The Boy-Who- Lived-to-be-Kissed
This Harry Potter story was written for fun. All rights belong to the wonderful lady (JK Rowling) who gave the world Harry Potter to read and enjoy.
Printed Word in letters and newspapers.
This story is set in the fall term of Harry's third year at Hogwarts. When the dementors invade the train, the dementor entering Harry's compartment is compelled to kiss the scar and suck out the shard of Tom Riddle's soul – with an interesting reaction in the dementor. Declared 'uninteresting' without the Dark Lord's mark, Harry is deserted by old friends and ignored by Dumbledore. But he makes new friends and learns from new knowledge in his mind left behind by the soul shard. Then he receives a letter from the dementor who wants something from the Boy-Who-Lived-to-be-Kissed.
This story includes bashing of Dumbledore, Hermione, Weasleys, Draco, and Sirius.Scene Break: Kissing a Scar (Wed 1 Sept 1993)
Harry Potter was glad to be headed back to Hogwarts after spending the summer with his relatives in Surry. With the muggle newspapers and telly full of stories about the prison escape of the man reported to be a mass murderer as well as Harry's godfather, his aunt and uncle left their nephew alone. To relieve his aunt and uncle's fears, Harry did his chores and cooked most of the meals, staying out of their way and eating in the kitchen. He managed to sneak his school books and completed his summer homework without any problems. It was a lonely summer but now it was over.
Today, he climbed onto the Hogwarts Express with his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and the three students searched for an open compartment. They finally found one with enough space except for a sleeping man stretched out on one of the two seats, but they ignored the intruder. Then Ron's sister, Ginny, joined them and they were crowded onto one seat. Just before the train left the station Neville Longbottom and an unknown girl joined them to tell stories and share expectations of the new year. The girl was introduced as Luna Lovegood, a strange, second-year Ravenclaw who knew Ginny and Ron from home. The two Weasleys ignored the new girl and with the tussles over seating, Harry, Neville and Luna ended up seated on the floor while Ron, Hermione and Ginny shared the open seat. While Ginny fussed at Ron to let Harry sit next to her, Harry suggested that Ron let Luna have the seat.
"Loony is happy just to have a place to sit…" Ron said ignoring the odd look from Hermione, the smirk from Ginny, and the frowns on the faces of Harry and Neville.
"Apparently, Ron's pure-blood butt can't handle the hard floor," Neville said smartly and made Ron's face turn bright red threatening a 'Weasley Blow-up'; before this year Ron's angry look would leave the other Gryffindor cowed. Harry noticed that Neville was taller and held a new wand in his wand, letting Ron see it as well. Weasley backed down, sullen that someone had gotten something new while his wand was now two years old.
Shortly after the lady with the snack cart passed their door, the door opened again and Percy Weasley entered to shake the sleeping man, calling, "Professor Lupin, I need your help!"
Quickly the man rose from the seat and wiped his hand across his face, "What's the problem Mr. Weasley?"
"Fights are breaking out all over the train. It's the dementors following the train – they're make everyone antsy. You're the new DADA professor and the students might listen to you."
The new professor nodded his head, "Dementors do make wizards crazy. Let's try some cheering charms."
He glanced around the compartment at Harry and his friends before saying, "Stay in the compartment!"
Harry wondered if the professor was truly asleep or just pretended to sleep and listened to their conversation. Percy and the new professor disappeared down the corridor, casting spells as they walked.
"Why was Percy concerned about the fights?" Harry asked Ron who merely shrugged.
It was Hermione who explained, "Percival was selected to be Head Boy this year by Professor Dumbledore. It's a great honour to be Head Boy or Head Girl."
"It's a lot of work!" Ron complained. "And Percy's gonna be impossible this year as Head Boy. He's telling me that I'll have to study. Last week, he tried to make me read a book."
"Would that be so bad, Ron?" asked Hermione.
Before anyone could respond, the entire train car grew cold with frost forming on all surfaces. Harry rose to stand in the centre of the compartment, when the door slid open again and a shrouded nightmare floated into the space, moving slowly as in a bad dream. Ron huddled in a corner, Neville held onto Luna, while Hermione and Ginny pressed back into their seat, trying to hide. Harry's mind flashed through every terrible memory in his life as long, spindly hands reached for him.
"KISS THE SOUL JAR!" commanded a voice that Harry didn't recognize. "KISS THE SCAR!"
The creature's hands grasped Harry's shoulders and the shroud dropped toward the Boy-Who-Lived, an ugly face with grey, wrinkled lips reaching for his face. But the wrinkled lips moved away from Harry's mouth, and up to the scar on his forehead. There was a strange sensation, like a tooth extraction, and a high-pitched scream from something pulled from the scar as Harry passed out.
Remus Lupin's senses were heightened by the danger around him; the stink of dementors mixed with the scent of children's fear. He raced through the train, his wolf patronus leading the way, herding the dementors away from the children.
"Every student with power will learn the patronus beginning the first day of class," Remus swore as Percy Weasley and Penny Clearwater, the head boy and head girl, followed behind him, locking each compartment to keep the students inside until the dementors were banished from the train.
Suddenly, the professor heard a high-pitched scream behind him as the dementors fled the train. He ran, his patronus barely able to keep up with him as he raced back to the compartment with Harry and his friends. Lupin arrived to see a dementor struggling to exit the door and glide away. The creature screamed, the spindly hands clutching its head before reaching the end of the train car, opening the door, and flying away.
Inside the compartment, Lupin found Harry Potter laying on the floor and the other students frozen with fear. He immediately cast his patronus again, sending it with a message to Dumbledore at Hogwarts.
"A dementor kissed Harry Potter on the Hogwarts Express!" he said as the message to carry to Albus Dumbledore.
"What happened?" Lupin demanded to know but only the blond girl offered an explanation.
"The dementor tried to kiss Mr. Potter but it missed," she said simply.
"Missed? How did it miss?" asked Lupin. "What do you mean missed?"
Luna smiled mysteriously and said, "The dementor was attracted to the power of the Boy-Who-Lived in his scar. Everyone is always interested in the 'Boy-Who-Lived'."
She caught the new professor's eye before she asked, "And you, Professor Lupin? Are you just interested in the Boy-Who-Lived or in the real person?"
Confused by the strange explanation, Lupin didn't respond except to pass out chocolate to the students and to stand guard over the body of Harry Potter.
When the Express reached Hogsmeade, the students slowly exited the train as Hagrid directed them to the carriages; even the firsties would ride the carriages to the castle tonight. Snape, Flitwick and Sprout oversaw the loading of the students, while McGonagall and Dumbledore saw to the body of the Boy-Who-Lived. A few students smirked to see the body floating out of the train and there were tears on several faces. Luna Lovegood tried to reassure the distressed students but no one would listen to the girl.
Once the carriages reached Hogwarts and the students filed into the castle, Luna grabbed Neville and the two friends raced to the Hogwarts infirmary. They slipped through the door as Madam Pomphrey came out of her office, staring beyond Dumbledore and McGonagall to the floating, shrouded shape following behind them.
"Albus? Minerva? What's wrong?" the medi-witch asked as she was already moving forward.
"It's Harry Potter," the headmaster explained. "A dementor kissed him on the Hogwarts Express…"
"But the dementor didn't kiss Harry," Luna interrupted. "It kissed his scar and healed him. He no longer bears the mark of the Dark Lord!"
"What?" exclaimed McGonagall as Pomphrey pushed her way to Harry, pulled off the shroud, and moved the teenager to his usual bed.
"He's alive," explained Pomphrey as she quickly cast diagnostic spells but the medi-witch refused to answer any questions from Dumbledore or McGonagall. After fifteen tense minutes, Pomphrey stood back and adjusted the blanket to cover the sleeping boy. She noted that the scar on the boy's forehead was fading but she did not mention this to the headmaster.
"Harry Potter is perfectly fine," she announced. "He is sleeping after a traumatic experience but should awaken in the morning."
Looking at everyone, including Dumbledore, Poppy ordered, "Now, leave the infirmary and don't return before tomorrow."
During the night, Dobby delivered Harry's belongings to the infirmary; his trunk, clothing, photograph album, broom and books. Then the house elf opened a window to allow Hedwig to fly into the room and the snowy owl settled on the back of Harry's bed.
Early the next morning, Hermione appeared at the infirmary, dragging Ron from breakfast at the Gryffindor table, to visit Harry. She brought a copy of the Daily Prophet with a large headline and explosive story.
Boy-Who-Lived After Dementor's Kiss
Harry Potter did it again! He survived the kiss of a dementor! The creature was supposed to guard the Hogwarts Express but flew into the train cars, entered Potter's compartment and administered the kiss to the famous thirteen-year-old Hogwarts student. Immediately upon arrival at Hogwarts, Headmaster Dumbledore rushed the comatose body to the infirmary where Medi-witch Poppy Pomphrey administered aide. She announced that the Boy-Who-Lived was alive and left Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall speechless.
While Harry read the paper, Neville and Luna arrived to visit but it was quickly evident that like the previous two years at Hogwarts, Hermione and Ron weren't pleased to share Potter's time and attention. Ron tried to force the new arrivals to leave, but Neville refused point blank, threatening Ron with his wand.
"Why do you care if we came to visit Harry?" asked Neville.
"He doesn't need visitors while he's recovering," Hermione said. "He needs to focus on his responsibilities to the world of magic."
"Right," Ron yelled. "We're the only friends he needs…"
Listening to Hermione and Ron, Harry realized how much his two 'friends' had isolated him from other students in Gryffindor and the other houses. He hardly knew the names of other students outside of the Quidditch team.
"Harry needs 'good' friends," Luna replied, making both Hermione and Ron pause.
Poppy Pomphrey came out of her office at that point and ordered Ron and Hermione to be quiet; as the medi-witch restored quiet to her infirmary, the door opened to allow Headmaster Dumbledore, and Professors McGonagall, Lupin, and Snape to enter the infirmary. The faculty remained silent for a moment, staring at Harry in his usual infirmary bed.
To forestall any commands from Dumbledore, Pomphrey said, "For the next two days, Mr. Potter will remain under my care. I will make certain he's not suffering any ill effects of the kiss."
Ignoring everyone, Albus Dumbledore stepped closer to the bed and announced, "I must conduct some tests this morning."
Then the headmaster pulled out his strange wand, casting a long, complicated spell at Harry, or rather at the scar on the boy's head.
Visibly disturbed by the results, Dumbledore cast the spell once again and like the first time, nothing happened. Now the headmaster sighed and reached down to brush aside Harry's bangs and examine the infamous but fading scar. Mournfully, the headmaster announced, "The Dark Lord's mark is gone."
Stepping back from the bed, he added, "The Dark Lord will no longer have any interest in Mr. Potter."
The headmaster paused for a moment before he continued, "…and he is no longer of any interest to me."
Again, the headmaster cast spells with his strange wand and pulled lights out of Harry, his wand, his clothing, in trunk, and even from Hedwig. When he finished, Hermione announced, "The headmaster had thirty-seven charms on you and your possessions."
Dumbledore continued, "Mr. Potter, effective this morning, I am no longer your magical guardian. You must find a new guardian."
From his infirmary bed, Harry asked, "What's a magical guardian?"
Luna explained, "Every muggleborn student or magical orphan has a magical guardian who makes the decisions about living arrangements, classes you take, and your estate."
Dumbledore nodded genially and motioned toward the faculty members, "Perhaps Professor McGonagall or Professor Lupin…"
"I am too busy," McGonagall replied immediately.
"And I'm just beginning my tenure as the DADA professor," Lupin added.
"Stop!" Pomphrey said. "Mr. Potter can select a guardian later. Now, the professors will leave and allow the students to visit until time for their first class."
Severus Snape appeared conflicted but remained silent as the Hogwarts faculty fled the infirmary, leaving a startled Harry staring at his friends. With the adults gone, Luna and Neville sat in chairs near Harry's bed, while Hermione fretted and Ron fussed.
"I'm going back to the Great Hall," Ron announced finally; apparently anxious to leave the infirmary.
"But, you already ate," Hermione objected.
"They're still serving," Ron said. "I can eat breakfast again!"
With that pronouncement, Ron Weasley left the infirmary as Hermione stammered, "I am certain he will grow up…someday."
The brilliant muggleborn girl glanced about the infirmary, but continued to smile brittlely as she edged toward the door. "I hope you escape the infirmary Harry. Now… I have a full schedule and need to be first to the classroom. I'll see you tomorrow…"
Pomphrey watched the two 'friends' depart, leaving Neville and Luna to talk with her favourite patient.
"What classes do you have today, Neville?" asked Harry, ignoring the speed with which his 'best' friends exited the infirmary after Dumbledore's pronouncement.
"I have divination, charms and then transfiguration," Longbottom replied.
"What about you, Luna?"
"I have transfiguration, history and potions," the Ravenclaw replied. From her pocket Luna drew forth a class schedule and handed it to Harry. "Here's your class schedule."
The teenager studied the schedule closely, "When did I sign up for arithmancy and runes?"
"You need those classes Harry. Divination is a waste of your time," Luna said before she caught Neville in her gaze. "And you too; arithmancy and runes will give you a better foundation than divination."
Pomphrey spoke up, "Miss Lovegood is correct, gentlemen. Divination only works for those who are gifted with the sight by Mother Magic."
With a grin Harry asked, "Like Luna?"
Once the two students left for class, Pomphrey conducted several additional diagnostic tests on her patient. She wrote many things on a sheet of parchment and brought Harry a set of potions.
"You'll be taking potions every day for the next month," the medi-witch explained. "Your bones, organs, and eyes will be repaired. I expect you to be six inches taller by Yule."
"Thank you, Madam Pomphrey," Harry replied honestly.
"I regret I was unable to provide you with these potions before…"
Harry grinned, "Fortunately I am no 'longer of interest', Madam Pomphrey."
When he was alone, Harry read the Daily Prophet from cover to cover, with a quickness he'd never known previously. He sat quietly on his bed, considering everything he learned this morning, and began to understand what he 'heard' in his mind. After an hour, he called, "Dobby…"
The little house elf popped into the infirmary, smiling and bouncing. "Mr. Harry Potters calls for Dobby."
"Thanks for bringing my trunk," Harry told the elf.
"It's be no problem," the elf replied. "Dobby's glad to help Mr. Harry Potters."
"Can you help me some more?" the teenage wizard asked.
Vibrating with happiness to be of service, the elf asked, "Hows can Dobby helps the great Harry Potters?"
"First, I need a book that teaches me how to manage knowledge in my mind," Harry said. "And I need a blank book called a 'note book' and muggle ink pens."
Dobby narrowed his eyes in thought, nodded his head, and popped away. After only a few moments, the elf returned with the book about organizing knowledge quickly.
"I finds this in 'Come and Go Room'," the elf replied handing over the medium-sized book. "It's be ten-ten years old but it teaches Harry Potter the art of occlumencies that organizes his minds. And it teaches him legilimencies."
"What is…" Harry intended to ask the meaning of 'legilimency' when the knowledge appeared in his mind.
"This is great! Thanks Dobby," Harry replied already opening the book and beginning to read. Smiling at the compliment, Dobby popped away to the 'Come and Go Room' to locate some Galleons, and then pop to Diagon Alley where he knew of a small shop that specialized in muggle materials. There the elf would purchase the muggle 'ink pens' and a 'notebook'.
After lunch, Harry finished the book and realized he had the knowledge of how to build the protections for his brain and organize the knowledge of spells left in his brain when the shard of Tom Riddle's soul was sucked from the scar on his forehead. He would protect this knowledge from everyone.
Harry was creating defensive walls with traps to stop any wizard that attempted to attack his mind, when Dobby popped in and delivered the notebook and pens.
Harry looked up from his meditation and smiled. "Dobby, you've been a great help. Thank you."
The little house elf popped away, even happier than the day the great Harry Potter had freed him from the terrible Malfoys. He would tell the other elves and they would all listen and help the Boy-Who-Lived.
The number of dementors 'guarding' Hogwarts shrank as many of the dark creatures returned to Azkaban when summoned by their new chief, a dementor who could think and speak. The Aurors at the prison realized that a score of the dementors had returned but their attempts to give them commands proved fruitless. After days trying to dispatch dementors back to Hogwarts, the warden ceased trying and reorganized the guards to provide protection for the Aurors; only wizards who could produce a corporal patronus were allowed to patrol the halls.
After the dinner hour, Neville and Luna returned to the infirmary to visit Harry. While discussing their day, Longbottom admitted he changed his electives to arithmancy and runes.
"I think Hermione was surprized to see me in arithmancy," he told Harry. "She wouldn't look or speak to me for the whole of the class."
The second morning, Harry received the Daily Prophet from Hedwig, along with his breakfast tray from Dobby in the infirmary. He suspected Dobby's hand in the delivery of the newspaper and Harry quickly scanned the paper; there was no mention of Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, or the Boy-Who-Was-Kissed. Harry smiled with delight to be ignored and tackled his textbooks for transfiguration and charms with enthusiasm.
