23.

Harry stared at the man for a few moments and returned his gaze to the Wizengamot. The same as before, and he waited. The beginning procedures passed and then Dumbledore asked Sirius, "Mr. Black, you claim to have custody of Harry James Potter?"

"Wyllt," Harry interrupted quietly, making everyone in the room look at him.

"I'm sorry?" Dumbledore asked, peering at the boy.

Harry looked up, emerald green eyes defiant as he quickly figured out a loophole in the argument before it even began. "You said Harry James Potter. You left out Wyllt. My name is Harry James Potter-Wyllt, sir. It's hyphenated. If you want to claim that I'm under Mr. Black's care, perhaps you should specify the right person. Harry James Potter is not an independent adult. Harry James Potter-Wyllt is."

Sirius looked at Harry and back at Dumbledore, "Nobody told me Harry was an independent adult." He looked confused and angry.

Harry looked at him and spoke directly to him, "They didn't?"

"No. They said you had gone missing. Letters I sent to you returned, and nobody could could in touch with you via floo powder," Sirius said, thinking. "But if you changed your last name, that'd account for it." Sirius looked at Lupin, who was obviously pondering this situation.

"I didn't know you had changed your surname," Lupin murmured. "Nobody informed us."

Harry looked at the Wizengamot, as did Sirius, both obviously irritated. "So my godson's independent and you drag him back here for this? Why didn't anyone just tell me?"

"I'm curious about that myself," Harry said, raising an eyebrow and looking right at Dumbledore.

"The Wizengamot is not responsible--" Dumbledore began.

Sirius exploded, "That's bull and you know it! Your Wizengamot damned me for years to rot without a trial, you'd think you'd learn common sense by now! 'Oh Mr. Black, Harry's a legal adult, no need for court, here's how to get in touch with him.' That's it! Took me all of five seconds to say!"

The members of the Wizengamot began murmuring to each other, obviously uncomfortable with the statement. Harry, recognizing an ally when he saw one, said, "Look, for any questions in the future, just tell them, all right? Come on, Mr. Black, let's grab something to eat."

"Way ahead of you. Come on Remus." The three left the session, Sirius fuming and ranting about the idiots in the Ministry and the Wizengamot the entire time as they went to a small restaurant. Harry repressed his amusement and shared looks with Lupin. Who was the young one here?

They were partway through their meal when a Ministry wizard entered the restaurant, dressed in a Muggle suit. "I'm sorry to intrude, sirs," he said. "Lord Wyllt, the plans you have drawn up seem feasible and I understand you've begun to build the structures?"

"I have," Harry said. "Has anything changed?"

"No sir," the Ministry wizard said. "Will you be opening this September, as scheduled?"

"Yes," Harry said, not seeing Sirius and Lupin staring at him. The way he looked, the way he sat... this wasn't the Harry Potter they expected. This wasn't the son of James and Lily, the little baby who would giggle and coo and laugh and play. This was a young man, older than his years and... he didn't give off the aura of a boy. He gave off the aura of a... well, of every expectation people had of a Lord. Someone to look up to, who had answers and solved problems, who fought for his people and himself...

Lupin looked at Harry—really looked, forcing himself to see past the few times he had had the boy in class, forcing himself to see past the fact that he was the son of James and Lily. And for the first time, Lupin realized that this young man... was no longer that person. Oh, biologically he was their son , and perhaps his ardent attitude in helping those in need came from them, but other than that, he was... well, he was Wyllt. Lord Wyllt was what people called him, and Lupin was beginning to see why. He looked at Sirius and was surprised—the black-haired man seemed to have already moved on... having already accepted the fact that Harry was his own person, not a clone of their friends.

It surprised Lupin, that sometimes Sirius could be worlds wiser than he.

"Are they giving you trouble?" Sirius asked Harry when the Ministry wizard left. "The Ministry's keen to be on my good side after what happened. I can twist it."

Harry smirked, "You know, I want to be proud and say I can handle it, but honestly, any help I can get, I'll take. What do you have in mind?"

"I'll speak out in an interview or something, explain how proud I am..." the two began making plans about what to do, as if they had known each other for ages.

Oh dear, it's infected both of them! Lupin stared at Sirius—of all the things he expected, Sirius helping Harry twist things like this? What was going on? Was he the only one not in on whatever Harry was planning? What was Harry up to? Lupin had heard the whispers among the nonhumans, about the Lord Wyllt changing things. He had heard the whispers from the Ministry about Wyllt interfering, changing things, and some people liked it, others didn't, of course.

"I'll see you later, then, Sirius. Thanks." Harry stood up, and the two shook hands.

"Any time. If I had been here..." The man gritted his teeth and let out a low growl, "I'm impulsive and an idiot, I know, and I'm sorry you suffered because of it."

Was this the same Sirius Black? Lupin stared in disbelief at his friend.

"That was the past," Harry said quietly. "We need to worry about the present and the future."

"Then I'll talk to you later. Ready to go, Moony?" Sirius looked at his friend.

"Y-yeah..." he stood up and watched Harry go, and looked at Sirius, who looked back at his friend.

"Everything all right, Remus?" Sirius inquired, seeing the other man staring at him.

Lupin slowly nodded and finally said, "You're being awfully... calm about all of this."

Sirius laughed, not one of amusement though, and said, "I want to rip apart everyone and everything that's ever hurt my godson. I want to scream, rant, and rage at the Ministry... you can't imagine how I feel, because I can't even describe it. But when I followed my impulses last time, I ended up in Azkaban, Harry ended up with relatives who hate him and being taken from guardians that loved him. He ended up with so much on his shoulders and I was treated worse than something people scrape off their shoes. So yes, I'm coping better than you thought, because giving into my impulses gave me nothing but grief and if learning a tiny bit of patience and waiting allow that to never happen again, then I'll learn it." Sirius looked at Lupin, "Let's go. You have Hogwarts to get back to and I've got things to get done before tomorrow."

