Harry Potter and the Serpent Conquest
Book Three of the Heritage Series
The Deep Breath
There was something happening across the British Isles, it was unseen, hidden in the shadows but it could be felt by many. A feeling had been lingering over the country for the last few weeks, and the atmosphere had gotten darker, heavier, but tonight that had changed.
It felt like everything had stopped, or paused in apprehension or fear. As if the country itself had taken a deep calming breath for whatever was to come.
Old muggles could be heard saying that had a bad feeling, that they could feel a storm coming in their very bones, or that something was about to happen. The wildlife was also acting oddly, as if they too were detecting what was to come.
The unseen magical community was scrambling, their ministry was losing the war against the dark forces who had managed to take out two pillars of their community. Many families had upped and left in fear of what seemed inevitable, others were hiding themselves.
But as the establishment was struggling to deal with the threat they faced, the dark forces were gaining strength, with every day they were getting closer to achieving their aims.
In the heart of an old English shire sat the expansive lands of one of the wealthy pureblood wizard elite, sitting in the centre of that land was a large stone Manor House surrounded by sprawling gardens and reached by a long-paved approach.
A slight crack echoed across the country road that led to the property, a man appeared seemingly out of thin air and landed lightly in front of the large and ornate black gates. Dark magic radiated out from the gates and it reached its invisible cold fingers out and pressed against his body and constricted his throat.
The man didn't pause, he began to walk briskly forwards and raised an arm out in front of him with his palm up. With that action the magic assaulting him withdrew somewhat and released the feeling from his neck and he was able to walk up to the gates and walked straight through the metal that became like smoke.
Quickening his pace, the man hurried towards the house, the gardens and grounds that surrounded him echoed eerily with their own music, from the rustle of the plants, the trickling of water and the cries of birds that contained by magic.
But he did not notice these things, his thoughts were focused on other business, and for what was coming. He walked impassively his face betraying no emotion, but his shoulders were stiff and his muscles tense, behind him his robes flared and flapped menacingly.
He had been to this house numerous times over the years. It was overly extravagant and opulent to the excess that he found it garish. Once at the front door the man had been met by a wide-eyed house-elf and it had offered to escort him, but the man had sneered and made his way up the large wooden staircase and down the portrait gallery.
Staring down at him as he walked were generations of witches and wizards with pointed faces and most, if not all, had the platinum blonde hair that many believed unique to the family, yet the man believed it was their superior and conceited sneers that gave away the family name.
The Malfoy Manor was far from the place the man he been brought up as a child, and as he always did when he walked this gallery he felt a stab of jealously and envy that it inspired by design, and the man hated himself for allowing his background effect him after all these years.
Why they were being hosted at the Malfoy Manor the man did not know, although it was at least warmer and more comfortable than the marble throne room that had been built by controlled slaves during the last war.
He entered the drawing room which was silent despite being filled with no less than thirty people, at the head of the table sat the man who commanded them to be in this room and he looked up at him expectantly.
"Severus." He said quietly, "I almost thought you would be late."
Around the room people sneered nastily, they believed that would mean his place among them would become lower but those looks turned sour as the man gestured for Severus to take the seat to his right.
Sitting at the Dark Lords right hand signified his importance in the inner circle when they were not sitting as an actual circle that was. However, Severus knew that it was a vicarious position to have, it placed a target on his head as others would wish to unseat him through betrayal or other devious means, but it was also a dangerous seat for their Master favoured his right hand and if angered more than one of their number met their end just because they sat closest.
"What news do you bring?" Voldemort asked once he was sat down, again making a point to wait for him.
"As you thought my Lord, the Order of the Phoenix have gone to ground with the death of Black." He reported, "My source says that every residence assassinated with the Order has been placed under the strongest magic, some have even used the Fidelius Charm. He sneered in disdain before adding, "My source did not know the location of the boy, he could be anywhere behind any of those enchantments, for now he is beyond even our reach."
"Pity." Voldemort said dangerously, "the boy will meet his end soon enough."
"The boy will no doubt return to school in but a few months my Lord." Yaxley laughed, "We can get to him then, the school will be ours soon enough."
