- Rough Draft
- Character Bashing
- Dark Themes
- Death - Minor Character
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
Chapter 21 – August 13, 1996
Tom wakes the moment Pansy does. Likely because her full body start jolts the whole bed. He pretends to continue to sleep until she crawls out of bed and starts rooting around on the floor.
He’s disgruntled when she stands and starts sorting her dress to put back on. She’s a mess from their evening together and he rather likes the view without the dress. It settles something possessive and predatory with in him and he’s not ready for it to end.
“Something wrong?” He drawls.
She glances over her shoulder. “Yes. My father. Something… I don’t know.”
Mentally he touches his tether to the older man and he can feel the man’s agitation. Maybe a bit of anger? Several of the others are stressed but no one he would consider key to his plans like Rookwood or Dawlish.
A Parkinson Family house elf pops into place in front of Pansy then turns directly to Tom and hands him a note. Tom reads it, a little put out but mostly amused. How cute these little people are with their protocols.
“Your father has word from Runcorn in the Wizengamot Secretary’s office.” Tom informs his woman as he casually hits her with a series of cleaning charms. “Late last night Potter’s people reached out to Secretary Prince for an emergency session. It has been granted for nine o’clock this morning, official invitations will go out at eight. He wants us to come to the Parkinson Manor for a final fitting of my Wizengamot robes?”
Pans nods. “I took the liberty of ordering some appropriate formal wear based on your closet and evident preferences. I knew my father would want to show you off to confirm you as his heir before his peers at the Wizengamot as soon as he could. That way if something happened to him no one could contest you taking his Seat. He did promise it to you after all.
“I expected a series of parties but this is better.” She says with a shrug. “Gets all of them in one go, not just his allies.”
It’s almost charming these layers of maneuvering they put into the legal process and social politics. Things will be so much more when he is King. Well, he almost snickers to himself, things will be simpler for him at least.
“I beg the body’s indulgence. ” Harry says as he stands. Moody stands with him and together they clomp down the stairs to the empty floor of the Wizengamot.
Moody stays at the foot of the stairs allowing Harry to continue to the center of the floor alone. Standing just outside the parquet circle in the exact middle of the floor, Harry holds out his right hand and asks the sword to come to him. Nothing happens.
He waits some more and nothing happens.
He closes his eyes, raising his hand higher and further from his body, and visualizes the Sword of Gryffindor appearing in his hand. He feels more than hears the pop of apparition as the sword slams into his hand. He manages to close fingers and keep hold of hilt but it must be due to some magic of the sword because his hand is numb. Almost completely numb and more than a little tingly.
Using both hands, he turns the sword so that it is point down above the center of the parquet circle on the floor. With a hand on either cross-guard, he raises it up over his head and closes his eyes. Rejecting the fear trying to grip his heart, he stabs downward with all his might as if he’s about to murder the floor.
Even through his closed eyelids the resultant light is bright. His ears are ringing with the force of the magic unleashed.
When he opens his eyes there is a rough stone column that stands a little over waist height with the sword sticking out of it. All the Wizengamot seating is gone. All of its occupants are pushed up into the audience section. Even the Secretary, Pontius Prince is on the higher level and even though he still has a box around him, he’s in it alone with his desk and writing supplies.
Visually Harry evaluates the man and the magic of the Wizengamot whispers in his mind. Pontius Prince is grandfather of Severus Snape and the former Hogwarts School Librarian Irma Prince but not the head of the Family. He allowed it to pass to his younger brother because the one and only thing Pontius cares about is accuracy. Not truth. Not politics. Accuracy.
Harry gestures at the Secretary and his box lowers. It doesn’t expand. Harry won’t allow that, he can’t allow it until he’s evaluated each member for the Secretary’s staff for neutrality at the very least.
The Secretary, for his part, just glances around his box and then nods to Harry. He pulls out a blue, stenographer-quality, auto quill and an ever-feeding scroll and sets them to work, off to the right of where he’s taking his personal notes.
Harry walks around the stone toward where the Chief Warlock used to sit and keeps walking until he is outside the larger wooden circle he can now see set in the floor. Once he’s walked far enough, a wedge-shaped table rises from the floor. It’s shaped like a piece of pie whose tip has been bitten off, sitting in the bitten area is the Stone.
