a/n: It's been a while but I want to assure you guys that this has nothing to do with you readers. You've all been great actually; I've gotten over 200 reviews for only a few chapters! I realize that I've been neglecting this story and I want to apologize to all of you who diligently follow my updates. Whenever I want to put up a new chapter I get scared that it won't be as great as the last few, so I keep putting it off. From now on I will try to be better about updating.
Harry blinked, eyes wide as he swivelled to look at the now open kitchen door. After a long pause he turned back to the strange people on his lawn; his awestruck expression morphed to one of pure determination.
"I'm sorry," He told them with a stern but polite tone, "My dad doesn't like me inviting people he doesn't know into the house. Maybe you could go see the town and come back when he's home?"
Neither the man nor woman moved, though both seemed to look rather confused by his words. The old man, or 'Albus' as the woman had called him, had even taken to stroking his bearded chin in a perplexed manner. Harry frowned; What did they have to be confused about? It was a perfectly normal request; he had even given then a better option than standing about in the rain.
"Have you not gotten our letters Harry?" Albus asked in a more inquiring tone. Harry nodded slowly, assuming that the man was referring to the two he had taken from the owls; though not quite getting what it had to do with them.
"Those were yours?" He asked sceptically. If that was true then they were obviously claiming to be from the magical schools the letters had talked about. The speaking letter had asked for a reply though; why would people come before he even had a chance to send one? He took the letter from the Coos Academy out of his pocket, carefully searching their faces for some form of recognition. "One of those owls gave me this earlier."
This time it was the woman who spoke up; her gaze falling upon the letter in what could only be labelled as surprise. "That's our letter!" She exclaimed, moving closer to get a better look at its seal. "The school sent that weeks ago! They sent me when no one replied; thought the parents were burning the letters or something."
"That can't be right." Harry told them, his voice a tad more unsure as it had been when he had first addressed them. "These letters," he gestured to the one the man and himself were currently holding, nodding down at the one that had fallen in the mud. "They only came today. Those owls you saw brought them."
The one called Albus suddenly waved the stick that he had used to open the door earlier; smiling pleasantly when the water on him, the woman and Harry himself sprung off and left them all completely dry.
"It's always a bother reading a wet letter," He told the gaping boy and indifferent woman, pushing his spectacles farther up his nose before he turned his attention to the envelope in his hand. There was a moment where he did nothing but peer at it, the letter unopened. When he returned his gaze to his present company; his smile was tight in a way that made him appear deep in thought.
"It's from The Merlin's Wizard Institute", He told them all before handing the letter back to Harry, "I can only assume that whatever other post that myself, Mistress Drews here, or any other person of magical background has tried to send has been otherwise scared away."
"Scared ?" Mistress Drews let out with an inquiring but shaky breath, "How is that possible Albus?" She questioned in an almost fierce way, turning her head so as if to see every part of the woods at once. "Is there anything in these woods?"
Harry, not exactly knowing what the adults were talking about, chose that moment to interrupt in what he hoped was a helpful way. He might not know these people but he didn't want them to be scared of the forest that had practically raised him.
"There are bears and mountain lions." He told them in a knowing but polite tone. "They don't come near the towns though."
The older woman sighed, a well-manicured hand coming up to pinch the bridge of her nose. "I always forget how little muggleborns know." She let out, her exasperated words seemingly directed at no one.
"What Mistress Drews meant to say was that there may be formidable creatures of a more magical nature here." Albus cut in calmly, not quite as flustered as the other woman. He did however look a fair bit more rushed. He turned his bespectacled gaze back to Harry. "I'm afraid now I must insist on continuing this inside. Based on the recent events, it is most likely the better option."
Harry looked reluctant but eventually he nodded. He didn't want to break his dad's rules but he didn't want to get hurt either. There was a flash of light at the end of the drive and instantly Harry felt a wave of relief wash over him. The boy waved the strange people inside his home with a little more confidence than he had had before; knowing that his dad was minutes from home being the main reason for the drastic change.
