Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe belongs to the proverbial Duchess of Magic, JK Rowling, Scholastic, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros and some other high falutin' companies. No matter how much I whine about not owning anything related to the HP universe, other than a few fanfic plots, I do not profess to own - and would never dream of making any money off - JKR's wonderful world... Damn it!
Chapter 1 - A Most Unusual Visit (Part 1)
Privet Drive was a quiet little street in the quiet neighbourhood of Little Whinging, Surrey. It was a street within a neighbourhood populated with little houses of such similar style they appeared to be model numbers of a specific style and design. That is because that's what they were.
The houses were built in the late 1970's, in a specific sequence all by the same residential construction firm. The entire neighbourhood resulted from the sale of a very large section of crown land to a single development company. The same company that owned the subsidiary construction firm.
As well as the houses the same development company, just a different 'arm' of it, also cleared the land; laid the underground infrastructure of electrical cabling for both residential and other infrastructure such as street lighting; telephone cabling for both residential and public use systems; sewage pipes; clean water pipes for residential use, governmental use and fire hydrant systems; laid the roads; erected the street lighting, the property fences and even the playground equipment; and laid the grass in the same neighbourhood playground. It wasn't done all at once, with some areas open for newly cash rich families to buy and move in as other areas hadn't even been started yet, but it was all done by the one company all the same.
Privet Drive, being a street from which quite a few other streets and cul-de-sacs branched off, was one of the earlier ones to be completed. And the two storey, four bedroom house at number 4 Privet Drive, 'Design Variant 4B', being near the beginning of the street, was one of the first to be completed and ready for sale.
That home was bought, even before the local school and shops had been built, by an up-and-coming sales representative of a drill manufacturing company located in Greater Whinging only a few miles away. The sales representative, Vernon Dursley, newly married only a few months earlier and before to the property move-in date, wanted to make a start on setting up life for him, his wife and their future children as soon as possible. He was a 'go-getter' looking to 'get' places and was diligently working towards his dream life.
Three years later, almost to the day and on the First of November 1981, that dream developed a 'hiccup' - and it was a big one.
Petunia Dursley, wife of Vernon Dursley and mother of his eighteen month old son Dudley, opened the front door of their house to collect the morning's newspaper - delivered during the very early hours of the morning - and, instead of finding the newspaper on the stoop, instead found a wicker basket with a blanket-wrapped bundle within. Peeking out of that bundle was the face of a sleeping infant with a nearly healed fresh lightning bolt shaped wound on its forehead above its right eye.
"Dear God," she softly murmured, looking down at the baby and shocked at her discovery.
After a quick look around outside, just to see if she could spot anyone loitering about - or if the neighbours were already up and snooping upon her - she quickly picked up the infant, basket and all, and brought it inside. She'd forgotten about the morning newspaper. It was found later in her burgeoning rose bush garden.
Quickly walking to the combined kitchen dining room, she placed the basket on the dining table and wondered what to do next. That was when she spotted the envelope tucked between the sides of the inside of the basket and the blankets.
She almost daintily plucked the envelope out of its 'hidey-hole'. Seeing it, what the paper material looked to be and the green ink used to write her and her husband's names and address upon it, she began to grow quite concerned.
Taking a quick breath, she broke the red wax seal on the back of it - another antiquated oddity - opened it and began to read the short, hand-written letter on the sheet within.
As she read, her concern turned to shock before turning to anger.
Once she'd finished reading, she lowered the sheet of parchment and parchment envelope - for she now knew that was what the paper-like material truly was - glared at the still sleeping infant in anger and disgust, spun on her heel and stormed from the room, heading for the stairs.
'Not just, "No",' she thought, 'But, "Hell no!"'
Almost ten years later, a young boy of ten years - nearly eleven - was sitting at that same dining table carefully eating a well-cooked, but small, hot breakfast. Beside him and on the table were two small envelopes appearing ready to have a postage stamp affixed to each of them before being posted. There were no sounds other than the sounds of the boy eating and of what could be heard of traffic and similar noises from outside through the currently wide-open dining room window. A window the boy had opened just before sitting down. It was the twenty-fourth of July, 1991; a Wednesday and a little before 7.30am.
The boy was rather small for his age, appearing in size to be closer to seven or eight years old rather than the almost eleven he actually was. He was also unhealthily skinny. He had unruly messy black hair that clearly had no intention of being tamed; he wore stylish wire rimmed spectacles with black frames, startling green eyes behind them; and was dressed in what appeared to be reasonable quality well-fitted clothing - a collared green V-necked T-shirt over black jeans (no belt) and trainers. He wore no jewellery, unless you consider the spectacles to be jewellery.
As for the house, everything was in its proper place; as it had always been. In the lounge, across from where the boy was sitting and through the archway, a television with one of the first generation VCRs tucked under it was in its small low height cabinet. A two-seater sofa with two matching armchairs were also in the lounge, positioned just-so and facing that 'entertainment centre'. A tall combined liquor/glasses cabinet stood in the corner, a coffee table sat in the middle of the floor between the television cabinet and the chairs and a small occasional table sat between the two armchairs. The walls were adored with cheap knock-off art work, interspersed with 5"x7" photographs in their small matching frames. A fireplace sat along the wall between the television and the liquor/glass cabinet with mantelpiece above it; above that, a large gilded framed mirror.
