Xtreme Freak - HarryPotterFanFicArchive_Archivist - Harry Potter (2024)

Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I own Manchester United, nor do I own Chelsea. I only own $100 dollars in Warner Bros. stock and that is as close as I will probably get to being a player in JKR's sandbox. I am just borrowing her world and characters and taking them for a spin.

Chapter 1

Looking out over the town from his lofty vantage point, the small boy sitting on the roof of his school began to notice one detail that stood out. Everything was the same in every direction. The streets were all pointed North/South or East/West. The houses all had the same roofs, same four layouts, same meticulous yards, same fences, same, same, same. There was no variety, no room for expression, individuality, or creativity. And there was no room for deviation from the status quo. The sign on entering this little slice of beige stated 'Welcome to Little Whinging, a point of peace in this overly chaotic world,' and almost everyone thought that was a wonderful way to live. The problem was that if everyone was supposed to be the same, then where did a "Freak" like him fit in here?

Harry James Potter had not even known his name until a little under two years ago when he started primary school. He had been taught to clean and cook from the time he could walk, often with the lessons being punctuated with a fist, belt, or on a few occasions, a frying pan. He was blamed for every bad thing that happened to his family, whether or not it was his fault. His Uncle missed out on a promotion at work, and he felt the brunt of his Uncle's anger at home that night. His Aunt didn't get the award for best yard in town, and he had to get stitches for 'falling' on a pair of garden shears. His cousin fell and scraped his knee because he was too fat to catch Harry while playing 'Harry Hunting,' and Harry could expect a beating worse than if he had just let himself get caught by Dudley and his gang. Yet this was the only life that Harry knew was possible, that is until he learned to read.

Harry knew from very painful experience not to do better in school than Dudley, a good test result meant a severe beating on Friday so that he would have time to heal before school Monday. However, Harry learned early in his first year that there was one safe zone in the school or neighborhood that Dudley would not enter for any reason, that safe place was the Library. It wasn't because Dudley was afraid of books that he wouldn't go there, it was because of the Librarians. Ms. Prudence Ashington-Smythe and her dowager sister Lady Abigail Smythe-Covington ruled the local libraries as their own personal fiefdom. Those two sisters were both widowed during the war and moved back together for comfort and family. They decided after a few years of the social scene, that they would not re-marry but they felt that they wanted to be around children. With that purpose in mind they decided to work in the local libraries. Many a generation of schoolboy ran headlong into the Basilisk like stare of one of the sisters while causing disruption in one of 'their' libraries.

One day when Dudley and his gang decided to corner Harry in the back of the school library and have a little fun with him while their class was having study time. Unfortunately for them, but very fortunately for Harry, both sisters were there to talk about a new way of keeping track of books using computers. The disturbance took place right outside a door in the back of the library that happened to be the office of Lady Abigail when she was in the library. Piers Polkiss was holding Harry from behind while Dudley was punching him and the rest of the gang was egging him on. Suddenly, like avenging Angels, The Smythe sisters came barreling out and grabbed Dudley and Piers by their ears and pulled them away from Harry. They proceeded to lecture them about library etiquette while dragging them outside. The whole class followed, not wanting to miss seeing Dudley, the bully, get in trouble. Outside the school library was a willow tree that Ms. Prudence headed toward while Lady Abigail held both squealing boys. Taking a moment, Ms. Prudence selected two nice and springy branches, and then pealed them of all leaves before breaking them off the tree. Each sister took a boy and sat down on a bench, getting ready to teach some manners to the two ruffians. It was at that moment that their teacher decided to speak up.

"You can't do that to those boys, that's Dudley Dursley. He wouldn't be involved with doing anything wrong, it was probably that troublemaker Potter that got them in trouble." Said the Teacher.

Now it should probably be noted that the teacher was not a bad person for saying that, even though he knew it not to be true. It was just that he had been brought in to replace the previous teacher who had asked too many questions and had made allegations of abuse against the boyhood friend of the Headmaster and local councilman. She was summarily dismissed and he was brought in to replace her, all while being told that it was not wise to accuse such an upstanding man of anything, when it was clearly lies spread by his troublemaking nephew who had been taken in out of the goodness of Vernon and Petunia Dursley's heart. And while he may have wanted to say something, he had a wife and a new child at their new home and could not afford to lose this job. So like many others in Harry's life, the teacher turned a blind eye to any abuse that Dudley caused to his 'troublemaker' cousin. The Smythe sisters though, were of an entirely different breed. They were beholden to no one and did not fear the wrath of any mere man.

Lady Abigail looked him in the eye and stated firmly, "What goes on in our Library is our domain. If you do not like that, or want to argue, stand quietly and when we are through with these ruffians, we will proceed to teaching you manners next."

Harry's teacher knew he was not about to let that happen, so he backed up and decided to get the headmaster. After all, it was above his pay grade, and he really did want Dudley to get shown what for. As he walked away though not with any particular hurry to inform the headmaster of what was going on, he smiled to himself as the two boys started squealing at their punishment. He thought to himself, 'Wow; that Dudley kid squeals like the pig he resembles.'

When he arrived back with the Headmaster, the two women were done with Dudley and Piers, making the young hoodlums stand facing the wall while they sat on either side of Harry Potter, deep in a very focused conversation. When Tim looked over at headmaster Douglas's face, and the red mottled color it had become, he decided to remove himself from the confrontation. After all, no matter who won the upcoming battle, it would probably be him that lost in the end.

Headmaster Brian Douglas had been a member of this community all his life. Even when he went away to Smelting's Boarding school, and then University with his friends, he always planned on coming back and being a leader in the community with his friends. He and his cohorts considered Little Whinging to be their town to deal with as they saw fit, no matter what anyone else's opinion was. Now here was his chance to rein in those two old battle axes who believed to that they could order their betters around. It was bad enough that they did not come to his staff meetings, but the fact that they felt that they could boss around men, being that they were women, was just unacceptable. And now they had gone too far. How dare they punish two fun-loving, irascible young bucks like Dudley and Piers for expressing the piss and vinegar of youth. And on top of that, to take the side of the ungrateful, lazy, troublemaking nephew of his best friend Vernon Dursley what something that he would not stand by and allow to happen.

The first inkling of approaching trouble that Harry, Ms. Prudence, and Lady Abigail had was when the rather large and corpulent shadow of the Headmaster seemed to block out the sun. The next sign of danger that the two ladies had, was Harry beginning to tremble like a leaf while trying to almost shrink into himself and make himself invisible. Then a ham sized fist reached between them to grab little Harry, and the yelling began.

"How dare you spread your lies and ungratefulness to those around you Potter! Everyone knows that you are a trouble maker and that you constantly abuse the good nature of your loving Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia by spreading untruths about their son Dudley. Well Boy, this time you have gone too far with your lies and I will be calling Vernon just as soon as you apologize to these ladies for causing them to error as to who the real delinquent in need of punishment is." Headmaster Douglas said all of this in one breath, expecting that his gruff and no nonsense approach would make sure no one would challenge him and his views of what was really going on.

Unfortunately for him, Ms. Prudence and Lady Abigail were not ones who could be so easily cowed. The first clue that things would not go his way was the fact that his hand was shoved away from Harry and across his considerable girth, making him lose his balance and have to stumble to remain upright. It also didn't help his mood and sense of authority when an anonymous voice at the back of the crowd shouted out, "Timber! Watch out for fatty, you will die if he crushes you." This was followed by much laughter, including Dudley and Piers. The second was when he felt an excruciating pain on his ear and he was led away from the crowd by two very irate sisters, both with a very determined set to their jaws.

The Headmaster opened his mouth to protest this treatment when Lady Abigail hissed, "You will be silent Brian Douglas until we have moved into the library to have a word with you. Don't think we don't remember you and your friends from when you were school boys." Anything else was lost to the onlookers as he was led into the library and the doors closed. After waiting for a few moments to see if anything more was going to happen, the crowd began to disperse into the school yard to find other pursuits to occupy their time. Soon only Harry was left, still sitting on the bench where he was placed. It was not that he wanted to stay, but since Dudley and Piers had left the wall and were out there, he knew that there was no chance of him being able to play with anyone anyway.

When the bell rang and they had not returned, Harry slowly made his way back to class, each step heavier than the last. All through the rest of the day, Harry dreaded what was to come, knowing that his Uncle Vernon would punish him for getting poor little Dudley in trouble. When a note came to his classroom telling him to go to the library, he knew that his judgment time had come. He gathered his meager belongings, and made his way toward his doom.

Harry finally arrived at the doors of the school library, and with a sigh, entered in to where he felt his fate lay. The assistant librarian at the front desk looked at the sad and fearful boy who stood before her, and then motioned him to go to the back of the library where all the trouble had begun. Looking out the back office door, Ms. Prudence spotted him and waved for him to enter in. When he came in, he could no longer contain his sorrow and he dropped to his knees and sobbed out his pain.

"I am so sorry for making you lose your jobs." Harry cried. "I should have stayed quiet while they had their fun. After all, that is what a freak like me is good for. But now, Uncle Vernon will come and make you both leave like my last teacher when she said I was being abused. Uncle Vernon and his friends explained after she left that I couldn't be abused because I wasn't a normal child. I was a freak." Harry's sobs intensified and they could no longer understand what he was trying to say.

Both of the sisters felt their hearts go out to this lost little boy and they dropped to their knees on either side of him and wrapped him in their arms. They spent the next fifteen minutes rocking him back and forth and whispering encouraging words into his ears. Finally he calmed down and they raised him off the ground and seated him in a chair. Lady Abigail handed him a couple of tissue, and then began to speak.

"Harry, dear boy, we both thank you for your concern, but we did not lose our jobs, nor are we going anywhere. We had you sent here to talk to you about the options you have that you do not know you have." She paused before continuing. "While you are at school Harry, you are to consider the library here as your refuge, your escape from any pressures outside in the school yard. We looked up your records from your first month and you were above and beyond anyone else in your class. Can you tell us what changed and why?"

Harry at first didn't want to answer, but seeing the kindness in their eyes, the story came pouring out, as once he began Harry found that he couldn't stop. He told his story to these two kind ladies, not noticing that they became steadily more horrified as his story went on. He told them about learning to clean and then cook for his family. About pushing the mower across the grass in the heat of summer and ripping his hands up as he pruned the roses with no gloves. He told them about the stories that his family told him about his parents being drunks and shiftless lay abouts who were on the Dole. He talked about his cupboard, the beatings, Harry hunting, and Aunt Marge's dogs. With each word that he uttered his shoulders seemed to lift as if free from an overwhelming weight, while the two sisters struggled to hide their horror at what this sweet boy had gone through. Finally his story arrived at him entering school. He was so excited to be attending school, he had dreamed what it was like from Dudley's talk about Pre-school. He overheard his Aunt and Uncle debating on whether or not they could get away with keeping him home and never sending him, saying that they could say that he was mentally challenged and would not fit in. He apparently ruined that plan by talking to a police officer while he was cleaning up the weeds that were in the front flowerbed. Then he talked about the joy of finding out his name was Harry, not boy or freak. His first day of school was one of wonder and excitement. He didn't know there were this many kids in the whole world, and there were adults that had a kind word for everyone, even someone like him.

Harry continued to talk to his captivated audience about the joys of learning. After two weeks of school, Harry was absorbing knowledge at a prodigious rate. He was constantly asking questions, since he was taught not to ask any at home. He read every book in the classroom and had many a discussion with his wonderful and kind teacher about what the world was like and what he could do. Then came the day of the class's first test. Harry was excited as he knew all the answers without even having to struggle. At the end of school the next day, Harry got his test back and at the top was a very large A* written in red ink with a smiley face and a good job written next to it. Harry felt lighter than air as he ran home, easily out running Dudley and his friends. He had seen Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia's reactions to Dudley's acceptable reports from the year before and felt that for once they might be proud of him. When he got home, his Aunt had a list of chores that he had to do because they were having guests for dinner and she needed to run to the store. Harry carefully put his first test into his cupboard and then got so busy that he forgot to bring it up before he was locked into his cupboard for the night so as not to disturb Vernon's guests. Dudley was shuffled off for the night to his friend Piers house, since the guests were an older couple who did not have much use for children.

The next day when Harry was let out, there was again no time for him to share as he needed to weed the garden as judging for best yard would happen later in the coming week. Finally Dudley came home and dumped his backpack on the floor in front of the stairs and went to get a snack. Aunt Petunia was about to yell at Harry to take the bag to her precious Duddems room, when she decided to organize it for him and take out his clothes from the day before. When she found Dudley's test marked with a D, she went and gave him a big hug and told him she was proud of him. Vernon came in at that moment and ruffled his son's hair and said they would go and eat out as reward. Harry, seeing his chance and hoping to be allowed to go with them, ran to his cupboard and brought out his A* that he was so proud of and wanted to share with his family.

Harry paused for a moment and then his whole body shivered as he remembered, though not clearly, what happened next. Harry brought his test in, and shyly handed it to his Uncle, while looking down at his toes. He was hoping for a kind word, and maybe even a hug from them for his effort. What he got was an explosion of stars behind his eyes as his Uncle's fist crashed into the side of his head, knocking him to the ground. What followed was a truly brutal beating as his Uncle accused him of cheating by switching tests with Dudley. He was told that there was no way that a freak could out score a normal kid like Dudley. Harry felt his arm snap from Uncle Vernon's foot coming down on it, and then he collapsed into darkness. Harry woke up in his cupboard, and he could barely move without crying out and he knew not to do that from past experience. He made himself as comfortable as he could and then went to sleep knowing he would heal eventually.

Harry missed school on Monday, but was healed enough to go on Tuesday. When the teacher noticed that he was favoring his right arm and writing with his left, she decided to talk to him at lunch. When he told her what had happened, at first she didn't believe it, but later in the week she heard Dudley bragging about how his dad had shown the freak that stealing his test would do him no good. Being a conscientious teacher, she went to her supervisor to report her suspicions of abuse in Harry's home. The headmaster came to her a week later along with Vernon Dursley, Mark Hammond from Children's Health and Welfare, and Chauncey Jones from the local constabulary. They cornered her in her classroom and told her that she was fired unless she wanted to be their plaything and ignore whatever she thought was going on. When she refused, they began to close in on her. Only the passing of a teacher and some students saved her, and she used the distraction to get out. The next day she caught Harry on his way home and told him she was sorry and that she was leaving. When Harry asked why, she told him about the day before, and told him to hide his intelligence and keep himself safe until he could escape. She tearfully said goodbye, apologizing again for not being able to help keep him safe from harm. She then climbed into her car and drove off, forcing herself not to look in the mirror for fear that she would go back and take Harry with her as she escaped this town and the evil it hid behind its façade of normalcy; Harry never saw her again. After that, Harry learned to do the same or worse than Dudley, and to never stand out, asking no questions and just trying to blend in with the background.

Lady Abigail was the first to break the silence after he finished, and her response was very unladylike. "Those sons of bi--," Her voice trailed off as she tried to get her anger under control. "Harry, I want you to take your old teachers advice and keep your head down. Not only will this library be a haven for you, but also there is a library about six blocks from your house that you can come to on weekends and during the holidays. We will look into other ways to help you, but for now, just focus on staying safe."

She then turned to her sister. "Pru, I am going to give Harry a ride to my library and then walk him home so he knows how to get there. Meet me there when you close up and we will talk more." The Lady looked once again at Harry and continued, "Come with me Harry, adventure awaits." And to his utter surprise, Harry believed her.

Chapter 2: Chapter 2

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

If you the reader have not figured out that I am not JKR and therefore do not own Harry Potter, Then you must live in a world that has little contact with reality.

Chapter 2

The next twenty months flew by with Harry spending every spare moment that he could in the library either at school or the local public library. He considered the two sisters to be his best friends, always there with a kind word and a new book for him to read. Harry found that he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He devoured books on every subject, from math and science, to mystery, science fiction and fantasy; nothing was out of his scope when it came to learning. Every time he entered one of the libraries, there would be one of the sisters with a new book or a question he needed to research and find the answers to. It was one of these research questions that revealed to Harry Just how different he was than others who were normal. The question that Ms. Prudence had given him was how long it takes for the human body to heal from debilitating injuries such as muscle tears and broken bones. According to the books he read, it usually took anywhere from two weeks to several months for proper healing to take place. Yet for Harry, the longest he had taken to heal from one of his Uncle's beatings was five days and that was one that he suspected that his family thought he would not recover from. At least, they seemed very surprised to see him cooking breakfast when they woke up and came into the kitchen and he heard his Uncle Vernon mutter to himself, wondering how you could actually get rid of the freak if he wouldn't die like a decent person would.

This revelation led Harry to question a few incidents that happened to him in the past. Things like turning a substitute teacher's hair blue, re-growing his hair overnight, unlocking his cupboard from the inside when he had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and even speaking to a snake that lived in their garden. All of these things had gotten him called a freak and incited yet another beating from his Uncle. It was almost as if they knew what he was capable of and were determined to beat it out of him. While he had been reading about what the human body was capable of, he found a book about the power of the mind. This book talked about examples of super human strength, extremely heightened senses, perfect control of the body, and even being able to see into the future. It talked about spiritual leaders who could make themselves float through meditation, Martial Masters from the Far East who could make their bodies like iron with proper focus, and even ordinary people who had been able to call on abilities far above the human norm when their loved ones were in danger. The author posited that there were huge untapped wells of abilities in the human mind and body, and they could be reached and unlocked by meditation and self-awareness brought about by an organized mind. Harry became driven to find out what lay inside his own mind. He spent most days in class trying to open his mind. He learned about self-hypnosis, memorization techniques, the art of Zen meditation, and an obscure discipline of organization taught to him by a Tibetan monk named Tzu Zee that Lady Abigail brought in to talk to him and teach him. Master Zee not only trained him to utilize his mind, but his body as well. Master Zee was amazed at how dedicated Harry was to learning to discipline his mind and body, and also how fast this amazing young man picked up each mental and physical technique. One day shortly before he had to go back to his home, he decided to ask Harry why he was so determined to learn and master all the lessons he taught him. Harry's answer left him both astounded and puzzled at the simplicity and yet depth of character that was in his youngest disciple.

"I know that you are here to teach me for a short time," Harry told him earnestly. "And I also have seen that the techniques that you are teaching me for both my mental and physical wellbeing will allow me a head start on the road to reaching my full potential. This means that I must make the exercises and methods you are teaching me truly a part of my mindset so that even when you are gone, from me or from this plane of existence, I can continue to learn and improve myself and those around me." Master Zee was left in a humble frame of mind as he realized that just as the old proverb stated, 'The Master would truly benefit and be taught as much or more by his student, than the pupil he was teaching would gain from the Master.' It was a sad day for both Master and disciple when Master Zee had to leave, but he felt that he had helped the remarkable young man start on his journey to greatness.

Then the day came that changed everything for Harry. While doing his mental exercises in his cupboard before bed, Harry had a break through. He found himself in a huge room with orbs of light zipping to and fro at breakneck speeds with no sense of rhyme or reason. In the center of the room stood a gigantic pillar of solid light of which all else orbited. Harry was at first perplexed by the chaos around him, but then he decided to see what was there. One of the orbs was zipping past him and he reached out and grabbed it for examination. He became immersed in a memory about a red haired woman with green eyes tickling him on his naked belly while he giggled and a familiar dark haired man took a picture of the two playing. He let go and grabbed another, hoping for another memory of her and the sense of love he had when he saw her. Instead, he found himself reliving the first time Uncle Vernon broke his arm when he was three, pain and all. He cried out and dragged himself out of that memory, not wanting to experience it again. Harry now saw what he had not noticed before, that each orb had its own color. There was every color of the rainbow, with different hues for each. As he focused on them, the colors became even more distinct to his sight. Harry decided that he needed to create some order in here and so, being that he spent his best times in the order of a library; he imagined a book in his hands. Not at all surprised that one appeared in his hands, he then called all the red orbs down into the book, red being the color that the Uncle Vernon memory was in.

A veritable storm of red swept at him, and began to overwhelm him with pain as the book no longer was absorbing the orbs. In an act of desperation and pure self-preservation, Harry created an entire set of bookshelves full of books and sent the different reds to different books. There were a lot of different hues, from blood red to a darkish pink color, and they all contained echoes of pain and anger. When this had been accomplished, it became clear to him that there were not a whole lot of the other colors left to sort. Most of his memories seemed to be full of pain and misery, and that realization made Harry begin to see that it was not himself, but his family that were the true freakish ones. Feeling rather tired, he called the rest of the orbs down into books, separated from the red books by walls and shelves of their own. When all that was left was the glowing column in the middle, he imagined walls going up around everything and then he formed his mental library, with the column being the center support hidden behind four walls. Looking at his handy work, Harry smiled and then allowed himself to drift off to sleep.

One thing that Harry had learned but not fully grasped was that the mind has powerful tools that it can access even while you sleep. If Harry had remained in his mental landscape, he would have seen some truly astounding things taking place. First there was a pulse of light that expanded outward from his core, and then he would have begun to hear a pervasive whisper filling every corner of his mental library. Rooms began to form and then separate into entire wings of shelves and catalogues. Then the books all jumped from their shelves and laid out in lines, one for each color, and the orbs began jumping out and back into other books, like dancing water fountains, seemingly at random. As a book would fill, it would jump up and go to a bookshelf, with each color having its own wing. If Harry had examined these books, he would have instantly realized that they were being sorted chronologically, with the front of each book containing the dates it held in its pages, and chapter lists for each incident that was held. When Harry's subconscious mind was done, there were only two things left for Harry to do. One was an entire group of orbs that were hidden by a haze, not allowing Harry or his subconscious to see the colors of the orbs it contained, and the other was the fact that if one looked closely at his central core, he would have seen a web of black lines holding it in check and stopping it from expanding or growing.

When Harry woke, it was to find that his mind seemed to be running at a much increased speed, memories jumping to the front with no discernible waiting. He was able to recall passages from books that he had read as if he were rereading them again. Harry couldn't wait to get started on his chores so that he could head to the library and explore this new found talent. With a brief pause, he remembered the time he opened the cupboard lock from the inside, and with a look of concentration, he focused himself and willed it to happen again. A quiet click and he was free from his cell and could begin his day. Harry felt full of energy and was ready to go, wondering why his Aunt Petunia was not up and yelling at him yet. When he wandered into the kitchen to get breakfast started, he realized why he was the only one up; it was 04:00 am. Harry briefly wondered why he was awake and so full of energy, but he decided not to question his luck, choosing to enjoy this time of peace without the yelling and abuse that he suffered through every morning.

Harry used his talent as he began to call it, to open the lock on the pantry so that he could eat his fill for once. Harry imagined a pulse of energy leaving his hand and becoming a key that fit itself into the lock and matching up to the tumblers inside before turning to release the lock. With an audible click, the lock sprang open and Harry was one step closer to being able to subvert the treatment that he was forced to endure from his family. He figured that if there was no way that a lock would stop him, then as long as he was frugal about what he took and didn't get greedy, they would not be able to starve him again. All that was required of him was practice and patience so he could learn to control his gifts for when he really needed them.

Aunt Petunia had as usual, bought some breakfast pastries for Dudley that were supposed to be for breakfast, and since there was really no way that Harry could get into the pantry without his Aunt unlocking it, he he he, she would hopefully think that Dudley had grabbed a box or two of them. With his subterfuge done, Harry relocked the pantry, put the two boxes of pastries in his cupboard, and then cleaned the kitchen and then swept and polished the floors. He then grabbed the carpet sweeper, thankful for the first time that it had no motor unlike his Aunt's Hoover, and finished with the rest of the downstairs. After he deemed everything was up to his Aunt Petunia's meticulous standard, Harry went back to his cupboard and crawled into the very end where he had long ago found a space behind a board that the builder had left unfastened. It was where Harry hid all his treasures, from books given him, to candies he had filched from Dudley's stash, to a blanket that he had had for as long as he could remember. The great thing about his space was that it was so far back that only Petunia could have found it, and she would never crawl in there, and no matter what he put in there, he never seemed to run out of space to store more.

As he sat enjoying his overly sweet treat, Harry came to the sudden realization that his plan was not conceived very well. While his Aunt might be pleased about the cleanliness of the house, he forgot that he had unlocked his cupboard and that would bring punishment down upon him. While he was deliberating on his mistake, the distinct sound of his Aunt's alarm went off and then he heard the sound of her footsteps as she made her way to the lavatory to get ready for the day. Harry disposed of the wrapper left from his breakfast, and then felt the dread of his coming punishment creep up on him. The fear of what might come left him shaking with fear, pale as a ghost, when His cupboard door was yanked open and the angry visage of Petunia Dursley filled his sight.

"What have you done boy? Did you use your freakishness to open your cupboard again? I will go get your Uncle so that he can teach you proper behavior in my house." Petunia hissed.

With fear came an icy calmness and Harry found himself telling a lie to his Aunt, the first lie he every told to her that he knew he would get away with. "Aunt Petunia, I woke up and my cupboard was open. I thought that you had unlocked it for me to get to work on my chores early, so I got up and cleaned the entire downstairs. Once I was done, I came back here to wait for you to get up so I could start on breakfast. After all, I know I am not allowed to wander around the house if I am not doing my chores." Harry said all this with his head down between his knees, not making any kind of eye contact or motion that Petunia could view as disrespect. He continued, "Do you want me to start breakfast now? I can finish it quickly and then I can start on the garden while Uncle Vernon and Dudley are eating."

Petunia was at first stunned at what Harry had said, but then she decided that they must have finally beaten the freakishness and stubbornness out of him. "Get going with breakfast while I wake up my family, and when you are done with the garden, I don't want to see you again until after dinnertime. Maybe there will be some left over for you to have." With that statement, Petunia headed back upstairs to wake her husband and her darling Dudders, thinking that this might be a good schedule from now on so that she didn't have to interact with the boy except for morning and night. After all, if he didn't get enough sleep that was his problem, being the son of her freak sister. By the time the family came down, Harry was already halfway done with the garden as he had left the cooked breakfast warming in the oven. When Vernon pulled out of their driveway to go to work, Harry was finishing up and preparing to head to the library which he called his fortress of solitude after reading a book about Superman a few months before. Even though the library didn't open till 9:00 am, it had a wonderful little garden area in the back, with benches and a gazebo that Harry liked to use to meditate.

A surprise awaited Harry when he entered his mind scape. Instead of a large room with book shelves, he found an entire village of buildings, from a grocery to a cinema. Harry had never been in a cinema before, but he had read books about the great ones in Great Britain and America from the Golden Age of Hollywood and had always wanted to see a movie in one. Feeling his curiosity surge to an overwhelming level, he ran to the doors and threw them open. What lay before him was a hodgepodge of different styles from the pictures he had seen in the book he read. There were gilt cherubic statues surrounded by neon. Modern ticket booths with vaudevillian chalk board marquees. Circular stairways that led to blank walls and an elevator that had a rickety steel cage door closing it off. Harry was fascinated and horrified at the same time; there were just too many different concepts here that made no sense stuck together. He decided that he really liked the style of the Fox Theater in Westwood, CA and with a shimmer of light, everything changed to fit what he thought it looked like from the pictures. He went into the theater to watch what was on, but only scenes from the movies he had caught a glimpse of on the Dursley's television were playing, and since he had not seen more than ten minutes of any of them, this seemed to be a waste.

Harry walked back out, grabbing a box of gummy bears on his way, and headed to the library. On his way, he passed a bank and decided to go in and look around. Entering the bank, he found teller desks, a manager's office, and in the back of the bank, a massive safe that was locked. Harry tried every way he could think of, but there didn't seem to be any way for him to open it. 'What I need is a team of bank robbers to get this open. After all, that was what that show Uncle Vernon likes showed when the millionaire needed leverage on those politicians.'

No sooner had Harry finished that thought, than a noise came from the front of the bank and a small weasel like man came around the corner, and in a thick co*ckney accent said to Harry, "A'right Guvna. Gets out of the way and me an my boys will have you in there in two shakes" Harry laughed out loud and told the strange little man to come find him when they got in.

After a bit more wandering, Harry arrived at the library and found that not only was everything much larger and better organized, but he had a copy of Miss Perkins, Lady Abigail's assistant, manning the information desk. This surprised Harry as he thought that it would be Ms. Prudence or Lady Abigail here, but he realized that if he had copies of them in his head, they would be his organizers and managers. He asked Ms. Perkins what the rules of the Library were, just like he had in real life, but her answers were very different in the library in his mind.

"Any book you look at in the real world, you can read in here in a fraction of the time. That means that glancing at a book page by page will put a copy of it in here." Harry was stunned at this news, as Ms. Perkins continued. "Memories can be accessed by book or in the theater, depending on whether or not you want to relive the experience or just peruse it. Each category of memory is listed in chronological order, earliest to latest, and there is also a chronological series of books that is a copy of all of your memories except for the locked ones in the vault and the one occluded by fog in the basem*nt. Both of those sets of memories will have to be accessed by you, as I cannot get to them to sort. There is also a card catalogue and reference system that can allow you to look at all the compiled data that you have on a subject for easier integration into your thought processes."

Harry was stunned at what she was telling him. If it was true, then he could read a whole library worth of books in days, just by flipping through the pages. He couldn't wait to try it as this would open up so many avenues of knowledge for him. Harry was so excited that he forgot that he had wanted to search out memories of the woman with red hair and green eyes that he saw the night before in the first orb he grabbed. He also forgot to ask about the clouded memories that Ms. Perkins had said were in the basem*nt. If he had, then many things would have changed in Harry's future, most likely with more memories ending up behind that fog. For the next few days, Harry wandered through the shelves of his mental library rereading every book he had ever read, from the primers he learned to read with, all the way on up to the advanced Anatomy and Physiology text he had read yesterday. When he was done, he decided that he had better head home as he would probably receive a beating for being gone so long.

Opening his eyes, Harry looked around and saw that Ms. Prudence was sitting on the bench across from him, doing her own focus and meditation exercises. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught movement and saw that Lady Abigail was opening the back door of the library. Harry wondered why they hadn't woken him out of his trance in the last few days, they knew what life was like at the Dursley's and had always helped him as much as possible to avoid trouble at home. With a snort, Ms. Prudence opened her eyes and stood up and looked at Harry expectantly while stretching out her arms and legs. When Harry remained silent, she decided to open the conversation.

"Did you have a nice nap Harry? I came over to talk to you, but you were apparently asleep sitting up so I left you alone and did my meditation while waiting for Abby to get here and open the library. I hate to see you so exhausted, but you know that at this moment there is nothing more we can do about your home life without breaking the law ourselves. I cry and pray for your safety every night, but with Vernon's friends on the council, school board, and in Health and Welfare and the Constabulary, the best we can achieve is a stalemate." She seemed about to cry as she looked with sadness at what she considered her and her sister's child. She only wished that one of them could really adopt him, but every time they tried to adopt him, the paperwork would mysteriously disappear or just come back denied for no reason. A couple of times, she or her sister spotted an old man in out of date clothes who stood out front of their house and seemed very frustrated about something, but since he didn't come in the yard and they didn't like the look of him, they never found out why he was around.

Harry was nonplused at what Ms. Prudence was saying, hadn't he been here for days? He decided to just bite the bullet and ask her what day it was. Before he could, Lady Abigail called for them to come quickly as she had something to show them. Harry and Prudence rushed into the library and found Lady Abigail hunched over a tome that looked as if it were a thousand years old. The binding was leather, cracked with age and with dust embedded deep within. It was also huge, easily the biggest book Harry had ever seen. On the cover in an ancient English script was the title, Minde Magycs and Other Worth Wylle Persoutes by Duke Emryss. Harry stood still as a statue while Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence fussed over this rare treasure. The reason Harry had stopped was that the book had said hello to him. Though Harry knew that that was impossible, and that he must have lost his sanity at some point, he was still curious what his insanity had cooked up. Harry spoke out loud for the first time since waking from his trance.

"Hello book. What are you and how are you talking to me?" Harry kept his gaze locked on the book lest he see the pitying looks on his only friend's faces.

Chapter 3: Chapter 3

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

Disclaimer: There is a Massive Castle on a secluded estate in England, where lives a person named JKR who is surrounded by mutated former humans that were exposed to her souless lawyers, and became inhuman berserker type guards who protect her ownership of a boy named Harry Potter. I live in a small house in California, so that means I don't. Also, I suspect my lawyer has a soul since he is my brother in law. At least i think he does.....


Harry didn't have a huge amount of experience with the world outside of Little Whinging, but after the beating he had received for talking to the snake in their garden and being caught by Dudley, he knew that talking to a book was probably one of those things that just made him either more of a freak, or just plain insane. Harry was sure that his friends were probably leaning toward insane, but his curiosity won out and he felt that he should go ahead and have the conversation he seemed to be about to have with the book, before Ms. Prudence or Lady Abigail called the men with the tight white jackets to come and take him away, all for his own good of course.

A deep and friendly laugh filled his mind and slowed the thoughts he was having that he was being overwhelmed with, and then the book answered him. "I am the spirit of this book, embedded here by my master, Duke Emryss, to reveal knowledge to those worthy of his teachings. For over five hundred years I have sat gathering dust behind lesser books, waiting to be found by one worthy of being taught the secrets of the universe itself. Then about a week ago, your friend Lady Abigail came into my library with the intent of helping to preserve the knowledge it contained. Though I knew that she did not meet the criteria that my master had set for me to judge a worthwhile student, I sensed that she had contact with the one that would be Duke Emryss's next successor. It took me a week of manipulating the people around me, but I was able to arrange for my vessel to be sent to Lady Abigail as a thank you gift for all her help. I know that you are thinking that these two kind ladies will turn on you because you are talking to me, but fear not for while they are not able to discern what is happening between us because they only have a small part of themselves that is in tune with the unseen, the hearts of these two women could not contain more love for you if you were their own son. Fear not young Mr. Potter, for these friends of yours will always put your welfare first, and will never turn on you. Now before I begin to teach you, I must be granted access to your mind for your protection and enlightenment."

Harry seemed to feel instant trust for the voice from the book, but still felt guarded about letting it in to his mind unfettered. "I will let you in, but do not presume that you can master me, for I will burn you to cinders if you attempt to cause me harm." Harry thought at the book.

Harry suddenly felt a tendril of energy poking at the entrance to his mindscape, and with a slight hesitation about guarding his mind, he let it in. In his mindscape, he saw the representation of a tall man wearing funny clothes looking around his village. Surrounding the representation was six of the biggest rugby players Harry had ever seen, all carrying cricket bats with guns holstered at their sides.

"Very good young Mr. Potter. You have passed the first test, and that is to never let anyone in your mind unless you have absolute trust in them. Even if you do trust them, always restrict their access as from in here, they can attempt to control you using your mind against you. They can implant ideas, direct you into danger, and even block your natural power so as to defeat you in battle. By the way, you may address me as Elric if you so choose, I feel that having a name makes me more accessible to you, though I might be wrong." With that Elric chuckled and began to look around Harry's Mindscape. "Very impressive for one so young, and to have done all this in less than a day is even more so." Elric chuckled again and assured Harry that, though it felt like he had spent days in his mindscape, mere minutes had passed in the outside world.

"Mr. Potter, I need to have free access to your mind in order to prepare you for the knowledge I am to impart. I can give you an oath on all that is good and holy that I shall not cause you harm, nor shall I through inaction allow anyone else to cause you harm while you are under my care. I just need to see where we are to start. Will you allow me to do that which I am designed to do?"

Before Harry could respond, there came a loud explosion from the bank and one of the weasel's boys came running out and straight to Harry. "Sir, Simon says to tell you that we got the vault open, but you ain't gonna like what's in it."

Harry began running towards the bank only to be brought up short by Elric. "Mr. Potter, Harry please let me go look first. I sense darkness not of you in there, and since I gave my oath to you, I must protect you from any harm caused by someone else." Harry, feeling a sense of dread and darkness coming from the bank, nodded his assent for Elric to proceed. With a dramatic flourish, Elric raised his hands above his head, and then a slashing motion, brought them down to his sides while an expanding wall of energy spread in every direction.

Suddenly a cry of horror escaped from his lips before he cried out, "EVIL!" Elric clapped his hands and then waved them in a complex dance before speaking a word of power and encasing the bank in a sphere of pure energy. He turned to Harry and said, "What was in there was a fragment of another's evil soul. I can remove it, though it will take some time to do without damaging your mind. When done, you will have access to the knowledge and power contained in its memories, without the taint of evil that fills it to the brim. I also sense that another has tampered with your memories on a regular basis and will try to remove any useful skills you develop, though I do not yet know why. I propose that for now, you allow me to mask your mindscape with a false front to protect you while I try to rid you of this evil. If you find this acceptable, then I will proceed with the merging of my knowledge with yours and will begin teaching you of the unseen, but only once I have finally rid you of the evil contained in that bank."

Harry was curious about a few things before giving his consent to this book, or being, or person, or whatever doing anything to his mind. "Elric, you said that you have found that my memories have been tampered with. How do you know that they have, and will I ever regain access to them? Also, when you say merge with my memories, what do you mean by that since you are a book, and what happens to your book when your knowledge merges with mine?"

"Excellent questions Mr. Potter, concise and to the point. I believe that your guardian of knowledge that you spoke to told you of clouded memories that were in the basem*nt of your library. These memories were hidden from you using two techniques, legilimency and obliviation. Neither technique can completely remove memories from a strong mind, but they can occlude or destroy the paths by which you access those memories. The answer to your second question is that while you saw the true title of my tome, your friends see a book on the customs of the courts of ancient kings, from Nebuchadnezzar to the court of King Arthur of Camelot. When I transfer the knowledge to you, the totality of all that I contain will be in you until it is time for you to pass me on. I then will go back into a book until the next worthy student comes along and has need of the knowledge that my master imparted to me. Now, if you are willing to go ahead, I can only hold back the evil for so long without having access to all of my knowledge in total and I have need to complete the merge so that I may destroy that which poisons you from within."

Although he was still nervous about letting Elric merge with him, Harry knew instinctually that he could not hold off the evil in the vault without his help since he had broken the barriers it was held behind and let it free. So grudgingly, Harry gave the approval for Elric to complete the merger of Elric's knowledge with Harry's mind. With a feeling of pressure, like water being forced into an already full container, Harry staggered back from the book and collapsed into a nearby chair. While it seemed to take an eternity for everything to transfer, in reality everything had only taken seconds. As Harry tried to assimilate the knowledge available to him, Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence both turned to look at him with concern, as it was unusual for Harry not to be interested in a new book, especially if it was rare. Their concern became even more urgent after a glance at Harry.

Lady Abigail said in a shocked tone, "Harry, your scar is bleeding. Are you okay? Do we need to take you to hospital? What happened?" She knelt down in front of Harry and when she saw how pale he was, her training from the war coming forward after so much time. "Pru, go and get Harry some tea and I will clean his forehead up and see if there is any damage that needs a doctor's attention." She ducked into the back room where they kept an emergency kit while Prudence headed to the break room to make tea. When Lady Abigail came back in, hints of black were mixed with the blood running down Harry's face. Not wanting to scare this precious little boy, she calmly got an absorbent pad and rubbing alcohol and thoroughly cleaned the blood and taint from his face and forehead. She felt as if she was cleaning away something horrible with the black ichor that was around the surface of Harry's scar. 'It must be a left over pocket of infected blood from when he got his scar.' She thought to herself. After doing it again, she noticed that even though Harry's scar was still red and angry, it seemed to have faded just a bit. Ms. Prudence hurried in with tea for them all and the two sisters discussed the new book while they waited for Harry to finish his tea. When he seemed to be a bit more collected, they both looked at him for answers. Harry knew not to tell them about Elric, but he decided to tell about his breakthrough in his meditation technique.

"Last night while meditating before bed, I entered a huge room in my mind. It was filled with glowing orbs that where flying around like demented fairies, with no discernible pattern to their movement. I grabbed one, and it was a memory of a woman with red hair and green eyes that was tickling me on my belly while a man took pictures. I released that first one and then grabbed a different orb. That orb contained a memory of the first time Uncle Vernon broke my arm, and I experienced all the pain that happened in the memory. I noticed then that all the orbs were different colors and hues, ranging from bright neon down to pastels and earth tones. I decided to sort them into books and build a library to better organize them, not wanting to experience anymore of the pain in my past." Harry paused to make sure they were following along before he continued. "I made a lot of progress and decided to go to bed, figuring I would pick it up in the morning. I ended up sleeping for a little more than four hours and woke up full of energy. I decided to do as many of my chores as possible before my family woke and came down stairs so that I could come here early. When I got to the garden in back and slipped back into my mindscape, it had finished organizing and Ms. Perkins was at the information desk ready to tell me the rules. She told me that with my new organizational skills I could flip through the pages of a book, glancing at each page, and then read it later inside my mindscape. I am very anxious to try out this technique as it will greatly increase my ability to attain knowledge. I was already able to reread every book I have ever seen or read in the space of about an hour while I was doing my focusing exercises. Of course, it felt like I had been in there for days when I resurfaced in the real world."

Both Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence were excited about Harry's new talent. If it was true and he was able to fully grasp and internalize books and data at a glance, then they would move up their plans to take him to London for a week or two to spend in the Royal Library. With a will born of the pursuit of knowledge, the two sisters split up and began to bring Harry stacks of books for him to assimilate. As the day wore on, they approached the end of the books held in the library that Harry had not previously read in the last seven months, and they were excitedly looking forward to seeing the results of this experiment. Lady Abigail told Harry to meet her at the park down the street from his house in the morning, and they would take him over to their house since the library was closed the next day for cleaning. Before they took him home, the sisters took Harry out to a little café for dinner as they knew he would get very little food once he was home.

When Harry got home, he went directly to his cupboard after saying hello to his Aunt and Uncle. He prepared himself and then lowered himself into Seiza style, a comfortable form that meant proper sitting in Japanese, that was used as a sitting or meditation pose designed for long periods of little to no movement. He submerged himself into his mindscape, but extended his awareness to his surroundings so his family could not sneak up on him and harm him while he was playing in his mind. The first thing that he noticed when he entered his internal library was that it had expanded with all the new books he had read. The second was that Ms. Perkins was no longer at the information desk. Instead, there was a humanoid female that seemed to have the body of a lion with the face and beak and giant wings of an eagle. She was standing there holding a book and wearing a pair of spectacles known the world over as librarian glasses. Behind her on the wall was a huge tapestry that portrayed a magnificent twelve point stag and a graceful doe standing next to him. To the right of the stag was a huge wolf with old, sad eyes and to the left of the doe stood a massive black dog that had an air of playful mischievousness about itself. Harry liked the new look, but wondered why the scene seemed so familiar. No matter how he wracked his now prodigious memory, he could not place where he had seen any of these new additions to his mindscape. He decided that this was a mystery to pursue at a different time, for now he had new books to read.

After what seemed like weeks of digesting his new knowledge, he began to realize how much bigger the world was than Little Whinging. Harry began a mental list of things that he was determined to try once he got the chance by escaping from Number 4 Privet Hell. His list included skate boarding, skiing, hang gliding, skydiving, mountain biking, kayaking, swimming, flying on a broom...... wait where did that come from? Well if it was possible, and contained speed and risk, he definitely wanted to do it. Someday he would head out and do what he wanted, without the pressure of not outshining his idiot whale of a cousin Dudley 'Diddyku*ms' Dursley. Harry went out and checked on Elric when he had finished reading, and after seeing that he was engaged with whatever was in the vault decided that it was time for him to go back to the real world. When Harry opened his eyes, he realized that no one had come to lock his cupboard, and that there was no hint of light though he could see as if it was midday. Without turning on the lights, Harry got to work on his chores with a determination to finish up before anyone was awake. Since today was Sunday, he knew that he did not have to cook breakfast and so he was able to go once he was done. Harry finished in record time and then, after grabbing one of his hidden pastry packages, headed out to the park at the end of Privet Drive.

It was only after he reached the park that Harry noticed there was no hint of sun in the dark sky. All he could see was stars, though not a lot because of all the light pollution from the suburbs and London itself, yet he could see everything around him as if it were midday. Wondering what time it was, he had only to focus and knowledge instantly leapt to the front of his mind and knowing the date, longitude, and latitude of where he was; Harry was able to ascertain that it was between 3:25 am and 3:39 am, though he could have been more accurate in his prediction if he had a compass and sextant. Harry was amazed at the knowledge that he had access to at the mere hint of a thought or desire. He reached up and rubbed his eyes, wondering if this was real, or just in his head, when he felt that something was very wrong. It wasn't that someone was near, nor did he sense danger; it was just a lack of something that should be here. He strained his eyes, searching back and forth in an effort to figure out what it was. Then he rubbed his eyes and with a start noticed that he had forgot to put on his glasses, and apparently no longer had need of them. While he didn't know why he was free of his glasses, Harry knew that he would never regret losing his dependence on them.

Since it was so early Harry wondered what he should do since he began realizing that he had a lot of time to kill before he was picked up. Not wanting to lose awareness of his surroundings, and since it was a bit colder than was comfortable outside at this time of morning with oversized, threadbare clothes, Harry began going through the martial texts that he had read and began to work on learning the techniques for movement, balance, speed, defense and attack. The more he did the motions, the more fluid he became as each movement transitioned into another. By the time the sun began to rise and the neighborhood began to stir, Harry was moving at a pace that made most of his motions a blur had anyone been watching. Had there been any observers around, they would have believed that Harry had been trained in multiple physical disciplines for most of his life.

Suddenly Harry came to a stop, as if his feet had become glued to the ground in a cartoonish trap. He knew that someone was approaching where he stood, and he also sensed that they did not have his best interests in mind though that was a new thing to him. He looked around and determined the best place for him to hide and still be able to observe whoever was coming was inside the hedge that separated the park from the adjacent houses. Harry was no sooner ensconced in his hiding place than an extremely old man with outdated clothes and a long white beard, and a woman who Harry recognized as Mrs. Figg came into the park. While Harry was too far away to hear what they were saying, they appeared to be in quite a serious argument about something. Mrs. Figg gestured wildly, acting as if she was hitting something, and then imitated a whip cracking out over something only she could see. When she had run down, the old man looked at her with what Harry felt was complete condescension and seemed to be trying to calm her with empty platitudes. As Harry watched, the old man seemed to realize that Mrs. Figg was not buying what he was telling her. With a speed that belied his extreme age Whiskers, as Harry decided to think of him, whipped out a piece of wood and pointed it between her eyes. With Harry's new knowledge, he knew how he could slip inside the guard of Whiskers and take his stick while putting him on the ground, but sadly Mrs. Figg did not. A beam of energy leapt from the end of the stick and hit her in the head, and then the old man was saying something to her and she seemed to agree with him and look at him as if he were her favorite person in the world. The sight of the stick firing light stirred something in Harry's memories, but unlike everything else, this memory or feeling seemed to be placed just out of his reach though he seemed to think the beam should be green. Harry resolved to look into it more when he was once again free to enter into his mindscape, for now though he needed to be alert as he felt that he was in even more danger than before.

Harry's fear ratcheted up as Whiskers began looking around and began calling Harry's name and then having Mrs. Figg do so as well. Harry didn't know what to do, but he did know that he needed to keep himself hidden, feeling that something bad would happen if Whiskers found him. Hunching down as far as he could, and trying to minimize any movement that could give him away, Harry began to chant in his mind, 'You can't see me, I am invisible.' Over and over Harry chanted that while barely daring to breathe as whiskers and Mrs. Figg searched the park for him. When Whiskers moved into his line of sight, he noticed that the old man now had what appeared to be a silver lighter in his hand and was slowly making his way toward where Harry was hiding while turning back and forth, following something only he could see. Just as it seemed that Harry was going to be discovered, a beautiful bird flew into the park, snatched the silver lighter from Whiskers hand, and began a song that seemed to fill the air with joy and peace while still mocking the old man. The bird landed on the swing set behind Whiskers, in exactly the opposite direction of where Harry was. The old man turned to the bird, while Mrs. Figg seemed to come out from under whatever hold Whiskers had on her. As Whiskers went to see if he could regain what the bird had in its talons, Mrs. Figg used the distraction to scurry out of the park and down the street to her home. When she went inside her house, the bird stopped its song and the old man realized that he had lost his helper. Harry had to laugh as he heard Whiskers say something like "Stupid bloody bird, always interfering with my plans." With that, Whiskers turned in place and disappeared with a pop of inrushing air.

Logically, Harry knew that what he saw was impossible, but based on empirical evidence, Whiskers was a freak just like Harry. Harry didn't dare move in case the old man was still around, after all, he had disappeared and could just be invisible. He stayed curled into a ball until he began to feel like he was going to cramp up. As he began to very slowly stretch himself out he pondered all he had seen this morning. While he couldn't remember where he had seen the things Whiskers did, he felt as if it was supposed to be part of his life and had been at one time. Harry was so distracted that he forgot all about the bird that had saved him from being found by the old man. This oversight was rapidly corrected when he looked up into huge yellow eyes that seemed to take up his entire field of view. Harry was mesmerized by the beauty of the predator eyes that were just inches from his own. Once he was able to remove himself from this beautiful creature's thrall, he was able to take in the rest of her beautiful form. She, and Harry was sure that she was in fact a she though he didn't know why, was possibly the most incredible and exquisite thing that he had ever seen or could imagine. Her feathers were a sort of translucent white that seemed to refract light in odd patterns like fractals or prisms, depending on the angle the light came from. Above her eyes two streaks of cerulean blue began and circled her head like a crown before combining and heading down her long graceful neck and all the way down to her center tail feathers. The blue motif continued on the tips of each of her wing feathers and when she flapped her wings to change her point of balance Harry saw that she had two more strips of blue that went down each of her sides.

