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Harry felt a jerk behind his navel when both he and Cedric grabbed the Triwizard Cup at the same time. It was a portkey! His feet slammed into the ground as they arrived and a flare of pain shot up and along both Harry's injured leg and his scar as the leg once again crumpled beneath him. He watched through a haze of pain as Cedric died by some wizard's wand and tried to fight back, weak from pain, as he was dragged to a headstone in the graveyard they had landed in. As he was tied to a massive monstrosity that vaguely resembled a headstone, he dazedly noticed that it bore the name TOM RIDDLE before being slammed back first into the headstone and secured in place with an "Incarcerous" which wrapped him from neck to ankles in conjured ropes.

Harry's scar flared again, worse than ever before. By the time that he had wrestled his pain back under control he'd realized that it was Wormtail performing some kind of ritual in front of him and that the rat bastard had laid open his arm with a ceremonial knife to collect his blood. He had nearly filled the small vial to the brim before adding it to a cauldron that was large enough to hold a full grown man, along with the creepy child thing that the rat-bastard had brought with him. Pain flared in his scar at the same instant that the potion flared and vanished. A man stood up in the cauldron, naked, and stepped from it with a grace reminiscent of a large cat.

"Robe me." The man commanded in a high cold voice. Wormtail, still sobbing from the ritual loss of his hand and wrist, gathered the black robe that had held the child thing and one-handedly pulled it over the man's head.

The man turned and stared at Harry. Harry stared back in return, completely fascinated and slightly revolted by what he had seen. The man was a slightly older, completely hairless, emaciated, red-eyed version of a face that had been haunting his nightmares along with a flash of green light and a woman's scream for as long as he could remember.

Lord Voldemort had returned.

Voldemort looked away from their staring match in favor of examining his new body, occasionally murmuring appreciatively. "It worked better than I thought it would. I suppose that feeding for so long on Nagini's venom wasn't as detrimental to the ritual as I thought it would be. I'll have to see if anything is different aside from the lack of hair. Perhaps the hair will grow back. Wormtail! Stop moaning. Hand me my wand and give me your arm." He snapped at the still whimpering animagus.

"Oh, thank you my lord!" Wormtail whimpered, handing over the Yew wand, but before he could withdraw his left arm and extend his right one Voldemort grabbed his wrist, holding it in place.

"Not that one you fool!" He hissed, as he pressed the tip of his wand to the dark mark on Wormtail's arm, making both mark and Harry's scar burn. Wormtail's barely bit back a cry as his mark flared in pain. A moment later Voldemort released his arm as the first sounds of apparating arrivals could be heard echoing in the graveyard as his faithful Death Eaters began to arrive. Nagini, whom Harry dimly remembered slithering past him at the start of the ritual, came from behind the cauldron and stretched up to lightly wrap the first part of her body around the wrist that Voldemort wasn't using to direct his wand movements as he did a quick clean up of the ritual materials (including Harry's wounds); Apparently, it wouldn't do to seem untidy after being resurrected. From between the headstones came witches and wizards, all cloaked and hooded in black with bone white masks. They hesitantly approached as if they couldn't believe their eyes. First one then another, and another, until all of them had fallen to their knees in front of Voldemort, kissing the edge of his robes and murmured, "Master". Wormtail continued to lay sobbing just behind his master, near where Harry was bound, and where he had fallen to his knees from pain from the mark when the others had been summoned. The Death Eaters formed a circle around Tom Riddle's grave, Voldemort, and Harry, after they offered their obeisance, leaving gaps as if expecting more people. Their master on the other hand seemed to believe that no more would arrive.

Voldemort gazed at his assembled followers, his face inscrutable before he spoke coldly, and softly. "Thirteen years... Thirteen years since last we met yet you all arrive as if that meeting were but yesterday. Are we still united under the Dark Mark?" More than one Death Eater flinched at the quiet accusation as Nagini released her hold on Voldemort's hand and settled at his feet.

"You all swore eternal loyalty to me, yet I see nothing here to have prevented any of you from seeking me out and coming to my aid these last thirteen years. Only Wormtail and one other have even attempted to find and assist me. Wormtail assisted me not out of loyalty but out of fear of his old friends, whom he betrayed." Voldemort paused for a moment in his quiet speech. "I want thirteen years of repayment before even considering forgiving this breach of loyalty, of forgiving the fact that you all left and slid in amongst my enemies, claiming innocence, ignorance, and bewitchment..."

A Death Eater threw himself at Voldemort's feet crying out. "Forgive me! Master! Forgive us!"

Voldemort smiled cruelly before raising his wand and cast "Crucio" on the man, making him shriek, scream, and writhe in pain. Harry for his part hoped that someone, anyone, would hear and come to put a stop to this. He continued to hope even after the spell was lifted and the man crawled back to his place in the circle.

"Get up, Avery." Voldemort ordered the man softly. "I've already told you what I'm willing to accept to forgive this. Wormtail has already paid part of his debt to me and I reward those who help me." He raised his wand and sent a streak of pure silver at Wormtail, engulfing the man's stump creating a new liquid silver hand and wrist.

"Thank you, master!" Wormtail thanked him in wonder, as he gazed at his new hand, flexing it, watching it move in liquid grace.

Harry on the other hand barely heard Voldemort's commentary on the Death Eaters of his inner circle, as the man addressed them, until he heard the man speak of a Death Eater at Hogwarts.

This caused the boy's head to snap up and stare at the man as he hissed "Snape!" nearly sliding into parseltounge, drawing attention to the fact that he was still there, tied to a tombstone. Somehow, no one was quite sure how, Harry had managed to get rid of the gag that Wormtail had stuffed in his mouth to silence him for the ritual.

Voldemort paused and looked over at the seething boy. "Yessss, I think we should handle that now. Lucius! You may make up part of your folly at the world cup by retrieving Severus... Now." He told Malfoy Sr. in a hard tone. "I believe that he is seated with your son watching the third task of the tournement. Disillusion yourself and take the cup portkey back, take the boy's body back with you. We might as well return it to his family. If you don't return with Severus within half an hour I will take the failure out of your hide. Have I made myself clear?"

Lucius bowed saying, "You have my lord." then moved off to complete his task, as they all patiently waited for his return. Harry seethed, still tied to the headstone of a man named Tom Riddle who, according to what he understood of the earlier ritual, had been Voldemort's father. Then something occurred to Harry, completely distracting him from thoughts of Snape and being tied up.

"Why did Snape counter your curse on my broomstick in first year?" Harry asked. "I mean I know that Quirrell already told me that Snape doesn't want me dead, but why try to counter it at all? Why not just catch me as I fell?"

Voldemort raised his non-existent eyebrows and answered. "Perhaps he thought it safer since its actually rather difficult to catch a falling body, not to mention that I have no doubt that he recognized the curse as it was being cast. It was very likely that no one would have managed to catch you fast enough had you lost your grip on that broom."

Harry observed Voldemort a bit more as they all waited for Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape to arrive. Just as they all heard the pop of the two men's arrival Harry blurted out. "I know what's different! You're sane!" Causing everyone else to freeze in fear of what their master might do with such an accusation.

Voldemort looked over at the boy in amusement and answered the implied question. "Yes, I suppose that I am."

Harry shook his head. "That's not what I meant. You're not acting as mental as first year when you were on the back of Quirrell's head, or that weird memory thing in the diary I fought in second year that sent the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets after me." Harry tried to explain.

At the mention of the diary Voldemort's face went blank and his voice flat. "My diary? You fought my diary and won against both it and my basilisk..."

"Uh, yes?" Harry admitted hesitantly.

Voldemort turned to face the two arrivals and absently noted that not only was Severus pale he was clearly unarmed and at wand point. Voldemort focused immediately on Lucius' now very grey face. "Lucius, what did I tell you when I asked you to take care of my diary?" Voldemort's voice was so flat that it seemed dead, sending a shiver down the spine of everyone there.

Nagini attempted to calm her master by climbing up his body as far as she could and wrapping him in her coils, covering as much of his body as she could manage to reach. She hissed soothingly that it was alright, it was okay, and wasn't it better to find out now from the hatchling then to never know? He could always hurt the stupid one later, the hatchling needed to be dealt with.

Hearing this Harry realized that Nagini was referring to him and protested viciously. "Hey! I'm not a Hatchling! I'm not a baby!"

It took a moment for everyone else to sort through their confusion and realize that Harry was actually arguing with Nagini about the term "hatchling".

Snape choked a bit before hissing at the still bound boy. "Potter! Shut up!"

"I'm not a hatchling." He told his professor mulishly.

"You're certainly acting like one." Snape snarled back tensely. "Now, be quiet!"

As Harry sulked, Voldemort gazed at the two residents of Hogwarts in a peculiar fashion, trying to decide what to do about this latest revelation. Nagini, sensing that her master had calmed or was at least distracted, slowly slid off of him and gathered herself once more at his feet. Watching the other humans warily, yet clearly unconcerned about the hatchling speaker that had given her bonded wizard so many fits over the years.

"You are aware that you've likely assured your own death?" Voldemort asked the professor archly, hiding his own confusion.

Still glaring at Harry, Snape gritted out. "I am under oath and had the foolish idea that you might allow me to try to explain since this is a direct result of the task you gave me. I presume that either the brat said something that he didn't fully understand or I have outlived my usefulness and pose a threat that I am not aware of."

Voldemort narrowed his red gleaming eyes at Snape in thought then muttered a spell softly in parseltounge, swishing his wand in a complicated spiral zig zag pattern. Harry's scar began to burn resulting a quiet whimper clearly heard only by Voldemort, Snape, and Malfoy. Snape on the other hand, began to glow with a dark green light as strands of gold, red, and blue power spiraled out from him forming charts and words above his head. Each chart listed some sort of contract, binding, or oath that Snape was bound under. The gold ones appeared to be purely legal contracts, oaths, and agreements whereas both the red and the blue ones seemed to be personal or family related. The one that Voldemort was looking for was blue, indicating that there was a secrecy clause in place. Of the two blue ones both listed Dumbledor as the one who they were sworn to, one had gone dim indicating that while still active too many people knew enough about the contents that the secrecy clause no longer truly bound Snape. Harry deduced from the fact that the primary subject of the oath listed Professor Lupin, that it was probably about Remus' lycanthropy. The other one was a bright, shining blue and, to his shock, listed him as the primary subject. It had a link that connected it to a red/gold one that called its self a life-debt which listed James Potter as the primary recipient and Harry as the secondary. To say that Harry was astonished would be an understatement but he was quite happy that each chart was in fact clearly labeled in words by type in addition to color.

"What's a life-debt?" Harry asked quietly. Everyone looked at Harry, still stuck to the tombstone, in astonishment.

"How much of our society do you actually know about?" Voldemort asked, aghast that his infuriating opponent didn't know about such an integral part of their society, their world.

As Voldemort waved away the remnant of the spell, Snape sighed and admitted. "Dumbledore had him placed with his muggle relatives and assured me he was being treated like a prince, despite the fact that he could have gotten Black out of Azkaban at any time, as I learned at the end of last year. I have been having difficulty putting aside my hatred of the Marauders to deal fairly with the so called Golden Trio, Potter and his two friends. I've noticed that the boy is unusually thin at the beginning of each school year but I have been putting it down to excessive activity over the summer hols."

Harry snorted and muttered something about chores and stupid locks. Voldemort, Snape, and Malfoy shared a glance; that was not the response that they had been expecting, and it was worrisome.

"Mr. Potter, would you care to repeat that?" Lucius asked quietly. Harry looked startled for a moment then flushed red, muttering something that sounded suspiciously like "No".

Voldemort's lips thinned, then made sure to meet Potter's belligerent gaze before quietly casting "Legillimens". Only Lucius and Snape heard the quiet spell as Voldemort dove into the boy's memories. It took him a moment to orient himself then he got down to business, actively searching for memories of Harry's time at the Dursleys. The first memory he found in his search was of Harry working in the garden under the hot July sun occasionally glancing longingly through the kitchen window at, Voldemort assumed, his relatives as they ate a large meal at the kitchen table in the clearly much cooler house. The next memory made the situation all too clear. Harry was serving breakfast to his family when his cousin tripped him causing him to knock over a cup of juice. Harry glanced over fearfully at the man that Voldemort guessed to be his uncle, who was now red in rage and raising a hand to strike but the scene suddenly shifted to a bruised and exhausted Harry lying on his cot in the cupboard under the stairs, indicating that the person had been knocked out. Voldemort abruptly pulled out, ending the connection, shaking and pale with a rage all his own. Harry stared at the resurrected wizard that everyone seemed so afraid of. He knew that Voldemort had done something and that it had made him angry. His throbbing scar was proof enough of that.

Bluntly Harry asked. "What did you just do? Why did it make you angry?"

Voldemort ignored him and turned to Snape, speaking hoarsely. "We'll deal with the particular complexities of your situation later, for now we get him away from those poor excuses of human life that the old man calls his relatives. He is not to stay with them again!"

"I'm afraid I'm going to need more information on the subject if I am to act appropriately. As I've explained, as far as I know the boy is treated like a spoiled little brat of a prince when he isn't at school and even there he is favored, much like his father was." Snape told him almost hesitantly before the Dark Lord could start in on a list of demands he didn't have enough information to understand.

"Lucius, return his wand. Severus, read the boy's memories about his so called time with those muggles, then see if you can tell me the boy is spoilt brat of a prince." Voldemort ordered, still trying to keep his fury in check as the two men obeyed and Nagini once again wrapped herself comfortingly around her wizard. This time Voldemort clutched at the snake as if drowning and hugged her close. This display unnerved the assembled adults more than a round of Crucio's ever could.

Snape quietly took his wand back from Lucius, occasionally glancing back at Voldemort but before he could cast the spell on the boy Harry himself protested in a near panic. "Wait! You're going to look at my memories? Like the Sorting Hat?"

Snape ignored the boy's obvious concern and cast "Legillimens" in a firm clear voice that carried to all present. The first memory he encountered was in fact that of Harry's sorting, but before he could move on the Hat's words entranced him.

"Not Slytherin, eh? You'd do well there. Alright then, better be... Gryffindor!" The Hat shouted out the last word for all to hear and the memory whirled away to something a bit earlier. Snape watched as Hagrid and the Weasley boy prejudiced Harry's house choice before the boy had a chance to get any information on the situation. The flashes of Draco's actions along with brief flashes of parallels connected to the cousin's actions which were connected to the main memory of the sorting showed that the young blonde hadn't helped the situation in the least. Finally managing to pull himself from the tangle surrounding Harry's sorting Snape focused on the facts that he knew about Potter's relatives, which he now saw were disturbingly few, and allowed it to bring forward Harry's own memories of the place he called home over the summer hols. What Snape saw among the myriad of memories sickened him and made him realize just how badly he had judged the boy, how in fact he had been acting just as bad as the Marauders had acted toward him in their school days. He was so distracted, consumed by what he had just seen that as he was pulling free of Harry's mind, like Voldemort when he was being reborn, he never felt the snap of an enchantment failing that someone had cast on him that had been anchored to his very soul. When he actually noticed reality again he found himself on his knees on the ground and promptly lost what little of lunch he'd managed to eat before the third task.

"How many memories did you view, my lord?" Snape rasped as he cleared his mouth with a sleeve, showing just how rattled he was to everyone present before remembering that he could banish the mess and doing so.

"Two, maybe three with indications that they were a fairly common occurrence, not isolated incidents. I couldn't keep my temper after that and pulled out." Voldemort admitted grimly.

"I saw more." Snape said hoarsely as he carefully got back to his feet. "One of which was his sorting. He was supposed to be in Slytherin, Dumbledore got to him first with Hagrid and the Weasleys. Draco's actions, especially compared to his whale of a cousin's, pushed him still farther into Dumbledore's clutches. The only good thing I can see about this is that I can now tell you about the vow concerning Harry. The premise of the vow is protection. I am under vow and the remnant life-debt to protect him. Keeping this knowledge from you after what has happened would put him in danger."

"The life-debt is overriding the secrecy clause in the oath." Malfoy realized in astonishment, then demanded. "Just how bad was his treatment?!"

Harry, finally looking scared whimpered a small "no", earning a glance from the three men and a slight shuffle from the audience of the Inner Circle Death Eaters. Glancing at Voldemort and receiving a nod of permission, Snape waved his wand, disappearing the ropes that kept Harry in place and went to his knees to catch the boy as he fell from lack of support and blood flow. Snape clutched Harry to him as if he were a precious burden, a life line, cradling him gently in the Potion Master's arms as the man knelt on the ground.

"Lucius? Do you remember how badly my school summers tended to turn out?" At Lucius' solemn nod Snape went on practically hissing in fury. "Well Harry is treated worse. Lucius, they treat him like one of your house elves!" This news caused Lucius to stumble backwards and sit down hard on the nearest tombstone, his features pale.

"My lord unless you intend to keep us, Harry and I will need an excuse for our sudden very public disappearance and as a result an equally public return. The story must be grand enough yet also simple enough to satisfy the officials and public. But, with your permission, we will need to present something closer to the truth to Dumbledore in private. Especially if you want me to be able to come and go when needed." Snape told the man from his knees, still cradling the clearly tired and confused Boy-Who-Lived.

"After what I've just seen I'm tempted to just keep the two of you." Voldemort told them plainly. "I certainly don't want Potter going back to that disgrace of a household but I'm honestly not certain how to accomplish that at the moment barring keeping the two of you prisoner."

"Unless we splashed the situation across the papers but even if we did I doubt we would accomplish anything but to put Mr. Potter in the hands of someone unknown and possibly put him at risk." Lucius doubtfully admitted. "I suppose we could splash the more dangerous events of the last four years at Hogwarts across the papers and point out that not only is Dumbledore doing virtually nothing to protect our children but that he also seems bent on getting Mr. Potter killed. We can also publicly wonder why the boy not only seems unwilling to request help from teachers when he finds himself embroiled in such situations but also the lack of any apparent communication with his so called guardians."

"I don't want any communication with the Dursleys. Its bad enough living with them!" Harry spat waking up just enough to struggle in Snape's arms a bit before giving it up as a lost cause, relaxing back against the Potions Master, having completely forgotten about the surrounding and still masked Death Eaters, only Malfoy and Snape had no mask on.

"Or we could simply blackmail Dumbledore." Snape said quietly, holding Harry close. "He does seems to care for the boy."

"Explain." Voldemort demanded as Nagini slid back down his body and resumed her place at his feet.

"Simple, Potter and I return via apparation to the edge of the wards in the forbidden forest. The public story will be that I became concerned about his propensity to find himself in trouble and set a simple tracing charm that is often used on small children on him. I had of course used the modified version which had a much greater range. This allowed me to realize that something had gone wrong with the portkey and retrieve him. As for what happened with the portkey, it appears to have been tampered with by some well meaning individual the end result being that Diggory's body returned with the portkey mimicking the effects of the killing curse while Potter's far more powerful magic manifested in a bout of accidental magic and apparated him away just as the portkey failed. The boy has a knack for finding himself in dangerous situations that would kill a full grown wizard with more than half a century of experience to aid him, thus the tracking spell would seem to be a reasonable precaution to me at the time. Dumbledore might not accept this version of events however, so I may need to inform him that the portkey detour was in fact your invitation to your resurrection and that you had me kidnapped to act as a more competent messenger than Potter. I would have supposedly have talked you out of killing the boy and myself. You could of course have me tell him, privately, that we were in fact here and that you decided that it would be more amusing for the boy to be better trained before facing him again, but that there were a few conditions to our return. That the boy would be re-sorted and that he would never step foot in his relatives house again, or else." Snape told Voldemort his plan quietly. "Its something you might have done before, even if you don't know about Harry's situation; Especially if you decided that you were too weak from the resurrection ritual and didn't want to reveal such weakness nor would you want someone else to claim your prey. You would have made it very clear that Potter is yours alone and placed him out of reach of the blood wards at his relatives house."

Harry listened to Snape's proposal in a state of tired shock. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Was Snape insane? Even if Voldemort were truly sane the risk that he would run with the suggestion to do something if Dumbledore didn't re-sort him or send him somewhere other than the Dursleys was too great. Harry tried to struggle again only to be soothed by Snape as if he were a fussy child in his arms.

Voldemort contemplated Snape's plan for a moment before nodding slowly in agreement. "Alright, sounds plausible but you need to find an excuse to teach him Occlemency and get him checked over thoroughly. Document everything you find, I want everything recorded so that we can press suit against his so called relatives." He sneered the last part.

"He likely has nightmares from both his treatment at the hands of the muggles and his 'adventures'. You can use that as your excuse for the Occlemency. I don't want him to ever set foot in that house again. We might even have to resort to kidnapping him again if the old man is stubborn about all of this." Voldemort ordered using his most menacing tones and expression, resulting in looking like a demonic cross between a reptile and a human, eyes glowing a fiery bright red, as he clearly addressed both Snape and Malfoy.

"Of course my lord." Was murmured by both Snape and Lucius as Severus bowed low over Harry so that he wouldn't have to let go of the boy in his lap.

"But, but, I don't understand." Harry said softly in bewilderment. "Why are you helping me? Everyone keeps telling me that you want me dead, that you killed my parents. That I stopped you somehow when I was a baby and now they're going to expect me to stop you again. I don't even really know anything about who my parents were and you've already tried to kill me again in both first and second year. Why are you helping me???"

Voldemort knelt down to look Harry in the eye as he answered him. "I've tried to kill you because I didn't have all of the information that I need. I also acted, like a Gryffindor, without thinking properly. I still don't have all of the information that I need but one thing is certain, I am thinking clearly again, and as you said, I am once again sane. I have lived through something very similar to what you have to deal with each summer, to what we saw in those memories." At this admission Harry flinched back into Snape's chest, remembering what happens whenever he had to stay with the Dursleys. Voldemort waited patiently for Harry to come back out of his memories and met his eyes again. "No one should have to live like that. I cannot promise not to try and kill you again, in fact its likely that I will try; But I promise you that if I can help it you will never set foot in that be-damned house again; And if you do then I or one of mine will be with you to help you."

Harry stared into the ruby red eyes of the man who had tried to kill him and saw them shinning with the sincerity of his promise before slowly nodding his acceptance. Magic flared around Harry, Snape, and Voldemort, signalling the sealing of a magical vow. Snape having been caught up in the vow simply by the virtue of having the boy in his arms, swore softly under his breath, startling Harry into jumping a bit and breaking the eye contact between the two powerful wizards. Voldemort stood back up and gazed at the two thoughtfully. Snape was clearly feeling guilty about something concerning the boy but did it tie in with his vow of protection? Perhaps it could be used to his advantage.

"Severus." Voldemort waited until he had the man's complete attention, almost missing the involuntary tightening of the man's grip on the boy still in his lap. "Would you be willing to take another vow concerning the boy?" He carefully watched the man's suddenly blank face. Only the eyes even hinted at the turmoil that the Potion Master was feeling at that moment.

"I cannot answer that until I know the vow its self, my lord." Snape informed him quietly, face impassive.

Before Voldemort could decide whether or not to elaborate there was the clunk of a falling object from behind the headstone that Harry had been tied to earlier. At the command conveyed by a simple glance, Lucius nodded and went to investigate. What he found was not what anyone had expected. Lucius returned to the group with a slightly puzzled expression on his face, bearing several items in his hands, the sight of which made Voldemort pale even further. Ravenclaw's Lost Diadem, the Gaunt Family signet ring with the Pervell crest, Slytherin's Locket, Helga Hufflepuff's cup, and the remains of his old school diary.

Lips thin, Voldemort grimly cast "Revelio Animus" and watched as none of the objects in Malfoy's hands glowed. He absently noted with some satisfaction that Nagini had two different glows, one red and the other an almost non-existent silvery grey. Snape's startled cry, however, quickly snapped his gaze to the man and boy. What he saw caused a shock to go through his very soul and nearly brought him to his own knees. Sitting there looking tired and bewildered sat Harry Potter, glowing with two intertwined lights. One was red and about the size of a snitch and centered perfectly over the scar that Voldemort himself had given the boy. The other infused the rest of his body to the point of glowing brilliance bringing a light blue glow to the graveyard. Snape, on the other hand, having been close enough to be affected by the area spell, was glowing green almost as brightly and pulled the boy back into his chest as he desperately looked up at his sworn lord.

Throat dry, Voldemort made a decision. The boy had to be protected as much as if not more than Nagini. He was a living human Horcrux. "It appears that unless you wish to remain a spy, Severus, both you and Mister Potter will be staying with me from now on. It also appears that young Mister Potter's participation as a part of the ritual conducted earlier is part of the reason my sanity has returned. As a result I now appear to owe him a rather large life debt." Admitting the existence of the life debt openly, in front of other magic users not directly involved with the debt made its existence and power even stronger. Sending shivers of magic down the link to the marks binding his minions to him causing an echoing acknowledgement from the magical core of every single Death Eater still alive. Their lord had acknowledged a life debt and it bound both him and all of his people. No man, woman, or child sworn to him would be able to intentionally harm Potter until magic itself had decided that the debt was paid. Voldemort decided that he would have to come up with more than one way to protect the boy but for now this would give him the greatest possible protection. Voldemort believed that by the time magic had declared the debt paid he would have managed to make it plain to his people that the boy was no longer a target but instead a treasure, or at least someone under his protection.

"Then he must be returned to Hogwarts or we risk putting him in danger from both sides of this conflict, my lord." Lucius informed him quietly.

Frowning, he considered this new wrinkle. The boy carried a piece of his soul in him. The boy had somehow returned every soul piece which was not housed in a living being. Snape was already sworn to protect the boy and was routinely around him except during his ghastly summer holidays. The boy's summer holidays were - are - an absolute nightmare that he wouldn't put his worst enemy through, well maybe Dumbledore. There wasn't much help for it, the boy was going to have to be Snape's responsibility and gotten away from Dumbledore, but he'd be damned if he allowed one of the man's presented complications to kill the boy. Voldemort strode over to the still kneeling man, lap filled with an exhausted Gryffindor and yanked his head back by the the hair to stare down into the man's eyes.

"From now on your sole responsibility is the boy. Do what is needed to keep him safe and alive, even if it means defying me or compromising your position." Voldemort ordered in quiet tone heard by all present that brooked no argument.

"Yes, my lord." Snape allowed his relief to be given such an order to fill his voice. Voldemort nodded once and released his hold on the Potions Master, who practically slumped down over the boy in his lap, greatful that he still had a chance to repair the damage done that long ago Halloween night and protect Lily's son. Lily, his sister in all but blood.

Voldemort looked around at the gathered audience of Death Eaters, absently noting their reactions to his choices thus far before starting in on his orders and mini-speech. "I want full reports on events since our last meeting by the time I receive the first Prophet of the weekend. The more complete the report, the less likely you will find yourself on the floor screaming at the next meeting. Harry Potter is to be protected and is no longer considered an enemy. Children are off limits, what this means is that if they are underage and you find yourself fighting or dueling one of them treat it like a teaching session. Use non-lethal spells and do your best to get them out of the line of fire. The way we've all acted will be examined and any actions or activities deemed harmful or unnecessary will be dealt with accordingly, as will the instigators. I will be the first to admit that I have been... ill. Many things are going to change but I am still your Dark Lord." A soft sigh of released breath came from every Death Eater present as he turned to his resident Potions Master. "Severus, part of the 'price' for being able to walk away with Potter is that neither of you may communicate anything about this little trip that I do not allow. If Dumbledore objects than remind him that I could just as easily have kept the two of you and that unless he wants me to forcibly retrieve the both of you with much fuss and damage he needs to adhere to my conditions."

"He will obviously object over removing Potter from his relatives, likely on the grounds of the blood wards." Snape pointed out quietly.

Harry drifted off to sleep in the protective arms of Hogwarts' very own dungeon bat as they discussed how to deal with Dumbledore. He wasn't going back to the Dursleys' and that was all that really mattered for now. He'd deal with the confusing complexities of nice resurrected Dark Lords, a protective Snape and an oddly acting Lucius Malfoy when he woke up... if he woke up. He wasn't sure he really cared either way at the moment. Grumbling slightly, Harry Potter finally relaxed and slipped down into the blissful blackness of sleep. He never felt the return apparation to Hogwarts nor was he woken by the uproar their return caused...

Chapter Text

Harry slowly woke to the familiar of the Hospital wing. Barely awake he fumbled for his glasses on the bedside table, once he had gotten them on his face he noticed that there was a furious but quiet argument going on just on the other side of the privacy curtains around his bed. He decided to stay quiet and listen.

"He must go back to his family." A voice, clearly Dumbledore, told someone else firmly, causing a sick dread to start to settle low in Harry's belly.

"Albus! I've told you more than once that I cannot account for all of the injuries and evidence of injuries I've found over the years! Too many of them hint at possible abuse!" Poppy protested.

"The blood wards..." Dumbledore began.

"One of the main conditions of our release was that the boy was never to set foot in that place again!" Snape hissed. "We're lucky he was weak from the resurrection process or I would never have been able to convince him to let us return. Especially on so flimsy of an excuse that the boy needs further training if he is to be any kind of amusement or challenge in a duel! Are you trying to get the boy killed?!" The resultant silence from the Headmaster was all the answer that the two other adults needed, even as it confused the supposedly sleeping teen further.

"You knew," Severus accused quietly. "You knew the danger the boy, and indeed most of the other students were in all these years!"

"Its all for the greater good, Severus." Dumbledore protested. "A sword must be forged in fire if it is to survive combat. I must however admit my surprise when I found that he was being assisted by both Miss. Granger and Mr. Weasley, but no harm was done."

"No harm?" Snape's voice had a dangerously quiet quality to it. "No harm?! I suppose then that you will completely ignore the Dark Lord's requirements for not only returning us but also for leaving the school untouched for the time being? Not to mention all of the injuries those three have incurred over the years! Especially the Potter brat?"

"Tell me Severus, what good would it do? Tom won't keep his word, just as he didn't keep his word in the last war and Madam Pomfrey has, quite successfully, healed them of their injuries at the time." Dumbledore explained calmly. "I cannot in good conscience remove Harry from the Dursleys and the blood protection. I will however be happy to re-sort Mr. Potter once he leaves the Hospital wing, provided of course that the hat does not attempt to place him in Slytherin. Tom has control of too many families in that house, and Mr. Potter will quickly find himself in danger there."

Harry wasn't quite sure when he had started silently crying as he shook and fumbled for the edge of his covers and the bed. The quiet thump of him falling off the side of the bed caused one of the adults to open the curtains on their side of the bed. Harry didn't care. He didn't care that at least two of the adults were arguing for him. He didn't care that he had no idea where his wand was. He didn't care that Dumbledore probably had a good reason for wanting to send him back to the Dursleys. All he cared about in that moment was getting away. Harry stumbled to his feet and tried to run but barely managed to get a few feet away from his bed before Professor Snape had caught up to him and gathered him in his arms, whispering soothingly into the boy's ear as he cried.

"Y-you promised." Harry sobbed.

"Shhh... I know, I know. Remember the light? Even if I didn't want to I would have to do everything in my power to keep you from going to them and I don't just have to, I want to. You never should have been sent to Tuney. Even that mutt of a godfather is better than Tuney." Snape soothed as he glared over top of the sobbing boy at the Headmaster who was wilting under the combined glares of the school's Medi-witch and Potions Master.

"Well, its getting late. I believe that you were planning to release Mr. Potter as soon as he had awoken? Yes? Then the four of us have a feast to attend. Mr. Potter, you may, if you wish, either eat with your friends at Gryffindor Table or sit with Professor Snape and Madam Pomfrey at the Teacher's table." Dumbledore informed Harry under Snape's gentle soothing. Harry nodded, clutching tighter to Professor Snape's robes. The Headmaster clapped his hands together delighted before continuing. "Good, that's settled then. We'll have Harry's re-sorting before we eat."

Harry sniffled and grabbed his wand from the bedside table before they headed down to the Great Hall making a small detour to the Headmaster's office to pick up the sorting hat. Surprisingly Fawkes opted to accompany them by riding on a scowling Professor Snape's shoulder, much to the amusement fo the other three. Snape only tolerated it because it seemed to cheer Harry up, though he would deny it if accused of anything so human as to care what a child thought. One of Snape's half-hearted attempts to remove the firebird even drew a small smile out of Harry. Professor Dumbledore opted to wear the sorting hat on the way down to the feast. Snape suspected that the Headmaster was attempting to sway the Hat's choice but he could do nothing about it... yet. As they entered the Great Hall Snape took his chance to snatch the sorting hat from Dumbledore's head and steered Harry toward the Teacher's table.

What Snape didn't expect was for Fawkes to snatch the sorting hat from his own hand as he glanced at Dumbledore and plop it onto his own head and for the hat to start speaking to him mind to, well hat. "Ah! Good. The blasted bird got me on the right head. Stop Occluding man! I need a proper update, not these piecemeal bits that I get from the children at the beginning of the year and the barmy old goat. No need to worry about the ancient git reading you either, anyone who tries will get a nasty surprise while you're wearing me." The Sorting Hat cheerfully informed the potions master who, with a great deal of reluctance, lowered his Occlemency barriers and allowed the hat to shift through his memories.

As he walked across the Great Hall he drew a good deal of attention from both students and staff alike, much to his great embarrassment and everyone else's amusement, until the hat finished its examination and once more drew his attention. "Right. We're going to need a school Governor for this. Considering you both have sworn to the same lord you might as well summon Lucius Malfoy. *sigh* That man really needs to either come up with a better name or just use his given name. Honestly, Voldemort? Doesn't he realize that it translates to 'Flight From Death'? Its so obvious that it hurts. You might as well call up the Weasly twins and Hermione Granger. They may as well be re-sorted, and this time none of them can argue with where I place them. You only get a say during the first sorting." The hat told him smugly. Stunned, Severus nodded absently as they got to the dias that held the Teachers table. He conjured a stool and then sat the hat on it, looking at the tattered old thing oddly.

"Severus?" Minerva McGonagall asked almost hesitantly, half standing from her seat.

"Expecto Patronum." Snape cast, summoning his doe patronus, causing the entire Great Hall to gradually quiet and Dumbledore to loose the twinkle in his eye. "Lucius, we need you at Hogwarts in the Great Hall as quickly as possible." Snape told the doe before sending it for Lord Malfoy.

Snape turned to the student body, ignoring McGonagall's attempt to get his attention. "The Sorting Hat has demanded the resorting of several students. When I call your name you will come up to be re-sorted. This is not optional. There will be no particular order to this re-sorting. Fred and George Weasly, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, Hannah Abbot, Cho Chang, Luna Lovegood. The castle's magic will automatically adjust to your new house, and the house-elves will collect your belongings for you. You will find them in your new dorm after the feast." He finished his announcement just as Lucius entered the Great Hall, breathless, having apparated to Hogwarts and practically run from the entry gates. They exchanged a glance as Lucius and the named students joined Snape on the dias.

"Miss. Lovegood, perhaps you'd be so kind as to go first?" Snape suggested.

"Oh no, Harry needs to go first or this wont work right Professor Snape. Its really very important, unless of course Cho and Hannah talk to the hat before Harry. That would be alright because of the snorlac-marwok." Luna told them dreamily.

"I'll go first." Cho offered sadly. Cedric's death was clearly hitting her hard even as she quietly sat on the stool and Professor Snape placed the Sorting Hat once more on her head. She clearly had a small conversation with the hat before it once more called out "Ravenclaw!" Cho nodded and sadly smiled at the hat before re-joining the Ravenclaw table.

Hannah Abbot took Cho's place on the stool and smiled nervously at Harry. Hannah was quickly re-sorted straight back into Hufflepuff. Snape wasn't really surprised since they had just been some fairly random names from his classes as cover for Harry's re-sorting. He still didn't really understand why the hat wanted the Weasly twins and Granger re-sorted.

"Harry?" Snape asked softly, raising an eyebrow for emphasis at the currently quite young man.

It was clear to Snape that the boy had simply had far too much dumped on him in a short period of time. He never though that he would feel sorry for the brat, muchless feel the guilt that now plagued him simply for the boy's sake and having nothing to do with the similar guilt he felt when thinking of Lily. At least there was a good point to the boy's exhaustion, he wouldn't be able to argue too much with the blasted hat! Lovegood's actions had unnerved him more than he had let on added to his the hat's own odd reactions. He could feel the headache building behind his eyes and longed to rub them but Luna's cryptic warning had him on guard. Gods he hoped that this would stay a simple re-sorting and leaving feast. Not that, that was likely with not only his luck but Potter's added into the mix. This was a nightmare he would never have thought of, muchless thought that he might have to live through. What else could go so spectacularly wrong?

Harry sat on the stool quietly as Snape plopped the hat onto his head. As before the brim slipped down over his eyes and the Great Hall waited as Harry himself grew more and more agitated. Clearly he was once more arguing with the Sorting Hat and it looked like he was loosing. Finally the hat called out. "Slytherin! You have always been a snake in lion's fur."

Harry snatched the hat from his head and threw it aside before glaring at it balefully, completely ignoring the dead silence that engulfed the hall.

"Stupid hat!" Harry practically snarled, not quite loud enough for those students nearest the dias to hear. "There were good reasons that I didn't want to be in Slytherin!"

Everyone was staring at Harry and straining to hear what the Golden Boy was muttering about. Which is why the entire assembly was caught flat footed when Luna calmly walked over to Harry and sank to her knees, head bowed, at his feet. Startled, Harry took half a step back and eyed his friend hesitantly, not quite sure what this was all about. With a sinking feeling Snape exchanged another meaningful glance with Lucius Malfoy and took a deep breath before stepping forward and following the Pure-blood ceremony that Luna had begun.

Chapter Text

"The one you bow before has yet to complete his training. I stand in his sted. What do you wish of him?" Snape asked formally.

"I am Luna Lovegood, reigning daughter of the Lovegood line. I seek to enter the service of Harry James Potter, holder of one of the Deathly Hallows, descendent of the Pervell, Potter, and Gryffindor lines, Lord of the Potter line." Luna responded, all silliness and pretense gone from her voice. "Will you address my suit?"

"I don't understand." Harry protested weakly. "Luna? What are you doing? You're scaring me."

Lucius answered for the pair who had engaged in a staring contest; Noting in amusement that Severus was loosing. "Severus has the greatest right of anyone here to act as your stand-in because for all intents and purposes he was your mother's foster brother. Until he screwed up in his 5th year, which I must admit was partly my fault. He knows you don't understand what's happening, muchless what is being asked. Which is why he pointed out that your training is incomplete, allowing him to claim his right as a stand-in. You cannot interfere or you risk both their lives. Miss. Lovegood has activated a very old magic and is using the original ceremony protocols rather than the newer, weaker, and more flexible ones. Severus is one of the few remaining Old Ceremony masters. Whatever happens now is legally binding." As he finished explaining he found that he had to resist the urge to physically reach out and hold the boy back from interfering.

Finally giving up on the staring contest, aka attempt to intimidate the Ravenclaw brat, Snape resignedly moved on to the next part of the ceremony. "And what do you bring to his service reigning daughter of the Lovegood line?"

Never wavering nor rising from her knees, Luna answered in a firm clear voice. "I bring knowledge. I bring insight. I bring my lineage. I bring my person and the friendship we share. I bring my dowry and my right of choice. Are these acceptable or must I go forth and return with more?"

Snape paled. He knew the significance of what the chit of a girl was offering in her pledge, and from her cool clear gaze he could tell, she knew it too. "I am required to ask if you are certain of what you offer for this boon?"

"I am." Luna responded with a sense of aged granite. It was clear that no matter how much he argued she wouldn't budge on this.

Snape sighed and dropped his head tiredly, tasting bile in his mouth he gave the ritual response. "Then your service is... accepted. At your own request you are now bound to Harry James Potter and his line. May your choice bare fruit and bring you both prosperity."

Snape clapped his hands together once and waved his hands, dispersing the magic build up. The final piece of the ceremony would be performed later, in private. Luna rose gracefully to her feet and nodded regally before allowing her more normal silly expression to slide back into place. She had barely moved out of the way when the Weasly twins took her place. Before they could utter a single syllable Snape cut them off.

"No! Absolutely not! Miss. Lovegood may have gotten me to follow through once but I'll not do so again. You're children for Merlin's sake! You shouldn't even know about this yet!" He complained almost petulantly.

The twins however were undeterred, and proceeded with the appropriate ritual response.

"Do you then..." Fred started.

"Deny our right..." George.

"To not only service..." Fred.

"But also the offering of service..." George.

"Its self?" Both twins finished together, simultaneously.

Snape simply groaned and went through the ceremony again. As soon as the ceremony was sealed Harry would have minions of his own, a budding seer, and the current prankster kings of Hogwarts.

Why couldn't his life be simple? Snape thought to himself sarcastically. Merlin, this was going to be a nightmare and a half! They hadn't even finished the re-sorting yet! At least now he had someone else who might be able to reign in the Weasly twins. Why on earth did they have to make that oath?! Couldn't they understand that they had just signed away their lives? They had even given up the right to choose their own spouse! Snape just knew there was going to be hell to pay for all of this. Before Snape could move on with the sorting the Headmaster decided that it was as good a time as any to try and nip Harry's interactions with the Slytherins in the bud.

"Wonderful!" Dumbledore clapped his hands together as he approached the group from the direction of the Teacher's table on the dias. "Congratulations, Mr. Potter. With such an unusual situation I think that you and your vassals need your own set of rooms. We will see to that after the feast, but I think that it would be better if you remain a part of Gryffindor..."

This announcement was cut off in the middle and met with a shout of protest from the other students. Slytherin was mostly protesting the fact that Harry wouldn't be part of Slytherin whereas the other students were protesting the private set of rooms, practically making the foursome the beginnings of a new house, despite being sorted by the hat.

"Harken here! Students all! The Headmaster has crossed a line known by all!" The hat began, bringing silence once more to the Great Hall.

"Rooms of his own to this young man and his minions I do condone, but as heir of founders four not merely to close the door.

Sorted once, you have a choice to argue with your own one voice.
Sorted twice, my word alone, sends you to your Hogwarts home.

Children, I tell you now, a secret hidden of a vow, of founders four, that you might bow.
Ravenclaw's line it is thought once lost, as it was thought Gryffindor and Hufflepuff with quite the cost.
Know this now, there was a vow, between founders four, that no line would fall to death's one door.

Immortality was not the goal yet it was that which many thought they stole.
Child of all founders four was in fact made; by magic, by guile, by creator's name.
A child with four parents of bloodline true, carried to term by a muggle born in June.

Child of the founders hidden among those with no tie, to those of our world yet the blood does not lie.
For the bloodline to return, a child of great magic had to forever learn and earn.

A Choice was made by founders four to protect our world from death's final door.

Bloodlines four, combined with brothers three, the Deathly Hallows long to see.
Least forever more may never be.

Child of magic, night, and light, Heir of founders four, found this night.
Bloodlines thought lost to founders be, no more is there a need.

Guardian's of hidden birth-rite, I now remind you of magic's plight.
Hidden in plain sight, you guard the power of Merlin's bloodrite.
Hidden until magic is once more known to all, Squibs and Muggleborns you guard against the fall.

Lightning Heir guard the treasure well, of brothers three that there was once not to tell.

Slytherin's Heir, no need to despair, family has come and the healing has begun.

Lightning marked and hidden from sight, Founders Heir I acknowledge you this night!"

There was shocked silence across the hall as the hat finally fell silent. No one knew quite what to do with the hat's words but it wasn't long before the silence was broken by a quiet sob. Everyone began searching for who had begun to cry at the hat's pronouncements and most were in for yet another shock when they finally realized that it was Harry crying.

"I never wanted this. I never wanted any of this! I just want to be Harry, just Harry." Harry told his friends up on the dias desperately, completely oblivious to the fact that he had started crying in the middle of the Great Hall at dinner time; Or to the fact that Luna had come up behind him and started hugging him; Or even to the fact that Professor Snape had helplessly stretched out one hand in an aborted movement to comfort the boy. He noticed none of this as he continued to cry.

Before anything else could happen Peeves zoomed into the room cackling carrying something heading right for the dias. Before anyone could move, still trying to figure out exactly what was happening muchless get Harry and Luna out of the way, Peeves dropped whatever he had been carrying with a sharp cry. The fragile potion vial landed squarely on top of Harry's head, breaking and drenching the boy in an unknown potion even as somehow not even a single drop landed on Luna.

Harry started to glow as Luna was flung backwards and away by the magic. A glowing human form began to fade into existence next to the glowing Boy-Who-Lived just as Snape managed to reach him and touch his shoulder. The moment that Snape managed to touch Harry he too began to glow and was frozen in place. As the form of the third man managed to finish fading into existence the two men began to fluctuate between their current ages and that of a child that was clearly far closer to Potter in age. When they finally stabilized the only thing that anyone could do was stare at the three boys. The trance was broken by the new boy starting to curse.

"Potter!" mini-Snape groaned.

"I didn't do anything!" Harry protested, coming out of his crying jag as if he were coming back to life just to snap at Snape. "Just be glad we didn't get turned into babies or something!"

"When I get back to a decent age the three of us are going to have a long talk about your ability to wind up in the middle of trouble and create chaos Potter!" The new boy warned as he broke off his own tirade.

At that very moment Ginny Weasley got a good look at the new boy and let out a shriek. Just as Ginny recognized Voldemort Harry did as well and paled. True he was younger then his diary self but not by much and it was still recognizably Tom Marvolo Riddle, or at least he was recognizable to the two students who had met his diary persona face to face as it were. Voldemort glanced at the shrieking girl and then looked at Harry quizzically as it was clear that he knew why the girl was shrieking like a Banshee.

"Er, your diary possessed her and tried to drain the life out of her in my second year. I'm honestly not surprised that she recognizes this young version of you. It took me a minute to see it myself but you and I argued earlier and I think my mind is still thinking of you as older." Harry told the boy apologetically.

Voldemort grunted then nodded sharply in response before retorting sarcastically, in a voice designed so that everyone could hear, as Ron and the other Gryffindors soothed his sister. "Then its a good thing that I'm no longer insane and want to kill everyone in sight. Thanks to you, brat."

"Can we not argue? This is going to be difficult enough as it is." mini-Snape put in, rubbing his forehead, trying to stave off the building migraine.

"Fine, but he's going by his real name." Harry told them pointing at Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle.

"I doubt we'll manage that." Snape told Harry dryly.

"I absolutely refuse to answer to Tom. Call me Marvolo." He snapped back. Then he turned, glaring toward the now quietly sobbing Ginny from the dias before snapping at her. "Oh, be quiet girl! The diary was kept separate and out of use for a reason! It should never have found its way into your hands. Lord Malfoy will probably give you and your family restitution since he was the one who was supposed to keep it out of trouble in the first place."

Tom then sent a glare at Lucius who made a face, dropping his cold facade for his healed and youthened friend and lord (completely ignoring the fact that they were not only in public but also in front of the entire school, much to his son's shock and consternation), but nodded his reluctant agreement. He had hoped that he wouldn't have to but the old customs were still in place and he wasn't about to go and make the situation with his lord worse. Besides it was always better to have a sane lord than an insane one that went off on random violent killing sprees and Lucius didn't want to give Voldemort a reason to revert back to that.

During the time since Tom first started cursing, Poppy had been running diagnostic spells and looked the three over as best she could without dragging them all up to the hospital wing. She was relieved to note from their conversation that their minds were intact. She also absently noted that even though two of the three had clearly gotten younger their clothes remained unaffected. She discretely cast a re-sizing charm on their clothes. Only time would tell if their minds and emotions were truly unaffected by the drastic age change and effects of the potion.

Dumbledore took the opportunity to interrupt the three boys. "Boys, boys! Lets move this discussion into the other chamber for a moment. Professor McGonagall can finish the sorting while we deal with your situation." He gestured toward the room at the back of the dias that the Triwizard champions had gone into at the beginning of the tournament. Dumbledore, Harry, Snape, Riddle, and Pomfrey all entered the room and barely waited for the door to be closed behind them. Malfoy, completely ignoring Dumbledore's pointed look had followed them into the room.

Pomfrey started off the moment the door closed. "They all appear to be fine aside from suddenly becoming about the same age as Mr. Potter but there's also some sort of magic bond connecting them. I wasn't even going to run that particular scan but I'm glad that I did. I'm not exactly sure what it is that this bond entails, but I sincerely doubt that it will allow them to be separated for any real distance or length of time, at least at first. I also cast a re-sizing charm so that they didn't break their necks tripping over their robes."

At this pronouncement both Tom and Snape's heads snapped around to glare at Harry as they both growled. "Potter!"

"Its not my fault! Peeves dropped some sort of potion on my head." Harry protested.

"Yes, he did." Dumbledore said thoughtfully, managing to completely hide the fact that it was him who had tricked the poltergeist into doing so. "It doesn't matter at the moment, however. Its the end of the school year and we have to place you three for the summer." Dumbledore was disturbingly cheerful and his twinkle was going full force.

The three boys looked at Dumbledore, practically speechless, before Lucius quickly cleared his throat and offered a solution. "I'm perfectly willing to have the boys at the manor for the summer. I see no reason that they can't stay with us."

"Ah! But there is a particular reason that Mr. Potter was placed with his relatives. Lily Potter invoked some very old and very powerful magics to keep Harry safe and as a result Harry's relatives and their shared home are now very necessary to the defenses that Mr. Potter needs. Then there is the fact that I wouldn't ever dream of separating a student from his family." Dumbledore informed them almost solemnly.

Harry's snort and mutter of "what if they want to be separated from their family?" was ignored.

"As you know Magical Guardianship devolves to me as Headmaster in the event that there is no previously established Magical Guardian, such as a blood relation or a godparent, for a student and certain circumstances automatically strip a child's magical guardianship from the guardian, such as Mr. Black being sent to Azkaban." Dumbledore reminded them smugly. "As a result we will simply have to send you boys home with Mr. Potter for the summer."

"Albus, I am an adult! I have no need for a Magical Guardian and neither does Marvolo." Snape growled. "You know perfectly well that we're fully capable of taking care of not only ourselves but Mr. Potter as well."

"Besides, Snape and I have already graduated. We aren't students." Tom pointed out.

"Poppy, would you mind giving us a moment?" Dumbledore asked, to which she nodded, cast a monitoring charm on the three before leaving.

Suddenly Dumbledore wasn't the caring grandfatherly Headmaster any more, he was an aged general. His twinkle was gone. "You both know the law and under the law you are now minors, regardless of how that came about. As such you must be enrolled in school and as two of you are alumni and one is a current student you are automatically enrolled here. Mr. Malfoy as a school Governor has a say in how the school is run but when it comes to the students, especially those with me as their Guardian the Governors have very little say." The heads of the three boys swiveled in unison as they looked at Lucius for confirmation, who nodded reluctantly in agreement.

"Does Draco know that?" Harry sniggered, deciding that the issue with Buckbeak last year fell under how the school was run.

"I'm certain that you will both be welcomed as Harry's friends by his Aunt and Uncle, when you go to stay with them over the summer." Dumbledore told them causing Harry to immediately stop laughing and everyone but Dumbledore to started protesting. Dumbledore raised his hand for quiet and received it. "Since it appears that it would be unwise to separate the three of you the only option is that you spend the summer together. Or if you'd rather we can all take a trip down to the Ministry and have a nice chat with the Aurours and explain what just happened in the Great Hall. I'm certain that they would be extremely interested in what happened, especially with all of those witnesses. I personally would rather wait for the potion to wear off but we can always ask the ministry for assistance." Harry tried to continue protesting only for the other two boys to cover his mouth before he could say anything.

"Albus, if we can bring back proof about his relatives will you consent to Mr. Potter staying elsewhere from now on?" Severus Snape asked seriously.

"I'll certainly look into it." Albus agreed amiably but the hard glint in his eye said something different.

"There isn't any chance you're not going to take advantage of this situation, is there?" Tom asked almost miserably.

"Why ever would I take advantage of the situation Tom?" Albus rebutted causing the three boys to slump in defeat. Seeing this Dumbledore swiftly drew his wand and Accioed their wands to the astonishment of all four. "We can't have you doing magic in such a lovely muggle neighborhood so I think I'll just hold onto these until September. Now why don't you three head back to the feast. I need to have a word with Mr. Malfoy. Harry, Severus, I expect you to help Tom acclimate. I also expect the three of you to stay out of trouble."

"What do we care about lost house points?" Tom scowled.

"I doubt that you would care anymore, Tom. Your fellow classmates however will care and house points aren't the only way to punish you." Albus told them sternly.

Recognizing the building explosion in their bondmate Severus and Harry grabbed Tom and dragged him back out to the Leaving Feast, leaving Lucius behind to argue with Dumbledore. Where all three opted to sit at the Slytherin table with Harry in between his two bondmates, who knew that the sable haired boy would be an automatic target from the other students until the situation was at least partly explained to them. All three of them ignored the quiet questions from their tablemates, focusing on their food and gloomily thinking about the summer they were going to have to spend at Privet Drive.

A few minutes later, breaking the silence between the three, Harry asked something that had been bothering him. "So, why do you have hair when a few hours ago you were bald?"

Tom growled out. "Hair growth potion."

Harry nodded in acknowledgement. Then he looked up to see who they were sitting across from. He wasn't all that surprised to find Fred and George Weasley decked out in their new house crest magically altered on their robes lined with Slytherin green along with Luna still in a Ravenclaw crest and colors.

That's when something occurred to him, his scar, it hadn't hurt when he and Snape had grabbed Tom in the old classroom and dragged him back out to the feast. Tom was clearly still angry about the fast one that Dumbledore had pulled, for that matter so was Harry and it was likely that Snape wasn't too pleased about it either. In fact Harry could dimly feel their anger through what he thought must be the bond that Madam Pomfrey had mentioned. So why wasn't his scar blazing in pain?

"Its because he doesn't hate you anymore and he finally understands what happened that Halloween night." Luna said conversationally as she took another roll from the basket of bread.

"What?" Harry asked startled out of his reverie.

"Its because he doesn't hate you anymore and he understands now what happened that Halloween." Luna repeated causing the three bound boys to whip around and stare at her as she continued. "Of course the bond helps. The part of him that you carry doesn't feel as alone anymore and it isn't trying to get back to him now that you have a bond in place." Then she took a big bite out of the odd sandwhich she had made using her roll, corned beef hash, those green onion stalk thingys, and what looked like raw ghost peppers if Severus wasn't mistaken.

"Sometimes, girl, I think that you have seer blood." Severus muttered under his breath before starting to turn back to his meal.

"I do have seer blood." Luna replied causing everyone within hearing distance to gape at her as she took yet another bite of her odd sandwhich.

"Well that explains a lot." The Twins alternated every other word but everyone who had heard nodded in agreement.

"I'm glad that Hermione agreed to the resorting. I'm getting tired of my things going missing, she can help me get them to stay were I put them. Especially if the Headmaster continues to be stubborn about all of this and tries to keep us, or me at least, from rightfully claiming a place in your dormitory. He wont let you claim the heir rooms yet." Luna said brightly as everyone turned back to their food. "Don't forget that after the feast we need to finish the ceremony in the room of requirement."

"What..." Harry started then sighed. "Never mind, I'll figure it out later.... Um, Tom?"

"I thought I told you not to call me that." Tom hissed at his younger bondmate.

"If Dumbledore has his way that's all you'll be called." Harry pointed out reasonably before asking. "Um, why did you try to save my mum?"

Both Severus' and Tom's heads shot back up from their food once again but this time they stared at their bondmate in shock. They hadn't realized that Harry had any memory of that disaster of a night, muchless the events leading up to Voldemort's actual attempt on his life. Harry shifted uncomfortably under their stares and flinched at the memory of the two blazes of green light, one had killed his mother, the other had given him his distinctive scar.

"Harry... How did you know that?" Tom asked carefully.

"Um, I can sortof remember it." Harry told them softly, almost shyly. His response had the entire table near them going dead silent or being hushed by the other students, waiting to hear what else the Boy-Who-Lived might say about that night.

Severus very carefully set his silverware down on his plate and turned toward Harry and Riddle. "Care to explain?" He asked softly, sitting there as if he were the very picture of attentiveness, which the other students at the table unobtrusively copied. Harry was focused on his bondmates and didn't notice that he had the attention of the entire table not just the other two boys and his three friends.

He sighed then reluctantly explained, focusing on Severus. "I've been having nightmares about it since I was really little, bad enough that Uncle Vernon would come after me when I screamed during the nightmares, and the Dementors last year made me relive it every time they got too close. I clearly remember that mum was ordered to stand aside and promised that she would walk away unhurt if he could just have me. Mum wouldn't and made him kill her first. I think she might have even tried attacking him and I think she did something before he got to the room and couldn't use magic again yet. I couldn't really see. I was stuck in the crib and didn't really understand except that mum was scared about something and it had to do with me and all of the big scary noises."

Tom wrapped his arms around Harry from behind causing him to tense and whispered in his ear. "I'm sorry little one." The soft words made Harry relax into the hug, trembling, and fighting tears. Oblivious to their surroundings he barely noticed when Snape of all people gave in and joined the dreaded Dark Lord in hugging him while they sat at the table in the Great Hall. These actions, prompted by the bond the three now shared, would cause rumors to spread like wildfire between the students of all houses and years, prompting more than one letter delivery marathon which would exhaust many an owl over the summer holidays. They didn't find out until later that Dumbledore had stopped the teachers from going near them as Harry finally grieved for his parents in the arms of his bondmates.

The rest of Slytherin house closed ranks around the three, keeping their faces turned away and their backs to the three bonded out of respect, and kept the rest of the school out as the the three finally acknowledged the full events of the night that Tom gave Harry his scar and the full impact on the three of them, individually and together. As they grieved the bond tightened and strengthened, the magic would be harder to break now and it wouldn't take much to make it so that the final form of the bond would be permanent.

The bondmates never noticed, even as Luna watched it change in satisfaction, and sympathy for their grief, holding back the twins from trying to reach out and touch them as they would do for one another or another member of their family. She knew that the battle reflexes and experience of the two older bondmates could get someone killed if they were disturbed too soon. The Slytherins wisely took their cue from the recently revealed young seer and left the three alone even as they shielded them from the rest of the school, students and teachers alike, until finally the tears began to die down.

Gently, ever so gently, Luna reached out and laid her hand on Harry's arm, murmuring. "Come on Harry. Its time to eat. Severus is here and so is Tom. They wont leave you. Its alright now, you're going to finish healing each other but its time to eat and rest. More healing will come with time and a few arguments. You need to put what's left away for later. The Headmaster is about to come over and we don't need to show him another way to hurt us."

At the mention of Dumbledore possibly seeing a way to hurt them again Harry's breath shuddered as the three pulled themselves back into what everyone else would see as their normal selves, but every Slytherin knew now that their bonded housemates would need guarding when they came back in September. Their clay masks of normality would not survive a dedicated assault and it was clear that these three would fight in their defense just as they had unconsciously defended one another, even though less then twelve hours ago they had been bitter enemies.

After all it hadn't been that hard for the more attentive and quick witted Slytherins sitting nearby to figure out just who was bonded to their head of house and the Gryffindor Golden Boy, the grumpiness of the three and rapid fire events having made the bonded careless in their choice of words. The Slytherin students would later wonder why Dumbledore wasn't attacking the youthened Dark Lord and wonder just what the Headmaster was playing at but for now it was enough that the two youthened Slytherins had not only accepted the Golden Gryff but gone so far as to openly lay claim to him. After all hadn't the hat had declared it loud for all to hear? The lion was a serpent in golden fur and they were determined to defend their wounded housemates.

~

At that moment in the ministry of magic a stack of paperwork floated along a final hallway, completing its long journey through the ministry, and filed its self neatly away among the marriage and bond certificates, glowing with a power that hadn't been seen in almost three centuries. At the same time, deep under the castle of Hogwarts the heartstone of the castle glowed a dull red as three intertwined symbols appeared, etched into the stone. A culdron with a snake rising from its depths to wrap around the lightning bolt which overlaid the culdron as if striking down to light the fire beneath it.

The paperwork at the ministry changed as the etched mark appeared. First it had showen the last name for the three as "Snape-Potter-Riddle", as the mark glowed and settled into the heartstone the ink glowed gold, shivered, rippled, and changed. Harry's heir status came into play, the now golden ink read "Hogwarts"... Severus Tobias Hogwarts nee Snape, Tom Marvolo Hogwarts nee Riddle, and Harry James Hogwarts nee Potter. No, the bond would not allow them to escape easily and neither would Hogwarts. The castle refused to give up its heirs into the hands of another magical building, muchless into those of the treacherous Headmaster and it certinly would not allow them somewhere that the castle its self could not grant them aid should they have need of it. It was going to be an interesting summer...



Chapter Text

Sometime later Lucius finally managed to get away from the Teacher's table and Dumbledore. He immediately approached the three boys who were still sitting at the Slytherin table looking glum. He had observed the events earlier in the evening with more than a little trepidation but just as the Headmaster had prevented the other teachers from interfering with the situation he had also stopped Lucius. Thinking about the childish tethering charm made the Lord Malfoy scowl, then his gaze drifted to that of his son who was looking at him questioningly. With a sigh he stiffened his resolve and approached the Slytherin table, clearing his throat and waited to be noticed by one of the three.

Tom looked up at the sound and asked. "What is it Lucius?" causing the table to quiet down to hear what Draco's father had to say to one of their number.

"Dumbledore has some sort of spell to automatically file for custody in case something like this comes up. Apparently I could have contested for custody for the two of you had I tried after the first ten minutes of you being in this condition on Hogwarts grounds; He already had custody of Mr. Potter. The Headmaster received confirmation of custody while we were arguing. I can try to contest it anyway but it would take more than the summer holidays to even begin to succeed. He's also determined that you will be staying with Mr. Potter for the summer and plans to escort all of you from the train to the muggles at the station personally. I managed to talk him out of the escort but he will be contacting Harry's guardians to inform them that they will be hosting the two of you." Lucius told them. Harry groaned at hearing this.

"Wonderful! He denies us the safety of the castle the first time we were in school and now he's going to deny it again!" Snape snapped sarcastically. "Why am I not surprised?"

"We could hide in the chamber of secrets." Harry suggested. "I mean yeah we'll have to deal with the basilisk corpse but we wouldn't have to go to my aunt and uncle's."

With a groan of exasperation Snape explained why this wasn't a good idea. "Potter, in your second year you said that his bloody bird rescued the three of you from the chamber after you had killed the Basilisk. If his blasted familar knows where the chamber is then so does Dumbledore, even if he can't get into it."

Said familar landed on the table in front of them to peck Severus sharply on the head and enter into a short glaring contest. A moment later a gleam entered the bird's eye and it took off to land next to where the sorting hat was sitting at the Teacher's table and knocking it over before leaning down so that his head was lying inside the brim of the hat. A few seconds later it almost looked like it nodded to its self or the hat (according to the teachers) and snatching it up before flying back to the Slytherin table and once again plopping it on Snape's head, accompanied by much scowling by the professor-turned-student. Then Snape got an odd look on his face before snatching the hat from his head and splitting his glaring between the publicly silent hat and the very obviously smug Phoenix.

"Apparently," Snape drawled. "The bird and hat are both bound to Hogwarts, not the Headmaster, and act as a link between the castle and its Headmaster. According to both hat and bird Dumbledore still doesn't know where the chamber is unless Potter and Weasley told him outside of his office."

"I asked Ron not to say but even if he told Dumbledore both doors have parseltounge passwords. He can't get in unless we want him too." Harry explained. "The first part of the chamber is as big as the Great Hall. I never looked past that because I had to get Ginny out and get back past the cave-in and get Ron and Lockhart. Then I was in the hospital wing."

Everyone at the Slytherin table, including Lucius, looked at him a little oddly most not having really believed that he had actually found and gone into Salazar's chamber in his second year muchless fought a basilisk, but all this talk of hiding there and having to deal with the giant serpent's corpse was making the story more real. Despite the fact that more than one of them had actually checked to make sure that Harry was in the hospital wing for the week after having returned with Ginny Weasley from the supposed chamber.

Tom looked across Harry at Severus and told him in resignation. "If we're going to keep him alive we may just have to tie the brat down and not let him out of our sights."

Snape practically moaned in defeat as he slumped down in his seat. "Believe me, I've tried. Detention after detention and a large loss of points for his house doesn't do much good either. He doesn't find trouble, trouble finds him!" At hearing this the twins grinned broadly and started quietly plotting their next major prank, occasionally eyeing the Teacher's table evilly.

"I thought you hated me." Harry said quietly.

"I hated your father. You, on the other hand, drive me insane trying to keep your hide intact." Snape snapped at him acidly, refusing to look at his bondmates. Then he continued so quietly that only his bondmates heard. "For some reason my perception of you and your actions changed in the graveyard, Potter. The change is too drastic, even accounting for the shock of seeing your memories, to be natural. I suspect I may have been enchanted, possibly by Dumbledore. I can think of no other with the skill, power, and motivation necessary for such an action. We'll have to be certain that none of us are under any similar spells, preferably before we leave Hogwarts. You're opinion my lord?"

"Agreed. I suspect that I was under a similar, if more powerful, enchantment. The three of us will discuss this further when Harry has his own minions firmly sworn to him." Tom said equally quietly as his gaze returned to his food.

Harry barely nodded his head in acknowledgement trying not to think about the minion comment then he asked, in a normal tone. "What else did the Headmaster do? After he took away our wands and sent us back to the feast, I mean."

Lucius sighed. "As your current legal guardian he has the right to take your wands. He isn't supposed to unless there is a magical adult who will be with you and able to protect you. Its connected to the fact that if you are in danger or threatened you're allowed to use magic despite being underage. I can argue in court that you should have your wands, especially being sent to live in a muggle neighborhood, but Dumbledore is still within his rights to take them. We also don't know how this bonding and de-aging has affected your magic or any other related abilities. As for what else he did... apparently should I or any from our cause attempt to remove you from his custody or the custody of those he designates he will ensure that as many people as possible are aware of what name that Marvolo has been going by since he first graduated Hogwarts. The same applies if any of us attempt to find an antidote or solution to counter the potion that the blasted poltergeist dropped on Mr. Potter's head. He also intimated that he would be quite happy to leave at least two of you deep in the forbidden forest, sans wands and stupifyed."

At that moment, almost as if in response to Lucius' words, there was a grinding shifting noise up on the dias, drawing everyone's attention, as only the stones underneath the Headmaster's chair started to crumble away. Dumbledore tried to scramble out of his chair after realizing where the sound was coming from but the stone gave way too fast and tossed him firmly back into his ornate chair as it tilted backward into a 45 degree angle from the floor. The sounds stopped when the castle was done trapping him sitting in his gilded throne.

"At a guess..." Fred began

"...the castle.." George followed up

"....isn't...." Fred.

"...too happy..." George.

"...about..." Fred.

"...that..." George.

"...idea!" The twins finished together, crowing in delight.

"No, I don't suppose that it is." Lucius murmured thoughtfully as he looked between Dumbledore struggling to climb out of his tilted chair and the twins, watching the scene on the dais gleefully.

Turning back to Tom, Severus, and Harry he continued his update, while the three were still watching Dumbledore try to struggle out of his chair. "The events here, especially with your very blatant, if still circumspect, admission of your Identity can not be kept secret. Its too public, just as the incident with the third task was public. I think that it would be wise to provide the full story of both incidents to our ranks and their families, as well as a carefully edited version to the press. Along with a statement of intentions, it should ease the minds of the public and provide us some time and breathing space as well as showcasing the fact that you have indeed been healed in both mind and body. We may have to surrender some of the more vicious among our ranks but then I doubt they ever truly supported our cause. In this case the fact that Dumbledore has taken guardianship of the three of you can be put to our advantage until we can prove that he is unfit to hold guardianship over any magical child."

At the mention of Dumbledore's state of fitness the eyes of the man and two of the three boys glittered darkly. Harry, on the other hand, merely watched the amusing sight of Dumbledore slipping back into his tilted chair for the umpteenth time, not really paying attention to what Lucius said.

Tom cast a quick privacy spell around the four of them, absently including Luna, and the twins, before answering. "I suppose that we can use his curse scar as an excuse for him arriving near me and that I simply took advantage of the situation. Having already met Severus I could easily have ordered someone to go and quietly kidnap him as indeed I did. We can stick to the story that Severus managed to talk me out of killing Harry. From what I gathered listening to the students about what happened before I arrived, we're going to have to make a trip to Gringotts. We need our bloodlines confirmed by the goblins and the family seals and yes, both Harry and Severus are going to be tested for unknown inheritances as well. *groan* The public opinion angle is going to be a nightmare. We may have to use the evil angle and have my bondmates 'restrain' me from overreacting in public. We most certainly have to show proof that I wasn't entirely at fault."

"The 'evil' angle as you put it, would give us a less shocking reason to shrike back at any attackers. Being bonded to us could possibly count as a type of house arrest. From a reputation standpoint if nothing else, to start, it would give you a reason to immediately tone down your responses aside from the fact that they are very real side effects from the use of dark magic, particularly the ones that you chose to employ. They might even use you as an object lesson for what NOT to do concerning the dark arts." This last sentence from Severus earned a low growl from Tom.

Severus ignored him and kept going. "Legally, every person that bears the dark mark is your vassal and thus your property. The end result is that you legally 'own' a good portion of the wizarding community. We can use this to show that anyone marked who disagreed with your 'failing health' and the reasons behind it could say or do little to nothing, having to obey your orders to the letter. Considering the corrupting nature of the cause of your 'illness' this is not surprising. It would however mean that you would have to publicly admit to the fact you did indeed make a mistake as well as the Horcruxes in the first place. It would also mean admitting that when you used Potter as a part of your return, no matter how opportunistic the circumstance, and that you got more then you bargained for."

Tom brooded for a moment before responding. "I don't like it but we all slipped for one reason or another. It wouldn't be feasible to obliviate the entire school and Dumbledore would turn any overt attempt to fix the slip into a running magical duel. Lucius, do I at least get a say in my new name? Or did Dumbledore already decide without my consent?"

Before Lucius could respond Harry muttered. "Just be glad he's willing to help. I get the feeling that if something bad happens to one of us it will affect the other two of us somehow." Severus shot a side-ways glance at his bondmate, eyebrows crinkling in concern at both the boy's words and their meaning.

Lucius sighed. "The Headmaster has already decided and has filed the paperwork to make it your legal name as well."

"Well? What is it?" Tom snapped, losing patience more with the situation then his long time friend.

"Tom Marvolo Dumbledore." Lucius winced at the shriek of fury, loud enough that it broke the privacy charm, that Tom let loose on hearing this as both his bondmates attempted to calm him and keep him from storming up to the dias to try and strangle the old man.

His fit of fury was interrupted by the sudden appearance of an official priority ministry paperwork rejection notice. The snap of its arrival drew the attention of the Teacher's table and everyone who had been paying attention to said same table. It gently floated to a point directly in front of Dumbledore and opened, almost as if it were a howler, and spoke.

"Dear Headmaster Dumbledore, I am deeply sorry that we cannot fulfill your student's requested name change. We cannot, nor have we ever been able to counter an estate's magical binding contract name change. As your student must have only recently activated the contract I advise him/her to contact the estate contract department for information on his/her new name and status. Especially as such a contract initiated name change usually results in the revocation and/or reinforcement of any claim that the name, family, and/or bloodline had on the witch or wizard and vice versa. Have a good day." With that the missive took the same route as its cousin the howler and tore its self to pieces.

"Well, that was... strange." George commented.

"I wonder what your new name is..." Harry speculated.

Severus snorted. "Just be glad it isn't Dumbledore, like the old goat planned."

"Are you certain you want to know what your new names are?" Luna asked mysteriously as she absently covered an oddly colored beetle sitting on the table. A beetle that Hermione had barely missed capturing for the ride back to London and who routinely wrote for the Daily Prophet. A beetle that was finding the situation so fascinating that she wasn't even thinking of twisting some of what she was hearing before handing it to her editor and very very glad that she had talked the Malfoy boy into sneaking her into the leaving feast.

"Of course I do!" Tom snapped, causing Luna to giggle.

"Grumpy Darkling." She scolded and teased lightly. "You'll find out in time and it will upset the Headmaster quite a bit, for now keep using your given names. The magic doesn't mind and none of your awards or certifications have been revoked."

Tom nodded stiffly, slightly mollified by the fact that his new name would upset Dumbledore. Nobody but the twins noticed that she wasn't just talking to Tom. It wasn't long before they had an inkling as to the meaning behind her specific wording.

"I'm glad that you managed to break the personality and perception spells that were placed on you both. They were hurting both of you and Harry." Luna hummed taking a bite of mashed potatoes as the gaze of everyone within earshot snapped to either her or the two she had indicated before continuing. "The echos they were causing in the timelines were quite grim and gave me rather nasty migraines. Of course I couldn't get a pain potion for them from Madam Pomfrey or she would have told the Headmaster about them because I'm one of Harry's friends."

Luna took another bite before continuing. "The personality and perception spells on Tom had a soul component which gave a rather nasty twist to the shards you made and changed their nature, rather like a reflection in a warped, half-melted mirror. The shards that still exist should be fine now. The perception spells on Professor Snape though drew on his own memories of James Potter and specifically called up some of the more vicious ones. Of course for such a specific target and memory link it had to be renewed regularly. That's why the diary didn't recognize Harry and why Professor Snape even has trouble grading Harry's work fairly. He's actually gotten rather good at fighting off the impulse to ignore the work and simply assign Harry zeroes on everything, even if he did keep trying to intimidate him in class; But since the spells are gone, it shouldn't be a problem anymore."

"Come on." Fred started.

"We have to finish the ritual." George continued

"We don't want..." Fred.

"Dumbledore to interfere." George.

"We can get more food..." Fred.

"From the kitchens..." George.

"Later." They finished together.

"That's going to get really irritating." Tom grumbled.

"You have no idea." Severus snorted as he told his bondmate dryly. "Try teaching them. At least they had the sense not to mess with the potions work of the other students. Though I didn't appreciate some of the pranks pulled just before or just after class."

"Hey, professor!" Fred started.

"We just wanted to have fun." George finished, drawing a smile from Harry as the two dragged Luna and the three bondmates from the table up to the Room of Requirement, leaving Lucius behind to talk with his son and heir. Also allowing a strangely patterned beetle to leave the Slytherin table and start to work on her latest breakthrough article. As they arrived at the room they found, much to their surprise, that it had already been summoned and it was perfect. 30 minutes later the six left the Room of Requirement, three of them sported a light green mark identical to what was etched in the heartstone of Hogwarts just over their hearts. A mark that would remain until they either died or were ritually released from their oaths of service to the Lightning Heir and Heir of Hogwarts, once known as Harry James Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived...

Chapter Text

The next morning Hermione tracked down Harry and his bondmates to show them the "water beetle" she had caught last night during the feast. Even though Harry and Ron had made up after the first task, she knew that the two would be on the outs for a little while because of Harry's re-sorting alone, much less whatever happened with the potion at the feast. Hermione explained that she had captured the beetle at the feast as it left the Slytherin table and who it was, Rita Skeeter.

"What do you mean that... of course." Severus scowled. "Just like the Marauders."

"Explain." Tom ordered.

"She's an unregistered animagus. A beetle to be precise. Just as the Marauders became unregistered animagi to run with the blasted werewolf every moon, Skeeter clearly uses her animagus abilities to spy on unsuspecting subjects for her articles." Severus explained. "I believe that James Potter was a stag, and I am fairly certain Pettigrew transforms into a rat. I am uncertain what Black transforms into. I was too busy at the end of last year keeping the children from being eaten by that blasted Werewolf at the end of last year to notice."

"A rat? Well it seems that Wormtail has been keeping secrets. He never bothered to inform me that three of the Marauders were unregistered animagi. I'll deal with him later." Tom mused. "We'll have to investigate becoming animagi later. Dumbledore is unlikely to let us get proper clothes to take with us to the Dursleys. He's likely presuming that the filth will provide us with something suitable. So we'll either have to find something in the Room of Requirement to take with us or share Harry's minimal wardrobe. From what I recall from the memories his Uncle certainly wont do us any favors if he can help it, and we'll likely be joining him as he does his chores."

These last comments about Vernon caused Severus to wince in anticipation. They both had a good idea that their presence wouldn't be welcomed with open arms and that there was a real possibilty that they would receive if not the same then almost the same treatment as Harry did. Best case scenario was that the Dursleys eased up on their mis-treatment in deference to the fact that both Severus and Tom might have other family they could complain to when they got back to the wizarding world. Worst case, they were all going to be getting regular beatings and little to no food. This summer was going to be hell.

Tom took the animagus beetle in the jar from Hermione and met it eye to eye as best he could. "Now, little bug, you are going to publish the fact that I wasn't in my right mind since leaving school up until I 'borrowed' Harry and Severus at the end of the third task. He fulfilled his savior title by his unwilling assistance during the ritual, his blood caused a magical reaction, healing me and returning my sanity. I played with magics that I wasn't ready for nor did I properly understand them. I didn't do enough research."

"As a bonus and for more background, I suggest you investigate all three of our home lives while attending Hogwarts, both past and present, and print truthfully about them. I would also suggest you investigate exactly how the Headmaster dictated or otherwise involved or did not himself in our home lives as well as what his duty was in regards to the situations that you uncover. I would like to know exactly why he didn't do his job and look forward to reading your article on it." He told the bug animagus seriously.

"I will fully admit that I am and have always been a possessive bastard and now that I have my two bondmates I will not be giving them up, as a result I suggest that you print some type of warning about not trying to take them from me. Unless of course you want me to kill anyone who touches them and then go after their families as well." Tom warned, his tone deadly as his ruby eyes glowed with power before he reigned his aura back in.

After a glance at his stunned audience, Tom continued in a much more pleasant tone. "Feel free to provide the fact that Lord Malfoy was guardian of the dark object which slipped his guardianship and opened Salazar's chamber 2 years ago. The same dark object which helped begin my lack of sanity the first time the chamber was opened. If nothing else it will be a good reminder for Lucius to pay the owed compensation. As for the Diggory boy, he was killed after the portkey malfunction by Peter Pettigrew before the ritual, while I was still insane."

"Severus had yet to be dragged before me at that point and as a result he didn't know that it wasn't simply damage from the portkey malfunction as he was likely informed upon his arrival by his escorting Death Eater. Sirus Black is innocent of the crimes he was sent to Azkaban for and he has never been a Death Eater and he has never carried the Dark Mark. I doubt he even got a trial. As for my Death Eaters, all I will say is that there will be change in regards to them and their actions. I will even voluntarily turn some of them over to the ministry after I have ascertained if they were acting on their own accord or if they were acting under my orders during my... illness."

"As I've just confirmed more than enough juicy information to make any writer's career, print anything that I haven't just cleared and you will be dead before Christmas, bondmates or no bondmates. If you want to print more from us at a later date rather than simply stretching out what I've given you over the summer then I'm willing to discuss it. In exchange for investigating and truthfully printing this and any other information we give you, you wont be reported to the ministry and we will provide later interviews. Is this satisfactory?" He asked the animagus who somehow managed to simulate a rapid nod before attempting to climb out of the still sealed jar, clearly eager to get the interview that the youthened Dark Lord had just dictated written up and published.

Tom nodded shortly and release the animagus from her imprisonment to check her facts and publish some of the most shocking information of the century. He suddenly found himself tackled by a deliriously happy bondmate as his other bondmate stood to the side scowling from the thought of having to deal with one of his worst childhood tormentors. The same man who was likely to receive guardianship over all three of them if the dog animagus was cleared of all charges and would no doubt make his life another living hell.

"If he gets his freedom and takes custody of us, Black better not treat me the way he did in school or I will hex him into oblivion." Severus gritted out.

"Your more then welcome to defend yourself Severus." Tom said mildly, knowing that if Sirus Black touched either of his bondmates then guardian or godfather or not he would take it out of the man's hide. Preferably where Harry wouldn't be able to intervein on the man's behalf. With that final errand out of the way the three boys decided to share what little there was of Harry's wardrobe and leave anything they deemed either important or personally important in Severus' teachers quarters in the dungeon.

Chapter Text

The moment the three were out of sight of Severus' quarters at Hogwarts the castle sealed them, along with his private lab, adding a stone wall in front of the entrances and at least 3 more layers of protections. Feeling quite smug knowing that not only would the belongings of her heirs would be safe until they returned. She also had had the House-elves slip more appropriately sized clothes into Harry's trunk for the three along with expanding and lightening the trunk for the selection of books that came with them.

Hogwarts knew that she wasn't going to be able to keep her heirs from leaving, not this time, they weren't bound to her properly yet; But at least she could provide them with some of what they needed for their trip and delay the three leaving as long as possible. She just hoped that they would be alright during their time away from her or there would be proper hell to pay when they got back. Hogwarts also decided that once they got back she would be ready and wouldn't let them off of her grounds again until she was absolutely certain that she had a way to protect them. Bearing all this in mind the castle started plotting even as it began shifting its stones, rooms, and passageways. She finally had Heirs to protect again!

~

Mad-eye Moody stumped along a corridor, hoping that he could catch and privately speak with the bonded trio before they boarded the train. He was lucky to have gotten a good look at the boy summoned by the strange potion. For that matter he almost hadn't recognized his lord in his youthened state and counted himself lucky to have been one of those who knew the Dark Lord's more human appearance. After all the man had adopted a more menacing form when they had gone to all out war the first time, it had been completely possible that his lord had decided to make his more menacing appearance permanent when he came back. As it stood now Mad-eye was glad that his master had chosen a more human appearance.

At that moment he almost literally was run down by the very trio he was looking for, heading away from Snape's quarters and quite obviously toward Gryffindor Tower. In fact Harry did slam into his professor's chest and bounced off. Nearly knocking the man to the floor as Harry himself landed on his rearend he looked up in surprise.

"S'rry, profes'r." Harry mumbled.

"Potter! Watch were you're going! I told you to slow down." Severus scowled as he and Tom caught up with their bondmate who was still sitting on the floor.

Moody grunted. "No harm done Sev'rus. No harm done. I was actually looking for the three of you in any case. Lets talk in here."

He gestured to the empty classroom they had just passed and the four went inside. Moody closed the door and quickly put up a good number of complicated wards, silencing spells, privacy spells, and locking charms. Then he surprised both Harry and Severus by dropping to his good knee in front of Tom and bowing his head.

"My lord." He practically grunted out. Tom raised his eyebrow at the man's display before answering.

"Barty." Tom acknowledged. "When does the polyjuice wear off? I don't feel like staring at Moody while we talk and the three of us still have things to do before the old goat forces us onto the train."

Harry choked a bit on his words. "You're the Death Eater! ... I really thought that it was Snape."

Tom chuckled. "Just like in first year. Harry, Severus is very good at appearing to be the villain but I've always known that he has a soft spot for children and truly cares about all of his students. He just doesn't have the patience to teach the younger years. He expects everyone to be able to pick up the basics of potion making as quickly as he did and already have most of the basics memorized before he has to teach them. One of the reasons for his scary act is to keep students from killing or maiming themselves when working on potions. His scare tactics tend to help you all to keep the safety procedures in mind while working."

"Do you know how many ways there are to be permanently maimed or killed in my class?" Snape demanded, sporting a pained expression. "Especially when someone isn't paying attention! Potions is very similar to muggle chemistry when it comes to the dangers involved.... Wait. Polyjuice? You're the one who's been stealing from my private stores!"

"Enough. Barty?" Tom was still waiting on his answer even as Severus fumed at the disguised Death Eater.

"I'm glad to see you know which side you belong to Snape. I'm sorry my lord," Barty hid his glee at getting one over on the potions master by keeping his head bowed. "But I'm afraid that I just took another dose 15 minutes ago."

Tom eyed the man appraisingly and nodded in acknowledgement. "Very well. Report."

"As ordered I ensured that Potter was entered into the tournament and won. I have had some difficulty obtaining the ingredients for the polyjuice potion as Snape can attest to. Dumbledore has been to worried over the boy participating in the tournament, searching for the one who entered the boy into the tournament, and the fact of your glorious return to notice that I am not Alastor Moody. As everyone is leaving on the Hogwarts Express today should I dispose of Moody or do you believe that it would draw unwanted attention to you? If I am to dispose of him, do you want him to be found and if so how soon?"

Severus just barely managed to grab Harry before he took a swing at "Barty", holding him back from attacking the Death Eater and wrapping him in the potion master's strong wiry arms. Harry kicked backwards trying to get loose but Severus was expecting that and merely sidestepped the blow, even as he allowed Harry to continue to struggle, wrapped in his arms.

"You bloody bastard!" Harry shouted at the still kneeling Death Eater. "I could have been killed! Do you have any idea how many times I almost got killed?! The Dragon nearly ate me! Not to mention the light roasting I got facing that Horntail. Then there were the Grundylows in the lake who tried to rip me apart and the fact that the gillyweed Dobby surprised me with ran out before I got to the surface of the lake! Then there was the Sphinx in the blasted maze along with the bloody Acromantula guarding the cup!"

"I had some difficulty getting you that gillyweed Potter. You just wouldn't pay attention to the clues I dropped. I even planted that one early in the game with the book I provided to the Longbottom boy. Hagrid on the other hand was more than delighted to show you the dragons. Though imperioing Krum through that hedge maze, even with this magical eye was a bit of a challenge. I took care of more than one obstacle for you in that maze. You best thank my lord for that, otherwise you wouldn't have survived the tournament tasks. Aren't you glad I got you to learn the summoning charm?" Barty chuckled cruelly, finally looking up at the incensed boy. Harry made to lunge at him again but was pulled up short by the fact that Severus had yet to release his arms from around his bondmate.

"Later, brat!" Severus hissed in his ear before turning scathingly to the Death Eater. "You clearly don't know Potter that well. You also clearly didn't fully understand the danger you put him through. Instead of simply slipping him a portkey, either timed, passworded, or in the confusion of the third task you nearly got him killed on multiple occasions during the year. How lucky you are that the boy has a knack for surviving almost anything thrown at him. If Harry hadn't made it through the tournament, with or without help, the Dark Lord would still be stuck in his previous form and the Headmaster would have no one, dark or light, who had the power or knowledge to face him down and possibly win. You are a fool Crouch."

During this confrontation Tom stood stock still, thinking about his orders to the man who still knelt in front of him before speaking. "Severus is correct, it was an unnecessary risk on both sides. You should have allowed Dumbledore to disqualify him due to his age and inexperience then slipped him a portkey on the day of the third task. This would have fulfilled my orders and allowed us more flexibility for the ritual."

Harry immediately quieted in thought at the same time that a blank mask slipped into place on Severus' face as he continued to restrain Harry. Barty Crouch hesitated before reluctantly admitting. "Dumbledore didn't actually try to disqualify Potter. In fact it almost seemed as if he was arguing to keep the boy in the tournament. It was quite clear that not only had the boy not bothered trying to enter, he didn't want to participate in the tournament. It made forcing him to participate and helping him much simpler."

"I see..." Tom said slowly. "Apparently, I owe the man more pain when I kill him than I originally believed."

Harry made a small inarticulate noise of protest before glancing over his shoulder at their bondmate, emotional distress clear in his eyes as he connected some of the dots. Severus met his gaze and slowly released his grip on the younger boy but made no move to otherwise change position or allow the other boy out of his reach.

"You can't kill him." Harry told them quietly, earning a glance from everyone. He cleared his throat and clarified. "Moody. You can't kill him. He hasn't done anything and he's supposed to have been an Auror. People will notice if he goes missing and well, he hasn't done anything."

"On the contrary, he's been a thorn in my side and has killed more than a few of my followers." Tom corrected and scowled at his young bondmate, sighing he tried to explain. "Harry, you can't save everyone and Moody attacks anyone and anything that he even remotely suspects will try to hurt him. The man is paranoid to the point of being a danger to not only the people around him but probably himself as well. I honestly don't know why he isn't in St. Mungo's, or why Barty's own lack of paranoia, no matter how small, didn't give him away, especially to Dumbledore who is one of the few people Moody trusts. Right now the man is a risk we can't afford to take; Especially if he finds out about our bond and who I am. Harry, he will attack us with intent to kill. I wont take that risk with you or Severus. No, he has to go."

"Can't you just, I don't know, lock him up somewhere? Or dump him in another country or something?" Harry asked hopefully.

Tom just looked at him and huffed in resignation. "Fine, but if he comes back and attacks us I will kill him, painfully and slowly. Barty, dose him with something similar to the draught of the living death, a powerful sedative, and dump him in Albania or something. Make certain that the area is remote and outside of England. His paranoia will work against getting him back in a timely manner and the remoteness of the drop-off location will slow it down further. Leave a note on him warning that he now owes Harry a life debt, I want the man out of the country by nightfall. After that report to Lucius; And before you leave Hogwarts send Lucius an owl warning him to watch the Prophet, we gave an interview less than an hour ago. If Skeeter just outlines what I told her and double checks one or two facts then they'll print an evening Special Edition. Make certain he knows that he's in-charge of reconnecting with everyone and retrieving all of the various reports. Anything he needs to send to me has to arrive after dark since I'll be in a muggle neighborhood and they don't use owls for post or much of anything else for that matter."

Barty in the form of Mad-eye Moody, bowed his head in recognition of both his mission and the dismissal. Standing he took down the wards and various spells he had cast on the door less then an hour ago when they entered the classroom. He nodded once more at the trio and left, stumping his way down the corridor toward his office to right that letter and get ready to leave.

"Harry, you can't argue or counter my instructions in front of my Death Eaters. Its counterproductive and underminds my authority, there has to be a clear chain of command." Tom told him quietly. "For example, I can't order your minions around and neither can Severus, not without your permission. If the three of us were married in the sight of magic then the fealty bond would respond to the two of us as your spouses. When you completed the binding to the Weasly twins and Miss. Lovegood you became responsible for them, just as by their oaths they became entirely yours. Order one of them in all seriousness to kill or die and they must obey, no matter their feelings on the matter. The magic will compel them to obey as will the law. You are the primary Lord in their fealty bond and as such the mark will respond to you. My mark is not a full binding, it isn't designed to be, but it does have almost the exact same legal responsibilities and meaning as the one that your three followers carry. We are responsible for everyone who bears our mark, including providing punishment for wrong doing. I have the option to hand my followers over to the ministry if they go too far. You do not. Do you understand?"

Harry stared at him in shock, then answered shakily, his voice just above a whisper. "I think so."

Tom nodded his own understanding of Harry's answer. "Lets go get your trunk and find a seat on the train. If nothing else it will get us away from the old goat."

Severus snorted and dragged Harry bodily from the room, much to Tom's amusement, who followed as they headed for Gryffindor Tower. Arriving there Harry gave the password to the painting of the Fat Lady and let them into the bedlam that occurred every year on the morning of the train ride back to London. Harry wove, jumped, and dodged his way through the chaos, closely followed by his bondmates, as he headed for his dorm.

As Harry gathered up the last few pieces of his clothes and school items, retrieving one sock from on top of the bed canopy (much to his confusion) and another from under the bedside table, he then finally shoved Quidditch Through the Ages into his trunk and closed it. In his haste Harry never noticed the additional space or clothes under his own oversized things that hadn't been there the last time, nor the small bag, no bigger than a clutch purse, clearly marked "Food". The bondmates would later discover them at Private Drive and bless whoever had outfitted Harry's trunk, never guessing that it was Hogwarts herself who had provided for them.

After sealing Harry's trunk and Severus gave a pre-emptive loss of points for next year to Lee Jordan for trying to turn his hair pink, they made their harrowing way back through the common room. They had arrived at the painting just as it finished closing behind yet another student. Harry pushed at the door and frowned in confusion. He pushed harder, it wouldn't budge. He put his shoulder to it and shoved, its still wouldn't move. By now there was a line of people waiting to get out building up behind the trio.

"That's weird. It wont open." Harry muttered.

"What do you mean it wont open?" Severus demanded harshly, causing Harry to flinch at his tone.

"Just what I said, the door wont open. I think its stuck." This time Harry was loud enough that the people behind them heard.

The noise increased with people asking questions or demanding to be let out the door. Someone they couldn't see shoved the three of them out of the way and the door opened for the next person who tried, much to Harry's confusion. His confusion and his bondmates' only increased when they couldn't move from the corner they had been shoved into, despite their protests until the door was once more firmly shut. When they tried the door it, once again, wouldn't budge.

"I'm getting a bad feeling about this." Harry told them, to which Severus and Tom could only agree and try to open the door themselves, failing miserably.

Hermione had watched the entire thing, having come back to the tower after their "interview" with Skeeter, and wanted to talk to Harry. "Why don't I try holding the door open for you? Or you can lean against the door while I open it from the other side. I've fallen through like that a time or two." She offered.

They looked at one another and Tom shrugged agreeing. "Why not." Even as Severus grumbled. "Its undignified."

Hermione nodded and went to hold the door open. When she did the trio couldn't come within 5ft. of the open doorway, no matter how hard they tried. There seemed to be some sort of force gently pushing them back from the doorway. Not wanting to try and force whatever was holding them back they next tried the leaning and falling through trick, it succeeded. They tumbled right through the portrait hole as if they had fallen out of a bed.

"That was weird. Maybe Professor Dumbledore will know whats wrong. We'll have to tell him so that it can be fixed before next year." Hermione said thoughtfully. "I wonder what caused it."

"I don't care what caused it. I'm just glad you found a way around it 'mione." Harry told her greatfully, as he climbed back to his feet.

"I still say it was undignified." Severus muttered indignantly.

"Would you rather have been trapped in Gryffindor Tower for who knows how long?" Tom retorted.

"I wouldn't mind being trapped there for the summer at least." Harry mused, making his bondmates remember where they were heading once they left Hogwarts.

"Come on, Harry. It can't be that bad. You'll get to spend time with your family. I'll meet you on the train." Hermione said cheerfully as she headed down the corridor.

"Yeah. Time with my family." Harry said weakly as Hermione left heading for the entrance hall and the carriages waiting outside.

"You haven't told them." Severus accused flatly.

"I tired once. They didn't understand or believe me." Harry said quietly. "At least Mrs. Weasly thinks I'm too thin and keeps sending me food during the summer hols."

"That's not the point." Tom hissed as Severus pointed out. "You are to thin."

"Yeah, well I don't want to discuss the point." Harry said curtly as he headed down the corridor, forcing his bondmates to follow.

"This distance limit is extremely annoying." Tom groused as he hurried to catch up with his bondmate.

"Tell me about it." Severus agreed moving quickly to keep up with Harry.

As they moved down the corridor they started noticing that it wasn't as clean as it should be. As they moved forward there was more and more dust and dirt, almost as if the section of the castle hadn't been used or cleaned in years. It clearly wasn't the corridor they had fallen into out of the Gryffindor portrait hole, yet there had been no side passages, no intersections, no doors of anykind. They were lost in a castle that all three of them knew well, and none of them were quite sure how it had happened.

