Harry & Daphne
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Kassien - Runic Animagi
Chapter 25 - The Sunday News
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter!
Rated M = Mature, sex, language, drugs, ...
Chapter 25: The Sunday News
Thankfully very few people had seen or heard about the Dementors until after they were gone and no longer a threat, and the few who did like Lisa and Terry spent the evening in the hospital wing. It made for a much quieter and more peaceful dinner that Saturday night that I once again spent at the Slytherin table with Daphne and her friends. We quietly told them what happened, and were met with incredulous stares and worrying friends wanting to make sure Daphne was alright ...me, not so much but I could deal with that.
I was relatively quiet and thinking through most of the meal about what made up or twisted version of the story Rita Fucking Skeeter would have on tomorrow's Daily Prophet front page, and still couldn't get over the fact that the very nosey reporter and her photographer had probably been following Daphne and I all day. Didn't the wizarding world have more to worry about than some sixteen year old's girlfriend ...I guess not if that teenager is Harry Bloody Potter, then your entire life is available for public consumption or slander. Merlin I'd love to just destroy that fucking newspaper and it's entire bloody staff of useless reporters and gossips. Rita better be careful with what she writes about Daphne, because while I never cared what people thought and wrote about me, if Rita goes after my girl she is in for a very bad day.
"Come on Harry ...calm down and finish eating so we can go back to our room," spoke Daphne softly into my ear and ending my inner turmoil as I quickly finished my plate and practically raced with Daphne back to our suite for an evening together, hoping that tomorrow's Daily Prophet wouldn't be too damaging or heads were going to roll.
I had a difficult time trying to sleep with too many things on my mind mixed with the nervous anxiety about our relationship becoming even more public with the interference of Rita. I had a feeling of dread that I couldn't shake coupled with just too much going on in my busy life that sleep just seemed impossible. Instead, I drew the runic seals of love and protection over Daphne twice as she slept happily through it all, while it completely draining me of all my energy. Despite the fatigue, I was even more awake and headed out to my balcony to watch the upcoming sunrise and break of dawn while rolling and smoking a joint to calm my thoughts. After the sun had started to rise in the clear sky, I headed back into my room and into bed just as Daphne was starting to stir and wake.
"Morning luv," I whispered into her ear as I pulled her sexy body into mine closely, loving her feel and smell as she slowly wiggled even further into me and waking up even more parts of my body.
"Mmmm," she purred cutely before taking my hand currently across her flat stomach and bringing it down slowly between her legs making us both hum in pleasure.
I should have just stayed in bed all day after such a wonderful morning, or at least eaten meals in my suite since the moment I arrived at the Great Hall for breakfast that Sunday morning after the Hogsmead day, I knew my day would be difficult. I must not kill Rita, I must not kill Rita, I must not kill Rita. The Daily Prophet front page was littered with several pictures from Daphne's and my quiet lunch and strolling through the village to our confrontation with the last of the Dementors, who were barely mentioned. Instead, the article was all about how close the Boy-Who-Lived was with the 'sneaky Slytherin, that was obviously using me for my money and fame. It went on to detail the Greengrass family and recent history, calling them opportunistic neutrals and Daphne a gold digging whore ...I think Rita just wrote her last fucking word on this earth.
Daphne was beside herself in anger and embarrassment, but like all good Slytherins was able to conceal her true emotions and anger from becoming visible, something I had not ever succeeded in doing. When the sneers and comments of several students who were either too stupid or bold enough enough to say something reached my ears, I literally exploded with rage like never before. Almost instantly my whole body combusted and was consumed in fire making me look like a comic book hero Dudley used to like, as everything in the hall not nailed down or heavily weighted started shaking and slowly rising into the air as my anger and the flames grew to unheard of levels ...even for me.
"SHE. WILL. PAY!" I growled out in an animalistic fury as the magic and heat in the air grew as several people tried to get further away from me before I accomplished something no wizard had done before me and disappeared from Hogwarts and the Great Hall in a brilliant flash of flames.
I almost instantly appeared in a large warehouse style office building near a large almost muggle looking contraption that was currently still printing out extra copies of the hopefully last ever issue of the Daily Prophet if I had any say in the matter. The flames licking my body had only intensified upon arriving and almost immediately began disrupting the printing press making me smirk at my imminent take down of the Daily Prophet. The many office doors around the main space occupied by the printing press were being thrown open as the machinery began to break down and fail, causing the paper's workers to rush forward to try and salvage the mess my fire was causing while completely oblivious to the flaming and burning person that caused it ...a great testament to their ability to get and report the news if I do say so myself.
