This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Authors Note. This story is diffidently AU and set after Fifth year. In this story, the fight in the Department of Mysteries took place earlier in the year, and Harry was sent home a few weeks before school ended. I'm also going to be taken great liberties with forest/plant life in Italy. You'll understand more when Harry gets to where he's going. Just remember people... it's Magic... pretty much anything is possible!!
a/n... Sorry about this... at the moment, this chapter is UNBETA'D... as soon as i get it back, i'll repost... luvs ya.
Cal McGill walked quickly but calmly down the length of Privet Drive following the faint magical trace that he could feel calling out to him. It wasn't well known to all but one or two that knew him that he was able to feel the distress of magical children if the need for help was great enough, even though he himself had barely enough magic to own a wand. Approaching Number 4 he 'felt' the call become almost over whelming in it's cry for help, so with heavy concentration he pulled of one of the most complicated—for him-- spells that he knew, a Notice-Me-Not spell.
Following the sidewalk to the back of the house, he made a desperate plea to the powers that be, to help him control the fury that flooded his system. From what he could see, there working in the hot afternoon heat, was a child no more then 13, doing yard work with an ease that suggested he had been doing it for years. What really made his blood boil was the fact that the boy was shirtless, his skin not just burnt but broiled a deep angry red, which had already blistered, broke open and blistered again. Shorts many times to large barely hung on hip bones that had no fat on them, and where cinched as tight as they could go with a frazzled piece of rope.
Every once in a while the child would look over to where the sprinkler lay barely five feet away, but made no move towards it. Wondering why, Cal shifted his position slightly and saw a very thin, very prim woman sitting in the shade of the patio enjoying something cool to drink and smirking at the boy.
Moving back to the front door, he thought for a few minutes before smirking to himself. Reading the name plate on the door, he knocked and waited for the woman of the house to answer. Moments later he was admitted into the living room, and drew on another little piece of magic, cast a mild compulsion charm and had her agreeing to letting him hire the boy for the summer. Moments after that he himself made his way to the backyard to convince the child that he meant no harm and to come with him.
The one thing he was not expecting was to come face to face with the one person his boss would not like being on his property.
The Boy Who Lived.
Harry sweltered under the afternoon sun, and wished for one of two things; his aunt being called away so he could go for the ice cold water being run a few feet away from him, or for someone to come by and take him away from this hell. He didn't want to know what his back looked like at the moment, he could feel the skin stretch and rip open the blisters every time he moved. He really wondered how he managed to stay on his feet, since he could no longer sweat, he didn't have the moisture in his body to do so.
A faint knock on the front door, had one of his wishes answered, and he watched from the corner of his eye as his aunt made her way indoors. Any hope he had at finally getting to the water hose was dashed as with a malicious smirk, Petunia Dursley turned off the water hose and took the handle for the tap inside with her.
As the minutes passed, he eyed the picture of juice on the table, and wondered if he dared to risk it. A few more minutes passed, and with one ear centered on the sound of the door opening he slowly stood from his spot weeding the garden and started to make his stumbling way to the table. Half way there, he groaned and started to think of an excuse to be away from the weeding when the door was opened.
Turning towards the sound of foot steps he was already starting to apologize to his aunt, but abruptly shut his mouth when he saw a strange man standing there instead. Holding a wand. Before he could start to panic the man started to speak.
"You have my Wizards Oath that I mean you no harm Mr. Potter. I only want to talk and perhaps lend you a hand."
Relaxing slightly when he saw and felt the magic of the Oath settle around the two of them, Harry nodded his head, "talk." he managed to croak out around his dry throat.
Cal smiled in relief, and walked the last few steps forward and gently took the teens around the waist and helped him onto the patio being very careful of the burns on his back, and settled him into a chair before pouring a glass of juice and handing it over. "Sip slowly Mr. Potter, otherwise you will make yourself sick."
Taking a slow sips Harry drained the glass, and was poured another. The sugar giving him a slight high that helped clear his mind from the fuzz that seemed to have surrounded it. Draining the second glass, and starting on the third, Harry was finally able to start asking questions. "Who are you and what do you want?" he asked while glancing at the door expecting his aunt to come out at any minute.
"Forgive me Mr. Potter. My name is Cal McGill, and before you ask, you have no need to worry about her coming out any time soon."
"What did you do to her?"
