THREE WORLDS COLLIDE
Disclaimer: I, Dark Dhampir, do hereby avoy that I own nothing in this body of writing except for the idea and the story itself. I affirm that I will not attempt to sell this material for my own profit, blah blah blah. I can say, however, that I wish this could be canon, but, unfortunately, I lack the ability to make it happen. Oh, well, that's what fanfiction's for, right?
A dark car pulled into the driveway at Number 4 Privet Drive at around 9 o'clock in the morning. Two women in business suites got out of the back. One was apparently in her late thirties or early forties. She had long brown hair and intelligent eyes. The other woman was several years younger, apparently in her mid-thirties. She too was brunet, but her hair was wavy while the other's was straight. Both women wore sharp suits and the younger carried a briefcase, suggesting she was an aid of some sort.
They approached the door of the ordinary looking house. The one with the case hit the bell. Vernon and Petunia Dursely had been seen the car pull up, and Vernon had gone to the door the instant the pair began to walk towards them. Naturally, therefore, he opened the door for them as soon as the bell was rung. He didn't know who the two were, but he knew they were important.
"Hello, there" he said, amiably enough. It wouldn't hurt to be polite, especially if these women were government employees.
"Good morning," the elder answered. "Are you Vernon Dursley, husband of Petunia and brother-in-law to the late James and Lily Potter?"
"Er, I am," Vernon answered, far less amiable now. "Why are you here?" The Potters had been a skeleton in his family's closet for years. Thankfully, normal world was unaware of the pair of freaks, and now they were dead. But they weren't the only freaks in the world.
"We are here to correct a mistake by those who carried out the will left by the deceased," the woman answered. "May we step inside, please? I don't think you wish to have this conversation in public?"
Vernon internally argued for a moment, but the woman had said the (metaphorically) magic word, public. "Very well, come in." As soon as the pair crossed the threshold, he shut the door and showed them into the living room. Then, he went into the kitchen where his wife was feeding their son, Dudley . . . and the Potter's whelp, Harry. Petunia whose favorite hobby was spying on the neighbors, had been listening in on the conversation the whole time.
"What could they want with us?" she asked. "All my freak sister and her freak husband left us was their wretched little- eep!"
Vernon whirled around to see the pair was now standing behind him. His face began to turn purple. "What are you doing here? You are guests in my home, and I did not give you permission to go wherever you wanted!" He looked ready to continue, but the elder woman cut him off.
"We are here, because of the Potters' son, Harry, whom you were given custody of against their wishes." The woman appeared even more serious than when she had walked in, possibly in reaction to the "freak" comments. The other woman, however, was staring intently at the boy in question.
Whereas Dudley was sitting in a high chair with Petunia hovering over him with food, Harry was in a chair at the table, secured in a box stacked on phone books. While Dudley was covered in food and was being provided with more, Harry was futilely picking at crumbs in his bowl. He was a thin baby, with bright green eyes and a mess of dark hair. Most interestingly were the scar on his forehead and the fact that he wasn't crying like Dudley was, even though the child was clearly hungry.
Petunia was broken out of her trance by Dudley's cries and instantly began giving him more food. Vernon's day, meanwhile, had realized something very important. They might yet be free of the little freak. "I don't know what to say to you. We found him on our doorstep with a letter from some old man saying to look after him. Was the old man doing something illegal?" he asked eagerly.
"Very illegal," the second woman answered, speaking for the first time. She opened her briefcase and pulled out some papers. Handing them to Vernon, she continued. "According to their will, the Potters wished for their son to be raised by Harry's paternal grandmother. Here is a copy of the will and two copies of a form for transferring custody to Ms. Magnus."
Vernon greedily took the papers. He didn't bother looking at the will and began instead to go over the custody papers. It contained no hidden clauses about paying alimony or anything. It merely stated that the Durselys surrendered guardianship to Ms. Helen Magnus and that the woman accepted. Vernon figured she must have divorced Potter's father. Oh well, it didn't matter to him. He quickly signed the forms and gave them to Petunia who, after wiping her hands off, signed as well. Magnus' signature was already on the documents.
"When is Magnus going to be here to pick him up?" Vernon asked.
