold voice.

"How are you?" She asked softly.

"Fine."

Narcissa tried to engage her son in conversation but he continued to give one word answers. Finally she got to a point she had been thinking of. "I've been thinking that we should move," She started. "This place..."

"No," Draco responded, still in the cold emotionless voice. "This is my father's home and I will not leave it."

"But..."

"I said no mother," Draco's gray eyes still help no emotions. "My father was a great man. I will do what he set out to do. You can go where you wish. I can take care of myself," He turned and left the room without another word.

Narcissa stared as she watched her son leave. She tried to see through the words and figure out what her fifteen year old son meant. She sighed as she brought the tea cup to her lips once more. "He saw only the best of his father. He never saw the grovelling at his master's feet or the wickedness Lucius did when he wanted something. Now I fear Draco will follow his father on the same path that led to the grave Lucius now lies in."

*** E E ****

"Mum!" Ginny complained. Her mother had taken to reading the anti-Veela articles out loud to her family trying to convince them that she was right. "See they say right here that a Veela visiting from..." and "Here's another spot where it says that they..." were heard frequently. Ginny finally stomped up the steps and returned shortly with the book Fleur had given to her.

"Mum, read this," She said as she handed it to her mother.

"What is it?"

"It's the real Veela story," Ginny explained. "Fleur gave it to me."

"And what were you doing around her?" Molly questioned her youngest child.

"Gabrielle is my friend," Ginny replied honestly. "Her sister, Hermione they all are my friends," Ginny took a deep breath to control her temper before she lashed out at her mother. "Mother you have to do something..."

"Of course I do," Molly replied cutting her daughter off. "I'm trying to tell everyone that we need to get Harry away from them."

"NOT that," Ginny exclaimed exasperatedly. "I mean you. I know that Harry is in love with Gabrielle and she...LET ME FINISH.." She cut her mother off when she opened her mouth to speak, "Gabrielle is in love, truly in love with Harry."

"It's just a crush dear," Molly said. "He's much too young..."

"NO!" Ginny yelled as she almost lost her temper again. "Mum, he's not. you might want to keep trying to think he is the same boy that first came here three years ago but he's not. He's fought Voldemort..." When her mother's eyes went wide, she continued. "Yes VOLDEMORT..Tom Riddle the evil being that possessed me. He's fought him a lot of times now. Mum..I owe Harry my life, but he didn't save me because he loved me, he saved me because it's who he is. Yes I had a crush on the Boy-Who-Lived and I could have fallen for the real Harry Potter very easily, but he has the one he loves."

"Just give it time dear, I'm sure when he comes over he'll see that you're a much better catch," Molly said. "Maybe I can teach you how to make a small love potion like I did when I was a young girl. You remember me telling you about it last year."

Ginny's eyes went wide. "NO!" She exclaimed. "NEVER! Read the book mother; read it or I truly doubt you will ever see Harry in the Burrow again," She turned and stomped out of the kitchen.

Molly looked at the book in her hands. 'Veela, the truth amongst the lies' She sat it down on the kitchen counter and picked back up her Witch Weekly magazine and continued to read the article that she had been reading.

*** July 7th 1995 ***

The next few days flew by for the bondmates. They sent Hedwig off with letters to Professor McGonagall about the possibility of Harry taking up Runes instead of Divination and one to Professor Berceau about Hermione. They continued running and each day it became slightly easier. They were all determined that when they met their instructor face to face they were going to be able to say they did their best.

On Wednesday an owl arrived from Professor McGonagall stating that she would discuss the switching of subjects with the Headmaster when she got a chance and follow up later in the summer. She explained that it would give him time to see if he could make enough progress to proceed to the fourth year class.

It was also on Wednesday that Dudley tried to get back at Harry. He'd been watching the freaks run every day and the last two had shown a pattern even his small brain could see. The two older girls always ran ahead while Harry hung back and ran slower with the younger girl.

"If I can get Harry away from the older one who can do magic.." He thought. "I'll show that young bird how a real man fights," Visions of him standing over the bloodied body of his cousin brought a smile to his piggish face as he watched the freaks once again walk toward the road in preparation for their run. He laced up his trainers and started on a leisurely pace toward the alleyway on Magnolia Crescent. They always passed through there along their route and it was far enough along that the two older girls would already be ahead.

Dudley waited and as expected, Fleur and Hermione came out of the alleyway first. He was standing behind a hedge and neither saw him as they passed by. He quickly ducked into the alley and saw his cousin and the other girl running toward him. He stood in the middle of the alley with his arms crossed and waited.

Harry and Gabrielle stopped short of Dudley expecting something was up. A quick mental shout to Fleur and Hermione brought them to a halt and they started back.

"Don't let him see you yet," Harry told them. He then spoke to his cousin. "Move Dudley."

