Disclaimer: JK's world.
This is not going to be Dumbledore bashing but they will have a bit of a rough patch.
They walked up the basement stairs and out the iron door, around the side of the house and into the foyer when Sirius stopped suddenly. Harry turned to see Sirius's face darken. His godfather reached into his pocket and pulled out a chocolate frog card. The card muttered a few incomprehensible words and was pocketed.
"Remus." Sirius said with a mischievous grin. "Dumbledore has just called an emergency order meeting. It appears as though Harry Potter has been kidnapped"…
"I guess it's time to face the music Padfoot." Remus said, turning to face his fellow marauder.
"Only this time we're not his students anymore." Sirius replied with a smirk.
"Sirius please don't forget that Dumbledore is still the most powerful wizard in Britain, and helped get you out of Azkaban." Said Remus.
"I'll always be grateful to Dumbledore for what he has done for me, but what he has put my godson through for the past 15 years deserves an explanation at the very least." Sirius replied.
"You both seem to forget that I am right here, and that I deserve answers just as much as either of you." Harry piped up.
"Sorry Harry but since you're not an order member I doubt you'll be allowed in, even if the meeting is about you." Remus laughed.
"I think we should take him along." Sirius said looking at Harry for a moment.
"I don't know if it's such a good idea." Remus said. "Dumbledore could force Harry to go back there."
"And risk losing Harry's faith and trust?" Sirius replied. "I highly doubt it will come to that."
"Maybe it doesn't matter what we think." Remus said turning to Harry. "What do you want to do?
"I think it's time for the order to focus less on Harry Potter and more on defeating Voldemort." Harry said. "And I believe they should hear it from me."
"Very well pup." Sirius said stepping over to the fireplace and grabbing a handful of floo powder, which he threw into the empty fire grate.
"Twelve Grimmuld place." Sirius said clearly. He then stepped into the brilliant green flames and disappeared. Remus and Harry followed suit. Harry felt the familiar claustrophobic feeling that always accompanied floo travel at first, but before he knew it he was sprawled out on the sitting room floor of the Black's ancestral home.
"Nice landing cub."
"Shut up Moony." Harry laughed
"More and more like James every day." Sirius said with a grin.
Padfoot and Moony laughed at the memory of their friend, Harry grinned because he couldn't imagine anyone who could possibly be as bad as he at floo.
"Ok Harry it seems as though the meeting has already started we are going to go in but ill leave the door cracked so you can hear what is going on." Sirius said.
"If you decide you don't want to go in there then that is fine, but we won't divulge what is going on until you're with us." Remus said.
"Yea it's really up to you weather they know where you are or not. Besides there is absolutely nothing Dumbledore can do about it now." Sirius added.
"Thank you both. It really means a lot to me that you are willing to go against the Professor." Harry said truthfully.
Remus smiled and Sirius gave him a grin and a wink before turning and walking through the door into the lions den.
Harry sat down with his back against the wall next to the door, listening intently for the meeting to begin.
"Now that our final two order members are here I believe we shall get down to the reason why we are here. Harry Potter has gone missing." Dumbledore said.
As soon as the words left Dumbledore's mouth there was a simultaneous gasp immediately followed by hushed voices whispering to one another as they took in the gravity of the situation.
"Quiet please." Dumbledore said in a strong voice, which stopped the chatter. "From the information I've been able to gather it appears as though Mr. Potter has left of his own accord."
"Why would Harry do such a thing?" Mrs. Weasley said worriedly.
"I haven't the faintest Molly." Said the old wizard. "But from what we gathered he definitely had outside help."
"But who would do something like that." Molly said.
"I was hoping that someone here would be able to answer that question for us." Dumbledore said looking straight at Sirius who was leaning on a counter arms crossed.
Everyone immediately turned in their chairs to face him. A smirk played across his lips for a split second.
"Don't look at me." Sirius said. "Maybe the kid wanted a bit of fresh air."
"I have a contact at Gringotts that says you and a young man went in around nine thirty this morning." Dumbledore said to Sirius Eyes twinkling.
"What I do at Gringotts is my business." Sirius shot back.
"Do you know the whereabouts of our missing Mr. Potter?" Dumbledore said, getting to the point.
"Not a clue." Sirius said in a nonchalant tone.
"Sirius I cannot stress enough the importance of getting young Harry back to his relative's home." Dumbledore said.
Sirius stared back into the twinkling blue eyes of the headmaster unflinchingly. Suddenly he felt a light probing in the back of his mind. Sirius being from the ancient and most noble house of Black had been trained in the mind arts enough to keep anyone from gaining family secrets through legilimency. Sirius wrapped his consciousness around the offending presence holding it in his mind, his eyes never leaving the headmasters. He felt the presence try to withdraw but he held on. Searching through his mind for a certain memory he had of earlier this day. Finding it quickly he thrust it and the offending presence out of his mind as hard as he could. Dumbledore grabbed the edge of the table breathing heavily.
"Stay out of my mind professor." Sirius said no longer leaning against the counter but more the counter holding him up. Keeping the most powerful wizard in Britain locked inside your mind was no easy feat. Harry realized what had happened after the words Sirius had spoken. It was time.
"Where is he Sirius?" Dumbledore said almost pleadingly.
"Right here professor." Said Harry, now standing in the open doorway.
The whole room spun around and drew a collective gasp. Harry walked over to Sirius who gave him a weak smile and turned to face the rest of the order.
"Harry would you please enlighten us as to why you felt the need to leave the Dursley's care?" Dumbledore asked.
