A/N: As always, I would like to offer my deep thanks to everyone who takes the time to review my stories.
My last offering of this set of three, sets the stage for a story that doesn't really begin until sometime during what would normally be Harry's third year. I'm a bit iffy on the title of this one as well, taking suggestions.
I don't own Harry Potter, and nor will I ever be deluded enough to think that I do.
Landstradd's First Chapters/Prologues
Story Three: By Sunlight, By Moonlight, By Starlight (working title)
Prologue: Carefully Laid Plans Set Into Action
A man in his early twenties walked down the snow covered streets toward Privet Drive under the light of the full moon. It had been a week or two short of three months since Albus Dumbledore had tried to finish the destruction of the closest thing he had to a family. Even if it was not the man's intent to do that, it was nearly the result of what he had done.
Lily and James had been murdered in the defense of the son. Harry, their eldest child, had become a target for most dangerous Dark Lord since Grindelwald had torn apart Europe. He had received the recording crystals from the ruins of Godric's Hollow himself and grimly watched James battle Voldemort on ground he had carefully prepared and maintained. He had lasted all of two minutes.
Considering James had only ever been truly skilled at transfiguration and his power hovered somewhere around the eighty-seventh percentile, that was actually quite remarkable. Lily had rushed through the a ritual that she and himself had painstakingly researched and prepared, just in case the worst would come to pass.
She'd finished the complex part, yet infinitely easier, just as Voldemort was making his way toward them after having finished James. Next came the hard yet simple part. She had died without fighting, sacrificing herself for her son. The requirements had been fulfilled, both parents had died by magical violence, one fighting, one peacefully, both by the same hand. When that hand had turned against their child, the magics meant to harm Harry had instead rebounded upon Voldemort, the power of the Killing Curse he had used increased a thousand fold.
He had seen a few surges of energy that needed to be investigated, but that would be something for later. When he had custody of his wards, and they were far from the plotting of the Headmaster.
Then Sirius had to go off half cocked and try and kill Peter. Padfoot had never been the most controlled member of the Marauders, but goddamn it. No one was going to believe it when a werewolf said that the Potters had switched Secret Keepers at the last moment. And so Sirius Orion Black had blown up Peter and a street full of mundane men and women in his rage, with the result of landing himself in the maximum security wing of Azkaban, never having even had a trial. And Dumbledore, as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot had allowed it.
Further more, under the mistaken belief that the magics that had protected Harry were blood based and sustained, the aforementioned meddling old man had placed Harry with the last people his parents had wanted to end up with custody of him. He believed so strongly in the innate goodness of people that he believed simply because they were related that they would become family.
And little Ginny. Dumbledore, in his infinite wisdom, had decided that it would be best if Harry was thought to be the last Potter. So three month old Ginevra Lily Potter had been given to a family that had six other children, and her name had been changed to Ginevra Molly Weasley. Getting her back would be easy anyway, the Weasleys had paper thin wards, and both parents were crap duelists.
He had been close to finally gaining control of his transformations when Halloween and its tragedy had rolled around. He had hollowed out, emotionally dead for a few days. He had then gone to the headmaster and asked where the children were. Dumbledore said that the children he, Remus Lupin, was supposed to have care of were 'safe' and that he need not worry about them, sliding in a few subtle barbs that he, as a werewolf, would not be able to care for them any way, no matter what the Potter wills said.
Which was one of the items of the ever growing list of problems he had with the Headmaster. He had sealed the Ministry held copies of the wills of James and Lily Potter. The copy that Sirius had kept in his flat had been 'accidentally' destroyed when it had been raided following his arrest. That left only the Gringotts copy, and Albus most like believed, mistakenly, that Sirius was the executor of the estate. Just like he had probably believed that the Marauders had stopped trusting him when rumor started spreading that all the werewolves in England had flocked to Voldemort's banner. He had also made over two dozen attempts to gain access to the Potter Vaults under the guise of being appointed Harry's 'magical guardian'. Thankfully the Gringotts held copies of all wills are executed internally immediately following the death of the writer. They had also repossessed James's invisibility cloak for him. He had no clue how Dumbledore had gotten his hands on that particular heirloom, the only people that James had ever let anyone use it were Lily and the Marauders, and the later were only allowed that after they had been friends for six years, and Lily hadn't known about the cloak until midway through seventh year.
The purebloods loved their laws to keep those they viewed as beneath where they belonged, but what they loved even more were the loopholes that allowed them to continue to do whatever they hell they wanted. And James had worded every last thing in his and Lily's wills perfectly, citing chapter and verse of the countless laws on the books that would allow their children to go to exactly who intended, bigots be damned. They had laid out other plans. Just because both Lily and James had been Gryffindors didn't mean that they were completely without cunning.
But he could not allow himself to take custody of two of the only people he still had left when he could be a potential danger to them. So he had brought his attention back to calming and accepting the beast within him in the manner that Animagi gain control of their transformation. Why no one had tried anything some simplistic had always eluded him. It had been years of mental and emotional wrestling with his inner animal, but he had been inching closer. But he had been set back by the emotional upheaval, and it had cost him precious months, but he had finally done it. He was for all intents and purposes a wolf Animagus who was more deeply connected with his inner animal the average.
He stared up at the full moon with human eyes for the first time in years. He was going to be getting his cubs back. He reached into the pockets of his thin coat pulling out a rune carved stone of left hand side and a thin pair of wire rim spectacles out of the right. The stone was roughly triangular in shape fit comfortably in the palm of his hand. As he took the corner onto Privet Drive, he brushed one of the larger runes located by one of the corners of the stone.
Sympathetic combined with symbolic casting. It had taken days of work to get the arrays on all of the power transformers in Little Whinging, but it had been more than worth it. Now with a simple touch and a spark of magic, the entire town lost power. Remus grinned broadly. The only reason that Lily had gotten the top spot in their year uncontested was due not to the fact no one could match her prodigious intellect, but rather because the only one who could had to drag three reprobates kicking and screaming through exams every year. Even when Sirius and James had manned up for OWLs and NEWTs, he had still been run ragged and exhausted by the time the exams had taken place. He had been lucky that he stayed awake long enough to make the straight Exceeds Expectations that he had gotten.
