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A very Black plan

Chapter Text

Harry sat down on his bed in the smallest bedroom of Number 4, Privet Drive. He was angry, sad and so much more that he could barely stop himself from either punching the wall or start crying. Not that either option would be a good idea in this house. The Dursleys wouldn't take kindly to their freak nephew making a nuisance of himself.

But Harry was almost past caring. Almost. Whatever others may say, Harry did have some sense of self-preservation. But Sirius, his last chance to get away from the Dursleys, for a family, was dead. Murdered by his own cousin Bellatrix Lestrange while trying to help him, Harry bloody Potter. He shouldn't have gone to the Ministry. He should have know better. Why hadn't he known better? Sirius was truly gone now.

He grieved for Sirius.

Harry knew that Sirius wouldn't have blamed him but he blamed himself. He should have known better than to trust his dreams, Kreacher and even Dumbledore who had let him down time and time again.

Just look at his life. Dumbledore's track record really wasn't all that good. Placing him with his aunt and his first five years at Hogwarts should be more than enough evidence that it wasn't wise to trust other people. Adults, mostly really. Harry knew he could trust his friends with most things.

Hermione and Neville were his two best friend and he could trust them with everything. Neville was his brother in all but blood and Hermione, well Hermione meant the world to him. She was everything to Harry. His loyal best friend.

The only adult who was willing to put him first was dead and Harry didn't know what to do anymore. Sirius had meant so much to Harry. The only true connection to his parents, his only chance to escape the Aunt and Uncle's house and perhaps a father. Either way, Sirius was family and Harry did not have much of those. Not family that he wanted anyway.

His friends barely sent him any letters while he was back at the Dursleys. Harry got some letters from Hermione and Neville and a short note from Ron but once again it seemed like they were forbidden from putting any important information in their letters. He missed his friends. He really could have used some cheering up.

He had made some new friends in his last few school years which had been nice. Like Luna and Neville, they were a few of the good ones. They were very brave for coming with him to save Sirius and for fighting so hard against the Death Eaters at the Ministry of Magic.

As was Ginny, she was a fierce one and Harry now got why her brothers were kinda afraid of her. He was glad that they were becoming friends now and that her crush seemed to be gone. That crush was uncomfortable for the both of them, really. That poor butter dish...

Still, no one seemed to understand how much he needed some positive contact after the disaster of a year he had. Like he had needed last year after witnessing Cedric's murder. They, Professor Dumbledore and the other adults just didn't seem to learn anything from their previous mistakes. Sirius had tried his best last year, but he had been out of the country, on the run for his own safety.

Sirius had understood him. Harry missed him so much he didn't know what to do with himself. He was back in a house where he wasn't wanted and worst of all- Voldemort was back in the open in all his snake-like glory. Magical Britain was pro Boy-Who-Lived again in their usual sickening way and Dumbledore expected him to kill Voldemort because a drunk almost-teacher made a prophecy that both the Headmaster and Dark Lord believed in.

And really, why hadn't he heard the damn thing before now? Why would anyone think that that was a good moment to tell him? Just after he lost the last person to love him as family?

Harry didn't want to kill anyone. Not even the monster that had killed his parents and ruined his life. Voldemort should never have been his problem to deal with to begin with. What was Fate thinking?

Why did the adults seem to expect him to always fix everything for them? Harry really wondered what the Ministry could have done if they had been actually competent. Perhaps they could have sent some Dementors after Voldemort. They did it to him after all when he was only fifteen years old. Harry really didn't think that someone as dark as Voldermort could cast a Patronus to protect himself. So much suffering could have been avoided if only the adults had done something.

Anything really.

And Harry didn't mean his parents. They were so young when they had died. Barely any older than Harry was now. Where were the adults in their own lives? Even now it seemed that the cycle continued. People barely out of Hogwarts joined the Order and often died for it. Which was brave of course and Harry wished he could join them too but no, Dumbledore had different plans for him. Or really the same plans as usual even though Voldemort is out is the open and truly starting his plans for the Wizarding World.

Meanwhile Harry is living with his magic hating relatives without a plan on how he's gonna survive his teens.

He didn't know what he could do against two adult wizards who have had decades of experience while he wasn't even finished with school but the one thing he did know, he won't be able to defeat Voldemort with 'the power of love' as Dumbledore had told him. Really, was he supposed to hug Voldemort to death? Maybe it was some kind of a euphemism for strangling the Dark Lord if he wanted to think about a more extreme way of getting rid of that bastard? No, knowing Professor Dumbledore he meant actual love.

Harry respected the Headmaster very much but he truly was a bit barmy.

He needed a plan of action and he needed it yesterday. But how could he do anything while he was stuck at the Dursley's? Dumbledore said it was the safest here for him and Dumbledore always knew best. You only have to look at Harry's last years in Hogwarts to know that.

Wait a minute...

Dumbledore knows best? Since when? Why does Harry have to stay with people who hated him while there was a house in his name that was way safer for Harry?

Sirius had made him his Heir and so Harry was now the owner of all what the Black family owned. He could go the the Black town house! While the Fidelius has fallen, the Black wards should still be strong. Sirius would want him to get away from his relatives. To be free like Sirius never got to be again in his life.

Perhaps there he could practise some spells and just train his arse of as much as possible. If he could use his wand at least. That was an important detail. He wouldn't want to stand trial again this summer for underage magic.

It would be perfect. He would have access to one of the biggest private family libraries in the country and perhaps could he even do magic there if he could find a wand without a trace! Now how could he get there without the Order stopping him and sending him back?

The Dursleys could not know what he was planning. They might not want him here but they would stop him from running away. If only out of fear for what the rest of the 'freaks' would do to them for losing him. And he should definitely avoid the Order. It was time to do something he hadn't done in a long time.

Looking over at where Hedwig was perched, he told her, "It's time to make a change, don't you think girl?"

Hedwig hooted back approvingly.

Make a plan.

Hermione would be so proud of him.

Chapter Text

By the time the sun had come up the next morning Harry'd come up with a plan. A good one even. He had even made a list. A list. Him. One of the most impulsive Gryffindors to date according to Professor McGonagall had made a neat little list to follow. Harry really thought that Hermione wouldn't believe him when he tells her about it when he speaks with her next. Not that he quite believed it. Harry didn't think he'd ever made a list 'for fun' in his life.

Every year on his birthday since he had started Hogwarts his aunt would tell him to go the shopping centre. Not to do something nice for him. No, aunt Petunia would make him go so she could go there too and get her nails and hair done while Harry had to do their groceries which he barely got to eat. No thoughts spared to his birthday but he was used to that. He was already happy he was allowed outside his cupboard or Dudley's second bedroom this summer. Even it it meant he had to do his chores.

Before Hogwarts he'd have been locked in his cupboard for this day. It had taken him a long time to understand that no matter what he did, his aunt and uncle could and would never love him. It wasn't possible with their hatred for everything special. Or as they called it, 'the freaks'.

He was also beginning to understand the harm they did to their own son. Dudley was fast underway to obesity or a heart attack because of his weight and eating habits. The way that they raised his cousin made him a spoiled, bratty and a bully. Which had started going criminal when puberty started. But Harry still had hope for his cousin. Dudley had gotten quieter since the Dementor attack. He'd gotten a bit kinder to the people around him.

Not that his aunt and uncle noticed anything. They just thought that their sweet little Diddikuns was the same as always. Their perfect little prince. All the while still blaming Harry for the Dementor attack that harmed their precious Dudders.

Honestly, Harry should already feel pity for his cousin just because of the horrible nicknames alone.

He didn't know where their hatred came from exactly but it wasn't really his fault that they did what they did to him. Hermione helped, unknowingly, with that realisation. She used to read self-help books about abuse and self-image in their last year at Hogwarts and sometimes leave them out in the common room for him to find. He didn't know why she read them, perhaps she had been insecure about something, but Hermione did love her books no matter their subject. And they'd helped.

But back to his totally awesome non-impulsive plan. This time he would take the money aunt Petunia would give him so he could buy a train ticket to London and take a cab to the London town house of the Black family. This was the perfect day to do it, he hoped, because all the owls his friends would send him for his birthday would be underway to him. They would not expect him to respond for another day or so after.

"Are you ready, Hedwig?"

She barked back with enough fire that he had to laugh. Of course she was ready to leave this place. Hedwig had been ready years ago.

Harry would only take his most important possessions with him as otherwise he would have to drag his trunk with him and that would be way to noticable. So only his cloak, photo album, the map, his Gringotts key and his wand would go with him. Luckily Dudley's old clothes had big pockets.

First decided to write the list of what he needed to do this summer:

1. Get to the Black town house

2. Claim the Black heirship magically

3. Talk to some portraits who are sane for information

4. Find a untraceable wand that works for me

5. Study like Hermione before the end of year exams

6. Practice magic with the untraceable wand

He also decided to write a letter for his Aunt and another one for the Headmaster for when the professor would come looking for him. This would be his last opportunity to tell his relatives what he truly thought of them. The last opportunity to let it all out and tell them the truth. Perhaps this could serve as a wake-up call for them.

Aunt Petunia,

You and your family have never treated me like a normal family would treat their orphaned nephew, so I decided to leave you to your very much abnormal ways. Only the worst kind of people could harm a child the way you did. My mother would be ashamed of you and absolutely furious and you know it. I will not come back to this house.

But for the sake of my mother, your sister, I will warn you this one last time: The Dark Lord Voldemort has returned from the dead and has declared war on Britain. If you value your life you will be better off in another country far away from here.

I hope to never see you and your family again and I'm sure that the feeling is mutual. May we never meet again.

Your nephew,

Harry James Potter

PS. Included is a message for the Headmaster for when he comes looking for me. Which he will. Do tell him hello from me.

It felt good to write it all out in a letter. He wished he could see his aunts face when she read his letter. He bet she would purse her lips so hard they would disappear. He kinda hoped that uncle Vernon would turn so red he would explode. Vernon would make a good ballon just like his sister.

He hoped that they would finally understand that what they did to the innocent child in their care was wrong but he wouldn't hold his breath. Soon this chapter in his life would be over and done with. He wouldn't miss it.

Harry did hope that Dudley would continue to better his life. His cousin had changed his ways a bit since the thing with the Dementors. Harry didn't think he'd want to see any of them again but he still hoped that Dudley would grow up to be better than his parents.

He wasn't quite sure what to write in Dumbledore's letter. On one hand Professor Dumbledore admitted he knew what Harry's homelife was like and he still didn't try to find him something better, not to mention the highly dangerous school years since Harry had come to Hogwarts. On the other hand Dumbledore was a powerful wizard who's help he might need in the future against Voldemort.

So he decided to try and be mature but cautious in his letter to the Headmaster. A school headmaster did not need to know everything about a student after all.

Professor Dumbledore,

After all this time in this horrible house I made the choice to leave. This is not a home. It is not my home. My parents and Sirius wanted better for me and honestly, I deserve better than these cruel people you left me with.

I know that leaving like this will not make you and the Order think that I am capable of behaving like an adult. But you forget one thing: you were the one that kept making me go to a house  you  admitted yourself was not a good place for a child. You were right professor, the Dursley family is not a good house for 'freaks' like me. So now that there was finally another safe option, I left.

Sirius and I had made plans for a safehouse before and now that he is gone I will live there. Being alone would be a lot better then living with the Dursleys after all, Professor. Number 4 Privet Drive is not my home. It never was.

I never got to be the child you wanted me to be.

I can not and will not tell you where this safe house is. But it is as safe as we could make it and no one but Sirius and I know where it is. I will board the train as usual on the 1st of September.

I promise to even make an effort with my potions homework now that my stuff is not locked away for the summer.

Hope you have a nice summer, Sir. I know I will.

Harry James Potter

He hoped that there was enough misdirection in the letter that it would take a while for the Headmaster to find him. At least long enough for Harry to get to the Black Town House and reset the wards so that no one could get in but Harry and those he felt he could trust. Which was no one at the moment.

Harry grabbed his possessions and hid them in his baggy clothes. He opened Hedwigs cage and told her to go to London and find him there as soon as she could. Hopefully his poor owl would finally be free to do what she wanted in their new home. She looked him straight in the eyes, hooted once and flew out of the open window.

When he got downstairs he got some money and a enormous list shoved in his hands for the groceries. He knew he was in luck, Mundungus Fletcher was his guard today. He would have been in trouble if it was Moody or Remus but Mundungus was too lazy to follow him seriously. Lucky for him, he could easily plan around Remus. The full moon was yesterday so Remus would not be there today to use his enhanced senses.

He had just put the letters on a noticeable place in the kitchen when his aunt called for him, "Boy, get moving! You need to get the groceries and I have a appointment in the nail salon in a few minutes. You know what you have to do for the rest of today, don't you, boy?"

As Harry walked to the front door he dutifully answered his aunt for hopefully the last time, "Yes, Aunt Petunia. My chores for today are to do the grocery shopping, cleaning the house from top to bottom and de-weeding the garden so that I'm not a burden for you and Uncle Vernon on my birthday."

Aunt Petunia looked at him, nodded her head once and quickly walked to the car so she could get to her nail and hair appointment. As always, Harry had to walk to the shopping centre. It was only a ten minute walk but the less time spent with his relatives the better and that feeling went both ways.

Harry knew he had about a hour and a half before his aunt would be back at Privet Drive and expect him to be there packing away the groceries or weeding the garden so he quickly went to the public bathrooms inside the shopping centre.

There he could change his appearance a bit and then wait for a big group of people to come by so he could disappear between them. While changing Harry took a deep breath to settle his nerves. This was it. The first step to freedom.

A few minutes later and it was finally time. A big group of teens walked by and Harry took his chance. He couldn't believe it was so easy but just a little while later he walked right out of the shopping centre without anyone noticing him!

After that he ran quickly to the train station and bought a ticket to London. He found a place in the back where he could sit alone and only when the train started moving he dared to breathe and finally relax. Who knew it would be this nerve-wrecking to make his own choices for the first time in his own life?

Harry knew the London Town House of the Black Family was close by but he still had to get a cab just to be sure he woudn't be seen walking London on his own. So when the train stopped in London he got out as quickly as he could, pulled the hood of his jacket up and went to rent a cab.

It was just ten minutes later he finally stood in front of the invisible Number 12, Grimmauld Place. He walked to where the door should be and put his hand on it. The door appeared and he put his hand on the antique doorknob.

Harry felt the doorknob growing warm and the air around him vibrate with defensive magic as he said, "My name is Harry James Potter, Heir of House Black and I demand entrance to this manor!" He felt a bit silly when saying the words Sirius told him to say but he also felt the power of the words as he said them.

He felt the powerful magic of House Black going through him, felt the acceptance just before he heard the click of the door opening. House Black had accepted his claim. Harry was safe.

Chapter Text

Albus came back home in his office through the floo after being at the Ministry for the day. It was evening already and Albus couldn't wait to sit down with a nice cup of tea and a delicious Lemon Drop and just finally be alone again. It was hard work holding all those positions and the people he had to work with didn't make it any easier.

The bumbling idiot Fudge was still in office but it wouldn't be long now before a Vote of No Confidence would be called. Fudge had messed to much up for him to stay in office. He should have never attacked the boy-who-lived and Albus Dumbledore in his newspaper. Now that is was known they had spoken the thruth, Fudge had fallen into a deep hole of his own making.

His name might not have been under all the articles but everyone knew that The Daily Prophet was a mouthpiece for the Ministry of Magic. Albus just hoped that the next Minister woudn't be worse than his predecessor. Or a Death Eater.

If only Albus was still a young man. Perhaps then he could have thrown his hat in the ring if only so that no Death Eater would become a figure-head for Tom. But no, he was too old now. His mind and body were getting slower and slower and so was his magic. But he still had a lot to do before his next great adventure could begin.

His mind and magic were after all still better than most, if not all people he knew. He, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore- couldn't afford to be any less than he was in his prime. Not with the enemies he had, the people out to get to him or the jobs he held.

Albus glanced at his desk and felt his heart skip a long beat. The silver baubles that were connected to the wards of Number 4, Privet Drive were melted into small puddles on his desk. It looked like it had happened a while ago too.

The wards were down.

Harry. Something was wrong with Harry Potter.

Fawkes. Where was the damn bird when you needed him! Albus basically ran his old body out the castle so that he could apparate to Privet Drive. He hoped that Harry was alright. It would be a disaster if Tom had gotten his hands on the boy before everything was ready. That must not be allowed to happen. Ever.

Albus apparated in front of Number 4. It didn't look like there had been an atttack. What had happened? The ward were truly gone now but nothing seemed amiss. He quickly walked up to the door and knocked with a fast beating heart. Something wasn't right here.

It was Petunia Dursley nee Evans who opened the door. She saw who was standing on her doorstep and would have closed the door in his face if he hadn't stepped inside before she could be so rude.

Albus wanted to sigh but knew it was his own fault. It was his decision to place Harry here where he knew he woudn't be loved as much as a child deserved to be. But the Prophecy wanted an equal for the Dark Lord and so Albus had decided to make it so. After all, Tom did not have a happy childhood either.

So Albus made his eyes sparkle kindly so Petunia would let her guard down as he talked to the bitter woman, "Petunia, where is our young Mr. Potter? I have gotten a notification that the wards that have been protecting you and your family have gone down. Completely shattered actually."

The woman looked sour as she said, "So the boy spoke the truth then. The little thief left. He took our money and left a letter saying he woudn't return. He also left a letter for you for when you showed up."

She went back a little further inside to grab the letter from a small table that Harry apparentely left for him. Harry left? On his own? It wasn't like the boy to be so rebelious. He hoped this was all a big misunderstanding. It was truly the best for Harry to stay in this house. Albus knew it for sure.

Petunia came quickly back and handed him the letter. Petunia told him before he could open the letter, "The boy is not welcome here anymore. If you bring him back here again we will throw him out on the streets as we should have done years ago. We want nothing to do with you freaks ever again." She pushed him outside which he allowed in his surprise and turned around and closed the door before Albus could convince her that it was very much nessecary for Harry to return here.

What had the boy done? He sighed again and opened the letter to read,

Professor Dumbledore,

After all this time in this horrible house I made the choice to leave. This is not a home. It is not my home. My parents and Sirius wanted better for me and honestly, I desereve better than these cruel people you left me with.

I know that leaving like this will not make you and the Order think that I am capable of behaving like an adult. But you forget one thing: you were the one that kept making me go to a house  you  admitted yourself was not a good place for a child. You were right professor, the Dursley family is not a good house for 'freaks' like me. So now that there was finally another safe option, I left.

Sirius and I had made plans for a safehouse before and now that he is gone I will live there. Being alone would be a lot better then living with the Dursleys after all, Professor. Number 4 Privet Drive is not my home. It never was.

I never got to be the child you wanted me to be.

I can not and will not tell you where this safe house is. But it is as safe as we could make it and no one but Sirius and I know where it is. I will board the train as usual on the 1st of September.

I promise to even make an effort with my potions homework now that my stuff is not locked away for the summer.

Hope you have a nice summer, sir. I know I will.

Harry James Potter

Albus could feel his control slipping as some of the streetlights burst. This was bad. That stupid boy! What if this ruined the Prophecy? The boy was supposed to follow him blindly and now he suddenly had decided to make his own decisions. This couldn't be allowed. It was for the Greater Good that the boy would do exacly as Albus told him to do.

It was his Fate.

Chapter Text

Petunia:

Sometimes was Petunia, in the depts of her own mind, perhaps a tiny bit ashamed of herself. Of the way she had treated her precious little sister after Lily had gotten that damned letter. Of how she treated the innocent baby that came to her after her sister had died. Of the lies she told and the rumors she spread. But then she took a deep breath and reminded herself that they were just freaks. And freaks didn't deserve anything from Petunia.

It was that thought that helped her through what happened when the Headmaster of that horrible school came by to see what had happened to the boy. Petunia had hoped the boy had lied but she got the feeling he was truthful about his warning in that awful letter. The rest was complete hogwash of course but it seemed that this one thing was true.

Albus Dumbledore had come to Privet Drive.

She almost slammed the door in the old freak's face but she only just contained herself. It woudn't do if the neighbors saw her slamming the door in the face of someone so clearly elderly. It would ruin her reputation and she worked very hard to show her neighbors the kind and graceful woman she is.

People just didn't know about the freaks. If they did then they would understand. Freaks desevered nothing. No kindness, no respect, none of the jobs that good normal people could use. Nothing.

It seemed like the boy had spoken the truth in his nasty letter. The wards were no more now that he was gone. It had made Petunia so angry to find that the boy had run away and even worse to read the letter he had left in his room for her to find. Vernon had soon after, in a manly fit of rage destroyed the boy's trunk and the rest of his freaky school stuff in a fit of rage. Good riddance, Petunia thought. He didn't deserve all those things anyway.

The little freak wasn't even grateful for the time they had to put up with him. Ungrateful brat. They had fed him, clothed him and given him a roof over his head. All they had asked for in return was a little bit of respect and some housework.

But deep down Petunia knew that the boy had spoken the truth in his letter. Her sister would have never treated Dudley like they had treated her sisters boy if Petunia and Vernon had been the ones who died. Perfect Lily who could not do anything wrong, as always. Petunia hated her sister almost as much as she hated herself.

But regardless, the boy had spoken the truth and the wards protecting her precious family were truly down now. The Head freaks visit proved it. It also meant that Petunia had to protect her family from now on and she would do so. She could be just as brave as her little sister was. Even better than her if she had her way.

Now all she had to do was talk to her husband and her precious little Dudders. She hoped they would see that it was necessary to get away from here. Petunia didn't think they would mind getting away from all the freaks. After all, if the boy didn't know where they lived he also woudn't be able to crawl back to them.

She walked into the living room to see her two big strong men sitting on the couch. Her husband was the first to look up to ask, "Who was that, Pet?"

Petunia loved her husband and she hoped that he would agree with her plan. It was for theirs and their sons safety after all.

She took a deep breath and told her husband with a sneer on her face, "It was the old man form the freak school. He wanted to speak to the boy since he was somehow warned that the wards protecting us are truly down now. He wants us to take the boy back when he is found."

Vernon started to turn red at her words, "No Pet. We will not let that little freak back in this house. After all we have done for the ungrateful brat he had the nerve to run away with our money! No, the freak will not set a foot back in this house!" He almost roared. She agreed with her husband but hoped the neightbors woudn't hear her strong manly husband yell.

It woudn't do if they heard their conversation.

Her little Dudders was quiet. He was probably just upset that a freak had gotten so close to him again. He hadn't gotten over the pigtail incident yet her poor little Duddy. Let alone the Dementors. Horrible creatures that only could have come from magic.

Petunia nodded, "Yes, that was what I told him too. But we don't know what they can do with their magic and now the wards protecting us are gone. So I was thinking, what if we went away to somewhere where they can't find us? Somewhere out of the country?"

Now her son was also paying attention.

Vernon was calmer now that he heard that his wife had a plan, "You want to move to Australia or something? Mmm... my work has just started a new office there. I could ask for a transfer."

Petunia was very glad to hear that he was willing to move, "Do that, dear. As soon as possible. The sooner we can move the more chance there is we can get away from the freaks. They can't get the oppertunity to find us again and make us take the boy back."

Vernon nodded and said that he would call his boss now before he left the office. As Vernon walked away to the landline, Petunia went to sit down beside her son. Her little Dudders was growing up to be such a big and strong man. She was so proud of him. Her precious little baby all grown up.

Soon they would be far away and never again would they be bothered by the freaks her sister loved so much. She could finally spent all het time with her perfect little family without any freaks around to bother them.

Good riddance.

Chapter Text

Harry felt the power and a slight imprint of the personalities those who lived and added magic to this house when he opened the door and stepped inside. They felt curious and happy to see him. They felt like a family welcoming him home.

He wondered for a moment why he only felt it now and not the last summer when he was here with Sirius and the Order. Perhaps he could feel it now because the Fidelius made by Professor Dumbledore was broken. Or maybe because he was now the Heir.

It was time to do the most important thing yet, claim the house as his in magic. Sirius had told him all the steps he would need to do if Sirius had died before they could do it together. Claiming an ancesteral home was easy to do but still serious magic. It was only possible for Harry to claim Grimmauld Place because he was the Heir.

He walked inside and immediately went into the living room- where behind a piece of wallpaper with a faded yellow star on it, was a room where the wardstone of House Black was hidden. Harry touched the tip of his wand to the middel of the star and the door opened with a creak. He looked behind him to see if Kreacher had found him already yet but it didn't seem so. He took a deep breath and entered the ritual chamber of House Black.

The room itself was intimidating. Harry could feel the magic around him and it felt wonderful. Welcoming and so very happy to see him. The stone was very beautiful. It looks like a giant fire opal the size of a heavy tome of which the inside seemed to flow like water. It looked like magic given form.

It was breathtaking.

Sirius had told him about what he had to do to activate and bind the ward stone to him and the rest of Harry's line from now on. He went to get his wand out of his pocket again and made a small cut. Soon a few drops of blood started rising up so he quickly pressed his hands to the wardstone of House Black.

His hands felt glued to the stone when he intoned like the truly dramatic people the Blacks all were, "Lapis pretiosus et pulcher magicae, Haeres domus Niger, te rogat ut ultimum familiae, ut domum meam tuearis, et te ad me et familiam meam ligaveris ex hoc tempore. Et rogavi, ut fiat!"

Which meant something like this: Most precious and beautiful stone of magic, the Heir of House Black, asks you as the last of this family to protect my home and to bind yourself to me and my family line from this time forward. So I have asked, so mote it be!

Of course the Blacks had a wardstone that needed to be flattered first. This wardstone was truly at home here in the House of Black.

He felt ridiculous but it worked. He could feel the magic swelling around him and saw the blood sinking deep into the stone. Suddenly he could feel the wards forming and was able to feel the house within them.

The wards were poking him and getting impressions from him of what he wanted them to do. He could feel where Kreacher was and all the other living creatures like doxies and even another boggart in the attic. He did not want the pests in his house and the wards felt it and acted on his wishes.

Harry felt how the pests disappeared from under the wards and how Kreacher woke up. He decided to call him.

"Kreacher!" Harry called, and so as Harry was the new Heir Black, Kreacher appeared. Harry was furious with Kreacher for his part in Sirius death but since he came here he also felt strangely responsible for the House-Elf. That must have been the Black Family magic.

"New master be here. New master be a filthy little half-blood, Mistress would despair, oh how far House of Black has fallen." Kreacher bemoaned.

Irritated with the horrible old elf Harry said, "Kreacher if you can't be polite you will be silent."

Kreacher his jaws clicked together and clearly obeyed the magic between master and Elf, as the rude Elf was silent. Harry could see he wasn't happy about it but Harry wasn't done yet. He needed to make sure that what happened with Sirius could never happen again. He needed to be and feel safe in this old house. In his new home. Even if it meant he lived in this home together with the Elf that had a part in Sirius's his death.

"As your new master I ask you to be loyal to me and my family line. If you can't do that then I will either give you clothes or order you to be loyal. That means you will keep my secrets, that you will never try to hurt me in any way, never communicate to anyone or anything about me without my permission and that you will be honest and helpful. You will be polite to me and my guests or you will be silent. You may talk again, do you understand me, Kreacher, or do I have to order you?"

Kreacher didn't look happy about it but he said "Yes, Master I be obeying yous as a good Elf."

Harry nodded. This was the first step towards them living together in this creepy old house. "Now I will ask you some questions and you will anwser me honestly. First is there anything that Sirius or someone else has left for me? Also, do you need help making this house clean again? If so, I can ask another elf for help. But only if you can't take care of this house by yourself, I wouldn't want to overstep on your duties."

For the first time Kreacher looked a bit happy that it was Harry who was his new master. "New master asks if Kreacher needs help? Kreacher is a old elf with a big manor to clean. Kreacher needs help. But kitchen and library be mine!" Kreacher said. Then he popped away and soon came back with a vial with what looked like blood, a letter and a gaudy golden necklace he could see a quite a few poncy purebloods wear.

Harry really hoped that from now on he could have a better relationship with the old Elf. He wanted this to be a happy home for now and in the future. For the both of them. But if Kreacher betrayed him again he would make sure the elf would get clothes. It might not be the smartest thing to do with the things the old House-Elf might know but Harry refused to be unhappy in this new home of his. Never again will he live in place that makes him feel unsafe or unhappy. He had promised himself that.

Kreacher looked old and fragile when he told Harry about what the Elf had brought his new master. "Old Master Sirius left this for new half-blood master. Dear Master Regulus has left this for Heir or Lord of House Black." He laid it on the table and popped away again without any furter explanation.

This time the wards told him Kreacher had gone to the kitchen and Harry hoped Kreacher would go clean it properly before dinner was made in there. He didn't want to know what was left in there since the last time humans lived in the house. What did House-Elves eat? Had he cooked for himself in that kitchen when he was alone?

Sirius had left him something. He looked at the vial of blood, the letter and the necklace and decided to read the letter first since it was adressed to him from Sirius. He was scared to read these last words his godfather had left him with. His hands shook slightly as he opened the letter.

Dear Harry,

First of all, if you read this, I'm dead and I am so sorry for leaving you alone. I hope that at least my death was helpful to you, that I fell in battle protecting you from all that dared to try and harm you. Or in a stupid prank that made you laugh.

I am so sorry Harry that I can't be there for you anymore. Don't you dare feel guilty! You are my pup and I am responsible for my own choices Harry. Remember that please. Remember that you are loved and I had no regrets. I've loved you as my own since I held you for the first time and that only grew when we met again all those years later.

I am so proud of you, pup.

I hope that you are of age now and are able to get away from the Dursleys. But if not then this letter will hopefully be able to help you. Pup, I know this will be hard to hear but you need to know this. I hope we talked about this before my death but if not then listen closely.

As you know I am the last male Black. Since I'm dead now and have no children of my own I have made you, my godson in magic, my Heir. The Black title is a Lordship, Harry, and you need to claim it before somebody like Malfoy tries to. The Black Lordship has a lot of political and magical power and it should help you a lot. And you need all the help you can get.

I have already made you my legal Heir as I hopefully told you and that is enough for me but I also left you a vial of my blood. It is a vial for blood-adoption, Harry. If you want to you can drink it and I will be your third parent in blood. I wanted to give you the option when you would stay here in the summer after your fifth year but if you are reading this letter then it seems that something happend to me.

It would mean you will be truly a Black and all that would include. It means you can use the family grimoire Harry and that would be helpful against all that wish you harm. I want you to be safe Harry. No matter what you chose.

I trust that Remus is with you and that you can count on him and your friends after my death. But I know that nothing seems to go as it should lately. Trust your gut, pup and that beautiful heart you got from your mother.

Be careful, Pup, but don't forget to live your life. Play a prank, fall in love, start a family and I better not see you again till you are old and grey and have lived a full and truly happy life.

Talk to the portrait of Alphard Black if you need any advice on House Black. He was my favorite uncle growing up.

I love you Pup. Always.

Mischief Managed,

Padfoot

Ps. I left you some books in my room that should help you.

The tears ran over his cheeks as Harry read the last letter that Sirius had left him. He knew Sirius loved him but so much that he would be willing to truly be Harry's father? Harry never knew that Sirius felt that way about him but it was brilliant to know. Also so sad to know that he would never be able to truly act like he was Harry's father. He missed Sirius so much.

James and Lily Potter were his parents and he loved them but he never knew them outside of their last moments alive. It was a wonderful but horrifying memory to have and to be grateful for. Sirius on the otherhand he actually knew. He had memories of him and had felt the connection between them. Sirius was truly the third parent in Harry's life.

Harry felt like his parents would approve of his choice. They had after all chosen Sirius as his godfather. He missed them all but this would make him feel closer to Sirius. Though how did this exacly work? Did he just have to drink it? Was there a book on this?

Wait, he had read about Blood adoption vials before. It was something like this: you were supposed to break the seal to put a drop of the adoptive parent blood in it and a drop of blood of the child. Then the child just has to drink it. And when one did a inheritance test at Gringotts, it would show the child having three parents.

He looked at the letter again. It seemed like Sirius had already put his blood in it. Harry just hoped it wasn't a last prank by the man. What if the blood of Professor Snape was in there? He didn't want to be Snape's son! What if he got the hair and nose?

No, Sirius woudn't do that to him. Right?

Right.

So anyway Harry had decided what he would do. He took the vial and broke the seal on it. He made another small cut in his hand with his wand, put a drop of blood in the vial and drank it like a true Gryffindor- without knowing anything about it. Or the consequences of drinking it.

Yes, Harry knew that was dumb but how was he to know what would happen?

Chapter Text

Harry woke up feeling tingly all over. He got the feeling like he had done something stupid that he was now paying for. It was a familiar feeling as Madam Pomfrey could attest to. He sat up slowly and looked around him. He could see that he was laying on a very big bed in a very big and very luxurious looking room. He was laying on a soft matrass in a kingsized bed that felt amazing. The bed had black velvet hangings like at Hogwarts with what looked like glimmering stars stitched on them and the sheets made from a dark green silk.

The bed was beautiful and the stars on the hanging were so very Black that Harry had to chuckle. How much extra could one get? But that wasn't all Harry saw as he looked around him.

The bedroom itself was bigger then the four bedrooms on Privet Drive put together and was tastefully decorated if a bit posh and dark. The colours seem to be mostly black, silver, a dark forest green and lot of dark wood.

Yet it wasn't at all gloomy. It looked masculine and luxurious and Harry liked it. He was glad that at least some of the rooms in this house seemed to be neat and not creepy at all. It woudn't be something he would chose for himself but it was so much better than he was used to. No more lumpy matresses or broken furniture in cupboards or somebody's second bedrooms for him!

Harry tried to get up and out of bed but he was kinda dizzy and something seemed very strange. Things felt different than normal. Was he taller? What did the blood adoption potion do to him? He walked on shaking Bambi legs to the giant three part mirror in the dressing part of the room and stopped and stared at himself.

He looked...

He looked like Sirius. Oh there was still a lot of his birth parents in there but now he had Sirius his cheekbones and a fuller mouth then he used to have and his hair was a very dark kind of black now just like Sirius. Like an actual Black.

Harry thought that the potion would just change his blood as if he had three parents not actually change his appearance! But he looked like Sirius now. Looking in the mirror at himself was now thrice as heartbreaking yet lovely as before.

His face was more angular then the round face he had before taking the potion. He still had the same green eyes as his mother but they shined like Sirius's eyes used to. Like the stars the Blacks were named after.

He still had the messy Potter hair and the same tanned skin tone but he seemed to have grown a few inches, filled out a bit. He was also surprised to notice that he was able see without having to put on his glasses.

Sirius's face, his mother's eyes and his father's hair. It was brilliantly heartbreaking to see them back in himself. Yet Harry could only conclude that he looked good. Better then he ever had before even with his enormous bedhead.

He might finally be taller than Hermione! That was so weird. He hoped there weren't any other weird consequences from his impulsive decision to drink the blood-adoption potion. He really needed to start thinking before he acted so impulsively. It wasn't good for his heart.

Making lists seemed to work out well for him. Maybe he should do that more often.

Harry looked around him as he walked to the closet next to the mirror and pulled out a black suit looking thing with an over robe. It looked way too fancy for a normal day in but looking in the closet Harry saw that it was this outfit or something even more fancy.

Harry got the horrible feeling that there would be a lot more of fancy suits in his future. He was sure Sirius was laughing at him somewhere for the look on his face at that thought.

As he put the suit on it re-sized to fit him perfectly. He looked in the mirror again and noticed that he looked a bit like a fairytale prince from Dudley's old childhood books. He laughed at that. Who would have thought that he would go from having Dudley's old oversized clothes to this?

He wondered how he got in this grand looking bedroom and decided to call Kreacher to him, the Elf would probably know more.

"Kreacher!" Harry said firmly and Kreacher popped up in front of him.

"What can Kreacher do for new Master Black?" The House Elf asked him surprisingly politely. Harry noticed the new and very much more respectful form of address but disregarded it after a short moment. Any sort of progress was welcome after all.

"What can you tell me about the changes that happend to me? Do you know how I got here? And where am I exactly?" Harry couldn't stop the questions from coming but strangely enough Kreacher didn't seem annoyed at the so-called bumbeling half-blood in front of him. Wait a minute, is Harry even a half-blood anymore after the blood adoption?

He really needed some more information on the blood adoption progress.

Kreacher seemed a bit confused as he said "New Master Black is now a Black. I be putting you in old Master Orion his rooms. It be the master suite. You be Master." He said like it was obvious. One could almost hear the 'Duh' in his old sounding voice. Harry was kinda amused to hear it. Kreacher didn't seem to have a lot of personality outside things involving blood purity before so he was glad to see a few more positive characteristics emerging.

Wait a minute, old Master Orion? Wasn't Orion Sirius's Father and the last Lord Black before his death when Sirius was still a young boy?

But Harry just said to his Elf, "Ah yes of course. Thank you, Kreacher." While trying to look like he knew what was happening. Like, why was this his life. Like really. Why did things always happen to Harry? He would bet that Malfoy never had to deal with these kind of things.

Kreacher bowed while saying, "Master be kind to old Kreacher. Kreacher just do I's job." And he popped quickly away before his strange new master could express some more gratitude.

Meanwhile Harry rememberd his promise to Kreacher to look for help around the old manor and he just happend to know the Elf for the job. So he called a cheerful, "Dobby!" And the colorful elf appeared with all his uniquely colored hats and socks on.

...Was that a pink sparkly unicorn on one of his socks? Well, each to their own Harry supposed.

"The Great and Kind Mr. Harry Potter Sir be calling for Dobby, Sir?" The Elf asked excitingly. Harry could just hear the captital letters in that sentence. If Dobby would be willing to be his Elf he really needed to stop doing that.

"Hello Dobby, how are you doing? Are you still liking your freedom and your work at Hogwarts?" Harry asked with no ulterior motive at all of course.

"Mister Harry Potter be so kind to ask after Dobby! Dobby be good with his job but other Elves not be understanding Dobby wanting pay." He said with his ears dropping. His friend looked sad and Harry was kind of scared he would start crying.

Crying Elves were the worst. So cute and helpless and nothing but more work could cheer them up. Except maybe socks. At least Dobby was one Elf who seemed to like them a lot.

"Oh that is too bad. I do hope that they aren't mean to you?" Harry asked. He really hoped he wouldn't have to go and have a talk with the House Elves of Hogwarts about being mean to his friend.

"Dobby ideas be new to other Elves so other Elves not be knowing what to do with Dobby. But Dobby be strong so Elves still be polite to I's." But Dobby didn't seem happy about it. Elves needed to be needed to be happy, Harry thought. He still felt a bit awkward asking him but he promised Kreacher and there wasn't a Elf he liked or trusted more than Dobby.

"Say Dobby, would you, like maybe, like to work for me? This old manor can use some extra help and it would be nice to live with a friend. I will pay you a sickle a week and you can take your pick out of any of the unused bedrooms that you want! Would you like that?" Harry babbled.

Was that okay? Dobby didn't seem like he was insulted. How did one usually ask a House Elf to work for them?

Meanwhile Dobby seemed to start vibrating from happiness, "The Great Master Harry Potter Sir be serious? He would be wanting to be Dobby's new family? Dobby accepts the Terms!" Dobby started forward and grabbed Harry's hand. He could feel a electric sting of magic traveling up his hand to his heart and both Dobby and Harry seemed to glow with magic for a little bit.

"Whoa, that was a rush. Was that normal of this kind of thing, Dobby?" Harry asked.

Dobby was dancing on the tip of his toes while he was dancing in circles around Harry, "Yes Great Master Harry Potter Sir! That be sign of a healthy House Elf bond. That be meaning we be honest and loyal in our bond. It be good sign! Very good indeed!"

Harry laughed, relieved and said, "You can just call me Harry, Dobby, as we are family now. Or if you are truly more comfortable with Master then Master Harry would also be alright, if you must. The Great Master Harry Potter Sir is such a mouth full don't you agree?"

Dobby nodded, "Dobby be calling you Master Harry then Master Harry!"

Harry nodded back at his friend and decided to ask what was on his mind, "Alright Dobby, now I have a few questions for you if you don't mind? I was wondering if I had to bond like this with the other House Elf here too? His name is Kreacher and he is a Black family Elf. He has to obey me now since Sirius is gone but would it be better for him to bond like we did? He doesn't seem to be as healty looking as you are."

Dobby calmed down at his question and had tears in his eyes as he said, "Master Harry be a kind and good master. It be a honour to Elves to be truly bonded to master. It be good and healthy for House Elves. We be having more magics then and can re-use used magicks from wizards and witches to clean up taint."

Harry didn't quite understand that explanation but made a note to read a book about it sometime soon if Dobby couldn't clarify.

"Okay, then I will call him and I will ask him if he wants to bond with me. Then you and he can meet each other. I do hope you and Kreacher will get along, Dobby. He is a bit cranky in his old age but I hope that with some company around the manor and a bond will help him get better again." Harry explained.

Dobby nodded and said, "Dobby be on his best behavior for Master Harry!"

Harry nodded. He knew the problem wouldn't be Dobby if things got sour between the two Elves. Unless Kreacher would start insulting Harry again, then Dobby might start it.

"Kreacher!" He called.

There was a quiet pop and there was Kreacher. Harry decided to introduce the Elves to each other first, "Kreacher this is Dobby. Dobby has agreed to be my bonded Elf and to help you take care of this Manor. I also wanted to ask you is you would like to personally bond to me as well? Dobby said it was healthy for Elves to bond to a wizard. Would you like that?"

Kreacher seemed speechless for a moment before he said, "Kreacher be happy there be help for Black Manor. Kreacher also be honored to be bonded to his new Master Black. What be your terms for bond?"

Harry smiled in relief and Dobby also seemed happy when Harry said, "I ask the same of you as I did yesterday. I want your loyalty and honesty. I want you to be helpful and respectful. And in exchange I promise I will never hurt you or expect you to punish yourself. If you did something wrong you will come to talk to me about it. That counts for the both of you, alright?"

"Kreacher agrees!" And so Kreacher started forward just as Dobby did before him and grabbed his hand. The sting was less painful this time but they glowed just as bright. Unfortunately all this magic from the bonding with both House Elves seemed too much for Harry after the blood-adoption and he fainted like the poncy fairytale prince he now looked like.

Chapter Text

Once again Harry woke up in the strange but very comfortable bed in the master suite but this time with the feeling he had done something stupid. This time there were also two anxious Elves staring at him with their big shining tennis ball eyes, "What just happened?" Harry asked groggily.

Kreacher and Dobby looked at each other before Dobby said carefully, "Master Harry be doing a lot of serious magic in short time. Master not be adult yet so Master Harry fainted. Master needs to rest for bit longer so that Master Harry's core can recover and be full again."

Harry understood what had happened to him now. Magical exaustion or at least close to it. That was what had happened. Magical exaustion was a very serious thing to underage magicals. It could cause core fractures and stunted magical growth. Which is a bad thing if you have an adult Dark Lord after you who wanted your painful dead.

Dobby told Harry cheerfully, "Master Harry needs to be taking it easy. Kreacher made brunch for Master and Master better be eating it all! It be good for growing Wizards. Dobby be going now. Lots of work needs to be done!" and Dobby popped away to start with making the Town House liveable again for the Wizards and Elves living there both.

Kreacher clicked his fingers and what looked like a big tray with brunch appeared across Harry's lap. Suddenly he noticed he was starving which wasn't that strange since he came from the Dursley household and then spent just about a day unconscious due to all the magic he accidentally did. He really needed to eat something.

"Thank you, Kreacher. It looks great!" Harry said as brightly as he could while he attacked his food. The fresh bread and the scrambled eggs with golden brown crispy bacon were delicious and the milk and orange juice were great to drink again after a few weeks of only being allowed water. House-Elf cooking was just the best.

When he was done eating his fill, he asked Kreacher if he could bring him some books out of the library about becoming a Animagus and one about Runes. While he didn't know a lot about them, he had heard from Hermione that there were a lot of offensive and defensive applications to runes. And after feeling the wardstone of Grimmauld Place he wanted to know more about Runes and warding. Hermione would be so proud of him if she saw him now.

Harry used to think he loved Hermione like a sister but lately he thought it might be a bit different. He just kept noticing how pretty she looked and he didn't think that was something other people thought about their sister. She had always been brilliant and sweet and she cared about him. Not the Boy-Who-Lived. Him.

Hermione had been the first person to hug him, give him affection. So, Harry thought he might have a small crush on his friend. Not that he would ever do anything about it. It was obvious that Hermione only saw him as her friend. And Harry was alright with that. She was his friend, first and formost. And she was a truly wonderful, if a bit bossy, friend that he didn't want to lose for anything in the world.

Though sometimes he just wished she would stop nagging him like she was his mother. But he supposed she did it out of love. It was not like she had any more experience with friendship interactions than he did. Perhaps they just needed to set a few more bounderies? He could work on that. He didn't want to have any resentment in their relationship.

Harry actually needed to work on bounderies with all of his friends. He was just so happy to even have friends that he tended to let most thing go. While Neville and Luna were very respectful of him and his boundaries it was a different case with Ron and Hermione. Actually, he had difficulty with most people. The Wizarding World wasn't really good at respecting him or his wishes. Perhaps he should start looking in getting a lawyer or something. So that the thing with the Daily Prophet couldn't happen again.

Did they have lawyer for such things in the Wizarding World? It might be worth it to look into.

He also wanted to become an Animagus in honor of both Sirius and his Father. He knew it would be difficult and dangerous but he was determined to do it. It would be a good advantage to have and he was very curious what his inner animal would be. He just hoped that it would be something useful and not a fish or something.

Did sealife Animagus even exist? How would they be able to breath while on land? Everyone had to train becoming their animal on land, right?

Harry hoped he would be able to turn into a canine maybe or a deer. A owl would be nice too. Hedwig would probably be willing to teach him how to fly. Harry wished she was here with him already but the wards told him that that wasn't the case. Since Grimmauld Place wasn't that far from Surrey she probably the chance for a nice long hunt.

The book that popped up next to him with a quiet pop was called 'Runes of the world and how to use them' and it looked ancient. He started reading and didn't stop until Dobby came to bring him a late lunch and to check him over. Dobby told him he had to rest in bed for a bit longer but that his levels were going slowly up.

Harry barely heard his friend, he had learned already so much more about Runes after just reading a few chapters! He really wished that Hogwarts had explained a bit more at the end second year about the extra classes they could have taken. Runes would have been so much better then Divination. Everything would have been better then Divination.

Really, who had let that woman teach? Why would they let her keep predicting students their deaths? That couldn't be healthy for children. Not that Snape, Binns or the DADA teachers of the last few years were better. Snape was just plain cruel, Binns barely noticed anything as he droned on about goblin wars and the DADA teachers just tried to kill or oblivate him.

Those people were not good teachers or should even be allowed being around children in some cases. Except for Remus, but even he forgot to take his potion and attacked his students. Dumbledore really needed to take another look at his hiring requirements, Harry thought.

The other book was thinner and it looked like there were handwritten notes written in it. After taking a good look at the notes he realised that the notes were written by his Father and Sirius. It seemed like this was the same book they used when they became Animagi themselves! Harry had never seen his Fathers handwriting before. It looked nice and just as messy as his own.

Harry has so very little of his parents and now he had a little bit more than he had before. He only had the Map, his foto album and some stories. Harry wished he had something from them that was actually for him. Like a letter for him or maybe even a recording. His mother was a muggleborn so that could have been possible.

But no, if they had left him something like that he would already have found it, right? Right.

A while later, after a dinner in bed, and Dobby declared him healthy enough to wander around the Manor as long as he took it very easy. Which he would, as he did not want to upset Dobby so he would take it easy for a little while at least. After the delicious dinner he was finally allowed to take a stroll in his own manor and explore a bit.

Harry discovered that he was on the third floor where the Lord and Lady rooms were and the official Heir and Spare room. The Lord and Lady room were two seperated bedrooms with each their own sitting room. The Heir room seemed strangely empty but Harry rememberd that Sirius's old room was on the second floor next to his brother Regulus his room.

He thought it strange that such a traditional pure-blooded family would leave their Heir and Spare on the second floor where the guest rooms also were. Seemed like asking for trouble to him. But then again, he had heard stories about Orion and Walburga Black.

Harry got to the second floor and went straight to Sirius's room. His room was red and gold with muggle pictures of girls, cars and motorcycles on the walls. On the desk was a pile of books with another letter on top addressed to Harry. Another letter? He quickly grabbed it and started reading.

Dear Pup,

I hope you got my first letter and decided to do the blood-adoption. But if not then that is fine too. Or if you need a little bit more time to decide. Do what makes you happy, Harry. That's all I care about. You are all we cared about. Me, James and Lily are so proud of you, love. So survive this war so you can live.

I collected these books for you because I think they could help you in this war. At least I hope they will help you. But do be careful with some of the books, Harry. They can be dangerous if you are not careful enough. You know how dangerous magic can be if used wrongly or carelessly.

The first book on the pile on my desk is a book that your father and I used back when we were looking for a way to help Moony. I think you can guess what it will be about. Harry, I don't have to tell you how handy it can be to change in a animal. Especially when no one knows you can do it. But be very careful. It is illegal to not register your form and that is not even mentioning the dangers of trying to transform without a Master of Transfiguration with you. So read the book and be very careful when you try it, Pup.

You dad and I left some helpful tips in it for future generations.

The mandrake leaf you will need is in the potion room. There are a few extra ones for the friends you are sure you can trust. Ask for an oath if you must- just don't make the mistakes we made.

The other books are books about Defense, Charms, Runes, Wizarding culture and some other handy stuff that could save you life. The last book is the Operations Manual of the Hit Wizards/Witches. It will tell you all you need to know about what to do while hunting a dangerous target.

I don't know if I even got a chance to tell you about it yet, but your dad and I were training to be Hit Wizards before everything happend and he had to go into hiding with your mum and you. I don't know if you knew that or not but we were going to be very good at our jobs for the short years we had to train.

Hit Wizards go after the worst of the worst criminals and who would fit that discription better then Voldemort? Your mum used to compare us to the muggle organisation FBI that were on telly shows or someone called Bond if she was feeling kind to our egos. Just add magic. I'm not sure about that but maybe it could help you understand the job a bit more.

In the book about our Wizarding culture is more information about The House of Black, House of Potter and a lot over blood-adoption you need to know before to decide to take the potion. If and after you do the blood-adoption, you need to get to Gringotts as soon as possible and claim the Head of House ring of House Black. It will offer you protection against mental attacks and harmful potions.

Be careful with who you trust but don't forget to live your life Harry.

Study hard and know that your parents and I are proud of you.

Your loving [god]Father,

Siriusly Padfoot

Harry cleared his throat as he tried to hold back the tears. He had cried enough lately. Sirius wouldn't want him to be this sad about his death for long. He decided then and there that when he was back at Hogwarts he would ask Fred and George for help with planning a prank in Sirius's honor.

He had a few ideas for what they could do. To honor the last true Marauder, because where was Remus when you needed him? The man was supposed to be his Uncle Moony but instead he was a complete stranger until the end of his third year.

He just didn't understand that man.

After the five years at Hogwarts Harry knew what he valued the most, loyalty, honor and kindness. It was for this reason that Ron and he weren't as close anymore. In the life he led he needed people he could trust and depend on. That just wasn't Ron anymore. They were still friends but not as close as they were in their first three years of Hogwarts. The Tournament had broken something between them and while Harry had forgiven him, he just did not trust him as much as he had before.

Remus hadn't ever been present in his life and that was just a shame. He would have loved to have a nice uncle-figure in his life. Someone as kind and patient like Remus seemed to be at first would have been wonderful. But it didn't seem meant to be.

But enough wool-gathering about the past. The books that Sirius left for him looked interesting. It was nice if a bit sad that Sirius was the only adult in his sixteen years of life willing to help him get better. To help him protect himself. He now knew where the books about Runes and Animagi came from since the library was apparently still closed off by Kreacher to protect it from Molly and her cleaning efforts. He was very protective of his books, old Kreacher.

Harry would not disappoint Sirius. He will work harder than he ever did before, find people he can depend on to help him and find a way to be free of the people who thought they could control him. Harry made it a promise to both himself and to his parents. All three of them.

But first, dinner with his new family members, Kreacher and Dobby.

Chapter Text

Dinner went alright for the three new family members who barely knew each other eating together for the first time. Harry did have to convince Dobby and Kreacher that it was alright to sit at the dinner table and eat with him. That Harry liked eating with family and that they were his family now. Harry had always wished for a family that actually liked each other and doing things with them. Normal things like eating together.

He did not give up on this issue with his Elves. He had decided he wanted a lot of friends and family in his future and both Kreacher and Dobby could feel that in the bond Harry had with them. So the three of them had dinner together and it was delicious, even with the two pouting Elves sitting at the table with him.

His evening got even better when Harry felt the wards give him an arrival notice and soon he saw Hedwig flying directly to him. She landed on his shoulder and the beautiful snowy owl immediately rubbed her head against Harry's cheek in a loving greeting. Hedwig hooted approvingly at his head and started preening his newly black hair.

Harry scratched her under her chin and told her lovingly, "Hello girl, did you get here alright? This will be our new home- together with Dobby and Kreacher. I hope you will like it here, girl. You can stay out of you cage as much as you want and the best of all, no more Dursleys!"

Hedwig looked at him with her bright golden eyes, hooted her agreement and went back to preening his hair. She seemed to think it needed to be taken care of after her absence since the both of them left Privet Drive.

Harry had missed his girl. Now this old house felt a bit more like home with his first friend here with him. Harry had rarely been without her since he started Hogwarts. Perhaps he could ask Dobby to get the rest of his stuff from Privet Drive so he could move some of his own stuff in here. Maybe the Elves could even redecorate Grimmauld Place to make it more to his taste. But for now he had some books to read before he got back into bed so he could rest some more.

Harry knew he didn't understand a lot of things about Wizarding Culture so after giving Hedwig a lot of cuddles he chose to read the Wizarding Culture book Sirius left for him. He walked with Hedwig on his shoulder to the living room, which he was glad to see was looking a lot better after the Elves were through with it. He was really lucky that House Elves liked cleaning so much. He really wouldn't have known what to do with a magical house like this.

Magical mold was just plain awful.

Harry was Heir Black now and according to the letter Sirius left him, since he went through with the blood adoption, he would become the Lord Black as soon as he got the ring from Gringrotts. He might have been the Lord Black by birth right but for it to become official he needed Gringotts. Otherwise he would never be allowed to take his seats on the Wizengamot. Not that he wanted to be a politician. It seemed like a complicated job for someone with no experience in it and a bit boring if he was honest.

He needed to know more about the culture he was born in. The Lordship was a very important job and he needed to be able to do it right. He needed to know the rules. He also had to get to Gringotts as soon as possible without anyone stopping him if he wanted the Lordship ring of the Black family.

Perhaps the House Elves could help him with that after he was completely recovered in a few days. But first he still had some exploring to do. Harry knew he had to rest but he was too curious. Harry had never been able to snoop around Grimmauld Place. There had always been an adult around to stop him from going somewhere.

Even Sirius had been very careful in this house. But he hadn't been able to feel the wards after Azkaban so it still must have felt unsafe to the man. Harry had the feeling that Sirius had a nasty childhood here in this house. Sirius hadn't told him much about it, but Harry could fill in the gaps. He had a very similair childhood after all.

He also wanted to find the portrait of Alphard Black whom was disowned after some incident involving a male muggleborn, according to a proud looking Sirius, so Harry assumed that the portrait wouldn't be with the very into blood purity purebloods that were hanging in the hallway and up to the wall by the stairs. Maybe he should ask Kreacher?

"Kreacher." Harry called calmly and Kreacher popped up in front of him. "Master Harry be calling Kreacher?" Harry noticed that Kreacher was looking better already. His old and dirty clothes were clean and it seemed like he was standing up better. Kreacher was looking a few decades younger. He was glad that the bond seemed to be helping the old Elf.

"Kreacher, could you tell me where the portrait of Alphard Black hangs?" Harry asked. He hoped that Kreacher would know where the portrait was otherwise Harry could spent more than a few days looking for it in this big Manor-like house and he did not have the energy for that yet.

To his relief Kreacher seemed to know,"Kreacher be knowing where portrait is. In basement with other shameful former Blacks. Basement door being in end of hallway to the left."

"There is a basement?" Harry asked, baffled. He had not know that. Thought he did wonder what kind of stuff the Blacks felt they had to hide after all the dark stuff they found in the public spaces of the house, apart from the portraits of the disowned Blacks. Perhaps muggle stuff? Fluffy kittens? A fluffy stuffed animal collection?

The corpses of their enemies?

Anyway- he would soon find out but first he needed to find a untraceable wand he could use. One never knew when you needed to defend yourself in a old Manor like this. Thought according to the Wards the Manor was safe. No living creatures apart from Dobby, Kreacher, Hedwig and himself were inside the wards.

There did seem to be a few very dark pieces of magic around, like a few things in the rooms of the Lady of the House, the portrait of Walburga Black and the necklace Kreacher brought him but Harry would not touch them before he knew what it would do. But he did ask the wards to isolate the objects. He had learned his lesson after Tom's diary. Perhaps the goblins could help him with the dark stuff for when he got well enough to go to Gringotts.

"Kreacher, are there any untraceable wands in this house that I could use? And could you get me a cup of tea and a fresh Mandrake leaf?" Harry asked. Kreacher seemed to think about it for a moment before he answered, "There be few untraceable wands left here but most wands be in family fault. Kreacher go get wands left here for Master."

Kreacher popped away and a few minutes later came back with six wand boxes and a brownish leaf in a glass jar and a nice cup of tea. He laid them on the side table next to the old but clean looking couch and popped away again before Harry could thank him.

Harry really needed to make sure his Elves were used to kindness and a basic respect to and for other living creatures.

In the six dusty boxes were six very different looking wands. Luckily he saw that on the top of the box information was written about the wand laying in the box. Harry has always found wand lore interesting but he really didn't think he had the time this summer to look into it much.

The first wand was kinda small, around nine inches and made from Hazulnut wood and contained the hair of a Unicorn. He immediately felt that this was not the right wand for him. It felt dead in his hand. Like a stick he could find in a muggle park.

The second wand was made from Ebony, 12,5 inches long and it looked beautiful. It contained a feather from a Griffin and it felt good in his hands but yet there still like something was wrong. It felt like Harry was still to young and inexperienced for this wand. He decided he would try again in a few years and put the wand back in the box. Harry layed it next to him so he could take it back to his room when he hopefully found a wand he could use .

The third wand was made from a dark and smooth looking Mahogany wood, 12 inches long and it looked strangely new. He knew from Ollivander that his father also had a Mahogany wand and that this kind of wood was good for Transfiguration. Althought this wand looked a lot darker than the wand Harry saw in Snape's memories. Almost a dark bloody red. A red so dark it looked black.

It looked a bit like the wood from the furniture in the Lord rooms. According to the box the wand contained a tail feather from a Thunderbird and the moment Harry held it in his hand he knew he found his new wand. It felt like it was part of him and it made him feel powerful and truly in contact with his magic. So much more so then his Holly wand ever did. His Holly wand always kind of felt like it only was connected to a part of him. Not all of him like the wand he was now holding in his hand.

The sparks and the visable aura of power that came of Harry made Hedwig hoot in startlement and quickly fly from his shoulder to the owl stand that stood in the corner of the living room next to the big window.

To be sure it was totally untraceable he tried out the first spell he thought of, "Expecto Patronum!" Which caused the great big stag to come galloping out of his wand. The stag, made of a beautiful shining silver looked around, stomped his hooves and looked at Harry as if to ask what he was here for.

"Thank you, Prongs, but you may go. There is no trouble here." Harry said and the stag nodded his big head and disappeared again. Harry waited for a few moments but as no Ministry Owl appeared he breathed out a sigh of relief. The wand was safe for him to use. He had done an impulsive thing but it had paid of. No hearing for him he was glad to say.

He felt like the Mahogany wand with Thunderbird feather core was his true match. While his Holly wand felt good too, it was still the brother wand of Voldemort and it still had the trace on it. Harry wanted no part of Voldemort with him if he had a choice. So he would use the Mahogany wand when at home and the Holly wand at school but he would always carry both on him. Just to be sure.

If Voldemort attacked him again Harry would at least have a slight adventage with Harry having the dominant brother-wand.

The other wands he would keep with him in his trunk. Maybe some of his friends could have use one of them, for emergencies. Knowing their lives, there would be some in the near future.

It is always handy to have an untraceable wand when you have a Defense teacher trying to kill you. It would have been a great thing to have when the Toad was at Hogwarts. Even Harry would have liked to prank the Toad.

...Imagine if the Weasley twins got their hands on an untraceable wand. Harry shudderd and quickly moved on from that thought. To reassure himself he took a sip of his nice cup of tea. He needed a small break before going back to his plans. Magical exhaustion was not nice but Harry could feel himself getting a bit better now. He was lucky it wasn't a worse case.

Magical exhaustion could be deadly if taken to far.

Harry finally took the glass jar with the Mandrake leaf after finishing his tea and opened it. He put it in his mouth and stuck the leaf to the roof of his mouth. The leaf was disgusting and Harry was glad he didn't have to taste the leaf as soon as it was stuck to the roof of his mouth thanks to a spell he found in the book Sirius left him.

He was really glad his Dad and Sirius had left him that spell. Mandrake leaves tasted like the inside of a boys lockerroom and a dead rotting animal combined with the feeling of having a living slug laying on your tongue. Ugh.

Now he only would have to leave it in his mouth for a month, make the potion, drink it and find and befriend his inner animal. Then he still had to turn in his animal. Not easy at all. Harry understood now why so little people took the effort to become an Animagus. Wizards were truly lazy.

Harry took his new wand and went to the hallway to look for the basement door. He walked to the end of the hallway and looked to the left side of it as Kreacher said he should do. It took a while but suddenly he saw a door-like shape appear in the wallpaper. The door was camouflaged with magic! What kind of horrible secrets needed this kind of protection hiding them?

Harry took a deep breath, put his hand on where the wards told him the doorknob was and pushed the door open to see a dark staircase going pretty far down.

Harry took another deep breath and made the first step down to the hidden basement of the Black family.

Chapter Text

It took only taking two steps down for Harry to get the life scared out of him when Dobby popped up in front of him saying, "Master Harry Potter not be going alone to scary Black place. Master Harry be feeling scared through bond so Dobby will help. Dobby be going with him even if Kreacher thinks we be being silly!"

Harry had to laugh at that and while he laughed he felt the tension leave him. Laughing truly was the best defence against fear. It was like with the boggart in Remus's DADA class. It had been a great lesson. Dobby looked satisfied, he was happy that he could help his great Master Harry Potter Sir.

"Alright Dobby, lets go into the dark gloomy basement together then." Harry said as he and Dobby took a step down the stairs. Harry took his new wand out of his pocket and cast the first spell he had learned, "Lumos."

As the wand lit up brightly, they walked down the stairs only to find another door at the bottom of the steps. At least this one was plainly visable. Opening the door was strangely nerve wracking but he did it with another simple spell. There wouldn't be anything dangerous in there, right? It was all quite easy to open so there wouldn't be anything truly dangerous. At least Harry hoped so. He opened the door and he saw-

… A normal basement.

Well that was a bit of a let down. Harry bet that Kreacher was laughing at him right now. At least there was enough light in this room and so Harry cast, "Nox." so that the light shining above his wand went out.

He and Dobby entered the basement and looked around. Now that he was actually in the basement he could see like, fifteen, portraits hanging on the walls but they all seemed to be sleeping. He wondered what they all did in life to be exciled to the basement of the House of Black. He looked at the nameplates under the portraits and quickly found Alphard Black.

Alphard Black's portrait was painted as a cosy library and he seemed to look quite a lot like Sirius. All the portraits looked like Sirius actually. Harry wondered what it was like to have family around you that you could see yourself in.

Alphard Black had the same dark hair and high cheekbones most Blacks seemed to have. Since he was sleeping Harry couldn't see his eyes but he would bet they were the same bright blue-ish grey colour as Sirius's eyes.

Harry's gaze fell on the two Runes at the side of the painting and he was relieved to see that he recognized them. They were the Runes that meant Activating and De-activating or wake and sleep in this case with the portraits. He was so glad he had read that Runes book the day before.

But what if he accidentally activated a trap? It had been suspiciously easy to get here in the hidden basement. He could see the Blacks cursing unwitting guest that found themselves here accidentally. A house as big as this was easy to get lost in, after all.

No, Kreacher wouldn't have let him go if there was a trap down here. The old House-Elf and he had a better relationship now so that was unlikely to happen.

Harry put a finger on the activating Rune and he felt a tiny shock when he felt some magic travel from him to the Rune. Could it feel in his magic that he was the Heir of House Black?

The man in the painting started stirring and yawned dramatically. He stretched his arms above his head and opened his eyes. Harry could see that Alphard Black did indeed have the same eyes as Sirius.

Alphard looked at the boy in front of him, saw the Black and Potter features in his face and said, "You must be Sirius's boy, Hadrian, yes? My name is, as you can see Alphard Cygnus Black. Your Father would be so very glad to see you chose to do the blood-adoption. He was always very proud of you when he came down here to talk to me."

"Hadrian?" Harry was confused. He knew that he wasn't aware about a lot of information but surely he would at least know his own name, right?

Alphard seeing what had confused the boy said, "Your full name is Hadrian James Potter-Black, child. Hadrian James was chosen by your parents- as the Potters always named their children after the Kings and Emperors of old. Black was added because of the blood-adoption. Harry was a nickname your parents and their friends called you. Did no one ever tell you this?"

Harry shook his head mutely. How could he not know his own name? Why did no one ever tell him? Did they think he already knew? Harry felt angry. How could he not have known this?

Hadrian James Poter-Black. His name was Hadrian, not Harry. Hadrian James.

"I see you haven't claimed you Lord of House Black ring yet. Hadrian, listen to me, you need to get to Gringotts as soon as possible. Tell them you want to do an inheritance test. Claim your ring. After that, as last of the Potter family and Head of the Black family, you can enter the Main vaults and there you will find anything you want to know about both of your families and yourself." Alphard looked very serious when saying this.

Harry nodded and said, "I know that I need to get to Gringott but I'm just not sure how. I got away from my relatives recently without anyone knowing and I can't be spotted by someone from the Order or they will sent me back. Do you have any idea on how I could get to Gringotts without being spotted?"

"That is indeed a problem. I see that you have a House Elf next to you. Can you write a letter and ask your Elf to give it to your account manager? Ask for a private meeting room in the letter and ask for permission for your Elf to bring you there."

Harry slapped his own forehead in frustration. Of course! Why hadn't he thought of that! He looked down to Dobby and asked, "Dobby could you deliver a letter to my account manager at Gringotts? I'm not sure who that is exactly, but could you find out for me?"

"Dobby can be doing that! Dobby be waiting upstairs for Master Harry to write letter now yous be knowing evil basement not be evil. You be calling Dobby when ready and I's be going to Bank for Master!" Dobby said excitingly and he popped away.

Alphard laughed, "That is a very excited Elf you have there, lad. It is always nice to see an House Elf who is treated well and so happily magical because of it."

Harry blushed, "Thank you, but Dobby is a happy Elf all on his own. I just try my best to treat him and Kreacher well and I hope they will do the same for me. Thank you for your advice. Sirius said in his letter that you could help me and that you were his favorite uncle growing up."

"Yes, Sirius was my older sisters first born. He was a rambunctious child that didn't fit in my sisters idea of how her children should behave. You might have seen her charming portrait when coming inside the house?" Alphard asked with a smirk.

"Walburga Black was your sister?! But you seem so normal!" Harry said shocked. He hoped that wouldn't offend the man. Portrait. Man in the portrait.

"Ah Hadrian, each Black has a bit of madness in them but unfortunately it was my sister who got the brunt of the madness in her generation." Alphard looked a bit sad while he said this. He visably tried to cheer himself when he said, "But enough about that. I believe you've got a letter to write."

Harry nodded and said, "Yes, I do. Thank you for the advice and I will come to visit you again soon. Do you want me to activate the Sleep Rune again?"

Alphard said, "Yes please do, Hadrian. It gets very boring here when you are the only one awake. Perhaps when you get the Lord ring you can take me upstairs again? Only the Lord or Lady of the house may decide where the portraits are placed."

"I will do that! Does that mean that when I get the ring I can put the portrait of Walburga somewhere else?" Harry asked with a very Black looking smirk that Alphard was glad to see on his nephew's boy. Or his pup might be more accurate after hearing how Sirius talked about him.

Alphard smirked back at his new nephew, "That is indeed possible for the Lord of House. Now go write your letter to the bank and I will see you soon."

Harry nodded, said his goodbyes and pressed a finger against the Sleep Rune.

When he walked back into the living room he saw that there was handsome looking owl sitting on the owl stand next to Hedwig with a letter and package tied to his leg.

He saw Hermione's handwriting on top and he wondered if his birthday owls had returned to sender when he activated the wards of Grimmauld Place and how only this one could get through when the others didn't. A bit afraid for what he would find, he opened the letter and read,

Harry James Potter!

How could you finally leave those horrible relatives of yours and then not even tell me that you are safe where ever you are! And you better be safe, you hear me!

Harry, did you have any idea how worried I was when the owl returned to me with your birthday present? I thought the Dursleys had locked you up again or that you-know-who had found you! Then a day later Professor Dumbledore came by to interrogate me about your location.

Professor Dumbledore was acting so strange, Harry. He was obsessive and angry and he scared me. Something was very wrong with him. He is an old man, I guess, but this seemed to be more than the usual  age-related ailments.

Don't worry, I told him nothing. He does not deserve to know where you could be after he put you back by the Dursleys, time after time. Not that I know for sure where you are but there are only so many options, really.

So after thinking about it, the only house you could get to would be you-know-where and that should be a very safe house for you if you can activate the wards around it. Did you activate them? How did it go? Was it as magical as the books described?

I am so glad you got away from them, Harry, and I hope you are happy. I wish you wouldn't have to be alone in that big house but it is probably better then you're used to, unfortunately. I want to meet you sometime this month to see how you're doing for myself but we can talk about that later. But I do want regular updates!

Now before I forget, Happy Birthday Harry! I hope you had a nice relaxing day in your new place. Included with this letter is a present from me and my parents. I hope you like it. May we make many more memories together. Now write back to me soon!

I better hear from you soon.

Love,

Hermione Granger

PS. Now you have left the Dursleys you have no excuse not to do your homework! I will check it over for you when we can meet.

Harry could almost feel her anger, concern and worry when reading the first part of the letter and he felt a bit guilty. He should have let her know he was safe before now.

It was also interesting to read that Dumbledore was already looking for him. Apparently the letter he sent him worked if he didn't come to Grimmauld Place directly. Harry felt a bit smug about that. Would you look at that, he, Hadrian Potter-Black could fool the Headmaster.

He grabbed the package Hermione had sent with the letter and he could feel it was some kind of book. He was not surprised since it was a present from Hermione and her parents. Bibliophiles the lot of them.

But when he opend the present he saw a dark green leather foto album with on the front in glimmering golden letters, 'Harry's Hogwarts years and beyond'.

It was beautiful.

He opened the album and saw both wizarding pictures and muggle ones of him. Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna and a lot more. He was so small as an eleven year old! There were also a few pictures of him and Hermione from when she sneaked over in the summer vacations to visit him. She was the only one who did that for him and he would always be grateful for that. His kind and thoughtful friend.

After dinner he would write her a letter back. Harry hoped they could meet safely in a few weeks, he had a lot to tell her after all and he missed her already. But first he should go to bed before Dobby got angry with him for doing to much in his state. He could write the letter for Gringotts tomorrow.

Chapter Text

Interlude three.

Hermione:

Hermione was worried. Headmaster Dumbledore had just stopped by to talk with her and her parents and the conversation had been unusual. He told them that Harry had run away from his relatives and that he needed to go back there as soon as possible for his own safety. Harry, safe, living with the Dursley family?

Hermione mentally snorted at that ridiculous thought.

She knew that wasn't true. Harry might never have actually told her what they did to him but she had eyes. Those horrible Dursleys had never cared for her friend, that much was obvious. Harry was way too skinny, wore ratty clothes clearly not his own and he just wasn't cared for. She could remember how he had reacted when she hugged him back in their first year. He had acted like nobody had ever hugged him before and it just broke her heart thinking about it. Or made her furious. It depended on the day, really.

It hadn't taken her long after she got to know Harry to know that something was wrong in his home-life. Hermione had needed more information so she went to her usual place, the library. Both muggle and magical. Books for abuse survivors and books for friends of family members of people who were getting or had gotten abused. She had found a few very good books about it over the years about it that she left for him in places only he could find them.

She just hoped they helped him a bit. It was important to her that he knew that it wasn't his fault. That he deserved to be treated better and that there were places were he could ask for help if he didn't or couldn't go to her. Shelter or therapy.

He needed to know that. Harry would have had to go back there again if Professor Dumbledore got his way but Hermione would not help the Professor do that. She would never make Harry go back there if there was another choice and there was another choice now, she strongly suspected. Sirius would have left everything to Harry if she had read him right. He would have done everything for his godson and what Harry needed most were a safe place to live and a way to survive the war. Hermione understood that Sirius couldn't really help them with the second thing but he had a house.

No one could help them it seemed. But she was sure that he would have left Harry a house. Grimmauld Place probably since Sirius hadn't been able to go out and buy another house. Or maybe there were other houses in the Black family? But she didn't know for sure so she couldn't lie to the Headmaster when he asked her. And she was sure he would ask her soon.

Hermione still didn't understand why Headmaster Dumbledore couldn't see that that house on Number 4, Privet Drive wasn't a good home for children. The man was the headmaster of a school! He should have the welbeing of his students on his mind first and foremost. Yet that had never been the case. The professor had always been too busy with other things like one of the other jobs he held.

Hermione still thought that it was very irresponsible to give a man three full time jobs. Just like professor Mcgonagall actually. She too, had to many jobs which caused her neglect her students. It was unfortunate for the students that needed extra help in Gryffindor House. They never really got all of Professor McGonagall's attention. But they still knew that the professor cared for them. Hermione had started to wonder lately about the Headmaster.

The Headmaster then had finally asked if Hermione had heard anything from Harry or if she had know what he had planned. She did not. But even if she had she would not have told the Headmaster right then. Something felt wrong.

Professor Dumbledore was acting strangly. The Albus Dumbledore she knew was calm, wise and balanced. The Professor Dumbledore that just came by was anything but that. What was going on? It couldn't be just that Harry left that horrible home, could it? The Headmaster had always been very focussed on Harry but never so unhinged as he appeared to be like now. It worried her.

It was after the Headmaster left had she and her parents had a good talk about Harry and Hogwarts. What she told them was visibly worrying them and Hermione was getting a bit afraid. While she knew things were often strange when they involved Harry, she never really talked about it to others. No one really seemed to talk about it. Yet Hermione couldn't believe that no one saw the things she did.

Why did no one see how underfed he looked? How he never wanted to go back home? Why was it always Harry who put himself in danger? Why was er even danger at their school to begin with? Why did an adult never even try to help them?

Why did no one talk about it?

Hermione never had friends before. It was only when she came to Hogwarts that she found her best friends Harry and Ron and even that wasn't easy. She knew she was bossy and a bit controlling and that her ideas of fun weren't what the boys liked to do, but they were her friends. Her best friends.

Though she and Ron weren't as close anymore lately. Ron had broken something between them at the Yule Ball with the things he said to her. She hadn't been able to get past it anymore. First he dared to abandon Harry, accused him of horrible things and then he dared to talk to her like that? Like she had betrayed Harry? Like Hermione had cheated on Ron by going with Viktor to the Ball? It had been to much.

Ron and her had never been as close since then as she used to hope they could become. The boy was just a bit too immature and jealous for their friendship to last into adulthood let alone a relationship. They still talked and were friendly but lets face it, she and Ron had nothing in common but Harry.

Hermione had never told her parents much about the dangers she experienced at Hogwarts in the fear that they would take her out of the school. Which would mean that if she didn't go to another magical school she would have her memories wiped and her magic bound. She would have to leave Harry. Hermione would never leave Harry. He meant everything to her.

For now he was her friend. Her best friend. But she had some hope that some day that might change. Hermione really thought that they had potential to be more. She just had to make her blind best friend see that they could be great together. Maybe not now but she hoped in a few years at least. Hemione understood that the war came first, that Harry wouldn't want to put a target on anyones back. So she would be patient. Their friendship came first anyway.

After the Headmasters visit she had to tell her parents a bit more about what had happened at Hogwarts and to say they weren't happy was an understatement. They told her that they had trusted her to go to a boarding school all by herself and that she had damaged that trust. That she didn't trust them to do right by her as her parents. They weren't just muggles, they were her parents.

That truthful comment caused some tears but they talked it out and hugged each other tightly. Hermione promised her parents that she would let them be her parents again. That she would be respectful of their agency and talk to them before making a life changing decision. Honestly, Hermione was kind of relieved to have it all out in the open. She had been taking to much on her shoulders lately and it was nice to lean on her parents for a bit.

Hermione had forgotten, but her parents were just as smart as she was. Her mum and dad might not be magical but that didn't mean that they couldn't help her out in other ways. Her father had been a soldier before becoming a dentist so he knew a bit about war. Meanwhile her mother had a next to her dentist degree, a minor in psychology.

They told her how worrying it all sounded. It sounded like all their trials and troubles where designed in mind for Harry and later for her and Ron too.

Hermione had to agree thinking back on it. Why could the door be opened with a simple first year spell? Why did no one stop the bullying of Hermione and in second year, the bullying of Harry. How could a troll get in one of the safest schools of Britain? The wards should have never allowed it even if a teacher had let the creature in.

Why had no one investigated the death of Myrtle Warren? Why did no one help the students when a teacher was using a Blood Quil on them? It was always the students that had to fix their own problems. Even the problems caused by adults.

There should have been great ancient Wards around Hogwarts who should have stopped most things that had happened. Why weren't they active? Did they even still exist?

There were so many things that just weren't right with how their years there went. Hermione just didn't know why. Not the mention the way the teachers were at Hogwarts. There was just no excuse for a school giving a bad education to students. Hogwarts education being the best was clearly a lie.

Then her father said something that was so disturbing but yet it rang so true that it made her keep her mouth shut. Her father said that it sounded like Harry was getting kind of groomed by Dumbledore to do something. To be something more.

To make Harry do what Dumbledore wanted Harry to do he had to change him. He kept making her friend go back to an abusive household year after year, gave him no help while at school even when Harry was in life threatning danger. It certainly seemed like Dumbledore was planning someting for Harry. Was he truly grooming Harry?

Hermione knew that it might be true. Harry was made to go through such awful things year after year and it had made him not very confident, or very sure about himself or trusting of other outside a very smal circle. Then with his homelife being the way it was and the way the Wizarding world kept expecting Harry to fix everything it was almost as if the Headmast wanted Harry to sacrifice everything for him. To have nothing to want to live for.

But no, that couldn't be it, could it? Nobody could expect that of a child. Do that to a child. Certainly not Albus Dumbledore. Right?

The papers said that Harry was the Chosen One. There was a Prophecy, Hermione knew that but she did not know what it had said. What if the papers where right for a change? Was there a Prophecy concerning Harry and you-know-who?

Would Dumbledore set Harry up for a confrontation with Voldemort? What was she thinking? Of course the barmy old man was planning something like that. It would be just Harry's luck to have the leader of the dark want him dead and the leader of the light wanting to sacrifice him to win the war.

She would not let that happen. Not her Harry.

Harry needed to know this. He needed to know that Dumbledore was not to be trusted anymore. Oh she hoped he was safe where ever he was. She had a good idea where he could be but she could be wrong. Maybe.

That stupid boy made her worry about him so he better sent her a letter soon to tell her he was alright.

Or better yet, she will sent him a letter. A long one.