Acting on instinct, he pulls his wand and lays it in the middle of the wedge. The tip of his wand pointing to the stone, the handle end is about three inches from the outer edge of the table. It clicks into place audibly, like the meeting of two complimentary magnets.
Harry speaks directly to the Stone. “I am Hadrian Charlus Potter. I am the Son of Pendragon through the blood of my mother. I have pulled the Sword from its magical hiding place and together we have proven ourselves in combat against a great beast. I claim these lands. In the name of Lady Magic, I vow to protect and guide them against all enemies foreign and domestic, magical and mundane, sentient and creature alike. I ask Lady Magic to guide my hand and my path so that Her will be done. So mote it be.”
“So mote it be.” A number of people call back from the audience but it’s not nearly loud enough to be all of them.
Harry turns to the watchers. “Ancient and Noble houses, present yourselves to the Table.”
Three separate wedges rise up around the Stone. Only two lords, Sirius and Neville, stand and get popped by the Wizengamot down to the floor where Harry is to present themselves.
“House of Potter?” His eyes finds Hermione in the crowd. She looks surprised for just a moment before she manages to school her face and stand. The Wizengamot pops her to the floor between Nev and Sirius.
Harry walks around the stone and its various little tables to stand in front of his three favorite people.
“Ancient and Noble houses are named such because of their long history of service and sacrifice for the Realm.” Harry tells the three. “Today I ask you to continue this tradition. I ask you to help strengthen our people. I ask you to stand with me and our Lady now and always.
“Our land has many problems but it has just as much potential. If you are willing to meet this task, take your place at the Table.”
All three silently move to different wedges around the Table. Neville moves to the wedge one empty spot away from Harry’s seat to Harry’s left, Hermione moves to the free-standing wedge two spots away from Harry’s wedge to the right, and Sirius takes the wedge two empty spots to the left of Neville. When they get to the positions Magic herself has assigned them, they pull their wands and place them on the Table then take two steps back from the Table as if it were choreographed.
“Heirs of the Founders, present yourselves to the Table.” Four more wedge-tables rise from the floor. One connects Harry’s position to Neville’s, one rises on either side of Sirius and another rises on Hermione’s right.
Three people stand in the audience.
Leonard McCoy, Penelope Clearwater, Draco Malfoy, and Alastor Moody are popped into the area the Ancient and Noble three just abandoned.
Moody frowns, looking quite put out to be moved from his guardian position, but doesn’t leave the spot he’s been put in.
“The Founders of Hogwarts defined who we are as a people before most of our ancestors realized we were a People. Most of the traditions and the high magical arts we cherish today have grown from what the traditions that the Founders started.
“You represent the foundation of who we are as a people. I ask you to contribute to making that foundation strong again. I ask you to help us set it to rights so that we can continue to learn and grow together. If you are willing, take your seat at the Table.”
Three of them move silently to take their spots. Penelope stands at the position to the left of Harry’s, between him and Neville. Draco takes a position almost directly across from Harry’s seat and to the left of Sirius. Len takes the spot on Sirius’s right.
“Alastor Moody?” Harry questions the man that doesn’t move.
“I’m no lord, Harry.”
“I know.” Harry agrees with a nod. “I ask you to take the seat of Godric Gryffindor but I don’t mean it to be a traditional House or inheritance. As Lady Ravenclaw has certain specific duties, from here forward so does the Lord of Gryffindor. I am charging you, as the Lord of Gryffindor, with my physical safety and the safety of the Table. You will be more than my bodyguard, you will be the first of my generals.
“It’s pretty much the same job you’re already doing. A seat at the Table just provides you with more legally-recognizable authority to aid you in your task. Will you take your seat at the Table?”
Moody gives him a sharp nod and clomps his way over to the position on Hermione’s right. Once he’s in place all four Founders representatives set their wands and take two steps back, just like the Ancient and Nobles did before them.
