Saturday 9th of February 1997
It was Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Voldemort had returned and had officially made his presence known, Sirius was dead, and Harry was convinced Draco Malfoy was a deatheater, but no one seemed to believe him.
This year had been the most stressful of Harry's young life and he was in desperate need of some rest and relaxation. As quidditch captain he could partake in the benefits of the prefect's bathroom but decided against it figuring he'd have a better chance of being alone elsewhere.
He wandered the millennia old halls and passages, and his feet carried him to a familiar seventh-floor hallway. For once however, he wasn't there to see if he could catch Draco. He just wanted to ask for a room he could relax in.
On his way there he nearly stumbled over another person. He glanced down in confusion and saw Luna Lovegood seated on the floor with a sketchpad and large quill in hand, an inkpot was positioned nearby. She appeared to be drawing the forbidden forest framed beautifully behind the black lake. "I'm sorry Luna," he told her after a moment. "I didn't see you there. I was just heading to the room of requirement; would you care to join me?"
Luna looked at him with her wide beautifully blue eyes and nodded. "That sounds like a great idea Harry Potter."
Harry helped her to her feet and gathered her things for her before he finished the rest of the short walk to the portrait of trolls dancing. He paced once, twice, thrice, all the while asking for a room he could relax in.
When the door appeared he pushed it open and saw a room that looked similar to the Gryffindor common room. The major differences were the large floor to ceiling windows that allowed the gorgeous view Luna had been drawing to sit in front of them unencumbered from their vantage point, and the fact that there were no couches, instead two recliners sat side by side overlooking the view.
Luna led the way in and sat primly on one of the recliners. She gave a sigh of contentment and Harry soon added his own as he followed suit and took a seat. Luna resumed her drawing while Harry allowed the scratching of the quill and the serene view to lull him to sleep.
When he awoke, the view was still in front of him, but the sun had begun to sink in the late afternoon sky, bathing them in hues of red and orange. Harry was about to attempt to close his eyes once more when he felt something on his left arm and jerked away in shock.
He looked to his left and saw that Luna had shifted her recliner to face his and she was bent over him, her quill still in hand. "I'm sorry Harry, I didn't mean to frighten you." She told him.
Harry waved her off attempting to calm his racing heart. "S'okay." He muttered banishing the last vestiges of sleep from his mind. "What were you doing?" He asked her and then gasped as he finally looked down to his arm. It would appear that Luna had rolled up his short sleeve to his shoulder and had been drawing on his arm as he slept.
"You were laying there, and I noticed the scar on your bicep from the basilisk fang." She told him. "I was inspired so I drew one. I used the scar for its gouged-out eye."
Harry looked down in shock once more. The basilisk she had drawn went halfway down his forearm and almost all the way up to his shoulder. The detail was incredible, and Harry thought it had an odd beauty as the blackness of the ink contrasted with his pale complexion. It was a brilliant reminder of what he had accomplished four years prior. "Wow. This is… incredible Luna. I- I don't know what to say. Harry was sad that the ink would wash off the next time he showered as it appeared to have taken a lot of work.
"It really wasn't much." She told him. "If you would like you could come by Ottery St. Catchpole this summer and we could redo it. It can be permanent if you'd like, but if you change your mind, magical tattoos are easy to get rid of anyway. Daddy would be able to enchant it to move as well." She finished, her eyes never shifting from his and never blinking.
Harry considered for a moment. He was only 16 and tattoos were something his aunt and uncle had said were for hooligans and vagabonds since as long as Harry could remember, but when had he ever cared about their opinion before? Besides, if he came to hate it, he could just have it removed, no harm no foul.
"I think I would like that, Luna. Thank you. Now sign your name on this incredible art and let's get going before we break curfew." He replied, and Luna beamed at him. She signed her name in a tall thin script on the basilisk's tale and then allowed Harry to walk her back to her common room before bidding her goodnight and making his way back to his own. The next morning the ink washed off in the shower and Harry bit back his disappointment knowing that soon he would have a more permanent replacement.
Tuesday 2nd of May 2000
Daphne walked into the large ballroom and took a cursory glance around the room. She spotted familiar faces, but no one she wanted to speak to. She knew Tracey would likely be late and was looking for someone or something to occupy her time while she waited for her chronically tardy best friend.
A tray floated by her holding flutes of champagne, and she reached out procuring a glass and sipping elegantly at the sweet bubbly drink. She allowed herself another slow look around the ballroom and saw that just about everyone present held a position of power and prestige in their community. She could make out department heads mingling with one another and even saw Kingsley Shacklebolt discussing with someone she recognized as an ambassador for the French Government and Hermione Granger.
Daphne couldn't help but be impressed seeing Granger there politicking with the top of the food chain. Like her, Hermione had returned to Hogwarts for an 8th year to obtain her NEWT's and she was less than a year graduated and already making huge waves at the Ministry.
She had joined the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and in less than a year had begun reforms for house elves, centaurs, and another myriad of oppressed creatures. She had already been promoted to Department Head, and there were rumors that she would likely make the jump to a larger department soon.
She saw Weasley standing a few feet behind his fiancé looking terribly out of place and awkward. Daphne heard that he had left the aurors and instead had taken up business with his brother, the remaining twin, opening and running a very successful branch of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes in Hogsmeade. He wasn't generally the type of person to be invited to these events but seeing as the whole reason for the occasion was the two-year anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts and the liberation of the British Wizarding World from the Dark Lord, it was hard not to include him.
Daphne glanced around the room once more scanning for the last member of the Golden Trio and not finding his black hair and green eyes anywhere. Harry Potter was also making waves in the ministry. The once youngest seeker in 100 years had become the youngest auror in 250 years, and if the rumors were to be believed he was damn good at his job.
Following the fall of Voldemort in '98, Harry had started at the academy graduating more quickly than anyone in recent history. He had immediately began rounding up the last of the death eaters and had soon made Lieutenant based off his bravery and prowess. He now led a group of some of the deadliest aurors in the world, among them Neville Longbottom and Susan Bones, in tracking down death eaters across the continent. There was talk that he would likely make Captain soon and that in the very near future would likely break yet another record as the youngest head of the DMLE ever.
