Disclaimer: In all honesty, no idea why I still add these to the chapters, but you know the drill, don't own HP
AN: okay folks, this chapter will have a lot of time skips to cover events over summer before 3rd year, and will introduce a few more of Harry's 'menagerie'/harem/family/group, whichever term ya wanna use. Plus, we see what happens when the dementors arrive on the hogwarts express. Also, there is another film reference mentioned in this chapter, so getting this bit out of the way. R.I.P. Stan Lee, the true legend of the multiverse.
Romanian Dragon Reserve
It was a perfect morning at the Romanian Dragon Reserve when Harry woke up. The reason it was a perfect morning was the fact that he had been 'released' from his latest lockdown. The dragoness' were less than happy when they confronted him about the basilisk in the school. Luckily, he was finally able to calm them down enough to explain everything in more detail.
While Harry knew that Dathin, Fredha, Sissilth and Airlentor had every right to be worried and even pissed at what happened, Harry had a feeling that Steve was the one that mentioned the chamber fiasco and made it seem worse than it was. Harry would have to have his revenge later, though Harry suspected that Steve did that in retaliation for the missing belt.
During Harry's time at the reserve, he did his normal 'jobs' to help the other employee's. There was one point where he had to help keep Dathin's mother calm when she was in labour. It wasn't easy, as Horntail's are extremely aggressive when giving birth. That was the most difficult thing he had to do at the reserve, since he was the only one that could understand dracospeech.
Other than that, his time at the reserve was pretty boring, except for Steve finally getting together with that girl Kate. It was the first, and probably only time that Steve would ever thank Harry for one of his pranks. Harry had used an extremely powerful, yet delayed sticking charm when Steve and Kate met up to discuss the care of new eggs and hatchlings, a slight brush of their hands activated the charm and the two were stuck together for about an hour.
Despite the fact that Steve wanted to get Harry back big time, it actually made him finally confess to Kate. Currently, Steve and Kate were on another date while Harry was hanging around some of the new hatchlings. Hearing clawed footsteps behind him, Harry glanced over his shoulder and saw Dathin walking up to him, causing him to smile at her. However, his smile turned into a confused expression when he felt something growing on his left arm.
Looking at said arm, Harry noticed his arm was covered in scales and had talons instead of nails, what's more is that they were horntail scales, causing his eyes to widen in panic. His worries didn't last long, however, as his arm slowly changed back to normal. This wasn't the first time this had happened since he got home that summer and it was really starting to worry him. Harry, at that moment, decided to bring it up with Steve when he got back.
Harry was brought from his thoughts when he felt Dathin lay down next to him, laying her head in his lap. Harry always enjoyed when he got to spend time with his girls. While he, Dathin, Sissilth, Fredha and Airlentor spent time as a group, Harry always made time for them individually as well. However, the dragoness' were growing fast and would be full grown by the end of the summer. It didn't matter to Harry though, as long as he was with them.
"It's nice when we can do this. Spend time with just two of us." said Dathin. This brought a chuckle from Harry.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were psychic. I was just thinking the same thing." said Harry.
"The amount of time that we've known each other, I'd say it's more connection than divination." chuckled Dathin. Harry had to both chuckle and agree with that, as if anything was divination around him, it was his uncanny ability to jinx himself each year. No matter how hard he tried, Harry just couldn't stay out of any situation, especially if he thought about it first. He would have to remember to prank James again next year if it happened again.
"Yeah, that's true. Ya know, I never thought that I'd have a life like this. I also don't think I really thanked you girls or your families for what you guys did for me." said Harry.
"What do ya mean, Harry?" asked Dathin.
"While I admit that Steve got me away from the Dursleys, if it wasn't for you four and your families, I probably would've ended up a scrawny, near sighted, short for his age, angsty kid who had a problem even thinking straight. Those assholes should've been arrested long before I was placed with them." said Harry. While he still hated remembering his time with 'They-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named', he found that speaking about it sporadically helped sometimes.
"You helped us just as much, Harry. The four of us were the runts of the clutches. Runts don't get much attention outside of their families. The fact that you've become more than a friend to the four of us, it means a lot to us." said Dathin.
"It means more to me. Heh, if someone had told me when I first got here that I'd be romantically involved with four dragoness' and betrothed to an extremely hot female troll, I'd think they were nuts." laughed Harry.
"Don't forget that 'cute' Nekomata and giant snake. There's also that feisty werewolf in Galway. Maybe even a certain mermaid in the future?" chuckled Dathin.
"Hold the phone. 1: how did you know about Hermione, or even Marina?, 2: why do you think Ivy will be added? And 3: that werewolf looks more like she wants to kill me." said Harry.
'Though that may also mean that she wants to jump me.' thought Harry as an afterthought. It was very hard to tell when it came to werewolves.
"In order, Hermione, through her letters since you got home, Hedwig saw the look that 'Ivy' was giving you, and seriously, how can you not see it?" said Dathin while rolling her eyes. Harry could be a genius when it came to magic and combat, but when it came to noticing a female's advances on him, he was as oblivious as Stan Lee was to the fight between Spidey and the Lizard in The Amazing Spider-man.
Dathin internally laughed at this, as she, Fredha, Airlentor and Sissilth all had to literally kiss him in the middle of an open field for him to get the message. Considering that they were dragons and he was a human, it wasn't easy. It was the only time that anyone had seen Harry so catatonic.
