Black Bond, Black Order
Authors Notes: Phew… An update! Sorry it took so long to get this up. I've been very busy lately and have not had the time to dedicate to writing as I did before. This chapter is only part one of two, maybe 3 but probably only two. I hope to have part 2 finished within the week (time permuting) as I'm thinking it will one of the shorter chapters. Why do you ask, did I not just put it in this chapter? The answer is I did not feel that it would fit quite right with this chapter, so a part 2 would be better.
As usual, I've checked for glaring errors, but can't guarantee 'error free'. I write for fun and have better things to do than make every sentence perfect in every conceivable way. If you want to bring an error to my attention, be civil about it, Thank you.
Chapter 6: L'esprit de escalier, Part 1
(A/N): L'esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means "the spirit of the staircase."
With a Crack Ginny reappeared in the back yard of Number 4 Privet Drive. With a furious yet smooth stride, she walked up to the now repaired back door and entered. The Dursleys had since been unbound and were cowering away from her as she moved through the home to the stairs. Her anger was easily noticeable as she stomped up to the top and into Harry's room.
Harry looked up in surprise as his door opened. He was almost finished with the book on Phoenixes and was about to hex whatever disturbed him. Upon seeing Ginny, he held back confused as to why she was there.
"Ginny?" asked Harry as she slammed his door shut.
After slamming shut the door Ginny shouted, "That horrible woman!"
Harry marked his page and set his book down. Getting up from his chair grabbed Ginny as she passed furiously around his room and brought her down to sit with him while holding her gently. With his right arm, he gently rubbed her back.
"What's going on Ginny? Why are you here?" Harry asked gently.
With a heavy sigh, Ginny explained the situation. She went into every detail since she left earlier. How she thought she had successfully deceived her mother until she entered the building. The short fight she had with her mother and the one between her father and mother. How her mother had attacked her and her following escape.
As Harry listened to her story, he started to rage. He was unable to comprehend how Ginny thought she was awful before, but now he understood. It was only Ginny, and her hope that her family could be saved that prevented from going over and hexing the foul woman. Now that Ginny's story was here, Harry started to think over what to do.
Ginny leaving the Burrow was quite the problem for them. She could stay with him for a short while but there was no telling when the order would come by to search for her, or if they would even come at all. Coming to a decision, Harry quickly discussed his plan with Ginny who agreed.
Getting up from their chair, they apparated away. Before they left they donned their new battles robes. The robes were not yet charmed with runes, but had suitable enough ones for the moment. A near instantaneous moment later and they were standing in a secluded part of the park just outside of Number 12.
The outside of the building was the same as it was, and every other building on the street. Frowning at his return to the home of the Blacks, Harry and Ginny entered. The foul portrait started to scream obscenity's at them after the door closed.
Harry did not feel like saving it, and felt Sirius would be happy with what he was about to do, so Harry destroyed it. He sent a high-powered reductor at it, destroying the portrait and a good portion of the wall. The Black family elf did not take too kindly to the assault on his mistress's portrait and popped in. The moment he did, he attempted to attack Harry and Ginny.
However, since Harry, and by marriage Ginny, were his masters he was unable to harm them. Upon seeing the dirty elf, Harry quickly bound him in magical ropes. Seeing the elf brought out the rage inside. Kreacher was partly responsible for the death of Sirius. It was on his information that Harry went to the D.O.M. to save his godfather, only to find a trap.
In his furry, Harry cast the cruciatus curse on the bound elf. The elf began to squirm and scream, nearly breaking the ropes that held him before Harry spoke. "Kreacher, you are forbidden to react in any way to the pain"
Though the elf did not want to, he was forced by his magic to comply. Harry ordered this knowing that it would cause the elf pain. Pain received by having to comply with the order and resist the effects of the torture curse. Part of the pain a victim received from the curse was resisting it. To allow the pain to happen lessened it substantially.
"Harry," Ginny said softly, "We need to hurry before the order shows up." She also had no desire to see Harry torture Kreacher, even though the elf deserved every bit of it.
Harry looked at her while continuing to torture Kreacher. He lifted he curse and nodded in response. He then called out, "I Harry James Potter, as the rightful owner of all black properties, possessions, and monies, claim control over this property as my own!"
There was a brief flash of light as the house recognized Harry as its owner. As a magical house, it had a certain amount of life to it. There was only one other thing left to do with the house and that was to gain control of the wards. To do that, he needed to know where the master ward stone was. With a quick order to Kreacher, he knew it was in the wall behind the portrait he just destroyed. Upon quick inspection, he discovered that the stone was intact, though it was a close call.