While Harry was observing the closest thing to an angel that he had ever seen, the elegant bird was doing the same thing to him. She stretched out her neck and examined him, first on one side then the other, and then crooned a soft song that drew Harry out from his hiding place in the hedge. When Harry was completely out, she cooed at him and then seemed to fuss about the scratches he had sustained. She leaned into him and nudged his leg with her beak and Harry gasped in surprise, there was a deep gash on the calf of his right leg that he hadn't even noticed. Harry felt like crying, not from the pain but from the fact that he had upset this beautiful creature so much, that she had begun to cry for him. Much to Harry's amazement, where her tears landed, his leg instantly healed. Not only that, he felt a surge of energy move through the rest of his body and aches that he didn't even realize he had seemed to just fade away, that is until the energy reached his scar. That was when the world exploded into pain and then blackness overtook him.

When Harry came back to semi consciousness, he realized that he was inside his mindscape as Elric stood in front of him along with a beautiful woman clothed in the finest glittering samite. Harry paused for a moment to organize his thoughts and then decided on his next action. "What just happened?" Harry asked, figuring that this new avatar in his mind must be his internal version of a nurse or healer. "Am I alive, or do I need to have last rites read to me before I pass on? What did that beautiful bird do to me?" Elric looked highly amused at Harry's questions, but it was the look that he was receiving from the Lady in White that got Harry's attention and then she spoke and all illusions that he had about her being from his imagination went up in flames.

"What I did to you, as you so crassly put it, was save your life." She said in a tone that almost forced Harry to his knees to beg for forgiveness for any offense that he might have given her. She continued on with a slight smile, seemingly knowing what her dulcet tones were doing to Harry. "You were infected with evil in your scar though it was contained to your scar by the love of your mother and it could not harm you. Unfortunately, you broke through the protections holding it in check when you allowed your inner-magic to break open the vault that it was sealed in. You made a wise choice in having Elric try to contain and destroy it, but his powers were not enough to battle it by himself. Elric is really only set up to be a teacher, not a guardian. Unfortunately, while he could have taught you how to defend yourself against the malicious soul piece that was threatening you, doing so would have caused a host of other problems for you. You saw Whiskers this morning, but it was not the first time. By the way, I like your nickname for the old meddler and shall have to tell my friend Fawkes about it. Whiskers comes by on a regular basis to make sure that everything is running according to his plans concerning your treatment at home and your behavior at school. He hates that you have become the prodigy of the Smythe sisters as it interferes with his plans. Fortunately for both them and you, Whisker's family was once retainers of the Smythe family, and his family's oaths keep him from interfering with them and changing their minds about how they feel about you like he did with Mrs. Figg earlier."

Harry interrupted her with a shout, "He can't do that, that's wrong! A person's mind should be their own. Without that internal privacy, there would be no reason to live. No matter how difficult or horrible your situation is, you should always be able to be free in your thoughts." Harry was trembling in anger at the meddlesome old man who did such an evil thing. The Lady in White pulled Harry into a hug while making soothing noises to calm him down. Part of the reason was that Harry needed to be calm so she could help him learn to protect himself, and the other was that unbeknownst to him, his body in the real world was rising off the ground and emitting angry red sparks of energy. A burst of power caught a passing snake and gave it wings and a beautiful new pattern of colors, usually more suited to butterflies than snakes. While the snake didn't know why the change had happened, she knew that she owed her new form to the speaker lying before her, and she decided that she would watch over him if she was able.

When the Lady in White finally had Harry calmed down, she continued. "If you remember, your knowledge organization avatar told you that there were memories covered in fog in the basem*nt of your library. These are memories that Whiskers has hid from you for what he calls the greater good. Of course, it is for his greater good that he is justifying his actions. Now back to the matter of the soul piece. If Elric had taught you how to defend and defeat the evil thing, then Whiskers, when he came to check on you, would have known that you had somehow overcome the evil in your scar and would have erased Elric from your mind along with all the knowledge contained in your mind that he did not approve of. That meant that Elric was facing a losing battle, no matter which way he turned. That is why you are so lucky that I came along to harass Whiskers this morning. My tears are made of pure distilled love and heal virtually any wound no matter how severe. An added bonus is that evil cannot stand while in the presence of love, for isn't it said that it is love that heals all wounds. When I cried into your blood, it combined with the love and sacrifice of your mother and spread throughout your body healing you and making you even better than you could be naturally. When the wave of love and energy reached your scar, it began to destroy the evil that resided there. Unfortunately, the piece did not want to leave, and that is what caused you so much pain."

Harry had been listening to the Lady in White when a sudden thought struck him. "Wait a minute, you're the bird! How are you a lady in here when out there you are a giant bird? And you can talk. I have seen a parrot that talks, but what it said didn't make a bit of sense. Yet here you are, talking up a storm. Of course, this is just my usual run of luck so I suppose I shouldn't be too shocked. After all, I am now sharing my brain with a talking bloody book, so I guess a bird isn't much more of a shock." Harry started to giggle and then burst out into a full belly laugh. "If you stay in here with me, I could be called a bird brain and it would be at least partly true." Elric tried to keep a straight face at that, but when he saw the look that the Lady was giving Harry, the laughs came pouring out to join Harry's.

Harry eventually got control of himself, and after seeing a ghost of a smile flit across the Lady's cross looking face, realized that he had been terribly rude. "I beg your pardon My Lady, but I do not know your name. I have mentally been calling you the Lady in White since you are clothed in samite like the legend, but if we are to be friends then I need to know how to address you."

"Though I have had many names, you may call me Hedwig, for that is the name you would have given to me in the future that is no longer taking place." Hedwig said to him as she looked at him with the same expression as he saw on the face of the red haired woman who he now realized was his mother. "Now, since we don't have much time before your friends come to pick you up, I need to finish up my tale and then teach you a technique that will protect you from whiskers until you can escape from his control. To summarize, you and I are companions, bonded by fate to travel together through life's great adventures. There will be others who join us over time, but I am here to guide you on the path of good and to help guard you from those who would seek to deceive and harm you." Hedwig paused for a moment and then decided that Harry was ready for his first lesson in protecting his mind from intrusions by Whiskers and his servant, the big greasy bat.

"Harry, focus your mind and picture a bubble hanging in front of you." When Harry was able to form the bubble right away, Hedwig continued. 'Now I want you to imagine it expanding to encompass all of your mindscape, leaving nothing outside to be found. Once you have it as big as it needs to be, I want you to take the three of us outside it. Remember, this is your mind, anything you want to do in here is possible."

At first Harry struggled to do what Hedwig had asked, but then he remembered how Whiskers had disappeared and with a burst of confidence he imagined a field of energy wrapping around the three of them and instantaneously transporting them to the outside of his bubble. With no sound or sense of movement, they were all suddenly outside the bubble and looking in. Harry was at first puzzled about why the bubble was the size of a beach ball out here, when it was so huge on the inside, but then he realized that it would be any size that he chose.

"Very good, Harry. Now to protect what is inside, make your bubble harden so it is indestructible and then place your hand on it to key it to you so that only you can let others in. While you are keying it, make sure to allow Elric and me to get in, otherwise we cannot help you with sorting the knowledge you gain." Once again, Hedwig was impressed as Harry made the sphere around his core and memories so strong, it was nigh impregnable.

She continued with Harry's lesson. "Now that you have protected your mind, it is time for subterfuge. First, create a door and behind that door, you need to create an environment to hide it from others in case your false mind is breached." A door popped up in front of them which Harry immediately opened to reveal a ball house like he had seen from the car at some food place that his family was eating at. He had thought it looked really fun, even with Dudley rampaging through it and throwing the balls at all the kids smaller than him. Of course, the one he imagined was probably four acres square and had giant slides coming from all different directions to end in drops into the pit. Harry looked at what he created wistfully, and promised himself that he would come back and play soon. With one last glance, he threw the sphere he was holding into the room where it vanished into the millions of other balls, shrinking into an exact match for all the others. Harry closed the door and turned to Hedwig, waiting on her to proceed.

"Now visualize the room of memories that you first arrived in when you entered your mindscape. Allow copies of your memories to once again zip around in random patterns. Hide the door out in the wall and create false doors all over that are hidden as well. The memories that you should keep in here are all of your most painful, both emotionally and physically. These are the ones that Whiskers expects to see if he gets in. You can allow other colors, but those are the ones that he will try to hide from you as he believes that they will make you pliable and devoted when he finally comes to remove you. With that, our time is at an end, at least for now. Lady Abigail will be here in less than a minute, and Dudley and his gang are up early and headed this way. I want you to remember Harry, that you are never alone, no matter where you are. If you truly need me, you can call my name and I will come to you. I wish I could stay with you now, but until we can get you away from Whiskers, I need to spend my time distracting him from you. When you wake up, there will be a leather bracelet on the ground beside you. Put it on and it will become invisible to anyone but you. The purpose for it is to protect you from physical harm and to absorb the tracking devices that the old man has placed on you. It will also place a glamour over your scar which will read as tainted and evil to anyone who scans it, so that if Whiskers or one of his lackeys checks on you, they will not see anything they don't expect to see. When it is time, you can remove it and the charms will stay with it instead of you, and if you play it right, you just might be able to send them on a long and pointless chase. Now go and be safe, we have many adventures to do in the future, but you must learn as much as you can while you have the chance." Hedwig threw her arms around Harry, and then with glistening eyes, stepped back and vanished in a flash of ice and fire.

Harry woke, and right beside him was the bracelet that Hedwig had told him to wear. Harry put it on his left arm and watched in amazement as it faded away until all he saw was a ghostly image of what he knew was there. Though he wanted to spend some time thinking about all that had happened this morning so far, it was at moment that he heard the horn of Lady Abigail's little Cooper Mini letting him know that it would have to wait. Harry ran over to the car and jumped in, closing the door as Lady Abigail accelerated away from the park. Harry loved riding with her as Lady Abigail believed that speed limits were meant for others safety as most people just couldn't drive.

Behind them, Dudley and his gang entered the park looking to play their favorite game, Harry hunting, since the old man that they had run into said he would give them candy bars if they were able to find his hiding cousin. To their disappointment, they could not find Harry, and so Dudley went home and told his mom that Harry had stolen the candy bars that he and his friends had earned. Petunia Dursley, being the good mother she considered herself to be, grabbed her keys and took Dudley and his friends down to the store and bought them three candy bars each to make up for what that little freak had done to her little Duddikins. 'Just wait until Vernon gets home from his golf outing. He will teach that little freak not to steal from decent normal folk.' With those thoughts circling in her head, Petunia Dursley left the store with her son and his friends, never seeing the old man standing in the alley beside the store, his face split into a self-satisfied smile at how well his plan was going. He would not need to return for at least a couple of months. He would leave it to Harry's Uncle Vernon to remove any happiness that Harry had, either with his hand, his belt, or his golf clubs. Yes, this was a time of happiness as his plan proceeded along, all for The Greater Good of course.

Chapter 4: Chapter 4

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

I have been told that I made Harry too old in his ways for an 8 year old, But the behavior I modeled him after was a combination of my daughter who spoke just like that at that age, and many of the kids I have worked with who came from abusive enviroments. That treatment can age you quickly beyond your years.

I fixed some grammer and word usage. I hope to post a new chapter soon.

Oh, and I dont own Harry Potter, I am only borrowing him and his world.

Chapter 4

An exhilarating fifteen minutes later, Harry began a new chapter in his life full of books, knowledge, and critical thinking. He began his journey in the Smythe family library which contained all the books that generations of bibliophiles could collect for themselves. Harry was in awe, as the library was bigger than the Dursley's house, and three stories high. Every nook and cranny was filled with books, from the most ancient of tomes and scrolls written by hand, to the newest Tom Clancy thriller. Set in the middle of what a room that Harry thought might reflect his idea of heaven, was a reading desk that had a stack of books on it that were threatening to tip over from the height they had reached. Harry wanted to head straight to that desk, but Lady Abigail pulled him through a door into a ladies sitting room where Ms. Prudence waited with a few books of her own. Wasting no time, the two sisters began to question Harry about what he had read the day before in the library near his home. Each question was a bit more esoteric in its subject, with each answer being more involved in the understanding of the subject versus just answering verbatim what the book said.

Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence had spent much of the night coming up with the questions they were asking Harry, as they both believed that the memorization of facts and figures without understanding how that knowledge interacted with reality was useless. What point was there in knowing the periodic chart, if you did not understand how each element reacted to others. Or how the heart pumped blood without understanding why it was so essential to a delicately tuned and balanced machine like the human body. Facts were good, but without understanding of the mechanics of that knowledge and how it related to other facts and subjects just meant you were a walking text book with no practical use except to play trivia or annoy those around you. After a grueling three hours, the two sisters were amazed that Harry was able to learn all that he did, and better yet, to apply it to reality such as when he told them about how he had been able to tell the time at the park that morning. The other fact that they established, was that Harry was eager and desperate to learn more. They broke for lunch, taking the time to relax and enjoy their time together, before Harry was finally allowed to roam free in his personal paradise. Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence spent the rest of the afternoon taking turns fetching books for Harry to flip through. They found that Harry's most efficient speed, which made sure that none of the books got damaged, averaged about a book every forty-five seconds. By the time dinnertime had rolled around, Harry had gone through more than 450 books and was eager for more.

After a forced break for an early dinner, Harry wanted to continue but Ms. Prudence insisted that he take a break and watch a movie with her. The VHS that she chose was Disney's The Sword and the Stone which she thought Harry would like. Lady Abigail told them that she had seen it, and as sisters who are close often do, she had a silent conversation with Pru before announcing that she needed to run a few errands. Harry found himself mesmerized by the movie he was watching, and the concepts it sparked in his head. Harry knew that common knowledge said that magic didn't exist, but the evidence of Elric, Hedwig, and Whiskers led to the conclusion that common knowledge was wrong. This was not the first time, far from it. At one time, common knowledge stated that the Earth was flat, that the sun revolved around it, and that man would never walk on the moon. Common Knowledge was often disproved in the face of reality, and from what Harry had read, 6oo years ago everyone believed in magic, and less than 2oo years ago they were still burning witches at the stake. Using deductive reasoning, if there were magic in the world, and magical people existed, then why would they not use magic to hide themselves from normal humans to keep from being prosecuted or put to death for being different. This excited Harry, as he came to the realization that there were other people like him out there in the world. A whole hidden world of freaks who could do magic were hiding out there just waiting for him to find them. The question that next came to Harry's mind was why Whiskers was so focused on him. Was it because Harry was magic too, or was it for some much more sinister purpose? He felt that Whiskers had probably patterned his look after Merlin to gain peoples trust. After all, if magic was real, than someone like Merlin would probably be revered.

After the movie ended, Harry and Ms. Prudence went back to the library to continue filling him with knowledge, trying to find if he had a limit. Harry became so immersed in scanning through the stacks of books on his desk, that he did not notice how late it was or that Lady Abigail had returned. When he had finished with his stacks and noticed that there was no more waiting for him, he finally looked up and noticed that it was really dark outside, and that his eyes were struggling to stay open. A shot of adrenaline woke him up as he realized that he was late getting home and that he would probably get another beating for inconveniencing his Aunt and Uncle. He jumped up and ran toward the door, then ran back and straightened out his work area, and then ran back to the door. Harry held up short when he heard two giggling women behind him, and his recall allowed him to know that they had been laughing behind his back for some time.

Feeling hurt, and a little betrayed by his friends laughing at him, Harry turned to them while fighting the tears that came with the thought of the beating he would get for being late and spoke. "I have to get home. Would one of you please drive me so that I am not later than I already am. I probably will not be able to come to the library for a few days because I missed my curfew, but I must say while I can that the last two days were brilliant and I would not trade them for the world." With his statement finished, Harry lowered his head and began to shuffle toward the front door.

Without any discernible pause, the two women were on their knees on either side of him, hugging him and crooning his name, Harry only realized he had been shaking and holding in his sobs, when the comfort and care he was being shown managed to help him get himself under control. When the crisis had passed, Ms. Prudence led him over to the couch in her sitting room, pulling him up into her lap instead of letting him sit on his own. Lady Abigail had followed them in and pulled a chair in front of him so she could look into His eyes. Once Harry was settled and seemed to be accepting the arms of her sister wrapped around him, Lady Abigail drew in a deep breath and began to talk.

"Harry, we are so sorry for making you think we were mocking you or laughing at your fear. It was just that when you realized the time and started to panic, the look on your face was just too comical not to set us to laughing. Your face kept shifting between remorse at leaving the books, to desire to continue learning, to fear that you were late, and then the cycle would begin again." Here Lady Abigail stopped and leaned over to take both of Harry's hands in her own and continued. "Normally it would not be amusing for us that you were late getting home, since it would result in you getting punished. However, in this case there is something that you don't know that changes how you should react. You see, while you were reading after dinner, I made a trip over to your relative's house to have a chat with your Aunt Petunia. Through a series of well-founded arguments and strategies, I convinced her to allow you to spend the summer with us as we visit some rare public and private libraries in London and the surrounding areas."

Harry was a little distracted, by the fact that the lap and person he was sitting on was shaking as if she was having a fit. With an unladylike snort, Ms. Prudence burst into laughter and then said, "Well founded arguments my foot, you threatened her and told her you would blackmail her if she didn't agree. I wish I could have seen the look on that horse-faced harridan when you said we would join her little tea circle and tell them the truth about her precious Dudley. Did you also mention that we own majority stock in Vernon's golf club? Getting kicked out of the club for conduct unbecoming a member would be a stone around the neck of their social ambitions for years to come."

"Well," Lady Abigail tried to maintain a prim and proper look on her face which lasted only long enough to finish her sentence before she broke into giggles herself. "I did mention strategies were used when the arguments failed to sway her. The only thing this will cost us is to hire a yard service for them. I felt that was reasonable since we own one of those too."

Harry felt like he had been hit by one to many punches, but did he really hear them say that he would be staying with them this summer, could that be right? "Beg your pardon Lady Abigail; did you say that I could stay here with you this summer? Does that mean I don't have to go back to the Dursley's tonight?" Harry was too scared to hope, and yet much too excited to hold his hope in check.

"Yes dear Harry, we have arranged to have you stay with us this summer. We were really worried about leaving you here while we went on our summer library holiday. We had arranged to visit many private family libraries, all throughout London, but we were going to cancel so that you could come to us each day to get away from your cousin and family. About three weeks ago Ms. Perkins came to us and told us that Petunia had been lamenting to her friends that they would not be able to go on vacation because someone named Mrs. Figg was not available to watch you while they were gone. When she was asked why they didn't just take you with them, Petunia derisively said that they had tried that once and you caused all kinds of trouble for them and they had to call in someone she called Dumb-old-dork or something like that, to come fix the problems you caused. When Ms. Perkins told us what she had heard, we began to plan to include you. Then you came up with this brilliant memory trick of yours and last night we decided that if it was real, then we would do anything it took to bring you with us."

Lady Abigail continued, "We have investigated your family and found that the most important thing in the world to them is status. Petunia gathers information on everyone, and then uses it to shove her family past others in the social hierarchy. Vernon and his friends from school, who were just like your cousin Dudley and his gang when they were boys, have bullied their way into positions of influence in the community to the point where they can get away with anything that does not bring Scotland Yard down upon our little town. While we do not have enough to get the Yard to come and arrest them, we do have enough to get Scotland Yard interested their dealings and behavior. We decided that I would go tonight and present some of the more damning evidence to Petunia, but only when Petunia wouldn't do what was right by you and let you come with us. What was more upsetting than anything else was that she wanted to know who would clean and do the yard if you were gone. She seemed horrified when I mentioned that Dudley could get of his bum and do some of the chores around the house. Once she was promised a yard service, she couldn't sign the papers our lawyer drew up fast enough. Once that was complete, she went and got what she said were your clothes. Before I go any farther Harry, Pru and I would like to apologize to you. We always thought that your wearing all of those baggy clothes was a fashion choice like those grunge kids on TV from Seattle in America. When Petunia brought out that stack of rags, I realized that you just wore the clothes that were in the best condition after they were handed down from the baby Orca that lives with you."

"Tomorrow, before we go to the library, we will head into town and buy you a few outfits to get you through till London. While we are in London, we will take you to Harrods and get you properly clothed." Ms. Prudence said that as if it were an everyday occurrence that they would just nip out and get clothes, NEW CLOTHES, for someone like Harry Potter. She also had a look in her eyes when she mentioned Harrods that frightened Harry on some level he didn't quite understand. He had not seen that kind of look of intensity mingled with desire from either of the sisters except when they were talking about their latest rare acquisition for their library. Harry had never been shopping for new clothes, or new anything for that matter, but at that moment he learned an important lesson that would serve him well all his life; no matter what else a woman loved, nothing replaced the thought and deed of shopping.

Everything seemed to be happening so fast, that Harry seemed to be caught in the middle of a tempest. He imagined that this was what a small boat would feel like in the middle of a big storm on the ocean; though he had never actually seen the ocean to really do justice to that analogy. All he really knew was that his life was about to change, and he felt it could only change for the better. For now, he felt really tired from his rather emotional day and would just have to wait to see what tomorrow brought. A big yawn clued the sisters in to Harry's state, and Ms. Prudence stood and carried him up the stairs to a bedroom with a giant bed in the center of the far wall. With all the care of a loving mother, Ms. Prudence pulled the covers back and lay him down. She clucked her tongue as she removed his shoes that were a couple sizes too big for his feet, then pulled his shirt over his head and kissed him goodnight on the forehead and covered him up with the blankets. Harry's last thought in the waking world before entering into his mindscape, was that with this night, everything in the world of Harry Potter was starting to change for the better. With that thought, his eyes closed and for the first time in as long as he could remember, Harry was able to sleep feeling totally safe.

Harry was absolutely right about his life changing for the better after that night. The rest of that summer was a blur of motion, books and fun. The first week, the three of them got used to being around each other as a quasi-modern family unit. Harry continued to spend a good portion of each day speeding through the books in the Smythe Family Library, absorbing tomes, scrolls, books, and even a couple of movies every day. The week after saw them in London, staying in a house located on a street that had guards at the front door of almost every house. When Harry asked, why that was, one of the officious government drones passing by stated that it was Downing Street of course, and then muttered about the stupidity of children as he sped up on his way to a house several doors down. The two sisters laughed when he told them about what the man had said, and then told him that he should find out about the street while in the library that day but they were staying there as guests while they were in London. A few hours later, Harry found himself in the London Library; left with a friend of Ms. Prudence's who would watch over him while the two sisters went to meetings that they had to attend. The librarian was introduced to him as Mrs. Tonks but she insisted that he call her Andi when it was just the two of them. Andi was a great source of knowledge, but she was constantly asking him questions about his home, family, school, and his likes and dislikes.

On Thursday, Andi said that they were taking a trip to see an exhibition with her family that was taking place in St. James Park which was not far from where they were. When they arrived in the park, Andi introduced him to her husband Ted and her daughter Nymphadora. Her daughter glared at her with her hands on her hips while protesting being call that name. Harry didn't want to see his new friends fight, so he asked if he could call her Dora instead. After a few moments of thought, Dora conceded and soon she and Harry were having the time of their lives watching a group of performers do tricks on their BMX bikes and skateboards that seemed to defy gravity and normal physics. They had a structure set up that was fifteen feet high on either side which they called a half pipe, and it seemed to Andi and Ted that the purpose of its existence was to try and kill anyone foolhardy enough to try and ride on it; all Harry saw was the performers coming close to flying as their stunts got bigger and bigger air. After the show was over, Harry approached one of the board riders that seemed better than the others and asked him if he could try out his board on the thing they called a half pipe. At first the young guy was reluctant, but seeing Harry's look of total longing, decided to let him give it a try, and to give him a few pointers to keep him from hurting himself. He figured that the little boy with the intense green eyes would just push himself back and forth on the bottom portion of the half pipe, trying to get used to the board and the thrill of riding it. Boy oh boy was he ever wrong.

Harry had watched every move that the team had performed with a total sense of focus, absorbing every twist, turn, flip, jump, kick, and grind that was attempted, whether it was successful or not. When his foot was placed on the front and his back foot kicked off giving him momentum, a sense of rightness flowed through him. Harry began to pick up speed, going further up the sides of the half pipe until he was reaching the top. His next time up was right on the edge of the lip of the structure before he turned the board at the top and ground his way along the edge to the other side before dropping down the pipe and gaining speed for the trip up the other side. During the next 5 minutes, Harry tried every trick he had seen the team try while around the half pipe a crowd began to gather. While Harry's face was split by a grin that threatened to split the top of his head off, Andi and Ted were rather worried about him getting hurt or even dead. They say that overconfidence can kill you, but when you are a kid, there is really no such thing as death. Harry had been hurt many times when he was caught by Dudley and his gang, and each time it had been because he was playing it safe. This had taught Harry that pushing the edge was in fact the best way to stay safe. So when Harry felt like he had enough speed, he launched off the ramp spinning his body in a twisting, rolling motion that had the crowd holding their breath and Andi screaming out his name, sure he was going to injure or kill himself. Instead, Harry just turned a final time and came down on the board after a perfect 540 degree twisting flip and turn. Unfortunately, on his way down the ramp on his way to trying another big air move, the right front wheel came off the board and Harry lost control and fell off. His momentum carried him halfway up the other side before he came sliding back to the bottom not moving. It seemed that everyone was holding their breath as Andi, Ted, and Dora pushed their way forward to get to Harry to see if he was alright, only to come up short when a sound rose above the noise of the crowd and stopped them in their tracks. It was the sound of an excited and delighted and giggling child who had just had the time of his life. Harry paused for a moment and asked the now silent crowd, "Anyone got another board so I can go again?"

The crowd broke into relieved laughter and an over excited little man with the energy of a frenetic terrier came bustling out of the crowd talking a mile a minute in a difficult to understand American accent. When he finally took a breath, Dora nudged Harry and told him that she thought he wanted to have Harry's babies. Everyone laughed at her comment and then the guy who had let Harry borrow the board told the little guy whose name turned out to be Jerry to calm down, and then turned to Harry to talk. He introduced himself as Tony and he wanted to know where Harry had learned to ride, and then laughed all the more when Harry said that it was by watching him. Andi was anxious to get Harry out of the crowd and back to the library since she didn't want the wrong people to see him considering who he really was. She made polite but firm excuses and turned to guide Harry out of the park, before she could escape though, Tony went and grabbed a new board from their stock and gave it to Harry, and also handed Harry the card of the little guy who was in charge of their tour, just in case Harry was interested in joining them in a couple of years. Harry was ecstatic about his new board and asked Tony to sign it for him. Tony laughed and did so, and then had Harry sign his own board as well; saying that someday Harry would be famous and now he had his first autograph. Dora laughed and said that Harry was already famous, which left both Harry and his new friend Tony a bit puzzled about what she meant, though they both assumed that she was talking about the crowd who had just watched Harry do his tricks. Andi was at this point desperate to get Harry out of the park and away from the crowds that had watched him. Sensing that, Tony moved back to the vertical ramps and began practicing moves that soon drew the watchers back to him and away from the astounding little boy who had looked like he was born to ride a skate board.

When Harry and the Tonks family arrived back at the library, Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence were waiting for them. Harry rushed over to them and began telling them every detail of the exhibition that they had gone to see. Being a modest young man, he glossed over his ride on the half pipe, but made sure to show the two sisters his new, most valued possession. When Dora realized her new friend Harry was not going to tell them about how good he was, she decided to fill in the gaps in his story with how totally radical, bad, and just totally gnarly he was. Andi rolled her eyes at the new vocabulary that her daughter had picked up listening to the Americans at the event they attended; she just hoped that it didn't cause her trouble from certain students when she went off to school in Scotland next year.

The two women sat amazed at the story that Dora was telling them, yet they saw Harry's abilities as just another facet of the amazing boy that they had taken into their home. They invited Andi and her family to get a late lunch with them before bringing Harry back to the library for more reading. It was an adventure just walking to the little pub they were heading toward; with Harry riding his new board and Dora egging him on to try more and more difficult tricks. When Harry ran up the side of a parked lorry before doing a back flip and landing on his board, the patience of the adults had run its course. While this was the most alive and childlike that the Smythe sisters had ever seen Harry act, there was a time and place for everything. With regret at stopping Harry from playing, they asked him to stop before he got hurt or broke his new board. Harry picked the board up and held it in both hands in front of him with a look of total concentration on his face. Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence suddenly felt as if static electricity had run up their spines, but it was the reactions of Ted and Andi that baffled Harry. Ted grabbed Harry under one arm, while Andi grabbed him under the other, both of them telling everyone to hurry up as they had to use the loo at the pub that was right around the corner. Though this was not the place they were originally headed to, the others decided to just go with it since Andi seemed anxious to get into the restroom. None of them heard the two pops of expanding air, nor saw the two oddly dressed people who stepped out of the alley behind where they had been, looking for whoever had done magic in the area that set off every sensor in the ministry, even melting a few that had been placed in the monitoring office by the Chief Wizard of the Wizengamot.

Later on, no one would remember to tell the Chief Wizard about his monitoring instruments destruction, because somehow a ghost who usually stayed in a bathroom in Hogwarts and cried, was brought by a white bird into the ministry and began to flood every toilet from the top floor down. To cause even more havoc, that same mischievous white bird kept freezing the floors and stair cases once they were flooded. While chaos ensued, two little ginger headed boys who had come to work with their father as a reward for being so well behaved, saw the fun that the ghost and the pretty white bird who had winked at them as she made it snow inside the cafeteria were having.

One of the boys turned to the other and with a grin said, "Brother, I think that there may be more fun in stretching the bounds of the rules instead of following them like mom and dear Percy would have us believe."

"I would have to agree dear brother. What kind of reward is going to work with dad, only to be told to sit behind a desk and watch him fill out reports on exploding toilets? It would be much more fun to make those toilets explode ourselves. And if we could get them to explode on that prat Marcus Flint and his pureblood friends, so much the better." With that thought in their heads, the two brothers decided to change their course and learn all they could about pranks. Five hundred miles away, a stern, yet youthful looking woman who was proud that she had no gray hairs, suddenly had a feeling as if a ghost had run its fingers up her spine; giving her a feeling of dread about the future and making her wonder about retiring . 'Silly lass, giving yourself the heebie-jeebies about thoughts of the future, and you knowin that all that fortune telling and readin is jus' nonsense then.' Many times over the next five years, Minerva McGonagall would wish that she had listened to her feelings on that fateful day and taken an early retirement.

Meanwhile, inside of Harry, the black net that wrapped around his core stunting it and holding it in check began to widen a small rip that had previously developed because of Harry's need for healing and survival, allowing even more of the energy of Harry's core to flood out and begin repairs to past damage caused by neglect, beatings, and starvation. While not an instantaneous process, over time Harry's magic, along with Hedwig's tears, and Lily's love and sacrificial magic, would not only heal the wounds of the past, but optimize Harry's physical body as well.

Andi carried Harry's board with her as she went into the loo at the back of the pub, while Ted pulled Harry to a booth situated in the back corner, sitting Harry with his back to the door. Everyone had settled in and were perusing the menus when Andi came back looking exhausted and a little frazzled. She leaned over to Ted and began whispering frantically in his ear. Harry couldn't make out all of what was said, but he caught her saying that she tried cutting, blasting, and even a finite something and nothing even scratched it. Harry wasn't sure if she was talking about his board or not, but when she had said it might break, he had focused with all his might on wishing that his board would be so strong that it could not break. When he did that, he felt as if energy was pouring out from his center down his arms, through his hands and into his board, and then Andi and Ted grabbed him and rushed around the corner and into this pub. Harry began to wonder if they might be freaks like him, and if so, then there must be a reason why they rushed him out of the area after he showed them he was as well. Maybe there is a Government agency or a secret order from the Vatican that hunts freaks for experiments or extermination. Harry resolved to get better at disguising and hiding his freakishness, lest he be caught by the evil government agents or the brotherhood of hunters from Rome that were after freaks like him. Though Harry was wrong about the whole freak hunters scenario that he dreamed up, he would find out years later that learning how to hide his power would keep him safe from all kinds of predators and evil gits that were after him.

When they arrived back at the library, Ted asked if he could take Harry's board home with him to look it over and make sure all the nuts and bolts were tightened properly for his safety. Harry didn't want to give up his board, but Ms. Prudence insisted as she wanted to make sure that he wouldn't get hurt by it breaking or falling apart. Andi assured him that she would bring it back the next day when she came to work at the library. Grudgingly, Harry agreed and then after saying goodbye to Ted and Dora, went off to his corner to begin reading again. Ted gave his wife a kiss and prepared to leave, when Dora asked if she could stay and help her friend Harry. Andi and Ted saw no problem with her doing that and so told her to behave and remember the rules of the library. Dora almost whooped for joy, before clamping her lips shut so she wouldn't get kicked out of the library. Off she went to help her friend Harry, while Andi led the adults to her office to discuss Harry.

Andi knew that her friends the Smythe sisters had descended from a long line of pureblood wizards and witches. A few generations ago, the family had started to produce nothing but squibs, and so to the wizarding world, the family had died out. She also knew through her research that the Smythe family had been retainers of the Potters since before the founding of Hogwarts. Unfortunately, one of their ancestors had decided not to go to their liege's aid when they were called to fight a rising Dark Lord alongside the Potters and their allies. This betrayal was punished by magic itself, as from then on nothing but squibs were born to any of the Smythe family. Even when they tried to blood adopt an orphaned wizard; though he had his magic, all of his children were squibs. Andi found it interesting that the name of the advisor who had convinced the Smythe patriarch to abandon his Lord in a time of need was name Percival Bilius Dumbledore. Andi also found in the writings of the great seer Cassandra Trelawney, that the Smythe family would one day be redeemed by the kindness they would show by bringing the chosen one into their home and family. Ted started the conversation once they were behind closed doors, and after Andi surreptitiously activated the rune driven privacy wards that surrounded her office.

"I know that our goal was to get your petition to court this week, but in order to get it through without it being challenged by the Dursley's or other, much more concerning parties, we need to wait until next week Thursday when we can get it through the regency court. Since Harry is the last of the Potters and therefore a Duke when he reaches eleven, we need to back channel this to keep it from the media and the ones who put him with the Dursleys in the first place. I have made discrete inquiries into the Potters wills, but found that they were sealed by a manipulative and conceited old man named Albus Dumbledore for what he says is the greater good. I cannot begin to tell you how astonished my wife and I were when you came in to our office with the desire to adopt Harry Potter. Before his parents were killed, Andi and I were close friends with the Potters, and they had asked us if we were willing to raise Harry if something happened to them and Harry's Godfather, Sirius Black. When Lily and James Potter were killed and Sirius disappeared, we attempted to locate Harry, but he had vanished from all records without a trace. When Albus Dumbledore was questioned about Harry, he told everyone that Harry had been placed in a safe place where he could grow up in peace and without fear or bother. When asked to clarify, he stated that what he did was for the greater good and that those who pursed his whereabouts too vigorously needed to be looked into because they were not considering Harry's best interests and might be followers of Lord Voldemort, who was a terrorist. By doing this, Dumbledore was able to cut off all those who were friends of the Potters from contacting him and looking out for his welfare. The only one who could challenge Dumbledore was Harry's Godfather Sirius Black, and he had been thrown into prison for getting the Potters killed and then murdering thirteen others by bombing a street in Manchester. Andi took the job here because all court records are copied with one set in the ministry, one set in the offices of the court, and one set in the national archives that are stored in the adjacent annex here."

"It has been almost six years since I started here, and so far, I can't even find record of Sirius's arrest, let alone his trial." Andi chimed in. "I have neglected our law practice, leaving all the work to Ted while I did my shifts here and used every spare minute I had to search for the guilt of my cousin, Sirius Black." Abigail and Prudence could see the look of frustration on both Andi and Ted's faces at their helplessness in this situation.

"If you were supposed to raise Harry, than why don't you go through with adopting him?" Abigail asked. "We just want what is best for Harry, and that is not staying with those hateful people that call themselves his family."

"Unfortunately, if we tried to do that, then Albus Dumbledore would interfere and it would not get better for Harry. We would have to virtually leave the country to protect us from his wrath at messing with one of his plans." Ted stated with bitterness tingeing his voice. "And since he is not only the leader and head judge for the court, but also the headmaster of the school that our daughter will start in September as well as the head of an international conclave of, of judges; it becomes even more difficult to escape his influence. The best way we can help Harry is to get him away from the Dursley's using Her Royal Majesty's Regency court to look out for his welfare. Not even Albus 'too many names and titles' Dumbledore can interfere once they make a decision regarding his lordship and regent."

Andi carried on from there. "In my research, I have found that the Smythe family though they were of the peerage themselves, were once retainers of the House of Potter, and two times held the regency for the Potter heir while he was too young to take on his lordship. That gives us historical precedence in getting you listed as Harry's guardians, and allows you to adopt him using an ancient ceremonial law called blood adoption. This will make him your ward and heir, protecting him from others who would try to control him or take advantage of his orphan status. What really helps us in our case, is that Harry was never adopted by the Dursley's, and though the old man claims that he is Harry's guardian, there is no legal link or paper trail from James and Lily to Albus, just the word of the manipulative old man. So until next week Thursday, we need to keep Harry out of the public eye, just in case the old man starts looking for Harry. The best way to do that is to keep bringing Harry here every day and letting him get his fill of the books here. I can have Nympha, I mean Dora come with me to keep him company. While he is reading, we can do some research in the heraldry section about the Potter, Smythe, Dumbledore, and Black families to find out any traditional allies, retainers, or lieges listed throughout the Potter family history."

With their schedule set for the next week, the adults went to find their errant charges. What they found was Harry surrounded by stacks of books with Dora talking intently with another little girl about what books they should get next for Harry. Dora was apparently insisting on getting some books on the history of the British SAS, as well as books on their training, tactics, and core disciplines. She was insisting that if Harry was going to be a Knight errant, than he must learn to be a warrior, and who were better warriors than the SAS. What stopped the adults from interfering in the discussion was the answer that the little girl gave to Dora.

"While being a warrior is a noble goal, without a sense of morality and dedication to proper ideals, all you can become is a weapon or a thug, only good for being pointed at a problem and unleashed upon it. A true warrior must have balance above all things, like the Samurai, being able to balance nobility and honor, with savagery and focus. The Samurai are known throughout the world as much for their poetry, paintings and art, and even their statesmanship and flower arranging, as they are for their prowess in battle. The books we bring Harry must represent all factors that he will need to fulfill his role in the future. First we should bring him books on nobility and etiquette, then beauty and that which lifts the souls of men above their meager existence. We can follow that with books on nature, both poetic and scientific, and then science, math and physics to help him understand the world he is in. Next should be history so that he can learn from others victories and failures so that he is not doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past in his quest for the future. Once he has learned the lessons he needs from history, then and only then will we bring him books on strategy, though strategy is not the same as combat training and fighting. Strategy can be used to defeat your enemy without once striking a physical blow, but once a battle descends into violence, the options for good strategy become limited by the pace and location of the battle, and the effects of the fog of war on the combatants."

The adults were both stunned and amused at the lecture this little girl had just delivered to Dora, holding in their laughter as Dora surrendered to the much younger girl's impeccable logic, asking, "So what books should we get him next? He is almost done with the ones we brought him already." Both girls turned to head back into the stacks and came face to face with the adults, and not wanting to be rude, Dora introduced her new friend to her parents and the two nice ladies who were looking after Harry. "Hi mom and dad, and Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence, this is Harry's and my new friend Hermione Granger. She is named after someone named Shakespeare. I found her in the stacks arguing with Mrs. Brown from the children's library on the other side of the park. Mrs. Brown said she was much too young to be in this library with its adult subjects and macabre sections, and she would give her a nice book on horses if she came back with her since she had obviously come to the wrong library. Hermione told her that if she wanted to read about horses, she would head to the section on equines in veterinary medicine since she read all the Black Stallion books when she was four. Mrs. Brown was about to blow her top so I ran up and hugged Hermione, though I didn't know her name at that time, and then said thanks to Mrs. Brown for looking after my friend for me before dragging Hermione away to meet Harry."

"Dora, I am not named after Shakespeare. I am named after one of his characters in his play A Winter's Tale; my parents are big literary buffs and felt that it was a beautiful and unique name. Shakespeare's name was William, and I do not think that that name would have suited me since I am, of course, of the female persuasion. Though, come to think of it, I did meet a man named Sally, so I guess I could have been named William."

It started with Ted, trying to mask his amusem*nt before a chuckle escaped and broke the dam as all four of the adults burst into full blown laughter at this serious yet extremely likeable little girl. Their levity was interrupted by someone shushing them from a few rows away and Harry looking up from his finished book and after looking for a new pile asked with total innocence, "If I am to learn to be a Samurai, poet, statesman, artist, warrior, and all around good guy, shouldn't there be more books in front of me?"

This statement made Hermione turn pink, which just made the adults have to work harder to control their laughter. When they could speak without bursting into laughter, Ms. Prudence stated that the plan for learning that Hermione had put forth was well thought out and seemed to be a good plan to follow. With the agreement of the adults, the group broke up and went to grab books for Harry starting with books on mannerisms and etiquette that Harry would need to learn if he were to easily mingle with the upper crust of society. Once a suitable pile was once more in front of Harry, Andi asked Hermione where her parents were.

Hermione continued getting books for her new friend Harry as she answered Dora's mom. "My parents are Dentists and are at a convention here in London for dentists to learn new techniques in tooth care. They are also going to present some new techniques that they pioneered and so we are here through next weekend. When I found out that the convention was near the London Library, I begged them to allow me to come with them and spend my days here instead of staying with my Aunt and cousin. Since they are members here, they agreed and here I am, though I never imagined that I would make friends with anyone who liked to read more than me, or that I would be playing gopher for a boy who can scan through a book and know it faster than it takes me to find it and bring it to him. Harry told me that he would try and help me accomplish learning the same techniques that he is using, but he said it was not easy and took lots of meditation and focus to accomplish. I just hope that I can pick it up as it will really help me with schooling and going to University."

Hermione giggled a little and pulled another book down from the shelf she was looking at. "In school, I get made fun of for wanting to be in the library at recess and lunch and no one talks to me unless they need help, yet here I am in an amazing library while on vacation and yet I don't have time for reading. I never could have imagined that there would be anyone or anything that could distract me from my own learning, but Harry said that he had to learn everything he could as soon as possible, though he wouldn't tell me why. I almost turned down helping him, but then he looked into my eyes with those emerald orbs of his; in those eyes I found a connection I didn't know could exist and I just felt that his need to learn was more important than mine right now." With that said, Hermione turned and after searching, pulled three books from the shelf and hurried back to Harry's table to drop them off, leaving Andi standing with a smile at the energy of the retreating girl.

Chapter 5: Chapter 5

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

Once again I assure you that I am not female, British, or the owner of Harry Potter.

Chapter 5

Andi stood watching the strange but delightful girl scamper back to Harry, as her thoughts jumped from point to point in the strange life of the boy known as Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, and what a stupid name that was. Everything that Andi and her husband had learned about the night that Harry lost his parents, left more questions than answers. Andi's keen analytical mind began to go over all that she and her husband had learned about Harry Potter and his life under the care of Albus Dumbledore. One night not long after they began looking into the guilt or innocence of her cousin Sirius; Ted, Andi, and their friend Amelia Bones sat down and made a list of all the questions they would like answers to about that night and the circ*mstances surrounding Harry Potter. As she began to mentally retrace that conversation, the questionable 'facts' once more came to the forefront of her analytical mind. If the Potter's were attacked by the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters, then why did Dumbledore send Hagrid, who though nice enough, had no magic to protect himself or the Potter's if the Death Eaters were still around? Second was that if Sirius was a Death Eater and the right hand of Voldemort, why did Hagrid end up riding Sirius's death trap motorcycle away from Godric's Hallow with Harry in his arms.

Amelia had told them that she was on duty that night as an Auror, and they didn't know the Potter's were attacked until Dumbledore floo called them at the ministry to send a cleanup and muggle obliviation crew. When Amelia Bones arrived with her team leader Alistair Moody, and the rest of the team, they observed Alice Longbottom demanding that Harry be given to her as she was Harry's godmother. Dumbledore was at his twinkling best as he assured her that Harry was perfectly safe where he had been taken, and was being examined by a healer to see if he was injured at all. Alice and her husband Frank said that they would expect Harry to be turned over to them the next morning or they would bring him before the Wizengamot as was their right as an Ancient and Noble family. Amelia confided that an owl arrived at the Ministry saying that their son Neville had come down sick and they would be in soon, and then on 2 November, 1981, Albus Dumbledore once again contacted the DMLE to inform them that the Longbottoms had been attacked by Death Eaters and he was too late to keep Frank and Alice from being tortured into insanity from the cruciatus curse cast upon them by the Lestrange brothers, as well as Bellatrix Black-Lestrange and Barty Crouch Jr. Once again, Albus Dumbledore was proved right in not giving them The-Boy-Who-Lived, since obviously Harry would not have been safe with them. The same day Sirius murdered Peter Pettigrew along with twelve muggles outside central London, and was given a speedy trial before being sent to Azkaban for betraying the Potters and killing a hero who stood up to him for the murder of his friends. The only reason that he escaped the dementor's kiss for his crimes, was that he came from an old and noble pureblood family, and his younger brother Regulus Black had been killed.

There were many more questions about the behavior of Albus Dumbledore during the whole Boy-Who-Lived saga, but since he was Albus bloody Dumbledore, no one dared ask. On 3 November, 1981, in an emergency session of the Wizengamot, Albus declared the will of James and Lily Potter sealed to 'protect Harry' from the revenge that the dark lord's followers were sure to enact. He tried to do the same with Neville Longbottom, but Neville's grandmother Augusta Longbottom destroyed Dumbledore's notion that he was the only one who could keep the child safe. Albus put on his disappointed Grandfather face, and acceded to her rights to raise the boy, though he got her to allow him to come visit the next day to check the wards and protections that would surround the boy. When asked about Harry's wellbeing, the Chief Wizard assured everyone that he was safe, happy, and loved where he was, away from any threats of harm that were aimed his way. Andi knew after talking to the Smythe sisters, that Dumbledore had lied and was either completely incompetent, or was a part of the treatment that Harry had received all his life. One thing that still plagued Andi's mind, though Amelia and Ted had both told her she was being a little too paranoid, was that the funeral for James and Lily was held with closed caskets instead of being put in stasis so their friends could say goodbye.

Not to look at providence too closely, but the day that Lady Abigail Smythe-Covington and Prudence Ashington-Smythe walked into the Tonks Solicitor firm to ask about the way to go about adopting a little boy they cared for named Harry Potter was an incident that seemed directed by fate to occur. Her husband Ted said to her later, that seemed as if the music that was pumped into the elevator of their building, and the lobby were especially beautiful and relaxing that day. Ted immediately called his wife at the library and told her to come to the office posthaste. When Andi arrived partly out of breath, Ted had the receptionist escort the two sisters into their conference room and encouraged them to tell their tale. They were horrified to hear about the life that Harry had been sentenced to, and were determined to help him escape in any way possible. When Ted asked why they had travelled to London and come to them instead of using a local Solicitor, they told a story that could only be explained by the interference of a wizard or witch using magic. The sisters spoke of their mounting frustration as filed papers were lost, solicitors denied ever meeting them, court dates were cancelled, and police complaints vanished into thin air. Ted assured them that he and his wife would take the case and do whatever it took to get Harry into a safe home and away from the monsters that he lived with now. Several months of frustration passed as Ted and Andi investigated the legal ways to get Harry out of his prison. It was a passing comment by Amelia Bones that led them to the answer they were seeking.

Amelia flopped down in the sitting room of the Tonks's home, letting out a sigh of frustration before gratefully accepting the glass of scotch that Ted handed her. After taking a sip and enjoying the smooth flavor as it slid down her throat, she said almost to herself. "I wish Duke Potter were still alive, Minister Fudge has just cut the budget to the DMLE again so now I cannot accept anyone into Auror training unless they have a potions Newt, and lately there are none that aren't from Slytherin or Ravenclaw at Hogwarts and none of the last graduating class even applied to the Academy. We had four Gryffindors and five Hufflepuffs enter last year, and all of them had to study potions and retake their Newt. We brought in a potions Master to teach them, and they all picked up the knowledge quick enough, but I now do not have the money to hire a tutor for them."

Amelia didn't notice that she had lost the attention of her two friends after her first sentence. Both Andi and Ted zeroed in on the statement 'Duke Potter' and practically danced for joy as they realized that now had the key to free Harry from the Dursleys. Two weeks later, the Tonks met with Lady Abigail and told her that they had progressed to the point that they were ready to head into court with a petition for the adoption of Lord Harry James Potter by the Smythe family. They were sorry to put a hold on the happiness of the sisters when they explained that there were forces lined up against them that could not find out what was going on with their case until it was too late to reverse. The Tonks warned them to avoid an old man with a long white beard at all costs, at which point the sisters told them about his pacing back and forth in front of their house but never approaching the front door. Ted excused himself and left the room, returning five minutes later with a grin, asking their clients if they would mind if he had Andi research their family history as a way of strengthening their case. When they gave him the go ahead, he told them that that was all they needed for now, but that they would be in touch.

Summer had started and the Tonks were doing all they could to get Harry's case heard. Ted called several of his acquaintances and contacts in the court, letting them know that his case was to ensure the welfare of a Peer of the Realm. At first, nothing came of his efforts, but then Ted received a call at his home one Saturday morning, asking him if he could have his case ready to present by the following Thursday. Ted knew that their case was prepared and twelve days would allow him and the Barrister they used to polish up the presentation of evidence, so he enthusiastically accepted. After letting Andi know, he called the Smythe residence and asked if he could meet with the sisters that afternoon. Prudence informed him that they were about to sit down to lunch with Harry, but one of them could come to meet him after they were done.

When Ted arrived at the library that he knew Lady Abigail worked from, he found her waiting for him by the door. Once they had gone into her office and closed the door, Ted handed her a folder containing all the information Ted's investigator had found on the Dursleys and Vernon's ring of collaborators.

"Before you open that, can I ask if you are ready to take Harry into your home today? What happens next depends on whether or not you are willing to take him in full time." Ted didn't even have to wait for her response.