"Harrison Black-Potter will not be returning to Hogwarts for the new school year." Severus countered firmly, "it is the boys' intention to actively fight us head on now."
There was a silent paused before loud laughter broke out, they all found it laughable that a mere boy of sixteen thought he could fight them and win when grown wizards could not.
Severus did not laugh, for it was no joke. Next to him a second laugh was absent, and its absence went unnoticed by almost all, his eyes had flashed at the news and his nostrils had flared dangerously.
"The boy is foolish if he thinks he can fight us, no doubt his overconfidence is a byproduct of the old fools meddling and Blacks arrogance. I will show him his folly before I end him." Voldemort said quietly but he was heard through all the laughter which died instantly.
"I was unable to find where the boy would be my Lord, I believe he is keeping his location secret even from the Order of the Phoenix." Severus said bracingly, "The ministry is also ignorant of his location."
"I heard differently my Lord." Yaxley added, "The ministry believes that the boy is residing in the Black London residence."
"That is an assumption." Severus said tersely, "Blacks Will has yet to be executed and to my knowledge still resides with the Goblins. Scrimgeour has guessed the boys' location as that house is hidden most effectively."
"All ministry resources have been given to protect the house." Yaxley continued with a sour look, "Scrimgeour has given the boy every resource at his disposal."
"The Ministry has no input in the protection of the boy." Severus snapped annoyed now, "The Order does not trust the ministry, they know we have our moles and agents there. The boy knows that leaving your protection in the hands of friends only leads to death."
At these words Severus threw a glare to the very end of the left side of the long polish table where Wormtail sat, small and almost invisible except his shining silver hand but he shrunk away at his words.
"Where do you think he will be?" Voldemort asked him directly, "You were his professor for six years, you must have a measure of his capabilities by now."
"The boy is not without some mental capacity." Snape admitted ruefully, "he knows the target that is on his back, he knows you seek to destroy him. He will not wish to endanger his friends, so I do not think he will be at their houses. With his access to his family properties he could be in any number of locations, but given his estimated wealth he could be anywhere. We may not know where he is now my Lord, but perhaps we can know where he will be or draw him out.
"We should storm every single house we believe connected to the boy and the Order!" Travers said eagerly, "we could wipe them out in a single night if we so chose, we will find the boy cowering in one of them."
Voldemort said nothing on that suggestion, instead he looked to Rowle.
"What did you find in the muggle suburb?" He asked, "Did you find the boys filthy muggle family?"
Rowle hesitated before he answered, "They were not there my Lord. The address you said they lived at was empty, no one lived there, and I found no sign of them. I coaxed information from their neighbours, they said that the house had been empty for a year but said the family had left suddenly, although when I asked them more they couldn't answer, it was like they had forgotten."
"Muggles are filthy simple-minded creatures, so easily influenced by our magic." Voldemort said his eyes narrowing on Rowle possibly looking for sign of deceit. "Severus, what was their name? You were privy to Dumbledore's placement of the boy."
Severus opened his mouth to answer but the name escaped him. He remembered that lily had a sister and a family of her own, but her name alluded him. When he tried to remember who the boy had been left with he just knew it was muggles. He knew this was the work of some type of spell no doubt some work of the Order to protect them.
"I cannot say my Lord." Admitted with reluctance, "I know that I knew it but now it eludes me. I believe that knowledge of the boys' family is protected by some spell."
The entire table was silent, waiting on their Lords reaction. Some looked almost gleeful thinking that Severus would feel their masters ire, but instead their masters look snapped to another.
"And how goes your work? How far have we penetrated?" He asked dangerously to Yaxley who flinched in his seat.
"The additional Ministry security is problematic as you know my Lord." He said quickly, "However we have managed to get to three of the Ministers support staff, two in the DMLE and one in the DOM so we can reach Robards and Croaker as we take down Scrimgeour at the same time. I have also today managed to use the indoctrination process on Pius Thickneese, through him we will be able to reach people in every department and with that access more agents through whom we can achieve our aims."