Moving toward Number Four, putting the glasses on his face, glasses which brought magic into the visible spectrum. He scrutinized the ramshackle wards surrounding the Dursley's home one last time, absolutely despising Dumbledore for having thought that the Blood protections he was ready to believe in would appear out of thin air. The wards weren't even proper protections, they were a legion of monitoring spells that were probably hooked up to countless little delicate devices in the man's office. A simple press of a larger rune in one of the other corners of the stone in his hand caused a prepared loop in the wards reporting functions that would leave the old man clueless to what was going to happen here.
See the wards react as he had expected them to, he slipped the spectacles off, and crossed the street toward the house, pressing the last large rune on the stone before tossing it away. A simple sleeping spell would keep all present in the house at its casting in a deep, dreamless sleep until the rising of the sun.
Pulling his wand as he walked up the path to the door he cast a pair of charms directed at the front door and a human revealing charm directed at the house in general. The front door unlocked and swung open of its seemingly own accord, while the last charm told him that three non-magicals, one male child, one male adult, and one female adult, were on the first floor, and one wizard child was on the ground floor. Checking all of the rooms one the ground floor, Remus could not find the one he was looking for, so he then checked the coat closet and finally the cupboard under the stairs.
There, in the dark space under the stairs, the one and a half year old was laying on a crib mattress with only a thin blanket to cover him. He sighed, this should have been the first place he had looked considering Petunia's opinion of her sister, and the fact that her husband Vernon, for the fact that Remus had only met the man once at Lily's wedding, seemed to hate magic with a passion only make Dumbledore's choice of guardians worse.
He cast a few simple diagnostic charms while he looked Harry over. Only two months and he was looking a little thinner, no injuries consistent with physical abuse, though that only meant it would probably be mental and emotional. He sighed as he scooped the young boy and carried him off. He would be retrieving Ginny in the morning, after he had left Harry with a pair of the Potter house elves who he would order to kill anyone who was him or with him.
He smiled grimly at that thought as he exited the house. Even though the elves rarely used their magic for violence didn't mean that they couldn't. If just mean that anyone and everyone was completely unprepared for it when they did.
Using the same spectacles he did the night before, he watched the wards surrounding the Burrow one last time, confirming his suspicions. He'd timed his visit so that Arthur would be on one of his rare days off from work at the Ministry. He left the glasses on as he opened the gate and took the path to the front door. Who's brilliant idea was it to make a corridor in the wards to allow people access to the front door? Remus couldn't hold a candle to James's power, being only somewhere in the sixty-second percentile, but even he could bring the wards surrounding the house down from where he stood, and it would barely take the wind out of him.
Slipping the spectacles in his pocket before he knocked the door, he thought about what he knew of this family as he waited for someone to answer. He was acquaintances with the parents, Arthur and Molly, having been a few years behind them in Hogwarts. They had six sons, the eldest of whom would be starting at Hogwarts in September of this year.
Speaking of that, a boy looking to be ten or eleven years old opened the door, and asked, "Can I help you sir?"
"My name is Remus Lupin, and I need to speak to you mother and father William."
The boy turned from the door and yelled, "Mum! Dad! There's a Mr. Lupin at the door for you!"
A minute later the tall, thin, bright red-haired frame of Arthur Weasley was ushering his eldest son away from the door, greeting the werewolf jovially, smiling, "Remus, this is an unexpected visit! Come in, come in! What can I do for you today?"
Remus wasn't going to waste time, and as he entered the Weasleys' home, told the man exactly why he had come, "I'm here to collect Ginevra Potter."
Arthur's face fell, and then quickly moved on to an expression bordering on horror, "The Headmaster never said who her parents were, just that they had been killed in the last days of the war and needed a good home..."
Remus resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the trusting and gullible man, and replied, "And he had no right what-so-ever to place Ginny anywhere. No were his actions legal when he sealed the Ministry copies of the wills of Lily and James Potter so that he could have his own way."
The Weasley patriarch's face paled at the mention of Albus Dumbledore doing wrong, and quickly said, "So I suppose it was you who was supposed to get custody of Harry and Ginny?"
"Yes I was, and I've already rescued Harry from the extremely poor choice of where Dumbledore had decided to place him."
"And just where did the Headmaster send him?"
"A place that both wills explicitly stated that neither of there children were to ever go."
Arthur nodded and said, "Molly isn't going to be happy about this..."
"And I can't find myself willing to care that she will be displeased."
"She's in the kitchen..."
As they walked into the cozy kitchen of the Burrow, Molly Weasley was bustling about, cooking something, while a bassinet sat on the table, the aforementioned little girl laying in it. Molly turned to see who was entering the kitchen and said, "Remus, what brings you around the Burrow?"
"I am here to collect my ward, Ginevra Lily Potter."
Her face was almost comically blank for a few moments before it dawned on her who Remus was talking about. She shrieked out, in a voice that while not understandable to the rest of the house, would easily be heard, "You are not taking my daughter! She is ours now no matter what you..."
She had started to move towards Ginny during her diatribe, but had been cut off in both movement and voice when Remus stepped in her way, ready to grab his wand if it was needed. And he spoke to her in a tone that was so cold it dripped icicles.
"She never was, and never shall be, your daughter. By the wills of Lily and James Potter I was to have the care of the children in the event that Sirius was unable to. The only reason I waited as long as I did was to ensure that I would be able to properly care for them."
As he stopped and watched the woman move her mouth back and forth like a fish out of water, he heard a child pad into the kitchen, he glanced at the approximately seven year old boy who was holding a rat in a cage before turning his attention back to Molly as the boy asked, "What's Mum yelling about, and who is she yelling at?"
Arthur closed his eyes for a moment to gather his thoughts and was about to speak, when Remus's head whipped back around to star at the caged rat, a look of predatory hunger on his face. A rat that started squeaking and running circles around his cage.
"Remus, why are you staring at my son's pet like it owes you money?"
"Because Arthur, that is no normal rat. It is an unregistered Animagus and a traitor. But it is still very much a rat."
"How do you know this Remus?"
"I went to school with the bastard. It wasn't Sirius that betrayed Lily and James, it was Peter. And the only reason I haven't spent the last two months hunting the little blighter was the fact I though Sirius had dealt with him... You do know that in addition to Ginny, I won't be leaving without the rat."