"What happened?" shouted a greying haired man who was quickly growing irate, and must be the owner or editor whose day was only going to get worse, as he watched the burning and breaking machinery and wide eyed looks of his frozen and useless employees.
"You crossed a line you shouldn't have ...and are now paying the consequences," I spoke loudly and clearly and instantly garnered everyone's attention as most shrieked in hysterics and fear as they watched the flames seemingly consuming my body yet doing nothing harmful causing most of them to flee immediately.
"Who ...who are you?" stuttered the ashen and pale faced editor who seemed to be currently pissing his pants in fear as he watched the burning flames tickle me as the fire continued destroying the printing press.
"Someone you've printed your last EVER story about," I answered and raised my hands meaningfully, and causing the fire around me to intensify in heat and reduce the last of the printing press to ashes as all but a few employees fled the building in panic.
"What did I ever do to you?" pleaded the terrified editor who had backed into the safest corner with the last two stupid employees that refused to leave.
"You mean besides acting as a tool for the Ministry and Voldemort by taking their hush money to print lies and withhold the truth?" I raged back still absolutely livid, and having had it with this fucking editor as the fire had now reached all the offices of the building leaving only the current corner free of flames.
"Please ...don't kill me," pleaded the editor in his soiled trousers as I slowly approached him and his apparently two stupid assistants.
"I don't kill people," I spoke in an angry growl as I saw the three stuttering men cower in the corner before movement by a nearby window caught my attention. "Not so fast Rita."
I quickly accioed the beetle and cast a stasis charm on her to remain stuck in her animal form for a few moments so I could take care of my bug problem permanently. I used a variation of the runic locking seal to permanently keep Rita as the fucking bug she was, and overcharged the shit out of it so nobody else would ever be able to undo it until she died naturally since no matter how much I wanted, I couldn't kill the bitch out right. Feeling greatly satisfied at shutting up Rita and the Daily Prophet in one fell swoop, I quickly banished everyone else outside of the building as it began collapsing in on itself from the structural damage the fire caused. I took a final look at the crumbling and destroyed building with a pleased grin on my face before once again disappearing in a brilliant flash of flames just as the aurors began to arrive ...fuck, just like a Gryffindor I charged in without thinking of consequences again.
"Harry!" shouted Daphne in near tears when I returned in a flash of flames directly back into my seat for breakfast as the flames instantly died leaving me relatively normal if not a bit warm and windswept.
"Sorry Daphne ...what did I miss?" I apologized and asked as nobody took their eyes off of me wondering what the hell is going on ...not that I'd tell them.
"Just some stupid Gryffindor defying the laws of magic," returned Tracey Davis with an accusing glare on her usually very pretty face as the others watched the exchange with growing interest wondering my comeback.
"Really ...there are laws of magic?" I replied with a cheeky grin, but never got to hear Tracey's reply as another voice interrupted us.
"Mr. Potter, might we have a word in my office?" came the amused voice of the Headmaster from behind me causing a few of the stupid Slytherins further down the table to snicker thinking I was in trouble for something by the Headmaster ...fucking idiots, as if the Headmaster would ever really punish the prophesized one.
"Harry," began Dumbledore once we were safely within his office as he looked at me with amused and twinkling eyes, "can I ask where you went just now, or am I going to have to read about it in tomorrow's Daily Prophet?"
"You definitely won't be reading about it in the Prophet," I answered with a lopsided smile before the Headmaster's fire flashed green and the frazzled head of the current Minister of Magic, Amelia Bones' appeared in it's midst.
"Albus ...oh thank Merlin you're there," she started as she quickly found the wise old wizard at his desk, "the Daily Prophet building was just destroyed by some unknown fire demon."
"Ngh," I snorted and had to quickly stop myself from laughing silly at the idiots at the newspaper who thought I was a fire demon, but also having Dumbledore's question of where I went answered for me in the most amusing way.
"We'll continue this later Harry," spoke Albus with a stern look at me that caused me to lower my head to avoid laughing hysterically as I accepted the dismissal hoping the Ministry believed the fire demon story to keep me out of trouble, and that Albus backed me up knowing now exactly where I went and what I did.
After my short meeting with the Headmaster, I returned to my suite to find Daphne waiting on me for our planned trip to my two properties. We walked down to the school's entrance and checked out with Filch to head into Hogsmead for another day, and continued to walk off school grounds before I grabbed her hand and dual apparated us to our first stop of the day. I was nervous as hell that Dobby and Winky's unusual protection of the Godric's Hollow property failed and the fiendfyre would wipe out everything beyond the property as well.