"Alright, how the hell did we get lost when we just left Gryffindor Tower?" Harry asked in puzzlement as he stopped moving down the corridor.

"And why are we in a corridor that clearly hasn't been cleaned in some time?" Tom added his own question to the air as he and Severus joined Harry standing in the middle of the dusty corridor.

"I don't think this part of the castle has been opened or cleaned since it either was sealed up or lost. Sometimes the castle will hide or seal a room, a corridor, once an entire wing disappeared." Severus absently informed them as he examined their surroundings more carefully. "Professors are informed of this in case a student stumbles on, or gets lost in, one of these sealed areas. Occasionally we have to retrieve a first or third year from one of these areas. The castle then moves the entrance, possibly to keep anyone else from finding the area. Its rare if a sealed area can be found twice muchless more often. When that happens we presume that the castle is either unsealing it or another student has wandered into it."

"So, the castle let us into a sealed area?" Harry asked tentatively.

"More likely we came through some sort of barrier over the hidden corridor. It might have let us through due to your heir status but I doubt it." Severus told him. "If Albus hadn't taken our wands I could have sent my patronus to one of the other teachers and they would have been able to find us."

"I wonder if Dobby knows about this part of the castle." Harry wondered aloud.

"Dobby? I think you mentioned him earlier." Tom asked curiously, causing Harry to blush in embarrassment.

"Dobby is a house-elf that I tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing. He knew about the diary and tried to keep me from coming to Hogwarts in my second year and kept getting me hurt trying to protect me. That's why I wasn't on the train that year. Dobby sealed the platform before I could get through with Ron. He also charmed that rouge Bludger that went after me when Lockhart charmed the bones out of my broken arm." Harry admitted then shrugged. "He seems to like me."

"Why don't you call him?" Severus asked with a peculiar expression on his face. "I'm certain that he could show us the way, unless he's bound to a new family."

"Oh, no. He's not. He works down in the kitchens here. I don't really understand about this house-elf stuff but he seems happy now." Harry assured them.

"Lucius only treats his house-elves that way in public, to keep up appearances." Tom mused, thoughtfully. "He's actually rather nice to them by pure-blood standards, except for the one seen in public."

The look on both their faces when he told them this was priceless and made Tom laugh. "What? You didn't think that I wouldn't pick up on something like that eventually? Especially since I spent a lot of time at Malfoy Manor when I was younger? I've known about that trick for more than 20 years. They don't usually mind since they know that it gives them an extra layer of protection."

"What about the clothes thing?" Harry asked curiously.

"I actually asked them about that once, to them skin is skin. They honestly don't know why we wear clothes. It makes no sense to them, except in cold weather. As far as they're concerned the skin on your hands and face is the same as the skin on your ass. They are released from service by the presentation of clothes because clothes, to them, mean they have to go out in wizarding public looking for work. The fact that they did something to get them fired is a mark of shame among their society. Its rather like having a servant from a long line of old family servants. Their loyalty tends to be absolute." Tom explained.

"Oh, but then what about Dobby?" Harry wondered.

"Why don't you call him and ask?" Tom responded.

Harry nodded, calling. "Dobby!"

There was a small pop of apparation and Dobby appeared in front of them. "Whats can Dobby do for the great Harry Potter sir? Dobby will do anything he can to help Harry Potter sir!"

Tom snorted in amusement. "Lucius assigned you to watch Harry didn't he?"

Dobby looked poleaxed and glanced at Tom fearfully before answering. "Dobby is not to say sir. Dobby is a free elf. Dobby was presented clothes."

Tom looked at the elf thoughtfully before concluding. "Lucius must have used the gifting ritual, the one that requires the active consent of the elf. After that response, I suspect he may have pre-arranged whatever story and scene of mistreatment you saw, including the possibility of clothes being involved. After all living with muggles you can't have a house-elf but at Hogwarts having one present that has some sort of connection to you isn't that odd if you come from an old family. In fact the moment that you entered Gringotts the first time you should have been taken to a private room to meet any house-elves that are bound to your family. Especially since you are the only remaining heir of house Potter."

"No they wouldn't." Severus disagreed. "Any unknown house-elves are introduced when an inheritance is claimed, not if you simply open a vault with a key. It has something to do with the confirmation process and goblin law."

"So, what does all of that mean?" Harry asked, interrupting the building argument.

"It means that you have to know about the gifting ritual and accept it before anyone has a chance of firing him from his position as your elf. Dobby would effectively have been given to you. Sometimes the elf in question wont inform the wizard or witch they have been gifted to. This is done either because they have been told not to, they believe that they can better serve if the bond remains unknown, or as a protective measure for witch or wizard." Severus lectured. "It doesn't happen often. Its an old ritual meant to protect and aid hidden heirs and the like."

"Oh." Harry thought about what he had just been told and nodded in understanding.

"What can Dobby do for Harry Potter sir?" Dobby asked hastily, bringing the three back to the matter at hand.

"Dobby, somehow we got a bit lost. Do you think you could help us get to the carriages or the entrance hall. We need to get on the train." Harry told the overenthusiastic elf.

Dobby nodded vigorously, ears flopping back and forth, slapping his face. "Dobby can do that. Dobby is happy to do that." With that he raised his hand and snapped his fingers, using his unique elf magic to apparate them straight to the entrance hall. Much to the shock of the three and the large group of staff and students currently trapped in the entrance hall. Dumbledore noticed their unusual arrival and hurried over.

"My dear boys, why did you not simply walk to the entrance hall?" He asked.

With a snort of derision Severus answered for them. "One of the sealed corridors decided that we needed a tour. We never managed to leave the floor and the elf decided to transport us when we asked for help rather than leading us from the section of the castle."

"Well I'm afraid that you simply went from one situation to another similar one. We can't seem to get the entrance doors open." Dumbledore informed them, then he remembered something and withdrew a large bag of coins from his robes. "Ah, Harry. The judges decided that Mr. Diggory's death occurred as part of the third task and that you won the tournament. Here are your winnings, 1,000 galleons."

Harry felt sick and tried to refuse the money. "I don't need or want it Professor. Cedric got to the cup before me and wouldn't take it. We argued, he tried to get me to take it and I wouldn't take it either. We finally agreed to take it at the same time. Cedric won the tournament, not me."

"I'm afraid my boy that the ministry doesn't agree with you. My advice is take and use the money for something that Cedric would have wanted, in his honor." He told the boy sympathetically, before handing him the bag of money and heading off to find Professor McGonagall. Tom and Severus just stared after the barmy Headmaster.

"He's insane." Severus decided firmly. "Why would he even give it to Harry when the boy made it clear that he feels it belongs to a dead man?"

"The guilt trip." Tom said softly. "He's always using the bloody guilt trip. Harry, if you really don't want the money then give it away. Use it to invest in something."

"Like our joke shop." George said from behind them scaring the living daylights out of the bonded trio, making them jump.

"Don't do that!" Severus half shouted at the twins, after his heart stopped trying to slam its way out of his chest.

"Joke shop?" Harry asked slightly breathless.

"We want to open a joke shop." Fred explained.

"We've been inventing pranks and prank stuff for years." George continued.

"We know that we wouldn't have any fun in the ministry." Fred.

"Pranks are our lives, well after you now." George explained.

"We were going to ask you for permission later this summer." Fred.

"When you came to the Burrow." George.

"If you came to the Burrow." Fred corrected.

"If not then we were going to ask you after school started." George.

"So, can we?" The twins finished together. Harry looked at them puzzled, then glanced at his bondmates for an explanation.

"This falls under the fealty bond, especially since its clear they want to use some of your funds to open the shop. They are required to ask you before doing anything about the shop." Tom explained.

"Oh. I think a new joke shop is a great idea. How much do you need to start?" Harry asked the twins who grinned at him before answering.

"We need at least 500 galleons for a down payment on a shop and for supplies." George answered with a grin.

"Of course you're always welcome to give us more for our little pet project." Fred offered, also grinning madly.

"Here, use this. I don't want it any way. Make sure to use some of it to get school supplies for you guys, Ron, and Ginny next year, and don't tell Mrs. Weasly where it came from. You can tell your dad though. I don't think he'll mind as much." Harry told them practically shoving his bag of winnings into their hands.

"Thanks Harry!" The twins chorused happily.

"Misters Weasly." Severus practically purred, freezing the twins mid-celebration. "As public as the first portion of your fealty bonding was, I suggest that you remember to inform Lord Weasly of your change in status. Harry cannot house you for the summer, and is still unaware of the extent of his responsibilities. As a result you effectively have permission to go about your lives unless otherwise instructed. Do not abuse this freedom. Remember you now represent Harry and the Potter family wherever you go. Keep that in mind."

"Yes, Professor!" They chorused solemnly, before bowing deeply to Harry, with no mockery what-so-ever, and disappeared into the crowd of milling students.

Suddenly there was a loud CRACK in the direction of the main doors as they swung open to the the cheers of the waiting students and staff. The castle half halfheartedly tried to close the doors again but Dumbledore noticed and simply vanished one of the now unsealed doors. Much to the consternation of the rest of the staff, who had categorically not seen the doors attempting to re-seal themselves. The students were quickly ushered out of the doors to the carriages for the ride to the train station. The three bonded quickly boarded the train and rode back to King's Cross sharing a compartment with Hermione for Harry's sake. At least they had gotten away from Dumbledore even if the castle's reactions were a bit on the strange side, magical building or not...

Chapter Text

The first of Rita's articles went out as the top headliner in a Special Evening Edition of the Prophet that same day as the Hogwarts express and began the process of shaking the Wizarding world to its core.

Dumbledore cheerfully sat down at the nearly empty Teachers table, preparing to eat his supper. Most of the teachers this year had either opted to leave immediately or had chosen to eat elsewhere. Only Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick, Professor Sinestra, and Professor Vector had chosen to eat in the Great Hall. The moment he sat down he noticed an owl winging its way across the Great Hall headed straight for him alongside of its fellows who each appeared to be heading toward one of the other Professors. The owl clearly carried a special evening edition of the Prophet and the aim of each was impeccable as they landed directly in front of each of the teachers and Headmaster. What he saw as he glanced at the headline made his heart go cold. He rapidly lost his appetite as he quickly began reading the article, ignoring his delicious supper completely.

~

HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED returns... to sanity???

By Rita Skeeter

In a shocking turn of events something extra-ordinary happened at Hogwarts on the night of the leaving feast. Something that will rock our society and change history. By now every parent who has a child attending Hogwarts has some idea of what happened at the start of the farewell feast. Not only has, for the first time in known history, the SORTING HAT demanded a resorting of even one student muchless 7! Among them was Harry Potter! But something else happened afterward. The Sorting hat accused the Headmaster of crossing a line and told of a hidden bloodline or rather bloodlines. The founders hid a child of all four bloodlines among muggles! The Sorting hat also revealed in its song (see page 3 for complete song retrieved from writer's memory via pensive) that every muggleborn and squib serve as hidden guardians of magic by choice of both magic itself and Merlin! It was also revealed that Harry Potter is of the hidden founders line (likely through his mother) and has been acknowledged as the "Lightning Heir" and the Heir of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

After the Sorting Hat finished its song Peeves the Poltergeist decided to drop an unknown potion on our hero's head. The potion proceeded to first fling away his friend and fellow re-sortee Luna Lovegood, and caused the young man to begin glowing. At this point Potions Master and Professor Severus Snape reached his side and grabbed the boy hero's shoulder freezing in place and beginning to glow himself, just as a human figure started to appear next to Mr. Potter, also glowing. As soon as the unknown man fully materialized both he and Professor Snape began to rapidly get younger, stopping at, from all appearances, around Mr. Potter's own age of 14. I was able to deduce from the comments of the three affected by the potion that they had met previously. Later, after the three boys had slipped away it was announced by the Headmaster that due to the potion reaction they cannot go far from each other and to please be considerate of their situation.

This reporter has managed to tentatively identify the unknown man or boy in this case as a suddenly much younger HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED!!! (see biography on page 7-11) The young man was recognized by a Gryffindor student who became hysterical and then he proceeded to "remind" Lord Malfoy, who was also present, that he had yet to provide compensation for the escape of a dark object in his care and comment on the fact that he was now sane and didn't want to kill everyone in sight anymore. The very same object that opened the Chamber of Secrets 2 years ago and apparently also began YOU-KNOW-WHO's trip down the road to insanity. (More on the object on page 6) This fact was provided in an interview this reporter was lucky enough to obtain the next morning with the three affected young men. According to YOU-KNOW-WHO himself when the portkey malfunctioned at the end of the third task of the Triwizard tournament Mr. Potter's scar and raw power acted as a guiding link and dragged the portkey and two boys to where he had been staying.

Young Mister Diggory was subsequently killed by Peter Pettigrew! (Professor Snape had apparently been told that the Diggory boy was killed by the portkey by the Death Eater which quietly kidnapped him from the third task, resulting in his reporting that the boy died due to the portkey malfunction.) Before Mr. Potter was forced to participate in a ritual which returned the Dark Lord's body. Now you might think that this is a bad thing, but young Mister Potter has lived up to the titles we have so carelessly provided him. His presence as a part of the ritual not only provided the Dark Lord with a body that by-passes the protections left behind by Lily Potter but also returned his SANITY!

Yes, the Dark Lord has been insane this entire time! His lack of sanity has been confirmed (and freely admitted to by the Dark Lord) as being the combined result of improperly performed and researched Dark Magic and attempting magic too powerful and complex for his skill levels at the time. The damage to both his mind and body apparently continued to accumulate until it was reversed when the ritual involving young Mr. Potter was performed which returned the (now young) Dark Lord's body.

The Dark Lord, in his interview, also declared his intentions to keep his "bondmates" and that he would not tolerate any perceived threat to either Mr. Potter or Professor Snape. This apparently includes any attempt to steal them away from him. From his specifically using the term "bondmates" as well as the Headmaster's comment that they cannot go far from each other, we can deduce that the unknown potion dropped on Mr. Potter has established some kind of magical bond between the three. He was also kind enough to confirm the method of Cedric Diggory's death by the wand of Peter Pettigrew and the fact that Sirus Black has never been a Death Eater. One wonders how such a miscarriage of justice has occurred, especially since this reporter cannot seem to recall any trial being given to Lord Sirus Orion Black.

This new, young Dark Lord has also declared that there would be "changes" among his Death Eaters and that he would be looking into their crimes. He indicated that he would determine whether his insanity was to blame for their actions or they themselves before handing anyone over to the ministry. He also assured me that he would be turning some of them over to the ministry after determining their guilt and/or complicity.

This reporter will continue to investigate the situation and bring as much to light about this misunderstood subject as possible to her beloved readers.

~

"Albus... is this true?" McGonagall demanded, having finished reading the article at about the same time as Dumbledore and the other teachers.

"Why, Minerva, to what are you referring?" Dumbledore asked mildly, even as he began to sweat beneath his robes.

"This! This article. Is what Skeeter wrote true? You cast the Fidelidus Charm for the Potters didn't you? And that boy that you sent home with Harry and Severus? That was You-Know-Who? Albus! What on earth were you thinking! Even if the man is sane again, which I seriously doubt, leaving him alone with Harry, who he has tried to kill on numerous occasions and Severus.... I must ask... Are you insane? The three of them hate each other!" Minerva lit into the Headmaster with a vengeance.

"Minerva. Minerva! There was no choice in the matter. The bond they now share has a distance limit, as Poppy can attest to. If you will remember they cannot go any real distance from one another and Harry is still in danger from Tom's followers. The bloodwards will protect all three of them and the bond will prevent Tom from harming Harry or Severus. So you see, there is nothing to be concerned over." Albus soothed.

"Your actions show a serious lack of judgement and consideration Albus. If that boy really is You-Know-Who then they should not be left unsupervised at the very least. Not to mention the stress and nightmares that being bonded to his parents murderer and a man who has made his ill will clear will cause Mr. Potter. I also can't believe that Mr. Potter's guardians were pleased about suddenly having two house guests who will be staying through the summer, either." Minerva scolded. "Albus, they could have stayed here, at Hogwarts. I wouldn't have minded staying the summer and I doubt that Filius or Pomona would have minded staying either, not to mention Hagrid."

"Hear, hear!" Filius Flitwick voiced his agreement.

"I'll keep that in mind for the next time Minerva. If you'll excuse me, I have some important ministry paperwork that needs to be completed. I'll see you all at breakfast." Dumbledore smoothly got to his feet and quickly headed out of the hall. It wasn't until the Headmaster was already well on his way to his office that his colleges noticed that he hadn't touched his supper of perfectly roast quail and mashed potatoes...

Chapter Text

The dread that Harry felt as he, Tom, and Severus crossed from platform 9 3/4 into the muggle section of King's Cross was almost palpable. Even though the other two had seen some of his memories of life at Privet Dr. Harry knew it wasn't going to be enough warning, nor was his Uncle going to be happy to be housing two more "freaks" for the summer. Harry just hoped he would be able to fast talk his Uncle into leaving his bondmates alone for the summer, even if his treatment got worse as a result, but he wasn't going to hold out much hope for that. Knowing his Uncle they'd be working right along side him. Sometimes he really hated his life.

A shout of "BOY!" broke Harry from his ruminations with a sharp jerk as Harry's head swung up sharply in the direction of the shout and automatically found his Uncle's furious face in the crowd. His unconscious whimper and sharp movement drew the attention of his bondmates as they followed his gaze and both scowled darkly at the approaching figure of Vernon Dursley before both quickly schooled their features into blank masks even as they quickly set Harry's trunk down.

Vernon barely glanced at the other two boys before lighting into his nephew. "Boy! What's this I hear about needing to take care of two more of you freaks for the summer hols? Something you did at that freaky school of yours that keeps you near each other. Well? I want an answer when I talk to you boy!"

"Sorry Uncle Vernon." Harry said quietly. "This is Tom and Severus, until the magic wears off or eases up enough we have to be near each other. We tried separating at least a bit but it didn't work."

Vernon grunted his acknowledgement, face purple with barely contained rage, and wheeled about, not caring if the boys followed or not, doing nothing to help with Harry's trunk or Hedwig's cage.(Harry was glad that he had asked Hedwig to find him at the Dursleys in a day or two rather than taking her home with them on the train) He would not give them any assistance when they got to the car. He would not buy them any food when he pulled through the drive-thru. Despite the fact that it had been some time since breakfast and leaving feast, during both of which Harry had encouraged his bondmates to gorge themselves, and the massive amounts of food they had bought from the trolly on the train, at Harry's insistence had gone straight into the travel trunk.

Harry's increasing insistence on hording and devouring as much food as possible had worried his bondmates but they hadn't argued, remembering some of the bits and pieces of memories they had seen in the graveyard. They trusted Harry to know what they would need to do to get around his relatives. By the time they had pulled up to the Dursley house on Private Drive both of Harry's bondmates had an inkling of an idea why Harry had insisted on the precautions in regards to the food. Harry on the other hand was starting to worry why his Uncle was being so nice despite refusing to acknowledge their existence, muchless get them food, while they were in the car. Harry was right to worry, as they discovered almost as soon as they got in the front door.

Vernon stomped into the living room and waited for the three boys. Abandoning the trunk near the front door, Harry barely managed to stop Severus from sitting on the couch, earning a confused look from his bondmates, as he silently got the other two boys to stand next to him in front of Vernon. Vernon, having remained silent the entire time, glared at Harry before he got a glint in his eye that immediately made Harry nervous. In turn Harry's nervousness conveyed its self along the bond and made his two bondmates stiffen expecting the worst. That's when Vernon shattered their illusion of a possibly pleasant summer.

"The old man was kind enough to inform me that your two freak friends don't have any freak family either." He informed them gleefully. "Out of the goodness of our hearts we've decided that they can share your room and help with the chores for letting them stay."

"But..." Harry started only to receive a backhand to the face and fall into the arms of his bondmates who had just barely managed to catch him and were glaring bloody murder at Vernon. They had bloody felt that!

"No back talk boy!" Vernon barked gleefully, ignoring the glares. "He was also kind enough to inform me that you don't have those freak sticks and that no matter what your friends say none of you are allowed to do anything freaky away from that school of yours. That its standard for all students in all years until you reach majority. You will work, you will stay out of sight and stay as quiet as though you were not even here. Any freakishness will result in punishment. Any back talk will be punished. Any hint of slacking will be punished. And if you threaten any of my family again I will not only take it out of your hide but the hides of your little friends. Have I made myself perfectly clear?"

"Yes, Uncle Vernon." Harry said quietly. "Can we take my trunk and go to my room now?"

Vernon grabbed his nephew and yanked him out of the hands of his bondmates and punched him in the stomach, causing all three to doubble over. Vernon noticed this and paused mid-swing on the second blow, chuckling evilly.

"Well now. Isn't this a surprise? The old freak never mentioned that you could feel each other's beatings. I wonder what else you can feel from each other." Vernon mused with a look that the three felt boded even more ill for them than before, as they struggled to stay on their feet after that gut punch. "I think I'm going to enjoy this summer."

Vernon let fly another blow to his nephew's torso before sneering out. "And don't think that your Aunt or my precious Dudley are going to save you. They've gone on a very special holiday and might not even be back until September. Not that they would even bother with trash like you. You are going to teach your little friends how to do their chores and if even one chore remains undone you'll get no food. Any freakishness and not only will there be no food for any of you but you'll feel more than just the back of my hand." He warned even as he shook his nephew hard enough to rattle Harry's teeth in his skull and give his bondmates a headache in addition to the lovely bruise forming on each of their faces and the gut shots from earlier.

Abruptly, he flung his nephew into the other two boys and ordered. "Store your crap and make supper boy. I'll not have you lazing about."

"Yes, Uncle Vernon." Harry said quietly, barely managing to keep his monotone, as he scrambled to his feet and got his bondmates moving.

They carried the trunk up the stairs together, all three sending occasional wary glances at the thickly built man who now sat watching the telly as if nothing had happened. When Severus and Tom saw how many locks there were on the outside of the bedroom door their expressions grew darker then they already had been after their lovely introduction to Vernon Dursley. As soon as the bedroom door was shut they turned to their bondmate in concern, and anger over Vernon's treatment.

"How did you manage to hide something like that from us when we looked at your memories?" Severus demanded.

Harry shrugged almost weirily and sat down on his rickety single bed. "That doesn't happen that often. I honestly didn't know that Aunt Petunia has been protecting me."

"Severus," Tom said quietly. "I saw at least one memory where it looked like he was about to be hit, then it shifted to him lying in a small dark space, beaten and bloody. I thought you'd found the same, considering the reaction you had in the graveyard."

Severus looked away, embarrassed and frustrated. "I did, or at least I thought I did. I saw maybe 10 or 15 distinct memories after extracting myself from the tangle of memories surrounding his sorting. Most of what I saw was chores, being told that there would be no food, being shoved around a bit, and, once, watching as still hot grease was purposefully dripped along his arm and the back of his hand. The memory of the grease incident was what had me ill and on my knees when I pulled out."

"They did what?!" Tom snarled and looked thoroughly sick at hearing and imagining exactly the kind of damage that hot grease could do to a child.

"It wasn't that bad..." Harry started hesitantly.

"Wasn't that bad!?" Severus snarled. "That whale of a man held you down by the throat and poured the grease, still in the pan from the bacon you had just made, all along your left arm and hand! Its a wonder it didn't scar! Muchless the amount of pain you had to be in. After that its no wonder that you aren't as careful in my class as you should be."

"We'd better go and start supper." Harry evaded. "We need to shove my trunk under the bed. I'm surprised that he didn't take it away and lock it in the cupboard like usual. If you want to make sure he doesn't take anything and break it, there are a couple of loose floor boards just under the bed. That's normally where I store my wand and anything left from the snack trolly. Don't sit on the furniture out there or you'll earn us a beating. Do NOT sit at the table when Uncle Vernon sits down for supper. I'll meet you down in the kitchen. Its that door next to the steps just past the cupboard. Try not to upset Uncle Vernon." With that he got up off of the bed and slipped back out of the room, leaving behind two shocked bondmates.

"I can almost believe that he would have been better off in one of my torture chambers while I was still insane." Tom murmured as Severus nodded mutely in agreement.

"And now we have to live through the same thing with each of the three of us able to feel the other's pain." Severus' remark carried a note of worry.

"How did he survive this long?" Tom asked incredulously. "First he had all of this, then there was your personality as you tried to teach him potions, and then there was me continually trying to kill him. How the hell did that boy survive, let alone as intact as he is?"

"How did I survive my father? Children are highly adaptable and can, in some ways, take more than any adult." Severus answered almost despairingly. "From the look of things we both have alot to make up to him for."

"Agreed, and that starts now." Tom said firmly. "We'll have to tag-team the attention of that whale, like we used to do to the adults at the orphanage. All three of us are going to need to steal as much food as we can safely manage. Only if possible, don't risk a beating. We also need to protect Harry as much as possible."

"No mention of magic. I don't know what that, that, creature will do if he hears Parsletounge so stick with English." Severus said nodding in agreement. "And we help him with his school work after the three of us have finished the chores we're all given."

"Lets shove the trunk under the bed, then I suppose, we go help make supper." Tom said finishing their surreal discussion.

Matching action to words the two got the trunk stashed under the bed and went to help their bondmate make a meal that none of them would be allowed to touch. Both Severus and Tom managed to find and slip into the kitchen quietly. Harry had set out steaming potatoes for one of them to peal and vegetables for the other to chop as he worked on preparing the Cornish chickens that were being prepared for the next day, the foundation of the soup for Vernon's dinner, and the pan he was melting some butter in.

"I'll take the potatoes." Tom offered quietly, to which Severus nodded and began expertly dicing the vegetables as if they were potion ingredients.

"Make sure to mash them really good once you've got them pealed out of the skin, and don't leave any skin in the bowl. I'll add the seasoning when you've got that done." Harry said quietly. "Professor, don't do it as evenly as you would potion ingredients, or as small. It will help with the flavoring and we're more likely to get some if some of them are too big for one bite."

"Potter, you might as well call me Severus or Sev, like your mother did." Severus told him, even as he adjusted his cutting, alternating between larger and smaller pieces of vegetables.

"Alright." Harry acknowledged. "What ever you do, stay out of his way and be as quiet as possible. To him we are a cross between criminal delinquents and house elves, with more elf than criminal. Don't take offense to anything he says, he'll use it as an excuse to hit us or refuse us food. On a good day we might get half a platefull. I have no idea if he'll give us enough for all three of us or if he'll make you share my normal portions."

"Then we ration what we get." Tom concluded.

"No, you eat as much as you can, as fast as you can. If they give it to us and we don't eat it or don't eat it fast enough they'll take it away. Sometimes we'll get a real platefull then 5 min. later they'll snatch it away and toss it in the bin. Don't try to take anything from the bin either, sometimes they pour bleach or rat poison on it." Harry corrected before continuing to instruct them. "Drink as much water as you can if we don't get any food, but try not to drink so much that you wont be able to hold it. They tend to limit how often we can use the loo. If we're allowed to get washed then we can't use the hot water, only the cold. Apparently we're not worth wasting the money on. Don't count on anything if you get hurt or sick. They simply don't care. Dudley and his gang like using me as a punching bag and a rabbit for their 'Harry Hunting' game, so be careful. Its actually easier to avoid getting hurt in the forbidden forest than it is here."

"Was that a joke?" Sev asked in astonishment, pausing in his slicing.

"I do believe it was." Tom said solemnly as he switched from pealing the potatoes to mashing them.

"Its also true." Harry admitted almost shyly.

He took what Sev had already sliced and started slowly adding them to the, now, rich beef broth. Occasionally providing a clockwise or figure eight stir to the soup along with a dash of this or that herb or spice. When he was done doing that he wandered over to Tom, still in the process of mashing the bowl of hot potatoes and added some parsley, green onions, as well as the now melted butter, garlic, salt, and finally a dash or two of pepper.

"Make sure to mix it really well, as if its going to be a burn paste or something." Harry instructed before snagging the last of the chopped vegetables just as Severus finished them.

"Potter... Harry, why don't you do this well in class? Its clear that you have the aptitude to do well in potions." Sev asked as he went looking for the plates and silver ware.

"Second cabinet on the left and the drawer next to the fridge. Only set out one place. If we eat tonight it wont be until after he's done and gone off." Harry warned, realizing what Severus was looking for, even as he added the rest of the vegetables to the soup. "As for class, you hover too much and the Slytherins keep sabotaging my work. I also can't always remember the properties of the ingredients. I know what some of them are used for when it comes to cooking but the magical aspects and interactions are a bit harder to remember off the top of my head. We sit near Hermione so that she can help stabilize the potion if it decides that it wants to try and blow up, not just so that we can get help on making it in the first place."

"I hover, as you put it, to try and keep someone from creating a deadly or volatile mixture then exploding it all over the classroom. It also helps to keep most of the students from randomly adding ingredients to someone else's potion. Most of the time at any rate." Severus told him irritably.

"BOY! BRING ME A DRINK!" Vernon shouted from the other room, reminding the three why they had to remain quiet, no matter how heated their discussion became.

"Watch the soup, don't let it boil over." Harry told the other two.

He quickly poured some orange juice and took it out to his Uncle, leaving the other two alone in the kitchen. A moment later they both heard a thud and flinched as they felt bruises start to form, one encompassing their upper right arm and the other along their lower left ribs. They looked at their bondmate for an explanation as he gingerly moved into the room.

"Landed wrong when he shoved me into the stairs." Harry told them shortly.

They nodded in acknowledgement, continuing to prepare supper and set the table, knowing or remembering that any comment about his Uncle's actions wouldn't be welcome. Not yet. Not until they were safe. By this point it was clear to both of them that if Harry didn't make a fuss about an injury, even if they could feel mirror injuries forming in their own flesh, then not much either could or would be done about it. Both of them grimly planned to break him of this habit once they had finally gotten away from the "perfectly normal" hellhole known as Number 4 Private Drive.

After supper Vernon sat back in his kitchen chair watched them with his beady eyes as they cleaned up. Making sure that they didn't have a chance to steal any food that he did not specifically give them. Next he marched them up to the restroom and waited just outside in the hall, until they were done. Shoving them hard enough that they went sprawling into Harry's bedroom he locked all 7 locks on the outside of the bedroom door, then headed off. In the days to come, one of them was almost always kept locked in the bedroom (though it was rarely Harry). Vernon's excuse was so that he would always know where one of them was in case the other two got out of line, but they didn't receive anymore beatings after that first night.

Chapter Text

By the time that Petunia and Dudley came home, two weeks later, the trio had obtained a good number of bruises in varying states of healing. To say they were not pleased discovery of two additional wizards living in their home would be an understatement. Even so very little changed in their treatment aside for adding additional chores and dodging Dudley and his gang to their list of normal activities. One of only the good things that occurred was that it became less frequent for one of them to be confined to their room, trapping the other two on the property. Occasionally Petunia would drag them with her shopping so that they could carry the grocery's or be used as pack mules for whatever else she bought, causing them to have shared nightmares about the experiences. She never mentioned that she had recognized Severus to anyone, neither did he.

Then came the day that Dudley decided it would be a good idea to once again test how far his father would go if 'the freak' broke something. He waited until his parents were otherwise occupied before sauntering into the living room. Seeing that it was his cousin, and favorite target, dusting, he quite happily and obviously picked up one of his mother's fine china before tossing it into the wall next to Harry's head. The crash brought his parents running into the room, even as Harry got up from his instinctive duck and tried to gently pry some of the glass shards out of his arm. His bondmates hadn't been far behind the Dursleys and they quickly went over to help him, ignoring the red scratch-like marks on their own skin in favor of stopping Harry's bleeding. They had discovered that any injury that drew blood only drew blood on the original recipient, leaving red welts on the other two; Where as bruises tended to form at about the same intensity on all three. Thankfully they had yet to find out what happened if one of them received a broken bone or internal bleeding.

"Mum! He broke your favorite china. I saw him smash it." Dudley informed his parents.

"How then, could he have managed to get china shards in his skin like this?" Severus muttered quietly and rhetorically, only to receive a relatively light smack to the back of the head from Petunia as Tom tried not to laugh at his expression.

"You do not accuse my Dudleydums, Severus Tobias Snape!" Petunia scolded, receiving a look of complete shock from the youthened wizard. "Oh, I remember who you are and I don't particularly care to know how you got yourself turned into a child again. But while you are living in this house you will obey both me and my husband, you horrid boy!"

"Petunia, its called accidental magic for a reason." Severus reminded her warily. "I didn't have any more control of it than Lily did in those days. I never meant for that tree branch to fall on you. I just wanted you to stop being mean to Lily. Besides look at Potter's injuries. Do you honestly think they could have been self inflicted, especially when he knew first hand that if one of the three of us is hurt than it hurts the other two of us? Your husband made very certain of it that first night."

Petunia looked at the three boys impassively as they continued to pull glass out of Harry's skin, hair, and clothes, before responding curtly. "Yes."

"Run along and play Dudley." She told her son.

Petunia ushered him out the back door and stayed in the kitchen, leaving the boys to the tender mercy of her enraged and purple husband. Vernon, on the other hand, began unbuckling his belt, seeing this Severus shouted "NO!" and jumped in front of Harry just as the larger man let fly, taking the belt blow himself.

"You do not interfere with any punishments I give out! Whether you brats can feel each other's pain or not!" Vernon roared as he paused the beating to drag Severus off of Harry and shake him roughly before tossing him straight into Tom, knocking them both to the floor. Then he turned back to Harry, hitting him three times in rapid succession across the chest, knocking the wind out of all three boys and bruising their ribs badly. Vernon stepped back to observe his handy work before nodding grimly to himself.

"Go to your room and don't expect any for food for any of you for at least a week." Vernon ordered as he practically shoved the boys towards the stairs.

They scrambled to get up and into Harry's bedroom before Vernon decided to use the belt on them as a whip to get them moving. The second they were safely in the room they both watched and heard the locks slamming home waking up Hedwig from her slumber. She hooted in alarm, especially when she saw the state they were in. She had been able to see the bond the first time she saw them after it had formed, and knew from the bond alone that her boy had found two good solid partners. If she had been given the chance, she would have torn out the eyes of the Dursleys long ago for hurting her boy, muchless what they were now doing to his mates.

"This is why I became a Dark Lord. I never wanted to be treated this way again." Tom growled out as he scowled and glared at the door.

"So the same reason I became a master duelist." Sev huffed out around his bruised ribs, with a light barely there laugh of irony.

"Really? You're a master duelist?" Harry groaned out, arms wrapped around himself to try and support his bruised ribs.

Sev ignored Harry's comment in favor of making one of his own. "Always knew that Tuney was a bitch."

"We may have to simply risk escaping and just deal with whatever retaliation Dumbledore dreams up." Tom wheezed out, hissing in pain.

That's about when an owl knocked on the window, hooting. Harry hastily scrambled to let it in, hoping that the Dursleys hadn't noticed its arrival and that no neighbor would comment on it if they had seen it. The package it carried was a small cardboard box, which they found contained a very familiar beetle. Harry quickly set the beetle down on the floor as it began to change into Rita Skeeter.

"Ho..how did you get past the bloody wards? Should have kept you out." Severus huffed out.

"Not if you use an undetectable extension charm and wards, along with cushioning and stabilizing charms inside the box and hide in it as deep as possible. Besides wards of any type rarely account for animals or insects. They don't get locked out by wards, so why should my animagus form be locked out?" She told them smugly, then sobered. "I've been in and out of the property once or twice since I snuck into your clothes at the train station after I submitted my article. I also saw what the muggles are doing. If you let me print the story then I should be able to get you out of here."

"What did you see?" Harry asked almost fearfully, remembering some of the punishments he'd received over the years for letting anyone know how he was treated at home, or when someone decided to do something about the bruises they saw.

Rita sighed before answering. "Sweetie, I may be a bit vicious when it comes to reporting but I do have a heart and what your relatives are doing is criminal even by muggle standards. If we bring a lot of attention to this then they can't sweep it under the rug. Especially if we get it into both magical and muggle papers."

"The last time a teacher noticed I got punished." Harry admitted finally managing to catch his breath a bit and noticing his magic easing some of the bruising. "I'm pretty sure I had a couple of broken ribs to go with whatever broke when my Uncle smushed my hand. They try to make sure that all of the bruises are easy to cover. One of the ribs moved a bit but I managed to match it up with the other piece. I'm pretty sure that my magic has helped heal me a couple of times."

"Harry, dear, that isn't an answer. I don't always ask, but I'm asking now. May I print this story about your situation or not?" Rita asked almost gently.

"There are a few conditions." Tom warned, able to breath now that his own magic started working on his ribs, and noticing that Severus' magic was also following the pattern that Harry was subconsciously transmitting across the bond.

"Name them." Rita said eagerly, reverting back to her more usual attitude, pulling out a piece of parchment and her quill.

"No using the quick quotes quill." Harry said quickly seeing the quill and parchment, causing Rita to sourly switch out her quill for another one.

"You get registered as an animagus and pay the fine." Severus told her sourly, seeing exactly where Tom was going with this.

"You will also not only report the situation perfectly truthfully but admit that you observed what happened in your animagus form. There is to be no mention of speaking to us at all." Tom warned. "Not even to get permission from us to print it. This conversation never happened. It might be wise to include our backgrounds. This type of treatment is part of why I began investigating the Dark Arts in the first place. I hate feeling vulnerable."

"I'd rather not have my dirty laundry aired for all and sundry to read about." Severus groaned.

"Would you rather we were stuck here longer? I promise you Severus, its not something that I want to do either." Tom retorted, causing Sev's grumbling to subside.

"At least tell her that the Headmaster confiscated our wands before we even left the school grounds." Severus complained.

"Really? And is Headmaster Dumbledore aware of how you are treated here?" Rita asked sensing blood in the water.

"Yes. Madam Pomfrey and Professor Snape were arguing with him about me coming back after I woke up in the hospital wing, before the leaving feast." Harry admitted quietly. "He said something about me needing to stay here 'cuz of bloodwards and something about a sword needing to be forged in fire. I don't really remember. When Tom showed up he confiscated our wands and tried to legally change Tom's name to 'Tom Marvolo Dumbledore' but it didn't work. Something about an estate contract. I don't really remember what the weird howler said."

"Really?" Rita said with a gleam of avarice in her eye as she rapidly took notes. "I'll have to check into that. Anything else?"

After a considering look at his bondmates Severus gratingly admitted. "You might mention that at least one of the adult muggles is fully aware that I am a fully qualified wizard. I actually grew up down the street from her and her sister. Dumbledore also actively informed them that we were without our wands, as that whale of a man was quite gleeful to inform us."

This information stopped Rita cold. "She is fully aware that you are an adult wizard and Headmaster Dumbledore actively informed these people that you would not be able to defend yourselves?"

"Did I not just tell you that?" Severus asked sarcastically, snarling as one of his ribs twinged.

"The article will be out either today or tomorrow. I'll make certain that you receive a copy." She informed them before she briskly put away her quill and parchment and prepared to return to her animagus form.

"Please don't. We'll get in trouble if they see an owl during the day time. We'll get a copy when we come back to the wizarding world." Harry cautioned before receiving a brisk, almost McGonagall-like, nod as she changed forms and flew out the window that was still open for the owl she had come with earlier. It was some time before they were able to get any sleep.

Chapter Text

Rita's visit had acted as a wake up call and reminded the trio that they did have a few more options than they had originally thought, provided they could get their hands on the right resources. The first thing they decided when they woke up that next morning was to try and break the padlock on Hedwig's cage. Vernon had locked her in as soon as she had arrived at Number 4 Private Drive, gloating that not only would they be unable to send mail they likely wouldn't recieve any either. Rita's article might get someone to Private Drive to investigate but if they managed to send a call for help to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement then they were virtually guaranteed some sort of investigation into the matter.

The trio had suscessfully tag teamed Vernon's attention until Petunia and Dudley got back, then it got harder. After yesterday's confrontation they knew part of the reason why. Petunia admiting that she remembered Severus forced them to slightly adjust their tactics. They knew once they were released from the room fewer of the childish tricks they had been using would work since Petunia, and now Vernon, knew at least one of them was a full adult and could keep the other two in line. During this discussion something else came to light, Harry had been using the bond to try and help them keep their tempers, sending soothing feelings and thoughts down the link even when he was being hurt; Trying to make sure that Vernon didn't touch either of the other boys even when he was clearly ready to strike them. Harry had been running interferance since they had arrived at Private Drive...

"Why didn't we think of the bloody bird sooner?" Severus muttered angrily as he shifted roughly through Harry's school trunk, looking for something to help him either pick the lock or break it.

"We did but the damned muggle put a lock on her cage." Tom reminded him in frustration, trying to figure out why they hadn't thought of breaking the bird out of the cage.

"Calm down. We've thought of it now and we're working on a way out of here." Harry said soothingly.

Harry sent soothing feelings and calming waves down the bond, trying to calm his bondmates. Only this time they weren't distracted watching out for the Dursleys and Dudley's gang, or to tired from all of the chores they had helped do the day before. As soon as Harry started trying to use the bond to calm them they both noticed and froze, slowly turning to look at their bondmate in dawning comprehension.

"Stop that." Tom told him sharply and the feeling suddenly disappeared.

"Harry, what were you doing?" Severus asked cautiously.

"I was just trying to calm you down and make you feel better." Harry told them sheepishly.

"Oh it calmed us alright." Severus said wryly. "It calmed us so well that it acted almost like a calming draught mixed with a seditive. How long have you been doing this?"

"Off and on since we first pulled up to the house." Harry admitted, looking down at his feet like a naughty 5 year old.

"Then its no wonder we haven't gotten anywhere..." Tom trailed off, eyes narrowing before demanding. "What else have you used the bond for?"

"I've been taking away most of the nightmares you've been having." Harry refused to look at them as when he admitted this. "Its not like I haven't learned to work through them or anything. Though some of your nightmares are just plain weird. And I've been tracking you using the bond, especially when we're making any meals."

"Tracking us?" Severus asked, trying to keep his infamous temper in check, this time without Harry's attempts through the bond.

"Making sure you don't do anything to poison them or something." Harry clarified.

"You're trying to protect them from us at the same time that you're trying to protect us from them." Tom accused as his eyes narrowed even further.

"Maybe." Harry evaded.

"You're attempts at saving everyone will ultimately fail and not everyone is deserving of even the attempt." Severus snaped at his bondmate. "All you have done is hinder us in finding a way to deal with the muggles and getting help." Harry shrunk back from the double lash of both his bondmate's emotions along the bond and his verbal assault, trying hard to stand by his decision without excuse.

"Enough Sev!" Tom barked out. "We already knew that we were going to have to break him of some of the bad habits these creatures have taught him, this is just one more we have to work on. I suspect that attempting to keep the peace in the family at all times is something he does as a protective measure. I did the opposite at the orphanage and set the other children against one another. You've seen how that tends to backfire here, so the alternative is to keep the peace at nearly any cost. The piglet tries his best to actively get us in trouble. To him its a bonus if we get hurt in the process or he gets to hit us before the whale comes after whichever one he's blaming the incident on."

"Looked at like that, I suppose his actions were reasonable; but that doesn't give him the right to effectively drug us in the middle of a dangerous situation." Sev admitted while glaring at their suddenly sad bondmate.

"Enough. What's done is done and we know what to watch for in the future. Now help me find something to get that cage open." Tom ordered before kneeling back down beside the trunk. He reached in randomly and grabbed something fairly soft, thinking it was another piece of clothing he yanked it out, about to toss it aside and froze. This was no piece of clothing, it was some sort of dark cloth bag and it had big red letters sowen into the side that read FOOD.

"Harry? Do you know what this is?" Tom asked cautiously.

Tom gingerly set the bag on the floor and warily backed away from it. Harry looked up, confused and noticed the bag. Curious he picked it up and opened it before either of them could stop him. What occurred next was one of the few things they would later remember fondly or with amusement from their time at Private Drive. The bag was almost instantly overflowing with meat pies, pasties, along with different breads and cheeses. There was even a container or two of tea and pumkin juice that thumpped to the floor loud enough to get the attention of the Dursleys' with the telly turned up loud.

"BOY! Don't make me come up there!" Vernon threatened from in the living room, causing the boys to freeze where they were. It took them a minute or two before they realized that Vernon wasn't coming up after them, at least not yet. Realizing this they gave a sigh of relief and settled down to examine both bag and the bounty of food that had litterally fallen from it.

"Harry. Do you know where all of this came from?" Severus asked, frowning at the meat pie in his hand, to which Harry shook his head.

"No idea Sev. Maybe Dobby slipped it into my trunk, but it seems to close to being calm and reasonable for it to be him. He's more the type to bounce around me for half an hour and then happily present the bag to me with a bow of some kind before leaving without any kind of explanation." Harry explained

"Well it was certainly someone at Hogwarts. It looks like the Hogwarts crest is stiched on the inside." Tom commented before going back to his examination of the bag its self.

"Wait a minute! Dobby!" Harry said excitedly.

"What about the elf?" Severus asked, now frowning at his over excited bondmate.

"Dobby can deliver a message to someone. He'll do it if I ask. I just have to figure out who and what to write." Harry explained as he pulled out a quill and a piece of parchment, then started absentmindedly nibbling on the end of the quill as he thought.

"Give it here Potter." Severus ordered as he snatched the quill and parchment from the younger boy.

"I still don't understand why you keep calling me Potter. Its Harry. Har-ry. H-A-R-R-Y. Harry." He complained in exasperation as he watched his bondmate and potions professor pen the message that would hopefully get them some more concrete help. Severus quickly finished penning the missive, rolled it up, and handed it back to the younger boy.

"Dobby!" Harry called out. There was a small pop and suddenly there was a bouncing, overexcited, house elf standing in the room.

"Hows can Dobby serve Master Harry Potter sir?" Dobby asked eagerly.

"We need you deliver a message. Can you give this too..." Harry looked questioningly at the potions master.

"Directly into the hand of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and no one else." Severus told them firmly.

"The head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement's hands and don't let anyone else take it, especially Dumbledore." Harry told the small creature firmly as he handed over the missive. "Dobby, its really important that he takes and reads it right away, so make sure he reads it."

Dobby nodded vigorously. "Dobby cans do that. Dobby will do that. Dobby will be going now to deliver Master Harry Potter's message to the head Auror." With that he popped right back out to deliver the message.

"Just out of curiosity, why didn't we have the elf take us with him like he did at the castle?" Tom asked mildly, knowing they could always just call the elf again later.

"Strictly speaking they aren't supposed to transport humans unless its an emergency or to protect a child from the family they're bonded to. I suspect that if anyone else finds out about his rescuing us from that part of the castle via apparation he'll be killed and so will the wizard who ordered it." Severus informed them. "Delivering messages, however, is well within their normal duties."

"Why would anyone be killed?" Harry asked in puzzlement.

"What would happen if a house elf were ordered to transport a member of a rival house straight through the wards and into the house of another family that they are in the middle of a blood feud with? The person could easily go on to slaughter the entire household. Of course that's also one of the reasons that elves are bound to a specific family and with all of the traditions that are in place, not to mention the cultural taboos, no one who interacts with house elves would even think of the possibility in the first place." Tom explained. "Severus, if we have too much trouble trying to kill someone remind me to ask a house elf to deliver a muggle letter bomb or something cursed to be equally explosive."

"No." Harry told him firmly. "We are not killing anyone."

"I don't plan on killing anyone at the moment, aside from Dumbledore, so its a moot point. Besides I said after we'd tried everything else." Tom sighed, sarcasm lacing his response.

"Oh." Harry blushed sheepishly. "So what do we do now?"

Severus raised his eyebrow and answered. "Now? Now, we wait and eat the food that someone so kindly provided. We wait and prepare to provide our memories as evidence against the muggles. I do hope that Shacklebolt or Tonks aren't in the investigation team. I'd rather not let Dumbledore try and sweep this under the rug... again." So they waited.

Chapter Text

The head of the DMLE, Madam Amelia Bones was surprised to find a house elf waiting for her in her office clutching a roll of parchment. She was also slightly amused to realize that the elf was arguing with her secretary about who he was going to give it too. She waited, unnoticed in the doorway, watching the tablue in bemusement until deciding that enough was enough and cleared her throat. They both jumped in surprise and turned, finally noticing her.

"Missus Head Auror! Dobby has a message for youse! Dobby is only to give it to the Heads of the Departments of Laws Enforcements! Dobby is especially not supposed to give it to Headmaster Dumbledore!" Dobby squeaked, as the secretary glowered at the elf. Hearing this all amusement fled from the situation. As far as Amelia was concerned what the elf had just told her was serious cause for concern.

"I'm the Head of the DMLE." Amelia told the elf bruskly as she took the message from the nodding smiling elf and began to read. It took her a minute or so after finishing the message to understand what she had just read then she paled.

"What is it?" Her secretary asked cautiously, absently noting that it was likely going to be a long night. Neither noticed Dobby leave.

"A request for aid from Potions Master Severus Snape and his bondmates." She practically whispered in horror. "They're being abused by their summer caretakers." Hearing this her secretary went nearly as pale as his boss.

"Should I assemble a team then? Madam Bones?" He asked. At his words Amelia shook herself out of her stupor and shook her head no.

"I'll assemble one myself." She told him firmly, almost grimly. "I want no hint of favoritism or mis-handling. Get me the address of Harry Potter's relatives and their status. We're going to be paying them a visit." The secretary nodded sharply in acknowledgement as Amelia left her office to round up her best Aurors for a raid on the home of the wizarding world's savior. Amelia hoped like hell this was someone overreacting or a false alarm, otherwise it was going to be turned into an utter nightmare. What she didn't expect to find when she left her office was Rita Skeeter hand raised to knock on her office door.

"Yes?" Amelia asked in surprise as Rita slowly lowered her hand from knocking position.

"I have come across some information which might interest you." Rita said eyes shifting back and forth nervously.

"It will have to wait." Amelia told her shortly. "I just received an urgent message that I was on my way to respond to."

"Just a heads up then. I'll be running a special story on Harry Potter and his bondmates shortly. Our deal for not prosecuting me in regards to my lack of registration as well as use of my animagus form was that I bring any... surprises to your attention. I waited on this so that I might have a better understanding of the situation and obtain confirmation of certain facts." Rita suddenly dropped her voice low. "I recieved private permision to print the story however I thought it prudent to request that you secretly check up on Harry Potter and his bondmates, especially prior to publication."

Amelia, who had just began to regain something resembling her normal color paled again and handed Rita the missive that Dobby had delivered for the woman to scan. Rita nodded in acceptance and confirmation of the contents and gave Amelia that look that all women know, before handing the note back and turning around to go.

"Rita." Amelia called after her causing her to pause. "I want a copy of those memories." Rita nodded in acknowledgement and left. Amelia looked around at her curiously watching Aurors and smiled at them grimly.

"Alright people! We've got a problem and a report of possible abuse to one or more magical children! To top it off the situation has complications that we aren't fully aware of yet. Tonks! Shacklebolt! I know that you've been working with Dumbledore to protect Potter. So my question is, Is Potter's residence under Fideldius or not? If so who is the secret keeper? If not what is the address?" Madam Bones demanded, causing both Aurors to go pale.

"No, Madam Bones. As far as we are aware there are bloodwards connected to Lily Potter's willing death in defense of her son and some additional enchantments that the Headmaster established, but the primary defense is the bloodwards. Dumbledore never bothered to explain to anyone what else he did even when we asked." Shacklebolt told his boss honestly, before hesitating then reluctantly providing the address. "As far as Tonks and I am aware the address is Number 4 Private Drive."

"But!" Tonks tried to protest before being shushed by Shacklebolt with a glare.

"We'll discuss your conduct in regards to the Headmaster and the Potter boy later. For now you two will remain here with Thicknesse and Dawlish. You will not inform Headmaster Dumbledore until I say otherwise, and yes, I am wise to your trick with the Patroni." Amelia told them as she moved to get her special gear from her storage cupboard/locker.

"I will be heading this little trip into the muggle neighborhood. I want three standard two man teams. The rest of you can get your paperwork done but be ready to scramble in case we call for reinforcements. You will dress appropriately. I will approach the house with Smith and Jones and inquire about Harry Potter and his bondmates. Depending on the response we will react accordingly. Watch for our cues and don't break down the door without a damned good reason. I want no screw ups. Clear?" There was a murmur of agreement to her commands as her top four teams suited up and the others settled into a nervous but ready wait as the nine Aurors apparated out heading for Number 4 Private Drive.

~

Even as the Aurors apparated to Private Drive the owls were winging their way out with one of the fastest and shortest special editions of the Daily Prophet, in response to Rita's emergency submission. They hadn't even bothered creating a full paper aside from few standard back-up articles. The Daily Prophet had used the emergency assembly and replication charms that a previous owner had come up with. Magically assembling and fusing the available articles and ads into the form of the paper before perfectly replicating them and sending them to either the owls to grab and deliver or to the various locations that physically sold the paper. Building a nightmare of public reaction and outrage for when the Aurors returned.

~

Boy-Who-Lived, Dark Lord, and Potions Master... Abused?

By Rita Skeeter

In an attempt to follow up on the information from the previous article this reporter has come across more disturbing news. Harry James Potter and his bondmates, Severus Tobias Snape and the Dark Lord, are being abused by their caretakers! The same caretakers that Albus Dumbledore placed young Mister Potter with on the day his parents died. This begs the question... Exactly how long has the abuse been occurring?

This reporter was lucky enough, using her newly registered animagus form, to observe some of the abuse first hand as well as a discussion on the circumstances surrounding the situation between the trio. As you read this article bare in mind that this reporter was in her animagus form and due to the nature and limitations of that form was unable to assist in removing the boys from the situation.

This reporter carefully infiltrated the Dursley household and was shocked at what she discovered. The same night that Vernon Dursley picked up his nephew and his nephew's bondmates from Kings Cross, he brutally beat his nephew. In the process the muggle discovered and viciously taking advantage of the fact that the three boys receive one another's pain, and to some extent mirror injuries, through the bond. Mister Potter shockingly acted as if none of this was out of the ordinary and later warned his bondmates that they would be going short on food, if they received any at all.

Now some of you might ask why they did not defend themselves for surely any use of magic under such an assault would qualify as self defense? The answer? Dumbledore confiscated the wands of all three boys before actively informing the muggle of this fact and reminding him of the Law for Restriction of Underage Magic, actively preventing them from being able to defend themselves. People, do we really want a man who does something like this in charge of our children and their schooling?!

Digging further, with full previously obtained permission, this reporter discovered that both Potions Master Severus Snape and the Dark Lord had similar unhappy childhoods and repeatedly sought help from Headmaster Dumbledore. The Dark Lord was often attacked by his caretakers and the other children at the orphanage until his magic forcefully defended him. Severus Snape on the other hand was protected as much as possible by his mother, Eileen Snape nee Prince, from his magic hating muggle father until her premature death. This shows a very stark contrast that is frightening. Both men were abused by magic hating muggles and both men have actively tried to learn anything and everything that would help them defend themselves, including Dark and Black Magic.

There is worse to come. Not only is our Savior being raised in the exact same environment but Petunia Dursley, one of the bonded trio's current muggle caretakers, is fully aware that at least one of the three is a FULLY TRAINED ADULT WIZARD! Having recognized him from when they lived near one another as children. Its bad enough that they seem to be trying to create another insane Dark Lord but to also do this with the full knowledge that one of the boys they are treating this way is actually a de-aged fully trained adult wizard??? It makes me wonder why there are so many restrictions on how and why we can defend ourselves from muggles, and why the Headmaster placed them in such an abominable situation in the first place.

As always, this reporter will continue to investigate the situation.

Chapter Text

The sharp cracks of apparation echoed down Private Drive startling Dudley and his gang from their game tormenting one of Mrs. Figg's cats in front of Number 4 Private Drive, making them look up to see the group of adults suddenly there. They just stared at the Aurors for a moment as the Aurors stared back and the cat thankful, for the interruption slipped away. Then Dudley managed to put two and two together as dawning comprehension showed on his face. He bolted for the front door to his house bawling a warning to his parents, leaving his friends to follow or not. Petunia heard her son calling out and after glancing out the window to see him running from a group of oddly dressed people, she quickly pulled him into the house and locked the front door.

Vernon on the other hand was dealing with the three boys up in Harry's room. He had abruptly decided that morning that he wanted Harry to clean out the garage and Severus to mow the lawn, while Tom would be trapped in the room to help keep them in line. That all changed when he unlocked the room to find the three scrambling to shove the food and homework back into Harry's trunk and the trunk under the bed. To say he was less then pleased would be an understatement. Vernon was red with rage, bordering on purple as he started shouting.

"You ungrateful freaks! You dare steal food from my table! Especially when we give you more than enough food from our table and a roof over your heads out of the goodness of our hearts?!" Vernon demanded, even as he entered the room slamming the door behind him.

"Fuck." Severus breathed as they all backed as far away from the big man as possible.

"~I thought that he had locked us in for a couple of days.~" Tom hissed, slipping into parseltounge, forgetting that Sev probably wouldn't be able to understand it.

"~He must have thought of something that he wants us to do.~" Harry hissed back in the same language as Sev nodded his agreement. None of them noticed that Severus understood what was said, especially since none of them dared move their eyes from the enraged whale of a man towering over them.

"I'll teach you to take food from our table!" Vernon raged, even as he took another menacing step toward the trio before he reached out and tried to backhand all three. Harry and Tom managed to duck but Severus wasn't quite fast enough and received a blow from his temple across his cheek. This immediately started a nice bright bruise forming across the face of all three, even as the effect of the blow sent them down, sprawling into each other and made them dizzy. That's when they all heard Dudley cry out and Petunia slam the door.

"Vernon!" She screeched up the stairs, even as she continued eying the front door.

"I'll be down in a moment, Pet!" Vernon called back even as he glared at the trio. He sent a vicious parting kick to Tom's ribs, before leaving them groaning on the floor, as he turned to head down and deal with whatever his wife was shouting about, locking the door behind him.

"We're definitely in for a beating later." Harry hissed out, trying to ignore the pain and dizziness.

"If whatever Tuney was shouting about isn't the help we called for or they manage to send them away. Its a miracle that none of us have been killed yet." Sev corrected, biting back his own hiss of pain. "I never realized that you literally didn't have the chance to do your work until you left here. Clearly I need to go back over your other summer work and re-grade it."

"Now is not the time for a distraction Severus." Tom scolded, finally getting his breath back. "We have to find a way for the three of us to get away. Unless whatever the harridan was shouting about is the Aurors we clearly don't have time to wait for help."

They all froze when they heard Vernon shouting about "trespassing freaks!" and that he was going to "call the police". Then something was said by someone. Vernon responded by shouting. "There is NO Harry Potter here! Why can't you freaks just leave us alone!" Taking his cue from Vernon's shout Severus took as large a breath as possible with his newly bruised ribs and shouted.

"Up here! We're up here!" Severus called out, his bondmates joining him after a moment of hesitation as they got to their feet. Then they heard feet pounding up the stairs.

"Bastard! Check the other rooms while I get this one open. Lets hope they aren't in here." A someone ordered on the other side of the door.

"We're in here." Harry called one more time causing whoever was on the other side of the door to curse before casting "Alohomora!" as the door burst open, much to the trio's relief.

The first Auror took one look at the three and shouted down the stairs. "We need a medi-witch up here!"

His partner hurried over to them and started looking them over, muttering about muggles and how no young wizard or witch should have to live with them. Even as the first Auror watched the doorway and hall warily, trying to keep his fury in check.

"Stow it Marcus!" Then the first Auror ordered sharply. "Why do you think Madam Bones moved so fast?"

"So the elf took it to the right person after all." Severus said in relief.

"I told you Dobby would deliver it." Harry told his bondmate.

"Yes, and if you hadn't been trying to help us keep our tempers through the bloody bond we would have thought of trying to send a message sooner." Sev retorted.

"Severus!" Tom scolded. "We've already discussed this. Harry's sorry. He didn't know that it was having a sedative effect. The fact that he even figured out how to do that just from us feeling each other's emotions and pain, with the mirror injuries is remarkable. We still don't know much about the bond."

That's when a medi-witch bustled in and started running diagnostic spells over the three of them. Both the watching Aurors and the medi-witch trained Auror however became appalled at the steadily lengthening parchments. Severus glanced at the floating parchments as he watched the words form, automatically growing them as needed.

"I take it you're scanning our medical history and any other injuries magical or otherwise our bodies have sustained over the years?" Severus asked dryly.

Severus, however was still watching the parchments with growing concern. His and Tom's parchments had stopped growing and split into various year ranges. Harry's however didn't seem to be even slowing down. The parchment finally slowed down and stopped growing after another 5 min. leaving a stack of parchment for Harry that was double the size of his bondmate's own stacks. Tom quickly pulled Harry into his arms and grabbed Sev's arm, pulling him closer, even as he glared at the Aurors.

"This is one of the reasons why I wanted us to fully separate from the damned muggles." Tom gritted out. "Unless you want me to steal someone's wand and go after them right now we need to leave."

"Of course." Amelia Bones said from the doorway, then she looked right at the piles of parchment and her face darkened. "If I have my way none of you will ever step foot in this house again and whoever sent you here in the first place will be spending a long time in Azkaban."

"You'll be lucky if you can get any kind of conviction on Dumbledore. He's probably going to do his best to try and send us back here. Anyone tries that and we'll either disappear or actively go after both the Dursleys and the one who wants us here." Severus threatened.

"No killing!" Harry ordered his bondmates, yet again.

"Harry, the moment he hit you that whale was going to die." Tom said darkly. "The only reason we didn't retaliate in kind, at minimum, is because we didn't have the ability to. I can't even perform wandless magic at the moment and I've been able to, to one extent or another, since I was 5. Neither Severus nor I will stand for someone hurting someone we care about, muchless our bondmate and regardless of how much they've taught you to believe that you deserve their treatment."

"Did anyone else hear them say anything?" The first Auror asked lightly.

"I don't know what you heard Antonio but I heard them say they would defend themselves and each other." Marcus said equally as lightly.

"As did I." Amelia agreed before ordering. "Harris, make certain that the department has a copy of those reports and make absolutely sure they don't get misplaced or walk off, and stash some back-ups in Gringotts will you? I'll need a copy to give to St. Mungo's for after they've done their own scans. You two side-along apparate them to St. Mungo's while I deal with the muggles. If Tonks and Shacklebolt knew about this..." With that she turned and headed back down the stairs to deal with the Dursleys even as she heard the crack of apparation from the room behind her.

Chapter Text

The receptionist was still staring at Rita's front page article in the special edition of the Prophet that had just arrived 10 minutes ago when the Aurors apparated into the lobby with three boys. Taking one last glance at the paper she looked up at them. A moment later her eyes widened as she realized who exactly was standing in front of her even as she scrambled around the reception desk.

"Do you need a healer immediately or can you wait for me to get the Head Healer?" She practically squeaked out her question

"I still don't think we needed to come to the hospital. I've been hurt worse." Harry grumbled.

"You don't get a choice." Tom retorted even as Severus sighed in exasperation.

"You're forgetting that we can feel how much pain you're in and that if one of us gets hurt than so do the others. Tom and I may have been the ones to get hit this time but that doesn't explain why the diagnostic spell the Auror cast provided a medical history twice the size of ours. I also know for a fact that it included our histories for before whatever happened at the leaving feast, especially since Tom's history was more than a page or two that came from us only being at the Dursleys for a little over a month." Severus reminded their young bondmate severely. Harry just pouted and ducked his head sheepishly.

"One of the larger examining rooms then and the Head Healer." The receptionist decided. "It will take me a few minutes to track him down."

"That's fine." Harris hastily assured her as she escorted them to an examining room. "I need to confer with him about the results of my scan any way. None of the injuries are immediately life threatening." She nodded, sent a look of sympathy at the boys and left them in one of the larger examining rooms. Shutting the door behind her, and planning to make the healer read the article before letting him anywhere near the boys, muchless treating them. Harry sat on the examining table between his two protectively positioned bondmates, swinging his legs back and forth, much to their consternation.

"How did you get through the wards?" Tom asked curiously as Sev watched Harry out of the corner of his eye.

"Whatever wards and enchantments there were originally aren't there any more. There was barely a trace of warding magic when we apparated into the street, muchless proper wards." Marcus told them disgustedly.

"I thought that our bond with Harry was masking the wards from my senses." Severus explained darkly. "We were sent there, supposedly because it was the best place to protect Harry and we had to go with him. Tom? Did you sense anything?"

Tom thought a moment before answering. "Not from the house, no." He said slowly. "But do you remember how we discovered the personality and perception spells? The ones that were on us and broke?"

"Yes, but what does that have to do with..." Sev asked, trailing off as he saw Tom glance in Harry's direction. "How many more enchantments do you think were placed on the three of us? I didn't pick up anything off those blasted muggles."

"Its not like we had a chance to check for anything muchless dispel them, especially without our wands." Tom reminded him with a shrug.

"I don't think they'll be able to keep us from being sent back." Harry told them in quiet misery as his bondmates stared at him. "And we're going to pay big time when Uncle Vernon gets us back home."

"Don't tell me that you actually consider that place home?" Severus demanded, as Harry wilted a bit more under Sev's harsh tone before rallying.

"That place was never home!" Harry spat, then answered the implied question more softly. "Hogwarts is home."

"I don't think," Tom said carefully, remembering how touchy he had been when Dumbledore had forcefully told him that Hogwarts wasn't his home when he, himself had said nearly the same thing while in school. "there's much we can do about it now. Dumbledore moved too fast and effectively for us to go anywhere else at the time. Despite the fact that I am no longer insane, nor want you dead, which should have allowed us to stay elsewhere, de-aged or not."

"Uh, just out of curiosity... why are we ignoring the people who came and got us?" Harry asked, changing the subject and completely ignoring Tom's comment on their placement, as well as resisting the thought of what Dumbledore might be doing or trying to do to them.

"Please, continue. The three of you are very entertaining." Harris informed them with great amusement, earning a glare from two of the three.

"Mr. Potter, aside from the fact that we pulled you out of that hellhole, you are bonded to at least one person who was placed on trial as a Death Eater. Do you honestly think our boss wouldn't have our hides if we simply dropped you off here and left?" Antonio commented dryly. " That's not even counting the fact that you are considered the Savior of the Wizarding World. Even more so if Rita's latest articles are to be believed."

"What did she write? We haven't been able to get our hands on the Prophet since leaving Hogwarts." Harry asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

"I wonder how she phrased that little interview I gave?" Tom mused aloud as Severus snorted at the thought of the beetle animagus.

"If she doesn't want to find herself at the wrong end of your wand she'll have registered her animagus status and actually confirmed the facts we gave her, without twisting them, before sending it off for printing." Sev responded dryly. Then the three Aurors to stiffened in sudden realization and looked at Tom in horror. Seeing their expressions Tom sighed.

"Let me say this slowly and clearly. I AM NOT INSANE ANY-MORE." Tom told them slowly and deliberately. "I also very much doubt that I can go insane again without some extreme magical measures being taken, not being bonded to these two." He jerked his head toward his bondmates.

"No, not the type of insanity from before anyway." Severus agreed before warning. "But the brat might drive us to another kind of insanity if we can't get him to give up at least some of his Gryffindor stunts."

"I'll be the judge of anyone's sanity." The Head Healer said bruskly as he came through the door to the examining room and glanced at the occupants. "I apologize for how long it took me. The receptionist insisted that I read the latest article from that Skeeter woman before coming in here. Have a look while I check over the boys." He handed the latest Special Edition of the Prophet off to the Aurors, who upon seeing it either groaned or swore.

"What?" Harry demanded as the healer waved his wand all over and around the trio.

"Skeeter published your situation before we found out and came to get you." Marcus told him dourly as he glared at the paper in his hand.

"Its almost as if she timed it to go out at almost the exact moment we raided that, can it even be called a house?"Antonio told them making Harry snicker and his bondmates smirk, even as the Head Healer frowned at them before turning on the trio with an arched eyebrow.

"I take it that Skeeter's article is, for once, correct?" He asked the trio archly.

"I don't know. I haven't read it yet." Harry told the man innocently, to which the healer harrumphed and went back to scanning them with a slight frown.

"Who did the preliminary scan and what was the spell used?" He asked the Aurors.

"I did. I used Revelio De Corporis. I know its not the best one to assess current injuries but our information was that not all of the concerning injuries were recent." Harris informed the healer. "We needed the most complete record to move forward against the muggles and we're going to need copies of the memories of these young men to go with the medical records."

"Training? Certification." The healer demanded.

"Medi-witch." Harris told him promptly as he handed over the stack of parchments that his own scan had originally spat out.

"Hmm... good thing you didn't use the Aperio/Aperire variation, that could have literally opened the body wide. Especially with the magical bond and how much magic the three of them appear to have." Hearing this the trio paled and eyed Harris warily.

"That's one of the reasons why I didn't. That and the fact that they are subject to an unknown magical bond. I figured that a passive history scan would get just about everything we need and you lot could do something more adventuress." Harris explained, nodding in understanding. Looking over the stacks of parchment the healer sighed in resignation and turned back to the boys.

"Alright, which of you is the Dark Lord?" He asked bluntly.

"I am." Tom said simply, to which the healer grunted and started more in depth scans, occasionally refering to Harry's stack of parchments.

"Why are you looking at Potter's medical history after scanning the Dark Lord?" Sev asked with a smirk, restraining the urge to verbally castrate the man. The healer looked at Sev in shock and glanced toward a suddenly very shy Harry, trying to hide from the man's gaze between his bondmates.

"You can't be serious." The Head Healer demanded horsely.

"Sorry." Harry said meekly, as both Sev and Tom glowered at his apology and slight flinch before muttered about "stupid fat muggle"s and "manipulative old coots" then taking turns hugging the younger boy in a comforting and protective manner.

"As far as we know there are no spells, charms, curses, enchantments, or any other magic aside from the bond and Sev's tattoo on the three of us." Tom explained patiently. "Harry did, however, manage to break at least two unknown spells on the both of us when he healed my soul, body, and sanity during the resurrection ritual at the end of the Triwizard Tournament. What we know about the bond is that it was triggered by an unknown potion dropped on Harry by Peeves during the leaving feast. What the potion was originally designed for, any side effects, its original shelf life, and how long it has been since brewing are all currently a mystery."

"We have been threatened should we attempt to either seek help regarding the potion and bond or attempt to research it ourselves." Sev told the healer softly, as he pulled a suddenly miserable Harry into his arms.

"Which is one of the reasons, along with the very sudden time constraint, that we allowed ourselves to be sent to Harry's relatives for the summer." Tom offered. "All three of us are to one extent or another used to such treatment and thought that we could handle it and help each other. We didn't account for what the bond might do. From what I can tell the bond is either still developing or it changed to try and get us to protect one another more effectively, allowing us to feel or mirror the pain and injuries the others experience as well as sense each other's emotions."

"Sharing of emotions, pain, and injuries to one extent or another. Anything else?" The Healer asked as he noted the information into a suddenly joint file for the three of them.

"We can't go very far from each other." Harry added softly.

"Calming emotions and thoughts can be sent along the bond, though it did manifest with a slight sedative effect when stumbled upon." Sev told the Healer as he eyed the blushing young serpent-lion still in his arms.

"We're more understanding and aware of one another as well as protective if not downright possessive of each other." Tom admitted. "Though both Sev and I have done our best to keep the possessive aspect reigned in. I'm not certain about Harry, he's fairly good at hiding things."

"~Anything else?~" Harry hissed unthinkingly at Tom.

"~Nothing that I can think of.~" Sev answered absently in parsletounge, causing the two to whip around and stare at him in shock.

"What?" Severus asked uncomfortably.

"You just spoke in parsletounge." Tom said carefully. In response Severus' face went suddenly blank.

"Sharing of magical abilities, then." The Healer noted that down as well, before waving a complicated Celtic knot pattern over the three while mutter in welsh. He nodded at the results and made another notation before turning to the Aurors and explaining a bit. "There is a large amount of evidence that the Dark Lord was indeed insane and that either the resurrection ritual or the bonding its self has not only stabilized him but rapidly healed a good number of the wounds on both soul and mind even as his body was restored. Any attempts to separate the three or dissolve the bond is a recipe for disaster and may well drive all three of them mad while allowing them to draw from each other's power. The end result would be worse than the first war with the Dark Lord." Causing the Aurors to look at the trio in both relief and concern.

"The magical tattoo which was mentioned has in fact dissolved, from what I can tell and is its self now a part of the bond that the unknown potion triggered. As a result a tattoo representing the bond its self may appear sooner or later on the three. The bond its self is still forming, as all three are still physically in puberty will likely develop a sexual aspect, and should be allowed to form naturally. I will write out a medical authorization to prevent any... misunderstandings about this aspect of the bond and the fact that while both Professor Snape and the Dark Lord are physically at least 16 and thus of age for such activities, Mr. Potter, according to the scans, has only turned 15 a few days ago." The Head Healer explained.

Hearing this Harry sat up properly and pouted a bit at missing his birthday because Vernon had hit him hard enough to knock him out and give the other two massive headaches a few days ago. From what little Harry could remember his bondmates had likely been too busy protecting him and getting chores done to remember that it was his birthday, even if he had been awake.

"Provided the bond qualifies as a marriage bond, if I'm remembering the inheritance and marriage laws correctly, they would be exempt from that restriction. Assuming of course that the marriage was properly filed and the groom, or grooms in this case, were at least 12, 14 for girls." Marcus mused. "Come to think of it, when was the last time that law was updated? 145..6? Yeah, something like that. 1456."

Antonio looked at his partner strangely and muttered. "Bylaw nut."

Marcus bumped him and pointed out. "Hey. My hobby has not only saved our arses on more than one case but it helped us get more than one idiot scumbag into Azkaban that would have otherwise walked free." Antonio grunted in acknowledgement but didn't say anything else.

"Actually come to think of it... Mr. Potter, you were a participant in the Triwizard Tournament? That little fact automatically and magically conveyed adult status to you. I wonder why the Headmaster didn't tell you." Marcus said thoughtfully, as he eyed the now wide-eyed trio. Two of which began scowling and muttering again about manipulative interfering old men. On the other hand, Antonio, hearing all of this, brightened.

"Hey! That means we can add unlawful imprisonment and kidnapping to the abuse charges, and charge the old man while we're at it!" Antonio said gleefully.

"After I've taken a proper look at some of the spell work on these three and gotten rid of some of it, not to mention patched them back together." The Healer growled out.

"So we are be-spelled." Sev said softly.

The Head Healer nodded stiffly before answering properly. "Two of you managed to break some of the more vicious damaging enchantments sometime within the last two months. Mr. Potter however has a good many bindings on him, including bindings on his raw power level and one or two on certain aptitudes. I can remove or lessen the hold they have but for a proper clensing you'll need to go to Gringotts and pay the goblins."

"Do it." Tom ordered before nodding at Sev as they both each grabbed one of Harry's arms to hold him still. Startled Harry froze, as the healer began waving a complicated pattern over his head and along his body, chanting in a mix of Greek and Egyptian, ending with a brilliant flash of golden light, and causing the Healer to pale.

"Gold. He flashed gold. Pure Gold." The Healer muttered in shock.

"What does that mean Healer?" Harris asked cautiously.

"He's utterly pure of heart." The Healer absently answered, still staring at Harry in shock as he glared and irritably shook off his bondmates' suddenly slack grip.

The next second they all heard the sound of breaking glass as Harry's newly released magic shattered the privacy and silencing spells embedded in the material that the room was made from. They all looked at Harry who blushed and tried to hide between his bondmates again as he muttered, "Sorry".

Suddenly, they all heard the crack of someone apparating into the lobby and frantic voices. Everyone in the room was very suddenly trying to make out what was being said on the other side of the door, and slightly grateful for Harry's bout of accidental magic that had taken down the privacy spells a moment before. They could hear various arguments and shouts for a healer. Someone almost shouted out the word "Dementor!" before the sounds quieted and they were unable to hear anything beyond the room's walls. The healer swiftly erected temporary privacy spells but before they could move on someone burst into the examining room, looking around frantically before they saw the three boys.

"Do you mind?! This is a medical examination and whatever they were ill with or their magic could just as easily have lashed out and killed you!" The Head Healer scolded in complete outrage, as the Auror slumped in the doorway in relief.

"They're in here!" The Auror called to the others before turning back to the Head Healer. "There were Dementors in the area we pulled these three from and someone tried to put up anti-apparation wards while we were still there. We had to make sure they had at least gotten away. The blasted things just showed up out of nowhere in the middle of a muggle neighborhood. Normally the only thing magical that would have been in the area was those three. At least one squib got Kissed while we were there and before we knew what was happening."

White as a sheet, Harry asked quietly. "Do you know who it was?"

"Sorry kid. Our priority was to contain the Dementors and evacuate. Just be glad that muggles can't be kissed or feel most of the aurora of those damned things." The Auror told him not even bothering to check which of the boys had spoken, even as Amelia Bones poked her head around the door to check for herself that they were there, safe and sound.

"Hi ya, boss! Heard you ran into some Dementors. They any trouble?" Antonio asked cheerfully.

"Not as much trouble as they could have been, despite the one Kissed squib. They really weren't expecting a nearly full squad of Aurors there." Then she looked directly at Tom. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about this, would you?"

Tom snorted in amused disgust at the question then answered after Harry poked him between two ribs. "How? I went from where I was staying to suddenly the Great Hall in Hogwarts and then I was bustled onto the train and had to spend the intervening time trapped with my bondmates under the care of abusive muggles."

Amelia nodded. "I had to ask. Healer, I'm going to need a magic sealed record of any and all damage or injuries and their duration for the record and submission to the Wizengamot when you're done." That's when the Head Healer finally lost his temper.

"OUT! Out! I will discuss it with you after I've finished my examination! Not before! I accepted the three Aurors because they had either done the on-site scan or were clearly standing in as guardians due to extenuating circumstances. No more! Everyone else out of the examination room!" The Healer practically shouted and almost physically throwing the new arrivals out of the room and turning irritably back to finish the examination.

Chapter Text

Just as they left St. Mungo's with the Aurors one of the healers got a good look at their joint file, including the address of the Dursleys. He brought up the point that the Prophet would likely demand a statement from them over the trio; And wouldn't it be better if they issued an official statement to the effect that they had been brought in by the Aurors and treated, as well as providing an official report as to the previous and current status on the Dark Lord to ease the minds of the public. The Head Healer considered this and agreed provided that the information, including the address and names of their recent caretakers were "leaked" as well.

"How could you not have noticed that the mark was gone?" Tom demanded suddenly turned on Severus, as they walked into the connected muggle department store that was also concealed and a designated apparation and portkey area.

"Sorry, My Lord. I was having trouble with the various bruises and worry over my bondmates to worry too much about a fading mark that, until recently hasn't even been all that dark!" Severus snarled back. "Forgive me if I thought that the current situation was more important, especially since I no longer had to worry about a madman suddenly summoning and Crucioing me if I was 5 minutes late!"

Tom took a step back, startled at Sev's vehemence and asked quietly. "Was I really that bad?"

"Worse." Severus told him shortly before moving past him to keep following the Aurors. Harry had to grab a stunned Tom and drag him along so that the bond wouldn't pull Sev up short. The Aurors on the other hand studiously ignored the interchange, but stayed within 20 ft. of the trio.

"I screwed up badly, didn't I?" Tom asked Harry quietly.

"From the way Sev just reacted? Probably. I only fought you twice and neither time took more than, what? Half an hour? Sev needs some time to realize that something is really different and that you aren't being nice just 'cuz it would make the situation easier or protect you better." Harry told his bondmate gently. This caused Tom to shake off Harry's hold and come up behind Sev, stopping them both as he hugged his bondmate from behind.

"All I can say is that I'm sorry. I'm mostly healed now, thanks to both you and Harry. The three of us are bonded and aside from a meddling old coot and a lack of wands we don't have that much to worry about. What happened at the Dursleys and in the graveyard wasn't a fluke. You'd know that if you thought about it. Try to remember the madman is gone, but your bondmate has taken his place. I wont make you bow. I wont hurt you if I can avoid it. I wont make you hurt someone else or brew potions that you don't really want to make. And we have a wonderful third who has saved both of us. Lets try again." Tom offered quietly.

In response Severus' iron control finally broke down and he began sobbing, even as Harry moved to join the hug and they just stood there in front of St. Mungo's as Severus cried in both grief and relief. His war against a madman was finally over. A couple of minutes later one of the Aurors cleared his throat nervously, bringing the trio back to the real world. Then one of the Aurors offered them a portkey which, when finally activated, took them all to the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley.

Their first stop was Madam Malkins, all three were quite happy to be back in wizarding attire even if they wound up ordering 3 full wardrobes. Harry was quite happy to order the clothes for his bondmates and tell them that they were using his vault to pay, until they both ambushed him and made him order a proper wardrobe for himself as well. They were very smug, having finally convinced their bondmate that he not only could but actually needed a new set of clothes to wear. Both Tom and Sev were planning on dragging him to a muggle shopping mall for a set of proper muggle clothes as soon as they could manage it. One of their stops, at the insistence of Madam Bones after she had read the preliminary guardianship copy of their medical records, was to be Olivanders; But Tom pointed out that with many of the enchantments still in place it might interfere with the wands choosing them. As a result their second stop was Gringotts.

"Getting a wand is important." Tom insisted as he led his bondmates and their escort through the entry to Gringotts. "But its almost more important to make certain that your magic, both core and pathways, aren't being interfered with first because it can alter how you interact with a wand."

"Just don't insult the goblins." Harry snickered, not really taking this seriously and missing his holly wand.

"Brat." Sev told him in exasperation, still loving the feel of his new black robes. He hadn't allowed himself new robes in years.

"Yes, but I'm your brat." Harry told them cheekily.

"Its good to see them acting so happy isn't it Antonio?" Marcus asked glibly.

"Ah, yes! It certainly is. Long illnesses can be soooo draining and if it runs long enough people will forget either that the person is ill, that it isn't the person's fault, or both." Antonio responded lightly. "Its even worse if the damage has been left untreated for one reason or another and the person was left to function as best as possible on their own."

"Yes, yes, yes. I was an idiot for not letting them check me over and treat the side effects of the improperly performed magic." Tom snapped back in exasperation. "The healer cleared me as long as the bond is intact. I get it already."

"What did he mean when he said..." Harry blushed and couldn't finish his question.

"It means that we don't have to stop ourselves from snogging you silly any more brat, and before your mind goes there he did say that it would develop, not that it already had. Which means that right now our feelings and deciding if we want to snog you or not is not the bond." Sev told his bondmate archly. "I don't suppose that it occurred to you that after we learned more accurate facts about you, we now might actually care?"

Harry ducked his head in embarrassment and muttered. "I know you care. I can feel it along the bond. Its why I tried so hard to help at the Dursleys."

"Another thing we have to work on, then." Tom said sourly. "Those muggles are dead if I can get my hands on them."

"No killing." Harry reminded them firmly, to their great exasperation and the amusement of their escorts as they approached one of the goblins at their equivalent of a front desk. Before anything could be said on either side there was a loud bark and something like a big black blur barreled into Harry knocking him over. By the time that both the two other boys and the Aurors had managed to not only figure out where Harry was and what he was knocked over by, a rather large black dog was practically sitting on a laughing Harry and licking his face very enthusiastically.

"Snuffles!" Harry cried in delight. "Get off. We're in the middle of Gringotts."

Seeming to understand the teenager the dog gave one last giant lick and sat down beside the grinning boy, tongue lolling from his mouth in a giant doggy grin. Before turning to the rest of the group as Harry got back to his feet. When he saw Severus the dog gave a low growl until Harry tapped him lightly on the nose. When the dog looked at him questioningly Harry shook his head no and gave a very pointed look that clearly said "Behave" to the animagus.

"The mutt." Sev said in disgust as he moved toward his bondmate. "Harry leave the mutt to go sniff his own arse or whatever they do. We have to get those enchantments off you."

Upon hearing this Sirus Black aka Snuffles growled both at Severus' approach, stopping him in his tracks, and the thought of his godson under any enchantments. Next he gently took Harry's wrist in his mouth and started pulling him over to the goblin that had been about to lead him into one of the private meeting chambers, who was patiently waiting for him. Harry stood his ground, knowing that the dog wouldn't hurt him, until the dog looked at him almost questioningly.

"I can't go anywhere without Sev and Tom, Snuffles. We have a magical bond and its got a distance limit." Harry told the dog almost apologetically. "The Aurors came and got us from the Dursleys. I'll explain it better later." The dog growled in frustration and gave another slight tug on Harry's wrist. Then he saw his godson's expression of stubbornness and let go to move around behind him and physically shove Harry toward the still waiting goblin.

"Mutt, he was serious. We have to go with him." Severus pointed out, as he and the rest of the group followed Harry and the dog, almost warily.

"So, what do you think? Is the dog magical, magically smart, or an animagus? And if its an animagus who do you think it is?" Marcus asked dryly.

"If Rita's article is to be believed about Pettigrew being the one to kill the Diggory boy..." Madam bones began.

"He was. Or at the very least I saw the rat alive and well when I retrieved Harry." Severus interrupted shortly.

"Then I wouldn't be surprised if that dog is a self transfigured Sirus Black." Amelia continued ignoring the interruption. "From all accounts he and the other, so called Marauders were fairly good at Transfiguration. If he just so happens to be an unregistered animagus, well there's a fine and mandatory registration if we can catch him, and then there's the fact that he'll have to be put on trial for escaping Azkaban, and resisting arrest. Of course if we can get legal copies of his testimony... come to think of it was the man ever actually put on trial? And who did I put on checking that? I dimly remember some mention of his lack of trial in Rita's article touting the Dark Lord's return to sanity."

"Really? Good. We'll have to get our hands on that copy of the Prophet at some point as well. I need to know if I have to follow up on my threat." Tom said casually as he continued walking beside Sev as they followed a smiling Harry and the dog that was still gently pushing him along.

"No killing!" Harry called back in annoyance at Tom's casual comment, to which Tom just sighed and shared a look with Sev. When they finally reached the waiting goblin Snuffles moved in front of the group and gave the goblin a meaningful look. From the way the goblin nodded it was clear that this was not the first exchange the two had conducted.

"Follow me please." The goblin told them. Harry paused, though, making the entire group stop abruptly so that they wouldn't crash into him and causing both dog and goblin to look at him in confusion. Harry on the other hand just made eye contact with the goblin and gave a half bow as he addressed the goblin.

"May your gold flow and your enemies tremble at your feet, and may we both prosper from this transaction." Harry told him formally, causing the eyes of the goblin to go wide and every goblin in hearing range to stop working and stare at the boy in complete shock, waiting with baited breath for the attending goblin's response.

"May your gold flow and your enemies tremble before you, may we both prosper from this transaction. I am Gnarl." The goblin responded almost horsely, after a moments hesitation, even as one of his fellows quickly went looking for one of the more powerful managers to meet them in the meeting room. The other goblins returned to their business but not without continuing to keep a weather eye on the vastly interesting group of wizards and dog.

"I am Harry Potter." Harry responded politely with a nod, doing nothing to alleviate the confusion of the rest of the group. "Would you mind dealing with Snuffles' business privately before addressing our business? It might solve a few problems." Gnarl hesitated looking between the dog and the boy before nodding shortly and leading them to one of the more ornate meeting rooms with an attached side chamber. There they were met by an obviously much more important goblin.

"I am Uthgard, manager of Gringotts. Both Gnarl and I will be assisting you with any business you may have today." Uthgard told them, as he unlocked the meeting room and led them inside. Gnarl immediately led Snuffles into the side chamber to address his business, leaving the others with Uthgard.

"How may I help you this day?" Uthgard inquired politely to the point of unnerving everyone except Harry.

"It has come to our attention that I and my bondmates either are or recently have been under multiple long term powerful enchantments." Harry told him formally, indicating both Sev and Tom as his bondmates. "We were hoping that Gringotts and your people would be able and willing to assist us in a cleansing to remove any unwanted enchantments and possibly re-affirm our various positions and status. The Aurors were kind enough to provide escort due to extenuating circumstances."

"Of course, young wizard. What would you like to attempt first?" Uthgard responded graciously and in a still pleasant tone, continuing to enjoy the confusion of the rest of the group.

"Harry? Might I suggest the cleansing first?" Tom offered his bondmate quietly, having come to the conclusion that it would be better to let his young bondmate handle the goblins. "Some of the older and darker enchantments can interfere with an inheritance detection and have some nasty side effects."

"It will also tell us which of the potion regimens that the Healer recommended the three of us will have to follow by eliminating if not all then at least some of the enchantments." Severus told them consideringly.

"Provided that you are choosing one of the less costly cleansing ceremonies." Uthgard agreed. "Most of our best and most costly cleansing ceremonies have magical guarantees and compensations attached to them." Harry considered for a moment before asking something that had been bothering him since that first time that Hagrid brought him to Gringotts.

"I know its a bit strange to ask, especially now, but the sign, on the entrance? Its not just a warning is it? It has some sort of spell or enchantment on not just the sign but in the words as well doesn't it?" Harry asked softly before quoting the poem at the entrance word for word.

"Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there."

 

Uthgard looked at Harry for a long moment before nodding slightly and answering. "Yes, young wizard. It does."

"Thank you. That's been bothering me since I first saw the plaque 5 years ago. At the time and every time since then I didn't get the chance to ask." Harry said softly with a nod at the goblin's answer, before switching back to the original topic. "I don't currently have my key but I own Vault 687. Would what is currently in the vault cover the cost of one of your better cleansing ceremonies?"

"What do you mean you don't have your key?" Sev asked, startled.

"Hagrid had it that first time then whoever was taking me shopping that year. I've never actually physically held my key." Harry told him with a shrug. "I think Dumbledore keeps it most of the time." With a wordless snarl Tom pulled Harry closer to him even as Sev flanked them, guarding the opposite side.

"We would like a complete audit of all of the Potter holdings, especially Vault 687 since October 1, 1980. We may ask for an audit extending further back at a later time. Mr. Potter was unaware he had a vault of any kind or any sort of holdings until... When was it Harry?" Tom said softly.

"I didn't know about Vault 687 until July 31, 1991, my 11th birthday, when Hagrid brought me here to get money for my school supplies." Harry said quietly. "And what do you mean other holdings?" The last question caused Severus to start cursing softly under his breath before trailing off into a moody silence as Uthgard became grim at the implications and nodded.

"I will review the terms we have on file in regards to both Vault 687 and any other Potter holdings we may over see. We take a dim view of goblin mismanagement of wizarding affairs. Should there be discrepancies found Gringotts will take appropriate action on your behalf. Due to the possibility of fault on our part any payment of the cleansing ritual will be suspended until the audit is complete and you have been tested for any other inheritances. Which, upon discovery, will also be audited due to the possible situation with the Potter Accounts." Uthgard said gravely. "We will suspend any currently active keys for your vaults and provide you each with a new one."

"That's not necessary. Just cancel all active vault keys and access until you're done." Sirus in human form said from the doorway of the side chamber with Gnarl standing next to him and both were ignoring the suddenly drawn wands. "I just made Harry my heir. They need anything I want the money drawn from the Black Vaults at the very least until this is sorted out."

"Black." Sev sneered, inclining his head.

"Snivellus." Sirus sneer back, before turning to the Aurors. "I'll come quietly but I want a word with my heir and I want to know exactly how extensive the bond is."

"The healer at St. Mungo's said that if anyone tries to break it then the three of them will go mad but still be able to draw on one another's magic. He also said that they're powerful enough that if the bond breaks or is damaged badly enough the result will be worse than the war. Especially now that the Dark Lord is part of the bond and its keeping him sane. They can feel one another's pain and emotions. They also can't physically go far from each other. Anything else you'll have to take up with them. Your rights as godfather don't extend further since you aren't the godfather to the other two." Marcus offered and Sirus nodded his acceptance before turning to Harry, who was being kept back and between his two bondmates, much to his exasperation.

"Harry, pup, do you want this?" Sirus asked in all seriousness.

"They are mine and I am theirs. Even successfully and safely braking the bond now wouldn't change that." Harry said softly. "Whether you like it or not they're now a part of my life, and just like you I wont abandon them unless they reject me first." Harry's quiet words stunned his bondmates and when they came back to themselves a moment later they drew him into a joint hug between them. Then they glared at Lord Black over Harry, defying him with their glares to try and take their bondmate from them. Sirus nodded to them, acknowledging their claim to his godson and heir.

"I presume that you're going shopping after this little bank visit? Mind if I come with? Since I'm turning myself in any way, I might as well cop to being an unregistered animagus and pay the fine." Sirus told them, his eyes never leaving Harry.

"Form? Coloring? Identifying marks?" Amelia asked quickly, not really believing what she was hearing and seeing since they had decided to Raid the Dursleys early that morning.

"You've already seen my animagus form." Sirus told her ruefully, still ignoring the Auror wands trained on him. "I was that black dog earlier. You can even put a leash on me while we shop, if you like."

"Something always puzzled me once I heard about your escape, why did you wait so long and why didn't you ever check up on Harry?" Tom asked the man.

"Part of it was guilt. I was the one to convince Lily and James that you would never think that Peter might be the secret keeper. I had no idea that he was already in your service at the time. For that matter if that bloody rat gets any where near my godson, then bondmate or not I will find some way to hurt you and Snivellus." Sirus told him with a touch of the well known Black family madness lighting his eyes as he delivered his threat, before it abruptly faded and he continued. "The other part was that we all trusted the wrong person, Dumbledore. From what I heard a few minutes ago you've learned that he isn't all happiness, unicorns, and light. My condolences on your shattered illusions. The old bastard is rather good at getting people to believe in him and his words."

"He decided that it would be a good idea to cast me as the villian from the start. Even during first year at Hogwarts." Tom practically snarled out still hugging Harry close to him and taking a firm grip on Sev who was still on Harry's other side. "Now that my sanity has been returned by Harry, I am... disinclined to allow such casting to continue, muchless allow him to continue hurting my bondmates." This last piece of information caused Sirus to tense and a feirce fire to blaze in his eyes.

"He hurt Harry?" Sirus asked dangerously.

"Yes." Severus told him, looking his old enemy dead in the eye. "And if you'll remember, he was the one to cast the Fidelius charm over their cottage. He would have had to know that you weren't the secret keeper anymore and as part of his duties to the Wizengamot he should have demanded that you got a trial, with the use of Veritaserum. Even if it was only because you held Heir status to the Black family at the time."

"I tried to take Harry when it first happened. But Hagrid wouldn't give him to me, on Dumbledore's orders. That was before I went after Peter. I never would have gone after him if Hagrid had given me Harry, as was my right as godfather. Then I got bloody sent to Azkaban when Peter pulled his little disappearing trick." Sirus admitted.

