The Sorcerer’s Legacy

The second version of Sorcerer’s Ambition

DarkWolfShiro · Movies
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8 Chs

The Grand Ball

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters and works; all other characters and worlds belong to their respective owners. I'm just playing with them.

Betad by Beans, Malcolm Tent, Marethyu, Priapus, Old man of the mountain, Mike God of Lore

The Sorcerer's Legacy

Chapter 07: The Grand Ball

– Amelia Bones –

Watching as the newly announced Lord Raum-Black dealt with his well-wishers, she had to admit she hadn't seen this coming.

Her family were fairly moderate, so she wasn't terribly surprised that she and Susan had been invited to the Raums' first ball in decades, the grand event catching everyone by surprise, but as she looked around, she could see people from every side of the political spectrum.

Even those not 'pure' had found themselves invited, she realised, as she spotted the Brown family looking slightly nervous. Mrs Brown was a halfblood and was clearly somewhat out of her comfort zone, but at least her daughter Lavender seemed to be enjoying herself. Susan and Hannah were talking to some of their classmates.

Everyone from the Malfoys to even the Weasleys had been invited, Arthur and Molly looking entirely out of place even as Percy mingled. At least the Weasleys hadn't brought the entire brood; she didn't want to think about the twins getting bored and deciding to try and spice up the party with this powder keg of politics present.

She liked the Weasleys, but she really didn't need that. They had brought their youngest; she could see the only daughter of the Weasley family staying close to her parents. The quality of her dress was rather apparent compared to the other, far more expensive dresses the other girls were wearing, something she was clearly self-conscious about.

She hadn't missed the one glaring absence; Dumbledore not getting an invitation was a clear slap to the face from Yennefer, but she remembered hearing about their many arguments after the war ended. Dumbledore had pushed for lighter sentences, while Yennefer wanted anyone connected with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named publicly hung, drawn and quartered. Their rows had been legendary, and Yennefer clearly knew how to hold a grudge.

She still remembered the mysterious deaths of Death Eaters who escaped a prison sentence, not that she'd ever be able to implicate the very dangerous Lady Raum-Black in the murders (or really wanted to, given what the victims did to her own family).

Still, she had to admit she was caught off guard by Yennefer's decision to invite people from all sides. The Raums were insular and rarely interacted with anyone, but Yennefer was also a powerhouse in the Wizengamot. She had a lot of influence and usually voted in line with the more traditional families, but this ball changed things.

Grayson was set to take over as Lord Raum-Black after his fifth year, a mere two years away, and Yennefer had made it clear she'd be consulting with him while he was at Hogwarts to guide their house politics for the next two years.

Nobody was dumb enough to try to influence someone as powerful and frankly petty as Yennefer. Lucius was still dealing with his every single attempt being viciously resisted by Lady Black. Lucius would probably be in a far more powerful position if he didn't have Yennefer going out of her way to ruin everything he tried, which made the Malfoy's attendance here even stranger.

Credit where it was due, Lucius was doing a good job of playing the gracious guest while in the home of the woman who frequently crushed his political aspirations seemingly for her own amusement. The man was smooth, even she could admit that.

But with Grayson suddenly having a lot more influence, the chance to secure the Raum-Black votes had opened up once again, and it also made certain members of the more progressive families nervous.

She knew she had a reputation as a fence-sitter, much like the Greengrass family, who she could see talking to the Changs. As the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, she couldn't really afford to be too friendly with any political position; impartiality was her best defence.

But she knew a lot of the progressive families were looking forward to Damian Raum becoming the next Lord Raum-Black, hoping that the white sheep of the family would side with them. She didn't agree; Damian was a reckless idiot with whom she'd had to deal several times in her official capacity; he'd likely be easily bribed or influenced. The immature child becoming such an influential figure wouldn't bode well for anyone.

Even now, he was treating this grand affair with utter disregard, flirting with some girls and joking about being glad to dump his responsibilities on his little brother's shoulders.

Grayson was an unknown, having been overshadowed by his boisterous older brother and intimidating older sister, and now he'd shot into the spotlight. She hadn't missed his 'growth spurt'; he was in Susan's year, and he looked like he could pass for a seventh year, but she wasn't foolish enough to dig into Raum family secrets.

