|The Hero and the Veela
Author: JackPotr PM
The events of the second task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament will have great and long lasting effects. Join Harry as he comes into his own with the help of family. Events will push pairing together but not instant soul bond. Harry is angry about his treatment by those at school but not betrayal, mainly disagreements. Good but human Dumbles. Rated T for mild language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Harry P. & Gabrielle D. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 165,741 - Reviews: 595 - Favs: 834 - Follows: 808 - Updated: 12-17-12 - Published: 07-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8358170
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters therein. In addition to this, Auror Hammer is the creation of Old-Crow.
AN: Sorry it has taken me so long to update. I've had most of this chapter written but something just didn't feel right and I played with it for a time. It seems that whenever I got passed whatever it was, the words started flowing once again.
AN2: In response to a couple of reviews. First, I know I said this wasn't a soul bond and I honestly was trying to not treat it as one even though some aspects are screaming soul bond. What I will say is that they have a strong emotional connection but their relationship will develop over time. I didn't want some magical ba-da-boom and they are together. As far as the looking back part goes, I had originally planned on maybe two or three chapters but here we are on number seven and I haven't even gotten to the point that I had originally planned. Again, this will only be Harry and Gabrielle. The contracts were something I hope to have some fun with later. In my eyes, Fleur and Harry are growing into a brother/sister pair that will move heaven and earth for each other so stay tuned.
Um..what else? Oh yeah, thanks for the well wishes for my wife. The doctors have ruled out the worst scenarios and are looking at other options. It is times like these that I wish some of this we write were real. Treating someone with a simple potion would be such a blessing at times.
I hope you enjoy this latest chapter.
"Evidently I either didn't make myself clear enough or you are just going senile and don't care what others say."
"Whatever do you mean Minerva?"
"I thought I made it quite clear in our last staff meeting to leave Lord Potter alone. I swear on my magic Albus, if you keep screwing with his life, I will do everything in my power to help him take you down."
"I have done nothing to Lord Potter."
"That's a load of manticore crap and you know it Albus. He told me about your last meeting. I'm going to say this one last time. LEAVE MY CUB ALONE!"
With that said, she turned and stormed out of the headmaster's office. When next she saw Harry, she said "I don't think I can keep this a secret any longer. It won't be long before one of them cross the line and I hex their bits off."
Harry laughed and said "You can let out the secret anytime you want Nana. We have everything in place and I only kept the secret to protect your privacy."
"I know and I thank you for that. You're a good grandson."
"Aw shucks, thanks Nana."
She smiled and ruffled his hair. He asked "Breakfast in the morning?"
"But of course."
Amelia, Augusta, and Jean had been busy over the last week and had garnered enough support for the trial to be pushed through. While there had been some who wanted to wait and see how things played out, there were a number of families that would be joining the 'Potter-Black' block. Over the course of the week leading up to the Wizengamot meeting, at least one student would approach Harry during lunch and dinner and formally apologize for their actions and ask to be allied with his houses.
During lunch on Sunday, Katie Bell approached Harry and said in a loud and calm voice "Lord Potter, I wish to formally apologize for my actions earlier this school year. We have been teammates for the last four years and you have never given me cause to not believe you. Harry, please forgive me and accept my apology."
Harry stood up and pulled Katie into a hug. He said "Thank you Katie. It was hard for me thinking my big sister didn't believe me."
She had tears leaking out of her eyes as she said "I would also like to formally ask for negotiations to begin for an alliance between our two houses just like it should have been from the start. Again Harry, I'm so sorry."
He whispered "Its okay Katie. Tell your dad to contact Madam Bones or Longbottom and they can work out the details."
She hugged him again as he invited her to sit at the cool end of the table.
That evening, it was two Slytherins who approached Harry. Daphne Greengrass and Tracey Davis apologized and offered alliances with their houses. When Harry accepted, he asked them to sit with him so that they could get to know one another. Fleur was very aware of the hungry looks in most of the female student's eyes when it came to Harry and played her part well as she made it clear that Harry was spoken for by holding his hand and sitting very close to him. Even though they weren't romantic yet, she was going to make sure that Harry was well protected for Gabrielle's sake. It was the unspoken part of the contract that Appoline had clued her in on. In Harry's mind, she was just playing her part to keep him protected from others who sought his power just as he would do for her.