Chuckling softly Cal reassured the young man. "Nothing harmful, I can assure you. She decided that she needed to take a nap, and more then likely won't wake up for a few hours."
Heaving a sigh of relief, Harry reached over and refilled his glass, as well as taking a little of the fruit that sat on the table. "You didn't say what you where doing here Mr. McGill." Harry pointed out.
"No I didn't. You see, when I talked to your aunt, I didn't know it was you I was talking about."
"That makes no sense."
"Alright lets start at the beginning, but first can you answer a question for me?"
"If I can."
"Fair enough. Do you have the ability to see, or sense the magic within a person?"
"If by seeing you mean their aura's then I guess I can. Or at least, I'm starting too."
"Excellent. That's exactly what I mean. I am not a very strong wizard, in point of fact I have barely enough to be allowed to own a wand. I do have a few special gifts though. One of those gifts is the ability to sense a child in need of help, and before you take offense, by child I mean one under the age of 17. I was traveling through the surrounding area, when I felt a call for help, that was strong enough that I knew I had to help as soon as possible. That feeling led me here to you. Do you understand?"
Sitting silently Harry thought about what he was just told, "so you're saying that you had a feeling that someone needed help and it brought you here to me?"
"So what do you mean about talking to my aunt about me, but not realizing who you where talking about?"
"When I first arrived and saw you from over the fence, I thought it was a younger child that I had on my hands. I had no idea that this was your home so you can imagine my surprise when I found you here. Another one of my gifts Mr. Potter is making others believe what I want them to believe or as the case may be what they want to believe. I told your aunt that I wanted you to come and work for me, I let her mind do the rest."
"You let my aunt believe that you wanted me to work for you either as a toy or for hard labour?" Harry asked in astonishment.
"You could say that."
"And what do you really want me to do?'
"I manage an estate that does many different things and we are always in need of more help to run it. You have a choice of what you want to do when you get there. Doing as little or as much work as you want to do, as long as you do at least 10 hours worth of work in a week. We have fruit orchards and stables, animals that need to be taken care of, as well has fields that need to be worked, we can always find something for you to do, even if it's watch the younger children while others go about their duties." Given Harry a tired looking smile, he added softly, "I could not just turn around and leave someone in need that I could very well help."
Harry studied the man sitting in front of them for a few minutes. "You said that you where going to see if you could get me away from here before you knew who I was. What about know that you know who I am?"
"The offer still stands Mr. Potter. I haven't changed my mind."
"No matter what was decided by you and then by my aunt, I have no choice but to remain here. The Blood Wards that protect me here are based on my mothers blood and therefore the only thing that will stand in the way if Voldemort or his Death Eaters attack."
Cal sat back and thought about the problem. He really did not want to leave the young man in front of him here, no matter what the protections surrounding him, as the obviously did not protect him for those who were supposed to care for him. Searching him memory on anything that resembled Blood Wards, he tried to think of another way around this protection. "If my memory serves me correct, you need to be behind these wards for a certain amount of time to recharge them. How long have you been here?"
Harry bowed his head as the memory of his godfather falling through the veil flashed through his mind, unknowingly causing him to go pale. Swallowing back against the lump in his throat, he whispered, "three weeks."
Looking on in concern, but knowing that at the moment there was nothing he could do for the look of pain, horror, and sorrow that flowed off the teen, Cal told him, "then you've been here long enough to recharge the wards."
"And how do you stop Dumbledore and the rest from finding me?"
"By moving you off of this island and to another. The estate I told you about is on the island of Sardinia Italy."
Falling silent once again, Harry contemplated what to do. It was no secret that he wanted away from this place, but he was concerned about being tracked down. Looking up at Cal, with every instinct telling him to trust the man and leave, he nodded his head. "What do I need to do?"
Every muscle in Cal's body relaxed as he sighed in relief. He wasn't sure what he would do if the teen in front of him had decided to stay. Smiling he answered, "first we need to get all your things. I would suggest not putting on a shirt until we get to the Villa so that we can have you treated by our healer. I'll also have to have Rosa place a translation spell on you so that you can understand everyone. The only thing other then that, that I can think of at the moment is a name for you. You see, we all know who you are, but if we introduce you with a different name, no one will say anything to anyone else."
"So no worries about it getting out where I am?"
"No. we are a very close nit family on the estate, and you will be treated just like everyone else."
