Year Five: The Year That Things Start to Ease Off

"Mr. Menace, I mean Mr. Birmingham," McGonagall yelled down the hallways.

Alex stuck his head out of a room down the hallway.  "Me?" he asked innocently.  "I'm being good."

"Then why is Mr. Malfoy green with silver polka dots?" she asked, looking really frustrated.  "And why can't I change him back!"

"Um, wasn't my doing, and I'm betting he did it with that experimental potion he was working on?" he offered sheepishly.  "It wasn't me, Professor."  He ducked back into the room he was in detention in, snickering a bit.  He bet Draco looked very cute.

"I'll get you for this," Draco snarled from the doorway.

Alex looked at him and burst out laughing.  Draco was the perfect Slytherin colors.  "Wasn't me," he gasped.  "Cute look, dear."

"If you didn't do it, I'll make sure you'll get whoever did," he sneered, stomping off.  He heard a few more laughs and turned to glare at a few younger Slytherins who were coming in from their own detentions.  "Do you know who did this to me?" he demanded.  They all grinned and shook their heads before running off.  His snarl turned into more of a growl.  "I will kill someone this time," he vowed, heading down to the Potions lab.  He slammed open the door. "Do you see what someone did to me!" he yelled, slamming the door shut behind him.

Professor Snape looked at him, blinking a few times.  "I don't care what color you are, you may not damage my doorway that way, Mr. Malfoy.  Twenty points from Slytherin for doing such damage and screaming at me."  He looked the boy over again.  "Have you talked to Professor McGonagall and your mate?"

"Alex swears he didn't do it and McGonagall can't change me back!" he complained.

"You can lose more," he offered calmly.

"Bugger the house!  Someone did this to me and no one can bloody well fix it!"

Snape looked at his future son-in-law and sighed, getting up to mix him something to end all the spells on him.  He handed it over and Draco gulped it, grimacing and shuddering.  Nothing happened to the coloring but....  Draco's face suddenly changed, becoming as happy as Hufflepuff in a field of flowers.  He even sighed happily.  "What happened to you?"  He checked the potion, it was correct.

"I don't know.  Maybe my daddy did it," he said with a bright grin.  He looked at his skin and whimpered.  "I look *horrible*!"  He ran out of the room, heading for his bedroom to hide.

Harry and Ron both looked up at the streaking green blur, then at each other.  "Alexander?" Ron suggested.

"Swears up and down he didn't do it," Harry assured him.  He got up and went to find him anyway, finding him still in History class.  "Um, Professor Binns, I kinda need Alexander for a moment.  Draco just ran past us crying?"

"Crying?  Draco Malfoy?" Alex asked, looking at them.  "Why?  What did you do to him this time, Harry?"

"Go," the ghostly professor said tolerantly.  He shook his head and took the paper Alex held out, then watched him leave. "What's going on now?" he complained as he went down to see Snape.  "What happened to Mr. Malfoy?"

"I mixed him a potion to remove all spells on him and he turned into a crying, withering Hufflepuff."

The ghost looked at him.  "Did you make your first mistake in twenty years?"  Snape glared at him.  "I had hopes."

Alex stomped in and slammed the door shut behind him, glaring at his father.  "What did you give him!"  Snape handed over the book so he looked at it, then at him.  "So are there more layers?  Because otherwise you fucked up somewhere, dad."

"Son, I'm going to beat you."

"In what?  Making Draco sob?"  He handed the book back, then snatched it back and headed back to the dorm, going to hand it to Granger.  "Here," he said, handing it to her.  Then he grabbed her by the arm and drug her off.  "Dad made it, it turned Draco into a girl and I can't stand him now. Therefore you're going to fix it."

"Could it have something to do with where you turned him green?" she suggested as she was drug along.  She shut up at the glare he sent her way.  "We all know it was you."

"I didn't turn him funny colored," he shouted.  "It wasn't me!  Now get your ass in there and fix it, Granger!  I *know* who brewed that potion."  She blushed and headed in to fix this.  He glared at her back until someone tapped on his shoulder.  He glared at McGonagall, making her give him her best 'patient teacher' look.  "Weasley."


"Ginny," he sneered.

"Leave her to me then, Alexander."  She patted him on the cheek.  "Go sit with Draco.  He probably needs some support."

"I can't, he's so girl like I'm sickened," he sneered, then shuddered.  "I gave Granger the potion since it said it would only remove a single layer of spells on him.  I figured it had to be that and Dad's lacking common sense today."  He stomped off, going back to Gryffindor, but she froze him and floated him back to his room, letting him silently rant as a statue in the corner.

"I said I'd deal with her, Alexander, and I meant it," she ordered, staring his frozen self down.  "You leave those girls to me."  She looked at Ron.  "Expect to see your mother soon."  She walked out, looking very calm and sedate.

"My sister?" Ron asked, looking really confused.  "Ginny did...that?"

Harry unfroze Alex, giving him the 'expectant' look.  "Who did it?"

"All I know is that Ginny's behind the color change.  Draco's ...crying thanks to my father.  Which is why Granger is bothering him."  He went to check on her, catching her mid- sentence telling Draco that he was never going to get Alexander for himself, that he had a much brighter future.  "And you're now on my shit list, Granger," he said dryly.  "Ron?  Harry?  She's your friend?"  They got up and came in to bind her, Ron going to get someone in the upper years to brew the potion while Alex kept watch.  Snape came back with the potion already mixed up.  "Will that take off more layers?"

"No, this one will take *all* spells off him.  We'll have to have Narcissa up to reapply the protective spells."  He looked at the boy, then at the frozen girl being leaned in a chair.  "She did what?"

"Told Draco he wasn't going to have me, that I have a brighter future producing heirs."

"It's not true!" Draco shouted. "She's not right!"

"No, she's not right," Alex assured him, sitting down next to him to cuddle him.  "Here, let Dad give you something to fix that horrible color."

"It's my house colors," he protested.

"Yes, love, but it doesn't really go with your eyes at the moment.  They're much too dark a gray for that shade of green," Alex soothed, stroking his back.  Draco nodded and took the potion, grimacing and shuddering.  "I know.  Now just rest while it works, Draco."  He got him lying down and took off his shoes for him.  Draco went rigid then relaxed.  "Are you back to being your snarly, mean self?" he teased, smiling at his friend.

"I loathe you, Alex."

"I didn't do it."

"Then who did?"

"Weasley, the female one."  Draco glared at Snape, who shrugged.  Alex tipped his face back.  "I heard her bragging to Lovegood after you changed.  They had detention with me."

"I'll kill them."

"McGonagall went after her.  Granger's in the other room if you wanted to hex her," he offered with a mean grin.

"Oh, she's going to get it," Draco swore, glaring at him.  "You really didn't?"  Alex shook his head.  "And you couldn't comfort me?"

"Draco, I nearly had a girl flashback," he said seriously.  "You were that bad."  Draco shuddered so he curled up next to him.  "Shh, it's all right.  You're back to being all male and all hot again," he soothed.  "You're even mostly normal colored, just a bit funny as an undertone."

Snape rolled his eyes.  "By morning he'll be back to normal.  Mr. Malfoy, have your mother reapply any defensive charms on you as soon as possible."  He walked out, letting McGonagall and the girl she was dragging in.  "He said Miss Lovegood may be involved as well," he told her.  "Miss Granger was thoughtfully telling my son-in-law how Alexander was worth so much more than him and how he was going to start breeding an heir so Mr. Malfoy was going to be dumped."

"He was in a very fragile mental state!" McGonagall complained.

"Exactly.  Should I get Miss Lovegood?"

"Please," she said with a mean smirk.  "To my office, Severus.  Did Miss Parkinson have anything to do with this?  Ginny was figuring up something about how she owed her some money."

"I have no idea.  I'll be finding that out," he assured her, heading out to get Miss Lovegood and drag her there by the hair if necessary.  Unfortunately it wasn't, and then he went to get Miss Parkinson and have another... discussion with her.

Female screams were heard all around the castle for a few more hours. From multiple sources.


Draco glared at their suitemate the next morning. "Did you help her, Weasley?" he demanded.

Ron shook his head slowly. "Not a bit.  I've decided you're fairly tolerable as long as Alex has you well in hand," he said with a small smirk.  "You're always so much nicer after you've curled up with him all night."

Draco sneered.  "I doubt it's anything to do with sex."

"You sure about that?  If he were mine I'd have bedded him each and every night."

Draco smirked a bit.  "Who says I haven't?  That doesn't have anything to do with the nights I spend sleeping with him."

"Hmm, then he must be cuddly.  Always a nice thing.  Anyway, Ginny did it all on her own.  McGonagall said she caught Ginny outlining what she'd do with the money Pansy owed her."  He smirked a bit.  "Lovegood got it too by the discussion they had last night while you were resting."  He looked him over.  "You're normal colored at least.  Back to being the bitchy Draco Malfoy?"

"Always," he snarled, heading out to talk with Pansy himself.  She wasn't at breakfast so he ate quickly and headed up to the infirmary, but she was locked in a room in there.  It was marked 'demonic possession' on the sign.  Which he doubted.  No demon would want Pansy Parkinson.  She was too mean already.  He stomped off, going to find the other three tormentors.  They were also missing.  He glared at McGonagall since he had her first today.  "Where might they be?"

"They might be in the Ministry getting unpossessed," she told him.  "I can't say for sure."  She smiled slightly at him.  "Do you feel better this morning?"

"Not until I kick their bloody arses, woman."

She laughed. "I believe Mr. Birmingham has stated a prior claim for them touching you," she told him.  "Now, take your seat, Mr. Malfoy."  He stomped back there, sitting down and smouldering at the chalkboard through the whole class.  She's never tell him but he looked like an angry elf when he pursed his lips that way.  He must be thinking up something truly evil to restart the old house wars.


Alex eavesdropped on his former roommates as they sat around the main courtyard during their afternoon break the next day, smirking a bit at what he was finding out.

"You know a relationship between houses never works," Justin Felch-Finchly complained.   "I don't even know why I tried with her."

"They can work," Dean Thomas corrected. "Look at Harry. He's dating an auror and she was a Slytherin by what I heard and saw when I looked her up to see what she looked like."  He leaned closer.  "Besides, look at Alexander and Malfoy.  They're separate houses. They seem to be okay together.  No major fights in public that we've seen."

"Alexander might as well be one of them," Seamus complained as he joined them.  "Of course they get along.  They used to all play together in some rich kid primary school with Crabbe and Goyle."  He shook his head.  "I agree with Justin, it doesn't work, Dean."

"Well, there's still Harry and what's-her-name the auror."

"Yeah, but he's been warped by the Slytherins he's staying with," Seamus reminded him.   "He even stuck up for Malfoy against Ginny and Hermione."

"Well, he wouldn't be warped if we hadn't cast him aside," Dean said angrily.

"It wasn't us, mate, it was Percy who forced the vote and made them all leave. It's warped them all," Seamus reminded him. "Even Ron didn't stick up for his sister.  The twins did."

"They probably gave her the stuff she used," Justin said dryly.   He glanced around and leaned closer since he saw Alexander sitting nearby.  "What was their problem with them this time anyway?  Was Malfoy and his ilk bothering them?"

"Granger's back on her 'fixing' and 'healing' kick again," Seamus snorted, shaking his head.  "She's gone totally nuts to fix Alexander again. She wouldn't listen to anyone, not even the twins or their mother when they tried to tell her to stop it."

"I think she just likes the poof," Dean said bitterly.  "Why can't girls like the straight blokes?"

"Because you dress funny," Alex called, looking at them.  "You're right, she is trying to fix me again.  I'd never have her.  She's much too much like my Grams.  Her and Weasley both."  He stood up and came over.  "As for why we all get along so well?  I enforce a truce in the rooms.  Otherwise I get to hex you.  They all learned to talk things out before it became another screaming match that kept me up."  He looked at them.  "As for Ginny?  What's this I hear that Parkinson was paying her?"

Seamus swallowed. "You're going to hurt her, aren't you?"

"No, I want the root cause," he said with a comforting grin.  "I want the people at the top of the food chain of stupidity this time.  If it was Pansy, then that'd be her and her mother."

Dean shook his head.  "We don't know, Alexander.  You could ask Ron."

"He's forbidden us to speak about her.  He got to witness the unfortunate side effects the whatever-it-was they gave Draco.  Now, I'd *really* like to know," he offered with a grin.

Justin looked at him. "Promise you won't hurt us this year?"

"Have I yet?" Alex said dryly.  He shook his head. "I'll help you trim your hair so you can get a better date.  Abbott stares at you for some reason or another all the time."  Justin perked up at that.  "Now then?  Who?"

"Pansy," Seamus said.  "Think you could help me before the ball this year?"

"Sure," Alex agreed, smiling at him.  "Just her you think?"

"No, I think she's had some prompting but I'm not sure it's from her mum or not," Seamus told him.  "She's never said anything to *us* about it."

"Point," he said with a grin.  "Thank you, boys.  Feel free to come down and bug Harry and Ron all you want, especially if you're worried about them being so warped."  He grinned and spotted Millie, grabbing his bag so he could walk over there.  "Millie, I need advice on what to get Auntie Narcissa for the hols this year.  Walk with me for a few?" he asked.  She smiled and nodded, walking off with him.  "You think a pin?"

"I think she'd love anything you gave her, Alex."  She smiled at him.  She knew that look in his eyes and knew if she told him what he probably wanted to know she'd be rewarded instead of somehow included in the destruction.  She might even be protected when it went off.  "Yes, it was Pansy, no it wasn't her mother's doing, and no, she wasn't really possessed this morning.  Just claiming it. But try a traditional mother gift.  Something fun and irreverent.  She's been much happier since her late husband passed on."

He grinned at her.  "I adore you.  How goes the thing with the cheater?"

"I had mum put in a fidelity curse.  If he ever touches another girl or guy, even with a fingertip, I'll know.  He'll be one pitiful wizard by the time it's finished with him," she said with a mean smirk.  "I got help from Draco with writing it."

"He's good at that," he agreed, blowing a kiss.  "Thanks, Millie.  A charm box?"  She nodded so he grinned and headed off to his next class.  Fortunately it was Defense and he had it with the Slytherins.  He sat next to Draco. "You've got to help me shop for your mum this year, Draco.  Millie just gave me a very good idea. Do'ya think she'd like a charm box or a broach better?"

"Probably a charm box," he said after a moment's thought.  "We'll go in together if you want.  How is Millie?"

"Good.  She said Pansy's not really possessed and her mother's not been here this year."  Draco raised an eyebrow so he smirked and nodded since they were alone but for the teacher.  "She's being prodded but not by her mum."

"Really?" he asked with a smug look.  "What else did you find out?"

"Pansy did pay Weasley for the spell, the twins were involved, and we're horribly warping poor Harry and Ron, but I cleared that up and invited Dean and Seamus down to talk to the poor boys whenever they wanted to unwarp them."

Remus looked at them.  "Who's pushing Miss Parkinson?" he asked as he got up and shut the door, coming over to sit in front of them.  "Any ideas?"

"If it's not her mother, it's probably not my mother," Draco said firmly.  "She only wants to see me happier than she was."  He looked at Alex.  "Your top three usually include Dumbledore and Granger."

"Who was trying to 'heal' me again," Alex sneered.

"I'll have another talk with her, Alexander," Remus promised gently.

He grinned.  "Don't bother, she's been at the Ministry all morning.  They're probably talking her into forcing that stupid calming potion on me to make me go violent again."  Remus raised an eyebrow.  "Dumbledore tried that my first year.  Hence us being legal adults."

Remus stood up. "Let me pass this onto Sirius.  I think he can get Ron's father to look into that for you."  He smiled at them.  "Remember, some of us like you for the mean, sarcastic little bastard you are, Alexander."  He went to open the door since the bell was ringing and went to call Sirius from his office floo.  He smiled at his mate.  "Sirius.  Did you know Hermione's been at the Ministry all day because of that attack on Draco Malfoy?"

"I hadn't heard a thing about that," he admitted. "Is Alexander all right?  Our grandson is pretty neat and I like the kid."

"I think this is going to be a long chat.  There's a few things you hadn't heard.  Come up for dinner tonight."  He hung up and went to greet his class.  "You all know what day it is.  Quills and parchment only," he ordered calmly.  He used his wand to put the quiz on the board.  "Please use real sentences and try to get it closer to essay format this time, Mr. Birmingham."

"I tried last time. My thoughts were circling around.  Sorry, Professor."  He got to work on the first question.  It wasn't that hard, it was the ordering of his thoughts that was the problem.  His mind didn't seem to work in an 'essay' format.


Sirius came out of the main floo and smiled at Remus, hugging him.  "Come on, let's go eat and talk."  They both smiled at the headmaster as they passed him. "Just up for dinner, Headmaster."

"That's fine.  What is Mr. Birmingham accusing me of this year?"

Remus looked at him. "That depends.  Were you behind the bribing of Miss Parkinson and the funding of Miss Weasley's attack on Draco Malfoy?" he asked.  The headmaster looked stunned.

"I'd say that's a yes," Snape said from behind the couple.  He looked at the headmaster.  "Narcissa Malfoy is coming up for a moment to see her son, Headmaster.  She also said she'd be dropping in on you after dinner with her son and son-in-law."  He walked around the couple.  "I'll make sure dinner runs smoothly tonight."  He walked on, going to talk to McGonagall.

Remus tugged on Sirius' sleeve.  "Come on.  We've got a lot to discuss, including this year's holiday plans.  Alex wants to throw his party again this year."

"It was fun but he's at the age to go to the real balls now," Sirius noted as he followed him.  "We'll be talking, Albus."

"I had nothing to do with that," he called after him. "Make sure that boys know that."

"Tell it to Narcissa.  She'll reassure them.  They won't listen to us for that," Remus reminded him.  He walked Sirius up to his room and smiled at the nice dinner laid out for them.  "Ah, the twins.  They're trying to get back on my good side again."

"What did they do?" Sirius asked, sitting down when Remus gave him a gentle push in that direction.  "That bad?"

"Ginny did the actual pranking but they helped.  First they changed him so he was Slytherin green with silver dots.  Then Miss Lovegood helped her by layering on charms to change his moods.  He nearly drove Alexander off when Severus gave him a potion to end the spells on him and it turned him into a sobbing girl."  Sirius' mouth fell open.  "Then, when Alex grabbed Miss Granger to get her help in remaking the ending potion, she told Draco that he wasn't worthy, that Alex was going to be breeding for the family, and on and on while he was in a fragile mental state.  As we've found out, Miss Parkinson was paying Ginny.  Hermione did it for fun and because she's trying to fix Alexander again.  Plus Alex found out that her mother wasn't behind it, someone else was."

"Narci said something about that coming from within the school.  Some of the teachers wanting to break them up for being so very wrong and dating outside their houses.  Do you think Albus had a hand in it?"

"If he didn't have it directly he knew it was going on, Sirius.  Nothing gets past that man."

"Then what we need is a plan to get to the person behind this plan," Sirius decided.  Remus gave him a panicked look and he grinned.  "What those girls need is a female influence.  Someone who they'd never expect."

"Madam Sprout?" he asked, knowing what his friend was thinking from long association with his warped and dirty mind.

Sirius smiled.  "She's perfect.  Think we can convince her?"

"She adores Alexander. Ever since he saved her from the teacher-eating plant."  He smirked back.  "I'll talk with her tonight after you go back."

"Sure.  I plan on sitting behind Narci and cheering her on.  Now, let's eat.  Think it's clean?"

"It had better be or the twins know they'll suffer as only we can make them," he said with a fond grin.  Sirius laughed and pulled his wand to stop any charms, hexes, and/or potions.  After all, a prankster always wanted to be challenged and measure themselves against someone better.


Madam Sprout came out of the classroom she had been borrowing and smiled at Remus, hugging him gently.  "I enjoyed that," she said happily.  "I had forgotten what being so naughty felt like."  She pinched his cheek.  "Albus knew and allowed Professor Trellawany and Professor Vector to initiate their plan.  By the way, Miss Granger handed me this," she said, handing over a small vial.  "You might ask Severus what it was since she was supposed to dose his son with it."  She smiled again then strolled off, going to check on her plants.

Remus shivered.  The boy was right, she was scary when she wanted to be.  He went to find Snape, holding up the vial.  "Madam Sprout just got this off Miss Granger."


"The Ministry wanted your son dosed with it."  He handed it over, glaring at the student who had just gasped.  "Spread any of this around, young lady, and you will be in detention and the rest of the Defense tests for everyone will be true essay tests.  They will also know the cause."  She nodded, going back to her scrubbing tables.  He looked at Severus again, shrugging a bit.  "She got really scary.  All the girls ran out crying."  He smirked again.  "A certain set of professors were behind Miss Parkinson.  Vector and a certain seer."

Snape sneered.  "Oh, really?"  He nodded.  "Does Mrs. Malfoy know of this yet?"

"I just happened to run into Madam Sprout a moment ago.  I rather doubt it, but the person she had the chat with earlier did know about it in total, including the potion I suspect."  He grinned. "I'm off to grade the quizzes from earlier.  Do have a good night, Severus.  By the way, did you want to cover for me this month or not?"

"It doesn't really matter to me," he noted.  "Alexander thinks he wants to teach, let him."

"He's not ready to stand up in front of others yet," he told him.  "By the last month in school he will be," he decided happily.  "He's a brilliant student in his areas, Severus, you should be very proud."  Snape inclined his head at that.  "He even suggested using defensive herblogy, though he admitted he wasn't sure exactly *how* to use it against that creature."

Snape smirked a bit. "At least he's applying himself to something other than Mr. Malfoy."

"Oh, they had a mock duel the other day for the privilege of taking on Lockhart's picture."  He strolled off, leaving a happy father behind him, one who was happily scheming.  He was sure Sirius and Narcissa would both know within the hour, including what that interesting silver potion was.


Severus walked into his son's room, shaking him roughly, grabbing the wand when it came up in Draco's hand.  "Son."  Alex glared at him.  "We need to speak."  He nodded and got up with a moan of complaint, heading into the living room after his father, flopping down on a chair to face him.  "Miss Granger was given a potion to make you do what someone at the Ministry wanted."

Alex nodded, yawning a bit.  "Harry said she had one but he wasn't sure what it was.  What was it?" he asked once he was done.  His father handed him a copied section from a book.  He looked at it, then his father.  "You're kidding," he said flatly.  He shook his head.  "This should have done what?"

"Make you quite grouchy," Draco said as he came out.  He took the paper to look at, then at Snape.  "That's illegal, even by the Ministry."

"I know," he agreed.  "It's banned from all countries by international law."  He looked at his son.  "You have three options."

"Is there a counter potion?"  Snape nodded.  "Can I have it?"

"It could make you dreadfully ill. One of the ingredients is something that you're allergic to."  Alex groaned a bit, shifting position to pull Draco down to cuddle. "I'd be dosing you both in the morning in the infirmary.  The real options are to let the Ministry handle itself or not."

"Let," Draco said firmly.  "They can make their own people suffer *and* put them in prison for it."

Alex yawned again and put his head on Draco's shoulder, nodding a bit.  "I like that idea and I like both Tonks.  They're about the only good women I know.  How did you get the potion?"

"It seems Madam Sprout had a bit of a temper earlier," he told them.

Draco gave him a horrified look.  "She went off on them?"

"According to your defense teacher, it was quite a sight. All the girls ran crying for their lives."

"Hmm.  Maybe I won't have to torture them so much," Draco said dryly, patting Alex on the back when he heard the first snore.  "I agree with him, Severus.  Let one of the Tonks women handle that."

He nodded. "Very well then.  I'll be gone the rest of the night."  Draco nodded and his eyes drooped.  Severus watched as he fell asleep, calling a blanket out to tuck around them. Then he left, gathering the book and the potion.  He made a call first, a former Death Eater who hadn't been caught but was a reporter.  Rita Skeeter was most useful in this circumstance and she even met him at the entrance to Diagon while they waited on Tonks.  Tonks appeared, yawning and in flannel pajama bottoms and a t-shirt, with her hiking boots and wand in hand.  He held up the potion, making her pause.  "Someone at the Ministry gave this to Miss Granger to dose my son with," he said dryly.  He handed over the letter he had found on his desk from Miss Granger and Miss Weasley.  "From their own hand."

"What is it?"

"Banned by international law," Rita said smugly.  She handed over the book she had been browsing.  "I do so like Mr. Birmingham, he always makes *interesting* news."

"Reporting the truth this time?"

"Of course.  It's more than good for our sales this time."  She smiled at her and pulled out her special quik-quotes quill.  "Got a statement, Auror Tonks?"

"Someone's gonna pay," she noted dryly.  The quill took that down.  "Especially for doing this so late at night.  My boss is going to have a fit for being woken up. It's his anniversary."  She looked at Severus, holding up the book.  "May I?"  He inclined his head.  "Is there a counter, Professor?"

"There is but I'm worried about the side effects.  I'll be dosing *both* boys tomorrow."

"Dose Potter and Weasley too," Tonks ordered.  "Just in case someone gets a bright idea. How long does it last?"

"A week."

"Make two doses.  I should be able to arrest a lot of people and beat some sense into 'em by then," she said dryly, heading off with the book, the vial, and a very bad feeling about this.  And yes, her boss was unhappy when his house elf got him up.  So she presented him with the book. "I just got ambushed by Snape and Skeeter," she told him.  They both shuddered at that odd combination working together.  "I promised to beat someone for getting me up this early."

He read it, then looked at her. "That's illegal."  She handed it over.  "Who gave it to who?"

She opened the letter, then smirked and handed it over with a grin. "Miss Granger and Miss Weasley were trying to clear their conscience before Alex and them got 'em again."  He read it and shuddered so she got to chuckle evilly for a moment, she had been missing that recently.  "The professor said he'd dose both dark ones and I told him to dose Potter and Weasley in case someone got a bright light up their bum."

"That's an image I didn't need tonight, Tonks.  Go put this in the lockbox at the office," he ordered, handing the potion back.  "We'll have it destroyed tomorrow morning when I come in.  Write a report while you're in there and I'll let you nap in the break room for a bit tomorrow."  She nodded and headed off.  He sat on his stairs, holding his head.  This was going to make for some very unhappy Ministry people but some very strong newspaper sales.  Those two just seemed to go together for some reason.  He climbed up and went back to his wife, snuggling into her for comfort.  She was good to give it to him.


The four boys sat on their assigned beds the next morning, all yawning and unhappy.  Madam Pomfrey had already found the potion in Ron's system.  She was testing Harry's now. She nodded at Snape that it was present and tested the other two.  They tested clean so far.   She looked at him.  "What are we doing?"