"Is that what you call it? Care? What a joke." Harry said scathingly. "If Sirius hadn't come when he did I would be in the hospital or worse."
"That was happening today?" He asked turning to Sirius thinking of the image Sirius had sent him of his uncle and cousin beating him. Sirius only nodded.
Dumbledore rubbed his temples looking deep in thought when Harry interrupted.
"I'm not going back sir."
"I'm afraid this is not a choice you can make Mr. Potter." The aged man sighed
"Unfortunately your right, but it is a choice he can make." Harry motioned to Sirius.
"You see professor, after we left Privet drive we made our way to Gringotts to hear my parents will. Funny thing though. A note attached to the official copy. Something about how I should never have been put in that hell in the first place, but I'm sure you already know about that." Harry said heatedly.
"It was for your own protection Harry."
"Who protected me from them?" Harry yelled. "How many times have the Weasley's told you about the Dursleys? How many times did you bother to see for yourself what happened there?"
For the first time in many years the headmaster of Hogwarts School was stunned into silence. Not a day went by in 15 years that Albus wondered if he did right by Harry, and here he was telling him exactly what he feared.
"I think its time we leave" Sirius said. "Remus, Harry."
At Remus's name the headmaster took his head out of his hands and looked up at the ex professor.
"I am sorry Professor, but my heart will always be with Lily and James." Said Remus, and without another look back all 3 men walked through the kitchen door leaving a stunned and silent order behind.
Harry, Remus, and Sirius walked down the hall and into the sitting room. Harry looked up at the man who just took a mental beating for him. The only thought going through his mind was how lucky he was to finally have someone like Sirius in his life. His godfather grabbed a handful of floo and tossed it into the grate.
"Marauder Manor." Sirius said clearly and a moment later he was gone. Remus did the same. Just as Harry was about to toss his powder in he was stopped by a voice.
"Harry Potter don't you dare leave without saying a word to us."
Harry spun around to see the youngest Weasley standing at the foot of the stairs opposite the fireplace. Ron and Hermione were standing behind her. Ron was regarding Harry curiously while Hermione had a disappointed look on her face.
"Hey mate." Ron said barging past his sister. "We heard you had a bit of a run in with the order."
"To say the least." Harry replied.
"I can't believe your ok with this Ron." Hermione piped up.
"Hermione I've just got done arguing with Dumbledore please don't start one too." Harry said.
"I'm sorry Harry I just think you should listen to Professor Dumbledore." Hermione replied. "He knows what he's doing."
"Hermione you have no idea what I've been through at their hands. So don't lecture me on what I should and shouldn't do with MY life." Harry said fiercely.
This seemed to shut her up, at least for now. Harry knew he would have to explain things to her sometime. Her need to know everything and analyze it from every possible angle was the one thing that sometimes got to Harry.
"I'm Sorry I can't stay longer and fill you guys in, but I have really got to get back to Moony and Padfoot. I'll Floo you at around ten tomorrow if you can make it to the fireplace." Harry said tiredly.
"Sure mate." Said Ron who held out his hand, which Harry took and turned into a one armed hug.
"Bye Harry." Ginny said and kissed him on his cheek.
Harry turned to Hermione and gave her a weak smile and then he was gone in a swirl of green flames. Moments later he was lying on his back at the manor. He stood up and brushed himself off and looked around to see Sirius and Remus sitting opposite each other between them on the coffee table a bottle of Ogden's Finest.
"Sorry guys Ron, Hermione, and Ginny caught me before I could go." Harry said.
"It's fine pup." Sirius replied. "Come on over here and relax with us throw a few back."
Harry walked over and sat in the recliner next to Sirius who poured him a shot.
"To Lily and James." Remus said raising his glass.
"To Lily and James" Sirius and Harry replied in unison.
At this they downed their shots. Harry having never tried whiskey before shivered as it burned down his throat.
"Strong stuff eh pup." Sirius said with a smile.
"No doubt." Harry replied. "Another round?"
"Absolutely." Remus said.
"To Freedom." Harry said raising his glass. The two men raised their glasses and downed their shots. After about an hour or so of drinking and small talk Harry decided it was time to hit the sack.
"I'm headed to bed. Goodnight Mooney. Padfoot." Harry said standing up.
He walked in a crooked line toward the stairs before he stumbled on the first step causing the marauders in the room to snigger. He waved his hand at them crawled up the stairs and into bed. No sooner had his head hit the pillow blackness overcame him.
Harry woke the next morning with a splitting headache. Harry sat up in his bed and looked at his clock which read eight thirty. He stretched quickly, threw on a t-shirt and walked out his bedroom door and down the hall into the bathroom where he splashed cold water onto his face. Feeling no better he hobbled downstairs shielding his eyes as he walked into the sunlit foyer and into the kitchen where he found Sirius and Remus already eating but looking perfectly fine.
"Rough night pup?" Sirius asked with a smile.
"That was quite the power hour cub." Remus added.
"Sod off both of you." Harry said walking to the ice box and grabbing some milk for his cereal.
"Remus give the grump a hangover draught." Sirius laughed.
Remus got up and went to the cupboard and pulled out a small vile of dark green liquid and offered it to Harry.
"Not trying to poison the boy who lived are we?" Harry asked with a weak smile as he opened the vial and downed it with a grimace.
"Feeling better pup?" Sirius asked
Harry immediately felt the effect of the draught. The headache lifted and he was able to open his eyes fully.
"Wow. That was amazing. What's in it?" Harry asked.
