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'The entirety of magical Europe was ruled by a royal family until about the 14th century. A number of Dark Lords were coming to power in the 1380s, and they didn't appreciate being held back by the laws of the royalty. Three Dark Lords put their differences over land aside and joined together to destroy the royal family.
'A band of Light wizards in the various lands under siege by the Dark finally managed to bring most of the Dark Lords down during the early 15th century. Without a royal family, the band of Light wizards created their own new government, which they called the Ministry of Magic, and was set in France. Britain, deciding a Ministry was a grand idea, created their own Ministry, followed by other countries of the continent.
'However, the royal family left behind a promise, that, "One day, the royalty of Europe will rise again, and with friends of Dark and Light, shall bring equality to all." With that promise in mind, all Ministries of Magic have put a clause into their creation, which states that, once the royal family rises again, they will bow to his will.'

Ron snorted into his hand and Hermione gave him a dirty look. Harry rolled his eyes at the byplay, then asked, "Hermione, that's very interesting and all, but, what's it got to do with us?"

"Clearly," Ron declared with a glint in his eyes reminiscent of his twin brothers, "Harry's status as The Boy Who Lived makes him the best candidate for royalty."

Hermione gave Ron a withering look even as Harry snorted quietly into his History notes. Madam Pince's loud clearing of her throat calmed them all down and had their noses back in their notes.

"I'm not saying it has anything to do with us," Hermione said, after checking to make sure the librarian had left to stare down another rowdy group of students. "It's just interesting. Professor Binns has never mentioned a royal family before today."

"We'll have to take your word for that last," Ron commented with a shrug.

"Yeah," Harry agreed. "We end up catching up on our sleep, rather than listening like you."

Hermione huffed. "I'm surprised you two managed to stay awake today, personally!"

"There was a part of us that knew you'd need someone to talk to about Binns' weird change of subject," Ron joked.

Hermione huffed again and looked back at the book on the table in front of her. "Maybe he knows it'll be on our OWLs," she decided at last.

Harry and Ron groaned.

-0-0-0-

"I don't know why we're making this potion," Ron grumbled to Harry, under the cover of bubbling cauldrons. "It's not like we care how pure everyone's blood is."

Hermione shot Ron a grateful look around Harry's bubbling cauldron.

"He's doing it to be spiteful," Harry muttered, watching Snape to be sure the other man didn't overhear him. "That, and stroke Malfoy's ego."

"Quiet!" Snape called, glare particularly vicious when turned to Harry and his friends' corner of the room. The many quiet conversations silenced quickly and all eyes were obediently on their professor before he could take points, so Snape simply continued, saying, "Your potions should be a deep blue in colour. If they are not, vanish them now to save me the trouble." His eyes flicked to Neville, who looked rather like a kicked puppy with his down-turned expression of shame. "If you can vanish them," Snape added, followed by the laughter of the Slytherins.

Ron sighed and waved his wand over the bright orange potion in his cauldron and it vanished. Harry's wasn't quite as dark a blue as Hermione's was, but the constipated look on Snape's face when he looked in the cauldron assured him that it was close enough. Hermione's perfect potion was simply ignored, as always, while Malfoy's potion across the way was praised. Loudly. Harry reached over and subtly put a calming hand on Ron's leg.

"Those of you who have not been required to vanish their potions will place seven drops of your blood into the potion in front of you. If you foolishly used your extra knife, use the sink to clean it off first. Once you've put your blood in, turn off the flame and stir the potion counter-clockwise seven times."

Harry and Hermione both traded nervous looks, then picked up their clean knives and nicked their fingertips. Almost in sync, they let the seven drops fall, then turned off the heat with a flick of their wands. Harry stuck his finger into his mouth after making sure Snape wasn't looking, while Hermione pulled out a muggle plaster and put it over the cut. Once certain no more blood would get into their potions, they picked up their stirring rods and started the stirring.

Malfoy's potion reacted first, and a pale approximation of the Malfoy and Black family crests appeared in the steam rising above his cauldron. Other Slytherins followed him, their family crests rising up to mix with Malfoy's, making them appear indistinct.

Then Hermione's potion reacted, and a crest with nothing more than a crown in the centre rose from her cauldron. Since they were sitting in the very back of the room, only Harry, Hermione, and Ron really saw the crest, and all were so surprised that they barely registered the Potter crest, then another, with the head of a howling black wolf, rising from Harry's cauldron.

"Impossible!" Malfoy suddenly shouted, pointing at the rapidly fading form of Harry's wolf. "Professor Snape, Potter must have cheated! That family's been dead for centuries!"

"I'm more worried about that crown than some wolf, personally," Ron muttered as Snape stalked back to their table. By this point, the entire room was looking back at their table.

