The wonderful world of Harry Potter belongs to JKR.
An insanely powerful Harry who's betrayed by everyone fic.
Draco Malfoy and the Trip to the Past
Chapter – 1
It was night. As I checked the straps on the small case, I looked up briefly at the sky. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was going to be a clear night. I shook my head. I really did not know why I doing this, why I had put all my resources and energies into this crazy scheme, one that could so easily get me killed and leave my beloved son Scorpius fatherless.
I scowled as I wiped a tear from my eye. Now was not the time to be weak. I could not think of my darling son. I had to hope I would see him again, that my decision would not mean that I would leave Scorpius fatherless. Secrecy was not just important, but paramount. Thankfully the love of my life Astoria and my beloved parents had understood my need. They knew I would get no rest or peace until I fulfilled this debt.
I apparated to a small clearing in the middle of a forest, a clearing that had been carefully and secretly prepared for the ritual I was going to begin. I looked around cautiously and satisfied myself that no one else was anywhere nearby. I set my case down, opened it, and removed various things in preparation for the ritual. Once I finished that, I stood up, took a deep breath and began drawing the runes carefully, patiently. I had, with great caution prepared for this journey. I was well prepared. I knew what I needed to do to make my journey a success. I had all the resources I could avail of with me, bought using a huge amount of my family's wealth. As my father told me, "If you succeed, we will have no need for this wealth and if don't this loss will hardly matter." He was right of course.
You may wonder what it was that I was attempting to do. Well in a nutshell I was attempting to right a great wrong. I was attempting to rectify a travesty of justice that had been meted out to my nemesis Harry James Potter four years ago. My nemesis that had saved me from committing a murder and my parents from the murders they had committed on Voldemort's behalf. He was the reason I was a respected member of society and let me tell you that did not come easy, but then, that was what I deserved. He gave me a second chance and they put him down like a rabid dog.
Who'd dare you may ask? Why the very people he thought were his own. Those filthy blood traitors; who else but the Weasleys. My father always said blood will out. I mean, he was no saint, but he also never betrayed a friend or his own blood. Not like these people. The so called Light Side, the good guys. They make me sick.
Only the Weasleys, you may wonder. Hell no. Where to start of the betrayal to Potter? To think it all started because of a Prophecy. Another damned Prophecy? You may ask. Oh and by the way the Prophecy which you all thought was the true one, you know the one which said,
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
Well that was totally false. Harry fought a war on a Prophecy that was not given by anyone. It was created by Dumbledore and his parents. Yeah, you heard me right. His bloody parents. They were alive and condemned their elder son to a Prophecy Trelawney made one night in Hogwarts, one night, just not the same night when all of us thought the most famous and well known Prophecy was made and overheard by Snape.
Only Severus had overheard nothing that night. He had been lurking around and had been caught. A little while later he had a set of memories and a compulsion that made him run to Voldemort. To be fair, though that crowd does not deserve it, Severus would have gone to Voldemort anyway so that point was moot.
Severus! Poor bastard; he died for a love he had not betrayed; but what could he do; he was set up too. What clever fellows these were. Snape was totally set up that night the Potters supposedly died. Peter was a spy for the Potters and Dumbledore in Voldemort's camp, he was still their damned best friend; yep that means Black was in with them. It was a cleverly made golem that languished in prison all those years, not Black. Black was with his beloved friends and Peter stayed with them on and off, when he was not with the Weasleys being their pet and snooping in the Castle among the students (which was his job then), all on Dumbledore's blessings and Fudge's knowledge. What?! Fudge was with them? Yes of course he was.
I continued to draw the runes all around me in a complex diagram. It had taken the combined efforts of my parents, darling Astoria, Severus's portrait, me and a few others, close to four years to create this. Harry Potter did not have a portrait. He was declared a Dark Lord worse than Voldemort, all because he did not welcome his parents with open arms when they came back from the dead. Oh and plus because he raged in fury against Hermione Granger, who was actually his elder sister, born just ten and a half months before him, and he fiercely attacked Dumbledore for betraying him.
Hermione Granger who was best friends with the Weasleys; have I told you they were blood traitors. I have? Well, no harm repeating it. Hermione Granger, who Harry Potter thought was family and trusted her like one; of course like everyone she betrayed him and was then puzzled about his anger. I mean why should anyone be angry when they've spent the first ten years in a cupboard being abused because they thought they were an orphan and then get manipulated all through School into horrific situations and then get manipulated (through the help of some good potions) into a relationship become outraged when they're told everything they believed in was a lie.
The Potters and Dumbledore were waiting for a chance to get him out of the way; after he refused to welcome them, his outrage gave them that chance. They turned around and played a Wizarding World that did not deserve the sacrifice of an honest and courageous person as Potter, because the Wizarding World agreed with everything the Daily Prophet said. Suddenly, the Wizarding World knew that Potter knew his parents were alive all this time; suddenly Potter was a conniving bastard who had messed with the Wizarding World, cheating them all for glory. He went down, down, down.
After the initial shock where he was properly outraged, the fight suddenly went out of Potter. I don't know why he became silent to the taunts and the recriminations against him. He did not say a word in defence. When he was imprisoned he was silent; when he was murdered, yes even though he was killed by an Avada Kedavra by a hit man from the Auror Force, I call it murder because that's what it was, he was silent.
A lie. I laughed hollowly. What a lie that poor blighter had lived through. I knew he would hex me for my pity but I could not help myself. I was horrified that someone could be treated like this and by their own blood. I think that's what opened my father's eyes to the ills of the Wizarding World and made him accept my plans and help me with them. Though he made me promise that that I would not reveal anything to him or my Mother if I succeeded in my endeavours.
He was sure that with the mind-set he had at that time, he would misuse the information I would take to that time. So now you know what I'm trying to do. Travel to the past to correct a horror that affects not only Harry Potter but the Wizarding World at large.
How you may ask? Well Harry, since that fateful night on Halloween of '81 has been the pivot around which the Wizarding World has revolved. For good or ill that has been the case. A Prophecy was given by Trelawney though not on that fateful night. The true one said,
A son will born when the seventh month ends, he will wield a great and a terrible power; he will turn the Wizarding World upside down ... destroying the Dark Lord ...with family as foe, betrayed by all but a few, his power will be his resurrection; he will come again; he will destroy the old, to bring in the new world... A son will be born when the seventh month ends...
Stupid Trelawney! She opened her mouth and Potter's life was finished. Dumbledore heard it and when Harry was born he took James Potter into confidence and what did the blood traitor and his Mudblood wife do? They agreed with Dumbledore that baby Harry grow up to be a terrible wizard if he could return from the dead; so they would sacrifice their son for the Greater Good. They decided he should be put away, after they used Harry to destroy Voldemort of course. Bastards!
May they be eternally damned, the Prophecy may actually be coming true, if I succeed in returning to the past, I will be Harry Potter's resurrection and this time I will groom him adequately. Even if it kills me. It probably will, I reflected gloomily, finishing with the runes and taking out my wand, beginning to link them together in a specific pattern.
In short everyone had betrayed Harry Potter. Everyone had used him for their own purpose and then had thrown him out. If I succeeded in this task, I will ensure Harry takes all of these people down and then lives long enough to bring in that new world in place of the corrupt and evil one I will be leaving just about now. I look at the direction my home is. My parents, the light of my life Astoria and my very soul Scorpius were all there, waiting for me to succeed.
"Astoria Darling, I'll be seeing you shortly. Scorpius my love I'll see you in a few years have no fear. Adieu my parents. Severus pray for me." I made a generous cut on my palm and let the blood fall on the runes and wash them, even as I chanted the spells that my father had coerced an Unspeakable to give. I don't know what methods he used to do that; only that I am glad he was able to bring to the table a viable means of carrying out my plan. I am feeling faint; it is all the blood I'm using and losing. I still continue chanting aware that I need to complete the spells two more times. I hope I will still be alive and coherent for that. This was something I could not practise beforehand.
Only once now. I can hardly think. I finish the spell and I am surprised to see I am aware if only slightly. That awareness is leaving me quickly. I have done all that I can do. Now I need to ...
End of Chapter – 1
Chapter – 2
"Draco!" A gentle voice permeated my consciousness. "Draco!" Damn that voice was persistent. Where had I heard it before? I struggled to get up, aware ... I stopped, aware of what? Something was niggling my thoughts, it was just there but I could not get it. The voice was insistent now and I slowly opened my bleary eyes, gasping against the weak sunlight that Mother had let into the room. Mother? Since when did Mother simply waltz into our room and open curtains for Astoria and me? That was ... weird.
"Draco, if you're not up now, I'm afraid I will have to call your Father." She pulled the covers and gasped. "You are sleeping in your robes? What happened to you? What behaviour is this Draco darling? You're seven now; it's high time you learned to behave. How else will you cope when you go to Hogwarts then?"
I opened my eyes in a hurry. Seven! Seven?! Dear Merlin, I succeeded in my crazy scheme. Oh Dear Lord! My eyes focussed and I could not help the grin that crept into my face as I saw my very young Mother frowning at me. "I'm sorry Mummy. I'm up."
She suddenly smiled and it took my breath away to see that there were no harsh worry lines on her lovely face; worry lines that marred and scarred her face after Voldemort took residence in our home, after he gave me the impossible task of killing Dumbledore. Not to mention the hard years of good work, even after which the Malfoy family would always be remembered for aligning with Voldemort.
Mother looked beautiful. I got up and to my surprise and hers I hugged her hard. "Draco!" she cried affectionately, hugging me back. It felt so good and I revelled in her love for me.
"Get up now and let's see what we can do today. You wanted to start learning Potions, remember darling? I've asked Severus to come over and start the basics with you."
My heart leapt with anticipation and happiness. I would see Severus. I had not seen him in years and speaking to a portrait did not count. I laughed as I ran to the bathroom. "Thank you Mummy." I cried, knowing that she loved me calling her Mummy and was sad when I started with Mother, at eight, because I felt all grownup. I heard her laugh as she walked out with an admonition not to be late.
I walked to the dining room a half an hour later to see my father; the person my father in my timeline told me not to trust. I understood. Father was not just a Malfoy, but he still had Death Eater leanings. It would take not just time but bitter experience for him to understand how wrong he had been. Well I could wait.
After breakfast, I waited impatiently to see the man I had loved, respected and in the most secret place of my heart wished, had been my father. Especially when I had been young and more so, when I had been branded by Voldemort to become one of his dreaded Death Eaters. Severus saved me in more ways than one, and he continued from his portrait to guide me and help me. To help Harry.
What most including Harry thought, until he had wised up to everyone, was that Severus hated Harry. He hadn't. He needed to make everyone think so and he succeeded admirably. The door opened and Severus walked in briskly. Merlin, he looked so young I thought as I ran to him and hugged him hard. I was seeing him after decades. Didn't I just say Portraits do not count?
I spent a wonderful afternoon with him; I barely managed to not show off my knowledge in Potions, as it was I knew he went away very impressed. I spent the next few days watching my father and making friends of the elves. We have four of them. I am ashamed to say they were all treated badly. I managed to stop that by snottily asking Mother if I could order the elves and make them obey me. She was not convinced at first.
"Mummy!" I looked at her imperiously as I could. I saw that Father was amused. We were at dinner and I wanted this first. I knew this would make Harry happy.