That being said, Harry never attended these formal gatherings, preferring to be out and about looking for bad guys and Daphne could hardly blame him. These very people in this ballroom were the ones who had hailed him a hero and in the next breath declared him a dark lord before he was even an adult. Not to mention that these gatherings were dreadfully droll.
Daphne, as the heiress of a proud and noble family, was required to keep up appearances and it was for that reason she found herself here wearing a stunning blue dress that bared her back and was just lowcut enough to show the tops of her breasts and ultimately falling just below her knees. She had her honey-blonde hair done in an elegant updo and was wearing just enough makeup to compliment the look while not overshadowing her natural beauty. Daphne looked the epitome of beauty and grace.
She was wishing however, that at the moment she could be in a pair of sweatpants and a jumper instead, sleeping off her most recent 12-hour shift at St. Mungos. Daphne had no need to work ever in her life if she didn't desire to but had always had a passion for healing. The passion had been there ever since Astoria had come down ill with a curse that many thought would kill her as a child.
Her family had been distraught and then a healer from Sweden had come down and developed a new magic that had healed her. Daphne decided then that she wanted to do that, to give hope and second chances to those afflicted by illness, but that meant she had to work her way up. She was currently apprenticing at the largest British hospital in the pediatric ward and had been enjoying it, but the work was often tiring and thankless.
She was torn from her thoughts as a sudden hush came over the room, more deafening than the previous chatter had been. Daphne tried to follow the eyes of those around her and soon saw the cause of the change in atmosphere.
Harry Potter had walked into the room. He was alone and looked so incredibly different from the last time Daphne had seen him in person in their sixth year. Even the pictures in the paper couldn't quite do him justice. His hair had been cut military style, short with the sides and back almost completely bare. The top remained a bit longer than the rest of his hair albeit shorter and likely more manageable than it had been in school.
He was wearing a muggle suit, choosing to forego the magical attire of robes that most still preferred, just as Daphne had. He was tall now as well. Not quite as long as Weasley, but enough that he stood over the vast majority of those present. His back was straight, shoulders pushed back, and he walked with an easy grace she had never known of him at school.
Daphne noticed every person in the room watched him as he walked towards the other two thirds of the famed Golden Trio. He shook the hand of the French ambassador who looked to be in shock at seeing him, and then the Minister's hand laughing as he spoke to him quietly. Finally, he turned to his childhood friends embracing Ron before pulling Hermione into a tight hug. Daphne watched with a small smile as the bushy haired woman doted on him and fixed his tie.
The silence ended as quickly as it began as those gathered began whispering among themselves about the famed boy-who-lived.
"Why's it feel like I missed something important?" The voice of Daphne's childhood best friend questioned from beside her.
Daphne indicated towards the front of the room and Tracey gasped. "Holy shit, you're telling me I missed Harry Potters grand entrance to the first event he's ever attending?" She asked disbelievingly.
Daphne laughed. "Well, if you ever managed to show up on time you wouldn't have."
"I was only like 15 minutes late. Damn, that sucks." She pouted sadly and Daphne chuckled at her. "When the hell did he get so good looking?" She asked after a moment. Daphne rolled her eyes but internally agreed with the assessment.
"He doesn't look that different." She said after a moment, looking at him once more.
Tracey laughed "Just taller, stronger, more handsome, with better hair, and more confidence. Not that different at all." She deadpanned.
Daphne again rolled her eyes. There was something about being in close proximity with Tracey that made it much more likely to happen she had learned over the course of their long friendship.
She was about to retort when Tracey suddenly squeaked out "Oh shit, I think he's coming this way." Daphne was confused. Who was coming? She turned around and then her panic nearly matched that of Tracey's as she saw the now Man-Who-Won (the papers really were rubbish at coming up with nicknames) walking towards them, his eyes locked on her own.
She quickly steeled herself and let years of practice take hold. When he reached them, he addressed them formally "Lady Greengrass, Ms. Davis." He said holding out his hand.
"Lord Potter." they greeted each raising their hands to his as he bent down and kissed the back of them. Daphne was distracted for a moment as she could have sworn she saw something fluttering on the back of his hand where he had held her own, but when she looked again she saw nothing.
He looked back towards Daphne. "Susan had told me that the muggle children we saved from one of the deatheater camps had been brought to you. That you were the one who healed them?" He asked his eyes looking into hers.
Daphne remembered the incident. It had been just a few short months ago and Daphne had fought to hold her tears as she healed their injuries and administered calming draughts before they could be sent to the obliviators.
"Yes," she answered quietly. "That was one of the most horrible experiences of my life."
Harry nodded in understanding, and she realized that he must have likely seen far worse in his line of work. "I wanted to thank you. You jumped at the opportunity to care for them when almost anyone else would have scoffed and sent them straight to be obliviated."
She saw the earnestness in his eyes and felt herself warm slightly at the praise. "No need for thanks, it was my pleasure." She said sincerely.
He nodded. "I don't know if you care, but I wanted to let you know I'll be putting in a good word for you with the senior healers. From my understanding this isn't the first time you've cared for children that not many others would have."
Daphne fought to hide her shock. "I- thank you." She said after a moment knowing that Harry Potter held tremendous sway. A good word could make all the difference.
Harry simply nodded turning his head, she noticed what looked like a black rope drawn onto his skin, behind his ear. It seemed to run behind his neck and connect to the other ear.
Before she could stop herself, she asked "What's that? On your neck I mean?" She immediately berated herself internally as she knew it wasn't proper to ask and actually rather rude.
Harry, however, didn't seem to mind. He smiled at her as he turned back. "A tattoo. You know the WWW extendable ears?" He asked and Daphne made the connection. One ear connected to another ear with a rope that you could use to eavesdrop.
