Harco Empire

BY : Whitmore
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Draco
Dragon prints: 4271
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or films. I do not make any money from the writing of this story, just enjoyment.

Adittional Tags: HJ. Solo

~~~ PRELIMINARY ~~~

I am unable to categorise this story without choosing most of the themes; however, I do avoid bloodletting and really gruesome descriptions.  There is torture in places – usually of a sexual kind, I will try and forewarn any of you who feel particularly delicate about such subjects.

This story is the start of a number of connected stories in the same universe based on my original story of ‘Toppers Wallow’ about Godric’s Hollow and Grimmauld Place.  It is centred around Harry and Draco.  However, many of the other characters appear and some have quite significant parts to play; especially Hermione, Ronald, Seamus, Dean, Blaise, Justin, Astoria and Ginevra.  Quite a few new characters emerge also:  John is a clueful vicar who acts as the company’s conscience and three naughty choirboys who are rehabilitated in a very unexpected way. 

When writing, and publishing this story originally I guessed at Draco’s wife’s name as Daphne Greengrass.  JKR has now said it is Astoria Greengrass.  In ‘Harco Empire’ I have altered the original ‘Toppers Wallow’ Series to match.  In response to some criticisms about Draco being missing from the first dozen and a half chapters I have added extra chapters and augmented the original ones to cover that omission; thus increasing the number of chapters.  Whereas I had Neville and Luna as a couple I have altered that to Hannah [as per JKR].  Certain chapters thereafter have been extended, renumbered and typos corrected – the opening chapters in ‘Toppers Wallow’ have now been altered considerably, Billy disappears with Seamus and Dean taking his part.  These chapters have also been expanded with Draco additions and have preliminary [scholastic] chapters which lead into many additional subsequent chapters about honeymoons and the pan European relationships thus set up.  I have also taken into account the storyline of the ‘Cursed Child’.

The first section I term ‘Scholastic’ and cover side stories whilst the participants are at school.  Those of us who have been away at a boarding school will know that all kinds of sexual adventures go on.  Occasionally the teachers find out.  Some are very strict [Minerva and Severus] others more lenient [Dumbledore].  Mostly, these escapades are quietly forgotten because those in charge realise that this is part of growing up.  Only when things seem to be getting out of hand do the authorities act.  Therefore, this first section deals with those happenings – all imaginary, of course.  Just me messing with JKR’s characters.

Note that: “words” represents normal speech and ‘words’ are individual internal private thoughts.  *words* are mental communication [telepathy] between two or more attuned mages and #words# are Parseltongue speech.  Later, when a form of thaumic telephone is developed {words} will represent that kind of speech. Where a character is Polyjuiced into another one then that character has an initial placed after his or her name representing the new visage.  For instance: Harry transformed into Draco becomes Harry-d etc.  Sub headings in chapters, mark transitions and are in capitals enclosed by three tildes [~~~WORDS ~~~].

For the purpose of this long story I have envisaged that Godric’s Hollow is located somewhere in the North Yorkshire Dales or South Cumbria; on a straight line, halfway between Hogwarts [Scotland] and Grimmauld Place [London].  It is a place of bare heather covered hilltops and lush green dales, steep fells [hills] and hidden valleys – ideal for hiding away a community steeped in the old agricultural customs.  Saint Godric was a holy man who had a hermitage at Finchdale in County Durham; his emblem was a stag – the same as Harry’s Patronus.  Because Godric was a North of England Saint I suggest that this Pennine Region is an ideal setting for this hidden community.

From the books, we know much about Harry’s private life but little about Draco’s.  We all know that, when we are young, we do as our parents tell us; then comes that time in our teens when we start to develop our own personality and arguments with our parents, result.  For Harry, this transition was negligible not having any caring guardians, but for Draco?  