The wedge-shaped piece of table directly across the Stone from Harry’s seat rises smoothly out of the floor and merges beautifully with the Draco-Sirius-Len piece. The Director of the DMLE stands and is popped down to the ground floor.
“As all are away, you Amelia Bones, already run the Department of Law Enforcement. In that position, you have exhibited a fair mind and thirst for justice. I want you to be my Sheriff. The Sheriff of Avalon. I want you to continue to be the long arm of the law in these lands. By giving you a place at this Table, I free you of the departmental politics that currently mire you and weigh your forces down with team members that won’t work with you. Will you accept?”
She bows to him from the waist and pulls her wand. He steps to one side and she marches smartly to the position that Magic chose for her on the left of Draco. She places her wand with a decisive click and steps back to stand with her peers.
Harry pauses and looks around the room.
For a moment he just watches Cornelius Fudge jump up and down in place. The man probably thinks that the Minister of Magic will be the next person welcomed to the Table next. And he’s a little right, the Minister of Magic will be welcomed to the Table. Eventually. But that Minister will not be Cornelius Fudge because Cornelius Fudge is one corrupt mother fucker and Harry has no desire to be involved with such a man.
About breath before Harry realizes he’s made up his mind, he hears grinding and turns to check the Table. The section on Hermione’s immediate left is rising from the ground. With a nod Harry turns so that he’s once again facing the area where the Wizengamot is dropping his invitees and speaks. “Chieftain Ragnok Ironfist.”
He doesn’t even see the smaller being stand, Ragnok is just suddenly in front of him.
He smiles at the goblin. “You and your people have been vital to me in recent days. You are fierce and honest with great personal integrity but in this country and many others around the world you and your people are treated as lesser. I find that unacceptable and I’m sure you do as well. I ask you to join the Table so that we can correct this both here and abroad. So that we can show the world that goblins are less than no one, especially in the oldest magical kingdom on the planet. What say you?”
“I say we get started.” The Chieftain says with a nod and walks around the Table to the newest wedge.
Interestingly, Ragnok’s wedge is at goblin height, making it about half as high as the other wedges which Harry finds worrying. How can someone be considered equal if his seat is so much lower? He might as well not be at the Table at all!
Ragnok pulls an axe that Harry didn’t even see strapped across the Chieftain’s back until the goblin touched it. It’s almost larger than the goblin but he wields it smoothly, showing off a strength not normally evident in his tiny frame and puts it in the position that everyone else so far has put their wands but it clicks into place and the Table accepts it.
When Ragnok takes his steps back, his section rises to that it’s even with the others and Harry can’t help but huff in relief.
Then, he watches the wedge between Neville and McCoy raise from the ground, completing the left half of the Table, and turns back to the spectators.
“Aikaterina Frost.” There is some grumbling from the crowd as he calls what -for Avalon- is an unknown Name. He grins knowing that the grumbles will grow when they recognize what she is but kind of looking forward to how he imagines she will deal with any resultant disrespect.
She appears before him a vision in white. Her outer cloak is ivory with a two-tone but still white hood and long draping sleeves that hide her hands completely. When she reaches up to throw back her hood, her hands are revealed to be wearing a pair of pearl-studded gloves. Her hair is as white as the frost of her name and her skin is just a touch pinker. Even the rune-covered metal girdle around her middle is white.
Her eyes, though. Her eyes are purple. A bright, light purple.
He’s told it’s a sign of her age and power.
There are a spectrum of eye colors that vampires enjoy and they are all related to their age and strength. For example, Newborns keep their human eye-color until they reach a certain power level and/or age combination and then their eyes turn a dark blue.
Louis reached his first power level change at 200, about a hundred years before he bonded his first human. He’s achieved three more since then which is marked by his yellow-gold eyes and puts him in the top 35% of his kind power-wise.
Aikaterina is the only vampire with these lilac-pink colored eyes. They mark her as the oldest, most powerful ‘living’ vampire in existence. They mark her as the vampire queen.
“You may call me Cadi.” She tells him, gently.
He smiles and nods to her. “I understand you have six bondeds, Cadi, and I know you take their physical safety very seriously. If you like, my elves can create a comfortable space for them down here, so that they may rest away from the crowd while we do our business.”