Poor little Percy was mostly puzzled by what was going on, and it seemed to him that after the man had left, the Weasleys had gotten a very raw deal, they had lost their new little sister and he had lost his new pet rat.
Remus sat in the sitting room of a home owned by the Potter family in Wales, reading the latest edition of the Daily Prophet. The Potters no longer owned any larger residences since Potter Manor, which had been located in Kent, had been damaged beyond repair when a German bomber had crashed into it during World War Two. The family had never felt the need to rebuild such a large estate, and so instead had moved into more comfortable homes.
He had first wanted to get out of England at the earliest possible convenience, but when he had found Wormtail, he had been force to choose between waiting and seeing if Sirius could be freed, or getting out of Dumbledore's reach. He could not abandon his last remaining friend to the Dementors, and so he had holed himself up with the children and a pair of house elves in one of the more heavily warded properties owned by House Potter.
He would take two months and see what would happen. Now all he could do was wait and hope.
It was a week and a half later that Remus let out a shout of joy upon reading the front page of the morning edition of the Daily Prophet. He picked up Harry, who was playing on the floor with a set of blocks, and held him in the air while they spun around.
"Marvelous news cub, your Uncle Padfoot is a free man again!"
Harry giggled and said, "Moo'y, Pa'fot!"
He then carried Harry over to where one of the elves was keeping a close eye as Ginny played with some colorful, oversized plastic keys. God he loved the mundane world's baby toys. "You hear that littler cub? Padfoot's coming back!"
The red-haired baby girl giggled as well, the atmosphere in the house brightening by several degrees.
"Mopsy!" Remus called out as he set Harry back down by his blocks, "I am going to need you to take some letters to the Owl Post Office!"
Not an hour later, the front door of the House burst open with a cry of, "Honey, I'm home!"
"In the sitting room, Sirius!"
"Moony, you won't believe what that git Dumbledore told me when I asked where Harry and little Gin-Gin were. He told me that," he began a mocking parody of the Headmaster's voice, "'They are perfectly fine my boy, and completely safe. Surely someone who was just released from Azkaban should not be around small children.' Right pompous bastard. Have you used the crystals Lils left to scry for them the maps yet?"
"Just get your ass in here Padfoot, if Dumbledore is trying to keep you away from the children that means he doesn't know I took them back yet!"
With a mad cackle, Sirius rushed into the room, saying, "That can only mean one thing, because I know you well enough to understand that you wouldn't take custody of the pups until you had your furry little problem under control! Congratulations!"
"And you figured that out all on your own? My gods Padfoot, did spending time with the Dementors improve your intelligence?"
"Not likely. So how far into which plan are you?"
"The Gringotts copies of the wills should hit the Ministry sometime during the day after tomorrow. Hopefully the goblins will send off a package with identification and papers that will arrive tomorrow, and we'll then contact Lily's cousin Lara about helping us and the kids get out of the country."
"Lara... Lara... What was here surname again? I know she sounds familiar..."
"Croft. She was third on the list of guardians. If you and I weren't available, it would mean we were dead, and quite frankly Lily didn't want to trust Peter with the kids if either of us weren't around..."
"Now the rat is a traitor, and is going to get to rot in Azkaban instead of me!"
The two Marauders and the two Potter children spent most of the next four years and some odd months living in Staten Island, New York. Remus had both of the children reading, and learning, early, while it was Sirius's job to made sure that they played. Though with Harry, the play was done in such a way that it kept him fit, and sharpened his reflexes. Water balloons, football (not that game Yanks confuse with it, but the one you actually play with your feet!), and of course the random prank here and there.
Two days after Harry's birthday, early in the morning, Remus was sitting at the kitchen table, staring into his tea. Sirius walked into the room, yawning and stretching, barely getting out an understandable, "Moony," before he reached for his morning cup of coffee.
"How the hell can you drink that sludge Padfoot? Your supposed to be English. Have a cup of tea!"
Sirius glared at his best friend and said, "This stuff is basically liquid caffeine, and I need plenty of that if I am going to be active by the time the pups are up and about."
"You never were a morning person, Sirius."
They sat in silence for a while before Sirius ventured, "You are usually reading the morning paper by now Moony, what's wrong?"
"Harry's magic has stabilized."
Sirius, having just taken a sip of his coffee, spat it out in a spray. He spluttered for a few moments and then said, "Most kids who stabilize early only do so at or around their eighth birthday! He's just turned six! I know that James told me that he stabilized a little before he turned ten, which is the average isn't it?"
"I know... and yes, it is Padfoot. Your retention is getting better in your old age."
"I am not old! Any ways, I guess this is the end of our spending most of the year in New York is coming to an end."
"Just be glad that the Masters that Lily and James set up for Harry's teaching are all renowned as teachers, and that they picked the ones who either owed them personal favors, come from families that owed House Potter large favors or even life debts. I wonder how the cubs will feel about moving to Germany..."
"Why is Germany first again?"
"The wandcrafters that House Potter has contracted for all of their custom wands since the fifteen hundreds reside in Munich. James was quite specific that Harry's first wand was crafted. Lily said push for him to have two."
"What is the difference between Ollivander, who is a famed wandmaker, and this family of wandcrafters?"
"Padfoot, how many times have James, Lily, and I explained this to you?"
Sirius looked properly shamefaced as he replied, "This will be the fifth time I think."
"Well I was obviously wrong about you ability to retain information. Now pay attention mutt..."
"I'm not a mutt, I'm a Grim!"
"The Kennel Club starts issuing pedigrees for Grims, I'll stop calling you mutt. Now as I was saying, the difference between wandmakers and crafters is that a wandmaker uses a narrow selection of woods and cores in order to get the best 'fit' possible for the largest number of people possible. A wandcrafter makes each wand individually for each witch and wizard, and the wand will always respond to its owner in the best manner possible."
Sirius dropped his forehead to the table making a decent sounding thump. "And as you explained it..."
"You remembered it. Honestly Sirius, what am I going to do with you?"
He grinned cheekily and turned into his Grim form. Remus sighed ruefully, and scratched his friend behind the ears when the dog padded over to him.
"Well we can't put you out to stud since that bastard Rodolphus cast that curse that sterilized you in seventh year..."
Padfoot whimpered at the mention of that event.
"Hey, if you ever find a woman who would put up with you who wants children, you could always adopt."