Susan had confirmed that Grayson had been much smaller when they'd broken up for summer; apparently, he'd been shorter than her, and now Susan barely reached his neck. It was almost a shame that Susan was dating the MacMillan boy, given the looks she was shooting at Grayson. She wouldn't be opposed to Susan marrying into a more neutral Raum family, but oh well.

Of course, Ernie hadn't missed his girlfriend's fascination with Grayson's sudden growth spurt, her years of experience easily picking up the insecurities and jealousy Ernie was trying to hide as he tried to monopolise Susan's attention, much to Hannah's annoyance.

She gave that relationship three months, at the most. Still, Susan was a big girl, and she could date who she wanted to, even if it was a pompous child like Macmillan.

Mingling with some other Wizengamot members, she made sure to keep an eye on the party for any issues, but everyone was on their best behaviour. It seemed Yennefer's reputation was keeping people in check despite so many people who didn't get along being at one party.

Still, she could say one thing as she looked around the decadent ballroom. The Raums knew how to throw a party. This was clearly shaping up to be a night to remember, a grand return to the public eye for a very rich and powerful family.

– Narcissa Malfoy –

"I have to admit, sister, I wasn't expecting an invitation," Narcissa said pleasantly, trying not to shiver under the intense stare of her admittedly very intimidating older sister. She had to call on her old Occlumency training to hide her emotions at Yennefer's dangerous stare.

"And why ever would that be? You are a member of the Black family, after all. It's only natural that you should be part of this momentous ball," Yennefer replied easily, taking a sip of her wine. "Even if you go by a... lesser name now."

Lucius didn't react at the sharp, but unfortunately accurate, dig at the Malfoys. Lyra almost did, but a hand on her daughter's shoulder stopped her. The Malfoy name was somewhat tarnished, as Yennefer had put in the work to make sure that while Lucius had managed to escape Azkaban, he didn't get away with his affiliation with the Dark Lord unscathed.

"Of course, I'm sure our father would be proud to see Grayson rise to his former position; I've heard he's a rather bright young man," Narcissa replied, praising her nephew while mentioning their father, whom Yennefer had almost certainly killed. "A shame about his weak magical power, but I'm sure he's smart enough to work around it."

"That he is, Grayson won't let something so irrelevant slow him down," Yennefer said, smiling as she stared unnervingly. "All my children are exceptional, of course, but Grayson has always been special. But where are my manners? You must be Lyra? I've heard so very little about you," Yennefer said, turning to her niece. Lyra froze at her aunt's attention.

The other party-goers watched, nobody willing to get in between two Black women sniping at each other.

"I- I am, Lady Black," Lyra stuttered, almost shivering from the sudden attention.

"Oh, just call me Yennefer; we are family, after all. So, how is Hogwarts going for you? I watched for your name when they were announcing the top students of every year. Gray always takes them so seriously, competitive boy that he is, but I don't think I've ever seen your name on it?" Yennefer said sweetly, making Lyra blanch in embarrassment and anger. "Of course, my children are always in the top ten of their years. Even Keira and Damian, as lazy as they can be. But I suppose it's a difference in upbringing and breeding. How poorly your Black blood must be diluted by your father if you can't even get into the top ten."

Lyra sputtered, looking to her father for support, but Lucius knew better than to risk inflaming Yennefer's anger towards him; she was starting to think that Yen had invited them here just so she could insult them to their faces.

"Mother, is there any reason you're bullying my cousin?" a voice said, making them all look up as Grayson strode towards them, brows furrowed. She didn't know what he'd done, but it was clearly some sort of ritual.

"Bullying? I'm simply asking some questions. It's rather worrying that my niece was so badly raised that she can't even-" Yennefer started, cutting off at a look from him.

"I understand that you do not get along with our extended family, but they are here at our invitation, and you're being a poor host. Apologise," Grayson said, the final word clearly a demand. A murmur of shock travelled through the crowd, mostly people from the right families having gathered. Almost as one, people turned back to Yennefer to see what she'd say to her son's command.