"We have been charged with transporting Harry to his new home," the elder answered after signing her own name as a witness on the forms. Her aid then placed the will and one form back in her briefcase. "You should keep the other copy in case someone comes asking about Harry."
"Excellent!" Vernon declared, ignoring everything after hearing the women would take the freak away from him. Petunia then picked Harry up and handed him to the aid, who handed her case over to the other woman. Vernon disappeared into the hall and came back with a small blanket and a set of clothes. Unlike the clothes Harry wore, which were apparently Dudley's hand-me-downs, these looked like they might actually fit the child.
"These were on the boy when he arrived. We have no use for them, so take them away too." Privately, Vernon just wanted to be rid of them. They looked harmless, but you could never tell for sure with freaks.
The older woman took the items. They were barely a single armload. "Thank you for your cooperation. Good day." With that, the two walked out of the house, got into their car, and were driven away.
"It worked?" the driver asked in a deep, rough voice.
"A closet!" Magnus growled. "They made him sleep in a closet!"
"What?" Amelia Bones asked.
"The door of the closet under the stairs was partly open; there was a mattress in it," the other woman seethed. "They put my grandson in a bloody closet! And they called us freaks! I should press charges for child abuse!"
Amelia nodded. "I know. James and Lily said Petunia and her husband were bad, but this is beyond anything I expected. Look at the boy, Helen! They're stuffing their own son like a turkey, but the barely feed the most famous boy in my world!"
"His clothes are probably their brat's old things," Magnus added, looking at the baby, gently tracing the boy's lightning bolt shaped scar. She heard the driver growl; it was a low, threatening sound.
Harry sat in a car seat between them, looking around wide-eyed. After all the neglect and harshness the Dursleys had put him through, he had entirely forgotten what it was like to be shown love. The lady touching his forehead was sounded angry, but she face was gentle as she looked at him, and when her hand slid down to take hold of his, it made him feel safe and secure.
Magnus looked up at her companion. "Do you think that Dumbledore will cause trouble?"
The Deputy Director of Magical Law enforcement shook her head. "No, Helen, I don't doubt it. Dumbledore won't be happy, but, legally, there's nothing he can do. He probably can't do anything illegally either. I don't think the old man would think of looking for Harry in Canada, and, besides that, and I'm pretty sure that not even he knows about the Sanctuary Network."
"James always was good at keeping secrets. He never told Lily until after he proposed to her, and Sirius was the only one of his friends he ever told," Magnus said with a sad smile. "Thank you Amelia, you don't know how much this means to me."
Amelia smiled back at her. "It was nothing, Helen? You've been my friend for nearly ten years, and James and Lily were some of the finest people I ever met. How could I not help?" Her smile dropped a little. "Besides, you know my sister, her husband, and our parents were killed during the war. My niece, Susan, is all I have left of them. Believe me; I know how important he is to you, Helen."
"He'en," Harry said.
The two women looked down at him in shock. The car swerved a little. "Did he just say my name?" Magnus asked.
"He did," Amelia answered.
Helen looked at Harry for a moment before saying anything else. "I'm sorry, Harry, but you have to call me 'Grandma.'"
Albus Dumbledore, meanwhile, was just returning to his office from his breakfast with the other teachers who stayed in the castle over the summer holidays. As he ascended the stairs behind the griffin statue, one of his alarms went off. The headmaster quickened his pace.
The old man strode through the door and quickly located the source of the noise. It was a special glass orb on his desk. The headmaster's blood ran cold. He didn't even bother to examine the device; he Apparated to Number 4 Privite Drive immediately.
Vernon Dursley felt like a child on his birthday, one who had just gotten the best gift he could have asked for. The freak was gone! No more would the little brat suck up his family's resources like a vacuum. Once more he had his perfect, normal, ideal famil-
"What in Heaven's name?" he shouted when an old man in a purple robe materialized in his living room. Vernon didn't know the man's name, but he knew enough about magic to recognize a wizard when he saw one (if the wizard was being obvious about it).
"Ah, Vernon Dursley, I presume? I am Albus Dumbledore. You may remember me from the letter I left you several months ago." Dumbledore was smiling his usual smile and his eyes held their customary twinkle. Inside, however, he was trying to determine why the wards had alarmed him when the house was obviously not under attack.