Daphne had told them that by Harry taking the title of Lord Black had pulled a lot of power out from under Lucius Malfoy which had Fleur laughing. When they questioned her, she informed them that the Malfoys were once a client house of the Delacour that had dishonored their position and had been exiled from France.
The girls also informed them to expect several more Slytherins to join his block in the near future but their families' were waiting until the Wizengamot meeting played out to see where things would fall. Harry thanked them for the heads up and asked them to join him anytime. As they were sitting there in enjoyable conversation, Ron came by and asked "Harry, what the hell do you think you are doing by letting those snakes sit at our table?"
Harry looked at him and said "Mr. Weasley, you gave up the right to ask anything of me at the beginning of the year when you chose not to believe me. If you had been my friend, you would still be sitting beside me. As far as Daphne and Tracey are concerned, they have been nothing but delightful company and have even offered an apology even though they never went out of their way to degrade or berate me unlike a certain former best mate of mine."
"But I apologized."
"Yes, I believe that was right before you called my betrothed a Veela half breed. At the very least, you could have apologized to her sister who was present during your derogatory remarks."
Neville said "You really are dense. He means when you called her bad names Ronald."
"Shut it squib, no one asked you."
Harry said "Why do you even care Ron? At least this way you no longer have to save me whenever I get into a dangerous situation."
That comment got quite a few laughs from the hall. Minerva was making her way to the confrontation just as Fred and George quickly grabbed Ron and led him away. Fred said "Keep it up Ron and we will be sending a letter to Dad."
As Minerva approached she said "Lord Potter, while I am aware that you didn't start the scene that just happened, I would appreciate if you would keep further disruptions out of the Great Hall and away from dinner."
He bowed to her and said "Yes ma'am. I apologize and will do my best in the future."
Snape walked by and said "Twenty points from Gryffindor for disturbing my dinner Potter. Miss Greengrass and Miss Davis, I expect to see you in my office in ten minutes to explain your current lack of intelligence."
Daphne stood and said "There is no need Professor Snape. Our fathers, who as you know are the heads of our family, have instructed us to approach the Lord Potter and Black about forming an alliance. As it is family business, we do not answer to anyone except our family heads in this matter."
"Ten points for your cheek. I had thought better of you Miss Greengrass."
"Yes sir. I will inform my father that it is now against school rules to answer a question truthfully and inform him that family business is no longer protected at Hogwarts."
Neville said "As Lord Potter is already aware of this, I will inform Madams Bones and Longbottom. It is quite obvious that the heirs and Lords of the neutral ancient houses are no longer welcome at this institution. I think the Salem Academy is looking better than ever for next year Lord Potter."
"Yes, I think you may be right Scion Longbottom. Please have Lady Augusta contact them for information and brochures that we will have available for our allied houses."
Albus approached and said "Surely that will not be necessary Lord Potter."
"That remains to be seen Headmaster. Good day." Harry turned and strolled out of the Great Hall.
The next day must have been the Ravenclaw's day for making their moves toward Harry. The first to approach him was Luna Lovegood and even though she had never said anything at all to him, she apologized anyway and told him that their mothers had been close friends. He was then approached by Lisa Turpin, Morag McDougall, Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein. After a bit of discussion and apologizing, they were welcomed into the group and told to have their head of family get in contact with either Amelia or Augusta.
The next day was evidently the Hufflepuff day but Susan found it quite disappointing. Her best friend and former honorary big brother (Cedric) didn't even make a move to apologize to them or at least her. For Susan, it had become the last straw and Harry's suite added another bedroom. Evidently the only ones who would brave the ridicule of their house were Ernie Macmillan and Leanne Wells who was one of Katie Bell's closest friends. They both apologized and were asked to join the group. It was now very obvious to the other scions and Albus as to where the power now resided in the upcoming shift of power. Albus was mentally kicking himself for his mistakes with Harry as he saw the days of his influence over British magical society coming to a rather quick end.
The week leading up to the Wizengamot meeting was full of anticipation. All four heads of houses were inundated with requests by the scions of sitting members to attend the Saturday session. Everyone knew it was going to be a historic session and the family heads were going to be relying on their heirs to help them in making a decision that would affect their houses for years to come.
