CHAPTER ONE – THIS WAS HOW IT WAS ALWAYS SUPPOSED TO BE
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of this fan-fiction expect for the characters that I have created to fit the requirements of my story and even then I do not intend to use any of it for any financial or material profit.
A small skinny boy with a mess of black hair and taped up round framed glasses in old over grown clothing could be seen whimpering in agony, cuddled up in a corner. Though his real name was Harry Potter, he was more used to his relatives either calling him a freak or boy.
He was yet again beaten today because the ice cream bowl that his cousin had been eating from had suddenly shattered and his aunt and uncle had turned their ire on six year old Harry for troubling their darling son, Dudley.
The problem was that Harry had no clue how that ice cream bowl had shattered and no matter how many times he tried to tell his uncle and aunt this, they didn't believe him one bit. It's not like this was the first time that something like this had happened.
Harry was more than used to unusual things happening to different people when he was around, though by no fault of his and the word would reach his uncle or aunt and they would in turn punish him by beating him senseless and locking him up in the cupboard under the stairs, where he lived, for days on end, without proper food, water or medical attention.
Today was yet another day like that. After the ice cream bowl had shattered, his uncle had whipped his back with his belt and punched him a few times in the face and also twisted his right arm in such a way that now his broken right arm was bent at an odd angle.
So that was how Harry ended with a bloody face and back and a broken hand with blood soaking his clothes. The one respite being that in his fury, his uncle had forgotten to lock his cupboard's door. Harry had extended his leg a while ago to get a bit more comfortable only to discover the door of his cupboard open.
It took a while but eventually, six year old Harry stopped crying and managed to make his way out of the cupboard without making too much noise so as to not alert his relatives.
The first thing Harry noticed when he made his way to the living room was to realize that it was quiet as well as dark outside signifying that it was well into the night. Apparently for reasons unknown his aunt had left the living room window open that night.
Not bothering to deciphering the reason for his aunt's lack of attention, Harry turned slowly to make his way into the kitchen. It was then that the clock on the wall started chiming, signifying that it was midnight hour.
Suddenly, Harry remembered with childish enthusiasm that it was officially 31st of July, meaning it was his birthday. He was seven years old. He didn't know why but something told him that this birthday would be slightly different than the ones he had until then. No, he wasn't expecting his aunt and uncle to suddenly shower him with gifts and a lavish cake like they do with his cousin, just that it would be different.
Taking a moment to himself, he yet again wished for the millionth time that his parents were alive so that he could have at least couple of people who would be genuinely happy about his birthday and treat him with some love. So lost was he in his thought process that he managed to miss the twin shooting stars that crossed each other and blinked as he made his wish.
Snapping out of his reverie he moved toward the kitchen to see if there was anything left for him to eat not realizing the fact that he had just triggered a new chain of events. Once Harry made a small meal out of whatever measly leftovers there were in the kitchen, he slowly made his way back to his cupboard were he somehow managed to fall into a fairly comfortable sleep that should not have been possible in his current state of being.
It was a fairly regular morning time in the Dursley household the next day; or rather as normal as it can be for the Dursleys at least. Both Vernon and Petunia Dursley were dressed well for the day. Their son Dudley had just made his way out of bed. The three of them were currently engrossed in eating their respective breakfast. Apparently for reasons unknown to him, Harry's right arm had somehow managed to fix itself while he was asleep. So he was up again that morning, fixing breakfast for his relatives. Though he was still bloody and bruised, he was somehow able to move around without too much pain.
Suddenly the doorbell rang and all actions came to a standstill. It was fairly early for the Dursleys to have any form of visitors. So after a moment's pause, Vernon Dursley turned his rather large frame to glare at his nephew and grunted, "Well, what are you waiting for boy? The door isn't going to open all by itself. Go open it before I lose my patience with you again."
Not wanting to test his uncle's patience this early in the morning, Harry quickly put down the pan and made his way to the door and opened it to find two very young people there. They looked well dressed, so Harry thought that they must be someone important. Although a voice in the back of his head told him that he should recognize them, he quickly dismissed it. These two looked like they were important. Why should he, a mere freak have any knowledge of them. So he tried to hide his nervousness and asked them in the most respectful tone he could manage.
"Good Morning! Are you here to meet uncle Vernon?"
For some reason, hearing his voice seemed to do something to the two people in front of him. The man tightened his grip on the woman's shoulder as her eyes glistened a bit. Though after a moment's pause she moved out of the man's protective embrace and knelt in front of Harry with a kind look filled with love and affection on her face as if he was most important she had ever seen.
This seemed to confuse Harry as he had never had anyone look at him like that before, but before he could voice his doubt, his uncle decided that he had been gone long enough and lost his patience and bellowed.
"Well boy, who is it? I don't have time all day to sit here and wait for you to move at your leisure."
Harry tried to open his mouth to mumble a quick apology but the woman quickly put a finger to his lips and shook her head with a kind smile on her face. Harry couldn't help himself and smiled back at her. She was more beautiful than anyone he had ever seen and somehow about having her close to him made him feel safe.
The woman slowly got up and took Harry's hand in her hand and turned to look at the man, with whom she seemed to have a quick silent conversation. Finally the man nodded and both of them turned to the door and walked in, both taking one hand of Harry in theirs which put Harry in the middle of the group.
When the three of them walked in to the kitchen, all three of the Dursleys paused their breakfast to take a look at their guests. The reaction was immediate. Petunia Dursley looked like she had seen a ghost and was practically white whereas her husband Vernon was staring at the two people with Harry, wide eyed and open mouthed.
Finally the woman with Harry seemed to lose her patience and said, "Well Petunia, it seems that seeing me and my husband here has shocked both you and your husband in silence. Honestly, I expected a better welcome than this."
Petunia looked at the woman silently with shock on her face before stammering, "You― you're dead. Yes, you're dead. They said you were dead Lily."
The man next to Harry suddenly got an amused look on his face and said, "Well it seems that now we are undead; how about that?"
The woman named Lily, turned to look the man and said in a warning tone, "James, don't―" and then turned to look at Harry's aunt and uncle and said, "I don't understand Petunia, how does James and me being dead give you the right to mistreat Harry in such a manner. He's just a child Petunia ― my child Petunia, my only son. He's your nephew for god's sake. I was your only sister. How could you?"
As the older people in the kitchen stared at each other with different emotions, young Harry was experiencing a roller coaster ride of emotions all by himself. The woman, who he now knew was named Lily, had said that she was his mother. That meant that the man next to her whose name was James must be his father. But Harry was confused. He was told that his parents were jobless drunks who died in a car crash which gave him the scar on his forehead. From what he knew, people don't come back once they died, do they? This was all so confusing. So he did the only thing he could and moved away from the people who claimed they were his parents and looked at them and asked.