The photographs showed various pictures of the three Dursleys - and a couple other clearly Dursley relatives - in various locations. Almost all appeared to have been taken while on holidays or similar. Peculiarly, none of them contained the image of the small boy eating his breakfast at the dining room table.
As well as a few knick-knacks and obvious mementos, three small dolls with expressions of shock upon their faces stood on that mantelpiece. Also peculiarly, they looked just like the three Dursleys, who were surprisingly also absent from the house. If not for the small boy at the table, it would look like the Dursley household had stepped out for a few minutes, possibly for a trip to the shops.
In the dining room, the small boy was just finishing up with his breakfast when a barn owl glided in, almost silently, through the open dining room window. It hard-banked about in the air and landed on the table in front of the boy, but off to the side a little so as not to have landed in the remains of the boy's breakfast. It appeared to have a small rolled bundle of paper or parchment tied to its leg. The same leg, which the owl stuck out forward to point at the boy, as if to say, 'This is for you'.
Apparently unsurprised by this astonishing turn of events, the boy gave a slight nod and small smile to the owl before reaching over to relieve it of its burden.
As he did so, he quietly said, "As well as a response, I have a letter for you to deliver on your way back. Will you deliver it for me?"
Besides a quick head bob, the owl gave a short screech followed by a sort of hissing and two clacks of it's stubby beak; as if to say, 'Yes, of course.'
Harry smiled and finished freeing the owl of its load, before then using the already present and in place thin leather strips to attach the two letters to its legs.
"This one," said the boy, tapping the one attached to the bird's left leg, "Is to be delivered first. It is for Madam Amelia Bones. You will find her at the Bones ancestral home in Nottingham. It's on your way back to Scotland, so the detour shouldn't bother you."
The owl then gave a couple of annoyed beak clacks, a cough, shook its head a bit and gave an added few seconds long screech.
"Sorry," said the boy with a slight smile. "I did not mean to offend."
Once the two letters were firmly attached, the owl checked both loads, gave a nod to the boy and took off to fly back out the still opened window. The boy watched it fly about fifteen feet from the house before it suddenly wheeled and changed direction, heading north.
The boy gave a slight verbal nod to himself, stood, firmly closed the window, collected his dirty dishes and took them to the kitchen. Within the minute he was quietly humming an Olde English folk-song tune while washing the cooking implements and dishes he used to both make and eat his breakfast.
Once done, he wiped his hands clean on a hand-towel hanging from a hook and hung there for that purpose and walked into the lounge before turning to smirk at the three dolls on the mantelpiece.
"I do not know if you caught that," he quietly said. "But, that was the Hogwarts owl come to deliver your nephew his letter inviting him to attend Hogwarts this year. However, I've sent it back with a delivery to make on its way back to Scotland, instead of just traveling directly there.
"If all goes to plan, you will free of me by mid-morning tomorrow morning."
Then he smirked, "However, you three will then be facing justice through the criminal courts. Many multiple instances of child abuse, many multiple instances of child neglect, many multiple instances of failure to provide life's necessities, child slavery, things like that. It'll all come out in your trials, I assure you. I'll be making sure of it."
Then he gave the three dolls another smirk, turned on his heel and headed for the door leading to the front door and the foot of the stairs that led up to the second floor. He mounted the stairs and began to quickly climb.
Less than a minute later, he was back and walked back to the dining room table, this time ignoring the three dolls. He was carrying document folders, a sheaf of paper and other writing implements he'd obviously collected while upstairs.
Laying the writing material and folders out on the table, he again sat. Then drew the papers, a quill and a small capped bottle of plain blue ink toward him, picking the quill up and, queerly, ready to write. He did not use a pen.
From the size of the small stack of papers, folders, it appeared he'd already done a great deal of writing. This would just add to it.
Less than two hours later, at the Bones ancestral home in Nottingham, a barn owl flew in and immediately landed on the owl mail delivery roost placed where it was just for this sort of event - and waited. The roost stood only three feet off the ground and the owl was the same owl from the Dursley residence in Little Whinging.
A moment later, a small grey skinned humanoid creature that stood about three and a half feet tall suddenly materialised a few feet before it with a soft crack of sound. It had over-sized amber coloured eyes, floppy ears and appeared to be wearing a clean, crisp modified pillowcase as a sort of shift. This did not appear to startle or otherwise discombobulate the owl in any way, as if it was expecting such.
The creature, known as a house elf, asked the owl in a slightly high-pitched and broken modern English, "You haves something for Mistress?"
The owl jutted forth its left leg. The one with the first letter to be delivered.
The elf snapped it's fingers and, with a small flash of light, the letter disappeared off the leg of the owl and appeared in the other hand of the elf.
The elf waved its long spindly finger-snapping fingers over the letter before it turned back to the owl. "Thank you. Yous may go," it said.
And the owl took off again; this time, finishing its diverted flight back to its home in a huge castle in Scotland.
Checking the address on the letter, the elf then disappeared with another light crack of sound, similar to the sound of a small whip cracking the sound barrier.
Moments later, the little elf appeared with another light crack of sound in an office; furnished, it appeared, in an old-fashioned manner.
There was a woman of apparent middle-age sitting behind the single office desk. The elf had appeared standing right next to that desk. More oddly, the woman appeared to be dressed in robes of some description, bore a short bob of greying hair and sported a monocle, of all things, in her left eye.
Hearing the crack that signalled the little elf's arrival, she looked up from whatever she was working upon at the desk and turned to the sound. She immediately spotted her family elf from the manor in Nottingham.