"Mr. Uthgard, would you be able to provide us with the use of a pensive and a memory duplicator? And perhaps some Veritaserum as an extra legal precaution? I'll pay the fee personally." Madam Bones asked quietly, her eyes never leaving the proud pure-blood standing before them.

"Thank you." Sirus told her quietly, then asked lightly. "Can you all put your wands away or at least lower them? I'm not going anywhere. What would be the point? I'll even give over my wand if you like."

"Reasonable." Amelia said with a nod before indicating that the Aurors should go ahead and lower their wands even as she took Sirus' proffered wand from him and Gnarl slipped out of the room to get the requested items.

"I presume that Gringotts would be willing to verify and seal each memory for presentation to the Wizengamot?" Amelia said bruskly, completely sunk in her role as Head Auror and Head of the DMLE.

"Of course. There is an added fee of 1 Sickle per memory for the verification and sealing due to some of the materials involved in the process." Uthgard mentioned idly.

"I'll add a Galleon to the total fee if they're all verified, sealed, and in my possession with similarly treated back up copies in my personal vault before we leave." Amelia informed the goblin curtly, to which he inclined his head in acknowledgement before he turned to Harry.

"It has been many years since a wizard, muchless such a young one, has addressed one of us correctly. I can see now that you inspire loyalty, and friendship or enmity, and fear where ever you go. Knowing this and the fact that you were the one to summon the Sword of Gryffindor two years ago, I now ask that you attempt to return it. As with any goblin made item, its commission is not merely payment for its creation but also a loan for its use. True ownership of such items is retained with the goblin people unless specified in the original contract. This is made painstakingly clear whenever something is crafted by our people." Uthgard told him formally. "We take our responsibilities seriously and will go to great lengths to fulfill them."

Harry hesitated before offering. "I can try but I haven't seen the sword since I pulled it from the Sorting Hat and used it to kill Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. I was lucky that Fawkes stuck around, one of the fangs went through my arm and he had to cry on it."

"You mean that those rumors were true?" Amelia asked in a dangerously quiet tone.

"Didn't Dumbledore explain?" Harry asked in puzzlement.

"No, Harry. Dumbledore only ever said that the creature was dead. Ronald started the rumors about you beating a Basilisk in the chamber, likely after you had told him what happened. Tom has already seen both the Chamber and the Basilisk. I had already heard the rumors and seen your injuries while you were in the Hospital Wing. I doubt anyone will understand the full complexity and danger of your little trip to the Chamber without seeing the corpse of the Basilisk, even us." Severus said quietly. "Why do you think that Rita didn't pounce on your little adventure into the chamber as fodder for her column during the tournament? A Basilisk of any age would kill a full grown wizard of any age or experience were it trying to kill them. Yet you are said to have survived not only meeting one of more than a century in age but have fought that same Basilisk in earnest and walked away virtually unscathed. Which is likely why Tom was so shocked when you told him in the graveyard. Even more so since he actually knows and has seen the general size of the Basilisk."

"Oh." Harry said blankly.

"We try to arrest Dumbledore, he wont come quietly." Marcus muttered. "No matter how many laws and bylaws he's broken."

"Actually, doesn't refusing to deliver him to his godfather after the death of both parents qualify as line theft?" Antonio asked with a frown.

"Yeah, it counts as a lesser count of line theft and it has to be applied to both the person who ordered it and the person who carried it out. In fact its automatically and magically charged against those involved upon discovery. But like I said Dumbledore wont come quietly." Marcus answered and nodded his head still frowning.

"Its one of the reasons for having two vastly different godparents as primary and secondary, that and the fact that if a godparent willfully engineers the situation the magic automatically strips them of godparent status. But for the full magics involved in being a godparent to activate they have to physically touch the child after the death of the parents. That's when guardianship transfers, but there is a little known timelimit of around 11 years after the parents' death for the full effect transfer. After 11 years whoever was caretaker or acting guardian during that time magically retains a portion of their authority unless they can be proved as being unfit or having wronged the child under their care by magical means. Something about the magic its self taking a dim view to such situations, but allowing for special circumstances." Harris explained.

"You always did take the magical theory aspect in our arguments about the various laws and bylaws." Marcus said with a snort of amusement.

"Doesn't the bonding negate any guardianship authority? Especially since its a magical bond?" Tom asked, thinking about some of the magical aspects of wizarding guardianship. "And what happens if the declared godparent or guardian refuses to fulfill their duties? I believe that you covered active abuse of their position and authority already."

"Like I said earlier, as long as the bond is properly filed, it probably qualifies as a type of marriage bond and guardianship would be passed to the two of you, even as you all three automatically qualify as adults. Plus, there's the fact that the tournament automatically made Harry an adult." Marcus explained. "As for refusing their duties? Then the child is raised by the next closest relative that will take them. Orphans, true orphans, or those whose known family refuses to raise them usually go to trusted muggle orphanages because we simply don't have a system in place to take them and the muggles do."

"~Can we fix that? The orphanage system I mean.~" Harry hissed to his bondmates, slightly alarming everyone else in the room at the sound of the snake tongue.

"~I don't know, Harry. If we get the chance, we'll try.~" Tom promised as Severus nodded his agreement, ignoring the odd looks that the three of them were getting.

Amelia cleared her throat to get there attention then gently asked. "Please speak in English so that everyone may share in the discussion."

"Sorry." Harry muttered, blushing.

Chapter Text

What followed was the Head of the DMLE fulfilling her right to performing the overview and preliminary trial under the evidence of possible false accusation. The mini-trial took nearly three hours and acted in a very similar fashion to a muggle military court marshal and allowed her to release someone on their own cognizance as well as lift the arrest warrant. They took a break for lunch then viewed the close to twenty memories as a group and listened to the answers to various questions while Sirus was under the influence of Veritaserum. Snape took the chance to ask a few unauthorized questions which, when the potion had worn off, greatly irritated Sirus. Causing Harry to look at both of them in disappointment for at least an hour after chewing them both out for his thoughtless and cruel actions. Finally the mini-trial wound down and came to a close.

"Well, I must say this has been both highly informative and highly troubling. I must formally ask, Do you intend to seek suit against Dumbledore for line theft, attempted line theft, false accusations, multiple counts of failure to perform his duties as both Wizengamot member and preliminary guardian to your godson, multiple counts of kidnapping, multiple counts of false imprisonment, multiple counts of slander, misrepresentation leading to false imprisonment and false conviction, multiple counts of child endangerment, and accessory to child abuse? As well as anything else we can discover pertaining to your and Mr. Potter's case?" Amelia asked formally.

"With the full weight of the Black name and family, I Lord Sirus Orion Black do so charge one Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore and demand both trial and restitution under the old laws of magic." Sirus practically snarled out the ritual phrase.

As the ritual phrase was said a bright blue glow to formed and officially brought the essence of magic in as part of the proceedings. As well as magically compelling the entire Black bloodline, all of its acknowledged, unacknowledged, and disinherited members, to assist and stand together in regards to the charges. Every member of the Black bloodline, in that moment felt a bone deep gong go off in their magical cores and the knowledge of the situation filled them as well as what might be required of them. Sirus' response caused the entire group of Aurors to wince, as everyone of them recognized exactly what Lord Black had done, but silently acknowledged that against a man like Dumbledore the preliminary vendetta was a necessary step in bringing him to justice.

"Well, that certainly dropped any arrest warrants Lord Black had on him. With a formal invocation and charge like that we can't touch him until the magically binding charge he made is resolved." Marcus told them with a wince. "I refuse to be the one to explain this fraked up situation to the rest of the Auror Corps."

"Don't worry about that Marcus. The unenviable task is part of my job, not yours." Amelia told the Auror dryly, then frowned in thought. "I just thought of something, did anyone ever think to check the Dursleys to see if they were squibs or just muggles?"

"What difference would it make?" Tom asked curiously.

"Squibs are subject to wizarding law, no matter how much or how often they tend to live under muggle law." Marcus explained. "We can detain muggles but only for a certain time before either having to release them, oblivate them, or turning them over to their own authorities."

"Um, Madam Bones? I might have checked them, and it might have slipped my mind that they are Squibs and not muggles when we placed them in the ministry cells near the holding area for trial Dementors." An Auror offered sheepishly, refusing to meet his boss' gaze.

Amelia, on the other hand, formed a slow smile and practically purred. "Goooood. Lord Black, due to the grievous wrong the ministry has clearly done you with the very obvious false imprisonment as Head of the DMLE I officially waive the necessity of registering your animagus form and that of your heir and his bondmates should they choose to follow that line of magic."

"So, just to make this clear, you aren't going to lock me up? And I can go shopping with my heir?" Sirus clarified. "And none of us have to register if we currently have or later develop an animagus form?"

"Yes to all accounts, but you'll have to go in your animagus form until we put out the word about your counter charge and one of our stops is going to have to be the Prophet to ask them to issue an emergency statement of your counter charge and conditional release." Antonio said sourly. "I really hate that part of the notification system, even if it works decently. Madam Bones' little declaration automatically filed the necessary waiver for the four of you."

"Then all that's left is their cleansing while you run off and get that published." Marcus commented slyly suddenly sticking Antonio with the notification duty, to which the man simply stared in resignation at his partner and left to get the task over with.

Uthgard cleared his throat to get their attention. "I'm afraid only those being cleansed may enter the ritual chamber and after observing these proceedings I have come to the conclusion that the young wizards must perform the cleansing as a group. While more costly it will prevent an accidental damaging of the bond that you wish to remain unharmed."

"St. Mungo's provided a copy of their scans for a preliminary record of their cleansing." Amelia offered as she handed over a stack of parchments to the goblin. Uthgard glanced through it and grimaced.

"Medi-Witchery has advanced in the last century but when there are multiple spells involved requiring a full cleansing ceremony wizard magic will only successfully detect and log about 10% accurately. Even less when the power of one or more of the victims has forced dormancy or even broken one or more of the web of spells. Just looking at Mr. Potter tells me that such a thing has occurred in this case. As a result, while appreciated, this listing is only good for identifying the general type of spell or enchantment in use. Which is why we run our own preliminary scans before any cleansing." Uthgard explained, to which Amelia nodded.

"If the three young wizards would follow me, the rest of you can wait here. Refreshments will be served presently. Should the process and ceremony run into the evening both sleeping quarters and supper will be provided. If you would like anything from one of your vaults while waiting or to conduct any other business, simply ask any goblin for Gnarl. I will be attending to the cleansing personally." With an inclined head toward the rest of the group Uthgard led the trio out of the meeting room.

Uthgard led them down various hallways and wide sweeping stairs until they were deep underground and entered a natural cavern larger than Hogwarts' Great Hall. There were doors that almost reached the ceiling set in clearly natural openings to other chambers. Some where of ebony, some of oak, some of ceder or pine, a few were carved from various types of stone or forged purely out of precious metals. The goblin led them to one of the ornately carved ebony doors with depictions of undine, dryads, and water nymphs bathing or chatting around various pools in a forest glade. Halting before the door, Uthgard turned to the trio.

"As we entered this chamber you were each scanned in depth for an accurate record of the various enchantments and spells we will be breaking. This will be a full cleansing ceremony with full guarantees and compensations, only your bond should remain after the ceremony is complete. When you enter this room." Uthgard gestured at the giant ebony door behind him.

"You will need to strip down to your skin and nothing else, set your various clothes and personal items next to the door and proceed into one of the hot spring pools which has been circled with a trail of powder and scattered stones. Do NOT disturb the circle or various surrounding symbols its self, simply step over the trail and be careful when you step down into the pool. It can be slippery. Make certain to fully immerse yourself within the first 20 minutes. Then you need only simply sit back and soak until someone comes to get you and don't worry if the symbols begin to glow. The casters, stationed in a nearby room, will start chanting after the first 30 minutes. You will be informed and helped from the pool when the ceremony is complete. This will work best if you all enter the same pool but we have prepared one for each of you should you choose to use them separately." He finished.

Next Uthgard opened the door and ushered them inside, closing the door firmly behind them. The three looked at each other for a moment as Harry blushed at the thought of them getting naked in front of one another. Then Severus gave a jerky nod and started to get undress along with Tom. A moment later they paused noticing that Harry hadn't made a single move to undress and shared a knowing glance.

"Strip." Tom ordered even as he took off his shirt and started undoing his belt.

"But.." Harry weakly protested blushing even brighter.

"Potter, strip! We need to do this. Besides the Healer warned us we would be bedding one another. We would have seen you naked sooner or later, it just happens to be sooner." Sev told his younger bondmate as he shucked the last of his clothes.

"You know, we could always strip him ourselves." Tom said thoughtfully as he also set aside his last piece of clothing. The two grinned at each other wickedly before pouncing on their still blushing bondmate and stripping him down to his skin, even as he struggled and yelped in surprise at their actions until he stood before his madly grinning bondmates buck naked.

"Together in one pool I think. Sev? Your opinion?" Tom said surveying his younger bondmate. Both of them trying hard to keep their tempers and ignore the many scars that both the Dursleys and Harry's many adventures had left traced over Harry's body, even as they ignored the scars decorating each other and their own bodies.

"We need all the help we can get." Severus said humming in agreement.

"You didn't have to do that. I was doing just fine." Harry blustered indignantly, trying very hard to ignore his nakedness.

"Now the only question is, is he going to get in the pool with us or are we going to have to pick him up and physically drop him in the pool?" Tom mused ignoring Harry's retort.

Hearing this Harry squawked and hurried into one of the larger prepared pools with his smirking bondmates quickly following behind him. All of them were careful not to disturb any of the carefully laid preparations around the pool and quickly dove beneath the surface before the 20 minutes were up. Then they all sat back at various points around the pool and relaxed into the soothing heat of the magic infused water. 30 minutes in, when the castors started chanting, they each felt the need to settle into more secure locations near each other and after settling again slipped into a magical doze.

They woke some time early the next morning in three separate beds placed in a single chamber, having been moved from the hot springs and dressed in night clothes by Gringotts employees and magic. They each found a list of the removed spells on their bedside table and a note that clothing and their personal effects was in the drawer, courtesy of Gringotts. All told between them they had over 50 spells and enchantments on them most of which carried Dumbledore's magical signature.

Severus had multiple overlapping loyalty spells, several restraint spells, a slow build power binding/sapping spell, a slow build vitality draining spell, and multiple perception altering spells(the target of one was Harry, another affected the knowledge of his abilities); for a total of 20 spells and enchantments with Dumbledore's signature.

Tom had multiple perception altering spells, multiple power bindings, a mind breaking curse, and a violent madness inducing hex (Harry unconsciously sent both curse & hex dormant during the resurrection ritual); for a total of 10 spells and enchantments with Dumbledore's signature.

Harry had multiple perception spells, multiple power binding spells, multiple slow build power binding/sapping spells, a slow build vitality draining spell, two will sapping spells, and multiple loyalty spells; for a total of 20 spells and enchantments with Dumbledore's signature.

To say they were displeased with the facts of the spell report would be an understatement and their resultant foul mood showed when they joined the others for breakfast courtesy of Gringotts 20 minutes later.

Chapter Text

After observing the teenagers grumpily eating their breakfast, Sirus decided that he wanted to know if their foul mood was a side effect of the ceremony or a simple rough night. Of course being one of the last remaining Marauders he couldn't just ask them outright. No, he felt that he had to pull a prank or at least tease them a little, even if it was only a very minor prank. He had no idea how hard Harry was going to take it or he might have reconsidered.

"So, prongslet. Did your friend and Snivellus have to dump blood and guts over your head? Or did you have to sit in a dark closet somewhere for a couple of hours?" Sirus drawled teasingly. In response Harry immediately paled as his bondmates' heads snapped up to glare at his completely clueless godfather. Even as they quickly shifted their chairs closer to Harry, bracketing him protectively.

"What? What did I say?" Sirus asked completely confused by their drastic response to his light teasing.

"Its alright, he doesn't know and I don't want him to know." Harry quietly informed his bondmates.

"Doesn't know what? What don't I know, pup?" Sirus barked out, setting aside his cutlery to focus completely on Harry.

"Never suggest that he belongs in a closet or cupboard, even in jest." Tom hissed at the man, ignoring Harry's comment.

"Okay, but I'd still like to know why." Sirus asked, puzzled and still completely clueless.

"Guys, its alright. He doesn't understand and I really don't want him to. Just drop it. Please?" Harry pleaded.

"Do that again mutt, and I don't care how fond Harry is of you, you'll be playing lab rat to some of my more nasty experimental potions." Severus growled out, also ignoring Harry's protests.

"What? Play a prank? Tease my godson?" Sirus asked, being purposefully thick as some comprehension dawned, hidden in his eyes, playing the fool prankster act to the hilt.

"Say, Sirus? What was that bloodline thing you said earlier?" Harry hurriedly asked, desperate to distract Sirus from both his questions and the building fight. Completely and successfully distracted, Sirus considered his godson before nodding to himself and answering.

"Yes, you wouldn't know, growing up with your Aunt. Its essentially a preliminary call to arms for the entire Black family. Usually its used for Blood Feuds, preventing Blood Feuds, important family deals or business that's on a very short time limit, to defend an important member of the family, or to take vengence when a grievous wrong has been done to either the family as a whole or a single member of the family." Sirus explained. "Only the Head of a pure-blood line can activate it and its more powerful form, which usually is only used for war or Blood Feuds because its a more literal call to arms and draws on the power of the entire family. You didn't feel it this time because you were the one I invoked it for. As Head of the Potter line you could have activated it yourself had you known about it but activating it is serious business because it asks Magic itself to stand in judgement of our actions. Entire branches of families have been destroyed because it was invoked frivolously."

"Oh, but then why did you invoke it?" Harry asked curiously, causing everyone to stare at him, making him uncomfortable.

"You said that the Dursleys are squibs, correct?" Sirus asked Madam Bones, his eyes full of a deep sadness and pain even as they never left Harry.

"According to Smith." She agreed also watching Harry with sadness. Only she, Antonio, and Marcus had returned that morning, all of the Aurors having gone home after Gringotts served them all supper the night before. Sirus had remained over night waiting for them and acting as supervising magical guardian.

"I'm charging them with an additional child endangerment, reckless endangerment, line theft, neglect, failure to perform guardianship duties, at least two counts failure to provide adequate shelter or food for a child, and attempted enslavement of a pure-blood, in addition to the other charges we've already discussed." Sirus said flatly. "I want them to pay dearly for hurting my pup. Oh and add reckless endangerment to my charges against Dumbledore. I forgot about that in the hubbub after Harry's little story about the Basilisk."

"Sirus! Don't! It wasn't that bad." Harry protested, causing everyone at the table to stiffen in furious understanding.

"Wasn't that bad?" Tom practically snarled, voice low in fury.

"Now I know why he keeps running headlong into suicidal situations." Sev muttered darkly.

"Harry, if I hear of you trying to protect or defend them again I will first, return to what I was doing before we bonded, next I'll start using my old methods again, third I will kidnap you, Sev, and those worthless creatures you call relatives before making you help me punish them. Have I made myself perfectly clear?" Tom threatened, his voice deadly calm.

"But!" Harry protested.

"No." Sev cut him off viciously. "This is one time I will gladly help Tom follow through and I will actively attempt to prolong his chosen measures. Harry, you are our bondmate. In hurting you, they hurt us far more then if they had done the exact same to us personally or worse. Your treatment was beyond abominable and the mutt's actions upon discovering even a part of it are not only well within his rights but practically demanded by his position in wizarding society. He would easily be within his rights to start a centuries long Blood Feud over this and wipe out not only those who hurt you but their entire extended families as well. Its quite likely that the only thing stopping him is the fact that Lily was literally Tuney's sister and some of the magic might spill over and hurt you."

"Why did you think that the Aurors are pretending not to hear our threats?" Tom asked almost calmly rage still burning in his eyes.

"Actually, since this is related to the original magic enforced Bloodline charge, we don't have to pretend not to hear it. We can't do anything about it at all. Magic was called in as both witness and judge. We don't have any jurisdiction and its legally binding on our entire society." Marcus pointed out. "Trying to interfere with it could get us classified as attempting to subvert Magic's judgement. The results of that are not pretty and include the possibility of permanent loss of one's magic, as well as for your heirs, children, or your entire bloodline, personal death, permanent and irrevocable impotence, and many many more, all depending on situation and complicity as determined by the magic."

"Oh." Harry said quietly.

"This is one of the reasons why every magical child should be raised in our society or at least made to attend classes on wizarding culture, customs, and traditions starting at around age 6." Tom sighed mournfully. "Without this knowledge and the observations of many of the festivals its not only dangerous for those working with the magic, magic itself is starting to die out. If this keeps going within another 50 generations we will all either be squibs or muggles and only those vastly favored by magic will have even enough power to levitate a feather or summon a quill across the room, muchless do anything else."

"You mean that's what you've been trying to do?" Antonio asked aghast, as everyone stared at Tom in shock.

"Yes." Tom said morosely then growled out in complete disgust. "But someone decided that it was a good idea to put a mind breaking curse and a violent madness hex on me. I'm lucky I was in any way reasonable and not a complete ravening mindless beast, especially since they were tied into my own magic core for additional power."

"What?! Do those spells do what I think they do?" Harry demanded.

"Yes, and both of them build up slowly over a period of years before reaching full power." Sev explained.

"I'll kill whoever cast those spells!" Harry seethed. "Even before Tom was my bondmate that's just going too far! No one deserves that!"

"Both spells were on the list of what the Healer managed to detect but you sent them to sleep when you healed my soul and my body. He didn't see much point in taking the risk of trying to remove them when they were asleep and we were coming straight here for a full cleansing." Tom told him taking another bite of his breakfast. "Though he did warn me, while you were all distracted, that it was taking most of our combined power to keep them asleep."

Light dawned in Harry's eyes. "That's why you wanted to get the cleansing done first. No wand will react right when most of our magic was fighting to keep you sane."

"That and the fact that it was taking far too much power to maintain." Tom agreed.

"Speaking of the resurrection ritual, whatever happened to that snake? I'd rather not wake up one morning and find it in bed with me." Sev asked with a shudder, successfully changing the subject.

"Nagini? Wormtail is watching her and Lucius knows to check up on them from time to time." Tom said dismissively. "She's a magical serpent and can mostly fend for herself, but don't be surprised if she shows up wherever we are at some point, especially if she gets fed up with Wormtail. Besides its much easier to deal with serpents of all kinds when you can actually talk to them. Just ask her not to climb into the bed."

"Who's Wormtail?" Marcus asked.

"Peter Pettigrew." Harry said shortly, glowering, before taking another bite.

"Moving on, I think we only still have to check your inheritances and holdings before we can head out shopping again." Sirus reminded them, bringing the discussion back to one of the reasons they were at Gringotts eating breakfast. At almost the exact same moment they heard a perfunctory knock on the door before it opened and Uthgard walked in, surveying them from near the door.

"Might I inquire as to how you find the meal and how the young wizards are feeling this morning?" Uthgard ask solicitously.

"Much better and the meal is great!" Harry told him enthusiastically, managing to draw a small smile out of the goblin.

"Good. If you are all finished we can proceed with the inheritance spell, it wont take long. Just come into the other room when you're ready." Uthgard told them, before turning and going into the other room himself.

They each in turn nodded and stood to follow the goblin into the other room, where they found a table with 3 sets of a sheet of parchment, an ornate silver knife, and a small stone bowl. To Tom and Sev they obviously they were to draw blood and allow it to fall on the parchment so that the magic could "read" their inheritances from their blood and magic. The bowl however puzzled Harry when his bondmates stopped him from reaching for it, thinking it was to catch his blood and check it. The three bondmates approached the table and quickly drew a small amount of blood, allowing it to fall on their respective parchments. Even as they watched the last of the blood fall to the parchments, ornate family trees bloomed and raced across the parchment until finally at the very bottom of the magically increased parchment a list of other additional inheritances formed.

The charts showed that Harry and Tom were both descended from the Pervell brothers. Tom came from the older, middle, brother, while Harry was descended from the youngest. Harry found it hilarious that both Neville and the entire Weasley brood were his distant cousins through his grandmother Dorea Potter nee Black, but was equally disappointed to find that Draco Malfoy was also his cousin in the same fashion. They were all shocked to find that Sev was decended from Salazar Slytherin at all, muchless from his muggle father's side. Of course, he did receive an inheritance from his mother's side of the family; Apparently in becoming one of the youngest potion masters ever he had qualified for a sealed vault from about 5 generations back in his Prince bloodline.

After the Sorting Hat's announcement, none of them were surprised to discover that Harry was descended from all four founders through his mother, and it was fairly well known that the Potters were descendants of Godric Gryffindor, so the confirmation wasn't surprising to anyone but Harry. What did surprise everyone was that at some point between Lily and the original four way conception the Evans line had merged with Merlin's supposedly dead line via an obscure lost Squib branch. Lily was the first full witch to be born in over 700 years of both bloodlines. Apparently she had inherited too much magic for the bloodline bindings to hold and they failed, disappearing. It was no wonder that Harry was so powerful, now that his own bindings were gone it was likely that he didn't even need a wand any more. He made it perfectly clear that he wanted one any way, much to the amusement of his bondmates. Then Uthgard cleared his throat to get everyone's attention.

"Now that your inheritances have been confirmed do any of you wish to attempt to claim the various Lordships or Family Head positions?" The goblin asked the three.

"Yes, I will at the very least." Tom informed the goblin before turning to his bondmate. "You should to, Harry."

"Okay." Harry agreed with a blink of surprise. "Sev?"

Severus debated for a moment then asked. "Would the spell or ritual check for the position suitability in general or specifically?"

"The process is general and has produced surprises in the past. If someone more suitable to the magic and of eligible status attempts to claim the position and is accepted the ring, or relevant aspect of a merged ring will disappear from the current holder's hand and appear to be taken up by the more suitable candidate. The process tends to provide a warning sting to the old holder as the ring leaves and presents itself to the candidate." The goblin informed them with a surprised blink of his own. "Few ever think to ask, muchless consider how a Family Head position or Lordship is passed to someone else. Please remember that Lordship automatically conveys Family Head status. Should your bond qualify you will also receive your spousal rings with your family's joining mark. In the rare event that more than one Lordship or Ladyship is joined by union or marriage the magic will decide on the immediate Family Head and provide a distinction in the rings by adding an outside edging of crushed amethyst to the immediate Family Head's spousal ring. You will only ever see this inlay in such special cases. Should you receive more than one Lordship ring they will merge when placed upon the relevant finger."

"Then I will participate." Sev told him with a nod. "Thank you for the clarification."

"Very well. The bowls are enchanted for this purpose." Uthgard informed the trio after nodding acknowledgement of Severus' thanks.

"Now, you can use the bowl, brat." Sev smirked at Harry who simply rolled his eyes and took up his bowl.

They proceeded to repeat the bloodletting process with the bowls, making a second incision, that they used on the parchments and watched in fascination as rings formed out of their blood, waiting to be picked up. The spousal rings each had a cauldron with a snake rising from its depths to wrap around the lightning bolt which overlaid the cauldron as if striking down to light the fire beneath it, matching the mark that was magically etched on Hogwarts' heartstone. Tom smiled when he examined his rings. He had received the Slytherin, Pervell, and Gaunt Lordships, and smirked openly when he realized that his spousal ring was the one with the amethyst inlay lining. However, he frowned when he noticed that the Hufflepuff Lordship ring was no where in evidence in Harry's bowl, despite there being one that clearly displayed the Hogwarts crest.

"Where's the Hufflepuff ring?" Tom asked.

"It appears that none of you qualify for that Lordship. If I remember correctly there is an unusual stipulation for claiming it." Uthgard told him absently as he stared at the Hogwarts and Emrys rings in Harry's bowl.

Uthgard watched carefully as they each took up their rings and the rings merged flawlessly. Harry's most prominent device in his Lordship ring was in fact a new device, created when the rings merged. Each device of the families represented on Harry's ring circled a central image in the shape of a lightning bolt. Tom's ring had a similar reaction but Slytherin's serpent took the central location on his Lordship ring, indicating that it was also his personal mark on their spousal rings, leaving the cauldron to represent Severus.

"Apparently the bond does qualify as a marriage bond." Sirus noted sadly.

"Witnessed." Amelia agreed, the magic adding her name to the bonding document as a witness. "You all qualify as adults. I would however like to accompany you to getting your new wands as a precaution."

"Certainly." Tom agreed amicably, smirking at the confirmation of their marriage and being made head of the family. Looking over at his bondmate Sev saw the inlay on Tom's ring and snorted in amusement.

"Of course you would be the head of the family." Sev said dryly.

"Of course." Tom agreed smugly.

"That doesn't mean we're taking your name." Harry warned.

"No, it doesn't." Amelia agreed. "The magic determines which last name you all get. Uthgard? Would you be willing to check that for us?"

"Certainly Madam." Uthgard said, shaking himself out of his reverie and checking the paperwork in front of him before answering in no small amount of surprise. "Your new surname is Hogwarts."

"Fitting. Considering we all consider the school to be home." Severus said judicially.

"You may, of course, continue to sign any documents with your original names and they will also be binding. Any other name, however, will not work, even if the correct paperwork and ceremony are completed." Uthgard explained. "The surname you now hold is linked to the Hogwarts estate contract, which only allows for your birth names to be used as legal alternates."

"Thanks for explaining, I wasn't sure how that worked." Harry told him sincerely. "Thanks for all of the explanations really. They were a big help." Uthgard inclined his head in acknowledgement and moved on.

"As originally indicated everything you have just inherited will be put through an audit to avoid possible problems, future and current. Would you like to decide how to pay your taxes now or later?" Uthgard asked politely, making Harry blink at the thought of taxes.

"Once the audit is complete, if possible, I would like to pay off any pending taxes in full which might pertain to my... unusual previous situation. After that I think bi-yearly payments." Tom informed the goblin.

"Taxes?" Asked Harry in complete puzzlement.

"Harry, pup, did you actually think that the Ministry ran on thin air or something?" Sirus asked with a chuckle.

"No, but.. taxes?" Harry asked again.

"Taxes." Severus agreed. "Just like in muggle society. The goblins manage all transactions in wizarding society, including taxes. No one who has tried has ever done better."

"Okay." Harry said, giving up on the concepts for the moment.

"One last thing, we would like direct draw pouches for any shopping we might need to do." Tom requested causing Uthgard to look at Sirus who nodded his agreement.

"They can draw from Harry's heir account until things are sorted. Just add another 500,000 galleons from the main Black vaults to cover anything particularly expensive they may need. Like Severus deciding he needs an apothecary's worth or two of potions ingredients." Sirus told the goblin causing Severus to choke a bit at the amount and both Tom and Harry to stare at the man for slightly different reasons.

"You called him Severus." Harry accused before asking. "What do you think we'll be doing that might need 500,000 galleons any way?"

"Oh, I don't know, fight Dumbledore? Bring back magic? Send gift carrying envoys to every known community of magical creatures?" Sirus suggested with a casual shrug. "At least you'll be covered if you want a new broom or something. As for calling him Severus... well I can't very well call one of your husband's something so disrespectful as Snivellus, now can I?"

As the last words left his mouth, Sirus suddenly had a lap full of deliriously happy godson that he pulled into a tight hug. "I'm sorry I wasn't there for you pup. If I can help it, that will never happen again. Severus and I have had our disagreements and we may never get along but he's your bondmate and husband. I wont hurt you further by hurting one of your bondmates. No matter what, you are my godson and pup. As far as I'm concerned you're not just James' son, you're mine too."

Uthgard transferred the funds and quietly handed Tom the direct draw money pouch along with a note detailing their new authority at Hogwarts. He also explained that the knives made of goblin silver they had used were a gift provided to everyone who successfully received any kind of ring from the ritual, which magically returned to Gringotts upon their death. He continued to explain that the Gryffindor sword no longer had to be returned as they would only be holding it for Harry as the heir and Lord of Hogwarts, as it was stipulated in the original commission contract with Godric Gryffindor. The goblins would only receive full rights to it if the bloodlines of every single founder completely died out. They all thanked Uthgard and Sirus shifted into his animagus form before the group headed for the main doors leading to Diagon Alley.

Chapter Text

As they approached the main doors in the lobby they all noticed a plump woman dressed in a particularly ugly bright pink cardigan with matching pink accessories. The Aurors were disgruntled when she noticed them and changed direction, making a beeline for them. The pink... creature eyed Sirus in his dog form warily and stopped just out of lunging range before greeting Madam Bones.

"Madam Bones, what an interesting place to find you. I was just looking for you in your office a short time ago and Auror Dawlish was kind enough to inform me that you were at Gringotts." The pink creature tittered.

"What do you want Delores?" Amelia asked with a heavy sigh. "I'm a bit busy with official business."

"Oh? And how do you explain the outrageous lies that Prophet is printing? Or the fact that St. Mungo's has issued a statement saying that they have examined the returned Dark Lord and found him not to be at fault for his crimes? If the liar is indeed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named then why did the Aurors who were said to have been with him not arrest the man? Why was he even roaming free at all?" Delores demanded.

"Madam Umbridge, I don't know what you've read in the Prophet about the situation, partly because none of us have yet managed to get our hands on a copy this morning. I assure you, however, that not only did the Head Healer detect a mind breaking curse and violent madness hex as well as enough binding spells to stop even Albus Dumbledore in his tracks on the man. They also found enough perception alteration spells to have convinced all of Diagon Alley and Hogsmead that its a perfectly well respected practice to walk about muggle London starkers declaring that not only is magic real but that it was the height of polite entertainment to rip apart their own child and devour the flesh raw." Antonio informed her bluntly, never seeing the magical serpent slide up behind Tom and begin climbing him like a tree, hissing in both greeting and pleasure.

"Gringotts not only confirmed the diagnosis but found nearly half a dozen more spells on him. Which isn't counting the nearly double amount of spells on Mr. Potter and Professor Snape." Marcus agreed, then explained further, attempting to head off a demand to arrest Sirus. "This information, in part, led to a Bloodline charge being issued by Lord Sirus Orion Black, who willingly sat in Gringotts and gave full testimony to the situation in regards to his imprisonment. He submitted himself to questioning under Veritaserum as well as provided full copies of his memories of events which have been verified and sealed by Gringotts."

"As you know, once a Bloodline charge is issued the Ministry looses jurisdiction until it has been resolved as Magic its self stands in judgement. The charge was made on behalf of Harry James Potter as the Black Heir. Its a miracle that the Dark Lord was even remotely sane, and the law as well as our society prohibits persecution for any actions taken under those circumstances. Even if we wanted to, we simply can't touch either of them. The very laws you would want us to arrest them under, would in fact force us to arrest you for even suggesting it." Amelia reminded her college. "Further more, Lord Black fully cooperated when I performed the necessary actions to convene and complete a preliminary trial while in Gringotts. All of the paperwork is filed by now, and before you ask the Dark Lord, Harry Potter, and Severus Snape all went through a cleansing ritual, which is one of the reasons I wasn't in my office. I'm here to confirm that it was completed correctly. Just as I was here yesterday to see them start the cleansing."

Animagus, snake, and teenagers watched the proceedings with great amusement, idly wondering why she was even bothering to explain anything to the pink toad creature that seemed to think she was a woman. Sirus was also thinking about turning back and using the bat boogey hex on the woman just to see what she would do and was quite happy that Madam Bones had returned his wand when the trio had left for the cleansing ceremony.

"~Can I eat the annoying creature, master?~" Nagini hissed in amusement, drawing attention to the fact that she was not only there but now also wrapped around Tom's shoulders.

"~Why would you want to eat that?~" Severus asked her, disdain for the woman clear on his face.

"~See Sev? I told you it was easier to speak when looking at a serpent.~" Harry hissed delightedly.

"~That you did, and no Nagini, you can't eat her. I don't want you getting sick.~" Tom agreed with a hissing chuckle, finally causing Sirus to turn and bark at them sharply in reprimand for speaking parsletongue and not letting him in on the obvious joke. This also had the added effect of drawing Umbridge's attention to them.

"Why are these... creatures being allowed to run wild? Why are they not appropriately confined?" She asked in a sickly sweet tone.

"Delores, you know perfectly well that a bonded familar doesn't require those things." Amelia said warningly, causing the cre... woman to narrow her eyes.

"Oh, but of course. How silly of me to worry about you not doing your job and dangerous creatures wandering about unrestrained." Umbridge tittered, her eyes glittering meanly.

"You aren't touching them." Tom said flatly, his own eyes narrowing.

"Young man, you clearly need to be disciplined and learn to listen to your betters." She told him sharply.

"This is the attitude you were fostering in your madness. Expect to face more of it." Severus informed his bondmate softly, purposefully speaking English, to which Tom gave a sharp nod of acknowledgement.

"What was that? Speak up child!" Umbridge ordered.

"Nothing Madam." Severus told her blandly, lying through his teeth. "I was just reminding him that one of our Professors wanted us to do a summer research project and we haven't bought the books yet." She looked at the three with distrust and uncertainty before dismissing them completely in her mind as she turned back to Amelia.

"Since your business is done here, I suppose that I'll see you back at the ministry." Umbridge commented brightly.

"After our business is actually done." Amelia agreed, before guiding them all out the main doors and calling back. "I'll see you at the ministry Delores!"

"Nasty woman." Antonio muttered to the rest of the group with a shudder.

"I wonder how loud she'd scream under the Cruciatus Curse?" Tom asked idly, making the rest of them glance at him warily.

"Tom, as unpleasant as that woman is we can't just..." Sev started before Tom cut him off with a snort.

"Of course we can't. She's a threat, but one that might be taught rather than simply eliminated. Besides, now that those spells are gone I know perfectly well when and how to let some of my more sadistic tendencies out to play. Torturing that woman is more along the lines of a fond day dream unless she crosses the line or threatens the two of you." Tom told them, and watched in amusement as they each breathed a low sigh of relief.

"Before.. would you have waited?" Marcus asked curiously.

"Only if she had proven herself useful and Sev can tell you that even that would not have saved her. It would have just taken me longer to decide she wasn't worth anything except as a toy." Tom admitted ruefully. "Now? I see a possible low level threat that I might get to play with a bit in a game of cat and mouse but she's not much more than a nasty woman, no matter her place or position." This declaration earned him a hug and a shy kiss on the cheek from his youngest husband, much to the amusement of the others and the delight of both Tom and Severus.

Chapter Text

 

Dark Lord's Insanity Healed!!! Confirmed by St. Mugo's!!!

By Rita Skeeter

A confidential source inside of St. Mungo's was able to obtain access to the medical file formed when the Aurors brought in Professor Severus Snape, The Dark Lord, and Harry Potter yesterday. The Aurors had received a confidential tip off prior to the publishing of this reporter's last article and had moved on Number 4 Private Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, the home of the magic hating caretakers of Harry Potter, the Dursleys, at almost the precise moment that the last special edition left our offices. This reporter is uncertain as to the actual state in which our brave Aurors found the three abused boys but I, like our readers, am vastly greatful that they have been removed from such a tragic situation. If they manage to avoid being forcefully returned to that same situation is another matter.

As for what our source found in their joint file at St. Mungo's and shared with us... My readers, I am both shocked and appalled that this situation was not discovered and delt with long ago. The magically compiled history of all three shows consistent and varied abuse and neglect on all three. Harry Potter's individual history was twice as long and varied as his two bondmates' entire individual history. What that means is that Harry James Potter, who just turned 15 a few days ago, has had nearly double the amount of injuries and illnesses that the two full grown wizards who are now bonded to him and who had previously routinely engaged in dangerous activities.

Then there was the enchantments all three are recorded to have been under at the time of the examination. On both Severus Snape and Harry Potter there were multiple perception alteration enchantments, multiple binding and draining spells, and multiple loyalty spells. All told the Healer was able to detect 6 with indications of closer to 8-15 total enchantments apiece on both boys. The Dark Lord on the other hand not only had multiple perception alteration enchantments, along with multiple binding and draining spells, but he also had a mind breaking curse and a violent madness hex!!!!!

My dear readers, this information truly shows that the Dark Lord was in fact insane through no fault of his own while he attempted to rip our world apart. I for one am glad that the curse and hex were detected and treated. But the most astonishing thing is that, according to their medical file, the resurrection ritual, combined with the bonding of the three boys so soon afterward forced both curse and hex into dormancy! That's right, something about either the ritual or the bonding or even a combination of the two sent both mind breaking curse and violent madness hex to sleep!

According to the Head Healer's notes, who was the attending Healer, if their bond is broken or damaged to badly it could send all three into a madness that would result in worse death and destruction than what occurred during the war with Dark Lord while he was becoming increasingly unstable! For the sake of the entire Wizarding World, I hope that no one attempts to disrupt their bond and wish them all well. We can also be thankful that as of yesterday the trio left for Gringotts to have a cleansing ceremony done and wash away all of the enchantments aside from the now, very permanent bond its self. I for one am glad to know that by the time you all will read this the ceremony will be complete. We can all rest safely in our beds tonight as the threat of a madman who has mastered the Dark Arts and essentially owns every marked follower is gone! He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has been HEALED!

This reporter will do her utmost to continue bringing you the vital information that you require about the situation.

Chapter Text

Dumbledore hummed to himself as he sat in his office having a late breakfast. Things appeared to be going well aside from that blasted Skeeter woman finding out about Harry's home life. Of course that was partly fixed by assurances all around to all those lovely key people, that he had absolutely no knowledge of what was happening or had happened not only to Harry, but to Severus and Tom as well.

It was a stroke of well timed luck that he'd been able to retrieve the Dursleys from the Aurors, especially as the DMLE hadn't appeared to have discovered that the family was not only magic phobic but also Squibs. Dumbledore vaguely recalled a piece of legislation, some minor bylaw of no real importance, something about squibs living in the muggle world and how they would be treated under wizarding law.

He was quite glad that from the reports Mrs. Figg was dead, all the better for her not to be able to testify to Harry's situation. Of course those reports only said that a squib had been killed by Dementors and he only knew of one squib in the area aside from the Dursleys themselves. So it was quite obvious that they had gotten the age wrong since the only squib Harry's age in the area, as far as he knew, was Harry's cousin Dudley, and he had been retrieved safely from the Aurors along with his parents.

He was going to have some trouble getting them to take the boys again and even more trouble to get the boys away from whatever court appointed Guardian they had back to the family of Squibs. The Dursleys had all been a little rough around the edges when he'd retrieved them. Blast the Auror who had stuck them in the ministry cells near the Dementors! After all the boys needed discipline, and the paper yesterday hadn't given him enough time to move them or prevent a raid. The fact that the Aurors had gotten their before Dumbledore had even had a chance to try and mitigate the damage that Damned woman had caused irked him to no end.

Dumbledore was distracted by the arrival of the morning prophet. When he read the headline while taking a sip the spit take across the room was marvelous and gave Fawkes no end of amusement for the next few hours. So did Dumbledore's sudden scrambling for some piece of parchment or another before he finally settled down to read the full article. From what Fawkes could see of the man's expression something had gone horribly wrong with his plans.

Smugly, Fawkes concluded that the Heir and his mates had to be at the core of it and they had managed to throw one hell of a wrench in Dumbledore's perfectly orchestrated plot. All of the subsequent soothing, scrambling, and fast talking gave no end of amusement for bird, hat, and castle as they watched carefully so that they could help keep their Heirs safe when they finally returned.

~

At the same time at the Burrow, Arthur was sitting down to finish his breakfast after a ruckus with his four youngest children over one of the twins' pranks and sending the lot of them off so that he could eat in peace. That's when he glanced at the just arrived prophet. The moment he saw the headline Arthur went cold in fury.

"Molly, dear, have you seen the paper this morning? And do you know what happened to yesterday's paper? I don't believe I ever managed to read it." Mr. Weasley asked quietly, barely restrained fury lacing his voice.

"No, I haven't seen the paper today, as for yesterday's, one of the twins' pranks ruined it, dear and you were in a hurry." Molly responded absently.

"Do you remember that article at the beginning of the summer that Dumbledore told us was 'fanciful nonsense' and that Harry was treated like a prince at his relatives?" Arthur asked as his fury rose, his hands were bone white around the cutlery in his hands.

"Yes, horrible lies he said, that woman needs to learn to check her facts. Normally she's quite good at what she does. Why?" Molly answered finally turning to look at her fuming husband.

"Something I didn't manage to tell you about, Sirus Black as Lord Black activated a Bloodline charge yesterday, on Harry's behalf. I know the boys felt it too but I have no idea if Ginny felt it. I was having trouble deciphering it since it was so laced with rage and protectiveness." Arthur told his wife quietly before handing her the paper. "Now that you know about it I want you to read this and tell me how we could have let this happen. How we never saw what was right in front of our eyes."

"Arthur, what?..." Molly trailed off as she got a good look at the headline and went still as she read the entire article. Arthur carefully set aside his cutlery and waited for the building explosion to crest, knowing that a quite Molly was a deadly Molly.

"That, THat.... DUMBLEDORE!!!!" Molly practically shrieked in her fury. "Harry is as good as one of ours! I will not have one of my sons in such a place! Under the care of such people!" Her shout led to the very rapid and concerned return of Ron, Ginny, and the twins. They took one look at their mother's face and carefully backed up, waiting in the doorway until it was safe to enter the room.

"Ronald, go get your owl and Hedwig. Fred, George, you're both of age, I want one of you to apparate or floo to Malfoy Manor. We will be making an attempt at ending our family feud with the Malfoys." Arthur said in a deadly quiet tone of voice as Molly slammed about the kitchen, furiously making food trying to calm down. "From this point onward we have broken ties with the House of Dumbledore. We will be inviting Harry and his bondmates to stay with us. If they accept, we will be filling for official custody of the three. If we can't get custody then I want to work with Lord Malfoy on getting them somewhere safe that Dumbledore can't touch them."

"Blimey dad..." Fred started.

"What happened..." George

"To Harry?" Ron fell into the twins pattern asking the last part of the question. They had been playing at a round robin conversation switch trying to get a rise out of Ginny for the last 5 minutes.

"And why.." Fred

"Is mum..." George

"Acting mental?" Ron finished.

"For the exact same reason that the four of us felt Lord Black activate a Bloodline charge yesterday afternoon. Take a look at the paper, and this time don't destroy it." Lord Weasley told the boys, his voice still deadly quiet. The four Weasley children silently looked at the paper and for the boys protective fury began to boil. As for Ginny a slightly different fury began to build until she could contain it no longer.

"no, No, NO! He's mine! Harry is mine! Not the Dark Lord's! Not Snape's! HE'S MINE!! Dumbledore promised me!" Ginny shrieked as she looked at the front page, causing everyone else to go instantly still.

"What did you just say?" Molly asked very carefully, fury barely leashed in her voice, bringing Ginny back to her senses enough to realize that saying anything more would not be wise. When it was clear that she wouldn't speak Arthur took action.

"Ginerva Molly Weasley, as Lord Weasley I demand that you explain that statement or face the consequences." Arthur ordered, his voice full of deadly menace, as the Lordship magic compelled his youngest to answer.

"Dumbledore promised that I would get to marry Harry. He even drew up a marriage contract that we signed in blood. I as the bride and he as Harry's guardian. I'm not sure if he used his blood for his signature or Harry's." Ginny admitted as each and every word was forced from her lips, even as she struggled to break and run.

"That's illegal." Ron practically whispered in horror.

"But still magically binding in many cases, which is why you need a ministry waiver to use such contracts." Arthur said as he sadly looked at his daughter before settling even further into his roll of Lord Weasley. "Ginerva Molly Weasley, for your crimes against a chosen son of this house and line you are cast out. Never again may you call a Weasley property home or seek sanctuary among our bloodline. You have proven yourself a traitor and unworthy to bear the name of the Ancient House of Weasley. As you are not yet of age, shelter, food, and other basic necessities will be provided by House Weasley until you come of age. I cast you out of this family and the bloodline of the Weasleys. We know not your name, we know not your accomplishments, we know not your face. Any children you bear can not call on us in any fashion until blood price is paid. No blood price will ever be enough for you. You are no Weasley. You Are No Child Of Mine!"

The Lordship and parental magic burst upon the girl, and went a step further. She had acted against not only one that the rest of her family considered one of their own but also one of magic's chosen champions. There was also the very active Bloodline charge protecting the one she had sought to harm, claim, and chain to her side.

In that moment Ginerva Molly Weasley lost her name, her bloodline, her ability to bear or raise children in any fashion (which also magically included adoption and surrogacy), and her magic. The only reason that magic and the Lordship allowed her life was that she was still loved by her family despite what she had done and it would hurt Harry even more if he found that she had died from this. Ginny's name became Ginerva Molly Prewett as she still belonged to the Prewett family. Even as she collapsed to the floor whimpering the rest of her family ritually turned their faces from her.

"Now, I know why she didn't feel the Bloodline charge activate. She was party to it." Arthur spat. "The magic would have known that and excluded her summoning unless the activating Lord specifically included her."

"Dad..." Fred started hesitantly.

"We have something to tell you." George said quietly.

"Oh?" Arthur asked, brow furrowed.

"At the end of term feast..." Fred.

"We entered into Harry's service..." George.

"Using the old ceremony..." Fred.

"Along with Luna Lovegood." George finished, as they both opened their shirts to show the magical tattoo over their hearts. Arthur thought a moment as he just looked at his sons then nodded his acceptance.

"You were of age and you are both younger sons. I know Harry and he has been through enough without help. This will make sure that he always has at least one person from our family that he can rely on, no matter what the circumstances. What did you offer and was Harry the one to fulfill the ceremony or did someone have to act as his stand-in?" Arthur asked softly.

"We offered ourselves," Fred.

"Our continued friendship," George.

"Our inheritances," Fred.

"And our right to choose our spouse." George.

"We would have offered..." Fred.

"Our right of blood..." George.

"But..." Fred.

"He was freaked out enough already..." George.

"By the situation." Fred.

"And..." George.

"Professor Snape..." Fred.

"Was acting as his stand-in." George admitted.

"We're not..." Fred.

"Even sure..." George.

"He understood..." Fred.

"What was going on." George finished.

"The Professor still didn't reject your offer when you asked him if the suit was rejected." Ron pointed out. "He just grumbled and went through the ceremony again after saying we shouldn't know about it at all. Shite, I need to apologize to Harry. We didn't talk after he was re-sorted into Slytherin. He probably thinks I'm mad at him."

"Why little brother..." Fred started with an evil grin.

"You wouldn't happen to dislike..." George continued with an equally evil grin.

"Our new..." Fred.

"Hogwarts house..." George.

"Would you?" The twins finished together.

"That's enough boys." Arthur told the twins sharply. "We still need to make an overture to Lord Malfoy and send letters to Harry and the ministry. Ron, go get Hedwig and Pigwidgeon. I'm sure that Harry would love to see her again and if he still wants us to take care of her he can always send her back here and don't forget to write an apology to send with her. Fred, George, as Lord Weasley I do hereby recognize that you have entered into the service of Harry James Potter with my blessing and instruct you to act in a manner befitting the representation of house Weasley while in his service. With the official stuff out of the way, I also want you to write a note to your Lord explaining what happened with Ginerva. We'll send it with Hedwig and our offer of home and hearth to both Harry and his bondmates. Don't forget to remind him that we do consider him a part of our family, despite what Ginerva did."

"Yes father." The boys chorused and everyone began to hurriedly obey. No one noticed Ginerva slink upstairs to her room, sobbing in humiliation and pain. She never considered how Harry or his bondmates would react to what she had done, only that she honestly believed it her right to have Harry as her husband.

~

The Aurors dropped the trio and animagus off at the door to Ollivander's after handing over Harry's shrunken owl cage and trunk. Hedwig had been sent to the Burrow the day before with a note asking for them to take care of her until Harry could come and get her. When the Aurors returned to the ministry they found, to their horror, that the some Junior Auror had allowed Dumbledore to take custody of the Dursleys the day before. The young Auror had gotten lucky and released them before Sirus had made the Bloodline charge the day before. Unlike Ginny the timing saved the young man from Magic's wrath, it did not save him from being pulled from duty and sent back through the Auror Academy. Sirus opted to stay outside and people watch, or read a copy of the Prophet that someone had dropped, while the trio got their new wands. The bell over the door rung as they entered Ollivander's shop.

"I just thought of something." Harry told his husbands. "Remember when Dobby helped us and you explained about the clothes thing and how I should have already met any other elves that were connected to me?"

They nodded and Harry continued. "Well why haven't I met them yet? We went to Gringotts and everything."

"Its possible that Dobby took the position of your Head Elf and has been managing them on your behalf." Severus suggested.

"Especially since you qualify as a hidden or lost heir, even getting confirmed and retrieving your rings an hour ago." Tom agreed.

"To what do I owe this dubious honor?" Ollivander asked, a wary expression on his face, from behind them, making all three jump.

"Before you start, let me go over this once and only once. I AM NO LONGER INSANE." Tom told the wandmaker in slight irritation.

"Tom, Mr. Ollivander didn't say anything." Harry scolded in exasperation, never seeing the man loose his wariness and relax into an open smile.

"Ah, then it appears that you, at least, Mr. Riddle are in need of a new wand?" Ollivander queried.

"We all need new wands. Dumbledore confiscated our previous ones and we were all under various enchantments that probably interfered with the wand choice." Severus explained. "As a result, it was deemed necessary to obtain new wands. Even if we can retrieve our original wands they may no longer work for us."

"And there's no telling what the old man might have done to them." Tom said sourly.

"Well if that is the case, then I suspect all of you will be as difficult to match with a wand as last time. If I remember correctly, you Mr. Snape had Ebony, 12 in. with a Dragon Heartstring; Mr. Potter had one made of Holly, 11 in. with a Phoenix feather; and Mr. Riddle had Yew, 13 1/2 in. also a phoenix feather core. Curiously both phoenix feathers came from the same phoenix and even more so, he gave 3 more feathers recently, in June of 1993. He has only ever given those 5 feathers." Ollivander told them as he wandered back into the stacks and shelves overflowing with wands of all types before returning with arm loads of wands.

"You really believe that we'll be hard to match." Tom said looking at the piles of wand boxes on the table.

"No more than you were the first time." Ollivander said cheerfully. "But not to worry since I matched all three of you to your first wands I have a starting point, and considering what the paper said about the leaving feast you might actually be some of the few to be accepted by a set."

"A set?" Severus asked cautiously.

"Yes, a set. Rather like how Mr. Potter and Mr. Riddle were originally matched with brother wands." Ollivander called from deep among the shelves.

"That's because he was carrying around a piece of my soul." Tom muttered.

"I was?" Harry asked in surprise.

"From what your little seer said the soul piece has likely integrated into the bond. Its not an issue anymore but it is likely the reason we can probably share magic. Nagini here," Tom explained, indicating the snake still wrapped around his shoulders. "Still has a piece of my soul. Or at least she did in the graveyard. You managed to reintegrate all of the pieces that weren't in either you or her during the ritual. Which is one of the reasons I'm sane again. It wasn't just the curse and hex that were warping my sanity, it was the fact that I was an idiot and had split apart my soul." Admitting this to his husbands caused them to gape at him, both of them completely pale at the ramifications.

"Don't you dare ever do that again!" Harry scolded. "You try that again and I'll, I'll... sit on you or something until you come to your senses!"

"No wonder you were a madman." Severus practically whispered.

"Yes, yes, I do realize how much of an idiot I was but from what I can tell both hex and curse had already been cast on me and were at the very least starting to take effect." Tom said irritably.

" 'm gonna kill whoever cast those." Harry growled darkly, just as Ollivander returned with his last preliminary load of wands.

"Cast what Mr. Potter?" Ollivander asked, eyebrows raised.

"The Mind Breaking curse and Madness hex that were on Tom." Harry almost snarled as he spat out the enchantments.

"Well at least he has protective instincts even if he wont use them for himself." Severus said judiciously.

"That's something." Tom agreed with a nod.

"Perhaps we should move on to testing the wands?" Ollivander suggested as he watched the young man in front of him fume.

The boys agreed and they proceeded to run through almost the entirety of Ollivander's stock, causing much change and destruction as each wand responded differently. Finally Ollivander started moving on to the wand sets, beginning to think that he might have to personally craft a wand for each boy. His hand unconsciously passed over any set that used a single wood or tree and finally landed on one of the oddest sets he had ever made.

The magic of the wandlore had guided his hands when he made these and even now he could not fathom why it insisted on this particular pattern and configuration. There were three wands in the set. All three of them had a Yew handle with inlaid bands of Ebony, Hawthorn, and Holly wood as well as a Phoenix Feather and Thestral Hair core. The one which had a total length of 12in. had an Ebony shaft beyond the handle, matching the Ebony band on the handle. On the other hand the one which was 12 1/2 in. in total length had a Holly shaft which matched the Holly band on the handle, where as the one which came up to 13 1/2 in. had a Yew shaft to match primary portion of the handle. All of the wood in the set came from the same trees, just as the Thestral Hair came from the same creature. Fawkes had provided all three Phoenix Feathers, just as he had provided the original Phoenix Feathers for the cores to Harry and Tom's original wands.

"Lets try a set, shall we?" Ollivander said lifting the box containing the strange wand set from the pile and opened it, offering the wands to the three disgruntled and tired boys.

As soon as they saw the set each boy instinctively grasped the wand that had a shaft which was closest to their original wands. Severus grabbed the Ebony shafted one, Tom grabbed the one with the Yew shaft, and Harry grabbed the one with the Holly shaft. The wand acceptance for all three was immediate and forceful, a wind swirled around the three as they each gave off sparks, Gold for Harry, Silver for Tom, and bright Green for Severus. This reaction caused Ollivander to look at the boys in wary wonderment.

"Yes, I think that we have found you three your wands. If you do manage to retrieve your original wands please keep in mind that these new ones are a better match and will likely remain as your primary wands over the originals." Ollivander cautioned.

"Thank you for the warning." Tom told the wandmaker absently as he gazed at his new wand.

"What do we owe you?" Severus asked, wrenching his own gaze from his new wand.

"Lets see, that's a fairly unique set of wands. That makes it about 20 Galleons, 2 Sickles, and 10 Knuts, as you're buying the entire set we'll make it 20 Galleons and a Sickle even for the wands." Ollivander answered after a considering silence. "For an additional 2 Galleons each I can provide standard wand holsters. If you'd like them with extra features then depending upon the features its anywhere from an additional Sickle to 4 Galleons per holster."

"Do you have combat holsters?" Tom asked finally looking up from his wand.

"Yes, but those run closer to 5 Galleons apiece to start and have various additional options. The enchantment which will only allow those keyed to the holster to remove it is standard, as are the drop retrieval and undetectable extension charms on the combat models. The holster, regardless of model, can be affixed to arm, belt, or leg as preferred."

"What are the various features?" Harry asked in interest.

"The standard holsters are made out of basic leather and dyed. They can have the invisibility, drop retrieval, sticking, and basic concealment enchantments added as well as water proofing, fire proofing, locating and/or summoning charms in case the wizard or witch decides to go swimming with them, misplaces the holster, or frequently deals with fire." Ollivander told them before moving on.

"The combat models have the standard features of both basic water and fire proofing, basic chameleon concealment, and undetectable extension enchantments as well as a second sheath for a secondary wand next to and slightly recessed from the primary sheath. This allows for a quick draw for either secondary or primary wand. An additional standard feature on the duelist variation compared to the combat model is an undetectably extended pouch to place any captured or battle won wands. Though I've known a few Aurors to use it as an emergency potion storage pouch which is why I include a cushioning charm and a stabilizing charm as standard on those pouches." Ollivander elaborated. "For an additional Galleon I can add a blood bond enchantment so that only someone of the same bloodline can use the holsters or remove them from you with or without your consent."

"Considering that not everyone is going to believe us and that Tom is okay again, I think we should get the Duelist models and ask for them to only be keyed to the three of us, aside from Ron and Hermione on mine." Harry said judiciously. "While invisibility is useful it doesn't prevent you from physically feeling it."

"You can key them yourself and if you want the blood bond enchantment it can be used to include up to 5 different blood samples, which includes the wielder." Ollivander explained. "Both combat and duelist models have the option of being made from dragon hide leather but it adds an additional 3 Galleons to the price."

"So Dragon Hide Duelist models with summoning charms and the blood bond enchantment on all three." Severus said judiciously. "I think I would like mine in black. Harry, no doubt, wants his in red. Tom?"

"Dark Green I think." Tom said.

"Actually, can I have mine in a Slate Grey, a Navy Blue, or a really Dark Blue?" Harry requested.

"I have those. Which would you prefer?" Ollivander said with nod.

"The Dark Blue." Harry said, as Ollivander pulled out their chosen Duelist holsters from the blood bond section.

"To add someone to the blood bond enchantment simply say Sanguinem Acceptio and add a single drop of the person's blood. The enchantment is already primed into the leather. Lets see that comes to 52 Galleons 11 Sickles and 11 Knuts." Ollivander informed them.

They paid and immediately added each other to their wand holsters, allowing all three to remove the newly purchased holsters and use them. They happily left the shop as the wandmaker thoughtfully watched them meet a large black dog apparently unhappily reading a copy of the prophet in front of his shop before moving on down Diagon Alley.

Chapter Text

Lucius Malfoy was about to head back to the ministry after a lunch at home with his family to once again try and find any and all paperwork from the last 10 years on Harry Potter, Severus Snape, and Tom Riddle, the more recent the better. He had been searching and gathering information since the debacle of the leaving feast and while upset over what he had been reading in the paper about the three, knew his task was to help them from a legal standpoint. Just as he headed for the floo his son approached him as his wife, Narcissa stood in the door way in support.

"Yes Draco?" Lucius paused on his way to the floo.

"Father, something strange happened yesterday afternoon. Mother felt it too and says that Lord Black activated a Bloodline charge." Draco practically whispered 'Bloodline charge'. "It was about Potter. Someone hurt him badly."

Lucius, hearing this, sucked in a harsh breath and asked carefully. "And who was the charge made against? What emotions were contained in the charge?"

"Rage and protectiveness, against Dumbledore and some people called the Dursleys?" Draco told him, bewildered at his father's calm acceptance.

"Potter's muggle family and the Headmaster." Lucius hissed, causing Draco to flinch. He met his wife's gaze and nodded solemnly in acknowledgement, as she inclined her head in return.

"Draco, you remember the other boy that was bound to Potter and Severus?" Lucius asked and Draco nodded.

"He was the Dark Lord, wasn't he?" Draco asked quietly.

"Yes, you would do well to try and end the rivalry you have with Potter." Lucius told his son solemnly.

"After what the Bloodline charge told me. I don't think I can keep it going in the same way anymore." Draco told him just as solemnly, then smirked. "Though it is fun to get under his skin."

"Just remember that from now on if you hurt him you wont be answering to me or your teachers, you'll be answering to the Dark Lord and your Uncle Severus." Lucius warned him.

"Yes, father." Draco said quickly, and mentally discarded the idea for a prank involving Harry and a vertigo potion that made it so he wouldn't be able to tell up from down. Lucius nodded in approval at his son's apparent willingness but before anyone could say anything more the wards chimed, indicating a visitor.

"Who could that be?" Narcissa wondered aloud, just as a house-elf popped into the room.

"Masters, Mistress, Wimble bes telling you that Misters Fred and George Weasley bes here." Wimble informed them.

"The terror twins?" Lucius asked, intrigued. "I wonder what they could want, especially with our families feuding."

"Terror twins?" Draco asked in puzzlement.

"Something that Severus said once." Lucius told his son dismissively and turned to the elf. "Show them in."

The elf bowed and popped out to lead the twins to the room as the Malfoys each took a seat to wait. Fred and George, dressed in their best robes entered the room following close behind Wimble. Wimble then nodded at Narcissa's hand sign and popped out to prepare and serve tea for 5. Fred and George stood before the Malfoy family and stiffly bowed, surprising all three Malfoys.

"We bring an offer of reconciliation on behalf of the Weasley family." Fred started the presentation.

"As you know, Lord Malfoy, the two of us are sworn into Harry's service." George reminded Lucius who nodded.

"Because of Dumbledore's actions we were instructed to spend our summer in our normal fashion and granted the right as well as funds, by Harry, to investigate opening a joke shop." Fred continued.

"However, it has come to our attention that the situation has worsened." George told him solemnly.

"As a result the Lord Weasley has declared our feud with the Malfoys as harmful to one of our number." Fred informed them.

"Thus we bring an offer of reconciliation and partnership." George told them.

"Our sister has been cast out for actions taken against Harry in alliance with the Headmaster." Fred informed them seriously.

"And the House of Weasley has officially broken ties with the House of Dumbledore." George added.

"Though I don't believe we have sent the official repudiation yet." Fred said as both smirked.

"I see..." Lucius said carefully, face blank. "And what does Lord Weasley not only offer as part of the reconciliation but also ask of the House of Malfoy?"

"One of our number was harmed and is still under threat." Fred said, deadly serious.

"We offer as our reconciliation 3 unnamed favors which will not land the fulfilling family member in Azkaban or 1 unnamed favor that has a possible Azkaban sentence of no more than 10 years." George told them quietly.

"If the favor is being used to protect one who is considered by House Weasley to be one of its own or of the blood of House Weasley the Azkaban sentence allowance is extended to 15 years." Fred said equally quietly.

"Anything more than that must be discussed. We protect our own." George told him.

"As do we." Lucius told them solemnly. "3 unnamed favors with no possible Azkaban sentence attached. I would offer to help sponser the joke shop as well but due to your current standing I would need to discuss it with Mr. Potter. The feud between House Malfoy and House Weasley is at an end. We recognize that Ginerva Weasley has been cast out from House Weasley for crimes against her House. So Mote It Be."

"So Mote It Be." Said the others in the room, magically sealing the agreement and ending the feud.

Chapter Text

"Have you got the powder ready to test yet Forge?" George asked, they had only returned to the Burrow about half an hour ago and they were already hip deep in pulling a prank.

"Of course Gred." Fred answered with glee. "I even managed to dose Ickle Ronniekins with that patterned color changing powder. He's currently purple polkadot with a wonderful orange base."

"Wonderful Forge! Wonderful! Sounds like he's coming! Lets hit him as he comes through." George said, equally gleeful as they hid just beyond the door and they both tossed a large double handful of their special powder into the face of the person just coming through. Ginny shrieked at her brothers and started to glow a violent purple.

"Um, what color does violent purple represent?" Fred asked weakly.

"If our calculations are right, a combination of blue mind magic and red blood magic." George said equally weakly.

The twins shared a horrified look before simultaneously shouting. "MUM! DAD! Ginny didn't do it!"

This shut Ginny up in astonishment and brought Molly and Arthur running just as the floo flared and Lord Malfoy stepped through to speak with Arthur and the twins about the joke shop. This brought Lord Malfoy up the stairs right behind the Weasley Matriarch and Patriarch.

"What do you mean Ginny didn't do it? And why is she glowing?" Arthur demanded.

"We were developing a joke powder that would react in bright colors with various kinds of active magics." Fred started to explain.

"I dosed Ron with a skin color changing powder that we know wouldn't react badly with the detection powder." George went on.

"We hit Ginny instead and she started glowing purple. A combination of the blue for mind magics..." Fred told them.

"... red for blood magics, and possibly some pink for love magics." George finished.

"Ginny didn't do it!" Fred.

"It wasn't her fault!" George.

"She's enchanted!" They finished together. It took a moment for the adults to figure out exactly what the twins had just told them and they responded with shock, relief, and fury.

"Oh, thank god!" Arthur slumped against the wall in relief.

"Arthur! We need to check her! We need to see if magic will reverse its judgement!" Molly told him urgently.

"Stand aside Molly." Lucius told her quietly breaking from his shock to thoroughly scan the girl. "We're in luck. Everything falling outside of the Lordship and Parental magic has a very obvious time limit on it. This was a warning against hurting Mr. Potter, nothing more. The magic will lift at noon on September 11, if my calculations are correct. You may, however, wish to have a curse breaker and a healer look her over. The return of what was taken will be painful. When did you notice it wasn't just the Parental and Lordship magic?"

"About 3 hours after the incident, when we had all cooled down a bit and the boys were already with you presenting our case." Arthur admitted. "It bothered me especially since she's underage and I treated her as if she were not only of age but courting someone. I'm not even sure why I didn't take her age into account or the fact that the other responsible party in the mess was Dumbledore!"

When the twins heard this they exchanged a meaningful glance and immediately hit both of their parents with the powder they had just used on Ginny. Arthur glowed a bright Blue-Green, while Molly glowed a sickly Yellow-Green making the twins quickly back up, grabbing the just arrived Ron, still sporting their personalized orange and purple polkadot motif, and shoved him behind them. Both twins drew their wands and settled into a mirrored complementary Dueling stance.

"Fred? George? Why'd you draw on Mum and Dad?" Ron asked softly, almost afraid to set his brothers off.

"Lord Malfoy," Fred started softly.

"As accepted sworn vassals of another lord..." George.

"We request assistance in returning to our Lord..." Fred.

"With our brother, Ronald." George finished, giving Ron a better idea as to how off and serious the situation was.

"Granted." Lucius said simply before rapidly drawing his wand and stunning Arthur from behind as Molly went rigid and dove out of the way drawing her wand, eyes glassy. She shot spell after spell after the four males as they fled toward the floo, only tossing back harmless spells and hexes designed to slow her down. The four then made a break for the front door after seeing that Ginny, also glassy eyed, blocked the floo. They barely managed to reach the edge of the wards and apparate away as a flash of the bright green Avada Kedavra sped past them. They arrived just outside the wards at Malfoy Manor moments later, the twins cursing up a storm. Ron, on the other hand, was terrified, confused, and hoping very much that this was part of a prank connected to why his skin had been orange with purple polkadots for the last 20 minutes.

"I think we triggered a failsafe or booby trap on whatever was cast on them." Fred said breathing hard.

"I think you're right." George agreed. "But why aren't we affected? Hell why isn't Ron? His best mate is Harry!"

"That's probably why nothing was cast on him you berk." Fred said with a laugh. "Have you forgotten how often the Golden trio winds up in dangerously insane magical situations? Hermione might be able to cast or remember her way out of a situation but Ron? Ron's skill lies in tactics and commandeering the supplies that those three need."

"Yeah, Harry's the one who's brilliant at pulling something out of nothing and picking up on the threats. Our brother still hasn't learned how to sense something heading for him despite all our training attempts." George agreed with a nod.

"Oh, my god. Mum, Dad, Gin, what the bloody hell was wrong with them?" Ron asked in dismay.

"From what I gathered all three of them are heavily enchanted. To what purpose I dare not speculate." Lucius told him.

"Shite! We asked Harry to come to the Burrow!" Ron said in sudden panicked realization.

"Do you think we can find Harry through the Fealty bond if we tried?" Fred asked turning to George.

"Dunno, we can try. How about we focus on the mark and apparate? Should bring us right to him, yeah?" George offered and his brother nodded in agreement.

"Lord Malfoy, as our lord is in potential danger we ask for you to provide sanctuary to our brother." Fred said formally.

"Upon locating our lord and assuring that he is secured we will return for him." George continued, equally formally.

"Will you grant us this boon?" They asked together performing and holding a half bow.

"Are they always like this?" Lucius asked Ron who nodded sadly.

"Yeah, unless they're pulling pranks or thinking about pulling pranks then nobody is safe." Ron admitted.

"Sanctuary is granted by the House of Malfoy to Ronald Weasley, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Tom Riddle, and Hermione Granger should it be needed." Lucius told them formally with his own half bow ending as he heard their simultaneous double crack of apparation, before leading Ron through the wards and into the Manor.

~

Harry, Tom, and Severus had just left Ollivander's when Harry's hand slipped as he tried to replace his wand in his new holster after showing it to Snuffles. The wand dropped almost hitting the ground, then suddenly whipped back into the sheath much to their astonishment and Padfoot's aka Snuffles' delight. Padfoot barked in glee, he knew that charm variation!

"Um, what just happened?" Harry asked hesitantly.

"Apparently Ollivander felt we needed the Auror variation of the Duelist holster." Severus said in surprise. "Only the Auror Holsters have the automatic drop speed retrieval charm. Anyone else who wants it has to pay an extra 2 Galleons and have their holsters openly marked with a, what do they call it? A Boomerang? Ours aren't marked openly if they are marked at all. The charm retrieves the wand faster than usual and allows for a slight delay for fast hand switches, though there is an additional distance trigger to prevent the wand being knocked away at high speed without retrieval."

"Interesting." Tom said with raised eyebrows. "It looks like Ollivander has taken a shine to you Harry. He doesn't do that sort of thing for just anyone and he's never paid attention to a person's general popularity. Its just gone lunch, we need to get something to eat."

There was a sudden crack of apparation directly in front of the small group. Sirus bared his teeth, even as Tom, Severus, and Harry dropped to the ground drawing their new wands. They aimed at where the crack of apparation had come from only to find the Weasley twins, exhausted and shaking, barely standing on their own.

"Harry?" Fred croaked out as they both slumped to the ground against one another.

"George? Fred? What's going on?" Harry demanded as he scrambled to his feet and went over to them only to be jerked up short by Sirus' mouthful of his robes and the grip of both of his husbands on either arm.

"Severus? You've taught them for year. I wouldn't know what to look for." Tom said indicating that the Potions Master should check the twins. With a short nod Severus started waving his wand and muttering incantations of various types, including medical.

"What potion did you brew for detention just before the third task?" Severus snapped out.

"Trick question." George groaned out.

"We scrubbed the work tables..." Fred muttered.

"... and the dungeon floor..." George said tiredly.

"... with something you called..." Fred winced as he spoke.

"... a toothbrush." George finished weakly.

"Its them and they're completely drained." Sev told them with a sharp nod.

"We could take them to the Leaky Cauldron and Floo Call Mrs. Weasley." Harry suggested.

"No!" They both said, before slumping down further.

"Something's wrong with Mum." Fred said, tears in his voice.

"And Dad, and Gin. We got Ron out and left him with Lord Malfoy." George admitted.

"We sent Hedwig to you with an invitation for you and your bondmates to come over just before they went mental." Fred told them.

"Hasn't she found you yet?" George asked.

"No." Harry admitted, voice in quiet worry, just as they heard a hoot from Hedwig as she dropped down on Harry's shoulder offering up the letters from Ron and the twins. None of them noticed Sirus shift back and summon his old Auror robes with a sharply snarled command. Suddenly the man was clothed in battle robes, the ministry crest still clear and in place, indicating that the magics and the preliminary trial from earlier had cast him as blameless for his time in Azkaban. The blue outline of the crest also showed that he was once more on the active Auror rolls on detached duty.

"Right, we're going to Malfoy Manor and everyone, except you three, is using the bloody ritual room for a full cleansing!" Sirus snarled out as he levitated the twins and they all headed for the Leaky Cauldron and the Floo network. "You two used waaaay too much power coming through the wards around the Alley. Pup? You three need to keep your wands out in case we get jumped."

"Yes, Sirus." Harry answered as they warily followed the re-activated Auror through Diagon Alley, into the floo to arrive safely at Malfoy Manor.

Chapter Text

The same moment that Sirius summoned his Auror battle robes a scroll flashed into being over the desk of the Head of the DMLE. When Amelia opened it and read it she found that it was a document declaring Sirius innocent and reactivated on detached duty, protection detail. She glanced at the names listed under the protecting section and her blood ran cold. There listed in glistening black and white were the names Harry James Hogwarts nee Potter, Severus Tobias Hogwarts nee Snape, and Tom Marvolo Hogwarts nee Riddle. She silently added a notation that more Aurors might be assigned and filed it under her priority active cases, right there in her office, before grimly calling Marcus, Antonio, Harris into her office...

~

"Gred, I think we need to check the detection powder formula again." Fred said miserably.

They had come through the floo behind Harry in time to see him retreat, blushing, from the arms of his husbands after having stumbled coming through, again. Quickly stepping out of the way so that they could sink down on the two person couch just to the side and so that Sirius wouldn't crash into them as he came through in a flourish of full Auror Battle robes.

"I think you're right Forge." George chuckled weakly. "We have to test it on people we know only have the one magic active."

"Would have worked fine if someone hadn't been messing with our family." Fred muttered mutinously, then he peered at his brother suspiciously. "Are you absolutely certain we were using the one with only a single color per magic type? Or were we using the one that shifted colors depending on personality and active magic mix?"

"Ah, actually I think we were using the shifting one." George flushed sheepishly. "Still doesn't change the fact that the primary base magic colors come through about the same and when we pretty much called them on it something snapped. We weren't fighting our family when we bolted. Mum would never use an unforgivable on us!"

"No, she wouldn't." Fred agreed darkly.

"What the hell are you talking about? What do you mean Molly used an unforgivable?!" Sirius demanded. The twins exchanged a glance and a nod then explained about their joke powder and what had happened at the Burrow.

"Mr. Malfoy hit dad with a stunner so we don't know if he would have attacked too." George explained.

"Dad's Lordship should have protected him, at least a bit." Fred told them in puzzlement.

"Maybe it did." Harry told them. "What color of magic is Green for your powder?"

"Either Healing or Protective possibly both. Why?" George answered with a blink.

"And you said that both Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had green in their colors." Harry pointed out.

"Yeeeaaah, and yellow is Illusion and other appearance stuff!" Fred said excitedly. "Like glamors and hair charms and stuff! Mum has trouble keeping her hair from doing weird stuff, especially around food, and uses some charms to help keep it under control!"

"Making that sickly yellow green! Especially since it was more green than yellow! Blue plus Yellow plus Green!" George listed with a happy, if tired, smile of discovery.

"And Dad was Blue-Green." Ron reminded them from near the doorway of the room where he stood with the Malfoys. "That means protective magic and mind magic, right?"

"Maybe we should get 'Mione." Harry suggested. "Hedwig was locked up all summer until I sent her to the Burrow, its why I let her fly here rather than trying to get her to come through the floo with us."

"Do you think we should get her Mum and Dad to come to? Or will he," Ron pointed at Tom. "Try to kill them?"

"Muggles?" Tom asked, eyebrow raised, then shook his head. "If they produced a magical child then its likely one or both of them are Squibs. The Sorting Hat's little ditty at the end of the year confirmed some of my research before I categorically went insane. If they have even a drop of magical blood and aren't magic phobic like the Dursleys then we should get along alright."

"Um," Harry hesitated, unease filtering down the bond.

"What?" Sev snapped, aggravated that he was going to have to deal with the whole golden trio, not just his husband.

"'Mione was adopted!" Ron blurted out.

"Did anyone ever bother to run a family tree on her?" Tom asked softly, Ron shook his head no.

"Dumbledore said something about students not being allowed to perform those spells and none of us have the skills to brew all of the potions that go with them at the same time any way. They don't last long enough to brew individually, and one or two of them need the blood of the current parents for, I think Hermione said, accurate comparison." Harry told his bondmate softly.

"That's absurd! I've helped students make a personal family tapestry before." Sev told them indignantly.

"Then why wouldn't he want 'Mione to do a family tree?" Ron asked, puzzled.

"Why don't we do one and find out? Maybe even one for Potter?" Draco suggested. "If nothing else it can be used in court as proof that you should have gone to your wizarding relatives first over your muggle relatives."

"First Miss. Granger needs to arrive." Sev drawled.

"After we dust everyone!" Fred pipped up before the twins grinned evilly and tossed their detection powder over everyone in the room.

Much to everyone's consternation the Malfoys all glowed green, except Draco who had a slightly blue tint. Sirius was blazing a deep midnight blue fighting to shift to a dark blue-green, and Ron had a very very light almost non-existent blue. The twins even got it on themselves showing pitch black bands surrounding their chest's and a riot of other fading colors. A single red-black-silver ribbon interwove its self between Sev, Tom, and Harry, displaying their bond. 5 minutes later the colors faded away.

"Okay, that was slightly disconcerting." Sirius said. "Black?"

"Bindings, in this case our Fealty Oath." George said simply.

"And fading colors means that the magic is fading away or nearly gone." Fred elaborated.

"If you made it right, and we need one that glows longer." Ron pointed out, then asked. "Silver?"

"Dunno, Divine magic?" Fred guessed in contemplation.

"So Draco and Ron need a basic cleansing, and I need to make a second trip to Gringotts." Sirius said with grimace. "I gather from how many colors were fading on the two of you that they were bits of magic left over from your experiments?"

"Yup!" They chorused tiredly. Harry sighed then, remembering his duty to the twins as their sworn lord, turned to the Malfoys.

"The twins are tired after everything, do you mind if they borrow a room for a nap or something?" He asked tentatively. "I'll get them out of your hair as soon as we've found some place to stay."

"Young man, do you then reject our hospitality?" Narcissa asked haughtily, drawing herself up in the image of the perfect offended pure-blood woman.

"Uh, no? I just got the impression I wouldn't be all that welcome here. Draco and I don't really get on." Harry admitted, embarrassed and in a slight panic.

"Draco?" Lucius asked, eyebrow arched, waiting for an explanation.

"If I didn't bug him he wouldn't talk to me at all." Draco said petulantly, head hanging. "He already made it very clear we can't be friends."

"Harry?" Sev asked quietly.

"He acted like Dudley. Of course I didn't want a friend like that." Harry admitted just as quietly. It didn't matter, Draco heard and his head shot up to look at Harry in startlement.

"Would you be my friend if we tried again?" Draco asked tentatively, taking an extreme risk for a Slytherin student. Harry looked at the other boy thoughtfully and nodded slowly.

"You can't make fun of Ron or Hermione or anyone else I make friends with." Harry warned. "And I wont be treated like a lackey or a slave."

"Okay!" Draco agreed eagerly. "Do we owl Granger or do you think her parents would mind someone going to get them?"

"I don't think it matters much." Ron said thoughtfully. "I mean if they got to my family and Lord Black what's to stop whoever from going after Hermione? Its no secret that she's a muggleborn. There's no magic or wards to stop anyone and Hermione wouldn't know that she could use magic to protect herself if they were attacked."

"That settles it then." Sirius declared. "I'll be one of the people going to get them. Lucius? Cissy? Who's staying with the boys?"

"I will cousin." Narcissa spoke up moving further into the room. "Lucius has more combat and dueling experience than I do. Congratulations on your reactivation by the way."

"Huh?" Sirius asked then glanced down at his robes. "Oh, yeah. Didn't realize that this entire mess magically counted me as being undercover. I'm just glad I still had the charm that carried them and remembered the emergency trigger."

"Since magic overrode your inactive status I suspect that had you managed to kill Pettigrew that night it would have registered as a lawful kill in the attempt to apprehend." Tom commented. "I don't technically have to turn over Peter but he can easily be part of the group that does get turned over as an act of good faith. I still want Bella back."

"She's insane!" Sev argued.

"We'll discuss this later." Tom told him pointedly. "For now Black needs to get Harry's friend, the three of us need food, and Harry's minions need rest."

"Why do you keep calling them minions?" Harry asked as they each went their own way with Severus leading his bondmates to the dinning room, Draco going to work on his homework, and the twins being led to a guest room, and Narcissa bid farewell to her husband and cousin in the arrival lobby.

"You haven't picked a name for them yet, so they're minions." Tom said with a shrug, and eyed both of his bondmates. "Besides the hat called them minions, I don't see any reason not to." This made Harry sigh heavily before he sat down at the dinning room table. Tom and Sev both opted to sit on either side of him and Sev snapped his fingers to summon a house-elf.

"Yes? What would masters bes wanting with Isif?" Isif the house elf asked with a slight bow.

"I'm afraid that the three of us missed lunch. You wouldn't happen to have something light for us to share until supper?" Severus asked the house-elf.

"Yes! Isif can get Masters light food to share! Isif will get it now!" Isif squeaked before popping out.

"You didn't have to do that. We could have waited for supper." Harry said with a sigh, knowing that yes, his bondmates would insist on at least him eating, especially after seeing just how little food he got at the Dursleys.

"You might think you aren't hungry brat, but I assure you we are." Severus snorted, with a shake of his head.

"Are we going to have to feed you?" Tom asked lightly. Harry never saw the look in his eyes showing just how serious he was.

"No. I don't mind the snack but I'm not really feeling like eating." Harry grumbled. He was caught completely by surprise when Tom reached over and lifted him into his lap.

"Wha?" Harry asked intelligently as Severus scooted over and slid into, what was previously, his seat.

"You aren't serious?" Harry asked incredulously.

"Indeed we are. You are far too thin." Severus told him darkly as Tom's hands settled on Harry's waist.

"You feed him and I hold him?" Tom queried, humming a bit at holding his youngest husband, no matter how embarrassing his bondmate thought it to be.

"Alright." Severus agreed before turning on a slightly squirming Harry. "You on the other hand will be taking nutrient potions until we have you at a decent weight, husband mine." There was a slight gasp from the doorway and they all turned to see who it was, Harry blushing furiously. Narcissa stood there looking at the three of them in surprise over what she had just heard.

"Yes?" Tom asked in silkily dangerous tone.

"Nothing, My Lord. I was merely unaware that you had bonded." Narcissa murmured, as she pulled on the pure-blood mask and curtsied to her guest, making Harry blush even further.

"The bonding at the leaving feast turned out to be a legal and magical marriage, Narcissa." Severus told her gently, before smirking. "Dumbledore doesn't know it yet but he managed to forbid us from attempting to get a divorce in exchange for a temporary truce."

That was when the house-elves decided to send the food to the table. There was a nice buffet-like spread of light foods artfully laid before the three of them. Sliced watermelon, orange slices, apple slices, and strawberry slices; Small bowls of grapes, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple chunks, tuna, and chunks of crab meat. There was even a large bowl of rice next to an equally large bowl of various sized shrimp and a large stack of lettuce leaves for them to put the rice, fish, and various fruits and berries in to eat like a tortia or taco.

"Oh, dear. I don't believe you were specific enough with your order Severus." Narcissa said in amusement.

"Its fine." Tom said dismissively. "Harry needs to eat more any way."

"I'll leave you to it then. Apparently I have a wedding gift to track down in any case." Narcissa told them, eyes laughing as she left them to their meal.

Harry blushed again and tried to slip out of Tom's lap only to find his husband's grip tightening in warning before he allowed himself to wrap his arms around Harry to hold him in place.

"You aren't going any where, Harry." Tom hissed wickedly in his ear, making his husband shudder.

"No you aren't." Severus agreed before leaning forward and claiming Harry's lips in a kiss that left his bondmate dazed and whimpering, before promptly slipping an orange slice into the boy's mouth. Harry automatically chewed and swallowed before coming back to his senses.

"Hey! That's not fair!" Harry pouted.

"Who said anything about fair?" Tom chuckled. "Maybe we ought to do this at every meal?"

"I think I like that idea." Severus agreed as Harry whimpered again and tried to escape, only to receive a kiss on the back of his neck and another piece of fruit for his trouble. They sat there for more than half an hour feeding and kissing Harry as well as each other before they were full and the Grangers had arrived.

~

"Why are you so accepting of all of this?" Lucius asked quietly as they approached the Granger household.

"Harry is bonded to both the Dark Lord and Severus. From what I gathered when I was told any attempt to break it is worse than killing them and killing one might kill the other two or drag the one who would have died back. Its a legal binding magical marriage and I want Harry to be happy. If that means following the Dark Lord and being nice to Severus, I'll do it. If that means openly slaughtering Dumbledore and bathing in his blood, I'll do it. There is very little I wont do for him and none of it is something that he would ever ask of me." Sirius explained, after a moment's thought. "Harry is my light and the only reason I'm still alive."

"Ah." Lucius nodded in understanding, thinking that it might be a bit difficult to suddenly track down a wedding gift for the trio, then warned. "I suspect that I may have some explaining to do when Miss. Granger sees me. She takes possible threats to Mr. Potter very seriously."

"Gotcha." Sirius said with a sharp nod as they stepped up to the door and knocked. Both being wizards they had no idea about the doorbell and were lucky that Hermione heard the sharp rap of Lucius' cane on the door and opened it.

"Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Black." Hermione greeted cautiously, holding the door mostly closed as if it might stop them should they decide to force their way in. "How might I help you? I don't know Harry's home address if that's why you're here."

"No, actually we're here because someone managed to be-spell most of the Weasleys while Harry was with me at Gringotts. We thought since your parents are muggles and you can't use magic out of school that you and your family should be moved in case they come after you next." Sirius explained.

"Then why isn't Dumbledore here? Why is Mr. Malfoy?" Hermione asked suspiciously.

"That's part of the problem Hermione." Sirius told her. "I promise that we'll explain it once we're back somewhere safe. Lord Malfoy has kindly offered us the use of his home since Snivellus is bonded to Harry. I promise, this isn't a trick."

"Why is the Shrieking Shack called that?" She demanded, still holding the door mostly closed.

"Because Remus used to transform and spend his full moons there during school and we would join him in our animagus forms." Sirius said with a chuckle, earning a surprised look from Lucius. "Very good, Hermione. You were right to check. Now can you get your parents? We really do need to go." Hermione nodded and let them in the house calling for her parents as she hurried upstairs to quickly pack her trunk and get her wand.

"What is it Hermione?" Mrs. Granger asked coming in from the kitchen to see two men standing in her living room. Sirus hadn't bothered to change out of his battle robes, especially since he hadn't managed to get a decent set of clothing yet.

"Oh, hello. I take it you're from the wizarding world?" She asked noting how they were dressed, as she finished wiping her hands of water and soap suds.

"Mum! Get dad! We need to go see Harry and Ron! Something has happened!" Hermione shouted down the stairs as she hurriedly grabbed her school books, homework, robes, and some sturdy muggle clothes that could take a beating. Finally she shoved her two back up pairs of trainers into the trunk and picked up Crookshank in his travel cage, somehow he had known that they were going somewhere and had patiently waited next to his cage until it was time to get in 20 minutes later.

"Need any help?" Sirius called up, having just finished helping to explain the situation to her parents, including the fact that no, he wasn't really a mass murderer, he was in fact a type of law enforcement officer that had been framed.

"Yes, thanks." She told him coming down the stairs, carrying Crookshank in his cage. "I need my trunk lightened and shrunk? I still haven't got those spells quite right yet and I'm not supposed to use magic. My room is the first on the left."

"Hermione?" Her dad asked carefully, as Sirius headed upstairs to get her trunk. "Is this true? What these gentlemen said? Someone hurt your friends and now we have to go somewhere safer because they might want to hurt us too?"

"Essentially." Hermione agreed as Sirius came down the stairs and showed the girl her trunk before pocketing it with a nod.

"We'll be apparating to my home in Wiltshire." Lucius explained making the Grangers turn to their daughter for an explanation.

"Apparation is a sort of teleport like the portkeys I told you about." Hermione explained. "Remember when I disappeared from the back yard and you found me 10 feet up in a tree? That was probably what happened using accidental magic. I just wanted to see the bird and I didn't know why I was suddenly up so high and you both sounded scared when you spotted me."

"How old were you?" Sirus asked. "Most kids don't accidentally apparate unless their really powerful or something threatens them."

"I think I was 6. Mum? Dad?" Hermione asked.

"You had done it before that." Mr. Granger said quietly. "The first time I thought I was seeing things. You disappeared from your crib and appeared on the floor just next to it. You were 2."

"Indeed?" Lucius said intrigued. "My Draco has never apparated, accidental magic or not. Though he did have a penchant for setting the drapes on fire. It took us a while to get him to understand that fire was bad, then he started changing things at random to the color puce or golden rod yellow. But we can talk about our children's bouts of accidental magic when we get to the manor. If you would quickly retrieve anything you believe that you might need, we'll be on our way." 5 minutes later the house was locked up tight, dishes sitting in the drain board, coats missing from their hooks, and there was a crack of apparation, leaving the house empty.

Chapter Text

"FRED! GEORGE!" Hermione's yell told Harry that his friend had arrived and that the twins had managed to hit the group with the detection powder, causing Severus to chuckle darkly, and Harry to smile, as they moved back to the parlor to greet them. Everyone quickly went through what had happened since the end of the leaving feast, explaining the relevant bits and pieces of wizarding culture to the Grangers, before turning on the twins.

"So? Did they glow? What colors?" Harry asked, thinking how funny it would have been to see, only to be brought up short by the prankster's solemn nods.

"We switched powders so that we'd get a better idea of what was active." George explained.

"The powder we used this time creates single bands of color for each active magic, including potions, rather than the color mix of the first one." Fred told them.

"Ah, so what colors did they display?" Severus asked, glancing worriedly at Harry.

"Hermione was completely clean. Nothing, Nada. Her parents on the other hand..." George trailed off.

"Both of them have a large number of black bands, a really big band of purple, and different shades of blue." Fred told them quietly.

"What that means is that something about them is bound because of the black. The purple is pure memory modification, like an obliviate, but it also covers mind arts like Legillimency and Occlumency." said George.

"We figured out that the Professor always seems to be using Occlumency around the Headmaster so we tested it on him one day at school." Fred sent an apologetic look at Severus.

"You weren't exactly happy that it was flickering lavender and deep purple for about an hour, Professor." George told him grinning.

"We had to adjust the formula." Fred told him grinning equally as wide.

"Oh, so that was the two of you was it?" Severus asked darkly before he warned the still grinning duo. "There will be a reckoning for that."

"The Headmaster was the one we tested for the Legillimency color since he's read things straight from us and forgot to cover it up before." George told them sobering.

"The shades of blue are still mind magics but each shade is more light or dark." Fred went on, getting back to business after they teased their potions professor.

"The shading of any color from our detection powder indicates what it uses as a base for the spell." George.

"The more emotion the darker it is, the more willpower, thought, or mind use the lighter the shade. Just like with actual magic classification." Fred finished.

"So, why does it only last 5 minutes now?" Ron asked curiously.

"The time factor is determined by a certain ingredient mix, and Ginny ruined most of our ingredients for that." George admitted.

"So that's why you chased her for almost two hours." Ron looked at his brothers knowingly.

"Is there a way to break the spells? Why are my parents even under a spell at all? They aren't even a part of the Wizarding World." Hermione asked, worriedly watching her parents to see how they would react.

"Hang on, why can't we just floo to Gringotts and..." Harry started but trailed off when he saw Sirius shaking his head.

"The mind magics are one thing, a memory modification of the size that these two are talking about is quite another. We need a mind healer before we do anything about the rest of the magic." Sirius said quietly.

"Lord Black, I believe that my sister Andromeda might be of some use but she was disinherited." Narcissa offered hesitantly formal, bracing herself for rejection of what she was about to suggest. "She is still loyal to the house of Black and has a Healer's training. I would be willing to speak to her on your behalf."

"What was it that she was disinherited for again? Ah, yeah, marrying a muggleborn." Sirius said with a nod, then shrugged. "Well I have no problem with that. She never should have been disinherited in the first place. I, Lord Sirus Orion Black, do hereby restore Andromeda Tonks nee Black to the Black family line and welcome Nymphadora Tonks to the Ancient and Noble House of Black as has been long delayed and should have been done upon her entry into this world. So Mote It Be."

"So Mote It Be." Everyone properly familiar with wizarding culture echoed, recognizing them as Blacks once more and helping to re-activate the bloodline magic.

