Unofficial Portkey Archive

a shadow by ayumi-nb

a shadow


So, this idea was kinda running around my head for days until I finally sat down and wrote it.

And, as with every oneshot I try to make short and to the point, this one too got out of my hands.

It ended up being soooooo looooooong.

Please! Don't worry about the whole canon&epilogue compliant thing. You know me!


"a shadow"

(post-dh, canon & epilogue compliant-sort of // All was well. They were all One Big Happy Weasley Family. So, it is a shame when it all falls apart.)


It is because of Minerva McGonagall that certain events were put into motion.

A simple routine act that leads to a surprising discovery. This in turn leads to distressful-terrible truths.

The reading of a list.

Ah, but this is not just any list. No. It is a magical list, in which one can see every single name of every single magical child born in Britain and born to those who previously attended the prestigious School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

So it is this list, that Minerva McGonagall, current Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, reads one fine afternoon, the summer of 2017.


1507, March 27th, 1999 - The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, England.

Harry watches the proceedings of the Ceremony quietly, feeling as his heart is being ripped off his chest. Not literally, but close enough.

This can't be happening…

As his best friends go on to exchange their Wedding Vows, Harry realizes that everyone is focused on them, that no one, not even Ginny is looking his way. Subtly, he casts a Notice-Me-Not charm on himself, then quickly creates an illusion of him standing next to his best mate with a smile on his face.

A smile he can't possibly force now.

I can't…

Quickly, he wraps his Invisibility Cloak around himself and walks away, as fast as he can while the ceremony goes on. Harry hopes his illusion last until after the Ceremony so no one would ask questions.

But mainly, he hopes for this to be a horrible nightmare.

Oh, he's so angry! At himself, at Hermione, at fucking Ron! The fucking bastard that always complained about his poor luck and how he never got anything! When in reality he had it all. A family, a normal life, and now…

Harry growls angrily and starts sprinting towards the Weasley's Quidditch pitch. Desperate to get away, from the pain and the memories of what transpired before the Ceremony, between him and Hermione.

When she asked to talk to him and thanked him for agreeing to walk her down the aisle. When she grabbed him and kissed him softly and then pulled away and apologized. When, feeling the restrains in his heart break and everything he felt for this woman finally surface, he pulled her back for another kiss, a desperate kiss. One she reciprocated, with as much desperation. When he thought, for one glorious moment, he still had a chance (and maybe she doesn't want Ron, maybe she wants him, maybe, maybe, maybe-).

But then the kiss ended and Hermione shivered once, then took a step back and gave him this horrid bland smile as she told him to get ready because her Wedding was about to start.

Finally, he reaches the pitch. His run slows to a walk, and then to nothing. He stands motionless for several seconds, trying to swallow his pain and the tears that threaten to fall. Then, there's a mild blast, originating where the Ceremony is being held, is not strong enough to make anyone stumble, less of all him. But it is noticeable. And by the cheers that follow, Harry knows the Bond is completed.

Before he can let the despair consume him, Harry hears a soft gasp before he's literally tackled to the ground. Turning around, he's all set to scream at the one who dared, but then he sees a face he'd recognize anywhere and he freezes.



1046, June 19th, 2017 - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland.

"Are you certain, Minerva? There cannot be any mistakes in this."

Minerva McGonagall looks at the man standing in front of her desk, looking at the List, and sighs. "Completely. There is no mistake. I sent Dippy to deliver their letters, my personal Elf. You know nothing stops an Elf from carrying on their masters' orders. She found them, both of them. She knows not their precise location, but the country where they live now." Pinching the bridge of her nose, the Headmistress shakes her head to shoo away the oncoming headache. "There is no mistake."

"And the Weasleys… Do they…?"

"No. Of course not. Otherwise they would have said something years ago. But I can't understand. Kingsley, you too were at their Weddings. Both of them! How is this possible?"

The dark-skinned man sighs and places the List of the desk, tiredly falling on the chair behind him. "I don't know. Can't be Polyjuice, I've been with the lad on missions. Long missions. Can't say for the lass, but it's unlikely as she's with Molly all the time now."

"We have to do something… Find out why this happened-"

"Of course. I'll summon the Weasleys. All of them. Tell them to gather here, at Hogwarts."

Minerva nods solemnly. Dreading their reaction, and what they would find out once this little secret comes out. "Before term begins, then."

Kingsley nods his head, but doesn't stands up. Both look worried, and unsettled. The uncommon silence of the portrait of Albus Dumbledore does nothing to soothe their fears either. And the Daily Prophet of that very morning, proudly proclaiming the Award of an Order of Merlin First Class to their Hero makes it all the worse.


1207, August 27th, 2017 - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland.

One by one, the Weasleys enter the Headmistress' Office, smiling and mildly surprised by the summons but unconcerned.

Minerva takes in each of the spouses until she finds Harry and Hermione. They both look as happy as the rest, surprised but happy. However, Minerva has-had known these two for years, and because she is actually looking for it, she sees it.

The dullness of their eyes, their neutral smiles.

Neither, she recalls, had ever been able to control their emotions well, and while Hermione was always better at keeping it in check, their eyes always spoke for them.

Now, they did not.

Minerva closed her eyes, tightly, clenching her fists.

There really is no mistake.

Arthur approaches her, smiling as he shakes her hand. "Minerva, it's good to see you. And while this is a pleasant surprise, I think we are all a bit curious about this request to come."

Behind him, Molly shakes her head, frowning as she complains of having to leave the children in the care of little Gabrielle. Never mind that Fleur's little sister is no longer little.

Minerva sighs a little sadly. "In a minute, Arthur, we're waiting for someone else."

As if on cue, the fireplace flares up and out steps the Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt. Following closely, a dark-robed man steps out of the green flames, and then an imposing looking Goblin.

The silence that follows is sudden and short lived. Bill gasps the name of Ragnok and then starts explaining to his less knowledgeable siblings about him. He stops when Kingsley raises his hands, asking for silence.

"Good afternoon, Weasleys," he says this in good humour, as they were so many of them, and receives lights chuckles from all those present. "Now, to move along, quick introductions; this is Ripper, the current Head of the Department of Mysteries. And, as Mr Bill Weasley pointed out, with us is Ragnok, long-time manager of the British brand of Gringotts."

"That's all nice and good, Kingsley dear, but can we move along faster with this? I loathe to leave the children alone for more than necessary. They can be a bit much when they're all together, you see," says Molly, sounding a little miffed in her attempt to be polite.

Fleur rolls her eyes almost unperceptively. "I'm sure Gabrielle can handle it, Molly."

"Yeah, mum, give it a rest. This ought to be important if Ragnok agreed to come all the way up to Hogwarts," Bill says.

The imposing goblin gives them a shark-like smile at that statement. "Oh, I assure you, Cursebreaker Weasley, this matter is most important."

Minerva looks at Kingsley and gives him a nod. The dark-skinned man takes a deep breath before speaking.

"Last month, Minerva called me here to discuss a concern she had. Still has, in fact. After she explained, I admit I didn't believe it, but she presented quite the compelling proof for it. As it stands, and because in this matter there could be no mistakes, I consulted with Ripper, who in turn advised me to consult with the Goblins as they know more about this kind of magic than anyone else."

As Kingsley falls silent, Ripper picks up the tale, as he doesn't believe in stalling, even if it is to spare someone the trouble. "Master Ragnok and I gathered in Gringotts, and checked the required documentation. He, of course, due to the Bank's policy could not share anything, but we managed to contact the involved parties and were granted the permission to look into this further," Ripper pauses, looking for all intent and purposes gleeful. "It is, I admit, most intriguing-most curious as well, indeed. How it came to happen, we have yet to find out, but there is no doubt. Not anymore."

Minerva sags into her chair dejectedly. She had hoped… but, no, here is the final proof.

"Can you just say it? What's going on?" George asks, looking slightly annoyed.

It is, however, Ragnok who answers the question. "The Harry and Hermione currently in this room, are not the real ones."


1522, March 27th, 1999 - The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, England.

Harry remains frozen on the spot for several, eternal seconds. Until the person on top of him finally opens her eyes, and he's greeted to the most prefect pair of chocolate-coloured eyes he's ever seen. Especially when they lit up like they are now, accompanied by the smile spreading quickly across the lovely face.

And that voice.

"Oh, Harry! I thought I'd never be free again!"

And then Hermione hugs him.

Hermione, who's currently lying on top of him, completely naked, and hugging him as if she hasn't done it in years, her tears dampening his robes. Almost in a daze, he manages to sit up, and pull off his outer black robes, picked for him by Ginny for the Wedding of his best friends, and wraps it around her shaking shoulders.

Then he stops, and reels back, grabbing her shoulders and pushing Hermione away until they are at arms' length. Blinking unbelieving eyes, because goddammit, just a few minutes ago she was reciting her Wedding Vows. And now she's here? Naked and-naked?

Harry yelps and tears his hands off her shoulder as if burned. "He-Hermione?! But-but… how? I mean-you were-you just-"

She chuckles lightly as she rearranges the robes until these cover her completely, then she reaches out to him, caressing his cheek. "I… honestly don't know how to explain it, Harry… There's a lot I need to tell you, but I just don't know how…"

As the sounds of joy and celebration break through his confusion, Harry finally realizes that this must not really be Hermione-because Hermione is currently on the arms of her husband, at the Reception of her Wedding, sharing kisses and drinks with Ron and-

His face must have shown something, because the woman in front of him, who looks like his best friend, smiles sadly and lets her hand drop to his, grabbing it tightly. "I really am your Hermione."