The Grim growled at his friend.
"Hey don't blame me that you are so afraid that you'll always be left alone when she, no matter which relationship it is at the time, finds out you can't father children!"
A few months short of three years later, Harry lay beneath a tree, staring up into the pink blossoms above him. His parents, before they had passed, had come up with an... interesting variation on how their son was going to be taught magic. Instead of waiting for the standard age of eleven and then sending him off to Hogwarts, they had instead planned that he would study under various men and women who held Masteries in their respective subject. The fact that few of these men and women resided in the same country was little matter.
Though learning how to land properly when coming out of an international Floo trip had taken him forever.
He would spend a month in Berlin learning Charms, then would move on to Transfiguration in France. He studied, chiefly, under a Herbology Mistress who kept the most vast greenhouses in the world in Spain, though there were several others who he sometimes had lessons with. Strangely enough rather than studying Ancient Runes (which he had originally studied under a monk in Tibet) in Cairo as one would expect, that was where he learned under a pair of the premier Potions Masters of the world. A smile lit his face as he thought of the twins, he never had a lesson with them where he failed to break into laughter. He studied Care of Magical Creatures at two alternating reserves, one was particularly vast and located in the Australian Outback, that kept a massive assortment of magical creatures. The other was the world's largest dragon reserve in Romania. Arithmancy was learned under a hippie in San Francisco. And Defense, as it was simply called in all other parts of the world besides England, was learned under a rather ancient man in Kyoto (which is where he was currently). Moony took it upon himself to teach him History of Magic and Astronomy during the four months of the year that they spent at 'home' in Staten Island, though Remus included a lot of mundane advancements in the later, while still explaining why it was important, magically speaking.
They lived as much in the non-magical world as they could so 'Muggle' Studies was a waste of time and Lily had left express instructions that if Harry showed any interest in Divination, he was to be pranked into giving up the idea.
They would spend two months abroad before returning home for one month. While they were in Staten Island, they usually visited by their 'Aunt' Lara in the winter, who had been their mother's favorite cousin, and the only surviving member of that branch of their family that their mother wanted them to have contact with. Lara, for her part, enjoyed the peace of spending time with Lily's children, and usually had presents that left Harry and Ginny in awe. In the summer they would be visited by their Aunt Rolanda. Though technically their great-aunt, she was the only other person of Potter blood apart from the siblings. She was the sister of Charlus Potter, their grandfather, and she had married Edward Hooch, who had died in the Great War. She always took them to see Quidditch games, what few she could find in the States that were dominated by Quodpot, and promised them flying lessons when they were older.
When abroad, he still continued to teach them him and his sister the more mundane subjects. Math, writing composition, reading comprehension, sciences, and the like. The only thing that they didn't study were languages for the sheer reason that they 'cheated'. There was a service that was provided, for an exorbitant cost, around the world that used a spell to transfer the ability to speak a language from the caster to the target. The level of fluency learned was that of the casters, and so they only bought from native speakers or those that spoke with complete fluency. And as the ICW kept a register and issued licenses to people providing this service, the risk was extremely low. Remus, Sirius, and Ginny had stopped at the languages that were needed for their globe trotting, while the plan for Harry was for him to learn as many languages as he desired. He had yet to decide where he really wanted to stop.
He was also taught that the way he was learning was far different from how young witches and wizards were taught. Whatever he was taught was polished to near perfection. They had taught him silent and point casting, and had not moved beyond the first year material in wanded subjects until he could demonstrate that he was capable of casting most of the spellwork quickly, at random, consistently, silently, and with a minimum of wand waving. Then they pushed him to see just what he was capable without a wand. It had gotten easier as he had moved through the 'years' moving more quickly through the next than the one that had come before. Ginny had been a little upset that Harry was learning magic before her, but as her core had yet to stabilize, she was kept out of the wanded subjects, though most of the teachers in the others had let her take part in the lessons, even though she was not pushed anywhere near as hard as her brother.
He was somewhere in the mid-second year in his wanded magics and mid-fifth in all the non-wanded save one.
His teacher in runes had called his advancement in that subject terrifying. It had taken a year and a half to reach a level that Runes Master Chiuc had called 'acceptable for passing any reasonable first stage testing'. He had then taken his International O-Levels, the equivalent of the British OWLs, and proceeded to be both the youngest to ever pass the test and gain the highest score on record. His instruction in that area of study had then shifted teachers.
It seemed that the goblin clan of Gringotts London had owed the House of Potter a massive favor. They had hired out, for a greatly reduced price, both their top Curse Breaker and Enchanter. The lessons had taken place in London branch, and for the months that he learned to both build and destroy wards and how to imbue magic into objects, Harry and one of his guardians, but only them, were given quarters above ground in the bank. They had also continued teaching what they said he would need to know for his NEWTs. While he may not have been able to get the full practice out what he was being taught due to his limited knowledge in other subjects, what he was able to demonstrate had both of his teachers scared for their jobs if the boy ever decided to pursue a job in their chosen fields. And he was now gearing up to take his International N-Levels while he also was revising for his O-Levels in the other non-wanded subjects, all of which he would be taking in mid-June. If things proceeded apace, he would be taking the rest of his O-Levels a year and a half later.
After he passed Potions, he would no long be studying under the twin Potions Masters in Cairo, but one of the legends of the subject. And after Defense, Master Shiro would begin teaching him a weapon, while Aunt Lara had decided that was when he would be given an exercise regimen and would start to be 'formally' taught to make use of his natural agility.
He was broken out of his doze when he heard bare feet pad softly through the grass, and saw his sister take a seat beside him. Ginny smiled softly at him as she spoke in flawless Japanese, "You don't usually stare at the cherry blossoms for so long..."
"Tired. Revising for my O-Levels is exhausting."
"And your N-Levels for Runes?"
"Are a non-issue. Any particular reason why you felt the need to come over just as I was starting to doze off? I could really do with a nap..."
She gazed at him sharply for a few moments, inspecting her brother for any obvious defects before saying, "You do look tired, are you sleeping well?"
"Most days, though I'm not sleeping as deeply as I usually do..."
"Then get Uncle Remus to brew you up a sleeping potion, or whip one up yourself. It'll probably help if you get one night of deep sleep a week, and it'll keep you from depending on them."