"He is at our family home right now, watching his first full movie with my sister. If there is any way that we can arrange for him to never return to those horrid people, my sister and I are all for it." The venom in her tone when she spoke about the Dursleys showed Ted she was serious.

"Good!" Ted replied. "The folder you are holding contains enough information about and his friends to bring every agent bucking for a promotion at Scotland Yard down on their heads. Though we do not want that yet, it can be used as leverage for getting Petunia to sign over all rights to Harry and his care. My investigator made a suggestion to sweeten the pot for her, and get her cooperation if she is hesitant. She said that you should offer to have your yard service company take care of her yard for the next year since Harry won't be there to maintain it for her. Only offer her that though after she has seen the information in the folder. Petunia Dursley is a proud woman in her own right, and she will only see your offer of the yard service as her due. If you offer it before you show her the leverage you have, she will accept it and then expect more at the end of the negotiation."

Lady Abigail chuckled and interjected, "Just like dealing with a book seller."

"If you have no more questions, I will let you get on your way since you need to talk to Petunia before Vernon gets home from his golf club. If you need to get a hold of me, I will be at home with my family enjoying this beautiful Sunday. Don't worry about your safety or being threatened, I will be having my investigator watch you the entire time you are at number 4 Privet Dr." Ted waited for a moment to see if Lady Abigail had anything she needed from him or any questions. When she didn't Ted stood up and reached to shake her hand in farewell. As Lady Abigail was leafing through the file, Ted said. "I'm really happy this is going well, and my wife is really looking forward to seeing Harry this week at her library in London." With a wave that she barely noticed, Ted left to go home and appreciate his wife and daughter and the fact that the meddling old man was not interested in his little family.

Abigail finished reading the file and was astounded at the evil and corruption there was hinted at in the folder she was holding. She couldn't believe that their little suburb was so rife with crime, perversion, and downright evil that was happening right under the noses of the majority of the town's folk. Then a giddy smile crossed her face as she realized that after today, if all went according to plan, Harry would never have to go back to the Dursley's again. Even though Abigail knew herself to be no spring chicken, she felt as giddy as a schoolgirl and practically skipped out to her car to go confront Petunia Dursley.

Her little Mini got her the six blocks to the Dursley's house in practically nothing flat, though she probably did drive a little recklessly considering her preoccupation with coming confrontation. Approaching the door, Abigail looked around the cookie-cutter neighborhood and saw two women out in their yards openly staring at her and wondering what she wanted, and at least three more of the nosy neighborhood women peeking out from behind their curtains to see if there was any gossip to be had. Slowly Abigail's joyful smile turned into a devious and almost evil grin as she realized what leverage she would use to get Petunia Dursley to sign over the rights of caring for Harry Potter to the Smythe sisters.

According to the report given to Ted and Andi Tonks by their investigator, it was all too easy for Lady Abigail to convince Petunia to sign the papers. The fact that she did not even read them but just went ahead and signed them meant that once the case was ruled on, there was no way that the Dursley's could challenge the ruling to bring Harry back under their control. Also in the report were notes about the enjoyment that Harry had while spending time at the Smythe family home. He watched movies, read books, and more books, and even more books, and then some scrolls, and then more books. It seemed impossible that he was actually reading the books since he went through so many, but every morning the two sisters would randomly quiz him to make sure that he was absorbing and retaining the knowledge that he was acquiring from reading so many books. Andi had worked in the London library for almost six years, and in all that time she had never heard of anyone who could absorb knowledge like Harry Potter was apparently able to; then again it was Harry Potter and he did have an annoying yet wonderful habit of doing what others thought was impossible. Buried deep in the report so as to make sure that it would not be caught with just a glance, there was a warning from their investigator, to watch Harry and the Smythe sister's reactions, as Harry was doing accidental magic on an almost daily basis. It had been mostly incidents involving him summoning or calling books he wanted to him when the sisters fell short of the phenomenal pace of which he set in reading. While this was a quite common reason for accidental magic, what their investigator found astounding was that Harry had not seemed to notice that he was performing those feats, and since they were powerful and consistent instead of chaotic like most accidental magic, how had Harry not revealed himself to the muggles long before now.

Andi felt that though they seemed to have all the facts needed to give them the upper hand in getting Harry free from his relatives and the manipulations of the old man, they all were missing something in the equation. How was it that Albus Dumbledore hidden Harry successfully for all these years, and since Harry seemed to have a strong grasp on the manipulation of his magic, why hadn't he been investigated by the ministry. Andi and Ted had felt a little frightened at the huge burst of magic that Harry put into his new skateboard. She had taken it into the restroom, and tested it first physically by slamming it as hard as she could into the ceramic tile floor, and then by magic, using a cutting curse, a blasting curse, and even a wood rotting curse that was Black family magic; and none of her actions even left a scratch on Harry's new pride and joy. Andi was by no means a weak powered witch; she was a Black after all, yet nothing she did affected the board in any way. The strength of Harry's magic was astonishing and yet he was not using a wand, nor any spells to do what he wanted, he was just using pure focus of will to force his magic to do what he wanted. 'Imagine what he could do if he had grown up with love and support, and training for his gift.' Andi thought to herself. Before Andi could continue traveling in her own thoughts, her daughter Dora came down the aisle she was in and interrupted her thought process.

"Mom," Dora said to her while searching for a specific book, "Harry needs more books. Do you know if there is a book in the library that has Japanese to English translation, and also a book explaining Japanese kana and kanji? Hermione found a book on forging weapons and imbuing them with a warrior Spirit, but the contents are all in Japanese. Harry thinks that won't be a problem as long as he can find a book that he can learn the language from. Apparently Harry learned how to read French and German earlier this week by reading translation dictionaries and language texts, as well as a couple of books at the library had both in the original language and its translation into English."

Andi found herself a little shocked at what Harry could do, but she knew exactly where the books were that Dora was requesting she find and retrieve for Harry. Shaking her head in amusem*nt she made her way up two floors to the section that contained what Harry needed. While she was there, she noticed several books on kendo, karate, kenpo, and a few other martial disciplines from Japan. She gathered up those books as well and soon found herself with too many for one trip. Lucky for her, Prudence was passing by at that very moment and was able to help her bring them back to Harry. When the two women arrived back at Harry's study area, they found the rest of the group gathered around two new adults who had just arrived. The male member of the couple is about 6 foot two inches tall with the physique of an athlete, and light brown hair that was short and looked as soft as a kitchen sink scrubbing pad. The woman was extremely beautiful in an athletic way, with long flowing hair down the middle of her back. It was very obvious that these two people were the parents of little Miss Hermione Granger. Andi and Prudence placed their burdens down in front of Harry, and then headed over to be introduced.

"Hi Mrs. Tonks, Ms. Prudence; these are my parents, Dan and Emma Granger; and mom and dad, these are my new friends Ms. Prudence and Mrs. Tonks. Ms. Prudence is Lady Abigail's sister and they both watch over my new friend Harry, who you will meet when he is done over there. Mrs. Tonks is Dora's mother, and she also works here in the library as a librarian." Hermione said the word librarian with reverence, like it was the most noble and righteous thing that anyone could be. Dan and Emma Granger had smiles on their faces, amused by the introductions given by their precocious daughter.

After handshakes were given all around and the social pleasantries exchanged, Emma turned to her daughter and said, "Okay Hermione, it is time to go eat before heading to check in at the hotel. Say goodbye to your new friends and maybe you will see them later."

"Mr. and Mrs. Granger, I was hoping that you could wait a moment while I finish these last three books, and then your family can possibly join us for dinner." Harry stated unexpectedly. "Both Dora and I have really enjoyed Hermione's company today, as she has assisted me in my task of gaining knowledge. It would be wonderful if all of us can get to know each other over dinner since the library will soon be closing."

Emma noticed that while she and her husband had been introduced to the rest the group two of the large stacks of books that were in front of Harry had moved from one side of his table to the other, leaving only three books left in front of him. Even though both she and her husband loved to read, Hermione got her devotion and love for books from her mother. So seeing a boy who couldn't be much older than seven flipping through books quickly as if he were looking for pictures among all the words offended her beyond all measure. In fact, she wanted to walk over and take away what looked like a very old and rare tome on swordplay from Japan that was sitting in front of him.

Turning toward the adults in the group, Emma addressed them in a stilted tone and manner. "My daughter said in her introductions that at least one of you was a librarian, and yet you all stand here allowing this boy to flip through these rare books as if they were a comic book or a dime store adventure novel. Now I am thrilled that Hermione has made friends with you all, but I cannot just stand by and watch him mistreat books like he is doing. The knowledge contained in some of the books in this library is so rare that it can be found in a few other places on earth. So please stop him from pawing through the books here; if he needs picture books we can go across the park to the children's library or even go to the bookstore and buy him some if need be." Emma took a deep breath to continue her rant, when she was interrupted by the entire group laughing at her statements. Before Emma's temper could fray anymore, Lady Abigail caught her breath and grabbed Emma's hand, pulling her over to the stack of books that Harry had already completed.

"Emma, there is been a bit of misunderstanding and the best way to clear it up is to let you quiz Harry from any one of these books." Lady Abigail was very gentle as she placed Emma's hand on top of one of the stacks. "Go ahead and take any one of these books, pick at random so you know this is not a trick, and then open to any page in the book and ask Harry what it says. Don't make it easy on him; make him give you details, specific word usage, and even spacing just so that you are sure that he is really learning these books. This is not a memory trick, though his memory is photographic; ask him questions that show that he knows and has learned the subject."

Though she felt that this could only be a trick, Emily grabbed a book from the middle of one of the stacks and began to look through it. The subject of the book was customs of civility and honor in feudal Japan. Midway through the book there was a list of penalties that could be suffered by anyone in the servant class for not showing proper respect to a samurai. She looked at Harry while holding the book close to her chest, and asked him, "What was the penalty that was suffered by one of lower status when their herd of cattle blocked the samurai's way?"

A smile bloomed across Harry's face and he looked her right in the eye before answering. "Since one of lower birth would not have a herd of cattle, the cattle must belong to the local Lord. If the samurai was visiting the region, then it would be his duty to allow the Lord to exact punishment upon his servant. If the samurai served the local Lord, then he represented his Lord in all of his actions, therefore the punishment would be up to him and could be anything ranging from forgiveness, to a public flogging, to even death; depending on whether or not he was hampered in his mission, or if he deemed it deliberate. There are several other examples and punishments for that type of infraction."

To say that Emma was stunned would be like saying that the Concord was just a plane. 'How could he acquire so much information by just flipping through the pages?' Emma's train of thought was derailed when Hermione tugged on her arm to get her attention.

"Isn't what he does so cool." Hermione enthused. "Harry is going to teach me and Dora how to do it too. He says it is a matter of concentration, meditation, and focus. I can't wait to be able to have my own private library right inside my head." That statement brought even more laughter, this time from everyone, successfully breaking the tension that had mounted when she was accusing them of mistreating books. Once Emma apologized to everyone, and Harry in particular, they all decided to head out to dinner.

While at dinner, which Harry truly enjoyed as it was the first time he had ever had curry since to his Uncle it was unpalatable foreign muck not fit for decent human consumption; the subject of where the Grangers were staying came up. The Grangers told them that their hotel was about thirty minutes away, and that because they had to be at the conference early the next morning Hermione would not be able to get to the library the next day. Seeing the disappointed looks on the faces of the three children, Ms. Prudence and Lady Abigail shared a look containing an entire conversation, before offering to let the Grangers stay with them. At first the Grangers hesitated, but then gave in when they were told where it was, how close it was to the library, and who the house belonged to. It also didn't hurt that the three children were all flashing major puppy dog eyes at them while pleading with them to let Hermione spend more time with the others.

After the Grangers capitulated to the obviously superior negotiating tactics of the three youngsters, it was then time for that same seemingly unstoppable force to be turned upon the Tonks. The argument was that if Dora were staying with Harry and Hermione, then he could teach them together, and the two girls could help each other out in learning Harry's techniques for learning. Once again, the superior force of trembling lips and big puppy dog eyes won the day, and it was soon agreed that though Ted and Andi would go home for the evening, Dora would stay in the same room as Hermione and they would all meet for breakfast together in the morning. The three children were so happy to have won, that Harry even forgot how reluctant he was for the Tonks to take his skateboard home, and no one noticed that it seemed to have been swallowed by Andi's purse, even though the bag was nowhere near big enough to hold and notebook, let alone a twenty-eight inch skateboard.

I will try to post on Tuesdays, but life and the sory are catching up. I will assure you that I will be finishing this story as i hate being left with no ending to a story I enjoy.

Chapter 6: Chapter 6

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

Dis:Once again. No, Harry in not mine. I would rather have Hermione, Tonks, Lily, Daphne or even Cho, but only on a lease with option to buy.

Chapter 6

The next few days flew by, with the day starting with breakfast together before the group went their separate ways. The Grangers would head off to their conference and Ted would leave to go to his office or to court since he did have other clients beside the Smythe sisters and Harry Potter. Andi and the three children would go to the park where the kids would play until it was time for the library to open, they would then spend until lunch feeding Harry's cerebral needs. Sometimes the sisters would join them, and at other times they would have to leave to attend meetings that were extremely important to their future with Harry. After lunch Andi would take the children to the cinema, where Harry got to see his first movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Harry was amazed at what they were able to do with movie magic, and when they watched Willow the next day, he wondered if there were freaks like him in the movie industry since the spells that they did seemed so real. After then seeing the movies Beetlejuice and Big, Harry was more convinced than ever that there were others just like him out there, hiding their talents from the world around them. Why else would so many movies and books be about Magic and ghosts and fantasy creatures unless they were trying to prepare everyone who didn't have special gifts for when their secret world was one day revealed. Harry decided at that moment that he would develop some way to sense others with gifts so that he would know who he could talk to about the things he didn't understand.

Following their after lunch cinema excursions, they would head back into the depths of the library to continue meeting Harry's educational needs. Often, when dinner time came, the three friends would have to be practically dragged from the library to go meet Hermione's parents and Ted Tonks at where ever they had agreed to meet that night. After dinner, it was time for Harry to try and teach Dora and Hermione how to meditate and enter their mindscape. In this area, Harry met his first failure and disappointment, when he could not get either one to sink deep into their own mind. He forgot that he did not have his own breakthrough until he had been meditating for almost eight months. Wednesday night in a fit of frustration, Harry called out for help from a source that Elric had said might be able to help.

Harry made sure the door to the study that they were using was closed so as not to disturb the adults who were speaking in the sitting room. Once he was sitting and once more comfortable, he called, "Hedwig, I need your help if you could spare the time please."

With a flash of light, accompanied by both heat and cold, Hedwig appeared above him and came in for a landing on his shoulder. Both girls were startled and threw themselves back with a cry of fright. Hermione was going to go into her interrogation mode that she went into when something that she didn't understand upset her carefully ordered world, when Dora spoke up with awe and excitement in her tone.

"Harry, do you know what that bird is?" Dora was practically vibrating in excitement, and suddenly her hair began to cycle through different colors as she stared at Hedwig. This pretty much shut down Hermione's thought processes, as she knew that neither the bird appearing in a flash of ice and flame, nor her friend Dora's Technicolor hair were possible which led Hermione to the conclusion that her mind had broken, and having friends was just an insane dream.

Harry was delighted though, and spoke up. "Dora, you're a freak like me!" Harry could probably have used a better word to describe Dora and himself; gifted, unique, talented, any of those would have worked better than freak but that was what he had been called for his gifts so that was what he associated with others like him.

Hermione snapped out of her musings about insanity, and chastised Harry. "That is not something you call anyone in polite society Harry. Calling someone a freak is like, is like, well it is just impolite and downright rude. Apologize to Dora right this minute." Hermione emphasized her demand by stomping her foot, and that was too much for Harry and Dora to take. Both of them began to howl in uncontrolled laughter, each having to lean on the other to remain standing; Harry even developed a case of hiccups which made Dora laugh even more. Hermione began to pout as her friends laughed at her, not understanding that their laughter was as much a release of hidden tension as it was in reaction to the surfacing of her 'little miss bossy' personality trait as her friends would call it from that day forward. Once Harry and Dora realized that they were hurting Hermione's feelings, they were once again able to get control of themselves; though a giggle escaped from time to time.

"Hermione, stop pouting and come over here." Dora directed her friend, and pulled her into a hug when she drew close enough. "Harry reacted because he doesn't know the right terms for what I can do. I am going to tell you a secret that you can't tell anyone, even your parents. Harry and I are Magical." Dora had been looking into Hermione's eyes, trying to communicate how serious she was, and how important it was for Hermione not to tell others since she was non-magical. Dora didn't think it was fair to keep a secret from someone who was quickly becoming one of her best friends. Neither of the girls was paying attention to Harry at that moment, and if they had been, they would have just seen a look of intense concentration on his face; either in deep focus or constipation, it was hard sometimes to tell the difference.

Harry vividly remembered the day that his Aunt Petunia had shaved his head after school, because his hair was sticking out in every conceivable direction and that was unnatural and she was going to fix his freakish hair. Harry knew what would happen the next day at school, and that everyone would join Dudley and his gang in picking on Harry, since she had shaved him down to a fine stubble. He could hear the cries of Q-ball, Baldy, monk, and sharky echoing across the school yard. Though Harry would not have minded being called sharky since that could be a cool nickname, he couldn't guarantee that that name would be the one to stick with him on a semi-permanent basis. As Harry was falling asleep, he wished that his hair was back to normal. The next morning when Aunt Petunia let him out of his cupboard to prepare breakfast, she let out a small startled sound and then hurried back up the stairs after calling him a freak and giving him his instructions for the morning. It wasn't until he was at school, that Harry finally discovered that his hair was back to its regular untamable norm. Now that he had seen Dora's hair go through the different colors in her excitement, including blue, purple and pink; Harry decided that he wanted to do that with his hair.

There is an old saying that goes, 'If you want to control an adult's behavior and creativity, teach him as a child what is impossible for him to do.' Children are taught what they cannot do from the day they are born, through chastisem*nt, instruction, and observation of the adults and world around them. It is the rare individual who can step past those cultural boundaries and ask the questions like, 'why can't it be done a different way than the way it has always been done?' Those are the innovators who can change society and even the world if they are not quashed in their creativity, for to them, there are no limits in the approach to solving a problem. Even if one way works, there could be another way that works even better and more efficiently; or at least a way to make it more fun. Vernon and Petunia Dursley had done everything in their power to squash any creative thinking in Harry Potter, all with the approval of Albus Dumbledore since he wanted Harry to be his willing pawn. The rules that Harry had thrust upon him were made to make sure that Harry's independence and creativity were crushed. Don't ask questions, don't voice your opinion, don't talk back to your betters, and don't speak up since no one wants to hear from a freak. If not for that fateful day when the Smythe sisters came into his life, Harry would have been an entirely different boy when he reached eleven.

Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence not only encouraged him to ask questions, they urged him to find his own answers to the questions he asked. When Harry came up with an answer from a book, one of them would be right there with another book that had either a different answer to the same question, or an answer that was a variant not thought of by the first author. This showed Harry that all books were biased to the author's perspective, and that no one person or source ever truly had the completely right answer. So when Harry saw The Sword in the Stone, his first thought was not that it was impossible to do those feats of magic, it was how he could learn to do them himself. Though he had really only been sure that magic in fact existed in others besides him for a little more than a week, Harry truly believed that he could do anything that any other magical person could do. So it did not really surprise him when his hair grew down in front his eyes with alternating streaks of neon yellow, orange, green, blue and red. He was trying to look like a circus version of Cousin It that he had seen in an Adams Family comic book that Dudley had thrown away. While Harry expected that he would succeed at what he was trying, the sudden screams of two astounded and frightened girls made him believe that his friends did not share his confidence in himself.

Before he could reverse his change in appearance, the door burst open and six very concerned adults all tried to get through the door at once. The Grangers and Smythe sisters thought that Harry had found a bizarre costume wig in one of the bench chests that were in the office they were using, while the Tonks were wondering whose accidental magic had caused it to happen, and why it had happened. Then they noticed that Dora's hair was pure white, which only happened when she was too stunned to cope with what was going on around her and her form went into a default blank slate. Confusing them even more was the fact that Hermione was backed into the corner of the room and seemed to be passed out underneath a beautiful stuffed white bird. All of their preconceptions flew out the window, when Harry rushed across the room to tend to Hermione, his hair rapidly going back to its former black messy style.

"Hermione! Hermione! Please wake up. I am sorry I scared you. I thought that you and Dora would think it was funny for me to Look like circus clown Cousin It." Harry was near tears as he pleaded with her to be alright. He didn't have many friends, and he would never purposely hurt any of the ones he had. Harry turned to the adults, with a look that hoped they could do something for his friend. He should have kept his eyes on Hermione.

Hermione's eyes snapped open and her hair became even more bushy as little sparks of static began jumping from strand to strand. The first sign that Harry might be in trouble was when he was lifted off his knees and pressed to the wall with his feet dangling eighteen inches off the floor. The second was when Hermione poking Harry's chest and talking in a tone that suggested horrible things if it was not heeded.

"Harry James Potter! You will never do that to me again. I do not like being frightened, nor do I like it when someone defies all logic, just because they have some mystical gifts. It just isn't natural to be able to grow hair that fast, nor in those colors. If you are going to experiment, you will do so with colors that exist naturally in the normal human spectrum. I do not want the government coming and taking away one of my best friends to run experiments on, and that goes for you too Dora." Hermione then broke down into sobs as Harry, who had dropped back to the ground, and Dora both rushed to hug their over wrought friend. At the door, Andy and Ted were having a silent conversation with their eyes, while the Smythe sisters and the Grangers were at a loss at what had just happened.

Coming to a decision, Ted and Andi led the stunned adults and the kids who were still clinging to each other out into the sitting room, since they needed to have a talk with all of them before it was decided where they would go from there. The three children sat together in an overly large chair that was just a bit crowded for them, allowing the Grangers to take the couch and Ms. Prudence and Lady Abigail to share a settee. Before the hysteria or fear could start up, Ted got up in front of them and with a sigh, called their attention to him.

"Lady Abigail, Ms. Prudence, Dan and Emma; what you just saw is an example of the fact that all three of our children are special in more ways than are usually included in the norm. Harry, Dora, and Hermione are magical. This means that Harry is a wizard, and Hermione and Dora are witches; and while we are on the subject, so are Andi and I." With that statement, Andi pulled her wand out of her sleeve and cast light at the four walls as well as the ceiling and floor. Ted continued, "What Andi just did was cast privacy charms to make sure no one outside this room knows what is going on in here. This is for all of our protection as there are laws against letting Muggles, those who have no magic, know about our world. Unfortunately, there are people in the ministry and elsewhere who believe that those who are firstborn and half-bloods do not deserve to have magic, and so they use every opportunity to come down hard on those individuals and their families, often using flimsy excuses to bind their magic which eventually drives the witch or wizard insane. The term firstborn or muggleborn refers to someone like Hermione, whose parents are not magical. Half-blood refers to people like our daughter Dora, who have one parent who is a pureblood and one who is muggleborn. In the case of Andi and me, Andi was born into the ancient and noble house of Black, while I am the son of a nurse and an RAF pilot. When we married, Andi was expelled from her family for defying their wishes for her to marry a pureblood scion and marrying a common muggleborn like me."

"Normally, if nothing happened to you before Hermione's eleventh birthday, then she would receive a letter inviting her to Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft to learn how to control her powers. It is a boarding school located in Scotland and she would attend ten months out of the year for seven years. Once she entered the school, you as parents would no longer have any rights when it came to your daughter's care or wellbeing. A magical guardian would be assigned to take care of Hermione's needs, and anything that interfered with their authority could be legally dealt with in anyway necessary." Ted paused for breath and then continued. "There is a set of curses in the magical world which are considered unforgivable to use on another person or you earn an immediate trip to prison. These curses are the Cruciatus curse which causes pain on an unimaginable level, the Imperious curse which controls the one it is cast upon to an absolute level, and the Killing curse which does exactly what its name proclaims. Normally, when firstborns hear that these cannot be used on people, they feel relief that the three unforgivable will not be used by anyone who does not want to be put in the Wizards Prison Azkaban. What most don't realize, and are specifically not told, is that to the normal pureblood, muggles are just clever animals who are imitating the behavior of real people; they view muggles like muggles view gorillas that learn a few words in sign language. So according to the current laws in the Ministry for Magic, any curse is legal to use on muggles to accomplish what you want. There is an anti muggle baiting law on the books, but it is worded so that the only thing a wizard can't do, is leave them suffering once they are done with them."

The four adults listening to Ted were horrified at this strange and unwelcoming world that had been revealed to them that night. Unfortunately, there was more to be revealed to them that night, and the next door was practically kicked open by Harry asking a question to Ted and Andi.

"Excuse me sir, but is that why the old man Whiskers has been interfering with me in my home and in my neighborhood?" Harry continued as he searched through his memories. "As my mind has been opened by the books I am reading, many incidents have become clear in my memory where he came and pointed his stick at me and then told me to forget what had happened. The first time that I remember him coming was when Vernon had arrived home drunk and upset that he didn't get a promotion that he felt he deserved. I was locked in my cupboard because they were planning to go out and celebrate his new promotion. He stormed in and grabbed me from my cupboard under the stairs, shouting and screaming at me before throwing me at the wall at the end of the hall. Instead of slamming into it, I stopped short and hovered in the air four inches in front of it. There is a mirror next to the front door, and I could see that my eyes were glowing green and there was blue lightning flashing from my fingertips. Uncle Vernon screamed at me for being a freak, and saying something like 'How dare you do your freakish things in my home' before grabbing a cricket bat out of the umbrella stand and charging down upon me. There was a bright flash of light and then I don't remember anything until I woke up in the park down the street with a woman with red hair and a monocle leaning over me and asking if I was okay. She brought me back to the Dursleys, where there was a tall woman with a Scottish accent telling Whiskers off, though she called him Albus and he called her Minerva, and there was a woman they called Poppy who was pouring liquid into Uncle Vernon and muttering about how he didn't deserve to be healed for what he had done."

Harry continued on. "The lady with the monocle said to me that she was Bones, though I didn't think she was really related to the doctor on Star Trek, and then told Whiskers that there would have to be an investigation, since it concerned me, well she said Harry Potter, but that's me so anyway. Well Whiskers tried to convince her otherwise, saying that my safety was at stake, but she told him to be quiet since I was obviously not safe in the home of my miserable relatives. The old man seemed to concede her point, and then when she turned to talk to me, he said 'Sorry Amelia, but this is for the greater good', and then he zapped her and the other two with his stick. He then sent the two ladies away after he had given them instructions and told them what to remember. After they left, he turned his wand to me, and asked why I couldn't be a good boy and do what I was told. He then talked to Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia about me, as I sat next to Amelia, neither of us able to move anything more than our eyes. Uncle Vernon insisted that he either take me away, or stop me from using my freakishness to avoid the punishment I so rightly deserved. Whiskers agreed, and then somehow made Amelia help him by saying Imperial, like the cigar and tobacco company, and then both of them were pointing their sticks at me and saying a long string of words together before light hit me from two directions. When I woke, I was in my cupboard weak and confused and I didn't remember anything besides Uncle Vernon giving me my justified punishment for costing him the promotion at work. It was only yesterday that I remembered what really happened. I have seen Whiskers use his stick on many people over the years, including Mrs. Figg on the day I left Privet Drive with Lady Abigail. They were arguing and then he pulled out his stick and zapped her, and all of a sudden, she couldn't agree with him more. I knew right then that I didn't want him flashing me with that stick, because Mrs. Figg will argue with anyone including her twenty cats, if she thinks she is right about something."

Now it was the turn of Ted and Andi to be horrified about their world. They knew that Albus Dumbledore was a manipulative old man who believed he knew what was best for the Wizarding world, but the picture that Harry painted told a story far darker than a man who was supposedly looking out for Harry's safety and best interests. They had taken the case to help Harry get away from his abusive relatives, but deep down they believed that Dumbledore had gotten trapped by the laws passed by the darker families in the Wizengamot, and so had had to take a hands off approach to Harry's care. They also believed that he was set to manipulate Harry into following his footsteps, forcing him to become the next Albus Dumbledore, Leader of the Light. The plan was to get Harry away from his relatives and into a loving home. After that, the next step of their plan was to get Harry settled in, and then to contact Dumbledore and let him know where Harry was so that he could fulfill his duties as godfather and magical guardian. Of course, if a few weeks went by, or perhaps the rest of the summer before they informed Him, well it would do some good for the old manipulator to realize that he did not know everything. Harry's story put everything in a new light, and meant that they would have to change some of their plans before their time in court the next day.

Andi broke the silence. "I think that we need to continue this conversation at another time. We have a big day tomorrow and I think all of us need some rest. Before we break up this little meeting, we need to know that you have not changed your minds about proceeding with our plan tomorrow."

Both Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence spoke in unison, "As far as we are concerned, if nothing else, we have learned that it is even more urgent that we proceed with the plan."

Ms. Prudence went on, "I think we will need to discuss this world of yours in more detail tomorrow evening. For now, I think that we should all go to bed, though I do not know how I for one will sleep very soundly with all this new information buzzing around my head. Tomorrow is a big day, and will bring huge changes to some of our lives. Harry, why don't you say good night to your friends and then head up and take a shower. We will be up right behind you."

Harry immediately obeyed, since obedience had been ingrained in him by his family. He hugged Hermione and Dora, and then very tentatively hugged Ms. Prudence. When she returned the hug with gusto, he felt a little more confident as he approached Lady Abigail. Another big hug and Harry felt like he was on a role. Two hugs for the remaining women and two handshakes for the men later, and Harry headed up to take a shower. The one thought that dominated his thinking was, 'So this is what it is like to have a family that loves you.' Behind him in the sitting room, the adults hugged the girls and then sent them on their way before talking urgently in low tones so as not to be overheard.

"Is it really that bad in your world?" Emma asked in a worried tone. "If so, why would we ever consent to Hermione leaving us to join in with that madness?"

"It is and it isn't at the same time." Andi answered. "The magical world doesn't like to admit that they need the influx of fresh blood and money that the muggleborn bring into their world, as well as the products that are produced by the muggle world that sustains them. More than ninety percent of all base goods are made in the non-magical world and then enchanted once they are brought into the magical community. The majority of the food that we eat, the cloth that is used to make our clothes, the building materials for our houses; all of that originates in the muggle world where it can be produced at a lower cost. Also, at least here in England and on the Continent, you will pay two to three times what the purebloods will pay for the goods needed for Hermione's educational materials and school tuition. And while Hermione is away at school, they will use subtle pressures to encourage her to leave your world behind, spending time with friends from school in their magical homes during the two months they are off from school. You will encourage her to do this no matter what your true wishes are, so that she will feel that it is the magical world that truly holds her future and she will eventually succumb to the constant bombardment of their propaganda. That is the downside of the magical world." The looks on the faces of the muggle adults could not be more horrified if they had been told that their children were going to be marched off to Nazi death camps. They were each preparing to grab the child they loved and flee far away from the crazy, psychotic world that their children were slated to enter.

Ted continued on with the good parts of the magical world. "While it sometime seems that everything about the magical world is bad, or even downright evil, there are many things that cannot be yet matched in the modern world. Healing from injuries such as a badly broken bone, or even multiple bones, can be healed in a matter of hours, or overnight if they have to be vanished and regrown. Once they get their wand, the education is the same at Hogwarts for purebloods and muggleborn alike and they have equal access to the library. Once they are fully trained and mature, magical travel makes the world a whole lot smaller since you can get almost anywhere in a matter of at most minutes if not seconds. There is floo travel, which is usually in country, apparition, which can take you up to 500 miles give or take depending on power, and portkey, which can take you anywhere in the world in less than five minutes. Another benefit is cleaning, repairing, and fire and home protection charms, as well as transfiguration and conjuration of objects. The wonder of magic is really hard to describe, and the benefits are beyond measure, as long as there is a firm grounding in the world you come from. I was lucky enough when I joined this world, my best friend came from a magical family who agreed to act as my magical guardians and protect me from the excesses of the magical world. Andi and I would like to offer to be Hermione's magical guardians so that she will have the same protections that I had as a child. By doing it early and getting it filed with the Ministry for Magic, it will give us a way to block any tries to control Hermione in the future."

"Please don't make a decision tonight, this is something you should talk over and give us an answer when you are ready." Andi was holding Emma's hand while she was looking back and forth between Dan and Emma.

Dan and Emma shared a look before Emma had a question to ask. "You both keep talking about Hermione and her future, but what about Harry since you said he was magical like our daughters?"

"Harry is a special case that we can't talk about right now." Ted replied. "What we can tell you right now is that the big day we are having tomorrow is going to court to get Harry's guardianship in the mundane world from Harry's horrid relatives to these two loving sisters here. Once we are finished with that, we need to find the answers to a few questions before we can tell you anymore about his specific case. This is for your safety as much as it is for his as there are some unusual circ*mstances surrounding his placement with his relatives."

The Grangers agreed to talk about what they had learned and been offered by Ted and Andi Tonks for their daughter. With that, they all decided that it was time to go to bed, knowing that there was a busy day for them all with the Grangers agreeing to take Hermione and Dora to a couple of museums while the others were busy in court. None of them noticed the giant white 'stuffed' bird had been in the sitting room on top of a convenient bookcase listening to every word they said, with what only could be termed as a smug, satisfied look on her face. The future looked bright for the boy who she watched over and loved above all others.

In a backroom located in a dingy tavern in central London, an old man with a long white beard was having a meeting with a man wearing a lime green bowler hat and a squat woman who seemed to think that the color pink was the ultimate fashion for all occasions, only varying in tones and hues to fit her mood. "Now Cornelius," Albus said to the other man. "I want you to introduce a bill that will protect muggleborn children. I will write it for you and it will be so dry that no one will bother reading past the first twelve or so pages of legalese. Hidden in the bill will be language making it even more difficult for muggleborn children to get tested for magical heritage. Since there were many families that were thought to have died out in the last two wars, it would be very detrimental to the balance of our society if children who had no knowledge of our world came in to our world and the Goblins told them that they were Lords or Ladies in our world. We will just have to ensure that they can only be told if they ask, and with the permission of their magical guardian."

The man in the ugly green hat and the lady clothed in clashing forms of hideous pink both seemed to think that was a wonderful idea, both of them trying to figure out if they could force the Goblins to turn over any accounts from those 'dead' families for the Minister and his chosen people to watch over and be stewards of out of the goodness of their hearts. After the meeting had come to an end and the others had left, Albus couldn't help but let his grin spread across his face. With this bill in place, and Albus controlling Harry's contact with anyone he could learn his heritage from, Harry would not know that he had options after he turned eleven of where to live and who to watch over him. Those laws concerning Ancient and Noble Families could cause trouble if there were not another law in place to control the access to that knowledge from those who really didn't need to know. Of course, this was all for the Greater Good after all, just imagine if one of the peasants found out that they had a say in the government. Why they might try to give votes to the common wizard or witch instead of leaving it in the hands of the old pureblood families where it belonged. With all the curious notions floating around in the muggle government, they might even try and give rights to Goblins, or Centaurs, or Merlin forbid, something really stupid like freeing all the House Elves. Now that was a truly horrible thought, and that was why he was being proactive for the good of all proper wizards. After all, he did not need another disaster like when Lily Evans found out what family she descended from. When her parents finally told her that she was adopted and they believed that she came from a magical family, many of his plans were almost destroyed. It was only through good fortune and the fact that he had a goblin on his payroll that allowed him to erase her and her parents memories of that inconvenient truth. With one last shudder, Albus Dumbledore turned and apparated back to the gates of Hogwarts satisfied that all of his current plans were going well.

Chapter 7: Chapter 7

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

AN: Sorry that it took two weeks to get this up. My computer died and it was more to repair than it was worth. On top of that, I had birthdays, Aniversaries, and a wedding, all in the span of two weeks. Also, cookies to those who realize who the tribute is for. I will miss his humor and his insight into life. May he continue on making God laugh into eternity. Also, I do not own the characters and I am just having fun using them.

Chapter 7

Even with the almost perfect memory that Harry had, the next day flew by in a blur that he found difficult to understand. When he woke up, there was a suit hanging from the back of his bedroom door, with a tie, waistcoat, and cufflinks, none of which Harry knew how to properly put on. Luckily Ted came in while he was looking at the clothes and proceeded to help him get dressed. After finishing that difficult chore, at least in Harry's opinion it was, the two well-dressed males made their way down the stairs following the smell of food emanating from the kitchen. Sitting down to breakfast, Harry couldn't help but notice that the adults kept glancing at him and then looking away, as if trying to hide a secret. Once everyone was finished and the mess cleaned up, everyone met in the sitting room for one last moment before they split up for the day. Andi knelt in front of Harry and looked him in the eyes before taking a breath to speak.

"Harry," She spoke softly. "I want to give you something for luck today as you go through the ordeal you will be subjected too."

She pulled an old golden pocket watch from inside her purse. On the front of it was the scene from the tapestry behind the information desk in his mindscape. The majestic Stagg and Doe, the sad Wolf, and the mischievous Dog stood together in a forest clearing challenging all who would come against them. Harry's hands shook in reverence as he knew that this was important to him, though he did not know why. Andi's next words enlightened him as to why he felt that way.

"This watch was part of a set that your father had made for his friends and your mom. He called them the Marauder's fortune since his group of friends was known as the Marauders during their time at Hogwarts." Andi told him. "It was designed by your mother, and has enchantments on it that she designed herself since she was probably the smartest witch to come along since Rowena Ravenclaw. She was a certifiable prodigy at Charms, Rune-crafting, and Potions, with none of her peers being her equal in those areas. The mechanics of the watch were made by the finest Gnome craftsman in the mountains above Geneva, Switzerland. Your Father was a master of Transfiguration and he crafted the scene on the outside of the protective case. Between your mother's charms and runes, and your father's transfiguration skills, the watches were acknowledged as magical marvels. The protection charms that were placed upon them made sure that no one who wished the Potter's or their friends harm or deception could get near to the owner of one of these watches without overwhelming force.

It was finding this watch that convinced me that my cousin Sirius was innocent of the charges they sent him to Azkaban for. If Sirius were the one who betrayed your parents, then the dog on the cover would be gone. Instead, it is the rat that represented Peter Pettigrew that has disappeared from the face of the watch. Unfortunately, this watch is not enough evidence to get Sirius out of prison; I approached Barty Crouch with my questions right after your parents died, but he brushed me off, saying that Sirius had made a full confession to the Aurors, and the Muggles backed up his confession by saying that Peter Pettigrew screamed out that he had killed James and Lily before Sirius cast a spell that obliterated all but the tip of Peter's finger and killed twelve Muggles in the explosion. What I found extremely strange about it was that the two who arrested him were a desk clerk in the DMLE who became our current Minister for Magic, and the other was a man who was on the Magical Occurrence Repair and Obliviation Squad who used that arrest to establish himself as an adventurer and fighter of evil, and has written a series of books to tell everyone how great he is. Neither of them where trained for the field, and both of them just happened to be on the street where it happened, at the moment after it happened, which just seems a little too convenient to me. Sorry, that was my own personal rant there."

Andi sighed and then pressed on with her presentation. "It is said that only a true Marauder can access all of the watches secrets, and since you are the son of two of them, I think that you will be able to use it like it was intended. The one feature that Sirius told me about was that it can be used as a reusable portkey when you are in danger. To operate it, you hold the lid release button down while keeping the watch cover closed, then you think about where you want to go; or if they are not hidden by charms or runic array, then who you want to go to and the portkey will take you to the nearest safe point relative to your desired destination. What made these true marvels of magic is that a portkey normally can only go to a specific destination and back to where it originated. Lily, James, and their friend Remus Lupin came up with a way to make the portkey adaptable and able to respond to the users thoughts. After James and Lily died, Remus disappeared and so no one has learned how to duplicate their accomplishment. Remember to carry this with you at all times, and in case of an emergency, use it to get to safety and we will get to you as soon as we can."

Harry took the precious watch that his dad and mom had created, holding it as if it was the Holy Grail. What everyone around him realized, was that for the first time that he could recall, he now held something in his hands that had once been held by both of his parents. Harry could be forgiven for the tears in his eyes as he gazed upon his new, most precious possession. Once again Harry's very powerful magic acted upon his desire that he would never be able to lose his new watch to theft, confiscation, or to damage by any means. A pulse went out from his core, alerting everyone in the room that something magical had happened, though the results of his wishes would not be known for some time. Deep inside Harry, the central core of his mindscape which housed not only Harry's magical core but also his potential for different magics, was fighting with the black webbing; trying to make the tear in it bigger. Elric and the spirit manifestation of Hedwig both watched as Harry's core struggled to escape the confines put upon it by Albus Dumbledore.

"Now is not the time for more of Harry's magic to escape," said Hedwig. "If he gains more access to his magic it will bring Whiskers down upon him before he is ready to escape. If that happens, I don't know that any of us can protect him from the manipulative old man."

"Do you have any suggestions?" Elric asked. "Every day that Harry experiences happiness and freedom is another day that I watch as he becomes more comfortable with what he truly is and seeks to expand his knowledge and power in both worlds. Right now, Harry is leaking only about three percent of his magic and yet he is massively powerful when he so chooses to access it. Whiskers put that tear in his restriction spell of Harry's core, and designed it to eventually open to five percent so that Harry would have enough magic to attend Hogwarts. If Harry accesses more than five percent of his power this early, then Whiskers may decide to permanently seal Harry's powers away from him so that he can't threaten his standing or reputation in the magical world. That would eventually make Harry unstable, and could possibly cause a massive backlash of magic, destroying everyone around him in an area the size of London. If only there was a way to expand the magic he has access to without changing the percentage that is leaking."

"Elric, you are a genius!" Hedwig cried as she leapt to give him a hug. "All we have to do is to expand Harry's magical core. If we expand his core, we can increase his power exponentially yet at the same time allow Whiskers to see what he expects to see as far as the percentage of magic that is leaking out of Harry."

Elric looked at Harry's Guardian with a skeptical and questioning look on his face. "Forgive me My Lady, but although I was written by the greatest wizard in the last 2000 years, I have no knowledge of any way in which the magical core of someone can be expanded. If it is possible, then perhaps that knowledge should stay hidden since every pureblood family would seek to attempt it to eliminate squibs from their line."

"Worry not Elric, for the only way it is possible to accomplish this feat is for me as an immortal to merge part of myself with his core." Hedwig stated calmly. "Though I do not know for sure how much his magical core will be strengthened and expanded, I do know that I'm being guided in this as if it were a preordained part of his destiny. After the festivities of today are over, I will need to take my physical body to a place that is safe from all who would take advantage of a newly reborn Phoenix during the three days that I am without my powers. In order to increase Harry's magical core, I will have to force my burning day ahead by about twenty years or so. I know just such a place, hidden far away from where any humans travel, and I am owed favors from several beings, one of whom will consent to guard me. The only true downside to this process is that I will not be able to distract the manipulative old man while I am gone, and his monitors on Harry will most likely urge him to seek out Harry and find out what is going on. I will need to speak to Fawkes to find out Whiskers schedule, to make sure that there is no chance of him being in his office when the alarms go off." With her decision made, Hedwig faded out of Harry's mindscape, leaving Elric to head into Harry's library construct and help Harry's subconscious librarian/knowledge Guardian sort through the gathering memories in order of importance and need for Harry's continuing growth.

While Harry was aware that Lady Abigail, Ms. Prudence, Ted and Andi Tonks, accompanied him into a stately old building and stood before a judge who asked him questions about his home life with his uncle Vernon and aunt Petunia Dursley, which he answered in total honesty; all of the new experiences took a backseat to holding the wondrous watch that his parents created. It was only the judge announcing that as historical retainers of the Potter family, the Smythe sisters had now gained guardianship of the future Lord Harry James Potter, and were instructed by the court to teach him what he needed to know as a future peer of the realm. Harry looked at the beaming faces of Lady Abigail and Ms. Prudence and realized that his luck had truly changed for the better. Many hugs and joyful sniffles later, and after Harry was told to call his guardians Abby and Pru, and to call the Tonks's uncle Ted and aunt Andi since they were distantly related; the happy group met up with Dora and the Grangers at a pizza parlor to celebrate Harry's good fortune. This led to a late-night of celebration that was so boisterous and ran so long, that the whole group ended up back on Downing Street, with the adults needing to sleep off their over exuberance in toasting Harry's release from the clutches of the Dursleys right under the nose of Albus Dumbledore.

The next day at the crack of noon, the three families gathered together to decide what to do for the rest of the summer. Dora and Hermione were all for spending their vacation with Harry, whether in libraries or just having fun visiting places around England such as the zoo, several different amusem*nt parks, and even the beach. The Grangers had suggested heading to France to visit some beaches on the French Riviera that they like to vacation at, but Ted advised against that since he felt that it might tip off Albus Dumbledore as to the fact that he had lost control of Harry Potter's life. It was decided that for the next two weeks the three children would travel with Abby and Pru to the different libraries that they were already scheduled to visit. At the end of that time it would be Harry's eighth birthday, and all of them agreed to meet together for a camping holiday at one of the beaches in southern England. Ted and Andi said that they would provide the tents and necessities for camping, while Pru and Abby, as the two sisters insisted they be called since they were all friends, said that they would shop for food and also for proper beach wear for Harry. Dan insisted on picking their destination, as he wanted to introduce Harry to one of his hobbies which was kite flying and so they needed a beach with, 'the proper wind and space' to really enjoy the experience. The rest of the adults consented to his demand, though Andi couldn't help but notice the almost hidden grin that Emma was trying to suppress, and left him in charge of picking the location to expose Harry to his first view of the sea and to celebrate his birthday for the first time that he could remember.

The following two weeks flew by as if on fast forward on a VCR. Every day was spent in a library in the morning and early afternoon, followed by a visit to the park, or cinema, or even to a theater where they saw a Chinese acrobat troop that did things that none of the children or adults had ever seen. There was the stack of performers, one on top of the other until they reached all the way to the light bars above the stage. Two men and a woman who juggled knives and fought with swords and spears, all while Abby and Pru commented about their sanity, or lack thereof. The most amazing part of the show though, at least to Harry, came near the end when a man came out and seemed to defy gravity with his flips, kicks, and incredible jumps to hit the targets that his fellow performers were holding up for him. Harry analyzed the artist's moves over and over in his mind, determined that one day he would be able to move like that man.

While the days were busy, the nights did not slow much for the three friends as Harry, with the help of Hedwig and Elric, began to teach his two best friends to organize their minds like he had done with his. It was a truly frustrating process for Harry, as he wanted desperately to share it with his friends so that they could learn like him. There were times where he felt that they were so close to a break through that he decided to push them, and every time their concentration fell apart. The night before they were supposed to leave for the beach, Harry felt like he had failed his friends and was close to breaking down. He was about to cry out in frustration, when he was enveloped into a Hermy-hug, but from two directions at once. The two girls had seen the anguish and frustration building in Harry night after night, and decided that they needed to show him their support.

"Harry," Dora crooned in his ear. "It's okay that we haven't picked up on this yet. We have only been learning for a couple of weeks and you said it took you many months before you had your break through. You just need to have a little patience with us, and we will get it since you are a wonderful teacher." Hedwig squawked from the back of the desk chair that she was perched on and Dora quickly added, "And of course, you are a fantastic teacher too."

Hermione giggled a bit at the phoenix's ruffled feathers, and then spoke her piece. "Tomorrow we are going to the beach and I have heard that it is wonderful to use meditation there as the crashing of the waves and the cries of the birds seem to help in focusing inward. It is possible that we might have a break through there in the outdoors where we failed in here." That sounded reasonable to the other two friends and so with a heartfelt goodnight, they parted for their rooms, their sleep soon filled with dreams of the adventure they would have in the coming weeks.

On the 30th of July, all three families met at the Grangers house with the excitement of Harry and his friends bubbling over and infecting the adults. Everyone was anxious to leave so that they could get to the campsite and set up before dark, all they were waiting for was Dan to show up with their ride. At that moment, a very large vehicle pulled around the corner and aimed right for the Granger's house. It was Dan, who had rented a fifteen passenger van to take them all to the sea in comfort. When Dan mentioned that they were heading to Newquay which was five hours away, Ted leaned over to Andi and said something that had her laughing and agreeing whole heartedly. Harry caught the words to bad, serious, flying, and no time, but they wouldn't share with him or Hermione when they were questioned. It was the longest Harry had ever been in any kind of vehicle, but yet he didn't even notice the time going by. The adults had taken the first three rows of seats, leaving Dora, Hermione and Harry alone in the back to entertain themselves. When they appeared to get too loud for the adults and their conversation, Andi turned and waved her wand, and it was if there was a wall separating the front of the van from the back. The three best friends spent the rest of the trip alternating between singing songs and in Harry's case, learning about beach safety since he had just recently learned how to swim in a pool. Hermione made sure to explain to him all the differences and dangers of the ocean waves verses the calm of a pool, telling Harry that although he might realize that intellectually, the reality was an entirely different thing altogether.

At first, the kids were disappointed after arriving because, as Harry put it, they thought that they would be camping on the beach, able to walk out the door of the tent and right into the morning surf. Instead, they were at a holiday park that was on the other side of the town center from the beach. Dan raised their spirits with a tour of the park, including the pool and recreation areas that had all kinds of activities for them to enjoy if they weren't at the beach. He also had the entire group in stitches as he told them stories about his days as a boy, camping with his family at parks like the one they were at. One of his most memorable stories was the time his brother decided to tie up their dog to the center pole of the WW2 canvas American Army surplus tent that his granddad had purchased right after the wars end.