Saturday morning rolled around and there was a large exodus from the school. The scions were in their finest robes as they were retrieved by their parents or family heads at the gates of the school. The only exception to this was Harry, Susan, and Neville who used the floo in their apartment to floo directly to Longbottom Manor. Harry had invited Fleur along as her father was going to be watching from the visiting dignitary section. As Fleur was the scion of House Delacour, she was allowed to join him.
Dobby was waiting for Harry with his Wizengamot robes in hand. Once Harry had donned them, he turned to Dobby and said "Okay my friend, you will be the key to everything today. Keep your ears open and I will let you know what I need whether it is to bring Nana or Blaster to me and then if we get the chance, the dogfather."
"Dobby not let Master Harry down."
"I know you won't. You never have and I'm sorry but I'm just nervous that something will go wrong."
Sirius stepped up and said "Everything will be fine. You have a lot of support so they won't have a choice."
"I know…I just…I guess I'm just scared. There's a lot riding on today."
At that moment, Jean, Appoline, and Gabrielle portkeyed into the manor. Gabrielle ran to Harry and pulled him into a hug. She kissed his cheek and said "Don't worry Harry. You will do fine. We are all here to support you."
Everyone noticed that Harry visibly relaxed into her hug and said "Thanks my little mermaid."
She beamed up at him and said "If you are going to keep calling me that then I guess I will just have to give you a nickname."
Harry laughed and said "Just don't name me something like aquaman; I sank like a rock remember."
Gabrielle got a sad look on her face after he said that and he said "I'm sorry Gabrielle, I didn't mean to upset you. I meant it as a joke."
"I know but it would have never happened if you hadn't tried to save me."
"As if I could leave a beautiful little mermaid down there all alone."
She looked at him wide eyed and asked "You think I'm beautiful?"
At this point, everyone started busying themselves with something else. Harry said "I think you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen."
"But I look like a child."
"For now but I am sure that the beautiful child will grow into an even more beautiful woman."
She looked up at him and said "Just promise me you won't forget about me."
"How could I? Besides we will be seeing each other often and I promise to spend as much time with you as I can since you are my betrothed. Our family knows the truth so it won't be awkward around them."
"If you say so Harry." He bent down and kissed her cheek. He said "Well, thank you for calming me down. I guess I'd better go get this over with. Will you be here after?"
"Oh yes, Papa said we would be having a victory party when you got back."
He kissed her cheek again and said "Good, I will have that to look forward to."
Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore opened the session of the Wizengamot with a bang of his gavel. He said "Before we begin, we have a young lord wishing to take his place amongst this body. Will the petitioner please enter?"
With that said, the doors swung open and Harry strode into the chambers wearing his plum colored Wizengamot robes which were adorned with the crests of both House Potter and Black. As he stepped forward, Albus asked "By what right do you stand before us and petition to join this august body?"
"In the matter of House Potter, by right of line secession from my father Lord James Charlus Potter. In the matter of House Black, my father Lord Sirius Orion Black has relinquished the title to me citing failure to uphold the requirements as stated in the Black family charter."
Cornelius Fudge spoke up and said "Sirius Black is a fugitive and if you have any evidence as to his whereabouts, it would be in your best interest to disclose that information right now. As he is a fugitive, your claim to that title is rejected."
Harry held up his hand and said "The family magic of House Black has already chosen me as its Lord. There is nothing you can do to dispute my right to it."
Fudge said "I may not be able to dispute your claim to the title of Lord Black but I can dispute your right to vote the Black seat on the Wizengamot. Besides, it is a documented fact that you are in fact a half blood so there is no way you would have been accepted as the lord of House Black. What proof do you have of these claims?"
Harry smiled and thought 'He is making this too easy.'
"I can assure you that I am as pure blooded as you. My mother may have been raised in a muggle household but she was born of pure blood."
"I require proof."
"As you wish Minister Fudge. Dobby."
After a soft pop Dobby said "Yes Master?"
"Bring Master Blaster and my grandmother to me please."
"At once Master."
A few minutes later, the doors opened to admit Blaster and Minerva.
