The Lost Bloodlines
Chapter 7: Jewels in Winter
The carriage bumped to a gentle landing and rolled up the field under Bill's command. Several elves appeared and removed the snow around them and put down rune stakes, which forced the snow away and warmed the ground. A marquee was set up and created a warm zone. The elves set to create a path to the house where the parent's waited, stunned. Pooka appeared before them. "Come Lady Wheezy, you be safe now." They walked out to see their children and some powerful hugs were given. Molly saw the duarti clinging to her eldest and smiled. She prayed to the old magics that William would be her anchor.
Hearing that the young Lord Gaunt was a sentinel stirred her curiosity. "Are you referring to the Ancient Guides and Sentinels?" Astra smiled at Molly. "No Ma'am. Sentinel in this case is a fancy term for a chevalier. He is a knight of my house, and is responsible for my safety." Molly nodded knowing what she meant a knight of a house was a sacred duty and they were considered family and not marriageable by anyone of the household. Arthur smiled. "Come in, come in, let's have a spot of lunch." They heard grumbling bellies. Molly came forward and hugged the duarti tightly. Astra froze, then loosed a purr. Every Weasley felt magic surge through them. "Not complaining but, what did I do to deserve a snug? I promise to try to do it again." Molly laughed and wiped a few tears from her eyes. "You saved my eldest from a lethal snake." The boys were astonished to see Astra flush. "He couldn't have my Will.." Bill turned red, his ears practically glowed from the color. Charlie grinned at him. They came inside and Molly noticed Astra's paws. "Oh dear, what about shoes?" Astra smiled. "My paws are pretty tough. I have to endure them for potions because of the idiots in with us."
Astra explained about Pansy trying to dump horrible things on her boots or in her Calderon trying to hurt her. "Professor Snape forced her to sit way at the back while we are in the front." Molly nodded soothed. She would send Severus a thick black sweater with some cookies in thanks. Harry seemed so much happier, he was taller and sturdier, also those horrid clothes were gone from his wardrobe. Molly noticed Astra sat across from Bill, Charlie sat next to her. Molly was very pleased by the hearty appetites of the three. When they were all gathered in the living room after dinner, the family got to see a very unusual habit. Bill was seated between Astra's legs as she was in his favorite chair. Arthur raised his eyebrow at his wife when their eyes met after seeing the pair. Bill had hoarded that chair since he was young. He'd somehow figured out how to ward anyone else from sitting in it. Molly's eyes twinkled, this could work. She would have the most wonderful grand-babies!
Astra had taken his hair down and was brushing it. They could see the stress melt off Bill's shoulders. When she was done she left it down then set about working on his neck they heard low groans and pops as his neck loosened. By the time she had re-brushed his hair, he was nearly asleep. Charlie grinned. "A good tickle hex would have him wide awake." Astra's eyes focused on him and a growl emerged from her throat. Charlie held his hands up in surrender, grinning. Hermione grinned at him. "I wouldn't upset her or you'll look like Harry did after the nightshirt incident." Charlie paled. Hermione explained quietly to the softly chuckling Weasley parents.
Astra yawned then shook her head, she shook Bill's shoulder lightly. "Come on Will, we need to turn in. I'm exhausted, as are you." The man stretched causing his back to crack and pop pleasantly. "Yeah, I'm wiped out." The two partially leaned on each other as they made their way to the carriage. "I'm sorry we're not sleeping in the house but; Astra and Harry have nightmares and I have gotten used to sleeping with my lions nearby." Molly looked at Hermione. "Why out there?" Harry smiled. "I do have nightmares, of the Dursleys. Courage sleeps near me to help drive them away." Charlie grinned at his mum. "I don't think you want to be woken in the middle of the night by screams. Or the nundu charging in to check on his Mistress." Arthur blinked. "Nundu!?" Harry laughed. "Toshka is huge! But nice to good people." Molly blinked stunned. "Is that the scariest pet she has?" Charlie was saved from responding as Sakura came in and flew around him. "Sheesh okay, okay, alarm clock." Arthur looked at his son. "Yes, she's a real dragon. I think she's channeling mum she makes me go to bed at a reasonable time. She hides the coffee from me if I don't." Molly laughed. "What a wonderful dragon! So polite too."
