Disclaimer: I am borrowing from the creative mind of J.K. Rowling.
Warning: This story is rated as T for a reason. The chapter contains some violence and mild language.
Thank you to my beta Trucklesinthetree. If you have not read Remembering Me and the sequel Remembering Me: Into the Serpent's Lair, you should check it out. It is listed as a favorite on my profile page and in my community, Melverne's Picks. I am looking for stories to add to the community, if you have a suggestion PM me.
A/N: Chapter 6 contained a reference to a great movie, Practical Magic. I posted my thoughts about how magic works and some ideas about the Wizarding World on my profile page.
Chapter 7: Time to go
Dave swaggered through the Ministry of Magic, pleased with the message he was bearing. He was certain there would be an appreciable reward. Despite his humble beginning as the administrative assistant to Dolores Umbridge, the head of the Muggle-born Registration Commission, Dave had rapidly risen in position. The diligence of following Dolores into her office every morning before the door could shut behind her had paid off. He had become a glorified gofer for various department heads. They were equally impressed with his shameless talent of kissing arse. However, Dave's career didn't really take off until he had been asked to deliver a message to a lowly employee in the department of Dangerous Creatures.
His normal strut when delivering 'important' messages diminished when he traveled down the poorly lit corridor. An eerie squeak echoed in the hall and a grinding buzz interrupted the squealing as he traveled to the lone office at the end of the hall. He stood outside the door, peering at the nameplate of Walden Macnair. Gravely, Dave lifted his hand and rapped with a limp wrist on the door.
Several minutes passed as Dave stood outside the door, uncomfortably listening to the squeak and grind within the room. He raised his hand and knocked more firmly, afraid of sounding rude. Another minute passed and he tried again nearly beating on the door. Within seconds a thud greeted him as splintered wood sprayed into his face.
After brushing the debris from his eyes Dave stared at the gleaming metal that pierced the door inches from his face. The squeak slowly came to a stop. In a weak voice Dave called out, "hello?"
The door slowly swung open in response. In a surreal movement Dave lifted his hand to catch the handle of the axe embedded in the solid oak door. He clenched his abdominal muscles to keep from wetting himself. A little more force and the axe would have split my skull, Dave thought with a sick feeling settling in his stomach.
"Come in, Mr Gaidley," a deep voice rumbled from behind a giant stone wheel.
Gathering his courage, Dave strode into the room with the manila envelope held importantly before him. "Here are your orders," he said boldly.
Macnair stood and turned his back to Dave, ignoring him. He considered the archaic weapons hanging on the wall before him. His fingers danced lightly across the hilts, caressing each one before touching the next.
"Your orders... sir," Dave said a bit more meekly.
"Enchanting, aren't they?" Macnair asked off-handedly, not caring if the office gofer replied or not. A backhanded gesture with his wand closed the door behind Dave and the stone wheel started to squeakily spin.
Dave gave a startled jump before cautiously walking further into the room, carefully placing a work table between them. His hand trembled under the growing weight of the envelope, which represented his shield of authority. "Yes sir," Dave replied with a nervous crack in his voice, hoping the noisy grindstone drowned him out.
"Everybody has a place in the world. To those who listen, something will call to their soul. Have you found your place, Mr Gaidley?" Macnair asked removing a pole axe from the wall, a gentle push a second later sent it drifting over to the stone wheel.
After the bob of his adam's apple, Dave answered, "no sir."
"Sometimes it takes a little help. I can help you find your place," Mcnair generously offered in a deep timbre. His hand settled on the hilt of a stiletto. He closed his eyes in bliss and gracefully drew the blade.
Dave's hand dropped to the table releasing the envelope to slide over to Mcnair. "Sir?"
"You have ingratiated yourself to those above you. In return you have been allowed to run errands. Do you tire of fetching the Daily Prophet and serving tea?" Mcnair turned on his heel and walked around to the other side of the table.
"I hardly think that you are in a place to judge me," Dave said getting his nerve back.
Suddenly, Mcnair impaled the stiletto in the table. The shining blade quivered from the violent motion. Dave jumped away from the man but not fast enough. Mcnair's long sinewy arm snatched Dave by the wrist and pulled him back to the table. Dave jerked frantically trying to escape but the strength of the other man relentlessly reeled him in. With a wave of his wand Mcnair cast a sticking charm on the table and he planted Dave's hand. A second motion caused the pole axe to press its head against the stone wheel.
"Mcnair! What the hell?" Dave cried out. The man's screams of panic were drowned out by the noise of metal grinding against stone.
With an impassive look Mcnair wrenched the stiletto free from the flesh of the table. "You could have much more. Knowing important people can be quite valuable. You have been in the office of every Ministry Head, frequently. Certain acquaintances would like to know what is discussed in their offices. My associates reciprocate in kind and your help would be greatly appreciated," Mcnair said, leaning in close to Dave and raising his voice to be heard.
Dave's face reddened with outrage. As if I can be bought.
The stiletto arched down biting into the table between Dave's thumb and first finger.
"Oh sweet Merlin," Dave screamed frantically pulling at his hand to free himself. The heavy wooden table jumped in response to Dave's desperate bid for freedom.
"It is a gracious offer," Mcnair said pulling his dagger and plunging it between Dave's index finger and middle finger.
"Mcnair, please," Dave started to beg. His knees shook with weakness, threatening to collapse beneath him. Fear opened every pore in his body and Dave began to sweat profusely.
"Yes most gracious, don't you agree?" The stiletto came out and slammed down between the middle and ring finger.
Mcnair pulled the shinning, six-inch blade out and smiled. "Yes?"
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Dave shrieked as the stiletto came down again between the ring and little finger.
"They said you were a reasonable and ambitious man. With a little help you will find your place," Mcnair said leaning in to stare Dave in the eye. His hand snaked out and waved his wand, canceling the sticking charm.
Dave yanked his hand away from the table, stumbling backwards in his zeal.
"Bring me interesting news and you will be rewarded." Mcnair picked up the envelope, slit it open and slid out his assignment. A black and white picture of Dave slipped out.
Dave cradled his hand to his chest. He looked at the picture of himself on the table and backed away from Mcnair. The gofer's imperious attitude was gone. A disheveled man with pitted out robes stood in the cocky office arse licker's place.
"It is a wonderful thing when you find your place in the world," Mcnair said with a terrible smile upon his face as he stabbed the picture of Dave with the knife.
Shoving his weight against the door, Dave spilled out into the hall when it opened. He raced down the hall with Mcnair's haunting laugh chasing him back to his desk.
