A/n: sorry it's took so long everyone but I'm trying to update on a more recent basis. I'm thinking of updating all my stories in order every time I get a new chapter alert from one of my favorite stories, and trust me I have a lot of them. This way, though there probably won't be a new chapter every day, it'll be a lot more frequent. How does that sound?
D: I do not own any Twilight or Harry Potter copyrights.
Harry was the first one to answer the older woman's question; a fact that wasn't so surprising given that Charlie had seemingly forgotten how to speak.
"What's the difference?" The boy asked with a tone that was nowhere near as wary as it once was.
The idea danger had brought out a braver side in him actually; or rather it was the idea of him being the cause of the danger that did it. Harry was old enough to know that this threat wouldn't just hurt him after all. Whether it was directly or emotionally; his dad, Bella, the Blacks, maybe even Renee, they would all be affected.
Harry wouldn't stand for that, and if protecting those he cared about meant going to one of these 'schools'; then so be it.
"Both schools are exceptional facilities, rest assured." The bearded man Albus replied, noting the new spark in Harry's eyes with interest. "The only defining factor is location I'm afraid."
That seemed to jolt Charlie out of whatever trance he had been in. The police chief turned a skeptical glance at the self-proclaimed wizard; not quite sure if he like where the conversation was going. "Location?"
"Oh yes, location is everything!" Mistress Drews cut in before her competitor could elaborate. "We're on the East Coast actually, right up near Maine." She flashed an obviously fake look of sympathy at the other man. "Dumbledore here," She tsked softly. "Well his school is in Britain of all places."
The man Albus, or Dumbledore as she had called him, didn't even flinch at her ill covered rant. Instead he smiled a good natured smile. "Don't forget Helena, Merlin's Academy is closer to here than Coos is. If you'd like I could send up a flare. All the owls who were scared off would most definitely brave their fears once they realized a wizard was present."
Mistress Drews paled noticeably at him words; she it seemed was not keen on letting any school get their hands on the prize that was Harry Potter.
"Excuse me." Harry intervened, making sure to speak before the woman before him could begin to talk once more. He looked up at Dumbledore with questioning eyes. "If you're from Britain then why did you come here? I mean, wouldn't it be easier to let the schools in America take me?"
Dumbledore nodded once, the action conveying great thought as he took a few moments to mull it over; his hand once more moving to stroke his beard absentmindedly. Every set of eyes were on him as he pondered; even Charlie seemed to be curious. Finally the old man looked up, his piercing eyes settling upon Harry with an almost grim seriousness.
"Hogwarts is the school where your parents attended Harry." Seeing the boy's look, he clarified. "Your real parents. I will not lie and say that there will not be risks; no, I have no doubt that you will face great peril many, many times. However, if you ever wish to discover not only who you were then but who you are now; I'm afraid you must brave the chances."
All was silent until Mistress Drews suddenly disappeared with a crack; the witch had no doubt in her mind that she had lost.
"Are you sure you have everything?" Bella questioned as she knelt down to her brother's level in the midst of Phoenix's airport crowds; her eyes checking him over not for the first time since their arrival.
"Toothbrush? Underwear? Shampoo? Conditioner? Socks? Brush? Glasses?"
Harry sighed as he nodded yes to each one; rolling his eyes at the last item his sister rattled off. "My Glasses? Really Bella?" He teased with a playfully mocking tone. "I'd have to be blind to forget those."
The 16 year-old rolled her own eyes at that one; though she didn't actually stand up until she was satisfied, something that took nearly ten minutes to happen.
"Are you sure you'll be alright?" She asked, barely taking notice as Charlie's hand found her shoulder. "You're barely eleven and you're going to boarding school! In Britain!"
Renee and her boyfriend Phil made their way over from the Check In line; looking much the worse the wear from the long wait. At the sight of the blushing boy before them; Renee swept the now protesting Harry into a long hug. Without further ado she promptly burst into tears.
"Oh you've grown so much!" She gushed, subconsciously tightening her grip as she continued to bawl. "Off to a school for geniuses! On a scholarship no less!" Harry had begun to turn purple, and both Charlie and Phil shared a look before slowly approaching the hysterical woman. Renee took no notice, as absorbed as she was in the moment. "Oh I'm so proud of you!"
"That's great mom, really." Bella cut in, the teen growing slightly alarmed as her brother's struggles seemed to get weaker. "But I think Harry needs to breath."
"Oh!" Renee exclaimed as she released him; just now realizing how hard she had been holding him. "I'm so sorry Harry; I just get so emotional you know."
"Yeah," The black-haired boy muttered as he subtly scooted behind both his father and Phil. "I noticed."
Charlie only smiled sadly at the sight of his son behind him. After only a moment he crouched down and handed Harry the backpack that had been only recently slung across his shoulder. When he took it Charlie patted the boy's shoulder in what would have once been an awkward display of fatherly affection. If anything, he had gotten better at these things over the years.
"I'm proud of you too son," He began only to get choked up. Swallowing, he bent down to whisper in a tone only audible to them. "Are you sure you want to do this? That guy said there would be risks."
Harry nodded decidedly but not without a soft look in his eyes. "I'm sure dad. Don't worry, I'll be ok."
Charlie sighed before standing up to his full height. "I sure hope so; you and Bella are all that I have left." Seeing the nods and smiles of the others he too spouted a small grin. "Now go on, don't miss your plane because of an old guy like me."
With barely suppressed tears of his own, Harry nodded one more time before turning towards Security. With all his heart, he hoped he was doing the right thing.
The hours on the plane had felt like years to Harry, especially because his young age had landed him a spot in what the flight attendants called the 'kid corner'. It was where all the un-attended kids were rounded up so that the plane's staff could keep a better eye on them. As one of the oldest in the group; Harry soon began calling it hell.
It wasn't entirely bad though, especially after he had to switch planes in New York. Once he was on a larger plane and effectively out of range of any spit balls, seat kickers, or paper airplanes, he actually began to enjoy himself a little.
The man beside him even turned out to be one of those survival TV guys who travelled the world finding dangerous places to try and survive in. He it seemed had just spent the last few weeks in Florida braving their swamps; an interesting story that he had no qualms about sharing with the younger boy next to him.
When Harry told him he was headed for Wilhelm's School for the Academically Gifted (as was the alibi that he and Charlie had concocted), the man just scoffed and continued on with his 'amazing' adventures. Eventually Harry pretended to fall asleep if only to get the guy to shut up.
When the plane landed and his neighbor had given him a signed photograph of himself, something that Harry secretly vowed to burn; the small boy finally unloaded himself into the bustle that was the London International Airport.
When he had relayed his choice of schools to Professor Dumbledore, the man had said he would send someone to get him at the airport. So far however he had yet to see anyone who could pass for a wizard of any kind. Judging by the way the only two magical people he had seen had dressed; he doubted they would fit in well to the bustling London crowd.
Just when he was about to give up, go grab his luggage and see if he could find anyone outside; Harry suddenly smacked into what felt like a very large wall.
"Sorry 'bout that," The 'wall' said as an equally large hand stopped him from face planting into the hard floors. Suddenly there was a pause before the same voice said: "What do 'ya know! 'Ello 'arry, it's been a while, 'asn't it?"
Startled, Harry looked up at what had to be the largest man he had ever seen; complete with a gigantic lumpy coat, wild beard and a large white sign that read Harry Potter in very bad handwriting.