Fic Adopted from Bittersweet Alias
A meeting face to face: The fact of meeting with a person or a thing, especially undesignedly or casuallyEncounter
Although it was the first day of classes, neither Micah nor Harry returned to class for the next hour and a half. They knew it was only a matter of time before they were called to the Headmaster’s office, and it was almost certain that Bill Weasley would be dismissed from his post.
Harry wondered who would become their new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. He knew he should find it within himself to care that one of his deeper secrets had been revealed in such a way, but he couldn’t find it within himself to do so. Yes, this revelation had been unplanned, shocking even that someone would put the pieces together, but a sliver of his mind kept on telling him that Bill deserved it. Bill had seduced him when he was at his weakest, had used him to cheat on Fleur.
He knew he shouldn’t feel so small and helpless, but looking back at those weeks, he couldn’t help it. He had been betrayed on every front – by his best friends, by Dumbledore, by the Light, and even the dark wizard who had whispered sweet nothings in his ear, promising him that he could take the pain away, only to find himself in the heart of another betrayal.
Micah shed them of their school uniforms in short order, pulling out a comfortable yet elegant pair of robes for himself and one of Harry’s less daring Muggle outfits. “We should be comfortable,” he said, as Harry quietly pulled on grey-black jeans and an Arsenal Jersey. Remus had taken him to a few matches that summer, and he found himself rather enjoying the Muggle sport.
They relaxed on one of the Prefect couches, neither of them saying much, Micah just offering comfort to Harry, who lay in his arms.
After second period, a knock sounded against the portrait hole, and Micah answered it to find a frightened looking third-year. “Montague,” the girl said, “the Headmaster would like to s-see you and P-Potter-Black in his office immediately.” She squeaked before running away.
Micah sighed and ran a hand over his face.
When Micah and Harry entered the Headmaster’s office, it was to find an array of people present. Bill Weasley was sitting in a corner, looking utterly dejected, his two younger siblings – Ron and Ginny – and Granger pointedly ignoring him. Montague Sr. and Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, whom Harry presumed were there in loco parentis, were also sitting in front of a very exhausted looking Dumbledore.
“Ah, Mr. Montague, Mr. Potter-Black, do come in,” he said, resigned, not even taking in their changed uniform.
Narcissa smiled at her nephew before indicating the chair next to her, which Harry promptly took, Micah taking the place beside him.
“Harry—” Dumbledore began, before Narcissa soundly interrupted him.
“Albus,” her voice was soft but firm, “Harry is my first cousin and, as his blood relative and guardian, I insist that he not answer any questions he does not wish to. This is a personal matter, and I will not allow you pry into private Black affairs.”
Harry looked up at her and smiled, glad to have someone other than Micah on his side. “Thanks, Aunt Cissa.”
The Gryffindors in the room tensed, but Harry ignored them.
“Now,” Lucius drawled, “an accusation has been leveled against Mr. Weasley by Miss Granger. His own sister supports the claim.” He looked coolly at Hermione and Ginny. “Hadrian,” He turned toward his nephew and noticed with satisfaction that Harry was leaning against and clearly depended on his bonded, “can you confirm that you told the students in question last December that three of the Weasley brothers had attempted to seduce you and all had failed.”
Narcissa leaned over and squeezed his hand. “Remember, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”
Harry glanced at Micah and noticed his calm, possessive gaze, and he gave into his insecurities. “I don’t know what Father would want me to say.”
Dumbledore’s eyes snapped toward him, the blue gaze intense and unyielding.
“I believe,” Lucius said softly, “that your father would wish for you to answer truthfully. He cared enough about you to Blood Adopt you. I don’t think he would wish to see you harmed, even if he knows you can take care of yourself.”
The subtle praise rang through the air and Harry relaxed slightly. He hated feeling weak; it reminded him of being at the mercy of his Muggle relatives too many times. He couldn’t even remember them all anymore.