Unexpectedly, Dave was promoted to a position that was the equivalent of a manager the next day. There were few job expectations other than to attend many meetings with the heads of other departments. His former co-workers talked snidely behind his back, whispering 'arse licker', 'brown noser' and other similar unflattering names. Dave continued to personally deliver Walden Mcnair his orders.
Months later Dave was in Mcnair's office hefting a sack of gold. He carefully concealed his benefactor's 'appreciation' in his robes and left. Dave had been right, Mcnair was very pleased with the abuse report of one Harry James Potter.
Arabella emerged from the floo in the Leaky Caldron, one of the access points to Diagon Alley.
"Good Afternoon, Bella," Tom hailed.
"Tom," she greeted with the nod of her head.
"What brings you, business or pleasure?" He asked.
"Business, Tom. I have important things to do this afternoon and not much time left to do them," she replied, hurrying through the pub.
"Right then, off you go. It's always a pleasure to see you. Stop by and warm a chair when you have more time."
"Bye Tom," she called over her shoulder, stepping out into the alley. Arabella walked over to the wall and tapped it several times with her wand. The bricks rearranged themselves into a passageway leading to Diagon Alley. With a determined walk she made her way to the office of Prewett and Prewett.
The humble building surprised Arabella. With Augusta involved she had expected something grander. A sign hung from the door stating that they were not accepting new clients at this time. The door gave a quaint chime as it opened.
The Prewetts looked up from their side by side desks to see who'd entered. Diana Prewett appraised the older witch and said, "You must be Mrs Figg. I have some forms for you to sign. I was about to owl them to you."
"That is precisely why I am here. Things have become more urgent," Arabella replied.
Diana proceeded to lock the door and cast some privacy charms just as a precaution. They had never worked for a high profile client before. Locking away all paperwork and regular use of privacy charms, among other security features, were going to become the norm.
Terry Prewett stood up indicating for Arabella to take a seat.
"I have the forms out right now. If you complete them I will deliver them to London and file them myself. Then it will be official. I know it is shocking but both Ministries are capable of working together on occasion. They each put their best foot forward in regard to laws. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."
With a sharp look from his wife, Terry stopped with the Muggle terms. He just loved to use Muggle items and jargon. It confused some of their clients and sometimes made them feel uncomfortable.
He's being a prat because of Madam Longbottom. The woman had come in and judged us, not that I blame her. Then she had opened her 'fat checkbook' as Terry put it and bought them. The way he acted you would think we had become slaves. As much as he resents bigotry about being a squib you'd think he would be more understanding about purebloods, especially the old noble families, Diana thought with a growing frustration towards her sometimes thick headed husband.
"One hand washes the other," Arabella added with a grin at Terry.
Terry positively beamed at the reply. "Muggle born?"
Arabella shook her head. "Undercover work. I've lived the last four years as a Muggle keeping an eye on Harry. There are a few luxuries I have grown fond of over the years. I daresay a few of them I couldn't live without. Their Feline Fancy magazine is a delight to read."
The red headed man dropped into the client seat across from Arabella and slouched down in the chair. He was about to prop his feet up on the desk when Diane glared another warning at him. With a sigh he settled for stretching out his legs and crossing them at the ankles.
"I have a post-it-note next to every line that needs to be signed," Diana pointed out helpfully.
"Another Muggle creation," Terry mentioned not so casually.
Chasing a stray lock of grey hair from her eyes, Arabella looked closely at Terry. "Your Molly Weasley's cousin!"
"Guilty." He chortled softly to himself at the law pun.
"Molly said she invited you over to keep Arthur from plaguing her with his muggle hobbies. I remember when you gave him that old Ford Anglia. He had installed an invisibility device and we took it on a stake out for the Order. It worked like a charm, except the Ford had to be kept running for the invisibility to work. So we sat there invisible with the car spewing a cloud of exhaust behind us," Arabella laughed as she turned through the pages signing where it was necessary.
Terry laughed in response. "Arthur had to invite me over himself a few times after that. Molly was pretty angry about all the time he spends with it in the shed. She still gives me a scathing look when ever Arthur mentions the Ford."
"There, that should do it," Arabella announced setting the quill down.
Diana looked through the Wizard Child Advocate forms while Terry checked the Muggle paperwork. They nodded their heads in approval, made copies of the forms and stuffed them into legal sized envelopes.
Terry checked his wind up wristwatch as he headed for the exit a moment later and said, "I'll deliver these myself. There is just enough time to visit both ministries if I hurry. I can pull some strings and get them signed off on today. They owe me. It's been a pleasure, Arabella."
"Director Bones requested the forms to be taken directly to her," Arabella called after Terry.
The Prewetts glanced at each other then at Arabella. "The Aurors have been contacted?" Diana asked leaning towards Arabella in interest.
"Just Director Bones. We had discussed contacting her last night but had decided to wait. It was a chance encounter. Augusta was about to leave Diagon Alley when they met. The opportunity to speak with the Director without anyone at the Ministry knowing was too great to pass," Arabella explained.
"What did she have to say?" Terry asked from the door.
"She asked for everything to be routed to her home address and not through the ministry. The advocacy forms will be taken care of by her. As a former Senior Auror placing me as the child advocate will go uncontested. Director Bones took several pictures of Harry to add as evidence. She would probably give you copies, if you asked. I believe she plans on filing the charges with the Wizengamot herself," Arabella answered.
"You better get going, Terry. We need to make sure the child advocate status is granted today."
"Right - O," Terry replied, tipping an imaginary hat to the ladies. He opened the door and nearly toppled the goblin messenger on the steps.
"Oh, terribly sorry about that," Terry quickly apologized to the goblin.
The goblin leered at him menacingly and righted his uniform. "Mr Prewett? Retainer of Lady Longbottom?"
"Please sign here," the goblin courier said holding out a scroll and quill.
Terry promptly scribbled a signature, in which only the first letter was legible. The goblin sneered at the messy penmanship and handed a tiny silver knife. "Blood seal is required as well."
The red headed man pricked his little finger and a single drop of blood fell upon the Gringotts wax seal. Satisfied, the goblin handed over a satchel of papers. "Master Orelink requests the presence of the Prewett and Prewett firm at your earliest convenience. Is there a..."
"Diane, you've got a goblin who needs to schedule a meeting," Terry hollered at his wife.
"I've really gotta run. Talk to Diane," Terry said, handing the satchel back to the goblin and walking around him.
"Errrrr," the goblin muttered under his breath as he entered the lawyer's office.