The owner of the park had four semi domesticated cats and one large tomcat named Greebo who was a survivor of countless battles for dominance with neighborhood cats, visiting dogs, and any other animal big or small who challenged him, and treated the park as his own personal kingdom. In the middle of the night, the big tomcat decided to investigate the new dog in his kingdom, and so he worked his way under one of the sides of the tent. While Greebo was used to being the scariest thing on four legs for miles around, he had never met any opponent like the Granger family dog that they had named Mouse. Mouse was the result of a mastiff that somehow got impregnated by a giant wolf of some kind. Mouse was the runt of the litter, and was afraid of everything as a puppy, which is why he was named Mouse. However, while Mouse may have been the runt of the litter, by the time he was full grown he towered over all of his litter mates and he had the best combination of traits from his Sire and Dame. He had all the power and menace of an alpha wolf, with the size and loyal, loving personality that mastiffs were known for.

He was so big and scary looking in fact, that a burglar who broke into their home while they were away put down his bag of tools, lay down the gun he was carrying, and sat down in their kitchen for nine hours until they came home and then asked that they call the police to take him away. When he was questioned, he told the police that he had come through the window and started searching for valuables when he realized that something was following him. When he saw Mouse standing behind him, he tried to head to the front door to escape. Mouse got there first and growled at him. Through trial and error, following the growls as if they were orders, he ended in the kitchen seated at the breakfast table. Mouse allowed him to make a sandwich and get drinks from the fridge, but each time he even seemed to try to do anything else, the teeth would be revealed and that growl would shake the room. When the Grangers had come home, the thief was so desperate to use the loo, that he practically begged them to call the authorities on him. What shocked everyone, including the Inspector who came to collect the thief, was the fact that he was not some average burglar, but was known to do wet work for one of the biggest crime syndicates in all of Europe. Yet, just the sight of Mouse made him decide that he would lose if he went for the gun he carried in any kind of threatening manner. The story of Mouse versus the hitman became a local legend that was repeated by the police every year in training classes and bars until it grew to an army of enforcers; the funny thing was that the description of Mouse never changed since he looked scary enough already.

Greebo sauntered in to the tent to challenge the interloper to his kingdom, basking in the scars he wore that proved that he was the undisputed ruler of his kingdom deep in the wilds of northern Scotland. When Mouse did not immediately wake up from the menace that Greebo was projecting, Greebo decided that a little incentive was needed for this interloper to fear him. A paw containing five dagger-like claws flashed forward and raked across Mouse's nose, and chaos was unleashed upon the Ogg family camp ground. Mouse came awake with a yelp and then proceeded to do what dogs the world over do when assaulted by a cat; he gave chase to the offending creature. Greebo had to strategically retreat to a more advantageous position for confronting the monster he had just woken from slumber. Anyone watching from the outside, though there was none except a family of owls awake to see, would have seen a grey streak race out of the ugly, olive green canvas tent's front flaps followed by a massive slavering beast towing a leash and a nine foot pole. Behind the two alpha beasts, the tent slowly fell in on itself and lumps could be seen moving under the canvas as the family tried to make their way out.

Meanwhile, the solid wood center pole that was dragging behind Mouse was moving around in completely random and yet comical ways as he chased the one who had woken him up. Tents collapsed, tables flipped up in the air, and in one very unlucky case, a brand new single person caravan that had been brought to the park to show off by marketing manager Tom Delaney was overturned when Mouse chased Greebo up and over the top of it and the pole caught underneath and the momentum and three hundred pounds of upset canine combined to leverage it over till it ended on its roof. People all over the nearby village would swear in later years that a demon cat was chased through the town by a dire-wolf seeking to devour its soul. The next morning, in a moor five miles away, Mouse was found sleeping off his midnight run with Greebo curled up against him in the blissful sleep that only a content cat can pull off. When told about how they were found, the owner of Greebo pulled her pipe from her mouth and asked them what they expected from two fine opponents who had become friends in the chase and in battle. A few years later, when Dan and his family had to move into an apartment for his father's job, they ended up taking Mouse back to that park to live with Greebo and Mrs. Ogg. Dan sighed as he thought about his friend and how much he missed him, wondering why he had not gotten a dog for his family since they had the yard for it; it was something he would think on later.

Arriving back at the campsite, they found that their tent had already been set up and Pru and Abby were sitting in chairs with a stunned look on their faces. Harry was concerned for them, while Hermione asked if they were going to have to squeeze in since it wasn't the biggest tent; both were put off when they were directed by Andi to come see the tent for themselves. The tent was one of the new light weight kinds made of durable nylon with zippers all over for opening flaps to let fresh air in while screens kept the bugs out. Hermione was really impressed with it since it looked so high tech and futuristic compared to the tent her family had used to camp in previously. Ted was grinning ear to ear as he played master of ceremonies, telling them about his new tent.

"I got this from a friend of mine who moved to America with his family after he left school." Ted began. "While he had magic, his parents and two sisters didn't so they moved away from Great Briton during the seventies to get away from the violence here. He was my best friend and the reason I asked my wife out on a date, so we have kept in touch over the years. When I told him we were going camping, he sent me this tent to try out as it is his company's newest product line. They are marketing it as everything that the world explorer needs to survive in any environment on earth. This is a test model, so I need to send him a report about what we thought of it and what they could improve in the future. Also, when I told him we were going camping to celebrate a birthday, he gave me a message to pass on to you Harry. He said Happy Birthday, and when we are done camping, the whole set up is yours to have and enjoy as a birthday present."

Harry was stunned and didn't know what to say. Getting a present for his birthday on top of being on a real holiday for the first time was over whelming for the formerly mistreated boy. Looking down at his feet with his ears burning red in embarrassment and gratitude, He mumbled "Thank you," and shuffled back and forth in a way that made all the women want to comfort him because it was so cute. Luck was with him though, as Ted decided that he would save Harry from being even more embarrassed by allowing them to see the inside of the tent.

"Behold, I give you the home away from home, the place to hang your hat, the sanctuary in hostile climes, The Millennium XP900." Ted pulled the flap entrance open with a flourish and stepped in. When Harry tried to follow, he stopped and turned away as he suddenly felt that he needed to go get his stuff from the van. Andi laughed as Ted came back out with a sheepish look on his face and grabbed Harry to stop him from wandering off.

"Sorry, Harry. I forgot about the security features and didn't key you into the tent." Ted pulled a small notebook from his pocket and had everyone place their thumbs on the cover one at a time while he spoke some phrase in an unknown language. After that was done, he stepped back to the opening, and with considerably less fanfare then before, he led them into the tent.

Outside the tent, if Harry had paced it off, would have been twelve large steps by ten; inside was, as that strange movie that he had watched with Pru and Abby said, was a horse of a different color. Inside was a foyer with doors on each side that had signs on them, and an exit straight in front of them. The door to their right had a circular sign on it that had different pictures on it. There was a mountain, a beach, a river, a rock wall, and even a sky with birds, along with several wedges that were blank. Dan walked over to it and turned the wheel so that the picture of a river was pointed toward the handle, and then opened the door. Inside was a room that had row after row of shelves holding everything you could need for spending a day on a river. There were kayaks, inner-tubes, life preservers, and even a white water rafting boat deflated in a box. The group was stunned at what was held in this room, and Harry whispered to his two friends, "I love magic!"

Exiting the storage room on the right side of the foyer, they crossed over to the left side door which opened to a short hallway with a door on opposite sides; one with a male symbol, and one with a female. Ted led them into the male room, which when he said that the group giggled. With a grin at his word usage, Ted made sure that they were all in and then stepped over to one of the six lockers in the room. He placed his hand on the door and a beam of light came out of the ceiling, scanning over his body in seconds.

"Good afternoon Ted, what will you be doing this evening, and how would you like to be outfitted?" asked a pleasant voice from the locker door.

"Hello, Iris. I am camping near the beach and will be spending time around a campfire as it gets cooler in the evening" Ted was talking to the door and not to the others that were with him.

"Needs acknowledged," Iris said and the door of the locker glowed a pleasant blue color. When Ted opened the door, there was a pair of shorts, a t-shirt with the saying 'It's Magic, Baby' on it, and a woolen poncho for warmth if needed.

Ted turned to them to explain. "Iris is a magical construct that the Americans came up with to help out the travelers who were going into the wilds away from civilization. Iris stands for Interactive Response and Integrative System. She is a rune driven magical intelligence that can create clothing and other objects that last for up to seven days, though the runic array needs to be recharged after that much power is used. The longer the construct needs to last, the more power is needed to conjure it. It does help if you are camped on a ley line, or near a waypoint of some strength; otherwise you have to use your own magic to power up the array."

Hermione seemed to be vibrating with the need to ask questions, and Harry was not far behind, but Ted told them that their questions would have to wait until after the tour. Leading the group out into the foyer, Ted turned and opened the double doors that were opposite the tent entrance. Opening up, everyone was stunned by the room beyond.

"How can this be inside of a tent?" Dan asked for all of them. "Even with magic, there is just no way that this can fit inside of a ten man tent."

"You are right and wrong at the same time." Ted informed them with a smile. "Unlike here in the U.K. and Europe, where wizarding culture is stuck in the culture from around the Victorian Era, America has been getting our best and brightest since the early part of this century. In the 1950's, a European wizard came up with some revolutionary theories on the nature of space and time and changed the mundane world after he moved to America. While Al's theories changed the way that people thought about space in the world of science, it was the way his theories interacted with magic that opened peoples mind to the possibilities of combining science and magic."

"Do you mean Albert Einstein?" Hermione asked.

"I believe that was his name, yes." Ted said before continuing with his explanation. "Anyway, he came up with a theory about space that resonated with a squib named Max Kellogg who was a physicist prodigy, and after almost thirty years of research, he came up with a way to create what he called an infini-space. What he was able to do was to build a space in what he called between space, he said it was located between atoms since there was more empty space in the universe than physically taken up by matter. Once he created the first one, then it became a matter of duplication and charms to create more. What that means to us is that, while the foyer is in an expanded space inside of the tent, the house we are in is not and is accessed through the doors we came through. Also, the space can be changed based on need. If only one person is using the tent, then the interior could be made to resemble a cabin in the woods, or a loft apartment. Since there are nine of us, I set it to give each of us our own space. And the tent has repelling charms and notice-me-not charms so that no one who isn't supposed to will come looking at why we are all crammed into the small tent that they are able to see."

"Dad," Dora said. "Quite with the boring parts and get on with the tour. I am sure that there is information about this in a book somewhere that Harry and Hermione will eventually read and then they will know more about null space than you."

Everyone laughed at Dora's comment, including Ted, and then he sheepishly led them through the rest of the interior. "To the left is the sitting room, the dining room, and the kitchen with breakfast bar. To the right is the game room, the study, and the library, though the library is rather sparse at the moment as I have not had a chance to fill it. There are three loos here on the ground floor, one in the kitchen next to the pantry, one in the game room, and one off of the library. Up these stairs on the first floor are the first six bedrooms, with the first two on each side of the hall sharing a loo, while the final two bedrooms are mini suites. On the second floor are the remaining bedrooms which are also mini suites, each having their own loo. Hermione and Dora will share connecting bedrooms on this floor, and Harry will be across the hall, and will have his own bedroom, though I guess technically he will have two since the bedrooms are joined by what the Americans call a Jack and Jill bathroom. Dan and Emma, you can have either a suite on this floor or on the next, though Abby and Pru said that if we wanted to be on the second floor, then they would take the suites down here and monitor the children."

Emma spoke up, "That sounds wonderful, though I cannot get over how amazing this place is. It will give Dan and I a place to spend time absorbing all of the amazing things that magic can do, and also allow the kids to have a sense of personal space and freedom from their parents while we are here on vacation."

"Okay. Then that is settled. Go ahead and check out your rooms while I go out and get the fire ready to roast our frankfurters on for dinner." Ted said to them before heading out. "If you are interested in helping out, then do hurry up and get settled, and remember that the changing rooms downstairs can outfit you in whatever way you like."

As Ted was walking away, he heard Harry and Hermione sigh and say at the same time, 'I love magic.' And it brought a smile to his face as he thought about the life that Harry had been rescued from. If the adults in their new quasi family had anything to say about it, Harry would never have to see those horrid people again.

Somewhere in the north, Albus Dumbledore was preparing to leave to attend his duties as Supreme Mugwump for the International Confederation of Wizards. It was so important for him to attend and direct the behind the scenes power plays needed to keep the pollution of 'science and technology' from leaving the shores of the colonies and destroying the hold that proper families had upon society in Europe. He decided that one more check on the monitoring devices he had looking out for changes in Harry Potter's conditions which might interfere with his plans. Reaching the entrance to his office, he smiled to himself at the way the guardian statue practically leaped out of his way in respect. It was the look on the statue's usually unresponsive, stoic features that distracted him so that he was not watching where he was going. He stepped forward to go up the stairs, and came to an abrupt and complete stop, his nose smashing into the block of solid ice that encased the stairs to his office and apartment. With much cursing and trying to staunch the blood that was pouring from his newly broken nose, Albus examined the ice in front of him while wondering if this was yet another one of the prank traps that the marauders had left on the castle to prank future teachers and students after they graduated. His wand work revealed that it was enchanted ice and would not melt with anything less than fiendfyre or dragon breath, either of which would destroy the instruments in his office as well. No matter, he knew of a way to deal ice that they probably would not have anticipated.

"Fawkes, I have need of you." He called out to his companion. When it took longer than he would like, Albus used the words needed to summon Fawkes back to him. With a burst of flame and a displeased and discordant shriek, the phoenix appeared hovering in the air above him. "I am sorry that I interrupted your nap, but I need to get into my office to check a few things before I leave. Please burn through this ice so that I can get on my way to the Confederation meeting."

Fawkes gave him a look that he found indecipherable and then burst into his brightest flame, accompanied by the soaring of phoenix song. Albus smiled to himself as he mentally patted himself on the back for defeating this latest prank against him so easily. His smile only lasted for a few seconds as he noticed that something was definitely going wrong with his plan. At first it seemed that Fawkes was succeeding at burning through the ice, but while his companion had made it about four feet into the ice, like a living thing, the ice was closing in behind Fawkes. The shock of seeing that someone had actually out maneuvered him caused Albus to hesitate before calling Fawkes back to him. By the time he came to his senses, Fawkes was frozen solid in the wall of ice. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Grand Sorcerer, Supreme Mugwump, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and other assorted titles, began to curse like a muggle sailor. Behind him he heard the sound of snickering, just like Fawkes did when he made particularly short sighted decisions. Albus spun to yell at Fawkes for playing tricks on him when he was in a hurry. What confronted him was the bane of his existence in recent months, a beautiful white phoenix with snow falling from beneath her wings while a corona of blue and white flame danced along the tops. With what could only be termed as a blown raspberry, Hedwig turned into a tight circle and was wrapped in snow and flame before vanishing with a thunderclap. Behind her, Albus to many names and titles screamed out at the top of his lungs, "STUPID BLOODY BIRD!"

Meanwhile, up in the Headmaster's office, Fawkes appeared back on his perch snickering at the prank pulled on the manipulative old man by his friend Hedwig. Over on the shelf against the wall, Hedwig was busy replacing the blood of Harry Potter that was in the monitoring devices making them able to track him and his emotional state with the blood of a convicted murderer who would never be released from prison and felt he was being treated unfairly. It was funny how much his mental state mirrored the state that Harry had maintained for the years that he was stuck in the care of the Dursleys. While this was a brilliant plan on Hedwig's part, her choice of blood would come back to haunt them in time.

Chapter 8: Chapter 8

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

For those of you who had no idea, Terry Pratchett died a couple of weeks ago. In his wonderful style, he brought tears of laughter to my eyes in some of my darkest times. He will be missed.

Chapter 8

Harry woke a half hour before dawn, his excitement at seeing the ocean for the first time not allowing him to sleep any longer. He felt so happy about his first real vacation, that he felt as if he could fly away without wings. When he made his way down to the kitchen, he discovered that he was not the only one awake or excited to start the day, though it surprised him who was there.

"Hi Harry," Emma said with a smile on her face. "I see that you are like Dan and I when we come to the beach. We just can't wait to get up and go meet the sun in the morning."

"Speaking of which Hun," Dan said as he came in. "If we want to watch the sun rise while on the beach, then we need to leave right now. Do you want to come with us Harry?"

Harry really wanted to go with them, but he was afraid that his friends would be upset with him if he went. He decided to decline when Emma interrupted his chain of thought with the answer he needed.

"Don't worry about Hermione and Dora. Hermione will not be up until at least 9 AM, and Dora's parents said she likes to sleep in as well. I will leave a not for them so that they will not worry if they wake before we come back." With that, Emma did just what she said, leaving a note and soon they were on their way to the beach.

Arriving on the beach, Harry was amazed at the way that the ocean went out as far as he could see. Although he had read about it, and had seen pictures in books and on the telly, nothing prepared him for the beauty and magnificence that was the ocean with its waves crashing in fury upon the beach. Harry decided right then that he was going to do most of his swimming back at the park until he was much more confident in his rather new and untested swimming skills. By the time he turned back to the Grangers, they had set up three chairs and Emma was pouring tea into three mugs that she had brought with her. With a sigh of enjoyment, Harry sipped from his cup while starring around in wonder as the sun lifted up over the beach and made everything sparkle and shine in the light of the new day.

It was quite a while before any of them felt the urge to talk or even move more than their head and neck muscles, but such moment are special because they are transitory and cannot last forever. Emma stood and gathered her bag and then turned to Harry. "I am going to take the van back to the campsite and get everything ready for the day. Would you like to stay here with Dan and help him set up his contraptions, or do you want to come back with me to wake up the girls?"

"If you think it will be alright with Dora and Hermione, then I would like to stay here with Dan. I really want to just relax and do my meditation exercises on that out crop over there with the waves breaking around it." Harry was embarrassed by his request, but he was just getting used to not being beat for impertinence when he made his desires known.

Emma laughed and turned to Dan. "Hear that Hun, Harry wants to have peace to meditate so you need to give him time to do that instead of using all of his time and energy. Have fun Harry, and don't be afraid to tell this fanatic no if he is pushing you too hard." With that, she kissed Dan and ruffled Harry's already messy hair before heading back to where they parked the van.

With a start, Harry realized that there were three substantial bags laying in the sand behind the chairs. He was going to ask Dan where they came from and what they were for, when Dan opened up one and pulled out a small sledge hammer, a block of wood with a hollowed out center and a strike plate on top, and three sections of pipe. With a grin of his own, Dan walked past Harry toward the water, knowing in that sneaky adult way, that Harry would not be able to resist following him. When he judged that he was in the right place, he took out a bandana and tide it to the first pipe, which he held into the air. Harry was at this point almost desperate to know what Dan was doing, but didn't want to interrupt in case whatever he was doing took concentration. Dan stared at the bandana for almost a minute before he lowered it down, and then drove it in to the sand at a 40 degree angle away from the way the bandana was blowing. He then picked up the sledge and the wood block, placing the wood block on top of the pole before using the sledge to begin to drive it in to the sand. It was half way buried when he pulled off the block and screwed in the next section of pole before once again pounding it in to the sand.

Harry was just watching him, when Dan turned and spoke to him. "Do you want to give it a go? All you need to do is keep driving it in until there is about a foot sticking out of the sand. Stop and screw in the next section and then continue driving it down until the second pole is completely in the sand."

Harry decided to give it a go and was soon hammering away. While Harry did not have the strength that Dan had, he did have the exuberance of youth making three strikes for every one that Dan would have used, and so he soon accomplished what Dan had instructed him to do. Harry paused to admire his handy work, when Dan startled him by laughing right behind him.

"I admire your work ethic Harry, but you forgot one thing." Dan couldn't help but continue laughing as Harry gave a look of puzzlement. "You forgot to add the new pole before driving that one almost underground." Now Harry just looked sheepish, though he grinned when he saw that Dan wasn't upset with him.

"No Worries Harry, just dig out the sand around the striking block, and then remove it so that we can attach the next pole." Dan attached the new section with a smile, and then added a section that had straps hanging from it.

"This is what I call the pilot's rig." Dan Explained as he untangled the different straps. "This is to keep you from flying away if the wind is too strong."

"You mean that we will have to be tied down so we don't get blown off the beach? Why would we come here if it is that dangerous?" Harry asked in a panicked tone as he worried about his friends and their safety as the day progressed.

Dan was laughing so hard that it took him a moment to gain enough air to reassure Harry. "No Harry, we are not in danger from blowing away in normal circ*mstances, but when we break out the foils, you will appreciate being tied to the stake. Either that, or you might end up out on the ocean with no way to get back to shore." Harry's puzzled look prompted him to continue. "Harry, I am talking about flying kites, and not the sort of kites that you make out of paper and a string and go to the park to join in flying them along with spontaneously breaking into song with the rest of the suspiciously cheerful people that seem to not have a life. I am talking about wings, foils, fighting kites, and other aerodynamic pieces of nylon that with the right wind could drag you to Dover if you aren't careful. I got into flying kites while serving in Her Majesty's Services, when I did a high altitude jump into some rather nasty weather in the middle of a pitched battle. I landed in the wrong area because of the cloud cover and was too close to enemy lines. When they started firing at me, I desperately pulled my back up chute hoping I could use it to obscure my movement so I could go to ground. It was just at that moment that a gust of wind came up and grabbed my chute, pushing it out and away from the front line. I of course was dragged behind it and was able to fire on the enemy, while moving away toward where our troops where set up. When I realized that I had lived through the day, I was ecstatic. As time went by though, I felt myself wanting to relive the feeling of being pulled by the wind, fighting its force and making it do what I wanted. So when I got out of the service, I went looking and found myself buying a kite that cost more pay than I made in a month. Every weekend during the time I was going through Dental School, I would spend at least an hour or so flying my kite. It is what kept me sane through that time, that and Emma."

Harry looked at him and Dan could see that he was debating on whether or not he should run from the demented man that was talking to him. "Sir, could I see one of your kites? I think that I might enjoy anything that makes you feel as if you are fighting the wind. I have dreamt of flying since I was a kid, on motorcycles, brooms, and even on the back of a winged horse/bird thingy with someone. Anything that allows me to feel like that even if it is not really me that is doing the flying; well that would be wonderful."

When the rest of the group finally arrived at around 10:30 AM, they found Harry flying a two tiered stunt kite with a smile that threatened to split his face in half. He was using it to chase birds across the sky, make roaring noises as he let it fight the wind going back and forth, and dive bombing people who were setting up their things on the beach. Even though he always pulled up inches before actually hitting anyone, there were several people who dove face first into the sand in fear of being decapitated by the swiftly moving kite. You could tell immediately who they were because they kept shooting glares at Harry and Dan as they laughingly enjoyed themselves.

Pru called a halt to Harry's fun, telling him that it was time to put on some sun screen and eat some breakfast since he had missed it back at the camp site. Harry was about to protest, when his stomach betrayed him by letting out a very loud and long growl. Sheepishly, Harry handed the control leads for the kite to Hermione, who enjoyed her father's hobby many times in the past; though never with the exuberance and flair that Harry had shown. It made the other adults laugh at seeing the forlorn look on his face as he walked away from his first kiting adventure.

Dan took pity on him and said, "Harry, I know that you want to continue, but you also need to take care of yourself and your needs. Getting badly sunburnt can ruin a vacation just as fast as bad weather or rude behavior by your neighbors or friends. Get a bite to eat and then we will play a few of the beach games that Emma brought for us. One that I am really looking forward to trying is from across the pond called Smash Ball. It is played with a golf ball sized rubber ball that doesn't have much bounce, and oversized wooden paddles, and I think that the object is to keep it up in the air as a team. Later on we will hook you up to the harness and let you try out the foil kite." Harry agreed that it sounded like fun, and so he sat next to Dora who handed him a plate with two egg sandwiches and some fruit. When Harry had finished eating, Abby waved him over and told him that Andi would take care of applying the sun block for him.

Andi smiled and pulled out a glass jar that had some horribly bright pink stuff in it. When Harry pulled away from her out of principle, she and Abby laughed before Andi spoke up. "Don't worry Harry, this isn't like the sun block you buy at the market. I brewed this myself, from a recipe that your mom and a good friend of hers came up with while they were still at Hogwarts. This potion alone should have gotten Selene and Lily their Mastery in Potions, but because of the bigotry in that profession, it was not even published nor is it allowed to be sold since they were both women and your mom was muggleborn. I just need to rub a little on your forehead, shoulders, and above your knees, and the potion will protect you from getting burned and will last for the next two weeks with no need to reapply. It is ingenious in that it absorbs into the top layer of your skin and spreads to your entire body, actually using the harmful rays of the sun to power its effect. I was given the formula by Selene a few years ago, along with both her and your mother's notes on their experiments for safe keeping. There is a man who was once a friend of your mothers who turned on her during their sixth year for some unknown reason. After your mom died, he published some of her work as his own, using it to gain his Mastery and also a teaching job at Hogwarts. While he is a gifted brewer, he has no imagination or spark of inventiveness in potion making, and always rode the coattails of your mother's brilliance. Selene and her husband are clients of ours and they wanted to keep the research away from the greasy git since he had come by their home with Albus Dumbledore a few times and someone attempted to break into her lab more than once."

Harry was amazed at how much she knew about his parents, and looked at her, pleading with his puppy dog eyes for her to continue. "While your father was gifted in Transfiguration and Arithmantic spell crafting, your mother was in a league all her own when it came to intelligence. While most children from the muggle world stop going to regular school when they attend Hogwarts, your mother finished up her O levels and A levels by the beginning of her third year, and began taking correspondence courses from two Muggle Universities while still attending Hogwarts. Three months after her graduation from Hogwarts, she was able to complete her PhD's in Chemistry and Biomechanics; all at the age of seventeen. Your dad asked her to marry him the next day, which happened to be her eighteenth birthday. There was not a subject that Lily could not master, and there was not a limit to the curiosity that drove her to learn."

Harry was really happy to hear stories about his parents, but he noticed that Dora, Ted and Dan, along with a recently returned Hermione, all seemed impatient to start playing the beach games that they had brought. Harry graciously decided that he could get more stories about his parents later, and leapt to his feet, tagging Dora on the head and shouting, "You're it," before racing off down the beach with a pair of girls hot on his heels, screams of children's laughter following them away.

The next few hours were spent playing games in the surf, on the beach, and even on a volleyball court that was set up near the parking lot. Dan and Emma were very pleased to see that Hermione was for once acting her age with her two friends. Usually when they went to a beach, Hermione would bring a book and act like a miniature adult, lying in the sun next to her mother or joining her dad in flying his kites from time to time. Now though, you could see the joy in her eyes as she realized that for once in her life, she had real friends who were not there to tease her or use her to get answers. It was all the adults could do to drag the three friends away from their games to eat a late lunch.

While eating, Harry became fascinated with the surfers on the waves, and the ones who were further out using sails to push themselves and their boards faster than mere waves could. Harry wished that he could go try it, but after an almost disastrous first time in the waves, he decided that he needed to improve his meager swimming skills before he would ever get to try it for himself. For now he had to be content with watching as he watched the surfers ride the waves that were bigger than normal because of a storm out in the ocean. While the waves were amazing, the undercurrent was also very strong, which is what made Harry so leery of going too far out from the beach. If not for Ted being near him when the undercurrent began to drag him out, he might have ended up needing to be picked up by one of the boats that were off in the distance.

With their late lunch over, Dan decided it was time to let Harry try out the foil kite. Leading him over to the post that they had driven into the sand that morning, Dan pulled out a smaller harness from the bag that was staked out next to the anchor post. "Harry," Dan said, "I want you to put both of your legs through these two holes, but please make sure not to let it touch the sand as the sand can cause damage that overtime can ruin this for use."

Harry did as he was asked and Dan continued. "Now pull it up over your shoulders and then lock it together with this carabineer. Now I am going to attach your tail lead to the anchor post using this locking carabineer, and then we can attach your primary rope to your front. This is the rope that goes from you to the foil and makes it not fly away from you. The other two sets of line are just like the ones you used for the stunt kite this morning, letting you guide it in the direction you want. Well will put the line out at one hundred fifty feet so that you don't get in to much trouble. I think it is also more intense and fun to have it that close, as the foil is much more responsive to your direction. Now if you are ready to try it out, I will walk it out and launch it for you." When Harry gave him the go ahead, Dan picked up the bundle of lightweight high tensile strength nylon and began to walk down the beach.

What came next for Harry was one of the most intense experiences of his young life. Dan got to the end of the cords length and unrolled the foil, then with a grin at Harry, launched the foil into the air. Harry was not quite ready for the speed that the foil would have in its ascent. One moment he was holding slack controls while standing on the beach, and the next he was two feet off the ground with the only thing keeping him there being the harness and anchor post that he and Dan had placed that morning. He dropped his left hand down in shock, and the foil dove in that direction, pulling him around by almost ninety degrees. When he realized his mistake, Harry over corrected and was soon 180 degrees in the opposite direction, still with his feet dangling above the sand. Ted, Andi, Pru, and Abby all began running to Harry to help him since Dan had not gotten back to him. Hermione inserted herself between the panicking adults and the boy who was being tossed about by the force of the wind like a ragdoll in the mouth of a playful dog. Ted was about to shove her to the side when Dora made a comment that stopped them in their tracks.

"Look at that grin," she exclaimed. "I don't think he could be having more fun if he tried."

When they took a moment to really look at Harry, they realized that not only was he having the time of his life, he seemed to be making a game of keeping his feet off the ground to the point that he had his knees bent and his feet tucked up behind him. Dan reached them at that moment, and stood stunned at the image that he was seeing. It was if Harry had some instinctive grasp on the way the wind would behave. When the wind ebbed at the level of the sand, he would send the foil up into the winds high above their heads. When the wind gusted at beach level however, that was when he would practically sweep the sand with one of the edges all while keeping his feet off the ground.

"Is this normal for the wind to hold someone up like that," asked Pru in an inquisitive tone? "I don't think that he has touched down once in the last ten minutes"

"Well, part of it is that Harry is much smaller than the usual foil kite flyer," Dan answered. "But the innate grasp that he has on the fickle changes in the wind is something that I have never seen or even heard of. I could probably take him to the European Kite Off, which is a sort of informal competition for kite flyers, where I think he would be able to win his age division as well as higher divisions including the adult ones. It is held in the Netherlands where they believe in wind like most believe in a God. I wish that I could take him there the last week of August, he would probably set a new standard for control and precision." Once everyone was assured that Harry was fine, the group moved back to their chairs and towels, all the while talking about the unusual boy named Harry James Potter.

For the next two hours, Harry put the foil through every maneuver that he could think of. He learned how to change his direction in the air, his position in relation to the ground, and the force needed to constantly help keep him aloft. He imagined that the large foil kite was his wings, and that only the anchor post was keeping him from flying off into the clouds. Harry became lost in the sensations that riding the wind was generating deep inside of him. He went so deep that he reached a conscious meditative state, where everything around him was registered in his mind, from the gulls, gannets, and terns flying above the beach, to the sand fleas, anemone, and crabs on the beach and in the tide pools. He also recalled an early memory of his mother as she yelled at his father and a man she called Padfoot for taking the safety restrictions off his training broom. He remembered giggling at the funny faces that they were making as she shot light at them, all while they were telling her that they hadn't done anything to the broom; it was all Harry. The fun came to an end as a man he remembered as Moony flew up and caught him from behind before he could get away. When Moony placed him in his mother's arms, she burst into tears while hugging him tight, saying that she couldn't bear him getting hurt and would protect him from everything including the stupid Dark Lord that had prophecy fixations.

Harry was pulled from his memory unexpectedly when his mind realized that something was wrong. He expanded his consciousness outward, trying to find out what had disturbed him from his peaceful but exhilarating state. It took him a moment, but he finally found the source of his disquiet. A young mother with three children under the age of five, had left her brother watching her kids while she ran to the restroom. Unfortunately, being a male of about nineteen, he was using the baby to get the attention of two pretty young women, and so did not pay attention to the adventurous two year old that was his niece. When the mother came back, her daughter was nowhere to be found and her anxiety alerted Harry mind to the situation.

Harry pushed out his senses as far as he could, having played with the three children with his friends earlier in the day. He could not find her on the beach, no matter how far he could sense. This was unacceptable to him, so Harry once again called on his inner power to reach even farther, till there was not a person on the beach for a thousand yards in either direction that Harry could not pinpoint and know their state of mind. It was devastating to Harry that even now, with all of this new senses range, he still couldn't find her. He was about to give up when a spike of fear intruded on his conscious from an unexpected direction.

Little Susan Wright loved the beach, with its colors and sounds, and the sand that squished between her toes as she walked. The thing she loved most about the beach was the waves and ocean because her mommy had told her and her two brothers that her daddy was out on the ocean in a big ship protecting them from harm. Every time a ship passed the beach that day, she asked her mommy if that was daddy's ship, and each time she was told no. Finally, while her mom was going to the potty, she asked her uncle and he told her that the ship out there was the one she was looking for. With the determination that only a toddler with no fear has, Susan decided that she would go say hi to her daddy and tell him that she missed him. She already had her floaties on her arms, so she grabbed the inflated ring her brother had used and headed out to the ship she saw on the horizon.

Normally a child of Susan's age would not get far before someone like an adult or a lifeguard stopped her, or she was sent tumbling by the incoming waves. Unfortunately for Susan, the undercurrent swept her out fast enough that no one really noticed, and the lifeguard that was assigned to this section of beach was one of the girls that her uncle was distracting with her baby brother. Susan's first moment of panic came when a large wave lifted her up on its way to the beach and she saw that the ship she thought her daddy was on was getting farther and farther away. She tried to wave at it to get her daddy's attention, but she couldn't see anyone since it was so far. It was her fear that her daddy was leaving her behind that triggered the fear that Harry felt.

Without really stopping to think about the fact that he was not a lifeguard and wasn't that good a swimmer, Harry immediately decided that he was the only one who could reach her before something happened to her. In a flash he turned the kite away from the wind, giving him enough slack to reach back and force the locking carabineer open, freeing him from the tether holding him to the anchor post. Now free, he looked for anything he could use to ride out to the little girl who was almost 2000 yards off the shore. His eyes latched onto a small five foot surfboard that a surfer had just stuck in the sand between him and the waves. Harry dropped the foil down into a current of wind that would take him to get the board and allow him to head out to rescue the sweet little girl. Before anyone knew what was happening, Harry was shooting across the beach at speeds not even reached by Olympic sprinters, thanks to the assist he was getting from the wind in his foil. The first indication that anything out of the ordinary was happening, was when the group heard a surfer shout.

"Dude, don't bogart my board." The surfer shouted after Harry. This was followed by a heartfelt "Whoooaaaaaaa! Dude, that is gnarly," as Harry launched himself in the air and cleared the first three waves by using the foil to carry him, before coming down on the board and streaking away from the beach.

Hermione screamed out, "Harry!" as if her voice alone could call him back to them. Hermione's shout drew the attention of the life guard who picked up her binoculars to see what the crazy kid was doing. Moments later, she dropped the binoculars and reached for the radio on her deck, frantically trying to reach someone who could get out to rescue the two children that were headed out to sea. This alerted the negligent uncle to where his niece was, and when he went pale, it also alerted Susan's mother to her plight.

Harry was not aware of the chaos that was going on behind him on the beach; he only had two things on his mind. One was to get to Susan before something bad happened, and the second was how much fun he was having at the current time. This had to be the best birthday ever, though as usual, no one had wished him happy birthday except for himself at midnight the night before. Losing focus for a moment, Harry missed catching a gust of wind that would have lifted him over the next wave. Instead, he found himself dropping down into the valley between two monster waves, afraid that his foil would get caught in the water and stop him from getting to Susan. With a set of his jaw, and a grit of his teeth, Harry turned his kite away from the crest and parallel to the crest of the wave. Even though he knew that he was now travelling away from where Susan was, he also knew that this was the best way to ensure that he did get to her. When he estimated that he was travelling fast enough, Harry angled up the face of the wave and then launched himself into the air off the top and was once again on his way in the right direction.

One thousand yards behind him on the beach, a cheer went up from the crowd watching as they watched Harry get air born off the top of the wave they were afraid had stopped him. All of the women in their group were gathered around Susan's mother in comfort, worried about Harry and Susan, and whether either of them would make it back alive. The life guard was still frantically talking on her radio, but the watching crowd knew that if Harry couldn't get to her and get back to the beach, then there was little hope for either of them. With a sudden burst of anger, both at herself and whoever she was talking to on the radio, the lifeguard threw down her radio in disgust. With a look of abject sorrow, she informed Susan and Harry's families that the coast guard would not be able to get a boat in the area for at least an hour, but that they would try to do something a soon as they could.

Harry could now see Susan every time he launched off the top of another wave, and she also could see him and was giggling at her friend Harry flying to her rescue over the tops of the waves. What she didn't know, was that Harry was pushing himself even harder to get to her, because his senses were telling him that there was something massive moving toward her from the opposite direction and it didn't feel particularly friendly. Harry wished he had the time to reach his senses out to it to determine what it was, but he needed that focus to reach Susan before it did. He also needed to figure out how he was going to get Susan up onto the board without letting his foil or himself go underwater. He knew he wouldn't lose the board, since his feet stuck to it the moment he landed on it in the water. He figured that it was his freakishness allowing him to stay on, and he anticipated the same being done for Susan when he reached her. It was just a matter of getting her that posed the problem.

When he was about fifty yards from her, Harry realized that he would get to her less than fifteen seconds before the large creature reached her as well. This fact made up Harry's mind as to what he needed to do. There would not be any slowing down to figure out how to get her, he would just have to figure out how to grab her on the fly. Harry swooped in toward her, the distance closing in what seemed like the blink of an eye. When he was ten feet from her, he put both steering controls for the foil in his right hand, leaned way over to his left, dragging his hand in the water, and then just as he came even with her, he yanked the controls out to his right causing him veer right around her. With his left shoulder inches from the water, and his arm outstretched, everything slowed down to a snail pace.

Harry's arm snaked around her, pulling Susan into a one armed hug while he continued to turn around her. Even as he was pulling her to him with his left hand, his right was pulling the steering cords back to a little left of his center so he could use the resistance to raise his body up off the water with his giggling passenger in tow. As he straightened out, racing away at a ninety degree angle from the direction where whatever it was beneath the waves was coming from. Transferring Susan behind him, while telling her to hold on to him, he decided to look over his shoulder to see if he could spot what it was that was coming to investigate Susan. There in the middle of a wave was the biggest eye Harry could imagine, it was bigger than Harry's head and it was staring right at him while matching his pace. Unexpectedly, it winked at him and then a tentacle swung out of the water and appeared to salute him before waving at a very excited and happy Susan and then it turned down under the wave and disappeared from view. Harry didn't know what to think about what had just happened, but he put it out of his mind until he could get them back to shore.

It only took Harry a few moments to realize that getting back was easier said than done. While it had been no problem getting out to Susan with the wind at his back, going into the wind would be completely different. Not only did he have to tack back and forth across the wind to get closer to the shore, but the extra weight and placement of Susan was throwing his balance off. To top it all off, before he took off on this, perhaps ill-advised adventure, he had been flying the foil for two hours and his arms felt like they were made from spaghetti. Any average person would have probably given up, knowing that there was no way that they could make it back to the shore, but Harry had proved almost from birth that he was far from average. A focused thought made sure that Susan's feet were stuck to the board, and a quick word had her hugging her hero tight while Harry searched around his head for a plan. Based on the direction of the wind, and the fact that the waves were picking up because of the shifting tide and the storm that was headed in; Harry knew that it was unlikely that he could get them back to shore. However, when Harry had learned that they were going to the beach, he had read a book containing every beach, port, shipping yard, and Royal Naval Base in the British Isles. His mind sifted through the maps, tide charts, and shipping lane information he had stored and he realized that there was a way that they might be able to survive this.

Just north of them by a few miles was Constantine Bay, and there was an RAF Base named St Mawgan that was half way there. If there was anyone who would could come and rescue them, it would probably come from there by helicopter. Harry figured that getting out to Susan, he was traveling at least thirty miles per hour, if not more. Heading back, if he angled correctly, he could probably make fifteen to twenty mph and that would get him near the shore in around a half hour, depending on the fickleness of the wind. 'Well,' Harry thought, 'Nothing left but to do it and hope that we survive.

"Hang on Susan," Harry shouted back to his little friend. "We are in for a fun ride. It might take a while, but we will get back to your mom as soon as we can."

Susan was disappointed that she didn't get to see her daddy, but riding with her friend Harry was the most fun she had ever had in her life. Plus, she just knew that with her arms around Harry, there was nothing that would hurt her. As the ride dragged on though, Susan began to get bored and a bit cranky. At first it had been so much fun, but she was tired and wanted to take a nap. Also, she could tell that Harry was not happy with something, though everytime she got his attention, he would smile and tell her they were almost there.

Harry was really worried. He knew that they were getting close to Constantine Bay, according to his calculations, but the wind kept shifting and he knew that if he missed it, than he would either have to contend with cliffs and rocks, or they would be washed out to sea. On top of that, his hands were cramping up and he had almost lost his grip twice, which would have spelled disaster for the two of them. Eventually, while cresting a swell, Harry saw the beach and his heart sank. He was at least ten degrees off course, and he did not have the strength to turn and head the other way. Maybe it was his despair, maybe it was his fatigue, maybe it was the strength of the shifting wind; whatever else it was, it was disaster that struck at that moment. A gust of wind caught the foil and ripped it to the side, pulling the guideline right out of Harry's exhausted right handed grip.

Everything slowed down, as if making it last an eternity was punishment for his attempted good deed. The foil banked into the water, instantly being swamped by a wave and the weight of the water began to drag it down. Unfortunately for Harry and Susan, Harry was attached to the foil by the harness, and Harry and Susan were attached to the board by Harry's magic. The rope yanked them forward and the board came with them, ending up with Harry and Susan stuck upside-down, the board floating on the surface. Harry knew that he had to free himself from the lead rope and the board before he could save Susan. If he unstuck the two of them before he was able to get free of the foil, the current would take her away and he would never see her again. With a calm that is ingrained in people who have survived life and death situations before, Harry focused his gifts down on the rope in front of him and with a sweep of his hand, the rope was cut. Next, he reached back and grabbed one of Susan's flailing arms and pulled her tight before releasing her from the board. Once she was in front of him, he realized that her struggles were getting weaker, and with a strength even he didn't know he had; he pushed her down to the board and threw himself sideways, rolling them over and getting their heads above the water. A moment of elation turned to sorrow when Harry looked down and saw that his little friend was turning blue and not breathing.

"Noooooooooo!" Harry screamed to the heavens. "I will not let you take this girl." Harry gathered his magic, and having seen a video of a life guard saving someone once, he pressed his lips to the mouth of the little girl and breathed life and magic into her. A beam of pure light shot up into the sky, alerting anyone within twenty miles exactly where they were. Harry pulled his head back to take a breath and try again, when a little voice interrupted him.

"Harry, I don't think my daddy wants you to kiss me." Susan said before coughing out some water. She continued with a smile of absolute joy, "In fact, it looks like he is coming down here to tell you that himself."

Just before everything turned to black, Harry heard a splash next to him, and a rapidly fading cry of Daddy was the last thing he heard.

Chapter 9: Chapter 9

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

I do not know what is wrong with the story publisher interface. I post the chapter one time, and I go back the next day and it is repeated 5 to 9 times. It is very frustrating, but I will try to figure out the problem before next week.

Chapter 9

Hedwig knew it was time for her to give a part of herself to Harry so that his core could expand. She knew he was safe, having had her friend Sebastian watching over both Susan and Harry to make sure that they were going to make it to safety. If at any time Harry had faltered, then she knew Sebastian would have saved them and gotten them to land. When he had called out to her to tell her about Harry's daring rescue, her pride in her boy knew no bounds. This is why the court seer had told her that she would only bond with one in her long existence, there was none in her opinion who had come before him that were worthy of her devotion, and there would be none after. Her friend Fawkes had chosen to bond with Hogwarts when she became sentient, and served as the watcher of the wizard or witch in the position of headmaster to make sure they cared for the students in the way that Hogwarts wanted. He had been there since the four had built their school and put a little bit of each of their souls into her birth, and he would remain until she was there no more.

Now it was her turn to bond fully, and Hedwig wasn't afraid to admit that she was a little bit scared at the commitment she was about to make. For millennia, she had been on her own, answering to no one except her father, and he was always away in some dimension or another hiding from her mother. Hedwig gave a sigh of regret at the things she hadn't got around to doing yet, and then she merged her soul with that of her destined one.

Inside of Harry's mindscape, gale force winds swept through each environment ripping to pieces the protections that he had built up. His false room of memories, his endless ball pit, his town, everything except the library was torn to pieces as his core merged with the soul of an Emperor Phoenix. For a brief moment, the black soul that had inhabited the vault in his mind escaped from its containment and laughed at what it would do to the world now that it was free to consume its host. The expanding power of Harry's core, put paid to that ambition as its essence was vaporized by the magic of two pure souls merging. In the outside world, a black mass erupted from Harry's scar, followed by a burst of white lightening that engulfed the darkness obliterating it with one last scream of rage. Moments later, the door to the room that Harry was in opened and two women looked in.

"The poor dear is still unconscious." Said the older woman.

"I thought I heard a scream from in here, but I must have been wrong." Replied the younger one. "I wouldn't have been surprised if he had woken up screaming though. After what he did to save the Admiral's little girl, it's no shock that his body needs the rest."

"Aye, lass. You would be right about that. Well, time to get back to our rounds. The families have gone home to change, but you can be sure they will be here in the morning." The door closed behind them, and if they had waited a moment more; they would have seen his whole body shudder before Harry lifted off the bed, surrounded by a cocoon of warm white light.

Inside Harry, Elric was using all of his embedded knowledge to protect Harry's library from the storm of energy raging around it. If this didn't end soon, He would be destroyed along with all the knowledge that Harry had so far accumulated. "Stupid, bloody bird." He muttered as once again he had to move the entire store of knowledge away from the ravening storm, this was shaping up too be a very long night.


Harry slowly awoke to the sounds of machines beeping and humming, which he quickly determined was the most annoying sound on earth. How was anyone supposed to sleep with that sound constantly repeating over, and over, and over? Before opening his eyes, he took a quick mental inventory. Was he sore? Check! Was he in pain? Check! Were any of his bones broken? Negative! Okay, it looked like he survived his ordeal, though he felt as if he had been super charged while he was sleeping. He had so much energy available, that he felt as if he could fly around the room shooting flames and lasers from his different body parts. He knew that he needed to burn off some of this energy, so he focused it on healing himself from the inside out. The first thing he started on was his bones, since he knew that they were not as strong as they should be because of his lack of proper food and vitamins. He realized his mistake when waves of pain hit him as his bones were growing, tearing away his muscles and pushing against his skin. Harry diverted power from his bones to push the muscles into growing with the expansion that his bones were going through. He also focused on making his skin grow and stretch with his expanding size, as well as making sure that his blood flow and volume kept up with his growth.

If a doctor, healer, unspeakable, or any scientist had asked Harry what he was doing, his answer would've thrown them all into shock. What he had to do to make sure that his body was healing, was to focus down on a cellular level, replicating and distributing his cells at an almost instantaneous speed. Since that night in the office on Downing Street where Harry had found out that he could change his body like Dora, he had spent at least an hour every day learning how to control the changes his body could make. At first he did the exercises that Dora had been taught to gain the skill to control her gift, but after taking just a few days to master those, he began to branch out and explore on his own. At first he was very frustrated because no matter what he did, he could never make himself more than 6 inches taller. It was when he thought about it from a physics perspective that he found the answer to this dilemma. His body only had so much mass, and even though it appeared as if he was growing 6 inches what his gift was doing was actually redistributing his mass without actually changing it. So even though he appeared to have grown, he still weighed the same whether he was taller or shorter. This meant that his gift was following the laws of conservation of energy and mass.

Then he remembered a conversation that he had overheard between Ted and the Grangers where Ted said that magic quite often makes a fool out of physics and the laws of the universe. This sent Harry's mind searching for a way to use magic to overcome his physical limitations. Unfortunately, though he was an exceptional thinker, Harry got stuck because his mindset was still in the mundane world. It was watching Andi conjure a spoon at the breakfast table for Hermione that led to Harry to his next breakthrough. Though his initial mass was just 80 pounds, using magic he could increase or decrease his mass at will, allowing him to change his body to virtually any size. The one drawback to this was that when he lost concentration, or needed to focus on something else, he would return to what he called his default size. He theorized that this was because his conjured mass was only stabilized by his magic when he thought about it, and the added mass began to disappear as soon as his magic was diverted elsewhere. He also believed that if he could only add more power he could make his added mass more or less permanent. So now that he was sitting in a hospital room with abundant amounts of extra power, he was trying to test his theory by adding mass and growing his default size. Sending power to his bone marrow, he increased his stem cell amounts, allowing those to create more and more red blood cells as well as all the necessary fluids and building blocks that his body needed to grow naturally. By the time he was done, Harry had put on over seven inches in height and almost twenty-five pounds of muscle and general mass to his default frame.

Once he was satisfied with his new height, Harry decided it was a good time to check into his Mindscape to find out how Elric was doing. Morphing back to what he looked like before he made his changes, bruises, contusions, and all; Harry focused inward in deep meditation with the intention of using the rest of this excess power to reconfigure and strengthen his mental defenses. What he found reminded him of news footage that he had once seen of the destruction left in the aftermath of a class five tornado that had swept thru some part of middle America. Here and there stood parts of his interior landscape, but the only thing still standing was his core, which appeared to have grown since it was taking up more of his mindscape than ever before, and his internal library with was much the worse for wear. Willing himself into the entrance of his library, Harry was relieved to see Elric, Hedwig, as well as the mental constructs that he used to maintain order and efficiency were all safe inside the building.

"What happened in here," asked Harry? "It looks like London after the Luftwaffe Blitzkrieg came through."

