Witches of Westfield

Dinner For Two

"Winky!" Harry called as soon as he had gathered his senses after the apparition to his new home. The exhausted wizard, still holding onto the witch next to him from the side-along apparition, steadied Daphne for a moment before letting go of her arm. The two had spent the last ten hours shopping for everything from furniture for her rooms to clothes for the both of them. Harry was certain he hadn't felt this drained after defeating Voldemort. The plus side was that he now had a completely new wardrobe to wear. Truth be told, he was more than a little amazed that Daphne didn't seem to be tired in the least, quite the opposite actually.

The young man wouldn't have guessed that there was such a variety of clothes in the world. It was a fact that Daphne had seemed to be equally surprised about as well. The Wizarding world was not apparently well known for bright colors or fanciable styles, unless one were to count the former Headmaster's robes. Their longest stay in one place had been in a women's undergarments store of all things. Actually, Harry had remained outside looking in every direction other than through the glass windows at the scantily clad manikins wearing very provocative unmentionables. His one brief glance had led to some rather stark and uncomfortable thoughts of the witch with him dressed as such. Daphne had emerged two hours later to fetch him to pay for her items which were thankfully already bagged.

"Master Harry called Winky?" the small house elf enquired after appearing with a small pop. 'Master Harry' was the term of address the two of them had finally agreed upon. The diminutive creature would not hear of calling him anything that didn't contain the word 'Master' in it. Daphne couldn't help but stare at the elf who was wearing a dress with the Potter and Black coat of arms stitched over the left breast. The young witch found it unusual to see a house elf properly attired.

"Yes, Winky," answered Harry as he started to pull shrunken items from his pockets and handed them over to the elf. "Ms. Greengrass will be staying with us for a while. Please show her to one of the suites on the second floor and assist her with the furnishings and decorations she's selected. If she needs anything please see that she has it. We want to make certain she is as comfortable as possible."

"Winky will help Master Harry's pretty lady," the elf replied, accepting the small items from Harry. "There was a letter which arrived for Master Harry while he was out. Winky placed it upon your desk."

"Thank you, Winky," Harry offered with a smile at the elf. "Daphne, she'll help get you settled." The young wizard watched as the two ladies walked off, one following the other. That task taken care of, Harry apparated up to his own suite on the top floor and walked over to the large desk there. Lifting the letter which was waiting for him he eyed the handwriting for a long moment, not recognizing it. He knew that Winky would have already tested it for anything harmful before leaving it for him. With a dismissive shrug he opened the letter and read it.

Mr. Potter,

Though we have not met yet I felt it was important to contact you concerning my grandson, Teddy Lupin. Dora and Remus both spoke very highly of you and Ms. Granger. They both cited you as godparents in their final wills. In part that is why I am contacting you now. I would like to meet with you to discuss Teddy's future and the role that you will play in it. While we are no longer a part of the Black family it seems we will yet be a part of your life.

Sincerely,
Andromeda Tonks

"Must be Dora's mum," Harry muttered aloud. He already knew that Remus had selected him as Teddy's godfather as the former professor had previously told him. The fact that Hermione had been chosen by Tonks as Teddy's godmother was news to Harry. "I wonder if Hermione knows." The young wizard smiled at the thought of how happy the news would make his best friend. Vaguely he recalled seeing Andromeda's name burnt from the Black family tapestry. Sirius had stated that it was due to the witch marring a muggle-born wizard.

Harry sat down and quickly penned a reply to the missive before sending it off with one of the Black family owls that seemed to always hang around. The note was simple, inviting the older woman over for tea the following morning. As he was sending the note off a brown owl arrived and delivered a letter to him. One glance at the handwriting and he knew it was from Hermione.

Dear Harry,

Thank you for the birthday gift! I'll be sure to put it to great use as the first years can be rather messy. Always spilling this or that. Were we really every like that? All those cleaning spells will be put to good use, I am certain. Thankfully you included that blank bit of parchment as well as just yesterday one of the firsties managed to spill ink all over my roll of parchment. You're a lifesaver!

