"The Lone Traveler: Young man who tried to change the past and save those he loved… plan failed and became the Lone Traveler, wandering through time and reality, making a difference wherever he went… very powerful… defeated a powerful Dark Lord… swept along the path he walked by a spectacular aura of blue light."
'Legends & Myths of the Wizarding World' by Gertrude Yolanda
FF St ID 2673584 – Chap 9 – The Professional
At 7:30, the breakfast table was hosting a meal for the residents and the visitors. Petunia was much calmer, as was Vernon. Petunia had thanked her visitors for keeping an eye on the kids the night before.
Harry Traveler agreed to assist in preparing the meal – rightly guessing that Sirius would have no clue and Remus would lack the necessary experience in cooking for so many.
Once the meal was done, Remus and Sirius did help clean up. Soon, most were ready to move out. Before they did, Sirius had to finish some business.
He pulled a packet out of his pockets. "Uh, Vernon? Petunia?" The two Dursleys focused on him. "This is a letter from the bank in Diagon Alley which authorizes your own bank to set up a direct transfer of funds once a month to help cover expenses. Since you weren't prepared to be paying for a new mouth, I thought it would be proper to get this to you quickly. You can also take this to Diagon and have them handle it themselves. It might be easier because they open on Saturday and Sunday as well."
The two thanked him. Vernon excused himself – he said goodbye to both boys as well as his wife. Little Harry had luckily not been subjected to the programmed lack of affection for more than a couple of days and had, surprising Vernon, begun treating the man as he treated all adults that he was close to. He was a loveable child.
Vernon left, not particularly noticing the changes on his own house or any other as he was too focused on other things.
The three visitors soon excused themselves. They were going back to Sirius' flat to dress and clean properly.
It was 9:45 when the three arrived at Gringotts Bank. Sirius went directly to a free teller.
"I am Sirius Orion Black with two guests. I have an appointment at 10:00 with the Black family account manager."
The teller looked at the three wizards. He recognized two of them as they had been in the bank recently taking care of business. The third wasn't known. "Who is attending?"
Harry interrupted. "Sirius Orion Black, Maarek Ilumian, Remus John Lupin. The other attendee will arrive separately." There was no need to name his grandfather in such a public place.
"Wait here." The teller changed his sign to closed and dropped down. The three stood there for a couple of minutes until the teller returned. "Follow me."
The three followed him through a door. As they walked the teller said, "Remus John Lupin, once your immediate business is complete, you are asked to consult Sharptooth, the Potter account manager."
Remus paused. "As I am only here because I am needed at a meeting with these at 12:00, I could consult with Sharptooth now."
The teller looked at Sirius and Sirius nodded. They reached a door. "Sirius Black and Maarek Ilumian: Enter here. Remus Lupin, follow me."
"I'll be at the Cauldron when I finish." Sirius and Harry nodded.
The teller led Remus off and the two entered the room. Sirius saw that his grandfather was already there with the accounts manager off to the side. He would not involve himself other than ensuring the client was not harmed.
Sirius, much more respectfully than Harry expected, stopped about ten feet off and bowed his head to the head of his family. Harry, who had stood a bit back, bowed his head as well.
"Pater, I have come to consult regarding crimes against our family."
Arcturus nodded. "Grandson, I will hear your account. Who comes with you?"
"He is known by many names but his birth name, from another dimension, is Harry James Potter."
Arcturus looked sharply at Harry. "Explain."
Harry said, "I am known through a number of universes as the Lone Traveler." Arcturus nodded, aware of the reference. "I am also known as …." Harry listed off his impressive list of titles, including references to this position in the own universe as Paterfamilias Black and Potter as well as his acknowledged status as being a member of the House of Black in other universes.
Arcturus looked at Sirius, "It is well that you have brought him to me. Now, explain to me this crime against the House of Black."
"Harry has explained to me the reason why my brother, Regulus, was killed. Regulus found that the Dark wizard Voldemort (Arcturus didn't even bat an eye), born Tom Marvolo Riddle, had committed an abomination and sought to rectify it. This resulted in his death."