But Yennefer never apologised, and she went to speak before she paused.

"Of course, Grayson. My apologies, Lyra, I let this… sisterly competition get the better of me," Yennefer said, the words coming out with considerable reluctance before Grayson simply raised an eyebrow. "My apologies to you both as well, Narcissa, Lucius; perhaps I've had one glass too many."

It was a poor apology, but an apology all the same. There was a moment of silence before Lucius graciously accepted the apology, and Yennefer excused herself to go and speak to more of the guests. What in Merlin's name was that?

"My thanks, Heir Raum; your mother can certainly be an intense woman at times," Lucius said, making Grayson smile calmly.

"Sometimes I think she hasn't realised that the war ended over a decade ago, and let us be honest, the Black family aren't known for forgiving and forgetting," Grayson joked, utterly calm despite being surrounded by families that had supported the Dark Lord, even if just indirectly.

"What in Merlin's name happened to you? You were shorter than me two months ago," Lyra asked bluntly, making her almost facepalm. Did her daughter understand nothing about subtlety? It was like Lyra had forgotten every single political lesson she'd ever had.

"Ah, my growth spurt. It was an unintended side effect of an attempt to fix my- how did you describe it, Aunt Narcissa? Ah yes, my weak magical power," Grayson said, giving her a knowing look as she shivered. His gaze looked a little too much like Yennefer's. "A welcome side effect, of course."

"I thought nobody knew what was wrong with you?" Lyra asked, not seeing the warning look from Lucius to stop talking.

"St Mungo's failed to find the cause, but I am not one who gives up so easily. I did my research and found that I am not the first Raum to suffer from this condition, and my ancestor, who was afflicted with the same ailment, found a solution. I'm simply following in his footsteps," Grayson explained, making Lyra blink before she scowled slightly.

She didn't need to use Legilimency to see why. Grayson was known for being very intelligent but held back by his poor magic. If he had truly found a cure, then he'd be a powerhouse, and he'd surpass Lyra easily.

"Ah, I had wondered why Yennefer would choose someone with such a worrying affliction as the new heir," Lucius said, cutting off whatever stupidity Lyra was about to say. "But then, many of her decisions have caught us by surprise of late. She's frequently made her opinion on me clear, so finding myself holding an invitation to this grand event came as quite a surprise."

"Ah, that's easily explained. She didn't choose to invite you; I did," Grayson explained. "While the relations between our sides of the family have been cold at best, Aunt Narcissa and Lyra are both members of the Black family and should be here for such an announcement. Mother wasn't thrilled, but she accepted my decision."

"Was it your decision not to invite our beloved Chief Warlock as well?" Lord Nott asked, making Grayson smile slightly.

"Ah, that was all her. She didn't want him in our home, and I saw no reason to disagree," Grayson said in amusement. Yennefer's dislike of Dumbledore was very well known.

"Oh, not fond of your Headmaster?" Lord Avery asked, making Grayson pause as he chose his words.

"I have the utmost respect for his immense magical knowledge and his deeds, of course, but I do believe he might be wearing a few too many hats in his old age. I'm sure he'd make a perfect Headmaster, Chief Warlock or Supreme Mugwump, but by balancing all three, he simply seems to be decent at all three. Of course, I might be more fond of him had we not had disasters every single year for the last three years. Trolls, mysterious petrifications, dementors and werewolves, all in the alleged safest place in the magical world?" Grayson scoffed, getting a wave of agreement from the others in the crowd. "He is a very old man, balancing three positions that each would require someone's full attention. It's a mark on his character that he's managed it this long; very few could pull it off, but perhaps it is time for him to admit age is catching up with him and focus on one of his roles?"

Honestly, Grayson wasn't wrong. He was clearly a smooth talker, easily getting the attention and approval of the surrounding lords, who also weren't fond of the old man. He wasn't outright insulting the old man, even complimenting his work, but also making it clear that he thought Dumbledore was getting senile.

The conversation continued, people probing Grayson to see where his opinions lay, as he obviously wasn't the clone of Yennefer many people were expecting. Still, some of the nobles around had drunk a little too much, the concept of subtlety leaving them as someone bluntly asked Grayson for his opinion on muggles.

