Azkaban Is Bad, Marriage Is Worse
Harry looked around at the arguing people, feeling things getting out of hand. "I need to get out of here," he told Draco. It was only polite since he was physically locked to him by the heavy, metal, diamond-shaped cuffs that were on each of them and had a hinged, metal connector plate between them. "There's no air." He walked out quickly, dragging Draco if he had to. He had to get outside. He really had to get outside. Once out there he tried to run but Draco was holding him back.
"What are you doing, Potter!" Draco complained. He was trying to hold him back but for some reason he was acting stranger than usual. He tried to slow them down again but for some reason he could feel panic, fear, anger, and it was apparently coming from the other second-year boy. They made it onto the pitch and Harry moaned, moving into the center. Draco watched him, trying to stay far enough away that he wouldn't get caught in whatever was wrong with him. He was sure it was something to do with being Potter instead of how they were presently linked together. "What are you doing?" he demanded firmly. Well, as firmly as he could.
Harry moaned, falling to his knees. Around them, a wall of flashing colors - red, purple, black, green, yellows - flowed into being. It was shielding them. Draco thought about trying to figure out what it was but the boy was nearly catatonic. Harry was whimpering and starting to cry. Draco felt really lost. He stared at Harry, not understanding what this was. Normal people he knew didn't have this problem. "Potter!" he snapped. The boy flinched but couldn't get control of himself. "Damn it, you're a bloke! You don't do those sort of things! Only girls do in bad stories!" He reached over to shake him but got zapped by a bit of magic. So he let it go for now. He could stand here and be embarrassed. After all, not like he was doing it. He saw one of those damnable twins and sneered. "Oh, great. Just what we need right now, a Weasley!" He looked up. "Why me, Merlin?"
"Idiot," the twin yelled. "Hug him! This is a panic attack!" He pulled his wand, looking at the shield. He wasn't going to touch it. "Harry, it's George. C'mon. Calm down please?" he called. He cast a charm at it, groaning at what he saw. He saw Draco reach out to Harry and get zapped again and groaned. No, he wasn't going to trust Malfoy to do anything like calming the boy down. He cast something he had learned off Bill's notebooks, creating a small corridor so he could get to the boys. "Harry!" He hugged the boy but he struggled. "Draco, do you have an emergency beacon?"
"Set it off. Before this gets further out of hand." That way the other boy could be gotten rid of while he helped. He hugged the boy harder. "Harry, it's George. You've got to calm down. Please, calm down? Mum's going to throw a fit if you don't calm down and you know how she can be." He looked around. "Bugger!" He checked the area. His twin was nearby. "FRED, GET BILL!" he shouted. "ARTIFACTS ON HARRY!" Harry flinched so she shh'd him and kept holding him while he cried. "Draco," he said calmly. "For further reference, this is called a panic attack. Usually people get sedated for this. Unfortunately I'm not strong enough with those cuffs on you. What happened?"
"Lockhart grabbed us after class," he said, looking at the silver manacle. Then at him. "He said he's tired of us fighting, it's taking attention off him, and put these on us. Then he shoved us in a closet. I'm hoping he didn't get your brother as well," he said dryly. "Can't you make him not wail?"
"No." He went back to calming Harry down. "C'mon, Harry. You have to calm down. You have to uncast the shield. It's dangerous and it has to come down."
Lucius appeared up the road. "FATHER!" Draco yelled. He came running that way. He paused when he saw the shield. He touched it with his gloved hand and winced as it ate the glove and had to cast something at his hand to heal it. "Potter did it. I have no idea and Weasley can't get him calmed down."
"We need my brother Bill," George shouted. "We need the curse breaking skills. And someone to calm him down." Lucius lit a fire and called for him immediately. "Also, tell him the boys are wearing some sort of bonding artifact." Lucius gave him a cold, deadly look so he held up the joined hands. "All I can tell is it's binding them together." He shifted, holding Harry better. "C'mon, calm down. Please?" he whispered. "People are going to be here soon and we need to get them off you two." Ron came flying out on his own and landed in a heap, a clink announcing the cuff he wore had connected itself.
"Oh, just bloody great!" Draco complained. "Now I'm bound to Weasley and Potter!"
"Shut up," George ordered. "Or I'm adding in Longbottom!" Draco flinched back. "Ron, help me get him calm and pray Bill's somewhere he can be found easily."
"Hey, mate," Ron said, shifting under the bracelet link. It let it shift to the back of the group so he could get Harry's other side. "What's wrong?"
"All I'm feeling is fear and anger," Draco told him. He shrugged at their heated looks. "How would I know? Others are probably in a hospital somewhere if they have this problem."
"It's not unreasonable," George told him. "Panic attacks are a sign of a really bad... Worse than a bad fear," he explained. He let Ron do the holding for now. Harry liked him better. "You've hunted animals, yes?" Draco nodded, looking bored but his eyes spoke of some fear. "Well, you've seen animals freeze when they hear the spell?"
"Harry's in that state. Something about all this triggered it and it's got to be stopped or we can't get you lot out of this shield. So *try* to be a bit calmer and maybe even try for soothing if you can and know what that is, Malfoy." Draco huffed but cast a calming charm on the boy. The shield didn't waver but the crying was gone. The shaking was eased as well.
"Good boy," Lucius said. Someone came jogging out. Another Weasley. Fortunately the right one. "Here. It's deadly."
"I can tell," he said, pulling his wand to cast the shield open. He created a corridor. "George, how did you get in there?" he asked as he cast.
"Same way you are." He smirked. "We did sneak your books once or twice, brother dear."
"How can you tell them apart?" Draco asked him.
"In bad situations like this, Fred paces and George fusses." Bill made it to the boys, staring at their wrists. "Who was that bloody stupid?" he demanded of the boys.
"Lockhart," Ron and Draco said, then glared at each other.
"We were apparently fighting too much and taking attention from him," Draco said snidely. "He caught me and Potter, slapped them on us, then locked us in a closet. We had to get a house elf to let us out. Then the Headmaster started to complain to us. That was what set off Potter I guess."
"Possibly," Lucius said. He wasn't going to enter that corridor. It might snap and kill him. He saw Severus Snape stomping out. "Good! You're better at legimens. Bring down the shield. The child is in a panicked state while linked to my son. There's no telling what may happen."
Severus stepped up to the shield to test it, grimacing as he walked into the safe passage corridor. He got up to the trio, and the excess Weasleys. He cast another calming charm and then legimens. Once inside Harry's head he flicked the spell off. Harry collapsed into George's arms. "What is going on?" he demanded coolly.
"Lockhart put these wonderful linking bands on them," Bill said dryly. "Harry had a panic attack."
"We were in the office. Someone started to yell. Who is that ...hugely fat person that I keep seeing?"
"His uncle," Ron said grimly. "Harry, no, he won't be called. I promise he won't. Not like he has anything to do with magic anyway."
"How would you know?" Snape demanded coolly.
"Because we had to go save him from them," Ron shot back with a glare. He looked at his brother. "I have this feeling we're going to have Mum and others here."
"Probably," he agreed. "When did he catch you?"
"He got me out of charms. He went to shove me into the same closet but then for some reason I flew out here without a broom. So what the bloody hell is going on?" he demanded, looking at his other big brother.
Bill cast a few diagnostic charms. "It's meant to bind at least two people together, Ron. It's giving you some of their magic and essence and some of yours is going into them. I'm trying to stop it, but it's not working. Professor, or you Malfoy, have you ever seen something like this?"
"Brandust bonding bracelets, though they're usually cuffs," Lucius said, staring at his son. This was not in any plans he had conceived, even while drunk, and had probably screwed most of his plans to hell.
"It's not my doing!" he complained loudly. "Get the attention seeking freak out of Defense!"
"I shall be," he assured his son. "For now, let's see if we can block off the contagion."
"For the moment, I need to see something," George said, casting legimens on Draco. Snape did the same. They both moaned and let him go. "All right. Memories are going too. Draco's got a good image of Harry's closet." Ron shuddered. He cast it on his brother. "It's more than magic." He stood up. "We're going to need our parents," he told Snape, who was glaring at him. "Harry doesn't have a legal wizarding guardian as far as I know."
"No," Harry said quietly. "No way in any hell." He sat up, wiping at his cheeks. "Bill?"
"Hush, Harry, I'm trying to unbond you three."
Harry stared at the bracelet, then twisted his wrist around. He felt the pull of something and saw some blood, but hell, he'd spilled more than a bit over the years. He struggled until his wrist ripped open and the cuff released him. He moved away, staring at it, wand in his other hand.
"Harry!" George complained, moving to put pressure on the broken skin. "Draco, Ron, cast a healing charm. Mine's not working," he ordered when it didn't do anything. They turned and cast it. It stopped the bleeding at least. Harry was still pale and shaky though. "Ron, hit the quidditch alarm. He needs more than I can do, and probably more than Snape could be doing." Ron shot some power at it with his wand. Snape came over to see if he could help. "He made a hellish mess," he said quietly.
"Clearly." He looked at the boys. "Can they come off easier now?"
"No," Bill said. "Didn't hurt it any though." He cast at Harry, blocking the contagion. "That may help some." He cast it at the other boys. "I have it blocked. It's still mostly in their arm," he told Lucius. Who nodded, lips pressed together thinly. "Do you know anything more about these things?"
"They're meant to irreparably bond two families. There were discussions for years about them starting a new bloodline totally instead of the way a marriage would," he said quietly. "I'm going to destroy that man."
"Go make sure he doesn't link in anyone else," Bill ordered. Lucius stomped off to do that. It was a suggestion to go curse the man in ways he'd only cackle about in glee while in private; he was more than happy to do that. "It's all right, Malfoy. We'll get you guys fixed up." He looked around. "The nurse is taking forever." He got the cuff off Draco. He was still bleeding a bit so Ron cast to stop it. Ron's was open but not falling off. "Shite, mate."
"Tell me about it. I didn't want to be locked to Malfoy," Ron pouted.
"If they're right, it's worse than that," Bill quipped, smirking at him. "You're worse than the twins, Ron. First the car and now this!"
"Oi, it wasn't our fault we couldn't get on."
"You could have owled, Ron. Common sense," he shot back. "Dad has it. Some of the rest of us do. Not the twins," he said dryly, cracking George up.
Draco saw someone racing over. "It's another Weasley," he said grimly.
Bill looked and then stared. "What the bloody hell did *you* get into!" he shouted at his sister. Snape flinched. "She's possessed," he said. Snape moved to knock her out and Bill got to work on that problem too. The nurse finally got there. "I've stopped the contagion from the bracelets," he noted. "My idiot sister is possessed. Harry ripped his wrist up pretty good getting free." She went to check on the boys first.
"I'm sorry, the Headmaster kept me for a moment." She cast charms on Harry's wrist and then Draco's wrist. "It's not working."
"Ron's worked on them earlier," he said. "And him and Malfoy did that for Potter."
"Good. Mr. Weasley." He shifted closer. "What is that?" she demanded, pointing at the cuff.
"The cause of problem," Draco said grimly, looking pissed. "Apparently we're somehow being bound together. Then Potter has something called a panic attack."
"Oh, dear." She got Harry knocked out for a minute and taught the boys how to cast a healing charm for his wrist. Then Ron did it on Draco's when she gave him a pointed look. "Thank you, Mr. Weasley. Five points for helping upon command." George snickered. "How much blood did he lose?" she asked George. She couldn't tell them apart so she wouldn't attempt to guess a name.
"A good bit," he said, pointing at the blood pool next to them. "We got it clotted as soon as we could but he wrenched himself free."
"I've had worse," Harry mumbled, fighting his way back to awake. George gave him a squeeze. He blinked at him. "You're holding me?"
"Before you go on another panic attack, yes," he said bluntly. "Because clearly you needed a hug and Mum hasn't gotten here yet. Or else you'd be fussed to death by now."
Ron looked at George then at Snape. "Think they're up there yet?"
"I haven't heard screaming," he said dryly.
Bill looked at the castle. "Neither have I, Ron." Ron sighed. "We'll handle it." He got Ginny unstuck and handed her to the nurse, who took her to check over. "Whoever put the dark artifact in the castle probably needs to be arrested." He noticed Draco's minute flinch. "Malfoy, would you know anything?"
"There's been rumors about the Chamber of Secrets opening," he admitted, looking at Snape. "Could it have something to do with that?"
"Perhaps. We'll ask her when she's back in her right mind." The headmaster came over quickly but trying to look unhurried. "The boys are mostly free." He looked at Ron, who shrugged and tried to shake and pry it off again. Bill got him free and there wasn't as much blood this time. "He probably wore it longer," he decided.
Harry winced, holding his side, looking at Draco. "You need to check Draco's side, Madam Pomfrey."
She gasped and looked then at Bill. "You have to remove the blocks. The contagion started off bleeding." He did that for the three boys and they all relaxed again. Harry nearly passed out but didn't.
"Mum's here," Bill quipped when he heard the yelling. "George?" He let him have Harry and went to tell her what was going on, plus try to calm her down. "All right, do we need the infirmary outside of Ginny, Madam?"
"No. They should be fine to sit up for a bit." She finished healing Draco, staring at him. "We'll do what we can but it will take us a bit. I know you're angry. Even I can feel it," she said quietly. "For now, endure. Use that Slytherin nature of yours, young man." He nodded once. "Things are not what you have been told." She got up and walked Ginny to the infirmary. "Headmaster, she was possessed. Apparently the wards aren't holding out dark artifacts any longer."
"Which is surprising considering Voldemort was on a teacher's head last year," Harry said quietly. "I think they're down."
"Clearly," Draco said, starting at him. "He was?"
"Yeah, under Quirrel's turban," Ron told him. He shrugged. "He wanted some stone the headmaster had stored here."
Draco looked at them then at Bill, who was looking pissed again. "I had no part of that," he said, getting away from them. He got a few feet and felt the urge and need to get back closer so he stepped forward until it eased. "What was that?"
"The bonding," Bill told him. "That'll ease and you can work on it so it's got a wider tether." Lucius and the elder Weasleys came out together. They were already yelling at each other. George was behind them, giving their mother weird looks. Fred joined him. "Stop it!" he shouted. "Merlin, even I have a headache! I think the boys have a worse one." His mother clamped her mouth shut. "Mum, as much as I love you, rant later. Please? We need to get some things worked out now. We need calm and motherly things. Then we can go destroy the stupid teacher."
"Yes I will be," Lucius assured him. Draco gave him a fond look. "How separated are they?"
"I had to ease the blockage to save your son's life," Bill said simply. "It started some bleeding. The spells wouldn't work without the energy being released. I'm sorry."
"You did as much as you could," he said stiffly. "I talked to a goblin about any books on them and they said they're more likely to kill people who don't accept it." Bill nodded at that. "Thank you for trying however." He was going to try to be polite since they were now his in-laws.
Arthur glared at Lucius then at his son. "What, exactly, does this thing do?"
Bill kicked it. "It merged their magics and essences. Ron and Draco are sharing Harry's memories as well as thoughts at the moment. They have a tether to each other that they should be able to lengthen some day soon. Possibly it'll take some work," he told the boys, who all groaned. He looked at the adults again. "Harry nearly killed himself getting out of it, mum. Healing spells from others didn't work until Ron and Draco did it. Also, we need to have Harry helped because he had a grand panic attack. Complete with killing shield around him and Malfoy."
Lucius looked at his former gloves. "That was quite strong." He looked at Severus. "Thank you for breaking them out of that."