"Are you really my parents?"
James and Lily turned to look at Harry with a look with reflected equal part love and pain and nodded silently. It took all effort on James's part to not beat the bloody Dursleys to a pulp whereas Lily wanted to take her baby boy away and hide him from all this madness for the rest of his life.
Harry turned to look at his aunt Petunia and asked, "Are they really my parents? You told me they were dead."
Petunia wanted to deny and say that she didn't know the two people in front of her, but one look at her sister told her that anything that came out of her mouth that wasn't the truth, would end up being not so pleasant for her and her family. So she just closed her eyes and sighed, visibly deflating before turning to look at the young boy whom she had treated so badly and said, "Yes, they are your parents and yes they were dead. I don't know how they are here but yes, they really are your parents."
Harry turned to look at his parents and without him realizing had walked over to them and started asking questions one after the other.
"Why didn't you come until today? You know, I always wanted to meet you. Will you be staying? How long are you staying? Where do you stay? What do you do?"
Lily realizing that this was her son's way coping with his emotions knelt down to his level and gently pulled him into a hug. At first he stiffened; but then he hugged her back and soon she could feel his body shaking as he started crying against her shoulders. Without meaning to, she too wept, partly out of despair over all that her baby boy went through, but mostly out of happiness that she was finally here for her son; her only son.
The two just stayed there for like minutes but were eventually broken out of their tranquil space when Vernon finally gathered up his nerves and said, "Well, now that you're back, why don't you take this ungrateful little shit and leave me and my family well alone?"
That was a mistake, because the moment he stopped speaking, he was flung from his chair across the room to the wall were he slumped down moaning in pain which caused Petunia to shriek and Dudley to scream. They both then rushed over to the still moaning Vernon. James had apparently lost his control and the result was that Vernon had been banished across the room.
Harry was looking at his James with big wide eyes. He tried unsuccessfully a few times to speak before he managed to say, "Dad! How did you do that?"
James ran a hand across his face tiredly and looked at Lily sheepishly who huffed and turned to Harry and said, "Sweetheart! There's a lot we have to tell you. But before that we need to leave and go take care of a few things. I promise you that I will answer all your questions, but not now. Ok?"
Harry couldn't do much apart from nodding because although he wanted answers, the fact that his parents had come back for him was good enough for now. He saw his mother use a funny looking stick and wave it in front of him while saying funny words. Although he couldn't see it, he surely felt his body becoming better. His father too waved his stick and created a hand mirror which he gave to Harry to look at himself.
What Harry saw made his jaw drop. His bruises were completely gone. He looked much cleaner but the most noticeable changes of all were that his glasses looked new and his clothes fit him perfectly. They were not new by any means. They looked normal home worn clothes in good condition. Stunned he silently gave the mirror back to James who chuckled and made the mirror disappear with another flick of his funny stick.
Lily looked around to make sure there wasn't too much damage done to her sister's house. As much as she wanted to trash the place in response to her sister's treatment of her son, she knew that they had enough on their plate without adding new issues. So she threw her sister a last glare and took Harry's hand and quietly guided him out of the house with James following them behind.
Once outside the house, Lily quickly bent down to look at Harry and said, "Sweetheart, we are going to go to a few places before we can go home. There are a few things that we need to take care off. Are you ok with that or do you want to go home now?"
Harry looked at his parents and said, "Home. We have a home?" When his parents nodded, he asked. "So this is not my home?"
As both Lily and James nodded in agreement, Harry had a huge grin on his face as he realized that he was going to live with his place. It was at that moment that there was a flash of bright light around Number Four, Privet Drive.
Lily looked at James and said, "The wards James. We need to leave quickly. He'll know by now."
James simply nodded and looked at Harry and said, "Hold on to your mother's hand tightly Harry, this will be a bit uncomfortable."
Harry quickly took Lily's hand and gripped it tightly. As he saw his father twist on the spot, he felt a heavy pressure settle down on him and he felt like he was being squeezed through a narrow space. It ended as soon as it began.
When the world righted itself, Harry clutched his stomach and groaned. He heard his parents' chuckle and felt his mother caressing his hair affectionately. Once he was able to stand up properly, he saw that he was standing across from a huge white marble building.
His mother smiled warmly at him and led him to the building while his father looked around as if trying to see if someone was following them or not. When they reached the front door of the building, Harry immediately took a sharp breath and moved closer to his mother as he saw very fierce looking creatures standing there were axes and blades, guarding the building.
He heard his mother groan and his father chuckle. When he looked up at them questioningly, his father turned to him and took a sigh before saying, "Harry mate, do you remember what your mum said?" when Harry nodded, he continued. "This is one of those things. I know you have questions, but please come along with us silently for now. I promise you that we'll get you home soon enough and then answer all your questions."
Harry dumbly nodded to afraid to say anything else. So he quietly followed his parents inside the building. He joined his parents in a line behind many people. Soon they reached the counter upon which Harry saw another one of those creatures sitting. His father waited for the creature to look up and said in a quiet but authoritative voice, "I need to see Lord Ragnok regarding a very important matter. Please inform him that James Potter, Lily Potter and Harry Potter would like to meet him in private as soon as possible."
Harry noticed that the creature looked at him with wide eyes as soon as his father announced their names. The creature nodded once his father had finished speaking and quickly left through a side door at a run. It came back a few moments later and asked his father to follow as it led them to one of the offices deep in the building. Harry noted that though the building was made out of marble on the outside, the inside was made from rocks.
Soon they reached an ornate door, were the creature quietly gestured them to enter and left to go back to the counter. Harry followed his parents into the room and immediately realized that this must be someone very important, as the office was very richly decorated. Imagine his surprise when saw another one of those creatures, albeit an older one sitting behind an ornate expensive looking table.
The creature noticed their presence and immediately said in a deep gravelly voice, "Mr. & Mrs. Potter! I must say I was pleasantly surprised when one of my managers told me that you had come to meet me regarding an important issue. I hope you can forgive my curiosity and confusion on being requested to meet someone who was apparently dead as per common public knowledge. But where are my manners. Please take a seat."
Harry followed his parents and sat on one of the chairs as his parents sat on either side of him. His father shared a look with his mother and then turned to the elderly creature and said, "I can understand your confusion and curiosity Lord Ragnok and as you put it perfectly, we were in fact dead. Let's just say that if we are here today then, it is largely due to my son Harry. But I'm afraid that beyond that I'm not allowed to give you any more details."