Fudge asked "What is the meaning of this and what is Professor McGonagall doing here?"
Harry said "You required proof and you shall have it. Master Blaster, did the Black family magic choose me as the successor to my father as Lord to House Black?"
"Yes Milord and to not waste anymore time, the inheritance test also showed you to be of pure blood."
"May I ask how this is so?"
"Yes Milord, your mother Lily Marie Potter nee Evans was born Lily Marie McGonagall."
All eyes turned to Minerva. She took a deep breath and said "Yes, it is true. I am Lily Potter's natural mother. To my shame, when Christopher died, I was in a deep depression and was not doing my best for my daughter. My parents came in and took her from me for her safety. Due to her neglect in my grief, it was feared that my daughter's core had been damaged so she was taken to some close family friends in the muggle world to be raised. In penance for what I had done to my daughter, I vowed to do my best for other children from that point on."
Harry stepped up and hugged her before turning to Fudge and asking him "Was that satisfactory?"
"Yes, that is acceptable. Professor McGonagall, you have always had my utmost respect and I offer my apologies for forcing this issue into the public's eye."
Minerva gave a slight bow and said "Thank you Minister Fudge but in reality you have done both of us a service by having this exposed."
Albus was looking on and some of the questions he had of late were being answered. Well at least the questions regarding Minerva's behavior as of late. He was quickly formulating a plan where he could remove Minerva's protection and guidance of Harry.
Harry turned to Blaster and said "Thank you for your valuable time Master Blaster. May your gold always flow."
"Yours as well Milord."
After he left, Harry escorted Minerva to the visitors' gallery and sat her beside Fleur. Harry returned to the center of the floor and was trying to remain calm. He asked "Is there anything else you require Minister Fudge?"
Fudge asked "You claimed James Potter and Sirius Black as your fathers. How is this possible?"
Albus spoke up and said "I am aware of a blood adoption ritual being performed."
"That is illegal."
Amelia stood and said "No, it is not. It is merely frowned upon. In most cases, it is done between a godparent and godchild when the godparent is male and has no heirs of his own."
Fudge nodded and asked "Do we have any objections to the petition?"
Albus said "I feel that Mr. Potter-Black is too young to assume his position on this body and ask this court to place him back under my care so that I may guide him and better prepare him for his role in our society."
Harry replied "Are you referring to where you were my alleged magical guardian?"
Albus said "I have acted in that capacity since you were one year old."
Harry said "And we are both well aware of the results of that but the truth is, you were never legally my guardian in the first place."
"I have always assumed that role for all muggleborn children at the school." Albus instantly realized his mistake as Harry smiled.
"That is curious Sir as I am not muggleborn and according to the Potter account manager, my guardianship has never changed even though many attempts have been made to do so."
Fudge asked "What is he talking about Albus?"
Albus was trying to cover himself and replied "The child is merely angry at me for some of the choices I made in his life."
Harry angrily replied "The child is now an emancipated adult and is standing right in front of you and can answer for himself."
Fudge asked "How is this possible?"
Amelia stood and said "As soon as he was entered into the Tri Wizard Tournament, a tournament this very ministry declared could only be for adults, he was emancipated once he was forced to participate. If that weren't true, magic and Gringotts both would have never allowed him to take the title of Lord Black."
Lucius Malfoy sat there and debated whether or not to argue over the title of Lord Black but realized he had already been beaten by the previous statements. The thought of aggravating Lord Black even further would not go well for his family.
Lord Davis stood and said "I think I speak for everyone in this room in saying that we would like to better understand just what Lord Potter and Black is referring to."
Albus said "I don't think now is the time to be going into the details of the life of Mr. Potter-Black."
Lord Bell stood as well and said "I think it is the perfect time. My own Katie speaks very highly of him and I for one would like to understand why you are trying to deny his rights that have been guaranteed to him by our own laws."
Harry stepped forward and said "My Lords, the story of Harry Potter is not something that could be covered in one session of this august body and I for one do not wish to waste any more of your valuable time."
Albus sighed in relief.