"Well, regardless of my current and future love life, I'm just glad I have you four, Vriska, and Hermione. Steve is more of a sibling or nephew/uncle type love, though I do love messing with him." smiled Harry as he kissed Dathin's forehead.
"Speaking of Steve, what's the score between you two now?" asked Dathin. This question caused Harry to burst out laughing.
"It's Potter: 438, Feros: 3. 2 of them were because he cheated by swiping some of my prototype prank gear, and the third was because I had just woken up that morning." laughed Harry. Dathin gave the dragon equivalent of a chuckle at that.
"I'm surprised that Steve isn't more alert after all the pranks you've pulled." chuckled Dathin.
"Oh please, there is no way that Steve will ever be prepared for my pranks. I come up with new ones everyday, and he hasn't been able to prove it was me to the others yet." laughed Harry. Dathin once again joined Harry in laughing, remembering when Steve was running from a bunch of women in towels after the troll fiasco.
The two of them stayed like that for about 2 hours before the sun began to set beyond the horizon. Harry had done this with each of the girls since he got back from Hogwarts this year. It wasn't much longer before the hatchlings went back to their parents and Harry saw Dathin yawn. This brought a small smile to Harry's face.
"C'mon Dath, let's head home and get some sleep. You four have a long day tomorrow and I have to head out with Steve again." said Harry.
"I know Harry. Just promise me that you'll at least attempt to stay safe. The last thing we need is for you to come home with a missing arm or another type of permanent injury." said Dathin as she and Harry got up and made their way to the cabin.
"I will, Dathin. Though with my uncanny ability to attract trouble, it'll be difficult. I will, however, make the same promise to all of you as I did to Hermione. While I can't promise to not get injured, I can promise to at least try to keep my injuries to a minimum." said Harry, smiling reassuringly at Dathin.
Dathin smiled back, appreciative that Harry would promise that at least.
The two were only a short distance away from the cabin, which the other 3 dragoness' were already heading inside, when the pair heard rustling from a nearby bush. Harry signalled Dathin to act natural while they both listened intently in the direction of the rustling.
"Are you sure this is a good idea, babe? You don't exactly have the best odds at pulling this off." a female voice whispered. Harry instantly recognized this voice as Kate. This caused Harry to smirk evilly and Dathin to roll her eyes good naturedly. They both realised that Steve was 'ready' to enact his revenge on Harry for the sticking charm.
"I know, but I'm honestly getting really tired of being outsmarted by Harry. I'm the one that taught him how to pull pranks, Merlin damn it. I always feel like an idiot when the little punk outsmarts me." whispered Steve. You'd think that Steve would sound pissed, but his voice actually held a bit of levity with a hint of a 'of course you know, this means war' tone to it.
"Ok, if you really have to do this, I won't stop you. Just be ready to deal with the payback on your own. I refuse to be caught up in your prank war with Harry, even if it was one of his pranks that finally made you grow a pair and ask me out." smirked Kate.
Harry and Dathin had to try their damnedest to NOT laugh when they heard that, as they didn't want to tip off Steve that they were hearing everything he said. Harry signalled Dathin to keep heading to their cabin. The closer they got, Harry noticed a small batch of leaves piled up near the door, too small to affect the dragoness' at this point, but big enough for Harry to realise there was obviously a shallow pit underneath. Though Harry knew that Steve wouldn't do something that even an idiot hasn't fallen for in 100 years, so there would obviously be a type of jinx to mess with his feet.
Sure enough, Harry felt the tripping jinx he intentionally let hit him, strike his right ankle. However, instead of falling into the hole as Steve intended, Harry used the momentum to front-flip-hand-spring over the hole, while pulling his wand from the holster on his sleeve. Once Harry landed, he shot a spell over his shoulder in the direction of a hidden Steve.
Once the spell vanished behind the bush, he heard both a scream of shock and a girly squeal before Kate came from behind the bush, holding a small squirrel close to her chest.
"Aw, look at you. You're so adorable like this Steve." squealed Kate. There was a loud thud as Dathin fell to the ground in laughter, though to everyone but Harry, it sounded like an extremely fast series of growls.
After about five minutes, a smirking Harry had finally calmed down Dathin and began leading her to the cabin.
"That spell will last about 3 hours, Kate. So you can smother him in as much attention as you want. Oh, and Steve, use this time to try and come up with good pranks, instead of using my ideas or waiting until I'm half asleep. By the way, that's 439 to me, buddy." laughed Harry as he headed inside the cabin, Dathin had entered a minute before Harry.
"I'm gonna get you ya little shit. I refuse to keep losing to you. I SWEAR TO MERLIN THAT I WILL….." said Steve. However, only Steve heard himself in English, everyone else, including Kate, heard squeaking. Steve shaking his squirrely fist just made it even more hilarious. This caused Kate to squeeze Steve into a tighter embrace, which resulted in Steve being brought further into Kate's breasts.
'Meh, maybe this isn't so bad.' thought Steve.
