We're Getting Through This

Chapter 10

Hi all, hope you're still enjoying this and enjoying the summer! Let me know what ya'll think!

The joint birthdays of the Longbottom and Potter heir on the 30th of July was considered a highlight for many during the summer of 1995. It was a spectacular event that the few society members who were privileged enough to get invitations crowed about it for weeks. The party was mostly under the influence of Dowager Longbottom while Sirius and Remus had taken over the planning for the much less formal friendly one that would occur the next day. However, for today the organiser of the event stood proudly in the middle of her patio, looking around at the fashionably dressed people that milled about her garden, discussing politics or gossiping or still wondering about the cost of the place. Her eyes landed on her grandson who was standing tall and firm with his closest friends as they spoke with Lord Rosier, Lord Yaxley and Lady Marchbanks.

She was so proud of the man he had become, how he held himself when faced with difficult discussions, he would make a fine Lord Longbottom. Her smile growing as she watched him field their questions and take their snide comments in his stride while the firm and steady figure of Lord Potter stood at his side. The two had already been subjected to many asinine comments about their age not making them ready for political decisions and how they hadn't enough experience etc but together they had combined their strengths of conversation, their knowledge and their humour and so far had not been left without a comeback. They would make an impressive team one day. She thought slightly smugly as she caught Sirius' eye and he raised his glass slightly from his place speaking to Lady Zabini, she returned it with a wink and then turned to greet Lord and Lady Ogden who celebrated her planning.

Theo had remained with the Greengrass' when people had started to arrive; as the Heir of House Nott he knew he would be expected to socialise to but considering his father's arrest and imprisonment he was unsure of how people would react and was shamelessly using his friends as an excuse to avoid the socialising that came with his position. His fathers trial and subsequent sentencing had covered the papers for almost as long as Lucius Malfoys had, he had attended and though he had protested he was secretly glad to have had all his friends and their families with him. His father had caught sight of him almost as soon as he had entered and had screamed about the dishonour he'd brought upon the family until a silencing charm had been used and the prosecution had begun. He - like the others that had been present for the summer solstice - had had their homes turned out inside out and Madam Bones had smashed through the interviews and dosed them with verituserum, even the lawyers could barely defend them and instead focused on getting minimal sentencing through sympathy and pity of the 'victims'…it didn't work. Theo had kept his eyes firmly on his father throughout the whole of the experience barely taking in any of the questions or the murmurings of the crowd around him, watching the eyes that clearly hated him and held nothing but contempt. He got called as a witness to reveal all he knew about his fathers association with the Dark Lord Voldemort formally known as Tom Riddle, he spoke mechanically as he recalled finding the book with the resurrection spell and the disappearing act the man had been up too. He could feel the rage burning in the mans dark gaze so similar to his own and merely stood straighter, once he had settled back in his seat he had found himself trembling slightly, Remus had subtlety handed him some chocolate and yet he still felt cold. The press hadn't let him have his privacy, trying to hound him every minute he stepped outside; but thankfully his friends had…encouraged them to leave him be.

He shook himself out of his daze as Daphne stepped closer and wrapped an arm around his looking over the group of eighty that had taken the time to be present at such an event.

"Are you alright? You're quite quiet and my mother has that look that says she's two minutes away from smothering you in a hug." She said softly and Theo looked over to where Lady Greengrass was attempting to watch them surreptitiously and tried to smile convincingly at her.

"Just thinking about my father, but I'm alright."

His friend hummed and simply squeezed his forearm in response.

"Really Daphne, don't worry about me. Waste that on loverboy."

Blue eyes softened as they returned to her boyfriend who was holding his own against two experienced wizengamont members and seemed to be winning.

"I have enough worry for him, any more and I'll take over Sirius' and he's already claimed being Harry's primary worrier, I'm not allowed to do any more. So I have some to waste on you." She said batting her eyelashes at him before becoming serious and Theo sighed knowing he wasn't getting away from this.