Snape looked down at Harry's potion and narrowed his eyes. He took Harry's stirring stick and quickly stirred the potion seven times counter-clockwise. After a moment, the two crests rose from the potion again and a couple of the Slytherins traded appalled looks. Scowling, Snape turned around and stalked back to the front of the room. "Vanish your cauldrons and leave!" he ordered.

Harry and Hermione quickly vanished the contents of their cauldrons, then grabbed their things and left with Ron and the rest of the Gryffindors. The Slytherins stayed behind a bit, but before they got out of hearing range, the Gryffindors heard Snape shout, "OUT!" and the Slytherins fled.

Harry and Hermione traded looks around Ron on their way to their next class. They would be spending time in the library that night.

-0-0-0-

It didn't take them long to find a book on wizarding family crests, but Hermione's crown wasn't in it. Harry's wolf was, though, and it left the three friends staring at each other in barely concealed horror.

Ron broke the oppressive silence first with an attempted joke, "So, who's going to break it to the rest of the Light wizarding world that Harry's from a Dark family?"

"Maybe Voldemort will decide I'm not his enemy after all?" Harry said weakly, pulling off his glasses to rub at his eyes.

"Not bloody likely, mate, but it was a good try," Ron replied.

"Why is it always me, anyway?" Harry grumbled.

"You're just special that way," Ron cheerfully explained.

"And it's not just you this time," Hermione commented, still flipping hurriedly through the book on family crests. "Oh, I wish I knew what it was. I thought I was muggleborn."

"So did we," Ron helpfully commented.

Harry tapped his chin thoughtfully, then shot a pensive look towards where Madam Pince was staring down a couple of Hufflepuff first-years. "I wonder..."

"Harry?" Ron asked, cocking his head to one side. Next to him, Hermione paused her flipping to glance up as well.

Wordlessly, Harry rose and walked over to the strict librarian, looking rather like he was walking to his doom. When he reached her, he whispered, "Madam? If I might borrow you?"

Madam Pince turned piercing grey eyes on the friend of one of her favourite students and said, "Yes, Mr Potter?"

Harry swallowed. "Madam, we came across a certain crest in some of Hermione's extra reading and we're not sure what it's for. We can't find it in the book of family crests, so I was hoping you knew something."

Madam Pince blinked. "The only crest not in that book is the crest of the magical royal family, Mr Potter."

Harry's eyes widened. "A crown, on a blue field?"

"That would be the one. I'm surprised Mr Weasley didn't recognize it on sight – the Old families usually do."

Harry grimaced. "I'm not. Surprised, that is. Well, thank you very much, Madam. You've saved Hermione's hair quite a bit of tugging."

Madam Pince nodded and turned back to the errant first-years, leaving Harry to return to his table shakily.

"Well, what did you two talk about?" Hermione hissed as soon as Harry got back.

"Brave, brave, Potter," Ron muttered, shaking his head in awe.

Harry ignored Ron and dropped into his seat, not sure how to break the news to his two best friends.

"Harry?" Hermione whispered pleadingly.

Harry met the bright brown eyes of his friend and swallowed. "Well, your Majesty, remember that prophecy from the other day?"

Hermione paled drastically while Ron snickered. "Good one, Harry."

"Friends of Dark and Light," Hermione whispered, looking between the grim-faced Harry and the smiling Ron.

Ron's smile died when it seemed Harry hadn't been joking. "Mate?" he practically squeaked.

"Madam Pince," Harry said softly, "told me that the only crest not in that book – a crest of only a crown on a blue field – is that of the royal family."

"You're not joking, are you?" Ron whispered, eyes wide.

Hermione swallowed and looked back down at the book before her with trepidation. "Now what?"

"Bloody hell, Hermione!" Ron whispered heatedly, "You can do anything you want, now! You can kick Umbridge out of the school and take over! You can make sure the entire world knows the truth about You-Know-Who being back!"

"Harry?" Hermione whispered, ignoring their red-headed friend.

Harry rubbed at his face, then met the brown eyes that were pleading for his help, for his assurances, for some idea of what to do. And Harry found himself with nothing to give. He closed his own eyes against that terrified gaze and tried to think.

'The royal family was a step above the other people of the time,' Harry recalled Binns saying. 'When someone needed an answer, they went to the royal family, for they were just and kind and didn't discriminate based on race. They are the reason the Goblin Wars of the 1200s were ended with little bloodshed.'

Harry opened his eyes again and met the brown orbs across from him. "We're going to wait to announce you," he decided, green eyes burning. "We're going to train you to be able to take over this world, even if it means forgetting about homework for a while."

Hermione looked horrified, and Ron looked like Christmas had come early.

Harry smiled grimly. "Hermione, we're going to make you into a queen, so help me Merlin."