Despite the disdain at people being so blunt, she didn't miss the same people looking to Grayson to see his response.

"Hm, I have nothing against muggles, of course. That said, they have their world, and we have ours. I believe it is best that it stays that way. As for muggleborns, in my eyes, there are two types. Those who assimilate with our world and those who try to force our world to change to fit the one they left behind. Again, I hold nothing against the first type, but the second needs to learn that they need to adapt to our world if they wish to stay here, not expect our world to adapt to match them," Grayson said diplomatically. "I feel the same about the magical creatures; there are many that assimilate into our world and understand their place in it, and there are many that do not. The first, I welcome with open arms; the others, I do not."

Once more, Grayson was making a fair amount of sense even if she knew many of the crowd would have preferred he just cursed the muggles and muggleborns, but Grayson seemed a little too diplomatic for that.

Of course, it was better than most expected, given his choice to invite more than a few muggleborns to his ball. He was no muggle-lover; that much was clear given the hint of disdain in his voice as he spoke of them.

Excusing himself to mingle with the other guests, she watched her nephew go with a curious frown. She hadn't been sure what to expect, but Grayson clearly had some influence over Yennefer, and that was interesting. Sharing a look with her husband, she knew they were on the same wavelength.

Yennefer was a constant threat to them, making any attempt at expanding their own influence much harder, but if Grayson could reign her in…

Sure, Grayson didn't quite align with their beliefs, but he definitely leaned more towards the proper traditional side; he could be a powerful ally even if he hadn't solved his magical issues. Looking around, she knew she was far from the only person thinking this, even as Grayson moved on to speak to Amelia Bones.

Glancing at where Lyra was still seething at being insulted by Yennefer, she mentally rolled her eyes and made a note to talk to Lyra later. She didn't need her daughter alienating Grayson after he had extended an unexpected olive branch to them.

– Grayson Raum –

Making sure to not spend too long with any one set of guests, I put my Eyes of Truth in overtime as I mentally make note of every single secret my powers pick up. Having this many people, important people no less, gathered here means I can harvest secrets by the boatload.

Narcissa dosed her sister, my Aunt Andromeda, with a love potion and an aphrodisiac so she'd have an affair and ruin her betrothal, getting banished from the family as a result. That's just one of the juicy little secrets I've gathered, pleasing my Pact of Secrets.

"Lord Greengrass, it's a pleasure to finally meet you," I say, nodding to the older man. "Astoria has spoken of you often."

I don't really know their eldest daughter, Daphne, despite us being in the same class. I do know their youngest because Professor Snape has a policy where the top students of each year mentor the promising (or troublesome) students from the younger year. I was saddled with Astoria, who even now grins as she looks up at me in curiosity. She's smart but problematic.

"She speaks of you fondly as well; you have my gratitude for mentoring her. Her grades took a sharp increase after you started," Edward Greengrass replies, but before he can continue, Astoria herself butts in.

"Gray! You're tall!" Astoria points out, making me sigh. "You used to be almost as small as me; now look at you. Was it drugs? I bet it was some super secret potion, probably made you half-giant," Astoria rambles as I stare at her blankly.

Some people gasp, hearing her imply a pureblood is half-creature, and Edward blanches, but I just ruffle her hair.

"Not quite; it's just a welcome side-effect of a family ritual I underwent recently," I reply, taking no offence. Astoria is a little too much like Keira at times for me to really get insulted by her teasing, and the Lord and Lady Greengrass let out a sigh of relief at my calm response. "I do hope you've finished the work I assigned you before we broke up for summer," I ask causally, my smile growing slightly as Astoria is suddenly on the back foot.

I knew full well she wouldn't do it; she needed someone looking over her shoulder to keep her focused. She almost certainly didn't mention it to her family as her father gives her a warning look at her babbled excuses. She shoots me a dirty look, realising that I definitely did that on purpose.

"Daphne, Tracey, it's nice to see you again," I say, turning from the brat to her sister and Daphne's pet half-blood, who is constantly stuck to her side. "You both look beautiful this evening."

