Muggleville by Jan AQ
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all other known characters and places in the Harry Potter world belong to J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, Warner Bros, and Bloomsbury. The story and original characters belong to me.
Author Summary: To protect Harry and another character from Voldemort this summer, they are sent away in hiding until the school year starts. How are they going to hide? As Muggles of course! The Professor of Muggle Studies is along for the ride to round out a family and to make sure that they fit in Muggle Society. Too bad that the things Wizards know about Muggles is slightly off. Harry is deaged to 6 years old. The Muggle Studies Professor thinks that they should spoil Harry. The other thinks that they should shove him in a recycling bin. Harry is enrolled in a year round school. How will they ever make it through the summer?
If it is ever successfully Brit picked, hopefully this piece will also humorously highlight the differences between the British and American cultures and languages. Hopefully it will also help introduce and explain British things, names and sayings to Americans (including myself) so that they will not be as clueless the next time they see them. Alas, I have probably only managed to glamourize my own lack of understanding of British culture. But I suppose that anyone 'strictly' British will not wish to read this anyway since the characters will be going to America, so I'm relativly safe. Biscuit anyone?
If ever this story is down, you can find it on Potions and Snitches.
Chapter 1: The Situation
Dumbledore glided through the early afternoon school corridors, his feet landing softly on the stone hallways. A plan was developing in his mind. Early this morning, Harry Potter's home had been attacked by Death Eaters. Luckily, the Order members on duty at the time were able to whisk Harry away before he knew what was going on and bring him to the school. Dumbledore was not willing to risk the chance that Harry's heroic impulses had not been quelled after the latest confrontation with Voldemort, and so the most trusted members were all under Orders to bring Harry to Hogwarts if there were any possibilities of an attack on his residence on Privet Drive.
And indeed there had been. A hastily scribbled note owled to him in the early hours of the morning had warned him of the attack and he had seen that extra Order Members went to watch over Harry right then and there. Up until this morning, the summer had been very low-key and uneventful. A planning summer for Voldemort, and thanks to the intelligence gained from agents in Riddle's inner circle, the Order knew much of his plans for the coming years. Yet, the Order was not completely free of spies either. For some time now, they had been suspicious of a leak in the Order and with the attack on Harry's hidden residence it had just been proven. Order Headquarters was no longer safe.
He thought back to the events that had taken place that morning. At exactly 5:04 am, a constringent of Death Eaters had apparated outside of Privet Drive. Hearing the 'Pops', Auror Tonks had managed to climb up to Harry's second floor bedroom window with assistance and portkeyed with Harry to the gates of Hogwarts just as the first curses had started to fly. It had been a close call. Dumbledore did not wish for Harry to be in any more conflicts in the war until he was ready for the last deciding one.
When all the smoke had cleared from the scuffle, the Ministry Aurors and various Order Members had managed to capture four more Death Eaters and severely injured several others. This small victory was heightened when it was discovered that the Death Eater that Remus Lupin had gone after and incapacitated was one Peter Pettigrew. Dumbledore was glad that Remus was the one to finally apprehend him and gain closure to Sirius' innocence. Unfortunately, not everything had gone as smoothly.
When the ministry officials had unmasked the captured Death Eaters, they had unmasked an unconscious Severus Snape.
Coming out of his musings, Dumbledore found himself in front of the Hospital Wing doors and readied himself for the conversation that was to follow.
He pushed open the doors and entered. The first thing he saw was Remus, bloody and sitting on a Hospital bed as Madame Pomfrey worked on his arm. To the right, down the middle of the large hall was Alastor Moody, his back pressed against the wall. Dumbledore could feel his magical eye looking at him from here. And on the left side of the hall, the young man of his thoughts was huddled on the second bed from the end. He appeared to be focused on his schoolwork spread out before him, but like Moody's magical eye, Dumbledore could feel Harry's attention discretely focused on him from the distance.
He gave a subtle sigh and decided to check on the injured party before addressing Harry. It would be best to focus on the boy with no other distractions. Earlier, when Pettigrew's capture was reported to him, he had been told that Remus had been injured but he was not told how badly. Now worried at all the blood, he now worked his way over to them.
Remus had a pinched look on his face as Pomfrey worked around him. Upon closer inspection, Dumbledore was able see that the left sleeve of his robes had been torn completely off and long scratches marred his arm bloody. Immediately alarmed at what this could mean for someone with lycanthropy who had just captured a man with a silver hand, Dumbledore was unable to hold back a gasp of alarm.