The elderly creature nodded in agreement and said, "Very well Mr. Potter. As curious as I am, I can understand as to why you would want to keep such information private. Now am I correct in understanding that you are here today to reclaim all your accounts and assets?" when his father nodded, the elderly creature quickly pulled a few sheets of funny looking paper and a beautiful looking small knife from one of the cupboards and passed it on to his father and said, "You know the procedure Mr. Potter".
His father nodded and quickly took one of the funny looking papers and used the knife to cut his palm open which caused Harry to gasp. His father just smiled at him and winked before he used the knife to drop three drops of his blood on that funny paper. He then passed the knife to his mother who did similarly before she quietly put her hand on Harry's shoulder and said, "Sweetheart! It won't hurt a bit. It's more like a small tingling sensation. I promise you it won't hurt." So Harry nodded and allowed his mother to do the same to him.
Once they were all done, his father handed the three funny papers and the knife to the elderly creature who put the knife back in the drawer and then place the three funny looking papers one next to the other and snapped his fingers which caused words to appear on the funny paper. The elderly creature then read each of the funny looking papers separately before looking up to his father and saying, "All seems to be in order."
The elderly creature then wrote a quick note and put it in one of the boxes on the table and leaned back in its chair. Hardly a few seconds went by when the door opened and another younger looking creature walked in carrying a small box which he passed to the elderly creature and left the room quickly. The elderly creature passed the box to his father, who opened the box took out a big ring and wore it on his right hand. To Harry's surprise the ring glowed for a moment or two before going back to its original state. Harry looked at his mother who smiled and mouthed "Later" to him. He then saw his father taking out two keys from the box; one bigger and one smaller. He then stood up only to be followed by his mother. So Harry too stood up.
His father looked at the elderly creature and said, "Thank you for your co-operation and assistance Lord Ragnok. We appreciate it." The elderly goblin acknowledged his father and said in response, "Think nothing of it Mr. Potter. Though I'm certain that you would know that quite a few people will be unhappy regarding your sudden return, I can assure you that the Goblins of Gringotts are very happy to have one of our oldest and esteemed clients back doing business with us."
His father nodded and turned toward the door and started walking. Harry quietly took his mother's hand followed all the while thinking, "Goblins. That's what those creatures are called."
Once they were outside the room, his father looked at one of the goblins standing there and said, "We would like to visit The Potter Family Vault." The goblin simply nodded and gestured for them to follow and walked away. Harry followed his parents and they were soon in front of what looked to Harry like some kind of tracks. The goblin then whistled which made a driverless cart appear on the cart.
Harry looked at the cart wide eyed whereas his parents reacted as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Harry was sure that when they got around to answering his questions it was going to take quite a lot of time. He had so many questions he wanted answered. At the same time he didn't want to push his luck and keep pestering them because he was afraid that they would decide that having him was not worth the effort and dump him back at the Dursleys. That was one of the main reasons why he silently agreed whenever his father or mother said that they would explain everything later. He knew that they were being sincere and honest with him but one part of him just couldn't avoid being guarded with them.
When all of them were seated at the cart, the goblin yet again whistled making the cart zoom away. It was the most fun Harry had ever had in his entire life. It was like a rush he couldn't explain. When they finally stopped in front of their family vault, Harry was grinning like a loon which amused his parents to no end. He was so out of it that he didn't even notice the roar of the Dragon that scuttled around the corner and out of view and neither did he see his father opening the family vault. It was only when he stepped into the family vault that he came back to his senses.
Now Harry was no slouch at studies. In fact he was pretty good when it came to counting and numbers. But he was sure that he wouldn't know how much it was if his parents outright told him. The entire vault was huge with piles of gold, silver and bronze coins. That was not all though. The vault was filled with jewelry, books, cabinets, trunks, armor, portraits and various old but important things.
His father just quickly picked up a small bag that was obviously meant to keep the coins and started stuffing quite a bit of all the coins in it whereas his mother went to one of the jewelry boxes and picked up two rings, one of which she handed to his father. She also picked up what she told Harry was their will. They stayed in the vault for a few more minutes as both his parents kept taking random things.
Once they were done, they yet again took the cart back up much to the pleasure of Harry. Once they reached their destination, they walked back to the white marble room and from their out of the building. Harry was sure that what they had visited was a bank as he had heard his aunt and uncle speaking many times about having to visit the bank in order to take out money.
As soon as they were outside, his mother flattened the front of his hair covering up his scar with a warning to keep it like that for his own benefit. Harry just nodded silently in agreement. After that his parents took him to what was a deserted alley with a lone postbox in it.
When he questioned his parents about where they were, his father said they would be there in a minute and then to his surprise, led them over to the telephone. Once all of them were inside the booth, his father picked up the receiver and dialed a number which made a woman's voice appear and announce that they were to announce their name and purpose of visit.
When his father gave the necessary details, three simple paper badges appeared which all of them pinned to their dresses. But what both surprised and freaked Harry was that the voice had announced that they were apparently visiting the Ministry of Magic.
If that was the end of surprises then Harry was disappointed as the moment the voice stopped speaking, the phone booth began to descend which caused Harry to scream for which his mother calmly placed her hand on his shoulder and told him that it was fine and that she was there with him.
When the phone booth stopped descending and the door opened, Harry looked at the huge black marble room in wonder. It was the biggest room he had ever seen in his entire life. All around them, people were coming out of fireplaces which had a funny looking green fire in them. Harry had no trouble believing this was all magic but at the same time he couldn't help worry whether this was all some great fantasy dream of his.
His parents then went to a security guard who was sitting behind a desk and presented their funny stick to the guy who dropped it in a strange looking dish with scales out of which came the same funny looking paper of smaller size. The wizard read out the details to his parents without looking up from his place. His parents gave their acknowledgment in a short but precise way. The man looked bored out of his skin and Harry had to agree that his job really did seem way too boring.
From there his parents led him over to one of the lifts. Apparently they were lucky as no one joined their lift. As the lift started moving, the same female voice kept announcing various office names which were too long and complicated for Harry to remember as the lift stopped at each floor. When they finally reached what the same woman's voice announced was level two followed by yet another list of names, Harry's parents led him to one of the doors which had a huge sign with a name far too big for Harry's tastes.
When they were inside, Harry saw his father calmly walk up to the lady who sat at what was the reception and tell her that he would like to meet who he called Amelia Bones. When the woman asked who he was, his father gave her their names. Harry found the woman's reaction funny as the moment he stopped speaking the woman looked at him wide eyes and turned to look at him and his mother then squeaked and ran off to presumably to inform this so called Bones woman.
As father came back to stand with them, his mother asked in a tight voice, "James! Need I remind you the importance of the situation? Whatever possessed you to act like that?" His father for his part looked sheepish and even winked at Harry which made him chuckle. This caused his mother to turn and look at him with a glare which caused Harry to flinch which immediately made his mother mutter a quick apology to him about not really meaning anything from the glare.