Frowning a little in confusion, she asked it, "Binty? Why are you here?"
The elf offered the letter in its hand up to the woman.
"Mistress received mail at home," it, Binty, replied. "Binty thinks she should brings it to Mistress. Binty think it bes import'nt."
Still frowning, the woman drew a wand and waved it gently over the letter. Other than a mild compulsion charm that 'urged' the elf to immediately deliver it to her, there didn't seem to be anything odd about the letter. There were no other magics employed upon it.
Plucking the letter out of the elf's fingers she said, "Thank you, Binty. You may return to your duties."
As the elf popped away, she quickly checked the envelope over.
The front was addressed to her:
Director Madam Amelia S. Bones
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
c/- Bones Manor
Frowning even more, as it appeared odd for a letter addressed to her in her official persona as Director of the DMLE would be delivered to her home, she flipped the letter over. There was no wax seal; with the letter actually sealed by a small piece of muggle - non-magical - tape.
Using her wand to pry the tape away, she flipped the flap out of the way and checked inside. She only saw a small folded note within.
Plucking it out she quickly unfolded the small sheet of paper and began to read. As soon as she began, her eyebrows shot up in surprise and her monocle fell out of her eye socket to drop to the length of its small gold chain hanging from the upper breast of her robes.
~ # ~
Director Madam Amelia S. Bones
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
I ask that you read this letter in private and allow no one to know you have received it; at least until you read this letter right through before making the decision whether you wish to inform others you have received it or not. That is one of the reasons I had the letter delivered to your home, rather than direct to your office, so it would not pass through other hands within the Ministry.
That's the urgent part out of the way.
I am Henry James 'Harry' Potter. To confirm that, I have placed a drop of blood next to the signature block at the bottom of the page.
I ask that you pay me a visit at my current address - 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey - at 8.00am tomorrow morning; not before. I further ask that you be accompanied by no more than two aurors that have both your utmost trust and can be relied upon for their utmost discretion with experience of moving through the muggle world. The address is of a two storey home in the muggle world.
At that time and place I shall be providing you with evidence of crimes most foul perpetuated upon both myself and others by someone who holds high trust within the wizarding world. The identity of the perpetrator will likely shock you.
Please do not attempt to arrive before that time as you will be unable to find the location. It is temporarily under wards to prevent such an attempt by all magicals.
The property is also under anti-apparation, anti-portkey and anti-scry wards among others; the borders of which reach out beyond the property lines and into the street. Therefore, you shall need to arrive in a disillusioned state and at least one hundred yards from the house.
I look forward to receiving you and two of your aurors at that time.
Henry J Potter,
Head of the Noble and Ancient House of Potter
Head of the Most Ancient House of Peverell
Heir of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black [drop of blood]
P.S: Having now read this letter I hope you understand the sensitivity of the information contain within; and will keep it a secret from everyone until at least after our meeting.
~ # ~
To say Bones was surprised would be a gross understatement. She was currently in a state of shock so deep it took her a good minute before she regained sufficient wit to begin thinking critically again.
Once she began to properly think through what she'd just read, the first thing she did was go to her concealed liquor cabinet, pour herself a small shot glass of Firewhiskey, toss it back, replace everything, close up the cabinet and return to her desk.
Once back she began to think through what she needed to do.
The first thing she did, and was surprised with herself she didn't do it immediately, was cast a DMLE verification charm on the spot of blood. It came back as positive for one Henry James Potter.
And wasn't that also a surprise. She, like she thought everyone else who 'knew' what the boy's name was, thought his name to be simply Harry James Potter. Her verification proved it was both not and that it was indeed from the Potter boy, Wizarding Britain's young hero.
Once she'd done that, she pulled out a national street directory and looked up Privet Drive within the sub-township of Little Whinging. And noted down the co-ordinates, together with a safe and likely location into which to apparate.
Next, she checked her roster of when aurors were on duty and checked to see if any of the aurors she'd choose from to take with her - she'd adhere to the boys request for only two aurors to accompany her - were actually on duty that time the next morning. Of the four or five from which she'd pick, two of them were - Hammer and Robards. They were both due to start work at 7.50am, so she'd simply grab them as soon as they turned up in the morning.
With that sorted she bent her mind to what the boy could possibly know, as he was supposedly raised in the muggle world. The address he gave, claiming it as his 'current address', supported that.
As for the 'someone who holds high trust within the wizarding world' being a perpetrator of 'crimes most foul', the only person she could think of who the boy could possibly know and who also held such a position would be Albus Dumbledore. She didn't like the man, but she also couldn't perceive him as being a person who would commit crimes most foul, as the boy put it.
However, the Potter boy's letter was very sparing of any information she could use to prepare herself for her visit the next morning, beyond the pertinent information she would need in advance.
With a sigh, she set the letter aside and wrote a note informing her personal aide she'd be out of the office the next morning from approximately 8.00am until 'who knows when'. And any appointments she had for that time period were to be forthwith rescheduled.
The next morning, Bones was at her office at 7.30am and preparing herself for her morning in the muggle world visiting the Potter boy.
At ten to eight she called her aide on the inter-office personal intercom system and asked her to locate and send in Master Auror Hammer and Senior Auror Robards.
She did not have to wait long.
As soon as they entered, she gave a quick briefing on where they were going and why.
"How, in Merlin's name, does the Potter boy have this information, Boss?" asked Hammer. "According to everything we know, he was taking into the muggle world and hidden there by Dumbledore. For him to have been hidden there, he cannot also have access to all this information even we didn't know about."