"You don't want to know." Sirius replied.
"So what is on tap for today?" Harry asked not aiming the question at anyone.
"It's really up to you Harry." Remus said. "I would suggest we work on some more powerful spells."
"And look into this wandless casting you seem to be capable of." Sirius cut in.
"If I'm not mistaken the person Sirius hired to train you in occlumency will be here at eight this evening for your lesson." Remus said with a sly grin. "That's if you can tear Sirius away from her long enough to learn anything."
"She was coming on to me if you must know." Sirius said at Harry's questioning look. "I hadn't seen her since Hogwarts and nothing happened anyway."
"Well you two were certainly upstairs for quite a while." Remus laughed.
"We were just catching up." Sirius shot back a bit too quickly.
"Right." Remus said sarcastically.
Harry just sat back and watched his family bicker back and forth with a smile until he glanced up at the clock which read five till ten. He didn't really understand why he was dreading the upcoming conversation. All Harry knew was he didn't want to explain his actions to anyone and wished everyone would just accept them. It was his life after all.
"I'll be back." Harry said. "Got to floo call my friends back at Grimmuld Place and let them know everything is alright."
"Ok pup head back in here and well do a bit of brainstorming on what kind of spell work you want to start first." Sirius said.
Harry nodded and left the kitchen. He walked to the fireplace and grabbed a fistful of powder from the mantle and tossed it in the empty grate immediately the emerald green flames spurns to life.
"Twelve Grimmuld Place." Harry said clearly stepping into the flames but not enough for them to wisk him away. As soon as he stepped into the flaming grate he could see the whole sitting room of the dingy ancestral house. He could see Ron and Hermione sitting unusually close in deep conversation, which was very strange in itself given it was Ron. Ginny was sitting next to the fireplace with a book in hand and immediately noticed Harry's appearance.
"Hey guys." Harry said. Ron and Hermione jumped up and attempted to look innocent. Harry wondered if they were finally starting to figure out that they liked each other. Ginny saw this and gave Harry a smile and a wink.
"Hey mate." Ron said sitting down in front of the fireplace next to Ginny. Hermione sat on the opposite side of Ron.
"So would you tell us what is going on?" Hermione asked quickly.
"Yea mate." Ron supplied. "We were all worried about you."
"Well I'll give you the short of it." Harry said. "Remember when you, Fred, and George flew the car to rescue me?"
"Well it never got any better."
"What did they do this time?" Ron asked
"Well Sirius kind of walked in while my cousin was holding my arms and my uncle was beating the hell out of me." Harry said
Hermione and Ginny gasped in horror while Ron's gaze grew hard.
"Harry I'm so sorry." Hermione said with unshed tears in her eyes. "I knew about them but I never thought it was so bad."
"Well needless to say Sirius didn't like what was going on." Harry said with a laugh.
"What happened?" Ron asked
"Lets just say Vernon and Dudley will think twice before they pick another fight." Harry said.
"Sirius wouldn't hurt your cousin he is just a kid." Hermione said.
"Well." Harry said. "I kind of punched him."
"Wicked." Ron said with a new found confidence in his best friend.
"Boys." Hermione and Ginny said in unison.
"Yea knocked him cold." Harry said. "Then Sirius blasted Uncle Vernon's new company car."
Ron couldn't help but laugh at this even Hermione cracked a smile.
"How was your first night with the marauders?" Ginny asked.
"Amazing." Harry replied. "I can still feel the hangover."
"Harry!" Hermione scolded. "You're not even of age yet."
"So what are you up to today" Ginny said sensing that Hermione did not want to let the subject go.
"Spell work and occlumency training." Harry said.
"How will you practice spell work outside class?" Hermione asked.
"I'll tell you another time if Sirius says it's ok." Harry said.
"Mate." Ron said. "Any chance we will get to visit?"
"Possibly." Harry replied. "I'll owl you after I talk with Sirius and let you know what's going on."
"Well I've got to get back Remus is probably waiting in the library for me." Harry said.
"You've got your own library?" Hermione asked.
"We combined the Black library with the Potter library and now we've got one of the most comprehensive in all of Britain." Harry said giving the bookworm a smile.
"That settles it then." Hermione said. "You will go to Sirius and demand that your friends be let in."
"Relax Hermione." Ron said. "I'm sure well be allowed over as soon as the mess with the order is done."
"Dumbledore will get over it. This house is better protected then just about any." Harry said. "Sirius himself is secret keeper."
"Well at least we don't have to worry about V-V-V You-Know-Who getting to you." Ron said.
"Right." Harry said as his gaze hardened. "And next time we meet the Death Eaters they will know just what it means to fear."
"Be careful mate." Ron said.
"Please don't do anything rash." Hermione said. "Just let the order handle things."
"I appreciate you worrying about me but it is time to stop avoiding this war." Harry said strongly. "What chance do we have if people like us aren't willing to fight?"
"Well I'll be right there with you mate." Ron said.
Both the boys turned to look at Hermione.
"Don't look at me like that you know ill always stick with you." Hermione said in mock indignation.
"I'm with you as well." Ginny finally spoke up.
"Well it makes me feel better to know that we will be together through all of this." Harry said. "I'll go and talk with Remus and Sirius about training and maybe getting you all over here. Neville too."
"Sounds like a plan mate." Ron said.
"Alright guys I've got a right busy day of beatings to look forward too so ill send you an owl tonight with a plan." Harry said.
"Ok Harry. Well see you soon hopefully" Hermione said "Be careful in your training."
