This fan fiction was written for entertainment purposes only. I have no claim to the works or characters created for the Harry Potter universe written by J.K. Rowling.

This story takes place just after Dumbledore's funeral. I try to keep it as much based on the original works as possible but the inconsistencies of the books sometimes make that problematic. This story was also well along the way before Deathly Hallows was released so anything in the seventh official book will have nothing to do with this story. Also, I haven't written anything longer than a letter in about thirty years so don't hang me out to dry for a few chapters. Once I finish the story, I plan to do a work-over of the whole thing to fix errors and tidy up a bit.

The Harry in my story has accepted his roll in the war against Voldemort and is actively trying to fight it. With the help of Hermione and Ron, he sets up the infrastructure and makes allies in pursuit of this. He also develops his magical abilities to a greater degree. With just a few exceptions, he does not become significantly more powerful than in the first six books but learns to harness it better. I do try to explain my reasons behind the actions and abilities of the Harry and the other characters during the story itself. Some of it is extrapolation of the original books and some of it is conjecture or logic. If you don't like my reasoning, I will still sleep at night. I might make an occasional comment at the end of a chapter but don't count on it. Some explanations might take a few or even several chapters to be fully realized so be patient.

This story spends a great deal of time on relationships and motivations. I like to get into why people act the way they do/did. This includes Voldemort and his Death Eaters. You'll see a lot of things from his point of view.

My story does correct one major plot failure in the original books. Actually, it's more of a correction to what was a minor subplot in the real books. Having Ginny get together with Harry and Ron end up with Hermione allowed an easy, feel-good epilog, but it really had little to do with the story. The various romances were never intended to have much to do with anything as far as the main story was concerned and almost all were based on jealousy, which isn't much to build on. From my perspective, Ginny is nice enough but Hermione is the girl for Harry. At the very least, she is NOT the girl for Ron and vice versa. The logical choice, as was almost achieved in the last book, was for Harry and Hermione to realize that they can always count on each other. Even when Ron left them, for a time, something I don't think he would have actually done, by the way, Hermione welcomed him back with open arms. Meanwhile, Ginny is virtually nonexistent until the very end, yet she still ends up with Harry. It just isn't that believable. If you can't accept that fact, don't read any further. I have seen fit to leave the beaten path of other H/Hr shippers by having both Ron and Ginny remain perfectly good characters who are able to actively contribute to the struggle against Voldemort so there is some good news there for the Ron and Ginny fans.

*** The story involves a rape scene and references to it in later chapters. It is not graphically depicted.

There will also be a student/teacher relationship. It isn't as shocking as a Minerva/Harry fling would be but something I think is more believable. ***

I began this story near the end of 2006 so the first 52 or so chapters were written before the last book came out. At the rate things are progressing, I will probably have about a hundred and thirty chapters at about 800,000 words.

Enjoy the trip.


P.s. I started with the name Harry Potter and the Story by Dad for lack of anything better. I will keep it that way.

Harry Potter and the Story by Dad

Chapter 1 - The Train Ride Home

June 9, 1997 - Around Noon

Harry Potter sat in his compartment on the Hogwarts Express deep in thought. So much had happened in the last few days that he was glad to have this time to reflect and plan for the future. This was a new experience for him, since up until recently his future was largely scheduled by the calendar. Normally, he would take the train back to number four, Privet Drive where he would spend a fair amount of the summer with his relatives, the Dursleys, to ensure that the magical blood protection created by his mother's sacrifice to save him would protect the house and all who lived there for a while longer. After a while, he would be allowed to go to the Burrow to finish the summer with one of his best friends, Ron Weasley. Molly Weasley would then do her best to see that he gained some weight while keeping him, Ron and Ron's sister Ginny, out of trouble. At the end of the summer, he would then accompany the rest of the school-age Weasleys back to Kings Cross to catch the Hogwarts Express. This pattern had never bothered Harry because the best part of the summer had always been when he had left his real relatives, who treated him like some kind of a leprous servant, and went to stay at Ron's house where he was treated like a son and brother.

This year, however, was different. Yes, Harry would have to go to the Dursleys again. But this time, he would only stay the night. After that, he would be on his own and would move into his house at number twelve, Grimmauld Place. Or could he? Now that he thought about it, could he even get into the house now that the secret keeper, Professor Dumbledore, had died? And what about the everyday business of living? What were the expenses involved in owning and living in a house? Did he have to pay taxes or bills or wages or fees? And if so, to whom? Now that the day Harry was looking forward to for so long, the day he would be "of age" as they put it, was drawing near, did he have any idea about how to be a responsible adult? Clearly, before he could start working on his quest, he would have to get his affairs in order.