She blinks at him, surprised…? “That would please me greatly.”
She doesn’t even turn around or visibly instruct her bondeds in anyway, six figures clad in hooded buckskin robes just appear behind her. Harry figures they must be men just based off of their height and the width of their shoulders but neither he nor anyone else ever gets to see any of the bondeds actual selves, so he can’t be sure.
A handful of Potter elves pop in and set up a comfortable seating arrangement against the wall behind Cadi’s proposed seat complete with an area rug, chairs, couches, and a full tea service set on a wooden coffee table.
“I’ve recently made the acquaintance of Louis du Lac.” He tells her as her bondeds make for their temporary home.
She nods and folds her hands back into her sleeves. “I am aware of his recent placement within your school.”
“He’s the only vampire actually employed in these lands.”
“He’s taught me quite a bit about your kind and your culture. There’s so much I didn’t know, that I probably still don’t know. That almost no one in this room knows.”
She just nods again.
“I think we can correct that.” Harry tells her. “I also think we should correct it. You have a huge ally in the new owner of Prophet News Incorporated. With his help we can educate the masses, we can make sure all of your people are properly bonded, and we can help them all live safe and fulfilling lives.”
“I do believe we can.” She agrees.
He sweeps one arm back, gesturing to the Table with his arm.
She gives him a little nod-bow and practically floats into her place. When she gets there she throws back both of her sleeves and pulls off a ring. Harry can’t really see it -not clearly, of course, he’s too far away- but it’s made of some sort of white metal with a big yellow gem front and center.
It settles into place on her wedge of the Table with a click and Harry decides not to call is ‘the wand spot’ in his head any more. It’s too exclusionist. It’s the ‘magical focus spot’.
Three spots left. Harry forces himself to stand a little taller as the wedge to the left of Amelia rises from the floor and calls for “Kagan Asena.”
The man that is popped into place in front of him is huge. He might actually be seven feet tall with shoulders about as broad as Hedwig’s wingspan. It’s no wonder that he is the Alpha Werewolf for all of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. According to Remus, he could probably claim Africa too but chooses not to.
He’s wearing a sky-blue pea coat, just like Remus said he would be and always does in honor Asena the blue manned wolf-mother of his people. Part of Harry relaxes, now more comfortable following Remus’s advice since it’s been at least partially confirmed.
The Alpha flashes red eyes to assert his dominance and then drops painfully to his knees. No matter how it looks from outside, Harry knows this is not an act of submission. It’s an act of not being an asshat because the guy is a foot and a half taller than Harry and not doing so would make the next bit impossible unless a compromise is made. Like the Beanstalk taking his knees.
Harry’s turn to compromise.
He approaches the werewolf slowly with his hands clasped behind his back deferentially and kisses him right on the mouth in the human-ish version of a submissive greeting. If Harry was actually submissive or if the alpha considered him submissive, the alpha would hug Harry, resting his arms or ‘fore legs’ across Harry’s back as a dominance display but he isn’t and the alpha doesn’t. Instead the alpha returns the kiss, keeping it close mouthed, and rubs their cheeks together before they part.
“Your people are experiencing many difficulties with in my lands, Alpha.”
The alpha nods and purses his lips for a moment before speaking. “I have learned much since I landed on your shores this morning. Fenrir Greyback has kept the cries of my people from me. It is a challenge to my authority and I cannot let it stand.”
“I do not ask you to.” Harry assures him. “It is actually not one of the issues that I particularly cared to address. Well, not other than standing with my uncle when he asked for permission to dispose of the issue, as it were.”
“Remus Lupin of the House of Black.” Remus stands when his name is called so that the alpha may see him.
Kagan’s grin is borderline feral as he looks up the Remus and then back down to Harry. “Perhaps we will handle the issue together, your uncle and I. I’ve heard there’s no more blood thirsty a companion in war than a Black. It will be good to know if this is true.”
“Good. I want you to join my Table, Kagan. We are on the same side. We both want your people to flourish in ways the corrupt leadership before us denied to them. I have a plan to get your people -all of them, in my lands and out- New Moon Amulets and magical training. Only a handful of your people in my lands have any kind of magical training and that, in my mind, is more dangerous than their wolves.”