Poppy Pomphrey noted the looks Harry kept giving the doorway throughout the morning but Ron Weasley never came to visit and Hermione Granger remained absent as well. At lunch, Neville came alone for a quick visit before he left for the greenhouse for the afternoon. Late in the day, Luna appeared and sat beside the desk where Harry sat working on his lessons.
"Hey Luna. How was class today?" Harry greeted the sweet girl with a genuine smile.
"Classes were fine but I am disappointed; my shoes have already decided to walk about without me," she admitted. "I don't look forward to another winter in Scotland without shoes."
"What do you mean?" Harry asked, glancing down and seeing Luna's stocking feet.
"The nargles stole my shoes and other clothes again this year."
Harry frowned and called, "Dobby, I need your advice."
The little house elf popped into the infirmary and bowed, "Dobby hears Mr. Harry Potter and Miss Sees-All."
Glancing again at Luna and seeing her smile at the elf, Harry asked, "Dobby. There are nargles in Ravenclaw who steal Luna's shoes and clothes. Can you and the other elves help her?"
"I ask Miss Nickles." Dobby called, "Nickles, we needs you…"
An ancient house elf appeared from the shadows, and walked over to Harry Potter's bedside. Luna rose and curtsied to the old elf, while Dobby bowed and Harry rose from his chair and bowed as well.
"Welcome, Nickle Ravenclaw," Luna said.
"Hows can Nickle help Boy-Who-Remembers and Miss Sees-All?" the old elf asked. She listened carefully as Harry explained about Luna's possessions disappearing.
"And does the nargles steals homework? Does they change riddle on door?" the elf asked Luna, who blushed and nodded.
"Nickles will handle," the elf replied before disappearing without a pop.
Harry stared at the spot where the elf had been and asked, "Dobby, how did she leave without a pop?"
"Nickles be's very old. She not like the pop's noise any more so she stops it," the little elf explained. "Magics be all about determination and wills."
Harry glanced at Luna who smiled and nodded. "The elves are the masters of many magics but wizards do not listen to them. Just like wizards ignore the centaurs and other creatures. Wizards first learned magic from magical creatures but then decided there was nothing else to learn from them."
Luna left Harry with his thoughts, returning to Ravenclaw tower to find her shoes, clothes and other belongings all returned. Remembering the hexes delivered by the ancient house elf only minutes earlier, several Ravenclaw girls turned and ran in the other direction when they saw the blonde girl approaching.
Filius Flitwick sat at his desk, grading summer homework when suddenly he realized that a little house elf stood on top of his wide desk, leaning on a tiny walking stick, and watching his every move. The elf must have walked into the room and climbed onto the desk silently because he'd not heard the distinctive pop of house elves.
"We has failed. We failed a child in the house of Ravenclaw," the elf announced abruptly. "The child is a powerful seer and can shape the world as she wishes without a kind memory of Hoggiewarts."
"What child?" the half-goblin asked. The little elf frowned and Flitwick sat back as she stomped over his desk, pounding her tiny walking stick into the impenetrable wood of the desk. Each time the stick hit the desk, there was a bright spark of light.
"I be's ashamed that I not knows," the elf ranted. "But she hides from wizards and still she's be seer who helps everyone, even nargles after they steals her shoes!"
"Are you sure?" the half-goblin asked just before the elf, raised her staff at his head and shared the memories she'd stolen from the girls in Ravenclaw who had tormented Luna Lovegood throughout the previous year. Their thefts had begun again this year but the elf had already returned all the missing items and disciplined the 'nargles'.
"Now, I be's ashamed of Filius Flitwick!" she muttered before she walked to the edge of the desk and disappeared. Moving quickly, Flitwick found that she was walking down the side of the desk, without regard to gravity. When he sat back at his desk, he noticed that there were star bursts burnt into the top of his desk and the stars were arranged in the constellation of the Big Dipper!Scene Break: No Longer of Interest (2-7 Sept 1993)
The third morning of the new school year, Madam Pomphrey released Harry from her infirmary. In time for breakfast, Harry planned to return to the Gryffindor tower before attending his classes. Without prompting, Dobby moved Harry's trunk and belongings back into the boy's dormitory. The little elf added his own protection charms to the most valuable items so there'd be no 'borrowing' Harry's photo album or invisibility cloak by the other boys.
When Harry entered the Great Hall for breakfast, no one paid attention. He slipped into the space beside Ron and reached for breakfast.
"Why are you sitting there?" Ron asked once he noticed that Potter was beside him at the table.
"Morning, Ron," replied Harry, spreading butter on a slice of toast.
"Didn't you hear me? I asked why you're sitting next to me?"
Harry smiled, thinking Ron was joking, and continued to fill his plate but noticed that Ron rose and moved down the table. In another minute, Neville came into the hall and took the seat on Harry's other side.
"Morning, Neville." Harry considered Ron's actions for a moment before he asked, "What's the deal with Ron?"
Neville filled his plate while he explained, "The last two days, he's been going on and on about his pure blood. You're not good enough to be his friend now that Dumbledore says you're no longer interesting."
"What?" Harry asked. "Did he always feel like that?"
"Yeah, but Fred and George said that Dumbledore talked to Ron regularly about how important it was to be your friend. And as long as you two remained 'friends', Hermione did Ron's homework for him."
A small group of students passed their seats, heading for the classrooms; among the crowd, Harry noticed Hermione involved in conversation with two seventh year students.
"And Hermione?" Harry asked. "She never came back to the infirmary to visit."
"She's found her niche with the older students. In the common room last night, she announced she'd take her Owls next year and become a sixth year when we start our fifth year." Then Neville snorted and said, "I heard her tell Percy that helping you held her back for the last two years."
Neville stopped talking, looked directly at his friend and asked, "I know that's tough to hear but…"
"I… I don't know…" Harry replied, frowning for a moment. "Right now, I need breakfast."
"We have potions after breakfast," Neville said.
"Let's see if being uninteresting helps in potions class," Harry said as he ate his buttered toast.
By the first Monday of the school year, Gryffindor had quietly adjusted to the new status of the Boy-Who-Lived; he was simply Harry Potter at last and began friendships with many students in each house. While Ron Weasley was loudly disparaging of 'mudblood spawn' the entire weekend, and Hermione was completely absent – living in the library – Harry enjoyed studying with Lions, Puffs, Claws and a couple Snakes.
Seated at the Gryffindor table for breakfast, Harry took the Daily Prophet from Hedwig and handed her bacon. Reading the paper while Hedwig ate her bacon in the rafters, Harry didn't notice the large raven that flew into the Great Hall and landed on the table in front of him until Hedwig flew back down and landed beside Harry, making him look up from the newspaper and notice the black-feathered bird.
Hedwig kept a close eye on the bird that offered her wizard a rolled-up parchment. Harry took the letter and offered bacon to the raven, ignoring Ron Weasley's protest about wasting food. The black bird flew out of the Great Hall, followed by Hedwig as Harry slipped the unread letter into his robe pocket. He glanced at the professors, his fellow Lions, the Slytherins, and his former friends; no one seemed to care that a raven brought the Boy-Who-Lived a letter.
Leaving the Great Hall after breakfast, and slipping into a deserted classroom, Harry drew the letter from his pocket and unrolled the parchment. He read the letter quickly before dropping into the seat of one of the desks, clutching the letter tightly before reading it a second and then a third time.
Harry Potter Boy-Who-Lived-to-be-Kissed
I am Ooglaborn, First Dementor of Azkaban.
I kissed the soul jar in your scar on the Hogwarts Express and woke up. This letter is my first writing. In your scar was part of the soul of a wizard named Tom Riddle. Kissing the scar woke me up!
Now, I can talk, write and think clearly.
Where can I find more soul jars? I must wake up my brethren!
Write me back!
Send your letter with an owl.
I promise the creature will come to no harm.
Harry sat in the classroom for almost an hour, cataloguing the information in his mind.
'Soul jars? The horcruxes that Tom Riddle made are the soul jars that the… Ooglaborn mentioned.' He crumpled the letter, 'Dumbledore knew I was a horcrux! That's why he thinks I'm not interesting any longer – the dementor's kiss took the shard of Tom Riddle from my scar.'
'Does the great headmaster know that idiot Riddle made multiple horcruxes!'
'I was the last horcrux – the last soul jar,' Harry realized.
Then he reviewed his 'memories' about the different soul jars, 'First was the diary, and the Gaunt family ring. After graduating from Hogwarts, Riddle made horcruxes of Slytherin's locket, Hufflepuff's cup, and Ravenclaw's diadem.'
'Tom hid the ring in his family's shack, and entrusted the diary to Lucius Malfoy. The cup was given to Bellatrix LeStrange to protect. The locket is hidden in a cave filled with inferni and poison, and the diadem is hidden at Hogwarts.'
'Riddle wanted to kill me because of a prophecy by that fraud in the Divination Tower. My mother's protections killed him but somehow, I was made into…'
For the entire day, Harry considered how to respond to the letter in his free moments. After classes ended, he wrote a letter to the dementor.
Ooglaborn, First Dementor of Azkaban
Thank you for kissing my scar.
I acknowledge that I owe you a debt and will share the knowledge about Tom Riddle's soul jars – there are five other soul jars and the final remnant that is floating around loose. Two years ago, I drove Riddle out of the DADA professor and the last piece of his soul floated away. Here's what I know about the soul jars.
The scar that you kissed was the last one made.
Salazar Slytherin's Locket is hidden in a cave off the coast near Brighton.
Gaunt Family Ring is hidden in a deserted shack in the village of Little Haggleton in Yorkshire.
Diary of Tom Riddle was destroyed two years ago here in Hogwarts. I can get the book.
Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem is hidden here at Hogwarts.
Helga Hufflepuff's cup was given to Bellatrix LeStrange. She's in Azkaban and you can ask her where it is.
Harry Potter, the Uninteresting-Boy-Who-Lived-to-be-Kissed
Harry climbed through the maze of the castle to the owlery and called Hedwig. She flew down to him and settled on his offered arm.
"Take this to Ooglaborn, the dementor at Azkaban, but don't take any chances," he told his owl. "You're too important to me."
Hedwig returned the following morning, no worse for wear and anxious for a share of the breakfast bacon. Harry fed his owl twice as much bacon that day, much to Ron Weasley's disgust.
When the dementor now named Ooglaborn read Harry Potter's letter, it made plans to seek out each soul jar in the order listed. It didn't consider that Bellatrix LeStrange was immediately available in Azkaban, or that Hogwarts and Little Haggleton were much closer to the dementor horde than the southern coast of Britain. The dementors would conduct their hunt for the soul jars following the order in Harry Potter's letter.Scene Break: Searching a Cave (Monday 13 Sept 1993)
Along a deserted beach, the temperature of the air dropped suddenly as a dozen Dementors dropped from the clouds and swarmed around the nearby cliffs, searching for a cave. Ooglaborn noticed the outcropping just off-shore and led the dementors across the narrow body of water.
Without fear, the dementors floated into the cave. When the shrouded creatures entered the cave, several magical torches ignited. Ooglaborn smelled the stench of many dead humans; the bodies hidden underneath the water.
[The wizards house inferni here. That makes no sense,] Ooglaborn told the other dementors. [They have no souls to feed us.]
Ooglaborn floated across the still water in the cave to the basin where he summoned another dementor to suck out the fluid. The poison was quickly drunk, the dementor laughing as the worst memories of 'kissed' souls played through its senses repeatedly.
From the bottom of the basin, Ooglaborn lifted the locket and examined it closely before beginning to curse.
[This wizard's jar does not contain a shard of Tom Riddle!] he shouted, throwing the locket to the ground. Without disturbing the inferni, the dementors exited the cave and flew back to Azkaban.
The next morning's Daily Prophet was of great interest across all Magical Britain the next morning.
Dementors Cross Britain Without Attacking Wizards or Muggles!
Late Monday evening, the Ministry of Magic reported that a horde of Dementors (14 in number) were tracked across Britain from the island of Azkaban to a small muggle village along the south coast where they floated about, entered a cave for a time and then left.
Aurors assigned to the Azkaban report that the horde of dementors returned to the prison last night.
Other Aurors investigating the cave discovered a den of inferni waiting in a trap. To protect all wizards and witches, the Aurors used fiend fire to destroy the cave, its contents, and the inferni.
At the Ravenclaw table, several students scribbled notes on distances and time, determined to compute the travel speed of Dementors. Following discussions with Professor Flitwick, they cooperated on a paper on the speed of the shrouded creatures that the ministry studied with great interest. Based on the quality of the information in the paper, two of the Ravenclaw seventh-year students were interviewed by the Unspeakables for internships within their organization.
At the Slytherin table, there was more concern that the creatures left Azkaban freely despite Ministry charms that were supposed to confine them to the island.
"Perhaps stationing the creatures here at Hogwarts corrupted the charm at Azkaban?" suggested Daphne Greengrass.
Sneering, Draco replied, "My father will demand that the minister confine the dementors to Azkaban."
Rolling his eyes, Blaise asked, "But just the other day you said that your father forced the minister to send dementors here to kiss Sirius Black."
"My father…" the blonde-headed boy began a long diatribe that his classmates tuned out. Only Patsy Parkinson listened to Draco; the two bodyguards simply watched the rest of the Great Hall with disinterest. No one cared for Draco's opinions except for himself and his betrothed.
Harry Potter took his copy of the Daily Prophet from Hedwig and gave her three strips of bacon that the snowy owl took to the rafters to eat while Harry read the paper with great interest, especially the story about the dementors along the shore in the south of England.
"Oi! Potter, don't feed all the bacon on the table to your bloody bird!" complained Ron. "Some of us haven't finished eating yet!"
"There's plenty of bacon left," Neville said pointing to a platter near Ron that the red head seemed determined to commandeer for himself. Hermione was already headed out the door for her first class and ignored the paper, but Harry went to Percy with questions about the article.
"Percy, how do the Aurors control the dementors? Do they have special charms?"
To answer the question, the head boy told Harry about the patronus and two other charms, both of which the ministry placed on objects to control dementors. The head boy concluded by saying, "Wearing the charmed medallion allows the ministry official to give the dementors orders. That's how they control them."
"Can the dementors talk?" asked Harry.
Exasperated at the question from the muggle-raised boy, Percy replied shortly, "Of course not. They are not intelligent like centaurs, elves or goblins."
"Thank you, Percy," Harry said sincerely, hurrying away to collect his bag and leave for class.
As Percy thought about his own behaviour, he was ashamed; as head boy he must help all students and Harry's question wasn't stupid. Tonight, he'd loan Harry his book on the ministry charms and dementor control, things that were not explained in Newt Scamander's book.
At the head table, there were varying reactions among the faculty to the article. Professor Flitwick noted the animated conversations at his table, the Hufflepuff table and portions of the Gryffindor table with pleasure. Severus Snape frowned to see Draco pontificating again – the boy should have been sorted into Gryffindor without a doubt. Minerva McGonagall noted the Weasley twins plotting with Lee Jennings and promised herself to catch them this time.
The headmaster read the article with great dread; he remembered lifting a memory from the young Tom Riddle of the orphanage's visit to the seaside and the loss of two children that day at the beach.
'That cave represents a milestone in Tom's loss to the dark magics,' Dumbledore decided while drinking the last of his morning tea. 'The inferni mean he returned there many times as an adult. I must speak with the Aurors and see their memories of the interior of the cave. Tom must have hidden something…'
The headmaster paused for a moment, wondered what the dementors were seeking and then frowned. He turned his head and watched Harry Potter pointing to the paper with Percy Weasley.
'Did the dementor gain Tom's memories when it kissed the scar on Harry's head?' Dumbledore wondered and then shuddered as he considered the possibility of Tom returning as a dementor.
"Minerva, I must go to the ministry," Albus told his deputy headmistress. "Don't let the Weasley twins burn down the transfiguration classroom today."
Determined to find the locket with another piece of the Dark Lord's soul, Ooglaborn turned to dementor soul magic. In the depths of Azkaban, the only 'thinking' dementor positioned another dementor within a large circle of their brethren. Then the leader began screeching in the dementor tongue and floating around the dementor, moving faster and faster. As the sound grew louder, Aurors and prisoners alike attempted to cover their ears but even silencing charms failed to protect their hearing completely. Suddenly, the screeching ceased. Aurors cast healing spells on their own ears and on some prisoners; the ones with relatives that paid bribes for better treatment of their family members incarcerated in the jail.
In the dementor chamber, Ooglaborn was plastered against the ceiling and in the centre of the circle, nothing remained but a smouldering shroud while the other dementors lay scattered about the chamber. From the shroud of the dead dementor rose four small orbs of blue light, the souls of the wizards the dementor kissed over the past thousand years.
Ooglaborn forced himself off the ceiling to gather the blue orbs before they could disappear. He took the first orb and crushed it into the second. Then he repeated the action with the third and fourth orb until Ooglaborn held a single orb.
Again, Ooglaborn chanted and the orb spun around to form a shadowy scene where the dementor's questions were answered; the captive souls showed him where the soul jar was hidden before disintegrating into dust.
Albus Dumbledore spent several hours with the team of Aurors who investigated the dementor visit to the cave. Eventually, Director Amelia Bones intervened and ordered the Aurors to other duties. After the Aurors left the room, Dumbledore remained in his chair and contemplated the four vials of memories he had taken from the minds of the Aurors. The presence of inferni was disturbing enough but the empty basin meant that Tom stored something there and the dementors had it.