About this time, Ron and Hermione, having finished their prefect duties, came into Harry's compartment and sat down. Normally, Ginny would join them but since Harry had just recently broken up with her, she was probably not too well disposed to spend several hours in a confined space with him. Fortunately, since many parents had taken their children directly home from school, there was plenty of room on the train and three to a compartment was not out of the ordinary.

"I've never seen the train this quiet for the trip home," said Hermione as she sat down across from Harry. "Normally, the end of year ride is one of the most raucous times of the year."

"Makes sense, though," stated Ron, as he took the spot next to Hermione. "Not even Fred and George would get too much mischief going on the day of a funeral."

"I know," said Harry. "I sure don't feel like celebrating. In fact, the more I think about actually getting home and on my own, the more depressed I become."

Hermione looked thoughtfully out the window. After a few minutes she broke her gaze and turned to the other two. "Well, we have to start planning," she said. "I think that a good place to start is listing our resources. We need to know that we won't be financing our little adventure by begging on street corners."

"We won't," Harry said, matter-of-factly. "I have quite a bit of gold in my parents' vault at Gringotts and Sirius left me some more, although I don't know how much." Suddenly realizing the depth of his ignorance about normal life, he continued, "I don't have any idea of actual numbers, though, and I don't know what expenses are in the magical world so maybe we should check into it."

"Actually, Harry," continued Hermione, "for all intents and purposes, you and I are both Muggle-born when it comes to that sort of knowledge. I can tell you the price of quills and parchment but not much else. This looks like your moment in the sun, Ron."

Ron shifted uneasily in his seat. "Well, actually," he began, blushing slightly, "we never really discussed finances around the dinner table much."

This presented a problem. With no real idea of the cost of living and no accurate idea on the amount of funds they had available, there was very little planning that they could do.

"We need to bring someone in that we trust that knows about these things," declared Harry at last. "They would need to be able to keep our business secret while still helping us with the information we need." They sat silently for about twenty seconds before all three looked up at once and said, "Lupin."

Remus Lupin, former Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts, best friend of Harry's father and godfather, werewolf and member of the Order of the Phoenix was, of course, the perfect choice. Having spent the last two years infiltrating the werewolf underground, Remus would have first hand knowledge of daily expenses while on the run. He also was out of a job now that Harry captured Fenrir Greyback and his participation in the defense of the castle was known. If anyone could be trusted and willing to help, it was Lupin.

"Great," said Ron. "When should we arrange to meet?"

"Well," replied Hermione. "The sooner the better, I guess. Maybe we could meet him at Grimmauld Place sometime soon," she suggested.

"Why wait?" said Harry. They both looked at him quizzically and he continued. "This is not exactly classified information we want and we have several hours to kill so maybe we could meet now, if he isn't busy."

"How are we supposed to contact him?", asked Hermione.

Harry responded by simply saying "Dobby!" in a clear and commanding voice. Within seconds, the house-elf appeared before them.

"Harry Potter called Dobby?"

"Yes," replied Harry. "I was wondering if you would like to do us a little favor."

"Of course! Dobby will do whatever Harry Potter wants," replied Dobby, a little too subserviently to suit Hermione's taste. "What does Harry Potter want Dobby to do?"

Harry thought for a moment. "You know, Dobby, there will probably be quite a few things that we could use your help with. Perhaps now would be a good time to ask if you would be willing to work for me on a permanent basis." This surprised all three people not named Harry Potter.

"Harry Potter, sir," Dobby sobbed. "Dobby would be proud to work for Harry Potter. He will do whatever Harry Potter wants."

"Harry," began Hermione, "one of the things we wanted to discuss with Professor Lupin was expenses. Do you think it is a good time to hire staff before we have a good idea on our resources?"

Normally, she would have a point. In this case, however, Harry's experience and instincts told him there would be no problem, except for Hermione.

Ignoring Hermione, Harry continued. "Dobby, I will hire you and will agree to whatever you and Hermione agree on for terms and wages." He continued, "Please find Professor Lupin and ask him if he could meet with us on the train. If he agrees, bring him here. Otherwise, find out where and when we could talk to him."

Dobby nodded and vanished.

"Harry!" snapped Hermione. "Didn't you hear me? I don't see how we can hire Dobby without first seeing how much money we have available."

Harry tried to hold back his laughter. Slightly chuckling, he said, "Really, Hermione. Do you think you can pay Dobby more than a galleon a week? You'll be lucky if he doesn't make you take his money."

Before she could respond, Dobby came back. "Master Harry Potter, sir. Mr. Lupin is saying he is being ready in about 15 minutes," said the elf. "Dobby is fetching him to Master then."