Dudley grinned maliciously. "You've go no one to protect you now."

"Going to crap in your pants again?" Harry asked. "What did good old Aunt Petunia say to that?"

"Shut up Freak," Dudley snarled. "I know that freak girl did something."

"Zat's my sister," Gabrielle said angrily. "She was only protecting 'Arry."

"Well you freak sister isn't here is she?" Dudley replied smirking. "And now I'm going to show you what a real man can do."

"Ze only man in zis alley is 'Arry," Gabrielle replied. "You're nothing but a fat pig. If you lay a finger on my bondmate, if 'e's to good to 'urt you, my sisters and I will."

"Big words from such a small girl," Dudley chuckled. "Maybe once I take care of him.." He pointed at Harry, "you and I can go somewhere."

"If you think you can hurt me Dudley go ahead and try," Harry replied calmly as he stepped in front of Gabrielle. "I didn't have a wand last year when Aunt Marge floated away did I? What about the zoo and the snake? Did you know I can talk to them...snakes I mean? Want me to tell one that your bed would be a nice warm place to sleep? Now are you really sure you want to make me angry?"

All of sudden Dudley didn't feel so confident as he thought about a snake in his bed. His chest deflated a bit as he swallowed nervously.

"Let's go Gabi," Harry said and started to guide her past his cousin. Years of being a seeker left Harry with excellent peripheral vision even with his glasses. He noticed the shift of his cousin's weight and without thinking he reacted. He pushed Gabrielle away and ducked Dudley's massive fist all in one motion.

The problem that Dudley faced was he expected his fist to land on his opponent. In the weight class Dudley boxed in, he and his opponent always stood and basically traded blows. He'd never fought anyone with Harry's reflexes. He'd put his entire weight into that punch and when he missed, he was completely off balance. The next thing he saw was Harry's return fist which shocked him completely. In a moment of complete clarity Dudley realized the reason Harry never fought back before was because of his father who would have beat Harry senseless, but now that threat was gone. When Harry's first connected with his nose, Dudley also realized his cousin was much stronger than he looked.

Blood poured out of Dudley's nose as he fell to one knee. He looked up at his cousin who stood over him with a very defiant look on his face.

"Dudley, I'm not the same kid you use to beat up regularly," Harry stated flatly. "I don't need Fleur to do magic to beat you."

Dudley scrambled to his feet and raised his fists. "You're nuttin but a freak," He sputtered through the blood running down his face. "You and those bints of yours."

Twenty seconds later Dudley was on the ground again this time with at least two teeth loose.

"You ever insult any of these ladies again and you will be crawling home," Harry said angrily. He had a bruise on his shoulder where Dudley's fist had made contact in the last exchange of blows but he shrugged it off.

Harry and Gabrielle left Dudley lying in the alleyway as they met up with Fleur and Hermione who were waiting at the other end.

"You could 'ave let me deal with 'im," Fleur said.

"He's had that coming for years," Harry replied with a sigh as the adrenaline from the fight left him. "He won't be able to say it was because I did magic."

"Think 'e'll leave us alone now?"

"If he doesn't, you can turn him into a pig."

Fleur looked back at the alleyway, almost wishing Dudley would trying something one more time.

Harry expected it the rest of the day, so he wasn't surprised when he heard his uncle come out the back door that evening yelling for him.

"OUT!" His uncle yelled as soon as Harry and Fleur left the tent. Petunia was standing next to him. "I WANT YOU AND YOUR...YOUR FRIENDS OUT! USING YOUR FREAKISHNESS TO HURT MY SON IS THE END!"

"That's what Dudley told you?" Harry asked. "He won't admit that I beat him without magic?"

"You did no such thing you...you FREAK!" Vernon roared. "Dudley told me all about being held down by her freakishness," He pointed a fat finger at Fleur, "and you hitting him."

Harry sighed. "That's not how it happened, but I really have no reason to argue the point with you. We'll leave Saturday. I need to stay in England until then because of the trial of the man who betrayed my parents," Harry couldn't help but notice a questioning look on Petunia's face. "You should hope he suffers as well since it's because of him that I ended up on your doorstep."

"Saturday then," Vernon agreed gruffly as he turned and stomped off.

Petunia Dursley hesitated and before she turned to follow her husband, Harry said. "Aunt Petunia, I'm sorry that you were jealous of mum, but I'm not sure why you took that jealousy out on me."

Petunia froze and her eyes widened. "How..." she quickly regained her composure. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"So if I ask Professor Dumbledore he won't remember a letter that Petunia Evans wrote him?" Harry asked.

Petunia stared at her nephew for several seconds and then turned and walked quickly into the house without making another sound.