"Headmaster, would you explain why you are so interested in this latest anomaly?" asked the director. "My Aurors were cooperative and shared their memories."
Smiling congenially, Albus slid the memory vials into a pocket and dismissed the director's question, "I am fascinated by this turn of events with the dementors, nothing more."
"This is a matter for the Unspeakables, surely. They will study the event and make a report," she said. "Wouldn't it be better to wait until after…"
"The Unspeakables?" asked Dumbledore. "I am certain they are too busy to deal with these minor matters."
As Dumbledore hurried from the room, Amelia summoned two of the vials from Dumbledore's pocket.
Late in the afternoon, the head unspeakable stormed into her office and she was not surprized at his complaint.
"Dumbledammit 'removed' the memory from the minds of your Aurors! They know what they wrote in their reports but they no longer have the memories of the cave!" the Unspeakable raged. "The old wizard thinks he is the only person who can have information!"
"I have two of the memories…" Amelia said, drawing the vials from her own pocket. She poured one into her pensive and they both dived in, but quickly exited, cursing Dumbledore's name.
"The old goat has gone too far this time!" the Unspeakable swore.
Amelia removed the first memory – Dumbledore at the mirror in his bedchamber, brushing out his beard and humming a tune from his childhood. She poured the second memory in, ducked her head into the magic of the pensive, but returned almost immediately.
She poured herself a splash of bourbon but refused to discuss the memory. Curious, the Unspeakable entered the pensive and stayed longer, but came out with a sour look on his face.
"Well, the explains Dumbledore's knowledge of Gellert Grindelwald," the Unspeakable groused. "I shall keep that memory for the department's archives. Someday, we may be able to use it against Dumbledore."
"Does he walk around with vials of his own memories in his pockets?" Amelia wondered.
"Undoubtedly," the wizard replied before he returned the memory to the vial and exited to the director's office, taking both memory vials with him.Scene Break: Family Information
The DADA classes were intense with Professor Lupin instructing his students on casting, intent, and power. Harry's boggart turned into Albus Dumbledore with a lighted wand aimed at him, but no one noticed or cared. However, the power Harry displayed when he cast the Riddikulus spell to banish the boggart, impressed Lupin and he asked Harry to remain after class. Once the other students were gone, the professor spent the next hour telling Harry about his father and mother, and their years at Hogwarts.
Harry wondered where Professor Lupin had been before his letter from Hogwarts arrived but listened carefully. Shortly thereafter, Remus explained the relationship with Sirius Black as his godfather and the marauder's betrayal of James, Lily and Harry's location to the Dark Lord. When Lupin praised the bravery of Peter Pettigrew, this caught Harry's attention.
"Who is Peter Pettigrew?"
"Pettigrew was a member of our group," Lupin explained. "Your father was 'Prongs', Sirius was 'Padfoot', I was 'Moony' and Peter was 'Wormtail'. Peter was killed by Sirius a couple days after your parents were killed by the Dark Lord."
Remus changed the subject back to happier memories, "When we were students here, we called ourselves the 'marauders' and we played tricks on the other students."
Hesitantly, Harry asked, "Like Fred and George Weasley?"
The DADA professor shook his head, "The twins are amateurs. In our fifth year, we turned the entire student body into goblins for an afternoon. Professor Flitwick was furious because we made the girls all naked too; though a naked goblin female is pretty disturbing to look at…"
Harry stood silent as Professor Lupin shared other stories of the 'jokes' played against the other students and faculty.
"How did you keep from getting expelled?"
"Professor Dumbledore laughed at our jokes. He thought they were funny and only gave us detention when we were caught. So, we made a map to reveal everyone's location in the map. The prefects and professors never caught us because we knew where they were patrolling."
Lupin pulled a wrinkled and soiled piece of parchment from his desk drawer and beckoned Harry closer, "This is your father's copy of the map and I want you to have it."
Harry took the parchment from Lupin's hand as the professor explained, "The first week of classes, I took the map off the Weasley twins when I caught them plotting a trick against Ravenclaw Tower."
"My father made this map?" Harry asked, conflicted with desire to have something that belonged to his father but sad to hear that his father had been a bully his whole time at Hogwarts.
"Yes, and the only person he ever loaned it to was Lily Evans," Remus told the boy, watching Harry's eyes light up. "They used it to catch students who roamed the halls at night."
Harry looked confused at the DADA professor's confession of the change in James Potter's behaviour, so Remus explained, "In their seventh year, James was Head Boy and your mom was Head Girl. They led the prefects on rounds at night and helped the students with lessons and problems. We didn't prank the other students nearly as often that year!"
"My Mom and Dad were…" Harry said, taking the map into his hands as if it were made of gold rather than an old piece of parchment.
"There's an incantation to open the map and a second one to close it," Remus explained. "To open the map, tap it with your wand and say, 'I solemnly swear, I'm up to no good.' To close the map, tap it again and say, 'Mischief managed'."
Harry immediately opened the map and watched the animated map of Hogwarts castle appeared. He saw the name 'Luna Lovegood' leaving the Potions classroom and moving back to Ravenclaw Tower and he saw 'Neville Longbottom' moving between the different greenhouses with 'Pomona Sprout'.
"Mischief managed," Harry said before folding the map and placing it into his hidden pocket with his invisibility cloak.
"Take care of it and don't let any of the professors know I gave this to you," Remus prompted. "Fred and George ask me to return it every day since I took it."
"Thank you, professor," the boy replied. "I'll keep it forever."
Later that same day, Dobby helped Harry cast a spell on the map that made it impossible for anyone to find it but himself or his elves. Anyone else who saw the map would think the parchment was a homework assignment for history.
DADA lessons continued with Lupin introducing the Patronus charm to the third-year students, explaining the reason for the charm as a defence mechanism against the dementors.
"So long as the dementors remain around Hogwarts, you must remain in groups with someone who can cast this spell," Lupin explained. "The patronus drives away the dementors because it represents happiness and the stronger your feelings and magic, the more powerful your patronus. Not everyone can cast one…"
"Only purebloods can cast the patronus," Ron Weasley shouted.
"Five points from Gryffindor, Mr. Weasley," Lupin announced loudly. "Power determines if a wizard can produce a patronus, not their lineage."
"What's lineage?" Ron asked Neville who ignored the red-head. The Slytherin students agreed with Weasley but knew they should keep their opinions to themselves.
Then Draco entered the fray. "The Weasel is correct, Professor Lupin. Only purebloods can cast the patronus. And if you take points, my father will hear about it!"
"Ten points from Slytherin," Lupin announced. "And I shall write to your father myself to suggest that you be resorted into Gryffindor."
There were snickers among the Snakes, and outrage among the Lions, while Harry smiled but remained silent, thinking about his happiest memories; seeing Diagon Alley on the day he learned he was a wizard, the first time he flew on a broom, and hearing Dumbledore announce that the 'Boy-Who-Lived' was no longer interesting.
Professor Lupin demonstrated the incantation for the charm with the movement of his wand and the words, 'Expecto Patronum'. The professor's wolf patronus ran around the room and made everyone smile.
"Now, who would like to try?"
Without hesitation, Hermione stepped forward and cast the spell three times before she successfully cast a white mist that swirled around the room for a moment before it dissipated.
"That's a very good result for a first try," Lupin announced. "Three points for Gryffindor."
"But the mist didn't create a form," Hermione complained.
Lupin nodded, "It may take some time to get an animal shape but you will get one eventually. Continue with the exercises I gave you to develop your magical core this year."
"Told you it would take a pureblood," Ron smirked as Draco stepped forward and cast… and then cast four more times without even creating the mist that Hermione had achieved.
"You taught the spell incorrectly!" Draco complained.
Lupin shook his head. "You are third years and it may be another year before your magical core is strong enough to cast the corporal patronus."
"What's corporal?" asked Ron.
Lupin caught Ron's eye and motioned toward the front of the room, "Let's see what another pure-blood can do, Mr. Weasley…"
Ron strode forward, pulled his wand and cast, "Expecto Patronum."
Nothing happened and Ron began to turn red, as he repeatedly cast "Expecto Patronum" without any mist. The boy tried again and his wand flew from his hand and bounced off the floor.
"That's enough Weasley," Professor Lupin stated calmly. "You must begin the magical strengthen exercises that I taught you the other day."
Picking up his wand and mumbling under his breath, Ron walked to the back of the room.
"Why don't you try, Mr. Potter," Lupin suggested.
Draco sneered but didn't say anything while Ron whined about uppity half-bloods as he sat in a chair. Meanwhile, Harry took a deep breath, cleared his mind of all thoughts except for his happiest memories, and then cast the spell with words and wand movement.
"Expecto Patronum!" cast the Boy-Who-Lived and the classroom was bright with the light that erupted from Harry's wand as a corporal patronus flew around the room – the form of a giant basilisk filled the entire room with feelings of joy and excitement. The Slytherins smiled but tried to hide their faces, while the Gryffindor students shouted for joy as the basilisk was heard to hum. Feeling the power in Harry's basilisk, tears of joy rolled down Remus Lupin's face.
"Fifty points to Gryffindor," the professor said as Draco and Ron both remained speechless; without doubt Harry Potter was more powerful than any pure-blood student in their year or any other year at Hogwarts.
Two days later at the next meeting of the DADA class with Harry Potter, Professor Lupin introduced two visitors, Director Amelia Bones and an Unspeakable who remained nameless. Hermione had a thousand questions for the Unspeakable who ignored the muggleborn student.
"Our visitors today wanted to see our progress on the Patronus spell," Lupin announced. "Neville Longbottom, Susan Bones, Hermione Granger, Justin Finch-Finchley and Lavender Brown each produced a strong mist that will soon take a corporal form."
Amelia smiled at the praise for her niece while the Unspeakable asked, "May we see Mr. Potter's patronus? We heard stories about a snake."
"A corporal basilisk," Remus boasted, motioning Harry forward. The young teenager nodded to his professor, and cast the spell from his seat, filling the room instantly with the giant basilisk form. Director Bones had to sit down while the Unspeakable followed the form around the room, turning in place to keep the head in view.Scene Break: Kissing Walburga and a Locket (Tues 28 Sept 1993)
It was a cloudy morning in London and the muggles pulled their coats and sweaters close as the weather turned suddenly cooler. In one neighbourhood, frost formed on the leaves, flowers and grasses in the middle of the day. The air felt heavy and no one stepped out of doors for over an hour.
Within No.12 Grimmauld Place, a single house elf felt the wards come under attack. He tried to strengthen them but his magic was failing along with the powerful wards because no one with Black blood had entered the house since his mistress died in 1987. With a whimper, the last ward fell and the dementors entered the attic of the Black family home in London.
The black-shrouded creatures silently glided down the stairs, investigating each room. When they reached the final staircase, the portrait of Walburga Black woke and began screaming epithets at the creatures.
"Filthy creatures! You dare to defy the House of Black! You shall all die terrible deaths! Wizards will boil your blood and shred…"
Kreature appeared in front of Ooglaborn and cast spells that threw the shrouded intruder back. But other dementors swarmed around the elf who shivered in fear and fled to hide in the basement, while the portrait of Walburga continued to scream and shout. Ooglaborn motioned for one dementor to position itself as though to kiss a victim and when the dementor moved close to the portrait, he could taste the soul remnant in the portrait.
Walburga shouted at the creatures as the dementor's mouth touched the painting's surface and suddenly her screams became filled with pain. The dementor could feed on the remnant of the witch's soul captured within the portrait.
To escape Dumbledore's plots and commands, Phineas Black's portrait was visiting his portrait frame in Grimmauld Place when the dementors descended through the house. Venturing from his portrait frame to investigate Walburga's screaming at 'intruders', he found other members of the family portraits in a painting of the countryside across the staircase from the late witch's portrait. Joining the other portraits, they watched the last lady of the house yell at the invaders and then scream in agony as the remnant of her soul and magic were consumed.
The painting of Walburga faded and flaked away as the dementor sucked up the portion of her soul that remained within the picture frame. The dementor raised his head and spoke with Ooglaborn – another dementor was almost awake but there wasn't enough soul in Walburga's portrait to fully animate the dementor.
[Kiss them all!] commanded Ooglaborn, pointing toward the other portraits hanging on the walls.
"Hide!" Phineas ordered the portraits as the swarm of dementors suddenly reached for the Black family portraits. There were nine portraits where the person portrayed could not flee to other frames and their screams filled the air of the house for five minutes as the dementors kissed them. After the screaming ended, five dementors had awakened and for the first time Ooglaborn conversed with the other dementors.
Now, the dementors searched the kitchen and storage rooms, finding the locket with the soul shard in the nest of the house elf. Ooglaborn summoned one dementor and directed it to kiss the locket. There was a high-pitched scream from the soul jar for just a moment and then another dementor awoke. Summoning the house elf from the basement, Ooglaborn pointed at the locket.
[Do you know of other soul jars?]Ooglaborn asked, holding the locket up for Kreature to see.From a very small painting in the corner of the room, Phineas listened quietly to the conversation between the elf and dementor.
"Youse destroys Dark Lord's treasure!" exclaimed the old elf. "Kreature says 'thank you' to dirty dementors."
[Do you know of other soul jars?!]demanded the dementor again, waving the locket and capturing the elf's attention. [We seek the Dark Lord's soul jars and we will kiss each one.]
Phineas remained silent as he watched the elf shake his head, "Kreature not knows more soul jars."
Ooglaborn considered the little creature carefully; it remained fearful but did not flee.
[Bring me paper, ink and quill,] Ooglaborn commanded. The elf popped away for a moment but returned with the items. Holding the quill carefully, Ooglaborn slowly wrote a letter.
[Can you find a wizard for me?] the dementor asked and the elf shrugged.
"Kreature cans only find wizards and witches who has Black family blood."
Unintentionally mimicking the elf's speech, the dementor asked, [Does youse…]
But Ooglaborn shook himself and corrected his speech, [Do you know who they are?]
"There is a tapestry in the lounge that lists all members of Blacks family," Kreature revealed without hesitation.
Kreature led the dementor from the kitchen to the lounge off the library. Moving from the kitchen to the lounge, Phineas lurked in the corner of a winter painting; a snow-covered forest in bright moonlight.
Along one wall hung a large tapestry with many names and faces of the Black family, their spouses and their progeny; the only living members on the tapestry were Sirius Black, Bellatrix LeStrange, Narcissa Malfoy and her son Draco Malfoy. When Ooglaborn noticed the names that were burnt-off, he lifted his spindly hand, casting magic to restore the names of all the members of the family. One of the first names to return to the tapestry was Euphemia Black, Phineas' daughter and sister of Arcturus Black, the last head of the Black family.
The dementor studied the tapestry and traced the blood lines. [Arcturus Black died last November, alone in Black Manor. His son, Orion, and grandson, Regulus, died in 1981. Sirius Black is lost; his years in Azkaban make him unfit to be Lord Black.]
Ooglaborn's spindly fingers returned to Euphemia Black on the tapestry; she was the first-born child of Phineas Black and chose her husband, Fleamont Potter, herself. The dementor traced the descendants of this Black daughter; her only child was James Potter and her grandson was Harry Potter. The dementor began laughing and the house elf shrank back, making himself as small as possible, fearing the horrible sound.
[Kreature! Hear me!] demanded Ooglaborn. [If you are loyal to the house of Black, there is a powerful wizard waiting in the wings to take up the title. He can restore the name of Black to greatness in Magical Britain.]
"Who be's this wizard?" asked Kreature hopefully as Phineas listened carefully.
[Harry Potter is a powerful wizard and the dementors admire him. He defeats the Dark Lord every time they meet!]
"Nasty half-blood defeats Dark Lord?" asked Kreature in astonishment. "No, the House of Black supports the Dark Lord!"
[The nasty Dark Lord is a mudblood. His mother was a squib and his father was a muggle. The mudblood Dark Lord destroyed the House of Black,] Ooglaborn revealed. [If you are a true to your family, you must help Harry Potter.]
The house elf roared with anger, "A mudblood pretends… and kills Kreature's family!"
Books from the library flew off the shelves with the anger of the house elf and Ooglaborn smiled again and motioned toward the two sisters and their families on the tapestry, [There are members of your family who continue to support the mudblood Dark Lord! You must protect your new lord from these traitors.]
"How can Kreature help my Mr. Harry Potters?"
[Take this letter to him. He is at Hogwarts,]the dementor instructed the elf as he handed over the letter.The little elf nodded and Ooglaborn continued, [Only give Harry Potter the letter when he is alone. Then find other elves to help and protect him.]
Kreature nodded and asked, "Does my Harry Potter need to send letters to Akzabans dementors?"
[I want… We want… to communicate with Harry Potter. We need his information.]
"If you permits, Kreature will come to Azkabans with letters from my lord," the elf said, bowing formally as though Ooglaborn was a wizarding lord.