"Yes Darling!" she smiled and glanced at Father.
"I wish to ask you something."
"Go on Darling!"
"May I have an elf of my own and may I order all our elves and make them obey me as they would you or Father. I need to learn such things Mother! I want to know how to treat servants."
She frowned slightly and looked at me intently. I knew she would not like this. She was a Black; subtlety was their watchword; blood triumphed over all else; well except for a few of them. The real Blacks were a fearful lot. If Arcturus Black or Dorea Potter now knew of what Sirius Black or James Potter had done, they would have disowned both Sirius and James for betraying blood and family. James and Sirius were regrettably like Bellatrix. Stupid.
Narcissa Malfoy had been horrified at what had happened to Harry Potter. Arcturus Black and Dorea Potter's Portrait, outraged. Dorea had refused to talk to James, Lily and Sirius from then on. James Potter had been hurt and then enraged, when she ordered Potter Manor to be closed for all the Potters except Harry and the elves had obeyed her.
I knew Arcturus was alive now. He had died because Sirius had poisoned him the last time. I started to wonder if Arcturus Black could be brought into all of this. Merlin knew I needed help. Dorea Potter's portrait could help me as well. Hmm, that was worth pondering seriously.
I now looked expectantly at my mother, ignoring her frown that I was not more like a Black should be. I knew she had ever despaired of me learning Slytherin subtlety the last time. Well this time I was far more cunning and secretive.
"Mummy! I promise I will not do anything to make you regret this." I said as pompously as I could. My father smirked and nodded to my mother. I waited impatiently, letting my impatience show. I could not be too subtle at this time as that would alarm my mother.
She looked at Father who was smiling and then she looked at me. "Draco ..."
"Please Mother!" I begged, showing my obvious desire to control the elves.
"Oh alright." She conceded and I whooped in joy and went and glomped her, though she did not know the word glomp and would have frowned in disapproval if I had mentioned it. But I did it all the same, knowing how I loved it when Scorpius glomped me. That made me pause and it was with obvious difficulty I controlled my feelings.
"Thank you Mother," I sobered enough to say snootily once again. "I'll not let you down."
Mother's face had that resigned look that said that she did not believe for an instant I would keep my word, though she smiled at me.
I spent the next few days confusing the hell out of my elves. I had a lot of fun. Poor things; they did not know how to take the firm order from me that they were never ever going to hurt themselves on my father or mother's orders. They must pretend to do so of course, else I knew my father would curse them himself. Dobby was ecstatic in his gratefulness.
Three days later I had another brainstorm as I was once again thinking about how to contact Potter as it had become my habit to do so.
"Dobby!" I called as I sat in the sanctuary of my room.
"Master!" he gushed as he popped in. I had asked Dobby to ensure my room was always clear of listening charms or wards or charms of any type and the little fellow was only too eager to oblige. I had made him my personal elf and I was slowly trying to get him to lose his wariness and distrust in the new me.
"I have a very important job for you."
"Yes Master." He quivered in anticipation.
"First ensure the room's clean of any spell work." I ordered.
Dobby snapped his fingers and turned to Draco. "It's clean Master Draco."
"Thank you Dobby." Dobby shivered in joy at the thanks he received. I leaned towards Dobby confidentially and whispered. "I want to meet Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived. I want to become his friend. Can you find out where he is? Don't allow him to see you. Dumbledore had placed him with Muggles and he may not know of us yet. And please be careful. I don't want you to be hurt by any wards Dumbledore may have placed around where Potter may live at the moment."
I looked at Dobby with eagerness obvious on his face. "Can you do this Dobby?"
Dobby was jumping in his eagerness to get started. "Of course I can Master Draco."
"Go now and report to me. Remember you should not tell anyone about this. That's an order Dobby. I don't want anyone with ill intent to reach Potter and do not hurt yourself in trying to reach him if he's behind prohibitive wards." I knew my words would harden Dobby's resolve and make him absolutely secretive about this.
He popped out and I waited impatiently for him to return. He returned after quite some time, his whole demeanour changed. I became alarmed as I looked at his drooping ears and tears shimmering in his eyes. He looked at me and hiccupped loudly, beginning to cry. I couldn't stand it anymore.
"What happened Dobby? Are you hurt in any way?"
"Master Draco, it not Dobby who's hurt, it's the Great Harry Potter. Theys making him work like an elf. Hes tiny and hes suffering." Dobby's voice rose in a crescendo and he all but shrieked as he stopped, tears pouring from his eyes at the plight of Harry Potter.
I scowled and took a deep breath. "Dobby, stop it. Stop crying. Only then can we help him." I said firmly and was rather startled when the elf stopped howling and looked at me in hope.
"Wes can? Wes really can Good Master Draco?" even with my anger, I could not help smiling. I had apparently graduated to 'Good Master' now.
"Yes Dobby. We will help Harry Potter. Now calm down and tell me all you saw."
Dobby calmed down at once and told all he had seen on his invisible visit to Harry Potter's residence.
"I popped to the Great Harry Potter's home. Master Draco, Great Harry Potter was in elf's room."
"What?!" I interrupted him at that time, scandalised at what I was hearing, even though I knew all about it. "What do you mean Dobby, by elf's room?"
"It is being the room that is the cupboard beneath the stairs. That is where the Great Harry Potter is living. While the family," Dobby actually spat the words out, "the family they bes living in the house. Master," he continued furiously, "There bes two empty rooms, but the Great Harry Potter lives in elf room and he was being shouted at by that nasty lady and was walking to the kitchen to cook." his lower lips trembled again. "Can we rescue the Great Harry Potter, Master Draco?"
I thought for a moment. Then I shook my head regretfully. "I'm sorry Dobby. We can't. We'd be accused of kidnapping Harry Potter. But we can help him. Help him to eat well. Help him to change his cupboard into a castle and help him to learn magic so that he can do his tasks effortlessly. But," I looked at the eager quivering elf. "We must be secretive. We must not tell anyone. I heard Father say that it was Dumbledore who placed Harry in that home and so if he ever knew that Harry was receiving help he could take Harry away and place him inside a Fidelus, which would make it impossible to help him."
I was taking a pretty big risk by tell Dobby about Dumbledore, but I needed that to be said, so that Dobby would not even think of going to Dumbledore under any circumstance. Dobby was predictably horrified.
"But Good Master Draco," he cried in distress. "Headmaster Dumblydore is a great man."
"He may be Dobby, but I know what I heard and if we're going to help Harry we should make sure no one, not my parents, not Dumbledore, not even the Minister of Magic should be told. The more quietly we can help Harry, the better it will be." I looked at him hopefully and heaved a huge sigh of relief when he nodded seriously.
"You is right Good Master Draco. We must help the Great Harry Potter without anyones knowing."
"For that Dobby, please go to all homes in that area, where did you say it was?"
"No 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Good Master Draco." Dobby said obligingly, making me grit my teeth. How easy it was to get to Harry. All I needed was an elf with good intention.
"Yes, Little Whinging Dobby and see if there are any wizards, witches or squibs in that area. If there are any close to Harry's home, then we must be doubly careful."
Dobby nodded approvingly and he popped off a minute later after my nod to check for any magical presence in the area. I waited patiently, knowing Dobby would come to me with Figg's name. Finally I was getting somewhere.
I made my plans carefully. As expected Dobby came up with Figg's name. I then sent him to check for all wards and protections. He came up with an impressive list, but all wards were tied up with an intention ward that would not allow anyone with evil intention to harm Potter. That was why Dobby was able to go to Privet Drive and that was why I would be too. I spent the next day preparing simple nutrient potions in my room, having asked Dobby to bring a cauldron and the required ingredients. Then I asked him to prepare some food, preferably soup, for I did not know how much his stomach could take in at first. I was ready to meet Potter at last. I needed one last thing. Fortunately I knew where I could get it.
"Dobby," I called. "It's time." I declared. He shook with anticipation. "Yes Good Master Draco."
I looked at him for a long moment. "Please go to Little Whinging and silence Potter's cupboard from the Muggles and place a Muggle Repelling Charm all around it." I ordered, a now familiar feeling of anger sweeping over me thinking of the cupboard. Despicable people. Well Potter would show them. All of them.
Dobby vanished and returned in less than a minute. "It's all done Good Master Draco!" he said.
"Where is Potter?" I enquired.
"He's in his cupboard Good Master Draco!" Dobby replied with anguish.
"Come here with me for a minute Dobby!" I told him as I walked out of my room. I approached my father's Library carefully, but neither my mother nor father were there. I stepped into the Library and walked to the furthest corner and peered at a small niche that looked empty. I knew better. There within a Fidelus Charm were two Time Turners, one going back the standard one hour and the other going back six hours. I knew the Password courtesy of my father from the future and I also knew where he kept his spare wands within the Library bound to Malfoy Magic.
I could not take the wands, because my father would be alerted even if a Malfoy disturbed the small drawer, but I had a plan for that. I turned to Dobby and asked him to retrieve the wands for me. My father in the future told me that he never bothered to ward anything against elves because he needed them to keep the place clean and also he was arrogant enough to think the small magical beings would never dare to go against him.
Dobby, his already huge eyes widening impossibly did that for me. The first thing I did was to choose my Grandmother's wand which was almost as perfect as my own Blackthorn wand. I waved it and conjured a perfect copy of the wand I had taken. Then I asked Dobby to replace them within the drawer. I, then walked to the small niche and thinking the words drew the six hour time turner, because I knew my father almost never used it. He told me in the future he always used the one hour time turner, because it was safer. I created another copy of the time turner even as Dobby's eyes almost popped out of his small head, and looked around to check whether everything was in place.
Once I satisfied myself, I walked out of the Library and back into my room.
"Where are my parents Dobby?" I asked.
"They is away for the day Good Master Draco." Dobby told me his gaze worshipful.
"Well then, let's be off." I declared. "Pop me to the edge of the wards Dobby."
End of Chapter – 2
Chapter – 3
Dobby propped me to the edge of the wards. I took a deep breath and asked Dobby to cast a Notice-Me-Not spell on me. Elven magic, I knew was almost impossible to undo or to look through. Once done, I slowly crossed the ward line hardly feeling anything. I knew I would not be noticed by Dumbledore or anyone. But then, I didn't have any intention to harm Potter.
I slowly walked to No. 4 Privet Drive. There was hardly anything to distinguish between one house and another and I could not help but wrinkle my nose in distaste at uniformity, the sheer abnormal normality of this particular neighbourhood. I wondered if I was biased by what I knew of the Dursleys, and I realised I was. Most of the upper middle class neighbourhoods were the same in England, but this particular neighbourhood made me hateful of what it represented.
I walked up the small driveway, if one could call the brief pathway to the front door that, and cast a Notice-Me-Not Charm on myself with my wand this time, and then a Muggle Repelling Charm on the front door. Then using an Alohomora, I opened it and removed the Muggle Repelling Charm once I closed the door.
I walked to the Cupboard Under the Stairs and stopped there for a brief minute. I cast a strong Muggle Repelling around the area again and then, knowing it was silenced, I opened the door. The Cupboard was empty. Of course, it was morning and Harry the House Elf was probably cooking in the kitchen. I entered the small space with some difficulty and sat down in on the rickety bed and grimaced with distaste. This was where the Boy-Who-Lived lived? Merlin, and they were angry with Harry because he was unhappy with the answers they gave him, when he asked his parents and Dumbledore why he had been subjected to this abuse and neglect.
