(DM14) Part the Fourteenth

“I was the man who never lied / Never lied until today / But I just couldn’t break your heart / Like you did mine yesterday”

“The Man Who Never Lied,” Maroon 5

“You married your godsibling?” Flo screamed in the drawing room.  The entire family was present, and Selenadora was looking over at Lycoris for help.

“It’s illegal,” he whispered.

“I thought—wasn’t there a form—?”

“There’s still a stigma.”

Flo threw a pillow cushion at Sirius.  “I’ll divorce you!” she screamed.  “Look what you did to poor Lycoris!”

“Oh no,” he breathed.

“You had to keep it a secret from him, his magic is all twisted—“

“That,” Sirius interjected, “is a lie.”

“No, it’s not.  He’s the product of an incestuous relationship.  Your magic is so similar that it turns in on itself and eats away at itself!—I can’t believe you would endanger your own child.  No, I’m getting out of here!”

“Don’t take another step!” Sirius intoned.  “If you sue me for magical divorce, you know they’ll award me the baby.  I’m Lord Black and my previous marriage is legitimate according to the Head of the Wizengamot and the Minister of Magic.  You’re the third daughter of nobody, with no dowry, nothing.  I’m one of the most powerful wizards in the kingdom!”


“How dare I?  You want to take my child away from me!” he bellowed.  “And love is never wrong, Flo.  Never.

He stalked out of the room.

Flo refused to stay.  In the end, law wizards were hired, a hearing was brought before a judge, and Flo was forced to return at Grimmauld Place before the child was born.  Then Sirius could magically divorce her for not accepting his family magics, as she technically had no grounds, and she could only leave with the clothes on her back.  She wouldn’t have anything but her original birth name.  Not even her small dowry.

She was given one of the guest rooms and she rarely came down, even for meals.  Kreacher was told to still treat her as the Lady of the House, as she was carrying the next Black, and Lycoris could only watch it all.

“Will you divorce her?” he asked Sirius quietly over lunch one day.

Selenadora looked up, a coronet back on her head.

“Yes, it seems to be what she wants,” he answered stiffly.  “I thought I could find some form of happiness now that Lux was gone.  I was flattered by her interest and I found her beautiful, but now, after all this.”

“We’ll have a baby,” Selenadora stated.  “That’s all that matters.  Do we have names?”

“I honestly hadn’t thought.”

“Dora or a star?” Lycoris asked.  “Name her after me as a lark—Harrendora.”

Sirius smiled.  “Are you sure you want to be reminded of your kidnapping?”

“It’s a beautiful name,” Lycoris declared.  “And it needs to be rehabilitated.”

Lycoris was sitting with Draco, Selenadora, and Lacerta.  Iolanthe was too young.  “Right,” he began, placing a copy of Spungen’s Guide to Pureblood Dynasties, c.1500-present on the table.  “Father loved Mother.  Desperately.  He’s never going to get that back.  Flo’s proved a disappointment and Harrendora needs a mother.  Father also could use not to be alone.  We need to find someone.”

“Don’t you think Cousin Sirius should be the one?” Lacerta asked, but Draco shook his head.

“Definitely not.  He’s still probably in shock from what Florence did when she found out.  At least we don’t have to deal with it being a secret anymore.  It made the headlines of The Prophet.”

Selenadora shivered.  “I can’t help.  I don’t know pureblood dynasties here in England.”

“Well then,” Lacerta said, taking the book and flipping through it.  “I have just the witch it mind.  She opened to the Prince family tree and showed it to everyone.  “There’s Troy Prince, naturally, with his three children and the youngest is his heir, Octavian.  Troy has two younger half-siblings, Paris and Eileen.  Eileen, of course, married a Muggle and had Professor Snape.”

Lycoris looked up at her in shock.  She, however, blithely continued.

“Paris, however, had one daughter.  It looks like she’s,” she peered at the book, “nineteen now.  Younger than Florence but older than you, Lycoris.  I haven’t heard of any courtship offers, possibly because she’s from a lesser offshoot.”

“Is she beautiful?”

“I’ll ask Professor Snape,” Draco said.  “He’s sure to have a picture somewhere.”

“Then we’ll try that angle,” Lycoris decided.  He looked at the chart.  “Except for a half-blood cousin, and really who can help that, she has impeccable blood lines.  How are the Princes for blood purity?”