"Thank you, Dobby," replied Harry. "Please do not call me "Master," OK? I am your employer, not your owner. Please just call me Harry."

Dobby obediently nodded his head and said "It will be as Mas.... Mr. Harry Potter says."

Harry then had a thought. "Dobby? If you agree to work for me, or I should say us, then I want you to understand that we don't want anyone knowing anything about what we are doing that doesn't need to. Do you understand?"

"Dobby thinks he does, Harry Potter but Dobby will be needing to talk to the wizards that brings the food and candles and everything for Harry Potter's house," said Dobby.

"That will be fine, Dobby," said Harry. "You will have to tell them what we need for food and candles and such but if anyone who doesn't need to know asks about what we are doing, then we don't want you to tell. OK?"

Dobby responded, "Dobby will keep Harry Potter's secrets to the best of Dobby's ability, but there will be no elf magic to help Dobby if bad wizards force Dobby to tell."

"Hmm," hummed Ron. "That is a problem but not a likely one. I doubt that any Death Eater would consider the ramifications of a free house-elf. Nevertheless, we may have to keep some secrets from Dobby, just in case."

"I agree," agreed Harry. "Or we could just treat him like one of us. After all, any of us could be forced to talk, too. I doubt we could find anyone who would be more helpful than Dobby here."

"Dobby is doing whatever Harry Potter asks and is not going to give up his secrets if he can helps it," exclaimed Dobby with an almost pleading look in his eyes. "The Great Harry Potter freed Dobby and Dobby is never forgetting. Dobby will be strong and not tell anyone Harry Potter's secrets if Dobby can help it!"

"That's good enough for me, Dobby," said Harry, patting the elf on his shoulder. "I couldn't expect any more than that." The elf bowed with tears in his eyes. "Now, it must be about time to get Lupin. You had better go wait for him."

"Yes, Harry Potter, sir," said Dobby and was gone with a crack.

"We should probably check with Lupin on house-elf rules as well as everything else. Maybe he has some suggestions," offered Hermione.

"Yes," replied Harry. "We also have to find out how to let Dobby know where we are living. I mean Professor Dumbledore can't tell him where the house is and neither can anyone else."

"We don't know that," said Ron. "I mean, what happens to a secret when the secret keeper dies?"

Before Hermione could start her lecture series on the minutia of secret keepers, Dobby came back with Remus Lupin. He greeted the three friends and sat down opposite Hermione, next to Harry.

"Is there anything that Harry Potter or his friends needs Dobby to be doing?" asked Dobby. He looked about eagerly.

"No, thank you, Dobby," replied Harry. "We will call you if we need anything." With that, the elf disappeared with another booming crack.

"Well, Harry," Remus began, "I didn't expect to see you again so soon. After all, we spoke just this morning. What can I do for you?" Lupin sat back with a mildly expectant look on his face.

"Well," Harry began, "I'm not sure where to begin. We need some general knowledge about being on your own in the wizarding world." He paused and then turned to Ron and Hermione. "I think that we should let Professor Lupin in on everything. We will probably need his advice on a wide range of problems and it would just be a lot easier on everyone if he was up to speed on what we are trying to accomplish." He waited for Ron and Hermione's responses.

Ron immediately replied, "Sure, Harry. I wouldn't turn down any help we can get."

Hermione's response was a little more thoughtful. Turning to Lupin, she said "Professor, before we volunteer you for this we must let you know some of the conditions we are bound by."

Remus nodded and added "That would be a good idea. By the way, the name's 'Remus'."

Hermione continued. "Alright, Remus. The project we are working on is one that Harry and Professor Dumbledore worked on all last year. It was while pursuing one of the goals that Dumbledore became weakened to the point where Malfoy, Snape and those Death Eaters were able to overpower him. Now that Dumbledore is gone," she paused as Harry and Lupin both looked down with sad expressions on their faces. "Now that Dumbledore is gone, only Harry, Ron and I know about the mission or even that it is being pursued." She waited for this to sink in.

Harry continued. "So if you agree to help us, you must not tell anyone that we are doing anything at all. Not even McGonagall was in on this. It would just be the four of us, or five of us, I guess, if you count Dobby. No one else must get a glimmer of what we are doing." Looking directly at Lupin he asked, "Are you willing to help us on these terms?"

Lupin considered the stern, young faces in the compartment. Much too stern for their years, yet Dumbledore had apparently placed a vital, and extremely secret, task before them. If Dumbledore had decided that pursuing this goal was worth risking, and ultimately losing, his life, who was he to object. He finally answered, "I will help you to the best of my abilities," he said while looking each of them in the eye.