Well, I straightened my shoulders with determination. This was why I had come here to the past sacrificing everything good that had happened to me, my darling Astoria and Scorpius. I had become a Gryffindor who could not sleep thinking about the injustice meted out to my hated nemesis.
I whipped out my wand, smiling reassuringly at Dobby's worried expression and began to cast. In a few seconds, I had changed the size of the Cupboard and the bed, mattress and pillow, if one could call the flat thing that. I conjured another pillow and had a plain if sturdy table and chair by his bed. The small shelves were changed on one side to a decent cupboard; I left the other side with cleaning supplies as they were, only removing their rather pungent smell from the room. I then cast the more complicated spells that would allow the Dursleys or indeed anyone except Harry to open and enter the Cupboard, but see only the old small, stifling space that had been there before instead of what I had done here. These were a tad dark compared to the rest, but I cast on, confident that the wards would recognise my intent and allow me to finish. I was right.
I finished in a few minutes and then sat down to wait for Harry to enter his 'bedroom'. It took another hour, and I used that time to mentally run through everything. I turned to Dobby and warned him to be invisible until I could introduce him to Harry, without the boy becoming frightened. Dobby was a little downcast at that, but he agreed.
I let my thoughts run to Dorea Potter and Arcturus Black. I could not decide whether to meet Arcturus first and then ask him to bring Dorea Potter's portrait to confer with and meet and teach Harry or meet both of them together. The possibilities were endless really. If Arcturus declared Harry to be the Black Heir, then that would mean a great deal of influence for Harry and if he could claim the Potter Ring and become the Potter Head, it would be even better. I decided to get Harry to Gringotts and have an inheritance test as soon as possible, with Arcturus's knowledge.
The time I waited for to meet Harry Potter in this timeline was well spent in plotting. As I continued to think on the best way to approach Arcturus, I heard the Cupboard door opening. I looked up to see the small boy tiredly coming inside to flop on his bed. I watched amused as Harry came in without noticing the changes, deep in thought, rubbing his head, which I noticed with concern was slightly swollen and I was angry to see the tears in his eyes, which he was already rubbing fiercely at, when he noticed what happened to his room.
"Huh?" he gasped loudly. "Wha?" he stammered incoherently before he noticed me and then he let out an uncontrolled shriek, and then clamped his hand on his mouth, looking fearfully at the cupboard door. That angered me more than I can say. Harry was being confronted by something so strange and scary, which rightfully alarmed him, but he was more fearful of expressing that alarm than raising it. I grit my teeth as I took a good look at him.
Wearing clothes many sizes big for him, I knew from my Hogwarts days, but still the effect of such clothes on a seven year old boy made him look about five. He was clearly underfed, malnourished and abused. I scowled and then I cleared my expression. There was no need to make Harry more fearful of the situation than he already was.
"Hello Harry!" I beamed at him. "I'm Draco Malfoy and I want to be your friend." I finished blandly.
The effect of that statement was startling on Harry. He straightened up and scowled. "I don't know who you are but I won't believe such things. Dudley's put you to this for sure." He looked around the Cupboard with suspicion. "And how did you do all this? I won't take the blame for this, I won't." he said fiercely.
I smiled gently at him, "Its true Harry, I want to be your friend. I'm a wizard, as you are," Harry tried to interrupt me, but I did not allow him to. "Did you see your room?" I pointed out. "Don't you want to ask me how I did it? Plus, we've been talking pretty loudly here and yet your Aunt and Uncle still have to hear us."
That stopped Harry short. He started to say something, then stopped then started again and then stopped. I patiently waited and watched him trying to explain why his Aunt and Uncle and cousin had not come now to see who Harry was talking to, as if he could sit and talk to someone in this small cramped place. Then there was the place. I could almost read Harry's thoughts as he looked around the Cupboard and then after a long moment he sighed defeated and not a little scared.
He asked the question I was waiting for. "Who are you then?"
I grinned. "I'm Draco Malfoy. I'm a wizard as you are."
"A what?" he said incredulously.
"A wizard Harry." I replied. "Surely you have had strange things happen to you?" I asked him.
Harry started to answer hotly, when he suddenly he paused. I spoke into the silence. "Your parents were our kind too. A witch and wizard. That's why your Aunt dislikes you. You and your Mum have something she doesn't."
Even as I said that, I knew it was not true. Petunia Evans Dursley in the last timeline was a bitter woman, as indeed all Dursleys were. They had been forced magically to be harsh to their nephew, and when they 'woke – up' as it were, it made them so horrified that they became permanently damaged. While it was true that Petunia was jealous of Lily and her magic, she wouldn't have been what she was to Harry if it weren't for the compulsions. Harry would have been an outsider, but he would have had a far more acceptable childhood than what he did now.
Harry stared at me and I was annoyed to know I could not read his face and understand what he was feeling then. I waited patiently for him to come to an understanding and start a conversation with me. It took a long time. Then he sighed and I was reminded of the Harry I knew from long ago, one who would bow, defeated to forces not of his making, yet trying to stand up to them. That made me angry as well. No one should so sound so defeated at so young an age.
I started slowly, explaining as best as I could about magic. Harry was a quiet and intense listener. His eyes lit up when I told him about his parents and I could see that he tried hard not to cry when I told him about their supposed sacrifice. I told him I wanted to be his friend, growing up as I did listening to stories about how he defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort. Then I introduced him to Dobby.
"Dobby, please reveal yourself. Harry," I continued not minding the small frightened shriek that Harry gave seeing Dobby. I explained all about Dobby and how he could do many things, like bring him good meals everyday along with nutrient potions. "My father says," I continued pompously, "Nutrient potions should be taken if a growing boy is malnourished. You look it." I finished bluntly, not minding the wince and the downtrodden look Harry gave me.
"I'm alright." He muttered defensively.
"No you're not. Dobby, please get us something good to eat. You've warded the Cupboard against smells from leaking outside have you not?"
"Oh yes Good Master Draco! I's have." Dobby said and disappeared with a loud distressed pop. Harry stared wide eyed at the spot Dobby had been only a moment before, when he gave another startled shriek as Dobby appeared again, this time bearing hot, mouth-watering food and a small vial of nutrient potion.
I tried not to scowl as I watched Harry look at the hot meal his mouth literally watering. I smiled gently as he looked at me asking silent permission. I nodded at him and took a cup of soup and started.
"Have the Nutrient Potion first, before you start eating Harry, that'll help you."
Harry looked at the Potion for a long moment, then with a minute shrug of his shoulders drank in a gulp, retched violently and looked at me in anger.
"Health Potions are always vile tasting. Don't mind it. Now start with your soup. It's very tasty."
Harry hesitated over the soup, thinking it would taste as bad as the Potion, and then he tentatively took a spoonful to his mouth. He swallowed it and looked at me. I smiled encouragingly at him and nodded. He needed no more encouragement. Soon he was pleasantly full and then he started asking questions, which I was more than happy to answer.
I went home that evening promising to come the next day. I had come on a Saturday and I decided that I would visit Harry on weekends. I also told him that Dobby will bring him his meals from then on, along with some Potions. I was deliberately vague, allowing Harry to understand that his Potions would be health related taking care of the malnourishment and providing his body with the vital nutrients. But I would also be adding to them minute portions of a bind removing Potion as well as a Potion to naturally Occlude his mind. That wonderful Potion was developed by Severus after he died. He told me, when I was preparing to leave for the Past. I was taking it, and I started giving it to Harry.
That was the start of a wonderful time in Harry's life as well as mine, if I am to be honest. I delighted in traveling to No. 4 Privet Drive and talking to Harry, teaching him all he could learn. I pushed him hard and I was not surprised when he refused to buckle down under my tutelage. I taught him all about the magical world and in turn I learnt about the Muggle World along with him. I travelled to his home all weekends and holidays, and with a bit of help from a compulsion charm by Dobby on both on the Dursleys and Mrs. Figg, I was able to ensure those days Harry would be left free.
Mostly we learnt, but we played too. I roped in Dobby as well to teach Harry some elven magic, especially with regards to healing and popping; I learnt too, since it was an art I did not know before. Harry was growing nicely and I asked Dobby to place a charm on him that would hide his growth, so that there would be no uncomfortable questions asked.
Slowly Harry began to trust me. It took a few months but he also started questioning; a habit the Dursleys had nearly beaten out of him.
"But Draco, how can a movement and a couple of words make this feather rise high?" he asked seemingly bewildered a month into our practical lesson.
I was sharing my wand with him. While it was not the best wand for him, he was thrilled the first time I offered to share it with him, not aware of the honour, faith and trust I had bestowed upon him by that gesture.
"It's magic Harry." I explained patiently. "The magic inside us reacts to the words and the movement to make the feather rise."
"Because we want it to."
"So why do we need the words and the movement?" He asked scratching his head. "Wouldn't the fact we want to make our magic obey us? Since that's all she's doing anyway doesn't she?"
I had asked Harry to refer to Magic as a woman, since I was taught to refer to magic so, but now I looked at him stunned. I did not have an answer to his question. He was going against a lifetime of belief and I was not sure I could change, when he did something only he could do.
'Feather rise." He said giggling, while keeping his arms down. To my shock the feather rose smoothly into the air and remained suspended. I let out a small shriek, not unlike the one he gave when he saw Dobby reappear the first day I met him.
Harry laughed out aloud. "See Draco. We don't need funny incantations or movements. We can do it if we want to."
And that's all there was to it. We could do it if we want to, and we don't even need a wand. At least in Harry's case. I realised I was witnessing something magnificent and something unheard of. A Mage surely, if not someone higher. Who was so in tune with his magic. And that too only after a few months of potions to unbind his magic. I surreptitiously checked his core now and then, on the pretext of checking whether his malnutrition had improved and I was glad to see that the bindings were coming off smoothly, but slowly.
Once we made this revelation there was nothing I could do to stop Harry from exploring his limitless magic. We simply sped through spells; I told him that if he was able to simulate the correct movements, he could command his magic to do all the work he had to do for the Dursleys. That was all. Harry used his magic to work his jobs with the Dursleys, exercising his magic in the most wonderful way. His chores became a time of relaxation than hard unfair labour.
Six months after I met him, I started Harry on theory. The basics of Wizarding Law; Customs and Traditions; and Genealogy for one. Potions for another. I taught him about Potions for two months, about ingredients and how to collect them before starting on a Potion. I taught him simple Potions first. Harry loved them. He relished in learning new things, perhaps it was his way of showing to himself that he was not a Freak; that he was not useless and that he could be the best of them. Whatever the reason, Harry worked hard at his lessons and excelled in them.
With Harry settled nicely, I turned my attention to other things. Like how to get Arcturus and Dorea Potter on my side and if I could get Severus on this too. I knew if I could do that, things would be easy for Harry in School. I thought long and hard and then I came to a decision, sat down and wrote three letters.
End of Chapter – 3
Chapter – 4
Dear Severus Snape,
I would like to meet you this coming Saturday to discuss an issue very close to your heart. I will also be contacting two other people who have a vested interest in this issue. If you wish to know more then you must come alone to the cliffs near Highroad, Cornwall. I do believe this will be to your profit. You may not mention this to anyone. I will swear that I will not harm you physically or magically when you are there and I will ensure your safety with the other two parties if you think to worry at all. If you are interested, then you may hold on to this parchment at half past seven on Saturday morning. Please make your excuses to your Headmaster; you may decide to stay for the weekend. Thank you.
