Breaking The Ice, Part 2
Author's Note: [Knock knock] Any readers of this story still here? Oh, my goodness, guys. I am sorry I hadn't been able to update this story in A LONG TIME! The long-awaited continuation of that crazy cliffhanger is finally here! Enjoy!
Monday, January 4th, 1993 – Mid-Afternoon
Hermione crossed her arms against her chest, her ears flat, and her tail slapping the floor, as she stared at the retreating figure of Rose Potter. How dare Rose choose now to come out and "play"? She and Harry had been in the middle of an important discussion with two of his Betrothed. They had talked about this beforehand, and had planned on discussing details about her being a Neko, Harry being her Mate, and Harry being a Metamorphmagus. Hermione had planned on starting that conversation as soon as the twins returned from the bathroom.
And maybe... maybe... she and Harry would have told the girls exactly who Rose Potter was. But only if the rest of the conversation was going well. They wanted to ease the girls into meeting Rose Potter. Of course, the plan was to simply have Harry transform into his female form, but retain his personality. Rose Potter was not supposed to surface.
And now she had come out without her dominant's permission! That little... brat... had turned the entire meeting on its head just because she wanted to "play"!
She inhaled and exhaled, trying to calm herself down as she looked at the other girls. Even though Rose had left the sitting room, Daphne, Padma and Parvati were still looking at the spot where she had just left. All three still wore expressions of shock.
"Who was that?" Padma asked, turning back to Hermione, "Where's Harry?"
"That was Harry!" Daphne exclaimed.
"Pardon me?" Padma asked, "Are you mental, Greengrass? That was a girl!"
"Huh," Parvati said, with a sudden grin on her face, "Well, I didn't see that coming."
"What are you talking about, Parvati?" Padma asked.
"Daphne's right, Padma," Parvati said, "That was Harry."
"Technically," Hermione muttered. "Actually, her name is Rose Lily Potter."
"Who?" Padma asked.
"Rose Potter," Hermione said, with a sigh, "She's Harry's feminine personality. She's supposed to only appear with Harry's permission. He's the dominant personality. Or he's supposed to be. It is very clear that Harry had no idea she decided to do this."
"I'm lost," Padma said, "Are you telling me that bubbly girl is Harry Potter?"
Hermione sighed and pinched her nose. "Harry is a Metamorphmagus. You know that much, right?"
"Well, yeah," Padma said, "Headmistress McGonagall announced that much last night."
"How much do you know about Metamorphmagi?" Hermione asked.
Parvati snorted. "Not as much as you think a smart Ravenclaw like Padma should."
"You're the expert on Magical Creatures, not me, Parvati!" Padma said.
"Didn't you just tell me earlier that being a Metamorph is an ability?" Parvati asked, "That it doesn't mean they're Magical Creatures?"
"Girls!" Daphne growled, "Stop your blasted sibling bickering. Hermione, please continue your explanation. I know a bit about Metamorphmagi, and I'm still confused about what I just witnessed."
Hermione sighed again. "Okay. Daphne, what gender do you believe Harry is?"
"He's a boy, of course!" Daphne said, then she frowned. "But... he just turned into a girl. Right in front of me. Are you trying to tell me Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, is a girl?!"
"No," Hermione said, "Metamorphmagi are classified as a third gender. Technically it means that they can become both genders. He can be a boy or he can be a girl. And sort of in between."
"In between?" Parvati asked.
Hermione blushed. "I'm not going to explain that right now. That is Harry's job to tell you."
"Wait," Padma said, "So... if he can become a girl... does that mean... he can experience what we girls can experience?"
Hermione blushed deeper. "Harry really should be here to explain this. This is so personal. He's going to be so upset when he realizes I'm telling you so much."
Daphne stared at Hermione. "Are you trying to tell us he can experience – you know – monthly cycles and... and..."
"Pregnancy?" Padma finished.
Hermione groaned and merely nodded. Harry was going to be so mad at her when he found out how this conversation went.
"Please tell me he's still capable of – er – I mean –" Padma stammered, blushing red.
Hermione realized what she was trying to say. "Yes, he's still quite capable of siring babies too. You don't need to worry about that."
"Thank goodness," Daphne said, "Otherwise, what is the point of our Betrothal Contracts? These agreements were made so we can extend bloodlines – which means children."
"He's quite capable of giving you children, Daphne," Hermione said, blushing.
Parvati snorted. "I'm sure he is."