"That'll obviously be one of the questions I ask the boy," replied Bones, quite firmly. "However, we're not going to dismiss what he has out of hand. If he provides the evidence, as he seems firm in the belief of having, we're going to run with it."
A little worried about it, Robards asked, "You don't think he's talking about Dumbledore, do you?"
"I think it would have to be Dumbledore," Hammer cut in. "Who else could it be?"
"We will not make assumptions," said Bones. "We will hear the boy out and decide what to do from there."
She then checked her mechanical, non-battery powered, 'muggle' watch and said, "Five minutes. We'd best make a move." And put effort to words and stood.
Her two aurors were right behind her.
She bent over and tapped her intercom. When he aide came on, she said, "Cynthia; myself, Master Auror Hammer and Senior Auror Robards are going to be out for a while; likely a couple of hours."
"Yes Ma'am," the voice of 'Cynthia' returned.
Each then transfigured their current clothing, blue and red coloured robes, into non-magical appearing summer business attire. Robards was dressed in what appeared to be an off-the-rack lightweight grey suit over a white shirt with black tie, belt and shoes; both Bones and Hammer were dressed in similar style, but in muggle ladies' business fashion.
Reaching to her desk, Bones picked up a metal wrist 'bangle' and held it out to the other two.
Once all three had drawn their wands in readiness, as per auror guidelines, the other two touched the ring.
Bones then used her wand to tap the ring as she said, "Potter, here we come!"
All three disappeared in a swirl. It looked like they were sucked into a funnel.
In a quiet laneway around the corner from Privet Drive, the three reappeared as if they'd come out of that same funnel, but in a street many miles away from where they disappeared. All up, the time difference was only a few seconds.
As soon they appeared, they quickly checked their surroundings, not finding or spotting anyone who could have seen them appear,
Another quick check around and Bones indicated the direction for them to walk. Both Robards and Hammer fell into step behind her, side-by-side, and they walked as if in a triangle formation.
As they walked they noticed how very similar each of the houses appeared. It was obvious even to them that the housing was all built to an exacting style, even if there were a few differences in their shapes.
Less than a minute later they were walking up the outside footpath towards 4 Privet Drive.
With her monocle in place, Bones could see the very powerful wards on the house that extended even out into the street. She signalled the other two to a stop. "Wards," she quietly explained, not even waiting to be asked. "Notice-me-Not charms, peoples," she ordered.
All three immediately cast Notice-me-Not charms upon themselves before turning their wands to begin analysing those wards.
Once done, Bones said, "I can see an anti-portkey; anti-apparation; anti-scry; anti-owl mail, of all things; house elf avoidance; some form of compulsion charm aimed against one magical person, likely Potter; and some form of powerful blood-based magic. Other than the first three, the rest are as illegal as Hell."
Turning to her two senior aurors, she asked, "What do you two have?"
After a glance between them, Robards replied, "I got the first three, alright. I also picked up an aversion ward based on ill intent, monitoring charms on the wards and multiple of the same on an individual within the house, plus others I've not been able to check yet."
Bones gave a nod and turned to Hammer. "Connie? Anything to add?"
Yeah," she said, a little concerned. "There are another set of wards in an inactive, but powered up state, tucked inside the first set. They're another anti-portkey and anti-apparation set of wards, but they have a different signature to the first set. Plus the first set all also have the same magical signature - Dumbledore's - I'd know that signature anywhere."
Bones turned back and cast another rapid set of wand movements before she lowered her wand, sighed and said, "Yup; I see. Definitely Dumbledore's. Like you, I'd recognise it anywhere."
Looking between the two she asked, "Anything else that's a stand-out? Nothing that would cause us harm?"
"No, ma'am," they both replied.
"Then let's go and pay Mister Potter a visit," she said, before turning back and walking to the front gate of the property.
They did feel the wards as they stepped through them, but nothing that was of concern considering it's what they expected other than their Notice-me-Nots were stripped away. That gave them only slight pause.
Bones, already knowing how to 'knock' on the door of a modern muggle home, spotted the doorbell button affixed to the frame of the door and pressed it for two seconds. All three heard the short tune that played from within.
Inside, the boy known as Harry Potter felt the analysing of the wards. He'd already reconfigured the monitoring charms he'd discovered on them to point to himself, rather than the one who'd originally set them up, Albus Dumbledore. That way, he'd feel the analysing while Dumbledore would have no idea there was anything untoward occurring at the property he 'wouldn't like'; such as magicals, such as Amelia Bones and her two aurors, visiting the home.
He merely smirked and waited for them to finish. Then, a minute later, he felt them enter the property.
While he was waiting, he laid out the files he'd written up over the past couple of weeks on the dining room table, just-so and in a specific order. He also laid out blank parchment, ink and quills, ready for use and in case needed.
As the aurors approached the front door, he did a last check around, stood in the lounge for a moment, checked the three dolls sitting on the mantelpiece were still safe and sound and waited.
Once the doorbell rang, rather than knuckles rapping on the wood of the door as he expected, he walked to the front door and opened it.
Looking at the three standing on the stoop, he saw the lady with the greying hair and monocle in the lead and asked, "Yes?"