“And the mundane wolves?” Kagan asks. “Will they get Amulets and job training or do you only care for more wands to have at your back?”
“Mundane wolves as well. The goblins are already looking into our educational options for me.” Harry rolls his eyes a little. “It looks like I may be buying another school.”
The alpha nods. “Then not only will I sit at your Table but I will teach you the magic of my people. It is wild. The mundanes call it Shamanistic. I believe you have the temperament for it.”
“I would be honored.”
Kagan stands. They scent mark each other’s faces with their fingertips and Kagan heads over to the table.
When he gets to his wedge of the Table, Kagan flicks his hand about and a large staff appears in his palm before his hand completes its turn about his wrist. The staff is wooden, straight, and easily as thick as Harry’s calf. The bottom third is wrapped in fur. The top third is wrapped in fur as well but it also has leather stings tied around it with feathers, beads, charms, and tiny bags hanging from them. Above that, at the head of the staff, is what might be a dream catcher? Definitely a leather wrapped ring with bead wearing lengths of sinew or something stretched across it.
Harry doesn’t know the staff’s purpose but he can feel the power surging through the thing more than he’s ever felt from a wand -more than he’s felt from anything but the Sword of Gryffindor, if he’s being honest- and he knows he does not want to be struck by that thing.
As Kagan lays the thing on the Table, the staff shrinks to fit his wedge. Just like every other time, the focus object is accepted by the Table as if it belongs there and it’s owner stands back.
Two to go. Probably best to get the most potentially drama inducing out of the way but which one is that?
Harry takes a wild guess and says, “Reine Delacour.”
The recently-crowned monarch of every Veela living on the planet appears before Harry. Like Cadi, her hair is long and white but while Cadi’s hair has a dark under-tone to it, Reine’s has a golden one. Like someone wove winter sunlight into thick strands to be braided according to the Queen’s pleasure. Her eyes are an unnatural green color, which is probably an ironic judgment coming from him but, whatever.
She’s young, barely any older than Harry, and she’s short. Harry feels an instant kinship to her.
“There is a spot for you at the Table.” He gestures behind him to the wedge that just rose from the ground to connect Kagan and Alastor’s spots. “But we have a problem.”
She nods to him, “Hardly any of my people live in your lands.”
Harry pauses. He thought it was none of her people lived in Avalon but they can explore that later.
“I understand why this is the case,” He tells her. “But we need to correct it so that you be an equal member of the Table. Are you willing?”
“I am.” She says with a nod.
“Then I would like to offer you Potter Island for a Veela Enclave. It’s just over twice the size of the Isle of Man but in the Celtic Sea. It’s warded and unplottable and in recent years it’s only been used for the odd camping trip while my father was still in school, so it’s basically untouched.”
She nods along with him, her eyes calculating.
“Can your people make use of my island?”
“I believe it would be suitable but I want to see the island for myself and send an exploration team over it before I commit my people to it.”
“That’s reasonable but your spot at the Table will be provisional until an Enclave is established.”
“Of course,” She agrees. “It does not have to be on the Island? Correct?”
“Then I will take my place at the Table.”
Wordlessly, he moves aside.
He expects a wand but instead she pulls out a kris, a really old looking one. The hilt is the body of it looks like a, well, an angel but it’s probably supposed to be a Veela maiden with wings behind her shoulders that form the cross-guard. Her hair is loose and wild as it runs down about half the length of the blade on the flat sides. It’s kind of cool, mostly creepy, but overall pretty plain. No gems, no rune inscriptions, no aura of power. It just is what it is.
And the Table accepts it, just as it did every other magical focus placed on it. Weird.
This one should cause enough fuss that no one will even remember that the Veela monarch isn’t even qualified to sit at his Table yet.
He finds her in the crowd while he waits for the final wedge to grind into place between his spot and Ragnok’s. She has her oldest daughter on one side and her son on the other, holding her hand. Behind her stand her twin daughters. She’s watching Harry closely enough that she raises an eyebrow at him when his eyes stop on her.