Harry couldn't believe what he was reading. Did she not know it was the map? Certainly she is bright enough to recognize it. The young wizard worried that the witch had in fact used the enchanted map to write one of her lengthy essays or perhaps one of her infamous lists. She must be having a go at me, he determined. She wouldn't have done that. Right? Still not certain, he continued to read the letter from his best friend.

Being here without you feels more than a little strange, Harry. I find myself turning to share some thought with you or show something to you only to see someone else sitting in the chair beside me. I know this might sound a bit silly but I miss having my best friend here with me. Hogwarts just isn't the same without you here. I must sound just like one of those sappy girls! Do I? Sorry to unload that on you, especially given how you feel, but I wanted you to know how I felt just as you did when you wrote me. I'm glad we needn't worry about secrets between us.

Harry shook his head in answer to her last question and comment. He knew the comment about secrets was concerning his project at which he had only hinted at in his letter to her. She misses me, he told himself, not really able to believe it. A small part of him noticed that she hadn't mentioned missing Ron. This revelation made him feel both happy as well as confused inside. It was a feeling he was beginning to equate with girls that he had more than a pacing fancy in.

It was a short list consisting of Cho Chang, an exotic beauty if ever there was one. Luna Lovegood who had shown him there was more to the world than what you could just see with your eyes and touch with your hands. Also on that list was the Slytherin witch currently two floors below him. He, like every boy at Hogwarts, had admired the oldest of the Greengrass sisters whenever she had sauntered past, not that the youngest of the pair wasn't a fit bird as well. There were other pretty girls at Hogwarts such as the Patil twins, Susan Bones, Hanna Abbot and Sue Li but Harry hadn't really known them. Mentally he had at some point added Hermione Granger to his short list of those that caused that strange and yet exhilarating sensation in him, he just wasn't certain exactly when that had happened. It was almost as if she had always been on that list and he just hadn't known it.

Being Head Girl has kept me busier than I thought it would. Besides overseeing the Prefects we also have regular meetings with the Headmistress and several staff members. As much as I miss you, Harry, I think you may have made the correct decision in not returning. Just being one of the Golden Trio has seen no end to the number of people who feel it is perfectly fine to sit down and start asking me questions about all that happened. I can only imagine what it would be like if you were here. The disruption would be tenfold, I am certain.

Harry couldn't help the small smirk that appeared on his face. The young wizard had very little doubt of the pandemonium that would have erupted if he had returned to Hogwarts. Besides, it is about time Hermione got the acknowledgement that she deserves, he thought to himself. I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for all her hard work yet I was the one always getting all the attention. She certainly did more to beat Voldemort than I did, he surmised silently.

Before I forget, I wanted to say thank you for the access to your vault. I was immensely touched by your kind gesture and generosity. I guess I should have expected such from you, Harry. Truthfully, I was worried about how I was going to buy the additional books that I wanted to get. Just a few, mind you. No more than a dozen or two for certain. Before you even think it, this is just a loan, Harry. I fully intend to pay you back every knut! Still, it was terribly sweet of you to be thinking of me. You really are one of a kind Harry Potter!

Love Always,
Hermione.

Harry's mouth went dry and his heart seemed to do a little jig in his chest before his rational brain kicked in. Of course she loves me like a brother. Why would it be otherwise? It is Ron she's fancied all this time. Glancing down he noted the post script with a grin.

P.S. Yes, of course I knew the parchment was the map. Thank you for trusting me with it, Harry. It really means a lot to me. Only ninety-six days till the holiday break! Not that I'm counting or anything!

Setting the letter aside the young wizard smiled sadly, a small pain of regret blossoming in his chest for not being there with her. "Ninety-six days and counting," Harry said aloud. "It will be here before I know it," he added in a bright tone of voice trying to convince himself of the fact. In an attempt to distract himself, the young wizard selected a clean bit of parchment and put quill to it.