She nodded her head. "It was one of the first inventions Fred Weasley had ever made and I got it to remember him." He told her. "I thought the collar would hide most of it, but I guess not. Oh well. This is the only visible one when I'm wearing a suit anyway, well besides the snitch from time to time." He said pushing his right sleeve up slightly. On his forearm she could make out three quidditch hoops in black with a little snitch buzzing around on his skin.
"That's incredible." said Tracey and Daphne had to agree.
She looked up at him in shock. Wizards didn't often get tattoos, but by the sound of it Harry had plenty and she really wanted to see more. She snapped herself out of her thoughts and instead asked him "Where's the broomstick?"
"Wouldn't you like to know." he said casually, and Daphne knew she was blushing. She cursed internally as he chuckled amicably. "Maybe I'll show you some other time. Hermione made me promise I'd help her with convincing all these stodgy old guys to agree to her grand plans tonight. It's been a pleasure." He said kissing their hands once more before walking away.
Daphne was still trying to make sense of what happened when Tracey's voice rang out. "I wanna see his broomstick too." She said with a hungry look, and Daphne once again rolled her eyes.
Monday 24th of July 2000
Daphne was making her way over to St. Mungos. This past month her work had been incredible, and she was excited as she walked out of the floo and made her way over to the lift.
Last month she had been called into Senior Healer Jacobs office and thought she was getting in trouble, but instead had discovered she was promoted from the pediatric ward to the intensive magical care unit. She had a healthy suspicion why this was happening, but she knew her own merit had gotten her here just as much as a good word had.
Daphne had loved her kids, but the majority of the work on the pediatric wing was bumps, bruises, and sniffles. On this new ward she was gaining real experience and her knowledge had been increasing at a significant pace.
As she made her way towards Healer Chase (whom she would be relieving) for her morning report, the healer pulled her into one of the privacy rooms throughout the hospital where healers could share news with loved ones without fear of being overheard.
"Room 43 has a VIP." The healer who was a few years older than her said immediately, handing over a file. "He was hit with a dark cutting curse on the arm, curse breakers are currently working through countering the curse. They say they're nearly done. When they finish, get him healed up and out of here before Witch Weekly hears of this and start breaking down our doors."
Daphne flipped open the file curious as to who it was. Her instinct was a quidditch player or maybe one of the Weird Sisters. When she finally shifted through the pages to get to a face sheet, she saw the name Harry James Potter scrawled at the top. She nodded and then healer Chase gave her a quick report on the other 2 patients she would be caring for today.
Daphne decided to save her VIP for last and started by checking on her other two patients first. Her first stop was checking on a wizard who had been attempting to brew Felix Felicis only to have the cauldron explode violently. He was in a magically induced coma and after Daphne ran her diagnostics and deemed him stable, she administered his potions and moved on.
The next witch had been drinking with her mates and tried to apparate home. She splinched her entire left leg and was currently in the process of undergoing skelegrow after her body rejected the reattachment. Daphne made sure she was comfortable before moving on to her last patient.
When she knocked and entered Harry's door, she knew that there would be curse breakers working. So, she wasn't fazed when she saw a man and a woman standing over him and muttering as they waved their wands in intricate patterns. The man had the red hair indicative of a Weasley and an earring in his left ear, the woman had dark black straight hair and was smaller than even Daphne was.
No one paid her any mind as they continued their work, obscuring Harry from her view. After another few minutes the two curse breakers both stopped their muttering and lowered their wands. She could see that they were pale faced and sweating and she quickly left before returning with two pepper-up potions.
By the time she returned they had both sat down on two of the chairs that were for visitors and were catching their breaths. "Here, drink this." She offered them the two vials and they drank them greedily, steam hissing out of their ears.
"Thank you." Said the probably a Weasley and Daphne nodded. "Why don't you try to patch him up and see if the bloody wound stays closed this time." He told her indicating towards Harry.
Daphne agreed and made her way over to Harry. She looked at Harry sitting there comfortably and unfazed. His muscular arms were borne to her thanks to the short-sleeved hospital gown and saw more dark ink running up them both. She forced herself not to look and instead eyed the cut and the skin surrounding it. It was deep, but clean, hadn't struck bone and should be a pretty straight forward heal.
She began muttering her flesh knitting charm and watched as the skin began to sew itself together from the deep muscle back up to the skin. After a few minutes the last of the skin closed up and where there had been a large gash just moments earlier only a thin white scar remained, and Daphne could get him a potion that would clear that as well.
"Good work Bill and Becca." Harry said cheerfully, speaking for the first time since Daphne had entered. "It's actually staying closed this time."
"That was a nasty bit of work." Replied Bill. "Who hit you with it?"
"Ah, I'm not allowed to say just yet, but I got him worse than he got me, don't worry." Harry chuckled "I'm sure you'll be seeing it in the news the next few days."
Bill nodded and then stood up to leave. He handed Daphne a card with his floo address. "Give us a call if it opens back up, but I doubt it will." He said. Daphne promised she would and soon the two had left heading for the hospital lobby and the floo's.
Daphne turned back towards Harry and began to run diagnostics. Other than the cut it looked like he was in good health. "Let me run and grab a potion for the scar and then we can get you out of here." She told him.
Harry shook his head "S'alright. I don't mind another one for the collection. Besides I think it looks pretty cool on old Bessie." he said gesturing towards the ink on his arm. Daphne allowed herself to look properly at his arm and the ink that adorned it. She saw that the tattoo was a large snake- no, a basilisk- Bessie the basilisk, coiled up his arm. It wriggled slightly, as if it could sense her looking.
"That's a beautiful tattoo." She told him honestly.
"Thank you. It's the first one I ever got. After 6th year. Daphne was shocked to hear he got his first tattoo at 16, but before she could remark on it, he continued. "Luna drew it out for me because of my fight with the basilisk in second year." Daphne nodded. After Voldemort was defeated the majority of his exploits at Hogwarts had come out as public knowledge so she wasn't fazed.
