Harry Potter and the Perfect Wife @spurgelaurel
Crouching Nundu, Catious Dragon


Hopefully this isn't a "ruined everything with the new on" situation. The reception to this story completely blew me away and I don't know if I can live up to expectations.

Minny could have been the perfect pet.

She was beautiful, graceful, elegant. Her tawny coat was sleek and soft, great for stroking. Her bright orange eyes were big and expressive, sitting near center in her round face. She looked healthy and full of vigour, as if she wasn't missing any meals. Her powerful muscles visibly rippled as she moved, teasing at her full capabilities. She was never caught grooming herself like some common animal. She had standards to maintain, and an important part of her image was the too good to be natural but what else could it be reputation.

She was smart, too. Not like a chimp that could learn sign language or an elephant who would paint. Minny was smart in a different way. She could read a room, get a feel for everyone's types, and predict what they would do. She couldn't tell you anything really, as she couldn't speak, but she could know where you would be in the next five seconds and that was often enough for her.

And she had been raised in the ways of a proper cat. She knew how to be stealthy, how to pounce like the best of them, and when to simply drop all interest. As a feline, Minny knew that the world was owed to her and was an expert in the methods of claiming those dues. All in all, she could have been the perfect pet.

But there was one rather large hiccup, she was not a housecat. Minny was a Nundu, plain and simple. Was born that way and would die that way. She was the queen of beasts, the most dangerous creature of all. It was more likely that she would capture some small creature and watch it dance in terror for a while before tiring than her getting picked up as a pet. That would require a madman of godly strength.

And so when the world pulled one last trick on her in the form of a pale little toothpick from the coldest place she had never heard off, there was little that Minny could do but accept her new name and station in life. Perhaps the easy food and frequent belly rubs also had a part to play, but Minny quickly found herself growing quite fond of the funny little man and his panicky servants. They way they would flutter around her everyday out in the forest by her Nundunapper's den when the sun reached its zenith, popping in and out of her view with loud cracks made them great hunting practice. Impossible to catch, but she didn't actually need to catch them because food was just lying around!

If there was one thing Minny did not like so much about living at the pink thing's den, it was his weak mate. The Nundu just could not understand why a being as strong as him would settle for something as pathetic as her. As far as Minny could tell, she never went out with him on hunts, and she didn't even have the excuse of kittens to take care of. She was thin and scrawny, with bony limbs and far too much hair. Not appetizing in the least.

So Minny, in all her magnanimous splendour, decided to do her food provider a favour. He and the big eared creatures he kept around were a useful pack, and she didn't want to see him ruined by a leeching mate. Someone who didn't provide for themselves and only drained resources had no place in her pride. If the green-eyed one was too soft to do anything about it, Minny would come to his rescue.

And when she succeeded, he would give her all the succulent meats and decadent belly rubs she could want.

"So, I hear you've been trying to kill Potter."

Daphne Potter tore her eyes away from the wine she was swirling in her glass and glanced around for Malfoy's co-conspirators. If she could nip this assassination attempt against her in the bud, she may be able to avoid several weeks of nightmares. Not that they were all that bad, since she could use them as an excuse to wake her husband up to cuddle. Not that she really needed an excuse, he never asked for a reason, but it was important for posterity. However, there was no one in the shadowed alcove apart from the two of them.

"Why would I try to kill myself, Malfoy? I always knew you were a simpleton but this is truly inane, even for you."

After seven years of living with her brother-in-law in the Slytherin dorms, she recognized the face he was making as the one he got when he wanted to slap someone but was too cowardly to go through with it. At least he knew that if he touched her, she would end him. That's progress from their third year.

"Obviously not yourself. I mean Potter. You know, Harry Potter. The Potter. Your husband."

Oh, finally he was making more sense. She did want to kill Harry. But how did he know about it?

"Who told you that?"

"Your sister."

"How did she know?"

Malfoy shrugged. "You'd have to ask her yourself. I presume it has something to do with having lived with you since she was born. Truth be told, it wasn't that hard to piece together. I barely know you, even after going to Hogwarts together, and even I figured it out. Astoria just let me know I was right.

"Regardless, we're digressing. It doesn't matter how I know, just that I do. I wanted to give you a warning. Whatever you're planning, it's not going to work. Believe me, as someone who has tried to kill Potter time and time again, he simply refuses to die. It doesn't matter what you try, he'll overcome it in some bullshit way, pat your head, and skip off into the sunset. Don't you remember what he did to the Dark Lord?"