Chapter Text

Last time in A very Black Plan:

Harry went into the basement where he found the portrait of Alphard Black. A kind and funny man, very much like Sirius had been. Alphard has some helpful advice for Harry and tells him he has a name he didn't know he had. Harry was a nickname his parents used for Hadrian. Also, Hermione writes him a letter in which she tells him off, wishes him the best and warns him about Dumbledore's strange behavior. She also gives him a wonderful birthday present in the form of a foto album with pictures of all his friends and a few with just the two of them. Harry can't wait to see her again.


After resting for an extra bit of time in bed and eating a delicious breakfast with Dobby and Kreacher, Harry wanted to start writing the letter for Gringotts so that Dobby could deliver it as soon as possible. Harry was glad to say the Elves had gotten used to eating with him at the dining table. It made for a much more enjoyable meal without his Elves pouting at him. A cranky pout in Kreacher's case, but a pout nevertheless.

Still, Harry was glad that Kreacher was showing more emotion. He didn't want House-Elves who were so very submissive. That just reminded him of how he used to be behave at the Dursleys. To be silent and submissive just so he wouldn't get punished. It was no way to live for anyone. Harry would not allow anyone to live like that if he had anything to say about it.

Now he had to write the letter to the goblins. Harry had read in the Culture book that goblins were quickly offended but not how he could offend them. It made him nervous to write this letter but he had to try. Just be polite, he thought to himself. Hopefully what he found polite would also be polite to goblins.

To the Potter and Black Family manager[s],

I hope this letter finds you in good health. First I must apologise if anything in this letter is offensive. I've not been not raised in the magical world and I'm still trying to learn about it's culture and all it involves. Second, I know next to nothing about my heritage. Does the house of Potter have an account manager? Does the House of Black?

My apologies for my ignorance. I will strive to learn as much as possible about my Houses.

Therefore I'm writing this letter to ask for the possibility for a private meeting room with my Gringotts manager. Since the war has started up again I would like to ask permission to directly pop into the meeting room, on the agreed time, with my bonded House Elf named Dobby for personal safety reasons.

There are a few important matters I hope to be able to discuss with the Account managers of the Potter and Black Families.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Harry James Potter

Heir of House Black

He really hoped he wouldn't offend any goblins with his letter. He still had much to read in the Wizarding Culture book but even then he expected that there wouldn't be much more on goblins in it. Most Wizarding books were not very kind to creatures.

Harry called Dobby to him and when Dobby popped up next to him he asked, "Dobby, could you read over this letter for me? It's the letter for my account manager but I don't know for sure how to write politly to goblins. Do you know much about goblins? Do you think this is polite enough? I really wouldn't want to offend anyone." Harry asked as he held the letter out for Dobby to read.

Harry still thought it weird that Wizards distained goblins so much yet left them in charge of their gold.

Dobby took the letter and carefully read it over, "Dobby be thinking that letter looks good. But maybe yous can ask goblins about goblins when yous be at Gringotts?"

"Yeah, that might be a good idea. Thanks Dobby!" Harry smiled at his friend, "You really wouldn't want to offend a warrior race like the goblins and even less when they are in charge of your money."

It was really strange that the wizards would give their money to the creatures they have gone to war against and kept insulting. Kinda dumb, really. Why hadn't Binns ever talked about that if the ghost had to talk about goblins? Harry knew nothing about how that arrangement came to be.

Harry put the letter in an envolope and gave it to Dobby. He was a bit nervous to sent Dobby to the goblins but Dobby looked so excited for his new job. "Good luck, Dobby. I hope you can find the accounts manager for the Potter and Black families."

"Master Harry schould not be worried about Dobby. Dobby be fine. I bes doing job as trusted bonded Elf. Dobby be seeing you later." And he popped cheerfully away.

While Dobby was gone, Harry decided to read more in the Wizarding Culture book. He needed to find out if there were any different rules of society in the Wizarding world. He would be a Lord after he got the ring and he needed to know more about the duties and expectations of one.

A hour later and Harry was deep in his book when Dobby popped back in. Harry startled but sonn relaxed when he saw an excited Dobby bouncing on his toes with a official looking letter in his hands.

"Dobby be finding both managers and they be writing this letter for Master Harry together. Here be letter for Master Harry Potter Sir." And the letter flooted over to Harry. While Dobby had listened to Harry when he told him that he preferred a shorter term of address, the Elf still slipped sometimes. It was kinda funny now instead of just cringeworthy.

Harry broke the official looking seal of Gringotts and started reading the letter,

Heir Black,

We of Gringotts have been trying to get a hold of you since your partipation of the Tournament in your fourth year of education. Unfortunately we were blocked and ignored. Until now.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We have important business to discuss and time is money. We would appreciate it if we could talk with Heir Potter-Black as soon as possible.

We, the account managers of the Potter and Black families would grant your request for a private meeting room in our bank. We wil see you on the 4th of August on 11.00 o'clock.  Press your thumb on the Gringotts logo if you agree to the time and date. If not, sent a letter back with your House Elf.

Your Elf will know where to take you. Do be prompt.

Black Familie Account manager,

Bloodaxe

Potter Acount manager,

Bogrod

Harry was relieved to read that they were willing to grant him a private meeting room and looked back at Dobby to say, "The letter mentions that you know where to pop us, Dobby?"

Dobby nodded and said, "Goblins be showing Dobby where to take Master Harry for meeting."

"Alright then, I have to get prepared for my meeting with the goblins and the claiming of the Lord ring." Harry groaned, "I think I'll have to write a list again. Lets hope Hermione never finds out about this or I will be writing lists for the rest of my life."

Dobby grinned at him and said, "Poor Master Harry. Nasty female who cares for Master be making him work? The horror." He finished with a smirk hidden in his voice. The Elf looked startlingly evil right then before a big smile took over again.

Harry wished he could sweatdrop like one of Dudley's comic book characters. "Since when did you get so cheeky?" Harry asked with a grin. He loved it when the Elves showed some cheek. It made him hope he was doing the right thing, bonding as he did with Dobby and Kreacher.

Dobby clicked his fingers and a quil and paper appeared. He said. "Master go make list now for goblins. Dobby be going clean bedrooms upstairs. Kreacher almost being done with library so it be almost safe for Master Harry to enter again." And Dobby popped away.

Harry knew an order when he heard one so he grabbed the paper and quil Dobby brought him. Sometimes it was more like Dobby was the master of the house but Harry didn't mind that. It was nice that Dobby dared to be more assertive. It meant he felt comfortable with Harry.

He thought about what he wanted from the goblins for a moment before writing it down.

Things to ask the goblins:

1. Get the Lordship ring

2. Do a Heritage test

3. Did my parents make a Will?

4. Dark artifacts in Black town house

5. Ask about services Gringotts provides

6. Book about goblins made by goblins?

He hoped he had everything written down now, but he still had a day until the meeting if not. It was almost lunch time now and he still had to write a letter to Hermione, read more in the culture book before the meeting with the goblins and he wanted to ask Kreacher about some more the locket someone left here for the Heir or Lord of House Black. First the hardest thing, writing the letter for a worrying Hermione.

Dear Hermione,

First I need to say that I'm sorry for worrying you and not warning you about what I was planning. You know how invested the Headmaster is in making me stay with my relatives and I couldn't risk him learning of my plans. Know that I am safe and happy at you-probably-know-where.

Thank you for the present! It's great! What were we small in our first year, right?

I hope we can meet soon. Are you able to get to Diagon Alley in the last week of August? We can get our school things and maybe eat some ice cream together? I have much to tell you but I wouldn't dare to put it all in a letter.

Don't worry I haven't done anything reckless. Probably. Maybe.

And I am unable to do my homework just yet. I know that there is no excuse for you, Mione, except a horrible death, to not do your homework but I had to leave the Dursley's without my trunk. Could you find it in yourself to forgive me for the unforgivable sin of leaving my schoolbooks behind?

I promise to owl order my school books soon so I can do my homework. I promised to do my potions homework in the letter I wrote to Professor Dumbledore so I will do that first. Any tips for your hopeless best friend?

Thank you for caring, Hermione, and thank you parents for me?

See you soon,

Harry James Potter

He waited for the ink to dry and then put it into an envolope. He looked to the owl stand where Hedwig and the handsome eagle owl were getting cosy. Suddenly he felt his protective dad instincts rear up.

Harry barked the first words he thought of at the owl who seemed to be flirting with Hedwig, "Hey! Ease up on the charm you scroundel! Hedwig is a young Lady and she is to young to deal with owls drooling after her!"

Hedwig seemed to look at him like he was crazy and she quickly flew up to his shoulder to gently pick at his ear. He felt his cheeks heat up at the reprimand and said to the offended looking eagle owl, "Alright, I'm sorry for judging you so quickly. I'm sure you are a very nice owl, but I still meant what I said. You better be respectful towards Hedwig, you hear me." Harry said while pointing a finger towards the uncomfortable looking owl.

Then Harry smiled and the strange owl visibly relaxed, "I have a letter to sent back to Hermione. Would you be willing to bring it to her, despite my rudeness?"

The eagle owl hooted and sticked his leg out to Harry. Harry bound the letter to his leg and watched the owl take of and fly directly through the window. Since the window and the bird stayed whole he assumed the window was charmed for owl post.

Harry looked sideways to Hedwig who was sitting on his shoulder and asked, "Would you like to go with me to talk to Kreacher?"

Hedwig hooted agreeingly and settled down on his shoulder. Harry scratched her on her head and walked to the kitchen where the wards told him Kreacher was.

"Kreacher, do you have a minute to talk?" Harry asked.

"Kreacher be having minute to talk to Master. Does Master want a cup chocolate milk to drink with the talk?"

"Yes, that would be great. Thank you, Kreacher." Harry said as he watched Kreacher make the chocolate milk. House-Elf magic facinated him. It just seem so much more natural than Wizarding magic. Elves just did it while wizards had to wave a stick around while saying some words in a strange language.

Harry took a sip and it was delicious. House Elves really knew how to cook. He took another sip with a pleased sigh and asked the old Elf, "Kreacher, what can you tell me about the locket you brought to me?"

Harry could see something was very wrong with Kreacher when he asked him that. Kreacher seemed to crawl into himself and he started moaning while pulling on his ears, "Oh old Kreacher being bad bad Elf! Kreacher being unable to fulfill last order from Good Master Regulus! Kreacher be bad Elf! Bad Elf!" Harry had to lunge forward so to stop Kreacher from banging his head against the stove. Hedwig flew of his shoulder and landed on a kitchen chair.

Sirius's little brother, the Death Eater? Harry was officially worried now, "Kreacher stop that!" He orderd. Kreacher immediately went still.

Softly Harry asked, "Would you tell me about your Master Regulus last order, Kreacher?"

Kreacher sniffed, nodded his old looking head and began his tale, "Master Regulus be good boy, he be kind to old Kreacher. But Master Regulus was getting in dangerous things after Master Sirius left and Good Master Regulus joined the Dark Lord. Dark Lord be needing House Elf and so Kreacher be going to cave with Dark Lord."

Kreacher took a deep breacht for the next part, "Kreacher had to drink awful potion for Dark Lord till the bowl was empty and he be putting that awful locket in bowl. Potion gave poor Kreacher horrible nighmares and made Kreacher so thirsty! Kreacher be needing to stop drinking the potion but Dark Lord did not care. He be leaving Kreacher in dark cave to die in dirty dark dead lake."

Kreacher sniffeled there before continuing, "But Good Master Regulus gave Kreacher the order to come back and so Kreacher did. Master Regulus nursed poor old Kreacher back to health and then made Kreacher take him back to the dark cave to steal the Dark Lords locket! Master Regulus ordered Kreacher to take the locket to the Heir or Lord Black and never speak to anyone else about it! Locket needs to be destroyed he said! Master Regulus drank potion, gave the locket to old Kreacher and died in nasty dead lake!" Kreacher wailed.

Harry was silent for a moment before he put his hand on the shaking shoulder of Kreacher and told the Elf, "Kreacher, you have given the locket to the Heir Black. That means you have followed Regulus last order. You are a good Elf, Kreacher. Your Master Regulus would be proud of you."

Kreacher sniffed, looked at his new Master and said, "Master be kind to old Kreacher. Kreacher be thankful. Kreacher go be cleaning now. Manor still needs some cleaning but is almost back to standards."

Harry nodded but said before Kreacher popped away, "Kreacher? I have a appointment with the goblins the day after tomorrow. I will ask them if they know more about the locket and if they can destroy it. Would you like that?"

Kreacher looked tearful again as he nodded, bowed lowly and popped away to do some therapeutic cleaning. Therapeutic for House-Elves at least. Harry hoped that he himself would never be forced to do housework ever again. Harry drank the rest of his chocolate milk and thought about what to do next.

He decided it was a good time to start reading some more in the Runes book. Soon Dobby brought him lunch which Harry ate with gusto. House-Elf cooking was just the best. Even better than Molly Weasley's cooking not that he would ever tell her that. That woman took a lot of pride in her housekeeping skills. The Runes book was so very interesting that he kept reading till dinner time.

After dinner with both Elves, Dobby looked him over again and told him he had done enough for the day. Harry didn't quite agree since he barely had done anything fysical today but Dobby just gave him a look.

Harry drank the rest of his warm milk and decided he had enough for today after all. He grabbed the Wizarding Culture book and retired to bed. There would be another day tomorrow. He said goodnight to Hedwig and the Elves and went upstairs. Elves could apparentely give very good disappointed-in-you looks if you didn't take good care of yourself. Who knew.

He had done enough for today.

Chapter Text

Harry woke up feeling more rested and peaceful than he had in a while. He had dreamed about some good things for once after he had fallen asleep reading in the Wizarding Culture book. He found out that as the Lord Black he would have a Wizengamot seat waiting for him. Him, a politician. Could it get any stranger? It was so weird. First he was a no name orphan, then he became a wizard, the boy-who-lived. And now, now he was going to be an actual Lord.

Look at that Auntie. Harry wasn't a worthless freak after all.

Still, that meant he really needed to know more about the laws and politics of the Wizarding World as soon as possible. Harry knew he wanted a lot of things to change in the Wizarding World. If he survived the war, he wanted to be someone who could change things even if that meant going into politics. He just would have to try his best. Be his best.

Harry also came to know more about the Potter family from the Wizarding Culture book. General information yes, but still interesting.

While the Potter family wasn't a noble one, it was an ancient one. The Potter family had a history that could be counted more than a thousand years. The first mention made of the Potter family was even before the early Roman times. Those were rumours yes, but still amazing for an orphan who knew next to nothing about his own history.

There were also a few important last daughters of other Houses who had gotten married into the Potter family and brought their family fortune, books and secrets with them because they were the last of their family. Like Iolanthe Peverell, the last of the Peverells who had married Hardwin Potter, Harry's direct but distant ancestor.

The Peverells were famous in the Wizarding World. Something insane about mastering Death? Wizards were strange people, surely it wasn't actually possible to master Death?

Harry really liked the Culture book Sirius had left for him. He did wonder why something like this wasn't available in the Hogwarts library. It certainly would have been helpful for a lot of muggleborns or muggle raised students. Hermione would have loved this. He would have to sent it to her when he was done with it.

But back to the information he found about his own family.

The official title of House Potter was The Most Ancient House of Potter. On the otherhand, the House of Black was both old and a noble House so the official title of that family was The Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. The first mentions of the House of Black seemed to start in the early Roman times. Were they had quickly risen to be very a important and very rich family.

Suddenly Harry got an urgent nudge from the wards. Harry shot up in his bed with wide eyes. There was somebody outside the wards! Harry grabbed his wand and ran downstairs in his new PJ's to discreetly watch through the window looking out to the front porch. With the wards at full power it wouldn't be possible for intruders to enter the house but Harry still had to be careful. He didn't know who it was. Probably the Order but there were other people out there looking for him, he was pretty sure.

Harry took a careful look out the window and relaxed a bit. He sighed in relief, it was just Remus. At least he was relieved until he heard Remus talk to someone hidden behind him. And what he said was not good.

"As you can see, Professor, the wards are indeed active but I don't think Harry is here. He wouldn't know how to manage the wards after we made sure that Sirius wasn't alone with him long enough to teach him. It is probably just a defense mechanisme since the last Heir of House Black has passed away." Remus said quietly to a slightly blurred form behind him.

Harry could just make out the sound of a voice murmuring something back which he thought might be Dumbledore's voice from the almost invisible shape behind Remus. Moony had kept him and Sirius away form each other? Why? But it got even worse when Remus answered the murmur coming from behind him.

Remus seemed very serious when he said, "Yes Professor, Sirius probably made a safe house for Harry somewhere else. Probably somewhere far away from the bad memories he had of this house."

Harry had the slight hope that Remus was covering for him towards Dumbledore but he got a sinking feeling in his stomach that told him otherwise. There was some more mumbeling and Harry had to strain his ears to hear the rest of their conversation.

"I know you said that it will be the best for Harry to return to the Dursley family as soon as possible, but are you sure?" Remus asked, "It's just that maybe those muggles aren't the best for raising a magical child, James and Lily's son."

Harry was relieved to hear Remus say that. Maybe he could count on his parents old friend after all. But then Remus continued speaking and all Harry's hopes got dashed into pieces.

"No, I know the boy is a bit childish and that the Durleys would be good to get rid of such things. James needed some extra tempering too for him to grow up into the man he only got to be for a short few years. I suppose they have been his legal guardians for a while now and will know how to handle him and his moods."

That when Harry got mad. Handle him? Remus wanted the Dursleys to handle him? And what had the man meant about his father? This was just horrible. How could Remus say all those things? This didn't seem right. The Professor had been kind to him in his Third Year.

Then Dumbledore cancelled his spell for the first time as he stepped closer to the door. He seemed to be checking the wards again. It did mean however that Harry was able to hear the words he spoke for himself. And Harry could clearly see where Hermione got her impression that Dumbledore was getting unstable.

Dumbledore spoke calmly towards Remus, "Sirius was clearly a bad influence on young Harry." He said in that wise-old-man voice of his, "We can't have anyone influencing Mr. Potter if we want the boy to be a bit more biddable. We need him to listen to us, Remus. It will be for The Greater Good of us all."

Harry couldn't believe what he was hearing. He knew that Remus wasn't a person he could trust with his wellbeing after his abandonment for thirteen long years of his life, but this? He was both hurt and disappointed and so when Remus and the hidden Headmaster came even closer as if to touch the door, he commanded the wards to throw them out. And throw them out the ward did, gleefully even.

The Headmaster visibly struggeled when the magic of the wards touched him as both he and Remus went flying. They got shoved hard and far away by the wards. Harry hoped that the landing hurt.

Harry was glad that Sirius never got to hear how they really thought about him. It would have broken his heart all over again.

He was so disappointed by both the Headmaster and the man that was supposed to be his uncle Moony. He really thought better of them both. Remus might have tried for a little bit but he quickly folded when the Headmaster expressed a different opinion. It seemed like Remus always did that.

Remus was weak. He might have been kind to Harry in his third year but he was never the uncle he was supposed to be. He wasn't the cowardly bad man Pettigrew was but he still listened way to much to Dumbledore and didn't seem to try for very long to form his own opinions. It wasn't safe to trust him.

But at least he now knew for sure that he couldn't trust the Headmaster with his life. Harry just had to make his plan work around the Headmaster and the Order. Easier said then done, but at least he had a starting point now that he was away from the Dursley's and had found out more information to work with.

Harry needed allies and quickly too. He would ask the goblins for help and he was also thinking about asking Amelia Bones for help. He thought she was trustworthy and he did know for sure that she had the reputation of being honest and fair. Susan Bones did always talk highly of her Aunt Amy when he was training her and the rest of Dumbledore's Army.

Merlin, did he regret that name now.

He was also thinking about asking Madam Longbottom for her help, she seemed like a good person to have in your corner. He knew from Neville that his grandmother was a tough but fair woman who had been a very good politican in her younger years. It was something to think about.

Harry turned around now that the threats were gone so that he could get dressed and eat his breakfast. But when he turned he saw Dobby standing there with dropped ears, sad and tearful green eyes.

"Professy Dumbles be bad wizard? Dobby be helping bad wizard before bonding with Great Master Harry Sir? Dobby be bad Elf?"

Harry felt his heart break a little when he heard Dobby's questions and he quickly said, "No Dobby! What other people do or order you to do is not on you. You are the best Elf a Wizard could have, Dobby, and I am so glad we have bonded. Dumbledore's actions are not on you, do you understand me?" Harry wished he could start following his own advice there but he still had his own little problem with guilt.

Dobby nodded and seemed to cheer up a bit. At least his ears had perked up again. Harry patted him on his head and said with mischief in his voice, "Say Dobby, would you like to help me plan a prank for when I have to get back to Hogwarts?"

Dobby looked up at him with his big watery green eyes and said as a sly smile starting to grow on his face, "Dobby would be liking that! Very much indeed Dobby thinking of something nice for professy Dumbles for even thinking about harming his Master Harry Potter Sir. Master Harry never be going back to bad muggles if Dobby and Kreacher have anything to say about it!" The House Elf started rubbing his hands together all the while smiling evilly.

Harry almost felt sorry for the Headmaster but decided he just didn't care anymore. Dumbledore pretended to care for him while making the worst decisions possible for Harry. And what right did he even have to make decisions for Harry outside of being the Headmaster of his school? The man wasn't a relative, a close friend of his parents or even appointed guardian their will. At least for the last thing he didn't think his parents had made a will. He would have known if they had one surely.

"Shall we eat our breakfast together and plan out our prank for the school? I had a few ideas myself for the prank." Harry said as they walked towards the kitchen.

"Dobby would like that." And so they went to eat their breakfast together while planning a school wide prank in the honour of Sirius with some extra as revenge on Dumbledore. He really should know better then to mess with a Potter and a Black who had an a House Elf friend out for revenge with him.

After another delicious breakfast made by Kreacher, Harry went to get dressed in his workout clothes- Dudley's old clothes re-sized to fit him- so that he could get some practice in with his new wand. Kreacher had told him about an unbreakable room where the Blacks used to practice their magic.

He had read about a few spells he wanted to practice in the books Sirius had left for him:

One was Alarte Ascendare. It was the spell Dumbledore used while batteling Voldemort and it was supposed to throw a object or a person high in the air. A bit like the wards did to Dumbledore today, Harry thought with a smirk.

Aparecium was a revealing charm that seemed useful to know. Bombarda Maxima spoke for itself, really.

Defodio was a spell that gouges through things. Deprimo was able to blast holes in stuff and Ducklifors just for fun, because could you immagine Voldemort's face if you turned him into a duck? It would be awesome! Harry promised himself he would try to do it at least once if he ever got the opportunity.

Cantis seemed like a handy spell because if your oppoment is forced to sing loudly he couldn't curse you.

The Conjunctivitis Curse was what Krum used in the first task to damage his dragons eyes and seemed also like a handy spell to know.

There were a lot more curses, charms and spells Harry felt he should know but for now he would try to master those few first. He also knew that there would be a lot of new magic in the Black familie grimoire but he could only get to the grimiore after he had claimed the Lord ring and the family vault.

Harry had a small hope that perhaps the Potter family had made a family grimoire too. It would be brilliant to learn more about his own family. Things actually written down by his ancestors for later generations.

The practice room was a very big room that really shouldn't have fit in this house but that's what happens when you are in an old magical house. The room was shaped like a square and had a bunker-like feel to it. It also had a panel with Runes next to the door probably to up the difficulty or something.

It was a professional dueling room. The Blacks had an actual professional dueling room in their town house. Was that normal for pureblooded families? Either way, it was brilliant to have so close by for Harry.

On the other side of the room Harry could see four human shaped dummies. He decided that since he didn't know enough yet of Runes to mess with the panel he would leave it for now. He focused on the dummies.

He walked until he stood a few meters from the dummies, took a deep breath and got in position to start casting.

A few hours later he got interrupted by Kreacher popping in saying, "Master be working hard but it be time for lunch. Growing Wizards be needing lots of good, healthy food. Lunch be served in dining room in five minutes." Kreacher said sternly and he popped away again with a quiet pop.

Harry wiped his forehead for sweat and nodded to himself. He was truly glad to see Kreacher looking a lot better than last night. He looked as if a weight had been lifted and he almost looked happy. In the last few days Harry had forgiven Kreacher more and more for his part in Sirius's death. It wasn't easy but he had done it for both himself and Kreacher. For their new family.

Harry was tired but satisfied with the magic he had learned to cast today. Some of them were complex spells but Harry got them to work. His new wand was brilliant and it had made casting the spells so much easier.

He cast a refreshning charm on himself and went to the dining room as his most cranky Elf had commanded him to do.

Lunch was as always delicious and to his surprise when he walked to the living room he saw that the handsome eagle owl was back with a letter from Hermione. And he was yet again sitting very close to Hedwig. But as Hedwig seemed to tolerate the owl trying to cuddle up to her, Harry decided to keep his mouth shut. This time.

He untied the letter from the owl he started reading,

Dear Harry,

My parents and I are relieved to hear that you are alright and safe where you are. I completely forgot to mention it, but the owl has been named Othello, my parents new owl. They brought him so they could get in contact with me instead of waiting for an owl to come to them. Isn't he just lovely?

Crookshanks seems to tolerate him, I'm glad to say. I wouldn't know what to do if those two didn't get along.

I know, Harry. I know that Dumbledore isn't to be trusted with you. Dumbledore is planning something shady. I finally talked with my parents about everything that happened in our years at Hogwarts and they said that it sounds like someone is grooming you for something! Grooming!

And Harry, I think that they might be right. Why else would everything happen as it did? Why did no one help us? Why were we the only ones doing something? Why was it always you?

It is very fishy when I think back on it.

I think we need more adults we can be sure to trust and then make a plan. We need help Harry. Promise me you will think about it? This is not the time to be impulsive.

You are important to me, Harry, and we need to start making our own plans to make sure we survive this war. I need you to survive this.

And yes, you are forgiven for leaving your books since you did have a good reason. But don't do it again, young man!

And do your homework soon!

I can meet you in Diagon Alley on the 24th of August. If the date is alright with you, shall we meet in front of Gringotts? We really do need to talk in person. Owl post may not be safe as you said in your last letter so we have to careful with what we write. I assume that muggle post isn't an option where ever you are?

Love,

Hermione

PS. Have you heard anything from Ron?

This letter really would have been a shock to read about a week ago but now it only confirmed what Harry already thought about Dumbledore. He was relieved that he didn't have to convince Hermione about his suspicions about the Headmaster.

Hermione used to have such respect for the teachers at school, but not anymore he was glad to see. Also a bit sad since it meant that they couldn't trust them as they should have been able to do. The blind trust she had in adult just wasn't healthy or smart in their situation. Or normal really for a teenager.

He was happy that he and Hermione were finally in a place were they could take about their feelings a bit more. And then he meant feelings like those friends felt for each other. Really. Just friends. Nothing more.

But seriously, even if there had been more between them he wouldn't want to risk their friendship. She was too important to him to risk it.

Althought Harry did wonder for a moment if the blood-adoption made him more emotional than he used to be. He just kept feeling so many emotions lately. The Black family, from what he had seen did seem to be very... emotional. Lets just keep it on that. Not unhinged at all as with some cases in the Black family. Looking at you Walburga, Bellatrix and even Sirius at times.

Later he would write his agreement back for the date they would meet. They really had a lot to talk about, she was right that they needed more adults to help them. He also needed to tell her the full Prophecy. She deserved to know it all and maybe she would have a few ideas herself about what it could mean. As for the allies, Harry had a few ideas for that already.

But still, what exactly was Dumbledore grooming him for?

Chapter Text

Harry was nervous. It was early in the morning of the day he had the meeting with Gringotts. There was a lot depending on this meeting going according to plan. So yes, he had made a list again. Mentally at least this time. A short one but he needed to remember this. He needed to ask his account managers about his parents potential will, claim the Lordship of House Black, ask about the dark items the wards kept warning him about and perhaps it would be possible to do a bloodtest. Just to see if there were anymore surprises in his bloodline he should know about.

He walked downstairs in his PJ's so that he could eat his breakfast and get ready for the day. When he got downstairs he saw Othello and Hedwig getting cosy on the owl stand. She had apparently decided that she liked the other owl. Harry really wondered how his owl got more game than he did.

Harry was newly sixteen years old and he only had his failed romance with Cho. Sometimes he felt so different from his year mates. He couldn't even date properly. But he really didn't want anything like that cringeworthy relationship with Cho again. If it even could be called a relationship. They had gotten closer while he taught them DA but by now he realised that that short relationship had only been superficial. Not that's so strange for a fifteen year old. Harry was sure that many people only dated others for superficial reasons.

He had liked Cho because she was pretty and good at Quidditch but that really hadn't been enough. Harry, looking back, thought that she had liked him because she needed a distraction and because he had a connection with Cedric, her boyfried who had died in Harry's fourth year of Hogwarts. He had been there in his last moments and Cho needed something, anything that reminded her of Cedric. She had been grieving still. That really hadn't been a good reason or time for them to start something.

But even if that first date had gone well, Harry knew now that Cho truly wasn't a good fit for him.

Thanks to that experience he knew better than before what he wanted in a relationship, namely a partner. Someone he could share his life with and who would not be afraid of the life he lived. Someone who would fight at his side in war and in peace times. Someone who could deal with his unwanted fame yet not see him as the Boy-Who-Lived. He hated that. He hated it when people looked at his scar, or talked about that night. As if Harry had done something. He had been a toddler for Merlin's sake.

If anything, it had been his parents. Harry couldn't imagine that he himself had done something. He didn't know what they had done to protect him but he was sure that it had been them. Lily and James Potter had saved them that night at the cost of their own lives.

But he had gotten off track. He didn't want to date around like some of his peers. He wanted what his parents had.

If he was honest with himself, he could admit that he had already found that girl. Hermione was that partner, someone who didn't care about the Boy-Whe-Lived thing. He couldn't imagine not having her in his life.

Which also meant that he would never tell her how he felt. She was his best friend and he wouldn't do anything to risk that. Hermione did not like him like that and so Harry would keep his mouth shut about it. He also didn't want to paint a bigger target on her back. People already hated her for being a muggleborn and that she was his best friend. If she became more than that...

Being her friend was good enough.

After breakfast he went upstairs again to get a shower and to get dressed in one of the fancy suits that were laying around in the closet. He wanted to make a good impression on the goblins. He tried brushing his hair and to his surprise it looked better then ever. Apparently the Black genes made his messy hair an artful mess instead of just a plain mess.

Alphard whistled approvingly when the man saw him when he went for a quick chat with his portrait before he went back to the living room. That man was certainly related to Sirius, Harry thought with a blush.

Since it was still a hour until the meeting was scheduled he went to the living room to read in the Animagus book. It really was interesting and it was hilarious to read to notes on the sides that his father and Sirius had written.

Apparently Sirius had a lot of difficulty with turning into his animal for a while and when that finally improved he had a very obvious problem with getting rid of the dog tail when he got to the transformating back part. Eventually he had to ask Madam Pomphrey to get rid of the tail. But first he walked with around with it for two days, hidden in his robes. It had made sitting down in classes very difficult for Sirius.

Meanwhile his father had the problem with that couldn't keep his head upright when he got the heavy antlers transformed on top his head. He had to do some serious neck and back exercises before he could do the complete transformation into Prongs. His father also had the slight issue with stomping his feet like an angry deer or toddler when he got angry, like how Sirius had gotten the bark-like laugh. The animal tended to bleed through.

It was all hilarious to read about. Harry wished he could talk with Sirius about it. Get the full story. The time flew by and soon Dobby stood in front of him, "Master Harry Sir, it be time for meeting now."

Harry looked up, startled at the time going by so quickly and stood up, straighted out his clothes and took Dobby's hand. Harry felt a tiny squeeze and suddenly he was in Gringotts.

The room he appeared in was small but beautifully decorated walls. There was a big desk on one side of the room with two richly dressed goblins seated behind it.

One of the goblins stood up and said, "Ah Mr. Potter, right on time I see. Good. Take a seat and then we will begin. Will your Elf stay here with you for the meeting?"

Harry looked at Dobby and asked what he wanted. Dobby said, "Master Harry be fine here. Dobby going to finish cleaning the house. It be done when yous be back. Call Dobby to pick you up when Master is done. Dobby will come." And Dobby popped away.

Harry nervously took a seat at the desk and looked at the two goblins. He assumed that these were the two account managers of the Potter and Black Families but he shouldn't assume.

The goblin to the left said, "Welcome, Mr. Potter to Gringotts. I am the account manager of the Potter family and to my right is the account manager of the Black family. I can see that you have undergone some changes in your appearance since the last time you were in the Bank. Your blood-adopted father did tell us he was planning for your adoption in his family. It seemed to have settled well. Good, that will make things easier. Now you asked for a meeting with us."

Harry took a deep breath and said, "Thank you, sir. Yes, my godfather Sirius Black has left me with the option to become his blood-adopted son and I took it. In the letter he left me he asked that I take up the Lordship of House Black, claim both of the Family Vaults and get my parents Will read, if they made one before their death."

He continued after a small pause with the rest of his mental list, "I also wanted to take an inheritance test to see if there are any surprises I should know about. Also, I am now living in an old Black house and there are a few very dark objects there that I'm not sure what to do about. Could Gringotts help me with those?" Harry rushed out.

The account manager form the Black Family, Bloodaxe, locked his long fingers together under his chin and said, "We will need some blood for the inheritance test, it will cost 12 galleons for the extensive search going back at least twelve generations. It should also show you as a Black which will indeed make you eligible for the Black Lordship. If the ring accepts you. Gringotts can also help you with cleaning your house of the dark artifacts for a small fee." He grabbed a piece of pearlescent looking parchment out of a drawer and put it closer to where Harry was sitting with a snap of his long fingers.

The Potter account manager continued where Bloodaxe left of, "As for the late Potters, their last Will and Testament was put in the Main Vault after their death. It can only be taken out by an adult Potter or their legal guardian. Which interlocks with what we wanted to talk to you about today, Mr. Potter."

Harry was fine with them taking some blood but was curious what Bogrod meant about that last thing. So he said, "How much blood do you need for the inheritance test? And what did you want to talk to me about, sir?"

Bloodaxe grabbed a big and scary looking dagger and smirked, "Oh just a little bit of blood. Don't you worry about it and just give me your hand for a moment, Mr. Potter."

Harry gulped but gave Bloodaxe his hand. The goblin turned his hand and put the very big dagger to the point of his finger and pressed softly. Three drops of blood fell from his hand on pearlescent paper and spread out to form a tree.

Harry laughed in relief and asked Bloodaxe, "Why use the big scary dagger if you need so little blood, sir?" The goblins looked at each other and smirked back at Harry.

"We need to get some amusement from dealing with all those whiny little wizards. Althought it has been some time since a Wizard laughed about it instead of getting angry at us for their own cowerdance."

Meanwhile the parchment had spread out to form a triptych with on each panel a tree. A family tree. For each of Harry's parents was one part of the parchment.

He could see that James Potter his parents, his grandparents, were named Fleamont and Euphemia Potter. A lot further back he could see an Iolanthe Peverell connected to a Hardwin Potter. There were a few other interesting names married into the Potter family. He also saw that his name was indeed, Hadrian James Potter-Black.

On the Black side he could see that Sirius younger brother and Kreacher's Master, Regulus Black, died at only eighteen years old. Only two years older than him and already gone forever. Further back he saw a few famous people from his history books. For good things like inventing spellcraft and potions or bad things like being one of the worst Headmasters ever to be recorded in history.

But the real surprise came from his mother's part of the inheritance test. His mothers great-grandfather surname was Gaunt before he took his wife's name. But when Harry traced that name further back on his mother's tree and suddenly the name Gaunt became Slytherin! His mother might have been a heir if not the Heir of Slytherin!

…Harry might actually be the Heir of Slytherin! Oh Merlin, Harry is related to Voldemort. Justin Fich-Fletchley was right in their second year of Hogwarts! Harry felt a bit sick. This was horrible! Why did he have to be related to that monster? Had Voldemort known this when he decided to attackt that Halloween? Is that why he asked his mother to step aside at first instead of just killing her?

He had to kill Harry regardless of the their relation with the Prophecy in play but maybe that was why he tried to spare Lily Potter at first. Harry always foud it weird that Voldemort asked his mother to step aside. Multiple times even.

Wait, did that mean he was a Parselmouth by blood? Had his mother been one too?

Bloodaxe and Bogrod looked at the parchment and stated dryly, "Well now, that is a surprise. Lily Potter wasn't quite a muggleborn after all."

"Indeed, this makes it possible for you, Mr. Potter-Black, to claim the Black family Lordship and if you the ring accepts you, the Slytherin Lordship."

Harry was confused and asked, "Does that mean that Voldemort never claimed the Lordship of House Slytherin?"

Had he even known about it?

Bogrod responded with, "No, the Slytherin Lordship has been unclaimed for the last few centuries. The Gaunt family went slowly insane due to heavy inbreeding and lost their trust in our bank and everything really. The Lord ring returned here after the last Lords death and there hasn't been one since. Do you want to claim both of the Lordships?"

Harry thought about it for a moment before he nodded, "Yes, I will claim them both. If only so that Voldemort can't. What do I need to do?"

Bloodaxe took a box from a drawner and put it in front of Harry, "Put your hand on the box and think of your magic. Push it into the box. The box will provide the rings you have the right to claim."

Harry did as he was told and put his hand on the box. After a moment the box vibrated and Harry was told he could open the box.

He looked into the box where two beautiful rings were laying on the velvet insde of the box. One was made from a silver looking metal and had a big gleaming onyx in the middle surrounded by a few small star-like diamonds on both sides. The other ring was gold with a big smooth emerald in the middel and a few small darker ones stuck on it in the shape of a snake.

Harry put on the Black one first. When he put it on he felt a pulse of magic going inside of him and the ring re-sized to fit on his hand.

Bloodaxe looked almost happy for a goblin after he said solumnly, "Welcome, Lord Black."

Then Harry put on the Slytherin ring above the other ring on his finger. He felt the magic hiss around him and it almost sounded like parseltongue. This ring also re-sized to fit his finger and then it melted into the other ring.

This time it was Bogrod who solumnly said, "Welcome, Lord Slytherin."

Bogrod continued with, "The rings will both appear if you will them to. If you only want the Black ring to be visible then that will happen. Since you want to hide the Slytherin Lordship, the ring disappeard with in the Black ring. Now, you have official access to both the Black and Slytherin Vaults. Would you like to go to visit themthis day? You should know that the rings will also protect the wearer from mind attacks and harmful potions."

The goblin in charge of the Potter family continued with, "Since you are now here I can tell you that you have been declared an adult by the Ministry of Magic since they approved your participatation in the Triwizarding Tournament. That means that you can access the Potter Vault now and that we can start the process to get the Last Will and Testament of the late James and Lily Potter read."

Harry was shocked. He had actually been declared an adult when he was forced to compete in the Tournament? He could have had access to his Family Vault all this time? Dumbledore.

Dumbledore would have known this. Yet, once again he didn't tell Harry. No one did. Harry couldn't imagine that no one other then Dumbledore knew about this. They all seemed to have done what all the adults in Harry's life did, ignore him. Let him figure things out by himself. No help at all.

Why were they all like that?

Who knew what waited for him in his family vault. What if there had been something there that could have helped him? Helped Cedric?

Bogrod and Bloodaxe waited for him to regain his composure before they asked if he wanted to visit his Vaults. And Harry really wanted to do that. Now.

Since they were account managers and not simple bank employees it was time to conclude the meeting with the two goblins. Harry was grateful for their help and said so as he shook their hands. They had helped him tremendously.

Another goblin knocked on the door to escort him to his Family Vaults. But before he left Bloodaxe said, "You may sent your Elf to me to make a appointment for the dark magic cleansing of the Black Town House." Harry nodded gratefully before he was escorted out of the meeting room by the new goblin who would take him to the new Vaults.

Harry and the unknown goblin walked through the long halls of Gringotts in silence. He had gotten quite a lot of new information he needed to work through. He had never expected that his mother was related to the Slytherin line. That he was actually related to the Slytherin line. It hadn't been Voldemorts power transferring over to him after all. He was already a Parselmouth. He shook his head and concentrated on following the goblin, who had stepped into one of the carts leading to the Vaults.

After a delightfully wild ride in the carts, Harry finally stood in front of the Potter Family Vault. He was gruffly told to put his hand on the door so it could open.

As Harry put his hand on the massive door he could feel a strange warmth surrounding him. Almost like a hug. Like love. This magic, the magic of his family loved him. Harry had never before felt this kind of all encompassing love. His family. It was breathtaking.

Then Harry heard a click and with a mighty creak the Potter Family Vault started to open their doors.

Chapter Text

After Harry was popped back home by Dobby, the first thing he did was fall face first in the couch. He got so much information in the meeting with the goblins and there was so much to see in the three, THREE, family vaults he had. So much money, books, jewelry, trunks filled with who knows what and most important of all, a letter from his parents.

An actual letter. His parents did leave him something in their vault. Something just for him.

His head was spinning. All three of the Family Grimoires were amazing! So much history, spells and even blackmail was written on the pages in the books. Althought some of the blackmail was little more like scandalous gossip by now. It seemed that one Cassiopeia Black had lived a very interesting life, collecting a lot of blackmail as if it was her job. Maybe it was.

Harry was kind of afraid to read the letter. What if it said something he didn't like? What if he did? Harry could never unread the only letter his parents had written to him yet he couldn't not read it. It was from his parents. He groaned.

Harry sat upright again so that he could look at the letter laying innocently on the side table. He took a deep breath, opened the letter and started reading.

To our dearest Harry,

As we are writing this letter, you are sleeping peacefully in your crib after playtime with your favorite toys. I hope that it will never be necessary for you to read this letter, my darling boy. But even it must be so, it is a comforting thought to have something written up for you. Just to be sure.

Your father and I are busy with setting up the Runic ritual that we have created to ensure your survival. It will require the willing sacrifice of an adult. I hope we won't ever need it. But if we do, that you will have at least one of us with you if the worst will happen.

But if the worst happens, know we won't ever regret it, my love. You are the best of us and your father and I love you so much.

If you are reading this then our worst fear actually has happend and the both of us are not there for you anymore. We dearly hope you have been happily raised by Sirius but if not, that you are still happy with whomever you live. That is the most important thing to us, Hadrian, that you have grown up to be happy.

Happy, healthy and safe are our greatest hopes for you. We know that Sirius will make sure you will be so for us. Don't feel guilty for thinking of him as your dad, Hadrian. It's what your father and I would have wanted for you if we couldn't be there for you.

This war filled country is a scary time to live in and even a worse time to be trying to raise a family but know that we never regretted having you, Harry. You are the best thing to ever happen to your father and me. We love you so very much.

Know that while we were willing to die for you, we also wanted to live for you. We wanted to see you grow up so bad, Harry, and it breaks our hearts to know we might not be able to do that.

Do what makes you happy and know that we are with you, always.

Your loving mother,

Lily

PS. Your father wants me to tell you to play a prank or two for him when you've gone to Hogwarts.

PPS. Just don't get caught.

Harry was tired of crying after reading emotional letters that were left for him but he didn't think anyone would blame him for this one.

He finally had actual proof that his parents had loved and wanted him. He had finally more of them than just the memory of his parents dying for him. Thought he had to laugh when he read the post script parts. It sounded just like what he heard they were like together.

He could still smell his mothers perfume clinging to the parchment. It was a wonderful thing to know, his mothers scent. Harry kinda recognised the scent. It felt like a long forgotten memory that had returned to him.

Also, the letter was the proof of what he always thought, he didn't do anything special that Halloween night. His parents invented or found a ritual that had saved him from the killing curse Voldemort had cast. He wondered if he could find out what ritual they used.

Maybe it was possible to recreate it. It would a wonderful thing if people couldn't use the killing curse anymore. If people had a protection against it.

To work off the emotions of this truly exhausting day, Harry decided it might be a good idea to get some exercise of the magical and physical variety. He went upstairs to his chambers and changed out of the fancy suit that he wore to the the meeting with the goblins. Kreacher wouldn't be happy with him if he ruined the thing.

He quickly changed in his workout clothes and went to the training room to practice his new spells for a while. He had some emotions to work out of his system.

It was dinner time by the time he stopped casting and Harry finally felt better, kinda relieved strangely enough. He was very hungry but decided to take a shower first since he was a bit sweaty from the workout. It had felt good to go all out for a while. His new wand really responded perfectly to him and his wishes. He had also gotten a lot better with some of the curses he learned.

Sirius really had chosen the right books for him to learn from. Even though he didn't have someone to teach him, he was still able to do these spells by himself. Harry really thought that these spells were going to come in handy soon.

After the shower he went to the dining room where Kreacher and Dobby were already sitting at the table. Both the Elves were looking at him expectantly. They had let him work through his troubles when he arrived back from Gringotts but now they wanted to know.

Harry sat down and said, "Well, there were a few surprises at Gringotts but I am now the official Lord Black. The most surprising thing was something that I learnt from the inheritance test was that my mother was decended from the main Slytherin line. I am now both Lord Slytherin and Lord Black."

Dobby and Kreacher looked at him with big eyes before Kreacher said, "Kreacher is happy to have a Lord Black again as Master. But Master also being Lord Slytherin? Kreacher be very happy to serve such a proper master."

Dobby just said, "Dobby be happy that Master Harry succeeded in meeting with goblins. Does Master Harry want some potatoes?" Harry had to laugh at that. Here he is, sharing what was for him groundbreaking news and Dobby just asked if he wanted some potatoes.

He loved that elf.

"Yes, thank you, Dobby. Also, Kreacher? I asked the goblins if they could come for a visit so they can inspect the locket and look at some other stuff that the wards warn me are dangerously dark. What do you think would be a good day to arrange a meeting?" Harry asked Kreacher while he spooned some mashed potatoes on his plate.

"Kreacher be thinking tomorrow be good day for goblins. Does Master agree with old Kreacher?" Kreacher asked Harry.

Harry answered, "Yes that would be fine, thank you Kreacher. I will write Bloodaxe a letter this evening. Could you deliver the letter to Bloodaxe again, Dobby?"

"Dobby be happy to!"

After dinner Harry went to the living room to write the letter for Bloodaxe. Hedwig hooted in greeting and flew from the owl stand where Othello was still sitting to land on Harry's shoulder. She gently preened his hair and settled down on his shoulder.

Harry decided it was time for a serious talk between Hedwig and him as he walked to the kitchen for some privacy. He was pretty sure she wouldn't want her gentleman friend to hear this.

So he asked his very smart owl as soon as they were alone, "Hedwig? Do you like Othello?" He asked her carefully, "It's alright if you like him, but could you warn me if you decide to go further and have chicks with him? I really don't want to walk in on anything and disturb you guys..." Harry said with a blush and a grimace.

He couldn't believe he had to have this talk with Hedwig. It felt wrong to be this much in her business and yet, he also felt very protective of his first friend. He wouldn't want some scroundel to take advantage of her. He still didn't know much about this 'Othello'. Who knew how many other owls Othello had knocked up and then just left?

Hedwig deserved the best.

Hedwig looked at him with laughing golden eyes and hooted at him. Harry nodded and said, "Alright so you guys aren't in that place yet but you would like for me to make the owlery habitable again so you would have some privacy if you decide otherwise? And you would like to see what it's like living in an owlery."

Hedwig hooted again and rubbed her head against Harry's cheek, "Okay girl, I will ask Dobby or Kreacher if they can do that for you alright?" Hedwig hooted softly in thanks and went to sleep while still sitting on his shoulder. Harry walked back to the living room so he could write the letter for Bloodaxe.

Harry carefully went to grab some parchment for the letter without disturbing Hedwig and sat down so he could start writing.

Dear Account manager Bloodaxe,

If you are agreeable I would like to make a appointment for tomorrow so that the Black Town House can be made safe again from the dark artifacts inside the house the wards keep warning me about.

Would it perhaps be possible that for whoever comes, that Dobby will pop them in? I would like to keep the location as secret as possible since Dumbledore and his Order don't know that I am living here.

Sincerely,

Hadrian James Potter

Lord Black

Lord Slytherin

He called for Dobby and gave the letter to him so Dobby could deliver it to Bloodaxe. Dobby popped away and popped back in again a few minutes later. He had a letter in his hand that he floated over to Harry. Harry thanked his friend and opened the letter to read,

Lord Black,

There will be a small team available for tomorrow on 15:00 in the afternoon. They will be waiting to be picked up by your Elf in the meeting room we first met in.

Do make sure the items are easily approachable for our curse breakers.

Sincerely,

Account manager Bloodaxe

Harry was relieved that there was a team able to come help him with the cursed objects tomorrow. While the wards weren't truly annoying, they did keep warning him whenever he got close to the cursed items. Which was a bit irritating when one of those items was hanging in the hallway. He went to the kitchen to tell Kreacher the good news. Kreacher was happy to hear that tomorrow could be the day that his Master Regulus last order would finally be fulfilled.

Harry decided it would be better not to tell theElf that he had also asked the goblins to look at Walburga's portrait.

After thinking about that one of the cursed items, Harry was reminded of a promise he had made. Now that Harry was the Lord Black he could also fulfill another wish. He went downstairs to the basement so that he could bring Alphard's portrait upstairs. He decided that Alphard could hang with the other members of House Black in the hallway. Otherwise he would have no one to talk to if Harry was away. Alphard's portait could be kept awake now he was surrounded by other awake portraits.

Portraits liked going from one to the other, but for them to be able to do that they had to be close to each other.

He put him in a nice and empty spot next to a few other portraits. He hoped Alphard would like the surprise when Harry woke him up. He put his finger on the 'wake' Rune next to the portrait and watched as Alphard quickly woke up and looked around himself.

Alphard looked happy as he said, "Hadrian, thank you for moving my portrait upstairs from the basement and congratulations on becoming our new Lord Black!"

The paintings that pretended to be asleep 'suddenly' woke up and started muttering to each other.

With a very Black looking smirk Harry stated, "Thank you, uncle Alphard. The meeting with the goblins went well but there were a few surprises waiting for me. But first I read something in the book Sirius left me that I have to do first."

Harry had read that even portraits could spill his secrets if he didn't command them to keep their mouths shut. Most of the born Black portraits didn't have another portrait outside the family properties but there were also quite a few people whom had married into the family in the portraits hanging in this house. Not that the people who were still members of the Black family were trustworthy. Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy came to mind.

He should probably do something about that too now that he could do so.

Harry turned so that he could see all the portraits hanging there and said commandingly, "As the new Lord Black I order all portraits connected to the House of Black, in and outside this manor to obey me, keep my secrets and never betray anything they see or hear in this or any other house belonging to the Lord of House Black to anyone living or not without my permission."

Some of the paintings looked a bit put out by that order but they all nodded their agreement.

Alphard laughed and said, "Good job, my Lord. Now we are all bound to keep your secrets. That will hopefully stop some of them being up to no good. Now you said something about a surprise at Gringotts?"

Harry looked at Alphard and said, "I did the inheritance test as you and Sirius adviced me to and I found out that my mother was not quite the muggleborn we all thought she was. Her great-grandfather had the name of Gaunt before he married his wife and took on her name."

Harry paused for a moment to let his words to sink in. "Since he was born as the older brother of the man who later become the Head of that family. And since I had the bloodline I was able to claim the Lordship. I am now both Lord Black and Lord Slytherin."

It was quiet for a moment before the portraits exploded with noice. Alphard Black looked at him for a moment before he started laughing so hard that he felt out of his comfortable looking chair. He rolled over the floor for a few moments before he sat up, took a deep breath to calm himself and said, "Merlin, Hadrian! You don't come with small surprises!"

Harry smirked back at him and said, "Well, I wouldn't want you to bored now would I?"

"No, indeed you do not. Bored Blacks are never a good thing." Alphard said, looking comically afraid as he shivered. "Now, do you know what this means? It means that you have more than one vote for the Wizengamot! Three even! We need to get you up to speed so that you can takes your seats for when you are done with Hogwarts."

"You do remember I have a Dark Lord after my life that I need to take care of first, right?" Harry asked dryly.

"And you do remember that you have allies now, right? You have the Black family as yours to command and you said in our last meeting that you were thinking about asking Amelia Bones and Augusta Longbottom for help, remember?" Alphard sounded very serious now.

He continued with, "You now have the recources that you never had before, Hadrian. Take advantage of them and the Dark Lord will have a very big problem when he comes after you." Alphard looked very serious indeed when saying that and Harry suddenly felt some hope that he could actually survive this war.

He decided he would start writing the letters for Amelia Bones and Augusta Longbottom first thing tomorrow morning. He would ask Dobby if he could deliver the letters. That seemed the safest way for sending mail right now. Oh and he still had to answer Hermione to confirm their meeting on the 24th of August. He still was a bit put out that she would be going on such a long vacation but he was also glad that she got some quality time with her parents.

Still, he missed her. That their vacation would also get Othello out of his house for a while and away from Hedwig was barely worth mentioning.

Harry thanked Alphard for his advice and left to grab his Runes and Culture books so that he could read some more for when he lay in bed. It was a tiresome day but he got a lot done and he finally had something of his parents that was actually adressed to him! He could remember his mothers scent again.

It had been a good day even if he had a few shocks. Tomorrow he would make some of the first steps to making allies. Tonight he would continue reading in his culture book for some tips on how to do that correctly. He couldn't mess this up.

Harry knew that Augusta Longbottom was very much a traditional lady so he had to be perfectly polite to both her and Amelia Bones. He could do this.

Soon the Houses of Potter, Longbottom and Bones would hopefully stand united once again.

Chapter Text

The next morning, after a good breakfast with the House Elves, Harry decided begin to write the first letters to both Neville and Augusta Longbottom. Harry had missed talking to his friend in the last few weeks. Neville had become a very good friend after Ron had abandoned him for getting chosen to participate in the Tournament. Not chosen, forced really.

Harry had been so very panicked when his name had been chosen and then to discover that his best friend didn't believe him? That was the moment something broke between them. Harry had been all alone he had thought but for Hermione and later, Neville.

Neville had, from the moment Harry's name had come out of the goblet, quietly supported him, believed in him together with Hermione. Ron on the other hand...

Neville had helped Harry with the second task and after that they had kept talking. They really had a lot more in common then Ron and Harry did. Both were orphans from the same war. Both had very similair memories from the night they lost their parents. Both could have been the boy from the Prophecy. But it was more than that, their personalities just clicked.

Neville had quickly become one of his best friends. A brother. Meanwhile Ron and Harry took a step back from their friendship. Harry and Ron were still friends but the closeness they had before Ron's abandonment was gone. Now Ron hung out more with Dean and Seamus and that suited both Harry and Ron just fine.

Harry still felt some regret that he had never thought to befriend the shy boy in his first year. They could have helped each other. Neville didn't really used to have someone in his first few years of Hogwarts. He had slept in a dorm with two sets of best friends and that must have been lonely. But it was a lot better now. For all of them.

Harry went to grab the parchment and quill and sat down so he could start writing. The first letter was for Neville and then he would start with the official letter to Madam Longbottom.

Hi Nev,

How was your birthday? Hope you got my letter! Your present will have to wait till we can meet in person. I think you will like it.

How are you doing? Do you have any new plants in your greenhouse? My summer is going great! You may have heard that I have left my relatives house and I must say that that was the best decision I ever made. Sirius made a safe house for the both of us before his death and I'm there now. Sorry I couldn't tell you about it.

I'm safe and happy, Nev. Even thought I am alone here, it is still so much better then the Dursleys. We have a lot to talk about when we can meet in person. So much has happened already and we need to prepare. We both do, Nev.

Included by this letter is another one for your grandmother. Could you give it to her? I have asked her for a meeting and hopefully we will be able to talk more then too. I have a lot of news to share.

Hope you have a nice summer!

Sincerely,

Harry James Potter

Harry now had to write the most formal letter to the Dowager Lady of House Longbottom and Harry was nervous. He had so little experience with being formal and this would be the first step in making allies outside of his school friends. He took a deep breath and put his quill to the parchment.

Dear Madam Longbottom,

Greetings, It is my hope that this letter finds you in good health. I, Hadrian James Potter, Lord of House Black ask of you, the Lady Dowager of House Longbottom, for a private meeting to discuss some things about the current happenings.

Madam Longbottom, I need your help.

Sincerely,

Hadrian James Potter-Black

Lord of House Black

Lord of House Slytherin

Harry had decided to be honest about his titles in his letter to Neville's Gran. After all how could he expect her to be able to help him if he wasn't honest with her? He hoped she would respond soon with a date for a meeting. The sooner the better.

He waited until the ink was dry before putting both letters in an envolope. Then he called for Dobby, "Dobby!"

Dobby popped in next to him looking very excited to deliver the letters, "Dobby be going now to Longbottom House. Be back soon with response!" And popped away again as Harry chuckled.

While Dobby was away, Harry should have a talk with Kreacher about the owlery that Hedwig wanted. After that he would write yet another letter only this time it would be for Hermione. Then he wanted to relax some with one of his new books and eat his lunch. After that he would have to get ready for his guests for the curse breaking.

He was a bit nervous about that. What if they spilled his location? What if Bill Weasley was one of the Cursebreakers? Harry was sure that Bill wouldn't be able to keep his location secret from his mother and Dumbledore. He hoped that the goblins had thought about that. He really should have asked about that himself when he had the chance.

Harry's talk with Kreacher went well and the Elf would make sure that the owlery would be ready for Hedwig and any potential chicks she might have. He really hoped that it would be a while yet before she was ready for chicks. He knew nother about the breeding habits of owls and he didn't have much time currently to research it. And he would have to go back to school in the not all to distant future. Harry needed some background information on Othello before he could even begin with approving him for his beautiful owl.

When the talk with Kreacher done he went back to the living room to write an answer to the letter Hermione sent him. This would probably be his last opportunity to write to Hermione since she would be going all the way to France. That was to long of a way for him to ask an olw to take a letter to her. Though he might ask one of his Elves to take an letter to her. That would be brilliant. He didn't want to stop talking to her even if it would only be for a few weeks.

Dear Hermione,

The 24th is good for me. See you in front of Gringotts around three? We can talk about it then.

I never got a letter from Ron. Did you hear from him?

Now about you owl, where did he come from? How old is he? Is he healthy? Does he have chicks out there? Or a mate? Can he be trusted? He's been sniffing around Hedwig and we need to know more about him.

I've sent a letter to some people who might be willing to help us out. I will let you know how that went when we see each other.

Hope you have fun in France. Would you like it if I ask a friend of mine to deliver our letters while you are in France? He really likes socks if you want to do something back for him.

I've missed you, Mione.

Sincerely,

Harry

PS. No, I'm not paranoid. Othello won't stop flirting with Hedwig!

He would give the letter to Othello who was still hanging around Hedwig. Harry knew what he was after. Hedwig was beatiful, smart and very caring to those she liked. Why wouldn't the owl be interested in her? Still, Harry and Hedwig needed to be careful. You never knew what someone was up to.

He didn't expect an reply for a while since Hermione would be away on a trip to France with her parents so hopefully the eagle owl would stay away from Hedwig for a bit. Dobby popped back in just as he watched Othello fly away with the letter for Hermione. He was holding two letters and a package in his hands which he gave to Harry.

Harry decided to open the letter from Madam Longbottom first.

Lord Black,

I was surprised to recieve a letter from you in this way and at this time. My grandson trusts you with his life and so, I will grant you your request.

I, Dowager Lady of House Longbottom, grant the request of Lord Black for a private meeting.

I will allow you to pop to Longbottom Manor with your House Elf. I am sure we have much to discuss. Tomorrow morning, 11 o'clock. Afterwards you can spent some time with my grandson.

I expect you to be on time.

Sincerely,

Augusta Longbottom

Lady Dowager of House Longbottom

Harry could almost feel her disapproving and stern gaze on him while he was reading her letter. He really hoped the meeting would go well and that she would agree to train him in the way of a Lord and a politican. Or perhaps even some curses. Augusta Longbottom seemed like a fierce old lady who knew her curses. Harry needed all the allies and help he could get.

It was now almost the time for the meeting with the team of goblins so Harry quickly opened the letter from Neville.

Hiya Harry,

Glad to read that you are alright in your safe house. Also happy belated birthday! I gave Dobby your present, I hope you like it. Can't wait to see you again. It's a bit boring here with just Gran. She has the war wards up again so no one was allowed to come over.

My summer has been great! Gran has been very proud of me after the battle at the Ministry and she even got me a new wand! The wandwood is made from Cherry and it contains a strand of Unicorn hair. It's brilliant!

Hope you have a good reason for writing my Gran, Harry, because her reaction to it was strange. But I will see you tomorrow! Perhaps I can even show you my greenhouse. It is lovely in the summer with all the plants blooming.

See you tomorrow Harry!

Sincerely,

Neville

In the round package sat a tiny green plant with a pretty golden flower blooming on it. There was a card stuck to the pot which told Harry that it was a magical lily species that had a smell that makes both people and animals happy when smelling it. It was apparently an ingredient for luck and love potions. It wasn't dangerous or addictive in any way so it was a populair Wizarding house plant.

It was a lovely present that he decided to put on the side table so that he could see and smell it often. Then Dobby popped in to tell him that he would go get the goblin Cursebreaking team now. He popped cheerfully away and came a few minutes later back with three grumpy looking goblins.

Harry didn't know why, but he had expected human Curse breakers. He shouldn't have assumed. Goblins were very proud of their ability to do everything a Wizard could do just without a wand. Different from what Harry was used to but often, if you believed the goblins, even better.

Harry stood up from the couch and introduced himself. One of the grumpy looking goblins stepped forward and stated with a slight bow, "Greetings Lord Black, we are one of the cursebreaking teams of Gringotts that are in your employ for this appointment. I am Sharpcut and these are my partners Gork and Dreanog. Where are the items you especially wanted us to take a good look at before we search the whole house?"

With a small bow back he replied, "Greetings Sharpcut, Gork and Dreanog. Thank you for coming on such a short notice. The wards kept notifying me of these particualr artifacts: a locket that's kept in the kitchen in a box, the portrait stuck to the wall by the frontdoor, a dagger in the room with the family tapestry and a goblet and hairbrush in the rooms of the Lady of the House. I do not know what they do exacly but I hope that you can tell me more about them before destroying them."

The goblins nodded that they understood and then went each a different direction while chanting in a strange language that made the hairs on Harry's arms rise. It sounded harsh but beautiful in it's own way. It sounded like nature given words. Rocks falling down, thunder booming in the distance, water rushing down a waterfall just in a language. Weird yes, but beautiful.

It was only a while later that he heard the goblin that went to the kitchen where the locket was stored exclaim loudly in what was the language of the goblins. It sounded serious and Harry started to get really worried when the other two goblins came running back to the kitchen to chant very loudly in the same harsh sounding language.

Suddenly it went quiet and there was a strange feeling of lightness, of a weight lifting of the atmosphere, started spreading through the Manor. The three goblins came back to him while carrying a black box covered in Runes.

Sharpcut looked very serious as he came to stand in front of Harry and he said, "It has been a while since something in a wizarding house has surprised me but this really was a bad one. This my Lord, is an abomination called a Horcrux. It is a way to cheat death that some wizards are stupid enough to try."

Harry was confused and asked, "A Horcrux? What is it exacly and who's is it?"

"A Horcrux is a piece of someones soul. And after feeling this thing I can safely say that this is not the only one this person has made. Luckily, we of Gringotts are able to track the others with this one for a small fee. Do you have any idea who has made this crime against Lady Magic?" Sharpcut looked hopeful as he asked this.

And so a horrified Harry told the goblins the tale Kreacher told him only a few days ago. The goblins looked at each other and nodded.

Sharpcut was again the one who talked to Harry as he said, "The self named Lord Voldemort has committed a very serious crime against magic with these acts. We of Gringotts will find and destroy these Horcruxes. Since you brought us the first one we will keep you up to date for when we find and destroy the others."

Harry was so relieved that they were willing to help with this and that the goblins had an actual method of finding these horrible things. He hoped they would find them all soon so that Voldemort would be mortal once again. It would make it so much easier to defeat him.

He knew that both Dumbledore and Voldemort thought that he or Voldemort had to kill the other but Harry really wasn't so sure. After all the Prophecy said that Harry would have the power to vanquish the dark lord and that he would be marked. It just said that either must die by the hand of the other.

And Harry had spent some time thinking about it and he wondered why he couldn't just 'loan' out his hand. Or write an order with his hand. After all, if he ordered a hit on someone, it was still a death by his hand, right? He would try to kill Voldemort if he had the chance but to plan his whole life around it? His three parents wanted him to be happy and living like that wasn't being happy.

So he would ask for help. He could at least try it for an change. Maybe this time when he asked someone would actually be helpful. The goblins already said that they would help with the Horcruxes and he hoped that Madam Longbottom and Amelia Bones could help him with the rest. To help him train for when Voldemort would come after him again.

Harry was startled out of his musings when Sharpcut told him, "The House should be safe again. The other objects you said the wards were warning you about were certainly not harmless but not nearly as dark as the Horcrux. We took the curses off the screeching portrait that would kill anyone who touched it with 'unpure' blood. It will be safe to remove now."

The goblin Gork continued with, "The other objects were spelled just about the same and we took off those curses too, we assumed you wouldn't want to keep them cursed. The House is safe again, my Lord."

"Thank you Sharpcut, Gork and Dreanog for your hard work. I am very grateful and I can already feel that the house feels lighter somehow now. I also want to thank Gringotts for the work in the future of destroying the Horcruxes of Voldemort. It will make a huge difference in this war." Harry said greatfully.

"No thanks necessary, young Lord. It is a crime against magic that we will gladly get rid of. You will hear from us soon as we find the other abominations or if there are questions."

With that the goblins decided that they were done and that they would like to popped back to Gringotts. Dobby did so and soon Harry and Kreacher were alone in the Manor.

Harry looked at Kreacher who looked like he was years younger. A weight seemed to have lifted from the old Elf. "I hope you feel better now, Kreacher. Your Master Regulus last order has been fulfilled."

Kreacher shot forward and hugged Harry's legs. "Master Harry be great Master just like Master Regulus! Such a kind Master! Kreacher be so thankful! Kreacher be very happy."

Harry laughed with a slight blush and patted Kreacher on his head. He hoped that Kreacher would feel better from now on.

"Now Kreacher, the kind goblins who uncursed the locket also uncursed Walburga's portrait. I could go a find a place for it that wouldn't disturb our future guests but I was thinking, maybe you would like to find a good place for her? Somewhere private please."

Kreacher had never agreed to something so quickly. He bowed low and popped of the place the portrait in his own bedroom. Harry was just relieved he wouldn't have to hear her screeching anymore. He was sure all the portraits in the hallway appreciated it.

When Harry went to bed later that night he felt like he was a lot closer to the happy Voldemort free life he so wanted. Harry would do what it took to make sure of it.

Chapter Text

Harry woke up feeling not very good for the first time in a while. The nightmares had been horrible. Voldemort was angry. His followers had done something wrong and so the punishments had began. Voldemort had been tossing around the Cruciatus Curse like it was candy. While Harry didn't necessarily mind seeing people like Lucius Malfoy or Pettigrew get some pain for their horrible choices and opinions, but in his nightmare he had also seen young people getting tortured. People who had looked so very scared and shocked being brought out in the room full of people wearing robes. People who Harry thought might have been muggles or muggleborns.

Harry had thrown up everything left in his stomach when he woke up early that morning.

He had a good day yesterday. He had claimed the one Lordship he had expected and one he didn't, he got unexpected help from the goblins with the Horcrux hunt and today he had a meeting with Augusta Longbottom, the Lady Dowager of the Noble House Longbottom.

Harry needed to shake of that horrible dream/vision and start preparing so that such a thing wouldn't happen again. To anyone. He had to try.

He would go and train for a while after breakfast before he had to go to Longbottom Manor. Harry decided to try some of the spells out of the Hit Wizard book Sirius left for him. A few of the more violent ones so he could release some frustration.

He made good process with mastering the new spells he had found in the book before. He couldn't wait for the opportunity to turn a Death Eather in a duck with the spell he learned recently. Could you immagine Lucius Malfoy as a duck? Lucius would be turned into the most common duck ever just with probably very nicly groomed feathers if Harry had anything to say about it.

Harry had also wanted to try some of the Family Magic from the grimoires he had gotten out of the Vaults in Gringotts. They were his family legacy and he wanted to excel in them. For the Potter Family it was mostly Potions and Transfiguration. For the Blacks it was Battle Magic which was very handy. They had written down a lot of curses in the Black Family Grimoire.

The Slytherin Family Grimoire had surprised Harry. While he didn't believe they had all been racist arses, it had been a surprise to learn that the Slytherin Family magic focused on Healing and Charms. It was all so very interesting to learn.

Soon it was time for Harry to go to the meeting. He showerd and dressed smartly for it and hoped Neville wouldn't be to surprised to see the new him. Harry had never cared much for his own appearance but that had changed a bit in the last few days. He had learned it was important to look good. To represent his family the best he could by looking his best. He just hoped he wasn't turning in a Malfoy.

Together with Dobby he popped in the Longbottoms Entree Hall as Madam Longbottom had told him to do. He was straightening out his clothes when he heard a unsure sounding, "Harry? Is that you?" And Harry turned around to look at Neville.

"Hi Nev, how are you doing?" Harry said with a sheepish grin. Neville looked gobsmacked as he got a good look at his friend.

"Merlin Harry, what happend to you?" Neville asked, shocked. Harry laughed and told him that it was a long story but that in short that Sirius left him some stuff, "I will tell you the rest later. It is a bit of a long story and I have to meet with your grandmother first."

Neville nodded with understanding and said, "Ah yes, I will take you to her. You shouldn't keep her waiting. I hope you know what you are doing there, mate."

Harry looked side ways to Neville as they walked through the beautiful Manor and asked, "Is she truly so scary?"

"Probably not for you, Mr. I-slayed-a-Basilisk-at-the-age-of-twelve. But she is quite intimidating for the rest of us mortals. So I wish you good luck and I will see you soon. Then you and I can talk about what you've been up to."

Neville left him after those words with a grin on his face. Harry was glad to see his friend so relaxed in his home. Sometimes he had worried that Neville's homelife might have mirrored his but that didn't seem to be the case here, he was glad to see. Neville was indeed intimidated by his grandmother, but the worst of the story's Neville told were always about his uncle Algie. If Harry ever meet that man-

Well, he hadn't been practising his curses for nothing.

Harry looked at the beautifully carved wooden door Neville left him by and just decided to knock. He was a Gryffindor after all. No old lady could be that scary, could she?

He knocked twice and heard a old sounding but cultured voice say he could come in. He opened the door and there she sat, the fearsome, to her grandson at least, Lady Dowager of House Longbottom. She stood up as he approached her and he air kissed the hand she gave him as the Culture book said he should when greeting a Lady.

She looked him over critically and said with some approval, "At least you seem to have some manners. Now, welcome to Longbottom Manor. Lets take our seats and call for some tea. Then we can talk about why you asked for this meeting."

Harry could see why Neville used to be so nervous of his grandmother with her being so direct but honestly, even if they only met, Harry really admired her. She seemed like a tough old lady. He was glad that his friend still had his grandmother in his life.

Harry wished his grandparents had lived. Harry didn't know much about them unfortunately. Their names, yes, but not much more. Hopefully he could find out more about his ancestors when he got further in the Potter Family Grimoire.

Harry smiled at her and said, "Thank you, Lady Longbottom, for your welcome and for agreeing to meet with me. I wouldn't say no to a nice cup of tea."

They sat down and a House Elf popped in with a tray with tea and biscuits. She was a cute looking thing for a House-Elf, Harry thought. Very small with big shining blue eyes. She looked healthy and well cared for. Which reminded him of Winky. That poor Elf was drinking herself to death and he needed to do something about that now that he had his own home.

He would ask Dobby to talk to her for him when he got back home. Harry had enough room for another Elf, if she wanted to be part of their little family. It wasn't right that Winky lived in shame for something her former masters did. Shaking that sudden thought off he went back to the Lady in front of him.

As the Dowager Lady daintily sipped her tea she looked at him and told him, "So, Lord Black, tell me your story and let us see what I can do to help you."

And Harry did. He told her about everything. The Dursleys, his years at Hogwarts, Sirius's death and how he came to be at his safe house. He told her about all the things that happend this summer. The letters he got from Sirius, his parents and his meeting with the goblins. He told her about the Prophecy and the Horcruxes Voldemort made. And he told her he needed a plan because otherwise he didn't think he would survive this war.

While he was telling it all he could see in her face was anger and disbelief. He could also see her softening to him. Harry really hoped she would be willing to help him after he told her all of it.

He shouldn't have worried because after he was done she looked like she wanted to hug him. "Oh you dear boy. What a life you have lived. I am so sorry that I didn't fight harder to get custody of you after the death of your parents." Lady Augusta continued with a sad smile, "My Alice was your godmother, did you know? You and Neville could have grown up as the brothers as your parents would have wanted you to be if the worst had happend."

He had not known that. Harry thought that that would have been wonderful, growing up here with Neville. But he wouldn't tell her that. The old woman was grief stricken enough already.

"If only I wasn't so grief stricken and afraid of others Death-Eaters coming after my grandson. If only Dumbledore wouldn't have made such awful decicions lately. I do wonder if everything is alright with that man. He's so old now and his decicions have been so strange lately." Lady Augusta said strongly.

Harry thought she might have a point about Dumbledore. He was acting weird. Maybe he was having mental problems in his old age? Surely someone would have noticed something like that? But that was a problem for later.

Now he said carefully to Neville's grandmother, "I would have loved to grow up here in this beautiful home, my Lady, but that was not what happend and I can't blame you for your grief."

Harry continued with, "I just hope you can help me now. There is so much I don't know about in this Wizarding World and now I have two Lordships. I have two adult wizards strangely obsessed with me and I don't know what to do about any of it. I just want a normal life. Is that to much to ask?"

She looked at him and said, "Dear boy, of course I will help you. If things had gone different you would have grown up here and called me Gran alongside my Neville. So first things first, it would truly please me if you called me Gran."

Harry was surprised but touched and nodded his agreement. He would call her Gran from now on. Harry had no grandparents of his own and this tough old lady seemed like she would make a good Gran. He couldn't wait for the look on Neville's face the first time he would call her that in his hearing.

The poor guy didn't know it yet but he had suddenly gained a Black as a brother.

Gran looked like she knew what was going through his head and she seemed be both amused and approving. Then she seemed to sober, "Now we need to make a plan together. You said you know next to nothing about the Wizarding World. We need to fix that as soon as possible. It won't be long before you can take your seat on the Wizengamot and you need to be prepared for that. You are famous in this world of ours and you need to learn how to use it to your advantage. You also need allies. I agree that Amelia Bones is a very good choice as an ally."

She seemed to think for a moment before she voiced her thought, "But have you thought about Andromeda Tonks? She is both a healer and a disowned Black. She too, would be a good ally to have in your corner and the House of Black could really use some more sane people, I should think. And excuse me if I'm wrong, but it might be a good idea to get some private healing done after the life you have lived."

She took a deep breath and continued, "You also need a lot of lessons in politics, dueling, manners and strategy. And that is outside of your normal schoolwork. You will be very busy but know that we will help you. I can tutor you myself in most of this and if you can get Amelia Bones on your side, she can teach you the rest. She can each you how to be a warrior."

Harry was relieved that she seemed to have a battle plan so soon already. She was right, he needed to contact Andromeda Tonks as soon as possible. He hoped she would be willing to become a Black again and perhaps even help him with his health. Perhaps Andromeda could be a good aunt to him. If she wanted to have him as her nephew. It would be nice to have more family around him and the Black family really needed more members in it.

"Thank you for your help, Gran." Harry said with a smile that lit up his sparkling green eyes. The fearsom Lady Longbottom visibly softened seeing Lily's smile on her son and patted him on the cheek, "You are a good boy, Harry. Now go visit my grandson. He has looked out for your visit and we can always talk more later."

"Thanks, Gran!" Harry stood up and went to look for Neville. It took a while and eventually he asked the House Elf with the pretty blue eyes if she could take him to Neville. She agreed cheerfully and popped him away to what he thought was the greenhouse Neville always liked to talk about. Neville was always talking about his plants and Harry was sure that his friend and godbrother was skilled beyond age. He had heard rumours already about Professor Sprout being interested in taking Neville on as an apprentice.

Neville was crouched in front of a pretty dangerous looking plant with a lot of sharp purple spikes. His friend seemed to be talking to it and Harry had to smile. His best friend was a very gentle guy and Harry really appreciated it. He softly called out to Neville as not to startle him into the big spikes of the unknown plant.

Neville calmly stood up, said something to the plant and walked over to Harry. Harry could see that Neville had grown into himself a bit more this summer. He looked more confident and seemed to be losing his baby fat. Good for him, Harry thought.

"Hi Harry, how was your talk with Gran?" Neville asked while walking to Harry.

Harry grinned at Neville and said, "It went great! Don't know why you find her to be so scary. She seems awesome!"

Neville rolled his eyes and said, "Of course you would think so. You think doing death defying stunts on your broom are the safe and normal thing to do."

Neville continued with, "Shall we take a walk on the grounds? The weather is nice and then you can tell me all about your summer." And so they went.

Harry talked until his voice was hoarse but he left nothing out. Neville deserved to know everything as he was his best friend but also the other option for the Prophecy. He needed to know.

Neville was quiet while Harry talked but when he finished he just said with slightly bigger eyes then normal but still calmly, "That explains a lot."

Harry had to laugh at that. It was such a Neville answer. "Yeah, things will get worse before they will get better but I have asked your Grandmother for help with some of it and I think it will be alright. I just need some help from smart and capable adults and Dumbledore just wouldn't be that person." Harry knew he sounded a bit angry while saying that but that couldn't be helped. He was very disappointed in the Headmaster.

Harry let out a breath and said, "But your Gran and I will make a plan and with the help of some allies like the goblins and maybe Amelia Bones. I think I might actually survive this war now, Neville. That is such a great feeling. The feeling of having an actual future."

Neville nodded, looking very understanding said, "Thank you, Harry, for taking on this burden. Know that I will do anything in my power to help you survive this war. This I swear to you as the Heir of House Longbottom and as your friend, so I say, so mote it be."

There was a bright light surrounding them and Harry never felt so supported. It was a strange thing. Neville looked a bit shocked but also happy as he explained, "Our magic sensed our intentions and supported it. Think of this as a vow of support. I swore to help you and now it will be so. You call for aid and House Longbottom will answer."

Harry was again shocked but also very grateful. He wanted to do something in return so he asked Neville what he was already planning. He asked if Neville wanted to become an Animagus with him.

Neville seemed excited and quickly agreed. So Harry promised to bring him a Mandrake leaf with the instructions soon. They would take the potion together at the end of the month to find out their animal. It will be a good advantage to have in the war.

But for now he would go back home to train and read some more in his Grimoires. He called Dobby and after saying goodbye to Neville and his new Gran, he popped back home. When Dobby got them both back he asked his friend to wait for a moment.,

They went to sit on the couch in the living room where Harry asked, "Dobby, how would feel if we asked Winky to come live with us? I know she is at Hogwarts but she's still so very depressed about the loss of her former family. I thought that perhaps we could give her a home?"

Dobby seemed to deflate for a moment, "Master be kind to think of poor Winky. Dobby keeping eye on Winky but Winky be very sad still and drinking lots of butterbeer. She not be good Elf right now. She thinking she be never good enough for a proper family."

Harry was sad to hear that Winky was still drinking so much. It was strange to him but butterbeer had the same affect on House-Elves that Wodka had on humans. It wasn't good that she drank so much of it.

"Well, do you think it might help her if we asked her to sober up? That if she can stay sober for the rest of the school break that I will take her into our family? It might help if she has some hope for a better future." Harry hoped so at least. He still didn't know enough about House-Elves but he was trying. He hoped he could help her. Winky did not deserve what the two Crouch men did to her.