Arcturus considered his grandson. "I hope that you have a better explanation and not some random complaint against Dark magic. While such magic isn't acceptable by society's standards, the House of Black doesn't bow to political niceties."
Sirius shook his head. "Regulus was familiar with the Dark Arts and I am certain that this was not the issue. No. I speak of Riddle's use of the Black Arts. He created a number of phylacteries – Horcruxes – and lost his life attempting to retrieve and destroy one of them."
Arcturus looked sharply at his grandson. While the Black family was pragmatic – some things were not acceptable. "Then his name shall be used again in our family with honor. I require your first-born to be named Regulus Arcturus II in recognition."
Sirius nodded his head. "As you command, Pater."
"Of what importance is this now?"
Sirius looked at his grandfather most solemnly. "I have learned that the device is not destroyed because the one he ordered to do it does not have the resources to do it."
"Who did he charge with its destruction?" Arcturus ask.
"The elf which serves your son's home: Kreacher."
Arcturus looked thunderous. Before he could say anything, Harry interrupted. "We ask that you allow us to help the house elf to accomplish this. This is not a failure of his obedience but of his skill and Regulus' lack of understanding as to how to accomplish this."
Arcturus paused and then nodded. "How would you proceed?"
Sirius nodded at Harry. "Call for the house elf and then order him to bring the Locket and your daughter-in-law here. Order him to explain how Regulus died. And then we shall either pay Gringotts to destroy it – as I have negotiated similar services already – or we can accomplish it ourselves with a small outlay."
Arcturus nodded. He called out, "Kreacher!"
There was a pop and Kreacher appeared. He was far less dirty and bedraggled than Harry was used to. "Master calls for Kreacher?"
"Yes. I hereby order you to deliver a summons to my daughter-in-law to come here within the next thirty minutes. You may aid her as needed. Once she is here, I will call you once again to retrieve a few items."
"Yes, Master. I will deliver your summons." Kreacher popped out.
Sirius was curious. "Pater? Why didn't you ask for the Locket as well?"
Arcturus replied, "I didn't want Kreacher to be distracted until it is required. Although his is much better trained than most, house elves are notoriously distractable when dealing with emotional issues."
Harry couldn't help it. He laughed. The others in the room looked at him with curiosity. "I'm sorry, but a truer statement I have never heard before. I have far too much experience."
Sirius grinned. Arcturus nodded. "What is the object and how would we destroy it ourselves?"
"Salazar Slytherin's locket. And we would need basilisk venom, preferably bonded to a blade of goblin silver."
The account manager looked at the visitor sharply. This was a different concept.
Arcturus looked over toward the manager and back to Harry. "Steeltooth looks surprised. Explain."
Harry replied wryly, "I have destroyed several versions of several horcruxes with goblin blades impregnated with basilisk venom. Sometimes the Sword of Gryffindor – which several versions of me have impregnated accidentally with venom while killing a thousand year-old basilisk – and sometimes blades I have impregnated daggers intentionally. Either works."
Arcturus asked curiously, "Where would you get the items needed? Goblins no longer sell such blades and such venom is hard to find."
Harry looked to the account manager who was now very interested and then back the Arcturus Black. "The House of Black usually has a set of daggers they hold as a result of a treaty which allows wizards to keep any items they had already. Also, the House of Black usually has several vials of basilisk venom in their vaults. As a Paterfamilias of the House of Black in my own world, I am usually recognized magically as such by most magical creatures – especially house elves. They're not hard to get."
Arcturus considered the Lone Traveler. What he had seen definitely had convinced him that Sirius' loyalty toward his godson was a good thing. He turned toward the account manager. "Will Gringotts be offended if we accomplish this destruction here using the methods described?"
Steeltooth considered it. "While we despise those who retain such items and flaunt them to our detriment, such a use would be … acceptable to us." He then asked curiously, "Would you not want to save the item? Allow Gringotts to try to cleanse it rather than destroy it?"