P.S it concerns Lily Evans.
I looked at the letter with a critical eye. I drew a long breath. Not my best effort, but I thought it'll have to do. I desperately hoped Severus would come. He would smooth a lot of things for me and Harry. I wrote the same letter without the Headmaster and Lily reference to Arcturus. To him, I wrote Sirius Black's name in the postscript and to Dorea Potter I wrote the names of James Potter and Harry.
I charmed the letters with a Portkey and a nifty charm that would stop the receiver from saying anything about the contents to another; I knew it from the Black Family Grimore, which more or less guaranteed Arcturus and Dorea Potter's attendance. They would be outraged to know that someone knew the ancient Family charm from the Family Grimore. I grinned to myself as I imaged the anger Arcturus would express as he discovered the charm. He would not suspect Mother since, I knew that she never even heard of it at this point in her life. Dorea Potter had taught the charm to me much, much later. Today the only people who knew it were the elder Blacks and even among them, I was not sure who all knew it.
"Dobby!" I called.
"Yes Good Master Draco?" he popped in.
"I need you to use mail owls at the post office and send this to Severus Snape, Arcturus Black and Dorea Black Potter and her husband Charlus Potter. Can you make sure the Portraits get them? They need to come to this meeting. Can they?"
"Yes of course Good Master Draco!" Dobby replied jumping up and down. "I's can. I makes it possible for Portraits to get letters through elves and they keep secret. They comes with their personal elves. It is possible Good Master Draco."
"And will they keep it a secret?"
Dobby looked unsure. "They may. They tell elves. But other humans, Dobby does not know."
Well I had to be content with that. "If they bring anyone, we can vanish quickly Dobby?"
"Of course Good Master Draco."
"Good." I said.
I was also facing another dilemma. Whether to take Harry or not. Taking him would mean a softer reception from the Potters and old Arcturus. Severus would buckle down to the fact Harry had been betrayed by his own, and in fact faced a lot more in his seven and a bit years, not counting his other life. I knew that. Severus may sneer at James Potter, but about the fact a child had been treated so, I knew would make him fierce about defending Harry. I sighed. It was a difficult choice, since it would also mean telling Harry what had happened to him once and how I had lied to him all this time. I sat down staring out of my window, not really taking in the wondrous view of the glorious sunset until it was time for dinner.
The days leading up to Saturday were agonizing in their slowness. I could do nothing but wait it out I knew, but damn it was so very hard, especially since I could not talk about this to anyone and I had no clue if any of the three parties would come at all. For all I knew Arcturus and Dorea might not come at all, then contrary to what I was thinking I also knew in my heart that they'd come; I was tortured by my own feeling about everything; and I finally concluded that Severus was the one I couldn't predict; these two would come and come blazing with sheer power.
I was assailed by doubts of all kinds the next few days, going from of course they'd come to, Merlin, I was doomed to fail. This meeting was too critical, especially with Arcturus and Dorea and I was terrified that something adverse to Harry's interests might happen.
Then it was Friday night and I couldn't sleep, even though I knew I needed to keep my wits around me. I had decided not to take Harry, since I had completely forgotten that the minute he crossed the wards, he'd be found out. So if everything went well, I would take them to him, not Harry to them.
Saturday dawned bright and beautiful. I went through that day with great impatience before making two turns and winding up just at six in the morning. I took a deep breath. This was going to be the most important part of my plan for Harry. I prayed it would go off well and asked Dobby to pop me. I had asked him to make me invisible using elven charm, so that any detection spells would not reveal me. I had also planned for Dorea and Charlus Potter being brought by elves, who would know. I had asked Dobby to explain things to the Potter elves and told him to tell the elves that no harm would come to them.
"Dobby! Can you meet the Potter elves who are in charge of Potter Castle and tell them that if Dorea Black Potter and her husband come, they will not be harmed by me or by you? Is that possible?"
"Yes, Good Master Draco. I's can tell them." He popped out and came after fifteen minutes.
"I's have told them Good Master Draco. They were suspicious at first hearing Good Master name, but I convinced them. They said," here Dobby's ears drooped. "They is seeing and then deciding whether it safe for their Master and Mistress to come."
"Did they get the letter then?"
"Oh yes Good Master Draco. They's did. At first elves attack me. But I's remembering that Good Master Draco tells me not to be attacked and I's defended myself."
"Will they tell the Potters that you are a Malfoy elf?"
Dobby shrugged. That meant they would. Merlin that might sway their attendance either way. Well I'd know in a few minutes from now.
Suddenly there was a flash and Arcturus and Snape apparated almost together and then they looked surprised when they saw each other. Arcturus scowled. I also noticed another presence invisible and backing Arcturus. Cassiopeia most likely.
"It was you!" he said contempt dripping in his voice. "You called me?"
Snape sneered in return. I grinned as I saw that familiar sneer directed countless times at non offending Gryffindors.
"Me call you?" he asked in the same tone Arcturus used and watched with satisfaction as Arcturus's face coloured with outrage. "Why on earth would I? I presume you received a letter too."
Arcturus frowned, his anger forgotten as his sharp brain started wondering who would call him and Snape together. "Is it about your leanings? He asked delicately, a wealth of insult in his voice and smirked as Snape's face flooded with unseemly colour.
"Then why were we called Arcturus?" a clear melodious voice called out before Snape could retort furiously.
"Not me, just you were called dear. I do think this is a Black Family problem. Perhaps young Snape is an unfortunate accident of the actions of one of your more colourful family members?" a humour ridden male voice asked Dorea.
Arcturus and Snape swirled around and looked with deep loathing at the portrait that was being set down lovingly by two elves.
"Not now darling!" Dorea shushed him. "Hello Arcturus. Snape." She added more coolly before turning to Arcturus. "Well are those who called us going to meet us here? I got a letter too."
I decided to step out before Arcturus and Snape decided to kill each other and try and destroy the portrait of the Potters.
"Good morning all. Thank you for coming." Two spells rushed out towards me. Dobby swatted both of them even as I raised my hands in a gesture of surrender.
"Draco!" two voices rang out. Snape's voice sounded incredulous, while Arcturus sounded livid.
"I'll have you removed from the Black Family."
"At this point that may actually work out better for him, with the state the Black Family is in." Snape said drily, smirking as Arcturus glared at him.
"Severus!" I said reluctantly stopping what was looking to be a great fight, and one I'd have enjoyed witnessing at another time.
"Draco!" he turned to me, realising that he should be more worried about me than scoring points of old Arcturus.
"Severus, be patient and thank you for coming. I'll explain everything. I swear. No, Mother and Father don't know anything about this and no, I'm not possessed or under the Imperius. Thank you Grandfather Black and Mr and Mrs Potter for coming. I'm sure you won't regret it. It is a family matter; a Black and Potter family matter, but," forestalling both Dorea's and Arcturus's objection to Snape's presence I added, "Severus is very important to what I have to say and to me he is family, so please bear with me."
I lifted my wand and saw both Severus and Arcturus go on alert. Both had been silent as I spoke and I think they were preparing themselves for an assault. Just then two more spells came whizzing towards me. Thankfully the Potter elves were silent so far. Dobby swatted these too even as I started speaking.
"I Draconis Lucius Malfoy swear on my life and my magic that all I say in this meeting is the truth. So it is and so be it."
Severus was flabbergasted as was Arcturus.
"Draco! Are you out of your senses?" Severus shouted.
"What else can you expect from a Malfoy?" Arcturus asked in disgust.
I sighed. It was going to be a long meeting.
"Can we all calm down? I gave that oath because what I have to reveal is very, very important. I have a great many things to tell you and it'll be easier if we all cooperate. Believe me, it will be worth your while."
All of them were silent. Then Charlus Potter of all people spoke.
"Lad, speak then. I guess it has to do with young Harry. That's why we are here as is Arcturus. I'm not sure about the young death eater."
Snape started, but then stayed silent like the great spy he was, watching.
"He has a lot to do with Harry too, Sir! And you are correct. I'm here because of and for Harry. I would have brought him, but then, that would have outed Harry to negative forces."
"Do you know where he is Draco?" Severus asked.
"Yes. Severus, do you know how easy it is to get this information?"
"What?" Charlus asked, now angry. "I was told by the Headmaster that he is safe, healthy and happy."
"He is now, Sir. But when Dobby and I visited him first, he was worse than Dobby; if you didn't know, I'm ashamed to say our elves were treated shabbily until recently."
"Good Master Draco, you must not say so. You are very kind and all Malfoy elves now are healthy and happy."
I flicked my wand and conjured three chairs and that more than anything else convinced Severus and Arcturus that I knew much more than I should. They settled down quietly, alert and aware and I started.
"I am Draco Malfoy. I come from a future that is not just horrifying, but also an extreme betrayal of what happened to a boy who was not even my friend. I offered him my hand on the train on the first day of our first year at Hogwarts and he refused to take it. From then on I hated him for what he did. Turned down my friendship for that of a Weasley. Yet he saved me much later. And I could not live with myself when I realised I could not save him when he needed someone to save him. I came back with the help of my parents and Severus and all of you. You had died too Mr. Black. You were poisoned."
"Who would dare poison the Head of House Black?" asked a frigid voice. Dorea Potter was dripping ice and her husband Charlus actually moved a little away from her.
"I'm going to tell you everything. I'm going to trust you. I've not told my parents anything. My father in the future told me not to tell him anything, since his mind set was different at this time. He, Mother, my darling wife and Severus helped me come here. Father got the method from the Unspeakables. Harry Potter was the boy who refused my hand in favour of Ron Weasley. I was a little snot at that time, I agree freely and I was then of the opinion that the Weasleys were blood traitors. Of course I was channelling my father, but Merlin! Was it true? The Weasleys were the blood traitor of the blood traitors there were. If another family could supersede them, then it probably were the Potters and the Blacks."
"How dare you?" Dorea Potter interrupted me in her horrible frigid tome, just beating Arcturus's own outrage. "How dare you? After all the sacrifices made by my family which were most likely caused by yours."
I smiled mirthlessly. "How I wish it were true."
"What?" that shocked her.
"Yes Mam. I can assure you that no death eater was a paragon of virtue, and yet, Dumbledore and some of his cronies were far worse than what we could do. Oh, Voldemort, yes, I can say his name, was a retard who had no idea of what he was doing. And his followers were power hungry mongrels, yes Sir, I include the House of Black, which was foolish enough to bow and kiss a mad half-blood with delusions of purity. But for all that, family counted with us. Arcturus Black, you are here because I told you that you will learn something about Sirius. You came for family, like the Potters did for James Potter and Harry. Severus is here for the only woman who befriended him as a child, Lily Potter."
"All this is fine orator ship Draco, if that's who you are." Severus spoke angrily for the first time and I cut him off.
"I swore an oath Severus!"
"I wonder how you managed to do that." Arcturus snarled, his hold on his wand tightening.