*** E E ****

It had been a tiring day for Arthur Weasley. He'd spent the last nine hours tracking down a wizard who thought it was funny to go around putting notice me not charms on muggle automobiles. Muggles were wandering around parking lots for hours searching for cars that were right where they had been parked. He was about to get up and leave when he heard a knock at his door. Looking up he found his son Percy standing there looking tired and haggard. Arthur knew it's been a grueling couple of weeks for the young man. An investigation had been opened into Percy's doings when Crouch Jr. had confessed to his father being Imperiused by Voldemort and had been sending Percy instructions. The investigation had concluded with a official reprimand being placed in his file.

"Hello Perce," Arthur said. "You look tired."

Percy only nodded as he entered his father's office. He slumped into Perkins' chair which was currently vacant. He said nothing for a few seconds before finally starting. "Father, do you know if anything important is happening this Friday?"

Arthur looked at his calendar. "Only Pettigrew's trial, why?"

"Umbridge," Percy replied. "She's..." Percy stopped for a few seconds before continuing. "You know she was put in charge of my department?"

"Of course," Arthur replied.

"I've tried to get along with her," Percy said. "But something isn't right."

"What do you mean?"

"Ever since she took over she's been..." Percy again hesitated, "in a foul temper. Like she doesn't want the job. She's been putting more and more on me. I thought it was punishment for what I did but something changed..."

"What did?" Arthur asked. He knew working with Umbridge couldn't be easy and if his son needed to vent, he'd be glad to listen.

"Like I said, she's been in a foul mood ever since she took over, but two days ago she started acting happier."

"What's wrong with that and what does it have to do with Friday?"

"She circled that day on her calendar and now she seems to always be looking at it. I get the impression that whatever is suppose to happen Friday is what's making her happy. When I asked her about it, she snapped at me like I'd done something wrong. She said it was none of my concern," Percy explained. "I..I was just trying to make sure I hadn't missed something. I can't help but wonder if she's planning on firing me."

In the cramped office that Arthur had, Percy was only a foot away from him. He put his hand on his son's shoulder. "You've already been disciplined for what you did so nothing else should happen based on that. You keep doing your best and I'll see if I can find out anything."

Percy tired eyes perked up a little as he nodded at his father. "Thank you."

"Now," Mr. Weasley said, "let's go see what your mother has planned for dinner."

"I can't," Percy replied. "Umbridge wants me to find out if the Minister is planning on Harry Potter sitting somewhere special at Pettigrew's trial."

"What is it to her?" Arthur asked. "Doesn't sound like something Magical Cooperation should be concerned with."

"She said it's because the Deputy Minister of France will probably be with him and wants to make sure he's comfortable and if we need to provide for his security or will he have his own," Percy stood. "I mentioned to her that security would be a concern for the DMLE but she turned nasty and told me to do what she instructed me to do."

"Hmm..." Arthur started. "I agree that it's an LE issue, but you better do what she says. I'll make sure we save some for food for you."

"Thanks Father."

Arthur watched his son leave his office. He shook his head knowing what it must be like to work for Dolores Umbridge. He'd crossed paths with her a few times and he found her very vindictive and petty. "I'll see if I can help him by running the security thing past Amelia," That forced his thoughts toward Harry and of course that led to Molly and her issues with Veela.

"The only person I've ever know to dislike Veela more is Umbri..." Arthur suddenly stopped as he thought of his son. then he shook his head. "Now I'm becoming paranoid," He thought. He never could quite shake the feeling of uneasiness that had settled in his stomach though.

*** July 9th 1996****

Friday morning came quickly for the bondmates. They hadn't been bothered by Vernon or Dudley the last two days. Though they had seen Dudley with his friends smoking near the playpark on a couple of occasions, he always made sure he was looking the other way when they came around. They had even caught him breaking the swings and the roundabout to try and prevent Harry from enjoying himself with the ladies. They had smiled when they noticed Dudley seemed angry when he'd looked back only to find the swings repaired by magic and the girls swinging happily on them.

"She's looking again," Fleur said to Harry.

"Who, my aunt?" Harry asked. They had caught her staring out toward the tent several times since Harry had confronted her about the letter she'd sent to Dumbledore as a child.

"Oui."

"Wonder what she wants?" Harry asked.

"I don't know but we need to get ready for our run so we're back in time to recover before ze trial," Fleur replied.

They were just walking out of the back garden to go for the run when a familiar face appeared. A middle aged but greying man and his large black dog walked into the driveway.

"Moony!" Harry yelled. "Padfoot," He rushed to greet them. Padfoot started bounding around him happily.

"Down boy," Remus said to the dog. "Bad doggie."

The dog turned and looked at Remus with a cocked head.

"And don't you even think about peeing on me," Moony said. He turned to Harry. "We're here to escort you to the Ministry, but for now, do you think we could go to your tent?"