Hermione raised an eyebrow as she looked at Parvati. Parvati blushed and turned away. Padma seemed to be blushing too. Hermione decided she wasn't ready to figure out the reason behind that.
"So he can be a father and mother of children?" Daphne asked.
"Oh, Merlin," Hermione said, sighing, "Yes, Daphne. Please don't bring this up unless I give you permission."
"Permission?!" Daphne exclaimed. "Who do you think you are demanding that out of me, Granger?"
"She's the future Lady Potter, Daphne," Parvati said, "Which means she's going to be First Wife."
"Excuse me?" Daphne asked, her eyebrows raised high as she looked between Parvati and Hermione.
"Oh, good Merlin," Parvati growled, then huffed and looked at Hermione. "You're a Neko, Hermione. Right?"
"Yes, I am," Hermione said.
"What is Harry?" Parvati asked. "To you? A friend? Best friend?"
Hermione blushed. "Parvati, that is personal!"
"Is he your Mate or not, Hermione?!" Parvati demanded.
Hermione glared at her former dorm-mate. "I don't know why it is important to you, Parvati. But yes, he's my Mate."
"Nekos are similar to Veela, Daphne," Parvati said. "When they mate, they mate for life. Ergo, she's Lady Potter. Ergo, she's the First Wife. Better get used to her ordering you around, Daphne."
"Excuse me?!" Hermione asked. "First of all, I don't know what this First Wife business is. Second, Harry and I haven't even talked about marriage yet, and even if we did, that would be years in the future. Third, if that happens -"
"If that happens, then Harry's going to be married to you, and Padma and Daphne," Parvati said. "And this Delacour girl. They'll be your sister-wives. If you're Lady Potter, you're going to be First Wife. First Wives are usually the most important, and they have a lot of control over certain aspects of their sister-wives' lives."
"Well, I don't know about that," Hermione said, frowning, "If we are going to be – what did you call it – sister-wives, I'd like to think we'd all be equal in Harry's eyes."
"Then what gives you the right to demand anything from me, Granger?" Daphne asked.
"I'm sorry if I've upset you, Daphne" Hermione said, "But you have to understand. Everything I just told you about the details surrounding Harry being a Metamorphmagus. This is fairly new to him. Er... technically, anyway. He's still getting used to it. He's spent the last week training his ability and getting to know exactly what a Metamorphmagus is. Feminine cycles, siring and birthing children – these are things he's still trying to accept that could be in his future. And now, thanks to Rose Potter showing up unexpectedly, I've had to give you a crash course. This conversation was supposed to be slow, with all of us – including Harry – discussing it together. Harry's going to be pissed enough at me when he finds out I've told you. Believe me, that news needs to be coming from him."
Daphne frowned, and for the first time since Rose showed herself, the blonde Slytherin's expression softened and she sat down.
"Oh," she said, "Well, I can understand that, I guess. Alright. I won't talk about it to Harry unless you give me permission."
"Same here," Parvati said.
"Yeah, me too," Padma said, "We got side-tracked here, Hermione. How is Rose connected to Harry? What's this dominant personality tosh? Are you trying to tell me that girl was Harry? That wasn't Harry! He is not... bubbly like her!"
"That is because that isn't technically Harry, Padma," Hermione said, "That's Rose Potter. Do all three of you know what split-personality disorder means?"
The girls' blank expressions told her that they didn't. Hermione sighed and explained it as best she could. Daphne was the first to understand.
"Wait," she said, "So you're telling me Rose Potter is a completely different person than Harry Potter?"
"A different personality," Hermione corrected, "They exist in the same person. For most of his life, Harry's been Harry Potter. But on occasion, Rose has shown herself. No, I will not tell you anymore than that, that is Harry's story to tell. Just know this: that girl you met is not Harry Potter. That is Rose Potter, and her personality is far different from Harry's."
"Okay," Padma said, "So where's Harry? When is he coming back to us?"
Hermione sighed. "I have to talk to Rose about that. He's supposed to be the dominant personality, which means he is supposed to be in control of who surfaces between the two of them. As far as I can tell, she got bored, and she came out to play."
"So whenever Harry is a girl," Parvati said, "We're actually speaking to Rose Potter?"
"No, not always," Hermione said. "During his Metamorphmagus training, he changed to a girl, but kept his personality. He only switched to a girl so he could practice stuff as a girl. However, as far as I can tell, we'll never see Rose become a boy."
"Okay," Parvati said, "So you're going to try to convince Rose to bring Harry back?"
"Yes," Hermione said, "We were in the middle of an important meeting, weren't we?"