Curious, he flicks his eyes over the Cornelius Fudge. Sure enough the man is still leaping out of his chair and then collapsing back down into it only to leap again. As if the act of standing is all that it takes to get teleported down to the Floor.
Honestly, though, it’s probably more exercise than the man has ever gotten in his life! How has he not made himself sick? And is it really that hard to grasp that he is not welcome at Harry’s Table? Can he just not get it?
Well, he shouldn’t leave either of them in suspense any longer. He looks back over to his last Table member and calls her name, “Aparajita Patil.”
With a little nod-bow she stands, hands her son off to her oldest daughter, and allows herself to be popped down to the floor.
“You’re quite the business woman.” He tells her. “You started your own business years ago and made yourself a powerful international presence despite a great deal of unfair legislation. For years, most have tried to say your success was actually your husband’s work but after his death your businesses only got stronger.
“You’ve also raised two of the strongest, smartest, bravest, and most independent young women I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I understand your oldest daughter is very much the same and a brilliant innovator in her chosen fields. I have no doubt your son will be the same.
“You have proven yourself to be fair, ruthless, and kind when you can be. I would like you to put yourself and all of the skills you have acquired at my disposal as the Minister of Magic for Avalon. Will you join the Table?”
She walks up to him and stops. With a little grin, he offers her his arm and he escorts her to her seat. He watches her place her wand and step back.
He makes eye contact with each member of the Table, starting with Penelope at his left and working around. Just checking, one last time, that they are all still comfortable with their new positions. Once he makes it around to Madam Patil on his right, he nods. Together they all take the necessary steps forward to stand at the Table.
Chairs rise smoothly from the ground, just like the Table itself had. Each one picks up its passenger on its ascent and seats them all comfortably at the Table, even compensating for huge Kagan and tiny Ragnok.
Once they’ve all settled, Harry nods to Alastor to start doing his job.
Under the distraction of Moody ordering his men and women down from the crowd, Harry leans back and starts having the Table adjust the Ministry. That is, he has it seal all the offices and move all of the workers into the Wizengamot audience.
The distraction grows as the audience swells and confused people start asking questions aloud. Most of the Lords of the Table are so amused by the chaos that they just ignore Moody and the bodyguards sorting themselves out around the Table.
Harry recognizes most of the personnel on bodyguard duty as Moody’s hires -retired Aurors and Hit Wizards mixed with Auror Academy graduates from around the world that never got a chance at active duty- but some of them he doesn’t recognize. He assumes the ones he doesn’t recognize are Unspeakables. Especially since the pair seemingly assigned to him are Moody’s not-so-secret favorite -a grumpy American Hit Wizard named Edgar James, and Tomanak without his hood on.
Harry holds up a hand for silence and actually gets it faster than he expected. “It’s not every day you see the social order of a nation up-ended.” He says to the room. “For those of you that don’t know, the Lords of the Table like these you see before you are what eventually became known as Lords Ancient and Noble. I personally prefer the more universal terms of Duke or Duchess.
Harry talks to the Table even though he knows everyone will hear his words. “Since each of these is a working position -you each, of course, have your own various concerns outside of the Table and there is the work we will do as a group and there will be responsibilities I will give you each as Lords of the Table- I am allowing you each two Seconds. You’ll each need an heir to your seat as well though they need not be related to you and they may serve as a Second or may work independently under your direct authority.
“At the last Setting of the Table it was determined that even each of our two Seconds would have a rank difference between them. One being a Noble Lord or, more commonly, a Count and the other being an Ancient Lord or a Baron. I am removing this difference. All of our Seconds at this time will be Lords at Arms or Counts.
He speaks to the entire room again. “All other lordships as they currently exist are henceforth meaningless. All peerages in these lands come from Lady Magic and her Table. Her will will be done. So mote it be.”
All Lords of the Table and many witnesses in the audience call back, “So mote it be.”
Harry prods the Wizengamot for the time and it appears in full digital clarity above the Table. He nods and it disappears.
“A few more things and we’ll take a two hour recess for lunch and so that you may prepare yourselves for the afternoon session.