He rubbed at the faded scar on his forehead and sighed, "I'll talk to Moony about it later."
He remember when the scar had been much clearer, how it had caused a dull ache in his head that would never go away. Moony and Padfoot had gone to extremes to find out what was wrong with the curse scar, and they had finally found their answer in a Navaho shaman who was reputed to be the foremost expert of soul and spirit magics in the world. It had been a few weeks before his sixth birthday when the shaman had discovered a large amount of foreign magic in the scar and flesh surrounding it, and even more startling was the fragment of a soul that was anchored to the magic. What had really thrown the old Native American for a loop was upon doing a second examination of the scar a few days later to confirm his results, the soul fragment had perceptibly lessened in size.
The shaman had told them that fighting off both the foreign magical energy and the alien soul was taking a large chunk of Harry's developing magic, and that the simplest way of solving the problem would be to remove the magic and see how that effected the fragment. The magic sustaining the fragment had been extremely easy to purge from Harry's system, and without the energy to support it, the soul fragment had been destroyed in short order.
Harry had held the theory that because his magic had spent so much time fighting off a foreign influence that when it was no longer there, it was able to find an equilibrium with ease and so stabilize at an age that was a statistical anomaly.
As much as he loved the cherry blossoms, he disliked the fact that Sirius and Remus kept him away from anything even remotely resembling a real broom. They mentioned something about his mother threatening their bits if they even allowed either of her children on anything other than a toy broom before the age of ten.
He closed his eyes and tried to take a nap.
It was early-June of 1991, Harry's current month with his Potions teacher was winding down, and he sat at a kitchen table, writing out an essay on a length of parchment using a quill. Nicolas Flamel was a dire taskmaster, and if it was good enough when he had been a student, it was good enough for any student of his. All his other teachers saw how much easier biros and actual paper were... He muttered a few choice curses in Irish, only to be whacked upside the head with a spoon. In addition to teaching Harry NEWTs level potions he had also begun teaching Harry the 'ancient art of Alchemy'.
Harry had learned something interesting about the family history that he had gotten around to reading about yet in what little he had read in the Potter family records. Apparently the Flamels had used to have children every fifty years or so. The problem was that these children, though they always lived to be adults, had always met their ends before they could have a family of their own. The only exception to this had been their first born, a daughter. She had come into their lives before Nicolas had stumbled onto the process to make the Philosopher's Stone, and was grown, married, and had a family of her own when her parents had achieved immortality. Her married name had been Potter, or what it had passed as in the English of the time.
So when he wasn't being taught, they had insisted that he call them Grandmother and Grandfather. At least when Nicolas wasn't teaching, and then he was to be referred to as Master.
Ginny had finally started her her lessons in the wanded subjects, having magically stabilized at about nine and a half. Though she didn't learn under the same Masters that Harry did, Remus and Sirius hired very capable teachers for her, and she was proceeding along a more traditional path than her brother.
She really like to rub his nose in the fact that she wasn't having as many issues in her coursework as he had been through. Harry believed his sister needed to be introduced to the joys of being stuck to the ceiling for twelve hours.
Nicolas was reading some post he had received that morning, while Perenelle was reading a Science Fiction novel, and offhandedly said, "Apparently Albus believes that Voldemort is still alive and is going to make an attempt on the Stone."
The nib of the quill Harry was using snapped, ruining the section of work he had been doing.
"Of all the things I thought that I was going to hear today, that was not among the list, Grandfather."
"Yes, well, he goes on to say that he wants to move it from its high security Gringotts vault to protections of his own devising at Hogwarts."
Perenelle put her own two cents in, "Is he mad? Putting a highly sought after magical artifact if a school full of children when the most dangerous Dark Lord since the one that kicked off a world war is after it is not a sound plan."
"Yes, well even if I say no, he'll probably just make it seem like I entrusted him with the Stone and then hide it in the school anyway. The real problem is what to do about protecting the stone if it's security is compromised."
Harry commented, "It depends on whether you two still want to keep the stone as far from you as possible for as much time as is feasible?"
"And if we were willing to hide it here, what would you suggest young man?"
"Short of placing a Fidelius on the entire property?
Perenelle quirked one elegant eyebrow and asked, "Why would you of all people trust the Fidelius Charm, Harry?"
"Because, in my own opinion, if you trust someone enough to ask them to be your Secret Keeper they should trust you enough to offer up some kind of binding oath not to reveal the secret without your consent."
The older couple were silent for a few minutes as Harry turned his attention to the ruined piece of parchment and began copying what he had already written onto a new sheet.
"And if we were not willing to have it here?"
Harry replied without looking up from his work, "Find some property you own in the middle of nowhere, place the Stone in a box, bury the sucker, the pop a Fidelius about a yard in diameter over it. Make sure the Secret Keeper is willing to under go a memory wipe spell to remove the location from his or her mind, and you've got an impenetrable Secret because it is not Kept in the mind but rather the soul."
They both stared at the young man in silence for the next fifteen minutes as he worked on his paper. A ten year old had just closed the largest hole in one of the most powerful protective Light magics in existence in two separate ways in less than five minutes.
Smiling as he finished his essay and Harry asked, "I've done my homework, now can I please go flying?"
Harry had made sure to be out of Britain during July and August of 1991, and so had managed to avoid whatever tracking charm laden letter
During mid-May of the next year, and Harry once more sat at the Flamel kitchen table. It was morning and he was diligently working his way through a bowl of oatmeal that he had charmed to repel his hair. Harry, In an attempt to make his hair, which he had found out a few weeks after meeting his grandparents was literally cursed, be more controllable, had grown his hair out. He had been doing it since he was six years old. Now, a few months shy of the age of twelve, he had a thick mane of jet back hair that stopped just past his shoulders, and the occasional lock of unruly hair stuck out from it at an odd angle.
They had told him that the hair came from Nicolas, who had the ill fortune to irritate a gypsy who had then cursed him and his male descendants to have uncontrollable hair.
There was a knock at the door that lead to the back garden, and Nicolas and Perenelle shared a startled look that Harry missed, focused as he was on his food. And they both drew their wands, placing them on the table, before Perenelle called out, "Enter!"
A tall man, in flowing plum colored robes, with long silver hair and accompanying beard, and twinkling blue eyes. "Master Flamel, Lady Flamel, I am in need of your help..."
