Hours later Harry was, once more, standing in the grand room, surrounded by his old friends, ready to be bonded to Percy Weasley as it turned out. He didn't understand why they thought it best to bond him off to Percy. The only thing he could think of was that Percy had made some kind of deal with the headmaster.
Harry looked around the room. Why did no one understand what was happening to him? He was about to be placed into a half bond. Something that had been illegal for decades, yet no one seemed to care about that little fact; not to mention the half-life he'd live for the rest of his miserable life. For that is what his future had in store for him. Not only would he be dependent on Percy Weasley or never be able to leave him, he'd also have this need to be close to the older wizard. His life and his magic wouldn't be his own anymore; it'll be Percy's.
"So, it has come to this?" he asked into the silence, his eyes landed on the Weasleys. "You rather force me into this half bond that put your trust in me?"
"It's for the best, Harry. You are not only a danger to yourself but to those who love you," Misses Weasley said, tears forming in her eyes. She didn't want to see her youngest son enter this half-bond but Dumbledore told her it was for the best.
"Really?" Harry asked. "Tell me then, why I spent nearly a year in America and never hurt anyone?" The words echoed into the room. "I never hurt anyone, yet you all seem bound on hurting me."
"We're not doing this to hurt you, Harry," Misses Weasley continued. "We are doing this to help you."
"Yes, even though you turned your back on your best friends," Ron mumbled but Harry had heard him.
"I seem to recall it was you that turned your back on me when I told you I was gay," a gasp was heard throughout the room but Harry didn't dwell on it. "Yet, you are eager to bind me to your brother," his eyes narrowing. "Have they not told you what has to be done to establish this bond and make sure it stays strong?" The silence told him everything. "He has to bugger me."
"What?!" A loud scream was heard from next to Harry. An angry Percy advanced on Harry. "What are you saying?"
Harry had the grace not to smile, but damn did he want to. "The dear Headmaster didn't tell you?" he asked innocently, he knew the headmaster would never tell them that little fact. "We have to have sex, at least every month, to re-establish the bond. Make sure it's strong enough so we're able to part every morning."
"I never signed up for this," Percy's voice was outrageous.
"SILENCE," Dumbledore's voice was heard throughout the room. "Percy, he's only making you reconsider the bond."
Harry felt his magic rise, how dare he make him the liar? When everything came out of the headmaster's mouth were nothing but lies?
"Now, let us begin. Severus, the potions please."
Snape walked over to the headmaster with two vials in his hands. The headmaster grabbed Harry's hand, cut it and let the blood fall into one of the vials then repeated the gesture with Percy.
They watched as the Harry's potion turned red and eventually white while Percy's potion turned red and then blue.
"He cannot go through with this bond," Snape's voice was heard. The relief that shot through him wasn't seen nor heard. "He's already blood bonded."
"To who?" Dumbledore's voice was angry.
Cedric? Harry thought. It was the only possibility, wasn't it?
"I do not know, headmaster," Snape said sincerely. "All I know is that we cannot force him into a bond for he's already blood, magic and soul bonded to someone else." Snape had never been so relieved to hear this. He felt someone try to force himself through his occlumency shields and for a moment was afraid it was the headmaster. When he realised it was the vampire he lowered them. If you're here to take him away you better do it now. The wards are down.
"Then we shall bind his magic," Dumbledore said, thoughtfully; binding his magic would mean that Harry wouldn't ever have any access to his magic again… He'd become a Squib. He was about to say something else but a loud crash was heard and three beings rushed inside. Before any of the wizards could grab their wands they had arrived next to Harry and rushed him away at vampire speed.
Harry recognised the familiar arms around him and couldn't hold back the cry of joy. Edward had come to save him. His arms tightened around the vampire, afraid he'd disappear the moment he'd let go, that it was just his imagination or wishful thinking. It was only when the vampire slowed down that he realised Edward was still there with him and had not come alone. Jasper and Emmett were there as well and he realised that was why Edward hadn't returned; he'd gone to find Jasper and Emmett.
"We'll take you somewhere safe," he heard Edward whisper in his ear. He could only nod, emotions were taking over him. He felt the calming waves Jasper was sending him and felt grateful. He didn't want his emotions to get too out of control and start tampering with his magic.