"It's not a problem but all three boys should start to work on shielding. That would solve that memory problem. It would also mean that they couldn't cheat off each other."
"Why would I cheat off them?" Draco snorted.
"They could cheat off you," Snape reminded him. "Which would ease some of their poor grades, Draco."
"Hey!" Ron complained. "Not like we get the time to study or anything. And when we do, Hermione takes over."
"Thank God she wasn't linked in," Draco complained, running a hand over his hair. "It's bad enough it's you two. Her I would not be able to stand."
"Killing or harming them will hurt you," Bill said happily, smirking evilly at him. Draco went pale. "The same as anyone else trying to kill them and you'll *know*."
"But... He's *Potter*! People want to kill him!"
"Then I'd learn better defense," Ron quipped. "Not like Hermione and I haven't."
"Hey," Harry said weakly, kicking at Ron. "Fucker."
"Language," Molly snapped.
"Yay," Harry said weakly, standing up. He wobbled and looked at the boys then at Lucius then Molly and Arthur. "I think we're all missing some points here. If we're *bound* and can't leave each other's sides, who's switching houses?"
"You two would die in Slytherin," Draco said simply. "And I refuse to go to Gryffindor."
"I nearly became a Slytherin," Harry shot back, letting the memory surface.
"You did," Draco said, looking awed. He looked at Weasley. "You're the reason he didn't. He was split."
Ron shrugged. "You're all bastards." He ducked the soap spray. "They are, mum. Even you've said it."
"Enough," the headmaster ordered. "I'm sure we can remove this."
"No, we cannot," Lucius said dryly. "The goblins have the books on it."
Bill started a fire and called in, getting the book. He put the fire out after handing the blasted things over. "If there's any other pieces to it, give it to the goblins today," he ordered Lucius. "Unless you want your son to have a few more husbands?" He opened the book to read it, letting his mother and father see it. They passed it to Lucius. Then Ron took it blatantly from him.
"It's us in it," he told him at the cold look. "We need to know more than you do." He and Draco read it while Harry closed his eyes, rubbing his temples. "Harry, if that's your scar, I'm going to help you beat him again."
"No, I think that's who I took out of Ginny," Bill said, moving the boys away from that spot. He had the spirit reabsorbed into the earth. Harry's headache apparently eased because they all looked less pained. He looked at the headmaster. "Are the dark arts wards down? Ginny was possessed by a spirit of someone who was probably a dark lord or one in the making. I couldn't tell which. Lockhart got these through them and they're listed as dark artifacts because it takes blood magic." Molly whimpered. "Mum, it's fine. They're healthy. Just...married." He looked at the headmaster. "And what happened last year? I would've helped you hide it."
The headmaster cleared his throat. "I thought it would be safe." Harry looked at him over the edge of his book then went back to reading it. "We do have to decide some things, including house residences."
"I'm not becoming a bloody Gryf!" Draco complained loudly. Molly soaped his mouth, making him splutter and choke.
"Woman!" Lucius yelled.
"I don't want him to encourage my son to swear more!" she shot back.
Harry rubbed his forehead, looking at Arthur then at the two. They were sending him some thoughts while getting Draco's mouth cleared because none of them liked the taste of soap bubbles and they had passed over as well. They were giving him a headache but he decided to think back. Draco stiffened and looked at him. Harry stared at him. Ron looked up and shook his head. Draco shuddered at the next one, getting a nod from Ron. "Well?" he asked quietly. "It appears we're the practical ones." Bill snickered at that, shooting them a look. He looked at the yelling adults. "You're making my head hurt more!" he shouted. "Stop it!" They stopped to stare at him, Lucius still staring. "There's more important things to argue about than Draco finally getting punished for his potty mouth and which house we're going to be part of. Like, this summer's residence." Molly gasped, staring at him. "Unless you want them to come home with me...."
"There's no way!" Draco shouted back. "I saw in your memories! They treat you like a house elf. We treat our house elves better than they treated you and what is that small room?" he demanded, finally losing his calm.
"His bedroom," Ron told him. "It's a cupboard for brooms and boxes. That's why my family had to go save him this last summer." Draco gave them a horrified look. Harry shrugged. "No, we aren't going to your relatives', Harry. Malfoy?"
"You are *not* going to Malfoy Manor," Arthur said firmly, trying to stay calm. "Draco may come to the Burrow as long as he's behaving." Molly gave him a dirty look.
"I can't even get ten feet from them right now," Draco told him. They all gasped. "So we've got to decide some things. No, I'm not going to the Burrow. They don't even have a house elf."
"Real mothers and women don't need one," Molly said coldly. "We can cook and clean for ourselves and our families without owning someone."
Ron was picking up on Harry's idea. "Then do any of the families have something like a vacation cottage?" Ron asked. "I know we don't," he said at his father's opening mouth. "Harry's real family? Malfoy?" He looked at Draco.
"We have a few," he admitted. "Father?"
"Harry must go back to his family. They have blood wards to protect him," Dumbledore said firmly.
"Sure, we'll all go live in his cupboard with him," Ron shot back, glaring at him. "Because they're *so* going to love that." He gave Harry's shoulder a squeeze, grunting in pain himself because it hurt so he eased up. "They can not feed all three of us and have us clean and garden like house elves for them."
"You will not go there," Molly ordered. "They're the sort of muggles that I can honestly say the world would be better off without." Lucius stared at her. "They are and you know I'm not some snob."
"Interesting," Snape said. He cast the legimens spell on Harry again, flinching at what he saw. "No, the boy shall not be going back there."
"He has to so he's protected," Dumbledore said firmly, glaring at his teacher.
Snape walked over and pulled Harry's sweater and shirt off him, leaving him bare chested. Molly gasped and started to sniffle, coming over to hug the boy. Lucius looked displeased. "I'm not sure any of the three have anything to match some of those scars," he told Lucius.
"The boys may use a cottage we have," he agreed. "We can ward it. If not, perhaps the Potter estate has one. I know the house in Goddric's Hollow was fixed."
"We can easily ward anything," Bill assured them. He glared at the headmaster, who snarled. "My brother's not going to be abused that way and if that's *protecting* him, I'd hate to see the ones who want to harm him." He looked at his father. "You lot rescued him?"
"Oh, yes. Quite. It got to the point of having to stop the twins."
"I doubt it," Ron said dryly. "I think they tried to get an imp or a ghoul to move in on them. I know I did." Harry looked at him oddly. "I'm not some death eater, Harry, but your relatives are evil."
Draco nodded. "From what I'm getting from his mind, I agree. So, which residence are we going to use, Father? Do the Potter's have any others?"
"Yes. I believe they did. They were fairly high status before they died," he told him. "They may not have been the most wealthy but they were higher profile purebloods. I'm sure they'd have more than that one house."
Arthur swallowed. "Bill, can you check on that?"
"Sure," he agreed. "The bosses will have a copy of any will."
"The Potters didn't have one," Dumbledore told him.
"Bull," Bill said dryly, smirking at him. "Anyone who has more than a hundred thousand automatically has one, Headmaster." The old man looked horrified. "It's initially written that it goes to your children if you have any or reads your thoughts on who gets it once the balance crosses that level." He looked at Lucius. Then at his father. "Which adult will be guarding them?"
"I will be," Molly said firmly.
"That'll be inconvenient with the others at home for the summer," Arthur said. "We can possibly get someone to move in for the summers."
Lucius nodded. "Draco did have a nanny. I can find another one to watch over them during the summers."
"As long as we can agree on them," Arthur said firmly. "I won't have some pureblood trash taught to my son or Harry."
"I know your stance very well," Lucius snarled back.
"Even I have a headache from the biting," Draco complained. His father glared so he backed down. "Father, who is Harry's legal guardian in the wizarding world? His aunt and uncle should not be from what I've gotten from him. Though I doubt his uncle would fit through the front door. How do you get that heavy?" he demanded of Harry. "He can still walk?"
"He does," Ron said dryly. "He's only in the lower four hundreds I think. Dudley's nearly there."
Draco shuddered. "How disgusting."
"Very," Lucius agreed. "Thankfully you know how to properly feed yourself, Draco."
"Of course I do!" He looked at Ron. "I'm guessing you do too since you've never done more than gorge during feasts."
Ron glared. "I like sweets. It doesn't mean I'm going to get fat."
"Guys," Harry said, glaring at them. "Enough!" They flinched and he looked at the adults. "Let's get this settled now. Headmaster, unless you can find some way to break this, they can't come back with me to my aunt's house. She'll kill them. Or my uncle would really. He hates us all. Calls us freaks and stated bluntly that he would be killing me if it infected his son. I doubt they'd accept me basically being married thanks to a teacher and an artifact." Dumbledore flinched at that. "So, no, I don't think that's safe." He looked at Molly and Arthur, then at Lucius. "Yes, we're going to go somewhere neutral. We'll fight enough without parents getting into it too. You and him fight worse than they do on that muggle show Jerry Springer." He looked at Ron and Draco, handing them the book after pointing at a paragraph. Draco read it and gave him a look like he was insane. "Well? You're the Slytherin, he's the Gryffindor. I'm in-between. So?"
Draco reread it then nodded. "That is a good point to consider. Your slytherin side is showing, Potter." He looked at Ron, who nodded. "You agree?"
"Tactically sound," he said quietly. "It's let us castle the board." Draco nodded, getting that reference even if Harry didn't. He looked at his new...husbands. Who nodded. "Since the book says that being put under it has, by law, married us off, which makes us legal adults." Molly started to rant at that. "Mum!" he shouted. He looked at the fathers. "We're going to have to live together somewhere neutral. Since you three can't decide on what day of the week it is, Bill?"
Draco nodded. "I'll agree Bill can figure out which one is best. With his skills as a cursebreaker he'd be able to tell what wards were on it."
"I trust him," Harry agreed. Bill grinned and nodded. "Mr. Malfoy." Draco handed him the book, open to that page. Lucius read it over. "Is that legal? I know you sit on the Wizengamot."
"That is," he agreed. "Though you'd still have to have someone to look over your best interests. That makes you legally accountable as an adult but you'd still need a guardian for most things." He looked at the boys, seeing the minds behind the youth. Weasley apparently thought. Who knew one did. He looked at Bill. "I'll submit a list of other homes I have."
"That'd be fine. I'll get a list from the bank on what Harry's family had." He looked at the headmaster. "They're right, the book says that it automatically makes them adults." He looked at Harry. "We'll have to take you to the bank to register this. Malfoy probably has to go too." Lucius nodded. "I can call one to set up a meeting," he offered.
"You'd probably get it done faster," Lucius admitted. He looked at his son. "I am not pleased."
"Think how I feel," he complained.
"I know you had no part in this, Draco. Therefore you're not in trouble. In a few years we'll talk about how to procure the family heir you'd have to have." He looked at Molly and Arthur, who looked horrified. "He will or the line dies out."
"Good point and we'd love the child if it did come into being," Arthur said more calmly. "Hopefully after they've graduated?"
"Of course. They can do nothing without an education," he said, staring at the trio. Who sighed but nodded. "Therefore, Headmaster, I believe it'd be best if they were given a suite of their own. Since none want to switch houses yet they can't be separated it's the only workable solution. Which would require some reworking of schedules."
"We have half our classes with them," Ron told him. "Including Potions." He grimaced.
"We will work on lengthening that tether later on," Snape assured him. "Then you three can have the back bench." He stared at them. "I hope that ridiculous fighting will be ended?"
"We all hope so," Lucius said, glaring at his son. Who huffed but nodded.
"I don't like the boys getting into fights either," Arthur told Ron.
"He starts it," Ron complained.
"Real mature," Bill told him sarcastically.
"Still," Ron complained. "If he'd quit, I'd never punch him in the nose."
"Enough," Snape ordered.
Arthur smiled at him. "He tries all patience, as do all boys, Severus." He looked at Ron, giving him a silent order. Ron slumped but nodded. "Thank you. Harry, how's your head?"
"Still throbbing," he admitted. He moved them away from where Bill had depossessed Ginny. "That helps some." He and Ron shared a look. Then Draco gave them a horrified look and tried to back away. Harry shrugged. "Proves who it was in Ginny." He looked at Molly. "Bill did brilliantly getting the spirit out of her." She gave her elder son a hug. He looked at Snape. "Where is the chamber?"
"No one is sure." He crossed his arms, putting his hands up his sleeves to stare at them. "Headmaster, there is a room on the third floor west corridor that would do for them. It is not in the least bit fancy. It is admittedly small but it's not like they could be separate enough for individual bedrooms at the moment. It has a four bed dormitory from when we had that set of quads who were in different houses."
"That is a workable solution. Then we'll change schedules later tonight." He gave the boys a look. "I'm disappointed, Harry."
"Why? I didn't do anything!" he shouted. "Lockhart grabbed us and stuck them on us! It's not like I can beat a teacher!"
"Calm down," Molly ordered. "Albus, really!" she complained.
Lucius nodded. "I have no doubt that they had no way of getting out of it. The boy nearly killed himself getting out of the bracelets, Headmaster." Dumbledore didn't look pleased. Lucius was having sudden thoughts he didn't like because he knew Dumbledore usually had *plans* of his own. How odd to have to rely on a Weasley to help him and his son, but he should probably get used to it. He looked at Arthur, handing him the book open to that page. Arthur read it and nodded once. "I believe we'll go to the bank now to register this and see if they have any more sources," he told Bill. He had the feeling his son had just been conscripted by the Light. He was not pleased by any means. "I will be putting forth charges against Lockhart in the Wizengamot. Tonight." He walked off, his cloak swirling behind him. "Boys, come."
"I'm not a dog," Harry complained.
"Go," Arthur ordered calmly. He stared at Harry, shutting the book blatantly and handing it to Bill. Harry nodded, following.
"I think the boys should stay here," Dumbledore ordered. "We can call in a goblin."
"We'll need their heir stones, Headmaster," Bill said, following them. "Be back soon, Dad. Check on Ginny?" He nodded, going to do that. The headmaster could seethe and plot for a few more minutes. Bill was the last through the floo, nodding at the goblin. "We're going to see the boss." He walked them that way, finding the head goblin in there. "Sir," he said, bowing slightly.
"Cursebreaker Weasley. You sent back a dark artifact?"
"Yes, after we finally managed to get it off these three," he said, nodding at the boys.
The goblin looked them over. "Mr. Malfoy. Mr. Weasley." He had to be with that hair. He stared at the last one. "Mr. Potter."
"Sir," he said quietly. "I still have a thumping headache. Can we not yell like Ron's mother?"
"Did you put on the bracelet?" he asked.
"No, a teacher put it on them," Lucius said. "I'll be charging him later."
"Good." He looked at the boys again. "This does cause a dilemma."
"Who is Harry's legal wizarding guardian?" Ron asked. "His aunt has physical custody but she's a muggle."
The goblin smirked. "No, she does not." Bill smirked evilly at that. "There is a will stating she does not."
"The Headmaster had me put with them," Harry said, sitting down with a sigh. "I've managed to save Malfoy and Ron from having to go back with me during the summers."
The goblin stared at him then at Bill. "He does not know?"
"He knows nothing. The headmaster said there's no will." Lucius stiffened. "There's an ancient will that mentions him," he told him with a smug look. "Back along his line. The Potters weren't rich or anything but they had some stuff."