"I think mum is planning a party for your birthday at the burrow so well definitely see you then if we can't get to your place." Ron said.
"Bye Harry." Ginny said. "Have fun with the marauders. See if you three can think of a way to prank Fred and George."
Harry bid his friends a final goodbye and climbed out of the fireplace. Remus was already sitting on a recliner waiting for Harry to finish. They both retreated to the library and looked up any books related to dueling. Remus was far from a normal teacher and instead of using only light dueling spells he incorporated every type of magic in their research. Moony elaborated that to be a well rounded duelist you have to know what you're up against and to understand dark magic you must be able to perform it. He continued on and told Harry of the 3 marauders dueling styles. How Remus was more of a structured duelist, he would use more ancient and self made curses to throw an enemy off, standard dueling stance as well. Sirius flew by the seat of his pants improvising almost every aspect of a duel relying on his power and speed which was amazing in itself to overwhelm his opponents. Remus went on to tell Harry of his father and how none of the marauders could hold a candle to his prowess with a wand. Moony spoke of how James would use amazing transfigurations and raw magical power to win his fights. Another interesting thing about James' dueling style was a minor ability with wandless magic. Turns out that Harry's father could summon and banish objects without his wand. Remus laughed about how many times Sirius thought he had bested James only to have been blasted across the room and get up to find James who had previously been disarmed waiting wand in hand. The Marauder wrote every useful Hex, Jinx, and Curse that the three friends had ever used in battle so instead of Harry incorporating the style of himself or Sirius he would have all of their spell arsenal while using his own tactics. Remus knew that Harry would surpass all of the marauders after Harry's third year when he cast a corporeal patronus, the battle in the department of mysteries only serving to reinforce that which Remus already suspected. Harry Potter was a frightfully powerful wizard. After about 3 hours of pouring over book after book and 10 rolls of parchment later Remus thought it was about time to start some practical applications.
"Ready to give it a go cub?"
"Definitely." Harry replied.
"Sirius is upstairs working on a project hopefully he will be able to join us a little bit later." Remus stated.
"What's he working on?" Harry asked.
"Oh nothing in particular." Remus said suspiciously.
"Alright." Harry said not giving it too much thought. "Ready?"
Remus nodded his ok so they gathered their research and a few curse dictionaries and proceeded to the training room under the manor. The two men walked across the dueling floor and into the glass shielded weight room. Remus banished all of the equipment to the wall and conjured a round desk large enough for them to lay their parchment out without making a mess. Remus set out the curses that he thought Harry would be able to use the most. Harry adamantly refused to use any unforgivable curses, but the curses that Harry was looking at now could easily cause the death of an enemy if aimed correctly. He had the parchment set in three categories. Shields, offensive non-lethal and offensive lethal. Harry glanced over the lethal section and noticed some rather nasty curses, from bone breaking to exploding to a particularly nasty curse that ruptured every artery within a foot of its impact zone. The young man then glanced to the non-lethal curses and realized he had almost the entire list in his repertoire which made him smile. However, defensively Harry was lacking. Protego was the only shield in his arsenal. He learned that the far more powerful Contego shield would be a major asset in a duel. He read further and noted a physical shield spell called the absolvo shield. The most powerful shield spell known to wizard kind, Harry read, was the Imprimis Patrocinor. The imprimis shield was a powerful opaque shield which is impenetrable unless an unforgivable hits it. Harry read on and noted that only an extremely powerful wizard can cast the Imprimis with any success since it requires an above average magical core to sustain.
"Remus, what do you know of the Imprimis Patrocinor?"
"Not a whole lot." Remus replied. "Only know of three people that could cast it. One of which was your father."
"Do you think I've got enough power to cast it?" Harry asked.
"I think as soon as you've got a few of the better dueling shields down maybe we can work on it." Remus said. "You've got enough power to cast it without blinking Harry. It's your head that gets in the way. For some reason your power only shows itself at desperate or emotional moments."
"Well what do you recommend working with first?" Harry asked
"Contego is probably the best shield for dueling save the Imprimis." Remus said offhandedly. "I think that is what we should work with first then move to the absolvo shield which can be cast at someone or something."
"Sounds good." Harry replied. "Are you going to be firing?"
Harry watched as a wicked grin grew on Remus's face. The ware wolf pulled his wand from his pocket and waved it in a complicated pattern and as soon as he was finished five manikins all cloaked in black appeared before him.
"Not me Harry." Remus said, wicked grin still in place. "We."
No sooner than Remus had finished his sentence he flicked his wand in Harry's direction letting a jet of red sparks fly. Before Harry knew what he was doing his wand was in front of him with a golden shield in place. The spell bounced harmlessly off and right back at Remus who sidestepped easily.
"Good reflexes cub." Remus complimented. "But you'll need more then a basic shield to stop them all."
The marauder waved his wand in another intricate pattern which ended pointing directly at Harry. Immediately the five manikins sprung to life and had their wands pointed in Harry's direction. Harry threw up another Protego shield but to no avail, the five red curses impacted simultaneously and ripped the shield apart like it was nothing. Harry was ready and dove to the side allowing the curses to fly by. Getting back to his feet Harry saw the dummies take aim again and five jets of light were flying at him again.
"CONTEGO." Harry yelled thrusting his wand forward like he would jab a sword. A blue cone shaped shield jumped from the tip of his wand about a meter in front of him. The spells made contact with the shield and each one was blasted in a different direction. Remus waved his wand and the manikins stopped.