Madame Pomfrey came to the rescue with a professional explanation as usual. "Not to worry Headmaster, he'll be alright. The majority of the blood is from a cutting hex, although he was slightly scratched across the cheek with some silver." The nurse finished dressing the wounds on his arm before addressing both of them. "It wasn't life threatening, but it will leave a scar and he'll be a bit weak for a few days."
The nurse turned Remus' face to the side to inspect her handiwork and Dumbledore caught sight of jagged cut slightly shorter than the length of a pinky finger. Small strips of medical tape crossed it and Dumbledore could see a greenish tint to the wound beneath them. His eyes roved over Remus' face and met two tired amber ones. He could fathom some of the emotions the man must be feeling now. He had just captured the traitor who had ruined all of his friends' lives. A traitor with whom he had been friends with once and grieved. Now he was all alone.
"Now Dearie, you shouldn't try to talk just yet. It would put stress on the wound."
Remus blinked his acceptance of her instructions and she bustled around packing her medical instruments.
"Albus, I would like to keep him here at least overnight. He's lost quite a bit of blood and I'm afraid of complications from the silver."
"Of course. Remus you may stay as long as you need." He was suddenly reminded of what he had said in front of Harry some years ago, Hogwarts will always be a sanctuary for those in time of need. He refrained from voicing it out loud, knowing that the boy was listening. He was unwilling to do anything that might anger him further and a statement like that after denying the boy sanctuary every summer would be unkind. Unforgivable.
Remus allowed the nurse to tuck him in bed, and Albus barely managed to hold back his hand from soothing out the worn and drawn out look on the man's face. "Rest well, my boy. I'll come to see you in the morning."
A barely perceptible nod and Remus closed his eyes to rest. It was now time to talk to Harry. He mentally prepared himself to speak with the boy. They had left each other on uncertain terms at the end of the school year, and Dumbledore was unsure whether he would be met with anger, indifference, or acceptance. He hoped that it wasn't the first one but prepared himself for it nonetheless.
As he passed Alastor, his old comrade nodded slightly at him and silently excused himself further away down the large hospital hall. Harry was seated on a bed, his eyes fixed steadfastly on the work spread out in front of him. A quill was spun idly in his right hand. He must have been waiting here a long time and gotten someone to bring him books from the library. He really did not know if anyone had gathered the boy's things from Privet Drive yet. He felt a pang of guilt from neglecting Harry until now, but knew that he had truly been unable to come earlier. It had been a very busy day from all the eventful occurrences and unfortunately he had had more pressing business than seeing to a fifteen year old boy.
As he approached the bed, the boy from his thoughts looked up and regarded him with a blank expression.
He conjured up a flowered armchair and sat down next to the bed. "Might I ask how you are doing, Harry?"
"Fine, Sir." A pause. "Better." The boy looked down at his quill. "Is Sirius cleared now?"
Dumbledore was only happy to follow this line of questioning. "Yes. They decided to go through all the evidence in a trial this morning. Sirius was found innocent and The Ministry has petitioned to award him First Class Order of Merlin post-humously for his efforts in the war against Voldemort."
"I'm afraid that he did not survive capture." And leave it at that.
"Oh." A silence reigned before, "Will I have to go back to the Dursleys'?"
He felt a weight on his chest. Not this year. "No. I feel that it would be quite unwise to leave you in their care when Voldemort has just discovered their location." There was no change in the boy's expression. He decided to confide in him. "In fact, I find myself at a bit of a problem. Harry, I will not lie to you. It is now positive that we have a leak in the Order."
The boy turned to regard him.
He looked at him gravely. "Yes, this last attack proved it. After the encounter last summer orchestrated by a Ministry official, we made sure that your location this summer was only known by Order Members.
"But now it is clear that Order Headquarters is no longer safe for you, and all the Order Members are in greater danger. It is uncertain which of those who had been silent members of the organization have now lost their hidden identities." Silently, he studied the boy's grave countenance. "Harry, I know that you would like to spend the summer with the Weasley's but now that Molly and Arthur's positions may be disclosed, I fear that placing you with them would gather notice and endanger their family more than they already have."
Harry looked withdrawn before his face gave a glimmer of hope. Dumbledore forced the next sentence out.
"I am sorry to say that Hogwarts is not an option either. Besides the school rules that do not allow students to stay over the summer, there are also more practical reasons why you cannot stay here. During this time of year, the wards are usually dropped and strengthened in increments and there also is the danger of unexpected visitors or an attack from Voldemort while we are understaffed."