"Indeed," the head goblin agreed. He went to get something and came back with two others carrying papers and one box. "Here. Touch the box, Mr. Potter." He did so. It lit up and opened. "We have held this in our possession for centuries waiting for the last of the line to be old enough." He handed him the scroll inside. "Though, Cursebreaker Weasley, it is from his mother's line, not his father's." Bill looked confused. "She was from a line of squibs. Not a muggle-born." He handed the paperwork to Lucius. "Act in your son's behalf for now. He has a rightful trust upon reaching manhood and another from his marriage." He looked at Ron, who looked upset. "There is much for you today as well, Mr. Weasley."
"Family spellbooks," Bill agreed dryly. "That way you can help Harry the next time you foolishly follow him into danger and make our mother scream at us instead of you, Ron."
"He needed the help," Ron complained.
Bill looked at him. "Dad started to pull out his hair. He didn't even do that with the twins." He smirked. "I'm so glad you're on the other side of them from me. Ginny's never going to be able to do anything and neither will you with the way they're going to be watching you for more stupid things. Like the flying car." He smirked at his boss. Who laughed. "Aren't you glad I can't hear from her all that often?"
"Yes. The last howler she sent is still fuming up the room we stuck you two in."
Draco looked at them. "Why couldn't you two get on the train like normal students?"
"A house elf, the same reason I got an underaged magic citation," Harry complained. Draco moaned, shaking his head. "Exactly." He put the scroll back in the box but it wouldn't shut. "So, if the headmaster has my vault key...."
"He should not," the head goblin assured him. "Even before this, he was not your guardian." He looked at his minion carrying the papers. "Go order an audit done of the Potter properties and wealth." He nodded, going to do that, staying silent. He looked at the boy. "There is something odd with that picture. We will make sure just in case there is a theft." Harry smiled slightly and nodded. "Now, what plans have been made so far?"
"Separate dorm," Ron said. "Since we're in different houses."
"We've decided to let the boys live in one of the spare houses since we would not allow them at either the Manor or the Burrow," Lucius told him. "And to be frank, I would have killed Potter's relatives if they had laid one hand on my son's hair."
"Agreed," the goblin said. "There's a few good choices."
"I asked that Bill look them over," Harry said quietly. "We all know him, two of us trust him, and he can tell us if there's any wards. Would that be all right?"
"That would be acceptable," the head goblin said with a smirk. "You are thinking."
"I try but sometimes I get this headache," Harry admitted.
"We're checking him for spells anyway," Draco assured him. "Father?"
"Yes we will be. That way none of them can float over and harm you as well, Draco."
Draco looked at him. "Last year's defense teacher kept setting off his curse scar, Father."
"He had Voldemort on the back of his head," Harry pointed out.
Lucius stared at him. "Excuse me?"
Harry nodded. Ron smirked. "You missed it in the worry while Madam Pomfrey was working on us."
"I see. That is a very interesting tidbit. I'll get a healer to look you over in a few moments, Potter. Anything else we should be aware of?"
"He had bruised ribs when he got in this year," Ron told him. He looked at his friend. He had been allowed to redress once Molly had gotten done crying about his evil relatives.
Draco gave Ron a look. "I'm almost impressed with that thought process, Weasley."
"Shut up, Malfoy, and stay out of my head."
"Boys," Harry growled. They stopped. He calmed himself again. "Bill, how do I prevent what happened earlier from happening again?"
"Ask the healer," he said bluntly. "That wasn't a spell. That was your emotions, Harry." He patted him on the head. "It'll be fine. You'll work it out."
"I hope so," Draco admitted. He took the papers his father handed him, looking them over. "Is this in place of my shopping allowance?" He looked at them then at his father. He gave him a hopeful look.
"Very little," he said bluntly. "They can't look that bad next to you." He looked at the head goblin, who was smirking at him. "Draco will not look bad."
"I look very good next to their worn out clothes," he admitted. "But it's not good for us. Because now they're Malfoy spouses. They have to appear to be worthy," he said, staring at Ron. "If you complain, I'll hex you."
"That means you'd get it back," Bill reminded him impatiently. "That's actually a new one, Malfoy."
"Potter needs it anyway," he defended. "He doesn't have any free clothes."
"I'm fine," Harry said firmly. "Lighten up." He rubbed his forehead again. Bill cast something against his curse scar, earning a sigh of relief. "Thank you for whatever that was."
"The spirit I took out of Ginny," he said simply. "I'm guessing he wasn't happy."
"No, someone wasn't."
"I'm having that link broken today," Lucius assured him. He looked at the goblin who came back with a set of papers. "Is there a suitable residence?"
"Goddric's Hollow has been repaired," Draco reminded him. "You took me when you went to look at the wards."
"It's under a fidelus," Bill complained.
"It's a small town. I looked for the place that should have been there and wasn't," he said dryly. "The locals were all too happy to point out which road it was on. They've even had a shrine built."
"Oh." He nodded that made sense.
"It looked like a muggle was living there," Draco told him.
"There is a listed caretaker," the goblins agreed.
Bill looked at him. "Excuse me?" Harry asked. "Someone rebuilt my parents' house and let some stranger live in it?"
The head goblin looked at him. "That was not our decision."
"Shouldn't that have been *my* decision?" The goblin nodded. "Did my aunt make that decision?"
"No. The headmaster did."
Harry looked at Lucius. "Are you as manipulative as the headmaster is?" he asked. He didn't like Lucius but right now, he wasn't sure if all males were assholes like the headmaster was turning into.
Lucius smirked. "Only when I decide I need something that is important to me, boy."
"Good to know. If I have to have a legal guardian, make it Bill or Charlie please?" he asked the goblin.
"I can see what the will your parents filed will stated," the head goblin said, looking at that paper. "Hmm." He let Harry see it.
"Who are they?"
"You don't know your godfather?" the goblin asked.
Lucius coughed. "If you mean the mongrel, he's in Azkaban."
"Then he wouldn't be listed," the goblin told him. Lucius gaped in horror. He took the will to look over himself. "Would he?"
"This is a magical will. It self-updates." He put it into his robe pocket. Apparently there were deeper plots going on that were going to infect his son soon. He'd have to do something to stop all of them so his own plans could move forward. "I'll have someone look that over for you, Potter. Though I do not consider him a fit guardian either. I believe I can trust Bill to be around my son and not to warp him too strongly. He has things my son could learn."
Bill looked at him then shrugged. "If he wants to be a cursebreaker I'll teach him. If not, he can do like the twins did and steal my old notebooks I suppose." He looked at the goblins again. "Where am I checking?" He gave him a list. "Three places on the Potter side. Two on the Malfoy side. Only one's in England."
"Which may yet be the safest ever," the goblin said simply.
Bill nodded. "Good point. Because I'm seeing some things that're bothering me."
"Think how I feel since all I got told last year was 'don't worry about the splitting headaches in your scar, Harry', and 'yes, he may be trying to return but don't worry about it, Harry'," Harry said dryly.
"Who?" Lucius asked.
"The headmaster," Ron told him. "We all worried for him."
Draco nodded. "They did. Especially since he ended up in the infirmary unable to wake up for at least a day. Then the headmaster robbed us of the House Cup thanks to them."
"Next time, you can do the challenges and take on Voldemort," Harry snorted. "By all means, you go right ahead."
Draco gave him an odd look. "You're sure it was him?"
"The headmaster said so."
Draco shuddered. "Well." He looked at his father, then at Bill. "Somewhere safely away from England would be just fine with us." Ron nodded quickly with a smile.
"I'll see what I can do," Bill said dryly. "And help Lucius find you guys a sitter over the summers so you don't get into too much trouble." He looked at his boss. "If that's all right?"
"I agree it's a good plan. The boys clearly trust you enough. You're not the sort to make plots and plans about them. You don't want to do anything to harm them to benefit from it. It is a good plan from ones so young."
"I play chess," Ron told him with a grin.
"I'm a Slytherin," Draco said with a smug look.
"I'm just having a bout of common sense to go with the headache," Harry quipped, cracking Ron up. "I really should thank Lockhart for saving me from going back there."
Ron patted him on the back. "You can send him a card in prison, Harry."
"I might, yes."
"You'll be able to. Infecting children like this won't get him kissed. Unfortunately," Lucius said dryly.
"Why not? We haven't learned a bloody thing from him," Draco complained. "He asks questions about his favorite colors and things, Father."
Lucius looked at him. "I'll have the rest of the board talk to the Headmaster about his choice in defense teachers as well, boys. As a member of the board, I am appalled."
"Should see all the girls drooling over him," Ron quipped. "He's even scared of pixies."
Lucius burst out cackling. "Thank you, young man. I needed that bit of fun."
Draco nodded. "He released a tightly packed cageful and then ran from them, Father. We had to clean up after his mess."
"Hermione did brilliant," Ron told him.
"Yes, well, it's good she's good for something."
"She does most of our research," Harry told him.
"I knew she was your book nerd, Potter. That much has been very clear from the first time she took over for you. It's stunting your education."
"Why? She's the one who makes us revise and sets out schedules and the like," Ron complained. "She's pushier than Snape is."
"Well it won't be much of a problem now," Bill quipped. "Being married and all." They all glared at him but he smiled back. "Just think, no ring hunters, Draco."
"Yay," he said flatly. "This is still not the marriage I hoped I'd enjoy. I doubt I can make them babble like a house elf on apple cider. I had been hoping I could someday find a woman to do that to when I was old enough."
"Most of them don't, son. They seem to fake it," Lucius told him.
"Pity. Mother said some do but the men in their lives are inadequate."
"I don't care who you shag," Harry told him. "Just don't broadcast it. Please? I still don't like girls."
Ron nodded. "Me either really. Stupid bints keep getting in the way of good things, like dinner."
"Forgive Ron," Bill told Lucius. "He's in that bottomless pit stage of puberty."
"Draco had his over the summer," he said dryly. He finished doing the paperwork and handed it back. "Is there more?" The head goblin handed him a copy of his father's will. Lucius read it over. "I see. Well, I doubt he took into account dark artifacts." He looked at the goblin. "He can still produce a suitable heir."
"As long as he does by the time he's twenty-five."
"Then we are done." The goblin handed Harry a key. "To your vault."
"Thank you. Is this a copy of the one the headmaster has?"
"No, that is a trust vault for your education needs," the head goblin told him. "This is to your actual vault, Mr. Potter."
"I'll get that one from him," Bill promised. "Let's get you and Malfoy down into yours so you three can pick up chocolate on the way back." They bowed and shook hands before leaving. It surprised him that Malfoy was being nice and patient and on the boys' side so he looked at him in the cart. "Why?" he asked quietly.
"Because I will not see some horrible fate befall my son unless I arrange it for him," he said blandly, staring at the younger man. "So far, this has not made me pleased and has ruined a good many plans for his future that I was making. I'll take that out on the person who did it though." He straightened out his robe. "Even if I wanted to, punishing your brother or Potter would only punish my son and he is a ...gentle boy most of the time."
"Mum's going to soap his mouth again."
"Then he'll learn caution of speech," Lucius said with a smug look. "It's about time. His mother was exasperated this last summer." They got out and he glanced inside Potter's vault. It wasn't great, like theirs, but it was respectable. "Potter, take the books as well. I dare say you could probably use them," he said bluntly. Bill walked in to shrink them for the boy. They went into his pocket and they left for the Malfoy vault. Draco was right, the other two would make his poor boy look horrible. Though, seeing how tired Potter was, he decided on the healer first, and calling one of his friends on the Wizengamot to help him from their office. Then shopping.
Bill walked into the Headmaster's office first. The boys were being shown to their new room by McGonagall. "I have an order to hand over Harry's vault key," he said, handing it to him.
"Why?" He read it over then glared at him. "They are not adults." Bill handed over the copy of the Wizengamot notice. Dumbledore looked truly pissed off because of it. "That is not right!" he shouted.
"The magic of the bonding bracelets made it automatic," Bill said quietly. "The goblins agreed. The minister agreed, though he sneered at Lucius. So he might not have a job for much longer." He smirked. "Now, Harry's key?" It has found and handed over. He read it then handed it back. "That's the wrong number." Dumbledore groaned and found the real key, handing it over. He read it.
"Thank you, Headmaster. The boys are going to their room. Lucius had them at the healer earlier to make sure they were all right after everything. The healer sent Madam Pomfrey something for Harry's next panic attack. She also noted quite a lot of damage." He handed over something else. "If and when Harry needs something, I'm to be his guardian. He asked the ministers for it and they agreed I was a good, upstanding, neutral choice with what was going on. I'll be deciding their summer residence in a few days. There's five choices open right now. Also, Harry did get to see his parents' will. He was not happy he had never heard of the people mentioned in it."
He left, going to hand the key to the boys. He looked around the dorm, smiling at them. "Ron, behave. Harry, rest." Harry nodded, climbing into bed. Bill pulled the curtains for him. He put Harry's key in the specially shielded box with the spellbooks and other key. No house elf could touch it and no one that wasn't keyed to it could touch it. Harry had keyed him into it. That gave him some privacy and peace of mind.
Draco had gotten his own for his things. He had gotten Ron one too since he now had the family spellbooks. So they were all set. He nodded at Lucius, who was talking with his son in the sitting area. He handed over the book. "This is how you lengthen the tether," he said quietly. "It's the beginnings of occulemencary as well, Draco. Your mind shows the rudimentary skills. It can only help you all."
"Thank you," Draco said quietly. "Especially for not being an arse to us."
"You didn't do it but the first time you hurt Ron, expect my mother to show back up. She won't leave anyone else anything to beat." Draco nodded at that advice. He nodded at Malfoy. "I'll give a list of preferences in a few days." He left, going back to the bank to file all the interesting notices with them. Including the healer's report. They could call someone on his aunt and uncle. Really, the boy needed shields. Even the goblins had read his mind about his relatives.
"I'll do my best, Father," Draco assured him. "I'll keep the family honor and learn to get along," he sighed.
"Thank you, my boy." He stood up. "Owl if you need anything."
"Can you... tell Mother?"
Lucius snickered. "I sent her an owl at the bank. That way I didn't have to upset her that way, my son." He patted him on the head. "You are a Malfoy, no matter what else you are." Draco nodded at that. "Good." He smirked then left. The headmaster got an earful since the aurors were there to arrest Lockhart. The goblins had taken that diary but he did have a piece of his Lord thanks to the taint they had removed from the curse scar on Potter's forehead. It would work out just as well for his plans. Not that Voldemort would enjoy his son being married to his greatest enemy but he had no control over that. No one but the vain, stupid one had.
On the way out, he smirked at Lockhart. "Potter did say to thank you for getting him away from his muggle relatives. He had them arrested earlier for what they've done." Lockhart struggled but oh well. These aurors had a clue what they were doing. Lucius went back home to see if his wife was calmer. She was still throwing things and ranting so he went in to save the antiques. "Narcissa Malfoy," he sneered. "Such a temper."
"Our son is married!" she shouted. "To a Weasley!"
"And to Potter," he agreed blandly. She huffed, glaring at him. "Lockhart has been arrested for doing so. Potter used his slytherin skills to get somewhat around some plans by the Headmaster." She stopped ranting to stare at him. He nodded. "Including getting them named independent minors." She smirked evilly at that. "Potter was apparently nearly one of us but he begged the hat thanks to Weasley. So they have one Slytherin, one half-Slytherin, and one Gryffindor. Draco made me take them shopping so he wouldn't look bad around them." She smirked even worse at that, knowing something better was coming. "I had Potter examined by a healer after we got done with the goblins, who are not pleased with the headmaster either for having the boy's vault key."
"That's illegal if he's not his custodian."
"Potter had the sense to name Bill Weasley. Someone neutral but who he could trust."
"The boy does think," she said, looking amused.
