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Chapter 8: The Weight of Family
Amber Daugherty was a beautiful, intelligent, and driven young woman. She had finished school with top marks, even graduating valedictorian. Her raven black hair fell just to her neckline, and went perfectly with her dark olive complexion. Her eyes were the palest blue imaginable, almost seeming grey upon first glance. Many suitors had tried to make advances on Amber but all were immediately shot down. She was not conceited or any of those petty emotions, she had but one goal in life. Find dark magic and stomp it out any way possible, and even at the young age of twenty two she was succeeding.
She stood up and walked around the side of the desk to look out on the beautiful Washington D.C. landscape. As she moved around the office she noticed the eyes of the current President of Magic following the shapely curves of her voluptuous body. She knew John Canton was a fat old dog, which would bed any woman that showed him the slightest attention. Rather than feel degraded, she decided to use her ample skill and prodigious assets to help her situation.
“John, allow me to jump straight to the point” Amber said as she turned to face the President. “I have heard the rumors about the young man, but I also feel he is ultimately responsible for the situation we are currently facing. Had he not destroyed England’s ‘Dark Lord’” Amber paused to quote that statement using her fingers and a sour condescending look on her face. “Then his followers would never have immigrated to the United States.”
Amber finished her well-rehearsed speech and awaited President Canton’s response.
“Mrs. Daugherty, you know full well, I have spoken with the current Minister of Magic in London. He refuses to even mention the topic to Harry Potter. I do not see any value with bringing an eighteen year old boy over to the states anyway. Why can’t you people over in wizard law deal with the problem” the President asked.
Amber glared at the pudgy old man with an icy stare. She became the current director of the dark magic task force a few months ago. Her predecessor was a doddering old fool from the American Southwest, who fancied himself as some kind of ancient shaman. He was forced to investigate a crime of muggle baiting, something they had never dealt with before. During his investigation he met two of the supposed deatheaters and they tore him to pieces. Amber doubts he ever sent a spell in offense during the entire exchange in which he was killed, and that was why she wanted Harry Potter. If even half the rumors about the boy wonder were true, then she had to meet him and have her team train with him. Her current forces could not deal with the power presented in these ‘deatheaters’. She had hoped if she portrayed Harry as a nuisance rather than a savior, the President would be more apt to help her. She knew he was always wary of the next person trying to steal his job.
Feeling the unease at this beautiful young woman staring daggers at him, he mentioned the one opportunity to recruit the young wizard Potter and keep him as far away from politics as possible.
“Why don’t we try to offer him a position at the Laveau Academy in south Louisiana” John offered and instantly saw the young women’s demeanor change.
“Can we offer an expanded Defense against the Dark Arts course through the school this year” She asked with renewed vigor. John thought that was a wonderful idea and gave her permission to arrange the entire thing.
Over the last six months Harry, Ron, and Hermione had spent as much free time possible studying in Harry’s new libraries. On top of the studying Harry and Ron had begun an extreme physical fitness regiment of weights, running, resistance training, and cardio exercises. The press had slowed its constant invasion into Harry’s private life and he was starting to enjoy his semi-private life. Of course people would always recognize him and offer their thanks or request autographs. He still felt uncomfortable, simply because he knew that he really didn’t have a choice in his fame. He was going to be famous for killing Voldermort and making the world a safe place or he was dead and Voldermort ruled everything. Given those two choices, Harry figured a few autographs and a little media were small prices to pay.
Hermione and Ron had decided to get married. The proposal was sort of sweet and unexpected coming from the romantically challenged Ron Weasley. They had been to a Quidditch match between the Chudley Cannons and Puddlemere United. After the match the group of friends went to a pub for a bit of late night revelry. Hermione had recently started to harp on Ron for his binge drinking and had finally given him an ultimatum,
“Either you love me or you love getting smashed, one or the other Ron.”