Micah growled in the back of his throat and clasped Harry’s hand.
Harry turned back toward Lucius. “Yes, I did. I was referring to the twins and to Bill.”
“Why did you tell Miss Weasley that?” Dumbledore asked, ignoring everyone but Harry.
“She wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer when she asked me to the next Hogsmeade weekend. I was just telling her she would fail, too.”
Bill placed his head in his hands, knowing there was a possibility he would be sent to Azkaban for this. Wizards guarded their young as fiercely as any dragon, and the Malfoys would obviously push for the maximum sentence.
“What did he do?” Dumbledore asked again.
Narcissa leaned forward. “You don’t have to answer that, Hadrian.” She turned her head, glaring daggers at Dumbledore. “You have all the evidence you need. I demand that Mr. Weasley be dismissed from Hogwarts before the day is out, otherwise my husband and I will be suing you personally for child endangerment.”
Dumbledore sighed and turned toward Bill. “Bill? Do you have anything to say?”
He looked up and met the hard gazes of everyone around him. “Only that I don’t deny the charges and that I will pack my trunks immediately.” He quietly got to his feet and exited the room. No one took a breath until the door closed behind him.
“Why didn’t you come to me, Harry?” Dumbledore said sadly after a few minutes. “I could’ve helped you.”
Harry’s head snapped up. “Like you helped me with the Dursleys?”
The unspoken accusation hung in the air as deep jade eyes met unsparkling blue.
Caelius Montague cleared his throat. “Under the circumstances, the Malfoys and I have decided to briefly withdraw Micah and Hadrian from Hogwarts. They’ll be absent for a few days, a week at most. All schoolwork may be owled to them.”
“Lord Montague, I really must protest. Surely you can see –”
“My son-in-law,” Caelius’s stern voice resounded, “has been harmed under your care. We do not currently trust him or Micah to you. We are within our rights under Ministry law to withdraw our children.”
“Draco,” Narcissa put in, “shall also be removed during the same timeframe.”
“Lady Malfoy,” Dumbledore tried again.
“A member of our family has been gravely injured. The Black, Malfoy, and Montague families need time to take care of our own. And I daresay Hadrian’s godfather would be happy to see him, especially after all of this,” Narcissa said, eyes narrowing.
“Furthermore,” Lucius continued with a nod from his wife, “we will be taking out a restraining order against the entire Weasley family. We don’t want them to come within thirty feet of Hadrian, and expect them to be transferred to other classes if Hadrian returns as a student.”
Silence permeated the room at that pronouncement.
“Of course, it would be acceptable if my nephew was placed in Slytherin classes that didn’t include any Gryffindors. Then the Weasleys—” He spat the word, “—would not be so inconvenienced with the classes they would need to switch into.”
Ginny’s eyes flashed. “How dare you –”
“How dare I?” Lucius drawled, lips curled contemptuously. “How dare your family assault my nephew?” He turned back to Dumbledore. “If you fail to comply within the week, we will personally see you removed as Headmaster and your position as Head of the Wizengamot will be in jeopardy. Don’t think we can’t do it. You’ve aided a child molester.”
Ron flinched at the words, his eyes still lowered.
“As you see fit,” Dumbledore said lowly, silently admitting his defeat to the room.
“We’ll send house-elves to gather Micah, Hadrian, and Draco’s belongings,” Caelius stated.
And with that, the offended parties swept out of the room, Micah’s hand wrapped securely around his mate’s in silent apology.
Hermione’s dark gaze followed them out before she turned contemptuously toward the Headmaster. “How could you let this happen?” she accused, before stepping out of the room.
Days passed languidly on the Riddle Estate as Harry and Micah adjusted to their temporary exile. Sirius and Remus had fussed over their godson until Micah saw that they were doing more harm than good. He removed Harry forcefully into their chambers, warding the doors against all but the house-elves, who came in three times a day to give them elaborately prepared meals.