Harry spoke again saying "I will indulge My Lords with a condensed version. After my parents were murdered, I was taken away from my rightful guardian and hidden away. Along the way, my parents' wills were sealed until I became emancipated or of age. As I am sure your heirs have informed you, the Harry Potter who showed up at Hogwarts over three years ago was not what was expected at all. Since I was deprived of contact with my legal guardian, I was not prepared to take my place in society and have floundered repeatedly in learning my place in this world. I can honestly say that it was an accident during the last task of the Tri Wizard Tournament which allowed me to learn of my place in this world and to finally gain the family that I had been denied these last thirteen years. It was their love and tutelage that has brought me before you today."
Albus spoke up quickly. "I think a vote is required at this point. All in favor of denying this request and placing Mr. Potter-Black back under my care, please cast your vote as aye. And nay if you disagree."
Once the votes were counted, he said "It is clear we don't have a majority so all in favor of allowing this petitioner to claim his seats, please vote aye."
With that said, most of the lights in the room lit up. Albus said "Well Lord Potter and Black, it seems you have gained your title in this body. As is custom, a new petitioner is granted a request upon his joining this body. Since I am sure you are aware of this, you may state your request at this time."
"Thank you Chief Warlock. My request is simple and is not for myself but to correct a grave miscarriage of justice that has been done by the ministry. My request is that former Lord Sirius Orion Black be given a trial as was his right fourteen years ago."
The courtroom grew quiet for a minute and then exploded into sound. Albus and Fudge both paled at this request even though Albus suspected Harry would pull something like this.
Harry spoke up and said "I assure you my request is legitimate and will take an oath on it if I must."
Fudge stood and said "We are not prepared for this and the accused is not even here."
Amelia stood and said "I can assure you Minister Fudge that the DMLE is prepared for this case and at present, the accused is in my protective custody. I admit I thought it would be safer that way than if he showed up here with your 'kiss on sight' order in effect."
There were more angry shouts from the gallery and the sitting members. Finally Lord Greengrass stood to be recognized. When he was called upon, he said "I for one would like to see Lord Potter's request fulfilled and would also like to know how an heir of a Most Ancient and Noble House could be locked up in Azkaban without a trial."
Harry turned and nodded to Lord Greengrass.
Harry said "So Minister Fudge and Chief Warlock Dumbledore, will you grant my request?"
Fudge was pale and trying to think quickly. He finally said "No, I won't allow it. He is a mass murderer and a danger to our society."
Harry said "If that is so then it will come out in the trial and he will be brought to justice without complaint from either of my houses. To refuse would be once again denying this body's authority in this matter."
Amelia stood "It matters not what the minister says in this case. It falls under the jurisdiction of the DMLE and I can assure you if my department failed in its duty then it is up to us to correct the wrong. My investigation has shown that Sirius Black never received a trial and to correct this wrong, a trial will be given at once."
"Thank you Madam Bones, you are restoring my faith in the ministry."
"Your welcome Lord Potter but I regret to inform you that you may not vote in this proceeding as your family connection to the defendant is evident."
"I had planned on excusing myself from the vote as I didn't want it said that I had influenced the votes and that the trial was biased."
"Very wise Lord Potter, if you would please take your seat."
"Yes ma'am." As he walked, he told Dobby though their bond to bring Sirius to the doors of the chamber where Amelia had Aurors waiting for him.
When the doors opened, Sirius regally strolled to the witness chair and bowed to the court while he was flanked by two of the top Aurors, Hammer and Robards. Once he sat down, he thanked them before turning to Amelia.
Amelia said "Sirius Orion Black, you are aware of the charges. What say you to them?"
"Madam Bones, I plead not guilty to all the charges and willingly submit myself to any method you wish to prove my innocence."
"Since yours is a special case, I'm going to ask that our Unspeakable liaison administer the potion and use legimancy on you at the same time so that there can be no doubt as to your guilt or innocence."
"Madam Bones, I will willingly do anything you ask to clear my name. I have lost too many years with my son along with my ability to perform my duties as Lord Black. At this point, I just wish for this to be over so that I can get on with my life."
Unspeakable Croaker stepped forward to dispense the serum. He said "So that there can be no doubt, I will administer the maximum dosage of five drops. As you well know, you will tell us anything we want to know."
The potion was administered and they waited until his eyes glassed over. When they had Croaker began the questioning.
"What is your full name?"
"Sirius Orion Black"
"Where is Black Manor?"