"Good." Voldemort nodded, "Black was clever to introduce those security measures to the Ministry, but these measures have been lax of late as the Minister redirects resources to combat our distractions. The potion you brewed has done its job Severus."
"I only followed your instructions my Lord." Severus said bowing his head not wanting the praise at all. "It was Wormtail who managed to introduce it to Scrimgeour."
"Yes." Voldemort said, and he glared in the aforementioned mans direction, "It would have been success had he not forced an altercation with Black which then prevented his further excursions into the ministry. In our grand scheme his contribution is but a trifle."
"Th-thank you my lord." Wormtail stuttered.
Voldemort's lip curled at his words, and many of the assembled death eaters sneered in his direction.
"The time has come to take the Ministry of magic." Voldemort told them all, "we must take it in the coming days, it is time for us to move on them and rule from the heart of London and all their resources will be ours. Once we have the ministry then so to shall Hogwarts be ours and once we have them, then the boy shall be mine!"
"It will be done my lord." Yaxley vowed, "I will direct Pius once we are done here."
"Once we have the Ministry none can stand against us. With the Ministry in our hands we will have every tool we need to control the country. We will no longer be shackled by the constraints of law and order, we will be above it." Voldemort told them, "there will be a resistance, the Order will try to usurp our power. We will crush them as we would step on an any hill. The boy is our biggest threat, he is already a symbol, as ridiculous as that is, people could muster behind him. We need to to strike at the order, cut the head of the snake before they can bite us."
"I would like to volunteer for myself for this task, I will take the house of my blood-traitor sister." Bellatrix said seething madly.
"No." Voldemort snapped dangerously, she was not to leave the manor at all, "Your wish to purge your niece from you family tree is admirable given the shame as she infects a brach with a lycanthrope, but you will remain here."
"My Lord…I…" Lucius went to say but faltered at the look his pregnant wife threw at him before she looked pointedly at the table.
"You have something to add Lucius?" Voldemort asked coyly and he absentmindedly stroked Nagini who now draped herself over him, "I have broken you out of Azkaban after your failure to get the Prophecy, I have graced your home with my presence and even allowed your son a seat at this table and, yet you do not seem happy to have us here. Are we such unwelcome guests? If you prefer we can retire to my throne room and I can give you a lesson in hospitality."
"No m-my Lord." He stuttered, "I…"
"What of you Draco?" Voldemort said cooly turning his gaze from the haggard Malfoy patriarch, "Do you wish us gone?"
"No, my Lord." Draco replied dutifully, like his mother he looked pointedly at the hard wood table.
"Perhaps the Malfoys believe that they can find Sanctuary within the House of Black." Voldemort added looking at them carefully, "You attended the funeral of Lord Black without my knowledge. Your son suffered because of your decision Narcissa."
"My Lord I only wanted confirm his death…" Narcissa said but was silenced with a spell.
"Lies." Voldemort hissed dangerously, "Your pregnancy will not stay my hand again, you lie to me again and both you and your son will suffer my displeasure, Lord Voldemort always knows when you lie."
Severus looked towards the Malfoy hosts, they were pale, paler than normal and he thought Lucius may even have turned to the bottle given his appearance. Bellatrix was stationed in the manor to keep an eye on them he thought, with her sister's pregnancy she might act rashly in the name of her unborn child, or even Draco, if exposed to further torment.
"Severus." Voldemort said quietly, "How can we get to the boy? You know his flaws almost as well as I."
Severus paused before he answered, "the boy is known to be rash like the Dog, if we target someone close to him he will have no choice but to come out."
"Who do we target?" Voldemort asked him, "What about the Mudblood?"
"Oh, the prissy little know it all!" Bellatrix said sounding delighted, "the Boy will no doubt want to protect her."
"The girl has no doubt taken action to ensure we cannot get to her my lord." Severus countered, "She is not without some skill and will be better prepared than most of her age would be. The Weasley's likewise have increased the protection around their own homes."
Voldemort nodded, "Pity, the blood traitors are not much better than mudbloods but at least their blood is pure if tainted. Even the ancient houses have fallen…by the House of Slytherin shall reign supreme! No longer will others muddy our bloodlines or spout their nonsense. We shall start with this one."