"I do apologize. My husband is in a hurry," Diane offered to sooth any insult.
The goblin cleared his throat and started again, "Master Orelink requests the presence of the Prewett and Prewett firm and the parties you represent at your earliest convenience."
Diane considered the fact that no time had been specified. Master Orelink, the branch manager of Gringotts Wizarding Bank in Harrod's, just invited them to a meeting at their convenience. Meaning he would clear his schedule for them. She wrapped her head around the concept that very powerful individuals were becoming involved. Lady Longbottom, Master Orelink, Director Bones, Harry Potter.
This was the case of a lifetime. Prewett and Prewett would become an overnight success with this. Proctus law firm, her father's firm, would beg her to join. Perhaps they would finally extend an offer to Terry in an effort to get her. That, more than any other reason, was why she had never joined her father's law firm. Proctus would not allow a squib to work for them and she would not accept it.
"Uhhh, would tonight at a six be alright?" Diane hesitantly asked.
"Six tonight. Master Orelink will be waiting," the goblin agreed, handing an invitation to Diane. The gold lettering spun across the invitation with the date and time. The goblin spun on his heel and left.
"Fortunately we have a good sitter lined up," Arabella commented dryly.
Perspiration dotted Augusta's forehead as she concentrated on weaving the notice-me-not charm into the meager wards around the house. She pushed a considerable amount of her own magical energy into the enchantment to avoid diminishing any of the existing defenses.
She wiped her brow once the work was finished. It's not the best I have done but if I have my way Arabella and Harry will be safely tucked away at Longbottom Manor by tomorrow. Now I just have to convince Arabella to move into the guesthouse. She will do anything for Harry. I'll just have to present it as the best thing to do for his safety. It shouldn't be too difficult, Amelia already made the recommendation.
Augusta's gaze drifted to the Dursley's home. "Hmpf."
It will be interesting to see what happens when Mrs Dursley realizes that Dudley really is a wizard. The way she acted I almost feel sorry for the boy. I wonder if she knows that she is a squib herself? Maybe he will be a squib. It would be best for everyone that way. Maybe I could get a look at the Muggle born registry books from that troll of a woman, Dolores Umbridge.
A bug buzzed around Augusta's face, distracting her from further berating the Dursleys. Absent-mindedly she waved a hand at the irritant before going back inside. The winged pest followed behind the silver haired woman. The door swung shut, swiftly closing the insect out.
The beetle landed on the screen and clambered around. It found the doorframe and crawled the perimeter, looking for a crack to crawl through. A tiny opening revealed itself and the bug disappeared.
It emerged on the other side and was greeted by two furiously pounding white paws. The orange tabby with white paws slapped the creature and set it to spinning on its back. Mr Paws pounced on the over turned beetle and smashed it between his paws lifting it into the air. The bug dropped to the floor right side up and scrambled back beneath the doorframe. Mr Paws scratched along the floor, extending his claws in an effort to ensnare his prey.
Once on the other side the frazzled bug buzzed into the air and sought out another entrance to the home. Window after window the bug landed and crawled about the screens, probing for another opening.
Tufty was soon attracted by the buzzing noises at the second window. He began to bat at the bug as it crawled around the screen. The grey tabby butted his face against the screen trying to catch the bug in his mouth. When it took flight for the next window the Kneezle followed. This time he sunk his claws through the wire mesh in another attempt to catch it. Hastily, the insect took flight.
A few windows down the bug landed on the kitchen window. The grey cat walked into the room, which was filled with three children each sitting on a chair in a different corner. Occasionally he would gaze at the window but made no attempt to pursue his prey. When the bug finally stopped scurrying around the screen Tufty prowled a little closer, chattering like a machine gun. The children swiveled in their seats to watch the cat hunt. Every few seconds Tufty edged forward stalking the irksome bug. He gracefully leapt upon the counter with hardly a sound. The grey tail twitched back and forth over the edge of the counter as he watched his prey. Closer and closer he crept. Still the beetle sat, without a care, on its perch.
Mr Paws jumped from a low hanging tree branch against the kitchen window. In mid air his paws batted franticly, ensnaring the bug and dragging it down to the ground. Tibbles, the calico Kneezle, joined Mr Paws a moment later and they thumped their paws through the dirt to turn up the irksome intruder. The bug tried to lay low but was jostled out of its hiding spot. Tibbles scooped the beetle up in her mouth and gulped.
Augusta sat down and relaxed in the living room. After a few minutes she marveled at the quiet house. She was not expecting this with four children present, including her own rambunctious grandson. She stood to search for the other household occupants. Her unease went away when she found three of them sitting in separate corners in the kitchen watching the Kneezle on the counter top.
"Shoo," Augusta said waving her hands at the cat.
The gray tabby thumped his tail against the cabinet door irritably in response and stood his ground with a baleful look in his eye.
Augusta clapped her hands at the stubborn Kneezle as she walked towards him. The cat hissed at her but jumped down and sauntered from the room. Two more of the fury fiends entered through the cat flap on the back kitchen door. Much to Augusta's distress the calico cat hunched upon the floor and gave a low sickly meow. The cat's body lurched several times as it made a dry hacking noise deep in it's throat. There was a wet splat as a pile of phlegm hit the floor.
"Ugh. Neville clean it up please," Augusta said disgustedly and left for the parlour.
Happy to be free, Neville promptly hopped down from the chair and set to his task. Hannah and Susan watched him with some jealously as he pushed his chair back to the table and stood up on it to get some paper napkins. The expression on the girls' faces soured as the boy leaned over the yellow foam to wipe it up.
Neville examined the bile on the floor and hesitated. He could see a bug in the stinky goo. With a poke and prod of his index finger Neville removed the beetle from the yellow froth. "Look a beetle!"
"Ewwwww," Hannah and Susan chorused.
The insect stirred on the floor. "It's still alive! A cat ate it and it's still alive," Neville said excitedly to his grossed out companions.
"Neville just get rid of it and clean the mess up," Augusta nearly shouted from the parlor.
"Don't worry little guy. I'm not going squish you. Lets just take you back outside," Neville said in a conspirator's whisper. He gently picked the insect up and carried it outside. The orange tabby followed him out the door with great interest.
"Oh no you don't. You're not going to get him this time," Neville said to the Kneezle and stood up on the tip of his toes to place the bug up higher on a tree.
"There, now you can't get him," Neville said confidently and turned to leave.
Mr Paws leaped up on the tree and started after the beetle.