"Would you mind floo calling her Cissy? We might as well get some of the spell work off of them. We can pay for a Gringotts cleansing later. Man all of the spell breaking is going to cost a fortune." Sirius told her wryly. Narcissa nodded, gathering the elder Grangers, and went to call her sister.

"Will they be alright? I know they aren't my birth parents but they're still my parents." Hermione asked in concern.

"Nothing to worry about, at least not yet. Andy is good people and will be outraged when she finds out about all that spell work on your parents." Sirius told her with a chuckle. "They couldn't be in better hands."

"Alright." Hermione said with a nod of satisfaction before turning on her two friends, hands on her hips, demanding. "Harry James Potter! Ronald Bilius Weasley! You will explain, properly how you got into this mess."

"You regretting letting her know our middle names as much as I am right now?" Ron asked Harry who nodded, neither taking their eyes from the incensed witch in front of them.

"In a word? Dumbledore." Tom said shortly as he pulled Harry into his arms for a hug from behind, as Severus glared at one of his best students. Horrified understanding showed in her eyes as each and every piece started clicking into place in her mind, racing back all the way from the beginning of first year to where they now stood.

"Bloody Buggering Hell and Damnation!" Hermione cursed causing both her friends to flinch backward and draw away, along with making the rest of the room wary. They had never heard their goody two shoes friend cursing, for any reason.

"That's about what I was thinking." Sirius said dryly from where he was leaning against the wall. "See why we had to come and get you?" She nodded, still cursing with flaming fury burning in her eyes. Tom and Sev both thought she looked disturbingly like an enraged Albus Dumbledore. That's when Wimble popped in. The elf flinched back from the blazing fury in the young witch's eyes before squaring his shoulders and reporting.

"Wimble is to tell Masters and Mistress that Mistress Dromy did not think and summoned the Grangy's healer file. A healer file that shoulds not exist. Wimble is to say that the Grangy's are not muggles but are wizards. Mistress Dromy says that healer file says Grangy's were given to Misters Dumbles with no treatment when theys came to St. Mungo's after memory disappearing. Would Masters and Mistress like Wimble to tell Mistress Dromy and Mistress Cissy anything? Or would Masters and Mistress like somes tea or snack?" Wimble bravely told them, leaving the room speechless. Hermione was one of the first to recover, completely ignoring her house-elf campaign for the moment in favor of not exploding in unadulterated fury.

"Yes, we would like some tea and snacks. Thank you. Would you be willing to tell them that if they can, we'd like as much of the spell work and damage removed or repaired as possible, please?" Hermione told the elf politely. "As their daughter I give permission for whatever treatment is needed." The elf nodded enthusiastically and quickly popped out.

"She's scary when she's like this." Ron whispered to Harry who quickly nodded his agreement as they both eyed their friend. Tom was tense behind his bondmate, ready to whirl around and shield Harry as Severus had drawn his wand when she had started cursing.

"'Mione? Do you want us to help sort this out? Or do you want to go to a library or something to calm down?" Harry asked almost gently. "I bet Severus could give you a calming draught if you wanted."

"No, I need my mind clear. Thanks though." Hermione said as she looked at Harry, her temper calming just looking at her friend and remembering all that they had gone through together. "I'll just be researching some more... creative spells to try against the Headmaster the next time I see him is all."

"My dear, I must say that when your temper is roused you are absolutely terrifying." Lucius told her quietly.

"Why do you think we don't fight that hard to avoid studying when she's on a homework or research tear? She's right terrifying when she's upset." Ron told him honestly.

"I don't think we've ever seen her this angry before though." Harry said thoughtfully, knowing that Hermione would never hurt him, no matter how angry she was.

"Remind me to give her a book on house elf culture later? After this, I don't want to have to face her down if I don't have to." Sirius asked his godson quietly who nodded absently.

"Well, if we are doing family tapestries for the know-it-all and the brat, we have two options." Severus told them in a successful attempt to distract them. "I can brew the more accurate and traditional potion in a few days; Or we can send a house elf out for the potion and a couple of blank tapestries or a quick use paternity potion. I can always brew my more accurate, if experimental, version later if we decide that the store bought potions were insufficient or need to confirm the results."

"Lets send an elf out. I want the safety net that it will provide Harry in place as soon as possible. We still have to make sure that someone unobjectionable that we trust is listed as Harry's guardian. If nothing else it will help hide his status a bit and give us a few cards up our sleeves." Sirius told them, as Lucius nodded in agreement. "As Snivellus said he can always re-brew a better batch later."

"Sirius, don't call him that." Harry admonished his godfather, noticing how tense his husband had gotten.

"Harry, being nice to him is killing me." Sirius pleaded. Harry just sent a glare at him as Severus moved closer to his husband and smirked a bit at Black's discomfort. Trying to head an argument off, Lucius called for and sent an elf out for the potions and tapestries. They were in his hands fifteen minutes later.

"Perhaps we should focus on creating the tapestries?" Lucius asked, interrupting the insults that Severus and Sirius were throwing at each other with a raised eyebrow, showing that he now had the potions and tapestries to hand. "Who will be going first?"

"Why don't we just do it together?" Harry suggested and Hermione nodded.

They obeyed Severus' quiet instructions, each unrolling a tapestry across the back of a chair or sofa before adding a few drops of blood to their respective potions and pouring it on the blank tapestries. The bloom of designs, colors, and names delighted the two, even as Tom made his own with the blank tapestry and potion Lucius had quietly slipped his friend. Once the younger duo got over the beauty of the tapestries themselves everyone focused on first checking Harry's tapestry to make sure that everything was correct. Then they moved on to looking at Hermione's which had formed slower, fighting through enchantments that they were unaware of. To say that her parentage shocked everyone in the room was an understatement. Hermione was listed as the child of Albus Dumbledore, Gellert Grindelwald, and Lily Potter nee Evans.

"But Lily never cheated on James, and if she had it would have been with Snivellus not, not... Dumbledore and Grindelwald. How did that even happen any way?" Sirius choked out, trying not to gag at the thought of the three together and staring at the tapestry.

"She was my sister, not my love interest!" Severus hissed at the man, eyes glancing between Harry, the tapestry, and Hermione.

"If Lily acted as the surrogate and the child was implanted early enough, the fetus would have taken on the bloodline of the carrier." Lucius told them still stunned from the revelation that was right in front of his eyes.

"You're no mudblood, you're a pure-blood." Draco said softly earning a cuff to his ear from his mother as she came into the room and looked around.

"You know better than to use that language Draco." Narcissa scolded then glanced at the portion of the tapestry that everyone seemed to be staring at. After a moment or two of staring herself she went on, shaken. "Well, that explains what few memory spells and the major obliviate that Andy was able to repair. When you made the tapestry it broke the anchor enchantment and the bindings. They weren't happy once they figured out what was going on. Hermione, they do remember you and they remember loving you but they just aren't your parents and feel they don't have a right to you. I offered, on behalf of House Malfoy and House Black to blood adopt you. They agreed since you already have a connection with us."

"You did right my flower." Lucius said as he hugged his wife to his side, and Harry gave Hermione a hug as she started to quietly cry.

"Well, now we know you've been my sister all along." Harry joked softly, wiping her tears away.

"Why couldn't they just blood adopt me themselves?" She asked quietly.

"They're both muggleborns aren't they mother?" Draco asked, finally looking at his parents and away from the truly disturbing family tapestry and getting a nod in answer. "Then they don't know that Dumbledore and Grindelwald effectively gave up any claim on her when she was placed with them. Provided they both knew about her and where she was placed. They didn't fight for her so they have no rights or claim on her."

"Very good Dragon." Lucius said softly. "Which is one of the reasons why we'll be adopting her and you'll get a new sister."

"What if Grindelwald doesn't know about 'Mione?" Harry asked quietly. "Will he be able to try and take her away?"

Lucius shook his head no and explained. "If he doesn't know he can only demand visitation rights at this point and he's in Numengard, a wizarding prison, for his actions in regards to both Adolph Hitler and his attempts to conquer the Wizarding World."

"He cannot legally take her away but if her heritage becomes known before we've completed the adoption his followers might try to claim her. They may still try after the adoption but we'll have more options at that point." Tom clarified.

"How do we do this? What do we need?" Harry asked.

"Harry?" Hermione asked wetly.

"I want you safe as soon as possible. The Malfoys said they would adopt you but if they don't I will." Harry told her.

"Won't work mate, if you're thinking what I think your thinking." Ron said. "You're already her brother."

"No but if we adopt her it would." The twins said after sharing a look. "We always wanted her as a little sister."

"Mum will throw a fit if anyone adopts Harry without letting her adopt him." Ron warned. "You, know, once she's back to normal that is."

"Not..." Fred started.

"If we..." George.

"Use the sibling...." Fred.

"Adoption charm." George finished.

"That would allow the adoption to extend to your parents with a simple ritual phrase and a drop of blood each making you true siblings rather than simply adopted." Severus nodded in understanding.

"You know Forge, I wouldn't mind marrying her." George told his twin, with a twinkle in his eye.

"Come to think of it Gred, neither would I. The question is would she be willing to take us both and would Harry say yes?" Fred said consideringly, as he looked a beet red Hermione up and down.

"Why would you need my permission to marry someone?" Harry asked puzzled and oblivious to the fact that he was discussing the marriage of his two minions to the sister currently hiding in his arms. Tom snorted in amusement.

"Harry, they gave you the right to choose or veto their spouse when they took the fealty oath and as the young lady's brother and in this case family lord you have the right to veto everything being discussed here. With or without anyone's permission." Severus explained patiently.

"Oh." Harry said then turned to Hermione.

"Do you want to do that? I promise that we'll go whatever route keeps you safe and makes you happy." He promised.

"Well I wouldn't mind if the Malfoys adopt me but I've always sort of fancied Fred and George." Hermione admitted.

"You do realize you can do both? Become my sister and marry the terrors?" Draco reminded her.

"No, she can't. She isn't of age yet." Sirius said with shake of his head. "If she wants to marry before she turns 17 her family head and lord has to sign off on it and its usually done through a marriage contract."

"But that only means that Harry would need to sign off on it." Ron pointed out.

"Yes, but normally that wouldn't work because he also isn't 17, but Harry is considered an adult himself because of the tournament and his marriage bond." Sirius corrected. "The question is if we want to risk our efforts of hiding Harry's status by letting him sign a marriage contract before.... huh. I forgot about that. You two are sworn to him under a fealty bond and as Hermione's brother, Harry is currently her legal guardian and lord since the Grangers remembered who they were and neither of her birth parents have claimed her. Harry, on the other hand, claimed her the first time he called her sister. This is one of those weird loop holes, even if he weren't an adult his decision would be binding since he's over 14. Its your call pup." Harry considered a moment then turned to the twins after he gently set Hermione behind him.

"You can court her but if she says no, stop, or that its over at any time, that's it." Harry told them. "We four can discuss a formal marriage contract later but for now I give my permission for you to court my sister, with the full intent of marriage."

"Thank you my lord." The twins chorused going down on their knees in front of Harry, each giving off a brilliant smile and Hermione punched her brother lightly in the back even as she blushed.

"Blimey, mum's gonna throw a wobbly." Ron said quietly.

"So, do I still get her as a sister?" Draco asked.

"Hermione?" Harry queried. She nodded and he turned back to the Malfoys. "What do we need to do for you to adopt her?"

"Simple, pup. I'll show you. I want to officially adopt you any way." Sirius said as he stepped forward, making Harry's eyes go comically wide.

"Do you still have that goblin silver knife Gringotts gave you when you got your ring?" He asked and then nodded when Harry pulled it out of his hiding place along his belt at the base of his back and showed it too him. His husbands had shown him how to attach the sheath to his belt so that the knife followed the belt and lay on its side, long ways, at the base of his back. It wouldn't interfere with anything he tried to do and was fairly easy to draw quickly.

"Good. Now we just draw a little blood on the palm of our hands, hold the cuts to each other and say the magic words." Sirius told him impishly, matching word to deed. "I, Sirius Orion Black, take you, Harry James Potter, as my son, my blood, my family, and my heir. From this day forward you are one of my family, one of my line, one of my blood. So Mote It Be."

"So Mote It Be." Everyone echoed, as a flash of blood red light enveloped the two, healing the cuts, and adding Sirius' blood to Harry's as a father to a child.

"Hermione's turn." Narcissa said gently, and Harry nodded, wordlessly passing over his knife for them to use. Hermione got a slice in each hand as Lucius and Narcissa each matched a mirror cut on their own hand to hers.

"I, Lucius/Narcissa Abraxus/Black Malfoy, take you, Hermione Jean Granger, as my daughter, my blood, and my family. From this day forward you are one of my family, one of my line, one of my blood. So Mote It Be." The Malfoy Lord and Lady said together, each reciting their specific variations, the last portion once again echoed by everyone there, creating another flash of crimson.

"Now, they might still try to take you three away. Lucius and I discussed it when we explained to the Grangers what was going on. One of you also needs to be adopted by someone who is going to be living here. It would work best if both of you were adopted, that way no one could claim guardianship over one and drag the other two with them because of your bond." Sirius explained, and Lucius cleared his throat, gaining everyone's attention.

"Severus, we thought you might let us, the Malfoys adopt you." Lucius offered, almost shyly, earning a light smack and an "of course we will" from his wife, not having discussed it with her yet.

"So I get Hermione as my new sister and Uncle Sev would become my brother." Draco concluded, then his face split wide in a grin. "I always wanted siblings!"

"What about Tom?" Harry asked uncertainly, looking at his husband and bondmate.

"I can't be adopted by Lord Black because he adopted you, husband mine, and I can't be adopted by the Malfoys because Lucius already carries my mark. If he had adopted me before I marked him that would be another matter." Tom explained with a mournful shake of his head. "I have no doubt that Lucius would have offered but the fact is that the magic wouldn't allow it because of a conflict of interest. It also wouldn't have been recognized by our society because I could have ordered him to offer. With the three of us married, Sirius could now carry your mark because we could give him the orders that would cause a conflict of interest if it came to that. Considering his actions he probably didn't try to explain this possibility and take your personal mark before so that he had the option to adopt you."

"So we need to find someone who isn't marked and would be willing to adopt you." Harry decided, then his eyes lit up. "What about Mr. and Mrs. Tonks?"

"Andy? If we explained it to her, she might be willing. I know that both she and Ted always wanted another child but the spell damage from a stray miscast hex and Nymphadora's birth made it impossible." Narcissa said consideringly, then offered. "She's likely still here. I could go ask, and you could meet them?"

Tom nodded and about 2 hours later, after an extensive explanation as to what all had happened, his goals, and his reasons for trying to bring back the old traditions while separating further from the muggle world they agreed and the last two adoptions went forward. After Lucius took 10 minutes magically filing all of the relevant paperwork and sorted out rooms for everyone they sat down to a celebratory feast. The Grangers had gone to St. Mungo's on Andromeda's instructions just before Tom's adoption was broached to Mrs. Tonks and her husband, Ted Tonks, flooed over to help decide. Everyone eventually retreated to the family wing full of good food and happy about the adoptions. The Tonks' flooed home leaving their new son with his husbands and bondmates. Harry blushed crimson when he found that the three of them would be sleeping together in a single giant bed. His husbands just smirked and snogged him silly before they all fell asleep.

Chapter Text

 

Dumbledore/Grindelwald Love Child?
Love Child, Chosen One, Dark Lord, and Potions Master... Adopted?

By Rita Skeeter

 

In the course of research at the ministry on our latest hot topics this reporter managed to stumble upon a secret that was almost lost to time! Dumbledore the defeater of Grindelwald appears to have been Grindelwald's lover! How was this discovered you might ask? In the course of continued research on the Bonded Trio who have been so much in the news of late I stumbled across paperwork filing its self on one Hermione Jean Granger, 1/3rd of the Golden Trio. Apparently Miss. Granger performed a tapestry unveiling recently and was adopted along side of Potions Master Severus Snape by Lord and Lady Malfoy! Making her Miss. Hermione Malfoy.

As neither Mr. or Mrs. Granger were listed on the record of the family tapestry this reporter presumes that there is no relation between the couple and the young woman they have helped raise. Leaving the field wide open for the Malfoys to move in and adopt this intelligent, powerful, young witch. As readers no doubt realize the lack of acknowledgement by both Dumbledore and Grindelwald has stripped both parents of any claim to the young witch. It is unknown if Lily Potter nee Evans, the one who carried young Miss. Malfoy to term was aware of the situation in regards to the child or even who the true parents were. From comparing the young woman's recorded birthdate of September 19, 1979 to young Harry Potter's well known July 31, 1980 we can presume that within the next month after her birth Harry Potter was conceived. This left barely enough time for a witch's body to recover from the first birth!

From the records, we find Lily Potter listed as one of the parents, strongly suggesting that the fetus was transferred early enough to take on the bloodline of the carrier. This method is not uncommon when the two original parents are male as the stresses of pregnancy are far harsher on a wizard's body than on a witch's. We may never know the full story of Hermione Jean Malfoy but what we do know from the records is that Harry Potter has acknowledged her as his sister via Lily Potter nee Evans and she has been adopted by the Malfoy family.

The other addition to the Malfoy family was Severus Tobias Snape, whom readers should remember was de-aged and bonded to our young savior along side of the Dark Lord. All three of the Bonded Trio were adopted by various parties at the same time as young Miss. Malfoy. The Dark Lord was adopted by the Tonks family, giving Auror Tonks a new brother. While Harry Potter was adopted by his godfather Lord Sirius Orion Black. Curiously the paperwork which was filed stubbornly refused to reveal any name except the birth names of the Bonded Trio, making one wonder what powerful magic is awaiting completion.

These adoptions were a shrewd move on the Bonded Trio's part to avoid a court appointed guardian, especially after how abominably they were treated by their last caretakers. As a magical adoption ceremony was used guardianship of those adopted automatically passed to the adopting adults. Dumbledore is out of the country visiting Numengard and is unavailable for comment on the revelation of his daughter's existence and identity.

~

The British paper called the Daily Prophet had arrived just long enough before Albus' scheduled visit for Gellert Grindelwald to read the complete article. To say that he was incensed would be an understatement. He very carefully pulled on his welcoming mask before greeting the man who would have once been his husband.

"Albus! I've missed you." Gellert greeted his old lover as Albus entered his cell, eyes twinkling.

"Gellert." Albus greeted happily. "I've missed you as well."

"Tell me Albus, have you had a chance to read the Daily Prophet this morning? The headline article is quite interesting." Gellert said cordially, handing over his copy of the foreign paper that he knew his old lover read daily. Albus' reaction to the article was almost comical. His eyes widened in shock and he looked up at his old friend like a deer caught in a pair of headlights.

"Now, is there something you would like to tell me Albus? Like I don't know the fact that our daughter is alive and well and in fact not DEAD?!" Gellert asked in a dangerously quiet tone, his voice shifted, rising until he was shouting after saying Dumbledore's name. Bringing the guards to listen at the door to the cell, not yet daring to interfere with the argument.

"I.. I.. Gellert it was the only way." Dumbledore pleaded. "Trying to carry the baby to term here would have killed both of you and your followers were still trying to kill me, even 34 years later! I had to do something! That's why I knocked you out that night and made it seem like you'd lost the baby. I got one of my followers to carry her to term and hid her as best I could."

"You took our child from me, made me believe that it had died due to my actions, and then left her unacknowledged." Gellert said coldly. "You've lost any right to her, and as her other father I forbid you from interacting with her. You might not have been willing to acknowledge her but I most certainly am! Harken, until this moment a child of mine was unknown to me. I now know of the child and do hereby acknowledge and claim said child. The child is of my blood, my family, and my name. I do also acknowledge that those who have adopted her have a valid claim. My daughter is Hermione Jean Malfoy-Grindelwald!" The magic flashed blood red and silver, magically changing the paperwork the same way it had been filed after the adoptions and the bonding of Harry, Tom, and Severus.

Gellert eyed the aged Headmaster coldly and spat. "You've gone too far this time Albus. I want to see my daughter and I will see her, even if I have to tear down Numengard and the walls of where ever you have hidden her. Get out!"

Albus turned shoulders slumped, suddenly very very tired and left the cell. Gellert turned to the wary guards.

"Get me the warden and the minister." He told them harshly. "I can either tear down the walls or they can let me out and I will willingly return on my own, after I've seen my daughter." The one guard nodded shortly before bolting to deliver the message as the other guards escorted the Headmaster of Hogwarts out of Numengard. By the time Albus had returned to Hogwarts the entire wizarding world was aware of the mistake he had made in regards to his daughter.

Chapter Text

Albus walked into the great hall of Hogwarts, brooding. He found his entire staff waiting for him. Thinking quickly he started to silently and wandlessly cast his normal light compulsion, persuasion, and loyalty spells that manifested as the twinkle in his eyes, he did not want to explain. Before he managed to establish even the faintest glimmer his head rocked backward. McGonagall had slapped him, hard. Hard enough to set his ears ringing.

"Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore!" The cold fury in the Deputy Headmistresses voice was unmistakable. Albus realized that as far as she was concerned he had hurt not only one of her lion cubs but his own daughter to boot.

"If Grindelwald did not forbid you access to young Miss. Granger, my apologies, young Miss. Malfoy, then we as Hogwarts staff will!" Flitwick squeaked in rage. "As her new head of house should I find you coming anywhere near her I will bring you up on charges! Headmaster or no!"

"As her former head of house, I will do the same. Not only for Miss. Malfoy but also for Mr. Potter, and Mr's Weasley." Minerva told him coldly. "Go near any of them, Albus, and we'll take it out of your hide before we call the Aurors."

"Minerva, do you honestly think I don't regret doing this? Not seeing my little girl grow up? Why do you think I've worked so hard to remain on staff? Gellert saw the news in the paper and has made his own, similar demands and promises." Dumbledore said tiredly. "His followers were still coming after me when Gellert conceived Hermione, so I couldn't risk carrying her myself, and Numengard its self would have killed both of them if I had allowed Gellert to try and carry her. He wouldn't listen when I brought up using a surrogate to carry her to term. It was the only thing I could think of."

"A few weeks after Lily and James agreed to carry her to term and I helped transfer the fetus, I nearly lost the duel when a small group of Gellert's people came after me. I did loose the ability to conceive and carry a child. Gellert doesn't know and had no idea that she had survived in the first place. I would have lost her in truth. My actions kept her safe, even if she and everyone else now hate me." He finished his explanation, now simply hoping he could just go to bed. He was caught by surprise when Minerva McGonagall took the chance and, at the hat's previous request, slipped the Sorting Hat onto the Headmaster's head. He had absolutely no chance to get his mental shields up and sunk to his knees with a groan of weariness as the hat quickly and efficiently shuffled through his mind as the old man passed out.

"Against my better judgement he has one year to remain on probation as Headmaster and get his affairs in order. Any further breaches of the Headmastership will result in immediate expulsion from the castle and its environs. Deputy Headmistress control of the wards now passes to you and the Heirs will receive overriding access upon their completed bonding and confirmation." The hat told them flatly. "The moment Harry Hogwarts nee Potter steps foot on the grounds the bond between Headmaster and Fawkes will transfer to the young Heir. The bond between myself and the Headmaster or Headmistress will transfer upon completion of the estate bond. Don't be surprised if the castle makes its... displeasure known. On a more happy note the potion that the old geezer used on them at the leaving feast did qualify as a marriage bond. Not that he knows that. His plans include attempting to hurt or control them again. He wont remember this encounter beyond the slap and the shout of his name. Enjoy messing with the old bastard. His days are numbered."

The staff exchanged looks of fury then the last part of the hat's little speech dawned on them.

"Infirmary?" Poppy asked slyly.

"Infirmary." Minerva agreed firmly. "We'll let him think that he passed out from exhaustion when I slapped him. Indeed he most probably did pass out from exhaustion. I think our duty now is to keep him in check long enough to hand him over to young Mr. Riddle and Mr. Potter. Or would that be Misters Hogwarts?"

"Misters Hogwarts. Though the estate magic isn't set yet and continuing to use one's birth name is completely legal, both mundane and magical." Madam Pince said firmly. "According to the Hogwarts charter, and the instructions set down by the founders we have no authority over Severus or his husbands. Not anymore. In fact in certain cases we need to ask permission of one, if not all, of them. I'll provide you each a full list after I've finished compiling it. Giving and taking house points was instituted later so that can still be used. I will also provide summaries of the restrictions and responsibilities in regards to the Fealty oath that Miss. Lovegood and the Weasley twins took in front of the school. I will also provide the three with the summary and relevant reference books. Until they take full control, Hogwarts remains under the Headmaster's and Governor's guardianship and management."

"Thank you for that explanation Irma." Minerva nodded. "I'll bring it up with Severus when they return."

Dumbledore woke up in the infirmary to a sea of concerned faces and except for the sting of the slap that he could remember Minerva delivering felt nothing was wrong or out of place.

"I am terribly sorry. The trip took more out of me than usual." Albus twinkled at them.

"Of course Albus. We'll let you rest and then get the truth about this mess from you." Minerva said kindly, even as Poppy and the other teachers not looking Dumbledore in the eye noticed the change in personality and agreed upon script. Apparently there was more to the Headmaster's twinkle than they had thought...

~

Fudge made time for a visit to Hogwarts only to find Dumbledore in the hospital wing that day. Apparently one of his staff had slapped him after reading the morning paper. Cornelius smirked to himself as he thought about how he might manage to use this 'dreadfully sorry business' to his advantage. The man wouldn't be able to refuse a ministry appointed observer or teacher, not with his popularity and power suddenly plummeting. Yes, the ministry would control Hogwarts and the very man who had always shielded the school from such things would help facilitate the transfer. Things were most certainly looking up and if he managed the situation right Dumbledore would not only be in his debt he would be under his control. Chuckling darkly Cornelius put on his sadly sympathetic face and went to see the Headmaster in the infirmary.

Chapter Text

At Malfoy Manor they had just sat down to breakfast after yesterday's chaos when the paper arrived with Skeeter's article on the adoptions, making Hermione go beet red when she saw it.

"So, that's how she got her hands on some of the information over the years." Severus said in disgust after reading the article. "Probably has a charm set on the records department to send her a copy or some such. Wretched woman."

"Now, Severus, she does have her uses." Lucius admonished as he buttered his scone. "And you need to think, old friend. What better way to warn anyone off of trying for your guardianship than to publish the adoptions?"

"There's also the fact that she's a beetle animagus. Come to that did the woman ever actually register?" Tom asked, serving himself some bacon.

"We can always sue her for slander." Sirius pointed out.

"Only works if what she printed isn't true and we prove it in court." Lucius reminded him with a hum of delight at his bit into the scone.

"Draco! They may be your brothers and sister now but that does not give you the excuse to throw food, muchless at meal time." Narcissa scolded, stopping Draco from spoon launching part of his breakfast at Harry. Guiltily young Malfoy turned the spoon around and stuck the porridge in his mouth, as Sirius smirked at the boy getting caught.

"Draco you know better. That was far too Gryffindorish. If you feel you must waste food or attempt to get back at another student you do it out of sight and less obviously." Lucius scolded absently as he turned a page of the paper in his hands. Never noticing his wife's increasingly dark glower at him that culminated in a smack on the arm from his wife. Making the rest of the table either snicker or smile at the couple's antics.

"Oh, Draco knows how to do that. He's been doing it to me since first year." Harry disagreed and dodged another attempt from Tom at feeding him. At least this time his bondmates let him sit in his own chair and mostly feed himself. Severus merely handed him a nutrition potion from the Malfoy's potions stock that he had brewed on a previous visit. Harry glared at the vial of potion and Sev raised his eyebrow in challenge, causing his husband to sigh and down the potion as fast as possible with a grimace.

"Are they still saying that Tom isn't the Dark Lord, and that Harry is a liar?" Draco asked.

"Everyone except, surprisingly, for Skeeter." Lucius admitted. "Though they have stopped trying to actively and publicly crucify your brother and his bondmates. Whoever in the mis-information office is directing this campaign is appallingly sloppy. Severus was never even mentioned in the smear campaign. They focused on Harry."

"Yes, but if Tom isn't the Dark Lord than Harry has the most political and public pull of the three. Which means it was almost a requirement for them to focus on Harry and try to discredit him." Hermione pointed out.

"Blimey 'Mione, give it a rest! I know you've been focusing on this since we couldn't manage to get an owl to Harry, but he's here now. Leave it be, at least 'till we're back at school, will you?" Ron complained, noting how Harry had suddenly turned shy when his name was mentioned as being in the paper again.

"We have enough studying and attempts to simply stay alive while at school. We need to look for things that will be a problem and stop them early or we wont get anything done. It also makes it easier for us to keep Harry out of the infirmary." Hermione said simply.

"And why, pray tell, were you not sorted or even re-sorted into Slytherin?" Lucius asked buttering another scone.

"I love books. I'm good at finding patterns, facts, especially from books, and putting pieces together in the right place when someone else doesn't see it. I'm not very good at being subtle or seeing some of the normal social cues. The muggle doctor said that my brain works differently than most. They call it autism. I don't have a very severe form. Here in the wizarding world though no one found anything wrong with me. I'm just clever and sometimes my cleverness finds a different pattern than everyone else." Hermione said not looking up from her own copy of the prophet. "Harry's the same way, he just uses his senses and working cleverness rather than book cleverness."

"Thanks, I think." Harry muttered, unsure how to take what his sister had just said.

"Muggles, always calling something that it isn't or saying there's something there when there's nothing." Lucius muttered before stabbing viciously at his eggs.

"Lucius, don't maul your food." Narcissa told her husband and sighed as he tried to do just that.

"Can Harry and I play Quidditch after breakfast or at least a Seekers Duel?" Draco asked before taking a bite out of his toast.

"Blimey, you're not such a prat after all." Ron said in sudden realization looking around the room at how everyone was acting almost like the Weasleys at meal time.

"Its called a public mask for a reason." Severus sneered, then regretfully dashed Harry's hopes of flying. "I'm sorry, Harry. You can't go flying and you might never play Quidditch again."

"But, but, why?" Harry asked, the bond clearly telling his husbands that he was on the verge of tears.

"The distance limit." Tom said softly as both he and Sev drew him into a joint hug. "What would happen if you went further than 50 feet from us? We wont risk you being pulled off of your broom in mid-flight Harry."

"Then there are all of the insane stunts you pull." Severus reminded him with a snort. "You would nearly give me a heart attack any time I watched you play, and that was before the bond. I'm sorry Harry. I know you love to fly but its simply too dangerous."

"Are you sure of the distance limit?" Hermione asked curiously.

"Fairly, why?" Tom said mildly, as they drew back from Harry so that he could finish his breakfast.

"What if its changed since the bond formed?" Hermione asked after a moment's thought. "Have you checked it since it formed?"

"Noooo, we've been having too much trouble dodging Dudley and Uncle Vernon. Then at Gringotts and Diagon Alley we didn't even try to go 20 feet, never mind the 50 feet we figured out before leaving the castle." Harry admitted after a moment of contemplation.

"So you haven't even really tested it." Hermione said pointedly.

"I guess not." Harry said apparently completely unconcerned, hiding his excitement over his sudden understanding that if Hermione was right, there might still be a way for him to go flying.

"So, instead of flying, we get to figure out exactly how far Harry can get from his bondmates and what happens if they get too far or something happens to him." Ron concluded with a nod. "Alright, but I still want to go flying at some point before we have to go back to school, and we still need to figure out why Mum and Dad and Gin went bonkers. 's not like we have the kind of money to just knock them out and luge them to Gringotts for a full cleansing. For that matter, I don't think we'd even manage to get near them with how they acted last time."

"Noooo, but I do!" Sirius said brightly. "I just need a little help kidnapping another Lord and his Lady."

"If you keep going like this you wont have a fortune left." Severus said with snort.

"Uh, what good is a fortune if your friends and family are all turned into mindless puppets?" Sirius asked cluelessly.

"Fair point." Tom said ending the argument with a glare shot at his husband.

"Well, we still need to figure out the bond." Hermione said decidedly. "The adults can deal with your parents while we deal with Harry's bond."

"I take it that you no longer include the two of us among the adults?" Severus asked dryly indicating himself and Tom.

"Nooo, you're just my brothers and my brothers in-law. Sirius is the one I don't count as a full adult." Hermione said almost impishly.

"Hey!" Sirius cried and gave chase as Hermione bolted from the table with the twins, laughing.

"Dear god. You never should have told them they could court. The chaos those three will cause!" Severus said in sudden horrified understanding of the time bomb Harry had unleashed.

"Its alright Severus, I'm here to protect you from the pranksters and bookworm." Harry said sympathetically, as he patted his husband on the arm.

Once breakfast was over they each set to their appointed tasks. Lucius and Narcissa helped Sirius corral the Weasleys and get them to Gringotts, while Hermione claimed everyone else and they set to testing the bond. Hermione dragged them onto the front lawn after making sure that everyone had their wand in case something happened and that they were all dressed in appropriate clothes.

"Hermione! We aren't babies." Harry told his sister stubbornly as they arrived at her chosen spot on the front lawn.

Nagini had opted to come along and watch the foolishness once the situation had been explained to her. She had been mostly staying in the room of the only people who could actually speak to her and going hunting stupid white peacocks at night. The magic that was a part of her made it easy to ignore any temperature drop that happened to try and make her sluggish like her non-magical cousins.

"~Still a hatchling. My hatchling speakers.~" Nagini commented, from near Harry's feet with a chuckle. "~Don't get hurt playing with the other hatchlings.~"

"~Not a hatchling!~" Harry hissed back furiously.

"~Too young. Hatchling.~" Nagini said flatly.

"Give it up Harry." Tom told him with an eye-roll. "She kept calling me hatchling until I tried to kill you. Then I went without a body for 10 years."

"I don't care what she calls me. I'm just glad that I can ask her to move off of the bed rather than risk getting bitten." Severus told them plainly.

Nagini responded by rapidly launching herself at him and trying to wrap her body around his. Try being the operative word, something yanked both him and Tom sideways toward Harry, even as Harry cried out in alarm and tried to get between Severus and Nagini. Intellectually he knew that Nagini would never hurt his bondmate, but he still hadn't gotten used to how fast the magical snake could move when she chose too. Confused and trying to figure out what had happened Nagini looked around and found her speakers all in a jumbled pile.

"Well that was informative." Hermione said a bit unsettled at how fast Nagini had moved, even as the snake now moved more slowly over to her pile of speakers to see if they were alright.

"Brat, did you just drag us more than 5 feet?" Severus asked, wind knocked out of him.

"Sorry." Harry said muffled from the bottom of the pile, as they disentangled themselves from each other.

"Nagini wouldn't have hurt him." Tom said with a sigh.

"I know, but it looked like she was attacking him." Harry said miserably.

"~Silly hatchling.~" Nagini hissed in amusement and moved off to the side again to watch.

"What else have you gotten the bond to do?" Hermione asked before anyone else could comment on what had just happened.

"Share injuries, but it seems to stop at bruises and welts then switches to a sort of echo of the pain of the injury, even if something draws blood all that's left behind on the other two are welts." Tom said quietly, watching his youngest bondmate out of the corner of his eye as they stood together.

"Harry has demonstrated the ability to send soothing emotions and thoughts down the bond, and I believe he used the bond to teach our magic how to partly heal our injuries." Severus admitted. "Though the soothing effect seems to also have a mild sedative effect."

"We can feel each others emotions." Harry said quietly. "And Severus can speak parseltounge now."

"Then, of course, there is the fact we cannot go beyond 50 feet from one another." Tom observed before trying to take a step away from his bondmates, only to find that he was brought up short.

"Brat, ease up. You're keeping Tom from checking on Nagini." Severus said with a sigh.

"Wha? Oh, sorry." Harry said sheepishly and tried not to feel so clingy and protective. He managed to instead focus on keeping Severus near and reluctantly letting Tom walk away from him.

"Interesting. Professor did you know that would work?" Hermione asked, the gleam of research entering her eye.

"No, but I didn't see Nagini coming, and Tom wouldn't have worried about her. Harry was the only one of us who might have reacted like that." Severus explained

"I wonder... Harry keep doing whatever it is you're doing. Tom would you mind trying to run and get a snack or something from the kitchen or the library?" Hermione suggested. Tom looked at her for a moment then comprehension dawned and he went to get something from both the kitchen and one of the more distant libraries, returning less than 20 minutes later with a packed lunch that the elves had insisted upon sending with him and a book on the Dark Arts he hadn't yet managed to read.

"Oh, good! Harry? Do you think that you could focus on not keeping the Professor and Tom near you? If we manage this you might be able to fly." Hermione said gently.

"Fly, yes, play Quidditch, no. I'm not taking the chance that whatever this is will change its mind and drag us back to each other while he's in mid-flight." Tom said stubbornly. "If he wants to fly that badly then we can fly with him, but I'm not risking him on some idiotic game!"

"Its, not idiotic." Harry, Ron, and the twins said together in wounded, hurt, and outraged tones.

"None of you understand." Draco pouted at the unimpressed trio of Severus, Tom, and Hermione.

"Dragon, we value our lives and knowledge more than enough not to risk our fool necks rushing about at high speed in mid-air dodging things trying to pound us." Severus tried to explain with a sigh.

"Well, if nothing else then it looks like Harry holds the 'leash' on the distance part of the bond." Hermione said after observing the impressive glares that the Quidditch playing members of the group were sending toward Severus and Tom. "Harry clearly feels he is the most vulnerable and the bond is responding to that. I suspect that each of you are 'teaching' the bond something and its sharing it with the other two. Harry taught the bond to heal, Tom taught it parseltounge, and I'm not sure what the Professor taught it yet. Maybe how to keep track of the other two? Or keep you nearby? I'm not sure. But its clear that the bond is changing and learning."

"So, Harry needs to try letting Tom and Severus go somewhere more than 50 feet so that we can see if one of them needs to stay near him." Draco observed.

"As much..." Fred started.

"As we..." George.

"Hate to..." Fred.

"Suggest it..." George.

"Shouldn't we..." Fred.

"Try hurting them?" George.

"Just to see..." Fred hastily went on, seeing the building anger in both Severus and Tom.

"How far it will go?" George finished.

"No." Tom said shortly. "The fat muggle tested that part more than enough."

"I agree." Hermione told them. "Besides with how often Harry winds up in the hospital wing it will get tested on its own. We don't need to hurt them more. Now can we do the other distance test or not?"

"Um, the bond felt like it was stretching. Like a rubber band. I think if you go too far away for too long it might drag us back together and not let us go too far from each other for at least a little bit." Harry admitted tentatively.

"Definitely no flying." Severus said after a moment observing his suddenly shy bondmate. Then he grabbed Tom and they went off, even going so far as to leave the property, always waiting to feel that jerk in the gut that would stop them from going further from their bondmate. They were, however, finally brought up short approximately 5 miles from the edge of the Malfoy estate and unthinkingly, apparating back to the edge of the wards before returning to the group waiting for them on the front lawn.

"Five miles or so." Severus told them shortly.

"And apparation within that distance isn't an issue." Tom commented as he watched Harry blissfully, wrapped in a Nagini blanket sitting on the lawn in amusement.

"Then unless there is a time limit for how long you can be away from Harry you shouldn't have any problems being away from each other when school starts." Hermione decided.

"Then I can fly?" Harry asked eagerly, as he unwrapped a grumbling Nagini from around him.

"Not until we discover if there is a time limit." Tom warned. "I wont take the risk."

"Nor will I." Severus agreed.

"Then lets test it." Harry told them firmly. "We have almost a month before school starts."

It took them less than 24 hours to find out that there was indeed a time limit but it took them the rest of the month to figure out the specifics. They couldn't be more than 50 feet away from each other for more then 12 hours at the most. They would also have to spend an equal amount of time within 5 feet of each other for how ever much time was spent more than 50 feet away. Luckily they found it wasn't required that they spend all of the nearness or distance re-charge time together all at once. Simply being within 5 feet of each other for 5 minutes took 5 minutes off of the accumulated time spent away from each other. Everyone but Harry was confused when Hermione compared the phenomena to roll over minutes on a cell phone, which caused the two no end of amusement.

At some point during the month of testing Tom had managed to meet with his followers and explain that Harry and Severus were now his husbands. He also explained that the Weasley twins and Luna actually outranked everyone except him, Harry, and Severus since they had a full fledged Fealty Bond with Harry. They planned and executed the Azkaban breakout. Harry made both Tom and Severus sleep on the floor next to the bed the night he found out, ignoring every attempt to change his mind, despite the fantastic snogging sessions. Tom even managed to make headway with his planned take over of the wizarding world as his people recovered from their time with the Dementors.

Tom also managed to apply for the Defense position at Hogwarts, offering to lift the curse on the position as an incentive. Dumbledore made him explain why he should let Tom anywhere near Hogwarts, bonded to a student and Professor or not. Tom pointed out that the fact each of his husbands were in fact staff and students was more than enough according to the Hogwarts charter. Dumbledore grudgingly agreed but denied him the defense position saying that it had already been filled. Instead, at McGonagall's insistence, he offered the position of Assistant Potions Professor, which Tom grudgingly accepted. He refused to lift the curse on the Defense position on the grounds that it was not the position of an Assistant Professor to interact so drastically with the wards. Dumbledore let it drop since he didn't actually want Tom to have full access to the wards. Then their summer came to an end and they packed up before returning to Hogwarts.

Chapter Text

The normal noise, hustle, and bustle of Kings Cross had Harry brightening. He had been sad ever since Tom had somehow managed to get his people out of Azkaban without leaving the 5 mile outside physical limit on the bond. Bellatrix had decided once she was even remotely well enough to explore the Manor that Harry, at the very least, had to go. The bitch had trouble believing that Harry and Severus were actually bonded to her lord muchless married to him. So when she found Harry alone in one of the libraries at Malfoy Manor she had decided to... play.

 

Flashback

Bellatrix had finally been cleared to move around the Manor a bit but neither she nor anyone else had been told why they were confined to certain areas. Bella didn't care. She was in her lord's latest stronghold and she had proven her loyalty without a shadow of a doubt. Bella had just wandered into one of the Malfoy libraries near the impromptu infirmary when she saw Harry, back to the door she was coming through, returning a book to the shelf.

The first curse missed him on purpose but it still had his seeker reflexes kicking in. Harry's sudden shock and fear once he'd caught the barest glimpse of her and heard Bellatrix's distinctive laugh raced down the bond. Before he could make another move she had caught him with a silencing charm and an incarcerous. Hearing someone coming she cast a disillusionment charm over him so that she could play with him later, before turning to face the doorway and whoever was coming. Tom and Sev barreled into the room, frantically looking for their bondmate. Bellatrix settled into a deep, almost kneeling, curtsey when she saw Tom.

"My lord." Bella said sweetly.

"Where is Harry?" Severus demanded.

"I don't answer to you traitor." Bellatrix practically snarled.

"Bella, where is Harry?" Tom asked sternly. "We could feel him along the bond."

"Harry?" Bella asked cocking her head to the side inquisitively, almost innocently, suddenly ignoring Severus. "I'm sorry, my lord. I don't know what you're talking about." Severus left Tom to deal with the latest of those who inherited the Black family madness and started searching the room.

"Bella..." Tom started only to find himself with an large armful of crazy follower trying to kiss the life out of him.

Both Tom and Severus felt the shock, anger, sadness, and fear coming from Harry and were quickly able to locate it in the room. Tom shoved Bellatrix onto her arse as Severus tripped over Harry in his haste to find him and removed the spellwork. Severus barely managed to grab his younger bondmate and stop him from bolting when he felt the fear verge into panic and sudden loneliness.

"Bella if you touch one of my bondmates again you wont live to see dawn. Let me say this very clearly. I am not interested. I am married." Tom said in disgust. "Severus would you take Harry back to our room? I apparently need to make the consequences of touching you or Harry very clear."

Severus nodded and, keeping Harry in his arms, dragged his bondmate out of the room. They both heard her scream before a silencing charm cut off the sounds of her agony. Twenty minutes later Tom joined them in their bed and they cuddled Harry in between them. Reassuring him that they weren't going anywhere and they would always do their best to protect him.

After Harry was asleep that night Tom made it clear that anyone that touched Harry or Severus would beg for death. He also reminded them that he had acknowledged at least one life debt to Harry, husband and bondmate or no. Had Bellatrix actually managed to hurt him the magic of the acknowledged life debt to her lord would have doubled the life debt and killed her. To say that the other Death Eaters were careful of Severus and Harry when they were properly introduced the next day, to help prevent further... misunderstandings, would have been an understatement.

End Flashback

 

The simple magic of Platform 9 3/4 and simply returning to Hogwarts cheered Harry to no end. Seeing Harry smile and greet his friends on the platform made taking the train and putting up with the students watching them oddly or warily worth it to both Tom and Severus. Let the children think that the two of them were coming back as students, they were just glad that Harry was doing better. As awful as the incident with Bellatrix had been it had gotten Harry to let them back into the bed at night instead of him making them sleep on the floor in a nest of heavy blankets after having finding out about the Azkaban break out. They had even willingly shared and expanded the normally 6 person compartment with Harry's chosen group rather than simply trying to keep their bondmate to themselves in the chaos.

Draco was making an effort to get along with everyone and discussing Quidditch with Ron. The twins were managing to keep their pranks to the plotting stage only. Hermione was already trying to devour her course books. Luna was sitting upside down in her seat reading the Quibbler, and Neville was quietly tending to his latest plant project. Subjects of discussion ranged from Quidditch, to plants, to family trees, to what insanity might strike this year, to why Luna was reading upside down, to how everyone's family new and old were, to what they had all done that summer. Luna's contributions were often typically Luna and hard to decipher but when they were understood made the others very glad they weren't her enemy.

When they got off the train they were forced to split up into separate carriages. Tom, Sev, Harry, and Luna sat in one; Hermione, Ron, Neville, and the Weasley twins in another; Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle in yet another. The genial atmosphere only lasted until they came to the entry hall on their way to the start of the welcoming feast...

"Harry! I told you I had no idea she was going to do that. I don't want her like that. I want you and Severus." Tom explained yet again.

"And I told you we aren't going to discuss it Tom." Harry said in a sad, quite way.

"Harry, I know you don't like some of my people but they are just that, my people; And I did make Bella apologize." Tom reminded him with a sigh. Harry rounded on his husband, incensed.

"Apologize? Apologize! Tom she tried to seduce you and if not kill me than hex me badly! Sev and Sirius are right, she's insane!" Harry told him furiously. "If you and Sev hadn't come and Sev tripped over me..."

"She's also fanatically loyal and once she understands better that I've picked the two of you she will die to protect you for me!" Tom argued, making Harry throw up his hands in frustration.

"I don't want anyone to die for me! I can deal with the others but if you don't find a way to leash her, I will! Or I'll find a way to take her out as the threat she is!" Harry told him furiously before stalking toward the great hall.

"Harry doesn't want to hurt her or you." Luna told him quietly standing at his elbow. "But right now the humperdinks are telling him that she will not only hurt you and Professor Snape but that he'll lose you both. Harry will let himself be destroyed to protect you. Please don't let him." With a silent glare at his husband, Severus swept past the pair after his other bondmate. Tom sighed and hurried after them into the great hall, only for the three to run smack dab into Dumbledore who was waiting for them just inside the doors of the great hall.

"Ah! Harry my boy! I was just looking for you." The Headmaster told them with a bright smile and a twinkle in his eye. "Due to your recently revealed heritage you get your own table for you and your friends to share. However, because you are still a student it will be placed among the house tables instead of the traditional placement alongside of the staff table. I'm also afraid that all staff members are required to eat at the staff table, as a result both Tom and Severus must eat with the staff. So please be certain to sit as close to the staff table as you can. We don't want to strain that bond of yours. Also, I would like the three of you to see Professor McGonagall after the feast in regards to your schedules."

"Albus, as his head of house, I would be the one dealing with any of Harry's scheduling issues." Severus practically growled out.

"Normally you would." Dumbledore agreed amiably. "However as you are bound to young Mr. Potter I have decided as Headmaster that Minerva will continue to act as his head of house to avoid a conflict of interest. Oh and I took the liberty of arranging for Tom and Harry to have separate quarters across the hall from your quarters and lab, Severus. If there were but some way to extend the distance limit on the bond Harry could sleep with his classmates in the dormitories, but alas."

"He..." Ron started to blurt out that the bond could be extended, it just had a weird time limit when Luna covered his mouth, stopping him.

"Yes, Mr. Weasley?" Dumbledore asked cheerfully, twinkle going full force.

"Ronald was simply surprised that Harry is getting his own rooms and was wondering if I and his brothers, as Harry's vassals, will get to stay with him as is proper." Luna said breezily, Ron nodding rapidly in relief mouth still covered.

Dumbledore didn't answer even as he took a moment to observe the group. Then he smiled again as, with a flourish of his wand, he conjured a fifth table that could hold maybe twenty people and left it floating at just below head height. Another sweeping wand movement gently slid tables and students alike to either side before placing the new smaller table in the center of the four house tables. Viewed from the doors the new formation went left to right, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Harry's table, Gryffindor, Slytherin. Harry noticed that the pink puff, Delores Umbridge, sat at the staff table in the Defense Professor's seat and that her smile looked just a little bit more brittle when she noticed the new table configuration.

"Hogwarts will expand the table at need whenever your friends choose to join you at meal times, my boy. Miss. Granger, please always sit at Harry's table." Dumbledore told them before turning to go. Draco's words ringing out stopped him in his tracks and brought silence to the great hall.

"Her name isn't Granger, its Malfoy. Please remember that Headmaster, after all you did give up all claim to her." Draco reminded the older man.

"So I did. Severus, kindly remind your godson that sometimes we act as we must, not as we wish." Dumbledore said quietly, before he sweeping his way up to his place at the head table.

"Draco, brother or not, godson or not, that was not entirely wise." Severus told him with a sigh. "The Headmaster is still a powerful man."

"You missed your chance to ask." Tom told Hermione mildly, not really having expected Dumbledore to let them simply walk in and enjoy the feast eating with Harry at the Slytherin table.

"At the moment I'm still too angry to speak to the Headmaster civilly." Hermione admitted. "I wonder how long it will take for him to realize that the bond has changed and is still changing..." They headed for Harry's table.

"Can I please play Quidditch?" Harry practically begged as they walked, his bondmates having been dodging the issue all summer after the no flying edict was issued. "I love flying."

"We'll see, but the regardless of your placement on the team, the first and even remotest hint or rumor of favoritism in regards to me or your placement on the team and I'll pull you myself. We cannot afford to leave the extra avenue of attack open. Getting on the team will be up to the try outs and the captain." Severus warned.

"Who's the captain this year?" Harry asked eagerly after rapidly nodding his agreement to the terms.

"Me." Draco said smugly. "We'll have to train you for at least one more position, just in case, then we can decide if I fly seeker or if you do."

"I cannot stop you from pulling dangerous stunts and acting in a foolishly Gryffindorish fashion but if you pull a flying stunt that I, Draco, and Minerva agree between us was foolishly reckless, insane, just plain stupid, or if the bond interacts with your flying I'll pull you from the team and ground you." Severus told him darkly. "If I feel you've gone too far, you're broom will be placed under as many enchantments I can think of when I confiscate it. Have I made myself clear?"

"Once you are on the ground, regardless of how necessary you saw the action as or how successful it was, we will punish you." Tom warned equally darkly.

"It wont work but I'll help." Hermione offered as everyone except Tom and Severus sat at the new table.

"Yes, sir." Harry agreed, having no real plans to curtail his flying habits even as he could feel their protective worry along the bond. He knew that neither of them were particularly fond of flying. Harry didn't care, he loved flying. He didn't notice as Tom and Severus moved to the head table.

"He's going at least try something that might get himself killed the way he flies." Severus muttered.

"No argument." Tom agreed. "We'll just have to be there to catch him." They both sat at the table to a sniff of disgusted disdain from the pink puff and a glance at the Headmaster. They watched Dumbledore's face in amusement as the man realized that Draco was sitting with Harry and they were actually getting along.

"How long do you think we can keep the fact that Black got the Weasleys cleansed and they refused to believe the situation, from Harry?" Tom asked almost conversationally.

"Not much longer. Thank the gods that the bond doesn't allow us to read one another's minds." Severus said fervently.

"You heard your new sister, the bond is still changing, growing, learning even. It may well develop that ability." Tom warned. "We're lucky we found out about the changes in the distance limit at all, muchless in a relatively safe fashion. Imagine what would have happened if we had discovered the changes while in some sort of dangerous situation. Severus, just as we've been warning Harry to be more careful, we have to be more careful as well. We simply can't afford to take the same risks anymore."

"I don't like it." Severus grumbled.

"Nor do I, but how much do you think it would hurt Harry if something happened?" Tom asked, voice low enough so that only the surly potions master could hear.

"Fine." Severus growled out. "But if something does happen you and I will need to take the brunt of it."

"Agreed." Tom said nodding as they sat back to listen to Dumbledore's yearly announcements and introductions. Neither of them liked the implications of Umbridge's little speech or the look she sent toward Harry and his table. The feast went decently after that until about half way through...

Chapter Text

Everyone was talking, eating, wondering what the year had in store for them, complaining or wondering about Harry getting his own table, discussing the situation that might or might not be there between Professors Snape and Riddle and Harry Potter, and generally having a good time. Then the giant double doors at the front of the great hall slammed open on a burst of pure magic. An old man, still tall and unbowed with a lithe frame, whip cord muscles, bald head and startlingly blue eyes, dressed in velvet black robes with black embroidery and a white billowy pirate shirt with a buttoned up high collar strode into the great hall. This immediately brought Dumbledore from his chair in shock, wand raised as if to fight. The man was flanked by wizards dressed in black with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows or maroon with a deep green official looking insignia over their hearts. Gellert Grindelwald had come to Hogwarts.

"Gellert..." Albus said, at a loss. "What are you doing here? You were in Numengard."

"I warned you that no matter where you hid my daughter I would find her." Grindelwald warned. "I told you at your last visit that I would find my stolen daughter."

"I already told you why it had to be done." Dumbledore said almost helplessly, forgetting that it wasn't simply the two of them standing across from one another in the great hall. "Had you tried to carry her to term you both would have died and even so long after... your people were still trying to kill me."

"That doesn't give you the right to take her from me and make me believe that she was dead!" Gellert practically snarled. "I had to find out from the sodding paper! You watched me acknowledge her as soon as I knew of her!"

"Something happened... almost as soon as Lily had agreed to carry her and I had finished the transfer..." Albus said as he closed his eyes in pain. "Gellert, some of your people found me no more than 5 hours after I had safely transferred the child. I... I nearly lost my life to them. I did lose the ability to sire or carry a child again. I was not going to risk the babe! Voldemort was rising. I was still at risk and nearly killed by your people, and you were in Numengard. A place that would have killed you both had I not done as I did. What did you expect me to do? Watch as you both died and I could do nothing?"

"You had no right!" Gellert started.

"I had every right!" Albus thundered. "I'd rather have the child alive and well, even with both of you hating me than loose the two of you! I am not fool enough to believe that I could do this without consequences or even manage to walk away. By ancient wizarding law you have every right to kill me for this, and if you choose to exert that right I will not raise a hand against it. I do ask that you not do so in front of the children. They have no need of the nightmares such a sight would cause."

"Ahem hem hem." Delores interrupted delicately. "Why are you interrupting the opening feast? Surely you could have waited until the morning to request to see your daughter? This is most disruptive and unbecoming." With barely a glance Grindelwald drew his wand and transfigured her into a giant pink toad, suspending her in mid air over her seat before returning to his showdown with Dumbledore.

The two powerful men stared at each other across the crowed great hall until Fawkes soared in and dropped a parchment at Grindelwald's feet before landing on Harry's shoulder. There was a flash of magic and Dumbledore stumbled, dropping his wand, as the bond between Headmaster and phoenix transferred to the male Heir of Hogwarts. Gellert quickly summoned the wand before glancing at the parchment that the phoenix had dropped before him. Slowly, after thoroughly checking it for spells, curses, and the like, he picked it up and opened it. What he read there caused his face to set like stone.


Dear Gellert Grindelwald,

You are cordially invited to remain on the grounds as a guest and a parent of the only female Heir to the Hogwarts Estate.

Headmaster Dumbledore is currently on probation owing to his actions in regards to several children that have been in his care and his continued plans for them. Should you choose to exercise your rights in regards to the previously established line theft, please invoke the slavery bond over the right of elimination as questions over his actions still remain. As parent to one of the children involved and being on the premises we informed you as to the situation. Please inform your offspring of this missive and attempt not to bring this building down around everyone's ears. There are children present.

Sincerly,
Hogwarts Castle, Hogwarts estate

Granite, bright blue eyes lifted to meet equally tired blue ones, as Gellert spoke. "Where is my daughter?"

Hermione started to stand up but Harry noticed and yanked her back down with a glare. Draco also glared at his sister and drew his wand, showing Harry who nodded and also drew his wand. By the time anyone noticed something going on Harry's entire table had wands drawn. Only when Hermione showed Harry that she too had drawn her wand and gave him a glare that made him flinch did he allow his half-sister to stand. The rest of the table followed suit as Hermione took the lead flanked immediately by Harry and Ron with Harry to her immediate right, Luna was on Harry's own right and Neville was on Ron's left. Tom and Severus had to move quickly to join the group and help guard their backs next to Draco and the twins, cursing under their breaths the whole way. The group moved toward the door and stopped at the end of the house tables, situated in front of Harry's table. Hermione met Grindelwald's gaze with a fierce glare.

"So, you are my daughter. Hermione Jean Malfoy-Grindelwald." Gellert said softly. "You are strong, and clearly have many friends."

"They're more than friends. They're family, and I know that at least Harry and Ron would die for me." She told him fiercely gesturing to her half-brother and their red-headed friend, ignoring the obvious name change and making Grindelwald chuckle.

"Come, we are leaving." Grindelwald said holding out his hand for Hermione to take.

"No. I'm not leaving my brothers and I still have 3 more years before I graduate." Hermione told him bravely as her entire small group gripped their wands tighter. Grindelwald gazed at his daughter then flicked a glance at Albus before inclining his head toward Hermione.

"Then I shall simply have to stay. The castle did invite me to remain after all." Gellert told them indicating the parchment that Fawkes had delivered. One of the escorting Aurors cleared his throat reminding him of the agreement and paper work that preceded his temporary release from Numengard.

"I am sorry, sir." The Auror had a thick German accent. "But I believe you agreed to return and without protest after seeing your daughter. You have seen her. We must go."

"I did not specify how long after seeing her nor did I promise anything else aside from not attempting to eliminate or conquer any European wizarding government. I agreed to your escort partly because I believed that Dumbledore might not be willing to let me see my daughter at all. Which is one of the reasons my wand was returned. Your presence also simplified my travel plans and gave me an opportunity to keep my own followers from hurting her." Gellert argued, eyes never leaving Hermione. "You haven't attempted to try anything against me and assisted in my being able to meet my daughter, if not retrieve her. I will see her happy and properly wed before I willingly return to Numengard as is my right in such a case of line theft. By the very laws you uphold you cannot interfere with my dealings with Dumbledore, nor my wish to stay with Hermione."

"Very well. We must, however stay with you." The Auror conceded. Grindelwald ignored him.

"Daughter, introduce me to your family. I swear upon my magic that I will not hurt them this night." Grindelwald told her as the magic flared around him, acknowledging his pledge. Hermione looked at him hard before nodding and introduced the group.

"This is Harry Potter, my half-brother. His mother was Lily Potter, the witch who carried me to term. This is Ronald Weasley, my best friend aside from Harry. This is Luna Lovegood. She is a friend and one of Harry's vassals. This is Draco Malfoy, my adoptive brother and Heir to the Malfoy line. This is Neville Longbottom, one of my friends. This is my other brother, Professor Severus Snape. The Malfoys adopted him too but he kept his original name. He wouldn't tell me why. This is Professor Tom Riddle, my brother in-law. He's bonded and married to both Harry and Severus. We aren't really sure how it happened but Gringotts confirmed the bond and marriage. These two are Fred and George Weasley, Ron's brothers, and Harry's vassals. Harry gave them permission to court me before I was adopted by the Malfoys." Hermione explained pointing out each person as they were introduced and they nodded in greeting to one of the greatest Dark Lords of modern times.

"It appears that while I am here I will need to have a... talk with your two suitors." Grindelwald said slowly making the twins pale even as they squared their shoulders and stood their ground, as befitted their Gryffindor upbringing.

"They know that if Hermione says no or stop at any time for any reason its over." Harry said quietly.

"They also are bound in a full fealty bond to Harry." Severus said dryly. "I very much doubt that they'll try to break her heart when they know that Harry has every right to kill them in punishment. Especially since they surrendered their lives and right of spousal choice in the ceremony. They and Miss. Lovegood tricked me into officiating a full old form fealty ceremony. The mark formed over their hearts."

"Indeed?" Gellert asked looking at Severus shrewdly, who nodded.

"I haven't managed to talk him into officiating for my own oath to Harry." Hermione told him firmly, face showing her determination. "Ron and I discussed it. I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone else who might want to swear to my brother."

"I told you already. You shouldn't even know the ceremony even exists yet! I'll not let myself be tricked into officiating again." Severus told her with a groan. Show casing exactly how persistent she had been about it over the summer to the entire school, amusing staff and students alike. Both Hermione's and Severus' determination were legendary and only Snape had ever managed to out stubborn her successfully on anything. Harry tended to simply find a way around both of them instead, if they didn't catch him at it.

"I'm afraid that seating might be a bit of an issue if the Aurors must remain at your side at all times Mr. Grindelwald." Minerva said briskly as she rounded the table. "We would, however, be quite happy for you to join us at the staff table. Albus' actions and poor manners not withstanding. I believe I can speak for most if not all of the staff when I say that we are very glad you didn't abandon our Hermione. After the feast I, and I'm certain Filius, will be quite happy as Deputy Head and her current head of house to discuss how things have gone over the years in regards to her schoolwork. A parent-teacher conference if you will."

"I'd like that." Grindelwald agreed, finally putting away his wand, even as he slid Dumbledore's wand in along side his own.

"Miss. Abbott, would you mind running Professor Umbridge up to the infirmary? As unpleasant as I might find her personally at the moment, she is still a member of the Hogwarts teaching staff." McGonagall directed, noticing Harry's table change even as she handed off the transfigured professor to the Hufflepuff 5th year student. Hannah bolted for the infirmary in an attempt not to miss anything while she was gone.

"Ah, I see Hogwarts has chosen to assist us tonight. Would your party please share the Heir table with your daughter? It wont take long to set a place for you at the staff table." Minerva told him and bustled about setting everything up, with Grindelwald seated between herself and Severus who was beside Tom. Umbridge's place cleared and simply disappeared in the bustle and confusion as everyone was seated and the feast finally continued until it was nearly curfew. Dumbledore escaped to his quarters as McGonagall sent the students except those sitting at Harry's table off to bed.

Chapter Text

"I presume that for the moment your escort must remain with you?" Minerva asked getting a nod of acknowledgement from Grindelwald she continued. "Then we might as well remain here. None of our offices are quite large enough to fit everyone who will be present for this discussion, even if I should actually manage to separate your daughter from her friends and siblings. Which, after all that has happened, I very much doubt will work." This earned knowing chuckles from most of the staff and various types of smiles from the students.

"In that case Minerva, do you mind going over Harry's records as well as our schedules? Albus told us to see you about them after the feast." Severus pointed out. "I would like a better idea of how my husband is doing in his classes aside from my own and I have no doubt that Tom would like to know the same." Tom nodded his agreement even as he snagged Harry who was suddenly trying to sneak away, trusting the others to guard Hermione now that the apparent danger was past. Thus forcing Harry to sit down between him and Severus at the table they were all sharing since the remaining the staff had joined them at the Heir table.

"Certainly Severus. Your bond is likely going to cause problems we can't anticipate in any case and I believe that Madam Pince has collected some material on both the fealty bonds as well as Harry's status as the Heir to the Founders and Hogwarts for you to review. We've all received a summary of the authorities and basics regarding those two subjects. Albus and Delores Umbridge are the only ones still uninformed. No one will say anything to either of them. The castle has declared Albus on probation, which I ask you all to keep to yourselves for the time being. Apparently Hogwarts wasn't amused when it discovered whatever his plans are." Minerva told him as she and the other teachers summoned the relevant files.

"Mr. Grindelwald, we will likely refer to Hermione as Miss. Malfoy only or as Miss. Granger for the simple convenience and the fact that we have been addressing her as Miss. Granger for four years now." Flitwick squeaked. "I am her current head of house. At the end of last year she was re-sorted into Ravenclaw. Before that she had been sorted into Gryffindor and Professor McGonagall was her head of house."

"What caused the re-sorting?" Grindelwald asked, curious. "And what do you mean by sorting. I attended Durmstrang."

"The Sorting Hat, originally belonging to Godric Gryffindor one of the four founders, was enchanted by the founders to sort the apprentices into the house that would best suit them. Before the hat was used the founders themselves would pick from the children who they would teach in accordance with certain critteria and preferences. Each house was formed in response to the grouping of the founder's choice in students. You place the hat on the person's head, the hat views their personality and key memories then declares which house the apprentice belongs in, in accordance with how the founders would have originally chosen." Tom explained. "It took me some time to find the information when I was a student. I finally simply asked the hat. Its alive and can think for its self and gets terribly bored during the year which is one of the reasons for the song it sings before sorting the new students."

"That's not in Hogwarts: A History." Hermione murmured in quiet awe. "I had no idea about the hat and its history." Harry and Ron just grinned at her.

"That's our 'Mione." Ron said cheerfully. "After what we saw tonight I understand why she was sorted into Gryffindor first time 'round."

"The Hat its self actually requested Hermione's re-sorting, as well as the Weasley twins'. Tom was the one to request Harry's resorting. Everyone else I called up was as a cover." Severus explained.

"Then there was the potion being dropped on Harry's head and the Hat declaring him the Hogwarts heir, before you three and father went into the other room and talked to the Headmaster." Draco grinned before asking curiously. "Did he ever give your wands back?"

"He took your wands?" Minerva asked in quiet fury.

"Yes." Severus said blandly.

"We got new ones over the summer." Harry said as he cheerfully showed his wand and made Tom and Severus show theirs. The set made everyone but the children exchange glances.

"Black has already made a Bloodline Charge against Dumbledore in regards to his actions concerning Harry." Severus told them with a sigh. "The charges include line theft and attempted line theft. Harry was never supposed to be placed with the Dursleys and Black did try to claim him as his godfather and rightful guardian."

"Dumbledore said that Harry had to go to his family." Hagrid said helplessly. "I didn't know that Sirius was his godfather."

"Dumbledore is the one who started this whole mess." Tom practically snarled.

"I don't trust you. Ever since you got me expelled, but Harry likes you for some reason. Ev'n with you trying to kill him so often ov'r the years. I don't understand it but I trust him, more than I even trust Dumbledore. I don't know how Harry healed you and I don't rightly care 'cept that it was Harry that did it." Hagrid said, eyes narrowed. "If'n you hurt him you'll have me to answer to, Tom."

"Hagrid, you were raising an Acromantula inside the castle! I had complete control of the basilisk aside from the slip that killed Myrtle. I was also working under the effects of multiple dangerous magics. I sent the basilisk back to sleep until the bloody diary woke it back up again and Harry killed it in his second year." Tom said in frustration. "I don't deny that I've made mistakes, many of them large ones, but getting you expelled wasn't one of them. Your pets are never safe to be around. As a half giant you have a greater resistance and a better chance of surviving if something goes wrong than the rest of us... Whatever happened to that Acromantula any way? I believe you called it Aragog." Ron choked a bit when he heard the name and clutched at Hermione since Harry wasn't in reach.

"Actually, Aragog is living a little ways into the Forbidden Forest. Ron and I met him when we were looking for the chamber and a way to get Hermione unpetrified." Harry admitted. "The Weasley's flying car has gone feral and it saved us from Aragog's children after we talked to Aragog about the basilisk. I think its still wandering around the forest."

"Mein Gott." One of the Aurors muttered, with mute agreement from the other Aurors and Grindelwald's followers.

"And you wonder why we want to simply lock him in our rooms or tie him to the bed." Severus said caustically to Hermione, eyebrow raised as she avoided his gaze.

"Why didn't we hear of this?" McGonagall asked archly, startling the Golden trio out of their memories of second year.

"Um.." Harry and Ron exchanged glances.

"We were worried about Hermione and stopping Slytherin's monster." Ron offered.

"After the events of the last four years and the dangerous situations you three find yourselves in so often, I'm tempted to simply keep a tracking spell on the three of you." Minerva scolded them. "At least this year you will have to include Severus and Tom, if only because they are bonded to Harry. They both have enough sense when to ask for help and are skilled enough to make do if there isn't a way to get help in the first place."

"First the protections around the stone and dueling with mad disembodied Dark Lords in first year. Then there was Slytherin's chamber and his monster in second year. The mess with Sirius Black in third year, and the Triwizard Tournament in your fourth year. I'm still not entirely certain how the three of you survived any of them." Madam Pince commented. As the three started looking guilty, both Tom and Severus could feel the guilt practically radiating down their bond.

"Harry, do you have something to share with us?" Tom asked archly.

"Um, no?" Harry offered still feeling guilty.

"Wrong answer brat." Severus said in a silkily dangerous tone. "Now explain."

"We might have been using the Restricted section, my invisibility cloak, your potion stores, and anything else we could think of or get our hands on to survive..." Harry admitted. "Hermione typically does the research, Ron provides the strategy, goes after supplies, and gives the warnings for when we need to rest or eat, and I provide the magical power and leadership... most of the time. Sometimes we switch. It depends on what we're doing and if one of the teachers has taken an interest in what we're doing or tries to stop us."

"No wonder we have so much trouble keeping those three out of trouble." Professor Sprout said in astonishment. "Severus, Albus, Poppy, and Minerva are the only ones ever to even remotely ride herd on them when there's trouble brewing."

"And they still mostly manage to accomplish all of their course work." Severus said dourly. "Now do you see why I was so adamant that I wasn't going overboard when assigning Harry his detentions?"

"You were also working under multiple perception alteration spells, Professor." Luna reminded him. "Aren't you glad that the goblins are so good at cleansing ceremonies?"

"Yes, Miss. Lovegood. I am." Severus admitted. "That reminds me, I need to regrade all of the brat's work and review pensive memories of his practical work."

"Or you could simply administer a placement test as if he were a transfer student." Professor Sinestra offered. "Of course someone might try to call foul if you're teaching him as one of your bonded, no matter how poor or good his grades are."

"As long as someone else grades Mr. Potter's work there is no issue in Severus or Tom teaching their husband. Its a common practice when a teacher is found to be teaching close relatives." Minerva pointed out. "Pomona would you be willing to administer Mr. Potter's placement test and grade any further potions work?"

"Certainly Minerva." Professor Sprout agreed immediately.

"Now, Severus. Were the spells cleansed from you and would you be willing to share what they were and any related information?" McGonagall asked briskly.

"I'm afraid that I no longer have the record." Severus hesitated before reluctantly offering. "If you can get your hands on a pensive I would be willing to share the memory. Both Harry and Tom were under similar enchantments."

"And Hermione?" Gellert asked in a dangerously soft tone.

"Clean." The twins chorused, grinning.

"She was almost the only one we tested who had no spells on her." Harry admitted.

"Considering that you unknowingly broke spells on both Tom and myself and the fact that you are in regular close contact with her I am not surprised. The power and raw skill between the two of you would have likely disrupted or outright destroyed any spell work on her. What the goblins found on you was often placed before your entry into Hogwarts and anchored so deep in your soul or magical core its a miracle that it didn't do any true damage." Severus said with a snort.

"I still want to strangle you from time to time." Harry commented. When he realized what he'd said his eyes went wide and he tried to bolt, his husbands barely keeping him in his seat between them.

"I take it that the spells hurt Harry and affected parts of his personality?" Hermione asked darkly.

"Yes." Severus said curtly. "Mostly it suppressed his sense of self preservation, which was exacerbated by his treatment by the Dursleys. Harry still wont let us kill them."

"No killing!" Harry told them, yet again, even as he continued to struggle in their arms and try to bolt from the room.

"Sit down brat! We aren't finished." Severus scolded, shoving him firmly in his seat and keeping one arm wrapped around him as Tom mirrored him from the other side.

"I take it that the three of you will be sharing quarters, despite Albus' attempt at separating you?" Minerva asked dryly, amusement clear in her voice.

"Then the rest of us can use the ones Dumbledore said were for Harry and Tom." George concluded brightly.

"I'm afraid that Miss. Malfoy, Mr. Longbottom, and Mr. Malfoy will have to stay in their house dormitories until and unless they either recieve permission from their head of house, the Headmaster, or swear their own fealty bond to Mr. Potter, Professor Riddle, or Professor Snape. I would, however, like to avoid any more attempts at a fealty bond even if you actually manage to convince Severus to officiate again." Minerva told them in a dry, amused tone. "Otherwise, I see no problem in converting one into a girl's dormitory and the other into a boys dormitory. If nothing else it will allow us to be prepared if someone else does manages to swear to one of them."

With that out of the way they discussed Hermione's grades (Outstanding), Harry's grades (decent), and the schedules of Tom, Severus, and Harry. Luna warned that if Harry, Tom, or Severus got hurt they would have to call the other two, just as Harry had to be called if one of his vassals got hurt. They all went to bed exhausted but satisfied.

Chapter Text

As they reached Severus' quarters they found a wall of bricks sliding away as well as new wards dropping on their own. Luna and the twins, literally across the hall easily set the passwords to their own, modified dormitories and went to bed, to tired to wonder at the extra protections around the other's quarters. Severus eyed the extra wall and wards oddly while Tom and Harry merely thought it was a normal part of the entry to Sev's quarters.

When they finally got inside they found the quarters changed from how Severus had remembered. Decked out in black, dark wood colors, and various greens including Slytherin green the quarters were comfortable and gave off the air of being deep in a forest. The main living room had several book shelves all filled with Sev's books, the books Tom had been forced to leave behind by Dumbledore, and all of the books that Harry owned. Harry got his own single shelf, he had so few books, even with all of his new and old course books placed neatly on the shelf. The bed was a giant four poster bed that would easily hold 5 people and decked out in a rich dark green with black sheets and silver lining on the pillows and blanket.

"I'm too tired." Harry complained, half asleep. "You've been teasing me all month since the healer said I could have you and now that we're finally home I'm too tired to do anything about it."

"At least now we know what those random blasts of lust were about." Tom muttered.

"I thought they were aimed at Draco." Sev admitted with a snort as he grabbed his younger husband to keep him from falling flat on his face.

"Dray, nice. Sev and Tom hmmm..." Harry said sleepily, completely oblivious to the fact that since the moment they had entered their quarters he had let his guard down. He had no idea he was speaking out loud rather than simply thinking his comments, muchless that he was swaying in Severus' arms. Severus, on the other hand, got an odd look in his eye as something occurred to him.

"Harry," Severus asked gently. "What would you do if someone hurt me or Tom?"

Harry growled in warning, nearly asleep, and still swaying on his feet, despite the supporting arm around his waist. "No one hurts my bondmates! Who hurt them? Gonna die, gonna hurt them bad. Mine. Hurt mine, I make bleed, make scream."

"So that's were all his fight went." Tom said quietly but no less angrily. "They hurt him so bad and he saw us in the same situation, unable to do anything. Its driven his instinct to fight to the back of his mind. He probably thinks that its his fault we were there and that he was the one to get us hurt."

"He's letting himself be destroyed in an attempt to protect us." Severus said softly in worry.

"Just like Miss. Lovegood said." Tom agreed. "We'll just have to change that. Knowing this, how much of the spell work do you think actually affected his personality?"

"Not as much." Severus said with eyes narrowed. "I'd have to say that it was focused almost exclusively on his survival instincts and regard for authority if anything. Of course the circumstances at the Dursleys and how Dumbledore treated him could have created the same effects without magic. Its completely possible that the spells didn't affect his personality at all, even with all of his blasted self-sacrificing."

"Help me strip him?" Tom asked.

"Just let me get our sleep clothes." Severus agreed as he finished laying out their sleep pants on the bed, before helping to wrestle Harry out of his clothes. They carefully laid him on the bed naked and stripped themselves before pulling on their sleep pants and together sliding the last pair onto Harry.

"Thank the gods we talked him into getting a new wardrobe." Severus said fervently.

"No husband of ours is wearing rags." Tom agreed as they carefully slid Harry into the center of the bed. Tom slid up behind Severus and hugged him back to chest as they stood there watching Harry sleep, before sucking on Sev's neck, dragging a moan from his husband and leaving a very obvious mark on him.

"We've been moving too slow haven't we?" Severus asked as soon as he had his breath back.

"Hmm, yes, that's what it looks like." Tom agreed as he rubbed his hand across Severus' chest. "From what we just heard he's probably thinking that we don't want him, when instead we're simply concerned about hurting him." Severus sighed and slipped from Tom's arms into the left side of the bed, curling up around Harry, as Tom did the same on the opposite side.

"Tomorrow is a Saturday, if everything goes well at breakfast we can bring him back here and ravage him." Severus said with a smirk. "The brat shouldn't feel unwanted after that."

"You would think with all of the cuddling we've been doing with him that he'd get the message." Tom said in exasperation. "Neither of us typically display any kind of affection in public."

"He's been starved of it, just as we were. Have you noticed that aside from us, Ronald, and Hermione he shies away from casual touch? Rapid movement of any type still makes him flinch unless its from you or me. Before the bond he would flinch furthest from the two of us, now its as if he's constantly aware of us and trusts us to guard him." Severus pointed out.

"Unless we're angry, then he goes back to flinching." Tom said quietly. "I will kill that muggle, painfully. He's not even worthy to be considered a squib!"

"Narcissa and Black found out from Tonks that the old man managed to retrieve the Dursleys just before the Bloodline Charge was issued. He placed them in some sort of safe house. No one's been able to locate them. Some of the public have also made attempts to find them after some of the articles the blasted paper ran." Severus told him as Harry shifted between them with a sigh.

"When they are found they will relive all they have done to our bondmate and then some." Tom practically snarled in cold fury.

"Tom?" Harry murmured, roused a bit by the emotions coming down the bond.

"Shh, he's just upset that he can't hurt someone." Severus soothed with a pointed look at Tom.

"Hmm, that's nice." Harry said as he settled back into sleep.

"We can't keep discussing things that upset us while he's asleep." Severus scolded.

"The problem is we don't really have much time away from him." Tom admitted with a sigh. "Much of what we discuss is someone having hurt him or Death Eater business. Neither of which we want him involved with since it would upset him, or I thought it would have before tonight. If we explain in a way that shows we're protecting someone he should be alright with it. In fact he might even have better alternatives."

"Hermione is too idealistic still but if we ask her to be a part of the planning process to minimize unnecessary damage and pain we wont have to keep fighting her on things like this and Harry will have someone aside from us to discuss it with." Severus pointed out. "We can even enlist her to help keep him distracted when need be."

"Fair enough. We'll discuss it later. Go to sleep." Tom ordered with a tired sigh.

"Yes, my lord." Severus smirked as he closed his eyes.

"Prat." Tom shot back as he waved out the lights and closed the bed curtains, the room sunk into darkness except for the glow from the low burning fire the elves had laid earlier. The next morning they had to practically drag a sleepy Harry out of bed.

"I can dress myself." Harry muttered sleepily as they quietly argued over what he should wear.

"Harry, we've both seen how you dress." Tom explained as Severus snorted in amusement. "Until we or one of your friends has taught you something about clothes we'll make sure that you look presentable, even if you're just going to go to the library with your friends."

"Sev, dresses all in black all of the time and you don't dress much differently." Harry complained. "I can choose my own clothes."

"We like dark colors." Severus said acidly. "You, however, never seem to want to wear them."

"Its not that." Harry said uncomfortably. "Mrs. Weasley always sends me bright clothes that she knitted and Ron's old clothes are almost always bright. Except for school robes I never really thought about getting new stuff because the stuff Mrs. Weasley gave me was always sturdy, comfortable. What she gave me never belonged to Dudley and the Dursleys would have asked how I'd managed to get new clothes. I got in trouble for the stuff Mrs. Weasley gave me and I know how to sew. I've fixed rips in mine and Ron's stuff loads of times."

"Show us you know how to dress and we'll let you pick out your own clothes." Severus said softly, eyes narrowed. "But for now we get to choose and the two of us will be burning any rags we find in your wardrobe unless you can give us a good reason not to. Since you say that you don't mind dark clothing we'll go with the dark blue shirt and the black slacks. It will make a nice contrast with your new Slytherin robes."

"What's that?" Harry asked, noticing the hickey on Sev's neck, then pouting. "Why didn't I get a kiss?"

"Because you were asleep by then brat." Tom told him, moving to wrap him in his arms as Sev blushed.

"Would you like us to rectify the situation?" Severus asked silkily making Harry blush as he nodded from his position in Tom's arms. This led to both of his husbands pouncing. They drew some of the most delicious moans out of Harry as they left their own marks on Harry's neck to either side. Both of them growling a bit as Harry tried to choke back his moans. They turned him into the filling of a bondmate sandwich as they snogged him silly, drawing out his whimpers and moans until they were moaning along with him before drawing back.

"Perhaps we should simply skip breakfast." Tom suggested, breathily.

"Not after the scene that Dumbledore and Grindelwald made last night." Severus said, shaking his head mournfully. "We can ravage him properly later."

"If we aren't waylaid on the way back to our quarters." Tom pointed out grumpily.

"So... you want me?" Harry asked tentatively.

"I told you." Sev told Tom simply.

"Yes, alright. We've been moving too slow with him." Tom said irritably.

"Of course we want you brat. We were just worried that we would either hurt you or scare you if we moved to fast." Severus explained.

Comprehension dawned in Harry's eye and he got a wicked glint in his eye just before grabbing both of them and declaring. "Mine."

"I really hate Dumbledore at the moment." Tom said with a moan.

"We can pin him to the mattress after breakfast." Severus said soothingly.

"Wont help the new hard on he just caused." Tom muttered under his breath as they extracted themselves from Harry's grip and gave him a slight shove toward the clothes.

"The Headmaster is no doubt expecting us for breakfast in the great hall." Severus reminded them again. "Harry if you truly don't like what we picked for you to wear then wake up when we tell you too. Get dressed."

"Right, of course we have to be in the great hall." Tom said sarcastically, earning a glare from Severus as Harry slipped into the attached bathroom and got dressed.

"~Silly Hatchlings.~" Nagini hissed in amusement at their antics from her comfy place on the hearthstones where the day's fire was already laid. "~Remember to tell the squeaky creatures that I will not eat them unless they forget to feed me.~"

"~They're called house elves and they are the ones to bring you food when I cannot.~" Tom hissed back. "~Besides the last time you ate one you got sick. I don't want you sick.~"

"~Yes, Tom. Housey elfs are bad eating.~" Nagini said with a snake equivalent of an eye roll. "~Just tell the squeaky creatures I will not eat them unless they do not feed me or they annoy me.~"

Tom chuckled and nodded before they headed for the great hall together. As they approached the great hall they ran into Grindelwald and his entourage just at the base of the main staircase. The conversation they overheard did not inspire them with confidence.

"Explain to me again why you haven't already arrested Albus for line theft when he openly admitted to taking my daughter and causing me to believe her dead." Gellert growled out causing the foreign Aurors with him to exchange worried glances. "Why am I even bothering? You people are supposed to uphold the laws. Tell me, if I am to bother playing the obedient child for my escort why wont you obey your own laws?"

"Might I remind you that a Bloodline charge was issued against the Headmaster for a similar charge. Until it has been resolved we have no authority or ability to take Headmaster Dumbledore into custody on your own charge of line theft. That being said you could add your Bloodline Charge to the one already in place but his very public explanation last evening might be enough before the eyes of magic to invalidate your own charge." The German Auror pointed out carefully. "By the old laws, the ones that can never be removed from the books and that are enforced by magic herself, we cannot yet interfere. It is as a courtesy to you and the fact that your daughter is embroiled in the situation that we do not activate the failsafe which the warden insisted on. This situation was never envisioned, as a result we have more leeway to accommodate you. We're just doing our jobs, sir."

"Fine. Fine. Fine. I'm merely frustrated and the entire situation has unsettled me." Gellert grudgingly admitted, waving away the Auror's explanation. "This castle can just as easily hold two Dark Lords as one, even if one of them is masquerading as a Lord of Light."

"What do you mean, my lord?" One of Grindelwald's accompanying followers asked.

"You honestly think that Albus wasn't aware of what I was doing? The man wasn't just my lover. He helped me plan many things and explore more than one branch of magic." Gellert snorted. "Or have you forgotten that it was some of our own people who recognized him easily enough so that he simply walked through our ranks to challenge me? It was my own fault for letting my guard down around him. More the fool am I."

"I've read your file sir. There was never any mention of... assistance." Another Auror offered carefully.

"Because he had only stopped me not perpetuated this utter betrayal." Grindelwald growled out, as they finally entered the great hall.

"So, with me here there are three Dark Lords on the grounds." Tom mused quietly.

"The prophecy never specified which Dark Lord. From what I heard there was nothing to indicate a specific Dark Lord, nor did I hear the entire prophecy, only Albus did." Severus admitted equally quietly.

"What prophecy? Was that the incomplete information you mentioned in the graveyard?" Harry asked drawing the attention of Grindelwald and his group as the trio entered the great hall. "And what does prophecy have to do with anything?"

"A prophecy that is of no concern to you, Harry." Albus said from next to the doorway inside the great hall.

"Nothing to do with..." Severus sputtered.

"Your machinations go to far Dumbledore." Tom warned. "Leave our bondmate out of it."

"Ah, but I cannot Tom. Or have you forgotten that he is at the very center of this?" Albus reminded lightly before gazing at them over the top of his spectacles. "Which is one of the reasons I must ask you all to abide by the room assignments that I provided and to send Mr.'s Weasley and Miss. Lovegood to their house dormitories where they belong."

"We belong where ever Harry is, Headmaster." Luna said airily from behind them. The trio hadn't noticed her and the twins following them up from their quarters. "Even the castle agrees or we would not have been able to enter our new quarters. Until the castle has completed the bonding with Harry she can't open the heir chambers. Hermione is going to have to make her choice soon."

"Her choice of what exactly?" Harry asked carefully.

"Why her choice between you, Hogwarts, Mr. Grindelwald, and Professor Dumbledore of course." Luna told them as if wondering why they were asking. "Of course if she chooses Hogwarts she can also choose you, or Professor Dumbledore, or even Mr. Grindelwald as well; But she still has to make the choice. As long as one of you survive the line of Merlin and the founder's lines will continue and so will Hogwarts. If all 5 bloodlines die out the binding on the witches and wizards called squibs will disappear and magic will be revealed to the muggles. They aren't ready for that, neither are we. Is that horseradish being served with the toast?" She wandered through the small crowd of people to sit down at Harry's table and pulled over the small container of horseradish, and the small basket of green onions that the elves had sent up special for her toast and egg sandwich, beginning her breakfast.

"I'm still shocked that she admitted to having seer blood." Severus commented absently to Tom, who only nodded before they headed for the staff table, dropping Harry off at the Heir table on the way, and leaving behind a stunned audience.

"You're more of a fool than I thought, Albus. Ignoring the words, no matter how strange or young of a seer." Gellert scoffed before heading for the head table himself, as everyone disbursed to eat their own breakfasts.

Chapter Text

Nothing much happened at breakfast except that Fawkes and Hedwig decided to flirt while using Harry as a perch. Also, the whole school found out that Professor Umbridge didn't remember Grindelwald's rather spectacular entrance the night before. No one bothered to enlighten her, setting the tone for the entire school. After all no matter how much Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape argued and fought like rival students even they would have said something to a colleague they respected and the whole student body knew it. The other students were quick to point out that fact to the first years. After the woman's display at the welcoming feast, even without the obvious lack of opinion by the other professors, nobody was going to respect her officious attempt at controlling a disagreement between two powerful wizards of such caliber. To say that some of the upper years thought he woman was suicidal was an understatement.

After breakfast was another matter entirely...

Luna skipped merrily along as Harry, Tom, Severus, Hermione, the Twins, and Neville trailed behind, watching her with varying levels of amusement, bafflement, and concentration. Draco had headed off to find Crabbe and Goyle. She suddenly stopped just outside of the great hall and greeted Dumbledore, who had slipped out of the hall early to better catch them.

"Hello, Headmaster." Luna greeted.

"Hello, Miss. Lovegood." He responded politely. "I believe that you wanted your friends to help research wrackspurts in the restricted section?"

"Yes, of course." Luna agreed. "They get ever so lonely and its some times difficult to discover why they've stopped eating."

"Ah, I'm afraid that the pass will only cover five people at most and I have need of both Severus and Tom." Dumbledore said regretfully.

"That's alright. Tom and Severus want to take Harry back to their rooms and play a game." Luna said amicably.

"Ah, with respect I'm afraid that I need both Tom and Severus to brew some potions for the infirmary and Harry must decide if he will be playing Quidditch this year. Because of the unique circumstances I believe that Harry needs to remain on the Gryffindor team or not play Quidditch this year. It wouldn't be fair to the other students." Dumbledore said gravely, gazing over his glasses at Harry even as both Tom and Severus glared at him.

"Albus! While I appreciate the attempt to help Gryffindor retain its star seeker that issue is something that Severus and I must come to a decision on ourselves as his current and former heads of house." Minerva scolded coming up behind the group.

"Minerva, I.." Dumbledore started

"Miss. Lovegood, while I don't believe that you will find anything on your research subject perhaps you should all take the pass the Headmaster has so generously provided and look up bonds, particularly fealty bonds. I believe that there are one or two helpful tomes that were shelved in the restricted section. Tom? Severus? Harry? Might I have a word? There seems to be an error in your schedules." Minerva told them, ignoring Dumbledore's attempt to regain the situation, before waving most of the group toward the stairs and ushering the trio away down a corridor.

"Thank you Minerva." Severus said quietly as they proceeded her down the corridor.

"You deserve some time alone and Albus has been meddling for more than long enough." She told them firmly. "If he asks we used an empty classroom and argued over if Mr. Potter could actually go further than 50 feet from the two of you... Incidentally can he? Its one of the reasons that he didn't get his schedule this morning with the other students."

"Yes, but there's a bit of a time limit." Tom admitted as the four of them entered an empty classroom and Minerva put up privacy and silencing spells.

"How much of one? And is there any warning when the limit approaches or activates?" McGonagall asked warily.

"For the distance portion, the outside limit is no longer 50 feet, its a little over 5 miles. However any amount of time spent beyond 50 feet has to be made up by spending an equal amount of time within 5 feet of each other. Any time spent within 50 feet doesn't go toward the time limit of 12 hours triggered by passing beyond the 50 foot limit but we don't regain any time on the 12 hour limit unless we spend time within 5 feet of each other." Tom explained.

"We found out the hard way over the last month." Severus admitted wryly. "That and the fact that if, Harry at least, believes one of us to be in true danger he can forcefully and rapidly shorten the bond dragging us to him. We've been unable to discover if Tom or I can replicate the phenomena. Honestly? We didn't even try to find out that hard, simply because of the danger factor."

"As for a warning? Yes, there is a bit of one. We feel the need to be near each other with increasing potency when the time limit approaches. If we aren't relatively close to one another by the time 12 hours have passed we get force apparated to each other depending on the situation around each of us." Tom picked up where Severus trailed off. "If we're close enough the bond simply drags us physically to within 5 feet of each other and refuses to allow us beyond 5 feet until we've replenished it. Flying doesn't seem to be an issue, in so far as we've discovered, but we haven't watched Harry play Quidditch since the bond was established."

"I can also speak parseltounge now and Tom did confirm Harry's description of the Basilisk he fought at the end of second year." Severus said quietly, eyes glittering. "Minerva, if Albus tries something so foolish with our bondmate again..."

"I understand." McGonagall agreed, her own eyes reflecting barely contained rage at the Headmaster before she forcefully banked it. "Well, we will have to discuss the Quidditch assignments since you've managed to claim over half my team and if Albus is going to insist that Harry continue to play for Gryffindor I will insist that the Weasley twins be given the same restrictions and courtesy's. After hearing his earlier argument and reading the information Madam Pince collected for the staff I suspect that he's trying to force Mr.'s Weasley into hurting their bonded lord to use as an excuse to better control Harry."

"I'll keep that in mind Minerva." Severus said.

"What would happen if Fred or George hurt me?" Harry asked confused and choosing to focus on the subtext that he at least partly understood.

"I'm not certain if the Headmaster is aware of it but there is a good chance that the fealty bond would try to protect you and hurt them in return. It might even going so far as to kill them if they attempted to kill you." Professor McGonagall explained gently. "From what Madam Pince and the rest of the staff have been able to gather the bond will take its cue from what it reads from you and them in uncertain situations. If for instance there is a controlling spell or potion such as imperio working then it wont react beyond restraining your vassal until you or someone the bond identifies that you trust has them under control and contained. If they're just being playful or competitive and whatever is happening puts you at risk they should get a warning sting from their fealty mark or the bond will attempt to change the circumstances in some fashion to protect you. Such bonds were designed with the old feudal responsibilities in mind, which is one of the reasons that any punishments for Miss. Lovegood and Mr.'s Weasley now fall to you. We can still take house points but unless you grant us the right to punish them we must come to you with the issue and you must be the one to punish them or delegate punishment to someone else."

"What if I tell you right now that you and the staff can punish them but anything unusual has to be checked with me, Tom, or Sev first?" Harry asked curiously.

"I'd say that was a very wise decision. With how often those two get into mischief we can't be pulling you out of class every time they need to be punished." McGonagall nodded in approval. "Now, do the three of you want us to inform Mrs. Umbridge and Albus as to what your bonds, fealty and otherwise, entail inso much as we've been able to discover? Or would you rather only inform them at need?"

"I'd rather not inform them at all." Severus glowered.

"I understand that Severus but Harry is the primary lord in the fealty bonds and his decision overrides yours in that respect.... Which of you is the family head and lord?" She asked.

"I am." Tom admitted and showed her his marriage ring with the inlaid amethyst.

"The lightning bolt clearly refers to young Mr. Potter, the cauldron to Severus, and the serpent to you, Tom. Is this the same mark that Mr.'s Weasley and Miss. Lovegood wear?" McGonagall asked after examining the ring, Harry nodded puzzled, then she continued. "Then you have near equal command over them. Since they swore specifically to Harry his orders will override your own in an emergency unless you are ordering an action to protect him. They, and the three of you, should know from the bond which orders to follow, ignore, and such. You may want to practice that in a dueling situation to prevent any dangerous mishaps in class. Training shouldn't be an issue as long as those involved all know that it is indeed training."