His gaze turned upwards and his red eyes piercing something that was unseen and his white yew wands twitched in its direction.
Out of nowhere a woman appeared, having been suspended, immobile and silenced above them, now she was revealed her terror was tangible and she was silently crying looking down at them as she was lowered.
Everyone was shocked to see the woman hanging there in front of them, but the shock turned to eagerness when they guessed what would probably be happening next.
Severus tensed as he looked at the woman who had been revealed, he had noticed something off above the table but had dismissed it, his masters spell had been almost flawless.
"You recognise her I am sure Severus." Voldemort said watching his face keenly, and then he turned to Draco, "And you Draco? Do you recognise her?"
"She is a professor." Draco responded barely concealing his horror that a woman hung suspended in his family drawing room.
"You would not have taken her class, but yes." Voldemort said, and he did not take his eyes of the youngest Malfoy, "We are joined tonight by the former professor of Muggle Studies, Charity Burbage. Only today she submitted an article to the Daily Prophet to declare that muggles are not so different from us."
The room buzzed with revolted muttering, one of the death eaters stood and spat at her while others laughed at her audacity and questioned how she could believe such a thing, muggles were as dumb as animals.
Tears had tracked all down her cheeks and her eyes were swollen yet wide in fear, she didn't look at Voldemort her eyes looked beseechingly at Severus.
"Severus! Help me! Please!" She cried her voice breaking.
"Look at her now!" Voldemort said finally looking away from Draco, "She begs for help, she begs a wizard for help, not some dirty muggle."
"Severus…..Please…." She said again
"For fifteen years she has been been polluting the minds of our children but now has put those views to parchment. According to her, we must dilute our blood and accept the thieves of our knowledge, magic, and power. Reducing the number of purebloods is according to her a desirable outcome as in her mind they are antiquated and in some cases backwards…. She even promotes mating with muggles!"
The sneers and looked of revulsion did not change, but no one spoke each of them looking at the woman with pure hatred.
"She is an embarrassment to to wizarding world." Voldemort said with contempt glaring at her, "her views are a plague, we will kill the plague carrier to prevent its spread."
Hearing these words Charity sobbed and for the first time looked at Voldemort and her eyes went even wider and what little colour was in her face disappeared and Severus was surprised her hair had not turned white.
"S-S-Severus! Please!" She cried.
"Will you help her Severus?" Voldemort said toying with her.
Severus looked at her coldly, "She deserves what comes next my Lord, she is no better than a…She is a Blood Traitor."
"Yes." Voldemort said frowning for a moment at his pause.
The professor was breathing quickly now, she couldn't catch her breath as she realised her last chance of survival was futile and she was shaking uncontrollably but she managed to find her voice.
"H-Harrison…. He will... S-stop you…. He did it o-once…. he…"
Green light illuminated the entire room, reflecting off every reflected surface momentarily blinding people with its brightness and the woman fell onto the table with a crash but was then pounced on by Nagini.
All the Death Eaters leapt out of their chairs as the giant snake had lunged at the dead woman, and they watched on in horror.
"Enjoy your Dinner Nagini." Voldemort said standing up triumphantly, "Leave me, I will see to our prisoner, Ollivander should have finished my new wand by now."
Two weeks had passed since Harry had buried his adoptive father, two weeks since he had vowed to long sit idle while Voldemort threatened all that he care for. In those two weeks he had been busy getting ready to take up the fight that had long been coming.
Black House was almost entirely empty apart from its new young owner and as of a week before he had been joined by his best friend Hermione. The house was a ghost of its former self, its grandeur obscured by thick white sheets that covered almost all the furniture in most rooms.
Even the elves who served in the house was almost all gone, Telvar had died not long after Sirius had been killed and was now buried in the grounds of Ravenwood Hall. Winky had been assigned to the Weasleys at the Burrow to help with the upcoming wedding, and Dobby he had asked him to serve Remus and Dora at their new house Harry had gifted to them.