Phineas slipped from the painting and fled to Hogwarts, the ruins of the paintings left behind and the possibilities of the future ahead of him. As the dementors rose through the halls of No.12 Grimmauld Place, they restored the wards and the home of the Blacks in London once again vanished from view.Scene Break: Phineas Black's Plans
The headmaster's office was silent; all the portraits were asleep or their occupants were absent. Silently, Headmaster Phineas Black occupied his golden frame again, darting his eyes left and right to ensure that the office was unoccupied. The phoenix awoke and tweeted once to offer comfort to the distressed soul, but Black waved off the magical bird.
The portrait took an hour to plot his moves before visiting multiple paintings around the castle to speak in whispers with the occupants. Phineas counted a dozen allies among the portraits – wizards and witches who followed Black's lead at Hogwarts. Phineas visited each of these portraits, directing them to share the terrible news with selected portraits – if the dementors breached the wards of Hogwarts, they would kiss the portraits.
"Find paintings hidden in closed classrooms and locked closets. At the first sign of dementors inside Hogwarts, make certain the students are safe and then flee to your selected 'safe portrait'," the former headmaster commanded. "Tell your neighbouring portraits to earn their favour but do not depend on Dumbledore to give timely orders."
Over the next three days, the professors noticed that the portraits seemed unusually quiet and evasive of questions but the same portraits kept a close eye on students. None of the doorways would open for the students after hours without a professor or prefect present, and Percy Weasley reported that the prefects found no one outside after curfew; the suits of armour and portraits demanded the students return to their dormitories before ten o'clock. Couples attempting to slip into broom closets close to curfew found the doors would open but the same doors would not close until the couple left for their dormitories.
Even Harry Potter stuck close to the Gryffindor dorm and did not wander the halls at night making it impossible for Phineas Black to arrange a private interview with the boy. Then he remembered the elf that Harry freed in second year and the portrait called Dobby. The portrait of the headmaster convinced the elf to bring Harry to a deserted and locked classroom following his next history class.
Sitting with Neville, Susan and Hannah, Harry was the only one of the four that remained awake during the class that day; he read a statement from his account manager at Gringotts. The goblin was attempting to educate the heir of the Potter estate on the sorry state of his holdings and obligations through letters. Just before the ghostly professor dismissed the class of third years, Dobby popped into the classroom and popped out with Harry, his books and his papers.
When Neville, Hannah and Susan awoke at the end of class, they noticed Harry was gone.
"That's not like him," Susan stated but Neville shook his head.
"Sometimes the news he receives each day from Gringotts makes him very angry. The goblins knew he was placed with the muggles and they did nothing about it. Harry doesn't trust them."
Hannah nodded, "My da moved some of our galleons into muggle banks and to the goblins in Paris. The goblins there don't like the goblins at Gringotts London."
"Do you know how he does it?" asked Susan. "I'd like to tell my aunt."
"How who does what?" Hannah asked.
"How does your father move money to the muggles and to Paris," Susan asked.
Blushing Hannah admitted, "I don't understand it but he'll explain if I ask."
"I think I'd like to know," Neville stated. "Gran is always worried about our money being controlled by the goblins."
"My aunt will be interested," Susan agreed. "And we'll tell Harry too."
"Dobby!" exclaimed Harry when he popped back into a dusty classroom. He looked around the room, noticed the grinning, familiar elf, and asked, "What gives?"
Instantly confused, the house elf began saying, "Dobby does not know what gives, Mr. Harry Potter. Is Dobby bad not to know? What can Dobby gives?"
"Everything is fine," Harry assured the little elf. "How are you?"
"Harry Potter asks hows Dobby is!" the elf shouted, growing excited.
"Silence elf!" called a new voice that drew Harry's attention. In a painting of forest sprites dancing in the dew-cover grasses of a summer morning, stood the portrait of Phineas Black. The dichotomy of the grim wizard standing in the bright morning light with the backdrop of flighty magical creatures made the teenager grin.
"I remember meeting you in the headmaster's office last year," Harry said before he bowed his head. "You were the Hogwarts' headmaster before Armando Dippet and Dumbledore."
The portrait bowed his head in return and introduced himself, "I am Phineas Nigellus Black, past headmaster of Hogwarts, and more importantly, I am your great-grandfather."
The portrait was pleased to see the boy frown, his eyes narrowing in thought as he put puzzle pieces together. "My great… If you are family, why am I only meeting you today? I am starting my third year here…"
"Think about what is different… what changed?" Phineas prompted.
Harry sighed and nodded, "The headmaster says that I am not interesting anymore."
Phineas nodded. "Before this year, I was forbidden by Dumbledore from speaking to you. This year, he has other concerns and you no longer carry the mark of the false Dark Lord."
Harry stared for another moment, then nodded and stepped closer to the portrait.
"Elf bring Heir Potter tea and biscuits," the portrait ordered the house elf.
After Dobby popped away, Phineas immediately said, "When the elf returns, you must bind him to you. You need a house elf to ensure your safety."
"But Dobby wanted to be free," Harry argued. "And he helps me whenever I ask."
"The elf wanted to be free of Malfoy," the portrait said. "Since that day, he worships the ground you walk on. If he is bound to you, then he cannot tell anyone your name or your errands."
Harry thought about the portrait's statements as Dobby popped back into the deserted classroom with a chair, table and tray with tea and biscuits.
"Mr. Harry Potter must have comfortables seat to speak with Grandfathers Black," the elf announced. Once he sat the tray on the little table, Dobby looked about and frowned, "And Dobby must cleans this room. Too much dust be bad for growing Heir Potter."
Without warning to the portrait or the elf, Harry asked, "Dobby, would you like to be my elf?"
The little house elf froze and then leapt across the room to hug Harry's legs.
"Yes Mr. Harry Potters sir! Dobby loves to be Harry Potter's elf!"
"Well now," Phineas quipped. "I think that settles the question about Dobby."
Once Dobby calmed down and began cleaning the classroom, the portrait returned to his subject, "I asked Dobby to bring you here so that I could warn you, Harry. The dementors are seeking the soul containers of the Dark Lord Tom Riddle."
Harry replied, "I know."Scene Break: Kissing a Ring (6 Oct 1993)
Little Haggleton is a quiet village in Yorkshire. Young people left the town for York or far-away London after they completed school; nothing newsworthy happened in the village since the mysterious murders of Squire Riddle and his family almost fifty years ago. The morning remained cold, mothers kept their small children indoors and the school children remained in the classrooms. The streets saw little traffic and even the birds stayed silent in trees and shrubbery.
From the skies, the dementor horde descended upon the eastern side of the village, focused on the wilderness area near the deserted manor house of the extinct Riddle family. In the woods, the dementors settled around the remains of a shack, overgrown with vines, saplings and grasses.
[This is the place, the hiding place of our next soul jar!]Ooglaborn announced.[There are strong wards against muggles and wizards alike. But none of the curses or charms will affect us!]
He motioned one dementor forward and the shrouded creature floated into the ruins of the shack and knelt, pulling up two boards in the floor. The creature leaned into the space opened by the missing boards and kissed the Gaunt ring. When it rose from the floor, another Dementor was awake. The dementor horde circled the shack, using their magic to return the floor, charms and wards to their original condition.
[We leave the curses on the ring intact for the next visitor,] Ooglaborn announced to his fellow dementors.
"I know," replied Harry. Phineas fell silent at the boy's words.
"How do you know the dementors search for the soul jars?" the portrait finally asked.
"That is my secret," Harry replied. "The portraits in Hogwarts must answer any question that the headmaster asks so you must not know information I do not want him to know."
"I can hide…"
"The headmaster can summon you and force you to tell him why you are hiding."
Phineas had to nod in agreement, then he asked, "Has an elf named Kreature been to see you yet."
"Kreature?" Harry asked. "I don't know that…"
"Master Harry Potter calls Kreature!" declared a new elf that suddenly popped into the classroom. "Kreature looks for Harry Potter but wards around Hogwarts keep him out until now."
Dobby instantly appeared and placed himself between Harry and the new elf. Harry's elf began to ask, "Who…"
"Kreature is Black Family elf and serves Heir Black!" declared the elf.
"Who is Heir Black?" Harry asked.
"You! The next head of the Black family will be you, great-grandson," Phineas stated, drawing Harry's attention once more. Dobby and Kreature took each other's measure before nodding and moving to their places on either side of 'their' Harry Potter. "Anyone else who tries to claim the title will not be welcomed by the family magic. When you go to Gringotts, our account manager will bring you the Black family ring…"
"Wait," Harry ordered. "What about the Potter family?"
Phineas nodded, "There will be an account manager for the Potter family too. That goblin will have the Potter family ring for you to wear as Heir Potter."
The letter Kreature brought to Harry explained the dementor's experiences in the house at Grimmauld Place. Ooglaborn explained the dementors could kiss the magical portraits, had found the locket with the soul jar, and would go for the ring in Little Haggleton soon.
"They will have gone for the ring by now," Harry said, considering the number of days that had passed since the dementor wrote the letter.
"What is your plan, Harry," asked Phineas.
"Nothing, Grandfather," the teenager replied. "I'm going to do my homework, read books, fly on my broom and laugh with my friends. The dementors aren't my concern."
Once Harry returned to this dormitory, Kreature and Dobby hid the deserted classroom from the other students and professors at Hogwarts. They would keep it ready for use by their Harry Potter. Then the two elves compared their plans and observations.
"Mr. Harry Potters not have any Galleons. His bad relations starve and beat him," Dobby explained. "At Yule, Dobby takes him to buy new robes, shoes and clothes."
"All heirs of Black family be beat and starved by parents," Kreature explained. "But they not be poor."
"Dobby finds Galleons in Room of Requirement for Harry Potter. Can Kreature find Galleons for Harry Potter?"
Kreature pulled his ears, "Kreature can't give Harry Potter any Black Galleons until he puts on ring and becomes Heir Black."
Dobby nodded but asked, "How can you help our Mr. Harry Potter?"
Kreature popped away and returned only after many minutes with a rich looking wallet. "This be a bottomless bag from Black family. It provides protections for money, burns thieves and returns to owner. Mr. Harry Potter can put anything inside. He can pull out Galleons by thinking how many he needs."
"From the Black vaults?"
Kreature shook his head and handed the bag to the other elf, "Dobby be Potter elf. You make connection to Mr. Harry Potter's vault and give him the bag. He's be able to gets his money then."
"Dobby gives to Harry Potter and tells him what Kreature says. But Dobby must make bag look bad so no one steals…"
Kreature grinned, "It be fun when bag is stolen. Thief's fingers burn and bag returns to Mr. Harry Potters. We find out thieves at Hogwarts soon."
That night, the two little house elves popped into Harry's dormitory while all the boys were asleep. They left the bottomless bag in Harry's hand along with a detailed note telling him where the bag came from, how to use it, and the protections on the bag.Scene Break: Quidditch Woes
Harry and Neville returned to the Gryffindor common room from the library to find most of the house attending a meeting about Quidditch – or more exactly, the make-up of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Oliver Wood, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, and Katie Bell were silent as Ron Weasley whipped up a 'pure-blood' frenzy among the other students. The half-blood students appeared resentful and the muggleborn students were silent – they didn't care about the team as much as the pure-bloods expected. Harry was surprized and disheartened to see Ginny, George and Fred supporting their brother with his mob mentality.
"Gryffindor needs to be represented by pure-bloods against the other teams!" Ron declared loudly. "It's the best thing for the team! We'll win the cup for sure with a pure-blood team!"
Oliver Wood frowned. "The best thing for the team is to keep our roster from last year. Seekers, beaters, keeper and seeker; Harry is the best seeker at Hogwarts!"
"But he's a half-blood!" Ron growled. "He's the son of a mud…"
"And the best seeker Gryffindor has had since your brother Charlie!" Wood shouted moments before Professor McGonagall entered the common room.
Reeling with the change in his 'best friend' from the first two years at Hogwarts, Harry remained lost in the crowd of students and didn't call attention to himself. He did consider several hexes that would make sitting painful for Ron Weasley and all the pure-bloods in the common room, but decided not to draw attention to himself.
"Tell me about this shouting, Wood!" the dour professor insisted, once the entire room was silent.
Before Oliver could respond, Ron began his rant, "We want a pure-blood team for Gryffindor, professor. That's what we need to win the Quidditch Cup!"
McGonagall frowned, "Mr. Weasley, our house is not about pure-blood superiority. Wizards are not…"
"Gryffindor house wants a pure-blood team!" Ron insisted.
McGonagall's lips disappeared as her eyes narrowed with disapproval. She glanced around the common room, seeing fervent wishes in the eyes of the pure-bloods, boredom from the muggleborns who seldom attended the matches, and some concern in the eyes of the half-bloods. In her evaluation of the mood of the students, she noted that the Weasley twins were supporting their brother for once. Unfortunately, McGonagall dismissed Harry Potter's dark look and Neville Longbottom's expression of disgust.
"I'll discuss the matter with the Headmaster tonight. Tomorrow, I will announce our decision," the deputy headmaster said.
In his bed before falling asleep, Harry debated what to do if McGonagall and Dumbledore simply took the position of seeker on the Quidditch team away from him. His Nimbus 2000 let him fly and roll like a bird while dodging bludgers and chasing the Golden Snitch. Suddenly, he realized that if the professors would take his place on the team away from him, what would stop them from taking his broom?
'Ron will want my broom if he gets his way! A half-blood can't have a better broom than the pure-bloods,' he imagined Ron arguing. Casting silencing spells on the curtains, Harry called for Dobby and Kreature.
"What spells do you have on my broom?" he asked.
Dobby explained, "No ones can steal Harry Potter's broom. It wills not fly for any other wizard unless Harry Potter hands it freely and without forces to them."
Frowning Kreature said, "Dobby should put pain spell on broom for thieves! Hurts their bullocks for two days if theys takes broom and rides!"
"If I lose my position on the team, I want my broom hidden in my trust vault," Harry said. "The instant Dumbledore or McGonagall make someone else seeker, I want Dobby to take my broom to Gringotts."
"Whats if they take it before then?" asked the normally cheerful elf.
Kreature appeared pensive and said, "Glamour old brooms to looks like Harry Potter's broom!"
Harry saw Dobby nod in agreement, pop out and almost immediately back with an old broom that was forty years old and cracked with broken bristles. Grabbing hold of this broom, Harry felt the magic in the stick had faded away.
"This broom will never fly again," he told his Black Family elf.
Kreature grinned, "Then any wizards who steals will sit on ground."
Harry nodded in agreement and asked, "Kreature, are you good with the glamour spell?"
"Must tell Mr. Harry Potter that Dobby's glamour betters than Kreature's," the old elf said mournfully. "Kreature is best with hexes, transfigures, poisons and greasy steps to make wizards slip on stairs."
Harry laughed until he realized that his elf was bragging instead of joking. "Thank you for telling me, Kreature. Don't ever poison anyone without explicit instructions."
"Should Kreature make some poisons?" the old elf asked hopefully.
Harry cringed. "I don't need any now. Can you brew other potions?"
The elf nodded, "Kreature knows how to brew all potions for Black family; strength, health, fertility, cure for cruciatus, and magic core recovery."
"Good. Now, Kreature tells me that you are best with the glamour spell," Harry said. Holding out the old broom, "I want you to make this broom look like my Nimbus 1000."
Dobby popped out to retrieve the broom from Harry's trunk without making any noise. He returned with the broom in under a minute.
"Mr. Nevilles be coming out of bathsroom and Dobby hid until PlantBoy be back in his bed," the elf explained. Taking the old broom in one hand and the Nimbus 1000 in the other, Dobby's elven magic made the old broom look like the newer broom. Harry took the false broom in hand and nodded.
"It looks like my broom alright," Harry said. "Now, how should I hide the real Nimbus?"
Kreature and Dobby touched their heads together for a moment and then Kreature said, "Kreature transfigures into charm on necklace around Dobby's neck. No wizards search elf for broom and Dobby can gives to Mr. Harry Potters anywhere in Hoggiewarts."
The old elf watched Harry nod once before waving his tiny hand and the real Nimbus 1000 vanished to reappear as a charm on a silver necklace around Dobby's neck. The elf tucked the charm underneath his pillowcase and grinned.
At supper the next day, with all the houses in attendance, McGonagall stood and announced, "After much discussion in Gryffindor, the students were unable to reach agreement on the makeup of the Quidditch team. Some students felt that the team should be made up of…"
The deputy headmistress looked at the faces of her students; muggleborn, half-blood and pure-blood, they looked the same from the head table.
"…I can't say it. This is wrong…" she began but Professor McGonagall was interrupted by students at her table.
"We want a pure-blood team!" Ron Weasley shouted and soon, his twin brothers, sister and other pure-bloods at the Gryffindor table joined in the chant. The table was only one-third pure-blood but even this smaller number of Lions was capable of a lot of noise.
Seizing the moment, Ron continued, "We don't need any half-blood son of a mudbl…"
To stop the shouting, Percy cast a silencio spell on his youngest brother but Ginny took up the shout. "No sons of mudbloods on the Quidditch team!"
There was silence across the whole of the Great Hall – a Gryffindor – a Weasley – had shouted the supposedly forbidden epithet for the whole of Hogwarts to hear. At this point, Albus Dumbledore stood and motioned for the Gryffindor table to settle down. McGonagall remained standing, shocked to hear her Lions use such language.