By the time they all straightened up, the woman from the reception desk walked out with another older woman who looked too strict for Harry's liking. But the moment the old woman looked at his parents, she stopped dead in her track before she immediately pulled her funny stick and pointed it at his parents.
That was as far as he got to see because the next moment, Harry felt his mother put herself in front of him and say in a cold anger filled voice, "Put your wand away Amelia. You do not want to do that. You want answers. As do we. So how about we behave like adults instead of emotionally charged teenagers?"
This seemed to snap the woman back to reality as she put her funny stick away and turned toward her room, gesturing to his parents to follow her. His parents for their part shared a look and silently followed her making sure to keep Harry between them.
Once they were inside the room and all seated, Lily immediately said, "Amelia, I know this must come as a shock to you. So tell us how you want to do it? Would you like a testimony under Veritaserum or would an oath suffice?"
The woman named Amelia leaned back in her chair and rubbed her temples. She then looked at Harry and his parents and said, "As much as I would like to keep this private, it is better for you if we did this officially. So I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist on a testimony under Veritaserum."
To this both Harry's parents nodded and Amelia got up from her seat and went over to the fireplace where she bent down and stuck her head in and spoke to a few people from the sound of things. Though Harry was curious, he was beyond the point of being surprised after having seen a lot many things that day.
As Amelia came back and sat down, the room descended into a strained silence. A few moments later the door to her office opened and in walked three men. One was dressed green pin stripped suit with a lime bowler hat in his hand. Another was tall and dark and was wearing the most ridiculous costume in Harry's opinion along with a single gold hoop in one of his ears. Though the third man was also dressed in similar costume, his looked more official not to say with his mane of thick hair he did look more intimidating.
The man with the lime green bowler took one look at the potters and immediately was on guard and turned to Amelia and asked in a strained voice, "Amelia, what is the meaning of this?"
Amelia looked like she wanted to roll her eyes but refrained herself and said, "Minister, I am as curious as you and that's why I asked Auror Shacklebolt to bring in Veritaserum so that we may find out the truth. Now we just need to wait for Dumbledore. Once he comes, then we can begin." As she said that, the fireplace in the room came to life with the same funny looking green fire and the weirdest man Harry had ever seen stepped out of it and said while flicking his funny stick, "Sorry I'm late Amelia. What's the matter my dear? You sounded quite hassled. I had just come back from an errand when you floo called me." That said he turned to look at the other occupants of the room and like the man whom Amelia called Minister, he too paled the moment he saw the Potters sitting across from Amelia.
Amelia stood up from her seat and said, "As you can see Dumbledore, we have quite a situation upon our hands. Two people whom we knew to be dead are apparently alive. So naturally I wanted them to testify their claims under the effect of Veritaserum. So I asked you, Minister Fudge, Head Auror Scrimgeour and Auror Shacklebolt to be present here."
Despite being told to be quiet Harry couldn't contain himself and looked at the Minister and asked, "Sir, if your name is Fudge, then does that mean they named 'Hot Chocolate Fudge' after you?"
When all the adults in the room turned to look at him, he shrank back in his seat and said in a small voice, "Uncle Vernon got it for Dudley one day. It looked yummy but they didn't give me any of it. From the way Dudley spoke it sounded like it was very tasty."
It was like someone had released the pressure in the room. Every one of the room's occupant relaxed a bit without them knowing it. The man called Dumbledore turned to look at Harry with a warm smile on his face and said, "My dear boy, I'm sure it's just a happy coincidence. Though from the way you described it, I'm myself looking forward to trying that delectable desert. Perhaps you and I could both go out one day and try it together. Would you like that Harry?" when Harry turned to look at his parents, they both nodded with a smile on their faces, so Harry turned to look at Dumbledore and gave him a nod with a big grin on his face.
Dumbledore looked like Harry agreeing to come with him was the most wonderful news he had heard all day and with that he turned to Amelia and said in a calm voice, "Perhaps we should get the formalities out of the way Amelia?"
Amelia nodded and looked at the tall black man and nodded who in turn took out a small vial from his pocket came over to the Potters. James and Lily both looked at Harry and smiled telling him silently that everything was ok.
James then turned to look at everyone in the room and said, "The only questions we'll be answering would be with respect to proving our identities. You cannot ask us anything regarding our return as we are forbidden from sharing that knowledge."
The Minister looked like he wanted to argue but Dumbledore put his hand up stopping him and then turned to look at James and said, "That is acceptable to us and if I may be so bold, it was very wise on your part to have told us that beforehand as to be quite honest I was very curious about that topic and would have surely asked you about it. So thank you for the warning."
James looked at the tall black man and nodded who in turn opened the vial and proceeded to drop three drops of the clear liquid on both James and Lily's tongues. The effect was immediate as both James and Lily got a faraway glazed over look on their faces causing Harry to gasp in alarm. Dumbledore understanding Harry's alarm said in soothing manner, "Do not worry my boy. Nothing is wrong with them. They will just have to answer a few simple questions and then they will be back to normal".
When Harry nodded, he looked at both Amelia and Fudge who both nodded. So he turned back to the Potters and asked in a commanding voice, "Please state your full names."
"James Charles Potter", said James
"Lilly Marie Evans-Potter", replied Lily
Dumbledore had the markings of the beginning of a smile at their answer, but he anyway asked again, "On which day was your son Harry born?"
"31st July 1980", said both James and Lily in unison
At this both Dumbledore's and Amelia's faces broke into warm smiles but Dumbledore was apparently not done as he asked them another question.
"Who was your Secret Keeper?"
As Fudge looked like he wanted to protest, Dumbledore leveled a glare at him which quieted him immediately.
"Peter Pettigrew", replied the two yet again in unison.
This immediately made the rest of the occupants of the room gasp in surprise. It seemed to Harry that something was wrong since everyone's faces showed confusion and surprise at his parents' answer.
Dumbledore had a troubled expression on his face, but he seemed the most composed of the lot, so yet again it was he who asked the question.
"I remember you telling me that it was Sirius Black. Then how come you say it was Peter Pettigrew?"
It was James who replied. "I did tell you it was Sirius Black as that was what was decided. But Sirius convinced me that he would be an obvious choice as everyone knew how close he was to me. So he suggested that we make Peter the Secret Keeper and not tell anyone about it as that would keep Peter safe. Also nobody would believe that we would make Peter the Secret Keeper over Sirius. Both Lily and I agreed that it was a good plan, so we switched at the last minute. The only ones who knew about it were Lily, Sirius, Peter and Me since Remus was out of the country on Order business."