"Sure, but the trial isn't until three right?"

"Right, but we thought we'd stop somewhere else first," Moony replied mysteriously as he winked at the dog.

As they turned and started back toward the tent, Harry remembered what he needed to tell someone. "Oh, Hedwig isn't back yet and I didn't want to use Dobby as a messenger, we need to leave tomorrow. Dudley and I got into a row when he tried to ambush me and Gabrielle."

"Alain will be at the Ministry and I'm sure he can make the arrangements though I'm not sure how Dumbledore will take it," Moony replied. "Been that bad?"

"Zose idiots 'ave been after 'Arry ever since we've been 'ere," Fleur replied as they arrived at the tent. Upon entering Sirius immediately transformed out of his dog animagus form.

"How are you pup?" He asked his godson. "Want me to go hex the Dursleys for you?"

"No, I just want to get out of here," Harry replied truthfully. "If the wards fail, I truly don't care. I did my best. I didn't use magic when I took on Dudley but he went spouted lies of course," He then realized Sirius was back. "What are you doing back in town? Have they cleared you?"

"Not quite, but Dumbledore is going to push it as soon as Pettigrew is convicted," Harry's godfather replied. "But Dumbledore needed a place for the Order to have a Headquarters and I offered my old home. I had to come back to get him inside the wards."

"Where is it?"

"I can't tell you," Sirius replied with a grin. "Not until Dumbledore tells you anyway."

"It's under a Fidelius?" Hermione asked with her eyes open wide.

"Right in one," Sirius replied. "Maybe we'll get a chance to stop by there before you head to France. Molly, Arthur and their gang are taking up residence there this weekend."

"Ginny too?" Gabrielle asked hopefully.

"Yep, all the redheads are planning on being there except Bill who's got his own place."

"I'm not sure I'm ready to see Mrs. Weasley yet," Harry commented. "But I'd like to see your place."

"Then we shall make it happen."

"What's been going on with Voldemort?" Harry asked. "I thought he'd have tried something by now but nothing has been reported in the Daily Prophet."

"He's laying low it seems," Remus replied. "The Ministry is watching the known Death Eaters and they are getting arrested if they even spit on the wrong side of the street. Based on the information that Macnair gave, the German Aurors were able to prevent a couple of Death Eaters from recruiting the giants, though Dumbledore is positive Voldemort will try again."

"I guess it's to be expected," Hermione said. "Voldemort thinks he's immortal. Why would he rush things? If he were to start an all out war before he's ready, he risks the entire magical society rising against him."

"I think 'e definitely is zat type of person," Fleur added "E spent a year trying to get to ze philosopher's stone and another year trying to get 'Arry to a graveyard. Eet seems 'e acts with methodical long range plans."

"Exactly," Sirius said. He then looked at Remus, "Shall we give Harry his early birthday present? It was your idea."

"I think so," Moony replied. He looked around at the group of young people with Harry at the center. "We just need to get out of the Anti-apparition wards..."

"Are there portkey prevention wards as well?" Harry asked suddenly as he remembered Marl's letter.

Remus shrugged. "Definitely. About every type of wards available is erected around this place."

"Told you Dumbledore wouldn't miss those," Hermione said.

"What?" Remus asked.

"Oh, the question came up whether we had anti-portkey wards or not the other day."

"Is there a way to detect them?" Harry asked. "To know what wards are up?"

"Of course," Remus replied. "How else could you tell if you put up the wards correctly?"

"Could you show me how to do it?"

"You need to learn the basis of wards first," Remus replied. "It doesn't do any good to see and not understand what you are seeing."

"But if I can detect it, couldn't Fleur interpret it for me?" Harry asked. "At least until I can catch up to that point?"

Remus nodded. "That's a good point. I keep forgetting about that ability of yours," He turned to Fleur. "Do you know how to detect wards?"

"Just some of ze basic ones," Fleur replied."I only know how to detect what I can put up, mostly muggle repelling and such."

"I read a book on detecting them, but I've never tried to," Hermione added.

"All of you should work on ward creation both rune based and spell based," Remus stated in the same voice he used to use in class. "Being able to put up wards, even if they are just warning wards could help you immensely. But yes," He said to Harry. "I'll try to find time this summer to show you how to detect them."

Fleur and Hermione were already looking at each other. Harry knew that they were already deciding where they would start.

A few minutes later in a deserted alleyway Sirius transformed back to his human form. "Fleur do you know how to apparate?"

"I 'ad ze training class last year, but never tested since I turned seventeen so close to school starting and zen ze trip to 'ogwarts."

"You know what to expect then. Hermione you side apparated when we went to the staging area before the graveyard."