When the front door opened, Bones found herself looking down and into the face of a boy who appeared to be about eight or nine years old. At first, she thought this could not be Harr- Henry Potter, until she saw the messy black hair, the bright green eyes through the spectacles and the remains of a faint lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead above his right eye. From his build he appeared to be suffering from severe neglect. However, he was dressed in a collared pale yellow V-necked T-shirt over black belted slacks and black loafer shoes. His glasses, though, were not the aviator style she expected either. And were, instead, quite the trendy rounded off rectangular blackened wire frames.
"Yes?" the boy asked.
"Mister Potter?" she genially asked. "I'm Madam Amelia Bones. I believe you asked me to visit?"
With a nod, Harry asked, "Do you have any identification?"
Surprised she was asked for it, Bones gave a nod and reached into the inside breast pocket of her now suit jacket and pulled out her identification card.
Surprisingly, it appeared to be an identification card and badge from MI-5. It had her name and rank of Inspector. She immediately showed it to him.
He glanced at it, smirked and quietly said, "Nice." Then gave a chin-point to her two aurors and asked, "I take it you can vouch for your two... compatriots?"
She smiled back and replied, "Indeed. They are both with me and the two you asked I specifically limit myself to."
"Yes, Ma'am," he replied. "And, thank you." Then he stepped to the side, pulling the door open wider as he did so, and said, "Please come in."
All three stepped within with both senior aurors 'surreptitiously' casting about with their wands.
The boy ignored the wand waving, closed the door and headed for the dining room. Glancing to Bones as he passed her, he said, "Please follow me."
With her two aurors again following along, Bones followed the boy into the combined dining room kitchen, specifically the dining room side off the lounge.
He indicated the chair at the end of the table and said, "Please be seated." And headed for the side with his back to the window; where, unknown to the aurors, he'd sat the previous day.
Bones hesitated a moment before taking the offered seat.
She began, "Now, Mister Potter―"
As he sat and cutting her off, he said, "Let's get started, shall we? I estimate we have a little over half an hour to forty five minutes before we're interrupted by a manipulative old codger of a criminal with his false bonhomie and platitudes. He may arrive even quicker than that, for all I know. And we're going to need all that time for me to get through what I have for you before he gets here."
Not waiting for her to respond, he slid one of the files before him, one labelled 'Last Will and Testaments of Lord James Charlus Potter and Lady Lily Marie Potter née Evans' towards her.
"Here is a copy of the Gringotts' copy of the Last Will and Testaments of James and Lily Potter," he explained. "While Dumbledore successfully moved a motion in the Wizengamot for their Wills to be sealed, the motion and subsequent passing of it was actually illegal.
"By law relating to an existing treaty between wizarding Britain and the Goblin Nation, the one from 1211 AD, any and all Last Wills and Testaments are held in trust by the Goblin Nation. Further, the Wizengamot has no legal standing to force the Goblin Nation to do anything except for a very few specific exceptions; the handling of Last Wills and Testaments are not one of those exceptions.
"As such, I asked for and received from the Goblin Nation via Gringotts a certified copy of the true Wills of both. Please take particular note of who is listed as both the one who cast the Fidelius charm and who the caster of the Fidelius charm set as the Secret Keeper. I'll also point out that no one but the caster can set who the Secret Keeper can be, unless the Secret Keeper dies; at which point all those who know the secret at that point in time will become co-Secret Keepers, if you didn't know.
"At this time, Madam Bones, I'll ask you to cast a Point Me charm for the wizard known as Peter Andrew Pettigrew. As the man would have to be alive for the charm to work, you'll know that he is still alive and, therefore, theoretically still the Secret Keeper for the Potter Cottage in Godric's Hollow."
As Bones was currently flicking through the small file she was offered, amazed by what was contained within, she looked at Harry in shock. 'Why hadn't we thought of that?" she thought.
"Madam Bones," Harry pressed when she didn't seem to be do anything. "We don't have a lot of time. Please cast the charm."
However, it was Master Auror Connie Hammer who drew her wand, placed it flat on the palm of her hand and cast the charm. She firmly incanted, "Point me, Peter Andrew Pettigrew."
The wand lifted slightly off her palm and performed a complete 360º plus spin before pointing in a north-western, almost west-nor-west, direction.
Harry saw it and nodded at the now shocked Master Auror and said, "You'll find the following: He is, as your auror's charm just indicated, alive; he is an unregistered animagus with the animal form of a common brown rat; and he is currently masquerading as the pet of one Ronald Weasley, who's just received him from his older brother, Percival. Percival had him as a pet for just over nine years, whereas a normal rat will live to a maximum of about three and half years. He is in hiding at the Weasley family home, the Burrow in Ottery St Catchpole, because he knows all those death eaters who escaped their own richly-deserved incarceration sentences know he was to lead the dark wizard known as Lord Voldemort to the Potter's secret location that night and fears those unincarcerated death eaters aren't too happy with him at the moment. I trust you to use those hidden Slytherin traits of yours to come up with a plan to capture the little furry turd on four legs, so you can then use him as a Ministry witness in the trials."
Before any of the aurors could say anything to that, he quickly moved on.
"Next," and slid another file over the table to Bones.
"Wait," said Bones," cutting in. "How do you know all this?"
"That will be explained once our next, and uninvited, guest arrives," he replied. "Now, if you please, I want you to be aware of all the information I have for you before he gets here. Otherwise you'll be somewhat lost as to what I have to say to him."
Though clearly a little frustrated, she gave a nod back.