“They’re obsessed with it,” Draco stated, a little harshly.  “They’re also obsessed with appearances.”

Their gazes locked and held.  There was more to the story there.

Draco and Lycoris were lying on Draco’s bed in Slytherin, sticking charms and silencing spells in place as they made birds of light dance around the ceiling.  “What aren’t you telling me?” Lycoris asked.  “I thought we told each other everything.”

“It’s too shameful,” Draco admitted.  “I only found out by accident.”

Lycoris nodded.  “It has to do with the Princes, though.  Does it hurt the case of Lady Andromache with Father?”

“No, not at all, it’s just …”  He puffed out some air.  “Father was placed under the Imperius Curse.”

“What?” Lycoris screeched, rising to one elbow.

“There was a beautiful witch and he was forced to—well—there was a child.  She named him Octavian Nür Prince and left him with her parents, Lord and Lady Prince.  As their own son had died, they named him their child and their heir.  He’s here at Hogwarts.  Father only found out a year ago when he clapped eyes on the boy at the Department of Mysteries.  Father was one of the Death Eaters sent to retrieve the Prophecy once that Longbottom idiot had taken it off the shelf.  Well, Prince was there, and, well, it’s rather obvious he’s a Malfoy.  Just like it’s a bit obvious you are if you actually look at you and not just your Black features or discount your hair as being the blond Black hair.”  He sighed.  “Lacerta and Iolanthe are never to know.”

“No, of course not,” Lycoris agreed.  “As you say, he’s the son of Lord and Lady Prince.  That’s enough to be getting on with.”

Draco squeezed his hand.  “It’s amazing how many children there are in hiding.  You don’t really think about it, but heirs go missing or are hidden somewhere else.”

“Yes, I suppose you’re right,” Lycoris mused.  “At least Father’s had Mother’s grave moved.  That’s something.—I wonder if Andromache is blonde.”

The two burst out laughing.

“This will certainly make your family tree interesting,” Draco finally said.

“No more interesting than others,” Lycoris insisted.  “You’re lucky.  Your parents both survived the war unscathed.  Not many can say that.”

“No.  Not many can,” he agreed.  “Oh, look.  Your cat followed you here.  It really is devoted.”

“Be lucky Samhain doesn’t follow me through the floo,” Lycoris laughed.  “That would really be something.”

Dumbledore was seated behind his desk, looking over his half-moon spectacles.  “Enlighten me, Ambassador,” he said, picking up the scroll.  “This attack will take place within the next two weeks.”

“As I understand it.”

“Hmm.”  He set the scroll down.  “Your cousin Auror Tonks has been asking after you,” he put lightly.  “She hasn’t seen you since Headquarters were moved from Twelve, Grimmauld Place.

“I doubt she will see me,” Lycoris added back.  “My father accepts my wishes not to see that side of the family.”

“Quite.”  Dumbledore paused.  “Perhaps you can clear something up for me, Heir Lycoris.  Why is Voldemort so fond of you?”

Again with the blatant disrespect.  It still irked Lycoris.

“Why do you think he has a particular fondness?”

“Out of all the names he could have chosen, your uncle Lord Malfoy being one of them, he chose you.  Then, he has your father’s first marriage legitimized.  Even the combined power of the Black and Malfoy families would not have been able to achieve this.  Yet Lord Voldemort does this specifically for you, offering up tactical details of his attacks.  Why?”

Lycoris shrugged elegantly.  “Perhaps it was because I asked him to.”

“Yes,” Dumbledore said pensively.  “But you must have offered him something in return.  Marriage perhaps?”

“I’m afraid I’m engaged to Lord Riddle,” Lycoris reminded him.  “Not the Dark Lord.”

“Come, we are friends, of a sort.  You are my ambassador.  Let’s call things as they really are.  Lord Voldemort was born Tom Marvolo Riddle, Jr. to a Muggle father and a witch that was practically a Squib.”

“Forgetting the name, I highly doubt his father was a Muggle and his mother was a Squib.  The Dark Lord is far too powerful for that.”

“Magic works in mysterious ways.”

“It does, doesn’t it?” Lycoris mused, thinking of the scar on his forehead.  “But what does this have to do with me?”

“Lord Voldemort never gives a favor without exacting a price,” Dumbledore said darkly.  “He will occasionally reward, but then it is something small.  An act of legitimacy of your parents’ marriage and, thus, yourself, is not small.  It is almost the act of a lover to his fiancé.”