Hermione nodded as she remembered the experience. The feeling of being compressed into a narrow passage wasn't one she enjoyed.

"Gabrielle..."

"My Papa has taken me places before where zere were no floos," Gabrielle replied. "I know what to expect."

"That leaves you Harry," Sirius said. "I'll take you and Gabrielle, while Moony can take Hermione and Fleur."

"Where?"

"Bad as James," Moony said."He never could stand being surprised."

"You'll find out very shortly," Sirius told his godson. "It is your birthday present from us."

After grabbing the appropriate arms they turned and disappeared. When they appeared again they found themselves in a secluded area of a small town. Ahead of them was a small narrow road lined with cottages.

"Welcome to Godric's Hollow Harry," Sirius said softly.

"This...this is where I was born?" Harry asked as he realized the gift he was being given.

"Yes. We'll be walking there soon," Remus said.

"Isn't it dangerous?" Fleur asked. "Wouldn't Voldemort surely expect 'Arry to come 'ere?"

"Maybe, but we took care of that. Though you won't see them, almost every member of the Order is around right now," Sirius replied. "We've been sweeping the village all morning to make sure no Death Eaters were around," He put his arm around his godson. "With Peter's trial this afternoon we thought it would be a good day for you to put your past behind you and start your new future."

Harry looked up at his godfather with tears in his eyes. He was afraid to speak because he knew his voice would crack so he just nodded.

"Remus will be guiding you," Sirius said. "And oh, Dumbledore planned a gift for Hermione as well. You'll find out about that later."

Hermione was already moving to give Harry a hug when she looked at Sirius. "What kind of gift?"

"You'll find out," Remus answered with a grin as Sirius was already shifting to his animagus form. Though once he was a dog he started wagging his tail vigorously.

Remus led them out onto the lane. The warm July sun was countered by the shade of the large trees lining the street. As they walked, they passed cottages with children out playing in the gardens while parents tended to the lawns. A young lady was digging in the soil around her rose bushes while a young toddler sat beside her digging dirt on its own with pudgy little fingers. Harry instantly liked the place. It was nothing like Privet Drive. Here there was a sense of calm and peacefulness, of happiness and friendliness. They had been walking a little while when it turned to the left and they found themselves in the heart of the village. A small square with a war memorial could be seen along with stores and shops. A Post Office and a church could also be seen. Doors to the shops were standing open and people were walking between them doing their daily shopping.

"This way," Remus said and guided them into the square and toward the obelisk shaped war memorial. As they neared it, it transformed before their eyes. Instead of what had been there, they now could see a statute of a man, a woman and their child. The man had untidy hair and glasses, while the woman had long hair and a kind pretty face. In her arms was a small baby boy.

"Why?" Harry asked as he ran his fingers over the cold stone of his own baby forehead that didn't have a scar upon it.

Remus shrugged. "You and your family represent something special to the people here and everywhere. It was the end of the darkness."

Harry nodded as he stared at his parents.

They'd only been there a short time when another family walked up. It was a middle aged man and woman who was probably his wife and two teen-aged kids. "Lost someone too?" The woman asked.

"Pardon?" Harry responded.

"In a war?" The lady nodded at the statue which Harry remembered was something different to the muggles.

"Yes." He replied. "My..."

"His Father died in the Falkland war," Remus spoke up.

The muggle lady nodded. "Arthur," she nodded at her husband. "Lost his brother in the Gulf a few years back."

"I'm sorry for your loss sir," Remus said.

The man just nodded.

"I wish you a good day," Remus said to the woman and guided the group away. When they were far enough away he said. "I'm sorry for cutting you off, but if you had mentioned your parents as being lost, it might have brought up more questions."

"I understand," Harry replied. "Thanks."

"How are you feeling?" Remus asked.

"I'm fine," Harry replied as he felt two of his bondmates move closer to him. Gabrielle on his right, while Hermione was on his left.

"I thought you'd like to visit your parents next," Remus said as he nodded over toward the church they had seen earlier. Behind it was a graveyard surrounded by a fence.

Harry stopped as he eyed the fence and the tombstones beyond it. From the back of his mind the Dementor induced memories came flooding into his consciousness as he remembered his parents last moments alive.

"You don't have to go," Hermione said softly.

"Yes I do," Harry replied. "I need to."

"We're here for you," Hermione said softly. "You're not alone."

Harry's eyes found Hermione's and then Fleur's and finally Gabrielle's. He could feel his bondmates love and concern. He finally nodded as he steeled himself and started walking again.

They entered the small gate that led into the graveyard and again Harry stopped as he stared at the rows of tombstones. There were several other people and families there already visiting their dead relatives and friends.