From his chair at the head table, Severus Snape commented, "But Harry Potter is the best seeker that Gryffindor has fielded in many years!"
"Indeed," Filius Flitwick said in agreement. "Charlie Weasley was a great seeker."
"And his sister will be a great seeker too!" Ron shouted. "We need Ginny as seeker!"
The charms professor tilted his head and said, "Perhaps you should hold a competition or try-outs for the position?"
"Stay out of this half-blood," Ginny Weasley shouted as the head table remained silent while the students at the other three tables muttered angrily. Flitwick was a popular professor, even among the Slytherin pure-bloods, because he was an excellent teacher and all students respected his skill with his wand in a duel.
Severus motioned for silence and addressed the headmaster and McGonagall. "Dumbledore, will you remain silent as a second-year student insults our renowned charms professor? Minerva, will you allow a third-year student to insult the youngest seeker in a century; one who has caught the snitch in every Quidditch game he played?"
Professor Sprout spoke up, "Severus, a pride of lions regularly mauls and kills their young. Let them snap their own wands and we'll make it a three-way race for the cup this year."
"It's all a plot to force us to have half-bloods and mudbloods as team mates," shouted George Weasley, silencing most of the hall again.
Dumbledore frowned; there was never supposed to be shouting about 'mudbloods' from the Gryffindor table!
"Enough!" he announced. "There will be try-outs for all positions for the Gryffindor Quidditch team on Saturday at 9:00AM!"
"Hey, I reserved the field for Slytherin practice on Saturday morning!" shouted Marcus Flint.
"You can practice in the afternoon," Dumbledore decided.
"My Badgers have practice on Saturday afternoon!" shouted Pomona Sprout. "You'll not disadvantage the Puffs because the Lions are feeling prissy!"
There were giggles all around the hall as the Herbology professor rose from her chair, throwing her napkin on her plate while drawing her wand.
"Ravenclaw has Sunday morning!" Flitwick announced. The little professor had also drawn his wand and the tip glowed dangerously. He had been European duelling champion more than once and even Dumbledore hesitated to challenge the half-goblin.
"Perhaps it would be best if Gryffindor holds the try-outs for their team on Sunday afternoon," Dumbledore said to cease all complaints and arguments.
"Who picks the team, then?" asked Angela Spinnet, a beater.
"I will!" announced Oliver Wood. "I am captain."
"Yeah, but you picked the half-blood to be seeker!" argued Fred Weasley.
McGonagall announced, "You are wrong, Mr. Weasley. It was I who selected Mr. Potter to be seeker on the Gryffindor team two years ago."
Dumbledore placed a hand on Professor McGonagall's shoulder and she fell silent, fighting the compulsion spell that she now recognized. Smiling genially, Dumbledore said, "Perhaps it would be best if I select the members of the team for Gryffindor on Sunday afternoon?"
Looking around the Great Hall, Dumbledore smiled and said, "There now… Everything is settled and we can have a pleasant night. Classes begin early tomorrow."
As they left the Great Hall, Harry overheard Penny Clearwater rip Percy Weasley, "You can compile the curfew reports for McGonagall by yourself tonight! I did them by myself two nights already this week."
"But… I have a potions exam tomorrow," Percy argued. "Help me out!"
"Sorry, this half-blood Head Girl is only doing her own work tonight!"
Oliver Wood shook his head, "The headmaster will make Andy Masterman the seeker! We're doomed!"
The named boy protested, "Oi! Wood, I can't help that I get broom-sick!"
"Sorry Andy…" Oliver apologised. "I'm just…"
"…a sorry excuse for a pure-blood!" Ron said attacking the captain again. "I'm going to write my Dad and this will be the talk of the ministry tomorrow!"
Thinking about how much Ron Weasley sounded like Draco Malfoy, Harry wondered now if he cared enough to be on the Quidditch team this year.
As Penny Clearwater left the Great Hall, she also overheard Ron's threat to talk to his father tonight and word spreading over the ministry tomorrow about the pure-blood bigots in Gryffindor. She lifted her chin and hurried to the Head Girl's rooms; she would fire call her mother and father. Her muggleborn father was one of the Unspeakables in the Department of Mysteries; he would make certain that the people heard Dumbledore allowed pure-bloods in Gryffindor to run rough-shod over the muggleborn and half-bloods.
The Unspeakables were concerned with the wand-drain in Britain; almost all muggleborns left Magical Britain within five years of finishing Hogwarts and more of the half-bloods left after ten years. As she climbed the stairs to her room, Penny considered her own future; the offer to travel to America next summer to begin an internship with her muggleborn uncle who lived there looked more attractive each week.
Sunday afternoon was dismal for the true Quidditch enthusiasts in Gryffindor. First, Oliver Wood and Fred Weasley were made co-captains by Dumbledore. Katie Bell and Angelina Johnson won back their positions as chasers, but Alicia Spinnet lost her position as chaser to Doris Hood, a pure-blood who played Quidditch once a year at most. Fred and George were back as beaters and Wood was the keeper. It was no surprize when Ron Weasley was made 'reserve keeper'.
When Dumbledore called for the candidates for seeker to approach the pitch, the first of many arguments erupted between Oliver Wood and Fred Weasley.
"My sister gets to go first!" Fred insisted.
"Every other try-out, the older student went first," argued Oliver. "You're playing favourites!"
"Of course, I am," Fred admitted gleefully. "My sister will catch the snitch so quickly that…"
"Wait," McGonagall called out to interrupt the argument; she stalked across the pitch, sparks flying from her eyes and Dumbledore shrank back. The transfiguration professor held up the International Quidditch Rule Book, the beginning and ending of the laws for Quidditch as she stated loudly, "The headmaster violated several rules today and if you continue, the Ministry's Department of Magical Games and Sports will throw out any Gryffindor victories!"
"What?" asked many of the students.
"Quidditch teams may only have a single captain," she quoted from the book. "That means Oliver Wood is the captain. Fred Weasley, you may try out for captain next year!"
"Now, Minerva…" Dumbledore caught the eye of his deputy headmistress and her eyes glittered as Hogwarts protected the woman from the wandless compulsion spell he tried to cast.
"And seeker try outs must follow a specific form!" she quoted, waving the rule book again. "All candidates for the seeker position compete against each other in the search for a single snitch. The team may require 'two-out-of-three' or 'three-out-of-five' contests but no more."
"Ginny will win two in a row," Ron Weasley announced.
Harry glanced at the Weasley twins and Ron; they looked entirely too satisfied with the coming contest. Thinking about their determination to have a pure-blood team, he realized that his former 'friends' had plans to make certain their sister won.
"We have Ginny's broom here," George said, holding up Charlie Weasley's Nimbus 90. "Our brother sent this all the way from Rumania for Ginny's try-outs today."
"Professor Dumbledore retrieved Potter's broom earlier," Fred announced, holding up the fake Nimbus 1000. Harry's eye quickly noted several hexes and other spells that the Weasleys had cast on the broom. Thinking quickly, he considered everything he'd read in the rule book last night before he gave it to McGonagall.
"I believe the rule book emphatically states that candidates for seeker are chosen based on their skills – different brooms are not allowed. We must race to catch the snitch on school brooms of the same make and model," Harry explained.
"But that's Charlie's lucky broom," Ginny whined. "I want to ride that broom!"
"If you win the contest, you can ride your brother's lucky broom in the games," Harry said. "But today, we'll race on school brooms."
Aware of the intense gaze of his deputy headmistress, Dumbledore smiled with his signature twinkle in his eyes, as he agreed with the dark-haired teenager. "Yes, we will follow the rules carefully. Blubber!"
A house elf appeared and bowed to the headmaster.
"Bring two Hogwarts brooms! Two that are exactly alike," Dumbledore ordered the elf who quickly vanished and returned shortly with a pair of the old brooms. Ginny frowned – the Cleansweep had been good in its day but these brooms were old and worn.
Oliver released the snitch once Harry and Ginny were in place. Both students rose quickly, Ginny took off after the snitch immediately while Harry circled the pitch getting a feel for the broom.
"Go Ginny!" shouted Fred and George. McGonagall interrupted George as he attempted to cast a spell at Harry – or at Harry's broom. Ron protested McGonagall's interference moments before she petrified the three Weasley brothers.
"Minerva!" Dumbledore said to admonish his deputy headmistress. "The boys are enthusiastic about their sister's chances to be on the Quidditch team; that's all."
Harry paid no attention to Ginevra Weasley on the pitch; when he launched off the ground on this old broom, he thought his magic flowed into the broom making it responsive and fast – he could meet the fastest speed of the Nimbus 1000 on this school broom if he wanted. On the second loop around the pitch, he realized that he – Harry Potter – was flying, not the broom. He quickly searched the knowledge left behind by the kissed soul remnant and found the memory of how to fly without a broom.
'Only one wizard who could fly without a broom or a carpet since Merlin,' Harry remembered. 'Dark Lord Tom Riddle.'
Then he smiled, 'Potter, Riddle and Merlin – very exclusive company. And if I never tell anyone that Riddle could fly like this, soon it will be only 'Potter and Merlin'.
Experimenting with his new magical ability; how fast he could go, how quickly he could slow down, Harry rose higher in the air, then dropped down near to the ground again. Twice he had to dodge Ginny as she swept past, as if she were chasing the snitch. Harry wondered what she was doing with the close passes; the snitch was high in the air over the pitch and not near them.
"What's Potter doing?" jeered Ron.
"He's afraid of Ginny's pure-blood awesomeness!" shouted George.
After twenty minutes, Harry had completed the experiments to control 'flying' without a broom; he looked up and noticed that Ginny wasn't near the snitch. The little golden ball floated slowly in the empty air between the posts on the opposite side of the pitch from the audience. Keeping his face blank, Harry floated over toward the snitch without drawing the attention of the audience. An avid Quidditch fan for almost eighty years, McGonagall understood the move so she watched Ginny Weasley and kept her attention on the Weasley brothers.
"What are we going to do?" asked Ron his brothers as Ginny continued searching for the snitch while Potter flew about aimlessly.
From the stands, one student shouted, "Look! Potter's giving the Weasel a chance to snatch the snitch and she can't find it!"
The laughs began slowly in the Ravenclaw students but grew to include the entire audience. The Hufflepuffs discussed the Ravenclaw statements and agreed with their conclusion. The Slytherins were silent; Potter was never known for subtlety before but perceptions had changed since the boy-who-lived was no longer 'interesting'.
"How long until Miss Weasley catches the snitch?" Albus whispered to Minerva when suddenly, Harry dived dangerously from high above the snitch and caught it while Ginny was still trying to find where Harry was in the sky.
The transfiguration professor pointed toward Harry and announced, "Mr. Potter has the snitch."
"He cheated!" declared Fred and George simultaneously. "Potter cheated!"
Oliver Wood asked, "How did he cheat? He never went near Ginny – she flew nowhere near the snitch."
"He did something to the snitch! That's why Ginny couldn't see it!" declared Ron.
"What spell does that Mr. Weasley?" asked McGonagall.
"I don't know! But Potter did it!"
Dumbledore stood before the audience of students with McGonagall standing at his side, her displeasure with the headmaster evident to everyone watching.
"There are several questions regarding Mr. Potter's grabbing the snitch," the headmaster announced to boos from the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff students.
"We will begin again," he continued though he frowned as multiple students stood and left, without a doubt to write a letter to their parents about Dumbledore's manipulations of the Quidditch season. He didn't dare close the Owlery over Quidditch team try-outs.
"If Weasley is this bad without any beaters throwing bludgers at her, think how bad the whole game will be," Marcus Flint snorted.
"Even Hufflepuff will slaughter them!" a Ravenclaw commented on his way back to the dormitory. He needed to add a page to his charms essay due in the morning.
"Now, I am certain that we can have a successful…"
"Professor Dumbledore!" Harry interrupted the headmaster. "May I tell you something?"
"Certainly, Mr. Potter. Just as soon as I finish…"
"I wish to concede the contest," Harry continued, catching Dumbledore off guard. "Miss Weasley can be seeker. I don't care."
"Hurrah!" Ron shouted, while Fred and George began a victory dance, as Ginny smiled and flirted with boys from all four houses.
McGonagall frowned but nodded in understanding; she wondered if she should bet on Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff to win the Quidditch Cup. Dumbledore decided to write Molly and Arthur – they would owe him again with his arrangement to make their daughter the Gryffindor seeker.Scene Break: Harry Shows Draco How to Fly
As the students left for the castle – the Weasleys to celebrate and everyone else to complete their homework for Monday – Harry remained on the pitch, whispering to the snitch that fluttered in his hand.
"So, Potter, afraid of the Weasels? Did she out-fly you?" jeered a familiar voice.
Releasing the snitch and watching it fly away, Harry turned to find Draco Malfoy standing with one hand wrapped around the broom the dark-haired boy used during try-outs. The two boys avoided each other the first month of school but now Draco was excited; today's Quidditch try-outs proved that pure-bloods would drive the mudblood filth from Hogwarts and then the whole of Magical Britain.
'Potter's running from the Weasleys,' Draco thought. 'What will he do after I…'
Harry grinned, "Hello, Malfoy. How's your day? Got that essay ready for potions tomorrow?"
"Potions? How can you talk about a potions essay? You were just humiliated by the Weasels… they took the seeker's position from you!"
"No, I walked away from the Quidditch team," Harry stated calmly.
"But you are a great seeker! It's not a contest on the pitch when we play if Gryffindor's team is all Weasley!"
Harry shrugged. "You could help them practice so she'll be better."
Draco blinked; the notion of helping an opponent improve wasn't something he would consider. The Slytherin recovered and sneered, "Admit it, Potter. You can't fly without that Nimbus 1000."
"That broom flew okay," Harry replied, motioning toward the broom in Draco's hand. "I think I'll fly back to Hogwarts before dinner."
"It'll be hard to fly without a broom," the Slytherin said as he put his foot on the end, just above the bristles, and then pressed his weight against the shaft, breaking it.
Aggravated, Harry frowned. "Draco! That was a good school broom for the firsties to learn to fly!"
"Flying classes are a waste of magic! Mudblood bastards and half-bloods come here without knowing how to fly!" Draco snarled, throwing the broken shaft away.
Harry glanced around the pitch; he was alone with Draco Malfoy and the Gryffindor gave into to an impulse. "I think I'll still fly back to the castle. Care to join me?"
"You're crazy! You can't fly without a broom!"
Harry reached over and grabbed Draco's robes and launched them both into the air, flying high and fast in less than five seconds. Harry found the magic flowed effortlessly to maintain his flight while his passenger was frozen with fear. The castle passed underneath them twice before Harry dropped softly on the balcony of the astronomy tower. Draco collapsed to the stone pavers, shivering in fear.
"Draco, it's just flying…" Harry said after he called Dobby and asked for hot tea and a few ginger biscuits to calm Draco's stomach and nerves.
"No one… no one can fly without a broom…" Draco stated.
"Merlin did. When he wanted to impress others, he flew rather than apparating."
Draco looked up at Harry Potter and noticed the confident stance of the Gryffindor. He bit back his scorn when that aggravating house elf popped back onto the roof top with a table and two comfortable chairs. Draco never did learn how Harry convinced his father to gift him with Dobby.
A second Hogwarts elf appeared with a tea service. Harry poured a cup, added milk and then handed the steaming cup to Draco. The Slytherin boy's hands still shook badly, so Harry transfigured the cup into a tankard with two handles.
After a few sips, Draco asked, "How did you do that?"
"Wandless transfiguration," Harry said. "Neville Longbottom discovered how to do it this summer and he taught Luna and me."
"Longbottom?" Draco asked in disbelief, but Harry simply nodded with a small smile.
"But I meant how did you fly without a broom?" the scared teenager asked after swallowing to clear his throat.
Harry tapped his forehead where the scar once stood out. "The dementor on the Hogwarts Expressed kissed my scar. He's really a very nice fellow; goes by the name of Ooglaborn. Anyway, he kissed my scar and destroyed the Dark Lord's mark."
"A dementor with a name! You talk with dementors!" Draco cried, his voice growing louder.
Harry nodded. "Ooglaborn is very powerful magically."
The manner of Potter's speech – calm and matter-of-fact, confused Draco enough that he fell silent for a moment, as he considered Potter's revelations about the dementors.
Unwilling to believe, he asked. "Did the dementor's kiss help you fly?"
"No, the kiss released my magic. For twelve years my magical core constantly battled with the Dark Lord's magic in my scar and grew very strong. With the scar removed, my magic flows all over the place…" Harry said as he pointed down.
Draco screamed when he realized his chair floated twenty feet in the air.
"Put me down, Potter!" the blond-headed boy screeched.
"Okay," Harry said letting Draco and his chair fall, only to abruptly halt the chair a few millimetres above the balcony. The Slytherin student sat frozen in fear as Harry lowered his own chair slowly. The two chairs settled on the balcony at the same moment. Once he felt the stones of the tower's roof underneath his shoes, Draco shot out of the chair and ran towards the doorway.