He shakes his head slowly, utterly confused. "You… you can't. I just saw you get married. I mean, I saw you as you said your Vows. I-I damn walked you down the aisle! You can't be my Hermione, you-"

"But I am. She-the one who married Ron, that's not your Hermione. I am."


Hermione-or who looks like Hermione (and why the hell isn't he freaking out, and stunning this impostor, and demanding the truth?)-smiles again. This smile he recalls used to be for him only. This little secretive smile he hasn't seen since the summer before their Sixth Year. "I don't know how, but I can prove it to you."

That being said, she proceeds to unwrap his robes from her body, forcing his mind to remember that she's currently naked.

"Wha-wait! What are you doing?!"

"Giving you proof, Harry," she says, and tugs the robes until the cloth gathers around her chest.

And Harry sees it, the proof.

He remembers, one of the few occasions when he managed to talk to Hermione in peace that summer before Sixth Year, when he caught her rubbing her chest, and he asked if she was okay. He remembers her giving him this little pained smile, telling him she was fine, and then admitting she was still healing from Dolohov's curse. She told him how Madame Pomfrey had regrettably said it was going to leave a scar, being such a dark curse.

And then his mind travels to that instance where he caught a glimpse of Hermione's chest, after they escaped Gringotts riding a dragon. He remembers feeling embarrassed at ogling her, but Bellatrix's robes had been so low cut they left very little to the imagination.

But there had been no scar. None. Nothing.

But this Hermione does have one. A scar that goes from her left collarbone and down across her chest, travelling between the valley of her breast until it disappears from sight under the robes. Tentatively, he raises one of his hands, and lightly presses against the pink, marred skin, following its path until he can no more without moving the robes out of the way.

He looks up into her eyes, feeling inexplicable hope swell in his chest. "Hermione…?"

She nods.

"But… how is this…?"

Hermione laughs a little, her eyes shining with repressed tears. "I don't know. But I have a theory, of course."

"Of course," he says, smiling at last. He then pulls her into his arms, hugging her tightly. Harry doesn't understand what the hell is happening but he knows, without a shadow of doubt, that this woman is, indeed, his best friend Hermione. "So, what now?"

Hermione sighs against his shoulder, embracing him just as tight. "I need to check some books first, find some reference to what I think happened to me. But I don't know where to look, I doubt…"

"Maybe you can find something at Grimmauld Place?"

She pulls back from him, giving him a puzzled look. "Didn't you say just last month that you sold that house?"

Harry grins sheepishly at that. "Well, you must be aware of how… very pushy Ginny has become, right? Well, I said that, so that every time I felt like needing a break from everything, I would have a place to be in peace."

"Oh. Good idea."

After a while, Hermione pushes herself back and starts to stand up, giving Harry an unintentional glimpse of her unclothed thigh as she does. The young man looks to the side, trying to quell his urges. Not really denying them, but knowing there is always a time and place for everything. He, too, stands up, just in time too, as from afar they hear people calling his name.

He sighs tiredly and looks regretful at Hermione, who smiles in sympathy.

"Go," she says.

Harry nods, but doesn't move, gathering up his courage to ask what's been troubling him since this morning. "Hermione, about what happened-that kiss-"

She halts his words by covering his mouth, with her lips. It's a gentle kiss that leaves him speechless. When she pulls back, Hermione gives him the most brilliant smile that sets off a thousand of fluttering in his chest. "We'll talk about that, later."

"I'll come over as soon as I can," he says softly.

With one last smile, Hermione walks away, and he watches her attentively until she's outside the Burrow's wards and Dissaparates. Steeling his resolve, filled to the brim with hope now (though, he fails to pin point exactly why this discovery makes him so happy-no, really, he knows, but it's unwilling to admit it just yet), he turns around and strides back to the party. His mind is fully occupied with coming up with excuses for his disappearance, and further excuses to leave as soon as possible.


1226, August 27th, 2017 - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland.

Bedlam ensues and prolongs for several minutes as all the Weasleys talk at once, wanting to be heard, proclaiming protests and the like.

Ripper smiles amusedly, wondering when this family of redheads is going to realize the two accused, the ones that should be complaining, are standing next to their respective spouse without saying a word and showing blank smiles. Looking at them now, he also wonders how no one realized the difference. He'd met both individuals after the War, praised them both as well, and could clearly remember the spark of life in their eyes.

But now.

Kingsley raises his wand and produced a loud, gunshot-like sound, effectively silencing the increasing sounds of protest. "Please, let us remain calm so we can find some answers to this matter."

Molly steps closer to the Minister, looking anxious. "Kingsley, please, there must be a mistake?"

The dark-skinned man shakes his head, regretfully. "I'm sorry, Molly. So far, all the information we have points to one conclusion only. Those two are not the real Harry and Hermione."

"But who are they then? Can't be impostors under Polyjuice? We've been with them since we left the Burrow this morning. And-"

"I think we need to clarify something, before going any further, Minister," Ripper says, drawing attention to himself. He mentally chuckles as most of the Weasleys looks surprised at him, as if not expecting him to be there. "They are, according to our findings, Harry Potter and Hermione Weasley. But they are not, however, the same individuals you knew before the War."

"The War changed them? Isn't that normal?" Arthur says.

Ragnok clears his throat, looking pointedly at Ripper, who nods his head. "Perhaps a demonstration, Ripper? As we seem to be confusing everyone."

"You are, of course, correct, Master Ragnok." Looking directly at the woman standing next to Ronald Weasley, Ripper begins. "A simple question, if I may, Mrs Hermione Weasley?"

The woman in question tilts her head to the side and nods. "Of course, Mr Ripper."

"Would you please state your name, your husband's name and the name of your children? Also, your birthday and the name of your birth parents?"

Her complacent smile still in place, Hermione answered. "My name is Hermione Weasley. My husband's name is Ronald Bilius Weasley. My children's names are Rose Weasley and Hugo Weasley. My birthday is September 19th." So far so good, even if only Ripper notices the monotone way she answers each question in order. Her next words are shocking though. "I have no birth parents."

Before chaos can break loose, Ripper turned to the green-eyed man. "Mr Harry Potter, if you will. Same questions. Your name, your wife's and children's names. Birthday and the names of your birth parents."

Like Hermione, his voice is a flat monotone, even when his face shows an amicable smile. "My name is Harry James Potter. My wife's name is Ginevra Molly Potter. My children's names are James Sirius Potter, Albus Severus Potter and Lily Luna Potter. My birthday is July 31st… I have no birth parents."

The bedlam created after that is impossible to stop even after several minute. Eventually, the excessive noise winds down, until one voice rises above the rest.

"Harry, please," says Ginevra. "How can you say that? Your parents are James and Lily Potter!"

Harry turns to her, smiling lovingly as he lifts a hand to caress her face. "I'm sorry, love, but I do not lie. I have no birth parents."


Ripper nods solemnly before turning to face Ragnok. "I think one more question would suffice, Master Ragnok, before we move onto the explanation."

"Yes, indeed."

Ripper turns to face the two smiling member of the ever growing Weasley clan, the only two who still smile despite everything. It is turning to be rather unsettling, he thinks, before clearing his throat. "One more question, and we'll explain. Mrs Weasley, and you too Mr Potter. Can you explain what you mean by not having birth parents?"

They nod, and answer in unison. "We do not have birth parents, because we were not born to anyone."

"Which means?" Ripper insists, inwardly grateful that such an answer rendered the Weasley clan speechless.

"We were created."

"Can you tell us when, exactly, were you created?"

"I was created on August 31st, in 1996, at eleven forty-six pm," says Hermione.

"I was created on April 28th, in 1999, at five sixteen am," adds Harry.

Ripper nods in thanks, and turns to face the remaining Weasleys. "Now, because of this, Master Ragnok and I, as we've told Headmistress McGonagall and Minister Shacklebolt, believe that these two are-"



2257, March 27th, 1999 - #12 Grimmauld Place, London, England.

"A… doppelganger?"

Hermione nods her head quickly and then urges his eyes back to the tome resting between them. He blushes and does as requested, feeling embarrassed that he's been once again caught ogling her. But it's not like he can help it! Just-look at her, wearing only his shirt while prancing about the dimly lit Library of his house!



Hermione gives him a little smile before focusing in the book and going into lecturing-mode. "According to this, the term doppelganger originated in Germany, around the 1700's, and it literally means "double walking". But the concept of creating a double of someone, a copy of one self actually, originates in the ancient time. The Egyptian Civilization, in fact.

"According to some researchers, there are some texts that speak of immortal Pharaohs, whose names are unknown as of yet, but that they were believed to be the Gods themselves. Of course, back then, I assume it was easy to believe that, as these men were said to go into battle, die, yet appear again very much alive in their kingdoms. However, now the reasons are known. They somehow created copies of themselves. Perfect copies, to send off to battle, while they remained safe in their castles."

Harry nods, thoughtful, scanning the page until he sees something. "It says here that a sufficiently powerful wizard or witch can create these doppelgangers, but there is a price to pay."