"Next and related to the previous matter, is the issue of Sirius Orion Black the Third," he continued. "As per the previous file and confirmed by your auror's Point Me charm, Peter Andrew Pettigrew is alive. He was the Secret Keeper for Dumbledore's Fidelius charm on the so-called Potter Cottage in Godric's Hollow.
"That means Sirius Black did not betray the Potter's secret; nor did he kill Peter Pettigrew. This, of course, should have all come out during his trial. However, as that file will show, Sirius Black never received a trial. He was picked up in the street in Manchester, where he supposedly killed Peter Pettigrew and twelve muggles in the local area and was immediately tossed into a cell in Azkaban.
"Sirius Orion Black is the named Heir of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. Common misconception, of course, is that Sirius Black was the Secret Keeper to the Fidelius charm placed on the so-called Potter Cottage in Godric's Hollow sometime before the thirty-first of October, 1981. It is alleged he, as the supposed right hand man of the dark wizard known as Lord Voldemort, used his supposed status as the Secret Keeper to lead him to that cottage and through the Fidelius and, as such, was party to the murder of my parents and the attempted murder of myself.
"Within that file you will also discover evidence to the following: One; Sirius Black was my sworn godfather and, as such, could not have been party to any attack which placed my life in danger; magic would have killed him in the attempt before he could have done so. Two; As per the file that contains the Last Wills and Testaments of my parents, Sirius was listed both as my sworn godfather and the first choice of guardian for me if anything happened to my parents; which, of course, did happen. Three; is the full details, in chronological order, of how it is that Sirius Black was thrown into Azkaban without a trial. For your immediate information, the three to sign the order to gaol him without first trying him were Barty Crouch Snr as Director of the DMLE, Millicent Bagnold as Minister for Magic... and, guess who, Albus Dumbledore.
"I remind you that Albus Dumbledore was the one to cast the Fidelius charm on the Potter's hidey-hole. As such, he knew Peter Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper, not Sirius Black. If he tries to argue he did not know that, the file also explains he was verbally told the secret by Pettigrew. As such, he knows Pettigrew had to be the Secret Keeper, as only the Secret Keeper can relay the secret verbally. You can confirm that when you get Veritaserum into Pettigrew. Oh; and Pettigrew is a half-blood. As such, he's not exempt from being forced to take Veritaserum under that disgusting pureblood exemption law.
"Further, just in case people try to drag their feet in bringing Black to trial - the trial he should have been accorded by lawful requirement almost ten years ago - I have arranged with the goblins of Gringotts to see to it that a copy of all that pertinent information is sent to Arcturus Black within the next 48 hours. It's about time that―"
"Mister Potter," snapped Bones. "I do not appreciate being blackmailed―"
"I'm not, blackmailing you, Madam Bones!" he immediately snapped back. "I'm not threatening you I'll send the information to Lord Arcturus Black if you don't act as I wish; I'm informing you the information will be sent to him. As that is completely irrelevant as to whether or not you act on the information you're being provided changes matters not one whit! All I'm doing is is giving you, as the muggles would say, a 'heads up' that it is going to happen. That way, when Arcturus Black storms into your office demanding to know what's going on, you'll be expecting it and have ready answers for him. Instead of accusing me of blackmail, you should be thanking me for giving you that fair warning. I was under no obligation to do so."
Bones closed her eyes and grit her teeth for a long moment before she visibly relaxed and opened her eyes again. "Thank you," she reluctantly said.
Harry gave a nod back and said, "Moving on. Now, as Lucius Malfoy is under the impression that his spawn, young Draco, is the Heir of Black after the boy's grandfather, Cygnus Black, it is easy to see he's going to do everything he possibly can to interfere. He wants both Blacks dead; the sooner, the better. I have no doubt a lot of gold is going to find its way into the right... or, should I say... wrong pockets with the intent of having Sirius Black found guilty and, likely, immediately kissed.
"Malfoy is wrong. As that file also shows, young Draco Malfoy is not the Heir Secondary of Black, Henry James Potter is.
"Almost immediately after James Potter announced the birth of his first... and, subsequently, only... son, Sirius Black undertook the godfather ritual for the infant Henry Potter. Then he immediately named Henry Potter as his own heir; that is, Heir Black right behind him. The information concerning all that is also in that file. From that, alone, you have evidence Sirius Black could not have placed his godson at risk by allowing the wizard known as Voldemort through the wards on the Potter Cottage. The magic of the ritual would have killed him before he had the chance.
"When you get Sirius Black his trial, the end result will be a complete exoneration, together with a very public declaration of 'Innocent', against all charges relating to that night. If he is instead declared pardoned... well, the consequences of that will be severe. I'll remind you that a pardon can only apply when the defendant is found to be guilty of the crime or crimes and subsequently excused them. As he is actually innocent, it would be a miscarriage of justice to grant him a pardon. Am I understood?"
"Yes, Mister Potter," she sighed. "However, Sirius Black was disowned. He cannot be the Heir Apparent for the House of Black."
"Not true," he shot back. "Walburga Black did disown him, yes. However, she only had authority to disown him as her son; which she did. However, she did not have the authority to disown him from the line of succession for Lordship of the House. That authority laid... and still does... with Lord Arcturus Black. And he has not disowned Sirius. As such, Sirius is still... or, is now... the Heir Apparent. It's in the file."
"Ah," she muttered.
With another nod he then slid the third file over to her. This one was labelled 'Tom Marvolo Riddle'.