Sherwood Unicorn Forest
The Potter's had arrived at the Sherwood Unicorn Forest for the first day of the tourist/visitor season. They had decided to visit the forest as an early birthday gift for Emily, as she was always fascinated by the more equine oriented creatures like pegasi, hippogriff (half-horse, still counts), etc. Though they did send an invite to Harry, along with candy from Honeyduke's and a birthday gift each. The letter they received two days ago thanked them for the gifts, but declined the invitation. The magically winking face on the letter confused the hell out of them though.
After paying the entry fee, the three Potter's began their trek to the viewing area. It was during this trek that they saw the occasional unicorn, be it adult or foal. It wasn't long before they saw the familiar form of Steve speaking with one of the workers.
"Mr. Feros, what are you doing here?" asked Lily. Steve turned towards Lily and smiled when he saw the three Potter's.
"Oh, Mr. Potter, Harry said that you guys were coming today. As for why I'm here, this is part of my side job as an I.W.C.O. agent, though I'm semi-retired, so I don't get intentionally sent to a warzone anymore. Why don't you three come with me, and don't worry, I managed to get the three of you special visitor passes so I can show ya around." smiled Steve as he handed the three of them the special passes.
"Thanks Mr. Feros, ya didn't have to do this though." said Emily.
"Meh, me and Harry figured it'd be a great birthday gift for Emily, plus, it didn't take much to get them. The pain in the ass was declining your invite to come here and make it seem nonchalant." said Steve.
"Huh, never thought Harry would do that for us. I mean, I know he's on friendly terms with Emily, but none of us thought that he'd do something like this for us." said James.
"Well, not to sound rude towards you at all, but if you get to know the kid a bit, he's not one to hold a grudge. Well, he doesn't hold one for long anyway." said Steve with a small shudder. He remembered the time Harry had got him back after Steve blabbed about his injuries to the dragoness'.
Harry's constant revenge pranks for that were some of the worst that Steve suffered. That was especially true when Steve woke up one morning with tusks, a moustache, flippers for feet and slightly overweight. Harry had basically turned Steve into Wally Walrus. To this day, Steve has never forgotten that prank, and is still trying to get him back for it, and the 438 other pranks he suffered at the hands of the brat, but who's counting.
"Heh, I guess he really IS like me in that regard. To be honest, when we heard he had disappeared when he was 5, I was worried that my sister had destroyed who he could've been. We were even more worried that he'd turn into an obscurus. I just wish I knew what happened to that bitch." snarled Lily as she, James and Emily followed Steve into the actual worker area of the forest, considering the passes, and Steve allowed them into the area.
"HA, don't worry. Her, that bastard of a husband and idiot of a son of hers are suffering behind bars at Abracatraz prison." laughed Steve.
"Abracatraz, wasn't that the name of the prison in fairy world in fairly odd parents?" asked Emily.
"Yup, the prison's creator was the father of a first-gen who was obsessed with the show. He wanted a place to house those who were a danger to both magical and non-magical individuals. Last thing I heard about them was recent. Apparently, Vernon Dursley decided to demand a centauride 'service' him when she was visiting her son, who was up for a parole hearing the next day. The son ended up bucking the bastard through a wall. That didn't even affect his parole. The only reason it didn't was the Dursley's are deemed 'hazardous and deadly' to all magicals." said Steve.
This brought a shocked look to the Potter's. They didn't know that there was a prison that held no-maj's as well as magicals and creatures. Then again, Dumbledore and Fudge have done everything they can to prevent Britain from advancing past the 'pureblood status quo' and the 'purebloods are superior to all' mentality.
"Well, at least they're getting what they deserve. The day we found out they were arrested and Harry was missing, I can't even tell you how much I wanted to kill them." snarled James.
"Believe it or not, it was harder for Harry not to kill them. Though I'll admit, he actually showed a great level of restraint, considering his track record on our 'adventures' as he calls them." said Steve. The looks of shock on the faces of the three Potter's almost made Steve laugh.
After a few minutes, Steve and the Potter's arrived at a large open field, before Steve held his hand up, bringing the group to a stop. This action confused the Potter's, until Steve cast a cutting spell on a vine near his feet, smirking in triumph.
"You're gonna have to try harder than that kid." smirked Steve. However, his smug look didn't last when he noticed something odd about the 'vine trip wire'. Leaning down and picking up the two halves of the vine, the vine in his right hand suddenly tightened around something.
Apparently, Steve had a hard time learning from the past as he pulled on the vine in his right hand, hard. It was then that Steve heard something coming up behind him.
"You've gotta be kidding." said Steve.
A large leaf suddenly struck Steve in the back, causing him to launch forward slightly and fall into a covered shallow pit.
"HOW MANY TIMES AM I GONNA BE PRANKED BY THAT LITTLE SHIT!?" yelled Steve.
"Ya know, the fact that this makes prank number 440, you'd figure he'd learn by now." said an all too familiar voice.
The Potter's turned towards the voice and saw Harry leaning on a nearby tree with a shit-eating grin on his face and Hedwig sitting on his shoulder.
"Huh, simple but effective. Never thought of that when I was in school." said James. This caused Harry to chuckle.
Fred and George had told Harry about how they idolized the marauders, which was the reason their pranks were so flashy all the time. It was the same with the marauders back in the day.
"Well, your pranks can be as flashy as you want, but nothing beats a classic. Especially when you add a little extra to throw them off." laughed Harry. James, Lily and Emily laughed along with him. James also had to admit to himself that Harry was right, if you altered a classic prank just enough, people will still fall for it.