Dear Sir,

I recently chanced upon your daughter, Daphne, upon the streets of muggle London. I have offered her the hospitality of my home, to which she has accepted. I will see that she is well cared for while she is in my care. I will protect her with all that I have should the need arise. In speaking with the delightful woman it was brought to my attention that she did not possess her wand currently, having left it at your residence. I would like to request that you send it to her at your earliest convenience as it is not proper for a witch to be unable to defend herself should the need arise.

Sincerely,
Harry James Potter

Harry folded the missive, sealing it with the Black family crest, feeling it might carry more weight than the Potter one, being an Ancient and Noble house. Another of the Black family owls appeared, as if sensing his need. The young wizard attached the letter to the bird's leg, all the while missing his snowy familiar, Hedwig. "Please deliver this to the Greengrass residence," he instructed the owl before sending it off.

Harry left his quarters and headed downstairs where he ran into Daphne also heading down to the main floor. The young blonde witch gave him a cool, slightly curious, look. "All settled?" Harry enquired politely, not sure what to make of the witch's expression.

"Yes," Daphne answered after a pause and another glance towards the young wizard beside her.

"What?" Harry finally asked after enduring that same look several times as they descended the stairs in silence.

"I had the most enlightening talk with your house elf, Potter," Daphne confided. "It seems that she was very delighted that her Master Harry took her advice and acquired a new home. One that she deemed was far more suitable to have lots of babies in."

The young man's cheeks grew warm as the blood rushed into them. "Yes, well, Winky believes that the only proper house is one overflowing with babies for her to tend to," Harry stammered out without looking towards the witch next to him. "She did mention that my former residence was poorly suited for such an endeavor."

"If you think for one moment that you allowing me to live here will make me feel beholden to you, Potter," the irate witch suddenly decried as she rounded on him with a steely gaze, "you had better think again! I may appreciate your generous offer of living accommodations, even your extravagant shopping trip, however that is nowhere near enough to give you a child! If you're so foolish as to try anything, I'll hex you so horribly that even Granger won't be able to fix you!"

Harry's jaw dropped at the unexpected outburst which completely blindsided him. "What? No!" he loudly declared once he got his voice working again after the initial shock. Silently he was rather thankful that Daphne didn't currently have her wand as he was fairly certain she would have commenced early with the aforementioned hexing. "Winky is the one with the baby obsession, not me," he told her earnestly.

Daphne eyed him threateningly as she weighed his words, judging the truth of them. "So you don't want any babies?" she pressed. It wouldn't be the first time a wizard had expected favors from a witch in return for hearth and safety. Zabini was regrettably not the first to attempt to have his way with her. Malfoy had that unpleasant distinction. She knew she had been fortunate to escape with only a pawing at the time. Being here within Harry's house and without her wand she doubted she would fare so well should he try the same thing. That thought alone, the sheer helplessness of it, scared her more than anything.

"No. Not now or ever," Harry confirmed, aghast at the thought. "Not with you," he added only to see the young woman's eyes darken and narrow to angry slits.

"Why not with me?" Daphne snapped. "Aren't I good enough for you, Potter?" she fumed upon being slighted in such a manner. I'm the daughter of a Pureblood family that is nearly as old as the Blacks after all. How dare he think I would be unfit to mother his children! It injured her pride as well as her ego to think that anyone would not find her suitable as a life partner. The fact that she had just a moment before been ready to hex him for the very same thing didn't seem to figure into her thoughts now.

"Yes. No. I…I mean I hardly know you, Greengrass," Harry stammered, trying desperately to backpedaled in the face of the angry witch's temper. "We've barely spoken to one another in all the time we attended Hogwarts. I know next to nothing about you. I would never force something like that on you, or anyone for that matter!"

Daphne eyed Harry critically, not certain which hurt more, the thought that he had brought her there to have his way with her or the realization that he hadn't and as unbelievable as it seemed, didn't want to. Harry was rather fanciable she thought as well as one of the most sought after bachelors in Britain after all. "So no little Potters or Blacks running around?" she enquired, backing off a bit and assuming a less threatening stance.