"Understand why that is a powerful shield for dueling cub?" Remus asked with a smile.
"Because the shape redirects curses instead of rebounding or absorbing them?" Harry asked.
"Precisely." Remus said. "Be careful when using it around too many people if an enemy shoots a spell at a funky angle and you use that shield you could rebound it into a friend."
"Got it." Harry replied.
"Now onto the absolvo shield." Remus said. "This shield you can cast on yourself or someone else from a distance."
Remus waved his wand and another manikin appeared only this time it was dressed in all white.
"Now you're going to cast a shield around this manikin and it should absorb quite a bit of damage." Remus said. "This shield is tricky because you have to believe that what you are casting it on is worth protecting."
"A bit difficult with a manikin." Harry replied.
"Just do your best and ill give you a few tips if you're having trouble." Remus replied with a smile.
The marauder waved his wand in the same intricate pattern only this time it ended on Harry's manikin. Again the Death Eater manikins aimed and fired red spells.
"ABSOLVO" Harry shouted leveling his wand at the white clad manikin. Immediately a shimmering silver shield encased the manikin. The first of the enemy spells impacted the shield and absorbed but the last two shattered the shield to bits.
"Not a bad first effort." Remus said.
"Any help would be nice wolf man." Harry said jokingly.
"Ok a nice trick with this shield is casting it something like you would a patronus." Remus said. "Think of how much a certain person means to you then cast the spell as if you were casting it over that person."
"Ready?" Remus asked
Remus once again waved his wand pointing it at Harry's manikin, and the black robed dummies fired off spells. This time Harry cleared his mind and imagined his surrogate family exactly as they stood in the photo in Egypt except he added Remus and Sirius on each side of the Weasley family. Scabbers was also conveniently left out. He willed himself to believe it was they who were being attacked and again he felt the glass crack at the back of his mind.
"Absolvo!" Harry said with fierce determination. He would not let those he loved come to harm.
Immediately shield as bright as Harry's stag Patronus flew from his wand and covered his manikin in a two meter dome. Remus had to shield his eyes. Harry could only watch as he five red curses hit his shield and dissolved into nothing.
"Brilliant." Harry said staring at his own wand still holding the shield up over the manikin who wasn't even visible under the shinning silver dome. Harry flicked his wand upward breaking the connection to his absolvo shield. The dome was gone in an instant and his manikin stood untouched by any enemy spell.
"Harry that was incredible." Remus said. "What did you think about?"
"I thought about you and Sirius and the Weasleys."
"I thought that your aptitude with the patronus would make this an easy spell for you to pick up." Remus said matter-of-factly. "Well I think we need a break then well practice dueling until your occlumency instructor comes for your lesson."
Harry nodded in understanding and followed Remus up the stairs and out of the training arena. They took their break in the kitchen with sandwiches and butter beer supplied from Dobby and Winky. After reassuring Winky for the fifth time that the food was satisfactory the two elves left them for their chores with a small pop. Remus and Harry ate exchanging small talk about the upcoming year making plans for Harry to follow while he was at Hogwarts away from the manor. Sirius made a brief appearance in the kitchen arms completely covered in grease, when Harry asked what happened Sirius only waved his question off and disappeared back to whatever task he had been working on. The two men finished up their lunch and headed back down to the training room where they could resume their training.
"At the ready cub." Remus said facing Harry.
"When you are wolfie." Harry replied with a smirk.
Harry had not even drawn his wand when the first curse was fired at him. With a flick of his wrist the holster shot his wand perfectly into his grip and in one fluid movement a shield jumped up to knock the curse aside. The teacher and student eyed one another both trying to anticipate the next attack. Remus made the first move by firing off two blasting curses Harry blocked them both easily with a contego shield and retaliated with some rapid fire stunning spells. The ware wolf erected his shield a split second before the first curse came in contact barely keeping the duel alive unfortunately it wasn't enough to stop the consecutive curses and resorted to Dodging. Harry sensing the advantage pressed forward firing a wide array of non-lethal spells. Harry stopped firing in order to give his teacher a chance to regain his position. It was only training after all. Harry stood with his wand at his side and watched Remus square up with his wand outstretched. Remus eyed his opponent and decided it was time to turn up the heat. Just as Remus was about to fire off a curse Harry had an idea. He had read a few books about apparition and memorized the principles so what better time to try it out.
"REDUCTO!" Remus cried pouring far more power then was needed to fuel the blasting curse, but Harry had known what was coming and already had a plan prepared.
Harry raised his wand above his head and as the red jet of sparks was about to impact square in his chest he angled his wand down and whispered a shield charm. Just like Harry had planned a round golden shield appeared at the end of his wand which he used to force the offending curse into the ground. All in one motion it seemed the curse impacted the floor directly in front of the young wizard and sent smoke and debris into the air blocking Harry from view for a moment. That was all he needed to put the rest of his plan into action. Harry closed his eyes concentrated hard on the spot across the room willing himself to be there. A strange feeling came over him, like he was being squeezed through a tube. With a nearly silent pop he opened his eyes and found himself looking at Remus's back.
"Stupefy!" Harry said clearly.
Remus spun around just in time to see the bright red spell impact his chest and send him careening across the room into the wall behind him. Harry advanced on the unconscious marauder, wand drawn in case the marauder was still aware of his surroundings. As he advanced Harry summoned his opponent's wand and pocketed it.
"Incarcerous." Harry said binding the prone form of Remus. "Ennervate."
Remus opened his eyes looked around. Realizing he was bound his shoulders slumped.