It wasn't until he entered the house that he recognised it. "Severus gave us a list of wizards who'd help us out," Edward explained before Harry was pulled into the embrace of Misses Diggory.
"Harry, we've missed you," she said as she pulled away. "Come there's someone who has been waiting for you."
Harry was pushed inside the living room and smiled when he saw Mister Diggory playing with C.J. "It's good to see you again, Harry," he said, shaking his hand and then handing C.J. over to him.
"And you as well, Mister Diggory," Harry replied before hugging C.J. close to his chest. "How I missed you, little man," he breathed into his son's soft dark hair, taking in the familiar scent. How he had missed him.
"Dada," C.J. said happily as he took hold of a handful of his father's shirt. He wasn't going to let go, not ever. "Dada, gone."
"Yes, little man, I was gone but I'm back now," he smiled down at his son, hugging him close once more before he sat down. "Have you had a nice time with your grandparents?"
The moment he sat down on the couch, with C.J. dangling on his knees, he felt a chill. Not a moment later a form materialised and a very familiar pair of grey eyes gazed into his own. "Cedric?" he breathed and was rewarded with a smile. "How?"
"I'm only here for a few moments," he replied as he became corporal. "I'm so proud of you, my love." He sat down next to his husband and smiled down at him. Even though he had been dead for over two years he was still taller than his husband. "You have raised our son well." He smiled down at the child in his husband's lap.
"C.J." Harry turned to his son. "There's someone I want you to meet," he pointed at Cedric. "That's your father."
"Dada," C.J. said happily and pointed at Harry.
Harry smiled again. "Yes, I'm your dada but Cedric's your father as well," he knew C.J. might be too young to understand him but he felt the need for his son to know who his other father was. He turned to face Cedric again. "This is Cedric James Diggory." He needed Cedric to know that he hadn't forgotten about him and their promise. "I named him after you and…" Harry began but was interrupted by Cedric.
"As well as yourself and your father. You always wanted to call your first born after your father…" A tear fell down Harry's face and Cedric quickly wiped it away.
"I shorted it down, I couldn't see your name without crying…" He admitted, remembering the moment he'd named C.J. The child had been staring up at him with his grey eyes that reminded him so much of Cedric that he couldn't find a better name for him. "Welcome to the world, Cedric James Diggory," he had said and burst out crying. When people asked him what his son's name was, he'd tell them but had to fight back tears so he decided to shorten it. He wasn't able to say ‘Ced' or even ‘Ric' without tears running down his face so he'd shorten it to ‘C.J.', still liking the name.
"I know, I've been watching over you," Cedric admitted. He had liked the name his husband had chosen for their only child. "I told you I'd never leave you." He gave Harry a kiss on the top of his head. "I'll always be with you," he promised. "Just remember that."
Harry wanted to ask how it was possible that he was there but all he could say was: "How?"
"I'm not sure," Cedric replied. "There's this old myth, where those who come into their full power get a special reward. The thing that you need most or the person you need most will come to your birthday for a few moments. You needed your son and some guidance which I'll be providing." He traced Harry's cheek with his hand as if he was memorising it. "I will always love you, no matter what you decided," he gave Harry his permission to find love although the younger man wouldn't understand it now; he would when the time came.
"I love you," Harry replied.
Cedric gave Harry a smile before he turned to his son and gave him a kiss on top of his head as well. "I look forward to seeing you grow up, little man," he used the nickname his husband had given their son knowing it would get a reaction out of him. "Take care of your dada for me."
"Dada," C.J. said happily once more.
Cedric stood up and walked to his parents, who had been watching the intimate scene in silence. "Mom, dad," he said not having any other words. He'd been so thankful for them for everything they had done for him when he was alive and had been so thankful they had taken care of Harry and C.J. for him after his death.
He had watched more than a year ago when Harry had arrived with a huge stomach, ready to deliver their son. He explained that Cedric and he had been lovers, husbands in their own eyes and that they'd spent one night together and his huge stomach was a reminder of that night. He had asked if he could give birth to their child, their grandchild, and had asked them if they were willing to raise him so he'd be able to finish Hogwarts. His parents had welcomed his husband in with open arms and loved C.J. as if he was their own.