"Weasley apparently plays chess. Did you know the Dark Lord had been at the school all last year." She gasped, sitting down blindly, hitting the coffee table to stare at him. He nodded. "That's what that fool Quirrel was hiding. The so-called Golden trio had to deal with him. Our son nearly changed to praying to Shiva for not being bonded to Granger." She snickered, relaxing even more. "The health audit found some astounding things so those two muggles will be in a world of hurt tomorrow when they're arrested. Also, they managed to break Potter's curse scar." He held up the small vial. "Which I took off their hands to safely store."
"My husband, how wicked your plans are," she said calmly, standing up to kiss him on the cheek. "Our son?"
"Frustrated. There's a tether they have to work on to lengthen. Right now it's set at about four feet." She giggled. "He's not pleased but he will persevere as any Malfoy would in a political marriage that disgusts them while subtly making Weasley see things his way and changing him so he's a suitable wizard and helping Potter," he finished smugly. "The boy has a mind that he's never been allowed to use thanks to that Granger mudblood." He got himself a drink and sat down with it. "He did buy some chocolates but wanted you to send him a treat basket again. Apparently this has been so frustrating he was even messing up his hair."
She giggled. "I'll have the house elves make him something." She smirked. "Will we get Potter on our side?"
"I have no idea," he admitted. "It may be two-against-one for a while but our son is clever when he wants to use it. He may be able to swing some sympathy our way." She smirked evilly again and went to find a house elf to clean up her mess and make her precious boy some treats. When she came back he smirked. "We will have to make sure he can have that heir. Potter said he didn't care who Draco shagged as long as he didn't have to hear it over their link. He's still not hit puberty yet. Weasley's about halfway there."
"Charming. I'll start looking for a good mother tomorrow." She settled down to knit something by magic. It was calming to watch it work. She looked up at him. "Did he switch houses or did they?"
"They're in a separate dorm on the third floor."
"Pity but he can still get owls." She went back to watching the needles knit without her help. Her Draco needed a new scarf. Lucius went to get something to read, hoping to find more on that artifact. Maybe he could find some way to get his son out of his unholy union of *good* boys before he got tainted.
Harry woke up to pounding. He groaned, holding his head as he wobbled to the doorway. He looked back when he saw it was Hermione. "Guys, it's 'Mione," he called. Draco flicked his drapes closed with a moan. Ron snored louder. He shrugged. "They're not up. What's wrong?"
"What are you doing?" she demanded.
He stared at her. "Well, right now, you just woke me up." He yawned and let her in, closing the curtain between the dorm and the sitting areas. He flopped down, staring at her. "What's going around?"
"That you're in the infirmary, though you're clearly not. That you've taken some dark deal with the Dark Lord." He snorted. "What is going on?"
"Remember Lockhart grabbing me and Malfoy yesterday?" he asked dryly, then yawned again.
"Lockhart decided we should be married by use of a dark artifact," Draco said as he came out, staring at her. "It's much too early to make me insult anyone. Not even the most rabid of Slytherins get up this early, woman. Couldn't you wait until breakfast?" She gave him the most horrified look so he checked his hair, finding it about usual but not too bad. He gave her an odd look back. "How was your day?" he asked in his most sarcastic voice, heading for the bathroom. He paused. "We only have the one tub," he complained. "No showers."
"We'll figure it out. Take yours. Ron won't be up for a bit," Harry called. He looked at her again. He rolled his eyes at the displeasure, sending over how to make a shower out of a tub spigot mentally. Draco did that and was much happier because now he could do his hair properly. "He's a princess, I swear," he muttered. He looked at her. "See, no injuries, no dark deals... what did the twins say?"
"Nothing. Just looked very upset all night in the infirmary with Ginny. What happened to her? Don't tell me she joined you two?"
"Ron did. Ginny was possessed."
She slumped, shaking her head. "Why?"
"Bill took it off her. Otherwise no idea." He stared at her. "So, anyway, we're still Gryffs."
"Uh-huh. Then why not come back last night?"
"Because the artifact created a tether and we can get about four feet apart," he said dryly. He yawned again, going to wake Ron up. He shook his bed, getting a snort instead of a snore and a dirty look. "Hermione."
"Merlin, what time is it?" he complained, looking at his watch. He snorted then pulled the blankets over his head. "At breakfast, Harry." He grimaced. "What is he doing?"
"Singing in the shower I think." He went back there. "Ron said he'd talk to you at breakfast." She squeaked, staring at him. He stared back. "What?" he demanded finally.
"You're not at all upset?" she demanded, hopping up. "It's *Malfoy*, Harry!"
"I know that. He was there when I had a panic attack yesterday," he said dryly. "Doing this made sure that I didn't have to go back to my aunt's. I'm technically an adult but I have Bill looking over my shoulder in things, and I got my own vaults back. Plus now I don't have to figure out girls." She huffed, glaring at him. "Beyond that, Malfoy and I are *bound*, Hermione. He can hear my thoughts, I can hear his and Ron's. Lockhart was really buggering things yesterday when he locked us in a closet."
"Maybe he thought we'd need a post-wedding snog," Draco called from the shower. Ron laughed loudly. She let out a horrified noise. Draco came to the doorway with a towel around his waist. "Sometimes you have to make the most of what you're given, Granger. There's nothing any of us can do about it so we have to learn to get along since hexing them will mean I get hit by the same thing. You on the other hand...." She flounced off and he ignored Harry's glare. He stared back. "It's very early. I'd hex anyone who came to the door that early." He went back to his room to get dressed. "Please wear something new today," he called.
"Bugger yourself," Ron complained.
"Interesting image but the human body isn't meant for such activity," Draco shot back.
Harry went to take a shower. Let those two snark at each other. "Just kiss and make up already," he complained as he walked. "You two sound like married trolls." He slammed the bathroom door.
"Eww," Draco said, shuddering delicately.
"Eurgh," Ron complained, closing his bed curtains tighter. "Have to get him back later."
"Remember, if you hex him, we'll all get hit," Draco complained.
"That won't matter if I push him in the dung pile by the greenhouses," Ron shot back without opening his curtains. He flipped over and let himself go back to sleep. He'd take a shower once Harry was done. He had time to plan how to make Hermione calm down about all this. Not like there was anything they could do. He had tried that at the healer's and had stung for hours after the pinching hex.
Harry walked into the Great Hall, going to his usual seat. He saw the looks. "We didn't have anything to do with it," he said bluntly. "Nothing we can do about it either. So get it out now." They shrank away from him. "Hermione got us up before daylight," he complained to Neville as he sat down. His back was to the Slytherin table. They barely had enough room to get this far apart if they concentrated.
"She did the same thing to us," he admitted, handing him a cup of tea. "Slammed our door open then stormed in like it was her room." He sipped his own. "So... what happened?"
"Brandust bonding bracelets," he said simply. Neville gave him a horrified look. Harry nodded. Ron walked in and plopped down, taking some of the tea for himself. He grunted at them. "There's rumors."
"Of course there are. There's always rumors, Harry." He took a drink and put his teacup down. "Anything yet on the schedules?"
"They're giving you extra classes?" Neville asked.
"No, we can't get that far from Draco," Harry complained, looking over at him. "Ron has more leeway than Draco and I do." Neville sighed in displeasure. "But it's fine for now. We will learn to get along." He'd wonder how Draco could be all the way across the Great Hall without them feeling the need to join him when he could think better. That should be a bit far with their tether.
"The bracelets had a compulsion to learn to get along with the other party," Ron shared with an evil look at Harry then down at Hermione. Then back at Neville. "For right now, we're figuring things out. Malfoy's father hates this just as much but he gave us a way to protect his son. Got Harry to a healer."
"Huh," Neville said, shaking his head. "That's just...odd."
"Very," Harry complained, glaring at Draco, who only sent a smug look back so he sent one at him, making Draco duck his head. "We have got to find a way to shield things."
"Yup, sure do," Ron said cheerfully. "Since you just turned my stomach, Harry, please do."
Harry rolled his eyes. "You'll stuff yourself in a few minutes anyway."
"Whatever," Justin said as he joined them. "Harry, would you like to explain what happened yesterday? Since Hermione got us all up at the crack of dawn trying to find you?"
Harry shrugged. "Lockhart."
"I saw him grab you two."
"Dark artifact. Bonded them," Neville said simply.
"Ah!" Justin shook his head quickly. "I'm damn glad I'm not a Potter with the way you get into trouble, Harry." Harry snorted at that, pointing at Ron. "Or a Weasley, yeah." He heard the rumors going up the table. "Like he asked for it, people," Justin called. "Lockhart proved he was a ponce and wanted others to join him." A few teachers who heard gasped and Harry moaned, shaking his head.
Draco looked over, looking amused. "That's a better explanation than my mother probably came up with. Thank you for sharing." Justin gaped. "Compulsion."
"Can we whack you in head?" Neville asked him. "Maybe it'll help."
"Only if you want your hero there in the next bed," he said with a smug look. They all moaned. "What I get they get."
"Someone hits me in the head and I'm going to rip their bloody heads off," Ron mumbled into his tea. Draco cackled at that, turning back around. He looked at Harry. "Apparently I got it lighter than you two."
"Clearly," he agreed dryly. "Don't hex him anyway."
"I'm not planning on it. I learned my lesson with the pinching hex."
"Thank you. The healer wanted to yell at you because you interrupted her working on my head."
"Feel better, mate?" Ron asked with an evil smirk.
"Much. No more headache." He looked over as Ginny walked in. "Did she get you up dawn too?"
"Nearly," she sighed, sitting down. "So, how's my brother in bed?"
"Don't know, I don't want to shag him," he said, making Ron choke. Draco did too. "Ask him, maybe he'll tell you some day." He gave her a smug look.
She snickered. "Clearly it's warping all three you in odd ways. Wonder who we'll get for defense now that he's in jail?"
"I did send him a wonderful thank you note for making sure I couldn't go back to my relatives' this summer." He finished his tea and got some more while she cackled at that. "It's not like they'd put up with a marriage like this." She cackled some more.
Draco looked back at him. "I can give my mother their address, Potter."
"I'm not that mean today."
"I'll ask when you're having a worse day then. Remember, test in potions." He went back to his breakfast.
"This bond thing you three have is very strange and making you all act wrong," Neville said.
"Yes, well, best to make the most of it," Harry quipped. Professor McGonagall came down with some papers. "Our new schedules?"
"Yes they are." She handed them over. "It was thought best to send you three into classes where neither side is heavily represented."
Ron shook his head. "I can't. It interferes with that study time you made us do, ma'am," he said, handing his back. "It's only four classes that we don't share anyway."
"That is true but the Headmaster...." All three snorted at that. "He is the headmaster, boys," she said firmly. "He deserves more respect."
"Yes, which is why he suggested they all go to my relatives' house with me," Harry said with a smirk for her. She gave him a dirty look. "Like you don't know," he sneered.
"I have no idea...." She stopped when the boys all glared at her. "Poppy may have said something but surely someone...." Harry shook his head. "How can you be so sure?"
"The Ministers yesterday said it's the first time they heard about it. Including the one for the child's protection center." She blanched. "You might tell the headmaster he's going to be visited."
Draco coughed, handing Harry a letter. "Father's letter this morning said that whoever had been blinding the social workers to what was going on is in very serious trouble," he said with a grin. "My father was *more* than pleased to help him with that matter, Professor."
"I bet," Ron snorted. "But I'm also betting my mum and dad would've helped," he said when the professor glared. "My mum went into a homicidal fit after we rescued him. She hid it really well but Dad had to give her something to calm her temper down."
"Oh, dear." She sighed, going up to talk to Snape and the headmaster.
Ron looked at Draco. "Are you okay over there?"
"I'm fine. I'm working on the pulling issue." He looked at Potter. "Potions test?"
"I don't remember him telling us about one."
"You were nattering on with Weasley," he said smugly.
"Well, I suppose my grades can't get much worse anyway right now," he decided, going up there with them. "Since it's only four classes, can we figure that part out? He can come join us or we can join his for a few of them. Whatever."
"Harry," Ron complained.
"Oh, there has been some talk this morning," Draco said with an evil look at Potter. "My father's advice has gotten around that it was not our doing and if Lockhart survives prison, I'd be shocked." The other professors in hearing spluttered. "The Slytherins have agreed not to harm him in any way while he is in class with us. Even the ones that would like to see me hexed won't. Mostly because they think we'll get them back. Which I will." He looked at Weasley. "You and them can get along?"
"I can ignore them the same as I do you most of the time," Ron said dryly.
"Very well then," Snape said. "You will have these three classes with ours."
"That throws Transfiguration for us," Harry pointed out.
He looked over the two schedules and amended it. "It means you all lose your second study hall of the week." He handed them over. They all nodded at that. "Good. Go away."
"Going to the library," Draco said. Harry and Ron moaned. He looked at them. "I need a new book for a report coming up in Herbology. Haven't gotten Granger to do yours yet?"
"I've got mine done," Harry told him. "Ron's behind due to the defense paper he assigned on nothing." They walked out arguing about things.
"It's good to see some things don't change," Pansy said from her seat. "They still hate each other at least."
Hermione looked over. "There's a compulsion on them to get along."
"I heard," she said with a grimace. "I'm glad they're outlawed. My mother would be all too happy to do the same thing to me." She sipped her juice. "Why don't you be a good mudblood and do something detrimental to the wizarding way of life or something."
Hermione glared. "Of course I'll go do something that'll piss you off, Pansy. After all, you'll never get my grades." She left with her books, going to track down the trio to help them. "Ron, I've got some things pulled already for the herbology paper," she said when she ran into them. "You can write it later if you want my help."
Draco looked at her. "Having you do their homework means that they're not learning anything," he pointed out. She glared. He sneered back. "We all learned how to do our own way back when, Granger."
"She's more going to go over the possible topics and correct it for him," Harry said.
"Because it means a higher grade," she said.
"I'd think that learning how to do it on his own would be more beneficial in his later life. It's not like someone will be there to grade his assignments and make him redo them when he's working."
She huffed off.
Ron shrugged. "She makes us study schedules and the like too."
Harry nodded. "She does nag us to study more but she's been great helping us."
Draco looked at them. "Which is a weakness my father and them can use," he pointed out dryly. They nodded that was true and they knew it. He rolled his eyes. "What's first?"
"Potions," Harry said, going that way. The other two were pulled so it was normal. For them anyway. They'd get used to all this soon enough. They'd fight the compulsion that was making them get along, and making them swear at each other mentally each time they were forced to be nice to each other. Ron and Draco had no idea that Harry had such a dirty vocabulary. Apparently you learned a lot of things going to muggle school.
Harry looked up from his potions test to see Snape staring. He went back to it.
"No cheating, Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley."
"Even if he was feeding it to us, I'd never understand," Ron complained. "The questions make no sense," he muttered. He stared at the next one then up, giving the teacher a confused look. Snape smirked back. He went back to it. This was going to drive him nuts. Draco was growling and stiff, glaring his way. He shot a calming hex at Ron.
"Mr. Weasley, what are you doing?" Snape demanded.
"He's struggling through the ancient English like the rest of us," Harry complained. "Because they make no sense. This isn't real English." He handed it off and tried to stomp off but he felt like he was being strangled. He growled and Ron came with him.
Draco sighed and handed in his, following them before the strangling got to him. He stopped Potter. "What was that?"
"Frustration." He glared at Ron, who huffed but kicked the wall a few more times. Snape stomped up to them.
"What was that?" he demanded coldly.