Daphne very much did remember what he did to the Dark Lord. She didn't think there was anyone living in Magical Britain who could forget. And so she was confused. "The Dark Lord didn't get head pats from my husband. I wasn't there at the time, but that sounds like something I would know."

The blonde let out a heaving sigh, the drama queen. Why was he acting all resigned? She was the one who had to spend time in his odious presence. Actually, that would explain it. If she was Malfoy, she would be tired of life as well.

"No, Potter was far worse to the Dark Lord than simply patronizing. To be honest, I didn't think he had it in him to be so ruthless." Her sister's husband stared off into the distance, clearly going somewhere else mentally. Daphne decided that if he wasn't going to give his full attention to a conversation with her then she had no reason to dedicate even a percent of her great mental faculties to him.

"He always seemed so hopelessly naive, always seeing the best in people. When we first met he knew nothing about the magical world, but he didn't let that put a damper on his boundless optimism. I was such a little shit to him back then, throughout all our years at Hogwarts, really, but he never did more than did more than genuinely funny pranks and harmless word games in return. That's why what he did to the Dark Lord was so frightening, because it came out of nowhere. No one expected him to pull that move off, and—Hey! Are you even listening to me?"

Roused from her silent contemplations, the beautiful lady gave a him a deadpan stare, "Pardon?"

Malfoy let out another out of those overly dramatic breathes and ran a hand over his face. "Nevermind," he mumbled, "I just wanted to warn you. I've done my part, now it's—"

"Shh! It's time!" Daphne cut him off with a hiss.

"Time for what?"

She pulled him over to the banister so they could overlook the hall. Many couples twirled their way around the expansive dance floor, and at the center of the pack was none other than the green eyed wonder himself. Wrapped in his arms and draping herself all over him was some woman Daphne could only vaguely recognize due to her strawberry blonde hair. If it who she thought it was, his dancing partner was one of his colleagues from the Auror office. If they weren't about to die imminently, perhaps she would have shared a word with the scarlet wearing woman about levels of touching appropriate with another woman's husband.

But the researcher's eyes were not focused on the inconsequential dancers below, rather on the grand chandelier hanging above. It was an intricately made work of art, glass and gold working in concert to display a powerful image of elegance and wealth. Indeed, the owners of this mansion, some new money family Daphne didn't care to remember, must have spent a fortune to install the piece. More money than sense, and far more appearance than power. Nouveau riche fools like this had become more and more common after the defeat of the Dark Lord, as many rapid advances were made under the leadership of the new generation.

The chandelier did not impress Lady Potter any. If anything, it was overly gaudy and ostentatious. However, the large amount of gold would work in her favour. A chandelier so big weighs several hundred kilograms, and after accelerating in free fall, the impulse from its collision with whatever was below would certainly not be pretty. Daphne's full lips twisted into a smile, making Malfoy even more nervous. He clutched his drink so tightly that he cut off circulation to his fingers.

"What are you gonna do?" he asked.

"Just watch."

As soon as she had finished speaking, that marvelous light fixture detached from the ceiling and gave in to gravity, dropping with a well known acceleration. The guests shrieked in panic, running into each other in an attempt to get away. And Harry Potter, Hero of Britain himself, stood still directly under the rapidly descending chandelier. He, however, was unafraid.

With a broad sweep of his wand, Harry gently but firmly pushed everyone else against the walls and into safety. With the Chandelier bearing down on him, he had no time to lose, but he had to be precise lest he hurt someone by accident. A cursory glance, so fast a lesser wizard would not have been able to glean any information, the Chosen One made sure everyone was okay and out of range.

Now the chandelier was right over his head, less than a hair's breadth away and Daphne's smile split her face with glee. Targeting him was never going to work, she didn't need a buffon like Malfoy to tell her that. But putting innocents around him at risk? She was not above making use of Harry's selflessness for her own gain, even outside the bedroom. And while the impact may not kill him immediately, Daphne had prepared extensively for this moment, and blocked off the floo and cast an anti-apparition jinx so no one would be able to bring a healer in time.

Twisting back while raising his hands, Harry fell prone onto his back catching the incoming weight but reducing the impulse by traveling with it to the floor. More than one person screamed, thinking he had been hit, but within seconds everyone realized there was no blood. He had stopped it.

Lying back on the floor, Harry grabbed at his wand with one hand, and with a flick the chandelier went flying back up to the ceiling, securely attaching itself to its previous spot. He stood up, dusted off the front of his robes, and held his hand out for his previous dance partner. The hall exploded into applause and cheers, making the man blush and rub the back of his head, messing up his neatly combed hair back into the well known Potter mess. Following his lead, the guests returned to the party, eating, dancing, and making general merry.