Micah kept the Daily Prophet from Harry, not wanting to worry his mate more than needed. The Malfoys and Montagues had filed several joint injunctions and lawsuits before the wizard court, which garnered a lot of attention. Bill was charged with every pedophile law that could touch him and was quickly sentenced to several years in Azkaban.
The Weasley family was completely humiliated, to the point where Arthur Weasley had even resigned his small position in the Ministry because of public backlash. The restraining order against the entire family went through, protecting not only Harry but Micah and Draco too.
When Dumbledore had opposed most of the charges, he had been given a vote of ‘no confidence’ by the Wizengamot, and was forced to resign from politics. He still retained control of Hogwarts, but even that was tenuous, and the Prophet speculated that he would remain there only for a year and a half at most.
Harry was lauded by the public as a silent survivor: strong and brave in the face of all adversity. Micah was hailed a supportive and ideal husband, and somehow an almost perfect transcript of the meeting in Dumbledore’s office had been printed.
Rita Skeeter speculated on his and Micah’s location, as neither of them had been spotted the few times the Malfoys and Montagues went out in public. Micah was almost certain that the Slytherins were creating another betting pool on Skeeter’s various suppositions.
Harry remained silent most of the time, working on his schoolwork and making plans to break prisoners out of Azkaban. Micah didn’t disturb him, but would watch him, running fingers through Harry’s long hair. Every night he would carry Harry to their bed and allow his actions to show his devotion and love.
His husband would remain mostly silent through their soft love making, responding only in mews and gasps, but Micah could feel his body shiver when Harry came and see the lust that would shine through his eyes.
Micah knew Harry wasn’t sleeping much, so he held Harry tightly every night, letting him grieve and just offering silent support.
Voldemort was not amused. “How could this happen?” he seethed at Sirius and Remus, the only people he could express his anger to about the situation. “Hadrian is my heir, my son!” He emphasized the final word, realizing for the first time that was exactly how he viewed Harry. He hated the thought of anyone harming Harry. He knew Harry was magically powerful, he had proven that time and again.
But Harry had already suffered so much and now this. He knew Bill Weasley had dark inclinations and could be valuable, but at that moment he would have tortured and brutality murdered the eldest Weasley son. He almost felt like breaking Bill out of Azkaban along with the faithful just so he could exact his revenge.
He closed his eyes painfully and tried not to sigh in exasperation. At least Harry was safe, he reminded himself. Micah had protectively locked Harry away and was probably doing disturbing things to his son that he did not want to think about.
Personally, he blamed the Muggles and Dumbledore for putting Harry into such a weak position. They would pay, he promised himself. Micah had already respectfully asked to deal with the Muggles himself once the war was over, when the new Dark Ministry would not possibly trace the crime back to him. Voldemort had instantly granted him the request. As he had earlier thought, not even he would try to come between a werewolf and its mate, even if that mate was his son. He knew Micah needed to protect, needed blood on his hands for all of Harry’s that they had spilt, metaphorically and literally.
He barely listened as his two Death Eaters began to talk, simply staring out the window toward the gardener’s cottage.
Harry is safe now, he reminded himself. My son is safe.
Harry, Micah, and Draco stood alone outside of King’s Cross dressed as Muggles. Harry was once again in a pair of jeans and his leather trench coat with matching gloves and scarf that Micah insisted he wear “for Morpheus.” Draco was much more classically dressed in a black pair of slacks, black turtleneck, black suit jacket and a long wool coat that looked like it cost more than most people made in a year. Micah said it was “standard pureblood attire” when not dressed in robes. Harry thought Draco looked like he was in mourning for something and Russian, considering he was wearing a fur hat on top of his blond hair.