"Frustration with the way the questions made no sense," Ron told him.
"You've gotten very ballsy," Snape sneered.
Ron stared at him. "I was gotten up at dawn by Hermione. My head's hurting because Harry's head is hurting. Not to mention whatever he's hearing."
Harry frowned, looking at him. "I'm not hearing...."
"Yes you are," Draco said. "It's very quiet though." He rubbed his own forehead. "It sounds like it's in the wall."
Harry looked at the wall he was leaning on and cast a sonorous charm. Now he heard it. He stared. "It's a snake."
"Clearly," Snape sneered.
"It's happy it got released." Draco and Ron both looked horrified, backing away from him. "What?" he demanded, looking at them.
"Being a parseltongue isn't really a highly thought of skill for the Light," Draco said sarcastically.
"Well, gee, look at who they took out of my bloody head the other day," he shot back. He listened. "It's happy it's free. It wants its master. I'm guessing this is whatever's in the Chamber."
"Probably," Ron said, grimacing some. "That's a bad habit, Harry."
Harry glared at him. "I'll take the pain to hex you," he offered quietly. Ron shut up.
"Is that your temper or his?" Snape asked Draco.
"I think it's a Weasley temper," he said with a smirk. "I'm glad I'm not infected with that yet." He shot a calming hex and Harry shot back a hyper one, making them all bouncy. "Yes, it's clearly a Weasley temper." He canceled the hex. "I have to agree, the questions weren't very clear. Some of mine were hard to read." He rubbed his forehead. He cast something at the wall, making the snake creature move on.
Ron sighed. "Thank you." He looked at Harry again. "We've got to work on the shields and the tether."
"We were too tired to start last night. We were going to start tonight after class," Draco said.
Harry nodded. "We have a study hall in a few minutes. Professor... I don't care if you give us detention; it probably won't be the last time I get it for no reason," he said when he opened his mouth. "We have to work on this." He walked off. Ron and Draco had to follow. They went to the Great Hall to work on it. Harry concentrated, trying to block them out. Ron was facing another direction and Draco was staring out a window. Harry opened his eyes, trying hard to keep the shields up. Ron bled and they both poked him until he fixed the leaking. They went back to it. Harry leaked and Draco swatted him. He concentrated and it eased again.
"Still leaking, Potter," Draco noted.
"Sorry." He concentrated harder. "I can't find it."
Ron poked hard on that spot and Draco poked it repeatedly. Harry found it but he couldn't create one. "Bloody hell," Ron complained. "Tell me that was caused by the scar?"
"Possibly," Draco said. "I know almost nothing about mental magics." He sighed, letting them fall. "Now I have a headache."
"Ditto," Harry sighed, rubbing his head. "Do we know anyone who would know?"
"Snape used it," Draco offered. Harry gave him a dirty look. "I know you two don't get along, Potter. It may be the only choice."
"Is there something we can create to keep a shield externally?" Ron asked.
Draco considered that. "Possibly." He looked out the window and grabbed his bag, writing a note. "I need an owl. Mine's at home."
Harry sent magic to Hedwig, bringing her down. "Take a letter for Draco please, Hedwig." Harry tied it to her. "To Malfoy Manor?" Draco nodded. "Go to Lucius or Narcissa Malfoy." She flew out the window. Harry relaxed. "I'm sure we'll get an answer later."
"Hopefully. You're doing good in all but that one spot," Draco said, staring at Harry's head. "Maybe it's a curse in the hair."
"Not like I can control that. My aunt tried to cut it many times and it always grew back." He ran a hand through it. "I don't know." Snape stormed in. "Professor."
Draco looked at him. "Is there a way that the former curse scar caused a permanent hole in his shields?" Ron asked quietly.
"Hypothetically he can still close one with some effort." He stared at them. "You sent an owl out?"
"To see if Mother can find a way to externally shield us until we can figure it out," Draco admitted. He sighed, rubbing his forehead. "Because that hole is a constant leak." Ron started to look around. "Is it back?"
"No, not the snake but I feel magic building."
Harry pointed. "It's there whatever it is." He sighed, concentrating like the book had said.
"Clear your mind, Mr. Potter," Snape ordered.
"Right now I'm trying to do the step before that," he said. He finally narrowed it down but he couldn't get it any closer to tightly shut.
"Better," Ron said.
Draco nodded. "We all have little leaks. This is only the first day." He glared at that same spot. "What is that?"
Snape pointed his wand at it and muttered. "It's a house elf. Get back to work." It disappeared. "It was probably seeing if you needed anything."
"A hat," Harry said. "With a heavy shielding spell on it."
"Please," Ron agreed, glaring at a wall. "It's back." Harry looked then shrugged. "Same thing?" He nodded. "Where's the entrance so we can kill the thing?"
"I don't know. What is it so we know how to kill it?" Draco asked.
"It's some sort of serpent," Harry offered. "That narrows it down some."
"To over seven thousand species," Draco said dryly.
Ron sighed. "It has to be native, had to have been around way back when the school was founded. It has to be something one of them can talk to. Hell, let's start with Hagrid."
Snape looked at him. "Why would he know?"
"He loves deadly things," Ron said dryly. "He might've cooed over it."
"Maybe," Harry said. "If not, we'll find a book on it." He glared at the wall. He blasted it with a minor spell. The snake hurried off. "Thank you." He looked at them then locked down his mind again. The boys all sighed in pleasure. "Sorry."
"It has to get easier," Draco said.
"With practice, if you actually practice it," Snape said sarcastically.
"Well we've got to, don't we?" Ron said dryly.
"You can serve detentions."
"Yay," he said blandly. Harry shook his head, punching him on the arm.
"Ow!" Draco complained, rubbing that same spot on his arm. "Potter!"
Harry grabbed his head. "I'm not happy," he decided. "Whatever they took out of Ginny is back. I thought they broke that link."
"They did," Draco said, staring at him. "Professor, can you check that scar? My father had it cleared."
"He did what?" the headmaster asked as he walked in.
"He severed the link," Ron said firmly. "Since the healer saw brain changes thanks to it. For some reason, Malfoy didn't want his brain wrecked by it too."
Snape glared at him. "Your mother would be soaping your mouth and paddling you."
"It's his bloody pain!" he complained, pointing at Harry.
"If you three had waited," the Headmaster started.
Harry glared at him. "Since when am *I* responsible for the actions of a teacher that shoved something on me without my permission and then shoved us in a closet!" he shouted. The headmaster stepped back, looking alarmed. "I didn't want this! I still don't want this! I'll be damned if I want this and I would've rather died yesterday!" he finished in a near scream.
Draco cleared his throat. "Potter, you're releasing accidental magic," he said quietly. "Can you please calm yourself before we have another attack like yesterday?" This was what the healer had told him to do if Potter got close to another panic attack.
"I am calm," he growled.
"Harry," Ron said. He cast something at him, knocking all three out. Before he fell out, he heard Draco start his beacon. It was a sad world where they had to rely on Lucius Malfoy for anything. Apparently it was better than the teachers though.
Lucius looked at his son when he awoke. "I'm told Mr. Weasley is in trouble for casting the spell that knocked you three out," he said dryly.
"It kept Potter from exploding again," he said quietly. "Something is trying to crawl in with him. His scar was hurting again and the Headmaster seemed to be horrified by it being broken. All we could feel was a hole in Harry's shield and magic floating out of him. It was like accidental magic, like when I blew up the maze."
Lucius nodded. "You're right. Something was trying to take him over. What is this I hear about him talking to snakes?" Draco nodded. "Charming," he said dryly. He stared at his son. "What else did you feel?"
"A lot of anger and magic. He's more powerful than you are, Father."
"He is?" Draco nodded quickly, rubbing his head. "Headache?" he asked dryly.
"Potter's doing it again."
Lucius cast a checking spell, making the nurse gasp and come stop him. He made her do the same.
Ron woke with a gasp and glared at Harry. "It's not him," Draco said.
"Yes," Draco said impatiently.
"Then can we beat the living hell out of whoever it is?"
"Hopefully," Lucius said dryly. "It was an inspired plan to keep him from blowing out that room. Even if you will be in detention for months."
Ron snorted. "Yay. What else is new?"
Draco snorted. "If you're in detention, we're in detention, Weasley."
"He'll dote on you anyway," Ron said dryly. Harry moaned, holding his head. "Harry, lay still." Harry turned and puked on the floor.
"That is a potion," Lucius said. She got Snape up there and checking him over. He gathered some of the potion. "Well?" Lucius asked.
"A control potion. Made wrong." He gathered a bigger sample then got her something to balance it out. Harry fell asleep again.
"Would that make him have all those magic surges?" Ron asked.
"Yes," Snape and Lucius said.
"In that version, and how mismade it was, it's probably why his shields won't come up and why he's had those pushing magic accidents."
"It could also explain that panic attack?" Draco asked. Snape gave him a horrified look but nodded slightly. "Hmm. Is this mismade like Longbottom did it? Or is this a known variation?"
"I believe there is a known variation that resembles that one." He took the samples back to his lab to test it. When he looked it up, his book was missing. There was another copy hidden so he found it there. It was a variation. He brought the book up to the infirmary for the mediwitch to read over. He found the headmaster there. "We'll have to keep any potions from him for a few days. Or else his magic will finish destabilizing and could conceivably kill us all with how strong he is. The Great Hall was starting to tremor when Mr. Weasley knocked him out."
The headmaster stared at him. "I did not notice that." He summoned a house elf. "Was there problems in the Great Hall after earlier?"
"House elves cleaned up, headmaster, sir," he said, looking down. "All mess from grout is gone."
"Good," Snape said. "Thank you." The house elf disappeared. "Mr. Weasley, as much as it pains me, ten points to Gryffindor for saving the school from destruction," he said blandly. Lucius snickered.
"Thank you," Ron said weakly. He yawned and drifted off again.
Draco looked at his father. "He's still amazed he hasn't seen his parents."
"I'm glad I reset your beacon," he told him.
"Beacon?" the headmaster asked.
"Yes, in case someone truly attacks him." He stared at him. "They are not illegal. I'm on the board, I should know." He looked at Severus. "Any idea where it was coming from?"
"Make sure it's not being given to my son?"
"I'm trying. That... problem yesterday. Do you still hold it?"
"It's safely stored where only I can get to it," he said.
"Good," Draco said. "Since it felt like something was trying to invade him again. Didn't Weasley bleed that spirit into the earth?"
"It's possible it's still active," Snape admitted. "I'll make sure later." He looked at the Headmaster then at Lucius. "He's heard the Chamber's creature."
"Wonderful," Lucius said dryly.
"It was speaking to him."
Lucius stared at him. "Interesting." He looked at his son, who nodded a bit. "I'll look that up."
"I sent an owl to Mother earlier," Draco told him. "About external shields."
"That's not a bad idea," he agreed, considering it. "That's not that hard to do. I'll help her with that, son." He stood up. "Now, do you think you can handle it?" Draco gave a look at the headmaster's back then looked at him. Lucuis nodded slightly that he'd handle things. "I've got the short list of summer residences. They seem quite pleasant. I'll consult with you this weekend."
"Thank you, Father," Draco said quietly.
"You are my only heir, Draco. I'd hate to have you injured. Unless you upset me horribly."
Draco nodded he understood and let his father leave. He looked at his professor. "How do we stop it and can we check us in case it's leaching from him into us?"
"That would not leach across a mental bond." He stared at the boy. "Poppy, is the boy allergic to anything?"
She stared then nodded. "I've found one allergy topically to a minor herb we don't usually get here. He broke out in hives the last time he had to deal with it." She got the file for him to see that. "Would that cause the vomiting?"
"Yes." He handed it back, crossing his arms again. "I can counter it. He'll need to be resting quietly for days."
"He can go back to his room so he can do homework," the headmaster said.
The nurse gave him a dirty look. "No, he cannot." The headmaster stepped back. "He is ill, Headmaster. His magic is out of balance thanks to that potion. He nearly destroyed this school because of it!" she finished more loudly. "He's staying in that bed until I am satisfied he's fine." He nodded at that, leaving her alone. She huffed, looking at Snape, then at Draco. "You father is quite helpful when you're involved," she said dryly.
"The Headmaster blamed us for this," he said simply. "It was clear something was wrong. I thought the Dark Lord was trying to move back into him."
"Close," Snape admitted quietly. "We will fix this. For now, you stay in here."
Draco nodded. "Fine, I can agree with that. Will we be assaulted with Weasley's mother?"
"No," Snape said. "She's already been, yelled, and gotten calmed down." He smirked. "Your father talked her down."
"This probably bollixed his plans for me," Draco said dryly. "No arranged marriage, no careful selection of heirs." Snape snickered but nodded. "So he's reevaluating and if I die thanks to this, he's lost the family fortune now that I'm married." Snape smirked at that, leaving with that new information. It would explain the sudden solicitous actions Lucius had been plagued with.
Draco looked at the nurse. "Homework?"
"Of course. Coming up later." Draco nodded at that. "You can have visitors later." She went back to make notes in her chart. Then she came to check them over as thoroughly as she could. "Hmm." Draco gave her a pointed look. "The spell does more than thought." She smirked and went back to make that note and inform the professor about it. Someday there may be heirs if they chose there to be.
Draco did the checking charm on himself then frowned. "Why do I have those suddenly?" he demanded.
"The spell, Mr. Malfoy. With magic many things are possible."
"I'll be damned," he said firmly. "Can you remove them?"
"Not without causing harm," she said cheerfully. He glared. She smirked at him. "Some day you may want to hold congress with your spouses. That would simplify a few matters." She closed her office door most of the way, casting a silencing charm around his bed while he swore. She did love taunting the little snotty thing when he showed up with minor things.
Lucius walked up to Bill Weasley, holding up a book. "On the bracelets. It was in the Ministry archives."
Bill flipped through to what he wanted to read, giving it an odd look. He kept going then looked at him, pointing at it. "Did you read this yet?"
"No. I was hoping it would hold some way to remove the bond."
"Not yet. I'll look it over. I'm more concerned about the other compulsion." He let him read it. Lucius went red in the face. Bill nodded. "Ron's going to throw fits to end the school."
"Potter nearly did that already. Snape found a compulsion potion."
"Hmm. I'm sending my mother at him again."
"The headmaster." He waved the book. "I'll read it over tonight. I'll let you know if I find anything." Lucius nodded, stomping off to verify that fact. Bill smirked, going to get something to drink at the bank. He found his boss, waving the book.
"There's a more definitive source but it's in the creator's vault."
"No. Not for centuries."
"Can I borrow it for a few hours?"
"Gladly. I would like to solve that situation."
"I just found mention that it's adaptive," Bill said dryly.
"Yes, the second one it's attached to."
"What about the third?" Bill asked.
"Not that I'm aware of. I will have that book liberated. You may copy it for the afflicted."
"Thank you." He went to get that book and settled in the cursebreaker library to go through the books, make notes, and make copies. Ron would be throwing fits for months.
Harry woke up and groaned, sitting up.
"Lay back down," Draco ordered. "You're leaking potion out of you still." He looked over the edge of his Potions book at him. "My father was not amused."
"Thank Merlin your father is sensible and not trying to be pushy," he said quietly. "Are we all right?"
"You had a compulsion potion added to your diet. That's what caused earlier in the Great Hall."
Ron woke up with a snort, looking at them. "What happened now?"
"Nothing yet," Draco said. "He just woke up."
"Feeling clearer headed?" Ron asked his buddy.
"Thankfully." He blinked at him. Then he swallowed. "What's that sour taste?"