Harry didn't know what the big deal was but everyone in the room looked shocked to the core. Finally Amelia snapped out of her stupor first and said in a shaky voice, "Auror Shacklebolt, please administer the antidote."
The man she called Shacklebolt shook himself and came over to the Potters and pulled another bottle from his robes and like last time put three drops of the liquid on both Lily and James's tongue who immediately came back to their normal self and turned to look at Harry with a warm smile on their faces reassuring their son that they are indeed alright. But when they saw the confused look on Harry's face they immediately turned and looked at the faces of everyone else in the room. Understanding dawned on them both and James looked at Dumbledore and asked, "I take it from your expressions that you found out the truth about our Secret Keeper?"
When both Dumbledore and Amelia nodded, he looked at Fudge and asked, "Minister Fudge, now that you know the reality, would you mind sending word across to Azkaban so that my son can have his Godfather back as soon as possible?"
Minister Fudge though shocked still nodded and walked out of the room as if in a daze and as he left both Scrimgeour and Shacklebolt nodded to the Potters, Dumbledore and Amelia before following the Minister right behind him.
As everyone in the room looked rather uncomfortable over the silence, Dumbledore looked at Harry and asked, "So Harry, why don't you tell me about all the various candies and chocolates that you know of and like. You see I'm rather fond of candies and would certainly like to try out any new ones I might have missed."
Harry looked at his parents yet again who nodded encouragingly and with that Harry began to share his knowledge of candies and chocolates. Though Dumbledore's idea was to erase the tension and discomfort in the room while keeping Harry entertained, when Harry began to talk while referencing to how he knew about various candies for having seen his cousin eat, Dumbledore risked a glance in Lily's direction and realized a new meaning for the phrase, 'if looks could kill', for certainly the way Lily was looking at him it was clear that she wanted to tear Dumbledore into pieces and only the fact that Harry was in the room was stopping her from doing it.
Though for many, the phrase 'may you rot in hell' is nothing more than a phrase that they might read in novels or a work of fiction, for Sirius Black it was a real life experience. He had yet again just relived the whole fateful night when the world as he knew it ended for him.
When he had made the suggestion to James about choosing Peter as the Secret Keeper, he had done so because he wanted to keep his best friend, the woman he had come to see as a sister and his Godson safe. Instead that one suggestion had changed all their lives irrevocably.
Sirius still remembered that day. He had just come back from another mission of the order and had decided to take a nap. But somehow he had woken up a couple of hours later with a heavy feeling in his heart. Something was wrong. He could tell. So fearing the worst, he had gone to Peter's place only to find it empty and without any sign of assault or fight which made the feeling much worse as Peter had been specifically told that he was not to go outside.
So he started to James's place in Godric Hollow, all the while hoping that his gut feeling was wrong. His best friend and his family were safe. Peter really hadn't turned their back on them. What was worse was that Remus was away on an important order business, so he couldn't even call him. Remus was always the logical one in their group. Had he been there, he surely would've known what to do.
The sight that met his eyes could only be described as his worst nightmare. The house was in ruins. The entire portion of the first floor which he knew to be Harry's nursery was blown apart. With shaky legs he walked into the house, only to stop cold to see his best friend, his brother in all but blood, laying spread eagled near the stairs; his lifeless eyes looking at something invisible in horror and fear.
Sirius Black was a very blasé man. He wasn't much for emotions. But right then and there he was crying unabashedly for losing the closest thing he had to a family.
He somehow found the courage to walk over to James's body, where he collapsed to the ground and held James's body and cried. He didn't know how long he stayed like that. But eventually he put the body of his best friend gently on the ground and closed his eyes before slowly and shakily taking the stairs to Harry's nursery.
When he finally entered his Godson's nursery, he was so out of it that he didn't see the small boy leaning over the crib with silent tears in his eyes. Instead he zeroed in on the woman who lay below it. Lily who was the closest thing he had to a sister, his pseudo mother of sorts, was laying their lifeless, the marks of tears clearly visible on her face. It was then that he heard it. At first he thought he was imagining it but when he heard it again, he whipped his head up to stare into the emerald green eyes of none other than his Godson.
So shocked was he that it took baby Harry extending his little arms, sniffling and saying, "Pa'foo" to jolt him out of his senses. He rushed to the crib and picked up his Godson who by some miracle had managed to stay alive. He hugged the child and thanked Merlin for keeping him alive.
It was only when he turned that saw the burned black cloak that was lying on the ground still smoking slightly. He turned to look at his Godson who now looked on the verge of sleep. He now had a lightning bolt shaped scat on his forehead which was a bit bloody. Sirius touched and was shocked to find it hot to his touch. It was all too much for Sirius to comprehend. His Godson has somehow managed to not only survive an attack by the most feared Dark Lord of all time but also somehow defeated him by the looks of it.
He carefully put Harry on his shoulder were he promptly fell asleep. He then knelt down and closed Lily's eyes and muttered, "I promise that I will look after him Lily. I will protect him with my life. And I'll make sure that he remembers you and James. Please take care of James for me." With that said he made his way down the stairs. He once again paused a moment beside James's body not quite knowing what to do. Then he somehow pulled himself together for the sake of the child in his arms and made his way out of the house only to find Hagrid there.
He still remembered how he had tried to tell Hagrid that Harry was his responsibility but for some reason his half giant friend said that he had orders from Dumbledore to take Harry with him. He wanted to protest but then another part of him told that if he gave Harry to Hagrid, he would be free to track down the bloody traitor. So he reluctantly gave Harry to Hagrid after placing a kiss on his sleeping Godson's forehead and even gave him his bike so that he could get Harry to safety that much quicker.
Sirius opened his eyes and refused to think about what happened next but yet he did. He had managed to track down the bloody rat only to be outsmarted. Next thing he knew, he was waking up in Azkaban. He couldn't remember being given a trail so he waited as he knew he was innocent and didn't have anything to worry about. But no trail ever happened and no one ever came. Hours turned into days which then turned into weeks. Weeks then turned into months and eventually it became years.
Though Azkaban as a whole was bad but the two days when it became unbearable for him were Harry's birthday and Halloween. Today happened to be his Godson's seventh birthday. He should've been celebrating it with him yet here he was stuck in the place known as 'Hell on Earth' with no knowledge about how and where his Godson was.
Sirius suddenly felt as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He then heard footsteps approaching, meaning the Dementors had been moved so that Visitors may come and meet the Prisoners. 'Great! Another visit by my dear cousin' he thought bitterly. But to his surprise, a couple of guards came to stop outside his cell. One of them then opened the doors of his cell and then the two of them entered. He noticed that the one who didn't open the door was carrying what looked like a tied up bundle in his arms.