Harry didn't know why, but he felt much better knowing that the last marauder was on board. He began, "I will not go into much of the purpose of our mission while we are on the train. Just know that we will be attempting something that will probably take quite a bit of time and we will be doing it with as little involvement as possible with the rest of the wizarding world. Before we can do anything, we need to set up a base where we can gather any information and supplies we need as well as recover our strength when we have time. It will initially be up to you to help us with this since we have no idea about the necessary steps that have to be taken to maintain a household." Harry paused while Lupin digested the information so far presented. "Grimmauld Place would seem to be as good a choice as any but we are not sure about the status of the Fidelius Charm now that Dumbledore is gone. We also need to see about my resources. I know I have some gold in Gringotts but we need to find out how much is there exactly. There is also the business of maintaining the house itself and supplying our needs. We don't know how much any of this will cost and we will rely on you for that sort of stuff."

Lupin replied, "My house is not up to the level of Grimmauld Place but I do have some idea on what expenses you will encounter. It would seem that Dobby is now your elf and, as your property, will be allowed access to your vault for any funds he might need for food and household items."

"Dobby is not my property!" Harry exclaimed. "I just hired him." Harry had no intentions of letting that topic go since it was clear that Hermione would not even allow the impression of him being a slave owner pass uncontested.

"That might present a problem," mused Lupin. "I don't recall that coming up before." He paused. "We will have to ask the goblins about that when we check on your account."

"Fair enough," said Harry. He decided to move on to another related subject. "What do you know about the Fidelius Charm?" he asked. "Has it lapsed now that Dumbledore has died?"

"No," Lupin said confidently. "The death of the secret keeper does not end the charm. It is a good thing, too. Otherwise, all you would have to do is kill all the likely secret keepers and the secret would be exposed."

Harry looked concerned. "Then how are we to allow anyone new into the house?" he asked. "Will it be forever limited to the Order of the Phoenix and the few of us who know about it?"

"There are ways to take care of that," Lupin said. "You can cast the charm again with a new secret keeper and they would take over. This has the effect of causing the death of the former secret keeper but that isn't a problem." He paused while thinking about the options. "That would not limit any of the previous secret sharers but would allow more to be added. That might not be the best option since Snape would still know where to find you."

Harry didn't think that having Dumbledore's killer know where he lived would be a good idea either and said so.

Lupin agreed and continued. "I would suggest changing the address of the house. That is a simple matter that can also be handled at Gringotts since they are in charge of land titles. With a new address, the old secret would be obsolete."

Harry thought this over and came to the obvious decision.

"Professor Lupin," he began, "why don't you and I go to Gringotts and take care of some of this now. The train won't get to Kings Cross for about five more hours and everything seems to centre on that."

"What about us?" asked Ron. He had remained mostly silent during the discussion and felt more than a little left out.

Harry looked at him and then at Hermione and then back to Ron. "This is not a very interesting trip. Mostly bookkeeping type stuff. Also," he said with a smirk, "I would think that after wasting nearly eight months, you two would like a little 'alone time.'"

Both Ron and Hermione cast their eyes at each other and quickly looked away, blushing furiously. "That might be nice," muttered Hermione, very sheepishly.

"Yeah," agreed Ron.

Harry stood up, followed by Lupin. "Should we Apparate or have Dobby take us, Professor?" asked Harry.

"It's Remus, Harry and I think it is too far to Apparate so it will be a job for Dobby, I guess," replied Remus.

"I didn't know that distance mattered," said Harry. "Dumbledore and I Apparated to the ... uh, place we went which was near the south of England and we didn't have any trouble."

"Well, that's Dumbledore," replied Lupin. "He had enough power to Apparate anywhere he wanted. Most witches and wizards can only make it about 100 miles or so. That is why they use Portkeys, brooms or even the Hogwarts Express if they don't have places to stop along the way."

Harry was confused. Dumbledore had Apparated them down but he had Apparated them back. Not wishing to waste any more time on this at the moment but logging it away for future discussion, he let it go for now. He then said "Dobby" in a clear voice. Immediately, Dobby appeared before him.

"What is it that Master Harry Potter wishes?" asked the elf in an exuberant manner that reminded Harry of a dog begging for a treat.

"It's just Harry, please, and I want you to take Professor, er, I mean, Remus and me to Gringotts. Can you do that?" he asked.

"Of course, Harry Potter, sir," replied Dobby. With that he took them both by the hand and with a nod of his head they found themselves outside of Gringotts.

Author's note for any potential reviewers: If you want to ask a question or get a reply, you MUST be registered with this web site or I can't reply.

Other than that, enjoy the story.