Get your vote in by today if you haven't yet, I will tally up all the votes tomorrow and release the bonus chapter on Sunday!
It seems like the Daphne chapter & Hermione chapter are neck to neck.
Giving his invitation to the house-elf that stood at the gates which lead into the Mansion, Harry watched as the people went inside the well light home. They were dressed in their finest just like him with the men wearing their best suits, and vest, and jackets. While the ladies had on lavish dresses with beautiful jewelry and excellent makeup.
Everyone came in a wild variety of different transport, some flying in on broom that shot out fireworks behind them, others on large flying carpets with countless hanger-ons.
Others came in magical carriages which drove by themselves or had fine magical steeds. Most though rode in with flying mounts of all kinds like Hippogriffs, Pegasus, Cloud Serpents, Dragonhawks, Drakes, Aries, and so forth.
Some drove in with magical cars which were enchanted by themselves as was the latest fashion.
One man even had a palanquin which was being carried by two trolls. While another was literally brought in by the winds. And one lady even came in with the loud triumphs of horns blaring across the place.
The different transport that everyone came in was as varied as their personality.
Harry for example came in on Sunchaser who flew out the moment they landed only to be called back when the party was over.
He could already hear some laughter from all the way out here as the party seem to be in full swing already.
The house-elf bowed once he took his invitations and waved his hand to allow him in. Nodding his head to the small little guy, Harry followed in with the large crowd. It seem like just about everyone was invited here as the crowd was very large and rowdy.
Stepping into the front door, he was greeted to the sight of two scantily dressed nymphs inside a large glided cage swing about two loops. In the middle of the grand hall there was a chocolate fountain where house-elves stood be ready to pour for you.
Looking up, he saw Wizard lights in the air lighting the whole place up, and he also caught small flirting forms up there as well. That could only be one thing, fairies, as their dust glittered down, and can cast a wonderful unearthly glow about.
Darting towards him was a small little pixie boy the size of a little baby dressed in fine butler clothing as his crystalline dragonfly like wings beat behind him. "Would you like a drink, my lord?" the little creature asked as it held out its plate to him.
"Thank you," Harry said as he took one of the cups filled with some sort of champagne and watched as the magical being flew away.
Singing beautifully inside a large water tank was three mermaids as their soft lovely voices filled the room.
There were many more attractions with the place as tables filled with food and drinks was everywhere. He could see people swimming about in the large pool, the terrace was open to chat and have private conversations. And there were so much more to do.
And it seem like Harry was immediately recognized as he walked inside. Large gaggles of women came up to him and quickly surrounded him trying to attract his attention. Lord and ladies came up to him to make business deals and secret pacts.
He also got approached with too many betrothal contracts to count as everyone knew the precarious situation his house was in as he needed to quickly produce heirs.
Harry tried his best to be polite and courteous, he didn't want to get off on the bad foot or make any more enemies than he needed. Though from what he could see he already did, as grim faced men and women stared at him from alcoves and corners.
He quickly learned they were strong supporters of Dumbledore. Fanatical Light side followers more like it who saw their supposed leader's recent fall from grace as his fault.
Shaking his head, Harry wondered what the idiots thought he should have done after he suffered so much at that old man's hands.
Ignoring them, Harry saw he was well welcomed by the other light side members. As cheers went up into the air for him on multiple occasions. And many people introduced themselves to him.
Just as the party was really getting into the swing of things, some one came up above on the second floor landing.
Spotting the old weather worn face and the hat now with a flamingo on it, Harry knew who it was, Madam Longbottom.
He found out that today's gathering of Light members was being hosted in her family mansion, here in London.
Ringing her glass a few times to get everyone's attention, the noises begin to quiet down and everyone turned up to look at the old woman.
Smiling, she cleared her throat, and begin with, "I will make it short so you ruffian can get back to your partying."
There was a polite round of laughter, and Madam Longbottom continued, "Today we have won a great victory against the darkness. One of the supreme high ranking Dark Families are NO MORE!" she shouted to the wild cheers of everyone.
You must understand the factions that plague this land of Magical Britain have been here ever since the Arthurian times. It isn't just a split of practiced magics that separated these Sides, but one of ideology, and practice.
At first things weren't so rough with the different camps as all three Sides existed peacefully under the rule of King Arthur, the First and only Wizard King of this land. And before that, there was no party lines as each family only looked out for itself.
Then things took a very bad turn... And ever since then the three different factions stood apart with the Light and Dark especially opposed with the Grey leaning to and from the two factions throughout the ages.
Now things are irrevocable after so much death and destruction going between for centuries and centuries on end. The hate and anger between each side especially the light and dark now was palpable.