He looked at the guards questioningly. The one who had opened the door cleared his throat and said, "Mr. Black! We have just gotten a special order from the Minister of Magic himself. You have been acquitted of all charges and are hereby free to go. We have all of your old possessions here with us along with your wand and also a few necessities. You can use the shower in the warden's quarters if you want to clean up before you leave. If you come with us then we'll take you there."
Sirius just stared at the man too shocked to say anything. He must have seriously lost it if he was dreaming about being free of this place. He then heard the man tentatively place a hand on his shoulder. He flinched but this proved one thing. It was all real. It was happening. He was finally free. That meant that he could finally get back to Harry.
And it was that thought that propelled Sirius Black into action. Gone was the man who wallowed in self pity. He was now a man on a mission. His mission was to get back to his Godson as soon as possible. The sooner he left this place, the sooner he can do that. But first he needed to clean up. If he was going to go out in public, he can hardly do so in his current state.
So he silently held out his hands for his possessions and then followed the guards to the warden's quarters. He didn't give a second thought to the calls and jeers of the rest of the prisoners. According to him, they really weren't worth his time. In short order they reached the warden's quarter where there was hot water available for him to take a bath.
Almost an entire hour later, Sirius Black stepped out of the warden's quarter properly bathed, shaved and dressed up looking as clean as one can dressed in robes that were half a decade old and as fit as anyone who has spent five years facing their personal demons. Yet he was at least looking presentable enough to venture out in public.
Once he stepped out of the dreaded building, he saw someone waiting there. He walked up to the man who on seeing him, informed him that he was there to escort him back to the ministry where there was someone important waiting to meet him. Puzzled, Sirius just gestured for the man to lead the way. The two of them took a boat back across the sea to the dock from where they took a Portkey which took them straight to the reception area of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
The man informed Sirius that he was to go to the office of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in order to meet his visitor and then left to carry on with his work. With no small amount of trepidation, he walked over the office of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement where the Secretary just gestured for him to go into the room. He mentally shrugged and walked over to the door, opened it and then looked up and stopped dead in his tracks. His blood froze over and his breath hitched and then he fainted.
As the door to the room opened, every occupant of Amelia's office turned to look at the new entrant except what they saw was Sirius Black who was about to enter the room spotting the Potters and then stopping cold before fainting and falling to the ground.
Lily rushed to Sirius's side while James had trouble controlling his emotions. On one hand he wanted to double over laughing, as what happened was so typical of their younger years. On the other hand, seeing the man who was his brother in all but blood after all these years formed a tight knot of emotions in his chest.
Harry for his part just sat there confused looking at the man who seemed familiar but couldn't really place him. But seeing his mother rush over to help him confirmed his doubt that he must be a very good friend for his mother to react like that. He just hoped the man wasn't too badly sick.
Albus Dumbledore for his part just looked at the reunion of this family with misty eyes being reminded yet again how powerful the magic called Love was whereas Amelia looked really concerned to see Sirius react like that. He was one of the best Hit Wizards the ministry had during the time of the war and she prayed to Merlin that his time in Azkaban hadn't done too much damage to the talented wizard within him.
The first thing Lily did was to check for his pulse and heart beat, dearly praying that Sirius hadn't snuffed it just from the shock of seeing them. When she felt his heart beat and pulse thrum, she breathed a sigh of relief. Though she was a witch, she always remembered her roots from being a muggleborn and that was why she confirmed about Sirius's state using muggle methods rather than magic. Seeing as he had just fainted, she then used her wand and muttered "Enervate" while pointing it at Sirius to bring him back in to the world of conscious people.
The moment Sirius opened his eyes and spotted her, his eyes grew wide and he scrambled away from her and said in a fearful manner, "What is the meaning of this? What did you do to me? Are you one of those weird ones from the Department of Mysteries? You have injected me with some sort of crazy mind controlling potion haven't you? You had no right to do that! First I wasn't even given a trial and now this. What the bloody hell is the minister playing at?"
Suddenly James burst into laughter, falling down from his seat. This caught everyone's attention, including Lily and Sirius. Lily just looked at him with an expression of annoyance that said, "Really? That's how you react?" whereas Sirius just looked at the laughing James with wide eyes before suddenly shrinking back into himself and starting to cry unabashedly.
That brought James up short because he suddenly realized how this all must look to Sirius from his point of view, especially given what he had just said a couple of minutes ago. So he got up and quickly rushed over to the crying man and gathered him up in arms in a protective brother embrace and said in a soothing voice, "Padfoot! Shhh… It's alright mate. I'm here, look and nobody is going to do anything to Padfoot as long as Prongs is there. No one's done anything to you mate. I'm really here. Lily's here too and so is your Godson, Harry. Come one Padfoot! Pull yourself together. You don't want Harry teasing you once he's grown up over your crying. Come on now mate, let's get you settled comfortably."
And with that he managed to make Sirius stand and walked him over to the seat next to Harry and helped him sit and then went over and sat on the arms of the chair Lily was seated on. Lily just smiled warmly at her husband and squeezed his hand, silently appreciating him for doing this.
Sirius looked at the Potters yet again and shook his head before managing to croak out, "How?"
James just sighed and replied. "We really don't know mate. I guess something happened when Harry turned seven that somehow made our return possible. We weren't told a lot of stuff. Just enough to get us started. So once we made it back, we started by picking Harry up from Lily's sister's place and then came to the ministry to make our return legitimate and also to get you out of that hell hole."
Lily then cleared her throat and said, "Though I honestly want to smack you up the back of your head for running off like that and getting yourself captured and abandoning Harry, I'm just thankful that we can all put it behind now and start afresh." Sirius, who had his head bent low, looked up at Lily at that and nodded. The reality was that even if James and Lily forgave him for his actions, he never would.
Lily then turned to look at Amelia and Dumbledore and said, "I can't thank you both enough for making this all happen so fast. I know we have a lot to talk about. But I'd prefer if I could take my son home and celebrate what is left of his birthday properly."
Both Dumbledore and Amelia nodded in understanding whereas Sirius finally turned his attention on Harry and was about to say something when James put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Not here Padfoot. Let's go home. We can talk everything out there properly."
Sirius nodded his head in understanding and with that the entourage of Potters and Sirius Black walked out of Amelia's office and made their way out of the ministry to the stares of everyone. Once they reached a slightly secluded place, James whispered something in Sirius's ear who nodded and then James who took Harry's hand in his, twisted on the spot as did Lily and Sirius and they vanished with sounds of multiple pops.
The four of them reappeared on a dirt path. On one side of the path was a wooded forest; on the other side were a few trees that ran along a cliff. In the distance waves could be heard crashing down on some of the rocks and if one cared to stare past the tree line, one could see the ocean where the sun's golden beams of daylight were bouncing off of the blue water.