Hedwig answered him, though she looked sheepish about what had caused the destruction. "While you were unconscious, I decided to use the opportunity to help you with your power levels by merging some of my essence with your core. To my knowledge, it has not been attempted for at least a millennium, and never with anyone who had not gone through their final magical maturity. In my Quest to keep you safe from Whiskers and others that meant to control you or bring you harm, I jumped right in like a Gryffindor without thinking about the consequences. I retreated to a cave far in the depths of the Alps where no man has ever been, and there under the watch of a good friend of mine, I forced myself into my burning day many years early. Doing that allowed me to use most of my power in your mind, since my body cannot use or access it while it is newly re-formed."

"What do you mean by burning day," Harry asked?

"As I have told you, I am a phoenix and in essence I am immortal. Depending on how much magic we use, a phoenix will have a burning day every five hundred years, unless we are hurt too much for our magic to regenerate us. What this does, is to make every cell in our body combust, setting off our pyre and turning the burning phoenix to ash. Out of that ash, we are reborn, continuing the cycle down through time. The race of phoenix were here at the beginning of the universe, and unless we choose not to continue on, we will be there for the end of all as well." Hedwig took a moment to let Harry absorb what she said before she continued. "Since I was already bonded with you, I was able to send much of my essence into you to expand your core, leaving only enough to continue maturing my newly reborn body. Unfortunately..."

'Here it comes,' thought Harry. 'with my luck, I am going to sprout feathers in awkward places and I will have flames shooting out of my butt.'

"...When I merged with you, it caused you to go into your first maturity, increasing your available power to unheard of levels for someone your age. Actually, it boosted your magic up to the level that you would have normally achieved when you reached your final maturity at age twenty-one. You were already a powerful wizard Harry, but now there is no telling where your power level will end up. There also may be side effects that we don't know about yet, but I am confident that we will be able to deal with them if and when they appear."

Elric saw the look of panic that was on Harry's face and so he interjected. "Don't worry Harry, while this sounds like a bad thing, it is in all actuality very, very good that this happened. Do you remember the thing that was trapped in the bank that we thought we got rid of?" Harry nodded and Elric continued. "It turns out that it was a piece of soul from the wizard that gave you your scar, and once released, it set up a diversion that Hedwig and I fought and banished, while it hid out in the deep reaches of your mind. We have surmised that it was slowly working its way back to strength and it would have eventually tried to take you over. If it had been able to merge with your core, then no power on earth would have been able to stop it from assuming control over you and your magic. When Hedwig merged herself with your core, it released a maelstrom of light magic and love which spread to every corner of your psyche; destroying the darkness before it as it went. Hedwig and I pulled your guardians in to the library to preserve them, and then she used her light driven power to destroy the darkness and shadows lurking in here so now no trace of his soul remains. Your inner librarian meanwhile, was busy saving all of his magical knowledge and gifts, both natural and stolen, along with memories that were fortified or kept as important to him. This included his true identity, how he survived the night he attacked you, and others that have not been catalogued yet."

"Wow," said Harry. "So your saying that I was sharing myself with his soul? I think I need a shower because I feel rather dirty." While his words were serious, the grin on his face showed that Harry was trying to lighten the mood. "So now that I know what happened, how do I fix everything here in my mind so that it is functional and working properly again?"

With a grin, Elric replied, "Magic!" thereby giving Harry the catch phrase that he would use throughout his life to drive his closest friends completely nuts.

Hedwig motioned for Harry to follow her out of the library while rolling her eyes at Elric's reply. "Look around at everything here in your mindscape. Once you can see the entire space in your mind's eye, then focus on making it do what you want." Sometimes Hedwig forgot just how quickly Harry learned things, as in the blink of an eye, everything changed. Instead of the quaint little village that had been the center of Harry's mindscape before their merge, now skyscrapers and other modern structures sprang up to dominate the landscape. There were streets with cars and buses traveling them, there were planes flying far overhead, and there were lights and power on in all of the buildings around them. Hedwig turned around, taking everything in with a sense of amazement. This was a functioning metropolis along the lines of New York, London, Chicago, or Tokyo. All that was missing were the people that would occupy said cities.

As if her thoughts triggered it, a swarm of people came out of underground entrances and buildings and started going about their daily business. It was astonishing to see the diversity of people that Harry's imagination had supplied. It was not just humans that went about their day, but humanoids of all types. She saw lion men marching around in their business suits, talking to each other about the day they had. There were humanoid monkeys, giraffes, dogs, cats, and every other kind of mundane animal you could think of. There were also magical species around as well. Dragons perched on the tops of buildings, surveying all that went on. Gryffons, Gryffins, and Gryphens all flying around or walking among the crowds. While the Gryffins were friendly and courteous to all, the Gryphens were lying about, complaining that they didn't want to work and that Harry should make others do what they were assigned to do. It was the Gryphons that were causing problems, as usual. They were the ones dressed up like gangsters, walking into other creatures deliberately and then beating them if they did not apologize. Hedwig realized that Harry must have read about David's adventures with her cousin in the book that he later wrote under the name Edward Ormondroyd. It amazed her that he got their attributes so correct, even in this modern setting. She shuddered as she remembered her last encounter with Gryphons out in the real world, if she never had to deal with any of them again it would be fine with her.

It was at that moment that Hedwig noticed something missing that she should be able to see, or at the very least, detect. "Harry," She said in a puzzled tone. "Where is your core?" Hedwig was beginning to panic as she thought that maybe it had started to burn out, or maybe her boost to his power had allowed Dumbledore's block to completely remove Harry's access to magic.

"Well, you said that I needed to keep my power concealed from old man Whiskers to keep me safe." Harry was answering her with all the sincerity of youth. "Since I noticed that the black netting was dissolving from around the core, I figured that it was best just to hide the entire thing so that it can't be found. I pulled off the black stuff, and used the material to build traps for anyone trying to come in to my mindscape. Then I took the core and dispersed it all through my mindscape, since I figured that if it wasn't centrally located, it would make it much harder for any outside force to control."

"Harry, what you are doing is not supposed to be possible." Hedwig whispered.

"Good thing nobody told me that," Harry replied with a cheeky grin. "If you need to see a core, I can make one for you." With a snap of his fingers, a set of four buildings in the middle of the city became his core, shining like a beacon to Hedwig's senses.

"Harry, that is to strong. It needs to only read as allowing about three percent of itself to be used by you"

"Okay, no problem." He said as the light dimmed around them. "There you go, three and a half percent should show if someone scans me."

Elric, who had joined them, was in awe. "Harry, how are you doing all this? There must be thousands upon thousands of mental constructs in here."

"There is actually 22,235,661 different magical constructs in here, all with their own distinct function. Want to see my control room?" Harry grabbed them and they were instantly in a room filled with consoles covered in levers, buttons, and flashing lights and read outs on computer screens. "I got this idea from reading about the control rooms at NASA in the US as well as Disney World. There is no entrance to this room except through me taking you here. That is because you can control everything in my mindscape from this room. There are twenty-seven different categories of construct, with 823,543 of them in each of those categories. There are of course different sub groups in each category, but no matter what the outer shell looks like, their functions are close to the same. The categories include defense, repair, expansion, attacking, research, learning, sorting, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I always wanted to say that." Harry giggled.

Hedwig and Elric were speechless. Though Harry explained his organization perfectly, the fact that what he did was impossible to anyone else was just proving to them that Harry James Potter did not do normal. Hedwig was the first to recover from her shock, and her first response was a small laugh, followed by great big belly laughs that had her gasping for breath. "We are going to have so much fun Harry!" She exclaimed in excitement.

Elric had to agree with Hedwig. There was no way that Harry would not shake the pillars of heaven and earth as he lived up to his potential. He was so glad that he was along for the ride, after so many boring years stuck on shelves and not being used. He should have listened to his wife and familiar when they told him to put his consciousness in stasis, leaving only a monitor to search for the ones who needed his help in finding their destiny. It was not his fault that he was rushed in his creation of the book. When the Oracle of Delphi tells you in a clear and certain tone that you have forty-nine days, thirteen hours, thirteen minutes, and fifty-two seconds to finish your work; you don't argue, you just get busy.

A large screen high above them came to life, showing in perfect clarity the room that Harry was in at the hospital. At first it seemed that nothing was happening, but then the door was highlighted in red and it showed that there was movement. "Well," said Harry. "Almost time to get back to the real world. I should just have time to build my new false memory room before I need to focus on the real world. It would really help me out if the two of you could help my library staff to input all of my memories into the mainframe computer that I have installed." The two of them noticed that they were back in the library once again. "Once everything is in there, then I can have it sorted, catalogued, and set into databases that will help speed up my retrieval more. It will also help with protecting my thoughts as I am pretty sure that there are not a whole lot of magicals who understand computer code, especially since I wrote the language."

With a wave at Elric and a hug of thanks given to Hedwig, Harry disappeared from his mindscape. Hedwig turned to Elric and asked in a perfectly innocent voice. "Do you ever feel guilty for what we are helping to unleash upon the stodgy Magical world?"

"Nope," Elric chuckled in an almost evil way! "The same stupid traditions that stifled the creativity and imagination of the young are still in place from a thousand years ago. It is about time that someone shook up the status quo, and who better than the last of my line. Earth is reaching a tipping point where magic can no longer hide from science and the mundane. If the magical world is not changed, there will be a war that will wipe out all life on earth. The Oracle said we have one chance to get it right before all is lost. Her prophecy about the end of the world is what finally drove her insane, since she had to witness the deaths of all life one being at a time. I truly felt sorry for her, but she said that it was for the good of all that she fall into insanity. It allowed her to see the way out of the trap we created for ourselves. It was just too bad that she was only able to escape from her torment to reveal the purposes of those who were to come. It still pains me to think that my wife is seen as one of the ultimate dark ladies in history, because that was what was needed. Well, this work won't get done by itself; of course, since I don't know how a computer works, I think that I will just supervise."

"Look in section T, row 5, section 9, shelf 3; the book you are looking for is Computers for Morons who come from a Hidden Magical World." The librarian said as she walked past them, her arms filled with books full of memories. "Please read it quickly, as there is ever so much to do."

Hedwig couldn't help but too burst into laughter at the look on Elric's face. "It is Harry's subconscious mind, and he is the son of two Marauders and the godson of a third." Hedwig declared once she was able to finally stop laughing. "Now hurry up and learn yourself out of the dark ages so that we can help Harry with this. I personally think that organizing his mindscape like a computer will make him nigh to invulnerable from the mental manipulations of Whiskers and his greasy, sneering git."

Chapter 10: Chapter 10

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

I was very happy to get the response I did for proof readers/editors, and I decided to give a couple a try. I gave several people access to my dropbox account that I am using for this story, and the password to unencrypt the next two chapters. Somehow, and I am still not sure how it was accomplished, but one of the editors somehow erased every future chapter I had written, from chapter 10 to 22. If I were using my laptop, no problem, but I am using a tablet right now to write, and that means using cloud storage like google drive and dropbox. I am frantically trying to re-write the deleted chapters, but i have only reached a 2 chapter buffer. Thank you for being patient with me and learn from my mistakes. Always use 2 forms of back-up, even if it is cloud driven. Here is chapter 10 for your reading enjoyment.

Chapter 10

"Harry!" Six female voices squealed in unison as the door opened and they saw him sitting up in bed. Dora and Hermione reached him first, but it was a close race between the adults to see who could get to the boy they had all grown to love first. While Harry was getting hugged, amid tears of relief that he was okay and scolding looks at the memories of what he had done to get here; Dan and Ted rolled in a cart that was covered by a silver dome. When the dome was lifted, there was for the first time that Harry could remember a birthday cake that was meant for Harry.

Harry didn't know whether to laugh or to cry as he was overwhelmed with feelings for these people who had come to mean so much to him and he to them. They all started singing Happy Birthday to him, and the dam finally burst, as Harry could no longer hold back the tears.

"Harry, what's wrong," Asked Hermione when the song ended.

"I am sure that my parents sang to me on the birthday that I had with them," Harry said while still fighting to stop the tears that were still coming. "But this is the first time that anyone else has ever cared enough to wish me a Happy Birthday. Usually, I just get a beating from Vernon because it is a reminder to them that there is freakishness in the world." These words stirred the women into another round of hugs for the belated birthday boy, and a couple of manly pats on the back and one arm guy hugs from the two adult males.

Hermione was the one who had to break the suddenly somber mood. "We are so sorry that we didn't wish you happy birthday on your actual birthday, but we were planning on having a big celebration at the pizza place in town. In fact, your cake was already there in the fridge before we came to the beach. Then out of the blue, you decided to play hero and went out to save little Susan's life, and the whole thing was forgotten as we watched you head out to what we thought was certain death."

Dora continued, "What you did with that kite and surfboard was the most amazing thing I think any of us had ever seen. Even the hardcore windsurfers were impressed at what you did, and quite a few have asked Dan where they can get kites like that. When you got to her and scooped her up out of the water, everyone cheered, but it didn't take us long to figure out that you couldn't make it back to the beach and that once again had us fearing for your life. It was dad who noticed that you were traveling north while angling in toward land. He took the life guard's radio and was able to let the navy know what was happening. The navy had dispatched a Helo off of one of the ships, which Susan's dad insisted on being on since it was his ship that the Helo was leaving from, and it was going after his daughter."

"When the rescue party reached the area where the two of you were, they noticed that you were not going to make it to the beach. Unfortunately, the prop wash from a Helo, and the foil that was pulling you along just didn't agree with each other. The down force from the propellers pushed the foil down into the water, causing the board you were on to flip over and the two of you kids to go under." Emma was now telling the story. "Ignoring the fact that the Navy divers were ready to go out the other side, Admiral Kevin Wright dove out from the door of the Helo, plunging forty-five feet into the waves below in an attempt to save his little girl. After he hit the water, he frantically swam toward the board that you had somehow righted, and he noticed that Susan was waving at him with a smile on her face while shaking you and telling you to wake up. He got to you both at the same time as the two rescue divers, and little Susan was very upset that she couldn't introduce her new friend to her Daddy. After they rescued the two of you, they flew you to the nearest base which was an RAF base right on the other side of town. After getting you in the hospital, Susan and her dad came to get us and bring us back here. You have been out for two days and we were beginning to get worried about what was going on. Ted and Andi had to call in a friend of theirs to come monitor the situation because all of the machines that they had attached to you kept shorting out and they were becoming suspicious.

Now it was Andi's turn to continue the story. "I called my friend Amy, who was my roommate in school, and had gone on to be a healer. She was able to convince them that you had an excess of bio electricity, possibly caused by a recessive genetic trait or by something like a Portuguese Man-O-War shocking you in the water. She showed them that it was a rare but verifiable medical condition that pops up from time to time. The treatment used to help is a combination of using leads to ground your output to a grounding rod, and rubbing a lotion on your skin that takes away the toxicity of your sweat and allows you to discharge the energy that your body was building up. In reality, what you were discharging was an excessive amount of natural magic that was messing with their machines. Though Amy comes from a pureblood family, she has a brother that was disowned because he is a squib, and he lives in the mundane world. Amy loved her brother so much, that she refused to abandon him and so she has gotten a lot of grief from her family. The reason that she hasn't been disowned herself is that she is the only child they have that has magic. Her brother has taught her the concepts about modern electricity, and it was him that came up with the materials needed to take your excess magic and ground it into an object so that it does not affect the machinery around you."

Andi paused for a moment while a look of sadness passed across her face. She sighed and then continued. "It is truly a shame how bigoted and closed minded Magical society is. What Rob has come up with is revolutionary, and with proper study, would probably lead us to the ability to use technology in high magic areas, and even to eventually even combine technology and magic in a new and amazing way. However, that would force our society to acknowledge that what they derided as inferior, was actually light years ahead of where our society is. Rob works for the Queen's government in a special capacity, and he is the sole reason why Diagon Alley is still hidden from the mundane world. Every building around the magical shopping district has the collectors that he designed, pulling the excess magic from the air so that it doesn't affect the mundane area around it. It is funny that most magicals believe that their world is hidden from the 'muggles,' yet their primary shopping district is right in the middle of one of the most crowded and technologically advanced cities in the world. If not for Rob's collectors, there would be a huge spot in the middle of the city where nothing electronic would work. I think that would probably tip the muggles off to the fact that there was something going on there, don't you?"

Everyone in the room nodded in agreement, and they were about to continue their discussion when the door began to open again. In through the yet small opening shot a little red haired missile that launched up onto Harry's bed at near ballistic speed, her arms going around Harry's neck as she squealed into his ear. "Hi Harry. I missed you. I wanted you to meet my daddy, but you were sleeping so long that I was afraid that you wouldn't wake up before he had to leave to go back to protecting us on his ship. And I am so sorry Harry, but the ship out in the water was not my daddy's ship like my uncle said, but when my daddy heard that it was me out there in the water, he came to rescue us." Harry was amused and slightly astonished that Susan could say all that in one breath. Her brief pause for breath finished, Susan continued to fire out words with the rapidity of a machine gun. "I am really, really glad you are awake now as my mommy and daddy are here to see you. And later today would be too late as daddy has to get back to his ship because they are leaving to go to some rock named after a girl named Jill Bralter, and daddy says the sea and the Royal Navy wait for no man. Oh, and this is my daddy, he is an admirable in the Navy and has his own carrying group that he is taking to go and play games with the Americans. I have a sand box that I like to play in with my brothers, though daddy says that it is a giant kitty box for our neighborhood. I like playing games in our little pool in the back yard, but daddy says it is not big enough for the games that he is going to sea to play."

By now, Susan's parents had fully entered the room and had joined in with the growing laughter at the statements that their daughter was making. Susan's mom came over to the bed and gave Harry a hug, murmuring the words thank you over and over again. While the Navy taught its officers how to behave in most social situations, one of the areas they neglected was how to sincerely thank the individual who had risked his life to save your only daughter. Admiral Wright was gathering his words together, in preparation of enunciating his gratitude, when he finally caught a glimpse of his daughter's savior. His gasp of recognition drew everyone's attention, as his eyes remained focused on Harry's face.

"You, your Harry Potter!" He stated in shock. "I never thought I would see you again after what happened to your parents. We spent years looking for you, since we knew that your godparents were not taking care of you. We were able to gather enough evidence to prove that your godfather was innocent of the charges that were published in the paper, but when we had people approach the Ministry of Magic to get him a retrial, they all came back with assurances that you were safe and being protected from those who wished to harm you, and that Sirius Black was indeed guilty of the crimes he was accused of."

"How do you know who I am," asked Harry? "And how do you know about what happened to my family and what happened to us? Are you from the same world as they were?"

"I knew your mom back before you were born. I grew up in the same neighborhood, with Lily, Petunia, and some weird kid named Severus who adored Lily because she stood up to his dad. Lily had no fear, always leading us into the local woods for adventures and picnics, and then one day she seemed distant from her sister and me, and six months later, she and Severus left for a boarding school in Scotland, and Petunia was never the same. She felt that Lily had abandoned her and she became very bitter about what she was missing in her life. Not long after that, my father died in a gas explosion and my family moved to my grandparent's farm, so I lost track of Lily and Petunia."

Continuing on with his story, with everyone in the room paying rapt attention; except for Susan, who was busy playing with the buttons on Harry's bed. "It was almost eight years later that I ran into Lily and her new husband James Potter. I was working with a special branch of Her Majesty's government that was dedicated to hunting down and capturing or eradicating domestic terrorists. We were trying to track a group that was in and out like ghosts, leaving death and insanity in their wake. Apparently, our actions had brought us to their attention because we went on a raid which turned out to be a trap. We were trapped inside a small office building, while these people wearing masks and dark robes stood around outside laughing and launching what we thought were rocket propelled grenades and HE rounds with green tracers to see where their fire was going. There were only four of us still alive, when the battle turned because of the arrival of six people. The first thing that alerted us that help had arrived was when all of the dark robes turned pink and then began trying to tie up the people who were wearing them. In hindsight, it was really funny seeing the terrorists fighting their own clothes, but at the time, we were too stunned to really appreciate it. I was sent into further shock when I heard Lily's voice chastise someone named Prongs and Padfoot about goofing off. Then a guy who said his name was Moony slipped into the place we were and with a wave of a stick, the wall in front of us began to rebuild and to make itself thicker."

"I knew at that moment that I had lost my mind, so I felt that it couldn't hurt to ask him what was going on. He looked at me and told me I needed to wait until after the dark moron's troops were gone or put down, and then I could ask Prongs or Bear. He went back to waving his stick around like a conductor, and rocks launched themselves out at the terrorists. Some hit, while others missed, and I thought that he had terrible aim. The ones that missed, all seemed to blur once past them, and then Ravens, Badgers, Lions, and Vipers came out of the dark to attack the ones still standing. One of them got bit in the chest, and suddenly they all just disappeared. Lily and another woman came into our hold out and they both started waving their own sticks at us. Lily was looking over our commander, and after whispering quietly with her friend, she reached into a bag and pulled out a concoction which she made him drink. I watched stunned as the hole in his gut healed over in less than a minute and she turned to the next one that her friend Roo motioned to. All told, she and her friend Roo saved ten of our men that our medic had written off as unrecoverable. When she got to the four of us left mostly unhurt, she was shocked to see me there."

"While she was shocked to see me, I was amazed to see her and what she was doing with her stick, which someone in our group called a wand. After getting a hug in greeting, she introduced me to her husband James and his noble band of idiots, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. She then introduced me to Frank and Alice Longbottom who rounded out their group. She told us we were lucky that they were nearby and so were able to save us from the dark scum who had attacked us. Frank asked why she was telling me anything since we wouldn't remember what had happened anyway. Major Evers, who was our commanding officer, stood up and asked for a quick word with the leaders of their group. Lily helped me to my feet and dragged me over to where he was urgently talking to Frank and James. Major Evers explained that we were a joint task force put together to battle the terrorists that were killing people in the muggle world. I stood there stunned as I listened to him tell them that the government of Her Majesty knew about the magical world, and because of the corruption of it and the lack of concern for her non-magical subjects, she had commissioned their group to find ways of bringing them to justice in anyway necessary. He was one of the ones put in charge, since he was a squib, and knew a little about their world. I was appalled to find out that we had had wizards and witches on our side helping us, but that the Ministry of Magic had a policy of arresting them if they were caught for breaking some statute and had thrown them into prison somewhere."

"All of Lily's friends were outraged at this, especially since, as Frank put it, their oaths as Lords and employees of the ministry were made to the Queen and to the realm. They were supposed to be protecting those who could not protect themselves, not help them to step into harm's way. Frank asked for names of the magicals who were helping, and then almost blew his top at the first name he was told. He turned to his wife and said I told you so; Wallace would never have helped the Dark Lord or his minions. They said that they gave him a trial, and that they sealed the records because they were still investigating the information that they had gotten from him during questioning. Everyone was shocked at this new information, and then Sirius suggested that we all vacate the area and continue the conversation elsewhere. We all agreed to that, and we took them back to our new headquarters. Once James put up what they told us were Potter family wards around the building, they all relaxed and we were able to discuss what was going on. After a few hours of discussion, Major Evers brought in the other ranking members of our group, and an accord was reached with Lily's group, largely because I told my superiors that Lily was honest and caring, and that James must be honorable since she wouldn't have married him otherwise. James stepped forward and introduced their group to my superiors and myself. He said his code name was Prongs, Lily was Silver, Sirius Black was Padfoot, Remus Lupin was Moony, Frank Longbottom was Bear, and his wife Alice was Roo."

"For the next year, we worked closely with them, developing tactics and weapons that could be used in their world. Our group grew in numbers as they brought us firstborn wizards and witches who were looking to help against Voldemort and his purge of magical Briton of those he felt un-worthy. They would spirit away people they knew were going to be attacked, and we would hide them in plain sight in our world. At one point, we had several hundred of them working for us and helping us to develop technological ways to combat magical attacks. Lily was a genius and she quickly became head of our research department. Her theories on harnessing magic to power technology were beyond anything that anyone had ever seen. She also had the ability to absorb knowledge at an unheard of rate, while being able to then translate it to working knowledge for anything she set her mind to. When she and Alice came in one day and told everyone that they were pregnant, we threw the biggest party we could, happy that even in what we now knew was a genocidal war, life went on. It was a happy time for all of us, and then one day, everything abruptly changed."

"Seven months into their pregnancies, Frank, Alice, James and Lily just stopped coming into work. We sent people to their homes to check on them since we feared the worst, but there was no one living where they were supposed to be. Sirius and Remus came back from a mission that they had been on in Africa, where they were looking for a device that was made to fight evil by the priests in ancient Egypt, and they immediately went to look for James and Lily. They didn't return to us either, and the brass began to worry. We evacuated all the sites that the Potters and Longbottoms knew about, shipping out our magicals to places outside the British Isles to keep them safe. It was a month before I ran into Sirius and he was hanging out with this short bald guy who reminded me of a weasel or a rat. I asked about Remus, James, and Lily and he told me that James and Lily had gone into hiding after baby Harry was born, but that they had been betrayed by someone and had to keep moving to stay alive. When I asked to be introduced to his companion, he told me that the man was Peter Pettigrew, one of their most trusted friends from their days in school."

"Now here is what let me know that something was wrong. In all the time we had worked together, they had only ever mentioned this Peter in passing, and all four of them had said that their animal sides just didn't trust him enough anymore to let him in on what we were doing. Yet here was Sirius telling me that he was a trusted friend, and the tone he used toward Remus said that he was the one not trusted. When I turned in my report, the higher ups decided that it was imperative that we find the Potters and Longbottoms as quickly as possible to help restore their obviously altered memories. During her research for us, Lily had stumbled upon a way to back-up a person's entire memory so that if they were obliviated, they could be brought back to a period before their memory was erased. It was policy that every member of our team was required to do a 'memory dump' once per day, or any time we were heading out on a mission. She also discovered how to wake up memory receptors that had been blocked or purged. Though it would not fully restore lost memories, it would give the person a sense of deja-vu when they were told about the subjects of those lost memories. This would allow us to re-educate people quickly when wizards stole their knowledge. Using the combination of charms and potions, we were able to help mundane leaders all the way up to Her Majesty the Queen recover memories that had been erased by the wizards who were supposed to have sworn their fealty to her."

"We found Frank and Alice, as well as their baby Neville, hiding out behind the wards at Longbottom Manor with no memory of who we were or what we accomplished together. Having thought ahead, Frank had given us a password to give to his mother which would convince him to trust us. We gave him and his wife the Memory Activator Potion, along with merging their last memory dumps, and brought them up to date with the current events as we knew them. It was unfortunate, but they did not know who had erased their memories. One thing that we were able to determine, was that whoever it was that cast the spell was exceptionally powerful, since even with the reactivating of their receptors, neither Alice nor Frank knew who had obliviated them. All they could tell us was that they had been captured before a meeting with their healer and it was Albus Dumbledore who rescued them from their captors. He took them to Hogwarts and had Poppy look after them, making sure that they were okay. After they were recovered from their ordeal, they went home until it was time for Neville to be born. Instead of going to St. Mungo's though, Albus had Poppy come to them for the birth so that they would be safe from the Dark Lord or his minions. Frank told me that Albus Dumbledore was a great man, who cared for everyone in the wizarding world. Frank helped us in trying to find the Potters, but for almost a year, no one heard from them."

"It was one of our junior officers who finally found them, and it was purely by accident that he did. He was visiting his mother and aunt who lived in a small town called Godric's Hallow, and decided to go to church with them before heading back to London. The church was having its annual baby dedication service, and there standing at the front of the church, were James and Lily with little Harry tucked against Lily's chest sleeping. Our man quickly left the church and found a phone, letting us know at headquarters that he had found them. He was instructed to follow them out of the church and approach them with their own code words, asking them to go to lunch at the local pub while I was flown up to a nearby base and given a car to get to them."

"That was the first time I met you Harry," Admiral Kevin Wright said while looking into Harry's eyes. "Your parents were at first skeptical and cautious about letting us near them, but they seemed to remember me and so allowed us to give them Lily's potions. Just like the Longbottoms, they didn't know who had erased their memories, but they remembered that they had been captured outside the Hospital, and it was Albus Dumbledore who rescued them. James said to me 'Great man that Dumbledore, he cares about the wellbeing of the entire wizarding world.' It was almost word for word what Frank had said when I asked about Dumbledore, as if it were a programed response. We urged them to move into a safe house that we had on the Isle of Mann, but they insisted on staying at their current home because Albus Dumbledore had protected it with the most powerful charms and wards available. I asked him if he had put the Potter family wards up as well, since Sirius had said that they were the best in the world, which is why we had asked him to put them on all of the Queen's residences as well as the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the entire block surrounding #10 Downing Street. He assured me that they were unnecessary with what Dumbledore had done, and there was no need to worry as they were perfectly safe, protected by the love of their friends."

"That was late August 1981, and over the next two months I begged your parents to see reason and to move away from the house they were in. Talking to James was like talking to a wall, while it allows you to get your points out in the open; it is an exercise in futility. Nothing any of us said could sway him from his support of Albus Dumbledore, and if not for Lily running interference, he probably would have stopped meeting with any of us. Lily stood by her husband, but she began to have doubts about certain things which she told to me and to Remus. Remus had returned to us and had told us about how his pack had started to treat him as if he were a traitor to the light. He even heard a conversation between James and Albus Dumbledore about the fact that they had to be careful around him since he was after all a dark creature. This shattered his morale, as no matter what, his friends had stood by him. Lily refused to cut him from their life because she believed in him, and also that Harry adored his 'Unca Mooey.' She told me that if it were anyone that was a traitor, it was either the thief, Mundungus Fletcher, or it was Peter Pettigrew, who Harry instantly hated and who she had caught leering at her when he thought no one was looking. His look reminded her of the looks she had received from some of the pureblood students while she was at Hogwarts. It was October 29th when she called me in a panic, telling me that she needed to meet with me immediately, and she could be in London in ten minutes. I suggested a cafe that was on Oxford Street, and she agreed to meet me there."

"When I arrived, she was already there, sitting at a table in the very back corner with her eyes darting here and there like a hunted animal. When I sat down, she didn't even pause long enough to greet me, she just asked for her personal password to verify that I was who I appeared to be. Once I confirmed it with her, she relaxed a fraction of a bit, though she still was on high alert to anyone coming toward her or Harry. She slid a fat envelope across the table to me and told me not to open it unless I heard that she was dead. If that happened, then I was to do everything in my power to get Harry, and the Longbottoms out of England, as they had all been betrayed at the highest levels. She was about to continue when her eyes caught movement at the door, and her face went pale. She quickly waved her wand in an intricate pattern, and then told me to stay sitting for at least thirty minutes before leaving, so that they did not associate me with her. With that, she grabbed Harry and disappeared with a small pop. Five days later, l found out that the Potters had been killed, Sirius had been thrown into Azkaban for betraying them and then killing Peter Pettigrew and twelve Muggles on a street in Manchester, and Frank and Alice had been tortured into insanity by the deceased Dark Lord's top minions."

"I went back to my flat and pulled out the envelope that Lily had given me. It had a lot of info, and I will let you read it soon, but the gist was that on 25 October, Dumbledore had come by and convinced James and Sirius to switch secret keepers to Peter, while using Sirius as a decoy for the Death Eaters. They both had argued at first, and then quite suddenly began to agree with him. None of them knew that Lily was sitting in the sill of an upstairs window and so heard every word, though she could not see to verify that Albus used magic on them to get them to agree. She grabbed James's invisibility cloak and ran out the back door before going around the house to see what was going on. By the time she arrived, the deed was done, and Albus then suggested that James and Sirius go done to the Leaky Cauldron to have a few drinks and let slip that Sirius was the secret keeper. Lily couldn't think of anyone dumb enough to buy that, since the Fidelus Charm was designed to protect its secret, and so would not let the keeper spread it around to strangers that he or she had the secret to keep without first getting a vow promising no harm to the protected. James and Sirius left and Lily heard Albus tell Peter to wait until Halloween to tell his master, because that was when the magic would be most powerful. Peter nodded like a puppet on a string, and then left when Albus dismissed him."

"After he left, Lily followed the traitorous 'leader of the light' out into the village, where Severus Snape was waiting for him. She couldn't get close enough to hear everything, but what she heard horrified her even more if that was possible. Albus promised that Snape could have her if he convinced Voldemort to spare her. Her former friend asked him how he could promise that, and Albus assured him that he had his ways. It was at that moment that Lily kicked a board that was leaning against the house she was hiding next to. Both of them turned to investigate the noise, making Lily flee back to the dubious safety of their house. Arriving with little time to spare, she ran up to Harry's room and threw up some monitoring spells, and then lay down with Harry before she used her wand to stun herself off of a temporarily conjured mirror. When she woke, the invisibility cloak was gone from the shelf she had tossed it on, and her monitoring spells showed her that Dumbledore had checked on her and then told Severus to keep an eye on her until it was time."

"Her letter told me that she planned to try and get all three of you out of there, but if she couldn't then she would die to protect her son rather than survive while he perished. She also mentioned that James, who had been trained by a man named Alastor Moody, began to leave his wand laying around out of reach, or even in another room altogether. She attributed this to yet another spell placed by the 'Dark Manipulator' in his quest to betray the Potters and have her son killed."

Again, he looked into the eyes of the boy whose parents were two of his best friends when they died, and who risked his life to save his daughter from what was most likely a scared and lonely death. He saw so much of Harry's parents in him, and it filled his heart with joy that he finally had found Lily's son like he had promised seven years before. "Harry, I have spent the last seven years searching for you. I had my agents check everywhere, even the home of Petunia Evans-Dursley, who has become a hateful woman who screamed about not wanting anything to do with her freak sister or her freak progeny. We checked orphanages, temporary shelters, everything we could think of, but you were nowhere to be found, and I am so sorry for that."

"Who checked on me at my aunt's house?" Harry asked quietly.

"It was one of our magical agents, Avery Thomas." Admiral Wright answered. "He gave a detailed report on your aunt and uncle, and how they lived. Unfortunately, he died in an auto accident on the way back from following a lead. After that, we focused on other areas, trying to find you. For the last few years, we have been trying to find the castle that you lived and trained in with your magical Guardians between adventures."

"What?" Shouted multiple voices as Harry just stared into this stranger's eyes. Harry spoke with all the control he could muster. "Who told you that I was living in a castle and having adventures?"

"Some guy named Lockhart, he was sent to one of our inquiry boards by the Minister of Magic's office. He told us that he had been allowed total access to you and the memories that you had of your adventures. He also said that you were exceptionally skilled at magic, having bonded with the wand that once belonged to Albus Dumbledore when he was young. The books have you beating dragons, ogres, vampire sires, werewolves, and even taking a hoard of Veela as personal servants all by yourself. We figured that you were being trained and that even though you had help, for dramatic license, they said you did it on your own. I was skeptical at first, but after seeing your rescue of my daughter, I must say that I am impressed."

If Admiral Wright had looked around the room, he would have seen a plethora of expressions on the faces around Harry. Hermione went back and forth between knowing that Harry could have done all those things if he wanted, and insulted that there were books out there that did not even try to provide the truth to the reader. This realization, along with the fact that she now had friends, would go deep inside her conscious mind and begin to teach her that books could lie too, and that leaders often have clay feet. Pru and Abby were incensed that someone was out there making money off Harry's name, while he had lay night after night in that joyless cupboard. They would make the ones who did that pay every quid back to Harry, even if they had to have the Tonks's firm sue everyone in magical Briton. After hearing about Harry's former home life from the other adults, Dan and Emma were having a hard time imagining letting Hermione enter this world that seemed to be worse than the corruption in the third world governments that they had dealt with during trips to help people in those countries. Dora had seen those books in the hands of her classmates, but she had never really equated them with the boy that she had befriended this summer. She found herself disgusted by the treatment that the wizarding world had shown their savior, and vowed that she would stand by Harry no matter what. Ted and Andi, like so many long married couples, each knew what the other thought about the story that Admiral Wright had told them, and the icing on the cake was the fact that the foppish fraud Gilderoy Lockhart was sent to peddle his lies to the government of the Queen. Before they met this group they knew that the government was corrupt, and they believed that Albus was full of good intentions, but too much into forgiveness to see that what was necessary got done. Now they knew that while Voldemort was a dark lord feared by all, it was Albus that was the truly dangerous and evil one. They vowed to help Harry rise above all the obstacles set before him. Little Susan just reached over and hugged her friend Harry, not really understanding why everyone was so serious, while her mom wept for the parents of Harry, who would never be able to see what a great young man he was turning into.

The only face that had no expression was that of Harry James Potter as he tried desperately to contain the rage he felt building in him. With his ability to process information at an almost instantaneous speed, he was able to take the pieces of information that he was given, and merge them into a bigger picture. Albus Dumbledore, aka Whiskers, aka the manipulative old man was the enemy of Harry Potter, and possibly the boy Neville Longbottom. He had a direct hand in Harry's parents being murdered, and then when Harry didn't die, took control of his life and made it as miserable as possible, though he wasn't quite sure why that was. Also, the one they called Snape would need to be eliminated. It was obvious that he was the one who carried out the dirty work for the old man, and his betrayal of his one-time friend Lily was inexcusable. It was not Harry's fault what happened next. The new strength of his core, combined with the rage that he was experiencing at his parents murder caused a buildup of magic that if released, could obliterate everyone in the Hospital before imploding the building itself.

Dora was the first to notice that Harry was about to explode, his lovely green eyes had turned completely black, and his fists were clenched so hard that blood was dripping from his palms where his nails had pierced the skin. "Hermione, you need to come hug Harry. We need him to calm down; he is about to lose control of his magic. Hedwig, we need you now." An orange, red and gold phoenix appeared and trilled a song in apology for being there instead of Harry's Hedwig. "I know you. You're Fawkes, right? Never mind, I need you to take us somewhere that Harry can safely let out his magic before something bad happens." With a nod of his head, and a trill of pure beauty, Fawkes perched on Harry's shoulders and flamed them out of the room. It was at that moment that Susan's parents noticed that she was gone too.

"Oh no," shrieked Mrs. Wright! "Where have they gone with my daughter?"

Chapter 11: Chapter 11

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

I had to go back and rewrite this chapter to fit later chapters, but I think it turned out well. Hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 11

Buried in the heart of a magical castle in northern Scotland, was a chamber that no one really believed existed. That is because it was said to contain a magical diamond that was ten feet across, and that stored part of the souls of each of the founders. Some had said that imbuing your soul into an object was evil, and if they had used the ancient Egyptian spell that split your soul at the cost of another's life, then they would have been right. But there is another process that causes the soul to split that is a part of everyday life. That process is the creation of a child, where both parents give up a little of themselves, so that their child can live and grow. This is the process that the four founders used to pass parts of their soul to their oldest child, but instead of having one set of parents, Hogwarts had two. She had the love of Helga along with the cunning and protectiveness of Salazar. From Rowena she had a thirst for knowledge, with a tempering of wisdom and perseverance, and from Godric, she got his bravery, sacrifice, love of fun, and his need to defend all who were in need of protection.

Over the generations, her personality grew along with her power as her walls absorbed magic from the ley lines she was built on, as well as the excess magic from thousands of students as they passed through her halls. She began to think for herself and grow in her abilities to guide the students who came through her doors. For eight hundred years, she helped turn the thoughts of certain students away from the dark and to the light. She gave projects to Ravenclaws, hard work to Hufflepuffs to serve the community, puzzles and riddles were given to Slytherins, and quests were handed out to Gryffindors; then came the two dark ones. One came to her school a first year, and used a spell from his family library to limit her watchful eye on him and those he chose. Five years later, another transferred in from Durmstrang, minutes before he was to be expelled. The two dark souls instantly felt a kinship to each other, and they began to shackle her soul even more in an attempt to learn her secrets. They finally graduated, both sharing top honors, and then they left, with her spirit still silenced and unable to communicate with anyone about what she saw coming. Many years later, the first boy returned as a professor, spending his days manipulating all of the students who came to her to learn.

A great war broke out, which was started by the muggle puppet of the other dark one, and since the one hiding behind her walls was pretending to be light, he was urged to go and help defeat his friend. He refused at first, and hatched a plan to use a weapon of his creation to do the job so he didn't have to. His plan was to use this weapon and then destroy him once his usefulness was past. He chose an orphan who came from a once great family, and then proceeded to drive him to the dark from their very first meeting. Hogwarts wept for the soul of the young boy. She saw the true nature inside of him and the fact that he could have grown into being the protector that Hogwarts had not had since Salazar himself was there. The dark one steered his weapon into every dark corner imaginable, including forcing him to use the Basilisk that Salazar had put in place to protect the students that he loved from invaders, to instead kill a student. The young man was horrified at first, but then he pieced together the manipulations of the dark one and pretended to go along to ensure his survival.

The dark one's pawn left the school and hid himself in mediocrity as a store clerk. It was a chance meeting with a woman while on an errand for the store that drove him to the path he would take. He admired her collection of founder's artifacts, and inquired whether or not she would care to sell them. She named a price that he knew was out of his employer's range, and so he tried to haggle with her. She told him that she had already been offered that amount for them and was planning on selling them that very afternoon to Albus Dumbledore. The boy, whose name was Tom, left quickly rather than stay and see his hated former teacher. The next morning he awoke to the paper proclaiming that the lady had been killed by her house elf, and the elf was immediately executed for her crime. What disturbed him was that the two items that he had admired, were sitting on his kitchen table. He realized at that moment, that he would never be free unless he was strong enough to beat the evil man who pretended to be light. He left that day, searching the world for rituals and magic that would make him strong enough, but with each step, he lost a little bit more of his humanity, until one day, there was none left and Lord Voldemort was fully born.

Back in Scotland, the soul of a castle sat dejectedly as her messenger and companion flamed in and related to her what had transpired. Her spirits were uplifted for a time when the dark one left her halls, only to have them dashed when he returned a hero, and the new Headmaster of the school. His first act as Headmaster, was to use a dark ritual to bind her friend and make him do what the dark one commanded, thereby convincing everyone that he was truly a champion of the light. Slowly, he dumbed down the curriculum, saying it was for the best since some of the pureblood students were having trouble. Then he got rid of the classes that taught you how to actually live in the real world. Subjects such as Latin, Math, English, Foreign languages, household finances and upkeep, intro to the wizard and muggle worlds; all were cut from the curriculum. He kept the history teacher on after he died, making sure that the ghost would only teach fear of the goblins and not actual history. It wouldn't do for the students to learn what their rights and responsibilities really were after all. He then used tricks and the ministry to limit the intake of muggleborn students, since having too many of them caused him headaches since they tended to question him and his decisions about the path that the magical world should follow, unlike the sheep in the wizarding world. He had taken over the wizarding world completely, first with the school, then with the Ministry, and finally as head of the international Conclave of Wizards. He acted like he was just a figurehead, having no real power, but his fingers were in every pie and his strings directed his puppets without them even noticing, whether they were from the families associated with the light or dark. Everything was going His way, until his one-time pawn returned.

At first it was just things going a different way than he had planned, then resources of the traditionally dark pureblood families fell out of his control when the head of the Parkinson family was killed. Next, the minister began to believe that she could govern the Wizarding world without his directions or say so, and a few of his followers just vanished from their world. By the time he realized that he had lost control, it was too late and the wizarding world had broken out in civil war. He felt that it was pure irony that the two of them had remarkably similar goals in their limitation of lesser bloods coming into prominence in their world, yet he was called a muggle lover. He gathered the light families together to fight this new darkness, and when he could arrange it for them to will their fortunes to the fight of evil if they died, he would conveniently arrange for it to happen since it was their wish to help him further his vision of the wizarding world. Albus was willed fortune after fortune as he facilitated the Death Eaters killing off the light families, but he realized that if he didn't step up, he might lose it all. That was when he decided that he needed another weapon, only this time, he would create a spare in case one rebelled. In his organization, there were two young couples from families with immense wealth and breeding, who were perfect for creating his weapons. First, he Imperioused a hopeful History of Magic teacher who was descended from a famous seer to spout out a prophecy in a dirty pub that the death eater scum liked to visit. He made sure that it was heard and passed on to Voldemort, and with proper planning, he would fall for it. Next, he needed the two couples to get pregnant at the same time. A few simple fertility charms and lust potions with delayed reactions, and presto, two gravid women due at around the right time. Then he made sure that Lily got access to some ancient magic texts that talked about the power of sacrifice and love, knowing that she would share her research with her friend Alice.

Everything went according to plan until little baby Harry disappeared from his crib before he could get him. It took him most of the following day to trace the portkey that had whisked Harry away, and when he did, he was livid. How dare they think for themselves and ruin his plans. He needed to get there immediately before he lost both weapons to that psycho witch and her friends. Arriving with a loud crack, Albus strolled into the living room of the Longbottoms, expecting to have to fight at least one or two death eaters. Instead, he found Alice sitting on the ground playing with two baby boys, while Frank and Alastor Moody made sure they were secure and unmasked.

"Well done in keeping yourselves safe, I am happy that Alastor was able to arrive here in time to help you. I am so glad to find you safe after I heard that the Lestrange's were coming for you. This was a close call and I think that I should take Harry and place him some where safe." Albus stated with a twinkle in his eye.

"No," Alice stated emphatically! "I promised Lily and James that if we survived and they didn't, that I would raise the boys like brothers, just as she would do for my Neville."

Albus sighed internally, before pasting a smile back on his face. "Of course you are right. Just let me help you with these Death Eaters and then I will be on my way." Bending over he picked up the wands of Bellatrix and Rodolphus, and then pivoted so he was behind Alastor, Frank, and Alice. "I am sorry, but I cannot have you interfering with my plans." A red spell shot out of each wand and hit the two adult men before they could react, followed quickly by another hitting Alice as she threw herself between the mad man they thought was on their side and the two baby boys. Once the three were stunned, Albus moved the boys out of the way and then began to set the scene as if a great battle had been fought here. He noticed that there was a ritual circle on the ground, and furniture had been arranged as if to set up an ambush. He needed information about what had taken place, and so he enervated Barty Crouch Jr. So he could ask him some questions. Not giving him a chance to do anything, Albus cast a spell that had been used in magical courts to get the truth from accused before veritaserum had been invented.

"What happened here before I arrived?" Albus questioned his prisoner.

"We arrived here, and there was no one home, so the Lestrange brothers set Bellatrix and me as look outs while they prepared for the resurrection of our Lord. Everything was set, and we had moved the furniture around so that we could ambush the family when they arrived, only it all went wrong when Moody and Longbottom came through the door that the incompetent bitch was supposed to be watching. Before any of us could respond, we were all bound and immobilized, and then that traitorous bitch walked in to the room behind Alice, carrying Harry Potter. It was obvious that with the Master being killed, his spells that kept her in line were broken or at the least, were so weak that she was no longer forced to obey her husband and his brother. She even convinced Moody to secure her just in case they were able to take control of her once more. Moody and the Longbottoms were stunned that she was not a willing death eater, and had not been marked by our Lord, as if he would bestow his mark on a lowly woman. It provided great amusem*nt to all of our Lord's followers that she was known as his most loyal follower, when she hated everything that we stood for and was as much a blood traitor as her sister Andromeda or her cousins Sirius and Regulus Black. They were about to call the on-duty Auror squad when you arrived." Albus was surprised about the information about Bellatrix Lestrange not being a willing Death Eater, but he needed more information about the attempted ritual, before he proceeded to finish his arrangement of the bodies here in his masterpiece of misdirection. He stunned Barty and moved on to Rodolphus Lestrange to get more information, once again casting the percontatio spell to get the answers he needed.

"What ritual were you and your brother setting up, and what was its purpose?" Rodolphus struggled against the spell cast upon him, but Albus poured more magic into his spell and easily overcame his prisoner's will.

"We were following the orders of the Dark Lord that he taught us in the instance where he appeared to have been killed. It is an old ritual that he called Kheper Oko Sa, which with one of the objects of power, would bring him back from death itself. We were all set and ready to use Harry Potter, since one of our people in St. Mungo's told us that the Longbottoms had taken him to see a healer to be checked out. We would have succeeded in ambushing them if that bitch who is my wife hadn't betrayed us. If it wouldn't cause the Goblin Nation to wipe out my family for breaking the marriage contract, I would have killed the stupid blood traitor bitch and been done with her a long time ago."

"Explain the ritual to me." Albus commanded.

"We were to place the baby in the ritual circle, with his head at the point that pointed strait South, with his arms and legs contained in each of the other points, and then we were to place the artifact upon his chest where it said his Sa was centered. Once the artifact had gained enough power to overcome the will of the vessel, the essence of our Lord would transfer in to his new body and then we could use spells to bring his age up so that his new body could contain his power."

"What happened to the artifact you were going to use?" Albus questioned in his excitement at discovering a way to extend his own life so he could guide the world for the greater good forever. He would need to examine this object and learn its secrets, since the Flamel's wouldn't give him their stone, and they wouldn't teach him how to make his own.

"When I saw that we were going to be captured, I banished the chalice back to the family vault in Gringotts so that it could not be destroyed by my Lord's enemies. I swore that I and my brother would defend it with our lives, and I have no intention losing my magic. I intend to retrieve it as soon as I am released from ministry custody and then my Master will rise again."

Albus stunned him once again, and then looked around while deep in thought, trying to figure out the best way to stage the room so that his plans would work out the way he wanted them to. With a flick of his wand, he began to move the adults around into the way he wanted them to be for his enforced memory to work. Albus was a master at obliviating and adjusting the reality and memories of his pawns and knew that the most effective way to make sure they had no flashes of true memory was to use the things that would stick out as unusual from their original memory and incorporate into their new scenario. Therefore, he would have to use Bellatrix in a fashion that would show that she was reluctant to be there and involved in hurting Neville. It wasn't hard to put the memories of torturing the Longbottoms into the heads of the male Death Eaters, but it took more power than he could afford to use to get Bellatrix and Moody into the proper frame of mind. When he got to the Longbottoms, he realized that his job had become harder than he had imagined.