"Oi, what about me? I got all dressed up just for you, you know?" Astoria buts in before Daphne can reply, making her sister sigh fondly.

"Astoria, you look… decent enough, I suppose," I compliment, making Edward chuckle as Astoria scowls. "Better than usual, at least."

"What's that supposed to mean? I'm always beautiful," Astoria argues, and admittedly, she is dressed in a very nice dress, but she's too young to fill it out like her sister and mother do. Daphne was voted the most beautiful girl in our year, according to Keira's gossip-mongering, and I can see where she gets her looks from, Lady Greengrass giving me a fond smile as I tease her daughter.

The familiarity between me and Astoria is obvious, making her relax since she was probably worried that her mischievous imp of a daughter would cause problems.

I do make note that all three Greengrass women are dressed in very expensive dresses. The Greengrass family are very wealthy but not that politically influential. They have one of the largest import businesses in Europe, if I remember right.

From what I recall, it's rumoured they financed some of the Dark Lord's operations in exchange for being left alone during the war. The loyalist families see them as traitors; the families that supported the Dark Lord don't think they did enough and see them as fence-sitting cowards.

Plus, Edward may be a good businessman, but his skills don't carry over to politics, and he often gets run circles around him in the Wizengamot, which is why his family has remained so minor despite their wealth.

His secrets are boring enough, bribery and smuggling, nothing you wouldn't expect for someone in his industry.

I didn't miss that one of the betrothal offers was for Daphne, who looks like she wants to talk to me, but the Slytherin Ice Queen stays mostly quiet as I talk to the Greengrass family. I don't stay with them for too long, moving on shortly afterwards, though not before promising a 'dance' to Astoria.

I fear for my feet; Astoria is not exactly graceful.

Moving over to the Changs, I make sure to give them a little more attention since they stand out so much. We have some non-British guests, but the rest are from Europe, and the Chinese family stand out quite a lot.

Lord Chang is clearly happy at the attention, and I haven't missed the fact that he's been glaring at Cedric, who looks like he'd really rather not be here. The Diggorys are a very small and unimportant family, but if even the Weasleys got an invite it made sense that they'd be invited as well.

Cho herself has been carefully not looking at her ex-boyfriend, but I don't need demonic eyes to see the hurt there. They were forced to break up recently, so she's obviously not close to being over him.

I do spot Morrigan, not attacking people who approach her even as she wards off suitors and well-wishers alike with a small scowl. If we get through the night without her ending up duelling someone, she'll have been on her best behaviour. I also didn't miss Damian sneaking off with someone I don't recognise.

At some point, someone, either my mother or Keira, revealed that I did all the artwork on display around the ballroom. Personally, I don't think they're good enough for such a place of honour, but apparently, the uneducated and tasteless guests disagree. My Truthseeker abilities mean I can tell that their praises are genuine, but the masses wouldn't know true art if it slapped them in the face.

I'm not close to good enough, but I will be.

It does impress our French guests, however, which is disappointing. Given their reputation for supporting the arts, I thought they'd have better taste. Duchess Celene praises my artwork considerably, but I can't deny I'm on guard around her.

France is known for having dangerous nobility. They call it 'the grand game' where things like spying, assassination and sabotage are just part of life. Still, she's a good person to know since she's the equivalent of the Minister of Magic in France.

Or, to be precise, she's one of two Duchesses who share that position. Celene Valmont and Anna Henrietta are the two top figures in the French magical world, both far more respectable (and dangerous) than Fudge.

I doubt Celene is playing 'The Game' here; I'm honestly surprised she attended. Britain and France are technically allies, but there's a considerable amount of bad blood between our countries, partly because of Britain's harsh non-human laws.

France has the biggest population of Veela and Elves in the world; even now, I can see Lady Delacour not far away, and Celene has an Elven handmaiden behind her. I can see the disdain on my fellow British noble's faces, but they're not dumb enough to start anything with one of the most powerful women in Europe standing so close by.

It's interesting to see that many of the ostensibly more progressive families seem just as disdainful of non-humans as the more traditional ones.