"Next subject matter," he said, giving the file a double tap with an index fingertip. "Tom Riddle; or, as he is now known, Lord Voldemort and other sobriquets."
"WHAT?!" gasped Bones.
Mind you, both her aurors also gave their own gasps of surprise, just not as vocal.
Bones almost snatched the file up, opened it and began reading.
"This file is on the truth of the man; his full background. For a start, he was born Tom Marvolo Riddle; the only child of Merope Gaunt and a muggle by the name of Thomas George Riddle, both of Little Hangleton near Coventry. As such, he's a halfblood."
"You'll find in there a copy of the man's muggle birth certificate, the fact his mother died within an hour of his birth and that he was raised at Wool's Orphanage in inner London.
"The orphanage no longer exists, as the muggles have done away with them all. Orphans are now fostered out to volunteer families almost right from the start. And many of those families later adopt them. Therefore, there is no longer any file you can find on a young Tom Riddle's childhood. I had the goblins check.
As for the father, Thomas Riddle was being dosed with Amortentia by Merope Gaunt. As soon as Gaunt thought she no longer needed to dose the muggle with the potion - wrongly expecting the man to have legitimately fallen in love with her by then - she stopped dosing him with it. At that time she was six months pregnant with our then future dark lord.
"However, as soon as Thomas Riddle was free of the potion, he immediately dumped her and ran back to his parents. And, as soon as he informed them what had happened.. or, what he believed happened... they organised for the still unborn infant to be disowned. As such Tom Marvolo Riddle was born a bastard.
"So, the dark wizard known as Lord Voldemort, who was born Tom Marvolo Riddle in a muggle halfway house in London and was raised in almost squalid conditions in a muggle orphanage, is legitimately titled a halfblood bastard. And here he was, almost thirty years later, running around using purebloods to kill other purebloods, let alone anyone else, all in the name of blood purity. What... a bloody... hypocrite."
He sighed and said, "Anyways, you can read all this in closer detail later. It's all in the files, as promised. I need to move onto the next matter. And, if you thought that information was shocking, you're probably going to need a calming draught and stiff drink after I tell you this next one."
Bones finally looked up from the Riddle file and hesitantly asked, "What do you mean?"
Before telling her, though, he asked, "Just how much do you trust your two aurors here?"
She frown and firmly replied, "With my life."
"What about the life of your niece and safety of the wizarding world?" he pressed.
Bones's frown deepened and she replied, "Yes. That too."
Harry nodded and passed over the next file. This one was titled 'Phylacteries & Prophecy'.
"Then, the first thing you need to know is that, while Tom Riddle died on the night of Hallowe'en 1981, his spirit... his soul, if you will... did not pass on to what Dumbledore likes to call 'The Next Great Adventure'," he explained. "That's because he found a very dark, very evil piece of magic that gave him a chance to come back if he was ever killed."
As he saw his words have a profound effect on all three aurors, he gave them a moment to 'digest' that bit of news before he continued.
"What do you know of phylacteries?" he asked her.
When Bones gave a confused frown and shook her head, he asked, "Soul anchors?"
Again, she was confused, but he could see she was beginning to suspect.
"What about... Horcruxes?"
While she remained confused, Hammer gave a gasp of shock. He glanced to her, as did Bones, to see her looking terrified, horrified and not a little ill.
"It appears one of your aurors knows what I'm talking about, at least," he nodded. "However, I'm surprised by that, as the Ministry's Department of Mysteries, together with their counterparts right across the wizarding world, have it as one of their priorities to remove and destroy any mention of that foul magic as soon as they come across it.
"That doesn't mean they've found all mentions of it, of course, which is how Tom Riddle came across it himself.
"A Horcrux is a phylactery... a soul container... that contains part of a person's soul. I will not go into how they are created, only that they can be... that they are a real thing. If someone creates a Horcrux for their soul then, if they're killed, their soul will not pass on to the afterlife; it will remained tethered to this plane of existence. That's why they're also called a soul anchor. It anchors their soul to this plane.
"Now, Riddle discovered this quite esoteric, very dark and highly illegal piece of magic in a book that was kept in the so-called Restricted Section within the student library at Hogwarts. How it escaped the notice of those who were searching for such things to destroy them... well, that's something to figure out later.
"Now, the book covered information on how to make a Horcrux, but apparently also stated a single soul container was all that was needed to anchor the soul here. However, Riddle was not satisfied with only one. He wanted to know how many he could make. He managed to sweet-talk Horace Slughorn, then Potions Master at Hogwarts and his Head of House, to tell him that six was the possible maximum. Together with the prime part of the soul, the part that remained within his body, he would have seven pieces of his soul. Seven being a magically powerful number.
"However, Riddle didn't just want to use 'any old thing' as a phylactery. He wanted magically powerful artefacts to host pieces of his soul. So, after making his first one, he waited until he could find such artefacts to use.
"At the time of his death on Hallowe'en 1981 he had already created five of the things. However, one has already been destroyed. The remaining four are listed within that file..." he nodded towards it under Bones's hand, "... together with what they are, a description of them, where they can be found, any further curses or the like he's placed upon them to protect them and any passwords you need to get to them if such passwords have been used.
"I suggest you give that information to Saul Croaker. As I said, the Unspeakables have it as one of their prime mandates to hunt the things down and destroy them. The only known ways to destroy them is with Fiendfyre and basilisk venom. However, it is also believed a powerful enough Killing curse fired directly at the bloody things will also destroy them.