Remus with Padfoot by his side walked off toward a specific area leaving Harry alone with his ladies. Finally Harry followed a path toward them. As with all people who enter a graveyard, Harry's eyes followed the words on the tombstones as he walked along. He stopped when he saw a familiar name. 'Dumbledore'. He looked closer and saw the name 'Kendra Dumbledore' and her daughter 'Ariana'.

"I wonder if they're related to Professor Dumbledore?" Harry asked as he pointed at the tombstone.

"I don't know," Hermione answered. "But she'd have died when Dumbledore was fairly young."

They continued on following Remus who had stopped only a couple of rows away. They saw him glance back at the them before he turned back and knelt at the tombstones he was in front of. When they arrived by his side they saw Sirius was lying beside the graveyard. Fleur took Harry's hand as he looked down at the white marble marker and read

JAMES POTTER

BORN 27 MARCH 1960
DIED 31 OCTOBER 1981

and beside his father's name he read.

LILY POTTER

BORN 30 JANUARY 1960
DIED 31 OCTOBER 1981

Below both of their names was a final engraving and it read.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Harry was surprised that the graves didn't bring the sadness he had expected. But it was only a few seconds until he realized that he knew his parents weren't in the graves in front of him. Only the bodies that died that day were there. As he continued to kneel beside the grave, he wasn't surprised when all of his bondmates surrounded him. Hermione who had been through the most with him, knelt by his side. He turned to look at her and smiled. He took her hand before speaking to his parents who he knew were watching him.

"Mum, Dad, I love you," Harry started. "I wish you were here but I know I will see you again someday. I've always wanted my own family and now as you know, I have one. I just wished you were here to be a part of it as well," He paused as he looked at the three young women he loved and who he considered to be his family. In that moment Harry decided Remus was right, this was a time to put the past to rest and start his future. There was only one thing to do to make his future official; to truly make these ladies his family. He turned back to his parents' grave. "I know you're watching so now I want to turn this moment into something a little more special," Still on his knee he turned so he could see all of his bondmates. "Fleur, Hermione, Gabrielle, I want to do something. I guess it should be more romantic than in a graveyard, but I truly want to start my family here in front of my parents," He looked into Fleur's eyes. "Fleur Delacour, I don't deserve you, but I know that I love you and I'm truly glad you love me too. The bond you and your sister bestowed upon me changed my life, making it so much better. Here in front of my parents and the two people who would be the closest thing I have to my old family, I ask, will you be my wife and become part of my new family."

Fleur looked at Harry. It was evident in the happiness that poured into him from his eldest bondmate that she didn't think a graveyard was inappropriate. "With all of my 'eart I want nothing more zan zat. I want to be your wife and your family."

Harry smiled at Fleur and then turned to Gabrielle. "Gabrielle Delacour, I don't deserve you but I do truly love you and will forever be glad of the love you give me. Will you marry me and become my wife and my family?"

Gabrielle was nodding before the words were even spoken. "Oui I will," She said as her blue eyes filled with tears of happiness.

Harry then turned to Hermione who still was kneeling beside him. She already had a smile on her lips but waited for the question. "Mione, last but definitely not least. I don't know when I fell in love with you, but I know that I truly do. I'm not sure why you ever fell in love with me but I will forever be thankful for it and for you joining the bond we share. You've been my best friend and the one person who has always been by side for the last four years, will you marry me and stay with me for the rest of our lives? Will you be my family."

"Four years ago you came to rescue me when no one else cared," Hermione replied. She stopped him from speaking for a second. "I know you will say Ron was with you, but you and I know he was there because of you not me. I don't know when the friendship that developed from that night turned to love, but I know it did. I can't imagine a day without you, nor do I want to. Of course I'll marry you."

"I will get you rings when we get a chance...maybe in France?" Harry said apologetically as he got off his knees and helped Hermione to her feet."Maybe I should have waited...but it felt right."

Fleur wrapped her arms around Harry and kissed him before saying. "I think I can tell you zat we all thought it was perfect. We know it came from your 'eart."

Gabrielle and Hermione also gave Harry a kiss while Sirius was barking around them. After a while Remus cleared his throat.

"We have a couple of more stops before we get you to the Ministry."

Harry had almost forgot the importance of the afternoon and Pettigrew. He nodded to Remus who led them out of the graveyard. Harry gave one last look at the white marble headstone before he followed his future wives. When they left the church behind they walked out of the village square in the opposite direction than they had come. Harry noticed a flash of pink hair as a young lady walked around a corner ahead of them. Something about her seemed familiar. He knew he had seen her before.

"That lady who just walked around that corner," He started as he pointed to where he had seen her. "I've seen her before.."

Before he could saying anything else they heard a crash from the same area and a female voice cursing.

"Would she happened to have had pink hair?" Remus asked nonchalantly.

"Yeah."