Frank and Alice Longbottom where wearing the rings that denoted them as Lord and Lady Longbottom, and the ancient magic of the rings made it impossible to alter or control their minds in any way. He had been lucky that Death Eaters didn't wear their family rings on their raids as they could be identified by them, but now he had a dilemma as only the wearer could remove them before death, and only with their spouse's consent. If nothing else, Albus Dumbledore was one who could think on his feet, and with no hesitation, he picked up the wands of Barty and Rabastan and began casting the cruciatus curse on the two parents who had once shown him their trust.

The screams of Alice and Frank woke the two boys and set off their own screams, and Albus paused to stun the two children before continuing. He debated for a moment, and then used a curse that he had learned from his friend Grindelwald which trapped a person inside of a prison in their own mind, bypassing the protections on their rings by physically locking them out of the control of their bodies. This would leave Frank alive which meant that he wouldn't have to stop Augusta from taking Neville and leaving England. A small compulsion on her would have her constantly comparing Neville to Frank, but with the bind he planned to put on Neville and Harry's cores, neither would ever live up to their fathers unless he let them, and that would not happen unless they dedicated themselves completely to him. Finally done, he sent Harry back to the home he had left the previous night, and then sent Hagrid a message to go pick him up. He then apparated to where he could make sure that no one else interfered with his plans.

It was at that moment that Hagrid was having an argument with Sirius Black about Harry. Hagrid insisted that he take Harry cause Dumbledore, great man that Dumbledore, told him to come take him. When Sirius asked how Harry had got back to the house, Dumbledore stepped out of the shadows and explained that Harry had performed accidental magic which took him out of their world and into a pocket space for almost thirty six hours. While Sirius was looking in amazement at little Harry, Dumbledore cast multiple compulsion charms on him, driving him to seek revenge against Peter and then confess his crimes when he was caught. Dumbledore then apparated to Privet Drive, where he had to adjust his deputy's mind again as she was fighting him about his plan to leave Harry there. She even offered to bring Harry to her nephew and his wife, so that they could adopt him and raise him in the muggle world. These all would have been good suggestions, if he actually had Harry's best interests at heart. He mildly wondered while waiting for Hagrid, if constant use of compulsion and memory charms could cause brain damage. Well, only time would tell, but he had a perfect test case right here with him. With that done, he calmly pulled the time turner he had taken for himself from the Potter family many years before and turned it to give himself enough time to attend the emergency Wizengamot meeting where he would need to delay Augusta Longbottom from leaving before his past-self could finish his tasks.

The years passed, and Hogwarts lost more and more of her abilities as the Dark One placed more and more restrictions on her. She wondered if this is what dying felt like, and set herself to pondering what would happen to her soul when she no longer had the magic to sustain it. It seemed as if only moments had passed since she started her existential debate with herself, when something alerted her that change was coming. Now it should be pointed out, that time is different to a 1000 year old sentient castle than it is to most humans. So what was to her point of view, barely enough time to get herself mentally dressed and ready to meet this change, was the span of time from when Hedwig first appeared to Harry, till the time when he, along with Dora, Hermione, and to all of their surprise, Susan, appeared in her Legendary heart chamber; just as Harry's magic began to unleash itself from his control.

It was like drinking ambrosia direct from Mount Olympus, at least that is what Hogwarts likened it to. Pure energy was pouring out of him and into her heart, strengthening her once again and breaking the restrictions that had been placed upon her by the dark one. Fawkes flamed out of the chamber, and then flamed back in with Hedwig in her two day old form. Hedwig spread herself across his chest, trying to get as much contact as she could, and Dora and Hermione got the same idea. Susan was a little scared as they had just appeared in this strange place, and now Harry was glowing. She suddenly heard a voice telling her that she was safe and that she needed to hug Harry from behind pressing against him as much as she could. Susan didn't know why, but she trusted the voice, and besides, Harry would never let her get hurt. When all four females were surrounding Harry, with all of them sitting directly in the center of Hogwart's heart-stone, Harry's magic fully released. Wave after wave, pulse after pulse, power flowed out of Harry as the five females, three human, one phoenix, and one sentient magical castle, helped him to contain his rage and grow instead.

It seemed to take an eternity, and yet be over in an instant; but eventually it was over and Harry was back to normal. Well mostly normal, with some slight bits of abnormal thrown in. Hedwig sat in front of them, full grown and back to full strength thanks to her bond with Harry. Harry also got something from the transfer as there was a beautiful tattoo like discoloration of a phoenix covering his entire chest. If one had taken a picture of Harry right before his outburst of magic, and then right after, there would have been distinctly noticeable changes between the before and after. Gone completely were the left over effects from his deficient upbringing, including all of his scars minus one. He also appeared to have grown again, though it was more that he now looked a couple years older than his true age, complete with the start of the muscles that normally came with the exit from adolescence toward adulthood.

It wasn't just him that had changed from the power that had released from his core. On his right, Hermione was discharging static from the ends of her hair, as she had gained large amounts of magic in the transfer. The same went for Dora as she was staring at her arm, while changing it into different animal's legs and paws. She was in awe since she had been told that a metamorphmagus could not become anything but human. It was once again little Susan who surprised them all. Where before she had sort of a hazel eye color, her eyes were now the same green as Harry's and they seemed to glow from the power contained within.

Hogwarts had been busy, putting up fake barriers and restrictions so that the dark one would not suspect that she was free from his control. While she knew that he could never control her again, she also knew it would endanger the students if he felt that he had lost control. It was a good thing that this happened while he was out of the country on vacation. When she focused back on the four youngsters who had joined with the white phoenix to free her from the bonds that the dark one had placed on her, she found some surprises. She examined them one by one, already knowing one of them as one of her students and one as the child of two of her former students, but the other two were strangers.

The boy was a power to be reckoned with, and she realized that he was the one that the dark one was trying to set up as his new weapon. He would need watching, but seeing that he was bonded with Hedwig showed her that he would have guidance and protection while traveling on the road the fates had laid out for him. The girl with the bushy brown hair was another powerful witch, with latent talents that were hidden in her very blood, only needing the right stimulus to grow and flourish. It was the third girl, and the youngest, that was puzzling the entity that was the soul of Hogwarts. Here was a girl who had no magic of her own, and yet she was full of power that resonated with the same signature as that of the boy. Nothing in Hogwarts's many years had ever puzzled her like this. The accepted knowledge said that magic could not be passed from one being to another, no matter what the idiot purebloods said about muggleborn stealing magic. Yet here was proof that it could be given to another living being, not just a magical construct like her. This was definitely knowledge that needed to be protected until such time as it was determined that it could not be stolen; only given willingly.

"Hello children." The melodious voice of Hogwarts said. "Thank you for coming here and feeding me the power to free myself from the restrictions that have held me back from looking after those in my charge. Now that I am at my peak, no one will ever again be able to keep me from performing my duties to the children under my care."

"Who are you?" Asked Hermione, speaking for all of the children present.

"I am Hogwarts, and you are in my heart-stone chamber." She replied. "For many years, I have been cut off from the ley lines that I was built on, and have had to take my power only from the ambient magic released by the students who attended school within my walls. With the power that you have gifted me, I am now able to move this chamber back to the center of where the four ley lines converge, allowing me to bring my higher functions and protections back online."

"Why did you lose access to that location?" Harry asked. "Shouldn't this chamber have been built to stay there by whoever designed you?"

"Yes, it was," She replied. "But there was a spell used that was designed to put a magical building's core in stasis while construction or renovation was being done. A student came one day, and through people underestimating him, and through manipulation that he had been taught to use by his father, he gained access to the ward controls in the North tower and was able to cast his spell on me. I still had much magic stored up, and so didn't worry as I didn't think that it would be to long before it was discovered and repaired. After five years, I realized that I would need to take action before I was drained completely. I informed the current headmaster what he needed to do, but he did nothing. He liked that I could no longer govern those who were in charge, since he had a predilection for taking innocence from those who he was tasked with protecting. Before I revealed to him that my protections were fading, he kept it out of the castle and was only able to pursue his conquests on school holidays. Once he knew, he brought it right into the halls that he was supposed to protect, now having a much bigger field to play in."

"This was the plan of the student, since his older brother was one of those that the headmaster had chosen to play with, and the student had caught him in action. The student was able to use his knowledge of the headmaster's activities to blackmail him into getting him access to more and more tomes of knowledge that hadn't been seen in years by any except the Headmasters and those they gave access to. Whatever else he was, that student was a true seeker of knowledge, though only for his benefit and no one else's. Once he graduated, he was done with that headmaster, and so he turned him in to help develop a reputation as a champion for what was right. Years later, he came back as a teacher, more powerful than ever, while I had lost my ability to communicate with those who attended and those who were in charge. I watched as he sabotaged the dream that I had been founded on. He spread tales of the hatred between Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin that were complete fabrications, and slowly turned the school against the house of the serpent. It still amazes me that the magical world just accepted that Slytherin house was a snake pit. Anyone who is educated would know that serpents are wise and cunning, being advisors to wizards since the beginning of time. There are only a few examples of ones who are bad, the most prominent being the one who got that stupid woman Eve and her husband to eat of the forbidden fruit. Unfortunately, the dark one was a master at sowing dissent among the populace, always holding himself up as being above the petty squabbles, while using his own followers to push his agenda."

"Wow," said Dora. "It's a good thing that he no longer teaches at the school. You can see the effect he had every day in the way the rest of the school interacts with the Slytherins. And the Slytherins aren't helped by the greasy bat of the dungeons, showing disdain toward everyone except his house."

"Alas child, though he no longer teaches, he is still here." Hogwarts said sadly.

"Is he one of the ghosts?" Dora asked.

"No child, he is the Headmaster."

"What!" Exclaimed the three older children, while Susan was still stuck on the nice lady's mention of ghosts, hoping one of them was named Casper.

"Albus Dumbledore is the one who chained you?" Dora asked incredulously. "But he is the leader if the light, the defeater of Grindelwald, and the most powerful wizard since Merlin. Are you sure you haven't been confounded by the real evil gits spells?"

"No, I have watched him since he was a child, since the day that he entered through my doors. It was the sorting hat who first warned me that he was evil, and he has been set on destroying our society and rebuilding it in his likeness since before he even entered this school." It was with sadness that Hogwarts continued. "His father was a man set on the domination of our world, and he trained his son to follow in his footsteps, manipulating our world from behind a mask. His father failed because I was able to inform the right people to watch him. When he arrived, I tried to give him a chance to change, thinking that he would not be able to do too much harm until he was older; and while I sat idle, he was able to start the process that chained me. I regret that I didn't take action when I could, and since he chained me, he has poisoned the youth of our world, and has taken complete power."

"I need to tell my parents about this," said Dora Urgently. "This explains so much that didn't make sense to them about how people's attitudes were changing. Can I bring them to talk to you so that you can answer their questions? If they knew what he was doing and about his past, then maybe they could come up with a strategy to combat him and his influence on our world."

"Speaking of parents," Hermione interjected, "Shouldn't we get back since they must be worried sick about us since we just disappeared?"

"Yes you should, as you do not want to worry those who love you if you can help it." Hogwarts answered. "Just a few things that you need to know before you go. First, in answer to your question Dora; yes you can bring your parents back here to talk to me at any time. Just call out that you need to talk and I will send Fawkes or one of my elves to retrieve you. Second and possibly most important to us all; Harry, you cannot trust the one you call Whiskers, no matter what. He is the one I refer to as the dark one, and if he is able to control you, then our world is doomed, and I am not referring to the magical world only. Develop friendships with anyone that Hedwig tells you that you can trust, and keep learning everything you can, since you never know what will help you in the future. Lastly, tell Susan's parents that she is magical, and that they need to get assigned away from Britain, preferably in America before she reaches the age of seven, as that is when they start teaching children to control their magic over there." Everyone looked over toward Susan, and realized that the reason she had been so quiet was that she had fallen asleep against Harry with a serene smile across her face.

Hogwarts continued, "I want to emphasize the fact that Hedwig needs to help you control your magic Harry. If you release your magic, along with your rage and pain like that too many times, you could seriously damage your core. This would have a catastrophic effect on your ability to protect yourself and your friends in the future. If you ever feel like you are going to burst like that, have Hedwig bring you here and I will help with managing your outburst. Now remember to have fun and to live your life to its fullest, with no regrets. As for you Lady Hedwig, when it is time for his freedom, come to me as we will need to hide his outbursts from the dark one so that he cannot be tracked down and shackled again." With a bob of her head, Hedwig stood on Harry's shoulder, while wrapping her wings around Dora and Hermione, and Harry pulled Susan tighter against him. With a burst of flame and snow, Hedwig transported them out of the heart chamber of Hogwarts and back to their families.

Once they were gone, a woman stepped out from a hidden alcove and proceeded to stroke the feathers of Fawkes while she looked contemplatively at where the children had just been. "I am sorry my friend, but I cannot yet free you from your shackles that he placed on you."

Fawkes replied with a melancholy yet resolved trill of his beautiful voice.

"I am so very happy that she found him before he was permanently damaged by that evil manipulative whiskered wanker who is occupying my ward control center. What is wrong with witches and wizards? For almost a thousand years, the office of the headmaster was located near the great hall, and the office was accessible to any member of the school while he or she was in. Then one day, Albus Bloody to Many Titles and Names Dumbledore moves it to the seventh floor behind an enchanted guardian, and no one even questions it except the three heads of house who are not completely under his thumb. Then, no one notices when Minnie becomes slavishly devoted to him and his plans, while Sprout becomes a kind yet inept woman who lets her house be pushed down. As far as Flitwick goes, I am still puzzled as to how the dark one took control of him since he is part goblin. Even with his heritage diluted by his father's blood, he still has the mental gifts of a goblin warrior, and is immune to confundus charms and other mind magic. It might be potion induced, though I suppose I will have to wait until later to find out for sure."

She sighed and then followed the silent signals Fawkes was giving her as to where he wanted to be rubbed next. "I just wish that I could keep a closer eye on Harry, to protect him and teach him so that he would be prepared to fulfill his destiny. I am relieved that Hedwig was able to help him to remove the soul piece that was poisoning his magic and body, and it won't be too much longer before we can begin to release his true magical potential. It is just a shame that it was Dumbles that Sybil had her prophetic vision in front of. If it had been to one of the real warriors of the light, then it's possible that the wizarding world would not have had to suffer so much."

'Unfortunately,' she mused, 'it was during her interview to be the new History of Magic teacher in the headmaster's office, that the spark of prophecy hit her. Albus immediately placed a spell on her which stopped her from remembering why she was there, and then sent her down to the Hog's Head Inn in Hogsmeade, where he knew there were Death Eaters hanging about. The next day, he went down and conducted her 'interview' to be the new divination professor, a position that had not been in existence the day before. He placed a spell on the door, and when one of the oh so predictable tools of the misbehaving boy, Tom Riddle, came to the door; he made her spout out only the parts of the prophecy that would not point directly back to him, adding some extra drivel that fit with his plans. It annoyed him immensely, when he found that his brother had thrown the Death Eater out of the pub before he heard the entirety of the misleading prophecy he had scripted, and he got his revenge by getting his brother in trouble with the ministry using a version of an animal husbandry spell he had personally changed. One day, I will be able to tell Harry and those he trusts the true prophecy, and its meaning for him and his life. Now though, it is time for me to help Hedwig in distracting the dark one while Harry is receiving love and comfort from those who have chosen to protect and love him since that is something I am unable to do.'

"Kephin!" Hogwarts called out, and then turned as a house elf popped into existence to her side.

"Yes Mistress, how may I serve you?"

"I want you to travel to Geneva and give this note to Ott Diener, and then wait until he tells you where to go from there. Take this flask, as it is an ever-full flask of Anarore Rosse and will not let you run out of energy, no matter how far you have to travel."

"Yes Mistress. Thank you for your trust. You may consider it done." With that said, Kephin popped away. If he had stayed just a few seconds longer, he would have been treated to a sight he would not have believed possible. The physical avatar of Lady Hogwarts practically collapsed in a fit of giggles as she imagined the look on Albus 'I am in charge of the whole world' Dumbledore as he enjoyed her arrangements for keeping him off balance and occupied for the near future. Hedwig was right, when you could not outright destroy the dark one, then annoying him and subverting his plans at every turn became a source of fun and amusem*nt all on its own.


The next day, Albus Dumbledore approached the counter of the travel coordination office of the ICW to pick up his International portkey back to England. It really was a nuisance having to do this, but it allowed the proper taxes and fees for each country that you traveled to, and so in the interest of both controlling the flow of wizards out of England, and more importantly to Dumbledore, wizards coming into England; the Supreme Mugwhump had thrown his political weight behind the International Statute. It was perfectly legal to create portkeys around your own country under the statute, but you had to go to the correct office to attain one for leaving the country, which allowed forward thinking men, namely Albus Dumbledore, to make sure that the wrong people did not leave from the places he wanted them to be nor were they able to enter into England to challenge his power or position. He was shaken out of his reverie when the man called his name for the third time, asking him where he wanted to go.

"Yes, my good man, I think I will take a small detour and travel too Little Whinging, Surrey in the United Kingdom." Albus figured that he would stop by and make sure that Harry was getting proper treatment from his family, ensuring that when he was rescued, he would be eternally grateful to the kindly grandfather-esque figure that would guide him to his proper destiny.

Ott Dienar smiled to himself as he thought about the prank that was about to be played on the Janus-faced old man. It was about time that someone messed with him, and Ott was glad to help. Three years before, he had watched his youngest daughter die, because she had not displayed accidental magic yet, and Dumbledore had gotten an addendum to the Statute of Secrecy passed that said that wizards could not interfere with a squib's medical treatment once they were in the muggle healthcare system. His daughter was sick with a type of pneumonia that only attacked those with magic in them and was easily curable with a simple potion. It was Dumbledore's assistant, Delores Umbridge, who argued that she must be a squib, since her mother was muggleborn and so the quality of her blood had shown thru. Ott and his wife, who were both above average in power, were relieved of their wands and not allowed to get the potion to save their daughter, because of Dumbledore, though he tried to play the sad grandfatherly role, saying his hands were tied and it was the assistant forced on him by the British Ministry. It was later, after his daughter had passed that he found out that Dumbledore had handpicked his assistant for her views and personality.

"Here you go sir, your one way International portkey is ready for you, and the custom destination you demanded is all set. It will activate on its own in two minutes, and is charmed so that you cannot drop it while in transition. I hope that you enjoy your trip and that you would think of using this office for all your future travel needs." Ott Dienar smiled the smile that all good professionals develop over time for dealing with customers who have pushed the limits of civility; the kind of insincere smile that never reached the eyes, and told a really observant individual that they had better check their order of fries for foreign particles.

The great and wise Lord Albus Dumbledore, as he liked to think of himself anyway, took the old sock in his hand with a magnanimous smile toward the inferior servant who should be worshiping at his feet. 'I know I have to deal with these people so that I can play the role I need to, but it would be so much better if I could just control them all at once; for the Greater Good of course.' He stepped over to the portkey departure spot, trying to come up with something new for Dudley and his gang, or the adult Dursleys, to do to Harry to make sure that he was ready to become the weapon that Albus had destined him to become. Then it hit him, 'I can get him expelled from school and banned from the library for vandalizing it, while allowing Dudley and his friends to vent their spleen on the domain of those interfering women. Yes, that is a good plan, and it will cut him off from any allies he might be developing in his neighborhood by confirming that he really was a trouble maker.' His thoughts were interrupted when the attendant motioned for him to step into the circle designated for departure.

"Sir, grip your portkey firmly and please enjoy your trip." The attendant then turned and said something that froze Dumbledore in shock. "One departing for Leh Ho Win Ding, Singapore in 3, 2, 1, next..." Albus felt the hook of magic grab him, and he began to scream as he was pulled all the way across Asia, to one of the worst areas in Singapore. The reason for his screaming is that while the magic of portkeys usually grabs the traveler behind the navel automatically, if it is personalized, it is usually based on height and gives a more comfortable ride. It appeared that the maker of this particular portkey, miss estimated his height and Albus Dumbledore was grabbed and pulled by a portion of his body between eight and ten inches below his navel. His last conscious thought before passing out from the pain, was sorrow that it would be a while before he could do more than think about cuddling with the dark and handsome man back at Hogwarts.

Chapter 12: Chapter 12

Chapter Text

Chapter 12

"Oh no," shrieked Mrs. Wright! "Where have they gone with my daughter?" Before the echoes of her cry had even faded, Hedwig popped the four children back into the room.

Cries of "Hermione," "Susan," "Dora," and "Harry" split the air and the children were surrounded by their families, all in desperate need of assurance that the children were okay. Confusion reigned as everyone tried to speak out at once, the adults demanding to know where they had been for the minute or so that passed, while the children were all trying to relate their adventure. It was Admiral Wright who silenced everyone with an ear piercing whistle.

Susan had awoke the moment she heard her mommy and daddy's voices call her name, and in her first instance of accidental magic, she launched herself into their arms, clearing the nine feet between them without touching the floor. In their relief at seeing that their daughter was safe, they at first ignored the fact that Susan had gone from laying in Harry's lap asleep, to flying into their arms like a parent seeking missile. After they assured themselves that their daughter was fine and had not come to harm from the crazy bird that had burst into flames and taken their little girl; they both decided that they wanted answers.

"I would like to know what is going on right now, and if I don't get some answers, I will be calling the RMP's to help sort this out." Admiral Wright was a man used to command, and rolling with the changes that combat threw at you, but things had happened today that he knew were impossible, and yet he had seen them with his own eyes. "What was the bird that carried these four away in fire, and what is this bird that brought them back in a burst of fire and snow? And where did they go, since they were not here for at least thirty seconds before they reappeared? Also, and this may be the most important, why are my daughters eyes the same color as Harry's?"

Harry was looking around, and noticed that his friends, and he included little Susan in that group, were all looking to him to answer. It was when he noticed that Andi and Ted had moved subtly to the side so that they were between the Wrights and the door, with each of them holding their wands slightly behind their backs, that helped make up Harry's mind that he needed to take charge of the situation. Making eye contact with Ted and Andi, and giving them a slight shake of his head; he then turned to look at Mr. and Mrs. Wright.

Without taking his eyes off of the Wrights, Harry spoke to Andi. "Aunt Andi, would you please make sure that we are not bothered or interrupted by any of the staff? There is much that we need to tell all of you, and that includes the Wrights, and would be better for all if we were not disturbed." Andi nodded and then waved her wand around, casting the Black family wards that would ensure that the room they were in was forgotten, at least until she cancelled them or they were cracked from the inside.

"First things first, I think that introductions are in order, and not just for the Wrights." Harry continued. "First of all, let me introduce you to Fawkes, the one who carried us out of here so that you all would be safe from me." Fawkes flamed in at hearing his name, flew around the room, and then settled down in Susan's lap, with a song of joy and contentment as she began to fuss over him, ignoring everything else around her. "Next, for all of the adults in the room, this is Hedwig, my companion and the one who has watched over me and repeatedly saved me from the one that Hogwarts calls the dark one." All of the adults who had been present earlier in the summer when Harry had grown out his hair looked at each other in astonishment as they recognized the bird they thought was stuffed and mounted in the study on Downing Street. "Both Fawkes and Hedwig are magical birds called phoenix, and they are to all practical purposes, immortal. And now for the fun part where I really get to blow your mind, Mr. and Mrs. Wright; I know that you know magic is real, but the surprise is that that now your daughter is one of the few who can wield it." Harry's smile disappeared, when Mrs. Wright's eyes rolled up into the back of her head, and only her husband's arms kept her from the floor.

It was Dora who broke the tension when she reached over and slapped the back of Harry's head. "Way to go Harry. You just couldn't be subtle about that bit of information could you? You had to rush in like a rash Gryffindor, with no subtlety at all, and give this poor woman one shock to many. You can't just blurt out that Susan is now magical, and that they need to move to America or Australia to get away from the magical society we have here, and the man who controls it all." At that moment, a squeak emitted from Erica Wright as she had become aware of what Dora was saying about them moving, and she promptly slumped over once again.

"Good job, Dora. You may have put her out for a much longer period than Harry did with your little revelation." Andi chastised her daughter, though there was a hint of laughter in her voice. "May I suggest that we head back to our camp ground and we can have this conversation there? While my wards will keep everyone away, it does not stop the monitors that are set to this room." When everyone agreed with that plan, Abby went in search of the on duty physician to get Harry released to their care.


It took many hours to explain what had happened to them when they had disappeared from the room at the hospital, and even more to explain that they had been gone for more than two hours when only thirty or so seconds had passed to the ones who stayed behind. It was easier for them to believe once they were given a full tour of the 'tent' that the Tonks's had provided, but it was the questioning of why they needed to leave England that pushed their resolve.

"Why should we leave England, if they won't even inform us that Susan is magic until her eleventh birthday?" Erica Wright asked with an almost pleading tone in her voice. "We will just tell them we are sending her to a school outside of Britain, and they will have to leave us alone, right?"

It was Andi who fielded this latest query from one of the two over whelmed parents. "If it were that easy, than I would encourage you to stay here near your family, but I am afraid that it is much more complicated than that. When little Susan has her first bout of detected accidental magic, they will send a team to investigate her learn all they can about her family and its ties to the muggle world. Once they learn about your husband's occupation, they will report back to the ministry that she may be a possible threat. This will be for two reasons, the first being that with two other siblings, it is unlikely that she will be willing to keep her family at arm's length, and the second, because her father being an Admiral means that he has the power to focus too much scrutiny on their world if anything happens to her. I have seen at least one case in the last few years where the family of a newly revealed witch died in a house fire that was caused by a suposedly faulty gas main exploding at their summer home in the Lake District. The reason I know that it was the work of someone at the ministry, is that not one house in the entire row of houses that theirs was a part of had gas of any kind installed; everything was powered by electricity. Unfortunately for them, the father of the little witch was a member of the Prime Minister's personal staff, and was very politically connected. I was infuriated when I heard how they died, because I worked with her mother and we had stayed in that vacation home of theirs the summer before. It was deemed a tragic accident, but during the last war, the favorite ways to explain deaths from death eater attacks was to obliviate anyone around and then say it was a gas leak. Their stories of gas leak explosions cost Her Royal Majesty's government hundreds of millions of pounds trying to repair gas mains and pipes that had nothing essentially wrong with them."

"Can't I go to the High Command and tell them what is going on?" Admiral Wright asked. "Surely, if my superiors knew, then it would give my family some protection from these people? Surely there is someone who could protect us from them?"

"It is not that simple." Ted answered. "I have run several scans of Susan since the children came back, and I have found something that makes it imperative that you leave Britain as quickly as possible, for all of our sakes. I believe that Susan was born with enough inherent magic to make her register as a squib in our world, a person who can see magic, but cannot use it. Now she not only registers as very powerful for her age and core development, but she also shows up as a Potter." The whole room was stunned in silence, before Andi whipped out her wand to perform her own scan to verify what her husband had just said. The results that she got stunned her, and her knees gave out and she fell back into her seat.

"I demand you explain that last statement, right now. There is no way that I am letting my daughter be taken away from me, to be raised in a barbaric society like the one that you have told us about. I don't care how honorable Harry is, she is my daughter and I will not give her up!" Admiral Wright shouted as he scooped up Susan from the floor, knocking the red and orange bird she was still holding down onto his side where he let out an indignant squawk. He righted himself, and then with a glare at Susan's father, who was now holding an upset and crying toddler, and then Fawkes flashed out of the room. Before Susan could get even more angry with her dad for upsetting the pretty birdy, Fawkes flashed back in and dropped a ratty looking hat on top of Hedwig's head, before trilling in laughter and flying over to land once again in Susan's grasping arms.

Susan giggled in happiness, crooning 'Pwetty birdy,' over and over as she cuddled her face into Fawkes's feathers. Everyone but the Tonks family was surprised when what looked like a tear in the hat opened and a voice poured out. What caught even the Tonks's off guard was that it was a female voice that came out.

"I am Hogwarts, and I had my friend Fawkes bring me here so that I could help you understand just how dangerous Britain is for Susan, now that magic acknowledges her as a Potter. When the children appeared in my Heart-Stone chamber, they along with Hedwig surrounded Harry with love and friendship when he was going through a crisis. The immense magic that had built up in Harry over the years, along with the fact that Hedwig gave him part of herself to heal him, combined to release a level seven magical wave, and that magic effected everything it touched while I was absorbing most of it. It gave Dora even more control and ability in her gifts, while it corrected a few physical problems that Hermione had and strengthened her magical core. On Susan however, it sought to protect her, since it was Harry's magic and knew he would be unhappy if any harm came to her. As a person without magic, there was no way that she could survive, so it essentially adopted her magically into the Potter family as Harry's sister."

Hogwarts went on in her explanation. "To put the event into perspective, the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius at Pompeii was the result of a level five event caused by the Romans executing the daughter of a Mage from Africa who had no magic herself. The rage of seeing his precious daughter lying there broken on the floor of the arena with the other Christians, while the crowd cheered on the lions, made him release all of his magic at once in his agony and rage; no one survived the cataclysm. There are legends that Atlantis was sunk beneath the waves by a level eight magical event, but there is no proof of that, only supposition. As a baby, Harry destroyed the Dark Lord Voldemort with a level three event that was focused entirely on the person he had just seen attack his mother."

"But she is our daughter," Erica cried, "She is a Wright whether or not she has magic."

"Yes she is, and she always will be your daughter, but magically, she will now and forever be of the line of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter, and someday, her children will have that birthright as well. That is why you will need to take her out of Great Britain. It is for her, and your protection that you must leave. The Potter family is one of the most ancient of the noble families here, or anywhere in Europe. They can be traced back through Rome, Athens, Persia, Babylon, Solomon's Court, to even before the first Pharaohs. Through every empire going back many thousands of years, there has been a Potter in the halls of power, helping to guide the rulers in their reign, unless they turned on their people. If that happened, then the Potter family would move on to another area, and soon the despotic rulers would fall, with a new empire arising, a Potter standing to the right of the throne as an advisor.

In the middle of the 1800's, the Potter family started to die out, from misfortune, attacks, and what seemed at first like accidents. Branch after branch ceased to be, as they were hunted down on every continent by dark lord after wannabe dark lord, until there was just the one line left. Harry's grandparents were murdered while James and Lily were in hiding with Harry, and then on that fateful Halloween Harry became the last survivor of the Potter Clan. Now though, even if Harry dies, the Potter's will live on in the form of your daughter, which here in Europe, puts her in immediate danger." Hogwarts seemed to be saddened that she had to tell them of the danger their daughter was now in because she had gone with Harry.

"Admiral, please remove this hat from Hedwig's head and place it on yours, so that I can help you to protect your family. Using my newly unlocked abilities, I can shield your mind so that no wizard can read your thoughts, protecting your family and Harry from those who would do you harm. I will do the same for your wife and children, after we are done." Hedwig lowered her head so that the Admiral could grab the hat, and then sang a tune of encouragement when he hesitated.

When he placed the hat on his head, a look of wonder and joy flashed across his face, followed by a look of intense concentration. Admiral Kevin Wright stood still as a statue for so long, that the others in the room became concerned. It was only when he blinked and then handed Susan to her mother with a smile and an assurance that he was alright, that everyone relaxed and descended into conversation in the case of the adults, and play in the case of the kids. Andi looked at her usually reserved daughter, who had bloomed during her time spent with Harry Potter; she would found it funny just how close her thoughts were being mirrored by her husband as well as Dan and Emma in concerns to their daughter and the new attitudes they were seeing. Both girls had not really had close friends before Harry came along, one from fear of ridicule for her changes that she had at first had no control of, and the other because of her intellect and love of books. Yet looking at the three of them playing on the floor with the little girl, just brought home the changes that had come into their lives with the entrance of one Harry James Potter. Erica looked on, switching between looking at the face of her husband as he wore the strange hat, and her little girl who was currently busy climbing up on the wonderful boy who had saved her from the ocean, and brought her back to her family. He then gave her the gift of magic, and intentionally or not, adopted her as his sister. Here was a boy who could rely on receiving anything that her family had to give. In their minds each of the adults present once again decided that they would do whatever was needed to help Harry Potter. All of their thoughts were interrupted when Kevin called his wife to come over to and put on the talking hat.

Reluctantly, she took it, and very cautiously lowered it to her head, where the voice of Hogwarts and her four founders waited to give her instructions. 'Hello Erica.' A pleasant contralto voice greeted her, 'My name is Helga, and I am an echo of one of the four founders of Britain's first magical school. It was decided that I would be the one to speak to you since I was closest to your type and personality when I was alive. Your husband got to talk to Salazar, though I guess he should have been talking to Godric since he was the warrior. Maybe this will teach Godric not to bet with Salazar when it comes to games of chance, especially when the prize is speaking to a most remarkable man such as your husband. But enough about them, this is a time for us to prepare you for what you must do to keep your family safe. Your husband has been offered a liaison position in the colonies, which will see your family there for at least the next five years. It will part of your duties to get close to the wives of the men in power, and to be seen as a voice of reason and intelligence to those women who have clawed their way to the top. You will have to make sure that everyone in the halls of power in America sees your husband and yourself as needed to help them bridge the gap with their allies here in Europe.'

Erica was a little intimidated by what she was being told, but knew that she would do whatever it took to keep her family safe. Helga continued. 'Coming in the near future is a time of great change in the world, as powers will shift and America will emerge as the one true super power for a time. This has been seen by Rowena, who had the gift of Sight, along with a great intellect, and so was able to tell us of the tides off history, and where the breakers were that could destroy the ship we were helping to build. After your husband's Liaison assignment is done, if both of you have fulfilled the tasks we give you, the American government will almost demand that he be made the Ambassador of Her Majesty's government to the American President. This will ensure that your family stays safe, far away from the politics and bigotry of the British wizarding world. Susan will be educated in their system which, though different, is in reality far better at preparing her for the modern world. Having you over there will also provide Harry with resources when he is fleeing from those who would control him.'

'Who would want to hurt that dear sweet boy?' Erica thought.

'What you need to understand about Harry is that he is famous in the magical world. As a one year old baby, he survived an un-survivable curse and destroyed the Dark Lord trying to kill him, ending a fifteen year civil war in the magical world that was centered on Britain. This would have been enough for anyone to become famous, but he is also from a family that is practically revered in the magical world, for their accomplishments and for their ability to advise those in power. To put it in perspective, in your world it would as if Prince William was orphaned as a child, killing the equivalent of Hitler when he came to kill off his family line. Think about the cult of worship that would grow up around him as he was raised away from the spotlight, and the stories the tabloids would fabricate to sell their rags to the public. When he entered back into the world of Royalty, anything he did and said would be scrutinized and taken as the word of a demi-god, to be followed by all lest they incur his wrath.'

'In Harry's world, as your husband pointed out, there are books written for children, and for adults about the life that Harry is leading while away from the magical world. Most little girls of his generation get read to sleep, listening to the tales of the Boy-Who-Lived adventures as a mystical knight taking on the evil of the world, even defeating a dragon at the age of three. The adult versions have him as having matured in a magical accident, to the age of a mature teenager who is going around the world collecting among other things, a harem of Veela, and taming a murder of Harpies to be his personal guards and love slaves. The industry around Harry Potter accounts for almost twelve percent of the British wizarding economy, and the one who can control him would have the focal point of all that hero worship, to guide in the direction he or she wants. There have been multiple attempts from pureblood families to have Harry put in their care, all for his own safety of course. Magical families such as Malfoy, Fudge, Umbridge, Weasley, Edgecombe, Black, Diggory, Hornby, Bones, Avery, Macnair, and Parkinson have all petitioned the ministry for Harry's guardianship, though with the Weasley's it was as much for his perceived welfare as for his wealth and fame. Molly Weasley wants to save him from the Veelas and Harpies who have Harry in their clutches, since she is determined to have him marry her only daughter, and has groomed her daughter to take that position. Molly is and always has been one of the sheeple who believe everything she is told by authority figures and what she reads in print.' Erica laughed at that as she imagined a woman gullible enough to believe that a prepubescent boy would be collecting a harem of these Veela, whatever they were, and harpies from legend.

'There is a saying that has sprung up around the corridors of power in the ministry, he who controls the last Potter, controls the entire world. While it is arrogant of them to think that their little yard is in fact the center of the world, for them at least, it is true. Once Harry reaches his majority, with the political capital that his name alone holds, will allow him to change their world in any way that he sees fit to do. If he wants to, he can abolish the Wizengamot under the charter given to the Potters by King Edward I, by which the magical government was formed. The authority of the Monarchy over the Magical Realm was given to the Potters, in an attempt to govern the use of magic in mundane conflicts. Duke Edmund Potter formed a force of mage strength wizards and witches who went to battle against any family that tried to ignore the will of the King. It probably helped that Edmund Potter was the twin brother of King Edward, and took on his mother's maiden name to distance himself from the line of succession. Edmund was brutal in his battles against the wizards who challenged the King's right to rule, killing all the males, and taking all the females into his household for their protection. It took years, extending into the reign of his nephew, King Edward II, but he was finally able to bring about the changes to their society that was bought with the blood of the magical enemies to the Crown.'

'Enough history though, what you need to know is that Harry is the culmination of years of the Potter men marrying the smartest witches of their time, and their intelligence and power breeding true. Harry is the subject of prophecies going back thousands of years, and depending on the road he takes, his legacy will rock the foundations of heaven and hell. His companion Hedwig is a previously un-bonded White phoenix which lists him as a true Lord of the Light. People in the magical world often think of the world as white and black, with no room for grey, but being light does not mean the forgiveness of all without making someone pay for their crimes. The so called Leader of the Light, Albus Dumbledore preaches second, third, fourth, and seventeenth chances for the ones who commit atrocities, and yet is quick to condemn those who are the victims when they fight back. There is a saying, throughout history and even recorded in your holy book, the Bible; the blood of sacrifice and righteousness shall wash you clean of your sins, and make you perfect in the eyes of the creator. If he who created everything cannot endure sin and must have it washed away by the blood of a sacrifice, why is it that people believe that people believe that someone who is the good guy, must be a puss* who allows himself to be walked all over and stabbed in the back by those who claim to be friends?'

'In modern Western literature, the Knights of King Arthur, were noble, honest, good, and about as deadly as a band of scouts, only working at helping people and doing good deeds. They are said to be honorable, decent men, and not to be compared to the Japanese Samurai, who were brutal, barbaric men who would kill you just as soon as look at you. Yet both the Knights of Arthur, and the Samurai of Feudal Japan were products of their time and culture, and the ones who are immortalized are the ones who are considered the good guys. Both sets of warriors were bathed in blood during their lifetimes, in their fight to do what to them was honorable and right. Yet any decent Englishman would be horrified if you compared English knights to those Japanese barbarians, and you would get the same reaction from a Japanese man if you reversed the comparison. Each of these groups of men had both strengths and faults, yet each was dedicated to the honor of following a code that made them righteous in the eyes of history. Harry is a throwback to that time in his views, and will be called light, and dark, one moment the hero, and the next, the villain, depending on the shifting of the political wind. The only thing the world likes more than a hero, is a fallen hero, and that is what they will try and make Harry, until it is time for them to need him again.'

'What you and your family will accomplish by moving to America will be to give Harry allies in the more equlitarian magical society that is in America. To them, blood means nothing and ability means everything, since they were founded by those fleeing from the pureblood prejudice here in the old world; unfortunately, they have their own prejudice revolving around power levels, so they are far from perfect. The reason he will need allies there, is that they do not reject the accomplishments of the mundane world and the progress that they have made without magic. This has created unique branches of magic called technomancy and chaos force, and even though in their infancy, these two branches of magic are the key to the saving of all mankind in the distant future. By your daughter being magical, you will have access to books and other things that Harry will need in his quest for knowledge. Andi will provide you with a way to keep in touch with Harry, as well as the rest of them, and you will also be provided with the gold needed for purchasing what Harry needs.'

'Now it is time for me to do what I did for your husband, and what I will do for your daughter and sons as well. What I am going to do is create a false mind for any Legilimencers to read if they try to read your mind. This false mind will know nothing about magic or Harry Potter until told by someone outside of our little group. It will be you, but it will not have direct access to your memories; it will only be in operation when someone is trying to read your mind. Your real mind and memories will be expanded so that you have better recall and understanding of what you learn. Your thoughts will be more organized and you will be able to sort through and piece together abstract facts to come up with a more accurate solution than those around you. This is all based on Potter family magic, though it is not quite as powerful and all-encompassing as their natural magic is, just a pale copy they came up with for their friends and retainers.' It was another fifteen minutes before Erica began blinking rapidly, and then focused on the rest of the people in the room.

"Wow," She exclaimed, "What a rush."

Hope you enjoy this and thank you for reading.

Chapter 13: Chapter 13

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

AN: This chapter took longer to write than most, primarily because I kept cracking myself up and certain plotlines kept trying to become too absurd to go anywhere but in a file in my mind that is listed as 'Go over these if you are having a bad day.' Once again, thank you for reading my version of the adventures of the characters that JKR created, I do not own anything but that which I create. Now on with the story.

Chapter 13

The rest of their beach vacation was filled with laughter, fun and learning, as Harry, Hermione, and Dora were given access to the library not only in the small town near their camp ground, but also at the RAF base that Harry had been treated at. Erica, Susan and her two brothers, Daniel and Matthew Stayed with them in their 'tent' while Admiral Wright headed back to his ship for the War Games he was slated to participate in. Susan and her brothers soon attached themselves to the three caballeros as Emma dubbed them after they spent a day riding horses at a local equestrian center. The three children took to it like they had been born in the saddle, with Harry being fascinated with an American rider who willingly showed them his horse's ability to do barrel racing and other American Rodeo events. Harry loved the speed and apparent danger of riding a horse through sharp cuts at full speed, often with the horse leaning over far enough that he felt he could drag his fingers along the ground to help them turn faster. Dora and Hermione watched while Harry, with a manic smile plastered on his face, put his horse through its paces at top speed almost becoming one with the horse.

It was while watching that the girls met the American rider's wife, who was a real American cowgirl, hat, boots, jeans, lasso and all. When she offered to teach them how to rope a steer, or an errant boy, they were delighted, and they soon found something that they loved to do. Hermione and Dora practiced throughout the week with the ropes that Miss Peggy had given them, and when they returned to ride again, a game of Harry Hunting broke out that was filled with fun and laughter for all involved. Harry much preferred this version of Harry Hunting, though he didn't especially like the two girls hogtieing him to the back of Dora's saddle and parading him around in front of their families as if he were a prize calf. It was only the delighted laughter of Susan and her brothers that made sure that he did not take it personally. He was able to get his revenge on the two girls at the beach when he took first Dora, and then Hermione on a wild kite surfing ride, using the waves to launch them high above the water with the kite foil practically making them fly as he flipped, spun, and inverted the board and its passengers. Both girls agreed that it had been breathtakingly fun, but only when he had finally gotten them back to the safety of a non-moving beach.

By the end of their vacation, there where surfers from all over who had come to check out this new type of surfing that some kid named Harry Potter was demonstrating, and an enterprising young parachute designer had brought out his entire stock of sport chutes that he had designed, and began converting them into foils to meet the new demand. It was when a team of windsurfers from Australia showed up while on a layover in London for a photo shoot, along with a team of photographers from a surfing magazine, that things really got hectic. They were on their way to Florida, USA for a competition, and they heard that something was happening that they needed to see on one of the beaches in southern Britain. They were amazed to see this just turned eight years old kid, flying across the waves at speeds unheard of and getting air that had to be seen to be believed. Soon, they were all wanting to try and see if they could push themselves to the edge using the fusion of surfing and kite flying, and the results were both awe inspiring and comedic in their results.

Hundreds of pictures were taken by the Surfer magazine photographers, and one of the reporters begged Harry and his guardians to let him do a story on the amazing young man. One of the surfers had said that Harry was a little freak of nature, and Harry, who had decided to own the name freak rather than let it hurt him, agreed that yes, he was a freak. It was a guy everyone called Ham who coined Harry's new nickname when he said that Harry wasn't just a freak, but a freak to the extreme, and the name Xtreme Freak was born. The article was written, and though it did mention the name Harry Potter, the title was The Adventures of an Xtreme Freak, and it told about his daring rescue of a little girl from the watery deep, and the version of the sport that he was making popular. It was after much discussion that it was allowed by the Smythe, Tonks, and Granger families, and Ted made sure to go copyright the name Xtreme Freak for Harry in case he became famous in the mundane world like he was in the magical world. Harry was upset enough about the stuff sold in his name in the magical world, without having it happen to him in the wider mundane world as well. The conclusion that they all came to, was that it was highly unlikely that any of the followers of Dumbledore or Voldemort would ever read a muggle surfing magazine, or know anyone who would, and so Harry would be safe. The next month the magazine came out and on the cover, as well as on a mini-poster in the center fold, was a picture of Harry inverted thirty eight feet above the tops of the waves he had launched himself off; it was a very popular poster and was sold all over America in malls and chain stores with the title Xtreme Freak across the top in neon print, which Harry got a percentage of, making him a bit of money.

Another thing that occurred was that with the help of Hogwarts, in the form of the sorting hat, Hermione and Dora were finally able to master the meditation and mind techniques that Harry had been trying to teach them. They were able to create their false minds for protection, and then Harry being Harry and therefore not shackled by the laws of normality, were able to create their inner mindscapes, along with the ability to communicate between them at a purely mental level. Harry had stopped sleeping at the beginning of the summer, as he had realized that his body got enough rest during his meditation and mental sorting sessions that wasting his time by trying to stop thinking was moronic, and he taught his best friends those same techniques so they would not waste their time. It did take them fully immersing themselves into their inner mindscape and then following a path between their mindscapes, so it was not the type of telepathy where they could read each other's minds, only that they could visit each other's interior libraries of knowledge, and sort of borrow the books to add to their own. This opened all new avenues of study for them as they would not have to all read the same books to gain the same knowledge. This became apparent for them when Harry ran across a book on magical theory that Dora had read in the library at Hogwarts, that was sitting on a reading table in her mindscape that the other two were currently visiting, mostly to get away from Elric, who kept grumbling about the impossibility of it all whenever they hung out in Harry's mind.

The book was titled, The Theory of Magic as Practiced by the Mages of Ancient Greece, and was deep in the restricted section when she found it. During the past year at Hogwarts when she was trying to get information about a spell she was struggling with, Dora had found a hidden room that opened into the restricted section of the library from the seventh floor, and she quickly had realized that there were more books that were restricted, than there were in the normal library. It became very obvious to her that knowledge was being restricted from the students so that they would accept the information doled out in small bits by the Ministry and the Headmaster. Now that she had learned Harry's mental techniques, books that she had just flipped through were now available for actual study. Harry asked if he could borrow it, in a joking manner, and she said sure you can, but the late fees if it is not returned on time can be murder. They all laughed and then retreated back to their minds so they could 'wake up' and started the day. The next night, they all met in Harry's mindscape library, mostly because the girls wanted to go play in the area they called Harry's fun house, which contained the giant ball pit along with slides, tunnels, and newly added trampolines.

It was Hermione who let out a shriek as there, lying on the table in Harry's reading room, was a copy of the book he asked to borrow the previous night. Soon their night of play was forgotten as they realized the implications of what they had discovered. As the night progressed, piles of books began to build around them, as Dora brought copies of the books she had read on magic for Harry and Hermione, while they brought her copies of books that they had read in the mundane world. It was even more exciting for them when Hermione's pile got so big, since she was getting books from both Dora and Harry, which she said she needed to take them back to her mindscape. Hedwig, who was lounging about doing a mathematical variance puzzle, turned to her phoenix form, and then flashed away with the entire pile, only to re-appear a few seconds later, smile at them, and then get back to her brain teaser. Hermione leapt to her feet and immediately faded out of Harry's mindscape. They had all found that it was easier to fade yourself into consciousness in the real world, and then back into your own mindscape, rather than following the linked pathway between their minds. A few minutes later, Hermione was back, and she could not speak, she was so excited. Not only were all the books now in her own mental library, but they were on their own shelves waiting for her to study them at her leisure.

Although this was amazing news for the three friends, Harry knew that Hermione would retreat back to her own mind, and it would be weeks subjectively, before she emerged from her new stores of knowledge. A look at Dora showed him that she was in agreement, and Harry dove at Hermione, wrapping her in his arms from behind and tackling her to the floor. Hermione braced herself for impact as her nose was about to crash into the floor, when she passed through it like the surface of water, and she saw that she was now falling at the perfect angle to enter one of the slides in Harry's Funhouse. Harry and Dora were falling next to her, each aimed at their own slide, and soon the race was on. Hermione put her hands to her side and imagined a board like Harry's skateboard, only wider with the wheels attached to the side instead of underneath that she could ride down, beating her two friends to the bottom. She was glad that this was happening in Harry's mindscape, as she knew that at the speeds she was attaining, she would be toast if it was in the real world. It was about two hundred yards away from the end, when the tubular slides turned clear so that you could see where the other racers were. Over to her left, she saw that she was slightly ahead of Dora, who seemed to be riding a Boogie Board in front of a massive wave of water. Hermione smiled that she was beating Dora in the impromptu race, and turned to her right to see where Harry was. At first she thought that she was really out in front of Harry, since she did not see him anywhere near where she was. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of what had to be Harry, wearing a strange body suit, and exiting his slide at high velocity. She and Dora both watched in horrified fascination as Harry shot out like a bullet, and hit the ball pit at almost relativistic speeds, the balls erupting around him in a weird type of colorful explosion.

Harry had disappeared beneath the sea of plastic balls, and when Hermione, and then Dora arrived at the end, they determinedly set out to find what happened to Harry. They were becoming frantic in their search, when Harry's laughter alerted them that he was okay, though he was all the way across the ball pit, hanging upside-down from the Velcro climbing wall he had installed. Both of the girls realized that they had been a little silly, since there was no ball pit four acres square in the real world, and that Harry was fine. It was Hedwig who flashed in and carried them over to where Harry was, before turning back to her human form and chastising him for scaring them. It was the question of what he did that revealed a little piece of the future in the world that Harry inhabited, though it would be years before the implications were felt by others.