"Who have you made Quidditch Captain?" Severus asked with a nod.

"Angelina Johnson, and you?" Minerva answered.

"Draco Malfoy." Severus said with some satisfaction, causing her to perse her lips.

"Well, we most certainly will need to sort out the Quidditch situation and I think we both agree that Mr.'s Weasley and Mr. Potter are now a package deal in regards to team assignments." McGonagall commented, the light of battle flaring in her eyes.

"Can you two discuss it later? I want to discuss something with my husbands if you don't mind. Alone." Tom asked irritably finally losing patience.

"Tom, you had more than enough time with them over the summer." McGonagall told him sternly. "And, unlike Albus, I don't mind if you and Mr. Potter discuss something while I speak with Severus. The Headmaster seems bound and determined to separate you three." Suddenly they all heard cackling from the back of the classroom and turned to look only to find Peeves laughing so hard that a stitch was developing in his ghostly side.

"Dumbles, Bumbles, tricks Peevesy into dropping the potion on Potty's head. Now he trys to break the bond!" Peeves cackled manically, falling down on his ghostly arse and sinking slightly into the floor.

"What do you mean?" McGonagall demanded, only for Peeves to laugh even harder.

"Peeves, do I need to as the Bloody Baron to deal with you?" Severus asked archly, not even bothering to move aside from raising an eyebrow. "Or would you rather find yourself stuck inside one of my potion vials for the next month or two? Perhaps stuffed in some forgotten corner of the castle until I remember where I left you?" Peeves suddenly stopped laughing and carefully looked over the group. His eyes narrowed in thought as his gaze lingered over Harry before he nodded sharply.

"I may act silly but I'm not stupid. That was a nice prank you played on me Potter. When you and your two friends went after the stone in your first year. Took me some time to figure out but I did figure it out." Peeves told them, ignoring Severus and discarding his prankster poltergeist persona for the moment, much to the startlement of the humans in the room. "Using that cloak of yours to play at being the Baron, very nice. Then there was managing to claim the fealty of the current prankster kings as well as the bloodline of two of the Marauders. I'd be out of a job if you decided to take up pranking. Mind you, young Heir, anything can be used as a tool or weapon if applied correctly, even a simple prank can become the downfall of an overwhelming opponent."

"Okay." Harry said uncertainly.

"We plan on teaching him proper resourcefulness in combat situations this year." Severus said pointedly. "Now, would you mind explaining what you meant about the potion?"

"I was actually planning to slip the strip of old parchment that was wrapped around the potion onto your desk but you left without visiting your office at the end of last year and I didn't get the chance yet this year. I've been wasting energy carrying it around with me, waiting for a chance to get it too you. From what I could read of it the potion was an experimental one, brewed by Godric Gryffindor against Salazar Slytherin's recommendation. Here, you can read it yourself." Peeves said seriously as he floated a scrap of parchment with something written on it over to the potions master.

Severus snatched it impatiently out of the air and after scanning it read it aloud. "Salazar was right furious when he found that I had made this potion, especially since I needed to make substitutions as well as guessed at one or two of the ingredients. I suppose that making a potion to detect and (if feasible) summon one's own soulmate or someone who holds a piece of your soul is going a bit far. A pity that my Sumerian isn't better, then we'd know for certs whether the text was referring to soulmate or piece of soul. At times there simply aren't enough clues in a text to tell, even without it being a fragment of the complete text or recipe. Alas, as it stands now the only way to know is to test the potion. I am not even certain that it would work on a non-magical, and a wizard is completely out of the question..... That isn't much to go on but it is more than we had before."

"Except that we know for a fact that Harry was carrying a piece of my soul and I was summoned through the wards." Tom said quietly.

"So why wasn't Nagini also summoned?" Severus sneered. "And why was I included in the bond?"

"Doesn't the parchment say that he had to change the potion and that he wasn't even really sure what the recipe was in the first place?" Harry pointed out. "It even said that he hadn't tested it yet. Doesn't that mean that there might have been something wrong with it or that it has different results than the original?"

"Enough! I know enough about potion making to know that you wont be able to recreate it or find enough answers in that scrap of parchment. All you'll do is frustrate yourselves with speculation." McGonagall said sternly before turning to Peeves. "Thank you for giving this to us Peeves. Should you happen to soak Albus' candies in sleeping draught or plot a prank with the Weasley twins I'll certainly enjoy the show unless it turns dangerous, then I am required to act in my capacity as Deputy Headmistress."

"Why thank you Madam." Peeves said with a mischeivous smirk and a bow. "Is it open season on anyone? Or shall I simply follow the lead of the student body as usual?"

"Dumbledore and Umbridge." Tom said firmly.

"What? Why are you sending him after Umbridge? I mean she wasn't nice at Gringotts but still..." Harry asked puzzled.

"No objection to going after the Headmaster?" Peeves asked, eyes glittering meanly.

"After what that old goat has done to him? I think not!" Severus retorted.

"But!" Harry started just before the spell hit him. Severus' wandless and wordless silencing spell hit him with a flick of the man's fingers. This forced Harry to stand there fuming and gained a disapproving glance from McGonagall for Severus who ignored her.

"I'll try to avoid any potions mishaps, potion master." Peeves promised. "But you might consider allowing the Headmaster to think he is winning and waiting at least a month for your... fun. If I understood what went unsaid earlier. You've already strengthened the bond far beyond what that simple little potion would have been able to manage."

"And how would you know that?" Severus asked suspiciously.

"~You could say that I watched the memory of it being brewed.~" Peeves hissed out in parseltounge shocking Tom, Severus, and even Minerva though she couldn't understand what was actually said. Harry still had trouble telling the difference between English and Parseltounge when he heard it, as a result he didn't notice the language shift.

"Who are you?" Tom asked in shock. "I know of no one but my husbands who can speak Parseltounge and there has been few known to possess such a gift since Salazar himself."

"So the bond has granted Severus the ability as well has it? A moment, another needs to hear this." Peeves mused before darting out to fetch Nearly-Headless Nick and physically (for a ghost) dragged him into the room with them.

"What is the meaning of this? What the devil is going on?" Nick spluttered then he caught sight of the small group of humans. "Ah! Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, Professor Riddle, Harry Potter! How nice it is to see you. And what might you be doing with this rascal?"

"If you'll remember Harry is the Heir to Hogwarts and that bonding potion did something a bit, hmm... more than was originally thought." Peeves advised Nick, who looked poleaxed at the news.

"But, but, but!" Nick spluttered.

"You still didn't answer their questions." Harry pointed out, getting very tired of being out of the loop and having people talking over him as if he wasn't there. The silencing spell hadn't been a very strong one and had worn off when Peeves went to get Nearly Headless Nick.

"Salazar! Why did you even use the blasted thing!" Nick demanded of Peeves, ignoring Harry's comment.

"Godric, if you'll recall I told you not to try brewing it in the first place! Besides the old coot threatened to lay a binding. You know perfectly well that I'm the only resident ghost who can manage to move large objects muchless kill something that goes after the children." Peeves aka Salazar Slytherin grumbled rolling his eyes and causing the humans to stare at them both dumbfounded. "We can't afford for me to be exorcised or bound. I didn't have much choice, especially if I wanted to maintain my cover."

"A cover that you've been playing at for more than 5 centuries." Nearly-Headless Nick aka Godric Gryffindor pointed out acidly. "Don't you think its time to stop playing the prankster?"

"Says the man who constructed a story about being beheaded with a dull axe and receiving around 50 strikes." Salazar sniped. "You got hit with a badly aimed, over powered cutting hex!"

"They could have at least finished severing my head from my body! But no, they had to stare at me as I rapidly bled to death." Godric fumed.

"What can you expect from muggles?" Salazar asked carelessly. "Are you finally willing to admit that they are a threat?"

"I never said that they weren't." Godric defended. "I only thought there might be a chance to live peacefully out in the open with them. Speaking of that, don't you have a few words to say to Riddle over there?"

"Why yes, so I do." Salazar agreed before turning on his descendent. "Tom, killing the muggleborns has to stop. I never hated them nor did I demand their deaths. They are merely powerful enough that the binding on their bloodlines broke or went dormant. When a squib is born the special bindings hiding the bloodline are merely re-establishing themselves. None of us involved in placing the binding intended for those too powerful to be properly bound to kill or destroy them. They are a safety measure for the day when our people are discovered and the muggles decide we need to die for being what we are."

"We even hid our own bloodlines as Harry, Hermione, and their mother can attest to." Godric said quietly.

"You either have magic or you don't. Yes, we can interbreed with the muggles but the magic holds true as long as magic herself lives." Salazar pointed out. "Without the magic we either die or permanently become muggles. There is no in-between or third option. Terror helps no one."

"Magic is dying." Tom said quietly.

"You think we can't feel that?!" Godric demanded indignantly. "Once any ghost would have been able to move small things and true poltergeists that were mad enough not to be reasoned with had to be exorcised. Left to themselves they would create an area of death and destruction that none would leave alive. If a poltergeist was not insane then they would be able to accomplish whatever held them here, barring a few things, as if they still lived. Now..."

"Now, I have trouble simply pulling the pranks I have been playing for the last several hundred years." Salazar said simply. "I died of a heart attack in the middle of an argument with Godric and decided we needed to finish our argument. So I stayed, and when it was Goddy's time he stayed after dying to finish a discussion we were in the middle of before that ill aimed hex hit him."

"Never thought Rowena's hat idea would work so well." Godric admitted grudgingly.

"With the four of us enchanting the blasted thing then linking it to the castle? Of course it worked well! Aside from the occasional stubborn apprentice who refused their natural place." Salazar said with a snort of amusement as Harry blushed a deep red in response.

"As interesting as all of this is and as important as addressing it is perhaps we should come back to the topic at hand. The potion that Mr. Slytherin dropped on Mr. Potter at the end of term feast." McGonagall said crisply, bringing everyone back to the original topic. "What can you tell us about the bond and the potion that caused it?"

"Not much more than you've already figured out, and he not only forgot what he did brewing the potion but lost the material he was referencing from." Salazar said simply jerking his thumb at Godric.

"I thought you'd destroyed that potion once you took it away from me." Godric glared at Salazar.

"I thought so too." Salazar said softly. "I guess the castle had a better idea for it. I don't know if this is what it intended, especially since that was the only vial that seems to have survived out of the batch and we never tested it. Can you remember anything that went into it?"

"My memory simply isn't that good Sal." Godric sighed. "Besides I passed out at some point while making it. I think the castle had a hand in brewing it."

"That would explain a lot." Salazar admitted. "Sorry, you're out of luck."

"In that case perhaps we should each be about our business." Minerva suggested. "I believe that Mr. Slytherin has some pranks to plan. I have lesson plans to review as do Tom and Severus."

"I was going to do them tomorrow, and make Severus join me. It is his class after all." Tom said moodily. "I think Dumbledore only gave me the job so that he'd have some authority over me while I'm in the castle."

"No time like the present!" Godric said cheerfully. "Besides, even as a staff member, do you honestly think that the crotchety old goat has authority over our Heirs? He has almost no authority at all over a Founder's Heir, even a student one. You just weren't confirmed by the goblins or the hat yet."

"What do you mean? He was confirmed when he entered my hidden chamber." Salazar said with a frown.

"And your bloody familiar obeyed him." Godric agreed. "But if you'll recall we all developed those spells and Hogwarts hadn't recognized him as an Heir. Oh, she recognized him as part of your bloodline or he never would have reached that bloody chamber, but an acknowledged Heir? No. He hadn't been confirmed by hat or goblins until this past summer. Or did you think that shudder through the foundations was just the castle waking up properly?"

"It started waking up when Lily Evens first stepped foot on Hogwarts grounds." Salazar retorted. "Or do you think the Castle providing us each extra power was a fluke? I was starting to have trouble lifting a stack of text books until she came, blast it!"

"You hadn't given any indication." Godric said with a frown.

"Of course I didn't! I wasn't going to scare anyone by admitting that I couldn't lift a blade and use it to help defend the castle!" Salazar said angrily.

"But, in first year you dropped a cabinet over Filch's office because Ron talked you into it and he was trying to get me out of trouble." Harry said with a frown.

"And I was delighted to find that much of my power returning. I knew the moment you'd stepped through those entry doors that you were here and that you were one of ours." Salazar pointed out. "I also knew that the old caretaker was one of the bound ones and in one of his moods. He and I knew perfectly well that you hadn't done anything to warrant punishment. The old grouch has far too much fondness for terrorizing children. I help him and the professors catch the children from time to time to try and keep them and their hides intact long enough for them to learn sense. My pranks teach them to beware of enemies in unexpected places. A child will often believe that a simple color change prank on their skin or hair is worse than death. So they learn to be aware of their surroundings and nothing dangerous or irreversible happens to them."

"Which is one of the reasons why his symbol is that of a snake. He'd rather take intruige over outright combat." Godric said ruefully.

"Open combat has its time and place. I just prefer that my opponents never manage to leave their own homes to attack my home ground." Salazar sniffed. "Besides its the female lions who do all the hunting and care taking of the cubs. The male lions only claim the females and establish the hunting territory."

"What did you mean when you said the castle started waking up when Lily came to Hogwarts?" Severus asked cautiously, interrupting their obviously old argument.

"During our life times the castle bonded so thoroughly to us that it knows us and our blood instantly. From what I've managed to gather over the centuries she placed a marker in each of our bloodlines beginning with each founder. Each of us could access special aspects of the castle but we all knew there was more to it than just the spells we were working. To tell you the truth, we were content to not investigate, as long as everything was taken care of as it should be." Godric explained.

"Tom is mine through his mother. Harry is Goddy's through his father. Harry and Hermione belong to all four bloodlines through Lily. The unique bloodline markers are in each of them and will be passed on to their children without fail." Salazar explained further. "The castle will respond in unique ways to each person who carries a bloodline marker. The castle responds to that bloodline marker. As for the Hogwarts Heir business? We never added spells for any of that. All of this is new territory for us just as much as it is for you."

"My thanks." Minerva said simply. "I'm afraid that we have to be about our tasks. Classes begin on Monday and neither Severus nor Tom has had a chance to review their lesson plans. I also doubt that any of the three have gone over any staff requests or any other material that might have accumulated."

"Staff requests?" Harry asked curiously.

"Aren't those usually handled by the Headmaster, Minerva?" Severus asked, equally curious.

"Yes, but that was because Hogwarts has never had an Heir or his spouses before to handle the issues." McGonagall said severely, looking over the top of her spectacles at her long time colleague. "According to Madam Pince and the material she collected on Estate bonds and contracts the three of you are the ones we must approach rather than the Headmaster. Unless of course you want Albus to retain that authority?" Tom and Severus shuddered at the thought.

"No." Tom said firmly. "But are you willing to cover for us, Minerva?"

"You do realize that I never really minded you calling me Minnie? Of course I'll cover for one of my lions even if he's always been part serpent." Professor McGonagall said with a slight smile. "You have no need to fear on that front Tom."

Tom nodded in acknowledgement and Minerva took down the spell work. Tom and Severus had to half drag Harry down to their office, when he tried to slip away to the library. They wanted to get a start on the waiting paperwork that Minerva had warned them about so that none of them would have anything hanging over their heads when classes actually started. It took them the rest of the weekend to complete the various paperwork and materials on the bonds and Estate contract that the staff had gathered for them. They had managed most of it by breakfast on Monday morning and as a reward were granted a morning prank, courtesy of the Weasley twins....

Chapter Text

The bonded trio of Harry Potter, Severus Snape, and Tom Riddle walked into the great hall together for breakfast Monday morning, as they had for every meal since arriving at Hogwarts. Luna, the twins, Ron, Hermione, Draco, and Neville were already seated at the Heir table and eating. Dumbledore was obviously put out when Fawkes entered the great hall and ignored him in favor of sitting on Harry's shoulder and nipping his ear from time to time. Fawkes hadn't been back to his perch in the Headmaster's office since the welcoming feast. Umbridge had that far too pleasant facade in place again aside from the occasional dark look sent toward Harry and his table. No one was prepared for what happened half way through breakfast...

It started slow, a platter slipping from underneath a student's hand. The next indication that something wasn't quite right was a jug of juice that was obviously full but wouldn't pour. The student who had tried using it set it aside thinking it was empty. The next was a pair of platters levitating a half an inch over the table in such a way that no one noticed.

The first thing that made it obvious that something strange was happening was when someone knocked a floating platter off the end of the Gryffindor table... it didn't fall. Instead it sailed off the end of the table, flying straight and true into the gut of a Slytherin 6th year just coming through the main doors. Then all hell broke loose.

The 6th year responded by tossing a Caesar Canuntis at the Gryffindor table forcing a good portion of the table to randomly burst into song. One of the Gryffindors returned fire with a Calvario instantly balding the Ravenclaw girl who got between the Gryffindor table and the 6th year Slytherin. Someone tossed a powerful Temera Colovaria Undas at the staff table causing rapid random color shift on everything and everyone the magic rippled over.

Someone let off a string of Cornflake Skin spells, someone else took advantage of the confusion and hit Parkinson with Mucus ad Nauseam, Curse of the Boogies. Then the twins, Seamus Finnigan, and Lee Jordan decided to add their two cents worth to the party. In a move to make the Marauders proud they used Expulso to trigger the dye filled water balloons hidden among and the stone arches the supported the roof of the great hall. Soaking the entire hall in various dyes, along with everyone in it.

When Peeves entered the great hall to see what all of the commotion was, after a moment of dumbfounded staring he burst out laughing. Peeves, formally known as Salazar Slytherin just sat up in one of the ceiling corners of the great hall cackling while everyone else was attempting to save clothing or school bags. When the other ghosts arrived he wasn't able to laugh at them for much longer, especially when Nick aka Godric got a look at him.

"Salazar!" Nick aka Godric roared.

"It wasn't me!" Peeves practically wheezed out. "But I'd love to know who organized this! Come on Goddy! Do you honestly think I would have managed this on my own? No, not even with an Heir in residence. It would take too much power and coordination."

"Excuse me!" A Ravenclaw half shouted up to the group of ghosts, covered in dark blue dye, and barely beating Hermione to the question. "I might have heard you wrong but, Sir Nicholas, did you just call Peeves, Salazar? And did he just call you... Goddy?"

"Maybe." Nick/Godric admitted, shifting uncomfortably where he floated.

"You can't blame me for this one! I'm not the one who blew our cover this time!" Peeves/Salazar cackled. "And to the whole school too!"

"Shut it! You blew our cover to 3 staff members and a student Saturday morning. At least I had a reason for that time in the, what do they call it now? The Forbidden Forest." Nick/Godric grumbled.

"Salazar Jamie Slytherin! Godric Jehiel Gryffindor!" The Bloody Baron roared. "You think I've kept the two of you in line for more than a thousand years just to hear you argue about this again?" Causing the two ghosts to start and face the incensed spirit, heads hanging low, like scolded children.

"You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Here you are bickering when you should be trying to figure out how this happened. Do you want the castle to fall? If someone from outside of the castle did this, how easy do you think it would be for them to simply take the castle? Take this... prank apart and find me who did it! I want to know if it was Staff, Student, Ghost, or other! If it was someone or something else then I want to know how much of a threat they are to the castle and its inhabitants! MOVE!" The Baron demanded, his final bellow sending every ghost shooting through the walls in search of answers.

"Impressive." Gellert commented as he dropped his shield keeping him from being hexes, cursed, spelled, or otherwise doused in food and dye.

"The children are far more trouble to control and keep teaching than your own forces ever were Gellert. Every child that passes through our doors is one that we care for and try to teach to not only be themselves but to be a part of our world." Albus said wearily, dropping his own shield and pouting about his breakfast being ruined, even as his gaze shifted to Harry and Hermione at the Heir table.

Harry was smiling as he ignored his own condition to watch as his bondmates looked in disgust at the damage done by the flying spells and dye. Hermione was just pulling out her book bag, frantically checking her text books before letting out an ear-splitting screech when she found the books ruined. Everyone in the room paused in what they were doing when they felt the power starting to pool and swirl in the room. The whirlpool of power was centered around Hermione and once it reached a cresting point the magic returned everything, books, clothing, parchment, food, even students, to their previous state before the first spell was cast. The entire room felt the remaining power drain away back into the walls and floors of the castle.

"What was that?" Ron asked, carefully in the dead silence of the hall.

"I think, that was me. Or the castle responding to me." Hermione said meekly.

"I'd expect something like that from Harry but you 'Mione? Guess the Headmaster and Grindelwald really are your parents." Ron said tactlessly earning a whack over the head from Hermione and one of her slimmer text books. Leaving Ron rubbing the bump on the head as Hermione glowered at him and Harry sat there smiling at their antics, trying not to laugh.

"Come on, little brother." Fred started.

"Do you think..." George.

"That we..." Fred.

"Would expect..." George.

"Our fiance..." Fred.

"To be normal?" George finished.

"I'm not your fiance yet, girlfriend, maybe." Hermione muttered with a blush.

"You're one powerful witch... Why didn't you display that power when I was insulting you?" Draco asked practically scratching his head, as everyone started talking and moving around again.

"I think it has to do with the castle waking up and my being named the heir." Harry said thoughtfully. "According to Peeves, sorry, Salazar, Hermione and I carry what he called a bloodline marker through my mum. Tom has one too since he's decended from Salazar. Apparently the castle responds in special ways to people who have one of these bloodline markers that the castle placed in each founder. I don't know how the castle will respond to mine."

"See! It is happening to Harry." Ron pointed out. "Its just happening to 'Mione too." The Headmaster chuckled a little at the speculation he was hearing as he stood and summoned the podium and everyone returned to silence to hear what he had to say.

"Thank you all for remaining reasonably calm under fire. I would ask the students who organized this to report to one of the staff. If those students have not either been turned in or turned themselves in by this time tomorrow, all houses will loose 500 points and there will be a school wide detention lasting for the next month." Albus told the student body solemnly, calmly ignoring the fuming pink puff standing behind him with a cracked smile on her face. "I believe you all have classes. At some point during your day, I would ask that you stop and thank the castle for repairing anything ruined by the unexpected spell fire and pranks. Good day."

"Headmaster, this type of conduct is unacceptable." Delores Umbridge informed him loudly as he put away the podium. "And that punishment is far too light. Need I remind you that the ministry..."

"I am well aware of what is appropriate Delores. You forget that children are not adults, nor are they simple constructs to be ordered about with perfect obedience. Children are our future and have yet to be taught or gain the knowledge we already hold." Albus told her genially. "I am well aware of the fact that the ministry sponsored your placement. Had I not already agreed to Cornelius' request to assign the post I might have accepted the single applicant."

"Liar." Tom muttered under his breath as he and Severus checked Harry for injuries despite their bondmate's combined annoyance and delight at such a simple act of caring coming clearly down the bond.

"You knew he wouldn't hire you." Severus muttered back, ignoring the continuing argument between the Headmaster and the pink puff.

"Harry, you seem to be fine." Tom said, ignoring Severus' comment. "We'll see you in potions. I doubt Severus will go easy on you simply because the three of us are married."

"When has he ever gone easy on me?" Harry asked with a snort. "I've got double Defense first. See everyone at lunch." Nobody noticed Harry and his friends slip out of the great hall, even as nobody noticed Tom and Severus slipping out of a side door to the hall.

~

Tom and Severus slipped into their office to gather the materials for the first class and some of the remaining paperwork that McGonagall had left the trio with. The fireplace flared, while Tom was just to the side of it and Dumbledore's head popped into view. He looked around until he spotted Severus and was quite glad to note that Tom wasn't there.

"Ah! Severus my dear boy. I need to have a word with you. I don't see Tom any where, you wouldn't happen to know where he is?" Dumbledore asked genially.

"I believe he went to the loo, Headmaster. Our bond requires some juggling at times and to allow Harry to attend classes in a semi-normal fashion both Tom and I need to remain physically close together. If something happens to one of us then the others must be able to get there quickly or the bond might react... negatively." Severus told him politely.

"Good, good, good. We'll as Tom is unavailable perhaps you would be willing to tell me exactly how closely connected the three of you are and what might the side effects be should I find a way to sever your bond?" Dumbledore asked innocently, causing Severus to instinctively tense.

"I do not believe that severing our bond is wise Headmaster." Severus said quietly. "The St. Mungo's healer warned that it would create instability in all three of us if nothing else."

"I see." Dumbledore said consideringly. "Well then, we'll just have to find a better way to keep Harry and Tom under control. Thank you for your help, Severus. Oh, and would you mind brewing some of the potions that Poppy usually asks for? She said you would know what she's talking about."

"Certainly, Headmaster." Severus said, inclining his head as Dumbledore signed off of the floo.

"That meddlesome old man is going to get us and Harry killed!" Tom fumed from his place just to the side of the fireplace.

"I need you to use Legillimens on me and force your way past at least my first layer of defensive Occlumency." Severus said abruptly.

"Why?" Tom demanded, startled.

"So that I can honestly say that you forced some of the information from me." Severus said with a twisted snarl. "Think! He believes me to be his loyal spy. I need to have an excuse ready for when he becomes suspicious. Especially since the bond changes the entire dynamic of the situation and the relationship between the three of us. My being unable to keep you out can be explained away by the bond. Just as successfully keeping him out without any chinks in my mental armor can be explained by the existence of the bond."

"We'll decide afterward what we pretend I don't know." Tom said with a nod then winced as something occurred to him. "Harry's going to feel this."

"And we'll pay the price for it from him tonight." Severus agreed with a similar wince. "I only hope he will accept our explanation."

Tom nodded solemnly as he cast Legillimens, startling Severus and forcing his way past two layers of his husband's Occlumency sheilds. What he found, to his disappointment and fury, was that his husband had indeed worked for Dumbledore as a spy, even warning the man to hide the Potters. He also discovered that the Headmaster had asked too much, crossing too many lines, for his husband to believe in him any more. Severus' loyalty had transfered to protecting Harry and upon his healing returned once more to Tom. The potions master would only answer to his husbands now, nothing could change that. With a snarl Tom ended the mental assault leaving his husband gasping against the desk.

"Husband or not, you know I will have to punish you for that." Tom said stonily. Severus nodded tiredly before drawing himself up and quietly gathering his materials for the first class.

"I expect nothing less, Alpha." Severus said, finally acknowledging Tom's placement in their relationship. It was clear to both of them that Harry while powerful wasn't an alpha. Just like Severus himself, they could take on a dominant role but it wasn't something that came naturally when there was a true alpha personality present that they trusted. Tom suddenly shoved Severus against the wall and pinned him there as he kissed the potion master almost harshly.

"Remember that Severus." Tom breathed against his husband's lips as he pulled back, drawing a quiet whimper from Sev. "Both of you are mine. Mine to punish, and mine to protect. I'm certain that you've noticed Harry is untouched."

"He wouldn't have been so clueless about us simply sleeping in pants in the same bed if he weren't so innocent." Severus grunted, trying not to drop the paperwork or slide to his knees in front of his husband.

"Which is why he belongs to both of us. Just as I belong to both of you, and you belong to both me and Harry." Tom said pointedly, as he eased back from his husband. "When the time finally comes I will make my claim very clear to both of you. For now we have a class of brats to teach before we can see our own brat." Severus nodded mutely before they quickly gathered the rest of their things and set out to teach a bunch of 3rd year Hufflepuff and Ravenclaws. They arrived 20 minutes late, not that any of the students dared to comment on it as the two swept into the room, somehow simultaneously simulating sweeping cloaks with tightly buttoned robes...

~

The Gryffindors and Slytherins arrived for Defense to find that Professor Umbridge wasn't there yet. They agreed that she was likely still down in the great hall arguing with the Headmaster. What really surprised them was that Hermione joined them for class. As a Ravenclaw she would normally be in a different class with her fellow Ravenclaws. According to her, she had some how talked McGonagall and Flitwick into signing off on her taking her core classes with either Harry or Ron, all of her other courses were with her house. She even managed to chivvy everyone into their seats with their books out by the time Umbridge entered the room, creepy false smile in place and all.

"Welcome class." Umbridge said sweetly as she swept to the head of the room, and whisked her wand at the blackboard, leaving her name behind. "Your previous Professors in this class have been poorly remiss and clearly lacked any ministry certification. As a result your education has been slipshod at best, or non-existent at worst. To remedy that we will be going back to basics. Theory is the key. This year there will be no need to use your wands, you will be working on theory. There is no reason you can not learn everything you need from theory alone."

"I wonder if that's because the ministry lacks the magical ability to teach practical Defense." Hermione muttered under her breath to Draco and Harry. Ron heard and snorted in amusement.

"Do you have something to say Miss.... Granger?" Umbridge asked primly.

"Malfoy, Malfoy-Grindelwald." Hermione corrected politely. "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean Professor."

"I see... You will only need your books this year to learn in a safe, protected environment." Umbridge continued. "Please put away your wands, quills, and ink, and open your books to chapter one. There will be no need for talking of any sort, nor notes. You will find everything you need in your text books."

"Professor, how do we learn to perform the spells with... ack!" Harry started than rapidly stopped as he clutched his head feeling the pain of the Legillimency attack on Severus. It quickly faded away as he felt soothing and lust coming from his husbands.

"What were you saying Mr. Potter?" Umbridge asked archly as she carefully eyed him.

"Nothing, Professor." Harry said quietly, recovering from the spike of pain from a moment ago. "I just got a headache for a second from the bond. Its gone now."

"I will ask again and if you do not answer it will be detention. What were you about to say to me?" Umbridge asked brightly.

"I was asking how you expect us to pass our OWLs and cast the spells if you insist on us only learning the theory? Theory isn't the same as casting the spells." Harry asked stubbornly.

"Detention, Mr. Potter, for back talk. I will see you tonight at 6 O'clock. Begin on chapter one." Umbridge ordered primly as she sat at her desk. The class opened their books and mutinously started reading. Harry didn't even bother opening his book.

"Professor, what do we do if we're attacked?" Harry asked stubbornly.

"You will not be attacked." Umbridge said sweetly. "This is a classroom. No one is going to attack you here."

"And what happens if say Bellatrix Lestrange came through the door? What are we supposed to do then?" Harry asked even more stubbornly, causing a tick to form on Umbridge's face as she strode to stand next to Harry and address the class.

"You will not be attacked. This is a school. There will be no combat of any kind here. All you need to know is ministry approved theory." Umbridge emphesised the last word with a swing of her wand, straight at the back of Harry's head. Harry instinctively ducked and practically screamed down the bond to his bondmates, as he shifted into a defensive crouch, wand drawn, under his desk.

Feeling Harry's panic and fear from the bond, Tom and Severus stopped mid-word and bolted for their classroom door. Severus snarled out a "Don't move!" as they bolted through the door, thanking all the gods that no one had started brewing yet. The castle sensing their distress shifted the corridor after the first corner into a secret passage way which ended on the same floor as the defense classroom, directly from the dungeons. Allowing them to burst through the doorway of the classroom, wands drawn, to find Umbridge staring at Harry in shock as he crouched under his desk, wand pointed directly at her.

"What did you do?!" Severus snarled.

"Harry?" Tom asked softly.

"I'm sorry." Harry mumbled, as he came out from under the desk.

"She swung her wand at the back of his head, Professor." Neville said quietly, focusing on Professor Riddle over Professor Snape. "Harry dodged and drew his wand as he slid under the desk."

"Harry, its okay. You can come out now." Tom soothed, as he coaxed Harry from under his desk.

"Touch our husband again and you will rue the day you were born." Severus said menacingly as he kept his wand trained on the pink puff of a woman.

"I'm afraid I can not oblige you Professor Snape. He has detention with me tonight, at 6." Umbridge said primly, recovering her poise.

"For?" Severus asked quietly as his eyes glittered.

"Back talk." Umbridge informed him, standing her ground.

"She's mental." Ron murmured to the nodded agreement of the other students.

"Back talk is not reason enough to assault a student!" Tom snapped, as he finally pulled Harry out from under the desk and into his arms.

"Potter just wanted to know why we aren't learning any spells this year." Pansy Parkinson pointed out, making both Severus and Tom stiffen where they were.

"No spell work this year, Madam?" Severus asked archly.

"They are poorly lacking in anything resembling Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor. I am teaching a ministry approved course and only a ministry approved course. They have no grounding in basic theory and the ministry has determined that students only need theory to be able to cast the spells upon graduation. No dangerous practice in the classroom is needed." Umbridge told them stiffly.

"That is not how you teach Defense, Madam!" Severus practically snarled.

"You are the school's potions master, are you not? What would you know about defense?" Umbridge sniffed.

"I hold a dual mastery, Madam." Severus shot back coldly. "Dumbledore has refused my request for the defense job on numerous occssions due to my ability to keep the brats intact when they mistakenly add an ingredient or forget to stir six times counterclockwise when brewing a potion. He also knows that I am the youngest potions master in over a century."

"Then there's the fact that the last Dark Lord cursed the defense position when he first applied for it and was denied the position." Tom said quietly.

"Really? You cursed it?" Harry asked so quietly only Tom heard him. In response Tom ran his hand down Harry's back soothing him as he glared at the ministry employee.

"Disloyalty to the ministry is clearly an issue at Hogwarts." Umbridge said archly. "I will have to speak to Minister Fudge about implementing corrections."

"Madam, how does our responding to the magical marriage bond when our bondmate panic's over what he perceived as an open attack show disloyalty to the ministry?" Severus asked coolly.

"It does when you interfere with ministry approved disciplinary action." Umbridge informed them confidently, eyes glittering maliciously.

"Were you disciplining our bondmate and husband?" Tom asked calmly, eyes watching the woman like a hawk.

Umbridge hesitated before reluctantly admitting. "No."

"Then we have not interfered with a ministry approved disciplinary action, have we, Madam?" Severus interjected coolly. "We merely responded to our bondmate's distress."

"He still has detention at 6 O'clock." Umbridge said her smile sickly sweet and nose flaring.

"Of course, Madam." Severus said smoothly. "I have had to discipline him for back talk on more than one occasion myself. Might I and my bondmate return to our class? We needed to leave the third year Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws when Harry called in such a panic."

"Why did you leave them when you knew there was a ministry approved teacher already present?" Umbridge asked archly, back on more stable ground. "For that matter why did you both leave? One of you could have remained and continued conducting the class."

"You don't know how much trouble our bondmate often finds himself in, despite the best efforts of those around him." Tom said, eyes glittering. "He has faced Voldemort at least twice on school grounds, or a version of him at any rate. The man and his followers have breached the grounds on more than one occasion and may yet come after our bondmate again."

"You do not speak his name! He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is gone. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar, even the so called savior." Umbridge said in a sickly sweet tone.

"Of course, Madam. My bondmate was merely pointing out that his followers still target our husband and have previously found their way into the school." Severus smoothly interjected. "No offense was intended. Dumbledore has repeatedly attempted to force the staff into using either the Dark Lord's chosen moniker or his given name. I believe that Tom had merely recieved a recent lecture on the matter."

"I will expect Mr. Potter for detention at 6 O'clock this evening, Professors. Does he require the school nurse? Or is Mr. Potter able to continue the lesson?" Umbridge asked in a falsely caring tone.

"I'm okay." Harry said softly, leaving Tom's arms to sit back down, refusing to look at his fellow classmates. "I'm sorry I freaked out. I'm a little jumpy after the pranks at breakfast is all."

"Very well." Severus said after a moment's silence. "We will see you at lunch." Harry nodded in response, head down, as he opened his text book.

Chapter Text

The twins dragged Lee Jordan and Seamus Finnigan with them when they reported themselves to Professors Snape and Riddle just before lunch that same day. They explained that they were the ones responsible for the dye and how they had set up a chain reaction among the water balloons before triggering it in the unexpected confusion of that morning. None of them quite knew what had started what the entire school was now calling the breakfast war, but the twins didn't care that much. They were in for a surprise when they headed for the great hall to eat lunch. They had just sat down at their various tables as Luna approached the Heir table and Hermione.

"Hermione?" Luna asked getting the girl's attention.

"Yes, Luna?" Hermione asked curiously.

"The castle wanted to apologize for the mess this morning. She didn't mean to upset you or ruin your books." Luna explained. "The twins were the ones to place the dye packs in any case."

"Oh, really?" Hermione asked as she glared across the table at her boyfriends, who quickly swallowed what they had in their hands and bolted from the room.

"I'll catch them later." Hermione said dismissively after sending another powerful glare after the duo. "Thank you for telling me Luna, and would you mind telling the castle that since she repaired everything its alright."

"The castle doesn't mind. She's just glad that you aren't upset that she helped with the prank this morning." Luna said dreamily.

"What do you mean?" Harry asked curiously.

"The castle is the one who made the platters float and slide around like they were on ice." Luna told him airily. "It also hid the juice in one of the jugs on the Hufflepuff table."

"Wait, you're certain that it was the castle and not a student or intruder?" Godric asked as he rose out of the floor next to the table.

"Yes, the castle is very sorry. She thought it would be fun." Luna explained brightly.

"Thank you dear lady. I'll just go and inform the Bloody Baron and the Headmaster." Godric told her with a slight bow, before heading off and reporting his findings. Lunch passed without any more excitement aside than Fawkes and Hedwig deciding to flirt while sitting on the Heir table and occasionally nudging over pieces of meat to each other that the elves sent up special just for them.

~

6 O'clock came and found Harry approaching Umbridge's office with confusion and unexplainable dread coiling in his gut. Tom and Severus felt it but still couldn't leave the head table from supper as they glanced at the time. They sent mildly soothing waves down the bond and with a glance at one another silently agreed to finish quickly and join Harry at his detention with some of their own work. Harry sent a silent thank you down the bond as the soothing waves tapered off. He gathered his courage and knocked on the door to the office.

"Come in, Mr. Potter." Umbridge called sweetly. With another surge of courage Harry opened the door and stepped into a pink monstrosity of an office decorated with Kitten curio plates along the walls where most people would place pictures or tapestries.

"I'm here for my detention Professor." Harry said quietly.

"Yes, sit down. You will be doing lines with a very special quill which doesn't require ink that I will provide. Have a seat." Umbridge said sweetly as she set down her delicate china cup of tea, and indicated the single student desk that sat before her own desk. She pulled out a black quill from her desk drawer and carried it over and handed it to him.

"Oh, and Mr. Potter, if your bondmates arrive because you panicked over a simple detention of writing lines you will have earned an additional month's worth of detentions." Umbridge informed him in her politest tone before sitting down behind her desk to finish her tea.

"What am I to write Professor?" Harry asked wearily. "And how many times?"

"Write, I will not panic in class and I will not tell lies. As for how many times, lets see how long it will take to sink in, shall we?" She said sweetly, before commanding. "Begin."

"Yes, Professor." Harry said as he pulled out some parchment before setting quill to parchment. As he wrote there was a stinging in his hand and as he watched he could see the words forming perfectly on his skin as he wrote. Harry looked up in shock at Professor Umbridge and she arched her eyebrow.

"Is there a problem Mr. Potter?" She asked sweetly.

"No, Ma'am." Harry murmured and went back to writing his lines in his own blood. Down in the great hall at the same moment both Tom and Severus watched in horror as the words Harry was writing with the blood quill also carved themselves into their hands.

"Harry." Tom snarled out, eyes blazing as he stood up, shoving back his chair so hard that it toppled to the floor with a bang, before he headed for the corridor and the main staircase.

Severus followed suit, snarling at the stinging pain, drawing the attention of the entire staff table. The entire Heir table watched the two men hurriedly stalk past with dread before promptly getting up and following, knowing that it must have something to do with Harry. Grindelwald, Dumbledore, and McGonagall hurriedly followed suit and quickly moved after the mass of departing students, leaving the other teachers to try and keep the rest of the great hall from following.

The castle once more shifted its corridors this time giving a direct hidden staircase to the floor from the base of the main stairs, drawing attention to it by very obviously dropping a Slytherin banner from the wall so that it would fall next to the new opening. Severus noticed and with a snarl grabbed Tom's arm before pulling him up the new stairs with only minor resistance from his fellow bondmate. Assuming rightly that it was the same phenomena that happened the last time Harry felt threatened and they had to get to him quickly.

The passage shoved Dumbledore and Grindelwald back from the front of the line with an invisible shield. Yet the castle allowed McGonagall, the twins, Hermione, Luna, and Neville through before closing the passage behind them, forcing everyone else to take the main staircase. There was no longer any possible doubt that Harry was in trouble.

All this time Harry continued writing the proscribed lines in his own blood. Turning his fingers white as he fought with himself and the increasing pain as he continued dutifully carving the words into his own flesh with the blood quill. Just before his bondmates arrived he started dripping blood from the open wounds of his off-hand, moments later the Calvary arrived.

The door burst inward to Umbridge's office. Harry instinctively dove under the desk and tried to draw his wand with his injured yet still unoccupied hand. He cried out in pain, dropping his wand, even as Umbridge stalked over and tried to yank the quill from his hand after recovering from her fright. Harry's hand reflexively clenched around the blood quill even harder, refusing to give up the incriminating object.

"Move away from him." Severus ordered, his tone deadly.

"Slowly." Tom added with a snarl, forcing the woman to drop the still held quill and back away from Harry slowly, hate blazing in her eyes.

"You dare draw a wand on me?! A ministry representative!" Umbridge bleated, never noticing the blood dripping from the mirror cuts on Tom's and Severus' own off-hands. "I'll have your jobs for this!"

"Not if you've hurt that student!" McGonagall cried from behind them, her own wand out.

"You believe I would ever hurt a student?" Umbridge scoffed.

"Then why is Harry under the desk again? And why are Severus and I bleeding from wounds we did not inflict nor receive within the last 20 minutes?" Tom asked in a deadly tone, show casing his own injured left hand. "Severus, I believe its your turn to check our bondmate. I'll hold this... creature."

"Certainly, my lord." Severus said smartly, earning a grumble from his husband as he bent down to check on Harry. All frivolity left his demeanor when he saw the blood dripping from Harry's hand and the way he cowered instinctively back against the underside of the desk.

"Minerva, either you take Umbridge into custody immediately and call the Aurors or she will die in the next 10 minutes." Severus tossed over his shoulder, his frame radiating fury, even as he slowly and gently reached out toward Harry, trying to calm him.

"I've done nothing of the sort!" Umbridge said indignantly as Dumbledore and the others arrived.

"Now, Minerva, I'm certain that whatever it is, is a simple misunderstanding." Albus tried to calm the animagus from their place in the hall. "Lets see what is going on before we act rashly, shall we?"

Severus held back his fury and showed only his blank, granite, facade as he finished gently coaxing Harry out from under the desk. He wrapped Harry in his arms before spinning around to put his back to Umbridge even as Tom cleared the doorway to cover his back, wand never wavering from his target. Severus quickly checked Harry from top to toe, snarling under his breath when he found both the words cut into his husband's hand and the blood quill.

"She had him use a blood quill." Severus said in quiet fury.

"You never use a blood quill like this!" Tom practically snarled out. "Their authorized usage is to confirm or check bloodlines and to sign special magically binding contracts! Not to torture Hogwarts students!"

"And what would a child know of that? Your marriage is unnatural for all that you are magically bound and physically share the same age. It certainly isn't ministry authorized. You are children playing the part of professors." Umbridge spat cruelly. "Neither of you should ever have been given a post. You should be attending as students, not professors."

"You dare imply that we would harm our bondmate?" Tom asked in a deadly quiet tone.

She simply glared back at them. A moment later they all heard a gritty grinding sound from the direction of the ceiling before a carved stone about the size and shape of a text book, simply dropped from the ceiling, landing directly on Umbridge's head. This startled a giggle out of Harry watching over Severus' shoulder, still wrapped in his husband's arms.

"Thank you Hogwarts." Harry said quietly as he patted the floor next to him like you would a pet. He was only loud enough so that Tom, Severus, and Minerva with her cat hearing could hear what he said. Minerva had to stifle her own giggle as the lights flickered once and only once in response.

"Oh, dear. I'm afraid that Professor Umbridge needs to go to the hospital wing again." Dumbledore said worriedly. "Ah, well. Madam Pomfrey ought to have her right as rain by morning."

"Dumbledore, if she isn't gone by morning then she wont leave the castle alive." Tom threatened.

"Now, Tom, is that any way to treat a colleague?" Dumbledore asked almost gently.

"You keep saying that Harry has to be protected yet you let this, this... creature use a blood quill on him!" Severus practically snarled over Harry's suddenly once again tense body, as he responded to the flaring protective fury along the bond. "I don't believe he even knows what a blood quill is!"

"What is this about a blood quill? I'm certain that you must be mistaken Severus." Albus said with a frown as he stepped into the room. In response Sev took the quill from Harry's hand and shoved it toward the headmaster with his own injured hand. "My, my, this is indeed a blood quill and the marks on your hand are clearly also from a blood quill. How might you have gotten them?"

"From the bond." Tom snarled shortly before showing off his matching wounds. "We were at supper as you yourself can attest. So, it must have been Harry using a blood quill specifically designed to carve the words into the flesh of the writer as it is used. Even I wouldn't use such tactics!"

"Why would it be such a shock for you not to use a blood quill?" Gellert asked sharply, focusing on the discrepancy in the discussion, not put forward by Dumbledore. Harry used Gellert's question to quietly whisper a request for his wand in Severus' ear. His husband silently pressed it into his wand hand.

"He hasn't told you? Might as well, the rest of the staff already seem to know." Tom said sourly, before casting Flagrate and writing his name TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE in mid-air, just as his Diary had done in Slytherin's Chamber. He next flicked his wand downward sharply in a slash and rearranged the letters to spell I AM LORD VOLDEMORT, before looking away from them toward his bondmates.

"We already knew." Severus reminded him softly, receiving a sharp nod in return from his alpha. Harry also relaxed a bit and firmly nodded his own acknowledgement, as he tightened his grip on the wand hidden in his lap. His bondmate's responses caused Tom to relax back into a more natural stance, ready for battle.

"So you are the upstart, and you've fallen to the same trap as I did!" Gellert barked out a sharp laugh. "You found someone you care about!"

"Explain." Tom demanded with a scowl.

"If they ask you'll do anything, even give up what you've been working for. If they are threatened you'll do anything, even destroy yourself to protect them. There is no guarantee that they will do the same for you, no matter the circumstance." Gellert explained with amusement then he turned grim as he faced Dumbledore and continued. "When you wont do what they ask, they will destroy you."

"Was it so much to ask?" Dumbledore asked quietly.

"You want to leave our people vulnerable and eliminate anything that the muggle raised children find strange." Gellert spat. "Did you learn nothing? They are not weak. They are not helpless. They would destroy us if but given the chance. You've made them out to be cuddly plush toys! They are a threat! They have had the ability to destroy our people since before you and I were children!"

"Magic is dying." Tom added softly. "Unless we return to the old traditions and use every branch of magic we will die with it. Allowing the muggle raised children free access to our world without requiring them to know the very basics of our society encourages them to bring in their own destructive ways. Risking our detection with every child not wizard raised allowed entrance into our world. If nothing else we need a class on wizarding culture for all muggle raised children to attend from age 8 onward and an accurate muggle culture course for the wizard raised children of the same age. That is the absolute minimum we need or we will die out. I'm trying to keep us alive!"

"The pure-bloods see this most clearly which is why I appealed to as many as I could. Was it the same for you?" Gellert asked and recieved a solemn nod from Tom in response.

Only Harry saw Dumbledore raise his wand to cast, and as a result only Harry was fast enough to counter the Headmaster. Harry instinctively yanked on the "leash" portion of the bond taking Tom off his feet and dragging him in a body blow against Severus at the same moment that Harry cast. The Protego Totalum stopped the Headmaster's spell dead, splashing the magic across the room as it splattered over the shield.

"What are you doing??!" Minerva cried.

"Isn't it obvious? He's decided that threatening one of Voldemort's bondmates is acceptable to get him to back down." Gellert said with a grim smile, wand drawn, back to the wall. "Must we duel again, lover?"

"You are both a threat to our way of life and my students." Dumbledore said coldly. "I cannot allow you continue putting them in danger." Hermione had slipped up behind them and now took her chance to simply snatch the wand from the Headmaster's hand, backing away quickly.

"I can't let you hurt Harry." Hermione said quietly as she dodged Dumbledore's lunge and tossed the wand to one of the twins, calling. "Hide the wand!"

"My dear girl, you have no idea what you've done." Dumbledore said quietly, fury blazing in his eyes.

"You're facing my wand at the very least Albus. Keep that in mind when you threaten my daughter." Gellert told him coldly. "Hermione either go to the other side of the shield or come to me. Albus clearly isn't in his right mind."

"Choose." Luna sing-songed from the hallway.

"How do I choose Harry?" Hermione called back, eyes and voice never wavering.

"Walk through the shield." Luna answered.

"No!" Dumbledore and Grindelwald cried out, half lunging toward her to try and stop her. As Hermione did just that with a small smile on her face, emerging untouched on the other side to stand next to Harry and his husbands.

"I already told you that once I can get someone to officiate, I'm swearing to my brother." She told them viciously. "That hasn't changed."

"Trial by fire complete." Luna intoned as a flare of magic rose from just over Hermione's heart, ripping through shirt, bra, and robe alike, leaving behind a blood red copy of Harry's personal fealty mark.

"Fuck!" Tom cursed even as Severus groaned in resignation.

"I don't understand." Harry admitted softly, as he continued to focus on maintaining the shield.

"Trial by fire of a blood relative when successfully completed provides a stronger connection than a simple fealty bond. If you needed to you could drain all of Hermione's magic and then go further to drain away her very life in an emergency." Luna explained, causing Harry to blanche and his shield to tremble ever so slightly.

"I never wanted that." Harry whispered in horror.

"Well you've got it," Hermione told him primly. "And I expect you to know when to use it."

"Swear on your magic that you wont hurt Harry or Hermione and we'll give you back your wand, Headmaster." Draco said coldly from the hallway.

"I can not do that Mr. Malfoy." Dumbledore said eyes hard as he stared at the mark his daughter now carried.

"Why?" Gellert practically snarled, choosing to ignore Hermione's new fealty mark in favor of dealing with Dumbledore as he swung around to face the man.

"Because fulfilling such a vow would require me to also refuse to hurt Tom and Severus. At the moment that would require that I force them to attend the school as students rather than allowing them to continue to teach. I have no doubt that when Cornelius hears about the situation they will be removed from teaching, by force if necessary, and placed in classes along side Harry. I would rather not contemplate what could happen if Tom... got board." Dumbledore admitted. "Maintaining this situation as is, prevents or at the very least minimizes that possibility."

"Then why didn't you just give me the defense position like I asked?" Tom asked in frustration. "I even offered to remove the damned curse from the last time I applied."

"Impressive, cursing a work position rather than an object. Very impressive." Gellert commented, eyes never leaving Dumbledore.

"I'm certain that both Tom and Severus considered that possibility Headmaster." Luna said breezily. "While it would make them grumpy I don't think that you need to worry about them getting board as long as Professor Umbridge and Darkling Gindelwald are at Hogwarts. If they both left and Hogwarts finished waking up then I don't think that Tom or Severus would be content being students again. Until then we get to play tag with Professor Umbridge!"

"I'm not certain I understand my dear." Dumbledore admitted after a moment's contemplation of her words.

"She hurts my husbands the way she hurt me and I'll go after her." Harry warned Luna.

"Tag!" Luna giggled, knowing that Umbridge had sent an owl detailing her concerns about Hogwarts staffing during lunch, earlier that day. By the next morning Umbridge was still recovering in the infirmary and Cornelius Fudge had arrived, Horace Slughorn in tow.

"Well Dumbledore, it seems you've made a bit of a mess of the situation." Cornelius said smugly.

McGonagall was just passing by in her cat form when she heard this. She shifted back and quickly walking past them muttered crossly under her breath. "That's an understatement..."

Chapter Text

By the time classes started again Tuesday morning neither Tom nor Severus were teaching, instead Horace Slughorn was once again teaching potions. Umbridge was once again out of the hospital wing but thankfully her blood quill had been confiscated. Unfortunately, by the same token, she had been labeled High Inquisitor by Fudge and given the authority to investigate and change the perceived situation at Hogwarts.

All of Albus' influence wasn't enough to keep Tom or Severus on the grounds as staff, it was enough to allow them stay on as apprentices. Severus chose to apprentice under Minerva to work on a Transfiguration Mastery and Tom remained apprenticed under Severus to work on his Potions Mastery since Severus remained the school's Potions Master. To say they were much happier with this arrangement would be an understatement, not that they allowed Dumbledore or Umbridge to discover this. Any thought of a wizard culture class or a muggle culture class was left by the wayside. The new situation forced a stalemate between the three Dark Lords. Grindelwald even made certain that Dumbledore did not try to retrieve his wand from Hermione and simply purchased a new one instead.

Harry yawned and stumbled out of bed as his husbands began to stir Wednesday morning. He quickly snatched some clothes up from the wardrobe and slipped into the bathroom to wash and get dressed. Still half asleep he stumbled up to the main portrait door to their quarters and slipped through into a short hallway that hadn't been there the night before. Sleepily he picked one of the four doors at random and stumbled through to find himself in McGonagall's office facing a very surprised cat animagus.

"Wha?" Harry asked suddenly waking up. "This isn't the hallway."

"No, it is not." McGonagall said almost indignantly as she set aside her cup of early morning tea, before asking archly. "And how might you have found yourself here, Mr. Potter?"

"I.. don't know. I think I woke up, got dressed and headed for the corridor to go to breakfast." Harry said confused. "But the door didn't open on the dungeon corridor it opened up in a small hallway with four doors. I think I was still mostly asleep and just picked one."

"It sounds like the castle has changed the configuration of your rooms, especially since that door wasn't there yesterday." McGonagall pointed out.

"Okay." Harry said rubbing the back of his neck. "If I'm not in the dungeons, I guess since you're here I'm in your office."

"Very good. Be certain to inform your husbands of the new development when you see them at breakfast. Now run along." McGonagall said pointedly. Aside from the unexpected change in the trio's quarters and Hermione's move into the converted dorm with Luna as well as Severus and Tom insisting that Harry actually do his homework right away and bring his grades up, not much happened. It was a little more than two weeks of relatively normal routine before Umbridge made her next move.

"Harry, we have to do something about that horrible woman." Hermione informed him at breakfast as she sat down at the Heir table. "Have you seen the new rules she posted just outside the great hall?"

"Hello, Hermione. Its nice to see you too." Harry said pointedly.

"Oh, good morning." Hermione said coming back to herself. "We have to do something about that woman and how she teaches!"

"What do you want us to do 'Mione? Its not like we can teach them or even teach ourselves." Ron pointed out, reasonably.

"Why can't we?" Hermione asked a gleam of a new project entering her eyes.

"If you can come up with a good plan, working out most or all of the details to make it actually work, I'll look at it. But, 'Mione, I don't think we have a way to teach the school DADA when Umbridge is the Defense Professor and Severus is busy with brewing potions and learning more Transfiguration from Professor McGonagall." Harry warned, trying to head her off before she got going.

"And you'd have to get the students to go along with whatever your plan is." Draco pointed out, before taking a bite of his toast.

"Oh, don't worry about that. More than one student has asked me if Harry would be willing to tutor them in defense." Hermione said in satisfaction, making Harry choke a bit on his bite of egg.

"What?" Harry asked, aghast. "I can't teach them!"

"You are the best in Defense." Ron pointed out. "You even beat Hermione."

"Defense is easy." Harry mumbled, head down and focusing on his food.

"Maybe for you." Hermione said pointedly. "Do you remember how Professor Lupin taught you the Patronus charm?"

Harry nodded and Hermione continued. "Harry, that spell isn't normally taught until spring term in 6th year and you learned it before 3rd year was over. Do you remember how you taught Ron and me that other charm? How you explained how you learned it? Do you remember how I changed the way I help you with practicing spells and charms after that? Harry, you understand things but you have to be shown how it might protect you or someone else first."

"So that's why you used the summoning charm for the first task." Draco said thoughtfully. "I figured you'd get little Miss. Bookworm over here to teach you the Conjunctivitis Curse that Dragon Handlers normally use."

"Actually Professor Moody kept telling me to play to my strengths. Then Professor Flitwick taught us the summoning charm and Hermione tried to help me learn it, but I couldn't until we'd figured out that I could use it during the first task." Harry explained, twitching at the memory of who Moody actually was. "Sirius didn't manage to tell me about the Conjunctivitis Curse in time. Ron interrupted our fire chat."

"Yeah, sorry about that mate." Ron said blushing. "I was being a real git."

"Yeah, you were." Harry agreed before turning back to his breakfast.

"The point is that Harry can teach us, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. I think only the Slytherins realize who Tom actually is because everyone else kept saying something about you facing down Voldemort." Hermione said thoughtfully. "A lot of them have pointed out when you faced him in the chamber and when you faced Quirrell."

"The Slytherins are all trying to get me to give them blackmail on the two of you or to ask Severus if he'll tutor them." Draco admitted.

"Fine! I'll try teaching whoever wants to learn but you guys have to organize it and find us somewhere to meet, and make sure that Dumbledore and Umbridge don't know about it." Harry said pointedly, ignoring Hermione's smug look.

"I told them all that I would ask you and that we'd meet in the Hog's Head during the Hogsmeade Saturday." Hermione told them. "We still have to find someplace to meet and a way to tell everyone when the meetings are but everything else is already worked out. I even found a way to make a magical contract for anyone who wants to join to sign."

"You're scary." Draco told his sister.

"Tell me about it mate." Ron agreed. The next time the new defense group was spoken of was in the Hog's Head that Saturday.

Harry dragged his husbands out of bed late Saturday morning and ignored their complaints in favor of making them get dressed to go to Hogsmeade with him. The bond had made its dislike of their extended distances from one another plain the day before when it forced Tom and Severus to remain within 5 feet of Harry at all times starting just after lunch time. To say that the trio was frustrated with the enforced closeness would be putting it lightly.

Thankfully, Harry only had Transfiguration for that afternoon and McGonagall found the situation amusing as she watched them tug each other back and forth while Harry tried to transfigure his project. They were all greatful when the bond let them move more than 5 feet away from each other by supper time, especially since Tom and Sev were still required to eat at the staff table. So far they hadn't risked trying to go beyond the established 50 foot no penalty limit, as a result Harry decided that his bondmates would simply have to come with him to Hermione's meeting. He could always get them to put up a silencing charm or something so that they wouldn't hear. That turned out to be wishful thinking.

"No." Severus said stubbornly. "You dragged us out of our nice warm bed at a god awful hour on Saturday morning simply to go meet Hermione at the Hog's Head? No. We aren't stepping foot outside the castle until you explain."

"I'll explain when we get there. Hermione isn't the only one who's waiting and it wasn't my idea in the first place." Harry said exasperatedly as he gathered up their cloaks.

"There better be a good reason for this." Tom grumbled as he shrugged into the cloak that Harry handed him before yawning as he headed for the door to their quarters.

"They want me to teach defense." Harry muttered before shoving Severus out the door behind a sleepy Tom and practically dragging them through the castle to the path down to Hogsmeade. The castle, heard this and remembered the conversation her heirs had at breakfast several days before. She decided to let them off the grounds just this once, until the bond to her was complete.

"Explain. Properly." Severus ordered sharply, finally awake, even as they headed for the main gates to the Hogwarts grounds.

"Some of the students came to 'Mione and asked if I would teach defense. Draco said the Slytherin students were asking him to either ask you, Sev, or for blackmail on me and Hermione." Harry said, face flaming. "Hermione told me a couple of days ago when she badgered me about if I'd teach them or not and how bad Umbridge is. I gave in and admitted that I would try to teach them if they wanted. Hermione practically ordered me to show up at the Hog's Head today. Do you really want to explain to her that I wasn't there because the two of you wanted to sleep in?"

"Fair point. Your sister can be very forceful when she chooses to be." Tom admitted.

"Draco already admitted to her that he thinks she's scary." Harry admitted sheepishly. "When 'Mione gets something into her head its best to just nod politely and try to escape before she pins you down and makes you help."

"You already tried?" Tom asked suspiciously, Harry nodded solemnly.

"Hermione even came up with the spells to make a magically binding contract already." Harry pointed out.

"We were planning on teaching you properly ourselves in any case." Severus said with a snort of amusement. "I suppose we could extend the invitation to the other students, provided they sign a properly constructed contract and they understand we will hold them accountable."

"You don't have to do that." Harry said with a blush. "I wasn't going to even involve you in Hermione's madness exept the bond didn't like us being so far away from each other for so long and I didn't want to hurt it or the two of you. For that matter I still have to punish the twins for that dye prank during the breakfast war. I forgot that Luna told me and Hermione at the same time that day then I had detention with... Umbridge..."

"The bond accepted the punishment that Tom and I set for them. Their mark's flashed in acknowledgement." Severus said quietly, drawing Harry from his sudden reverie.

"What did you make them do?" Harry asked suddenly curious, as they walked through the wrought iron gates of the Hogwarts grounds, never noticing the slight twitch from them as if they decided at the last moment not to close before letting them through.

"We set them to devising a way to destroy that pink creature who hurt you." Tom said with a smirk. "She doesn't even have to be dead, just jumping at the slightest shadow then brought to us off school grounds."

"No killing." Harry told them firmly.

"We will do what we feel necessary to protect our husband and bondmate." Severus practically snarled whirling to face Harry, who in turn took a step back in startlement. "Just because we haven't consummated the marriage yet makes you no less our husband and bondmate."

"Harry, what would you do if she had hurt either of us? Or Hermione? Luna? The twins?" Tom asked quietly, tone deadly serious. Harry drooped, knowing they were right but he still didn't have to like it.

"Come, you said we needed to be at the Hog's Head." Severus said after a moment to calm down, before heading for Hogsmeade, leaving Tom to drag Harry with him. They slipped into the Hog's Head and sat at a table in a dark corner at the back. Tom and Severus had to stop Harry from heading over to where they could easily see Ron, Hermione, and Draco discussing something with a number of other students. The bar tender brought over a set of butter beers without being asked, and set them on the table.

"Tom." The barkeep said inclining his head.

"Aberforth." Tom nodded in return. "Your brother has got a lot of nerve."

"Ah, Albus bothering you again? I warned you that using those methods would get him after you." Aberforth said conversationally, sitting down with his own butter beer. "I'm glad to see you're feeling better. You haven't looked this good since your student days."

"You know each other?" Harry asked in astonishment.

"I probably should introduce myself. Aberforth Dumbledore, I'm Albus' brother." Aberforth said holding out his hand for Harry to take. When Harry did a spark of magic shocked both of them into letting go.

"You forgot that Black issued a Bloodline Charge on your behalf against the Headmaster." Severus pointed out dryly.

"What does that have to do with shaking hands with Mr. Aberforth?" Harry asked puzzled.

"What did my idiot brother do?" Aberforth practically demanded.

"He hurt Harry, among other things." Tom growled out then took a vicious swig from the butter beer. "If you want to know that badly I'll write up the list that we know about and owl it to you. I don't think the pink... creature will let us off the grounds again once she realizes that we came down here with the students."

"Just be glad he specifically charged the Headmaster rather than making it against the house of Dumbledore, it would hurt Hermione as well at that point. Albus may have refused to acknowledge her but she still carries his blood." Severus pointed out before looking mournfully at his butter beer, wishing it was a firewhisky, and taking a sip.

"The muggle term is that he's playing god." Tom snarled.

"Albus had a kid?" Aberforth asked, dumbfounded.

"She's over there." Harry said pointing at Hermione across the room. "He had her carried to term by my mum and then placed her with a muggleborn couple with their memories erased to think they were muggles. When the Malfoys adopted her Skeeter got it in the paper fairly quick."

"I remember reading that but they've run fake versions of stuff like that off and on for years, so I didn't usually get the prophet at all. My brother might not have acknowledged her but as Head of the House of Dumbledore, I do." Aberforth admitted, when he said this Hermione gasped from across the room and watched a band of blue form around her right wrist. "Huh, what do you know, he never actually refused her existence. Idiot must have been planning to acknowledge her at some point."

"This might be the very reason he didn't tell you about her." Severus pointed out before sipping his drink. "Come to think of it why are you the Head of the Dumbledore Line?"

"Albus was too hot headed and father decided too irresponsible. I was named Heir then Albus met Gellert. Still don't know if it was Albus' spell or Gellert's that killed our sister, Ariana." Aberforth said softly.

"Why did she get a tattoo?" Harry asked curiously, even as Hermione looked around and spotted them in the corner, before turning back to the other students.

"Because of how long her pretend parents raised her. It doesn't happen often anymore but a child can be hidden and acknowledged up to their death, same with any offspring but after the guardianship magic kicks in there are some interesting convolutions that magic takes to determine who gets custody when whoever it is, is acknowledged. Since she was blood adopted by the Malfoys before being acknowledged by either birth parent custody stays with them." Aberforth explained.

"But since I acknowledged her she has all of the rights and responsibilities as the Dumbledore Heir, especially since its unlikely Albus or I will have another child. The House of Dumbledore would have thought to have been dead with the two of us if she hadn't been revealed or acknowledged. The tattoo around her wrist means that all parents involved, or someone acting in their stead, have acknowledged her." Aberforth finished, just as Hermione walked over and practically dragged Harry over to the group of students.

"Hermione!" Harry complained, much to the amusement of his bondmates.

"Harry agreed to help us learn defense." Hermione told the other students as she made Harry sit in her seat.

"You didn't have to drag me over here." Harry complained.

"Your bondmates are in the corner, do you honestly think they'd let anyone hurt you?" Hermione demanded.

"Well, no, but you shouldn't have dragged me." Harry said stubbornly.

"Why do we even need to learn proper defense? Tell us that!" Someone asked, causing Tom to mutter something about irresponsible children under his breath.

"For one, Voldemort is back, you toss pot." Ron reminded them.

"If you believe the prophet, Potter's now married to him!" Someone in the back of the group reminded them.

"Let me ask you this, who aside from Harry has actually had to fight in a real situation?" Hermione asked, eyes steely. "Do you honestly think that the three of us would have survived against the teacher's obstacle course to the stone in first year? Or Harry against Slytherin's Basilisk in second year? Or the Werewolf and an angry Professor Snape in third year? Or Harry in the tournament? Without knowing something about Defense? No. We would all be dead and so would a lot of the rest of you."

"There was no Basilisk!" Yet another person called out.

"Yes, there was. I'm still annoyed about it slipping my control 50 years ago and killing Myrtle. I haven't bothered checking the chamber yet but I have no doubt, from Harry's description that he killed her." Tom told them from his place with Severus in the corner, Aberforth had returned to the bar at some point. "If you honestly think I'm letting Harry run around without proper training in Defense just because I'm bonded to the brat, you're mental."

"The Dark Lord!" Someone choked out, as Tom took a sip of his butter beer.

"But that's just Professor Riddle." Zacharias Smith said in confusion.

"My given name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, but I've always hated it. I started using Voldemort when I was still attending at Hogwarts the first time around." Tom pointed out before taking another sip of his drink. "And, yes, I admitt I went a bit insane. I'm still not quite sure how Harry managed to put me back together."

"A bit." Ron snorted quietly.

"If you'll all remember the paper reported that Tom was under the influence of a mind breaking curse and a madness hex. So its not like he was acting in his right mind." Hermione pointed out. "And I saw his copy of the spell report from the Gringotts cleansing ceremony over the summer."

"I told you to stay out of our room." Tom said archly.

"You left it out on the desk and I was looking for Harry's invisibility cloak. I wanted to pull a prank on the twins but they're awfully hard to sneak up on." Hermione told him primly.

"Sorry 'Mione. I don't know where it went. It wasn't in my trunk by the time we got to the Dursleys and I haven't been able to find it at Hogwarts either." Harry said, his sadness filtering down the bond.

"Oh, you don't have to worry about that, Harry." Luna said breezily. "I borrowed it so that Professor Dumbledore and Professor Umbridge can't confiscate it. I've hidden it in what the elves call the Come and Go room."

"The Come and Go room?" Harry asked, curiously.

"I call it the Room of Requirement. I'll show it to you when we set the date for the first meeting. We'll use it for our base and Slytherin's Chamber for when someone wants to learn Dark Arts from Tom. After all the Dark Arts detection wards don't extend down to the chamber and we can always hide down there since only you, Tom, and Severus can open it, unless someone compels Peeves but I don't think that would work very well since the password is in Parseltounge." Luna told them. "Now, would Severus and Tom check Hermione's contract? Then everyone can sign it and we can set the date for the first meeting of the D.A."

"D.A.? Let me guess Defense Association." Harry said.

"For the school roles." Luna agreed. "But for the Order of the Phoenix and the Headmaster and everyone not in the D.A. or who reports us it will read Dumbledore's Army. They can take that as being loyal to the Headmaster or as simply Hermione's bloodline. But for us D.A. stands for Draco Aduro, Latin for Dragon Scorch."

"Are you just pulling this out of the air or something, Loony?" Zacharias Smith jeered.

"Haven't you heard? She's part seer you dolt!" A Slytherin near the middle of the group scoffed. "Just be glad she's loyal to Harry and not someone like Bellatrix Lestrange!"

"What a perfect opening!" Bellatrix cackled as she stepped from one of the deeper shadows, dropping her hood and revealing her presence to the pub filled almost solely by Hogwarts students.

"Bella! I've already told you, I appreciate your loyalty but you do not get to choose my partners for me and you were never a possibility." Tom said, voice pained.

"Don't worry, my lord. I'll break the enchantment the baby Potter and the traitor spy have cast over you." Bellatrix cackled, as she silently cast a sweeping incarcerous across the pub trapping everyone in place, before using a silencing spell on most of the pub and casting a crucio at Severus. His screams were joined by those of his bondmates making Bellatrix quickly realize something wasn't right and ending the spell.

"Well now, what have we here." Bellatrix said sweetly, with a pout. "You feel each other's pain. That just wont do."

"Tom!" Harry said angrily.

"Alright! You were right!" Tom snarled back even as he broke the incarcerous holding him and his bondmates in place all three drawing their wands.

"You were warned Bellatrix!" Severus snarled before casting Sectumsempra adding a special vicious twist to his spell. Bellatrix cackled and apparated away, directly out of the path of Severus' spell, leaving deep gouges in the wall of the pub.

"Don't say it." Tom warned.

"I told you she needed a leash." Harry said stubbornly.

"And I told you not to say it." Tom said in exasperation as he waved his wand, breaking the spells on the rest of the pub and its current inhabitants. Severus just continued glaring at the mess his spell had made of the wall.

"There! Another reason to learn Defense. Tom's followers don't always obey him." Hermione said triumphantly.

"Especially the ones who believe they are in love with him." Severus said dryly, causing Tom to flinch back with a look of disgust.

"I wouldn't command one of my Inferi to fuck her!" Tom spat. "What makes you think I want to?"

"Tom, are you done arguing and cursing in front of these impressionable children? Or do I need to toss up silencing spells?" Aberforth drawled, earning a deadly glare from the far too young Dark Lord. "I'll take that as a yes. Now don't the two of you have a contract to look over before the students sign it?"

"I'm not offering them Dark Arts lessons." Tom muttered as Hermione handed over the magical contract for him and Severus to check. "It looks decent enough. I'd prefer harsher penalties but I'm used to dealing with full adults who would as soon kill you as look at you."

"From the stand point of who will be signing it, the terms are reasonable." Severus said judiciously. "But you might want to put in a caveat or alternative punishment in case someone is forced into informing on the group. I'll attempt to keep Veritaserum from being stocked at the school except in miniscule emergency quantities in case the High Inquisitor takes it into her head to use it, despite the illegality of using it on a minor. Normally you would need a ministry edict or the person's permission to legally use it but I honestly have trouble anticipating this... female. I also suggest that no one accepts any food or drink from Umbridge or the Headmaster, especially since the Headmaster has a propensity for adding extras to whatever is offered."

"Is that why you haven't let me have tea with him this year?" Harry asked dubiously.

"Among other reasons." Severus confirmed before handing the contract back to Hermione. "Adequate. Both Tom and I have agreed to assist, as Miss. Lovegood pointed out. This provides the additional safety measure of having two fully trained wizards on hand in case of accidents and a staff member to, I believe the term is advise."

"Minerva might be willing to show them how transfiguration can be used in a duel." Tom pointed out. "Umbridge already has it out for the three of us, so I see no reason not to ask her if she wants to help."

"Except if Umbridge decides to ban our little group Minerva, as Deputy Headmistress, would be required to enforce the ban. Best to simply tell her we are supervising a study group." Sev said with a shake of his head.

"Well it is a study group." Hermione pointed out. "A practical one."

"Now we just need a way to contact everyone." Ron commented taking a bite out of an apple he had got from his pocket.

"Oh that's simple. I already made them up." Hermione told them confidently as she pulled out a bag of pendants and a bundle of leather thongs. "I got the idea of using the Protean charm from Tom's tattoos and the fealty marks but a tattoo is going a bit far for this so I made up some pendants that we can wear. Harry gets the master pendant since he's the one who's going to teach us. I wasn't sure if Tom or Severus would want one but I made up some secondary master pendants any way. Each pendant has the Hogwarts Crest with numbers and letters around the edge of the coin shape as if it were a sickle. The numbers and letters change to match one of the master pendants and they heat up when it changes. On the back of the pendant there are all four House Crests. You press the Gryffindor one if you're in danger, it gives off a short sharp burn to every pendant within 50 feet of you and if you manage to press your wand to it the distance extends to 5 miles. The Slytherin one if you're having trouble with Umbridge, the Headmaster, Mr. Grindelwald, one of his followers, or a teacher. The Ravenclaw one if you're requesting a meeting, and the Hufflepuff Crest if you can't make it to a meeting."

"Very scary." Terry Booth said to the boy next to him, who only nodded dumbly.

"My marks are designed to mimic fealty bonds without actually being full fealty bonds." Tom said with a sigh as he looked at the pendant that Hermione handed him. "This is actually more versatile but also more limited and more likely to be corrupted by an opponent."

"We aren't trying to do anything except learn defense as a part of a school club." Hermione pointed out reasonably handing him a leather thong for his pendant to hang off of, along with one of each to Severus. "I had to be certain that if that nasty woman goes too far someone could get there to help, but also deal with anything that would normally come up as part of school life."

"I never would have thought of this. You're the best Hermione." Harry assured her as he took his own pendant and thong, examining it before putting it on.

"I'll give everyone else their pendants after they've signed the contract." Hermione said with a nod at Harry's now hanging around his neck. "I'll let the twins sign it later. They have some sort of project that they're working on and couldn't be here." After everyone had signed and received their pendants they broke up and enjoyed the rest of the Hogsmeade weekend. The next day Educational Decree Number 24 went up...


EDUCATIONAL DECREE NO. 24
All Student Organizations, Societies, Teams, Groups, and Clubs are henceforth disbanded. An Organization, Society, Team, Group, or Club is hereby defined as a regular meeting of three or more students. Permission to re-form may be sought from the High Inquisitor (Professor Umbridge). No Student Organization, Society, Team, Group, or Club may exist without the knowledge and approval of the High Inquisitor. Any student found to have formed, or to belong to, an Organization, Society, Team, Group, or Club that has not been approved by the High Inquisitor will be expelled.

Chapter Text

"The Room of Requirement... Where have I heard that before?" Severus mused, setting his tea cup down on the coffee table.

"Lovegood dragged us up there to complete the fealty bond. Considering it was months ago and we were worried about spending the summer at the Dursleys I'm not surprised that none of us noticed or remembered it when she mentioned it in the pub." Tom said dryly as he lounged on the couch in their quarters. Harry was up in the library with Hermione researching things to teach the DA and doing his homework, giving Severus and Tom some relative privacy.

"Unless one of us wants to try and clear our little club with that... female, there will be issues." Sev pointed out.

"Of course there are going to be issues." Tom snorted. "I might be able to get her to clear it but only if I play the part of graciously defeated Dark Lord willing to serve the ministry. She wont trust you, not after that mess in the pub with Bellatrix. If I approach it right, she might even be willing to leave us alone long enough for me to claim both of you and cement the bond properly."

"Harry doesn't understand the situation." Sev pointed out, taking a sip of his tea.

"Wont stop me from establishing my claim." Tom countered.

"Maybe it should." Sev said thoughtfully.

"I will not risk loosing the two of you!" Tom snarled. "If that means I trick the pink puff into letting me lay my claim a little early then I will."

"Yes, alpha." Sev said bowing his head in submission.

"Alpha?" Harry asked as he entered their quarters carrying a stack of library books.

"Our dynamic." Tom explained. "One of us has to be openly in control of the other two."

"Dynamic? Oh, you mean in public one of us gets the final say so that no one can argue with the decision." Harry said nodding, completely missing the look of exasperation Sev and Tom shared.

"You don't have to worry about it brat, at least not yet. Its clear that you can't be the alpha." Severus said pointedly.

"Okay." Harry said uncertainly, before turning to his stack of Defense books. "I figured I'd try to teach everyone the Disarming charm and the Patronus charm to start. I know them pretty well and then we can move on to creatively using the spells in defensive situations."

"I'll try to get the DA cleared through the pink toad." Tom offered. "We may have to have someone in her little investigative squad as a precaution."

"What investigative squad?" Harry asked, his interest piqued.

"There's talk of her forming a student investigative squad to look into things for her." Severus said almost dismissively. "They would have the ability to take points and assign detentions, even to the Prefects."

"That's not good. She's made it obvious that she doesn't like or believe me about any thing, and she still hasn't followed through on the threat of a month's detentions for letting you know the blood quill was hurting me through the bond. I think I want to go read on the bed." Harry said worriedly, causing his bondmates to stiffen at the implied threat that they were just now hearing about, even as Harry grabbed the defense books and headed for their bedroom.

"She's a threat." Tom said flatly, as he stirred his tea a bit more before taking another sip.

"Clearly." Sev agreed with a sigh. "As you said, with Bellatrix's very open attack Umbridge wont trust me if I approach her. Hermione, Luna, and the twins are too publicly associated with Harry for them to infiltrate her little squad without suspicion. Draco might manage it but only if he revisits his rivalry with Harry, something that might very well hurt both Draco and Harry."

"I'll have to point out that solidifying my claim on the two of you is advantageous, especially as the alpha of our little group I will be able to stop the other two dead. If I play up the possibility of Harry taking the alpha position and play on her fears she might not think that allowing or even helping me to take the alpha position is such a bad idea. Especially if I manage to pull off the graciously defeated Dark Lord act, willing to serve the better opponent." Tom pointed out.

"Have we heard from Lucius?" Severus asked with a nod acknowledging Tom's point.

"No, and I don't like the fact that every message I send out doesn't seem to make it any where." Tom scowled. "We may have to ask the twins if they're willing to find a way around whatever or whoever is causing the interference. We haven't even gotten word from the Aurors about the investigation into the Bloodline charge."

"I believe that Madam Bones, the Head of the DMLE, is Susan Bones' aunt. Perhaps she would be willing to inquire about the progress the Aurors are making on our behalf?" Severus suggested.

"We'll see." Tom said non-noncommittally. "Grindelwald and Dumbledore are becoming a nuisance."

"When has the Headmaster ever not been a nuisance?" Sev asked with a snort. He hesitated before bringing up something that had been bothering him. "Are you certain that I was not included in the bond merely because I was close enough to touch Harry as it formed?"

"What? Of course." Tom scoffed as he turned to face his obviously insecure husband. "Do you think that magic would have included you in the bond without a reason?"

"A reason which could very easily be simple proximity at the time it formed." Severus pointed out sadly. When he looked up to meet Tom's gaze there was sad understanding and insecurity blatantly obvious in both his eyes and from the bond, bringing Harry into the room.

"What did you do?" Harry demanded of Tom.

"Nothing! The idiot thinks he shouldn't be part of the bond just because he was close enough to touch you as the bond formed." Tom scowled as he got up and crossed the room to stand in front of Severus. "You are our husband. Something that is not only difficult to change at the moment but also something we don't want changed. If you're going to act like this then I can't deal with the pink creature fast enough. I still don't know how many of our Hogwarts authority and rights have activated nor do I want to show our hand until we must."

"No killing." Harry reminded him firmly.

"Not what I meant, Harry." Tom said, in exasperation. "Take Sev into our bedroom and cuddle with him. I have a ministry employee to trick into authorizing our little defense group."

"Gladly." Harry said with a nod before practically dragging Severus into their bed then drawing his husband into his arms. They just laying there, cuddling, on the bed while Tom went to try and deal with Umbridge, muttering about stubborn insecure bondmates.

Tom ignored the students in the hallways as he headed for Umbridge's office, mentally practicing how he would deal with her. He still wasn't quite sure why she saw Harry as a threat, and she was going to die a very painful death when the time came for hurting his husband. Tom would make certain of that, but for now he had to sweeten her disposition just for a chance to spend time with his husbands. He knocked on Umbridge's office door politely, all perfect manners before entering when she gave permission.

"Might I have a word?" Tom asked charmingly.

"I suppose." Umbridge said brightly.

"You see I have a bit of a problem." Tom started. "I thought you might be willing to help, especially since my solution would keep Harry under better control."

"Oh? Do tell." Umbridge said, her interest clear.

"Our bond is still growing but it hasn't been properly cemented yet." Tom explained. "The fact of the matter is that one of us is going to have to control the other two, becoming the alpha, so to speak. I'd rather not let Severus or Harry have more control over me than they already do."

"Why should I help you become this... alpha?" Umbridge asked bluntly. Tom simply smiled and performed his flaming name trick again, just as he had for Grindelwald after Umbridge had been knocked out by the castle, causing her to stare at him in shock.

"You think I became a Dark Lord by rushing into things or not recognizing when I've been outmaneuvered and conceding gracefully?" Tom asked wryly. "The alpha of our little group will be able to stop the other two dead. Wouldn't it be better if I become alpha? I merely need a chance to claim my bondmates, properly, and a good deal of your problems become... controllable. Of course if you want Harry as alpha..."

"No." Umbridge interrupted vehemently.

"Think of it this way. I'm willing to work with the ministry, even turn over a few of my more volatile people as a peace offering. All I ask is a chance to properly claim my bondmates, ensuring that my sanity doesn't simply disappear again. In exchange you get someone who can control the Boy-Who-Lived." Tom said conversationally. "Severus and I will even run a defense study group to help keep the students in check. Unless you want them trying to find possibly destructive spells on their own?"

"You'll keep your husbands under control? And keep the students in your... study group from investigating dangerous magics?" Umbridge said suspiciously.

"We were going to teach Harry any way." Tom said with a genial smile and a shrug. "After all not everyone is going to simply believe that I've been healed or that Harry is no longer a threat to me. I see no reason for him to be unable to defend himself, especially since if he gets hurt then both Severus and I receive similar injuries."

"So, he didn't call you." Umbridge said slowly.

"No. He didn't. Severus and I were still at supper when we noticed the effects of the blood quill." Tom said pointedly. "And I still have to punish him for not calling us. Just as I have to punish Severus for helping Dumbledore."

"Very well. I will inform Minerva and the rest of the staff that the three of you will be... unavailable for the next several days working on a ministry approved project for me." Umbridge told him with a nod. "That should give you enough time to establish yourself as the alpha and prepare material for your study group. What is it going to be called?"

"The Defense Association." Tom answered. "You may hear it referred to as Dumbledore's Army at some point but that has more to do with Hermione Malfoy-Grindelwald helping to organize it than to do with the Headmaster. I also have a student in mind who might benefit greatly from being on your investigative group."

"Oh?" Umbridge asked, intrigued.

"Draco Malfoy." Tom said with a nod. "I believe he's a bit put out that Harry has managed to claim his new brother, Severus, and his new sister, Hermione. The two of them never really have gotten along."

"Very well. I will see you in a couple of days." Umbridge said with satisfaction, clearly dismissing Tom, who simply nodded and left.

~

Elsewhere...

"Sirius, Sirius! Its no use." Arthur Weasley pleaded with the reinstated Auror.

"Don't make me stun you again, Sirius Orion Black!" Molly called from the kitchen.

"I have to get to Harry!" Sirius snarled, sending another hex at the wards trapping the three of them.

"Just be glad the Headmaster was kind enough to leave us our wands and regular food deliveries." Molly said distractedly as she worked on lunch for the three of them.

"You didn't think it was odd at all that he came to pick up Ginny personally and escort her to Hogwarts this year?" Sirius pleaded.

"Of course we thought it was odd." Arthur said steering the animagus to the kitchen table. "But Albus has never given us reason to expect something like this from him. Or that he would in any way hurt the children."

"The spells the goblins removed wasn't evidence enough?" Sirius asked sarcastically.

"In retrospect, perhaps." Arthur conceded. "But we had both allowed him to cast on us before and no harm came of it."

"I blood adopted Harry, you know." Sirius said gloomily. "Ron warned me that the two of you would want to adopt him as well. I'm not certain how that will work since Harry told the twins they could court Hermione."

"Hermione is a bright girl and if there really is a spark between her and our twin terrors then we wont interfere but I get the feeling it wont be an issue." Arthur confided. "She doesn't have enough of a mischief streak for them even if she can take them both. I suspect that so far they haven't made any progress with the courting."

"Well, at least the idea of the three teaming up was enough to almost give Snivellus heart failure." Sirius said judiciously. "I know you've acted in my stead as Harry's father figure for a while now. Did you think to give him the talk?"

"No. I thought he'd already been given it." Arthur admitted sheepishly.

"And now he's married to the Dark Lord and Severus Snape." Sirius said with a snort. "What a world. I hope they at least have the presence of mind to use contraceptive spells."

"Harry might not know about needing them." Molly said doubtfully. "Arthur, are muggle males able to carry children?"

"No, they can't and Harry was raised by those muggles." Arthur said in dawning comprehension. "Molly, I know you think that they're all still too young but the next chance we get all of the children need to have basic wizard sexuality explained to them, including Harry."

"You haven't even told your own brood?" Sirius asked in astonishment, Arthur merely motioned at Molly, who had her back to them. "Ah, right."

"You know I think the twins might be more comfortable with a boyfriend." Arthur said conversationally.

"We'll just have to wait and see, wont we?" Sirius asked with a grin as the three of them dug into Molly's wonderful cooking.

~

Somewhere in London...

"Vernon, are you certain the old freak said we have to continue to stay here?" Petunia demanded.

"Yes, pumpkin. Something about people not understanding the boy needed disciplining." Vernon explained again. "He promised that we would be safe here and that we would get paid more for staying out of sight for a while. Something to do with their freakish laws."

"I want to watch Telly." Dudley whined as he played a game on his phone.

"Duddydums why don't you order a pizza or something? I don't know why the old freak said nobody would be able to find the place. Dudley ordered take away the first day." Petunia said airily.

"That's my boy. Clever. I bet the old goat never thought about phone camera's." Vernon said smugly as he kept reading the paper.

"Harry told me they don't have phones and the only camera's they've got are all big and clunky." Dudley said smugly.

"Oh? And when did the boy tell you that?" Vernon asked, eyes narrowed.

"Some kid got frozen when a giant snake was loose the second year he went to that freak school. He liked taking pictures of Harry for some reason." Dudley shrugged not really paying attention. "It was fun making him loose his temper about them not knowing what a camera was."

"Ah. I see." Vernon said relaxing. Then they heard a knock on the door. Vernon exchanged a glance with his wife before getting up and answering it.

"Yes?" Vernon asked a slim dark haired man standing on the door step with a clip board, that had, what looked like... newspaper clippings on it.

"Mr.. Vernon Dursley?" The man asked judiciously.

"Yes, that's me." Vernon said eyes narrowed.

"You really shouldn't let your son store a photo of a secret keeper's general invitation to a place on his phone sir. Some of us either were raised muggle or have muggle relatives." The man said pleasantly as he pointed his wand at Vernon.

"Disgusting Freak." Vernon said, face red with rage.

"My, my, and you kiss your wife with that mouth? You really shouldn't have hurt someone we count as royalty, and your own nephew at that." Were the last things the Dursleys heard before being struck from behind by 3 simultaneous quiet stupefy's. The man in the doorway levitated Vernon back into the house with a flick of his wand and closed the door before sheathing his wand in a move of complete disgust.

"Muggles. No sense of magical security." The man said in disgust. "Alright you lot quit fool'n and drop those expensive cloaks. We didn't all pitch in to buy them just so you can play silly buggers."

"Yes, Sarg." One said laughing as they dropped their invisibility cloaks.

"How do you think the Dark Lord will take a gift of Harry Potter's relatives from a bunch of half-bloods?" Another asked curiously.

"Which Dark Lord? Remember there are two now. Grindelwald left Numengard and is looking for his daughter. Apparently he had no clue the Headmaster had pulled a fast one on him." The third pointed out.

"From what my son overheard one of the foreign Aurors arguing about Grindelwald claims that Dumbledore qualifies as a third Dark Lord." Sarg pointed out.

"But Potter's only supposed to be able to deal with the most recent one, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named;" The first one pointed out worriedly. "And Dumbledore took out Grindelwald the last time. What the hell are we supposed to do if we have to take out Dumbledore?"

"Remember that old dusty prophecy I found? The one that never made the transfer to the enchanted racks so that only those involved could pick it up?" Sarg asked as he casually bound the Dursleys and shoved them against the wall with some quick wand work.

"Yeah, thought it was worded kind of weird." The second one conceded.

"If there is a prophecy about Potter and You-Know-Who then it has to work around or with the older one. Because I guarantee that the magic involved in it would have caused the scroll to fall to dust if either an over riding prophecy became active or if it was invalidated. We might be running with two powerful active prophecies." Sarg told them, getting groans in response.

"Then we have to get our hands on the wording of the other one too." The first one pointed out. Then he sighed before asking plaintively. "Will you tell us now what the damn thing said?"

Sarg just gave him a look before reciting.


A forming empire shall fall to the hand of a babe during a time of tame lighting.
Sister, you see only the start and the child is of the Lightning.
The bond is unbreachable when the Light which is Dark binds the babe to the emperor.
Magic alone will choose a third.
Thus will the Lords of Dark, Grey, and Light rule as one once more.

"Fuck. We're in for some... problems." Three said in astonishment. "And if the wrong people hear this there's going to be open hunting on those three."

"And those two went from practical Royalty, on different sides of the family, with an unknown third, to literal Royalty the moment that potion landed on Potter." Sarg said grimly.

"Which is why only people who have served on the British Royalty's personal security squad were included in this." Two realized.

"I'm the closest to the current reigning monarchs and family. I'll go explain this messed up situation to them." Three offered with a sigh.

"Actually, we're all going. These three may qualify as squibs but they're Potter's relatives and every royal family is related to every other. Which is one of the reasons why there is a standing agreement with every single confirmed royal line in case one of them starts doing accidental magic. I have no idea where our three actually got their royalty but its valid, I checked, and since the situation is... volatile. We can't actually expect a trial to be managed and we can't seem to hold them, so we drag them to the nearest cousin with power and let them deal with the attack on their family." Sarg said viciously, only to be met with similar bloodthirsty grins.

Chapter Text

Sarg and his team waited patiently in a richly appointed room somewhere in Buckingham Place. The Dursleys were still unconscious and trussed up six ways to Sunday, piled at the team's feet. They had all liked this station and all genuinely cared about the people they had protected, and were still be protecting, if slightly differently.

An impeccably dressed servant poked their head in the door to check that they were there and alright, nodded slightly at them, then opened the door. Sarg and his team stiffened. They had expected one of the family they had helped to guard so diligently or one of their trusted retainers, not multiple members of the main family.

There were five of them, four men, and one woman. The men all ran with similar looks, tall, dark haired with a slight wave, handsome, slim but not lithe or rangy, reasonably fit. The oldest was starting to go from grey to white and in his late 60's early 70's, still fit and lively. The younger three were in their early/late 20's and early 40's respectively. The woman was tall to middling height, blond, lithe, and dressed in a simple white dress. All were impeccably dressed.

"You said this was important, Sarg? So don't even bother with the formal address thing you guys insist on." One of the men said pointedly, breaking the inadvertent staring contest.

"I did, sir." Sarg conceded. "Gringotts informed us of possible issues with a few people recently. They weren't aware of it themselves or they would have said or done something..."

"Sarg? Take a deep breath and start over." His second told him. "We don't like it any more than you do but they wont understand anything unless you tell it right." As Sarg obeyed, the Royals exchanged a glance. What could be so bad as to rattle Sarg?

"Right. First you might want to toss this lot in the tower of London. They hurt one of your family members fairly badly." Sarg said jerking his head at the Dursleys.

"Who?" The oldest demanded even as anger and worry clouded the faces of all the Royals, earning a smack to the back of Sarg's head by his second.

"I was trying to get you to calm down a bit." The SiC told the man pointedly.

"How are you so calm, Marx?" One of the others asked as Sarg rubbed the back of his head.

"Calming potion. Here, I had hoped I wouldn't have to hand them out. I knew I couldn't keep my temper going through it again." Marx said handing calming potions to the other three and setting aside the six others he'd figured on having to use on the parade of people they would have to tell.

"Right." Sarg said and downed the potion, re-organizing his thoughts before speaking. "Did you know that Salazar Slytherin was of Royal blood? He was really big on family."

~

Dumbledore was ambling down the corridor genially, smiling at the students he passed, some of them even smiled back. He was happy to see such school spirit with so many from all the houses wearing the Hogwarts crest on a silver pendant. At one point he saw one flip while on its cord and was even happier to see that it held all four house crests on the back, not simply the main school crest on the front. Just as he was passing a cross corridor he heard a slight scolding. The voice seemed familar for some reason so he changed his ambling to follow the voice.

"I know you want babies but they're too young yet... No silly. It took this long for them to find each other and be ready. Do you want to hurt them? Babies could hurt them right now... Yes, Tom and Severus were older but they aren't now... You know perfectly well magic and the bond are compensating and that Tom wasn't in his right mind. He's still healing... No, the nasty old men can't break the bond. We wont let them... Of course. We don't want another incident like with Morgan La Fey..." That's when he saw her. Luna Lovegood, apparently talking to a wall.

"Ah, Miss. Lovegood. Fancy seeing you down this corridor. What might you be doing?" Dumbledore asked politely, eyes twinkling.

"Oh, don't bother with your twinkle spells Professor. The Nargles, and humperdinks, and kinsaws protect me. As for what I was doing? Why talking to Hogwarts of course." Luna said innocently.

"Ah, I see. And what would it happen to have been about?" Dumbledore asked gently.

"Hogwarts business. Now if you excuse me Headmaster, I need to be in charms class." Luna said, before cheerily skipping around him and off down the corridor.
Dumbledore lost no time and sent off a quick missive to ask Harry to come see him as he headed for his office. The phoenix shaped message winged its way down to their quarters and slipped inside using the message door. It looked around the rooms until it spotted Harry on their bed asleep with Severus, both still dressed and Sev obviously exhausted. It landed on Harry and pecked lightly on his face until he woke up before unfolding in his hand. Harry gently slid from the bed so as not to wake his husband, set the message on the bedside table and went to find the Headmaster in his office.