"That would be Tonks," Remus explained. "She's a member of the Order."

"She's an Auror too isn't she?" Hermione asked. "She was with Madam Bones that night."

"She was around that night," Remus concurred. As he finished speaking a little old lady came from the same corner limping.

"Hello Tonks," Remus said as the lady passed them. "What did you stumble over?"

Harry just looked confused. "But you said Tonks was the one with pink hair."

"Harry Potter meet..uh Tonks. Tonks this of course who you've been protecting all day Harry, Fleur, Gabrielle and Hermione," He smiled at Harry. "I would mention her first name but she'd hex me," Remus said. "by the way she's Sirius' cousin."

"But...who was the pink haired woman then?"

The old lady grinned a grin that defied the aged look of her face. "Well guv'nor," She said in a old voice. "Maybe you'll find out someday," Then she kept going past them.

Remus had an amused look on his face as he watched the old lady limp away but refused to say anything further.

They continued down the lane until the cottages started to thin out. At the end of a particular row of houses near the edge of town they could see a cottage sitting amongst overgrown waist high grass surrounded by a hedge that hadn't been kept in a while. Harry knew from the damaged top floor where he was. This is where it had happened; this is where his mother and father had died. He'd been expecting that was where they were headed but to be physically standing in front of the rusted gate and peering at the house left a lump in his throat. As he looked through the bars of the gate he found himself visualizing the green flash that must have happened in the window where the damage was located.

"My old room," He thought.

Hermione and Gabrielle came to Harry's side while Fleur reached her arms around him. "We are 'ere for you my 'usband," Fleur said softly. "You are not alone, and never will be again."

Harry swallowed and then nodded. His hand reached out for the rusted gate and as he touched it, a wooden sign rose out of the ground. Gold letters were written on it.

On this spot, on this night of 31 October 1981,
Lily and James Potter lost their lives.
Their son, Harry, remains the only wizard
ever to have survived the Killing Curse.
This house, invisible to Muggles, has been left
in its ruined state as a monument to the Potters
and as a reminder of the violence
that tore apart their family.

All around the words were written and carved initials along with messages from the people who had come to see the place the Boy-Who-Lived had survived. In very new everlasting ink someone had recently written the word TWICE next to 'Killing Curse'.

"They shouldn't have written on that sign," Hermione said. "It's..."

"I like it," Harry said as he traced someone's initials. "I think it's brilliant," He took Hermione's hand and explained. "This isn't the Ministry or some statue, these are real people who come to pay their respects to my parents. They weren't trying to deface the sign..."

"If you're sure," Hermione said. "It's your house."

Harry looked again at the cottage before repeating her words. "My house," He shook his head. "No, this was my parents' house and I might own it, but it will never be my house. It belongs to those people," He nodded to the sign filled with scribbles. "Today was about leaving the past and starting the future and this is part of that," He looked at Remus and the large black dog beside him. "Thank you," He said. "To both of you. This was exactly what I needed."

Remus pulled the young man into a hug. "You're welcome. Now I think we promised one last gift for one of your betrothed."

"This is Harry's day," Hermione said. "I don't need anything."

Remus looked at Padfoot and shrugged. "And to think we were going to introduce her to Bathilda Bagshot. Albus was positive she'd want to meet..."

"THE BATHILDA BAGSHOT!" Hermione exclaimed. "the one who wrote a History of Magic?"

Remus put a finger to his chin and pretended to think. "Yes, I do believe they are the one and the same."

"Why didn't you mention it earlier?" Hermione complained. "I would have dressed better...and...and...I could have brought my copy of her book. Do you think she'd sign it later?"

"Relax," Remus replied with a chuckle. "She is a very good friend of Albus and I'm sure she'd be glad to sign a book for you."

"And you're dressed just fine," Harry added. "Very beautiful."

Hermione smiled at her boyfriend. "Thank you," She said but it was obvious from the way her eyes were trying to encourage Remus to start walking that she wanted to meet Bathilda Bagshot.

Remus smirked to his canine companion. "I think she'd like that present after all."

The black dog rolled over on his back and pretended to be dead.

"I agree, I think the delay is killing her now," Remus said. He turned to the group. "We need to go this way," He started off down the street back the way they had came. "We'll be using her floo to get to the Ministry. It was convenient to how close it was to here," He'd only walked past several houses when he turned into a small gate.

"Bathilda Bagshot lived this close to the Potters?" Hermione asked as she looked back down the lane and could easily see the gate to the Potters' cottage.

Remus nodded. "A lot of witches and wizards live or have lived here," He replied. "You know of course that it's named after Godric Gryffindor himself. He was born here over a thousand years ago."

A thought of a ruby-hilted sword flashed through Harry's mind as he heard the name.

Remus knocked on the door and it was opened by the pink haired Auror.

