the heiress and the warrior @natenino23
Chapter 15

The Rune Knights first came into being in the late eighth century, before the founding of Hogwarts. Originally, they had been the followers of Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin, warriors, tasked with protecting the magical world from dark forces and an increasing muggle threat. With the help of two Hogwarts founders, the Knights became a symbol of protection and peace as the first-ever Defense League. Until 1235, they were an important cornerstone of the budding Ministry of Magic.

Dark times and a split between their founders lead to infighting amongst the Order. This led to one of the most terrible wizarding wars to ever affect wizarding Britain and eventually led to the Statute of Secrecy. By the time the fighting had finished, only a fraction of the Order remained, so the call came to disband it and be rid of the strife once and for all.

However, there is always light in the darkness. A small group of Knights, numbering ten in all, came together and vowed to keep the Order alive in secret, working in the shadows to protect magical Britain.

"So here we are, centuries later, still in the shadows, and attempting to steer magical Britain to the right path."

Harry watched Cyrus intently as the man finished speaking. Currently, they were sitting in a parlor a few hours after the meeting that got Harry inducted into the Rune Knights. Daphne sat beside him, her hand intertwined with his. Sirius was sitting alone on one of the other chairs, cuddling Marcella and humming an unknown song to himself. Cyrus was standing by the fireplace, looking into the golden flames.

"So the Rune Knights work in the shadows to protect magical Britain?"

Cyrus nodded. "We've been in almost every magical conflict you can think of, up to the Grindelwald war."

"Grindelwald was a part of the order," Sirius said, speaking for the first time since the meeting. "He was the first foreign wizard to be inducted, and almost replaced Albion Greengrass as Lord Commander, until Cyrus and Charlus Potter, your Grandfather, discovered his maniacal plans for world domination."

"That war killed so many members," Cyrus murmured, his eyes gaining a far-away look in them. "By the end of it only the heads of the families and their younger children had survived...maybe 23 in all. Charlus died in the opening Salvo, got caught in the crossfire when I attempted to kill Grindelwald."

"After that war, the council decided that our order would take a more…more political approach in the next war."

"Despite the fact that they had little political backing during Voldemort's rise to power," Sirius drawled, "they tried to forbid me and your father from fighting, but old Cyrus came through for us there."

"And that's about the only good thing I did during that war," he muttered, looking at Harry, "Up until then I was deeply invested in the war...then they raided my home, killed my eldest and my wife while I was at a different raid in the Ministry...I'm ashamed to say I lost myself in grief. I wasn't pulled out of it until after Voldemort's my grief, I allowed young Mr. Black here to languish in Azkaban for too long."

"Not your fault, old man," Sirius said again.

Cyrus waved him off. "Either way, I failed you, and I failed you as well, Harry, and this is the best way I can think of to repay you. By training you and providing for you the things you will need in life."

Harry nodded slowly. "So...what will we be doing in this training?"

Cyrus smiled at that, making Sirius cringe and shrink into his seat. "For now, rest. We start tomorrow. Daphne, if you will show Harry his room?"

"Yes, Grandpa," Daphne said, standing up and leading Harry out of the room.

"So, how are you holding up?" Daphne asked him as they went up the stairs.

"Well, it's a lot to take in," Harry said hesitantly, "but it's interesting and it's, well, it's another connection I have to my father."

Daphne smiled at him and pulled him in for a sweet kiss, making Harry smile as he wrapped his arms around her.

"You'll make them proud," Daphne whispered to him, "I know it."

Harry smiled and gently pulled away from her, intertwining his hand with hers as they began walking once more. "So, what can I be looking forward to for training?"

Daphne smiled mischievously. "That, Mr. Potter, is a surprise."


Harry finally understood his godfather's fear and anxiety when it came to training.

He was woken up rather rudely at five in the morning by a caterwauling charm that had him scrambling to his feet. A very cantankerous looking house elf practically forced him into the hallway, magically launching his clothes at him.

"Master is waiting for yous in the foyer," he grunted, shooing him towards the stairs, half-clothed and bleary-eyed. In the foyer, he found Cyrus, Sirius, and Daphne awake and dressed for a workout.