Daphne snorted. "Our Betrothals are technically not official until Harry meets face-to-face with our parents to settle and cement the Contracts. The reason I wanted to meet with Harry is because my father wants me to start getting to know my Betrothed, and also begin discussions about our future, and – well, other things that have to do with our Houses. Really, today, for me, was just supposed to be a get-to-know-you meeting. For us being class-mates and year-mates, Harry and I barely know each other. Anything I planned on doing today could be done at any time in the near future. I'd be happy to arrange another meeting with him. I really needed to talk to him alone, face-to-face."
"Alone?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, alone," Daphne said, "You may possibly be the future Lady Potter, and a Vassal of House Potter, but you're not an official member of House Potter yet. Some of what I have to discuss with him is only for House Potter and House Greengrass to discuss."
"Oh," Hermione said, then she looked at the twins. "What about you two?"
Padma and Parvati frowned and looked at each other. Hermione was under the impression they were having some kind of silent conversation.
"I think we really need to talk to Harry as soon as possible," Padma said. "What we have to say is pretty important. We also need to clear some things up."
"But you're welcome to join us, Hermione," Parvati said. "There are some things we need to discuss with you too."
Hermione blew out a breath, as she came to a decision. "Okay, I am going to try to convince Rose to bring Harry back. Then we can finish the discussion we were having, and if there is anything you need to discuss with him in private, you can arrange a meeting before you leave. Please remain here and talk amongst yourselves. I'll be back soon, with Harry. I hope."
The three other girls nodded, and Hermione stood up. She headed in the direction of Harry's room, and when she arrived, slowly opened the door. When she stepped into the room, her eyes widened at what she saw. Rose Potter was basically naked in front of a body-length mirror. She was comparing two bras back and forth in front of her chest. All of Rose's outfits which she had bought during the shopping trip were laid out on Harry's bed.
"Rose?" Hermione said, as she quickly shut the bedroom door behind her, "What are you doing?"
"Oh, good, you're here," Rose said, "I'm trying to figure out what to wear to officially meet the girls. Maybe I should wear my school robes and skirt – especially since dinner is soon."
"Dinner?!" Hermione asked, "Rose, you're not going down to the Great Hall!"
"Oh?" Rose asked, "Are you planning on hosting dinner with the girls here in the Private Quarters. Excellent. Then you can help me decide which of these outfits here I can wear. I know it is the winter season, but I want something... more. Something which shows my body, and my growing curves."
"Rose Potter, you are not leaving this room looking like that!" Hermione said.
"Well, of course I'm not going to be naked, pretty kitty!" Rose said, grinning.
The "pretty kitty" comment got Hermione to blush this time. This only made her angry though.
"You're not listening to me, Rose," Hermione said. "Stop what you're doing and look at me."
Rose turned around and looked at Hermione. Hermione blushed again and tried to focus on Rose's face instead of her naked body. Also she tried to ignore the fact that Rose had a much better looking figure than she did. That just wasn't fair.
"Do you know what you interrupted when you decided to take over instead of Harry?" Hermione asked.
Rose shrugged. "I know you and Harry were holding a meeting with the girls. But Parvati had run off, and Padma had gone to join her, so I reckoned the meeting wasn't going very well."
"So you decided to make it worse by showing up?" Hermione asked.
"Do not blame that on me!" Rose scowled. "If you want to blame me being here, blame it on Harry. Do you realize it has been six days since I have surfaced? Six days! I went shopping, Hermione. Harry let me buy these clothes, and then he took over again, and he hasn't let me play. What good is buying clothes when he won't let me wear them?!"
"Harry wore the school robes and skirt, and the winter outfit," Hermione said, "When he was training with Dora."
"Yes, Harry wore them!" Rose growled. "When he was looking like me! I bought those for me! He let me go shopping and then he forced me back into that... place! We compromised, Hermione, or at least I thought we did. But no. Your boyfriend is a bloody selfish prat!"
Hermione frowned. "Rose, I can understand you want to play. But you must understand. Aside from Dora, and Headmistress McGonagall, nobody else in this school knows you. And now Daphne, Padma and Parvati. We have to keep this a secret."
"Why?!" Rose demanded.
"Harry's not ready for your introduction yet, Rose," Hermione said. "Also..."
"Also what?" Rose asked.
"Rose, Harry is a boy," Hermione said, "Try to see it from his point-of-view. He's just learning what it is like to be a girl."