"No! Bad..." Neville started to scold the cat. He didn't get any further when the beetle transformed into a lady before his eyes.
The cat was knocked from the tree and the woman landed heavily on the ground.
"Gran! Come quick Gran. Gran!"
In the parlor, Augusta settled herself comfortably on the couch across from Lorraine and Harry. The young woman held Harry in her lap and was rocking him. Augusta considered Lorraine and the brief amount of time they had spent together. Lorraine was the epitome of motherhood. She was in her element with Harry in her arms. It was no wonder that Amelia trusted her with Susan's care.
Augusta was much too dignified to bellow but sometimes Neville taxed her sensibility and good manners, just like his father had. Frank had been a complete shock for her. He liked bugs, snakes and all kinds of creepy crawlers; stomping through puddles and playing in the rain; and sinking his hands in mud just for the joy of it. Frank had had constant sticky little boy hands that you didn't want to know where they had been. Neville was just like him and hearing him in the kitchen, probing through a cat's vomit was too much.
"Neville just get rid of it and clean the mess up," she shouted then shook her head.
A second later she looked over at Harry, hoping that he had not been disturbed by her outburst. The boy had stirred a bit but settled back down once Lorraine started to scratch his head. It is amazing that Harry is so accepting of Arabella's affection. He is even taking to me and now Lorraine too. The poor boy must have been so lonely and starved for attention.
Stirred out of her thoughts by Neville's sudden alarmed calls for help, Augusta dashed out of the parlor and ran to find him. Lorraine hurried after Augusta. The hectic pace of her walk jostled Harry awake. He put both hands on her shoulders, straightened his arms and legs giving his body a stretch. He looked at her grumpily and murmured unhappily, "Wha's going on?"
With her wand in hand, Augusta was the first out the door. Lorraine was right behind her. Hannah and Susan abandoned their chairs to follow. The procession found Neville in the back yard facing a blond haired woman. Keeping her wand trained on the intruder, Augusta used her other hand to push Neville behind her. Augusta noticed that Lorraine finally had the presence of mind to draw her own wand. She is definitely not a fighter, Augusta thought.
The bedraggled woman glared at the orange tabby, which growled back at her. The cat walked upon stiff legs towards the stranger, swipe furiously at her then spring away again, hissing and spitting. The other Kneazles soon encircled her, adding their low growling complaints. All four were rigidly on guard, their fur standing straight up ready to fight.
Augusta appreciatively watched Arabella's familiars circle the intruder. I am definitely getting Neville one soon. She studied the woman. Her tightly curled blond hair was plastered to her head with spittle. Gaudily bejeweled spectacles were askew on her face. She adjusted her glasses and ran a hand through her hair before slowly standing up. The cats hostilely lowered themselves to the ground and made an atrocious racket as they advanced on her together.
"Where's Mrs Figg?" Harry worriedly asked, looking around blurry eyed. Without his glasses he couldn't see well but something was clearly wrong.
"Shhh. It's OK, Harry," Lorraine comforted.
"Harry," the woman repeated with a hungry gleam in her eye. He is here! The floo network said the home belonged to Mrs Arabella Figg, former Senior Auror and suspected member of the Order of the Phoenix. Why is Augusta Longbottom here? Frank and Alice were also Aurors; they were tortured by death eaters until they went insane. Perhaps they were also members of the Order as well. The Order of the Phoenix was a secret society; there were only rumors of who the members actually were. They operated outside of the law and were enemies of the Dark Lord. Maybe Augusta was the leader of the Order. Oh, the scandal that would be - The head of an ancient and noble house, leading a controversial organization!
"She was the bug that got puked up, Gran," Neville said, poking his head out from behind her to see what was going on.
The blonde lady's eyes flittered down to the brown haired boy, standing behind Lady Augusta Longbottom, and hesitated. She barged forward after a second, hoping to ignore the boy's statement. The cats launched themselves at her in a feral attack.
"Ri... ow ow ow."
"Stupify!" Augusta cast the stunner at the woman, knocking her to the ground. She looked around cautiously just incase there were any witnesses.
"In. Everyone back inside," Augusta commanded.
Rita Skeeter! The writer knows where Harry is I can only assume she also knows about the abuse report. How did the word get out? We need to speak about this with Arabella. I am not the tactician that Arabella is but even I know that this was poorly handled. It could have been a Death Eater or Albus Dumbledore knocking on the door. There could have been real danger and like a bunch of fools we marched outside making targets of ourselves.
"Mobilicorpus," Augusta incanted, floating the writer behind her.
The fireplace expanded in size as Petunia backed away. A moment later Albus Dumbledore stepped through with a grave look upon his face.
"Tell me, what has happened?"
Petunia went immediately on the defense and snapped back, "Your spy across the street has kidnapped Harry."
Albus looked at Petunia coolly and replied, "Mrs Figg is there to protect Harry and his family. Now why has she deemed it necessary to protect Harry from his family?"
"How should I know? Your kind is barking mad. The whole lot of you! I cannot say what has gotten into her head," Petunia rattled off wringing her hands nervously. The tiny hairs on her arms were standing on end alerting her that Albus' magic was surging. She had felt it with Lily when they were little just as she could feel it with Harry now. It made her feel dirty.
"Has Vernon been after Harry again?" Albus asked angrily.
"Yes. Not really. No."
"How bad was it this time?"
"Not bad. He looked a little stiff but could do his chores and gets around by himself. If Arabella hadn't given Harry a bath she would have never known. I told Vernon to be careful," her lips worked faster than her mind, spilling things she did not mean to reveal.
Albus' mind raced with the new knowledge. He felt sick to his stomach and not for the first time. "Why would Arabella be taking care of Harry instead of you? Harry is sick with Dragon Pox why is he not here in your tender care?" Albus asked with a dangerous edge to his voice.
"She was just being neighborly. I had a bridge party scheduled for the weekend. Nobody would have come if they realized there was a child with the pox at home. When Dudley came down with it, I had to cancel it anyway. He started to sneeze flames and his skin has this awful green color. My poor Dudley has caught some horrible disease from that child. I had to get him before Arabella saw what a..." She wisely didn't finish her statement.
"A party was more important than the care of your nephew? Your sister's own flesh and blood," Albus said in disbelief. Severus had not exaggerated how much Petunia hated Lily. I knew she had taken it hard when Professor McGonagall explained why Lily was special and she was not. Petunia is a squib. As a child she could sense the magic around her but had none of her own. She could feel and see what she was missing and loathed Lily for it.