"Yes," says Hermione. "It shortens your life drastically, so much so, that it's also said to be a waste of magic and resources. Also, it has its limitations. You cannot create a copy of yourself."

"So, whoever did this to you…"

"It's probably dead by now."

He hums softly, deep in thought, trying to make sense of this discovery but failing miserably. Hermione must notice this, as she giggles lightly at him. Harry gives her a mean look before breaking down laughing as well. After they calm down, in which Harry realizes they somehow ended up in each other's arms, he poses the question that's bugging him.

"But I don't understand. Why create this doppelganger of you? What was its purpose?"

Hermione squirms a little in his arms, looking uncomfortable all of a sudden.

"You know, don't you?"

She shakes her head. "Not for sure, I don't, but… I have a theory."

Harry can't really help the grin that spreads across his face, still he nods at her to keep going.

"Well, ever since Sixth Year started, I felt this unexplainable compulsion to do as Ron pleased. To fulfil his every want and need. But I mostly managed to curve it enough to do nothing of the sort, yet… I ended up being terribly mean to you."

"Huh. That… sort of explain your erratic behaviour these past years. It seemed like one moment you were very obsessed with Ron, and the next you were the same Hermione I've known and love-uh… Damn."

He blushes heavily as Hermione sits up straight and looks at him, eyes wide and cheeks tinged red.


"Can we ignore…?"

"No. Love? Did you… mean that?"

There is a foreign feeling shining in her eyes, one he's seen before but could never put a name on. One that makes him feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and makes him want to pull her in for a kiss. It's, he finally realizes, the same feeling he saw yesterday morning, when she kissed him before the Wedding.

"Would you… Hermione, would you think less of me if I told you I kinda realized that I've loved you for a while?"

Her breath hitches and she quickly moves her hands to grasp his neck. "When?"

"Yesterday morning. When you kissed me-it was you, right?"

Hermione smiles at him, brilliantly again, and nods, whispering a soft "yes, it was," before leaning in to kiss him at last.

His mind freezes for a second, but his body is quick to respond how it should. He wraps his arms around her waist as he kisses her back just as enthusiastically. Soon, he pushing her down against the cushions of the loveseat they share. Her legs part and it's all he can do to supress the moan the attempts to break free of his mouth. But Hermione seems intent on drawing them out, as her hands lose themselves under his shirt and she whispers in between kisses for him to touch her.

When his hands take possession of her naked bum, Harry stops, briefly, but enough to let some thoughts gather in his head.

"Um, Hermione…?"

The squirming girl stops her attempts at undressing him and looks at him, expectantly.

"I don't want to ruin the mood…"

She smiles ruefully. "But you're going to."

"I just need to know. I won't hold your answer against you, and I still will want to keep on with this really. I honestly don't think anything can make me not want it-"

"Harry, you're rambling."

He stops, takes a deep breath and leans in to kiss her. Drawing courage from her smiling face. "Are you…? Did you and Ron ever…?"

Despite everything, she keeps smiling, and draws him in for another kiss. "No, Harry. I'm a virgin. The Bonding Ceremony required it."

Harry blinks, finally understanding why Ginny insisted so much on marrying right away. "So, that's why Ginny…"


When he turns back to her, he knows his face shows his disappointment, and how could he not when he's feeling plenty of it now. Hermione only laughs in response.


"Harry, do you want to marry me?"

"Are you asking… as in proposing, or just out of curiosity?"

"Now? Just curiosity."

"Well, yeah."

"Then why the sad face?"

He blushes, feeling oddly silly with his answer. "I was kinda eager to… you know… make love to you."

Her answer is unexpected. She shivers, her eyes darken and roughly she pulls him in for another kiss. Pushing at his chest, then, Hermione forces them both to sit up, and she pulls the shirt she borrowed from him off her. "Silly boy," she begins, attacking his trousers. "There are plenty of things we can do in lieu of making love. Things, I might add, I denied Ron when he got pushy. Things I've only ever wanted to do with you."

This, of course, brightens him up. "What things?"

Her smile, then, is absolutely predatory. And Harry loves it. Her hands trails down his chest slowly, but then grab two fistful of his shirt and pull it over his head roughly. "You'll see."

Soon, he finds himself chasing a very naked Hermione up the stairs to his room; his state of undress is barely worth mentioning.


1326, August 27th, 2017 - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland.

The silence should have been welcome, if it weren't so unnatural.

Minerva has long moved from her desk to the window overlooking the school grounds. She muses silently, alternating between admiring the view and looking at the unmoving portrait of her deceased friend, Albus. Sighing, she turns to face the Weasleys.

Molly had fainted shortly after Ripper, with the help of Ragnok and Bill, explained exactly what a doppelganger is. Ginny followed her example, but only after asking her husband if he was, in fact, one.

Harry had said yes.

Now, the man she thought to be the boy who once walked within these walls, cradles his wife's body, gently stroking her face, urging her to wake up. Hermione, or rather, her doppelganger, sits on a conjured chair, her face fixed on this blank smile, saying nothing. Showing no concern.

"Do you know why you were created?" asks Minerva, drawing everyone's attention, but her gaze remains focused on the woman who once was her favourite student. "Hermione?"

Upon hearing her name, the bushy-haired woman looks at her, smile still in place. "To fulfil Ronald Weasley's every want and need. I am exactly what he wants. No more, no less."

Ron gapes at her, already sputtering denials. "Bu-but that's not true! You've never-"

Hermione looks at him, seeming slightly puzzled but not upset. "Have I not been your perfect wife, Ron? Have I not catered to your every need? Ignored the children when you asked me to so we could have sex? Have I not prepared your favourite dishes every night? Praised your accomplishments? Ignored your unfaithfulness?"

Ron's startled gasp gets swallowed by Molly's outraged scream. "Unfaithfulness!"

Hermione nods, never losing her content expression. "He has been unfaithful for twelve years now. I said nothing because he wanted me to ignore it. So I did."

With every word she speaks, it seems this Hermione proves more and more her status as doppelganger. Obviously, as the Hermione they all grew to know and love would most certainly not tolerate any kind of unfaithfulness.

"Please someone tell me it's not true…"

The soft whisper comes from Ginny, as Minerva soon finds out, who has just woken up in Harry's arms. He gives her a radiant smile, kissing her forehead and murmuring about how worried he was. Ginny chokes back a sob and pushes him away, going to her mother and leaving a puzzled Harry behind.


"Don't call me that! You're not my Harry!"

Harry smiles, almost indulgently. "I am. I'm the Harry you always wanted. Your fairy tale Hero."

Those words make Ginny, and everyone really, pause. Ginny looks horrified, but clearly she understands the meaning of those words.

Ripper doesn't waste time in pursuing the train of thought. "Can you tell us why you were created, Mr Potter?"

"To make Ginny happy, of course," he says pleasantly. "I am everything she ever wanted me to be. A loving husband, a doting father. The Chosen One."

"The… Chosen One?" Molly asks.

Harry nods, ever so complacent. "Ginny spoke of the novels you used to read to her in her childhood, Molly. How she always imagined to meet the Harry Potter who slay dragons, who defeated the Dark Wizard and came back to marry the Princess and live Happily Ever After. She spoke of it, a lot. I asked if that's what she wanted of me the day before our marriage." Harry pauses and smiles at Ginny. "She said yes."

"I always wondered why you were so ready to attend every Ball the Ministry held in your name, when after the War you explicitly told me you didn't want that." Kingsley sighs, shaking his head sadly. "I guess now we know why."

"I did what my wife wanted. I've always done what my wife wanted."

Minerva chuckles mirthlessly, ignoring the startled looks she gets from those surrounding him. "Albus Severus. The boy was named after two Heroes, but Heroes who made Mr Potter's live a living Hell."

Their arguments are so compelling that neither of the youngest Weasley, that is Ron and Ginny, explode in their usual way. Minerva thinks that must be mostly due to having been living the life they always dreamed of. They can't exactly accuse their spouses of lying, as they turned out to be exactly what they wanted them to be. What can they possibly complain about?

No one seems to be able to talk after that.

Without prompting, Ragnok walks to her desk and lays two sheets of parchment on it. Both blank. Minerva moves away from the window, curious despite everything.

"What is this, Master Ragnok?"

Ripper seems to come out of whatever daze had him and moves quickly to their side. "Oh! Yes, we brought these parchments from Gringotts. Standard enchanted parchments, used to track the family tree of wizards and witches. Shows a detailed line of all those linked by bond, or blood, to the one who places a drop of blood on it."

"But why bring it?"

"Oh, that would be my idea, Minerva," says Kingsley. "I thought, in case there was any doubt after all the explanations, we could prove it this way."

Ginny perks up at that, the sight it's heart-breaking.

"Can you still do it, though? Just-just to be sure?"

Kingsley looks at her sadly, but nods anyway. "Go ahead, lass."

Ginny turns to her husband, eyes shining with unshed tears. "Please, Ha-Harry…? I need to know."

Harry's face goes completely blank for a moment; no emotion is reflected off his green eyes. But then he blinks and smiles again, that loving smile he's been directing at Ginny all this time. "Of course, Gin. Anything you want."

He uses the knife Ripper offers him and makes a small cut in his thumb. He smears the blood pooling on the skin across the parchment. Immediately, lines appear, spreading out. The name Harry James Potter appears in the centre of it, clearly showing the Wedding Bond shared with his wife, Ginevra Molly Potter, nee Weasley. From there, the rest of the Weasleys appear, spreading upwards, all linked to Ginny through the bonds of blood. Downwards, the Potters' children appear as well, all three of them linked to their parents.