"Best get your clothes on, Harry," Cyrus told him, "the moors are cold even in the summer."

Harry quickly got dressed as Cyrus began walking out of the room, leading the group onto the dewy lawn. "Four laps around the estate, hop to it!"

The rest of the morning devolved into Harry being put through every work out that Cyrus knew. By the end of the first hour Harry could barely move; his limbs felt like lead and his lungs felt like they were close to collapsing. By the time Cyrus called the work out done, Harry was drenched in sweat and had to be helped to the house by an equally destroyed Sirius.

"Let's join the Knights, you said! It'll be fun, you said! It'll be the easiest thing ever, you said!" Sirius gasped out as they collapsed onto the steps.

"I never...said...any of that…" Harry panted out, shakily drinking from a waterskin.

"'re not James!" Sirius gasped out in exaggerated horror, making Harry chuckle weakly

"Come on, boys," Daphne gasped out, jogging over to them. Her pale skin was flushed from the workout and she was carefully stretching out her muscles so they wouldn't cramp. "That was a light workout."

"That was light?" Harry cried out while Sirius maniacally laughed.

"We're gonna die!" Sirius said happily.

Daphne rolled her eyes as Cyrus walked forward.

"Not too bad, Mr. Potter. You were able to get through the full work out." Cyrus helped Sirius to his feet, letting Daphne help her boyfriend up. "Let's get some food in us so we can be prepared for the afternoon."

"What's in the afternoon?" Harry asked, slightly apprehensive.

"Nothing to worry about, just some book learning."


'Just some book learning' turned out to be a full introductory lesson into both arithmancy and runes, lessons which sent Harry's head spinning at the concepts and rules that were being explained to him. Nevertheless, he forced himself to focus and pay attention, helping the confused Sirius when he could and giving Daphne a smile when she leaned over and explained some of the work.

They didn't stop until eight at night when Cyrus stood and began to talk.

"This is how our days will be spent until the Quidditch World Cup. You will be allowed one day off on Saturday, and your evenings off until eleven. Remember, Mr. Potter, don't get're all dismissed."

Harry got to his feet, limping out with a grimace.

"Stretch," Daphne said as she walked over and supported him, "otherwise workouts are going to hurt tomorrow."

"It hurt today," he said lightly, giving her a light kiss on her forehead.

"It'll hurt more." She guided him into one of the parlors and subsequently onto one of the couches. "What do you think?"

"I think that quidditch is going to be a breeze when we get back to Hogwarts," he said as he put his arms around Daphne, who leaned into him with a sigh of content, "you did all of this for a week when school ended?"

"Yes, it was hard at first, but now I look forward to it."

Harry kissed her forehead. "I'm going to work hard to catch up," he said softly. "Make my father, Sirius, and you proud."

Daphne smiled. "You've already made us proud, Harry."


Harry's summer took on a strict schedule: workout from 5 in the morning to 11:30, lunch from 11:30 to 13:30, provided by the same crotchety old elf who Harry learned was named Pops. After that, their time was devoted to book learning until 8 at night, with the subjects changing every other day. After book learning, Harry would devote time to Daphne while Sirius would leave the estate to do who knew what.

For a month, Harry followed this regimen religiously. The only interruption in it were the visits of other members of the Rune Knights.

"Why are they so interested in my training?" Harry asked one day towards the end of July, while he and Cyrus were walking back to the estate. He was staring at the steps where an older black man was watching them, his gray hair was sticking out slightly from under his hat. His eyes were slightly narrowed at Harry as he turned to walk into the estate.

"They're interested in your training because you yourself are interesting," Cyrus said, "not every thirteen-almost-fourteen- year old can conjure a fully corporeal Patronus, much less drive over a hundred Dementors off with it." He looked over to where Shafiq was walking into the manor. "But, Old Shafiq has a different interest. He was the one to sponsor your father, and he had a hand in his training alongside me."

"So why hasn't he approached me?" Harry asked.