Draco and Daphne watch on from above as everything returned to how it was, as if the previous few seconds hadn't happened at all. The blonde stared gobsmacked, and would have continued to for the rest of the evening had his sister-in-law not reached over and clicked his jaw shut.

Shaking his head to try and disperse the shock, Harry's school yard rival looked over to the orchestrator of the near tragedy, only to find her sipping her wine with a serene expression on her face as she watched her husband dance with Bones.

"You're not. . . you know, jealous? "

"What, of that floozy? Come now, Malfoy, are you blind? What cause would I have to be jealous of someone like her?"

"I can't cast any aspersions as to Potter's sanity, but if I was him and I would be constantly on the lookout for a woman who wasn't a complete sociopath. I'd even take a Hufflepuff over you. The fact that you were contracted to Potter so I could marry Astoria instead of you was the best thing that ever happened to me."

"You have no idea how true that is, Malfoy." She held up her glass and used her pinky to point down at the dance floor. "I highly doubt you're that nimble."

Being a Nundu, Minny wasn't equipped to accurately measure how long it had been since she had been brought to her new home, but she had thoroughly enjoyed her stay so far. She had learned not to try and eat the perfectly bite sized creatures that were heralded by a loud pop as they always brought offerings fit for a being of her majesty. And they were always picking up the loose fur she had shed. She didn't know what they needed it for, but Minny had experience with such symbiotic relationships from her time in the savannah. Little creatures not even worth the effort to eat knew they didn't have to fear her while she was in a good mood, and so would do things for her in exchange for her presence's passive protection.

But the best thing about her new den was the strange two legged creature that brought her here in the first place. Everyday he would come down from the stone structure to scratch at all the places she couldn't get, and then he would play with her. Minny had not played since she was just a kitten, quickly outgrowing any possible playmates, being the only one of her litter to survive the dangerous few months after birth. And there was nothing out on the veldt that could withstand her playful whacks. But with the green-eyed one and the toys he would bring her, she could use her full force and not worry about breaking anything. It was cathartic in a way Minny didn't know she had needed.

At the moment, he was gone from the den. She knew because he always disappeared when the sun rose to a certain height. This gave Minny the perfect opportunity to set her plan in motion. She had watched his mate's activities for some time now, and was familiar with all her common habits. On just barely warm days, the long haired one tended to come outside and stroll pointlessly. She wouldn't even try to catch something small to bring back. Pitiful.

Today was one such day, and the Nundu had hidden herself in the thicket that grew around the manor, lying in wait for the lady of the house to come out. She didn't have to wait long before she saw her one time prey step out under the sun, shading her eyes with a delicate hand. This would be beyond easy. Minny had already proven once that she could stalk this individual.

With the technique she had forged and honed out on the plains of Africa, where even the smallest of mistakes could spell disaster, the great cat crept closer and closer to the unaware witch. The oblivious woman was looking over the grounds, making sure everything was in order and enjoying the pleasant weather, uncommon in Wales. Unbeknownst to her, Minny had made it within striking distance, and was preparing to pounce, when the wind shifted and a new smell caught her attention. The Nundu stilled, quickly recognizing what that smell meant.

It would seem that the little two leg had earned herself some more time. Minny would withhold judgement for now and give her the benefit of the doubt. After all, the green-eyed one was strong for a non-Nundu, so the future prospects were good.

It was a peaceful evening. Harry sat on the new couch, Daphne tucked under his chin and wrapped securely in his arms. They had already finished dinner, and the elves had been dismissed for the night, but it was still early and neither were that tired. Besides, sometimes it was nice to just cuddle for a bit.

Daphne was reading a book, and while Harry tried to read it over her shoulder, he couldn't parse a word. Not because he was stupid, it was just clearly in a different language. Used the roman alphabet, but the Man-Who-Conquered could see upside down A's, backwards E's, wide U's, and far too many curly brackets to be anything in english. But Harry wasn't too fussed, it didn't seem like a book he would enjoy anyways. He was just happy to be able to spend some time relaxing with his lovely wife.

A wife so attuned to him, that after finishing the page she shifted in his grasp, her blue eyes turning up to him with a questioning glance. "Is everything alright, Harry? You've been unusually quiet today." Those bright orbs hardened imperceivable as she came to a realization, "They haven't been working you too hard at the Ministry, have they? I told you to take better care of yourself. You'll never achieve your goals if you work yourself into an early grave."