Micah was similarly dressed in all black, much to Harry’s amusement. The gold of his eyes and hair were the only points of color against his dark trousers and trendy jacket that Harry couldn’t believe actually guarded his husband against the cold. Then again, he was a non-transforming werewolf and always felt warmer than any other human Harry had ever known, even Remus. Looking down at himself, he realized that only black was visible on him as well and snorted at the thought of what they must look like to the passing Muggles. God, how he hated them and their insipid fear of anything different.
They had over an hour until the Hogwarts Express would arrive to take them back to school, but Harry had been restless around their parents and had wanted to leave at an unearthly time of the morning.
“What should we do?” Draco said into the cold, his breath visible even though he had cast a discreet Warming Charm on the three of them. “I don’t fancy waiting on the Platform for an hour and a half.”
“We could Apparate to Diagon Alley,” Micah suggested, but Harry shook his head vehemently.
“I don’t want to be photographed or have reporters ask me questions,” he said lowly, his voice almost devoid of emotion.
Draco made a noise in the back of throat; it would have sounded undignified if it hadn’t come from him. Harry thought he might have been agreeing.
Harry turned and looked about him at the various shops, before his gaze rested on a Starbucks.
He plunged his hand into one of his pockets and pulled out a few bank notes Sirius had pushed into his hand before he had left that morning. Fifty pounds. Harry briefly wondered if Sirius had sent Remus to Gringotts specifically to exchange money.
“Coffee?” he inquired looking at his companions.
“What about the Muggles?” Draco scoffed.
“Better than waiting on the Platform,” Micah pointed out, and Draco glared at him though he didn’t say a word.
Harry quickly crossed the street, not minding the vehicles that screeched to a halt as he quietly repelled them with magic, his wand firmly held in his hand within his deep pocket. He knew the Ministry couldn’t trace his wand and the drivers would just think they had stepped on their breaks in time.
“Coming?” he called, his voice almost sounding undead. Micah couldn’t help but smile as he sensed a return of his mate’s emotions.
Harry further relaxed as they entered the coffee shop, his shoulders losing some tenseness at the familiar scent of coffee. “I’ve never been in a Starbucks before,” he said quietly, staring ahead as he pulled Micah after him, letting his cousin follow if he chose. “They’re a chain, and, well, I never had access to Muggle money really before so . . .” He drifted off. “Petunia hated it, though, so it’s enough of a recommendation for me.”
Draco smiled when Harry no longer referred to the Muggles as his relatives.
“I’ve always wanted to try a cappuccino, to be honest.” He turned to his companions. “Micah? Draco? What do you want? My godfather gave me plenty of money.”
A patron a few places ahead of them, an older woman with brown hair, turned and looked intently at them.
Draco looked at the pastries before glancing at the large menu on the wall. “Is it safe to eat Muggle food?” he asked dubiously.
Harry laughed softly. “Course it is. They don’t poison it. They’d be shut down.”
Micah wrapped a protective arm around Harry, burying his face in Harry’s hair. “Anyone who even thinks of poisoning you or Morpheus is going to die—painfully,” he growled possessively, and a few of the patrons actually stepped back from him.
The brown haired woman gave her order and fiddled with Muggle money.
“I’ll have whatever you’re having,” Micah whispered into Harry’s ear, ”I have no idea what any of this shit is.”
“Same with me,” Draco said, “I don’t understand Muggles—or their food. Whatever you’re having, Hadrian, I’ll trust you because you’re a Black and therefore must have taste despite some of your clothing choices.”
Harry laughed slightly. “I like my clothes.”
“Well,” Draco scoffed, “at least you’re dressed like a pureblood today.”
“It was an accident,” Harry deadpanned.
“What did I tell you—you’re a Black, you have taste. It’s all that preconditioning that gets in the way.”
When it was their turn, the cashier stared at the three well-dressed teens before her and blushed.
“Three large cappuccinos and three pieces of chocolate chip shortbread for here,” Harry said, unnoticing when she focused her attention on him.
She nodded twice, and then started writing the order on cups without taking her eyes off Harry.