"I sent my own father to prison, not just a cell but Azkaban. He was an evil man, I don't agree with 99% of what he says but I do believe in family. And I've just sent mine to the foulest place on earth."

His companion stayed quiet but remained a steady presence.

"I know it was right for him to go, he is wrong and evil and deserves to go! But I know my father and can't imagine how he'll survive prison. And although I don't want to see him now that might change one day but I can't imagine he will ever want to see me and that…well that's a difficult one to swallow."

"I can't imagine it, Theo and I don't know what to say either I'm afraid…But I'm here for you as it Harry and Neville, Tracey and Luna and of course Sirius and Remus and my parents. We're all here for you, whatever you need."

"I know, and thankyou it means a lot." He said, leaning over and kissing her cheek lightly.

"Well this is quite cosy but may I ask for a dance?" Came a sleek and soft voice from behind them and Theo froze before his eyes narrowed on his friends humungous grin.

"You did this on purpose, didn't you?"

"Madam Longbottom agreed you might need cheering up." Daphne whispered back.

They turned and Danika Addams stood there looking exquisite in a black floor length that had a deep red corseted top, Theo could barely stop his jaw from dropping and his eyes swept over he, taking in every detail and landed on the deep red lips that were smirking at him.

Daphne just stopped a giggle but lightly pinched his friends side for him to focus.

"I'm sure Theo wouldn't mind in the least, Danika. And I may I say I'm so glad you could make it."

"Thank you Daphne, beautiful gown you look lovely."

"Thank you you too, I love the colour. Theo, why don't you lead the lady onto the floor." Daphne hinted as her friend continued to merely stare at the young lady in front of him.

"Yes, dance…please?" He stumbled through the request.

"How could I refuse an offer." Danika said with smile that held just the right amount of danger and with an eyeroll to Daphne who smothered her giggle behind her hand, the two moved onto the area a few metres away that had been set up as a dance floor and joined the swirling couples there.

"She's not wrong you know, you are gorgeous." Said a husky voice in her ear before two arms wound around her waist.

"I believe Miss Addams called me merely lovely."

"Well that goes without saying." The voice responded quickly and Daphne laughed as she turned to look into her boyfriend's eyes. "Lovely, gorgeous, stunning, beautiful and pretty. They all apply to you."

"Oh very nicely done." She said, cuddling closer. "And may I say you're looking very handsome yourself.

"Why thank you I do try." He said cheekily and in a pale green suit with a dark grey robe over it, he was catching a few eyes though it was clear he was as oblivious as he always was.

"How was your conversation with the Lords?"

He shrugged.

"Went as we expected. No real arguments just pure blindness in thinking anyone else's idea couldn't possibly be as good as theirs, and then there's the same prejudice facing muggles and half-blood though they insist they're not. Though Marchbanks was very understanding and proclaimed her great love of Neville as I was leaving, he was even blushing."

"Yes you've abandoned your friend, what possessed you to do that?"

"I saw a damsel all alone and thought she must need some company."

"Well Astoria has been wondering when you're going to ask her to dance."

"As much as I love your sister and her…exuberant dance moves I think its her elder, more enchanting sister who I would much prefer to show off with if you don't mind." He said and stepped back with a bow as he held out his hand.

"Oh if you insist, kind sir."

Together they walked to the dance floor only to get stopped a few feet away by Lord Yaxley who held himself haughtily and barely hiding his true feelings under his mask of civility.

"Lord Potter, Heiress Greengrass, what a fine day it is."

"Indeed Lord Yaxley, a very pleasant day for birthday celebrations." Harry said calmly.

"And as I understand it, you are to have a second tomorrow?"

Harry raised his eyebrow and Yaxley gave a smirk of superiority.

"Your werewo…ah forgive me, I mean uncle mentioned it just now."

"Yes, we are having a formal one today that Lady Longbottom has beautifully put together with members of the wizengamot as well as a few select members of the press. And then tomorrow we are having a private affair."