"I'll give it to the boys who haven't had the potion.  If given afterwards it can cause painful and disfiguring seizures," he noted calmly.  "We'll have to quarantine the other two for the month it lasts just in case more aberrant behavior surfaces."

"A month!" Ron complained.  "Hermione's not even making our notes any more!  We can't pass like that, Professor!  My mum will kill us both if I can't pass some OWLs at least."

"Since it was partially her fault, she'll be supplying all your notes for free this year," Snape told him firmly.  "Poppy, call the other two boys."  She nodded, going to have them summoned by a house elf.  "If they don't have it, we might have to remove them until we're sure the potion is out of their systems," he told Draco.

"What happens if I'm allergic to the counter?" Alex asked.

"Then you'll have to protect yourself, son.  There's no way to tell what was programmed into their potion or the one that was intended for you."  He nodded, he accepted that and realized what it probably had been for.  "Would you rather we move you or them?"

"Moving them would be easier," Draco admitted as his friends walked in.  "We may be quarantined for a month thanks to the Ministry and their potions."

"What?" Greg demanded, stomping over.  "That's not fair!"

"No, but the potion is dangerous," Alex told him. "It's like Imperio in a bottle."  Greg paused, then shook his head and backed off.  "They wanted to dose me, gave some to Granger to do so.  They've already gotten Harry and Ron there."  Greg let out a small whimper.  "So get tested then we'll see if you get the antidote as well."  He looked at his father.  "We'll have to keep them.  Everyone knows they guard Draco and sometimes me.  They know they'd have to take them out unless they thought I'd be doing it to get Draco weaker."

Snape considered it.  "It may well be a moot point," he decided, seeing the look on Poppy's face.  "Them both?"  She nodded, looking quite mad at someone.  He was glad it wasn't him.  She was the scariest woman he had ever met.  "That's fine.  I wish we could tell what it was for."

"Halfrek!" Alex yelled.  The blonde demon appeared, blinking at him.  "They're trying to fuck with me majorly.  They've given every one of us but Draco and I a potion to control minds.  They tried with me.  Can you tell what it's for or what's it's to make them do?  I figured you could read intentions and things like that in people so maybe you can find commands that have been input into their heads."

"I can try, Alexander."  She smiled at him.  "That's a very wise question."

"I spent the summer being a wise ass, it must have transferred up somehow to my head," he offered with a small grin.

"Alex, it's too early for that," Draco complained, holding his head.  "He's allergic, Halfrek.  We're fairly certain it'll make him at least ill if he has to take the counter."

She nodded, going to test each boy, then sighing when she was done with Ron.  "They've all been made to attack Alex some night when he's having a bad time with his studies.  It's been worded so it could happen any time this year."  Ron went pale and shook, shaking his head.  She hugged him.  "It's not you, pumpkin. I'm sure it can be removed somehow."

"We'd have to find the maker of the potion and have them rescind the orders," Snape offered quietly.  She sighed and nodded.  "Can you tell?"

"That she's female and still under my aegis," she offered.

"Granger," Alex sneered.

"Who?" Halfrek asked.

"The bushy haired one," Ron said bitterly.  "She was to dose Alexander."

"To do what?" she asked, coming over to test him.  "Spike came back?" she demanded.  He nodded, grimacing a bit.  "Fine.  That's a brilliant idea, Alex, but you've got to be at least twenty-one, not twenty.  I'll make sure he knows it's the next year, not that year."  He smiled at her for that.  "Good boy.  You handled that very well."  She patted him on the cheek and looked at the adults.  "Who has the one he was supposed to get?"

"Tonks," Snape told her.  "Auror Tonks, the younger one."

"Ah.  I know Nymphadora," she said happily.  "Another woman I'm a big fan of. Alex, you know someone else who needs my help?"

"They gave Cicily back to her folks," he offered.

"I'll be heading there tonight," she promised with a bright smile.  "Thank you, dear."  She faded out.  "I'll be right back, Severus.  Wait before dosing him."

Madam Pomfrey cleared her throat.  "Cicily Jennis has been up here to be treated," she noted quietly.  "I did report the new bruises.  Someone may be watching them since she has a younger sister."  Snape nodded at that.  "Should I summon Miss Granger and Professor McGonagall?"

"Now," he agreed.  She nodded, going to send that summons.  The headmaster came with them.  She glared at him and he backed away from her.  "How dare you let them dose your students to harm others!" she shouted.  "Alexander is a perfectly nice little boy when he's left alone!  Even if he does have a bad sense of humor and tried to climb the outside of the astronomy tower this summer.  You're to leave him alone, Albus!"

"Someone was dosed?" he asked quietly.

"You knew they were!" she said firmly.  She glared at Miss Granger, who was cowering away from everyone in the room.  "Did you make that blasted potion?"  She shook her head.

"Did you have any part in making it, Miss Granger?" Snape demanded.  She shook her head quickly.  He pulled his wand.  "Legimens!" he cast, getting into his head.  He pulled out with a sneer. "The younger Fudge fancies himself in my job," he told Minerva.  McGonagall smirked back.  "He made it with his assistant.  She's only seventeen.  If he rescinds it, the others should be fine.  It was worded so they'll attack Alex and Draco sometime this year."

"Really?  Why?"

"To make everyone have a new dark lord to fight," Draco said simply.  He glared at Hermione.  "You're in so deep right now, I'd confess before you run out of time to do so."

"They just asked me questions," she defended.  "How close you were, whether or not you were still fighting.  That stuff!  I told them you were tolerant toward each other and hadn't sniped in a while but that you weren't really fighting thanks to Alexander.  He pushed me on that point repeatedly.  I'll put it into a pensieve if I must so you can watch and see what he learned."

"That would be a tolerable idea," the headmaster noted.  "Alexander, I had nothing to do with this.  I knew there was a minor plot to break you two up by two of the less tolerant teachers, I had no idea they were going to do something like that or that this plan was afoot.  I thought it better to let the teachers try because you two are strong enough to avoid it and it would keep them from harming other students."

"For some reason, I don't believe you," Alex noted coldly. "I don't know why.... oooh, maybe it's because you've been trying to harm me since the first day I got here and you tried to missort me," he finished with icy calm.  Halfrek came back and he hugged her.  "Did you find it?"

"I did," she admitted.  "He's dead.  He committed suicide after brewing it."  She pushed him back, smoothing down his hair with a sad smile.  "Yours was to use whatever darkest magics you knew to attack and defend against them," she said gently. She handed Snape a piece of parchment.  "I found that in his desk.  I thought it might be relevant."  She looked at McGonagall.  "You try so hard to protect them."

"I know," she sighed.  "Sometimes people seem to get in the way of it however."  She looked over as Remus came in.  "Are you all right?"

"I worried most of the night," he admitted, looking at the group.  "Is everyone all right?"

"No, they got everyone but Draco and Alexander with that potion so we'd attack him sometime this year," Harry told him. Remus muttered something that made the lights dim, making Ron one impressed young man.  "They're figuring out what to do with us now."

"I feel the need to kill," Alex offered.

"If you do, it proves their point, dear," Halfrek chided, smiling at him.  "Come now, let me read your mind to see any others who need me."  He nodded, dropping his shields.

"Alexander, even without the spell I can see the naked men in your head," Draco complained.

Halfek giggled. "Only you, sugar.  I can only see you."  She searched and pulled back, smiling at him. "Good observation.  I've already contacted someone about two of those and I'll check on that new first year.  I'm not sure if he was or not either."  She stroked his cheek.  "Remember, proving them right is a bad thing, baby.  Just relax and let the other adults deal with it this time.  This is the year for you to have fun and prank those twins until they plead for mercy."  She winked at Draco, then gave Alex a smug smirk.  "I'll talk to Spike later tonight, when he's awake."  She looked at McGonagall again.  "I charge you with watching over them, my dear.  I've always been impressed with how you've defended the students and made sure they were as safe as possible.  Let Severus be a worried father and the rest just panic."  She faded out, heading to find Spike and talk to him.  For some reason he was in Brazil.

Severus looked at her.  "I'll be helping."

"Of course!  A worried father makes sure there's no lack of protection."

"Oh, you'll have me too," Remus assured her.  "Sirius and I both like Alexander and Harry is ours.  Should I tell Molly?"

"Oh, dear, I hadn't even thought about that," she admitted, one hand drifting up to cover her throat.  "Severus, do you have any calming potions?"

"Not on hand," he admitted.  Poppy handed one to her.

"Thank you, dear."

Remus took it. "I'll give it to Sirius and Narcissa.  They're working together on this."  The teachers nodded.  "Can I help any other way?"

"I might need to go over the less offensive defense spells," Alex admitted. "I don't want to hurt them if they do it anyway."  Remus smiled and nodded.  "Thanks, Remus."

"Not a problem, Alexander.  Some year soon you'll be taking my spot so I can go back to lounging around Sirius' house."  He left, going to floo the house from his office.  By the time he came back, he had helped Sirius tie up Molly and force the potion on her before he told her.  Not that it had helped much but she hadn't destroyed the house - only the living room and the kitchen.  So it was working.


Alex smiled as Narciss stormed into their suite.  "Auntie Narcissa...."  She glared at him.  "Sorry, mum, can we please hold my party again this year?"

"Dear, you're old enough to come to mine," she said, giving him a hug.

"Yeah, but why would I want to?" he complained.  She frowned at him, looking a bit hurt.  "I don't want to go somewhere where I have to watch all sorts of het people plan who they're cheating with for the next year or those who're there to suck up for power, influence, and favors.  Besides, I look really terrible in dress robes."

"I'm sure Draco can help you with that," she said patiently. "That way he can show you off."

"But I already have Draco, that makes it a moot point for us to go," he offered. "We don't need to suck up to prospective and future spouses.  All I have to do is make sure he's got enough chocolates for the next month."

She smiled at him. "We'll see, Alexander.  I don't think anyone's asked so far."  She smiled at her son as he came in. "How are you?"

"Calmer since I can take the counter potion.  I wish Alexander could so we wouldn't have to worry so much."

"Draco, tell her we want to host my party this year," he begged.

He looked at his mother, then at his boyfriend.  "As much as I'd love to host our first event together, Alex, I hate disappointing her more.  Besides, with us there, mum can brag about how good a matchmaker she is and how special of a boy I am."  Alex gave him his most pitiful puppy eyed look.  "Don't do that," he moaned, flopping down.  "I hate it when you do that to me, Alex."

"I love you," he whimpered.

Narcissa felt her heart break.  "There really won't be anything for you to do, Alexander, but you could take him around for a few turns on the floor.  Show the other children how a real couple dances."

"Everyone says they don't want details about that," Alex told her, giving her the puppy eyes look.  "We're really too young to get much out of it.  We're too young to join in on the cheating spouses game and too young to really need to curry favor.  Unless our parents are giving us away as party favors."

"No, I stopped the two mothers last year who tried that to get their daughters married off," she admitted.  "We'll see.  I'll ask around.  What about the younger children?  Last year you didn't include any of them."

"I'd like to keep it in the years around us, mum," Draco offered.  "The fourth, fifth, and sixth years?  That way those who won't be going to the party for not needing a spouse or not being good enough to come have somewhere to look at the better half and see how we live."

Alex grinned at him.  "Someone told me they put Twirly on their wish list.  I had to explain to their father why."

"I would too.  She spoils you horribly," Narcissa admitted with a smile for him. "We'll see, sons.  Now then, about the rest of that.  Draco, dear, someone's suggested I should start dating soon."

"Mum, by the will if you remarry you have to move," he warned.  "But go ahead and shag some real men.  That way you get as many happies and Alex and I get now and then. At least you'd get to forget what a bore father was in bed."

She blushed like a young girl and shook her head, patting her deranged son on the head before leaving. "I'll be back shortly.  Let me discuss the party with Severus, boys."

Alex snickered. "That's so bad! I've never seen your mother blush before."

"Neither have I," he said smugly, smirking a bit. Greg and Vinnie came in.  "I just made my mum blush."

"Did she catch you two on the couch?" Ron asked as he followed Crabbe and Goyle in. "Like we have all too often?"  He sat down, looking at Alex.  "What did he do this time?"

"His mother warned him some people want her to move on and start to date a nice wizard.  Draco suggested that she just shag a bunch instead so she got as many happies as we do."

Ron blushed bright red and so did Greg.  Vinnie just snickered and headed to his bedroom.  "She's a pretty woman, Draco.  Mind if I try my hand at charming your mum?"

Draco stared at that doorway.  "I doubt she'd go for it, Vincent.  She used to change your nappy."

"My stepmum said something about needing a younger man to give her thrills," Greg mumbled, heading for the bathroom to hide from this topic.  Ron fled to his room to avoid getting involved.  "Why do I have friends like that, Merlin," he muttered, resting his head against the cool outer wall.   He could still hear those two cackling and slammed the bathroom door before they came in to bother him again.


Narcissa sat across from her big brother, looking at him.  "At least you look happy," she said smartly.

He smirked a bit.  "What happened?"  He poured her some tea.  "Which boy was it?"

"Mine!  He suggested I shag some blokes to get pleasure instead of dating so I didn't have to move."

Sirius nearly dropped the teapot, she was blushing again.  She hadn't done that since she was twelve.  He almost wanted to coo over the cuteness.  "Well."  He smiled at her. "You're a widow, Narci, as long as you're discreet, who would *dare* say a word against you?"  He poured himself some tea and added a cube of sugar.  "Any other interesting news?"

"Oh, unfortunately.  Greg's getting a new stepmother. His father's bringing her to Hogsmeade the next weekend they're allowed down.  I think I may need to step in to counsel the poor boy this time."

"Why?  Is she hot?"

"She's only a year older than Gregory," she shared, picking up her teacup.  He spluttered and she nodded, smirking a bit. "He caught Beth in bed with a young Russian wizard. It violated one of the massive list of rules he had in their contract. He had it done with by that afternoon and left her without much of anything but within a week he had a mail-order bride from somewhere foreign."  She took a sip of her tea.  "She's absolutely obedient to him.  I've seen their marriage contract.  It states he had total rights to dress her each day as he sees fit, down to the underthings. Not that she needs them.  At her age, breasts stand up and bounce."

"I wonder if Remus would mind if I ordered one of those," he mused.

"Do it and watch me tell Alex on you," she said smugly.  "He'll call back James and Lily to nag you to the afterlife to join them."

"James might like that if he's bored by now," he offered, smiling at her. "Besides, Harry might like that as well.  It'd give him a chance to talk to them."

"Sirius, you are disgusting," she complained.  "Really!  James Potter would flay you if you tried that!  If he doesn't, I'm sure Lily would!"

"I think he'd like to talk to his son."

"Yes, but that's still cruel.  It's not like he's floating around haunting Harry is it?"  He shook his head.  "I thought not.  Pulling him back from his reward is mean and nasty.  More like our mother."

He shrugged, looking a bit sheepish. "It was only a suggestion.  Alex does stuff to keep his grandmother away each Halloween."

"That's necessary.  If he wants to commune with his father, I doubt anyone with some sense would let him."

"Harry asked if it was possible," he offered more gently.  She put down her cup and stared at him.  "We're good, Narci, but we're not his dad and he's worried that his dad won't like him dating Nymphy."

"She'll hex you if you call her that to her face."

"True," he agreed with a grin.  "But then I'd get to help prank her.   Harry really does adore her and he wanted his opinion on that and a few other things."

She considered it.  "It's still not a good idea, but I'll find a reference for Alexander. That way he can read it."  He smiled and nodded, saluting her with his cup.  "What am I going to do about my son?  They want to hold Alex's party again this year."

"What desire do they have to watch men and women get together to screw?" he retorted.  "Alex left the school ball last year because of that and Draco couldn't understand why."

"He's fully aware of why now," she said sarcastically.  "I should take on a toy wizard just to irk him."

"Why not, dad had six or seven," he reminded her.  "We all got his lusty nature, Narci.  Even in Azkaban, I still had thoughts about that stuff."  He took a longer drink of his tea.

"I suppose that's not the same as *happy* thoughts so they must not have fed on them?" she asked, smirking at him.

He shrugged.  "No, I think it was more amusement so they couldn't. It's not like I had much else to do in there."

She snorted, rolling her eyes.  "I'm sure you thought up plenty of mean things to do to Peter and them."  He smirked and nodded.  "Did you get to do any?"

"A few times," he agreed happily.  "I even changed to dog form and pissed on his leg."

"Then I'm sure mother would be proud of you," she said with a smirk.

"No, her portrait is still shrieking at me. That's why I'm not living in the old dump in London.  Besides, this way Remus and I can run free together without worrying about others."

"Good point.  Remember, this year's is on the full moon."  He nodded, mentally making a note of that.  "I'll excuse you for that reason."  She stood up. "I'd best tell Greg about his new mother."

"Let Alex or Harry, see how they handle it.  If Alex truly wants to teach, he'd best learn how to deal with emotional outbursts from kids."

"I'll owl him once I get home," she decided. "Good idea, Sirius. It's nice to see the non- pranking version of your mind still working."  She smiled and left, heading home to write that letter and a few others about Alex's party.


Draco sat down beside Greg, holding out the letter from his mother.  "Greg, it's bad news," he noted as he took it.

Greg read it, blinking hard.  "My father did what!" he yelled.  Madam Pince looked up from her desk and he glared back.  "My new stepmum's eighteen months older than I am."  She shuddered and continued frowning.  "Fine, I'll keep it down."  He glared at Draco.  "When is he showing her off?"

"The next time we're in town."  He shrugged.  "Continue reading. She had some notes on the contract she thought you should know."

Greg read on, reading about what a daughter from them would be getting and how a son would be measured against him and if found better would be considered his heir.  He dropped the paper, looking at his best friend.  "I want to hurt him."

"So did my mum, Greg."  He reached over to pat him on the arm.  "It'll be fine.  I'm not sure he can still have kids.  After all, the last five didn't have any."

"That's because most of them liked me," he complained, getting free of the comforting hand.  He glared at his friend.  "I'm going to call my father.  Can I hog our floo?"

"Of course.  Alex is the only one in there as far as I know.  Mum sent us that letter."  He grinned at him.  "Don't worry, if necessary we'll help you find a nice girl. You won't be like him."

"No, I'll never be like him," he agreed, getting up and heading up to their suite to call.  He found Harry in there.  "I'm going to scream at my father."

"Take the floo powder into my room," Alex ordered quietly.  "That way you can lock the door."  Greg nodded, going to do that.  A call could come from any fireplace, it was traveling that required an open floo connection.  It was probably better if he couldn't get there to hurt his father.  Alex looked at Harry.  "His father just got remarried."

"I hear that's tough.  I know he liked his last mother."

Alex nodded.  "He's liked most of his stepmothers.  This one's our age though."

"What?  Isn't that illegal?"

"No, she's just barely legal," Alex said bitterly.  "He's pushing for kids too."  He shifted position.  "Ron's waiting."

Harry walked into Alex's room, giving Greg a hug around the shoulders.  "If you need to talk, I'm here, Gregory."  He left, closing the door behind him.

Greg's father looked a bit confused.  "What's happened now?  Suspended?"

"No, father, someone just told me about my new stepmother.  I think he thinks I'm a bit scary in my anger."  His father looked stunned.  "Draco gave me a look like he thought I'd cast an unforgivable in the library."  His father shuddered.  "You married someone *my* age!" he demanded.  "How filthy of a pervert are you!"

"She's older than you, Gregory, and you'll never speak to me again in that tone of voice."

"I'll speak to you however I bloody well want!  She's only eighteen months older than me.  There's girls in the house that are that age in my year, father!  How dare you shame me this way!  I had to hear from Narcissa Malfoy because she didn't want you to suddenly spring it on me by just showing up during our next weekend in town!  How dare you!"

"Son!" he snapped.

"Oh, shut up, father!  You married some little girl.  You're trying to have more kids with her to get rid of me.  I tell you what, father.  I'm going to have Draco start working on something to help me.  I'm sure he and Alex can make sure that this trend stops before you're arrested for the next one being illegal."  His father looked stunned.  "Not only are you shaming me, you're shaming all the other women you married, including my mother. I will tell my mother and the rest and have them bloody well help me ruin you for this!"

"She's a perfectly nice girl, Gregory."

"That's half the point, she's a *girl*, not a woman!  You fucking moron! You're bringing the Ministry to our doorstep, father!"  He went pale at that.  "Not to mention I'm going to be laughed at for this!  Shit, why didn't you just take up with someone like Pansy if you wanted someone that young.  Remember, father, girls like that often want something and you're not as rich as others."

"Yes, but if she cheats like the last two, then she'll be gone just like them," he said coldly.  "I will not ...."

"Father, did you ever think you're the reason they cheated?" Greg asked coldly.  "That it wasn't the women?  That it was something in you?  Even Alex treats women better than you and he's got a hatred of them deep enough to kill them some days.  You've just made a fatal error, father.  I don't care if she's the nicest person on the face of the bloody planet, you've just brought scorn, shame, and attention down on the family for being such a whore and marrying a little girl.  I hope you're happy."  He signed off and called his actual mother, something he didn't often do.  "Alicia?" he asked, sniffling.  "He married someone nearly my age."

"Oooh, baby," she cooed.  "Damn it, can I come through?"

"I'd have to switch floos."  She nodded, reaching out a hand.  "Mum, I love you. I'm sorry I've been ignoring you."

"I understood, Gregory. It's often that way and you had some good substitutes for me.  I liked the last one."

"This one's eighteen months older than me."  She looked stunned.  "Narcissa told Draco so he couldn't pop it on me by surprise the next time we're in town."

"Baby, we'll come up and take you out tomorrow afternoon.  All of us that you've loved.  We'll figure something out."

Alex leaned in the doorway.  "I'll tell Professor Snape.  You can come up through the main floo if you wanted."

"I probably should.  Go tell him, thank you, boy."

"That's Alexander, mum."

"Really?"  She smiled at him.  "Well, you've grown up a bit since the last time I saw you.  How are you doing, dear?"

"Better than average."  He grinned.  "Let me get Professor Snape to meet you."  She nodded.  "I'll help with whatever you need me to, Greg."

"Can I come live with you?"

"Sure."  He smiled and headed out, going to interrupt his father's detention.  And apparently a talk with Remus.  "Dad, Greg's mum's coming up to hug him."

"Why?" he asked patiently.

"Because the latest stepmother is Millie's age."  He looked up, eyes wide.  Remus choked on his breath.  "Yeah. He's so mad he shouted at his dad from my room so his mum's coming up and the rest of the stepmums are coming to take him out tomorrow."

"Of course.  I'll go get her and walk her up," he agreed.

"I can wait and watch the kids in detention," Remus promised.  Snape nodded and headed up there while Alex went back to tell Greg it was done.


Greg came back from town with a big bag of treats and a smile on his face, smirking even at Draco.  He handed over a piece of parchment.  "Here's what my mums want to do.  Can you help them?"

He looked it over, putting down his fork.  He nodded.  "I can.  They can borrow our lawyers, and if not, they can borrow Alex's.  Alex!" he called.  He looked up from his dinner and came over to get the letter, reading it over with a mean smirk. "If mum can't openly help them, can your lawyers?"

"Of course," he agreed happily.  He smiled at Greg.  "Get spoiled?"

"Yeah," he said happily, sitting down.  "Thanks, Alex."

"Not a problem.  I don't like what your father's doing either."  He handed the paper back.  Then he winked.  "Tell dad, see if he'll help.  It'll definitely look bad on a great many of your dad's friends."  He went back to his seat, shaking his head even though he was grinning.

"What's going on?" Ron asked.

"Greg's gotten another stepmum.  She's a sixth year."  Ron choked.  "She basically is.  She's sixteen and a few months."

"Bloody hell," Ron said in awe, mimicked by Seamus.  "How?"

"Foreign.  Even if she adores Greg we can't stick up for this one.  Even if she's a very nice witch."  He considered it.  "I'm gong to have the lawyers do a background check on her.  There's no way she was willing to do this for no reason.  His dad doesn't really have a lot of money or anything."

"My mum would scream if one of us guys brought home someone like that," Ron said, looking stunned. "I didn't even know you could do that."  Alex grimaced and nodded.  "Where was he earlier?"

"With his stepmums, they took him for tea."  He shook his head, picking up his fork to eat something.  "That poor boy."

"Man, I'd have killed someone," Seamus said, shaking his head.  "My dad would still be hearing it."

"Oh, he heard about it," Alex assured him. "Now he's going to be hearing about it for all different reasons.  If she's a really nice witch maybe Narcissa will help her find someone more appropriate than Greg's dad."  He ate another bite and chewed slowly, then suddenly dug in and went back to their room to call around to start helping Greg. His lawyer.  His mother-in-law.  Sirius.  After all, Sirius went to some of the same whorehouses for fun that Greg's dad did.  The rumors should be spread there as well.


Narcissa came out of the fireplace, dusting herself off with her wand.  "Ah, much nicer," she said with a fond smile for Remus.  "Kisses, dear.  How are you?"  Once Lucius was gone, she had taken a long look at the people around her and decided making peace with this man would at least get her Sirius back, and she had been right, but she had also found out what a good friend Remus was.  It had been the best decision in her life, after agreeing to a fertility potion to have her baby dragon.

"Just fine.  The boys are in their rooms today.  It was another day to do the counter potion."  He smiled at her.  "So, what's she like?"

"She's actually very sweet and shy.  Just the most delicate little thing."

"Then Vinnie might like her, mum," Alex said, looking over the back of the chair at her before putting up his book and standing up.  He walked over and gave her a hug.  "I snuck into the sacred teacher space."

"I can see that," Remus said tolerantly.  "Take her back to your suite, Alexander."

"Yes, sir."  He walked her off by taking her arm properly, earning a smile.  "He likes them to be delicate and blush, on either side of the fence."

"She's the proper age for him too.  I can't believe Greg's father, a sixty-one-year-old wizard, picked up a sixteen-year-old witch. It's absolutely shameful."

"Yes, but we've been working on it now and then," he reminded her.  "Did my lawyers get in touch with you?"

"They did, dear, and it was most kind of you.  I'm sure those women he married will make him see how very mean they can be over this. It was also quite mean to write a suicide clause into it, Alexander."  He just beamed at her.  "Don't give Draco such mean ideas.  I doubt he needs more."

"No, he has no idea I specified that."  He opened their portrait and let her in, smiling at the others.  "Greg."  He looked up and grinned at them.  "Did you bring the profile, mum?"

"I did."  She sat down next to Greg, pulling it out of her purse and handing it over. "That's your stepmum, dear.  She is a very nice and sweet girl.  I have nothing against her."