Once the very first Weasley appears on the parchment, it glows and the lines stop moving.

Ginny, who had stepped closer to the desk, whimpers and then breaks down crying, muttering denials as her mother leads her to the only couch on the Office.

"Oh, Merlin… No, no, no…"

"It's okay, sweetie, everything will be fine."

Despite her reassurance, Molly cannot calm down her daughter. She looks up at Harry, who stands there, looking at the crying woman, clearly at a loss of what to do.

"Harry, dear-"


"I'm sorry, Molly, but Ginevra doesn't want me to comfort her." He tilts his head to the side, as if confused, though his expression reveals nothing. "I don't understand her distress; I have been everything she wanted."

No one can answer to that.

"I'm truly sorry, for what has happened."

Except, it seems, those no longer in the realm of the living.

As one, everyone turns to look at the portrait of the great Albus Dumbledore. Who smile benignly at them from his place on the wall.

Molly grasp at his statement, almost desperately. "Albus, please tell me this is a mistake. That my Ginny… Our Harry…"

Albus sighs, holding his hand up. "I shall explain shortly, Molly. But first…" He looks at Hermione over his half-moon glasses, his gaze is neither grandfatherly not warm. He looks resigned, as if looking at the product of a badly done transfiguration. "Hermione, if you will… please place a drop of blood on the parchment."

Her refusal shocks them all. "Forgive me, sir, but I cannot."

"Why?" Ron snaps, glaring at her.

She looks back, serenely, her expression the same blank canvas that is Harry's. "Because you don't want me to."

"How the bloody hell do you know what I want? We never talk about anything!"

"But that's only because you don't want to talk, Ronald."

Ron growls menacingly. "And how do you know that?"

"Because she was programmed for it, Mr Weasley."

Arthur speaks for the first time since the revelation. "What are you saying, Albus?"

The old wizard sighs again, and if he weren't framed and attached to the wall, Minerva can just imagine him sitting behind the desk. "You must understand, back then, dark times were approaching. I did what I had to, for the Greater Good."

His answer rattles her more than it should, but it's been long, long years since she's heard him say that, and back then, that phrase seemed to be his reason to ruin a young boy's life. "Enough with the riddles, Albus. Just tell us what you did."

He looks troubled, but nods, obviously aware, that the magic surrounding him would force him to speak under the command of the current Headmistress of the School.

"Mr Potter, he needed both his best friends to win the War. Both, to accomplish what was required of him. I knew love was the key to his power, he proved it enough." He pauses, and smiles as if remembering a good time. "Merlin knows, he proved it enough. Miss Granger was that source of love, always steady by his side, never wavering, no matter what. I knew that girl was essential to his victory. She loved him dearly, and Mr Potter, with time, would have loved her just as much.

"But Mr Weasley would not have understood that."

He looks solemn as his gaze focuses on Ron, who simply glares back. "He showed his true colours, when he abandoned them during their mission. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. As I was saying, Mr Weasley wouldn't have understood. His inferiority complex was too great, his jealousy too out of control. He wanted Miss Granger simply so Mr Potter wouldn't have her, not out of any other sentiments.

"Oh, I'm sure that, with time, he could have matured enough to become a good man, but he always showed an inclination to laziness. It shows, even now, in how he manages his life and his family."

Albus takes a breath, looking like he is enjoying retelling this tale. "However, it was obvious that Miss Granger, while fond of Mr Weasley, would never betray her own convictions and be with him. She would not deny her heart for the Greater Good. And Mr Potter needed them both. I didn't plan to do anything until the day I dropped Miss Granger at the Burrow, as I glimpsed into her mind.

"She was ready to confess to Mr Potter. And I knew, he would not deny her, even if his feelings were confusing to him at the time. I knew he would see, eventually, Harry would open his eyes to the truth. That he loved Miss Granger as well."

"What did you do, Albus…?"

The elderly wizard, high on his portrait, smiles sadly at Arthur. "Your son couldn't have handle it, Arthur. His will has always been weak." He sighs again. "I snuck into the Burrow, the night before term begun. And performed an ancient ritual. I effectively created a doppelganger of Miss Granger, implanting into her consciousness what was required of her. However, I could not simply leave her at that, as she still needed to help Mr Potter end the War, so I modified the ritual, and Miss Granger's soul became a prisoner in her own body."

"So you never really completed the ritual," says Ripper, looking thoughtful. "It still demanded a price, Albus."

The former Headmaster smiles. "Yes, of course it did. The curse that killed me, well, was killing me that year, would've lasted a few years longer. The process was slow, you see, Severus was quite quick to seal it in my hand. But doing part of the ritual shortened my life to a year, at most.

"I modified it enough, so that once the Wedding Bond was completed, Miss Granger's soul would merge with its doppelganger, but remain as programmed. I thought of having the ritual break once Mr Potter won the War, but it was better this way. Molly, you always dreamed of having Harry and Hermione marry into your family. So I granted you that dream. It was, as such, a harmless dream.

"But a week after Ronald's wedding, you came to me begging for advice, because Harry had disappeared. I knew then, Miss Granger-I'm sorry, Mrs Weasley was nothing but a doppelganger. She had no soul. I knew Miss Granger's soul had broken free of its restrains, somehow." Albus chuckled, mildly amused. "That girl, her genius is unrivalled. I've never seen anything like her, probably the smartest witch since Rowena herself."

"So, it was… you? So… Harry?"

Albus moves his gaze to Ginny, nodding. "It was for the Greater Good. Mr Potter, he was always difficult to deal with. If I hadn't ordered Severus to mix some Amortentia into his drinks, he would've caught on, would've realizes something was wrong with Miss Granger. So, because I knew of your mother's dreams, and of your feeling for Mr Potter, Ginevra… Mr Potter thought it was love."

"How did you create Harry?"

"My good friend, Nicholas Flamel? He was grieving too much the death of his wife, so I gave him a way to end his suffering, while at the same time allowing the illusion to continue. I figured, correctly I might add, that as soon as Miss Granger contacted Mr Potter, they would leave England. And, they did."

Albus looks contemplative for a second, then smiles sadly at them all. "This is, I believe, what everyone wanted. England finally got the Hero it wanted. Ronald and Ginevra got the person they wanted. Molly got her big happy family. Everything was as it should have, until now."


Not even Molly will dare reprimand her youngest son for such insult. But Albus, he simply continues to smile.

"And whose fault is that?"


0347, April 25th, 1999 - #12 Grimmauld Place, London, England.

Hermione moans softly, squirming deliciously under his ministrations. Trying for a better angle, Harry hooks one of her legs over his shoulder, spares a glance at her blushing face, before latching on her little bud.

It's truly wonderful that his Parseltongue ability remained even after getting rid of the last piece of the Dark Wanker's soul.

"G-god… Harry…"

Truly, truly wonderful.

Harry can't suppress the shiver that runs down his spine, it's just… Hermione's whimpers and moans and pleas of more-he doesn't think he's ever been so hard before. Which was saying something, because every night since his Hermione came back… He can't explain it. He just loves the way her body trembles under him, the way her inner walls clench around his fingers or tongue. Loves the way she arches her back when her orgasm hits her, and the way she grips his hair almost painfully in order to keep him between her legs.

He loves that as much as he loves when she goes down on him.

Just thinking about her pouty mouth and rosy lips wrapped around his cock, it drives him mad with desire. Groaning at the wild images running rampant inside his head, and the throaty moans reaching his ears, Harry removes his tongue from Hermione's tight and quivering pussy and latches on her clit, hissing her name repeatedly. He pushes two fingers inside her just as the rapid fluttering of his tongue send her crashing over the edge.


Pulling away a little, Harry moves over her until he's facing her. Gliding his body over her, creating the maximum contact possible, until he's nestled between her legs. The only downside of pleasuring her with his mouth is that he doesn't get to see her as she comes. A beautiful sight, the way her mouth drops open in a silent scream and her eyes dilate until all he can see is a slim brownish line surrounding her pupils. It kind of amuses him, that she can be so vocal in the middle of their consecutive romps yet at the time she was crashing down, she goes completely silent.

Finally, Hermione stops shivering with the aftershocks of her orgasm, blinking owlishly before focusing her eyes on him. She smiles slowly at him, moving her arms around his shoulder and pulling him into a sensuous kiss. He can't help the needy groan that escapes him.

His throbbing length, pressed tightly between their bodies, twitches over and over as their kissing turned more desperate, hands roaming to bring each other to the brink again-though he's been there for a while now. The lingering thought that it would take no more than a simple shift in his position for him to be able to thrust into Hermione like he so wants presses at the back of his head. It'd be easy, he knows, shift his hips until the tip of his cock is placed at her entrance, and thrust upwards. Hermione is sufficiently aroused and ready that he likes to think she won't feel much pain.

He can't really help it, grinding his hips into hers, pressing down on her harder to rub his member that much harder against their sweating bodies. Her moans build up again, and she must understand his need as her legs wraps around his hips and she grinds right back.

It's maddening.

He breaks the kiss and buries his face in the crook of her neck, his hands moving down to grip her bum and press their bodies closer still. Hermione moans wantonly against his shoulder, dragging her nails down his back.