Many called him a liar for claiming to kill a basilisk at 12, but the corpse was where he had left it, and he had gone and retrieved it. Afterwards he had donated basilisk hide armor to the DMLE and potions ingredients to Hogwarts before selling off the rest of the large snake.
Daphne looked at the tattoo that started halfway up his forearm and ended right at his shoulder. The intricacy and design were beautiful. Harry's voice spoke again. "This one was a lot for a first tattoo, that's why the other arm is a lot more mellow." He said indicating to his right arm.
She glanced where he was pointing and noticed this arm was actually two smaller tattoos, with one above and below his elbow. On his upper arm encircling his bicep was what appeared to be a tent in a clearing surrounded by a forest. It looked like a beautiful piece of scenery with vibrant colors. It didn't appear to move at first, but then Daphne noticed the leaves in the trees gently swaying.
"This one symbolizes when we were on the run during what should have been seventh year." He told her. "We were hiding in a wizarding tent in different forests. It reminds me that even in the craziness and difficult times, there's still beauty. And this one," he said pointing to the hoops and snitch on his forearm. "Was just because I love quidditch. Mr. Lovegood magicked the snitch, so it flies all over the lower arm and occasionally the hand. It might be my favorite enchanting on any of the tattoos." He told her.
Daphne looked and spotted the little snitch buzzing around. "I like them." She told him softly and Harry smiled at her. "That forest looks beautiful."
"Thank you. Hermione and Mrs. Weasley went spare when they saw them. Mrs. Weasley still hates them, but Hermione doesn't mind so much anymore. Matter of fact she helped me with one of the ones on my chest." He said pointing to the left side of his chest. "But I can show you those another time. I really should be getting back to the office; I need to make sure all the paperwork is in order for this arrest. Was there anything else you needed before I left?" He asked her.
Daphne shook her head. "If you don't want the potion, you're all set. Come back if it opens back up, but it shouldn't. I'll get you your discharge paperwork." Harry nodded his head and Daphne summoned up her courage. "And I'm going to hold you to your word, I do want to see the rest of those tattoos. I still haven't found the broomstick." She said much more confidently than she felt, and allowed a feeling of victory to wash over her as Harry's face colored slightly.
"I'm free this weekend Ms. Greengrass, but if you want me to show you my broomstick, I expect you to at least buy me dinner first."
Daphne felt her own face flush and smiled at him "It's a date."
Saturday 12th of August 2000
There date had been pushed back two weekends as Daphne had gotten pulled into a last-minute shift the first time, and then Harry had been pulled out of the country to help the Italian Government catch a would-be Dark Lord in Naples.
Harry had sent her a letter this morning using his beautiful snowy owl Hedwig that simply read
'Third time lucky? Meet me at Grimmauld at 6 if you can, I've added you to the floo list, we can apparate together once you're here.
PS: Dress comfortably.'
Daphne had spent the remainder of her day overthinking the letter and trying to figure out what the hell dress comfortably meant. She wasn't about to damn well meet him in sweatpants and a jumper. Eventually she decided on a green sun dress with a floral pattern that fluttered to just above her knees and had short, puffed sleeves. She also had a more formal dress, as well as shorts and a blouse shrunken in her bag in case she had overdressed or underdressed. Her hair she let fall in loose ringlets down her back.
At exactly 6, with her bag on her arm, she threw a pinch of floo powder at the fireplace. It roared and turned green, and then she stepped inside and called out "Grimmauld Place." After the usual few seconds of spinning at a dizzying pace, she stepped out of the fireplace gracefully, banishing the soot that had accumulated on her and looking around.
She had stepped out into what appeared to be a foyer in a town house. The furniture was new and modern, and it looked like it had been recently redecorated.
"In here!" She heard a voice yell out to her left and followed the sound into a large, renovated kitchen. She saw Harry dressed in a short-sleeved button down and a pair of dark jeans. His top few buttons were left open revealing more ink on his chest starting just below his throat. Daphne bit her lip and drew her eyes back up to his face.
He had a look of concentration as he was slipping a bottle of wine into a picnic basket that shouldn't have been able to hold it and had been magicked to be bigger on the inside. She thought a picnic sounded like a great time and was happy she chose the sundress she did.
Harry finally managed to get the bottle into the basket and looked up at her, giving her an approving once over that Daphne rather enjoyed.
"You look lovely." He told her with a smile.
"You don't look so bad yourself." She replied "So, a picnic?" She asked, and Harry looked at her with a smile.
"That's the plan, unless you had something else you'd rather do?" He asked her.
She shook her head. "No, a picnic sounds lovely. Did you have somewhere specific in mind?"
"I did, but it's a bit of a surprise." He told her spiking Daphne's curiosity. "Are you ready to go?" When she nodded, he picked up the picnic basket and held it in one hand, wrapping his other arm around her in a hug. "Hello." He greeted her and before she could reply she felt the familiar sensation of apparition, but it was so much more comfortable than she had ever experienced.
When they arrived with barely a pop, she was greeted by the warm late summer air and a cooling breeze coming off a beautiful lake. For a half second Daphne thought it might be the black lake and Hogwarts, but there was no castle in sight and the lake was more blue than black.
"You said the tattoo looked beautiful, so I decided to show you the inspiration behind it." He said conjuring a picnic blanket without a word or a wand and placing it on the floor. Daphne was awed by the casual display of magic. "This is the forest of Dean; we had hidden here while on the run. Now that I don't have that extra baggage it's just like any other beautiful forest. Come on sit down."
Daphne saw that Harry was already seated and followed suit. "It's breathtaking." She said after a moment and Harry nodded.
"I'm glad you like it. Are you hungry?" he asked opening the basket.
"Famished." She replied honestly. In her nervousness she hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. Harry pulled out wrapped sandwiches which Daphne noted with delight were paninis and cups of fruit. He also had crisps and some other assorted snacks that he laid between them.
She reached for the sandwich and tore off the wrapping before biting into it greedily and sighing with contentment as the cheese and meat still warm inside touched her tongue. Harry chuckled at her antics, and she blushed slightly.