"I cannot tell you as it is under the fidelis charm."
"Do you have an heir?"
"Yes, I blood adopted Harry and made him my heir and son."
"Were you the Potter's secret keeper?"
"No, I was too obvious of a choice and we switched it to Peter Pettigrew."
"Have you ever served the dark lord?"
"I would rather die."
"Why did you keep saying it was your fault that the Potter's were killed?"
"Jamie and I thought it would be a great prank to have everyone chasing me while the secret keeper was really Peter. It was my fault because I agreed to it when I knew I would die before I gave away the secret. I allowed it which made it my fault because I failed James, Lily, and Harry. I live with the guilt every day and don't think I will ever forgive myself."
"Did you kill Peter Pettigrew and those thirteen muggles?"
"No. it was Peter. He cut off his finger and then morphed into his animagus form of a rat and scurried away into the sewers."
"Peter Pettigrew was not a registered animagus."
"No he wasn't but neither were Jamie or me."
"Is there anything else you need to tell us?"
"If you need proof that Peter is alive, have Harry show you his memory from last year when we caught him. Other than that, the only thing I can think of is that I slept with over half of the wives in this room."
Many of the Lords were looking around the room at the other Lords. They felt sorry for the others as they were sure that it was the other Lords wives that Sirius had spoken of.
Croaker chuckled and said "I think that will be enough. If it pleases the court, I will administer the antidote now."
With a grin, Amelia nodded. She stood and said "As this is a criminal investigation, I have been satisfied that the accused is innocent of all charges. I now call upon you to vote. Aye for innocent and nay for guilty."
The room lit up and the votes were tallied. In the end, Sirius was acquitted of the charges with a three quarter majority. Lord Greengrass stood once again and said "One of our own has been denied his rights and made to suffer like an animal. If that is not enough, his illegal incarceration destroyed his ability to fulfill his duties as Lord Black. I find this intolerable and make a motion that Mr. Black be compensated for this matter in the form of one hundred thousand galleons per year he was locked away and on the run as it was a direct result to his loss of title and family fortune."
Lady Longbottom stood and said "I second that motion."
Albus wearily said "We have a motion, a vote is in order."
The Wizengamot voted unanimously and Fudge sputtered. He said "That is over a million galleons. The Ministry does not have the funds available for such a thing."
Lady Longbottom stood and said "Madam Bones, were you able to determine those individuals who violated the former Lord Black's rights?"
Amelia said "Yes Madam Longbottom. The initial arrest report shows that Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore, former DMLE Director Barty Crouch, and Senior Undersecretary Cornelius Fudge were the ones responsible for this travesty of justice."
Lord Greengrass stood and said "If that is the case then I don't see why the magical people of Britain should have to pay for their 'mistake'. I say let the reparations be paid from their personal vaults."
With a round of agreements, the fate of Albus Dumbledore, Barty Crouch, and Cornelius Fudge had been decided. Albus was thankful that Harry had chosen not to reveal many of the decisions that he had made for Harry's life but Albus was no fool and knew that Harry was holding back for a reason. Harry had him over a barrel and now he would have to figure out why he hadn't acted.
Albus awoke from his musing and called for new business and again Harry stood up. When he was called upon, Harry simply stated that as he was still in school, and since his father had been cleared of all charges, that Sirius would act as his proxy until he was older and ready to assume his seats.
After the new business was complete and the old business was tabled until next session, this session was called to a close to the relief of Albus and Cornelius. Harry stayed around and personally thanked many of the members who had given their support in helping him free Sirius. Most of the members were impressed by his sincere thanks and felt good with their decision to support him and even ally their houses with his. Many of the members who were on the fence before this session were now firmly in Harry's camp. Most Lords had dreams of changing their world for the better when they joined the Wizengamot. Those dreams had died over time in dealing with the realities of having a seat there. Harry emergence into the body was breathing new life into old dreams. Dreams that would make the world better for their children.
Jean and Fleur were the first to arrive and share the good news with Appoline and Gabrielle. They were quickly followed by Susan and Neville who were quite exuberant with today's events. It would be another half hour before the others would arrive after taking their time in speaking to the other Lords and Ladies. It was a very anxious Gabrielle who pounced on Harry as he and Sirius had been the last to arrive. He took her hand as she led him to where the others were.