"Lovely I'm sure and then you have the wizengamot session in a few days. Your first official one, how are you feeling? Nervous?"

"Not particularly, while I've certainly never relished the joy of speaking in front of others it certainly is something I am capable of especially when I believe in what I am saying."

"All those people staring at you, just waiting for a single scent of weakness to pounce, your godfather must be anxious about making such a good impression too…But never mind all that, I'm sure you'll be excellent. Do you believe as though the information you have gathered is sufficient for discussion for such a large issue that faces such controversy?"

"I know that I and my supporters have quite enough in order to enter any manner of discussion about the legislation we will bring forward for August. Do you consider yourself ready? With sufficient enough arguments?"

Yaxley showed more teeth and Daphne had to strictly enforce her pureblood princess mask before she did something she'd regret.

"I think you will find that in these sort of cases, information is not necessarily a good thing and instead you look to the experiences and personal feelings of people and not just blindly follow society's thinking."

"Perhaps, Lord Yaxley you will see that people can be turned from prejudice when understanding is used. The world is changing and there are fair number in this world that want to give all kinds of people the opportunity to live."

"I have been a part of this game longer than you, Lord Potter. Do not over or underestimate people."

"I think you'll find, Lord Yaxley, that simply being older does not make anyone wiser in some cases it make people more close minded." Daphne said with a razor sharp smile.

"Indeed, Heiress Greengrass. Though it does allow one to better predict responses and plan a suitable debate with appropriate comments in which to help people better understand."

"I believe that sort of a comment falls under misconduct as it's a misleading statement and that is in fact frowned upon in most courts."

Yaxley moved his pale watery blue eyes to woman who was smiling at him with all the charm of her mother and said quietly.

"You have the same wit as shown by your father, a very resourceful man he has always managed to keep professional and respectable even in the darker times. I always wondered how he remained so careful and proper, it will be interesting to see how you progress."

And then he moved to the side with a bow of his head.

"Enjoy the rest of the celebration." Harry said his voice firm and pleasant before they swept past the man and began to dance.

"I don't think I like him." Daphne remarked softly as she considered the conversation.

"I hope that's your polite political way of saying you hate his guts."

She gave a smile in response and locked eyes with him allowing Harry to see the ice in the blue orbs.

"Merlin, I love you."

"Well I'm sure he's happy about that but what about me." She asked with a pout before gasping in surprise as he quickly spun her away from him and then reversed to allow her back to press snugly against his chest.

"If you don't know with 100% certainty by now then I'm sure it's a lost cause." He nudged his head down to kiss her neck quickly before spinning her again. "But I love you far more."

Daphne beamed at him, the ice softening and sparkling at him, the tension leaving her body as she rested more fully against him as they swayed gently.

"Still don't like it." Cyrus said, his eyes fixed on their forms from where he was standing with Remus who was trying his best not to grin.

"No, I can't imagine you would."

"Have you ever thought about it? Kids? Marriage? Family life?"

"With the wolf? No fear."

"Remuuus…Come on now you're among friends."

The man smiled but it fell rather quickly.

"I would have loved…would love one. But I didn't lie, to risk passing this to a child. I have found it incredibly hard but with my friends and family I have come to accept that part and I am slowing understanding and coming to love it. But to have the constant threat of lashing out, to never knowing if the people around you are safe. I would not wish that on my child or my partner."

"What if your partner had the condition too?"

"There would be less danger that is true but well…"

"You'd still be worried? I know what you mean, my life got infinitely more wonderful as well as more worrisome when Daphne came along. The first time I held her I was so scared of hurting her and then as the years go by your still scared but now of them hurting you."

Remus huffed a laugh and took another sip of red wine.

"Yes I was the same when Harry was first born. I was waiting back at the Hollow when they came in with this tiny little bundle that had this teeny tiny patch of black hair poking out. I hadn't been allowed in the hospital and Lily knew how anxious I was about being near babies. She simply walked over to me and before I could even blink had put him in my arms." Remus said quietly, remembering the complete fear and yet total wonder he had felt at the time, he had been terrified but as soon as he held him it had changed to joy and love.