The no longer last Potter chuckled and kissed his love on her nose, making her scrunch up her face in a way he found too cute. "It's nothing like that," he said, "Everything is fine at work. If anything, it's Hermione you should be worrying about. That girl won't know a break if it bit her on the arse."

"Yes, well, Hermione isn't my husband." She smacked him on the shoulder, though it was more like a tap seeing as how her arms were trapped within his, "And haven't I told you to be less crass. It's not proper to speak like that in front of a lady."

"Yes, dear, sorry, dear. I'll be sure to keep that in mind next time I see one."

"Ah! You ruffian!"

Had any of their schoolmates been in the room to witness the gentle and companionable laughter that followed, they would have immediately checked themselves into St. Mungos indefinitely. Harry Potter, the Gryffindor Golden Boy, teasing the Slytherin Ice Queen, and then the two laughing together about it? Simply unheard of. But the two were nearing their third year of marriage, and so it was only natural that they had fallen into a comfortable groove. Especially considering all the trials they had faced together acting as a crucible.

"I guess if you really want to know," Harry began, and Daphne nodded him on to continue, "I guess my shoulders are rather tense."

"Oh, Harry," she shook her head, pulling out of his embrace and standing up from the couch. "You know you can just ask me, right? I may not be able to share your burden, but I can help alleviate it. You don't need to act like Atlas around me." She put her book down on the coffee table.

"I know that," he responded, properly admonished, "I'm just not used to having someone I can share this kind of stuff with. I didn't mean to hide it from you."

"Come on. Take your shirt off and lie down. I want you nice and loose so you don't toss and turn all night."

Harry did as told, lying flat on his bare stomach. Daphne wasted no time straddling the back of his thighs, resting her weight on his firm muscles toned from years of adventure. But when her hands touched his shoulder blades, prepared to rub the soreness out, she couldn't help but exclaim, "Merlin! Harry, what have you been up to?! Your back feels like the walls of Hogwarts!"

"Ehehe. . . Guess I really have been overworking myself. Sorry."

"Well, there is no way I can relax your muscles like this. I've got Re'em blood in my lab, maybe after I drink some of that."

"What! No, you can't use something so rare and important for your work just to give me a massage. Besides, now I know you're exaggerating."

"Not by much." For a while, the two remained silent. Not like Harry had any trouble supporting his wife's weight. Then she got an idea.

"How about we try acupuncture?"

Harry looked back at her over his shoulder, "You know how acupuncture?"

She blushed. "I couldn't understand why muggles would willingly let people stab them, so I did some research."

"I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I was just surprised. Okay, sure, if you think it will work."

"Let me just conjure some needles, then."

Daphne leaned over to grab her wand off the table and waved it to create a small collection of acupuncture needles. She picked up one and inspected it closely. It was nearly perfect. All it was missing was one key component, the profuse bleeding curse she had dug up from one of the old books taken from the Black Library. As far as she could find, it hadn't been used in over three centuries, and she was the only one alive who even knew it existed. The ancient Blacks used to cast it on their sabres before a duel, so that even ones that were just fought until first blood were always lethal to the other party.

This curse served her purposes perfectly. It was untraceable, unknown to all but her, and absolutely deadly. Cast over a sharp object which would then be stabbed into the target, the curse would change the targets very blood until it could no longer clot. Then even the tiniest of cuts could become potentially fatal as the cursed individual would continue to bleed and bleed without ever stopping.

Daphne cast the curse on the needle, pouring all her emotions into it to give it potency. All her yearning for freedom, her rage against the chains confining her, and all the new feelings she had not yet been able to identify having never felt them in her youth. With the curse having taken on her very being, there was no way it could fail. The grimoire she had taken it from had made it clear that the more passion the caster felt, the stronger the curse would be, and that none affected by it had lived for more than a week after.

Steeling her resolve, Daphne brought the needle down. One stab, that was all it would take. One stab and she could finally have the future she had always dreamed of. So why was she hesitating?

"Everything okay, darling? You trying to remember where the nerves are or something?"

"Oh, hush now. I know exactly what I am doing." Killing you, she wanted to say.

And so, the soon to be Potter widow precisely pierced Harry's skin right where she knew a nerve cluster to be. Except, that's not at all what happened. Daphne looked upon the needle in shock. Instead of sliding smoothly into her husband, the impossibly sharp conjured object had actually bent at the tip.