"No," Harry was quick to reply. "Someday maybe, but certainly not right now." Seeing the witch arch a brow in question he continued to explain. "I mean that someday I want a large family. I'm an only child as my parents died before they could give me any siblings. I don't want my kids to grow up all alone like that should something happen to me or their mother, or heaven forbid to the both of us. I don't have any other family so it will just be me, whomever I marry and our kids. Someday I would like to have what I never did growing up, a large happy family."

"How very Weasley of you, Potter," the witch said. Turning and continuing down the stairs Daphne thought over his words before she continued. "I guess I can understand that. Astoria, while she can be a right pain at times, is still my dear little sister. I can't imagine what life would be like without her in it. While there are times I would love to kill her, the little pixie, I would most certainly kill anyone trying to harm her. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be an only child, especially without knowing your parents," the last was said in a sympathetic tone.

"I doubt my childhood was anything close to normal," Harry offered with a dismissive shrug as he followed her down and into the dining room where dinner would be waiting for them. Thoughts of the Dursleys, as well as the cupboard under the stairs he lived in, slipping through his head. "It would have been nice though to have someone my own age, who actually liked me, to grow up with." Harry suddenly recalled what she had said. "What did you mean Potters and Blacks?"

Daphne paused near her chair, shooting him a glare till with a start he realized what she was waiting for and pulled out the seat for her. His actions, though delayed, earned him a small smile of gratitude none the less. Once seated and the chair pushed in with Harry's help she replied. "Word has it that you were left you the Black name," she stated with a look towards him for confirmation.

"Where did you hear that?" Harry asked, more curious than concerned. The war was over and Voldemort had been defeated. There wasn't anything further to worry about but for the stray Death Eaters still out there. There were Aurors to deal with them, thankfully. Harry was still a bit cautious though. Old habits die hard.

"Father," Daphne replied as if it should have been an obvious answer. "He likes to keep his fingers on the pulse of just about everything," she told him. "That is how the Greengrasses have survived the wars without choosing a side. It is more profitable to be neutral, as well as a great deal safer."

Harry seated himself, the food magically appearing, and started to serve himself before he answered. "My godfather, Sirius Black, designated me as his heir apparently. I was unaware of this fact till after his passing."

"Sirius Black? The mass murderer?" Daphne asked in disbelief. She, like everyone, had heard the tale of the Dark Lord's right hand who had betrayed the Potters and ultimately opened the door for the Dark Lord to kill them. Daphne found it more than a little strange that the same man would have left everything to Harry, the son of the very people he essentially helped murder.

"He was innocent!" Harry stated in a clipped tone. "He was set up for the murder of those muggles." The very thought of Sirius once more called to mind those final moments in the Vale room when Bellatrix Lestrange had cursed Sirius and sent him through the Vale. The by now all too familiar flicker of guilt sprung up in the young man's chest as it always seemed to do when thinking of his godfather.

"But your parents," Daphne pressed, realizing that it would be a tender subject for Harry, yet wishing to know all the same. She could tell from Harry's tone that he had some rather strong feelings where the man was concerned. "Didn't Black betray them? His actions lead to Voldemort being able to find them."

"Sirius was their friend," Harry told her, denying the claim that he had betrayed them. "He wasn't their secret keeper, Peter Pettigrew was. He's the rat that betrayed them all." While it wasn't common knowledge as yet Harry saw no reason not to tell her now that the war was over. Everyone involved in the matter was already dead. He found it interesting that Daphne actually spoke the name Voldemort, unlike many others who continued to cringe at the sound of it. "Sirius had mum and dad use Pettigrew as their secret keeper as he felt everyone would expect that he was it instead."

"That does make a bit more sense," Daphne replied, calmly accepting his words as fact. "Father said before that your father and Sirius Black were as thick as thieves while at Hogwarts. He never bought into the whole betrayal thing." The beautiful witch continued to serve herself small portions of everything offered, only starting to eat once Harry had.