'I'll tell Snape! He'll will tell Dumbledore while I floo call Father! Potter will be in Azkaban before midnight!
"Where are you going, Draco?" Harry asked as Draco realized he was running in place and not moving.
His arms flailing about as his legs spun around, blond shouted, "You're crazy! You're dangerous! You can't be at Hogwarts!"
"Think Draco!" Harry admonished the boy. "You're the Slytherin."
It took almost ten minutes for Draco to calm down. Dobby brought a second pot of fresh hot tea; the house elf knew his Mr. Harry Potter preferred tea that had not been kept hot with a warming charm. And the little elf admitted that he enjoyed watching Mr. Draco Malfoy scared and screaming for once.
"What are you going to do, Potter?" Draco asked, his breathing slowly returning to normal though he was afraid to look the other teenager in the eye.
Harry grinned and asked, "What are you going to do?"
Swallowing, Draco said, "You're extremely powerful… but no one knows."
"The dementors know," Harry said to refute Malfoy's second statement. "A powerful seer knows and she is my ally. A powerful wizard with wandless magic knows and he is my ally."
"Are the dementors your ally?" Draco asked.
"No," Harry admitted. "They have their own agenda."
"Do you want me as an ally?" the scared boy asked and wished he hadn't as soon as the wand in Potter's hand pointed at him.
"Not this year. I'm 'not interesting' but if you suddenly begin to follow my lead, it might draw Dumbledore's attention again."
"Follow your lead?" Draco asked with the usual disdain in his voice, finally looking at Potter and seeing the calm expression that disturbed Draco as much as the flight without a broom. Potter should look scared, angry or nervous in Draco's presence – anything but calm.
Harry's small smile returned to his face before he said, "You will tell no one of our discussion or my demonstration of power. Not Patsy…"
Draco's expression was comical to think of sharing important information with his betrothed.
"…not Professor Snape or your parents…"
This time, Draco's expression grew thoughtful.
Then Harry added, "Let's call this a test, Draco."
His face grew sombre as Harry raised his wand, the tip glowing. "Don't disappoint me."
Nodding his head, Draco left after Harry waved him away, not realizing he'd been dismissed very effectively. After Draco was gone, Harry dropped back into his chair as this time Kreature appeared to remove the chairs, table and tea service.
"Mr. Harry Potters used lots of magics today. No more flies tonight. Youse be going to bed early and sleeping good night," ordered the elf as Harry rose to begin the walk to the Great Hall.
Smiling at his house elf's concern, he nodded his head. "Whatever you think Kreature. My homework is complete so I'll head for bed shortly after dinner. Thank you for taking care of me."Scene Break: The Potter Vault
When the first Hogsmeade weekend arrived, Harry was the only third year student allowed to leave the castle for the nearby village. There were less than fifty dementors remaining around Hogwarts and Professor Lupin was confident that Harry's basilisk patronus would banish all fifty of the dementors without problem.
In Hogsmeade, Harry made his way to the Three Broomsticks and used the floo to travel to Diagon Alley where immediately he ran to Gringotts. Once he was inside the bank's lobby, he approached the first available teller and asked to speak with his accountant.
"And your name, young wizard?"
"Harry Potter, sir."
The goblin nodded his head once and departed for the depths of the bank after saying, "Follow me."
Harry walked quickly to keep up with goblin; the teller's short legs moving very fast as he led the teenager into the depths of the bank. Outside a simple door, the goblin motioned for the boy to wait, while he opened the door and announced, "Harry Potter to see you, Ironstream."
There was a grunt from inside, and escort explained, "He'll get to you shortly."
For fifteen minutes Harry waited quietly as a few goblins hurried past. Once a familiar red-head, Bill Weasley, hurried by without speaking. Finally, the door opened and an old goblin waved the teenager inside. Harry noted that the goblin checked the hallway to make certain no one was lurking about before he closed the door and escorted Harry to a comfortable chair across from his desk.
"No doubt you were expecting a more luxurious office," the goblin observed.
"I have no expectations, sir," Harry replied. "I have only been inside the bank once before, on my eleventh birthday."
The goblin nodded. "I am Ironstream and a few days ago, Ragnock, the chief of the Gringotts horde of goblins, appointed me as the accountant for the Potter estate, such as it is…"
Harry hardened his expression and asked, "What does that mean?"
The goblin looked away and explained, "From November 1, 1981 until September 2 this year, your magical guardian was Albus Dumbledore."
Harry nodded his understanding before the goblin continued, "For the last twelve years, Dumbledore looted the Potter vault, sold off the Potter properties, and heirlooms. The family rings and a few portraits are hidden in the student vault but everything else is gone. As of September 2, the Potter vault is bare and Dumbledore closed it."
"I never knew I had an estate. What did Dumbledore do with the money?" asked Harry. The teenager had never known of the money or the estate, he'd have to think on the loss for a while to understand what it meant.
Ironstream shrugged, "From the few records that survived closing the vault, it appears Dumbledore paid bribes to politicians so he would be elected to the ICW's Supreme Mugwump positions. He also paid bribes to politicians here in Britain, paid for renovations at Hogwarts, gave allowances to his flunkies, and provided scholarships to selected students at Hogwarts."
Harry took a deep breath, "I have no idea what a Supreme Mugwump is."
"With the announcement from Dumbledore that you no longer bear the Dark Lord's mark, he also renounced being your guardian, and no one else has stepped forward to take up the position. To simplify your expenses, I applied for your emancipation and the ministry didn't object so you are now an adult," Ironstream explained. "This means that no one can tell you where you live, spend your money, or who you marry."
"Marry? I'm only thirteen…" Harry asked, his attention on the goblin. He missed the glow of his wand as the ministry trace faded away – the boy was now an adult.
"While he was your guardian, Albus Dumbledore arranged a marriage contract for you and Miss Ginevra Weasley." The look of surprize and horror on the boy's face pleased the sadistic goblin. "Apparently, the Weasley parents voided the betrothal contract after Dumbledore's announcement. With your approval I will also void…"
"Burn it! I won't marry Ginny Weasley!" Harry cursed and then blushed in embarrassment. "Is there a house left? Any apartment where I can live during the summer?"
"I fear not," Ironstream replied, enjoying the obvious pain the young wizard felt – betrayal, lies, theft – all qualities a proper goblin valued. "He sold the last property, No.4 Privet Drive, to your Aunt and Uncle for ten galleons the morning after you were kissed. His instructions said to provide them with the property as payment for raising you for ten years."
"My trust vault… the statement you sent listed a balance of almost eighty thousand galleons."
"A good nest egg for a muggleborn," Ironstream explained. "But as head of the Potter family, you are expected to…"
"I will reward no one's expectations but my own, Ironstream. Now, can we move any portion of the vault into muggle investments?"
The goblin blinked, "You wish to invest your gold in the muggle world?"
Harry nodded. "The muggle world offers more opportunities. There are grocery stores, sports teams, new inventions called computers, medicines, hotels…"
"I am aware, Mr. Potter. But Gringotts does not invest in muggle businesses."
"Did my mother have a vault?"
"I am unaware if Lily Evans had a vault with Gringotts."
Harry paid close attention to the goblin's words – Lily Evans may not have had a vault but…
"What about 'Lily Potter'? My mother's name after she married my father…"
The goblin frowned and answered, "Lily Potter was given a vault upon her marriage and before the Potters went into hiding, she sent the entirety of the contents into the muggle world. Gringotts does not track those funds."
"Is there a record of where the money went?"
Ironstream snarled as he handed over a letter with the Barclays Bank logo. "Her monthly statements accumulated here and took up space in the Potter vault. Since Dumbledore emptied and closed the vault, the last month's statement came to me."
Shoving the letter into a pocket, Harry asked, "Will the eighty thousand in my trust vault last until I graduate from Hogwarts?"
Ironstream smiled, "The trust vault has more than enough galleons to last you beyond Hogwarts if you stopped funding scholarships."
"Scholarships? What scholarships?" the boy asked with true surprize in his voice. Ironstream paid close attention to the young wizard's reactions to the explanation.
"As soon as Dumbledore and the Weasleys signed the marriage contract, your trust vault began paying for the educations of the Weasley children. The last year of Bill Weasley's education, half of the years for Charlie Weasley, and the entirety of the years for George and Fred Weasley, Ron Weasley, and Ginevra Weasley have been paid for from your trust vault. As your future 'family', Dumbledore felt you should pay for their education. I believe the education for third son, Percival, was paid for by Mrs. Weasley's aunt, Muriel Prewitt."
Disgusted that his 'guardian' had given away his money so freely, Harry asked, "Can I recover any of this money that Dumbledore threw away?"
"No, you can't. Legally Dumbledore was your guardian and it was his choice how to spend your money."
"If all the money is gone, how does Dumbledore plan to pay for the Weasleys to attend Hogwarts next year?"
"I doubt he cares. They are no use to him now that he does not find you interesting," Ironstream concluded. "No doubt the Weasleys will approach you at Yule to pay their tuition and fees for spring term from your school trust vault. If they can't convince you to hand over funds, Bill or Molly will resort to compulsion charms or potions."
"I want it understood that if I appear to agree to any such scholarships, I am to be tested at Gringotts before any funds are dispersed. I am to be purged of potions and compulsions!" Harry said.
Ironstream waved away Harry's pronouncement, "That is not a concern for Gringotts. If Mrs. Weasley appears with a valid draft, we will provide her with the funds!"
"Can I protect the vault?" asked Harry. It appeared that the wizarding world was determined to steal the rest of his money!
"For a fee of one hundred Galleons a month, we will require your person to be present for all withdrawals."
"One hundred Galleons a month?" Harry shouted outraged. "That's worse than the price of Hogwarts tuition!"
Ironstream smiled to be so complimented. When Harry remained silent, the goblin said, "I understand that you recently began to access your vault with a bottomless bag."
"We offer a much larger one for only fifty Galleons a month,"
"Thank you, but no," Harry replied. "I have few demands on my funds during the year."
"I have the bottomless bag. No one else can use the bag and any fool who attempts to steal from me will have his fingers burned. And it can't be stolen – the bag returns to my pocket anytime someone takes it."
Ironstream frowned, the magic of the bag would protect the entire vault from pilferage. Only the Black family had bottomless bags with those protections. He would have to consult with the accountant for the Black family vaults… On second thought, he would not tell Gravedigger anything and see if he began to suffer from burned fingers.
"I see," the goblin replied. There was long moment before the goblin said, "Mr. Potter, I would suggest that we visit your trust vault. There are items there now that you may want to retrieve since the family vault closed."
Hurrying to the vault with Ironstream, Harry found the additional items – portraits of his parents and grandparents, notebooks from his parents and a small box with the Potter family rings – the head of the family, heir, betrothal, and consort rings were secure within a box that only he could see and open. He slipped the heir ring onto his finger and then hid the box in his bottomless bag. He gazed for only a moment upon the portraits.
"When you have a home that you can ward and enchant, the portraits will wake up and advise you," Ironstream explained.
"You are much more helpful now," Harry observed.
The goblin grunted, "You dealt with me and discovered the information I attempted to hide from you. My goal was to see if you were worthy of being a Gringotts client."
"And if I failed your test?"
Now Ironstream smiled, "I would have done my best to position you to declare a blood feud with the Weasleys. There'd be a bloodbath at Hogwarts for several days as you killed the Weasley children, their parents and the eldest brother."
Harry shook his head. "Thank you for the tuition today, Ironstream. I learned more than I ever hoped to know about goblins and Gringotts."
Without time for shopping, Harry returned to Three Broomsticks from the floo in Ironstream's office for the price of four knuts. He stumbled out of the floo and landed at the feet of Professor McGonagall who shook her head and announced, "Mr. Potter, students are not to leave Hogsmeade on their outings. You will have detention with me tonight. Bring your History text to my office at 7:00 PM!"
The transfiguration professor marched off to corral other truant students and send them back to Hogwarts. Harry dusted off his robes and hurried to the path leading to the castle. He'd worked up an appetite and planned to read the account statement from Barclays behind the privacy of his bed curtains tonight.
After detention with McGonagall, Harry slipped quietly through the hallways back to the Gryffindor tower. No one paid him any attention except for Percy Weasley, who asked about Harry's investigations into the charms for dementors.
"So, Potter, what do you think of the book?"
Harry stared for one second but then remembered that Percy's education was not funded from his vault.
"I understand how the charms control the dementors and give them direction, but has anyone ever tried talking to the creatures?"
"What do you mean?"
"How do we know they aren't intelligent, like centaurs?"
Percy scratched his head, "You ask very strange questions Harry Potter."
"But I'm not interesting anymore!"
The head boy laughed and agreed, "You're no longer of any interest. Now get back to the dorm before curfew."
In the privacy of his bed, behind his curtains that were spelled to keep out noise and snoops, Harry cast luminous with his wand – it felt different since the trip to Gringotts – and opened the statement from Barclays.
The balance in the investment account for Lily Evans Potter was just over twenty million pounds. The individual responsible for the account was a woman named Elizabeth Sooner and her phone number and work address were included in the statement. Reading across the entire statement, Harry was pleased to find his name –Hadrian Jameson Potter (son) – listed as beneficiary for the account. He could claim the funds as his own with a valid identification card of some sort.Scene Break: Harry Rescues Sirius Black
"Harry, how do you know Sirius Black?" asked Neville, proof reading a letter for his friend. "He's a mass murderer!"
"He is the only wizard to ever escape Azkaban. I love that word – Azkaban – it sounds dramatic," Luna mused and both boys waited a moment but the Ravenclaw seer returned to her own composition for charms.
"Professor Lupin told me that Sirius Black is my godfather. I want to hear from him if he killed my parents or led the Dark Lord to their home."
"He didn't," Luna said casually as Neville frowned.
"My grandmother won't talk about that night," Harry's true Gryffindor friend stated. "My parents were attacked and injured by Death Eaters just days after your parents were killed."
Harry said, "I'm sorry Neville."
Luna smiled and returned to her charms essay. Without problems with nargles this year, her grades had sky-rocketed and she was tops in second year across all classes at Hogwarts. With coaxing to work harder and boosts to their self-confidence, Harry and Neville would soon be at or near the top of the third-year students. Granger would go spare when Harry and Neville received the highest marks on the latest essay for Ancient Runes.
After Harry sent the letter to his godfather, it was a full day before Hedwig returned with a response written in a scribble on a scrap of Harry's letter.
Prongs, Jr. Be careful! Peter Pettigrew is in Hogwarts! Wormtail is there with you! Be careful and watch for the rat. He'll betray you like he did me and James!
Harry thought about the information Remus shared about Pettigrew's death and the assertion from Sirius that their one-time friend was 'in Hogwarts'. He was alone in the classroom where he often studied with his friends so he opened the Marauder's Map, to begin his search. Twenty minutes into the hunt, he found the name 'Peter Pettigrew' riding atop Ronald Weasley's name.
"Sirius wrote that Wormtail was a rat – Scabbers is Wormtail! An animagus hiding in plain sight as a rat!" Harry realized that in his excitement, he had spoken aloud but there was no one there to overhear him.
He paused only a moment before he called for Dobby and Kreature. The two elves bowed and bounced with happiness for their Mr. Harry Potters-Blacks to call them.
"I need your help again. There is a betrayer and follower of the Dark Lord here in Hogwarts," Harry announced.
"Professor Snapes will not harm…" Dobby cried but Kreature silenced the other elf while Harry blinked.
"Is Severus Snape a Death Eater?" Harry asked in surprize.
"He bears the mark of mudblood Darks Lord but Whiskers says he is spy for Light," Kreature explained.
"Don't use the word mud… Who is Whiskers?" Harry asked. But then the teenager frowned and spit, "Dumbledore, of course."
The two elves remained silent while Harry stewed for a moment. Then the teenager asked his elf, "Dobby, would you ask Headmaster Black to come here? I need his advice."
Kreature watched Harry closely before saying, "I must be's telling you many tales at Yules holidays, Mr. Harry Potters Blacks. There is many things you must know."
"Do you know my godfather?" Harry asked. Kreature nodded slowly and his eyes grew wide.
"What's wrong Kreature?"
The elf pulled his ears and sobbed, "My old mistress hates her sons Sirius. She makes Kreature hurt boy and young master never forgives Kreature. Sirius kill Kreature if he sees him."
Harry nodded and continued thinking until the portrait of Phineas Black entered the painting and asked, "You sent for me grandson?"
"I need your counsel," Harry replied before explaining about the letter from Sirius Black and finding Peter Pettigrew on the map.
Phineas advised Harry to cut Sirius Black loose. "He is damaged beyond repair after ten years in Azkaban. He can't be the head of the Black family."
"But if I am to be the head of the family, that means I must take care of all members – the damaged as well as the healthy." Harry paused, "He meant a great deal to my father and I cannot abandon him."
"Dobby says any wizard that can escapes from Azkabans must be powerful still."
Harry looked at his elves and gave them orders, "Dobby, go to the Hogwarts kitchens and prepare a hamper with food and drink to deliver to my godfather. Kreature, you knew Sirius Black. Go to the Room of Requirement and search for abandoned wands that might work for him. Find clothing and blankets."