"Headmaster? You wanted to see me?" Harry asked as he entered the office having had to guess what the password was... again.

"Ah! Harry, my boy. Come in, come in. Something has come to my attention that affects you and your husbands." Dumbledore told him almost cheerfully.

"Have you found a way to get rid of Professor Umbridge?" Harry asked hopefully.

"Alas, that I'm afraid is not within my power. No, what I need to discuss with you involves a prophecy and your mother's sacrifice." Dumbledore said sadly.

"My mother's... sacrifice? A prophecy?" Harry asked bewildered.

"Yes. You see the reason that Lord Voldemort murdered your parents that night is that Severus overheard a prophecy and brought the information to him. However your husband only heard the first half of the prophecy. I will tell you the prophecy in a moment and explain how it pertains to you. As for your mother's sacrifice... Harry, do you remember what you did to Professor Quirrell at the end of your first year?" Dumbledore asked gently, Harry shuddered and nodded. "There is a very good possibility that your magic will do that again, trying to protect you. When it comes to your husbands, I fear that they are so tainted with darkness that your magic will not recognize them and will attack as it did with Quirrell."

"The prophecy?" Harry asked trying not to think about turning his husbands into charred corpses just by touching them, focusing instead on the foretelling.

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives..." Dumbledore quietly recited, eyes glittering. "You're husbands only know the first two lines. That you will be born and that you will kill the Dark Lord."

It was one thing too many, and Harry bolted from the office and just ran, leaving behind a grimly satisfied Headmaster. The castle watched this with frustration, Luna had just managed to talk her out of babies, and decided that until she would do what she could until she was more free to move. For the Headmaster every door the old goat tried to use would stick, every chair would be in the wrong place, his sweets would disappear, he'd only be getting baby food at any meal, itching powder in bed and robes, and randomly changing his passwords would be his bane.

Just as Harry was entering the Headmaster's office Tom entered their quarters. He went to check on his husbands only to find one of them missing and the other fast asleep. Tom just watched Severus for a moment, slight frown on his face as he slept, stretching as if searching for one or both of them. Then Tom noticed the slightly crumpled message on the bedside table and reached for it. As he read it his insides grew cold, slowly waking Sev from his sleep. Severus looked up into the eyes of his husband that were filled will dread as he was handed the message. Severus sat up and read it before starting to curse softly.

"He doesn't realize how fond of mind games the Headmaster is." Severus said angrily, as he stood, tossing aside the message to pace their bedroom.

"Either nothing big will happen or the bond will tell us and we will go get him. Its too late to go bursting in, wands waving." Tom said sadly.

That's when they both felt the shock/betrayal/panic/love/sorrow/terror/hurt, and finally emotional pain come down the bond. For a moment they were frozen in place then they bolted from their quarters, barely remembering not to apparate, only one thing on their minds. Harry. They found him just as he entered the Room of Requirement and quickly followed him in, both asking the castle to seal them in until the situation was sorted. Gleefully, the castle not only did so, it quickly warded and walled them into the very room which held her heartstone, arranging with the elves for food deliveries. She wasn't letting them leave until they were properly bound to her.

Meanwhile, inside the room Harry had quickly noticed that his husbands had followed him into the room, after tearing his attention away from a completely different room than what he needed. Tom and Severus on the other hand were very greatful that the room had given them mostly soft objects to work with aside from a bed. They circled to keep Harry between them, wary of his obvious panic, not wanting him to run, and not wanting him to hurt himself or them.

"Harry? What did the Headmaster say to you?" Severus asked softly, as if gentling a skittish baby deer.

"He said... that my magic might try to burn both of you like it did Quirrell." Harry admitted, still panicking and trying to keep out of their reach so that he wouldn't risk hurting them.

"Our magic and yours are now one. Unless you, I, or Severus does something to make our magic turn on us that can't happen." Tom explained patiently, still circling. "What else?"

"He said there was a prophecy. That Sev heard part of it and brought it to you and that's why you killed my parents. He even told me the prophecy." Harry said, finally coming back up against a wall. The two immediately took advantage of his momentary distraction, lunging and pinning him to the wall, despite the distress and worry they could feel through it. Harry fought desperate to get free so that his magic wouldn't hurt them, the magic that was supposed to be in his skin.

"Be still brat!" Sev growled as they struggled to keep him put. With Tom and Severus in similar bodies all three of them were about the same when it came to fisticuffs. Sev and Tom had skill but still reached for magic over a physical blow. Harry was too used to mainly using his speed and surprise, fighting viciously until he could get away.

"Think we can get him to the bed?" Tom asked, for a response Sev started trying to maneuver their husband to the bed, with Tom's help. By the time they had him pinned in the middle of the bed Harry was silently crying and exhausted.

"Shush." Sev soothed, brushing back his hair with one hand as he held Harry's arms crossed and pinned tightly to his other arm wrapped around Harry bodily. "We wont hurt you, no matter what the old goat said, and your magic can't hurt us. I dare say you could bath us in Fiendfyre and it wouldn't touch us because it would see us as a part of you."

"Harry, we love you. That isn't going to change. We wont leave you. Yes, we reacted to part of a prophecy but remember what I said in the Graveyard? I wasn't acting in my right mind, even then. Who just told you that your magic would hurt us, hmm?" Tom asked from his own position of pinning Harry's legs and lower torso.

"Dumbledore?" Harry said hesitantly, finally calming down.

"And who put those spells on the three of us? Or at least most of them?" Tom led again.

"Dumbledore." Harry answered a bit more firmly.

"So don't you think you should check what the old man says before accepting it?" Tom cajoled. "Now, why don't you tell us the prophecy the old man told you so that we can compare it with what we know about it. Alright?"

"He said you already know the first part." Harry said, mildly embarrassed by his actions before repeating the prophecy to them. "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives..." As they listened their horror grew but then both their minds started to work overtime until finally Sev slumped in relief, easing his grip on Harry and Tom let out a bark of laughter.

"'s not funny." Harry said gloomily.

"Harry, we've already fulfilled it. I marked you with your scar as my equal. I was both vanquished and killed when my spell hit me after hitting you. But it also points out that if we want to keep living I can't have you dead. We already figured on that when the bond was activated. If one of us die so will the other two I suspect." Tom explained in relief. "Unless there's more he didn't tell you about, the prophecy is fulfilled and we don't have to worry about it any more. Yes, it could be read as still being active since we're both still alive but all the conditions were met that night, and again in a way in the graveyard."

They just lay there in silence, wrapped together until Harry at least fell asleep, and Hogwarts dimmed the lights.

"His magic burned Quirrell?" Severus asked softly.

"It was also trying to burn me." Tom admitted with a soft sigh. He carefully let go of his hold on Harry and crawled up the bed on the other side of his youngest husband, so as not to disturb him. "I wasn't very forgiving and he had the stone in his pocket. Quirrell couldn't get it from the damn mirror but Harry did, easily."

"You didn't think he might react like this? When confronted with it again?" Sev hissed softly at Tom. "My god, how many of his nightmares are filled with watching that man burn?"

"It wasn't an issue! I was still trying to kill him and was only trying to negate the effect for me." Tom snapped back quietly as he wrapped his own arms around their sleeping Harry. "We really need to kill the old man. He's hurt all three of us far too much and he's still hurting Harry."

"And get rid of the pink creature." Severus agreed wearily. Tom thought for a second then pulled out his wand and Accioed Peeves causing him to zoom into the room through the nearest wall. Salazar was about to make a cutting remark on his summons when he finally caught sight of Harry. The ghost squared his shoulders and turned to Tom, waiting to hear what he had to say.

"Find Minerva, tell her that Dumbledore just tried to hurt Harry, and tell the students its open season on both Dumbledore and Umbridge, lethality is not an issue." Tom said grimly. "I don't know where Grindelwald went but make sure he can't make trouble. Tell the twins that if they want to use Sev's potions stores only the poisons are off limits because its too easy for a student to get it by mistake. Their project is now top priority over schoolwork but they need to include Dumbledore as a target. Tell Hermione she's in charge of getting the students organized."

"Alright." Salazar said slowly before drifting backward through the wall to deliver his messages. Tom and Severus on the other hand carefully got themselves and a still sleeping Harry ready and into bed, using the materials that the room so kindly provided. It was still early yet but they were both wrung out and fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Everyone in the castle was wondering where Tom, Severus, and Harry were when they sat down to supper in the great hall at the same time that the boys were falling asleep in exhaustion in the Room of Requirement. As a result it was fairly easy for Peeves aka Salazar Slytherin to gleefully deliver his messages and further destroy Dumbledore and Umbridge's credibility. Food had just been served when Peeves zoomed into the hall blaring a trumpet to get everyone's attention, before coming to rest in the middle of the hall, fairly near the ceiling.

"Right, you lot. I'm probably going to get in a lot of trouble for this when those three finally rejoin the school. The castle has decided it wants to borrow them for a bit." Peeves announced gleefully, even as he felt a power surge from the castle as encouragement. He was very glad that the castle had filled him in on a few details. "Harry Potter has been temporarily tricked into believing his touch will literally burn people to death, so if he panics about being touched get his husbands. You can all thank Dumbledore for this little development. Weasley twins! Tom said your project just got bumped to top priority, even over school work and that Hermione is to help you."

"Has the castle agreed that they are too young for babies yet?" Luna asked dreamily, interrupting the ghost and causing dead silence as they waited for the answer. The castle supplied its answer to Peeves with some amusement and much to his obvious consternation.

"Er... yes. The castle is willing to wait as long as she gets some from them before they reach a century as a bonded trio." Peeves said in complete embarrassment. "You do realize you just got yourself in as much trouble as my delivering their orders in the middle of the great hall at meal time, right?"

"Don't care. Professor Umbridge agreed to the Defense Association and the Lords of Grey, Light, and Dark are going to be bonded to the castle for a very long time. Yes, we have to avoid some magics or be taught why they're dangerous and forbidden but that's why its a Defense study group, so that we know what we're allowed to use to defend ourselves and why. I have no doubt that both Tom and Severus will assign more than one homework assignment, if only to keep someone like Harry from trying to mix something that will get him killed." Luna said blithely, ignoring the obvious anger from Umbridge.

"They didn't have a chance to tell anyone about the group getting certified." Peeves said eyes narrowed, indignation practically streaming off of his person. "I should know, your Dark Lord Accioed me through the walls after Potter was asleep to use me as a messenger."

"Hem, hem, hem. I do not believe this is a subject of discussion for supper." Umbridge said brightly. "You, young lady, will be serving a week's detention for disrespect to a staff member, with... Mr. Filch gathering potions ingredients for Professor Slughorn and Potions Master Snape."

"Now, Professor Umbridge, don't you think that's a bit harsh?" Dumbledore cajoled, eyes twinkling madly, never seeing the looks of fury both of them were getting from most of the staff.

"Woman. The only reason the castle hasn't decided to make its displeasure with you and Dumbledore explicitly clear are the facts that you finally got them somewhere she can finish the bond and he protected them on more than one occasion. That leeway is rapidly running out." Peeves said pointedly. "Another threat from the two of you against them and the castle its self will turn on you. The children wont be involved unless they choose to be. You've been warned. Snakes, poison is off limits because of how easy it is for it to go astray. Twins, lab is open. Lioness, your cub is recovering. I leave you to your meal." With that Peeves zoomed off to find the rest of the ghosts and plot his own mischief.

"Headmaster, I would like to offer an extra credit opportunity." Umbridge said sweetly.

"Oh? And what might that be?" Dumbledore asked intrigued.

"Perhaps we can discuss it after supper?" Umbridge said brightly. "We wouldn't want them to get any ideas until its finalized, now would we?"

"Certainly, my dear." Dumbledore agreed with a twinkle.

Supper resumed. The twins were much more solemn, they had gotten the message loud and clear and so had the rest of their house. Minerva discretely transfigured a dust mote into a note and sent it to Madam Pince's lap with a request. Pince casually drew it up to read it as if she had it in her pocket to look at over supper.

Minerva's note asked if there was any way to ask the magic of the castle to bind the Headmaster into causing no harm to staff or student except necessary notification and defense of the school. Pince met her friend's gaze and nodded. Later she showed the Deputy a little known clause that allowed premature transfer of power and offers a vote of no confidence for a reigning Headmaster. That night she discussed it with the other Heads of House and all of the teachers but Umbridge. Slughorn was the only hold out. Apparently his fear of Minerva was weaker then his fear of Umbridge.

Without all of Hogwarts' Heads of House in agreement the clause and magic couldn't be invoked, once again limiting the teachers in what they could offer their students. Slughorn was excused from their meeting...

"We can't let this stand Minerva." Poppy Pomfrey said fussily, as they watched Slughorn slip apologetically from the room, likely to inform Umbridge as to what they had proposed.

"I know. Severus and his husbands are planning something. I say we give them what support we can. If one of the students asks for a pass to research something for the defense group, give it. Madam Pince can require that she personally is checking out all books from the restricted section and make them promise to only study the more dangerous ones in Tom or Severus' presence. If the students arrive late fiddling with those pendants Miss. Malfoy handed out don't say a word unless the horrible woman is there. Give lessons in a fashion that they can be used in a prank or a duel or some how in student life. Ask for examples. We want them to learn but we also want them able to defend themselves. Umbridge is clearly trying to strip them of that." Minerva told them firmly.

"For when they are out of bed, if they have the Defense group pendant on them we can simply provide a warning." Flitwick offered gleefully.

"If someone can get me the dates and times for any late night meetings I can hold remedial and extra credit Astronomy classes at those times." Professor Sinestra offered.

"I can offer extra credit for collected magical plants that are correctly harvested and often used in making prank potions." Sprout offered getting into the spirit of the thing.

"I can point them to better references and act as an information collection and distribution point. Everyone has to come to the library at some point to write a paper." Pince pointed out.

"This inquisitorial squad she's building. We'll have to watch it." Someone pointed out.

"Yes, and curb it if necessary." McGonagall agreed. "You all know what to do. After Horace left he likely went to tell that horrible woman what I proposed. I will attempt to take the blame but she may decided that we've become too independent ourselves. She also might decide that the Defense group is no longer authorized. If she does keep providing special leeway and make certain that any she catches gets away. Off you go. If she asks tell her I was greatly disappointed but we shifted to discussing the students." She sent them off quickly before anything more incriminating could be said.

~

The next morning in the Room of Requirement the boys woke slowly, completely oblivious to the chaos that was now being plotted among students and staff alike. Harry woke first and only the light sleeping habits of the other two and the fact they were wrapped around him, kept him from slipping out of the bed and running in an attempt to protect them from him. Half asleep it took them a moment to realize what Harry was trying to do and only a split second more for them to both tighten their grips and keep him pinned in the bed.

"Harry. You wont hurt us, you can't hurt us. Idiot, do you honestly think we would choose to be safe over having you in our lives?" Severus said in complete exasperation as they turned their pinning hold into an impromptu cuddle.

"I'm killing the old man for this." Tom muttered darkly.

"Oh that's a given." Severus said equally darkly as Harry buried himself into their arms, sobbing.

"I wonder..." Tom said thoughtfully.

"What?" Harry asked curiously if also wetly, his crying dying down.

"I wonder if Salazar knows that Sev is descended from one of the squib branches of his line." Tom finished his thought. "He didn't mention it when he discussed the bloodlines with us."

"You are not telling him." Severus said pointedly as he sat up in their current bed, moving to get up.

"Oh, I don't know. It might be interesting to see the look on his face." Tom said wickedly as he too moved to get up and making Harry snicker. The room had turned into a replica of their quarters in their sleep, as a result they had no trouble finding anything. The problem came when they went to leave the room to attend breakfast. The door wouldn't appear.

"What's going on?" Harry asked. "It should just appear when we want to leave."

"The room might not believe the situation is settled." Severus offered quietly.

"You asked to be sealed in until we had sorted it out?" Tom guessed.

"Yes. That wording was a bit too specific." Sev said eyes narrowed.

"I asked the same." Tom admitted sheepishly.

"So, we're stuck here until we sort out whatever it is that Hogwarts thinks we need to sort out." Harry concluded, wondering a moment later. "How will we eat?" In answer a lavash breakfast spread appeared on a side board for them to pick and choose from.

"Answer enough brat?" Sev scoffed.

Sev moved to take advantage of the breakfast layout, only to be nearly bowled over by his younger bondmate. Tom merely smirked as he deftly dodged around Harry's assault on the food stuffs while taking his own food. The side board shifted even as the wall moved back to form a table and three matching chairs simply appeared along with place settings, side by side. The only thing missing was the main plate at each setting, ostensibly to let them set the plate that was in each of their hands down.

"I think the castle wants us to sit down to eat." Tom said, amused.

"When did the room stop responding to what we wanted?" Harry asked sadly before practically devouring a sausage off of his plate.

"I'm fairly certain that happened when it wouldn't let us out for breakfast." Sev snarked even as he took his seat on one end, glaring pointedly at Harry until he sat at the table, in the middle seat.

"I suspect that the castle has gotten annoyed with us. How and why? I have no clue." Tom commented as he took his own seat. Then quiet fell as the three tucked into the lavish breakfast spread the castle had provided them. They were a little disconcerted when they noticed that the lights had dimmed and they were eating by candle light.

The room shifted again, first merging the three chairs into a bench, then into a couch. Tom and Severus just decided to ignore it. The castle wasn't taking their food or their husbands, and it wasn't presenting anything dangerous, so they weren't unduly worried. Severus noticed that Harry wasn't eating enough, again. He decided that they might simply have to sit next to their husband at every meal and feed him if he continued to refuse to eat. Sighing quietly he cut up a piece of sausage and took a bite, before irritably putting a second bite in Harry's mouth as he went to take a drink of pumpkin juice. Tom followed up with his own piece of egg when Harry tried to take another drink.

"Not a baby. Can feed myself." Harry told them both in annoyance.

"Except we like feeding you." Tom said lightly.

"You don't eat enough." Severus said bluntly. "If necessary we will sit with you at every meal and feed you like a todler. If I had access to my stores, you'd be drinking more nutrient potions."

"You already give me nutrient potions." Harry protested, ignoring the food in front of him, much to the displeasure of his husbands.

"And do you take them when I don't sit you down and force you too?" Severus asked archly. Harry was very quickly interested in dissecting his food. "I thought not. I couldn't be certain so I didn't make you take one every evening as well. Which is now when you will be taking them. I will not have you wasting my potions."

"I don't need them." Harry muttered.

"Yes, you do." Tom said sharply. "Harry, this is one of the ways to correct some of the damage your relatives did to your body. You will never be as tall as your father or possibly even your mother but we can make damned sure that you don't have any other health problems from this."

"If you need any potions from now on, I will make them, and you will take them, husband mine." Severus said severely before shoving another forkful of food into Harry's mouth. Harry nodded in resignation as he chewed his food. They proceeded to feed him as much as he would eat, taking turns so that they would manage to eat their own breakfast's as well. When they were done the room shifted into a cozy sitting room with shelves and shelves of books. The titles of the books gave Tom and Severus a very good idea as to why the room contained a four poster canopy bed easily big enough for the three of them against one wall.

"What do Birds and Bees have to do with each other?" Harry asked having managed to pick up one of the better titled ones. "Oh."

"I think I know what the castle wants us to do." Severus said slowly.

"I think I agree. Weren't we just cursing Dumbledore and the pink bitch for not giving us the opportunity?" Tom asked head tilted to watch Harry from an angle, as he browsed the shelves for something else.

"Its still embarrassing for someone to arrange the situation for us." Sev said with a pink blush staining his cheeks.

"Actually, in a way we arranged it ourselves. The castle, however, is clearly impatient." Tom pointed out. "I'm a little surprised it gave us back our clothes if it wanted this so badly." Their clothes promptly disappeared making them all yelp in surprise, wands appearing on a small side table in a neat line. Most of the books and book shelves disappeared, leaving behind only variations on sex position instruction manuals for guys. The furniture remained but Tom suspected it was only so that they would have something to fuck against if they decided they wanted to have sex somewhere other than the now, much more prominent bed.

"Nothing will happen without lube." Severus pointed out acidly to the room. They heard a soft clink, and when they turned to look they found a small table filled with various oils and lubes.

"Uh, guys? Why is the castle interested in our sex life?" Harry asked more than a bit unnerved.

"Have you done anything to better connect with it?" Tom asked as he glided toward his husband. Sev mirrored his actions allowing a predatory stalk to enter his gait.

"Nothing. Too much has been going on. What am I even supposed to do to connect with the castle any way." Harry asked in puzzlement, completely oblivious to his husbands' approach. They took shameless advantage of this and used it to sandwich him between them and maneuver him onto the bed.

"Harry?" Tom practically purred, bringing Harry back to his senses to find that he was now pinned on the bed beneath two amorous husbands.

"Yes, Tom?" Harry practically squeaked, making both of his bondmates chuckled.

"Have you ever been with anyone?" Tom asked softly, in all seriousness.

"I kissed Ginny Weasley, or was it that she kissed me?" Harry told them sheepishly.

"When?" Severus asked softly.

"After I rescued her from the chamber." Harry admitted.

"Ah, then I don't have to kill her." Tom purred, completely serious. "You are both MINE and I don't share, with anyone. Sharing the two of you with each other is a compromise. Someone touches either of you and they will die a very painful death. Am I clear?"

"Yes, Tom." Severus said quietly, knowing exactly how serious his husband was about the threat.

"Yes, Tom." Harry practically snickered, but he suddenly gasped in shock at the sensation of Severus grabbing his cock.

"Maybe we should teach you manners. I'm sure we can find the right... incentive." Severus purred as he pumped Harry's cock, making his husband moan and try to writhe under their combined weight. Tom shifted to take Harry's mouth in a brutal kiss as Severus continued to pump his husband's cock, until Harry was clearly ready to come. Severus then gripped the base of his husband's cock brutally to keep him from coming until Harry had come down from the edge.

"That was mean." Tom chuckled as he kissed Severus over Harry who simply lay there panting and whimpering between the two of them.

"Yes, but now we can play with our husband for longer." Severus said pointedly. "I wont having him falling asleep before we even manage to slip our cocks into his tight little arse."

"Then perhaps cock rings are in order." Tom said with a smirk before wandlessly conjuring cock rings around both Severus and Harry, making them both groan.

"Not on me!" Severus protested.

"I will use whatever toys or aids I wish on my husbands." Tom smirked cruelly, before whispering a combination cleaning, stretching, and lubing charm on both of his husbands. "You knew I wouldn't risk the alpha position, Severus."

"Yes, alpha." Severus said bowing his head over Harry and starting to sweat.

"I've prepared both of you. Now, be careful as you slip into our little husband. He hasn't done this before. Oh, and don't move after you're seated." Tom smirked, as Severus' eyes widened in comprehension before he nodded his agreement.

Tom slipped back on the bed a bit as Severus slipped between Harry's legs, and carefully slid inside his youngest husband to much groans and whimpers and whines. God, did they love to hear their bondmate beg. The heat and tightness were incredible! Severus was hard pressed to stay still once he was fully seated in his husband's body. Tom thought the sight could not be hotter, one husband pinning the other and buried so deeply and intensely that he could feel it along the bond. Even as Harry writhed beneath him, Severus could feel Tom slip in behind him and with a near brutal thrust sunk his own hardness into Severus, causing both Sev and Harry to cry out, feeling it deep inside.

Tom took a moment to let the three of them catch their breaths but the moment that Severus groaned and Harry started whimpering in want, Tom started to move. He set a bruising pace and pounded into Severus, who in turn pounded into Harry. It wasn't long before He had Severus swearing and Harry begging for release. Tom just chuckled and bit them each on the shoulder, deep enough to draw blood. Then he released both cock rings with a whisper of "Mine.", sending all three over the edge and into blissful unconsciousness.

As they slept off their first round of sex a mark faded into existence on the back of each of their necks. Their bonding tattoo. A black diamond split into three by a lightning bolt. They continued to sleep, never noticing a large stone circle, big enough to be a table, appear in the middle of the room glowing brightly. It faded away as they began to wake up.

As tom awoke he noticed that they were still seated inside each other and got a wicked grin as he decided to take advantage of the situation. He slowly began to draw out of Sev before immediately sliding back into his husband, drawing a half asleep moan from both of them. He continued like this, slowly waking them up as he put his morning wood to delightful use. He didn't bother using a cock ring on his husbands again to draw it out. He simply sought completion. As Tom climaxed he bit the tattoo on the back of Severus' neck , unable to see or reach the identical one on Harry.

"Mine." Tom said again in satisfaction as they all came down from their respective climaxes.

"Possessive bastard." Severus huffed in amusement, as they finally separated, with various groans of satisfaction or soreness.

"Never denied it." Tom said smugly. "Now that we've finally consummated our bond, I wont hold back."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Harry asked groggily.

"It means that if he gets horny enough he'll pull one of us aside somewhere and simply fuck us." Severus admitted, with a shiver.

"Oh." Harry considered a moment before admitting. "That's kinda hot. Of course what we did was hot too."

"Think the room will let us out now?" Severus asked idly, as he headed for the bathroom that had appeared.

"Oh, just get washed." Tom said as he charmed himself clean. "I'll sort out lunch and find out if the door will open."

Severus nodded and practically dragged Harry into the bathroom to get washed. Tom took a moment to will the door into existence, it appeared and then went away when he willed it away again in satisfaction. He got out their new clothes and levitated Harry's and Severus' into the bathroom for them. It didn't take long for his husbands to join him at the castle provided table for lunch. Harry only provided minimal protest when they fed him again, making an adorable picture that the castle magically preserved on a canvas and hid it in the depths of the Room of Requirement.

"The door?" Sev asked as they finished their meal.

"Appears when called." Tom said smugly. "I'm just wondering if we want to call it."

"Doesn't matter. I've already missed morning classes. I don't want to get behind. Hermione is a nightmare when she tries to help you catch up." Harry pointed out, making the other two shiver at the thought of Hermione on a tear. They left the room and quietly rejoined the rest of the school.

~

Across the school, involving at least half of the students in every common room and every dormitory, a school wide prank war was being planned targeting the Headmaster and the current Defense Professor. One of the few exceptions was the small group of students who had assembled at Umbridge's request for volunteers to assist in examining the school for the ministry. The next morning the students started targeting Umbridge's supporters.

A Hufflepuff girl who said that Harry had deserved his horrible detention was found. Having been suspended upside down, clothes charmed all pink and made to wrap her like a cocoon, hexed blind and silenced, even when the spells were reversed she wouldn't say a word about it, no matter how much the teachers pressed. The next one was found stuck to the outside wall of greenhouse 3, spread eagle, stripped to his skivvies which were charmed pink, hexed blind and silenced like the Hufflepuff girl. This time the victim admitted to being threatened while being held helpless and blind for a time before they went away. Any other victims never said a word but many many students suddenly found themselves turned completely pink for a day in warning.

Dumbledore mysteriously found his socks and sweets constantly going missing. He found every single door either stick or move so easily as to smack him. His tea always arrived cold and without enough sugar. No matter what food he ordered it was some type of the pureed baby food. Which the student gleefully took advantage of to slip various prank potions in. The Headmaster was irritated at growing feathers or fur or scales every five minutes with each change causing the last to fall away from his skin, scattering hair and feathers and scales every which way whenever he twitched. Then there were the color changing potions...

The Headmaster walked into supper cheerfully the evening of the boys rejoined them and every student that saw him started violently. He had manage to get the skin shifts down from once every five minutes to once every two hours and was currently on a scale cycle. His scales were colored neon green with hot pink zebra like stripes randomly crisscrossing his body. His hair was midnight blue with random bright yellow strands imitating lightning bolts.

"Headmaster." Severus greeted him warily.

"Severus! How have you Tom and Harry been? We missed you three at breakfast and lunch." Dumbledore said cheerfully

"We've been fine. The castle locked us in a room overnight but we were fine." Severus told him, still wary.

"Good, good. I trust that young Harry will have no trouble staying in the dormitories from now on?" Dumbledore asked, eyes twinkling.

"I doubt the bond will allow that." Tom said pointedly coming up behind Severus and wrapping his husband in a hug. "Now, I believe that we have supper to attend to and if we can manage it a husband to try and get to eat." The headed for their seats leaving the clearly pranked Headmaster behind.

"We need to have a defense meeting, quickly." Severus muttered under his breath to his husband, as they took their seats at the head table.

"And teach Harry to keep his head in a duel." Tom nodded. "Some of the students are taking matters into their own hands."

"Yes, I heard what happened to those two while we were locked away." Severus muttered. "Its another reason to start lessons. Give them something to focus on."

"We'll split the group into two. One loyal to Harry and possibly us, the other possible plants or trouble makers." Tom agreed. "If she did include Draco in her little investigative squad he'll have to go into the untrustworthy group, at least at first."

"If we train them mostly together there shouldn't be much of an issue." Severus pointed out.

"Hem, hem, hem. What might our resident apprentices be doing?" Umbridge asked sweetly.

"Planning our first lesson with the defense group that you were kind enough to clear." Tom said charmingly.

"I've been thinking that perhaps we don't really need that group." Umbridge said consideringly.

"They will learn the magic somewhere if they're stubborn." Severus pointed out carefully. "As Tom has alread pointed out. Is it not better if someone were supervising?"

"And who became the alpha of your little trio?" Umbridge asked sweetly, making them both stiffen.

"I did." Tom admitted graciously, turning his deadly charm on high. "What we discussed is still a factor, and Severus is aware of the leash. Harry still has a few things to learn but nothing I can't handle. There's no need to drop the defense group."

"Very well. Draco Malfoy and Ginerva Weasley will be joining your little group." Umbridge said almost delicately. "They will be my little supervisors."

"Of course, Madam." Severus agreed softly. "I will inform them as to the time and place of the first meeting." Tom and Severus very carefully went back to their meals.

Chapter Text

It was a week before they had managed to arrange for the first DA meeting but arrange it they did. In that time Umbridge managed to oust Dumbledore from his position of Headmaster and install herself in that position. Dumbledore barely managed to avoid being arrested on charges of inciting treason and stay on at the school as an administrative assistant to Umbridge. Grindelwald along with his escort and followers were still missing, even though there was every evidence that he had never left the grounds. They gathered in the Room of Requirement and everyone except for Ginny Weasley had a pendant.

"Alright, you all know that we got permission to have a practical defense group. My husbands, Tom and Severus, have agreed to help." Harry announced bringing the meeting to order. "I haven't yet talked them into helping us with any homework but we're working on that."

"Think again, brat." Severus growled from his position leaning against the wall next to Tom, and drawing a laugh from most of the group.

"Now as we all saw in Hogsmeade it isn't safe to walk down the street without some sort of defense training, no matter what Umbridge keeps telling us." Harry said pointedly to a murmur of agreement.

"Harry? What can we do? The ministry has banned a lot of spells?" Ginny asked innocently. "Are you going to train us to take on the ministry?"

"Noooo, I'm going to teach you to defend yourselves. This is meant to teach you to last long enough against an attacker to get away or for help to arrive." Harry said warily. "Severus isn't just a snarky potions master he's also a defense and dueling master, and Tom, well most of the people here know how skilled Tom is in a duel. We've manage to determine that the only reasons I survived against Tom when he was trying to kill me is luck and quick thinking. The luck you have to figure out on your own, but I can and will teach you the quick thinking."

"To say I was a bit disappointed when I realized just how little Harry actually knows is a bit of an understatement." Tom said lightly. "Now that we're married there's a much better chance at someone trying to kill him. Neither Severus nor I will stand for that kind of danger to him."

"As a result, and due to the fact that our husband has a habit of saving people, we've extended our offer of lessons to the rest of you." Severus said smoothly picking up where Tom left off. "If you're having that much trouble with your normal homework then you need to see the teacher that assigned the work. Neither Tom nor I will coddle you. The only promise we make while training you is that you wont die if we can help it, even if you might wish to at some point. We will be treating this like a regular class with permission from your parents to use most curses against and on you. If at any time you wish to leave, there's the door. I will remind you however that you are still under magical contract."

"Only Miss. Weasley has not signed the contract and she as well as one other are here as observers on behalf of Umbridge." Tom informed them. "You will be split into groups in regards to skill level and a certain amount of aptitude in various areas."

"Why did you just inform the entire group of my position?" Ginny asked, clearly pissed.

"The contract that everyone else signed is designed to keep them from finding and informing someone who wants us dead as to the group. Its a safety measure more for the members of the group than the three of us who will be teaching." Tom said patiently. "I will not have their lives put at risk without a damned good reason. I learned a few things during my time as the Dark Lord Voldemort. Sign the contract that Hermione came up with and there isn't an issue, don't and you wont be learning a few of the more specialized tricks that Severus and I have decided to teach. It isn't just a security issue, its also a permission slip of sorts to actually teach you to defend yourselves. Ideally by the end of the school year you will be able to hold Severus or I off for a full five minutes. The choice is yours."

"Give me the contract." Ginny demanded furiously.

"I'm sorry, but there were a few extra charms on it." Hermione said apologetically. "With you this angry the contract wont let you sign. I didn't want someone to sign up in the heat of the moment and then decide they didn't really want to be in the group. Especially since Professor Umbridge seems to want to hurt the person we picked as a teacher, Harry."

"Missed those." Severus murmured to Tom, who nodded in agreement.

"Harry is mine, along with anything that belongs to him. Including this group." Ginny declared, madness evident in her eyes. Making Tom and Severus stiffen at both the threat and claim to Harry, quietly drawing their wands and slowly getting on either side of the deranged girl.

"Gin, Harry isn't yours." Ron said almost desperately, trying to distract his sister.

"Yes, he is! Dumbledore promised me!" Ginny said almost gleefully, madness burning strong in her eyes.

"I told you we need to kill the old goat." Severus said pointedly.

"No killing." Harry told them firmly even as he backed away from Ginny, trying to get out of her reach.

"The old man is the one who put the insistence on no killing in your head." Tom growled as he stalked Ginny.

"Can we talk about this later?" Harry asked almost desperately as Ginny lunged and finally made a grab for Harry. The castle decided enough was enough and slightly raised the stone blocks under Ginny's feet, causing her to stumble and fall to her knees, where she was hit by two simultaneous stupefy's.

"What are the chances of that? First Bellatrix Lestrange attacks Harry because she's in love with Mr. Tom and now Harry is attacked because Ginny is in love with him. Mate, your love life is a nightmare." Seamus Finnigan told him sincerely.

"Thanks, Seamus. I think." Harry said uncomfortably.

"Will you teach us to kill?" Someone in the back demanded.

"No. You shouldn't have to know how to kill." Tom said pointedly. "Killing can be done with literally anything. A rock bashed into the side of someone's head or the killing curse. It is not something we are willing to teach, nor is torture. If that is what you are here for, leave now." Nobody moved.

"Alright then, we need to figure out where everyone is at skill wise. Split into pairs, we'll be doing mock duels." Harry told them pointedly ignoring what happened with Ginny, even as Ron gathered her up and took her to the Hospital wing. The duels easily showed who had done their own studying over the years and who had simply learned what they needed to get past the latest DADA Professor.

"Some of them might be decent fighters." Tom pointed out as he watched Harry correct someone's stance. Severus merely hummed in response, before absently deflecting a stray miscast spell from hitting him.

"The fact that your little curse has prevented us from keeping any Defense Professors much less decent ones is a major factor in their roughness." Severus pointed out.

"Wasn't sane enough to lift it until recently and then the old man turned me down." Tom pointed out. Suddenly there was a flash of power that drew every eye in the room. Draco was bleeding heavily from the inside of his thigh even as the magic brought him to his knees in front of a conviently placed Harry.

"Trial by fire complete. Welcome spy master." Luna said dreamily. "Harry you need to touch the mark or he will bleed to death from it." Harry desprately ripped open Draco's soaked pants and pressed his hand to where the aristocrat was bleeding on the inside of his thigh. There was a blinding flash of green and red as the mark sealed, instantly drying the blood around the wound.

"Fuck!" Severus said as they hurried over to the pair. He cast several diagnostics before motioning to Harry that he could let go of Draco. "He needs to be checked by Poppy, but as far as I can tell he's fine."

"What I want to know is why all of the older trial by fire methods are activating, muchless why any of them are." Tom scowled before pulling his shaking husband into their arms.

"Might have something to do with the bloody estate contract and the fact that we are on said estate." Severus told him with a scowl.

"The castle is trying to build a protective layer of people around Harry?" Tom asked in astonishment.

"After how he's been hurt over the years? Yes, that would be my guess." Severus admitted tersely. "You already had built a layer of people who will die for you, around you. I worked on playing you and Dumbledore as an alternative but then I also lived in the castle. Harry? Harry's had no form of true protection since Lily and James died and that was compromised in the first place by Dumbledore."

"Which is one of the reasons why the bond wont let us wander far for too long." Tom concluded slowly, then he noticed they had the complete attention of the defense group. Tom dismissed them. "You're dismissed for the day. Refer to your pendants for the next meeting date and time. A three foot essay on working together in a combat situation will be due at the beginning of the meeting." The group grumbled but dispersed except for Luna, Hermione, Draco, the twins, Ron, and Neville.

"So, the bond accepted me in the position of spy master." Draco said, smiling without mirth. "Fitting since you two asked me to spy on Umbridge."

"Will you officiate my oaths? Or must I also go through trial by fire?" Neville asked Severus seriously, eyes hard with determination. Severus cursed, and then jerked his head for the young Lord to kneel. Neville smiled a bit and did so.

"You come before one who is yet untrained. I stand in his sted. What would you wish of him?" Severus intoned reluctantly.

"I am the reigning heir of the Longbottom line and offer of myself, my resources, my continued friendship, and my right of choice." Neville said formally. "I seek to enter the service of Harry James Potter, Lord of the Potter line, Heir of the Pervelle and Gryffindor lines, claimed Heir of the Hogwarts estate. Is my offer of good enough standing or should I go forth and seek more to bring to his service?"

"He shouldn't be doing this at all." Harry fretted in the arms of his husbands who soothed him.

"It is his choice." Tom reminded him softly, as he tightened his arms in a more secure hold and hug. "He is a pure blood heir of a noble house, he knows the possible consequences."

"I am required to ask if you are certain of what you offer for this boon?" Severus asked tightly, hoping the foolish boy would back out at the last moment.

"I am." Neville said levelly, meeting the eyes of his most feared professor, and the husband of his lord dead on.

"Then your service is accepted. At your own request you are now bound to Harry James Potter and his line. May your choice bare fruit and prosperity." Severus said formally, then breathed out. "Stupid child."

"I'm still embarrassed about this part." Harry admitted blushing, then he left the comforting arms of his husbands to walk up to Neville and kiss him on the forehead. Light flared near Neville's heart and a fealty mark appeared, ripping through his clothes as it had done for Hermione. A second light flared, glowing golden and knocking Harry backward into his husbands as a ring appeared floating in front of Neville. Neville slowly reached out and took it, the light going out as he touched the ring that lightly dropped into his hand. They peered to look and saw the Hufflepuff Lordship ring.

"You didn't qualify for it but him swearing to you caused him to qualify for the lordship ring." Tom snorted in amusement.

"Special requirements my arse." Severus grumbled. Tom simply smiled and kicked everyone but his husbands out of the room before sealing it. Then he turned and stalked over to Harry before claiming a fierce kiss, making Harry melt into his arms. Severus watched with amusement until Tom wandlessly summoned him to their side and added him to their embrace.

"You do not belong to that little Trollop. You belong to us, and I'm going to remind you of that fact." Tom growled out as he mentally summoned a bed and a few other items, even as he banished the door. The room graciously complied. That's when they heard the pounding on what would have been the door.

"Harry, my boy! I must speak with you." Dumbledore called through the wall.

"Cock-blocking bastard." Tom growled as he slumped against both of his husbands.

"We're not here!" Harry called back, wanting to get back to at least kissing his husbands.

"I'm sorry my boy but it really can't wait." Dumbledore called back. "Would you happen to know where your husbands are? I feel they must hear this too." Tom groaned and summoned the door to the room so they could talk with the interfering old coot.

"What?" Tom demanded, opening the door

"I believe that Lord Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange are both at the gate asking for you and when I left them they were facing each other wands drawn." Dumbledore said lightly causing Tom to groan and drag his husbands' with him when he headed for the main gate to deal with his wayward followers. They arrived at the front gates to find Lucius facing off against a cackling Bellatrix.

"I'm warning you woman!" Lucius began his threat, only to be cut off by Bella's cackle.

"Enough!" Tom practically bellowed, getting both their attentions. "Bella, wand away."

"But my lord!" She protested, a vicious glare from Tom got her to obey.

"You'd better have a good reason for this, and I want to know why you haven't been responding to my letters, Lucius." Tom said darkly.

"I have received no letters my lord." Lucius said carefully. "Truthfully, I've been worried and decided to update you myself since I have had no word from you."

"Really?" Tom asked slowly, eyes flashing.

"Tom, TOM!" Harry said grabbing him around the waist in a frantic attempt to get him to keep his temper in check. Severus, also feeling the fury boiling down the bond quickly joined Harry in half restraining, half hugging their husband, until he had calmed down a bit. Bellatrix simply watched the entire scene play out in amusement. She didn't dare attack her lord's husbands after the last debacle in Hogsmeade.

"Remember what you told me? The madman is gone. Please Tom?" Severus pleaded softly.

"I haven't killed them or used crucio have I?" Tom practically snapped back.

"You're scaring us." Harry almost whispered. "Please pay attention to the bond?"

Tom took a deep breath and focused on the bond. He could feel the fear and worry from his husbands. Fear not of him but for him. He was stunned by the distinction because he knew he'd done a lot to make his husbands scared of him and it was something he knew would need to be fixed carefully and slowly. He very carefully freed his arms and wrapped Harry and Severus in them as he sighed in resignation as he let his anger go.

"Go. See to your son. He was injured earlier. Tell him he has permission to explain it to you." Tom told Lucius. "Any report you have can wait until you've seen to young Draco."

"As much as it pains me not to see Draco immediately my lord, I have information that might not wait." Lucius said, a pained expression on his face.

"It will wait the hour or so you will need for your son." Tom said darkly. "Now, go before I change my mind."

"Thank you." Lucius whispered as he slid past Harry, his lord, and his friend turned son.

"Bellatrix, you'd better have a damned good explanation for attacking us in Hogsmeade or Hogwarts will find her lovely lawn littered with your corpse." Tom growled as he focused on his crazy but loyal follower.

"You are under some sort of spell, my lord. I was merely trying to break it." Bella admitted.

"Leash." Harry hissed in Tom's ear, making the man sigh.

"Bella, I have a task for you. Several people have displeased me. I want you to gather them and leave them tied up in the Atrium of the Ministry. I'm washing my hands of them. The Carrows, Auror Dawlish, Pettigrew, Dolohov, and McNair. Make certain that none of them escape and that Dawlish is badly injured," Tom informed the madwoman seriously, cutting off Harry before he could protest. "but I don't want him dead just yet. Oh, and Bella? If you ever disobey me or attack my husbands again I will make the last torture session look like I asked you to cuddle kittens for an hour. You are to obey them as you would me. Have I made myself clear?"

"Certainly, my lord." Bellatrix said as the light of sanity briefly returning to her eyes.

"Swear on your magic." Harry insisted.

"Harry." Tom said in exasperation.

"I told you, either you find a leash that works on her or I will. Please, don't make me find something worse." Harry pleaded, even going so far as to send the plea down the bond. Bellatrix looked at Harry, all seriousness, then nodded before drawing her wand, making Harry and Severus tense.

"I swear upon my magic and my life that unless my lord orders otherwise I will consider and obey any order given to me by my lord's spouse's. Specifically Harry James Potter and Severus Tobias Snape." Bellatrix swore, no madness evident in her eyes as the magic flared around her. They all heard a snap as the magic flared and Bellatrix was thrown backwards as a mark flared over her heart, ripping through her clothes. When the magic died down they were able to see the fealty mark but it was slightly different. While the lightning bolt and cauldron were green, the snake was black, indicating a primary loyalty to Tom.

"You got your leash." Severus pointed out to a wide eyed Harry, who nodded dumbly.

"I wonder if that actually repaired her sanity." Tom wondered idly.

"It might have." Severus conceded. "No one alive understands the magics involved in proper fealty bonds anymore, muchless everything that it can do."

Bellatix groaned as she moved back to her feet. She bowed deeply to the three before heading off to fulfill the task Tom had given her. What bothered all three of them was that she was skipping merrily even as she apparated away. Forty-five minutes later they walked into the infirmary to check on Draco only to find Lucius swiftly kneeling before them the moment he saw them enter the infirmary.

"Speak. What has you so worried?" Tom huffed. Lucius quickly brought him up to speed on everything else before bringing the truly important issue to his lord's attention.

"There is also a law forbidding the use of all Olde Magic and anything derived from it, and is set to be presented to the Wizengamot in the morning." Lucius told him fearfully, fully expecting to receive at least a crucio for delivering the vital information.

"Get that law stopped! I don't care who you have to kill or bribe, bury that law until it dies." Tom barked out, furious.

"Dear god. Are they trying to kill us all?" Severus whispered in horror. "Everything is at least based on the Olde Magics!"

"I know." Tom said grimly.

"What do you mean? What is Olde Magic?" Harry almost demanded. "Is it the magic that Tom wanted us to learn again?"

"After a fashion." Severus admitted, as he heavily sat on a nearby hospital bed.

"Harry, if that law passes. The first thing that will happen is that Gringotts will close and all of our monetary wealth will begin to slowly disappear. Any Galleon, Knut, or Sickle, even the muggle money held by any member of the magical community will disappear." Tom explained quietly. "Magic will die even faster because essentially all magic will be outlawed. No one in memory or recorded history has ever tried to place such a law, but we do know that the money is so steeped in the Olde Magic that it will disappear. Some of the older records say that certain people are spared by magic if something like this is ever put into motion. The last record of something like this even being contemplated... magic cast her judgement and cut our population in half."

Harry's sudden understanding and accompanying terror brought both of his husbands over to him and had them cuddling him long after Lucius had been dismissed to kill the law by any means necessary, beyond even the student curfew. Poppy, took one look at them, sitting on the edge of one of her beds, when she came in to check on Draco and simply waved her wand, merging three of her beds together and got them into bed. She didn't release the trio until late afternoon the next day.

Before Poppy would release them from her infirmary they had to explain to both her and Minerva what had terrified Harry so badly. To say that both women were horrified would be an understatement. By the end of the day the entire school knew that Harry was scared of the new law, many even knew why. Umbridge's smug triumph sickened all of the teachers and upper years. It was clear that she had helped to put this into motion, likely as a way to hurt Harry. Harry, Tom, and Severus' bond easily qualified as Olde Magic or a close derivative and under the new law would have to be destroyed, by any means.

Chapter Text

The next few days were very tense. The upper years and staff of Hogwarts understood some of the ramifications of the law and knew it was bad. The lower years picked up on the fear of the upper years and staff, especially Harry's fear. The Hogwarts trio (Harry, Tom, and Sev) provided another defense lesson to try and help keep the students distracted. There was an almost audible sigh of relief when Draco managed to receive a message from Lucius and turned it over to Tom.

The Law was dead, and so were a number of people involved in the making of the law. What really made Tom's jaw clench though was the fact that Umbridge was the one to draft the law. The only thing that kept him from killing her in the middle of breakfast in the great hall was the soothing emotions flowing down the bond, like at the Dursleys, and the fact that there were children present. Harry managed a look at the letter while Tom attempted to keep his temper. He barely managed to continue to send soothing emotions down the bond and once Tom had calmed a bit he looked his husband right in the eye.

"Okay. She can die." Harry told Tom, giving him a kiss on the check before returning to his seat to finish his breakfast. Tom slowly smiled his most evil smile, easily scaring any student or staff who saw it.

"I wonder if we can get him to let us go after the old goat." Severus said thoughtfully.

"Not unless we can prove to him that he's been hurting Harry's friends. Aside from us, his friends are his family and he will kill to protect them, no matter what damage it does to the little idiot in the process." Tom admitted reluctantly. "I'm just glad he didn't object when I ordered Lucius to kill the law by any means necessary, including the death of those involved."

"What was the body count?" Sev asked quietly.

"13, one of them ours." Tom answered equally quietly. Sev nodded and they returned to their meal. Little did they know that later that day the same thorn in their side who drafted the dangerous law would go after Harry, again.

Harry was in charms class when a miscast spell hit him. His yelp was drowned out by the noise of the class practicing their spell work and no one noticed as he started growing fur and shrinking. The spell forced him into form of an adorable black Labrador retriever puppy, with a white shock of fur right where Harry's scar would be. Harry's doggy yelp of pain at all of the noise brought attention to the fact that there was a half grown puppy in the room.

"Professor? Why is there a dog in the room?" Someone asked at the same time as his partner asked. "Where's Potter?" Harry wagged his tail and tried nudging first Hermione then Draco.

"Awe, how sweet." Hermione cooed, making Harry wag his tail, thinking she had recognized him.

"Its just a dog." Ron said dismissively.

"Is it?" Draco asked slowly. "Like Nott said. Where's Potter?"

"Oh, who cares?" One of the girls asked. "I just want to pet the puppy."

Harry took one look at the grasping hands and eager expressions of most of the girls in the room and bolted from the room, leaving behind a small hank of fur in Hermione's hand. She had unconsciously tightened her grip when he'd tried to bolt. It was just his luck to run into Umbridge on his frantic run from charms class.

"Hello, puppy." Umbridge said sweetly, making puppy Harry pause and back up warily. "You know I don't like dogs, and whoever owns you is going to be very sorry they broke school rules and brought you. You see they will find your body in the great hall tonight."

Only Harry's instinct to dodge and bolt saved him from the crucio she tossed at him. However she managed to catch him with a bone breaking charm that had him howling and his husbands unconsciously apparating through the wards of Hogwarts to his side, even as they half collapsed on their own suddenly broken legs.

"What the hell is going on?" Tom growled, taking in Umbridge's look of surprise and the injured puppy with injuries matching his own and Severus' and the fact that they were suddenly in the 4th floor corridor.

"I'm just getting rid of an unauthorized vermin." Umbridge said sweetly, managing to recover a bit, even as puppy Harry whimpered in pain, lying between his husbands on the floor. "I would like to know how you gentlemen suddenly appeared in this corridor. You can't have apparated. Its impossible to apparate through Hogwarts wards. Were you spying on me?"

"Tom, the dog is Harry." Severus said urgently as he finished examining the dog. Every time he pressed around the shattered bone he could hear the dog whimper but also feel a flare of pain along the bond.

"You've gone too far witch, and Harry isn't able to stop me this time." Tom bit out, fury evident in his every word and motion. He cast spells in such rapid succession that Umbridge had no chance at defending herself. Her only saving grace was that the bond had broken Tom's leg in a mirror to Harry's injuries and he was pinned in place. She was not and she viciously used that to her advantage, just barely managing to escape from the corridor and out of Tom's casting range.

"I see her again and she dies, regardless of witnesses or circumstance." Tom growled out as he collapsed next to his injured husbands.

"No argument. I'll help." Severus offered as he soothed their husband.

Severus also sent a memo off to Poppy informing her that Umbridge had hurt Harry again and that now the three of them were stuck where they were due to injuries. They heard voices and suddenly a group of students rounded the corner at the end of the corridor. The students stopped dead seeing them collapsed on the floor next to a black lab with a white shock of hair simulating a lightning bolt on its forehead. The twins managed to push their way forward to the front of the group and upon seeing the unusual tablue hurried over to the three.

"What might we do to be of service my lords?" Fred asked quietly, as George curiously examined them.

"Keep the other students back and one of you make certain that my message got to Madam Pomfrey." Severus said with a sigh before turning back to a still whimpering Harry.

"Time's up on your little project boys. The next time I see that pink creature it dies." Tom told them, rage barely contained behind his eyes.

"What did she do?" George asked quietly as he unknowingly pet Harry.

"The bond force apparated us to Harry as soon as he was hit with the bone breaking curse. Something must have happened in one of his classes since he's clearly been changed into a dog." Tom said motioning at Harry. "Apparently, the vile woman decided that Harry as a puppy was vermin and needed to die."

"If she goes back to her office for her precious cat plates, it wont be an issue my lord." George said viciously.

"Yes, she'll be in for quite a surprise." Fred agreed before heading off to get Madam Pomfrey.

"What did you do?" Severus asked curiously even as Harry perked up a bit to listen.

"I believe she now has a rather large Boggart problem." George said viciously.

"Goooood." Tom purred. "I'm still killing her the next time I see her." Suddenly they heard a scream echo down the corridors, and the screams continued for a good long while until someone found whoever was screaming and the sound stopped. One of the students shivered.

"Told you she was in for a surprised." George said smugly. "I wonder what her Boggart is?"

"It had better be Tom or he'll make it him." Severus muttered under his breath, as he too petted Harry, trying to comfort his husband. That's when Poppy arrived, a few diagnostics determined that all three would be stuck in the hospital wing at least over night. They needed Skele-grow for their broken bones and Harry needed to be turned back into a human.

Chapter Text

The next morning found them still stuck in the hospital wing and Harry still dog shaped. The only difference was that none of them had any more broken bones. Madam Pomfrey scowled at them, thoughtfully.

"Will the bond interfere if I try to transform Harry back?" She asked thoughtfully.

"I don't know. We have no idea how he managed to transform into a dog." Tom admitted.

"Although, he does make a cute puppy." Severus pointed out with as smirk, and received a slight growl from his changed husband as a reward for his snark.

"For some reason, the elves sent up chicken soup for the two of you rather than the normal morning porridge or eggs, toast, and bacon." Madam Pomfrey informed them before levitating the trays over their laps and setting a bowl of beef stew down on the floor for Harry to eat. "I'll be back in a minute. I have to talk to Filius about the charms they were practicing. Normally I don't have too much trouble with reversals." She headed for her office as Tom and Sev watched Harry sniff at his food in amusement. It became decidedly less funny when Harry practically reared back violently away from the food and came to sniff their own trays.

"You have your own food." Tom said pointedly trying to push Harry away from his tray.

Harry managed to get fairly close to both trays and took a deep sniff before rearing away from them. Both Tom and Severus couldn't decide what was wrong with their husband or why he was practically radiating worry down the bond. Severus picked up his spoon to begin eating at almost the same time Tom did. Harry became almost frantic and quickly knocked their trays to the floor in a wave of smashing crockery and barking frantically. Unfortunately some of the soup got in Harry's mouth as he barked. He was quickly whining and pawing at his muzzle, which was suddenly inflamed, and sending both pain and nausea down the bond.

"Harry? Harry!" Tom said frantically as he tried to hold his husband and figure out what was wrong while Harry kept shaking his head and pawing at his mouth.

Severus ran to find Poppy who should have been by their side the moment the dishes crashed to the floor. What he found was her slumped over her desk in her office and a knocked over tea cup on her desk. From the tablue, Severus concluded that her tea had been drugged. After a quick pulse check and diagnostic spell to make certain she wasn't dead or dying, he spent no more time on her and grabbed what he knew were the normal stored antidotes. From the sensations that Harry was sending down the bond he already knew that half of them would be useless, the symptoms were wrong.

Severus mentally blessed Poppy when he realized that there were at least 3 Bezoars in the antidote kit and antidotes he had brewed for anything the Bezoar wouldn't cover. Taking a Bezoar in hand he shoved Tom out of the way only to practically force his hand down Harry's throat before releasing the Bezoar and messaging it down his throat. They watched their husband tensely as Harry's whining subsided and he fell into an uneasy sleep as the Bezoar's absorptive properties took effect and Harry's body shut down to do some healing of what the poison had managed to hurt.

"Whoever tried to do this to us is dead." Tom said in a flat tone of voice, in response Severus huffed out a relieved laugh.

"We've all been subject to assassination attempts at one point or another." Severus pointed out tiredly. "You've tried on Harry yourself at least once."

"I don't care so much for the attempt on me. That was to be expected, but the ones on Harry and you..." Tom said as he reached out and petted his still doggified and sleeping husband before whispering. "I.. I can't loose you, either of you."

"Tom, you wont." Severus said softly. "I've got more than enough experience and skill to protect myself, as do you, and we can both simply keep a closer eye on Harry until we've got him trained a bit better. I think the only reason he doesn't check his food for spells and potions is that no one has bothered to inform him that its possible and teach him the spells."

"That stops now." Tom growled. "We'll teach the entire Defense group. Too many of them are important in some way to our husband to loose one to an ill considered assassination attempt."

"Next lesson then." Severus said decidedly. "I'll offer to teach or re-teach anyone who wants to learn about antidotes and healing potions. From now on Harry shouldn't go anywhere without you, I, or at least one of those who owe him fealty. They might not be able to stop an attack on Harry but they should be able to slow it down a bit."

"Why did we even let him out of our sight? Even in our sight he nearly gets killed." Tom asked mournfully, causing Severus to wrap him in a hug from behind.

"Because otherwise we would drive each other mad and the brat still has lessons he has to take. We had no indication that something like this might happen. Up until now Harry's reluctance to eat first, instilled by that fat whale, has always kept him from being one of the first to take food from any dish. Someone else would have been affected first or we would have a large number of poisoning cases on our hands fairly quickly if this had been tried in the Great Hall. Giving us more than enough time to help Harry." Severus pointed out softly. "We'll set Draco and the twins on finding out who tried to kill us. It will give them some practice and more likely than not turn up who made the attempt, if they happen to be a student."

"I don't like it." Tom grumbled.

"Its the best we can do at the moment, aside from using the bond to track him like he did to us at the Dursleys." Severus said simply, still holding Tom, even as Tom continued to pet a sleeping Harry. "Harry kept us from eating the poisoned food as well. Poppy's tea was drugged, as she's currently asleep over her desk. She must have decided to finish it before finding Filius. If Harry hadn't detected the poison we would all be dead."

"Stay with Harry. I have a pink toad to kill." Tom ordered abruptly before shaking off Sev's hold and getting up to go hunting.

"And if she has left the grounds?" Severus asked causing Tom to pause in mid-motion.

"Then there will quickly be a high price on her head." Tom growled. Tom stalked out of the infirmary in search of supposed Headmistress Umbridge, passing Neville, the Weasley twins, Luna, Draco, and Hermione as they arrived, drawn by the fealty mark and the effect the poison had had on Harry.

"Don't follow him." Severus ordered them severely. "When he finds Umbridge it will be... unpleasant."

"What happened?" Hermione asked worriedly on behalf of the entire group.

"Someone tried to poison us. Harry managed to detect it but as he stopped us from consuming the tainted food he got some of it in his mouth." Severus informed them with a grimace. "I managed to get a Bezoar into him in time. Tom... is not taking this well. Draco and Weasleys, your task, once Harry has recovered will be to find whoever decided it would be a good idea to add poison to our meal. Hermione, you can either help them or help research detection and protective spells. Harry is not to be left alone. Both Tom and I have had to deal with such attempts before. As a result we have a better idea as to how to stop such attempts. Harry has no experience and no training in this arena. If you have to take his food away at the table and take a bite yourselves before letting him eat. If they get this close again we'll take more extreme measures."

"Harry wont like this." Draco pointed out quietly.

"We've been running background interference for years." George admitted.

"If we've pranked food or drink, we make damned sure there isn't a poison in it. Some of our pranks actually act as neutralizers. Its how we designed them." Fred informed Sev.

"We've even caught a poisoned and charmed food item or two at meal times and in some of the Quidditch parties." George told them. "They were quietly removed and destroyed. If we could manage it we told Madam Pomfrey or Professor McGonagall. Mostly we just tried to keep anything dangerous out of the hands of someone who would eat it."

"We've tested so many of our experimental pranks and potions on ourselves that we've become immune to a few of the poisons. So occasionally we'll take the tainted food and eat it ourselves partly to throw off whoever tried it." Fred admitted. "No use wasting the food when it wont hurt us but could hurt someone else. We both become very territorial over the food that contains the few poisons that are no longer poisonous to us. The others we just try to make certain land on the floor or are otherwise ruined beyond edibility."

"We'll be testing those pranks more thoroughly later." Severus informed them with a cocked eyebrow, receiving only solemn nods in response. "Keep playing food taste tester for Harry. Don't tell him what you're doing or he'll worry about getting you killed when the poison is aimed at him. Start carrying around a box of Bezoars. Harry would be deeply hurt if one or both of you didn't survive simply because someone tried to poison him."

"Yes sir." The twins answered in unison, giving the potions master a silly salute, making him roll his eyes at them.

"Poisoning attempt aside, what are we doing for the winter hols?" Draco asked.

"Is it really that late in the semester?" Severus asked in astonishment. "It hasn't even snowed yet."

"Wrong." Hermione said with a shake of her head. "You've all just been so busy with one thing and another and that horrid woman continuing to go after Harry that you've missed how fast time has passed and didn't notice when the grounds were first buried in snow. You all stayed in your quarters for the Halloween and Thanksgiving feasts to spend a little more time together. I don't think any of you realize that you missed those holidays. Winter hols starts at the end of next week. Harry hasn't even realized that Umbridge banned him from Quidditch for life because you both came to get him during that detention."

"He knows." Draco said with a sigh. "She gloated to him about it for almost an hour when he first headed to the joint Gryffindor/Slytherin tryouts. It was the only way we could think of to make a fair decision on what team he was going to play. She actually canceled Quidditch this year because all of the Quidditch players from all of the houses wanted to see which team he would be on and all of the captains had agreed to open tryouts just so they could see where Harry went. Everyone objected when she made her little announcement. So we lost Quidditch and we've just been playing pick-up Quidditch on the normal match days in front of the school and doing unofficial flying practice during the weekly practice times. Madam Hooch even agreed to be ref for the matches."

"Why wasn't I informed about this?" Severus asked, voice low in fury.

"She made it very clear that if we went to any of our Heads of House about it we would be facing expulsion." Fred told him solemnly.

"Especially if we told you about it Professor." Neville said softly. "Dumbledore was still the official Headmaster at the time and got her to agree that we could still gain house points on and play the pick-up matches if Madam Hooch was officiating. The catch was that if Harry was playing and caught the snitch, the points from the snitch wouldn't count to any house, even though it counted toward winning the game."

"Harry loves the game so much that he didn't care about being unable to gain points for Gryffindor or Slytherin." Draco said sadly. "He just wanted to fly. Some times Gryffindor and Slytherin practice together and help Harry get better with his flying. Those practices are more about helping Harry than anything else, so neither team is giving anything away. We got him to agree to fly for both teams except when they play against each other, then he has to sit out or help Madam Hooch. Mostly he helps Madam Hooch and has kept more than one of us from crashing to the ground when we got hit by a bludger or one of us didn't see another player and crashed into them."

"We haven't seen even one match." Severus said in realization and dismay.

"He didn't want you to. He knew that his flying would bother both of you and that if you watched him fly then the bond might trigger." Hermione said gently. "There is always a group of students purposefully distracting you and Tom so that Harry can play. It was hard to get the reason he was going to give up Quidditch out of him. We finally had to corner him and get him a little drunk. That was the day you kept looking at him picking at his food and staring off into space. I read to him from a book I thought he might find interesting."

"We were worried but we couldn't feel anything from the bond." Severus whispered in near horror.

"I think Harry was blocking the bond somehow." Hermione said consideringly.

"He was." Luna said dreamily. "The bond learned Occlumencey from both Tom and Severus. Harry used it because he didn't want them to worry, even though he wasn't quite sure what he was doing. He's been blocking it whenever something truly upsets him and he believes nothing can be done."

"Which has been preventing us from helping him, especially since he's taken to physically hiding for stretches of time." Severus said softly, looking down at his still doggified and sleeping husband in concern.

"We've been keeping track of him, except when Luna tells us to leave him alone." Draco admitted. "I've caught him off guard off and on over the years in some of the stranger and more remote back passageways."

"Thank you for telling me." Severus said softly, petting Harry on his doggy head. "One of you needs to check on Madam Pomfrey, she's in her office, someone drugged her. We almost lost Harry as a result. If I had been any less familar with where she keeps things..."

"Which is why Tom went toad hunting." Draco said in comprehension, then went to check on her with Neville while everyone else sat down to wait for Harry to wake up or Tom to come back, whichever came first.

~

Elsewhere in the castle, Tom stalked down a corridor glowering and scattering the few students who had a free hour so soon after breakfast. It was clear to all that he was searching for something or someone and in a foul mood. His actions almost stopped a small group of Slytherins from approaching him.

"What?" Tom snapped, fury still barely held in check.

"My lord, I believe you were interested in Professor Umbridge?" The Slytherin Prefect asked carefully after delivering a slight bow.

"Where?" Tom demanded sharply, earning a satisfied smirk from the small group of students.

"Several students tricked her into re-entering her office after adding a slight refinement to the Weasley twins' prank." The Prefect delivered almost without allowing the smugness to enter her voice.

"Oh?" Tom asked, intrigued despite himself.

"Yes. There is a multi-layered silencing charm up around the office, as well as half a dozen locking and sealing charms and spells on her door. The moment she was... persuaded to re-enter her office a slow trickle of the new Weasley product, powder of darkness began and several... overly aggressive bludgers apparently broke free from their bindings. I believe that she is currently facing at least 8 Boggarts in pitch black, which will not fade until 4 hours after the last grain of powder falls, while 3 or 4 overly aggressive bludgers use her for target practice. Oh, yes, and her windows have been both charmed unbreakable and sealed with multiple locking and sealing charms." The Prefect informed him smugly. "I don't believe anyone has bothered to check on her since she re-entered her office about 3 hours ago. Of course the staff, lead by Professor McGonagall, was informed that she had a Boggart in her office but they presumed that the Defense Professor would have no trouble vanquishing it."

"Thank you for the warning. Should she manage to leave the grounds there is now a 10,000 Galleon price on her head, preferably alive but dead is satisfactory." Tom informed the suddenly very pale students shortly as he headed for the woman's office.

"Wonder what happened?" One of the asked in a hushed tone.

"Potter is probably hurt again." Another student answered. "I sort of feel sorry for her. She wont have anything close to a quick death."

"I'd rather just keep Potter safe then have to deal with the Dark Lord on a proper tear." The first one said fervently as every student in earshot agreed, silently and otherwise.

"He finds out about the Quidditch distractions and we'll all have a bit of a problem." A passing Hufflepuff 5th year pointed out causing the other students to shiver in fear.

Tom on the other hand was finally stalking his way down the defense corridor with murder on his mind until he ran smack dab into the wards and spells that the Slytherin Prefect had warned him about. With a slight growl of frustration for being temporarily denied his prey he started to dismantle them. By the time he was half way through taking them down he could faintly hear the screams of one Delores Jane Umbridge.

Tom practically reveled in the screams as he finished taking down the imprisoning spellwork. When he finally opened the door to the woman's office a cloud of black smoke-like substance roiled out into the hall to settle at knee height as it spread down the corridor and beyond. Tom also had to quickly duck an over active bludger before simply casting a curse at each bludger he saw and melting or shattering them.

Tom was annoyed with discovering the need to charm the windows open, and over-power the spells that were in place to keep them shut. What he found when he finally located Umbridge in the remaining knee high dark smoke produced by the powder was a gibbering wreck. She crawled over to him sobbing and clutched at his robes, thanking him over and over again until he finally kicked her away in disgust and carefully closed off his connection to his husbands using Occlumency. There was no need for them to be bothered with what happened to the pink creature after all.

"You should never have touched my husband." Tom hissed menacingly at the woman, making her freeze in place.

"But.. but... but..." She gibbered, trying to come up with some kind of defense.

"Oh, no. Don't even bother. You wont leave this room alive." Tom said sadistically as he raised his wand and cast the first Crucio, forcing a long scream out of the pink clad woman writhing in pain at his feet.

The next thing he used was an Entrail-Expelling Curse cast simultaneously with a Blood Boiling Curse. He watched impassively as her intestines exploded from her stomach and her blood visibly boiled in and around the wound as she screamed. Next he used a spell one of his husbands had created to carve her into pieces, Sectumsempra. Every time she fainted he made absolutely certain to carefully cast Enervate so that she could feel herself dying. By the time he had cast Sectumsempra she was already bleeding out and the very pink office was painted very very red in her blood. Humming slightly Tom carefully conjured meat hooks and set them hanging from the ceiling before carefully mounting each selection of meat, a leg, an arm, half her torso, on a hook. The center hook, directly facing the doorway had her head perfectly mounted, face pristine with a final look of utter horror and pain.

Idly casting cleaning charms over himself to clear away the blood. He also decided to carve his personal mark into the dead woman's forehead as a warning to others. Tom carefully set wards that would only allow staff or 7th year students to pass on the door to the woman's office, with a particular flare of warning for everyone except Dumbledore. He very carefully made his way down to their quarters, stripped, burned what he had been wearing, took a long hot shower then, after getting dressed in new robes, re-joined Severus and Harry in the infirmary. Everyone heeded the warning and wards placed on Umbridge's office door, as a result it was Dumbledore who finally found the body just after dinner time, or what was left of it. Umbridge's death and the apparent method of her demise would bring Dumbledore nightmares until the day he finally died.

Chapter Text

"Moody? What are you doing here?" Remus asked in confusion. They were at the customs office for international portkeys and floo transportation.

"I was held prisoner in my own damned trunk for a year and then wake up in some god forsaken Albanian forest with a note pinned to my chest saying I owed Harry Potter a life debt, courtesy of a dead man. That's what I'm doing here." Moody growled out, too tired to censor his words and emotions.

"Harry?" Remus asked startled. "What about Harry?"

"If the Death Eater had his way Potter was entered into the Tri-wizard Tournament under a fourth school and met the Dark Lord at the end of the Third Task." Moody growled out. "He was fairly talkative for a dead man. I suppose he thought I'd be dead before he had to worry about anything he said to me."

"Excuse me? You know each other?" A custom officer asked politely.

"Yes, he's an Auror from Britain." Remus said in confusion. "He's retired and a bit paranoid because of some of the Dark Wizards he's chased but otherwise..."

"Thanks a lot Lupin." Moody growled out in disgust. "Why don't you just advertise the fact that I'm here and trying to get back. I'm fairly certain whoever dumped me in that forest would be happy to know I'm having trouble getting through customs."

"I see. Does he know Monsieur Dumbledore as well?" She asked carefully.

"Yes. I have no idea how he ended up here. He was supposed to be helping teach Defense at Hogwarts." Lupin explained, puzzled.

"You have not been well informed? You have not read the papers?" She asked puzzled in her own right.

"I got dumped in the Albanian wilderness and he was talking with a clan of Werewolves for some blasted reason." Moody pointed out gruffly. "Where would we have gotten a newspaper? And what does the news have anything to do with us going home?"

"Ah. One moment. I must speak with my, what do you call it? Superviseur." She told them politely then hustled off to explain what she understood of the situation about the two men and their situation. When she returned they were smiling far too brightly. "We apologize for the inconvenience. Here are your customs passes. Enjoy your holiday!" Puzzled, they took their waivers and proceeded to the floo connection.

"They have no idea what kind of shit storm they're walking into." The supervisor said mournfully, receiving a sad nod from the customs agent as they watched the two men finally floo back to English soil.

~

The school was filled with gossip the next morning about what Tom might have done once he found Umbridge and the fact that no one had seen her since Tom returned to the infirmary with a satisfied smirk. Harry was back to being human and feeling oddly satisfied that morning. He managed to recognize that part of it was from the bond. The other part was from his oddly violent dream last night about Umbridge's death. For some strange reason Harry thought that if someone, such as one of his husbands had actually followed through and made his dream reality, no matter how bizarre, he'd be okay with it since it was Umbridge who died. Harry was annoyed to notice that the people bearing his mark and sitting at the same table kept taking away food and trying it before returning it so he could eat. No one was really surprised when Dumbledore summoned the podium at the end of breakfast.

"Students of Hogwarts, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the death of one of our staff. Professor Umbridge was discovered dead in her office last night, in a rather gruesome manner. I ask that any student or staff who knows something of the events which led up to this unfortunate incident to step forward. I also ask that anyone who might know who has done such a terrible act to report their suspicions." Dumbledore said solemnly, unable to glance at Tom because of the placement of the podium. "It is with a heavy heart that I once more take up the role of Headmaster. I also ask that you report anything in regards to the whereabouts of the Gellert Grindelwald and his group as they haven't been seen for some time. Thank you." Before he could put away the podium a tentive 3rd year Ravenclaw stood up, trying to get his attention.

"Yes, my dear?" Dumbledore asked politely.

"I saw the walls move in the third floor corridor and trap Dark Lord Grindelwald and his escort, sir. It was a while ago and something, a spell I think, kept me from saying anything. I've been terrified that the castle might decide to trap me too." The Ravenclaw admitted.

"Nonsense." Flitwick dismissed. "The castle has only ever trapped someone who might be a danger to the castle residents. The few times a student has wandered into a disused or sealed corridor or passage the castle herself summons one of the staff to retrieve the student. I believe the reference to the behavior is documented in Hogwarts: A History, in chapter 7. The castle will not trap you or eat you unless you pose a danger to those living in the castle and clearly don't belong."

"Though, if the castle thinks you need to stick around but wont on your own, it does occasionally stick someone in its version of storage." Peeves said from up near the cealing.

"Storage?" Dumbledore asked the ghost politely, eyes steely.

"I've come across a wizard or two who were placed in enchanted sleeps and the like then stored in areas of my hidden chamber. Rowena once found one left on her bed. Her reaction was violent but amusing." Peeves told them as he remembered. "Sometimes the castle feels you need to stick around but don't have the option unless its forced. If the castle feels strongly enough about it, she will take matters into her own hands."

"Thank you for that information." Dumbledore said. "Now I believe you all have classes? Potion Master Snape? Mr. Riddle? Might I see you after breakfast?"

Dumbledore recieved short nods in return, even as Harry was forced to hurry off to his first class of the day. Harry didn't find out until later that Dumbledore had finally granted Tom's original request to become the Defense teacher, on the condition that the curse on the position was removed immediately. There was a silent tact agreement not to investigate Umbridge's death. Tom's warning about threatening his husbands had been very clear and only Harry had stopped him from carrying it out up until that point.

Even Dumbledore could not gain say his reaction to the attempted poisoning. What he could and did point out however chilled both Severus and Tom to the bone. Tom had left his mark half out of habit and half as a warning against hurting his husbands. Dumbledore had obliterated all traces of it from the body before calling the Aurors, if only to use as a hold over Tom, Severus, and Harry. He made it very clear that he was no longer willing to play softball with the trio. Severus called an emergency DA meeting that same night...

"Okay, we're here. What was so important that you barely gave us time to make sure we could make it." Someone complained.

"I have no idea. Severus was the one to mark the date and time." Harry told them, wondering where exactly his husbands were. That's when they walked through the door to the Room of Requirement, arguing too softly for anyone to hear.

"Sir?" Hermione asked tentatively, bringing the two back to reality from their argument.

"Today we will be learning detection spells." Severus announced. "Should any of you wish a review of Antidotes and Healing potions, see me after the meeting."

"The fact that the three of us were nearly poisoned easily show the general lack of knowledge about detection spells and the complacency we have all fallen into." Tom informed them frowning. "This is not acceptable. A properly performed detection spell can save your life or the life of your comrades. None of you are leaving this room until you have mastered casting at least 3 separate detection spells."

"We expect you to use them before consuming any food or drink from now on. Practice until it becomes second nature and you cast it automatically when presented with any kind of food or drink. If you can cast it wandless and wordless even better." Severus told them severely. "Should your teachers or Head of House object to the time being taken for this lesson, you will direct them to discuss it with Tom or me."

"We will be testing you at random for the rest of the year by spiking your food and drink." Tom warned them. "For the time being we will avoid actual poison. Detection spells can also be used to detect potions and other unwanted additives, including Weasley products. If you find yourself pranked by one of their food items you will add it to your tally as a fail. Each tally sheet will be turned in either at the beginning of each meeting or during Defense class as I am the new professor. Consider this as part of your normal class work and respond as such if asked. Any slacking on the tally sheets will be grounds for banning you from the DA and for a detention."

"This is no laughing matter." Severus told them solemnly. "For those of you bearing a mark participation is mandatory. You will also attend any lesson I give on antidotes and healing potions. Years 1st through 3rd will be required to pair with older years for any and all meals until they have mastered the spells in single cast form. You will be learning the words and wand movements regardless."

"Detection spells will generally provide a visible color to indicate the status of whatever is being tested. Some of the more rare detection spells will only provide the color to the caster's eyes, meaning it is invisible to all but the caster. The coloring can be personalized but I wouldn't recommend it." Tom instructed. "Most of the time when casting a Detection spell the colors are fairly set. Blue means there has been no tampering of any kind. Red generally means poison or at least intent to harm. Green generally means that the food was tampered with but the substance isn't poison and had no harmful intent when added. Intent is a major factor when detecting the tampering in a magical fashion. Someone can add a poison to a person's food or drink with the full intent and belief that it will help causing a mixed signal. This mixed signal always defaults to the more dangerous reading as a safety precaution. As a result any poison will always read as Red. A different type of detection spell gives the caster a visual symbol representing whoever tampered with the food and/or what was added. You will be taught all three types in both combination and singly."

"For demonstration purposes and for you to practice we will be providing certain drinks and foods tonight. Do NOT consume them. Some of them are in fact poisoned." Severus explained as he first conjured several tables, placing them end to end, then unshrunk the picnic basket with the doctored food and drink before serving it out in front of them. "The first spell you use is always the basic detector. This will give you a general idea if something has been tampered with and if there is poison present. The second spell if the first does not respond as blue, is the more specific identifier. Depending upon preference and if the first spell produced Red, you will want to either attempt to identify with what your food item was tampered with or the one who tampered. This detection method works best in a tri-cast, that is casting all three spells in a single fluid connected cast. Once you have mastered the single form, at request, one of us will teach you the tri-cast form."

The lesson moved on from there. Not a single student lower than 3rd year failed to master the single cast form of all three detection spells by 2 am and every single one mastered both wand movement and pronunciation. This was largely thanks to the fact that once Harry understood the spells, he could teach them, even if he couldn't actually cast it himself yet. Harry mastered the spells first in single cast form around midnight, then mastered the tri-cast form 45 minutes later. The various Heads of House were understandably irate about the breaking of curfew, but not a single point was lost or detention given. The next morning every last staff member except for Severus and Tom were shocked to watch over half the school casting detection charms over their food and drink in the great hall. More than one goblet or pile of eggs glowed green. Anything that glowed Green was left untouched by every DA student in the hall...

Chapter Text

The moment the first detection spell was cast the students had the immediate attention of the staff. The Weasley twins had taken the warning during the DA meeting as carte blanche to lace the breakfast foods of all tables, even the staff table. As a result it became very clear who was a part of the DA and who wasn't. Those who had been at the meeting avoided any food or drink that hadn't glowed blue. Where as those who knew nothing about detection spells figured that this was something like the color changing spell, amusing but harmless, a few of them took from the food and drink that had glowed green.

Those students who took from the "green" food had various effects occur almost immediately. A Ravenclaw girl suddenly had hair that was 6 ft. long and various shades of bright orange and pink. A Hufflepuff 3rd year ran afoul of some chopped and fried potatoes that had puking pasties mixed into them. A Gryffindor 7th year suddenly started glowing bright neon green. Every single pumkin juice in the hall had glowed green and every DA member refused to touch it, with more than one of them looking at their goblets mournfully. Not a single Slytherin student took from any food or drink that did not glow blue.

"Headmaster if I may?" Tom asked politely.

"Are you responsible for this?" Albus asked, almost too politely. "I must say that pranking students at breakfast and teaching them detection spells is a bit unusual, Tom."

"May I or may I not address the students?" Tom asked patiently.

"Very well." Dumbledore said reluctantly after staring at him hard for a moment. Tom nodded his thanks and stood, before letting off a loud BANG from his wand to get everyone's attention.

"The pumpkin juice is fine. Its standard procedure to doctor it to help prevent accidental and unplanned pregnancies. For those of you who remembered to cast the second detection charm along with the first, 1 point to each of you. For those of you who forgot to cast anything, 1 point from each of you and I'd better find a fail marked on your tally sheets. You need only worry about your pumpkin juice if the standard contraceptive isn't what registers on the second detection spell or, of course, if it flares red." Professor Riddle informed the school. "We will continue with these random detection spell tests throughout the rest of the year. For those of you not in the Defense group you will be learning the detection spells in class over the next week. Failure to learn these spells is an automatic failure for the course this year. 1st year through 3rd you will have to learn the wand movements and pronunciation. Extra credit for actually mastering the spells before the year ends. I apologize for interrupting your breakfast with an impromptu defense lesson."

"And why are you teaching them detection spells? I hardly think that they are necessary, Tom." Dumbledore asked looking over the top of his glasses as Tom sat back down in his seat.

"We are teaching them detection spells because I and my husbands were nearly poisoned in the infirmary the other day." Severus bit out. "In fact Harry was poisoned trying to protect us. If I had not known where Poppy keeps her antidote kit he would be dead!" This pronouncement made most of the staff table gasp in shock.

"The only reason we three are alive, is that Harry was still in the form of a Labrador Retriever and was able to smell the poison in our foods." Tom said, eyes glittering in anger. "Poppy had been drugged and it worked just the way it was designed. The sedative kicked in right after she delivered our food to us. Had the poison managed to take proper hold in any of the three of us, the bond would have immediately drawn on the other two. If the poison was fast enough, and lethal enough all three of us would be dead within moments of the poison being introduced to one of our systems."

"Is that why you killed Delores?" Albus asked lightly before biting into his breakfast steak, causing the entire staff table to still, waiting on an answer.

"No. I don't know for certain that she was the one to try and poison us. I only know that she had harmed Harry and attacked him with intent to kill. Or did you think we had ended up in the hospital wing with such perfectly mirrored injuries by accident?" Tom practically mocked, taking a bite of his own breakfast.

"She was dead the moment she aimed to openly kill a student, even under the guise of simply killing the pet of one for no reason." Severus pointed out. "The castle would never have allowed her to leave alive after such an attack, as you well know. She simply allowed Tom first strike as family to the injured party. He took it. What more is there to say?"

"Those clauses haven't been enacted or enforced for more than a century, Severus." Minerva pointed out with a slight gasp.

"Which is why the Headmaster felt it prudent to keep a... record of the incident." Tom said calmly. Firing his return shot for Dumbledore's move about teaching restrictions due and a minor refusal to properly investigate Umbridge's death. "A record I might add he has made perfectly clear that he is willing to turn over to the Aurors should any explanations over my teaching methods or choices become... unsatisfactory. I wonder what he would be willing to do to the rest of you should you displease him. Severus? I find that I am no longer hungry. If you still wish to assist with the detection spell lessons today, I will be in my office working on my lesson plans." With that final bug placed in the ear of the other staff Tom stood and headed for his office, an office that had been covered in blood less than 48 hours ago.

"You shouldn't have forced him to use Umbridge's office." Severus said pointedly in a quiet tone. "It reminds him of how much he enjoyed the bloodshed. Bloodshed and bloodlust that both Harry and I have worked hard to curtail in him. Be very careful Headmaster, if you provoke him, Harry and I may not be able to stop him."

"Evidence to the contrary Severus." Dumbledore said brightly. He dimmed slightly when he caught sight of Severus shaking his head no.

"If he had really wanted to act, we could have done very little except get trapped in a protective bubble by him and kept out of harms way." Severus told the Headmaster bluntly. "Bond or no bond, Tom Riddle is still a man of convictions and is still a Dark Lord. He's just willing to be relatively reasonable about it all now. Excuse me. I'm finding that I have also lost my appetite."

Severus then very pointedly followed his husband out of the hall. Nothing much happened aside from the entire school learning and starting to cast the detection spells at every meal until just before winter holidays began. The day after the last of the classes had finished dawned with a cold, snowy morning on the other hand was a slightly different matter...

Everyone was seated, and enjoying their breakfasts, detection spells already cast, successfully and unsuccessfully, when the door swung open dramatically. Harry, Tom, and Severus could have sworn they faintly feel a giggle through the stones under their feet. They were quickly distracted by the very official looking group that came through the doors. Strangely enough, the group seemed to be a mix of wizards and muggles who had been charmed able to see the magic of Hogwarts. There were a number of people dressed as if they were royalty, or close to it, or in some type of livery.

The muggleborns and half-bloods raised to be aware of the muggle world immediately recognized the crests on more than one of the group. They quickly scrambled to their feet and dragged some of their pure-blood friends with them. The pure-bloods on the other hand were puzzled that so many pure-blood families had a representative in the visiting group.

They could all see the Malfoys near the head of the group. It was clear that the group had met previously and discussed how to present themselves because the Malfoys stepped forward in front of the rest of the group. A discreet hand sign brought Draco to his father's side, dragging a confused Hermione with him. The Malfoy Lord bent his head to quickly listen to the brief, quiet, reminder that both Draco and Hermione now bore Harry's fealty mark. Lucius nodded sharply and quickly, mentally rearranged his ritual wording before he gestured for the two of them to stand with Narcissa and they obeyed.

"My lords of Hogwarts, I and my companions bring gifts to celebrate your marriage and the coming of the Yule tide season." Lucius said formally as he stepped forward. "I am afraid that I was unaware you had taken my heir and his sister as boon companions. For the lack of a gift in accordance with the regard you hold my children in, I deeply apologize and beg you to let me make ammends at a later time." The moment the first phrase was out of Lucius' mouth Tom stood and quickly got his husbands to stand with him at the edge of the dais the staff table was sitting on, facing the group.

"The fault was not yours, another holds the blame." Tom carefully informing him, ritually excusing Lucius his gaff and getting a sinking feeling about his continued lack of communication with his people outside of Hogwarts.

"My thanks." Lucius said inclining his head slightly to indicate a bow, before quickly motioning his family minus Severus forward.

Severus was not included as part of the Malfoy family in this ritual because the marriage bond was initiated before the adoption. As a result the ritual conventions required them to act as if he were not a member of the Malfoy family. They were, however, allowed to stand as family and act as go betweens and take on all other familial responsibilities in regards to the marriage and they had done just that. For the actual presentation of gifts and salutaions the Malfoys had to approach the trio as one pure-blood family of equal rank to another.

"As your bonding took an unusual route we were unprepared to present our congratulations when we learned of it." Lucius continued the belayed wedding ritual smoothly. "We, and others who have learned of your bonding, now come to you to present our congratulations and gifts to express our joy at your bonding."

"I'm sorry, but this has gone too far already. I cannot allow..." Dumbledore began before he was quickly hit with a silencing spell by at least half the staff and an incarcerous by the other half, pinning him in his chair, silently fuming. Completely ignoring the Headmaster Lucius continued his part of the ritual presentation.

"As is proper, since the decision to adopted one of you was made before we were aware of the bonding, we have taken on the necessary familial duties before arranging for the presentation." Lucius clarified, partly for those present who weren't familiar with the gifting ritual and partly to explain to those who were why they had taken an unusual position if they were family. "Most gifts have been set aside for you to peruse at your leisure. The British Royal family, however, has sent its own gift in recognition of your bonding and of your kinship through Salazar Slytherin." This last little tid bit made almost the entire room stiffen.

"I... was unaware of the connection." Tom said almost too softly, causing Lucius to give a slight nod in acknowledgement and agreement. A man dressed in robes carrying the Royal seal stepped forward.

"The connection is not well known but it breeds true none-the-less, Lord Hogwarts." The man said.

"Who might you be?" Severus asked almost menacing with that smooth voice of his.

"My apologies, Lord Hogwarts. I am most often referred to as Sarg. My given name is Sargento Alec McGuire. I have served on Her Majesties wizarding protection detail for more than a decade until recently. I and my team were tasked with investigating those remaining of Slytherin's line when the family tapestry flared and held four new names. To prevent excessive confusion I will use the birth names that appeared, not the current standing names, which also appear on the tapestry." Sarg informed them and waited until all three of them had nodded their understanding.

"Tom Marvolo Riddle, Hermione Jean Dumbledore-Grindelwald, Severus Tobias Snape, and Harry James Potter were all listed under the Slytherin branch with the marking showing that you had been hidden until confirmed. Hermione's name additionally bore the mark that she had gained the bloodline from being carried to term by one born to the line. As you know this automatically places her as a cadet branch behind all born to the bloodline unless the current Head of the family designates a different position or she is blood adopted by a family member." Sarg reminded them.

"The relative bloodline distance and the blessing of magic allowed the bonding, in fact it could even be said that your bonding was encouraged. What we found so additionally unsettling, aside from the treatment of 3 of the 4 hidden heirs after investigating, was that the actions of the night of Oct. 31, 1981 triggered a very old prophecy that matched its self to the one being acted upon. We were unaware of the fact a prophecy was involved with the events of that night until recently when the royal prophecy brought it to our attention by literally having the writing appear on the scroll before the wording of the one we were aware of." Sarg said carefully. "Both combined prophecies are to be made available to the three of you and any you favor upon request." Some sort of Duke stepped forward just as Sarg finished his explanation.

"Lords of Hogwarts, on behalf of the House of Windsor, the British Royal family, I present these deeds, both mundane and magical into your care. The lands and vaults are gifted into your care and the care of your line." The Duke informed them formally presenting them with several ornately sealed and ribboned scrolls.

Both Tom and Severus came forward to carefully accept the scrolls, one of them discretely tugging Harry with them. They still hadn't had a chance to drill him in pure-blood and muggle noble etiquette, but Harry picked up on what he was supposed to do fairly quickly and followed along. Each carefully took one of the scrolls and opened it. What each of them found floored them, and caused Severus to hiss in shock. Tom held the magical deed to Hogwarts herself and her grounds. Severus held the deed to the surrounding area for close to 20 miles in all directions. Harry held a notice showing the transfer of 3 separate Gringotts vaults to their married name from that of the House of Windsor. Every single scroll held the official seal of the British crown, and the corresponding confirmation seal of Gringotts. These were valid in both worlds, magical and mundane.

"Our thanks." Tom practically choked out. "You have no idea what this means to the three of us."

Severus and Harry each quickly snuck a glance at the scroll that Tom held and barely kept their own shock from showing. What they didn't manage to hide was the way their shoulders just slightly relaxed in unconscious relief. Hogwarts was home and always would be. Now, no one could take it from them.

What none of them knew was that Hogwarts herself had asked the group to present the deed to her reigning lords when they arrived to give them the deed to the surrounding country. When the three had accepted the land deed to the castle and its grounds the final legal initiation portion of the bond had completed. All that was left was to pour some of the latent magic in the stones of the building its self into her new lords and complete the magical portion of sealing the bond. The very sealing that had begun when they had consummated their marriage bond in the Room of Requirement. Unnoticed by all the flag stones began to softly glow.

"To show our appreciation, I ask you to join us in our meal." Tom said carefully.

"We thank you and accept your generous offer." Lucius answered for the group.

Tom nodded carefully and motioned Severus to join him as they jointly conjured a table for the visiting group, just beyond where the house tables sat. The table was all elegant swirls and beautiful plant image inlays. The wood was a dark stained mahogany with a mix of Gold, Silver, and Ivory used for the inlays. The chairs had matching carvings and were also made of mahogany but with a lighter stain.

As soon as the conjuration was stable enough the elves sent up gold washed dishes and silverware. Each goblet was carved Ebony with vine carvings and silver inlays. After enjoying a wonderful breakfast, courtesy of Hogwarts, the presentation group took their leave. Draco had quietly explained what was happening to Hermione during the meal just as Tom and Severus had done for Harry.

The glow of the stones had increased in minute increments as they quietly completed the public portion of the wedding gifting ritual and ate breakfast. Almost the moment the presentation group was out the main doors the light from the stones flared, then turned into streams heading for Harry, Tom, and Severus. A single strand of power split off and headed for Hermione, but no one noticed until it tried to climb through a minor cut she had just received while eating breakfast. Hermione's scream was the first indication that something was wrong.

"HERMIONE!" Harry shouted.

Harry ignored the magic flowing toward him, slamming his way through the strands of power to his sister to wrap his arms around her and simply pulled. Harry pulled and pulled and pulled until he'd managed to drag the foreign power from her body and blood, dumping it as fast as he could into the stones beneath their feet. By the time Harry had started dumping power into the stones of Hogwarts his husbands had him and Hermione wrapped in their arms and were also pulling and dumping power into the stones until the entire group was glowing with power.

Hermione had passed out by the time they had finished drawing the power of Hogwarts out of Hermione and the stone had flowed up in a protective waist height half-cocoon around them. As the power drained away there was a flash as Hogwarts finalized the magical portion of the seal, forever binding her Lords to her. Poppy quickly got them to the infirmary. As far as she could tell they were fine, but not a single member of the school was willing to leave the grounds until they had woken up 3 days later. When the parents learned of the delay from letters sent out by Professor McGonagall and the reasons behind it and the fact that the staff was willing to accommodate any needed changes the parents allowed the delay or joined their children at the school to wait for the three to awaken...

Chapter Text

Tom, Harry, and Severus awoke slowly to the sights, sounds, and smells of the hospital wing. There was a slight hissing of worry which seemed to be coming from under Tom's bed and a soothing trill coming from the head of Harry's bed. The stones of the wing hummed in a low, almost subliminal, sound of satisfaction. They could hear a low conversation coming from somewhere in the wing as they each tiredly pried their eyes open.

Harry groaned, his entire body was sore. He could hear two answering low groans coming from either side. The Castle had kept taking down the privacy curtains between their beds while they slept until Poppy had finally given up on keeping them in place and simply settled for the curtain around the three beds that Hogwarts had allowed. Harry of course was in his usual bed but was glad to see that Sev and Tom had been placed in the beds to either side of him. Even if he felt a little odd yet very greatful that there were no separating curtains between the three. Fawkes chirped when he saw them waking up and Nagini quickly slithered out from under Tom's bed and up onto it next to him.

"~Stupid. Stupid. Stupid Hatchlings!~" Nagini harangued. "~You do NOT play with the stone power without me or the firey birds to help! Stupid Hatchlings!~"

"What are you going on about?" Severus moaned, not realizing he was speaking the wrong language even as the snake continued to harangue them.

"Wrong language, Sev." Tom gritted out, trying his best to force back his migraine by force of will alone, even as he hissed a response to his familiar. "~Nagini, unless you have something to say that will ease the pain the three of us are clearly in, kindly shut up!~"

"~Stupid Hatchlings. Be glad the firey bird and I got to you before the stupid humans. The old one wanted to make the killing light but instead made a light that held/confined and burned. The firey bird ate it and became a hatchling.~" Nagini informed them.

"{I am a phoenix, not a fiery bird.}" Fawkes trilled/mind spoke to the three and through them to Nagini, even as a sharp hoot came from next to him, showing that even Hedwig was there.