"You believe me?" Harry asked once he had swallowed the mouth full of food he had been chewing.

"What reason would you have to lie to me, Potter?" Daphne asked. "One thing going to school with you these past six years has shown me is that you are incapable of lying, even when it is in your best interest to do so. Fifth year if you had just kept your mouth shut about Voldemort's return I'm certain you would have had a much easier year."

"But he had returned!" Harry protested. "I couldn't just not say anything! People needed to know!"

"My point exactly!" Daphne exclaimed with a victorious grin. "Honest to a fault. You wouldn't have made a good Slytherin that is for certain, Potter."

"The sorting hat wanted to place me in Slytherin," Harry told her with a smirk. Seeing the witch's look of disbelief he continued. "If it hadn't been for meeting Malfoy just prior to the sorting I may have let it sort me there too."

"A pity," Daphne responded to his admission. "We could have been friends if you had been sorted into the house of silver and green."

"We should have been able to be friends regardless of which house we were sorted into, Greengrass," Harry told her. "I can't help but wonder just how many other friendships were missed out on due to house prejudices."

Daphne gave a slow nod of agreement. "I wish things had been different, Potter."

"What house are you in, Greengrass?" Harry asked in a thoughtful tone, leaning forward in his chair and starring at her rather intently.

"Slytherin," Daphne replied hesitantly. "As I am certain you know, Potter."

"Wrong!" Harry corrected her with a grin. "You're sitting here with me now having dinner and the school year has already started at Hogwarts. That means that right now you're in the same House I am. None. Or mine if you choose to look at it that way," he added with a small chuckle. The witch looked thoughtful for a moment till she realized he was correct. "That means that we could be friends, Greengrass."

The former Slytherin gave him a long measuring look before she replied with, "Daphne."

"Come again?" Harry asked, uncertain just what she meant.

"If we're going to be friends then call me Daphne, Potter," she explained.

"Then you'll need to call me Harry, Greengrass," said Harry, only to realize how that sounded.

"You'd have to marry me before I could call you Harry Greengrass," Daphne replied with a chuckle at the double meaning to his previous words as well as the slight blush his cheeks took on at her retort.

"Likewise, if you wanted to be Daphne Potter," Harry deadpanned back in way of a reply. Both of them looked at each other before breaking out into soft laughter. "Thank you, Daphne. I think I needed that," Harry finally said. It had been some time since he had last laughed in such an enjoyable manner.

"You're welcome, Harry," Daphne replied with a warm smile before they returned to eating.

"You still haven't told me what you meant by Potters and Blacks," Harry reminded her, returning to his original request for clarification.

"Simply put, you're now the head of two houses," Daphne informed him of. "You'll either need to produce an heir for both houses or you'll need to fold one house into the other. If you were to go that route then I would suggest rolling the Potter line into the Black family," she advised.

"I can do that?" asked Harry in disbelief.

"They're your houses, Harry. You can pretty much do what you want with them. If you don't like someone you can eject them from the House, essentially taking their last name from them. It's not done often these days," she told him. "The ability to do so though is mostly used by the Purebloods so they'll be able to remove squibs from their families rather than having their existence tarnish their precious family names."

"Seems a bit unfair," Harry stated still mulling over her words. Ejecting a person from the family just because they were born a squib was a bit harsh in Harry's mind. Squibs were people to after all and could still be just as useful as anyone else as far as he knew.

"That is the Wizarding world. Those with the power make the rules and it is usually rules that will allow them to keep the power they hold," Daphne replied.

Once the main course was finished and cleared away Harry leaned back in his seat as dessert appeared. "If you don't mind me asking, why aren't you back at Hogwarts? Not that I don't enjoy your company," he hastily added before she could take offense. He had never really paid much attention to the others in school but he didn't think the witch seated next to him was anything other than intelligent. It would have made more sense to him for her to finish out her NEWTs.