"I know you saw the wine, but I didn't want to be presumptuous, so we have water and juice as well if you'd prefer." He told her.
She smiled at the thoughtfulness "Wine is fine, thank you." She said, and again he wordlessly and wandlessly conjured two perfect wine glasses. He pulled out a bottle and poured her a glass of the deep red wine, before pouring one for himself.
They sat and ate having an easy-going discussion about their jobs and friends. At some point the sun had begun to dip deeper in the late summer evening sky and the air cooled. Without remembering how she got there she had found herself cuddled into Harry on the blanket. She thought he must have cast a warming charm at some point because she felt warm and comfortable in his arms.
"Tell me about this one." She said tracing the line of a tattoo just below his throat after they had fallen into a comfortable silence. It looked like a triangle with a circle on the inside and a line splitting it down the middle. Harry took her hand in his own and pushed her palm onto his chest covering the tattoo.
"Have you ever read the tales of the beadle and the bard?" He asked her and she nodded her head remembering the old children's fairytale book. "There was a story about three brothers who had cheated death and he had given them gifts in return." Daphne again nodded burrowing her head into his chest.
"I know it," she said into his chest. "The first brother asked for a wand more powerful than any other and ultimately lost himself to its power before he was murdered for it. The second asked for a way to bring back the dead so he could be with the woman he loved, but she was never fully back, so he killed himself in his grief. The youngest brother asked for a way to hide from death and received deaths own invisibility cloak. He never could find him, until after a great many years, the youngest brother took off the cloak and gave it to his son, finding and greeting death as an old friend." She finished looking up at him.
Harry smiled at her and gave her hand a squeeze. "The triangle symbolizes the cloak, the circle the stone, and the line the wand. It serves as a reminder to me not to try to power past death, or look back at those lost, but instead to focus on living so when I'm done, I can greet death as an old friend." He told her speaking softly. "I've already greeted him once in the forbidden forest, but I'm back now. It reminds me to live."
Daphne wiped at the moisture that had accumulated in her eyes and sniffled. Harry pulled her tighter against his chest. "This one doesn't move?" She asked. Hoping to ignore her sudden emotional outburst.
He shook his head. "This is the only one that doesn't move." He confirmed.
"This one is my favorite." She told him.
Harry pulled her closer to him. "You haven't even seen the broomstick yet." He said jokingly.
"Doesn't matter. This ones my favorite." She replied stubbornly.
She could feel Harry smile into her hair. "Mine too. Come on let's get you back home before this warming charm wears off." He told her extricating himself from her grasp. Daphne immediately missed his body pressed against hers but agreed. She had told him she had work in the morning and Harry had promised he'd have her home before 9.
As he apparated back to Grimmauld and gave her a hug he told her "I had a lot of fun. I'd love to do this again sometime if you'd like."
She nodded immediately. "Next time I'll bring dinner, and then you have to show me the broomstick like you promised." She said and Harry laughed.
"Sounds like a plan."
Friday 18th of August 2000
Harry and Daphne had continued their correspondence through Hedwig throughout the week and on Friday, just like she had promised, Daphne arrived carrying Indian food in takeout containers from this incredible muggle shop near her flat, and Harry was waiting for her with muggle beer and a movie.
She had let slip during their exchange of letters that she didn't know what a movie was, and Harry had freaked out. He told her that he had figured out how to get a muggle tellyvision and a BHS tape to work in his home, whatever that meant, and insisted they watch one together.
Harry placed a small box inside of a medium box that was connected to a big box and then sat down. They both took a place on the couch, food in their laps and bottles on the table in front of them waiting for the movie to begin. Daphne nearly jumped when the big box lit up like a colored wizarding photograph and she did jump when sound came out at her.
She watched entranced as a story played out in front of her following Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. She snuggled closer to Harry when Darth Vader was on the screen and when Luke shot his laser through the fatal flaw and destroyed the death star she cheered.
When the movie ended, she looked at Harry with awe in her eyes. "That was amazing!" She exclaimed.
Harry laughed. "I'm glad you enjoyed it; we can watch the next two later." He said still chuckling.
"There's two more?!" She asked excitedly causing Harry to laugh.
"Three technically, but I'll explain it later." He told her with a laugh. "Would you like some ice cream?" he said getting up, but Daphne tugged him back down onto the couch.
"Later." She told him. "I paid my part of the agreement," she said gesturing to the empty takeout containers strewn across the table and floor. "It's your turn to pay up now."
Harry smiled at her as he turned around showing her his back. He reached behind himself and pulled his shirt up revealing a muscular and toned back and shoulders. There, on his left shoulder blade, was a large dragon. The dark ink almost matching the actual color of the horntail Harry had evaded on his broom when he was 14. As Daphne watched the dragon turned and roared, spewing flames at a small broomstick that was evading the fire.
Daphne still liked the hallows tattoo the most, but this one was definitely second. She traced it with her finger and blushed when Harry shivered at the touch. "Usually, I don't show girls my broomstick until at least the 3rd date." He told her cheekily and Daphne rolled her eyes.
"Which broomstick are we talking about?" She replied huskily and Harry laughed.
"Stick around and find out." He began to pull his shirt back down and Daphne made a noise of complaint in her throat. "Ah, ah, ah." He told her as she fought to keep it up.
"I wanna see the front too." She complained.
He smiled at her. "You'll have to earn it, Ms. Greengrass. I think more takeout will be a sufficient price to pay." She pouted as he pulled his shirt back down. "Ice cream now?" He asked, and Daphne perked back up slightly.
"You have Vanilla?" She asked hopefully.
Harry scoffed, "Of course I do." He made his way up to get the tubs of ice cream and Daphne thought to herself that she was in dangerous territory. She could feel herself falling hard and fast, but she wouldn't have been able to care if she wanted to.
Tuesday 22nd of August 2000
It turned out that she didn't need to buy more takeout to see the tattoos on his chest. She had been preparing for bed when her floo suddenly roared to life.