Sakura chirped a complement at her and rubbed her head against Molly's before herding Charlie out. Hermione and Harry said their goodbyes and headed for the wagon. The next morning the Weasley household was in for a shock. They trickled in to see Astra manning the kitchen alongside Molly. The two women were in a complicated conversation about the different dietary needs of a duarti and a witch or wizard. Along with Molly slipping other questions about duarti and Astra herself in here and there. A bell rang and Astra pulled a large baking tray out of the oven. The smell of fresh cinnamon rolls caused a wave of growling bellies. Hermione noticed the bowl of frosting and the spreading brush next to a slightly cooler tray of more cinnamon rolls. "I'll frost."
Molly turned and gave her a huge happy smile. "Thank you, dear." Astra left what she was doing to put coffee mugs in Bill and Charlie's hands. A low rumble of appreciation as Bill sipped his coffee. The others looked at each other and blinked. Bill was picky about the way his coffee was made. Molly came over with Arthur's cup and received a kiss on her cheek for it. "This looks to be amazing molly-wobbles." A smile from his wife made him warmer. "Well when I came down to start breakfast, Astra was already here working on it. We've had a wonderful time." Astra brought juice to the rest save Percy, who got a cup of tea. The twins downed their cups set them on the table and proceeded to hug Astra between them, she flushed before laughing. "Oh come on, it's just pumpkin juice." They looked in a pot on the stove and groaned. Molly's eyes widened, could she have more than one anchor? Many of the old witches' tales had said it was a possibility. "No. Your not getting a taste. I did save you a tidbit or two." She raised a hand a large strawberry was pierced by a claw. The burly dragon tamer moved his brothers out of his way before devouring the strawberry. The hand came up again and this time the strawberry had been dipped in dark chocolate. Charlie stepped aside and Bill plucked the strawberry off her claw and nom-ed it. A few more of the huge strawberries made their way around the group. Molly saw Harry laugh and by turning a bit, she could see the tangerine flowers in his bowl. He ate them one at a time with a smile. Molly wondered why the different fruit. Hermione smiled seeing her curious expression. "Harry is mildly allergic to fresh strawberries." Molly's eyes went wide.
Molly was very happy. She watched the dishes do themselves as the kitchen was cleaning itself up, the boys were packing away the leftover cinnamon rolls. Bill looked frustrated, Molly shortly saw why. Ron had dumped his coffee in the sink. Astra rescued the cup, washed it, then made him a fresh cup. Once it was in the curse breaker's hands, he looked less likely to strangle his youngest brother. Harry rolled his eyes and Hermione laughed. Astra handed out two mugs of pumpkin juice to the twins. Charlie gave Astra a sad expression, she grinned before fixing him another cup.
"Hey, Percy?" The perfect leaned into the kitchen. "Yes?" A fanged smile. "The charms book we were talking about is due to be released today." Percy's brown eyes sparkled. "You're going to Diagon alley today.." Astra and Hermione smiled at him. Percy turned his expression on his eldest brothers. "You can come along Percy." Charlie told him as Bill nodded along. Molly looked at the children. "Why are you wanting to go to the alley?" Astra grinned. "We need to finish Christmas shopping." Molly could only smile. Then Hedwig flew through the window and circled Harry, who quickly held his arm out. Once he had untied the letter he winced in sympathy. "What's wrong Harry?" Arthur asked.
"It's from Draco. He says his father is on another rampage and he needs out of there. His mother told him to find somewhere else to stay for the holidays." Molly gasped. "Would Lucius harm his only child?" Hermione's lip quivered. "When we were on the train to Hogwarts, Charlie had to reset Draco's fingers." Horrified eyes looked at the dragon tamer, he could only nod. Charlie felt someone wrap their arms around him and cuddle into him. His cobalt blue eyes opened and he found gentle purple-blue eyes before Astra snuggled him again. Charlie wrapped his arms around her and squeezed. He looked at his older brother and found a calm smile. "Harry?" The green-eyed boy turned to gaze at her. "Yes Mu- Mrs. Weasley." Molly's lip trembled. "If you would like to, you can call me mum Harry. I would love that." The bespectacled boy only smiled. "You've always treated me like family. You are the only Mother-figure I can remember except for seeing pictures." Molly turned to the other three. "That goes for you three as well." Astra only smiled.