"Er, Harry. . . did you. . . feel that?"

"Feel what?"


He wasn't actually made of Hogwarts's charmed stone, so what had just happened? Daphne put the ruined needle aside and picked up another one from the table. She cast the curse again, but this time the overpowering feeling was scholarly inquiry. Moving the needle over a different spot, the magical researcher repeated her experiment, only to get the same results. Clearly this would require more firepower.

Second ruined needle placed next to the first, she grabbed a third. This time, instead of cursing it, Daphne transfigured it into an ice pick. No point in wasting her magic without a guarantee she could actually make it stick. For the third try, Daphne moved back to the original spot. Having conducted a control, she knew it wasn't simply that that spot was ridiculously tense, the acupuncture needles just didn't have the structural integrity to successfully push through.

But the now L shaped ice pick in her hands suggested that she had once more underestimated her husband. "This might be trickier than I had expected," she muttered, putting the ruined tool aside. The fourth and fifth acupuncture needles found themselves floating in the air and summoned over. A quick transfiguration had them become a chisel and sculpting hammer respectively.

With magic, Daphne carefully lined the chisel up with Harry's shoulder blades, and then brought the hammer down.

"Ooooh, yeeeeesssss." The witch nearly jumped at the moan of absolute relief released by the wizard below her. His toes curled and eyes closed, a goofy grin spreading on his face. "Whatever you're doing," he spoke into the cushion, "keep it up."

Well, the scheme failed, but at least she had successfully discovered something. And the chisel wasn't even too damaged! Another swish of her wand had the hammer rise up and slam back down, making Harry release another groan as his tense muscles finally relaxed.

And all in perspective, it could be worse. This was actually quite cathartic for her, too.

"In truth, it isn't as interesting as you've been imagining."

"Somehow, I doubt that."

The door to Daphne's laboratory swung open, and said woman stepped in, throwing her arms out wide to gesture to its entirety. Entering behind her was Harry Potter, visibly hopping up and down in excitement. This was his first time in her lab, and he couldn't wait to see all the cool knick knacks she had lying around. Sure, he had to promise not to touch anything before being allowed in, but he didn't solemnly swear so really it was on her if she expected him to stick to his word.

And there were so many shiny toys! "What's this! What's this!" Harry bounced over to a glass cube inside which was a green butterfly like creature flapping around. He gave the box a couple of taps before his finger was pulled aside by his exasperated wife.

"That is unstable creation AH-6308. The smallest disturbance to its environment can make it explode, and quite violently at that, so please don't do that. I would hate to have to replace everything in my lab once more."

"Hey! I'm the one who pays for all those replacements!"


"And nothing. Shutting up now."

Daphne gave him a stiff nod, and mentally commended herself for her ability to cow Harry faster than Professor Snape could. Though that might have had something to do with the fact that she could control where he slept, and if that was with her or on the couch. Nah, must be because of how scary she was. While the Greengrass was patting herself on her back, her husband had already moved on to another station. In his hands, he held a large ring that was wrapped around a sphere. The whole thing seemed to be made entirely out of brass, which would explain why he had to order all that copper and zinc from the Muggle world a few months ago.

The lab's owner returned her attention to her surroundings only to nearly pass out from a heart attack at seeing what Harry was doing. "Stop playing with that! It is very dangerous!"

Green eyes turned to look at her, but the object wasn't placed back on the table. Instead the most powerful wizard of the age started to toss it up and down like one of Minny's toys when he played fetch with her. "What is it?"

"It's a temporal attenuation reflector device in stasis."

"So a TARDIS?"

"A what?"

"Nevermind. What does it do?"

"Well, it's supposed to allow for the traversing of the time stream."

"So a TARDIS?"

"Again, what is that word?"

"Sort of like a time turner."

"A lot like a time turner, that's where I got the inspiration. But I wanted to create something much better. Unfortunately, I made it too much better. According to my calculations, a single spin of the globe should correspond to an entire millenia, and so there is just no way to test it safely."

"Sure there is, you just gotta do this."

And before Daphne could stop him, Harry spun the globe in his hands once before vanishing from the lab. She stood there, hand still extended in an attempt to reach the person who was no longer there. For a few seconds, she just stared in shock at the spot where he had just been. What could possess a man to do something so phenomenally stupid. She just couldn't comprehend.

But then through her confusion another thought sprung up. Harry was gone. Just like that. She was free. A giggle escaped her gaping lips, slowly morphing into laughter and then a mad cackle. She had done it. Without even meaning to she had managed to get rid of the man who had seemed unkillable. Sure, he wasn't dead for good, but a thousand years in the past was as good as.