"Me either, just my father's bad taste in marrying someone her age."  He looked through it.  "She's a pureblood?"

"Back three generations," she admitted. "Then one of her grandparents had the misfortune to marry someone who was half.  Close enough for today's standards around here."  She smoothed down some of his hair for him.  "She is the most sweet and delicate little thing.  I called her over for tea with your mum once I got that and talked with her. All she was trying to do was escape a bad place to live and a very poor family.  Her family basically was farming for their existence in a place where crops didn't grow so well."  He nodded, frowning a bit.  "We assured her that we liked her and that she could stay if the marriage was dissolved, that we'd support her in that, but even she agreed the marriage was a bad idea.  Your father's a bit controlling, Greg."

"I know."  He looked at Vinnie.  "She seems like one you'd like," he offered, handing over the profile.

Vinnie smiled at the picture, looking it over.  "She is really pretty."

"Yeah, my dad has good taste in women he covets. None of my stepmums have been ugly."

"True. Your last one was really hot," Draco agreed with a grin.  "Was she a lush when they married?"

"No, that was his father's doing as well," his mother assured him.  "Did you know that Alex wrote a suicide clause into the suit against him, Greg?" she asked gently.

"I saw that."  He smirked at Alex.  "That's mean and evil."

"That way you're not hurt if he decides to end it."

"Thanks for looking out for me, Alex."

"Not a problem.  Has Beth quit drinking yet?"

"She was fully clean and sober when we had tea," Greg admitted happily.  "She didn't even order one."  Alex looked stunned at that.  His mother always had a shot for tea.  Greg nodded, still grinning.  "Really. She's back to the girl dad married."  He looked at Narcissa.  "What can I do to help her, Auntie Narcissa?"

"I assured her you didn't hate her, just him.  You need to reassure her of that. She'd like to restart her education here but she'd have to go back a bit.  They had to take her out of Italy's school because they couldn't afford it."  Greg nodded. "So she's dreadfully behind.  Probably about fourth year level."

"I can gift her with my old books," Greg offered.

"You can have mine too," Alex offered.  "This year's too."  Greg smirked at him.  "It's not like I'm using 'em.  Does she still have her wand?"

"We're not sure," Narcissa admitted.  "She rather teared up when Alicia asked her."  She frowned a bit.  "Alex, I think you and Draco might need to help the poor dear over the holidays."  She smiled at him.  "Your party will go on however."

"Thanks, mum," Draco said with a smile.  "We'll plan it as a bridge to yours next year."  She nodded, accepting that.  "So a school-like dance?" he asked his mate.  Who shrugged and nodded. "Cool.  And some fun things for those in the lower years."  He smiled at his mother.  "What can we do to help her?"

"Alex, what day do you have all those classes you're ahead in?"

"I have Tuesday with the best chance of skipping.  I have herbology in the afternoon but she's still fond of me since I saved her from the plant."  Draco shuddered at that.  "Sorry, dear.  Should I take her to Diagon?"  She nodded.  "That's fine.  Should we ask to have her instated here?"

"I'm going to talk to Severus about that tonight," she admitted, patting Greg on the knee.  "She is a *very* nice young woman, Gregory.  Probably a Ravenclaw or a Hufflepuff."  He smiled at that.  "We'll do whatever we can to protect her while we ruin your father but not your good name."  She blew kisses at them and left.

Ron peeked out of his and Harry's room.  "Safe to come out?"  Draco nodded.  He looked at the folder.  "She's pretty.  That her?"

"Yeah," Vinnie said, handing it to him.  "She's Millie's age."

"I thought Bulstrode was our age," Harry asked as he came out.

"Her mother held her back a year because she caught some muggle disease the year she was supposed to come," Draco told him. "She's fourteen months older than me."

"Oh.  I guess that's understandable.  I know mum wanted to hold Ginny back a year since her birthday falls in November."  Ron sat down with the folder.  "She is really pretty."

"Auntie Narcissa said she's really nice," Alex told him. He looked at Draco.  "Should we spring you too?"

"No I'm good with not going on that shopping trip," he admitted.  He grinned at him.  "Remember, Greg's dad gets full approval of all her clothes."

"No, he gets to dress her each morning," he corrected with a small smirk.  "Maybe she will be coming here after all.  By British law she's supposed to be in school if she's underaged."

"She's barely legal, that gets around it," Harry reminded him.

"Not to quit school. That's eighteen," Alex countered.  Harry looked amused at that and he nodded.  "Really."

"I'm sure mum and Snape will do whatever's best for her," Draco noted.  "After all, she could just floo in for some limited classes."

"True," he agreed happily.  "Then she'd need uniforms."

"Which would piss my father off," Greg noted dryly, smirking at them.  "Thanks for that, Alex. Get her one anyway, just in case."

"Sure.  I hear they wear silk down there."

"We do need to update our uniforms," Draco agreed.  "I hate wool sweaters."

"I was thinking cashmere next year.  Silk robes or good cotton ones.  Good shirts and pants."

"That'd be nice, but can we get away with it?" Draco asked.

"Then I'd look really shabby next to you and so would Ron," Vinnie reminded them all.  Alex just smirked at him and he knew they'd be taken care of this time as well.


Alex adjusted his formal robes and smiled at the man coming in, who was giving him a quizzical look.  "Narcissa's taking me out so I can take Greg's new stepmum shopping for her wand.  She's got an appointment and double scheduled."

"I heard.  You're out of uniform for it?"

"I don't want to embarrass the poor dear. I look older than she does."

"How old is she?"

"Sixteen.  Barely."

Dumbledore raised an eyebrow.  "Indeed?"  He nodded, pursing his lips.  "I gather that's why Mr. Goyle has been meeting with his former stepmothers?"  He nodded smugly at that.  "That's fine.   Does she need an acceptance letter?"

"Ask Father.  They've been talking about that with her.  She might like to take some classes since she was forced to stop her education due to monetary concerns.  I'm also buying her the last two years' worth of books."

"That's fine.  Be back by curfew and do not be drunk or otherwise disruptive."

"I don't usually drink."

"It's a standard warning, Alexander.  Thank you for informing me."  He left, going to pull Professor Snape out of his class to look at him.  "What is the word on this new young woman?  Should I write up a letter for her?"

"We haven't decided yet.  Alex is to ask her today."

"Ah.  Does he know that?"  Snape nodded.  "Very well then.  He's leaving dressed quite well from the main floo."

"I saw. He was wearing it earlier."  He smirked a bit.  "She's Miss Bulstrode's age."  He sighed and shook his head.  "I heard Mr. Goyle is very unfond of his father at the moment.  He's still planning on coming up next Hogsmeade weekend however."

"I see.  That's fine.  I'll alert Madam Rosemerta that she may be witness to a brawl.  If she's to be admitted, tell me what I need to send her."  He nodded and went back to his class while the headmaster went up to find his stash of formal stationary for this task.


Alex smiled at the young woman Narcissa introduced him to, bowing cordially to her.  She giggled and blushed and he knew she wasn't going to be a problem to him.  "Come along, Nary.  We'll head to Diagon to get you some books on how to deal with the local magical areas."  She took his arm and walked him off once Narcissa had left for her appointment.   Narcissa had mentioned she had a translation charm on one ear so he made sure he was on that side of her.  Once they were in the crowded area and no one was paying attention to them he leaned closer.  "Narcissa thought you might like to see Ollivander's, Nary.  Was she correct?" he asked gently.  She sniffled and nodded. "She also wanted me to ask if you wanted to go to Hogwarts with us, even for selected classes."

"Yes, please.  I that," she said in heavily broken English.

"Well, first thing's first, dear. You need to speak better."  She gave him a grateful smile.  "We'll hit Ollivander's first. Narcissa's already plotting with my father about you taking classes with us."  He steered her that way, smiling at the old man who came out.  "Ah, Mr. Ollivander."

"Mr. Birmingham.  Dragon's flame and holly, thirteen inches. Very swishy if I remember right," he greeted.  He smiled at the young woman.  "Who might this be?"

"This is the present Mrs. Goyle, Nary."

"Ah.  Did she need a wand?"  He nodded.  "Was hers snapped?  I'm not really supposed to fit one to someone who had their snapped you know."

"She'll be taking selected classes with us, that gets her around the educational requirement."

"Ah, wonderful!" he agreed happily.  "Let me see.  What was your last wand made of?"  She handed over the pieces and he looked.  "Hmm.  Unicorn horn and rosewood.  Very pretty, Mrs. Goyle."

"Thank you."

He looked at her and switched to Italian, making her smile and babble at him.  He looked stunned at something and nodded, going to get her fitted.  It took four tries but he got her the right one and smiled at Alex.  "She's pregnant," he said quietly as the young man paid him.  "She said one of the boys there tried to kidnap her.  I don't like to gossip but with the language barrier there's a good chance no one else knows yet, Mr. Birmingham."

Alex nodded at that, his face going cold and impassive.  "I'll tell him if he doesn't know," he agreed.  "How far?"

"Just barely registering.  She found out this morning."

"Very well.  Nary, does your present husband know?"  She shook her head, looking down.  He tipped her face up.  "Then I'll tell him and keep him from screaming at you."  He gave her a gentle smile.  "Come.  We'll go to Madam Malkin's next.  That way you can get a school uniform and all that stuff."  She smiled and nodded, waving at Ollivander.  "Thank you," he mouthed, walking out with her.   He walked her down the alley, nodding at those he knew.  One woman looked stunned.  "She's Greg's new stepmum.  Nary, this is Vincent Crabbe's mother.  He and Greg are best friends.  Mrs. Crabbe, this is Nary Goyle."

"Ah, the new one," she said, shaking her hand.  "I heard he married some delicate little flower from overseas."  Nary blushed and she smiled.  "You're just a young thing," she said, frowning.  "How old are you, Nary?"

"Just barely sixteen," Alex told her grimly.  "She'll be attending Hogwarts for a few classes now and then.  Also, you might call Narcissa tonight.  Greg's other stepmums like her greatly, but not his father at the moment."

"Fortunately my own husband doesn't take ideas from him.  Nary, if you *ever* need any help getting away from him, you come directly to my house."  The girl smiled and nodded, kissing her on each cheek.  "There, that's a good girl, Nary.  It'll be fine. Alex there is a treat at making people suffer and if he says you're okay Greg's gonna love you too."

"We agreed, including Greg, that we like her.  Narcissa said she's very nice and I agree.  Greg said he has nothing against her or his other stepmothers.  He's always liked them and he liked how Narcissa described her," he told Nary. "He just hates his father for marrying someone his age."  Nary blushed.  "He does understand why you chose to go this route to escape.  Narcissa explained it to him, dear.  By the way, Mrs. Crabbe works with a witch and family relief group and a witch's abuse shelter.  Perhaps you could tell her about your area and they could help?"

"We're always sending food and seeds around to those who need it," she agreed happily.  "We'll have tea sometime soon, Nary, and you'll tell me about your people to see if I can help, dear.  I heard some places had a *dreadful* drought."  She nodded, looking upset at that.  The woman cooed and hugged her.  "You're such a little thing too.  Much too young to be put in this situation.  Well, you just come have tea with me this week, dearie.  I'm sure we can arrange to at least help your family if not others as well."  She bustled off, going to tell her circle of friends about this new stepmother of Greg's.  So young!

Alex smiled at her.  "See, Narcissa told you no one would be mad at you.  They're not.  They're mad at the circumstances that made you take this escape route and your husband."  She smiled shyly at that.  "Don't worry, Greg and her son will protect you.  They're very good at that.  As is Narcissa's son, my betrothed."  She blinked at him.  "We've got a temporary agreement in place."  She looked confused.  "I like wizards, dear.  That's why I'm a safe person to escort you around.  Even your husband knows that."  She nodded slowly.  "Don't worry, it's accepted here.  I'll get you a book on that too," he said with a grin.  She smiled again and nodded.  "Good.  Now, let's go to the clothes place. I need my cuffs lengthened on this robe anyway."  She nodded, taking his arm again.  He noticed no hesitation, which was nice.  He knew some places didn't like wizards who liked other boys.  She was at least judging him on the person he appeared to be for her.  He walked her into Madam Malkin's, earning a confused look.  "This is the newest Mrs. Goyle."

"Another one, already?" she complained, coming over.  "Should I fit her for a uniform, Alexander?"

"She'll be taking selected classes with us."  He put a hand on her arm.  "None of us blame her, but her husband is toast when her stepson gets hold of him," he said dryly.

"I'd say so!"  She smiled at the young woman.  "Come along, dear.  I'll make you pretty in your uniforms and all that."  Nary looked at Alex.

"Go ahead. Even I like her and I hate most women."  Nary frowned at him.  "My Grams was a torturing bitch.  Got me all the time.  I hate most women, but I like you enough to protect you and I trust her."  Nary nodded firmly, apparently understanding that.  She let the woman walk her off.  "Ollivander talked to her in Italian.  Her English isn't great on speaking, Madam Malkin.  Make her stunning. She's got to meet Greg this Saturday and I need my robe refitted."

"You need everything refitted, Alexander," she chided.  "Can I get one of the others?"  He nodded, allowing that since she'd be close enough to slap them if they upset him.  "Doris!"  She came jogging out of the back.  "Please refit that robe to Mr. Birmingham."  Nary gasped, looking at Alex.

He smirked a bit.  "Yes, I'm that Alexander Birmingham, dear.  What did you hear?"  She babbled at him in her native language, crossing herself.  "I'm not evil," he assured her, smiling gently at her.  "I'm actually quite nice as long as you don't try to attack me."  She blinked and he pulled his wand.  "Translingua," he cast on himself, explaining it to her in her native language.  She finally nodded and hugged him, then looked at Madam Malkin and asked shyly if she could have something pretty for her husband.  He uncast the spell and cast it on her instead, looking at his fitter, who was frowning.  "It wasn't her fault," he said coolly.  "She was escaping horrible things."

"I've had to do that when my husband tried to kill me," she admitted quietly.  "Did you introduce her to Mrs. Crabbe yet?"

"On the way in here.  They're going to take tea."  He let her refit the robe and smiled, handing over the money for both their things when they were done.  "You remembered uniforms, right?  She'll be taking classes with us."

"I did," Madam Malkin assured him.  "Did she know...."  He nodded.  "That's fine.  Does *he* know?"

"Not yet.  I've promised to let him know."  She nodded wisely. "We're off to the bookstore."  She took the package. "Draco and I wanted to know if you could spiff up uniforms for us too.  We're really tired of wool."

She chuckled and shook her head. "I'm not allowed, Alexander.  I'm sorry."

He shrugged.  "Maybe in Paris," he offered with a grin, walking her off. "Thank you, Madam Malkin."  She turned and waved like the girl she was.  He smiled at her as he walked her back to the bookstore.  "After this, how about some ice cream?" he suggested.  She beamed and nodded.  He smiled at the clerk coming over to help them.  "This is Mrs. Goyle.  She needs some refresher sets in all areas plus the textbooks for the third years and up.  Also, is there something to help her learn English a bit better?"

"Of course," he agreed happily, going to start pulling books for him.  They worked on commission and he loved it when people had big orders.  He put them all in a bottomless bag and Alex paid him, both of them smiling.  "Did you need anything else, Mr. Birmingham?"

"No, all I'm missing are my muggle comics.  I have to go into London itself for those."   He smiled and took her arm properly, walking her out.  She dropped her clothes into the bag as well, smiling at him.  "See, there's a lot you can do and I'll work a translation spell for you tonight so I can send it to you."  She nodded and pointed at her husband.  "Ah.  Mr. Goyle!" he called, waving a bit.  "Ice cream!" he called, pointing.  He got a scowl in return so walked her that way, smiling at the waitress as she seated them.  "I want a small sundae.  Chocolate.  Nary?"  She babbled something.  "Strawberry?" he asked.  She nodded. "The ice cream or the topping?"  She nodded at the second one.  "And some coffee for me please.  Water, Nary?"  She nodded and smiled.  "Get Mr. Goyle's as well."  She nodded, going to get him and his order as she walked him that way. "Mr. Goyle.  Nice to see you again.  Narcissa asked me to take her shopping to show her around."

"Why you?"

"Because I'm mated to Draco."

"Ah."  He had forgotten about that and quit frowning.  "Where did you go, Nary?"

She held out her wand proudly and he smiled, so she pulled out her books and showed them off, then her package of clothes as well.  He patted her on the hand and smiled so she repacked everything and squealed as he ice cream came.

Alex looked at him, then cleared his throat before digging in.  "Mr. Goyle, my father has noted that she is still supposed to be in school by wizarding law."  His face tightened up again.  "They've worked out a way for her to take selected classes with us, that way it gets around that and she can finish her education since it was stopped due to family concerns."

"Really?  Starting when?"

"That'll depend on Madam Pomfrey," he noted calmly.  Mr. Goyle looked at him oddly.  He got up and smiled at Nary.  "We'll be right back."  She nodded, continuing to eat and watch everyone while he walked the man a few feet away, off to the side of the crowd and out of hearing.  "Did she tell you she had been kidnaped and raped three months ago?" he asked quietly.  "That she and her sister had been from what I heard at Ollivander's."  Mr. Goyle's face went solidly cold and emotionless.  "It wasn't her doing.  She didn't know until this morning."

"She's what?"

"Ollivander found it out when he was fitting her.  It's from the bastard who hurt her there.  The one she was escaping from."

He calmed himself.  "I can't hold that against her.  Why didn't she tell me!"

"How could she of? It's hard enough to do that when you speak the same language," he said sarcastically.  Goyle frowned at him for it.  "I'll be working with Draco on a translation charm for her until she's up to snuff with her English skills.  We'll send it on this week."  He sighed and nodded, running a hand through his hair.  "I will tell you this.  Narcissa, Draco, my father, and I all agree.  We like her. She's a very nice girl.  We'll be protecting her fully.  As will Mrs. Crabbe since they were going to chat about the drought around her family home soon."  He started to frown again.  "I'm supporting Greg and Nary in this, Mr. Goyle.  She's an innocent who shouldn't be hurt.  That's what I do.  Another reason Narcissa had me take her shopping.  Now, you've got a pregnant wife who's unable to speak the language and she's going to be taking classes.  It's up to you to decide if she's fully enrolled or not.  That is still an option and it would give you a way to dissolve the marriage thoughtfully and considerately.  Greg's going to like her as a friend and I think she and Vincent Crabbe would get on great.  She's the sort he likes and the right age."

"She's old enough...."

"For your son," Alex finished blandly.  The older man glared at him and he stared right back, making him shiver.  "Not even Lucius' mistresses were that young, Mr. Goyle.  Really!"  He walked him back. "Nary, dear, he said he's not mad about what happened to you," he said quietly, patting her on the hand.  She blinked up at him.

Mr. Goyle sat down again, patting her other hand. "I can't blame you for what people did to you, dear.  I won't do that.  I'll accept the child if that's what you want.  I'll also let you attend the school full time if that's what you want."  She cried and hugged him around the neck.  "There, there, precious, it's all right," he soothed, stroking her back.  Alex finished his coffee and put some money down on the table before walking off.  "I'll call Severus tonight."

"Do that," he agreed.  He sent himself back to Malfoy Manor through a nearby floo port, dusting off on the other side.  "We've got to talk," he told Narcissa, Alicia, his father, and Dumbledore.  "She was kidnaped three months ago.  She found out this morning she's pregnant.  She is frightfully nice though and we ran into Mrs. Crabbe in the alley.  They're having tea later this week."

"Did you tell her husband?" Snape asked calmly.

"I thought it better coming from me.  He can't attack me for it and he might have done it to her.  She is refitted for her wand."  He sat down and took the cup of tea his mother-in-law held out.  "Thank you, dear."  He looked at his father.  "She'll need something to help her translate into her native language for a while.  I told her Draco and I would work on that for her.  Ollivander talked to her in Italian, she knows that fairly well.  He's the one who found out and Madam Malkin knew as well.  I did a translation charm between them."  He took a sip of tea and looked at Narcissa.  "She's frightfully sweet and delicate.  Her old wand was unicorn horn and rosewood.  Her new one is charmed sapphire and bonsai tree wood."  He took a sip of tea.  "She wants to take classes and finish her education.  Father, Mr. Goyle will be calling you later to see about that.  He did offer to let her attend fully if possible. He asked me when she could start and I said that was up to Madam Pomfrey, that's how I opened that delicate talk."  His father relaxed and nodded.  "If Madam Sprout isn't evil, they're almost exactly alike, father."

"She is very shy and delicate," Narcissa agreed.  "She blushes as the slightest thing."

"I had to reexplain the liking wizards thing to her.  Apparently it's not as accepted over there," Alex told her.  "But I did clue her in as to why I was safe to take her shopping.  I got her refresher sets and books for the last few years, plus an English learning system."

"So she'll be able to fully speak and understand by the end of the year," Snape agreed.  "Good idea, son."

"Thanks, dad."  He grinned at him.  "I got him calmed down and noted that I was protecting the innocent in this case, her.  Plus I was standing up for Greg.  I also suggested that sending her to Hogwarts would be a delicate and subtle way of breaking it off with her."  He finished his tea and put the cup back down, smiling at the adults.  "Can I go grab my comics? I had planned on that anyway."

"Of course, dear," Narcissa smiled.  "Thank you so much."

"Not an issue.  She reminds me of a hurt little first year in many ways."  He got up and sent himself off, back to Diagon.  He saw the couple walking toward him and paused to dust himself off.  "My father and Dumbledore are at Malfoy Manor," he noted quietly to them.

Mr. Goyle nodded.  "Thank you, Alexander."

"Eh, it's what I do, protecting my friends and innocents.  Where's her bag?"

"In my pocket, boy."

"Remember, I am a legal adult," he said with a smirk.  Mr. Goyle's eyes went wide and he looked at him. "I have been since the Ministry tried to put me on that calming potion that turned me homicidal."  Then he smiled sweetly.  "That means I have full access to everything of the family's now.  So do treat her right.  Let me know if we're going to need to come get her to have her sorted or not."

"We'll be going to talk to them now, see what's best for her in that condition.  You'll be telling my son?"

"And keeping him from going over there with Draco to kill whoever hurt her."  Nary smiled at that.  "Greg is frightfully protective, Nary.  You'll like Greg.  Don't worry about Greg and you getting along."

"He has all the others."

"Yes, and he's still mad at you."

"How many others?" she asked him quietly.

"You're number nine that I know of," Alex told her honestly.  "Seven after Greg was born.  All the others get along and they'll support you too.  Alicia, Greg's mum, said you've already met?"  She smiled and nodded.  "Then you'll like the rest.  They'll like you.  Don't worry about them being grumpy at you, Nary.  They'd never hurt you."  She nodded, accepting that.  "With that I'm off to get comics from muggle London, with permission.  Call us later to let us know, Nary.  We'll start work on that charm tonight," he said with a wink, heading off.

"If he didn't hate women, I'd worry about that boy," Mr. Goyle said dryly.  His wife looked up at him.  "Come, let's got to Narcissa's and talk about you going back to school, dear."  She relaxed and smiled, nodding a bit.  Maybe the others were right and he was disgracing his family name by dating her, but he did like her.  She was very pretty and sweet, innocent even with all she'd seen.


Alex came into the suite and dropped the comics on the couch, then looked around. "Greg?"  He came out of the bathroom.  "She's very sweet and innocent.  She blushes at everything."  Greg grinned at that.  "Three months ago she was kidnaped and hurt though."  Greg stiffened.  "I got your father calmed down but she wants to attend here.  You'll like her.  She's *exactly* like what Bertha was when he married her."

"Then I'm sure I will," he agreed, coming over to look through the comics, finding the stuff rubberbanded for him.  Alex grinned at him.  "Is she all right?"

"She only found out this morning, Greg.  They're figuring out whether or not she can attend school like that today.  The Headmaster and my father were at Malfoy Manor when I left her back with your dad.  I also told him I'm sticking up for you and helping her.  By the way.  Draco?"  He shrugged. "Fine.  We need to get a language charm for her to wear.  She speaks Italian but has broken English."

"But I'll like her?"

"You'll want to pull her into your lap and cuddle her to protect her.  Even I did, Greg."  Greg smiled at that.  "She's very sweet and nice.  Just the sort Vinnie would go for and I've already introduce his mother to her since we 'ran into' her in the alley.  She was lurking a bit, probably thanks to Auntie Narcissa."  Draco came in with Harry.  "Draco, love, we need to work on a language charm for Nary.  She can barely speak English and her understanding isn't perfect yet either."

"Nary?" he asked, looking confused.

"My new stepmum, Draco," Greg told him. "I'm still going to kill my dad."

"She's nice then?" Harry asked.

"I think Greg'll want to pull her into his lap and cuddle and protect her," Alex admitted.  "I did after seeing her and Madam Malkin giggling like naughty school girls over a pink dress."

Draco snorted.  "Fine.  What's she speak?"

"Albanian and Italian.  She went to school in Italy.  She and Mr. Ollivander spoke in Italian."

"That's fine.  Is she coming here?" he asked.  Alex shrugged.  "We're not sure she wants to?"

"No, she wants to, but...."  He glanced around. "This goes absolutely no further, Draco.  Ever."

"Millie's outside," Harry told him.

Alex walked over to hiss in his ear.  "That's why she's so fragile.  So we've got a chick to protect until she can fledge and fly on her own."

Draco looked at him and nodded. "Did you calm his father down?"

"Yeah, that's why it took me so long."  He grinned.  "He's said it's up to her what to do about it."

"That's fine.  I couldn't pick on her about it."

"No, but you might tell someone and if they let it slip to someone like Blaise, he might."

"Point," Draco admitted.  "Fine.  We'll protect the little foreign flower and do a translation charm for her.  On what?"  Alex pulled something out of his pocket, holding up the small necklace and the charm on it.  "That's cute."

"Yes, and I thought the megaphone would make it easier, more sympathetic.  Pure silver," he said as he handed it over.  "It's muggle so totally no magic around it already for strength or anything."

"I can do that as well," Draco decided.  "It'll be a nice wedding present."

"She needs it.  She can't understand everything he tells her to do," he said dryly.  "She looked so *happy* about starting classes again."

"I'm sure she'll be with us soon then," Harry said from his seat.  "Alexander, did you get any more Superman?"

"Bottom of the stack, Harry, it's alphabetical."  He grinned at Draco.  "You're sure?"

"We can protect her and I'm sure Vinnie will too.  He's every bit like his mum."

"They're having tea later this week.  She was lurking in plain sight in Diagon."