Nicolas sighed and said chidingly, "Albus, you know that we don't become involved in the events of the world at large."
"I know, Nicolas, but I need your advice. Someone has opened Slytherin's Chamber of Secrets, and the monster that was contained with has been rampaging through the school. Four muggleborn students, a cat, and a ghost have been petrified, and now the Board of Governors have removed me as Headmaster, so I cannot do anything about it? I am at my ropes end at how to protect the children..."
Harry slurred out a bit sleepily, although quite audibly, "The basilisk should know better than to harm students. Salazar always wrote that Isis was such a good girl. No one besides Slytherin's line should even be able to remotely influence her, and she would know better than to listen to orders given to her by Aldric's descendants, who would be the only ones inclined to use her in such a way..."
Albus Dumbledore simply stared at the preteen who hadn't really registered to his senses. He had a long unruly mop of jet black hair. The boy had not even looked up from his breakfast when he had given a statement about Slytherin's monster, 'A basilisk, this is worse than I thought!', and now Dumbledore was trying to figure out to manipulate more information out of the young man when he spoke again, "Grandfather, I'll need to head to Gringotts to pick up a few things from the Slytherin ancestral vault before I head to Hogwarts to try and fix the Supreme Warlock's mess. With your permission?"
Perenelle fixed the boy who still had his gaze locked on his oatmeal a glare and asked, "You are not planning on fighting a thousand year old serpent are you?"
"Not if I can't help it. Though it is quite possible that she has gone around the twist and I may have to put her out of her misery."
"And how is that different?"
"Its quite simple, in a fight I run the chance of getting bitten and mutilated the vastly valuable carcass of the ancient basilisk and putting Isis out of her misery involves me Transfiguring a rock into a rooster and Compelling it to crow."
"Then do just that deary, just eat your breakfast first. When do you think you'll be back?"
"Not a bloody clue, I also want to find out who the hell is doing this since the only one who could is without a body at the moment."
Dumbledore stared in shock at this young man, who blandly spoke of killing an ancient basilisk with two pieces of magic that could be done by any adult witch or wizard who had passed their Charms and Transfiguration NEWTs. But when he had looked up and Albus had seen the boy's green eyes behind a pair of glasses, he had nearly fainted. After Harry's Hogwarts letter had been failed to be delivered he had gone to Privet Drive to check on the boy. Harry left the kitchen, presumably to get ready to go out.
The wards he had placed up to alert him of the health, well being, and location of The Boy-Who-Lived had never so much as hiccuped, so he had always assumed the two Marauders had never found the boy, even if they had apparently tracked down Ginevra in short order. Apparently Harry had been taken from the Dursleys before Sirius had even been released from prison! He had had no clue where the savior of the British Wizarding World had gone, and when he had failed to show up for his first year of Hogwarts, all of his carefully laid plans had fallen apart.
Not to mention the earful he had gotten from Minerva... Though she was much gladdened when he told her that he assumed Harry was with Remus and Sirius.
Nicolas turned to Dumbledore and spoke in a firm tone, "We are going to be removing the access list of our wards. The only reason we haven't yet is because, quite frankly, we forgot. After what you tried to pull involving two of our last descendants back after All Hallows Eve of '81, we wouldn't trust you with a potato. Now get out of our home, and be glad that our grandson is such a good person."
Since Harry had been introduced to some of the unbelievable and amazing things that were apparently in his family history, he had dived into familiarizing himself with the tales of his ancestors. They could trace their line, in name unbroken (though heavily altered given shifts in language) back to when a Potter had been Myrddin's (or as he was more commonly known Merlin) last, and greatest, apprentice. He had left everything to that young man after he had passed away following the fall of Camelot. Of course, Merlin had used magic like no one before and since, and it was the extremely rare Potter that was even capable of using even the smallest part of the shear wealth of knowledge he had left behind.
He had found the rune language that the great wizard had almost exclusively used. And if what the man had written in the description of it was true, it was the only completely unabridged source of Atlantean runes known to man. He had become enchanted with it, and had taken it up in a fervor, abandoning the use of all other rune languages, though he still studied them.
And so he killed time physically carving small arrays onto discs of stone, metal, and wood, waiting for whoever was responsible to show their face.
There was also the fact that Slytherin's only other child, his beloved daughter, had married into the Potter family shortly after her insane bigot of a brother had been cast out of the family. It had been him and his descendants who had given both Parseltongues and Slytherins in general their Dark reputation over the years.
As he heard the grinding of the stairs shifting into place, he disillusioned all of the furniture he had transfigured and hid his bags before throwing his family's invisibility cloak over himself. He watched as the massive doors that separated the entrance of the Chamber from its largest portion open, revealing a blond waif of a girl in Ravenclaw robes whose eyes were glowing a malevolent red. She took three steps into the massive hall only to receive a stunner to the chest and be levitated before she struck the floor.
A small leather bound book fell out of her robes and struck the ground. Harry moved the girl over to the cot he had set up for his stay in the chamber. He drew one of his wands and started casting various detection and revealing spells on the book. What he got back from them put a frown on his face as he moved over, doing his best to sense the magics that were in the book and a failing terribly. His ability to feel magics from a distance was absolutely shite.
He tapped a section of his glasses, scrutinizing the the book with the various enhanced vision modes built into them. Finally deciding he wouldn't lose a hand if he picked it up, he grabbed the book, shivering with disgust at the feel of the magics against his skin and moving toward the table he had been sitting at.
His capability at sensing magic through skin contact, however, had always been above par.
And he recognized where this magic had come from. Even though it had been a little over half a decade since his scar had been purged, he knew that Voldemort had made this book. Flipping it open, Harry grabbed a quill and ink and wrote, 'Testing, one, two, three, testing.' The words sank into the paper moments after he had finished writing, only for the ink to reappear in a different hand.
'Hello, who might I have the pleasure of speaking with?'
'I'd greet you politely, Voldemort, but quite frankly I have questions I want answered before I destroy this book, and I am not going to waste the ink or time it would take to do so on you.'
'I have no clue who this Voldemort fellow you are speaking of is. My name is Tom Marvolo Riddle.'
'You may not see it, but I am rolling my eyes now. I have ways of making you talk. Describe the magics that created you.'