Wiltshire, where the Manor is supposed to be, is another county with prehistoric sites in abundance.  Everyone has heard of Stonehenge but there is another ancient circle of stones at Avebury not too far away.  In my imagination Draco’s home is close to this.

Ley lines also feature in my story – an invention [discovery?] of Alfred Watkins; he thought they were forms of primitive way finding.  Standing stones, clefts in hills, stone circles; old churches in circular graveyards dedicated to Saints Michael or Mary, tumps of trees on hill tops and other markers were the way to track them down.  In England, some of the roman roads and mediaeval track-ways run parallel to such lines – bearing some of his theories out.  However, several occultists have embroidered on his ideas, making ley lines channels of paranormal power.  To this end I have made them ducts for thaumic influence; especially when making magical travel possible.  Thus, the vanishing cabinet in Hogwarts was next-door to a ley line and so its partner had to be for the death-eaters to gain entry.  So, when Harry, Draco and their friends start moving in this way it will always be parallel to a ley line [real or imaginary].

There have been debates on line about the numerical size of Hogwarts.  I have come to the estimate of 364 [7x7x7+3x7] – thus making 3’s and 7’s which I have made the basics of my imaginary Arithmancy; I also use 13].  Both Harry’s and Draco’s dorms contain five people and there is no mention of other male dorms in the same year.  Assuming equality of the sexes and houses; that gives an intake of 52 per year and thus 280 students.  That is a minimum figure because Harry’s generation would likely have been affected by the first war and a low birth rate during it.  The 364 figure would make 13 students per house per year.  There appear to be 11 subjects taught; we hear of two houses sharing a lesson and that gives an average class size of 25 – reasonable for secondary education especially in active subjects like DADA, Potions and Transfiguration.  I think the 1,000 that JKR mentioned would probably cover all three named schools.  As for the 200 Slytherin supporters and 600 others – that is reasonably explained – We know of elf-supporters and one would expect some parental support for special sports events of which there were only six per year.  After all, we also know of parental support for the Triwizard Tournament, otherwise how could Cedric’s father have been present?  Note – that I add others to the student total as well – later in the story.

Having had many thoughts about names and titles I came to these conclusions:
‘Mage’ refers to any human shaped wizard or witch, and may be used as a formal title.
‘Seer’ is a term of respect for a mage.  ‘Sage’ is even more special.
‘Elf’ has been expanded slightly to mean that kind of being whatever their job or status.
‘Goblin’ has been expanded in the same way that ‘Elf’ has.
‘Dwarf’ is a human/goblin hybrid.
‘Kobold’ is a sort of dungeon master looking after or torturing prisoners.  They also act as Goblin jailers.
‘Satyr’ is a human/goat hybrid – but see ancient Greek and Roman classical texts.
‘Bwca’ Is the Welsh word for ‘Knockers’ [Not a translation] they are Magicals who warn miners of impending perils.  See also Cornish miners’ beliefs.
‘Nixie’ is a large type of female fairy as ‘Pixie’ is a male one, in Scotland fairies are called brownies pronounced ‘broonies’ so that is what they will be.  I use the word ‘fairies’ to represent almost insect like pollinators and lamp bearers.
‘Magicals’ refers to a mixed group of any of the above categories and any other sentient magical beings such as the centaurs.
Because many of our myths go back to pre-Roman days, I have assumed a form of speech which some of the ancient races use.  It is based on Welsh roots, but, like JKR’s Latin roots, does not necessarily follow their strict rules.  I have imagined it to be a form of Brythonic.

I give you fair warning that this will be a very long story.  I have been writing it for well over three years now and it is still not finished.  I am hoping to fill in the years between Harry leaving Hogwarts and him meeting with Draco on Kings Cross Station whilst seeing their children off to school.  This timing has now been extended to include the ‘Cursed Child’ story.  I have a unique way of having Draco and Harry as a consenting M/M pair, also having them produce the children as per JKR without requiring any male pregnancy.  To find out you must read and read … and read … and … read. 

Readers will find that some early chapters are Draco-centric and some are Harry-centric although there is a slight reference to the other one in most chapters.