"Why aren't you?" Daphne asked, deflecting his question back at him. "Given everything that happened I would have thought they would have made you Head Boy even."

"Headmistress McGonagall did offer to make me Head Boy," Harry admitted, a bit embarrassed by her guessing the fact. "After everything that happened there I just couldn't bring myself to go back. Also it wouldn't be fair to the other students. It would have been a madhouse," he assured her.

"I'm certain all the sixth and seventh year witches will be heartbroken not having the Golden Boy there to gaze at dreamily," said Daphne with a playful smirk. "And here I am with you all to myself," she teased.

"I'm certain they'll do just fine without me there," Harry said as he felt himself blush. The thought of all those witches staring at him as if he was some prize stallion almost made him nauseous. They never saw him, just his name and his fame, two of things he would most like to do without. "All that Golden Boy stuff is rubbish, regardless of what they might think. I'm just Harry. They'll do well enough without me there."

"Even Granger?" Daphne continued to tease.

"Hermione?" Harry asked, a truly confused look appearing on his face. "She is the Head Girl this year. I'm sure she's rather busy. If I was there I'd just be causing more work for her." He had no doubts that were he actually there at school that his best friend would be making schedules for them to revise their classes. That, as well as the study sessions, would just place more of a burden on Hermione than she already had. Once again he was certain he had made the correct choice in not returning to Hogwarts, though he truly did miss spending time with his best friend.

"Potter and Granger as Head Boy and Girl, now there is a surprise," Daphne quipped in faux disbelief. "I bet Granger is missing not having you there. Head Boy and Girl get a private suite of rooms after all you know?"

"I…I didn't know that," Harry admitted, nearly choking on his pudding. I wonder who Head Boy is? "No, it's easier on everyone, the students as well as the professors and especially Hermione, if I'm not there," he finally decided and told her. Harry did miss his best friend as well as the other students from his former house. He realized that it felt a bit weird not being at Hogwarts. The school had been his home for six long years. It was by far and away more a home than the Dursleys had ever been.

Daphne decided to let the matter drop. "It was father's decision," she finally said in answer to his original question. "He felt that it wouldn't be needed. I had to fight very hard to even attend our sixth year as he originally wanted me to stop once I had my OWLs."

"Why would he want that?" Harry enquired with a puzzled expression.

"Truthfully I had no need of them once I had met the Ministry's requirement for OWLs." Seeing his still confused look she went on to explain. "By law all magicals are required to attend school till they have satisfactory sat their OWL exams. Those who are going to pursue a career in the Wizarding world are encouraged to continue on to achieve their NEWT level qualifications. Without NEWTs, there are very few career opportunities open to you."

"So why wouldn't he want you to have your NEWTs?" Harry asked still confused by her not going.

"I'm his oldest daughter," she explained evenly as if it was no great matter. "Father will sell me off in a marriage contract to further the Greengrasses standing among the Houses. It is Pureblood tradition to do so as he hasn't a male heir to carry on the family name so there is not much else he can do with me and my sister. He has to hope that whomever we marry will allow one of our sons to carry on the family name."

"And you're alright with this?" Harry asked completely aghast at the news. "He's treating you little better than cattle!"

"Actually cattle are valued more by some families," Daphne responded matter-of-factly. "Harry, you must understand that women of the Pureblood families are little more than bargaining chips to be bartered and sold to further their families reputation and aims. No, I'm not happy about it," she answered his question with, "but at least I will be given to a house of equal or greater standing than our own. Some, no make that many, are not so fortunate."

"That's barbaric!" Harry exclaimed, leaning back in his chair, his appetite lost. "How can you sit there and talk so calmly about it?"

"Look, Potter, you were raised by muggles and so you don't understand all our ways or traditions," Daphne told him. "The truth of the matter is, till I reach my majority there is nothing I can do. As I am underage my parents have the right to decide everything for me. Where, when and even if I go to school, even whom I am to marry if they so decide. Part of the reason I left home was due to father wanting to force me into a marriage contract with someone other than the one I love."