“Stop staring at my husband,” Micah snapped at her, and she squeaked.
“H-husband?” she stuttered, and her fellow worker took pity on her and went to get the three pastries.
“That’s what I said,” he said menacingly, his gold eyes shooting daggers at her.
“Micah,” Harry said, smiling slightly, “gay marriage doesn’t exist in the Muggle world.”
Draco stared at him and then turned a look of disgust on the Muggle before him, who had gone white. “That’s barbaric,” he drawled. “We’ve had it since the 1600s for non-heirs or men who already had children from a previous arrangement.”
Harry was pulling out his money and looked at his cousin. “Really? That long?”
Draco nodded. “Of course. The laws were changed a century and a half later to include all purebloods.”
The three plates were set on the counter. “Grab us a seat, Draco?” Harry asked sweetly, not wanting it to come to blows.
His cousin’s eyes narrowed before he nodded sharply, grabbing two of the plates. “Muggles,” he muttered, making his way toward the three most comfortable – and occupied – chairs.
“He’s going to threaten them, isn’t he?” Harry asked, shaking his head in fondness.
Micah stayed beside him as they waited for their drinks.
The brown haired woman eyed Harry discreetly, accepting her own coffee before turning and making her way toward Draco, who had intimidated the Muggles into moving.
She stood before him, but he didn’t look at her, instead staring out the window.
His lips thinned at the sound of his name, though he showed no other signs of tension. He turned and looked up into the face of a woman who looked very much like the photographs of his Aunt Bellatrix.
She exhaled audibly and sat across from him.
He glared at her. “I did not invite you to sit in my cousin’s chair.”
She glanced back toward Harry and Micah. “He looks very much like Regulus,” she sighed. “I never expected to see you in a Muggle coffeehouse of all places, Draco.” She smiled slightly. “I’m your aunt, Andromeda Tonks.”
Draco didn’t answer.
Andromeda didn’t take it as discouragement. “I never thought I would see Lucius Malfoy’s son rebelling in this way, to be honest. I’m glad I’m not the only one.” She shook her head slightly. “Shouldn’t you be at Hogwarts?”
Draco looked at her incredulously and didn’t notice Harry and Micah approaching.
“Haven’t read the Prophet in the past week?” he drawled disdainfully.
Micah slid into the empty chair and pulled Harry down onto his lap, after they had placed their drinks on the small table. He eyed Andromeda warily.
“I just got back into the country last night.” She looked at Micah and Harry, clearly not recognizing them. “You look like my cousins, Sirius and Regulus,” she said, addressing Harry. “Has Hogwarts closed down or something?” she asked in concern.
“No.” Draco’s answer held only disdain.
“Oh, that’s good.”
“Who are you?” Micah demanded.
“Sorry. Andromeda Tonks, Draco’s aunt.”
He turned his eyes questioningly toward Draco. “She’s my mother’s older sister, but was disinherited for marrying a Mudblood.”
Andromeda’s spine stiffened.
Harry nodded slightly, eating his cake happily. “She was burnt off of the family tapestry along with Siri.” He turned toward Micah. “Drink your cappuccino,” he commanded and Micah obeyed.
“I haven’t been to Grimmauld Place,” Draco continued conversationally, ignoring his aunt whose eyes had just widened.
His cousin shook his head. “I stayed there briefly over the summer before everything. Dreadfully dark place. I don’t know what my grandmother was thinking – decorating it like that. It just screams dark wizard, even to Muggles.” He paused, taking a long drink from his coffee. “Kreacher is a bit off, too, but he seems to like me well enough.”
Draco nodded. “Haven’t met that house-elf, to be honest.”
“Oh, he’s dreadful,” Andromeda put in.
Draco simply raised an eyebrow at her before turning back to his companions. “I assumed that’s where you were living.”
A smirk played on the edges of Harry’s lips. “One would assume that, wouldn’t one?”