The two elves popped away as Harry turned back to his grandfather's portrait and asked, "I will capture the traitor Wormtail but I have no idea what to do afterwards. What do you suggest?"
Phineas stared at the boy and then smiled. "How did you get sorted into Gryffindor? You are pure Slytherin!"
Dipping his chin once to acknowledge the compliment from his grandfather, Harry asked, "After I expose Pettigrew as an animagus, how does that assist my godfather?"
Phineas was silent for a moment, "There is one Auror who visits Dumbledore regularly but he is too honest to allow the headmaster to sweep anything under the rug. His name is Alistair Moody and his boss, Amelia Bones, is just as honest."
"Can my elves find these two Aurors?"
"Most Aurors are available at the Ministry," Phineas replied. The portrait paused and then asked, "How will you get the rat?"
"I can't steal the rat," Harry said. "I won't become a thief."
"You could purchase the rat from the boy," Phineas suggested, but Harry's face grew sour at the thought of dealing with his former friend.
Ginny Weasley was bored; she had to study occasionally to maintain her grade average while searching for a suitable husband. There were no candidates in Gryffindor now that Harry Potter was no longer suitable. When her mother told her that the betrothal was cancelled, Ginny was angry until Molly informed her daughter that Potter was also broke. Reconciled that she would not be a rich Madam Potter, Ginny began to consider other candidates for her husband hunt.
When Luna approached Ginny at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall, Harry and Neville were seated nearby. They listened carefully as Luna mentioned her new owl, a gift from her father and how the latest issue of Teen Witch mentioned that fashionable witches of 'quality' owned their own owls.
"I want an owl," Ginny said and Luna nodded.
"They are not expensive," the blond Ravenclaw agreed. "And Hogwarts feeds them all year while we are at school.
"But… I don't have any money…" the girl admitted.
Neville spoke up, "Ginny, you could trade that rat that Ron carries around for an owl."
"Why would anyone want Scabbers?" Ginny asked. "I hate that rat!"
"He'd make a delicious meal for a couple owls," Harry said, finally joining the conversation.
Ignoring Harry, Ginny considered the information. "How do I pick out the owl I want?"
Luna grinned and pulled a catalogue of owls from her book bag. Ginny and Luna poured over the pages of owls while Neville and Harry remained silent. Ron came into the Great Hall and paused to watch his sister and Loony; he shook his head, and turned to eating his usual huge luncheon. About halfway through the meal, Ginny moved closer to Ron and began whispering furiously.
Ron turned bright red with anger at first but then he turned white. Ginny continued to whisper into his ear until her brother pulled the sleeping rat from his pocket and handed it to his sister. She quickly handed the rat to Luna who dropped it into a prepared cage before it could awaken. Dobby popped into the Great Hall and grabbed the cage before popping away.
Kreature appeared with a golden feathered owl in a bright cage that Luna handed to Ginny. The youngest Weasley giggled and looked around the room; there were envious looks on the faces of girls in Hufflepuff and Gryffindor when they caught sight of Ginny's new owl. Ron sat quietly at the table, not missing the smelly rat but jealous of his sister's new owl – her threat to tell their mother about Ron's stash of witch porn in his trunk was scary enough to make him hand over Scabbers.
Ron watched his former friend – never friend – Ron watched the half-blood son of a mudblood whore talking with squib Longbottom, mudblood Granger, and Loony Lovegood; those four should not be with good wizards! The professors pestered him about reading books, writing essays, and doing stupid exercises for his magical core. He was a pure-blood and when he turned seventeen, his core would mature and make him a powerful wizard. He didn't need to study or do these exercises.
The worn-out money bag on Potter's belt caught Ron's attention and he immediately felt insulted, 'Why should the half-blood have Galleons when I don't? Why didn't he ever share with me?'
Thinking for once, Ron decided to steal the bag during the rush between classes. The hallway between charms and herbology would be crowded with the fifth years coming for Charms and the seventh years leaving the greenhouses. He could lift the money bag, skive off herbology and count 'his' Galleons in the privacy of the dorm room before supper.
When Professor Flitwick dismissed the third-year class, Ron Weasley was first out of the room with the other Gryffindor and Hufflepuff students following the boy into the hallway. They had ten minutes to walk to the greenhouses with stops at the bathrooms along the way if needed. In the press of students in the hallways, Harry moved around the other students with his seeker skills but was surprized to bump into Ron Weasley. They both were jostled into a couple Ravenclaw wizards who steadied the third-year boys.
"Watch where you're going, please!" one Ravenclaw said before hurrying away.
"Sorry," called Harry but Ron merely mumbled something about snooty 'Claws' and disappeared into the crowd.
Turning to hurry to the greenhouses, Harry noticed his money bag was missing from his belt. He went back and searched the hallway, entering the charms classroom filling with fifth-years students. There wasn't any sign of the bottomless bag anywhere so he hurried into the boy's restroom and called Dobby and Kreature.
The two elves popped into the room to hear their Mr. Harry Potter say, "My bag is gone. I must have dropped it."
Kreature shook his head and said, "Thief stole Mr. Harry Potter's bag but it will come back to your hand after it burns thief's hand."
"A thief? Someone stole my bag?"
The little elf nodded and smiled, "Mr. Harry Potter sees thief tonight with burned fingers. Will know thief and everyone knows he is thief."Scene Break: Thieves and Murderers
When he reached the Gryffindor Common Room, Ron saw several students in chairs and at desks working on homework. Percy was working on some paper and before Ron could slip up the stairs, the Head Boy caught his brother.
"Aren't you supposed to be in Herbology?"
"I forgot my book," Ron quickly replied. "I'll get it and run to the greenhouse."
Percy would have pressed Ron for more information but the port hole opened at that moment with a Ravenclaw prefect needing help. Two Puffs had fallen on the moving stairs and broken their legs.
"Hurry and get to class!" Percy told Ron before he ran to help the prefect with the injured children. "Those stairs are a menace!"
Ron smirked and hurried up the stairs to the room for the third-year boys. He checked the beds and bathroom before casting a locking charm on the door and pulling the bag from a pocket. He examined the bag – it certainly was worn and threadbare – the half-blood must have found it in a ditch! Ron opened the simple clasp – there weren't any charms on the bag to prevent anyone from helping themselves to the Galleons!
'It's a muggle bag! Not even magical!' he said dismissing any worries and thrust his right hand into the bag, searching for Galleons.
The other students in the Gryffindor common room were shocked to hear a scream that grew louder as someone ran down the stairs from the boy's dormitories. They were all watching when Ron Weasley ran into the room, his right hand covered in blue flames.
"Help me! Help me!" he demanded. A fifth-year prefect cast the water charm to extinguish the flames though they returned the moment the water stopped, and Ron's screams grew to new heights. No one knew what to do except to cast the augmenti spell repeatedly on the hand leaving the boy, his robes and the common room wet.
"I think that's 'thief's reward'," a seventh-year boy said.
"What's that spell?" asked one of the seventh-year girls as several students fled while others gathered about to watch – uh – to learn.
"My da's an Auror and he tells me about spells they deal with. 'Thief's reward' is a powerful charm cast on some magical items to set fire to the hand of a thief when they steal something and then try to open it or use it."
"Well our reward is to listen to Ron Weasley scream!" the girl replied but then she quickly conjured a bucket, filled it with water and turned to the screaming boy, "Put you hand in the bucket and keep it there!"
His hand submerged in the bucket and the flames doused for the moment, Ron continued yelling, "Get McGonagall! I am on fire! Get Dumbledore!"
"What did you steal, Weasley?" asked the seventh-year boy. "Steal someone's homework again?"
"Don't…" immediately angry, Ron began to draw his hand from the bucket but the instant flicker of flames made him thrust it back into the bucket. "Get help!"
The seventh-year girl frowned, "I'll send a patronus to your brother but you can carry your own bucket to the infirmary. My conjurations don't last very long and if the bucket vanishes, the water will run off and the fire returns…"
Ron was already heading for the Gryffindor doorway and a second year opened it for the boy as he tried to run, jostling water out of the bucket and then slowing to a fast walk to stop from losing more water.
Percy was in the infirmary with the two Puffs – both pure-bloods who had not paid close enough attention to the movement of the stairs. The Head Boy would speak to the portraits on the landings about how to appeal to the castle – the staircases had been erratic this year for certain. The patronus from Elizabeth Hatfield arrived while Pomphrey was settling the two boys into beds and preparing their treatments.
"Percy, your brother Ron's in trouble. Tony says it looks like 'thief's reward'. His right hand is on fire and the only way to stop it is to keep it submerged in water. I conjured a bucket of water and sent him to the infirmary. I have the charms paper you were writing with my books and you can have it back if you'll help me with my arithmancy homework."
'Ron? Thief's reward?' Percy frowned to think his brother was stealing. Then he blushed thinking about Hatfield wanting help with her arithmancy homework. She was tops in the class with arithmancy…
"Madam Pomphrey, there's a student coming to the infirmary with his hand on fire."
The medi-witch looked up from the two Puffs and asked, "How badly burned?"
"The message said something about 'thief's reward'," Percy explained. "His hand is in a bucket of water to douse the flames."
The medi-witch frowned, an often-seen expression in the infirmary this fall. "That will take some effort to treat. As long as he keeps it submerged in the bucket, it'll keep until I can treat these two."
That night, Sirius Black sat in his cave, well-fed and warm with old but clean robes. His wand – a fair match – allowed him to cast warming charms on the cave walls. He was clean for the first time in more than ten years.
When the snowy owl that belonged to his godson flew into the cave again with a new letter, Sirius grabbed the letter without thanking the owl. She ruffled her feathers and flew away, not waiting for the escaped criminal to respond.
I have taken Wormtail captive and sent him to Alistair Moody at the ministry. My advisors tell me that Moody and his boss, Amelia Bones, will handle the traitor properly. They will contact me and I will contact you – we will get your freedom.
When we are together at Yule, you can tell me about Prongs and Lily's adventures at Hogwarts with Moony and Padfoot.
Harry was packing his book bag to leave Herbology – his gloves, notebook, and muggle ink pens were the only tools he'd needed for class today. More of the students were using muggle ink pens as the professors welcomed the smudge-free parchments.
When he reached for his gloves after packing his notebook and pen, he found his bottomless bag on the desk beside his gloves. Smiling but wondering who had stolen the bag, Harry tucked it into an inner pocket of his robes. His elves were right – the bag would return to him.
The ministry was in an uproar. First Alistair Moody interrupted Amelia's weekly meeting with the Minister and produced a caged rat that proved to be the animagus Peter Pettigrew when the Auror forced the rat to return to human form.
Cornelius Fudge screamed with fright when the rat-faced wizard appeared. Amelia petrified the prisoner as Delores Umbridge ran around the room for a moment before fainting across Cornelius's lap and crushing the minister. Alistair levitated the toad-shaped woman off Fudge while Amelia sent her patronus to a dozen Aurors to immediately come to her office.
When he was revived, Cornelius drank a calming draught, and for once listened to the chief of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
"This is an opportunity for you to look good Minister," she explained. "The error occurred during Burbage's ministry. We can question Barney Crouch too."
"What does he know about this?" Fudge asked.
"We won't know until we question him."
Fudge stopped to consider the DMLE chief's words, "What about Sirius Black?"
"He's certainly not as guilty as we thought for the last ten years," Amelia said.
The Great Hall was boisterous with loud, happy students tonight. Classes were off to a great start, there were few fights or worries outside of homework, McGonagall and the other professors were pleased though Dumbledore occasionally frowned; he missed the intrigue of the last two years.
There were stories jumping between Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tonight; a thief broke into Hogwarts and burned to ashes in the transfiguration classroom; someone tried to steal Flitwick's wand and now hung by his toes over a slow flame in the dungeons (this thief was said to be a student from Slytherin); a thief was caught stealing some new creature bred in Hagrid's hut but was burned to a crisp.
Harry and Neville listened to the stories being bantered about and laughed lightly. They were talking with Seamus about their potions homework when the students around them began to fall silent for a moment and then to laugh. Turning his head, Harry saw a strange sight – Ron Weasley walking into the room with his right arm held stiffly above his head. Percy Weasley and Penny Clearwater escorted the youngest Weasley brother into the Great Hall and directed him to sit at the end of the Gryffindor table. The hand on that arm was coated with a glittering blue paste that appeared to smoke just slightly and the closer that Ron got, the more the paste smelled of rotting fish guts.
"Merlin, Weasley!" shouted Lavender Brown as she got up and moved down the table. Everyone else moved away while Percy raised a few wards to deflect the smell away from the other students.
The Head Boy and Head Girl continued up to the head table to report to Minerva who frowned at first but after hearing the full story, rose from her seat and stormed across the hall to drag Ron from the room.
"Don't call my mum!" everyone heard Ron beg before the door of the Great Hall shut.
"What happened to Ron?" asked Harry, though he had an inkling…
Elizabeth Hatfield explained from a few seats down the table, "He stole something today. When he tried to use it, a charm on the item set his hand on fire. It's a painful curse that can only be cured by being immersed in a foul grease for a week and apparently holding his hand above his head the entire time."
Neville shook his head, "A pure-blood should have known not to steal!"
"What kind of treatment is holding your hand above your head?" asked Hermione Granger, speaking with the other third year students for the first time in many days.
Longbottom grinned, "It might just be Madam Pomphrey's way of making Ron's cure be more painful and noticeable than normal."
"So Weasley will have to walk around for a week with his hand above his head for no reason except to draw attention to his crime?" asked Elizabeth.
The students at Hufflepuff laughed aloud and hurried to share the notion with Ravenclaw and Slytherin. At the Gryffindor table, there were snickers from several half-bloods and muggleborns, grimaces from the pure-bloods and embarrassed silence from the other Weasleys. Even Ginny was silent – Ron had stolen from someone; someone powerful with charmed items.
When Madam Pomphrey entered the Great Hall for dinner, several people rose and began polite applause. Eventually, almost every student was on their feet applauding the medi-witch, though the faculty was clueless at the actions of their students.
The following morning, everyone noticed that Ron held his hand above his head again and sat down very carefully. His brothers were unusually quiet. McGonagall was tight lipped about the conversation she had with Arthur and Molly Weasley the night before through the floo.
When a howler came through the owl windows and headed toward Percy Weasley, McGonagall closed the window, caught the owl, and charmed the howler to be louder, longer and painful. Then she sent the owl back to the Burrow, to give Molly a taste of her own wand. Dumbledore was late to breakfast and missed the entire episode but the students were quiet and the ones headed to transfiguration dreaded McGonagall's temper today.
For the entire week, Ron's arm remained above his head and other students began to mock him with shouts of 'Reward!' and a raised arm over their heads. Madam Pomphrey released him from the spells the morning of the seventh day and Ron tried to be anonymous for the next few days.
Harry remained hopeful of receiving a letter from his godfather and didn't notice the sad look on Luna's face each morning as the teenage boy watched the post owls deliver letters from home to many different students but there was no word from Sirius Black.
The Daily Prophet carried a picture and story on the cover for a single day, about the mistaken imprisonment of Black, and then the mysterious capture, trial and execution of Peter Pettigrew. The paper reported an award of ten thousand galleons to Sirius Black, but before reporters could interview the newly freed wizard, he vanished from Magical Britain.Scene Break: Bad Quidditch and Big Basilisk
Despite his daughter's repeated letters, Theodore Abbot was reluctant to meet with the Boy-Who-Lived-to-be-Kissed. But he came to Hogwarts on the Saturday of the Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw Quidditch match for the meeting. Theo was pleased with Hannah's behaviour and her friends – Susan Bones, Neville Longbottom, Justin Finch-Fletchley and Harry Potter.
The Gryffindor team faced an impossible game as Doris Hood, the new chaser, fell off her broom repeatedly. Finally breaking her arm, the girl was levitated away to the infirmary. When Fred Weasley flew down to the stands and offered Angela Spinnet the chance to play for the Gryffindor team, the incensed girl spit in his face. The words between the girl and disappointed boy grew loud, and a fight broke out in the stands between Angela's parents and Molly Weasley that provided many minutes of entertainment for the students and their parents.
Finally, Minerva McGonagall stuck Molly to her seat with charms and Filius Flitwick held onto the witch's wand for the rest of the game. Angela and her parents left the stadium to cheers from the students and parents of the other houses. To continue the game, Oliver Wood left his position as blocker to play the third chaser and Ron Weasley flew in as reserve blocker. The Ravenclaw team discovered that Ron couldn't block any shot and began running up the score. With each Ravenclaw score, the students in the stand began raising their right arm and shouting 'Reward!' whenever the quaffle came close to Ron.
Parents in the stands didn't understand the gesture and shout until their children explained; when they noticed that the assistant headmistress refused to make the students cease, the parents joined the children in jeering the reserve blocker.
While the Gryffindor beaters and chasers tried to limit the Ravenclaw team's runaway, Oliver Wood despaired of his changes of having a professional career.
Theodore watched the Gryffindor seeker chase the Ravenclaw seeker about the pitch but it didn't appear that the girl ever saw the snitch. He noticed that his daughter and her friends didn't have any sympathy for the Gryffindor players.