Kreacher remained in the House, merely because he refused to leave the house of his masters until it was sealed, he would not abandon the house until that time came.
In the first week, Harry and his two best friends had been seeing to their preparations to leave their homes and to protect their families.
When Hermione had turned up on his doorstep crying, he had lead her quickly inside and discovered what she had done in the name of protecting her parents. He marvelled at what she had been able to do, erasing their memories had taken a strength that Harry was not sure he himself had
How she had mustered the courage to do it, Harry did not know but he greatly respected the lengths which she had gone to. Hermione had not only removed memories of herself from them, and removed any traces of herself from their belongings, but even changed their identities.
Harry did not think that she had done it all by herself, she had refused to elaborate on what she had done but he knew she had sent them to Australia, far from their war. He wondered if Sirius had a hand in helping her arrange their emigration or change of identities.
Ron had been busy at home after the funeral, his mother knew he would probably follow Harry and had conscripted him into the wedding arrangements. But he had managed to speak to his father and explain what his plan was, Mr Weasley was naturally concerned and curious but he respected Rons decision and along with Bill and Fred and George they worked to help him.
For Harry the preparations were more complicated, he had traveled to the outskirts of Surrey to the house he had secretly purchased for his relatives. They were still there, hidden behind the powerful wards and they were safe for which he was glad, he didn't speak with them or anything, merely watch from afar.
Next, he had gone to Gringotts and met with both Griphook and Narfang for the Black and Potter accounts respectively. They advised him to remove all money from his trust accounts and deposit them within his Ancestral vaults for better protection which they quickly acted on however Harry left one alone due to what it contained.
Through Griphook he halted all work being carried out on the Potter Estate, he had to pay additional fees and cancellation costs, but he did it was a merely flick of a quill. Even the work pegged to begin in Godric's Hollow was halted for Harry had other intentions for his various properties.
Narfang had wanted to discuss the Black Accounts and the topic of Sirius's will but Harry had refused to discuss it, he had been given autonomy by Sirius and that was enough to allow him to control the vaults and properties even if the will was no executed.
One of the last things he had done was sign the house that Sirius had bought when he left school to Remus and Dora jointly, it was an engagement present for the two of them as he needed to evict Remus from Black House.
It had taken him an hour to get Remus and Dora to accept his gift, but their arguments had died once they realised that the house was technically already theirs and he refused to take it back. They had been incredibly grateful, but Harry has just smiled and allowed them to get settled in alone even though they did not want him to leave.
One of Harrys biggest challenges was how to protect his various houses and properties. He was not foolish enough to think he could use them to hide from Voldemort, the country Estates were well documented and even the strongest wards could be broken. A Fidelius could work but then he worried about its security.
The solution had been given to him by Bill Weasley, when Harry has approached him for advice on warding his properties so that none could access them he had readily suggested something called the Seal of Amun. A ward that was the strongest he had every encountered as a curse breaker and one that was unbreakable accept if you had the keys.
It was a magical seal created by the Ancient Egyptian Wizards to seal tombs, it was almost a precursor to the Fidelius charm, which not only creates an impenetrable field around an area and would render it invisible almost unnoticeable and easily forgettable.
Much like the Fidelius Charm, its power came from being bound to a living being and so long as that being lived then the seal would remain in tact. According to lore the ancient wizards would bind their seals to newborn children to protect their tombs and vaults for a generation and by that time the tomb should have been forgotten or lost. However, some were bound to an entire bloodline, so long as the line endured then so did the seal.
Nine tombs to date had been found to still be protected by the seal Amun, and despite all the magical advances and thousands of years since the seal was place into still protected the tombs over which it was cast, and none had managed to break through.
Some of the most obscure and mostly fragmented accounts and scripture said that the Seal was created to seal powerful dark creatures within everlasting tombs. Most wizarding Egyptologists and historians believed that a secret sect of priests of Osiris had created the vampire species, and that the Seal was used to entomb the blight that they had created.
The seal itself was rooted in runic and ritualistic magic, and required the blood of the bound and castor and required a long incantation in an old dialect. However, it took Bill only a few hours to get everything Harry needed to use the seal.