Dobby nodded thoughtfully and popped away. Harry assumed that it would take a while and went to grab his books. It was some time later that a jubilant Dobby was standing or rather, jumping up and down in front of him.

"Winky be saying yes! Winky be very grateful to Master Harry Potter sir and agrees to stay sober now. She be seeing you when yous be getting back to Hoggywars for bond!" Dobby was clearly happy that his friend had agreed to Harry's proposal and so was Harry. So was Kreacher when he came out of the kitchen to see what all the noice was about. Harry hoped that the female Elf would be happy here in their small family.

This too had been a good day. Even after the rough night he had with the visions of what Voldemort was doing. He had gained a grandmother, made some new plans for study areas and had a few new ideas for allies. He noticed he had a lot of good days since leaving the Dursley household. It made him smile.

Chapter Text

Augusta Longbottom:

Augusta Longbottom nee Rosier had a few regrets in her life. She has had a lovely marriage with her husband and out of that marriage had come her greatest treasure, her baby boy Frank. Frank had been her pride and joy, even more so when her husband died years after the war with Grindelwald. He had sustained curse damage as a young man just before marrying her. Augusta had never cared about it. She thought the world of him, her brave lion of a man. She had loved him so much.

Augusta was happy that she had the years she had with him even if they hadn't been enough. She was just glad he had seen their son born, had heard Frank calling him papa before he died. The curse that had hit him as a young man had killed him after all.

Frank, her sweet baby had been a wonderful boy and when he grew up a great man, just like his father. He got good grades in Hogwarts, became a prefect and later Head Boy. He had been a social boy with lots of friends when he got sorted into Gryffindor. It's where he met Alice.

Sweet Alice, such a nice young lady. At first Augusta hadn't thought the girl was good enough for her boy but soon enough she came around. She only had to see how fiercely Alice defended her muggleborn best friend, Lily Evans, to know she was strong enough to be the Lady of House Longbottom. She was a good match for her Frank. The two had glowed with love and magic when they were together and that made all the difference to Augusta.

Her life had felt complete when they married and soon after had a beautiful little boy, Neville. The two had been such wonderful parents but then it happened. The most horrible day of her life. The moment everything changed.

It had seemed like the war was over and that they could finally relax again. Frank and Alice had come out of hiding and were looking for Alice's godson, Harry Potter. Lily and James had died protecting their son and when Voldemort went after little Harry Potter, he died. With that the threat of Voldemort and his Death-Eaters gone, Frank and Alice could come out of hiding.

Augusta could finally hug her son and grandson again and she had been so happy. But it didn't last long. Soon after she got the news that Frank and Alice had been attacked in their own home by Death Eaters looking for their master.

Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange along with Rabastan Lestrange and Barty Crouch jr. had attacked her son and his family. Both Alice and her sweet Frank were catatonic due to extreme cruciatus exposure and unlikely to get better anytime soon, if ever. Neville, her poor little grandson had been hidden in a closet yet still had been able to hear his parents screams. The poor boy was in shock and most likely forever traumatised.

It had made her grandson a shy, quiet boy. She was ashamed to say that when looking back, Augusta really didn't have any patience for what she saw as her grandson's weakness. Then began her most bitter regret. Augusta had become so focused on the welbeing of the Longbotom family businesses, of her son and his wife, that she had forgotten about her poor grandson. Neville had not grown up with all the love and attention she could and should have given him. Frank would have been furious and how his baby had grown up. Not to mention Alice.

And to make matters even worse, there was her her brother-in-law. The brother of her late husband had always been an ambitious man. He and her husband had never been close after one was chosen over the other as the Lord of House Longbottom. Even though Algie was the younger son, he still felt he was the better man for the job. Yet, they had thought he had resigned himself to his position in their family. He had been a good uncle to her Frank, if a bit distant, so she had trusted him with her grandson, the Heir of House Longbottom, while she focused on the Family.

It had been a mistake.

Her brother-in-law saw it fit to try and take over the family. He had made her believe that Neville was a squib. Or near to it. It had made her behave cold to her only grandson whom she had seen as a disappointment both to her and to his father. Her poor grandson. It was only after the incident with Algie and the window that the scheming came to light. That she and Neville finally had a real talk about everything that had happened in her absence. How angry she had been at what he told her.

Little Neville, only ten years old had told her about his life as if it was normal. As if he deserved it for being a disappointment to her and their family. She had never been so ashamed of herself.

Augusta had trused her brother-in-law and what he did, what he did was unforgivable. She had just about murdered him after she had gotten Neville safe and sound back in his room with his House-Elf nanny.

She confronted Algie. And then she found out what he had been planning. He had planned to make the true Heir of his House weak, a squib. And if the boy still got an invitation to Hogwarts he would try to cause an accident. It would have been easy to make it look like an accidental magic mishap. Childeren got hurt in those often enough. That way his line would get to be Lord Longbottom, starting with him.

It could not stand.

Algie Longbottom got away that day without any memory of what had happened, that she had found out what his plans were. It was only that after Neville had gone of to Hogwarts that Augusta made her move. She would protect her grandson.

Augusta was very sad to announce that her brother-in-law, Algie Longbottom had met an unfortunate end. He went for a walk in the woods behind his cottage when he walked right into the range of a Womping Willow.

There wasn't much left to identify him with.

Poor man.

Yet it had made her busier than ever. Algie had taken on a few duties of the Lord after Frank's incapacitation and now with that slimy bastard gone, everything was on her shoulders. She tried to do better with her grandson and their relationship did improve a lot.

Still, she had not seen what disadvantage she had given Neville with giving him his father's wand. She knew it wasn't a good fit for the boy but she was so bussy that she kept forgetting giving him a new wand. Then the Ministry happend. Neville had been fighting Death-Eaters with a wand that didn't fit him. She had made him use that wand and it could have gotten her grandson killed.

Augusta had been so scared yet so proud. Her boy was growing up in a good man. From then on she could see the man he was growing up to be and she couldn't be prouder. So she hugged the life out of him when she saw him, she apologised for making him use his father's wand and she promised to take him to Olivanders as soon as possible.

That summer had been so very good for them. They had talked and worked on their relationship as grandson and grandmother. Augusta had promised to do better and Neville truly seemed to believe her. They would get through this.

Augusta had been surprised when she had recieved the letter from her Neville's friend, Harry Potter, the summer after it all happened. Neville had told her about the boy and what she had heard has worried her. The last Potter didn't seem to know anything about his heritage according to her grandson. He wasn't recieving any training to survive this war and from what Neville had told her, dangerous and mysterious things happened every year at Hogwarts around the last Potter.

That last thing was enough for Augusta to go to the Board of Hogwarts but the rest of the members didn't seem to know anything either. No one knew anything about the Stone, possessed teachers, Trolls, Basilisks or Dementors and Werewolves attacking students. It was clear that Albus was up to something. Why would the man have kept it quiet? They could have helped!

Why hadn't the wards around the school kept the dangerous creatures out? Why had all those dangers focussed around Harry Potter?

Also, Albus Dumbledore had assured them that the boy was taken care of and educated in their culture. That was already clearly not true with what her grandson had told her but seeing the boy from close by for the first time shocked her. It was even worse than she could have imagined.

The boy was thin. Much to thin to be healthy for a boy his age. He tried very hard but he was not used to the manners normal to the nobility. It was a worrying sight for someone she knew now was not only the last Potter, but also the Lord of two Houses. One of which thought to be extinct!

Albus Dumbledore had assured the Wizarding World that the boy standing in front of her was well taken care of and well educated in their customs.

It was a lie, she could see that immediately.

He came here asking for her help and after listening to his story he certainly got that. The poor boy had gone through so much that could have been avoided if only someone had tried. The boy was only her grandsons age and yet he had the eyes of an old man. Or maybe an abused animal expecting the worst of people.

It was horrifying.

She would teach him. She would teach him how to survive this world of theirs and how to make it bend to his will. She would teach him everything he needed to know to thrive. And she would love him like his grandmother would have. Euphemia had been a friend of hers and she would not have stood for what is happening to her grandson, kind and fierce lady she had been. She would ask Amelia Bones for help since he seemed to trust her and Andromeda Tonks too. The boy clearly needed a lot of healing after the life he led.

Dumbledore wouldn't know what was coming for him. He had made an enemy out of House Longbottom with the treatment of her newly adopted grandson. No one messed with her or her family and got away with it. Not that he knew that yet. 

No worries, Augusta knew how to deal with interfering old men.

Chapter Text

Previously on A very Black plan: After a horrible night full of visions from Voldermort, Harry woke up feeling the need to expel some frustration. He had learned a lot more interesting spells from the three Family Grimoires he found in his vaults at Gringotts. After that it was time to go to the Longbottoms. There he met with Neville and Augusta Longbottom, the Dowager Lady of House Longbottom. After he had explained why he had come to her for help, she agreed to train him in whatever way she could. The fierce old lady also adopted him as another grandson.

After that meeting he met with Neville for a walk on the Manor grounds. Harry needed to explain some things to his friend about what he had discovered this summer. Neville was shocked but pledged his support to Harry in a Vow. Harry also got reminded of Winky while at Longbottom Manor. When he got back home he asked Dobby to go to talk to Winky for him. If the female Elf managed to stay sober, Harry would ask her to become part of his family when he went back to Hogwarts. Winky agreed quite happily according to Dobby.


It had been a week since the meeting with his new grandmother. It still felt weird calling her that but it was also kinda nice. And he could see how much it meant to her to be called Gran again by another child. He could imagine that she had hoped for more grandchildren before that horrible day when her only son and his wife were attacked.

Harry went to Longbottom Manor every day since that first meeting a week ago. He was learning a lot about how he has to behave as a Lord in the Wizarding World but surprisingly, also the muggle world. It seemed old fashioned at first, but Harry liked the clear rules this new, at least for him, society had. Gran was a strict teacher who clearly knew a lot about her subject. She was also surprisingly sneaky. Harry had the feeling that he could learn a lot from her. More than just the politics and culture stuff as he had first thought.

It was also comforting to know that as Lord Black and Lord Slytherin, he was one of, if not the highest ranking noble in Britain. So long as he followed the rules and behavior Gran was teaching him, no one who was traditional, so most purebloods really and some of the half-bloods, would ever dare to harm him. If they did, they would be forevermore be called a Blood Traitor.

Blood Traitor meant something different than he had thought it did. It was more than just a slur. It was a declaration. A declaration that the family declared Blood Traitor were not to be trusted. That they were unworty of the magic in their blood due to a very serious betrayal. Most times it involved a broken vow. It left a visible strain on a persons magic if left there. It could go on for generations.

This is what happened to the Weasley family around three hundred years ago. There had been an incident involving the Malfoy family and a broken Vow. They lost their status, wealth and the respect of their fellow witches and wizards. It still followed the Weasley Family even after three hundred years. There was a way to cleanse themself of the strain of being a Blood Traitor but most of the family seemed almost proud of it. It was strange to Harry now he knew what it meant.

Why would they leave a strain on their magic if it could be removed?

The Lordships he inherited also meant that he was of a higher status then Malfoy. And wasn't that just hillarious? He couldn't wait to see his face when it got out.

Gran was also teaching him about the politics of the Wizarding World. It was a bit boring but also, with some subjects, very interesting. Harry knew next to nothing about the politics of the Wizarding World but Harry knew what he would like to change in it.

Harry wanted more equality in creature rights, he wanted a department that would check if House Elves were treated right, he wanted to be sure that no other children were getting abused by their guardians and he wanted a class in Hogwarts that would teach Wizarding Culture. And that were just a few things on his mind.

These things made Harry politically Grey according to Gran. Harry was fine with that. While Harry had been taught that anything other then the Light was wrong, he knew better now. It might have been the one thing Voldemort was kinda right about.

'There was no right or wrong', Voldemort had told him back in his first year, 'only power and those to weak to seek it.'

Like Dumbledore had told him back in Harry's second year, 'It's our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.'

Harry thought it was more like there was no light or dark, only power and what you did with it. Intent was what mattered and the decisions one made. While Harry distrusted the Headmaster, he did still have some wisdom he shared. Or was that 'had' some wisdom? Honestly Harry didn't know any more. He had trusted Professor Dumbledore but it was clear now that the Professor didn't have his best interests in mind. Yet it was hard for Harry to forget how he felt about the man. He had been kind of a grandfather to Harry. Old an wise and always so kind to Harry.

Had it all been a lie?

This too was something he talked to Gran about. She understood his mixed feelings about someone who was supposed to be honorable. Family. She told him about Algie. Her brother-in-law. Someone who she had trusted, considered family. Algie had even been her friend before her marriage to her husband, his brother. After that they lost contact but he had still been family. He had been their at all the important moments.

She had trusted Algie. Harry's bad feeling about where this was going proved right. She told him about what that man had done to his best friend. Neville had given his Gran permission to talk to Harry about it all. He had seen his friend struggling with this and asked his Gran to talk to him, to help Harry.

Harry was furious. He had known that Neville's uncle Algie was not a good man. He had even suspected abuse. But to hear it all laid out for him, was horrible. It was way to familiar. He had never wanted to have this in common with Neville.

Gran had a sad look on her face when she saw the recognition in his face. She went to sit next to him and took one of his clenched fists in her old wrinkled hand. Suddenly she began to talk in a suspiciously lighter tone. It made Harry look up to her, as she talked about Algie and how the 'poor man' one day went for a walk and never came back. Apparently he went on one of his usual walks but this time he walked straight into a Walking Willow.

"Such a tragic accident, don't you think, Hadrian?" Gran asked him with a fierce light in her eyes. Harry had known from the first time he meet her that she could teach him a lot of things. He was right.

He couldn't regret the man meeting such a horrible end. Nobody hurt his friends. It seemed that he and Augusta Longbottom could agree on that. Still, he was here for a lesson on Politics and while this had been very illuminating, it was time to go back to that lesson.

With what Gran explained the Light faction was way too pro-muggle and the Dark fraction way to anti-muggle for his personal beliefs. And that was just one of the points he disagreed with. So the Grey section it was. The Greys main points seemed to match the most with his own.

Others in the Grey faction were the Longbottom, Bones, Greengrass, Boot, Morgan, Moon, Prewitt, Abbott, Goldstein, Fawley, Shafiq and Smith families. In the future the Grey faction would also have the Black, Potter and Slytherin families if he had his way.

In the Light faction were the families of Bagman, Hornby, Diggory, Doge, Mcdonald, Trigg, Ogden, Brown, Macmillan and Dumbledore families.

The Dark faction were the Alderton, Belby, Fawcett, Wright, Warrington, Runcorn, Parkinson, Malfoy, Nott, Avery, Burke, Carrow, Lestrange, Rosier and Yaxley families.

The Grey and Dark factions were the biggest since there were a quite a few Light faction families killed off in the first war. A few of the Dark and Grey families were also killed off to the point of extinction or that there was only one or two people left but that was still better of then what had happened to families in the Light fraction.

Gran also had a plan for contacting Amelia Bones and Andromeda Tonks for him. She would invite them both for tea and then Harry would be there too. He would explain everything and ask them for help or otherwise an oath of silence. Gran had a reply already from Amelia.

Sirius had been right that he should be more careful with his trust. He had been lucky till now but it was getting too dangerous to trust blindly. It had already been dangerous last year with the toad at Hogwarts. Edgecomb had betrayed them and had almost gotten away with it unnoticed if it hadn't been for Hermione.

Amelia Bones had agreed to come for a visit today on her free day and Andromeda would come tomorrow to visit the Longbottoms.

And so when Harry heard she would come today, he dressed in one of his nicer suits and asked a very excited Dobby to take him back to Longbottom Manor. He didn't want to meet her in his dirt stained old clothes. Harry had helped Neville a bit in his Greenhouse today and it showed. By now he had permission to pop over anywhere he wanted and so he appeared in the sun room where Gran was drinking tea with a familiar looking woman.

The woman looked to be around forty and had dark brown hair with some streaks of grey in it. Madam Bones looked tough, dressed like she was prepared for battle at anytime and he could see that she also had the same bright blue eyes as her niece, Susan. The last time Harry had seen Madam Bones, he had stood on trial for underage magic.

Amelia Bones looked startled from the pop that Dobby and Harry made from popping directly into Longbottom Manor and had her wand out ready to cast. When she saw who it was she looked surprised but put her wand away again in her wand holster.

Harry took a step forward as Dobby popped away again and took the hand of Lady Bones to air kiss it as he had practised the day before with his Gran.

And let it be known that it had been one of the most awkward hours of his life. Apparently it's not so easy to kiss a lady's hand the right way. But he had learnt. As quickly as he could because let him tell you, it wasn't fun to learn how to greet a Lady when your Gran is the practise lady in question.

It was tradition to kiss a Lady's hand without coming with in a centimeter of it. Unless it was close family like a sister, mother or your Lady Wife you didn't actually kiss the hand offered. Which he thought the ladies were probably grateful for. You wouldn't want everybody slobbering over your hand.

Meanwhile Gran had also stood up and said with a smirk to Amelia, "Lady Bones, may I introduce you to the Lord of Houses Black and Slytherin, Hadrian James Potter." Amelia's eyes grew wide as she heard both of his titles.

She quickly recoverd her composure and said, "It is nice to formally meet you, Lord Black, my niece speaks hightly of you and your teaching capability."

Harry blushed slightly as he said, "Thank you, Lady Bones, she was a good student and she seems like good friend to have."

Harry was a bit confused with the way Augusta and Amelia smiled at him when he said that but before he could say anything Gran invited them to sit down and drink some tea. It was time for him to talk.

They drank their tea and ate the biscuits like the Brits they were before they began the conversation they invited Amelia here for. It was still a bit nerve wrecking. Harry wasn't used yet to telling people about his life. About the bad things he had always kept to himself as much as possible, because who would have believed him? Nobody had before this summer.

Once again Harry told his story to someone he barely knew and yet he could see how much the other woman cared about what he told them. He saw the anger and disbelief even behind her professional Auror facade when he told her about his life before Hogwarts, the adventures he had at Hogwarts and what he knew of the Prophecy and the Horcruxes Voldemort made. He told her he needed allies to survive this war and asked for her help.

Amelia looked determined as she said, "You shall have it. What can I do to help? Do you want training? Or a magical restraining order for Dumbledore and his Order so that they can never get close to you ever again? Or both. I can do both."

Harry let out a loud surprised laugh at that and even the stern Augusta Longbottom hid a laugh behind a dainty cough. He hadn't known that was an option but that would be awesome!

With a grin on his face Harry said, "Yes please, I would like to be trained in combat and strategy by you, Lady Bones, if you are willing and have the time to spare. My blood-adopted father, Sirius Black, left me a training manual for Hit Wizards. Do you think you could train me to fight like that?"

Harry continued with a smirk on his face that reminded both woman of the Blacks they had known, "And do you think a restraining order would be helpful? I was thinking more about a mental health check since the Headmanster is acting so very strange lately."

Amelia nodded and told Harry with a serious look on her face, "I will train you in what you asked for. And while I agree that it might be time to make a appointment for Dumbledore with the mind healers, his obsession with you is dangerous and it worries me. So I will bring you the magical restaining order and you will fill it in. This way it will not be possible for him to come close to you. His own magic would make him stay away from you."

The Lady of House Bones continued with, "I will pick you up from here to go to Bones Manor where we can train in my training facility. But know that it will not be easy. I expect you to work hard and do the best you can at all times."

Harry understood and nodded his agreement and Madam Bones looked satisfied.

"Would you mind if my niece and her friend join us sometimes? I believe you know Hannah since she was also part of your group. And perhaps it would be a good idea if Neville joins us as well? If only so that They know how to defend themselves."

Augusta nodded and said, "Yes, you're right, that might be a good idea. Voldemort and Dumbledore are a danger to my grandson as well. Shall we meet here again the day after tomorrow, instead of going to Bones Manor? Since you have the meeting with Andromeda tomorrow."

"Yes that would be fine." Harry said to his Gran. He then turned to Amelia, "I haven't asked her yet but do you think it's alright for my other friend, Hermione Granger, to come and join us? She's a muggleborn and she would never forgive me if I trained for this war without her."

Amelia thought for a short moment but nodded her agreement quickly. Harry was relieved. Now he could ask if she wanted to join them too. He wanted to see her again.

"Alright then. I will be here to pick you and Neville up the day after tomorrow around 10 o'clock in the morning. You, Harry, can go and ask your friend if she's willing to join us. Now since we are done here I will go and pick up Susan from Hannah's house so we can have a talk together."

Suddenly Amelia seemed to go wide eyed and stiff and she said, "Someone broke through the wards at the Manor!"

She grabbed her wand and quickly cast a patronus in the form of a silver badger and said to it, "Kingsley, get a team to Bones Manor! The Manor is under attack. Susan and I are safe at an another location."

The badger patronus disappeared and Amelia turned to him and Augusta to quickly say, "Thank you for your hospitality and I will see you the day after tomorrow. I have to go to the Ministry now and go and make sure Susan is safe."

With that she ran to the Entree Hall where she disappeared through the floo.

Harry and his Gran looked at each other, worried. Did that mean that Death Eaters tried to kill off the last of the Bones family? Or was it something or someone else attacking Bones Manor? It was her free day which she probably tends to spent at home like most people do when it was a free day...

They decided that they couldn't help her much with the little amount of information they had. They should wait for her to contact them. And Harry was in hiding anyway.

As for now, Gran decided not to waste the day waiting for Amelia to contact them. It was time for the dreaded dance lessons.

A Lord needed to know his way on a dance floor and so his Gran would teach him the different dances he was already supposed to know. Harry was a bit horrified that he would have to dance with her as his partner but needs must. Otherwise it would have been Neville. That would have been something.

And so the lesson began.

It was a few hours later that Harry came home exhausted but strangely happy. He decided that he liked Amelia Bones and he hoped that everything would be alright with her and Susan. And the dance lesson had been kinda fun after he got the hang of it. Althought Neville did laugh at him when he followed the sound of music and saw his friend dancing with his elderly grandmother.

But Harry would get him back for laughing at him. Just he wait.

When Harry got to the living room of Grimmauld Place he saw that Hedwig was gone from her stand in the livingroom. Harry thought for a moment but concluded that she was probably in the finished owlery. Kreacher had told him this morning that he would finish it today. The wards agreed with him when he thought to check them. Harry decided to visit her. He needed some sympathy cuddles after all the dancing he did today.

He got to the owlery after climbing a few stairs that he really wished weren't there at the moment. Alphard the mean, mean man just laughed at his stiffness going up the stairs. Dancing really was a lot more tiring than he had expected it to be. Opening the door to the Owlery he took a good look around.

The owlery was built in a circulair room with a number of round windows that were spelled so that only the owls could fly through. There were a lot of stands and nooks the owls could rest in. But when he looked around he couldn't find Hedwig in what she usally chose as her spots. Harry started to get worried when he hear a hoot coming from a corner.

Hedwig was sitting in a nook. That too was quite unusual. When he walked closer he saw something he didn't expect.

Harry exclaimed, "Hedwig, you're nesting!" And indeed, Hedwig had built a nest in the nook she occupied.

Hedwig hooted at him and stood up a bit so that Harry could see three beautiful eggs. Harry had the strangest urge to wail that he wasn't ready to be a grandfather but he held himself back. Hedwig would never let him live that down if he actually did that. It must have been the Black blood in him. Harry had never been so dramatic before the blood-adoption.

Instead Harry just asked his owl with a serious look upon his face, "Do I need to have a talk with Othello?"

Hedwig hooted sternly back and Harry decided to leave it to her. She was a capable female who could take care of herself. He really hoped that the chicks would take after her and not their rascal of a father.

Now he just needed to tell Hermione that they would become grandparents at their age. He just had to wait for Othello to get back with another letter from her so he could share the 'happy' news. Harry had been sad to know that magical owls could easily fly the distance between France and England. There had been no Othello free week as he had hoped.

Though that owl better be back soon. If he wouldn't help Hedwig out with the chicks then Harry would make a new pillow out of the owl. Both Hedwig and Hermione would probably forgive him for that, right?

It was by now very much time to go eat the dinner he needed to tell Dobby and Kreacher about their soon to be new family members. Hopefully the Elves would like the happy news about the owl chicks.

...How long did magical baby owls stay in their eggs? Did Harry need to do anything to help them? Oh Merlin, what if he screwed this up? Hedwig would never forgive him! He needed to talk to someone who knew about owls. Did Dobby or Kreacher know anything about the breeding habits of owls? Maybe Gran or Neville knew something about the breeding habits of owls?

Harry took a deep breath and cursed his new Black genes. He never got so emotional before the blood-adoption. Not that he regretted it. He never would regret getting closer to Sirius.

He walked downstairs to share the happy news with the waiting Elves.

Chapter Text

The talk with the Elves went well. They were so happy to hear about Hedwig and her eggs, they just about vibrated in their place. Elves loved having babies around, Harry learned quickly, even if they were owl chicks. He could just imagine them after hearing that Harry himself would have a baby. They would vibrate out of their skin from happiness.

Not that Harry wanted a baby! No, he was not ready for such a thing just yet. He would love to have a family later but now really just wasn't a good time. Also, he didn't have a girlfriend. That might be an important bit of having a baby.

After a delicious dinner made by Kreacher, Harry went to the living room so he could read some more in the books and Grimoires left for him. The Potter family Grimoire told him so much more about his family.

The Potter family had started as a merchant family. They made potions and as you might guess, pottery. They soon started gaining wealth and prominance when even noble daughters were married into the family. The Potters were an ancient family but not a noble one. Yet it was possible for the Potter family to become the Ancient and Noble House of Potter. It would only take one more Order of Merlin first class.

Harry wasn't sure he wanted that to happen. He just wanted to be normal. Just a normal teenager. But he had already three Lordships with the House of Black, House Slytherin and House Peverell.

Tomorrow would be the meeting with Andromeda Tonks nee Black and he wanted to make her the offer to become a Black again to her and to her family. Althought he did want her daughter, Tonks, out of the Order if they accepted his offer. It would be awkward to accept her back in the family only to serve her with a restraining order.

Harry grabbed the book about Wizarding Culture so that he could look up how exactly one brings a blood relative back into the family. He hoped it wasn't too complicated. He wanted to do this the proper way. He also decided to read up on magical restraining orders. Amelia hadn't gotten the chance to tell him much about them.

Harry was pretty sure they weren't an as easy fix as he hoped. If they had been then no criminal could have hurt their intended victim. Reading through the chapter about magical restaining orders he could see that he was right. They only worked if both sides signed the document. Harry wasn't sure how Amelia was planning on getting Dumbledore to sign the restraining order.

The only way he could see working was threatening to go public about the reasons for the restraining order. Dumbledore would have little choice then, Harry hoped. He would have to trust Amelia to get it done. She probably had some experience getting unwilling people sign the thing.

Harry was still reading when he saw from the corner of his eye that Othello was flying through the window with a letter from Hermione.

Harry remembered his promise to Hedwig but he just couldn't help saying, "Well, well, well, who do we have here." Harry used a slightly sing-song tone of voice which he was gratified to see made the owl who got Hedwig pregnant startle.

Othello hooted in question while staring at Harry with wide golden orange eyes in his tilted head.

"No, I will not tell you what is wrong. Hedwig will tell you herself. And you better be kind to her when she does!" Harry quickly took the letter from Othello before the owl could fly to the owlery with the letter he still carried from Hermione.

Honestly, that owl better take good care of his first friend.

Otherwise Harry might have to intervene. If Hedwig had anything left of him after she was done with him anyways. One did not disappoint Hedwig. It might cost you more than you can give. She had claws and a beak and she knew how to use them.

Not that his owl wasn't lovely! No, Hedwig was sweet and so very smart. She just knew what she wanted. That's all. Hedwig had been his first friend and knew what it was like living with the Dursleys. It was not like they were any kinder to her than they were to him. She deserved to be pampert.

But back to what he was doing. Harry opened the letter and read,

Dear Harry,

First of all sorry for the late reply. I was in France with my parents as I told you a while ago. It was beautiful there and the bookshops and the other sights were very interesting. I brought some books for you too.

A few nice Rune books and I found some interesting books on duelling so I hope you will like them.

What do you mean Othello is flirting with Hedwig? The shop owner told us he was uninterested in the other owls there. We all thought that meant he didn't want a mate or chicks which made him perfect for my parents.

Please tell me that Hedwig isn't interested in him? He is a lovely owl and I'm sure he would treat her right but I don't know anything about owl procreation and what would we do with chicks while at school? My parents can't take care of them!

Perhaps we should look up owl birth control? Is that a thing? It should be a thing.

I'm very glad we can meet up soon. I have the feeling you have a lot to tell me. So I will see you on the 24th of August on 3 o'clock in the afternoon in front of Gringotts.

I got a small letter from Ron at the start of summer break asking if I knew where you were and if I had seen the Chudley Cannons play a few days before. Surprise, surprise they lost. Again.

Honestly Harry, I don't know why that boy keeps trying. We got nothing in common except for you. I sent a short reply back and after that he kept silent. Is it bad of me to hope that it will stay that way?

Love,

Hermione

Harry immediately grabbed a quill and some parchment so he could tell Hermione about Hedwig nesting and the three eggs. He also knew why Ron kept trying to contact her, not that he would tell her why.

He and Ron weren't best friends anymore but he wouldn't want to betray him by telling Hermione why. He was still his friend and he deserved to have his crush kept private if he wished. Nobody deserved to be outed without their permission.

Ron had a crush on Hermoine since he noticed that she was a girl back at the Yule ball. Harry felt a bit sorry for Ron since he really didn't see that crush going anywhere any time soon. If ever. Especially with the way he kept treating her.

After grabbing a new bit of parchment and a quil he wrote Hermione a short letter back.

Dear Hermione,

Your parents owl got Hedwig pregnant! She is nesting and has laid three eggs. Hedwig seems to be doing fine for now and now that Othello is back here they can talk about their expectations. Do owls have those, you think?

We do indeed have to get ready about what to do when the school years starts. I have no clue about how long they will stay in the eggs or whether or not they need care from wizards and witches. Hopefully Hedwig and Othello will know what to do.

Thank you for the books you bought for me. I'm sure they will be great. I ordered the schoolbooks again so that I can make the homework assignments for this summer and I'm almost done with it. Do you want to swap essays?

I understand your feelings about Ron and I think you are in the right. He was often not very kind to you and I'm sorry that I never said anything about it to him. Thinking back, I really should have done something. If you want I can tell him to back off?

I got in contact with a few allies. They will help.

I've asked for permission for you to join us. If you want, Dobby can pick you up and pop you back to your parents house again.

Tell you more when we can meet in person.

Love,

Harry

He blushed a bit at the 'love' part but he decided to risk it. She probably wouldn't know what his true feelings were behind that word. Harry would wait for Othello to come back and ask if he wanted to go fly back to Hermione today or wait for a day so he could spent some time with Hedwig. He hoped Othello would be a good father to the chicks, otherwise they would have a problem.

Harry went to the hallway so he could have a talk with Alphard about Andromeda. If he was Sirius favorite uncle growing up he definitely knew Andromeda too. He wanted to be as prepared as possible for the meeting.

Harry walked up to Alphard's portrait and found him reading in one of the books of the library he was painted in, "Good evening, Alphard." Harry said cheerfully.

The man in the painting calmly looked up from his book and said, "Good evening, my Lord."

Harry decided to just ask his question since it was getting late and he knew how people- Hermione- would react when they got disturbed in their reading, "I will be quick so that you can continue reading your book but I had just a question, if you don't mind?" At Alphard's interested look he continued, "Tomorrow is the meeting with Andromeda and I wondered if you could give me any advice about her? What is she like?"

The portrait made of the late Alphard Black looked happy that someone asked for his advice after being frozen for a while and he quickly answered with, "Andromeda is the middle daughter out of that family and the only one with some kindness in her for others outside the family. Narcissa loved her family but greatly distained outsiders and Bellatrix, well she has been troubled since her early childhood. Andy was always a proud but kind girl but when she fell in love with a muggleborn, well, it was not taken kindly by her family."

Alphard continued with a sad look in his eyes, "She was disowned without any hesitation and without anything to take with her. Luckily she was a smart girl and she quickly found a job as a healer and married her love, Ted Tonks. I believe that Sirius told me they had a daughter?"

Harry nodded, "Yes, she is a metamorphmagus and she goes by her surname. Tonks is a Auror and part of the Order."

Alphard was clearly shocked when he heard that Tonks was a metamorphmagus and said, "Merlin, it has been a long time since our family has been blessed with a metamorphmagus! But, you said she's a part of the Order? If you plan on asking Andromeda back in the family perhaps you should tell her about what the Order did to you. I think she will agree with you that it is not a good thing for her daughter to be a part of that organisation."

Harry was hopeful that Andromeda would help him after hearing more about her and perhaps the rest of her family too. She sounded like a good person to have in the Black family again. He would like to have an Aunt he actually liked. That reminded him that he needed to disown Bellatrix from the Black family as soon as possible.

He didn't want that woman anywhere near him. Harry would ask Bloodaxe about it since he was the manager of the Black family. He thanked Alphard for his advice and let him go back to his reading. Which the man quickly did with nary a look at his new nephew.

Bookworms, Harry thought fondly with a shake of his head.

By now it was late in the evening and Othello still hadn't gotten back from the owlery so Harry decided to just go to bed. He was tired. It had been a busy day and tomorrow he would have to get up early to go to Longbottom Manor to see if there was any news about Amelia Bones and for the meeting with Andromeda Tonks.

It was the early next morning, when Harry popped with Dobby to the entrance hall of Longbottom Manor. Dobby looked around himself before he popped away again with a disappointed expression. What was that about, Harry wondered vaguely before walking towards where he knew the rest of the family would be at this time.

It was strange that he already felt so close to both of the Longbottoms. While Neville had been his best friend for a while, he now truly felt more like a brother to Harry. And Augusta like a grandmother.

Harry went to the dining room where he knew the small family would be eating their breakfast at this time. He had even joined them once when Gran asked for an early meeting.

"Good morning Gran, Neville. Is there any news about the attack on Bones Manor?" Harry asked while he took a seat at the dining table.

"Good morning, Harry. Yes, there was a article in the Daily Prophet about the attack. The house was ransacked and the Dark Mark was cast above the Manor but no one was hurt, thank Merlin. They think that the plan was to kill Amelia since she is very much a powerful oppointmen to have and very against their ideas for a 'better' society." Gran said slight sneer while sipping her tea.

Harry could see how Amelia was a danger to the ideals Voldemort pushed for.

"Then it was very lucky indeed that we invited her that day for a meeting here. Who knows what would have happend if she were at home at the time of the attack. Have there been any arrests made by the Aurors?"

Again it was Gran who answered since Neville had his mouth full with toast, "No there have been no arrests made since the attack yesterday as far as we know. The attackers were gone by the time Aurors arrived on the scene. Thought they do know that the werewolf Fenrir Greyback was part of the attack. That was made clear by all the claw marks made at the scene. This is why I have invited Amelia and her niece Susan to stay here for a while since Amelia has promised to help you boys out. They will stay here until the wards of their Manor are safe again."

Gran continued with, "They will arrive later this afternoon. I do hope you boys will make them feel welcome?" She said with a raised eyebrow.

Harry and Neville replied at the same time with, "Of course, Gran." And grinned at each other as their Gran smiled at them.

"Now Harry, as you know in a few short hours it will be time for the meeting with Andromeda Tonks. I feel like I should warn you before hand thougt, Andromeda Tonks looks very much like her horrible sister, Bellatrix Lestrange." Gran said with a look of distaste when she spoke Bellatrix Lestrange's name.

Harry was glad for her warning. He really wouldn't want to start this meeting with pulling his wand on her just for looking like her older sister. It couldn't have made life easy for the woman, to look like her infamously imprisoned sister.

After a nice breakfast with the two people whom really started to feel like family to Harry, he went to practice some magic with Neville in the training room of Longbottom Manor. While Neville wasn't as good as Harry with the power and speed of casting, he was better then Harry in the precision of casting a spell.

Neville took care with each spell he cast and that was very helpful to have at your back, Harry thought.

Neville used one of the other wands Harry had but couldn't use that were without the trace. It was an Elm and Unicorn hair wand that absolutly refused to work for Harry but was a good fit for Neville just not as good as his new Cherry and Unicorn hair wand. Neville couldn't use that one because of the trace.

It felt like only a short time later when the House Elf named Tessy popped in to tell them to go clean up before the guest arrived. She was the cute little Elf with big blue eyes that Harry met that first day here at Longbottom Manor. Harry had noticed that the cute female Elf hadn't gone unnoticed by Dobby. Harry guessed his friend had a crush.

Harry had noticed that it was always Dobby that popped him over to Longbottom Manor and that he had started wearing his best clothes while coming here. Dobby was clearly trying to impress the cute House Elf named Tessy. It was very funny to watch for Harry. He hoped they would get together. Dobby deserved to have someone good in his life after his time with the Malfoys.

Harry and Augusta were once again sitting in the sun room when another Elf led a guarded looking Andromeda Tonk into the sunny room. She was a regal looking woman around forty years old and Harry was very glad for the warning Gran had given him, because Andromeda looked strikingly like her elder sister. The only difference was that she has neat curly brown hair instead of the unkept wild black hair that Bellatrix has.

She looked surprised to see him there. He was pretty sure that she recognised the Black features in his face and that that was what had surprised her and not him being Harry Potter. He hoped so at least. It would be awkward if his possible healer and aunt was a Boy-Who-Lived fan.

Gran stood up from where she sat and introduced him to the other woman, "Andromeda, this is Hadrian James Potter-Black, the Lord of House Black."

Andromeda still looked a bit shocked at the introduction but she quickly cursied to him and he air kissed her hand like the lady she still clearly was. Andromeda looked pleased at that gesture. She probably wasn't greeted like that very often anymore.

She said, "It is very nice to meet you, my Lord. What can I do for you?"

And so Harry told his tale once again. He told her about his life with the Dursley's, about his school years, the Prophecy and about the Horcruxes. And then he asked for her help. Her help as a healer yes, but also as a member of House Black. He needed to have family he could count on around him.

Andromeda looked disbelieving at all that he went through is his short life without much help from the adults around him but that quickly turned to the famous temper of the Black family. She seemed to regain her composure when he asked for her help in this war.

The first thing she told him after everything was, "I will cast a medical spell on you if I have your permission which will scan you to see what you will need to get you as healthy as possible. I see that the blood-adoption already took care of some things as you look a lot less skinny then in the newspaper photo's." And at his nod she took out her wand to perform the health scan.

Harry was surprised at her immediate help. He didn't even have to ask her for a healing session!

He could see her face cloud at whatever she could see on the scan. He had hoped it wouldn't be too bad but now, seeing her face, he was pretty sure there were a few nastly tasting potions in his future.

When the scan was done, it was Healer Tonks who looked at him. She gently asked him to sit down again and said, "It is a miracle that you are even still alive, my Lord. Most of your bones are brittle, you have a few badly healed breaks and are at least twenty pounds underweight which causes distress for your organs. You have also a very deadly venom running through your veins and the only reason you aren't dead from it all is because of the Phoenix Tears in your bloodstream that seem to keep healing you at least a little. There is also a very dark magic in your scar." She said all of this calmly while looking him directly in the eyes.

Harry was shocked to hear all of this. He knew his life wasn't the best of lives but his health being this bad? This was bad. Could this even be fixed?

Gran looked worried and she asked the other woman, "Is there anything you can to to help him?"

Andromeda looked sure of herself as she said, "The Basilisk venom is contained by the Phoenix Tears so the most important thing to take care of are your bones and weight. They need to get stronger as soon as possible. Fixing those will also take care of your organs. I will get you the potions that will take care of that and you will need to take them every day before dinner for at least two weeks. After that I will do another scan to see were you are."

Andromeda continued with, "You will also get nutrition potions for the two weeks you are drinking the other potions. These ones you will drink every day after breakfast and after dinner. Hopefully that is enough to get you to a normal weight. I don't know what to do about the magic in your scar yet. Perhaps the goblins will know what to do about that?"

Harry nodded. He would do as she said. He wanted to be as healthy and strong as possible. Althought he did get a nasty feeling in his stomach when he thought about what the dark magic in his scar could be. It couldn't be good.

Chapter Text

While Harry was shocked to hear that there was so much wrong with him health wise, he was also very glad to hear that Andromeda had a solution and a plan to make him healthy again. He was really glad that it could be quickly fixed with magic since in the muggle world it could be years, if ever, before his kind of health problems could be fixed. This would only take months, maybe a year.

A strict potions regime, enought exercise to built up some muscle and a healthy diet that the Elves were happy to provide. It should quickly start improving his health. Hopefully he would be declared healthy before a year has gone by. He would just have to take a lot of gross potions.

He also hoped that the goblins would be able to get rid of the dark magic in his scar, Harry really hoped that getting rid of it would also make the connection with Voldemort stop. He didn't want to dream about what Voldemort was doing ever again. The nightmares were truly utterly awful. Harry wasn't sure what the connection actually was, but he was afraid it was something bad. That would just be like him.

Now to get better he just needed to drink the potions Andromeda would get him as told and in two weeks he should already feel so much better. It sounded strange but that was magic. Wonderful and awful at turns.

Harry thanked her for her help and then asked her what he had wanted to from the beginning, "Mrs. Tonks, I know that the Black family cast you out when you married Mr. Tonks but I feel that that was very wrong of them. I wanted to ask you if you wanted to come back into the family again? We could use some sane people." Harry asked with a grin.

Andromeda stilled as she heard his offer. Harry was a bit worried he overstepped when he saw how still she got but soon she unfroze and said, "I would like nothing better, my Lord."

Harry was relieved and stated happily, "Great! Now take my hands if you want and concentrate on the Black Family magic you were once part of."

Andromeda took both his hands in hers and Harry could feel how her hands trembled as he held her hands in his. He took a deep breath and chanted thrice with a strong voice, "Accipio hanc mulierem in familia. Valeat et fidelis Domus nostrae communi. Accipio hanc mulierem in familia. Valeat et fidelis Domus nostrae communi. Accipio hanc mulierem in familia. Valeat et fidelis Domus nostrae communi. "

Which meant something like, I accept this woman back as family. May she be strong and faithful to our shared House. It was the traditional way of taking someone into the family. You had the legal way too but that was something the golblins could do for you. There was also the marriage way of inviting someone into your family but that was a whole different story.

A golden light surrounded them both and Andromeda gasped at the feeling of her old family magic coming back to her. Meanwhile Harry could feel a family connection forming to Andromeda but also a slight one to Tonks and even Ted too. Harry would just have to confirm those when he actually meet them in person, then they would be fully immersed into the Family Magic.

It was a great thing to feel for him, the feeling of having family again in the House of Black. Harry had read about this connection but to feel it was brilliant. He could feel that she cared for him even thought they only just met.

While Narcissa Malfoy wasn't disowned she was not somebody Harry had met as the Lord of House Black and thus he hadn't reconfirmed her membership of the House of Black. He was pretty sure that they still believed that Draco could claim the House on his seventeenth birthday. Harry was pretty sure he would have to disown Narcissa soon which he found wasteful.

But he could not tolerate having bloodpurists in his family. He was considering actually meeting her once before making the decision but that probably wouldn't be safe for him as of yet. At the very least he would have to cut of her acces to her Black trust vault. That way the money couldn't be used to support Voldemort.

The less said about Bellatrix the better. She would get what she deserved for what she did to his father.

When the light show stopped, Harry and Andromeda let go of each others hands and both went to sit down. Harry was very glad that accepting Andromeda back in the family went as well as it did. Not bad for a first timer.

Andromeda took a sip of her now cold tea and re-heated it again with her twist of her wand before she looked Harry in the eyes and said, "Thank you, my Lord. I missed the feeling of our Family magic very much since my disownment. I am very glad that my daughter will now have an opportunity to feel it too."

Harry felt a bit uncomfortable with her gratefulness but said, "I am glad to have you in my family, Aunt." He already thought that Andromeda was a better aunt than Petunia ever was. Not that was hard. Still, he had hope that his new family would be better.

Now he just had to have the uncomfortable conversation about her daughter and how she was a member of a organisation that stalked him and kept him in the house so that he couldn't leave his magic hating relatives.

Still, it might not have been Tonks intention to do that. The Tonks he had got to know had been fun-loving and kind. A funny woman who loved to play the clown to cheer up the kids stuck in the house with her. That was what Harry remembered the most about her, her kindness. And the pig nose. One couldn't forget the pig nose.

But as Andromeda was Tonks mother, he would ask her what he should do about Tonks and the Order. He didn't want to be the Lord who would forbid everything. He wanted to have their freedom. To make their own choices yet there was Tonks, who was a member of the Order of the Phoenix. It just wasn't safe for him to have family in the Order.

And so he asked carefully, "Andromeda? I wanted to ask you for advice on how handle Tonks and the Order of the Phoenix. I know she is an adult but as your daughter she is now a member of House Black."

Harry continued with, "Amelia Bones suggested that I place a restraining order on Dumbledore and his Order but that would be a bit awkward if a member of House Black is a part of that same Order. I will fill in the restraining order soon on my side but before I did I wanted to ask for your opinion about Tonks."

Andromeda nodded and said, "After your story I know that it will not be the best thing for my daughter to be a part of the Order. At least not with someone like Dumbledore as the head of it. I will have a talk with her soon and then I hope that you can have a talk with her too?"

Harry agreed to that as long as Tonks was willing to take an oath, relieved that she took his question so well. Then they talked a bit further about his health but also about themselves, their hobby's and stuff. Andromeda suggested that het started doing some physical work out exercises as to strengthen his muscles and to only eat healthy meals for at least the next two weeks.

Harry assured her that with Kreacher cooking for him he only ate healthy food anyway but that he would tell him just to be sure.

Before Andromeda left she told him that she would send his potions to Longbottom Manor where a House Elf could pick it up for him so that his safe house would still be a secret. She also asked it they could write, so that they could get to know each other better. Harry happily agreed to that. As he escorted her to the Entry Hall she hugged him carefully before she went through the Floo and disappeared.

Harry was surprised by the hug. He didn't get hugs very often. The only people who did as far as he could remember were Hermione and Sirius before his death.

He missed Sirius so much and he was very sad that the man would never know that Harry had chosen to be his son by blood. But at least he had a few good memories of his blood-adopted father. That was already more then he had of his birth parents. He swore to himself that he would never leave his future children if at all possible. He would be the best father he could be.

That meant no dangerous job, if he survived to adulthood. No being an Auror as he had planned. He couldn't take the chance of any thing happening to him if he ever got that family he dreamt of.

But perhaps he should try to find a girlfriend first before planning how he would raise his children.

Harry decided to go home a few hours later just before the Bones Family of two would arrive. He thought it would be better to let them settle in before he came by for a visit.

According to Gran, he had now a basic understanding of the Wizarding Culture and Politics. Neville told him with a smirk very unlike him that Harry now had the same knowledge of a Wizard raised nine year old. Harry was still kinda proud of himself.

Harry wanted to check upon Hedwig whinch he decided to do as soon as Dobby popped him back home again. She was a nesting mother owl and he wanted to ask her if she needed anything. She needed a bit of extra attention now that she was stuck on her nest and Harry was happy to give it to her. Perhaps she would like a warming charm for her nest? Or some mice?

When Harry walked up to the owlery and to Hedwig's nook he saw that Othello just returned from a hunt as he was offering Hedwig a mouse. Harry was glad to see him trying to be there for Hedwig. His girl deserved the best partner an owl could ask for.

Harry walked up to the soon to be parents and said, "Hey girl, Othello. How are you doing, Hedwig?"

Hedwig hooted demandingly at him and Harry stepped closer to the nest so that Hedwig could preen his hair while he petted her gently. Harry really loved his owl even if she was a bit bossy. She had always been there for him so this, being there for her too, was the least he could do for her.

After a bit, Harry stepped back and asked his owl if he could do anything for her. Hedwig hooted reassuringly and looked at her mate.

Othello hooted back and jumped on Harry's shoulder and settled in like Hedwig usually did. Harry had to laugh at that and scratched him under his chin before he said, "You do know that you picked a bossy one right, Othello? But I suppose you are used to Hermione..."

At that both Othello and Hedwig hooted loudly at him althought with different tones of voice. Harry smiled and asked Othello if he wanted to come back downstairs with him so he could take the letter he had written for Hermione this morning.

Othello agreed and they went downstairs to the living room together. Harry wasn't willing to admit it out loud yet but he was really starting to like the owl Hedwig chose to be the father of her chicks. He did get his girl pregnant after all.

Tying the letter to Othello's leg he just told the owl to go back home to Hermione and her parents. The owl hooted at him and flew through the spelled window in the livingroom.

Now that the letter was underway to Hermione he just had to wait for her reply. He couldn't wait for her reaction on Hedwig's eggs and his invitation.

After lunch he went back to reading his books and after that to train in the training room. He was getting really good with some of the more violent spells but he hoped that he never had to use them, how ever unlikely that was. Better to be safe than sorry.

He also really liked what were more prank-like spells. Spells that made people sneeze or turn into a duck. Spells that made you hiccup or laugh uncontrollably. They were simple but Harry could see their use when duelling or fighting. The spells also made him feel closer to his two fathers. Harry never really saw the fun in pranking people, it always felt a bit to close to bullying to him, but using prank spells in battle seemed right.

It was just after dinner time when Dobby popped away with the notice that Bloodaxe was calling for Dobby. Soon he popped back into the living room with a letter in his hands. The letter was given to Harry which he prepared to read out loud to the attentive House Elves seated on the couch with their short legs dangling from the couch. Both Dobby and Kreacher had gotten more comfortable with him which made Harry very happy. They were also both looking forward to Winky joining their family.

Opening the letter he read aloud,

Lord Black,

After it came to our attention that Tom Marvolo Riddle aka Lord Voldemort had done a crime against Lady Magic by creating Horcruxes, we of Gringrotts promised you, the Lord Black, to find them and destroy them.

Since you were the one informing us about this issue we decided to keep you up to date of any news.

We have recently discovered one of the abominations in one of our own Vaults. In the Vault belonging to Bellatrix Lestrange even. It is now destroyed and the goblin in charge of it has been punished. We checked all the other suspected Death Eater vaults but no other abominations were found.

We also believe that the false Lord has made five other Horcruxes. One of which, next to the locket you brought us, is already destroyed according to our specialist. Would you know anything about that?

Since you could tell us more of the locket, it could very well be that you have more information you aren't aware off. This is why we are arranging a meeting for the day after tomorrow. We expect you here in the meeting room we used before at 11 o'clock.

Sincerely,

Bloodaxe

Accountmanager of House Black

Harry couldn't believe that someone could be so stupid as to split their soul in so many pieces. That couldn't be healthy. Perhaps this was why Voldemort acted so very insane? The diary was almost sane if you discounted the anger issues, extreme fear of death, his manupulative tendencies and the hatred of muggles.

He was so glad that the goblins were finding the Horcruxes and destroying them. He really wouldn't want to search for them himself. Where would he even begin? He hadn't even known the awful things existed!

Dobby was very happy to hear that two of the Horcruxes was destroyed but Kreacher looked heartbroken that Bellatrix would help someone with hiding something like a Horcrux. Elves found soul magic to be as abhorred as the goblins did with how attuned they were to nature magic.

Harry really needed to ask the goblins for how he could disown Bellatrix from the Black family. As soon as he could he would do it. The witch deserved it.

Now that it was almost dinner time, Harry asked Dobby if he could go to Longbottom Manor and pick up the potions Andromeda should have sent that way. Dobby immediately straighted out his clothes and popped away looking determined.

Harry hoped that Dobby would see Tessy this time. He really didn't know what to do with a pining House Elf. Harry himself didn't have the best track record when it came to girls so he hoped that Dobby wouldn't come to him for advice all too often.

Kreacher went to make an extra healthy dinner and Harry waited for Dobby to come back as he did some of the exercises Andromeda told him he should do. They were difficult and exhausting but Harry did feel better for having done them.

It would make him better.

It was a half a hour later that a very happy Dobby popped in the living room chanting happily, "She be talking to Dobby! She be seeing Dobby! Dobby be so happy!"

Harry laughed and asked Dobby what he and Tessy had talked about. Dobby stopped dancing around the room to look at Harry and he blushed while looking at the floor. Dobby mumbled something and Harry asked if he could repeat himself as he didn't hear what Dobby said.

And so Dobby said in a quiet mumble, "Pretty Tessy be saying hello to Dobby." Harry tried very hard to keep a straight face at hearing that but he still said to Dobby, "That is great Dobby! Perhaps next time you can ask her how her day was? Perhaps talk a bit more with each other so you can get to know one another?"

Dobby nodded and said, "Dobby be doing that next time. Master Harry, here be your potions. Scary Granny asked that we Elves be taking very good care of you so Dobby will be watching you take them." Harry took the potions Dobby offered to him with a laugh, 'Scary Granny' indeed. Now that he had gotten to know her better, Harry thought that Neville might have a tiny point with his fear of his grandmother. Not that Harry or Neville actually feared the woman. No, they respected her greatly.

Then Kreacher called from the kitchen that dinner was ready. Once seated Harry opened the package and pulled out the potion that said it was for his bones. It looked very gross and didn't smell any better. He really didn't want to know what it was made of.

So he took out the cork and drank the foul smelling potion as quick as possible so he could start with his delicious smelling dinner that Kreacher had worked hard for.

And yes, the potion was truly horrible. But dinner was great.

Chapter Text

After checking on Hedwig and her eggs again the next morning, Harry went back to Longbottom Manor early this time. Amelia had agreed to teach them in the early morning and he was really curious about how her lessons would be. She seemed like she would be a good teacher.

At least she couldn't be worse that the DADA professors they had. He hoped so at least. Though she is the Head of the DMLE so that had to count for something. She problably knew a lot, fought a lot in her career.

He was also looking forward to see Susan and maybe Hannah again. He had liked Susan when teaching her in the DA and he was looking forward to get to know her a bit better and Hannah too, of course. Mostly he just hoped that Hermione would answer his letter soon. He really wanted her to come and train with them. They needed to be as ready as possible for what was to come.

It was once again Dobby who wanted to bring him to Longbottom Manor and this time he asked to stay in Longbottom Manor as long as Harry was there. Harry, of course, gave his permission and wished him luck with the wooing of House-Elf Tessy.

Though he did wonder how that would work if they actually bonded in marriage the House-Elf way. He wouldn't know how that would work. What if they had children? Which House would they go to? Would Dobby have to leave their family so he could be with Tessy? But those were thoughts for another day. Right now Dobby had only gotten a polite 'hello' from the female Elf.

Harry calmly walked to the sun room where he expected everyone to be and came into the room to see Neville, Gran, Amelia and Susan Bones drinking their morning cup of tea. Hannah Abbott wasn't there but Harry hadn't really expected her to be here anyway on the first day the Bones family were at Longbottom Manor.

He gave them a subtle scan over to see if they were truly uninjured. One never knew with the Daily Prophet. Susan had the pretty sky blue eyes typical of the Bones Family, just like her aunt, and she had a light brown-reddish hair with a slight curl to it. She was quite tall for her age with pale skin like her aunt. Just like Neville and Harry himself, she too had grown a lot this summer Harry noticed absently.

Harry went to greet them in the traditional way he had only just learned this summer and he could see how surprised she was as he bowed over her hand to air kiss it. In return, Susan curtsied to him like the Lady she was.

Harry had never greeted anyone this way before this summer but it seemed like she liked the way he greeted her now. Harry was relieved that he had gooten it right. Gran had told him this was the respectful way to greet a lady in the Wizarding World but before now he had only been able to practise on Gran. He hoped that Susan would understand that he hadn't known about it, that he hadn't been unpolite on purpose while at Hogwarts.

As Harry stood up straight again he saw Susan smiling at him with a twinkle in her eyes and he could see Gran staring at them from the corner of his eye with a thoughtful look on her face. Oh no, Gran better not start matchmaking for him. He had heard from Neville that Gran was starting asking him questions about girls he could see as a possible wife.

He liked Susan just fine but it probably wouldn't be fair to her with the way he felt about Hermione. Not that Harry thought he had much of a chance with his best friend. Still, he wouldn't want to lead a girl on. After Cho he had decided to leave romance and dating alone. It clearly wasn't for him. Perhaps he could try again when it was safe again, if ever. He only knew he wanted someone who wasn't obsessed with the Boy-Who-Lived nonsense. Someone who saw just Harry. A partner. Hermione.

Shaking his head at his thoughts Harry turned to Amelia and asked how she was doing after the attack on Bones Manor and if there have been any arrests made since then.

Amelia was clearly irritated when she answered with, "No unfortunately we were unable to arrest Greyback and the Death Eaters that attacked the Manor. We were very fortunate that we were not at home at the time of the attack. It's most likely that I would not have made it against such bad odds. Fennir Greyback has been evading my Aurors for more than a decade by now for a reason."

Amelia looked him straight in the eyes as she continued with, "Thank you, Hadrian, if not for you, Susan would have been alone in this world without any family left to support her."

Harry was once again made uncomfortable with the gratefulness others showed him and he answered her quietly, "I'm very glad that the both of you are alright but it was nothing I did. Oh and please call me Harry, the both of you. I am still not used to my actual legal name." He stated while slightly blushing. He quickly changed the subject and hoped that Amelia would do the same.

Amelia nodded, taking the hint, and asked her new students, "Very well then. Now that tea time is over shall we move to the training room? I still have some things to teach you children."

Harry, Neville and Susan quickly stood up and followed Amelia to the training room of Longbottom Manor. They were clearly very interested in what the woman could teach them. Hermione would have loved to be here, being able to ask her questions to an actual professional. Hopefully she would join them soon.

Harry wasn't really worried about the lessons. He knew he was quite good at DA already so hopefully he would still learn some helpful stuff here. But he wasn't really worried about that. Amelia Bones was a woman who looked like she could teach them a lot. Though Harry did feel slightly apprehensive when seeing the look on Madam Bones face. There was a worrying smirk there.

It was an hour later that the Lady Bones stood over the bodies of the three exausted teenagers. She was now smirking openly at them while twirling her wand casually in her hand.

"You didn't think I got where I am in the Ministry by just being the Lady of House Bones now did you?" She looked fierce when saying that and Harry got the feeling that other people often thought that she only got to her high position in the Ministry by being a pure-blooded female in the Wizarding World.

Well, that was obviously not true at all. Amelia Bones was a badass and Harry was very glad that she was willing to teach them how to survive this war. He clearly still had a lot of room to improve himself.

She then started to tell them what to improve on. Neville should work on his stamina, Susan on her spell knowledge and Harry should work on his control which was a bit spotty after he drank the blood-adoption potion.

So Neville got an physical training schedule, Susan a list of spells to practise and Harry needed to practice the spells he had learned at Hogwarts from first year and up. Just so he could get used to his new body, the new wand, his power levels and how much he needed for each spell.

Then she separated them to work on each of their weak points while she switched beween them to offer help and advice. It was nice.

Susan looked to Harry and Neville and said, "Don't you think this feels familiar? It is just like the DA only now you are the student and not the teacher, Harry."

Harry had to agree with her. Now that Susan mentioned it, Amelia's way of teaching was very similar to the way Harry himself used to teach the DA. Only Amelia was actually an experienced adult who obviously knew what she was doing. Harry himself had just winged it. She gave them great tips and helped them stand the correct way when casting a certain spell and with the right wand movements so they could cast the spells with maximum effect.

She gave them shortcuts Hogwarts never taught them and it clearly worked just as well if not better. It was a faster way of casting and Amelia told them it would help them prepare for silent casting. It would safe their lives one day.

After another hour of practising, Amelia called them together and told them they would spar in a three-way spar. They were tired but perked up a bit at this. Duelling was awesome and not something they could do often.

Even at the DA Harry had rarely let his students actually duel. It just wasn't safe since he wouldn't have known what to do if something had gone wrong. And something would have gone wrong. Teenagers often weren't exacly responsible enough to keep to the rules of the duel. Emotions could have run high or there was a grudge between people and someone would have gotten injured.

And with Umbridge in the school they couldn't afford to draw attention to themselves. But now Amelia would supervise them. It was a nice feeling that they could go all out now.

It would be Susan vs Neville vs Harry. She told them that the winner would spar against her if he or she still had the energy for it. Otherwise they would do it the next day.

The three looked at each other and got in position as Amelia counted from 3, 2, 1 and begin!

Harry ducked so he could avoid the spells the other two shot at him. They cast a few spells at each other before Harry decided to cast he spell he had wanted to try out for a while and since he was a bit offended that they would try to take him out first, this would be the perfect opportunity.

And so he cast the spell in Neville's direction with a murmured, "Ducklifors".

He had wanted to try that spell out for a while and now he finally had the opportunity to cast it on a living person and not on a dummie. Neville still owned him for laughing at him for dancing with their Gran so this was the perfect opportunity. Harry was quite good in holding a grudge against someone and this was the perfect moment for some friendly pay back.

It took only a second and then there were two teenagers, one stupified looking Lady Bones and one brown feathered duck quaking indignantly at them. Harry and Susan looked at each other and burst out in laughing. They laughed so hard they forgot they were supposed to be sparring against each other which Amelia decided would be a good teaching moment for the three teenagers.

Then there was a flash of red light and soon all three of the teenagers were petrified, well, two teenagers and one duck whom was soon turned back into the teenager he actually was.

When they woke up again they were sitting next to each other and their teacher was standing in front of them. She said, "What can you tell me about what went wrong in this spar?"

They thought about it and Harry answered, "I got distracted after I duckafied Neville and that meant you could easily stun us." Harry was a bit embarrassed that he had gotten so distracted. This wasn't for fun or for school or something but so that he could survive in this war and he should treat it that way. He needed to take this seriously.

Amelia looked approving that he could admit his mistake and said, "That is right, Harry. You can never assume that you are alone when battling an opponent. Be on your guard and you are less likely to be cursed in the back. That counts for all three of you."

Susan, Harry and Neville nodded seriously. They would be more on their guard from now on. As the fake Moody had kept saying, 'Constant Vigilance!'

Amelia continued with, "Now for what you did good, Harry, you 'ducked'," She said with an amused glance at the embarrassed boy sitting next to him, "out of the way instead of casting a shield. That is a good thing you did since it costs a lot less time and magic to duck instead of casting the spell for a shield. You also cast a unexpected spell which would be highly distracting on a battlefield. Good choice "

She continued after making sure Harry had understood her words, "As for you, Susan and Neville, good decision to work together to try and fell a stronger opponent. Unfortunaly you guys didn't count for his ducking away from both of your spells and casting one back. Learn from this spar, you guys and I hope that tomorrow you will do better." With an amused glance to Neville, "Please pardon the puns, Neville."

It was almost time for lunch by now and Amelia decided that Harry and her would spar tomorrow morning instead of now since Harry had also lessons with Augusta after lunch. They had cast a lot of magic today and it was time for a break. Amelia was used to training adults so she had to remind herself that while her new students were clearly above avarage, they were still children who didn't have the magical stanima of an adult. She would have to slowly built that up with them.

After a nice lunch it was time for his lessons with Gran. First he got quizzed by her about what she had taught him the day before in their lessons and when she was happy he remembered what he should she went on with the lesson of today.

Today it was more about the magical families themself. Gran told him about the characteristics of each family and how he could recognise a member of it. Like how the Potters always had messy dark hair, the Longbottoms hazel eyes, the Bones sky blue eyes, the Malfoys white blond hair or the Weasleys red hair.

Those specific things could only a born member of a magical family have and most of the time only the members of the Main branch would inherited that specific trait. If two Main members of two different families married there would always be a child born with the characteristics of the family he or she was Heir to.

So since Harry was decended from three families he would probalby have at least one child with green eyes, one child with Potter hair and one child with the Black silvery blue eyes. But as Harry was born as a Potter from his fathers side and a Slytherin from his mothers side and so he had the messy Potter hair and the Slytherin green eyes.

If he ever had three children. Harry knew he wanted at least two children so that they would have a sibling to play with but he was only sixteen and he hasn't even had a girlfriend yet. And there was a Dark Lord after his life. He shouldn't forget about that.

Gran also told him more about the history of the Potter and Black families. About how the Potter family started as a rich merchant family and a few important inventions made by a Potter like the most recent Sleekeazy hair potion had made the family affluent. Harry resolved to try harder with potions even if Snape was his professor.

She also told him about the Potter tendency to fall in love only once in their life and to be very careful to whom he gave his heart to. She told him how his father courted his mother after she finally allowed him to. It had taken James Potter seven long years before he got Lily Evans favor but by then it had clearly been a love match.

His father had to grow up a lot before his mother decided he was someone she wanted as a friend, and later as her partner. Harry still disliked thinking about that memory he saw in Snape's pensieve. It had been such a shock to learn his father had been a bully. But while James Potter had grown out of it, Snape seemed to like bullying his students.

No matter the reason, Harry found, bullying was wrong. It was abuse and Harry would not tolerate it anymore. From now on he would make sure Ron kept his mouth shut when he got rude. He would keep a better eye on Luna. Those wackspurts would know that their victim was not unprotected any longer. She was his friend and he would try his best to be a better friend to her.

Augusta also told him about the informal courtship between Sirius and Remus. Harry knew that Sirius and Remus had a past together but an actual courtship? They had dated? With the way Remus quickly thought the worst of Sirius from what Harry had seen from the man interacting with Sirius? Merlin, that man must have been so very different before that Halloween night.

Harry really didn't understand the wolf. Perhaps it was time to de some research on werewolves? Maybe there was something he didn't know about them that could help him explain Remus behavor. He had always been a bit distant to Harry but it had gotten worse since Sirius died. Or maybe he just hadn't noticed it?

After Harry had recovered from that bit of news Gran continued with telling him about the Black family. The Black family had always been a noble one. There was even some royal blood in the Black family from marriages with muggle royalty.

Harry was surprised to hear about Blacks marrying muggles even if it was royalty but Gran explained that it was only in the last few generations that the Blacks muggle hatred was a thing. They had always been for separation between the two worlds but it was only when Grindelwald started his campain that the hatred and cruelty for muggles started in the Black family. That the inbreeding started. Before that the Black family motto Toujours Pur meant being pure of magic and craft. Not the pure of blood that it was now.

Harry knew immediately that he would the take back the old meaning of Toujours Pur. A new generation of Blacks with a new-ish motto.

After this very informative talk, it was time for the dance lessons again. Harry was able to perform the basic steps now but he had to be able to dance the five different waltzes with Gran before the summer ended. It was difficult and strange but Harry started to enjoy himself a bit more. The lessons also showed him how bad he had been at the Yule Ball. He really should apologise to Parvati. He hadn't treated her right that evening.

Maybe Gran could advise him on a good way to apologise to his house-mate.

Harry was glad to notice that he was getting quite good with the Viennese Waltz and even Gran seemed to be enjoying herself at the end of the lesson. Harry knew that he had gotten more graceful after the blood-adoption, but he was still surprised that he was actually dancing now. The old him would never have gotten it so quickly.

After the lesson Harry went to call for Dobby so that they could go home again. It was almost dinner time again and Kreacher would be waiting for them so that they could eat dinner together.

Harry called, "Dobby!" He had to wait a little while, which was unusual but then a blushing Dobby appeared next to him.

Harry was amused at the appearance of the Elf and asked Dobby how his day went with trying to woo the pretty Elf Tessy, "Hello Dobby, how was your day?"

Dobby answered with, "Master be kind to ask after Dobby's day. Dobby has had a good day! Dobby be helping Tessy with her chores and Tessy even lets him hold her hand once! Dobby be so happy..." The House Elf looked dreamy as he trailed of.

Harry was very amused now but still had to ask Dobby to take them home because otherwise they would be late for the dinner Kreacher prepared for them. And Harry did not want an angry Kreacher coming to Longbottom Manor to scold them for being late. Kreacher might have mellowed out a bit but he was still not an Elf to anger. Angry House-Elves could get very creative.

So Dobby took his hand and they popped away to their home and to the probably cranky Elf waiting for them.

Chapter Text

It was the morning of the meeting with Bloodaxe that Dobby came back with Othello who was holding a letter from Hermione. Harry quickly took the last bite of his breakfast before he took the letter from the owl sitting in front of him.

To Othello he said, "Why don't you go and visit Hedwig? She is still in the owlery with the eggs and could use some company." Othello hooted his agreement and flew away to the owlery. Harry watched him go for a moment before he turned back to the letter. He opened the seal and started reading.

Dear Harry,

Hedwig has laid eggs?!

Harry, I am so sorry! We really thought that Othello wasn't interested in a mate. The shopkeeper assured us that he wouldn't want to mate if he hadn't already.

Are you able to take care of the chicks for this summer? Do you need any help? Is Hedwig alright? Is she staying on the nest? Do you know how to take care of the chicks? I can sent you the books necessary. My parents wish for me to convey their apologies. They've also agreed that they will take care of any expenses made for caring for the owl chicks. I know you don't need that Harry, but just take it. They're Othello's chicks too.

Did you know that with magical owl breeds you can only see what kind of owl they turn out to be by looking at the egg shells? Apparently magical owls can cross-breed. I will sent you a book about it. It's all so very interesting!

Yes, of course I will come. My parents are busy at their practise again most of the summer so I've got time and Ron hasn't invited us back to the Burrow yet anyway. This, what you're doing seems important. Dobby can pick me up as soon as is possible. When will you go there next?

I've missed you.

Love,

Hermione

She missed him. Maybe, no, that couldn't be true. He was her best friend. Harry was resolved to answer her after the meeting with Bloodaxe. Most importantly, she agreed to come! Harry couldn't wait to see her reaction to all what changed. Harry wanted to invite her for the training session of tomorrow. He also hoped that she has a book about baby owl care ready that she could give to him because he did not know how to care for owl chicks and it was Hedwig's first nest too.

Hedwig seemed to do very well with some help from Othello but one never knew with an animals first nest. He knew from animal documenteries that one has to be happy already if the bird stayed on the nest to brood. So much could go wrong. Harry wanted to be sure the owl chicks would be as well cared as possible.

As Hermione said in her letter, Harry didn't think it likely this year that Ron would invite them to the Borrow. Last year had been awkward enough with the three of them. Ron had clearly just invited them because his parents and Dumbledore had expected him to. Harry had mostly hung out with the twins and Hermione with Bill when they were not hanging out together. She'd been fascinated by Bill's knowledge of Runes as had he really.

But it had been quiet this vacation, no letters yet from Ron since Harry left the Dursleys. Just before Harry left he got a short note telling him the usual stuff. Quiddish, chores, Molly nagging at him to do said chores etc. Not that his friend had ever been very good at writing long letters. Not like Hermione who could write whole novels in her letters if you let her. Harry wouldn't mind visiting the Burrow when it was safe again but at most for a day or two or if somebody caught him decided he'd need watching by the Weasleys.

They've always been kind to him and he appreciated that kindness still.

This time it was going to be Kreacher who would take him to Gringotts. The cranky Elf didn't really like the goblins but he wanted to do something with his Master that wasn't cleaning or cooking. Which Harry could understand. It wasn't nice to be only useful as the housekeeper and he didn't want that for his House-Elf friends.

Perhaps they could start with a hobby? Something relaxing and not related to cleaning. What did House-Elves like to do in their spare time? Harry would have to have a talk with them about it.

So when the time for the appointment came Harry took Kreacher's hand and they popped to the same meeting room in Gringotts where he had been the last time.

This time it was only Bloodaxe who sat behind the big desk and Harry could see that on the desk stood the Rune covered box that the Cursebreaker goblins had used to contain the locket. Now there were even more runes carved into the box. Harry wondered what those did to the thing inside.

Voldermort's Horcrux.

Bloodaxe stood up from behind the desk as Kreacher popped away again and greeted Harry with a for a goblin very polite greeting, "Welcome, Lord Black, to Gringotts. May your gold grow and may our enemies die regretting ever meeting us."

Harry bowed his head slightly as Gran had taught him to do and said, "Same to you, sir. So mote it be." As an answer to the respectful blessing Bloodaxe had spoken.

When Harry walked closer to Bloodaxe so he could take a seat, both he and the Black accountmanager noticed how the Rune covered box was shaking on the desk. Harry had a nasty feeling as to what the shaking of the box meant and even Bloodaxe looked a bit resigned.

Harry asked just to be sure, "Does that mean what I think it means?"

Bloodaxe looked a bit sorry for him as he nodded, "I fear that that means that what we suspected is, in fact, the reality. You, Lord Black, are a Horcrux. The new runes we placed on the box proves it. It would only act that way in the precense of another Horcrux."

Harry was not even shocked anymore when he heard it confirmed. It was just his luck. It explained so much. His nightmares, the connection with Voldemort, Dumbledore's plans and even the Prophecy made more sense now. Why hadn't he seen it before?

He just really hoped that there was a way to destroy the Horcrux in his scar without it needing to be his death. He didn't want to die. He had just started to hope that he might survive this war. He had some good allies who were willing to help him, he finally escaped the Dursleys and had made a home for himself where he could train and live the way he wanted.

Harry took a deep breath and asked the most important question on his mind, "Is there anything the goblins of Gringotts can do to take the Horcrux safely out of me?"

The account manager of the Black Family nodded firmly at his question and Harry felt a bone deep relief. He didn't want to die at only sixteen years old. There was so much he wanted to do and before this reveal it had seemed like he'd actually get to live past his sixteen years of life.

But Bloodaxe seemed sure that they could safely remove the damn thing out of his scar. That was good. If anyone could do it, it was gonna be the goblins.

Bloodaxe explained, "We had our suspicions after we found the first Horcrux in the Black Town House that this was what might have happened when Voldermort attacked your family that Halloween night. Though it seems like the Horcrux was unable to posses you fully as they are supposed to do with their hosts. This might have something to do with the ritual your parents made to protect you against the self-styled Lord Voldemort since the Horcrux is a part of the man the ritual was meant to protect you against."

The goblin continued with, "And so we have searched for a ritiual to get the Horcrux out of you without it needing to be your permanent death. This situation was more common in ancient Egypt before they discovered how utterly catastrophic making a Horcrux was for ones magic, mind and body. Riddle seems to have reached new hights of stupidity with his actions."

Ha! Harry couldn't agree more. Why on earth did the man continue making so much Horcruxes after it became clear that it was dimishing his magic and his mind even. But that might just have been it. His mind kept getting worse after every Horcrux made. Voldemort probably didn't even notice it.

Wait, permanent death? That seems a bit of a strange thing to say. Does that mean Harry would only need to die a little bit?

So he asked, "I'd like to stay alive for a bit longer but what do you mean with it not being my permanent death? Does that mean I will only be a little dead?" He was only a tiny bit worried but he trusted the goblins. They were very honest with him and he really respected them for that. Binns had infuenced his thoughts on goblins more than he'd thought before this summer. Goblins were so much more than it was taught at Hogwarts. They didn't deserve the prejudice Binns spread about them over the generations the ghost taught at Hogwarts.

Bloodaxe hooked his fingers under his chin as he explained, "I shall explain the ritual to you since it is important to get it out of you as soon as possible as not to leave pernament damage. You're lucky we found it before your seventeenth birthday. After it would have left permanent damage to your magic. After you have agreed to do it, we will take you to our Ritual Room deep in Gringotts, there you will drink the Draught of the Living Death so that the Horcrux will think you are dead and search of another host to possess."

Bloodaxe took a moment to breath before he continued, "Since you will be in a closed ritual circle it will be impossble for the soul shard to escape. We will then trap the Horcrux in a smal object which we will destroy. Then you will get a dose of the Wiggenweld potion to wake you up again and be checked over by one of our healers."

Harry took a moment to process all this information before he said, "Very well, lets do it."

It was not like there was any other option. He had to die so that Voldemort would be a step closer to being mortal again. And since it wouldn't be a permanent death, he'd gladly do it. He'd take his fate in his own hands.

Bloodaxe looked satisfied and send a notice to alert the others to make the Ritual Room ready for the Horcrux extraction. He thought the boy was a brave one for his kind. Goblins always liked children, even wizarding children. It was the adults they had a problem with. But maybe that would change. The boy in front of him was different and Bloodaxe had the feeling he'd bring change to all of them.

Then the Account Manager of the Black Family stood up and motioned for Harry to follow him. They walked for a while through some parts of Gringotts Harry had never seen before and some time later they stopped in front a a big door made of what looked like marble.

Bloodaxe turned to look at Harry and said, "This is where I leave you. After you entered you need to completely undress and put on the robe that we put there for you. You'll be magically cleansed and after that you need enter the Ritual Room and to lay on the big stone altar table in the middle of the room and wait for the healer to arrive with the potion."

Harry nodded that he understood and said to the goblin, "Thank you, Bloodaxe, for all your help. I can't imagine what would have happened if we never found out about the Horcrux in my head."

Bloodaxe looked a bit grumpy at being thanked but still said, "No need to thank me, Lord Black. After all you are still a child and even goblins will help a child in need, no matter their race. And since you are one of our best clients and we wouldn't want to lose your money, so there really are no thanks necessary."

The last thing felt more like a thing Bloodaxe said as not to lose the tough reputation of stoic goblins. Harry found it kinda funny that the tough warrior race had a weak spot for children in need. He wasn't used to people helping him but he could really get used to it. There were quite a few capable adults helping him lately. It was nice.

Harry said goodbye to Bloodaxe and walked through the door. Inside was a small changing room with a white cotton robe hanging from one of the hooks on the wall. Harry quickly changed into the robe and neatly folded up his fancy clothes.

The robe was kinda cold and Harry hoped that it would be over soon so that he could change back into his actual clothes. The robe felt uncomfortably naked since he wasn't allowed to wear any clothes underneath it. Why couldn't they have made pants out of this fabric? Surely it wouldn't make a differece if it were pants and a shirt instead of these dress-like robes?

Then after putting it on he had to walk through what looked like a shower area, just with out the showerheads. As he walked through it he felt like he got showered with magic. It was all around him. Covering him, cleansing him. By the end of it he felt strangely refreshed.

Harry walked through another door and there was the Ritual Room. No one was there yet so Harry could take all the time he needed to look around. It was made of dark stone with golden veins running through it, giving of a slight glow. In the middle of the room stood a a stone table made of a strangely familiar looking stone. The ritual altar he was supposed to lay on soon. It looked a bit like the stones from Stonehenge. Were those actual magical stones, Harry wondered, he should ask Hermione. She'd know.

Around the altar was a wide circle carved in the ground with Runes running around it the edges of it. Harry recognised a few of the Runes that meant Strength, Health, Power, Success, Mind and Body. There were a few other ones that he didn't recognise but Harry resolved to himself that he would look up those he didn't know later.

After hearing Bill talk about them last summer, he still found Runes very interesting. So interesting even, that he had decided to study it on his own. He had made some vague plans in his head for perhaps even taking his NEWT in Runes, if he could take his OWL in them anyway. Harry had found he was good at them so hopefully he would be ready to take them on time with the rest of his year group.

He went to sit down on the surprisingly comfortable stone altar and waited for the healer to arrive. Soon the door opened and four goblins walked in. They too, were all wearing a robe and they went to stand around the circle. Harry was unfortunately aware that they were all naked under it.

Really, what's wrong with pants?

After that there was another goblin that came through the door. Harry looked at the goblin and was surprised to see that this goblin was female. At least it seemed that way since she was wearing a dress and apron instead of a Ritual robe like the others in the ritual room. Harry hadn't met a female goblin before.

The goblin in the dress walked briskly up to him and introduced herself as Healer Diamondaxe. Then she told him gently to lay down so she could spell the potion in his stomach so he wouldn't have to taste it.

Once again Harry was taken aback by the thoughtfulness of goblins. They were kind. He really needed to find a way to thank them all after this was over.