Harry was thinking along the same lines as Sirius, working as frantically as ever. He had put out advertisements not only for a tutor, but for teachers, for wardens and groundskeepers and everything that he would need. With the Ministry wanting to keep Sirius happy, the man's input would be good, but Harry wanted advice from... well, he wanted advice from someone who had been doing the job for a while, in the modern times.

"Minerva McGonagall," he said to Merlin's Glass. Again, he saw her and Snape, talking—arguing? About chess? Harry shook his head, wondering if he'd ever understand those two, "Um, Professors?"

The two looked over and saw an image of Harry, both thrown off by it but not showing their confusion. Snape glanced at McGonagall, "I'll take my leave, then, Minerva."

"No!" Harry said, quickly, making both of them look. "Please, Professor, don't. I'd like both of your opinions."

The two shared looks and waited for Harry to speak. So the boy told them of his worries, of his concerns and how he needed advice. The two just sat and listened. Finally, Harry finished, breathing heavily as he did so.

McGonagall said quietly, "Teachers are always available—I'm sure many students who graduated recently will reply to you soon, if you're willing to accept new people and help them." She smiled, "I can give you a few names of former students who were good at explaining different subjects to others."

"You might also want to look at the first year cirriculum here," Snape murmured, "And base things off of that and off of Muggle primary schools—they've already accomplished teaching young children the basics. Many times students here are at a loss when trying to think of a good cover or blend in—teach both worlds to them."

"Where would I find this information?" Harry inquired.

"Libraries, different places. You went to a Muggle primary school, didn't you?" Snape smirked and Harry forced himself to not roll his eyes.

Harry listened to their advice, glad of it, and he took down the names that they recommended for him. After thanking both of them, he let them go back to their talking. He wanted to talk to Tobias or someone, but he knew that he had to do other things, like find a library to get a computer and look up information about schooling.

The next few weeks flew by, but Harry had gotten responses to his job offers, had gotten the building structures for the orphanage and school set up, and had managed to talk to Tobias, who promised to pass his greetings to Helena and Edward.

Sirius had helped too, supporting Harry vocally and actively challenging the "traditionalists," as he had dubbed them. Harry was glad—Sirius had enough pent-up energy to go after them. The Wizengamot did not like the man, the boy was sure, but he didn't care. Anyone who went after Harry for breaking "centuries of custom," was shamed into ridicule. Sirius had the family history to back him up and he had reasoning behind it as well. Added to the fact that many of the younger-Slytherins had quietly backed Harry up led to silence from most of the "traditionalists."

Harry knew he couldn't go back, he could only go forward. And move he did, getting information about children who were in orphanages or with relatives that had magic, about squibs and magical creatures... everything that the Ministry would know and have access to. It was interesting how fast "Lord Wyllt" could change things when the non-humans threw their support behind him.

The twins had written to him as well, and Harry finally had a chance to reply, stating how busy he had been and the like. Apparently, Ron and Hermione had had a falling out, but Harry couldn't bring himself to care too much. People told him he was working himself too hard, but Harry knew he only had a little bit of time.

But finally, as summer came to an end, he was ready. Cafell Orphanage and Cafell Academy were both standing. Children already were at the orphanage, infants and young children that Harry couldn't believe would be abandoned. The Academy had many students registered, including non-humans and Muggleborns.

"So ye art ready?" Rowena asked him through the glass as September first approached.

Harry nodded, dressed nicely, "Yeah, I'm ready. I'm Lord Wyllt after all." They both chuckled at the title and he stood, nervous. "I want it to last as long as Hogwarts," Harry admitted to her.

"I do not," she said quietly. As Harry gaped, she smiled and said, "I want it to last longer."

Harry grinned, "No reason why they can't both survive." He blew her a kiss, "Take care Rowena."

"And ye as well, my son." The two left and Harry went to greet his students, along with the members of the faculty. He was pleased—they respected him despite the fact that they were all older than him.

Months went by, Harry busy with headmaster duties at his school, along with being taught by a tutor he had found from Greece. He smiled as he completed his paperwork; his tutor was still alive and kicking, despite hemlock rumors to the contrary.

He had his school and orphanage to run and his own lessons to complete. Sirius handled the Ministry, usually, and anyone else who tried to bother Harry, Lupin helping the man. The twins handled most of the complaints from Hogwarts students and others stupid enough to say things in front of them. McGonagall and Snape helped Harry too, though Snape would never admit it, which amused the boy. The two had, nicely, told Dumbledore to back off after he had bothered Harry through the fireplace for the umpteenth time.

Everything was going well, and there was going to be a Halloween party for the children and their families. Harry stood up to go to it, decked out in his costume of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, when the fireplace lit up, causing him to pause and turn.

"Harry Potter?" A man—he recognized Ludo Bagman from the Ministry—was staring at him. A group of people, some Harry had never seen before, others that he had, staring at him.

"Yes?" Harry asked, obviously thrown off by this.

McGonagall and Snape looked at him, "Did you put your name into the Goblet, Potter?" Snape snapped.

"Into the what?" Harry looked at the group of adults, "What are you talking about?"

At the looks exchanged by all of the adults, Harry knew he wasn't going to like whatever they were going to tell him. And for some reason, he knew it was going to drastically affect his life. And Harry knew that all he could do was wait for however long it would take, test his newfound patience, and see what this new arc of his life was going to bring.

A/N: The tag doesn't lie, story's complete. As for the open-endedness... well, I'll let you good folks decide if I write a follow-up ;)
Later and thanks for reading and reviewing!