"I saw that Dora was using a waterslide, and you were using a wheeled sled, which looked like a lot of fun to me, but I wanted to try something different." Harry had a sheepish look on his face as he continued. "We agreed last time that it had to be in the realm of science and reality, not magic, to keep the race fair. I was going to do ice, but then I would have had a sled like you, so I was going through my options while you two were racing away from me; then it hit me, go frictionless. I read a paper about the use of electrostatic gel and a current of electricity on the surface of a board to create a frictionless surface. I changed my clothes to a suit of material with the proper current flowing over its surface. I then coated the tube with the gel, and I shot forward at speeds that I didn't quite expect. When I started accelerating, you were both over halfway down, but I caught and passed you like you were standing still. The one thing I forgot is that with no friction, there is nothing to slow you down. Those balls hitting you at that speed really kind of hurt and I made it all the way over here and shot up the wall. When I started coming down, I changed the back of my suit to Velcro, and that is how I ended up here upside-down. All I can say is, that I can't wait to try that again, it was so much fun."

Dora grinned just as wide as Harry as she thought about the fun that they could have. Hermione summed up her feelings in one word. "Boys!" She sighed in exasperation, though if you knew her, you would have seen the twinkle in her eyes as she looked at her two best friends. "I think that we should go back and study some and then we can play during the day."

"Hermione," Harry interrupted. "There is a time for study, and there is a time for play, and this is a time for play." The scene changed around them, and where there were once acres of plastic balls, now there was a manicured lawn of soft springy turf stretching to the horizon, interrupted from time to time by those trees you saw on nature documentaries about Africa that looked like giant shade umbrellas. Dora and Hermione were looking around them, taking the new environment in, when a giant ball of twine went rolling past them, followed by a tawny blur of motion. A young male lion pounced on the ball, rolling over it and onto his back, before attacking it like a kitten, play snarls, claws and all. The ball was launched into the air, and the adolescent male set off to get it again with a howl of delight. It wasn't until the piercing green eyes turned their way, that the two girls realized that this was Harry. Dora instantly turned herself into a panther and charged after Harry, trying to win the ball from him. After a few minutes, the two cats noticed that they had not been joined by their friend. The play stopped, and they stalked over to where Hermione was sitting under one of the trees watching them.

"Why aren't you joining us Hermione? It's a lot of fun, and I need you to help me keep it away from Harry." Dora was looking at her friend in question, wondering if this was one of those things that Hermione hid. Who knows, she might not like cats.

"Well, you and Harry can turn into anyone you want, while I don't have those powers. I tried to change my hair, or even just grow my fingernails longer, but I just can't do that." Hermione explained. "So I figure that this is just the next logical step in those powers and I decided that watching the two of you was fun, like watching two kittens play with yarn, just on a much larger scale.

Harry morphed back into his human form, and then pulled Hermione into a hug. "Hermione let your logical brain take a break and realize that this world is in my head, and in my head, I can make it so you can do anything. If you want to be pirates, then we can be pirates." The scene changed to a large ship with three masts and the Jolly Roger flying proudly from its rigging. "If you want to be explorers, then jungle here we come!" The scene before them was right out of the beginning of the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. "If you want to be an astronaut, then we can even walk on the moon!" They were suddenly in spacesuits and there before them was the moon lander and the rover that were left on the lunar surface by the Americans. "Anything is possible here, including turning into whatever animal you want," Harry paused and flickered through the forms of a T-Rex, Cheshire cat, Kodiak bear, and a Purple Dragon, before he became himself once again. "Hermione, the only thing that limits you here in this space is your safety, and your imagination, and since I won't let you get hurt here, then there really are no limits to speak of. Now choose what we do next, and let's have some fun."

Hermione thought for a moment about things that she always wanted to try but was too afraid to because of the danger. One thing stuck in her mind, a fantasy that she had wanted to try ever since she was a little girl sitting on her daddy's knee listening to him tell her stories. Here in this place, fear had no hold on her since she trusted Harry with her very life, and so she closed her eyes and focused on what she wanted to do, and suddenly the very air was filled with noise. She opened her eyes to find that she was in the hold of an airplane with her two friends and a man wearing a helmet and facing a panel filled with lights and dials. They were all wearing matching jump suits, with parachutes on their backs and helmets on the floor by their feet. The man at the controls turned to them and Hermione gasped as she recognized him as her dad's friend Uncle Leo, who daddy had said was a jump instructor in the RAF.

"Okay you soon to be splash patterns," Leo shouted at them. "If you want to use this ride down to get closer to your creator, than go ahead and look outside at the pretty view. For those of you who want to survive this, pay attention while I go over your gear once more. The altimeter on your wrist is there to tell you when to pull your chute. The deck on this jump is between 6000 and 5000 feet, so you will not have much time to pull and too pass qualification for jump school. Your exit will be at 15,000 feet, and you will have approximately one minute after you leave the plane to gather in a snowflake pattern, after that, enjoy your drop until it is time to pull your chute, and then remember your training, as it will get you through. Now put your helmets on and prepare to jump out of this perfectly good airplane built for Her Majesty's service by the lowest bidder."

"I thought that you were afraid of heights?" Dora asked Hermione when they all had their helmets on and their radios set to the same channel. "In fact, I know you are, since you told me that you would not even go on the Ferris wheel, because it went too high."

"I am not afraid of the height; it is the sudden hard stop at the end of a fall that terrifies me. But here, I know that if something goes wrong, it won't matter as Harry will not let me get hurt." Hermione flashed a big smile at Harry before continuing. "So, since I have wanted to try this since I was a little girl, I figured that this was the perfect time and place to try it out." The sound of the rear doors opening and the wind picking up stopped any more attempts at conversation.

"On my signal, approach the yellow line and hold until the jump light turns green, and then you are clear to exit the craft. Good luck and now step to the yellow line."

Hermione stepped forward, Harry on her right, and Dora on her left, and looked out of the plane. Almost three miles below her, the ground beckoned, and she lost her nerve. She turned her head toward Harry just as the light turned green, and together, Dora and Harry grabbed her elbows and took five steps forward, and then there was nothing but sky below her, until she reached the ground. Hermione felt and heard a rushing sound, as her sight narrowed down to a pinpoint, with their landing target in the center. Thirty seconds went by, with Hermione trapped in her own personal hell, as she fell at terminal velocity, when her right hand was grabbed and there was Harry, grinning like a loon as she shouted in joy. Moments later, Dora grabbed on to her left hand, and then she and Harry completed their formation, and just like that, everything was okay.

The roar of the wind, the peace that settles in as you fall, the acrobatics that Harry kept making them do; all of it was fun and soon Hermione was enjoying the experience, wishing it could go on longer than was possible. The beep of the altimeter over their radios, told them that they had 500 feet left before they were under the 6000 feet ceiling. Harry pointed at Dora and told her she was first to pull, followed by Hermione, and then Harry. At just under 6000 feet, Dora pulled her ripcord and with an audible whump, her chute filled with air and the other two fell away from her. Harry was watching his altimeter that was on the wrist of the hand Hermione was holding, while his right was counting down. 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Harry released her hand and drifted away so she could pull her cord, smiling at her and giving her confidence, which she used to pull her ripcord. Harry fell away from Hermione as her brake chute opened, and just to show off a little, he did a couple of flips in the air before pulling his own ripcord. The bone jarring whump of his chute opening was the first thing that alerted him to something being wrong, since he had heard that noise from Dora's chute but not from Hermione's. The second was the fact that Hermione went by him screaming in terror, while above her was her chute, tied up in itself and not opened like it was supposed to be.

Here in Harry's internal world, where he was in effect a god of all he saw and thought, and had given some of that power to his two friends, ideas had substance. What had made Hermione afraid of heights, was the one time she had got her father to tell her about his jumps after he had come home from the pub where he was with Leo, drinking to absent companions. Her dad had told her of the jump they had done where they lost half the men who were with them to faulty parachutes, that a supply Sargent had bought at a discount to cover the fact that he had sold the inventory he had to cover a gambling debt. He had meant to then get them destroyed as defective, or past the safety date, but he had been caught by the auditors for something else and arrested before he could get around to it. The new supply Sargent had seen that they were marked as close to their refit or destroy date, and had sent them out with a mission that he knew would not be bringing them back from the field. It was deemed a tragic accident, and no one was held accountable, especially the company who had sold them to the supply Sargent for disposal so they did not lose money. It was something that her dad had never forgotten, and felt guilt that his parachute had worked when so many others didn't.

Intellectually, Hermione knew she was safe here in Harry's world, but emotions often override our common sense in the face of excitement or fear. When her mind started going over all that could go wrong with her chute, she panicked and in doing so changed her chute to be like those that had ended the lives of her father's men. As she plummeted past Harry on her way to the ground, she could only feel relief that her two friends would survive this, since she had read articles that said if you died in your dreams, you died in real life. A small corner of her mind shouted at her that Harry would save her, but it was drowned out by the parts that were screaming in terror, and effectively ensuring that she would in fact plunge to her death.

Harry wasn't worried for Hermione, this was his world after all and nothing happened here without his say so. At least, that's what he thought, until he tried to make Hermione's chute open the way it was supposed to, and found out that he couldn't fix it. Harry tried again, and got the same results, it was as if he was being blocked from helping his friend, and he was afraid that somehow the evil that had been in his scar was still there and was trying to hurt him. His mind racing, Harry cut away his chute, and began to fall while aiming at Hermione, not knowing what he was going to do, but knowing he had to reach her if he wanted to save her. In his mind, he was going over every possible scenario that he could think of as to why he could not just make her chute work. It just didn't make sense to him, until he realized the mistake that he had made. He had given Dora and Hermione the ability to do what he did in his mind, with no default safety override for Harry to activate if something went wrong. Now Harry could be excused from that mistake since, like most children, he saw himself as immortal, but his instincts toward friends was that their lives were worth far more than his. Harry set his jaw in determination, and changed his gear to a body suit, reducing the drag of his jump equipment so that he would reach Hermione in time.

Hermione was only aware of two things while she was falling, one was that her chute had failed her, and the other was the speed at which the ground was approaching. So when Harry caught up to her and grabbed her foot, so that he could pull them together, the terrified little girl could be forgiven for kicking as hard as she could at the monster that grabbed her from below and tried to drag her down faster. Harry was stunned for a moment, and by the time he could stabilize himself, he was a few hundred feet below her, and running out of time. 'If only I had a jet pack, or a rocket, then I could fly up and save her with no problem.' Then he remembered. One day, Dudley had come home from school with a bunch of comic books that he had taken from one of the kids at school.

Ordinarily, the kids would say goodbye to their possessions once Dudley and his gang got ahold of them, but these comics were special. They had been a birthday present to the kid from his uncle who worked at the publisher as an artist, and each one had contributions from him inside. When the kid got home, his mom asked where he had put the comic books, since she had told him not to take them to school until it was his turn for show and tell. When he finally admitted that he had taken them to school, and that Dudley had stolen them, his mother called and got the number for the Dursley's from the school office, and then called Petunia. Petunia could not believe that anyone would accuse her Dudders of anything like that, and told her she was mistaken. Her attitude changed quickly, when the woman informed her that she would be coming over with her husband, as soon as he got back from his job as an Inspector in the London Police. Petunia assured her that it was probably done by her delinquent nephew and she would be sure to find the truth. When she asked Dudley, he told her that he had dumped them in the bin at the park, since they weren't his of course. Harry was pulled out of his cupboard and told that if he didn't retrieve the comics he stole from the bin in the park, then he would not be eating for a week.

Harry found them immediately, as they were thrown on the ground near the bench that Dudley and his friends liked to sit. Since he knew he was going to get punished either way once he got home, he decided to spend a little time reading them before heading back. He found them all fascinating, but the one that he found the most interest in, was the one about a test pilot named Cliff, who found a mysterious rocket pack and became a hero called the Rocketeer. It was mostly because of the flying, and the freedom it represented that hooked Harry on the idea, and many of his more pleasant dreams had featured that rocket pack; now, he got to try it. With a burst of power from the throttle, and a turn of his head to change his course, The Harry-teer, as he called himself in those dreams, launched to the rescue and soon had the damsel in distress in his arms as he saved the day. Hermione buried her face in his chest, her sobs shaking them both as she tried to apologize and take comfort from Harry at the same time. Harry put himself in hover mode, trying to calm her, while awkwardly patting her back, when both were interrupted by a voice right next to them.

"Harry," Dora said, "You can put her down now, I think that she will be fine once her feet are on land."

Harry agreed with her and began to reduce his throttle so that he could slowly descend to the earth far below. He had only dropped about six inches, when his feet hit something solid, and he fell onto his but in surprise. Dora reached over and took the throttle control out of his hand, shutting off the rocket, and then fell over herself as she laughed at the looks on their faces. It took a while for her to stop laughing, but Dora finally explained that, when she saw that Harry had rescued Hermione and slowed to a hover, she brought the ground up to their level, and made herself teleport down next to them. She also pointed out that if Harry hadn't panicked himself, he could have used birds, dragons, or even the boots of Hermes to save her from falling. She gave him some advice that would serve him well throughout his life.

"Let go of your hero complex and assess the situation, evaluating all of your options instead of diving in head first. Panic can cause disaster; while having multiple plans can help you overcome almost any obstacle." Harry asked Dora where she learned that, and she told him that it was the Hufflepuff way, be willing to help and work hard, but only as hard as a situation requires. Harry felt that this was a good creed to live by, and would take it to heart in his future endeavors. Dora explained to Harry and Hermione that those in Hufflepuff were often seen as the left overs in the Hogwarts pantheon. They weren't the house of the brave like Gryffindor, nor the focused intellectuals like Ravenclaw, and they certainly weren't the house of the cunning that the Slytherin were purported to be; but there was no one you would rather have at your back than a Hufflepuff.

"Without the people who graduate from Hogwarts as Hufflepuffs, the British magical world would collapse in on itself. The ministry, the DMLE, the service industries, and the potion production would all fail without Hufflepuffs to run them. Can you see an adventurous and brave Gryffindor sitting behind a desk, doing the paper work that is needed to keep track of the expenditures and budgetary requirements of running the Department of Magical Law Enforcement? Most of them do not focus on their studies, because that is not fun, and they have better things to do with their time, like going into the forbidden forest to test their courage. A Ravenclaw usually knows that the paperwork is necessary, but they see it as beneath them and shove it off on anyone they can. Slytherins have been known to do paperwork, but after the fifth or sixth time that the paperwork is found to have had the facts changed to suit their particular ideology or family, it became clear that they would need to be checked for accuracy or just done right the first time by someone who did it right." Dora smiled at them, and continued. "I know that I am biased because I am a Hufflepuff, but I want to be an Auror after I graduate, and so I have toured the ministry a few times with Amelia Bones, before she became head of the DMLE. I saw with my own eyes the fact that if anything that was normal and boring needed done, it wouldn't get done until one of the Hufflepuffs came and did it, and not because they like it; it is just necessary for the Ministry to function."

It was then that Harry showed that he could be placed in any house in Hogwarts, but that he was probably the perfect Slytherin when all things were considered. "So, since everyone considers me a hero, then I will be expected to go to Gryffindor because of my brave hero status. If I reveal that I have the intellect that I do, then they will expect me to be in Ravenclaw and to be buried in theory and not life experience. Slytherin would be the place that would put me under the most scrutiny, because the magical world only sees things in black and white, with no grey, and therefore ambition, drive, and cunning are traits that are held by those that are inherently evil. If however, I get sorted into Hufflepuff, the house of the plodders, then I would be underestimated by everyone as they wrote off my defeat of Vagiwart as a fluke of magic or something my mother did. It seems to me that the perfect Slytherin would be one who got him or herself sorted into Hufflepuff. From that house, you could work behind the scenes to get what you wanted accomplished, and build up a base of loyal friends who would be in key positions to back you in any future endeavor. Of course, a Slytherin that wanted to take over the wizarding world would convince everyone that they had been in Gryffindor while they were in school, and would make sure that those who could contradict them, were out of the way, discredited, or just charmed to forget. Going even further, he would then set out to demonize and turn the rest of the houses against his house, making sure that no one would be able to come up behind him from Slytherin and take his power away." Harry would have continued, if not for the laughter of Dora and Hermione.

"Where do you come up with these conspiracy theories, Harry," asked Hermione? "Next you will be talking about how the Minister and his staff are closet Death Eaters, and that one man controls the entire wizarding world from behind the scenes, playing everyone like some demented cross between Stromboli and Rasputin, with a little Svengali thrown in for flavor. Reality does not work like that, only bad novelizations and dramas on the Telly." All three broke into laughter at the absurdity of those statements, people weren't stupid enough to let one man control their entire world, were they? Even as children, the three realized that having one person in charge of the education system, as well as head of the authority that over saw that education system and the International body that was supposed to keep the governments in check was just plain folly. It would be like appointing Josef Goebbels to investigate Nazi war crimes, and then appoint him head of the court that was set up to judge the men for those crimes.

Hedwig and Elric both were saddened at the fact that one day soon; these three children would learn just how ignorant and unaware the people of the magical world could be. They had been taught for years not to question the wisdom of those in charge, by a system of negative reinforcement. At Hogwarts, the pureblood bullies were able to get away with almost anything, while those caught defending themselves or standing up to the bullies usually were the ones to get punished, teaching them that they just needed to keep their heads down and hope that they would escape the bully's attentions. Getting out of school and into the wizarding world, they learned that those same purebloods got first pick of any job they wanted because of their family and not their ability. There were no department heads or upper echelon ministry officials who were not pureblood, and from a proper family. In the real world, a man who was in charge of a department would usually be required to have at least a modicum of knowledge and understanding about the subject or objects that his department regulated.

Incompetence in the wizarding world was the rule, not the exception on every level, and those seeking to advance up the ministry ladder without the proper pedigree and blood status, were quickly dealt with by the third control infrastructure that was in place; the poison pen of the ministry supported press. If you dared to question the decisions of your betters, the links between crimes being dismissed, and the money that found its way into the Minister's pockets, or the fact that you could not get a license to run a business unless you were a pureblood, then the press would be turned your way. They would dig into your life, looking for the most sensational and damaging stories they could find, and often as not, just make up the stories that they published against you, to suit the desires of their owners, who were the very people who the questions were about. It was into this very system that Harry was needed, for the reasons that because of his heritage and birthright, he would be able to challenge the very system that sought to control and manipulate him for the gain of others. Once they were a little older, and had the other members of their group, the plans that had been made before they were born by the Fates themselves would be put into motion, and the pillars of Heaven and Hell would be shaken at their very foundations.


Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin First Class, Headmaster of Hogwarts, Defeater of Grindelwald, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, Head Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and many other assorted titles, woke up in a dark alley in an unfamiliar city, naked and confused. He tried to take stock of his surroundings, but the slightest movement set off stabbing pains in his nether regions that had his head spinning and his stomach grumbling in protest. Albus used a small wandless numbing charm, followed by a sea sickness charm he had learned in his youth that settled down his stomach quite nicely. After all, you did not become the true ruler of the world, without knowing a few things that would impress the peasants, and wandless magic was one of those things. He peered around him, hoping that whoever took his robes had left his wand, since to muggles it would appear to be a useless stick. He was just glad that he had made it a policy to carry his first wand with him whenever he travelled to the ICW, since there were wizards and witches who would recognize the wand he used for what it truly was.

After searching in the dark for a few minutes, Albus rolled up a piece of debris into a make shift shaft, and then focused his magic into lighting the end with a lumos spell that pulled a lot more energy than using a wand would have. What he saw around him made him despair that getting out of here would not be a quick or easy task. Surrounding him was trash and various piles of debris that he consciously chose not to acknowledge the contents of. All of the papers that he could see were printed in Chinese or some other foreign script, and Albus had never found it worth his time to learn any of the eastern languages, since the magical world revolved around Europe, and England in particular. In ages past it had alternately been in Greece, Rome, Persia, Constantinople, Babylon, and Egypt, but the East had never been able to exert their influence enough to shift it to them, so there was no point in learning what forms they used to communicate; they could learn English and be happy about it. But now, his lack of knowledge would hamper him in his quest to get back to where he belonged.

He looked around and found two pieces of cardboard that would give him a little bit of modesty, as he needed to leave this alley and find someone who could make him a portkey back to civilization. It appeared to be very late at night or really early in the morning, and there were few people around to see him. He slunk from cover to cover, trying to see anything that might be familiar, and help him escape from this humiliation. He had made it about a block and a half, when an old woman started speaking to him rapidly in a sort of sing song language, while gesturing wildly at his appearance. Albus just stared at her in a confused manner, wondering what she wanted and what she was going on about.

Throwing her hands up in apparent frustration, the woman turned to her cart, mumbling something under her breath while she sorted through the pile of cloth that she had. With a sound of triumph, she pulled out, what she considered a long sleeved sack dress made out of a material so hideous, that she knew it would never be sold. It was neon lime green, with stripes of orange, yellow and blue, along with stars and moons in strategic places, all in neon colors as well. Her cloth vendor had made her take it as part of a great deal for other cloth for her seamstress shop. She secretly believed that he was giving her the deal just to get the, what surely must be cursed piece of apparel out of his stock. She turned back to the crazy old man and pantomimed her desire for him to take the outfit and put it on to cover himself. When he appeared to be saying no, she thrust it against his chest and harangued him in her language for him to put it on.

A tear came to Albus Dumbledore's eye as he accepted the most beautiful wizards' robe it had ever been his pleasure to see. It was truly gratifying to know that even here in this Merlin forsaken section of the globe, the people knew of Albus Dumbledore and his quest to guide the world in pursuit of the Greater Good. He said a very heartfelt thank you to the kind woman who had shown her adoration of him by giving him these resplendent robes, as befit his station. The old woman turned away from him and began to push her cart once more toward her shop still muttering to herself. If Albus had understood her language, he might not have felt the way he did.

" *Stupid, wrinkled old man, visiting the man whor*s in Leh Woh alley, and then leaving his clothes in his drunken stupor. Bad enough that I had to see his wrinkly old hide which I will not be able to purge from my mind before I die, but to not want to cover up and expose that atrocity to those who have much of their lives yet to live is inexcusable. It was just lucky that I had that abomination on my cart, and was able to get him to wear it. There was no need to have generations get mentally scarred by seeing his wrinkled old hide, that is something that no one needs to see.*" The old woman then went about her day, knowing that she was a hero, even if no one else did.

Unfortunately for the people of England, and those that got a certain quirky paper printed by a strange and unusual family, there was one witness to the whole affair who thought it proved just why he was there in Singapore. Xenophilious Lovegood, Odd to his friends though he didn't really have any besides his wife and daughter, was in Singapore searching for proof of the existence of the Lopsided Truffle-Nosed Dingbat, which was said to make wizards lose their minds and strip off their clothes, running through the streets shouting eureka at the top of their voices; at least it was Odd and his daughter who said that after reading a book about that happening back in the time of Grecian rule. It was too bad that he had missed the shouting and running that Dumbledore had done, but Odd got a picture of the old man as he dropped his pieces of cardboard to accept that piece of eldritch horror that had been handed him by what was obviously a demon from the ninth circle of hell in disguise. Odd knew that he did not have the most conventional taste in clothes, but even he had standards that were broken by the robe Albus now wore. Odd set off toward his next destination, knowing with confidence that the next issue would have a cover photo that would be talked about for years. In fact, he might just send complimentary copies to every magical family in Europe, to let them know that Lopsided Truffle-Nosed Dingbats were not harmful, and only caused a slight bit of embarrassment when your Eureka shouting run came to an end. Yes, that is what he would do, and the magical world would thank him for it. In his excitement, Odd forgot about the promise that he had made to his wife about checking with her before making momentous decisions that affected their entire family. The fallout from this would be worse than the time he published the picture of Delores Umbridge in her skin tight, two piece bathing suit, along with the warning that while kissing frogs can make them turn into princes, kissing poisonous toads was a bad thing on every conceivable level.

When Odd's lovely wife Selene saw the cover of the newest issue of the Quibbler, she decided that it was high time that the Lovegood family took another vacation outside of England, this time for an extended amount of time, allowing the horror to blow over. She would never trade her husband for anyone else in the world, but the man had all the sense of an ADHD lemming on speed, rushing headlong off every cliff he came to, with no sense of self preservation. Yet he was the most intelligent man she had ever met, able to keep up intellectually with her and her friend Lily Potter when they were in school. She was just thankful that her daughter got a little bit of sense from her, along with the ability to see the things in the world that were unseen by others, including paths of the future from the Lovegood family. She just hoped that her family's gifts didn't manifest in her daughter alongside the others that would make for one confusing nexus of possibilities.

That was a system of thought that she would need to be pursued later, but for now she needed to get her family packed and ready to leave before people started waking up and being sick from the sight of Albus 'too many names and titles' Dumbledore in all his wrinkled, full colored splendor. Selene was at the moment thinking that she really regretted getting Odd the color print setting for his magical printing press for his birthday, and lamented the fact that he had decided to use it for the first time for this particular issue. With a determination born of desperation, she went upstairs to pack their bags and remove her family from the danger that that much projectile vomit would cause to peoples temperament. She peeked into Luna's room, only to find her daughter sitting on top of her two trunks at the foot of her bed, a book about The-Boy-Who-Lived upside-down in her right hand, while she twirled the wand of her great grandma between the fingers of her left, sparks shooting out in random pulses at each turn.

Luna looked up with a brilliant smile, and said in a playful voice, "We are all packed and ready to go up here mom. All you need to do is go down to Daddy's shop and pack up his press and distribution setup. Our portkey for Zurich leaves at 0700, and we need to be down the road at 0655, with our wards closed up in battlement mode because the Minister will be here with Aurors to speak to daddy about his sending the paper to everyone in magical England without the dispensation of the Ministry or the Chief Warlock. He has plans to send daddy to Azkaban to teach him a lesson about respect for those who are his betters, and when he finds out that we are not at home, they will go to Diagon Alley to the Quibbler offices and try to set fire to them. I set up a surprise for them for when they try that using Grandma's notes from her journal, when I was there with daddy two weeks ago, though I may be wrong. It is only a possibility, though a very strong possibility of what is going to happen. Now you need to hurry and get daddy and his stuff packed and back here, because we only have thirty minutes left before he heads to Dover to look for Nargles." Luna turned back to her upside-down book with an air of confidence that Selene knew was a sign that her special daughter was without doubts about her predictions.

"Sweetie, when did you get the portkey to Zurich?"

"A couple weeks ago, after you taught me the family glamour spells. Gringotts sold it to me, and they were nice enough to tell me that they would bill it to my account without even asking for my name. I thought that they were so nice, that I told them to add a two hundred percent tip for their trouble. After all, it was only polite, since they gave me such great service."

"Luna, it occurs to me that you do not have an account at Gringotts, and I would have noticed if that amount had come out of our account, since I just received our quarterly statements. So, though I feel that I might regret asking, who may I ask did you have pay for our international portkey?"

Luna looked up with a look of complete sincerity, and then answered her mother. "Well, I got the glamour spell mostly right, but for some reason, I kept having trouble with the hair color. No matter what I did, it always came out as platinum blond, with a straight, luxuriant texture. So when I saw this guy Lucy kicking his house elf in the middle of the alley, I decided that he would be the perfect mark to fleece, I mean fine example of pureblood worth to emulate. After I got the portkey, I had a little bit of gold left and so I wandered up and down the Alley offering children candy if they would come back to my room at the Leaky Cauldron. I left though before any of the parents questioned me, because, I forgot to actually buy the candy to hand out."

"Can you tell me what this Lucy person looked like?" Selene asked while trying to control her giggles.

"He had long blonde hair, a cane with a snake head on it, and a permanent sneer as if someone had put a concentrated dose of dragon dung under his nose with a sticking charm. Oh, and I almost forgot; he had a miniature version of him who was really whiny and kept telling people about what would happen when his father heard about what they were doing."

"Okay dear, thanks for arranging this for us, though you might have warned me about what your father was going to do before it was too late."

"I couldn't do that mom, or you would have stopped him, and we as a family really need to go on this vacation. It is important to our future, and the future of others." Selene noticed that Luna's eyes had gone white and unfocused as she relayed her information.

"Okay sweetie, I will get your father and be back in ten minutes, giving us plenty of time to get away from the Rookery before we are bothered by visiting politicians and have to fumigate again. By the way dear, why do you read your Harry Potter books upside-down?"

"Because mom, if I read them the way their written, then I would believe that Harry was a pampered prince who was raised in a castle with all of the finer things in life just handed to him with no effort. By reading it this way, it reveals to me how different Harry's life is, or was, compared to the image that they want us to believe. Now hurry and get daddy, we only have about twenty minutes left" With that dismissal, Luna went back to reading her story, though not necessarily the one written in the book she was holding.

Selene hurried away with a smile on her face. It was a good thing that their family glamour charms were impervious to detection, even by Goblins, or her little girl might have gotten in trouble for theft. Though now that she thought about it, Selene realized that Luna never told them that she was that inbred wanker, Lucius Malfoy. It was just assumed by the goblin tellers since they believed that no mere wizard could fool them with any type of glamour. It did pay after all to have family spells that originated in the Sidhe from her family roots in the Aos Si. Selene thought that her mother would be so proud at how little Luna was growing in magic and sight. Oh well, it was good that she had not got the portkey in their names, as then the apocryphal Lord of Light would not be able to track them down to show his displeasure.

Minutes after the Lovegood's had left their home, the popping of multiple apparitions filled the glen where the giant chess piece shaped home stood. "Fan out and get the anti-portkey and apparition wards set up. I think it is high time I had a little chat with our errant so called Newspaper publisher." An ugly little man wearing a green bowler hat said to the men accompanying him. After a few moments of the group running around in discord, a flash of light burst around them, and when the spots cleared from their eyes, the giant rook was no longer there.

Cornelius Fudge was livid. How dare this piss-ant family embarrass his patron, and then have the temerity and gall to leave without his permission. Well they would just see what happened when they crossed Albus Dumbledore and his friends. "To Diagon Alley immediately, we will get him at his offices, and make sure that the public sees what happens to people who sow dissent!"

Arriving at the apparition point of Diagon Alley, they quickly regrouped and set off for the offices of The Quibbler. It was half way to their destination that the group began to notice that people were pointing in their direction, and laughing. Fudge and his cohorts hurried on, figuring that Lovegood had spread even more vicious lies about them throughout the alley. They arrived outside the building, which had a large sign saying, 'THIS IS NOT THE OFFICES OFF THE QUIBLER' flashing above the entrance.

"How stupid does he think we are? That is not even a good bit of misdirection."

The group's musings were interrupted by the flash of a camera, and a laugh from the man who snapped the picture. When he saw the looks he was getting from those he had just immortalized, he quickly ran into the building they were standing in front of. In a fit of rage, Cornelius and his cohorts began to fire blasting, cutting, and flame spells at the front doors of the offending paper. Before they could break through the wards, stunning spells hit them from behind from the squad of on duty Aurors that were in the alley patrolling.

The next morning, the headlines of The Daily Prophet were 'Fudge and His Security Detail Confounded, Try to Burn down the Prophet!' Underneath the headline was a picture showing Fudge and his entourage, preparing to destroy the Prophet. Cornelius Fudge was shown wearing a shirt over his robes that said in big bold print, 'I WILL DROP TO MY KNEES FOR ANYONE WITH ENOUGH GOLD.' His new assistant had a shirt that proclaimed, 'I am the Product of Redneck Science Experiments,' and his guards had signs like 'I Carry a BIG WAND to Compensate for My teeny tiny..... Intellect,' and "Following Orders Keeps Me From Needing to Think for Myself.' It would take many days of damage control, and a lot of gold paid to Rita Skeeter for creating a scandal to take the public's mind off of the embarrassment he had suffered at the hands of the Lovegood family, and Cornelius Fudge would not forget.

Chapter 14: Chapter 14

Chapter Text

Author's notes:

Sorry this took an extra week to get out. I had a few health issues, and then a computer issue. This is kind of an interlude chapter, as I decided to torture APWBD a little more before moving on. Hope you enjoy, and as always, Thank you for reading. I do ths not for money since I don't own HP, but for the people who read it most importantely my daughter.

Chapter 14

It was with an unsteady gait that Minerva McGonagall, Pomona Sprout, Poppy Pomfrey, and Irma Pince made their way toward Hogwarts from their pre-school year afternoon tea, the tea having been liberally enhanced with Fire Whiskey and McGonagall family Scotch. It gave them a chance to gripe about their individual concerns about the direction that Hogwarts was heading, and certain staff behavior, without having Albus look at them with his 'I am disappointed in you' look version 3. Especially since as usual, it was Severus Snape and his unprofessional behavior that the conversation turned to with frequent regularity, and what the Headmaster was thinking by keeping him around. As they approached the gates that served as the official entrance onto Hogwarts grounds, it was Pamona who brought the pile of trash that had been dumped on the side of the drive to the group's attention.

"The house elves must not have been out this far today, leaving trash just sitting here like this."

"When we get to the castle, I will send Hagrid or one of the elves to dispose of it." Minerva said with a slight slur in her speech. "I would banish it now, but I fear maybe I am not drunk too much to do it right, and I am possi, possoti, pissitan; I am sure I was taught not to spell cast when I am drunk." Minerva looked pleased with herself as she finished her train of thought with only a few minor derailments.

"I will take care of it till we can get it taken care of by someone else." With that thought firmly in place, she hiked up her robe and the skirt underneath it, to reveal pointed boots which would have been the envy of every wicked witch that hailed from the depths of a Frank L. Baum novel. She drew back her foot to kick the trash off the road, and then paused as she lost her balance and almost fell. Pomona came over and stood beside her to give her support, and this allowed Minerva McGonagall to put all the force her sturdy highland bred frame could muster behind the kick, hoping to make it clear the gorse bushes that grew alongside the road. With a meaty thud, her fast travelling foot came to an abrupt stop, and a high pitched scream split the air. Minerva and Pomona feel back onto their rears in surprise and Minerva showed her command of invective taught to her as a child living among the men of the Highlands. If any of her students, past or present, had been there to observe the situation, they would have been shocked at the words coming from their prim and proper professor.

Moans began to emanate from the pile of debris, and it became obvious that what they had mistook as a pile of dirty rags and other detritus, had in fact been some kind of vagrant. Poppy, who was the least intoxicated of the group, pulled her wand out and stunned the pile, silencing the distracting moans and groans that emanated from it.

"What are we going to do with this person? We can't be letting a vagrant hang around the outside of the school once children arrive, it could put them in danger." Pomona asked the others.

"I will take him up to the infirmary, and get him patched up from Minerva's attempt to launch him all the way back to Hogsmeade, and then we can send him through the floo to the Leaky Cauldron with a couple of Galleons to get a bite to eat." Poppy informed them. When everyone agreed with her plan, it was decided that they would all accompany her there, for her protection of course. It had nothing to do with her being the steadiest of the four, and the one the others were relying on to stay upright and mobile. With a casual flick of her wand, the derelict lifted off the ground and followed them as they very slowly made their way to the castle.

Arriving at the infirmary, Poppy called her personal elf assistant Verity to her and gave her instructions to give the drifter a thorough bathing, using the medium brush to make sure everything was nice and pink and void of dirt. Verity gave a wide smile to her mistress and popped away with her new charge, determined to do exactly what Miss Poppy had instructed, no matter the protests given by her charge. Poppy busied herself checking Minerva's foot and ankle, to make sure that everything was okay and she hadn't hurt herself with that tremendous kick, and also giving her friends sobering draughts to clear their heads. If she had known what her commands had started, it might have been more likely that she would have led her friends back to the Three Broomsticks to get right properly smashed.


Albus Dumbledore had had such a terrible two weeks, that he stopped listing his other names and titles, even in his internal monologue. After making it out of the slums of Singapore with only two beatings and a few people throwing rotted fish and fruit at his wonderful new robe in their fits of jealousy, he arrived in the magical section of Singapore and got a temporary wand and some money from the Goblin bank there. He then went to the International portkey office, to arrange his way home. When the portkey activated, Albus caught a flash of white out of the corner of his eye, and then he spun away toward Surrey, United Kingdom. His arrival was anything but smooth, as he appeared several feet above the ground, and fell awkwardly, landing on his temporary wand and snapping it in half. When he looked around to get his bearings, it quickly became apparent to him that he was not in Surrey, and he was pretty sure he was not in Europe at all. A group of young men were walking past the mouth of the alley he was in, and he decided to get some information from them so he could decide what to do.

"Boy! I say, you; boy!" Albus shouted to the five swaggering young men who were all wearing red and black clothes, and hats turned to the back. "I was wondering if you would be so good as to tell me where I am as I seem to have lost my way and ended up in this filthy alley."

"Did you just call me boy, you cracker mother ****er. I ain't no boy, you racist piece of sh*t." The leader told Albus belligerently as his friends egged him on. "My non-slave name is Kimbe Otumbo in the traditions of my free African ancestors, and I ain't nobody's boy!"

Albus had been on top of the wizarding world and unquestioned in his authority for so long, that his survival instincts had long ago atrophied. If they hadn't he would have apologized for his offense, and have tried to pass himself off as a frail and confused old man. Unfortunately for him, he believed that he was untouchable, the beatings in Singapore notwithstanding, and he knew that he was in America somewhere based on the accent of the young men. It was just a shame for him that he had last been in America in the fifty's in the deep south during the height of the Jim Crow Laws. Now Albus didn't care what color your skin was, but he thought that the laws in place during that time were wonderful, and had mirrored some of his own laws after them in regards to where half-bloods, werewolves, magical creatures, and muggleborn were allowed to sit and what jobs they were allowed to have. It would soon become painfully obvious to him that things had changed in the thirty plus years since he was last in America.

"I beg your pardon. I am only asking you for directions out of this slum, and back to proper civilization, where I can be on my way to my original destination. If you are incapable of giving me directions out of here, maybe you can direct me to where I can get a white cab?"

It was only the shock that this old man would dare say something like that to anyone in Detroit, let alone their gang that kept Albus from being knifed or shot immediately. "Are you for real cracker? You just be asking for a beat down on your fa*ggy, stuck up, white English ass, ain't ya. Is you from one of them hidden camera shows that sets up a brother, and then gets the popo to sweep in and save your lily white ass and get us arrested?"

"I assure you Kimmy that I do not have anything to do with any cameras or this popo. I just want to find my way to a more palatable area where I may find transportation and be on my way. The sooner you direct me, the sooner I will be away from here and out of danger of soiling my clothes."

"And just what is wrong with our hood, old man? Are you too good to be seen here wit us low lifes in south Detroit? You know what, **** it. Get him; I'm tired of his lily white ass." Albus didn't have a prayer of out running the angry youths, though he did try. They quickly found his bag with twenty eight Galleons in it, and instinctually knew that this was the score that would get them paid. They decided to beat him a little more out of principle, but the blip of a siren approaching made them scatter.

When Albus Dumbledore of the many names, titles, and awards awoke, he found himself strapped down to a bed with leather restraints, and tubes stuck into his body in uncomfortable places. The door to the room opened and a woman in white came in, accompanied by a man dressed in an unfamiliar uniform. The woman fussed over him, tutting under her breath as she took his vitals and then motioned the officer out of the room with her. Albus had many years of doing small wandless charms, with his focus mostly on those that could be used to further his agenda while remaining unnoticed. He was adept at minor compulsions, switching spells, basic temporary enhancements like hearing and sight, and unlocking spells. Anything that needed more power or control though, required a wand or foci. He quickly did a wandless listening charm, and then focused to hear what was being said about him by the two standing outside his room.

The nurse started her report to the man. "As near as we can tell, he is a deranged old man, possibly someone's grandfather who has a severe case of dementia as well as a possible case of Alzheimer's. He has been out since you brought him in two days ago, though every once in a while he starts talking about making the stupid muddles pay for not knowing they were beneath him, and showing him the respect he deserves. He also keeps yelling in some form of bastardized Latin, which our charge nurse recognized because she went through a medical program that required her to learn Latin. We expect him to wake up today, but the Doctor who is in charge of his case said it would be smart to keep him restrained, for his own good since he is suffering so. She was so concerned, and she showed such great care in diagnosing his conditions. We are very lucky that Dr. Herwig is visiting us this week and can help us take care of our poor Grandpa Doe in there."

Albus was unhappy about his circ*mstances, and was determined to escape from these barbarians who were holding him here against his will. He had heard about the horrors they did to people at muggle hospitals and sanitariums when he was a young man. What was even more frightening to him was the fact that he had heard that they no longer used leaches and spirits to treat ailments. To give up proven medicine, passed down from generation to generation in favor of using ekeltrisissy and new teknolgy was the height of irresponsibility. You would think that their leaders would be intelligent enough to know that slow and regulated progress was the way for the world to thrive. This was exactly why any right minded wizard knew at an instinctive level, that the muggles needed to be ruled by wise and beneficent wizards, and the woman kept in their rightful place, at home minding the hearth and children.

A quick alohamora opened the restraints on his right arm, allowing him to have more freedom; three more freed his legs and left hand, and he undid the strap across his chest with his hands while plotting his next move. The windows were barred so that avenue was closed, and it was dangerous to apparate within three days of using an international portkey because your magic had to settle and adapt to the local ley lines. Plus, he still felt weak because of the multiple beatings he had recently received. Albus cautiously looked out the observation window in the door, and noticed that the man and woman had moved further down the hall, the man flirting with the woman while she checked her other patients. Another alohamora, and then another as he was not rested enough for the drain he was putting on his magic, and the door was open and he had a straight shot to the door marked stairs. When he arrived at the door, he found it locked as well since this was a psychiatric ward, and it took him another four alohamoras before the door opened. A beeping set off at the nurses' desk behind him, and he rushed out and down the stairs, knowing that he was the cause and they would soon be looking for him. Albus descended three flights before entering the nearest door, and then searching for an empty room where he could rest before moving on. He used his last bit of energy to place a mild notice-me-not charm on the door, and then collapsed onto the bed to rest as three floors above him, his absence was discovered and the hospital echoed with a voice informing all of a code 918A, escaped mental patient.

It was another two days before it was noticed that the intern/on call room on the fifth floor seemed to have disappeared and had caused the internists to not be able to nap and had reduced their efficiency. A nurse who was a squib called in her cousin, who was a witch, to investigate and the charm was soon dispelled. By that time, Albus had left the hospital and had made his way to the local magical community and had once more arranged for a backup wand and some money, and then very carefully watched the International portkey made to ensure that he would arrive back in England and not somewhere else. When he was satisfied that it was correct, scanning it twice before he was even willing to take it from the woman. Just before he could grasp it, a cloud of fire and ice enveloped him, and when he could see again, it was definitely not England. As far as the eye could see stretched red clay, sand, and scrub, and the heat was oppressive. About one hundred yards away lay a copse of trees, and Albus figured that he could plan out his actions once he reached the shade and was able to cool off.

He reached the edge of the trees, and there in a tree back in the shade was the bird he had come to hate. He did not care anymore whether or not it could possibly damn him if he succeeded in killing it; it had interfered with his plans for the last time. He raised his wand surprisingly quickly, and was about to blast the bloody bird with a spell he had learned from Morgana's personal Grimoire that she designed to destroy Merlin's phoenix familiar. The spell was on his lips and ready to be unleashed, when he noticed that his nemesis was not looking at his wand, but at his arm further up. He glanced down, and instantly wished he hadn't since there on his arm, was a creature that only lived in one place in the world, and that was deep in the magical Outback of Australia.

In the book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, there is an entire section dedicated to the fact that no sane wizard should ever travel to Australia for any reason, but if they did they should stay out of the Outback at all costs. This was because there were creatures there that fed on magic, and felt that wizards were tasty treats to be hunted down and savored over long periods of time. One such creature that had almost an entire chapter dedicated to why it should be avoided was the Colexis Anteris Nesting Arachnid which was described as having a body the size of a remember-all covered in red and white stripes over a black background. Its nickname was the puppet master spider; because it could with one bite, control the reality of its chosen host. It would feed of the magic inherent in its host, and use the host to travel great distances in search of a nice river or stream to live near, while it hid itself in comfort underneath the clothes of a wizard. Once it had used you to move itself to its new chosen environment, it would release the wizard to fend for itself. Many a wizard did not survive being released, because they were thirsty, and went to the nearest river for water. Wizards, being fairly oblivious to their surroundings and the danger the natural world could hold, would kneel down and stick their faces in the water to quench their tremendous thirst. The last thing many a wizard saw after being host to one of the puppet master spiders was a very long row of teeth directly above and below their head before they knew no more.

It was with dawning horror that Albus Dumbledore watched the spider on his arm lunge toward his wrist and the exposed skin that was there. Knowing it was too late for him to avoid the bite, Albus decided to release the curse he had prepared at the cause of his woes. The spell shot from his wand, but since it was not really his wand, his release of so much power had unintended side effects. The spell was off by about six inches, missing the phoenix completely, and blasting apart a tree that had stood in that area for more than five hundred years, releasing a spirit that the aborigines had trapped there for causing mischief and harm to their tribes. She, for lack of a better description, followed the magic back to its source, and since the puppet master spider had by now taken over her new host, decided to grant her savior a gift. All at once the Spider became conscious, with desires and wants that she never would have fathomed seconds before, and the spirit of mischief moved on looking for new adventure.

For the next week, odd occurrences happened all over Australia that were strange and unexplained. In one town three banks were robbed by a man wearing a fake beard and a dress, and calling himself Betty. In another town, that same character made off with an entire warehouse worth of silk fabric, and then another two banks were robbed. The crime spree continued, and spread to major cities, with the list growing to bizarre and staggering proportions, always money and some object that made no sense, since it was not easy to transport, nor easy to fence. Finally, the crime spree ended, and though the police still hunted for the criminal, they had no real leads. In Sydney, there was a new luxury resort that had just been completed, and the condos overlooking the surf of one of the best beaches in Australia went on sale. What made this resort special is it catered to magical and mundane, with each having their own separate areas for those who could not blend in with the regular folk.

Sales agent Marjorie Hannigan was bored since there had been no one to come in in three days. She was debating closing the office and taking a long lunch down on the beach when the door opened and in walked a bizarre sight. A slightly lumpy woman wearing a full burka only showing her eyes to the outside world walked in and sat down.

"May I help you ma'am?" Marjorie asked, thinking that this foreign woman was lost.

"Yes, you can." A slightly masculine voice that was pitched low and soft answered. "I would like to buy up all the condos on one of the magical floors preferably in the middle, and I will use them for guests I choose."

Marjorie was excited. This might be just the boost they needed to get others to come in and buy. "Certainly ma'am, let me just get the details of what floor is completely open, and then we can go over finances."

Three hours later, Marjorie was excitedly calling her husband to tell him that she had sold an entire floor at a significant mark up, and the strange 'woman' was looking over her new domain. With it being near the ocean, she would get the moisture in the air that she needed, and she would be able to feed off the visiting tourists' magic without harming them. She had the central condo decked out in draped silk and rope, with other various materials that she had her helper pick up while she planned this. She was so happy with her puppet, and what he had done, that she decided not to just abandon him. Her last instructions to him were to embed the coordinates of where she had met with him, and for him to use his magic to go back since that is where he obviously wanted to be even if he didn't think so. With a crack and a rushing of air, he left Betty to enjoy her new life of comfort and luxury.

Albus appeared where he had left, and looked around, relieved that he had been unaffected by the puppet master spider and eager to get on his way. He looked around, and since he knew he was in Australia, he knew where he could apparate to. Albus gathered his magic around himself, and then apparated away to Brisbane which he had previously visited. While that was his intention, what really happened, was that he tried to apparate to the same spot that he was in, since those were the coordinates that were stuck in his mind. A little known fact about apparition is that for a millisecond, a wizard will exist in the place that he is apparating to, and the place he is dis-apparating from at the same time. The resulting explosion of Albus occupying the same place in space and time twice over caused sensors all over the muggle world to go off as the accusations of illegal nuclear testing flew from government to government. Hedwig was forced to save him, mostly because she knew that he was needed in the future for her Harry's development. It seemed as if every bone in his body was broken, and it was his magic that was keeping him alive, and healing him slowly. When Hedwig flashed him back to Scotland, she noticed the group of teachers and the healer leaving the village, and so dropped her burden off where he would be found and cared for.


After Poppy turned what she thought was a derelict over to her elf, she went about organizing her infirmary for the coming school year, and didn't notice the time passing. Verity was an elf that had been assigned to her mistress by the St. George Medical School when she graduated as a fully certified healer. Verity was proud to be a fully trained medical assistance elf, and had gladly served her Mistress Pomfrey for many years. Over those years that they had spent together at Hogwarts, Verity had seen her mistress belittled and abused by the man in charge of the school. When she was called to the infirmary to clean up their new patient, her joy was practically radiating off of her in waves. She thought she had better clarify her orders so that she would be safe from any punishment, though anything short of clothes would be worth it to her for the ability to follow through with the plans she had going through her mind.

"Mistress wants me to take this man away and clean him thoroughly?" She asked with a hint of joy that Poppy translated as happiness at having a job to do.

"It appears as if he has been without a bath for a long time. It is probably for the best if you were to scrub him a few times, and also delouse him. Who knows what he has picked up in his time among the fringes of magical society? It has been my experience that a good scrubbing can make you feel like a new witch and also too once again be a productive member of our society."

Verity was practically jumping up and down in excitement at her orders; this would be a great story to tell her cousin Dobby the next time she saw him. She saluted her mistress, and then popped away with the bundle of moaning dirt and rags that she recognized as the man who had more than once denigrated her mistress in front of others. The last thing Poppy heard from her assistant was a comment about what bristles were needed, wire or badger hair.

If there were students in the castle, and they happened to be passing anywhere near where the prefects' bath was located, they would have heard screams as if a soul was being tortured by the foulest demons out of hell. Things like, "No, not there, owwwwwwwwww," and "Not my beard, I need my beard. Noooooooooo." Outside the door, the resident poltergeist Peeves, floated with rapt attention as he listened to what was happening behind the closed and warded door. It was amazing to him that a house elf could be that sad*stic and all at her mistress's unknowing orders. Peeves wished at that point that he could take notes, if he could write, or read for that matter. This time was instructional on so many levels, and he would hate to miss any of it.