Bill rubbed her back and she smiled at him. "We're going to floo to the alley." Astra blinked. "We've never used a floo before." Bill blinked, seeing Baran and Ambrose settled on her shoulders, Sakura on Charlie's. He only smiled. "I'll have the twins floo with you." She smiled. After the explanation on how it worked everyone else had gone ahead. The three stepped into the fireplace. Fred held out his hand and Astra grabbed it and twined her fingers with his. George held out his free hand and she did the same to him. "Diagon Alley!" The emerald flame encased the trio and they swirled this way and that before winding up in a heap at the other end. Astra looked up at Bill. "I will not do that again Will. I'll fly home if needs be." The dragons nodded in unison. After they all banished the soot and fixed themselves the group set off.
Astra went into Twillfit and Tattings. She searched the shelves and found something for Ginny. She kept looking and then noticed the custom shawls. A snooty man came over to her. "I doubt you can afford this young lady." Astra eyed him with disdain. "You are pathetic." A woman only a few years older than Molly scurried over. "Lady Peverell! I'm so glad you came in today." The snooty man gulped. "Your assistant leaves much to be desired." The woman apologized and offered to fire him to make it right. "No, don't fire him. But perhaps, he should conduct inventory while you sit and supervise." The woman laughed. The pair had been owling back and forth with present ideas. "Excellent idea!" The man bowed to the duarti. "Thank you for saving my job, your Ladyship." Astra eyed the man. "Remember, never judge others by their looks. It always comes back to bite you." She followed the woman and she saw the order she'd put in by owl post. "Perfection, I'll buy this too." She handed over Ginny's gift. After paying for the items. They were wrapped with a twitch of a wand before they went into her messenger bag.
Astra went on her way stopping in several shops. Astra darted into Flourish and Blott's and Mr. Flourish appeared before her. "My Lady how can I serve you?" Astra smiled slightly. "The new charms book to be released today. Four copies." Astra laughed and almost danced out of the store. She stopped in Wiseacre's and giggled. A few choice items were picked up and she came out to slam into a well-muscled chest. Looking up, she smiled before a hug was given. Charlie grinned, it was common knowledge Weasleys were huggers. "Bill wants to know if you're ready to get the second part of the trip underway." She smiled. "Yup!" They walked towards the Leaky. Astra was quite comfortable glaring at women who made eyes at the dragon tamer.
His arm wrapped around her and her arm curled around his waist. A few children stopped them to ask questions. They returned to their parents giggling. "You're good with kids." Charlie laughed. "You already know I have horrid people skills." His booming laughter echoed down the alley. One woman stopped and sneered. "Filthy half-breed!" Charlie cracked his knuckles. "Oh no hot stuff, I won't hex her but I'm not letting that go unanswered.." Astra eyed the woman. Magic crackled around her.
Crimson robes cut between them and she eyed the figure before her carefully. "I'm John Dawlish, an Auror." Astra smirked. Before explaining the entire situation to him. His quill wrote it down for him. Another Auror came up and after reading the notebook he gave him a hand gesture. Dawlish relaxed, she had told him the truth. "Um Dawlish, do you mind if we leave? I have errands to run today." The Auror's light gray eyes blinked and he flushed. She sank back against the burly dragon tamer. "Ok, I'll walk you past her." When they entered the others were already waiting. "Sorry, crotchety old lady decided she needed to vent her spleen." Hermione laughed. But, she could see the Weasley boys huddled around Charlie. Astra walked over and nuzzled her way into the conversation. "Come on guys. We've got a lot to do!" Several male chuckles could be heard and a few moments later the group vanished into muggle London.
Hermione took control once they were in the muggle world. "We're going to Oxford and then Bond street." Astra flicked one hand, Bill's bracelet gleamed against her skin. They, unfortunately, got separated at the bus terminal. Astra was without her jacket since Charlie had been holding it. "Hermes!? Hermes?!" The bus was gone. She whipped around to see she wasn't alone. "My people skills suck." Fred grinned at her. George was examining the schedules. Astra noticed the cab bank and tugged both boys by the hand. "Excuse me, sir?" The hackney blinked. "Yes, Miss?" She grinned. "Is it possible to hire you to take us to Oxford Street?" The man blinked. "Yes. It will be nine quid." She nodded having that much, they got in, and off the cabbie went.