“First of all, we as a Table will be reviewing laws of these lands together. Today. In order to clean up that whole mess. Second, we will be reviewing the various departments within the Ministry and their current Department Heads.” Harry looks up to the audience and speaking to Cornelius Fudge directly. “The Ministry of Magic is hereby closed. All offices are sealed and after our break I expect all Department Heads, including the previous Minister and his Undersecretary, to report to the Wizengamot waiting areas until you are called. Refusal to report to your assigned waiting area will have severe consequences.
“All other Ministry employees will remain in their homes where they can be reached during their working hours until they are called back to work by their Department head or their employment is otherwise clarified.
“You will all, of course, be compensated for your time.
“Questions?” He asks his Table.
“Do you want us to bring our Seconds in with us after break?” Madame Patil asks.
“I want you to bring back in with you whatever you need to face our task. Documents, reference materials, writing supplies, Seconds, a puppy. I don’t care. I do urge you each to bring at least one Second or your heir back in with you but I also want you to take your time and be sure you make the correct staffing choices. Use your discretion.”
“Will the audience be welcome in the second session?” Harry’s pretty sure that Neville is asking on behalf of the eagerly waving reporters in the audience section.
“The law review portion will be public because the people have the right to know and understand the laws they are living under. The personnel review will be private. Anything that needs to be announced will be released via formal statements to the Prophet and other news sources.”
“Uh.” Kagan doesn’t even voice his question, he just points at the male and female flanking him wearing the uniform Moody designed the Potter Security Service.
“Do you honestly expect your fellow Lord of the Table to not take his assignment seriously?” Harry asks the alpha. “The bodyguards are an honor and your due. They have already been instructed to not interfere in any dominance challenges you may face, just think of them as lethally-invested tour guides.”
“I would like to set my exploration team to work as quickly as possible, your Highness.” Reine Delacour cuts in before Kagan can respond.
“I want everyone at this Table to call me Harry. Formality has no place here.”
They all nod and several reiterate his statements on their own behalf.
“So far as access to the island is concerned, coordinate with the goblins. I believe the one named Ni-oog has taken on the task that is the Island and it’s security.
“Anyone else?” No one speaks up. “Very well. I will be in my private chamber if you need me.”
Together they stand and the seats fall away. When prompted by Magic they take their focus items and the Table sinks into the ground too.
Harry walks to the Stone and pulls the Sword. The Stone itself does not sink away even after Harry slides the Sword into the scabbard that materializes on his back. He nods to them and turns to the door that appeared against the wall behind his seat when he mentioned it, followed quickly by Neville and Amelia.
Pansy is honestly just not paying attention when Harry Potter addresses the Wizengamot Secretary and leaves his half of the Wizengamot.
She’s too distracted by how gorgeous her intended looks sitting in the Parkinson Box like he owns it. His hair is perfect, his robes immaculate, and he’s fully engaged mentally. He is devastatingly gorgeous and he is all hers!
The clang of metal on stone pulls her attention to the center of the floor. She only gets a flash of Potter hunched over something then she can’t see anything because of the fucking pillar of light covering a huge area of the floor. She can’t even think around the.. singing of a sword or whatever that ringing noise is.
To her great surprise, when she opens her eyes, her father and Tom are on either side of her. She turns to him for an explanation but Tom is focused on the floor.
Harry Potter stands alone on the floor with a rough stone pillar holding a ruby-studded sword. There’s a wedge-shaped table placed as the body of an exclamation mark to the stone’s dot.
She can feel heavy peace-keeping ward settle on the audience as Potter places his wand on the table. The wards are so heavy she can’t lift her arms… but why would she want to? It would be so much better just to lay down. To just get some sleep. She can just lay her head on this warm shoulder right he-
She jumps when Tom pinches her. The pain makes the ward’s suggestion back off enough for her to realize its foreign origin and guard herself against it.
At the Dark Lord’s side, she watches as Potter calls down his husband, his godfather, and his muggle and gives them floor seats.
She watches as he calls for the Founder’s heirs and is shocked when Tom is not taken to the floor. The only one that could possibly represent Slytherin is Draco but how? How could he be Lord of Slytherin? As long as Tom is breathing, he is Lord of Slytherin!