"One of the other names that phoenixes carry is Firebird." Severus pointed out, gritting his own teeth against the pain. "Now would one of you mind either doing something about the pain or getting Poppy? Please?" The please gave both creatures pause before a final glare between them signaled the cease fire.

"{I will retrieve the nesting one.}" Fawkes said haughtily, despite his body still being just barely able to fly by now, but he moved fast enough when Harry moaned again. Fawkes quickly flew into Madam Pomfrey's office, snatched her nurse's hat and flew back to his spot at the head of Harry's bed, dropping the hat on Harry for her to retrieve.

"Honestly, Fawkes. You could have simply trilled sharply three times. I know its difficult for you, but your body hasn't aged quite enough yet to be flying again so soon." Poppy scolded lightly as she retrieved her hat and quickly scanned all three. "And how are the three of you feeling now that you've finally woken up?"

"Can I have a pain potion? Please?" Harry asked quietly, gaining a sharp look from the nurse. Harry never asked for a pain potion unless he was hurting fairly badly.

"I believe we are all in need of pain potions, Madam." Severus said almost stiffly.

"The bond changed again. I can tell that we're all in pain and even what type and where but we aren't mirroring the pain anymore." Tom pointed out softly. "At best I'm feeling an almost perfect echo from along the bond but I can tell it is an echo from the bond and not my own pain."

"{Good! Mirroring injuries is dangerous.}" Fawkes trilled.

"{Hogwarts didn't understand that it was hurting my boy and his mates.}" Hedwig hooted, startling the trio so badly that they nearly fell out of bed. "{We had to explain it to her.}"

"And what caused that reaction?" Poppy asked, eyebrows raised.

"Hedwig... she just, talked!" Harry stammered.

"Ah, the familiar bond is finally formalizing for you? Good. I'd been getting worried about it." Poppy said promptly.

"{Or the familiar bond formalized nearly instantly and I felt that my boy needed more time to adapt to magic and the wizarding world. Besides, the fat creatures and the walking stick would have hurt my boy further if they had known I understood. I would have been dead unless my boy had gotten me outside and taken a worse beating for getting me out. I couldn't let that happen.}" Hedwig pointed out, causing the eyes of all three males to go wide.

"You aren't a snowy owl." Severus accused softly, trying not to make his head hurt any worse than it already was.

"{No. I am what you would call an Ice Phoenix.}" Hedwig said smugly.

"An Ice Phoenix?" Harry asked in wonder, causing Madam Pomfrey to start and look at Hedwig in shock.

"Which explains so very much." Poppy muttered under her breath as she continued to examine them.

"You all seem fine, but the amount of magic you three channeled and the fact that you've been unconscious for 3 days bothers me. You'll stay here for at least another day for observation before I'll even consider releasing you. If you have any symptoms of any kind you are to inform me immediately, and no hiding the fact that you have them." She told them sternly. "Its my job to fix them and I cannot fix them if I do not know the symptoms are there for me to treat. Have I made myself perfectly clear?"

"Yes, Madam Pomfrey." They chorused, with various shades of reluctance and resignation in their voices.

"Rest. I'll get you each those pain potions." Poppy told them with a sigh. "You can call me or one of your familiars can come and get me if something happens between now and the next time I check on you. I would prefer it wasn't the snake that came to get me but that's simply a personal preference." She bustled away and came back with a pain potion for each of them before retreating to her office.

"~The icy bird and the fiery bird helped keep the old one away. Especially after the nesting one moved you here.~" Nagini informed them. "~Only the ones with the special mark were allowed near, and the nesting one because the marked ones brought her. A squeaky creature tried to come near. I made it go away.~"

"~Did you eat it?~" Tom hissed sharply in worry.

"~No, it went too far from you. I will not leave injuried hatchlings unguarded, especially not my hatchlings.~" Nagini hissed almost viciously. "~The squeaky creature kept coming back. It tried to make me follow.~"

"{You don't think I am good enough to guard our humans?}" Fawkes demanded.

"{Remember he still couldn't hear us yet.}" Hedwig soothed.

"~You ate the bad light from the old one. You turned into a hatchling. How is a hatchling supposed to guard other hatchlings?~" Nagini asked pointedly. "~The icy bird did not arrive in the big eating room.~"

"{I was blocked by the one you call the old one.}" Hedwig pointed out in frustration. "{He's been blocking my access to my boy for years. I haven't yet managed to get close enough to scratch out his eyes for putting my boy in danger so much. He's sly like a fox, and just as dangerous as those hatchling eating creatures.}"

"Anyone else think this is a bit, I dunno, strange?" Harry asked tentatively.

"Not really, but then I've been arguing with Nagini for years." Tom admitted with a sigh. "Try to get some sleep. We have to watch out for anything the old man might try and we don't have any way to prove that his spell would have been harmful for us, even though it forced Fawkes to go through a burning. Perhaps we should leave the castle for the holidays, if only to get away from the old goat for a while." The castle stones suddenly lost their contented hum, startling the six by the sudden absolute silence.

"Okay. That was weird." Harry admitted, more than a little bit bothered by the sudden absolute silence.

"I don't think that Dumbledore will let us leave." Severus said slowly. "He enjoys controlling a situation and the people involved in it too much."

"Ah! Wonderful! I'm glad to see the three of you are feeling better!" Dumbledore said as he opened the surrounding privacy curtains. This caused all three to start and made them all cringe just a bit at the realization that he must have been listening to what little of the conversation he could understand.

"How long have you been standing there, Albus?" Severus scowled.

"I heard that you planned to leave the castle for the holidays. I really don't think that would be wise." Dumbledore said pointedly in an almost jovial fashion.

"And why not?" Sev asked crossly. "We're perfectly within our rights to leave for the holidays."

"Have you forgotten that part of your teaching contracts already? As Headmaster I have the right to request and require any and all staff members to remain and watch over students who choose to remain for the holidays. Tom is teaching defense, and as Potions Master you are still considered a part of the staff Severus. Besides, with the Dursleys missing young Mr. Potter has no where to go for the holidays." Dumbledore informed them smugly.

"I could go stay with Sirius." Harry said stubbornly.

"A convicted criminal? Harry, my boy, no one would allow a regular student to stay with someone on the run muchless the Savior of the Wizarding World." Dumbledore told him pityingly. "No, with your relatives missing you have no where to go. It is my duty as Headmaster to ensure that you would be returning home to your caretakers or had permission from those same caretakers to go home with a friend to their family. I am afraid that the situation is still too dangerous to allow that. You are still in danger my boy."

"I'm not your boy." Harry said viciously.

"No, you're not." Sev agreed, eyes glittering.

"You're our boy." Tom said pointedly. "Our husband. We're all adults and have every right to leave the grounds should we so choose."

"Except you have yet to officially take up the powers and responsibilities as the Lords of Hogwarts. As a result the Board of Governors and I, as the Headmaster, still hold control." Dumbledore said sharply. "You will not leave this castle. That is my final word on the matter."

"You can't do this!" Severus practically snarled.

"You're welcome to petition the Board but the mail seems to have been a touch erratic lately." Dumbledore said lightly.

"You've been redirecting our mail!" Tom accused furiously, anger clearly felt down the bond.

"Mr. Potter's mail has always been checked before being delivered in case of harmful spells and presents." Dumbledore pointed out, eyebrows raised as if in surprise that they didn't already know this. "Of course when the marriage was confirmed Hogwarts and the Ministry extended it to his spouses. Almost nothing harmful can get through to hurt you."

"And anything from a Death Eater, known or suspected, is considered harmful." Severus said condescendingly.

"Severus, have you ever bothered checking how much mail we receive on Mr. Potter's behalf?" Dumbledore asked, eyebrows rising even higher. "Most never reach him for one reason or another, partly because he clearly had no idea who the sender is. Some of it show dangerous obsessions from the witch or wizard who sent it and the Aurors have to follow up on it in case they turn out to be dangerous. More than one threat to Harry has been dealt with because we were diligent in examining his mail. Both of you have received death threats for managing to marry him, no matter how unorthodox the method. Some sent wedding gifts, of which more than a few were cursed to the point they had to be destroyed."

"I didn't know." Harry said almost helplessly. "I never got any of them."

"Any?" Dumbledore asked in surprise. "I know for a fact that a decent number are cleared and sent on to you on a regular basis."

"None." Harry said shaking his head. "Just some of the stuff from school mates and Mrs. Weasley. Nothing else ever made it to me. Valentines day is a bit of a nightmare since some of the other students try to spell me or give me stuff with love potions in it. Almost none of it comes by owl, it just sort of shows up at my bed or place at the breakfast table."

"I'll have to look into that." Dumbledore said with a frown. "I wish you'd told me sooner."

"How could I? I didn't even know about it!" Harry asked in exasperation.

"Albus, as we were the ones to marry Harry, this is now our responsibility. Not yours, not the ministry's, ours." Severus said quietly.

"Until such time as you have officially taken up lordship of Hogwarts your wishes in this matter are irrelevant. We will continue examining your mail for threats and deal with them." Dumbledore said sharply. "Tom may meet with his people on the grounds provided there is an order member present as chaperone. I will leave you gentlemen to rest." With that he turned on his heel and walked out of the infirmary, just as Poppy managed to unstick her office door, nearly falling to the floor with the amount of force she had needed to get it open.

"Albus, if I will not let Mr. Weasley or Miss. Malfoy visit their friend, I certainly wont let you visit them. No visitors means NO VISITORS!" Poppy scolded as Dumbledore bowed his head to her slightly and swiftly left the Hospital wing to escape her.

"This is more than a bit disturbing." Severus pointed out quietly.

"Agreed." Tom scowled. "We'll have to figure out how to officially take up the lordship if nothing else. In the meantime, I doubt we're going anywhere. Harry is a student, you and I are staff."

"What difference does that make?" Harry asked.

"It means that legally Dumbledore can prevent us from leaving." Severus informed him, disgust at the Headmaster's tactics plain. That's when a tabby cat chose to jump up onto the end of Severus' bed. A very familiar tabby cat. McGonagall only took a moment to shift back into sitting in her human form on the end of Sev's bed.

"It looks like you three need a bit of help." Minerva told them, her brogue coming through thick and clear in anger at Dumbledore and clear worry over the three of them.

"Why do you care, Minnie? You never cared when we were in school." Tom asked suspiciously, earning a stern look from the Head of Gryffindor house.

"Harry is one of mine no matter that he's now a serpent, and Severus has been a dear friend for many years. I may not have agreed with your choices or tactics but its clear to me that they both love you. Harm either of them and you'll become my new scratching post, Dark Lord or no, Tom Marvolo Riddle!" She told him fiercely, just before a mark flared ripping through her clothes on her upper right arm, near the shoulder and close to the heart, making Sev groan in dismay.

"Now there will be no getting rid of you. Interfering tabby!" Severus spat, his tone far closer to relief than malice.

"If it makes you feel any better Severus, I didn't realize I was under magical review for the fealty mark." Minerva said smugly, using a quick reparo to fix her clothes. "I must admit that I'm glad I qualified, even if I have to obey any order the three of you give me."

"I'm starting to really think that the castle is the one triggering the testing process." Harry said thoughtfully. "Remember what Sev said at the Defense meeting? When Draco and Neville were marked? He said something about the castle trying to build a protective layer of people around me and you agreed."

"Harry, with how you've been treated in the past and how many dangerous situations you tend to find yourself in, building a layer of people around you to help is one of the best ways to protect and help you. Tom and I both already have certain skills and protections in place but..." Severus started to remind him only to trail off when something occured to him.

"What?" Tom asked more curious than angry. They had been trying to get Harry to understand since first arriving at Malfoy Manor for the summer.

"What if the castle knew, we would need these skills and help? What if it knew we would bond with Harry?" Severus asked slowly, before looking into the eyes of his husband. "What if the reason we didn't have the castle fighting us, but instead helping us all these years is so that we would be ready for Harry?"

The contented hum suddenly returned to the stones of the hospital wing. A moment later there was a loud grinding of stone as a stone wall grew between the beds they were laying on and the privacy curtains. They could barely hear Poppy's cry of alarm over the sound of the stone growing up around them. At the foot of Harry's bed, centered in the wall facing them, was a deep engraving.

The first two lines were easily recognizable to Tom and Severus, making them pale in recognition. They viewed both the prophecy that began the entire debacle of the Halloween when James and Lily died and the one the Royal messenger had warned them of, together. Both prophecies were clearly readable yet each prophecy was in a slightly different script, showing the fact that there were indeed two prophecies on display. Torches blazing as they bracketed the engraving, providing them all a light to read by.

 

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...
Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies...
and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...
and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...

A forming empire shall fall to the hand of a babe during a time of tame lighting.
Sister, you see only the start and the child is of the Lightning.
The bond is unbreachable when the Light which is Dark binds the babe to the emperor.
Magic alone will choose a third.
Thus will the Lords of Dark, Grey, and Light rule as one once more.

 

"My God!" McGonagall cursed in nearly pure Scottish brogue. She glanced at the three and noticed the sudden paleness in both Tom and Severus, putting two and two together.

"Which one!" She demanded.

"What one?" Harry asked puzzled.

"The first two lines of the first one." Severus said in a near whisper. His complexion nearly matching the white of his sheets. "I never heard the rest of it. Trelawny spoke it to Dumbledore during her job interview at the Hog's Head." Harry stared at his husband a moment before he connected what he was hearing with the prophecy Trelawny had spoken to him just before Pettigrew escaped and turned to stare at the engraving on the wall.

"Shite. You mean to tell me that Trelawny is the reason my pare.. parents died?!" Harry demanded, stumbling over the word parents.

"No. It was Dumbledore playing another one of his damnable chess games with human lives." Tom practically snarled, before throwing his pillow at the engraving in a fit of fury. "She merely gave him the method and reason to keep playing."

"Well. Let's work on deciphering this and worry about the Headmaster later, shall we?" McGonagall said almost primly, fury buried as deep as she could force it.

"Tom is clearly the Dark Lord and Emperor in both prophecies." Severus pointed out, focusing on the puzzle almost literally before him.

"Albus has been called the Light Lord but after thinking on his actions of late, I'm not certain that he is of the light." Minerva offered hesitantly.

"Considering that we overheard Grindelwald call him Dark and an accomplice? I think the term the Light which is Dark fits him, especially in this context." Tom said with a snort. "Harry is clearly the child of Lightning, and this speaks of our bonding."

"Which would make Severus the third and Grey Lord." Harry pointed out.

"The first prophecy isn't finished." Severus said softly.

"No. It is finished. Harry vanquished me and the fact that either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives is actually continued and at the same time solved by the bond. None of the three of us will survive the death of one of the others. The bond is too strong, and I technically died that night." Tom said almost absently as he examined the wording of the two matched prophecies. "See, even the second prophecy agrees. The bond is unbreachable when the Light which is Dark binds the babe to the emperor. The bond is unbreachable. It breaks, we die."

"Sooo, what you're saying is that Dumbledore bonded us and probably doesn't realize what he's actually done. Which is why he keeps trying to keep us apart and wants me to sleep away from you in the dormitory." Harry said slowly.

"To him, we're all chess pieces and expendable." Severus grunted sourly.

"By your own reasoning, Harry is the Lord of Light." Minerva pointed out quietly, startling the trio into a shocked silence.

"No. No, I can't be!" Harry denied it vehemently.

Before Harry could continue to deny it, the Castle made several pieces of the prophecies glow. Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies; the child is of the Lightning; A forming empire shall fall to the hand of a babe; binds the babe to the emperor; Light; Lord The final word had the S dark, even as the words glowed in this exact order. This silenced Harry for the moment on the matter as to whether or not he was the Light Lord.

"At least I get to rule, like I've always planned." Tom joked feebly.

"That's not funny Tom." Severus admonished, making Tom slump in his bed, nodding sadly in acknowledgement.

"~Stupid hatchlings.~" Nagini grumbled again from her place on Tom's bed.

"{You've made your opinion clear. Let them rest with the cat-woman creature. At least your bonded human killed the pink thing. It was a threat to my boy and his mates.}" Hedwig hooted, still perched next to Fawkes at the head of Harry's bed.

"~Harry hatchling needs to stop sneaking off to fly.~" Nagini grumbled, making Harry stiffen in sudden apprehension. "~It isn't safe.~"

"~It would hurt him to completely stop him from flying. You know perfectly well when I found out. I'm still not certain when Severus discovered it.~" Tom hissed back softly.

"~Will you finally punish Harry hatchling for flying as if trying to be hurt?~" Nagini hissed, tail thrashing in her agitation. "~You waited long enough and he still hasn't told you.~"

"~Yes, and I will punish Severus for siding so long with the old one. I will let no one take my mates from me, not even a memory.~" Tom hissed in a concilatory tone, causing his husbands to exchange slightly worried glances.

"What?" Minerva asked determinedly, knowing that she would be able to get one of them to explain if she just tried hard enough.

"Tom just promised Nagini that he's done waiting for us to tell him some things and is going to punish us for it soon." Harry admitted, blushing in embarrassment.

"If you harm them..." Minerva began, trailing off when she saw the look on Tom's face.

"Minerva, I will not risk them. If it takes me punishing them to get that through to them I will do it. Severus and Harry have both proven in the past, through various methods, that pain is not the way to punish them if I want them to remember it and obey. All three of us have had pain used against us for little to no reason." Tom explained almost gently. "Pain wont work for any of us, and is more likely to trigger a violent or dangerously submissive attitude in us than act as an appropriate deterrent. Hurting them is something I will not do unless I have no other choice. If I am forced to use pain for any reason, I and they will hate it. We've all been hurt too often. Which is one of the reasons its taken so long for me to come up with an appropriate punishment for discovering that Severus was working as a spy for the old goat; and that Harry has been flying without us there to help if the bond kicks in or something happens."

"You wont hurt them?" The Head Lioness asked warily.

"Do I need to swear on my magic?" Tom asked in aggravation. "Punishment from me in regards to my husbands will not include pain if I can in any way avoid it."

"Then what is your punishment for them?" Minerva promptly demanded.

"Severus is banned from brewing unless its for the school or an emergency, or to keep Harry and I healthy." Tom said pointedly, giving in grudgingly to her demands. "Harry is grounded for the next 2 months. No pick-up Quidditch, no flying of any kind barring emergencies. The rest will be administered in private and has nothing to do with pain."

"Good." She said as she nodded stiffly.

"They also have to help me go through all of the mail and wedding presents for at least the next several days after we're released and write thank you notes or an appropriate response." Tom said wickedly. "If there are enough packages to warrant it everyone who's part of the fealty bond will be helping."

"I look forward to it." Minerva said graciously, parrying without batting an eye.

"Can't we just have some of your Death Eaters do it?" Harry pleaded.

"If you can come up with an alternate punishment to replace it with I'll consider it." Tom said slyly, curious to know what his young husband might come up with. "Either way we still have to write thank you notes and responses to at least some of the mail. Minerva? Would you be so kind as to simply get our mail isolated and kept for us, unopened, rather than it being redirected and gone through? We haven't received any of our mail since early September."

"None?" Minerva asked in astonishment.

"None." Sev confirmed.

"Hedwig said something about the Headmaster blocking her from coming to see me." Harry offered almost shyly.

"I'll do my best, but if Dumbledore is the one interfering with your mail, there is little I can do." She warned, and received head nods in return. "Now then, we should probably try to get out of here, no matter how cozy this is. The engravings will have to go. We don't want Albus getting his hands on them."

Almost as if the Castle had been listening to everything they said the engravings melted away into the stone work before the stones and new wall its self also melted away into the floor like melting ice cream on a hot summers day. They were faced with a very surprised group of staff, wands raised as if to try blasting the wall to get to them. Minerva nodded to them bruskly before heading past them to see to her duties and her lions. The lost look on the faces of the surrounding staff made Harry burst into laughter, and both of his husbands quickly had to school their faces so that they would not join him in his mirth. Poppy quickly scanned them again and sighed.

"I don't know how the three of you keep getting into these situations but you've just extended your visit by another day." Poppy told them sternly, but even this couldn't keep the three from finding the looks on everyone's faces amusing. Poppy quickly shooed everyone out to try and let them rest...

Chapter Text

Everyone was gone now that the commotion was supposedly over and Severus knew they wouldn't get a better time to talk about what had just happened and Tom's edict.

"Tom? You can't keep doing this." Severus said quietly. "We understand that you're used to forcibly keeping control with your followers, but we aren't your followers. We're your husbands. Both Harry and I have let you try and cope with our sudden bonding in your own way and we keep getting hit from all sides, otherwise we would have brought this up with you sooner."

"You can't keep punishing us." Harry said fiercely. "I have the right to do the things I want to do. I asked the other students to help distract you so that you wouldn't worry."

"What was I supposed to say when you told Minnie what I and Nagini were talking about? She still thinks of me as the bloody Dark Lord!" Tom grumbled thunking his head into his pillow. "Did I say anything when I found out you were flying? No. We had told you our concerns and I know you've not said anything about Sev's potion experiments or the dangerous stunts I pulled. I left it alone. Just as I left Sev's brewing alone. She still thinks I'm inclined to crucio anyone who happens to upset me."

"Then you weren't serious?" Harry asked, almost hesitantly.

"Have I been that much of a controlling bastard lately?" Tom asked in wary sorrow.

"Yes." Severus said bluntly. "We both have valid reasons for wanting to make sure Harry eats but he doesn't have our experience to know what is safe and what isn't. He hasn't had the chance to live. You've been placing too many restrictions, Tom. We know you're worried, its part of why we haven't said anything, but you're starting to act like the madman again."

"Then its a good thing I was just going to insist that we be able to attend the matches from now on and complain to Minnie that you both had talked me out of the punishment." Tom said carefully.

"Tom, you know we love you but you went too far." Harry told him almost gently. "For the next week you're sleeping on the couch and no sex."

"I really went too far?" Tom asked, seeming almost child-like.

"Yes." Sev told him sadly. "If I need to I'll set a ward across our bedroom door to enforce the punishment. If you had backed off we wouldn't have had to do this."

"Fair enough." Tom conceded, almost trying to hide under his bed covers. His next words came out muffled. "We still need to look at all the mail and wedding presents."

"It can wait." Severus said with a sigh.

"If we have to it wont go for just a week and it wont just be sleeping on the couch with no sex." Harry warned. "You wont be allowed to touch us at all if you aren't careful." This pronouncement made Tom sit bolt upright in his bed and look at his husbands in an almost fearful manner.

"Please." Tom almost begged.

"Like you said. We need unusual punishments to get through to one another, but some of the normal ones that don't involve pain work just fine." Harry said softly. "This is something we wont budge on if we have to use it, Tom. Please don't make us use it. It hurts us just as much as it hurts you." Tom slumped back into his bed, already feeling the ache coming from his husbands to match his own aching heart.

"Can we at least go through the presents together?" Tom asked quietly, almost morosely. Severus sighed and pulled his wand out from under his pillow where he knew that Poppy had stored it for him. He waved his wand and slid the beds together before merging them into one bed, Harry in the center.

"You have a choice." Harry said quietly, snuggling into Sev's arms as they both looked at their husband sadly. "No sex until a week into the new term and being able to sleep in the same bed with us, or a week on the couch and no sex. If this happens again while you're being punished, you automatically go back to the couch and stay there with no sex and no touching until a week into the new term."

"You could also choose to sit in the corner like a 5 year old for a day or two and think about what you did wrong instead of losing the right to sleep in our bed." Severus offered. "The lack of sex is non-negotiable."

"How many days?" Tom asked almost hopefully.

"Three." Harry said firmly. "Or until you can prove you know what you did wrong and why it was wrong."

"You know that those habits are hard to break." Tom said carefully, trying not to make his situation worse.

"Which is why the punishment isn't worse." Harry said firmly. "Tom, enough is enough. A little forcefulness when we have sex is one thing but we are not your servants or slaves. We are your husbands."

"Can I prove to you that I'm sorry?" Tom asked. When he saw their doubtful faces he rushed to finish his offer. "No sex until the new term, I'll sit in the corner and think about what I did, and... can I still sleep in the bed?"

Harry and Severus looked at one another and nodded to each other before opening their arms and pulling him into a cuddle. They didn't realize how scared their husband had become at the threat of no touching until they felt him shivering in their arms. They knew that there would be a lot of cuddling in the near future, but they had gotten their point across and hoped they wouldn't have to do it like that again.

"Tom, we don't want to lose you to the madman again." Harry said softly. "You saw the prophecies, to stop you, we would have to die. Please don't make us choose between the madman who was once our husband and the wizarding world." Tom started shivering harder and quietly began to cry.

"Shhh, its alright, we're still here and there is a way to fix this." Severus soothed. "You have to be careful not to slip again. We don't want to hurt you. You need to remember that not everything is pain and darkness. Let us help you."

Tom's crying had brought Madam Pomfrey to peek in on them around the privacy curtain and only her own knowledge of the three young men kept her from gasping in shock. Instead she simply smiled and left them to comforting one another. Arranging for some chocolate to be served with their next meal and casting the detection charms herself to make certain that nothing tainted reached them. She quietly placed a vial of Dreamless Sleep on each tray as well as a calming draught and a pain reliever in case they were still sore, all of them had been brewed by Severus. The three young men had fallen asleep in each others arms before she could serve them their meal...

Chapter Text

The next morning the trio had a fairly steady stream of visitors and it became very apparent that McGonagall had warned the Quidditch teams that Harry was grounded. They spent a good amount of time assuring the Quidditch players that Harry was not in fact grounded. Eventually Tom got fed up with all of the questions about why McGonagall had warned them Harry was grounded.

"Are you sure you aren't grounded? Professor McGonagall was really sure." The Ravenclaw Captain asked again suspiciously.

"No, he's not." Tom said shortly.

"Tom." Harry said in warning, causing Tom to sigh and look away.

"I'm the one in trouble for pushing too hard." Tom admitted. "They've been really good about letting me try to find my balance with the bonding but I went to far."

"Umbridge?" The Ravenclaw asked quietly, the insatiable need to know kicking in and overriding his survival instincts.

"Not really." Tom said carefully.

"She was a threat." Sev said blandly. "She also broke one of the binding tenants of this school when it comes to staff. The Castle stands in judgement when a staff member attacks a student with true intent to harm or kill. She did both. Harry just happened to be her main target and Tom was given first strike as not only his spouse but Head of his family. It simply hasn't been invoked for the last hundred years or so."

"Look, just tell them that Professor McGonagall missed something and that I'm not grounded." Harry said in exasperation. "In fact would you mind asking her to come see us? Its our fault that she's got the wrong information, not hers."

"Ah, sure." The Ravenclaw told him, his possible danger finally dawning on him.

"Thanks." Harry told him with a bright smile. "The old dragon wont let us out yet."

"I heard that!" Poppy called from in her office, startling the four.

"How does she do that?" Tom muttered.

"There is a reason I try not to cross her." Sev said quietly with a slight shiver. "She's always been the one to treat me after some of the more unpleasant meetings, or when I got hurt by exploding potion or gathering ingredients. Even Dumbledore has trouble gainsaying her." The Ravenclaw nodded his agreement and left.

"I just don't want you hurt." Tom said abruptly into the quiet of the empty infirmary. "You've been hurt so much even so close to me. I almost didn't reach you in time and Harry almost didn't catch the poison in time. Even with Umbridge dead threats to you two are still there and I can't see all of them much less stop them. Sev has some experience with not letting the attack get him and I know he's dodged some, even here at the castle, without telling us. I just couldn't pin down the attacks or I would have done something about the, just as I did for Harry's."

The frustration and worry in his voice was evident despite his blocking the bond. Severus sighed, pulled out his wand, and merged their beds again so that they could draw Tom into a cuddle. Tom practically burrowed himself into the arms of both of his husbands.

"You're right." Sev admitted, causing Tom to burrow deeper and Harry to stiffen in shocked surprise. "But they've been striking from the shadows or the middle of a crowd so that I can't identify them. Once or twice potions or a poison has been slipped into my food or drink. I learned years ago to cast the variation of the detection spells that glowed to my sight alone, wandlessly and wordlessly. I've been using it since mid-October. It was one of the reasons why I insisted that we eat both the Thanksgiving feast and the All Hallows feast in our rooms. Not that I had been paying any particular attention to the passage of the year but the attempts had been increasing until we ate a meal away from the great hall. It was almost as if it forced the perpetrator to start from scratch each time."

"I need to be able to trust you both, and I need to know you're safe." Tom said quietly.

"You thought about it while we slept." Harry said quietly, earning a sharp, embarrassed nod from Tom. "Alright, I think that counts, but you still don't get any sex."

"Harry's attacks were all mostly out in the open." Sev mused. "Mine were from the shadows as if from a trained assassin. Tom? What about the attacks on you?"

"There almost weren't any." Tom said embarrassed. "Its almost as if the attacks on the two of you were the attacks on me as well. Which is one of the reasons I kept trying to protect you, and the bond isn't happy that I haven't been able too. Its almost as if I've got this ache trying to warn me you're in danger and that I need to keep you close, even if it means locking you in a sealed room until I can find and deal with the threat."

"Why didn't you tell us?" Harry asked quietly. "We would have stuck closer. If the bond is reacting to something we need to pay attention."

"I had to fight myself not to come down to the Quidditch pitch and drag you back to our quarters when I found out you were flying." Tom admitted, ducking his head into their clothes. "I almost killed you in your first year in the middle of a game. I know how vulnerable you are in the air to spell fire, especially when you're focusing on catching that silly little golden ball. I'm the Alpha, the bond expects me to protect you, especially Harry. Its almost as if the bond thinks Harry will carry and give birth to all of our children."

"~Silly hatchlings. No more wandering from the nest.~" Nagini scolded, slithering out from under Tom's bed, and climbing up onto the same place the Phoenixes occupied on Harry's section of the bed. She had easily understood the entire conversation.

"~You can understand~ English ~can't you?~" Harry hissed suspiciously, suddenly far more interested in the snake then the strange idea that he might get pregnant.

"~No more flying without your mates, or the fiery and icy birds to help.~" Nagini hissed back ignoring his question.

"{Do one of us need to stay with you when you make the stinky, smelly liquids that do strange things? Harry has told me they sometimes explode.}" Hedwig asked doubtfully, once again sitting at the head of Harry's part of the bed.

"Only if Harry is the one brewing. I am a master at the craft and I know that Tom is good at brewing, he simply didn't pursue his mastery until now." Severus told them. "Harry has difficulty watching and protecting his potion from interference, like someone adding an extra ingredient. I always had to watch Longbottom too closely for me to stop it happening in class."

"Then why were you always so mean about it?" Harry asked angry and puzzled.

"Because he was spying on me while I thought I had him spying on you and the old goat." Tom said softly. "He had to do his best to appear to hate you even if he didn't. More than one student would have noticed and written home to their relatives many of whom wear my mark. I would have tortured and killed him as a traitor."

"Oh." Harry said, deflating.

"It was also good practice for ignoring distractions and paying attention to whatever potion you are brewing." Severus said with a smirk, earning a light smack from his youngest husband.

"Bloody bat." Harry muttered only to be drawn even further into the cuddle by his husbands.

"Yes but I'm your bat." Severus practically purred in his ear, sending a shiver down their spines.

"Sometimes I think your voice should be classified as an enchantment spell." Tom pointed out, almost pouting. "Even while insane I noticed it. Thankfully not in a sexual way or I would have forced you to my bed."

"You have me in your bed now." Sev pointed out with a smirk.

"And me!" Harry pipped up smugly.

"Yes, and I'm very glad for that, even if I wont get any sex until classes start again." Tom said almost smugly even as he cuddled closer to the other two.

"Hey, Hedwig? Why did you decide that I needed to know you could talk now?" Harry asked the Ice Phoenix thoughtfully.

"{Tell him.}" Fawkes nudged from next to Hedwig. Hedwig on the other hand ducked her head under her wing, almost in embarrassment.

"Hedwig?" Harry asked starting to worry.

"{I'm with chicks.}" Hedwig admitted, before slipping under Fawkes' wing to hide.

"With chicks?" Harry asked in puzzlement.

"She's pregnant, Harry. She's going to have little baby Phoenixes." Sev translated in amusement.

"WHAT?!" Harry almost shouted in his husbands' ears, making them wince. Sev quickly covered Harry's mouth to muffle his shouts as they pinned the suddenly furiously wiggling young man to the bed.

"What seems to be... Good Lord! None of that now! Severus, Tom, let him up or I'll have to force you into separate beds again." Poppy said sternly as she came to check on them after hearing Harry's shout.

"Madam, Harry is just being excitable. He just discovered that his familiar is pregnant." Severus said with a slight blush coloring his cheeks before he moved his muffling hand and quickly kissed Harry into a puddle of goo.

"Sneaky bastard." Harry breathed when he came back to his senses.

"Yes, but he's our sneaky bastard." Tom said with a chuckle, turning his grip back into a cuddle just as Sev had done when Harry started to go limp under his kiss.

"Still..." Madam Pomfrey cast her diagnostic spells again and nodded in satisfaction at the results. "I'll just get your lunch then. After what happened last time, I've started casting the detection spells myself. If I ever find who pulled that dangerous stunt..." She stalked off scowling.

"I'm not sure she realizes that they were actually trying to kill us." Tom said in puzzlement.

"She knows. She just doesn't want to argue with the Headmaster who's been calling it a prank gone wrong. Just like when Black set that bloody werewolf on me in school." Severus scowled, not thinking before he spoke.

"What do you mean? Sirius never said anything... the only werewolf was Remus." Harry said following a convoluted train of thought, which Sev quickly brought to a halt when he realized what he had said.

"You already know that I... did not get along well with your father and his friends." Sev said softly. Harry nodded, suddenly paying the Potions Master his complete attention. "I had noticed Lupin's unusual absences and his illness around the full moon. I was determined to prove that the Marauders were sneaking out and playing in the forest or something equally dangerous. Black decided one night that it would be amusing for me to find out exactly what they were doing every full moon. Your father pulled me out when I froze. Seeing Lupin in his were-form was... terrifying. Had James not pulled me from the tunnel Lupin would have killed me. Which is where the Life Debt came from. Dumbledore threatened me to keep my mouth shut and called it all a prank. I could have died. At the very least Black should have been expelled."

"This is one of the reasons they gave for so many of the anti-werewolf laws." Tom said sadly. "If they're simply given a place to change safely, such as a forest where all humans are kept out and given some leeway for the strain that the change causes... It would almost eliminate all of the attacks except for those who have an unrepentantly vicious nature. They could hunt game in the forest in their wolf forms and settle any pack issues. There would be minimal or even no risk to those who didn't wander into their established territory."

"Sirius really?" Harry asked almost tentatively, then slumped when Severus looked away and nodded. Their conversation was interrupted by the return of Madam Pomfrey with their lunch. She openly cast the detection charms a second time in front of them so that they would know that nothing had been tampered with. All of them were greatful for the meal and the bar of Honeydukes fine chocolate that came with it.

"The chocolate must have come from her personal stash, she doesn't keep anything this expensive for treatment." Sev commented as he ate his meal and eyed Harry to make sure he was eating. Harry nodded absently as he took a bite of his mashed potatoes, reveling in the taste of the food after so much worry had been solved.

"We need to talk more." Harry pointed out before taking another bite.

"Yes, everything has been happening too fast and we've been bogged down with school work as well as attempts on our lives." Sev mused before taking another bite himself, then something occurred to him as he tasted something not quite right with his food. He quickly cast a far more complex detection spell, moving quickly to stop his husbands from taking a sip of their drinks.

"A two part potion." Severus told them, white after what had almost just happened. "If I recognize this correctly, it would not have activated until 12 hours after both parts were ingested."

"Why did they glow blue then?" Harry asked, eyeing his meal with distrust.

"Because they were added to foods which naturally contain those ingredients in some fashion and if it was added to an ingredient before or during the making of the food item instead of after the simplest detection spells will conclude that it is a normal part of the food or drink." Severus explained as he carefully levitated their meals away from them and to the floor. "This is much harder to do with drinks as most require almost no preparation and alcohol naturally neutralizes a good many potions and wizarding potions. This is also why only the more complex spells can be used if it displays for your sight alone. Its a built in safety feature, just as it only being viewable to the caster is."

"Because you can hide that you know the food's been messed with if you can see it but they can't." Harry concluded.

"Exactly." Tom said, almost as white as Severus.

"The bond?" Severus asked softly, earning a sharp nod from Tom. Harry suddenly thought of something and decided to act on it while Tom and Sev were with him.

"Dobby!" Harry called, ignoring the nervously shifting Phoenixes behind his head and the angrily hissing serpent that still sat on the headboard section of Tom's portion of the bed. The elf popped in at the foot of their bed and yipped when it saw the large angrily hissing snake.

"Dobby, its okay. Nagini is just angry someone tried to poison us again." Harry told the house-elf earnestly, making him refocus on Harry immediately.

"Dobby is sorry this has happened. Dobby will make sure it will not happen again. If Harry Potter sir is willing to bind Winky as his elf, Dobby will be better able to protect Harry Potter sir and his mates." Dobby told them seriously.

"Elf, did you take on the position of Harry's head elf?" Severus asked softly.

"Yes, Mr. Snapy sir, but Dobby is the only elf bound personally to Harry Potter at Hogwarts." Dobby said carefully. "Harry Potter sir, and his Tom and his Snapy have been accepted by the castle. Buts until Lords Hogwarts take up the duties the elfs must obey the Headmaster over everys one, even the Lords Hogwarts. Headmaster Dumblydoor has forbidden any more elves bound to only one peoples coming to Hogwarts. Buts Winky is already here and in need of a family again."

"That's right." Harry said thoughtfully. "Mr. Crouch freed her at the Quidditch world cup when they found my wand in her hand under the dark mark."

"Ah, so that's how Barty managed it. He must have had to fight very hard to throw off the long term imperio." Tom said thoughtfully.

"The one who replaced Moody last year?" Severus asked carefully and Tom nodded absently, still thinking.

"Then Winky didn't do anything wrong." Harry decided, even though he didn't know all of the pieces. "Dobby? Could you get Winky please?" Dobby nodded happily and popped out only to be back a moment later with a depressed Winky.

"Winky? This is Mr. Harry Potter sir, he has asked to see Winky." Dobby said carefully.

"Whys?" Winky asked suspiciously.

"Winky wants to belong to a family again? Mr. Harry Potter sir is willing to have Winky as his elf. Buts Winky needs to bes acting like a proper house-elf again." Dobby told her sternly.

"Whys you asking me?" Winky demanded, still suspicious.

"Winky must keep secret. Dobby is not a free elf. Dobby is head elf for Mr. Harry Potter sir. Mr. Harry Potter sir is hidden heir and Dobby's old master gifted him to Mr. Harry Potter sir." Dobby told her solemnly, in front of the watching trio of wizards.

"Thens whys you telling me ins front of wizards?" She demanded, slapping away his supporting hand and backing up.

"Elf, do you honestly think you'll be leaving this room alive if you don't either bond to one of us or take a vow of silence on the matter?" Tom asked dryly, slipping back into his menacing Dark Lord persona. Winky took a quick look at them then nodded sharply at the obvious and proper threat from a powerful wizard.

"Winky wants to belong to a family again." Winky said quietly.

"Okay. Dobby? How do I do this?" Harry asked, sheepishly.

"Mr. Harry Potter sir only has to agree that Winky is his, now that Winky agrees to be his house-elf." Dobby said almost proudly.

"Winky is my house-elf." Harry said uncertainly. There was a slight glow around Winky and she immediately perked up as the magic washed over her.

"Winky must keep this a secret too. Winky can say she found a new family but that the family wants to stay secret because Dumblydoor is angry with them." Dobby warned. "When Mr. Harry Potter sir and his Tom and his Snapy are ready they will say we belong to them and give us proper elf coverings." Winky nodded sharply, looking far better now that she was bound to a wizarding family again.

"What must Winky be doing?" Winky asked them, almost shyly.

"Someone keeps trying to poison or tamper with our food." Severus said immediately, practically scowling. "No one but the two of you are to handle our food from now on."

"Yes, Master Snapy." Winky said with a bow.

"As we are the Lords of Hogwarts, they could wear the same uniform as the Hogwarts elves." Tom said thoughtfully.

"Dobby is sorry sir. But Harry Potter's Tom is wrong. Dobby and Winky are bound only to Mr. Harry Potter sir. Elves bound to Hogwarts wear Hogwarts uniform and must obey the Headmaster. Wes not bound to Hogwarts." Dobby told him shaking his head.

"And Harry's identification devices are too well known." Severus said with a sigh.

"What about a necklace?" Harry asked. "Like with the DA. They could just say they found it or that a student ordered them to wear it, and I'm still a student so its not like it would be a lie."

"Pure-blood students have ordered elves to do far stranger things." Tom said thoughtfully, before conjuring a small necklace for each of them with a small lightning bolt worked into each link of the chain and handing one to each of them. "This will be Harry's mark until we can move in the open."

"Thank youse Master Tom." Dobby said softly as the two elves accepted the necklaces and immediately put them on sighing in relief.

"That really bothered you didn't it?" Harry asked quietly, the two elves nodded sheepishly. "Alright, don't forget to tell Hermione about this and make her sit down and read the book on house-elves that Sirius gave her. I'm not sure she's read it yet. You guys have permission to explain anything to her about house-elves that you want, but try to remember she isn't used to people being bound to each other, even though she's in a fealty bond to me. I think that she thinks of the fealty bond as an extension of our friendship, which it kind of is, but its also more."

"Yes, Mr. Harry Potter sir. Would Mr. Harry Potter sir and his mates like something to eats and drinks?" Dobby asked eagerly.

"That would be appreciated and get rid of the tainted food I just set on the floor if you would?" Severus told them.

They bobbed happily and popped out, taking the trays with them, only to return with new trays that a quick, slightly complicated, detection spell showed as blue. Unoffended because someone had just tried to hurt their wizards again they simply popped back to the kitchen. Next they quickly set about telling the other elves they had been requested to be the only ones handling the food and cleaning when it came to the Lords of Hogwarts...

~

When Harry, Severus, and Tom finally got out of the hospital wing they were surprised to find that most of the school had waited to find out if they were okay. The other surprise was that a good number of families had joined the students at Hogwarts to wait. Dumbledore had explained the decision away as a way to encourage spending the holidays with family but still encourage school spirit after the tragic death of Professor Umbridge. They couldn't say anything with the implied threat of providing the Aurors with incriminating memories of the crime scene.

Dumbledore even went so far as to extend an offer of having the families stay at Hogwarts for the holidays with the students. A good number of the families accepted for various reasons, whether for the chance to actually see the school their children were attending, or for nostalgia, or simply so that they could visit with relatives, distant and close alike. Some of them bore the dark mark and every one of those had brought both a wedding present and a Christmas present.

While Tom was pleased to be able to talk with so many of his followers, he wasn't as happy about the sudden increased risk to his husbands for simply walking down the corridor. As a result of both the increased risk and the talk they had had in the hospital wing both Harry and Severus did their best to stay near Tom and not trigger his still heightened protectiveness. None of them risked taking any food or drink that was not provided to them by Dobby or Winky.

At least Tom was pleased by how his explanation of Umbridge's death had made the rounds, especially when it came to the pure-blood families. Harry's invitation to a pick-up Quidditch game a little under a week after they had gotten out of the hospital wing with the day after being Christmas Eve. This resulted in both of his husbands becoming jittery until he asked if they could play on the same team as him or as referees. Curious to see how they would do, the other players agreed, despite the fact that it would give them 3 referees and the game wouldn't count toward house points since it was technically the winter holidays. Dumbledore had other ideas and successfully trapped both men as observers in the teachers stands...

"Are you sure?" Harry asked yet again. "I can just sit the game out if it bothers you and the bond that much."

"No, Harry." Tom said almost gently, as Sev grumbled about interfering Headmasters, both of them bundled against the cold. "Flying is something you need, the same way that Sev needs to brew, and I feel I need to protect anything of mine including both of you. Go. Have fun. The old goat tricked us into agreeing to sit in the teachers stands."

"Alright." Harry said doubtfully before stealing a kiss from each of his husbands, making them feel marginally better as he headed off to the changing rooms.

"You've seen his flying. He's going to be the death of us." Sev pointed out tightly.

"Has he gotten any better since first year?" Tom asked careful to keep his worry away from the bond and behind layers of Occlumency shields.

"Yes, and more reckless as well. The brat likes using the Wronski Feint, nearly gives me a heart attack any time he uses it." Severus warned. "The Dursleys made absolutely sure he doesn't value his own life and limbs. Dumbledore hasn't helped with how many dangerous situations he's gotten Harry into."

"And when I finally manage it the Headmaster will pay for it with blood and pain." Tom growled, then his shoulders slumped. "This is going to be a nightmare."

"We'll check him over after the game, then pin him in bed and just enjoy being there and cuddling with him." Sev said in a conciliatory fashion, as he drew Tom toward the teachers stands. "He used his Quidditch skills to out fly the dragon in the first task. He will be fine and anyone who tries to hurt him while he's flying will answer to both of us."

"Yes, they will." Tom said, voice suddenly hard. Then he saw Dumbledore approaching and shifted into a more charming demeanor. "Headmaster, how nice to see you."

"I was just coming to make sure you made it to your seats, my boy." Dumbledore said jovially, eyes twinkling.

"Albus, I have been attending Quidditch matches as a teacher for more than 10 years and I have never needed an escort to my seat. Nor do I need help showing Tom where to sit." Severus said in exasperation.

"Don't you?" Dumbledore asked sending them both a piercing look.

Dumbledore proceeded to ignore their protests and escort them to the teachers stands through the snow, much to their disgruntlement. He even when to so far as to sit them next to him in the stands. McGonagall noticed and quickly moved to sit next to Tom and Severus. She used the pretext that she would be continuing her Quidditch rivalry with Sev despite the partial co-opting of Harry for the Slytherin team.

Neither McGonagall nor Tom or Severus gave any indication that she had passed the trial by fire and now bore the fealty mark. Both of them worked hard to include Tom in their discussion, even going out of their way to explain some things that no one had ever bothered to before. The three became so adsorbed in their discussion and explanation of Quidditch that they almost missed the arrival of the teams on the field.

It might have been a pick-up game but it was clear that it had all four house teams involved. The mix of uniforms and everyone's positioning showed that it was a Hufflepuff-Ravenclaw team versus a Gryffindor-Slytherin team. Madam Hooch strode onto the field even as the two teams faced off. To simplify things for those watching and to make her job easier she quickly charmed the Gryffindor-Slytherin team's Quidditch robes to be half green and half red, green on the left side of the uniform. Then she charmed the Hufflepuff-Ravenclaw team half blue and half yellow, blue on the right side. No one batted an eye. The only indication that this wasn't quite normal was the slight shifting of the players and the hushed whispers of the watching students and visiting families.

"I want a nice clean game." Madam Hooch started, just like every game she had officiated before changing it slightly and dropping her voice so that only the players could hear her. "We don't want anyone stuck in the hospital wing tomorrow for Christmas Eve. The Headmaster has agreed to lift the ban on snitch caught points whenever Professor Riddle and Professor Snape attend a Quidditch match, apparently he's trying to get them to play nice about something." Most of the players grinned in anticipation or chuckled but Harry, Draco, and the Weasley twins frowned.

"Excuse me, Madam Hooch? I thought the points only didn't count when I was the one to catch the snitch?" Harry asked in puzzlement.

"That would have been the case but that vile woman changed her mind not 5 minutes after you left. I thought the Quidditch Captains had informed you?" Madam Hooch said, gazing disconcertingly at the young man in front of her.

"They must have forgot." Harry said, shrugging dismissively, and hiding how much it bothered him.

"Professor Dumbledore said he would tell you." Zacharias Smith pipped up from his position on the Hufflepuff-Ravenclaw team.

"You mean that we've been playing on an even field the whole semester and no one bothered to tell Harry or the teams he was playing for?" Draco demanded with a scowl. "We all thought we were playing with a handicap whenever Potter flew. Not that it mattered much considering how good he is."

"So that's why you lot have been playing so weird." Roger Davies said in sudden comprehension. "You thought you had to have a lead whenever Potter caught the snitch or you might not count as having won the game."

"I thought," Harry glanced over at his teammates. "We thought that any time I caught the snitch it still went toward winning the game but my snitch catches didn't go to House points like normal. We've been playing to make up for the difference when we needed it. Dumbledore never told me about the change but at least he's been letting us have some extra games."

"I see." Madam Hooch said darkly. "Mr. Potter, Dumbledore didn't arrange for any extra games, your fellow players did. I had wondered why they almost always had Gryffindor or Slytherin playing... Now, we've talked long enough. Mount your brooms!" They mounted and kicked off as Madam Hooch released the balls, mounted her own broom and tossed the Quaffle up into the center of field and players alike. They were off!

Surprisingly the joint teams worked relatively well together as Harry and Cho flew higher, circling in an attempt to spot the snitch. Cho kept one eye on Harry the entire time and fell for the Wronski Feint twice, both times she barely managed to pull out in time. During each Feint and dangerous stunt Harry could feel the sharp worry coming across the bond and as a result pulled out with more of a safety margin than usual. He always sent soothing thoughts and emotions along the bond to them once he was safely flying in a more normal fashion, to avoid loosing his concentration.

Then 20 minutes into the game Harry caught sight of the snitch and his attention was riveted, even as he unconsciously began blocking the bond. He was barely aware of the other players or the bludgers as he dove for the shinning flying ball. Dodging in and out, around, and rolling, brushing a hairs breath past his teammates as he sought and chased the snitch. Cho saw it too and took a safer route around the players rather than through them, using the snitch's sudden cut toward her to nearly catch it as it slipped through her fingers.

Harry unconsciously knocked her into a spin as he slammed past her after the snitch, a streak of red and green speed. The little golden ball darted here and there until finally hovering close to the walls of the teacher stands. Harry knew he was going too fast to stop and avoid hitting the stands. So instead of heading straight for the snitch he went into 3 consecutive barrel rolls to bleed off some speed and whipped around the stands in a sling-shot type move to come up right behind the snitch as it hovered mid-way down the height of towering stands.

"Harry Potter has the snitch!" Lee Jordan gleefully declared in his announcer capacity. "Leaving the Slythindor team to claim victory with 220 points and the Huffleclaw team standing with 90 points! Another wonderful Quidditch example of skillful flying my friends!"

"Congratulations." Dumbledore said politely, eyes twinkling. "Young Harry has grown into a fine and courageous young man."

"We could do without a bit of that courage. I lost count how many times he just nearly got himself killed during that one match." Tom said, stress and worry showing clearly. Dumbledore was twinkling madly, almost as if one of his plans had worked out even better than he had hoped.

"Tom." Severus said softly, drawing him back toward the dark Potions Master and tucking his arm around his husband's waist. "Harry is safe. No one tried to hex him and he flew so well not a single bludger got near him. We can yell at him for trying to break his neck flying through the chaser formation later but I doubt it will work. He is a seeker and did his part in the game. Why don't we go retrieve the little idiot from the clutches of his teammates?"

"Yes, yes. I need to see he's alright." Tom said nearly lurching toward the stairs only to be brought up short by Sev holding on to him and hissing soothingly, in parseltounge as they headed down the stairs.

"That wasn't particularly nice, Albus." Minerva told him disapprovingly.

"Ah, but it might be effective Minerva. Tom needs a reminder that he does not and can not control everything." Dumbledore told her, eyes twinkling even as he popped a lemon drop into his mouth to suck on.

"Tom is not He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! Not any more. He is a young man recently bonded and your treatment of him and his husbands has been appalling." Minerva told him in disgust. "I don't see what you hope to gain, especially since they've all clearly changed for the better. Severus is more open, as is Harry, and Tom isn't as terrifying as he used to be, even in school. Albus, this is beneath you."

She stalked after the duo clearly showing her disapproval and disappointment. No one quite managed to hear that she was muttering "Light which is Dark" angrily under her breath even as she caught up to the other two and helped them get to Harry without incident.

~

It didn't take them long to separate Harry from his teammates and well wishers, Sev and Tom just growled, snarled, snarked, and menaced their way to their husband. Harry took one look at them and immediately stopped blocking the bond. When he could feel their worry again he drooped a bit, coming down from the high of winning and made his way over to his husbands.

"I'm sorry. I blocked the bond so I could concentrate on getting the snitch." Harry said softly before they grabbed him and immediately started checking him for injuries, completely ignoring their audience. They both slumped a bit in relief when they realized that Harry was remarkably untouched, ignoring the giggles and snickers at their reaction to finally getting Harry back on the ground and in reach.

"You scared us." Sev said softly as they drew Harry into the middle of a fierce cuddle from both of them.

"I don't like flying." Tom said tightly. "Trusting yourself to something that was made by someone else and can fail at any moment. Flying on your own using a spell is one thing, but using an artifact of some kind to fly? No. I don't like it."

"Tom, when you finally finish developing the flying spell we can use it but for now if Harry wants to fly he has to use a broom." Sev said with a sigh. "I don't trust brooms either but Harry can get them to do things for him that they will do for no one else. I wouldn't be surprised if his animagus form was some type of bird or he developed some type of connection or control of air. He moves too well on a broom."

"If he does develop something like that or is a bird animagus I will be far happier and less worried with him flying on one of those rickety sticks." Tom huffed out, cuddling Harry closer to them.

"They aren't rickety sticks! Sirius got me this one. Its a Firebolt. One of the best brooms on the market." Harry argued pointedly, not even bothering to try and pull out of their cuddle. "Is the bond pushing you to protect me again?"

"Yes." Tom said pointedly. "You aren't flying again until I can get a slowing charm made in case you come off your broom."

"Tom, we talked about this." Severus reminded his husband, making Tom's shoulders slump.

"Alright, he can fly, but the moment I've made the charm he's wearing it and it isn't coming off. If I can figure out how to make it into a tattoo I'm doing it and making you both wear it." Tom said stiffly, holding on tightly to his mates.

"I don't want a tattoo." Harry said, making a face. "What if I have to go back to the Dursleys? What do you think they'll do if they find out I have a tattoo? Or worse that its magical?" That made both Tom and Sev stiffen.

"Harry, you are never going back to that vile place again." Severus said, his fury tightly controlled. "We'll discuss it once Tom has worked out the calculations for the spells. Knowing him, he'll try to include a good number of protective spells in addition to the one that will slow our fall from a height of more than 20 feet. 10 feet if he's being paranoid."

"Okay." Harry said happily, even if he was a bit chilly due to the snow, and the fact that it had started snowing almost the exact moment he had caught the snitch. He started shivering, both Tom and Severus noticed and each immediately cast a warming charm.

"Lets get you back inside and in something warmer. I'm sure Draco or one of the terrors can make sure your Quidditch gear gets back to the locker room." Severus said softly, and Harry nodded vigorously in response.

"Harry, you're supposed to tell us when you need something, not make us figure it out." Tom said in exasperation, even as he got them moving and headed back into the castle. Skillfully avoiding Dumbledore who was approaching with obvious intent to discuss something with them. They spent the remaining hours until supper simply cuddling on the couch or in bed, drinking hot chocolate and occasionally reading.

Chapter Text

Order Safe House Dumbledore set up somewhere near Edinburgh....

"Why do you think the wards locked us in?" Lupin asked Moody for the 5th or 6th time that day.

"You'd have to ask Dumbledore. He's the secret keeper to this place." Moody grunted sourly, finally giving up on escaping through the main fireplace.

"Was nice of him not to take our wands and arrange for ready made food showing up on the table at meal times." Lupin said quietly as he watched Moody move to try the door again.

"Whatever knocked us out was more complicated than what a student could manage." Moody pointed out bringing up the previous argument on how they had been trapped. "And if he brought children here, he's acting the fool."

"Yes, wait. What? What did you just say?" Lupin asked sharply.

"I said he's acting the fool if he ever brought a child here. Especially since I'm inclined to think that someone found a way around the Fidelius charm and the other defenses he put on this place or they tricked their way in. Albus Dumbledore would not bother with something so elaborate to trap intruders and forget to warn his allies that it was there." Moody countered.

"He's acting the fool." Lupin murmured. "Somehow that strikes me as ominous. Almost as if he were acting for everyone around him and taking action to keep... something."

"Don't be paranoid Lupin. Dumbledore doesn't need to pull something like this to get whatever he's after. That wizard is too strong." Moody argued back earning a sharp, if ironic, look from Remus.

"I wouldn't be to sure of that." Remus said thoughtfully. "What could he hope to gain? Or was it just an accident?"

"Stop day dreaming and come help me with this." Moody ordered sharply. "We aren't getting out of here with day dreams and speculation."

"Alastor, they took almost a week to clear us when we finally got onto British soil when before it would have taken less than 2 hours." Lupin reminded him in annoyance. "Do you honestly think that trying to figure out what the hell is going on is mere day dreams and speculation? Just be glad that there was a safe place for me to transform and that right now its the dark of the moon or you would have had to deal with an annoyed Moony."

"I don't trust you wolf, and I don't think Dumbledore should trust you or Snape either. But I have no say in who is in the order. If it were up to me, both of you would be in Azkaban." Moody growled out. "Now help me with this or go and see if you can't figure out if the food is being delivered by spell or elf."

Remus snorted in amusement and headed for the kitchen, leaving Moody behind to examine an empty cabinet to see if it happened to be a vanishing cabinet and thus a way out, again. That's when he noticed the note that had fallen off the table when they had first arrived dirty and scrunched up in a corner on the floor of the kitchen. His famous Marauder curiosity kicking in Remus picked it up and flattened it out on the table to read what it said. What he found made his eyes widen and a small grin grace his scar ravaged features.

"Alastor! I found something!" Remus called then silently handed him the note when the Ex-Auror stumped his way into the room.

"Where did you find this? Are you sure this isn't a trick?" Moody barked out.

"I found it on the floor, in that corner over there. It must have fallen on the floor when we arrived and our moving around trampled it and knocked it to where I found it." Remus said with a shrug. "We'll just have to leave a note for the elf to deliver when it comes to get the dishes at the next meal. Its not like the setup was a bad idea. Albus just forgot the sticking charm so that the note would stay on the table and actually be seen."

"We could have been out of here within 48 hours of arriving instead of being stuck here for more than a month." Moody fumed in disgust.

"And what if someone did manage to get in? Isn't this a decent security precaution?" Remus cajoled.

"Yes." Moody admitted grudgingly, before stomping off to take a nap. Leaving behind a smiling werewolf, remembering when he had finally dragged the reason out of the old stubborn Auror.


Flashback...

"I don't trust you wolf!" Moody half shouted. "You are a threat, to all of us!"

"You know nothing of what I do, what I sacrifice for the order, for Harry, for my Cub!" Remus growled back, eyes going almost pure yellow from inside the cage installed in the basement. The moon would be rising soon.

"You are a risk we cannot afford to take!" Moody shot back.

"I can do nothing about that risk if no one will bloody tell me what the hell is causing it!" Remus growled, his voice dropping deeper as moon rise inched closer. He could feel Moony's aggravation, indignation, and anger at being considered a threat to their cub and what remained of their pack. Moony and Remus even agreed that to protect their cub they would put aside their issues and try to merge, regardless of the danger.

"You want to know what's causing that risk? Try how vulnerable you are during and around the full moon for a start!" Alastor shouted into his face, barely separated by the bars of the cage.

That's when the moon managed to rise enough to trigger the change. Remus doubled over in both physical and emotional pain. Just as the physical changes began he offered to try the merge with Moony citing their continued arguments putting Harry in danger. Moony could understand doing something dangerous and stupid for a cub, he accepted and the transformation was the smoothest and least painful they had ever experienced. When the wolf looked back up at the Auror there was something different about him. The wolf wasn't pure werewolf any more, a twisted parody of half man, half wolf. They had fully transformed into wolf shape, his fur pitch black of the darkest night, his eyes had the intelligence and instint of both wolf and wizard.

"What the devil did you just do Lupin?" Alastor hissed, not really expecting an answer.

The wolf got up and stalked toward the bars and the unsettled Auror. Moody took a step back, his stump making a loud thunk, in the sudden quiet. When their eyes met it was as if the wolf had understood him perfectly, even as the wolf gave the Auror a doggy grin full of sharp lupine teeth and mischief dancing in his bright yellow eyes.

"Merlin... you've merged." Alastor said in awe....

End Flashback...

Remus shook his head, coming back out of his memories and decided that he wanted to wander around the safe house as Moony for a while. The shift between man and wolf was seamless and nearly instantaneous. He gave a doggy grin to the empty room as he luxuriated in the new closeness and understandings between him and Moony now that they were merged. He loved being able to shift by choice alone rather than the magic forcing him to shift every 3 nights of the full moon. Padding out of the kitchen he went to bounce around old Auror Moody in his wolf form...

~

Hogwarts evening after the joint Quidditch game....

"Severus? What do you think? Is our husband dirty and sweaty from that Quidditch game?" Tom asked consideringly as he observed Harry just sitting down in a chair, book in his hand, fresh from a another quick shower after his performance at the Quidditch game that morning. It was about an hour until supper and Harry had thoroughly enjoyed the cuddling and hot chocolate and simply spending time with his husbands.

"I do believe you are right." Severus said after seeing the look of pure mischief in Tom's eyes and Harry's general obliviousness. "Perhaps he needs help because of his sore muscles?"

"Maybe we should help him?" Tom asked playfully, setting aside the book he had been reading.

"I just got washed." Harry told them absently, right before both of his husbands pounced, picking him up bodily.

Harry gave a short shout of surprise as he noticed their suddenly quick movements toward him even as they pounced. They carried their halfheartedly struggling husband toward the bathroom, occasionally tickling him to keep him from fighting back in earnest. When they finally playfully wrestled Harry into the bathroom he was laughing so hard they had trouble stripping him even as he kept batting away their hands.

Tom carelessly waved a hand to start the small pool sized tub filling with warm water, as Sev distracted Harry playfully fighting to get his clothing off of him. When they finally had Harry naked his playful glare at his older husbands made them both smirk before pouncing again. Sev sidled up behind Harry and wrapped him in a hug, trapping his arms even as Tom snogged him into a puddle of goo, making it easy for the two of them to lift Harry into the warm water of the now full tub.

"Sev?" Tom asked softly, as Harry ignored them, reveling in the warmth of the water.

Severus, looked up and nodded slightly in response, slipping out of the bathroom to retrieve one of their Christmas gifts for their young husband from where he had hidden it. He quickly returned before Harry even knew he was gone, as Tom remained behind to continue with the spontaneous tickle attacks on Harry. Severus quickly added the potions to the tub and set aside the salves they would massage into Harry later.

"Relax Harry." Tom soothed. "Just let us take care of you for a little bit. You can always get us back later if you feel you need to. Remember when you expressed your displeasure for us feeding you that time in front of the great hall? Sev couldn't change his hair back from emrald green for a week, and I had trouble finding robes you hadn't cursed to be hot pink." Harry mumbled incoherently as he relaxed into the hot water. The shower just hadn't been quite enough to ease all of his muscle aches and pains.

"What was that?" Sev asked softly.

"I said, I'm not a baby... " Harry told them before gathering his courage and admitting. "Maybe I pushed too hard. I didn't realize I was still so sore."

"With how you flew today, I'm not surprised." Sev told him with an almost shy smile. "We may not like flying but both of us know how much effort it takes to do those stunts safely."

"I don't." Tom said bluntly. "And I don't want to. Those things are dangerous." Sev and Harry both sighed in fond exasperation.

"Tom." Severus explained. "Lets just work on rubbing the potions and salves into Harry's skin, shall we? We can argue the merits and safeties of various brooms when you've developed an alternative or you've learned more about broom construction."

"I thought you hated flying?" Harry asked questioningly, making his husband grimace.

"That has more to do with a Quidditch accident then mistrusting the brooms themselves." Severus admitted reluctantly.

"So, what will the potions and salves do? Especially since you already put the potions in the bath." Harry asked in curious amusement, completely trusting his husband.

"They help repair skin and make scars fade or disappear." Sev said carefully, face suddenly blank, unsure how his husband would react to this. Harry considered for a moment before nodding slowly.

"Okay, but only if both of you join me." Harry told them with a smile, mischief dancing in his eyes.

"You'll try to drag us into the tub with you if we don't agree wont you?" Sev asked almost accusingly, eyes narrowed.

"Yup." Harry said happily. "You can either get in here with me or I'll try something to pull you in." In response Tom looked at Sev.

"The potions alone wont be as effective and I can make more salve later. As long as the potions were applied first, applying the salve later should work fine but it might be a touch weaker." Sev told them with a shrug. "We only have enough salve for Harry but it doesn't take much to make. The brewing process is simply time consuming."

"How long do we need to soak in them?" Tom queried.

"Half an hour? Give or take five minutes." Sev told them. "But the water temperature has to be maintained or you have to soak longer. The heat helps the potion to work."

Harry took the next ten minutes coaxing his husbands into the tub with him. By the time they were both in the tub the water had cooled a bit and one of them had to charm it warm again. They just sat in the warm tub together luxuriating in the feel and enjoying simply spending time doing nothing with each other but relaxing. Forty minutes later the thoroughly relaxed trio dragged themselves from the tub and quickly dried off as they dressed for supper. Severus regretfully set the salves next to the bed, knowing that Harry would likely insist on waiting to apply them until they had enough for all three of them.

~

"Oh, I wonder if they're eating enough." Molly fretted. "We should be spending the holidays as a family."

"Molly-wobbles, you know that Dumbledore probably told them we are doing some kind of favor for him." Arthur soothed. "They're fine at the school, and the twins know to protect Harry, Ron, and Ginny. Percy, Bill, and Charlie know that not having a family Christmas is unusual and they'll look for us."

"Unless Dumbledore contacted them with the same story he fed to Harry and your other children." Sirius pointed out reasonably, then he turned wistful. "I wish I'd been able to teach Prongslet how to take up the Potter Lordship."

"Sirius, you made a bloodline charge on Harry's behalf, didn't you?" Arthur asked carefully.

"Yeah, mostly against the Dursleys and Dumbledore but yeah." Sirius said, completely clueless.

"Arthur, are you sure?" Molly asked biting her lip in worry.

"It should work if the magic accepts our claim." Arthur said simply. "We already see him as a son and as soon as we get the chance we're adopting him." Molly drew in a breath before nodding sharply.

"I, Molly Prewett Weasley, do petition Lady Magic to acknowledge my claim as mother to child on Harry James Potter." Molly declared stoutly, causing the two men to suck in a breath as they waited. A moment later a golden glow enveloped the Weasley Matriarch before gently fading away.

"That could have killed you, woman!" Sirius hissed. "How do you think Harry would have felt if the magic had rejected your claim? You know he would be perfectly happy waiting and using the blood adoption ritual! Hell, he let this old dog adopt him over the summer."

"Which is one of the reasons that such a petition is not used lightly nor do the prospective parents do it simultaneously in case of a fatal rejection." Arthur reminded Sirius softly just before offering his own petition. "I, Arthur Bilius Weasley, Lord of the Weasley household and line do petition Lady Magic to acknowledge my claim as father to child on Harry James Potter." A moment later a similar, if darker, golden glow enveloped Arthur before gently fading away.

At the same time at Hogwarts Tom, Harry, and Severus were just entering the great hall for supper when Harry glowed first a rich gold that faded into a slightly darker gold before fading away. Once again making him the center of attention for the entire school. Harry looked at his startled husbands in worried puzzlement as they watched him in stunned silence.

"Uh, what just happened?" Harry asked hesitantly.

"Someone, two someones actually, just petitioned Lady Magic to acknowledge a familial bond with you... She accepted." Tom told him in a stunned tone of voice.

"They can't have him." Severus snarled adamantly. "We already have to share him with the Weasleys, the Malfoys, and those who have a fealty bond with him. We even have to share him with the mutt! I'm not sharing him with anyone else."

"Shhh, Severus, its alright. If they try to take him we'll fight to keep him. He's our husband and no one is taking him from us." Tom soothed.

Tom continued to sooth Severus even as he discretely signaled the twins for a distraction. Fred and George took to this gleefully by grabbing a still puzzled Harry and, laughing, they dragged him over to the Heir table for supper. Sev tried to follow but Tom held him back and pointed out that it was just the twins as he continued to sooth his husband while leading the man to his seat at the staff table.

Supper that night was an interesting affair since only the current Hogwarts students knew about the fact that the current prankster kings had been given free reign to prank the entire school, completely at random. Even more so, since only the current students and a couple of almost completely Slytherin families knew or bothered to cast the detection spells. This turned out to be one of the supposedly "random" meals the twins had chosen to... enhance. The general chaos and holiday themed pranks that resulted had almost everyone laughing and in a good mood by the end of the meal.

Chapter Text

"Sooo, are you going to explain what that gold light was?" Harry asked as they headed for their quarters.

Tom was still having a difficult time distracting Sev from just grabbing Harry and carrying him back to their rooms like a caveman or newlywed husband with his bride. He knew that if he hadn't been needed to distract Severus he would feel similarly. Tom was also tempted to hurt whoever had invoked that particular ritual if only because of how much it would have hurt Harry when he had discovered what the ritual was and what would have happened if it had failed. They were going to have enough trouble calming him when Harry figured out the risk whoever it was had taken for him.

"It was a very old type of ritual." Severus said tightly. "Typically in the past it was used to acknowledge that someone was as much as if not more of a parent or sibling to the named person as their birth siblings and parents. You would petition Lady Magic to acknowledge the familial claim. If she agreed with the claim a light the same or similar color to the aura of the one receiving the bond would envelop both the petitioner and the named person. Failure was often debilitating and could even be fatal."

"Should someone petition as a parent and if they succeeded it counted as an adoption. The magic would add their blood to the child if invoked as an adoption rather than something else, just as with a blood adoption ritual." Tom finished the explanation quietly. "However a blood adoption ritual adds the blood of those adopting to the adoptee, regardless and only really works between parent and child. Any document muggle or magical will list the one who used this particular ritual as an adoptive parent or simply as a parent. If adopted as a sibling the blood of one or both would be altered to reflect that as well. The risk is the same for any such bond Lady Magic is being asked to acknowledge."

Harry stopped in his tracks suddenly feeling cold. Someone had just risked their life to claim him as family. Both Tom and Severus could have died if Lady Magic had rejected their bonding, no matter how unwilling or unknowing they had all been at the beginning. Tom and Severus had stopped when Harry had, anticipating their husband's reaction to the news. Sensing Harry's distress, both knowing and sensing how bad it was as Harry was so distressed he had forgotten to Occlude to keep from bothering them, they both brought him into a hug, trying desperately not to clutch at him.

"Shhh, we wont let them take you from us." Severus soothed desperately.

"You choose if they are going to be part of your life, not them." Tom soothed both his husbands. "Lady Magic acknowledged their claim, of what type we don't know but if you don't want to see or speak to whoever did it then you wont. You are ours. Nothing can change that."

"But they just..." Harry began helplessly.

"Yes, and they broke protocol by not asking you first." Tom pointed out still holding Harry even as he took a firmer grip on Severus' arm. "This is one of the reasons that the blood adoption ritual is most often used, both parties must be present for that and willing. For this, only Lady Magic can stand in judgment and she has acknowledged bonds without the knowledge of the receiver in the past."

"Its rare, but this ritual has been used to declare ones self as an enemy." Severus admitted hesitantly. "Which is another reason that you ask before performing any such ritual. However I am told that a declaration of enmity usually streaks the enveloping magical aura with red and black. I don't know what whoever it was claimed nor do I know why Lady Magic acknowledged it, only that she did."

"If they used the right formula, they could have simply declared that they would take you from us," Tom admitted. "and the aura would be acting as a warning to stay on our guard. Her acknowledgement would be acting similar to an Unbreakable vow, if they fail she will claim a forfeit. With an Unbreakable vow the forfeit is standard or, more rarely, it is specified."

"He's not saying that is what they did only explaining in a way we know you would understand." Severus hastened to add.

"But that is what you're both afraid of." Harry said softly. "That someone will try to take me away from you somehow."

"Yes." Severus' voice was suddenly thick with fear and potential grief.

"If they take me, they wont keep me." Harry said in determination. "I wont leave you, either of you. You're MINE!"

"Lets go back to our quarters." Tom said softly. "Sev, we can check that he's alright there, not in this corridor, no matter how deserted it is at the moment."

"I'm fine." Harry contradicted softly.

"Please, just... let us check?" Sev asked almost hesitantly.

Harry pulled back to look at both of his husbands and taste the bond before nodding his agreement. When they got back to their quarters the check to make sure nothing was wrong with Harry turned into an extended cuddle session as Harry soothed the fears of his husbands. They fell asleep wrapped around each other in a sort of human puppy pile. They were so wrapped up in just being near and touching each other they barely noticed when Winky and Dobby magically changed their clothes and slid them under the covers of the bed.

~

They entered the great hall the next day, on Christmas Eve, to find that the twins had been given the task of discovering any interfamily rivalries and then arranging the seating at the tables accordingly. There would be no house tables that night and Harry would be able to sit with his husbands at the staff table on the dais. Every seat was labeled and if you sat in the wrong spot the chair and table setting would glow red and a loud hooting announcement would sound declaring that you were stealing someone's seat. This amused most of those attending the Christmas Eve day feast that Dumbledore was throwing and delighted the younger children who continually triggered the wrong seat warnings.

One of Severus' projects since they had left the hospital wing that was assigned by Dumbledore upon the trio's discovering that the school would be hosting a large number of families for the holidays was in very prominent evidence. Extremely delicate chocolate Water Lily flowers, laced with a combination cheering and goodwill potion. One was placed at each and every place and there were others liberally spread around the room ready and waiting to be snuck off and eaten.

Professor McGonagall had graciously transfigured many of the special decorations and a few surprises for both the children and adults to discover. Flitwick happily worked with her to enchant much of what she transfigured. Occasionally they both swiped some of Severus' chocolate potion laced flowers to add to what they were doing. Filius even set some of them to floating around the room with what seemed to be a flame coming off the tip of the flower top. More than one of those same flowers ended up in their bellies. The biggest thing that Minerva transfigured was a giant set of golden bells that Dumbledore hung over the staff table.

Because of what had happened at supper the day before neither Tom nor Severus had let Harry leave their rooms early for the Christmas Eve feast. Instead they again made absolutely sure that he knew he was not only loved but that they would fight to keep him if someone threatened their claim. Harry reveled in their attention but also gently reminded them that he was capable of making a choice on his own and that he wouldn't leave them. It took some doing but Harry managed to calm the fears of his husbands again even as he knew that anyone that threatened the three of them would never escape, no matter how much at the time he might hope otherwise.

Back in the great hall Harry marveled at the complete transformation that the teachers had wrought from great hall to a winter wonderland palace. As he looked around he wondered what Sev and Tom had worked on and knew that his husbands would never tell him, no matter how much he begged. He smirked at the thought that he'd have to trick the information out of the rest of the staff during the feast. He also knew that the fake snowfall was a part of the castle's magic, or at least the snow up near the ceiling was part of the weather display charm on the great hall's ceiling.

Harry and the everyone else watched in fascination as one of the walls started to change, forming a winter themed slide and small playground for the younger children near the front of the great hall. The tables started to melt into the floor leaving behind thick picnic blankets with a sort of backrest formed almost like snow drifts, leaving the golden place settings behind at each spot.

The children, especially the younger ones shrieked in joy at seeing the play area as the adults either examined the new seating arrangements or found a way to ask Dumbledore what the devil he was playing at. The Headmaster had no answer for them but the joyful shout from Harry and the sudden appearance of a climbing set that shaped to Harry's movements made it clear. The castle was changing its self for the pleasure and needs of its Lords. This left most of the adults stunned and a good deal of the Hogwarts students either gossiping or joining Harry in his play. The castle even set up a sitting area with books and parchment specifically for Tom and Severus off to the side, a third throne awaiting Harry for whenever he got done climbing the intricate designs she was crafting for him to gleefully scramble through.

"I think we know how the castle responds to bonded Lords now." Hermione said softly just from Tom and Severus' right as they watched Harry gleefully scramble through the magically shifting climbing area. A child fell and they could clearly see that there were safety and cushioning magics working. The same child scrambled back up and into the constantly shifting combination of a jungle gym and crawl tunnels.

"I wonder if he ever got the chance to play like this?" Severus murmured.

"I doubt it but then neither you nor I got much of chance for it either." Tom murmured back.

They stood there and watched their husband indulgently as he scrambled, slid, and climbed through the shifting network of hand holds and short tunnels. Suddenly, Harry instinctively launched himself up and away from the climbing set swarming with children below him. Even as he flew through the air, unaided in his short flight, the stone below him surged up in a wave to provide a slide for him to slide down, laughing, and into the arms of his husbands.

"That was great!" Harry said enthusiastically. "I wonder how that happened?"

"Hogwarts, my dear Harry. Hogwarts." Severus told him in amusement.

"After that display, it really wouldn't surprise me if Hogwarts knew Harry was coming and that she needed to pick out the best people for him and help them. That she chose us for his mates..." Tom said musingly. "We needed the lifetime of experience just to keep up with him and how magic its self chooses interesting... interpretations around him. I wonder if Nimue felt this way around Merlin."

"You forget she was powerful in her own right and Harry is one of Merlin's line." Severus reminded him softly, even as he gently smiled at their young husband, forgetting they had an audience.

"That was almost as good as flying." Harry told them, causing Tom to make a face at the thought of flying on a broomstick which made the other two laugh.

"Come, let the others play." Severus told him. "I know you wanted to look around at how the staff decorated before it was time for the meal." What no one noticed was that Luna had taken position at the edge of the dias, which was for the moment clear of anyone else.

"Excuse me." Luna called gently to the room. After seeing there was no noticeable effect she drew her wand and set one of the bells hung over the dias to ringing. When she had everyone's attention she nodded then silenced the ringing bell.

"I apologize for interrupting your exploration of the recent changes in decoration." Luna told the crowded room. "The Castle Hogwarts would like to introduce you to her Lords. She also asked me to assist them in officially taking on their duties as the Lords of Hogwarts. The castle knows and understands that none of her lords have been instructed in the acceptance and she has gotten frustrated with being unable to assist when they have been attacked."

"Luna? Are you sure?" Harry asked carefully.

"Oh, yes. Also your husbands were right. Hogwarts saw them and chose them as your husbands. She knew the three of you would do well together and care for one another. The castle is the one who activated the age equalization portion of the potion that Peeves dropped on you. Its part of why I had to be touching you when the vial broke. Professor Trelawny doesn't have enough time in her blood to have stabilized the process and lengthened your life spans. You also needed the hug." Luna answered him sweetly.

"Why now? Why not when she realized we didn't know enough? Or for that matter why didn't she simply provide us with the right book or a list of what to do?" Tom asked carefully.

"You needed time to be married." Luna said as she smiled beatifically. "You are the strongest possible lords to have come within a 1,000 miles of Hogwarts since she was built and the castle has always had a say in who would become bonded to her as her Lord or Lady. The last candidate rejected her offer of Lordship and the founders were not strong enough to act as her Lords and Ladys. You are."

Luna gazed at the startled faces before her and continued. "She knew that giving it to only one of you without the other two to help would have caused problems for you and the magic. She decided that she didn't want to loose another Lord to that, so she changed you. If it happens you can take it in turns and support each other. If it doesn't then she can maintain the bond until one of you or the castle chooses to break it."

"How do they take on the Lordship duties?" Fred called from near one of the 12 traditional Christmas trees.

"Hermione, as one of the Heirs of Hogwarts you must kneel to Harry, Tom, and Severus. Anyone here who bears a mark of one of the three Lords of Hogwarts must kneel to them. Headmaster, if you don't want the bond to Hogwarts ripped from you, you must also kneel and acknowledge the transfer of power and responsibility. Governors, unless you bear the mark of one of the Lords you must remain standing and act as observers." Luna instructed before she went serious and gave the room a warning. "Those who know they wish to swear to Harry James Potter, Severus Tobias Snape, or Tom Marvolo Riddle at some point in the near future must kneel or wait six months for the magic to fade. Any attempt to swear to them while present at this without bowing is a death sentence."

"Miss. Lovegood, can you explain why any of us should bow?" Dumbledore asked congenially, the barest hint of steel in his voice, earning a glare from various people, most of whom were marked by either Tom or Harry.

"Both Lady Magic and Lady Hogwarts have chosen them and the magic build up will kill any who are not sincere to their core and strong enough during this time, should they choose to swear allegiance to the Lords of Hogwarts. You should remember that Headmaster. They have been chosen by both Lady Magic and Lady Hogwarts." Luna told him, eyes eerily clear. "I will allow you to continue playing your little game. They will learn something when they finally decide that you are too much of a threat. Had you done your duty as Headmaster none of this would be necessary and they would have each been bound when they came of age. Instead over a thousand lives have been obliterated or crippled because you decided to play the chessmaster. When it comes time to pay your due, you will pay in blood and pain, you will beg for death."

"I very much doubt that Miss. Lovegood." Dumbledore contradicted smugly. "I survived two Dark Lords and personally removed one of them. It is far more likely that I will die comfortably in my bed, asleep and dreaming of Lemon drops."

"Believe what you will." Luna told him simply. "For the assumption of the lordship duties the rest is simple..." Suddenly she sidestepped a hex that was tossed at her from somewhere in the crowd. A student collapsed when someone hit him from behind with a stunner and the student was quickly secured.

"Thank you Draco." Luna said cheerily. "Its not really his fault but the imperio ought to be broken now. As I was saying, those who are marked or who might want to be marked or sworn to Harry, Tom, or Severus within the next six months need to kneel. I advise Headmaster Dumbledore to kneel as well because when the bond between him and Hogwarts is removed it will be a bit rough on him even if he acknowledges the transfer. Next all three of you need to officially delcare that you accept the responsibilities of being a Lord of Hogwarts. Hogwarts herself decides which privileges and special abilities are bestowed. One of the standard ones is freedom to apparate through the wards as well as general access to all of the castle's wards."

"Do we need to do anything else? Stand anywhere special? Be dressed special? Or something?" Harry asked hesitantly.

"Nope. It would be nicer if you did this on the dias though." Luna told them brightly. "And don't worry too much about us. We'll try to help of course after you've taken up your duties but it might take us a while to reach you."

"Alright." Harry said, puzzled, before he and his husbands made their way up on to the dias.

"Simultaneously or individually?" Tom asked the seer bluntly.

"You can do it simultaneously but Harry has to speak first." Luna told them already sinking back into her dreamy state. "It is a bit easier to do it individually but then you stay vulnerable longer."

"Simultaneous." Sev declared softly. "Harry? Would you start?" Harry nodded, then they moved to join hands with their arms crossed in front of them, forming a combined triangle and circle. Then they started to glow.

"We are the Lords of Hogwarts. Through hardship and joy, sadness and delight, mourning and celebration we have walked. Each of us has come away from both experiences and memories both changed and remaining ourselves. We are ready to take up our duties to the castle Hogwarts. The legal bond is complete. The magical bond is complete. Now we accept the duties and responsibilities that come with those bonds. We stand united as the Lords of Hogwarts." They spoke in unison, voices joined in an eerie harmony.

There was a brilliant blue-white flash before they slowly collapsed, hands still joined. Before anyone could move a ribbon appeared over them. Just as the ribbon touched them something small, a button or bead, shot from the crowd to hit them and they vanished with the distinctive pop of a portkey. Suddenly there was a grinding animalistic roar coming from the very stones of the castle, even as every house elf on Hogwarts grounds popped into the room on the dias, frantically searching for the Lords of Hogwarts.

Not a single trace of them was found, but neither was the ribbon there either. A split second had separated the activation and landing of the portkey and the landing of the magical ribbon of responsibility. Hogwarts was not pleased. Before anyone could move further or think to flee she sealed the great hall, the main doors, every single door, window, or passage way that lead out of her. She then dumped Gellert Grindelwald and his entourage into the room on the dias with the full knowledge of what had just happened with the magical demand to act as her hands and her voice. She wanted her bonded lords BACK!

Chapter Text

Harry groaned softly as he slowly regained consciousness. He could feel that he was on some sort of stone floor with his head settled on something soft, while someone petted his hair. When he opened his eyes, his gaze was met by that of both of his worried husbands. Apparently he was the last to wake up from whatever had knocked them out.

"What happened?" Harry asked groggily. "Felt like being ripped out of a web, and whoever was doing the ripping wasn't nice about it."

"You could say that." Tom said softly with a small relieved laugh. "Hogwarts was acknowledging our assumption of our duties as well as officially granting us special privileges. Whatever happened ripped us out of the web of magic that was forming."

"Is this another one of your attempts to kill me that maybe you or Lucius forgot to take apart?" Harry asked accusingly, after looking around to find that they were trapped in a hollowed out stone chamber that didn't seem to have any entrances or exits.

"No, but I need to remember to double check those to make certain they actually all are dismantled or at least used for something better. Like a storage room or converted to a reception area." Tom told them tiredly. "The bond isn't happy that this happened. Its almost as if the damned thing is alive..."

"What?" Severus asked quietly, as Tom suddenly looked pensive.

"It occurs to me that maybe it is alive." Tom said softly. "Harry was one of my Horcruxes. Nagini still is one. All of the others merged back into me during the resurrection ritual, before the bond was initiated muchless consummated. One of the items that I had made into a Horcrux was passed down from the Perverell brothers. It could have been one of the Deathly Hallows or rather contained a Hallow."

"Which one?" Harry asked curiously, as he carefully sat up and was immediately bracketed by his husbands. "Didn't you make sure to put them... away or something? Even though they don't have pieces of your soul anymore?"

"Yes, Harry. I did." Tom told them dryly. "They're sitting in my personal Gringotts vault."

"Tom? Which one?" Sev asked again, quietly.

"The ring. It has a stone set into it. A stone that can be flipped while still wearing the ring." Tom admitted quietly. "It might be the resurrection stone. I have no idea where the Elder Wand and the Invisibility Cloak are or who hold them."

"What are the Deathly Hallows and what's so important about the Perverells?" Harry asked as he snuggled further into both of them as they practically cuddled around him.

"That's right, you wouldn't know." Severus said softly.

Then Severus and Tom told Harry the story of the Perverell brothers and how they had won the Hallows from Death for evading him. Even as Death plotted and used the Hallows to reclaim each brother one by one. Finally ending years later with the youngest but greeting him not as an advisory but as an old friend who had lived a full life, well loved by his family.

"There is a mark on each of the Hallows to show that it truly is a Hallow." Tom told him softly. "It is considered to be the Perverell crest. Grindelwald used it as his sign during his attempt to conquer the Wizarding World, starting from his home country of Germany. You saw it on the robes of his followers when he arrived. A triangle with a circle inside it and a line running down the middle of the entire thing. The circle represents the stone, the line is the wand, and the triangle is the cloak."

"But that mark is on the inside of the hood of my cloak." Harry told them in protest. "It can't... it can't really be Death's cloak... can it?"

"You'll have to show us when we get back. Its completely possible that someone in your family just sewed it into the cloak because the Potters are descended from the Perverells." Severus told him comfortingly. "We'll check it when we're safely back at Hogwarts."

"I'm fairly certain that Dumbledore holds or held the Elder wand. I don't know what happened to it after Hermione and the twins took his wand away from him. I wasn't able to finish checking the information before I was turned incorporeal." Tom admitted almost sheepishly. "I wanted the wand for its power. Now that I'm whole again I find that I don't need it."

"Aww, how sweet." A saccharine sweet voice floated over to them from across the barren room. The tone reminded them unpleasantly of Umbridge.

When they looked up they found a man and a woman lounging against the opposite wall. The man was dark haired, tall, lean, brown eyed, with an angular face. He was wearing deep blue robes lined with silver embroidery. The woman on the other hand had brown hair that was edging into red. She was a head shorter than the man, had blue eyes, a willowy body, an oval porcelain face and clearly had never gone hungry in her life. Both had an air of savagery about them.

"Marcell didn't make it out." He observed.

"Then the fool is dead." She retorted as she moved toward their captives. "Look they didn't even try to get out."

"Madam, we did indeed try." Severus contradicted softly. "Tom was able to sense the anti-aparation ward and checked it, as did I. The traps were quiet ingenious."

"There was also the fact that you confiscated our wands." Tom said dryly. "Wandless magic can only do so much, even if we were able to use it."

Harry kept silent and studied their captors as his husbands tried to manipulate them into giving away something they could use. He was a Gryffindor when he needed to be but right now he needed to be more like his husbands. More Slytherin than Gryffindor.

"Aw, is the little baby scared? Going to let the your friends protect you?" The woman mocked, in a disturbingly accurate imitation of Bellatrix.

"Tam, you know I hate when you act like that crazy bitch." The man told her shuddering.

"Shove it." She snarled at him. "I get to play with them however I want. If I want to act like Lestrange then I will."

"But wouldn't it be more fun to watch them writhe and then make them fuck each other bloody? I thought you wanted them as toys, or at least to break them before presenting them to the Dark Lord." The man soothed. His words causing dread to pool in the trio. Tom started to moved to explain that he was the Dark Lord but the grip of both of his husbands stopped him.

"They wont believe you." Severus said softly. "Its likely that Bella wasn't the only one who didn't believe that the situation was as you presented it."

"Let them talk." Harry reminded his husband and bondmate. "We'll learn more. It was how I managed to stay out of the Dursleys way a lot of the time. I listened."

"None of them had the right wands but green eyes is clearly the Potter brat." The man reminded her. "I still think we should try to get Lord Malfoy or someone else in the inner circle to check them."

"Not after all that work." She snarled then a nasty smile spread across Tam's face. "We'll play with them first. I will not give them up to one of those inner circle greedy bastards before I have too."

"And how do we know Marcell got all of the right people?" The man asked archly. "Malfoy had been acting like he's the new Dark Lord. Handing out punishments when we don't conform to his standards. Standards that seem to be far nicer, far more light than our Lord's. For god's sake Marketh got tortured for a week just for raping that muggle! When the Dark Lord was in charge you'd get congratulated on your technique, not tortured for touching the filth for a little fun."

"You forget, Malfoy tried to stay out of those revels. So did Snape for that matter." Tam reminded him.

Their captor's conversation started to make Harry feel ill and both of his bondmates cuddled him between them as unobtrusively as possible. They both remembered the madness of those days. They both also deeply wished that Harry would never have had to know about the details but it looked like that had been a false hope.

"You didn't hear? Snape tried to beg for the life of the mudblood Lily Potter. I don't know what happened but she died with her husband and Snape crawled into a bottle before Dumbledore dragged him out to teach potions." The man told her in disgust.

"No more than one bottle of alcohol in our quarters. I wont risk loosing you to that again. Uncle Vernon always got mean when he was drunk." Harry said softly.

Severus dipped his head slightly in response and agreement. Tom simply moved so that he was more in between their captors and his husbands. He would deal with it if Severus slipped into using alcohol again when it happened. For now he would trust the man to know his own limits.

"If you're so concerned that we have the right brats, why don't we use the Waking Nightmare potion?" Tam offered sweetly, causing both Tom and Severus to stiffen. It was clear to Harry that they had both heard of it and that it wasn't anything good.

"You were very adamant that we would either fuck them or force them to fuck each other." The man reminded her, watching her consideringly. "That potion might make them useless for that."

"Not if we paired it with a Girding Potion and Lover's Revenge." Tam shot back.

"Remind me? Lover's Revenge?" The man asked curiously. "I remember that the Girding Potion increases endurance for a couple of weeks."

"Fine, that's my name for it." Tam admitted. "The official name is something like Lover's Control or Command. It allows the person who gives the potion to the drinker total control over their ability to come until some combination of several things has happened. The drinker has to recieve come from whoever is fucking them six times to their one time coming, and then once they've come six times, or they've been fucked up the arse by six different people who drew blood and allowed to come once. If they're coming six times each time has to be on command or its rather painful. I think Rosier developed it just before the Potter brat survived our Lord's attack."

"The one that had that mudblood begging to be touched even if it hurt? I thought that was still in the experimental stage when Moody killed him." The man said thoughtfully. "Wasn't it possible to keep them in a painfully aroused state even fucking them if you were careful not to draw blood?"

"You had to share with at least one other person at least once for it to work right or make sure they don't come six times but yes." Tam agreed. "We don't have any made up but we can make them brew it while we watch or feed one of them poison and refuse to give them the antidote until they're done making it perfectly before handing it over to us. Its not like it isn't more fun to force the potions down their throats rather than just spelling it into their stomachs like pansy arse healers."

"Trust me." Tom whispered to Harry and Sev before standing up, drawing the attention of their captors. Severus had to grab and hold Harry tightly so that he couldn't lunge after Tom.

"I believe we can come to an arrangement." Tom said smoothly, turning on the charm. "I've been having some trouble keeping these two in line. That potion seems like the perfect solution to show them their place and get them to remember it. They can be so stubborn at times."

"Bastard!" Harry hissed out even as Severus gripped him even tighter, pinning him in Sev's arms and lap.

"Why should we give it to you?" Tam said nastily. "We were going to enjoy the show when the three of you can't fuck your selves free of the symptoms. You both seem inordinately fond of the Potter brat."

"Did you honestly think that there weren't other factors in play?" Tom demanded harshly. "We keep Potter in line and out of the way until the Dark Lord is ready to deal with him. When we're called we'll bring him and lay him at the feet of the Dark Lord, fully trained and pliable for whatever he wants to do with him. If he's letting Malfoy take control and make us able to work out in the open without having to dodge Aurors left and right don't you think he might know something we don't? Unless of course you want to find yourselves ripped open and crucioed for disrupting his plans for Potter."

Harry had to bow his head to hide his smile as he silently shook with laughter disguised as sobbing in Severus' arms. Yes, his husbands would have him at the feet of the Dark Lord and Harry would enjoy giving Tom a blow job as Sev fucked him. Everything Tom had just said was if not completely true than so laced with the truth it didn't make much difference. It was just a different way of looking at their situation.

"If that's your logic Tam, we might as well make them drink the Girder potion now. We can decide what to do with them after they've drunk that and made the Lover's whatever." The man pointed out. "Its not like they're going anywhere and we have their wands."

Severus shifted Harry in his lap and froze even as Harry did. That potion vial was not in his robes when he put them on. Harry squirmed a bit, trying to get whatever hard thing he was sitting on out from under him. Severus tightened his grip again in warning causing his husband to go still. Severus carefully slid the vial out of his robes behind Harry's back, shielding it from the view of their captors and looked at it. His quiet noise of shock at seeing what potion was in the vial had Harry wanting to twist around and see. Instead he leaned backward into his husband and helped conceal it further, pasting a look of terrified grief on his face.

"Once we get back I'm going to have to oblivate Potter." Tom complained. "Do you really want to make it worse for yourselves?"

"Why? If he's so pliant, why would you need to bother with the Obliviate?" The man demanded.

"You really want him to find a way to escape us once we're back at Hogwarts?" Tom asked archly.

"Why even return to the school? If our lord really did give you such a task." Tam sneered.