Perhaps he'd find a way to banish Binns ghost for them so that they could get an unbiased history teacher in Hogwarts? They were really a lot kinder and smarter than Binns would have his students believe.

Harry laid down on the altar and saw Healer Diamondaxe pull out a potion vial from out of her pocket. Then she made a few movements with her hands and the potion vial slowly emptied.

Harry could feel himself slowly falling asleep but just before he actually went under he felt a clawed hand patting his hair softly while saying, "Good luck, Mr. Potter and we will see each other soon again."

She then stepped away from him, out of the circle and the ritual room so to wait for the ritual to finish.


Each of the four goblins pricked their finger with their Ritual Knives and put a bleeding finger on a rune on their side. They'd spread around and stood in the place of each of their elements fire, earth, water and air. All facing the altar the boy was laying on. Looking the other three in the eyes to see if they were all ready, the lead goblin began the ritual.

The circle closed and the four goblins started chanting in their own language while they waited for the Horcrux to come out of the boy sleeping like death on the stone altar. It was a important day for each and every one of them. Horrible yes, but also a very important day to get right. Today they would get rid of a abobination. A Horcrux. That on itself was bad enough but that there was one inside a child, that was just horrifying. They'd safe a child today.

The boy's mother had protected her child well. They could see her magic lovingly protecting, containing the soul shard away from her son. The only way for the Horcrux to go was out. They knew as soon as the Horcrux noticed that the heartbeat of the boy had stopped, that the Horcrux would leave his current host and try to latch on to a new one.

Soon after the boy had completely stilled as if he were actually dead, they saw that the scar had started to bleed. The skin on his forehead started moving like a bug was moving under the skin and then suddenly the skin burst open. There was a black toxic looking sludge coming out of the boy's scar along with the blood. Disgusting, horrifying smoke started pouring out of the child and the four goblins knew it was time.

There sounded a screech and the Horcrux burst out from the boys forehead, looking furious. The Horcrux took the form of a humanoid skull and seemed to look around for another host.

The lead goblin of this ritual took out a clear crystal out of his robe pocket and threw it in the middle of the circle under the skull. The crystal glowed for a moment and then the Horcrux was slowly getting sucked in by it. It only took a moment but then the Horcrux was completly absorbed in by the crystal and the once clear crystal had turned an inky black.

The goblins, satisfied that the ritual had gone well, dismantled the circle and took the crystal to put in another rune covered box to be destroyed later. After all, they could hardly use Fiendfyre while the boy was there sleeping like the living death. Soon they started quickly cleaning up the rest of the circle and went away so that Healer Diamondaxe could treat her patient.

They were relieved, the boy would live.


Harry woke up alone in the Ritual Room. It was completely silent around him and Harry could feel that something was very different with him.

He felt so light. As if he had unknowingly carried a few extra pounds on his back that were now gone. He also felt his magic and the magic around him a lot better then ever before. He felt free.

The door on the side of the room opened and the Healer stepped through. She looked glad to see him awake again.

When she walked up to the altar the first thing Harry asked her was, "Is the Horcrux gone?"

Immediately after that, "Oh sorry, it is nice to meet you, Madam Diamontaxe. My name is Hadrian Potter-Black and I am very grateful for your care." With a blush because Gran would have made him do the most difficult dance she could think of if she heard about this slight misshap in manners.

The female goblin laughed softly at his words and answered him, "Lord Black, I am very glad to inform you that the Horcrux is gone and destroyed. Since the soul shard is now truly gone I ask you to take it very easy today so that your magic can get used to being without it. So no casting any magic today, young man."

Harry wondered why all the Healers he knew like Madam Pomphrey, Andromeda Tonks and now Healer Diamondaxe all acted the same. Like he was a child they really wanted to cuddle and surround in bubblewrap all the while scolding him.

Still, she was his Healer and had been very kind to him so he said, "I understand, Healer Diamondaxe." Like the mature young man he naturally was. Healers kinda scared him if he was being honest. Not that he'd tell them that. They'd probably like it way to much. He would never live it down.

She cleared him for leaving and Harry went quickly to the changing room to get dressed in his own clothes. He had felt a bit naked sitting there on the ritual stone with only a dress on. Oh sorry, with only the ritual robes on.

Pants. They needed to make pants of it. He'd take it up with his account manager in case he'd ever need another ritual done.

Then he was escorted back to the meeting room by another goblin where Bloodaxe was waiting behind his desk.

"I was very glad to hear that the Ritual succeeded in extracting the Horcux from you." The goblin said as he looked at Harry's forehead. Harry wondered how long he had been here, how his scar looked now. It felt like anything between a minute and a day could have passed by.

Harry nodded and said, "Yes sir, it went very well. The ritual was quick and Healer Diamondaxe was very kind to me."

Bloodaxe looked proud as he said, "Ah yes, you met my daughter didn't you? Such a good healer isn't she? She does very well in her chosen craft."

Harry nodded and quickly agreed with the clearly very proud father.

Then they talked a bit more about the rest of the Horcruxes. Now there were four destroyed and another three were not. Yet. The goblins were pretty sure that one of them was the snake named Nagini that Voldemort kept close to him at all times.

That one would be difficult to destroy but the goblins would leave it for last. They didn't want to alert Voldemort to them destroying the Horcruxes.

The other was somewhere they didn't know just yet since it seemed to have been moved recently.

The last one was in an unknown location in Hogwarts and Bloodaxe would ask Professor Flitwick for help with that one. He also asked Harry if he knew any places where someone could hide a Horcrux inside Hogwarts.

So Harry told him of the Chamber of Secrets and the Room of Requirement. Bloodaxe was shocked to hear about the size of the Basilisk Harry killed in self-defense and told him that in exchange for a liter of the venom they would render the snake in parts for him and sell everything he didn't want.

Bloodaxe told him that is he estimated the size correctly that Harry could expect to receive around 800.000 Galleons for such a rare creature.

Harry was shocked but agreed to the deal. Harry then asked the Black account manager to start the process for finally disowning Bellatrix Lestrange. The goblins would take care of the paperwork but before that was done Harry had to disown Bellatrix magically as to make it permanent and not just legal.

Which he did on the spot since he didn't want her anywhere close to him. Harry stood up from the desk and took out his wand so he could chant, "Ego autem dominus dederit ter Nigrum Domus hæc mulier nomine Domini sustentor adflixisti ut proximam sanguinis sui Bellatrix Lestrange nee Nigrum propter scelus. Sit nigrescere faciam quæ numquam iterum animabus nostris."

Which meant something like: I, Lord of House Black disown this woman, Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black for the crime of kinslaying. May she never darken our lives again.

It felt very satisfying to expel that woman from the family. She'd never receive anything from House Black ever again. He expected that Sirius would agree with his decision.

Then he broached his very important question to the goblin, "Bloodaxe, do you think it's possible to make some pants out of a ritual robe?"

The goblin took one look at his red face and started laughing. Yet no answer came forth from the laughing goblin. Harry decided that it migh be time to leave. He could get used to the ritual robe if he had to.

Since that the last thing Harry wanted to talk about and there was nothing left Bloodaxe wanted to speak to him about it was time to conclude the meeting. Harry called for Dobby to pick him up so that they could get to Longbottom Manor even if it was almost dinner time by now.

Harry wasn't allowed to do any magic today but he could still do his lessons with Gran. Tomorrow he'd continue with the combat lessons with Amelia, Susan and Neville. And Hermione.

Dobby appeared and together they popped away to Longbottom Manor.

Still embarrassed, Harry tried to will away his red cheeks before Gran of Neville could see him and ask what was wrong. Luckily, both Gran and Nev were waiting for him in the living room of the manor. This was a private space for only the members of the family and Harry was honored tha the was allowed to join them here.

Nev and Gran both looked up when he entered the room and ploffed down on the comfortable couch with a sign. While he had tried to project a brave front while at Gringotts, he was quite shaken by all he had learned. There had been a Horcrux, a piece of Voldemort in his scar!

Neville and Gran looked surprised but they quickly went to sit next to him. This wasn't normal behavior for Harry and they knew it. When they sat down, Harry started explaining how the meeting went. Both Neville and Gran gasped loudly when he got to the part where they found out about his scar and Gran grabbed his hand in a thight grip.

That grip didn't relax until Harry got to the part where Healer Diamondaxe declared him Horcrux-free. His poor Gran was pale and Neville didn't look much better when he stated in a shaky voice what they were all thinking, "Merlin, why is it always you mate?"

Harry gave his friend a slight puch on the shoulder with his free hand but could only agree, "Thank Merlin for goblins though." Harry really didn't want to know what would have happened if the Horcrux had stayed in his scar for much longer. What little Bloodaxe had told him about it didn't sounds good.

Gran finally let go of the thight grip on his hand to put her hand on his shoulder, "Are you truly alright now?"

"Yes, Gran. I feel so much better already. It feels like a weight has lifted of me, like my magic is truly free and my own now." And he did. He felt so much better than ever before. He still had a lot of healing to do but his magic felt better than ever before.

"Good," Said Augusta Longbottom with a fierce nod, "Would you boys care for a cup of tea?"

Neville and Harry looked at each other and said simultantaneously, "Sure, Gran."

Gran smiled at them and called for a House-Elf to bring them some tea and biscuits. It was a nice moment for the three of them to relax together after the trying day. After finishing it Harry asked if he could use some parchment to write Hermione a letter.

Behind Grans back Neville smirked at him. Harry tried to calm down his sudden warm cheeks but not before he saw the tiny smirk around Gran's mouth. Oh no, did they all know about his crush for his female best friend? He thought he had hidden it so well!

"Of course you may, dear. Follow me to my study." Harry obeyed and followed her to a stately room with a big desk in front of a even bigger window.

Sitting down in the big chair behind the very fancy and beautifully carved desk, Harry went to write a letter for Hermione.

Dear Hermione,

Great! Dobby can pick you up tomorrow morning. I've missed you too, Mione.

No, I don't know much aboutowl breeding. I'd be grateful for some books about it if you don't mind. Thank your parents for me? It's nice for them to offer but I don't need much. The books will be handy but otherwise they seem to be able to take care of them themselves. Othello hunts for Hedwig when she needs it, so maybe he could stay here a bit more often?

Love,

Harry

Short and sweet. It would have to do. He'd see her tomorrow anyway. He called for Dobby to bring the letter to Hermione which he did with a big smile on his face. His friend was still on his high from speaking with Tessy. Soon after he came back with Hermione's agreement and popped them back home. He had an exhausting day and needed to rest. After a quick dinner he went upstairs and fell asleep before his head even hit the pillow.


The next morning found Harry standing nervously in the Entrance Hall. He was waiting for Dobby to bring Hermione. Neville and Susan were already in the training room with Amelia warming up for what would be a another difficult day in which they would practise their spellwork, duel and train some more. Madam Bones liked to exhaust them with training but first, before beginning she wanted them to warm up their muscles.

Harry meanwhile was warming up in the form of pacing from one side of the room to the other.

Then he heard a pop announcing Dobby's arrival and a shocked, "Harry?" He turned around and there she was, Hermione.

Chapter Text

It had been more than a week since the meeting with Gringotts and he felt so much better since the Horcrux was taken out of him. His healing had since then also gone well, even better than before. It seemed that without the Horcrux in his head his healing rate sped up. Andromeda had been happy with the latest scan a few days ago. His organs were out of immediate danger and his height was starting to catch up. He still had a long way to go but he was visibly improving.

Unfortunately, he hadn't thought twice about letting Hermione stay while Andromeda did her check up. While he'd told her he was now getting some healing done, he hadn't told here everything in explicit detail. But now she knew everything. About the malnutrition, stunted growth, broken bones, the former threat of organ failure. All of it.

Her imagination ran wild thinking about what his current issues meant. How bad his childhood actually was. Hermione'd been absolutely furious when she heard about all his health problems. He'd to stop her from going to Privet Drive to set Number 4 on fire and that was the least she was planning. She probably wasn't done yet with her revenge plans. Harry wasn't sure yet if he even wanted to stop her.

Hermione.

Laying in his bed in the early morning he thought back to a week ago when he saw her again for the first time since everything happened.


He heard a pop and a shocked, "Harry?" before he turned around and there she was, Hermione.

She looked great, tanned with her curly hair in a messy bun on top of her head. She was wearing shorts and a bright red Gryffindor shirt that looked suspiciously like the one he lost in their third year.

"Harry! What, what happened?!" She said quite loudly in a shocked tone. Hermione kept staring at him and Harry rubbed his neck sheepishly with a slight blush. Her staring made him nervous but he promised to tell her everything as soon as they saw each other in person so tell her he did.

He told her about his realisation while still at the Dursleys, his decision to leave for Grimmauld Place and what he found there. About Kreacher, Dobby and the blood adoption potion and the letters Sirius left him. About the goblins, Horcruxes, his new allies and what happened yesterday.

She was pale when she just about attacked him with a hug. Hermione's hugs were the best, warm and soft. Harry still remembered how it felt like when she hugged him back in first year. The first person to hug him since his parents died.

"Oh Harry, I'm so proud of you! You did this all on your own, without any help and you did it anyway," Hermione spoke in his ear while hugging him, "You are so brave, Harry. Promise that you will let me help you from now on? I want to help too."

He loved her.

Oh Merlin, this wasn't just a crush, was it? He, Harry Potter, was in love with Hermione Granger. He loved her intelligence, her wild curls, her fierceness and her humor. He loved that she stood by him no matter what. He loved that he was just Harry to her, never the Boy-Who-Lived. He loved her.

Shaken by that relavation, Harry kept holding her. She felt good there, in his arms. They stood there for a moment longer before she released him. Taking a step back Hermione looked at him and said quietly, "You look good you know, different but good."

He felt the need to blush again but turned away before she could see it. Just act normal, he told himself, she's your best friend. Act like it. So while trying to keep his face straight, "Thanks, Mione, you look good too. Did you have a nice time in France with your parents?" Normal. That was normal right?

Hermione, at least, didn't seem to notice anything off. She kept talking a mile a minute which Harry found adorable. Soon she stated asking after Hedwig and the eggs which was a good subject to focus on other than his new realisation. Hermione had brought a book with her about owl chick care which he gratefully took. Then looking at the clock in the cornor he saw that they had been talking for way to long. He was supposed to take her to the training room immediately!

Ah well, they would understand they lost time talking. They were best friends and this could surely happen to any pair of friends.

He held out his arm to her for her to hold as Gran taught him, "Amelia is waiting for us in the training room, shall we?"

Her eyes brightend as she took his arm and she said, "Yes, we shall."


He should have expected it but he'd still been surprised at how vicious Hermione had been while dueling. When he told her that she just raised one eyebrow and told him he really shouldn't have been surprised. She could curse somebody just as well as anybody, better even.

She was clearly taking this very seriously. Good, Harry thought.

Hermione and Susan had gotten along well after that first strange moment where they seemed to just stare at each other when Harry and Hermione walked inside arm in arm. Susan seemed to concede defeat and Hermione was visibly smug for a moment. It all took just a moment and Harry was confused. What just happened? Neville shot a amused look in Harry's direction as he clapped him on his back, which confused Harry even more. Girls were weird.

Still, they worked surprisingly well as a team. Amelia had been proud of them. Hermione had stopped by every day that week to come and train with them and it had been amazing. Amelia had them train in pairs and it worked very well even after only a week. They switched often as not to get used to only one partner or opponent yet it was clear Harry worked best with either Hermione or Neville.

Neville'd worked best with either Harry or Susan and Hermione was truly at her best with either Harry or Susan. Amelia had also taken some time to teach Hermione and Susan some extra spells. When Harry asked which spells he just got told that they were spells every girl needed to know. Which on itself wasn't very frightning but the smirks on their faces... Any Black would be proud.

Hermione and Susan together were something to fear but when she stood with Harry, well that was just breathtaking. They worked together like one was an extension of the other. They instinctively moved to protect the other, noticing when the other was in danger faster than when paired with someone else. It felt breathtaking to fight with Hermione at his side.

Harry sat up from his reminiscing with a start when the wards started alerting him about a disturbance in the owlery. Hedwig!

The owl chicks were hatching! Harry shot right out of bed and ran to the owlery in his PJ's and and impressive case of bed head. When he came to the owlery he saw Hedwig standing on the edge of her nest looking intently down at her shaking eggs.

Harry carefully came closer to the nest and looking into it, he could see a tiny hole in one of the eggs. A tiny beak started pecking at the eggshell from the inside out and Hedwig bowed her head over the egg so she could help free her chick from the egg.

It was about a hour or so later that all three of the chicks were free of their eggs. Hedwig looked so very proud of her chicks. Harry could honestly say that he had never seen something so ugly as a newborn baby bird. Thin, bald things with a very big head compared to the rest of their tiny bodies.

Not that he'd ever tell Hedwig that. The proud mother would gleefully kill him. After making sure that the mother and chicks were all healthy he went to cast a warming charm and left the new mother to her newly hatched chicks.

Harry was grateful for the books Hermione had given him about owl care. He hadn't had the chance to read them all but he knew enough to take care of Hedwig and her chicks. She'd do the most of the work raising her chicks anyway so he didn't have to do a lot. Just make sure they had enough food and water and warmth. That he could do.

It was still early in the morning but today was the day that Harry would meet with Tonks for lunch at Longbottom Manor. He was a bit nervous about it to be honest.

Andromeda had her talk with her daughter and Tonks had sworn a vow to never communicate in any way about what'd happen today. And if she agreed with what he had to say, she would promise her loyalty to him as the Head of House Black. She'd become a full member of House Black like her mother already was.

She also promised her mother that she'd stop being a member after the Order after this meeting if they both agreed that it was the best course of action. Harry thought that maybe Tonks already had her own doubts about what the Order was doing. He hoped so.

Harry and Andromeda had sent a few letters to each other in the last week so that they could get to know each other better and so that Harry could ask some questions about his health. She'd also come to Longbottom manor once to check up on his health again.

Harry really liked his new aunt and he was planning to ask her to move in with him. He wanted some human company in the Black Town House and it was a lot safer there than where his aunt lived with her husband and daughter now. After all, her deranged sister was still free. And he felt a bit lonely in the big Black Manor. It was a big house for only one human and two House-Elves.

A temporary solution for all of them, he knew, yet it would offer them safety and company. The manor was big enough that if any of them wanted space, they could easily find it. Even if they each wanted a floor of their own, it was easly done.

This way, if they agreed, he could also get to know Ted Tonks. He had learned from Andromeda that he was a lawyer, Harry had the feeling that he could use a good lawyer in his life. He might be family now, but Harry still hoped the man would agree to work for him or at least advise him.

He left Hedwig to her privacy after a lot of cuddles and compliments on her new chicks. Downstairs he went to the living room after a short talk with Alphard. The man was having the time of his life flirting with the portraits around him. Related to him or not, Alphard just really enjoyed their appalled reactions. Harry could clearly see where Sirius got his love for pranking for.

By the time it was finally time to call for Dobby to bring him to Longbottom Manor he had finished reading the Animagus book, trained a bit in the training room and read some more in the Potter family Grimoire.

It was in that Grimoire that he found out that the Potter Family Manor still existed. Potter Manor. Harry had thought that all Potter family houses were destroyed, sold or made in a memorial. But the book said that it's in an unplottable location somewhere in Scotland.

Harry immediately knew that he'd have go there as soon as possible. The ancestral Potter Manor would have been the house were his father grew up in and all the Potters before him. Once again he wondered why no one had told him the manor still existed. Surely Sirius and Remus had both known about it?

The only thing he would have to do is call the Potter Family Elf noted in the Grimoire and ask her to bring him home. Her name was Effy, he'd read and Harry would call for her as soon as possible but first he really needed to go to Longbottom Manor. Gran would not be happy if he was late to the meeting.

Hermione had sent a note earlier today that she'd stay with her parents today. They had planned a surprise day trip to a museum for her as a family outing so he'd see her again tomorrow. Harry was the first one to arrive of the guests and after greeting Gran and Neville he went to sit down at the dining table. It was only a few minutes later that Andromeda and Tonks were escorted in by Tessy.

Harry knew from Dobby that his friend was busy courting the female House-Elf but it was slow going. Tessy was clearly a female who knew what she wanted and Dobby was trying very hard to be what she wanted. Harry wasn't sure if that was right but he didn't know how to bring it up with his friend. Dobby was crazy about Tessy yet Harry didn't think it right that Dobby had to change himself to win her favor.

Hopefully it would all be alright.

But back to the actual meeting. Harry, Neville and Gran stood up to greet the new guests and after Tonks said, "Wotcher, Harry! You do know that you have the whole Order searching for you?"

Tonks was looking as she usually did with her pink hair and punk clothes. Althought her happiness did seem a bit more forced than what he was used to from her and she looked a bit pale. Even her pink hair was less bright than when he saw he last summer. She looked stressed.

Harry answered with, "You do realise that the Order had no legal right to make me stay at my magic-hating muggle relatives house?" He was still a bit angry about that and he was a bit glad to see that his answer had shocked Tonks into silence.

It seemed that she never thought about what she did for the Order in a legal or moral sense at least when Harry was involved. He really hoped she'd think things through a bit more often after he told her his life story. Especially since her boss, Amelia Bones, would not be happy with Tonks being a member of the Order of the Phoenix.

And Harry did tell her most his life story. He told her some about the Dursley's and his years at Hogwarts. He told her about what the goblins discovered and about the Prophecy. He also told her about what he thought about the Order and what he overheard Dumbledore and Remus talking about when they tried to enter Number 12, Grimmauld Place.

Through his story, Tonks turned paler and paler and she looked angry when she heard about what Remus and Dumbledore talked about on his front porch. Her hair started to get red highlights as she got even angrier. Something more was going on there, Harry thought.

When Harry was done with talking, Tonks stood up and raised her wand and stated formally, "I, Nymphadora Libra Tonks, swear on my magic to my Lord Black to keep your secrets and always help you to the best of my ability. This is my vow, so mote it be." There flashed a light to signal the acceptance of the vow and Harry nodded gratefully at Tonks.

He was relieved that she believed him. It'd have been very difficult for him and Andromeda if he had to expel Tonks from the Family again. Now that he had met her as the Lord of House Black he could feel her as clearly as Andromeda. She felt like family.

Gran cleared her throat and their lunch appeared on the table. It looked delicious as usual. There was some fresh bread, fruit and some smoked fish which looked great. Harry had been able to try a lot more different thing since leaving the Dursleys and he had discovered that he really liked smoked eal. It's was so buttery soft and smokey to the taste. Delicious.

But Tonks seemed to have a problem when the fish appeared in front of her on the table. She went from pale to a sickly green and quickly ran out of the room with her hand in front of her mouth. Maybe Tonks had eaten something bad before coming here?

Harry and Neville looked at each other, confused, but Andromeda looked worried at first and then steadingly more like she had a realisation she didn't like.

Since it seemed that Tonks would be a while the others started eating the delicious meal that the Elves prepared for them. Meanwhile, Gran told Neville and Harry the news she had about Dumbledore. Gran was keeping a eye on him with her spies in Hogwarts. Yes, their Gran had spies. No, Harry didn't know who. Gran just smiled at him when he'd asked.

Dumbledore was acting strangely according to the spy. He was leaving the castle often without telling anyone where he was going. The spy wasn't able to follow the Headmaster yet but there wasn't much hope for that anyway. The man knew how to cover his tracks. There was however one more noticable thing that the spy reported this morning to Gran, Dumbledore had a black hand. Black as in the flesh of his hand was dead.

What was he doing? They couldn't come up with an explaination. It had to be dark magic what caused his hand but what?

It was a half hour later that Tonks came back in the room looking pale and shaky. She took one look at her mothers face and burst out in tears. It was when her mother was comforting her that the whole story came out.

Apparently Tonks had been seeing Remus for a week or so some time ago. She had been persuing him for some time but at first he wanted nothing to do with her. Only after Sirius died he needed comforting and she'd wanted to be there for him because she cared for him. As a friend if he needed only friendship from her. She wasn't about to hit on a grieving man after all. They had both been so sad that day.

Yet one thing let to another and they slept together. They kept seeing each other some few days after that first night together and Tonks had been so happy but then came the day that Remus didn't show up. Tonks went looking for him after a few days with no contact because she was worried. What if the Death-Eaters had gotten to him? But no, she found him drinking himself stupid at a seedy muggle bar. She took him away from there and confronted him.

Apparently Tonks thinking they were in a relationship after those romantic days together and Remus finally admitting that he liked her in a romantic way was the wrong interpretation. It seemed that Remus had meant something different when they talked about their feelings or their future together. He claimed that she's just a distraction after Sirius his death and it could never be anything more because he was way to old for her and a werewolf. That he was wrong for her.

To Tonks it sounded like a repeated mantra or something so she was ready to fight, to fight for them. But it soon became clear that Remus didn't want her to fight for them. Didn't want her.

Tonks was heartbroken that she misunderstood so much about the days they had spent together, that Remus'd do this to her when she had at least thought that they were friends. That they respected one another. So to hide her tears, she quickly left.

He didn't deserve to know he'd hurt her.

It was some weeks later that Tonks discovered that she was pregnant. She wanted to tell Remus first since he's the father and she felt like he should know about the baby even if he wanted nothing to do with her anymore. Surely he wanted to know he was about to become a father?

Only, she couldn't find him since he kept avoiding her like the coward she'd started to see him as. It was like he thought she was an obsessed stalker or something. It wasn't like he was that good, Tonks had thought with an eyeroll.

Harry and Neville both blushed bright red at that part. That was more than they wanted to know about their former teacher!

Any crush she may have had disappeared after the way he treated her after their few days together. Tonks'd have been done with him if this hadn't happened. She only got ahold of him this morning when she had to corner him after an Order meeting to tell him she was pregnant.

At this point of the story she started to angrily cry again when she told them that at first Remus refused to believe the baby was his since apparently werewolves didn't get to have children. That it was unnatural and thus impossible. It. He called their baby an it.

Harry was really angry with the way Remus's self-destructive tendencies and low self esteem hurt the people around him. The worst part of it was that the wolf didn't even seem to realise he was doing it. Selfish and dumb arse that he was. How could he do this to a nice woman like Tonks?

When she had finally convinced him that the baby was in fact his, he only seemed to want to run away from her again and go talk to Dumbledore about the baby. That seemed like a very strange reaction to Tonks and she started to realise that she didn't know Remus at all. What in Merlin's name did Dumbledore have to do with their baby?

Remus wasn't the loyal, compassionate, mature and strong man she'd thought he was. Or at least he wasn't acting like it lately. Why had she ever liked this man?

She'd just promised her mother to keep away from Dumbledore so she refused to go and talk to him about her baby. Yes, her baby. That promise was the reason she skipped this Order meeting to wait for Remus outside the new meeting place. That made Remus angry and since he didn't understand why she wouldn't go with him to see Dumbledore. He seemed betrayed that she wouldn't go to Dumbledore with him. He was feeling betrayed?!

Seeing this, the young Auror apparated away before he could try and make the situation worse than it already was. She was so disappointed in everything.

When Tonks stopped talking it was silent for a while. Harry was so angry at Remus. How could he get a 22 year old pregnant and then walk away from her? Remus was more than a decade and a half older than her! More even!

Harry could imagine being shocked after hearing that kind of news but to treat someone that way? Basically accusing her of sleeping around? Tonks was family now to Harry and he'd protect her as family. Remus better look out the next time Harry saw him. Nobody messed with his family.

Andromeda looked increasingly angry at Remus and even Augusta who didn't even know Tonks looked ready to start cursing the wolf.

Harry decided that it was time to stop acting like a sixteen year old boy and start acting like the Lord of her House that he was. And so he asked gently, "Tonks, know that you have my support either way but do you want this baby?"

Tonks looked shocked at that question coming from him of all people but immediately answered with a sure sounding, "Of course I will keep my baby!"

Harry nodded, it was her decision. He could see that she already loved her baby. She would make a good mother and he'd help her every step on the way. Harry was sure that Andromeda would feel the same way as soon as she got over the shock.

Andromeda looked a bit worried when she asked, "Are you sure, Nymphadora? It is a very big responsibility to raise a baby and you're only twenty-two years old. You only just got to be an Auror! Are you really sure you want to do this?" Andromeda asked her daugther. Not that she wouldn't help her daughter either way, but she needed her daughter to be sure.

Tonks looked a bit offended at her mother questioning her choice but she also understood her worries. She had the same ones after all.

Tonks looked at her mother and said, "I know that I'm young and that I'm alone. I won't be able to count on Remus, I see that now. But I want this baby, mom. Will you help me?"

Andromeda looked emotional at her daughters words and Harry started to feel a bit awkward at witnessing this emotional moment between mother and daughter.

Andromeda told her daughter that she would always support her and Harry suddenly had an idea. He had been planning to ask Andromeda to move into Black Manor with him but perhaps he'd also ask Tonks? It was a very big Manor and since no one knew that someone was living there, it should be safe for them all. Especially with the wards.

So after a moment Harry asked the mother and daughter duo, "Tonks? Andromeda? I was planning to ask you something after this meeting but it seems that it might help you out now. So, would you like to move into Black Manor with me? And your husband will be welcome too of course."

Harry continued when both woman looked unsure, "I know that we don't really know each other but we are family now. But the fact remains that you, Tonks, need a safe place to live. I am also concerned that Death Eaters will come after you guys. My house is the safest place for you, I think. And I've got a few House-Elves who would like the extra work. But it is your decission."

Tonks looked like she agreed and she said, "I think you're right. Can you imagine what Bellatrix would do if she finds out I'm carrying a werewolf's baby?"

Andromeda nodded and looked at Harry and said, "Yes, the both of you are right. But I will need to discuss it first with my husband. It is not a decision made lightly and without his consent."

His aunt continued with, "Is that alright, Harry? I will sent a message to Longbottom tomorrow with our decission."

Harry nodded in agreement. He understood that it was not a choice she could make alone. He hoped that Ted would agree to move to Black Manor. He'd like to get to know the man his aunt talked so much about.

Tonks had decided that she would move in immediately. So Harry called for Dobby and Kreacher to tell them the news. Both Elves were exatic to have more people in the Manor and they went to Tonks her place to get all her stuff packed up to take back with them.

Dobby also told Harry that he would discreetly tell Winky the good news that soon there would be a baby in their family to take care of. Harry hoped it would cheer her up. She needed all the happiness and help she could get to get sober again. Though according to Dobby, Winky hadn't even touched a butterbeer since she heard Dobby's offer to join their family.

Tonks would go home with Harry after his lesson with Gran was done. Andromeda would go home after she did another check up on Harry and after that she would do a check on Tonks. Tonks hadn't been able to go to a healer yet since she didn't trust it would be safe. Death-Eaters could be everywhere.

This would be the second scan in just a few days but Harry was still curious if the potions had helped with strengtning his bones some more and if he'd gained some more weight and height. Harry felt healtier then ever. He was also curious what the scan would say about his scar now that the Horcrux was gone for more than a week now. His scar had almost gone invisible for which he was grateful. No more people staring at his scar would be wonderful.

Tonks said she would take a walk around the grounds of Longbottom Manor to clear her head so she left to give her mother and Harry some privacy. Augusta and Neville went to find Amelia for the same reason.

When they were alone together Andromeda turned to Harry and exclaimed, "I'm going to be a grandmother!" The giant smile on her face reassured Harry that everything would be alright. Tonks had a supportive family that would help her. He hugged her in congratulations and went to sit down so she could start her check up.

Andromeda performed the spell to check his health and she seemed approving of what she could see.

"Alright, Harry. Your bones and weight are slowly improving and it seems that the dark magic in your scar is truly gone. The goblins did good work. I assume that you've kept up with your diet and training shedule?" Andromeda asked with a raised eyebrow.

Harry nodded quickly.

She told him to keep taking the potions and that she'd do another check up in a week. Then she quickly left to find her daughter with the promise to contact him with their decision tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Harry went to find Amelia for their combat lesson.

He found Amelia, Susan and Neville already in the training room. His friends were shooting spells at a dummie while Amelia watched and sometimes corrected them. It was unfortunate that Hermione couldn't be here with them today but they were all glad that she still had parents to go on trips with. The rest of them were all orphans who wished they could do the same.

Amelia looked up when Harry walked in and mentioned for him to take the other dummie to practise his spells.

Only when Harry joined the others in shooting spells at the dummies, the dummies suddenly started moving and multiplying.

He looked over at Amelia and saw that she was standing by a panel just like the one in the Black Manor training room. So that was what the Runes did!

Harry, Neville and Susan had to work together and be very fast so that they could keep up with the dummies and take them down. It felt very strange to battle with faceless humanoid objects but needs must. The change was good.

The dummies kept coming at them and one by one the teenagers stopped casting because of exaustion. Only Harry could keep going after the other two had to stop. Still, it was clear that Susan, Neville and he made a good team. They guarded each others backs and helped each other with the dummies for as long as they could as they had trained for. And add Hermione and they would be even better.

Amelia stopped the dummies when even Harry started slowing down. She gave each of them a glas of water and started the usual post-training talk.

She looked proud at the improvements they made in only a week but still asked them what they did wrong as she did after every combat lesson.

This time it was Susan who answered her aunt and Amelia looked proud at her nieces conclusion. They still lacked the spell knowledge of a fully trained adult Witch or Wizard but they still did very well for their age. Especially Harry seemed to take after his combat specialists Black family members.

They also needed to work on their stamina so Amelia adviced them to start running more laps. They groaned at that but still agreed. It was for their own good after all.

They each cast a refreshning spell on themselves and went to leave the training room together. In the last week they had gone into the habit to take a walk together after training. It was nice to talk to each other in that time since that when they were training there wasn't much time for talking.

It was on one of these talks that Susan really became friends with Harry, Hermione and Neville. They'd discovered that Neville, Susan and Harry were all basically orphans. All three of them had lonely childhoods even thought the other two did have a trusted adult in their lives who cared for them.

And so it was this on this walk Susan confinded in them that her best friend Hannah would not come back to Hogwarts. Hannah's mother was killed in a recent attack and her father wanted to keep her close. Susan told them that this was also why Hannah hadn't come to train with them yet. Her father was overprotective in his grief and didn't want Hannah to leave their house.

Susan was heartbroken for her friend and also very sad that she wouldn't come back to Hogwarts with her.

Susan was a kind girl but she didn't have a lot of female friends in Hogwarts. So if Hannah stayed home this year that would mean that Susan would be without her best friend this year.

Both Harry and Neville quickly reassured her that she'd have two friends in them. Hermione liked her too so that would be at least one female friend, right? They all really liked her and did she not want to train with them anymore when they were in Hogwarts?

Susan had to laugh at that and she visibly cheered up. She hooked her arms with Harry's and Neville's and they walked further in a better mood.

Harry was a bit startled to find her arm in his but he had to smile at her good mood, he was getting used to more physical contact from others. Susan was a physical person they quickly learned. She liked walking arm in arm, hugging or punching her friends jokingly on the shoulder. Her happiness made him and Neville smile too. It was a beautiful day on these wonderful grounds and the sunny weather with his friends.

Harry couldn't wait to see Hermione, tomorrow she'd join them again. Perhaps she'd like to take a walk alone with him here on these grounds?

Chapter Text

Susan:

Her home was destroyed. Generations after generations of the Bones family had lived and died there but now it was gone. The history seeped in the stones of her ancestors Manor was destroyed, her parents home gone. They still had some of the most important things like the portraits of their ancestors, books and jewelry stored in a safe Vault at Gringotts which the Death Eaters wouldn't ever get to but still. It was awful to see your own home turned into this.

Greyback had taken great joy in destroying their safe place with his pack and probably some other Death Eaters. What he had done to Amelia and Susan's bedrooms... It was sickening. Not to mention the rest of their home. 

It was only because of Harry Potter inviting her Auntie for tea that her aunt hadn't died a horrible death in their own home. Susan had been visiting with Hannah who had needed some support after her mother died in a recent attack. They had been so very lucky. Susan didn't want to think about what she'd have done if her aunt had died too. If she had been the last Bones alive.

Now it was just their home that was destroyed. Which was horrible but houses could be rebuilt. A new home could be found.

Auntie had told her that they'd go to Longbottom Manor for a while where they would be safe. The wards around the Longbottom Family Manor were older and thus stronger with the magic they'd collected over the years. Still, Susan found it strange that they would go there instead of to somebody they actually knew.

Susan knew Neville of course but she didn't actually know him. They met a few times in the past and were polite but nothing more. The boy had always been to shy and Susan to sure of herself for them to become friends. It was only since a year or so that Neville Longbottom was growing into himself.

Why couldn't they go to Hannah's house? No, that was selfish. Hannah had just lost her mother. She shouldn't have to take care of them. She'd just have to accept that this was her life now. Longbottom Manor would be just fine as a hiding place. Perhaps Neville and she could become friends now. Susan could use some friends right now.

When she stepped out of the floo and was escorded to a very sunny looking room she finally understood her auntie's choice. Harry Potter was here.

He looked good, she thought. Something had changed about him and she liked it. She liked it so much in fact that she completely missed the greetings of her new hosts and only started paying attention again when Harry took her hand and air kissed it like she was a lady. He'd never done this before. Never even showed a sign that he knew pureblood manners.

Where had he suddenly learned these lordly manners? It flustered her but she managed to remain composed. It wouldn't do to act like one of his fangirls. She was better than that. Besides, he always seemed so utterly uncomfortable when someone acted like one of his overly friendly fangirls. Or boys.

Not to mention Hermione Granger. Everybody knew those two would end up together if they weren't already. Susan might think he cleaned up well but she wouldn't sink so low as to pant after somebody already in a relationship. Or going that way. Susan didn't have time for romance anyway, she had ambitions.

And she wanted to be his friend.

Harry Potter might just be her kind of people. They had a lot in common if one ignored his insane fame. Which didn't happen often with her peers. People she could be friends with, she meant. She didn't have a lot of those since most children had been scared of doing something wrong and that Susan'd tell her tattle to her aunt. She only had Hannah. Hannah had been her best friend since toddlerhood. Her parents had been friends and after Susan's parents had been murdered, her aunt ensured that Susan and Hannah could keep in contact.

And of course she had some friends at Hogwarts but not really close ones. Hufflepuff was a brilliant House but Susan just found it difficult to truly connect to others around her age. They all just seemed so childish, they had very different priorities and it showed. So she had become the leader of her year group instead of just a member of Hufflepuff House. Being a leader suited her but it was also a bit lonely every now and then.

But maybe her friend situation could change now. Her aunt told her they would start training together. Her, Neville and Harry. And maybe Hannah and Hermione too if they could convince Hannah's grieving father to let his daughter out of his sight. And Hermione if she got permission from her own parents.

So they trained together. Just the three of them that first day. It had been hilarious to see Harry turn Neville into a duck. She hadn't even known that spell existed!

Hermione joined them soon after that first day and they got along well to Susan's relief. There had been a slight moment of tension but that was quickly fixed. Susan had no intention to go after Hermione's man, after all. And Harry was Hermione's. That much was obvious to everybody around them. Now they just had to man up and actually confess their feelings for each other.

If they didn't do it soon then Susan and Neville would have to take action. They were sickingly cute right now and it needed to change. Surely it would get better when the two of them actually got together. Susan was betting on Hermione taking the first step. That girl clearly knew about her feelings if she was warning Susan away with just a look. Harry was still clueless as far Susan could see. Boys...

The four of them became very good friends and they had a lot in common. They were all willing to fight, to seriously work for it. To protect those that couldn't protect themselves. They'd train hard this summer and however long needed after that. Susan had found her people and it was such a relief.

Harry, Neville and Susan had something else in common. All three of them were orphans. All three were a bit lonely. All three were willing to fight to protect those they love. It felt like she had gained two brothers.

They got to know each other and soon it seemed like they had known each other their whole lives. It was great but Susan did miss Hannah a lot. She couldn't tell her best friend about what was happening in her life in case someone intercepted their owl post. She had so much to tell her friend. It was strange not to be able to talk to her every day as they were used to. This was the first time that they hadn't seen each other for this long.

Susan regretted that she couldn't be there for her friend. Hannah must be so very sad right now after the murder of her mother and Susan couldn't go to her.

Still, Susan tried not to linger on that thought for long. She was busy becoming strong. She needed to be strong. Strong so she could protect herself and others around her.

Hopefully Hannah could come and train with them soon. She had a lot of new things to teach her old friend.

Chapter Text

Neville:

Neville had always been a bit lonely growing up. He lived in a big Manor with his elderly grandmother who had always expected the best from him. To be more like his father.

That was what he had heard all through his childhood, be more like your father. Why can't you be more like your father. Your father had already done this at your age. It always came up no matter what Neville did.

People really shouldn't have been surprised at his self image issues. All his life Neville had never been good enough for his own family. Mostly it was his uncle Algie who told him that but Gran did it too every so often. It had hurt.

His uncle Algie was one of the only people in his childhood who had been there for him. Gran was always busy with the Family so it was mostly uncle Algie and Neville in the big manor. He didn't live with them but he did visit almost every day. Uncle Algie was the brother of Neville's grandfather and the one in charge of his lessons.

His Gran was disappointed in him, Neville knew that but she did love him. She was just to busy to bother with him.

So uncle Algie was in charge when Gran was away on Family Business. But uncle Algie scared him sometimes. He was kind to Neville and yet his actions didn't seem kind at all when he thought about it. Neville learned to fear his uncle's anger. The time that his uncle had pushed him out of the second floor window had been the worst time yet. He and his uncle had been taking a walk and Neville had finally gathered up the nerve to ask his uncle about how he could be a good Lord of the Family.

His uncle had gotten thight around his mouth and Neville knew he had done something wrong. It was never a good thing when he did something that made uncle Algie tight around the mouth like that. It meant uncle Algie was angry.

And he had been right. His uncle had taken him up to one of the higher floors and made him stand in front of the open window. Neville had hoped this would just be another lecture about his future and how he was disappointing the family with how weak he was. But it wasn't. He felt the push.

Afterwards his uncle's anger had been gone and he had been so proud of Neville. He wasn't a squib after all! Neville didn't feel quite as safe anymore with his uncle but he was so happy that he wasn't a squib that he almost forgot about it. Almost.

Neville had been glad to see his grandmother that evening so he could tell her all about his accidental magic.

She had been so proud of him, finally. But there had been a strange moment between her and Uncle Algie that Neville never quite forgot. After that she never left him alone with him again. Neville was kinda glad about that even if he didn't quite understand why. Did it matter that uncle Algie had pushed him? He had shown he was a wizard because of it. Nobody had as of yet said or done anything to show that Uncle Algie had been wrong to do that.

Still, he was glad Gran was around more often. He was glad he didn't have to spent as much time with Uncle Algie alone anymore.

Until the accident happen anyway. After that there was no uncle Algie anymore. The only thing Neville had left of him was his toad Trevor. He still didn't know if he was sad about that or not.

He was glad that his Gran was around more often since the accident. She seemed to make more of an effort to be there for him after his first accidental magic showing. It was strange but also kinda nice. Gran still scared him sometimes but in a different way than uncle Algie used to scare him.

Gran was just so sure of herself and what she wanted him to be. Neville was afraid he never could be what she wanted for him. Neville wasn't like his father. He wasn't strong, powerful or social like his dad had been. Neville was just Neville.

Neville had grown up without friends. He knew some other children from other wealthy families but he wasn't allowed a lot of time with kids his age. His Gran was overprotective after what happened with his parents and Uncle Algie had never liked taking him outside the family grounds. So it had been a bit lonely growing up.

Hogwarts hadn't been much better. He had been friendly with the other boys in his dorm but both Seamus and Dean and Ron and Harry had already met and paired of on the train. He was the odd man out between two sets of best friends. It was fine, Neville was used to it.

Still, he had hoped...

It was only in the fourth year after he had gotten closer to Harry that he finally didn't feel lonely anymore. He finally made a friend, he finally belonged somewhere. And if that meant some dangerous adventures every now and then, then he didn't mind.

Harry became his best friend and soon Hermione became a very good friend too. It was nice. Hermione was the one noticing that his wand didn't work right for him. She went to Professor McGonagall for him after the Battle at Ministry of Magic and she contacted his grandmother.

His Gran had been horrified to find out he had still been using the wrong wand.

Soon he had a new wand and with it his grades clearly shot up in the little time they had before the year ended. His grandmother was proud of him. When his Gran had found out that she made him carry a wand that wasn't a good fit she felt so ashamed. She felt that she should have known earlier. Done better.

Neville had a long and good talk with his Gran when he got home that summer. While his Gran had been trying more in the last few years, they still had a lot of work to do to become closer.

She'd noticed how she had treated her grandson and was determent to do better. They truly bonded that summer. He finally felt confident around his Gran. Enough to truly talk with her and be the Heir she needed. He felt finally brave enough to talk about his dream. His dream of getting his Master in Herbology. About the offer of Professor Sprout to become her Apprentice after he finished Hogwarts. Gran was so proud of him.

Neville's green thump was a clear sign of the Longbottom Family Magic emerging. It had skipped his father though his mother had been very good with plants. His grandfather, Gran's husband had been great. It were his greenhouses Neville loved to work in. His plants. Neville hadn't known that.

They decided he'd start to have some more responsibilities in their Family matters. Neville'd started to become more confident and it was all because of the friendship with Harry and Hermione.

Then that Summer Harry finally escaped from his relatives. Neville would have been worried if he hadn't expected something like this happening. His friend had to snap sometime. One could only take so much.

Harry had clearly loved his godfather very much and to be witness to his death before being sent to those horrible muggles, well Neville wasn't surprised his friend ran away. Luckily it didn't take long before he got a letter from Harry. He was alright and wanted to come by to see him and his Gran. Why anyone would want to see his Gran Neville didn't know. They might be closer than ever before but she was still a scary lady.

His Gran was a scary old lady and very much proud of it. She took a lot of joy in crushing the hopes of the arrogant purebloods around her. It was a very nice and respectable hobby to have, she had told him once. It came at handy at the Wizengamot meetings. Lots of people who needed their hopes crushed there.

Harry looked so different when Neville saw him but he was still the same Harry as always. Just with a new parent and a new plan. Harry was desperate yet strangely hopeful. He came to Neville asking for help so help he would get. Always.

Neville vowed he'd always help Harry when he needed it. They stand together. House Longbottom would always support the House of Potter as long as they lived.

Harry'd come by every day and soon Susan and Hermione joined them too. Neville could see the change in his friend. He become more grounded. He had decided a path for himself and he'd do anything to succeed. To survive.

Hermione spent most time with her parents but still tried to come and train with them. She too was a fierce lady. Her curses were something else and Neville was glad she was on their side. Come to think of it, Neville knew a lot of fierce ladies and they all seemed to like Harry. And Harry liked them back. Just look at his reaction to Neville's grandmother, he wasn't afraid at all!

Neville could also see the budding attraction between Hermione and his friend. He was glad. They would make a good couple and his friend could really use a girlfriend like Hermione. A strong girl with her own hopes and dreams that didn't depend on marrying the Boy-Who-Lived.

Someone with ambition yet a wish for family.

Hermione and Harry just fit together if you asked Neville. Now they just had to get their shit together and actually see what the other felt. It was obvious that both felt the same.

But it was clear they both saw what they wanted to see. Harry was clearly thinking she would never like him back and Hermione was probably thinking among the same lines. Harry also had the tendency of self sacrificing his own happiness for the greater good. Not to mention the giant dent the muggles had left in his friends self-confidence. Well, Neville didn't like the greater good and those muggles were clearly raving mad.

His friends deserved to be happy together. And if they wouldn't get together soon, Neville would have to take some drastic measures, Susan had already told him she'd help.

It still surprised him sometimes that he had friends now. He had Harry, Hermione, Susan and also Hannah when she was finally able to join them. Hannah was so nice. And pretty. And smart. Very smart and so good with people.

… Neville might have a bit of a crush.

He had friends and family now that were interested in him, cared about him. Who wanted to do stuff with him and didn't mind it if he took a bit longer with some things or talked about his plants.

It was nice.

Chapter Text

Previously on a A very Black plan: Harry thought back on the first meeting he had with Hermione in which he realised he loved her. Harry Potter was in love with Hermione Granger. After their moment alone together they went to train with the rest. Harry discovered he loved duelling with Hermione at his back. She was a vicious monster on the field and he thought it was awesome.

Shortly after that Harry got the notice of the wards that Hedwig's eggs were hatching. Three chicks came out of the three eggs and Hedwig couldn't be prouder of her first nest. Harry meanwhile was a bit horrified at how ugly baby birds were.

The meeting with Tonks went well. She became a full member of the House of Black. There was a slight issue when Tonks smelled the fish served at luch and they found out that Remus was a bigger arse then they ever thought. He got Tonks pregnant and didn't handle it well. At all. Tonks decided to keep the baby with the support of her mother and Harry.


After the walk with his friends Harry went to find Tonks so that he could take her to her new home. He hoped she'd like it there with him and the House Elves. The Elves, at least, couldn't wait for more people to take care of. They were so excited to learn that Tonks would be living with them. When they learned she was pregnant, they just about burst from happiness.

He was glad they liked it. Tonks would need all the help she could get.

Harry was sure that there would be an adjustment period since they were basically strangers to each other. He might have met her a few times last year while she came to Grimmauls Place for Order meetings, but that didn't mean they knew each other well. It would help that Tonks was now an official member of House Black in Magic. He could feel her basic needs like he could with all members of House Black which was handy when you didn't know each other well.

When he found Tonks, she was sitting on a bench looking out on the pond on the grounds with a hand covering her still flat belly. It was a beautiful spot and Tonks looked peaceful sitting there on the bench in between two big flower filled pots and looking out on a lily pond.

Harry walked up to her and asked her if she wanted to leave now. Tonks turned to look at him and told him, "Hiya Harry! Good timing, you have. My mum just left after checking up on me and my little beansprout," With a besotted look to her belly she continued, "Did you wanna go home now?"

Beansprout, Tonks had named her baby beanspout. Hopefully that was just a temporary nickname and not the actual name of the baby. Wizards had strange ideas of what were good names. Harry had found some mentions in the books that Sirius left him of his father thinking about naming him Elvendork.

Thank Merlin for his mother. If not for her he would probably have ended up being named Elvendork Quidditch Bambi Potter or something. Hadrian [Harry] James Potter was a perfectly good name.

Harry wanted to ask her what Andromeda had told Tonks in her check-up but he wasn't sure if he should. What was normal in these situations? But he was still curious and they were family now so he dared to ask, "Is everything alright with you and the baby, Tonks?"

He really hoped it was alright to ask her that. What if something was wrong? He didn't want to overstep and upset her as he really didn't know what to do with crying woman, one just had to ask Cho. Merlin, that were some awkward moments in the short relationship he had with her. Not to mention her jealousy of Hermione, Cho'd probably be happy to know she was right back then. Harry might not have had he same feelings back then as he had now but they weren't that far of looking back on it.

To his relief Tonks lit up at his question and started to talk excitingly, "Everything is fine with me and the baby. I'm eight weeks pregnant and my mom told me that the morning sickness should stop after the first trimester. So only four weeks to go with puking my guts out everytime I smell something that doesn't agree with me. And soon she will be able to tell me if I will have a boy or a girl. I can't wait! " Tonks hair had turned a bit green but with the last part it turned back to her usual bubbly pink.

Harry tried his best to look sympathetic at her puking out her guts bit. He was very glad to be a male at that moment.

Tonks stood up and Harry had to grab her arm so that she didn't fall over. Tonks grumbled that the baby upset her balance but Harry was pretty sure that she had balance problems before the whole pregnancy thing. Tonks clumsiness used to set the Walburga's of quite often. Harry was still glad he had gotten rid of that horrible portrait. The other portraits in that hallway had also thanked him for getting rid of the screeching harpy that used to be Lady of House Black.

Harry and Tonks calmly walked back to the Manor so that they'd say goodbye to Gran and the rest and then he called for Dobby.

Dobby popped in looking a bit sad so Harry asked worriedly, "Dobby? What's wrong? Are you alright?"

Dobby answered with fast dropping ears, "Dobby be having hard talk with Tessy today. Dobby be really liking Tessy. Tessy be very pretty and smart and good at cooking but Tessy be courted by another Elf too. Tessy be liking other Elf more than Dobby and Dobby not be sure what to do."

Harry must have looked a bit confused as Tonks explained to Harry that female Elves got courted by multiple male Elves so that the female could chose her mate out of them. Dobby nodded along with Tonks explanation and said, "Missy Tonks be right. It be females choice. Tessy be very pretty so Dobby be stupid not to think she be noticed by other Elves, Longbottom Elves."

Harry patted Dobby on his head and said, "Oh Dobby, I'm so sorry. Are you sure that Tessy likes the other Elf more? Maybe she likes you better if you give it some more time. Did you talk to her about it?"

Dobby nodded looking miserable. Harry and even Tonks looked upset for the Elf in front of them. Sad Elves were truly pitful things. While Harry hadn't loved how Tessy treated his friend, he didn't like to see Dobby so upset. Not to mention that Harry wondered how it would work with any future offspring. Where would they have lived?

He'd hoped that Dobby and Tessy could become a good couple together but that didn't seem meant to be. Poor Dobby. So Harry asked his friend, "Shall we go home, Dobby? Maybe you can check on the owlets for me? Hedwig wouldn't mind you coming close to her and her chicks and it might cheer you up."

Dobby nodded and took both Harry's and Tonks hand and popped away. They popped into the living room of Grimmauld Place where they could smell the delicious scent of Kreacher cooking dinner. Harry was a bit worried about Tonks but she seemed fine with the smells wafting out of the kitchen. Good, it couldn't be good for a person, pregnant or not to lose their stomach contents to often.

He asked Dobby to take Tonks to her new room so she could take a nap like she'd wanted to do before dinner was ready. It must be exhausting to be pregnant. Tonks new room was on the second floor where the guest rooms were. If Andromeda and her husband agreed to move to Number 12, Grimmauld Place then they would stay on the same floor as their daughter.

Dobby went to check up on Hedwig and her chicks. The chicks were looking better every day now that their feathers started growing. Harry was glad to say that they were almost looking cute now. They hadn't been named yet but that would soon be happening. Hedwig was a good mother and she was taking very good care of the three owl chicks.

It was a hour later that Tonks came stumbling back in the living room looking a bit more rested then before. Since Tonks had been a bit stressed lately, her mother had adviced her to take a lot of relaxing naps. Tonks needed to be as relaxed as possible while carrying the baby.

Harry had, in that hour, been making the Animagnus revealing potion that he'd need in just a bit more then a week. It would now need to simmer for that time until the Mandrake leaf would fall lose from the roof of his mouth. Then the leaf would need to be added to the potion, stirred a few times more and then he could finally drink it.

In the book Sirius had left for him, it was discriped as falling asleep. One then would fall asleep and start to dream about about the nature area where their animal liked to live in the wild. A forest or a river or mountains, something like that.

Then he'd have to find and actually befriend his inner animal. It was a part of him so he'd just have to accept whatever it was to make the transormation later in the process go as smoothly as possible. It could take months or in some cases even years before someone was ready to try and turn into their animal. Harry hoped it wouldn't be so long. He needed the advantage in this war.

When he was able to turn into that animal he'd have to deal with some new instincts and habits. Like Sirius's dog-like laugh or his fathers habit to stomp his feet when angry. It depened on how close you were with your animal. How long you stayed in that shape.

He couldn't wait to find out his own Animal form. He hoped he was something cool like a bird or perhaps a stag like his father. Or maybe a dog like Sirius. And Harry loved that he'd get to do it together with Neville. Harry was planning to give Susan and Hermione a leaf too. And maybe Luna, Fred and George too when he could meet with them. Neville would start brewing his own potion in a few days since he was a bit later with putting the Mandrake leaf in his mouth. Was it bad of Harry to hope that Neville's form would be a duck?

Alright, he didn't really want that but could you imagine the look on Neville's face? It would be brilliant. But no, Neville would be something big probably. Something good. Like a badger, bear or moose or something.

Soon he'd talk to Hermione and Susan about becoming Animagi together. He just wanted to do the first steps with with his godbrother. After that, he would talk to the girls.

Since Tonks was now awake and dinner was ready to be eaten, Tonks, Harry, Dobby and Kreacher went to sit down at the dining table. It was nice to have the new member of his family eating with them. He had a cousin now. A cousin that was actually nice to him. Tonks seemed to like their habit of all of them eating together. House-Elf and human together at the dining table as family.

It was after dinner that Tonks and Harry were still sitting in the dining room while drinking some tea. Harry had asked the Elves to give them some privacy since Harry wanted talk about a sensitive subject with Tonks.

Harry took a deep breath and started with, "I know that this will not be an easy conversation but I really need to talk to someone about it and you had the most contact with him recently. I don't know him very well but I just can't imagine my parents being such good friends with Remus if this was the way he always behaved. It just doesn't make much sense," Harry continued with, "So, Tonks, what do you know about werewolves?"

Tonks was surprised at the question but looked thoughtful. After a while she said, "We had some extra classes about them in Auror training and there they said that werewolves need a pack, a strong Alpha and that they need to accept their inner wolf if they ever wanted to be stable in their transformations, not hurt themselves while turned. Because otherwise problems like that will occur. Do you think that's is why Remus behaves the way he has lately?"

Harry nodded with some hesitation. He'd read the same thing about werewolves in the Hit Wizard book Sirius left him. He told Tonks what he thought had happend with Remus, "I think that when my parents died, Remus lost both his Alpha and his whole pack with their loss and what happened to Sirius and Wormtail. I also think that that whole generation of Light Wizards considered Albus Dumbledore to be their leader. For Remus he was also the man who let him get an education as a child, a rarety for werewolves. Albus Dumbledore might be the Leader of the Light to most people in Magical Britain but to a werewolf? A werewolf not in a pack? He is the Alpha of Magical Britain."

Tonks was listening carefully and he took a moment to sip his drink before he continued with, "Now what does it do to a werewolf to lose their pack in a single night? The only thing he had left after that night was a baby. So he turned to the Alpha he knew from his childhood and of the Order of the Phoenix, the Alpha of the whole country. Do you think a mentally unstable wolf would abandon the packs cub if that Alpha commanded it?"

Tonks was nodding thoughtfully and replied with, "I think you are right, but that doesn't excuse him, you know that right Harry? He lost almost all his anchors, yes and so he leaned on the one he still had, Albus Dumbledore. Yet it's all his own choice. He doesn't accept his wolf and he still hasn't found a stable pack in those fifteen years. He is just a loyal lapdog now." Tonks looked sad with her conclusion. She'd really hoped that Remus would come around. She'd wanted a father around for her baby.

She could have handled a rejection but the way he treated her was just cruel. Telling her he wanted a relationship with her and then just completely ignoring her. He'd seemed to be disgusted when she had told him about the baby. Like her baby was some abombination just because the father was a werewolf.

That's when Tonks had decided it was enough. This man was not going to be around her baby with that toxic mindset. She might want a father for her baby but only if he could be a good father to her child. Her baby would be happy.

She would make sure of it.

Harry, knowing Tonks was right about it being Remus own choice, carefully asked, "Do you think we can do anything to help him? In the Muggle World you can get help if you have a mental illness. Does the Wizarding World have anything like that?"

He had to at least try if the man was ill. For the man his parents had once loved.

Tonks shook her head and said, "No, not really. Saint Mungos has a ward where the mentally ill go but it isn't a place you go to to get better. It is just somewhere to keep them away from the normal people. And werewolves wouldn't be allowed in the hospital anyway." She looked a bit angry at that and her hair got a few red highlights through her normal pink hair.

That was a warning sign Andromeda had told him about. Red hair was anger. Apparently Tonks had often walked around with fire truck red hair in her toddler and teenage years.

Tonks continued with, "The only thing I can think of is that either Dumbledore dies and Remus finds a new Alpha who is willing to take him in their pack, or Remus finds a new Alpha on his own with his own free will. But then you still have the problem of Remus not accepting his own wolf. Not the mention the damage he has done to the people around him. What Alpha would accept him knowing that?"

Harry agreed with that. How do you get a man to accept himself if he hasn't been able to do that in the last thirty years? Was it not his own responsibility? The man was an adult.

But there was still some hope, Remus was alright with a stable pack when Harry's father was alive. Remus still didn't accept his wolf back then from what he heard, but he was stable. So, the man could actually be a normal member of the communtity with human pack members.

Harry wondered if Remus strange behavior counted as evidence that Dumbledore was getting unstable? Did Wizards even get dementia and if so, how would that affect Remus?

Harry told Tonks about his thoughts but she didn't seem hopeful. The truth was that they couldn't do much about either of the men. They could speculate but any more than that was just that, specualtion.

He was glad they had this converstion. Remus was important to the both of them in a way and they wanted him in their lives. But only if he wasn't a danger to the both of them. Tonks had already kind of written him off but if he could be in her baby's life in a healthy way, she would allow it. Maybe.

Still, they agreed to start looking in the library for something that could help Remus. Althought Harry had also kinda written him off already. It wasn't like he knew the man very well to begin with. To Harry he was just a good DADA teacher and the last link to his parents. That was the only reason he was even trying anymore. For Sirius and his other parents.

Harry thought that he would like living with Tonks in Grimmauld Place. It was like he had an older sister living with him. He could feel Tonks in his connection to members of House Black and it was a great thing to feel. He was never alone now.

Tonks went to the library to start looking for something that could help Remus and Harry went to the owlery to check on Hedwig and her chicks for himself.

Hedwig was just feeding her chicks when Harry came up the owlery. It was not a pretty sight but he was glad to see that Hedwig seemed a very good mother. Especially since this was her first nest. One never knew with an animals first nest.

After Hedwig was done feeding her chicks, Harry came closer to the nest, casting a warming charm on it. She hooted at him and flew over to land on his shoulder. She rubbed her head against his cheek and Harry scratched her head. He cast a warming charm over the nest again so that Hedwig could stay with him for a little while.

He'd missed her. Now she had chicks she couldn't be with him as often as he was used to. But these little moments were nice too.

Harry told her all about his day and that Tonks was now living here with them. Hedwig hooted approvingly. Harry got the feeling that she was happy that there was another human living with him. A human that she approved of.

He also told her about what Andromeda said about how his health was getting better and that maybe she and her husband would move in here with him too. Hedwig seemed to like that as she started grooming his hair.

Harry talked about how his training was going with Neville, Susan and Hermione and how he liked that they were getting closer. He babbled some more about Hermione and how he didn't know what to do anymore. Should he tell her about his feelings or just leave it be? What if she didn't like him back? He was so glad that he had more friends now, he didn't want to mess it up.

He had some good friends now. Better friends even, friends he could be himself with and who supported him no matter what. Also friends who told him he was being an idiot when necessary. Maybe, maybe it was time to talk with them about what he should do about Hermione. Perhaps would Susan and Neville know about what he should do about his feelings.

Hedwig seemed to agree with that spoken out loud thought. It was nice that they could talk again for a bit or Harry talked and Hedwig either hooted at him or gently pecked him if she disagreed with something he said. Harry hoped that the chicks would grow soon so that they, and Hedwig could be around the house with him.

But now it was time for Hedwig to go back to her chicks and Harry needed to get some sleep. Tomorrow he would call Effy the Potter House Elf and ask her to take him to Potter Manor.

He couldn't wait to see it.

Chapter Text

Harry woke up with the feeling that someone in Grimmauld Place was throwing up their guts. Since there was only one pregnant lady in this house, he assumed it was Tonks.

This wake-up call was not a nice feeling for Harry to wake up to and he really hoped that he could tone down the connection with the members of House Black a bit so that he wouldn't have to feel this everytime it happened.

The ring on his finger glowed for a moment and he suddenly couldn't feel what Tonks was doing anymore. Brilliant! Harry really loved magic.

Today would be the day that he would get an answer from Andromeda about if she and her husband would move in with him. Most importantly, he would also call for Effy today and hopefully go to Potter Manor. The house his father had grown up in and his fathers father before him.

He couldn't wait to see it. How would it look? Would there be anything left of his father? Or perhaps something of his grandparents?

But first he needed to get dressed and eat some breakfast. He'd hoped Tonks would want to eat something. It couldn't be good for a baby if the mother didn't eat enough. But he was sure that Kreacher would take good care of Tonks and her baby. The old House Elf was very glad to take care of the pregnant witch of House Black.

Kreacher was much happier nowadays anyway. He had people to take care of again after years of being alone in this house with only Walburga's portrait and the Horcrux as company. Harry had talked to his Elves recently and they even agreed to take up a hobby. Kreacher decided he wanted to try woodworking and Dobby wanted to try painting.

While Harry wasn't sure if both hobby's had truly nothing do do with housework, he was glad they decided to try something. Who knows, maybe they would like it.

When he got downstairs after dressing in another suit and robe set from the Black Lord before him, Orion Black, he saw he was the last one to arrive. Tonks, quite pale and with light green hair, was sitting at the table with Dobby and Kreacher.

Harry was glad to see that Dobby looked a bit less sad then yesterday. Sad House Elves were the worst thing ever. They just looked so pitiful with their big tearful eyes and dropping ears. Harry would have liked to have a talk with Tessy about her treatment of his friend but he knew that House-Elves had their own courting traditions. It was hard but he shouldn't involve himself in this.

Breakfast was lovely as always althought Tonks didn't seem to be a morning person. She mostly grunted at Harry when he said good morning to everyone or when he asked her to pass the toast. For such a generally cheerful person she really didn't like to talk before her morning cup of tea.

It was only when breakfast was ending that Tonks started to become more like herself. They talked about what they would do today and this was when Tonks told Harry that she was thinking about resigning as an Auror.

This shocked Harry but when she told him her reasons he understood. She was a young single female who was pregnant. It was also a dangerous time to be an Auror and she didn't want to risk her baby. Then there was the problem of her living with Harry. No one could know where she lived and that would be difficult when she worked as an Auror.

But Harry didn't think it fait that she'd have to give up her dream job for him. So after thinking about it for a moment, he came up with an idea so he asked her, "You remember I told you about Amelia Bones, right? Why don't you go to her? She knows everything and as she is the Head of the DMLE and thus your boss so she could help you out, I should think." He did not want her to give up on her career when it was not truly neccesary.

Tonks lived up hearing that. She didn't want to stop working as an Auror. She worked hard for her position and she didn't want to be completely depended on Harry. House Black may be rich but Tonks was an adult woman who didn't want to take advantage of her Lord who was a sixteen year old kid.

Also, Moody would be so disappointed in her if she just stopped doing all that he had taught her. Tonks was glad to hear Harry was in contact with Madam Bones. Perhaps it would be possible to work something out. Desk duty or something. Moody had been her mentor in the Aurors and she would miss him enough already when she was gonna be out on materity leave.

So Tonks would go with Harry to Longbottom Manor this afternoon so she could have a conversation with Amelia. He hoped they could work something out together.

Harry wanted go and call for Effy as soon as he was done with breakfast. He couldn't wait to meet his new Elf. This Elf had know his parents and maybe even his grandparents! She was the only Elf in service to the House of Potter and the last few Grimoire entries had been very positive about her. Thus it was a little while later when Harry was standing in the living room.

Tonks was back in the library researching werewolves and Dobby and Kreacher were busy somewhere in the house so Harry could call for the Potter Elf now, "Effy!" He called strongly.

There sounded a pop and a little Elf was standing in front of him. She was tiny and looked to be a bit younger then Dobby in age as far as he could tell. She was wearing a tiny uniform with the Potter crest on it which was a Griffin in flight holding a sword in its claws.

The House-Elf Effy had clear forest green eyes that looked to be tearing up as she looked at him. She said, "Master Potter? Yous be little Master Hadrian? Effy be so happy to be finally called by Master!"

Harry smiled at her and replied, "Yes Effy, I'm Hadrian James Potter-Black. I've read about you in the Potter Grimoire. It's said that you are the Potter Elf and that you could take me to Potter Manor?"

Effy's eyes grew wide when she heard what he said and she started bouncing on her toes. She looked so very happy when she said, "Little Master Harry has returned! Effy be very happy to see yous again. Does Master Harry want to go to Manor now?"

Harry nodded but first he wanted to ask the female Elf if she wanted to bond with him as his Elf. Effy looked even happier when he asked her that and she said, "Master be good master to ask Effy. What be Masters terms?"

Harry told her what he told his other Elves, "My terms are that you are honest and loyal to me and my bloodline. I ask that you take good care of yourself and that you will never punish yourself. If you have done something you think is wrong you can come and talk to me about it."

He continued with, "If you want I can pay you and give you time of. I have another Elf, Dobby, who gets one day of every two weeks of and gets paid two sickles a week. My other Elf, Kreacher, is more traditional and just wants the bond. It is your choice Effy, what do you want?"

"Effy be grateful for Masters offer but Effy being fine with just bond. Effy thinks Master be very kind so Effy be accepting terms!" And Effy, like the two Elves before her, darted forward to grab Harry's hand.

He felt the sting of the bond and saw the glow of the bond being accepted by both Elf and Wizard. She packed a powerful puch for such a tiny little thing. Harry was happy and asked his new companion if she wanted to meet the other two Elves living here.

Effy nodded shyly and Harry called for Dobby and Kreacher. Kreacher popped in first and Dobby came soon after.

Harry first introduced Kreacher to Effy, "Kreacher, this is my newly bonded Elf Effy. She is a Potter Elf and will continue managing Potter Manor for me."

Kreacher made a slight bow to the younger female Elf and said, "Kreacher be honered to meet miss Effy. Welcome to new family."

Effy looked a bit shy with meeting the two new Elves and Harry wondered if maybe she had been alone all this time. He hoped not. That would mean that she had been alone since his parents died fifteen years ago.

"Effy be glad to meet Kreacher. Kreacher be having beautiful home and kind Master." Effy said with a slight bow back to the old Elf.

Harry wondered if this was a traditional greeting between Elves which made him wonder why Kreacher hadn't done it when Harry bonded with Dobby? Perhaps because Dobby became his bonded Elf first?

Harry continued with, "Dobby, this is Effy, I hope you will make her feel welcome in our family." He looked at Dobby to see his reaction and was amused to see Dobby staring with wide eyes at Effy. He was even more amused to see Effy's shy looks back at Dobby. It seemed that Dobby had already forgotten Tessy and her choice to bond with another Elf.

The two Elves bowed to each other and Dobby said, "Dobby be very glad to be meeting miss Effy. Be welcome to new family."

Effy replied with, "Effy be very glad for kind welcome and new family. Master be wanting to go now?" Effy said while looking at Harry.

"Yes, please Effy. We are also planning on taking on another Elf named Winky into our family. Right now she's at Hogwarts but hopefully you will like each other. Thanks guys and we will see you later." He nodded to Dobby and Kreacher before she took his hand so that they could pop away to Potter Manor.

Harry appeared together with Effy on the front porch of a beautiful Manor made of a dark red stone. He could feel the wards testing him as he walked to the door and put his hand on the doorknob. As he had before with Number 12, Grimmauld Place, he said, "I, Hadrian James Potter-Black, son of James Potter, Lord of the House of Black and Lord of House Slytherin demand entrance to this Manor as the last of the Potters."

It still felt a bit ridiculous to talk to a door but he was starting to get used to it with all the lessons on Wizarding Culture from Gran. Talking to inanimate objects was fine as long as they didn't talk back to him. It was one of the first lessons a Wizarding child got apparently. As if he hadn't learned that lesson back in his second year.

He felt the wards accepting him the same moment he heard the door click open. Effy clapped her hands excitingly and asked him to follow her to the ward stone of the Manor. Stepping through the doorway Harry had to struggle keeping his mouth close. It was already beautiful and he was barely inside the house.

While they walked through the Manor, Harry couldn't stop looking around. This was so different than the Black Manor. From inside and outside this was so much more beautiful and so much more like a home he would want to live in. This house was perfect.

Effy told him proudly that there where twelve bedrooms, ten bathrooms, a ballroom, a training room and two dining and sitting rooms. And that was just inside the Manor. Then there were the gardens which were utterly beautiful, a quiddich pitch on which he couldn't wait to fly on and a big pond in which he could easily swim.

Unlike the Black Manor where the colours were mainly black, green, gray and white, this house had the more warm colours like white, brown, cream, red, green and blue. It felt like a home he would want to raise a family in. His magic felt at home here in the ancesteral Potter Manor.

This was his home.

Effy led him to a corner in the beautiful sitting room. The room had very big windows were sunlight was gently streaming through. The floor was made from a light coloured wood, the same as the rest of the house from what he had seen. The walls were a light cream colour with some gold and green accents. It looked welcoming.

Effy led him to a corner in the back of the room where he had to put his hand on the wall. Harry felt a click and a door appeared and opened. Inside the next room lay the ward stone of Potter Manor. It was a beautiful blue-green stone with veins of gold running through it.

Harry pricked his finger and put it on the stone so that the stone would connect to him and his bloodline. Then he said, like with the ward stone of the Black Manor, "Lapis pretiosus et pulcher magicae, Haeres domus Figulus, te rogat ut ultimum familiae, ut domum meam tuearis, et te ad me et familiam meam ligaveris ex hoc tempore. Et rogavi, ut fiat!"

Which meant: Most precious and beautiful stone of magic, the Heir of House Potter, asks you as the last of this family to protect my home and to bind yourself to me and my family line from this time forward. So I have asked, so mote it be!

Once again he felt the wards of a manor connect to his mind. He could feel the Manor and the grounds it stood on. Unlike Black Manor, this house was free of pests and seemed to be very well kept by Effy. Which was a relief because that meant she was a healthy and happy House-Elf even if she had been alone all this time.

Effy meanwhile, was glad that her new Master seemed to like the Manor so well and that the wards were now truly connected to her new Master. She hoped he would like what she would show him next. She could feel her new master as well as he could feel her with their new bond. She felt how hurt he was health-wise and that told her a lot. She feared her young master had not a good life before.

He was healing, yes, Effy could feel that. But no master of hers had ever been so unhealthy. She had served the Potters for a few generations and it saddend her to see that the son of her beloved Master James and Mistress Lily was so mistreated. She hadn't been able to find him with the wards he was surrounded by but now she could she felt guiltier then ever. She should have tried harder, even if she barely had enough magic left to take care of Potter Manor. She could have tried.

She hoped this surprise would sooth her young master.

Effy grabbed his hand and let him to a room close to the sitting room. When Harry walked in he immediately stopped, shocked. It was a portrait room. A portrait room full of portraits of his ancestors. A room full with Potters.

The portraits were all sleeping but Harry could see a lot of the names he had seen on the inheritance test. But Harry was drawn to one portrait specifically, the portrait of his grandparents. Fleamont and Euphemia Potter. Was Effy named for his grandmother of was that a coincidence?

Unlike with the Black portraits it seemed that the Potter portraits were mostly made for couples. Unfortunaly there wasn't one made of his parents before their death. They were so young before they died and Sirius was kept in his house after he escaped Azkaban so he didn't get to have a chance to make one before or after Azkaban.

Harry walked to the portrait of his grandparents and activated the Wake Rune with a shaking hand. He studied his grandparents before they woke up and he saw that his grandfather looked a lot like the pictures of his father but than with dark brown eyes and a lot older than his father ever got to be.

His grandmother was a pretty blond witch with some silver streaks through her hair and his father's hazel eyes.

His grandparents were waking up now and Harry was a bit nervous. Would they recognise him? Would they like him?

Harry barely dared to look at the portrait when he heard, "Harry? Is that you?" His grandmother sounded unsure but when Harry nodded he could see how both his grandparents lit up.

This time it was his grandfather who said, "It is very nice to meet you, Hadrian, son. I can see that we have been asleep for a long time. Where are your parents, Harry?"

And Harry felt the world crash down around him. They didn't know. What was he supposed to do? He knew they weren't real people, his real grandparents, but they were still an imprint James Potter's parents. How could he tell them that their son is dead?

His grandmother saw his reaction and gasped and brought her hand in front of her mouth. Harry looked at her and realised that she already knew and so he stated with a serious face, "My parents died when I was one year old, defending me from Voldemort and killing him in the process. At least for a while. He is back now and determent to kill me."

Both his grandparents looked shocked now and his grandmother was crying. His grandfather grabbed the hand of his wife as to comfort her but it was clear they were both heartbroken. Harry felt horrible that he had to tell them this.

"Oh my poor baby. Are you alright? Do you need anything? Is there anything we can do for you? Are you happy? Where did you grow up? Are you going to Hogwarts?" His grandmother suddenly reminded him of Hermione which made him laugh and relax a bit in this horrible moment of introduction to his grandparents.

His grandfather said, "Don't mind your grandmother, lad. She is a bit of a blabbermouth and I love her dearly for it. And please, We would love it if you could call us Grandma and Grandpa." Harry had to look away for a moment with how his grandparents looked at each other. They looked to be very much in love and Harry wasn't used to people looking at each other like that. He did not exacly grow up with healthy examples of relationships.

Harry was thinking that perhaps it was time to man up and ask Hermione out. It made him super nervous but he decided he needed to know. He wanted what his grandparents had, what his parents had. Hermione Jean Granger was the girl for him, he was sure of it. Perhaps his grandfather would have good advise on how to do it properly. He would have asked Alphard but that man couldn't be trusted with dating advise. 

Vernon and Petunia liked to pretent that they were a loving couple but Harry didn't think they were. While Vernon didn't mistreat his wife exacly, she also was expected to be a housewife and only a housewife. Now, his aunt might have preffered it that way but had she ever gotten the opportunity to be something else? Nothing wrong with being a housewife but Harry thought oneshould make that choice themself.

Thought it didn't excuse her behavior to him, a child in her care. Petunia had turned into a bitter, spiteful and cruel woman all on her own.

He smiled at his grandmother and answered her with, "Yes Grandma, I'm alright now. I've made some very good friends at Hogwarts and I have recently gained some allies willing to help me. I'd like to hear some stories about my parents if possible? It's just that I don't know much about them..."

Harry continued with, "I'm indeed going to Hogwarts. This is the summer before my sixth year and I was sorted into Gryffindor."

Fleamont and Euphemia Potter were glad to hear more about their grandson but were a bit concerned by what questions he didn't answer. How was it possible that their grandson, their Heir didn't know much about his own parents? What happened while they were dead? So his grandmother asked gently, "Where did you grow up, Harry? And where is Sirius? Did our boy not raise you after Jamie passed?

And once again Harry didn't quite know what to tell his grandparents.

Chapter Text

His grandparents looked worried by his pause before he was finally able to answer them. It was hard but he did it. He decided to tell his grandparents everything, after all, what's one more time telling people stuff he never wanted to tell anyone. About his parents death, Sirius's imprisonment, a bit about his life at the Dursleys, his years at Hogwarts, Sirius's death, the blood-adoption, the Prophecy and what the goblins told him about the Horcruxes and his three Lordships.

He told them about Augusta Longbottom, Amelia Bones and Andromeda Tonks and the allies and family he found in them. By the time he was done with his life story, Effy had come to bring him a drink twice and it was almost lunch time.

Harry really hoped that this was the last time he had to talk so much about himself. It was not a thing he liked to do but this were his grandparents and he owned them something. He just didn't like talking about all this stuff. It never helped before to talk about his life at the Dursleys or ask for help so it was still so strange for him to do it and it actually helping.

His grandparents were horrified at the way his life had gone but were relieved to hear that at least he had some help now. Harry wished they were still alive so that he could actually touch them but the portrait was still better than the nothing he had before. Portraits were cruel yet lovely things. Like the Wizarding World itself, really. Magic had the chance to be beautiful yet it seemed that human nature just ruined it in most cases.

Goblins seemed to treat magic with respect, House-Elves too if given the freedom to do so but humans treated magic like a tool.

Just like they treated the magical creatures, certain banned branches of magic, and how they all treated their own magic. It like they just all took it for granted. Harry never knew how beautiful it could be before this summer. He had learned so much from the books Sirius had left him and from what Gran and Amelia taught him.