"The leaching potion," Draco said.
"How long?" Ron asked, grimacing and swallowing hard. "That is disgusting, Harry." Draco smirked. "Isn't there a way to make them taste better?"
"Then it wouldn't be medicine," Draco quipped.
"Yay," Ron said. "Can we have some water?" he called. The nurse brought them glasses of water. "Thank you, Madam Pomfrey."
"You're welcome." She checked Harry over, nodding. "Better." She left them alone.
Harry looked at Draco. "The invading thing?"
"The same one that got removed in a different form."
"Will I have to wear a turban?" he asked blandly.
"I hope not. I'd hate to have to take your head off. It might kill me," Draco told him. He went back to his homework. "Snape said you both flunked your tests." They huffed but accepted it. "You should study. He assigned a paper."
"Yay," the boys said flatly. They got their books to look things over. The assignment was written for them.
"Two feet?" Ron complained.
"If you flunked, yes," Draco said patiently. "And you have a transfiguration paper as well. Due in two days." They moaned and got to work on that instead. He smirked. He had it done. Why he was going to turn into Hermione he wasn't sure. He glared at Ron for that thought. "Take that back."
"She's the one who makes all those schedules and stuff," Ron said with an evil smirk.
"I can beat you."
"Only if you want to be just as bruised," Harry reminded him. "Since I don't, let's not."
"You two really need to bring up your grades. It's almost a disappointment for a Malfoy spouse to be so lowly educated."
"I'm a Potter spouse," Ron snarked.
Draco looked at him. "I'm not giving up my very old, powerful name for his."
"We can all keep our own names," Harry said impatiently. "I'm not going to turn into a Malfoy." He glared at Draco and felt the compulsion start again. He sighed. "Bugger." He got back to work. "What is the paper on for transfiguration?"
"The last exercise," Ron said.
"The one with the leaves?"
Draco looked at him. "That was two weeks ago, Potter."
"I don't know." He tossed his book and laid back down, pulling the sheets over his head.
Draco swished and flicked the book and papers back onto the bed table. The nurse came out. "He can't remember what we just studied," he said when she came closer.
She checked him and nodded. "It's normal for his headache and level of potion that's coming out of him." Ron wrote down something and floated it to the books. "Thank you, Mr. Weasley. Let me know if you have more problems." She left them alone, closing the curtains around them.
Draco sighed, looking at Ron. "I thought it was the branch to spoon," he said quietly.
"I started mine and it's on the other one."
"Oh. I'll check when someone comes up."
Ron smirked. "Hermione should be up sometime soon."
"So will Pansy." They went back to work. No one came up by dinner and Draco was getting pissed off. He summoned a house elf and sent a note with him.
Pansy came up and stood in front of him. "The Headmaster said you're not allowed visitors," she said bluntly, handing him the book he asked for.
"I did not say that," the nurse called.
Pansy relaxed. "Are you all right?"
"Someone tried to kill Potter. I fear I'm going to get used to that state," he said dryly.
She gave him an evil look. "Bastard."
"No, I know who mine are and they were married for a suitable length of time before I came along," he said with a smug, triumphant look. "The paper for Transfiguration?"
"Thank you." He wrote that down. "Any other homework?"
"The new Defense teacher is here."
"Anyone good?" Ron asked, sounding miserable. "Did he tell Hermione that too?"
She smirked and nodded. "He told the whole school at dinner."
Ron nodded. "Going to say something soon," he said, looking at Draco.
"You're not alone in that." He looked at her. "Who?"
"Some idiot. Told us today we'd only need the book."
"Not again," Ron complained.
"Oh, yes." She gave him a smug look then at Potter since he was staring at her. "She doesn't like you either."
"Yay for her," Harry told her. "Any other cheery news?"
"The headmaster said that you're contagious and broadcasting."
"That is not correct," the nurse said, coming over. "You can pass that around so they're less sulky." Pansy nodded and left.
Ron found something in his bag and touched his wand to it. Hermione walked in a bit later with an armful of books and papers, pulling a chair over to his bed. "We're not contagious."
"The defense teacher told him you were."
"Charming," Harry said. "Bugger them."
"Your language leaves much to be desired," Madam Pomfrey said.
He nodded. "I'm tired, sorry."
"It could be worse," she said. "I suggest it not." She left.
"What are others doing in here," a shrill female voice shouted. "They are contagious."
Draco glared at her. "No we're not. How would being forced into a marriage be contagious?"
"Or being given a potion," Ron added. "The last time I knew I couldn't catch even a cold from Harry being given a potion against his will."
"You're lying about what happened," she said firmly.
"No, we're not," Harry said. "And technically we're all emancipated minors, *Professor*." She sneered. "I can lose my temper again." She huffed off. "I swear.... this potion makes me leak magic, Draco?"
"Like the panic attack?"
"Good!" He smirked at the nurse. "I'm really sorry if it's still affecting me." Hermione snickered. "And if I get the twins to help me." He looked around. "Hermione...."
"I'll tell them, Harry. They wanted to check on Ron anyway." Ginny got hauled in by her arm. "Ginny?" she called.
Ginny broke free and came over. "Ron, you're awake."
"Yes I am. What're you doing in here?"
"She decided I'm the same sort of contagious."
"For being possessed?" Harry asked.
"She was not!" the teacher shouted.
"The curse breaker who removed it said she was!" he shouted back. "And if you yell at me again I'm going to start screaming from the headache!" She huffed and glared.
"Your wand's locked up," Ron said patiently, smirking at him. "Ginny, can I bum yours?" She handed it over. He tossed it to Harry. She fled.
"Thank you," Harry said with a smile, handing it back. "How do we feel about changing schools?"
"Brilliant, as long as they give us a good education, but you'd both die at Drumstrang the same way you would if forced into Slytherin," Draco told him.
"That sucks," Ginny told him. "But there's other schools. Salem might be nice."
"There's some beautiful ones in the Central or South Americas," Hermione said.
"I might like the heat in the jungle."
"I. Would. Die," Draco told him simply. "I'm not very fond of heat. I'm a bit pale in case you had not noticed so I burn severely."
"They make some wonderful sunscreens," Hermione told him with a smile. "They're supposed to be very rigid academically."
"That may be nice," Draco admitted. "Since my *spouses* seem to never do their homework themselves."
Ginny snickered. "Ron's not the booknerd in the family. That was Percy." She grinned. "Maybe we should join him in so you can have a fellow studier?"
"I'd kill you," Ron told her simply. "Because the book said that some day I'd want to shag one of them possibly. There will be none of that with any of our brothers, least of all Percy. I doubt he'll ever find *anyone*."
"He has a girlfriend," Ginny told him.
"Gross," Ron muttered. "Other homework? Anything, 'Mione?"
"Not really. A few new plants in herbology. The new defense teacher that thinks the books will get us past our practicals for our OWLs in a few years." She shrugged.
"Bill sent an owl. He's narrowed it down to three choices. Only one's in England." Ron grinned at that. "They've talked and decided a house elf that will tell every little thing you do will be fine as a nanny during the summers." She looked over as the headmaster walked in with the new teacher. "How did me being possessed by that journal get to me being infected with something contagious since I haven't even sniffled since then?"
"She's perfectly healthy," the mediwitch assured them all. "After we get the potion out of Mr. Potter's system, he'll be fine as well. It may well help his temper calm down as well." She gave him a pointed look.
"I'd like that," Harry agreed. "Along with some more dinner if I can?" he begged.
"Of course. The potion is throwing your body out of order." She got a house elf to do that for him. "There, Mr. Potter. Then take another rest."
"Gladly. Thank you, Madam Pomfrey."
"You're welcome. I do not like such disruptions in my infirmary." She glared at the new teacher. She looked at the headmaster. "Have we found who dosed him yet?"
"I do not know. It looks like a student was doing so and botched it," he said.
"Hmm. Severus said it was a known variation." He pressed his lips together. "I do not know if there's a copy in our library or not."
"I'll check with Madam Pince. When can Mr. Potter be released?"
"When he's fully clear of the potion and the detoxing one we had to administer to keep his magic inside him and under his control."
"Can we tell how long it was in him?" Hermione asked, turning to look at her. "That potion could be responsible for the loss of control that caused the shield during his panic attack, correct?"
"It could have caused the panic attack itself," she assured her with a smile. "Very good theorizing. All I know is that it was at least a few days old when he vomited up the newest dose because he was allergic to it." She nodded at that. She scanned Ginny Weasley. "You read as perfectly healthy so visit with your brother before you have curfew, Miss Weasley. Should I guard my cabinets from the twins' pranks?"
"Probably," she agreed with a smile. "Possibly Percy as well."
"He never causes me any problems." She went back to her desk, giving the headmaster a dirty look.
"I still say she was not possessed."
"That's funny, the Ministry did," Ron told her. "Bill handed it to them. There's a report because someone came to get her to sign it." He looked at his sister, who only grinned and patted him before skipping off to get his brothers. He was only a second year. He wanted backup. His brothers liked to beat things into a bloody mess. Percy not so much but the twins were beaters. "Hermione, any idea what's coming up for tests?"
"Herbology in two weeks. Your redo in Potions next week sometime. Transfiguration probably at the end of this month," she said, checking her schedule. "I'm thinking we have an astronomy test sometime within a month, and then we have to pick electives soon." She smiled at him. "So probably a few more papers in those before the tests."
"Great," he sighed. "Harry, catch that?" Harry grunted, chewing his current bite of dinner. He smiled at Hermione. "They only gave him a little at dinner in case he puked again."
"That's reasonable," she said, settling into her seat as the twins came in. "Contrary to belief they are not contagious and neither is Ginny."
"Dad's already here," one of the twins said.
"Thankfully Mum's already in bed," the other quipped. The headmaster left.
"As well as...."
"Bill," they finished. "With reports."
Harry beamed at him. "New defense teacher?"
"Dearly," Percy said as he walked in. "Ron, are you well?"
"I'm fine. They're leaching the potion out of Harry."
"Excellent news." He nodded politely at Hermione, Harry, and Draco then looked at his brother. "Father will be up soon with Bill."
"Brilliant," he said with a grin.
"Hopefully," Draco agreed. "Think he can get her to go away?"
"Can we make her run...."
"Screaming into the forest?" the twins asked.
"Please," Harry asked with a cheesy grin.
They smirked back at him. "Our most beloved seeker..."
"Seeks a boon," the twins said, looking at each other.
"Interesting," they said in unison.
"Don't you dare," Bill said as he walked in. "She's being recalled." They all cheered. "We have a lot of evidence she's confused." He sat on the end of Harry's bed, looking at him. "Would you rather be in country or out?"
"Out," the three boys said.
"Granted." Bill handed Harry the list. "Belize." They all beamed at him. "With a lot of sunscreen for Draco's paleness," he said, looking at him. "That way you won't burn to death. You'll be outside a mixed magical town. There will be a very nosy house elf who will tell us every little thing you did. She'll be reporting to mum about food, she'll be telling Lucius about your practicing, which you can do there. There's no underage magical statues there." They all nodded at that. "The local school is over three hundred miles away. We'll be telling them about you three being down there in case you get picked up while practicing or something happens. That's Dad's job." Arthur nodded at that with a smile. "Narcissa was not happy to have you so far away, Draco, but she said it'd hopefully be a good learning vacation for you and she'd send down an extra elf to cook." He looked at the other two. "It's a Potter property. It's fully warded and no one can find it now. I'm the secret keeper and I've put it behind extra wards." He smirked. "It'll be fine."
"Thank you, Bill," Harry said. "Anything else I have to hear?"
"Yes. The audit is done. There's about a hundred thousand galleons missing." Draco gasped at that. "We have no idea where. It's not in your trust vault." He looked at him. "So we're looking at past withdrawals. We'll see." Harry nodded at that. "Other than that, things are settled." He pulled out a box, tossing it to Draco. "External shields that will reject any potion that's fed to him without his consent. On any of you." He looked at Harry. Who could only shrug. "Thankfully, we let Mum rant at home about that." He patted him on the foot. "Dad, have it?"
"Fully, Bill. Thank you."
"It's all fun," he said with a grin. He stood up. "Now, this is giving me flashbacks to bad days of fighting in the halls so I'm going to report back to work. Harry, I'll see you before school ends." He left, heading to the bank to check in. This was going to drive him nuts but it wasn't the kids' doing. He knew that. Whoever was trying to screw them up already, it was going to get them hurt. He found a screaming minister and looked at the goblin. "They've picked one."
"The Potter property."
"Good choice." The goblin smirked. "Any other news?"
"The potion is being leached out. The new defense teacher is insane. She tried to claim that Ginny was infected with something instead of being possessed."
"That makes no sense," the goblin said.
"Or that the trio was infected by the same thing. She announced it to the whole school that they were contagious. That no one could visit. Madam P even tested and said they were just fine outside of that potion."
"Who?" the goblin asked.
"I don't know. I don't play politics. I like to destroy things that get in my way." He gave the goblin a happy look. "So I'm going to go back to doing my job destroying things. I'll check on Harry in a few months." He walked around the minister. "Pretty night, Minister Fudge."
"My chosen defense teacher," he demanded in a squeaky voice.
"Yes, the one carrying all the cat fur on her sweater." He waved as he walked off. "The headmaster has her in his office."
"I'll be going there in a minute," he said firmly, looking at the goblin. "What is this I hear about Potter being forced into a marriage?"
"Mr. Malfoy already pressed charges," Bill said before he disappeared.
The goblin nodded. "He did indeed." The minister huffed off to bother him and the headmaster.
Lucius walked into the infirmary. "I have not ever spent this much time in this room, even when I was a student."
"I did not call," Draco said with a smile. He accepted the wrapped package. "Thank Mother for me."
"Of course I will." He looked at Potter. "Did you call?"
"No. We didn't. We had to fall asleep rather rapidly last night to get away from a complaining minister that said you went behind his back and tried to cover up this ridiculous scandal, and he seems to think I had something to do with it as well. It could've been him."
"Perhaps. He told me the same thing and I blasted his ears for over an hour then gave him to my loving wife." Draco shuddered, sinking down in his bed. "She did make sure she couldn't get out of her chair," he assured his son with a wicked look. "It would be unseemly for a woman of her position to teach him manners properly."
Draco smirked back. "Wonderful of her, Father. Is she well?"
"She's in perfect health and her temper is being solved right now by lightening the vault." He sighed but looked at the boys. "I was told I was being summoned by one of you."
"No," Ron said, shaking his head. "We didn't unless Draco's emergency beacon was set off somehow."
"No, though I do have to reset it." He walked over to do that.
"The headmaster does not like them being on students," Madam Pomfrey said.
"While nice for the average student, my son is not average. With being tied to who he is, his life is in more danger. Even if others don't have plans for them now." He looked at Harry, who shrugged and pointed at the doorway. Lucius looked. "Headmaster."
"Mr. Malfoy, checking on your son?"
"Yes. Resetting his emergency beacon. Just in case someone else wants to try to threaten Mr. Potter and therefore my son." He patted his son on the arm, getting a smile as his son ate a cookie. "Things have been settled?"
"Yes. As of last night. We like the idea, agree it'll be good, and I'll have plenty of sunscreen I'm told."
"Good. You're miserable when you're sunburned and whining." He looked at the headmaster again. "Have you heard any more plots about the boys?"
"Not yet. Do we have anything on the Chamber, boys? We found a petrified person this morning."
"It's something that can live for a long time, a parseltongue can talk to it," Draco said.