"Ah, my mother strikes again," Draco said fondly, smirking at him.  "Come on then, let's get the books for the language charm."  They walked out together, heading to the Charms classroom.  Those would be in the restricted section because they were so difficult.  The teacher was gone so they headed to the next likely source for permission, McGonagall.  She was coming out of her office and locking her door.  "We need to do a language charm for the new Mrs. Goyle."

"From what I hear, she's in the infirmary getting checked over for admission," she said with a small smile.  She walked them to the library, talking to Irma Pince personally.  Once they had the book it only took a moment to fix it on the necklace and hand it back, then they headed up there, Draco handing over the necklace.

She looked at it, then at them.  "What this?" she asked.

Alex took the direct route, putting it on her.  "There, can you understand better?"  She squealed and hugged him, then Draco.  He smirked at Mr. Goyle.  "It might need a strengthening charm sometime soon, but it should be fine.  Pure silver."

Draco peeled the girl off him and put her back onto the table.  "Welcome to Hogwarts, Mrs. Goyle."  She beamed at him.  "Does it work?"

"It works well," she said, her lips moving in her native tongue and the words being translated into English.  "Thank you both!"  She hugged them again then her husband then the nurse.  "I speak better now."

"I can tell, dear," she said happily, smiling at them.  "Should I call up Gregory so you two can meet up here in private?"

"Please.  Everyone says I'll like him a lot."

Alex walked over to the doorway.  "Vinnie, go get Greg."

"He's pacing down the hall, trying not to beat Granger again," he noted patiently, walking in.  "Greg," he called.  Then he came over, holding out a hand.  "Hi, I'm Vinnie Crabbe."

"I'm Nary," she said, shaking his hand.  "I met your mother earlier."

He smiled.  "I'm sure she'd love you.  She always likes to hear about foreign places, especially if she can help with a drought or some families that need help.  She's like that."

Nary nodded.  "She asked to have tea later this week to speak about such things."

"That's fine then.  Try the cream biscuits.  She makes excellent ones."  Nary beamed and nodded and he felt his chest tighten at that.  "Greg!" he called again.  She looked over as the other boy came in, her eyes widening as she looked from the father, who wasn't as big as the son was, and back. "Yeah, Greg ate too much and grew too fast," he teased, making her blush and giggle.  He realized he still held her hand and released it, looking at Greg.  "This is Nary."

"Hi," he said shyly, shaking her hand.  "So, do you want me to call you by your name or should I call you stepmum or what?"

She looked stunned.  "My name," she said.

"Well, it's a bit freaky when you speak.  Your lips move and it doesn't match the words.  You'll be a big hit in class," he said with a grin, hugging her.  She blushed so he let her go.  "That's fine, Nary.  Alex and everyone thinks we'll get on fine.  I'm a nice boy most of the time, unless you're attacking Draco or Alex there.  We can be friends."  She nodded, hugging him again.  "Aww, there now, it's all right," he soothed, patting her on the back.  "We'll be better friends than my dad and I are, Nary.  He can become a bludger and we'll both get bats.  How about that?"  She giggled and blushed.  "No?"

"What's a bludger?"

"You don't know about quidditch?  Well, we should talk about that.  Madam Pomfrey, are you done?"

"Not yet, Mr. Goyle.  Sit and wait.  You can have her at dinner to tell her about quidditch," she said patiently. "Have Mr. Weasley help you explain it.  After all, he explained it to Mr. Potter and look what he became."

Draco snorted.  "Overblown of ego?"  Alex pinched him.  "Ow!  Mean snot! I'm telling mother you abuse me!"

"She'll just pat me on the cheek and remind me that spanking can be done in fun and punishment, love," he said with a wicked grin.  Even Draco blushed at that.  Dumbledore turned away so his wasn't showing.  "Now that I've shown where my mind's going tonight instead of trying to do the impossible and work in a linear fashion for a certain potions paper, I'm headed to eat.  Draco?"

"I'll follow to make sure I get food," he muttered, glaring at his spouse as he walked off.  He looked at Snape.  "For some reason he can't gather his thoughts.  Even Lupin's noticed it.  Isn't there a potion to calm that down, Professor?"

"I'll try," he said dryly.  "Go eat dinner, Mr. Malfoy."

"You're Narcissa's son?  She brags about you quite a lot," Nary told him with a shy grin.

"As she should, I'm perfect in nearly every way," he agreed with a smug grin back, making her laugh.  "Come join us once you're sorted.  Even if you're not in our house, I'll let the others know you're allowed at the Slytherin table so you can chat with Greg and Vinnie."  He waved and walked out, going to spread around the news to his house. Pansy glared at him so he ended up backhanding her, but stepped over her body and went to tell the upper years as well.  They all agreed Greg's new stepmother was welcome to sit and chat with him at their table, even if she was a Hufflepuff, which was where Draco thought she should be.


That Saturday, Vinnie sat down with his parents, looking around to make sure no one they knew could overhear.  "Mum, dad, I've got a quandary," he said.  His father frowned.  "Sorry, Alex taught it to me last week."  He grinned at them and leaned closer.  "Mum, is it supposed to feel tingly when you get that chest-squeezing feeling because a girl smiles at you?" he asked quietly.  She squealed and hugged him.

"Son, there's no problem with love," his father said cautiously.  "Unless it's Potter or someone unsuitable."

"It's Nary Goyle."

"That's a situation," he agreed, nodding.  He looked at his wife, who was still beaming.  "That could be a bad thing."

"No, dear. We don't see them sticking together very long.  What about the rumor I heard?"

He shrugged.  "It doesn't matter to me, mum."

"Good point."  She patted him on the hand.  "I would be most upset if you became more than friends while they're in a relationship, son, but I cannot find it in me to dislike that girl. I found her very sweet and nice when we had tea.  That translation charm works very well too."

"It does," he agreed with a shy grin and a small blush.  He glanced around again.  "I don't want to, mum, but I've got her stuck in there.  I put her in my potion's paper and Professor Snape caught it.  He laughed, during class."  His father moaned.  "He didn't say why until later, when I got it back and he noted, in big red letters, that she was not an acceptable component in that potion nor a good choice to study."

"I agree, that could be rather dangerous."  He waved the waitress over.  "Butterbeers."  She smiled and got them some, then left.  "Well, if they do break up, I'll expect you to be a full gentleman, son.  I met your mother when we were third years and fell in love with her."  She blushed.  "We've been more stable than most because of it.  So if she's the one, as long as she's single, then I don't have a problem."  He took a sip.  "Any other problems?"

"Yeah, they still found that potion in us after a month.  Snape thinks they made it wrong."

"What potion?" his mother asked gently.

"You never told her?" Vinnie asked his father.

"I didn't want to worry her."  He looked at her.  "Someone dosed everyone in their suite but Draco and Alexander with a compulsion potion so they'd attack Alex some day soon.  It was only supposed to last a month."

"And you didn't tell me why?"

"Because you'd go tear down the Ministry by hand, mum.  Alex and them wanted some of it too, especially Narcissa and Professor Snape," he said dryly.

"Why would *he* want it?' she asked calmly.

"That's something you should have heard from the gossip, mum.  He's his dad."


"Alex's."  She wobbled and her husband steadied her.  "Mum, are you all right?"

"You're going to have a sister soon, Vincent," his father said proudly.  "That's what we came up here to tell you."

"Well," he said, smiling and happy.  "I'll be the best big brother ever.  I'll take lessons from Weasley so mine doesn't turn out like his sister, the torturing little brat."  His mother moaned, holding her head.  "Sorry, mum, but she did."

"She's been a bit tied to the house recently, son.  Be more gentle with her," his father ordered.

"Sorry, mum."

"That's all right, dear.  What happened?"

"She turned Draco funny colored and had Lovegood put emotional charms on him."  He grinned and leaned closer, hissing all of that matter to her, making her hiss in horror and giggle at Madam Sprout being scary.  When his parents left, he got up and went to find everyone else, finding Greg across the Broomstick with his stepmothers.  He hugged his buddy. "I'm going to be a big brother. I'm going to have a sister!" he said happily.

"Oh, congratulations!" Beth squealed, hugging him.  "You're going to be an excellent big brother, Vincent!"  She patted him on the back and grinned at him.  "Want to join us?"

He blushed and shook his head.  "I'm going to spread the good news.  Nary, want help with Herbology later?"  She blushed and nodded.  "That's fine, come down then.  It'll be all of us in the suite."  He ran off before he could embarrass himself further.

Greg looked at her.  "If you and dad break up, I won't mind if you date Vinnie. He's a really nice guy.  You make him fluttery and blushy.  I like that about you."  She blushed bright red so he looked at the women in his life.  "What should I get Auntie Narcissa this year, mums?"

"What's Alex and Draco getting her?" his actual mother asked.

"A Charm box."

"Ah.  Get he something to put into it.  You and Vincent both, dear," the third-to-last suggested.  He beamed and nodded, liking that idea.  She smiled at Nary.  "I believe you're the only Gryffindor among us, dear.  Don't worry though, we won't let old house fights get in the way of liking you."  The girl gave them a shy smile and she knew all the other former Mrs. Goyles there were making their own plans to help the poor dear.  They'd have to get with Narcissa to see what she was planning.  After all, Narcissa is THE bitch of society on these matters.  Everyone went to her about things like ex-wives and ex-husbands.


Hermione sat down next to Nary, smiling at her.  "Nary, wasn't it?"  The girl looked over and nodded, smiling at her slightly.  "Where are you from?  Harry said you went to school in Italy?"

"Albania," she said quietly.

"I've never heard much about your country.  Were you from the city or the more rural areas?"

"Rural," she offered.

"Ah.  Farm folk?"  The girl nodded slowly and Hermione smiled.  "Don't worry, dear, my parents are muggle.  I'll like you no matter who you are.  My parents are dentists."

"Leave her alone, Hermione," Ginny said from her seat.  "Mum says that her country's having a civil war right now and I doubt she wants to chat much about that stuff."  She smiled at Nary.  "Ignore her if she gets too pushy, we do."

"Ginny!  I'm being perfectly nice to the new girl in the house!"

Ginny closed her book.  "Hermione, my mum said to leave her alone.  Especially us so we don't give her the wrong impression about Alex and them."

"I wasn't going to mention His Evilness."

"He's not evil!" Ginny shouted, throwing her book at Hermione and standing up. "If he were evil he wouldn't protect those kids who can't!  We've all benefitted by him protecting this house and the other houses!  This whole school and world was protected by him AND Harry.  Not just Harry, Alex was there too!" she shouted.

"Girl fight," Seamus said, putting his books aside to watch them go at it.  It'd get to hair pulling soon he was sure.  Then they'd be rolling around and maybe he'd get a glimpse of torn clothes and panties.

"I always like girl fights," Dean agreed, watching by leaning on top of his books.

"Alex is so evil!" Hermione shot back.  "How can he not be!  He needs help, Ginny!  Not patted on the back and told 'good job for not killing them'!"

"Please, is he evil?  I've heard some about his family," Nary offered quietly, breaking into the fight.

Ginny shook her head.  "He's not. He's never been evil, Nary.  He'll never be evil.  He chose to come to Gryffindor instead of Slytherin because he didn't want to go bad.  He's allergic to dark magic so if you catch him sneezing he's just ran into some."  Nary relaxed and smiled at that.  "Draco has his moments of snarky evilness, little boy and annoying pest evil really, but Alex is much nicer.  Alex protects the little kids in this school who can't do it on their own."  Hermione snorted, crossing her arms.  "She just wants a test patient to learn therapy off of. She thinks she can fix Alex and make him straight because she wants in his panties and he likes boys.  He has *always* liked boys, even before his grandmother could really torture him," she shot at Hermione.

"She did other abuse I'm sure."

"And the fact that his father used to have a bloke too?" Ginny shot back.  Hermione scowled at her. "Your prejudices are showing, Granger.  Just because he's gay doesn't mean he needs fixed!" she spat.  "He's fine the way he is.  My mum was right, if the boy goes evil it's because you and Pansy shoved him to it.  At least I apologized for trying to hurt Draco."  She looked at Nary again.  "Ignore her except in classwork," he said quietly.  "She's a good tutor but her views are a bit skewed at times.  Liking wizards is totally acceptable here to us, but she wants in his drawers so she refuses to give up on that point yet.  Besides, we just got rid of one evil and even if people are trying to turn Alex into one," she said with a glare at Hermione, then smiled at Nary again, "he won't turn into one.  He said if he was ever forced, all the child abusers would be gone within a day.  He's a protective sort.  He's one of us."

"Then why does he live separately with some Slytherins?" she asked quietly.  "I don't understand."

"A few years back my big brother Percy, who's a massive man twat, decided to force them all out of the house for protecting Harry Potter.  See," she said, sitting the girl down, "we had someone who had been possessed in the house and he stabbed Harry.  Alex figured it out and came running back from a long sulk in the Forbidden Forest to save him, but he brought Draco and Professor Snape with him.  Draco hates us and Professor Snape hates us even more.  They saved Harry but my man twat brother Percy decided the house was safer without all them here.  So he had our brother Ron, Harry, and Alex all kicked out.  Along with Hermione since she was helping Harry and Ron protect us all.  Alex had a choice and a chance to go dark and evil.  He could have went to Slytherin with all his friends and the Sorting Hat said he would have went bad.  He chose to come here instead so he wouldn't.  You don't have to worry about Alex unless you turn into some torturing bitch of a woman like Hermione is and I was to him.  I apologized and my brother's at least speaking to me again, but Alex was very hurt by women."

"He told me."  She nodded a few times. "I understand such things happen."

"Then my mum was right, you're having a war?"  She pursed her lips and nodded.  "I'm sorry, honey, I don't mean to bring up bad thoughts," she offered, hugging her gently.  She pulled back with a smile.  "Have you at least written them and told them you're all right?  We can get a muggle letter through that way if you'd rather it not go by owl."

"I should.  She was worried," she said quietly, glancing around.  "Why are they all staring at me?"

Ginny laughed. "They're staring at Hermione and I because they think we're going to get into a clothes tearing fight so they can see naughty stuff.  After all, I've got five older brothers," she said with a wink. "I'm very good at fighting dirty."

One of the twins looked over. "You also...."

"Got us in trouble with Alex," the other complained.

"Yeah, yeah.  I apologized, go make your own!" she ordered firmly, glaring at them. She smiled at Nary again.  "Just ignore the prats over there.  They like to prank people.  If they get you, you tell me and I'll make them more miserable."  She sat down beside her.  "Now then, what're you studying?  You're in my year so I can help with some of it.  Alex and Draco are *really* good in some of the classes too."  She looked upset for a moment then forced it away.  "There was a really good kid in Herbology around here but he went bad."

"I doubt...." Hermione started.  Ginny slapped her.

"Neville Longbottom cast that curse without coercion, Hermione Granger.  He admitted so before the Wizengomet.  He made his choice to curse Alex and did it!  He did it knowing teachers were there!  That may take balls but it certainly didn't take brains!"  Hermione stomped off.  "And stay out! You were kicked out too!" she screamed after her.  She glared at the boys.  "Anyone else?"  The boys all shook their heads and the girls in the common room smiled at her.  Nary gave her a look like she was scary so she smiled. "Sorry, I'm turning into my mother again."  She sat down, smoothing out her skirt.  "What're you working on, Nary?  Let me help you get caught up?"

"I wouldn't mind.  Is...Vinnie any good at any subjects?"

Ginny smiled at her.  "He's cute enough but I don't know.  I never sat down and talked to him.  I try to stay away from the Slytherins since we kinda have a house war going on.  Since you're Greg's stepmum, you're gonna be left out but I'm not.  You could ask him."  She blushed and hid her face.  Ginny patted her on the back.  "I like him much better. He's your age and Ron says he's got a good sense of humor."  The twins glared at her again and she glared back.  "He did.  He should know since he's forced to live with them.  I'm surprised he gets any sleep since he says Alex snores worse now."  A few of the fifth year boys laughed at that.  "Ron said he does.  Said he kept up him and Harry the other night.  Even Draco couldn't get him to stop."  Nary blushed bright red at that.  "It's all right.  We accept liking your own sort around here, Nary.  They're cute together.  Alex is such a poof some days," she said with an eye roll.

"He's good at helping me pick out clothes."

"Yeah, that's part of it," she assured him.  She smiled at her.  "You're safe with Alex. Not even your husband can say he'd hit on you.  He's never liked girls.  Hermione even tried a lust potion on him and it had no effect."

"She did...."

"What!" the twins shouted, turning to both glare at her.

"Last month.  Didn't you know?"  They shook their heads.  She nodded. "Yeah, she mixed it in here even.  Gave some to Lavender too."  They got up and hurried out.  That was something that could get one expelled.

"Fortunately I dumped mine since I didn't need it after all," Lavender said from her couch.  Her seatmate nodded at that.  She grinned at Ginny and the new girl. "I almost pity Granger when Alex grabs her this time."

Seamus shook his head.  "His protection is Draco's now.  It'll be those three together," he said wisely, then shuddered.  "Eww, she's gonna be hurtin' bad.  We'll need to abandon her to stay safe."

Dean summoned a house elf, smiling at it.  "Tell Mr. Malfoy to sit on Mr. Birmingham for the next few hours.  Otherwise he's going to have a fit soon."  The elf nodded and left, and the girls all burst out in giggles.  "That way they'll have time to plan it so we can watch."

"Naughty boy," Nary teased, smiling at him.  They both grinned and nodded. "My sister would like you. She thinks the same way."

"Hey, bring her up too," Seamus agreed with a bright grin.  "We're always happy to have new witches around here and your husband should help your family if they're in danger."

"True," Ginny agreed. "Or ask Vincent's mum.  My mum works on her with some of the charities.  My mum's good at planning things like dinners for charity events."

Nary smiled and nodded, pulling out some paper to write to Mrs. Crabbe.  She had been ordered to write her weekly anyway. Then she wrote a letter to her mother, telling her what had happened and how well she was doing.  She gave that to Ginny, who winked and took them both up to the owlry.  Her mother could mail a letter the muggle way from her house. It was so much safer when an owl might be shot down for food.


McGonagall walked in after a quick knock on the suite's portrait, smiling at how Draco was sitting on top of Alex this time.  "That's probably a good idea."

"Thomas sent word that he was going to have a fit."

She nodded.  "Probably."  She sat across from him, licking her lips a bit.  "Alexander, about a month ago, did you feel anything...odd?"

"No," he said slowly, cuddling Draco to stay calm.  "Why?"

"Because someone, a female, tried to dose you with a love potion.  Ginny let on tonight in the common room that they had tried and you hadn't reacted."

"Who is this walking corpse?" Draco asked with a sweet smile.

"I'd rather not say."

"Was it my sister?" Ron sighed.  "Mum's gonna have a fit of her own if it was."

"No, it wasn't.  Apparently Miss Granger brewed it and gave some to Lavender, who flushed hers by her account when we talked with her.  She's under house suspension for even having it in her possession for a bit."

"And Miss Granger?" Alex asked bitterly.

"We're trying to decide whether or not to expel her for putting it on you," she admitted gently.

"I'm for expulsion at the moment," he noted dryly.  He looked at his mate. "Aren't you?"

"No, I'm more for bodily harm and screaming actually," he admitted.  Vinnie and Greg both growled and nodded at that.  "Nary?"

"Ginny was having a fight with Miss Granger about leaving her alone and not telling her that you're evil, Alexander."

"You could call me Alex, Professor.  We work together too often for you to stay so formal."

She smiled.  "Thank you, dear.  Your father wanted it noted to you that you had been exposed.  He did point out to her, quite meanly actually, that it meant you were gay long before the torture started."

"That was awfully nice of him," Ron said with a smirk.  "Can I tell Harry?"

"Oh, yes, dear.  He'll throw a fit and he's still leaking magic now and then.  I believe he's with Remus tonight."  She looked at Alex.  "We don't want any of you to harm her if they decide not to expel her."

"If it was any of us, they'd have us out of here with the pieces of our wands and crying by now," Ron said coldly.

"Yes, but people remember how you and she helped Harry.  These are the same people who want someone new to fear and are trying to make Alex into it.  Since they've turned her to their side...."  She shrugged.  "She may get to stay since it's the current Minister."

"And Dumbledore," Alex sighed, giving Draco a squeeze.  "Thank you for sitting on me."

"Not an issue," he agreed. He looked at the professor.  "If she stays, I want her far away from all of us.  Move her room, take her out of our classes.  Resort her if you must."

She nodded.  "That's being looked at as well.  She'll be suspended to her house or to her home for the rest of this year and have to come back next year a year behind."  They all nodded.

"Could I, as being in the same situation as she was, help by saying expel the bitch?" Ron asked.

She smiled.  "Probably not.  They're on her side at the moment and that would look like you're sticking up for their enemy, Ron.  I wish it would though.  Never have I seen someone in my house get so off track after such a promising start."

Alex licked his lips.  "Professor, Minerva, what can and can't we do to her if she does stay?"

She smiled and shook her head. "You're not allowed to punish her at all.  The Ministry would consider it done and over with once her punishment was served."

"A year's free study time isn't punishment," Draco said bitterly.

"No, it'll make them more on their side," Ron agreed.  He looked at her.  "Get Harry into this. He'll hate it, but he needs to know."

She stood up.  "I was about to do that, but I thought to tell you first so you wouldn't hear tomorrow at breakfast."  She swept out, going to find Potter.  They'd still be arguing over keeping her or not.  The Minister was a long-winded bastard and he was making a grand speech when she left. She smiled at Harry when she caught him in the halls.  "Harry, dear.  We've got to talk."  She pulled him out of the way and spoke in his ear.  He glared up and her and she nodded.

"She's dead to me," he said quietly, heading up to the office.  He slammed open the door, watching as Hermione flinched.  "How could you!  You know very well Alex supported me!  If it weren't for him, I'd be dead by now!"

"We could have...."

"Oh, shut up!" he shouted.  She flinched.  "I'm tired of this, Hermione.  You've hurt Alex time and again, reinforcing what his grandmother did to him.  You're making it worse, not better!"  He stomped over to get in her face.  "Not only are you hurting him and Draco, you're hurting Ron and I because we're his friends.  You've hurt him so much he doesn't like to go to the library anymore.  At least not alone.  You've hurt him just as much as that torturing bitch ever did!"  She flinched again.  "You're an evil, sadistic woman, Hermione Granger, and I don't know where this is coming from!  Headmaster, I want her checked for possession and the Imperious and the like, but if this was her, she's dead to me and all my family.  Remus and Sirius, along with Alex and all them."  He glared at her again. "How could you!"

"Now see here, Mr. Potter," the Minister started.  "You may be a great hero, but Mr. Birmingham is dangerous!"

"No he's not," he snorted.  "Not unless you force him to be," he corrected when he saw the sneer. "Since you're behind him being forced to be dangerous, I'm not surprised you think he is."  The man took a step away from him.  "If it wasn't for Alexander, I wouldn't have been able to defeat the Dark Lord."

"You cast the killing curse."

"Wrong, asshole, *he* cast the killing curse," Harry spat.  "I've never been that angry and hurt in my life.  He has.  I cast the crucio that distracted him.  Alex didn't want anyone to know so he wouldn't have to deal with people like *you*," he sneered.  "I'd run from Britain were I you.  Not only are you trying to destroy a young man's happiness and life, once he's finally started to heal from torture *you* *personally* allowed to continue, knowing it was going on and probably enjoying the hell out of it being him instead of some other poor sod, but you're now treading on my toes and I've fucking well had enough, mate.  If you think I don't have the anger in me now, well, you're wrong.  Watching you idiots and morons at the Ministry attack Alex for being tortured, the same torture you allowed to go on and watched on occasion, has made sure I'm now angry enough to cast it again and again if necessary. You're not making him want to denude the planet of people.  You're making me want to kill Ministry officials!" he finished.  The man whimpered and ran into the wall as he backed away.  "Now, get you and your puss-sucking toadies the hell of this property.  Take Miss Granger with you.  If she comes back next year, that's up to you and the Wizengomet.  I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun with this case.  I'm also sure that I know about ten reporters who I'm going to be visiting tonight."

"You're a minor..." one of the toadies started.

"Wrong, moron, I'm emancipated.  I have been since the end of my first year here."  He looked stunned.  "I had to be to protect Alex and he was to protect me.  I also know who was behind that stunning little compulsion potion and how you 'talked' the brewers into committing suicide.  I would run and hide in some third world country where they don't get newspapers.  You've just touched my family and I've had enough!"  The men ran and he glared at Hermione.  "I'd go with them."  She ran out too.  He glared at Dumbledore.  "The same goes for you too, Headmaster.  You leave my given son alone!  He's perfectly nice until he's forced not to be.  Well, you're forcing him to defend himself.  Do you like what you've created?"  He turned to the floo, then back to McGonagall.  "I'm going to see Sirius.  I'll be back by Third tomorrow."  He headed off through the floo before any of the shocked people could move.

Snape cleared his throat.  "I find I like that boy now that he's grown up," he confessed.  "Not nearly as bad as he was when he came in."  He stood up and McGonagall glared at him.  "It is his right to protect those he was given custody of and I can't fault anyone for wanting to protect my son from such stupidity," he sneered.  "Any others in your house, Minerva?"

"No, Ginny Weasley apologized," she admitted.  "She's realized she's stupid and she reamed Miss Granger out about trying to defend Mr. Longbottom."

"That was kind of her.  Is she tainting Mrs. Goyle?"

"No, I was told she told Granger to get away from her," she admitted.  "She also said that she wasn't going to say a thing if their relationship dissolved and Nary decided to take up with Vincent Crabbe instead."


She smirked a bit. "You mean you didn't mark his potions paper after all?"

"No, I had," he said smugly.  "I agree, they do suit each other.  She's exactly like his mother.  Tell me if I need to convene a hearing board, Headmaster.  I'm going to take something for my headache and check on my son."

"Mr. Malfoy was warned to sit on him for a bit," McGonagall said with a small grin. "He was doing that when I told him."

"Thank you."  He left, banishing that mental image as well.  He didn't need to see his son having sex in his head.


Sirius woke up from his nap in his chair when Harry came out of the floo, hopping up and pulling his wand when he saw the rage in those green eyes.  "What happened?  Did someone try to raise him again?"

"No, Miss Granger thoughtfully tried to use a lust potion on Alexander," he sneered.  "It didn't work."  Sirius relaxed at that.  "The Minister for Magic has decided to reward her by not expelling her for it because he believes Alex is dangerous."  Sirius frowned at him. "They're still going after him and that potion still hasn't dissipated."

"What did you want to do?"

"I want to make them run for their lives.  I suggested they go somewhere the papers don't."