That night he was drinking heavily and had started to act obnoxious, and Hermione was done. Neville was trying to get Ron to slow down because he knew about Hermione’s resolution to leave Ron if he continued to drink heavily. Hermione was just turning to Luna and Ginny to excuse herself with tears in her eyes; she knew the relationship was over. The moment Hermione stood up Ron grabbed her hand, and spun her around.
“Everyone here knows you are too good for me ‘Mione’ but before you walk out of my life for good please just answer one question for me” Ron dropped to one knee and with a twinkle in his eye produced a beautiful ring
“Will you do this poor old drunk a favor and marry me”
Hermione was speechless for the first time in her life. She immediately realized that Ron did not seem to be intoxicated at all, she looked over to Harry and he held up Ron’s bottle of firewhiskey that was ‘full’ and appeared to be corked. She had been completely taken in by his little act and rather than feeling foolish she was swept off her feet.
“Ron, you big idiot, of course I will marry you” she answered with tears of happiness replacing the tears of sadness on her face.
Over the weeks the three of them had talked a lot about future plans. Ron had been accepted into the auror program at the Ministry, and Hermione was joining the Department of Mysteries, hoping to become an unspeakable. Harry had a multitude of offers from varying career paths but was no closer to deciding today than he was last week. The Chudley Cannons had offered him a lucrative position as seeker, following his tryouts earlier in the summer. The Minister had offered him a position in any department he wished, including a cabinet position if he so desired. People from all over had begun to recruit Harry feverishly but he didn’t know what he wanted to do. One day earlier this week the trio was in the sitting room at Grimmuald Place relaxing and reminiscing on their days at Hogwarts when Harry brought the subject up again.
“I hate to bring this back up, but what do you two think I should do” Harry asked his closest friends.
“How the hell are we supposed to know? That’s your future not ours” Hermione pointed out
“Yeah mate, that’s like me asking you how many kids me and Hermione should have. Kind of a stupid question to let someone else answer” Ron interjected
Harry just sat back and smiled, ‘big help they are’ he thought, but they were right.
“Harry I hate to change the subject but we have been over that topic so many times it actually gives me a headache. Not trying to sound like Dumbledore or anything but ‘you will know when you know’.” Hermione told Harry. She abruptly changed subjects to a topic she had been studying in ‘Gisgon’ Harry’s library in Carthage. When she began to speak she noticed Harry and Ron instantly zone out, as usual.
“Pay attention Harry, this is important. I have been meaning to bring this up for over a month but didn’t know how.” Harry perked up after being scolded by Hermione. She started to talk and then suddenly she remembered something and went over to the floo and called for Ron’s brother Bill Weasley, who also happened to be Harry’s accountant and bookkeeper. She mentioned that it was a rather long story with a lot of facts so Harry had Kreacher bring some coffee and biscuits while they talked.
“Bill and I have made a few discoveries. Bill brought them to my attention based on some documents he found while going through the Potter and Black family vaults. Harry do you remember Bill asking you to come to the vaults about a month ago” Hermione asked
“Yeah” Harry responded “Bill needed me to unlock some chests that were magically sealed. Only the owner of the chest could open it.”
“That is correct” Bill chimed in “I knew those were family history chests and most families keep important or secret documents in those chests.” Bill added
“That is how Bill found out about your muggle financial holdings and your history with the commonwealth. He also found out interesting information about the Potter family tree. When he brought his findings to me, I began to investigate and reference them to the ancient books on genealogy in Gisgon. Once I had a clearer picture….” Hermione paused.
She seemed reticent to share this information with Harry. “Look Harry, I know better than anyone how much crap you have been through your entire life. If you don’t want me to add a whole new load to your already full cart I can stop right now” Hermione told Harry with compassion radiating from her look.
“It seems awfully important Hermione, and I have always wanted to know more about my family. Let’s just agree to keep whatever information you have found between the four of us for now.” Harry replied urging her to move on in the story.