Harry was just able to take control of the wards, as a series of pops was herd outside. Ginny turned around, walked into the formal living room, and looked outside. There she could see her parents, Dumbledore, and other members of the order arriving.
"Hurry Harry," hissed Ginny before turning back to the window.
The order members apparated into the park, much as Harry and Ginny did earlier. They followed a short ways behind Dumbledore. The way they were walking was like the followers of a holy icon. Dumbledore was the high priest and they his followers.
Ginny was starting to panic as they neared the building. It would not do well to be discovered there by the Order. They needed to establish the main wards before they entered. They would break the fidelius and prevent entry to all who were unwelcomed.
"Harry! Hurry, they're almost to the door!" shouted Ginny as she watched them approach. It was agonizingly painful to watch them approach; it was almost in slow motion.
With a purposeful stride, Dumbledore led his cult to the door. His brightly collared robes billowed behind him as he walked. Soon he was taking deliberate steps and was climbing the stairs from the street, to the door. His half-moon spectacles glowed with an ominous light blinding his eyes from her view. It was not long before he was standing at the top of the steps, and grasping the door handle.
Remus had left Number 4 quite startled. There were a thousand emotions running through his mind as he thought about Harry. Was he doing the right thing, was Tonks doing the right thing? It was so hard to tell with the conflicts raging within him.
Once he and Tonks successfully disapparated, Remus let his shoulders slump in defeat. Heaving a great sigh, the old were looked up to the sky in deep thought. Tonks was beside him and started to walk away before looking back at the older man. Sensing his inner turmoil, she turned back and gently rubbed his back with a few gentle strokes.
They apparated to Hogsmeade village were a secondary order hideout was located. The secondary building was the original building they used before they had access to Black Manor. It used to be under the fidelius but it was no longer needed for the time being. It still had a great many of defensive wards however.
The village was nearly deserted during the summer months. There were still people busying about but not nearly the activity seen during the school year. It was currently late at night and the gas lamps that lined the streets were on. The dim orange glow they emitted washed over everything. Tonks looked around to make sure nobody suspicious was watching them as she continued her work.
"You ok?" she asked gently.
With another sigh he answered, "I don't know, I really, don't know."
"Can I help?" she asked gently.
Remus looked down at her. Her eyes spoke of a deep concern for him. "I'm not sure you can," he whispered. "Are we doing the right thing by Harry? Are we doing the right thing by Sirius and his parents?"
Tonks gave a forlorn smile, "I don't think I can answer that," she said softly. "I don't think anyone can answer that. What matters is, do you think you're doing the right thing?"
Remus paused at her words and looked back up to the sky. As he watched the bright lights deep in thought several fallings stars could be seen. As quickly as they flashed into life, they flashed away again. Their brilliant colors in the night sky were wonderful to behold.
"I was prepared to defend Harry for using the cruciatus on Bellatrix," said the werewolf. "She deserves everything she gets. I defended his actions, because I never thought Harry would be capable of something like that," his voice was now shaky and uneven. "To see that I was so wrong, to see Harry casting the killing curse, I don't know what to believe anymore," He paused for a moment, "I almost cast it myself and I'm glad I was stopped, but see Harry give in to that level of hate…"
"Greif does funny things to a person," was all she could say in the moment. The problems he was having, only he could solve. Tonks knew she was doing the right thing. She was prepared for the future, was he?
"C'mon, let's get you inside Wolfie," said Tonks with a hint of mischievous humor. "You can think some more where it's warm."
Remus nodded and simply followed her into the building, "Wait, Wolfie?"
While Dumbledore and the cult of grey beard approached the home, Harry was tapping into the wards. He already had control of them, but it was incredibly difficult to activate them using just his mind and willpower. When he was finally able to do grab ahold of them he was amazed at the power they had.
The wards were set up in seven sets with seven wards in each set. The wards of each set were the same but in different orders. Each ward was weaved extremely close together so they all had to be disabled at the same time to take the set down. However, if one set failed, the next set behind it would take its place. The number of sets and wards allowed them to self-recharge the ward stone and reestablish the lost set. This make the number of wards that needed to be breached before access was near infinite. So long as a set remained, the wards would never fall, in theory.