He made small talk until Astra put her head on Fred's shoulder and seemed to nod off. The cabbie smirked. "You boys best be getting that little lady out of the cold." Fred colored terribly. When they got to their destination, the boys 'woke' her. She handed him a twenty note. He returned her change and the three departed. Astra saw a tea shop and looked pleadingly at the twins. "Can we sit and have some tea please?" The two offered their arms and laughed as the gentleman at the booth seated the three. "Bloody hell, getting separated wasn't good." George grumbled. "Happy Christmas." The server came over and eyed the two attractive redheads and wrinkled her nose at the woman between them.
Astra ordered and the waitress blinked in shock. An American who knew how to order tea. As they were sipping the hot beverage Astra's eyes widened since she could see out the window. "There's Harry!" The twins followed her gaze and sure enough, the boy who lived was looking in windows. When his green eyes met the shaking form of his cousin, he motioned for them to stay inside and wait. Astra nodded, before Harry turned and ran off.
"Uh oh.." George groaned. "Bill's is gonna have our heads, he's overprotective." Shortly the rest of the group entered the shop. The party was moved to a large circular booth. Astra laughed as she was squished between the oldest pair. "Got to say it... Damn you two are warm!" She snuggled between them and sighed contentedly. She breathed deeply; old books, summer nights, and restrained power, Will. Turning her head the other way, she breathed in once more, charcoal, dragon musk, and broom polish, Charlie. The twins smelled like gunpowder, licorice, and that first breath of spring air. Hermione gave her another cup of tea. Astra stuck her tongue out at her.
The group left the tea shop and found the huge department store Hermione had picked for their first stop. As she picked up Arthur's presents, she headed for a different part of the store and handed a slip of paper to a worker. "I need a jacket in these sizes." The worker eyed the young woman, utterly stunned. "Hogwarts?" A flush crossed her face. "I'm a Slytherin. The gifts are for Gryffindors." He blinked open-mouthed. "Wow, things must have changed a lot." As the pair discussed styles, measurements and the charms to be applied.
Ron spotted the giggling duo and was curious. The guy Astra was talking to caught sight of him and for the oddest reason blushed. Astra turned to see him, before turning back to the guy and both giggled. The guy swatted at her playfully and she only laughed, whispering to the guy who glared playfully at her before breaking into laughter. Ron decided that one of his brothers could collect the crazy American, turned on his heel and went back to find Harry.
The guy looked at his giggling cohort and blushed darker as he saw the redhead was walking away. "So, he's single?" Astra nodded. "I don't know his preference but, his older brothers are all total knockouts." He eyed her. "You're taking the piss.." He trailed off to see another redhead walk their way, tall with broad shoulders. Cobalt eyes focused on something as he walked into their little bubble before speaking to the silver-haired woman. "Are you hiding from Ronnie?" Astra laughed. "No Charlie, I saw him but he turned around and walked away.." The clerk tried to pick his jaw up off the ground. "This is Charlie, the second eldest of Ron's brothers." The guy blushed profusely. "You win.."
She grinned and Charlie groaned silently when she wrapped herself around him. "Yup!" He slid one arm around her, seeing another guy eyeing her arse. The working guy shook his head in amusement. "Alright, and I will send out the finished products within a day or two." She nodded. "I feel like I just walked back into the magical world." Charlie blinked. "You're?" The guy grinned broadly. "Hufflepuff." Charlie reached down and took her hand, twining their fingers together. As they all checked out individually, they met up outside the doors. Carrying bags until they got into an alley and deposited them into their magical messenger bags.
The group made a few more stops before a weasel patronus appeared before them. Arthur's voice came out of it. "Molly and I can't stand the thought of Lucius hurting his boy. Bring him home with you." Bill caught Astra's eye who smiled at him. "Tali." They heard the pop of arrival but saw nothing. "Tali is here great mistress. I'm hiding from sneaky muggles." Soft chuckles. "Can you get to Draco?" "Yes, great mistress Tali can." Astra relaxed. "Good. He is to be packed up and his things brought to the carriage, he can choose to join us in Diagon or wait at the carriage." With another pop, Tali was off on her mission. They were just getting their private dining room when Draco strode in. "Sorry, it took a while." They waived him off and he joined the table.