“What an interesting theory, but I’m afraid you are wrong,” Lycoris countered.

Dumbledore paused.  “There was one other occasion when he granted such a great boon.  Are you aware that Voldemort killed James Potter outright but gave Lily Potter the chance to live?”

Lycoris felt his throat close up.  He shook his head, knowing that if he were to speak, it would come out strangled.

“Yes.  His follower heard the beginning of a prophecy, which determined that Harry Potter was to die.  His death before his first year here at Hogwarts was tragic.  Some say the Dark Lord’s followers had a hand in it.”  He sighed.  “The follower asked for Lily Potter in exchange for the prophecy.  Voldemort granted the request.”

“He—the follower—“ Lycoris was proud of himself, his voice was hushed, but it came out strong “—wanted her sexually.”

“He had since he was a very small child,” Dumbledore confided.  “Yes, Severus Snape and Lily Potter knew each other even before they came to Hogwarts.”

Lycoris’s head snapped up.  Severus Snape?

“So, he would trade an innocent child’s life for a fuck toy?” he spat.  “Well, obviously Mrs. Potter did not take the chance to live.  Strange,” he mused to himself.

“Normally, I would take points for language, Mr. Black, but considering the circumstances, I will not.  I am glad, though, to see that you are on our side.  As Severus now is, I would like to tell you.  But of course you know that.  He has been at Grimmauld Place a number of times.  I was, of course, beginning to wonder if the dark had your allegiance.”

“I am an ambassador,” he said cruelly.  “I have no side.”

“As you say, Ambassador.  As you say.  My boy, I hate to bother you, but your hair is turning completely blond.”

Lycoris picked up the ends of his hair and watch it transform it before his eyes.  “Forgive me, Headmaster, but this is an old Black malady.  My father has the cure.  If I may be permitted to see him as it is the weekend?”

Dumbledore looked at him carefully.  “Your eyes are violet like you mother’s,” he mused.  “Tonks has been showing similar signs of such a malady this year.  Her hair is no longer pink but a mousy brown.  Go to your father.  I doubt Madam Pomfrey could heal such an ailment.”

“Thank you, Headmaster,” he whispered, heading for the floo.  “Could you have Draco floo over my work?”

“Of course,” he said jovially.  “You’ll have it within the next few hours.”

Then, with a wisp of smoke, he was gone.

“I only just got the owl,” Narcissa said as she rushed into Lycoris’s room.  “Lucius is in a meeting, but I left word for him as soon as he got out.”

Sirius was sitting by the side of Lycoris’s bed, holding his hand.  He’d carefully taken the twist out of his golden blond hair, lengthening it by several inches, and had even combed it to calm Lycoris.

“Flo won’t come down,” he spat viciously.  “I know she’s due in a month, but it’s only a stairway.”

“I saw the divorce went through, Cousin,” Narcissa murmured.  “What else has been done for Lie?”

“I sent for You-Know-Who,” he stated.  “I wasn’t sure where to send the owl or how to send the owl, so there are several gone out there.  I just don’t know what went wrong this time.”

They waited in silence until half an hour later Marvolo and Lucius stepped in.  “What happened?” Marvolo demanded, coming up and smoothing out Lycoris’s hair.  “Darling, did Dumbledore do this?”

Lycoris nodded his head and Marvolo sighed.  “I won’t know if you won’t tell me.”

“He talked about when you went to kill the Potters—and Severus—how he asked—“

“For Lily Potter’s life in exchange for yours,” Marvolo reasoned.  “I saw no harm in it.  He was but a half-blood.  His line had already been polluted.”

“I was a child!” Lycoris screamed.  “You bargained with a child’s life.”

“No,” Marvolo stated coolly, “I bargained with a Mudblood’s who meant next to nothing.  She kidnapped you, what would it matter if Snape had raped her?”

“You didn’t know I was kidnapped at the time!  You tried to kill me!”

“I tried to kill Harry Potter!  I never tried to kill Lycoris Black!” he clarified.  Everyone was still in the room, the only sound Lycoris’s harsh breathing. 

“What if it had been Mother?”

“Your mother is a pureblood, Coris.”

Sirius started at the pet name.

“What if it were her?”

“Do you think I do not prize purebloods?” he asked with disdain.  “It wouldn’t have mattered to me if she were in an incestuous marriage.  Her blood was still pure!  Coris, my grandfather married his niece.  I am not a stranger to such happenings.”