Honestly, the only thing stopping him from taking her, is that he knows she'll hesitate before agreeing, and because he knows, that if they do have sex, and end up breaking up (because, you know, they're together now), then neither will be able to perform the Wedding Bond when they find the one they want to marry. Even if Harry doubts he'll ever want anyone but Hermione, even if he's absolutely certain she's the One. He wants to be sure-he wants to know their love will be eternal.

After a particular hard thrust, Hermione tenses up briefly, before her body dissolves into trembles. He smirks as she drags her lips to his again.

"You… are wonderful… Harry…" she says, her lips barely moving against his. She kisses him some more, nibbling on his lips and licking the sting away, before she starts pushing him onto his back. Her movements are slow, languid, almost resembling a content cat after a thorough petting. "You're turn."

He grins at her and lies comfortably against the pillows. And although at the beginning of this night he'd been all set to make it all about her, who is he to deny an offer like that? Especially knowing, especially after Hermione told him she got incredibly randy every time sucked his cock. No, he isn't going to complain.

She takes her time, as always, kissing his lips, first softly, then more passionately-dominating him completely. Dragging his lower lip between her teeth as she pulled away, Hermione licks his neck, going down to his chest, where she spends some time nibbling and sucking at his nipples. Harry doesn't understand her fascination with his flat nipples, but he supposes there must be something, and it feels good.

Breathing out a low groan, he watches her go further down, kissing and licking and caressing. He reaches out, grabbing her breasts and squeezing, but then is forced to let go as she scoots down the bed for better access. Hermione pays special attention to his abdomen, licking his navel, and Harry can only let out a heavy breath as his cock twitches and bounces a little against his lower stomach. She giggles, prompting a smirk from him.

Yes, she does like it when it's… lively.

Taking deep breaths, Harry looks down as she finally reaches his groin and grabs hold of his cock. She smiles at him, as her hand pumps his hard length, this little seductive smile that promises wonderful things. Then she swallows him whole.

Harry's pretty sure he blacked out for a second there.

Her skilled little mouth works wonders on him; he knows he won't last long. He'll last longer that last night-Hermione seems intent on building up his endurance, says that by the time they do make love, he won't cum right away. His muscles tense and he hisses as Hermione pulls back, sucking hard on his length as she moves, and then dives in again. This maddening pace will be his undoing. He can already feel his balls tightening and the pressure in the pit of his stomach growing.


Her wicked smile tells him she's enjoying this as much as he is, and she pulls back again, swirling her tongue around the tip of his cock before letting it go. For a little while. "Cum for me, Harry…" She pulls him into her mouth again, and he's done.

This time, he does black out.

When he comes down from his high, at last, Hermione is lying next to him, stroking his abdomen lightly. He shivers and turns to rest his head on her chest. Her very wonderful and very full chest. "I still can't believe you bound your chest to make it look small…"

She chuckles lightly, now caressing his back and shoulders. "Well, I didn't want boys staring at me like they stared at Lavender or Hannah. I only wanted you to stare at me, so I thought, I'd show no one but you."

Harry smiles, kissing the skin of one surprisingly perky breast softly. "I can't say I like girls with a big chests, but… I like yours."

"I noticed."

"You know… I really, really want to be inside you now…"

"I know," she says. Hermione reaches down to grab his hand, entwining their finger together. "Harry… if you really want to do it, I-"

He jerks up a little, shocked. "No! I mean, yeah, I want to, but I won't force you… It's just… I don't want to take that from you, Hermione, if this turns out to be a fluke, you know…" Harry breathes deeply, resting his head on her chest again. He closes his eyes. "Your first time, it should be with someone you love completely."

Hermione hums in response, her free hand treading up into his unruly hair. "I love you completely, Harry." There's a pause, then she speaks again. "And even if I didn't, I'd still want you to be my first… I don't really care about the Wedding Bond, it's something purely of wizards and despite how much I love being magical, I don't really see the need for it."


"But you want it. And, while I think it's stupid to bind yourself eternally to someone you're not sure you will love fifty years from now, I would do it for you. Because I'm absolutely sure my love for you will never fade… Hasn't faded this past years, and it won't fade a century from now."

Grinning a little stupidly, Harry lets go of her hand and hugs her tighter. "Then let's wait until your mum can help you organize the Wedding, then we'll marry properly, and then I'll have you tied to a bed for a week."

"Harry…? Are you proposing?"

"Well, not now. I'd rather wait until your parents can be there to be happy for us."

Her musical laugh fills him with a kind of warmth that leaves him speechless, but happy. It's like he finally knows what it's like to love and be loved.

They fall into a comfortable silence after that, each basking in the other's embrace. Soon, the silence starts to lull then into sleep, but Harry shakes it off, needing to discuss the decisions they made this past weeks.



"Can we talk about… what's going to happen tomorrow, or… rather in four hours?"

His eyes are closed, he finds himself enjoying her caresses better that way, so he feels her takes a deep breath before answering.

"What's bothering you, Harry?"

"Well, we've already talked about your situation… I know there's really nothing that'll keep you tied here to England."

"There's you."

"But I'm going with you, so… there's nothing else."

Hermione shifts under him a little, her fingers moving from his shoulders to his face, trailing under his jaw until he feels the pressure. He complies with her silent request and looks up at her.

Her face is serene, but there's a slight doubt no lurking under the surface. "What's the matter then?"

Harry sighs, propping himself up on his right elbow so he can look at her properly. He knows he looks uncomfortable, but this is something he needs to say. "We know why you can't stay, Hermione. Obviously. But I, there's still something here…"


"My parents, Hermione, are buried here." He pauses to take a deep breath, wondering why this is so hard. It's not like she would resent him for this. "To willingly leave Britain behind, never to come back… I can't leave my parent's resting place like that… I need-"

"I get it," she says, cutting him off.

Harry blinks surprised, but the curly-haired woman just smiles.

"Of course I get it, silly. I wouldn't ask you to forget about that. Especially if we plan on making our visits on Christmas Eve a tradition."

"Oh… well, okay then."

Hermione looks at him in fond exasperation and leans up to kiss his lips lightly. "Well, I suppose we ought to head for Gringotts now."

"Now?" He remain frozen as she slides out of bed and starts gathering up some clean clothes. "But our appointment is not for another two hours!"

"Yes," she says, turning to give him a pointed look. "But moving the content of your vaults to Gringotts Aurtralia will take time. And selling the properties you don't want, all those located across Britain will take even more time. I'm sure the Goblins know of a way to move your parents from Godric's Hollow, but that might take hours, and our flight leaves at eight-thirty. Precisely in… less than four hours."


Hermione sighs, smiling in amusement. "Remember, Harry? We decided to finish with your affairs as fast as possible, as soon as possible."

"Yeah, yeah. So we don't have to come back."


By the time the clock shows five in the morning, both are ready to go. Hermione no longer had any of her old possessions, except her wand, which they'd retrieved a few days ago. Leaving a new one behind. They'd bought a few outfits for her, deciding anything else can be bought once they landed in Australia. Harry, having never had much possession, doesn't need more than a small bag.

In a matter of seconds, they're stepping through the portal of the Leaky Cauldron and into Diagon Alley. As expected, the place is deserted save for, unsurprisingly, a pair of Goblins standing at the front steps on the Bank.

The next two hours were, without a doubt, the longest in Harry's life.

The Goblins, indeed, knew of a way to move his parents to a different place, for a small fee of course. And after much debating, Harry decides to move them to the grounds of his ancestral home.

"After all," he concludes, "I'm not planning on selling Potter Manor. And this way, they'll be resting where they should've been all this time."

At eight sharp, they both stand on the little graveyard of his family. His parents' tombs, shining an ethereal white, stand proud next to his grandparents, and every other Potter that once lived.

Like that Christmas Eve, two years ago, he chokes up. Once again feeling the loss of what could have been. And again, Hermione is the one at his side, giving him her unconditional support. This time, however, he doesn't resist the pull. Harry turns to face her, wrapping his arms around her slowly, and places one gentle kiss on her lips.

She smiles in understanding, hugging him back.

"A little part of me wishes we could stay… Live here, in my home…"

"Fill this place with little Potters once more?"

He chuckles, but nods. "Yeah…"

Hermione kisses his cheek, then slowly steps away, grabbing his hands. "Maybe someday…"

The melancholy is there for all to see, he's just glad Hermione's the only witness. "Maybe someday…"

His heart feels lighter than ever, his guilt at essentially abandoning his parents now gone, mainly thanks to the Goblins, who'd been gracious enough to provide him with a Portkey that will take him back here anytime he wants. He'd contacted Andromeda, and after a serious discussion, and even more heart-breaking goodbye, he and Hermione promised to get in touch as soon as they found the Grangers. Andromeda assured them, that by then, she'd have thought about their offer to take her with them to Australia, and would have reached a decision.

Even though, Harry assured her that, if she were to refuse to leave England, he'd still find a way to keep in touch with little Teddy.

With one last glace at the final resting place of James and Lily Potter, their son and his intended start walking away, to the edge of the wards surrounding the state. They still have, after all, a plane to catch.


1405, August 27th, 2017 - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland.

Kingsley frowns when he realizes the portrait of Albus Dumbledore is staring at him. "You blame me, Albus?"