After a short while, and hearing Steve cursing as he dragged his ass out of the hole in the ground, Harry turned to Emily.
"C'mon Emily, I'll show ya around, I also want you to meet someone." said Harry as he gestured to Emily to follow him.
Emily looked at her parents, who just nodded to her. This caused Emily to smile and run off to catch up with Harry, leaving the senior Potter's to be shown around by Steve. Emily eventually caught up with Harry, who smiled when she caught up to him.
"So, where are we going, Harry?" asked Emily.
"We're going to a specific herd that lives nearby. I helped save the matriarch of the herd a while back when she was abducted while pregnant. She's actually the one who gave me the unicorn hair as one of my wand cores." said Harry with a fond smile. He remembered when she gave him that tail hair.
Harry had also gotten an uncle/niece relationship with the mare's foal during his other visits. The elder siblings however, that confused him. The foals, Aura's, elder sister Selene was strangely clingy with him, and their elder brother, Mani always gave him a calculating, borderline glaring look as a result. Hedwig saw Harry's thoughtful look and realised he was thinking about Selene's and Mani's reactions to him, causing her to roll her eyes while lowering and shaking her head.
'Dad, I love you, but you are completely helpless in some aspects. Seriously, how can you have 4 dragoness', a troll and a nekomata as girlfriends but still be completely oblivious to the advances of others?' thought Hedwig.
It was a little known fact that while Potter's excelled at many aspects, from dueling to transfiguration, there was always at least one aspect of life they were horrible at. With James, it was flirting, Lily had plenty of stories about those failures.
It was only a minute-and-a-half longer before Harry and Emily arrived at the area where the specific unicorn herd was. The sight made Emily's jaw drop, as even though she had seen the occasional unicorn when the Potter's went on vacation before her 5th birthday, she had never seen an entire herd gathered together before. Harry looked towards Emily and smirked.
"Yeah, no matter how many time ya see it, it's still breathtaking when you see so many unicorns in one herd." said Harry.
"It truly is amazing, Harry. I hate to admit it, but I'm actually jealous that you get to see this so often." said Emily.
"Yeah, though you should see it the day after the 'Night of the Aurora'. There's always this ethereal glow for a few days afterwards." smiled Harry.
Before Emily could respond to that, Harry began leading her towards the largest mare in the herd. It was obvious to Emily that this was the leader of the herd, and she was nervous as the rest of the herd were cautiously gazing at her. The only reason the herd hadn't scattered when they saw Emily was the fact that Harry was with her. The fact that Harry was an honorary member of the herd and had the eyes of Selene on him helped a lot, though an oblivious Harry had no clue about the latter reason.
When they were just a few feet from the mare, Harry was suddenly tackled to the ground, shocking Emily. When Emily looked to where Harry ended up, she saw a unicorn mare nuzzling his chest. Emily looked back to the leader of the herd and even though Emily didn't have Harry's abilities, she could tell the older mare was chuckling at the scene.
When Emily looked to her right, she saw a young unicorn foal bouncing happily, and a stallion Emily guessed was the same age as the one with Harry, which was currently giving said wizard the equivalent of a stink-eye. Emily began looking between the stallion and Harry, before she was struck with realisation and burst out laughing. Hey, Harry was dating Hermione who happened to be a nekomata, so the fact that a unicorn mare was crushing on Harry made sense to her.
While this was going on, Harry was trying to calm Selene down and get to his feet, which was a little hard since said mare was still nuzzling his chest.
"Ok Selene. I'm glad to see you too, but could you at least let me get up? Cause being tackled to the ground by a teenage mare is painful." said Harry. This caused Selene to blush slightly and move back so Harry could get to his feet.
"Sorry Harry. I'm just happy to see you, we never really got to see each other last summer, you were so busy." said Selene. Selene loved spending time with Harry, but depending on the time during summer that he actually comes around with Steve, it can get very busy and Harry couldn't spend a lot of time with her.
Harry smiled as he pet the side of her head, causing Selene to lean into the touch. While Harry may have been completely oblivious to the advances of females, it was the fact that he had no idea that he was unknowingly acting romantic that drew many female creatures to him. It was hilarious that Harry had no idea who had a crush on him when there was clear evidence right in front of him.
"I know Selene, I'm sorry for that. I promise to try and spend more time with you and the herd from now on, but you know how this job can get, especially with Steve at the helm." laughed Harry.
"Well, that's something at least." said Selene.
"Um, hello? Witch who can only speak human English standing right here." said Emily in an extremely sarcastic voice. Harry got up off the ground and rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.
"Heh heh, sorry Emily. The mare that sent me to the ground is Selene. Over there is their energetic little sister Aura. The larger mare, and matriarch of the herd is Celeste. Last, but not least, the stallion over there who's giving me the stink-eye, though I have no idea why, is Mani." said Harry, gesturing to each unicorn as he introduced them. Though Selene was blushing at the way Harry introduced her. She kept forgetting that she was bigger than Harry and kept sending him to the ground when she greeted him.
Emily cautiously walked up to the four unicorns. If there was one thing she knew, it was that unicorns were very cautious creatures that avoided most human contact. That is, of course, unless they knew said humans. Aura, however, still being young, began slowly walking towards Emily.