"It's a magical moment." Cyrus said softly.

"What's a magical moment?" Sirius asked surprising them both as he came to stand next to them.

"Holding the children for the first time. Managed to escape Lady Zabini then?" Remus answered swiftly not wanting to dwell on the all too little time they'd had baby Harry in their lives.

Sirius gave an exaggerated shudder.

"That woman terrifies the life out me, and not in the fun way that your daughter does."

Cyrus grinned at the dark-haired man with an air of smugness about him.

"Yes she does have that fantastic gift, doesn't she. But Lady Zabini I know what you mean, Aquilla doesn't particularly like her either."

"Humph, she kept touching my arm and giggling. Why? What about that would make her think I'm attracted to that?"

Remus sniggered and completely ignored the wounded look that his friend sent him.

"Oh come on Padfoot, you're a single, wealthy bachelor. What else did you expect?"

The man humphed and turned away with a scowl to grab a glass of wine from a server which he took a healthy gulp of before wrinkling his nose at it and placing it back down on the table, grabbing a fire-whisky instead.

"I expected her to show a little class, I could see all the way down to her naval."

"Well she's been alone for 8 years now, she's looking for a new protector."

"She is not going to find one in me. Would rather face Azkaban again!" Sirius replied hotly.

His supposed friends both burst out laughing at that one and the trapped look in his eye.

"Oh you're no help, neither of you!" The Head of House Black groaned though his lips twitched at seeing his friend in such high spirits.

Since Remus had been staying at the Farm so much it had been hard on them all, while he had Harry and Theo. He missed his best friend and Remus hadn't fared much better despite the frequents mirror calls they'd done. But for the next two days Remus would be at the Manor along with the other guests who Harry had insisted should all come to the birthday celebration as a way of getting to know them all better. Although slightly anxious, they'd all accepted on the provision they only attend the informal one but for now they were happily ensconced with the house elves running around after them as they tried to feed them more, the boys were especially being in a house that they could so much exploring in.

The three watched the dancers and noticed as Theo and Harry led their partners over to the refreshment table to join Neville before Cyrus asked about the Farm and they were lost in conversation again.

"You guys make a couple of good-looking couples." Neville said with a grin but bowed quickly. "Miss Addams, wonderful to see you."

"Thank you, Heir Longbottom. I was pleased to receive an invitation."

"But of course, did you enjoy your dance?"

"I did indeed, this young man is a superb partner."

"And quite a conversationalist once he gets started." Teased Harry before Daphne dug her elbow in.

"I talked!" Blurted at Theo before blushing brightly and causing Neville and Harry to snort.

"And you talked very well." Danika said soothingly while her eyes danced with laughter.

The five continued to converse easily and managed to ignore the few photographers who snapped shots of them before a loud voice burst into their bubble.

"Harry! How are you my dear boy!" Came the bubbling bright and completely invasive voice of Cornelius Fudge.

With a stifled sigh and utterly fake smile; Harry turned to face the Minister, tightening his grip on his girlfriend's hand as she tried to slip away.

"Minister, so good to see you again. Neville and I are delighted you could make it."

"What? Oh yes of course, Happy Birthday…oh erm…Neville. And hello to the rest of you too."

"Thank you Minister." Replied Neville with a slight bow of his head. "My grandmother and I are quite thrilled to have such distinguished company in our home."

"Of course, of course, I wouldn't miss it for the world. Harry, could I perhaps have a private word, hmm?"

Reluctantly Harry agreed and the pair moved away from the table to find a private space while the others watched with interest.

"Well at least he remembered your name."

"Theo do you want that cream pie in your face?"

Meanwhile Harry was wondering if Fudge would ever get to the point, as the mans simpering about the party started to grate.