"I give cub." He said looking up at Harry. "Mind getting these ropes off?"
Harry was pacing back and forth staring at Remus with a wicked grin on his face.
"Don't know Moony." Harry said. "What would any self respecting marauder do in this situation?"
Harry smiled as he watched Remus squirm. Searching his mind for a good prank he remembered back in his third year when Remus allowed Neville to battle the boggart.
Harry concentrated hard on the funniest outfit he could think of.
"Riddikulus." Harry said pointing his holly wand at the ware wolf. The spell hit Remus and the marauder was forced into a clown suit complete with face paint and a giant red nose.
"Levicorpus." Harry said lifting his teacher off the ground flashing him an evil grin. "I believe it is time to pay Sirius a visit."
"Now Harry this is just cruel." Remus replied panic evident in his voice.
"Maybe Tonks needs to see this as well." Harry said immediately making the ware wolf blush.
"Now Harry." Remus said. "I know we can work something out here."
"Oh no Moony." Harry replied. "What kind of son would I be if I didn't uphold the marauder tradition?"
Harry flicked his wand toward the stairs leading Remus up and out of the training room. He sealed the great iron door behind him and led the ware wolf into the foyer.
"SIRIUS!" Harry yelled. After a moment nobody answered Harry waved his wand in a whip-like motion causing a loud bang. Suddenly a door upstairs swung open and Sirius came running out wand in hand. He looked down into the foyer taking in the whole situation. A smile played at his lips as he turned and walked back into the room. Harry frowned and figured the prank was lame and was just about to release the clown-ware wolf when he heard a clicking from upstairs. Harry glanced back up and smiled when he saw Sirius walking down the stairs camera in hand taking photos of Remus.
"Fantastic Harry." Sirius said. "Can't wait to show the order these."
Harry gave a quick mock bow and turned back to his honorary uncle.
"Finite." Harry said pointing his wand at Remus. The ropes disappeared and the clown suit was replaced by the battle robes he had been wearing before. Harry reached into his pocket and grabbed Remus's wand and tossed it to him.
"Well cub." Remus said. "I've got to admit, that was some amazing dueling."
"Thanks." Harry replied.
"He's already got the best of you Moony?" Sirius laughed.
"It's not my fault, the kid is good." Remus replied. Harry beamed at the compliment.
"Well I guess ill have to whip you both into shape." Sirius said.
Harry and Remus turned to face the animagus fingering their wands.
"I was only kidding." Sirius said panic in his eyes. "Besides it's probably time to get cleaned up and eat. Harry you have a lesson tonight."
"Right well I need to clean my battle robes as well as write a letter to Hermione and Ron." Harry said. "I've also been meaning to ask if it is ok to take the magical trace off of them so they can train over the summer as well?"
"I don't see any problem with that." Sirius said.
"As long as they can keep the secret to themselves." Remus added.
"It won't be a problem." Harry said. "I was thinking about Neville as well."
"I'm sure it won't be too much trouble to convince Augusta." Sirius said.
"He really is a strong wizard." Harry said. "He just needs some confidence."
"Yea I'll owl her tonight if that's what you want." Remus said.
"Thanks Moony." Harry said.
"Alright pup go get ready." Sirius said. "I'm going to get washed up as well."
Harry walked up the stairs and into his room. He moved to his dresser and picked out a set of casual black robes and grabbed a towel off of the rack hanging on his door. Harry proceeded out his door and down the hall into the bathroom where he showered and dressed. Glancing at the mirror he had to do a double take. It had definitely been a while since he had seen himself and he definitely noticed some changes in his appearance. His Jaw was more square, shoulders more broad, and his chest had filled in a bit. The main difference was how long his hair was getting, no longer was it sticking up at funny angles, it now fell down into his eyes. Running his hand through it he realized that it was nearly long enough to tie in the back but the front would still hang to about his eye level.
'Wicked.' Harry thought to himself. Gazing at his own reflection for a few moments more he left the bathroom and walked down the stairs into the foyer. Glancing at the clock mounted on the wall it read seven so he knew he could take his time and have a relaxing meal. Harry strolled into the kitchen and knew that Dobby and Winky had outdone themselves again by the aroma wafting through the room. He sat down just as Dobby was removing what looked like a roast from the oven.
"What's on the menu for tonight Dobby?" Harry asked.
The elf whirled around nearly dropping the roast. Harry quickly apologized for startling him which Dobby absolutely refused to accept.
"We is having roast beef, smashed potatoes, and salad." Winky said coming up behind Harry carrying a butter beer on a tray. The tiny female elf handed Harry his drink and continued. "And for desert we is making Harry Potter's most favorite treacle tart."
Harry turned in his seat to see Sirius and Remus entering the kitchen.
"Smells fantastic too." Remus added.
The three men sat at a small dining room table enjoying the wonderful spread that the two elves had prepared. The food tasted as wonderful as it smelled and the elves positively beamed when compliments were given, of course they wouldn't accept them without stating that 'it was nothing'. The marauders all sat back against their chairs after the meal and exchanged small talk. Dobby and Winky were just about finished cleaning the table off when the door chime sounded. Harry glanced at the clock and it read eight o'clock so he figured it was about time for his occlumency. The grin that spread across Sirius's face was all that Harry needed to know he was right.
"Dobby would you kindly escort our guest to the library." Sirius said smiling.
"Yes sir." Dobby replied and with a small pop he was gone.
"Well I guess it's time for your lesson pup." Sirius said.
"Couldn't be any worse then Snape's I suppose." Harry said thinking back to his previous lessons.