"Sure."  He hugged him but the boy pulled back and went back to pacing.

"I didn't have the anger before to cast the killing curse I think I do now," he admitted. "I think I could gladly kill them over and over and over again until every last moron at the Ministry is dead and gone and I'm the newest Dark Lord, Sirius.  I don't want to feel this way."

"Let me call Narcissa...."  Harry glared at him.  "She can get you an interview tonight, Harry."

Harry snorted.  "Do you really think I can't do the same?"  He slowly shook his head.  "Good.  Then let's do that. I may just calm down with that.  I'm damn sick and tired of this and if I don't let it out, I'm going to hurt someone."

"Sure. Let me call Narcissa to see who I should call."

Harry picked up the papers lying next to the fire, then called out the editor's name with some floo powder.  He held up the paper.  "Is this rag yours?"  He glared.  "The Ministry is fucking with me and Alexander.  You want a story?  Bring others."  He hung up and looked at his godfather.  "I'm sorry if I embarrass you," he said more calmly.

Sirius hugged him again.  "I'm glad you came here instead of going there and hurting others, Harry," he soothed.  "Your mother would have went there first."  He heard some popping noises and looked outside.  "Hey, aurors," he said dryly.  "Go get some of the reporters and bring them," he called. "Harry wants to give an interview."

"We were sent to prevent that," one admitted, coming inside.

Harry pulled his wand and pointed it at them. "I'd leave.  He pissed me off too much this time."  They backed off.  "By the way, the only aurors I deal with are both Tonks and the boss.  I trust them not to be Death Eaters.  The rest of you."  He snorted.  "I don't know, I don't trust, and I don't like.  You're sticking up for the bastards trying to turn myself and others into a convenient dark lord."  They gasped and he turned, finding a few reporters coming out of the fireplace. "Find a comfy spot and sit, people.  I'm tired of some things that have been going on and you're the method of my destruction instead of doing it in person."

"We've been ordered to stop this from going any farther," the second auror suggested.

"You can try," Harry told him. "Your Minister just decided to piss me off enough to allow me to cast the killing curse.  I'm still there.  Try it," he suggested coldly.   They both backed away and all the reporters were now taking notes to capture this scene. Harry got free of Sirius and looked at them. "This is only a tiny part of this, ladies and gentlemen.  Unfortunately the Ministry has decided that they're *bored*," he sneered.  "They've decided that they need a new dark lord to rise immediately so they're trying to turn people, some students, into one."  That got some horrified looks.  "It's not only me by the way.  They've been trying since day one to get Mr. Birmingham to become one.  They've been doing everything they could to try to make him go darker.  Well, guess what, people, Alex came to *Gryffindor* so he wouldn't!" he snapped. "He made his choice and he's apparently very happy with it.  The boy may know some dark stuff since *someone* over there in the Ministry *allowed* his torture to continue perpetually, but he's not going to become evil.  He's said so, he's proven so by backing me."

"Mr. Potter," one auror complained.

"He was there, moron!" he snapped.  "Alex was in that same battle with me.  We were double-teaming Voldemort.  We had to, we're fucking fourth years at the time!" he shouted.

"Harry, calm down," Sirius said quietly.  "I'm the hothead, not you."  Harry gave him a grimace.  "I mean it."

Harry took a few calming breaths.  Then he glared at the aurors. "Let me guess, you didn't see the pictures?  Why did you think Draco Malfoy *accidentally* allowed the reporters to come?" he sneered.  They looked stunned.  "We've known all along that you lot were trying to groom and force Alex into the role.  And if not him, me.  That's why some of you so brilliantly brewed the compulsion potion that was given to myself, Ron Weasley, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle so we'd attack Mr. Birmingham and there was one for him that was stopped to make him kill us, his best and truest friends."  The group moaned at that and quills scratched. "By the way, whoever did it, botched it.  It's lasted a bit more than a month and I doubt I'm going to be attacking the boy I guard."

"You what?" one of the reporters asked.

Sirius looked at her. "Harry got named Alexander's legal guardian by his grandmother's will.  She was the top of the Death Eater's inner circle, their torturer, and she decided it would give her friends and cohorts easier access to both boys.  Since she knew Alexander wasn't going to go to the dark either with where he was sorted."  He looked at Harry.  "There's stuff he'll get mad at you for telling," he said quietly.

"He'll forgive me if they stop trying to kill or turn him."  He looked at the reporters again.  "It's been like this since he was sorted, before really.  The Headmaster tried to send him to Hufflepuff.  Then he tried to get him forced onto a potion that last time made him lose his mind."  They wrote that down.  "I stuck up for him then and they started trying to include me in it.  Discredit and harm me as well.  Well, guess what," he sneered. "It hasn't worked yet."  He sat down in Sirius' chair, glaring at everyone.  "Let's start back from day one, shall we?"  They all nodded eagerly.

"I'll put on water for tea and coffee," Sirius offered, going to do that.  He looked at the aurors.  "Go get your boss up, gentlemen.  He'll need to know this is going on.  He's always supported Harry and Alexander."  One ran off to do that and the other stayed to monitor and take notes about what was being said.


Greg looked at the paper the next morning and winced at the four inch headline 'Potter Decries Ministry, Claims They're Trying to Make Him New Dark Lord'.  "Oh, hell.  Potter," he moaned.  He handed it down to Draco and drank some tea for his stomach.

Draco looked at it, then over at the Gryffindor table.  "Alex, don't read the paper," he called without having to read it himself.

"Too late," he called back.  "Harry's not in trouble, people.  It was rather sweet of him to help me this way.  The people who did it to me and him are in deep shit however.  If you've got insane cousins who want to be Minister For Magic, tell them to start campaigning now."

"Enough," McGonagall called.  "Boys!"

"It'd be better than what we've got," Alex called, flipping the page to continue reading.  It was all there, in graphic detail.  Everything except who cast the killing curse. At least Harry had protected him that much.

"Maybe Alexander should run," Millie called a moment later.

"Then I wouldn't have time to lounge around and order my house elves to spoil me more," Alex called back.  "We're holding my party this year for the fourth through sixth years who want to attend instead of Narcissa's, with notable exceptions.  Just nice clothes, no dress robes needed, people. Invitations are coming out next month."  That got some smiles in his direction. "You can bring dates if you want.  I know I am."  Draco choked on that, glaring at him so he grinned over at him and blew a kiss.  "Calm down. He was being a good boy, Draco.  It says he nearly destroyed two aurors who were sent to stop him."

Draco took the paper back, reading the article.  It was actually factual.  He knew he looked stunned, everyone was staring at him.  "They got it right for a change," he said in awe.  Everyone started to chat about that now.  He looked over at Alex, who shrugged a bit.

"Bloody hell, Potter was helpful?" Millie hissed to Greg, who nodded.  "Damn!"

Draco looked down at her.  "He's very protective over his given son.  He even glares at me for groping him instead of helping him with his homework."

"Think I could get adopted by him?" Pansy asked.

Draco rolled up the paper and reached down to beat her with it.  "Go away!" he ordered coldly.  She whimpered and tried to look pitiful.  Vincent got up and grabbed Pansy, dragging her out of the hall and tossing her down the hallway. Then he came back and got back to eating.  "Does nothing stop your appetite?" he asked.

He considered it, then ate a bite of roll and shook his head.  "No," he said once he had swallowed. "Not much."

Greg looked at him. "You amaze me, even after all these years, Vinnie."  Vinnie grinned at him.  "If you go for her, I'll like that," he assured him.  "Just let my dad realize he's an ass first."

Draco looked at the head table.  "Professor McGonagall?" he called.  She frowned at him.  "Are we having a ball this year?"  She nodded.  "It was never announced so I wasn't sure."

She tapped her glass.  "Attention!" she yelled over the babble.  Everyone stared at her. "Yes, that was quite important news today but a question was just posed about our own ball and Mr. Birmingham's ball.  His is at the traditional time, Solstice.  Ours is as usual the night before you leave on the train."  A few of the girls smiled.  "The normal rules apply so please make your outfits tasteful.  Now, let's finish eating. You can gossip later, once the news has settled into your brains."  They went back to gossiping but quieter now.  She looked at Severus, who was taking something for his stomach.  "Are you all right?" she asked gently.

"I'd like to skin the boy," he admitted tiredly.  "Alex seems to think it's all right however. So I probably won't be allowed to."

She smiled at him.  "He gave me that right last night."

"To skin Potter?"

"No, to call him Alex."  He nodded, smirking a bit at her.  "It will be fine. It was rather nice of him to say that Arthur Weasley, both Tonks, and the head of the aurors were the ones in the Ministry who had *always* stuck up for him."

"It was," he agreed. "It as even factual.  I'm impressed he made them tell the truth."

"Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction and sells even better.  After all, Ministry scandals always raise newspaper sales."

"Yes, and I believe we'll be seeing a lot of suddenly unemployed wizards and witches," he noted dryly.  He looked at Remus as he came in.  "Have you seen the paper?"

"I just got back from the house," he admitted quietly, sitting down and pouring some tea, adding a shot from the flask in his pocket.  He handed it to Snape.  "Here, Harry thought you might like it too.  He acted just like Lily normally would," he said proudly, saluting them with his cup before he drained it.  He pulled out another flask to fix another cup.  McGonagall took it from him and he smiled. "I'll need that back at lunch."  He looked at Snape again.  "The aurors were in fear for their lives last night when they came to stop him, Severus.  They were also obliviated by their boss.  Harry was truly mad enough to kill everyone last night.  Then he started to feel regret about twenty minutes after everyone had left so Sirius knocked him out so he couldn't beg to retract it."  He drained that cup too and filled another one the normal way with a sigh.  "Minerva, he'll be back tomorrow.  He's puking his toenails up at the moment in worry."

"Alex said he was safe from him," she offered.  He smiled at her for the ease of the nickname.  "He allowed me to use it last night."

"Congratulations."  He looked at Severus.  "We need to talk about Alexander's papers, Severus.  For some reason he's not able to concentrate this year.  His essays have all been jumbled and babbling, like when he's had too much chocolate and he's babbling at you happily.  I don't know why and neither does he."

"I'll have Poppy examine him later," he promised. "It could be that she's dosed him with something else or he's got the normal puberty hormone rush with Mr. Malfoy ...cuddling so much this year."

"No, nothing's been added about sex or Mr. Malfoy, not like you'd normally expect in those," McGonagall admitted.  "I've seen the same problem but I was going to talk to the boy."

"I tried.  He's doing it more in person too," Remus offered.  "Even during our private lessons."

She nodded.  "Have him examined today, Severus.  If it's a problem it's best handled sooner.  Let me know.  Dumbledore should be back sometime this afternoon."

"Alive?" Remus asked dryly.

"I'm not sure yet," she admitted, sipping her own tea.  "Eat, Remus, it's going to be a rather long day."

He nodded. "That's why I'll need my flask back at lunch," he said sadly.


Severus watched his son during his class with him.  He wasn't concentrating.  He wasn't even drawing, which was odd. He wasn't staring off into space, he looked confused for some reason.  Since he was brewing something and it was going right, he wasn't sure why.  He let it go for now, stopping him from leaving after class by grabbing his arm.  "Mr. Birmingham," he said quietly.  "Why were you confused?"

"I don't know.  I just felt odd and jumbled and mixed up again."  He looked at him.  "It's almost like the headaches I got when I'm near that barrier of Halfrek's, but she strengthened it again."

"How long has this been going on?"

"Nearly all year now, father."  He leaned against the first table.  "I've asked Madam Pomfrey, she couldn't find a charm or a hex on me."

"That's fine.  We're going to do a thorough exam since you've got a free period. The other teachers have noticed it too so she's expecting us today."  He nodded, shifting his books.  "Let me check the room and then we'll go."

"Someone left theirs on," Alex said, pointing at one in the corner.

Snape walked over there then froze the potion and the fire, going to call someone upstairs.   "Minerva?"  She came through the floo and he pointed.  "Our mystery explosives person struck again."

"Who was sitting there?"

"Um, Millie was at that table," Alex offered, "but she was on my end."

"I'll ask her then," she said with a smile, patting him on the cheek. "Go with him, Alex."  He nodded, following his father out of the classroom.  She took the potion and walked it outside, unfreezing it could explode safely.  Hagrid looked over from his class and she shrugged. "Again," she called. "Is Miss Bulstrode with you?"  He nodded.  "I need to see her."  She walked over and she gave her a gentle smile.  "Alexander said whoever did that was at your table."

She frowned.  "Who was I just working with?"

McGonagall sighed.  "We get this every year, they always erase the memories of whoever they were with.  Let's try to undo it, shall we?"  She led the student off, going to cast the counter to the oblivius.


Severus walked into the teacher's meeting and put down a single sheet of paper. "He's got power confusion," he announced.

Remus sighed.  "I was hoping it was something simple."

Minerva frowned.  "Mr. Malfoy asked if he'd had another of his cold spells and I realized he hasn't had one this year."

"Poppy noted that as well.  She thinks he gets them when he's too tired or too drained of magic."  He sat down.  "As such, we've got to devise a way for him to wear out more energy.  Puberty has given him a boost and he's had the normal love boost as well."  They all groaned at that.  "Does anyone need anything destroyed?"  No one said anything.  "How did we deal with this before?"

"The last time I remember him going without a lot of cold spells was while he was doing the animagus research and trials," McGonagall noted.

"Well, you can only do that once," Remus reminded her. "Is there anything else that could make him use that much energy?  Or should we just continue with the extra lessons?  I'm about out of things to teach the boy."

"If he was anyone else, we could give him theoretical stuff," Madam Sprout offered, "but he can't do that.  Not really."

"He could if he's interested enough," Snape noted calmly. "We know from various sources not to let him near anything demonic."

"We know he's allergic to dark magic," Remus added with a small smirk.  "We also know he's become a decent artist."

"He wasn't even drawing in my class," Flitwick complained. "He just had that horribly confused look."

"As he did in mine," Severus agreed.  "That's because there's too much power in him and it's clouding his mind."  He looked around.  "Any topics we could suggest?"

"What are Mr. Malfoy's top three areas?" Madam Sprout asked. "I know it's not mine."

"Potions, Transfiguration, and Arithmancy," he admitted.

"Alex knows Arithmancy," McGongall noted.  "He admitted as much to me."

"Have him working on magical designs?" Flitwick offered.  "House, charm boxes, anything like that?"

Halfrek appeared and shook her head quickly.  "No, no construction stuff, ever," she said quickly.  "Never, ever."

Flitwick blinked at her.  "Who are you?" he asked mildly.

"Halfrek, she's the Patron Saint of Lost Childhoods," McGonagall noted with a smile for her.  "No construction like the castle or no construction like charm boxes and things?"

"I'd prefer none at all.  That's really close to who he was."

"Huh?" Madam Sprout asked, looking at her.  "I saw you in my house the other day.  Why?"

"Miss Jennis," she said honestly.  "Reporting to her that her sister was safely living somewhere else."  She smiled and nodded at that.  She looked at Snape. "Nothing construction and I reshored up the barriers in case it was bleeding over to Xander somehow.  Because he was just possessed."

"Any other subjects we shouldn't touch?" Flitwick offered.  "Possessions for instance?  Why shouldn't we touch them by the way?"

She sighed.  "No one can tell Alexander, ever.  I mean truly ever.  As in humanity will all die permanently.  He has a past life.  I'm responsible for giving him to you guys.  Yeah, I know his former life sucked but it had to happen and I took over majorly once he got his letter and blew up his grandmother on purpose.  Otherwise you'd be at war at the moment."  Snape shuddered at that.  "We can't let any of his past life interfere into his current one or else he'll snap and time will twist and things'll go back to being bad guy central around here, okay?"  Everyone nodded at that.  "But we can't tell him or else he'll start to get curious and then the mental blocks between the two will break and things'll go back to being bad guy central around here."

"Okay," Flitwick agreed, nodding and looking at Severus.

"I knew," he admitted. "She's shown up a few times, including the incident with Mr. Longbottom.  She was here earlier that night and Crouch went to drive her off."  He looked at her.  "Possessions?"

"Nothing and nowhere near the demonic.  No construction stuff," she reported.  "Posessions are kinda iffy.  Lycanthropy," she told Remus and shook her head.  "He knew one of you there too.  You're actually an anchor of the shields on him.  Now, we only have to keep them steady until he's twenty-one," she offered.  "By Solstice of that year, he'll be free of this."  They all nodded, liking that better.

"What about ancient things?" Remus offered.  "Some of the curse breaking stuff?"

She shrugged.  "As long as it doesn't touch on the demonic in any way.  No hellmouths especially.  No vampires especially.  That's why I gave him a headache for that class, Remus Lupin."  He nodded, accepting that.  She stared him down.  "You've seen his other life."

"I have?"

"Yes, you've seen Xander."  He stood up, staring at her.  She smiled.  "Now you know why."

"All right.  I'll make sure of it.  You don't have a problem with that any longer."  She smiled and faded out.  He sat down, looking at Severus.  "I had no idea I was so involved, Severus, I'm sorry."

"I'm not.  The more I learn the less I like his last life."  He looked around.  "Again, humanity will be destroyed if he knows."

"Are we...serious about this?" Professor Vector offered.  Everyone who knew nodded. "We're taking the word of a demon who just admitted he had to be tortured for a bit?"

"She had to leave him there, not let him be tortured.  She did mitigate it where she could," Remus told her.  "Halfrek is bound in this situation as well.  Harry needed someone to help him.  It's Alex in case you hadn't noticed."

Snape looked at him.  "When did he give you that right?"

"Two Christmases ago, but only in private usually," he admitted.  He looked at her again.  "If Alexander knows about his last life, he'll end up going back to it.  If he goes back to it, he'll either warp the fabric of time and space because there's some overlap with the two lives, or he'll end up dead to a Hellgoddess coming to destroy the world. If he's there, the plan to defeat her won't go off as flawlessly and we'll all be sucked into hell.  Fancy that?" he asked drolly.

"That's all right, I rather prefer snow," she admitted sarcastically.  "We're sure about this?"  Severus nodded.  "Then I'd rather be obliviated so I can't let it slip."

"We can do that," McGonagall agreed. "We probably should do it to all of you so you don't overcompensate."

"What about the headmaster?" Remus asked quietly.  "He knows."

"He'll keep his mouth shut, he knows why he has to," she assured him. "All right, nothing construction, nothing demonic, Severus, do a charm on the room so we only know when we're all gathered and have to discuss the subject."

"Allow me," Flitwick offered, getting up to do that on the room as a whole, then on himself.  He didn't want to know about such things.


McGonagall smiled as the two boys walked into her classroom, waving at the chairs in front of the teachers.  "We've been discussing your extra lessons."

"I'm not really up to it at the moment," Alex warned as he sat down.

"You will be once we've got you started. You need to wear out more energy and magic, Alexander," Snape reminded him. "Therefore we've been designing some special studies for you and Draco to do during your remaining time here."  Draco frowned a bit at that. "You are the better researcher of you both.  It'll take skills you possess as well."

"Just like you did with the animagus stuff," McGonagall noted calmly.

Flitwick smiled at them and handed over a scroll.  "This box...."  He waited while Alex sneezed.  "I know.  It is dark magic, but not ours.  It was turned into our sort.  We want you to unwarp the dark magic.  I think it would be something you both could do, learning how to uncurse dark magic artifacts.  There's a potion to help with the sneezing and Mr. Malfoy can make it to his heart's content for you, Alexander."

Alex handed it to Draco.  "So I'm getting practical application on how to fix all the stuff in the vault?"

Snape nodded.  "That as well.  We expect you to go further than that however.  At the upper levels, this takes Potions, Arithmancy, Charms, and Transfiguration at times.  As well as Defense.  Some have creatures imbedded.  Some are chaos magic so you'd have to learn some theories on the various types of magic.  Including chaos.   Which I do not want to see you practicing, son."

Alex looked at him.  "Okay," he said, looking really confused.  "That sounds like a lot of research."

"Not all of it," Draco said, looking at him. "There's some theory at points, but you get past that to do the practical application, Alex.  Basically, I'll learn a subject that's needed somewhat and start to teach you the practical parts of it so you can practice.  It uses both our strengths."

Alex looked happier at that.  "Okay.  How far should we go?"

"As far as your demented little minds can take you," McGonagall said with a small smirk.  "Next year the twins will be gone so you won't have anyone to help you prank the stupid or the bullies.  That box itself was a prank before it was warped."

Draco looked at it again, nodding slowly.  "It's an interesting area of study."  He looked at her.  "Can we dump divination for it?"

"Certainly," Snape assured him dryly.  "That hack doesn't appreciate you anyway."  He smirked at them.  "There's a complex report on that box in the library.  It will stay in the library."  They both nodded.  "You may not get Mr. Potter into this."

"He might be really good at it," Flitwick offered. "At least the finding of dark magic.  I can support him and Mr. Weasley learning how to sense and find dark magic, Severus."

"As can I, before they get bored and start to cause trouble."

"Are you sure that's wise with the call for him to be examined?" Malfoy asked dryly.

"What better way to prove he's not a dark lord?" Flitwick offered.

"Some of the more paranoid will think he's hunting it to learn from it," Alex reminded him.  "Start him in alternate magical theories first."

"Well, they *are* a thing of chaos together," Draco admitted.  Alex frowned at him. "They are.  They're also loud, noisy, and they belch."

"All boys can be like that," McGonagall assured him.  "I've seen every single boy in this school be that way sometimes.  Even you, Mr. Malfoy, though I've never heard you belch."

"I have, his mum swatted him hard for it," Alex told her.  He looked at Draco.  "You know, I remember your dad used to come over until I was about six."

"Is that what gave you the nightmares for the last week?" Draco asked, giving him a bland look.  "He probably figured at that age you'd start to ask questions and you were coming into accidental magic so you'd be more dangerous to him."

"Point," he sighed, shaking his head.  "I still hate your father."

"Join the club, there's many of us," Draco quipped.  He looked at the paper again.  "Fine.  I can accept his area of study if Alex can.  How long before he'll start wearing out energy?"

"By the act of studying it could help some," McGonagall noted.  "The restricted books you got into during your animagus research leeched some of the energy off you both.  These will be doing the same."

"That's why it's to stay in the library?" Draco asked.

"That's one of the reasons why all the restricted books stay in the library, Mr. Malfoy.  It's part of their protection from the younger students."

"Because most of the younger kids would be too drained to cast anything out of them by the time they tried," Alex agreed. She smiled and nodded.  "I can agree with that.  Some of the bullied first years would cause hell if they could cast fire charms and the like."

"Son, can you accept this area of study?"

"I think I can," he admitted.  "It'd be nice not to have to deal with paying to clean that stuff.  Can I also learn some about ghosts so I can banish the one who's going to keep me from selling any of her assorted shit?"

"I don't see why not," McGonagall said, looking at Snape.  He shrugged and nodded.

Flitwick smiled. "That's a very easy area to study, Mr. Birmingham.  I'll add those to the list of books you're allowed from the Restricted section.  We're submitting a list to Madam Pince.  That way she doesn't have to let you into the books on say, long distance flame charms."

"Over too quick for Miss Granger," Draco assured him.  "We'd rather torture her for a bit before we turn her into charcoal."

"Can't we turn her into charcoal and then light her and put her out and light her and put her out and light her again?" Alex offered.  "While leaving her conscious?"

"That's mean, Alexander," McGonagall said firmly.  "Remember, you wanted to stay a good boy."  He gave her his best wicked grin and she smiled. "I know.  I was fairly tempted to do the sample collection spell and start to pull each hair from her body, one by one over a period of days."

"Eh, grow 'em all super long, then release her into the mountains," Alex told her with a smart smirk.  "Then start doing attraction charms on her since she tried a lust potion to get me to sleep with her nastiness. Start simple with frogs or something.  Work up to a yeti or a troll."

"What did the troll ever do to you?" Snape asked sarcastically.

"Hmm, point," Alex admitted, frowning a bit.  "That would be hurting innocent creatures."

"We have time to decide this," Draco reminded him with a pat on the arm.  "She's not coming back until next year."

"She's down in the dungeons in a room, Draco," he said dryly.

"I know.  I locked Pansy in there with her after the last time she started shit," he said with a fond grin.  Alex smiled and kissed him for it.

"We don't need to see that," Snape noted patiently.

"They're very cute," Flitwick told him with a grin.

"They are," McGonagall sighed. "They were also groping in my class last week."  She frowned at the boys.  "Behave.  Or at least try."

"Why?" Alex asked.

"For the same reason a few of the teachers have called you six the Six Menaces of Society," she shot back with a smirk of her own.

Draco looked at Snape.  "Should I be impressed or insulted?"

"We've known you were a menace to society since the day you said your first word," he assured his Godson.  "It's official confirmation."

Alex snickered at that.  "Man, it's a good thing you didn't know me when I was younger."

Snape nodded. "I heard.  Twirly and the house elves told me stories about you as a child, Alexander."  His son beamed at him.  "Try to behave just a bit more often if you can."

"Sure.  Can we go?"

"We'll be looking at your schedules," McGonagall noted. "Alex, it was also noted that you're going into the art class next year instead of seventh year.  She demanded."  He beamed proudly at that.  "Draco, I'll expect weekly reports from you on your progress.  Even in note form if you wish.  Keep a separate binder of them if you want."

"Yes, Professors.  When can we get that book?"

"Tonight if you wish," she offered.  "The list is already with Madam Pince."

"Thank you."  Alex hugged them all then pulled Draco off. Not only would his head quit hurting but they had just given them permission to get into books that could help them be mean, snarky bastards while they pulled pranks on the others.

Draco gave his lunatic a fond look, knowing what he was thinking from such long association with him.  The teachers might regret this by the end of the year.  He cleared the look before they made it to the populated halls, that way no one would know he felt like that.


Alex looked up from his reading as someone sat across from him, expecting it to be Draco.  Instead it was Parkinson.  "What?" he asked, going back to his reading.

"Are you doing research?" she asked.  "I thought you hated studying."

"I've been taking extra lessons since my first year, Parkinson.  Where I had already learned other things ahead of our year, I got bored."  He looked at her. "This is this year's.  Father decided I should know how to clean the artifacts we've got in Gringotts."  He went back to his books.  "If you must know, I'm working on Auntie Narcissa's present this year."

"Oh."  She fidgeted for a second.  "Can you put charms on things by studying that?"

"I already knew how to do that.  I learned that before school."

"Oh."  She frowned a bit.  "Can I help?"

"No.  It's a book from the Restricted section and only Draco and I can check it out without permission," he said blandly.  "It wouldn't help you anyway if you want to plant a curse on something.  It's a different process than taking it off something."