"Harry I wonder if I could ask you a favour?"

"You can ask but I may need to speak to my guardians?"

"Oh of course of course in fact I don't mind having him present now if you'd prefer?" The minister said very eagerly.

Nodding quickly Harry turned to search for Sirius who had seemed to sense his need and had already began walking over to him.

"Welcome Minister, so glad you could make it. What can we do for you?"

"Good afternoon Sirius, I was just asking a favour of your Godson and I might ask the same of you."

"Anything we can do, we will. Its thanks to your need for justice that Malfoy and the others were all taken care of so swiftly." The Black Lord lied smoothly with a charming grin.

"Well as you may or may not know the elections are coming up soon and the wizengamot will be voting on who should be heads of departments and who should be promoted and well…"

"The position of Minister of Magic." Finished Harry now understanding the mans need to talk with them.

"Yes and I wondered if I could possibly count on the two of you to well make a few comments for me?"

"Minister we of course don't mind making a few comments but you understand that we will not lie. Any comments that we make about you and the Ministry will be the truth." Sirius said with a hard smile.

"Oh of course yes thank you, thank you, thank you so much. That's perfectly adequate." Fudge said exuberantly reaching forward to shake Sirius' hand and then Harry's delightedly. "So good of you, right I must be off I see Lady Marchbank. Goodbye and Happy Birthday again!"

They both watched him walk towards the elderly matron who simply from her facial expressions alone made it perfectly clear that she wanted nothing to do with the man in front of her.

"Odd, right?" Harry asked.

"Oh decidedly but he had a reason. Did you seem them?"

"How could I miss, those cameras aren't exactly subtle."

"How dare he take advantage like that." Sirius hissed though still with that same calm look on his face.

"We'll deal with it late, right now lets enjoy the party."

"Eurgh fine ruin my fun. Are you enjoying yourself though?"

"I am actually, the political stuff was actually quite fun, wading through the waters and hearing the false compliments. It wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be."

"Yes well maybe that's because a gorgeous blonde has been keeping her eye on you and ensuring you stay in line."

His Godson shot him a smirk that was all James and for a minute Sirius' breath caught.

"She's good at that. Speaking of woman were you speaking to Lady Zabini?"

"Hmm, cornered more like. That woman cannot take a hint, I know I'm extraordinarily handsome but really to throw herself at me like that. I'm a treasure and should be treated like one."

They shared a laugh before Harry felt a need to speak.

"Sirius I know it won't be her. But if you did ever…you know…find someone. That would be great, you know."

Sirius turned a surprise gaze onto his Godson but seeing the way the young man was scuffing his shoes in the grass it quickly turned to a fond smile.

"I know Harry and if that day ever arrives that I meet someone and want to take it further I'm glad to have your blessing. But right now, I have far more important things in my life to be dealing with."

"But you shouldn't put your life on hold. I don't want you to miss out on anything."

"I know that, but Harry, remember what I said after the Unspeakable's fight we had. I've only just got you back, I don't want to focus on anything else right now." He said gently and seeing the struggle in the emerald gaze, he lay a hand on his shoulder. "I appreciate you looking out for me and I promise I'm not actively denying anything to happen, I'm just not forcing it right now, okay."

Harry nodded, still not feeling right about it but understanding that it was his Godfathers choice.

"Come on now let's go and enjoy the rest of the day, this is a birthday party after all!" Sirius said with a larger grin and put his arm around the younger man's shoulders. "Let's return to our friends and family and pretend that stuffy ministers don't exist."

"Best idea, I've heard yet."

As they neared their group, another arm hooked around Harrys and pulled him away from his guardian and towards the dance floor.

"You know it really is the height of bad manners to invite your hostess to dance by now, so I am inviting you instead."

"But of course, my lady, I apologise for being so bereft in my duties."

With an expression of utmost superiority, the two swept their way onto the dancefloor and joined in with the waltz that had just begun.