The headmaster looked at Petunia and saw her unease. He reined in his anger and his aura, which had become oppressive to the squib standing before him. With a cooler head he asked, "Why didn't you tell me Vernon was after Harry again?"
"It didn't seem that bad. As long as I kept Harry busy and out of his way Vernon was happy to ignore him. But then he started telling some lies about Dudley at school and Vernon couldn't be distracted anymore," she said neglecting to mention her role in telling Vernon about the principal's call or her own contributions to Harry's treatment.
The freak deserved what he got for telling lies about our precious Dudley, Petunia thought bitterly to herself.
"Well it must have been bad enough for Mrs Figg to feel she needed to do something about it," he replied. But why didn't she come to me? She has always come to me with her concerns in the past.
"I didn't want you to do, whatever it is that you do to Vernon again. I've told you that he eventually starts in on Harry again and it is always worse after you do that. You can't change how he feels about Harry. He has never liked the boy, never."
Albus ran a hand over his beard thoughtfully. Are the blood wards interfering with the compulsion charms to leave Harry alone? Is Vernon building up immunity since I have had to do it so often? Is there an adverse reaction to the charm making Vernon even more hostile to Harry? Perhaps it is time to look for another keeper. If Harry is placed with a magical family though, the ministry will learn of his location. It was easier to give him to the Evans family and move them into a new home. Lily had rarely spoke of Petunia and had never mentioned her sister's married name, Dursley. With a few charms concealing their home, a blood ward to protect against intruders and a former Auror on duty just to be safe, the Boy-Who-Lived had effectively disappeared. Now it is all in jeopardy because of an abusive Uncle and an Aunt who never stopped being jealous of her deceased sister.
He gave his beard a tug in frustration as he began to pace uncharacteristically. It was difficult to work Albus up but all his machinations were being ruined by a woman who could not find it in herself to love her orphaned nephew.
Love... She cannot even tolerate the boy. I should not have forced Harry upon them. It was doomed from the start. Never had I imagined that someone could not find it in their heart to love a child. Wizarding children are precious. The community has shrunk to a point that half bloods and muggle borns are nearly as populous as the pureblood families. In another ten years they will become the majority. If Lord Voldemort had not stirred that ugly hatred there would already be more muggle borns than purebloods, like in America. Unfortunately, many muggle born magical folk fled to the United States rather than fight for a community that considers them to be inferior.
Petunia had never seen Albus flustered before and it unnerved her. "One of the women said Dudley was a wizard. Is that true?" She asked hesitantly, not sure that she wanted to know the answer.
"Yes. The fact that he has Dragon Pox indicates that he is at least a squib. A squib is a wizard or witch who has no magic of their own. The magical world and all of the wonders is visible to them. They can even use magical devices like the floo network," Albus hinted to Petunia's status as a squib. He didn't want to upset her more by saying that Dudley's name was on the Hogwarts' admittance list. At one time he had hoped the two would become as close as brothers, so that Harry would have a stalwart ally at his side when he came to Hogwarts.
She raised a hand to her mouth in disbelief. "Not my Dudders. He cannot be an aberration like that boy," Petunia said in a loathing tone. She could not bring herself to acknowledge that she was a squib and ignored the headmaster's not so subtle hint about her use of the floo network.
"How many people were there?" Albus asked, curious as to who might be at Mrs Figg's.
"There were three women and a few children. I didn't recognize any of them. They were not from Dudley's school. I am a school mother and know nearly all of the parents with children in Dudley's grade," Petunia replied haughtily.
It's as if Harry does not even exist to her. She talks about school and being a 'school mother' but never includes Harry. What have I done? I altered Arabella's memories on the assurance from Petunia that Harry was in good care. I was so sure that Petunia would be as loving as Lily was. They were sisters raised together. The parents would have encouraged a nurturing environment.
"Mum! Get me an ice lolly," Dudley bellowed from the couch in front of the telly.
"Yes, Duddikins," she answered then opened the freezer. Petunia dug through the frozen treats looking for a grape one.
"How about orange, sweetie?" Petunia asked.
"There aren't any grape ones left dear," she called back.
"I want grape!"
"But there aren't any, how about cherry?" She tried to reason with him.
"I said I want grape!" Dudley screamed.
"I'll ask your father to stop by the store and bring some home," Petunia replied.
"I want one now," Dudley wailed. A crash punctuated his statement.
Petunia turned to Albus helplessly and asked, "Is there an injection or something to cure Dudley?"
"I don't have a cure for what Dudley has," Albus said shaking his head at the spoiled boy's tantrum.
Your husband should share some of his eagerness to discipline Harry with his own son, Albus thought.
"It appears your hands are full. I will go see about Harry," Albus said excusing himself.
"When will the boy be back? Maybe Arabella can keep him until he gets better since she wouldn't give him back. Let her take care of the sick little miscreant," Petunia rattled on, frazzled by Dudley's fit.
"Perhaps she will," Albus said thoughtfully before letting himself out the door.
"That was enlightening," Albus said to himself crossing the street to Mrs Figg's home.
The children watched curiously as Augusta floated the stranger into the house's parlor. Lorraine put Harry down so she could get a better look at the woman. There was a peculiar acidic aroma to her that she couldn't quite place.
"The cat puked her up, Gran," Neville reminded Augusta.
"Yes Neville, I heard you the first time. What have I told you about saying things like that?" Augusta said as she studied Rita and considered what to do.
"It's not gentlemanly conduct to use crude language," Neville answered by rote in a bored tone. He leaned in closer to the stranger then said, "She smells funny."
Well that explains the odor, Augusta thought wrinkling her nose.
Before Augusta could say anything more Lorraine spoke up, "Alright, out you go, the lot of you. Go play. Here are your glasses, Harry."
Harry took the frames and slid them onto his face. Now that he could see better he smiled his thanks at Lorraine then turned around to follow the other children. In the kitchen, Harry stood apprehensively waiting to be heckled. He peered out from under his bangs cautiously, noticing that Neville had a shiner.
"What happened?" Harry asked quietly pointing to Neville's eye.
"Neville got in a fight with that prat. I wanted to punch him too but Neville got him good," Susan said with great conviction.
The brown haired boy stood taller and puffed out his chest. "Nobody treats any of my friends like that," he said proudly.
Harry flinched when Hannah patted his hair where Dudley had stuck the lolly. "Are you OK?" she asked sympathetically, inspecting his hair.