"Please listen to me. Did I not just tell you I'm from the future? I will also tell you Dorea and Charlus Potter that your beloved son James and his wife Lily and their eldest daughter Holly are alive and well. As for who will poison you, Sir, it is Sirius Black who is most certainly not languishing in prison as you believe, but is with the Potters. I'm willing to take Veritaserum to prove my claim. I do not have an access to a Pensieve, but I know you have one Mr. Black and you have one Mrs. Potter. If you can get one here, I can show you what I say. Severus can tell you if my memory is modified in any way."
"You are telling me that my son is alive and I must believe you." Dorea looked incredulous. "I am sorry young man, but this is a waste of time. Take us home MIppy."
"Please!" I shouted. "If you don't believe me, check the Black Family Tapestry, after you repair it."
There was an ominous silence. Then Arcturus said in a horribly cold voice, "Do it and tell me."
I heard a pop and then there was the only sound of waves crashing on the rocks and the screech of birds as they flew overhead. The day was bright and clear and beautiful. But none of us were appreciating Nature's Beauty. The tension was palpable and Severus actually had his wand out, his arm raised high toward me, waiting for Cassiopeia to return, before cursing me. Arcturus had his wand in readiness too.
We waited for ten minutes before Cassiopeia returned, this time visible and shaking in rage.
"Well?" Dorea Potter asked ice still in her voice.
"He speaks the truth." She snarled.
"Wha? Wha? How?" Charlus asked desperately, trying to speak for the first time and failing even as Dorea Potter was stunned into silence.
"That is what I'd like to know fool." Cassiopeia screamed in anguish and outrage. "Why is the Black Heir wallowing in prison when the persons he murdered are alive?"
"The Black Heir is not in prison Aunt Cassiopeia." I ventured in. She swirled towards me furiously, her curse missing me by inches.
"It's true. Sirius Black is with his best friend and Blood brother James Potter and Lily Potter and Holly. It's only Harry," here my own lips curled in contempt, "that they've left behind at the Dursleys, charming them to ill treat him. Dobby, make yourself visible and tell these people and portraits, how you found Harry Potter. That is an Order. Be truthful Dobby on pain of death."
Dobby became and visible and all of them turned their attention to the little elf. I knew they would believe him, because they knew no elf would be able to disobey that command without dying on the spot.
"Yes Good Master Draco. Some months back Good Master Draco made me his elf. He ordered me not to punish myself and to defend myself if I was attacked. He also asked me to pretend to punish myself and all elves at Malfoy Manor in case Master Lucius asked us to, but he ordered us never to hurt or harm ourselves. He is Good Master Draco.
He asked me to find out the address of the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir, and I found out and told him." He Dobby started wailing, even though Harry was living in very different circumstances now.
"The Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir was living like an elf in the Cupboard beneath the Stairs and his horrible family is working Harry Potter like a slave. Good Master Draco then made friends with Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir and change his cupboard into great room and teach him magic and give him food to eat. His family was starving the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir. Good Master Draco also giving Nutrition Potion and Potion to unbind Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir magic. His magic be tightly bound. Good Master Draco also giving Occlu, Occlu" Dobby stopped there not able to pronounce the word. I helped him.
"Occlumency Potion Dobby."
Snape made a sound of disbelief. "There isn't any such Potion."
"Not now, in the future, yes. Go on Dobby."
"Yes Good Master Draco. An Occlumency Potion to help Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir. Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir is great wizard. He bes very powerful, very powerful indeed." Dobby finished and stood there looking uncertainly at me.
"Thank you Dobby. That is all." With a relieved sigh Dobby faded away to invisibility.
After another palpable silence, Dorea Potter broke out a huge sob. "What is happening here? James, Lily and Holly are alive, while there has not been a day, I've not shed a tear for them." Her voice trembled, as her husband held her close, his face reflecting the anguish she expressed. "And Sirius. I thought of him as my son. My son." Her voice broke. "Now you say he's alive."
"Who is in the prison?" Severus asked in a horrible voice.
"A golem, blood bound to Black." I answered and watched as Arcturus and Cassiopeia scowled.
"Why?" Charlus Potter asked, so much pain in his voice that I winced.
"I'm sorry Sir. All of them together have abandoned Harry. In the future they kill him, put him down like a rabid dog and I tell you I won't have it. I may have hated the bastard while I was young, but I'll die before I allow anyone to treat him like they did. And when you knew, oh yes you knew, you and Mrs. Potter ordered Potter Castle closed to James Potter and his family and stopped speaking with him. You told him that if you could have you would have declared a blood feud with him. Aunt Cassiopeia was alive and she did declare a Blood Feud with Sirius, James and Holly Potter and their descendants and the Weasleys. Cedrella and Septimus Weasley disowned themselves from the Weasley Family and took on the Black name."
There was shocked silence. Unheard of things were being mentioned and they did not know how to react.
"Why child? Tell us and help us understand. Please." Charlus Potter asked again.
"Yes Sir." I replied and then I told him about the Prophecy and how the Potters and Sirius under Dumbledore's direction acted. How Pettigrew was alive and their best friend still. How Fudge was in all of this.
How Severus had helped him and Arcturus and Cassiopeia had helped with the Family Spells and how he had left his beloved wife and son to come back in time simply because he could not save Harry Potter.
"I could not save him then Mrs. Potter, Mr. Potter. And once he died I could not live in peace, until the betrayal to him took away my happiness, my peace, my comfort and everything. My parents and my darling wife understood and they along with all of you helped me to come back here. Since I returned, I've been teaching Harry and I must say he is a delight to teach and to be with. If one of you can get a Pensieve I can show you how I found him and how he is now. And ask for your help and advice. For him and for our world."
A few seconds later there was a large shallow basin floating in the air. I smiled and drew my memories and tapped it, waiting for the memories to play above the Pensieve instead of jumping into it, which I knew Arcturus or Cassiopeia or even Severus would not do. The three humans, three elves and two dead people in portraits watched my orders to Dobby and how I met with the tiny underfed, malnourished boy to how he was now and his power as he lifted the feather, his hands to his side and his incantation a giggling, 'feather rise'!
Once the memories played out, I was rewarded by two high wailing cries of the Potter elves. "Oh Good Missus, Little Master Harry in such horrible home. Dobby elf, we Potter elves owe you gratitude for what you did for Little Master Harry." And they sobbed. Dorea and Charlus Potter on the contrary were staring at the place where the memories had played out. Dorea Potter's face seemed carved in stone and Charlus Potter looked outraged. Arcturus and Cassiopeia were like Dorea Potter. Stunned and silent and Severus was looking at the Pensieve in disbelief. Horror and disbelief.
"Arcturus, I would like to open negotiations with Family Black." Dorea Potter said almost conversationally after a long grim silence. Only her eyes belied her fury and rage. As I've said before the real Blacks were a fearful lot. Terrifying.
I butted in. "Might I point out that Sirius Black had placed the Imperius on an elf to give you minute potions of a poison? I would request you not to hurt or harm the poor creature. It's not the fault of the elf that Black misused the creature so. The last time the poor elf killed itself for the betrayal, even though it was not in its senses and nor was it his fault." I told him.
"How did they do it? It's not easy to charm an elf."
"They used their personal elf; not the Potter elves here, but James Potter's personal elf and stunned Lippy, before force feeding him with an Imperius Potion and then spelling the same curse on to him. Poor thing he never had a choice. I remember he was much devoted to you and it killed him that he actually killed you."
"I will take care of it. Thank you." Arcturus replied curtly before turning to Dorea and replying to her.
"I want you to make Harry the Black Heir."
"Done!" Cassiopeia answered in Arcturus's place. "I was going to suggest the very thing. And I want Harry," she sniffed, "what a horrible common mudblood name, but one must expect mudblood things from mudblood creatures, but I digress. I want Harry to also take the Potter Ring and the Potter Lordship. Has James taken the Ring?"
"He has." Charlus replied his voice like stone. "But he would have had to place it in the Vault if he declared himself dead as he must have. Else us Portraits would have known he, Lily and Holly were alive. So the Ring is there and I declare Harry James Potter to be my Heir and Lord of House Potter, Peverell, Greenwood, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw after me. So I've said. So mote it be." There was a blinding flash of light. "There." He said looking at our stunned faces. "That's done."
There was a stunned silence after this.
"What did you think Arcturus?" Dorea asked a glimmer of humour in her voice at Arcturus's and Cassiopeia's expressions. "The Potters are not just an old Family, but one of the most influential Families in the Wizarding World. We just don't use that influence as the Blacks do. James," her voice and expression grew horribly sad. "James has just removed himself from that heritage."
"We mustn't do it openly." I said alarmed.
"We won't." Charlus replied, now looking every inch the great Lord he was. "There are other ways of doing that without anyone knowing. Including the Ministry, until it's time. You leave that to me." He finished grimly. He turned to look at me. "House Potter owes you lad. You are now Friend of House Potter." He declared and there was another flash of light that travelled from him to me and I felt a most wonderfully warm feeling enter me. I bowed my thanks.
"How can you do all this?" Cassiopeia asked awe in her voice that a mere portrait could do all this. Charlus shrugged, now going back to being Dorea's husband than the mighty Lord Potter.
"I also want Harry to get an Ancestry test done. Anything extra will only benefit him in the Wizengamot." I butted in again and grinned when all of them glared at me, their attention diverted from Charlus Potter.
Then Charlus asked, "I can understand why we were called. But why is he called?" pointing to Severus.
"Because I trust him, Harry did the last time, because Severus lived and died to keep Lily Potter's son safe. He was manipulated in the worst way possible." I said and then told them about the true Prophecy and the false one, which they had foisted on to Severus and how they'd charmed him to run to Voldemort.
"To be fair, he would have gone to Voldemort anyway, but well."
More silence. I looked at Severus and saw him crumbling right in front of my eyes. I trembled in recognition of the pain he must be feeling, but what could I do. Nothing would soften the blow. I continued bravely.
"It was Severus who, after his death created the Occlumency Potion that I'm taking right now and I'm giving Harry. He was also the one who once again spied for me, pretending to forgive Evans and getting a lot of valuable information from her for me."
Dorea Potter saw how badly Snape was affected, but it was Cassiopeia who spoke first.
"Snape!' she whispered harshly. "You have no reason to break. Believe me that is what should happen to the Blood traitors and the Mudblood. Buck up man, we have a war to win and people to punish and then if you want you can grieve." She finished as if such things were beneath her.
Her coarse and gruff advice pulled Snape together and he clamped down on his feelings and turned to me.
"When did you return?"
"Do you remember the day you came for my first Potion Lesson? I was thrilled to see you alive after so many years." My voice trembled a bit and Snape nodded, a small smile on his face at that memory, but that was unable to remove the bitterness of the blows he'd received.
"I have to go. I stole Father's time turner and in half an hour I have to be home. I want to take you all to Harry. Can you all be free tomorrow by half past eight? I usually visit him on weekends, today I told him I had to go to a family gathering, but that I'd come tomorrow."
"The wards?" Cassiopeia asked.
"Are of intent. Dobby will pop you in there. We can't go any other way." Her faced crunched up in disgust, but she nodded.
"Are we telling him anything? I would like him to know a few things before Hogwarts." Arcturus asked.
"I think we should wait until he is familiar with us before we reveal anything." Dorea said. A second later her elves had popped her and her husband out of there. No wonder I thought she'd want to prepare and discuss this with the other Potters in Potter Castle. They were followed a second later by Arcturus and Cassiopeia.