Arcturus shook his head. "While I am just as eager as any goblin to achieve profit, my grandson died to see this abomination destroyed. Even such a relic is less important to me than fulfilling his dying request."
Steeltooth could understand that. Profit was only slightly less important than honor – but it WAS less. And goblins had no emotional attachment to old things. Unusual enchantments and the age of an item were important only in the context of profit. There was a reason they spent so many resources in Egyptian tombs.
Harry had a thought. "Can we have some privacy, Pater Black? I want to make a suggestion which might be useful to House Black."
Arcturus looked at Harry and then nodded to the account manager. Steeltooth activated a privacy charm which would prevent him from hearing – such enchantments were not unusual for some customers.
"The goblin can not hear us. What is your suggestion?"
Harry looked to the account manager who only glanced back occasionally rather than read lips. "You could increase your standing with your financial manager for a small concession."
Arcturus was both annoyed and intrigued. "Of what value is this?"
Harry said, "A happy account manager – or a happy Gringotts – is one who will work ever more diligently on your behalf."
Arcturus was curious. "And what is this concession?"
"After we complete these steps, gift the daggers to your account manager. Such a blade is respectable among goblins. As they don't respect gifts, require him to use the blade to destroy any horcruxes in the future at no charge. The goblins get back a couple of pieces of goblin silver and the House of Black can ensure that they won't have to pay for such services if they are ever needed again."
Arcturus paused. "Let me think on this." He then made a certain gesture and the privacy spell dropped.
Very shortly, Walburga Black was being escorted into the room. When she saw who was there, she had to suppress the urge to sneer at her hated first-born.
"Pater Arcturus. I have been summoned and I come. What is it you require?"
Arcturus replied, "Welcome, daughter-in-law. My eldest grandson and this other more distant member of our House have reported to me a crime against our family. I have summoned you to witness our answer."
Walburga was curious. "What crime, Pater?"
Arcturus showed his displeasure as he replied, "The murder of our youngest grandson, Regulus."
Walburga was startled. He favorite son had disappeared only a few months before. The Tapestry had shown he was dead. But she did not know how.
Her tone became that of a grieving mother when she asked, "How was he murdered?"
Arcturus had a little sympathy. He didn't despise this woman as much as he did her father. "You shall find out shortly." He paused and then called out, "Kreacher!"
Once again, Kreacher appeared. "Master has called for Kreacher?"
Arcturus looked sternly at the house elf. "The House of Black requires a service. You shall answer and obey Sirius Orion Black as though he speaks with my voice. Do you understand?"
Kreacher looked visibily upset at this but answered, "Yes, Master."
Arcturus nodded at Sirius.
With much less anger than he was used to using with the house elf, Sirius said, "Kreacher. Regulus Black, your favored Master, was killed. I have been told you know of how this came to be. I require you to tell us exactly how he died and what orders he gave you?"
Kreacher was horrified but he was bound. The complete story was told and Kreacher was reduced to a crying mess as he lamented his inability to carry out Regulus' last order.
Before Walburga or Arcturus could say anything, Sirius said, "Kreacher!"
The house elf looked at Sirius forlornly. "Yes, Master?"
"We shall now aid you in carrying out this order. Do you understand?"
Impossible hope dawned in Kreacher's eyes. "Master will help Kreacher with his shame?"
"There is no shame. The order was beyond your knowledge. But we will rectify this."
"Yes, Master!" Kreacher was suddenly far less heartbroken.
"Within the main vault of the House of Black, there are vials of basilisk venom. Go now and bring them back."
Kreacher popped out. Sirius looked around and saw the expressions on the faces in the room. Steeltooth was riveted. Arcturus was stoicly approving. Harry was blank. And his mother … she was looking at him with far more affection than he was used to from her. It was kind of freaking him out.
Very shortly, Kreacher popped back in. "Kreacher found four vials!"