It wasn't unusual for Tracey to drop by late at night if something happened or she had a date that was going badly and she needed to leave, but usually she at least floo called before coming over.
She spit the toothpaste out of her mouth and was making her way to her bedroom to throw her shirt on as she had been lazing around in her bra, when she heard a groan that belonged to a voice that was decidedly not Tracey's and a thud.
"Daphne?" Harry's voice croaked out.
She turned and sprinted to her sitting room where the fireplace was, all thoughts of a shirt gone. She found him laying on her floor, his auror robes in tatters and his body covered in a sheen of sweat. Blood was flowing freely from a gash on his chest and his entire upper torso was purple and black.
"What the hell happened?" She asked him worriedly, her wand already in hand attempting to stem the flow of blood.
"Ambush." He croaked out. "Nowhere else to- agh" He grunted in pain as Daphne worked to fix his broken ribs and then lost consciousness.
Daphne continued to work on him, and once he had stabilized, she cut off what remained of his tattered and blood-soaked robes before vanishing them and floated him into her own bed. She administered a few potions she had at home that might help.
His cut was closed, and the bruising was all but gone by the time she was done. Daphne knew he would need a checkup at St. Mungos, but she was wary to take him there considering he had been attacked in an ambush and was trying to tell her he had nowhere else to go before he passed out. So instead, she administered a pain potion and a slight sleeping draught and sat next to him holding his hand.
She looked down at his torso which he had borne to her after tossing and turning until the covers were down to his waist.
On his chest he had an incredible piece of art. It was four beautifully detailed animals' side by side. A stag and a doe on the left that would nuzzle into one another occasionally and a large black… wolf? That was playing with a larger werewolf? On the right.
The piece was stunning, and Daphne began to trace the lines of the ink. She was so engrossed in it that it took her nearly a quarter of an hour to notice the tattoo on his rib cage the opposite side of her. It was a large owl, wings spread in flight and Daphne immediately recognized her as Hedwig.
Her feathers would ruffle, and head turn slightly every so often. Above Hedwig but below the stag near Harry's heart there was a small infinity symbol. As Daphne looked closer at it, she could see that the entirety of the symbol was made of small letters, initials she thought, so close together it looked like a solid line from further away.
On the other rib cage closer to her she spotted an otter and a dog that looked like a terrier playing with one another.
She wished Harry were awake so he could explain to her what each tattoo meant, but she knew with his injuries and the potions she had administered he would likely sleep until late morning.
She had been planning on sleeping on the couch, but the warmth of his body and the sound of his breathing had her drift off to sleep while she was still tracing the tattoos with her finger.
She awoke the next morning. She didn't know what time it was but knew she didn't work today so she didn't care too much. She was about to cuddle back into the warm chest and arms that were holding her when her eyes shot open, and her body tensed.
Chest? Arms? The previous night came rushing back to her and she relaxed instantly. She had just fallen asleep next to Harry, and truth be told there were far worse ways to wake up. Still, he might get the wrong idea when he woke up next to a Daphne clad in just a bra and shorts. She started to slowly squirm her way out of his grasp when he sighed and pulled her closer.
After a few seconds she could feel his body stiffen and then slowly he began to loosen his arms. "Uh, Daphne?" He asked in a quiet whisper.
"I'm awake." She told him rolling onto her side to face him now that he had loosened his grip, although not completely removing his arms, she noted with satisfaction.
"I- I came here last night." He said trying to recall the previous evening.
She nodded. "You said you had been ambushed."
Harry's eyes cleared and she could see as the memories flooded back. "I was." He told her. "I was supposed to meet with an informant regarding a case I was working on. It was a trap." He said and his hand unwrapped itself from her, reaching for the thin line that was all that remained of the cut he had come here with.
"There must have been 10 of them." He continued more to himself than to her. "They had an anti-apparition ward up and I could hear one of them mention that they just needed to hurt me bad enough to get me in the hospital. They had a healer under the imperious who they would make kill me."
Daphne shuddered and snuggled back into him, no wonder he was avoiding the hospital. "How'd you get out?" She asked after a moment.
"I had to power through the anti-apparition ward. It took a lot of magic to do." He told her, and suddenly the lack of energy and fainting made more sense. It wasn't the injury but magical exhaustion.
"I didn't know it was possible to just power through them." She said into his chest.
"Neither did I." He laughed. "I'm sorry about barging in like that. I apparated home and I knew I couldn't go to the hospital. You had told me you added me to your floo, and I just didn't know where else to go." He told her apologetically.
Daphne waved him off. "I'm happy you came and I'm glad you're okay. Do you need to tell anyone what happened?"
Harry nodded, "I do, yeah, but it can wait a few hours. I still feel weak, and I'm famished, could I cook you breakfast as a thank you?"
Daphne shook her head. "You should be resting. I'll run to the alley and pick up something for the two of us. If you don't get lightheaded when you stand and want to take a shower it's just across the hall." She said getting out of bed and reveling in the feeling of his eyes briefly looking at her body before snapping up to the ceiling.
"Thank you." He told her quietly but earnestly. She shot him one last smile as she threw on a shirt and pants and made her way to her fireplace.
She returned 20 minutes later, omelette's, rashers, and fruit in tow and began to set up two plates at her small dining table.
Harry wandered in clad in only a towel and still wet from the shower, she nearly dropped the plates she was holding at the sight of him.
"Sorry, I uh couldn't find my auror robes. I was hoping to transfigure them into something I could wear." He told her.
She forced her eyes to meet his and not wander across the tattoos that were suddenly much more detailed in the morning light. "I vanished them, they were completely torn, and blood soaked, I'm sorry."
He shrugged. "Sokay, I guess. Do you have something I could transfigure?"
Daphne swallowed. "Why don't you just keep the shirt off. I want to look over the injury again anyway, and you can go over all of the tattoos I haven't seen before."
Harry nodded turning around. "If you don't mind."