"Wotcher Remus," She said.

"Got here while we were down the lane?" Remus asked.

"The Order is mostly gone now," Tonks replied. "Just a few of us left and we'll follow you out as you go."

"Bathilda in her study?"

"I'll show you the way," Tonks said and turned and limped ahead of them.

Fleur studied the Auror's limp as they followed her and finally realized. "Zat was you? You're Tonks."

As Tonks turned she changed appearances and before them stood the ancient old lady they had met earlier. Each of the four young people instantly reached for their wands.

"Easy," Remus said. "Tonks, you are going to get hexed like that."

"Oh, stealing my fun," Tonks complained as she shifted back into her pink haired appearance.

"You're...you're a metamorphmagus?" Hermione asked in surprise.

"Very good."

"Is that like an animagus?" Harry asked.

"No, not really. I can change my appearance and look like other people."

"Brilliant," Harry replied.

"Well guv'nor I heard you can do some pretty brilliant things with your wand," She said with a wink giving the double meaning.

Harry was about reply but then he felt a flash of annoyance from Fleur and Hermione who both moved between him and Tonks. Only then did he realize what Tonks had meant. He blushed profusely.

"Tonks, no teasing Harry like that or you might end up on the wrong end of three wands."

"Three?" She asked questioningly. "That was sort of what caused me to say it, I mean I read he was dating her," She nodded at Gabrielle, "but I saw him kissing all of them."

Sirius who had morphed into his self a minute earlier spoke up. "You can trust her Harry if you want to tell her. She is my cousin."

"Tonks, I would like you to meet Hermione Granger, Gabrielle Delacour and Fleur Delacour, all are my betrothed," Harry said and enjoyed the sputtering that Tonks did.

"Okay I deserved the joke," Tonks finally admitted as she calmed down.

"He's not joking," Hermione said.

"We are all to be his wives."

"While Tonks is working that out, why don't you follow me to see Bathilda," Remus said and they walked past Tonks who had a questioning look on her face.

As Sirius walked past he whispered. "On Black honor it's true. Those three young women are all engaged to him. In fact what you saw in the graveyard was him proposing," That only made Tonks stare at the teens walking away even harder as her mouth continued to try to speak but no words came out. "They all said yes as well," Sirius said as he walked after his godson.

"So which of you is Miss Granger again?" The stooped old lady with only a few shafts of silvery hair on her head and eyes thick with cataracts asked as Remus introduced the bondmates to the ancient Magical Historian.

"That would be me Ma'am," Hermione answered nervously. "I'm very glad to meet you."

"Yes, Albus said you were the brightest student he'd seen in many years," Bathilda said. "That you're even able to find Cuthbert interesting."

"Cuthbert?" Hermione questioned.

"To you he would be Professor Binns," The ancient witch replied with what might have been a smile lost in the wrinkles. "It does an old witch like myself good to know that her work is appreciated. So many students today don't understand the importance of history."

"We usually find our futures written in the pages of History," Hermione said quoting a line from Bagshot's own book.

Bathilda moved her head in a slight nod. "Reminds me of Dumbledore when he was your age."

"You knew Dumbledore when he was my age?" Hermione asked.

"Of course. His family lived nearby," Bathilda said with a slight wave her hand to indicate a direction. "Tragic what happened to his mother and sister."

The wording on a tombstone came to Harry's mind. "Dumbledore, and a mother and daughter," But he decided it wasn't the time to ask questions.

The old witch was peering through her cataracts as she studied the young witch that Dumbledore had spoken so highly of. She finally rose from her chair and walked slowly over to an old cabinet. She opened it and reached inside and pulled out a large book. she turned and slowly walked back until she was standing in front of Hermione.

"Take this dear," She said as she handed the book to the young witch. "It's the very first copy of the History of Magic ever printed. I was quite proud of it."

Hermione's eyes widened as she looked at the book in reverence. Almost afraid to breath on it. "I..I can't. It's too valuable."

"Which is why I want you to have it," Bathilda explained. "I know I'm not long for this world. I can no longer read it and I feel you will treasure it for what it stands for and not for what it's worth."

Hermione looked at the Historian and Authoress and nodded. "Thank you," She finally squeaked out. "I'll treasure it always."

"That's all I can ask."

They spent lunch with the Historian who regaled them of tales from history that were never put down in her book. Then she told Harry of her friendship with his parents. Finally Remus pointed out that it was two and they needed to get a move on. After paying their respects to Bathilda they prepared to leave.

"I just wished my nephew Gellert had believed in history," She said with a sigh. "Take care and if you ever wish to spend time with an old woman, I'd always enjoy your company."

Remus guided them to the fireplace and showed them the floo power. A few minutes later they were all standing in a very large Atrium.

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