"Very good. Place them here." He did so. "Now, retrieve from Grimmauld Place three daggers made of goblin silver with sheaths and the Locket you are tasked with destroying."
Kreacher popped out and very shortly returned. Sirius had to rush – it was 11:15 and he had a 12:00 appointment. "Kreacher has them!" Kreacher placed the items, unbidden, on the table.
Sirius turned to Steeltooth. "Is there a safe place to impregnate the blades?"
Steelclaw nodded. He moved to a wall and opened a door. He pulled out a stone basin and brought it to a table. "This should suffice."
Sirius looked at Harry and Harry nodded at he stepped up. "I need Regulus' dragonhide gloves."
Kreacher snapped his fingers and a pair appeared, likely from Grimmauld Place – it wasn't surprising that Kreacher knew exactly where his Master's things were.
Carefully, he impregnated the three daggers with basilisk venom. Those witnessing saw the venom disappear into the blades. He carefully sheathed each one as he finished with it.
He then passed one of these sheathed daggers to Kreacher. "You shall use this blade to stab it when I open it. Do you understand?"
Kreacher's head-bobbing reminded him of Dobby at his most enthusiastic.
Harry turned to Steeltooth. "You may want to warn security that this is happening. I don't fancy guards coming in to skewer us because we seem to be doing odd things."
Steeltooth nodded and quickly went to the door. He opened it, spoke to a guard, and then closed the door. "Place the locket in the basin next to the door and everyone but Kreacher stand back."
Soon, Kreacher stood with dagger ready and everyone else was on the other side of the room. Harry moved to the distance he knew would work. "I will open this using parseltounge. Once I do, you will stab the locket thrice. This will satisfy Regulus' last command. Do you understand?"
Kreacher replied, "I understand, Master!" Walburga furtively looked at Harry, wondering why the Black family elf referred to this man as "Master."
Harry spoke the phrase and there was a click. Harry jumped back. Kreacher, not waiting any longer, stabbed the Locket with much force.
Three times was unnecessary as the Horcrux was destroyed on the first thrust. That didn't stop Kreacher from stabbing it three times anyway.
Those watching were horrified at the spectacle of the black cloud with Voldemort's face being released and disappearing. Even Steeltooth was a bit shocked. Only Harry didn't react – he knew what to expect.
Sirius called, "Kreacher! You have completed Regulus' last order. Your shame is erased!"
Kreacher dropped the dagger with a wail and rushed Sirius. "Thank you, Master!"
It took a couple of minutes to get Kreacher calmed down.
"Sheathe the dagger, Kreacher, and destroy these gloves. They might be poisoned. Clean the Locket and accept it as recognition for your service to the House of Black."
It took another few long moments to pry Kreacher from his legs.
Arcturus, while this was happening, took the other two daggers and turned to Steeltooth. "We shall keep one dagger. I offer these daggers to Gringotts in trade."
Steeltooth became much more focused. "What would you trade?"
"One shall be traded for the fee which allowed me your time today and the promise that you shall aid in destroying any more of these abominations. This you shall retain. The other shall be traded to Gringotts for our use of the room today. This shall be retained by the Manager of Gringotts."
Steeltooth looked at Harry – he had already negotiated the destruction of several items. Harry nodded at the goblin. He then thought about it.
"Accepted for my part. I will have to finalize the deal with others, but I do not think it will be an issue." Steeltooth would have to bargain for the fee with his superior, but he felt that the proposed trade would be much more than acceptable. Such weapons were prized.
The goblins would not normally accept such a trade – goblin-made items were considered stolen property by hardliners – but the fused venom negated that concern. Wizards didn't usually return items deliberately improved.
Finally Kreacher had calmed down again. Arcturus ordered him, "Also return the last vial and the sheathed dagger you used to the Black vault." He didn't refute the other orders.
Kreacher nodded and popped out. The items in question all disappeared with him.