Harry couldn't really argue with the witch as he did not know the laws of the Wizarding world. That didn't stop it all from sounding like something just this side of slavery. It disgusted him to think that such practices were still in existence. Harry wasn't certain which he adhered more, the fact that the practice still existed and was in use or the fact that Daphne seemed rather blasé about it.

"I wouldn't be surprised if several families approached you with contracts, Harry," Daphne went on to tell him. "You are the head of two very prominent families now, not to mention the savior of our world. Given that, there isn't a better potential husband in all the wizarding world. The other Pureblood families will no doubt be trying to get to you both for your status as the one who defeated the Dark Lord as well as your ties to the Black line."

"There is no way I would accept a marriage contract!" Harry told her firmly. "When I marry I want it to be because the woman loves me for me and I love her. Not because of what it can do for someone's family!"

Daphne eyed him for a long moment, able to tell from the tone of his voice that he was dead serious about never accepting a marriage contract from anyone. Sadly she knew that not everyone could marry for love. If they could then she would be able to marry the person she held in her heart. "You should probably hire a good solicitor then. Some of those contracts can be rather tricky in how they are worded I've heard. There is more than one way to get tied into a marriage than simply signing a contract."

Great! Just what I need! Everyone with a daughter of marriageable age trying to get me to sign a ruddy contract or trick me into a marriage I neither want nor wish to force upon another! "I'll add that to my list of thing to do. Thanks," offered Harry, his gratitude for the advice evident in his voice. "So…there's someone you love?" he finally asked to change the subject a bit.

The young witch blushed slightly and looked down at the cleared table before her. "Yes," she answered softly with a warm smile. "There is someone who has held my heart for a long time now."

"Anyone I know?" Harry asked playfully.

"Perhaps," the young witch replied coyly.

Harry began to squirm; suddenly worried that it might be him that she was referring to. The last thing I need is some wannabe girlfriend living here with me, he thought. "R...really?" he dared to ask after swallowing heavily.

Daphne glanced up upon hearing the strange note in his voice. "Relax, Harry, it isn't you," she assured him, having reasoned out rather quickly his sudden unease. It wasn't that she didn't find Harry attractive, as he was, in that rather disheveled sort of way. She had just never really considered the two of them together before. Harry Potter was a mystery to most of the girls attending Hogwarts. Weasley and Lovegood are the only ones who ever made it past Granger, Daphne mused a bit disgruntled by the fact. She didn't count Cho Chang as the bushy-haired Gryffindor had put a quick stop to that or at least according to the rumor mill at the time.

Harry gave Daphne a weak smile and relaxed a bit. It surprised him to find that he was a little disappointed that it wasn't him. All the boys had longed after the blonde witch since fourth year. The fact that Daphne didn't seem to give any male the time of day while attending school led them all to speculate that there was already someone else in her life. Harry now thought it might be due to Daphne expecting to be sold off more than anything else, though the fact that she already loved another did not preclude the possibility that the other boys were right. The remainder of the evening passed in idle conversation about nothing of importance.

-oOo-

Gerald Greengrass was a stern man. Anyone who knew him would readily admit to him being a shrewd businessman. A wizard who often saw the opportunities for advancement before his colleagues realized they were even there. The head of the Greengrass house was currently seated at his desk reading over a letter received from the Wizarding world's savior, Harry Potter.

The man read the letter for a third time before getting up from his seat and walking over to the large bookcase that filled the entire wall of his study. It took the man several minutes to locate the thick ancient tome he was looking for. With the old book in hand he returned to his desk and seated himself once more. After locking the study door Gerald opened the book and began to read for the next several hours.

"That should do nicely," the elder wizard said aloud to himself before reaching up to massage the bridge of his nose. Opening a desk drawer he withdrew a piece of parchment and a quill and composed his reply to The-Boy-Who-Lived.


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