~~~ HARCO TRUST ~~~

Harco sounds like one of those misty conglomerates that own other up-front companies which feed millions in hard cash via shadowy channels to a remote set of mega-rich private investor/directors.  In a way, this is true, except that Harco Directors are hardly bank-noted at all.  The profits are ploughed back into the company and used for the good of all its people; be they magical or muggle.  Talk to any one of the directors and they will express different views about the name and the responsibilities of their jurisdiction.

Harry would insist that the first three letters come from his name and the last three from his partner's.

Draco would point to the mixed order and say that it was: H for Harry and Hermione, R for Ronald, A for and, Co for the rest of them. 

Hermione might choose the A for academic and then look studious, open a book and start to read a list of the work that the company carried out.

Ronald might just agree that the R was his originally; remarking that he was glad of the support he still received, but he was busy in other more commercial fields.

Justin would point out that without such people like Ronald, there would be no spare cash for the company’s charitable purposes, and pick C as the most important.

Blaise would emphasise the O and explain that it was the ownership of land, all over Europe and its near neighbours, which made the company what it was.

Ask Dean or Seamus and they would explain that the H was for a happy home, where the directors lived, with others, quietly and at little personal expense.  One of them might add as an aside that the A was for the association of compatible different beings agreeing to work together to achieve disparate ends.

Neville would just remain quiet and thoughtful; agreeing with whichever proposition was being discussed at the time.  “I am part of Harco and I value its support in my area of work and in turn I support it by my work;” was about all he would say if pressed for an answer.

Thus, Harco operated and achieved its charitable and academic goals in a unified way.  “Well,” you might ask: “How did it start?”  Perhaps the origins of its directors might help.  Most of these antecedents are laid out admirably in a series of books, with which, if you are reading this, you will be already familiar.  But there are gaps and omissions, many for the sake of propriety, some of which this story aims to fill with a somewhat earthier narrative.

~~~ THE IMPORTANT PAIR ~~~

Draco and Harry appear on the surface to have had dissimilar backgrounds.  However, they also had some resemblances; in that they had cruel guardians and perfidious friends.  Not that it started out that way: 

Draco’s earliest memory was of Sonny, his personal elf, helping him in the wide sunken bath; and of them splashing together nakedly.  Sonny was a dozen years older than his master and, being more worldly-wise, could answer Draco’s more personal questions when they occurred.  Vernon had always been somewhat broad in the beam and had had a wide bath fitted at number four.  Thus, when baby Harry arrived, he insisted that Dudley and the newcomer bathed together to save water.  Like Sonny, Dudley, being just over five weeks older than Harry, matured faster because he was given preferential treatment.  Thus, he could lead his younger cousin astray.  Harry’s guardian, Vernon Dursley, worked on commission; Draco’s, Lucius Malfoy, was a miser.  Both hoarding to themselves the cash and kudos.  So, in both households, economy and strict discipline were preserved.  Thus, a prosperous and ordered façade was presented to the outside world.  When they entertained, they entertained grandly, so as to enhance the world's view of the families' position.

Because the Nott and Malfoy estates abutted, Draco’s nearest friend was Theodore, but he had been brought up to envy and malicious reports.  Therefore, all kinds of mistakes and misdemeanours came back to Lucius from Nott Senior, resulting in a young bare-arsed Draco bent over a study desk and thrashed, whilst his gloating so-called friend watched.  On Theodore’s part that gratification slowly transformed into something sexual as the boys grew up.  The result was that Draco became an enclosed, suspicious teenager, hiding behind books and trying to live up to his father’s rigorous expectations of excellence in every subject.  Trouble was, that in the learning process he would let hints slip.  Ideal fodder for blackmail on Theodore’s part.  If Draco hid them, Theodore was an excellent spy.  At first the payments were in toys or petty cash, within a few years that changed into favours and, as they matured, into sexual demands.  Another aspect of this relationship was that of wealth.  The Malfoys had plenty and to spare, the Notts had not.  They were dependent on the largess of other pure-blood families especially the Malfoys.

Not that anyone ever told Draco, it was a very touchy point between his parents.  Narcissa’s and Lucius’s marriage was an arranged one; despite outward appearances there was no love there.  Draco was not the first child of this marriage.  There was a son who had lived for three weeks, and another stillborn male preceded him.  This caused different reactions in his parents.  Narcissa cosseted and cared for the heir who was still living, resulting in some of Draco’s ‘spoiled-brat’ personality.  As far as Narcissa was concerned nothing was too good for her only child.  Lucius’s attitude was the opposite.  Although the Malfoy heir, Draco was third-best.  Lucius blamed Narcissa for not looking after the first one properly.  Thus, the third-best had to be disciplined into the ‘Malfoy Way’, and that quite harshly.  The young Draco learned that he had to excel in everything to earn his father’s approbation, or risk the consequent punishment.

To begin with Harry and Dudley shared secrets.  Dudley was less discreet than Harry, with a result that both were equally punished by Vernon.  They were deprived of treats, but Dudley usually managed to talk Petunia – Vernon’s wife – into secretly giving them back.  Originally they shared the results equally, but after a couple of years Dudley insisted on the larger share because of his bigger body.  A logic that the young Harry found difficult to counter.  That included bedrooms, resulting in a young Harry being consigned to a cupboard under the stairs.  Initially they shared the new playroom, but gradually the budding wizard was edged out of that space too.  The gang that formed around Dudley at school included Harry in the role of victim.  Therefore, Petunia increasingly found that she had a reluctant helper.  The local primary school had an ample supply of shrubbery surrounding it; ideal for hide and seek.  Occasionally Harry’s raw magic would escape and hide him; giving the victim a trouble-free time during school breaks.  Usually he was caught and forced to do daring things to maintain his street-cred with the gang.  Such as climbing onto the school roof.  Although he was not quite sure how he achieved that.

This hiding away and doing domestic work forced Harry to adopt a mild compliant personality, even if his inner self felt rebellious.  Unless he was truly riled, when there would be outbursts of temper, Harry took on the household role, in Petunia’s eyes, that maybe a daughter would have fulfilled.  Vernon, incensed by this ‘namby-pamby’ attitude, tried to beat the softness out of him.

In the months before entering Hogwarts for the first time, things became more serious for both Draco and Harry.  To their ultimate embarrassment they were stripped, by their so-called friends, of their trousers and underpants and made to run semi-nakedly between the gang trying to recover their garments.  

In the case of Draco, Theodore recruited some of his father’s lascivious elves.  If Draco was seen by his father, Lucius would be furious that his son had been overcome by lesser beings and apply the cane mercilessly.  

Vernon caught Harry once or twice and was furious because it was ‘showing the family up’.  He then took Harry into the front room and minutely inspected the young man’s genitals before applying the slipper onto his bare bottom.  Despite her hatred of her sister, Petunia managed to have some sympathy left and found a jar of special ointment for Harry to apply.  Funnily enough, it never seemed to run out, not that either of them noticed.  

Draco’s ministering angel was Sonny who applied much the same oily lotion to his masters stinging buttocks.