Sirius turned to Arcturus. "Tom Marvolo Riddle, self-named Lord Voldemort, branded members of the House of Black with slave marks. Regulus and Bellatrix were so branded. The Half-Blood son of a squib from House Gaunt and muggle House Riddle stole the loyalty of two members of our house and the life of one of these. Riddle created abominations against magic.
"One of our House Members, Regulus, saw his true nature and the House of Black has seen one such abomination destroyed. Another member of House Black, Harry, has taken steps to ensure the other abominations shall also be destroyed.
"I ask that the Paterfamilias decry the Dark wizard Riddle and order members of House Black to ensure his crimes are punished and his mistakes rectified. This I ask as a Scion of House Black."
Arcturus considered the words and then nodded. "It shall be as you ask, eldest grandson." He turned to Walburga. "The House of Black names the Dark wizard Tom Marvolo Riddle an enemy of House Black. As Paterfamilias, I order Walburga Black to inform all other members of House Black of this. I order Walburga Black to ensure that Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black is brought before me at a time of my convenience. Do you understand, daughter-in-law?"
Walburga bowed her head. "Yes, Pater. I shall do as you require."
Harry suddenly felt the call. He turned toward Sirius. "Say good bye to Moony and the others for me. It's time for me to go. And make sure that the MOB (Sirius understood that one) is kept out of his life."
Sirius embraced Harry. "Good luck! I'll make sure that little Harry is taken care of – and learns to have fun."
Harry grinned. "Good." He turned toward the others. He nodded at Sirius' mother. "Mrs. Black." He then nodded more deeply to Arcturus. "Lord Black." He nodded the last time. "Account manager Steeltooth."
He turned and his form compressed and disappeared in a ball of light and phoenix song. It had a victorius feel to it.
Walburga was the only one startled. She looked at Sirius wildly. He nodded. "Thus goes the Lone Traveler."
Albus Dumbledore sighed as he considered the dead devices. It had been a week since his careful planning of over a decade had been somehow destroyed.
When Tom had first started becoming a nuisance, he had begun making plans to ensure he was defeated. The one ready resource he had? Hogwarts and her students.
There were various children coming and he needed those that were unused to "normal." Otherwise his changes would be discovered to easily.
He had looked at the rolls and surreptitiously visited several named witches and wizards. He had struck paydirt with Lily Evans.
She was a beautiful child who could be used to entrance the son of a light family. She had a half-blood friend (son of a Slytherin family) who could be used as a foil for such a boy. And she had a muggle sister who could be enchanted to shape her reactions.
And there were a number of options to choose from for the boy. The Potters were long-time supporters and Lily was just her son's type. He had to put a compulsion on a son of a Dark family member to side with him but it was necessary.
He needed a champion that was a pureblood from a family that normally supported Tom's stated views to reject such views. Sirius Black needed very little work as he already had been encouraged because his favorite cousin rejected such views.
The inclusion of a boy normally considered a dark creature would allow him to manipulate that into support from those normally shunned.
It had all been carefully orchestrated to achieve Tom's downfall – in a manner which would see him as the wise mentor.
He had thought he had succeeded when his vision was validated by a true prophecy! And further proof occurred when Tom had finally been defeated.
He knew, however, that it was temporary. Tom would be back. And this meant he needed to keep his full board in play. Even the random additions such as Vernon Dursley would be useful. He was a man of vision and he would see the Greater Good triumph.
It had all crashed down, however, with one failed step: Sirius Black had somehow broken away from the compulsion. And then his greatest pawn had simply been taken from the board without warning. The pawn that would become the queen's rook (taking his father's place on the board) was no longer in play.
His careful planning was falling faster than he could fix it. What could he do?
The meeting and subsequent steps taken by Sirius and Remus with the Longbottoms proved to be unnecessary. Three days after Harry disappeared, Bellatrix Lestrange, nee Black, surrendered herself to the Ministry of Magic and confessed to all of her crimes.