Vernon, however, was not used to dealing with people amicably, and he wasn't used to dealing with wizards at all. "Why are you here?" he asked, his face a bit paler than usual.
"Strait to the point, eh? An admirable trait, I suppose," Dumbledore replied. "Very well, then, I am here because I am worried about Harry's safety."
"He's not here!"
Vernon and Dumbledore both turned toward the kitchen. Petunia now stood in the doorway. Her body was shaking like a leaf, but her voice was strong. "The freak's not here anymore, so go away!"
"What do you mean he's not here?" Dumbledore asked ignoring the insult.
"His grandmother," Vernon said, regaining a little of his confidence. "She sent some people to pick him up. You weren't supposed to leave the little brat with us! It was right there in the will!"
"The will?" Dumbledore asked, for once totally in the dark about something.
"Yes, the will!" Petunia shouted. "The will that my sister made with that husband of hers! The will that said we were never supposed to be stuck with her freak spawn! The will that you completely ignored!"
Albus Dumbledore was at a complete loss for words. He couldn't actually remember when the last time that had happened was. James and Lily had never mentioned a will. He knew that Sirius Black was the boy's godfather, but the couple had never mentioned that they had any specific plans for the boy if they should die. "You said that the people who took Harry were agents of his grandmother?" he asked, not certain he had heard correctly. Why would Lily want her mother to look after a baby so late in life?
"Yes, Potter's mother, Helen Magnus," Vernon answered. His face was now beginning to return to its trademark purple.
Helen Magnus? That made no sense. It was well known that James Potter was the only son of Charlus and Dorea Potter. Dorea's maiden name had been Black. Furthermore, both had already died of dragon pox not a year ago. This situation was getting more and more mysterious. "Did the agents of Ms. Magnus provide any proof of their claim?"
"They had a copy of the will with them," Vernon answered.
"Do you still have it?" Dumbledore asked.
"Eh, no," Vernon replied. "They took it with them."
Dumbledore was about to berate the man for making such a mistake when Petunia gave a start. "The form! The guardianship form has the name of one of the women on it! She signed as a witness."
The horse faced woman quickly disappeared back into the kitchen and brought back a coffee stained paper.
Dumbledore was well known for his self-control, but even he couldn't contain himself when he saw the name of the witness. Amelia Bones was not someone any sane person would impersonate lightly. That meant that it was unlikely that the signature was false. Heck, it was even in Amelia's handwriting. This added a whole new level of mystery.
"Thank you," the old man finally managed to say. "This will be very useful to the magical community in locating our missing hero." With that, he Disapparated away, leaving a concerned Vernon and Petunia.
To Amelia Bones, there was never a good time to meet be interviewed by the two most powerful men in the country. But when a war had just ended and the reason they were there to see her was because she had helped to spirit away the country's hero, it was especially unpleasant. "Professor Dumbledore, Minister Fudge, to what do I owe the honor?"
"Sadly, Amelia, this is not a social visit," Dumbledore began. "We're here about a most terrible kidnapping, a kidnapping in which you have been insinuated, sadly."
"A kidnapping? I've always hated those. Tell me, who's been abducted, and how am I involved?" Amelia was doing her best to look legitimately concerned.
"Harry Potter!" Fudge exclaimed. "The Boy-Who-Lived has been abducted from his relatives by an unknown witch named Helen Magnus. Amelia, you must realize how terrible this is. We must locate the boy before anything can happen to him."
If I was a Death Eater, Amelia thought, I wouldn't wait this long to do something to the poor child. Out loud, she said, "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I can't help you. In fact, I don't even see the problem."
"What?" Fudge yelled. "The Boy-Who-Lived has been kidnapped, and you don't see a problem?" The Minister of Magic's jaw was slack, and spit flew from his mouth when he spoke. His trademark bowler hat suffered bloody murder in his hands.
Amelia smiled to herself. If only she could show this version of Fudge to the public more often. "You misunderstand Minister; I would see a problem with any kidnapping. But, the abduction of Harry Potter would be an absolute disaster."
"Oh," Fudge said, regaining some control over himself. "I'm sorry, Amelia. It's just . . . your word choice . . . terribly confusing . . ."