~~~ THE OTHER DIRECTORS ~~~

Blaise and Seamus had some commonalities in their backgrounds, too.  They hailed from ancient families still living in the ways of their ancestors.  They shared a background of Roman Catholicism, a chaotic upbringing and a procession of father figures; to name some other similarities.

Rural Gaeltacht Ireland had a few respected families left.  Mountainous southern Italy still contained one or two dynasties that could trace back their ancestry to pre-Roman days.  Both patrimonies had made concessions to their titular landlords at various times; so as to retain the titles to their landholdings thereby and, more importantly to them, defended the rights of their poor peasant farmers.  Therefore, the rural populations remained loyal and respectful towards those who they regarded as their true lords.  That is, if those lords upheld and followed the ages old traditions.  Somehow, the church was included within those perceptions despite the peccadillos of the priests.

For the sake of clarity: Father Autoxium represents one kind of priest and Father Laximius the other.  Both boys had ‘enjoyed’ the attentions of both kinds of cleric.

Father Autoxium, would be thin, austere, punctilious about ritual and personal purity; smelling of musty books.  Whereas Father Laximius was rotund, jolly and had a lackadaisical outlook: usually emitting an alcoholic scent.  Both cared; one for exactitude and propriety, the other for people and understanding.  Young altar-boys in their care soon learned to change tactics, depending on who was taking mass.  From Autoxium they learned self-discipline, Latin and Greek by rote, exacting church rituals and a strict adherence to time.  Laximius, on the other hand, told them long and lewd stories from the ancient world.  He also had a love for art and the use of colours.  Music was his forte, where meaning was paramount and its divisions were varied as the mood took him.  His relaxed views allowed for variations in behaviour and his hands followed suit.