"Got all that so far?" he asked. "If not, I'm sure you can review this conversation in a penseive later. All this information is in those files, too."
"I do not have access to a penseive, Mister Potter," she said.
"You will by the end of the day; tomorrow at the latest," he said. "The House of Potter gives you permission to use the Potter family penseive for the purposes of reviewing this conversation, together with the one that will occur when our next guest arrives. You'll find it in the credenza in the Headmaster's office in Hogwarts. Trust me, no one will stop you taking it. I just expect it to be returned to the Potter vaults in Gringotts once you're done with it; alright?"
Very surprised at the offer, Bones was a long moment before she nodded and said, "Thank you."
He gave a nod back and slid the next file over. It was marked, 'Dursleys'.
"Once you read my parents' Wills out of the first file you'll come to understand they both left a list of who was to be given custody of me if anything fatal happened to them," he began. "They are, in order: My godfather, Sirius Black; my godmother, Alice Longbottom; then a list of about a dozen other people. It may surprise you to know that you were the first of those listed after Sirius and Alice."
"WHAT?!" she exclaimed.
Suddenly she sat in shock for a few minutes as he eyelids fluttered a little. Then her expression suddenly morphed into one of fury. "That... That... rotten, no good, bum-raping―"
"Stop!" Harry suddenly and firmly commanded.
When it looked like Bones managed to get control of herself again, he asked, "I take it you just then managed to break through an obliviation?"
"Yes," she gritted out with a low growl.
"Dumbledore, right?" he asked.
"Yes!" she snapped.
"I figured as much," he nodded. "You'll have your chance to have words with him about that in abooouuut... fifteen minutes, if that."
"So, he's your next... guest?" she demanded; though, it was clear she'd already figured that out.
"Yes," he replied. "That's why I need to get through all this before he gets here.
"The Dursleys were also named in both Wills. However they were named as being people I was to never go anywhere near, let alone raise me. That's because both my parents knew exactly what the Dursleys were like."
When she gave a curt nod he continued, "Now, Sirius is not going to be in any fit state to take custody of me, once you get him that trial. Plus, Alice and her husband, Frank, are currently both permanent residents in Saint Mungo's. I have information in one of the files here, by the way, that will give you the information on how to revive them. Even then, both of them have a long road of recovery ahead of them once they're... cured.
"As such, I'm asking: Are you, Madam Regent Amelia Bones, both willing and able to take at least semi-permanent custody of one Henry James 'Harry' Potter?"
She gave an odd look to Harry and asked, "You want me to take custody of you? What about your muggle relatives?"
"That's what that file's all about," he replied. "And, from what information I have for you on them, I do not see you allowing them to retain custody of me for one moment longer. They're child abusers of the worst sort. And, yes, that file has your evidence to deal with them about that.
"However, I do not wish to give you a verbal review of it. Firstly, because we're running out of time; and, secondly, because I do not wish to revisit it if I can help it."
She gave a nod and replied, "Understood, Mister Potter."
He then slid the next folder over. This one was marked, 'Potter Estate'.
"Almost all of this is authenticatable records of the Potter Accounts from Gringotts; specifically from the desk of the Potter Account Keeper, Grimjaw," he explained. "As you're about to take custody of the Heir Potter, you are granted authority to peruse it all. After all, assisting in looking after it is about to become your job.
"What the information will show you is that Dumbledore, acting as my magical guardian... a position he was never supposed to have become, by the way... has been helping himself to the Potter Accounts almost since the day after my parents were killed.
"And it's not just gold he's been taking, either. He's been helping himself to the Potter family heirlooms. Four of the important ones are the family invisibility cloak, the Potter family penseive and the magical portraits of my parents. On top of that, he's been illegally accessing Potter properties and using them as his holiday homes. Further, he's been selling off property, too."
"Wait," said Bones, suddenly interrupting. "Dumbledore's been stealing from you?"
"Yup," he replied. "One of the first things you need to do when you go into Gringotts and accept the regency ring for the House of Potter, is to give Grimjaw the authority to recover all those heirlooms and property and to take the missing gold from Dumbledore's vaults. After what's going to happen today, you're going to need to do that fast."
"Why the urgency?" she demanded. "I would have thought getting your godfather his trial would take precedence."
"Sorry," he grinned. "But that would ruin the surprise. You will know within the next hour or so, though. Never fear."
The next file he slid across to her was marked, 'Albus Dumbledore - The Crimes and Lies of'. It was probably the thickest of them all.
"When you read that," he said. "You're going to be appalled and feel like throwing up. So, I suggest you hold off on reading it until you can go through the lot in one sitting.
"When the information within that comes to light... and it will come to light, as that's something else I've tasked the goblins with... the entire wizarding world will fall into a state of profound shock before most of them switch to outright apoplexy.
"Now, that's all I have for―"
That's where he came to a sudden stop as he felt the wards signal a powerful magic user had just crossed the outside ward boundary.
"I'm sorry," he said. "We have to stop here. My next... guest... has arrived.
"Please, each of you, listen closely: The Fidelius charm within the Dursley house is located in the front left corner of the lounge room."
Surprised, all three suddenly spun to stare into a corner of the lounge they'd not noticed before.
Rising, Harry said, "Come. We needed to get you located within that small field before Dumbledore walks in."
He then hurried across to the corner and showed them where the Fidelius charm boundary was and begged them to stay there until he specifically called them out.
Madam Bones agreed and ordered her two orders to do the same.