"I don't see a problem, Minister, because there has been no abduction." This time, Fudge was unable to say anything at all. "You see, the Potters' will clearly states that if James and Lily Potter should die before Harry reaches adulthood, then the boy is to be left in the care of James Potter's mother, Helen Magnus." She opened a drawer and took out a document, which she gave to the pair. "Read it for yourselves, gentlemen."
The two did. The will was perfectly legitimate, with the signatures of both of the Potters, Sirius Black, and several other people, including the mysterious Helen Manus. All in all, there was nothing to argue, except the decision itself.
"I must protest, Amelia," Dumbledore said, before Fudge could say anything. "James Potter was the son of Dorea Potter nee Black. This will is clearly a poorly made forgery."
"I'm afraid the will's genuine, Headmaster," the woman answered. "You see, James Potter was actually the adopted son of Dorea Potter rather than her birth child. Potter's conception, you see, was actually illegitimate." Both men's eyebrows shot up at the statement. "The Potters formally adopted him into the family and kept the circumstances of his birth a secret. From what I understand, however, Magnus was an important part of James Potter's life, although he didn't talk about her much."
"Deputy Director," Fudge said, "I find that story a little hard to believe. As far as I know, there is no family in Magical Britain with the name 'Magnus.'"
"Of course not," Amelia answered. "Ms. Magnus is not a part of a British wizarding family."
"A foreigner?" Fudge looked as though he was about to have a heart attack. "Do you mean to tell me that Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, is no longer in Britain?"
"I believe so," Amelia stated pleased that Fudge had latched onto the fact that Magnus wasn't British. Actually, she was, but she hadn't lived in Britain in nearly a century. Still, it would have been troublesome if the Minister were to look through the Muggle British archives and find Magnus' true age (which was why Amelia had referred to Helen as "Ms." instead of "Dr."). She wasn't sure, but Amelia suspected that the wizarding world was even less ready to except the existence of Abnormals than the Muggle world was.
"This is absurd!" Fudge yelled. "Harry Potter is the hero of Britain! He belongs here. To take him from our nation is-"
"-Perfectly within Magnus' rights as the boy's guardian," Amelia finished. "Young Potter is not the property of Magical Britain; he is a child who deserves to be with his family. And don't say that he already was with his family, Dumbledore," she said, when she saw the Headmaster was about to interrupt. "I was there. Those people were barely feeding the boy. He was wearing his cousin's old clothes, and the pig is twice the size of the boy! I assure you, gentlemen, that Harry Potter is much better with his grandmother than with those people."
"But Amelia," Dumbledore pleaded, realizing that things were getting out of hand, "you don't understand how important it is that Harry be with his mother's family. There were special protections placed on house. Separating Harry from them places the boy in great danger."
Amelia snorted. "Unless you announce it publicly, I doubt the Death Eaters will look for the boy outside of Britain. The boy's probably safer than ever. Besides, the law is clearly on Magnus' side and so are the goblins. I met her at Gringgots and the goblins were firmly in her camp. Face it, gentlemen, there's nothing you can do."
"Very well then," Dumbledore said, looking defeated. "I suppose you are right. Good day, Amelia."
"Well, at least the boy's with a proper family, now," Fudge said, as the two left.
Amelia Bones did her best not to laugh. Harry Potter was with a proper family, alright, but not Fudge's idea of proper. She would have to watch out for those two in the future, though. The woman realized neither of them would simply give up and leave Harry alone with his grandmother. Still, there was one good piece of news. Fudge, the bigoted idiot, was still convinced that Magnus was a witch, and it looked like Dumbldore believed she was, too. It was unlikely they would ever suspect that James Potter was a halfblood. Additionally, Helen Magnus had long since ceased to exist in either the magical or the Muggle community. Only a handful of people in either knew that she existed, and Magnus had assured Amelia that she had already sent word to her contacts not to help any Ministry investigations, not that Amelia expected anything less.
Still, Amelia would have to send an owl to her friend as soon as possible. While there really was no legal course the Ministry or Dumbledore could take, they weren't going to let that stop them. Slow them down, maybe, but not stop them completely. Plus, Harry's name was already in the Hogwarts registry. The boy was well hidden for the time being, but he would have to return to Britain eventually. That was when the real battles began.