"Why does he need to learn?" Rose asked. "It is me who will be the girl. And don't talk to me about seeing his point-of-view. Do you know how long I've been stuck in his mind watching through his point-of-view?! Watching and waiting for moments like these?"
Hermione sighed. "Rose, Madam Pomfrey warned Harry that if his feminine side surfaces for too long, he'll have to deal with a feminine cycle."
"So?" Rose asked. "I'm sure I can deal with it."
"That's not the issue here," Hermione said, "Like I said, very few people know Harry can be a girl. If Harry has to go through feminine cycles, he'll be a girl for a few days, maybe a week. He'll have to attend classes like normal, except he'll be a girl. Everyone will know he's a girl. He doesn't want that. He likes his privacy."
Rose frowned. "You want me to let Harry come back, don't you?"
"I do," Hermione said, "We're having an important meeting in there. He needs to be a part of it. As Harry, as Lord Potter, and as the future husband to his Betrothed."
"Is Parvati still in there?" Rose asked.
"Yes," Hermione said, "Why?"
"I was watching some of the conversation you and Harry were having with them," Rose said. "Did you ask Parvati why she wants to speak to you and Harry?"
"Um... no, not yet," Hermione said, "I just figured she wants to spend time with her sister."
Rose snorted. "No, that isn't why. I'll give you a hint. Daphne mentioned that Parvati would be Harry's 'sister-in-law'. Parvati glared at her and ran off to the bathroom. Why?"
"I don't know," Hermione said.
"I could read between the lines, Hermione," Rose said, "Parvati isn't here to spend time with her sister. She's here to convince Harry that he should marry her too. She doesn't want to be his sister-in-law. She wants to be his wife."
Hermione blinked. "Surely that isn't true. She knows Padma is Betrothed to Harry. Sisters can't marry the same man... can they?"
"I don't know," Rose said, "I'm just telling you what I believe. You and Harry need to ask her yourself."
"So you'll let Harry return?" Hermione asked.
Rose sighed. "Yes. As long as you promise I can come back soon."
"The girls want to officially meet you," Hermione said, "I'm sure we can set up a meeting and Harry can compromise with you."
"No," Rose said, "I said, you promise me I can come back. Not Harry."
"Harry's the dominant personality, Rose," Hermione said.
"He also does whatever you ask," Rose said. "These past six days he hasn't contacted me once to discuss when I can come out and play. Not once! I wouldn't have interrupted your meeting if I had been able to play once or twice this past week! I wanted to try on these clothes, Hermione!"
Hermione sighed. "Alright. I'll talk to Harry about it. And then I'll plan a – a girl's day in. I can invite Daphne and Parvati here. Padma's living here now so she'll be here. And you can meet with them and wear one of your outfits. I'll help you choose which one."
Rose smiled. "I can work with that. By the way... are you going to tell Padma that you and Harry shag like bunnies?"
Hermione blushed fiercely. "Harry and I agreed to keep that private as long as possible. Padma doesn't need to know that aspect of our life just yet."
"Yeah," Rose said, "She might get jealous and want to join in with you."
"Rose!" Hermione squeaked.
"What?" Rose asked. "You think I'm wrong. Hell, I'm jealous of how much you and Harry shag."
"You are?" Hermione asked.
Rose grinned. "Yes. I've fantasized of surfacing when you and Harry are about to have sex, and join in myself."
Hermione's eyes widened. "Um... you want – you want to -"
"Yes," Rose said, bluntly. "But we can discuss that another time. Bye, pretty kitty."
Hermione just stared at her in shock. Rose wanted to... shag her? She wasn't sure what to think of that. Rose closed her eyes, and Hermione watched as the auburn-haired witch proceeded to change back into Harry.
"Merlin, bless it!" Harry growled. "She knows she's supposed to wait to come forth until I let her!"
"Uh-huh," Hermione said, "And when were you going to let her come forth?"
Harry stared at her. Then he spluttered and stammered.
"You don't know, do you?" Hermione asked.
"I hadn't really thought about it," Harry said.
"That is why she came forth," Hermione said, "Because you hadn't decided when she could come back. Harry, she went on a shopping trip six days ago. She wanted to try on the clothes."
She pointed at Rose's clothes strung out across Harry's bed. Harry stared at the clothes then he sighed.
"I guess I just haven't really figured out a good time for her to come forth," Harry said.
"Well, I have," Hermione said. "I'm going to invite the girls to a girl's day in next weekend. It will be me, Rose, and the three girls – and maybe Dora – having lunch and good conversation. We can give Rose a few hours to play."