"Mostly because Sirius is your sponsor, and there is bad blood between the two." He shook his head. "Shafiq originally didn't want to accept him into the Order, and the way Sirius acted didn't endear him at all. Anyway, enough unpleasantness. Are you ready for tomorrow?"

Harry nodded slightly. Tomorrow was his fourteenth birthday, and Daphne had planned a party alongside Sirius. This would be his first birthday party ever, and he was definitely looking forward to it. "Daphne won't tell me any of the details, and Sirius is even worse. He drops hints but I don't know if they're worth it or…" he shook his head, "It's all confusing."

Cyrus laughed joyfully at that. "They're just excited to see you at your first birthday party, my boy. I'm sure everything will be fine."

"I guess so…" Harry looked over at Cyrus, who had pulled off his shirt revealing scars and his tattoos. "What are those tattoos?"

Cyrus looked at his arms and smiled. "Many are medical. One too many intense battles have strained my physical health, the runes help with that, and some are-"

"-not giving all of our secrets away so soon are you, Cyrus?" a deep voice boomed, making both Harry and Cyrus look over to where Shafiq stood, giving the man a good-natured smile. "The boy hasn't even passed his first month."

"Relax, Shafiq," Cyrus chuckled, holding his hand up in a placating manner, "I was only going to say that it was a tradition of the Rune Knights. Now, go on and get cleaned up. I'm sure Daphne is waiting for you."

"Yes, sir," Harry said, walking away with a hesitant smile to Shafiq.

Shafiq nodded at Harry as he left, then looked back to Cyrus. "The boy is progressing fast," he commented as the two began walking towards Cyrus's study.

"He's eager to learn," Cyrus agreed as he sat down behind his desk, "so what did you need to speak with me about?"

Shafiq grew serious as he, too, took a seat. "There's been muttering among the old Pureblood circles," he said, continuing as he leaned back into his seat. "It seems that many are beginning to miss their chance at rapidly changing the Magical world for the better."

Cyrus frowned. "Don't they always? They've been bitter since Grindelwald and even more so since the fall of their supposed 'Dark Lord'."

"You haven't heard the things I have, Cyrus," Shafiq said sharply, "there have been rumors of a faction growing, Death Eaters reincarnated."

"And who would lead these Death Eaters? You and I both know Malfoy isn't exactly the person best able to Rally his old allies to his cause."

"No, Malfoy joined for his father. He's not one to tempt fate, especially after renouncing the Dark Lord as he did." Shafiq shook his head. "I'm not sure who would be leading this faction, but if they begin to make moves and somehow find their weakened lord-"

"-then the war begins all over again...have you told Old Shacklebolt all this?"

"That idiot doesn't see a problem," Shafiq spat, "he believes we can squash this rumored uprising in the Wizengamot and the courts."

"As we did the first time?" Cyrus said in amusement.

"It's why I bring this to you, Cyrus, you were Lord Commander once upon a time and our only Warlock still active. The council listens to you-"

"-Shafiq-" Cyrus said in a warning tone.

"-they will listen to you again if you just-"

"Ramses!" Cyrus snapped, making the older man stop. "I understand you want my help in this," he said, voice softening, "but there is only so much I can do. If you wish to bring this to the Council, then you have my vote, but I cannot force change within our Order. You know that as well as I do."

Shafiq sighed, "I remember when we didn't have to vote on every little matter," he muttered, "when we could don our armor and go meet our enemies on the field of battle with a single voice! Now we play mediators and work in the shadows…" He grunted and stood up. "If you believe that going to the council with this matter is the right course, then I will, but do not be surprised when Shacklebolt ignores our warnings."


The next morning.

Harry woke up to someone gently shaking his arm.

"Harry," the soft voice of his girlfriend whispered, "time to wake up love."

Slowly, Harry opened his eyes. The blurry figure of Daphne was sitting on the edge of his bed, holding his glasses out to him. He put them on and gave her a sleepy smile. "Morning, love…" he whispered, his voice thick with sleep, "is that a new dress?"