"Of course, not, Kingsley. But you do know the reason why all this had to be revealed."

The dark-skinned man sighs and nods. "Minerva, if you would please," he says, while pulling an old copy of the Daily Prophet. In its front page, it happily stated that Harry Potter would be awarded an Order of Merlin, First Class the upcoming Halloween. The date chosen in order to honour his deceased parents.

Kingsley shows it to the Weasleys, before letting it fall on the Headmistress desk. "This started it all."

"The Prophet?" asks Arthur.

"The Award announcement, actually," says Minerva, nodding at him to let him know she'll take over the tale. "Two years ago, on July 1st, the scroll detailing of every magical child set to starts Hogwarts appeared in my desk. As you know, this list shows every magical child, those born in Britain, and those born to Hogwarts Graduates. These two fact, are not always linked together. Especially in the case of Muggleborns."

She pauses to dig out said scroll from the bottom drawer of her desk. "However, I digress. Two years ago, it appeared, and I thought nothing of it, already knowing some of the names I'd see there," she pauses again, to look pointedly at Ginny then at Harry. "As usual, there were some muggleborn, as well as some children born on foreign land. Nothing out the ordinary, until I reached the P's."

Minerva waves her wand, the scroll enlarges enough to make every name clearly visible to all those inside the office. Another wave of her wand, and one single name is highlighted.

The Weasleys gasp.

For right above a very familiar name to them; right above Potter, James Sirius it says Potter, Hector James.

"Naturally, seeing that, I was shocked, but upon consideration, thought nothing of it. Because, as you must know, Mr Potter is not the only Potter in Britain, nor the world. This child, this Hector Potter could very well be a muggleborn, or a halfblood, whose father is a muggle. And I actually thought the latter to be the certain case, because once the letter were sent, his returned, along with one from his parents saying he was already attending school in the Americas.

"This fact told me the mother must really be a muggleborn, one driven out of Britain due to…"

Kingsley frowns at her hesitation. "Discrimination. Say it, Minerva, due to the appalling amount of discrimination running rampant in our society. Discrimination that the Wizengamot is refusing to acknowledge."

"Indeed," she agrees. "In fact, the mother actually recited those very same words when explaining that neither her first born, nor any other magical children would ever attend Hogwarts unless Britain changed its ways."

"Which will be never," says George, his gaze fixed on the windows.

"Anyway, due to this letter. I put this matter out of my head," another wave of her wand and the scroll returned to its original state. "Then, at the beginning of summer break, the Prophet made the announcement. I called Kingsley for confirmation and he said the Wizengamot had completely overruled him. That in and of itself meant nothing at the time, but then, this year's scroll appeared on my desk…"

Again, she flickes her wand, and the aforementioned scroll enlarges and highlights two names.

Under Potter, Albus Severus, it reads Potter, Alexander Sirius and Potter, Rose Danielle.

"Again, I would think nothing of it, but the boy's middle name…" Minerva sighs. "I got me thinking, the coincidences too great to be dismissed. So, I sent my personal Elf to deliver their letters… And Mippy saw them."

Ron, it seems, is the only one to miss the underlying thruth, as he goes ahead and asks. "Saw who?"

"Harry and Hermione," Minerva answered.

And Ripper, who'd been silent until now, added, "The original ones, at that."

Again, Molly sobs her denials. "It can't be…"

"It can," says Ragnok, suddenly. "It is. I contacted Mr Potter myself. I had to go through a foreign Gringotts branch to do so. He is indeed living abroad, and has not only kept abreast with the happenings of Britain, but point blank refused to step foot on it again."

Ragnok looks almost gleeful at he turns his gaze to the portrait of Albus. "He says he cut all ties with the country that one moment hailed him a Hero and a Dark Lord the next. He specifically said he'd rather never set foot on the land that treats the man who dared harm his wife as a Benevolent Hero. Of course, one never knows."

Albus sighs. "Ah, so they found out."

"Didn't take them too long after they left, he said."

"What does the Award Announcement have to do with Headmistress McGonagall suspecting something?"

Kingsley turns to George, shaking his head in resignation. "When the Ministry Awards an Order of Merlin, there is a small Ceremony of acceptance, in which the recipient is tested by Magic to determine if he or she is worthy of it. Had we moved along with it, the Award Ceremony would have failed, because…"

"…Because this Harry is not the one deserving the Award."

Just then, a little Elf pops into the room. "Headmistress must know, she has visitors."

"Mippy, who is it?"

"It's Mister and Missus Potter, Headmistress. They are walking up the lane to the main gates."

There's a bit of silence, before Ron and Ginny spring to their feet, only to be stopped by their father.


Kingsley nods his head to the man, and strides past the embarrassed-looking pair, to the door. "Minerva, I'll go greet them. Could we move this to the Great Hall? The Office is already crammed with so many people."

Minerva nods, and then turns to address the rest, and in her sternest voice orders them all to the Great Hall.

Kingsley chuckle, highly amused, that even though the youngest of their brood are all grown-ups now, they still flinch before their former Head of House.


1432, August 27th, 2017 - The Great Hall, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland.

She hears them before she sees them.

"No, mother-will you please listen? I… Well, yes, but… I'm telling you, because you're not the one who has to deal with them-Mother! Oh, for the love of-Harry!"

"Hey, Mum… Yeah, I know… Yeah, she knows… Don't worry, I can handle her. Been doing it for the last twenty-six years… Alright, bye."

"You're awful. You know what'll be waiting for us when we get back."

"Don't worry, love. We'll deal with that when we're home. Now…"

"Yes, I know."

As they stroll into the Great Hall, following a troubled looking yet smiling Minister, Ginny feels her world collapsing.

Here they are, her Harry and Hermione, even if he's not hers anymore (and was he ever?), walking side by side and holding hands, as Hermione tries to place something inside what looks to be a beaded bag.

Harry catches her eyes, expression amicable, but it certainly isn't the reaction she expected.

But what is she expecting? After everything she'd found out this day? A loving smile, a devoted stare? What will it take for her to realize her dream life is only possible because Albus Dumbledore pulled some strings that allowed it to happen?

That this Harry, the real Harry… was never hers to begin with?

Once they're close enough, greetings are exchanged. Both are polite and friendly, no lingering resentment detectable, though Harry looks like he's slightly tense.

"Professor McGonagall…" Hermione looks at Harry, he smiles ruefully before nodding, and then she rushes at her favourite professor, embracing her on the spot. "Oh, it's so nice to see you again… Though, sorry, that should be Headmistress McGonagall."

Minerva's smiles is tremulous, but sincere as she embraces what certainly is her favourite student. "Hermione… it's good to see you too, although… in light of recent events, I thought…"

Hermione pulls back, giving a squeeze to the hand of the older witch. "I know…"

As she moves back to her husband, Ginny can't help but compare Hermione to her doppelganger. She's thinner, though not in a bad way; it's obvious that Hermione keeps in shape, her body still visibly well-toned and curvy, especially noticeable now as she's wearing muggle clothes. Whereas her doppelganger was on the heavier side, and, as Ginny pays attention now, the other Hermione seemed to follow her mother example on how to act and how to dress.

Ginny herself is better toned that the other Hermione, if only, she surmises, that she used to be more sporty.

However, it seems Hermione beats them both. Not that it should matter, Ginny thinks, it's not exactly a competition.

At least, it wasn't, until now…

But still, it really isn't.

An awkward silence follows, during which Harry stares coldly at the doppelgangers. His hand, no longer gripping Hermione's is now around her waist. At Kingsley's prompting they all sit on one of the tables. The Weasleys plus spouses at one side, and the rest at the other.

"Harry, Hermione…" Apparently, her mother can't stand the silence much more. "It's… nice to see you well," she says, looking awkward even if the Potters nod in acknowledgement. "We heard you have three little ones, congratulations…"

His demeanour softens up almost immediately upon hearing those words. "Thank you, Mrs Weasley, but it's four, actually…" he pauses, and looks down at Hermione briefly, exchanging a knowing smile, before addressing her mother again. "And another one on the way."

Her mother smiles genuinely now. "Oh, that's lovely."

But, typically, Ron has to go and ruin the mood. "Thought you said you'd never set foot here again. Came to gloat?"

"I said I'd rather never return, but there are special circumstances involved here," Harry pauses, piercing Ron with a surprisingly cold glare. "And what, pray tell, would I gloat about?"

"How you managed to steal my wife?"

"Oh? Forgive, but isn't your wife sitting right next to you, Ronald?"

Ron growls menacingly, or what he thinks is menacingly, because Ginny can tell Harry is not even disturbed by it. And by the looks of it, the looks of him, Harry can perfectly beat up Ron any time he wants, magically and physically. While his doppelganger-Ginny cringes-has kept in perfect shape, what with being an Auror, this Harry looks like he's being wrestling with dragons-and enjoyed it.

Certainly, he's grown several inches and bulked up as well, probably gaining several pounds in pure muscle. Nothing that is too much, but-obviously, Harry is no longer that scrawny little kid they've all known and love. And he's tanned.

"You know perfectly well what I mean! Hermione was supposed to marry me!"

"And she did." Harry moves his gaze to Hermione's doppelganger. "You married the Hermione you wanted. My Hermione, the real one, was never what you wanted in a woman."

"Um, Kingsley," says Hermione, interrupting the discussion. "Didn't you say everything was explained?"

