Wow, I haven't updated in over 2 months! Sorry about that! Things got a little insane and this just fell off to the side until more recently. Luckily, this chapter was mostly written already and just needed a final edit.
Chapter 7 – Where is Harry Potter?
July 24, 1991
"Albus, this is simply unacceptable!" Minerva McGonagall cried out as she stormed into the headmaster's office.
"You'll have to be more clear than that, Minerva," Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, replied as he sipped his tea.
"This!" She threw a letter on his desk.
Albus picked it up with a frown, "This is one of our invitation letters, is it not?"
"Yes!" Minerva huffed.
"What is the problem then? Did a muggleborn decline to attend Hogwarts?"
"Albus, open your eyes and look. More precisely, look at the addressee and the response."
Albus turned the letter over and gasped, "no!"
Written on the envelop in elaborate script with green ink was:
Mr. H. Potter
Number 4 Privet Drive
However, the name and address was crossed off with a ballpoint pen, hard enough that part of the envelop ripped. Scrawled messily beside that were the words: NO SUCH PERSON!
"Oh my! Minerva, we must make a visit to the Dursleys with all haste!"
"I told you they were the worst sort of people, Albus. You should've listened to me!" Minerva yelled just as Albus went through the Floo.
Throwing some Floo powder into the headmaster's fireplace, she called out, "Arabella Figg's residence!" as the flames turned green and stepped in.
I I I I I
It was a typical Sunday morning in the Dursley household. Petunia had made a hearty breakfast for everyone, Vernon was at the dining table, reading the paper as he devoured his breakfast and Dudley ate with his eyes glued to the television. The doorbell ringing signalled the end of the Dursley's well-loved normality that morning.
"I'll get it, dear, just sit and finish your breakfast," Petunia said as Vernon made to move for the door.
"What inconsiderate salesmen, to come calling at this hour on Sunday," he grumbled as he sat back down.
Petunia opened the front door and snapped out, "No, we're not interested in what you're trying to sell!"
As she tried to slam the door in the visitors' faces, a hand came out to hold the door open.
"Now Petunia," came a grandfatherly voice, "we just want to know where young Harry Potter is."
Petunia screeched as she put all her weight on the door to try and close it, "No, no, go away! There are no Potters here! He left, ages ago, one of your kind claiming to be a relative came and took him away! Leave us alone!"
Her words had the opposite effect – instead of sending the wizard and witch on her door away, they came blasting in instead.
"WHAT did you say?" Albus roared as he pointed his wand at the door before producing a mild banishing charm to force his way in.
I I I I I
"Now just you look here," blustered Vernon, his face purple in rage, "you freaks can't just come barging into people's houses! Especially normal people's houses!"
The four adults were now in the sitting room of the Dursley's house. Dudley had been sent to his room amid his cries and temper tantrum. Both Albus and Minerva were sitting on the couch, Albus calmly sipping tea he had conjured as Minerva glared at the Dursleys. Petunia and Vernon towered over the pair, raging about the injustice of having the pair raid their home.
Albus looked up and gave Vernon a steely glare. Vernon gulped.
"You will sit and you will tell me everything about how Harry Potter came to leave your residence," Dumbledore ordered in a voice that left no leeway for arguments.
Petunia hesitantly recounted the story of one Edmond McCathy coming, having confused the name due to memories lost to time, but changing the ending so that it sounded as if Edmond forcefully took Harry from her instead of her forcing Harry on him. Vernon then added his bit on seeing the Hogwarts letter, crossing it out and adding in 'no such person' before tossing it in with the rubbish when he found no return address. Unbeknownst to Petunia and Vernon, the owl that had delivered the letter had waited until nightfall before picking it out of the garbage and flying back to Hogwarts with the unopened letter, leaving it for McGonagall to find the next morning.
Without a word, Albus banished his tea, stood up and left, with a very confused Minerva following. When they got to Arabella Figg's house, she finally gave in and asked, "Albus, what is going on?"
"We'll see," was the cryptic answer.
As Arabella served the two tea, Albus casually asked, "what is your opinion of Harry Potter, Arabella?"
"But…" Minerva tried to speak up, but Albus cut her off.
As Arabella talked, Minerva slowly pieced the picture together. Harry had left the Dursleys before Arabella moved in, and in that time, Dudley must've found a friend with black hair and slender build that Arabella mistook to be Harry. This gave Mrs. Figgs the impression that Dudley and Harry had a very good relationship, albeit horrible attitudes, as Dudley and his friends were more keen on picking on little kids and vandalizing the nearby playground than being well-behaved children.
After thanking Arabella for the tea and apologizing for the disturbance, Minerva and Albus returned by Floo back to Hogwarts.
Sinking into the nearest armchair, Minerva, with a white face, uttered, "Sweet Merlin, what are we going to do now? We've lost Harry Potter!"
"It simply does not make any sense!" Albus exclaimed, "Arabella Figg having confused on of Dudley's friends, I can understand, as her eyes are no longer as good as they used to be. But this indicator here shows the blood wards at full strength even though the wards have long since faded from the Dursley's house. The young man Petunia described was real, and he had proof that he is related to Harry, but yet we've searched and searched and never found any relatives apart from Petunia. It is a shame that Petunia's memories have long since faded – I couldn't even see his face or those papers he had for proof from her memories. Everything was mostly a blur."
"Albus?" Minerva tentatively questioned, uncertain of the headmaster's sanity, "What blood wards? And what do you mean Petunia's memories?"
Dumbledore sighed, "I put a powerful protective ward on Harry which requires him to live with a blood relative on his mother's side. That was supposed to be Petunia. The fact that the blood wards are still strong means that it was a blood relative who took Harry away. Or rather, I should say Petunia gave Harry away to a blood relative. I performed Legilimency on her while she was telling us. While the memory has faded and I couldn't see any details such as the young man's appearance, he had papers which showed his relation to Harry. Upon hearing that, Petunia simply gave Harry to this unknown relative and kicked them out. What concerns me most is that she clearly thought the stranger was a wizard!"
"She what? How could she, just give away a child like that! And to a wizard? Not a Death Eater!"
"Never mind what Petunia Dursley did. The fact is, we now have no idea where Harry Potter is anymore! I am going to revive the Order of the Phoenix to search for Harry Potter at once! And Kingsley, I'll get Kingsley to look for this 'Edmond McCathy'…"