"Madam Longbottom, I do wish to congratulate you on a spectacular event and I have truly enjoyed myself."

The matriarch of the family smiled at him lightly, her blue eyes matching the paleness of her robes perfectly.

"Thankyou Lord Potter, that does mean a lot. It has been a while since I threw such an occasion and I am quite proud to have made it such."

"May I enquire as to what other sensational parties you hosted?"

Again, a smile, though this was slightly less mocking and more gentle.

"When my husband was alive, we hosted a 12th night ball and a midsummer on alternate years. They were quite phenomenal; the house elves are quite brilliant you know. Any bizarre idea that Malthus came up with they were able to implement it quite ingeniously. One year he wanted the theme to be Greek mythology and they created this fantastic blaze of scenery incorporating Mount Olympus and the Underworld. They dazzled the chandelier until it was like Icarus' sun and used a potion to cause the floor to shimmer a dark blue like Poseidon's Sea, it was quite fantastical. Our midsummer parties were much more relaxed; floral dresses and crocket on the lawn, Frank and Alice even convinced us to do a barbeque for the last one."

She gave a soft chuckle, lost in her memories of years past.

"But what about you, Lord Potter? Would Potter Manor once again hold a Yule Ball?"

Harry spun them elegantly as he thought about his answer; Remus had told him about the balls when they were exchanging Christmas stories, they were full of delicious food, glittering chandeliers and excellent company.

"I think it would, Madam. But not for a few more years."

"And with a lady by your side, no doubt."

Harry blushed a deep red and chocked back a retort as Madam Longbottom merely glanced away with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes.

"That is a day very far in the future." He managed to get out after a few more spins of the dance floor.

"Life happens as it happens."

"Indeed, though I think I need to get through my school years first."

"From what my grandson says you're getting through it."

Harry hummed, his mind returning back to his most recent nightmares of walking up bald with a snake like face.

"Harry, I do wish to talk to you personally for a moment if I may?"

"Of course my lady, whatever I can do."

"I wish to thank you most ardently for the friendship you extended to my nephew. He grew so much this last year and I do believe I need to give you and the lovely Miss Greengrass the proper credit. She made me see that he as much his own man as his father was and instead my fear, pride and anger stopped me from seeing that. He only told me about your isolation and his apology a few weeks ago in full and I wish to thank you for giving him such a friendship and acceptance."

Harry remained quiet for a beat before responding.

"Madam Longbottom, I thank you for your kind words however I feel the need to repeat them back to you. Neville has been a most excellent friend to me, he is true and firm and an excellent steadfast personality that I admire greatly. He has been with me through an awful lot and always stood by me, when he apologised it was sincere and forthwith and there is no doubt in my mind that he meant to be so. If anything I'm sorry that I didn't realise years ago how much of a brilliant person he is. He is a good man and I thank you for raising him to be so."

"I believe that is the finest compliment anyone has ever paid me." The dowager said, her voice a little shaky and almost in sync they glanced over to the man in question who was laughing with Theo and Danika.

"I am so proud of him, and I know his parents are too."

"May I be so bold as to add to that? Something my own guardian says to me."

She nodded carefully as her eyes returned to him inquisitively.

"Don't just be proud, be happy. For years I tried to make my relatives proud and it made me miserable. With Sirius and Remus I know that although they're proud of me for my accomplishments and things like that, they find it are far more important for me to be happy for me. So please, be happy for him."

With another smile they bowed to each other and he led the dowager over to Madam Bones and Lord Ogden.

"What excellent dance moves you have, Lord Potter."

"Thank you, Lord Ogden and please call me Harry. Lord Potter makes me feel…well…"

"Old?"

"You said it sir, not me."

The man laughed heartily and clapped a hand on his shoulder.

"Indeed, Harry. Now tell me more about this pesky little bill that is coming through in a few day's time? It's had several of my investors get very angry and very unsure." Although the voice was quite jovial, there was a hint of steel in the man's eyes and Harry was reminded of the lessons Sirius gave him about hidden meanings.