Hannah had had to get gum cut out of her hair once because she didn't take it out before going to bed. She had cried and cried when her mum had cut her golden locks. It had grown back to its regular length by the next day so it was alright. When it had happened, she had cried like it was an epic tragedy. She was worried that Harry was gong to have to get his hair cut too.
"Yeah. Thanks," Harry replied relaxing under Hannah's touch.
"Good," Hannah said then gave him a quick hug and stepped away.
"What should we play?" Susan asked, moving on to more important things.
"Let's play house," Hannah said eagerly.
"No way," Neville said bluntly with a look of aversion.
Hannah looked hurt and Susan was by her side ready to defend her friend. Harry watched nervously as a line was drawn, boys against the girls. A sharp acidic taste burned at the back of his throat, dreading the confrontation. His face paled and he began to wring his hands.
The blond, pig tailed little girl watched Harry's anxious motions. She stopped frowning and smiled brilliantly at Harry then patted Susan's hand comfortingly. "What do you want to play, Harry?" She said, cocking her head at a funny angle and shaking her pigtails with the motion.
Harry was startled by the question. His hands stilled as all eyes turned to him. Hannah's smile broadened. The black haired boy grinned timidly in return. "Ummm. I don't know," he said in an uncertain tone.
Nobody had ever asked Harry what he wanted to play. In fact, other than today he had never really played with anyone. The pressure of being put on the spot set his hands in motion again.
Seeing his hesitation Hannah offered some choices, "We could play checkers or jacks again. There are some wizard tops (Harry cringed when she mentioned the tops) over there. Oh! I know, how about hide and go seek?"
Neville brightened at that idea. He happily echoed the suggestion, "Yeah, how about hide and seek Harry?"
Not wanting to disappoint anyone Harry nodded his approval. He was just happy that nobody had mentioned his accident or Dudley.
"Onetwothreenotit!" Three voices raced.
Harry stared dumbly at his feet feeling like he had missed something again. Hannah patted his hand comfortingly.
"It was my idea. I'll be it first," Hannah volunteered and went to a corner in the kitchen.
"One..." Hannah called from her corner by the kitchen door as the other children scrambled from the room.
"Come on Harry let's hide," Susan said latching a hold of Harry's hand and dragging him into the living room.
"And no peeking," Neville called over his shoulder as he ran.
"I'm not!" Hannah shouted then continued her count, "Two... Three... Four..."
The three children separated to look for a hiding spot. Neville opened the door of an end table and crawled inside on top of the Feline Fancy magazines. His hand slid, tearing the cover of one of the books. "Oops. Psst. Harry, shut the door, " Neville called for help.
After shutting the door for Neville, Harry hurried about for a hiding spot of his own. He watched Susan slide herself behind the couch against the wall.
He ducked behind one of the living room curtains and hoped for the best.
"Ten! Ready or not here I come," Hannah warned from the kitchen.
Harry slowed his breathing and did his best to avoid touching the long window curtains that hung to the floor. A sly smile was on his face as he listened to Hannah pass by. He turned his head to one side, leaning his warm forehead against the cool window pane. It felt great and he closed eyes for a moment appreciating the coolness.
When he opened his eyes he could see the Dursley's house and he shivered. The front door opened and a white haired man in purple robes stepped out. The breeze stirred his long white beard. The old chap walked towards Mrs Figg's home. Harry began to shake. The man was on the front walk and looked at Harry standing in the window. Jarred from his momentary paralysis Harry backed away from the window. "No..."
"I'm supposed to find you," Hannah said patiently watching Harry emerge from his hiding spot.
Harry ignored her and threw the end table open. He grabbed Neville and pulled him out.
"Harry! That's cheating," Neville protested.
"Come on! Susan… Susan…" Harry cried out frantically, pulling Susan out from behind the couch.
"Harry, what's wrong?" Hannah asked getting a little anxious herself.
"He's here! You have to go! He'll make you forget," Harry pleaded, urging his friends towards the kitchen.
The doorbell rang and Harry started getting rougher with them. Now he was forcibly shoving them. "Go. Go. GO!"
After the children left, Lorraine turned to Augusta. "What is going on? Why did you stun her?"
"This is Rita Skeeter, star writer of the Daily Prophet. She is a hack with a flair for stirring trouble. Half of the noble houses and nearly every member of the Wizengamot have suffered under her acid pen. The fact that she is here is not a good thing. Arabella has been retired for the last five years and even when she was active she was not important enough to get Rita's attention. Somehow she has learned about Harry and I intend to find out how," Augusta replied gravely.
At once it clicked for Lorraine - The woman getting to her feet saying Harry's name with a hungry look in her eye and then rushing towards her… no towards Harry. Lorraine nodded her head in understanding, "What are we going to do?"
Augusta smiled in camaraderie at Lorraine. "We are going to leave her in stasis until Arabella returns. She is much more talented than I at questioning," the silver haired woman answered.
"Why don't we call Amelia?" Lorraine asked.
"Rita hasn't done anything wrong yet, although if Neville is right about her being the bug, she might be an unregistered animagus. Amelia will have restrictions about what she can ask or do. Arabella and I do not," Augusta explained.
Lorraine leaned back in her chair. When she had come over late this morning she had been expecting a play party for the purpose of exposing Hannah and Susan to Dragon Pox. It had seemed like such a practical idea at the time. Then she met Harry Potter and things had become much more complicated.
"Having second thoughts Lorraine? You can walk away; nobody will blame you. You have Hannah and Susan to think about. This is not your battle." Augusta offered a way out to the overwhelmed woman.
"No. If someone had stood up for Harry in the beginning, none of this would be happening. I will not be another person who just walked away when things start to get rough," Lorraine answered resolutely.
"Good people are hard to come by, Lorraine. I'm glad you are with us," Augusta said honestly.
"Stop pushing! That hurt, Harry. What's wrong?" The children clamored along as Harry herded them into the kitchen.
Augusta and Lorraine turned to the kitchen to see what was going on. They watched Harry give Hannah and Susan a forceful shove then plant both hands on Neville's back and push him.
"Harry, what are you doing?" Lorraine asked just as the doorbell rang.
His head jerked back fearfully towards the front door. "Don't answer!" Harry screamed.
Augusta stood up and walked into the kitchen. She looked down on the distraught boy. "Who is it, Harry? Is it Petunia?"
Harry shook his head no and whispered, "The old chap with the white beard."
Oh ho! Albus is here. This is not the time or the place that I would have chosen for the confrontation. However, he is here and someone must do something.
A regal mask slipped into place and Augusta started to walk determinedly towards the door. She moved forward two steps and was nearly thrown to the floor when Harry tackled her around the knees.