Emily slowly reached out a hand towards the young foal, so as to not scare her. After cautiously sniffing Emily's hand, Aura leaned into the touch. A small smile found itself on Emily's face at this. This was the closest she had ever been to a unicorn, if you didn't count the whole brouhaha with Voldewraith/Quirrelmort in first year.
If Emily was honest, this was the best early birthday gift she had ever gotten. Sure she was happy that her parents had brought her here to the unicorn forest, but the fact that Harry had managed to get her this close to a unicorn, and a foal at that, had definitely outranked that.
"You're really lucky, Emily. Usually, the foals stay as far away from strangers as possible. Though with how adventurous and energetic little Aura is, I'm not surprised that she approached you." smiled Harry.
"She's so cute. Can she do any magic yet?" asked Emily.
"Only the small stuff like levitating objects. She's still too young for the big stuff yet." smirked Harry. Aura turned towards Harry, giving him a small playful glare. Seeing the look on Aura's face caused Emily to laugh.
While Emily was petting Aura and Selene was still nuzzling Harry, Mani was still glaring at Harry the whole time. Celeste just rolled her eyes at her son. Celeste knew that Mani was overprotective of his sisters, but she thought he would get over his suspicion of Harry by now. Harry noticed that Mani was still glaring at him, so he decided to remind Mani of a prank he pulled a couple years ago.
"Mani, if you don't stop glaring at me, I'm gonna conjure a wolf and have it chase you until tomorrow morning….again." smirked Harry. This caused Mani's eyes to widen in fear.
"NO! Don't do that again….I'll stop glaring at you, I swear." yelled Mani. The last time Harry did that, Mani didn't sleep for a week.
"I told you your overprotective attitude towards your sisters would bite you in the ass one day, my son. I understand that you get that from your father and I honestly can't tell you how many times I've had to reign it in with him." smiled Celeste.
"Yeah, too bad that was almost in a literal sense with him, eh?" laughed Harry. This brought laughter from the three mares and confusion from Emily. Though Emily couldn't understand what Harry said, she could tell from the look on Mani's face that it was borderline traumatizing for him.
"So Harry, how has your schooling been?" asked Celeste.
"Yeah Harry, I've been dying to know. You've been incredibly hush-hush over the whole thing." said Selene. She's always wanted to know about his time at the human wizarding school.
"Oh, please, please big brother Harry. Please tell us about Hogwarts." exclaimed Aura as she ran over to him and was bouncing excitedly. While Harry decided to fake thinking about it, Aura pulled out her 'secret weapon', more commonly known as 'puppy eyes'. Harry always hated it when any girl he knew used the 'puppy eyes', since it was the one thing he'd never be able to resist.
"Oh, how could I say no to you or your sister." said Harry in english. What no-one in magical Britain knew was that magical creatures could understand human languages. The only reason most pureblood's think creatures are mindless beasts is due to the fact they can't understand creature languages unless taught through a special language course available in other countries. However, the course only allows others to understand the language, both written and spoken, not speak it. Even to this day, Harry was still trying to figure out how his creature magics came into existence and had narrowed it down to 2 possibilities. Either a cosmic force gifted him with the abilities, or it was genetic from distant ancestors. The trouble was finding out which made more sense in the magical world.
Harry spent the next couple hours telling the group about his time at Hogwarts so far. Emily decided to listen in as well, since she wasn't there for the last bit of the philosopher's stone debacle, and not at all for the basilisk.
During his tales, Mani started looking at Harry in a new light. This wizard had done things that most adult wizards wouldn't even attempt. Hell, the herd wouldn't even attempt to fight a basilisk. Mani had decided then and there, that if anyone was worthy of his sister Selene, it was Harry. Now if only the boy was a little less oblivious.
Eventually, the sun began to set, and Emily knew she had to get back to her parents. However, before Harry and Emily left, Selene had finally gotten tired of Harry not noticing her advances and her horn started glowing. This caused a brief light to appear on the right of Harry's chest. Harry quickly pulled up his shirt and saw a mark in the shape of a unicorn with one of its front legs raised. It felt similar to when he gained the troll clan mark on his back.
Harry was shocked to see this new mark, then heard Celeste laughing and a loud 'finally' from Aura. That's when Harry felt Selene nuzzle him again, before giving the right side of his face an affectionate lick. This caused Harry's eyes to widen as he stood there, completely frozen.
"See ya later, Harry. We can pick it up from there." smirked Selene as she walked off. Her family soon followed afterwards.
Harry and Emily soon made it back to where Steve and the Potter's were. Apparently they had spent the entire time talking. It was mostly about Harry, though Steve did say that anything major, the Potter's would have to speak to Harry themselves, which they understood. They had made slight headway to reconnecting with their son, they weren't gonna risk it by bombarding him with questions. They would have more time to continue trying to fully reconcile during the Hogsmeade visits this coming year, since they were the chaperones.
When Steve noticed Harry and Emily, he saw the look on Harry's face and knew exactly what it meant. As a result, Steve burst out laughing, bringing confusion from the two elder Potter's. Emily, however, was giving Harry a smug smirk.
"One word out of you, and you'll wake up one morning looking like the wicked witch of the west." said Harry while pointing at Emily.