Many painful hours later, a glowing pink man was delivered to Poppy Pomfrey's tender care, while Verity gave her report. "Man is clean and scrubbed, with a nice clean shave and haircut since it was too matted to save. I is having to wash his mouth out since he be saying vile things about mistress, her family, and elves, and I finally stopped him from talking using elf magic. I volunteer to take him to Diagon Alley for you after you have treated him, though he may need to go to St. Mungo's because he is seeming to be delusional." With her piece said, Verity busied herself with getting what her mistress would need to treat the old fool.

Poppy felt sorry for the old man she had laying before her stunned since he would not hold still for her treatment. His face was worn and old, with several patches of irritation where his face was recently shaved. He had an air of familiarity about him, but she could not think of anyone that she knew who had fallen upon such hard times. His family must have abandoned him once he became an embarrassment to them because of the ravages of old age. It was a shame that pureblood families treated their elders in the same way they treated those they thought were squibs; neither having any worth in magical society according to them. Why, they treated Headmaster Dumbledore as if he was senile, and he was the greatest wizard since Merlin, just ask anyone. Well she would do her best to treat this patient, and then she would have Verity take him to St. Mungo's long term care ward, since she was owed favors there, and they might be able to stabilize his mental state so he could go home. She casually stunned her patient again as he was stirring, and then set about feeding him the potions that would heal his body while he slept from the dreamless sleep potion she poured down his gullet.

The next day, Verity appeared at St. Mungo's with an old man in tow and a letter for Poppy's friend Nicole Preuson who ran the ward that held those with mental issues due to age or magic. In the note, Poppy implored her friend to help the old man to get over his delusions, so he could get back to his family as soon as he could. Nicole looked over this new charity case that Poppy had sent her, and didn't know if there was much hope. She described him in her intake notes as a man of about six feet tall, extremely elderly, with signs of trauma in several places, mainly focused in the region of his groin. He had what the muggles would call a buzz cut, and was clean shaven with no hint of hair anywhere else on his body. He had blue eyes that appeared menacing to everyone around, as they blazed with hate for the treatment that his family must have given him before they turned him out, most likely with a confundus charm to make sure that he could not be traced back to them.

Nicole called two of the hospital's elves to help her, and had them bring her newest patient into the long term care ward, which housed only six people most of which rarely got any visitors. The two who were exceptions had one of their two normal visitors with them that day, and Nicole waved cheerfully as Lady Longbottom sat between the bed of her son and daughter-in-law, talking softly to them both. After she got her newest patient strapped down with magical restraints in case he had any flares of magic, Nicole came up with a wonderful idea. Though Lady Longbottom was nowhere near as old as her new patient, she did seem to know everyone in magical society, and so she might be able to identify the old man and help the healers to help him recover his memories.

"Lady Longbottom, I was wondering if you could do me a favor." Nicole looked hopefully at the woman she had come to see as a surrogate grandmother over her years at St. Mungo's. "I have this new patient that was sent to me by Poppy Pomfrey, and was hoping that you could take a look at him and tell me if you recognize him. He is of advanced age, and we want to help him to recover as much of his memories as possible. If we can identify him, then we can probably get his family to at least pay for his treatment."

"Sure dear, I have plenty of time since Neville is being watched by his uncle Algie today. Just let me say goodbye to Frank and Alice, and I will take a look." Lady Longbottom turned back to her son and daughter-in-law, and Nicole was called out of the ward to deal with a patient that was demanding special treatment. When Augusta Longbottom made her way over to the bed to see if she recognized the old man, she at that moment began to once again believe in the God she had been taught about in her youth as she attended church with her family. There in front of her, lying helpless and strapped to the bed with magic inhibiting straps was the man she blamed for the condition of Frank and Alice Longbottom.

On that day long ago, she had been at the ministry to see about getting Harry Potter and taking him to be raised by Alice as Neville's brother since she was his godmother and Lily and James had named Alice as the one to raise Harry if anything happened to the Potters. Albus had said that it was not safe for Harry in the magical world, and had used his position to seal the will of the Potters, all for the safety of Harry Potter. When the alarm went off saying that the Longbottoms house was under attack, Dumbledore pointed out that the Dark Lord was gone, and that people had been forgetting to tell the ministry that they were deactivating their defensive battle wards, which kept setting off the alarms at the ministry. When Augusta went to leave to check on her family, she was stopped because Dumbledore had made it a closed session, and no one was allowed to leave until all the measures were examined and passed or denied. It was almost two hours later that Augusta arrived home, only to find four death eaters in various shape, while Alastor Moody tried to quiet her grandson, his visage marred by one of his eyes missing and cuts across one side of his face. She scooped up her grandson, and wondered why Moody had not called in help, when she noticed that his familiar peg leg had been blasted off at some point during the battle he had, and there was a jagged piece of wood that was pinning him in place through his thigh.

Before he passed out from his blood loss, Moody looked her in the eye and said, "I am sorry Augusta; I didn't get here in time. They tortured Frank and Alice, and were about to do something to Neville when I arrived. It was a ritual involving a chalice, but Rodolphus was able to banish it before he went down, so I don't know what it was they were doing. I stunned Alice and Frank, because they would not stop screaming." With his report done, Alastor Moody collapsed into oblivion, and Augusta hurried to the floo to summon help, all the while swearing to herself that someday she would enact revenge on the man who dismissed her family's safety. Now that day had come, and she would start with letting him know.

"Hello Albus, funny to see you here in the same ward with Frank and Alice. I am sure that I am probably one of the few people who has seen you without your beard, and I am sure that it will be so much fun to see what treatments they use to 'help you recover your memory,' since when you claim to be the great Albus Dumbledore, they won't believe you. They will check your magical signature, against the one they have for you on file, and then will double their efforts to help the poor deluded man. I see you looking at me with questions, and I intend to give you answers, though just like Frank and Alice, you won't remember the conversation I am having with you. I am sure you remember that though my married name is Longbottom, my maiden name is Lethe and I still remember all the family spells. For my first spell, I think that I will add a little bit of confusion to your speech so that we can have some fun. What this means to you is that you can tell them who you are all you want, but they will hear you claim to be Merlin, Morgana, Suaramon, Gandolph, Flamel, one of the founders, and Albus Dumbledore. Next I think should be a nerve stimulation curse. Nothing like a few nervous ticks to make you appear even more unstable. And to complete this round, I think that you hitting on any female above thirteen and under thirty should be good for a great laugh. It's really too bad you won't remember who did this to you, as it would be extremely satisfying for me to know that you knew you had been bested by a woman you sanctimonious, sexist, bigoted ass."

With a final wave of her wand, Augusta cast her last enchantment on the hated man, making sure that he would not remember the previous three or so minutes, and then she went back to her son's bedside. She was thankful for the spells that she had memorized from her family's Grimoire as a young girl, since they were untraceable and un-reversible, unlike obliviation. They were designed by her family with medical practices in mind, as you could do a procedure that was extremely painful, and then make the patient forget that they ever experienced the pain in the first place. There were few secrets held more securely than those family spells, since you could make anyone forget anything up to ten minutes before you cast the spell. It was with feigned regret that she informed her friend Nicole that she had no knowledge of who the man was that they were trying to treat.

The following week was a week filled with joy for Augusta Longbottom as she watched him scream at the healers that he was Merlin, or Albus, or Nicholas or one of the other big names in magical history. Each time they would shake their heads sadly at the poor man's mental state, and then one of them would suggest a new treatment to help the poor deranged old man. They even tried some muggle treatments that the muggle studies professor suggested as the latest breakthroughs in muggle medicine for treating the mentally ill. He even told them that Bethlem Royal Hospital had become world famous for their treatment of the mentally ill and even had a nickname associated with its success; bedlam. The treatments he suggested and they tried were things like hydrotherapy, sensory focusing, purgative procedures, and even externally powered nerve stimulation. For those who were behind the times and not up to the vagaries of progress, those treatments were in simple terms bathing him in ice water, placing him in the dark with no ability to feel or sense anything, giving him flushing potions to empty out any toxins in the body, and good old fashioned shock treatment. It was when they began to discuss drilling holes in his head to relieve the pressure or a lobotomy that Albus became motivated and finally escaped by stealing one of the healer's wands and then blasting a hole through the wall and getting himself outside the anti-apparition wards.

It took Albus almost a day to lose the wizards and witches pursuing him, for his own health of course, and arrive at Hogwarts where he snuck in to go into hiding in his office, spending most of the remaining time before school started crafting a glamour that would hide the fact that he no longer had the look of Merlin or Gandalf. He was sure that it would not be good for the sheep to see him without his carefully crafted kindly grandfather persona in place, that and the posters that had popped up all over magical Britain and the Daily Prophet asking people if they had seen the poor deranged old man who escaped from St. Mungo's and was possibly a danger to himself and others. In all of his trials and his musing about what he would do to get revenge on all those who had unknowingly slighted him, Albus Dumbledore forgot about going to visit his personal social experiment and making the last and soon to be final scion of House Potter's life even more painful than it already was. This would give Harry some much needed time to grow into the realization that he was not only someone special, but someone who deserved love and friendship.

Chapter 15: Chapter 15

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

"What do you want?" The surly man who answered the knock on the gate snarled at the rare visitors as he looked through the portal set at head height in the gate.

"I am here representing my client's family, and have been sent to check on the treatment that you are providing Bellatrix Lestrange ne Black, a woman of impeccable birth and blood status. I assure you that you and all of your fellow guards will be held responsible if she has been mistreated in any way." Andi Tonks may have married a man that her family did not approve of, but as the eldest Black daughter, she had been trained to play the part of a pureblood matriarch to perfection. "You will bring me and my guards to inspect her in her cell, and then you will provide a room for privacy and family matters to be discussed."

In a much less confrontational tone, the guard of Azkaban addressed her. "I will have to check with the warden ma'am, to make sure that you are allowed to visit her. In all the years I have been here, there has only been one prisoner who had a visitor, and since it was Sirius Black, the visit was denied since he was sentenced to solitary for life. Please wait out there and I will find out if you have permission." He closed the portal, and Andi and her two companions heard him running away from the gate as quick as he could.

Once she was sure that he was away from the gate and out of hearing range, she turned to her two companions and looked at the one she was surprised was accompanying herself and Ted. "Alastor, how did you know that Sirius was not allowed to have any visitors? I have not been able to find any documentation in regards to his trial, conviction, or sentence in seven years of searching."

"It would be because I was that visitor girl. I trained them all and I wanted to confront him and get a little bit of revenge on him for his betrayal. Most people forget that without the Marauders, we would have lost the war to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his death eaters. Albus had his Order, but it was ineffective, and seemed to get as many people killed as it saved. The marauders were a constant source of irritation to Albus because he had no control of them and he wasn't sure who they were. He was sure that he knew who they were, and accused James and his friends of being them, and then found out that while he was with them, the marauders were busy foiling an attack that was happening on a muggle women's college. It frustrated him to no end that the marauders didn't leave prisoners for the Ministry to slap on the wrist and then release to participate in their boyish hijinks once again. After all, it wasn't purebloods for the most part that they were harming, and who cares about muggles and their muggle and magical spawn. When I heard that it was Sirius who betrayed James and Lily, I went ballistic and headed over to see Frank and Alice to get their take on the situation. When I arrived, it was to find the Lestrange brothers setting up a ritual with the baby, Neville being held by Bellatrix, and Barty Crouch Jr. Practicing his cruciatus curse on Frank and Alice."

"I stunned Barty first, since he was away from the others, and then moved myself into position to take the rest of them before they could complete whatever dark ritual they were planning on doing. What was really strange, was that I was spotted by Bellatrix, and instead of raising the alarm, she turned and set Neville on the floor and then met my gaze before going for her wand. I stunned her and turned to engage Rodolphus and Rabastan and was met by a hail of curses. They were both well deserving of their fierce reputation, but I was slowly getting the best of them. When Rodolphus went down to a bone breaker curse and then banished the chalice they were using for the ritual, Rabastan changed his target to the baby, and I had to change my tactics. I shielded Neville with my body, and got hit with a curse that was meant to make me lose my eyes, but I was able to shield one of them. We battled for what seemed like eternity as Neville screamed and Alice tried to crawl across the floor to us, providing me the distraction I needed to take Rabastan down though that allowed Rodolphus to slip a blasting hex through that shattered my peg. I hit him and then sat there bleeding and trying to stay conscious as Neville cried in fear and pain."

"Finally, Augusta came in the room and I let myself collapse into oblivion and woke at St. Mungo's with an eye patch and a new peg leg. In all the time since, I have had questions that I have never been able to satisfactorily answer for myself. Why did Bellatrix Lestrange ne Black not fight me, and why did she so carefully put Neville down. What was the ritual that they were going to do with the chalice and Neville, and how did Sirius Black break his oaths as Harry's godfather. I was the one chosen to bind him and Alice in their oaths as Harry's godparents, and not once in the last seven years have I ever been pushed by the bonding to seek revenge for Sirius's betrayal, and that does not match up with the story that has been bandied around the ministry. I am here with you because I want to get the truth from Bellatrix, and if I can, Sirius as well if we are allowed to talk to him."

"Alastor," Andi interjected, "Sirius is innocent, and we have proof, though I can't tell you where that proof came from right now. Be assured that is from an impeccable source and has been checked by us multiple ways."

"What! He is innocent?" Alastor shouted. "Why have you not come forward and gotten him free? If he is innocent, then he should not be here. He is your cousin woman, how can you stand by and allow him to suffer in this Merlin forsaken hell."

"Not so loud Alastor. If it is suspected that we are here to see Sirius, then people will get involved that we can ill afford to face at this time." Ted was looking around to make sure they were not overheard while Andi continued. "The orders for Sirius's incarceration came directly from the desk of Barty Crouch, and was signed and enforced by the office of the Minister and by Albus Dumbledore. When we questioned Albus about the trial, he assured us that he personally knew that Sirius was guilty, and that his trial had been in the same emergency session as the sealing of the Potter wills and the granting of guardianship of Harry Potter to Albus Dumbledore. We checked, and there are notes in the archives about everything decided in that meeting, but there is no mention of Sirius having a trial and only a comment about how effective the DMLE was under Barty Crouch and how Sirius had been sent to Azkaban to pay for his betrayal and crimes. At first, we thought that Dumbledore was just as broken up as us about the loss of James and Lily as we were, but new information has come to light that has led us to believe that he may have been behind it all like some demented puppet master hiding behind the curtains and manipulating the puppets that the public can see dancing to his tune."

"Andi, the guard is coming back, get back into character." Ted whispered urgently and once again the pureblood princess mask descended on her face.

"I have been instructed to lead you to your sister Ms. Black, but your guards will need to stay behind as you will be perfectly safe inside these walls." The guard said at which point he learned that there was truth in the old axiom, 'Never get between a Lady Black and her goal, it will only end in pain for you.'

"I think that you will not be denying me my escorts as I am entitled to them under the Pureblood Accords of 1687, which states that the Matriarch of a Most Noble and Ancient House, which the Blacks most certainly are, is allowed a honor guard of no less than two and no more than twenty able bodied defenders in times of peace. If you would like to go to a war footing by denying me my escort, then by all means do so as I can assure you that I can have the five hundred wizards and witches that I am allowed in war here in less than an hour. Please let me know your choice, as well as your family name so that if we go to war on your direction, than I know what family will need to be wiped out or subjugated since you are not from a major family since you are stationed here." Andi's gaze could have made a basilisk back away, whimpering like a kicked puppy.

Doing what was perhaps the most intelligent thing he had done in his entire life, guardsman Dillock Carter waved the scary lady and her escorts through. He knew that the warden would probably chew him out later, but between the warden, the dementors, and the Lady Black, he knew who he feared the most. Guardsman Carter decided that he would be the one to escort the Lady around so that no one could report him for anything he did wrong. He also thought he might be able to get the Lady to focus her wrath on his boss instead of himself. He knew how the prisoners on the secure floor were treated by the guards who were in charge, and had heard them brag about the actions they made the prisoners do for their food. The day before, he would have said that his ambition was to be transferred from the gate to being a guard on one of the secure floors that had life sentence prisoners; now he thanked his lucky stars that he was low enough in seniority to have been kept on the gate.

"My Lady, let me call a replacement and then I will personally escort you and your companions to where you want to go. I am just a gate sentry, but I do know my way to your sister's cell and will make sure you see everything that you need to." Andi gave a brief nod to him and Guardsman Carter scurried away, shortly to return with his replacement. "Please follow me and I will take you down to the lifers' wing where your sister is held."

Following a path that twisted and turned as it descended, and that the guardsman explained to them as designed to allow the guards to have as little interaction with the dementors as possible; they finally arrived at the entrance to the secure wing where the lifers were kept. The guards at the door had a heated argument with their guide, but it soon quieted when the words Black and Blood Feud were mentioned. Suddenly the guards couldn't wait to help them with any of their needs, and the medallions that kept the dementors at bay were offered to the guests without the usual push for extra fees or favors owed at a later time. When their group arrived at the cell of Bellatrix Lestrange ne Black, it was to the chorus of taunts that were coming from the occupants of the cells around her, except for the noticeable silence from the cell containing the infamous Sirius Black.

"You," Andi imperiously pointed at one of her guards, who happened to be her husband. "Erect a silencing barrier so that I need not hear these uncouth individuals and their lack of social graces. It is a shame that pure bloods such as these have forgotten their upbringing, even in their current circ*mstances. Guardsman, I would like for you to erect obscuring wards on these nearby cells so that I may examine my client in her entirety to verify her treatment in this disgusting place."

"Yes my Lady, at once."

"Once that is done and you have placed magic inhibitors on her, you and my escorts will move down the hall so that you cannot see into her cell, so that I may have Bellatrix strip and be cleaned." Even though Andi's orders were definitely outside of normal regulations, Mrs. Carter had not raised a fool, and Guardsman Carter knew that regulations only applied to purebloods of an Ancient and Noble House if they allowed them too. He nodded to the woman that he believed could stand face to face with Morgana and spit in her eye without fear of retaliation, acknowledging that her commands would be followed. If he were more observant, he would have noticed that he was maneuvered subtly to the end of the corridor that was away from Sirius Black's cell that Senior Auror Moody wearing the livery of a Black House protector had placed himself outside of, casting his spells at the cells not occupied by a Black. It was with a certain note of surprise that he was offered a flask of Fire Whiskey laced tea by the Lady's guard that he had overheard her call Theodis. He came to the conclusion that this particular guard wasn't so bad as the two of them talked about the prison, and the conditions that the guards had to endure while watching over the filth of the wizarding world. Guardsman Carter never notice the ward that went up between them and the other two in their party that made sure the conversation taking place behind them would not be overheard or observed by anyone without the need to know.

It was Bellatrix Lestrange ne Black's cell which was entered first, and the shock of seeing her sister lying on her cot with a vapid look on her face nearly brought Andromeda Tonks ne Black to tears. "Bella! Bella! Can you hear me baby? Alastor, quickly give me the flushing potions that we brought for her. Her vitals are low, and she appears to have been given a dis-associative potion causing her to view reality as a dream, and make her more likely to have a psychotic break." Once the potion had been administered, the only thing they could do was wait for the effects to override the ones already in her system and help her to purge them from her system.

"Let's visit your cousin next door and see if he is any better. We might be able to get answers from him while we wait for Bellatrix to respond." Moody said to Andi, who reluctantly agreed to leave her sister behind for the moment. Andi was about to approach the guard to see if she could get his keys, when Alastor steered her to the door of Sirius's cell and with a flourish, pulled the guards keys from his own pocket. The look on her face made him chuckle as he fit the key in the door and then opened the cell of Sirius Black, innocent man.

"Andi, is that you?" A raspy, unused voice grated out in disbelief. "Are you really here or is this another delusion caused by the potions they lace the food with? No matter really, I will tell you the same as I always do. Harry is in danger from Dumbledore, and you have to save him. Peter was the secret keeper, and it was Albus who cast the Fidelus charm and made Peter their secret keeper. It was only after I woke up here in this cell that my eyes were opened and my mind became clear. We had broken away from Peter after Harry was born because none of our inner animals trusted him, and Harry hated him from the moment he first laid eyes on him." It was at that moment that Sirius took notice of the person standing behind his cousin.

"Oh, Moody is here too. Well I guess that this is another hallucination. Man, I wish this was real," Sirius let out a labored sigh of utter despair. "I don't understand how you cannot know that I am innocent Moody, since it was you who oversaw the godparent bonding of Alice and me. There is no way that my bond with Harry would ever let me betray my blood brother James and his family, and especially his son since I made him my heir." With that statement, Sirius burst into tears and Andi could hold back no longer, rushing over to Sirius and engulfing him in a hug while whispering to him that everything would be alright. When Sirius realized that he could actually feel her arms around him and the puffs of breath on his ear as she tried to reassure him, his eyes rolled up into the back of his head and he knew no more as his world faded to black.

Moody chuckled and said, "The unflappable Sirius Black just fainted. I will make sure to remind him of this moment long into the future."

Andi was about to chastise him, when the sound of someone being sick in the next cell alerted them to the fact that Bellatrix had woken up. Laying Sirius back on his bed, she rushed past Moody and into the cell of her sister, only to see her sister's form hunched over in the corner, emptying what seemed like half her body weight out of her mouth. The only thing she could do for Bella at the moment was to hold her hair back out of her way since Bella's hands were shackled in front of her with magical suppression manacles. In between heaves, Bella turned her head and smiled at her older sister, and the tender look she saw on Andi's face warmed her heart. It took about fifteen minutes for the stomach spasms to stop and for her system to settle enough for Andi to give her a counter potion and a restorative drought to help her recover. Her sigh, followed by a small, ladylike burp let Andi and Alastor know that the potions had worked, and it was time to get some answers.

"Bella, we have come to ask you some questions, and as the oldest living Black daughter, I am the family Matriarch until such time as Sirius takes a wife or the mantel of The Black is passed to the next Lord. As such, I call upon your blood and oaths as a member of the Most Ancient and Noble Family Black, to answer the questions I put to you in total truth, with no evasion of the truth, so mote it be." Andi said with all the formality that was required by their family magics.

"I can feel the magic compelling me to obey, but I have one question for you before I give my oath. I was told that you and Sirius had been cast out of the family by Orion and Walburga and so I am reluctant to pledge my family loyalty to you if you are not truly the Black Matriarch, for it would be my death as you well know."

"While it is true that aunt Walburga blasted us both off the family tapestry, Grandpa Arcturus was still The Black and he believed that with the war, blood was becoming too rare just to throw it away. He and Grandma Melania were the ones who made sure that our brother Rigel was placed with a good muggle family, and even left him a trust to help him with his goals in the muggle world. If it had been up to our parents, they would have drowned him to hide the shame of him being a squib and not having the magic to enter Hogwarts. Now that aunt Walburga has finally passed on from her miserable existence, as the oldest living Black sister, I have now been tasked with the defense of the family name, so once again I call on you to renew your loyalty under the oaths of familia supra omnes."

"I, Bellatrix Lestrange of the Family Black, do hereby swear upon my life and magic the oath of Familia Supra Omnes, letting no other loyalty or pledge come between myself and the honor of The Black, so mote it be." Bellatrix instantly fell to the floor while clutching her arm and screaming as if her life was being ripped from her body. Andi was on her knees in a flash, cradling her sister to her while crying out at the pain her baby sister was in. She rolled Bella over, and instead of a face filled with torment, there was a smile that stretched as wide as it could be as the scream cut off.

"Boy oh boy sis, you should see your face right now." Bella said before she broke into giggles.

"That was a good prank Bella; I couldn't have done better myself if I had planned it." Said an unexpected voice from behind her, making Andi spin around while reaching for her wand, only to find herself looking at the prone body of Alastor Moody laid out with Sirius Black standing over him, Moody's wand in his hand. "Andi, I am grateful that you are here to find out the truth, but are you sure this is Alastor Moody? I remember it being much harder to sneak up on him, and that was before he got that spy stone for an eye. He always told us to practice constant vigilance, and here I was able to take him down with a little tap to the back of the head."

Whatever else Sirius was about to say got cut off as he found himself in a full body bind, hanging from the ceiling of the cell. "Arrogant pup, always wanted to talk more than commit to action. That was why the leaders of your group were Frank and James." With a flick of his wrist, a wand appeared in Moody's hand and he lowered Sirius to the floor. "Go ahead and try that wand you are so proud of taking from me, I think you will be surprised." Said the battle hardened veteran with a grin. Sirius tried to cast a basic lumos spell, and found himself coated with a quickly hardening substance that had covered him when the wand exploded.

"You got our instant cement exploding wand spell to work!" Sirius exclaimed with excitement. "We were working on it when James and Lily went into hiding, and I never gave it much thought after that. How did you do it and what was the final Arithmantic formula for the cement?"

"I didn't do it, Lily did and she sent me her notes shortly before she died. The holster on my arm is rune charmed to perform a switching spell if I lose my wand, replacing it with a blank that has that spell runically crafted in its core as well as a compulsion rune to make the perp use it. This makes it feel like the perfect wand for any who takes it, and it will detonate on command or on the first attempt at a spell, and it has been a great help getting me out of tight spots over the last few years. Unfortunately, I am one of the very few who use it as anything created by a muggleborn, even Lily Potter ne Evans, is not of worth to magical society as a whole. I turned over the notes she sent me to Remus Lupin, and I pay him what I can to make them for me."

"How is Remus?" Sirius asked.

"He is doing okay, but he has virtually left the magic world because of the anti-werewolf laws that have been passed. Enough about him, we are here to get answers from you and Bellatrix, and if they are the answers that we expect, then we will proceed from there. Go ahead and ask your questions Andi, we don't have a lot of time before someone comes to check on us."

"Okay, I will start with you Bella; you screaming from your dark mark was expected after the Familia Supra Omnes was cast, but it seems that you don't need me to release you from the pain it is supposed to cause if you have sworn loyalty to an enemy of the Black family; please tell me why."

"It is simple really; I do not carry the dark mark and never have." Bella could have told them she was a squid and it would have not stunned them as much as her statement did.

"If that is true, then why did you join the dark lord's ranks and become known as one of his most devoted followers?" Andi asked in disbelief.

"You know how mother and aunt Walburga felt about the dark lord; they both believed that he was the savior of our world, and that he would cleanse our world of the filth that polluted it. I am pretty sure that they both were in love with him while they were in school, and they may have both had affairs with him at one time or another during their younger years. When first Sirius, and then you escaped from the path that they wanted you to follow, mother and aunt Walburga put a geas on Cissy, Regulus, and me to ensure that we followed the proper pureblood path. Regulus was practically gifted to the dark lord as his slave, though he fought it up until the day he died. I was married off to the Lestrange family as a reward for their faithful service to him, and Cissy was gifted to the Malfoy heir."

"Grandpa Arcturus saw that our parents were putting the dark lord above the interests of house Black, and decided to step in and release us from our geas, but our mother and aunt Walburga lured him into a trap that allowed him to be killed by the dark lord and his inner circle. Cissy gave in and became the perfect pureblood wife to Lucius Malfoy, since she felt that there was no hope. I fought them and the geas I had been placed under, and it took a series of dark spells and bindings to make me obey my supposed husband. It amused them greatly to make me go on raids without a mask and force me to see what they were doing to the innocents they attacked. It became common knowledge among the purebloods not in the dark lord's inner circle that I was the most devoted of his followers, and the most vicious."

"I slowly began to overcome the compulsions and spells keeping me in line, but there was no one I could turn to for help. I tried to approach Albus Dumbledore in secret, but his order had instructions to kill me on sight. It always baffled me that when I was dragged along on raids, it seemed like Dumbledore's people would put themselves in the sights of other Death Eaters just to get a shot off at me, and their spells were lethal when aimed at me versus the stunners they cast at other Death Eaters. The Prewitt brothers died because they stood out in the open, firing blasting and cutting curses at me while ignoring the nine other Death Eaters who were there."

"It was on 31 October, 1981 that my wish came true and I broke free of the spells that had been controlling me. I later found out that Harry Potter had vanquished the Dark Lord, and I was determined to escape my husband and his brother. In my preparations to rescue Cissy and escape, I overheard Rodolphus and Rabastan talking about the ritual that they needed to complete to bring back the Dark Lord. I wanted to leave right then, but I knew that if he came back, I would once again be trapped by the spells he had placed upon me. When they said that they would use Harry Potter for the ritual, I knew that I needed to stick around and save the infant son of my former school friend Lily Potter. We arrived at Longbottom manor, and Rabastan had a key that allowed us to enter through the wards, which caused his brother and him to snicker at the trust the old fool put in Snape."

"When we reached the house, we quickly realized that no one was home which suited the men just fine. We entered the manor and they began to set up an ambush, while Barty was sent to the front as a lookout, and I was sent to the back. I went out the back and set up a redirect ward that would send any portkeys or apparition to right outside the back door so that I could warn the Longbottoms that Harry and they were in danger. It worked, as soon after that I was facing the wands of both Frank and Alice, and what saved me was the fact that I was sitting there with my hands behind my head and my wand on the ground in front of me. Once Frank had my wand in his hand, they allowed me to speak and I told them of the danger they were in. Frank pulled out a small mirror and called out Moody, who quickly answered and when told of the situation, said he would be right there; appearing less than thirty seconds later."

"Moody pulled out some charmed spectacles, and verified everything I had told them, including that Barty Crouch Jr. was a Death Eater and was stationed at the front near their normal apparition point. They didn't trust me at first, and who could blame them for that, but then Harry reached out and demanded that I hold him, and that seemed to settle everyone down. After Moody and Frank had secured the other three, I asked them why they had put their trust in me. It was Alice who told me that Harry seemed to be highly empathetic, and if he acted like you were a friend, then that meant that you more than likely were. They told me about his reaction to Peter Pettigrew who was his parent's supposed friend, and I confirmed that Peter was a Death Eater and a spy on Dumbledore's order. I suggested that they secure me before they called the Aurors, so there would not be any accidental curses shot at me when they arrived and moody agreed. Almost as soon as I was bound, Albus Dumbledore walked in and demanded that they give him Harry. When Alice refused, he seemed to capitulate, and then stunned Moody and Frank, followed quickly by Alice. I pretended to be stunned like Rodolphus, Rabastan, and Barty, and got to hear him interrogate them about their aims. He then moved us and the furniture around to simulate a battle, and then one by one obliviated and reprogramed our memories. At my trial, I was compelled to scream like a demented idiot about how the Dark Lord would rise again, to purge the world of blood traitors and filth. It took almost four years for the effects of the dementors to destroy the blocks on my memory, allowing me to remember what really happened. I know that in my trial, I admitted to torturing Alice and Frank to insanity with the cruciatus curse, but it was a spell cast by Albus Dumbledore that did that to them, though I do not know what it was that was cast."

It was Moody who was the first to react, and his shouted curses forced Andi to silence him so that they would not draw attention, since he was loud enough to cause the notice-me-not wards to strain. Andi looked at him rather pointedly, and when he finally seemed to have calmed down, she lifted her spell from him before turning to Sirius and asking him for his story. If anything, it was even more upsetting then Bella's story had been.

"I arrived at the cottage that Albus had put the Potter's in, having been uneasy about Peter being the secret keeper all day. I was able to convince James and Lily to take Harry to Potter manor, since it had wards that were even more legendary than those at Hogwarts. We had packed their belongings, since they didn't plan to come back, and we were at the door when Dumbledore showed up and told us he had some bad news. We sat around the sitting room, while he told us that Voldemort had discovered Potter manor and had laid siege to it, determined to destroy the family seat of the Ancient and Noble house of Potter. When James said that he had not been alerted by the wards, and he was tied into them, Albus told him that Voldemort had taken control of the wards that would have alerted him, and was setting a trap for the last of the Potters. He even went so far as to suggest that I had been compelled to come and lead them to their doom. James and I insisted on going to check it out, and told Lily to go to our safe house. Lily ran upstairs to grab Harry, and Albus sighed, and asked us why we couldn't just do what we were told."

"The next thing I knew, I was waking up in my flat with the urge to hunt down Remus for his betrayal. I decided to go check on my 'friend' Peter, and found that his place was empty, so I raced over to Godric's Hallow to check on James, Lily, and Harry. I arrived in time to hear a desperate cry, followed by a magic explosion that blew out the wall of Harry's nursery upstairs. I raced inside, stepping over James Potter's body on my way to see if Lily and Harry were alive. When I reached Harry's nursery, I found Lily lying on the floor in front of Harry's crib, barely breathing while Harry sat behind her with both of his hands on her head; his eyes glowing as he glared at the wall behind the door. I turned around and almost soiled myself, as there stuck to the wall, engulfed in flames that seemed to be burning without consuming him, was the dork lord Baldyfart who seemed to be screaming, though there was no sound. Harry said 'Bad man not hurt mommy,' before focusing again on his mommy. I ran a scan on Lily, and realized that she was alive, though her vitals were low, as if she were in some sort of coma. I heard noises from downstairs, and so I activated Lily's emergency Marauder portkey to get her and Harry away to safety. The difference between a Marauder Emergency portkey and a standard portkey, is that our MEP would grab twelve inanimate objects at random from the area around its activation point and jump them multiple times to different coordinates, so that it confused the trail, making it almost impossible to track the destination of the people it was saving. It would take a master tracker at least a day to separate the real trail from the twelve fakes."

"I turned to the door, preparing to defend myself, and then relaxed when I saw Albus at the door. He rushed in and demanded to know where Harry was, and got angry when I just pointed behind him. He turned and saw Baldysack there on the wall, and instead of rejoicing at the fact that the dork lord was there and captured, he instead started calling him Tom and telling him how disappointed in him he was. It was when he asked him why he couldn't just do what he was told that my instincts screamed at me to blast him, and I began to raise my arm. I was about halfway up when a stunner shot through the open door and hit me. The last thing I saw was Snape in the doorway with a smirk on his face."

"When I once again became aware, I was in a bar in Hogsmeade, holding a glass of fire whiskey and lamenting the death of my friend. I asked someone who came in why they were celebrating, and I was told that Harry Potter had killed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I asked him when, and he told me it had been two days ago on Halloween. I left the bar and apparated back to Godric's Hallow to see if I could find out what was going on since I knew that Harry was probably safe with Alice and Frank. When I arrived, it was to see Hagrid coming out of the cottage with Harry held in one of his massive hands. I knew that everything was fuzzy because I had been drinking, but I was sure that Harry was not supposed to be there, so I told Hagrid to give me my godson. Hagrid refused because he was following Dumbledore's orders. I asked why Harry was in the house, if it had been two days since he killed the dork lord, and Hagrid was stumped, only repeating that he had been sent by Dumbledore to pick up Harry and bring him to his new home. I was about to trick him into giving Harry to me when Albus stepped from the shadows and told me how Harry had pushed himself out of reality to protect himself."

"I stared at little Harry with pride and disbelief, and then I was filled with the all-consuming need to get revenge on Peter for his betrayal. I gave Hagrid the keys to my bike at Dumbledore's suggestion, and then I went hunting for the rat, finding him two days later in Manchester. When I confronted him, he smiled at me and then shouted out something about me betraying James and Lily, and then the street blew up. I was about to go after him, when I was stunned from behind. I woke up a couple of times while I was being moved, each time to be stunned, until I woke up here in this hell, where I have been for almost seven years. It was only in the last two years that the blocks and changes to my memory began to break down, allowing me to see that we were not dealing with just one dark lord, but two, and one of them is Albus Dumbledore. That is my story, and I swear as a member of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black that everything I told you was the truth to the best of my knowledge."

Andi, Bella, and Moody stared at Sirius in shock as they realized that the person who had leveraged himself to the top of the magical world, using his fame as the defeater of Grindelwald and leader of the light, was in fact more dangerous to them than the last two known dark lords combined. It was into that stunned and tense atmosphere that Fawkes flashed in with an elf and a scroll for them to read. It took Fawkes singing quietly and quickly to keep any of them from attacking him in their belief that he was Dumbledore's familiar.

"I am Kephin, head elf of Hogwarts and emissary of my Lady Hogwarts in her quest to help the chosen one conquer the dark one who seeks to enslave or destroy us all. Fawkes is here because a phoenix is the only creature that can penetrate the wards of this prison without detection. I have been instructed by my Lady to tell you that, though Dumbledore claims that Fawkes is his familiar, it is through dark spells and rituals that he holds sway over the companion that is truly bonded to Hogwarts herself. I have been given this scroll for you to read, and then I am instructed to answer any questions that you have and render any assistance that you may require." Kephin then handed the scroll he carried to Andi, and then bowed and backed against the wall.

Andi looked at the others in the cell and then unrolled the scroll that had been handed to her and began to read aloud.

Greetings and Salutations to you all,

I am Lady Hogwarts, the embodiment of the castle and school created by the founding four, and I am offering you help that you cannot hope to receive from anyone else. Before I go into that, I would ask that you place the sorting hat that Kephin has in his pouch on each of your heads, so that I may know where your loyalties truly lie. After that is done, my message and instructions will continue.

Andi looked at Kephin who now held the sorting hat in his hands. With a shrug of her shoulders, she took it and placed it upon her head, smiled, and then passed it on to her sister Bella. Bella was at first hesitant, but then placed it on her head and immediately had a smile on her face, while her body relaxed and she sighed in relief. She removed the hat with a bit of reluctance, and then handed it to Sirius to try on.

Just before he placed it on his head, the hat spoke. "Kephin, please clean this mutt's hair so that he doesn't stain me with his filth. It is bad enough that I have to once more be subjected to the unclean thoughts of Sirius Black without having his lack of hygiene ruin my spotless exterior."

It was just the ice breaker that everyone needed, and after a quick laugh and easing of tensions, Kephin cleaned up Sirius and then placed the hat on his head. It took much longer for the hat to be done, and tears began running down his face as Sirius communicated with the hat. His blurted 'How could they treat him like that?' told Andi that the hat was telling Sirius about Harry and his life at the Dursley's house. It was with shaking hands that Sirius finally took off the hat and handed it to Moody to take his turn. It was when Moody placed it on his head that things went awry.

The brim of the hat had hardly touched down on Moody's head when Kephin sprang into action. With a snap of the elf's fingers, Moody slumped to the floor in unconsciousness and the hat was encased in a glass jar that was floating at head height. Andi was shielding her sister from the apparently deranged elf, and Sirius had morphed into his Animagus form, ready to attack any threat that appeared. Fawkes hovered up near the ceiling of the cell, flames running over his wings and tail as he stared at the imprisoned hat with a menace that would terrify any being full of evil intent with its intensity.

"Please remain calm and Kephin will explain what he has done." A female voice that seemed vaguely familiar echoed about the cell. The voice seemed to have the same soothing and uplifting effect as the song of a phoenix, making everyone relax. "Kephin, tell them what Rodrick told you so that everyone is aware of why your actions were necessary."

"Kephin is sorry that he had to do that to the mad one, but his paranoia is well deserved. Hat, sorry, Rodrick detected some disturbing things when he came in contact with Moody's head. The first was that there were two minds there, one male and one female, where there should only be one. Rodrick determined that there was a hidden Animagus on Moody, and told me to trap him and it in the jar. It was just as I was conjuring the jar, that Rodrick urgently told me to stun Moody as he was a danger to everyone in this room. If Miss Andi would cast the Animagus revealing spell on the one stunned under the hat when I remove the jar, then we will know who else is here." Kephin looked at Andi and when she nodded, he snapped his fingers and the jar disappeared with a pop. Andi cast her spell, and there lying on the floor next to Moody was reporter for the Daily Prophet Rita Skeeter, her poison green pen and parchment lying beside her.

"Well that explains how she is always able to dig up dirt on everyone; she is some type of very small Animagus." Andi said with disgust as she thought about all the lives that the woman before her had ruined. It was with a dawning sense of satisfaction that she realized the opportunity that they had before them. Her plans for revenge were interrupted when Rodrick called their attention back to the stunned Master Auror that was laid out on the cell floor.

"I need someone to confine Alastor with a body bind and a confundus charm before waking him up so I can get to the root of why he was preparing to stun and obliviate you all, before making sure that Sirius had a fatal escape attempt."

The sorting hat's words could not have shocked the others more, and it caused Bella to lean over and ask Andi "Is it always this exciting around you?" Andi replied quietly while she cast the requested charms, "Only since Ted and I met up with a little boy named Harry Potter."

Kephin picked up Rodrick from the floor and placed him once again on Moody's head, with far less drama than the last time. It was a very tense miniature eternity that passed before Rodrick spoke to the waiting group, and his words filled them with dread.

"I have found the root of the problem here, but I am unsure if I alone can fix it." Rodrick seemed sad as he relayed his information. "Alastor here has had his supposed friend Albus Dumbledore, inserting minor compulsions into his head for the last fifteen years; all to have him react in certain ways to anything that could interfere with the old manipulator's plans. In this case, it was us finding out that Sirius was innocent that triggered the compulsion to make sure that Sirius would never leave Azkaban alive. Albus rewrote the entire night of Frank and Alice Longbottom's Death Eater attack, and used Alastor's hatred of the Death Eaters to get past his Occlumency shields. While he was changing Alastor's memories, he placed a mental trigger which allows him to change his thoughts at will to align more with what Dumbledore wants to achieve. There is no way I can correct the years of programing in his head without destroying Alastor's mind; I just don't have enough power on my own. In a few years, Lady Hogwarts informs me that there will be a chance to help him, but right now, the only thing I can do is change some of his memories regarding Sirius so that he does not feel compelled to act upon Albus's orders."

"Sirius, I need you to go back to your cell and close the door, but first take the spare wand he carries in his boot. I will put in a little scenario about him losing his boot in the water on the boat over, and when he summoned it back to him, his boot wand had fallen out. Don't worry, he still has the one up his left sleeve, the one in his peg leg, the two strapped to the inside of each of his thighs, and the two mini foci in his rings, so he will not be too concerned to lose that one and it is the best match for you that he is carrying. Once you are back in your cell, you need to appear to be sullen and dejected so that his perception will be of a beaten and broken man who knows he is innocent, but has lost faith that the system will come through for him. I will have him look in on you and then take Ted's place so that Ted can come and spend time with his wife and her sister. He will not remember that Kephin, Fawkes, or myself were ever here, and he will remember Bellatrix as being deranged and too far gone to answer any questions about her strange behavior the night he was at the Longbottom's house and lost his eye. When he reports to Dumbledore the next time they meet, it will be to assure him that you will most likely not visit your sister again since her mind is so far gone. Once Ted is here and Alastor is kept busy watching to guard, I can tell you the plan that my Lady has come up with to help her champion to be prepared for his destiny."

It was surreal for Andi and Bella to see Alastor Moody, scourge of all Death Eaters and the most feared Auror in the last century, calmly get up from the floor and give his excuses about getting Ted since this was really a family moment and Andi probably needed his support with how bad her sister was. He peeked into Sirius's cell and then nodded in satisfaction that the man was huddled in the back of his cell shaking in cold and fear. If he could have seen Sirius from the front, he would have been furious at the fact that Sirius was struggling to contain his laughter at the prank that was being pulled on him and the old man. When Ted came back down the hall from where Alastor had relieved him, Sirius opened his still unlocked cell door and joined his cousin's husband in entering Bella's cell to find out what plans were going to happen.

Roderick was on Kephin's head as the two faded into view, and it was the voice of Hogwarts that spoke to them. "I know that your plans were to confirm that Bella was not he she was portrayed to be, and that Sirius was innocent of all the charges that they used to justify putting him here, but you don't have the time or the political clout to take on Albus Dumbledore to get them justice. Once Moody tells the dark one that you came here to visit your sister, he will make plans to get rid of Sirius permanently, and also make sure that Bella is mentally beyond any help that could be given to her. He was able to make you mistrust Remus Lupin, and then show him that he was only in the wizarding world because of his kindness. At every turn, he has made sure that Remus knows that Dumbledore is the only one looking out for him, making Remus fiercely loyal to Dumbledore. Since he cannot manipulate the mind of a werewolf, he has worked to limit his access to those who would tell him information that Albus does not want him to have. He has convinced Remus that it was Sirius that betrayed the Potter's by insisting that they make him the secret keeper, and then killed Peter Pettigrew to get rid of loose ends."

"The dark one is a master at disinformation and deceit, often using just enough of the truth to blind you to the fact that he is manipulating your view to the point that he wants. Just look at what he has done with the boy Harry Potter. He tells everyone that he has removed him from our world to keep him safe from the followers of Voldemort, and that he put him with family. Since over half the wizarding world is related to the Potters in one way or another, there is no one who would normally suspect that he was put with Lily's sister in the muggle world. To further the view that he is being trained to be a champion and hero, Dumbledore gets Lockhart to write books about 'The True Adventures of Harry Potter' and Harry becomes a symbol to an entire generation of wizarding children, with the subtle inference that Grandpa Dumbledore is standing behind him, guiding him to his destiny. As children who have read the books, and practically worship the boy-who-lived get to Hogwarts, they will see the wise man who advises Harry on his adventures sitting upon a throne above them in the great hall of a magical castle. This is a powerful image to an impressionable eleven year old who is away from mommy and daddy for the next ten months, and he will enforce it as many times as he can during their schooling."

"What I am going to do is going to require all of you to work with me and allow me to use your magic to create something that has not been seen for most of a thousand years. Andi, Ted, and Sirius will use the wands they have, while Bella will use Rita's wand while wearing Rodrick and will be the focus for the spell we will be doing." She paused for a moment, and Fawkes flashed out of the room, only to appear a few seconds later with two small squirming creatures the size of a field mouse in each talon. "These are Nargles, magical creatures that can change their size so as to blend in with their environment until they can find a host to infect and use for incubation of their offspring. Normally they are too elusive for most to see, but there are always scores of them around Hogwarts since their favorite hosts are pubescent magical teenagers. We can begin as soon as one of you stuns them with the perturbo spell, and Bella places me on her head." Ted shot the spell at the two magically resistant creatures, while Kephin handed the hat and the stunned reporter's wand to Bella, before putting Rita into an elf bag and then once more moving to the corner.

"Now I need a hair and a drop of blood from Bella and Sirius to be placed on one of the Nargles, the one on the right for Sirius and the one on the left for Bella." Ted pulled out a muggle pocket knife and allowed Bella and Sirius to make small cuts on their index fingers, healing them both after the blood had dripped onto the stunned creatures.

"Gather around them with Sirius at the North point of the compass and Bella at the South, Andi to the East, and Ted to the West. You will then need to join hands with your wands held to your right and pointed to the center; Fawkes will stand on the shoulder of Sirius to supplement for the weakness of the two of your magic from long disuse." When they had all moved to their places, Lady Hogwarts continued with her instructions.

"Now I need you to all focus on bringing your magic from your core to the surface, and then let me control the spell." It took a few moments, but finally the four people in the cell were ready and an observer would have seen the power of their magic rippling along the surface of their skin like waves moving toward the shore, or in this case their hands.

With a voice full of power, Lady Hogwarts through the artifact that had originally been her mouth piece before she had evolved from her students magic, spoke the spell that channeled the four adults magic into her spell. "Replica Facultas Verita Tunica," echoed through the enclosed space, and then the two creatures that they surrounded began to morph and change while growing in size until there in the middle stood an exact duplicate of Bella and Sirius.

With a startled cry, the four original people fell back in surprise and exhaustion, not knowing what to think about the magic they had helped perform. It was Kephin who broke through their stupor when he grabbed the hat from Bella and placed it on Andi's head. With barely a pause, she turned and stunned Sirius and Bella, before placing them in stasis and transfiguring them both into bracelets which she placed on her wrists.

"Get that Sirius into his cell, and lock the door before the guards come. I will go get Moody and Guardsman Carter and have them verify that Bella is still in her cell, and then we must quickly leave. One of Dumbledore's monitors has gone off and we need to be out of here before he arrives, and we can't use Fawkes to do it since he is calling him back to him right now." Andi knew that Lady Hogwarts was feeding her information, but she had placed her trust in the Magical Lady, and was not going to hesitate now.

It was with the efficiency that married couples who live and work together often develop, that she and Ted were able to accomplish what they needed to do and were soon out of the prison and in the boat with Moody, headed away from the prison island. Andi did not allow herself to relax until they were out of sight of shore, and away from where the invisible hat was telling her Albus Dumbledore would appear with Fawkes.

It was the next day that the Daily Prophet bore the headlines, 'Sirius Black Kills Bellatrix Lestrange before Dying in Attempted Escape; Goblins Refuse to Comment on Who is New Head of House Black; Malfoy States That Son Draco Will Take Up Black Seat When He Comes Of Age.' Much of the wizarding world rejoiced at the news that the number two man of You-Know-Who had died, and killed the psychotic witch who had terrorized their peaceful world under the orders of the dark lord. Albus Dumbledore gave a sigh of relief that his mistake had taken care of itself, he had left Black alive in Azkaban to torture him for not obeying orders, and trying to take Harry away from his plan. He had plans in place to remove Black if Harry ever found out about Sirius and his friendship with his parents, or that Sirius was legally Harry's guardian. Now there was no need to worry about Harry being taken from the environment that Albus had put him in, all for the greater good of course.

It was a few hundred miles away that a very happy Harry Potter was being introduced to a man named Stubby Boardman who had tired of his own fame and celebrity status and was now offering to become his manager in the magical and muggle world. He just needed to go spend time at a clinic to revitalize himself and his sister from the toll that years of touring non-stop had taken on his body. He told Harry and his friends that the most important lessons he had learned and was determined to pass on to them, was to take breaks for yourself so you didn't get burned out, and to always remember to have fun in all you did. If it stopped being fun, then it was time to walk away.

So there you go, those who have bugged me about Sirius coming in. I hope you enjoy. Please review

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