"Harry!" Augusta blurted out, surprised by the attack.
"No! Don't go. Please don't go," Harry pleaded.
"I must, he will not just go away," she tried reasoning with him gently.
"No, you will go away. You and Mrs Figg and Neville and… and... everyone will forget me," his body shook with the terrified confession.
The doorbell rang again and Harry tightened his hold. Augusta adjusted her balance then crouched down. She firmly pried his arms loose, looked him in the eye and confidently said, "I am not just anyone, Harry. He is not prepared to face someone like me."
After a moment he stopped struggling to wrap his arms back around her, let his hands drop to his lap and huffed in defeat, "Promise, you'll r'member."
"I promise, Harry," Augusta replied, picking him up. She gave him a hug and handed him over to Lorraine.
Lorraine escorted the children into the parlor. Harry watched over Lorraine's shoulder. The grand, silver haired woman raised her head and regally walked to the front door, wand in hand. A subtle twist of her wrist and the door opened. Harry's eyes met the white haired man's eyes briefly before Lorraine carried him away.
"Albus Dumbledore," Augusta greeted him with steel in her voice, noting his eyes looking into the house.
"Augusta Longbottom," he nodded his head politely. Where is Arabella? What is Augusta doing here? And who was holding Harry? His mind reeled over the possibilities.
"Is there something which I can help you with?" She asked with cool civility.
"I would like to speak to Arabella," he replied cautiously. Their eyes met and tendrils of his consciousness wormed out. He inadvertently cringed when the probes were unexpectedly severed.
"She is away for the moment. Would you like to leave her a message?" Augusta said coldly.
"Perhaps I can wait for her to return," Albus suggested with a twinkle in his eye.
His powerful suggestion crashed like a tide upon a rocky shore. Augusta shook her head no and said, "I will let Arabella know you would like to talk to her when she returns."
Albus stood confounded before Augusta. Very few magical folk weathered his powerful presence but short of a full mental attack her shields would not budge.
After some time of uncomfortable silence Augusta asked, "Is there anything else you would like to convey?"
"Petunia Dursley would prefer that Harry stayed with Arabella until he is better," Albus revealed watching for a reaction.
She nodded her head and calmly replied, "I will let Arabella know."
He was certain that Augusta knew a great deal about Harry but her face revealed nothing. Even with them staring each other in the eye, Albus could not breach her occlumency shields. "Harry is well protected with the Dursley's," Albus said in a last gambit for more information.
Augusta's eyes hardened and her voice became deep and silky. "Well protected from whom, Albus? Have a good evening."
"Good evening to you as well, Augusta," Albus said and walked away.
Beneath Augusta's floor length dress her legs shook. It had taken nearly all of her considerable energy to maintain a shield strong enough to appear unaffected by his leglimency attempts. The powerful suggestion spell he'd used had almost swept her away. She shut the door and put a hand on the wall to steady herself.
Never, have I ever felt anything like that on my shields. Even a small talent in Leglimency combined with the power at his disposal is a humbling thought. It is no wonder that I could not see any breaches in Arabella's defenses. I doubt if anyone else could either. He could possess someone easily. It is considered a dark art, but it would be nothing for him to commandeer someone's body and lock away their mind.
"Willow!" Augusta called urgently.
An immediate pop followed Augusta's call as air rushed away from the sudden appearance of a tiny house elf.
"Yes, my Lady," Willow answered bowing low enough for her long ears to sweep the floor.
"Activate the sentinels and have everyone work on preparing the guest house for tonight," Augusta commanded hastily.
"As you wish, my Lady," Willow answered and disappeared.
"Is everything OK, Augusta?" Lorraine asked from the kitchen with concern on her face.
"No. Albus Dumbledore and Rita Skeeter both know where Harry is. I am not waiting to find out who else comes to visit. We are relocating to Longbottom Manor," Augusta answered as she marched to the kitchen.
"What about Rita? The headmaster knows you were here, won't he just assume that is where everyone went? How will Arabella know where we have gone?" Lorraine asked, falling in line behind Augusta.
"Rita comes with us. I'm not through with her. Yes, he will know where we have gone but it will be far more secure than here. As for Arabella, I'll just leave her a message," Augusta said brandishing her wand.
Standing with her back to the floo Augusta waved her wand and the name 'Longbottom Manor' appeared upon the floor. A second motion morphed the lettering into some undecipherable script. Then she cast a glamour, concealing the message. Finally, she left the Longbottom sigil floating above the hidden message.
The children had gathered around in silent wonder to watch Augusta work. Once finished, she picked up Harry, walked to the fireplace mantle, took a healthy pinch of floo powder and cast it in the fire. "Longbottom Manor," she called out.
The hearth swelled in size as green flames licked hungrily at Augusta's outstretched hand. The fire rolled between her fingers and caressed her hand. The flames receded to the now enlarged hearth. "You have been granted access. Take Hannah and Susan on through. I will send Rita afterwards then follow with the boys," Augusta instructed.
Lorraine scooped up Hannah and tossed some floo powder into the fire. "Longbottom Manor," she called then took Susan by the hand and stepped into the hearth. The fire flared higher, swirling around the three witches then whisked them away. Rita was quickly levitated on through shortly after the first group.
"Now it is our turn. Hold your breath and close your eyes, Harry. Longbottom Manor," she called again before taking Neville by the hand and walking through.
"Shite! I'm not going in there now. No way. Auror Figg is one thing but Albus Dumbledore and Figg in the same house. No," A man argued, waving his hands animatedly.
"Lets just watch, maybe he will go away. We don't have to go in right now," another man reasoned.
"That isn't even Figg at the door," A woman stated.
"Who is it?" The first voice asked.
"Augusta Longbottom I think. It's been a good five years since I have seen her last," the woman replied.
"Bollocks! This just keeps getting better and better. An Auror, a noblewoman and Albus Bloody Dumbledore," Mr panicky complained.
"Can we send for reinforcements?" Mr reasonable asked the woman.
"Unlikely. It was hard enough to get three of us together on such short notice," she answered.
"Figures. Nobody higher up was available?" Mr reasonable questioned.
"No. This is it," the woman said.
"Look! Albus is leaving," Mr panicky pointed out.
"Lets make sure he is gone and then scout the place out. We might be able to pull this off, if it is handled right," she said.
She waited until Albus was out of sight before checking the wards. "This is simple stuff. A notice-me-not charm to keep the Muggles away. A few fairly complex alarms but the shields are pathetic. I can dismantle the alarms in a few minutes then we can look the place over before we attack."