She began to dance around the laboratory, so exuberant with her happiness that she couldn't help but act out. After two years, she had finally done it. And the best part was, she didn't even have to do anything. There was no way anybody could pin something on her because her hands were completely clean. A flawless victory if ever there was one.

Quickly though, Daphne got tired of her spontaneous celebration. It was rather bad form to display so much joy after the disappearance of one's lord husband. And. . . she actually wasn't as happy as she had expected to be. If anything, she felt kind of. . . empty. She would have to go to the Ministry to report this. Then she'd move to Germany and disappear from the world, with only her research to keep her company, just as she had always wanted. So why were tears pooling in the corners of her eyes?

It was a despondent Daphne that shambled over to the door, her head held low and her hands clutching at her stomach which seemed to twist incessantly in knots. She'd ask Harry to make her some tea, and then she'd take a nap—Harry wasn't around anymore. A sob wracked her frame and salty tears dropped to the floor with a splash. Daphne traced its path down her cheek with a finger. What was happening to her?

Her hand wrapped around the doorknob, but before she could turn it there was a flash of light behind her and the thud of a person hitting the ground.

"Ugh, why are brooms the only form of magical travel that agrees with me?"

That voice—but it couldn't be! Timidly, Daphne turned around to find, against all her expectations, her husband lying on the floor, her temporal attenuation reflector device clutched in one hand while the other was scratching the back of his head. His usually clean shaven face was covered in a thick layer of hair, the scruffy beard not suiting him at all.

He saw her standing there and grinned, that stupid smile that always made her insides do flips. "Your little TARDIS works, honey," he said, pulling himself up to his feet, "as I was sure it would. Really took me a thousand years back into the past. Boy, was that a trip, let me tell you."

"You. . ." her voice was small. Weak. Trembling. "You're back?"

"Well, it wasn't easy, but there was this really clever guy in the past. Myrddin. Weird name, I know. I helped him out with an unruly little witch that was causing trouble. He was really good at magic, but not so much at battle tactics and all that. Between the two of us we handled her no problem. Morgan Whatsit. Then he spent a couple of weeks tinkering until he figured out how to make the TARDIS go forward as well as back."

As he was talking, Harry had been walking over to her, and when he got close he was able to see her red and teary eyes. He started freaking out. "Woah, hey, don't get mad at me! I told him you didn't like it when people messed with your stuff, but he kept going on and on about preserving the timeline and so on. As if that's more important than your happiness—oof!"

A black haired missile collided with his chest, and a lesser man might have been tipped over, but the Hero of Hogwarts had a lot of practice with catching glomps. What he had less experience with was crying women pounding their fists on him while sobbing uncontrollably in his arms. "Hey," he said gently, running one hand through her hair while rubbing her back with the other, "Don't cry. I made sure he wrote down everything he did on a scroll that I brought with me. They didn't have notebooks back then, I know you prefer them."

Daphne shook her head, her tears turning to laughter. She turned her head up and smiled at Harry, her eyes still watery. "It's not that, you idiot," she said before standing on her toes to steal a quick kiss, "just swear me never to do anything so recklessly stupid again."

"I may be a reckless idiot, but I'm your reckless idiot."

"Yeah," she rested her ear on his chest, listening to his heartbeat and accepting that he would never make such a promise. "Yeah, you are."

The next day, Daphne flipped through her history books, untouched since fifth year. She found the section about Merlin and began to read:

"And so, the great wizard Merlin, with help from his ally, Mr. Black, defeated the Dark Lady Morgana in a battle of magic magnitudes above anything that had been since before or after. Individually, each was powerful enough to sink Britain as a whole. That all three should have lived in the same epoch was clearly no coincidence, but the work of faith."

On the opposite page were three portraits. An old wizard with a long white beard. A beautiful witch cloaked in the finest silks. And finally a young man with unruly black hair and the greenest eyes.

Daphne had been feeling nauseous since she woke up, and the cup of tea Harry made her that always alleviated it before didn't help. That made him go into full mother hen mode, trying to both encase her in blankets on the bed and get her to the emergency room in St. Mungos at the same time. Luckily, she managed to talk him down, dress him up, and send him off to the Auror's Office before he would be late.