She named names and was instrumental in ensuring many, many followers of Tom Riddle were caught and imprisoned. Lucius Malfoy did not escape the purge. Draco was raised much differently than he otherwise would have been.
The House of Black ensured that no anchors were left for Tom Riddle and within a few short months many were shocked when even the faded mark disappeared from all of the Death Eaters.
Bellatrix didn't last the time necessary to achieve the parole she had been promised.
Severus Snape barely escaped Azkaban but was not allowed to become a tenured professor – the Board of Governors was not controlled by those who would allow it.
With the loss of Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore became more and more erratic in his behaviour until even his most ardent supporters knew that he was ill. He had been placed into St. Mungos and died before Harry Potter returned to public life at 11.
Harry and Dudley grew up with loving parents (Harry started to call Vernon and Petunia Mum and Dad within a year of his placement), two crazy uncles (Sirius moreso than Remus), a number of friends both magical and not (Neville was a regular playmate), and even was recognized by the remaining members of the House of Black.
He didn't take over the family – Sirius married a half-blood witch he met when Harry was five. Remus married when he was fifteen – to his cousin Tonks! (Tonks had pursued him relentlessly as soon as she was legal.)
Arcturus did last one more year than Pollux – he lived long enough to be presented with his great-grandson, Regulus II.
Walburga was much less isolated than she would have been and actually lived much longer than she otherwise would. She found it was a lot harder to hold onto the general hatred for those that were less than a hundred-percent pure when she loved particular examples so much (Harry, Regulus, Regulus' sister Gemma). She even had come to be more than tolerant of Dudley – although that was much harder. It got much easier when Petunia added a daughter named Lily – Walburga loved little girls.
Margeret Dursley (Marge) was encouraged by covert means (Sirius' considered it money well spent) to move to the Continent. She rarely made contact.
Voldemort never was seen again.
Sirius and Remus made their way to Privet Drive. They had been away the night before taking care of various things and watching the Longbottoms when they were visible. Petunia had gotten the owl telling her. They appeared in their usual apparition point and made their way down.
They noticed that there were a number of people painting – happily not all white. They found Vernon painting some trim on the front of his house.
"Hey, Vernon! What's going on?" Sirius asked.
Vernon turned. "Hey, boys. Some idiot vandals came through and tried to add a bit of color to the neighbourhood. It would have been fine if they had a lick of sense or perspective. Some houses were done very well – but some houses looked to be done by children!"
Sirius looked around a bit sheepishly. In the light of day, the errors were kind of obvious.
"I didn't mind so much – it's a good excuse to liven the place up. The bobbies took the report but laughed at Mrs. Grundy when she wanted whoever it was thrown in the pokey."
Remus, ever adaptable, said, "Well, I'm happy to see some color anyway. Need some help?"
Vernon shrugged. "I'm almost done." He turned and smiled. "I had some of this exact color in the shed! Lucky, isn't it?"
Sirius chuckled weakly. "Yeah. Lucky."
OMAKE 2 (based on a comment from goku90504)
Sirius looked at Gary with a put-upon expression. Harry had no sympathy.
He turned to his godson. "Well, Moony. I guess we have to do the honors."
Remus considered Dudley. "I really wish I had gotten James to show me those baby-care charms he found in his library."
Sirius looked at Remus with horror. "Baby-care charms?"
Remus looked at Sirius, confused. "Yeah. Banishing and cleaning charms mild enough to not hurt the baby. I saw James using them the last time I visited."
Sirius wanted to howl (except that he didn't want to scare the adults that were upstairs recovering from the grief). "I never saw Lily do any. And James told me there weren't any charms!"
Remus shrugged. "Lily preferred the muggle way, and James ..."
Before Remus could finish their thought, they were interrupted by a snicker. Both turned to the Traveler. Sirius whined, "What?"
Harry grinned at Sirius. "I think Prongs got in the last prank on you."
Sirius really was put out that he had to live as the final prankee in his game with James. Remus promised himself that he would find those charms - his inner wolf really didn't like the smell.