Micah attempted to suppress a snigger at his mate’s playfulness.
“Where do you live then?”
Harry shrugged. “A cottage on Father’s property. It’s been redone for me and my godfathers – and Micah now.” He smiled softly before pondering out loud, “We really need to get a new place.”
Micah grunted in assent. “Have Hadrian’s classes been changed?” he asked Draco, ignoring the blood traitor next to him.
“Yes. Dumbledore had no choice. And the Weasley twins have been suspended for a month at least. Father tried to get them expelled, but as they were only guilty of sexual harassment and we couldn’t prove abetting child molestation, that’s the best we could do. This will go on their permanent records, though.”
Harry half-sighed. “I liked the twins.”
“Lord Montague and Father decided they couldn’t be given special treatment considering the seriousness of the situation,” Draco said softly, squeezing Harry’s hand.
Andromeda stared openly at her nephew, confusion written on her face.
“Hadrian,” Micah said in a deep, possessive voice, his hand resting on his husband’s abdomen discreetly, “we’re not like Muggles. Even if you had asked your father or Lord Malfoy to spare the twins, they never would have done it. Wizards do everything to protect their children. They are sacred under Morgan’s laws, and treasured by Merlin’s. We do everything for them, even when they show signs of being blood traitors, until they are adults. Even then, we would never lift a hand against them. Blood matters above everything.”
Harry rested his forehead against Micah’s, closing his eyes.
“I didn’t know there was another half-blood Black,” Andromeda said tactlessly, likely assuming that Harry’s ignorance came from some sort of Muggle or Muggle-born heritage. Purebloods who married people of lesser status, rarely adhered to the laws of Morgan.
Draco’s head snapped toward her as he gave her a look of disdain. “Hadrian is a pureblood. We do not associate with anyone unworthy.”
Andromeda’s eyes flashed in annoyance.
Harry whimpered slightly not liking the tension in the air.
“Mrs. Tonks,” Micah said coolly before she could say anything. “My husband is under a great deal of stress and we have tolerated your presence because of it. Do not make me remove you.”
She shivered despite herself. “You’re a Black then?” she asked.
Draco answered for his cousin. “He is.” He offered no other information.
“Hadrian is an unusual name for a Black. Glad we’re branching out, though. There are only so many stars and constellations.”
Micah snorted, thinking of his husband’s middle name. Harry had explained over their brief hiatus from Hogwarts that it had been a compromise on his godfather’s side. He had wanted to name him “Hadrian Orion,” but Voldemort had insisted he be given a name beginning with “M” to follow his own family tradition.
“Eat your shortbread,” Harry quietly said to his husband. He and Draco had already finished theirs.
“You have it,” Micah replied, rubbing Harry’s wrist soothingly. “You haven’t been eating that much since this all started.”
“Micah,” Harry whined.
“I’ll tell Professor Snape to give you an extra fucking Nutrition Potion when we get back tonight,” he threatened and Harry’s eyes instantly widened.
“You wouldn’t,” Harry hedged, but he saw the serious glint in Micah’s eyes. “Fine,” he said, grabbing the plate and quietly eating it.
“You both seem a bit young to be married,” Andromeda observed.
Micah stared at her coolly, but didn’t respond.
“We do not comment on your life and choices, do not comment on ours,” Draco responded again.
Andromeda eyed him warily, before inclining her head. “I have a daughter a few years older than both of you,” she said to her two relatives. “Nymphadora. She was in Hufflepuff though, like her father.”
Draco glanced at a clock on the wall. “The Hogwarts Express should have arrived,” he said. “Maybe they’ll leave a bit early since we’re the only passengers.”
Micah grunted noncommittally though Harry nodded, finishing off the pastry.
Before Andromeda could say much of anything, the three wizards were gathering their things and leaving without uttering so much as a goodbye. “I think I just landed in The Midnight Zone,” she misquoted to herself.