"The Lestrange family which has been the most vile and evilest of them lot has come to an end," Madam Longbottom continued. "We have evened the scale for what they did to the great Prewett family of the light!"
More cheers went up as the crowd gathered let out bloodthirst cries.
"To add to the great news," the old lady said, "today I want to rewelcome the Potters back into our ranks. Give a loud cheer to the great savior of wizarding-kind, HARRY POTTER!"
This time the sound of everyone cheering and shouting was defending, a few people nearby gave him a pat on the back or shoulder, or a solid handshake.
"The Potters have always been a steadfast member of the Light, and guarded against all evil that approach. We shall all be glad to see them back to us!"
"Lord Poter," the old lady said as she held out her glass for him which he returned the gesture.
"I leave you with one final parting words; Peace, Knowledge, Serenity, and Harmony. Those are the Light Side's way!"
Glasses went up into the air as everyone repeated the Light side's creed in one single tone.
"Now I leave you all to your celebrations. And I hope you enjoy all that my house has to offer," with that, the old woman said as she stepped back and out of view.
As soon as Madam Longbottom was gone everyone was back to partying as the singing started back up and waiters went around with drinks and the chatting picked up.
Harry was just about to go back to amusing a gaggle of women until a human waiter came up to him.
"My lord, the meeting begins," he whispered to him.
Looking at him a bit confused, Harry wondered what the hell he was talking about. "What meeting? Wasn't this just some gathering?"
The man seem to sense his confusion, and asked, "Did you forget my lord?"
"No, no," Harry said, "lead on, my good man." Now he was curious to know what this was all about.
Nodding his head, the man begin to lead him down a few corners, then up a flight of stairs all the way to the third floor. Then it was down some long winding halls and finally, they came up to a portrait which the man servant said a few words to which must have been the secret words.
Suddenly the portrait was awake as he looked down at them, and Harry noticed the resemblance he had with most Longbottoms. Nodding his head, a secret magical door appeared and it swung open.
"They would be inside," the man servant said as he pointed beyond. Giving his thanks Harry walked inside and was greeted to the sight of a small gathering.
Among them, he saw Augusta Longbottom who was dealing out some cards as she sat at the head of the table. She was head of house Longbottom which arrived on these Isles long ago with the Vikings. They were known as the Golden Bears and practiced battle magic just like his family, and they were the closest allies of his family more akin to blood brothers.
Then there was Amos Diggory father of Cedric Diggory, he worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and was in charge of the Being Division. Amos was a genial and friendly man who Harry in the short time he got to know him at the World Cup was quite proud of his son.
He was of course head of House Diggory which was part of the Sacred Twenty-Eight families. Really everyone here was part of the Sacred Twenty-Eight which were all light.
House Diggory was of course well known for their elemental magic which they specialize in and the very powerful eight legged badger creatures called the Aurumvorax that they reared. Their family was here for a very long time as they had a lot to do with Celtic druids.
Then there was Marshall Fawley, head of House Fawley. He was the father of Eustace Fawley and Sullivan Fawley who were in Hufflepuff, the same year as him. He was a slender man with light brown hair like a small bird nest and was known for his eccentric matters.
The Fawley were an Irish family that mainly focuses on jinxes and were where well known for raising the Puca, the black rabbits of luck whether it be good or bad.
Next was Ahmed Shafiq who was head of the Shafiq family they were a family that came from Arabia long ago and to the shores of Magical Britain. Ahmed was a sharp eyed man, with fair skin, hawkish nose, and hollow cheeks.
The Shafiqs were well known for the massive Rocs they reared up - massive legendary birds that preyed on elephants for lunch - and the sand magic they practiced. [Think Gaara from Naruto]
With his back to him was Kingsley Shacklebolt, he was a tall dark skinned wizard with broad-shouldered, a bald head, and a single gold hoop earring. He was head of the Auror Office and Lord of House Shacklebolt which originated from South Africa before they came to reside here.
The Shacklebolts were known for the Isonade they held - shark like creatures that prowled the depths of the oceans. They were also known for the Sea Magic which they specialized in.
Smoking on a large cigar was Harold Macmillan a large bearded man with a pudgy nose, and shaggy hair. He had a son who attended Hogwarts in the same year as him, Ernest Macmillan from Hufflepuff. Their family which they liked to be aptly named Clan Macmillan was from Scotland and they were well known for the Wampus cat they raised and the Nature magic they practiced.
Finally, last but not least was Amelia Bones, Aunt of Susan Bones, Department Head of Magical Law Enforcement and Leader of House Bones. He was surprised when he saw a smile on her face, shaking his head he wondered if she finally got some action last night.