"As long as she doesn't come forth before then," Harry said.
"That's your fault," Hermione said, "You haven't been talking to her."
"I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out, Hermione!" Harry said, "It is new to me!"
"Well, figure it out soon, so she doesn't come back unexpectedly," Hermione said. "For now, we really need to talk to the girls. Padma and Parvati need to discuss something with us, and it sounds important. And Daphne... it sounds as if she wants to speak to you one-on-one. Without me there. So arrange a meeting with her soon."
"Alright," Harry said. "Let's go then."
"Harry!" Hermione exclaimed with a roll of her eyes. "You do realize you're completely naked right now."
Harry looked at himself and swore loudly at himself and also Rose.
"Get dressed, Harry," Hermione said, "I'll put away Rose's clothes and then we'll go back and talk to the girls. How much of the conversation between Rose and I were you listening to when you were – er – in her mind?"
"I was trying to figure out how to come back, Hermione," Harry said, "I wasn't focused on conversation!"
"Then I need to talk to you about a theory Rose had about Parvati," Hermione said.
So Hermione discussed the theory as Harry dressed. By the time she was finished, Harry was looking at her oddly.
"Rose's theory is crazy, right?" Hermione asked. "Parvati doesn't want to marry you."
"Actually I'm supporting Rose's theory here, Hermione," Harry said. "But I think we should discuss it with Parvati. If she doesn't bring it up, we will."
"And if she does want to marry you?" Hermione asked, "What are you going to say?"
"I suppose it really depends on why she wants to marry me," Harry said.
Hermione sighed. She was afraid he was going to say that.
"I guess," she said; she then hesitated, "Harry… there's something I need to tell you…"
Harry cleared his throat as he stepped out of his bedroom. He was back in his school outfit. When he and Hermione walked back into the main area of the Quarters, they found Daphne seated in one of the chairs, and Padma and Parvati seated together on a couch. He blushed as the three girls all looked toward him.
"Hermione told me she explained to you three what just happened," he said, as he and Hermione sat down on the loveseat.
"She tried her best," Daphne said, "We got the gist of it I think."
Padma and Parvati made identical nods.
"Right," Harry said, "Well, I apologize. Rose… she… she takes a bit to get used to, I suppose. I'm supposed to be the dominant personality, but… I haven't completely gotten it under control."
"Of course, it doesn't help that it has been six days since her last appearance," Hermione said. "Last time she emerged, she went on a shopping trip in Diagon Alley. She bought five pairs of clothes. And aside from when she tried them on initially, she hasn't been able to wear them again."
Parvati snorted. "The poor girl! I can't blame her, Harry. You've basically starved the poor girl! I'm betting Rose was half-naked, and getting ready to try on some of her clothes by the time you confronted her, Hermione?"
Hermione blushed. "More than half…"
"Well there you go," Parvati said, "I knew I would be quite upset if I wasn't able to wear any of my outfits I had just purchased! You should have let the girl out days ago!"
Harry rolled his eyes. "It has been a fairly busy week. Between Metamorphmagus training, and everything else that's gone on around here, I just haven't had the time to let her… run free. And, well… I'm also trying to keep her a secret. I don't want everyone to know about her or… or that I..."
"Or that you can turn into a girl?" Daphne guessed.
Harry coughed, and noddy shyly. "I'm not ready for that…"
"Well, obviously not, since this is all completely new to you," Padma said, then she frowned, "You weren't going to keep her a secret from us, were you? I mean… Daphne and I as your Betrothed? You were going to tell us, right?"
"I was planning to," Harry said. "Maybe not immediately. I might have broached the topic during the discussion today. But I was going to… er... rip off the plaster slowly, I suppose?"
"So when do we get to… officially meet her?" Parvati asked.
Harry stared at Parvati for a moment, clearly hearing 'we', instead of Padma and Daphne. This certainly led credence to the idea that Parvati wanted to be more than Harry's future sister-in-law. He glanced quickly over at Hermione, and noticed that the way she was looking at Parvati, told him she had the same thoughts.
Hermione cleared her throat. "If it is okay with the… the three of you, I suppose we could have a 'girl's day in' with Rose here next Saturday. Maybe have lunch and stuff with her?"
Daphne shrugged. "If I don't have anything better to do, then I'm in."
"Sounds good to me," Padma said.
"Me too," Parvati said, "I'd be interested in seeing these outfits she bought. Especially if she's eager to wear them."