"It was."

Hermione frowns, looks at Ron and then shakes her head. "Well then. It doesn't matter, that's not why we decided to come."

Harry smirks at her, rolling his eyes. "We? I clearly remember you storming into our room and telling me that we were coming to Hogwarts. At no point during that moment did I say anything."

She slaps his arms playfully. "Prat."

Ginny cringes again.

"But anyway, we know what's going to happen on Halloween, and… Because the Weasleys were always so kind to us, we came up with a solution for it."

Hermione smiles at her mum and dad.

"What solution?" asks Ripper, surprising Ginny as the man can very well blend into the background until he seems to disappear.

Harry takes a vial out of his back pocket. It's small, half-full with a translucent liquid. "This is part of my essence, liquefied."

Ripper and Ragnok stager back, clearly shocked. "But-but that's not possible!"

Harry smirks again. "Maybe not for you, not with your unimaginative thinking. But my lovely wife has long learned to think outside the box."

"I have to, especially as you act as if the box doesn't even exist."

Ripper gets closer, a look of wonder in his previously blank face. "How…?"

"Now, Mr Ripper, you know that's classified," she says, smirking. "But, we digress. This will help… your Harry be able to pass the Acceptance Ceremony when he's presented with the Order of Merlin."

"All he has to do is drink it about an hour before the Ceremony starts, and everything should be fine," adds Harry, handing the vial to Kingsley. "The effect of… being me, will last about twenty-four hours."

Kingsley nods, pocketing the vial in his robes.

Her father smiles sadly at the couple. "Thank you, I… know you have no reason to do this…"

"Actually, Mr Weasley, as Hermione said, you were always kind to us, it's the least we could do to help you avoid any kind of scandal." Harry frowns slightly, before shaking his head. "It wasn't your fault, what happened. What Dumbledore did to Hermione… I suspect why he did it, but doesn't make it right. Dumbledore thought himself all mighty, infallible, and he was not… I could have won the War without Ron… but well."

Ginny lets her eyes flicker to her silent husband… sitting straight next to her, but ultimately looking like a statue. She now knows, all the loving smiles and touches, the devoting attitude-everything, is her doing. If she wants it, her Harry would be anything, do anything and everything. But even all that cannot quell the pain, because for all things perfect-her Harry would never do those thing because he wants to, never do them out of his own volition to give her a happy surprise.

How foolish she is, believing herself to be the one and only to know Harry Potter inside and out. She should've know, suspected that first year, when he agreed all too quickly to attend the Ministry's Ball.

"How did you find out?" Ginny asks, softly.

Harry looks at her, and there's a flicker of pity in his green eyes before he turns to the woman sitting beside him. Seconds of silence pass, until a decision is reached-and is it any wonder… why everyone always accused them of being together in their school years?

Only, now they finally are.

Have been for years.

With a sigh, Harry begins telling them what happened, starting at that moment before Ron's and Hermione's Wedding and moving on. "When I reached the pitch, there was that blast, and I remember thinking that was it. That Ron and Hermione were really meant to be. Of course, now I know there should be no blast, there's only a bright glow. Anyway… the blast, and right after that, someone tackled me down to the ground.

"I turned around, and there was Hermione, hugging me and saying things that didn't make sense. I admit, at first I thought it was someone trying to impersonating her, but… She gave me proof."

Ron, of course, still feeling resentful, despite everything-and Ginny so wants to slap him, questions Harry again. "What could she possibly say?"

"I didn't say anything," says Hermione, calmly.

It's a wonder, also, seeing her deal with Ron without screaming matches and hurtful words.

Harry nods. "She actually showed me. It was all so simple after that." He smiles at his wife then, eliciting a blush from her. "She showed me her scar."

"What scar? Hermione's got no scar," says Ron.

But Minerva gasps, as does her mother.

"Of course, I thought it'd healed…" Her mother looks sadly at Hermione's doppelganger.

Minerva looks at the real one, thoughtfully. "Is it the one you acquired in your trip to the Department of Mysteries, Hermione?"

"Yes, that's the one. Madam Pomfrey was not wrong when she said there's nothing to do about it. It'll never fade, much like Harry's. It's lighter now, barely noticeable if one's doesn't know about it, but still there."

"That's what convinced me," says Harry, resuming his explanation. "The summer before Sixth Year, a few weeks before term began, Hermione told me about it. And that day, during the Wedding, I remembered when we escaped Gringotts on the dragon," he pauses and looks pointedly at Ron, then at Hermione's doppelganger. "Bellatrix's robes were incredibly low-cut. Hermione had no scar then."

"That doesn't mean it isn't there-"

"Actually it does, Ronald, as the scar travels across my torso, from my left shoulder to my right hip. It's impossible to hide with robes that were low-cut." Then, Hermione looks at her doppelganger. "Do you have a scar? Similar to the one I described?"

The other Hermione blinks slowly. "I'm sorry, but I cannot say."

Harry snorts. "Let me guess, because Ron doesn't want you to?"

"That's correct."

Another, long, uncomfortable silences stretches before them, until Harry suddenly stands up, murmuring something about having to catch a portkey. Her mother, always so very fond of Harry and Hermione, leaps up as well, making them pause.

Ginny wonders how fond she'll be with their replacements now.

"Won't you consider… coming back, someday?"

They frown.

"It's complicated, Mrs Weasley… You know why we can't now, but it's more than that…" Hermione begins. "Say we come back, what would you do about them?" And by them, she means their doppelgangers. "How would you explain it? And if you manage to… make them disappear, how do you propose to explain my and Harry's marriage? Our Bonding?"

"Furthermore," adds Harry. "Even if you could come up with something, what would you say to your grandchildren, about why the parent they believed to be theirs is with someone they believed to be a relative and have their own children? It's too complicated…" He frowns, looking off to the entrance of the Great Hall. "Besides, there are too many issues, too many things I discovered about Dumbledore, what he did to me… I can't in good conscience return if I'm going to be resenting everyone every time they sing his praises."

"We're sorry."


1603, December 19th, 2002 - Unplottable Location, Australia.

Harry laughs, feeling exhausted but immensely pleased. At last! He managed to stay on his feet while riding that last wave.

Shaking his head, trying to get rid of the most water, Harry then trots up the shore to where Hermione is reading peacefully under the shade.

It'd been a great idea, to come here. One of his family's vacations spot, if he'd understood Master Ragnok well the day they left Britain. His mother's favourite, apparently, even if she'd been here only once.

And Harry can see why. The state is large, but not overwhelming; the house big enough to house three families, but not sterile-unfeeling-the place is homey. His Australian Villa, well, their Australian Villa, he corrects himself, looking at the Wedding Band on his finger.

He grins goofily as he hurries up his pace, eager to be next to his wife.

Their departure from Britain hadn't been as smooth as they'd hoped. Although they got out just fine, the sales of his British properties were not as quick as he'd hoped, and Harry had had to go back several times that first year.

It didn't help, that in the first return trip, one he'd made alone, he'd seen an old edition of the Prophet that spoke of his disappearance, and, looking for more information, he came across another old copy, yet newer than the last, announcing his supposed marriage to Ginny. Now that news certainly made him urge the Goblins to hasten up the sales.

Nothing against the Weasleys, but it did make him uncomfortable to know… that the bastard who created Hermione's doppelganger had created another one as well. He'd shared that tiny bit of information with Hermione as soon as he returned to Australia.

It left her upset too.

Now, and Harry is now honest enough to say he might have used some of his fame for this, but the search for the Grangers was definitely easier than expected. But then, they'd been lucky, what with the Ministry of Magic of Australia offering both their help on the search and to keep the fact that Harry Potter and Hermione Granger were there, when as far as the world knew, they'd just married their respective Weasley.

But it seemed, still is the same, that Europe is not that well look upon by the rest of the magical world. The Australian Minister had been all too happy to help them disappear, to say something. And even more helpful when informing some other important magical figure, including the American Minister of Magic of their situation.

They had had to explain, and really, a single drop of blood did most of it.

Now, they're enjoying their new life, and ready to begin their next adventure.

Upon reaching Hermione's side, he drops his surfing board, snatches the book out of her hands and pushes her into the sand as he kisses her passionately.

Hermione kisses him back just as eagerly, giggling whenever their lips aren't attached. "What's gotten into you?" she asks as the kiss breaks.

Grinning like a fool, Harry shakes his head and sits up, pulling her along with him. "I'm just… incredibly happy."

Her gaze softens, and she smiles tenderly at him. "I'm glad…"

But of course, he can't pass this opportunity, seeing as they are completely alone. "And incredibly randy, too."

She giggles and pushes him back. "Idiot. My parents can come at any time!"

Hermione protest, she always does, but it's mostly for show now. Oh, he knows she kind of means that she doesn't want to get caught by her parents, if only to save them all the embarrassment, but he's over that already. After all, they had been caught, once, a few months after retrieving the Grangers and moving into the Villa-lucky for them, Richard and Miranda had only seen their daughter with her hand stuffed into his pants and his hands under her shirt while they kissed slowly.

Mortified doesn't cover it.

Again, he grins. "So? A localized Notice-Me-Not spell and we'll be safe."