The handmaiden is definitely more than she appears; something about her unnerves me, and I'm willing to bet she's a player in France's grand game. Lady Delacour speaks fondly of my words about accepting magical creatures that assimilate into magical culture, sharing her own distaste for people who expect the world to change to suit them.

But I was far away from them when I said that, and I was hardly speaking loudly. I don't miss that Lady Delacour's praise of me makes it look like I'm a supporter of the Veela cause that hasn't overtly acted on it. France has been pushing for the laws regarding Veela in Britain to be adjusted for a while, since they're incredibly unfriendly at the moment. The Veela 'allure' is seen as the same as a love potion or mind-altering spell by the current laws, but I don't know enough about it to have any real opinion.

Apolline shares a story about my father helping her Veela coven out of trouble, which I vaguely recall as true. I can't say I'm pleased that she implies some of the Veela in France could be my half-siblings, but I do know my father was something of a player, so I don't doubt her claims have some veracity.

But I very much doubt any of them are my family since I know my father also had fertility issues after an injury in his youth, and my mother claimed that it was a challenge for her to get pregnant, even if she ended up with four of us.

Mostly, she's using my father to push the idea that our family should be supporting the push for Veela rights, and she knows that I know what she's up to. The elf, whose name I learn is Briala, says very little, playing the part of the obedient handmaiden, but I don't buy that for a second.

When Celene introduced her as a handmaiden, my ability to detect half-truths pinged. Not to mention, Celene's lesser secret is that she is a lesbian. Briala's lesser secret is that she's used her position to siphon money from the government to enrich her people.

Elves might be accepted in France, but they're very much second-class citizens at the very best, mostly due to an old war, which humanity won.

Excusing myself, though not before Appoline gets a promise for a dance from me, I head back into the party. Pausing briefly, I spot my mother talking to another woman with long black hair in a rather provocative low-cut black dress.

It's incredibly tight- leaving nothing to the imagination as it shows off her hourglass figure- and low-cut enough to put a considerable amount of her cleavage on display. In fact, she's entirely dressed in black, extremely monotone with her black clothes and makeup, making her pale skin stand out more.

She's obviously friendly with my mother, and I believe that she's Lady Morticia Addams. Which would make the girl with two long black braids and a black dress beside her Wednesday. The younger girl seems as averse to colour as her mother, and she is just staring at me with a completely vacant expression.

It's a little unnerving, to be honest, and the fact that her lesser secret is that she has killed people who have annoyed her makes her very dangerous. If that's her smallest secret, then what the hell is she hiding?

To add to the confusion, her mother has the same strange defence from my eyes that Yennefer and Triss have. Another member of the Lodge? It would explain why an American family is here.

As the dancing starts, I quickly find myself busy as the focus of the party. I'm both single and newly declared as the heir of two old, powerful families, so there's considerable interest. Fortunately, Lord of the Arts is a large help combined with my already considerable dancing skills, impressing my partners.

Keira steals a dance, leaving her group of friends. I don't need to read her mind to know she's up to something, but she just gives me a secretive smile, and I let it go. I trust her with my life, so I don't push as I'm handed off to Daphne.

Daphne is a good dancer, but Astoria proceeds to stomp on my feet for a few minutes before I escape from her. Dancing with Appoline leaves me in an awkward position, thankful for the enchantment on my robes hiding a certain issue from having the busty veela practically grinding against me. She clearly knows what she did to me, a sultry smile on her face as she walks away after promising me another dance later, though I suspect she means the horizontal kind.

I very clearly don't watch her strut away, hips swaying, which seems to annoy her a little bit. A small victory for me.

Morrigan finally loses her patience and excuses herself to avoid the men who want to dance with her, but she's been well-behaved for the entire night, so she's done better than I expected her to do. If I'm being honest, I expected bloodshed.

Dancing with Cho, she whispers a small thanks for helping handle her father. He's watching us dance, happy to see that his daughter is with a proper noble instead of some middle-class nobody like Diggory. I don't miss the hurt look on Cedric's face as he watches his love interest in the arms of another man, but he's too nice to cause a scene.

This should take some of the pressure off Cho, which also makes Keira happy.