Autoxium expected a clean heart and spotless hands holding something holy and purposeful in full view always.  His opposite cared little for outward show and hidden fingers were there to give secret thrills.  Agriculture for him, was about fertility and many times he would arrive at a smallholding, rolling up his sleeves to help the farmer to muck-out or deliver a new-born calf.  Austere Autoxium, one the other hand, would give of his infinite knowledge about crop-rotation and irrigation, but little of his physical energy.  Both types of priest moved on after two or three years of their tenancy, usually under a cloud of some kind.  Austerity is admirable sometimes, but excessive discipline and its application to young backsides lead to the rejection of the teacher.  Likewise, loving care and inquisitive hands can lead to scandal; be it a bulging young girl or an altar-boy with a fixation about a naked cleric and the pleasure his hands had given.

Thus, Seamus and Blaise had happy and sad memories of a childhood full of smarting bottoms and stiff unproductive rods.  These recollections were exacerbated by promiscuous females.  Their mothers were rarely satisfied with just one lover at a time.  The music-hall joke about naked men clinging to fifth-floor balustrades, afraid to jump or re-enter the bedroom and terrified to reveal their secret longings, were true for both boys.

Both matriarchs were married and maintained the outward appearances by dominating their nominal spouses.  The Finnegan family had many branches as had the Zabinis.  Somehow, in this generation, two very distant cousins had made a pact so that both matriarchal and patriarchal surnames remained the same.  The arrangement was financial at its base and increased landholdings were a useful bye product.  Being single children and observant, Blaise and Seamus were often fobbed off with lavish presents when they appeared to be about to break the silence of family secrets.  Thus, like their mothers, they learned to extort favours in return for a tactful dumbness.  There was one difference, however, the Zabinis owned a large library where Blaise could, many times, be found hiding behind a book, incidentally taking in a wide range of knowledge.  The wide holdings of the Finnegan clan allowed the young Seamus to roam at will; so, he became extremely well versed in the ways of Mother Nature.

There was a difference in their mother’s reactions, too.  Mistress Zabini’s lovers had a decidedly moribund future; whereas Mistress Finnegan’s joined the ever-increasing band of forced, muted labourers working the extensive peat bogs within her Irish estates.  Thus, the two boys grew up in and atmosphere of naked males performing interesting rituals with their mothers.  Compared to Draco and Harry, Seamus and Blaise were much more worldly-wise when they entered the magical academy.

~~~ WALES ~~~

Dean was a handsome baby, his smile melted many hearts and the tragic story of his jilted mother melted many more.  He found out, quite early in his life, that this background could be used to his advantage.  Openness was part of his strategy and the slightest hint of a forthcoming tear usually obtained what he wanted.  The black population in and around Cardiff was established in Tudor times; being well thought of by the Cymric-speaking Welsh minority, with whom some intermarriage had taken place.  Both communities were moved by tragic stories, thus poor Mrs Thomas bringing up a young child by herself elicited much sympathy and practical help.  When she re-married the guest-list was enormous, but the cost of the reception was a gift from her neighbours – in fact it was based on all the community providing what it could.  To be fair, Mrs Thomas was industrious on her own behalf and within that almost closed community.  Many a healthy child owed its first cry to Midwife Thomas and many an ailing old lady her recovery to Nurse Thomas.

Within this polyglot community there was a suspicion of outsiders coming in to interfere with their unconscious wellbeing, thus all their leaders tended to be self-grown from inside.  Ancient traditions had hints of ‘the old way’ and Dean’s budding magic was respected and encouraged by those with similar talents.  There was little approbation around when certain oddities in his behaviour appeared.  Shamans and Bards were expected to be different, even if they did not conform to the generally expected norms.  His slight femininity was regarded as one such indicator, and when strange happenings occurred around him, that just underlined the people’s belief that a budding Emrys was in their midst.  His call to go to Hogwarts caused general rejoicing and he arrived with many useful [and useless] presents.

Another talent that had been nurtured was the study of ancient languages, Greek and Latin were at his fingertips, Welsh and ancient Brythonic not much further away, neither were four or five traditional African tongues.  Thus, the language of magic was already ingrained in him when he arrived at the academy.  When he heard the Gaelic of Ireland emerging from a dorm-mate, he replied in a like manner.  From then on, Dean and Seamus seemed inseparable and would sometimes disappear into their own Celtic Dream-world.  This would sometimes include Blaise, who had learned of his Celtic heritage in the home library and felt that he had some affinity to that culture of the pre-Roman times.

Hogwarts’ grounds contained several prehistoric monuments.  They included a menhir, a small stone circle, a sacred pool within a grove of trees, a couple of dolmens and a maze-like souterrain.  On certain auspicious days, the three would disappear and could sometimes be glanced, nakedly capering around a fire singing Celtic dirges and blessings.  There were other such groups, maybe not quite as extreme, but tolerated, nay encouraged, by the Headmaster and the other senior Professors.  There was one exception and that was when a certain Pink Toad held office, but her tenure was only brief, thank Merlin.  These societies were the ones that supported Harry secretly when he was estranged from the rest of the student community.