"I really don't." She whispered at his retreating back.
He came back a few minutes later and they both ate hungrily. Daphne checked his wounds which were healing appropriately and informed him that he would need to go to St. Mungos once they found and liberated the poor healer under the imperious curse.
Harry then began to tell her about the background for the most recent bunch of tattoos. "The owl is Hedwig." He said pointing to his ribcage and Daphne nodded having figured that one out. "She was my first friend and I wanted her on me. It helps that she actually rather likes it. She preens all proudly when she sees it.
"The big piece on the chest is a memorial piece. My father and his friends were animagi. He was a stag," he said pointing to the antlered animal. "My godfather was a grim." His finger moved to what Daphne had thought was a wolf and then the werewolf. "Professor Lupin wasn't an animagi, but a werewolf and he was the reason they all did the animagi training in the first place.
"My mother wasn't an animagi either, but her patronus was a doe to match my father's stag, and I wanted her included. They always called her an honorary marauder. This next one," he said gesturing to the otter and terrier, "Has the patronus forms for Ron and Hermione. Ron loved it, but Hermione rolls her eyes every time she sees it." He said with a laugh.
"This last one," he gestured to the infinity symbol below his heart. "Is an infinity symbol made up of the initials of the 54 people who passed at the Battle of Hogwarts fighting for the light. I felt so guilty about every death for a long time, and it was actually Hermione who came up with the idea. The infinity symbol is to remind me that they live on forever and it's above my heart because that's where they live now. The initials circle slowly." He told her.
"They're all wonderful." She replied. "Each of them is so beautiful and has a story." She told him honestly.
"So have I seen them all now?" She asked, and Harry blushed.
"Well, there's two more actually. I have a Cerberus named fluffy on my thigh, and the other one is a little more... um. It's for further down the road." He replied nervously.
Daphne was intrigued. "I want to see it now." She said knowing he would deny her.
"Maybe later." He said evasively. "Or never."
"I'm going to see it, Potter." She told him.
Harry just sighed. "I know." He said, sounding defeated.
Sunday 12th of November 2000
Harry and Daphne had been dating for 3 months now. They had shared their first kiss together at Daphne's flat after Harry waited for her with a bowl of homemade spaghetti (her favorite), and a box of chocolates and fresh roses. She had told him she had a bad day and he wanted to cheer her up.
She met Ron and Hermione a few days later and Harry introduced her as her girlfriend, a title she didn't refute. She had never spoken to either of them much but found that she got on surprisingly well with Ron who had mellowed out significantly since his days at Hogwarts. Hermione had been polite and kind, but Daphne preferred talking quidditch and pranks with her fiancé as opposed to discussing work and politics with her.
They both seemed to take a quick liking to her and at the end of the evening Hermione had pulled her to the side and told her that she was happy for them and that she thought she was good for Harry. Daphne didn't care if anyone else approved or not, but it was nice to know that Harry's best friends liked her.
She had seen fluffy on his thigh a few weeks later when they had spent a day at a beach in France. It turned out having an insanely powerful boyfriend who could apparate long distances with ease and carry you along had its benefits. Especially considering he had clearance to do just about whatever he pleased due to his name and profession.
However, she had frustratingly still not seen his last tattoo. She knew it had to be either on his inner thigh or his bum and had been trying to get him to show her for months, but he would just blush and refuse.
That was all going to change tonight. She felt they were ready for the next step in their relationship which meant his underwear would be coming off and she could finally see the damned ink. She thought to herself that if this was an elaborate ploy by him to get her in bed then it was definitely working, but she didn't think he was that clever.
The evening started typically enough, they had gone to a fancy muggle restaurant where they enjoyed Japanese cuisine and a bottle of sake.
Daphne loved when Harry wore a suit like he did tonight and reveled in the little flashes of ink on his skin. The fact that she knew what the tattoos underneath looked like and symbolized made it even better.
After the food, Harry had taken her to a muggle cinema so they could watch a movie. Daphne had fallen in love with movies and had squealed excitedly when she realized you could go into these theatres and watch on marvelously gigantic screens. It had become common for them to go to the cinemas every few weeks together.
Once the movie had ended, they strolled hand in hand across the streets of London, before Harry found an alleyway and apparated her to her front door. He was preparing to say goodbye when she invited him inside.
They shared kisses and another bottle of wine as they sat on her couch, and each was equally intoxicating. After a half hour they had both removed their shirts and Harry pulled back with a groan.
"Daphne, we need to stop now, or I might just go crazy." He said in a husky tone. His pupils were blown wide with desire hiding the green from view as he looked at her lustfully.
Daphne felt her own passion rage inside of her. "Maybe I want you to go crazy." She said and her voice sounded foreign to her own ears, full of desire.
Harry clenched his eyes shut and took a deep breath. "You can't say that if you don't mean it. I'll lose it."
Daphne reached behind herself unclasping her bra. "I mean it very much, Mister Potter."
Harry lifted her then, carrying her to the bedroom. Their first time was frenzied and fervent, full of pure need and want. The second time was slower and more passionate.
Harry cuddled into her when they were finished. "You make me so happy." He whispered into her ear placing a soft kiss on her temple.
She shuddered from both the kiss and the words, cuddling herself back into him. "You make me happy too, Harry." She told him, adjusting herself in his grasp so she could turn and kiss him on the lips.
They fell asleep tangled together and woke up in much the same way. After another frenzied bout of loving one another, just because they could now, Harry had gotten up to shower. Daphne followed him in a few moments later and the elusive last tattoo was finally found.
"Is that a… pixie?" She asked looking at the small, winged creature on his bum, which was rather adorable she thought to herself.
Harry dropped his head and Daphne was pleased to see just how deep his blush went. "A wrackspurt." He told her in a defeated tone. "Luna asked me if she could give me a tattoo for protection. I'm pretty sure she was having me on, but she was so happy with it that I can't be bothered to remove it." He said as the little fairy like creature flew around his left bum cheek.