"And one word out of you, and you'll have the entire female staff at the reserve after you again….if you get my drift." said Harry glaring mischievously at Steve. This shut Steve up almost instantly, as he still felt all those hexes from his impromptu drop-in in the ladies hot spring in Harry's first year. However, that didn't stop the snort from James, or the slightly reddening face of Lily as they tried to hold in their laughter.
All-in-all, Harry could admit, at least internally, that this was a good day. However, as the group were going their separate ways, Harry said something that made the Potter's pause, and Emily to smile more than she ever had in her life.
"See ya at Hogwarts…..sis!" called Harry as he and Steve apparated away (they can apparate out, not in, forgot to explain that in earlier chapters.). James and Lily looked towards Emily after they heard Steve and Harry leave, and saw a bright smile and a single tear running down her cheek.
While James and Lily were slightly disheartened that Harry hadn't called them 'mom' or 'dad' yet, they couldn't fault him. Harry at least was finally letting Emily into his life it seems. After all, she had no say in what happened. Now James and Lily just had to be patient and hope that one day Harry would get to the point of calling them family. When the Potter's arrived home that night, they were happier than they'd ever been in the last 12 years.
10 Days Before Hogwarts
Harry had arrived at Crawley to spend the last few days before the new year at Hogwarts. Originally he was only expecting to go for a day or two, but apparently, Hermione's mother had insisted on him staying until Hogwarts started. So here he was, standing in front of Hermione's house. According to Hermione, they had managed to buy it back not long after her dad was arrested and imprisoned. Though she heard that not long after her true nature was revealed last year, he was transferred to a new prison. Something about 'crimes against a magical being'. Harry couldn't help but smile at that.
After knocking on the door, Harry didn't even have to wait 10 seconds before Hermione opened the door with a smile on her face. Almost immediately, Hermione grabbed Harry by the front of the shirt and pulled him inside before nearly crushing him in a hug.
"I'm so glad you're here, Harry. I was worried that we'd never find a time this summer to get together." smiled Hermione.
"I'm happy to be here. When you told me your mom insisted that I stay for the rest of the summer, I couldn't say no. Plus, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious if your mom is a nekomata like you." said Harry.
Hermione lightly laughed at that. She knew that Harry would be wondering about that. Especially after she told him about what happened with 'The Bastard', as her mother called him.
"I figured you'd be curious about that. Come on, my mother wants to meet you anyway." smiled Hermione.
Hermione held Harry's hand as she led him to the kitchen, where her mother was currently preparing lunch for Harry's arrival. Once they got to the kitchen, Harry's eyes widened at what he was seeing. He had seen these creatures on occasion, but they were mostly reclusive, and mischievous.
Hermione's mother heard them enter the kitchen and turned to face them. She had a youthful face and figure, shown by the shoulder strap shirt and tight hip-hugger jeans she was wearing. That's not the main reason for Harry's shock though. His shock came from the two auburn fox ears coming from the top of her head, the same colour as her long flowing hair. There were also nine fox tails flowing behind her.
"Hello Harry, welcome to our humble home and I hope you enjoy your stay. You can call me Emma." smiled Emma.
"It's very nice to meet you, Emma. Now Hermione, three things. 1: is your dad an idiot for giving up a beautiful woman like your mom, 2: I'm very confused as to how you're two different creatures, and 3: YOUR MOTHER'S A KITSUNE!?" asked Harry after getting over his shock.
"In this order. Yes, it's common among kitsunes who have a human mate to get a child that's a different species, and of course. Where do you think I got my ferocity." smirked Hermione.
Harry did have to admit, Hermione had him on that one. She was fierce when she was hitting him for the basilisk bullshit last year. Though Emma was initially worried for her daughter, especially when she was told what happened at the end of the year, but was more than relieved when she heard what Harry did for Hermione. It was a good thing Hermione mentioned what Harry did with that law, because Emma was so close to storming into Hogwarts and torching Dumbass-dore with kitsune fire. This was twice now that she had to hear about what went on at that school from her daughter, when she should have received a letter the minute something happened, like when her daughter was fucking petrified by a basilisk and NOTHING was done until a 12-year-old ended the threat.
"Hermione, why don't you show Harry to the guest room while I finish up with lunch." smiled Emma.
Hermione eagerly nodded and grabbed Harry's hand before running up the stairs. This brought a slight chuckle from Emma at seeing her normally reserved daughter enjoying life. Emma just hoped that the lessons she taught Hermione over the summer until now actually helped. She wasn't too worried though, as if there was one thing the more beastial creatures knew how to do, it was to capture their mates attention.
Up in the guest room, Harry was now sitting on the bed with Hermione next to him. They were just making small talk while they waited for Emma to call them down for lunch. Harry told Hermione about what he did during the summer. Harry even told her about him calling Emily 'sis'. That was one part Hermione did know, since she had received a letter not long after from Emily that had tear drop stains on both it and the envelope.
When Hermione started talking about her summer, Harry noticed she was somewhat cautious at certain parts of her stories. She also seemed to be avoiding the topic of spending time with her mother, while blushing while she tried to manoeuvre the conversation away from that topic. Eventually, Harry decided to just outright ask her why she was so nervous.
"Hermione, you don't have to be nervous around me. Why don't you tell me what's up with your mother this year. If it's embarrassing to you, I promise I won't laugh." said Harry as he held her hand and gently cupped her face in his right hand.