Alone in the manor house—apart from the House Elves, but they didn't count—the magical researcher tried to get some work done. The first couple of hours were rough, but after that her ill feeling went away and she was able to make good progress. She had such a strange problem these days. So much inspiration and ideas for projects, but not enough time to advance them all. A far cry from where she was just a year ago with only one ongoing project and a lot of down time spent coming up with new approaches when she hit a stumbling block.

Not that she was complaining. Daphne could not remember having ever been happier than she was presently. She was getting exciting things done in her lab, even if most won't ever see the light of day, and she no longer had to put up with tiresome people for longer than she could bear. All she had to do was subtly signal to Harry that the situation had grown too tedious for her, and he would extricate them post haste. Of course, post haste often meant an hour later, but she wasn't completely unreasonable, no matter what Astoria said. She could make some concessions. Harry just had to make it up to her later, which he was always more than happy to do. It helped that he was so good at it.

Too good, perhaps? The beauty stilled in her work, her posture stiffening beyond her usual pureblood bearing. Was her husband being. . . intimate. . . with other women? Nearly as soon as the thought entered her head, Daphne had banished it aside and returned to her research. Harry was too kind and pure for such betrayal, and how could he possibly derive any satisfaction with another partner after having had a taste of her. Daphne was not ignorant of her great looks, and knew that the man she had married appreciated the view. And she was certainly no dead fish. Turnabout was only fair, after all.

But. . . even if Harry chose to involve himself in a physical relationship with someone other than her, it mattered not. As long as there was no emotional attachment, the former Greengrass could turn a blind eye. The only danger was that Harry would allow himself to be compromised, and her place at the forefront of his heart and mind be lost. That would make it far harder to get away scot free after her next murder attempt on him failed. Not—not that she would fail! Potter's luck would have to run out some time, and she would be ready!

The day passed in a whirlwind of activity, and before Daphne realized, it was already nearing the eighteen hundredth hour. Logging her progress in her notebook, she put everything back in its place and made her way over to the living room, a good book in hand, to await her husband's return. Over thirty minutes later and still no husband, Daphne was beginning to grow restless. Her fingers tapped a staccato rhythm on the arm rest while she glared daggers at the untouched book sitting innocently on the coffee table.

Her thoughts from earlier crept creeping into her mind unbidden. When had she grown these insecurities? And why? What did it matter to her who Har—Potter spent his time with? She had never wanted to marry him in the first place. Hated being married to him. His very existence kept her from her childhood dream.

Sure, he was handsome, but she was above such superficial concerns. Very wealthy, too, able to fund any expense her research required with no questions asked, much better than a loan or grant. And yes, he was good, and gentle, and caring, and a whole host of other characteristics, but he was naive and stupid. Although, actually he was a lot smarter than he let on, taking advantage of people's conceived notions of him. And he had an instinctual understanding of magic that was completely unheard of. And he had saved her life at least a dozen times since they had gotten married, and those were only the times she had noticed.

Daphne's symmetric face scrunched up in contemplation. Harry really was quite the catch. Tracy had been charmed by him instantly, and from their very first meeting Astoria had treated him more like a brother than she had ever treated Daphne like a sister. Not to mention he was the undisputed hero of Wizarding Britain, and arguably the whole of Europe. Before they had married, he had been more than just the most eligible bachelor. Whole covens of witches would have agreed to share him despite the outlaw of polygamous marraiges centuries ago. And many would not have given up even after he became spoken for.

Perhaps she would have to work harder to keep his interest. Make sure he knows what he has at home so he doesn't go looking elsewhere. There was no way Daphne Potter née Greengrass would let some hussy make moves on her man. Wait, when had she started considering Harry as hers? Oh, dear Merlin, no! Could it. . . could be that she was. . . was in lo—

The fireplace roared with a green fire and her missing husband came shooting out, landing on the couch next to her but upside down, his legs hanging over the back and his head scraping the floor. Daphne leaned over to meet his eyes, smiling despite herself. His askew glaces were oddly endearing. "Will you ever manage to floo with grace?"

The poor man still seemed somewhat dizzy and disoriented, but he laughed goodnaturedly nonetheless. "I doubt it, honey. I could study magic for as long as old Albus and never get the hang of the floo." He turned himself around and stood up, holding out a hand for her to follow him, "Now maybe if you were to invent a new form of magical travel, I think I would finally have something other than brooms that agreed with me."

She took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. "You don't know that. You're only saying it because I'm your wife."

Harry's eyes sparkled as if she had just said something marvelous and he let out another laugh. "It's exactly because you are my wife that I know exactly that. After all, how could my magic disagree with anything you create when it loves you so very much."