"I'm sure that can be arranged," Hermione said.
"Probably," Harry said. "Well, if that is all agreed, can we move on to the real reason you're all here? Daphne, Hermione tells me you want to talk to me in private. I am sure we can arrange that. Can you give me any hints about what we'd talk about… something you can say in front of these girls? Earlier you were saying that you might want to move in here too, like Padma's doing? Is that something you just need to speak to me about?"
Daphne huffed. "I suppose that's a good place to start. Okay, I assume you know what the Great Alliance is?"
"Yes," Harry said, "I'm aware of which Houses are in the Alliance, and whom here at Hogwarts is a part of the Alliance."
"The Heirs and Heiresses of those Houses," Daphne said, "Officially we're called the Children of the Great Alliance. Out of all the Children, I am the only Slytherin. Now, the Great Alliance has pretty much been dormant over the past decade or so. After the deaths of your grandfather and father, and then your disappearance from our society, the Great Alliance was barely keeping its head above water. Soon enough, it became yesterday's news, no longer the big powerhouse it had been. So most of my housemates don't really know too much about the Great Alliance, or who is in it. So far, they're pretty oblivious that I'm part of the Great Alliance. Sooner or later, that's going to change. Whether it is because the Great Alliance will soon be getting a revival, which means it will be mentioned in the Daily Prophet."
"Which means the House of Greengrass might be mentioned amongst the members of the Great Alliance," Hermione said.
"Correct," Daphne said. "Or it could be that people figure out you and I are hanging out more, Harry. Which is likely, since my father wants you and I to get to know each other better. Or the Betrothals get discovered, especially ours - you and I, Harry. My point is… in Slytherin, thanks to Malfoy and Parkinson and Nott, and the Quidditch team, you are… shall we call you 'Undesirable Number One.'"
"I would not call him Undesirable, Daphne!" Parvati exclaimed, with a giggle.
Padma practically face-palmed, as Harry raised an eyebrow, and Hermione's ears twitched at Parvati's comment.
"That is not what I mean, and you know it, Parvati!" Daphne growled.
"I'm quite aware of how the majority of your House sees me, Daphne," Harry said.
"My point is… once it is discovered I am Betrothed to you, I'll basically be a pariah in Slytherin," Daphne said. "Which is why I need to move in here, and out of the dungeons, sooner than later, if we can make it happen."
Harry considered this. "If your father were to discover that Padma is now housed in my Private Quarters, how would he respond?"
Daphne smiled and nodded. "He might suggest that I move in too, just so that Padma and I are on… equal footing when it comes to this... arrangement. He would realize that if I did not move in, it would make it rather difficult for you and I to be able to get to know each other better, given the rivalry between our Houses. If I move in, it would send a message that I'm basically closely connected to you and House Potter. I'd be… under your protection, in a way. Not that I need your protection!"
"I didn't think you did," Harry said, smiling, "But wouldn't it basically make a lot of people suspicious of exactly what kind of… relationship you and I have?"
Daphne snorted. "Words are wind, at least until an official Betrothal is announced to the public. They can guess all they want. The real message if I moved in here, would be that I'm under the protection of the House of Potter. My housemates would leave me alone… especially with McGonagall's new rules giving us some extra padding."
"Would you be willing to write your father a letter regarding such things?" Harry asked.
Daphne nodded again. "I think I could do that. I expect he'd write to you, requesting that I move in."
"If that doesn't work, tell him about me," Hermione said. "Tell him that Harry is my mate. I think he'd ask that you move in then."
Daphne raised both eyebrows as she looked at the Cat-Girl. "Are you sure?"
"I trust your father wouldn't reveal such information about me to the general public," Hermione said, then frowned, "I mean… nothing more than what everyone here at Hogwarts might talk about… which is just speculation."
"Of course he wouldn't betray such information!" Daphne said, sounding offended, then frowned. "Especially if I were to tell him that you might be the future Lady Potter."
"Then I am willing to give him such information," Hermione said, "If it removes you from the Slytherin dungeons. If I am… If I'm to be the future Lady Potter, it means we'll be sister-wives. It is the least I could do."
"I'm almost sure the first idea would work," Daphne said, "But thanks… Hermione. I'll keep it in mind."
"If you were to send him a letter tonight?" Harry asked.
"I'd probably receive a reply tomorrow morning," Daphne said, "You might get a letter from him as well. With any luck, I'll be moving in here after classes get over tomorrow. And yes, before you ask, I can do that after I leave here. In fact, I could go now..."