Hermione let out a heavy sigh as she relented. She'd also be lying if she said she didn't want to try some of the skills her mother taught her.
"Well, when I told my mother in a letter that we finally got together, she sent an 'I'm so happy for you' reply back. When I got home at the beginning of the summer, she took me out shopping for clothes for some reason. When we got home, she had me try different combinations of the outfits we bought, having me try to find one both you and I would like, before I settled on one. I was actually planning on wearing it later to see what you think. The last few things she did are somewhat embarrassing and I'd rather not get into it." said Hermione with a heavy blush.
Harry nodded in understanding, deciding not to push his luck by prying any deeper. It wasn't much longer before Harry and Hermione heard Emma call them down for lunch.
When they got to the table, it was filled with what many would describe as a residential banquet. There were Japanese delicacies such as sushi, and western foods such as steak. Harry was surprised that Emma went this far for his first visit.
"Well, dig in you two. I'm sure you both are eager to spend some more time together, and I don't want to intrude on your visit to long Harry." smiled Emma. Emma had seen the heavy blush on her daughter's face when they came downstairs and had a pretty good idea what she was avoiding during their talks.
The lunch was a calm affair, with Emma asking how Harry's summer has been while also telling Harry how she and Hermione were doing so far. Emma also couldn't resist asking the two how they got together officially. That was the one thing Hermione never told her. When they told Emma the full story, she burst out laughing, as she had never had the guts to sneak into a separate dorm when she was in school, and she told them that outright. This brought laughter from Harry and Hermione.
It was still about 2 hours before Harry normally hit the hay, though just like when he was at Hogwarts, he would miss the dragoness' cuddling up to him during the night. However, right now he was currently sitting on his bed in the guest room waiting for Hermione. She had gone to her room to put on the clothes she got that she thought Harry would like. It wasn't long before he heard a knock on the door.
"Harry, it's me, I'm coming in." said Hermione.
"Alright, come on in, Hermione." said Harry.
The door opened and Hermione walked in, and the sight that met Harry made his jaw drop. Hermione was wearing a similar shoulder strap shirt as her mother was that afternoon. She was also wearing a pair of yoga pants that proved that Hogwarts robes didn't do any witches justice. Due to witches and wizards hitting the early stages of puberty at age 11, when all wizards and witches started their magical education, it was common for both to have the physicality of a fully formed teenager at around 3rd or 4th year, depending on the individual. Add in the fact that Hermione was a magical creature, she had already developed the curves of a 17/18 year old, and would be the average height of a woman that age by 4th year or so.
"So, what do you think, Harry?" asked Hermione as she twirled around, showing the full outfit.
"Damn, you're beautiful Hermione." said Harry before his brain could fully catch up with him.
Hermione smiled, glad Harry liked how she looked. Deciding that now would be a good time to put her mother's lessons to good use, she walked a bit closer to Harry, just out of arm's reach, while gaining a huge red blush.
"That's good, I was worried when my mother suggested these pants. They don't make my butt look big, do they?" asked Hermione.
Hermione turned to face away from Harry before cocking her hip to the side and placing a hand on said hip. Her tail was also swaying side-to-side almost hypnotically. It took all of Harry's willpower to keep as straight a face as he could, though that didn't stop his voice from cracking slightly as he answered.
"N-nope, not at all. N-not that I ever actually stared….well, maybe a passing glance….I-I mean….I-, I'm digging myself into a hole here, ain't I?" asked Harry.
When Harry met Hermione's eyes, expecting to see slight annoyance, all he saw was appreciation. That was an odd look to see in her eyes at first, before she giggled and turned to face Harry again, before walking towards him with a sway in her hips, her tail still swaying behind her. Putting everything her mother taught her into practice at this point.
Reaching Harry, she cupped his face before leaning towards him and kissing him. It was about 30 seconds before she ended the kiss and looked into his eyes lovingly.
"Harry, it's OK if you stare, we're a couple. Also, if I'm honest, I'm flattered that even though I'm a nekomata, you still find me attractive. I know you've done more than a 'passing glance' since we've been together. Just, promise me that you'll ask before you do more than look." said Hermione.
"I would never do anything that would make you uncomfortable, Hermione. That's a promise you can take to Gringotts." said Harry as he stroked Hermione's head, making her purr.
"Thank you, Harry. That means a lot to me." whispered Hermione. Nothing much happened until the next morning, when Emma went to wake them both up for the day and didn't find Hermione in her room.
Upon opening the guest room door just a crack, Emma couldn't help but smile. Both Harry and Hermione had apparently fallen asleep not long after the reveal of Hermione's outfit. Both were still fully clothed, but Harry's left hand was on Hermione's right hip, with Hermione's hand seemingly holding it there. Emma just smiled and closed the door, deciding to let them sleep for a bit longer.
Halfway to Hogwarts
Harry and his group of friends were in a compartment on the express that was also occupied by a scruffy looking man. The man appeared to be a homeless drifter if it wasn't for the fine fabric his robes were made of. This man was apparently the new DADA professor, though Harry wasn't worried about that right now.
Harry was, however, worried about what he read in the World Wizarding News the day before him and Hermione went school shopping during his visit. Apparently, Peter Pettigrew had escaped from Azkaban and was in hiding. This pissed off Harry something awful, and he vowed that if he ever saw that bastard, Pettigrew would be lucky if he only got a piercing hex through his head.