She hugged him from behind. "Well, I think it's adorable. You definitely can't remove it." She said into his back.
Harry sighed in response and Daphne laughed. "What's it meant to protect you from?" Harry's voice was quiet when he answered. "Could you repeat that?" she asked with a chuckle.
"I said Blibbering Humdingers." He told her sullenly. Daphne laughed and though Harry was facing away from her she knew he had a pout on his face.
Thursday 1st of September 2016
Daphne Potter was holding back tears and wondered idly to herself if they were happy tears or sad tears. Her eldest daughter was walking hand in hand with her husband as they were nearing the entrance to the large crimson steam engine that would see her to Hogwarts for her first year.
She studied her husband as they walked. Harry had allowed his hair to grow back into a floppy mess on his head, albeit shorter than he kept it in school, around the same time he left the aurors to teach. He had decided a few years prior that with his two daughters Violet and Dahlia at home and James on the way, that he would rather be safe teaching than putting himself in danger.
Daphne had never pushed him one way or the other but had been relieved at his decision. She knew Harry loved his children and his family more than anything else in the world but was still surprised when she saw just how willing he was to sacrifice being the youngest head of the DMLE ever so he could be home more often and safe.
She looked at him and saw that his green eyes were sparkling with joy and love as he looked at their eldest daughter, just like they did when he had first laid eyes on Violet and every time since. Harry had been so happy holding her and even more ecstatic when Daphne had said yes to his name choice. His mother and Daphne were both named after flowers, and he said he loved the tradition. When their second child was also a girl Daphne had chosen another flower name in Dahlia.
Daphne knew this was easier for him than for her seeing as he was a professor at Hogwarts and would get to see her every day. She tried not to be envious, remembering she had declined a position as the new school healer following Madame Pomfrey's retirement. She would have taken the position if Violet had been her only child, but she still had James and Dahlia at home.
She heard Harry giving reminders to their daughter as they walked, "Remember to always clear the map when you're not using it, and Teddy is a prefect this year so get on his good side early." She rolled her eyes but couldn't help but smile as her daughter nodded her little head, blonde hair bobbing around and green eyes wide with excitement.
They had finally made it to the door of the train and Harry bent over to give her a kiss before allowing her to leave his grasp so she could hug Daphne. "I'll see you at the feast tonight, remember if you're not a Gryffindor I'll take house points from you every chance I get."
"You will do no such thing." Daphne shot back at him smiling at her daughter. "She's going to be a Slytherin like her mother, aren't you sweetie?"
Their daughter looked up at them nervously. "I don't know. Teddy's a Hufflepuff, maybe I could be there with him?" Harry and Daphne both looked at each other amusedly.
"Whatever you are sweetie, we'll love you just the same." Harry told her embracing her one last time. "Now go find a compartment, quickly. I'm sure Rosie will be late since Ron's the one bringing her, and it'll help if you already saved her a spot."
Violet nodded and hesitated briefly before running into her parents' arms one more time each and squeezing them. "Love you." She muttered and then she was off.
Daphne wiped the tears from her eyes as Harry took her hand in his. "Let's get back home. It was kind of Andromeda to watch the other two while we came, but you know James has probably driven her up a wall already."
Daphne nodded and smiled thinking of their youngest ball of energy that was 100% Harry's son. He looked just like Harry did when he was little, save for his blue eyes. Those were Daphne's. With a gentle tug and a soft pop Harry pulled her home.
Andromeda smiled at them as they returned. She noticed Daphne's tears and embraced her. "It never gets any easier." She said with a chuckle and Daphne held her tightly for a moment.
"Teddy make it okay?" She asked them as they finally broke the hug.
Harry nodded. "Said they floo'd in earlier this morning so they could make the prefects meeting."
"Wonderful." Replied Andromeda. "I'm off to have a stress-free day to myself then." She said bidding the Potters goodbye and jumping into the floo.
As soon as she left James rounded the corner on unsteady legs. "Daddy! We go in the pool?!" The 3-year-old asked excitedly.
Harry laughed. "Sure squirt, lets go get your swimming trunks on."
Daphne let Dahlia know and before long the family was enjoying the warm day in their pool splashing around. After a few moments Daphne laid out on one of the chairs to tan for a bit and watched as Harry played with their son.
Harry had gotten quite a few new tattoos over the course of their relationship, and she could see her favorites among them as she watched them. On his back he got a bouquet of flowers made up of lily's, daphne's, dahlia's, and violet's. It was beautiful and the flowers were all colored. One of the few color tattoos Harry had. The handprints of his daughters were next to the flowers.
His left thigh had James's handprints from when he was born and there was space so he could add something personalized for his son once he was a little older.
Daphne's favorite addition was Harry's smallest tattoo. It was her name in cursive working its way around his left ring finger. He had gotten it after they got married, and Daphne surprised him getting a matching tattoo of his name in the same spot and script as a first anniversary present. It was Daphne's only tattoo and she loved it.
Daphne was so lost in thought that she jumped when Harry splashed her soaking her in the cool water. "Hey!" She shouted indignantly, but as she looked at him, she couldn't help but smile.
She gave her daughter who was sitting beside her and had also been splashed a look, and they got up to jump in the pool and splash him back.
After a few minutes of playing, Harry grabbed her and pulled her in for a kiss. "What do you say we feed the kids and then put them down for a nap? Maybe after we could play find the broomstick."
Daphne rolled her eyes and touched his shoulder blade, "Found it."
Harry smiled and gave her another kiss. "No, I don't think you did." He said huskily and Daphne shuddered.
"Alright kids, time to get out and eat." She called out and gave him a look. "You know you have to leave soon to make the feast?"
"You're a very good finder, I'm sure it won't take you too long." He replied and Daphne laughed.
"It can be very tricky to find, Potter. If I remember correctly it took me 3 dates when I first met you, and 3 months for the other broomstick."
Harry smiled at her. "I think it was worth the wait." He said softly.
Daphne looked at her husband and children, and the life they had built. "I think I agree."