“The more I hear about your family, the stranger it gets,” Lycoris admitted.

“That could very well be true.”  Marvolo leaned forward until their foreheads touched.

“I know when you’re attacking,” Lycoris finally said, as he breathed in Marvolo’s scent.

“When then?”

“About two or three days after you said you would.”

They looked at each other and laughed.  “You have a mind for strategy.  I could use you as a general for my armies.”

“Sadly, the Blacks are neutral in this war,” Lycoris sighed.  “You will just have to make use of our talents in other ways by, say, naming us ambassador.”

“Your hair is still blond,” Marvolo noticed, sitting up, and running his hand through it. 

“I want Snape punished.”


“She gave birth to me.  She stole me, but she gave birth to me, and she didn’t step aside and let you have me.”

“I have no valid reason.  I cannot tell him that she is the one who stole you.”

Lycoris’s eyes suddenly flicked a stormy gray and large black streaks ran through his hair.  “Then make up a reason.  Dumbledore called him his spy.  Use that as a reason.”

“Dumbledore is supposed to think he’s his spy.”

“Do something!” Lycoris yelled as he sat up on the bed.

“She—is—a—filthy—Mudblood—“ Marvolo declared through clenched teeth.

“I am an incestuous illegitimate!”

“You are not,” Sirius claimed.  “You were never that.  Lux and I took precautions against it.”

Lycoris looked over at his father momentarily before returning his gaze to Marvolo. 

Marvolo had his fingers pinching his nose and was breathing through it deeply.  “Lycoris, I am going to place the world at your feet, but this I cannot give you, though it pains me to say it.”

“What if she loved me?” Lycoris asked brokenly.

“Son,” Lucius stated, sitting down on the bed beside him.  “She couldn’t have.  She stole you.  She merely wanted you.  Those are two totally different things.”

Lycoris was now crying against his shoulder and Lucius held him close, looking over at Black, who looked so helpless. 

Finally, Sirius said, “Why don’t I order pizza—don’t look at me like that, Malfoy—and I can set up the old projector and we can watch Dracula, Lycoris’s favorite film.  He finds the vampire in it quite funny.”

“An excellent plan,” Narcissa declared.  “We can all be quite bohemian and pretend we’re muggles for the night.”

“What an awful thought,” Lucius murmured, looking down at Lycoris whose sobs were now choked and few and far between.

“I think I’d like that.”  He turned to Marvolo.  “Will you stay?”

“I’ve never had pizza,” he admitted.  “But I’m willing to try it, as long as Kreacher is willing to make me something else if the experiment goes awry.”

Lycoris laughed and was helped off the bed.  As he left the room, he asked, “Why has Cousin Tonks’ hair gone a mousy brown?”

“Oh,” Sirius exclaimed.  “Quite simple really.  She fancies the pants off of Remus and he keeps on refusing her advances.  Says he’s ‘gay.’  I keep on asking him if he is gay, but can’t get a straight answer out of him.”

Sirius sat at The White Witch.  Flo was due any day now, but the magical healer said she wouldn’t come during lunch, so he was free to go out.

He really wasn’t sure how he’d let Lycoris, Draco, and Selenadora talk him into this via letter.

A petite witch with brown hair and black eyes appeared at the table.  “Lord Black?” she asked carefully, and he immediately stood.

Taking her hand, he greeted, “Lady Andromache.”

She smiled and took her seat.  “I was quite surprised when I got Heir Lycoris’s letter.  He was quite insistent that the children in your household needed mothering.”

“Sounds like him,” Sirius admitted.  “Right now, I have my son and my niece, Lady Selenadora, and my divorced wife is about to give birth to another girl.”

“Yes, he mentioned that.  He didn’t give me a name though.”  She looked expectant.

“Lady Harrendora.”


“I was godfather to Harry Potter.”

“Ah,” she murmured before taking a sip of her water.  “Is ‘dora’ a family name?”

“Yes, we’re usually named after stars but sometimes the women carry the name ‘dora.’  My cousin’s daughter is unfortunately named Nymphadora.  I still can’t figure out why Andromeda would give her such a name, but she did.”

Andromache laughed.  “No, it brings some disquieting images to mind.—Forgive me.  I read Muggle literature, and, well…”  She drifted off.

“I’m surprised,” Sirius admitted.  “Usually Coris is a stickler on blood purity.  He doesn’t even like it when I see Andromeda because she married a Muggle-born.”