"Unless there's something else?" Harry asked.
"Everything I could discuss with you, could easily take place if I were to move in here with you," Daphne said. "I'll let you talk to Padma and Parvati then. If I am excused, Lord Potter?"
"You are," Harry said, "Will you show her out, Hermione? Just to make sure the Griffin allows her to leave?"
Hermione nodded. She stood up as did Daphne. Neither Harry nor the Patil twins spoke, as they watched Hermione lead Daphne out of the Quarters, then return to her place beside Harry. There was an awkward pause for a few moments between the four Second-Year students as each of them wondered who would speak up first. Eventually, Harry cleared his throat, indicating he'd start the conversation.
"Parvati," Harry said, "if I wanted to ask you some rather personal questions, and I asked you to be honest with your answers, would you do it?"
Parvati shifted awkwardly, and looked at Harry, then to Padma, then back to Harry.
"I suppose it would depend on what you were going to ask," Parvati said, "But sure… ask away?"
"Earlier you alluded to the idea that you'd feared you would end up married to an older man who already had several wives," Harry said.
"I'm destined to end up a second wife at best, Harry," Parvati said, "So that I would keep my family name, and pass it on to my children. That is what a Line Continuation Contract means. I'm guessing that given the fact you seem… comfortable with the idea of multiple wives in the future, that you've probably been told Polygamy is probably common in the British magical society?"
"I wouldn't say 'comfortable' yet," Harry muttered, "But yeah, that is basically what I was told."
"Polygamy exists in our society, sure, but it isn't as if everyone and their sister is part of a polygamous marriage," Parvati said. "I can't name any current Polygamous marriages right now, as it is. However, in India, it is a bit more common, especially amongst highborn wizards. My father has three separate business friends who all have three or more wives. Any one of them, I could end up as another wife on my father's whim.
"There wouldn't be any romance, believe me. It would be a business deal, and my children that my father wants to be the next generation of Patil would probably mean next to nothing to a man who probably has close to ten children already! Not to mention they'd be complete strangers to me. I don't know any of these men!"
Padma wrapped an arm around Parvati's shoulder. Parvati sniffled and laid her head on her sister's shoulder.
"Well, I can see why you wouldn't like that," Harry muttered. "But the issue I have is… if that's what bothers you, why entertain the idea of marrying me to avoid that kind of life? I'll have four other wives if my maths are right."
Parvati's eyes widened and she raised her head and looked at Harry. "Wh-what do you mean, Harry?"
Hermione snorted. "Rose is under the impression that you want to be Harry's wife instead of 'sister-in-law'... even if your sister is supposed to marry him too."
Unexpectedly, it wasn't Parvati who reacted to that. It was Padma, who laughed and covered her face with her hands.
"What's wrong, Padma?" Harry asked. "What's so funny?"
Padma lowered her hands. She looked from Harry then back to Parvati.
"Don't you say it!" Parvati growled.
"He has a point, Parvati," Padma said. "Tell them. What's the difference between Harry and those men Father might set you up with? Come on, Parvati. You remember our conversation on New Year's Day?"
Parvati blushed. "You seriously want me to tell them?"
"Or you can just forget it," Padma said, "And hope you end up finding another boy here in Hogwarts who Father might find is a better offer than one of his business partners."
Parvati cleared her throat, and looked at Harry. "I'm… bisexual, Harry. With a leaning more toward girls."
Padma snorted. "If she wasn't… honor-bound… to have children and continue the Patil Family line, I'd say her attractions are completely toward girls."
Harry blinked. "Oh. Well… okay? What does that have to do with… marrying me?"
"You tell him Padma," Parvati said. "I give you permission. He is your Betrothed."
Padma sighed. "Parvati and I have… experimented in the past."
Hermione emitted a high gasp, almost a squeak.
"Experimented?" Harry asked.
"Sex, Harry," Hermione said, "They've experimented sexually together… as much as girls could together, I suppose."
Harry raised an eyebrow. Then he blushed, as he finally understood. "Ooh… okay, I see. Er… why, may I ask?"
"Because we could?" Padma said. "Because we were curious about it, and the best person we could experiment with was our own sister. We've always been close as sisters. Slept in the same bed countless times. One day… we ended up kissing, just to see how it felt, and… it built from there. Of course, I didn't know if Parvati's… inclinations then. If I had…"
"You would have stopped just to try not to encourage my 'inclinations'?" Parvati asked.
Padma blushed. "Okay, maybe not. I would have missed out on a lot of fun."