"Well, Lord Ogden it's a rather simple thing. This bill will simply give werewolves the right to live like normal people, it will enable them to have the same opportunities as everyone else as well as giving the rightful support to those that struggle. The witches and wizards that have lycanthropy are just as much allowed to live and earn a living like anyone else. Not only that but considering the amount of prejudice they've faced, some could say they actually work harder; this isn't even to get ahead its simply to be on a similar level of respect and dignity that most people get afforded without a second thought!"

"My my a passionate response if I ever heard one." Lord Ogden responded, the steel in his eye not diminishing. "I think this session will be one of our most entertaining yet, I look forward to it Harry. And the organisation of yours is going well?"

"Yes officially we're opening it up on the 10th, we've had quite a few contributions from several companies and Sirius and I are also able to support them until they support themselves. Though several of the guests are quite adamant about starting to farm as soon as possible, apparently Remus has his hands full with tractor magazines courtesy of Anna and Timothy."

"Ah yes how are the…what are you calling them? Guests?"

"Yes, we thought it would be better for now until they're all settled fully. And they're doing alright, thanks. A lot worse shape than any of us realised, humans can be incredibly resilient to pain but the suffering." Harry shook his head to rid himself of the images the stories gave him. "Sorry, slightly distracted. Yes they are all doing well and enjoying the environment they're now in."

"Oh don't apologise, dear boy. It is wonderful to see a young man caring about other people." The man said with a sharp nod. "It shows what kind of a gentlemen you'll become." A final salute with his wine glass the man moved away.

"I do believe you have just found yourself another supporter." Madam Longbottom said quietly as Cyrus and Aquilla took the previous occupants place.

"Sensational party, Augusta. Quite fantastic!" Cyrus said cheerfully.

"Thank you Cyrus, I must say I am quite proud."

"As you should be, my dear. And Harry I have over heard a fair few people speak well of not only the Farm but also you and the way you have been able to handle yourself. Augusta, they say the same about Neville, he is a fine young man you should be very proud."

"Thank you, Aquilla, that is truly most gracious of you and yes I am though also very happy to see him grow in such a way." Madam Longbottom said sharing a smile with Harry who couldn't stop the grin from growing.

"Harry, I would ask for a dance but it looks like you could do with a rest first. The other children have gone into the parlour to get away from us annoying adults, why don't you take a break from lording."

"Lady Greengrass I could kiss you, if you'll excuse me Lady Longbottom, Cyrus."

"Oh be off with you lad and enjoy your youth!" Dowager Longbottom said with a faux frown though a smile tugged her lips too.

With a hasty bow to all parties; Harry turned quickly, escaping the suffocating atmosphere and heading into the parlour to see Theo and Neville dancing and trip over their own feet, landing on each other as Danika and Daphne both burst out laughing.

Shaking his head in disbelief he headed over the sofa and leaned against the back, wrapping his arms around his girlfriend's shoulders.

"Ah we wondered when you were going to show up, finally done politicaling?"

"Politicaling?" Danika asked amused before Harry could respond.

"Translation; acting like a superior prat in order to get other adults to treat you like a person rather than a child." Neville intoned with a large grin as he and Theo finally managed to untangle their robes and stand up.

Daphne giggle and leant back, bringing her hands up to hold his arms as she looked up at her boyfriend.

"So are you okay? Even Neville was almost crying from boredom when he came in."

"Yeah though I don't understand why people just don't say what they mean, it is incredibly frustrating."

"I think you and my father would get on very well." Danika said softly from her place in a leather winged armchair. "You are quite similar."

"I shall take that as a great compliment, thank you."

"You told me your father was quite odd." Theo said walking over to the armchair.

"He is." She replied with a wicked grin directed at Theo and then Harry while Daphne and Neville burst into fresh gales of laughter while Harry huffed and the rest of the afternoon passed in cheerful laughter as the five allowed themselves to act their ages once more.