The rest of the shopping trip was filled with laughter. Astra noticed one of the guards at the bank entry seemed to motion to her. She walked over to him and bowed slightly. "Were you motioning to me Sir?" The goblin nodded solemnly. "Indeed Young Dragon I was. Your account manager would like to speak with you." Astra waived to Bill and Charlie who came over. "Dragonscale wants to see me." The two looked at each other but the rest of the group came over. The armored guard noticed the young Malfoy and spoke to him as well. "The Malfoy account manager would like to speak with you as well Master Malfoy." Draco bowed slightly to the guard. "Thank you. I will go in at once." Astra and Draco entered the bank while the rest went into the Flourish and Blott's. When the pair came out they just sat at the ice cream parlor. Both were stunned into near unresponsiveness.
Sakura bonked her head against Charlie's, causing the dragon tamer to look outside. He slipped out of the shop after the dragon. Astra saw him and shortly her face was buried in his chest as she trembled. He rubbed her back wondering what had upset her. Draco came over and sighed. "She took the inheritance test. I was told that I am now Lord Malfoy." Charlie pulled her impossibly closer and by the time he looked up again, he was surrounded by the rest of their group. Now, having finished their Christmas shopping the group decided to head home. Charlie apparated with Astra and all three dragons. He picked her up and climbed into the carriage. "Come on. Go get changed into something comfortable. I won't go anywhere." He set her down and she went into one of the rooms and returned in a set of PJs with dragons flying all over them. One of the elves took her bag and she whispered what went to whom in his ear. The elf nodded and popped away to wrap the presents.
Soon she was curled into Charlie's side with a blanket over her. "I now know who my grandfather is... Dumbledore was always going to come after me." Charlie was shocked, he saw Bill and the twins climb inside followed by the others and to his amazement, his parents. "Why would Dumbledore come after you?" Astra snuggled further into the dragon tamer and started to speak. "My grandfather is Gellert Grindelwald. And according to Dragonscale, Albus was utterly in love with my grandfather since they were teenagers. My grandfather's great aunt is Bathilda Bagshot. Gringotts will notify her that I exist and how to contact me. Blacksteel, the account manager that serves my grandfather's accounts has informed me that my grandfather's lieutenants have been notified and will visit if permitted. They have his journals and various things that were meant to go to my grandmother. But one of the biggest things that I learned, was that he's alive."
Shock ripped through the group. "He's alive?" Arthur was stunned, everyone had been told Dumbledore had killed Grindelwald. "Yes. He's held captive in a fortress in Austria. According to Gringotts, Dumbledore has tried for years to get into the Grindelwald vaults. But both Blacksteel and Dragonscale noticed something odd." She took a breath before continuing. "It has to do with Godric's hollow." Gasps from those who knew what that place was, caused Hermione to look at them strangely. "What is it about that place?" Astra looked at her best friend. "It's where the older Potters were killed." Harry looked like someone had sucker-punched him. "What did they find?" "The house they were in belonged to Dumbledore. It was where he lived when he met my grandfather." The others stumbled to seats, the elves serving hot tea to everyone.
"The goblins ran tests right after that Halloween night. The test results horrified the nation." Astra was able to grab Bill's arm and tugged him closer. Astra took his hair down and after removing his earring she started to run her fingers through the thick crimson strands. "What did they discover?" Asked Harry. Ravus and Draco were on the edge of their seats. "While Voldemort did come that night, he did not raise his wand against the Potters." Coughing and calls of shock kept Astra from continuing for a moment. "Voldemort had made unbreakable vows to not harm the Potter family. When he arrived he noticed the enchantment that had kept them concealed had been removed. Not broken but removed."
Molly was in silent tears. "He summoned a spy of his named Wormtail." The twins were stunned by this. "Wormtail had given the secret only after extracting the vow that the Potter family wouldn't be harmed. This was echoed by another Death Eater who requested that he couldn't harm Lily or the baby she had bore." Several of the boys were now in tears. "He entered the house to find Lord Potter dead on the staircase. His spy collapsed and sobbed for his friend. He continued upstairs to see what happened to the lady and the heir apparent." She mechanically took a drink from a cup on the table.