"You think that making the Boy-Who-Lived disappear is something that will simply be left alone?" Severus asked eyebrows raised, even as Harry made another noise of distress.

"Enough. Tam, I know you're practically carrying an apothecary. Get out the ingredients and instructions for that Lover's potion. I'll transfigure the equipment for them. If they actually are who they say they are and are on a mission for our lord they will have no problem brewing the potion and willingly taking the Girder potion." The man told her eyebrows raised. "Its not like the Girder will do anything detrimental to them."

Tam nodded and took out the needed ingredients, unshrinking them and putting them on the table that her accomplice had just transfigured along with the silver potions knife. She handed him the instructions and list of both ingredients and equipment so that he could quickly transfigure the right sized cauldron and silver scales. Once he was done transfiguring everything he handed the recipe to Tom, even as Harry and Severus finally stood up and came up behind him. Severus was still keeping one of his arms wrapped around Harry in a supposed attempt to keep him in check. Before Tom could hand the recipe to Severus so that they could start brewing, the man pulled out a vial of Girder Potion and passed it over to them.

"One mouthful each." He told them, smirking. "We don't want you unable to take more later, now do we?"

"Tom? May I?" Severus asked quietly.

Tom silently passed the potion back to him for Severus to examine. Severus examined it and nodded slightly while making a sharp hand motion out of sight of their captors, switching the golden Girder potion with the slightly different molten gold one he had discovered in his robes. He quickly opened the vial and swallowed a mouthful before passing it to Harry and Tom who each followed his example finishing off the vial.

Next, Severus, following the urging of the Felix Felicis, better known as Liquid Luck, they had just drunk, discretely and wandlessly spelled 1/3 of the actual Girder potion into the stomachs of each of them. He had the feeling they might need it. Tom quietly handed over the potion instructions to Severus and they set about brewing the potion. Harry made certain to seem sad and despondent as he followed the quiet instructions that Severus spoke to each of them.

During the long brewing process the man had transfigured a couple of chairs, a table, and a pack of cards for their captors to mess with. He carelessly set aside their wands under his chair. It was a simple matter for Harry to pretend to trip and sweep them up under his shirt as he rolled into a ball and the woman kicked him sending him rolling back towards his husbands with an exaggerated whimper. Severus used the distraction to add a little extra salt and quickly stir it 3 times clockwise and 2 times in a counterclockwise figure eight, completely neutralizing the potion without otherwise changing the brewing process in the slightest. Nearly 12 hours later they were done brewing the potion and each of their small doses of Felix Felicis had worn off.

"Nice, very nice." The man complemented as they checked the potion. Then, before anyone could move he spelled some of the potion straight into Harry's stomach. In a flash the trio had their wands out and were casting even as they moved to evade any incoming spells, simultaneously taking out both of their captors and disarming them.

"Please tell me that you changed the potion?" Harry asked quietly. "I really don't want to be trapped here needing one of you to fuck me until I can come six times or have to wait for him to wake up and fuck me."

"I added something to it when you retrieved our wands and neutralized it." Severus told them. "You don't have to worry about it."

"Oh, he might. It just wont be until we get back to Hogwarts." Tom practically purred as he pocketed the recipe for the potion. "I think I'll enjoy having you begging me and Severus to fuck you until we let you come six times."

"Tom, not until I've thoroughly checked it and made certain that it will wear off after a while or I've made an antidote. We can't be sure that their conversation wasn't staged." Severus warned.

Severus stalked over and snatched the recipe from his husband's pocket before going over to their captors and searching them. Thus leaving Tom behind near the potions equipment to pout cutely at his back, much to Harry's amusement. He quickly found how the two were planning to leave, another portkey.

"I hate portkeys." Harry complained.

"Aparating is worse." Severus told him absently as he looked over the portkey, examining it and trying to find where it would take them. They never saw the three men melt into existence from their concealment against the stone walls as if from the walls themselves.

"They're clearly dangerous." One man said. This caused the three to whirl around wands raised to find them facing 3 impassive wizards, wands out ready to cast, dressed in plain stone grey robes and cloaks.

"Wands please." Another of the men requested politely

"We're surrounded aren't we?" Severus asked softly, even as he grabbed Harry's arm preventing him from casting a spell impulsively.

"You have been since you arrived." The first one said with a shrug.

"Unspeakables?" Tom asked as he lowered his wand and both of his husbands followed suit, if a touch reluctantly as one of them collected the wands from them.

"Of a sort. Mr. Snape, the portkey please?" The second man asked and Severus silently handed over the ratty shoelace portkey. Then the man took two standard size 12 potions bottles from the still silent member of their party and extended them out to the trio. "We need you to take these potions. If you refuse I doubt that you will find the consequences pleasant for any of you, starting with Mr. Potter."

"Why do they always target me?" Harry muttered under his breath. "First it was Voldemort, then it was the basilisk and the tournament, now this?"

"A drink from each bottle please." The man told them as Tom silently took them from him and turned to hand them to Severus.

"I don't recognize one of them but the other is a powerful magic triggered aphrodisiac." Severus told them quietly.

"Thank you for that analysis Mr. Snape. Mr. Riddle you appear to believe that you actually have a choice in the matter. The only choice the three of you has is if you'll drink them of your own volition or if we will have to do something.... drastic before spelling them into your stomachs." The first one said dryly. "I promise you that we will have no problem taking drastic action if you don't cooperate."

"Very well. Harry will drink last." Tom said quietly, before switching to parseltongue. "~Harry, if you get the chance go. Don't argue just go. You can get help and come back for us but its clear they want us all out of commission. Don't give them that.~"

"English please, Mr. Riddle." The second man demanded sharply.

"I was merely reminding Harry that this is not a regulated tournament with safety nets like the Triwizard Tournament last year." Tom said blandly. "I was also going to tell him that we need to be careful and cooperate. I thought he would take it more seriously if I told him in parseltongue."

"The two of you are the only known parseltongue speakers since Salazar Slytherin. Any more use of the snake tongue will be punished." The second man informed them, almost angrily.

"Tom, don't provoke them. Its not like we're sure they're any different from Vernon or Dumbledore." Severus reminded him softly. His comment made Tom stiffen and back up toward his bondmates as if to protect them. Harry soothed him by rubbing Tom's back a bit as he got closer to them.

"Give me the potions." Tom said gruffly. "I'll drink first." Severus handed them over and Tom took a drink before handing them back for Severus, then Harry to follow suit before they were returned to their captors.

"We use the potion that you were unable to identify to subdue and partly control dangerous prisoners, Mr. Snape. You have all proven to be dangerous, so it should come as no surprise that we have chosen to employ it." The first man said conversationally, as he cast several spells that had them pinned to the wall with the shackles growing straight from the stone, securing them in place.

"The only real problem is that it requires a much higher dose the first time to get the point across and activate it. After that all it takes is a single drop or a single breath of the fumes to send the victim back into the containing trance. This also makes it relatively safe for the guards to use, as with out the higher activating dose they remain unaffected. I am told that the trance is exceedingly unpleasant for the victim. Enjoy your nap." As he finished his explanation they all faded from consciousness and fell into a joint living hell.

Chapter Text

21 hours after the trio disappeared via portkey, late Christmas Day, Harry's fealty bound vassals collapsed in pain. Mirroring the pain that Harry himself was now in due to the effects of the Waking Nightmare potion. A rotation of volunteer DA members stood guard over them as the rest of the school frantically searched for an answer. Luna had barely convinced the magic and mind of the school to keep from attempting something drastic before she collapsed. Soothing Hogwarts into a sort of depressed melancholy as the castle waited for those living in her walls to come up with something to help, giving them a chance before taking her own steps to reclaim her lords...

~

When Harry, Tom, and Severus came back to reality they were panting in exhaustion and dripping with sweat, still hanging off of the stone wall. They had awoken only to find their three grey clad captors from before watching them with interest and speculation. It was clear they thought something unusual had happened.

"Well, well, well. It looks like they actually shared their little introductory experience. How unusual." The first man said conversationally. "Lets finish processing them. They failed the safety assessment, basic potion based containment is in place. Hm, what else was there that we needed to do? Ah! Yes, the removal of any active direct magical bloodline connections! I'm afraid that you wont enjoy that at all." Then he cast a spell that made Harry light up with three various colored strands of magic spiraling around his body and attempting to interweave with it. Tom only had one strand light up and it was mirroring Harry's strands of light; Strangely, Severus hadn't reacted to the spell at all.

"Well, isn't that odd. I was certain that the Malfoys had blood adopted you Mr. Snape. Perhaps I and the Daily Prophet were mistaken..." The man said pensively, before dismissing it and continuing. "No matter. We will simply remove the four from your bondmates."

"Magic can be a fickle thing but if we explain to her that only allowing the ritual to go forward or even assisting it will prevent us from outright killing you, even the most favored of Magic will remain unprotected from this little ritual." The man continued pleasantly as he gestured for his companions to bring out their equipment and ingredients for the ritual, explaining exactly what would be happening. "Of course we had to prove our sincerity the first several times she balked. Regulus Black, Abraxes Malfoy, and Armando Dippet made excellent examples. It was even simple to mimic Dippet's death in his sleep and return his body using solely muggle techniques."

"Black and Malfoy were a touch more difficult, house elves can be a real nuisance when you're planning to kill someone but they are part of the reason we have to employ this particular little ritual in the first place." The man sighed in false sadness. "What we are doing is literally ripping the blood of those who have a direct magical bloodline claim to you out of your very bodies. Nasty, yes, but useful. Be glad none of you have children, the mess that one makes is just awful."

"Severus? Why didn't the spell react to you? It was some kind of blood identifier right?" Harry asked almost in a whisper, as the trio of grey clad men focused on setting up their little blood removal ritual.

Severus huffed a sigh, ignoring his exhaustion, and quietly admitted. "I talked Lucius into a purely legal magical adoption. Its one of the reasons why we slipped into the side room. I am Hermione and Draco's brother but Lucius has been my friend, almost my brother since I arrived at Hogwarts. It didn't feel... right. Lucius agreed and Narcissa said she understood. I do not carry the Malfoy blood."

"This is going to be very painful." Tom warned them grimly as he watched the ritual preparations, knowing that adrenaline was the only thing keeping the three of them awake and relatively alert.

"We can only hold one strand apiece, either we rip out Potter's all at once then move on to Riddle or Potter will have to endure it twice. Mark? Your opinion." The second speaker asked the talkative one with barely a glance at their still silent companion.

"Lets defang Riddle and deal with the so called Boy-Who-Lived twice. After all we don't know what kind of protections the boy has on him. We don't want him dead yet in any case." Mark smiled nastily as he answered. Making Harry shiver at the man's menace and causing both of his husbands to flex in their shackles, as if trying to get closer and shield him from the man.

"I still don't get why you're so hostile about them." The other man commented sourly. "We could just as easily knock them out and do this."

"You may not believe me Norman, but Riddle is still Voldemort." Mark snarled. "I know you don't think that blackmailing Lady Magic is the best idea but unless..."

"The ritual was adjusted." Norman interrupted, ignoring the suddenly interested look from their still silent third companion. "You idiot. You never even bothered to check. If Lady Magic does favor them then there's a good chance this. Wont. Work! We might manage to rip out the red and pewter colored bloodlines on Potter but that has more to do with the fact that they aren't settled yet. The Black one has been in place too long and is interwoven with a godparent bond, its not coming off any time soon. The one on Riddle, if we're careful, might be removed but the backlash for both Riddle and the one yanking it out of him is going to be bad, really bad, possibly lethal."

"Then we get one of the idiot Death Eaters to pull it." Mark snarled, never noticing that slight shifting from the two downed Death Eaters. "Its not like they're going to be kept around much longer. The risk of one of them finding out that Riddle is their precious Dark Lord is too great. I'll not risk losing him just because one of them got sentimental."

"Then why don't the two of you go find someone to do it? I'm not going to. I've got a kid at Hogwarts and he's told me how Potter has protected them from things that Dumbledore should have taken care of. I thought this was all a joke when the two of you suggested it. It was fun playing along but this... no." The third man all in grey finally spoke, having been silent up to that point and ignoring the slight movements of the downed Death Eaters in favor of paying attention to his companions.

"You don't care that we finally have the Dark Lord at our mercy? So what if the Potter brat gets hurt in the process? He shouldn't have even been near the Dark Lord!" Mark sneered. "Stop dreaming Lucas. It doesn't suit you." That's when they heard the explosion and felt the ground shake.

"You're sure there isn't a way to find this place?" Norman asked suspiciously, as they heard screaming and the sound of battle echoing down the stone tunnels.

"Of course! I restored the wards and added a modified Fidelius charm to them. I'm no fool." Mark shot back, making Norman glare at the implied insult.

"Why don't the two of you check to make sure that whoever got through isn't making their way down here?" Lucas drawled, as he wandered toward the still bound trio and the downed Death Eaters who had gone unnaturally still at the explosion. Lucas surreptitiously nudged the one he'd seen move, trapping the sleeve of the man's wand arm, before continuing his conversation. "I can keep them under control. Besides, I've got enough of the containment potion to knock them out if they become... rowdy. Presuming of course they can get loose and get their hands on a wand, muchless three."

"Fine." Mark grunted with a sneer, as Norman kept glaring at him and they headed in the direction the sounds of battle were still coming from.

"Idiots." Lucas said derisively, causing Harry, Tom, and Severus to stare at him even in their exhausted state, before giving the Death Eater at his feet a gentle kick. "Get up, both of you, and help me get them down. This has gone too far."

"You had to tell them off, brother dear?" Tam complained as she got up and dusted herself off.

"You had to play at being that crazy bitch, sister dear?" The grey robed Lucas asked sweetly with just a hint of bite to his words.

"That's enough! How long do the two of you think we have? If we're lucky whoever is causing a mess is a rescue party, if we're not then some of the so called prisoners escaped and got their hands on wands." The male Death Eater pointed out harshly even as he started casting spells to get the three down from the wall. "We're already in enough trouble, lets just get them back to Malfoy or Hogwarts."

"Kale, the Malfoys are at Hogwarts." Lucas said acerbically, as he joined the man in trying to get them down from the wall. Tam snorted in amusement and went to stick her head out into the hall to check for anyone coming to interrupt their little breakout.

That's when they all heard the distinctive cackle of Bellatrix Lestrange. Before anyone could move, muchless get the Hogwarts trio down, the room was swarming with Death Eaters lead by Bellatrix. The three apparent captors were pinned to the wall or on the floor at wand point before they could so much as twitch...

~

Bellatrix had collapsed at the same time as everyone else who bore the fealty mark had at Hogwarts. Unlike the other vassals Bella was used to pain because of Tom's previous frequent use of the Cruciatus curse on his people. As a result she was still conscious when the pain eased as Harry, Tom, and Severus came out of the potion induced living nightmare, and could feel her fealty bond responding to their distress. Coming back to herself inside the well warded library filled with dark tomes in Lestrange Manor.

"Rodolphus! Rabastan! Our lord needs us!" Bella screeched as she bolted from the library. "Call Jugson, Gibbon, and anyone else you can! We're going to the Dark Lord's aid!"

"Bella! Grab those potions you got from Snape a couple of years ago, they should still be good, and would you get our battle robes? Rab and I will start firecalling people. We can arrive in force if you give us 20-30 minutes to gather everyone and their gear." Rodolphus called back already heading for the closest fire place, thanking his lord's foresight in establishing the fealty bond with his wife and the magic for granting it.

"I'm going now!" Bella shot back, heading for the front door and the edge of the apparation wards.

"And how are any of us going to follow you? What happens when you distract our lord with your arrival? Will you alone be enough to help him?" Rabastan asked snidely as he skillfully blocked the door, and took her drawn wand from Bella's own hand, only to watch as she snatched it back.

"Fine! But if I feel the fealty mark call me again, I'm going!" Bellatrix half screeched before helping her husband and brother in-law to arrange an impromptu strike force, in the middle of Christmas day.

The moment Bellatrix had everyone coming with her arranged to her liking she focused on her fealty mark and side-along apparated with two others. As she apparated she practically slammed into the wards surrounding wherever Voldemort was and slid to the side, landing about 50 ft. from the edge of the now visibly glowing wards. Even as the glow of the wards faded, Bella found that she had landed near a ward stone and weak point, on the edge of a cliff. She quickly sent one of her tag-alongs back with the apparation coordinates for the rest of the group.

Paying more attention to her surroundings Bella almost absently noted that the crumbling ruins of a Keep that she could see would have once been amazing. It had the perfect positioning, matching its defenses to work with the terrain, not against or through it. Lodged into a stony crag with tunnels likely carved deep into the very stone that it had been set into. Once everyone had arrived Bella gathered all of her strength and with the knowledge that she was saving her lord, she blasted both wards and ward stone alike. Opening a way through the wards and ripping open the ceiling of a nearby tunnel that was clearly a part of the keep.

The group of loyal Death Eaters, led by Bellatrix had barely managed to get into the tunnels before they were faced with a group of wizards and witches. Every single witch and wizard they faced had dressed with some sort of shade of grey in their attire, just as the Death Eaters were all dressed in black, many of them wearing their bone white masks. They came charging around a corner, wands out, ready for trouble and ran headlong into Lestrange spellfire. The battle was quick but they faced two other groups as they advanced into the tunnel system slowing them down a bit.

Bellatrix cackled as she felt them finally approaching wherever her lord was being held. Simultaneously signaling to her husband and brother in-law that they had arrived triggering a well practiced rapid entry and containment drill for the group. Almost the same moment that they entered the room and took down the three standing magic users, a powerful shield went up around the three who were shackled to the wall.

Bellatrix made certain that the others had the men and woman contained before following the pull of the fealty mark and taking a closer look at the sheild. What she found when she peered through the powerful white tinted shield surprised her. There in front of her very eyes was her lord, clearly exhausted, and shackled to the wall next to his husbands. The quickly masked relief she saw in his eyes made her cackle again as she unthinkingly stepped through the shield, not even seeing Potter's look of mistrust.

Bellatrix's fealty mark burned even as the shield rippled, fluctuated, and flashed black for a moment as she stepped through it to get to her lord. A second step into and fully through the shield brought down both the shield and the binding enchantments, melting away the stone around the three Hogwarts Lords. She crooned softly as she approached their crumpled forms. Harry, ignored his exhaustion and, with another burst of adrenaline, scrambled up just enough to pull his husbands behind him, away from the crazy bitch, attempting to shield them even in his still exhausted state.

"Stop!" Harry commanded, weakly holding his hands up in a halting gesture, his husbands crumpled behind him. Bella obeyed with reluctance and a look of extreme disappointment and worry crossing her face, her eyes never leaving the trio before her. Harry's eyes had gone wide as she obeyed.

"Harry." Tom whispered, almost going unheard in his exhaustion.

"Brat, make them find our wands." Severus told him just before he finally passed out with Tom, who was practically shove on top of him, following moments later.

"Search them. Find the wands." Bella snapped, her eyes never leaving them. Harry still blocked her way even as his arms finally drooped as he slumped back against his husbands. Harry joined them in unconsciousness just as he heard a cry of discovery go up, and knew that their wands had been found.

~

Tom awoke slowly to a whispered hissing of an argument, easily recognizing the voices of all three Lestranges'. His entire body ached in pain and exhaustion causing him to groan softly, abruptly ending the fiercely quiet conversation. He didn't even bother trying to open his eyes, yet.

"Harry? Sev'rus?" Tom almost croaked out in a nearly inaudible whisper.

Feeling along the bond Tom could tell they were less then 10 ft. from him, both in one direction and practically on top of each other. With another small groan of pain he felt for the edge of the comfortable bed he had been placed on and forced himself to get out of bed. Rolling until he fell with a small thud, forcing himself first to his knees then his feet before practically staggering toward where he could feel his bondmates.

Barely managing to keep his eyes open a slit, Tom bumped into the edge of the bed that his bondmates had been placed on and crawled in with them. He wrapped his arms tiredly around the nearest, Harry, and grabbed Severus' nearest arm on the other side to hold on too. Even as his bondmates finally relaxed in their sleep, Tom sunk back into the bliss of sleep. He never saw the trio of Lestranges' staring at him in shocked silence, their argument about trying to move him suddenly moot.

~

Harry was dreaming, he was trapped at the Dursleys again but this time he knew both Tom and Sev were trapped with him. They had been tossed down the steps of the basement and each of them had been chained to a separate wall even as they each fought back to no avail. Vernon had made them watch as he gleefully forced them each one by one into the restraints he had anchored deep into the concrete.

The metal of the chains bit deep into the flesh of each of them, threaded through the eye-bolts and padlocked into the shape of shackles. Time seemed to accelerate and before long Harry could hear his stomach and those of his husbands demanding food. Food that all of them knew wouldn't be coming anytime soon, at least not without a high price, one they might not be able to pay. When Vernon finally came back he was holding a belt that had shards of metal sewn into it and was whistling cheerfully as he eyed the three speculatively. Finally the beastly man turned toward Severus who shrunk back into the wall and corner, trying to get away, causing Harry's body to start thrashing, trying to wake himself up.

As Harry thrashed in bed he let out a small cry before shifting into a keening sound. Even as he unknowingly elbowed Tom in the sternum, forcing him to release his grip on Harry and waking him. The next victim of his nightmare was Severus, his ribs getting hit hard enough to knock him from the bed and jolting him into wakefulness. The first thing both tried to do was sooth Harry back into peaceful sleep, reminding him that they were there. One of the more violent jerks quickly convinced them both that he needed to wake up.

"Harry!" Severus called, almost desperately, forcing himself not to shake his husband.

"This isn't working. Aguamenti!" Tom cast the spell wandlessly and effectively dumped a bucket of cold water on Harry and across their bed. Harry bolted upright sputtering and suddenly wide awake.

"What did you do that for?!" Harry cried, then clutched at his aching head. "Oh, my head!"

"You were having a nightmare and decided that using us as punching bags not to mention knocking me off the bed in your sleep was a good idea." Severus scowled, causing Harry to blush in embarrassment and forget his now fading headache.

Sev wandlessly dried the bed, before sighing and climbing back in with his husbands, cuddling as close as possible to them both. Tom finished rubbing his bruised sternum at almost the same time and quickly joined the cuddle, Harry inevitably at the center. That's when both of them started to shake. Harry simply held them both and rubbed their backs, murmuring nonsense and reminding his bondmates that they were safe. That it was a potion and that neither Vernon nor Petunia or even Dudley could touch them any more.

"How?" Severus asked softly. The 'how did you know it wasn't real?' was perfectly implied.

"Because I remember what it was like before Hogwarts, before anyone cared. I also remember the time we spent there this summer." Harry told them even as he continued to sooth them. "Yes, Uncle Vernon is capable of what the potion made us go through but in his mind it would draw too much attention to the fact they have a freak in the family. To him, we aren't worth even what we can give or do for normal people muchless worth basic respect. So why would we deserve the effort it would take to find another bunch of freaks who wanted to do more than simply cause us pain or kill us? Why take the risk of being seen as abnormal or unusual? That's part of what let me know it wasn't real. The problem from what I could tell was that the potion was drawing from my memories to make it properly real."

"Its been years since the two of you have had to face something like this, not counting this summer. You only just took me from the same exact thing. Its alright that you couldn't deal with it after we were safe. You had actually healed some and now the same hurts are hurting again. I was reliving part of it again when you woke me. We'll get through this, just like last time." Harry looked up, his eyes meeting Bella's as she stood silently in the doorway watching and gave no sign to his husbands that she was there as he continued to sooth them as he finished his explanation to them of what he had figured out. "Do you remember when you found me hiding under the bed? I never told you what spooked me. Something reminded me of the time Uncle Vernon poured the bacon grease on my arm and hand. I was so sick for a long time after. I think it had something to do with the fact that Dudley kept rubbing dirt and salt into the burn, and that he thought it was funny when I screamed as he popped the blisters."

Hearing and remembering made both Severus and Tom shiver harder and clutch Harry tighter. Harry watched Bella cautiously as he continued to comfort his husbands. She met his eyes again, and for the first time in almost a decade they were completely and utterly clear of any sign of madness and filling with silent tears of both grief and pain. Bellatrix stood tall and nodded to her lord's husband regally as befitted both her birth and her station, acknowledging the total claim that Harry had on his bondmates. She very carefully cleared her throat, causing both Tom and Severus to stiffen and attempt to pull back on their public masks even as Harry continued to rub their backs soothingly.

"My lords, I am glad to see you awake. From what we could tell you were merely exhausted when we retrieved you. Do you require anything? A healer? Perhaps a meal or something to drink?" Bellatrix asked softly. "Ask for anything and if it is in my power you will have it."

"Can we go home? To Hogwarts?" Harry asked quietly. "How long were we out any way?"

"Several hours. It is just after supper time on Christmas day." Bellatrix informed him carefully. "Considering the many who are now on the grounds of Hogwarts I do not believe that it would be wise to return you there until you have all regained your strength."

"Except we disappeared via an unexpected portkey." Harry contradicted softly, eyes turning into frozen chips of jade. "The castle will protect us the moment we enter her grounds. If nothing else the castle herself needs to be informed that we are safe. The humans living inside her can wait a day or two, but the castle? She cannot wait."

"How does one inform a castle? I only know how to inform wizards and the occasional magical creature." Bellatrix asked, softly, almost warily.

"Simple, you floo call the castle." Harry told her as if it was obvious.

"Harry, how can that work?" Severus asked softly, not bothering to pull away from his husbands.

"She monitors the floo connections along with a bunch of other stuff, and I think that since we took on the ribbon of responsibility she's dealing with our mail too." Harry told them gaze distant as if checking his bond with the castle.

"He must have a deeper bond with the castle then we do." Tom commented quietly and Severus nodded his agreement.

"My lords, when we first retrieved you we attempted to place you in separate rooms. Attempting to take you more than 10 ft. from one another appeared to cause you all pain." Bellatrix informed them. "From your reactions, within 5 ft. seemed to be the preference. We very nearly shoved your beds together when we realized the additional assistance it would provide you. However, the Dark Lord awoke and before we could decide what to do he had joined you in your bed. It was deemed prudent that we simply allow you to rest."

"Is that what you were arguing about?" Tom asked as he sat up properly to look at her in the doorway, never giving up his grip on Harry or Severus.

"Yes, my lord." Bella told him, bowing her head in deference, leaving it bowed. "I was unaware that you even knew we were present. You seemed... determined. It caught us off guard."

"I'd like a list of those who participated in our... retrival. Because of recent issues with our mail I'd prefer that it was hand delivered within the next week or two. We'd also like a change of robes before returning to Hogwarts. We will be returning tonight." Tom told her severely.

"Of course my lord. I will see to it." Bellatrix bowed fully and left to arrange for everything that both Tom and Harry had asked for.

"Can you feel it?" Harry asked quietly.

"Yes." Tom admitted even as Sev nodded.

"I don't believe that she will allow us off of her grounds willingly for some time." Severus finally voiced what they could all feel. The castle was going to be as possessive of them as they were of each other. They had no idea that Dumbledore was currently pacing his office fuming at his loss of control over all three of them...

"Why... why don't you sleep with me that much? I mean aside from actual sleep." Harry finally asked quietly, breaking the silence. "I know you've been having sex and using Occlumency to make sure I didn't know. I walked in on you both once, but I don't really mind... I just..."

"Harry, I... have difficulty being gentle." Tom said gently, his tone in direct contrast to his words. "Severus knows this, and I've known for some time that he tends to like it... a bit rough. If you remember our first time? In the Room of Requirement? The bond wasn't just driving me to establish my claim on the two of you. I truly couldn't be much more gentle. The spells that Dumbledore had placed exacerbated and even broke my control over parts of my personality, some pieces of which can make me dangerous. In a twisted, magnified, and warped sort of way Voldemort is me, even as I am still Voldemort. I cannot change that. I can however keep myself from hurting you both, even if it eventually means I have to go away..."

Before Tom could say another word he found himself pinned under both of his husbands. To his great surprise, Harry was taking the most dominant stance, even going so far as to bite him at the juncture of neck and shoulder. Making Tom moan in sudden arousal and the need to show his mates that he was alpha and they weren't getting away from him any time soon.

"You will lie there and listen, Tom Marvolo Riddle!" Harry hissed as he drew back from his bite, a touch of blood welling from his own claim mark that had been a long time coming. "You will not leave! I'm not giving you up and I very much doubt that Severus would agree to give you up either!" Severus growled his agreement and tightened his hold on his husband and alpha.

"But.." Tom started to protest, still trapped underneath his mates.

"NO!" Harry bit out. "My mates! My husbands! The old goat has taken too much from me already! I'll not lose you too!"

They stared at each other as the tension built between them until, finally, Harry let out a breath and slumped down on Tom's chest.

"Tom," Harry's tone was suddenly soft with caring, compassion, and a touch of fear, all bleeding down the bond clear as a sun beam. "We won't break. I won't break. I liked what we did that day. I liked the couple of times you pinned me after I came in to our quarters after spending time with my friends or when either of you lost control. Tom if you are the Dark Lord of the prophecy and Sev is the Grey Lord, that makes me the Light Lord. I won't lose you, muchless to something this stupid."

They just lay there together, a new stronger understanding in place and a reminder that they weren't alone anymore. Bellatrix found them in an exhausted puppy pile, with Tom on the bottom for once, when she returned with the replacement robes, 20 minutes later. They walked through the floo onto the Hogwarts grounds an hour after that...

Chapter Text

Dumbledore fumed. It was nice having Gellert back in easy reach but the cold shoulder he'd been getting from the man was frustrating, as was the way many of his plans seemed to simply fail of late. All three of those boys just wouldn't fall into line. Using the bonding potion turned out to be a disaster. Sirus Black was no longer dependent on him to stay out of Azkaban or to see Harry. Of course he had Black, Molly, Arthur, Lupin, and Moody contained at the moment. Dumbledore didn't think that Lupin or Moody suspected anything but how he had to go about securing the Weasleys and Black...

Well he would deal with it when the time came. It would be a touch difficult to talk himself out of that one. Maybe one of Tom's followers or even one of Gellert's posed as him to trap them? Why couldn't those fools have activated the portkey before the three had taken on their Hogwarts duties and authorities? They clearly needed a firmer hand, and the supposed leader's fascination with Potter might become a problem, especially if he failed to separate the young lords.

At least the fools had acted before anyone was required to bow or his own connection with the castle and its defenses was taken from him. Perhaps if he told his... order guests that he had been unavoidably detained at the school? After all, aside from collecting the Weasley chit, he easily could have only been informed as to their predicament after Grindelwald's arrival. It would be quite obvious that leaving Gellert free to roam about the castle without him on hand to... deal with any altercations would be unwise.

Only Moody would have an issue about being trapped for so long if he pointed out that he couldn't afford to leave the children vulnerable. Fortunately he had collected the girl then gone back and collected Arthur and Molly. He could claim acting under threat to the students or that someone had polyjuiced themselves to look like him. Black... was going to be a problem. At least the man had been taken from behind and never saw what hit him, muchless who. Dumbledore could claim that he had no choice in leaving the man behind and barely managed to get away himself. Perhaps he had discovered their location only recently. It would mean that he wouldn't even have to bring up Gellert.

Yes, that might do. Come to think of it his tale for Alastor and Lupin was already in place. While it was true that he had arranged for the safehouse to become a trap, his note pointed out that there could be a spy in the order, again. Ensuring that no one could leave the safe house made certain that whoever was hiding there remained safe and could not be taken unawares, as well. An explanation as to why he hadn't retrieved them when he'd recieved the note from the house elf might be in order... unless he never recieved it. It could have been intercepted or destroyed before it ever got to him. Especially if some student had miscast a spell or some such.

Satisfied with what he would be telling his order members, Dumbledore sent for some tea and set about finishing up some paperwork. Pleased with himself and remembering the fact that he'd had the gifts for Harry, Tom, and Severus set aside for a "security check", he mentally promised himself a gift from their pile. He happily went to bed early after another half an hour of work, completely oblivious to the fact that an hour later the three most prickly thorns in his side would walk through McGonagall's floo and back into the protections of the castle. The castle having re-directed them from arriving in the Headmaster's office just to see the look on the old man's face when he ran into them at breakfast...

~

The emergency portkeys had activated at almost the exact moment the shield and bindings on Voldemort, Snape, and Potter had fallen. Lucas remembered as he pondered why they weren't dead yet. Only he, Tam, and Kale had gotten out, but then it didn't look like that was the fault of the rescue party. It was almost as if their portkeys had been specifically summoned.

Of course they could have simply been triggered by the three of them getting pinned. But if that was the case... why would their so called leader even set it up like that? It was a good security measure when one thought about it. A portkey that triggered when the holder was caught or trapped. It certainly kept them from being taken when those three had been "rescued", but then why be so paranoid?

Lucas gave up on that line of thought and put it aside for later. Idly he wondered what kind of punishment they would be getting. He hoped that they wouldn't be placed under a crucio like the Death Eaters tended to be when they had brought displeasing news to Voldemort in the past. That's when he, Tam, and Kale were ushered into a richly furnished study occupied by a single man, standing near a wall of books, a single leather bound book in his hands.

The man was approximately 5' 7", red-brown hair, hazel eyes, with a baby like face and a slender build. His robe was virtually a cross between an oriental kimono and a muggle tuxedo without the tie and using maroon instead of the traditional white. The line of fabric at each wrist, the line of fabric lining the open top of the robe, and the cloth belt all colored to match the formal maroon shirt visible underneath the robe, each with tasteful gold embroidery. The air of innocence around him belied the absolute ruthlessness and leadership he tended to actually possess.

"So, what went wrong?" The man asked softly, almost kindly.

"We confirmed that Harry Potter is in fact bonded to Severus Snape and a young man who appeared to be named Tom Riddle according to the spells. Mark was adamant that Tom Riddle was in fact Voldemort but neither Kale nor Tam recognized him. Tam even went so far in her part of the security test to imitate Bellatrix Lestrange, much to her brother's discomfort. None of them carried the known wands of any of the three wizards. It is completely possible that they were polyjuiced or disguised in some other fashion with unknown or ancient magics." Lucas reported calmly, as Kale and Tam stood to either side of him and slightly behind. "They worked well together and seemed to have an intimate rapport. Tam initiated the potion brewing variant of the security test. Working together they regained their wands and laid out both Tam and Kale without too much difficulty despite the time they took to accomplish the task."

"Mark became increasingly.... erratic while remaining preliminarily within the security protocols. According to his actions and words he seemed to believe that harming Harry Potter was the best way to harm Mr. Riddle and thus Voldemort. I objected when he suggested an overly harmful course of action focused on Potter. Before the argument escalated further the rescue party breached the bases defenses. At that point Kale, and Tam had regained consciousness and we three attempted to free them, after I convinced Mark and Norman to investigate the explosion. Even if our attempt to free them would have only succeed in getting them away from Mark for a short time. I believe that he has become... unbalanced." Even as Lucas finished his report he braced himself to feel the bite of magic and was slightly surprised when nothing happened.

"Did I or did I not order that Potter was to remain unharmed and brought to me immediately?" The man asked delicately.

"You did." Lucas said, his voice never betraying the dread pooling in his gut. "Mark and Norman pointed out that it would merely be a waste of your time if we did not thoroughly check them for identity and existing spells or potions. I reluctantly agreed. I was unable to do anything less... overt than openly opposing Mark and you had placed him in charge of this task. I freely offer my memory for you to view."

"Pensive is in the cabinet, I will return your memory as soon as I have had a chance to properly review it." The man told them mildly. "You might remind your fellow comrades that the Potter boy is mine. If found he is to be protected and brought directly to me. Anyone with him is to remain unharmed until they prove themselves to be... a problem. We don't want to alienate the boy after all. Mark and Norman will no longer be a problem. Oh, and Lucas? Remind everyone to brush up on their dueling, shielding, and healing spells? Officers and common members alike. We will be having another round of tournaments which will test dueling and basic on the fly healing proficiency. I want everyone capable of successfully walking away from a battle if it comes to that."

"Yes, sir." Lucas practically whispered, a shiver running down his spine, as the man turned away, clearly dismissing them. They wasted no time in escaping his presence after Lucas had quickly placed his selected memories of their mission in the pensive.

"Soon, my dear little Harry. Soon." The man told something they couldn't see, eyes distant.

His voice drifted out the study door and down the hall after his people as they fled to the common areas. It wasn't until the next day that Lucas, Tam, and Kale discovered that both Mark and Norman had been viciously cursed. Both had been pinned, spread eagle, to the wall of one of the common rooms in a parody of a crucifixion, on full display, still alive. Not a man or woman risked touching them, muchless trying to help them...

~

Minerva was scouring through yet another pile of books and scrolls that the castle had unearthed for her to look through in an attempt to locate and retrieve her bonded lords. Thankfully, she had regained consciousness fairly soon after the bond had flared. It had been more the initial shock for her than the pain. Minerva had been the first to regain consciousness but Poppy Pomfrey had decided that she had to stay in the hospital wing until after supper.

She smirked, remembering how a promised bottle of scotch had bought her way out of the infirmary in time to have supper in the great hall. Along with a promise to tell the Headmaster that she had cast a protective spell around Hermione. A spell that triggered when she collapsed rather than the fact that she too had a fealty mark.

Minerva knew that the Headmaster would not be pleased when he discovered that she was no longer his but Harry's instead. Idly her imagination took over, Dumbledore was standing in the Great Hall and throwing a screaming tantrum over losing her. She watched in amusement and stood smugly next to a bemused Dark, Grey, and Light Lord. Her fireplace flared the characteristic green of a floo connection jerking her out of her daydream.

Minerva watched in stunned shock as one by one her lords came through the fireplace as if nothing had happened and they had simply stepped out for something. Tom smirked seeing Minerva's stunned look even as he pulled his husbands into his arms as they each came through the floo. Before anyone could do anything else the castle bricked up the fireplace and disconnected the floo, before radiating smugness. Tom sighed as Harry moved and his arm slipped to his young mate's waist.

"Don't worry, we aren't going anywhere, at least not anytime soon, not if we have a choice." Harry said softly as he patted the nearest wall. "You can give Professor McGonagall back her fireplace now."

The castle sort of grumbled but unbricked the fireplace and re-lit the fire. She did not reconnect the floo, as a result there was still a sort of underlying smugness to the humming her stones had taken on the moment her lords came through. This made Harry smile despite the fact that the three of them were still clearly tired even with the rescue and nap.

Both Tom and Severus knew that once they had found them, whoever had orchestrated their kidnapping would be crushed without mercy. Hopefully without having to tell Harry about it. They would put whoever it was in unimaginable pain before finally granting the fool death. No one was allowed to touch their husband, muchless scare him. No one.

"Well, it looks like you didn't need us searching for a way to get you back." Minerva told them in amusement. "And here the castle had the entire school and their families up in arms to find whoever stole you and get you back."

"What makes you think we needed help?" Tom asked innocently, making Sev snort..

"Might be because Bellatrix had to rescue us and we all passed out before even being taken out of where ever we were locked up." Harry snickered, earning a reflexively tighter grip from Tom around both of them.

"That reminds me." Tom growled. "You just lost the chance of getting rid of me."

"We don't want to get rid of you." Harry told him, complete with eye roll. "I thought we made that clear. Do I have to try and pin you again?"

Tom growled low and immediately dragged them both through the connecting door from McGonagall's office into their quarters, much to her amusement. He barely stopped to put up as many locking, sealing, silencing, and privacy spells that he knew after reaching the bedroom and tossing his husbands onto the bed. They had barely turned to watch him cast when he turned around and stalked to them, pouncing, and pinning them both to the bed. Harry started giggling even as Severus couldn't keep the smug look off of his face. They had their husband back.

"I'm not obeying the sex ban after that. I'm just to tired to take advantage of you." Tom told them, his voice muffled as his face was buried into both of them as he deeply drew in their scents. They were safe, and they wouldn't be leaving his side for just about anything for at least a couple of days, even if he had to tie them to the bed and sit on them.

"You think loud. I heard that across the bond. Of course we wont leave your side for a few days. Well, unless we need the bathroom or something." Harry giggled, making Tom growl again.

"I'm starting to think you have some creature blood." Severus said in amusement, lying half on top of Harry with Tom on top of him, pinning him, making getting up for anything difficult. "It isn't unheard of for humans to be this possessive or to like biting their partners, but it isn't actually that common for the kinks to go together this obviously and with this much strength."

"I like it." Harry told them with another giggle.

"As do I." Sev admitted, still just shy of laughing. "I'm just glad he hasn't tried finding out who our previous partners were and tried to kill them."

The moment the words left Severus' mouth he regretted it. Tom had suddenly stilled and his grip on them had tightened to the point of bruising.

"No." Harry said firmly.

"They touched what's mine!" Tom hissed, raising his head to look at them. His ruby red eyes had started glowing slightly, giving them a murderous sheen.

"We weren't yours yet." Harry said calmly, as he reached out and ran his hands through Tom's hair soothingly, petting him. "Did you kill Ollivander for touching your wand before you bought it? We didn't belong to you yet. You might have already marked Sev but you didn't want him as a mate yet. You aren't allowed to try to kill anyone we looked at before. They lost anyway. We belong to you not them."

Tom grumbled but laid his head back down on them. This caused Severus to breath a sigh of relief and Harry to hug him from behind. They fell asleep like that wrapped in each others arms, with Tom keeping them close and pinned to the bed under them. After they fell asleep, both Fawkes and Nagini slipped into the room to check on them.

"~I dislike this.~" Nagini hissed mournfully.

"{You want to see our bonded wizards dead?}" Fawkes asked sharply. "{We must see to Hedwig's hatchlings. They must be birthed in the snow. Until you have hatchlings of your own we cannot openly guard them. All three of us are too noticeable. We can guard their rest and stay near when they wake and wander. We will do as our dark wizard did for the youngest. Guard from the shadows.}"

"~I still dislike this.~" Nagini hissed. "~They are so vulnerable.~"

"{Yet if we remain with them as we wish those who hunt them would know we guard them and would find a way to take our wizards from us. I was forced to watch the old one plot and plan and harm our youngest wizard for years. Unable to so much as care for his hurts or sing away his sorrows. Hedwig was trapped time and time again, unable to reach her boy while he lay injured and in pain.}" Fawkes told him sternly. "{Can we afford to risk them?}"

"~... no. We can not afford to lose them.~" Nagini admitted reluctantly. "~I must have a mate before I can provide hatchlings for our wizards to carry to guard them.~"

"{For now, we help Hedwig with her clutch. The hatchlings, I, and Hedwig will deal with anything they need taken to another, and we will check what Owls and other flyers bring them. The castle has agreed to check things for us and hold them for our wizards. You must find a way to guard them from attackers that can not be seen, until you have hatchlings to send with them.}" Fawkes told him. "{We must trust the castle to stop what we cannot and our wizards to not be foolish or stupid.}"

"~They are still hatchlings themselves.~" Nagini hissed softly. "~I will guard their den. You will help Hedwig with her hatchlings. When I find a mate they will have my hatchlings to carry and guard them. We need to ask the man-horses and fish-men if they will help.~"

"{After.}" Fawkes said sharply.

"~Yes, after.~" Nagini's hissy chuckle made their wizards shift a bit in their sleep. "~We will need them when our wizards have their own hatchling.~"

"{One of the juices at the first meal is tainted to prevent hatchlings. When we are ready to welcome their hatchling we must take the tainted juices away from our wizards at each meal.}" Fawkes mused.

"~They drink tainted liquids?~" Nagini hissed in fury.

"{They know of the taint and do not believe they are ready for a clutch.}" Fawkes soothed. "{They will avoid the taint when they think it is time for a clutch.}"

"~Silly hatchlings.~" Nagini grumbled. "~Time for hatchlings is not for them to decide.~"

"{Which is why we will take the tainted juice when we can protect a new hatchling.}" Fawkes countered. "{Until then, if the taint only prevents hatchlings, we will let them think they can choose when to have hatchlings. I will cry for them when it is time and they will drink my tears. The taint will be washed away and the harm undone. We will help them have a clutch. We will help them protect the clutch.}"

"~Silly hatchlings. I will guard the den, you will go back to the Icy bird.~" Nagini told him as he slithered under the bed, and set to hunting any intruders. Fawkes said nothing and returned outside to stay with Hedwig and her clutch.

Chapter Text

The next morning Minerva had one of the house elves leave a note for her lords asking them to wait until 10 min. after breakfast started before coming into the great hall. She also asked the staff to make certain that every single student as well as their families attended breakfast and stayed for the entire meal. She refused to answer any of their questions and simply told them that they would understand at breakfast.

Minerva even had to bribe Poppy with another bottle of scotch, and admit to her that Harry, Tom, and Severus had returned the previous evening to get her to release her patients to attend breakfast. She chuckled evilly when she realized that the glint in the medi-witch's eye meant she planned to drag the three of them back to her infirmary for a thorough check-up after breakfast. They would receive no pity from the cat animagus for drawing the medi-witch's ire.

The only warning the castle gave the every human currently staying at the castle was the new table on the dias, next to the staff table. Dumbledore's chair was replaced by a normal one, and there were three very comfy chairs at the new table. At each of the three place settings there were carved ebony goblets, lined with silver on the inside and gold inlays on the outside. Each golden plate was intricately engraved with fanciful scenes to match the engraving on the pure silver utensils.

What Minerva hadn't banked on was the fact that the castle refused to serve any food until her lords had sat down to eat. Dumbledore had, as usual, signaled for the meal to begin, but not a single piece of food or drink arrived. Only the slight burning in her fealty mark kept Minerva from worrying.

"I don't understand." Dumbledore muttered under his breath. "The food should have arrived at the normal time for a normal meal. I signaled the elves like I would with any feast, just in case. I am the Headmaster. No one should have been able to order the elves to wait or redirect the food elsewhere. I just don't understand it."

Minerva cleared her throat. "Albus? Perhaps the castle wants us to wait for everyone to arrive. I happen to know that we are missing one or two people."

"Who? Harry, Tom, and Severus still haven't been located. Harry's friends are in the infirmary because they reacted badly to something..." That's when Dumbledore noticed that Madam Pomfrey was in her seat at the staff table.

When he looked for everyone who had been stuck in the hospital wing he found them each at their normal house table, hiding the fact that they were there in plain sight. All the visiting adults and families had been seated at the heir table for convenience and simplicity. The next thing he noticed was the extra table on the dias. He never did notice that his golden throne of a chair had been replaced with a normal seat.

"Minerva? You wouldn't happen to know why there is a second table on the dias?" Dumbledore asked cautiously.

"I know nothing of the kind." Minerva said truthfully.

She ignored voicing her very good suspicions in favor of watching Albus trying to figure out what was going on. Only Flitwick, Pomfrey, and Sprout picked up on the slight emphasis, giving them a bit more of a warning. Whatever it was that was going to happen, it would happen soon. So much was the confusion over the late arrival of the food that no one noticed Harry, Tom, and Severus slip into the hall. What they did notice was the fact that a house elf popped in and stopped Harry from sitting at the heir table.

"What do you mean I can't sit there?" Harry asked the elf loudly, obviously irked, drawing the attention and quieting the entire hall.

"I's sorry Master Harry, but Master Harry, Master Tom, and Master Sev'rus must be sitting at the Lords table." The house elf told them even as he stayed bent over in a deep bow. "Hogywarts is happy to be having youse back, Masters. Hogywarts made elves promise to treat youse as true lords of Hogywarts. That is what we's be doing!" That's when Dobby and Winky popped in.

"Youse not explain right!" Dobby accused, stomping his foot.

"What's this about not being able to sit in our normal seats?" Severus asked with a smirk over Harry's head at Tom, as he wrapped Harry in a hug from behind.

"Hogswarts wants youse to sit at Lords table, Masters." Dobby told them glaring at the Hogwarts house elf who was staring defiantly back. "Youse was supposes to bes told before coming to breakyfast."

"Youse nothing! Youse free! Youse not serving no ones!" The Hogwarts elf accused. "Youse have no says!"

"We's have a family!" Winky objected.

"A family youse can't say. No ones is greater than Hogywarts Lords!" The elf said derisively. "Youse can't say your family, youse have no family!"

The house elf's words made all three of them stiffen. Winky and Dobby were their house elves. No one talked to them like that without consequences.

"Wrong." Harry told the house elf coldly. His seldom seen ruthless side coming to the fore front. "Dobby is my head elf and Winky is mine since the last time we were served poisoned food in the hospital wing. Both are bound to me personally and both out rank you."

As Harry openly acknowledged them a wave of magic flowed from the necklaces that they had given the two elves down over their clothes leaving behind a proper elf uniform. Their uniforms were ornately fashioned tabards, essentially a colored strip of cloth that stretched wide from shoulder to shoulder with an opening for their heads ending in an arrow point at about mid-thigh. Over where their hearts would be was stitched multiple family crests in a circle around a single lightning bolt.

The Potter, Black, Peverell, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Emrys(Merlin) crests were each embroidered around a Lightning Bolt device embroidered in black thread. The Potter, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Emrys crests were done in gold thread. Where as the Black, Peverell, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff crests were slightly smaller than the other crests and embroidered in silver, showing that Harry was not the Lord of those lines but instead the current heir.

"Dobby, Winky, I'm sorry I asked you to keep it a secret. I didn't know that it would hurt you." Harry told them softly, earning a deep bow from all three elves. Dobby and Winky barely managed to keep their emotions to themselves as they quickly popped out with the now bawling Hogwarts elf.

"You need to stop apologizing to them and saying thank you." Tom huffed.

"Compare how my summers went to how house elves are usually treated, Tom." Harry said softly, as he gripped Severus' arms more tightly to him.

Sev complied with the unspoken demand and made the hug tighter. Tom winced and gave a sharp nod in resignation. Neither he nor Severus would say anything about it again. A moment later another elf popped to lead them all to the new table on the dias.

Had anyone cared to look at the Headmaster they would have seen Dumbledore, attempting not to have a coronary. He gazing hatefully at the Hogwarts Lords as they were very carefully and graciously seated at the new table and the meal was served. Grindelwald was the only one to even think of glancing at Dumbledore and silently vowed to keep an eye on his ex-lover. He had no idea that Dumbledore had used a few of his old favors to make certain that he and his entire entourage would be ambushed and forcibly escorted off to the ministry holding cells when they took a walk near the edge of the wards later that day....

~

Breakfast passed mostly without issue or comment on the dias, in almost direct contrast the rest of the hall was abuzz with their return and morning entrance. So much so that people were getting up and wandering from table to table discussing the events since the three had disappeared. Speculating on what in the world had happened and what it might mean for anything else that might happen. As the meal wound down nobody noticed a house elf discreetly arrive and get Harry's attention.

"Excouse me, Master Harry. Buts the castle bes wanting to know if everyones wants to open presents now or laters? The castle kept thems all safe from prickly fingers and nasty Headmasters." The elf quietly informed him.

"You mean to tell me that the castle hid all of the presents until we got back?" Severus asked, completely thunderstruck.

"Yes sirs. Youse the Lords. Hogywarts wants Hogywarts Lords there for presents." The elf nodded vigorously, making its ears flop back and forth, occasionally slapping into its eyes.

"Yes, everyone gets to open their presents right now." Harry told the house elf determinedly.

The elf beamed at the young lord and snapped his fingers, sending all of the dishes and remaining food back to the kitchens. Replacing the food with the presents for each person in a nice neat pile in front of them, much to the delight of the children and the bemusement of the adults. The pile that appeared in front of Harry, Tom, and Severus on their table was HUGE! It was also organized a bit differently than everyone else's pile. Anything that was addressed to at least two of them appeared on the table, where as anything addressed to each of them alone was placed on the floor behind them.

The shock on their faces was priceless! They never noticed the Creevy brothers gleefully and rapidly snapping photos of their pile of presents, not to mention the looks on their faces. Harry was half scared to move, the pile was so big. He was afraid that if he moved they would be buried under the pile of presents.

"Elf, who are these all for?" Severus half whispered, almost afraid of the answer.

"Youse and yours mates!" The elf told him, beaming a smile to light up the sky. "Presents for youse only is behind you. Hogywarts checks already for nasty curses and spells. Naughty peoples who gave nasty curses and spells gets no hots water for days and days!"

Overhearing this, Dumbledore was suddenly very glad he had decided not to give them a spelled present. Mesmerized by the pile of presents, Tom reach out to take a present only for his hand to be snatched back by Severus crying out.

"No! Tom! Do you want to be buried?" Sev hissed, practically forcing Tom to come back to himself and pale at the possible implications.

"OH! Harry! Open mine first!" Called a first year Hufflepuff.

"No! Sandy!" Harry cried out in vain.

She ran up to their table and pulled a small present from near the bottom of the pile. She watched in mild interest, too focused on the present, as the pile slowly toppled over and buried the trio, trapping them in their chairs, surrounded by presents. They very carefully unburied themselves and as soon as Harry had the presents around him knocked down to almost waist height, Sandy happily handed over her present to a highly embarrassed Harry.

Tom and Severus merely sent a resigned look at the present in Harry's very embarrassed hands and a nasty glare at the first year. She never saw the glares as she waited happily for Harry to open her present, her DA pendant having fallen to hang in front of her shirt as she ran to give him her present. The entire hall was snickering and in some groups outright laughing at their predicament.

"Sandy." Harry sighed, smiling fondly as he opened the present. He found 3 colorfully woven bracelets. Each had the colors black, green, silver, gold, and red interwoven to make a bracelet, and had 2 of 3 different charms, a snake, a cauldron, and a snitch.

"Professor Flitwick and Professor McGonagall helped!" She told them happily. "One is for you, and there's one for both of your friends! Mommy says I'm supposed to call them your friends not boyfriends or hus... husbands."

"Your mother wouldn't happen to be a muggle?" Severus asked in resignation, just barely keeping a sneer off of his face.

"Muggle? Oh! You mean she can't do magic. No, she can't do magic, but daddy can!" Sandy told them proudly.

"Thank you Sandy, why don't you go and open your own presents?" Harry asked her, gently sending her back to her parents and house.

"Please tell me that the castle is noting what we get from whom and that we only have to sign the thank you notes?" Severus asked almost miserably. "I never thought that getting so many presents might be so..."

"Sev, there is more to life than potions." Tom said with a sigh. "You can't hide away in your lab any more. We may have a hard time figuring out what was given as a courtesy and what was a heartfelt gift."

"I will be getting back at Minerva and Filius for helping that little... hufflepuff!" Severus growled, still trapped in the mountain of presents.

"Maybe the house elves can help us resort them?" Harry asked hopefully.

Tom nodded and proceeded to order the house elf who was still standing there beaming at them to do just that and send the rest to a secure room to be opened later. The rest of the day was spent in the great hall opening presents and spending time with the rest of the castle and the people in it. The castle even provided a buffet along one wall for anyone who felt the desire for food or drink. By the time supper came around Poppy had finally cornered the Hogwarts Lords, petrified them, and dragged them off to the infirmary for a check up...

~

"Petrificus Totalus!" Madam Pomfrey cast. She caught Tom from behind and completely by surprise. Severus and Harry drew their wands as they spun to face whoever had hit Tom. Only to come face to face with a smirking Pomfrey in time for Severus to catch a second Petrificus from Poppy's wand. Harry ducked and took off at a speed that he should only have been able to manage on a broom. He barely got 10 ft. before he was caught with a tripping jinx and his own Petrificus Totalus.

"Harry, Severus, you both know better." Poppy scolded fondly as she levitated the three from the great hall into her domain and placed them each on a bed. Harry on his usual bed and his husbands to either side of him. "Mr. Riddle you may be the Dark Lord but I expected better of you and your husbands. For shame. All three of you should have reported to the infirmary the moment you returned to the school. I let you have your fun today but you will be spending the rest of the evening in the infirmary." As she finished speaking she confiscated their wands, cast a sticking charm on all three of them, and canceled the petrifications with a simple Finite. She turned away to get something before starting her examinations.

"But there's nothing wrong with us!" Harry protested as he sat up on the bed. He knew better than to try and actually get out of bed. She'd made certain that all of them saw her cast the sticking spell.

"What did trying to run get you?" Severus hissed at their youngest husband. "You know perfectly well how skilled that witch is! Now we're trapped in our beds!"

"I was hoping that if I got away I could come by later with my cloak and the Marauder's Map to spring you." Harry told him with a frown. "She could have chased me and the twins could have gotten you away while I ran. I didn't see that tripping jinx, so I couldn't dodge it!"

"You honestly think we wont be able to escape one witch?" Tom asked with curiosity.

"Tom, you know how good I am at escapes. I've used what I've learned trying to get away from Severus, the Dursleys, and Madam Pomfrey every time we faced off." Harry told him smugly. "You didn't actually think that it was all luck, did you?"

"Not that it did you much good against her." Sev reminded him sourly.

"That is quite enough, Severus. Just because Harry managed to escape me for a short time and you didn't isn't a good enough reason to take your ill humor out on him." Poppy scolded as she returned with a few standard potions and started casting diagnostic spells on the three of them. What she found made her frown and made her three patients worry about just how long she would decide to keep them after finding whatever it was that she had found.

"What?" Harry asked warily.

"Were you given anything to eat or drink while those fiends had you?" Pomfrey asked with a frown still aimed at her diagnostic results.

"Yes." Tom said as blandly as possible. "We were required to drink several potions. At least one of which Severus managed to neutralize. He also examined all of them before we took them and, as far as I know, they were nothing we needed to worry over."

"All of them were triggered on site and we successfully dealt with the results. Except for one. It appeared to be some type of aphrodisiac but I was not given much time to examine it, or any of the other potions for that matter." Severus admitted with a frown. "Some how I had a vial of Felix Felicis on me. We used it to retrieve our wands with minimal issues."

"Then why, in heavens name, weren't you back sooner?" She asked exasperated.

"They had a second group simply standing there blending in with the walls doing nothing but watching us. They didn't make their move until the small amount of the Felix Felicis potion which I had managed to get into our systems had worn off. You know perfectly well how quickly that potion works. We're simply lucky that none of them thought to actually follow through on their threats of having us rape each other." Severus told her sharply.

"Lucky? Or did that potion do more than help us get our wands back?" Tom asked quietly, suddenly bloodless at the thought of what might have happened to his husbands without that potion.

"I don't even remember placing that particular potion in my robes, and I certainly would have remembered." Severus said quietly, almost equally as white as Tom at the implications.

"Maybe the castle put it in your pocket." Harry suggested impishly, trying to cheer them up.

Harry really didn't like how white his husbands were, especially since he didn't understand what there was to worry over. They had the potion when they needed it and Sev had recognized it before having them drink it. End of story. Severus must have just forgotten that it was in that set of robes was all.

"Well. There's no point in dwelling on it. I'm simply glad to have you three back and a proper explanation for the readings I've gotten from my diagnostic spells." Pomfrey said quickly, trying to distract them from what could have happened. "Yes, I found residual traces of Felix Felicis, as well as a Girder potion, and a particularly nasty concoction which had quite a few hallucinogenic properties. There is also a potion that is lying dormant in your systems. You called it an aphrodisiac, Severus?"

"Yes, at least that's what it seemed to be when I managed to examine it." Severus told her from his place on his hospital bed.

"I'm not so certain that it is an aphrodisiac Severus." Pomfrey said thoughtfully. "We may have to completely flush your bodies of foreign magic and potions, if only to be on the safe side."

That's when Fawkes decided to fly down from up near the ceiling where he had been perched. He had opted to come looking for them after Nagini had informed him that they hadn't been in their "den" all day. Fawkes had followed them to the infirmary when he saw Poppy literally floating them down the hall and into the hospital wing. The phoenix had thought it was hilarious until he heard the latest diagnosis...

"{Cup.}" Fawkes demanded from the wizards, ignoring the startled medi-witch.

"Wha? Why do you need a cup?" Harry asked in puzzlement.

Severus on the other hand quickly caught on to what the bloody bird was getting at and looked pointedly at the medi-witch. Poppy sighed and conjured a cup before handing it over to her long time college. Severus held it out to the phoenix as the bird began to cry. He cried and cried and cried until there was enough of his tears for each of the three to have a small mouthful. Fawkes stared at them, demandingly, until they had each drunk his tears then sat back and looked smug.

"~Firey Bird!~" Nagini called as he slithered through the open door to the ward.

"{They're over here. I cried for them and they just drank some of my tears.}" Fawkes told him smugly.

"~Time for hatchlings?~" Nagini asked with great interest as he slithered up to the bed and onto the end of Tom's bed.

"What do you mean, 'Time for hatchlings'? Nagini? Fawkes?" Harry asked suspiciously.

"{No more taint. Hatchlings will come when they come.}" Fawkes told the snake smugly before turning serious. "{Some nasty one tried giving our wizards taint that would hurt more than only stopping hatchlings.}"

"You mean to tell me that by drinking the phoenix tears the contraceptive is no longer in our systems, along with anything else. Not to mention, that the two of you had actually planned for such an occurrence so that we would have a child before we were ready?" Severus asked the familiars dangerously, ignoring Poppy's dawning comprehension as she was only able to understand the English portion of the conversation. "Did it occur to you that we might have an actual reason why we could possibly have wanted to wait before trying for a child?"

The two familiars simply looked at each other before bolting away from their still stuck and disarmed wizards. Two of which who were now fuming at the audacity of their own familiars plotting to have one of them fall pregnant. Harry on the other hand thought it was hilarious and simply couldn't stop laughing, never giving a thought to the pregnancy portion of the conversation. Even as Madam Pomfrey shook her head cast the diagnostic spells again, confirming that the phoenix tears had indeed washed everything out of their systems.

She put all three of them on nutrient potions and administered them before releasing them on the condition that they returned for a follow up examination in the morning. All three agreed and promptly set out on an intensive search for their very well hidden, scheming familiars. Harry just couldn't stop laughing even as he helped search for both serpent and phoenix. Eventually Harry discovered them under their bed just before the three fell into said bed after Tom and Severus, to tired to do anything else, tossed their traitorous familiars out of their bedroom for the night. They fell asleep dreaming of golden snitches, bubbling cauldrons, the spell fire of dueling, and the pitter patter of little feet asking to be shown "Again! Again!"...

Chapter Text

Lucius Malfoy was a powerful man, a man of convictions, a man willing to do what was necessary for his family. He was also a man who had an unending curiosity about the people around him and those who might one day be a threat to him and his family. So when he was found to be making a quick trip to the ministry in search of answers about several people, namely Sirius Black, the Weasley family, and Remus Lupin on the request of his lord. There wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that he would ignore the commotion which erupted down a side corridor just as he was passing.

When he rounded the corner Lucius was suddenly very very glad that his friend had demanded that he go to the ministry and inquire after the light side's main pawns. Lucius had taken the chance of the party to remind his lord of certain facts. Sirius Black was still technically at large, though partially exonerated and Remus Lupin had been documented as returning to the country at the start of December but not seen since. While Arthur Weasley had disappeared and was yet to be seen since leaving work on August 31st. A quiet search had been conducted by members of the Auror department because of the man's documented closeness with the Boy-Who-Lived.

Tom for his part hadn't been pleased to discover any of this. He had been even less pleased when he realized exactly how much time had passed. He had immediately ordered Lucius to discover what was going on and fix it if possible. Neither of them mentioned the fact that if it wasn't fixed when Harry found out they would have a hard time keeping the young man from attempting something on his own, regardless of information or resources.

Lucius never did find out anything about the four Light pawns that were so closely associated with his lord's young husband. Instead he spent the rest of the day trip to the ministry trying to keep Gellert Grindelwald and his entourage from summarily receiving the Dementor's Kiss. He did not manage to free them, only get them moved to Ministry holding cells and the sentence of the Kiss suspended indefinitely. His daughter would never forgive him if he let her one halfway responsible sire be given the Kiss...

~

Harry woke slowly, softly and gently coming out of the wonderful dream of flying high chasing a snitch before happily abandoning the golden ball in favor of floating down to his two husbands. They were standing there on the grass watching him with two little boys clinging to their legs smiling up at him. One had red eyes, the black untamable Potter hair and Severus' sharp features, while the other had Tom's more angelic features, Harry's own bright green eyes, and Severus' long lushish straight hair. There was not a single sign of the special grease Harry had discovered that Severus used to protect his hair and skin while working with potions all day.

Harry sighed as he finished waking from the wonderful dream. He lay there basking in the warmth of their bed and the heat of his husbands. It took a while for him to shake his head to wake up a bit more before deciding to slip out for an early breakfast. Both Tom and Severus were better now and besides he'd be back before they woke up.

With that thought settled comfortably into his brain, Harry carefully slid out from under the covers after disentangling himself from the limbs of both of his husbands. Quietly getting dressed, he smiled softly seeing that they had wrapped themselves around each other like an Octopus cuddling a teddy bear. Neither of his husbands woke as he slipped out of their quarters and headed toward the kitchens...

~

Dumbledore hadn't been able to sleep after the events of yesterday and had taken to wandering the corridors disillusioned. His plans were falling apart around him and the only way to get them back on track would be to either regain control of Harry bloody Potter or eliminate him. Albus grimaced at the thought of having to kill Harry. He'd put far too much effort into molding the boy. If he couldn't find a way to regain control of him then getting him out of the way seems to be the only real option. It was his plans with Gellert all over again!

Albus took a moment to reassess his options and resources. He'd lost Fawkes as a familiar. His control over the most prominent members of the order was drastically reduced, as was the number of trust worthy order members. He had a disaster waiting in the wings if he couldn't find an adequate story to tell Arthur, Molly, Sirius, Remus, and Alastor which would be truthful enough yet not put him in too bad of a light. Severus was a lost cause and clearly loyal to Tom and Harry.... Severus and Tom are loyal, completely loyal to Harry... Effectively control Harry and control of both Severus and Tom immediately falls into his lap!

Of course if he could get Harry away from his husbands there would be less fallout if it turned out he actually needed to kill the boy. There were possibilities there. So many possibilities. None of it even took into account the fealty bonds that the boy had somehow managed to establish. If he wasn't mistaken the Malfoy Heir and young Miss. Granger - Hermione - were bound under the fealty bond. Control the Potter boy and his daughter would be safe...

Albus looked up sharply from his pondering as he heard a cheerful yet very quiet humming coming down the hall. What he saw was the very object of his frustration practically skipping down the hall and clearly very happy at the moment. Dumbledore was loath to destroy such happiness, even in a tool such as Harry, but needs must. He quietly cast a spell of whispered doubts.

The spell would feed on Harry's own worries and insecurities, driving the boy straight into his arms all while offering up the best keys to his loyalties on a silver platter. The only drawbacks were the time it took to build to full potency and the fact that if the earliest and strongest doubts were defeated in a timely manner the spell would fall apart and dissolve into nothingness. Harry never felt the spell hit him...

~

The spell started as the faintest whisper of a breeze hissing into Harry's ear in the empty corridor. He absently rubbed at his ear and didn't notice anything else until he opened the picture door into the kitchens. Unlike every other time when he had visited the kitchens before Harry wasn't just greeted enthusiastically they were actually bowing to him.

"Master Harry Potter sir!" Dobby squeaked as he bounced up to the disconcerted Gryffindor and Lord of the Castle. "Hows can Dobby help youse?"

"I just wanted a snack and maybe some tea." Harry said, his eyes never leaving the bowing elves. "Uh, Dobby? Why are they bowing?"

"Because youse Lord of Hogswarts. Head Hogswarts elf talks to Dobby as Master Harry Potter sir's head elf!" Dobby told him proudly, even as he motioned several of the elves to assemble what Harry had asked for. "Is there being anything else that youse be wanting? Housy elves needs to make breakyfast for the castle."

"No, that's all. I was just a little hungry... Maybe, you could make up some tea I can bring back to our quarters to Tom and Sev?" Harry asked hesitantly, not really comfortable with the sudden change in elfish behavior.

The whisper of nobody wants just Harry into his ear was barely noticed by the young lord.

Dobby, however noted Harry's involuntary flinch from the sting of the vicious spell induced words. The elf made a mental note to check his Master Harry for nasty magics after breakfast was made. There was no reason for his young master to have flinched like that.

"Wes can do that." Dobby told him enthusiastically. "Wes can also bes bringing tea to yours rooms."

"Can we do that instead?" Harry asked hopefully.

Dobby nodded so hard that Harry thought his head would fly off. Harry said goodbye and nibbled on his slice of toast as he headed back to their joint quarters. He wanted to be back in their rooms before his husbands woke up. After all there was no need for them to worry if they found him missing.

"Would they even worry?" The whispers hissed into his ear, stronger than before.

"Don't be silly. Of course they would worry." Harry told himself, as he promptly finished off his piece of toast.

"Who would worry over a freak like you?" The whispers countered. "Who would care about just Harry, beyond the title of the Boy-Who-Lived? Who would want pathetic, useless just Harry? The Boy-Who-Lived to be a trophy or a toy?"

"I'm not!" Harry told the air weakly but still with as much force as he could muster.

"Who would want a weakling like you?" The whispers hissed maliciously. "Why would the greatest Dark Wizard and the youngest Potion Master of the time want you? You are nothing!"

"They.. they..." Harry stammered.

As hard as he tried Harry couldn't think of a reason why his husbands would want him. Yes, they were bonded but none of them had chosen the bonding. They hadn't even had a wedding for all that they were married. Harry didn't care that much about not having a wedding but it would have been nice. Unknown to him, Harry's depressing thoughts and sadness were flowing unhindered along the bond and bringing both of his husbands out of their deep sleep.

Both Tom and Severus had a deep frown on their faces as they slowly became aware of their surroundings, and instinctually looked for both of their husbands. When they realized that Harry wasn't with them they met each other's eyes with dread. They silently and quickly, almost frantically, found their wands before magicking their clothes on. Just as they were about to leave their quarters to go search for their wayward young husband the door opened and a brooding Harry stepped into their joint quarters.

"Where were you!?" Severus demanded, startling Harry out of his brooding reverie.

"What? I was just gone down to the kitchens." Harry told both of his looming and obviously upset husbands.

"And why, pray tell, did you not inform us?" Tom asked politely, his anger barely kept in check.

"I didn't want to wake you." Harry said weakly.

"See? Nobody could want you! Not even your bonded mates." The whispers hiss maliciously into Harry's ear.

"That's not true!" Harry told the whispers, almost in a complete panic.

"Harry? What's not true?" Severus asked cautiously as he narrowed his eyes in suspicion. He clearly felt the panic and sadness flowing down the bond. "That you didn't want to wake us? Or that you didn't leave to go down to the kitchens?"

"No, both of those are true. I keep hearing something... like a hissing but its not parseltounge." Harry told them in confusion, his panic spiking further. "It just said that nobody wants me. But you want me... don't you?"

"Of course we want you." Tom said softly, his own eyes narrowing in thought. "What else has it said?"

"I.. I'm not sure." Harry told them, bewildered. "Something about being only a trophy or a toy, and something else about nobody wanting me, not even my bonded mates."

"Oh, Harry." Severus sighed before taking his young husband in his arms. Tom took the combined bundle of both of his husbands into his own arms placing Harry firmly in the middle of the trio.

"You should have told us that you felt that way little one." Tom scolded softly. "No more Occluding except around Dumbledore. We'll take you to Madam Pomfrey and she'll find these whispers. If she can't than Severus and I will find them and make them stop."

"We wont let anything hurt you if we can help it." Severus told him equally softly as they just stood their cuddling Harry.

"They don't want you! This is just a way to make sure you don't leave." The whispers dripped into Harry's ear. "They would be better off without you to look after. You aren't worthy of having them as mates, muchless husbands. Why do you think they didn't marry you!"

"That.. that's not true." Harry told the whispers weakly.

"Of course its true." Tom told him sternly, as his arms tightened minutely. "You deserve to be protected and taken care of."

"What isn't true, Harry?" Sev asked a frown furrowing his brow. "That we wont let anything hurt you if we can help it? Or that we'll find a way to make the hissing voice stop?"

"You think you can protect them? What makes you think they would ever want a weakling like you to even try?" The whispers hissed viciously.

"I can too protect them! I am not a weakling! We didn't need a wedding!" Harry almost shouted as he tried to thrash free from his husbands' suddenly desperate grip.

"Something is very wrong. Harry's never been like this before." Tom said as he desperately held on to both of his husbands, as Harry wriggled and thrashed to get free.

Unknown to any of them, Hogwarts had seen what was happening and added a new door to their living room. The castle, smugly, changed where Madam Pomfrey's office door led to. Moments later a yawning Poppy herself walked straight into their living room to the sight that caused her to drop her cup of coffee to shatter on the room's floor. She barely noticed her suddenly missing beverage as she bustled over to the trio, directing them to set Harry on the couch and hold him down until he stopped thrashing.

"I want an explanation." Pomfrey said lowly as she cast her entire repertoire of diagnostic spells on a now quiescent and physically exhausted Harry.

"We don't know." Tom said softly. "Harry slipped away while we were asleep. Something woke us up and by the time that we got to the door of our quarters to go search for him, he walked in through the door. We asked him where he'd gone but his answers were odd as if he was speaking to something or someone who isn't here, not just us."

"He called them whispers." Severus supplied. "Apparently they're calling him worthless or some such rot."

"Oh, dear." Pomfrey said with a frown.

The description that the two men had given her and the readings from the diagnostic spells worried her. After a moment's thought she quickly checked Harry's eyes. His pupils were blown wide, making them look nearly black. Poppy put that down to the panic he was clearly still feeling if the feeble attempts at struggling were any indication. The slightly green sheen over them was another matter entirely.

"Nooo, he couldn't have. He wouldn't...." Poppy muttered lowly to herself.

With a frown Pomfrey cast a spell that she once had to use on Dumbledore when he came back from a meeting with Grindelwald with almost the exact same symptoms as young Mr. Potter. Harry's eyes immediately started returning to normal. The green sheen was wiped away and he slumped into the couch in clear exhaustion, relief etched on his face.

"The whispers are gone. They wouldn't leave me alone." Harry practically sobbed, before succumbing to his exhaustion, confident of his safety in the presence of his husbands and the Medi-witch.

"Poppy, what was wrong?" Severus asked quietly as he gathered the now sleeping Harry into his arms and sat on the couch that his husband had just been laying on. Tom sat next to him and swung Harry's legs up into his lap as he watched the clearly troubled Medi-witch.

"A very nasty spell. Mr. Grindelwald once used it on the Headmaster. It is designed to cause the victim to doubt everyone and everything except the caster. The caster then steps in and becomes the person's confidant and advisor." Poppy told them thoughtfully. "From what little I know of its history, it was originally designed by some wizard near Persia to be used on a king so that he'd be made cheif advisor or some such nonsense. One of the side effects is that the victim can become completely irrational and strike out violently at people and things around them."

"Is there anything else we need to do?" Tom almost whispered as he looked at Harry worriedly.

"Just make certain that he rests today. In fact the three of you have been under far to much stress of late. None of you are to leave these rooms. Today, you spend it together and simply rest." Poppy told them sternly. When Severus went to protest she silenced both of them. "No! You will rest. Should you need something you can call a house elf. I will allow Minerva to visit but no one else is allowed until the afternoon at the earliest. No sex either. If you have objections to my instructions I can just as easily accommodate the three of you in the hospital wing."

Tom's ears were red, and Severus had a light blush from the "No sex" order but both of them shook their heads no. They would behave and rest, making certain that Harry rested as well. Poppy nodded sharply and lifted the silencing spell.

"I'll have you know that I earned the title dragon lady." She told them mischievously, showing that she had heard what they had called her on their last visit; before taking the more normal route back to her domain. Her re-directed office door vanishing a moment later.

"I'm getting very tired of this Severus." Tom growled, barely restraining himself from jumping up and pacing. "I don't like being unable to anticipate what my opponents are doing. I don't like being so out of touch with my people that I'm virtually flying blind. Lucius can barely get to me to report without that old fool interfering. I'm not even certain that his reports are complete. Its been almost six months since this started and I regained my body. If I hadn't thought to place Lucius in very public command of my Death Eaters there's no telling what would have happened."

"Tom, there is very little we can do. Yes, we could probably tell Lucius and a few others in the Inner Circle about the secret passage ways in and out of the castle. Yes, we could bow to Dumbledore's demands and allow one of his so called order to supervise any meetings. Anything else would require either the castle allowing us off her grounds or finding a better way around Dumbledore." Severus reminded him softly. "Not to mention that his hold on Harry is too strong. Harry still sees him as the one who made certain that he was rescued from the Dursleys that first time."

"I know!" Tom admitted in frustration.

"How many traps and other threats have we taken care of that were aimed at one of us? How many times have we found a student had blundered into something meant for you, I, or Harry?" Severus asked quietly. "I dismantled at least 6 traps on the door to our bedroom when we returned and you distracted Harry with that kiss. I have absolutely no idea how many you or Harry have discovered and dealt with this past semester. I saw him deal with several over the semester that could have been passed off as a prank turned accidentally lethal. We've managed to keep young Miss. Weasley away from him. What more can we do?"

"You know she'll have to be dealt with. Her obsession with him is long out of hand and clearly fed by both Dumbledore and her mother." Tom warned.

Severus just looked down at their sleeping husband, silently acknowledging that his student would likely be dead before the year was out. Harry mumbled in his sleep and shifted in their laps. His brow furrowed, and he let out a whimper, drawing their attention to him.

"No, don't wanna swear. Profess'r? Don't wanna f'rget.. Wha's unbr'kable vow? Don' wanna forg't!" Harry mumbled as his muscles tensed to the point of resembling steel cables before uttering a harsh cry. He went from stiff as a steel rod to going limp as a noodle in their laps, slipping into a more normal if still slightly uneasy sleep.

"I don't like what just happened." Severus muttered almost angrily.

"~Someone, a Professor!, forced our husband into an unbreakable vow then erased his memory of it!~" Tom hissed in incensed fury, having slipped into parseltounge in his agitation.

"At least there's a warning, a feeling of a wall of pressure, when you approach the edge of such a vow." Severus said, the quiet edge in his voice and the tightness of his body giving away his sudden tension.

"How are we to teach him the feel of the warning edge without having him swear another such vow?" Tom asked almost scornfully, not paying attention to his husband's words. "There's an axe hanging over his head and we have no way to know what it is or how to stop it. Harry isn't even aware that its there!"

Severus' sudden stillness and unusual deep calm drew Tom's full attention.

"Tom, our magics have combined. I know you felt it as I did." Severus said calmly and met Tom's gaze, causing Tom to blink in surprise and relax his hands from their death grip on Harry. "Both of us have mastered Legilimency and Occlumency. Harry has picked up some of the basics of Occlumency from our bond, just as my parseltounge ability was activated by it, but we learned it the hard way. Legilimency is one of the older techniques used by healers to treat and combat memory loss."

"There are ways around or through a situation aside from the common and most expected. We merely need to identify and use them." Severus continued reminding his husband softly. Comprehension finally dawned in Tom's eyes, even as he looked down at Harry with new hope lightening his gaze.

"Whoever did this to Harry, to us will pay dearly. They will beg for death and it will not come. You are both mine! I will not stand for you being harmed." Tom growled, then sighed before reluctantly admitting. "Being continually blindsided is extremely tiresome and makes me feel like a first year."

"Then you would be the most handsome first year I have ever met." Severus smirked at him, earning an eye roll from his husband.

Neither of them voiced the fact that Harry would never be told what they finally did to whoever had done this to him. It was highly unlikely he would see it as the true violation that it was. Nor would he see the danger that it put him in, even if he saw the danger to someone else.

"We're going to have to deal with the issues that the spell just showcased for us." Tom said with a wry smile that was barely more than a grimace.

"We also have to tell Pomfrey that her counter spell had the side effect of slightly disrupting whatever memory charm is in place." Severus pointed out almost idly. He watched in amusement as his husband shuddered at the thought of having to inform the Medi-witch that one of her most favored patients had a memory charm in place that concealed an unbreakable vow.

"Perhaps we should send a house elf with a note? Possibly this evening?" Tom said almost lightly, failing to conceal his fear of the woman and making Sev chuckle. Severus shook his head and sent his Patronus off to inform the Medi-witch of their discovery, knowing that if they waited she would have their hides.

The doe patronus found the Medi-witch just sitting down and taking her first sip of her replacement cup of coffee. This time she managed to set the cup down before bustling to gather a few general potions, muttering all the while. She knew that nothing could be done about the vow until they knew the exact content of it. The fury that was boiling in Pomfrey's gut ensured that if Harry's husbands didn't kill the perpetrator first then she would gladly use every spell and scrap of medical knowledge against whoever had done this to her patient. There was more than one reason she was called Dragon Lady!

Chapter Text

Harry awoke to the familiar fussing of Madam Pomfrey but wherever he was lacked the normal brightness of the Hospital wing. The soothing darkness that surrounded him was only complemented by the fact that he could hear Tom, Severus, and the Medi-witch fiercely discussing something. After pondering a moment he supposed that they must be talking about him if the edge in their lowered voices were anything to go by.

With a sigh Harry opened his eyes to find that he was lying in their bed in their quarters. When he stopped to think about it, now months later, he realized that living in the Slytherin dorms had never been an option, even if the bond hadn't prevented it in the first place. He smiled a bit and tried to sit up only to groan at how sore he suddenly noticed that he was, unintentionally silencing the discussion.

"Sore? I'm not surprised. You were entirely too tense when that memory spell nearly broke." Severus said sardonically. He quickly fetched a muscle relaxant potion and carefully fed it to his youngest husband. Harry just flopped back onto the bed and groaned in appreciation as his muscles released their tension turning him into a proper limp noodle of a person.

"Memory spell?" Harry asked almost sleepily.

"Someone oblivated you, Mr. Potter." Poppy told him gently. "My earlier spell to cure you of what you called the whispers temporarily disrupted it, and it surfaced in your dreams. It distressed you enough that you spoke in your sleep, your mind trying to warn you and us, that something was wrong."

"From what we heard you say in your sleep, we must know what was hidden from you. If we don't find the information hidden in your hard head then it could kill you." Severus told him sternly yet completely truthfully.

"What could kill me?" Harry asked warily, from his place flat on his back on the bed.

"That's part of the problem, brat. If we knew what the threat was we could deal with it." Tom told him bluntly.

"Harry, we want to look at your memories and try to unlock the dangerous one. Will you let us?" Severus asked cautiously.

"Will it hurt?" Harry asked doubtfully.

"Not if we can help it." Tom said firmly. "You might still feel us breaking the spell but we'll do our best to make sure you feel no pain from this."

"First it was the Dursley's being dickheads, then it was you trying to kill me and Draco acting like Dudley, now its my own mind being dangerous to me!" Harry muttered mutinously. He tried to throw up his hands in exasperation but only managed to shrug his shoulders with the potion having taken full effect. "Alright. At least when we figure out what the problem is we can keep it from hurting anyone."

"Madam Pomfrey will be monitoring us as we try to safely find and unlock the memory with Legilimency." Severus explained softly as they pulled Harry into a sitting position and propped him up like a rag doll against the bed's headboard. "Both Tom and I will join our minds and enter yours together. This will give us better control and a better chance at breaking the memory seal without hurting you. For the first moment or two there might be some slight pain, that will be Tom and I finding one another in your mind and merging before we go searching for the memory."

Harry managed a nod of both understanding and reluctant agreement, despite the muscle relaxant in his system. Tom and Severus sat on the bed with him, positioning themselves to maintain eye contact at all times. Next they drew their wands and positioned them so that both of them were holding both wands, ebony shaft aligned perfectly with the yew shaft. Then they allowed Madam Pomfrey to count down.

"3... 2... 1." Poppy said quietly.

"Legilimens!" Both of Harry's husbands cast simultaneously. Plunging into Harry's mind and immediately slamming into a cloud wall of darkness. Landing on the black sand they instinctively rolled the mental manifestations of their bodies, and crashed into each other with a grunt.

"Looks like we aren't merging for this one." Severus wheezed, out of breath from bodily hitting his Dark Lord of a husband as they landed.

"Let's just try not to get separated." Tom groaned, having received an elbow to the chest when Severus slammed into him.

They dragged themselves to their mental feet and looked around. All they saw was blackness, black smoke-like fog, black sand beneath their feet, even the sky was black. They couldn't see more than five feet in front of them. Then the smoke-like fog curled and swirled around them opening up just enough for them to have a clear circle around them that barely stretched ten feet wide.

"I didn't think his shields were this strong." Severus said in awe. "We're going to have difficulty passing through them unless he actively helps us."

"This isn't healthy." Tom frowned. "Why is he Occluding so much?"

"We'll look for the reason after we're through his shields, for now we need to focus on getting into his mind proper rather than lingering on the outskirts of his shields." Severus reminded him.

"Right." Tom said with a decisive nod. "Why don't you go first, I have a bad habit of just slicing right through any resistance."

"You shouldn't be here!" A voice hissed from the fog. "You don't belong here!"

"Harry?" Severus called out cautiously. He waited a moment to see if the menacing voice they heard was a manifestation of their husband before continuing. "We can't merge to look for the dangerous memory so we decided to simply work together."

"Harry? We don't want to hurt you. You need to let us through to where you keep your memories." Tom coaxed softly.

"I'm not Harry." The voice hissed, causing both men to stiffen.

"Then who are you?" Severus asked cautiously. "I was under the impression that we had entered our husband's mind."

"Harry? Not the Boy-Who-Lived? Not Harry Potter? Just Harry?" The voice asked cautiously, causing the two of them to glance at each other in confusion.

"He was born Harry James Potter, and named the Boy-Who-Lived when he survived a killing curse foolishly cast by Tom here." Severus responded cautiously.

"Why would we call our husband by a title he clearly dislikes? Or by a name that is no longer his?" Tom demanded with a scowl.

"We both have a habit of calling him little one and brat." Severus offered, wondering what the hell was going on.

The voice remained silent for a moment, then the fog began to part off to one side of them. Revealing a narrow path in the fog with a wraith-like figure standing a few feet along it blocking the way. The figure appeared to be a cross between the classic image of Death without his scythe or sword and that of a Dementor. The path behind him twisted to one side not much farther on and the walls of fog acting as if they were the stone walls of a narrow passage way blocked their view of anything else.

"Is he truly just Harry to the two of you?" The figure asked, curious. His deep resonating voice echoing them to their cores.

"Of course not." Severus told the figure scornfully. "He can never be just Harry. He is Harry, our husband, our bonded mate, Lily's son, our Brat-Who-Loves-Worrying-Us, and he loves getting into trouble."

"That's not entirely fair Severus." Tom rebuked. "Our little one doesn't actually go looking for trouble, trouble finds him. Not to mention that his luck is so strong he might as well have Felix Felicis as a vital part of his blood. I would know, I've been trying to kill him before some idiot finally solved my problem and married us."

"You do not wish to be married to him?" The Death figure asked carefully.

"Of course we want to be married to him." Severus barked out.

"When we were first bonded I still wasn't sure what to think of Harry." Tom told the figure solemnly. "I know that both Severus and I were still trying to understand what we had just been recently shown in the grave yard, by Harry himself. I can honestly tell you that I didn't know what to think when we were first bonded. I can also honestly tell you that I do not regret being bonded to both Harry and Severus."

"Ah, I see. You still think I am a manifestation of your husband's mindscape." The figure said, tilting its cowled head to the side in curiosity. "I am afraid I must disappoint you. Yes, he can hear and understand this conversation but I am not him. You would most likely know me from my work. You may call me Morte."

"That's not possible." Tom said stiffening, face white, even as he shifted to shield Severus, earning an annoyed, questioning sound from his husband.

"Many things are possible. However my objective was to get to know the three men who are becoming one and seem to be fate's choice to be my master. This was merely the best opportunity to do so outside the context of my work." Morte told them. "I did not appreciate you making my job more difficult with those abominations you call Horcruxes. There is more than one reason not to split your soul. I hope you've realized how foolish you were to even make the attempt."

"Your work has surrounded me my entire life." Tom practically spat. "I had no wish to become a part of it. Nor will I stand for my husbands to become a part of it. I do however admit to occasionally enjoying watching you work."

"Ah, but then you don't seem the sentimental sort." Morte commented with a chuckle. "The stone is yours by birthright. Be thankful that asking it to hold a piece of your soul for a time did not damage it. In fact it granted the shard the ability to heal and complete its self once it was reconnected to the primary piece. My old cloak is young Harry's, also by birthright. You will have to locate my wand before Severus attempts to claim it. If the wand finds you unworthy then the next time I speak with one of you will be when I come to collect all three of you. Should you manage to master the wand and gain its allegiance, I will acknowledge the three of you as my master. By that point your souls should have started to merge, if not completed it, in any case."

"Tom?" Severus asked quietly, remaining behind his husband to help ease his peace of mind.

"Severus, meet Death. Death, meet one of my husbands, Severus." Tom introduced them properly if a tad reluctantly. Sev made a noise in the back of his throat, unable to properly greet the figure.

"You've both done well. I'm glad to see the young Emrys was able to help heal the two of you." Death told them, amusement clear in his voice. "You still have some ways to go in healing him however. I have created a safe passage for you through his defenses. He is unable to drop them at the moment. The path will also take you past parts of him and memories you need to be aware of. It will end where his mind stores forgotten and sealed memories. I wish you luck in finding the right one. If you cannot find the memory I suggest that one of you disarm your sister-in-law and take a closer look at the wand she won from Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. You might be surprised what you discover, both with the wand and along the path.

As Death turned to go he was halted by a call from Severus and turned back to them.

"Yes?" Death asked, the raised eyebrow visible only in his voice.

"What do you care for our Harry? Why are you even here? What interests could you possibly have here?" Severus asked softly almost menacingly. He moved around to stand next to his husband, having recovered from the shock of finally understanding who they faced.

"If your marriage fails I will have to put one or more of you back together when I finally collect you. Add to that the fact that you truly are candidates for gaining full mastership over what you call the Deathly Hallows and thus have a claim on some if not all of my time. Of course I have an interest. I have an interest in all three of you. This was simply the soonest and easiest way to speak with you without having to risk needing to collect one or all of you." Death told them simply, before strolling into the black fog that still surrounded them.

"That was a touch... unexpected." Severus said after a moment, only to hear a slightly strangled gasp or laugh come from the man standing next to him on the obsidian sand.

"Did you notice? He called Hermione our sister-in-law. He doesn't count the adoptions." Tom pointed out, partially to distract from the visit.

"No, I think he simply used that mode of address because Harry has the strongest claim on her." Severus said thoughtfully, as they started down the path.

Back in the physical world...

Dumbledore had just finished his late breakfast and had come to check on the Lords of the castle as they hadn't been in the great hall for breakfast. He frowned when he came across the new security and privacy wards. Looking at the way the magic was structured he noted with some satisfaction and glee that the protections were anchored in the magic of the castle its self. With a grandfatherly smile of indulgence gracing his face he triggered a series of small charms and trinkets always in his pocket. The intricate layer of spell work that he had embedded in the trinkets was based on the same pattern as the magic of the Headmastership.

However, instead of the patterns being linked to the magic of the castle it was linked to Dumbledore's magical core and signature. This allowed him to mimic the signature of the castle its self and circumvent many of the protections and restrictions embedded in the very stones themselves. It was also what had prevented the castle from severing the Headmastership bond and evicting the man who had put her Lords and Heirs in harms way time and again.

Hogwarts could change the food types he received, mix up his wardrobe, make his footing slightly uneven, even cause the doors and passage ways to hinder him. But anything that would cause him overt harm stronger than a first or second year level prank was out of he reach to use against the man she now hated with a passion. Which also included deactivating safety spells, since one of the trinkets specifically controlled and overrode any safety spells that were linked to the castle.

It was because of these precautions and trinkets that the castle was forced to let him into the private quarters of her bonded lords from the dungeon entrance. To help combat the meddlesome man, she caused the connecting door in Minerva's office to face and open the one that seemed to the castle to be opening on its own for no reason. Minerva was sitting at her desk grading a few extra credit essays that some of her 7th years had turned in the day before when both of the doors swung open surprising the two of them.

"Albus? What are you doing?" The stern old witch asked, treating him like a naughty student, even as she set aside her marking.

"Oh, nothing Minerva. I just was hoping to check in on Harry and his husbands. They weren't at breakfast you know." Albus said cheerfully, while mentally cursing the fact that the castle still had some control. McGonagall was immediately suspicious and decided that the man shouldn't be left alone with them.

"I'll join you. I have to ask them about participating in a demonstration for some of my more talented 7th years any way." She told him genially, her quick and graceful movements displaying why she had a cat as her animagus form. "I was also thinking about offering them animagus training but with all that has been happening it didn't seem like the right time."

"Wonderful! Harry will enjoy the connection to James and Sirius." Dumbledore told her smiling brightly.

Mentally he grimaced in pain at the thought of how much more trouble he would have keeping track of them if they succeeded. By this point they had entered the sitting room and saw the door to the bedroom partly open, arriving just in time to hear Tom and Severus cast the spell. With a look at each other they quickly entered the bedroom, startling Poppy, and finding the trio on the bed staring at each other almost blankly.

"Poppy?" Dumbledore questioned.

"I'm supervising a treatment. I can say nothing beyond that due to my healer oaths." Poppy informed them stiffly.

"Is it anything we need to be aware of?" Minerva asked worriedly.

"No, not really. Both of Mr. Potter's husbands are uniquely qualified to help treat the condition. Though I may ask you to remain and assist with the treatment, Minerva. They're going to be exhausted when they're done and it may take several sessions to heal him." Poppy offered the cat animagus, completely ignoring the Headmaster. As far as she was concerned he should have protected Harry better, regardless of which staff member was at fault for both oath and memory loss.

"I'll just sit with you and wait then." Minerva told her, matching action to words. She also noted the Medi-witch's sudden coldness toward Dumbledore.

"What exactly are you going to ask Minerva to do?" Albus asked out of a pure curiosity, that doubled as fishing for information.

"I haven't seen their familiars. I was hoping that Minerva would stay and watch them when I head back up to the infirmary. Heaven knows those three won't be willing to stay in the hospital wing." Poppy told him with a shrug. "I also suspect that Harry would benefit from being able to cuddle a small furry animal. Minerva fits all of that, considering her animagus form and she won't try to claw the boy's eyes out simply from being hugged a bit too hard."

"Of course if Albus wants to stay I can always transfigure him into a cuddly bear or some other stuffed animal." Minerva suggested, her face completely blank but mischief dancing in her eyes.

"No, that's perfectly alright. I simply wanted to check up on the boys. I believe I have some paperwork that needs to be finished up. I must get that finished. I'll see you at lunch." Albus said hurriedly and bustled out of there back to his office, being forced to take the long way around through the dungeon entrance.

"Tell me." Minerva demanded the moment the interfering old man was gone. Poppy told her. Minerva's fury was such that she involuntarily shifted forms multiple times and had to be knocked out before being given a calming potion.

While the ladies were having their discussion, Severus and Tom made their way further and further into Harry's mindscape. The fog would occasionally open up along the path acting like windows in a wall or a picture gallery. One of them showed t