Arriving at the property we were met with a completely cleared and ravished expanse of torn up and burnt earth. The house and plant life was all gone with no evidence they ever existed on the barren stretch of land, but thankfully so too was the permeating sense of evil that had previously dominated the property. I guess Dobby and Winky's crazy plan worked, and the land was ready to be used again. We walked the land for a bit and noticed that one of my elves had begun tilling the ground and planting seeds to start the re-growth of the area as I explained to Daphne all about my morning and last visit to the place my parents died and Voldemort was temporarily defeated.
"Harry, you did what you had to do," she consoled me after explaining what Dobby, Winky, and I had to do in order to seal and protect this area from the spread of evil that had dominated the house and property as she hugged me firmly while my emotions got to be too much and I cried sadly for the loss of the connection to my parents and family history.
"I just have so little of theirs ...and this place was the last real connection I had to them," I whispered honestly but with a great deal of difficulty controlling my emotions.
"Then we will rebuild it and restore it to it's former glory just like it was for you and your parents," she answered calmly as she slowly ran her hands through my hair knowing how much I liked it and how much it helped me calm down.
"I love you baby," I spoke sincerely and gave her a needy and passionate kiss that firmly settled me down, before we took a final look around and I dual apparated us to our next stop.
I still had to show her the small scrap of parchment Dumbledore had given me expressly for this purpose, as the secret location of Order Headquarters and the House of Black was revealed to her popping up between the houses on each side of it. I was instantly startled to not see the dark foreboding heavy wood door and snake motifs that usually made up the hardware throughout the old House of the Black family, and instead saw a beautifully carved clean oak door with the Potter and Black family crests adorning it spectacularly. Apparently some of my elves had already begun the restoration of the Ancient and Noble house and couldn't wait to see what they did to the rest in the five days since Kreature died and I took control.
"I think our house elves are trying to make a liar out of me ...I swear on Wednesday this place was a total dark and dreary nightmare," I responded with an amused shrug before opening the door and leading Daphne into an elaborately decorated Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.
We were almost instantly greeted by one of my many house elves named Kail inside the beautifully illuminated and immaculately cleaned and decorated entryway that bore no resemblance to it's previous dreariness. He enthusiastically took us on a long tour of the newly renovated and cleaned brownstone, to which Daphne and I often raved and gushed at it's beauty and elegance. He showed off the totally remodeled and state of the art kitchen and still Order meeting room once they met again, and ended the tour with the Floo room which remained the only room in the house to keep it's original Black family motifs and style. It also contained all the Black Family items including the Family tapestry, house elf head, and portraits of both Phineas Nigellus and Walburga Black which were all proudly and tastefully displayed.
"Hello again Lord Potter Black," greeted Phineas politely, but with a hard scrutinizing look at Daphne probably trying to place who she was. "Is this the soon to be Lady Potter Black?"
"Hello Phineas, Lady Black," I replied in greeting, "yes ...this is my fiance Daphne Greengrass."
"Finally ...a Slytherin pureblood," celebrated Walburga with wide excited eyes as she looked over Daphne with obvious affection I had never seen her show anyone, and was actually rather glad they approved since it would make both our lives easier in the future.
"And more importantly, you restore the integrity of the Black family by honoring the Black-Greengrass Marriage Contract of 1973," added Phineas proudly as he too awarded Daphne and I unfamiliar looks of respect and appreciation.
Daphne and I could only smile at their words of praise and acceptance, and soon realized we were getting hungry. We asked Kail to prepare us a small lunch of sandwiches which we would eat in the Black Room as I was going to call it, and continued talking with Phineas and Walburga who were both rather excited to get to know the next Lord and Lady Black. I decided to leave out being responsible for Bellatrix's death, Narcissa's newfound poverty, or Andromeda's reintroduction to the Black family since I didn't want to ruin the small acceptance they had bestowed on us.
As it approached mid afternoon, Phineas left his portrait for a minute and returned to tell me that Albus was organizing an Order meeting for tonight, and I had to smile at what those people's reactions would be to seeing the house as it was. There hadn't been an Order meeting since Kreature asked me to honor him with a beheading and plaque which rested above Walburga's painting in an upper ring of house elf heads near the room's ceiling. Most would be in for the shocks of their lives when they arrived tonight and saw a much different house, and I couldn't help but smile at the thought. We finally said our goodbyes to Phineas and Walburga, and I dual apparated us back to the gates of Hogwarts where we began the short walk back to school stealing several kisses along the way which greatly slowed us up ...not that I was complaining mind you.