I even dance with Lyra, but it turns out my snobby cousin is not a good dancer. Fortunately, I'm skilled enough to stop her from making a fool of herself, and Narcissa quickly swaps places with her daughter. Narcissa is a far better dancer, perhaps the best I've danced with tonight. That's a Black daughter for you, I suppose.

Ginny Weasley might be a worse dancer than Astoria, but once more, my skill prevents her from making a complete fool of herself. I don't think I've ever spoken to Potter's number-one fangirl before tonight, and she's obviously very out of place here.

Susan Bones is a decent dancer, but the entire dance is hampered by Macmillian, first just glaring like an immature child and then trying to cut in mid-dance, leading to the couple having a quiet argument as Lavender Brown takes Susan's place. Macmillan is right to be worried, Susan is one of the better-looking girls in our year (and the one with the largest breasts, challenged only by Lavender), and I want her.

Lavender herself seems like I could probably talk her into slipping away; I know she has a reputation for being rather easy, and she's definitely interested in my new appearance, but I can save her for when school starts again.

Taking a break from the dancing, mostly to recover my feet from Astoria, Ginny and Lyra's vicious assault upon them, I grab a drink and watch the party for a moment.

"You are Grayson," a deadpan voice says, making me turn to meet the vacant stare of Wednesday.

"That I am, and you must be Wednesday Addams, correct? Mother has mentioned your family-" I start, but she cuts me off.

"That doesn't matter," Wednesday says bluntly, making me blink. She pauses, looking me over once before she nods. "You'll do."

"Excuse me?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.

"I desire a child, you'll do for the father. Come on," Wednesday says, still utterly deadpan with not a hint of emotion as she grabs my hand and tries to lead me out of the room, presumably to give her the child she wants. That said, she's shorter than me and has no muscles, utterly failing to move me as I stare at her in confusion. "What are you doing? You do know how children are made, correct? Or do you want to perform with an audience?" she says, finally having some emotion in her voice as she sounds annoyed at me for not playing along with whatever this is.

"I am well aware of how babies are made; what I don't know is what in Merlin's name you're talking about," I say; she's attracting some attention, but with the party spreading out, we should be far away enough that people can't listen in to our quiet conversation.

…but I thought that earlier, and the French delegation obviously heard me.

"I require a Raum child, and my choices are you or Damian. Damian is an idiot, though he'd likely be less stubborn than you about this. You are the better choice; we will have sex, and you will impregnate me," Wednesday demands, making my mind race. I'm sure this has something to do with the Lodge, given my suspicions about her mother. "If you are fearing I intend to use it to rob you, you can disown the child immediately."

"Wednesday, we talked about this," a sultry voice says, making me turn to see a far too amused-looking Morticia, Wednesday sighing in annoyance. "That isn't how you attract a partner."

"I don't want, or need, a partner. Men are simple; I'm an attractive girl offering my body; this should be simple," Wednesday spits out, clearly annoyed at how this is going. What is wrong with this girl?

"They aren't that simple, dear. My apologies, Lord Raum; Wednesday has been planning this for a long time, and she can be a little stubborn at times," Morticia says, making me pause. I'm not Lord Raum yet, not for a couple of years, but I suspect she isn't talking about me taking my Wizengamot seat.

"It's fine, if a little bizarre, Lady Addams. No harm done," I say, seeing her smile grow slightly as I attempt to read her secrets again.

"My, my… is it proper for a gentleman to have such wandering, prying eyes? I feel practically naked before them," Morticia says with a sultry tone. "And please, call me Morticia. I've heard so much about you; Yennefer does so like to boast to the rest of us."

"My apologies; it can be hard to keep my eyes in check sometimes," I say, not even remotely sorry.

"Oh, I didn't say to stop. Look all you like," Morticia replies immediately. "Perhaps you'd like a closer look, in a more private viewing?"

"This is pointless. Are you willing to impregnate me or not?" Wednesday cuts in, making her mother sigh fondly.

"Wednesday, you are lucky I thought ahead and put up a subtle privacy ward," Morticia sighs.

"I know, I'm not that socially blind," Wednesday scoffs. "Raum, I desire a child with your demonic blood. Are you willing to give me one or not?"