"It's big," Ron added. "We can hear it through the walls sometimes. We think it was probably newly hatched or about to hatch when put down there."
"If we had any idea about where the entrance was it might help," Harry added. "I think Hermione had it narrowed down to about seven or ten creatures, Headmaster."
"The petrification would lead to cut that down," Draco said thoughtfully. "Out of the possibles, it sounds like a basilisk."
"It would," Lucius agreed. "Try not to get petrified, Draco."
"I have no intention of going anywhere near it and if my *husbands* do, I'll tie them down." He smiled at the boys.
Harry snorted. "I'm hoping we don't have to kill it ourselves," Harry told him. "It'd be nice."
Ron nodded quickly. "Definitely! I'd like not to end up in the hospital at the end of this year."
"Agreed," Draco said, eating another cookie. Ron gave him a pitiful look. "We may unfortunately be married; it does not mean I'm sharing my treats." He finished it. His father laughed. "Mother doesn't share with me. I am a lot like my mother."
"Hopefully not with her temper easing trips," Lucius said dryly.
"Not while I'm stuck in Hogsmeade," he said dryly. "Perhaps when I'm older and my marriage proves ...unfruitful."
"There is that adaptation," Madam Pomfrey said with a smile.
"Adaptation?" Lucius asked patiently. He glared at his son.
"Unfortunately I've managed to grow some egg sacks," he said dryly. "I'd rather have them removed. She won't."
"It could cause you irreparable harm," she said with a smile. "Not to mention them." Draco growled but ate another cookie. She smiled at Lucius. "So there may be no problem with that future necessary heir."
"That would require us to shag," Ron said, giving her a look. "So far the compulsion isn't that good."
"Not until you're of age," Lucius ordered.
"Not a problem there," Ron said dryly. "He's not exactly my ...configuration, sir."
"Good to know. Mr. Potter?"
"I have no idea what girls are for anyway," he pointed out. "How would I know?"
"We'll talk of that sometime in the future before you get hurt fumbling around and therefore render all three of you sterile." He looked at the headmaster. "Is there any advancement on who dosed them?"
"No. I fear we may not find them. Though I did want to talk to you about the punishment for this having happened."
Lucius sneered. "You'd punish a child for being assaulted by a teacher? How very evil and unaware you are, Headmaster. I'll bring that to the board. I'm sure they'll decide to settle the issue once and for all."
Dumbledore nodded. "That would be interesting to hear." He looked at the boys then the mediwitch. "How soon can they go back to class? This is disrupting their educations."
"They've been studying," Draco assured him. "I've made sure of it." He smirked. "They've gotten their next few papers done already and have studied for that Potions test." Ron nodded, grimacing. Harry did the same. He smiled at his father. "I've been very good at helping them but not being as bad as Miss Granger is and not doing it for them."
"That is a good deed, my boy," Lucius said. "Your spouses should have excellent grades."
"I was hit first," Harry said. "That makes him my husband. I'm not losing the Potter for Malfoy."
"Me either," Ron said.
"That is something that will be worked out later, boys," Lucius said with a smug look. "For now, it is acceptable but you really should try. That way you have a future career and don't end up stuck in the house taking care of any heirs. Like your mother is, Mr. Weasley."
"I can change nappies," he said dryly, smirking at him. "And I have plenty of job prospects. Even if he'd consider them beneath him."
"As long as you're satisfied with such menial labor," Draco said dryly. "You could apply to the Ministry."
"You can't be as bad as some they've hired," Lucius agreed. He looked at the headmaster again. "They have time to figure that out. Though even your parents would be appalled at your potions grade. Mr. Potter, yours as well. Your mother was very good in there."
"You knew my parents?" he asked calmly.
"Indeed." He smiled. "Those twins make your father's group look like evil overlords. Your father in particular was not a gentle soul with his pranks."
"Is that why Professor Snape doesn't like him?" Ron asked.
"I believe it is."
Harry sighed. "Was he really that bad?"
"He was more uncautious about his pranks," Lucius said. "He was easily amused by mean pranks that made people cry."
"She tried to calm him down a few times. She was rarely successful until they started to date. Then she had the usual ways a winsome woman can turn a man's mind to mush and other pursuits." Draco giggled but the other two looked confused. "Someone will have that talk with you some year. Even if I must do it on my own or suggest it to my wife."
Draco cackled. "Mum would beat you, Father."
"Possibly." He looked at the mediwitch, who was blushing. "Someone must tell them. Before they decide to create more heathens. With the Potter luck, those children would be stalked by veela or dragons to mate with them. Possibly unicorns." Draco fell out of his bed he was cackling so hard.
Harry grimaced. "There's probably not going to be any little Potters for years. If ever. Especially if any of this goes on for another round."
"It should not," Lucius admitted dryly. He helped his son back into the bed. "Rest, son." He walked out, the headmaster having to follow him.
Harry and Ron shared a look then they threw stuff at Draco, making him yelp and duck. They settled in to 'rest' and plot.
Draco looked at them. "That is a weak plan."
"It's a preliminary," Ron said with a grin. "We can make them more firm later."
"Have the twins help," Harry added with a smile.
"That was a good idea," Ron agreed with a smirk. "And Hermione."
"And Hermione and Ginny," Harry agreed. Ron cackled at that.
"Rest more, be evil later please," the nurse called. "Before I'm forced to sedate you all."
"Yes, ma'am," they said, settling back in to deal with homework things.
Harry finally got released and nearly ran back to their room. Which was locked against them. They looked at each other and went to find a teacher. They found Professor Flitwick. "Sir?" Harry asked.
"Yes, Mr. Potter, Weasley, and Malfoy."
"Our room, Professor?" Ron asked.
"I believe you were moved back to your dormitories."
"What's going to happen since we can't get more than fifteen feet apart yet?" Draco asked.
"I... Well I had no idea."
"The headmaster did," Harry said.
"Oh, dear. Let me talk to the heads of your houses."
"We'll be in the Great Hall," Harry said.
"That'd be fine. Oh, I did assign a paper for next week, boys."
"We heard from Hermione," Ron sighed. The professor smiled at their backs. Then he called the two teachers to McGonagall's office. He walked in a minute later, staring at them. "The trio has brought up a point."
"They want security now?" Snape sneered.
"They got moved back to their houses," Flitwick said. "They said their tether is presently set at about fifteen feet?"
"I did not approve that," McGonagall said. "Said who?"
"That is what I was told earlier," Flitwick said. "As I told them when they asked."
Snape sighed, looking at her. "Can't we cast a good obliviate between us?" he asked quietly.
"No, I fear not." She checked the map monitor for her house. Not listed. Nowhere. "It appears they have no rooms. Anywhere. The towers haven't let them back."
Snape went to get his, coming back with a sigh. "Their things are still in that room but it's locked by the Headmaster," he said. "Mr. Malfoy was not moved back to Slytherin either."
"Then should I go break the lock?" Flitwick asked.
"Yes," McGonagall said. "While we go talk to them."
"I can do so." He went to get the boys. "I was incorrect." They followed him up and he unlocked their room for them. "There we go."
"Thank you, Professor," Malfoy said. They went in to lay down. Ron was searching his things. "Problems?" Draco asked when he felt the frustration.
"My locking box isn't here." He moved to Harry's dresser. "It's here. Harry, where's yours?"
Harry cast a tracking spell and it pointed at Draco's things. "Draco?"
He cast the same tracking spell. Not there. He got up to do it again. Not in the room. They followed him out and his tracking spell. It took them to the headmaster's office. Draco knocked then walked in, the other two behind him. He summoned his box. "Thank you, Headmaster."
"Do you need something like that?" he demanded dryly.
"Yes. It has some of the family spellbooks in it." He walked out with it under his arm. "Good night, Professors."
"Good night," Harry said. Ron just waved since he was yawning.
"Where are they going?" Dumbledore asked.
"Since they can't get more than fifteen feet apart at the moment, they're going to their room," Flitwick said dryly. "Unless you wanted Mr. Potter in Slytherin or Mr. Malfoy in Gryffindor?"
"No, I don't believe those are good options," Snape said. "Mr. Weasley might be attacked for his relentless viewpoints on us being evil." He walked off. "We'll be working on that tether issue quite soon."
McGonagall nodded. "Definitely. That way things get a bit easier." She walked off shaking her head.
Dumbledore scowled. Things were not going his way at the moment and he did not like this feeling he was getting. His plan for the future was not looking good.
Harry frowned, hearing the hissing again. He glared at the wall, following it. Which meant Ron and Draco had to quit studying and followed him too. He snuck around the school, running into the lower levels. He frowned, looking around as it disappeared. "We have a dip behind the wall." He tracked it on. He sighed. "Moaning Mrytle." He walked into that bathroom. "Mrytle?" he called. She floated out of her toilet stall. "Mrytle, I keep hearing a big, hissing thing. Have you seen it?"
"No. I haven't seen anything since the big, yellow eyes that stunned me."
Draco stiffened, staring at her. "How did you die, Myrtle?"
"You're an icky boy," she sneered.
"If we can find this creature, no one else has to get hurt," Ron said quietly. "We want to make sure no one else gets hurt like you did."
She looked at them then at Harry. "I was paralyzed. I looked into the yellow eyes and I was gone. Why is it important?"
"I think the hissing is the same thing," Harry said. "Do you know if there's a way into the Chamber of Secrets?"
"No." She beamed. "You might ask that icky Baron. He might know."
"Thank you, Myrtle." They headed off, Draco heading to Slytherin territory. "Baron?" Draco called once he got near the door. The ghost came floating out of the house to sneer at him. "May we ask you a question?" he asked politely.
"You may try, I may ignore you," he said dryly.
"Do you know where the entrance to the Chamber is?" Draco asked.
The Baron looked at them. "Why would I tell you?"
"So no more students have to get petrified," Harry asked. "I've been hearing it saying it was free. Is it a basilisk?"
"Yes, it is." He stared at him. "You can speak to it?" Harry nodded. "Who are you?"
"Harry Potter, sir. Unfortunate mate to Draco."
"I heard about that." He smirked at Malfoy. "You need to learn how to calm and soothe a mate, boy."
"We're too young for that," he admitted dryly. He smirked back. The Baron glared. "Some day but we are only second years."
"What can second years do against such a noble creature?"
"We can get people down there to handle it," Harry said. "I don't want to handle it."
"That means you're wiser than Severus believes." He looked at him. "The entrance is in that irritating girl chit's bathroom." He disappeared.
They jogged back to the bathroom. "Mrytle, the entry's in here," Ron called. "Any idea?"
She came out with a splash from the toilet, looking at him. "I was in there when I died. I didn't see where it came from." She sniffled. "I didn't want to die!" she wailed.
"No one wanted you to die, Myrtle," Harry said. She sniffled, staring at him. "I'm sure many people missed you afterward." She smiled at him and disappeared back into her toilet.
"Say something in snake," Draco said. "Try 'open' or something."
Harry nodded. "Open," he called in a hiss. A sink did. "Wicked."
"Very," Ron said, staring. "Professor!" he called. Snape came jogging in. "The Chamber. It's a basilisk."
"It's open, sir. Let us know if you wanted me to close it." They fled.
Snape glared at their backs. "Cowards."
"Not hardly," Draco called. "It's called having sense. Thankfully they can suck off mine."
Snape sneered, calling the Headmaster down. He brought a sword. "The boys found the opening."
"That's marvelous." They went down to deal with the creature. Snape was staring around. "We really need someone who is better equipped to handle this."
Snape sighed and took his wand out. "We're wizards, Dumbeldore." He walked off. He heard a slither and glanced at the shadows on the ground. He saw it moving closer and it hissed at him. He cast a cutting hex at it, making it move. He ducked a strike and Dumbledore cast a hex at it. Fawkes the phoenix showed up to help them, going for the giant snake's eyes. Snape hexed the thing again. A fire hex. Nothing. They cast at the same time. Nothing. Snape pulled out a heavier hex and cut the head off. It flopped down and twitched. Snape panted, looking at the headmaster. "How many more might there be?"
"I have no idea." He straightened up, looking at his phoenix. "Are you all right, Fawkes?" She cooed at them. He saw his potions master's covetous look. "I don't care what you do with it, Severus. How did we find it?"
"The Potter boy opened it." He weathered the disgusted look. "I need to gather some of my advanced students." He found a portrait and got one of the figures in it to go to Slytherin. They came down with collection kits and extra jars. They would be mining parts and venom for weeks to come.
Dumbledore shuddered and left.
Myrtle floated out to look at the headmaster. "Did the icky boys help you get the mean creature that killed me?"
"Yes they did," he promised with a smile. She was one of the more volatile ghosts in the castle. "The basilisk is dead." She squealed and dived into her toilet, splashing him with water. He wiped himself off as he went back to his office. He would ask later how the Potter boy had opened the portal. When all the teachers couldn't, how had a student?
Snape looked at his pain in the ass students. "Mr. Potter, thank you for that revealing help last night," he hissed, standing in front of their table. "It was most fruitful and led to many hours of necessary collections."
"I'm glad it's not roaming around petrifying people," Harry said quietly.
"You're mixing backwards?"
Ron looked at his then at him. "We are?"
Draco looked and nodded. "Yes. It should be a different color." The boy sighed and tried again. Draco helped this time. They really were pitiful in this class. Snape walked off smirking in pleasure.
"I'm never going to get this," Ron sighed, putting down his knife.
"You still have to pass it anyway," Draco said. He showed him, again, what he should be doing. Ron was getting frustrated though so he left him alone to fail if he was going to.
Harry looked at Ron. "We can't be great at everything, Ron. We're good in other areas."
Ron nodded. "We are." They did as good as they could but it was still mostly wrong from comparing theirs to Draco's. Ron and Harry shared a look at his smug look. They shook their heads and handed it in before going to their next class. Transfiguration, and they were still struggling in here too. "Maybe our brains don't work right," Ron muttered when he still couldn't get it.
"Yours may be because of your wand," Draco said quietly. "It wasn't fit to you so it won't work as well." Ron looked at him. Draco nodded. "Honestly."
Ron huffed. "It's not my fault."
"We know," Harry assured him. Ron relaxed again. "We'll figure it out, like always." Hermione turned to look at them and instructed them quietly. They followed along and it was easier than the teacher's version.
Draco sighed, looking at them, showing them how to do it again. Ron got it and beamed at them. Harry still wasn't. Harry was staring out into space. Draco mentally nudged him. Harry blinked and looked at him, turning pale. "Go vomit outside," he said quietly. Harry ran for it. They had to follow and Hermione followed them. Draco looked at Ron. "If they dosed him again, I'm going to eviscerate."
"You think we'd get away with it?" Ron asked. "Because I don't want another bout of detoxing."
"Honestly!" Hermione complained. "Of course they didn't! Everyone knows he's allergic." She got the nurse for him. She shooed her back to class, making her pout, but she could tell the professor. She'd hopefully stop whoever had done it this time.
Madam Pomfrey walked up to the table, looking at Professor Snape. "Did you try to read Mr. Potter's mind earlier?"
"Someone using a legimens spell tried to get into his mind and it went back to the stunned state to protect itself. You need to work on his shields again." She went to her seat so she could eat dinner.
"I shall," he decided. He sipped his water and finished up, going up to the infirmary. "Boys."
"Not our fault," Ron and Draco said in unison then glared at each other.
"Enough," Snape ordered. He looked at the third boy. "Mr. Potter, who was trying to get into your mind this time?"
Harry shuddered. "No idea. It didn't feel like a threat but I don't know. It didn't feel emotional or anything like angry. All I knew was a throbbing headache."