Sealing the Potter Estate had been Harry's first attempt at using the ancient ritual and it had taken him the best part of a day to achieve the magic as had been overly cautious. The keys to the seal was not only his blood, but also the blood of Kreacher and Dobby who had given it at their own volition and he had not ordered them to spill their blood.
Once the seal had been placed, he had but a few moments to get outside the property boundary, he hightailed it away from the ward stone and then apparated outside the great gates and then a golden wall sprang up from the ground and shining Egyptian scripture rippled over the wall before it faded, and it took his family estate with it.
He followed the same process with the damaged cottage in Godric's Hollow and the Black Country Estate. Sealing away Ravenwood Hall had taken him three times as long as the Potter properties as he had felt like he was being fought by the Black Ward stone.
Perhaps it knew he had not claimed the Headship of the House of Black, the ring had not changed with Sirius's death, so he wondered if that was why the ward stone had fought him.
Harry saw no need to seal the land on which the Shrieking Shack sat on, nor did he travel to Bulgaria to seal the Hunting Lodge. The creatures there were a deterrent enough, and the wards were most vigorous and dangerous to contain those creatures. Sirius had sold the Russian house months before, and the French Chateaux had been ceased by the French National Convention.
The last property he needed to seal was one that Harry was both reluctant to leave and reluctant to seal away. Black House was his home, he might have only lived here for less than a year between attending Hogwarts but it was the home Sirius had created for them both.
He was sitting on the floor of his room surrounded by piles of his belongings as he sorted out what he would be taking with him.
School robes, quidditch robes, some of his school textbooks, telescope sat to one side of him, while on the other were; muggle clothing, some wizardwear, the marauders map, his invisibility cloak, some of his more useful and advanced books, his potions kit, rune kit, two-way mirror and some other bits and bobs he thought by be of use.
One item that sat within sight was the locket that Harry had taken from the Cave, it sat on he bedside table as a reminder. It had been one of the worst nights he could remember while at school and it had cost them a great deal to get it even though it was worthless.
Sirius had never known the truth about it, his friends knew now but he didn't elaborate more on what had transpired or even want to discuss the accursed fake locket.
It was just another painful reminder that Sirius had been taken from him before they could resolve everything between them and fight this war.
Reaching once more into his school trunk, Harry pulled out the ornate white ivory box that Dumbledore had left for Harry to find, filled with its memories of Tom Riddle and covered in its beautiful carvings.
A knock on his door distracted him.
"Harry are you almost ready?" Hermione asked before she saw everything on the floor.
"Just need to finish up packing." Harry said, and he placed the box down with the other belongings to be taken with them, "It is hard to know what we will need or what we will face."
"I know." She said grimly, "I must have packed and unpacked everything ten times before I finally settled on what I wanted. You know between the two of us we should have everything. Ron won't bring much."
"No." Harry snorted, "He will probably just a chess board."
"So long as he brings his wits and wand that is all he needs." Hermione smiled shaking her head, "Do you think it is a good idea to go to the Weasleys?"
"No." Harry sighed, "But after tonight we have nowhere else to go, I am sealing this house away. Bill and Fleurs wedding is in a few days time, we promised that we would attend."
Hermione looked conflicted as she hugged her arms staring at the fake horcrux, "I just feel like we have bigger things that we should be doing, a wedding just seems so small and immaterial."
"As do I." Harry agreed, "But this wedding is a good thing, it will show that we are not scared to celebrate something even during a war. By not allowing Voldemort to take a wedding from us we at least have a small victory."
Finally, content that he had everything that he wanted, Harry placed everything that he would be taking into his trunk and the rest would remain in his bedroom and beyond his reach.
"Well that's me all packed, the only other thing that I need is to get some gold from Gringotts, I didn't have the time when I was last there." Harry told her, "We should probably but some more supplies too, do you still need anything?"
"I don't think so." She said frowning, "Mr Weasley is lending me a tent in case we should need one, Moody is getting me a flagon of Polyjuice potion. I intend to raid Mrs Weasley's potions cupboard for some potions to get us going, did you pack a cauldron? We can make many of our own potions."