When they entered the sitting room, Harry said "I think it would be a good idea to go ahead and discuss today's events and our reaction to them before anything else takes out attention away. It would also be a good time to share any news that may have not been passed on with the preparations earlier. So, with that said, what do you think?"
Sirius said as he went around the room and hugged everyone. "I'm really thankful for all that you have done for me. A man couldn't ask for better friends or family. On the same note, I'm sorry that you had to dredge up those memories in front of the whole Wizengamot Minerva."
She said "You have nothing to apologize for. I am relieved that it is in the open and that I no longer have to hide the pride and love I have for my grandson."
Harry stepped over and hugged her. He said "I love you too Nana."
Neville said "Well I must admit that Harry did extremely well today. I'm proud of you brother. There were times when I thought you were going to lose it but then you pulled yourself back together."
Everyone nodded and Susan said "You impressed quite a few people today Harry including me."
Harry laughed and said "I even amaze myself sometimes."
Everyone laughed and Augusta said "Both of my grandsons made me very proud today. Harry for his performance and Neville for the job he did in preparing Harry. You both remind me so much of your grandfathers and I can see the two of you being a positive force for the future."
Harry and Neville smiled at the compliment.
Amelia said "I just glad the trial went as well as it did. I was a little afraid when the mutt made the comment about the Lord's wives."
Jean laughed and said "I wasn't. They were all looking at the others thinking 'those poor men."
Everyone laughed at that and he said "I do think you managed to take Cornelius and Albus down a few pegs."
Fleur said "Yes, I do think you ruffled several feathers today. You could have ended Dumbledore's influence once and for all. Why didn't you?"
Neville said "We didn't want to. Harry and I thought he could be useful in the future if we could moderate him a little."
There were several 'whats' heard around the room.
Sirius said "I've got to hear this."
Harry said "It's simple, Albus knows we could have destroyed his influence very easily today. We are just lucky that no one really thought about everything and pinned all the blame on him. We plan on talking with him and slowly making him see that our greater good is better than his."
Minerva said "How very Slytherin of you both."
The boys smiled and looked at each other. Harry asked "How did you know?"
"The sorting hat wanted us both there. I didn't like Malfoy and Neville nor was I ready at that time. Can you imagine if we had been raised together? We would have had that house on its knees by now."
Minerva said "Yes, I do think you would have." Everyone laughed at that.
Harry asked "What else do we have?"
Augusta said "We have invited a few families that had allied with us and were instrumental today to celebrate with us."
"Oh really? Who?"
Amelia said "The Greengrasses, Davises, Bells, and Macmillan's. Sadly, the last family acted like it was beneath them so declined."
Susan said "That sounds like them. Ernie is an arrogant prat."
Harry said "Okay next?"
Sirius said "Dobby and I are going to start visiting the various estates of Potter and Black. I know the shape my parents' home is in and it will take a lot of work but the wards there are powerful and it would make an excellent place as a safe house for the entire family. It is probable that my Black blood is just making me be paranoid but I like having options. I may need your help to get into Potter Manor and then we can see what kind of shape it is in. It is my hope that we can use that as your main home."
Harry asked "Do you mean the cottage in Godric's Hollow?"
Sirius said "No son that was your parents' hideaway. The house I'm talking about has been the seat of House Potter."
Amelia said "The cottage has been taken over by the ministry as a national monument."
Minerva asked "Did they pay the Potter estate for it or just take it?"
Augusta said "I think they decided a galleon was a fair price."
Sirius said "Unacceptable. Either they can pay Harry a fair price or we can give them a galleon back and retake control over it."
Harry said "Give them five galleons. They have no right to my parents' house."
Amelia said "Just bring it up in the next session. I'm sure they will be more than willing to give it back just to keep you happy."
Sirius said "Except for a few vacation type properties and any of significance, I think it would be best to fix up the houses and then sell them off. While both of our families were well off, the extra houses are just a drain of finances through upkeep and taxes."
Harry said "I can agree with that. It's not like we can live in more than one house anyway."
"Yes, I think we will need to visit Gringotts soon. While you cannot access the funds in the family vault until you are seventeen, you can control how they are invested."