~~~ ACADEMY ~~~

Arriving at Hogwarts, Seamus and Blaise looked around for any senior adult who could be influenced and, finding no-one, altered their horizons downwards towards their contemporaries.  Seamus was lucky with Dean, who could be as secretive as Seamus had learned to be.  Blaise was not so lucky in Theodore, but soon found a way of silencing him.  Blaise also recognised the silence and inquisitive eyes of Draco because they were part of his Zabini background.  The wiliness of Theodore was part of him also, whereas Theodore wanted instant payback, Blaise had patience.  He needed to check the facts before trying anything on.  Theodore’s imagination supplied facts that were not present in what was observed and could be subtly led.  One such incident, between two anonymous seniors, goes to illustrate this point.

Blaise did not have the ready-made sneaky-possibilities of Harry's cloak, but he did have a kind of invisibility born from quietly following his mother's illicit lovers and gaining true facts.  Theodore only had to see two people in a compromising situation before he wove a fantasy around their tryst.  Now; successful blackmail depends on verifiable facts.  Blaise would check and double check before applying the screws, but Theodore invented them to suit what he had overheard or seen; occasionally he guessed right, as he had, quite often, with Draco.  

This particular tryst between to senior students included joint nakedness and mutual inspection.  Theodore immediately imagined sordid goings-on and dropped hints which the two participants ignored.  Blaise asked around discreetly and discerned that the two seniors shared the same embarrassing physical ailment upon which it was difficult to apply a lotion.  They had formed a team and had been applying the remedy mutually, as Madam Pomfrey had encouraged them to do.  Theodore became more strident in his demands and the two participants became worried.  Blaise overheard their anxious conversation and after checking his facts approached them quietly.  Their thankfulness at not having to publicly admit their disease was turned into a trap for Theodore.  They were not averse to a little hanky-panky, especially if it got this annoying junior into trouble.  A tryst was arranged where Theodore could watch.  An amount of miming and groaning was involved, sounding very much like man-sex of the most vicious kind.  This turned Theodore on and, behind his secret spy hole he exposed himself and began to wank.  He was almost at the point of no return, when they pounced and, with Blaise's help openly exposed his duplicity and his sexy nakedness for general approbation.  From then on, Theodore was very wary of Blaise, which suited the Zabini heir perfectly.  That is not to say that Draco and Blaise did not occasionally deliberately expose Theodore's nastiness, just to remind people to be very wary.  Unfortunately, this drove Theodore into the arms of Voldemort after he was resurrected.