Predictably I was told to meet with the Headmaster after dinner by a stern looking McGonagall, probably because I was once again eating dinner in the Great Hall with Daphne and her friends at the Slytherin table. Most people at dinner were hounding me about this morning, but I simply lied and told everybody it was an illusion disappearing and a flame freezing charm for the fire effect, and that I just needed to let off some hot air no pun intended. Most people bought that excuse easily, but I could tell that Daphne's friends didn't and would want an answer later but at least had the good sense not to call me on it in front of everyone ...I think I'm starting to like hanging out with Slytherins.
Dumbledore was not incredibly pleased with my exploits as the fire demon, but since nobody was hurt, and the goblins had offered Levy Strainer the Daily Prophet's editor a good loan from me although he didn't know that, the Ministry wasn't pursuing the case further. I had to hold in a laugh after hearing about Gringotts offer of a loan, having received a letter from Griphook earlier in the day explaining the plan to gain control of the only daily wizarding newspaper in England. It would however take Strainer several weeks to rebuild everything and have the paper back up and running since he had to start back from scratch ...serves the bastards right. Luckily, the story of my flame freezing charm and supposed illusion was getting practically school wide acceptance, since nobody wanted to believe the alternative that someone, namely myself, could travel through Hogwarts' wards.
"I guess I'll be able to fire travel pretty well once I master my phoenix form," I answered his unasked question, knowing that the Headmaster was far from stupid and deserved to know if one of his students could travel through unbreakable wards that are supposed to protect them.
"Yes, I figured as much," replied the Headmaster with a knowing smile and twinkling eyes, "but you still need to work on controlling that temper of yours."
"I know sir, and am trying," I responded sincerely before a knock came on his office door and Severus, Hagrid, Minerva, and Filius all walked in ready to go to Order Headquarters for the meeting getting ready to start any minute.
Arriving in the Black Room at Grimmauld Place through the floo network, everyone else present knew instantly that something was very different about the house. Albus and Severus were both looking curiously at the two portraits facing them, wondering how and why they are here while Hagrid looked towards the ceiling to see the ring of honor for house elves with a weary look. Flitwick and McGonagall were taking in the whole room noticing it's unusual cleanliness despite still having that dark Black family feel and even looking at the ancient family tapestry unsurprised by the name near the bottom of one Harry James Potter Black.
"Good evening Walburga, Phineas ...how are you both?" I greeted kindly, stunning the group from Hogwarts even further at the changes.
"We are well Harry, thank you for asking," responded Walburga much to the continued shock of our guests. "You just missed the Weasley's arrival and Molly's scream of surprise ...I think you would have really liked it."
"I wouldn't be surprised if it shook the whole house," I answered with a lopsided grin.
"Harry, what's going on?" asked the Headmaster somewhat demandingly, not liking not knowing everything he could.
"My elves redecorated ...and this is probably the only room that even resembles the old look," I answered smugly and with a slight smirk at their incredulous stares.
"Welcome Master Harry," spoke the newest arrival Kail, as he entered the room to greet us and ask for more work, "do you need anything?"
"I would love a jack and coke," I returned, knowing Kail was quite proficient at mixing drinks since I bought the bartenders guide this summer and the young elf had the thing memorized almost instantly.
"Would your guests like food or refreshments?" continued the young eager elf after nodding in acknowledgment of my request.
"Let's go to the kitchen and find out," I responded easily, "I can introduce you then."
"Albus ...what happened to Headquarters?" shrieked a frantic Molly Weasley as all the Order members were staring around dumbly at all the modern appliances in the renovated kitchen meeting room before turning to their leader hoping for answers.
"Kreature was dying," I answered loudly as I was the last to enter along with Kail, causing all of the attention to shift their focus on me, "he asked to be sent onto the next great adventure ...and now my elves care for and run this house. This is Kail, he is in charge of this house, he does not serve or work for any of you ...but I am sure if you are courteous and polite he will be able to help you with anything around here. Now, with that out of the way, can Kail get anybody some drinks or food before we start?"
"We'll have what Harry's having," called out the Weasley twins in unison, and glad to finally be a part of the Order and the fight against Voldemort, and a bit surprised at my confidence and attitude if the looks they were giving me were anything to go by.
AN: I feel I need to address one issue that has come up lately about this story. Daphne's sisters name is apparently Astoria, but I can't remember everything and named her Delia instead ...my bad entirely. Maybe at some point I'll go back and change it, but it really doesn't matter ...her role in the story is rather minimal and if that error turns you off I feel bad for you since I have yet to read a completed story that didn't have some error, and I doubt you will either. If you want, just blame it on spending time out on the balcony!