Jean said "We have made a lot of money in the muggle world lately and I would be happy to help you there."
Harry said "Dobby?"
"I wanted to thank you for your help today. You did a great job."
He smirked "I know it but thank you."
"As much as I hate to do this, I'm going to need you to help the dogfather take a look at all the Potter and Black properties and make a plan to get them repaired and running. I would also like to make you my head elf to oversee all that is going on."
"I am honored but please Master, don't make me do that. Dobby is Harry's elf. Not Potter or Black."
"Okay, then will you help Sirius find us a head elf and an elf staff?"
"Yes Sir. Dobby thinks Winky would make a good head elf until yous has babies. Then she will want to take care of them."
Harry blushed and said "Why don't you ask her and get back to me. Sirius wants to start on this soon."
Dobby saluted and said "Aye Aye Sir" then popped out.
Harry looked at Sirius and said "He was crazy before but time with you has made him go around the bend."
Everyone laughed at that and Harry said "Okay, we have heard from everyone but you Maman. Do you have any news for us?"
Appoline smiled widely at his name for her and it took everything she had not to run over and wrap him in a hug. She said "My news is good and not as good but not bad."
Everyone chuckled at the joke but Fleur rolled her eyes and said "Just tell them Maman."
Appoline laughed and said "Frank and Alice are showing progress but we feel that we have brought them as far along as we can on our own."
Neville quietly asked "What does that mean?"
"What it means is that we are going to need your help. They are responding to us but we lack the bond that you share. We think that with your help, we could enter their consciousness and lead them out."
"Our mind healers want to link with you and take you inside. At that point, we feel that the connection you share with them would be enough to give them the courage to come out from where they are hiding themselves. There is some risk but we think it is in the acceptable range. Our plan is to bring Alice out first. Her maternal connection to Neville and Harry and their magical strength should be enough to break her free."
Augusta asked "What about my Frank?"
Appoline said "Frank is further away than Alice. Our theory is that he in some way shielded her for some time. It is our hope that once we bring Alice back, we can make the attempt with her and you in the link. From what I understand, he was a fierce Auror."
Sirius said "Damn right he was." Amelia nodded as well.
Appoline smiled and said "Siri, were you his partner?"
"On occasion, but I was mainly paired with Jamie. But that's not to say that we didn't have each others' backs many times."
"So he trusts you?"
"I don't know if he will or not. I was arrested before he was attacked so he may think of me as a traitor."
"Well, we will keep you in reserve. My main point was that in his profession, he was less likely to trust so it would have to be people who he would have absolute trust in. Namely his mother and wife. Harry and Neville would be good choices but sadly he does not know them as the young men they are now. If more power is needed in the connection, then we will send them in to stand with Augusta and Alice."
Augusta asked "And all this is based on my boys pulling Alice out?"
Harry said "I say we go next weekend and every other weekend until we have them back."
Neville looked at Harry and said "I can't ask you to risk yourself like this."
With a glare, Harry said "Brother, Alice is just as much my godmother as she is your mother. So do not think that for a minute I am not coming to help either of them. She is family!"
Neville got up and gave Harry a hug. "Thanks Harry." Augusta came around and wrapped her arms around both her boys.
When they stepped back Harry said "We won't fail you. I promise."
"I know you won't."
Minerva asked "While I have the utmost confidence in both of you, how can you stand there and make a promise like that?"
Neville smirked and said "Because my brother is Harry "Freaking" Potter and failure is not an option with him."
Sirius laughed really loud and said "I think the whole family should go so that we can all be there to help."
Jean said "Splendid idea. You can all stay with us."
Sirius asked "How is Remus' progress?"
Appoline's face fell a little and said "Remus vetoed the lycan idea after some thought. He felt that if Greyback found out about it and achieved the same thing, no one would be safe. We are working with him to customize a new form of the Wolfsbane potion that will be tailored to his specific needs. It is our hope that it will give him more control and maybe lead us in new directions towards a cure. We are forwarding our research and results to a group in America who are using very advanced muggle technology to try and cure the disease."
Harry asked "Will we be able to see him?"
Jean said "Of course you will. He is staying with us at the manor when he is not undergoing tests."