'All I am are memories stored in a book, charmed to act like my sixteen year old self.'
'And I am the tooth fairy. I'll ask one more time before I start drawing rune arrays to enforce my will and start testing the theory I have that my magic is either hostile or outright toxic to yours. What are the magics that created you?'
'Tell me you name, and maybe I'll tell you.'
'Go to hell, Tom.'
Pulling out a separate bottle of ink that he used when writing out runes instead of carving him, one of the ingredients of it being his own blood, Harry turned the book so that the pages would turn vertically and started writing out a rune array after rune array, all while pumping so much energy into the book that his magical aura flared into the visible spectrum. The occasional comment would pop up from Voldemort, but Harry merely waited for the words to fade away before continuing his work.
'What are you doing to me? Stop that! Cease what you are doing! I command you to stop!'
After half an hour, Harry slumped back in his chair, tired at his exertions. Picking up the quill and using the normal black ink, Harry wrote, 'Now, describe the magics that made you.'
'I am a Horcrux.'
'What is a Horcrux?'
'A Horcrux is a container for a fragment of a person's soul that has been torn from the rest. It requires that one murder another human in cold blood. It is a means by which to become immortal.'
'How would one destroy a Horcrux, if you don't know theorize.'
'The spells involved in the creation of a Horcrux harden it to most damage, I can only assume that things that would cause massive damage, such as basilisk venom and Fiendfyre would destroy one.'
'I am going to assume that one can make more than on Horcrux, though I shudder at the thought of mauling one's soul so. Is this your first Horcrux or a later one, if so what are your prior ones, and were you even planning on making more than one, if so how many?'
'I have made one Horcrux prior to this diary, and it was a ring that is a Gaunt family heirloom of our ancestor Salazar Slytherin. I was indeed planning on making multiple Horcruxes, six in total so that I may have a seven part soul.'
'Where did you hide the ring, what are the protections surrounding it, and what is the easiest way to bypass those protections?'
Harry let loose a feral grin at the book and said out loud, "This is what you get when an enchanted object attempts to tangle with the youngest Runes Master in over a thousand years."
Harry sat next to the girl, getting reading to counter the stunner he had cast on her. On the table, the diary lay cleaved in two, with a sock laying beside it. He had taken Salazar Slytherin's goblin forged battle axe, which he had infused with basilisk venom to strengthen it, and simply chopped the Dark object in half. He had backed up the rest of the belongings he had brought with him, and now all he had to do was wake the poor girl and see how badly Voldemort had hurt her.
He placed a hand on the girl's forehead and cast the counter wandlessly.
Her eyes shot open, and she started glancing about in a fear that was just short of terror, though she didn't really see him.
Harry spoke, calmly and softly, "Easy now. Tom Riddle is not going to be able to hurt you anymore. He has been dealt with."
Her eyes focused on his face for the first time, before she bolted out and gripped him in a death hug around the waist, crying and spilling out how she had let Tom do all those horrible things through her.
As he gently rubbed her back and said soothing words that she wasn't to blame, he waited to see if she would calm down. Her steam of words eventually slowed and then stopped, though she still shed a few tears.
"Now what you need to understand is that old, and far wiser people than you have been taken in by the honeyed words that roll off of Voldemort's forked tongue."
She stared up at him in shock.
"I should know the feeling of the bastard's magic, I had it in my scar until I was about six years old," he stated as he brushed aside his hair and tapped the lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead.
She simply stared at the scar that was legendary in the British Wizarding World and stammered out, "You... You're..."
"Harry Potter. It's a pleasure to meet you...?"
He managed to coax the story of her first year at Hogwarts, among other things, out of her. She had lived alone with her father since her mother had passed. She had had few friends growing up, so her father had made up a bunch of 'rare magical creatures' and then used those as an excuse to go on camping trips all around the world during the summer.
The Lovegoods were apparently well enough off that her father felt secure enough to pursue his interest in providing the British Wizarding World with a tabloid. She told how her father had found one from the non-magical world while he was so amused and mesmerized by it that he felt that it was now his purpose to bring that to the people of magical England.
What few friends she had were the Weasley brothers, who had 'adopted' her as an honorary little sister following her mother's death. They had not been able to keep as close an eye at they wanted to due to her being sorted into a different house than them, but they had tried to talk to her at varying points in the year, and showed that they were concerned that she had become so quiet over the year.
And he had brought her around to talking about her home life, which brightened her eyes whenever she talked about, when her tale about what Voldemort had done to her had seemed a bit too much for her to deal with.
She had continued to act in the same manner she had at home around her father, commenting about Nargles, Snorkacks, and all other manner of imaginary magical creature. The problem was that in she a house where such strangeness was frowned upon. Though they had not started to pick on her due to the fact that she had withdrawn more and more as the year had gone on, but some of the things she mentioned showed that her housemates were not pleased with her differences.
As she finished up her story, Harry helped her to her feet, and led her out of the Chamber, a duffel bag held in one hand that had the metallic haft of an axe sticking out of it, his other arm around her shoulders, leading her out of the gloomy Chamber.
Harry walked out of the Deputy Headmistress's office, waiting for Professor Flitwick to exit the office, he had recommended to Oddment Lovegood, Luna's father, that he should take Luna to see a Mind Healer because she had basically been possessed by a right bastard of a spirit. And on their way to the office, he had told her how to be able to contact him if she wanted to write a letter to him. He had also given McGonagall greetings that he was sure his guardians would probably liked to pass on, though he had commented that if they had come directly from Sirius and Moony they would have probably been far less appropriate. He had then proceeded to tell the a much abridged
He had also mentioned to Filius that he needed to have a word with the quarter-goblin. And so when he came out of the office having seen that his student was safe with her father.
"You wanted to speak with me, Mr. Potter?"
"Yes, Professor Flitwick, and call me Harry, I'm not one of your students. I thought I should tell you something. If Luna is back to her normal self by the time next year comes around, you might want to keep an eye out for bullying directed at her. Ravenclaws have a history of turning against those who do not conform."
The small man nodded sadly, "I will keep an eye on her Harry, if I may ask though, why I are so concerned?"
"I saved her life from a complete and total monster that could once call itself human. I am not going to allow her housemates destroy her."
"That is quite noble of you Harry."
A voice behind the Potter heir said, "I must agree with Filius, Harry."