"Oh."  She pouted at him. "Can you teach me?"

"No.  Ask my father, he's excellent at it."

"Really?"  She perked up at that.  "Thank you, Alexander."  She got up and headed down to the dungeons to talk to him. "Professor Snape?"  He looked over from his grading, nodding that she could come in.  She walked in and stood in front of him, her hands clasped behind her back.  "I want to learn how to put curses on things, like that stuff Alex has in Gringotts.  Can I do that for a living?"

He considered it.  "I suppose," he said cautiously.  "Why would you want to do that?"

"Because there seems to be a market for it and cursed and charmed things are usually much more expensive.  Even if the original product was rather cheap and ugly."

He nodded slowly.  "I have noticed that.  Alexander's grandmother's things had many ugly statues and the like."

"See, and I could do that, right?  I'm passable in charms.  Nowhere near Draco or Alex of course, but not all of us had the dark arts poured down our throats from the time we could talk.  I'm getting good grades in there.  I'm average in potions.  I'm decent enough in defense I suppose.  Would that be a suitable career?"

He blinked a few times.  "That depends on what you mother would say about such things."

She nodded.  "I thought to approach you first since Alexander said that you knew how to do things like that.  He said you're excellent at it and I wanted to know some information before going to my mother about it.  It would only raise my level in the marriage stakes going around if I had such specialized skills."

"It would," he agreed.  He considered quickly, seeing his son's plan for what it was. A way to distract her from him and Draco while they worked, but also a way to keep an eye on this venomous pit viper of a female in his own house.  "Talk to your mother first.  If so, I could test you to see if you had the skills needed.  If you did, I would not be against teaching you the basics."

She smiled at him. "Thank you, Professor Snape.  I'll owl her tonight."  She skipped off to do that.  Her mother would be proud that she'd found a way to make such a good reputation for herself.  It was her old one that was keeping her single after all.

Snape shook his head, thinking about everything that could go wrong with this, but then he'd know where it had come from.  Yes, he could keep her under his thumb and out of contact with his son and Mr. Malfoy for months, if not the remainder of her school time by doing this and he didn't have to teach her anything harmful.  She might even decide she could earn more prestige with a career than on her back, though he doubted that, but it was possible.  He made a note to warn Flitwick, Lupin, and McGonagall about that.  That girl would probably bother them with her attempts.


Alex looked at the guest list for his party, only marking out two names this time.  "It's nice, she didn't include the ones she knew I wouldn't want," he told Draco.  He looked over at him.  "Should we include Ginny Weasley?"

Draco looked at him, then sighed. "Is she likely to come as a date?" he asked bitterly.

"She did apologize," Ron pointed out from where he was reading a book on quidditch, again. "Mum'll understand though.  What's this year's gonna be?"

"A dance," Draco told him.  "Sort of a bridge between ours and Mother's."  He looked at Alex.  "You can if you want, but I reserve the right to snub her.  As do you."

"Fine," Alex agreed, adding her name to the list. "That makes her and Ron the only two Weasleys coming this year."

"Hallelujah," Draco muttered.

Ron smirked at him.  "Does this mean I'm supposed to find a date?"

"Or just ask random girls there to dance, unless you want to dance with a guy, Ron," Alex assured him.

"So, we'll be seeing Tonks again?" Greg teased from the bathroom.

Harry came out of his bedroom, looking alarmed.  "Why?  Is there another attack?"

"No, Harry.  This year's party," he said, waving it.  "Unless you're dragging her to Auntie Narcissa's?"

"No," he said slowly.  "What's yours going to be?"

"A school dance sort."

"Oh."  He blinked a few times.  "I'll ask her opinion on it," he decided, going to write her immediately.  That way no one else would ask her before he could.

"He does know her actual age, correct?" Draco asked. Alex nodded, giving him a small smirk.  "Well, he aims high."  He went back to his reading.  "Who else?"

"I'm debating on Lovegood."

"She'd be Seamus' date," Ron said.

"They are?" the couple demanded, both looking at him.  Ron nodded, turning the page and smirking a bit.

"Since when?" Draco demanded.

"Since about a week ago when he stopped her in the halls, kissed her, and asked her to wander around with him."  He grinned at them.  "It was kinda cute.  She slapped him and told him next time be more of a gentleman or be on his knees and begging."

Draco gagged. "Eww! I did not need to imagine that!"  Alex kissed him, giving him a small smile. "Thank you!"

"Always happy to help," Alex said happily, going back to his list.  Since he knew she'd be coming anyway, her name got put back on. He handed it to Draco, who went down it, checking two names off and handing it back with a grimace.  "We're not inviting Millie?" he asked with a frown.

"She's got to go to Mother's."

"It's still polite to ask her," Alex reminded him.

"Yes, but if we do that, they might show up and then I'll have to deal with Marcus Flint," he said bitterly.  "I'd rather keep the fist fights down that night."

"Point.  I'll talk to her tomorrow," he said, checking the other name.  "Tabbernish isn't coming?"

"He'll be moving to Pakistan with his parents over the hoidays," Ron reminded him.

"Then I'll see if he'll be around and would like an invitation.  He brought some fun the last time we held it," he decided.  "I'm going to talk to Millie."  He stole another kiss and headed down to Slytherin territory, running into one of the prefects.  "Hi," he said with a grin.  "Is Millie out and wandering?  If not, can I talk to her for a moment?"

"You know where the common room is," she sneered.  "Why did you need her?"

"To see if she wanted an invitation to my party of if she was already confirmed to go to Auntie Narcissa's."  He headed that way, tapping on the doorway.  It was opened by a second year.  "Is Millicent in?"  He nodded, going to get her while Alex leaned across the hall from the doorway.  She came out, frowning. "We're doing the guest list for my party. I wanted to know if you wanted one to mine or if you've already decided you're going to Auntie Narcissa's party."

"Unfortunately Marcus doesn't do well around the younger kids," she reminded him.  "He wanted to hang out with the adults and make favors."

He stepped closer.  "Are you okay?"

"I don't know.  I have a really bad headache," she sighed, rubbing her forehead.  "Can you take me to the infirmary, Alex?"

"Sure."  He took her arm and walked her off, ducking when she tried to kiss him.  "Huh.  I think someone got you with something," he said dryly, freezing her.  The prefects in the hall came running.  "She's fine, she was dosed with something.  She lunged over to grab me.  I'm taking her to the infirmary."

"We can handle it," one said, reaching for her.

Alex pointed his wand at him.  "I'm taking her to the infirmary," he said more firmly.  "Just in case it was something worse than a childish hex or a prank.  Especially with that compulsion potion book being missing from the library."  He floated her off, with a prefect following him.  He didn't care if they followed.  He floated her inside and the nurse jumped up.  "She tried to lunge over and either kiss me or grab me right after complaining of a severe headache."  He put her on the bed and then unfroze her, ducking out of the way when she tried again.  "See?" he asked the prefect.

"You're right, that's not one of us," the prefect admitted.  He looked at Alex.  "Am I on the list?"

"Fourth through sixth years this year or as a date, Tom."  He nodded at that.  "It'll be a dance, just not as formal as the ball.  Nice clothes, not dress robes."

"Sure," he agreed, sounding happier.  "I'm dating a sixth year.  Ellory's going?"

"I've invited her.  She's on the list.  Invitations are going out early next month."

"Sure."  He walked off, going to report this to Snape.

Alex looked at the nurse, who was giving him an amused smirk.  "Some of us don't want to or aren't ready for the Malfoy ball."  He hopped up next to her. "Millie?" he called softly, smiling at her since she was restrained.  "What's going on in that big head of yours?"

"I don't know," she sobbed.  "Make it stop, Alex?"

He swished his wand and she fell asleep again.  "I think it's kinder," he said quietly.

"It is.  Thank you, Alexander."  Professor Snape charged in.  "She's under some sort of thing to make her attack your son and kiss him."

"Probably not just me," he warned. "Can we test for the usual suspects since she's betrothed to Flint?"

"I've already started the test for the potion," she promised.  "Severus, start one for the Imperious and lesser hexes?"  He nodded, starting that.  She sighed at the sight that met their eyes.  "She wasn't happy with him?"

"Nope," Alex said dryly.  "He's a mean and evil bastard."  He slid off the bed. He pressed on Millie's shoulders.  "Go ahead, Dad, she can't thrash now."

"We need to know what the compulsion was for."

"To give herself to people who are powerful so Flint can blackmail them," Draco said from the doorway, walking in to help.  "I saw Tolers.  He found it the other day.  He was watching to see if she tried for Alex or me.  He asked if that's why you floated her off."  Alex nodded at that.  "Good.  Can we trash Flint?"

"I'm sure someone can," Alex said with a grin.  "Can we notate this for the officials?" he asked sweetly.

"Let me get one here," the nurse said, going to her fireplace.  "Should I get Mr. Potter's girlfriend?"

"Harry was writing to her so why not," Alex said with a small shrug.  "Her or her mum."

"Of course."  She smiled and tossed some floo powder into the fireplace, smiling at the young woman.  "We just found the Imperious, dear.  Since Mr. Potter wanted to talk to you tonight anyway, we thought we'd call you directly."

"Really?  Why?"

"I'm not sure.  Alexander said he was writing you."  She smiled.  "He's also making out certain guest lists," she shared.

"Ah."  She nodded.  "I'm still considering that.  He's still really young.  Step aside so I can come through after I turn down dinner."  She disappeared and then came through a moment later.  "Caught me at a good time.  I just put water on to boil pasta."  She came over to look at the girl on the bed.  "Yup, that's what it is.  Hold her down, boys."  They moved to grab her again.  "What's it for?"

"To go after those who could give Flint influence or favors so he can blackmail them," Draco told her.

"How do we know that?" she asked him.


"Hmm.  Sounds like the sort I could recruit then," she said happily.  "We always need nosy bastards around the office."  She flicked her wand and started the charm to unravel the curse, finally getting her free.  "I'm seeing a few others.  A fertility one?"  She tested it.  "Same person too."

"That would give him excellent blackmail forever," Snape reminded her.

"True.  Evil bastard.  Who cast it?"

"Her betrothed," Snape noted.  "Marcus Flint."

She grinned and let the nurse uncast that particularly bad curse.  They checked again, the rest that were left were protective charms.  "I'll leave those.  They look okay and mostly like a mum's doing."  She grabbed some paper to make notes, handing it to the three witnesses to sign.  Then she went to floo from the main office since she had to report it to the headmaster anyway.  She smiled when she ran into Harry, pinching him on the cheek.  "Wotcher, Harry."

"Hi, Tonks," he said with a blush.

She felt her heart melt.  He was so young though!  "I hear you were writing to me?  Walk me to the office?"

"Sure."  He walked beside her, swallowing hard.  "Nym....  Um, were you going to Narcissa's party this year?  Or, um, I'm thinking about going to Alex's if you're not," he offered in a rush, his face and neck bright red.

She grinned at him.  "You do know I'm about a decade older'n you, Harry?"

"So?"  He pouted at her.  She melted and smiled at him.  "Whichever you want to go to is fine with me," he offered quietly.  He moved closer and gently kissed her.  "Besides, we live a really long time if Dumbledore's any indication.  A decade's not so long.  I don't mind the experience.  I think you're cute, funny, and nice."

"At least you didn't say sweet," she teased.

He grinned and blushed even darker, feeling it move down onto his chest and arms.  "I think you are but I like the aggressive girls.  I don't know fully what to do on a date.  Aggressive girls take charge and let me enjoy myself while they have fun too."

She burst out in giggles at that, swatting him with the paper.  "You're so naughty, Harry Potter.  Fine.  Which one did you want to go to?"

"Either one's fine with me," he promised.  "Alex's is going to be a dance, just not as high brow as Mrs. Malfoy's."

"Hmm.  I'll let you know within a week.  Auntie might get upset if I didn't go, but she might understand too."  She winked at him and walked on. "Coming?"

"Sure.  I wanted to ask you a question anyway.  Do we know why the potion hasn't worn off and is there some way to do that?  Or can we find out if there's another spell on us or on anyone else around here?"

"That's a very good question," she told him, stopping to look at him.  "I'll talk to my boss tomorrow.  It'd give the cadets practice in finding spells on others."  She put an arm around his shoulders.  "You're just brilliant tonight, Harry.  Any other questions?"

"Ummmm," he said, blushing again, but grinning up at her.  He leaned up to whisper in her ear, making her blush.  "Is that possible?  I got that image stuck in my head last week and it's been all I could think about.  It even somehow made it's way into my transfiguration essay.  McGonagall said it's not."

"Well, I'm a bit flexible," she admitted, still blushing, "but not quite that good.  We'll definitely try though."  She kissed him again. "Forget the age gap, Harry.  You're more than qualified."

"That's why we had to hand him a silencing charm," Ron said as he walked past them.  "He kept all of us up calling your name for eight hours."

"Eight hours?" she asked, grinning at him. "I'm impressed.  Hey, Ron. How?"

"Two hour intervals, a short nap, then more," he called back.  He shook his head.  "He even woke Granger up a few times when she lived down the halls."

Tonks blushed, matching Harry's red face very nicely.  "Well.  That shows a lot of promise.  More than most guys I've dated."  She stole another kiss.  "Business before pleasure, and then we'll go for a stroll, how 'bout it, Harry?"

"Sure," he agreed, taking her hand to hold until they got up there.  Then he let her go with a grin so she could be the scary auror she was.  Once she had made the report, he took her outside and told her what he was learning and what he was thinking about doing with it during the off season from quidditch.  Or instead of quidditch if he didn't make a team.  She was really excited, he could tell when he kissed her later.


Tonks looked up as the owl landed on her desk, smiling and stroking the snowy white feathers. "Hello, Hedwig.  He said he sent it off too."  She took the letter and handed over some of her muffin, getting some hoots and then the owl took off.  She read it, smiling at the shy questions about the balls and dance.  She'd have to ask her aunt today about that.  The letter got handed to her boss as he walked past her desk.

He read the first paragraph.  "Well, I hear he's a very nice boy," he said with a grin, handing it back.  "He keep up with you?"

"More than," she said smugly.  "Not that part, boss.  The later questions."  He took it back with a grin and read them, then looked at her.  "He wanted to know if we could find a way to see if the potion would ever go away and if anything like that was on anyone else.  I figured the cadets could use the practice, along with mum and a few others."

"Sure," he agreed.  "I'll see if I can arrange it.  We could recruit too.  It's not this year that's going to be rushing to fill the open spots."  He handed it back and walked off. "Go to the younger dance, Tonks.  You're like a little girl playing dress up most of the time anyway."

"I already told him yes.  We're trying to figure out which one we're heading to now."  She got up to floo her aunt, smiling at the sleepy looking woman.  "Auntie Narcissa?"  She got a smile for that.  "Am I coming to yours with my date or Alex's with my date since I'm going with Harry?"

"Harry Potter?" she asked, noticing the blush her niece sprouted.  "Well, dear, with the way Draco complained about that night he needed the silencing charm, I'd say come to mine.  That way you can be rather naughty and no one will realize it."  She smiled at him.  "We'll be outside in the gardens this year."

She blushed harder.  "Yes, Auntie.  What did Draco say?"

Narcissa smiled.  "I'll show you.  I saved it down to show to Alex and their children some day.  It was so cute!  He was complaining about being kept up all night by Harry wanking off in another room.   All night."  She smiled at her. "Come to mine, dear.  Alex won't mind.  Wear something fantastic.  I'll help you shop even.  Stop by within the week."  Tonks nodded and cut the connection, sneaking back to her desk to blush in private.

Her mother caught sight of her when she came in a few minutes later and grinned.  "A naughty proposal?"

"No, your sister saying I can get naughty at her party instead of Alex's."

"Why would you.... Oooooh," she said, sitting next to her.  "Tell momma everything, baby!" she cooed, patting her on the hands.  "How was Harry?"

"Mum!  We only took a walk!" she complained, trying to keep it down.

"Was that *your* idea or his, dear?" she asked fondly.  Tonks blushed and pointed at herself.  "Why was that?"

"He about sucked my brains out twice before we made it outside," she told her.  Her mother giggled and hugged her.  "Mum!"

"Dear, I don't care.  He's legal. You're happy.  That's all I care about.  Besides, from what Alex complained about to Sirius, he's going to make you call off work some mornings, the same way mine did me when we were younger."

"Mom!" she complained.  The aurors around them grinned at them. "Go away!" she shouted.  That got some giggling.  "Mum, you're ruining my image," she whined.

"Dear, Harry obviously likes your image and likes to see you be the scary and wicked auror you are. Think he'll join us?"

"No, he wants to play professionally and help with stuff that's got alternate magical problems otherwise."

"That's ambitious," she said happily.  "Is he studying alternate magic styles?"  She nodded.  "Excellent!  What's Alex studying?  Sirius wouldn't tell me."

"How to uncurse all the stuff in Gringotts and how to destroy a soul so it goes away for good and he can sell the tawdry crap," she said dryly.  Her mother smiled at that. "I got called up there because someone put an imperious on Millicent Bulstrode.  We've got to tell her parents today."

"Of course.  I remember her father.  I'll call them in to talk with them."  She nodded.  "Did you remove it?"

"That and the blasted fertility curse her betrothed put on her."

"Really?" her mother asked, turning into the mean, scary auror she was.  "That's very interesting.  Yes, we'll have a chat with all of them today."  She went to notify their boss and make the call from the official floo.  She'd have to get with Narcissa to make sure her baby looked hot enough to be jumped on sight.  She wondered what figure she'd be going in.  Being a metamorphagus was rather kinky while you were dating but fun.


Draco looked up from the couch in Slytherin's common room when Professor Snape walked in, nudging Greg awake.  "What's going on?"

"The aurors are here as a training and bragging exercise," he announced.  "As at least two cases of imperious were found already, the headmaster has decided to let them test everyone in the school as practice for their cadets and as a way to recruit some of you.  So feel free to bother them while they're testing you.  You're to go to the Great Hall now.  All of you."

Draco stood up.  "Prefects, get the first years moving first so we can herd.  Each of you take one of the other years and sexes to keep them in line."  They stared for a moment and he scowled, but they ran to do it.  "Goyle, Crabbe, go herd the first years.  Be scary and mean if you must."  They nodded and got up to gather them and herd them that way.  Draco walked out straightening out his shirt. "That should solve anyone trying to hide."

Snape nodded.  "Good work.  Ten points to Slytherin for leading the charge effectively."  He watched as each dorm was walked out by a senior student, the last ones by Draco himself.  He smirked as he followed them.  It was rather cute seeing Draco Malfoy order his whole house around and them obeying with only an odd look for him.  Not even a question about his right to rule. He followed Draco into the Great Hall, noticing the Gryffindors were being done.  With a few notable absences.  He went to get his son and the other two, finding them lounging about in their suite.  "The Great Hall, now," he ordered.

"We considered that," Alex said, looking at him.  "They'll find out about the compulsion on them and announce it."

"Everyone knows anyway, it was in the paper.  Go. Now."  They groaned and got up, heading down there.  He followed, glaring at them. "I should take points off."

"We didn't want to cause a panic," Ron complained. They ran into McGonagall.  "We're coming."

"Fine.  Severus, they want to see Miss Granger as well," she noted calmly.

"I'll retrieve her."  He turned and headed down there to get their detainee.  He knocked on her door before opening it, sneering at her.  "The aurors are testing everyone for spells, hexes, and other things.  They wanted your presence as well."

"Why?  Did Harry make Alex do it for him?' she sneered back.

"You can go or be dragged.  It makes little difference to me," he noted in a hiss.  She stomped off and he followed, glaring at her back.  He nodded McGonagall to check the girl's room.  He'd seen library books in there and she wasn't allowed anything that hadn't already been in her possession.  If they weren't on the list that was made when she got put in there, they might finally expel the brat so he'd have some peace and less work to do from monitoring her.  He walked her to the fully accredited auror watching the trainees, handing her over.  "Here's one that's in punishment.  Miss Granger."

"We've got her specially marked for the boss to do, Professor," he assured him.  He looked at the girl, then at him.  "How's she been?"

"I believe she's been snuck books."  The auror whistled, bringing his boss over to do the check himself.  "I believe she's broken the rules.  I told McGonagall to check."

"That's fine," he promised with a grin. "We can always get it from her later."  He pulled Hermione aside and cast the checking charm, coming up with an odd result.  It came up as magicless.  He frowned at her. "Where's her wand, Professor?"

"In the headmaster's possession.  Why?"  He moved closer, doing the check himself.  Then he sneered at her. "Doing wandless magic now?" he suggested.  She crossed her arms and sneered at him.  "That is a definite violation of your probation, young lady. You're not to be doing any unapproved magic."  He looked around, finding the headmaster and catching his eye.  He walked over, smiling and happy.  "Test her yourself."

Albus tested her, then frowned. "Interesting.  Mr. Malfoy!" he called.  "I believe you're studying wandless magic as well? In relation to breaking it?"  He nodded, coming over to help.  "Can you break whatever shield is on Miss Granger?"

"It might cause her pain," he said with a small sneer for him.  "I wouldn't want to get into trouble."

"We can dose her for a headache, boy," Snape noted dryly.

Malfoy nodded. "That's fine then. The only way I know is this way."  He pulled his wand and cast the charm, making her scream and grab her head, trying to hold it together.  He finished off in the same cool, calm voice and stepped back.  "There, that should have fractured it.  Now we remove it.  Alex?"  He came over and laid her out, then started to work on undoing it.  Finally she was glaringly bright with the magic being pent up inside her.  "There you go," he noted.  "And she can't really resist the scan either."  He smiled at his mate.  "Did you get checked yet?"

"Yup.  They found Halfrek's mark on me and one other. They're not sure about that one and I didn't let them touch it and neither did the elder Tonks.  She said there's a reason and she's got to see if it's related by talking to Halfrek."

"We'll call her tonight," Draco said, leading him back to his line.  "I'm still waiting."  The elder Tonks smiled at him and motioned him closer, doing it on him herself.  She smiled at him.  "Find many?"

"What are you studying?"

"The same thing Alex is.  I'm helping him.  Potter and Weasley are studying alternate magics."

"Interesting.  That second mark is on you as well, Draco.  It's semi-demonic magic, but not totally."

"Hmm."  He looked up. Then at her again.  "Let's adjourn somewhere more private."

"The back hall, gentlemen and Auror Tonks," the headmaster called with a smile for them.  "I believe the answers are back there."  They nodded, walking her back there.  She smiled at her daughter and Harry chatting happily so he looked and smiled.  What an unorthodox pair!  But the boy was happy so he wouldn't do anything as long as Sirius and Remus knew.  He caught Remus' eye and nodded that way. He smirked a bit and shrugged, going back to watching his students as they worked.  He had the ones who wanted to talk to the aurors.  Including two Harry had pushed over from the Slytherin side, saying they'd make good ones.  It seemed he was right as well.

Alex came back, looking upset, walking out of the room.  He walked outside and headed to the pitch to vent.

Draco walked in more calmly, heading to Remus' side.  "Do you remember a witch while you were there?"  He nodded.  "She reached back through time to mark him, and me for some reason, so her younger self would find him and come see him.  Halfrek removed it and went to bitch her a new one."

"Oh, good," he agreed.  "What does he know."

"That.  He called her an interfering busybody.  Halfrek agreed."  He followed his mate, going to cuddle and have sex with him out there to calm him down.  It worked every time with Alex.  By dinner they were both in much better moods.


Alex smiled as his aunt came into his dining room their first morning back on break, shoving over a wrapped gift.  "I can't wrap nearly as good as you do," he admitted shyly.  "I cleaned it myself with Draco's help.  Vinnie and Greg added to it too."

She smiled and kissed him on the cheek. "Draco told me what you were learning.  Are you sure you're ready to say you can do this?"

"That was fairly easy," he admitted.  "Not one of the harder pieces, Auntie."  She scowled at him.  "Sorry, mum," he said with a renewing blush.

She smiled and sat down to unwrap it, cooing at the small charm box.  She opened all the drawers, looking at the charmed charms in it.  "Oooh, that's adorable!" she cooed, holding one up. It was a teddy bear charm and she could feel a calming charm on it.

"That was Greg's," Draco said as he joined them.  "He thought you'd need it when he had kids some day."  She smiled and went back to the others.  "The horse is Vinnie's.  He said you'd need it with ... a personal project later in life."  She blushed when she found that one and the lust the stallion charm was radiating.  He ran a hand over the top of the box.  "All we left on was the self-polishing charm and the strengthening and magic dampening ones.  All the harmful charms were taken out and put back when we couldn't clean them."

"I adore this, boys!"  She kissed them both on the cheek.  "I'll hug the other two later," she said happily, putting it away.  "Can I shrink it?"

"I'm not sure," Alex admitted.

"Then I won't try, boys.  I do adore this!"  She stroked over it again, smiling at them.  She smiled as Sirius, Remus, and Harry came out of the floo.  "Come see what my sweeties gave me," she cooed.

Sirius kissed her on the cheek, looking at the box.  "That's very pretty."

"They did a good job taking the bad charms off it too," Remus said, smiling at the boys.  "Good work."

"Thank you," Alex said, beaming at him.  "Greg and Vinnie got their own."

"I know.  I checked their applications," he said as he sat down.  "I hear we uncovered a basement last night?"

"Um-huh," Draco said bitterly.  "Twirly went down to uncover some older decorations for the tree that were left over from Alex's grandfather.  She found a doorway to a new complex of workrooms.  One in stone, one in earth, one in wood with tree roots growing in it.  No remains but I don't want to chance it and I nearly had a seizure getting close from the dark magic coming out."

"That's fine, I can have a look with Severus," Remus assured him.  "How goes the plans for the dance?"

"They're wonderful," Alex assured him with a grin.

"Took a potion, kid?" Sirius asked as he sat down next to Draco.

"Draco found one for my allergy to dark magic and it makes me loopy and kinda high."

"Ah."  He nodded. "They can do that," he agreed.  "My dad used to have to take one now and then.  He was allergic to demonic magic."  Alex grinned at that.

"Hopefully we won't have to evacuate the house," Draco offered.  "I think they go toward the garden but I can't tell."

"I still say that doorway is a portal and you go elsewhere," Alex admitted. "There were other properties in the will and we don't have any pine trees near the house for those roots."

"Pine roots?" Remus asked.  Alex nodded.  "Interesting.  There's no pine trees on the property that I'm aware of."

"Two in the furthest field," he admitted, pointing that way.  "Neither are very big.  Only about fifty years old and these roots were the size of my wrist."

"Very interesting," Remus noted.  "Mind if I go look now?"