He hugged his parents close. All three of them knowing there was nothing to say. "Thank you," Cedric whispered in their ears only loud enough for them (and the vampire) to hear. His mother sobbed into his neck and he gave her an encouraging smile, letting her know that he would never leave her as he would never leave Harry and their son.
He walked over to the vampire, who had stopped at the door frame. Not wanting to intrude, yet not wanting to leave Harry. "He wasn't ready before," he told the vampire only loud enough for him to hear. "He is now."
Edward gave him a slight nod. Knowing that he would heed the advice and grateful for the permission given to him.
Cedric turned to his husband one more time and smiled before he slowly faded away.
Harry stared at the now empty spot where his husband had stood only moments before. Tears were running freely down his face. He turned back to C.J. and hugged him close, sobbing silently into his son's hair. The emotional roller coaster he'd been on for the past few years finally getting to him.
Edward contemplated giving the wizard a moment alone with his son but his pain was calling to him and he found himself seated next to him with his hand placed on the wizard's back before he knew it.
Harry's head shot up, his eyes locking with the vampire's before another sob broke from his body and he buried his head inside the vampire's neck with C.J. between them.
Edward rubbed the wizard's back, hoping it would comfort him. The wizard's thoughts were too confusing for him to read. Images from his time with Cedric shot through his mind, the first time he held C.J. the betrayal of his friends, the betrayal of the headmaster. Everything shot through him at once. If he could, he'd take all the hurt away from him.
Jasper and Emmett, who had been scouting the area – making sure they weren't followed, entered the living room just as Harry was calming down. He pulled away from the vampire and nodded gratefully before settling back into the couch.
Edward reached out to wipe away the lingering tears, letting him know, by that little gesture, that it was fine.
"There are still some things I need to talk to you about," Harry began as he turned to Edward. "But let us first concentrate on Dumbledore and find a way for me to get out of this mess…" He was interrupted by the doorbell. Not a moment later Snape walked in.
"Thank Merlin, you're all right," his words were whispered; when asked he would deny it but he'd been rather worried about the young wizard. "Dumbledore has ordered everyone to look for you," he began, not waiting for the pleasantries but getting right into business. "He has convinced everyone that it would be best to bond your magic now that you cannot be blood bonded."
"Yeah, who the hell is he bonded to?" Emmett asked. He and his brothers had heard what was going on inside the room.
"I don't know," Harry admitted. "I assume it's Cedric because he's the only one…" he stopped, rather embarrassed especially with Emmett smirking at him.
"I don't care who you're bonded to, Harry, as long as they cannot force you into this half bond," Wizarding magic was specific. A life bond is forever. No one can severe it. It also meant that you can't be bonded twice.
"How did he convince them?" Harry changed the subject. "The Weasley's have always been trying to help me. I doubt they'd force me into a half-bond especially with their son."
"It turns out that the bond with Percy was just a cover," Snape began. "With Percy being the dominate partner with full control of your magic. He'd give all the extra magic up to Dumbledore for a price." Snape stopped not wanting to continue.
"Then why go through all the shenanigans?" Harry asked confused. Why would Dumbledore force him into a half-bond with Percy only to get the magic himself? Why not bond to him immediately?
"Dumbledore is your guardian," Snape had to stop for he was interrupted by Harry's yell. "He made your relatives sign their guardianship over to him. It would have been illegal for him to bind himself to you as he is now your legal guardian."
Harry's world started to spin. This would mean that he'd spend another year under Dumbledore's orders. "He'd kill me to get my magic?" he suddenly realised. "What, does he want to be the only powerful wizard?"
An owl burst through the room, landing on Harry's shoulder. He careful removed the letter and read it. "It's from Gringotts. I've been given full control over my funds."
"You better go, right away," Snape said. "Before Dumbledore can do something to prevent you from getting your money."
Harry nodded and gave C.J. over to Misses Diggory. "I'll be back before you know it, little man," he told him before placing a kiss on his forehead and leaving with Edward, Jasper and Emmett following them.