It would also explain why Steve told him that Sirius Black would be at Hogwarts as some extra security. Though that numbskull Fudge had decided that Aurors weren't enough and decided to involve dementors too.
"I can't believe that slimy bastard escaped. Didn't Black say that he was supposed to be put in an anti-animagus cell?" asked Neville heatedly.
"From what my aunt told me, he was supposed to be, but Fudge had him moved at the request of Dumbledore. Apparently if you aren't registered as an animagus, by default, you aren't one. I'd love to know what the fuck Dumbass and Fudge were smoking when they decided that." snarled Susan.
"Well, I say let Pettigrew fear for his life. He's got those who hate Death Eaters on one side, pissed off Potter's on another, plus Sirius Black. He doesn't stand a chance if he shows up." said Luna in her usual dream-like voice.
"Agreed, and I don't think uncle padfoot would care if he was tossed in Azkaban for using the killing curse on the bastard, and I wouldn't blame him." said Emily. Hermione looked towards Harry, as she was cuddled up with him.
"Are you gonna be OK this year, Harry?" asked Hermione.
"I'll be fine. Though I can't say the same for that rat bastard if I ever see him." said Harry with a fiery determination in his eyes.
Deciding that the depressing vibe had gone on enough, Hannah pulled out an exploding snap set.
"So, anyone up for a game?" asked Hannah. The group smiled as Hannah brought the vibes in the compartment up a bit with the cards.
It was about an hour later, and the 56th win in Hannah's favour, that the train began to slow down. This confused all in the compartment and Harry noticed the sleeping individual shift slightly, as if arming himself with his wand to be ready for anything.
"What's going on? We can't be there yet." said Hermione, before the lights started going out.
The group were getting concerned at this point, except for Harry. If the cause of this was what he thought it was, he had it covered. Neville glanced outside before he noticed something moving.
"There's something out there." said Neville. Before anything else was said, Ginny Weasley ran into the compartment and latched onto Neville. If Harry was one for sucker bets, he'd put money on Neville and Ginny already being involved.
"Gin, what's wrong?" asked Neville with deep concern in his voice.
"R-Riddle, I can hear him. I started hearing his mocking voice again soon after we stopped." whimpered Ginny as Neville rubbed her back in comfort.
At this point, Harry had activated his dementor eyes to stave off the effects of these foul creatures. It was a good thing to, as the train gave a slight lurch forward, signalling something just boarded.
"They're here." said Harry.
"Who?" asked Emily. It was at that point that Harry said the one word they really didn't want to hear.
"Dementor's." said Harry.
It was at this point that the scruffy professor got up and moved quickly to the door.
"You kids stay here. I'm gonna go help the younger kids." said the professor.
"Ok Lupin, just don't do anything stupid." said Harry with a smile. Finally recognizing the new professor. Lupin nodded while rolling his eyes as he left the compartment, and a group of confused kids.
"Harry, how did you know Uncle Mooney? I didn't even recognize him since it's been 7 years since we've seen him." said Emily.
"A story for when we're safe at Hogwarts, safe being a relative term anyway." said Harry sarcastically.
It wasn't much longer before the group saw the dark robe and skeletal hands of a dementor just outside their compartment. The others were now shaking uncontrollably, before Harry spoke.
"Hey, who wants to see a dementor nearly piss itself?" asked Harry. The others looked confused at first, before they all slowly nodded. This caused the most evil smirk they'd ever seen to appear on Harry's face.
The dementor began slowly opening the compartment door, adding to the eerie effect they had. When the door was fully opened and it was about to enter, it froze completely. The reason? Harry was sitting in the compartment and turned to look right at the dementor.
"What's up, Doc? Remember me?" asked Harry. Before you could say 'London Bridge is Falling Down', the dementor turned around and floated away screaming. A screechy, human-like voice heard by everyone yelling 'It's him, run for your fucking lives.' was heard. Probably the only time you would ever hear English from a demento.
The sound of a screaming dementor was soon followed by more as the group looked out the window and saw every dementor that came to inspect the train making a bee-line to Hogwarts.
"Ok, I gotta know, what the fuck just happened?" asked Susan.
"Yeah, that dementor seemed completely terrified of you, Harry." said Emily.
"Well, that's what happens when you threaten one on your first encounter with it. Killing one with phoenix fire the last time me and Steve were doing a dementor head count at Azkaban." laughed Harry.
The compartment was in total silence for a few seconds, before the group burst out laughing. The entire group realised that they now had the perfect anti-dementor shield. The best part, they didn't need to utter a single spell for it. It was into this raucous laughter that a confused Remus Lupin arrived. He had just seen every dementor on the train fleeing as if their lives depended on it, and returned to a compartment full of laughing students. Remus didn't know why, but he had a feeling this was gonna be everything BUT a normal year at Hogwarts. Merlin preserve his sanity if that was the case.
AN: well, here it is folks, the first chapter of the year 3 arc. Sorry this took so long to publish, most of the ideas I had for it were in the last half, so I suffered writers block for the first half. Anyway, next chapter is the start of the year, how Harry knows Lupin, and the reveal of another future lover of Harry's, so look forward to it.
As always, please Review, No Flames.