She can feel her intended’s fury bite along her skin even though his face reveals nothing. She’s vaguely surprised that he’s not vibrating with it. Vaguely surprised that their neighbors aren’t caching fire because of the heat of it.
Potter calls Director Bones and invites her to be his Sheriff, which okay. Good choice if you want a complete, uncompromising stick in the mud. Which Potter would because he’s a complete cliché.
It’s when Bones places her wand on the table that Pansy realizes what she’s actually witnessing. The shape the table is taking. It’s so obvious. She should have realized before!
These aren’t people being invited to sit at a table. They were being invited to sit at The Table.
Beside her Tom goes cold and still so she chances another glance at Tom. He’s asserted absolute control over himself. Other than the anger she knows he must still be feeling, she doesn’t have a single clue about his mental state. Is he planning something? Does he need something from her? She has no idea.
She turns back to the floor and just watches in horrified silence as creatures are called to the Table and seated right along with witches and wizards. As if they are equals. As if they are people. It’s disgusting.
And who in the Name of the Hallows is Aparajita Patil? Obviously she’s Pavarti and Padma’s mom but a businesswoman? Pansy scoffs. As if such a thing actually exists!
She shares a secret grin with her father. The Ministry is closed huh? All of it? Even the Auror Offices? How awfully shortsighted. Smells like an opportunity to her.
When Potter leaves into his ‘private chambers’ with Bones nipping on his heels, probably to call him on closing the Auror Offices, Tom leans in to her and whispers his plan to her. They are going to give the muggle the chance to insult them so that Tom has grounds to challenge her to a duel for her Table seat. Fantastic.
The perfect opportunity comes just before the session reconvenes. Hermione is alone and waiting outside of what must be the entrance the Table chamber because the doorway is warded so heavily that it is filled by a glowing golden film.
Arm-in-Arm Pansy and Tom make their approach.
“Miss Potter.” Pansy greets heartily and without any of the contempt she actually feels. “Congratulations on your new position.” The muggle smiles at her awkwardly. “I just wanted to introduce you to my betrothed, Tomis Basileus. Tom will be joining us at Hogwarts this year.”
“Oh!” The muggle says, her eyes going wide and the smile becoming even more awkward. She offers Tom her hand to shake and Tom takes it with a calm that Pansy would not have expected.
“Nice to meet you. Pansy was telling me how brilliant you are. Now that I’ve met you I see that not only are you brilliant but your beautiful and obviously from a good family. I would like to take some of your time to offer a betrothal contract between our firstborns. Your child will no doubt be brilliant. Our child will no doubt be brilliant. Bringing them together would benefit our world for generations.”
Hermione’s face is thoroughly horrified and she opens her mouth to deliver the ‘fuck no’ that Pansy and Tom are waiting for! But Draco is there, gasping her hand and pulling her bodily into him.
“Hello, love, what have I missed?” He asks, almost radiating innocent good cheer.
“Miss Parkinson and her betrothed were just offering us a betrothal contract between our firstborns.”
“Isn’t that interesting!” Draco smiles at them so convincingly that Pansy almost buys it. “We are, of course, honored by your interest in joining our families. However, as our firstborn will be the next Lord of Slytherin, any contract for him would have to be approved by the Pendragon.”
Tom goes angrily stiff in her grasp but otherwise maintains his control.
“I’m sure you understand.” Draco continues almost obliviously. “We can mention it to him if you like? Or you can Owl the proposed contract to him directly for his consideration?”
Pansy assures the other couple that they understand and gets Tom the hell out of there.
He is practically grinding his teeth by the time they make it to the Floo and head to her childhood home. She’s not sure if it’s the plan not working or a pureblood’s interference and defense of a muggle or the reference to Potter acting as Lord of Slytherin but Tom’s control is cracking more than a little.
They were planning to stay and learn the new laws of the land but dad will just have to give them a report later.
As soon as she gets them home, she pushes Tom into what her dad calls his Fury Room and throws the Betrayer that’s pretending to be a cat in after him.
Someone is probably going to die for today but it sure as Hel isn’t going to be her!