Daphne ducked her head to the side to hide her blush. He said such things not infrequently, but due to her previous mood she was more susceptible to his smooth talking than usual. Getting herself under control, Daphne turned around and strode towards the dining room, "Now that you are here, let's ea—"

Before she could finish, the fireplace burned with a green fire once more, and out stepped a bushy haired witch in official robes. Daphne shot an accusatory look at her husband, but he just held his palms up in appeasing surrender. With a sigh, she realized she would have to be courteous. And she was really not in the mood.

"Husband," Harry cringed, recognizing the tone of her voice, "You didn't tell me you were bringing guests. I told Ninny to prepare dinner for two. The poor elf will be in quite the furor."

"There's no need," it was Granger who responded, immediately breaking decorum in her usual style. "I won't be staying for dinner."

"Oh?" Daphne let her rudeness go for now. Anything to get the interloper out of her house as soon as possible, "Just dropped by to say hello, then?" As if.

"Actually, I asked her to come over. I told her that you weren't feeling well today but didn't want to go to St. Mungos, so asked if she could come over and check you over."

By the grimace on Granger's face, Daphne could tell that they were equally happy about that idea. "There is no need, the nausea passed soon after you left. I feel fine now." And she would feel even better when it was just the two of them.

"There's no harm in checking, is there? Just one diagnostic charm? Hermione is really good at those, she'll be able to tell what's wrong instantly."

Granger's eyes met her own, and Daphne knew that her very presence was what was wrong to the muggleborn. That the brunette had never warmed up to her was made evident by the frown that marred her plain face each time Harry wasn't looking. And the feeling was very much mutual.

"If she doesn't want it then I won't force her to accept it, Harry. You can't help everybody." The hidden message there being very clear to Daphne, but seemingly flying straight over her husband's head. So that's the way she wanted to play it? Poor little lion, this snake would wrap circles around her.

"Well," the pureblood beauty drawled out, "I guess it couldn't hurt. I put myself in your hands, Hermione." She got a rather amusing idea and decided to have a spot of fun. "You always did follow Harry around so diligently. I'm sure it must tear at you to see me at his side," a suitably long pause to get her meaning across, "suffering as I am."

Harry beamed, but over his shoulder Granger's face morphed into a scowl. Daphne cackled internally. Sure, she had never joined Parkinson in teasing Granger while in school, but she couldn't argue that it wasn't very enjoyable. And the unwelcome trespasser in her home knew she had only agreed to be contrary.

Granger ran the scan, her carefully blank expression slowly changing. Without asking, she cast the spell again, eyebrows furrowing. Nobody spoke. Harry stood there, waiting patiently, but Daphne wanted this witch out of her manor as quickly as possible.

"Well, what's the verdict?"

"Er, well, this might be a very personal question, but, have, er, the two of you been," Granger awkwardly stumbled over her words in a way no one had ever seen her do before, "you know, intimate?" Her cheeks definitely had a reddish tinge despite her healthy tan. "Specifically, physically."

Daphne's face turned beet red, the blood rushing to her face emitting so much heat she felt like she would melt. Meanwhile Harry nodded with full seriousness, "You mean like sex? Of course. Every night, sometimes multiple times a day." That was it, Daphne was feeling faint. How could he be so nonchalant about something like this? In front of an unattached woman, to boot.

Granger didn't seem much better, and needed a moment for her brain to reboot. When she had recovered, she turned to Daphne to ask, "And, er, when was the last time you bled. From down there."

She actually had to think back. It had been a while. In fact, hadn't she just thought a week ago that it was weird she had missed her period? It was sort of a passing thought, not something she had really put any consideration into. Now she was regretting it.


"Yes. Oh."

Harry was the only one lost. "What do you mean, oh? Is everything okay with her?"

"Do you want to take this, or should I?"

Daphne shook her head, "You have more experience breaking things to him, I can admit that. I'll bow to your seniority in this case."

Granger nodded, accepting the peace offering for what it was. The time for petty squabbles had passed. "Harry, let me be the first one to congratulate you. Daphne's pregnant. You're going to be a father."

Nothing happened. And then Harry processed what she had actually said. In less than a second, his bright green eyes had grown so wide it seemed like they would pop out of his head, spun to face Daphne, looked at her face, looked at her stomach, and then rolled up into his skull and he fainted dead.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Chapter 1 7629 0 0 2. Crouching Nundu, Catious Dragon 7941 0 0 3. The Tears Of A Goddess 8365 0 0