"His second spy had arrived by that time and was told that Voldemort had not been at fault for what they found. The second spy charged upstairs only to find heartache. The love of his life lie on the floor while the child she loved cried in his crib. Voldemort picked up the child and rocked him to sleep. The scar on his head was a piece of dark magic not unknown to the wizard who held him. While they did their best to do right by the Potters. The figure responsible for all the pain hunted down their best friend and altered his memories before doing so to the messenger he sent to retrieve the child. One of the informants at Voldemort's command informed him that the bearded foe had slipped a false prophecy next to a real one to set up his chessboard. Now after insuring his weapon would grow up exactly as Voldemort had, alone and unloved." Astra breathed harshly. "So long story short, nothing we thought was true was. Dumbledore is just as at fault for the murder of your family as he is for mine Harry. The goblins have the proof. Voldemort left them his memory of that night, which I watched. But they can't do anything due to the huge amount of high-ranked positions he holds."
Arthur Weasley was a mild-mannered man, not really one who looked for conflict. He had knocked Lucius Malfoy on his bum because the death eater had insulted his wife. Looking at the way the usually full-throttle duarti was all but clinging to his eldest sons made his heartache. He could see Harry sobbing into Hermione's lap while the young Malfoy offered her his shoulder and a handkerchief. He could see his daughter sob into the young Gaunt lord's shoulder. He tucked his wife closer to his body when suddenly he felt a twang from the wards. Someone was 'knocking' politely at the ward line. "Someone is here." Astra jumped as both the oldest Weasley boys sat up. "Bill, I want you to stay here. Charlie, come with me." A low growl as a huge nundu seemed to emerge from the darkness. "Toshka will go with you." With a nod, the two men and nundu departed.
The three figures made it to the ward line and found a man and a woman waiting. "Blessed Yule." The greeting shocked Arthur but he replied automatically. "Blessed Yule to you as well. How may I help you?" The man smiled. "This is Lady Rosier. My name is Aurelius.." Arthur looked around, holding his hand up to halt the man's words. "Come inside." The four people made their way for the carriage. Once Arthur and the others were back inside Charlie reclaimed his seat, Astra snuggled against him and Bill resettled himself wand in hand to face the newcomers. "I am Vinda Rosier." The woman said. "You're Gramps' fiercest female lieutenant. Blacksteel mentioned you to me." The man laughed. "I'm Aurelius Dumbledore. Your grandfather saved me from my uncle. I was an obscurus. It took years for me to find someone who loved me. Who could see beyond the darkness I'd seen and faced. Your grandfather became the father I needed. My mother was Ariana Dumbledore." Harry blinked in shock. "I've seen you before!"
The man laughed. "You remember?" Harry nodded rapidly. "My uncle was wailing on me with his belt when he got beaten up and called a child abuser. My aunt wasn't home that day and the door opened when I crawled towards it. You were there." Aurelius nodded. "Yes, he intends to turn you into an obscurus. Then point you at Riddle before killing you both. I was able to interfere here and there. But luckily for you, the brilliant lady over there set into motion your permanent escape from there." He gestured to Hermione who blushed. "You don't look as old as you should be Mr. Dumbledore," Molly said eyeing the young man carefully. No one would take her babies away from her. The man blushed darkly. "Being an obscurus had its advantages. I couldn't age because my broken magic linked into the leylines to keep me young. So to be honest I was born in 1901. But as for my body age, I'm nineteen." Bill was blown away, this guy was physically younger than him and Charlie.
"I met Newt Scamander and his later wife Tina. They were good to me, trying to keep me safe. Besides Harry, do you know I was able to keep eyes on you at Hogwarts?" Harry blinked. "How?" Aurelius whistled loudly. With a song and flash of fire Fawkes appeared. "Fawkes!" The group was stunned. "Fawkes is my phoenix. Albus thought he killed me in Berlin, that was July of 1937. I sent Fawkes to keep tabs on Albus and his machinations. Fawkes was the one who alerted me to you. He led me to you that day. I used to sneak you away from them and we'd go have ice cream." Harry nodded. "I wondered if you were imaginary. You were the brother I always wanted. The one person who cared about me until I crashed into the Weasley's."
They watched Aurelius wipe his alexandrite colored eyes trying to hold off the tears but he lost the fight. "Rotten little shit." He rasped as he surrendered to his emotions. Astra gave a watery laugh. "Well at least I know I'm not the only American anymore. Be prepared for some arguments." Aurelius could only smile through his tears. "Your eyes are so unique. I've never seen anything like them." The wizard blushed at Hermione's words. "It's because I was an Obscural.." Hermione got up and hugged him. The six-foot-three wizard clung to the small witch as he shook with emotion. "I could get used to hugs like this." Astra laughed snuggling the curse breaker who huffed playfully at his hair being messed up.