Harry promised his grandparents that he would come back soon but that he had to go to Longbottom Manor now for his lessons. Both Fleamont and Euphemia had known Augusta Longbottom in live and knew she wasn't a woman to keep waiting. They understood the importance of his lessons in Wizarding Culture and combat and wished him luck.

Thay asked to be put to sleep again until Harry could come back to Potter Manor. Harry agreed and soon they were sleeping again. This time they fell asleep with his grandfather holding the hand of his grandmother. He would come back to them as soon as possible. He wanted to take them with him but that wasn't possible. This was a Potter portrait. It couldn't be taken to a Black house.

Harry asked Effy to take him back to Black Manor since he hoped that either Dobby or Kreacher had picked up the letter from Andromeda with her choice. Effy was a bit sad that he would be going so soon but cheered up when he promised to visit everyday. She was such a nice little Elf that Harry was kinda sad to let her go back to Potter Manor all alone. He did give her permission to visit all his properties and Kreacher, Dobby and Winky too.

Honestly, after seeing the Potter Manor Harry really wanted to live there. It was so much more his kind of place than Black Manor could ever be. Hopefully, Kreacher wouldn't be to mad since Tonks was living there and maybe Andromeda and Ted too soon. Potter Manor just felt like it was made for Harry to live there.

Harry popped with Effy, who immediately went back to Potter Manor, back into the living room and was glad to see a few letters waiting for him on the side table. One was from Hermione and Harry was glad when the wards told him that Othello was back with Hedwig. She needed all the help she could get with her three owlets. Who he still needed to name.

But he might have a plan for that. It bore some more thinking but maybe, maybe it could be something.

Another letter was from Gringotts and the last one was from Andromeda. Harry opended that one first.

Dear Harry,

My husband and I have talked about it and we are glad to inform you that we will be accepting your invitation. If you agree, then we will be ready to move to the agreed location later this afternoon. We will see you after your lessons.

Sincerely,

Andromeda

Yes! Harry was relieved that they agreed to move to his place. He really didn't want them to be attacked by Death Eaters and die when he could have offered them a safe place to live. Kreacher would be happy to have even more people to care for in Black Manor. One of them was even a born Black who Kreacher knew from his 'glory days'.

Then he grabbed the letter from Gringotts and opened it.

Lord Black,

We of Gringotts are glad to inform you that the Will of the late James and Lily Potter of the Ancient House of Potter has officially been opened. Do you, as the main benifactorary and Heir, want a public reading of the Will or would you rather have a small copy sent to those who were left something by the late James and Lily Potter?

We have, at your request, made a Trust Vault for Andromeda Tonks nee Black with the dowry she should have recieved had she not been disowned before her marriage.  We also made the Trust Vault for a Nymphadora Libra Tonks and her unborn child as you requested.

Sincerely,

Grudgehammer

Assistant Account Manager

Harry was glad to read he had the option to sent everyone a small copy of the Will. He really didn't want to see Remus or Dumbledore right now and he was pretty sure that they would be mentioned and thus invited to his parents Will reading. Could you imagine? He spent all this time in hiding himself and then he would be caught because of the Will reading of his parents. No, he would not risk it. Private Will reading it is.

So that is what he'd write in his reply to the goblin Grudgehammer. He wondered who that was but he was sure that he'd meet him or her soon since they were in charge of the Potter Will. He quickly wrote the letter and put in in an envelope with his wax seal.

Then it was just the letter from Hermione left in which she just cooed over the pictures of the owl chicks he had sent her. He didn't know why she thought they were cute but she also thought that about Crookshanks. Harry supposed it was just a matter of taste. Still weird that she finds newborn baby birds cute through. He was glad that she missed his enough that after such a short time that she'd write him already. It gave him hope.

He liked writing to her anyway. It was an easy way for Harry to talk to her and she seemed to like it too even if they saw each other almost every day now.

But there was one thing that Hermione said in her letter that was something Harry hadn't thought about before and it made him feel very stupid. Hermione had asked him why he wasn't writing to other people like those in the DA.

Harry slapped his forehead. He was so used to not being able to communicate much with the Wizarding World or even having other people to write to that he completely forgot that he could now that he wasn't living with the Dursleys!

Since he had been planning to write a letter for Ron anyway he could now write a few more to Dean, Fred, George, Luna and a few other from the DA. He also should write a letter for Hannah to offer her his condolences for the death of her mother.

Hopefully Othello could deliver them for him. Harry would answer the letter Hermione sent him in person later today. She would come back to Longbottom manor again today and he hoped she had a nice day at the museum with her parents yesterday.

So first he wrote the letter for Ron.

Hi Ron,

How is your summer going? Mine has been great! I have left the Dursley's for a safer and much better place that Sirius made for me before everything happened. Sorry that I can't come to the Burrow this year. It is safer if I stay where I am. I hope you understand.

Have the Chudley Cannons played well this summer?

Say hi to your parents and siblings for me?

Sincerely,

Harry Potter

It wasn't exacly a very deep letter but Harry was happy with it. Ron was still his friend and he wanted to keep in contact with him even if they weren't as close as before. Now the letter for Fred and George.

Dear Fred and George,

You guys probably heard that I played a kinda big prank on Dumbledore and the Order and left my relatives house without telling everyone. Guys, let me tell you, BEST DECISION EVER! Padfood left me a safe-house in which I now live and it's great.

I found some stuff in here that I think you guys might like. Would you be interested in becoming a true Maraunder? Say yes and I will sent you the leaves you will need. Just keep it a secret. No one other than us should know.

Also, Padfoot asked me to play a prank in his honour. Any interest in helping me? I had a few ideas myself but I could use some help fine tuning it.

Sincerely,

Harry

It was probably telling that he wrote more and more honestly in the letter to Fred and George than in the letter he'd sent to Ron. He just wasn't as close to Ron as he was before his fourth year at Hogwarts but that didn't mean he wanted to cut him out of his life completely. They were still friends.

Fred and George however, had become close to him since they were part of the DA. Thay had always looked out for him as if Harry was another little brother, but now they were also truly friends. Harry knew that there was no way that Fred and George would stay out of the war not only with their surname but also with how they were. They would fight and Harry wanted to give them an edge.

He'd also ask Luna if she wanted to become an Animagus with them too. The strange girl had been a big help in the battle of the Ministry and they had gotten a lot closer over the last year. She had become a dear friend to him.

Hi Luna,

How are you doing? Did you have a nice summer? Have you found anything new on the trip with your father?

I have left my relatives house and I'm much happier where I am now. I was wondering if you wanted to do something with me and a few others? If you agree, I can sent you the Mandrake Leaf you will need of it with some instructions.

See you on the train on September the 1st!

Sincerely,

Harry

Now he just had to write a letter for a girl he didn't know very well who had just lost her mother. Well, he did know some things about grief.

Hi Hannah,

How are you doing? My condolences on the death of your mother. Is there anything I or any member of the DA can do for you?

Wishing you and your family wel,

Harry James Potter

He hoped it was alright. It was the first time he had to write a condolences letter and he hoped it woudn't make things worse for Hannah in anyway. She was a kind girl and Susans best friend and he did not want to upset her more than she already is.

The letter for Dean and Seamus were just about the same as the one he wrote for Ron just with some different subjects and the ones for the members of the DA were identical since he just copied the letters. He had decided that he would ask the members if they wanted to continue the lessons after the Summer ended. And so he wrote,

Dear member of the DA,

How is your summer going? Since it is now in the open that Voldemort has returned I wanted to ask the members of the DA if they wanted to continue the lessons as school starts again. Only this time as a legal school club.

If you want to start with the lessons again please notify me with your answer as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Harry James Potter

Harry put all the letters in an envelope and went to the owlery to find Othello. On the stairs he met with Tonks who looked like she had been working out and just back from a shower. She looked energised and a bit more like the Tonks he was used to.

Tonks greeted him with her usual, "Wotcher, Harry!" As she ruffled his hair on the way down. While Harry tried to smooth his hair down again he explained to Tonks what her mother said in her letter and asked if she wanted to go with him to Longbottom Manor.

Amelia would be there too and then they could have a talk about Tonks her job as an Auror now that she was pregnant. Tonks agreed and Harry walked further up the stairs so he could go to the owlery. Tonks went downstairs so she could sit in the living room with her book about werewolves.

When Harry came into the owlery he could hear both adult owls cooing at their owlets and Harry had to smile at the sound. He was glad that both owls seemed to be good parents. Not that he truly expected anything different with Hedwig. She loved mothering him. If she could have fed him mice like she did her chicks she'd have done so. Hedwig had known he didn't get enough food at the Dursleys.

When he walked into view of the nook where Hedwig had built her nest he could see both owls standing at the edge of the nest cooing down at the chicks. They made such a sweet picture together that Harry had to smile.

The chicks had grown a bit since their birth and Harry was surprised with how quick they seemed to have grown. Did magical owls grow up quicker than muggle ones? The owlets were still small but there was a small layer of fluffy feathers covering them now. It made them a lot cuter than the featherless chicks they had been at their birth.

Two of the owlets were a fluffy light grey and seemed to take a bit more after their mother than their father for what Harry could tell. The last owlet was a brown-ish grey fluff covered owlet and he or she seemed to take more after their father.

Harry greeted both owls and patted the chicks softly on their heads with one finger. They squeaked at him and Harry laughed softly. They were cute little things.

Harry asked Othello if he wanted to deliver the stack of letters for him since Hedwig couldn't leave her nest just yet. Othello agreed and let him tie the letters to his leg. Then Othello hooted at his chicks, rubbed his head against Hedwigs and flew away through one of the windows of the owlery.

Harry turned back to his first friend and said, "You know what, Hedwig? I think you picked a good one. He treats you well, right?" While he scratched Hedwig under her chin. Sue him, he just wanted to make sure that his owl was happy, alright?

Hedwig looked at him like if she could have rolled her eyes, she would have and Harry laughed. So he let this topic go and started telling her about Effy and Potter Manor and how lovely it looked.

After talking to her for a while Harry said goodbye again and cast another warming charm for the owlets and Hedwig. He also promised Hedwig to ask Kreacher to give her some bacon after breakfast since she missed her usual piece of bacon now she didn't deliver his letters anymore.

He went downstairs to find Tonks reading with a great concentration the werewolf book. He hoped that she would find something but he didn't have much hope. But he still asked her, "Did you find anything, Tonks?"

Tonks startled and looked up to Harry and said a bit morosely, "No, I can't find anything about what fits with Remus behavior. There are more books that I haven't read yet so hopefully I will find something in there. But I'm getting kinda afraid that the problem is just with Remus."

Tonks continued with, "What will I tell my baby if their father never gets better?" Shaking her head she put the book away and stood up, "But never mind that, is it time for us to go already?"

Harry nodded and called for Dobby to ask him if he still wanted to take them to Longbottom Manor now that Tessy had accepted another Elf as her partner. But Dobby seemed to be mostly over it already and Harry wondered if a certain Elf called Effy had anything to do with that. Harry was happy for him if that was the case. Effy seemed like a wonderful friend for Dobby if nothing else.

Dobby took both their hands and popped them over to the Longbottoms. They were just in time for lunch and and after it would be time for the lessons with Amelia. She had promised them to teach them how to cast spell chains. It sounded very handy to know in a battle and Harry couldn't wait. Hermione would be able to come to again today so they would all be learning it together.

Today Harry had been given a break from lessons with Gran since he had gone to Potter Manor this morning. He was glad, Harry felt a bit exhausted after that talk with his grandparents. Not physically but mentally exhausted. After lunch Tonks went to speak with Amelia for a private chat. A little while later she came back looking happy and she told Harry she'd get light duty for the time she was pregnant and for some time after the baby was born and still breastfeeding him or her.

Harry pulled a bit of a face with the last one and Tonks laughed at him for it.

Since the breastfeeding bit was a bit much for the teenage boy, Harry was glad when Amelia called him and the other two over to go to the training room and start their lesson. Still, he was happy for his cousin. As Harry was quickly walking away he could still hear Tonks laughing behind him.

When Harry, Neville and Susan arrived in the training room, Amelia and Hermione were already waiting for them. Hermione came to stand next to him so the four of them were standing in front of Amelia. She was standing so close they were almost touching hands. He could smell her shampoo, vanilla and something that smelled like Harry imagined the sea would smell like. Harry didn't dare move in case she would make a bigger distance between them.

Clearing her throat, Amelia looked serious when she told them what they would learn today other than the promised spell chains.

Today she would teach them how to apparate.

Chapter Text

Apparition was the art of disappearing from one location and appearing at another. Basically the teleportation that muggles know but more dangerous for the witch or wizard doing it.

Apparition had the danger of splinching yourself if you didn't do it right. And splinching yourself meant leaving body parts behind which was a scary thing to discover but it was also a very handy skill to have in the war. Amelia Bones was willing to teach them that skill now even though it normally wouldn't be taught to underage children.

She put down four hoops on the floor and explained the mechanics of Apparition to them. She also told them that since she was the one teaching them als the Head of the DMLE that it would be legal. They would be getting the papers to prove it. Normally you could only learn it when you were seventeen or older but this was a nessecary skill in these times according to Amelia. After they had succeeded in appearing in the hoop a few times without splinching themselves she'd give them the papers so they could get their licence.

And Harry agreed. This would be good to know how to get away quickly. It took a while of spinning in circles and imagining yourself appearing in the hoop but eventually it was Neville who appeared first with a loud bang into the hoop. He was just missing his eyebrows but Amelia quickly spelled them back in the right place.

Neville was so surprised that he did it first, he looked really proud of himself when Susan, Harry, Hermione and Amelia congratulated him. Harry was happy for his friend. Neville had gotten more confident lately but a little bit more confidence wouldn't hurt him.

Now it was just Harry, Hermione and Susan left who had to appear in the hoops. Neville, meanwhile, was Apparating from the hoop to his original spot and back again.

They tried a few more times before Harry looked at Hermione and Susan and asked them, "Shall we try it together now?" They looked back at him and nodded. They counted from three, two, one and spinned in a circle at the same time as the other. There sounded a loud pop and both Harry, Hermione and Susan stood in their hoops.

"We did it!" Hermione said happily as she ran over to Harry to hug him. Harry was a bit surprised by the hug but he quickly relaxed into it. Her hair smelled nice, he noticed once again. Merlin, he really was getting pathetic. Harry needed to start doing something because this wasn't working either.

Neville and Amelia congratulated them and Susan ran over to hug her aunt. Harry stood there with his arms still around Hermione as Nev came over and smirked knowingly at him. Harry was sure he turned bright red and was glad Hermione couldn't see it. Why was she still standing there hugging him anyway? Not that it didn't feel nice to have her in his arms but surely this wasn't normal friend behavior?

Amelia clapped in her hands to get their attention and congratulated them again before she said, "Very well done! You guys got it in less then a day. Good job. Now since we have a bit of time left I wanted to start teaching you four something else. It will be a difficult thing to learn but it will be an amazing skill to have if you kids can master it."

Harry sat up straigther as he listened to what she wanted to teach them. She wanted to teach them how to feel the magic around them and the magic in objects. She was going theach them how to feel if something was cursed, or which curse their opponent cast at them. It sounded awesome and Harry wanted to be able to do that.

He'd already started to feel the magic around him since the Horcrux had been removed from his head but this was a step futher. It would be very handy if he could feel the curse someone could sent at him. He also thought it might be a bit of a help with the Animagus transformation.

Amelia continued explaining that this was the first step for learning how to spell chain. While one could do it without, it would be better if they learned this first. This way they could learn to mold the magic even quicker for the spell chain.

Which made him think he still had to ask if Hermione and Susan wanted to become one with them. He had the Mandrake leaves on him so if they wanted to become an Animagus then they could start the first step in the process immediately.

But he would ask them on the usual walk after training. Susan's aunt was still in law enforcement after all.

Amelia had the four of them sit down in a comfortable position in which they could stay for a while. Then she asked them to close their eyes and focus on the magic moving inside of them.

Amelia spoke in a calm voice and it didn't take long for Harry to calm down and focus on his magic. It took a little longer but soon he had found his magic moving around in his body. It felt like there was a thunder storm around him but he could sense that it would never harm him or those he loved. He could feel the connections to Andromeda, Ted and Tonks in his magic.

He felt great and he wondered why Snape never taught him this when he was using Legilimency on him to teach him Occlumeny. This was a great way to clear his mind.

He opended his eyes again when he heard Amelia calling for him. He looked around him and saw that the other three were looking at him with wide eyes.

"Merlin, Harry, that was brilliant!" Neville exclaimed. Susan nodded fervently and Amelia looked thoughtful. Hermione just looked proud, like she expected this from him, whatever he just had done.

Amelia said to Harry when she saw his confusion, "You, Harry, are a very powerful Wizard. When you found your magic it flowed out and it spread around your body so that we could feel it too. I never expected you to be able to do it so soon. It can take months for an adult Wizard to be able to do what you just did."

Amelia continued with, "I think you might just be a natural. But that doesn't mean you get to slack off. I still expect you to work hard."

Harry was very serious when he nodded his agreement. He was surprised to hear that he did so well in this while his Occlumency lessons did not go well at all. He decided to ask Amelia, "Amelia? Last year while at school I had Occlumency lessons from a professor in the hope that Voldemort wouldn't be able to get in my mind. But I only got the instruction to clear my mind before he used Legilimency on me. Is that the normal way to teach it?"

Harry didn't know what he hoped for as answer but the way Amelia looked was kinda scary. She looked very angry and very much like the badass Head of the DMLE she is.

Amelia took a deep breath before she said in a scarely calm voice, "Who was your teacher, Harry?"

Harry was a bit unsure when he replied with, "Erm... Professor Snape was trying to teach me but I coudn't do it."

Amelia nodded with a forced calm and said, "That is not the way to teach Occlumency, Harry. If you do it the way you said then the only thing that happens is that you hurt the person you use Legilimency on. It is abuse and not the way you should ever teach a student in your care."

Hermione gasped, horrified. Harry was shocked. He knew that he and Snape kinda hated each other but he was still surprised that Snape would deliberately hurt him. He was a bully, yes, but he did safe Harry's life a few times times. Could it be that he didn't know that is would hurt Harry? Small chance, Harry knew but he didn't want to believe Snape hated Harry and both his fathers so much that he would hurt a student in his care.

So Harry asked, "Could it be that he didn't know he was hurting me? I mean, he is a bully but he did safe my life a few times. Why would he try to hurt me now?"

"What do you mean Professor Snape is a bully? Has he hurt you before?" Amelia was looking very, very calm right now and Harry knew that this was the calm before the storm.

But Harry was also a bit confused. How was it that she didn't know about Snape's behavior? Did Susan never tell her? Did no one ever complain about the man?

Harry looked at Neville and Susan and saw that Neville looked just as confused. Susan wasn't looking any better and Harry was getting a bad feeling.

Why did no one from the Ministry come to find the monster of Slytherin? Or Fluffy? Or Aragog? Or at least come to Hogwarts to defend the students? Why did no one check the professors to see if they could actually teach? Why, why, why? There were so many questions about his school years. Was Hogwarts completely independed from the Ministry of Magic? Then why was it possible for the Minister to appoint Umbridge as the High Inquisitor? He didn't understand.

Harry started to explain about Snape and how he taught his students. Neville and even Hermione chimed in with there own traumatic experiences with Snape and Susan explained what she witnessed happening over the years. Snape was apparently a bit kinder to Susan and her Potions class than he was to the Slytherin/Gryffindor class.

Amelia nodded and said, "That is not alright. Unfortunately it's not possible to do much about it at this time. Hogwarts is a mostly independent institution from the Ministry. The only way for things to change in Hogwarts is either the Headmaster or the Board of Governors. They have to give their approval. I can arrest Snape if he does something illegal but as of yet, from what you've told me, it hasn't gotten that far."

She continued with, "While the Ministry has some power in Hogwarts it isn't enough to make changes without the permission of either one. So here is what we will do, I will talk with Augusta and we will take it to the other parents on the board. It is not acceptable for him to treat you like that. If we can get most of the Board of Governors on board we will be able to get Professor Snape fired. But only then."

The four teenagers sitting in front of her nodded. They hoped that the parents of the children in Snape his class who are on the Board could do something about it. It wasn't right that the biggest fear of a child was his professor.

Amelia asked them for their memories of the lessons with Professor Snape and the Occlumency lessons he took with them. They agreed and soon there were around 12 vials with silvery glowing memories. Amelia would show them to the other parents as evidence so that they could see for themselves.

This concluded their training session and so the three teenagers went for their usual post training walk on the Longbottom grounds.

The four teenagers talked about the training they did today and how glad they were that they were able to apparate now. It was a great feeling to know that they were able to quickly get away now. They played around with it for a bit before they continued on with walking.

Harry told them both about Potter Manor and how it made him feel. All were very understanding about how it felt for Harry to visit his ancesteral Manor.

All three of them had grown up in the same house as their parents had grown up in. Neville and Susan knew the feel of their family magic and had grown up with the history of their family. Harry never had any of that before he ran away to Number 12, Grimmauld Place. And that was only the Black side of his family, not his Potter side. Harry had been born a Potter so it wasn't strange that he felt more connected to the Potter family magic.

He told them about his thoughts of moving to Potter Manor even thought he just invited Andromeda and her husband to come live with him and Tonks. He hoped that they woudn't mind.

His friends assured him that it would be fine. It would be only right for Harry to live in Potter Manor. Maybe Black Manor could be a weekend home or something?

Harry then asked Hermione and Susan if they wanted to become Animagi with them. He told the girls about what Sirius had told him in his letter to Harry and he showed them the Mandrake leaf.

Susan looked touched that they would think of her and she quickly agreed. She would love to become an Animagus. She hugged Harry and Neville both and locked her arms together with Hermione. Harry had noticed that Susan seem to like walking like that. Hermione, of course, had a few questions before agreeing.

After explaining all he knew about the process Harry gave Hermione and Susan their leaf and told them how to stick it up to the roof of their mouth. They did so and made a face at the taste of the leaf. Harry and Neville were sympathatic. The Mandrake leaves were really gross.

He hoped that they all got a cool or at least an useful animal. It was great to be doing this together with his friends.

A House Elf popped in front of them to tell them that Andromeda and Ted had arrived. Harry was a bit nervous for this meeting but he had the feeling that he and Ted would get along great with what Andromeda had told him about the man.

The four of them walked back together to the Manor and went to the sun room where the House Elf had told them to go. Harry walked in first and saw Andromeda, Gran, Tonks and a man he assumed to be Ted drinking tea.

Ted Tonks was a tall man with brown hair and friendly hazel eyes. He looked kind. Harry felt himself relax and he went up to the guest to greet them. He air kissed Andromeda's hand and shook the hand Ted gave him.

"Hello, my Lord, my name is Ted and I am very glad to meet the person who made my Andy so happy." Ted looked Harry straight in the eyes as he said this and Harry could feel himself begin to blush. He really wasn't good with compliments.

Harry took a moment before he said, "Thank you Mr. Tonks. It is nice to meet more family. And thank you for agreeing to move in with me."

"Call me Ted, kid, and it is I who should thank you for opening your home for us. It is a very kind thing of you to do."

Harry nodded and took a seat. Neville, Hermione and Susan greeted the guests and went to sit down with a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. Hermione was talking to Gran about Wizarding culture and her role in it as a muggleborn. She had seen Harry's behavior change and wanted to know if she should be doing things differently in the Wizarding World. Apparently, she didn't want to be unknowingly rude.

Gran was visibly charmed by Hermione's questions and agreed to teach her the ways of a magical Lady. She was writing down some books for Hermione to read when Harry decided it was time to tell his new roommates about his visit to Potter Manor and how he really wanted to move there even thought he just invited the both of them to live with him. He really hoped they woudn't be mad.

So he started to tell them about his visit but before he could tell them about his change of plans, Andromeda interrupted him with soft smile on her face, "Harry, do you want to live there? We would understand."

Harry was very much relieved that she understood and that they didn't mind. Now he just had to tell Kreacher and Dobby. He hoped that Kreacher wouldn't mind to much since there would still be three people living in Black Manor and Harry thought that Dobby might like it if he could help out in both Manors since both Effy and Kreacher would like some help.

Perhaps when Winky joined them they could be assigned more permanent places like Dobby and Effy for Potter Manor and Kreacher and Winky for the Black Manor. If they wanted that. Harry was at least sure that both Kreacher and Effy wanted to stay where they were.

After tea time and the dinner they had together, Harry was sure he liked Ted Tonks. The man was friendly to his core and clearly cared for his family. Which the man had decided now included Harry.

After dinner Harry called the Elves so that they could take all four of them to Black Manor. The Elves were exited to have more people to take care of around and took them home. Andromeda and Ted had a few trunks shrunken in their pockets which they took out so that Kreacher could take it to their rooms.

Tonks went upstairs again for some rest and Harry went to sit down in the living room. Now he just had to talk to his Elves about wanting to move to Potter Manor.

And so he called, "Dobby, Effy, Kreacher!"

Luckily, all three the Elves seemed to like his plan to move to Potter Manor and Effy was exatic to hear his plans. Dobby also liked his plan for him to help out in both Manors and Kreacher just seemed glad that he'd still have people to care about in Black Manor.

Harry also reassured Kreacher that he'd sleep at least one night a week in Number 12, Grimmauld Place and visit them often. Hedwig wasn't able to move just yet so Harry would stop by a lot so he could see her and her owlets. Thought he hoped that with the rate the chicks were growing that it would be possible to move them soon. It was quite weird how quick the chicks had grown in the last few days. If it continued in this rate then they would be able to try flying soon.

The move would happen tomorrow and Harry couldn't wait. But now he had a stack of letters waiting for him on the side table that he would have to read first.

The letter were from the DA members and one from Hannah Abbott. He opened that one first and started reading.

Dear Harry,

Thank you for your letter. It is a difficult time but sharing and talking about it with my friends makes it a bit easier. I heard that you wanted to know if the DA could continue after the summer. I would really like that but I don't know if you heard, my dad doesn't want me to go to Hogwarts this year. I'm trying to convince him to let me go but it is a work in progress. Either way, my vote is yes.

Once again thanks for your kind letter.

Sincerely,

Hannah Abbot

Harry was relieved that it seemed that he did the right thing in writing her a letter and he hoped that she'd be able to convince her father to let her come to Hogwarts. If only for Susan's sake. Harry was also glad to hear that at least one person wanted to continue the DA. Though he would have to change the name as soon as possible. Dumbledore's Army was not a good name anymore. Perhaps he would just change it to Defense Association. Then it could keep being called the DA.

He knew already that Nevilee, Susan and Hermione liked the thought of continuing the DA and the new name. Hermione especially liked that they might be an official club this year. She was already making plans and schedules and Harry caught himself thinking it was cute how excited she was to be planning for a new year of DA classes.

He was even thinking how cute it was how she made schedules. Schedules. Merlin, he had it bad.

Harry had a strong urge to bang his head against a wall when Tonks walked into the room. Harry was startled since he thought she had gone for a rest in her room. The pregnancy took a lot of energy out of her and it didn't help that she was barely able to keep her food down. Luckily she felt a bit better since coming to live here. Tonks had regular check-ups with her mum and everything was still looking good.

Tonks took one look at Harry and said, "Are you alright, kid?" Her hair circled from a bright pink to a concerned light yellow.

Harry groaned again and said to Tonks, "You ever had a crush on a friend?"

Tonks laughed and said with a strange look on her face, "Well, actually yes, I did have a crush on a friend. It was back in Hogwarts and after we manned up we dated for a few years. We only decided to split up since we had very different ideas for our futures. I wanted to becoma an Auror and he wanted to move out of the country for his dream. He was my best friend."

Harry leaned forward in interest, "Who was he?" He hoped she wouldn't mind him asking that. Tonks had become a cousin/big sister figure to him in the short time they lived together. While he didn't want to know every gross detail, he did want to get to know her better.

Tonks looked a bit uncomfortable when she replied with, "Your friend Ron's older brother, Charlie. He was my best friend in Hogwarts but we kinda lost touch after we broke-up after our graduation."

He was surprised to hear that Tonks had dated Charlie. Ron never told him that but perhaps he never knew. Though it was a few years ago and Ron wasn't the most observant person he ever met. So he asked her, "Don't you miss him?"

Tonks laughed bitterly, "Of course I do. But he could have contacted me too, you know? It goes both ways. And now I'm pregnant so the best thing I can do is focussing on my baby. Nothing else matters more."

Harry thought it was sad that Tonks and Charlie lost contact. They were best friends for seven years before they dated each other. He really didn't want something like that happening with him and Hermione if he ever gathered the courage to ask her out.

Then Tonks perked up, "Does that mean you have a crush? On whom? Somebody from school? Susan? Ginny? Hermione? Hermione!"

Harry must have showed someting om his face when she named Hermione because now she had a shit-eating grin on her face. He groaned again.

Was this what people felt like when their sister teased them? He thought so. It was kinda nice in a very annoying way. She looked minutes away from singing that annoying song about sitting in a tree. If she did, Harry'd... do something. Could he even curse a pregnant witch? Oh no, Tonks looked like she knew what he was thinking, and she was enjoying it.

Tonks stood up and ruffled his hair and said to him, "Don't worry so much, Harry. As long as you treat her right and respect her choices, everything should be alright. Just let what will happen, happen."

It felt nice to have an older sister-figure telling him this stuff. But the hair ruffeling was annoying. It wasn't like the Potter hair wasn't already messy on it's own. Before she left the room Harry still had one thing to say to her, "Perhaps you could write him a letter? Maybe he thinks the same way as you do about it all and it can't hurt to have at least tried, right?"

Tonks stopped in the doorway and said, "Perhaps you are right. Would you mind if I borrowed Effy for it? Since she is the Elf no one knows about."

Harry agreed and wished her a goodnight. It was getting late but Harry wanted to read the other letters sent to him and he still needed to visit Hedwig and her owlets. He was glad to see that Othello was back with Hedwig. He and Hermione had talked about it and they han agreed to stop using Othello for sending letters for a while. Hedwig needed him with her for a while yet.

The next letter he opened was from Fred and George. He hoped that Errol had come through the wards alright. He opened the letter and read.

Harry,

How are you, mate? We loved your grand escape from Durskaban! Taking after Padfoot, are you? Althought we are a bit offended that you didn't ask for our help. It would have been a nice Potter-Weasley tradition, don't ya think? We're sure we could have found our good old Ford Anglia somewhere. Or made our own.

Mum was in a right snit about it but she was glad to hear that you are alright where ever you are. Do be prepared for some groveling when she sees you again. You might be her favorite child, after Ginny of course, but she was worried sick about you. Professor Dumbledore didn't help there. He was acting strange, mate.

Of course we want that! We read some things about it ourselves and we would be grateful for your help with supplying the leaves. We can make the potion ourselves in our new home.

Speaking of, we do hope you will be able to visit our new shop. You are after all our silent partner. We couldn't have done it without you, mate.

We would love to help you with your prank. Visit us and we can talk about it. We can't wait to show you our shop! It is brilliant even if we're saying it ourselves.

Misschief Managed,

Fred and  George

Harry was very glad they wanted to become an Animagi with him. He would sent them the leaves as soon as possible. Harry couldn't wait to see what they had done with their prank shop. It was sure to be awesome.

Now the letter from Ron sent him. Harry was quite surprised that he had answered him so quickly but perhaps Ron was a bit bored this summer. Last summer he had come with his family to Grimmauld Place but that, of course, hadn't been possible this year. So Ron was stuck in his house with only his family this summer. Harry didn't think that was a horrible thing, he quite liked the idea of living with family. He opened the letter so he could read it.

Hey mate,

It is bloody boring around the Burrow. Mum won't let us leave since You-Know-Who is now out in the open. The only thing to do around here is chores and a bit of flying.

I'm glad that you left the Dursleys but did you have to do it this way? Mum and Ginny were right worried about you. I was too, I guess.

Thanks for letting us know that you are safe.

The Chudley Cannon are doing good this summer! They almost won from the Hollyhead Harpies! They only lost with a 250 point difference from the Harpies. It was bloody awesome to listen to on the Wireless.

See you at Hogwarts!

Ron

Harry was glad to read that Ron wasn't mad about him leaving the Dursleys without telling him. While he and Ron weren't as close as in their first few years at Hogwarts, they were still friends and Harry will never forgot the good times of their friendship. Ron was still the first human friend he made.

The next few letter were some very enthusiastic replies to his letter asking the DA if they wanted to continue the DA lessons. He was touched that they wanted to keep coming to the lessons.

He wrote a response to Fred and George and went to grab a vial with two Mandrake leaves. He hoped that the owl who had brought the letter was still in the owlery. Otherwise he might have to use Errol and the poor old owl couldn't handle both going back to the Burrow and to the shop of Fred and George.

Now Harry would go and visit Hedwig and her chicks and then it was bed time. He been working hard in these last few weeks and he was getting a bit tired. But he was glad with what all his work did. Harry had shot up a few inches and filled out a bit. He wasn't short or very thin anymore and he was very glad to not be so small anymore.

He was also able to defend himself a lot better than before. Harry had capable adults around him that cared about him. He made a new friend and found out a lot more about his family. He even found a portrait of his grandparents that he couldn't wait to talk more to.

As he walked up the stairs he stopped to talk with Alphard for a bit. The man had been flirting with the portrait next to him and looked strangely caught when Harry stopped in front of him.

Harry was amused to see an adult man blush after being caught flirting with with the male in the portrait next to him. The man didn't look like a Black so he was probably a spouse of a Black. Alphard came back in his own portrait looking a bit flustered so Harry said with a smirk, "So this is why you wanted to be placed back with the rest?"

Alphard perked back up when he saw no dissaproval on Harry s face and smirked back at him and said, "I'm sorry my Lord, I don't kiss and tell."

Harry laughed and they talked for a while. Alphard was the kind of uncle Harry wished he could have grown up with. Instead he got Vernon Dursley. But now he had both Alphard's portrait and Ted Tonks. They were good people.

After a while Harry said goodnight and went further up the stairs and up to the owlery. There where two more owls in the owlery than usual not counting Othello. Hedwig was sitting on her nest in her usual nook with Othello sitting next to her.

Hedwig and Othello hooted their greeting and Hedwig sat up a bit so that Harry could see her owlets. They were growing so fast but Harry had read that that was normal for magical owls. They looked as if they were around 8 weeks old now instead of a few days. They looked a lot better than when they got out of their eggs.

Harry scratched all the owls in the little family on the spots they liked and cast another warming charm. Hedwig cooed at him and her owlets and went back to sleep. Harry could imagine being exausted with raising three baby owls. They were always hungry and not shy on letting it show.

Othello hooted at Harry and went out for a hunt so that he could feed his mate and chicks. Harry was glad that Othello was so caring for Hedwig and their chicks. It was clearly a lot of work to keep them all fed.

Harry went over to the other owls and asked them to take the letters for Fred, George and Ron. Well, he asked Errol if he wanted to stay here and rest for a while since he didn't have a reply for Ron and he asked the Eagle owl with the orange eyes if he could take the letter and vial with the Mandrake leaves to Fred and George.

Both hooted back at him and Harry tied the letter and vial to the held out leg of the eagle owl. The owl hooted again and flew away through a window.

Errol meanwhile had gone back to sleep. Harry carefully scratched him on his head and went back to the Master Suite. He really hoped that the Weasleys would stop using Errol soon. The poor owl clearly couldn't take it anymore. Perhaps they could use Pigwidgeon a bit more often?

He said softly goodnight as not to wake the old owl and went back to his own rooms so he could go to bed.

Tomorrow he would move to Potter Manor.

Chapter Text

The next morning came with the sound of birds singing and Harry woke up feeling rested. Harry had never known how restful sleep could be, but ever since he had the Horcrux removed from his forehead he slept like a baby. But enough woolgathering, today was the day he'd move to the ancesteral Potter Manor. He couldn't wait to actually live there. To walk were his father had walked before him, to wake up and just live in the same place his father and all the Potters before him had grown up.

He was really glad that the Tonkses didn't mind him moving away otherwise it would have been a very difficult decision to make for him. He wouldn't have wanted to start their relationship as family members with strife. But Potter Manor was his home and luckily Andromeda, Ted and Tonks understood that.

He walked down to the dining room for his breakfast and he was surprised to see Ted, Andromeda and Tonks already seated. Tonks was clearly in her usual bad morning mood as he expected but Ted was unlike his usual cheery self, sitting there half asleep.

"Goodmorning all." Harry said to his new family members. This would be the first and last breakfast he'd have with them while he was actually living here.

"Wotcher, Harry!" Both Tonks and Ted mumbled grouchingly. Harry could definitely see the strong father-daughter resemblance there.

Meanwhile Andromeda said calmly and politly, "Thank you and goodmorning to you too, Harry. Did you have a good night of sleep?"

"Yes I did, thank you for asking. I hope that your first night here was good too?" Harry asked Andromeda.

Andromeda said that they had slept well and that there was mail waiting for him on the side table in the living room. Harry nodded in thanks but decided to eat his breakfast first.

They ate their breakfast together and after that was done, Tonks and her father were able to talk again. Harry went to the living room to take a look at his mail. But before he left, Tonk asked him for a private moment. In the hallway without her parents being able to overhear she asked him if it was still alright to ask Effy to deliver a letter to Charlie Weasley. Harry told her that of course it was alright and immediately called Effy for her. Otherwise Harry had a strong suspicion that Tonks would have kept the letter to herself for as long as possible.

Still, he was glad Tonks had decided to reach out to Charlie Weasley. Charlie was a good man and Tonks needed all the support she could get. Harry couldn't imagine being separated from Hermione for as long as Charlie and Tonks had been.

That done, he walked to the living room to see a letter from Gringotts laying on the side table and Harry quickly opened it. It was from Bloodaxe and what he had written was amazing news.

Lord Black,

We of Gringotts are glad to inform you that after some help from a source in Hogwarts and yourself we were able to discover that the fifth Horcrux has already been destroyed and the sixth we found in the ever changing room you told us about.

All six Horcruxes are now destroyed and the only one left is Nagini, the snake which we will move to destroy after a meeting between the two of us.

Another interesting bit of news is that the fifth Horcrux was found destroyed in the Headmasters office. Our source told us that he didn't destroy the horrible artifact unscathed. The Headmaster is dying.

We estimate he has a less then year of life left.

We invite you for a meeting tomorrow at 11 o'clock to discuss the last steps in the plan.

Sincerely,

Bloodaxe

Accountmanager of House Black

There was only one Horcrux left now! Voldemort was almost mortal once again. Harry ran to the kitchen to tell the people still sitting there. They too were very happy to hear the news and hugged Harry.

He really couldn't imagine what would have happened if he never found out about the Horcruxes. He was now almost sure that Dumbledore knew about the Horcruxes too. He wondered how long Dumbledore had known about them.

Wait, didn't the Headmaster tell Harry a few years ago something about Voldemort leaving a piece of himself in Harry that night? Did that mean that Dumbledore knew about the Horcrux in Harry's head?

And if so, why hadn't he done something, anything about it? The goblins had quite easily created a ritual for living Horcruxes so why hadn't Dumbledore gone to the goblins if he hadn't known how to take it out of Harry himself?

It couldn't be that the Headmaster had been counting on Harry to die when facing Voldemort, right? He was a teacher and Harry had thought that the man cared about him. Was this what Hermione and her parents meant about grooming him? Was Albus Dumbledore grooming Harry to die at the right moment at Voldemorts hands so that all the Horcruxes would be gone?

The three in the kitchen with him saw him getting paler and paler and they were getting worried. Andromeda laid a hand on Harry's shoulder and asked him carefully what was wrong.

Harry startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder but then hesitantly explained what was going on in his mind. He told them what Hermione told him in her letter and what he just thought about the Horcrux that was only recently taken out of him.

When he told them he could feel Andromeda's magic rising in the air around them. Her hair started to rise up and suddenly she felt and looked a lot more like her insane sister, Bellatrix Lestrange. Tonks hair had turned bright, dark red and even the always happy Ted had his mouth tightly pressed together.

Ted put a hand on Andromeda's arm as to calm her down and Harry was happy to feel te magic around her settle down a bit. His new Aunt was quite scary when she got angry.

They were quiet for a moment before Ted broke the silence when he said, "My wife told me that Madam Bones recommended you to sign a restraining order. Did you do that?"

Harry nodded and replied, "Yes, I did that the day after Amelia told me to. She said she'd file it discretely at the Ministry since she didn't want anyone to know she was in contact with me. She'd make sure Dumbledore signed it."

Andromeda let out a relieved breath, "Good, that means he can't come close to you. Do make sure that you will never be alone with him, Harry, he is clearly not to be trusted with your wellbeing."

She continued with a fierce look, "I also think that it is time to cast some discreet revealing spells at the man when we get a chance. There is really something wrong with him and we need to know if it is a health issue or if he has a secret evil personality we didn't know about before I curse him for his actions."

Harry agreed with her. He needed to know if he was wrong about the man he used to think about as a sort of grandfather or if he had a undiscovered health problem they could help him with. Althought according to the goblins it was very possible that Dumbledore had only a year left to life because of the Horcrux he destroyed.

Meanwhile Tonks was still very angry so Harry suggested that perhaps she would like to let out some steam in the training room. The dummies were indestructable even against a very angry and pregnant Black witch. At least they should be. Probably.

Tonks left for the training room and Harry called for Effy again and for Dobby so that they could help him move to Potter Manor.

"Effy, Dobby!" Harry called. Dobby and Effy appeared at the same time, looked at each other, blushed and quickly looked back at Harry.

Harry had to fight to keep the smile of his face at seeing how the two Elves reacted to each other. It's really cute and Harry was glad to see Dobby getting over Tessy. Effy was a very cute Elf and a much more practical choice anyway. Because if there had been children between Dobby and Tessy, where would they have lived?

No, if Effy and Dobby worked out it would be a lot better but it would always have been their own choice. Harry would not involve himself in his Elves love lives. No, he could barely manage his own.

He asked Dobby to take the clothes, books and other school stuff from the Lord rooms to the master suite of Potter Manor. Then he asked Effy if she could take Hedwig and her chicks to the owlery in Potter Manor. The owlets had grown more than Harry had expected and now they could be safely moved. According to the book Hermione had shared with him, Hedwig and her owlets could have been moved sooner but Harry wanted to make sure they were safe. He was glad that he wouldn't have to miss Hedwig in his new home.

The Tonkses had asked him to come to Grimmauld Place for a last dinner tonight so that they could celebrate him finding his own place. Not that they wanted him gone but it was very nice of them to want to celebrate something with him. This was going to be the first time he would celebrate something with his new family.

Effy popped in to tell him the Hedwig and the owl chicks were safely in the owlery of Potter Manor and that they were very happy to be there. Harry was glad that the move went well. You never know with the three mischievous owl chicks. That he still had to name.

Then Effy offered him her hand and they popped over to Potter Manor. His new home.

Harry spent the whole day exploring the Manor. He put his grandparents activated portrait in the living area so he could talk to them more often. He explored all the rooms and even found his father's old childhood bedroom. It was a wonderful discovery but Harry could see why his father was such a brat when he got to school, he had clearly been a very spoiled child.

After another talk with his grandparents in which he asked a lot of questions about his father and grandparents, Harry discovered that his grandparents had a very difficult time to get children of their own when they were still alive. Even with their magical lifespans it was only later in life, after a ferility ritual that his father came to be. By then his grandparents were in their late sixties and had almost given up hope.

So happy they had been with their little boy, that they hadn't been able to say no to any of his wishes. It had made for an arrogant, spoiled if kindhearted boy, who became a bit of a bully when things didn't go as he wanted. Harry really disliked this part of his father and his grandparents could see it.

It had all come to a head before his fathers sixth year. His grandparents found out about the bullying of their sons yearmate Snape and took their son to task. It had been the first time Fleamont and Euphemia ever punished their only son.

But it was the wake-up call he and they themselves had needed. James started to improve his behavior, study more seriously and stopped the bullying of Snape. His grandparents meanwhile took a good look at themselves and their parenting style. They all needed to change and change they did. It took a lot of work, his granfather told Harry, to look at yourself and decide you needed to change. To become better.

James had a serious talk with his parents and while they impressed on their son that bullying was never alright, it was alright to defend himself. If Snape were to attack first they expected him to finish it. To never be cruel but to finish it immediately. He was their only son and Heir of House Potter and he needed to live.

It was a interesting talk with Harry's grandparents. To see how he might have been raised if his parents had survived.

He was glad his father changed his ways, that he stopped being a arrogant toe-rag as his mother used to call him. Harry hated bullies so to hear that his father had been one, instead of the hero he had always been told, had been a shock. Still, at least his father had grown up to be a good man. Snape might have been bullied as a child, which is horrible yes, but he became a bully himself. Even worse, Snape, an adult, bullied the children in his care.

To clear his head from that conversation, he went for a fly on the ground of Potter Manor. This evening he would go back to Grimmauld Place of his celebration dinner but now he just wanted to fly after spending most of the day exploring inside. The skies were a beautiful blue and there was a nice strong breeze for flying. The grounds of Potter Manor were beautiful and clearly well taken care of by Effy.

He couldn't wait to show his home to his friends. To show Hermione this house. She would love the library he was sure and probably the rest of the house too. He hoped so at least.

It was the next morning that Harry woke up in his new bed in his new home. It had gotten a bit late last night with the Tonks family but it had been a great night. He even got to try a small glass of wine! It was disgusting but Andromeda said it would probably get better when he was an proper adult. Harry wasn't so sure about that. He would rather just stick with butterbeer from now on.

Tonks had been very happy that evening because she had gotten a reply from Charlie. Harry didn't know what it said but she didn't stop smiling the whole night so it must have been a good letter. He was glad for his cousin.

They played games, ate good food and talked, getting to know each other. Ted had been surprisingly competitive at the muggle boardgames they played for such a calm man. Though Andromeda won most of them with a calm smile on her face that was intimidating to look at. Tonks was a force of chaos and enjoyed it tremendously. Harry, just took it all in with big eyes and after another loss, just decided to give it his all. After that he won a few games to Ted and Tonks surprise. His aunt just winked at him when the others didn't see.

It had been a fun night.

Kreacher had been the one to bring him back late that night. The wards told him the old Elf went for a bit of a look around before popping back to Grimmauld Place. Hopefully liked the old Elf this Manor too. Harry went to bed with a smile on his face and fell asleep before he even hit his pillow.

His new room was just as big and beautiful as the room in Grimmauld Place but just like the rest of the house, was this room much more to his taste with the lighter colors. Grimmauld Place had cheered up a lot since he moved in this summer with Kreachers co-operation but it was still a bit gloomy. It was a wonderful room to wake up in. The sun shining through the big windows made everything look even brighter and Harry loved it.

Today he had another meeting with the goblins and Harry hoped that they could talk about Voldemorts final defeat. Harry had a plan for that and he hoped it was a good one.

Like he had said before, the Prophecy said that one had to die at the hand of the other. But Harry really didn't want to kill anyone, even Voldemort, if it wasn't necessary. He was sixteen years old. He wouldn't be able to defeat Voldermort anyway in a duel. Again, he was only sixteen. He still remembered the duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort at the Ministry of Magic. How tiny he had felt seeing their power and knowledge in action. Harry, while powerful, just couldn't match that with his sixteen years.

Now Harry had read that since he was a Lord, he could appoint someone to act as his Hand. Kinda like a bodyguard, acting in the Lord's name kind of thing. A Vassal.

In this meeting he wanted to discuss his plan and maybe ask if there were any goblins who wanted to act as his Hand for however long it took to get rid of Voldemort. Clearly, the goblins were a lot more competent then most of the Wizards he knew. The Witches he knew on the other hand..

But before he send his Gran after Voldemort he wanted to try the goblins. He liked the idea of it being a goblin who finished Voldemort. Voldemort being ended by one of the creatures he so distained seemed a bit like poetic justice, if you asked Harry.

Goblins were strong warriors with their own kind of magic and they hated Voldemort for creating Horcruxus. He had faith that they could kill Voldemort. Now he just wanted to know if it was possible with what the Prophecy said.

Harry ate his breakfast with both Dobby and Effy who was very surprised at this habit of them but she did like eating breakfast together as a family. She had indeed been alone for a very long time and was overjoyed to have people around her again.

After breakfast Harry went to the portraits of his grandparents and they told him another few stories about his father growing up. It was great to know some of the thing his father got up to as a young child but Harry was a bit sad that he wasn't able to see his fathers face when they told him the embarrassing stories. They were hilarious.

He hoped they also had a few about Sirius.

Soon it was time for the meeting and Dobby quickly popped him over to the usual meeting room. When Harry popped back in the room he could see Bloodaxe sitting as usual behind his big desk. The goblin stood up to greet him and Harry walked towards him so he could take a seat and start the meeting.

"Welcome, Lord Black, to Gringotts." This was the usual greeting from Bloodaxe and Harry was glad that he now knew for sure how to respond politly.

He made a slight bow with his head and said, "Thank you, Bloodaxe, for your welcome." Gran had thaught him the different kind of bows he should make in different kind of situations. Harry was very happy that with his titles he never had to make the full bow to someone, unless he ever met with the Monarch of Britain or something.

As they went to sit down the goblin said, "As we already informed you in the letter we sent you, the last two Horcruxes have been destroyed. This leaves only the snake Nagini whom never leaves her masters side. We have a plan for that but is there anything you can tell us that could make things easier in destroying the false lord permanently?"

Harry nodded and explained what he knew from the Prophecy and how he wanted to ask if it was possible to appoint a Hand who then could defeat Voldemort in his name instead of Harry himself like the Prophecy demanded. Either must die at the hand of the other.

Bloodaxe nodded thoughtfully and told him that he would have to talk this over with the King and their own divinition experts. Bloodaxe hoped in the privacy of his own mind that it was possible, his daughter would never forgive him if he let the boy go up against someone like the false lord. He told Harry that it might be good plan and if he was willing to wait here for a while Bloodaxe went to have his talks with the goblins necessary.

Harry agreed to wait. He wanted to have this done as soon as possible. He hoped that the King would think his plan could work. He didn't want anyone to die for him but he really thought that the goblins would have the best chance at defeating Voldemort. Better than a sixteen year old the rest of Britain seemed to want at least.

It was an hour later that Bloodaxe came back into the meeting room to see a lightly napping Lord Black. He tapped the boy on his shoulder and was amused to see the boy shoot upright.

Harry woke up feeling something very sharp close to his neck and he quickly sprang up. He was a bit embarrassed to see an amused looking Bloodaxe standing close to him.

They both went to sit back down again and Bloodaxe started talking, "Our experts agree that it is possible for you to appoint a Hand to take care of the so called Voldemort for you. The King is willing to have three of our best warriors become your Hand, Lord Black, but only if you release them from the duty as soon as Voldemort is dead."

"Of course! I don't need a Hand if Voldemort is dead and unable to come back ever again." Harry was quick to assure his Account Manager. He didn't want people bound to him if they didn't want to be. He didn't want people bound to him period.

"Good, I thought you would say that." Bloodaxe reached for the bell on the side of the desk and rang it. It was only a little bit later that three goblins walked into the room.

Harry thought that two of the three goblins were male and that the last one was female but it was a bit hard to see when all three had their armour on.

Bloodaxe stood up to introduce the three warriors to Harry, "Lord Black, these are one of the best warriors of their generation. They are very much able to kill the false lord now that he is almost mortal again. These proud warriors are Paincleaver, Opaldagger, and Bob."

Bob? Harry had to fight very hard to keep a straight face at the last name. He didn't know that some goblins had human names. It was hilarious to find out that one of the top warriors of the goblin nation was named Bob.

Bloodaxe continued with, "Warriors, this is the Lord Black. Now please take the oath and then you can move in on Tom Marvolo Riddle aka the false lord Voldemort."

The three nodded as one and Paincleaver stepped forward first, "I, Painceaver, Vow to defend you to my best abilty for the duration that Tom Marvolo Riddle or any of his soul-shards still walk this earth. I Vow to take care of your enemies as if they were my own for as long as Tom Marvolo Riddle lives. This I Vow, so mote it be."

Then it was Bob stepping forward to give the same oath in a surprisingly deep voice, "I, Bob, Vow to defend you to my best abilty for the duration that Tom Marvolo Riddle or any of his soul-shards still walk this earth. I Vow to take care of your enemies as if they were my own for as long as Tom Marvolo Riddle lives. This I Vow, so mote it be."

Now it was time for the last one to step forward and Harry was right in his suspicion when he heard her voice, "I, Opaldagger, Vow to defend you to my best abilty for the duration that Tom Marvolo Riddle or any of his soul-shards still walk this earth. I Vow to take care of your enemies as if they were my own for as long as Tom Marvolo Riddle lives. This I Vow, so mote it be."

Harry was so relieved to hear the vows made. It felt like a weight of his shouders that he didn't have to become a murderer just to be able to live his life. He would have done it if he had to but it was such a relief that he didn't have to kill anyone. He wanted revenge, yes, for his parents and Cedric's deaths but this way felt better. These goblins would do now what he couldn't on his own just yet.

With a grateful bow to the three goblins who agreed to take this duty from him Harry said, "Riddle is probably in the Riddle Manor of Little Hangleton with Nagini. Thank you all and good luck."

The three warriors bowed back and popped away. Now he just had to wait.

Chapter Text

Voldemort:

Things were going great again for the Dark Lord of Britain and soon enough, the ruler of the whole world. He might have been discovered by the wider public after the Ministry of Magic debacle but before that he had a whole year without resistance to prepare himself.

His plans were coming to fruition and even though his followers seemed to get dumber and dumber ever year, he was winning. It was hard to find good help, but luckily Voldemort himself more than made up for all the imbeciles under his commant.

A little while ago his spy had told him that the Potter brat had gotten away from under Dumbledore's big nose and was now somewhere untraceable. It was uncanny how to boy was able to get away from him and apparently also from Dumbledore. Still, the boy would appear soon enough and then the brat would finally get what he deserved.

Pain, agony and finally death, you know, the usual.

Every year since the brat had gone to Hogwarts, Voldemort had tried to either kill the Merlin be damned boy or just tried to come back to a body of his own. Or both if he was honest, and Lord Voldemort was always honest. The brats first year had been the most humiliating. The Great Lord Voldemort, defeated again. This time by a 11 year old little boy who didn't even know what he was doing.

Lord Voldemort could have accepted, barely, that the boys parents defeated him on that Halloween night all those years ago. Clearly, young James had done something to safeguard his Heir. Lord Voldemort could accept that. It had been unfortunate that he had to kill James Potter and his Mudblood wife for opposing him. The husband had an old bloodline that would have been a boon to his forces and the mudblood, well the mudblood had been strong too for one of her dirty muggle blood.

She even gave birth to the one Prophesized to be his downfall. Now, he could have forgiven her for that since his loyal servant clearly had a soft spot for the mudblood but then she dared to refuse him. Him, Lord Voldemort. He couldn't allow that so he killed her just like he had her husband moments before. Pity.

Turning his wand on the brat would become his greatest mistake. A mistake he seemed intent to keep on making. It had been unfortunate to discover that the Stone was kept at Hogwarts under Dumbledore's guardianship, but it had seemed like Lady Fortuna was smiling down on him when he got in as a teacher and saw his Prophesized downfall being sorted into Gryffindor. Not to mention how easy it had been to get to the Stone. If only that Mirror hadn't been there. If only the boy hadn't been there.

But that idiot brat of a boy kept opposing him! Him, The Great Lord Voldemort. And even worse, Harry Potter succeeded in stopping him every Merlin damned time. How was that possible?!

Had his parents bathed him in Liquid Luck as a baby?

It was unfortunate that he was still unable to get to the boy now that Potter had left the great wards he had lived under. Not to mention that when he finally found the place, Potter's relatives had abandoned the house too. How sweet it would have been to trick Potter again with one of his loved ones. And this time he would actually have them in front of his wand. How he wished he could have Potter listen to their screams. Such a shame they were gone.

It would have been victory for his forces if Potter had died sooner rather than later at his hands. To not even mention the victory it would have been to Voldemort himself. Damn that Potter boy.

No matter. It was not like either of his foes could ever manage to kill him. The Great Lord Voldemort was immortal after all. He had gone further than everyone ever before him. Death had no hold on him and never would again. Still, it was hard work being a Dark Lord. He had to listen to his whiny little pests of his followers day in and day out. How could it be that most of his followers had the maturity of a eleven year old? Less even.

Spoiled little brats that they were, they couldn't even do what he told them too and capture the Potter brat. His pureblooded followers had clearly never worked a day in their pittible little lives. All the good ones, the loyal ones had either gone insane while in Azkaban or had been killed. Now all he was left with were dumb nitwits. Nagini had more maturity than his own followers.

Lucius Malfoy had been pouting for so long now that the look seemed to be stuck on his face. Abraxas Malfoy had been a true follower before his much lamented death. Nothing like his whiney little son or grandson. If only Narcissa had been chosen to be his marked follower all those years ago. She might be a woman but at least she had some brains and cunning in her head unlike her husband.

But no, Voldemort had chosen Bellatrix out of the Black sisters. She had been a brilliant dueller back then and she had a knack for Dark Magic that her sister lacked. But that was all gone now. Now Bellatrix was a shadow of herself together with her husband and brother-in-law. All what was left of his once most promising follower was a cackeling mad woman.

Such a waste.

Still, even a cackeling madwoman had her uses. People still feared her. Now more then ever with her obvious madness but she was getting more difficult to control. Bellatrix was getting too obsessed with her Lord and it was getting troublesome. As if he, Lord Voldemort would ever allow himself to involve himself with one of his servants.

He missed Severus. He might not trust the dubble spy but at least the dour man knew how to behave himself with some grace.

If only he could kill them all. Or maybe just a few. It's nothing like anyone would miss them. Much. Nagini would love some more meals every now and then. Thought even she was complaining that eating his followers gave her ingestive problems. Perhaps it would be a better idea to stop these meetings in his fathers old manor. After all, he didn't need their opinion. He, Lord Voldemort knew best anyway.

It was at that moment the he noticed that it was suspiciously silent in the meeting room of Riddle Manor. His always yapping Death Eaters had gone silent and he didn't even have to curse them for it.

He looked up from his thoughts and took his wand out from his sleeve. His Death Eaters, those of his inner circle that came today were dead. Who had dared to do this? Who had dared to come into his home and kill his loyal servants? He cast a revealing charm and was surprised that it only found three small signatures. Not a Wizard or another humanoid being. Not his Nagini either.

A horrible snake-like scream sounded and Voldemort knew. Nagini was dead. They dared to attack his familiar? His precious, his Horcrux. They would pay in pain and blood. He would make sure of it.

What kind of creature had dared come here? What creature would dare to attack him, The Great and Immortal Lord Voldemort? Not that he was worried of any harm being done to him. He was the best. The most powerful and most of all, Lord Voldemort was immortal. No lowly creature would even be able to touch him.

However he never got the chance to even get a spell out to bring the so called pain and death. From one moment to the next he was suddenly on the ground suffocating in his own blood. This had something to do with Potter, he could feel it. Damn that brat!

As he faded away he could hear a deep growly voice chanting, "I, Bob, declare our Vow completed. May our Lord Hadrian Potter-Black be satisfied of our work. May our King Ragnok be proud of our work. So it has been done, so mote it be!"

…Bob?

Chapter Text

Previously on A very Black plan: Harry moved to Potter Manor together with Hedwig and her owlets. After a wonderful day full of exploring and a serious talk about his father with his grandparents, Harry went for a a evening of celebration with his new family members. Ted surprised him with his competitiveness when playing muggle games but it was a fun night either way. A family game night.

The next day Harry went to his meeting with Bloodaxe after getting a letter in which he was told about the last of the Horcruxses other than Nagini had been destroyed. Meanwhile Harry had come up with a plan of his own. Believing he would never be able to take Voldemort in a duel, he asked the goblins if it was possible to appoint someone else as his hand.  Hopefully a goblin would agree to help him, otherwise Harry was afraid his Gran would do it. Or Hermione.

The goblins agreed that the prophesy allowed for someone to act as his hand and loaned three warriors to him as Vassels while Voldemort or one of his soul-shards still walked this earth. They took the Oath and popped away for their hunt.

Now Harry just had to sit still and wait for news.


It was only a few minutes later that Harry went to Longbottom Manor for some extra training so that he could take his mind of what was happening somewhere in Britain. He was not made for sitting still waiting for news, good or bad. Arriving at Longbottom Manor, Harry told everyone what was going on with the goblins and now everyone was nervous and seeking a distraction.

Gran went back to her paperwork and the others decided to go and destroy some dummies. It was nervewrecking to wait for news but exercising was a nice distraction. Attacking the dummies and imagining that it was either Voldemort, Dumbledore or Umbridge felt good. Then he got an idea and took a moment to Transfigure them into the ones he imagined. It felt very satisfying destroying them.

His friends saw what he was going and laughed until tears came out of their eyes. After calming down they joined him in Transfiguring the dummies in looking like the ones they wanted to curse.

Neville's had a shock of black hair and a demented grin on her face, Susan's just had a Death Eaters mask or to their surprise, Draco Malfoy and Hermione's was at first wearing a familiar pink suit before she Transfigured the dummie to look vaguely like a walrus and then a other one in a giraffe. She was particulair vicious to the last two and Harry was trying very hard not to smile. She cared.

Yet Amelia's choice to join in with their fun came as a shock to them all, hers was made to look fatter and was wearing a little bowler hat. Seeing their looks she just shrugged and said, "You kids do realise I've had to deal with that idiot for years, right? Sometimes a woman just needs to curse the object of their headaches."

Nodding in understanding they all turned back to their own dummies. It must be hard for Amelia to work fur such a dimwit as Cornelius Fudge. Gran came by and joined them. She couldn't concentrate on her paperwork so she decided to destroy some dummies herself. With a flick of her wrists there were three dummies standing there looking quite like the three Lestranges. And she destroyed them utterly.

Harry and Neville shared a look. Perhaps it was a good idea to ask their Gran for a few lessons.

But even while destroying the dummies he couldn't keep his mind of what might be happening. He'd never forgive himself if he sent those goblins to go to their death. Yet if they succeeded, it would change everything. It would be amazing if Voldemort just quietly died somewhere with only the people closest to Harry knowing what exactly happened.

After an hour full of offensive magic, the four teenagers got another lesson in magic sensing and it was going a lot better than the first few times. All four of them could now find the others without seeing where they are as long as they were in the same room or close to it. They were also able to feel if something was cursed or not. It would be a while before they could feel how exacly it was cursed but this was a great start. Amelia was really proud of them. Gran too, now that she had seen how they all had improved.

After training, the four of them, Gran and Amelia went to the sun room where the rest were too. They drank a cup of tea together and waited for one of the Elves to bring them news of the goblins.

Susan took a moment to tell them the story of how Draco Malfoy decided it was a good idea to bully her best friend, Hannah. The boy had been cruel to her shy friend for years but Hannah didn't want to go to her Head of House for it. Susan had enough. Either the blonde ferret would stop, or she would make him stop. Thanks to their training of this summer and the DA of last year she had finally the means to do something.

Hermione, Neville and Harry shared a look. They hadn't known that Malfoy went after other people outside Gryffindor. He should have know the arse wouldn't stop with just the Gryffindors. They would help Susan and Hannah with dealing with the ferret. That kind of behavior had to stop.

The bullying at Hogwarts was a real problem and it needed to stop. The teachers didn't do anything about it and the student had clearly stopped trusting them to do anything to stop it. Just look at Harry's second or fourth year. No one did anything to help him when the students turned agains him. Even faced with such clear prove of bullying with the buttons Malfoy made the teachers at Hogwarts did nothing.

Now Harry found out that it happened to other students too. It was not alright. It was not normal. It was not just children teasing each other or the ever used excuse of 'boys will be boys'.

Enough was enough.

Amelia and Gran clearly agreed with the looks on their faces. Harry hoped they were able to do something. Perhaps the Board of Governors could make some changes. Make some rules with real consequenses and make sure the teacher followed them too. To make sure the teachers paid more attention to what was happening under their noses.

It was on the second cup of tea that Kreacher popped in holding a letter. He gave it to Harry and he took it with shaking hands. Hermione grabbed his hand and didn't let go. Even Kreacher stayed to hear what the letter would say. Dobby and Effy also popped in and settled in to listen quietly.

The people around him barely dared to breath when he opened the letter to read aloud.

Lord Black,

We are proud to inform you that our warriors have succeeded in their mission. The last Horcrux has been destroyed and the three warriors were able to dispose of the false lord Voldemort and a few extra minor threats to yourself without much harm to themselves.

Your Hands have succeeded in their task and the Prophecy has been fulfilled according to our Divanitions experts. I expect that you will release them from their oath proudly.

Sincerely,

Bloodaxe

Accountmanager of House Black

A cheer went up as Harry finished reading the letter and he got hugged by a very excited Neville. He laughed and went to turn around so he could hug Susan too. When they let go he saw Hermione standing there with a fierce look in her eyes. She walked over to him, holding his attention with a strange look in her eyes.

She seemed to walk towards him in slowmotion but then she stood in front of him and Harry could not look away from her. There was a strange energy charging the air and Harry was unsure about what was going on. She was clearly planning something. Was she gonna hug him? Hit him? He didn't know. Hermione then did something that just about shocked the magic out of him.

She kissed him.

It took him a moment to react but not for long. Wrapping his arms around her, he kissed her back. How long had he wished to have to courage to do something like this? It felt like years had passed since he first realised he liked, no loved this girl. Of course it was Hermione who took this first step, who had the courage to do something about it. His brave lioness.

In the distance he could hear his friends applauding and he even heard a vague 'finally' from Gran. Breaking the kiss, Harry put his forehead to hers and just breathed. Looking in her eyes he could see all his feelings mirrored back to him. They had been stupid, hadn't they?

She loved him too.

He wrapped his arms around her as he told her quiely, "Talk soon?"

Hermione nodded firmly. This talk was long overdue.

Grabbing her hand he went over to Amelia and Gran looking at him with such pride in their faces. It made him feel kinda bashful to have that directed at him while he barely even did anything. The goblins were the real heroes here. They had done everything, destroying the Horcruxes and now even killing Voldmort.

Both Amelia and Gran hugged him and told him that they were very proud of him and the way he took care of everything this summer. Now that Voldemort was gone they just had the Death Eaters to take care of.

He was so glad that it was finally over. He never had to worry about Voldemort or that damned Prophecy ever again.

And since the Death Eaters were Amelia's job she immediately went back to work so that the Aurors could round up all the Death Eaters and find out which Death Eaters had been killed as soon as possible. But first she had to send them out to search for Voldemorts body. After all, the goblins did not want it known that they defeated Voldemort where others could not. Better for this to be a happy accident or something. She still had some time before the official statement.

Harry went to grab his wand so he could release the three warriors from their oath. Bloodaxe had assured him that it could be easily done without even the three Vassals being near him. The threat was over and they deserved their freedom. So he said while holding his wand up, "I, Harry James Potter-Black, release these three from their oaths to me. Goblins Opaldagger, Paincleaver and Bob have fulfilled their oath and are hereby no longer vassals for House Potter, Black or Slytherin. This I say, so mote it be." A light flashed to signalise the acceptance of the dissolved oath.

After that Harry and Hermione went for a walk around the grounds. Neville told them oh so subtly that he had to do some work in his Greenhouse. He offered to Susan to come with him and with her quick agreement, offered her his arm and together they walked out of the Manor to the greenhouses of the Longbottoms.

Harry and Hermione were quiet for a while as they walked and it was nice. Peaceful. Harry didn't get to feel that very often but he hoped that now that Voldemort was truly dead that his life would be peaceful more often. He looked forward to it.

Suddenly Hermione stopped waking and just asked him, "Do you like me, Harry?"

It almost made him trip over his feet to hear her ask him that even after that kiss. Harry let go of her arm and rubbed the back of his head while blushing as he said, "Um... Well, erm... yes?"

Hermione looked at him with laughter in her eyes and a smile on her face before she stated resolutly, "Good, I like you too." Harry shouldn't have been surprised by her taking charge like this. Hermione was a very determined girl who knew what she wanted. Which was Harry apparentely.

Which was fine by him. But now it was time for him to take charge for a change and he said, "Hermione, you are my best and dearest friend. I have feelings for you and would like to go on a date with you. May I pick you up tomorrow at five? I'd like to take you to to my home for a dinner date if that is alright with you and your parents." Harry was very proud of himself for saying all of that without blushing or stammering even once.

Harry knew he was making it more nerve-wracking for himself by asking to pick her up at her parents house but he felt like they deserved to be a part of this too. A small part. Hermione was already gone for so much of their lives but they could be a part of this. If Hermione agreed at least.

She lit up at his words and quickly nodded, "Yes that's fine, thank you Harry. I would love to go on a date with you." She cast the time revealing spell and gasped. Harry saw that it was after five o'clock already so Hermione quickly said goodbye to Harry, kissed him on the cheek and ran back to the Manor so she could be brought home.

And left Harry stupified with his hand pressed to his cheek. Had that all really happened?

That was how Neville found him a few minutes later. He took one look at his friend and burst out with laughter as he tried to say, "I'm guessing that you and Hermione finally had that talk?"

Harry nodded and Neville told him, "Good, I really didn't want to see you guys pining for each other anymore."

That made Harry blush a bit. He hadn't been that bad, right? Ah well, who cares? He had a date with Hermione! They kissed!

Harry had been planning this date in his head for a while already so he wasn't really nervous. He would try to do his best to make this special but this was Hermione. His best friend. Any time spent with her would be great. He quickly told Neville what he had in mind for their date and was still just a bit relieved to hear that Neville thought it was a good plan.

So Harry called for Effy so he could ask if she could help him prepare for the date that would be in only a few hours. Alright a day, but still, he needed to make this a perfect as he could even though he knew she would be happy just to spent time with him.

"Effy!" He called and the little female Elf appeared.

"What can Effy be doing for Master Harry?" The cute Elf said. Harry quickly explained the situation and his plans for their date tomorrow.

The Elf started bouncing when she heard his requests and she quickly said, "Master Harry be wanting romantic date for lady-love? Effy be the Elf to ask! Effy be going right now to prepare Manor for all the romance!"

Harry had to tell her very quickly before she popped away that if she needed an extra pair of hands that Dobby would be happy to help her. If this was a slight nudge for Dobby to do something himself when the two Elves would be in a romantic setting, then no one had to know.

Effy agreed and popped away to make the Manor ready for her Master. Harry just hoped that she wouldn't go overboard with the romance. He might have romantic feelings for Hermione but they still were Hermione and Harry. Neither of them were a fan of over the top things.

Then Harry called for Dobby to ask him to discreetly spread the message to the Tonks family and Winky about the death of Voldemort and asked the Elf if he could go help Effy prepare the Manor for the date with Hermione tomorrow. The Elf was so excited with all the good news that he burst out in tears as he hugged Harry's legs, hard enough to make him fall down to Dobby's hight.

Harry hugged his friend and looked at Neville to see if he could help him. Unfortunately it seemed that Neville was overcome with emotions himself and was just about rolling over the ground with laughter at his friends plight.

Harry felt the sudden need to turn Neville in a duck again. He made for a very nice duck.

It took a while for Dobby to calm down again but after some time he left to go and help Effy with the preparations. Neville had calmed down too and was wiping his eyes while he chuckled before he said, "You have the best Elves, did you know that, Harry? They are hilarious!"

Harry agreed with his best friend but did he have to laugh at him like that? Althought it was nice to see that Neville was so relaxed. It wasn't often that his friend laughed this much.

Harry and Neville talked for a while and soon Susan joined them. After a lot of squealing when he told her about their date and what he had planned, she was clearly happy for them. She and Neville both. Apparently, Neville and Susan had just about been ready to lock them in a closet together.

After the happiness turned into teasing, Harry decided it was time to get home. He loved his friend but they were a bit much when they got going. He apparated back to Potter Manor and went to his room to see if he had a nice outfit for tomorrow. That was his only job for tomorrow, dress nice. He only had to tell his plans for the date to the Elves and they would do the rest for him.

He had actually started to like the suits that used to belong to Orion Black. They were fancy but with his title he needed to be fancy sometimes. And he was glad he had something nice to wear for the date with Hermione. He would have hated it if he had to wear Dudleys old clothes for something important like this.

Then he went to the ward stone so he could make sure that Hermione would be allowed throught tomorrow. It would not be a good first date if his date was thrown to Antarica for trespassing.

He hoped that she would like what he had planned for them. He really hoped that Hermione's parents would still like him now he'd be come by their house to pick their daughter up for a date.

Chapter Text

The day of his date with Hermione had arrived. Harry was finally getting nervous when he was putting on the fancy suit he had chosen for this evening. The suit was a dark grey with an subtle emarald waistcoat and he looked mature. Styling his hair as good as possible, doing a last check and then he was done. Even the enchanted mirror seemed to approve with the wistle 'she' let out. Harry hadn't know mirrors, even magical mirrors could do that.

Now he needed to go for a last check up on the wardstone. He already had given Hermione acces to the Manor but he wanted to be sure that he had done it right. It would probably not make the date go well if his date got violently transported to where ever the Elves had set it. Knowing Dobby it would probably be somewhere in a shark infested sea. His friend had learned some interesting things when he was still with the Malfoys.

No, everything looked alright. The wards would let him bring Hermione here without issue. Taken a fast look at where the ward would dump the intruders, he saw that he had been partly right. There were multiple levels of offenses. Level one was getting dumped somewhere in the Forbidden Forsest but if a intruder would dare to try again, they'd be sent somewhere in the middle of the most dangerous part of the Pacific Ocean.

Ah well, if they were dumb enough to try to invade his home even after the first warning, they desereved to go for a swim with the sharks.

Since he had some time left before he had to pick Hermione up, he went for a talk with his grandparents portrait. They were visibly amused at his nervous rambling, but his grandmother was kind enough to at least try and keep a straight face.

His grandmother beamed at him, "Harry dear, you look so handsome! But take a deep breath dear, there is no need for you to be this nervous. Just remember what you've told us about this girl, Hermione's your best friend, she will love whatever you have planned for this evening. You've planned this perfectly and we couldn't be more proud of the man you are becoming."

His grandfather nodded with a smirk, "You are already doing much better than your father, lad. It took him six years for our Lily-flower to even have a normal conversation with him, let alone agree to go on a date."

Harry needed to hear that. It was nice to know that he was at least better with Hermione than his father had been with his mother. Not that those early years of his parents knowing each other could have gone much worse according to his grandparents. But now it was time. Time to go and pick Hermione up from her house.

Apparating to Hermione's house was a breeze. He was so happy that Amelia taught them that skill, if he'd needed to ask one of his Elves to bring him here, he didn't want to imagine what they would have done. Something embarrassing for sure.

He rang the doorbell and waited.

Mr. Granger opened the door with a scary blank look on his face. Harry almost took a step back but held his ground. Hermione's father looked him over and to Harry's relief, started smiling. It transformed his entire face from dangerous veteran to friendly dad. Hermione had told him some things about her dentist parents and that also included Mr. Grangers millitary knowledge.

"Harry! Glad to see you are on time. Now, come inside and tell me what you've planned for this date with my little girl." He stepped aside so Harry could step inside the house. Mr. Granger was an older man yet Harry could clearly see that Hermione's father had once a millitary background. The man always stood with a straight back, with a sharp look in his intelligent brown eyes and was still in a good physical shape.

"Hello Mr. Granger, how are you and Mrs. Granger doing? Is Hermione still getting ready?"

Mr. Granger told him that Hermione and Mrs. Granger were indeed still upstairs getting Hermione ready. Harry wasn't sure what Hermione was doing for so long but he was sure she would be beautiful. She always was.

Sitting in front of Mr. Granger -please call me Wendell- at the kitchen table, Harry explained in a soft voice what he had planned. Mr. Granger was clearly pleased which was a great relief. If anyone would know Hermione it'd be her parents. He told Harry that he was glad that Harry was the one taking his Hermione out on a date. Apparently he and his wife had been afraid for a while that it would be Ron or Krum.

Not that there was anything wrong with either boy but the seemingly lazy Ron was clearly not a good match with his ambitious daughter and Krum lived so far away. So they were glad that he and Hermione finally decided to try. Harry blushed bright red. Even Hermione's parents had noticed what they themselves hadn't.

Footsteps sounded on the staircase and Harry turned around to see Hermione. She looked beautiful in her dark blue cocktail dress with her hair lightly curled. Harry quickly stood up and went to her. She was breathtaking.

Kissing her hand as he had been taught to do this summer, he told her so. Blushing slightly she replied, "Thank you, Harry. You look good too. Is that a new suit?"

Nodding he looked behind her to see Mrs. Granger smiling down on them from on the staircase. Hermione clearly took after her mother in looks with her fathers eye color. Mrs. Granger came down and hugged Harry. She gave the same comforting hugs as her daughter and Harry felt himself relax. He got this.

Some surprisingly comfortable small talk followed in which Mrs. Granger told him to call her Jean. Harry really wasn't comfortable calling Hermione's parents by their first name. Any adult really. Could you imagine Professor McGonagalls face if he called her by her first name? He'd get detention for the rest of his life.

Mrs. Granger seemed to realise that too but she didn't seem to mind. Soon she asked them, "Hermione dear, would you and your dashing date be opposed to having a picture taken for your old and boring mum and dad before you leave?" Hermione looked at him and he nodded. If her parents wanted a picture of them then he could do that. He hated getting pictures taken of him but this felt different.

This was a family picture, something that would be saved in a picturebook somewhere. Harry hadn't been in a family picturebook since his parents deaths, so this felt different, more important than the pictures Colin or other people kept taking of him without his permission.

So standing with an arm around Hermione he let Mrs. Granger take a picture. And another one. And another. She kept clicking and Harry could see Mr. Granger shoot him a look full of pity.

Clearly Hermione knew her mother too and decided that it was enough with a warning, "Mum!"

Looking up from her camera Mrs. Granger blushed, "Of course, sorry. You kids have to leave for your date." Mr. Granger took over as he went over to her to gently take the camera away from her with a wink in his daughters direction, "Well Hermione, you know the rules. Have fun and we expect you back by 10."

Hermione nodded and took Harry's hand to lead him to the front door. He wouldn't say dragged but it was close. Harry didn't see anything wrong here but he could imagine that it might be a bit embarrassing for Hermione. Either way, Harry decided he liked her parents. They clearly cared for Hermione.

Just before the front door closed they could hear a laughing, "Have fun, love!" from Mrs. Granger. Hermione rolled her eyes but she didn't look annoyed. Clearly, she cared for them too.

Looking at her he asked, "Shall we?" With her nod of agreement he wrapped an arm around her and apparated them to Potter Manor.


The date had been lovely. It started when Hermione had stared with an open mouth at Potter Manor. She had loved the house and Harry couldn't be happier. Leading her into his home, she couldn't keep her eyes from roaming around her surroundings, taking everything in. But the best thing was when they reached the library.

Hermione audibly gasped when she saw the rows of books in the library of Potter Manor. Harry had to laugh at the look on her face. She hadn't yet noticed why he had brought her here but he hadn't expected anything else. You didn't come inbetween Hermione and her books.

"This, this is just beautiful, Harry! Did you know this room looks just like that library from the movie, Beauty and the Beast? I loved that movie as a child." She looked so happy when she looked around, Harry didn't dare to interupt her or ruin the mood to tell her he hadn't been allowed to watch movies when he was living with the Dursleys. He could hear them sometimes from his cupboard or the kitchen when Dudley was watching a movie but he hadn't been allowed to watch them.

"Your ancestors have collected so many books. This is amazing, I've never even heard of any of these before!" After seeing Hermione almost visibly talking to herself to leave the books where they were, she turned around to face him. She smiled that brilliant smile of hers and Harry was gone. He took her hand again and led her to where he, alright the Elves, had everything prepared for their date.