Daphne smiled, smoothing out the soft blue summer dress she was wearing. "Good eye," she said, giving him a kiss as he sat up fully in bed, "Happy birthday, love."

"Thank you," Harry said with a light chuckle. "What time is it?"

"Usual time, five in the morning." Daphne said, "Grandpa said he wasn't going to have you train today but I figured it's alright to keep your sleeping schedule the same."

Harry laughed. "I guess you're right."

"Now, get up. We have things to do."

After a quick shower and breakfast, both Harry and Daphne, with Sirius in tow, went into the heart of muggle London. They spent their time dipping in and out of shops and stores while seeing the sites. Daphne was always at his side with her arm looped through his.

At one shop, Harry had to stop cold in his tracks as he came face to face with his cousin Dudley. The two boys stared at each other in shock until Dudley blurted out, "What's a hot chit like her doing with a loser like you?"

"Excuse me?" Daphne asked icily as Harry stepped forward.

"She's my girlfriend, and if you call her that word again, I will knock your teeth out."

"Nevermind him knocking your teeth out, I'll hex you until you're green and yellow," Daphne said coldly, glaring at the boy, who - in her opinion - looked like a large whale on legs.

"She's...she's like you!"

"Yeah, just like me. So if you know what's good for you-" Harry paused and grinned as Dudley quickly ran away, his tail between his legs.

"What a disgusting little creature," Daphne sneered as she reclaimed Harry's hand and began to walk towards the store fronts, "He's lucky we can't use magic outside of school."

"We're lucky he didn't think about that," Harry chuckled, "I may be stronger now, but I'm still not a scrapper."

"Lucky for you I am, dear," she said haughtily, patting his arm, "just so I can help you fight those bullies."

The two walked out of the store, Sirius slowly following as he looked at the store front. "I think it's time to move back to the manor," he said, "ol' Greeny might get antsy if we stay out longer."

"Ol' greeny?" Harry asked, "Does Cyrus know you call him that?"

"Yes, and he does not like it at all!" he said cheerfully as he grabbed onto the two and disapparated. Within a few seconds they were standing on the door steps of Greengrass Manor, "Let's get inside, come on, let's go!"

Harry rolled his eyes as he and Daphne followed Sirius into the house. "He's in a rush to get inside," he said as Daphne leaned into him.

"Probably hungry and ready for your birthday dinner," Daphne said with a smile.

"Never know with that man," he chuckled as they walked down the hall towards the main hall of the manor, Sirius disappearing into one of the side halls, "I thought dinner was going to be in the main dining hall," he muttered with a raised eyebrow.

Daphne just laughed softly as she stepped in front of him, hand coming up to straighten out his shirt and smooth it out slightly. "Happy birthday, love," she whispered, giving a peck on the lips before turning around and pushing the doors open.


The exclamations of his classmates and friends made Harry jump slightly as he looked around the hall. Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Tracey were at the head of everyone; Seamus and Dean were standing near a large buffet table beside Astoria, Su, Padma, and Pavarti and Lavender; Susan Bones was grinning alongside Justin Finch-fletchly, Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott and Terry Boot; Angelina Johnson was laughing alongside Oliver Wood, Alicia Spinnett, Katie Bell and the twins, while Ginny was trying to keep Luna from wandering off into the kitchens. Hagrid, McGonagall, and Flitwick were standing beside Sirius and Remus, who were both sporting wide grins while Molly was bustling around them, helping Pops put the final touches on the feast.

"…" He turned to Daphne, who was doing her best to keep her expression straight. "You planned all this?"

"Well, Sirius helped, but I contacted everyone with the help of Astoria, so…" she let out a slight squeak as Harry lifted her into the air, spinning her slightly before giving her a kiss, causing the twins and Lee Jordan to wolf whistle.

"I love you," he said as he rested her forehead against hers.

"I love you, too, dear, now go mingle with your friends."


"You've really bulked up, haven't you, mate?"

Harry smiled slightly at Ron's comment. Currently, he and the other fourth-year boys were sitting at a table just off of the buffet table, catching up on the latest news. "Daphne's grandfather has taken it upon himself to tutor me," he said, "his training is...intense."