"I dunno…"

Ah, he knows he has her now. "Please? You know I can't resist when you look like this, all hot and sexy in that white little bikini of yours…" As he says this, his hands are already toying with the strands that keep the bottom in place. Then, slowly, one hand slide up over her abdomen until it's cupping one of her breasts. "I really can't help myself…"

Hermione whimpers as his hands strokes her chest, kneading and pinching her nipple. She pulls him into another kiss. "Okay, but not on the sand… Last time was not comfortable…"

With a happy exclamation, Harry grabs her hand and drags her to the water. This is one fantasy he's not about to pass up, and really, doing it on the shore is too painful once one realizes there's sand in places there shouldn't be.

Once they're sufficiently deep in the water, up to their chests, Harry stops, turns, and draws her into another kiss, this one filled with promises of more pleasure to come.

"God, I love how you kiss… I love your mouth…" he whispers, moving his hands to grab her bum and lift her up until her legs are comfortably wrapped around his waist.

Hermione smiles against his lips. "I noticed…" She wriggles a little, untying one of the bows keeping her bikini bottom in place, and the wriggles some more.

As Harry is otherwise occupied kneading her bum, it's her duty to get them ready. She's excellent at it, too, managing to lower his swimming trunks and also managing to loosen her top so her breasts are free for him to latch onto them like a hungry babe. Wrapping her arms around his shoulders, Hermione wriggles one more time and then slide down over his throbbing cock.

It's exquisite.

It's not even their first time (he lost count of how many since their marriage two years ago), but it never feels the same. Being inside her is like Heaven every time, yet it never feels the same. And he likes that, he loves that he can still find new places to hit to bring his wife to ecstasy.

Like now.

The water helps taking some of the weight off his arms, so that he can keep just one hand on her delightful bum and make better use of the other. He absolutely loves to hear her soft moans as they rock to the rhythm of the waves. As his length slides in and out of her at a leisure, unhurried. His free hand moves over the unattended breasts, caressing and pinching her nipple until it's erect, just as he likes it.


A stronger wave hits them, in time for Harry to grasp her waist tighter and thrust into her faster and harder. He's getting close, and how can he not, when Hermione's been driving him mental with her little get-up all morning. He lets go of her breasts, one of the doing a popping sound and urgently, he begs her to kiss him. She does, one hand grabbing the back of his neck as the other pays attention to her chest.

Harry groans, he loves when she's touching herself.

But he's too close and wants to take her with him. He knows they won't be able to do more until they're locked in their room, so he's determined to make it as enjoyable to last them for hours.

Bracing his feet on the sand under him, Harry grabs her hips with both hands tight, and helps her movements, her speed. He's slamming into her hard and fast, and her little whimpers against his lips are wonderful. Keeping his rhythm, he slides one of his hands over her hip and between their bodies, where they're joined. Hermione feels it and is already trembling in anticipation, bucking harder against him as she nibbles his lower lip; her moans becoming louder the closer his thumb gets to her nub.

And then he's pressing and rubbing and Hermione's crashing through her orgasm, with her silent scream and the arching of her back and she pushes her chest in his face. And because seeing her cum is always brilliant, Harry thrust into her jerkily a few more times before he's crashing after her.

Later, they're simply allowing the water to help them float.

"That… was… awesome…"

She laughs, softly against his neck, but agrees to his comment with a nod and a kiss. And from afar, they can hear Hermione's parent's calling for them.

"I forgot to tell you…" she says, still wrapped around him. "My parents said they're all set to go to the States after New Year's."

Harry smiles lazily, simply enjoying the feeling of being this close to his wife. "Tis good, that."

The States; that is their new great adventure. And hopefully, the place they would call home from then on.


1657, July 31st, 2018 - The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, England.

Arthur looks around his family, feeling both happy that most of his children accepted to move on from what happen last year, yet sad that his youngest still can't.

Well, that's not entirely truth. Ginny is trying, so very hard, to make it work with her Harry, but it's a slow-going project, that. He even offered to Obliviate her, and while she had seemed to consider it, she'd ultimately refused.

Now Ron, well… his son, as Albus said, really needed to grow up. It is lucky, that the doppelgangers can't really feel any pain, what with the loathing that Ron spoke to their Hermione now. She remains an impassive woman, no longer smiling as Ron doesn't want her to fake it, which in the end makes him more mad. It's as if he's trying to prove this Hermione is the real one, trying to instigate fights, to no avail.

Arthur is really tired, having to talk him down over and over, to remind him his children are still very human (that his wife is still very human) and they keep wondering why their parents fought so much. Ron just doesn't seem to listen. He jeopardized his job, now spends hours a day sitting and raging and drinking and complaining about how Harry Potter took everything from him.

It's sad.

And, as if that weren't enough, the Wizengamot is becoming even more stubborn in their reticence to allow more right to Magical Creatures, in enforcing the laws that preach equality among all wizards and witches, regardless of blood status. Especially after the controversy over a supposed cure to Lycanthropy. Although, Arthur knows it's not supposed anything, it's real.

Minerva told him, in fact, how she'd kept in contact with Harry and Hermione, smiling in amusement when she explained that Owls only took letters to them if you addressed them to James and Jane Evans.

That clued him in.

This cure to Lycanthropy, it was created by a muggleborn by the name of Jane Evans. And the Wizengamot refused to allow it distribution simple because a muggleborn discovered it.

More like created it, he thinks, remembering as Minerva told him all about her correspondence with Hermione, how she explained that years of hard work had finally come to bear fruit. And he knows, that by now, Britain, France and Bulgaria are the only magical communities refusing this Cure.

Only because it isn't a pureblood behind the achievement.

Truly, truly sad.

He catches his daughter looking at her family with a pained expression on her face, and expression that seems to be fixed there whenever her children were elsewhere. He walks over her, placing his arm over her shoulder.

"Alright, Gin?"

"No… But I think I'm finally getting there."


"I've finally come to accept the fact that the real Harry never wanted me," she says, taking a deep, shaking breath before continuing. "But at least this Harry, this one it's completely mine… This one I'll never have to share with Hermione. Because he sees only me."

Her laugh is humourless, shaky and filled with suppressed tears.

"Oh, darling…"

"It's okay, dad. I guess, in hindsight, we should've realized what was going on. Those months before the Weddings, Harry was always moody, and Hermione… she wasn't herself… We just didn't see because we were living our dream…" Ginny takes another deep breath and turns to smile at him. "But it'll be alright. I'll… make it work with him. I may not have the real one, but this Harry will be enough."

Arthur pulls her into his arms, giving her as much reassurance as he can. "My sweet girl, I'm sure… if Albus hadn't interfered, you would have eventually moved on from Harry Potter and found someone who loved you completely. Maybe it didn't happen in this live, but it might happen in the next. You never know."

He kisses her forehead and Ginny smiles at him, despite the gathering tears.

Then, Molly's calling them all inside, urging them to hurry and already scolding little Fred as she catches him pulling yet another prank.

It's time to sing to the birthday boy.


0921, July 31st, 2018 - Lion's Den, Magical Community of LA, California.

Harry wakes to the feel of someone peppering his face with kisses.

"Happy birthday, love…"

He smiles, wrapping his arms around his lovely wife. When he opens his eyes he's greeted with a smiling face. "Happy indeed…"

Hermione nuzzles his neck, sighing happily before pulling back a little to resume her kissing. "It's time to get up."

"But it's my birthday, can I stay in bed for a little longer? Perhaps get a repeat of my present from last night?"

Not even his suggestive smirk can convince Hermione to stay in bed as she places one last kiss on his lips before sliding out of bed. "Maybe," she says. "After the party. Later tonight, you may do whatever you want with me."

This perks him up, and he sits up happily. "Anything?"

"Yes, anything."

"You're the best," he says, grinning like a teenager who just got to second base.

She shakes her head in amusement, gathering some clean clothes from their drawers. "I can't believe you're still as randy as you were when we just got married."

"Well, it's you, really. You make all hot and bothered, every time."

His words make her pause for a second, then Hermione drops her clean clothes on the bed as she closes the distance between them. And then she kissing him like she did last night, right before the clock struck midnight. Soon, she's tugging him out of bed and pushing to the bathroom.

"You get me all hot and bothered too, husband," she whispers once the bathroom's door closes behind them. "And just because it is your birthday, I'll give you a preview of tonight, in the shower."

In record time, Harry is as naked as the day he was born, and in the process of divesting Hermione when there's a loud knock on their door, following by a childish whine. One they know to belong to their little rosebud.

"Muuuum, Al is being mean to me again! Tell him to stop! Daaaaad!"

They both sigh, smiling in resignation. Hermione shakes her head, and takes back her camisole, pushing him toward the shower stall.

"You take your shower, I'll take care of our children," she says.

He nods and then laughs at how completely awful is their timing. "I can't believe those two are twins, what with the way they fight and all."

"They're siblings, it's normal. At least, that's what my mum says." Turning to the door, she waves at him. "Hurry up, you, before they start demanding entrance. I had to convince them all to wait for you to wake up before they can wish you a Happy Birthday."

That being said, Hermione closes the door to the bathroom behind her, and seconds later, Harry can hear her comforting Rose and trying to explain why Al does what he does. Without much success, if his daughter's whining is anything to go by.

He chuckles, feeling incredibly happy and warm inside. Knowing his family, while not perfect, is wonderful.

Fate might not have been to kind to him at first, but it certainly made an effort to make it up to him in the recent years. And now?

Now, all was well.



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