The two men waited patiently for her to finish while keeping an eye on the house.
"It's done. Apparate to the front corners of the house, use an obfuscation charm, and try to see who is inside. Meet around back then return here to report," she ordered.
The men vanished to complete their tasks. Several minutes later they returned. "I didn't see anyone in the house from my side. Just some Kneazles in the windows," Mr reasonable reported.
"It looked empty on my side too," Mr panicky agreed.
"We'll apparate inside the home. One of you will need to take me side along with you," she said since they had seen the inside of the home and knew where they could apparate to.
Mr reasonable held out his arm and said, "Lets go."
Quickly, they verified the house was empty.
"They must have gone to the Longbottom's residence," she said with a shudder.
Breaking the wards of an ancient home was an entirely different matter. Wars were fought for magical real estate. They were built to withstand a siege. The defenses of the ancient families would be impossible for someone like her to breach. It would take a team of professionals to do it. Even then the wards would not go quietly, many people would die forcing entry. The laws of the wizarding world allowed the use of lethal force in the defense of your home. The estates of ancient families would certainly have lethal curses woven into their wards.
If they have gone to the Longbottom's, they will need to find someone else to go. I will not, she thought.
Mr panicky found the sigil in front of the fireplace. "Looks like they left a note," he said.
"Maybe they left a password for the floo," Mr reasonable said.
"Doubtful. They left a message for someone. Lets wait to see who shows up," she said with a wicked smile upon her face.
Arabella returned to the Leaky Cauldron to floo back home. Just to be cautious she stilled her mind and reached out to her familiars to check on the defenses. My home has been compromised.
She shook a few bronze Knuts out for the use of floo powder. The fire flared in a sudden burst of emerald light. "Longbottom Manor. Augusta," Arabella called.
"Arabella, we relocated to my estate. You should come as well," Augusta said with a touch of worry.
"There are three guests in my home. I am going to visit with them first," Arabella said pleasantly.
"Would you like some company?" Augusta asked.
"It shouldn't take long. I'll just see what they want and be right over," she answered.
"Be careful," Augusta warned her friend.
Once the connection ended Arabella walked out of the Leaky Cauldron and into the streets of London to find somewhere that she could discreetly apparate from. Within minutes she was in her own yard and communicating with her familiars. Arabella did not recognize a single one of the three 'visitors'. The infiltrators had concealed themselves in the parlor with good cover and a clear line of sight to the entry points and fireplace, ready to ambush anyone who entered.
Arabella tapped into the power source beneath the home, adding the reserve of power to her own and then apparated to the parlor window and took aim at the back of one of the infiltrators. Her Kneazles stationed themselves within close proximity to one of the remaining men. With everyone in place she fired her first volley through the window, a simple stunning hex to incapacitate.
He started to collapse but before he could hit the floor Arabella had apparated into a corner of the room, not directly in front of either of the remaining enemy force.
The collapse of their partner startled them as did the sudden pop, which accompanied an apparation. They spun to attack.
Mr paws had slunk his way toward the man behind the couch. He ran beneath the man's robes and sunk in his claws, scaling up the man's leg. The cat wrapped its arms around his upper thigh and raked his hind claws down the inside of the man's inner thigh. Mr panicky let loose a pain filled scream.
In a desperate move he pointed his wand at the lump under his robes and tried to take careful aim. "Diffindo!" he shouted as Tufty, the gray tabby, leapt upon his arm, jarring his aim.
A high-pitched whine gurgled from his mouth as he dropped to the floor and rolled onto his side. Mr Paws ran out from under the wizard's robes, covered in blood.
The woman licked her lips, nervously facing Arabella. Two of them were already down. She chose the other road than the valor of a fierce battle and... nothing. Her attempt to apparate away failed.
The wards were childish and ineffectual, a minor alarm was easily disabled. The fractured defenses only held a notice-me-not-charm and a feeble anti apparation ward. She glazed over the ward realizing that the structure was still whole and soundly in place despite the alterations. A secondary ward buried behind the others with an activation key was dormant. There was a stronger ward designed to keep people in. "Oh shite," the woman muttered.
Arabella smiled and incanted, "Confringo."
The charged up blasting charm nearly shattered the hastily cast shielding charm. Even after absorbing the brunt of the attack the woman was nearly knocked off her feet. She was battered into the wall but managed to stay upright. There was no time to mount a counter attack.
"Conduplico Diffindo," Arabella cast a severing charm, which sent two attacks against her opponent's shielding spell. Both attacks pierced the other woman's defense. The first cut a gaping hole through her shoulder and the second grazed her wand arm. The grievous shoulder wound disabled her entire arm. The shield flickered out when her wand hit the floor.
"Expelliarmus," Arabella finished and all three wands flew to her out stretched hand.
She proceeded to finish incapacitating the two men and binding them. Her Kneazles kept a sharp look out while she worked. A quick check of the forearm revealed nothing. Not trusting her sight she used a revealing charm to remove any glamours or illusions.
So they aren't Death Eaters or they don't have the Dark Mark. They could still be actively recruiting and nobody has figured out how to use the Dark Lord's Mark. Ask any Death Eater in Azkaban and they will tell you that the Dark Lord has not been defeated. The ones still free could still be acting on their own.
"Why are you here?" Arabella asked the woman.
Silence was her answer. Her training as an Auror was too engrained and the desire to do right was too strong to employ questionable tactics. She tried a few more times to get an answer before activating the floo and summoning the Aurors to apprehend the home invaders.
Surprisingly, Amelia was with the group which arrived.
"What happened?" Director Bones asked.
"My guests had left while I was out. I returned from Diagon Alley to find the intruders in my home. The wards around the property had been purposely breached. I assumed the worst and defended my home," Arabella said as an official reply.
"Fortunately I have a dear friend that I can stay with," she added.
"If you think of anything else let me know," Amelia replied and nodded that she understood where Arabella was going.
Once Arabella's home was empty a silent figure detached itself from the shadow of a tree.
Lucius isn't going to like this. We were too late to get the Potter brat. Getting him out of the Longbottom estate would take a rising of the remaining Death Eaters to accomplish that. Let the silver tongued devil go to work and throw his gold around. Narcissa is a Black and can claim blood relation to Harry Potter. I am sure Lucius can create a compelling case for his custody.
Thank you for reading the chapter. Please take a minute to leave a review. All comments are welcome.
Thank you for reading the chapter. Please take a minute to leave a review. All comments are welcome.