"Will I be able to use magic?"
"Yes. We don't have the same laws governing our use of magic that you have here. Our laws state that you have to be 14 to use magic, and even if you were underage, the wards surrounding the property would cancel out the effects of anyone using magic."
Harry heaved a sigh of relief at that bit of good news. 'If anything happens I'll be able to protect myself and anyone else with me.' he thought. "I'll right, when do we leave?"
"As soon as you have your things. I have a portkey that will take us right to the main house."
"I'm going to have to have you unlock the cupboard so I can get my trunk, and then there are a few things in the bedroom that I'll need."
"Shall we then?" Cal asked and ushered Harry inside.
15 minutes later Harry's belongings where tucked away in Cal's pocket, and he had a finger on the small figurine of a golden panther waiting for Cal to activate the portkey that would take him away from England.
With a tap of Cal's wand, Harry felt the hooked feeling in his navel and the two of them disappeared, the wards around that house that should have set of a warning that Harry was being portkeyed out, never once sounding.
The only thing that stopped Harry from falling to the floor when they landed was Cals quick thinking as he reached over and looped an arm around Harry's waist. When he was steady once again, Cal motioned him to follow and the moved through the Villa to an outbuilding, which he found out real quick was the Estates infirmary. Rapid Italian flowed between Cal and a Witch with long black hair and bright brown eyes. She was slim, and stood about half a foot taller then Harry. When she pulled out a wand, Harry tried to take a few steps back but was stopped by the amusement he saw in Cal's eyes.
"This Harry is Rosa. She is our healer and resident 'Mother'. She's going to cast the translation spell on you so that you can understand everyone."
"How many different languages are spoken here?" Harry asked keeping an eye on that wand.
"about 6 or 7. She won't hurt you, my wizards oath keeps you safe from harm by any one one the estate at this time." Cal said carefully.
Relaxing slightly, Harry nodded his head in agreement, and felt a cool sensation flow down his body, as she flicked her wand at him.
"There now Child. You will be able to understand everyone and everyone will be able to understand you. And just so you know this spell does not wear off, so you never have to worry about not understanding those around you every again. Now I am Rosa, and you are in need of a different name. What would you like us to call you when you are here?"
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment before smiling sadly. "Horatio Black, But you can call me Tio."
"Good then Tio, hop up onto the bed, and we can see what needs to be done."
knowing better then to argue with a healer after being treated by Madam Pomfrey for the past five years, and sat down on the bed she indicated. After five minutes of being tsked and tutted after, Harry dropped his head and therefore didn't see the look of concern pass above his head. He also didn't see Cals wand come up or hear the spell that was spoken that caused him to fall asleep.
As he body slumped forward, Cal caught him and gently laid him on his side, before looking up at Rosa. "How bad is it?"
"This child is in a bad way. From what I could scan, he's malnourished, dehydrated, undersized, and suffering from some serious injuries, most of them recent. The magical residue on him is great, so I would say that he has recently been in a major duel of some kind. There is also something unusual about his blood, but what it is, I'm not sure, only that it's not fatal in anyway." Looking down at the small form sadly she continued. "It's good that you brought him here Cal. He needs time to heal from the physical and emotion trauma that he is suffering."
"If the last letter I received from the Boss is correct, then he saw his godfather killed in front of him, and them went on to face the Dark Lord. He ranted about 'Dumbledore's Golden Boy' being given special treatment and sent home to his family's loving care to be dotted on. How are we going to explain that this same 'Golden Boy' is an abused child that now is hiding in his sanctuary?"
"You don't, I'll do it once he gets he gets here. All that you need to tell him is that you have acquired another abused child that you brought home with you. I will deal with his reaction when he comes home."
"Good, I really don't feel like dealing with his temper once he gets worked up."
"Off you go then and write that letter, let me deal with this child. Oh and Cal, tell him that even before he drops off his bag in the Main House to come see me."
"Yes Rosa." Cal replied with a smile, having learned years ago that you never miss with this healer once she has her mind made up. 'This should be a fun letter to write!' He thought to himself. 'I can see it now.'
Not much really happening out here at the moment, other then I found another child that needs our protection. Goes by the name Horatio Black...
Rosa says the instant you get home to see here, don't bother dropping your bags off first. Not wise to piss of that woman ya know...
'Yes, this really is going to be a difficult letter to write.'