As the four of them started walking up the dirt path, the three older ones had wide smiles at the thought of being back at the place that was their home whereas young Harry was gazing at it all in wonder as to him it all looked like something out of a fantasy or dream. After a fifty feet trek, they reached a simple metal gate with a cursive golden 'P' atop a shield with the space for the one entering to place their hand into. On each side of the gate were two seven-foot tall pillars that each housed a stone statue. On the right pillar was Griffin standing tall and proud as if he was watching the ones entering the property in order to judge their worth. On the left was a Dragon, laying on all fours, watching the horizon, as if he were a sentinel guarding his King. On each side of the gate was a brick wall that carried to the tree line and well past it.
James walked ahead of all of them and placed his hand on the space in the shield and looked back and grinned as the gate glowed blue and then opened slowly. He then signaled to Harry to come up to him who jogged a bit so as to reach his dad faster. Once he was there, James put a hand on his shoulder and turned him toward the gate and gave a slight nudge while saying, "The Potter Manor Harry. What is and always will be your home."
It happened all of a sudden. The moment the four of them crossed the gate, they heard three pops as three house elves appeared in front of them. Harry, not having seen one of them before, screamed in surprise and fell on his butt which had all the elders chuckling slightly. The elves took one look at their visitors and promptly ran and hugged each and every one of them all the while muttering about missing their kind master and mistress and not believing what others told them about them dying.
The elves then turned to Harry and much to the surprise of the elders, tackled him in a group hug all the while saying, "How sorry they were that they couldn't find their young master and that they really tried all they could but to no avail."
Eventually Lily took pity on her son and ushered all of them toward the manor. When Harry saw Potter manor, his breath hitched in his throat making him pause and stare at it. Though he was never allowed to watch the Television at his relatives' place, he remembered magazines which his aunt bought in order to keep track of new style of houses if ever they needed to buy one. He had seen many pictures of large houses in those magazines. But none of those houses came anywhere close to what was right in front of him.
Seeing Harry's look of wonder, one of the elves who introduced him as Kip told Harry that the manor was built in Georgian style, in beige stone which was almost tan. He then told Harry that the manor was three floors tall and fourteen windows across ― five feet per window, with five feet in between each. He also pointed out the various balconies which were scattered about, as they hung over the side of the brown building. Once they reached the manor entry were there was a large double door, he told Harry that the doors were French and made of oak in an off white color with a knocker that was shaped like a Griffin's head.
While this was going on, Lily was talking to another elf called Pixie who was apparently the manor's cook. She told Pixie very clearly that Harry had been underfed all his life since their absence and that she would like to put him on a nutrient potion based diet from now on. Pixie glanced in Harry's direction and told Lily that she agreed that the young master was way too skinny for her liking and that she will make it her priority to have him back to his normal growth spurt at the earliest. Lily then remembered another thing she had wanted to do the moment she met the manor elves. She told Pixie that it was Harry's seventh birthday today and that though they would not be having any guests, she would like to make it a grand family affair. The moment she mentioned Harry and birthday, she saw an excited glint in Pixie's eyes and knew that her son was in for a very sweet surprise.
James and Sirius on the other hand were talking to Raffles who was more or less the one who took care of the manor grounds, the stables and the Quidditch pitch; both the indoor and outdoor ones. He was telling James and Sirius about the activity across the Cardigan Bay over the years and the news from the nearby reservation for Common Welsh Green Dragons.
As soon as all of them were inside, Kip asked Harry if he wanted to continue the tour of the manor to which Harry nodded excitedly. This was his home and he wanted to know everything about it. Though he couldn't understand most of the big words that Kip told him about, he had a general understanding about what he was being told. He then turned to ask his parents if it was okay for him to get the tour now for which Lily affectionately patted his head and said that it was more than okay.
So he then turned to Kip who beamed and then motioned for him to join him. Once they were gone, Lily told James and Sirius about her plan to throw Harry a small family only surprise birthday party for which both of them nodded excitedly whereas Pixie rushed off to the kitchen muttering under her breath about all the dishes she wanted to make for the young master.
Raffles thought he didn't have much that he could do for the young master's birthday so instead he turned to James and asked if he wanted him to get the animals from their stables on to the grounds where the young master could play with them. He had told James and Sirius that they currently had one young male Griffin and one older female Griffin, two young male Welsh Green Dragons, three Hippogriffs and Two Pegasi.
James and Sirius looked like the idea interested them. Seeing this, Lily immediately put an end to it by telling Raffles that since Harry had spent his time while in absence in the muggle world, it may not be a good idea to do it till they reoriented Harry about the wizarding world. Though she did tell him that he was welcome to join Kip in giving Harry a tour of the stables as long as all the animals were properly secure behind their fence wards.
Raffles agreed that it was a good point and soon turned and hurried to join Harry and Kip on their tour. This then gave the adults a chance to catch up. Needless to say there were a lot of emotions running high. The moment Raffles left the room both James and Lily rushed and embraced Sirius fiercely who returned the embrace with equal fervor. After that Lily gave him a proper dressing down for his actions after he handed over Harry to Hagrid calling him an ignorant git who refused to grow up.
Sirius for his part agreed that Lily was completely well within her rights to give him a piece of her mind. Once she was done, Sirius asked the most important question which to the relief of both James and Lily was what happened to Harry after he handed him over to Hagrid.
When the two of them were done explaining about Dumbledore's decision to place Harry with Lily's sister sighting the blood wards and Harry's treatment thereafter at the hands of Dursleys till they picked him up that morning, James had to physically restrain Sirius who was practically seething in anger over how those abominable muggles treated HIS Godson and force him back into his seat where Lily promptly bound him tightly.
Lily then told him that though he was correct on his part to react like that, he was partially responsible for Harry ending up there which promptly deflated Sirius and he slumped in his chair. Lily knew that it was a low blow, but she wanted to make him understand that he needed to think his actions through rather than letting his rage dictate his actions.
The talk then turned to the topic of James and Lily's return in which they told Sirius that apparently Harry had somehow made a wish about having his parents with him at midnight on his birthday without noticing the two shooting stars that crossed each other at that exact moment, which forced a strong magic to come to life forcing both Death and Fate into an argument in which Death eventually won and enforced the magic bringing them back to life and giving them a second chance at life but not before Fate put a stipulation that they only be given memories till the night they died along with a few additional ones like knowing where and how Harry was treated and what happened to Sirius so that they could not change too many events using their enhanced knowledge they got while they stayed with the dead on coming back to earth.