Harry was looking down at his quill again. "I have no where else to go."
Dumbledore leaned forward suddenly. "Harry, I will always have some place for you to go." He shut his eyes briefly. "Please understand that for as many mistakes that I have made, I have always had your best interests in mind. I've always tried to give you as much as I could."
There was a long moment of silence.
Harry shut his own eyes and gently exhaled. "It's ok." He placed the quill down. "I've talked to some Order Members. I think I understand it better now."
Dumbledore felt somewhat elated knowing that Harry was able to trust him a little again. Harry might even forgive him in time. He didn't deserve it but even now it frustrated him that he still was unable to come up with anywhere else he could have left the boy all those years ago. Leaving him with blood relatives on his Mother's side was not only essential to sustain the blood protection Lily had left him, it also kept the Boy Who Lived from becoming a ward of the inept Ministry. He himself had no legal claims to the boy and if he had tried to hide him away all those nights ago, it was inevitable that at some point he and anyone involved would have been caught and punished, and Harry would have been made a ward of the Ministry anyway. The side of the Light would not have been able to afford any such blows. At the time, it had been easy to make the decision. He had thought that the Dursleys would have at least cared for the boy. He deeply regretted his decision, yet even now could not come up with a better plan that would have been able to both maintain his influence on the Wizarding World as Hogwarts' sane Headmaster, and kept Harry safe from those who wished him mortal harm. The only positive thing from this situation was that Harry did not need to take the time or chance of reassuring his relatives of his well being every time he was whisked away in an emergency. They did not even have to ask for the Dursleys' permission for anything off the record since they didn't even care if Harry did anything dangerous and would not try to stop him from running off if they didn't have to see him again for awhile.
"Harry, I've come up with a plan for your safety for the rest of this summer, but I would like your agreement on it before it is put into action."
He waited until he had the boy's full undivided attention before continuing.
"I feel that the best course of action would be to hide you out of the continent with adult Wizards whom I trust to look after you."
"Out of the continent?"
"Yes, several Wizard embassies owe me some favours. Harry, how would you like to visit America?"
The boy blinked. "America? Well erm, I've never been outside the country before. Well except for Hogwarts, I think. Wouldn't it be hard to get there?"
"No, you would travel with your guardians the Muggle way. You could leave tonight. You would have to be deaged and pose as a Muggle family though Harry, to appear less suspicious."
"Wizards posing as Muggles? Wait, deaged?" He seemed to doubt the plan.
"Don't worry Harry. I'll find someone suitable for the job! As a child, you would be free to have a relaxing summer. And any minor mishaps could always be blamed on the cultural differences between the countries."
"Headmaster, I'm not sure that I like that deaged part. What does that mean? Won't I loose my memories?"
"Ah, you have nothing to worry about. I have managed to procure a rare deaging potion that allows one to retain their older memories, and most of their thought processes when they are deaged. They may seem a bit fuzzy, but in times of danger you will be able to think, reason, and act like you do now as a fifteen year old. You will still be able to use your magic as effectively as ever. The potion will simply make you look and be able to act like a child again."
Harry still seemed unsure but nodded his acceptance nevertheless.
"What about my connection to Voldemort?"
"Harry by now you should notice that the closer you are to Voldemort, the stronger the connection becomes. If we use reverse logic, then the farther away you are to him, the less you will be able to be affected by him. Where you are going should be far enough away that you will only feel a twinge from the most intense anger. You will able to have a free summer for once. A summer to enjoy."
He appeared to like that idea.
"Thank you for trusting me on this Harry." He stood up and banished the chair before checking a pocket watch from one of his pockets. "Ah, nearly time for tea. I'm sorry that I must leave you stranded here in the care of others but I have many things to take care of before tonight. I'll come down and get you after dinner." He gave the boy a careful smile. "Please stay put. I know that no one expects you to be here, but it's best to be careful in the meantime."
Harry looked a little glum at the prospect of staying in the infirmary for any amount of time under the watchful eyes of Mad-eye Moody, but managed a "Yes, Sir." before returning to his quill and his work.
Dumbledore turned and left the boy to his work. He passed a sleeping Remus, nodded in parting to Alastor, and then proceeded out the Hospital doors.
I will not fail you this time Harry. I will make sure that I find someone to spoil you and someone to protect you.
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