"You need to work more seriously on your shielding, Mr. Potter. That way no one could get into your mind." He stared the boy down, casting the spell himself. He grimaced and canceled it, looking at him. "I'll talk with him myself."
"If it's the headmaster again, can you let my Mum yell?" Ron asked with a grin. "Her letter this morning complained that she hasn't gotten to. Dad's been keeping her at home."
"I may be able to do such to assault our eardrums once I'm safely out of hearing distance," he said sourly, giving the boy a dirty look. He got grinned back at. He walked off shaking his head.
"Next time, tell the nurse that you get goofy on calming potions," Draco sighed. Ron cackled. "Add demented as well if you wouldn't mind." He got back to his studying. Something really had to be done. Even if he had to forcibly put a shield around Potter himself. It'd save all their sanity so he might just have to do that. He checked, his external shield was on. Ron's was on. Harry's.... "Madame, where is his shielding necklace?" he asked the nurse. She got it and had Harry put it on. Draco sighed and smiled. "Thank you. Much less mental swearing so I can study now." He went back to it.
Ron glared at him. "Why do I have to listen to you going over theory?" he complained.
"Because you're not studying." He turned the page. Hermione walked in looking pissed. "Bad dinner?" he asked dryly.
"No." She looked at Ron and Harry. "What, exactly, are we going to do about this situation?" she demanded.
"What situation?" Ron asked.
"This... bond," she sneered, waving a hand.
Ron and Harry stared at her. Draco let the higher power deal with it. "She had gotten to acceptance the first day," he told the nurse. She checked the girl and called someone to come help her with the memory charms. Draco shook his head. He'd hate to be whoever had done that. Especially if her parents were as loud as Weasley's. He closed the curtains slightly when Molly Weasley came stomping in.
"Ronald," she said firmly.
"Someone tried to get into Harry's mind, Mum, and it knocked him sick again."
She pursed her lips. "Who would do such a thing?"
"We don't know, but Snape might," Harry offered. "I'm better, they're just being cautious since I threw up earlier."
She hummed and came over to check him over. "Poppy!" she called. She came hurrying over. She did the charm again, showing her. She growled and did the more advanced version, which showed nothing was wrong. The simpler one showed more. "Who?"
"I have no earthly idea," she admitted. "Though I have been wondering why Mr. Malfoy was so courteous."
Draco smirked at her. "Upon my marriage, with me being the last heir, all the family is now mine." He went back to his reading. "At least until I have an adult child that is married off."
"We don't have a problem like that, right?" Ron asked his mother.
"No, we don't," she admitted. "It was probably so the prior heads of the family wouldn't take out any heirs."
Draco snorted. "A few might have but it was more to protect it if the heir was female." He smirked evilly at her. "You know how little the law likes strong females."
"Yes, I'm well aware fo that problem," she agreed. She grimaced at the nurse, who went to get something and make Harry take it. Ron and Draco both looked disgusted so she got them water. Harry couldn't drink any for a few hours but they could since it wouldn't do more than pass the taste across.
"Can't I even have a piece of candy?" Harry complained, trying to get the taste out of his mouth.
"Not for thirty minutes or you'll have to take it again," she said cheerfully, going to make that note in her file on the trio.
Molly sat between her boys and calmed herself as she made sure her youngest son was still all right. Because he hadn't even written her back yet.
The time came for school to end and the boys were still trying to fight things. Everyone was certain that one of the trio wasn't going to be coming back from their summer vacations but the betting had it being Ron for some reason. The trio had decided to be disgruntled in public, since they each had their reasons for wanting to get out of England for the summer. They were on the train back and Hermione was going over the different types of sunscreens available for Draco, who was severely disgruntled that he couldn't just take a sunscreen potion and be done with it. He was a wizard! Why did he have to use a muggle one.
Ron looked at him. "She has a point. The muggle ones protect better and keep you from getting as dark too. Plus they make some that're stronger than the potion. Mum uses one when she's gardening."
Draco grimaced. "But we're wizards."
"Then strengthen one this summer," Hermione said cheerfully. She loved to tweak Draco on muggle things that were better. "If you use the SPF 50 you'll definitely not burn and it comes in formulas so you can't sweat it off."
Draco shook his head. "I'll barely consider that option later."
"Fine. I'll send some down in a few days." She beamed at Harry and Ron. "Are you excited?"
"Belize is a pretty country according to the books you found us," Ron said to make her happy. He just wanted out of the house full of relatives. Draco wanted out of his house for the summer too, especially away from any fits his mother might throw. Harry was excited because it was his family's home and he wanted to see it. And hey, no being the house elf this time. Draco shot him a dirty look for that thought and he grinned back. They all smirked at Hermione, who huffed.
"Everyone hates it when you three talk silently."
"Yay," Ron said sarcastically.
"You're picking up bad habits, Ron," she chided.
He stared at her. "I got it from Bill," he complained. "He's enough bad influence!"
She rolled her eyes. "If you say so."
"This means you can go spend time with Ginny this summer," Harry offered.
"I probably will if my parents don't have a long vacation from work planned." She smiled and they smirked back. "We usually spend a few weeks in Southern France on the beach and the like." She pushed her hair back. "I need to braid this mess." Draco swished his wand and did it for her. "No underage magic," she chided.
He snickered. "Do you honestly think my wand has that stupid tracking charm on it, Granger?" he asked dryly. "My father would be livid if I couldn't study." She slumped. "It's so people like you don't expose magic mostly."
"Whatever." She looked at Ron. Who shrugged. "Is yours?"
"Dad said it's on there and he'd be hellishly pissed if we broke the law and removed it. Since wands are able to be searched for no reason."
Draco shrugged. "What'll they do? Snap it? I can pass my OWL's in enough subjects already, Weasley. Plus we're going to a place that has no underage laws."
"Then maybe I'll learn some things this summer from the homework."
"Doubt it," Harry said dryly.
Draco nodded. "They're mostly to keep you thinking and from losing everything."
"I find some of them are mind-engaging if you dig into the topic, and the teachers looked impressed when I gave over last summer's homework."
"Yes, we heard Professor Snape had to take four days to grade yours," Draco said dryly. "That's why your class lost close to a hundred points that first day back." She slumped. "Keep it at a reasonable level, Granger. You don't have to know *everything* yet." She glared but he shrugged. "It's the truth." She huffed and left to find Neville and the other Gryffs. Ron and Harry stared at him. "Honestly, he did swear."
"Her one for Flitwick was longer," Harry admitted. "She was proofreading it on the way up. It was three scrolls." Draco shuddered. "Transfiguration was two and a half feet longer than the requested length."
"Snape made a firm length request this time," Draco reminded them. "I'd do that length exactly." They both nodded they had heard that. "Did you get an extra one from him? I got one on local flora and fauna that may be useable in a potion."
"He knows we don't know potions or plants," Ron pointed out. "Why would he? Maybe Neville, he likes plants."
"If I find some fantastic plants, I'm sending him some cuttings," Harry told him.
"Brilliant and I'm sure he'd love them," Ron agreed cheerfully. "Hermione might too."
"Maybe. Especially if they're flowers. Girls seem to like flowers for some reason."
"Most do," Draco agreed. "I'll send some to my mother if we find any." They settled in to read or think, whichever was their way of doing things on long trips. Ron eventually gave up and napped. Draco slid into one himself after an hour. Harry smirked but shook his head, staring out the window at the passing countryside. He hoped the Headmaster had sent on the letter he had promised to send off. If not, Harry had sent his own secretly with a school owl to one of the house's muggleborn's mothers so she could post it for him. Including money for the stamp. That way no one would yell or be making a scene at the train station. He hoped. Then again, Lucius was showing up to make sure they got off all right. It was strange to think that he could rely on Lucius Malfoy for anything beyond trouble but apparently he wasn't so bad when it endangered Draco.
Harry walked off the train and grabbed a trolley for his bag and owl, letting Ron put his on there as well. Molly was sniffling and giving him pitiful looks so he went to get a hug. She hugged Harry and Draco too, who looked startled but she had accepted he was an in-law, finally. Harry followed Draco to Lucius, who was letting his son hide from more hugging with a fondly tolerant smirk for his boy. "Mr. Malfoy, are we leaving from here?"
"No, from the bank," he admitted. "I'm to take you there." They all nodded. Ron jogged over to get away from Molly's fussing and almost sobbing. "Are we ready?"
"Yes, Father," Draco said, checking their things. They followed him out. Draco spotted the muggle first. "Potter, you sent that letter, right?"
"Yes, and the headmaster supposedly sent one as well," Harry said, pausing by his aunt. "Aunt Petunia, didn't you get the letter?"
"You're gay?" she hissed, looking disgusted.
"No, a teacher forced us," he corrected. She held up the letter that was clearly from Dumbledore. He shook his head when he read it. "No. The teacher put them on us against our will." He pointed. "This is Mr. Malfoy, his son's also affected, and you've met Ron," he said with a slight point at him.
She sneered at Malfoy, who sneered back. "The boys had no say and we have been trying to break this horrible fate. After all, they are not the spouses I would want for my only heir. Especially not your nephew with having been raised in your world." She backed down at that. "At least there will be proper heirs from them some year. They have agreed to let my son have the one he needs for the family's titles."
"You're titled?" she demanded.
"Yes, we are," he said smugly with an evil look over her clothes. "Thankfully Mr. Potter comes from a good enough family, even if it isn't purebred on his mother's side, and Mr. Weasley is purebred but not from a good enough family."
"Oi," Ron complained.
"Hush," Draco said, giving him a pointed look.
Harry grimaced at him. "My father pranked you too, didn't he?" he asked dryly.
Lucius smirked at him. "You have very little fear left in you, Mr. Potter. We'll have to fix that."
"Sure, keep the Dark Lord away and I'll be happy and normal."
Lucius snorted. "The Dark Lord gets what he wants, though he's not here presently." He looked at Petunia, who looked pale. "Thankfully those blood wards protected you when he was younger." She fled. He sniffed. "Weak willed. Her husband must have no strength."
"He's hugely fat," Draco told him. "And stupid. I've seen him from Harry's memories."
Harry gave him a dirty look. "He's biased, not stupid. Like those racists you see sometimes in the news for torture and things." He gave Lucius a pointed look at that.
Lucius gave him an evil look back. "The wizarding world is much better. We've mostly dealt with those."
"By marking them," Ron said.
Lucius glared. "I would be civil, Mr. Weasley."
"I am being civil, Mr. Malfoy. No one I personally know has a mark that I've seen."
Lucius smirked at him. "You two really are catty and evil at times. Do not teach my son such things." He walked off, expecting them to follow. They did but were shaking their heads. It was good the Potter boy could stand up for himself. That Weasley was a rabid supporter was nice he supposed but he would not let them attack him again. At least not publically. That was very rude of the boy. They ran into the aunt and the uncle as well outside. Clearly his son had learned understatement somewhere.
Harry walked up to them. "What I wrote is what happened. The headmaster has decided to blame me for not being able to beat a teacher off assaulting me." His uncle went puce in the face. "Since we can't be that far apart, we're going to a family home. That way no one has to worry." He stared at them. "The blood wards should hold. There shouldn't be a need to worry anyway but they should hold. Have a nice summer." He walked off to the waiting car. Lucius was staring at him. Behind him, his uncle exploded. Harry didn't look back, just got into the car. Ron gave him a shoulder-nudge. "I can't believe the Headmaster told them I did this on purpose."
"I can," Draco admitted. "He thinks it's some grand plot to get your own way about things."
Harry looked at him. "If it was about that, I'd have moved." Ron grinned at him for that. Lucius got in after saying a quiet word to his huffy uncle, which had pissed him off more. Lucius closed the door and they took off. "Do you have any idea why he thinks we did this to ourselves?"
"No, I do not," he admitted. "Mr. Weasley, that was rude."
Ron looked at him. "I did cover for anyone who might have one around us."
"Yes, that saved you from being cursed." Ron nodded his apology. "Thank you. Mr. Potter, you did try but I have no idea how your mother came from the same stock as that...woman."
Harry smirked. "Me either half the time. Thankfully I don't have her neck." Draco burst out laughing. "Honestly!"
"You do look quite a bit like your father," Lucius agreed. "Thankfully." Harry smirked at that. "Did your father ever meet them?"
"You ask like anyone's told me anything about my parents," Harry said quietly. "They told me for years that they had died in a car crash."
Lucius shuddered. "No. That was not what happened." He grimaced. "Albus really must be straightened out."
"If I had been forced to go with them, they probably would've killed me," Harry said quietly. "They really don't like gay people."
"Happy people?" Ron asked, looking confused.
"In the modern term, gay people are those who fancy their own kind," Harry told him. "Ponces, fancy men...."
"Oh, them. Eeh. Not much I understand about that myself."
"Hopefully you'll learn to enjoy your marriage bed when you're of age," Lucius said dryly, making Ron blush. "Then you'll understand it quite well."
"Eurgh," Ron complained. "It's not like that. It's not like I *chose* to get married to your son."
Draco looked at him. "What's wrong with me?"
"You're a prat," Ron said firmly. "I don't want to shag you, ever, no matter what that spells want us to do. Not unless you suddenly grow breasts."
"There are potions to do that," Lucius said dryly. "But it would be applicable in both directions if that should happen."
"And anything you give to one of us, goes to the others," Harry reminded him. "I will kill you both if you give me breasts." They shuddered and nodded. Lucius burst out laughing. "I will."
"I'm sure you would, Mr. Potter."
"You sound like Professor Snape," Harry told him. "Please don't. He gives me headaches."
"You need to work on your shields this summer," Lucius said. "I've sent books down on the subject and a few more for your education, Draco. Plus the last few summers' worth for theirs." Draco nodded. Ron sulked. "I know your parents would like your grades to improve, Mr. Weasley."
"Mum didn't say anything."
"She did to me." Ron slumped farther. They pulled up in front of the Leaky Cauldron and got out, letting the driver get the bags/owls/Draco's second bag that Lucius had brought for him. They went to straight though to the bank. Bill and a few goblins were waiting. "Are things set up?"
"They're just fine," Bill assured him with a smile. "Harry, Ron, do you two need to do a bit of shopping?"
"Do not," Lucius warned his son. "I did some for you with your mother."
"Thank you, Father," Draco said meekly.
"We're by a town, right?" Harry asked. Bill and Lucius both nodded. "Will we get to explore there?"
"It's a mixed town," Bill admitted. Lucius nodded it was fine with him. "I don't see as that'd be a problem."
"Then I still have some of the last I took out," Harry offered.
"You have a monthly allowance. Have you not been getting it, Mr. Potter?" the goblin beside Bill asked.
"He hasn't gotten anything from anyone really," Ron admitted. "I didn't get a letter from you either, Bill, if you sent one."
"I've sent four or five. I was wondering why I hadn't heard anything from you three." He smirked. "We'll figure that out. When I find the allowance, I'll send it to you, Harry."
"Um, Hogsmede papers?" Draco asked. "If they can't go, I can't for obvious reasons."
"Signed," Bill assured him. "I am Harry's legal guardian. Even Dumbledore can't protest that." He patted the boys on the head. "Let's get you sent on. That rabid little house elf is down there too, Harry. I couldn't stop him." Harry grinned, he liked Dobby. Now.
"The guardian house elf is named Terra. The cooking and cleaning elf is named Dipsy," Lucius told them.
"Dipsy makes good cookies," Draco said, sounding pleased.
TBC in part 2
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