Because Lucius had inculcated leadership qualities into Draco, whether his son wanted it or not, these abilities were recognised by his dorm-mates.  And although Theodore was the cunning behind the ideas, Draco appeared to the other students as that groups’ leader.  The hidden dynamics were different, with Theodore using the two thugs, Vincent and Gregory, to keep Draco in line.

~~~ CRUISING ~~~

The Finches had been successful farmers and landowners before the Georgian era when, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, wool was king.  The Fletchleys came from Cheshire, where by dint of astute investment firstly in canals and then in the early railway age, they had increased their fortunes greatly.  A Fletchley ancestor, by the size of his shares, had been voted on to the Board of the London and North Western Railway, whose main base was at Crewe.  As a result of this appointment, he had purchased a house in the corner of a quiet Georgian square where he could overlook his interest both in the canal wharfs and the new train station being built.  When cotton became king the Finches had easily adapted to that form of weaving and their need for efficient transport brought them into contact with the Fletchleys.  

Both families had the wealth but not the social standing, but in the Victorian age it was possible, by careful marriage and large charitable contributions to become acceptable.  An aristocratic sounding double-barrelled name also improved their chances.  Thus, a Finch heiress was espoused to a Fletchley heir and their offspring inherited both fortunes plus the various properties that supported a grand lifestyle.  Being from careful backgrounds, family trusts were formed early in the marriage.  These trusts protected the family fortunes and wisely re-invested, whenever necessary.  For instance: when George Hudson was declared bankrupt and the bankers Overend and Gurney became insolvent the F-F Trust bought up many solid shares at the lowest price, selling them off later to great profit.  The family, therefore, enjoyed a steadily increasing income and concomitant lifestyle.

Justin was the result of this continued union and although, upon his father, Henry's, death he would inherit an enormous fortune; he would be limited by the trust deed not to be too profligate in his spending.  Neither could he sell off, on his own initiative, any of the properties, which included the Georgian house in a now shabby square overlooking a busy train station.  There was one advantage and that was the canal basin.  Whereas it had been a hive of merchandise in Edwardian times it was now a quiet backwater converted into an exclusive marina.  Canal cruising had become one of Henry's, Justin’s father, pastimes and he had passed his enthusiasm on to his son.  Thus, a small cruiser and a narrow-boat were based in the marina.  When paterfamilias heard of Justin doing well in his OWL's at Hogwarts he made over that cruiser to his son.  Justin contrived to bring it into the Black Loch, which had a narrow tidal connection into the Hebridean Sea.  Technically the cruiser was still the trust's property and they taxed and insured it, but Justin now had sole use of it.  

Once he became a senior student, and at weekends, he had permission to stay on the boat and could invite his friends to join him.  The cruising they could do was limited by the time available, the state of the tides and storms in the Atlantic.  Occasionally this meant remaining at anchor within sight of Hogwarts.  However, usually it was possible to go through the narrow passage and into some of the other sea-lochs nearby.  One of these was Justin's favourite.  Almost land-locked, with no crofts or other human habitation nearby it allowed absolute privacy.  There was a small island with a few trees, a fresh-water spring and a south-facing white sandy beach.  Almost 'desert-island-discs' perfect.  With the food supply brought on the cruiser he could indulge in all-over sun-bathing without any fear of being seen.  When the beach became too hot the salt-water loch invited skinny dipping and afterwards, splashing in the spring allowed the salt to be washed off.  It was great for one, but shared with a few friends it became idyllic.  Of course, you had to choose suitable friends first and that could become a problem especially from gold-digger sycophants.  

~~~ WEASLEYS ~~~

Of Hermione's upbringing, we only have hints.  Her studious professional parents seemed to have passed on their traits to her.  Bookish and straight laced she had made few friends at home and this trait continued when she arrived at Hogwarts.  Her rescue from the troll by Ronald and Harry, broke down a few barriers.  She also recognised in Draco a fellow bibliophile, hiding his inadequacies by a veneer of learning.  Both respected the wide-ranging recall of Blaise who, quite often, could point them to the right section of the library, and then accompany them on their fact-finding missions.

Ronald was the very opposite.  Books were alright, if there were ample illustrations accompanying the straightforward stories.  Unlike Draco who had his own suite of rooms at home, Ronald's was a converted attic.  Weasley Père worked for the Ministry in a poorly paid job so he had little money to spare on frills.  They were a large family in a small house and room to play was not available.  So, sons and daughter became outdoor types if they needed recreation.  Youthful energy went into exploring the countryside and playing pranks on each other.  Thus, Ginevra grew up as a tomboy, most males she regarded as brothers, although, in Harry she saw an echo of her father’s mildness.  Giving in to peer-pressure at school, she therefore targeted apparently mild-mannered boys, one of which was Harry.  