Harry had planned a candle light dinner for her in the library of Potter Manor. After all, what better place for a bookworm like Hermione? Surrounded by the books she so loved he asked her for a dance when dessert was finished. Lovely as dinner had been, this was truly the best. Holding her in his arms as they danced to a muggle song on the old gramophone the Elves had found for him. He was truly grateful to Gran and her dancing lessons. Before he'd never been able to lead Hermione as he was doing now.

After dinner and dancing in candle light, he took her to the owlery. There he finally introduced her to the three owlets. Hedwig was clearly proud to have another human coe over her chicks.

Harry asked Hermione if she wanted to name them together and after some thinking and Hedwigs approval, the owlets each got a name. It had become clear by now that there were two snowy owls with golden eyes who they named Helios and Selene after the god and goddess of the sun and the moon.

The littlest one, a brown feathered male seemed to greatly like Hermione and with how energetic he was, they decided on the name Hermes after the Greek god of messengers and travelers.

Hedwig and her owlets seemed to approve of their names. By then it was getting late so they decided it was time for Hermione to go home lest they tested the rules of her parents.

Standing on the porch in front of Hermione's home, she said, "Thank you, Harry. I've had a wonderful time today."

She kissed him again on that porch and told him their next date would be her treat. Harry also promised to show her around Potter Manor soon since they hadn't gotten much of chance to see everything before Hermione got distracted by the library. With a last wave, she went inside.

Deliriously happy, Harry too went back home.

Tomorrow he would see her again at Longbottom Manor for training. Every day they trained hard since the Wizarding world wasn't exacly safe for anyone. And Dumbledore was still the Headmaster of the school they went to. For now at least.

After a shared breakfast with Effy and Dobby, in which the two Elves told him that they were formally courting now, and after congratulating the two blushing Elves Harry went to the study room where Effy had told him he had some mail waiting for him. Harry's little nudge of getting the two Elves together seemed to have worked well.

There were a few letter from the DA members he had gotten in contact with. Also a letter from Luna which was just as unique as Luna herself.

Dear Harry,

It is very nice to hear from you. Does this mean we are friends now? I don't have many friends so that would be nice. The DA last year was almost like having friends so I would like to do that again this year.

Daddy and I have traveled through Iceland and are only just back home. We haven't found the Crumple-Horned Snorkack but next summer we will look somewhere else. Daddy and I found some evidence that they like to live in cold climates so next summer we will go to Siberia! I'm very excited.

How are you doing, Harry? Are the Wrackspurts still bothering you? I have made you a necklace just like my own so that you can be sure that they will leave you alone. Do you think your Hermione would like one too? I think she needs one.

Love,

Luna

Honestly, Luna was a very unusual girl but Harry thought she was great. But how did she know about him and Hermione? They hadn't told anyone just yet. Neville and Susan knew of course but they wouldn't have told anyone before Harry and Hermione told them it was okay.

Luna was special, Harry'd always thought so. Strange but special. Though no offence to other girls, Luna never bothered to become just like almost every other girl in Hogwarts. She just was herself and nothing more and Harry thought that that was very brave of her.

She was kind and smart and Harry really needed to talk to her more often. He thought that she might be a bit lonely and he promised himself that he'd be there for her. He'd be a better friend to her from now on.

The next was a short letter from Andromeda. Which was a bit strange since he still regulary went over to Grimmauld Place to spent time with his family. He opened it and started to read.

Dear Harry,

I just walked [Under a glamour. Stop worrying, dear] past Dumbledore while he was passing Saint Mungos and I did what we talked about. The spell had a lot to tell me and none of it was good. Albus Dumbledore is dying. He is cursed with some kind of Withering curse. It seems to be contained to his hand but it wil slowly spread until it reaches his heart at which point he will die.

Dumbledore is also suffering from dementia. It seemed that you were right, Harry. He is self medicating with wit-sharpening potions and has devoloped an addiction to them. It is not good, Harry. Not good at all.

The dementia makes him erratic, not to mention what his addiction will do and with his power it's a very dangerous combination. Be very careful.

Love,

Aunt Andromeda

Harry had done some research into the illness from muggle books after he noticed some strange things about the Headmaster but the letter from Andromeda confirmed it. Dumbledore was suffering from dementia.

From the book Harry read he knew that when people had the disease it meant that they would lose their short term memory first. They would have mood swings and eventually unable to remember the people around them. After a while they would only be able to remember things from their early childhood.

Thought Harry did wonder why Dumbledore had started acting like a villan from a story. Was that him in some point in his youth? Harry had read that people with dementia could remember things from their childhood but not recent memories.

Hmm... That was something to look into. Now if only he knew a reporter who could do research without anyone knowing it was her and owned him for keeping her illegal and Azkaban-worthy secret.

He'd ask Hermione to write her a letter. His best friend and maybe soon to be girlfriend was surprisingly good at blackmail for a girl who would rather die than be expelled.

It was a few hours later that Harry apparated to Diagon Alley to meet with Hermione. They couldn't wait to see each other again so instead of waiting until later this afternoon, Hermione had invited him to join her in Diagon Alley as they had planned to do a few weeks ago. Before everything happened. Before they happened.

Harry looked already different enough after all the changes that he barely had to glamour himself to look much different. He just turned his hair a mousy brown and his eyes a dark blue. He looked like a completely different person now and he was curious to see what Hermione had done with her glamour.

They agreed to meet in front of Gringotts that morning and Harry recognised her immedately. Her hair might be black and her eyes a hazel green under the glamour but she couldn't change herself so much that Harry wouldn't recognise her anymore. When he walked closer to her her eyes fell on him and lit up. She knew him too, glamour or no glamour.

With a whisper she said, "Harry! Glad you could still meet with me today," and a even quieter, "Thanks again for the untraceable wand. I feel a lot safer now that nobody can recognise me."

Hugging her again just because it felt nice he replied, "Of course I wanted to see you again. It was no problem, I'm glad that wand liked you enough to let you use it. What did you want to do today?"

Hermione smiled and started to babble cheerfully. She wanted to go to the bookstore, of course, and also to the trunk shop. Her book bag had reached their limid and she needed a new one which would be able to carry more books. Otherwise she had nothing else she needed to do.

Harry proposed they also went to the new shop of Fred and George. He'd have liked to go for ice cream but Florian's Ice Cream shop was abandoned. They hoped the kind man was alright. Voldemort might be dead but the people of Magical Britain didn't know that yet. Hopefully the man was just in hiding and would come back as soon as he heard it was safe again.

Hopefully it would be truly safe again soon.

Hermione hooked her arm in his like a proper lady and together they walked through the Alley. She talked a bit about her own lessons with Augusta. Apparently she found her lessons old-fashioned yes, but also delightfully clear. Hermione had always struggled a bit in social situations, but this brought some safetly for her. Hermione loved her rules. Not to mention learning new things.

It was quite calm today which was nice since he really didn't want to deal with people wanting to talk to him. Althought with his glamour he did look quite different so they probably wouldn't even recognise him. Hopefully they wouldn't even without the glamour. That would be brilliant.

They talked about everything. About the past, the present and the future. Their hopes and dreams and what they wanted from this relationship. It was a scary talk for Harry to have but Hermione started it. It was nice to lay it all out. Hopefully this talk would make them avoid some nasty surprises later on.

"I'm so glad you finally got the help you deserve, Harry. It's absolutly brilliant that Voldemort's now permanently dead. We just need to get rid of the rest of the Death Eaters and Dumbledore and you will be safe again." Hermione looked ready to go to war for him when she said that and Harry was touched. He had such great people in his life.

Harry gasped dramatically, "Hermione! But what if you die or worse, expelled?"

Hermione groaned and punched him lightly on the arm, "Merlin, don't remind me of that. Be glad I don't think like that anymore or you would have been in a lot of trouble over the years. Or would that be less if I wasn't there to help you out?" She said with a raised eyebrow.

"True, we would have gotten in a lot less trouble if it wasn't for you." Harry said with a big smirk that made the resemblance to Sirius very obvious.

Hermione poked him again and laughed.

"But seriously, without you I wouldn't have survived the last few years. Thank you for always being there for me, Hermione."

Hermione had tears in her eyes when he told her that and she said with a bit of a wet laugh, "Oh you stupid boy! Thank you for being my friend and coming to my rescue when no one else seemed to care."

After that emotional moment the two took a moment to just walk in peaceful silence before they started talking again. Harry talked about his plans for a prank on the whole school in both of his fathers honor and asked her if she wanted to help. Harry knew that pranks weren't really her thing but neither it was his. But he wanted to do it, and he hoped that she would be willing to help him.

Harry had big plans for this prank and Harry could use all the help he could get with it.

Hermione took a moment to think about it before she nodded decisively, "Yes, I'd like that." Harry laughed at her nerves but only until Hermione told him pertly to shut up. Harry dared to kiss the side of her head in thanks before asking Hermione is she would be willing to contact Skeeter for him so she could investigate the life of Albus Dumbledore. Hermione agreed immediately and said she'd write the woman after they were done in Diagon Alley.

It didn't take long before they saw what really couldn't be anyones shop but the twins.

It was bright orange and it said on a sign outside of the shop: WHY ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOU-KNOW-WHO? YOU SHOULD BE WORRYING ABOUT U-NO-POO. THE CONSTIPATION SENSATION THAT IS GRIPPING THE NATION!

Harry had to laugh. It was so very much like Fred and George. To his surprise he heard a muffled snort coming from next to him. Hermione had her hand in front of her mouth and looked surprised at the sound she had just made. That set him of again and after a moment Hermione too. They walked laughing into the joke shop where they were met with the proud twins themselves.

Harry made a subtle gesture and luckily, they seemed to understand. The twins led them to a private room, a storage room from the look of it and turned to face them. Harry pulled out his own untraceable wand and dispelled both their glamours.

"Hiya Harry, Hermione how are you guys doing?" Asked Fred. George continued with, "Did you have a nice summer? You have a lot to tell us, right Harry?"

Harry nodded. He cast a privacy spell and told the twins what he had been up to this summer. They were clearly impressed and relieved to hear what happened to Voldemort. They promised to keep it a secret for as long as Harry needed. They also promised to keep an eye on Dumbledore for him. The man was still visiting the Burrow every now and then for Order meetings.

There were more people who had noticed Dumbledore's changing behavior. Kingsley per example, the man had faith in Dumbledore but it was weakening. It was a good thing to hear. They needed as much people as possible on their side when the news of Dumbledores actions came out. The twins needed a moment and told the two lovebirds to look around the shop.

Hermione and Harry were surprised and proud with how well the twins were doing. The shop was clearly populair and there were so many colorful products for sale. The twins had done a really good job with it all.

Fred and George came back and offered them a small tour. They were walking by what Fred called the witches section when Harry saw they were selling love potions. Harry stopped abruptly and startled the other three stopped too, "Blimey, Harry, what is the matter?"

Harry pointed at the love potions and asked, "Are you really selling love potions?"

Fred looked at what Harry was pointing at and nodded confusingly, "Yeah?"

Harry closed his eyes for a moment before he opened them and asked Fred, "It might be my muggle upbringing but don't you think that Love Potions are dangerous? That they are a violation, a drug and when used on a non-consenting person, an assault or rape?"

Fred and George looked shocked at that but also thoughtful. Hermione was clearly agreeing with what Harry said but George still asked her, "What is your opinion on Love Potions, Hermione?"

Hermione looked ready to start a lecture and that is exacly what they got. Hermione was of the opinion that while Love Potions were not illegal they really should be. It was a drug that made the one taking it unable to give consent in their right mind. It was a violation and in the worst case, rape, assault or enslavement.

Both Fred and George looked shocked at Hermione's well thought out opinion but Harry was in complete agreement with her. Love Potions were a horrible thing and he didn't want to know what the people who had bought them from here were doing with them. It scared him to think about what someone could do with them, could do to him.

Fred and George were talking in hushed whispers but they seemed to come to an agreement quickly. George turned to the two of them and said, "Blimey you guys, we never saw it in that way. Mum never talked about them like that but we really should have thought about it better. We will take them out of the shop immediately. You're right that they are dangerous even if we only sell the weak versions."

Harry and Hermione were very relieved to hear that. He just hoped that the people who already bought a potion would never dare to use them on another person.

Fred waved his wand and all the Love Potions disappeared. Continuing the tour, Harry saw quite a few things he was interested in but when he walked past a sign with a enclosure filled with fluffy little creatures in a lot of different colors called Pygmy Puffs, he knew he had to buy at least one. Pointing them out to Hermione, they decided to buy one for their friend's birthday together. Susan would love to get one for her birthday since he knew she had been talking about wanting a pet she could cuddle with.

Harry and Hermione chose a deep violet one for Susan. It was her favorite color and the Pygmy Puff seemed to like to be held. He hoped the little ball of fluff would like her new home and her new owner. The violet ball of fluff made herself at home on his shoulder and went to take a nap.

Harry and Hermione spent the rest of the morning with the twins. They thanked him for the Mandrake leaf again and they talked in a bit more detail about all their summers. Fred and George had worked hard to make this shop possible and it showed.

Soon it was time for them to go to Longbottom Manor. Harry called for Dobby to take the Pygmy Puff and all her stuff to Potter Manor so Susan wouldn't see her present before her birthday. They said their goodbyes to the twins and apparated to Longbottom Manor.

Chapter Text

Harry was only just done with eating his breakfast when he felt the Mandrake leaf fall down from the roof of his mouth. Finally! The leaf was almost as disgusting as the Polyjuice potion back in their second year. It tasted the way the Gryffindor boy changing rooms smelled, just a bit more slimy. He immediately called for Kreacher to take him to the potion lab of Black Manor where the Animagus potion was brewing.

He put the Mandrake leaf in the cauldron with perhaps a bit to much glee to see the slimy thing disappear, stirred a few times and watched the potion turn into the color it was supposed to be according to the book Sirius left him. Only then he took it of the fire and poured it in a vial.

Harry went to the living room where Andromeda, Ted and Tonks were sitting. Harry was surprised to see that Tonks had a slight pregnancy bulge already. But he supposed it wasn't that strange, his cousin was around three or four months along now he thought. She looked happy, Harry was glad to see.

He explained what he was about to do. Andromoda immediately asked, no demanded that they be there with him in case anything went wrong. Harry didn't see an issue with having a trained healer with him while taking the Animagus potion and went to sit on the couch so he could take the potion.

Andromeda stood up from the couch so that Harry could lay down on it as recommended in the book. His aunt would be monitoring him since it was normal for the potion to knock out the taker and give them a vision in which they would meet their animal. Depending on the animal, people could have strange things happening while they were having their vision.

"Good luck, Harry!" Said Ted encouraging from the other couch. Tonks nodded at him before voicing the words Harry had expected from his cousin, "Lets hope your inner animal is something cool, right? It would be such a shame if our dear savior was something uncool like a common goat or bunny or something." She was clearly having to much fun imagining it.

Sticking his tongue out to her, he laid down on the couch, knocked back the utterly disgusting potion and went to lay down completely. It wasn't long before he got the feeling of falling asleep. Closing his eyes he thought he felt Andromeda's hand gently treading through his hair.

He opened his eyes to see a forrest around him. It was beautiful and full of all kinds of trees, a fish filled creek, flowers and a few berry bushes. It looked like a great place to camp for a while. For a moment Harry feared that Tonks teasing proved to be right, that the fish in the creek were his inner animal. But no pull was felt and Harry let out a sigh full of relief.

When Harry was done looking around him, he waited for a while but there was still no animal to see. He decided to take a walk. Maybe his inner animal was shy or wanted him to come find it?

It wasn't long before he could see a lake in a distance away. Did this place exist in the real world, and if so, he wanted to travel there. It was unreal how beautiful this place was. The colors, the smells and even the shape of everything was perfect. He could stay here forever.

It was there at the lake where he could see a dark shape moving from the edge of the forest. Probably planning on drinking the water or maybe even swimming or eating fish? Harry really didn't know what his inner animal would be. He hoped it would be some kind of mammal or a bird. Parhaps a deer-like animal in honor of his father? Or a dog for Sirius? Or perhaps a bird for just for himself? Harry didn't know but he couldn't wait to find out.

Though a bird seemed unlikly judging on how the shape moved.

While he was carefully walking closer to the lake and the animal he could make out a bit more of the dark shape that was indeed drinking the water of the lake. He felt the pull pulling him towards that dark shape. This was it. His animal half.

The animal had a dark fur and four paws. It seemed to be some sort of canine or big cat. Harry walked out from the tree line and it was then that the shape looked up from the lake and looked directly at Harry. It was a wolf. A big one.

The wolf had a black, soft looking fur coat and was a bit bigger than Harry thought wolves would be. Maybe it was a magical wolf? Not that he had ever seen a wolf in real life. He never got to the wolf enclosure all those years ago in the zoo for Dudley's birthday.

The wolf had the same green eyes as Harry had and the combination looked very striking with the black fur. Fierce. Honestly, the wolf looked very intimidating even from the distance Harry was standing. The wolf reminded him a bit of Padfoot, Sirius Animagus form. Just less menacing and scruffy.

Dignified. The wolf looked very dignified and Harry was wondering how this beautiful creature could ever be his inner animal. Harry was anything but dignified if you asked him.

The boy and the wolf looked at each other and started walking toward each other in sync. They met in the middel, staring at each other. He felt the need to touch the wolf but afraid for a bad reaction, Harry carefully put his hand on the top of the wolfs head.

It was like Harry mind and body disappeared into the wolf. Harry was a wolf now, with all the instincts of one. He wanted to run, hunt and frolic through the woods. It took a little while for Harry to get control of his instincts. The instincts of a wolf were stong but Harry was stubborn. The wolf was clearly smart and had excelent instincts. Harry knew what he had to do, for he had excellent instincts too.

Fighting the wolf for control but also listening to what the wolf inside of him wanted was hard but after a few mishaps he did it. The wolf submitted with a content sigh but didn't completely disappear. Good. That was good. He did it! He had done what both his fathers had done before him and made the wolf inside of him part of him.

Now he was not fighting with the wolf he could finally focus on how to walk with four paws instead on falling on his snout every time. It was strange to be a wolf and not a human but when he finally managed it, it felt amazing.

He started running and jumping and rolling around so that he could get a feel of what his new form could do. It was truly brilliant with how fast he could run and how high he could jump. It was in that very awkward moment that Harry woke up, human again, on all fours and mid jump, from the potion induced vision to see the three members of the Tonks family looking at him with big, almost identical smirks on their faces.

Harry blushed a deep red and went to sit back down with all the dignity he could muster.

"Well, did you find your form?" Asked Tonks after she was done laughing at him. Andromeda and Ted looked curious too and Harry nodded.

"I'm a wolf! He's beautiful and I believe almost fully grown already. I'm not sure what kind of wolf I am but he's big with a black fur and green eyes. He actually looks a bit like Padfoot." He said with a smile. Harry was relieved yes, that he wasn't something dumb but also so very happy that even if it wasn't the same animal form as his adopted father, it was something close.

Andromeda looked kind of smug at his answer and held her hand out towards her husband and daughter. Both Ted and Tonks groaned but gave her a galleon each. Harry was a bit confused at what's happening but his aunt explained it to him.

"We might have made a little bet on your Animagus form, Harry. I thought you would be a canine with how loyal you are and with how much you loved Sirius. My husband thought you might be some kind snake since you are a Parselmouth and Nymphadora thought you would be a bird because of your love of flying."

"Mum!" Exclaimed Tonks when her mother used her full name. Harry didn't know why she didn't just give the issue up. Her mother would never stop using the name she gave her daughter. And it would be very weird if her parents used their shared surname as a first name for their daughter. At least Ted called his daughter Dora.

Andromeda continued after a look at her daughter, "Anyways, we like betting on stuff and the proceedings go to family activities. This time we thought you might like it if we came visit you on a Hogsmeade weekend for a lunch at the Three Broomsticks?"

Harry was so grateful that he was barely able to speak. He had a family now that wanted to spent time with him even if it wasn't truly necessary. They just wanted to be in his life. Like a family.

He nodded and said quietly, "Yes, I would like that very much."

Andromeda gently patted him on the hand and gave him a book with the title Canines of both the Magical and Muggle World. Clearly she had been very sure in her bet that he'd have a canine form. He gave her a hug in thanks. He had gotten lucky with the Tonks family.

After that hug Tonks came to hug him too. She ruffled his hair before she went upstairs to her room. Trying to make his hair as neat as possible again, he heard Alphard calling for him from the hallway for a talk. He gave thanks again to Andromeda and Ted and went to the place Alphard's portrait hung.

Alphard was a kind man who Harry still wished he had met in real life and not just his portrait.

Alphard wanted to talk about Hermione since had had heard that Harry went on a date with her. He wanted to know how it had gone and Harry told him. The man was strangely proud of Harry to hear that the date ended with a kiss.

Harry really shouldn't have been surprised. This was the man that Sirius had looked up to most in his family. His favorite uncle and the one who thaught him everything he needed to know about dating and the other things in life. Still, Alphard gave some good advice if you ignored most things. It was clear that the man hadn't been sixteen in a long time.

Harry told Alphard the news of his Animagus form. While Alphard was very happy indeed to hear that the date with Hermione had gone well and that they were planning another one, he was even more proud to hear about his new nephew's Animagus form. He told Harry that Sirius would have been so proud of him.

Ted found him there a while later and asked if he wanted to stay for a cup of tea. Harry agreed and called Kreacher to ask if he wanted to join them. The old cranky Elf answered with a bow, "Master Harry be very kind to think of old Kreacher. Kreacher be happy indeed with such a kind and good master." Before he popped away. Well, that was an answer he supposed. One of these days he would get Kreacher to sit down with him and just relax.

Then he said goodbye to to Ted and Andromeda and went to the hallway so he could apparate back to Potter Manor.

But before he could leave Tonks called for him and they went to the basement for a moment to talk. She wanted to thank him for protecting her family and for making her write to Charlie. Apparently they have been writing back and forth and the friendship was almost like it was before they left Hogwarts. They were talking again and Tonks was so happy to have her old and dearest friend back into her life.

Harry was glad that she had her friend back. He didn't get the idea that she had much friends outside her family so it was great that Charlie was becoming her friend again after all the time that had passed. He thinks that it must have been difficult to be a Metamorphmagus as a teenager at Hogwarts. Children were cruel, he knew and teenager weren't any better.

She looked like she was happy again after all she had been through this year. Harry was proud of his cousin.

After that talk it was time to go back to Potter Manor where there were two nervous Elves waiting for him. What was going on now?

Dobby and Effy were standing close together and holding hands which made Harry happy to see. He wondered what they wanted to talk about as the three of them went to the living room so that they could talk comfortably.

Harry sat down and Dobby and Effy went to stand in front of him and Dobby asked, "Master Harry Potter sir? Beautiful Effy and I'd like to ask permission to bond as mates. Would that be allowed?"

Harry was surprised since they had only known each other for a few days but maybe it worked differently for House Elves?

"Are the both of you sure that this is what you want?"

Both Elves nodded excitingly and Effy said while looking at Dobby, "Elves know when they know. Dobby magic be feeling like a good match for Effy and he be kind, strong and good at all the chores. He be good father for future Elflings and a good mate for Effy."

Dobby blushed but looked like he very much agreed with what his chosen mate was saying. And thus there was only one thing Harry could say, "Alright if the both of you are sure then you have my permission to bond. I wish you both a very happy life together."

Both Elves did a little dance together in happiness and then rushed forward to hug Harry's legs. He laughed and bent down so he could hug both his friends in congratulations.

Wait a minute, did that mean that there would be little Elflings running around the Manor soon? Would that make Harry a sort of uncle?

"Do the both of you require me to do anything for your bonding?" Harry asked. He had no idea how an Elf wedding worked but he hoped that it would be nice for the two of them. They were great friend to him and deserved the best.

Dobby spoke with tears in his big green eyes, "Master Harry be kind Master. Dobby and Effy be saying oath and then we be merging magic. Then we be mates for life. Master Harry not be needing to do anything except giving permission for match."

"Alright, then I will leave you two to it. I'll be at Longbottom Manor until later this evening. Will you tell me if you need anything?"

Both Elves agreed and popped away to get married in the Elf way. By now it was time to go to Longbottom Manor for training with both Amelia and Gran. Which was good timing. Now he could give the soon to be married couple some much needed privacy. Ugh.

Gran had told him he was almost done with learning the etiquette for the magical nobility. Now he just needed to get the politics right and then he was done with training with Gran. Not that he ever thaught he would be ready to leave her teachings. It still seemed daunting to think of accepting his seat in the Wizengamot.

With Amelia they were still learning dueling and how to sense the magic around him. The sparring they did was getting more and more difficult but that showed only how far they'd progressed since starting the training.

He took the Pygmy Puff for Susan with him and when he apparated to Longbottom Manor he was surprised to see that Hermione was already there. And even more surprising, Hannah was also there in the training room.

Apparently Dobby had picked up Hermione before he asked Harry permission to mate with Effy and Amelia had finally managed to get Hannah's father to agree to let his daughter come here for some extra training. All three girls where talking about their summers when Harry and Neville walked in.

Neville, at least looked very happy to see Hannah in his training room. Harry knew his friend had a bit of a crush on the blonde girl. Seeing the look Hannah shot his friend he was sure she felt the same way. Oh Merlin, this was gonna be karma for the 'pining' he and Hermione did, wasn't it?

Shaking his head as to rid himself from those thoughts, Harry hoped that one of the two extra wands he had left were able to work with Hannah.

Harry shot a look to Neville and Hermione before they walked to Susan and asked for a moment with her. Susan agreed and together with Neville and Hermione they walked to a corner of the Training room. Harry explained that they went to Diagon Alley yesterday and that they'd found something that they thought she might like as a birthday present. At least he hoped so.

Susan was looking kind of touched that they had remembered her birthday and had gotten her a present even though they hadn'd known each other for long. She looked so very curious so Harry took out the violet Pygmy Puff they had chosen for her.

To his surprise Susan made a very girly sound when she saw the cute little fluff ball. He gave her the Pygmy Puff and Susan started cuddling with it. Harry was glad that she liked her present. Hermione too looked happy that her new friend liked her gift. She hugged the three of them and went to show her new pet to Hannah together with Neville.

That left Hermione and Harry standing together. Which was handy because Harry needed to ask her a question. A question that Alphard had advised him to always ask if you wanted to date a girl. Harry had learned his lesson of never assuming anything after watching the Yule ball debacle between Ron and Hermione.

He waited until he had her attention back on him and then he asked her, "Hermione? I really liked our date and so I wanted to ask, do you want to be my girlfriend?"

Hermione looked pleasantly surprised that he even needed to ask her that but she quickly said, "Of course I will be your girlfriend Harry!" Harry was relieved she agreed and hugged her. That was the moment that a squealing Hannah came to them. Soon Susan joined them too and Harry decided to leave them to it.

He walked back to a smirking Neville who told him, "Well done, mate. I'm happy for you and Hermione even if it took forever for you guys to get it together."

Harry laughed, "I know, I know. We were being dumb about it. But what about you and Hannah? I saw the way you guys looked at each other."

Now it was Neville's turn to blush.

Luckily he was saved by Amelia walking in and Harry gave the two wands he had left to Hannah for her to try out. The second wand he handed to her seemed to match well enough with her for her be able to use it and so training began.

Amelia made Hannah and Hermione work together today and the other three were ordered to start meditating again so they could feel the magic being cast by the two other girls while they sparred.

The three meditating had to call out when they could feel which spell was being cast and by who it was cast. It was an interesting thing to do and it went quite well.

After that it was time for a full out spar with the five teenagers agains each other in a five-way spar. Harry won but it was a close thing after Susan, Hannah and Neville started to work together. Luckily, Hermione had his back and they defeated the rest with prejudice.

It was clear that Hannah had some catching up to do but Amelia was willing to teach her for a bit longer after the other four were taking a break from training. They decided to take a walk so Hannah would have some privacy while training.

While they were walking Susan told them that Hannah's father had agreed to let her come to Hogwarts this year if she was able to disarm, stun and bind him before the end of the week. Hannah was determined to manage it. Sharing a look, the four others agreed that they would help her do it.

Harry had offered Hermione his arm and together they walked along the path on the grounds of Longbottom Manor. Neville and Susan walked along next to them. They both seemed very happy for them. Probably because now they didn't need to see them pining for each other anymore.

Harry told them about his experience with the Animagus potion and what it had shown him. They were very happy for him that his form was some kind of wolf and not something lame like a fish or bug or something. Now Harry had to start meditating and Transfigure parts of his body into his wolf, one by one until he was able to do the whole Transfiguration all at once.

Soon it would be time for the other three to find their own inner animal and they clearly couldn't wait.

They walked and talked but soon it was time for lunch where they met with the others. It would be a busy afternoon for the three of them where in they would bring Hannah up to speed with everything that had happened this summer. Then Harry would have his lessons with Gran and Hermione had asked if she could come join them too.

Gran was all to pleased. This way she could teach them together.

Hermione also told him that she had send the letter to Skeeter and that the woman had agreed to start looking into the life of Albus Dumbledore. Harry would have felt sorry for the man if it had been anyone else. But Dumbledore had brought this on himself.

Then they would train some more in the training room with Amelia and then it was time for dinner after which everyone would go home after a long and exhausting day.

It was while they had lunch that Amelia told them what had been happening outside the Manor with Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The world still didn't know that he was dead since they still had to find the body. The Daily Prophet was still calling Harry the Chosen One and the one who was destined to defeat Voldemort.

But this morning there was a breakthrough in the Auror department, Amelia told them with a slightly sarcastic smile on her face. The Aurors had found an almost empty Riddle Manor in Little Hangleton where they found the bodies of the Lestrange brothers, Amycus Carrow, Antonin Dolohov, Corban Yaxley, Walden Macnair and most surprising of all, Lord Voldemort himself. The wards around the Manor keeping the Aurors from finding it had been broken when Voldemort died.

Well, Amelia had known that he was dead and how it happened but the rest of the world didn't know that and never would if they had anything to say about it. They had decided together with the goblins that the world would never know just who exacly killed Lord Voldemort. The goblin nation really didn't want the extra attention from the Wizarding World. It was never kind to them anyway.

Harry and the rest had agreed. The public and the Ministry might be grateful for a while but they all knew how quickly that could change.

Both Longbottoms were exatic to hear that the Lestranges brothers who had tortured their loved ones into insanity were dead. Now there were just one left of that family. Amelia did say they found blood from Bellatrix but that she seemed to have escaped. She couldn't tell them how injured the woman was or where she had gone. That was worrying.

This evening there would be an extra edition of the Daily Prophet in which there would be told that Lord Voldmort was dead together with a few of his worst Death Eaters too.

Now that their leader was dead the Aurors would be going after the rest of the Death Eaters in full force. Hopefully they'd soon all be caught so that Amelia and Susan would be able to go home again.

Harry would go back to Black Manor after dinner so he could tell Andromeda in person that her sister had been injured and that they didn't know where she was before she read it in the paper. She might have been insane but at one point Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black had been Andromeda's little sister and she deserved to hear news about her in private from someone who cared about her.

Chapter Text

Andromeda had taken the news well. She was, just las the rest of the family worried of where Bellatrix had gone, what she was planning. All they knew was that the insane woman had been injured when the goblin warriors attacked Riddle Manor but that she had somehow been able to escape with her life. They didn't know where she was, what she was planning or how she had taken the death of her master.

Harry was worried that Bellatrix'd go to Gringotts and find out that she had been disowned, if she hadn't known that already. That would only make her angrier he was sure.

So they worried. It was pretty certain that Bellatrix would come after them just as she had when Voldemort was first defeated and she, together with the Lestrange brothers attacked the Longbottoms. Harry checked the Wards of Grimmauld Place one last time and talked to Kreacher. The Elf would make sure that Bellatrix wouldn't touch them.

Harry had gone back to the Potter Manor after he was sure well, he wasn't sure. Andromeda was a true lady of House Black powerful, smart, cunning and caring and she would be fine. But Bellatrix had been her sister once and now, well now they were all pretty sure that one of them would have to take care of the mad woman. Harry just hoped it wouldn't have to be his Aunt.

First thing he did was check the wards here too before he went to check up on Hedwig and the three owlets. He was there just in time to see Hedwig teaching her chicks how to fly. Trying to at least. It was an adorable thing to watch, the owlets were growing very well and soon Hedwig could leave them free around the Manor. Harry couldn't wait to get to know them better. He just hoped that they wouldn't be as bossy as their mother.

"Hey girl, are they doing alright?" Hedwig hooted doubtfully back.

Harry could see why but he said, "Well, this was only their first lesson, right? I'm sure they will improve."

His friend flew to sit on his shoulder so she could start preening his hair. Harry had missed her doing this. She had been taking care of her chicks for such a long time.

Selene and Helios were as beautiful as their mother, snowy owls just with different colored eyes. Helios had gold eyes like Hedwig and Selene had the same orange eyes as Othello. Hermes meanwhile was looking more and more like Othello every day.

Harry was planning to give one of the owlets to Hermione if she and one of the owlets had a connection. Othello spent most of his time with Hedwig so it would only be fair to give Hermione and her parents another owl. He was pretty sure that Hermes would be the one since he had the closetst connection to his girlfriend. The owl moped for a whole day after Hermione had to leave again after their date.

He'd keep the other two here at Potter Manor so that he could start filling the owlery again. He probably had a lot of letters to sent in the future with the two Lordships to his name.

When he got downstairs the next morning he was surprised to see Dobby and Effy dancing around doing chores all around the Manor while actually dancing together. He didn't know that House-Elves could do the Salsa, and do it well too.

Dobby barely stopped his dusting when he told Harry, "Bonding went very well Master Harry Potter Sir! Dobby and Effy be having lots of magic now for chores and fun times. Dobby and Effy be going now for more chores in big wonderful dusty Manor!" With that he and Effy popped away together to do some more work upstairs.

Fun times? Ugh, he did not want to know.

Harry really loved those two Elves. They were a part of his family. He was very glad that the bonding had gone well and that the two were so very happy together. Thought they did seem a bit high on the magic of their bonding. Ah well. The Manor would be as clean as it has ever been after the two Elves were done with it.

Winky was happy too for the two Elves. According to a blushing Effy, Winky'd told her that she was a very good nanny Elf to both human and Elf babies.

He ate his breakfast alone this morning and took the chance to read his mail at the breakfast table. Picking the letter up he dropped it again as if it burned him. This was Dumbledore's handwriting. He had a letter from Dumbledore. How did that letter get here? Had Dumbledore broken through the wards? No, the wards were as strong as ever. But how had the letter been delivered? Was Fawkes able to flame through the wards? If that was the case then they had been very lucky that Dumbledore hadn't thought to use the Phoenix before.

Still, this was a potential dangerous situation. While he had a wand of his own it would be better to ask for help in this instance. Harry hadn't learned the spells for checking his mail yet beyond the one for checking for simple pranks. So he called for Kreacher, "Kreacher!"

The old Elf popped in and asked his Master, "What can Kreacher be doing for Master?"

Harry was glad to see the old Elf again. While he still saw Kreacher when he visited Grimmauld Place, he had kinda missed the old Elf's cranky presence in Potter Manor. He'd liked eating breakfast every morning together with both Dobby and Kreacher.

He told Kreacher, "It is nice to see you again, Kreacher. I was wondering if you could check these letters for tampering? Dobby and Effy are kinda busy righ now otherwise I would have asked them," At Kreachers nod he continued, "I hope I didn't call you from something important?"

Kreacher looked touched at his Masters words and said, "Master be kind to think of old Kreacher. Kreacher be always willing to help Master Harry. Kreacher be checking letters now." The Elf clicked his fingers and the letters floated over to him.

There was a slight glow on both letters and Harry could feel that the letter from Dumbledore felt a bit malicious. According to Amelia's training, this meant nothing good. Then Kreacher did something with his hands so that the letter from Dumbledore lost the dark glow on it.

Kreacher put the letters back on the table and said to Harry, "Letter from beetle lady be charmed for only your eyes to read. Letter from crazy Headmaster was be cursed to make Master want to go to him. Kreacher made that curse go away but beetle lady charm stay if Master agrees?"

Harry nodded and replied, "Thank you for your help Kreacher. Do you want to eat some breakfast with me before you have to go back to Black Manor?"

Kreacher nodded gratefully and waited for his Master to take a seat before he went to sit down at the table himself. Kreacher would never tell his master this but he had missed eating their breakfast together with Dobby. Even if Kreacher thought Dobby to be terribly undignified for a House-Elf of their Noble House.

Harry left the letter for after breakfast since he now had company and started eating. It was after breakfast that Kreacher left again that Harry went to open the letter from Dumbledore.

Harry my boy,

I am very disappointed in you for leaving your relatives. I had expected better from you. All your friends are very worried about you, my boy, so I expect you to come see me at your relatives house tomorrow. It is for the Greater Good that you life at your Aunt and Uncle's house for as long as I find it necessary for your own safety.

Your Aunt and Uncle love you and are very concerned about you running away from them. They miss you and want you back as soon as possible as they, just like myself, have been worried sick about your. I hope you know how much you scared them with your immature behavior, Harry.

I will see you tomorrow on Number 4, Privet Drive.

Sincerely,

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

Headmaster of Hogwarts

Harry was kind op flabbergasted with how delusional this letter was. His relatives loved him and were worried about him? As if! Don't make him laugh. And his friends were worried about him? He had been in contact with all his friends this summer unlike all the summers that had come before.

And again the man told somebody it was for the Greater Good. Why did that sound so familiar? He would have to ask Hermione about that phrase sometime soon.

At least he had now a prime opportunity for Amelia to discreetly take him out of the picture. It was clear that the Headmaster needed to be looked at by a Healer. By force if necessary. He'd talk to Amelia and Andromeda today about it. It was time for all this nonsens to stop.

The next letter was probably from Rita Skeeter since Kreacher said it was from the 'beetle lady'. He opened the letter and started reading.

Dear Mr. Potter,

Thank you very much for the new assignment. I was already looking into the man but this is still a very nice thing for you to do. And I heard from your lovely little friend that you had some memories to share with me about your expierences at Hogwarts and with the Headmaster? Please owl them to me at your earliest convenience.

I do hope that after this is done that my debt is payed off and you call of that friend of yours?

Sincerely,

Rita

Harry was glad to read that the woman accepted the task even if she had already been looking into the Headmaster. He went to get some vials in which he could put his memories from the last few years. He started with his first year and continued until he was done with his fifth year at Hogwarts. He grabbed an extra vial so he could include this summers memories of Albus Dumbledore.

He included the memories with all the meetings he had with Dumbledore at Hogwarts and this summer. He also put the memories of all his adventures in the vials. This way he also hoped she could finally clear Sirius name to the public. And perhaps this could help with a case agains Umbridge. That vile woman deserved to rot in a prison.

And maybe there could finally be some changes made to Hogwarts so that what happened to him in his years there would never happen to another child.

Dumbledore might be ill, but he had made the decision to take those potions he was now addicted to. Dumbledore had made the decision to not seek professional help. This meant to Harry that all the things the Headmaster had done were his own fault. He deserved to go to prison for all the harm the man had done to Harry and who knows who else.

Perhaps a nice cell next to Umbridge, Snape and Bellatrix would suit the barmy old man.

He closed all the vials and carefully put them into a package. He spelled the package unbreakable and weightless before he went to the owlery to see if there was an owl there able to deliver the package for him. If not he would have to call for Dobby or Effy but he wanted to give them as much privacy as he could. It was their honeymoon after all.

Luckily it seemed that Othello had come for a visit but when Harry wanted to give him the package he got pecked by a offended Hedwig.

Apparently she was ready for a small trip now that Othello was there to look after the owlets for a while. And so he bound the package to her leg and cuddled her for a while before she shot away to deliver her burden to Rita Skeeter. Hedwig clearly needed some me-time after focusing her owlets for all those weeks.

He watched her fly away for a while before he turned his attention to the chicks and Othello. He played with them for a while but then it was really time for him to go to Longbottom Manor.

He met with Hermione in the Entrance Hall and he told her about the letter he got today. She agreed that it was a good idea to try and ambush Dumbledore and get him to a Healer and then a trial. She was also glad that Skeeter seemed to take her new assignment seriously though she snorted at the last part about the debt being paid off.

Hermione would never forgive Skeeter for her writing that horrible article about the so called love-triangle between Harry, Krum and Hermione. All those hate letters and even attempts to harm her had done a lot of damage to her mental wellbeing.

Still the woman was good at her job and with what they had on her Skeeter would take care to tell the truth. They really couldn't wait to see what she would find out.

The both of them walked into the training room to see only Susan waiting for them. Harry and Hermione greeted her with a slight hug and went to stand next to her. Susan explained that Hannah was here too but that she and Neville had gone on a walk together.

Apparently Hannah had taken Hermione's example and asked the boy she liked if he liked her directly instead of waiting for him to ask her. Harry was glad for them both. Hannah seemed like a nice girl and a good match for his best friend.

When Amelia walked in he went to her with the two girls following behind him so he could explain about the letter he got today from Dumbledore and if she would agree to ambush the Headmaster so that they could make him see a Healer for treatment and after, a trial.

He hoped that they would succeed.

Amelia agreed to his plan and told them that she would contact Andromeda and some of her most trusted Aurors for the job. She also told them when Neville and Hannah walked into the training room that she was running for Minister of Magic this summer since there had been a vote of no confidence for Fudge this summer. She was done with seeing the leaders of her country mess up time after time.

Amelia would fix it herself.

The people of magical Britain had stopped trusting the man after it became clear that he had lied to them about the return of Voldemort. Harry thought he got what he deserved after all Fudge had put him through just to safe his job.

All four of them congratulated Amelia but it didn't take long for her to tell them to get in position. Saluting her, they started training. After all, Amelia was still the head of the DMLE and not just a politican. She would always be an Auror at heart.

Hannah would be taught how to Apparate today and Harry, Susan, Hermione and Neville would be learning some new spells. After that they all would be starting or continuing with the sensing of magic exercise. Because Voldemort might be gone now, but Dumbledore and the Death Eaters were not. They all knew that Bellatrix was still around and probably looking for revenge or answers for her master.

It was a few hours later that Neville suddenly shot up and ran out of the room. Harry followed him, worried, but Neville seemed to run toward the potion lab of Longbottom Manor. When Harry entered the room he saw Neville standing above a cauldron and stirring in it.

Neville said without looking up from the cauldron, "My leaf fell down just then. Ugh, what is that thing horrible."

He stirred one last time and put out the fire underneath the cauldron and poured the potion in a vial standing ready next to it.

"Do you want to drink the potion right now?" Harry asked his friend.

"Of course I do! Can you tell the rest that I will be busy for a while?" Neville asked Harry.

But Harry had a better idea, "Expecto Patronum!" As the great silver stag appeared. Merlin, he loved that spell. He asked the stag to tell Amelia that Neville would be busy for a while with an important potion and that Harry would stay to keep an eye on him.

The stag nodded and ran through the walls and was soon out of sight. Harry turned to Neville and told him what Andromeda had told him, that it was better to have someone there when taking the Animagus potion so that they could keep an eye on him. That it would be better if Neville laid down somewhere.

Neville looked kind of relieved to have someone close to keep an eye on him and so he went to lay on the couch in the corner of the potion lab. He knocked the potion back and was soon falling into a potion induced sleep.

While Neville was on his quest to find his inner animal, Harry took out the book Andromeda got him to find out what kind of wolf he was. He quickly discovered what species his wolf was, the Canis Lupus also know as the Grey Wolf. One of the biggest wolf species in the world only his form was completely black with green eyes.

Still, finding his exact spiecies didn't account for how big he was. It wasn't like Harry's form was as big as the Direwolves of legend but he was still bigger than the book said muggle wolves were. Perhaps his magic changed some things?

After reading a bit more about the Grey Wolf it became clear that Neville would wake up soon. He was getting restless and seemed to be growling a bit. Harry was a bit disappointed since he had been hoping that Neville's animagus form would be a duck.

Neville woke up, shooting upright with a deep animal-like growl that made Harry laugh. It was a strange sound from his normally mild mannered friend.

As Neville sat up Harry asked his friend, "And? What did you see?"

Before he could answer, as if they knew Neville had just woken up Hermione, Susan and Hannah walked in just in time to hear Neville announce, "I'm a bear. A big brown bear." With a big smile on his face.

Harry was the first to respond with, "Congratulations mate!" And the three girls followed after him with their congratulations.

Soon Hermione and Susan would be able to find out what their Animagus form were and a little while after that the Twins and Hannah too would be able to drink the potion. Harry was also planning to ask if Luna would be willing to become an Animagus. Perhaps Ginny and Ron too. But that would have to wait until they were back at Hogwarts.

The rest of the day at Longbottom Manor was spent with planning the ambush for tomorrow. At first Harry wanted to be there with the team but Amelia wanted him to stay away from it all. It was an official Auror task force and having Harry there would only distract them and that would be dangerous for all of them.

And so it was the next day that found Harry sitting nervously in the sun room with Susan, Hermione, Neville, Gran, Tonks, Ted and Hannah. Soon, if everything went alright, they would hear from Amelia if Dumbledore was in custody.

Chapter Text

It was a weary looking Amelia who came into the sun room of Longbottom Manor later that evening. Harry had a bad feeling about what happened with the mission of Amelia to apprehend Dumbledore so he wasn't very surprised when Amelia told them, "He got away, we were unable to contain him and bring him to a cell. He was able to get away when he shot a curse at Andromeda. She's fine but in the distraction he fled the scene."

Andromeda walked in and went to sit down beside her husband and daughter with a sight. She looked a bit angry and a bit ruffled but not injured. If she had been hurt by Dumbledore, well Harry had decided long ago that no one hurt his family and get away with it. As Ted took her hand in his, Harry asked the room, "So what do we do now?"

Amelia took a deep breath and explained her plan to the people in the room, "We tried it the subtle way, the kind way, but Dumbledore took it to far when he tried to curse Andromeda. He tried to harm an unarmed civilian and we have proof and witnesses of that. So now we need to make the world aware of how dangerous Dumbledore is. We will tell a trusted journalist everything we know about his health and crimes and hopefully it will keep the people around him informed and safe."

Harry nodded and shot a look at his girlfriend. They had been planning on doing the same and had already sent Rita Skeeter her new assignment. He agreed that it would be safer for people to know that Dumbledore had some serious health issues and that he could be very dangerous because of it.

But he had one thing he wanted to point out, "Dumbledore probably went back to Hogwarts since that is the place he is most in control. Don't you think it might be a good idea to talk to Professor McGonagall and maybe the other professors first before we talk to a jounalist?"

Hermione nodded and added, "Harry and I already contacted Skeeter. She will do as we asked and investigate Dumbledore for us."

"Are you sure Rita Skeeter is to be trusted?" Gran asked what both the adults had on their mind. Anyone with some brains knew that Rita Skeeter wasn't exacly professional in her writing. Or honest.

But people listened to the horrible woman so they would use her for that. And knowing her little secret made sure that she would be honest this time. Though the woman had been a bit kinder since the interview last year about what had happened at the Third Task. It gave her even more popularity among Magical Britain and beyond even if it made her unpopulair with the Ministry of Magic.

Hermione smirked and said, "Yes she will if she knows what's best for her. Also, the professors have the most contact with the Headmaster and should be aware of what is happening if we want them to help us out. Do you think you or one of them could place some ward around my parents place? I would feel better if they had some protection."

Neville nodded thoughtfully, "Yes, that would probably be a good idea. Which Professors should we alert to the situation? Not all of them are trustworthy."

This time it was Susan who replied, "We should tell Professor McGonagall, Professors Sprout and Flitwick. Those three are the most trustworthy and have the most power in Hogwarts after Dumbledore. But how will we contact them without Dumbledore knowing about it?"

"Why don't we just ask a House Elf to deliver a letter to them while they are alone?" Hannah asked.

Amelia and Augusta looked at each other and Augusta said, "Well, it seems like the four of you have figured the whole plan out. Do you children need our help with anything or can we take a bit of a break while you children put your plan into motion?"

The four teenagers looked at each other, proud of that the adults trusted them to handle this, before Hermione said respectfully, "We will handle this, Lady Longbottom, but if you could check over the letters before we sent them we would appreciate it."

"Of course, dear. Shall we go to my office, Amelia, and call for some tea while the children work?" Gran asked the younger woman.

Amelia stood up and replied to the Dowager of House Longbottom, "Yes, lets do that. I could use a bit of a break and maybe you could tell me some interesting stories about the Wizengamot members in their youth?"

Gran smirked and took Amelia by the arm. As they walked away Harry could hear Gran tell Amelia something that sounded very close to blackmail or at least some very embarrassing stories of some youthful mishaps of the distinguished members of the Wizengamot.

He almost pitied them after Amelia'd be done with them but honestly? They could use some shaking up. The Magical side of Britain has been stagnant for way to long. It was time for some new things. Perhaps he could share some of the thing he found in that little black leather book that used to belong to Cassiopeia Black. That woman had some ineresting stories to tell.

The four teeneagers went to write the letters for the three Head of Houses. They decided to write the same thing to all three of them but only change the name it was adressed to.

Dear Professor McGonagall,

We would like to invite you and two of your collagues for a private meeting concerning some happenings lately. We have been very troubled about some thing and would like to share our concerns with you.

Please come with the House Elf delivering the letters if you agree we need to talk.

Sincerely,

Hadrian James Potter

Lord of House Black

Lord of House Slytherin

Head of House of Potter

He wrote exacly the same thing for Professor Flitwick and Professor Sprout just with their names on top of the letter. They were very vague on purpose so that nothing could get back to him if Dumbledore got his hands on the letters. He did write down his titles so that they would see how serious he was and that he was aware now of all that they never told him before. It was probably never their responsibility but still.

Why didn't they ever help him?

That was his biggest question. They were teachers, in charge of taking care of the students of the boarding school they worked and lived. Why didn't they give their students any help beyond teaching? Honestly, the only time he remembered feeling supported by Professor Mcgonagall was when she offered him a biscuit when he had expected detention for being honest towards Umbridge.

Still, he did admire her and hoped that she would support Harry in this. Perhaps she just hadn't known. Merlin, he hoped she hadn't known about any of it.

The others agreed to leave their names out of it just to be sure. Soon it would be time to go back to Hogwarts for the start of the new year and if Dumbledore was still there, well if Dumbledore was still there then they would have to be very careful. No need to put his friends in unnecessary danger.

Now they would show the letters to Gran and Amelia and then they would ask a House Elf to deliver them and hopefully take the three teachers back to Longbottom Manor with them.

Gran approved of the letters and went to call for Tessy so she could go to Hogwarts. It was the first time Harry saw her again since she broke up with Dobby. Harry was glad that she looked happy and he was even more glad to know that Dobby had found love after his disappointment with Tessy.

Harry gave the letter to Tessy with the instructions and watched her disappear with a pop. He hoped that Professor McGonagall would come back with the Elf. Not just to warn her about Dumbledore but also that he could ask her some discreet questions about the Animagus transformation for him and his friends. He wouldn't want to be stuck with a tail like Sirius had when he was attempting his own transformation.

It was a hour later that a stern looking Professor McGonagall was standing in the sun room of Longbottom Manor. Soon after that Tessy popped in Professor Flitwick and Professor Sprout.

Professor Flitwick looked like he had expected all of this to happen and Harry wondered if the goblins had told him more of what had been happening lately. Did he know what really happened to Voldemort?

Neville and Gran stood up to greet the guests and soon after the rest did the same. Gran called for some tea for the guests and everyone went to sit down. It was silent for a while before Professor McGonagall raised an eyebrow and said pointely to Harry, "Well, Lord Black?"

And so Harry told them about Dumbledore and what they all had discovered about Voldemort and the plans the Headmaster had for him. The Horcruxes and the Prophecy. Dumbledore's health issues.

By the end of it the three teachers were looking horrified and Hermione was holding Harry's hand. Professor Sprout was the first one to start asking questions, "Mr. Potter, are you healthy now? Are you seeing a Healer? Wait, if Miss Black, no sorry, Mrs. Tonks is here then of course you are seeing a Healer. Can we do anything to help you? And are you sure that the Headmaster has some form of dementia?"

Andromeda was the one answering that question since she was the one who was his Healer and cast the diagnostic spell, "Dumbledore has dementia and it isn't a recent thing. If I had to guess he has had it for around ten years now but he has been self-medicating with wit-sharpening potions so that the disease slows down. He is an overpowered addict with a dangerous mental illness."

She continued with, "We are, in a way, lucky that the man is such a powerful Wizard. His magical strength would have slowed down the disease. Still, it has progressed way to far now for him to hold the important jobs he has."

Harry took over for Andromeda by saying, "You might have noticed him doing some stange things in the last few years that he couldn't explain himself. Just look at my last few years at Hogwarts! Why could the door in my first year be opened by a first year spell? Why didn't call the Headmaster for help in my second year when the Chamber opened? And those are just my first two years at Hogwarts."

The teachers looked at each other and started feeling a bit ashamed of what they all had allowed to happen to the child in their care in his time at Hogwarts. The young man in front of them hab been through so much and they should have helped him much more than they actually did. They had trusted Dumbledore when he told them the boy in front of them was alright. They trusted him when he told them he would take care of it.

They were wrong.

Harry continued with, "He is clearly refusing treatment and he has become very dangerous to me personally. We would like to make it known to magical Britain so that people can be careful in dealing with him."

Professor Flitwick had listened to it all but now he had something to say, "While I admire your strategy with the man that hurt you, children, I must advice you to take a more permanent route. The Headmaster is already planning your death so it might be more prudent to make sure he can never harm you and yours again."

Both Professors McGonagall and Sprout looked shocked at what their collague said but they didn't protest. Harry too was shocked at the normally very kind professor. Suddenly he could see the warrior side of the normally cheery Charms Professor.

He didn't know what to do with the advice he got. He actually mostly agreed but how does one assasinate somebody? Does he hire a hitman? Where does one even find a hitman? Or would it better if he did it himself? He really didn't want to kill anyone. By word or by deed.

And yes, Harry knew he'd basically placed a hit on Voldemort. But that felt different. It wasn't too long ago that Harry had thought the world of Professor Dumbledore. There had to be another solution to the danger Dumbledore posed other than death. Dumbledore deserved something else than that quick end. Prison would do nicely. Prison and a total destruction of Dumbledore's reputation.

Also, Harry didn't want to ask the golblins about another death. He'd start to feel like a mob boss.

Amelia said, "While I do agree with you, Professor, that Albus Dumbledore is a dangerous man to Harry especially, he needs to be treated like any other criminal and if he is found guilty, locked up. I personally like Nurmengard." Amelia had a smirk on her face while she said that but Harry was a bit confused.

So he asked, "Nurmengard?"

Hermione was the one who answered Harry's question with answer that sounded like it came out of a textbook, "Nurmengard is a prison somewhere in the Alps. It was built by Dark Lord Grindewald to imprison his enemies but after his defeat by Dumbledore he was put in there himself by Dumbledore."

She took a moment to take a breath before she continued, "Grindewald has been in there since his defeat in 1945. He had a sort of saying 'for the Greater Good' which they have carved into the entrance of the prison."

Harry looked at Hermione, shocked, "Did you just say 'for the Greater Good'?"

Amelia and Augusta, who had seen the memories of Dumbledore suddenly looked like they had a not so nice realisation.

Hermione was visibly worried when she answered her friend, "Yes that was what Grindewald used as his excuse for his dark acts. It was all for his version of the Greater Good."

"I've heard Dumbledore saying those words a few times now. Does that mean that Dumbledore knew Grindewald? Well enough to say the same words?" Harry was a bit worried now.

It was bad enough to discover that Dumbledore wanted him to sacrifice himself so that Voldemort could die but if Dumbledore had been close enough to a Dark Lord to use the same saying, than that was very disturbing.

It seemed that they had another letter to send to Rita Skeeter.

Chapter Text

Hermione had asked him to meet her at her house today. Today, as always, they would go to Longbottom Manor in the afternoon but this morning she invited him for a date she had planned for them. Harry was curious to see what his girfriend wanted to do today.

She had been planning for it since she told him she would plan the next one for the both them. Harry was curious to see what she had thought up for them to do but first she wanted to spent some time with her parents and him. While Harry still wasn't very comfortable around adults, he did like Hermione's parents. Arriving at the house he rang the bell.

Hermione opened the door and kissed him quickly before pulling him inside to the living room where her parents were playing a card game.

"Hi Mr. and Mrs. Granger, how are you?" Harry asked Hermione's parents as they looked up.

"Hello dear, we are fine, thank you for asking." Mrs Granger said while standing up. She put the cards down and asked if they wanted something to drink as she shot a look and a nod towards her husband.

Mr Granger nodded back and turned to the teenagers, "Hermione, Harry we need to have a chat about something. Come sit and we will talk."

A talk? Harry felt a short moment of actual panic. That sounded serious. Shooting a look towards Hermione it was clear she felt the same. What was going on? Had they done something wrong? There was never a good conversation when it started with 'we need to have a talk' and this wasn't even coming from his girlfriend! Though that sentence coming from his girlfriends father wasn't much better.

Hermione grabbed his hand and together they went to sit at the dining table, where Mrs. Granger already had made drinks for all of them and after putting all the glasses in front of them she went to sit next to her husband.

"Hermione, your dad and I have something for you, if you wish to accept it." She looked worried but yet so calm that Harry wondered what was going on.

"Mum?" Hermione sounded worried. This was clearly out of the ordinary and yet so little has actually happened.

Mr. Granger took the hand of his wife and looked straight into the eyes of his daugther while he started explaining,"I am so proud of you, and you too Harry, for training so hard just so you could defend yourself and others if necessary in that magical world of yours, love. But as you know your mum and I worry about you."

"I know, dad. I know you and mum worry about me but I can't just do nothing!" Hermione exclaimed loudly.

Hermione's father snorted, "Calm, Hermione. We had this talk already remember? We know you won't stop. We won't ask you to stop. But your mum and I want to help."

"Help us?" Even Hermione sounded surprised so Harry tried not to feel too bad about his own reaction.

Harry too was wondering what two muggles could do to help. He didn't mean it in an offensive way because he knew Hermione's parents were as smart as their daughter but they were still muggles. What could they possibly do against magic?

Hermione's mum smiled thinly as if she could read their thoughts of their faces. It was a smile that told both teenagers that they were wrong for assuming they could do nothing as muggles. Mr. and Mrs. Granger had a plan.

"While your father and I haven't exacly been keeping up to standards, we are still in very good shape and know how to use that to our advantage. So, I will teach you kids how to defend yourself from an attacker and how to escape multiple things that could hold you and Wendell will teach you how to shoot a gun."

What?

"What?" Hermione asked, shocked. Apparently this wasn't normal for Hermione's parents. That was kinda a relief. Though if they could help them with this whole situation, well that would be brilliant. This was just not something he had sought after the two middle aged dentists.

Hermione's father had been in the military some time ago and that had left its traces yet it still came to a surprise that the man was willing to teach them how to shoot a gun, and if he read the room right, actually give them a gun.

Was that even legal? Where would he get the gun? Harry was pretty sure that guns were illegal in Great-Brittain.

Still, it would give them one perhaps two more things to defend themselves with against the adults that wished them harm.

"I've taught Hermione already a few things over the years in case someone bothers her so she will start learning how to shoot from Wendell. Harry, you and I will start here for some self-defence lessons."

Mr. Granger nodded in agreement and continued after his wife, "I will teach you gun safety and how to actually hit what you are aiming for. After that I will teach you kids how to escape different kinds of bonds, ropes and things."

Well, this day was going different than he had expected, different than Hermione had expected from the look on her face. Hopefully she wouldn't mind postponing their date.

Shooting a look at his girlfriend they seemed to agree. They will take the offered help.

A little while later found Harry standing in the Grangers garden with Hermione's mother. She was telling him about the weak points on a humans body, eyes, nose, balls and stomach. Those kind of things. She showed him on a dummy how to use those weak spots for his advantage. Harry wondered how they would like a magical dummy which could actually react back.

Still, it was an interesting lesson. Why wasn't this taught to everybody? Knowing how to escape somebody's hold would have been handy to know when Dudley and his gang were chasing him all through his childhood. He would have been able to escape when they had been holding him down to beat him up.

He wondered how his cousin was doing. Had they listened to him and moved away already? Harry hoped so, because while he might have hated his aunt and uncle, he'd wanted to give Dudley a chance. A chance to become more than his parents son. A chance to perhaps become someone good.

Harry was pretty sure that he never wanted to see any of them again but that didn't mean he wanted them dead. Voldemort was gone, yes, but there were still Death Eaters out there. Bellatrix would probably love to get her hands on his blood relatives.

But back to the lessons. It was quite interesting and Hermione's mum was a good teacher if a bit overly technical. Like mother like daughter, he supposed.

After a hour of training and talking Harry was able to shake off any attempt of an attack Mrs. Granger made. Which wasn't as easy as that sounded. She was very good at this.

Hermione and her father joined them soon after and thus Harry had some more people to practise with. Hermione already knew most of what her mother had been teaching him this last hour. It was nice to do this with Hermione. Even if he had to pretend to attack her, he still got to hold her.

She was good though. Hermione knew where to hit and what to do when someone was holding her against her will. Harry had some lovely flashbacks to the time when Hermione punched Malfoy straight on the nose. Thinking back, that have been the moment his crush on Hermione began.

Soon after it was time to switch and it was Hermione's turn to play attacker. Harry had a bit more difficulty with that. He didn't want to hit her, even if it was a soft hit like she had done to him, and she was also surprisingly strong.

Still, after a while he started to get it. Then the difficulty got turned up and he had to try it with Hermione's dad. When even that was getting better they declared it time for something else. A chair got dragged outside together with some ropes with different materials and some other things to bind another person to a chair.

They got taught how to escape the different kinds of bindings like ropes and other things. It was difficult to move when so tightly bound but Mr. Granger told them all the tricks for it. He also gave them a small Swiss Army knife for them to hide on their person. Since it didn't look like a knife when folded in, they were pretty sure that anyone Magical wouldn't recognise it as a knife.

Then Mrs. Granger asked a question that made them think, "Hermione told us about you kids trying to turn into an animal, Animagus she called it? Is it possible for you to partly transform into your animal? Like only the claws or whatever your animal has."

"I'm a wolf."

Hermione said thinking out loud, "I don't know what I am, the potion that will show me my inner animal isn't ready yet. But you're right, mum. It could be very helpful if we could partly transform. Harry, how far have you gotten with trying to become your wolf?"

Harry rubbed the back of his neck when the three Grangers turned their attention on him, "Only some fur, Mione. And some nails that aren't quite human anymore but not something that could aid us escaping. I will keep practising."

Hermione nodded, "I can't wait to meet my animal. Hopefully it will be something as practical and beautiful as yours."

Harry blushed. She thought his wolf was beautiful?

Then it was his turn to sit bound to a chair. While he struggled to get free again Hermione told him how it had gone on the shooting range. It was a powerful feeling, she told him but not really something she was comfortable with. It was scary to hold something so dangerous on her. With a wand at least one had to make the decision to cast a spell before anything happened. She wasn't so sure about the safety of a gun.

Yet, Hermione was clearly proud of her ability to shoot one. Harry was happy for her.

"It's your turn now Harry. After this I will decide which or if one of you is gonna be capable to handle a gun. So lets go, kid." Mr. Granger seemed to be having fun. Though he was still very serious about it all as he explained more about guns while they were in the car. This whole thing was for their own safety and they shouldn't forget it.

An hour later and Harry knew for sure that guns were not his thing. He know knew how to load and unload, how to assemble and disamble, how to aim and how to shoot a gun. But actually hitting the target?

Nope.

Guns were clearly not his thing. He was grateful that Hermione's dad was able to keep a straight face while teaching him, because he couldn't have. Shooting sucked. It was almost as if the bullets went te opposite way he was aiming. It was really weird and embarrassing. Was he cursed or something?

He never had this problem when using a wand. Harry was proud of his ability to hit almost every dummy even when they were moving in the hardest level.

But anyway, that meant that Hermione was going to carry a gun from now on while at Hogwarts. She was kinda terrified about that until Harry asked if it was possible to charm the gun. She immediately perked up and started thinking.

September the 1st was fast approaching and Dumbledore was still the Headmaster of Hogwarts somehow. Harry didn't know how that was still possible with all he now knew. Though nobody out of his small circle of friends, family and allies knew about all that happened this summer. That's why they needed Rita Skeeter.

Though it did feel a bit safer now that they had the three Heads on their side while they were at Hogwarts. They wouldn't be on their own now which was a big difference form usual.

Hermione was already busy with planning on how to charm the gun. Last he heard she was planning something with disappearing bullets. She mumbled something about a bullet hitting the target but then disappearing. Something like that. Hermione was sometimes a bit hard to understand while she was in research mode.

This hadn't been the date Hermione had planned for them but Harry didn't mind. It had been nice to spent time with his girlfriend and her parents. He liked them. They were kind and smart and Harry was so glad for Hermione that she had gotten closer to her parents again.

But now it was getting late and it was time to go back to Longbottom Manor for some more planning and training. Harry was a bit tired already but he had a plan for when they were going to duel. HE had read something interesting in one of his Grimoires that he wanted to try out. He also hoped that Skeeter had some news for them althought that would be fast work even for her. But she did tell them that she had already been working on it before they contacted her.

Seeing them walking into the training room hand in hand Neville greeted them with, "Hey mate, how was the date?"

Explaining took some time but soon everyone was up to date on the newest happenings. Amelia knew about guns but had never used one before. She was facinated and was clearly planning on getting one of her own after a demonstration from Hermione.

Hermione still didn't like them but after charming it she was a bit calmer about the idea. The gun would never run out of bullets now and never go of accidently. She also made sure that no one could use it but her. It was as safe as it could be, she supposed.

They decided to go for an all out duel today. Susan, Hannah, Neville, Hermione, Harry against Augusta and Amelia.

Gran and Amelia won, barely.

They clearly knew more than the five teenagers together but it took a lot out of them. It almost ended with the teens winning but then the two adults did something, cast some spell together that made the dummies come alive and fight against the five teenagers that ended the duel. Amelia told them to keep practising and soon they would be able to take the both of them and win.

Then it was time for dueling in pairs. Harry paired up with Hermione and they went against the other three. Not quite fair Harry thought but he also knew that he and Hermione were a force to be reckoned when fighting together.

Then it was time for him and Neville to pair up against the girls. That sucked. While he and Nev worked well together, the girls were vicious opponents who were out to embarrass you as much as possible.

Well, that was Susan mostly. She too had discovered a love for prank spells and it showed in her dueling style. Hermione meanwhile was less focussed on causing embarrassment and more on trying out new spells. Which could have some surprising results.

Hannah was still catching up to the rest of them but even she was no slouch. Hannah was getting very handy with her Stupify and Incarcerous. Her Father would be surprised when she had to show him. Harry and the others were sure she was good enough now and would be allowed to go back to Hogwarts with them in a few days.

Which was brillant because otherwise they would have to deal with a moping Neville.

Harry'd decided to focus more on elemental spells today. In particulair the different applications for Argumenti and Incendio. There were so many different ways to shape those two spells. Harry was now trying to make wolves of fire and water to attack on his command. He had read about this spell in the Potter Grimoire and it sounded awesome.

It was very difficult to shape an element like that but there was progress after a while. Harry was surprised to note that he was good at this. The wolves were looking more and more like actual wolves.

Amelia too, still had a lot of tips and tricks for them on how to improve for all of them.

It was an exhausting day with all the magic he cast so Harry was very glad when Amelia called for a break. The five teenager decided to call for some cool drinks to take with them on their usual walk around the grounds of Longbottom Manor.

Arm in arm with Hermione he walked on the sunny grounds. The cool breeze felt delicious on their heated skin. Perhaps it would be better to work on his fire wolves in the winter or something. Ah well, what's done is done. Next time he would cast some cooling charms first.

"So Harry, how did you get the idea of those lovely elemental wolves?" Susan asked.

"I found a mention of elemental shaping in the Potter Grimoire," Harry shrugged, "It sounded cool so I decided to try it out."

Hannah looked back at the couple walking behind her and Neville, "Very cool indeed! Do you think we could try it too? Just maybe some smaller animals. Those wolves looked hard!"

Harr nodded thoughtfully. He would have to explain some things from his family grimoire but he didn't mind that. Harry liked teaching his friends things.

Hermione at his side perked up, "Oh that would be brilliant! What would be good animals to make? Does it have to be wolves? I would like birds I think or perhaps some kind of feline? So much possibilities! Do you think that spell can be adapted for other elements Harry?

"Sure, Mione. If anyone could do it it's you." Hermione blushed, looking pleased.

From the cornor of his eye he could see Neville make a mocking gesture. Without looking away from Hermione he sent a light stinging spell toward his best friend.

Neville jumped, "Ouch!"

The other four laughed at Neville's misfortune.

Harry then asked his friends, "How is it going with your Mandrake leaves? And your transformation, Neville?"

Hannah shrugged, "As you know I've had mine only for a short while now so that's gonna take some time."

"Susan and I got ours around the same time. I think it will only be a few days now before the Mandrake leaf will fall down. Don't you think, Susan?" Hermione asked the girl walking next to her.

Nodding Susan answered, "Yes, I think so too. Do you boys have the potion ready for us? I'm not sure we can make it while we are at Hogwarts without anyone knowing about it."

Harry had a plan for that and said, "Actually, I've asked Winky, a House-Elf we know, to transfer the potion I made for you guys into the Room of Requirement. She agreed to keep an eye on it, so it will be ready for you when we get to Hogwarts. We will just have to sneak to the Room without anyone knowing."

"How is Winky doing?" Hermione asked. She knew how bad it was when Winky's former master gave her clothes. So Harry told his friends about Winky and what he had asked of her. She was still sober according to his other Elves and very much looking forward to bonding with Harry and his family.

Then an Elf popped up in front of them, "Little Master, there be important letter for you and honored guests."

Neville nodded, "Thank you, Alphy. We will be coming back immediately."

The Elf bowed and popped away again. The five went for the track back to the Manor. Hopefully this 'important letter' meant that Rita Skeeter had found out something interesting. Harry wasn't expecting anything else that could be of interest to all of them.

Soon after they gathered in the sun room. Amelia and Gran had joined them as apparently the Elf had told them about the letter too. Harry picked it up and started reading. It was soon clear how important this letter exactly was.

Rita had sent them her findings.

Chapter Text

It had been a few days since Harry and Hermione went to the Grangers and today was the day that Harry and his friends would go back to Hogwarts. Finally. It felt like months, if not years, had gone by since Harry decided to take his life in his own hands.

There had been a lot of preparations happening before they all went back to Hogwarts. They had contacted Rita Skeeter with their conclusions after she had sent them her findings a few days ago and Rita promised to have her article published today around dinner time. It seemed best for the paper to arrive when Dumbledore was in front of many witnesses. At dinner time in the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

Rita had found the holy grail of all information. She also made sure this time that her article was factual and that she could prove it. Rita had the memories of those she interviewed to prove it. She promised to have pictures in the article to make sure the people believed it.

Harry still couldn't believe all he'd read, all she'd found. Skeeter had done a bang up job on finding it all. Harry was horribly excited for when the paper got out. He couldn't wait to see Dumbledore's face. And hopefully, he would be fired after everybody knew. Gran was certainly ready for it. She would make sure that the Governors were ready to act when the moment was right.

Gran and Amelia also put up wards around the Granger home just to be sure that Dumledore or anyone else meaning them harm wouldn't be able to get them. They should have done that years ago, when the the threat of Death Eaters and Voldemort was still very much real.

Amelia had been busy hunting the remaining Death Eaters since the death of their master. She had been succesfully hunting them outside the Ministry lately but she also knew that there were a lot of Death Eaters or sympathisers inside the Ministry of Magic. So Amelia tried something different. She contacted the Head of the Department of Mysteries and asked for help. Through either a Vow or Veritaserum Croaker and Amelia have been quietly removing the corrupt people working in each department.

It was slow going but Amelia was happy with the progress made. Even though she sometimes came to Longbottom Manor furious at who she had that time discovered was corrupt some way or the other. At least they knew for sure now that Kingsley and Moody were on their side. They were loyal to Amelia and the future she wanted for their country.

While people expected Amelia to become the new Minister of Magic soon, she wasn't yet. It was too dangerous to make this move out in the open just yet. But it wouldn't take long before Fudge was ousted from his office and then she could make all the changes she wanted when Amelia was sworn in.

Harry and his friends had also doubled down on their own training since they wouldn't be able to continue with it while they were at Hogwarts. At least not with Amelia teaching them.

Harry had eaten dinner yesterday at Black Manor so that he could say goodbye to Andromeda, Ted and Tonks. He'd also said goodbye to Kreacher and Alphard. He'd promised them that he would come back home again for the holidays. Harry was finally one of the many students who wanted to go home for his school holidays. It was a bitter sweet feeling.

Andromeda had also given him a last check-up and had declared him healthy enough. His bones where approaching normal now for his age and so were his organs and weight. His health would soon be as if he had never been in the care of his relatives. He was glad that that chapter of his life was now almost completely over and done with.

"See you soon, kid. Do your homework and play an awesome prank for me, alright?" She ruffled his hair again. Tonks was clearly getting emotional when they said goodbye. Her voice sounded shaky but Harry thought that it was just the pregancy hormones. The pregancy was going well, her babybump seemed to grow bigger every day, not that he would tell her that. Alphard made the mistake of commenting on it a few days ago, and well, lets just say that he'd never make that mistake again.

Ted just hugged him and wished him a great year. Andromeda said warmly, "As my daughter and husband said. Do be careful, dear, and we will see you for your winterbreak. Sent us a letter when you're settled in?"

With a lump in his throat, Harry agreed and said goodbye to his family.

That morning before the dinner at Grimmauld Place Harry, Hermione, Neville and Susan also went back for a quick trip to Diagon Alley under a glamour for their school books and other things they needed for the new school year. Harry'd really needed some new robes since he'd grown so much this summer. Hannah's father had already taken care of everyhing and didn't want his daughter out in the open anyway so she didn't come with them.

It felt very different this year to leave for Hogwarts. This was the first time he had family and a home he'd leave behind. He wondered if this year would be the first year he'd get homesick.

Hermione and he had gone on the date she had planned for them that day. She had found a private place where she had cast muggle repelling charms and other wards around. Hermione asked Dobby for two brooms and asked Harry to teach her how to fly. First together on one broom so she could get used to the hights. Then next to each other on their own broom. Slowly but surely she started to like it a bit better.

Brooms would never be her favorite way to transport herself but she didn't hate it anymore. In fact, she quite liked it when she flew with Harry on the same broom. That way it felt a lot safer then when she was flying on her own.

Then, to warm up a bit from the chilly air high up in the sky, Hermione asked if they could go to Potter Manor. There she'd asked Dobby and Effy to prepare for a swim and a picknick at the lake.

There was a beautiful if a small lake behind Potter Manor. Since the lake was still inside the wards, they were warded with climate control. The water was deliciously warm after the flying they had done. Harry had been a bit self-conscious about his swim skills but Hermione had been very patient in teaching him how to swim.

She hadn't been surprised to learn that he didn't know how to swim. She remembered how panicked he was when they were told the Second Task would be in the lake. Gilly weed had fixed that little problem but still, Hermione thought it was a necessary skill to know and offered to teach him today. After all, she told him pertly, they lived on a island for Merlins sake!

Harry kinda loved it when Hermione got affronted on his behalf.

The Dursleys hadn't found it necessary to teach their nephew how to swim. Why waste their money on him if it wasn't actually necessary? His aunt and uncle but mostly his aunt had been spiteful like that. Before Hogwarts when at school some teacher had noticed he couldn't see right. That teacher told his aunt about it in person so Petunia had to get him glasses or otherwise other people would see that she wasn't the perfect housewife/mother/woman as she tried to show the neighborhood.

But actually glasses that were the right for him? No, she didn't want to spent that much money on him or take him to an actual eye doctor. So he got to try a few cheap options from a second hand store and got the one that made his sight a bit better than usual. It didn't matter they barely fit, or that they weren't the right prescription. He had glasses now so the teacher wouldn't start about it again. Harry just had to try a bit harder to read.

Hermione told Harry very sincerely that she would like to set them on fire for all that they had done to him. Harry was touched but he just wanted to leave his past behind him. Live the best life as possible. Perhaps that was a bit of spite in that after all.

Besides, the Dursleys were probably already gone if they had listened to him.

Harry didn't need glasses anymore since the Horcrux had been taken out of his forehead. It was something he was still getting used too. He kept trying to shove his glasses up his nose while there was nothing there. Andromeda told him that he would likely need glasses later in life, since his father and grandfather had them too, but not for some years yet.

It had been a great day splashing around in the lake behind his home. Hermione was a good teacher if a bit impatient sometimes. Harry knew how to swim now and it felt great. Harry and Hermione agreed to keep going on dates when they were at Hogwarts.

Harry had also shown Potter Manor to Susan and Neville. He trusted them with his safe place and they had sworn to never reveal where he lived. He was glad that he shared a bit more of his life with his other two best friends.

They had spent that day together and it had been great to spent some time alone with Hermione, Susan and Neville. No training, no schoolwork or anything, just them. They needed that.

Meanwhile Hannah had been training extra hard so that her father would allow her to go back to school with the rest of them. She had gotten very good at the stunning spell but the Incarcerous was her best spell. Harry didn't know what she did but her ropes were almost impossible to get out of. She and Susan were working very hard on it so that Hannah could come to Hogwarts with them.

Her father might have gotten Hannah her school stuff but that didn't mean anything. If she wasn't allowed to go then she would use it to study at home.

Last evening Hannah had to prove to her father that she could protect herself. Her friends would only know if she had been allowed to go when they saw her on the platform. She wanted it to be a surprise or if she didn't succeed, watch them leave without her.

He hoped they would see her there. For Susan's sake but also for Neville. His friend had a big crush on the girl and Harry hoped that something good could grow between the two of them. They'd gone on a few dates and they clearly liked each other.

And more education was never a bad thing to have.

Harry had also said goodbye to his grandparents portrait and of course to Dobby and Effy. Both Elves where very sad to see him leave for school but the both of them did undersand that he needed to go. They had a very nice breakfast this morning and both Elves had made him a little basket with snacks for on the train.

Effy told him, "Master Harry be good little wizard and go to Hoggywarts. We be fine."

Dobby nodded cheerfully as he grabbed the hand of his mate, "Master Harry Potter Sir not need to worry. We take care of everything!"

They had told him quite sternly to call them when he needed help. Harry had promised them that he would. Then he also had to say goodbye to the portrait of his grandparents. It was difficult to say goodbye to them after only spending so little time together.

His grandmother told him with soft eyes and a teary smile, "Of course it's alright! Study hard, dearie. Be respectful to your teachers and we will see you soon."

His grandfather smiled too, "And don't forget to have some fun too, alright kiddo?" Winking subtly at his grandson, Harry suddenly had a idea from who his father got his pranking from.

They were sad but they understood and Harry promised he'd come back home for holidays. He'd spent Christmas with his family this year.

Then he had just one person left to say goodbye to, Hedwig. His owl was not happy to see her human leave without her but her chicks still needed her. They had a nice cuddle and some preening of his hair before he really had to leave for the platform. He'd miss her. His first friend.

"I've asked Dobby to bring you some bacon, okay girl?" Hedwig hooted softly while rubbing her head against his cheek. Then she flew back to her nest where Helios, Selene and Hermes were waiting.

"You be good for your mum, okay guys? And I hope to see the three of you flying when I get back." The three owlets hooted agreeably.

Harry hoped that Hedwig would be able to come with him again after the Winter Break. The owlets should be almost fully grown by then. A quick scratch on the head for the three owlets and then he really had to leave.

He and his friend had agreed to meet on the platform a hour before time so when Harry stepped through the barrier he was glad to see that Susan, Neville and Hermione were already there. He kissed Hermione in greeting and went to stand next to her. The rest of the platform was still empty but that would soon change.