Parvati half-scoffed, half-laughed. "And she tries to deny that she's as bisexual as I am!"
Padma blushed deeper and punched her sister's shoulder lightly.
"So you want to marry Harry… so you could be with your sister?" Hermione asked.
"My other option is with Lavender," Parvati said, "And I wouldn't even know where to begin to start with that."
Hermione blinked. "You and Lavender…?"
Parvati blushed. "Not as much as what Padma and I've gotten up to. But yes, you can basically see how desperate I am to avoid ending up married to a complete stranger decade or two older than me, who has several wives and children already!"
"So the issue here," Harry said, "Is not the fact that you'd end up one of five wives with me…"
"We'd all be basically around the same age," Parvati said, "And probably having babies around the same time, who would all be generally the same age? That'd be fine with me."
Harry frowned. "What would your father -?"
Padma interrupted with a loud snort. "Don't get started on my father when it comes to this idea. Parvati would risk giving up her inheritance, and being estranged from our parents, if it meant you'd marry both of us, just to avoid the fate she fears."
Hermione sighed. "Parvati, I'm sorry, but do you know how impossible that sounds? How could Harry accept that when it would risk his Betrothal agreement with your father?"
"We'd wait to tell him about the arrangement until the Betrothal is penned and official!" Parvati said.
"Uh-huh," Hermione said, flatly, "and what if he arranges a Betrothal between you and one of his business partners so that such a contract is penned and official at the same time Padma and Harry's is!"
Parvati's bottom lip wobbled. "He wouldn't. It isn't going to happen. Not until I finish my education here at the very earliest. Padma and Harry's contract should be penned at the latest by next summer."
"Okay, I have a suggestion," Harry said. "You said you might accept an arrangement with Lavender and her future partner, if it worked out?"
"If I couldn't get this arrangement to work out, yeah," Parvati said.
"What if we set up Lavender with someone?" Harry asked. "Maybe one of the other Children of the Great Alliance? I am sure your father would be alright with including you in that, especially since it keeps the next generation of the Patil name within the Great Alliance?"
Parvati frowned. "I suppose I might accept such an arrangement. But the deadline for your idea would have to be the day yours and Padma's Betrothal Contract is penned and finalized."
Hermione sighed. "Will you promise to actively help us attempt such an arrangement before? If you did try your best, but failed anyway, I would understand and gladly accept you into our arrangement. Simply because I didn't want to have you end up in an arrangement you didn't want to be in."
Parvati nodded. "Yes, I will promise, Hermione."
Hermione nodded, and turned to Harry. "Is there anything else you want to talk about?"
Harry thought for a moment, before he shook his head. "Seems like we've discussed everything I can think of."
Padma and Parvati nodded and agreed.
Padma cleared her throat. "I'm going to get my clothes unpacked from my trunk now that I have a place to put them away. Much better than having my clothes in my trunk."
"I'll help, Pad," Parvati said.
Padma agreed and she and her sister stood up. Padma turned to Harry.
"Thank you for being okay with this Betrothal," Padma said, "And allowing me to stay in your quarters as well."
"Of course," Harry said, "Um… thanks for understanding the whole Rose thing, you know? It means a lot. To me and, I assume, to Rose."
"I look forward to our Girl's Day when we can officially meet her," Padma said, and Parvati agreed.
Padma smiled and led her sister away from the sitting area and over to her new bedroom. Harry sighed in relief and sat back against the couch.
"That went… okay, I suppose," Harry said.
"It would have gone better if Rose hadn't come out," Hermione grumbled, then sighed, "But I suppose it could have gone much worse. Now we just need to wait and see if you get a letter from Lord Greengrass, and whether or not Daphne's going to be moving in here soon."
"Yeah," Harry said. "I suppose so. Well, I better go back to my room. I need to clean up Rose's mess."
Hermione snorted. "Seems like you might have to clean up a lot of her messes in the future. Literally and figuratively. Especially if she keeps being a brat."
Harry smiled weakly, and shrugged. He kissed Hermione on the cheek. Hermione's cheeks blushed and she smiled as she watched her Mate stand up. Harry then headed back to his Quarters.
There you go, a fairly long chapter to make up for the long delay!
Unfortunately, I don't know when the next chapter will come, but I will do my best to make sure there isn't a long delay in between chapters. I really need to read parts of this story again to remind myself of some of the current storylines.
Next Chapter: Harry receives another letter from Lord Greengrass. Will he want Daphne to move into the Private Quarters? And more!