Severus and I were left and I turned to him. "I'm sorry to bring such bad news Severus." I said sombrely.
"It's not your fault Draco. Let us not assign blame where there is not."
"Will you be ok?" I asked worried about his pallor.
He was about to say something, when he sighed. "Yes I will be. Do not worry about me Draco."
I took a bottle out of my robes and gave it to him. "The Occlumency Potion. Don't tell Dumbledore."
He sneered at me, even as he took the bottle from me. "Tell him? Anything? Anymore?" he drawled before he too popped out.
I smiled tiredly as I asked Dobby to pop me to my room. I sank into my chair and with a sigh of relaxation, I reviewed the day. It was a success I thought as I murmured an appreciative thank you to Dobby who had brought me a cold Butterbeer. It had been a tough day for Dobby too, I knew. He had learnt a lot today and he also needed time to assimilate it.
"You take some rest Dobby. Remember you are to go to Harry now. We've left him alone long enough." I told him. "Yes I know the wards will keep him safe but he should not be alone at this age Dobby. I am going to rest now too. We have another long day tomorrow."
Dobby hesitated for a moment, looking earnestly at me.
"Yes Dobby. Ask me what you want to. I won't mind."
"Thank you Good Master Draco. I want to thank you for what you did. You have been very brave. Thank you Sir." And he popped off, leaving me oddly pleased with his words.
End of Chapter – 4
Chapter – 5
The next morning, I woke up fresh and ready to face what I perceived would be an eventful day. It was about half past six. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. I spent the whole day studying and chatting with Mother and Father in the evening and getting some sleep. After dinner, I took out the time turner and carefully spun it twice.
I asked Dobby to pop me to Privet Drive at seven. Harry was still sleeping. This weekend I had made special plans. I had the Dursleys leave for the weekend to London Saturday evening. They had after leaving Harry with a half a loaf of bread, some stale cheese to last him the weekend. They had locked the kitchen and their bedrooms, removed the TV from the drawing room and into the kitchen. They had needed to allow Harry access to the bathroom, hence they could not lock him inside the cupboard for the weekend. If I had not known they were under magical compulsion, I would have had Dobby punish them, and punish them cruelly.
Finding myself inside the spacious Cupboard I said, "Good morning Harry. Rise and shine. I have important plans for today." Harry murmured something and turned around.
"Harry." I whined.
He opened his eyes and sleepily. "'Morning Draco. What time is it?"
"Five past seven." I chirped cheerfully.
Harry groaned and buried himself in his bed. An act that cheered me immensely.
"Give me some more time. Please, five minutes more."
"Well, if you don't want to get ready for the surprise I've planned for you, then ok."
Harry cocked one eye open and looked at me with a bleary eye. "You just wanna me to get up."
I winced at his language, which made him grin sleepily at me, before he turned away again.
"So you don't want to be fresh when your grandparents' portraits and three other people come to meet with you?"
Harry stiffened for a moment.
"You're lying." He said, but unsurely now.
I softened my tone. "Harry I have been trying to get Dobby to meet with the Potter elves to ask them to bring your parents' portraits here. Unfortunately, your parents don't have portraits made for some reason. But your grandparents do. So I asked Dobby to ask them through their elves if they could come to meet you. They were thrilled I believe. They were not told where you were placed and since they were portraits they could do nothing. Now they had a chance they jumped at it. Your Gran's sister Cassiopeia Black and your Gran's cousin Arcturus Black will be coming to meet you along with your grandparents Dorea Black Potter and Charlus Potter about whom you've read in Wizarding Genealogy. Severus Snape about whom I've told you will also be visiting us today. He was your Mum's best friend, you know that."
Harry was sitting up in bed. His eyes were wide and his mouth had fallen open.
"I didn't want to tell you before and get your hopes up." I finished to have Harry jump out of bed and hug me and declare, "You are the bestest friend Draco. Thank you, thank you, thank you." And he ran off to the bathroom inside the Cupboard.
I swallowed hard at that declaration and closed my eyes, trying to control my feelings which seemed to get out of my control at the simple pleasure Harry had expressed for something which should have been his right. I drew a deep breath and hoped not for the first time Harry's life would be far better and this time he would get through the betrayals better.
By eight Harry had washed, dressed and had had breakfast. And was waiting impatiently for meeting important people like he said.
Be eight fifteen, he had turned gloomy, sure they were not going to come. I got up at eight twenty and started checking the curtains and ensuring they were closed and the lights inside would not be seen outside. By eight twenty five, Harry was staring unblinking at the clock and I grinned at this Harry, even as I understood what he must be feeling right now. Finally a belonging. I scowled at that thought and sighed unhappily when I realised, Harry would have to face a lot of harsh facts in future.
Exactly at eight thirty Dobby popped in with two elves who held a large portrait between them. I saw Harry's heard turn so quickly, I was afraid he might have hurt his neck as he stood up nervously and stared at them. Then he bowed. I was stunned. We had begun the Wizarding Genealogy and Pureblood Wizarding manners, a lesson Harry had giggled his way through, not unlike Scorpius, but here he was behaving like a little Pureblood Prince. I grinned and moved forward.
Dorea and Charlus was beaming at him, projecting as much love as they could.
"Hello Harry darling!" Dorea's musical tones chimed out. "Come here and kiss Gran and Grandpa."
Harry trembled and looked at me. I nodded encouragingly and he walked to the portrait, not noticing the other three guests, who had come by then and were silently watching the little boy.
He walked a little shakily and bowed again and then looking at me once more he went close to Dorea and touched his lips to her cheeks. And immediately looked at me. I nodded and he took a deep breath and did the same with Charlus and stepped back in great relief looking as if he had passed some huge test, chest heaving and hands trembling and wiping his hands furiously against his eyes, which I noticed were leaking big fat tears. I was with him in a fraction of a second, hugging him tightly and Harry let go, huge wrenching sobs that broke out of him. I rubbed his back and just like I'd do to Scorpius and I murmured silly nonsensical words of comfort. Harry quietened down after a few minutes and wiped his eyes and stepped back patting my shoulder.
"You really are the bestest Draco. You never laughed."
I grit my teeth as I answered with a forced smile. "Why should I Harry. We're friends. Friends protect each other." I answered as pompously as I could striking a silly affected pose and that got the desired result. Harry giggled and looked at his grandparents who were beaming at him and me? For Merlin's sake I was a father who had comforted my little boy countless times. Why was I getting this look? Rolling my eyes, I smiled back and nudged Harry to notice the other three who were standing silently, watching.
Harry saw them and gulped. And then bowed individually to all of them and stood straight and silent, waiting for them to say something.
Dorea Potter portrait's eyes were tearing up and Charlus Potter was looking yearningly at Harry, immense sadness and great pride combined in his gaze.
I was astonished to see how instinctively Harry had reacted and how correctly. I felt that I could burst with pride. Cassiopeia was looking with such approval, I smiled with relief. I was hoping that these people would come to care for Harry. I knew that would not be a problem for the Potters or even Severus, but I was worried about the Blacks. I need not have bothered, Cassiopeia was determined to have her Heir and later, Lord, loyal to the Blacks and she was willing to go the extra mile if the eagerness in her face was any indication. Arcturus was as usual impassive, but I knew he'd do the right thing. They had too much to lose otherwise.
"Good morning Harry. I am Arcturus Black, Head of the Black Family to which you and your Grandmother are a part. As is Draconis."
"Good morning Sir. I am pleased to meet you. Welcome Sir."
Arcturus smiled and Cassiopeia spoke now. "Hello Harry, I am your Gran's sister and Arcturus's cousin. My name is Cassiopeia, you may call me Aunt Cassiopeia like Draco does."
"Good morning Mam, I mean," he became as little flustered. "Sorry Mam, I meant Good morning Aunt Cassiopeia. I am pleased to meet you. Welcome Aunt."
"And I am Severus Snape. I will your Potions Master once you start Hogwarts. I was your Mother's friend at School. In fact I knew her and Tuney, that is your Aunt Petunia from since we were children of 8 or thereabouts. I am pleased to meet you Harry, and if you wish I would like to be your tutor in Magic and Potions."
Harry beamed. "Good morning Sir. I would love that. Thank you." And then his curiosity won over his good manners since he could not resist asking.
"You knew Aunt Petunia?"
Severus's lips curled in a nasty sneer that even Harry could not mistake for anything else. "I'm afraid I had the misfortune." And he looked disdainfully around.
Harry could not help it, the little blighter; he laughed, a delightful sound of agreement, but he did not say a word. He nodded and I knew Snape had found a friend in Harry from then on.
All of them stood there for a few minutes, the adults and the portraits staring at Harry, when Harry did the Harry thing I was beginning to call pure Harry.
"Hello! Are you Gran and Grandpa's elves? I'm Harry Potter and welcome. I'm pleased to meet you." He said with a short bow.
There was a flabbergasted silence for a second, before the elves who had been standing behind the portrait, came rushing to Harry and embraced his legs.
"Dobby elf is right. You is the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir, the very most wonderful wizard. We is sorry we could not protect you better Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir. But no worry." One of them said, a most fierce look on his little face. "From now on Harry Potter is Elves Friend. Every elf helping and Protecting the Very Most Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir. "And he sobbed.
Harry looked helplessly at me and I nodded encouragingly at him.
"Er, thank you Mr. Elf." And when he was hugged harder for what he said, with Dobby wailing his own praise for Harry, Harry looked at me bewildered and a little scared. I laughed gently as I prised the two elves off Harry even as Dorea admonished them gently for frightening their Little Master. Both elves immediately stood back apologising and weeping again and it took Arcturus to stop them.
"Desist from this unseemly behaviour elves." He said sharply. "You're scaring him."
The elves finally quietened down and then I led them all to the sofa, which Cassiopeia looked at as if she wanted to burn it. She might have, but Severus saved her the trouble, by pushing it to the corner and shrinking it, before conjuring appropriate furniture for all of them to sit down. Harry goggled only a little bit at this casual display of powerful magic, and then looked as if he wanted to try doing that immediately.
Severus saw Harry's look and smiled at him. "Do you want to try doing that?" he asked.
Harry looked at him and then at me. I nodded and he turned to Severus and nodded eagerly. "Well then go ahead." And he vanished the conjured sofas.
Harry took a deep breath and said "Elegant sofa appear please." And you could hear a pin drop when the same furniture appeared and settled down comfortably if rather oddly in the Dursley living room.
Harry looked smug as he went and inspected what his magic had brought, by poking it a few times before looking at the adults and the portraits who were still staring at him and blushed.
"You did well Harry." I told him, even as I went to check its strength and its quality. They were perfect.
"Please sit down Grandfather Arcturus, Aunt Cassiopeia, Severus." I said, breaking them out of the trance they had gone into, when Harry conjured complicated and elegant furniture with the unbelievable words of, 'elegant sofa appear please'.
All the three living adults went and sat down automatically, still unable to speak, while the two elves looked unbelievably proud, as if they had taught Harry to do what he did. The portraits were also in a state of stunned disbelief. As usual it was Severus pulled himself together first.
"Well Harry, it's going to be very easy teaching you. You do pick up things quickly." Harry simply swelled up to double his size with the praise and beamed a thank you at a bemused Severus.