They had agreed to say goodbye to their families at home so that they could make a battle plan before the other students could overhear them. Amelia had to go to work early anyway since she and Croaker had been very busy catching the remaining Death Eaters. There had been no sign yet of Bellatrix and that made them nervous.

Hannah wasn't there yet so Harry asked his friends, "Hey guys, have you heard anything about Hannah yet?"

Susan shook her head as she came to stand next to Harry and Neville, "No, nothing yet. But we still have a few minutes until the agreed upon time so hopefully she will arrive soon."

And just when she finished talking the barrier opened to show a familiar blond haired girl walking through.

"Hannah!" Susan called happily. She ran to her friend to hug her and the others followed a bit more slowely behind her.

Hannah let go of her friend and turned to the rest of them to say, "I did it guys! Father was so surprised and it was brilliant!" She said with a big smile on her face.

They congatulated her and went to find a compartment on the train together so that they could talk. They needed to make a game plan for when they were back at Hogwarts.

They agreed to meet twice a week for extra training in the RoR. They could train or meditate for their Animagus form or even just do their homework together. They also agreed that they would never be alone while the Headmaster would still be around.

Oh and Harry had come up with a name for his wolf, Grim. In honour of Sirius and according to the Maraunder tradition. Neville didn't know yet what he wanted to name his form and the others had to wait for a little while yet before they could even meet their inner animal.

It would be a while yet before he will be able to change in his wolf completely since it took on avarage a year before someone could manage the complete transformation. Still, Harry was making good progress. His father's, the both of them, book really helped. Harry was able to chance his skin into fur and change his nails into claws.

It was a strange and exciting thing.

Neville meanwhile has managed to change his nose into the snout of his bear. It was a hilarious image not that Harry could talk, he was a walking hairball with claws when trying to transform. Still, when Neville was trying he was completely human except for the nose of his bear. They both laughed their arse of when they practised together.

Soon they could see other people starting to appear on the platform. Harry hoped that Luna, Ron and Ginny would appear soon so that they could cast some privacy charms on the compartment. He really didn't want another predictable visit from Malfoy.

Althought he did wonder if Malfoy was still as smug as last year now that Voldemort is dead and Umbridge gone. With Harry back in everybody's fickle graces again Malfoy was probably not very happy. Poor Malfoy.

Harry wasn't sure what Amelia was planning for the two elder Malfoys. Lucius was clearly a Death Eater so he would probably go to prison but he wasn't so sure about Narcissa. Narcissa was a Black before her marriage and while he disliked her, he still felt responsible for her. She wasn't a Death Eater he thought, so Harry would give her a chance.

Only one though.

Harry could see two pale blond heads moving around in the crowd so Harry opened the window so he could call Luna to their compartment. He had promised himself to be a better friend to her and that would start today.

Hanging slightly out of the window he called, "Luna! Do you want to join us?"

The poor girl looked so surprised at his invitation that Harry felt guilty again. But soon she smiled brightly and nodded back at him. Harry went to sit back into his seat and let her say goodbye to her father in private. He would do better with his friend.

His friends didn't mind Luna joining them and they even agreed that giving her a Mandrake leaf would be a good idea. They weren't sure yet about giving Ron and Ginny one yet but they had time to make a decision about that one.

Luna had said goodbye to her brightly dressed father and was now stepping into the compartment. Luna herself was looking her usual self with her bright clothes and interesting jewelry.

"Good morning, might I sit here with you? It is nice to see a compartment without Nargels, don't you think?" Luna said brightly.

Harry enjoyed seeing his friends perplexed faces and gestured for her to take a seat in the enlarged space before he said, "Hello Luna, did you have a nice summer with your dad?"

"Yes, daddy and I have found some clues as to where to look next summer for the Crumble-Horned Snorkacks. We think we'll finally find them next summer."

Hermione looked doubtful but Harry was glad to see that she didn't say anything unkind to Luna. He had a talk about Luna this summer with her and she agreed to be kinder to the lonely girl. Honestly, Hermione and Luna couldn't be more different and that clashed sometimes. Harry didn't mind that as long as they weren't rude to each other.

Neville wished her good luck and asked if she found any interesting plants while traveling. They talked about for a while before Harry took the opportunity to ask her if she wanted a Mandrake Leaf like the rest of them.

Luna nodded and said, "Yes please, I will make a beautiful owl."

This time Hermione had to speak, "Luna, you do know that you won't be able to chose your own form right?"

Luna looked at Hermione with her big eyes and said, "Of course I know that Hermione. Are there Wackspurts flying around your ears again?"

Harry snorted and his girlfriend elbowed him in retaliation. Luna grabbed something from her suprisingly deep pockets and held it out to Hermione. She said, "Harry said he wanted a necklace like mine so that the Wackspurts couldn't get to him and we thought that you might like one too."

Harry took the cork necklace she gave him and put in on under his shirt while the others were looking on, bemused. He smiled at her in gratitude and said, "Thank you, Luna, for your gift." He looked at Hermione who was still sitting with the necklace in her hands.

"Ah, yes, thank you Luna for the necklace. I will wear it now." Hermione said as she put the necklace on under her shirt. She looked surprised by the gift but also touched. Luna just looked happy that her gifts were accepted and even worn. Harry really hoped that Luna and his friends would be able to become friends themselves.

Hermione went to sit closer to Luna so that they could talk and Harry went to give her the Mandrake leaf which she put in her mouth with barely any reaction at the disgusting taste of it.

It was just in time since Harry could see the Weasley family entering the platform. Again they were almost to late since they only had a few minutes left until the train left. It wasn't long before both Ron and Ginny were standing in front of the door of their compartment. Harry was glad to see his friends again after not seeing them this summer.

"Harry, mate! Blimey it has been some time since we last saw you! How was your summer?" Ron said as he walked in and went to sit down next to Hannah. Ginny went to sit down on the other side of Luna. Ginny blushed when she saw Harry but she seemed to get over it quickly. Harry was relieved to see her getting over her crush.

Harry answered his oldest friend with, "Hello Ron, my summer was fine. I moved houses but otherwise it was an uneventful summer. How was yours?"

His friends, other then Ron and Ginny looked like they were trying very hard not to give away Harry's lie but luckily it seemed like Ron was oblivious. Ginny just raised an eyebrow. That girl had always been smarter then her brother.

"I'm very glad that you got rid of the Dursleys but did you have to do it in secret? Blimey Harry, mum was beside herself!" Ginny nodded along in agreement at what her brother said and Harry felt a bit guilty that he caused Mrs. Weasley so much worry.

He might not be her actual son but she did take care of him for a few weeks each summer without asking for anything in return and Harry was grateful for that. She cared for him so the least Harry could have done was tell her he was alright. He should apologise for worrying her when he got the chance. He'd write her a letter when he got to Hogwarts.

Soon the wistle blowed and the eight teenagers went to settle down. The train started moving and Harry looked out of the window.

In just a few hours he would be at Hogwarts for his sixth year and he had never felt so prepared for it. He had a lot of new friends, new skills, soon to be perfect health, independence, support from competent adults and best of all, no more Voldemort after his life.

He just had to worry about his grades and an mentally ill old man this year and Harry just knew that it would all be alright. He could be a normal teenager from now on. Finally.

Chapter Text

Previously on A very Black Plan: After another date with Hermione, showing her, Neville and Susan Potter Manor and going for a last trip to Diagon Alley, it was time. Preparations for their return to Hogwarts have started. Saying goodbye to all the people, portraits, creatures and animals he had grown close to this summer was hard. It was so strange for Harry to have people and a home to miss this year. Meanwhile, Amelia had started her own project together with Croaker, cleaning up the Ministry of Magic.

Harry met with his friends by the Hogwarts train and he was glad to see Hannah joining them. Soon Luna joined them too and Harry took the opportunity to ask her if she wanted a Mandrake Leaf. She did, and even said something about which animal she thought she would be. Knowing her, she was gonna be right too.

Ron and Ginny joined them too and after telling his friends some about his summer, mostly just that he decided to leave the Dursleys for the safe-house Sirius left him, the train started moving.

Harry felt good. Voldemort was gone, his health was so much better and he only had to deal with school and Dumbledore. Harry even felt optimistic about his chances, he would be alright, he thought. He could be a normal teenager having a normal school year.

Finally.


The train had been moving for about a hour when it all started going wrong. The train shook, breaks squealing and then it stopped with a worrying sigh. Harry got the strong feeling that his hopes for a normal year were quickly going down the drain already. Well, it was a nice for the few hours it lasted.

Students started to look out of the doors and windows before it got abruptly quiet. A voice sounded that made the hairs on his neck rise and made Neville pale rapidly.

"Ickle little Potter, come out, come out, where ever you are!" Bellatix Lestrange babyish sing-songed voice sounded everywhere.

Susan carefully looked out of the window and told them, "Lestrange and two others in full on Death Eater regalia are standing in front of the train. It looks like they destroyed part of the track. We're stuck here."

Harry felt his heart skip a beat. This was horrible. This was dangerous. Bellatrix Lestrange had a train full of hostages or targets if he didn't take action soon. Sharing a look with his friends he stood up and took out his wand.

"Expecto Patronum." His beautiful stag came out looking ready for battle. Harry took a deep breath and told his patronus, "Go to Amelia, Prongs, and tell her that the train is under attack. Bellatrix and two unknown others have stopped the train and are demanding I come out. We need help, quickly."

The stag bowed and ran off.

Harry looked at his friends determined faces and said, "Well guys, we've been training for this. You know what to do. Hermione, Susan you two go and carefully approach them from the other direction. Neville, you are with me."

Hermione, Neville and Susan stood up and nodded. They were ready.

Hannah was less sure in her ability and that was okay. She had less time to train with them so Hannah had been trained so far as a supporting role. Harry told her to hide and wait for an opportunity while still staying inside the train.

Ron and Ginny were pale and shaken. Luna, well Luna looked as she always did, like this happened every day. Yet there was a steely determination creeping into her eyes.

Ginny managed to sarcastically arch an eyebrow as she said, "A boring summer you said?"

Still, she and Luna took out their wands, ready to defend themselves. Ron followed suit after them after a short moment of indecision.

Neville pointed his wand at his throat and cast a Sonorous, "Every student stay inside their compartment and away from the windows! Bellatrix Lestrange and two Death Eaters have stopped the train. Members of the DA or sixth year and up, take out your wand and defend the younger years! Shields up people!"

Then that horrible childish voice sounded again, "Is ickly little Potty afraid of poor auntie Bella? Don't be shy, sweetie. Come out, come out, little Harry. Or otherwise I get bored. You won't like me bored Potter, bored Bella wants to play with those cute little firsties hiding inside the pretty red train."

Harry was glad to see that as he walked toward the front of the train that no compartment had only first years in it. The students had clearly listened to Neville. Good. If worst came to worst they would need to defend the train themselves.

Harry stepped out of the bright red train with his wand raised and Neville at his back. Bellatrix had two 'friends' of her own with her as Susan said. Harry couldn't see who they were with the masks and robes they wore which made this tricky.

Taking a good look at his opponent Harry noticed several things. She looked truly unhinged. Her hair was wilder than ever and her clothes were in rags. Then there was the mad glint in her eyes that worried Harry. Bellatrix Lestrange looked like she'd just escaped Azkaban instead of being free for over a year.

Behind him Neville whispered, "Just distract her, Harry. Until Amelia arrives we'll have to keep her from the kids."

Harry gave a subtle sign that he understood. Hopefully, Hermione and Susan had made it to the other side of the train. They would try and approach the insane witch and her lackeys from behind.

Walking closer to where Bellatrix was impatiently waiting he whispered from the corner of his mouth, "Divide and conquer?"

"Sure, mate."

Lestrange lit up like a child on Christmas day when she saw them coming her way, "Well, well, well, ickle little Harry came to play with Bella after all! Auntie Bella was getting worried she had to pick someone else to play with!"

Talking in third person? Apparently she wasn't taking the death of Voldemort well. Shocking.

Bellatrix continued, "And who is that with you? Is that the little Longbottom boy? My useless husband, brother-in-law and I used to play a delightful game with some other Longbottoms. They your parents, boy?"

Harry could feel his friend shaking at the words Bellatrix spoke. Neville was furious. Harry was proud of his friend when he only answered with a seemingly calm, "My parents are Frank and Alice Longbottom, Lord and Lady of the Noble House of Longbottom and they are worth twelve of you, Lestrange."

Bellatrix threw her head back and cackled full of delight, "Ah yes, brave Alice and noble cousin Frank. Such delightful screaming they did. Did you know how long your mummy begged for your life, child? Your daddy was already gone by then but your mum, well your mummy was stronger than him. Sweetie, she kept on screaming for hours."

Merlin's beard, she sounded so satisfied telling them this. Harry felt himself pale, it was sickening to hear her talk about the worst day of Neville's life with such joy. Harry had to stop her from focussing on Neville, from saying those horrible things. His friend did not deserve to hear this. Harry changed into an easier position which shifted her attention from Neville to him.

She was getting more serious now she'd turned her attention on him which might not have been a good thing, "And then we have Harry Potter, ickle little Harry Potter. Tell your auntie Bella the truth sweetie, how did a filthy little half-blood manage to become the new Lord Black?"

"Well you murdered the Heir of your former House, my blood adopted father, Sirius Orion Black. So if you really think about it, it's your own fault that a 'filthy little half-blood' is the new Lord of the Ancient and Noble House of Black." Harry said with a cutting smirk inherited from said father.

A vein strarted throbbing in her forehead which didn't make her look any saner. Yet she seemed to try to ignore his words for her own questions, "How a stupid little boy managed to ruin my Lord plans time and time again, I don't know, but it ends here. Now, where is the Dark Lord, boy?"

Where's the Dark Lord? Was she serious? Bellatrix was right there when the goblins attacked Voldemort. How could she not know of his death? Either she escaped before Voldemort's ultimate demise or she was crazier then he thought.

Either way, he had to keep distracting her. Hopefully Amelia would get here soon with her Aurors. Harry had to get her angry enough so she would start making make mistakes. At least, he hoped that would help. Ah well, if he was good at anything then it would be pissing of Death Eaters.

"Bella, Bella, Bella. Don't you know not to poke the bear? You are lucky I already disowned you for what you did to Sirius and my friend, Bellatrix No-name," He said mockingly, "You are all alone now, auntie. No husband, no family, no Master. How does it feel to be all alone?"

He spoke the truth. While he hadn't known it when disowning her, it was in her marriage contract that if her husband died and she had not given him an heir, she would go back to being a Black upon his death. Only with him disowning her, well, Bellatrix now became one of the greatest shames possible for a pureblood, a No-Name.

He prepared himself to either duck or cast a shield as he saw the fury rise even higher in her eyes as she let out and angry screech which sounded more animal than human. Bellatrix attacked them in a flurry of spells.

Putting up a quick shield Harry's last thought was that, well, at least he did get her angry. Then he focussed and went on the offensive.

Behind him, Neville did the same. The two wizards that Bellatrix brought with her took Bellatrix's attack as a sign to start attacking too. Luckily they weren't on Bellatrix's level, but they were still with two and Harry couldn't help Neville while he was fighting Lestrange.

It was hard. Bellatrix might have been insane but she was still very powerful and her insanity made her unpredictable. Harry had to protect the train as well and it was taking it's toll. She had hit him with something that made his left arm feel boneless and Harry was getting desperate. What was keeping Amelia?

He cast his fire elemental spell. Three wolves shot out and ran towards the three Death Eaters. Yet before they even reached the two lackeys, a spell shot from the direction of the train and hit one of the Death Eaters fighting Neville.

Ropes went around unknown Death Eater number one just after he shot a dark looking spell towards Neville. The Incarcerous spell cast on the Death Eater caused the dark purple stream of light to go of towards the left and missed Neville completely. Neville quickly stunned the man for good measure before focussing on the other unknown Death Eater. That had been close. Too close.

Harry shot of a quick thanks in his head towards Hannah.

The three wolves were now circling Lestrange and she had a clear difficulty getting rid of them. She had bad burns all over her arms and legs and it made moving hard for her.

Only just ducking ucking under a nasty feeling spell, Harry saw his chance. Taking his inspiration from Hannah he cast a quiet, "Incarcerous." as she was driven into the path of his spell by the wolves.

The ropes went thightly around Bellatrix and she fell down. The wolves circled closer around her and snarled as Harry cast, "Accio."

Catching her wand and a dangerous looking dagger with the crest of House Black on it he put them quickly away in his robe pocket. Then Hermione and Susan popped up behind them and together with Neville they made quick work of the last remaining Death Eater.

It was over.

Wiping his forehead he went to Neville and together they walked over to where Bellatrix was laying. The madwoman was still snarling like a wild animal and struggling furiously to escape her bounds. Harry dismissed his wolves and turned to his best friend, "We've got her. She won't be able to escape again. What do you want to do with her, mate?"

Neville was pale when he looked into the eyes of the woman who had tortured his parents into insanity and then bragged about it. The woman who had made him an orphan.

He took out his wand and said in a toneless voice, "Stupify."

Bellatrix stopped stuggling and went as stiff as a board. Harry was relieved, because while he hadn't expected his gentle friend to actually kill the woman, he was still worried. He would have understood, yes, but it was different to kill someone when they had her at their mercy instead of in the heat of battle.

Pops sounded and there were the Aurors. Amelia, Moody and a few other looked at the destruction around them, the four teenagers standing around the three stunned and bound bodies of the Death Eaters. The Aurors that didn't know them were clearly shocked to find the criminals already secure but quickly recovered their composure.

The Aurors went to secure the prisoners and Amelia ran to hug her niece. Then she turned toward the rest of them and said, "I am so very proud of you all. I'm sorry that we couldn't get here fast enough. Fudge tried to stop me with some talk about the up coming elections but Alastor stunning him fixed that little obstacle. But never mind that, I am so very proud of how you handled yourselves. Well done!"

Moody stomped over to them and clapped Harry and Neville on their shoulders, "Well done indeed, boys! I see you lads have been practising. Do come find me if you want to learn some more curses, alright? We could use some more Aurors who know some good curses." Nodding to them he walked off again, his fake eye whirling.

Harry shook his head at the man. He wasn't sure yet what he wanted to do after Hogwarts but he was pretty sure he wouldn't want to be an Auror. He had enough of fighting.

Then as he tried to relax from his battle-ready stance, Harry felt his adreneline crash. He was so relieved that they made it. No one was seriously injured and they had kept the insane woman from attacking the children in the train all by themselves. Hermione must have felt the same way because she just about apparated into his arms for a well deserved and much needed hug as soon as Moody walked away again.

Then she wiped the sweaty hair from his forehead and kissed him.

The student hanging outside the windows started cheering and Harry could hear a vague 'What?!' coming from the direction he knew where Ron was. But Harry didn't care. He wrapped his working arm around Hermione and kissed her soundly back.

It didn't take long for the Aurors to fix the track and make sure the train was safe to move again. No student had been injured except for some scrapes and bruises for Neville and Harry's cursed arm. Luckily, Amelia had brought a Healer with her in case more students had been injured.

The Healer made quick work of his arm and assured him that if he took the potion that it would be fixed by tomorrow.

Amelia would take Bellatrix and the two other Death Eaters with her. They were two formerly unknown Death Eaters from a minor pureblood family. They'd get their trial and their punishment as soon as possible. Harry was relieved. Those three wouldn't be able to hurt anyone ever again.

The threat of Bellatrix was gone now and without Voldemort she'd be unable to escape from Azkaban again. They were safe.

Sitting in the compartment with his friends Harry took the time to explain more about his summer. Ginny wouldn't accept anything less anyway even if he'd tried to keep it a secret.

Neville, Susan and Hermione took over at some points and the girls, bar Hermione- she just smiled smugly, squealed when they got to the point where Harry and Hermione got together and again for Neville and Hannah. Ron was a bit unhappy at the part where Hermione and Harry got together but not as much as Harry had thought Ron would be.

Perhaps Ron too had come to the conclusion himself that he and Hermione were a bad fit. Not that Hermione ever even gave a sign of interest in the redhead, but Ron always kinda seemed to think that they would end up together anyway.

Ron was offended at first that they'd excluded him but he settled down when Neville explained how much work they put in training this summer. Ron might be his friend but even Harry knew how lazy the other boy was.

Ginny on the other hand asked if she could join them which prompted a terrified look from her brother. Harry had to laugh a the look on Ron's face as he and the others agreed she could join them.

Hermione asked if Luna wanted to join them too and she agreed happily. Harry was glad to see Hermione trying to include Luna on her own initiative.

"I will give you a time and place later, okay? But first I've got something else to ask you two," Looking at the two Weasleys he continued, "We've decided to try and become Animagi in secret. Ron, would you and Ginny be interested to try it too? I've got the Mandrake Leaves here if you want too."

Both siblings looked intrigued and Ginny started asking some interesting questions to learn more about the process. Hermione was all to happy to answer the younger girl and they were soon discussing all the pros and cons of becoming an Animagus. Ron had been very happy to accept Harry's offer but that soon changed as he heard how much time and effort it would take to actually change into your inner animal, if he even had one.

Harry saw the look on Ron's face and felt his heart sink a bit. He'd hoped this would be something to reconnect the two of them but that was clearly not going to happen. He and Ron were too different to go back to being the close friends they were before.

Harry gave Luna and Ginny their Mandrake Leaves and they all laughed together at the faces the two girls made at the taste of the disgusting things.

Ron, realising this was an important secret to have, offered to take a vow of secrecy to protect them. Harry and Hermione were honestly shocked that their old friend thought to offer something like that on his own.

It gave them hope that they still could be friends with the redhead.

Ron took the vow and left to find Dean and Seamus. Neville said as soon as the door closed, "Well, I didn't expect that."

Harry nodded, it had been surprisingly mature of Ron. Ginny laughed but agreed.

Later that afternoon they finally arrived at Hogsmeade Station. It had been a stressful train ride but now, seeing Hogwarts again in the distance, Harry felt nothing but happiness. The old castle had been his home for so long and Harry was glad to see that it wasn't any different now that he had an actual home to go back to.

Before getting into the waiting carriage he petted the Thestrals for a moment with Luna. He was still grateful for their help last year when he thought he needed to save Sirius. They were good creatures who didn't deserve their reputation.

Stepping into the Great Hall he immediately saw Dumbledore sitting in his seat at the Head Table. There was no twinkle in the old man's eyes anymore. It made him look a lot less kindly even though the man was clearly still trying to project his usual aura of wise, if quirky, old man. Professor McGonagall sat next to him and gave a subtle nod in Harry's direction.

Harry, Hermione and Neville said goodbye to their two Hufflepuff friends and went to sit down at the Gryffindor table. Ginny went to find her own friends from her own year as Dumbledore watched on. Harry felt his eyes burning in the back of his neck as he sat down next to Hermione.

Soon everybody was seated and Professor McGonagall went to fetch the first years. Every year they seemed to get smaller and it was the same this year, the poor things were even wet and shivering from an unexpected late summer rain and they looked so young.

Harry couldn't remember ever being that young. He always felt different from his peers but perhaps that was just in his mind. Hermione'd confessed in one of their talks that she always felt different too. Neville and Susan too, thinking about it. They could be different together now. He liked his friends just like they were.

Subtly shaking his head to clear his thoughts he focussed on Professor McGonagall leading the new students. The new firsties formed a neat line and the Sorting Hat began to sing:

A long time ago when I was new
And Hogwarts had just been started
The four founders of our noble school

Hoped never to be parted
United by a shared dream,
They all had the same yearning,
To make the world's best magic school
And pass along their learning.

"Together we will build and teach!"
The four good friends decided
And never did they dream that what they taught
might cause their decendents to become so divided,

For were there such friends anywhere
Close as brothers were Slytherin and Gryffindor
Unless it was the second pair

Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw
So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?

Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.

Slytherin debated, "We'll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest."

Ravenclaw told, "We'll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest."

Gryffindor demanded, "We'll teach all of those
With brave or noble deeds to their name."

Hufflepuff wanted, "I'll teach them all,
And treat them just the same."

These differences caused a little strife
When first they came to light,
So for each of the four founders had
A House in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so,

For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Or those with great cunning, just like him,

And only those of the creative and sharpest minds
Were taught by Ravenclaw

While the bravest and the boldest
Went to noble Gryffindor.

Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
Those loyal and hard-working and taught them all she knew,

Thus the Houses and their founders
Retained friendships firm and true.
So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years,
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears.

The Houses that, like pillars four,
Had once held up our school,
Now turned upon each other and,
Divided, sought to rule.

And for a while it seemed the school
Must meet an early end,
What with dueling and with fighting
And the clash of friend on friend
And at last there came a morning
When old Slytherin departed
In the hopes the fighting would stop
Still, he left us quite downhearted.

And never since the founders four
Were whittled down to three
Have the Houses been united
As they once were meant to be.

And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score:
I sort you into Houses
Because that is what I'm for,
But this year I'll go further,

Listen closely to my song:
Though sad I am to split you
As I worry that it's wrong,
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether splitting
May bring the division I fear.

Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From internal and external, deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we'll crumble from within.

Be kind to each other like the four intended,  I have told you, I have warned you.

Let the Sorting now begin.

The students clapped politly but they were all quiet from the warning that came from the Soring Hat. Harry only hoped that they would listen. The division the sorting into houses caused was not good. The disrespect, bullying and discrimination had to stop. Hopefully, things would change for the better when Dumbledore was gone and a new Headmaster installed.

But back on the Sorting. One after the other student got sorted and soon Gryffendor gained another fifteen students.

All of them stared at Harry which he was trying to ignore. It had got even worse after his battle with Bellatrix, which they witnessed. Neville snorted when he saw his friends uncomfortable expression.

"Come on mate, they're just little firsties. I bet at least one of them would faint if you smile at them."

Hermione turned towards their friend, "Neville Franklin Longbottom, my boyfriend will not pick on the first years for you!"

Neville put his hands in the air in a who-me gesture, "Oh no, she used my full name! Safe me from your scary girlfriend Harry!"

Harry had to laugh at the two. He knew what they were doing, distracting him from worrying about the Prophet that should arrive any moment now.

The Welcoming Feast appeared and Harry tucked in. He was just picking out his piece of treacle tart for his dessert when dozens of owl started sweeping in. Harry breathed out a sign of relief, it was time. They were all carrying the newspaper they had been waiting for.

Dumbledore stood up and tried to get a newspaper of his own but he didn't succeed before the students had one of their own and started reading it. By now just about all the students had a newspaper of their own and read on the frontpage:

Deeply Demented Dumbledore!

Chapter Text

Previously on A very Black Plan:  Bellatrix Lestrange attacks the Hogwarts train and demands Harry comes out and face her. Of course, Harry being Harry, he agrees. But not before sending Prongs to Amelia for back up.  Harry, Neville, Susan and Hermione have been training for this and quickly have a plan. Neville and Harry will go meet Bellatrix while Susan and Hemrione approach from behind. Hannah will keep an eye out for opportunities while staying hidden inside the train.

Bellatrix has brought two others with her and after bringing up the night she and her husband and brother-in-law attacked the Longbottoms, Harry has enough. He decides to start talking back. After all, he's quite good at pissing off both Death Eaters and their dearly departed Master.

They fight.

Harry and Neville win, barely. Thanks to Hannah's intervention which spared Neville from a nasty curse. Of course, it's only after the fight is over that the Aurors and Amelia arrive. Fudge tried stopping them but Moody made sure he and Amelia and her team went to the train with a handy little curse.

Arriving at Hogwarts Harry and his friends listen to a new song from the Sorting Hat and watch the firsties be sorted. Then finally, after the Welcoming Feast, the long awaited Daily Prophet appears.


Taking Hermione's hand into his under the heavy wooden table Harry opened the newspaper on the first page and started reading. Harry could already hear Neville try to hide his snort at the headline. Harry had to agree, Skeeter certainly had a way with words. Together with Hermione he continued reading the rest of the article they'd asked for.

Deeply Demented Dumbledore!

Dearest readers, as you might know, I, Rita Skeeter have always been the one to tell the people of our great country the hard truth. The truth you might not want to know, but the one the people need to know.

Now the time has arrived for me to give the people of our wonderful country another truth. It has taken a great deal of effort and investigation for this journalist, but here it is.

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, Leader of the Light, Chief Warlock, Alchemist etc. has been keeping some secrets of his own. And what kind of journalist would I, Rita Skeeter, be, if I didn't share my findings with you, my loyal readers?

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. So many names. So many titles. Yet we know so little about him. Where did he come from? What drives this man we've chosen as our leader? We all know him as our teacher, headmaster or friend. But that is not all he is, dearest readers. He is also our Grand Sorcerer, Chief Warlock and the former Supreme Mugwump. All these titles ask for the best witch or wizard possible, but is Albus Dumbledore really that person?

Well dear readers, I will let you decide that for yourselves.

This investigation into Albus Dumbledore started with an anonymous tip. Apparently, some people noticed a curious thing about our dear Headmaster, and contacted me with their worries. Because the Headmaster had aquired a dead blackened hand. Cursed.

So this dedicated journalist dived into the books and what she found, dear readers, was shocking. Shocking indeed!

According to the books I found, the black, dead hand of the Headmaster of Hogwarts is the result of the obscurely dark and very much deadly Flesh Eating curse. This horrible curse is so dark because it has no known cure. The curse begins where it has hit its intended victim and then continues to spread through the body until it can't survive anymore after to many organs have been eaten by this curse. A horrible way to die, indeed.

But good news my lovely readers! While normally the Flesh Eating curse is truly dark and very much deadly but our wise Chief Warlock, Headmaster and Alchemist seems to have found a cure!

Still, Professor Dumbledore's hand is clearly dead and that worried a lot of people. After all, the man didn't hide his new injury and so we knew that he had been cursed for at least two weeks by now. For those who aren't aware, most victims die within a few days after being cursed.

How did he manage it? Is Albus Dumbledore now, other than his hand, completely free of the nasty curse?

Well, this concerned and curious journalist decided to look into it a bit deeper. Take a good look at these pictures, dear readers, and let me tell you what I discovered.

With help from a trusted Healer who we shall call Healer M for their own protection as a source, well, this diligent journalist discovered some shocking facts! Albus Dumbledore is sick. Not from the dark Flesh Eating curse, no. Our Chief Warlock is suffering from more than that.

Dementia.

For how long exactly my trusted advicor couldn't say for sure but Healer M did assure me that Albus Dumbledore is far from clear minded. Apparently the man has been suffering for years!

Years!

And that is not the worst of the medical report. Albus Dumbledore knew about it and has been self-medicating with Wit-Sharpening potions! According to my trusted Healer friend, Albus Dumbledore has been self-medicating and overdosing himself on the potions.

We all know how dangerous it is to self-medicate on potions if one is not a Healer who knows their stuff. And after a good talk with the Healer M, I couldn't agree more.

People overdosing on Wit-Sharpening potions are likely to experience these symptoms: a lack of appetite, digestive problems, anger issues, impulsiveness, hallucinations and if continued long enough, brain bleeds.

How did we, the people from Magical Britain, not know about this? How could a man lauded as brilliant all across the globe, think this was a good idea? But most of all, what has our Chief Warlock and Headmaster done in the years while his mind was fogged up by his disease?

Rest assured, dearest readers, Rita Skeeter will find out.

Harry never read through something so fast. Hearing the gasps of the students around him, Harry had to fight to keep the smile of his face. He could hear the horrified noices at the pictures Skeeter included in her article. A clear picture of the dead hand of the Headmaster was bad enough, but another picture showed the results of the medical report.

Every one knew one could not fake the results of a magically done medical check-up. So now everyone knew Albus Dumbledore is not himself and hasn't been for a while. Soon, people would start thinking about the man and his actions. Hopefully it would result in some critical thinking skills in the people of Magical Britain. After all, they've been following after an old man with dementia for year like tame sheep like they didn't need to think for themselves.

This was only part one of a series of articles Rita'd planned. Harry and his friends and family couldn't wait for the fall out. Skeeter had promised to keep his name out of it to keep him and his friends and family safe. They were gonna give her the information but otherwise they will only be mentioned as a trusted source with a fake name.

Hermione squeezed his hand in warning. Harry looked at her and followed her gaze towards where Dumbledore was sitting. Well, seething was more like it.

The magic was swirling around the man and the students closest to the Head Table were starting to feel the oppressive magic that felt like a thunder storm pressing up to them. The new Potions Professor looked queasy at the magic in the air and Snape was sitting there looking stoic. Professor McGonagall, who had been reading from her own newspaper, looked pale. She knew most of what Rita's article talked about but it was different now. The pictures of the dead hand and medical report made it truly real.

She felt the furious magic around her too. Yet, Professor McGonagall didn't falter in the face of the Headmaster's anger. Harry even thought he saw her elbow the Headmaster in his side in warning.

Minevra McGonagall was truly the bravest of them all.

A sharp word from Professor McGonagall later and Dumbledore pushed his magic back in and stood up, "Students! Welcome at a new year at Hogwarts! Now your bellies and minds are full it time to leave for your respective Dorms. Please follow your Prefects and get a good night rest for lessons are starting again tomorrow."

The Headmaster was clearly trying to be his usual self but even nitwits like Crabbe and Goyle could see that the man was angry. His eyes didn't twinkle at all and he still looked kinda stiff around the eyes. The muttering continued but after a sharp look from their Head of Houses, the Prefects stood up as the Headmaster asked them to do.

Deciding to ignore the eyes burning in the back of his neck Harry turned towards his girlfriend.

"Shall we, my lady?" Harry asked Hermione as he held out his arm for her.

Hermione smiled and took his arm with a bright laugh, "We shall, my lord."

Neville just snorted at his friends antics and together they walked toward the Gryffindor common rooms.

The next morning found the five friends in the Room of Requirement. Susan and Hannah joined them with the exciting news that the Hufflepuffs were starting to doubt Dumbledore, just like the Gryffindors.

The Gryffindors would never truly believe that the Headmaster was an evil mastermind but dementia? Dementia was something random that could happen to anyone. Albus Dumbledore was one of the elderly after all so they weren't that surprised to hear he was starting to slow down. As for the rest, well they were a bit angry about that.

Self-medicating on potions was one of the first things they learned not to do. To hear their Headmaster and Leader of the Light had done it himself was shocking to the students. Some of the smarter ones were clearly worried about what a powerful man like Dumbledore had been able to do while sick.

The next article was scheduled for tomorrow and that one would cover some of Harry's adventures at Hogwarts. That one would hopefully cause Dumbledore to be asked to step down or fired as the Headmaster of Hogwarts. It would be nice if Harry could feel truly safe here at Hogwarts again.

Telling and giving proof about his years at Hogwarts is an important step. It would prove that Dumbledore hadn't been acting in his right mind for years now. Harry couldn't wait.

Gran also told them that it would also give Harry a lot more credibility. People still changed their mind about their boy hero way too often. When his adventures were actually known and proven to be true, well, that would change things. They would have to take him seriously.

While Harry didn't want to think about his future in politics, he had to admit Gran made a good point. He was the last of his line. Harry would be one of, if not the youngest person in the Wizengamot. He needed people to take his words seriously.

But this morning, before breakfast, Harry and his friends decided to continue training. But first the girls asked if they could watch Neville and Harry while they practised their Animagus transformation. They were curious for when it was their time to start the Transfiguration process. Harry and Neville really didn't want them to see it this early in the process but they couldn't say no either when it was their girlfriends asking.

Harry just hoped he would look less like a walking fur this time.

Both Neville and he went to sit down and tried to ignore the staring of the girls. Soon Harry found his wolf and started his transformation. It was getting easier every time he was relieved to note. It took a lot of concentration, yes, but Harry felt one with his wolf. He just had to practise and know every part of his new body before he could make the transformation all at once.

Concentrating hard, he felt his body change.

He felt his fur grow and his nail sharpen into claws. His arm started to change too when his concentration broke as he heard a loud snort. Opening his eyes he saw Hermione staring at him with big sparkling eyes and her hands in front of her mouth in embarrassment.

She blushed when she saw that his concentration had broken because of her and apologised, "Merlin, sorry Harry! It's just that, well, you just look just like Cousin Itt!"

Then Harry had to laugh too. Even Susan and Hannah understood Hermione's reference to the Addams Family since Hermione showed them the movie when they all went out in the muggle world together on one of their breaks this summer. They laughed even harder when there came a very loud snort from the left of him. Neville too had only his nose Transfiguered into the snout of a bear again.

Susan and Hannah where rolling on the ground, laughing their arses off and Hermione and Harry weren't far behind them. Unfortunately, Neville couldn't laugh with them with his nose and mouth transfigured into the snout of a bear.

Though, apparently one could still pout when having their face half transformed into a bear, which set them all off again.

After calming down, Harry and Neville tried again to transform while the girls went to spar. Harry managed to transform his arm in a proper wolf paw while Neville now got the shaggy fur of a brown bear.

It was good progress for their age and the time they had been doing this. According to the book Sirious left him he knew it took the average person around a year to even find their animal let alone change into it. But Sirius also mentioned in the book that if one had a good relationship with their magic, respected it and their inner animal, that it would be easier. Having above average magical strength would also help with the transformation.

Harry had faith that he and his friends would be able to make the complete transformation within the year.

Then it was time for the boys to join the spar. They went all out and it was a brilliant feeling. The Room of Requirement adapted so well that eventually they were fighting in a rocky landscape that Hermione thought up. They basically played a game of paintball Dudley used to talk about. Only with stunners instead of paint.

Hermione won after she stunned him in the back. After waking up it was time for breakfast in the Great Hall and the rest of their lessons. Professor McGonagall handed out their schedules and Harry was happy to see he was allowed to join his year of Runes.

Harry had studied them very seriously this summer and a bit in the last summer too. After talking with McGonagall about his new studies last week and a exam later, he was allowed to join his year Runes class.

But first there was Transfiguration, Potions and then Runes. Hermione had the same schedule only with Arithmancy added and Neville had the same as Harry only without Potions and Runes. He did have some extra advanced Herbology classes that the rest of them didn't have.

A full schedule for all of them but Harry didn't mind it anymore. He would do his best and make his family proud, all of them.

Chapter Text

Previously on A very Black Plan:  The first article comes out announcing Deeply Demented Dumbledore to the world. Rita had written a perfect article with undeniable proof of Dumbledore's illness. It also questions what Dumbledore has been up to while sick. The Headmaster is furious but tries to keep it hidden as he pretends everything is alright.

The next day Harry and his friends go to the Come en Go Room to train. The girls ask Harry and Neville if they might watch them practise the Animagus Transformatiom. The boys agree, reluctantly. It not a pretty sight mid transformation and this time is no different.

Hermione breaks Harry's concentration with her laughter and she compares his to Cousin Itt. They laugh even more when Neville pouts with his bear snout. Training continues and after they go to breakfast together where they get their new schedules. Harry has taken the Runes exam and is allowed to join his yearmates class.

He promises himself to try his best this year, for himself and to make his parents proud. All of them.


Two days later and Harry was preparing for another busy day. Their professors seemed to think they didn't need free time anymore with all the homework they assigned their students. If this was the way the teachers acted in the beginning of the year, Harry was afraid of the assignments later this year as the exams came closer. Or next year when they had their NEWTS.

But today there would be a break in all the homework. Something to cheer everyone up a bit, Harry hoped. Today was the day of the second article but also the day Harry had planned his prank for. With some help from Dobby and Winky, who he had accepted into his family yesterday, it was ready.

Winky had been so very happy to be accepted into another family after her so called 'shameful behavior' with the Crouches. She cried when she felt the bond between master and Elf connect. Yet, it was clear Winky was a very powerful Elf. She was assigned to Grimmauld Place and according to Tonks it was almost unrecognisable. Winky managed in two days what Kreacher couldn't do this whole summer break. Tonks told Harry in her letter that Kreacher was very grateful for the female Elf help.

Harry just about skipped down the stairs that morning and Hermione, who was waiting for him in the common room, raised an eyebrow and asked, "What are planning?"

"Nothing!" Unfortunately, that came out in a suspiciously high voice.

Hermione looked sceptical and Harry wished he was a better liar. He wanted it to be a surprise for everybody but he had asked her for advice while still in the planning fase for this prank so she probably had a good idea already. Thought he did made sure that she wouldn't know everything he was planning. Only Dobby knew the whole plan.

"Alright, alright, I can't lie to you, Mione. It's that thing we talked about for Sirius, it's gonna happen today."

Hermione's eyes widened, "Oh! Alright then."

Walking towards the Great Hall together, Harry felt a tug on his magic and saw Winky behind a suit of armor. Approaching the still skittish Elf where she was hiding in a hidden room behind the suit of armor, he knelt down to her level.

"Hi there, Winky. What's the matter? Is everything alright at Grimmauld Place?"

The small female Elf looked up to him with big shining eyes, "Master Harry and Miss Grangy, everthings is perfect! Kreacher be very kind to Winky and Grim Place needs lots of Elf love. Winky loves being there, cleaning and repairing! Master Harry, everything be prepared for yous funny business. Also, Master yous be having letter from Breaker of Bones."

He was glad she was so happy with him and that Kreacher was kind to her but what was that about funny business? And Breaker of Bones? Harry didn't know with which one he needed to begin but before he could decide, Winky gave him the letter and popped away again.

"Breaker of Bones? I can hear the capital letters there, do you know who or what she meant?" Hermione asked.

"No, not really. I mean, I have a pretty good guess with the funny business but so do you. Though she should probably learn not to call it that before people get the wrong idea. I guess that Barty Crouch sr. never pulled any pranks. But I've got no clue what or who the Breaker of Bones is. It doesn't sound good."

Hermione chewed on her bottom lip in worry. Harry bumped his shoulder against hers and opened the letter.

Lord Potter,

I, Goblin Warrior of the first class, am giving you, my former Lord some intel honorably recieved while guarding your Account Manager for the Potter Family. We of the goblin Nation have been approached by some characters we believe mean you harm.

Albus Dumbledore came to us with the demand we make a marriage contract for you, Lord Potter, in your name as your magical guardian. Now, since it was House business your Account Manager couldn't warn you directly. But I could in the name of the goblin nation you have always treated honorably.

Albus Dumbledore and Wesley Weasley, Head of House Weasley, made the contract for you and one Miss Ginevra Weasley. Terms were that if you and Miss Weasley should die, all your Houses wealth and titles would transfer to the Weasley family Head.

We refused as you are an adult and Lord of your Houses and now are able to make contracts with us yourself, should you wish to do so.

But be aware.

Albus Dumbledore is not yet done.

Sincerely,

BoB

No, this couldn't be true. The Weasleys were almost family to Harry. They couldn't have done this to him, right? He gave the letter to Hermione so she could read it. Magic sparked in her hair in anger and with pursed lips she gave the letter back.

"Harry? Are you alright?" Hermione wrapped her arms around him in a hug. He hid his face in her hair and tried to relax his tense shoulders.

"No, not really. I need to know how far this goes, Mione. Could you get Ginny here?" He said in her curls.

"Of course! I'll be right back." Nodding resolutely, she ran off. Harry gripped the letter tight and just took a moment to breath. Fred, George, Ginny and Ron were his friends. He respected Bill and Charlie and cared for Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.

They wouldn't have tried to trap him in a loveless marriage, right? Reading through the letter again from Bob he noticed something else.

If he and Miss Weasley died.

That sounded like this Head of House Weasley was planning both their deaths. Mr. and Mrs Weasley loved their daughter. They couldn't be involved in this contract.

Right?

Footsteps approached and Harry looked up to see Hermione and Ginny.

"Harry? Hermione said you got a letter? Something involving my family?" Ginny looked pale. Oh! She must have thought it was a notice that something happened to one of her family members. Harry did tend to be the bearer of bad news for the Weasleys.

"Everyone is alright, Ginny. But I got this letter from Gringotts and it involves you." He gave her the letter.

Ginny relaxed a bit, hearing that. Hermione looked a bit guilty for not thinking about how her words could have been interpreted and not noticing Ginny's worries but Harry understood that she'd wanted Ginny to bring here as quickly as possible. If Dumbledore'd succeeded in making this contract it'd have had horrible consequences for all of them.

Hermione went to stand next to Harry and leaned agains him. He wrapped an arm around her as they watched Ginny read.

She paled and magic started to rise around her in a thick mist. Ginny was furious.

"They. Did. What?!" Was hissed through clenched teeth.

Harry and Hermione relaxed futher. She didn't know.

With big shocked eyes she turned to the couple, "Harry, I don't want to marry you! Please believe me, I had nothing, nothing to do with this!"

Walking towards her he said calmly, "I know, Ginny. It's clear you didn't know anything about this. But do you think your parents might have known?"

She shook her head furiously, "No! Mum and dad hate anything traditional. They would never try to force me into a traditional pureblood contract. They would never force you either, Harry. You're a Weasley to them."

Harry relaxed further. It wasn't proof that they hadn't done this but it was a positive sign that their own daughter didn't think Mr. and Mrs. Weasley did this.

Then Hermione asked, "Ginny, who is the Head of House Weasley?"

Ginny scrowled, "Wesley Weasley is an ambitious, pompous arse. He is my dad's great-uncle and if my dad wasn't his only Heir, he wouldn't be welcome at the Burrow. My mum hates the old man."

Well, that didn't sound good.

Harry tried to carefully convey his thoughts to them, "Did you noticed the wording? If I and Ginny were both die, all my wealth, Houses and titles will go to the Head of House Weasley as my wife's Head of House."

Hermione reacted horrified, "They want you the both of you dead!"

Magic started to rise again. Ginny spat, "My Head of House trying to marry me off without my consent, to kill me? His own kin? No, he bloody well won't!"

Harry and Hermione shared a look. The better they got to know Ginny, the more they understood her brothers apprehension of their sister. Ginny was a spitfire, a powerful one.

Slightly calmer she said, "Harry, Hermione, please excuse me, I need to write a letter." She turned around and strode off to the owlery.

Well, this had been interesting. And all before breakfast even. Harry made note to thank his goblin friends when he could. It was valuble information.

"This is all so horrible! How could they do this to you and Ginny? Her own family even! What's wrong with these people?!" Hermione ranted. She was always very sensitive to unjustice and this was personal.

Hermione continued her rant, "We knew Dumbledore had plans for you but this has nothing to do that! And Wesley Weasley, how could anyone do that to their own family, and for what? Money?!"

Harry was a bit more calm about it. The goblins put a stop to it and even warned them what Dumbledore was trying now. Without the goblins, Dumbledore would have to find another way. Most likely plan something entirely different and hopefully, by then, Amelia would have enough evidence to arrest him.

Calming his girlfriend down took long enough that they weren't early for breakfast anymore and so there were a lot of stares again. Though most people seemed more interested in the fact that they were walking hand in hand again.

Harry rolled his eyes. Really, the priorities of some people.

Ginny arrived too and sat down next to them with a huff. Neville raised an eyebrow in question and Harry quietly told him what happened.

Neville said with a growl in his voice, "Those bloody! You're lucky that the contract didn't take, mate. Even luckier that your goblins told you about the danger."

Harry nodded. He definitely knew that. While Ginny was a nice enough girl, she wasn't Hermione. Not to mention he had no feelings for her and that she looked a bit like his mother. Gross!

Eating his breakfast like normal he waited for the potions to take affect. He couldn't wait for their reactions, this was going to be in honor of his father. Both of them. He hoped they could see it, wherever they were and laugh.

Then a thick mist started spreading and Harry knew it had began.

When the mist cleared up again Harry had to try his best to keep a loud laugh in. Looking around him he saw his prank had worked perfectly, every student had either the same hair as the Headmaster, Hagrid or one of the Heads of the four Houses.

Neville had the hair and beard of Dumbledore while Hermione had the tight bun of Professor McGonagall. Harry himself was trying to feel which hairstyle he had, it was short but not very, kinda greasy and straight. Oh no, he had the same hair as Professor Snape, didn't he?

Hermione snorted when she saw his realisation and said with a smirk, "Well, don't you just look like a Snape."

She slapped her hand in front of her mouth. Harry snorted himself, "Hermione! You look like McGonagall but you sound like Professor Flitwick!"

Oh no, he himself sounded like Dumbledore. What a cruel prank he played on himself. Neville was twirling his beard in between his fingers as he said, "Potter! Ha! I sound like Snape. Poor you, now 10 points from Gryffindor for being a dunderhead!"

Harry might not have thought this through.

Ah well, if you can't escape your selfmade madness, then he better join them. With a twirl of his wand he made his robes as colorful as Dumbledore's robes which made for an interesting combination with Snape's lanky black hair.

This was to much for Neville as he fell of the bench laughing. Ginny came to join them with her own Snape hair and said in a chipper Snape voice, "You might think you have it bad, but I'm twice as much Snape as the rest of you!"

That set Harry and Hermione off too.

All students were laughing and joking around. Ron had a giant bushy hair and beard like Hagrid and was showing it off to Dean and Seamus. Dean had Flitwicks hair and Seamus was sporting an nice looking man-bun McGonagall style. The teachers at the Head Table were looking at the cheerful chaos with a smile, well, not Snape but when is the sour man ever happy?

Even Dumbledore seemed to have cheered up a bit as he looked over the students. Standing up he announced, "While I don't know who we have to thank for this happy surprise but I must say, that you students look very spiffy indeed. Miss Edgecomb, Mr. Longbottom, Miss Lovegood, have you changed something about your appearance? I must say, you students look very nice today."

Turning around Harry saw that Luna too, had the long white grey hair and beard of Dumbledore. Small girl that she was, it was hanging on the ground. But she seemed to have found a solution for that, as she was cheerfully braiding her new beard.

Breakfast finished, it was time for classes. Standing up he held out his hand for Hermione which she accepted. Together they walked with Neville and Ginny towards where Luna, Susan and Hannah were waiting by the doors.

Approaching their friend Harry had to keep a slightly hysterical laugh in. Poor Hannah, poor Hannah had the hair of Professor Flitwick. The brown toupe looking hairstyle really didn't work with her friendly round face.

Susan meanwhile was looking like Professor Sprout with her short grey curls. The grey worked surprisingly well with her bright blue eyes.

Neville quickly tried to hide his horrified reaction to his girlfriends new look but Hannah knew her boyfriend well and said resignedly in Hagrid's booming voice, "Go ahead and laugh, I know I look and sound ridiculous."

"Like I look any better! Or do you like your boyfriends bearded?"

They all laughed. None of them looked their best but it was hilarious anyway. Though the different voices took some time to get used to too. He kept thinking on of their teachers was talking.

Susan turned to Harry and said dryly in Dumbledore's voice, "I suppose we have you to thank for our make-overs?"

"Harry!"

He immediately tried to look as innocently pathetic as possible, "Ah well, you see Hannah, you know about the letter Sirius left me, right? Well I might have forgotten to mention he asked me to play a prank on the school for him and my dad, in their honor."

Hannah calmed down at his words and big shiny green eyes and Luna said dreamingly in Flitwicks voice, "I'm sure your dads really like this, Harry. The Blipwings like it too."

Blipwings? "Thanks, Luna. I hope so too."

Hannah was trying to make something better out of her new hair but she wasn't succeeding as she plainstakingly asked her friend, "Alright, stop looking at me like that! I forgive you. Merlin, Hermione, with those eyes how do you get anything done?" Giving up on her hair she asked Harry, "But how long will this last? Professor Flitwicks hair and Hagrid's voice aren't really my thing, you know."

Rubbing the back of his neck Harry answered her, "It shouldn't last the day. If I'm right it will be gone before the Daily Prophet arrives this evening at dinner time."

"The whole day?!"

Huh, Harry had never known Hagrid's voice could get so high.

The rest of their lessons were interesting. His classmates were all trying to find out who had played this prank but nobody guessed that it had been him. Most people seemed to think that the Weasley twins had snuck back in the castle just to prank them. Harry didn't mind not getting the credit. After all, he also didn't get in trouble.

Luckily nobody seemed distressed with their new looks and voice. Harry wanted them to laugh about it, not think he harmed them in any way.

He didn't want to be a bully.

After an interesting DA lesson which Snape was unfortunately teaching this year, it was time for dinner.

Harry was nervous. This was going to be an aritcle for which he had supplied some memories of his adventures here in Hogwarts. Dumbledore would know it was him supplying those memories, or one of his friends. Either way, there was no going back.

Once again the owls arrived when most of them were just finishing their dessert. A barn owl offered him his leg were the paper was bound too. Untying it, Harry rolled it out and started reading.

Hogwarts downfall

We all know Hogwarts as the best and safest school in the world. But is this true? As you know, the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore is suffering from the brain eating disease Dementia. According to Healer M, Albus Dumbledore has had that disease for at least a few years but it could be anything between four and twenty years.

Yes, dear reader, you read that right. Albus Dumbledore could have been under the influence of that horrible disease for up to twenty years. Twenty!

But we don't know for sure. So I, Rita Skeeter went to investigate. Looking through the records of Hogwarts this journalist discovered a few more shocking things. Many classes have been canceled in the last few decades.

Dance, Wizarding Culture, Law, Healing and Languages are only the start of the classes canceled. Why have those classes stopped, you might ask?

The reason given by Headmaster Dumbledore, was that after our two recent Wars that there weren't enough students. But is that true? This journalist disagrees. How many times have those wizard-raised complained about muggleborns not knowing about our culture?

How could they know about our wonderful culture when they aren't taught? No classes to teach them, no books to learn from and most classmates unwilling or unable to teach about the culture they were raised in. If that even is their responsibility.

Is it any surprise that there are so many issues between the two groups?

But that isn't all I found. I've spoken to many current students of our beloved school. There are disturbing rumours going around Hogwarts that this journalist just felt compelled to investigate.

Rumours about Trolls, magical stones, a Cerberus behind a easily opened door, Basilisks, incompetent or even dangerous teachers and so many more truly disturbing rumours.

Most of these rumours seemed to surround our very own Boy-Who-Lived Harry James Potter-Black! So I, brilliant investigator journalist that I am, went to find the truth.

Let's start with our Mr. Potter's first year. According to multiple students from all years and houses Albus Dumbledore started his usual welcoming speech. Only this time it included a warning to not enter the third floor or risk a 'painful death'.

Naturally, multiple students decided not to listen to the intriguing warning given by the Headmaster. On the third floor the students found a Cerberus behind a locked door. A door which was easily opened by the Alohomora spell taught to the first years.

A snarling, furious almost fully grown Cerberus. But that wasn't all. Most students knew how to calm the vicious beast and found that the three-headed dog was guarding a trapdoor.

Under that trapdoor lay an maze full of challenges. First there was Devil Snare, then charmed keys, Trolls and a live sized chess game and a riddle full of deadly potions. [See pictures for the challenges inside the maze.]

Most students wisely decided to not risk it any futher but there were a few that did. They told me that the next room was empty.

Suspiciously empty.

Then that Halloween something happened. A Troll got in the castle and was walking around in the dungeons according to Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Quirrel. Naturally, the Headmaster told all the students to go back to their dorms.

For those who don't know, the Slytherin and Hufflepuff Common Rooms are in the lower levels of the castle WHERE THE TROLL WAS.

How could Professor Dumbledore forget that? Remember dear readers, the dementia might have played a big roll here. If the Troll had actually been there, well, it would have been a slaughter.  How likely is it that on of the Trolls escaped from the maze? Or did another Troll just wander inside the castle?

But the Troll wasn't in the dungons. No, the Troll was in the girls badroom where a first year girl from Gryffindor was hiding after some cruel words from a classmate.

Luckily, our Mr. Potter noticed the girl was missing and went to find and warn her about the danger. After all, it should have been safe right? The Troll was nowhere close. But it wasn't to be. Before Mr Potter and his friend Mr Weasley could get the girl to safety, the troll found them and attacked.

Only due to the brave actions of Mr. Potter and his friend, the Troll got knocked out and the three first years all got away with a only fright and a friendship for life.

But unfortunately for our Mr. Potter, that wasn't the end of his adventure for that year. No, his broom got cursed during a Quidditch game and there were some disturbing rumors about a by You-Know-Who possesed DADA Professor.

Since we now know You-Know-Who never truly died, and Professor Quirrel mysterious disappearance after Harry's first year, I'm inclined to think there might be some truth behind those rumors.

And this was only the poor boy's first year. There are more horrible rumors going around for his other years at Hogwarts.

I think you all will agree, dearest readers, that something is very wrong in our beloved Hogwarts. Don't we own our children the best and safest education we can give them?

Is Albus Dumbledore truly the person who does that for our children?

Well that was something. Rita Skeeter certainly knew how to make her readers listen. The pictures looked horrifying and now years later, Harry agreed that there was something fishy about it all. They had been so small and naive.

Harry never knew other students went through the maze. Hermione hadn't either from the look on her face. Then the doors of the Great Hall opened with a loud bang.

Amelia, Gran and some other members from the Board of Governors entered looking grave. Dumbledore stood up from reading his own paper and stiffly asked, "Dear members of the Board of Governors, with what can I help you this lovely evening?"

Gran stepped forward and handed his a scroll, "Albus Dumbledore, for the gross negligence of this school, you've been fired from your position as Headmaster. Please leave this school before the hour is out."

Quickly reading through the scroll the now former Headmaster stood up, furious, "No! I can't leave this school! It was all for the Greater Good, Augusta. Surely you can believe that? I am needed here!"

"It was needed to put the students of this school in danger? It was needed to give them an bad education?" She sounded appalled and Harry and Neville smirked at each other. No one messed with their Gran.

Dumbledore turned his attention toward Amelia, "Surely, my dear girl, you need me here protecting the students?"

Amelia glared at the man, "I'm not your dear anything, Dumbledore. I haven't forgotten your attack on my squad and civillian Healer. If I had my way we would be arresting you right now but unfortunately I'm just here to take you to Saint Mungos. You need a check-up and we need to know how far the dementia has progressed."

"I'm not ill, Miss Bones. What are you talking about?"

"No one can fake a magically done medical report Dumbledore, we all know the truth now. Will you come with me peacefully?"

Dumbledore shook his head regretfully, "You don't know what you're doing. I can't let you take me. Who knows how many Death Eaters are working in Saint Mungos and the Ministry on Tom's orders. Fawkes!"

The Phoenix appeared in a burst of flames and with a gentle trill, took his master away.

In the silence left behind Augusta huffed, "Well, at least he's gone."

Chapter Text

Previously on A very Black Plan:  The day of Harry's prank has arrived. But before he even got to breakfast in the Great Hall, Winky gave him a letter. In that letter was a warning from Gringotts from BoB. Whose name apparently meant Breaker of Bones instead of just Bob.

Dumbledore and Wesley Weasley, Head of House Weasley and Arthur's Great-Uncle, planned to force Harry and Ginny in a Marriage Contract. If they both came to die then all Harry's wealth and titles would go to the Head of House Weasley. Luckily, as Harry was declared an adult as the Lord of his Houses, the contract couldn't be made without his approval.

Asking Ginny about it, he was very relieved to see her shock and anger. Ginny was furious. Assuring both Harry and Hermione that she and her parents hadn't anything to do with this, she went to write her parents a letter.

The prank was a succes. All students got a new hairstyle and voice inspired by Hagrid, Dumbledore or one of the Heads of Houses. That day also came the second of Rita's article.  In this she revealed a lot shocking facts of Harry's first year at Hogwarts. She also shared that Dumbledore could have been sick up to twenty years and asked the public about what that man could have done in all his important positions.

Amelia, Gran and the Board finally had enough to get Dumbledore out of this school. Arriving, they told him he was fired and asked Dumbledore to leave the school. Amelia also asked Dumbledore to come with them peacefully so that they could bring him to Saint Mungos.

Dumbledore refused and fled the school.


Harry was roughly woken up early that morning by Hermione shaking him awake with the words, "Harry! Wake up, my leaf has fallen down!"

Harry opened one eye, saw the sun was only just rising and mumbled something vague back, still half asleep. Hermione wasn't really here, his sleepy brain decided, it was just a dream.

"Harry, wake up!"

A very insisted dream. A dream that could poke him apparentely. Opening both eyes this time, he saw that Hermione was actually there, in his dorm, standing at his bed with an excited look on her face.

"Alright, alright, I'm up! What's going on?"

Hermione climbed on his bed and suddenly Harry was wide awake. Hermione. Laying. In. His. Bed. With him.

"Shh! You wanted to keep this a secret didn't you? You're going to wake the other boys. Like I told you before, my leaf has fallen. I got the potion you gave me but you said I needed a buddy before taking it in case of accidents." She barely breathed while talking and Harry had to smile. He loved it when she babbled like that. It was adorable.

Sitting up he cast an extra privacy spell while closing the curtains around his bed. Neville had woken up while Hermione rambled about her Mandrake Leaf but he clearly chose to ignore the girl in their dorm room as Harry nodded to him. Neville clearly agreed with Harry that it was way to early for this, but unfortunately, Harry had offered his friends his help in this.

"Alright then. You know what to do, righ Mione? Just get comfortable, take the potion and I'll keep an eye on you while you search for your inner animal."

With a nod she straightend her shoulders and said, "Right. Well, here I go."

She knocked the potion back and laid down on the opposite end of the bed. Waiting until she fell asleep only took a few moments and from then it was a waiting game. Harry was very curious to see what Hermione's inner animal would be. Perhaps a owl of raven? Maybe some kind of feline or something cute like a otter or bunny?

Keeping half an eye on his girlfriend he thought back on the last few days with Dumbledore gone from the school, he was glad to say that the castle was doing much better. Professor McGonagall had been instated as Headmistress and she had begun making changes already. Good ones.

In a speech given to the students she announced her plans for Hogwarts. She wanted more subjects taught and was in the process of hiring teachers for the next year. Professor McGonagall also told them that she had asked the goblins to come and check out not only the wards but also the rest of the school.

She wanted the school to be safe again. Hopefully there would be no more dangerous creatures in Hogwarts or any Dark objects. The wards in full power would not allow it. They didn't know what Dumbledore had done to the wards but if they had been at full power then the Troll or the Cerberus would never have been able to even get on the grounds surrounding Hogwarts. Neither could have the Diary Horcrux that possessed Ginny in her first year.

A goblin team would get here somewhere in the next few days to search the school and fix the wards.

Harry couldn't wait.

It was really interesting to watch someone take the Animagus Potion. Neville had lumbered around on all fours with some growling after he had found his animal and Harry knew that he himself had been jumping around growling playfully. Hermione just yawned and curled up, gently purring.

Well, she was probably not a bunny or otter then. Or bird. Purring meant a feline.

She stretched out like a cat and Harry had to stiffle his snickers. Mid stretch she woke up and seemed to realise what she was doing.

Hermione blushed but then did that cat thing where they pretended that you didn't see them do so something undignified. Cats, doing something undignified? No, sir, not them. What are you talking about?

That look.

Hiding his smirk he watched her straighten herself out from the potion induced vision and asked her what she saw. Hermione immediately started another excited babble with shining eyes.

"Oh Harry, she's beautiful! I'm a cat, some kind of leopard I'd think, but smaller then I thought leopards were. I shall have to look them up in the library, do you think they have a book on muggle animals here at Hogwarts?"

"A leopard? Well, that certainly fits you, don't they? Smart, strong, cunning and not to mention beautiful creatures."

She blushed at his sincere words but the look in her eyes was proud. Hermione too, had come a far way from the insecure girl she had been in her childhood. Hermione might have come over as confident but her know-it-all habits were born out of insecurity, Harry knew. It was nice to see her confidence grow.

Casting a Tempus Harry saw it was getting time for breakfast. Asking Hermione even though he knew the answer already, "Do you want to go down for breakfast now so we still have time to go to the library?"

"Yes! Let's go eat breakfast now." She pulled his arm so he had no choice but to follow her as she jumped out of his bed and towards the door.

"Um, Hermione?"

"Yes?"

"Would you mind if I get dressed first?" She dropped his hand and turned around to look at him, standing there in his pyjama's with his messy bedhead.

She offered a sheepish, "Oops?"

Harry just laughed. He loved her enthusiasme and drive. Quickly using the bathroom and dressing in his school robes, he went down the Common Room where Hermione was waiting for him.

The other boys were still sleeping back in their dorm but Harry didn't wake them up. It's still early after all. Offering his girlfriend his arm Harry asked, "Shall we, love?"

Love. It just slipped out. Hermione looked at him with wide eyes for a moment before she smiled and kissed him tenderly on the mouth.

Taking his arm she said softly, "I'm ready if you are."

Oh good, he didn't make a giant blunder with calling her love. Hermione even seemed to like the endearment. Perhaps he should call her that more often? He loved her, he was pretty sure of that so it wouldn't be a lie.

Arriving in the Great Hall they saw they were one of the few students there. Sitting down, Harry started plating up his usual breakfast when a few owls started sweeping down with the newspaper tied to their legs.

Accepting one, Harry rolled out the Daily Prophet to see Bellatrix Lestrange cackling face on the front page.

Bellatrix Lestrange: Arrest, Trial and Sentence.

My dear readers, as you know it hasn't been long since Lestrange has been arrested again after she and two other Death Eaters dared to attack the Hogwarts train full of students. Luckily, thanks to our very own Boy-Who-Lived, she was defeated and taken in by the Aurors. Harry Potter bravely went out to meet her after she treatened the students and together with his best friend, Neville Longbottom, they handedly defeated the three Death Eaters.

According to my sources, the duel between Harry and Lestrange was truly breathtaking.

In her Trial she was questioned by our very own Head of the DMLE Amelia Bones and Croaker, the Head of the Department of Mysteries. They questioned her on her crimes and also for other Death Eaters they might not have known about yet. This led to sixteen other arrests.

The crimes of Lestrange are too horrifying to share in this dignified newspaper where our younger readers might read them but for those interested, one can ask for the trial transcript with only a short letter sent by owl towards the Ministry.

Keeping her crimes in mind and add her clear insanity, her sentence had been decided. They will not sent this horrible woman back to Azkaban, the prison she had already escaped once. No, Bellatrix Lestrange has been sentenced to the Veil. All her liquid assets will be gifted among her victims and put in a fund for muggleborn students to help them adjust to our world.

Her execution shall take place on the 23 of September.

Her two accomplices have been sentenced to 12 years in Azkaban and a hefty fine.

For more information on the Veil see page 14.

For more information on Croaker see page 23.

Quickly eating their breakfast so they'd have as much time as possible before their Potions class, they went to the library.

Hermione asked Madam Pince for a book on muggle animals, preferably felines and luckily, the Hogwarts Library did have some. Quickly finding them on the bookshelve where Madam Pince pointed the book out at them, they went to task.

Harry hadn't know there were so many kind of felines and even so many different kinds of leopard breeds. So many different breeds! Harry was glad that his wolf had been a lot easier to find. Showing her the pictures everytime he found something that looked like Hermione's discription of her inner animal, they eventually found the right one.

A Clouded Leopard.

De Neofelis Nebulosa was the smallest of the big cat species and one of the most acrobatic. One of the only big cats that can purr and a very good climber. They have very big canines compared to their small size and are sometimes called the 'modern day sabre-tooth'.

Harry thought that it fit Hermione perfectly. She too was very happy with her animal and asked when they could start practising with actually changing into her animal. Hermione made a copy of the page in the book about her animal and then they went to Potions with Professor Slughorn.

Harry had never known that Potion class could actually be kinda fun but with their new teacher it was actually a lot better. Even their classroom looked happier without Snape there. Slughorn was a good teacher though he was a bit of a slug, if Harry was honest. If only the man wasn't so obsessed with 'collecting' those his students who were powerful, brilliant or famous. It made things awkward.

Thanks to his summer project of brewing the Animagus Potion, Harry was a lot better now then last year. Not that he had ever been as bad as Snape made him out to be. Harry liked making potions if he could do it without Snape breathing down his neck. It was relaxing in the same way cooking was for him. Potions and cooking were both a lot more fun without Snape and the Dursleys.

In this lesson there was even a price to be won. Hermione won a small vial of Felix Felicis which was a luck potion. Potions got even better with Malfoy's pouting after Hermione won the vial after brewing the best potion of their class. Slughorn even ignored Malfoys bragging about his grandfather who Slughorn apparently knew.

Lunch time brought him a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.

Dear Harry,

We cannot apologise enough for the actions of our Head of House, Wesley Weasley. Ginny told us what he and that Dumbledore had been planning and we are horrified. Please believe us when we tell you that we had noting to do with his awful plans for Ginny and yourself. Rest assured we will take care of it on our end.

We own you a debt for more than one reason and the actions of the Head of House Weasley is a shame to us all.

And Harry dear, please, if you still feel comfortable, come visit us sometime when school has let out? We missed you this summer.

With love,

Molly and Arthur

While it wasn't certain that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had nothing to do with the botched contract, it was still a relief. Harry believed them. He cared for that family and it seemed that other than Wesley Weasley, they cared for him too.

Though Harry did wonder what they meant about taking care of it on their end. Oh well, it was Weasley's own fault for getting on the bad side of Mrs. Weasley. Not to mention Ginny's brothers and father.

No one hurt the only girl of the Weasley family and got away with it. The man really should have known better, being the Head of their House. Deciding to write them back later this evening, he and the rest of the students continued with their classes of the day.

After dinner, Harry and his friends met in the Room of Requirement again. First they did their homework together before getting to training. It was then when Susan shot up with a disgusted look on her face.

"Guys, my leaf fell down."

Well that was great timing. Now she could practise the Animagus transformation with the rest of them. Harry called for Kreacher and asked him to grab a vial of the Animagus Potion from the Potion lab of Grimmauld Place.

After thanking Kreacher and giving the potion to Susan he told her, "Here, just drink it all at once and find a place with some space to lay down."

Since this was the Room of Requirement, Susan only had to ask before a nice couch appeared for her to lay down on. It didn't take long for her to fall under the Potions influence and fall asleep. Hannah was staying close to her best friend to make sure she didn't fall while doing whatever her animal did.

Harry, Neville and Hermione meanwhile tried to practise their own Animagus transformation. Harry had just managed to transform all of his arms and legs into paws when he heard barking coming from where Susan lay.

It broke his concentration but he didn't mind. Opening his eyes he saw that Neville also progressed some more in his transformation and Hermione had already managed to get her nails to sharpen into claws, over-archiever that she was.

Susan barked again and was wiggleing around on the couch like a happy puppy. Hannah had asked the Room for a camera and was taking a picture or ten of her best friend acting like a excited puppy.

Then Susan broke out of the potions vision and found herself in an embarrassing position with friends laughing at her. Blushing, she sat up straight.

"I'm a German Shepherd."

Hannah looked thrilled for her friend as she said, "Aww Sue, that's brilliant! A German Shepherd is just so you."

Knowing muggles used this breed as police dogs, Harry had to agree. A German Shepherd fit perfectly with his tough and loyal friend.

Hannah asked them thoughtfully, "What do you guys think I will be?"

Neville went to stand next to her and answered, "I can't say for sure, but perhaps something like Labrador dog, a horse or a bunny or something? Something sweet and loyal for sure."

Hannah kissed his cheek in thanks and laid her head on Neville's shoulder. It would be a while yet before Hannah could join them so she asked the room for a dummy while the rest of them continued with trying to transform. They had decided that Luna and Ginny would join them tomorrow. Ron declined since he wanted to take things slow as school started. The poor guy was drowning in homework.

Hannah would be ready to find her own animal just before Ginny and Luna could. Fred and George would be ready before Hannah and they had promised to call for one of his Elves for the potion as soon as their leaves fell down. Harry was planning on asking them to join their practise too when the twins found their animal if their shop allowed them to.

Every time Harry tried, he felt he was getting closer to the full transformation. He hoped it wouldn't be long now before he would be fully transformed. Harry couldn't wait to run around again as a wolf. He also couldn't wait for him and his friends to transform and play together.

Like the Marauders did before them.

Then they duelled alone and in pairs before it was time for them to go back to their dorms. Back in his dorm Harry took out some parchment and a quill and wrote back to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Weasley,

Thank you both for your reassuring words. I admit that I was afraid when I heard about the contract that you both were involved but even I knew, deep down, that you wouldn't do that to your own daughter. To me.

I would like to see you both. Would you perhaps like to come and visit me when the next Hogsmeade day arrives? Andromeda Tonks and her family are coming for a family lunch at the Three Broomsticks but I'm sure she wouldn't mind if the both of you joined us. She knows you and Mr. Weasley took care of me for some time every summer.

Ginny and Ron would like to see you too, I'm sure. We have a lot to talk about.

Sincerely,

Harry

Asking Winky to deliver the letter to the Burrow, Harry turned towards Quidditch. He was the captain of the Gryffindor team this year and while he thought it was a honour, it was another thing on his already quite full plate. So Harry asked Ron to help him.

Ron would help him to come up with strategies while Harry led the team. Oliver Wood might have been able to do both, but Harry couldn't. And Ron loved Quidditch and planning strategies so he was perfect to help him.

They made a good team and it was nice to spent some time with his old friend just talking about Quiddich. Ron confided in Harry that this is what he wanted to do after Hogwarts, be the stragetic manager of the Chudley Cannons and bring them to new heights.

Not that is was hard to bring the worst team up in the lists but it was nice to hear that Ron did have some ambition. While it wasn't the Ministry job Mrs. Weasley wanted for her children, Harry was sure she would support Ron when she saw the joy in his eyes.

Dean and Seamus asked him for a game of Gobstones which Harry was glad to play. Seamus was brilliant in this games but it was still fun for all of them. Especially when Neville and Ron joined them.

Still laughing, Harry got ready for bed. Tomorrow would be another busy day for all of them.

Chapter Text

Well, that was unexpected.

As Professor McGonagall had promised, the goblin team of cursebreakers and warders had come to Hogwarts as September came to an end for their inspection. All day they've been seen walking around the castle, sometimes chanting, sometimes seen poking one thing or another. It was interesting. Most students had never even seen a goblin outside of Gringotts. A lot never even realised they were more than bankers.

The muggleborns looked with wide eyes at all the strange magic happening around them. Colin had grabbed his camera and was snapping pictures whenever he could. The small boy seemed to amuse the goblins with his enthusiasme which was surprising. On the other hand, goblins seemed to really like children. Harry remembered the care they showed him this summer. He would be forever grateful to them.

Professor Flitwick got a lot of questions about the strange language the goblins were speaking and the magic they cast, which he was all to glad to answer. Professor Binns had always painted the goblins as a dumb, greedy and agressive warrior race in his classes but all students could see that that wasn't true.

The goblins had a beautiful magic all of their own.

The goblin teams even interrupted their classes sometimes that day. Most teachers just ignored their goblin guests so the students did the same. They just quietly went around the room they entered and just as quietly went away again. It was when Harry was sitting, well trying not to fall asleep in his History of Magic class that another goblin team walked inside.

Professor Binns took one look at the goblin squad coming into his classroom and seemed to decide that the afterlife was something for him after all. Cuthbert Binns glowed and after a short moment, quickly disappeared into nothing.

A standing ovation later, the Headmistress herself came to take over History of Magic after she heard what happened. She would cancel all the other classes until she could find a replacement. Honestly, their new Headmistress was clearly happy to see that old ghost gone from her school. Saved her an exorcisme.

After that brilliant moment, classes continued as usual and by dinner time the wards were up in full power. Professor McGonagall assured them all that the castle was safe now. Curses have been removed, dark objects have been sold to Gringotts and all animals inside and on the grounds were now safe for children to be around.

The goblins had also placed wards around the Forbidden Forest so that only adults were able to enter and no creature was able to escape. The Centaurs in particulair were grateful for that. Now they wouldn't have to bring mischievous students out of the Forest. They never want to leave the forest anyway since it was their home but also their only protection against humans wishing them harm.

Just look at how people like Umbridge treated them. Like they were dumb creatures, monsters. No, Harry knew differently. They were different, yes, but not monsters, and certainly not dumb. They had a different outlook on life and a different culture to go with it. Harry thought it was that way with all creatures in the Wizarding World. Just look at the House-Elves, goblins, merpeople etc.

They all had their own habits, cultures and everything really. And that was alright. Harry didn't understand why so many people wanted them gone. It wasn't like they harmed anyone. Hermione agreed with him. She wanted to fight for their rights and was studying from some law books for it. Just in case anything like with Buckbeak happened again.

There had been a few surprising curses inside Hogwarts. The one on the DADA postition had been removed fairly easily so now there could be a DADA teacher for longer than a year. But there had also been one on the Hogwarts staircases no one had known about. Now they would still move, but only to the places they were supposed to in a predicatable pattern. No more accidents or students late for class because of them.

The school felt safe again. Safe and welcoming in ways it never did before. Harry could feel Hogwarts magic gently poking him and wondered if the school knew he was the new Lord Slytherin.

Hogwarts had alsways been more of a home to Harry in ways the school wasn't to his peers.

Sitting at dinner that evening with Hermione at his side he waited for the Daily Prophet to arrive. Another front page article about him made by Skeeter would be spread all over Britain this evening. Harry knew that this one and all the ones after would be getting a lot more personal. The owls started swooping down and Harry accepted a newspaper from one of them.

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened

In an earlier article we discussed some about our dear Mr. Potter's years at our great school. Since there is a lot to cover we decided it was best to share my findings a year at a time with you, dear readers. One would think that the Troll, Cerberus and the dangerous maze full of challenges would be bad enough, but no, it gets worse.

Harry Potter was only twelve years old and in his second year when the Chamber of Secrets is opened. Yes, loyal readers, the Chamber of Secrets.

Written in bright red blood with a petrified cat under it is announced: The Chamber of Secrets had been opened,  Enemies of the Heir beware!

That was only the start of this horrible year. Multiple students got petrified and when our Boy-Who-Lived was outed as a Parslemouth, an ability our muggle raised Mr. Potter didn't even know he had let alone what it would mean, he was shunned by his peers. So the accusations started. Bullying.

Mr. Potter's own peers called him a murderer, a dark wizard. Heir of the same Dark Lord who killed his parents in cold blood. And where were the teachers in all this, I ask?

Certainly not helping our young hero. No, they just stood by to watch him be ignored, bullied and shunned by the other students. No one helped the young boy. No teacher, not the Headmaster. Only a few friends stood with him. Meanwhile more students got attacked by the Monster of Slytherin.

Minister Fudge was heard saying as he arrested Rubeus Hagrid 'We must be seen doing something!'. Minister Fudge sent an innocent man to Azkaban without evidence of wrong doing. How many other are sent to Azkaban without trial?

But I digressed, it was Hermione Granger, now the girlfriend of our Boy-Who-Lived and a brilliant witch who discovered what was attacking our children. She connected the clues that even the adults in the school couldn't find and discovered what the Monster of Slytherin was, a 1000 year old Basilisk.

Unfortunately, both she and another student got petrified before she could share her findings.

But Hermione Granger, brilliant girl that she is, still had a page about the Basilisk clutched in her hand with 'the pipes' written on it in her own handwriting. A page our Mr. Potter found while visiting his best friend.

Immediately understanding what his friend had discovered, he went to find a teacher. While searching for a teacher, Harry overheard something terrible. A student had been taken into the Chamber of Secrets. A young girl, Miss Ginny Weasley.

According to multiple sources in Hogwarts it was then that our young hero decided that enough was enough. Together with another friend, the brother of the missing girl, he went to find a teacher. Because while searching for the real Heir of Slytherin, Harry and his friends found out where the Chamber of Secrets was likely to be.

Together with their DADA teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart, they went down to the Chamber of Secrets. But Gilderoy Lockhart was not the strong and brave man he portrayed himself as. Attacking the two second year students he admitted he Obliviated and took the credit for the acclomplishments of others.

None of the things he said he did in any of his books were actually his own. And now he was planning on doing it again. To two young children, his own students.

Luckily, one of the wands was broken and Gilderoy Obliviated himself instead of the two brave boys, causing a cave in. Our Mr. Potter went on while his friend stayed with the confused and completely memory-less professor.

What exacly happened in the Chamber of Secrets we shall probably never know. All we know is that our young hero came out of the Chamber with Miss Weasley, Mr Weasley, Lockhart and the sword of Gryffindor. Not to mention the Phoenix carrying them all out.