After all, Harry knew that, while these people may be dangerous themselves; his dad was a police chief and he was definitely tough enough to protect him.
Charlie burst into the kitchen; whistling a happy but tuneless tune and made to take off his coat. There was a rather awkward silence when his little whistle cut off with a choke; the action itself courtesy of the two strangers sitting across the table from his son.
"Harry," He began slowly, not quite sure what to make sure of the situation he found himself in. "What is this?"
One of the strangers, the man Charlie noted, stood up and approached him pleasantly; he held out his hand. "Good evening Mr Swan, my name is Albus Percival Wilfric Brian Dumbledore. I am the current headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy; here on the behalf of my school to recruit young Mr Potter here."
The other stranger, a woman, choked and gasped before Charlie could even process what the other man had said. "Potter?" She squeaked, whipping around to face Harry with a speed that was almost astonishing. "The Harry Potter?" Suddenly pushing back his bangs, the strange woman almost fainted when she saw the scar that had always resided there. Harry looked stunned when she had to grasp her chair to keep from falling.
"What's all this about?" Charlie let out, still quite taken aback by her reaction. He turned to the man with the long name, "Wizardry? Are you people some kind of con artists?"
"Both me and Mistress Drews are from Magic Schools," He turned to the woman with a raised brow, "And yes, Mr Potter has come out of hiding at last."
The woman, Mistress Drews, blinked; seemingly realizing that she hadn't been allowed to introduce herself. Within an instant the awestruck woman before him vanished; replaced within seconds with a smiling, charismatic one. She leapt to her feet and stuck out her small hand for Charlie to shake; hardly noticing that the similarly offered hand of the other stranger had not yet been returned.
Charlie, upon realizing this, shook both their hands absentmindedly before allowing her to continue.
"Oh how rude of me!" She gushed, for some reason full of newfound energy, "My name is Helena Drews; I'm the Coos Academy representive at the Magical Congress." She saw his dumbstruck expression and smiled apologetically. "Oh but you wouldn't know about all of that Mr Swan." With every breath came more words, Charlie had no idea how to interrupt. She was beginning to sound more like a teenage girl; the thought made the grown police chief pale. God forbid he had enough trouble understanding his own daughter.
"I had no idea I would meet Harry Potter today. It's just so exciting!" She continued, finally pausing to take a breath. Charlie jumped in at the chance; not quite wanting to see where she would go if he let her continue.
"What's special about Harry?" He asked warily, shooting the still overly excited woman a glance. She didn't answer him but the man with the name that was too long to answer seemed happy to oblige.
"Harry did something most extraordinary once, you see Mr Swan." He began almost ominously, "At only a year old he became the sole surviving victim of the most dangerous dark wizard in existence. We gave him to his only living relatives but they gave him away, despite my warnings." He looked at Harry as if the boy could somehow answer all of his questions.
"He vanished from the wizarding world on that day Mr Swan, most thought that he had been killed."
Charlie gulped, eyes wide. "Killed?"
The elderly man nodded solemnly. "I'm afraid so, it is already quite the miracle in itself that he has survived till now at all. I had placed wards with his relatives, here he was quite vulnerable."
Harry seemed pale. "I could've died?" He questioned, speaking up for the first time since his father had come home. The adults seemed rather surprised that he had a voice at all. "Um. . . is there any danger of that. . . you know, now?"
The man shook his head, "Upon your discovery more wards were placed upon your home to ensure your continued safety." He turned to look at Harry. "And the school you choose will also provide excellent production."
That seemed to awaken the beast that was Mistress Drew; the woman already recovered from her previous rant. "About that," She started, shooting a veiled glare at the other man. "May I insist we get back down to why me and Albus came in the first place?" She grinned, a mischievous twinkle alighting in her eyes.
"What school does our young Harry Potter here want to attend?"