"Ahh, young Harry," Madam Longbottom said once he came inside. "Come, come join us," she waved her hand over.
Everyone took notice of him finally as they all turned around to look at him, Harry nodded his head to his two neighbors; Marshall Fawley and Harold Macmillan as he took his seat.
"You might be wondering what we are up to," Ahmed laughed as he gave him some of his chips.
"Giving some of your money way, Ahmed when you are losing so bad, huh?" Kingsley joked.
"Ignore them," Madam Longbottom said as she gave him some cards to play with. "You know how to play cards right, boy?"
"Learned from the best," Harry replied as he and Sirius played plenty of games together to pass the times. Since Sirius was after all very bored being locked in the house most of time since Aurors were looking for him, and thanks to that he learned quite a bit from him.
"Ever tried a cigar, boy?" Harold asked in a booming voice. But the cigar quickly went up into flames and everyone turned to Amelia who had her wand out.
"Offer Harry one of your obnoxious things again and it will be your beard going up in flames, Harold."
"Me sacred beard," the man said aghast holding on tight to the long growth of hair while Marshall Fawley chuckled from the side.
"For one as young as you to take on the tough responsibility of lordship, I must commemorate!" Amos spoke to him personally once he threw in some chips into the large mix. "Though if I were to pass away tomorrow, I see no trouble with my son handling the responsibility too."
"Thank you," Harry said as he smiled. From what he could see these men and women got along finely. Which was indeed a good sight, it showed the solitary of the Light Side, unlike the Dark who where glad to see one of their own down just as much as theirs.
A few rounds passed, and Harry won his own fair share, light chatter when around as the daily going on in the ministry were talked about, and Harry gained some insights he really never did since he wasn't part of the main going on there. The political scene in the Wizengamot was also talked about and there was much exuberance about Augustus Rookwood's testimony and finally pining down some very high ranking Death Eaters.
Suddenly the secret door swung open and the very same man who lead him her came running inside.
"Coby what are you doing here?" Madam Longbottom asked with a frown, "I thought I told you not to interpret us unless it is something very important that requires my immediate attention."
"It is Madam," the man said breathlessly as he held a missive to her.
Taking it she read it over and then again as her eyes narrowed at what she took in.
Sensing something was wrong everyone looked at each other and Amos was the first one brave enough to asked, "What is wrong Augusta?"
Without replaying she handed the missive to Ahmed who was right on her left who once he read it took in a sharp breath and said out loud, "Augustus is dead!"
"What do you mean?" Harold asked as all joviality was gone from his face and hardness set in.
"Assassins broke in," Marshall read out loud as he was next to get the slip of paper. "Massive fight broke out as the assassins got the jump on the Aurors but a mysterious force came to the rescue. Though in the end, one was able to break through and get to Augustus."
"Fuck," Kingsley swore as he pounded his fist against the table, "this is the only person high enough that we were able to get to finally speak!"
"It's them," Harry said as everyone turned to regard him, "Yaxley seem to have planned something out. And I wouldn't douth the other Dark Earls helped him."
"I need to leave," Madam Longbottom finally said, as she got up from her chair and nodded to her man servant. "I will have to see to this situation and see if we can salvage anything."
Nodding their head everyone too begin to take their leaves as Kingsley went to see to the Aurors and Amelia headed to the Magical Law Enforcement.
Once Harry was back home he made the right calls and before long Dennis appeared, the direct aide of Albert the Queen's head wizard.
"I wanted to speak to your master, Albert. Not you," Harry growled once he saw the young man before him.
"Sorry, Lord Potter, but Albert is busy organizing a state function," the wizard answered with a slow incline of his head.
"So does he knew about the monumental failer of the Magic Task Force?" Harry asked, slamming his palm against his desk in his anger.
The young man remained silent as his head hung low in shame.
"Speak up," Harry shouted.
"This cost us a very very valuable opportunity which I don't think we will ever get again!"
"Head Wizard Albert and the Queen are aware of this. But you should know my lord, we made some very great finds. After getting a hold of some of the assassins, we were able to uncover their operations and now are in the midst of unraveling it."
"At least it was worth something," Harry said. Then waving at the man, he said, "leave me, and report any interesting finds to me."
Once Harry was left alone, he stared off into empty space, today he learned a valuable lesson; his enemies weren't total idiots who would take everything laying down. You might as well add Tobias little short lived coup.
They would respond viciously and wildly.
From now on he would need to take that into account, things weren't easy anymore.
Now he wouldn't be underestimated and would be taken as a very serious threat.
It was both a good and bad thing indeed.
He was now seem as one of the big players, not the pawn.