"Dad's still in bed," Alex said, looking at Sirius.  "He said if you woke him up, he'd give Potter a book of evil pranks and have him do them all to you.  Since he's got the St. Germaine and Rosenburg book...."  He grinned at the shudder.  "Why does that name seem familiar?" he asked Draco.  "Did we read something by them recently?"

"No.  Forget the name, Alexander."  He blinked at him.  "I mean it."

"Just obliviate it," he ordered.

Draco nodded and pulled his wand, thinking about what he wanted him to forget, then.... "Obliviate."  Alex sighed and relaxed.  "Good boy," he praised as he put up his wand.  He looked at the adults.  "Twirly, we need food."

"Twirly is coming," she called, carrying out a huge tray slowly.  She put it onto the table and smiled.  "Twirly brings."

Narcissa motioned her over, looking at her eyes and ears.  "Twirly, is your head still hurting from last year?"  The house elf looked scared.  "If so, he can get a new one to help you with the workload.  I know Marsette is still in pain now and then when it gets too cold in here."  Twirly slumped and nodded, looking down.

Alex picked her up to hug her.  "It's all right, Twirly.  You're not leaving the family.  I'm not giving you clothes.  We'll just have to get you a house elf to boss around and teach the right way to be a proper elf."  She perked up at that.  "We'll go pick out one today, all right?"  She nodded quickly, then grabbed her head. "Right after we get that checked out.  When did it start hurting again?"

"When Twirly got hit in head by falling shelf in library," she said pitifully, rubbing the spot.

"Why didn't you call!" he demanded.

"She called me and I took her back to St.  Mungoes," Narcissa assured him.  "They said she'd be fine within a few days.  I think they need to see that specialist again."  Alex nodded and put Twirly down, stroking down one ear.  "Get the card from that specialist last year, Twirly."  She went to get that and she took her breakfast to make the call.

Draco looked at Alex.  "I'll help you pick out a new one," he promised. "We'll even pick out cute outfits for them to borrow."

Alex smiled at that, taking his hand to hold.  "Thanks, Draco."

"It's all right.  She'll love to boss someone around like she used to do you, Alex."  They shared a kiss.  "Get your father up so they can look over that basement."  He nodded, getting up to do that by going into the kitchen.  He was going to talk to Marsette first and tell her she was getting an exam. He looked at the others.  "He's probably still beating himself up about not hearing it."

Harry nodded.  "I heard him having a nightmare during his nap last week about that.  I carefully poked him until he woke up."

"Thank you, Potter."

"Welcome.  No one should have nightmares like that."  Narcissa came back and he handed down the food to her.  "There, we should eat before we upset Twirly."  They all dug in, knowing she'd cry if they didn't, thinking they weren't needing her.


Alex and Draco walked Twirly into the house elf agency.  "Oh, are you selling her?  We've got such a demand right now," the receptionist said with a smile.

"No, we need help for ours. One's getting arthritis and this one's had two head injuries in a year."

"Is your house that dangerous?" she asked hesitantly.

"No," Draco said firmly, staring her down. "Unfortunately we were broken into and then she fell and managed to pull a bookshelf down on her head. We need two new elves to be under our original ones."

"Okay," she agreed, smiling at them.  She pushed a button on her desk, bringing out an older woman.  "These two nice wizards need a pair of house elves.  They had a break in and their old ones were damaged a bit.  So they need someone under their original ones."

"Of course."  She smiled and led them into her office, taking Twirly to look over.  "What happened to her?"

"Twirly got dizzy and tripped, so she grabbed a bookshelf and tipped it on her head last week," Alex said as he sat down.  "My other one, Marsette, has the beginnings of arthritis thanks to our house being broken into last year."

Draco looked at the pictures on the wall.  "I know this one," he admitted, tapping a picture. "That's the Goyle's house elf, their old one?"  She smiled and nodded.  "She was a bit mouthy."

"Twirly mouthy," she reminded him sheepishly, smiling at him.

"Yes, you are," Alex agreed, stroking her ears while he pulled Draco down with the other hand.  "Sit."

"Fine."  He looked at the placement specialist.  "We are both young and we do minimal entertaining but we do have family in and out through the house when we're back from school.  Usually about seven people at the most."

"You already have two?" she asked, filling out a form.

"Twirly's been restricted back to cooking duties and Marsette to light cleaning," Alex told her.  "We had another one but he died after the break-in.  He used to do the heavy cleaning."

"I see."  She smiled at them.  "Who broke in?"

"Lucius Malfoy and some of his buddies.  Lucius committed suicide shortly after I got done with him," he admitted cooly, staring her down.  She shivered and nodded.  "The house has been cleared of dark arts materials, though now and then we trip across something hidden somewhere.  Twirly tripped over a doorway to Canada last night."  Twirly nodded then grabbed her head.  "He told you to quit doing that," he reminded her gently.  She nodded slower and rested against his side so he went back to petting her.  "My original house elves were the ones I learned to protect others on, keeping them away from my grandmother.  I let them spoil me horribly.  Twirly here likes to poke me if I don't eat enough and spoil us by making tons of cookies for us in our rooms."

"Hmm.  It sounds like you have a happy household."  She opened the file on her desk.  "We have about ten left, they're very popular gifts at the holidays," she admitted.

"How are yours bred?" Draco asked.

"We only go through reputable breeding firms."  She stared at him.  "Why? Have you heard something differently?"

"I often wondered how one got extra house elves."

Alex looked at him.  "Gibbons said he used to have a wife but she died and their son stayed with his old family when they gave him clothes for aging."

"I didn't know they formed marriage bonds."  Alex nodded.

"We don't *encourage* that," she chided.

"I do," Alex told her simply.  He stood up.  "I'd prefer my house elves to be members of my family, not a slave.  Come, Draco."  He nodded, following along with Twirly beside him.  Alex fumed up the alley, heading to the other, less reputable place to get house elves.  Down in Knockturn alley.  Twirly whimpered and he looked at her so she stopped.  He smiled.  "We're going to save one, how about that?"  She nodded slowly, taking hold of Draco's belt. She didn't like the house elf pound.  Alex walked in, sneering at the woman behind the counter, who snapped to attention at the sight of them.  "I need two house elves to work under my ill ones.  They're mostly for cleaning and laundry duties.  My house elf Twirly will be making the final decision."  She nodded and showed them back to the pound section.  "Twirly, I want you to pick ones you and Marsette can work with," he ordered.  "Someone you won't fight with."

She nodded, walking off down the rows.  She opened three cages and pulled them out, then a later one, who was dirty and bruised. She looked at her masters, who nodded and waved her to go on.  She stood in front of them, moving that other one back.  The keepers put four more down in front of her from another section and she looked them over, waving one to be separated.  "He ill," she said, pointing at that one.  "Him need doctor."  She looked up at the higher cages and snapped her fingers, bringing most of them down too.  One of them was quickly put back when it growled.  She looked at them.  "I's is Twirly.  Those are being Master Alexander and his Mate, Master Draco.  We is being needing two house elves to work with us.  Marsette is being at home, she is being limpy thanks to Master Draco's former father.  He was being mean and tried to kill Master Alexander and Master Draco."  A few of them covered their ears.  "You is being responsible for cleaning.  I is being over the kitchens.  Marsette is being over the baking and little stuff."  The bruised house elf gave her such a hopeful look.  She stared at her, then at her masters, making a small whimpering noise.

Alex came over, looking at her.  "Draco, this one needs some help," he offered quietly.  He looked at the handler.  "Who did this?"

"She was dropped off at St. Mungoes and they released her but her master had given her clothes," he said callously.  "We've been treating her."

"Then why are some of them infected?" he asked dryly.  He looked at her.  "Which family were you with?" he asked quietly. She looked down and whispered a name.  "You're Rosemary?  Their library elf?"  She nodded, looking at him.  "Draco, come get her.  We'll take her even if only to get her healed.  We'll share her with your mum."  He nodded, coming over to get her.  Alex stood up and looked at Twirly. "Pick the two you want."  She walked up and down the rows, pulling out four.  "I said two, Twirly."

"Any of these," she said.

"I'll check with mum," Draco told him, going to the floo.  His mother glared at the one in his arms.  "She was abandoned after being beaten and given clothes.  Alex said she's a library elf and her name was Rosemary?"

"I know her former master.  We'll have to talk to him.  That's shameful!" she complained.  Draco nodded.  "You bring her back anyway.  We can split her.  How many is he pouting about?"

"Twirly pulled out twelve," he said dryly.  "She's got it narrowed down to four."

She sighed.  "Why are you at the pound?" she demanded.

"The other place bred them like familiars."

"They do?"  He nodded.  "Well!"  She huffed.  "Sirius!"  He came over.  "Go help the boys!  They're in the house elf pound.  They're down to twelve."

"Sure, Narci."  He stepped through the floo and came over to look at them.  "Wow.  Good choices, Twirly."  She beamed at him.  "What did the doc say about your head?"

"To quit banging it around," Alex said dryly.  "No more fast nodding or anything."  He grimaced.  "We need two. Marsette's only to do light lifting.  Twirly's not to lift and only to cook.  And of course spoil us with tons of cookies and cakes at school," he added with a grin for her.  She hugged him.  "I don't mind, Twirly.  I'd never let you come here."

Sirius looked around.  "This is a bad place."

"The other place treats theirs like breeding animals," Draco told him.

"I'd heard that rumor."

"They also said they had a shortage," Alex told the nearest keeper. "Maybe you should talk to them."  She smiled and nodded, sending someone to do that.  He waved a hand.  "These ones are the ones Twirly picked out."  He pointed at one giving him a pitiful look.  "That one's making me feel sorry for myself," he admitted, looking back.  "It looks like Remus when Harry shouted at him last time."

Sirius looked and nodded.  "It does."  He looked at the house elves, then sighed.  "Okay, who here can do heavy lifting and cleaning?"  All but one raised her hand.  She tried and winced.  "She's got broken bones?" he asked the keeper.

"Our doc said she'd be back to perfect in two weeks."

Alex growled and she backed off. "I don't like how this place is run," he told her.  "I don't care if they are house elves, they shouldn't be kept in small cages and in misery."  He looked at the twelve again, then at Sirius.

Sirius sighed and shrugged.  "How much do house elves cost?"

"Fifty galleons and table scraps," one of the keepers told him.  "I'd rather not keep them this way either, but we've got too many and that other place hasn't come to us in years because they begun breeding them like hunting dogs."  She pointed at the four Twirly picked out.  "Those four are the most neutral ones, sir.  They can be whatever you want them to be."

"I like mine with some spirit.  My house elves spoil me and sometimes poke me.  I learned how to protect with my elves," he told her.

She touched two of them on the head.  "These two would never find a home.  They're mouthy.  They're smart too."  Alex looked at Twirly, who led them and the others aside to talk to them.  She came back with the two and then tugged on the keeper's pantsleg, whispering to her.  She smiled and stroking over the soft head. "She said one of them would go excellently with someone named Ron?"

"Weasley? Have a house elf?" Draco snickered. "They could never afford one, Twirly."

"I can," Sirius reminded him dryly.  "Besides, she's right, Molly and Arthur are getting older and could use the help around the Burrow.  Especially with the gnoming."   The keeper snickered at that.  "They're running them out of the house."  He stood up.  "All my family's got is one really ancient one that we should put out of our misery," he admitted. "Kreacher is miserable and old."  Alex and Draco both nodded. They had both run into Kreacher.  "Okay, give me the moping one and Twirly can pick out one other for the other house.  Alex, what about the villa?"

"I haven't been there since I was seven," he admitted.  "It could be falling in by now, Sirius."

Twirly slowly shook her head.  "Marsette is being looking after it now and then, Master Alexander.  She is being saying it needs dusted again probably."

"Since you're never there, a house elf should do," Draco noted.  "It can do shopping and stuff through our house if it needs to.  Is it in a muggle area?"

"Grams?  Live near a muggle?" he joked.

"Point," Draco admitted dryly. "So it could shop easily, right?"  He nodded.  "Then send one down there."  He noticed two were holding hands.  "Or the pair of them."  He pointed at them.

"They've formed some sort of alliance," the nice keeper offered.

Alex sighed and nodded. "Sure, I'm blowing all my holiday money."  He looked at them, then his new two.  "At my house, you will be *borrowing* clothes," he ordered.  "We keep a basket of them in the kitchen, under the stairs.  We'll be picking up more for it today.  Understood?"  They all nodded, smiling at him.  "Good.  Twirly, gather your elves, dear."  She gathered the ones.  "I wish we could take the others," he sighed, watching them be put into other cages.

"We'll suggest them first if the agency comes," the nice keeper agreed.  They walked them out to the front to fill out the paperwork and get vault information for payments.  While they were there, the other keeper came back with the receptionist.  "Pull out the remaining of the ones that their elves didn't want," she ordered.  "I think they'll do best."

"I see they took the smart-asses."

"I'd rather have family members, not slaves," Alex told her as he filled out forms.  He handed it over and she put it through their system, getting a receipt of payment.

"Thank you, Mr. Birmingham and Mr. Malfoy.  You as well, Mr. Black.  I hope your new house elves suit you.  If not, there's a ten day return policy."

"Fat chance," Draco told her.  "He'll cry."  He pointed.  "Up the alley.  Twirly, take them where they're supposed to go, including the one going to the Weasleys.  We did get that one, right?" he asked Sirius.  Who smacked him across the back of the head with a grin.  "Don't mess up my hair!" he complained.

"Every now and then try to do something nice for someone else, Malfoy.  It makes you feel warm and mushy."

"Why would I want to?" he sneered.  "Twirly, make sure my mum sees that one to treat her injuries."

"Call the specialist to the house," Alex told her.  "We'll pick up some clothes for the basket.  Then they can go wherever once they're dressed and checked over."  She nodded, taking them with her.  He scratched the back of his head.  "Was that Madam Malkin's or not?" he asked Draco.  "Usually I let them borrow my old t-shirts."

"Madam Malkin has a fine line of uniforms," the receptionist offered.  "There's also a line at the same place you get cats and toads."

"Thank you," Draco told him.  "Come along, Alex."  He walked him out with Sirius following behind him.  He walked him into Madam Malkins a few minutes later, shaking his head.  "We were just at the house elf pound," he muttered when one came near him.    She smiled and pointed. "Thank you."  He drug Alex there so they could pick out clothes. Alex got them some new t-shirts too.  He spoiled his elves horribly.


Molly Weasley saw a gnome go flying past the window while they were eating dinner and got up to look, frowning a bit.  "Arthur, there's a house elf degnoming our garden," she said, looking confused.  He got up to look as well, frowning a bit.  She opened the split door, leaning out.  "Um, excuse me.  What are you doing?"

"Bready is being told to come degnome because boy sons is not being doing it," she said happily.

"Who sent you to do that?" Arthur asked, thinking it had to be one of their sons.

She shrugged. "Bready is not being catching his name.  He is saying that Molly and Arthur is being needing help since almost all babies gone and they is getting older, could use Bready to help around the house like boy sons used to."  She smiled at them. "He is being sending me after giving me clothes to borrow."  She spun another gnome and threw it off toward the forest with a giggle. "Bready is not having this much fun since Bready's former mistress was drunken and dizzy and dancing with Bready."

"Where did you come from?" Arthur asked.

She covered her ears and shook her head.  "Bad place.  Bad, dark, many cages."  She gave him a pitiful look.  "Please not send Bready back to bad place?  Bready not eat much!  Much less than boy sons."

"You can finish with the gnomes tomorrow," Molly said, smiling and opening the door. "Come inside, Bready."  She nodded and skipped inside.  She looked at the t-shirt, which had a Gryffindor crest on the pocket.  "Is your former master letting you...borrow that?  Is  he a Gryffindor?"

Arthur patted her on the back. "Ron!" he called.  He came downstairs, staring at the elf. "Which one was it?  Harry or who?"

"Harry wondered how long you'd take to realize it, she's been here since before lunch.  He said it wasn't him, it was Sirius."  He shrugged.  "Hi, Bready.  I'm Ron."  She waved and smiled.  "You're to watch mum and dad while we're away at school and work, understand.  If anything happens to them, I want to hear it from you.  I'm a Gryffindor at Hogwarts.  So's Ginny."  Bready nodded fiercely at that.  "How many did Alex take home?"

"One badly injured one and four more," she said happily.  "Two go to Italy to live and dust down there.  They hand-holdy ones."  She giggled.  "Two more goes with man who sent me."

"Sirius was saying Kreacher was a bit old," Ron agreed.  He patted her on the head.  "Good Bready.  Look around, learn the house.  Learn how mum cooks today and tomorrow so she can find something for you to do besides the garden."  She nodded, going to look around.  He kissed his shocked-looking mother on the cheek. "I'd have gotten there first but I didn't have the money to do that, mum.  They were at the house elf pound in Knockturn because Alex told Harry that they breed them like dogs at the agency."  He walked out after stealing a snack off the table.

Arthur shook himself and helped his wife sit down.  "Well, you can clean the rugs again," he said pragmatically.  She swatted him with a scowl.  "Molly, love, he probably couldn't have left her there. The pound is horrible place.  Even the house elf is scared of there."  She sighed and nodded.  "Besides, she's got to eat less than Ron or Charlie ever did."  She gave him a look and dug back into her dinner.  "Bready?"  She appeared at the end of the table.  "Can you please introduce yourself to Ginny?"

"Miss squealy one is not liking being bothered," she said seriously, shaking her head slowly.  "She looked very upset with Bready."

"I'll go," Molly said, heading up the stairs.  "Ginerva Weasley!" she yelled a minute later.  "You're marrying that boy!"

"Hmm, looking like you'll get to help clean and cook for a wedding, Bready," he said with a smile.  Bready clapped and bounced around.  "Now all we need to do is marry off the sons," he sighed.

"Sorry, dad, I can't stand Hermione that much," Ron called.  "Maybe you should ask Nary Goyle if her sisters are up yet.  She's pretty and one's about Bill's age."  He came down the stairs chuckling.  "I wonder if his last girlfriend knows he broke up with her."  Arthur choked and shook his head.   "Should I call Miss Lovegood?"

Ginny came stomping down the stairs.  "We're sharing him, thank you!" she sneered, glaring at the house elf.  "Don't come in my room."  Ron swatted her and she hit him back.  "You either!"

"Sit down, Ginny," Arthur ordered.  "We're going to have a long talk.  Bready, please go help Molly clean Ginny's room."  She nodded, going to do that.

Ginny sat down, pouting.  "When did we borrow a house elf?"

"Sirius, Alex, and Draco were at the house elf pound today," Ron told her.   He swatted her again.  "You have better taste than Seamus," he assured her. "I'm sure you don't want Pansy's reputation."

"No, Luna and I are together, we just pick some funs toy now and then," she complained.

Arthur took a deep breath and looked at his daughter.  "You're going to send me to the hospital soon, Ginny.  Do quit now."

"Sorry, dad," she said sheepishly.  "Can we work on a tentative agreement for me and Luna?"

"Luna and I," Molly corrected as she came down the stairs.  "I called her.  I'm not sure her father wants to discuss that.  They'll be over tomorrow."  She glared at her daughter.  "Either way, we'll be talking, young lady."  Ron snickered. "And you!"

"What? I'm single, mum!  I'm allowed to have dirty magazines and things in my room."  She glared at him.  "You'd rather I went and tried out a lot of girls instead of my hand?" he asked dryly.  "Come home with four or five and go 'ooops, but it's a lot of grandkids, mum' or something?"

"Since when have four girls looked at you, Ron?" Ginny asked snidely.

"Since I slept with about ten this semester," he said dryly, smirking at her.  "Nearly as many as you," he offered with a grin when she glared at him.

"I'm going to start having chest pains now, stop it!" Arthur ordered.  "You're worse than Percy!"

"No, I don't think he's ever shagged anyone," Ginny told him.  He groaned and held his head.  "Sorry, dad.  At least I'm marrying mine."

"Yeah, well, mine was more oral sex," Ron told her.  "Just in case those stupid fertile genes came into play. I wasn't about to come home and tell mum that bad news."  He poured himself some milk and sat down at the table.  "I think there's a girl I like," he offered his father.  "It's mostly been her for the last month."

"That's got to be a record," Ginny muttered.  Her mother swatted her, making her shriek and grab her hair.  "Sorry!"

"Ron, when am I meeting this girl?" Molly demanded.

"Easter hols, mum. That way you can't get your hopes up if we can't make it work.  We agreed on that already."

"Who are you seeing?" Ginny demanded.

"Patrice Abbott.  Hannah's just younger sister."

"You smutty perv! She's a cow!"

"I like a woman who's got some curves.  Too skinny little twits like her sister and Lavender annoy me," he shot back.  "She's a nice girl with brains and good grades.  She's got a good future in the Ministry probably too."  Ginny slunk down at that.  "She's the smartest of your year, Ginny.  She's a very nice girl and most of that is baby fat.  I can see the potential for when she'll be eighteen and gorgeous.  That's why I've only had oral sex with her, because she's your age."

Molly looked at him.  "The second day back during that holiday, Ronald."

He nodded. "Sure, mum.  We had planned to get everyone together for lunch.  That way you and dad could meet her parents and her at the same time.  Make things a bit easier.  If it helps any, even Draco says she's nice.  He taunts her by calling her a sweet little fairy princess."  He scratched a spot on his upper arm.  "We agreed to hold off on the real sex until the Easter hols too.  Her mother's apparently a shrieker on that point."

"Hannah isn't even dating," Ginny reminded him.

Ron nodded.  "I know.  I've met her mum once.  She snuck up to Hogsmeade and her daughter gushed and introduced us."  He grinned.  "She demanded that her daughter stay pure until it was official and at least a temporary contract was signed.  She agreed to give us until Easter before telling her dad, who's even worse on that point."  Molly smiled a bit at that.  "Really, mum, I'm being better than Bill was," he offered.  "He was dating triplets and shagging them all in my year.  And then he switched down to a pair of twins because they were too high maintenance."

"I remember," she moaned.  "If it had been legal, I'd have made him marry the twins."  She sighed.  "Ginny, you and the Lovegoods will be having tea with us tomorrow.  Make sure you've got something clean, pressed, and appropriate for then."  She sighed and nodded.  "If you *ever* bring home another boy, I will make sure you're married on the spot, young lady.  Then I'll be casting a fertility spell on you during the wedding so you end up just like me."  Ginny whimpered and nodded, looking at the table. "Arthur, are you feeling better now?"

"Much," he said, giving her a gentle smile.  "I was never mad that you snuck me in and your mum caught us, Molly."

"Me either.  It's the only way I could get her to agree to you."   She kissed him on the cheek.  "They get it from you."  She sat down and went back to eating.  "Are you two hungry?"

"Not really," Ron admitted. He snuck another piece of vegetables.  "I've got the nibbles."

"You could go to Alex's.  I'm sure his house elf has made another ton of cookies," Ginny said dryly.

"Harry said they had to take them to the healer's earlier," Ron told her. "Marsette's got arthritis after the attack last year and Twirly's still dizzy.  That's why they went to the house elf agency and the pound. They had to get two for Twirly and Marsette to boss around while they rested and took on lighter duties.  Twirly's only cooking now and Marsette's only allowed to bake and do minor cleaning stuff.  Bready?"  She popped back in, looking attentive.  "How are Alex's two new elves settling in?"

"Blister and Pumba is both being happy there.  Even if Twirly is a bossy house elf who pokes her master.  They is saying that Master Alexander is nice and lets them speak and things.  He treats house elves like peoples."  She smiled at him.  "Yous needing laundry done?"

"Probably," he admitted. "Ginny definitely does.  She needs something to meet a prospective bride in for tea."

"Bready fix," she said happily, going to look through her things and arrange one of them to be more suitable for that.  Then she gathered the rest of the laundry and went down to do it, enjoying being in the garden.  She got to toss a few more gnomes and giggle while she let things soak.


Draco smiled as Tonks came to the door, letting her in.  "You look splendid, cousin," he offered, looking over her dress robes.  They were a bit low cut, but it flattered her flatter figure and made it look more generous.  He did come over to tuck a curl back under one of her hairpins then smiled at her. "Potter!" he yelled.  Harry came down the stairs brushing some lint off his new dress robes.  He nodded and finished on his shoulders. "There, now you're suitable to be with my cousin, barely."  He looked at them together.  They were cute and clearly ready to hump right there in the doorway. "Off with you," he ordered, shooing them away.  Harry grinned and shook his head. "Fine.  Sirius!  He's leaving."

He came out with the camera, smiling and taking a few pictures.  "You look splendid, Nymphadora. Even prettier than your mother.  Be good to Harry tonight and have fun.  Be careful and all that, Harry.  Make her laugh and giggle like the girl she is."

"Yes, Sirius."  He led her off, taking her arm like Alex had shown him earlier.  She smiled at him for it.  "I had to take dance lessons from Alex," he admitted.

She giggled.  "I took some from Aunt Narcissa.  Don't feel bad."  They went through the special floo, coming out the other side still spotless and pressed.  She checked them over and he put a curl back up for her.  "It's determined to come down so I end up inhaling it."

He smiled and kissed her.  "That minor imperfection only highlights the beautiful nature of the rest of you."  He kissed her again and then walked her up to the front door, presenting their invitation.  "Harry Potter and Nymphadora Tonks," he announced to the herald.

"Mr.  Harry Potter and Miss Nymphadora Tonks," the herald announced.

Naricissa smiled at the cute couple as they came in and moved to greet her.  "That one curl is still coming down," she complained.

"It's there for me to tease," Harry said with a wink, playing with it while he walked her off.  It'd be his distraction so he didn't have her there on the dance floor with everyone watching.  He spun her out, smiling at her as she came back and they moved off to dance.

Narcissa smiled at the woman coming up to her.  "My niece," she told her.  The other matron smiled and nodded. "They are so adorable."

"They are, but he's still in school."

"Yes, but you don't wait when you're that way together," Narcissa reminded her with a small smirk.  The other matron tittered and walked off to tell the others how cute they were. Narcissa turned to greet her next guest.


Draco danced Alex out onto their dancefloor, smiling at him.  "You look nice."

"I should, you dressed me," he teased with a grin.  He spun Draco out then brought him back, giving him that sexy, smoldering look that made so many girls around the room sigh.  "You are hot enough to be on the buffet.  Too bad I won't share."

"You'd better not ever share," he reminded him.  As soon as the next song started, he took over the leading.  That was the agreement, he got to lead three dances to Alex's one.  Of course since it was his party, the first dance was his.  "It's going well so far."