Ronald being the youngest son was usually the butt of these wheezes and, unlike Draco, this toughened him and made him very wary of free offers of help, because they usually backfired on him.  He recognised in Harry a fellow sufferer and could sympathise, thus they soon became friends when they met on the train.

Sharing was part of his makeup so offers of help brought a reciprocal offer.  Shared help to go through the brick barrier at the station, a shared compartment on the train.  A shared dislike of hand-me-down clothing and equipment.  Ronald wore his older brother's clothes and Harry those cast off by Cousin Dudley.  So, they entered Hogwarts hoping to share the same dormitory.  That came about and they found that they had mates there.  Dean and Seamus, for instance.  Those four had enough compassion between them to share it with a withdrawn young man, in the shape of Neville and thus make up a quintet of dorm-mates.  Who, in various combinations got into numerous scrapes and helped each-other out of them.

The other eventual members of the company formed were a less tight-knit bunch.  Draco and Blaise were probably the closest in the Slytherin dormitory, they shared a mutual loathing of Theodore and a mutual distrust of the two bully boys in their dorm, Vincent and Gregory.  Thus, a two/three split occurred: Theodore, leading the bullies in attempts to influence Draco and Blaise and that pair using their wiles to avoid trouble.  

Justin was the odd boy out being sorted into Hufflepuff and Hermione, as the only girl, slept elsewhere in Gryffindor.

~~~ ASTORIA ~~~

Then there was Astoria.  Having been brought up in Wales, she was the one who introduced Brythonic into the story.  She and Daphne were very close.  So, close were the sisters that they shared beds frequently.  They had loving parents, who at some time in their young lives had lost their ancestral home, Glaswelltdy, to a conniving Lucius.  The result was that the family now lived on an unplottable yacht.  Not the sailing-dinghy type, but the stateroom and luxury type.  Thus, the two girls had had limited experience of other children, their parents having privately educated them on board.  

Coming to Hogwarts was a cultural shock.  Daphne endured it miserably for her first year and was determined that her younger sister would not have that experience.  Thus, when Astoria joined the academy the two became inseparable again.  Therefore, when the over-protective Daphne was killed in the Battle of Hogwarts, it left a sister/lover hole in Astoria’s psyche.  One which she sought to fulfil with another candidate.  That candidate appeared to be the mannish Weasley daughter, but how could a Slytherin be seen to be going out with a Gryffindor?

~~~ APPEARANCES ~~~
One of the things that many of the participants learned in their pre-Hogwarts days was about ‘keeping up appearances’.  No matter what went on inside their demesne, the public persona of the family was the one expected of them.
For Harry, this was about ‘respectability’ – ‘What will the neighbours think’ was Petunia’s guiding light.  Therefore, the neat garden, the trim grass, and unremarkable dress were the expected norms.  Any form of outrageous behaviour was definitely out of bounds.  It was no wonder that oddly dressed mages using unconventional transport upset their equilibrium.  This caused Harry much trouble when the wizarding world projected the ‘Saviour’ image on to him.  It was totally at odds with his ‘Freak’ persona at Privet Drive.
For Draco, this was about ‘Malfoy Magnificence’ – They were a pure-blood family, through and through.  His Father knew how they should behave in public, even if he was a miserly tyrant at home.  This caused Draco trouble at Hogwarts because he found that others were better at various subjects and sports than he was.  It also caused him trouble at the Manor when Lucius found out that he was not ‘top of the class’ in every endeavour.
Blaise and Seamus had learned to be secretive and not to push their personalities to the forefront.  Being only children, the rough and tumble of student life was quite a shock, but they adapted quickly.  Neither being as pampered as Draco.  Nor as downtrodden as Harry.
In a way, Dean was the most adaptable, during his Cardiff upbringing he had met and mingled with different races.  The community he came from had that enclosed feeling which resonated with the Hogwarts atmosphere.  However, the Emrys type expectations of his supporting adult group, had given him and inflated sense of being ‘special’.  Then he found out that all his peer group had the same talents and the same need to learn how to control them.  Not quite the ‘Shining Star’ that he thought he was.



You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story