Sirius looked at them and shook his head and then asked James whether he had any fire-whiskey handy at the manor which broke the tension among them and all three of them shared a laugh. They then spoke about how they were going to explain about the wizarding world to Harry and what their future course of action needs to be. It was unanimously decided that Sirius would go to Gringotts next day and claim his family's headship and vaults as apparently he had received news that his mother had passed away a couple of years after he was sent to Azkaban. His father had died in a death eater raid's cross fire in Diagon alley during his seventh year whereas his grandfather had died of Dragon Pox soon after.
They also spoke about getting in touch with Remus Lupin, their other best friend while agreeing that they will have to wait for Peter to resurface before they could track him again. Soon the three of them went their separate ways to get fresh and prepare for Harry's birthday party. They could already see Pixie starting to do various decorations around the manor.
While all this was going on Kip was giving Harry a tour of the manor in its entirety. He explained to Harry about the maple wood flooring throughout the first two floors along with its lavish furnishing and earthly tones of greens, dark blues, bronze, pale gold and dull scarlet. There were a grand total of six bedrooms (a master bedroom with also had an attached nursery, a guest bedroom and four regular sized bedrooms all with en suite bathrooms), two studies, a sitting room, a living room, a family room, a dining room, a ball room, a magically expanded library and a kitchen; plus there were a few hidden rooms that were scattered about that Kip told Harry were Mistress Lily's specialty.
The basement was divided into four parts; a potions laboratory, a dueling and magical training area, a fully equipped muggle gym and an armory. The third floor was a surprise to Harry as it was charmed to be an indoor Quidditch pitch with the ceiling being charmed to show the sky while the floor was charmed to feel like grass adding to the effect of it being a real Quidditch pitch. When Harry asked about Quidditch, Kip told him that Master James was the best person to tell him about the game as apparently he was a very good Quidditch player himself and had played professionally for a while.
Kip then showed Harry the master bedroom whose walls were charmed to show the outside as if they were made of glass even though for anyone seeing from the outside they will only see the stone the house was constructed from.
After that Kip took him out the backdoor to give him a tour of the grounds, where he pointed out to Harry the fence like ring of trees that made the boundary. He also showed Harry the brick oven/ barbeque in the back yard that Lily had added so that they could cook like muggles in summer. He then showed Harry the Quidditch Pitch from where he took Harry off to the west side of the cliff that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean and pointed to the stairs that led down to the beach area.
He then pointed to Harry the water below the cliff and told him that that was the Cardigan Bay and then pointed to a group of mountains which were no farther than a few miles and told Harry that they were The Rivals and that it was where the reservation of the Common Welsh Green Dragons was. He also told Harry about Godric Hollow which was on the other side of the reservation, where his parents had gone into hiding. He then pointed to another mountain range a bit far off and said that it was the Snowdon and finally told Harry that they were located in Gwynedd, Wales; in Lleyn Peninsula to be specific.
He then told Harry that now he was about to show him the best part of the tour. It was then that Raffles popped next to them and looked at Kip and told him over their elf bond that he needed to decorate the manor for young master's birthday party and that he would give the young master a tour of the stables. Kip nodded and then turned to Harry and told him that he had some urgent work and that Raffles would give him the tour of the stables and that he was sorry to leave mid way. Harry just smiled and told him that it was alright.
Raffles then showed Harry to the stables which surprised Harry unlike anything. Harry couldn't believe his family had animals that one only read about in stories. He wanted to get close to them but Raffles told him that he was too young to do it now and also because he was new to the animals but that he will be able to do it soon enough once they got to know him better. Raffles then told Harry that it was time for lunch so he will take him inside. Harry nodded in agreement and Raffles popped him over to the master suite and left.
When Lily saw Harry she understood from the wide grin on his face that her son had really enjoyed the tour of the manor and the grounds. She then took him to the room next to theirs which she told him would be his. While Harry was gone, James, Sirius and she had transfigured and enlarged the room to make it like a young boy's room along with the help of Kip who assured them that young master would love the way the room was done. She then told Harry that he needed to take a bath and come down for lunch. When Harry started to go to the bathroom, she stopped him and asked him to stay still and then took his measurements magically and told him to go take a bath once she was done.
She then went back to her room and called for Kips and asked him to go to Madam Malkins and pick up a few regular and special dresses and robes for Harry and gave Kips the size, color and fabric details. Kip nodded and popped away. By the time, Harry came out of the bath Kip had popped back with a few clothes to get him started.
After that all of them came down for lunch which was a feast worthy of a King. Once they had eaten up to their necks, a fact that Pixie personally made sure, they moved to the family room where the three adults told Harry all about the wizarding world and their family in general, touching broad topics such as the government, different magical creatures and groups, Hogwarts, various professions, lifestyle and Quidditch. Needless to say by the time they were done, Harry could barely keep the grin off his face after having learned about who he truly was.
When it was nearing six in the evening, Lily asked Harry to go dressed in the attire that was on his bed because they had a surprise for him. Since young Harry never had a birthday party before that, he never caught on to this fact and dutifully went back to his room and got changed and came down only to be greeted by three adults and three house elves jumping in front of him and shouting 'Surprise'. He didn't understand at first but when Lily took him in a crushing hug and said, "Happy Birthday darling" he actually had tears in his eyes in happiness. Once Lily released him both James and Sirius pulled him into individual hugs and wished him. Even the elves gave him a joint hug.
Once they got through that, Pixie brought in a huge three tiered chocolate cake which Harry cut and personally fed everyone. Though his eyes were wet, he was grinning like a loon. In a day his life had changed completely. He was even more surprised when they all gave him gifts. James got him a new broom (a Comet two Sixty), Lily gave him a pair of smart new glasses which apart from being charmed to be auto corrective, water and dirt repellant and unbreakable was also specially charmed to see through any charm, ward, invisibility cloak or disguise. She had Kip pick up a pair from the magical optometrist and then added the special charms herself.
Sirius in his true fashion had gone completely wild and bought him a Great Dane puppy which Harry promptly named 'Pa'foo' much to the amusement of both James and Lily. They then had yet another huge feast. Apparently Pixie had taken Lily's words to heart as she personally made Harry eat second helpings of every single dish and desert she had made. What made it more comical was that she treated Sirius the same way, much to the grumbling of the man. This seemed to placate Harry whose smile never left his face. Seeing this James and Lily looked at each other, nodded and smiled. Yes, this was indeed how it was meant to be and how it will be. They will make sure of that.
A/N: Well first things first, Hello! I got the idea for this fanfic while I was working on the next chapter of 'Harry Potter and The Hero's Pledge'.
This is a story where Harry on his seventh birthday makes a wish at midnight without realizing that at that precise moment, two shooting stars were crossing each other in the sky outside the window of Number Four, Privet Drive setting into motion a chain of events that will make unprecedented changes to his whole life and destiny.