Cassiopeia finally came out of the trance she was in and cleared her throat. "Harry, can you try and change this into a bird?" she conjured a small feather.
"Please, what bird Mam?" Harry asked her shocking her. I smiled to myself. They thought Harry would looked bewildered; ask for help. Harry instead had asked for further instructions. I waited to see how all this would play out, ready to help Harry if needed.
"Whatever you like Dear!" Cassiopeia said eagerly.
I was shocked. I have never, ever heard Cassiopeia call someone 'dear'! Great Merlin! What was happening here? Was all I had time to think when Harry closed his eyes for a minute and then he exclaimed, "Draco, can I change it into that Falcon you showed me in that Book of Birds?"
"Sure Harry. You can do that?"
"Sure!" he said casually. "Change into that Falcon please, Feather! Thank you."
The next moment had all the people except Dobby, Draco and Harry slack jawed and stunned. Instead of a small feather, there was a majestic Falcon taking off and flying around the room. Severus as usual recovered first again and cast a stunning spell at it and gently lowered the bird to a table Cassiopeia conjured hurriedly.
Seeing Harry's expression, Severus softly said, "I'm not going to hurt the bird Harry. We just want to check the accurateness of your change. That's all. I'll conjure a cage and we'll let him live for as long as he'll last." Seeing Harry's expression clear, he, Cassiopeia and Arcturus crowded round the table and started checking the falcon.
"How will you check it Sir?" Harry asked now interested and relieved that they were not going to harm the Falcon.
"Like this." Severus said and cast a complicated spell on the Falcon and found it to be perfect. He looked bewildered at this, looking at his wand, the Falcon and Harry in turns.
Cassiopeia was almost dancing in her eagerness. I knew Harry could almost conjure anything, mainly because he had never known of the limitations of magic. We were all taught and conditioned from almost day one about what we could and could not do with magic. Forgetting that all the accidental magic exhibited by children was wandless magic only uncontrolled and instinctual, rather than deliberate and controlled. When Harry made the feather rise with his will rather than the words followed by the so called wand movements, he started showing the ability to control and be deliberate with his magic without the use of a wand. And so now the only limitation on Harry would be himself, the ability to believe in himself. I knew with the right encouragement, which I was going to give Harry, that ability to believe in himself was going to be limitless.
"Can you try and transfigure this Falcon into a magical bird darling?"
Darling?! What the hell was that? I never knew Cassiopeia knew words like that. Harry really did a number on her. I laughed to myself.
"Like what bird Aunt Cassiopeia?" Harry asked bouncing on his feet.
"Why don't you try," she started when I broke her off. Why not make Harry really try the impossible? See the possible limits to his magic.
"A phoenix Harry? Remember I told you about Dumbledore's Phoenix and showed you a picture of him? You said you'd like blue and green colours better than the flaming red and orange?"
"Yeah." Harry nodded remembering.
"We also studied about what they could and could not do. A phoenix would be terribly useful if it stays for any length of time. Healing tears, the ability to get us anywhere in a moment, would never die …. Go on try to change this Falcon into a phoenix. Don't worry if you can't though. It's not an issue. Alright?"
Harry nodded, an expression of determination coming over his face. He closed his eyes, concentrated for a long moment and then said, "Falcon please change into beautiful Phoenix, thank you."
All eyes swung from Harry to the Falcon that lay stunned on the conjured table. The next moment the Falcon was replaced by a royal blue and dark green phoenix, which opened its eyes and looked around. Harry smiled.
"You look beautiful. Thank you." He said.
The phoenix trilled. I found my heart soothed in a most wonderful way.
"You would? I'm honoured."
The phoenix trilled again.
"I'll call you Hedwig. I like that name. You like it or would you prefer something else?" he asked as we all watched in breathless silence.
'Hedwig' trilled softly.
Harry smiled gently at her as he nodded slightly. "Hedwig you are then."
I finally looked at the adults and the portrait. All of them were looking speechless, a feature that was beginning to be the norm with Harry today. I cleared my throat and said. "I think that's enough of experiments. I think now we must talk and all of you must tell Harry about yourselves and what you can about his family."
Hedwig flapped her wings and came and rested on Harry's shoulder. She was not a traditional phoenix. But then, none of us had seen a phoenix other than Fawkes. All phoenixes in Books were like Fawkes, Dumbledore's phoenix. Hedwig was different. For one, she was smaller, definitely more beautiful to look at, her colours making her vivid, strange and breath-taking all at once. We would have to see what she could do as a phoenix. But I decided that was for later. Now Harry needed to talk and bond with these folks, instead of them experimenting on them.
"I think that's enough with the experiments. Perhaps we can talk now?" I said again, loudly, since the others were still speechless in wonder and amazement.
That startled them into the present and soon there was a pleasant buzz of chatter. Harry tried to include the elves into the conversation a fact that was frowned upon by the Arcturus and Cassiopeia and looked upon fondly by Dorea and proudly by Charlus and me. Severus was as usual inscrutable. Over the day all us spoke with and to each other, establishing a first thread of what I hoped and prayed would become strong bonds of family and friendship. Hedwig flashed in and out and I could see Cassiopeia and Severus staring at her every time she did that.
In the evening, a couple of hours before we were all supposed to leave, Dorea, signalled to her elves. One of them popped away. Charlus had been keeping very quiet, opening his mouth only to talk to Harry. He never liked talking to the Blacks and while the Blacks were accepting of Harry, he was under no illusions that it was because he was so powerful and that he was Family. One they'd protect, even if he were not so powerful, I had to acknowledge, but now they'd ensure his wellbeing no matter what.
"What is it Dorea?" Arcturus asked coldly, his eyes suspicious as they landed on the portrait.
"I'm taking this to the next level of commitment Arcturus. I have asked Corby to ask for an appointment with the Head Goblin Ragnok to come here next week. I want Harry to take an inheritance test, and to give him the Potter Ring. If you're interested you may give him the Black Heir Ring too. It'll seal things nicely. I'm assuming you've not given the Ring to Sirius already?"
Arcturus looked surprised and then smiled a frightful smile. "Why Dorea, all these years with Potter has not changed your Black brain. A wonderful idea indeed. I will hand over the Heir Ring to Harry at the same time and we will of course take advantage of any important Family he happens to inherit. Like any Slytherin connection left over from that Halloween."
Dorea drew in a sharp breath and grinned her own frightful smile. "Ooh Arcturus I love the way you think. Don't you Darling?"
As Charlus was very much over his head, he simply looked constipated as he tried to look as if he was on page with the Blacks, since Cassiopeia and I had started grinning as Arcturus spoke and even Severus smiled his slow nasty smile.
"Why?" Harry asked in the middle, startling all of us. "Is Slytherin connected to Voldemort?"
Charlus drew a sharp breath as he suddenly understood.
Cassiopeia laughed delightedly. "Oh Harry. You have inherited your Gran's brains and thinking dear!"
I was actually getting to the point where these Dears and Darlings thrown about by Cassiopeia was no longer shocking me. But I agree with her. Harry, little Harry had actually followed us. That was so smart considering that Charlus had no clue until Harry asked his question.
"Yes dear!" Dorea Potter replied. "In the Wizarding World when you defeat someone, sometimes magic may change her allegiance, since the wizard or witch defeated may not be entitled anymore to the Family Magic belonging to them. You understand?"
Harry frowned and nodded slowly. "Wouldn't it be unfair though?"
Dorea frowned in turn. "Why Darling?"
"Just because we defeat others can we simply take their family magic like that?"
Dorea Potter smiled. "It is not done lightly Harry. Such magics are not transferred because a fight is lost or even because someone was wounded or sickened by another's action. It takes great events for magics of a Family to decide that a particular individual is unworthy of that Family's magics because they have by their actions harmed it in some unforgivable way. Did you understand what I said until now darling?"
Harry nodded, his face clearing up. Dorea Potter continued. "So you see magic does not award herself out of a family for small things. It's only if she feels she has been used for a very, very bad reason. She is Magic, Harry darling. She is never unfair."
Then they wound up for the day. Dorea ordered Harry to kiss her and Charlus and Harry happily complied this time. To my shock, Cassiopeia then asked for a kiss and Harry trotted off to kiss her. It was all I could do not to faint on the floor.
Then I almost did faint, when Cassiopeia beckoned me and kissed me on my cheek. "Thank you." She said quietly. "House Black will not forget darling."
I swallowed hard. I felt a most peculiar feeling of belonging right then that it moved some great depth inside me. "You are welcome Aunt. I am family too and Harry is not just a friend, he is family too." I said quietly and then actually fell, when Harry glomped me. "I agree Draco. We are family. I like it." He said shouting, before he realised he had slipped up in his manners and stood up. He shuffled his feet and looked down blushing in mortification.
Then I was embarrassed more when Dorea called me to kiss her and Charlus and I did so delicately, hesitantly, aware that Harry was watching with a beaming smile on his face.
Then Severus started the exodus. He extended his hand for Harry to shake, which Harry did happily, "Harry, I will start your lessons from the coming week end. Will you be willing to learn from me?"
Harry quivered not unlike Dobby. "I will Sir. Should I learn something for it?"
Snape shook his head. "No Harry. We will first explore all that you can do you with your magic, before we start training it and before I start teaching you and Draco."
"I will come along too, and help Severus." Cassiopeia declared with a simpering smile that I decided looked horrible on her.
"Thank you Aunt Cassiopeia." Harry replied politely, smiling widely.
"That's settled then. On the weekends Snape cannot come, because of his School duties, I will accompany Cassiopeia and teach you in his stead." Arcturus said firmly.
"And we'll come just to spend some time with our darling grandson." Charlus boomed as he grinned at Harry, whose smile got wider.
"Of course Grandpa. I'd love that thank you." He finished remembering his manners.
"Harry, next weekend, a Goblin named Ragnok will come here and help us to know which magics are yours darling. I will also get the Potter Ring which you will wear on your finger, since you are the last of the Potters. Grandpa and I will also start teaching you about our family Harry. The Potters are a great Family, one that Grandpa will love telling you all about."
"Indeed I will Harry. The Potter family goes back to the days of Merlin and we stood tall, honest and honourable always. I've tried to do the right thing all my life my darling child and I hope after me, you will carry on the legacy of the Potter name and always choose the right over the easy."
Harry did not realise or grasp what the others did. Charlus had left James and Holly out of the Potter legacy. "I will grandpa." He said solemnly and firmly.
End of chapter – 5
Chapter – 6
Harry and I flopped on comfortable chairs inside the Cupboard once the others had left. We didn't say anything, feeling too tired after such a long day. In a few minutes, I found that Harry had slept. Hedwig had been silent most of the day and now she was perched on a stand I had asked Severus to conjure for her. I asked Dobby to get her some fruits and seeing her happy, I turned to Harry and gently levitated him onto his bed and dressed him in his pyjamas with a few flicks of my wand, and asked Dobby to pop me to my home.
"Go back and stay with Harry, Dobby. If he wakes, give him dinner and tell him I had to go home since it was late."
Dobby nodded. "I will do so Good Master Draco." He popped off.