"Relax pup she is a master occlumens trained by Flamel himself." Sirius said.
"Ok, time to face the music I guess." Harry said more to himself then Sirius.
"It'll be fine." Sirius said as Harry turned and walked out of the kitchen, thanking Dobby and Winky as he left.
Harry walked out of the kitchen and into the dim foyer. He noticed the library door cracked open and could see the dancing light of candles waxing and waning in the room beyond. With the preconceived notion that this night would not be pleasant, he had to steel his resolve by thinking of what could have happened to Sirius because of his inability to protect his thoughts. Pushing the door open he noticed two comfy arm chairs one of which was occupied but facing away from him so he could not see his teacher. Harry walked to the chair opposite the woman and sat down. Looking at his teacher he figured her to be in her late twenties, quite attractive, with blonde hair and an amazing figure that he could see even while she was sitting down. Her eyes were closed and she seemed to not even acknowledge his presence. Harry grunted to alert her to him being there and she opened her eyes and smiled.
"Jenivive Barkwith." The woman said standing up and holding out her hand.
"Harry Potter." Harry said shaking her hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Nice to finally meet you Harry." She replied. "I've heard a fair bit about your talents and I'm confident you'll be able to handle this."
"Well I'm hoping this goes better then the last attempt at occlumency." Harry said.
"How exactly did that go?" She asked. "All I've heard is that the lessons were conducted by Severus Snape."
"Well lets just say that having my mind ripped open every five minutes during lessons was not one of my better experiences." Harry replied.
"That was the extent of your lessons?" Mrs. Barkwith asked.
"Pretty much." Harry said
"Doesn't sound much like training to me." She said. "Ready to get started?"
"Yes ma'am." Harry replied.
"You can call me Jen if you like." Mrs. Barkwith stated.
Harry nodded his head in understanding.
"Alright, now I want you to begin by relaxing. Close your eyes and pull all your thoughts off of the surface. Make your mind like a white screen. Now when your mind is blank I want you to figure out some way to organize your thoughts. Think of a way to keep them together. In whatever categories you want.
Harry was following the instructions as she was giving them. His mind was completely blank. He was thinking of giant trunks in which to store his thoughts so he called them forth from his imagination.
"Now once you've figured out what way you want to hold the thoughts you need to go through every memory you have." Jen said. "I mean every one. From as far back as you can remember."
"Alright." Harry said never opening his eyes.
"As you go through these memories store them however you like."
Harry never opened his eyes the whole time she was speaking but heard every word. He went back. As far back as he could remember, to first talking to his aunt about his parents, first getting pushed around by his cousin, his first bike ride, being chased by Marge's dog. Everything played out in his head. Every time a new thought or memory came up it was stored away inside a locked trunk. Jenivive sat there in silence watching the young man before her. He had been quiet in concentration for over two hours and hadn't made a move. She pondered the significance of the job she was entrusted with. When she was contacted by Black it was a nice surprise, he had offered her the chance to train the boy who lived as well as a nice sum of money. She had delayed the man for a chance to talk with her mentor and teacher Nicholas Flamel. He had elaborated a small amount about the young mans importance in the upcoming war, He had given her no real detail only telling her that his role will be of extreme importance and if the war is to be won he will need proper guidance. So she accepted thinking that it was time to play a role in the good fight, not to mention reacquainting with the always charming Sirius Black. Her attention was called back to the young man in front of her when his emerald eyes slowly opened and gazed back at her unflinchingly.
"I think I'm finished." Harry said.
"You'll never finish so long as you live." She replied with a smile. "But as long as your head stays clear for the most part you'll be fine."
"I understand." Harry replied.
"Now we're going to begin by detecting foreign presence in your mind." Jen said. "Nobody knows your own mind better then you so now that your head is clear any presence should stick out like a sore thumb."
Harry watched his teacher close her eyes, immediately he felt a strange feeling in his head, like a tickling behind his ears. He closed his eyes and delved into his own mind, clearing it as he went. He quickly found his target; the infringing presence was nearly black against the white backdrop of his clear mind. Harry moved his consciousness toward the offending one and gently prodded it. He opened his eyes after she had left his mind and found her smiling.
"Brilliant first attempt Mr. Potter." Jen said. "Let's try it again shall we?"
"Sure." Harry replied.
Once again she concentrated and broke into his mind. Harry noticed that something was amiss immediately and withdrew into his mind. Just like the last time he found her without trouble and nudged her consciousness out. Once she was out she congratulated him on his efforts for the next few rounds he would have to use some sort of force to get her out. Harry nodded his ok without hesitation thinking about how much better these lessons were compared to his previous instructor. They continued with the lesson, Harry had yet to fail in detecting and expelling her presence which amazed his teacher.
"Last attempt Harry." Jenivive said.
This time she reached back into her core and called forth a bit of power and dove into young Harry's mind. This was the first time her entry had caused any discomfort. Harry winced and closed his eyes. She had already gone past his first layer of defense and back to the spot where he kept his trunks. Harry was feeling his way to her as she delved deeper and deeper into his past memories until she came upon a great gleaming wall like nothing she had ever experienced before. Examining the wall in Harry's mind she noticed some cracks spider webbing through it. She brushed her consciousness up against it and was surprised to get a shock of raw magic. Immediately she knew what this was. What she knew about them had come only from Master Flamel himself and only a true master of occlumncy and legilimency could perform such a feat. Somebody had erected an occlumatic block in Harry's mind. She could only guess at what was so important that it had to be hidden in such a manor. Again she nudged up against it this time with more force only to be hit with such a surge of magical power that she was ejected from the young man's mind rather violently.