Without turning around, Harry replied, as though he had already known that Dumbledore was than, in a rather cold tone, "I may have given Professor Flitwick permission to be familiar with me, but I did not extend the same to you, Headmaster, and likely never will."
Harry could practically feel the shocked silence of the old man behind him as the Charms Master of Hogwarts asked, "Was that really necessary, Mr. Potter?"
"Yes, yes, it was. He sealed the Ministry copy of my parents wills before their bodies were even cold, he allowed Sirius to go to Azkaban without a trial, he placed my sister with a family that was no where on the list of those that were to have custody of her, he placed me with people who my parents expressly stated that me or my sister were to never go to, and he had made no less than two dozen attempts to gain access to my family's vaults in the three months before Remus took me back."
That struck Filius silent, who then glared rather nicely at the Headmaster.
Hearing the sound of footsteps making their way down the corridor, Harry looked around to see Lucius Malfoy being heeled by his house elf, and muttered, "Bad Faith incoming."
A sneering, pretentious voice said, "I see you have found fit to return to the castle after the Board sacked you, Albus."
Interrupting what would probably be an extremely boring conversation, Harry said, "Lord Black is most displeased with your recent behavior, Lord Malfoy. Blackmailing and threatening the Board into sacking a sitting Headmaster? Placing dangerous Dark artifacts that once belonged to Dark Lords in the hands of school children? Bad form, Lord Malfoy, bad form. In the past week and a half the Houses of Black and Potter have bought up all of your outstanding debts, and you shall be hearing from our solicitors about those soon, along with the invalidation of your marriage contract to Narcissa Black due to your involvement with a Dark Lord who caused the deaths of two sons of the House of Black and the assault and attempted murder of a third."
Harry pulled a sock that had something stuffed in his pocket and threw it at the Lord of the House of Malfoy, and said, "You might as well have that back. I pray for the day when you explain to your Master how you let that get destroyed."
As a look of apoplectic rage crossed the blond man's face, and his hand twitched toward his wand, "Try while in the presence of the man who killed Grindelwald, a world dueling champion, and myself, I dare you. You won't live long enough for Voldemort to torture you to death."
He said nothing and simply sneered at them, tossing book-baring sock at the house elf before striding off. The house elf stared down at what was in his hands and said, "Master has given Dobby clothes! Dobby is free!"
Malfoy, a look of fury on his puce colored face (Harry idly wondered how someone so pale could turn that color), turned back toward Harry, who looked appropriately smug, and yelled, "You cost me my servant boy!"
"Yes, yes, I did Lucy. And Moony and Padfoot are going to pauperize you. Deal with it."
Lucius Malfoy paled with startling speed, and spun on his heel, fleeing from the scene of his defeat at the hands of a twelve year old.
As soon as the man was out of sight and hearing range, Harry started laughing so hard that he fell on his arse. As soon as he had finished laughing himself silly, he muttered under his breath, "I haven't had that much fun since I played a game of chicken with a professional seeker and won!"
Both of the adults stared at the sudden change in Harry, as he finished calming himself down and picked himself back up. As Harry's face once more became serious, he said, "I think that is all gentlemen, I need to have a conversation with Dobby, and then get back to the Flamel residence. I am not sure how pleased they are going to be about me taking a fortnight out of my studies..."
Touching the still shocked elf on the shoulder, Harry beckoned the little fellow to follow him.
As soon as they were alone, Harry raised some privacy wards and said, "Thank you for the warning that you gave me this summer, Dobby, I am sorry I ended up at Hogwarts anyway, but I felt that I had to deal with the issue that you had so gently tried to steer me away from."
"Harry Potter is the bestest and most noblest wizard in the world! Dobby is not worthy to..."
"It is all thanks to you that I was able to figure out who it was that was behind the opening of the Chamber, and I don't mean Riddle. By you warning me about Hogwarts being a dangerous place to be this year, and by never having been told that you were not to tell anyone who you served, I was able to figure it out. Free you from an abusive family is the least I could do."
The little elf started crying tears of joy while he wrung his ears as he repeated, "Thank you, Harry Potter, thank you!"
When the excitable little fellow had once more calmed down, Harry knelt down to his level and said, "I know you want to be able to enjoy your new found freedom, so how about I hire you as a free elf? What do you think would be fair wages and days off?"
Dobby's eyes widened to proportions that threatened to make Harry start laughing as he made a sound that Harry had only heard come from Japanese fangirls before (he still shuddered whenever he hear 'Squee!'), and then said, "Dobby will be accepting no more than one galleon and a day off a month."
"I'm sorry but I am going to have to give you three galleons a month and a day off every other week."
Dobby looked torn between wanting to accept working for 'the Great Harry Potter sir' and receiving what he felt was far too much compensation, before he managed to squeak out a, "Yes!"
It was Halloween, 1994, at about three in the afternoon, and Harry was enjoying an pleasant walk through the neighborhood that they lived in in Staten Island, his favorite gray cloak wrapped around him. All of his teachers had by this point felt they had taught him all they could while confined to International N-Level work. And so he had taken the about a year off to revise everything he knew and prepare for the tests that he had promised himself that he would take in June.
He was just about to turn around and begin heading home where he felt his entire body pulled eastward. Cursing under his breath, Harry likened it to portkey travel (his most despised form of magical transit) except the pull was not confined to behind his naval. He nearly stumbled as he felt it again, this time swearing quite audibly in Irish. Drawing his wands, he had the vague feeling that the third time was going to be the charm, and he had no clue where he was going to end up.
Soon he was being pulled through a hazing vortex of fume and flame, again a strange parallel to a portkey. Bracing himself as he would for a landing with a portkey, he was slammed down on his feet, but managed to remain upright. He spun in a quick circle, taking in his surroundings and looking for any threats. He saw black robes with four different colored trims, pale blue robes made of silk, and thick woolen robes the color of blood. He was in a massive hall that had five tables, four populated by kids ages eleven to eighteen, and the last filled with adults, while the ceiling reflected the night sky that was apparently. And he saw the fabled Goblet of Fire.
He only had one thing to say.
A/N2: And that's were the prologue ends, with Harry about to be forced to compete in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. I'd like to thank you for reading my offerings, and to remind you to vote for your favorite on poll located at my author page.