"I did." Harry nodded, "I need to to brew a new batch of potions for my belt anyway."
"I was going to start brewing but wasn't sure what we would need, Mrs Weasley would have suggestions if I asked but I wont given how she is being." Hermione added, "You know how she is, she always seems to have what you need even when you don't know yourself."
"I often say the same about you." Harry laughed, "You always come through for us."
Hermione smiled, and pointed at his trunk, "I will pack that with all of my stuff if you don't mind."
With a press of his hand to the metal lock it sealed and locked itself and shrunk itself down and placed it in his pocket and stood up with a deep sigh and looked around his room. Remembering when Sirius had given him this room and what it meant.
With his wand in hand he gave it a flick and with a silent incarnation large white sheets flew from its tip and draped themselves over his bed and other furniture and the window shutters closed themselves throwing the room into darkness.
"Kreacher!" Harry called. And the diminutive elf appeared in front of him.
"Master Harrison called Kreacher." He said with a deep bow and even deeper croaking voice.
"It is time." Harry told him.
Kreacher bowed again, they had discussed what would happen.
"Master Harrison is to be being careful, Young Master is not to die yet for he is too young and important." The elf said not daring to look at Harry, "Master Black will never forgive Kreacher for allowing master to leave and fight."
"Kreacher you are to leave this house." Harry told him firmly repeating the same orders he had given the other elves, "You are to stay away from me unless I call you to me. You should find yourself work where you are needed and keep yourself safe. As the head elf of the House of Black, you are to keep an eye on Winky and even Dobby. I give you leave to defend yourself and our family against those that wish us ill."
The faithful elf looked up at him before he bowed once again and disapparated and left the houses of his masters.
Hermione startled Harry by placing a supportive hand on his arm, "Where has he gone?"
"I imagine he will go to Andromedas." Harry said looking at the spot the elf just vacated, "the only family he has is Andromeda, its his choice but Winky is with the Weasleys, Dobby serves Dora and Remus which only leaves Andromeda."
"What about the Malfoys?" She asked delicately, "They are still family."
"He might serve them." Harry admitted, "But no he will go to Andromeda, Kreacher may not have liked Sirius but he is loyal to the House of Black. The House of Black is staunchly opposed to the Death Eaters and any who associate with them, Kreacher could not serve the Malfoys for that reason."
Out of the corner of his eye he saw the look Hermione was giving him and raised a curious brow in question.
"Your understanding of elves is insightful." She said, "they are very strange creatures, they are so foreign to us that I find it hard to understand them."
"They are a different intelligent species." Harry reminded her, "with their own wants, needs, and thoughts. To judge them by human standards is to underestimate them, they are complex creatures yet at times simple. I trust Kreacher and because of that trust I do not believe he will ever betray me."
It took Harry a further ten minutes to finish shutting down the rest of the house, he released the owls from the owlery in the attic, where they would go he did not know but they flew off into the night.
Hermione was waiting for him downstairs while he went into Sirius's office and placed his hands on the ward stone and cast the seal. The coat of arms glowed brilliantly as he spoke the final word and he hurried from the office and down the stairs.
"Out of the door. Now!" Harry shouted as he jumped the last of the stairs and ran down the hall and all but dragged her to the door which sprang open unaided and they barrelled out of the door and fell down the steps and over the property boundary.
Hermione gasped as golden wall of light sprang up around the property and then it disappeared taking the house with it.
"I can't see it." Hermione said aghast.
"It is hidden to all now." Harry told her not looking at the join where the house should sit. "We have to go now. Before we are spotted."
Without pausing for a final look Harry spun on the spot leaving the dark square of houses, above three owls hooted and screeched probably seeing a rat that rustled in the grass in the square while the two late teens left the square with an almost imperceptible crack.
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So the first chapter! This has taken me months to write, not because it is such great writing. That alludes me, no it was getting the right tone to start it all.
The next chapter will start with Bill and Fleurs wedding and then it will escalate from there so watch out for the fireworks!
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