"Mrs. Barkwith!" Harry said standing and crossing to her chair.
"I'm fine." She replied rubbing her temples.
"What happened? What was that wall?" Harry asked.
"I believe it to be a block." Jen said. "Only a skilled legilimens could place it with enough power to stop me."
"Someone put a block on my mind?" Harry asked in confusion. "What could be so important it has to be hidden from me?"
"No idea." Jen replied.
"Well how can I break it?" Harry asked.
"I don't know." Jen replied. "Try going back to the spot and examining it."
"Alright." Harry replied closing his eyes and pulling his conscious off the surface back into his mind.
Harry roamed his mind and was amazed at how much room there was. He followed down the same path Jenivive had gone, past the first small barrier, past the precious trunks which housed his most secret thoughts and desires, until he came upon it. A giant wall gleaming in white light. Harry pushed his consciousness close to it and realized that it was a shimmering glass type substance. He noticed that cracks ran down almost every inch of the surface almost like a car window webbing. He brushed against it and was somewhat surprised that nothing happened after watching Jenivive get tossed so easily. Harry pushed on the barrier and watched the glass web more. He examined the barrier once more and could only think of what it represented. Another level of control over him. Whoever placed it there had no right, and Harry was going to bring it down. Harry backed his consciousness away from the wall and gathered some power. Using as much force as he could he rammed the wall as hard as he could and bounced back. The whole wall was shaking, piece by piece the barrier fell. Each piece of glass that fell let a bead of light through, like the light was coming from behind the glass. Almost as if the glass was put there to dim the light. More and more light was showing through and Harry gathered his strength to finish the job. He pulled his mind away from the wall and rammed it again. This time it did the trick, the wall started falling more rapidly. The light was blinding and he was feeling an odd sensation rushing through his body the more light was let through. Half the wall had fallen and it was too much for Harry to stay near, as fast as he could he gathered his thoughts and returned to reality. Unfortunately when he returned to the room with Jenivive the sensation was taking over him. He had felt it before, he thought back to the department of mysteries where he faced Bellatrix, the power that welled up inside him was uncontrollable. He could feel it begging to be unleashed and didn't know how much longer he could contain it. The cracking he had felt at first had given way to complete shattering as the barrier fell releasing all of Harry's repressed power.
"Mrs. Barkwith." Harry said worriedly. "Leave now!"
"Harry what's happening?" She said as the room started to shake. Books fell from their shelves, and the candles were put out by a gust of wind even though the windows were closed.
"LEAVE!" Harry said falling to his knees.
She didn't need to be told again. One look at Harry and she could see the magical aura pouring off of him in waves. Before she knew it, Jenivive was on her feet running from the room. Harry turned to make sure she was gone and saw Sirius framed in the doorway with a look or terror on his face. Immediately Harry knew what he had to do, He looked Sirius in the eyes and just as Sirius had crossed the room Harry was gone with a pop. He reappeared on the edge of the grounds on all fours. The power was welling up inside him threatening to consume him should he not release it. Harry knew what he had to do. Closing his eyes he relaxed his body and allowed the power to leave him. The wave of raw magic that left him was amazing, it rushed out of him like a torrent being close to the edge of he property the wave impacted the trees blasting them into splinters. The wave of power crashed into the house blowing out every window shaking it to the foundation. Harry couldn't take the outpouring from his core and all he knew was blackness.
Sirius and Remus heard the explosion outside and knew it must have been caused by Harry. The marauders rushed out of the house and looked around, seeing the downed trees they both took off towards the edge of the property. When they reached Harry, who looked unharmed, he was lying at the bottom of a ten foot crater. The two men looked at each other and walked over to Harry. Sirius kneeled down and checked to make sure Harry was breathing which he was. The marauders were amazed to find no actual injury on Harry. Sirius grabbed his wand and levitated his godson out of the hole and into the house. Laying him on the couch he turned to Remus.
"We need Pomfrey." Sirius said.
"Alright I'll floo her." Remus replied.
Remus went to the empty grate in the library and tossed some powder from the mantle above.
"Hogwarts Infirmiry." He said clearly leaning into the grate. The hospital wing was empty.
"Poppy!" Remus yelled.
The office door swung open revealing the Hogwarts nurse.
"Mr. Lupin what is so important that you must call at this time of night?" Pomfrey said.
"It's Harry." Remus replied urgently. "Something has happened. He blasted half the grounds and now he's unconsciousness."
"Alright where is he." The nurse asked.
Remus reached into his pocket and pulled out the parchment with the address to marauder manor on it. He handed it to Madam Pomfrey. Who quickly read it and stepped through the grate that Remus had occupied. They ran in to the sitting room and found Sirius standing over Harry with a look of fury across his face, Jenivive was sitting behind him at a table with her head in hands. Poppy immediately went to work on Harry casting all kinds of diagnostic charms and taking pulses from all different areas.
"He's suffering from magical overload." Poppy said. "What was he doing prior to the accident."
"Occlumency lesson." Remus said.
"He had an occlumatic block which seemed to hold his core back." Jenivive said looking up.
"And he broke it down?" Poppy said. "That would explain the sudden influx of magic."
"My only question is why someone would do it." Jenivive said. "And who could possibly be powerful enough to put a block strong enough to hold power like that."
Sirius let a cynical laugh escape and everyone turned to face him.
To be continued.