The game would finally end with the score 420 to 30. When the game became an apparent run-away, despite the yells and screams of Molly Weasley for the Ravenclaw team to let her daughter catch the snitch, and to allow her son to block the quaffle, Abbot slipped away with his daughter and returned to the castle to meet Harry Potter.
After introductions, the teenager took the man into the Chamber of Secrets and Abbot was overwhelmed by the size of the creature. He pulled out a wizard's camera to make several pictures, making Harry stand next to the head of the creature to capture its size.
"How did you kill this monster?" he asked pointedly. "You're a kid and I don't know of a single wizard who could…"
"Dobby!" Harry called. The little elf appeared and was immediately dispatched to 'borrow' a pensive. When the elf returned with the pensive from the headmaster's quarters, Harry was pleased when Fawkes and the Sorting Hat appeared.
"Hello Fawkes," Harry said to the phoenix after it dropped the hat on Harry's head.
"Theodore Abbot," the hat said. "I remember you from 1957."
"Good afternoon, Sorting Hat," Abbot replied though he kept his eyes on the phoenix.
"Shall I place the memory into the pensive?" asked Harry. Abbot nodded and after Harry pulled the silvery string from his mind and placed it into the pensive, Abbot 'fell in', emerging many minutes later.
"Forgive me for doubting you Mr. Potter."
Now Harry grinned and said, "My life was too exciting when I was interesting. Can you harvest this carcass and sell it?"
"I have the wizards and elves needed to properly harvest the carcass, Mr. Potter," Abbot explained. "I can store it in my warehouse but we have to be very careful with basilisk; the carcass is very toxic."
"How do we sell it?"
Abbot frowned before admitting, "The best way is to use the goblins at Gringotts. They are not cheap but no one will steal from us with the goblins involved… all payments will be in good coin."
"Will we make a lot of money?"
"Yes, millions of Galleons," Abbot admitted. "Could we… would you allow me to make another picture of you with the phoenix and the Sorting Hat beside the basilisk?"
"I'll help anyway I can," Harry said.
The sorting hat said, "Mr. Potter, reach your hand inside my brim once again."
Taking off the hat, Harry drew Gryffindor's sword once again and under Abbot's direction, posed with the sword held upright, the phoenix on his shoulder and the hat upon his head. If they used the photo to announce the sale, there'd be interest from across the globe.
"And how would you like to split the proceeds?" Abbot asked.
"How about thirds?" Harry asked. Seeing the question on the wizard's face, he explained, "One third for Hogwarts, one third for you and one third for me."
Abbot grinned and replied, "Gringotts and the Wizegamot would take my head if I attempted to take advantage of you with such an arrangement."
"What would be better?" asked the boy. "I don't know how things work in wizard society."
"A portion for Hogwarts is a great idea. We'll need to give a small portion to Gringotts and I should get the same amount as the bank; we're supplying services," Abbot explained. "And the Goblins will want to bargain; we need to start small but set an upper limit."
"What do you suggest?"
"We start at 5% and go up to 10% each for the goblins and me," Abbot explained.
Nodding, Harry decided, "I'll give 50% to Hogwarts."
Nodding Theo Abbot said, "Now, let's not share our news with anyone until I can make the arrangements with Gringotts and my teams. We will harvest the beast during the Yule Holidays when there are few students here."
"Do I need to be here every day?"
"No, just the first day to open the door. After that, I'll use portkeys to bring my crew into this chamber each day."Scene Break: Hogwarts Soul Jars (Mon 25 Oct 1993)
Among the parliament of owls delivering the morning mail and newspapers, the solitary black raven slipped into Hogwarts with a letter for Harry Potter. Instead of bacon, Harry drew a silver ring from his pocket to pay the bird. The raven's black eyes glittered with delight at the shiny object. Grabbing the ring with his beak, the raven flew up into the rafters to secure it on his leg.
Hedwig chortled happily at Harry's side; the raven didn't get any of 'her' bacon this morning. Slipping the letter into his pocket, Harry continued reading the Daily Prophet and talking with Neville. None of the teachers appeared to care that the raven returned and the students ignored Harry.
Luna joined them for a few moments to whisper, "We need to meet on the seventh floor at 2:00 PM. There at the tapestry of the trolls learning to dance ballet. Bring Dobby and Kreature."
Harry and Neville both nodded before the Ravenclaw slipped away, melting into the crowd headed for their first classes.
"Luna is unique," Neville observed.
Harry grinned, "She really likes you Neville."
"Really?" asked the other boy.
At the appointed time, the two boys arrived on the seventh floor and waited in front of the tapestry. Luna hurried down the hallway and then turned around to pace back and forth three times before a door appeared.
"Gentlemen and elves, this is the Room of Requirement," Luna said as the boys stared in amazement and Harry's two elves appeared beside them.
"Miss Sees-alls knows Come-and-Go Room!" announced Dobby.
"Now, inside quickly…inside…" Luna insisted. The group of friends disappeared into the Room of Requirement and the door vanished just before Ron Weasley ran up the hallway, hopeful of tormenting the squib Longbottom, Loony Lovegood, or mudblood Potter. He knew they were responsible for Ginny taking Scabbers and he would make them pay. Somehow, Ron would make Potter pay for his hand burning and the school jeering him in the quidditch match.
"What is this place?" asked Neville inside the room.
"It be the place Hogwarts keeps all the lost items and discards. Old clothing, lost purses, tossed school books, cracked potion bottles…" Dobby explained, very clearly for once.
"But it also becomes whatever you need the room to be," Luna added as the room morphed into a comfortable sitting room with a fireplace, desks, and a buffet that the two elves soon filled with drink and treats for an afternoon tea.
"Now, read your letter from your friend in Azkaban," Luna told Harry as she led Neville to the buffet.
Opening the letter, Harry caught the locket that was magically hidden inside the parchment. He held the artefact up in the light and recognized it as Salazar's locket, an item of great significance to the Slytherins.
Harry read the letter carefully before he called Dobby. When both of his elves appeared, he asked, "Can you bring a picture frame here and ask Grandfather Phineas to join us please?"
The younger elf nodded at Kreature who ran through a door that appeared at the back of the room. Dobby popped from the room to visit the headmaster's office and speak with Phineas Black. The Black family elf returned with a portrait frame and placed it on the floor before enlarging it to be the size of a grown wizard. Then Dobby popped back into the room just as the portrait of Phineas Black stepped into the frame.
"Good day, Grandfather," Harry called in greeting as Neville rose to bow and Luna rose to curtsey. The portrait appeared surprized to receive such courtesies, but he returned the bow, then waited for his grandson to step closer and explain the reason for the meeting.
"I have received another letter from the dementors," Harry explained as Neville choked on his tea.
Luna patted the boy's back to relieve the choking and she whispered, "This is the moment when you decide if you stand with Harry or not. This determines the course of your life, Neville Longbottom."
The Longbottom heir nodded his understanding, and didn't hesitate to move and stand beside Harry Potter while Luna moved to Harry's other side.
"May I read the letter?" asked Phineas and Harry handed it to Kreature to levitate in front of the portrait. "A little closer Kreature. My eyes are not…"
Without prompting from any wizard, the elf enlarged the letter and moved it closer while Dobby brightened the overhead light for the dead headmaster.
To Harry Potter in Hogwarts.
We kissed the Gaunt Family ring of Dark Lord Tom Riddle. The ring remains hidden in the shack for we have no use for the magic it promised. We offer the Locket of Salazar Slytherin as a token of good-faith in our partnership to remove the last soul jars of Tom Riddle from the world.
Send us the Diadem of Ravenclaw and the Diary of Tom Riddle that you report are hidden in the depths of Hogwarts.
If you fail to send those items, we shall invade the castle and take them and as many souls as we wish.
Ooglaborn, Dementor at Azkaban
"Short and to the point," Phineas said. "Did they send the locket?"
"Yes, this is Slytherin's locket," Harry admitted as he held up the fancy locket. "As a parselmouth, I can use it to perform powerful healing spells; I suppose that is why Tom Riddle hid it away. He hated to discover that Salazar Slytherin was more interested in healing rather than battle or conquest."
"Harry, can you find this diadem and diary?" asked Neville.
"If he can't, I shall rally the portraits and force Dumbledore to evacuate the school immediately," Phineas stated. "Then the dementors can come…"
"I know where both soul jars are located," Harry replied.
"Where?" asked Phineas and Neville simultaneously making Luna giggle.
"My elf has the diary," Harry said before turning to his elf. "Dobby, can I have that diary back?"
"Yes, Mr. Harrys Potters," the bubbly elf replied before popping away and then back with the ruined diary. The hole in the cover from the stabbing with the basilisk fang was evident for everyone to see.
"Will the dementors be angry that the soul jar has been destroyed…killed?" asked Neville. He stepped closer and moved to touch the book, glancing at Harry for permission.
"Go ahead Nev," Harry said. "Dobby cleaned it up the same day I left it with him."
Luna would not come closer and explained, "There's the smallest bit of Tom left in the book. It would give Ginny nightmares if she touched it."
"And the dementors?"
"A little snack," she replied.
Phineas cleared his throat, "And the Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw? It's been lost for centuries."
"Tom Riddle found it in the early 50s while traveling in Germany. Rather than using it to heighten his intelligence, he created another soul jar. When he applied to teach the DADA class, he hid the diadem here at Hogwarts. That was the day he cursed the position of DADA professor because Dumbledore would not hire him."
"Professor Lupin is a good teacher," Neville said. "Can we break that curse and keep him for more than one year? Oliver Wood said Lupin is the best teacher he's had in seven years here at Hogwarts."
"And the other?" Phineas asked.
"It's here in the Room of Requirement," Harry explained. "Is that why you brought us here today, Luna?"
The girl shrugged, "I didn't know about the pretty headgear for ladies being here, but today felt like a good day to visit here."
Harry nodded, "Let's find Rowena's Diadem and see if the DADA curse is connected to the soul jar."Scene Break: Kissing the Diadem (28 Oct 1993)
The weather was bitterly cold, with a blowing rain – Ooglaborn ignored the storm as he floated above the tiled roof of Azkaban Prison. The ancient tiles would crumble and collapse if an Auror were to step out on the roof but the dementors floated above the roof. Here Ooglaborn could speak freely with the other dementors without fear of the Aurors hearing their conversation. At the edge of the roof, a familiar house elf appeared with a loud pop to stand on a large stone block.
[Greetings Kreature. What have you brought me?]
The elf bowed before offering the package. "Mr. Harry Potter-Black tells Kreature to brings Mighty Ooglaborn two soul jars hiddens at Hoggiewarts. My Heir Black founds and sends the book of Tom Riddles and the headdress of Ravensclaw. Potter-Blacks says thank you for the locket and news of the rings great dementors kissed."
[Excellent! I shall call dementors now!] Ooglaborn announced. [Begone Kreature! Tell the great Boy-Who-Was-Kissed that I shall send news.]
Kreature popped away to begin the series of jumps to return to Hogwarts. Being bonded with Harry Potter had strengthened the old elf but he still made his journey in steps rather than 'popping' long distances.
At Azkaban, Ooglaborn called two dementors from the hallways to the roof. There, the dementor leader handed the diary to the strongest of the two arrivals. The dementor kissed the diary quickly but the miniscule remnant of the soul contained in the book did not allow the dementor to awaken. Ooglaborn handed the diadem to the same dementor who brought the soul jar to his lips. The kiss was completed quickly and the creature began an immediate conversation with Ooglaborn as they planned how to get the next soul jar from Bellatrix LeStrange.Scene Break: Kissing Bellatrix (Sat 30 Oct 1993)
The halls of Azkaban are never quiet; some prisoner screamed or cried at all hours of the day and night. On the last Saturday in the month, the Aurors noted the silence that fell across the prison in the middle of the afternoon. A phalanx of dementors floated along the hallways, and it appeared that the creatures cast silencing spells on the cells.
The dementors blocked off the hallway to the cells holding the imprisoned Death Eaters and refused to budge when Aurors wearing the charmed objects of control attempted to force the creatures to return to their duties and assigned positions.
The warden of Azkaban sent his patronus to Amelia Bones with the news and requesting additional support to deal with the dementors. The first screams began shortly after the patronus left for London. The screams were from a man and the noise continued for ten minutes before suddenly cutting off. Then a second man's screams began, and the noise continued for ten minutes before cutting off again. After the second man's screams faded away, there was a pause of a few minutes, before a woman began screaming.
"There are only three prisoners down that hall," the warden told the Unspeakable who arrived to investigate the behaviour of the dementors.
"The LeStrange brothers and Bellatrix," the warden answered as the screams of the woman began once more.
Bellatrix kept her eyes on the creatures floating outside her cell. Minutes before, she listened to the screams of her brother-in-law and then her husband as the dementors kissed the two wizards in their cells. When the dementors appeared outside her door, she hissed her defiance at them, looking for the Auror who opened the other cells.
She would curse the Auror before the dementors kissed her but there wasn't a Auror; thinking she was safe, Bella jeered, "You can't get in! You can't get in! Ha! Ha!"
But the lock clicked and the door opened slowly; six of the shrouded creatures floated into the small, cold room made of stone. Somehow the dementors had learned how to open the locks to the cell doors.
[Where is the soul jar?] came the raspy voice of the tallest dementor as it grabbed her, lifting her from her knees as if she weighed nothing.
Hearing a dementor speak froze Bellatrix LeStrange. When she didn't make any response, Ooglaborn shook her and demanded again, [Where is the soul jar?]
"What?" she asked beginning to overcome her fear but still not understanding the question.
[The treasure of your Dark Lord,] the dementor said. [The cup of Hufflepuff that the mudblood wizard Tom Riddle left with you.]
"No! The Dark Lord is not a mudblood!"
[Voldemort is a mudblood! And I want… we will have his soul jar!]
"I won't tell! I won't tell!" the insane witch sobbed with a sing-song insanity. A different dementor grabbed Bellatrix and kissed her, pulling out a portion of her soul, ripping it from her form. The agony surpassed anything the crazed witch experienced as a follower of the Dark Lord but the dementor merely ripped off a portion of her soul and left the witch in agony.
[Where is the soul jar that your Dark Lord left with you? Where is it?] demanded Ooglaborn once again. [You kissed the hem of the robes of a mudblood!]
"The Dark Lord is pure!" Bellatrix shouted in denial.
The dementor laughed, [His father was muggle and his mother was squib.]
[Kiss her,] the dementor ordered a second dementor. The creature floated across the cell and Bellatrix flailed ineffectually against the creature that once again lifted her from the floor. Long bony hands reached for her face and tilted it up, grey lips quivering, growing closer.
"No! Stop!" she demanded but the kiss once again ripped away another portion of her soul, leaving her in agony and tears.
The second dementor floated away and shook itself, before speaking, [Ooglaborn, I am awake!]
[Where is the cup, witch?] Ooglaborn asked. [I promise the mudblood will die.]
A third dementor floated close and Bellatrix feebly pulled against the arms holding her in place.
[Where?] the dementor demanded to know, as a third dementor waited to kiss her.
"In my vault in Gringotts. The vault key is in my pocket!" Bellatrix screamed. "Take it! Kiss the cup!"
Ooglaborn summoned the key from the witch's robes and then he motioned the third dementor forward.
"No, I gave you want you wanted…" Bellatrix replied. "Leave me my soul!"
[No, your soul is too delicious,] the second dementor replied. [My brother will kiss you and awaken!]
"No!" she protested but the dementor's hands were already lifting her head, the grey lips quivering as they closed over Bellatrix's face, the last thing she ever saw being the grey lips opening over her mouth for the third time.
The screams were more frantic this time but didn't last long. Once silence returned to this grimy hallway in Azkaban, the dementors floated away leaving three bodies behind that would cease to breathe shortly; without a soul, the body dies quickly.
The Unspeakable examined the bodies briefly, noting burns around the mouth of each of the three victims. He told the warden, "It appears that each prisoner was kissed three times."
"What does that mean?"
The red robed wizard shook his head, "I have no idea. But I'll report the news to the Department of Mysteries."
"Report that the dementors don't respond to the control charms any longer!" the warden said with a frown. "We will pull back from all the corridors where dementors patrol. My men will not be kissed!"Contents
Scene Break: Kissing a Scar (Wed 1 Sept 1993) 1
Scene Break: No Longer of Interest (2-7 Sept 1993) 12
Scene Break: Searching a Cave (Monday 13 Sept 1993) 16
Scene Break: Family Information 21
Scene Break: Kissing Walburga and a Locket (Tues 28 Sept 1993) 25
Scene Break: Phineas Black's Plans 29
Scene Break: Kissing a Ring (6 Oct 1993) 32
Scene Break: Quidditch Woes 35
Scene Break: Harry Shows Draco How to Fly 45
Scene Break: The Potter Vault 49
Scene Break: Harry Rescues Sirius Black 55
Scene Break: Thieves and Murderers 60
Scene Break: Bad Quidditch and Big Basilisk 65
Scene Break: Hogwarts Soul Jars (Mon 25 Oct 1993) 68
Scene Break: Kissing the Diadem (28 Oct 1993) 72
Scene Break: Kissing Bellatrix (Sat 30 Oct 1993) 73