“Oh, but I am,” she reassured.  “I just like Muggle literature.  Not many wizards write, if you’ve noticed.”

He nodded.

A bottle of champagne arrived.  “Compliments of Heir Lycoris Black, Heir Draco Malfoy, Lady Selenadora Black, and Lady Lacerta Malfoy,” the waiter said, reading a card.

“Why,” Andromache said, “we do seem to have many people meddling.”

“And all of them my son considers siblings.  It’s an unholy alliance.”

“Well, at least you know they care about you,” she admitted.  “May I ask you something?  I realize it’s personal, but, well, I’d like to know before we proceed.”

The champagne was being poured and Sirius motioned that she should go ahead.

“Why did you divorce Miss Florence Sweetings?  She’s with child.  What happened?”

Sirius blew out a breath.  “Coris got a magical dispensation for my marriage to his mother, Lady Lux Kingsley.  You know we were godsiblings.”

“Yes,” she agreed.  “I read about it in the papers.”

“She found it disgusting, she found me disgusting, she found Lycoris disgusting.  There was nothing for it but divorce.”

“And Heiress Sirius—Lux—may I ask why?”

“We loved each other, more than we’d ever seen anyone love each other.  You don’t turn your back on a love like that.  If my son is right, and he usually is, and this progresses to the bondler, then you’ll have to know that Lux was the love of my life.”

“All right,” she said, raising her glass.  “To meddling children who apparently want a mother who’s only nineteen.”

Sirius choked on his champagne.

Severus walked up the steps of the rectory.  He could ring the doorbell.  He knew he could.  He just couldn’t be bothered.  Swinging his hand the side, the door flew open, crashing against its hinges.

His wand shone purple.

He was in a little entry hall but he followed the voices until he found a small kitchen with a table in it.  Two people were sitting at it, Hermione Granger and, he supposed, the Reverend Sydney Chambers.

Hermione immediately stood.  “Professor.  What is it now?  I’ve done everything you asked.”

Chambers looked between the two of them before standing as well.  “We want no trouble,” he said quietly.

“And yet trouble seems to have found you,” he murmured.  “The Dark Lord was most distressed to hear from the New Zealand government that a new magical child was on their registries—the unborn child of a Rev. Chambers and a Hermia Grange Chambers.  Is there anything you can tell me about that?”

“Magical?” Chambers asked in confusion.  “Whatever are you talking about?”

“You didn’t tell him,” Severus accused.

“I live the life of a muggle.  My wand was snapped.  Why would I ever want to relive any of that by telling anyone!”

“Wand?” Chambers asked Hermione in confusion.  “What are you going on about?”

“Just—hang on,” Hermione begged.  “Let’s just see what this is all about and then—I don’t know.”

“You have two options, both of which this Ministry supports.  They do not wish to anger the Dark Lord, you see.  Number one,” he held up a finger.  “I curse your womb and you will never bear magical offspring.”

“You cannot possibly,” she ground out, moving forward, but Chambers held her back.

“Number Two,” he held up a second finger, “you give this child and all subsequent children up for adoption.  They will be relocated to Britain and given to half-blood parents and your children will, in fact, be half-bloods.  Furthermore, you will never have,” now he drawled out the word, “intercourse again without protection so this will hopefully only be a problem this one time.”

“I’m sorry,” Chambers said.  “Who are you?”

“Professor Severus Snape.  You may be interested to know, Miss Granger, that your friend Sirius Black is courting my cousin Andromache.”

“What happened to that Florence woman?”

“She wanted a divorce.  The Dark Lord sued for dispensation to be given to Lord Black so his first marriage could be legally recognized and his son no longer a bastard.”

She blinked at him.  “What?”

“Black married his godsibling and was keeping it a secret from everyone, including Heir Lycoris.”

She sucked in her breath.  “But his magic—“

“Is the stronger for it.  Now, the choice.  Squibs or adoption.  Do you want the child or not.”

“I have no idea what a Squib is, but the child is wanted,” Chambers said decidedly.  “And then you are telling me everything.”

Hermione disengaged herself from him and then came up to Severus.  Whispering in his ear, she asked, “Could you do it and then obliviate him?”

He nodded.

She went back to her husband and he cast the curse.

He left them, Chambers none the wiser, eating their meal.  If there were tears in Hermione’s eyes, no one commented on them.

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