Aurelian's stomach roared. "I apologize. I had not the time to eat lately." Several chuckles echoed around the room. "That's something I've loved since meeting the Weasleys. No one makes as good of food as Mu-." Ravus took a breath before skipping the last of that sentence and starting another. "Although, mind how hex happy Astra gets when annoyed." Ravus smirked at his cousin. "Unless you're on her cuddle list... I think that's only four names long though." "Ravus..." The tone in which his name was said made the red-eyed male sweat. Suddenly he felt a hex hit him. "Oh hell no! Not the hair!" The normal obsidian locks of hair were a brilliant girly pink. Harry laughed until tears rolled down his face. "Now you know how it feels." He waved his wand at it and it suddenly grew cutesy white heart designs in it. "Stop man! You'll just make it worse." Ravus fake cried over the loss of his manliness. Molly giggled seeing the very pretty design the red-eyed boy was sporting. "Everyone can call me Aurelian."
It was later on the elves had taken over and served a delicious dinner. "I will help you learn martial magic. But something that must happen is we need to get this place warded by Gringotts." Arthur knew how expensive goblin wards were. "I can't.." Vinda raised one hand to halt his words. "The house of Grindelwald will meet the expense. You are hosting our Scion as well as those from other prominent houses. Lady Weasley, you are a wonderful hearth mother, let us help you." The title of hearth mother was from the old magics. Arthur saw the tears of joy in his wife's eyes. "Alright. We'll accept." Vinda nodded gratefully. "This will also protect you from Albus." With some floo calls and parchment work, a pair of goblins arrived in the carriage by floo. "It would be best for all of you to retreat elsewhere while the wards are going up. You would be utterly exposed at the minimum of day or two, at the max, it would take the rest of the children's break." Molly posed a question that set a few people thinking. "The way you describe Grindelwald is different from everything we were ever told about him." Aurelius sighed. "History is written by the victor. And the victor in that was a manipulative old goat." "Hey Hermes, Goat a load of that." Facepalm. "No more puns!" Hermione pleaded Astra laughed until she cried.
Hermione jumped up and down. "We get a choice. Harry's place, mine or Astra's?" Harry spoke next. "Well, we can't go to Italy right now. That place is getting upgraded." There was a nod. "I'll have snow on the ground at my place. Great for snow wars." The three looked at Molly who smiled. "Can you give me general locations?" Astra went first. "Northern Ireland." Hermione smiled. "Edinburgh." Harry popped in. "Wales." It was Ravus who got the last word. "Little Hangleton." The other three looked at him. "I had my house elves tear everything apart and put it all back together properly. I even upgraded the wards. Fisk tells me we have snow on the ground." Molly smiled knowing where that village was. "That is very close to muggles isn't it?" Ravus grinned. "The house has a large piece of land to it. This place is really big and needs some Weasley Christmas cheer." Lots of laughter and it was decided they would move there for the rest of the holiday to give ample time for the wards to be handled.
With Mrs. Weasley packing things with the help of a couple of Ravus' house-elves the move was going swiftly. The goblins suggested taking anything valuable with them to prevent tampering. Molly packed up her clock and smiled at the small wrapped package her husband handed her. Once the last box was moved to the Riddle manor the entire group piled into the coach and away they went. In what seemed to be no time at all the emotional backlash knocked Astra out.
They had landed in a safe zone and to the onlookers the carriage was headed for the manor, stopping at the gate to see the old muggle caretaker. "Good Evening Mr. Bryce." The old man smiled faintly. "Evening Lord Ravus, having guests I see." Ravus surprised him by giving a wide smile. "I'll finally have family to spend the holidays with." Behind him, Molly made the happiest expression when he said, family. With a few more words the carriage rolled on up to the main house. "That gentleman was Frank Bryce. He is the caretaker of the estate. He's a muggle."
Back in Hogwarts, a figure looked up at the castle for the first time in ages. "Oh Albus, you have no idea what you have set in motion. I am eagerly awaiting the next act."