I flung myself on my bed exhausted, but very happy. The day had gone very well. Everyone had been outstanding and most of all, now Harry had other people than me in his corner, who would take care of him, with their very lives if it came to that, and I was pretty sure I had saved Arcturus's life from ending as it had in the previous timeline. I knew he'd take care of it. I roused myself to write a note for Harry telling him I'd see him that weekend as usual and that I was thrilled it had all gone well and bid him goodnight and told him to stay safe. Then I was off to sleep.
The next week rolled about slowly and I waited patiently, exchanging excited letters with Harry about his grandparents visit and about the Blacks and Severus. Harry praised me loud and long and thanked me a million times. I wrote back patiently, telling him what he wanted to know, comforting him and telling him for the hundredth time that it was not a dream and no, I was very sure all of them were real would come on Saturday to be with him and teach him all they knew. On Wednesday, I walked down to see Mother all excited about a letter she had received from Cassiopeia of all people.
I sat down pompously and started on my breakfast. Mother was chatting excitedly with Father waving a letter in the air. Father was trying not to look too amused at Mother.
"What is it Mummy?" I asked curiously.
"Oh Draco darling, it is a letter from your Aunt Cassiopeia." She said and looked at me in concern as I choked. I coughed and said my excuses and looked at her expectantly, wondering what Cassiopeia was up to now.
"She had written quite a polite letter …. for her. She wants you to come to Black Manor and learn Magic from her every day. She says she has contacted Severus Snape of Hogwarts to help her. I'm quite sure she and old Arcturus are planning to make you Head of House Black after Arcturus."
Lucius nodded his head slowly, his eyes glinting with obvious greed. "I agree dear." He turned to me as I sat there struggling to make sense of what Cassiopeia was trying to do and Merlin, pulling Severus in to the churn so as to speak!
"Draco you are to go to your Aunt Cassiopeia every day and learn from her. She wants you on weeks ends too, to teach you etiquette, dancing and manners and politics. You will comport yourself as befitting the Great House of Malfoy. You will learn everything she teaches you and you will act in a manner to please her. You understand?"
I nodded pompously, but also looked very nervous as I looked at Mother.
She smiled gently. "Do not worry." She said interpreting my nervous look correctly. "She will not be harsh on you. I think she is sounding you out to see if you will make a good Heir for House Black. You will behave, won't you darling?"
"Do I have to go every day forever?" I whined, playing my part correctly.
Father was about to snap at me, when Mother swiftly intervened.
"I don't think Aunt Cassiopeia will keep asking you to come every day forever darling. Once she sees how committed you are and how well behaved you are, I'm sure she will give you days off. It's only in the beginning. She is an exceptional witch Draco darling and you will learn much from her, which will only help you to become the best by the time you start Hogwarts. You do want to shine there don't you?" seeing my nod she smiled and continued. "Well, she will help you become the best Slytherin there is."
I let my face respond correctly and my parents were satisfied. I was to start 'lessons' from the next day. I didn't know what Cassiopeia was playing at, but I was sure it would be to my favour. So I let it be and waited until the next day, when I dressed smartly and telling Dobby that I'd call him once I was there and got Cassiopeia's permission to have him there. I went there with my mother, who was dressed smartly too. I could sense her nervousness. While she and my Father said all the right words about how good it'd be for me, I knew they were wondering about why there were summons from House Black for me.
End of Chapter – 6
Chapter – 7
I side along apparated with Mother to the front door of the great Black Manor. It was a sprawling place of a few hundred acres set in the Cotswolds and it had a veritable horde of wards that each Black Head had laid lovingly with a healthy dose of paranoia. Mother smartly tapped the huge brass knocker and waited. No one except Arcturus, Melania his wife and his sister Cassiopeia could apparate into the main house. The wards would fry them. Not even their children could once they left home and if that was not paranoia I did not know what was.
Libby the house elf opened the door and squeaked to us that we needed to wait in Mistress Cassiopeia's study. She led the way and we followed dutifully. We were ushered into a simply massive room that was an office of sorts cum library cum study. We hardly sat down when Cassiopeia apparated to the open door and came striding briskly and Libby popped out after bowing low to Cassiopeia.
"Good morning Narcissa, Draconis." She said chirpily which immediately put Mother on edge. A happy Cassiopeia most likely meant a sad someone else and since we were the only ones there, naturally Mother assumed the worst.
"Good morning Aunt." She stammered with a low curtesy, most unlike her, but I guessed a cheerful Cassiopeia was one she had not prepared for. I muttered my own greetings, which both ladies did not notice. Mother was still getting her bearings and Cassiopeia never noticed small children on principle, unless it was to punish them.
"Sit down sit down." She said sitting down herself before turning to look languidly at me. That put Mother more on the edge. She now knew there was something sinister going on and I would take the blame. I could literally see her gearing up to defend me and I saw her finger her emergency Portkey for reassurance.
Cassiopeia finished her inspection of me while I sat still and straight and turned to see Mother.
"It's a shame," she began sternly, "that House Black has to look towards Heirs of other Houses. Our mistakes in the recent past has left us severely depleted of capable members to carry on the Black name and legacy."
Mother couldn't breathe. She still did not know what would happen.
"I have discussed this with Arcturus and I've decided to start training the available Heirs one at a time, so that when the time to choose the next Lord comes around, we'll have a formidable crop to choose from. And I'll be teaching our legacy to him and others after him. I've decided to start with him. Is that alright with you Narcissa?"
Mother gaped at her. Cassiopeia looked back at her. Her face was inscrutable. I wet my lips in an effort to hide my amusement. After the silence went on for a few minutes Cassiopeia tapped her wand on the desk.
"Well?" she asked impatiently.
"Of .. Of course Milady. It is an honour …"
She was abruptly cut off.
"Of course it is." Cassiopeia snapped, her beady eyes glaring at Mother as if it was all somehow her fault that House Black was in such a state. "It is a deplorable situation."
"Yes, yes, yes of course it is. I'm sorry." Mother said as if on autopilot and for all I knew she was, regressing to her childhood answers to the fearful and slightly mad Cassiopeia.
"Well that's settled then." She turned to me for the first time after that long scrutiny.
Mother, though, was coming to her sense and she was a Black too. So she sat up straight and looked at Cassiopeia.
"We are honoured that you will be imparting knowledge to Draconis, but could we have him for the weekend Aunt. If he stays with you all through the week, then we'll hardly be able to see him and also er .. sit with him and review his lessons and prepare him for the next day."
Cassiopeia's expression turned mild, another expression that did not bode well. I guessed Cassiopeia in general did not bode well for anyone she did not approve of, and right now it was a very short list and unfortunately Mother was not on that list.
"You think my instruction will need review and more preparation at home?"
Mother back peddled very hastily. "No!" she said softly, urgently before Cassiopeia decided to kick us out for disrespect. "No Aunt. I did not mean that. It's just I'd miss him…" She finished forlornly and looked down.
Cassiopeia looked at me. I mouthed a please go easy on her and she turned to Mother again.
"Narcissa," she said forcing Mother to look up. "I will have him from ten in the morning until five in the evening on weekdays, with a two hour break for lunch, when he can leave to be with you. On Saturday he can come at eleven and leave at four. I will give him his Sunday to be the messy creature he probably is. Is this fine, or you can leave." She paused a beat. "Right now. I have spent enough time with you already."
Mother apparently found this very satisfactory. "This is extremely generous of you Aunt. Draconis will not fail to impress you. He is an earnest boy and," Mother looked sternly at me. I nodded with the best pompous smile I could give. She sighed and turned to her Aunt. "He will do what you ask of him."
"Of that I have no doubt." Cassiopeia said dryly. "Well no need to waste time. We'll start today." She turned to me. "You have an elf?"
"Of course Aunt." I answered in my best polite voice and I could practically see Mother's relief that I would not do the snotty routine on this formidable woman.
"Dobby!" I called authoritatively.
"Yes Good Master Draco?" Dobby popped in and stood attentively.
Cassiopeia turned to Narcissa. "Libby!" she called. A second later Libby stood there respectfully. "Yes Mistress?"
"Escort Narcissa. She is on her way out."
Mother looked baffled by this. Apparently even family was not allowed to be alone even for a second at Black Headquarters. Of course she did not know what I did. Security had probably been increased and I guessed that even tougher wards had been raised since I told them that Arcturus would be poisoned.
I stood up as Mother stood up to leave and she bent down and kissed me on both cheeks with the whisper, "Behave darling. I'll see you at lunch."
"He will return with the elf. From tomorrow he will come with the elf and return with the elf." Cassiopeia said as Mother curtseyed low.
The implication was clear. Mother understood that she was not asked to come unless a specific invitation was issued once again. A second later she was on her way home to sit there anxious and worried until I showed up for lunch unharmed and whole.
A minute after Mother left, I slumped in my chair as Cassiopeia sniffed in disapproval.
"Masterfully done." I told her. "But you should have asked me on Sunday too."
"She was too worried. Tell her that yourself after a month, that you are missing out on important political lessons and she'll let you come."
I nodded. "I'll use the time turner until then."
She nodded in turn. "I have already added Snape to the wards and have given him an outhouse to live in, permanently if he wants to. He will be here every day, using a time turner, not unlike yours so that all of us can go to Harry. He is thinking of a better way to do this. Harry in the meantime will be impersonated by one of the Potter elves. I have used Charms on the despicable Muggles to ensure Harry is home schooled, so it will be easy on the elf." And then she snorted in disgust. "That blasted boy will probably want to do Muggle Studies as well, if the way he was hobnobbing with the Potter elves is of any indication of his character."
I laughed. "Aunt, Harry is a unique being. I don't know how else to express him. He has all the wonderful warrior qualities and character of the Potters combined with the sneakiest Slytherin traits one can see. Unfortunately, however powerful you are, you simply cannot fight the Ministry, Dumbledore and those he thought were his family and friends all at once, alone." I scowled as my voice shook in outrage. "That's why he lost. He had no one Aunt. No one. "
"Then we'll have to make sure that this time we're all with him, don't we?" asked Arcturus, who walked in to the room, startling me. I nodded.
"You are not alone child. You have us and you have the Potters and don't underestimate Charlus Potter. That man may not be sneaky as us, but he has a brain and he has the power to go with it, even after he's dead. He will call in every favour to protect Harry well. I'll personally destroy anyone before Harry or you get hurt. Don't mistake me." Cassiopeia snapped, her own outrage seeping into her voice.
There was only silence as we all fumed for some time, before Cassiopeia spoke.
"Have you sent Libby to Severus?"
Arcturus nodded. "He'll be here any moment."
He turned to me.
"This is the program. You come here every day, we will go to Harry, spend time with him, teach him ….. and then we shall have our revenge and he his."
I smiled slowly, nastily. "Indeed."
Then Libby came with Severus and we all went to Harry. That set the agenda for the next few years until Hogwarts. Severus took a three year sabbatical from teaching, saying that he wanted to research a cure for lycanthropy and that he will return to teaching the year the Potter brat will come. Dumbledore surprisingly agreed and Severus did not need to use the Black time turner for long. As Cassiopeia predicted, Mother was only pleased to let me go there on Sundays, once she saw how much I was changing, becoming more confident and smart.
For me, my trip to the past finally gave me hope that this time Harry and indeed the Wizarding World would live and live differently. In dignity, honour and justice. As I stood there waiting for Dobby to pop me to No. 4, Privet Drive, I was confident we could pull this off. Then Dobby returned and we were off, starting on our quest to rule the world and kick some backsides along the way.