“Well” Hermione continued “The Potter line has never been broken; the surname has never been changed in thousands of years. Your family lineage has been recorded since its inception for good reason. I suspected something when I saw that phoenix merge with your soul when you died, but I never imagined how short sighted my suspicion could have been.” Hermione paused and took a sip of butterbeer and gathered her thoughts for a moment. She had Harry and Ron on the edge of their seats, “You are a direct descendant of Godric Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff on the Potter side of your family. Most laypeople think the four founders were friends, but they were actually siblings. All magic comes from these four people, their line being the most direct link.”
She continued to explain about the huge book she had been studying meticulously for weeks. She had followed the marriages and births through the ages and came across an interesting anomaly. Three generations after their initial children, Gryffindor’s and Hufflepuff’s heirs married and had one child. Then their boy had one boy, so on and so forth for thousands of years. She explained that is why there are so few Potters in the magical world; every generation of male Potter only had one male offspring.
Harry was amazed that Hermione had spent so much time studying his family. It was obvious that she had much more to say but she needed to add some more details for Ron and Harry to keep up, since they were not quite as intelligent as she was. She continued to explain that everyone could claim a founder as a forefather. All magic went through these four people, and because of that it proved their children begat children who begat even more children, but there was only one direct unbroken line from that brother and sister pair.
“Once I realized that, I began looking into the Evans side of your family. This was much harder because someone cursed this family around seven hundred AD. The curse removed magic from the family’s future generations, effectively killing out the Evans family from the magical community. That was until Helene Evans arrived at Hogwarts in the eighth century, she was an extremely talented witch born to muggles. Everyone thought she had proven that your bloodline had nothing to do with your magical powers. Then I found Abigail Evans in the tenth century and followed her illustrious career until she died many years later. Once I realized there was a magical Evans once a century I had a common thread to decipher the Evans family tree focusing on the witches that were born once a century. Going back through the generations, every Evans witch married a muggle and produced muggle offspring, until your mother, the Evans family witch of the twentieth century; obviously she married your father and had you.”
Hermione stopped talking and looked into Harry’s strained expression. “Do you need me to circle back to anything” Hermione asked in sympathy. Harry just shook his head expressing he was following along.
“Alright so that brings us back to the seventh century and the curse. The feud between the Malfoy family and the Evans family is irrelevant to the story, but it is kind of humorous to know that all of our families have been fighting for ever, literally. Anyway, it seems as if the magic in the Evans family was too strong to be completely suppressed. Once I discovered the common thread and was able to track the family backwards I realized the Evans family was direct line descendants of Salazar Slytherin and Rowena Ravenclaw. Same scenario as in Godric and Helga, three generations after the initial produced a child, only this time it was a witch.” Hermione finished and
Harry sat there with realization quickly clearing his mind.
“So what you are saying is that I am a direct descendant of the four founders.” Harry asked impatiently
“Yes, you are the first wizard or witch ever who can claim a direct unbroken link between the four founders but there is one fact I left out that you should definitely know.” Hermione paused for effect
“Their father was Merlin.” Hermione finished with a playful grin on her face.
“Wait, so I am the first and only direct descendant of Merlin, the Merlin? Like the first and most powerful wizard to ever live, Merlin” Harry asked in astonishment.
Hermione explained that the power Dumbledore had unlocked was Merlin’s magic; the phoenix that entered Harry’s body and saved him was the essence of Merlin’s soul. She further explained that if Harry were to become an animagus he would probably be a phoenix and his patronus had more than likely already taken on that form.
“Basically you are Merlin, or at least the modern day equivalent. History stated that you would come, but watchers had been placed by the founders to prevent the Evans and Potter family from uniting until the appointed time. It seems that they were very wary of the power they had granted this future wizard and reluctantly allowed it to happen, and only after they had ensured many safeguards were in place. Don’t worry; I have yet to found any reasoning or information behind the appointed time reference.”
Hermione sat back finally finished speaking at least for the time being. ‘She had said enough’ Harry thought.
A/N I really liked this chapter, it took a while to write it but hopefully it is an interesting read. Later on in the book you will realize that certain statements during Hermione’s little history lesson will become very important for the plot. Please review or add any ideas about how this could have been better written. I am about as far from a professional as you can get.