"Apparently, it's doing wonders for you," Seamus said, not so subtly leering at Harry and making him blush.

"L-like I said...intense." Harry avoided the stare from Seamus. "My first week here, we ran four laps around the estate as a warm-up."

All the boys winced at that. "Sounds killer." Dean said.

"It was, I couldn't breathe right for most of the day," Harry sighed, looking at Ron, "what have all of you been up to?"

"Same as usual: chores," Ron said flippantly, eyebrows furrowing. "Well, Su has been sending me letters…"

"Oh really?" Dean asked in interest, he and Seamus leaning forward while Neville raised an eyebrow. "Do tell."

"Tell what? We've only really talked about the Cannons. Apparently, she's a fan as well," Ron said with a fond smile.

"Is she a fan? Or is she just a fan because you are?" Seamus asked.

"What do you mean?" Ron asked in confusion.

"Well, some girls like to feign interest in the same things their crushes like," Dean explained.

" think she has a crush on me?" Ron asked in surprise.

"Crazier things have happened," Neville mumbled as the other boys laughed.

"But...well...why would she have a crush on me?" he asked, genuinely dumbfounded.

"Beats me, mate," Harry joked, making Ron glare at him.

"Only one way to find out," Dean pointed out, motioning over to where Su was eagerly talking with Hermione about some book or other.

Ron swallowed nervously. "I...maybe later…" Ron mumbled as Sirius ran over.

"Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry!" he exclaimed, grabbing onto his godson and hoisting him up. "It's present time!"

Harry just laughed as he was dragged over to a pile of presents, quickly thrusting a rectangular box into his hands as everyone gathered around. "Open mine first! You'll love it!"

Harry smiled as he began to tear open the gift, eyes widening at the dark green dragonhide jacket.

"Fashioned like the one I had when I went to Hogwarts," Sirius said proudly, "ladies love a man who looks like he's a biker."

"That didn't pan out back in the 1970s, and I doubt it'll pan out here Padfoot," Remus said dryly.

"Either way, thank you," Harry said sincerely, putting the jacket on and making Sirius cheer.

The rest of the presents followed the same vein as they had before. Ron had bought him a Chudley Cannons Jersey; Hermione had gotten him a book labeled 'Helpful Spells for Combat and Life';Seamus and Dean had gone in together and got Harry a broom servicing kit and an assorted gift basket from Honeydukes; Hagrid had gifted him his famous rock cakes and a pair of dragonhide leather work boots (made from the hide of an Ironbelly, those won't tear or burn no matter what ya do). Molly gifted him a homemade sweater with the Gryffindor crest on its chest and had also made his birthday cake. Most everyone else had gifted him gift cards to various places in Hogsmeade.

"Thank you all for the gifts, really," Harry had said, "I'm glad all of you made it today. I'm sure there were much better things to do-"

"Better things to do, he says," Fred said with an eye roll.

"Yeah," George snorted, "Homework and chores seem a great thing to do instead of coming to a surprise party for the boy who lived."

Harry everyone laughed good-naturedly as they began to leave, many stopping by to wish Harry a happy birthday before walking out.

"Harry, dear," Molly started as she walked over, "I'm sorry Arthur wasn't able to come today. He had to work late at the Ministry."

"It's okay, Mrs. Weasley. I'm glad you could make it."

"Do take care of yourself, and hopefully we'll see you for the Quidditch World Cup."

"Wouldn't miss it for the world, Mrs. Weasley." Harry said with a smile as she bustled her children out of the house.

"See you in a few weeks, Harry!" Ron called.

"See ya, mate," Harry said as he turned to where Daphne and Hermione were talking. "Ladies," he greeted, sitting down beside Daphne.

"Love," Daphne greeted, kissing his cheek. "I was just talking to Hermione about our summer workload, and she is very interested."

Harry did his best not to grin as he looked at Hermione, who was already bouncing in her seat as she rambled about what she thought the training would be like.

"I promise you, Hermione. It'll be like nothing you've ever done before."

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