All we know is that the Basilisk of Salazar Slytherin is dead, Mr Potter slayed the old beast.

Soon after all the petrified students got cured and the school was safe again. But was it really?

Why did the Headmaster let it go so far? Why not call for help? Why did no one help our Mr. Potter when all the students turned on him? What exacly happened in the Chamber of Secrets?

Luckily, I Rita Skeeter knew exacly who to ask. Mr. Potter and the new Headmistress were so kind as to allow me a short visit in the famed Chamber of Secrets itself! And let me tell you, dear readers, what I saw was truly horrifying.

[See pictures of the Chamber and the monster of Slytherin]

Twelve year old, our Boy-Who-Lived. Twelve years old and already made to face such horrible things. Let us hope that his other years at Hogwarts are less fraught with danger.

Minevra McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts page 4.

The passing of Aberforth Dumbledore page 12.

Where is Albus Dumbledore? Page 15.

Mysterious disappearance of Wesley Weasley page 18.

Harry had been reading the article with hot cheeks. Hermione grabbed his hand as she read out of the same newspaper. It was embarrassing to read how he had been shunned and bullied by the students of Hogwarts and ignored by the teachers. He felt their eyes on him and he had to deliberately straighten his shoulders, he had nothing to be ashamed of.

Ginny was sitting with her boyfriend, Dean. Harry had warned her about the subject of this article and while she was pale while reading about her traumatising first year, there was something fierce in her attitude.

Still, Harry could feel the stares of others burning in his back. He met the eyes of some of them and he was gratified to see them avoid his eyes in shame.

Hermione squeezed his hand in support and Neville bumped his knee against Harry's.

"Chin up, love. They were in the wrong and it's high time they all face what they did." Hermione spoke softly but with steel in her voice. Hermione had been the most vocal about the failings of the teachers. She was used to the cruelty of children but for the teacher to behave in such way as they did here was shameful in her eyes. Harry agreed even though he was used to both children and adults acting like that. Privet Drive had been no different.

He suddenly realised that she called him love.

Feeling a warm feeling spread through his body Harry kissed the side of her head in thanks. He knew that Hermione was right, really he knew that. He was the victim here and while that stung, he needed to show that he came out stronger. Harry had Hermione and Neville, Susan, Hannah, Ron, Ginny and Luna too. He had so many friends now.

Peeking over to the High Table Harry saw the ashamed looks on some of the teachers faces. Good, he thought a bit spitefully. They should be ashamed. How many cases of bullying have they ignored? It has been going on for years, he knew.

Harry could vividly remember the memory in Snape's Pensieve. His own father had gone too far. Sirius had gone too far. Harry was pretty sure that Snape had gone to far too but that was no excuse. Children should be taught to do better. It was the responsibility of the adults, the teachers in this boarding school. They needed to do better.

"Harry, mate, you know this is a good thing. The teachers and students need to see what their negligence and cruelty did, and not just to you. Luna is still dealing with her own 'Nargles' and it needs to stop."

Neville was right. Harry had promised to help Luna and while he was a better friend now, he was still in a different House than the dreamy girl. He couldn't be there all the time.

Still, Luna and Ginny had joined them in their training in the last few days and it was going well. It wouldn't take long before Luna would be able to do something herself about those bothersome Nargles.

Finishing dinner, Harry met up with his other friends to go to The Room of Requirement. Today they'd agreed to first train on their own. Harry was trying for an new element, lightning this time, for his wolves. Hermione was getting some shooting practise and Neville had found some interesting charms in the RoR which made plants grow in a offensive way.

Magical plants, Harry and his friends discovered, could be truly horrifying in battle when used right.

Susan was using Transfiguration to subdue her dummy and Hannah was using her disarm-bind-stun combo. Ginny loved her prank spells and was also very good in fire spells. She seemed to have founds some inspiration from Harry's elemental wolves and was now trying to combine her bat-bogey hex and fire. Fire bat-bogeys. Harry was both kinda horrified and jealous of her mind.

Luna, well Luna was using Transfiguration and Charms in a interesting way. It looked like she was casting illusions to distract and then used Transfiguration to trip or bind her opponment. Luna had also become good friends with the Room of Requirement. Don't ask Harry how but Luna barely had to ask for something before the room already provided it. With a lot of enthusiasme even.

In a moment of rest Susan and Hannah turned to him.

Susan took his hand in hers and asked him, "Did I ever apologise to you for my behavior back then? For our second year but also our fourth?" Susan continued after taking a deep breath, "We are really sorry, Harry. We were dumb and rude and we should never have been so judgemental about something we didn't know anything about."

Hannah put her own hand over their joined hands and asked him with big teary eyes, "Can you forgive us?"

It was a relief in some way to finally hear an apology. Susan and Hannah hadn't been the biggest bullies here but even they'd made some comments and snide looks in his direction back then.

Still his answer wasn't hard, "Of course you are forgiven! You're my friends, both of you. Thank you for making the effort to actually say something about it but really, it's all in the past now. We are a team and I like the way we are."

They visibly relaxed at that and he had to chuckle at the look on their faces. That set of the rest of them and soon they were all laughing.

Then the ones who had met their animal prepared themselves for another try to turn into their animal. Harry was deeply meditating when he suddenly felt something click deep inside him.

Suddenly he was standing on four paws and was wagging his tail in joy. Merlin, he did it!

"Merlin Harry, you did it!" Multiple voices shouted in sync.

His tail wagged even harder and some snickers sounded. His ears swerved and found a chuckling Neville with the paws of his bear instead of hands.

Harry decided to have some fun of his own. With a slight push of his paws he jumped his best friend and licked him straight in the face.

"Ugh gross, Harry!"

Jumping off his friend he went to Hermione. She looked very charming with her whiskers and cat ears. He put his nose in her neck and just relaxed for a moment. She smelled lovely and he nuzzeled her gently.

She petted his head and told him fondly, "You are a beautiful wolf, Harry."

Then she asked the Room for a mirror so that he could see himself turned into his wolf for the first time. He was big, that was the first thing he noticed. A big black wolf that reminded him a bit of Padfoot. His green eyes looked fierce and his coat was thick and looked soft.

Hermione was right, he was beautiful.

He had his Marauder name ready. In honor of Sirius but also truly fitting for his black wolf he had decided on Grim.

He still missed his blood-adopted father but it wasn't as painful as it used to be. He saw pieces of Sirius in himself since the blood-adoption and it made him feel like he wasn't completely lost to Harry. Even his Animagnus form was a bit like Sirius's grim. It was comforting.

After everyone was turned back into their normal human shape they went to talk strategy. The Hogsmeade trip was coming up and Dumbledore still hadn't been found. Amelia was working very hard but she hadn't succeeded yet. Amelia told him in her latest letter that she was making a case to arrest Umbridge. The Toad was crafty and had a lot of time to erase her crimes but Amelia assured him that she was closing in on the horrible pink Toad.

Harry couldn't wait.

Harry was planning on meeting Andromeda, Ted and Tonks there and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley too for a lunch at the Three Broomsticks but before that he'd go for a round around the village and the shops there with Hermione and the rest of his friends. No one would be alone when out of the castle.

They all knew Harry's luck so they needed to prepared for absolutely anything.

Chapter Text

Previously on A very Black planHeadmistress McGonagall hired a few goblin teams from Gringotts to fix the school. New wards, dangerous items and curses that needed to be broken or fixed which was all work for a cursebreaker from Gringotts. All day they walked around the school with some surprising consequences. Professor Binns, bigot that he truly was, decided to go to the great beyond after all when he saw the goblin squad enter his classroom.

A new article dropped and this time it was about Harry's second year. Rita made some very good points and Dumbledore's supporters became less and less everytime a article made by Rita revealed more about what their former Headmaster had been up to. Susan and Hannah read it too, and apologised for their part in the bullying Harry endured.

Harry managed to completely tranfsorm in his wolf, who he named Grim. Now he had to keep doing the compleet transformation until he could do it without barely a thought.

The Hogmeade trip was coming up and Harry couldn't wait to see his family again. He wondered how Tonks was doing now and how big her belly would be since he saw her last. But he also had a bad feeling over that day in Hogsmeade village.

Something was going to happen.


October arrived with a cool breeze and the beautiful colors of Autumn in the nature surrounding Hogwarts. Standing in line waiting to go to the village Harry was nervous. A strange feeling was sitting deep in his stomach and Harry knew what it meant. It was the same feeling he got before any of his adventures.

It meant danger.

Luckily, Harry and his friends had learned from their earlier adventures. They knew and were prepared for anything which would hopefully make the difference. He brought his cloak and both of his wands, Hermione had her two wands and her gun and the rest of their friends just had their wands and some extra prank items from the twins. The twins send them regular care packages, which of course included prank items from their store.

They also informed them that they too had found their inner animal. Fred was a red fox which wasn't really surprising at all, and George was a raven. They had been trying to transform and had made good progress according to their latest letter.

Hand in hand with Hermione Harry walked toward the carriages. Luna, Ginny, Susan, Neville and Hannah were joining them inside the same carriage. But just before stepping into one, a small owl brought him a letter. Accepting it carefully from the tiny thing, he opened it when he sat down inside.

"Who wrote that letter, Harry?" Neville asked.

Harry must have made a face while reading it because they were all on alert. Deciding to just read it a loud he began.

Dear Harry,

While I'm very disappointed in your decisions lately, I understand your need to act out. Sirius's death was hard on all of us and you are only 16 years old. But what I don't understand are your reasons to talk to Rita Skeeter. Why would you help that horrible woman besmirch Albus's good name, Harry?

We need to talk. I will be in Hogsmeade today. Your father was a dear friend of mine and we own it to him to fix this.

Sincerely,

Remus Lupin

Remus would be in the village. Well, that was at least one known threat accounted for. Harry looked at his friends for their reaction. Hermione's reaction didn't disappoint. Her affronted rant started as soon as they locked eyes.

"A dear friend? What would your father think of Lupin today? A man who did nothing while you were living with abusive Muggles? The man who abandoned his own unborn child and who horribly insulted the mother of said child. The man who doesn't even get to know where his childs mother lives for their own safety?" Hermione rolled her eyes. "I'd like to set such people on fire, Harry. Come on, love, you know he doesn't deserve you or Tonks. It's beyond the goddamned pale to abandon your own child. Remus Lupin is the scum of the earth for that alone."

Ginny was nodding along at the setting on fire bit, fire loving girl she was. Neville, Susan, Hannah and Luna were all clearly agreeing with Hermione's rant and even Harry had to agree.

Remus Lupin was not his friend and certainly not the family his parents would have wanted him to be to their son. Still, somewhere deep inside, Harry remembered the gentle DADA teacher who taught him the Patronus charm. Harry was desperate for family, he knew that, but he couldn't let that influence his life.

If only the man had never been supposed to be more than a teacher to Harry. If only Harry never found out the truth about Remus Lupin's past with Harry's parents. How close Remus Lupin had been to them. He could have forgiven him then, for never checking up on Harry. It was a bitter feeling, to not be important enough to someone for even that little.

"You're right, Mione. I shouldn't be disregarding the threat he is to me. To Tonks and her baby."

Neville leaned forward and said quietly, "I'm glad you see it too. Why don't you give one of us the cloak while the others spread around you. That way you seem to be alone and we can be sure he will approach you."

Susan nodded along, "Yes, that's a good plan. Hannah and I will follow you from a distance and Neville can approach you from the other side. Will you be under the cloak, Hermione?"

"Yes, I will. Ginny, Luna could you stay close? We haven't really trained for this with you two but all the help you can give will be appreciated. Perhaps you two could stay close to Neville? Nobody should be alone." Hermione gathered her hair in a tight bun so it would be out of the way in case of a fight. She looked fierce, ready to defend him from all that dared to try and harm him. Kissing the side of her head in thanks, he looked at the rest of his friends.

Ginny and Luna nodded, a serious look in their eyes. They all knew what could go wrong.

Arriving they all went to go as planned. Neville would stay with him for the first bit and then 'leave'. Hermione would stay with him under the cloak as Harry wandered to a quiet place without much people. He was getting near the Hogshead when he saw movement coming from inside. Since Aberforth had died, according to the Daily Prophet, it couldn't be him.

Harry didn't know what happened to the old man but it could have been anything. Aberforth Dumbledore had been over a hundred years old too so who knows what happened.

It didn't take long for Remus to approach him as soon as Harry was alone. He stepped out of the shade of the closed down pub and walked briskly towards Harry. The man looked bad. Remus had gone almost completely grey and he looked ragged, old. He had some new scars that looked like they healed badly and Harry wondered how it had gotten so far. Remus just looked plain bad. Magical people had longer lifespans but looking at Remus one would think the man was in his sixties instead of somewhere in his thirties.

"Harry."

Careful not to come within touching distance Harry nodded back with a quiet, "Remus."

Harry felt a small touch of the cloak and knew Hermione was getting in a better position should Remus dare to try something. Harry knew his friends were around too, keeping an eye on this meeting while staying out of sight themselves. Hopefully Remus would be gone by the time lunch came around because Harry would make sure the man came nowhere near Tonks ever again.

Remus was looking him over with a strange look in his eyes, "How are you doing, Harry?"

Harry snorted, "Well a lot better since leaving the Dursleys. Best decision I ever made was leaving those horrible people I have to call my relatives. Sirius left me a place, did you know? A place where I would be safe. From Death Eaters and my aunt and uncle both."

Remus mouth thightend, "Albus searched for you everywhere, how could you be so irrisponsible to leave without telling anyone?"

Harry raised an eyebrow, "Would you have let me leave?"

"Of course not! It wasn't safe for you, Harry. Your aunt and uncle might not have been the best people to raise you but they couldn't have been that bad. Albus assured us that Privet Drive was the best place for you." Remus looked so disappointed in Harry and Harry had to try to keep his face straight so he wouldn't show his derision.

"Safe? I was never safe in that house. It might have protected me from the Death Eaters but it didn't protect me from those living with me in that house. Why won't you see that Albus Dumbledore has never been after my wellbeing? Just look at my years at Hogwarts!"

"Albus deserves better from you," Remus said shortly. "He sacrificed everything, including his own career, to help you defeat You-Know-Who, and you repay him by revealing…" He shook his head. "It's awful what you've done, what you've allowed Rita Skeeter to do. You could've prevented those articles from being published. You have enough money to bribe the Daily Prophet."

Was he insane? How could this man ever been one of his parents best friends? Harry was just glad he wasn't truly alone with this, with this person.

"No, Remus, I couldn't have. I can't believe you. How could you be like this? Albus Dumbledore has never helped me. Never even tried to prepare me to face Riddle. To training, no advice. Not anything. He just hoped that I would die like a meek little lamb for the slaughter. "

"You were like a grandson to him," Lupin said with a disappointed shake of his head. "He had such high hopes for you."

"He hopes I'll die," Harry said flatly. "But he made plans to control me and present me as his legacy just in case I managed to survive him now that he has been cursed. I'm not his grandson, I'm not his legacy, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let anyone try to make any of that happen."

Remus was getting truly angry now, "Albus Dumbledore is a great man and I'm so disappointed in your behavior, Harry. Your parents would be ashamed of who you've become."

Really? Harry rather thought it the other way around.

"No Remus, my parents and Sirius would be ashamed of you. You left their son in the care of abusive muggles without ever checking up on him. You should have been my uncle Moony, but you're just a coward. Not to mention how you treated Tonks. She told me, you know? What you did."

Remus went very pale and his eyes got more and more golden, "Take that back. I've done everything right. I'm a light wizard and after this conversation, I'm convinced that Albus is right. You've gone dark, Harry, and you need to be stopped."

Harry snorted derisivly. Remus growled at the sound and made to grab him when a click sounded.

"Don't you even move a muscle in his direction, Lupin." Hermione was standing behind Lupin with her gun pressed in his back. Neville was standing a bit further behind and the other girls had appeared too, surrounding them.

Now it was Lupin's turn to snort derisively, "You really think that seven Hogwarts students can stop me? You need to stop this nonsense and come with me, Harry. Professor Dumbledore can help you. You need to listen and let him get rid of this darkness inside of you."

The Horcrux. They thought he still had a Horcrux inside of his scar? Harry knew that Dumbledore knew about the Horcruxes but he'd known that there was one inside of Harry and had done nothing? Albus Dumbledore had truly been planning for his death, hadn't he?

Taking advantage of his distraction, Remus went to grab him and apparate away. Luckily, Hermione was less distracted.

A soft bang sounded and Remus fell down with a groan. Hannah and Susan immediately took action and stunned, bound and disarmed him from his wand and portkeys. Catching the wand and a old piece of fabric, Susan put them carefully in her bag.

Hermione was still standing there, gun out, prepared for anything. She looked like a badass but Harry could see his girlfriend was shocked at what she had done, the violence of it. Harry went to her and gently pushed the gun down before he hugged her.

"Thank you, Hermione. You saved me, love."

She hugged him tightly back. He kissed her softly and tried to make her feel how glad he was they were alright, how proud he was of her. She saved him. Remus would have taken him to Dumbledore and who knows what that awful man was planning on doing to Harry? Kill him probably if he thought Harry was still carrying a Horcrux in his head.

Remus groaned again behind them and asked them with pain clear in his voice, "Why can't you just do what you're supposed to? You need to do what Albus wants you to do for the greater good of us all. You just doomed us all, you stupid boy."

"That's enough of that." Luna said calmly as she stunned the old wolf again, this time rendering the old wolf truly unconscious.

Does stunning someone keep them from bleeding to death? Hermione hadn't shot him somewhere truly dangerous but it was still bleeding a bit. Harry was trying very hard to care about the man laying bleeding on the ground but it was hard. Keeping his arm around Hermione he turned towards Susan, "Could you get your aunt here to take him in?"

"Of course!"

She immediately cast the spell for a Patronus and gave her message for her aunt to the silvery bird of prey. It only took minutes for Amelia to appear with Kingsley and Moody at her side. Apparently they hadn't been the only ones ready for anything this Hogsmeade weekend.

"Well, well, well, who do we have here? Got into more trouble then you could handle, laddie?" Moody asked as he hobbled over to the downed wolf.

Amelia approached Lupin and dropped a portkey on him which activated quickly, taking him away, "You kids did good. He will go to an holding cell and will be given a trial soon for attacking and attempted kidnapping of a Lord of a Noble House. Just give your statements to Auror Kingsley or Auror Moody so that we can take care of it."

Susan went to her aunt and told her, "He's rabid, Auntie. He just kept repeating what Dumbledore told him. Harry's dark, Harry's needs Dumbledore's help, It's for the greater good etc. It's really worrying."

Amelia wrapped an arm around her niece and reassured her, "I've sent him to an holding cell which could easily hold a furious werewolf or ten. He will be secure, love."

Kingsley meanwhile was checking on the spells cast in the confrontation and asked them with a frown on his face, "What caused the bleeding? I've never seen anything like it."

Amelia shot them a look and Hermione straightend up in clear lecture mode, "I've been working on the most interesting spell, Auror Kingsley. It's a bit like the piercing spell but then with an elemental charge, water bullets in my case. I got inspired when Harry was practising with his fire wolves. It was meant as a last resort but I panicked when Lupin tried to grab Harry. Am I in trouble?"

At the last part she kinda looked small and tearful like a pitful kitten. If Harry hadn't known better he would have believed her scared little girl act but still wrapped an arm around her in comfort. Kingsley clearly didn't know Hermione well enough to know this really wasn't anything like her at all and visibly softend.

"No, Miss Granger, you aren't in trouble at all. Really, it was clearly self-defence."

Moody added with a derisive snort, "And anyway girl, there are no laws in Magical Britain that protect werewolves from harm. You've saved the Boy-Who-Lived with your actions, lass. Nobody would try to arrest you for that."

Harry could feel Hermione stiffen up at Moody's words and he kinda agreed, that would horrible in any other case. There were no laws protecting werewolves? It sounded like anyone could just kill a werewolf, a human being, for funseys and not get in trouble at all.

Amelia looked like she agreed but asked the group of teenagers, "Don't you kids have somewhere else to be? We're done here so go have some fun, but be careful!"

Moody added a gruff, "We will be around, just to be sure."

Harry nodded. That would be good. They didn't know how many allies their former Headmaster had left not the mention the man himself. It would be lunch time soon so Harry offered his arm to Hermione so they could go to the Three Broomsticks. Andromeda told him in her last letter that she'd a private booked for all of them.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would join them too but first Harry wanted to introduce Hermione as his girlfriend to his family. Tonks would be sure to tease him but Harry didn't minds that. It was an older sisters job to tease, Harry believed after hearing some of his House mates complain about their older siblings.

Neville would go to the Three Broomsticks himself with Hannah, just in the public room. They had a date of their own planned which Neville had been looking forward to. Susan, Ginny and Luna were planning to grab a quick lunch before continuing their shopping. Harry was glad to see that Luna had found some friends in their group. She was much happier now, they all were.

Walking into the private meeting room in the Three Broomsticks Harry was happy to see Andromeda, Ted and Tonks already there. To his surprise, Charlie Weasley was sitting next to Tonks. An introduction of Hermione and a round of hugs later Harry was sitting down with his family after not seeing them for more than a month.

He asked Tonks, "How are you doing, Tonks?"

Tonks beamed, "Great! The baby is doing well and we found out that it's a boy!"

"A boy? That's great!"

Hermione added, "Congratulations on your pregnancy, Tonks. You look great."

"Thanks, kid. Let me tell you, pregnancy is no joke. The throwing up all day has finally stopped and I feel awesome at the moment. For now at least, mum tells me the worst is yet to come. I'm just glad that the giving birth part is a lot easier for magicals than it is for muggles."

Andromeda nodded, "You're doing well, dear. But how are you doing, Harry?"

That's when Harry told them of his morning, with Hermione adding some things here and there. Tonks gasped, horrified at what Remus had tried to do. Her hair was getting a fiery red again and Charlie took her hand in his, calming her down.

It was good to see Charlie taking care of his cousin but that didn't mean the man would escape his shovel talk. He wasn't sure if the two were actually together yet, but it was sure going that way from the look of things. Harry didn't have a sister by blood but Tonks was as close as a sister he had now and he wanted to treat her like that.

They continued with the rest of the confrontation and finished with telling them about how they took Remus down after he tried to grab Harry. Charlie was grimly satsified to hear that Lupin wouldn't be a threat anymore to his pregnant best friend. Tonks looked so relieved at hearing that Remus had been taken into custody that Harry felt a bit guilty.

He should have done more to make sure Lupin wasn't a threat to Tonks and the baby she was carrying. She was safe now but he should have made sure of that sooner.

"Thank you, Harry, Hermione, for taking care of it. I'm glad he's been taken into custody by Madam Bones. She will make sure Remus gets what he deserves. He was really starting to worry me with his behavior. He might be the baby's biological father but he will not be my baby's dad, not now and not ever. That ship has sailed." Tonks was resolute in her conviction and Harry was glad to see it.

Remus Lupin would not be a good father. Not with the way the man was right now. He just wasn't safe. Perhaps Amelia would have a solution for the behavior Lupin showed but Harry was pretty sure that Remus would face a prison sentence first, and magicals didn't have the same rehabilitations in prisons muggles did.

Then Mr. and Mrs. Weasley arrived with enough noice to startle them. Door slamming open, Mrs. Weasley immediately started talking as soon as she saw Harry.

"Harry, dear, we are so sorry for all the trouble with that horrible man! How are you doing? You're looking good, dear. Finally some meat on your bones, I'm glad." She approached him but didn't seem sure if she should hug him like she usually did.

So Harry decided for her and hugged Mrs. Weasley. Stepping back he turned to Mr. Weasley with who he shook hands.

Mr. Weasley looked truly contrite when he said, "We are really very sorry, Harry. Molly and I took care of it but it never should have happened. We never thought either man capable of doing something so horrible."

"It's alright, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, I'm glad they couldn't go through with it. I like Ginny but not like that and she feels the same. She's dating my friend Dean right now and I'm with Hermione. Though what did happen to Wesley Weasley? We read about his disappearance in the Prophet."

Mrs. Weasley patted him on the cheek and said fondly, "Nothing to worry your head about, dear. He won't bother you again."

Harry was sure he heard her mumble something like 'trying to harm my daughter, I think not. Bloody arsehole got what was coming for him.' But that couldn't be right. Sweet and motherly Mrs. Weasley wouldn't harm somebody, right?

Oh who was he kidding, of course she would. Mrs. Weasley was fierce in her protection of her children and Wesley Weasley had been trying to marry and kill of her precious daughter.

The rest of their lunch went well. Harry talked a lot with everybody and Hermione often joined in, which was good to see. She had a lot to talk about with Ted, who was a lawyer which interested Hermione. She often talked about what she would like to change in the Wizarding world. Creature rights first and foremost. Harry thought she would make a brilliant lawyer. Or perhaps she would like to be a politican, Harry had enough seats in the Wizengamot that she could be the proxy of one, or perhaps, if their relationship continued to be this great, as the Lady of his Houses.

But that was for the future.

Charlie too was clearly comfortable with this group consistend of his family and his possible girlfriends family. Ginny and Ron joined them for a while after lunch and then all the Weasleys went for a walk around the village to give the Tonkses and Harry some privacy of their own. Hermione stayed, as they all could see that the two teenagers were a package deal.

It was nice to spent some time with his family after being back at Hogwarts for the last month. The talked over tea and just bonded for a moment. Tonks told them that she and Charlie were trying dating again. She had been a bit hesitant since she was pregnant with another man's baby but apparently Charlie didn't care about that all.

He loved her, Tonks told them with a bright smile. He would love her baby too. Harry and Hemione were so happy for Tonks. Ted and Andromeda too, from the looks on their faces.

Saying goodbye to his new family was kinda hard but worth it. It was a brilliant feeling to actually have and feel people in his family magic.

Back at Hogwarts they all met in the Room of Requirement. Neville and Hannah were looking very happy after their date and Susan, Luna and Ginny had a nice afternoon of shopping.

They were surprised when Dobby and Effy popped into the Room. Harry saw immediately that Dobby was carrying Hedwig and one of her owlets with Effy holding the other two.

"Master Harry sir, Hedwig cranky and be missing yous very much so Dobby be thinking, why not visit? Would Master like that too?" His friend asked with a hopeful smile.

Effy added, "Little owlets be missing Master too, so Effy brought them too!"

Hannah and Susan cooed, "Aww what are they cute!"

Harry barely listened, he was finally seeing Hedwig again. Harry had never been this far from her before, for so long. He had missed her so much. Taking her from Dobby he said, "I missed you, girl. How have you been doing? Is Othello taking good care of you?"

Hedwig hooted and started preening his hair. She stayed very close so Harry thought she probably missed him too. Hermione meanwhile was cuddling Hermes to her. The little thing had grown in the last month and was now looking like a small version of his father with Hedwig's eyes.

Helios and Selene, after a cuddle with Harry, were flying around the Room of Requirement which had changed itself to a forest for the owls. Harry was proud to see the owlets fly so well. They were getting so big, soon they would be able to be true magical mail owls. Dobby and Effy were happy to stay and chat for a while too, Harry was glad to see how happy the two were.

Saying goodbye again was hard but Harry asked Dobby and Effy if they would bring the owls here with them every now and then if Hedwig agreed. Soon Hedwig would be able to come with him to Hogwarts again. He couldn't wait.

It had been an interesting day. They now knew more about Dumbledore's plans and even managed to get one of his followers into custody without any harm to Harry and his friends. They knew that Dumbledore would try again. When, they didn't know, but he wouldn't be able to wait for long with his cursed hand.

Dumbledore's days were numbered.

Chapter Text

Bellatrix No-Name's trial had gone well. She was declared guilty of all crimes and she was quickly sentenced to death through the Veil. According to various sources, the madwoman went cackeling and swearing her most beloved Master would return to wreck vengance on them all as she fell through the Veil in the department of Mysteries.

Augusta Longbottom had been very unimpressed when recounting the story of Bellatrix's end. Yet she was satisfied, the murderers of her son and daughter-in-law were all gone. All her assets and gold would be shared among her victims. Gran and Neville's part was going to the Long Term Spell-Ward in Saint Mungos for research purposes.

Frank and Alice were still alive even with their shattered minds. Perhaps there was still a chance of healing them. Harry hoped so, for Neville's sake even though the chance of their recovery was so very small, Gran told them with a sad smile.

At least the three Lestrange and Barty were gone now.

Harry had never seen his friend so relieved as when the news spread of Bellatrix's death. The last of his parents attackers were gone, finally. The Longbottom family had their justice and with it, some peace. Even Rita had done quite a nice article about the victims of the Lestranges in which she asked for more donations to the Spell-Ward so they could work more on a cure. It was surprisingly decent of the woman.

Christmas break would start this weekend and Harry was getting worried. He had agreed to celebrate Yule with Andromeda, Tonks and of course Ted, and Christmas with the Longbottoms and the Grangers. Dumbledore had been quiet these last few months and it was disconcerning.

Honestly, he had been hoping for Dumbledore to attack or at least do something a bit sooner. The wait was killing Harry. It would suck if Dumbledore would take over Voldemort's end of the year plans, if he made it so far.

Hermione had done some more research into the curse Dumbledore contracted and the prognosis wasn't good. They were surprised that the old man made it so far already. Most people cursed by this particulair curse didn't make it to day three. But Dumbledore was powerful and very intelligent even with his age and mental faculties going down. Harry was also suspecting something else, Snape was a brilliant potions master who had been in the caste the first few weeks after Dumbledore got cursed.

It wouldn't be unlikely for the man to still be supplying Dumbledore with Potions to manage the dark curse killing him.

His friends agreed. Susan send a note to her aunt with their speculations and from then on it was a waiting game. With the wards healthy and active Dumbledore wouldn't be able to get to Harry himself. Even Snape had a lot less access to Harry this year as he was only allowed to teach the NEWT classes anymore.

Professor McGonagall hadn't been able to fire the man yet since he was a brilliant potions master, but most of all, it wouldn't do to alert Snape to their future plans. Amelia had asked her to keep an eye on the sour man, so she made the best of it.

At least she had been able to make sure that Professor Snape would have no contact with anyone under 17. Snape had no patience for children so this solution was for the best. It suited everyone perfectly both for the teacher and the students. Harry was just glad there would be no more traumatised children after a Potions class.

Harry also got together with Gran and Neville a few times that month to continue to learn about his Houses and the duties that came with them. In one of those conversation they talked about Dumbledore and his parents.

Gran had a lot to say about Dumbledore and his actions, "He's not what anyone would consider a dark wizard in a traditional sense, dear. He's never had your best interest at heart, and your parents didn't have the chance to truly realize the ramifications of that. They never got to grow past the stage of Albus Dumbledore being their all knowing Headmaster. "

Harry had to agree. Dumbledore might have a magical form of Dementia but that didn't make his crimes less bad. He still did them. He still made the decision to self-medicate instead of seeking help. To Harry, that meant he was responsible for all of it.

His parents had trusted Albus Dumbledore, and while he hadn't killed them himself, Dumbledore had made it strangely easy for Voldemort to find them. There had been so many other, much safer options than the cottage in Godric's Hallow. They got talking about the magical sacrifice his parents had made for him and how that memory haunted him.

Then Gran told him something that made his heart break all over again, "Believe me, Lily regretted nothing in the last moments in her life, but the fact that she would not be here anymore to love and protect you. The same counts for James." She took his hand into her wrinkled one and continued, "It's a parents job, Harry, to protect their children and even sacrifice their own if necessary. In that Albus was right, love is the most powerful magic of all."

Harry barely understood love for most of his life and even now he knew he reacted differently to some things his peers found normal. He had a loveless childhood and if it wasn't for the friends he made here at Hogwarts, Harry was pretty sure he'd never have known anything good. Ron and later Hermione taught him about friendship and later, thanks to Hermione, a sweet kind of love. Befriending Neville gave him a brother he didn't know he needed and with him, a grandmother. Harry was grateful for them all, but he still felt like his missed something.

Harry didn't have parents, people who could teach and guide him, for the longest time. Harry didn't have people in who he could recognise parts of himself in. Sirius had been the closest to that but even he had not quite filled the void. If only Sirius had gotten enough time to offer the Blood-Adoption himself. Now Harry just saw his parents when he looked in the mirror, which was a cold comfort yet better than nothing.

Sirius taught him about family but he died so quickly. Sirius's death almost destroyed Harry and sometimes he wondered if Dumbledore planned for something like that. Why else pick that exact moment to tell Harry the Prophecy? Not to mention how Dumbledore handled Sirius whole situation. He could have done so much more than he did with all his fame and his jobs. Sirius could have been free if only Dumbledore did more than the bare minimum. Harry was furious about that.

Harry was furious about a lot of things if he was honest. But he didn't want to be. He didn't want to be a bad person. Harry didn't want to be someone like uncle Vernon, Tom Riddle or Snape. Harry could think of nothing worse, yet it wouldn't have taken much. He just felt deep inside of him like he owned it to his parents to be the best man he could be.

Remembering what Gran told him that first lesson, "One of the first things I will teach you, Harry Potter, is what it means to be a good man, a thing that has nothing to do with light or dark magic."

And she did. She taught him and Neville everything she knew, everything they needed to become good men, good Lords in the magical and muggle world. Harry never had good rolemodels in his life, but Gran really was that. She was strong, honest and intelligent. Everything Harry could aspire to be.

Gran had also been very proud to see their Animagus forms. Harry was now capable to turn at will, all at once. Neville too was turning into his bear, though not as quickly or all at once as Harry was. He still had to transform part by part but that too was going better every time.

Hermione was almost there too, her leopard was a powerful and beautiful cat who liked to play. Harry loved to play with her in her cat form though she did tend to cheat when chasing each other. Hermione was a very good climber in her Animagus form and liked to use that to win.

They also sometimes slept together in their forms. It was very reassuring to sleep like Grim, to smell Hermione next to him as they lay curled up together. It made the nightmares he still had sometimes go away.

Susan was still stuck on her German Shephard form. She was able to turn her arms and legs into paws and she got the tail but nothing else as of yet. Though that wasn't surprising. The Animagus Transformation was a NEWT-level technique.

Hannah, Luna and Ginny had all managed to find their own inner animal. Luna, to no ones surprise, was indeed an owl. Snowy like Hedwig with big blue eyes.

Ginny was a fierce looking horse, black as night with brown eyes and Hannah was a pretty little doe of some kind. It took some research to find her breed, a Northern Pudu. They are the smallest kind of deer in the world and are most commonly found in South America.

All three of them were trying to transform their limbs into their animal version but it was slow going. It was a very difficult progress and Harry was still surprised he had managed it in such a short time.

On one of the other Hogsmeade weekend Harry met there with Amelia, Gran, Moody, Andromeda and Ted. They needed to come up with a plan to trap Dumbledore in a way he couldn't escape. Moody had a lot to tell them about his old friend. Things no one had known and Dumbledore would surely be furious to find out they now knew.

Moody confessed what he knew.

"I believe him a deeply flawed man with delusions of a future of his own design," Moody said roughly. "A vision so grand that he turned Gellert Grindelwald's head with it. Albus only backed away from his lover when his younger sister Arianna was killed. I've long feared that Dumbledore saw an opportunity to get rid of Arianna that day, and he used Gellert as a chance to do it. His sister was holding him back, and Albus had dreams of his own. Though I do think he regretted it, after it was done. He has carried that guilt for as long as I have known him. "

It was shocking to hear but Moody wasn't done yet. This was clearly a secret that the old Auror was glad to finally tell.

"He was a powerful and arrogant youth and now he is a deeply disturbed adult. The disease seems to make much of the lessons he's learned in the the years after Arianna's death to disappear. It's like all his empathy is gone. So now we have a powerful, intelligent and sociopathic Albus Dumbledore out for Harry's life."

Andromeda put in her own two cents, "Magical Dementia is different from the muggle version. It can be different from everyone. Dumbledore seems to be suffering on a emotional level yes, but also like all his reason has disappeared. We basically have a young and in love with Grindelwald version of Albus Dumbledore here."

That was exacly it. It was like all Dumbledore's emotions, his empathy was gone. All what was left were his own goals and ambitions no matter the cost. An up coming dark lord.

"But the fact remains," Amelia said gravely, "is that he never sought treatment even thought he knew about his disease. This means he is culpable for the crimes he committed. We need to stop him before he does something even worse."

They also discussed some more about the Prophecy. Harry still wondered often why the man had never checked up on him while he lived with the Dursleys, why he had involved himself in Algie's Longbottom madness. Sometimes he thought Albus Dumbledore wanted them weak, easily led by the one who saved them and brought them to Hogwarts. Sharing his thoughts with his people, Harry wasn't even surprised anymore to see them agreeing with him.

"To make one or both of the boys equal to Voldemort," Amelia Bones said flatly. "That's the cruelest thing I've heard in some time and it's foolish as hell! Like Fate needs his help!" She huffed and shoved a whole biscuit in her mouth which she chewed on furiously.

Gran nodded, "Albus always had some strange and often arrogant ideas but this takes the cake! He purposly tried to make the childhoods of my grandchildren as bad as possible."

Ted took ahold of his wife's hand, "Enough is enough. Surely you have enough evidence by now to arrest him, Amelia?"

Amelia looked chagarined, "Arresting him isn't the problem, Ted. While Harry has done a good job on making sure Dumbledore has as little allies left as possible, he's still very powerful. Catching him and holding him will be difficult."

Harry nodded, "We need to trap him."

They decided that they would try to lure Dumbledore out using Snape. Amelia was sure that Snape was supplying Dumbledore with the potions to manage his curse and as so far he was the only one they found who had a way contacting Dumbledore. The original plan had been to catch Snape in the act but the sour man had been careful with his communications with the former Headmaster.

Harry and his friends had been the ones to come up with the lure. They would be 'accidentely' be overheard talking about a ritual by Snape. A ritual to summon all the Horcruxes to them in a way to defeat Voldemort for ever.

Not that such a thing existed. But Dumbledore was still in the belief that Voldemort wasn't really gone. That Harry was still a Horcrux and thus needed to die.

Harry found it strangely fitting to use Snape this way. The man had saved his life yes, but he was also a horrible bully and a seriously bad teacher. Harry would always feel ashamed of how his father treated Snape in their Hogwarts years but that was no excuse of how Snape treated children in his care.

Andromeda had only this to say about Professor Snape when they got to that subject, "Snape prefers to life a solitary life. He'd rather invest himself in mourning a woman that was never going to be his than actually work to repent for his terrible decisions. He has no family, no friends. He's somehow in debt to Albus Dumbledore and will do anything he can to survive. Even if that meant playing both sides."

Andromeda had told him about Snape's obsession with his mother some time ago and it wasn't any less horrifying now then it was then. It was sickening to know that Andromeda meant his own mother by that. The dour Professor Severus Snape, who liked to bully his own students had once been best friends with Lily Evans. Apparently, the man had wanted to become even more than that. Ugh.

So they would do a bad job of hiding themselves when talking about the supposed ritual they were planning on doing. They had found a abandoned field outside of the wards where Amelia, Gran, Andromeda, Ted and Moody would be hidden, waiting for the moment Albus Dumbledore would appear. The adults would trap him together and then Amelia would arrest him.

Unfortunately, they hadn't counted on Snape himself.

Harry was walking together with Hermione around the Black lake when he felt a hand on his shoulder and a soft voice in his ear just before he felt the squeeze of apparation saying, "I'm sorry Potter, but I need you to come with me."

"Harry!" Hermione's desperate scream of his name was the last thing he heard.

They appeared in a familiar building. Deep scrathes and old furniture surrounded them and Harry immediately knew where he was, the Shrieking Shack. Snape disarmed him from his holly wand and told him with a bit of a sneer, "Just do as you are told, Potter, however difficult that will be for you and everything will be alright."

Deciding to keep the second wand hidden and just wait for a moment, Harry carefully moved his hand towards his pocket where he felt his DA coin. When Snape's attention was off him for a moment, Harry quickly sent his location to the others their own coin. Sending a message was easy with Hermione's brilliant spellwork. Now he just had to wait for the calvary to arrive.

A pop sounded and there he was, Albus Dumbledore. He looked seriously bad. His whole arm was now black and wrinkled like a piece of thoroughly burned meat and his eyes had lost their merry twinkle. Albus Dumbledore looked like he was on death's door.

"Ah Harry, my dear boy, how nice of you to join us." Harry fought the urge to curse the insane old man. Nodding towards Snape, Dumbledore asked as if Harry was just visiting, "Severus, my boy, if you would secure our guest?"

Ropes shot around him and Harry started to get nervous. Just what was Dumbledore planning on doing to him? Hopefully Amelia and the others would get here soon because Harry got the feeling Dumbledore was going to try his very best to kill Harry.

Dumbledore took out his own wand and levitated Harry to the middle of the room. Setting him none to gently down he made a unfamiliar movement with his wand which caused a ritual circle to appear.

"Dumbledore! What are you doing?!" Harry shouted angrily. Snape walked around the circle, inspecting if everything was ready. Harry had really hoped his Professor wasn't willing to kill one of his own students but it seemed like he was wrong.

"My dear boy, this is clearly your own fault. If you just had done what I wanted you to do then none of this would have been necessary. Really, you've only got yourself to blame." Shaking his head in disappointment Dumbledore was the picture of a disappointed grandfather.

"It's my fault you've gone crazy and kidnapped me? Dumbledore, you need to seek help. Go to Saint Mungos, please. Professor Snape, surely you see this is wrong?" Harry had to be truly desperate to ask Snape of all people for help but here he was.

Snape looked like he had little patience left when he told Harry, "Mr. Potter, Professor Dumbledore is doing this for your own good. You ignorant boy have been carrying something truly horrifying for most of your life. Albus can get it safely out with a ritual, you just have to do what he says."

The Horcrux. Snape seemed to be under the impression that Dumbledore was able to get it out and keep Harry alive but Harry knew that wasn't true. The goblins told him that there wasn't anything a wizard could have done to help him, only the goblins could have.

"Yes, I certainly can. It's for the greater good, Harry. This ritual will free you." Oh Merlin, Dumbledore was going to kill him, wasn't he?

Then multiple loud pops sounded as Amelia, Andromeda, Gran, Moody and Ted apparated into the Shrieking Shack. Ropes and stunners shot out and soon both kidnappers were bound in ropes, unable to move.

Shocked at how quickly they turned the situation around, Harry tried to escape his bounds. Unfortunately, he couldn't reach the knife Mr. Granger had given him. Harry was still stuck with in the ritual circle but that too was quickly taken care of. Ted broke the circle with his foot and freed him from the ropes binding him.

"You okay, kid?"

Standing up with the help from Ted, Harry responded, "Yeah, I guess so. They were mostly just talking."

Dumbledore sighted in disappointment, "You don't know what your messing with Mr. Tonks, Madam Bones. I was doing this for the greater good! The boy is dangerous!"

Amelia snorted, "Dangerous? The only one dangerous here to the wellbeing of others is you, Albus Dumbledore."

"Amelia please, I did what was necessary, don't you see?" Dumbledore managed to look pitful in his bound and half dead state. Snape was staying quiet, perhaps feeling that there was more going on here.

Andromeda puffed up in anger, "Necessary? It was necessary to leave a magical child in an abusive home? It was nessecary to put him in so much danger time and time again? To do nothing to help my cousin get free? I think not!" She had never before looked so much like a furious Black. Like a lioness defending her cub she voiced her objections in a dangerously calm voice, her magic swirling around her.

"Andromeda, my dear girl, it was for the greater good, please believe me. The boy needed to be tempered for what he was carrying. He needed to be weak and unable to give anything up to the leech in his head." He shook his head, "But you've healed him and now the boy is going dark, becoming more like Tom, because of it. It wasn't necessary to heal him, don't you see? It was better if you all just left it alone."

"All of it is necessary," Augusta hissed, and Dumbledore hobbled back as best as he could. "I'm not one of your little fans, Dumbledore. I don't care what you think or what you believe. Every child deserves love, a good home. Every child deserves to get the best care possible. Only a monster, a dark wizard would believe otherwise."

"I am not a dark wizard. I am the Leader of the Light!" Spittle flew out of Dumbledore's mouth as he shouted. Harry felt like he was watching a child throwing a tantrum, or an eleven year old Dudley when he didn't get enough presents. A dangerous one though.

Then Moody joined the conversation, his magical eye whirling, "Albus, my old friend, don't you see what you are doing? James and Lily would be horrified. This is not what they wanted for their only child. You've meddled enough."

"James and Lily were young, and they made foolish choices," Dumbledore said gravely. "Look at the man they choose to be their child's godfather, a thoughtless, dangerous boy who sought revenge over the safety of his godson and recklessly entered fights which eventually led to his death."

"Sirius Black was ten times the man you are! He was a good man and he would have been a wonderful dad, if you had let him be. But that wasn't what you wanted now was it, Dumbledore? You needed me weak, grateful for being saved from my horrible relatives. You, Albus Dumbledore are just as bad as Voldemort was. A monster."

Harry saw at the corner of his eye Snape snap to attention. Did he notice the past tense? Harry hoped so.

"I was acting on behalf of the greater good," Dumbledore protested.

"No, you were not. You were doing what you thought best, without any thought spared to others." Harry said quietly. Dumbledore opened his mouth to protest.

"No, Albus, Potter is right." Snape finally spoke up interrupting the former Headmaster, "Even if only half of this is true, then it was not for the greater good. This is madness, Albus. You told me you were going to help the boy. You know my vow."

"What vow?" Harry asked the dour man bound in ropes in the corner.

Snape looked at Harry, hesitating.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled maliciously as he told Harry with far to much glee, "Do you know which Death Eater overheard the Prophecy, Harry? Severus here heard the first few lines and immediately ran to tell his master."

Sound stopped. Everything stopped. Harry could hear his heart beating in his ears as he turned towards his Potions Professor.

"What?" He croaked.

"It was the biggest mistake of my life." Snape said quietly, pale faced. "Lily was my best friend and I loved her more than anyone. She was everything I wanted in life. When I heard that the Dark Lord thought it was her baby..."

Dumbledore continued gleefully, "He came to me and begged for her life. Only her life and no one else. Not her husband and not her child. Only Lily. Unfortunately, he was to late. James and Lily Potter got killed and you survived."

Blood roared in his ears, "My parents are dead because of you. Both of you."

"I am sorry, Potter."

Was he? Or was he just sorry Harry had survived where Lily didn't?

Albus just shrugged as the ropes fell away with a wave of magic, "It was for the Greater Good."

With a casual wave of his hand everyone but Harry went stiff, petrified. Amelia, who had Dumbledore's wand in her pocket was moving her eyes frantically. Unfortunately, Dumbledore got there first.

"Ah Harry, you should just have done as I wanted you to. Now I need to get the Horcrux out with force and who knows what will happen then? It was supposed to be Tom, you know my boy. Then it was the way Fate intended it, but you ruined it all with your foolishness!"

Harry got in a battle ready position, "I ruined it? As if Fate needs your help! They way I see it, you ruined everything with your meddeling. Shame on the both of you, making war on a child." He swiftly took out his second wand and watched Dumbledore's look of surprise.

With a look of disapproval he asked, "Where did you get that wand?"

"Sirius left me a lot of stuff, old man. He wanted to take care of me even after his death, like the good man, good father he is!" Harry was done with people bad-mouthing his father. He was done with everything. It was time to get on the offensive.

"Diffendo! Stupify! Expelliarmus!" Harry's spell chain was perfect but Dumbledore easily deflected it.

"Very well, if you want to do it the hard way, the hard way it is. You will never defeat me, child. I am the owner of the Elder Wand!" Dumbledore grandstanded.

The what? Wasn't that some all powerful wand from a children's story? No matter, Harry would try his best as always. The fight began and it was thrilling. Fighting all out was amazing. If only Harry wasn't fighting for his life. Dumbledore was truly brilliant even with his dimished mind and health. But to Harry's surprise, he could keep up.

Diving and ducking around the spells his former Headmaster cast, Harry found he was doing well. He could win this if he just timed it right. Brilliant lights flashed and Harry felt a cutting curse hit his leg.

He fell down on one knee with a slightly exaggarated grunt and saw the triumph enter in Dumbledore's eyes. He lowered his wand. Dumbledore approached him, looking ready to start gloating. The duel could have lasted anything between a minute or a hour but it ended with a seemingly simple spell as the older man was distracted by his fake win.

Subtly and silently casting, "Expelliarmus!"

Dumbledore's wand flew from his hand into Harry's. Taking advantage of his shock, Harry quickly bound, stunned and disarmed the man of any potential weapons or portkeys.

It was over.

Harry stunned the Headmaster once more for good measure and went to un-petrify everyone. Andromeda held back a very unlike her sob as she hugged the life out of him.

Saying over Andromeda shoulder, "Amelia? Do you have the magic suppression cuffs? I think we need them."

She nodded and Harry turned his attention back to his aunt.

"Oh Merlin, Harry, you were so brave, honey. Here, let me look at your leg. That looked like a nasty cutting curse." She quickly healed the deep cut and went back to hugging him. Ted gave up on waiting and just gave him a hug around his wife and patted him manly on his back. Was this what family felt like? He loved it.

"Good job, Harry. You really kicked his arse!" Ted said in a very Tonks-like way. Harry had to laugh. He did, didn't he? He actually beat Albus Dumbledore in a one on one fight.

Escaping the hug he turned towards Gran, who was staring at him with tears in her eyes. She approached him shakingly and straightend out his hair and clothes before she gave up and just hugged him, hard.

"I am so very proud of you. You did it, Harry."

"Well done, lad." Moody piped up from behind Gran. Amelia to clapped him on his back and went over to Dumbledore to, this time, truly secure him. She explained that she would have used the cuffs before but that they could be dangerous to use on elderly people. Amelia learned her lesson, it was better to be safe than sorry.

Dumbledore woke up from the stunners and flushed in fury when he noticed his predictment.

"Give me back the wand," Dumbledore demanded.

"Try and take it," Harry taunted. "Oh wait, you can't. You, the great Albus Dumbledore, the Leader of the Light, got beaten by a sixteen year old Hogwarts student."

Snape rolled his eyes at Harry's words and seemed to hold back some comment about Harry's arrogance. Smart man. Harry didn't care anymore. Both Snape and Dumbledore would be taken into custody and Harry would finally be free to live his life. All he wanted now was go to Hermione. He was so glad she hadn't come here with the rest of them. Dumbledore and Snape would have used her against him. They knew what she meant to him.

Dumbledore's cheeks flushed with fury. "I'm not afraid of you."

"That's because you're an arrogant twat with an inflated sense of personal prowess," Amelia declared as she clasped the magic surpressing cuffs aroud his wrists. Due to his age and health, as Amelia already predicted, Albus Dumbledore finally fell unconscious as his magic was blocked.

It was done. Harry was safe.

Chapter Text

Epilogue:

It's been fifteen years since that one summer before his sixth year. The summer after in which everything changed for Harry. So much had happened because of that one realisation and the plan Sirius made for him before his death. Harry was forever grateful for Sirius for helping him stand on his own, giving him the means to survive.

The trials at the end of the second Wizarding War had been horrifying to listen to. Amelia had cleaned up the Ministry from all corruption and got all the known Death Eaters with some help from Croaker. Honestly, she told them it was quite simple. While interrogating them, they dosed the suspect with a truth potion. Not a very strong one, just one strong enough to encourage them to tell the full truth.

They all told Amelia and Croaker of all the people they knew who were either Death Eater themselves, corrupt or doing something illegal. She cleaned up the Ministry and opened up a lot of jobs for muggleborns and halfbloods. Finally people could get a job because they were the best for it instead of how pure their blood was or their connections.

Amelia Bones became the best Minister of Magic in modern history while she wasn't even a year in office yet.

Fudge had even been one of the first to be accused. Soon sentenced for corrupion, he was forced to donate all the money he made to charity and would still be paying his debt of for the rest of his life. Cornelius Fudge was never heard of again.

Harry had been expected to attent the trials himself in one of his seats as a Lord of the Wizengamot, so he had heard every word, every deed these people had done. Dumbledore's had been the worst of them but Snape's, Lupin's, the Malfoys and Umbridge's hadn't been easy to witness either.

It was uncomfortable to hear about Snape's love or obsession of Lily Potter while the man was under a truth potion. Everything he did after passing the Prophecy to Voldemort was for her and for her alone. He even admitted that the only reason he kept protecting Harry, other than his vow and guilt, was because of his eyes, his mothers eyes. He wanted to keep that small part of Lily in his life. As if Harry's eyes were the only thing he got from his mother. Dumbledore took advantage of that obsession but Snape allowed it quite happily.

Severus Snape got charged with three years in Azkaban and a lifelong community service for the kidnapping of an underage child and the years he spent as Death Eater. A light sentence, but Snape had mostly been a Potions Master and spy for Voldemort and had not been part of the raids. He would be providing potions for Saint Mungos for the rest of his life and will never be allowed to teach or be in any way responsible for children again. Harry was satisfied with that.

Dolores Umbridge had been found guilty for the torture of underage children, treason and corruption. Her delight in her time in the detentions she assigned her so-called 'misbehaving' students was obscene. Thirty-nine students came forward, all with scars on the back of their hands. She was still serving her life sentence in Azkaban. Harry, and all of her victims, couldn't be happier to know that the Toad was finally getting her punishment without the escape of death.

Lupin, Remus Lupin was more difficult. In his trial it had come out that he was mentally unstable due to broken pack bonds. His mind was broken, his wolf furious and lashing out. The Wizarding World knew little about werewolves and had even less sympathy for Remus Lupin after his crimes against their Boy-Who-Lived came out. He too got sentenced to Azkaban.

Lupin would serve a eleven year sentence in the prison. A year for each year he didn't check up on Harry while he was living on Privet Drive. It was a bit extreme Harry thought but Remus had shared some worrying views while he was being questioned. 

Remus would be in prison almost as long as Sirius had rotted in there. Harry hoped they'd given the wolf Sirius old cell.

The trial of the three Malfoys had been hard for Harry. Narcissa and Draco were members of the House of Black even though he wasn't sure if he wanted to keep them. In their trial in came out that Draco had been marked already. Voldemort had given him the job of killing Dumbledore. Draco hadn't wanted too, but he had little choice. Draco had gotten ten years of community service, in the hopes that it would teach the spoiled brat some lessons.

Narcissa got her freedom back. She asked for a divorce and Harry and the rest of the Wizengamot granted it to her. The proud woman had been furious that her husband sold their son to the Dark Lord and wanted nothing to do with him anymore. Narcissa was a snob, and very much a proud pureblood but Harry didn't think her evil. She could stay as a member of House Black.

Lucius on the other hand...

Lucius Malfoy got a life sentence for terrorisme, corruption, fraud and attempted murder. He lost his son, his wife and probably worst of all to the proud man, he lost his reputation. He was still rotting in Azkaban in Bellatrix's old room.

Remus got out a few years ago. Harry heard he moved to France where he joined a werewolf community for a little while before he left them too and disappeared. Lupin never contacted any of them and Harry found he was alright with that. The man was no friend, no family to him. Tonks and her family were quite relieved that Remus kept away, she would have cursed him silly as soon as he showed his face for what he had done.

Sometimes Harry wondered if perhaps Andromeda and Ted had done something to his former teacher for what he did to their daughter but it was just as likely that the man had run away. Either way, Remus would never get to hurt Tonks's baby boy with his self-hatred.

Reminiscing while laying in bed, curled up with his wife wasn't something he got to do often and this time wasn't any different. The bedroom door opened and little footsteps approached the bed.

"Dad! Daddy!" Harry opened his eyes and groaned quietly as his son tried to climb up the side of the bed. Their bed was a big wooden four poster bed, large enough to fit a big family in it if they'd wanted to. Unfortunately, it was a bit too high for his little boy to reach on his own.

After he slipped off the covers for the second time, James pouted as he let out a demanding, "Daddy!"

His wife mumbled quietly from where she was burried under the covers, "He's your son when it's this early."

Snorting, Harry reached out and picked the four year old up and pulled him on the bed. "James Wendell Potter, why are you awake already? The sun is barely up."

James gave him look that made Harry happy he didn't know the word 'imbecile' yet. It was the same one James mother gave him when Harry did something particularly stupid. His son was a sweet boy, smart and as energetic as most boys his age are. His grandparents portrait told him that he was much like Harry's father in his childhood, just a bit less spoiled. Alphard's portrait said the same, just about Sirius. Either way, Harry didn't mind. James was perfect just the way he was, if you asked him.

"Mummy!" James whisper-shouted happily as the boy crawled over Harry to reach her. "It's my birthday! The best day of the whole year!"

"Really?" Hermione asked and pulled him into a warm hug as James cuddled up to her. "Congratulation then! But love, did you notice that your shirt is on inside-out and that your socks don't match?"

"Dobby said it's better when socks don't match," James declared solumnly before turning his begging eyes on his parents. "It's my birthday! We have to go and make my super special birthday breakfast, Mum. Can Daddy come help me make the super secret birthday pancakes?"

Harry snorted, Dobby still loved his socks to Effy's fond exasperation. The stranger and more colorful the better, and Harry had the feeling that all of his children would be wearing their socks just like him. Currently, James was wearing one bright Gryffindor red sock with little moving snitches on it and on his other foot a brown one with green cats on it.

Hermione shot him a smirk, "Yes, your Dad will go help you make your birthday pancakes, won't he?"

Fighting back a groan ant the thought of getting up already, Harry rolled his eyes at her over James head. Hermione was lucky she was such a bad cook, no one ever asked her to help them cook something, lucky woman.

Smirking back at her over their son's dark curls he said, "And your mum needs to go and prepare Lyra for the day, doesn't she, James?"

"Yes! Mummy go get Lyra for my birthday breakfast!"

Hermione raised an eyebrow at their son and he quickly amended, "Mummy, could you please get Lyra so we can eat my super secret birthday pancakes together?"

Kissing James on his forehead she agreed and went to get up and out of bed to get their two year old daughter. Harry had to keep a stupid smile of his face when her night shirt caught on the small bumb of her stomach. James didn't know yet, but he would be getting another sibling in about six months.

Harry and Hermione have been together for fifteen years and still Harry couldn't believe his luck. They'd dated for five years before Harry asked Hermione to marry him in front of her parents at a family dinner. Then they had a long engagement, since they first wanted to focus on their careers. Harry married his best friend on their ten year anniversary surrounded by their friends and family.

Harry got his mastery first in Defense and then Transfiguation. It took four years of work and study in a magical college in Italy with Hermione and Neville but they did it. Afterwards they came back to England permanently and Harry became a teacher at Hogwarts. He didn't live there as most teachers of Hogwarts did as he and Hermione wanted to live in Potter Manor, as a family.

Harry also sat together with Neville in the Wizengamot. He had his four votes, Black, Peverell, Slytherin and Potter and Neville had his Longbottom vote as Susan had her Bones vote. Harry and his siblings in all but blood made for a very powerful voting block together with their allies.

They had been making a lot of changes. Good ones.

Harry needed to make the Wizarding World a better place for his children. It was hard work, but with the help of his friends and allies it was happening. There were now laws in place for the treatment of House Elves. They might need their bond to a witch or wizard, but Harry fought for their rights to be treated humanely. Abuse was abuse and Harry would not tolerate it.

They also made more laws to make sure no child was left in an abusive home. There was now the option of an orphanage for underage wizards and wizard for the worst cases or if there was nobody left to take the child in. Molly Weasley was in charge of it since the time all her children left the Burrow and she was feeling empty nest-like. She excelled in taking care of lonely children, Harry knew.

Now they were working on making foster families more of a thing in the Wizarding World. The kids deserved a family of their own and Harry would try his very best to make sure they got a good one.

Perhaps Hermione and he would take one in sometime in the future. They have the space, money and love enough for ten children and Hermione told him recently that three pregnancies were enough.

Harry understood. He had never been more horrified and in awe of his wife as she was giving birth to their children.

Hermione got her mastery in Law, Charms and Potions. She became a fearsome lawyer and politican and was fighting for the rights of creatures and muggleborns. She was also his proxy for the Wizengamot. Harry had four seats so he had asked Hermione, Andromeda and Gran to fill them when he couldn't.

The poor old geezers of the Wizengamot feared the days Harry couldn't make it. His proxy's were delightfully vicious.

Looking at his son while he was putting the 'secret ingredient' that looked a lot like chocolate chips into the batter with such a concentrated look on his face, his little pink tong sticking out, Harry was stuck by the feeling of absolute joy. Harry's life had been difficult but looking at his son, knowing his wife and daughter were upstairs getting ready for the day, he knew he would do it all over again just to have this.

His sixth year at Hogwarts after Dumbledore's arrest had been surprisingly normal. The whole school had been relieved to know the man was finally caught. They could breath again, knowing that the danger has passed.

Dumbledore got a full health scan by multiple Healers and they all agreed with Andromeda, Dumbledore had a magical version of dementia which he had been self-medicating. Self-medicating poorly. The wit-shaperning potions addiction came with it's own drawbacks but all the Healers agreed that Dumbledore had been mostly sound of mind when commiting his crimes.

Albus Dumbledore had once been a good man. Unfortunately, his disease stripped him of all that made him so.

He had been suffering for around twenty years and no one noticed a change in his behavior, but Harry wasn't surprised by that. The people in the Wizarding World were lazy sheep for the most part. Dumbledore had known what he had to do to keep being in power and he did everything he could to do it.

In his trial it all came out. The laws he passed, the changes he made, the things he did in Hogwarts. What he did in the war.

He had asked Lily and James Potter to move to the cottage knowing it was less safe than Potter Manor. He thought he knew what the Prophecy meant and went to make sure it happend as he thought it should. He might not have killed them himself but he made it possible that it could happen.

Dumbledore had wanted Harry to have as much as the same upbringing as Tom Riddle had, to make sure Harry really was the boy's equel. Dumbledore told the Wizengamot in his potion induced droning voice how it was sad to see James and Lily Potter light snuffed out but that it had to happen for the Greater Good.

There needed to be a recess called after that. Harry sat there, frozen, in his box. Voldemort might have been the weapon, but Dumbledore had been the hand guiding them all. His parents were dead because of the both of them.

It also came out that Dumbledore had known about Sirius innocence for years and the way Harry was treated on Privet Drive. He had known Quirrell was possesed and purposely put Harry and all the other students in danger to test Harry. Not to mention all that happened in Harry's other years at Hogwarts.

Dumbledore had been behind most, if not all of the danger Harry found himself in, and if he wasn't then he allowed it to happen.

For his crimes Dumbledore got his magic permanently bound and he got sentenced to a life in Azkaban. Some people wanted the death sentence but due to his illness and curse, it was decided that Azkaban was a better punishment for the little time the man had left. Harry was satisfied, Dumbledore didn't deserve a quick end. Let him suffer from the rotting curse as he slowly died, magic bound and helpless.

And as it turned out, Fawkes was happy to be rid of his former companion. He was still living in Hogwart but now he was often found in Harry's office or classroom if he wasn't with Professor McGonagall in her office.

In his trial it also came out what exactly happened with Grindelwald and where the man was now. Dark Lord he might have been but he didn't deserve the total isolement he was in now in Nurmengard. Moving him was an easy decision now that Dumbledore wasn't there to block it anymore.

Grindelwald and Dumbledore shared adjoining cells for about a year before Dumbledore died. Grindelwald joined him within a day. Good riddance, Harry and his friends and family thought.

Rita had written a book about the star-crossed lovers. She also had written a book about Dumbledore called: The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. It was a very populair book. It was a warning to never give a man so much power again.

"Daddy? Isn't the pancake done now?" A voice asked.

Harry focused and saw that a very brown pancake was sizzeling in the pan. Ruffling his son's messy hair, Harry decided to pay a bit more attention before he burned the Manor down around them.

Hermione came into the kitchen carrying their sleepy daughter. Lyra Lily Potter-Black was recently two years old and a mirror image of her mother, just with Harry's coloring. Her big green eyes twinkled at him as she made grabby hand in his direction.

Kissing her head as he did every morning, he turned back to the pancakes he was baking.

Dobby and Effy popped in with their own daughter, a cute little Elfling called Libby. The couple had been with them for so long now that they had become a true part of their family. They regularly ate together although the Elves did have their own little home on the grounds of Potter Manor.

Winky joined them soon after and took over the cooking so Harry could sit with the birthday boy who had lost interest in making the pancakes and was now playing peek-a-boo with his little sister. Winky had become the nanny Elf of the children and she trived in her job. Kreacher was still living in Grimmauld Place but the grumpy Elf was still an important part of their family.

Sitting down at the table Harry looked at his family and smiled. James's hazel green eyes were shining as he looked at the pile of 'super special birthday pancakes' in front of him. They sang happy birthday as Lyra happily babbled along.

Hermione hugged him and said, "Blow out the candle, love, and make a wish."

James closed his eyes and puffed up his little cheeks as he tried to gather enough air to blow out the candle sitting in the pancakes. Their little chipmunk opened his eyes and blew.

Smiling at the cute scene Harry told the little boy, "Happy birthday, son. Enjoy your pancakes, and as you know this afternoon we will be celebrating your birthday with everybody."

Harry's and Hermione's son didn't need to be told twice. The little boy attacked his pancakes with a joy that reminded Harry of Hedwig viciously snatching up and eating a wild mouse. Hedwig was sleeping now, from a night of hunting together with her mate, Othello and her two children Selene and Helios. His girl had raised her first nest well, and had another one a few years ago.

Selene and Helios were still with them. Hermes was Hermione's owl but he spent most of his time with Hermione's parents. The second brood of Hedwig and Othello had been two little female snowy owls they had called Adara and Astra. They had bonded with Tonks and her family but still visited regulary.

Lyra was enjoying her pancake as much as her big brother from what Harry saw. She was already covered in syrup and was trying to copy her brother's eating habits. Harry handed his wife a napkin and Hermione wiped Lyra's face before doing the same to a pouting James.

Hermione was adding some fresh fruit on her and their childrens plates and Harry decided to copy her. Kreacher and Dobby had found some very nice blueberries, pineapple and watermelon in the markets today so it wasn't any hardship.

Later today all their friends and their families would join them to celebrate James fifth birthday. The group had gotten quite big over the years but luckily, Potter Manor had more than enough room. The Elves had been preparing so everything was ready for the horde that would decent on them for James birthday.

Neville had married Hannah right after Hogwarts. They had four children now who they'd named Hadria, Frank, Alice and Sophie. Hadria was Harry's goddaugther as Neville was James's. Hermione was the godmother of Sophie, Neville and Hannah's youngest daugther. All the children just called them aunt Hermione and uncle Harry.

Neville started teaching Herbology at Hogwarts after he got his Mastery with them in Italy and Hannah started a boarding house in Diagon Alley, a lifelong dream of hers.

Susan married her boyfriend Daniel two years ago and they couldn't be happier. Harry was glad, they'd been starting to worry that Susan would never take that step. Like her aunt, Susan was a bit of a workaholic. Luckily, Daniel had the patience of a saint and picked the right moment to propose. She and Daniel were both Aurors.

Hermione told him that Susan and Daniel had been looking into adoption lately so hopefully there would be more nieces and nephews soon from that direction.

Ginny's still happily single to her mothers despair. She was the seeker for the Hollyhead Harpies and enjoying every minute of it. His friend needed the freedom, Harry knew. Hermione told him in confidence that Ginny had told her she wasn't planning on ever settleling down in the way her mother wanted for her.

Ginny didn't want the 2-3 kids and the little white fence. She wanted adventure, to travel and meet new people. Perhaps someday she would find someone to travel with her but she would never be happy with what Molly wanted for her only daugther.

Luna met her partner Rolf when on one of her expeditions. They had a little boy James age named Lorcan. They were both magizoologist and Luna had also taken over her father's magazine. It had gotten succesful after the war and was now one of the most important rescources on magical creatures.

Ron had married Lavender after an accidental pregnancy in their last year of Hogwarts. The two had started dating the year before and had been disgustingly affectionate with each other, they still were. The couple was now on child number five and Harry wondered if they wanted to field a Quidditch team on their own. Ron works with the twins now in their shop in Hogsmeade after he quit his job at the Ministry and Lavender was a journalist for Witch Weekly.

Fred and George had married Angelina and Katie respectively. Poor woman both got pregnant with twins around the same time. The two sets of identical twins were now eight years old and as mischievous as their fathers. Fred and George had now shops all over Britain and were doing very well. Fred and Angie had two identical girls called Georgina and Lorena.

George and Katie had their twins only a few days later, two identical red-haired boys called Fabian and Fredrick. Katie was pregnant again now and Harry hoped she would give birth soon. The poor woman was already a week past her due date and was complaining to everyone she saw.

Tonks gave birth to her baby a few months before Harry's sixth year ended. She named her son Theodore after her father, Theodore Charles. Little Teddy was a Metamorphus like his mother and Harry's nephew and godson. The boy loved his nephew-uncle sleep overs when Harry was out of Hogwarts. He had given the boy a little toddler toy broom in Sirius honor and the kid had loved it. His parents a little bit less, hence the sleep overs when Hogwarts holidays started.

Charlie eventually married Tonks at little Teddy's two year old urging and together they soon had another two girls, Cassiopeia and Amalthea. Star names for the guy who brought the two together again after their seperation. Teddy, Cassie and Amy Weasley.

Gran, Andromeda and Ted couldn't be happier or prouder at how their family was growing. All of them, with their families joined them that afternoon for James his sixth birthday.

The boy was very excited to see all his cousins and friends again and was running all over the place like an excited puppy. Harry was happy. Happy that his son was so innocently joyful, happy that he could give his children what he never had in his own childhood.

Harry had only seen Dudley again of his own relatives. His cousin had moved to Australia all those years ago with his parents after Harry left them. Dudley had indeed cleaned up his act and had severed all contact with his parents after a big fight while Dudley had been home from college.

You see, Dudley had fallen in love some years ago. He met Yuri in college and they quickly fell in love. Deeply and utterly in love. Yuri was kind, cheerful and patient which was exactly what her socially clumsy husband needed.

Unfortunately, Petunia and Vernon didn't like that their son was seeing a Japanese woman even if she had been born and raised in Australia. That was the last drop as far as Dudley was concerned. He already saw them very little because of how he realised they treated his cousin, but now they also insulted the love of his life.

Dudley never saw them again. He married Yuri, took her name, and together they had two lovely little girls, Hana and Nara Takao. Hana was of an age with Harry's own daughter Lyra and Nara had only been born recently.

Harry had met with his cousin a few times over the years but that was it. Harry didn't know yet if the girls were magical but if they were, then they would be in good hands with his cousin and Yuri. Harry too would be there for them but not yet. It was good that his cousin lived all the way in Australia, for the both of them.

It was still too hard for the both of them, the pain still too fresh. They mostly write each other and sent Christmas carts. Yet Harry knew that if Dudley needed him, or if he needed Dudley, that they would be there for each other. They were family.

Vernon and Petunia lived a lonely life. Their son refused to see them and they had no family or friends. Vernon lost his job and soon Petunia had to find work of her own which made Vernon furious. They kept having little accidents and were just very unlucky overall. To top it all, their house burned down only a month after the big fight with Dudley about his little 'friend'.

What they didn't know is that while Harry didn't want anything to do with them, his loved ones didn't agree to let them go without any punishment. Susan and Ginny might have been the ones that burned their house down and Hermione might have cast a little karma curse on them.

Even Andromeda and Gran had some fun of their own. They made sure the whole neighborhood knew what horrible people they were and cursed them to relive Harry's childhood from his perspective in their dreams. That might have been the best punishment of all. Their neighbors knew what horrible people they were and now even their dreams turned on them.

Even Neville might have gone on a little trip and spooked them a few times in his Animagus form. Just a little chase, so they could feel how it was to be hunted.

Vernon and Petunia Dursley were left a paranoid mess. Alone and unloved with no one to safe them. Hermione was satisfied. Those horrible people would never hurt her husband ever again. She made sure of it.

Harry just pretended he didn't know what they were doing.

"Daddy! Mommy! Look at what Hadria and I made!" James looked so very proud as he stood there with Harry's goddaughter and George's twins. George and Katie and Neville and Hannah came over to see what their little troublemakers had done now. Katie, even holding on George's arm, was waddling everywhere, so close to popping she was.

Hermione kneeled down to their level and admired the drawning, "Well done! Are you having a nice time, James?"

James grinned, "Yes, Mummy! I love my birthday and my presents and my friends!"

Hadria, Fabian and Fredrick nodded very hard behind his son and Harry laughed, "Good. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself."

Suddenly James asked, "Daddy?"

Looking at his nervous son Harry asked back, "Yes?"

James looked down and shuffled with his feet, "Do you think I could get a little brother for my birthday?" James stage-whispered, "It's my special candle wish."

Harry shared a look over his head with Hermione. Hermione nodded subtly and asked their son, "Why are you asking that, love?"

"Well, Hadria got a little brother and Frederick and Fabian will have a little brother soon too! I love Lyra, mummy, but she's a girl. Can you and Daddy get me a little brother too?"

Their adult guests laughed. Harry grinned down at his son and took Hermione's hand in his. Rubbing his finger over the wedding ring on her finger he said, "James, love, we didn't want to tell this just yet but since it is your birthday..."

Hermione continued, "In a few months there will be a little brother for you and Lyra." She put her hand on her stomach and smiled, "Would you both like that?"

James nodded furiously with a happy grin on his face as he hugged their legs before running of with his friends all the while shouting that he was gonna be a big brother again.

Lyra, who was playing with some of the other toddlers on a blanket on the ground asked, "Lyra be big sisser?" Her big green eyes shining.

"Yes, darling." Harry said to his baby girl, "You and James will get a little brother in a few months."

Lyra nodded seriously, "Good."

With that said she turned her attention back to the toys laying on the ground. Hermione laughed gently and put her head on his shoulder. Harry kissed the side of her head and looked at the happy faces of the people surrounding them.

Their friends and family congratulated them. Hermione's parents were especially happy to hear they would be grandparents of another grandchild. Harry had a good relationship with his parents-in-law. They met and ate dinner together at least once a week and the children loved being babysat by them while Harry and Hermione loved some private time of their own.

Soon everybody with young children left and it was only their close family left.

Tonks and Charlie approached with their three children, to say congratulations and goodbye. Charlie was carrying Cassie who was to tired to walk after the busy day. The eight year old and currently purple haired little girl was the youngest of the three and was one hell of a firecracker who loved to run around after her younger cousins and friends.

Teddy stayed behind and asked cheekily, "Uncle Harry, can you help me with my DADA paper? The DA teacher is just so strict, he even wants us to write an 12 inch paper about Wendigo's of all things. In our summer vacation!" The outraged look on his godson's face did it, Harry burst out laughing.

"Sorry, kid. Just be glad I didn't ask my students for even more than that."

Teddy glared, "But you will help me right? It's my OWL year!"

Holding his hands up in the air Harry assured the now blue haired teenager, "Of course I will help you, Teddy. Just floo right over tomorrow, okay?"

"Thanks, uncle Harry. You're a lifesafer!" Harry snorted as Teddy ran of after the rest of his family, his hair turning Weasley red again as he joined his dad and little sister. Teddy was a good kid if a bit on the dramatic side. He was going in his fifth year of Hogwarts after this summer and he was a Hufflepuff. He was good friends with Bill's girl, Victoire Weasley and Ron's oldest daughter Rosalie who were sure to turn up too for his godson's tutoring session.

Teddy's younger sister, Amalthea Andromeda Weasley was going to Hogwarts for her first year this September 1st. The little cute as a button redhead was a shoe-in for Gryffindor, Harry thought, together with quite a few of her cousins.

His nieces and nephew from Tonks and Charlie were wonderful children but boy did they take after Ginny and the twins. His poor sister must be exhausted after managing that every day. On the other hand, Tonks was quite the mischief maker herself.

Harry was just glad that James and Lyra were a lot calmer.

Gran hugged them both and asked, "Shall we meet for tea in a few days? We can celebrate and talk some more about the coming Wizengamot session. Andromeda told me she has some new information for us."

"Madam Nightingale's," Hermione decided quickly. "I'll make reservations for eleven the day after tomorrow for the three of us."

Harry waited until Gran had walked of towards her other great-grandchildren were to ask, "What exactly do the two of you talk about in those meetings?"

"People she saw do something they shouldn't, people she knows did something they shouldn't. She really likes to talk about the old geezers were up to in their youths. I have dirt on half the ministry at this point thanks to her so if we have to blackmail anyone, I'm ready for it." She checked her watch as she looked at the mess left in the garden of Potter Manor. "Shall we wrap this up? James looks about ready to fall asleep on his feet."

"Don't get caught?" Harry asked before continuing with a smirk, "I would hate to have to break you out of prison."

Jokingly putting her nose in the air she replied haughtily, "As if anyone could catch me."

Kissing her, Harry had to agree. Hermione had come a long way from the girl who was more afraid of being expelled than death, he was so proud. His lovely wife, his partner in life and the mother of his children, willing to blackmail the Lords and Ladies of the Wizengamot.

After dinner, as they put their sleepy children to bed James asked through a yawn, "Mummy? Could you and daddy go fluffy for cuddles till I fall asleep?"

Hermione smiled gently and said in a soft voice as not to wake their daughter, "Of course, love. Cuddle up to your sister and we will join you."

James wiggled closer to Lyra who was laying starfish-like in the middle of the bed. Hermione enlarged the bed with a flick of her wand and toe-ed of her shoes. Gently shoving his daughters limbs a bit closer to the rest of her little body, Harry shifted.

Grim had grown even bigger as Harry matured but the children loved him. Fluffy cuddles were one of their favorite kind of cuddles. Carefully jumping on the bed, Harry saw that Hermione had already joined their children. The Cloud Leopard who was his wife was purring gently as she nuzzled James who was quickly falling asleep to his mothers purring.

Laying down next to Lyra who immediately wrapped herself around him, Harry felt a little hand gently petting his head.

"Goodnight, Mummy. Goodnight, Daddy. Thanks for the cuddles, Grim and Swift." The little boy just managed to mumble before he fell asleep.

Just laying there for a moment, enjoying the combined smells of his family, Harry never felt this happy. He had a wonderful family, a job he enjoyed and he was truly healthy. No longer underweight or a piece of someones soul stuck in his head. Harry had everything he hadn't dared to hope for all those years ago when Sirius died.

All he had now began because of Sirius Black's plan and he would be forever grateful to his adopted dad.

Carefully extracting themselves, Harry and Hermione padded out of their son's bedroom. Shifting back into their human form Hermione told him, "I felt the baby move when I transformed into Swift. It's still facinating how different my pregnancies feel when I change into her."

Harry smiled as he put his hand on her barely there baby bumb, "Yeah? I can't wait for him to be here."

"I know, love." Hermione knew how important their children were to Harry. Her husband, who had no blood family of his own, had finally that what he always wanted. Family.

"Harry? You know, I was thinking, what do you think of the name Leo Sirius Potter-Black for our new little boy?"

"Really?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes, I think it's fitting, don't you?"

"Thank you, Hermione. It's perfect. Sirius would love it." Wrapping an arm around her, they went down the living room. His grandparents were still hanging there, as was Alphard. The children loved to talk to them and the portraits loved them right back.

Sitting down for a while with a nice cup of tea brought by Effy, Hermione and Harry took a moment to just be together after the busy day.

They had busy, wonderful lives and they enjoyed every minute of it. Harry loved teaching, he loved changing the world they lived in for the better in the Wizengamot. Hermione loved the debating she got to do for her own job, the people she got to defend and help.

They loved their families, their children. They loved each other.

Hermione crawled closer to him and Harry kissed her, "I love you, Hermione Potter."

She pressed another kiss against his mouth. "I love you, Harry."

"Still?" Harry asked, still feeling stupidly grateful and so very happy at the same time even after the fifteen years already they had together.

"Forever." she promised.