"It is," Alex agreed, resting his head on Draco's shoulder.  One of the chaperones coughed and he looked over at her.  "I am all-but married to him, Mrs. Weasley."  They went back to dancing together. It was so comfortable between them.  They didn't have the fire and need that Harry and Tonks had but theirs was so much more satisfying and calming for them.  They grinned as Nary glared at her husband and danced off with Vincent.  "Looks like that's another stepmother gone to the wayside," he whispered, nodding at them.

"Yes, but she looks exotic and cherished in Vinnie's arms," Draco said quietly.  He danced them closer.  "Remember, she's still officially married until tomorrow probably," he cautioned quietly.  "Welcome to the group, Nary."  He danced Alex off, going to show him off.  A more lively song came on thanks to the chaperones wanting to break up the snogging.  He knew asking Sprout and McGonagall to chaperone had been a bad idea.   Still, he and Alex looked fantastic together no matter what they did.  Alex's darker hair, Draco's fairer skin.  It was a match to make the unpaired girls all sigh in longing.  He heard a great many of them do it when he dipped Alex with a smirk and Alex giggled back.  Well, their tough luck.  Alex was all his.


Harry came in the next morning, looking at his Godfathers.  "We stayed at Narcissa's," he defended before Sirius could open his mouth.  "I was a perfect gentleman."

"Pity," he sighed, shaking his head.  "I thought you had more promise than that, kid."

Harry snorted and rolled his eyes.  "I want Tonks as more than a one-night stand, Sirius, and what makes you think I wasn't talking about in bed too?"  Remus burst out giggling, turning to laugh on Sirius' shoulder.  Harry gave him a very smug look.  "Ron's lessons on what girls really like was very informative.  She was quite limp when I finally let her get to sleep about thirty minutes ago."  He yawned.  "Now, I'm off to bed," he offered with a grin at his shocked godfather.  "Night, all," he called.  He headed up to his room and stripped, missing his godfathers dancing around in joy that he'd found a girl to like.  He barely made it under the covers.

Draco came out of the dining room. "I take it Potter finally came home?" he asked dryly.

Sirius spun him around, grinning at him.  "Nymphy just barely got to sleep."

"And I thought he kept me up," Draco said bitterly, getting free.  "I'm off to help my poor mate soak. I'm afraid I was a bit energetic with him last night.  Don't expect us for a few hours either.  Go play like naughty little boys," he suggested.  He headed up the stairs.  The bath would be run for them and breakfast waiting in the bathroom so he could get Alex into the bath so he could soak off the exertion.  Not that they'd gotten to bed much earlier than Tonks or Harry had.  Still he had been a bit rough last night and Alex needed the soak.  He helped him up and into the bathroom, stripping down to climb in with him and hold him.  Alex smiled and fell asleep on his chest, which was nice.  He was comfortable and at peace.  He wondered if his parents had ever been like that.  And just like the wind summoned her, he heard her knock on the bathroom door.  He pulled a hand towel down to cover Alex.  "Enter, he's covered.  She came in and smiled at him. "Did you see the paper? Ours hasn't come yet."

"I did."  She handed it to him with a smile.  "You two are so adorable!"  She kissed him on the forehead then kissed Alex's forehead, getting a sleepy mumble.  "Son, I thought you were exaggerating about Potter's loudness.  I'm sorry I thought you fibbed, dear."  She smiled and patted some of his hair down then left.

Draco cackled into Alex's hair, shaking his head.

Naricssa walked down the stairs and straight into the study, lying down.  Remus grinned at her.  "You need to teach your godson silencing charms again, Remus.  He kept me up and I'm on the other side of the house from where I put him and Nymphadora.  Draco said they were loud but I had no idea that we had an echo or that he could make any woman scream in pleasure that way.  Lucius certainly didn't do it to me," she said sarcastically.

He giggled.  "He told us she'd just gotten to sleep when he came in.  What time did they retreat?"

"Which time?" she demanded dryly.  "Twice in the garden.  I caught her putting her hair back up the second time.  Then later in their room.  Oh Merlin!" she sighed, closing her eyes.  "I want to know what he did."

"He said Ron Weasley enlightened him to oral sex," he offered with a smug look.

"If Lily got that from James, it's no wonder she used to walk funny," she said, frowning a bit.  Then she shook her head.  "Never mind.  I didn't say that."

"Yes you did," Sirius said as he came in. "And you're right, but that's beside the point.  James never really practiced oral sex."

"No, that was Severus and his girl, Elani," Remus reminded him. "That's why she used to sigh over him."

"True," Sirius agreed. "How were the boys, Narci?"  She snored and he shared a smile with Remus.  "Breakfast is ready."

"Sure, I could eat."  They retreated to let her nap in peace.


Tonks wandered into work that morning, very late and still in her finery.  She sat down at her desk and her head hit it.  Within a second she was snoring.

Her mother and her boss shared a smile.  "Narcissa went to nap at Alexander's house," the elder Tonks told him. "Harry and she kept her up from across the house.  Me too, I might add."  She sipped her coffee.  "I don't know what the boy did to her, but I want help drawing up a marriage contract for them," she said happily.  "The last time I made noises like that I was on my honeymoon."

"That's much more than I needed to know," he noted.

Tonks lifted her head, glaring blearily at her mother.  "Bugger off," she told her firmly. "You and dad are still that noisy!  Serves you right having to listen to me and Harry have fantastic oral sex.  And other stuff."  She put her head back down and went back to sleep.

The males all around the cubicles all stuck their fingers in their ears and wandered off humming, trying to get that image out of their heads before it stuck.  Though one did leak it to the press.


Harry woke up to someone poking him, blinking at the house elf, who held out the paper.  "What time is it?"

"Seven, Harry sir," he said quietly.  "Harry is being sleeping all night."

Harry grinned at him. "I needed it.  My girl's a wonderful thing."  He took the paper and sat up, rubbing his eyes.  He opened it and stared at the headlines, and that's when the flash went off.  He groaned as the house elf disappeared, putting down the paper that said 'Harry Potter Dating!!!!!' in ten inch letters.  He got up to take a bath and relieve himself.  He wandered down the stairs, blushing at Alex and Draco's knowing smirks.  "Sorry I slept all day yesterday.  My fault totally."

"So we saw in the paper, Potter.  So, was it as good as it said?"

"It's not like I read the article after I saw the headline," he noted dryly.  He pulled over some cocoa and served himself, looking at Alex.  "Can't you snog him brainless or something?"

"I've been trying," he complained. "I'm sore."

"Can't you switch it around or something?" Sirius suggested.

"No," Draco said firmly.  "Drop it."

Alex shrugged and pointed at him.  "He didn't like the trial."  He dug into his bacon.  "You really should read the article.  She praised you to the other aurors."  Harry moaned and he nodded at Twirly to get the paper for Harry.  She handed it over with a smile and went back to her cooking.

Harry unfolded it and read the article. "It was only seven hours?" he mused, then shrugged. "Not like I kept track."  He continued to read.  "I doubt she's pregnant. I should help her hurt them for that comment.  I do know what a contraceptive charm is.  Thank you for reminding me last night, Sirius."

"Welcome, Harry."  He grinned at the boy.  "Anything special you want in the contract?"

Harry blushed.  "I'll let her make the demands and ask for corrections or things," he mumbled.  He continued on, then went to write his girl.  He came back to the table and dug into the food.  He was hungry.  It had been a long time and a lot of energy since the last time he'd eaten.  Alex grinned and handed down the extra bacon.  "Thanks, mate.  I need protein."

"Especially since Draco's mum is coming with hers in an hour to talk about the contract," Remus assured him.  Harry moaned and sighed but nodded.

"Remember, Harry," Sirius said, smirking wickedly.  "Some mornings she's got to be able to get up to go to work.  She can't sleep in every morning.  So save the marathon sessions for her days off."

Harry looked at him.  "Bugger off, Sirius," he said lightly, smirking back.  "Who said I can't do better?  That wasn't a marathon session by any means, I was just enjoying the licking thing. Hell, five hours of that was me being buried up to my chin in her."  Sirius blushed at that and Remus snickered.  "Ron gave me all sorts of helpful stuff you never said during the oral sex part of the talk you gave us."

"Weasley would know," Draco agreed dryly.  "I hear her and the younger Abbot daughter are very cute together."

"Yeah, he and Patrice are pretty cute," Harry assured him.  "They've agreed to not have real sex until after all the parents have met and they've signed a contract.  So he's practicing his arts on her."  Alex snickered at that.  "Many times, in our room.  I've got to find him a better place."

"We've got a spare bedroom, Harry, whoever's got a roommate who's shagging can sleep in there," Alex reminded him dryly.  "Vinnie has a few times."

Harry nodded. "I heard.  They're cute together too."  He grinned.  "What about Nary and Vinnie?"

"Together now," Remus said happily.  "His father refused to let her dance at the dance here so she walked away from him to dance with Vincent.  He just sighed and called the next morning.  She's already moved out and into Narcissa's.  If you had been up, you'd know that."

"Sorry, I wore myself out," he said smugly, grinning at him.  "I had fun though."  He dug back into his food, taking the rest of the scrambled eggs too.  He looked over as Twirly poked him, smiling at her.  "Can I have an Alex sized breakfast?"  She squealed and went to bring him more food.  He grinned and dug into his mound of food, knowing he'd need it to help his girl beat the reporter for suggesting she was pregnant.


Alex sat down in his compartment on the train, sighing in relief.  The holidays were over.  No more parties.  No more listening to Harry have sex all night.  He still wanted to know what energy potion he used though.  No more Draco being fussy about being equal in their relationship.  He looked over as his compartment door opened and then was closed and locked, with both curtains being pulled.  "My husband might mind, sir.  He might think I'd be cheating on him."

Draco smirked at him.  "I know you'd never cheat on me, Alex.  Or else I'd tan your ass like you deserve."  He sat next to him.  "I...."  He swallowed and Alex kissed him, making him relax.  "I'm being unfair to you, aren't I?"

"A bit, yeah," he agreed, cuddling against him. "I like being on top now and then.  The same as I'd like it if you could give oral sex now and then too and not just handjobs."

Draco swallowed.  "I went to visit my mistress last night and had a talk with her.  She thought I was being silly."  Alex looked up at him, shifting to lay with his head in his lap.  He stared down into his chocolate brown eyes.  "I'm sorry I'm being unfair, Alex.  Maybe I'm just scared that this is for real."

"You can have a temporary contract broken without penalties, Draco," he said quietly. "I'll have to find another little boy who'll let me pound into him for a bit, but we'll still be friends."

Draco shook his head.  "No, I can't let you do that," he said, staring down at him.  "I'm...comfortable with you, Alex.  Like you understand me.  You've known me forever.  You've never told me to play nicely or be nicer.  You only protest if my fighting with Potter gets too extreme or I'm about to hurt someone or a bystander."  Alex nodded, that was true.  "You've never punished me for having thoughts.  You've always cuddled me, even when we were younger.  I... um... I."

"I'm here if you want me, Draco," he said gently.  "All yours if you want."  Draco relaxed and nodded, grinning down at him. "But things are going to have to go both ways.  I'm not the bitch in this 'ship."

"Point," he agreed.  "Can you, we, try it again?"

"Sure."  He grinned at him.  "Which part?"

"It just felt so odd last time."

"I know, it did me too."  He stroked up his chest.  "You've got to relax though. We've got until tomorrow morning.  I'm not looking forward to your first time being on the train."  The whistle blew and the train started to move, rocking them gently.  He could feel Draco getting hard. "You like the train?"

"This seat vibrates," he said, biting his lip and trying to move.

"No, stay," he ordered, not letting him move.  "Or better yet, strip while I lock everything."  He pulled his wand and locked both doors with spells that no one on this train knew how to break, then he turned, watching Draco strip off.  He cast an obscurity spell on all the windows as well, then a silencing charm. Draco was wiggling to get back in the same spot so Alex pulled his hips forward some, like they had been.  "Your usual sprawl, Draco.  Relax."

"I'm naked and you're dressed," he complained.

Alex smirked and took off his tie, watching as Draco relaxed and that vibrating spot had been found again.  He had his shirt unbuttoned and hanging open by the time Draco was moaning at the vibrations running through his body.  He knelt between his legs, teasing and licking him gently, making Draco's breath hitch and one hand come up to hold him down.  "Let me, Draco.  Just feel for now."  The train sped up so the vibrations got better and Alex went back to teasing him.  Draco came and he swallowed it, then moved down to lick and play with his balls and perineum.  Draco shifted his legs apart, resting his head against the back of the seat, his e yes closed.  "Can you scoot forward some?" he whispered.  Draco shifted his hips out, moaning when he found a new spot that carried the vibrations.  With the way he was sitting he could feel the cheeks of his ass wiggling a bit, jiggling that tender spot.  Alex went back to licking him and he liked that.  He could feel it being jiggled and teased that way.  Every now and then a finger would come back wet with spit and he'd let it tease him.  The wetness just made it feel more naughty for him.  He came again and a finger was slipped inside.  It felt odd, he felt full.  "Alex," he moaned.

"Shhh.  I've got you.  Let me find something, Draco."

"You're blocking the vibrations."  He nearly shrieked in pleasure when that thick, tree- trunk feeling finger found a spot inside him.  He bit his lip.  "Silencing charm?" he pleaded finally.

"Already done, baby.  Let it all go for me," he soothed, leaning up to kiss his stomach.  Draco let go of his lip and let himself feel what he was doing.  Alex was waiting for something.  They were coming up on a rougher section of tracks and it was usually the time when the vibrations got worse.  That's why the cart lady came just after that section, so they could replenish from the shagging.  Or at least that was his opinion.  He felt them switch over and Draco's cock started to bob in front of him.  "On your stomach, Draco," he ordered quietly.  Draco moaned and flipped over so Alex had time to find the lube while Draco found a spot that vibrated both his cock and his nipples.  He loved having his nipples played with.  Alex found his lube and got behind him, spreading some out and working that finger back inside.  He kept that up until the tracks ran smooth for a bit, then switched to two, making Draco moan as he found that spot again.  Then the tracks got rough.  So he got to play and start to stretch the tender area.  Draco moaned, clutching the covering on the seat.  "Just feel, Draco.  I've got you.  It's only me back here."  Draco nodded and spread his legs wider.  "Shh, nearly there.  I'm adding another one," he assured him, puling out to do that.  Draco whimpered but Alex slid them back in once they were slick again.  Draco moaned for a different reason but it was soon good again.

"Alex," he pleaded. "I can't wait."

"Get off if you want," he soothed, leading down to lick some sweat off his back.  "I want to feel you clamp around my fingers like I do to you, Draco, please?" he whispered.  Draco moaned and came and Alex pulled out his fingers, making him tighten up.  "Shh, just relax. It's going to get better in just a minute."  He wiped his hands off on his underwear, then lubed himself from the tube before sliding in.  Draco tensed, so he rubbed his back.  "Relax for me, Draco," he moaned.  "So tight, so good.  Remember your first time in me?"  Draco moaned and relaxed again, letting the action of the train sooth him.  Alex finished sliding in and waited until Draco let out a small whimper.  Then he moved slightly, taking the rhythm from the train.  In and out on every three sways, just a slow, gentle making love, hitting as far inside him as he could so he could hit that prostate again and again.  He could feel Draco getting more involved so he sped up to every two sways of the train.  Draco shivered and bucked back.  "Babe, do you want to go to your knees?"

"No," he moaned.  "Need the vibrating things."

Alex smiled.  He'd prove him wrong later.  He sped up a bit more, going counterpoint to the train now.  They were about to hit the smooth tracks again and Draco was going to be squealing like a girl on him soon.  Draco made complaining noises at the loss of his vibrating couch, but Alex sat back and pulled Draco onto his lap, moving a bit easier as he held him, licking and sucking on his shoulders.  He found the nape of his neck was sensitive and teased that, earning little gasps and his arms being clutched.  "Ride me, babe. It's nearly as good."  Draco started to move again, slowly building up to where he was in complete control.  "That's it, ride me, love," he encouraged.  "Take me and make me beg to put you over a couch later.  Or to tie you to our bed and have you on your back."  Draco whimpered and worked harder so Alex teased his cock, letting him get off with a moan.  Draco went limp in his arms so he put him down on his back, smiling down at him as he reinserted himself and went back to having his way.  "You're so pretty," he told him.

"I'm handsome," Draco said, reaching up to touch his cheek. "I didn't know we could do it this way."

"We are," he said, pushing in really hard, making him gasp and arch up.  "You looked so beautiful riding me, Draco.  Just taking charge and making me do what you wanted."  Draco moaned at that.  "All I ever wanted was seeing you like this, baby."  He sped up, making Draco bite his lip.

"Alex, please," he pleaded.  Alex went gentler again.  "No, more," he begged, grabbing onto his arms.  "I need more."  He smiled and sped up.  "Touch me?"

"Always."  He freed one hand to tease the wet cock, making Draco moan and push up into his hand.  "Do you think you could have another one?"

"I don't have anything left," he complained.

"Who said you need come to come?" he teased, working them both off this time.  Draco moaned and came, even though nothing came out.  Alex came in him and Draco let out a small whimper as they kissed.  "I've marked you know, Draco Malfoy.  Only my seed can have your backside."  He stole another kiss. Then smiled and stroked his cheek. "You look wonderful with me in you, Draco.  Tonight I'm going to have you in our bed in my room and I'm going to tie you down so I can have you every which way I can."  Draco swallowed at that.  "You can beg if you want.  Anything you and I want tonight, Draco."

Draco moaned and licked his lips.  "Clean me up?" he whispered.

"Of course."  Alex pulled back to lick his cock clean, making him smile.  "You taste so wicked, love."  Someone pounded on the door so he growled and found his wand, using it to shoot a hex at whoever was out there.  He'd find out later he'd turned McGonagall's hair to snakes.  He went back to pampering his baby for now.  Draco deserved it for the excellent performance of his first time. Draco had done much better than he had.


Draco walked into the suite later that night, flopping down on the couch, looking at his roommates as they wandered past and headed for bed.  Harry had apparently snuck Tonks onto the train from how he was nearly asleep again.  Ron had apparently had another go at Patrice.  Crabbe and Goyle both looked very smug and happy.  Alex followed them in and locked the door, smiling at him.  Draco held up a hand.  "Are you sure, Alex?"

"You're mine, Draco.  All mine," he said with a wicked grin.  He hauled him up, holding him to hum and dance with him.  Draco smiled and let him lead.  "Can you still feel it?" he whispered in his ear, making Draco shiver.  "Can you feel me dripping, Draco?  Can you feel how I branded your hole as my property and how I'm going to put a padlock over it so no one else can ever get in?"

"That'd cause trouble if I had to go," he said lightly.

Alex smiled at that and shook his head.  "One way only."  He stole a deeper kiss.  "I should clean you so I can do that back there," he whispered, continuing to dance around with him. Draco shivered and clutched to him.  "There's so many things I can do to you back there and you'll love them all, Draco," he moaned.  "Mine."

"And you're mine.  Remember, I get to reciprocate."

"Hmm," Alex moaned shivering a bit.  "I'll never do anything I wouldn't agree to having done to me too," he promised.  Draco nodded and kissed him.  "Do you want me to clean you out, Draco?"

Draco whimpered and nodded.  "Please.  Earlier I felt nasty afterward."

"Come with me, baby.  We'll do that in the bathroom."  He walked him that way, stripping his poor little boy off.  He prepared the cleaning solution and device, then bent Draco over and made him hold the wall for him.  He stroked his back while the water ran into him, making him shiver.  "Clamp down," he reminded him. "You don't want a leak."

"That... Alex, it feels odd," he pleaded.

"Shhh," he soothed, leaning down to blow across the vulnerable hole.  Draco whimpered and clamped down so he removed the hose and let him eliminate the water.  He even let Draco hold him while he did it, stroking through his hair.  Draco had uncharmed his hair on the train for him.  It was so soft, like the soft fur around Draco's navel.  When he was done he pulled him up and started it again, making Draco's breath hitch even as he clamped down so he wouldn't get any leakage.  "Good boy," he praised, stroking the firm globes of Draco's ass.  This time he bit him on one when it was time to remove it. Draco let it out and he put everything up after cleaning it off.  Then he got them into the shower and washed every inch of his mate, making him shiver and shake in his hands.  He let Draco wash him then dried them both off.  He led his baby back to their bed in his bedroom, making sure the silencing charms would stand up to even Draco screaming in pleasure, because he was going to make him reach new heights tonight.  He got him down onto the bed and tied him down at the wrists, smiling at him.  Then he got some special lotion from his bag.  That got used in a massage of the tensed chest and arm muscles.  It had something in it that made it feel like it was warming on contact.  Draco liked that, especially when he blew across his nipples and they got warmer.

"Alex," he moaned, lifting his hips.  "Please!"

"Of course."  He went down there to play, using the lotion on the squirming legs, slowly working his way up to using it as lube.  Draco gasped and shifted up to meet his fingers, making him chuckle.  "Pretty neat, huh?" he teased, just slicking up the outside.  Draco nodded, banging his head on the pillows.  So Alex slid a finger in.  Draco moaned and arched up to meet it, using it to prepare himself.  He switched to two without warning and Draco tightened up but relaxed once he found his prostate.  He was back to fucking himself on Alex's fingers, which he liked.  He added more lotion to the hole, then to himself before sliding in.  He was still loose from earlier.  Draco screamed in pleasure as he sank home.  He gave him a kiss while he calmed down.  "Shh, baby.  Mine all mine," he reminded him.  "It's just me.  All of me."  He pulled back and slid in slowly again.  "We'll have to do the train on the way back," he moaned as he pushed back in. "Maybe take a rail trip this summer through Europe."  Draco banged his head in agreement and Alex sped up some, knowing Draco was insane by now.  Draco had done this to him after their party.  So he sped up just a bit for a few strokes, then went slower than he had been before.

"Alex," he pleaded. "Please!"

"Shh, you're taking all of me, Draco, and you're beautiful."  He found his wand and cast a charm to turn the curtains around them into mirrors.  "Look at yourself, love.  Watch your face."  Draco stared up, then around.  Alex shifted and his eyes caught at how he was being slid into, locking on that picture.  Alex sped up when Draco's breathing sped up.

Draco was watching his hips move and writhe underneath his mate.  Then he looked up, seeing his face, how the sweat made him glow.  "Silencing charm?" he pleaded. "I'm going to end up being embarrassed."

"I put it on the outside and I only changed the inside, Draco," he soothed, casting it again to ease his worries.  He knew Draco wouldn't want to be embarrassed and he would be if anyone knew he was taking it from him.  He dropped his wand.  "Maybe later I'll use that instead," he said with a sultry grin, suddenly giving one good, hard slam into him.  Draco arched up and came, watching himself.  "Mmmm, so pretty."

"Handsome.   You're pretty," Draco told him, panting hard.  "More, Alex! Much, much more!"

"Of course.  Whatever his lordship commands," he teased, pulling back to only use his head on him.  Draco clamped around it and bucked up to get more, that's when he realized what the restraints were for.  Draco let out a muttered swear and twisted, trying to get more.  So Alex helped him flip onto his knees, taking him that way.  The side mirrors reflected the view from the top.  Draco was back to watching every little move he made.  Alex charmed the bed to reflect as well, just where they were joined so he could see it right under his head.

Draco moaned and pushed back, then tightened down, trying everything to see how it looked.  He watched as Alex sped up, taking him faster and harder, then slowly and tenderly, then pounding into him suddenly until he came, watching as the drops of cum were reflected up too.  "Alex," he whimpered as his lover pulled out, then he got to watch as his mate moved down to lick him there, making him shiver and shake at what he was doing.  Then suddenly he was back, riding him hard and fast, just like how he did to him most nights.  He was going to have to watch himself as he went into Alex's body.  Alex suddenly came and he let out a moan of complaint but he watched as the hand came down to stroke him off.  Then it was over and he was limp in the wet spot. The cuffs were removed and his wrists checked, but he was too tired to help.  Alex smiled and canceled the spells before getting them both under the covers and holding him.  "Tomorrow night, I get to do that to you," he whispered, clinging to him.  His ass was open, it was full of his mate, he could feel it in there.  "I should clean up."

"In the morning, Draco.  Clean it in the morning, that way you think about me all day as your butt slowly tenses back up."  Draco moaned and gave him a squeeze so he cuddled back.  "I do that many nights after you've had me.  That way I'm hyped and more than willing for the break quickies we sometimes have.  That's why I nearly jumped you in Transfiguration that day.  And that day in Potions.  Nearly on top of the Draco-eating plants too because only I should be able to eat you."  Draco moaned, feeling himself respond.  "In the morning I'll give you a wonderful blow job and then you'll bathe and get squeaky clean again, love."

"Then tomorrow night I get to have you in the handcuffs?" he asked.

"I told you I'd never do anything I wasn't willing to have done to me."

Draco smiled at that and closed his eyes.  He could ignore his growing hardness. It'd be better in the morning when he wasn't so tired.  Alex had promised he'd get pleasure then.


Professor Snape watched as his son sat down at his usual table.  Then as Draco Malfoy sat down rather more delicately.  Apparently his son's complaint about giving instead of always taking had been fixed.  He was glad he'd never have to hear it again.  It had been embarrassing but he was sure his son would be whining soon about Draco only taking it now that he looked like he enjoyed it so much.  He changed his mind about which potion they'd be doing today, putting one on the board for a muscle relaxer.  He was sure someone would need some soon with the way they went at it.  Probably his son with the way Draco was leering at him across the room.   He rolled his eyes mentally and watched who else was looking happy to have it.  Potter was.  The rumors must be true then, Tonks had been on the train.  Weasley looked like he needed a drink.  Crabbe was blushing at Draco's back so apparently he didn't want Mr. Malfoy to know he had scored as well. And Mr. Goyle was just smug so apparently his dalliance had been good as well.  How any of them slept with all the sex going on in that suite he wasn't sure, but at least they weren't polluting the others.

That's when the light went on in his head.  He knew what was keeping the potion hanging around.  He could even mix the antidote while the imbeciles brewed their relaxants.  He got to work in his office, coming out to pace around while it had to rest, then handed each one a tiny vial with a nod.  They took them on their way out of class, handing back the vials as they passed his desk.  The brewers had polluted the potion with something of theirs.  By neutralizing it, it allowed the potion to finally break down and the compulsions to end.  Thankfully they hadn't needed to quarantine them or his son would still be tied to a bed.  He saw Draco pull out a set of handcuffs and reevaluated that based on the smirk on his face.  So, his son was good at tying people up.  It was another commonality he and his mother shared, which reminded him of many more happy memories, fortunately it was his free period as well.  He sealed his classroom and went to remember in private.

The End.

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