My expression hardens at Wednesday blatantly bringing up my demonic heritage, confirming my suspicions.

"Wednesday, not now. As you have guessed, I'm a part of the same organisation as your mother and Aunt Triss, and Wednesday is being groomed to join when she is old enough. We are aware of your secrets, but we won't be telling anyone," Morticia says, giving Wednesday a scolding look.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, she's acting like Wednesday got caught trying to sneak a cookie out of the jar.

"Honestly, Wednesday. You said you'd behave," Morticia says with a fond smile. It's worth noting that Wednesday hasn't changed her expression once, still just staring blankly at me. I'm not even convinced she's blinked. "And it isn't fair to expect such a gift for nothing in return."

"I fail to see how I am not behaving," Wednesday counters. "And I am offering my virgin body to do with whatever he wishes for his sick pleasure; is that not desirable to a partial demon?"

"It's a start, dear, but hardly enough. My apologies again, Grayson; as I said, she can be very stubborn. Wednesday, are you planning on attending Hogwarts as a teenage mother?" Morticia asks.

"No, I was planning on dropping out when I had what I wanted. It's a waste of time; I can learn faster on my own," Wednesday says bluntly. Oh god, it's the second coming of Morrigan.

"We've talked about this; you will be staying in school until you've passed your NEWTs," Morticia scolds, making Wednesday scowl as her expression finally changes. "Come on, let's leave Lord Raum to his party while we talk about why you shouldn't be trying to become a mother at fourteen."

Giving me one last amused smile, Morticia pulls her daughter away, leaving me mostly just confused. Wait, did she say Wednesday was going to be attending Hogwarts?

I get the feeling that this isn't going to be the end of this.

— Bonus Scene — Ginny Weasley

She really didn't like parties like this, not least of which was because her second-hand dress stood out like a sore thumb, surrounded by people who were wearing outfits worth more than her dad made in a year.

Her parents didn't even really want to come, but Percy had convinced them it would be bad for her father's career to ignore the invitation. Her total prat of an older brother was having the time of his life, rubbing shoulders with some of the most important people in Britain.

Still, at least Lavender was here, so she vaguely knew someone. She could see plenty of Hogwarts students, but it made her realise she should probably have more friends than just Hermione and Rose because she didn't really know any of them.

She knew of Grayson purely by listening to Hermione complain about him beating her in several classes, and she paused as she looked over at the handsome host. Hermione was going to go mad when she saw him because Rose was convinced Hermione had a crush on Grayson.

At least Grayson managed to save her from making a complete fool of herself on the dancefloor. Did Hermione know he was such an amazing dancer? Merlin, she wished Rose or Hermione were here, but Rose was back with her muggle family, and Hermione wouldn't get an invite to this kind of party.

Still, Grayson was nicer than she thought. Taking a sip of her drink, she spotted him talking to some people she didn't recognise. She hummed, if Hermione did have a thing for him, she had good taste, at least.

Author's Note: Party chapters kick my ass.

I am entirely motivated by praise and interaction, so leave a review, and I'll probably write faster.

I have a Discord server with a bunch of other authors and a load of porn. So much porn.

Here's the link for that: discord .gg/wd3tUYWVCd

If it says it's expired, it is probably your account being unable to join NSFW servers, and you'll need to fix that. If you fix that and it still says it's expired, add me (ThePumpkinKing), and I'll invite you myself.

I've finally put my Pat reon to use after months of procrastinating. My Pat reons now have the ability to vote for which fics they'd like to see updated more during the next chapter cycle. The winner of the normal tier poll gets one extra chapter per cycle, the second tier poll gets two extra chapters, and the highest tier pat reons can pick a fic that will get three extra chapters per cycle. The winning fics this cycle were Tamer (three extra chapters), Tinker (two extra chapters) and Supervillain (one extra chapter). I'm currently in the process of making the advanced chapters for Pat reon, which will slow down updates somewhat as I make the five advanced chapters.

Patreon Advanced Chapters

Basic: Not Yet Written

Gold: Not Yet Written

Plat: Game Master Ch06, Guide to Necromancy Ch07

Link: Pat reon .com/ TheDarkWolfShiro