The actual wards were quite powerful by themselves. There was a reflection ward, an insanity ward, three intent wards, a dark magic defense ward, and an absorption ward. The reflection and absorption wards were similar. One would reflect t harmful spells back to the caster. It was sufficiently powerful to reflect any spell except the killing curse. That was where the absorption ward absorbed its power, continuing to feed the other wards.
The insanity ward made it so any that forced their way through the wards, would go insane. Not a pleasant make a few crazy jokes insane, but rather the 'eat your own eyeballs' insane. The dark magic defense ward was a giant shield that would completely isolate the house from harmful magic.
The intent wards were the centerpiece of the wards. The first was based around the house of Black, the home and the family. Any party or person found to have ill will to either would be at best, rejected, at worst killed. The second of them was similar but for the occupants of the house. The last one was for any who intended to spy on the house of black (house and family) and its occupants, or sabotage the wards or permit entry to a harmful party.
Those were not the only wards however, just the ones in the primary sets. The house had others around its property line. This was where individual wards were erected. The standard alert wards, anti-portkey, anti-apparition, muggle repelling ward, and a dark creature repellant ward. However, the last one was often ineffective to the point of pointlessness. That is if the infestation of doxys and boggarts in the house was proof enough.
Harry was able to activate the wards just as Dumbledore grabbed the door handle. In an instant the Black family wards were up and the fidelius broken. As the secrecy spell was broken it was visible to all magical beings outside. The spell looked like a cube of sheet glass shattering outwards all around the building before quickly fading. The effect of the wards going up was much the same. There appeared to be a grey glowing box form around the building before it too faded.
When the wards went up Dumbledore removed his hand from the handle in pain. After that, he was quickly ejected away from the building along with any order member that was too close. They landed by skidding along the sidewalk.
"Albus, what happened," Inquired Minerva McGonagall as she helped up Dumbledore, "why did the house reject us?"
Albus Dumbledore got up from the ground in embarrassment. Once again standing tall, he looked to the hand that had touched the door. It was now black and shriveled from the power of the wards. It resembled something that had been ravaged by a great fire or plague. The robes he was wearing were less pristine as the fall tore them a little and left a bit of filth on them as well. His half-moon spectacles were hanging off his face at an odd angle.
Dumbledore corrected his glasses with his good hand before reaching for his wand, "I have no idea Minerva," replied the man. He waved his wand around the home issuing a series of incantations. With each result, he frowned more and more. "It seems the fidelius has been broken," there was an audible gasp followed by murmuring at this news. "Also, the Black family wards are up. Grimmauld place is lost to us."
There was a great silence as his followers processed that information. Seeking guidance, they turned and waited for Dumbledore to say sometime. He was still staring at Number 12 thinking how to get past the wards. He decided to come back and attempt it later "Come," he said, "Let us use the secondary headquarters in Hogsmeade."
As Dumbledore led his worshipers away, he pondered the problem in deep thought. He actually expected to lose ownership to Grimmauld with the death of Sirius. He thought the 'convict' would have willed the building to Harry. With the wards falling, tonight he was not so sure. Harry never looked up wards so it must be somebody else. If Sirius' will were declared void, all Black possessions would fall to those next of kin. That included Narcissa and Draco Malfoy, as well as Bellatrix Lestrange.
That did not bode well at all. The building was home to their supplies and some of their plans. There were also many of their reports on various actions. Part of him wondered if he was wrong, and it was Harry. The boy was at Number 4 though, wasn't he? If Harry was out of his 'home' over the summer, it could mean Harry is turning more like Tom. With the accusations of his use of the cruciatus on Bellatrix Albus worried greatly for the future.
Severus Snape lay panting on the floor. He had shown up to his masters call some time ago. His lord had summoned him to inquire why he was late with the truth potion he demanded. When he was unable to offer a suitable explanation, he was tortured with liberal use of the cruciatus curse. It was then after an unknown amount of time, he woke up panting on the stone floor.
"You disappoint Severus," hissed the Dark Lord when he saw his potions master awaken. "I'm tempted to kill you for your failure."
"Please my lord," panted Severus, "The failure is not mine. I have done no slight against you."
"I don't care for your excuses," shouted the Dark Lord from his throne of bones. "That arrogant boy, as you call him, couldn't possibly be responsible for your missing potions. You alone are responsible for that failure, CRUCIO!"
The potions master cried out in agony as he was put under the curse again. His already frail body responded horribly to the curse, as he could no longer manage the pain. His nerves were on fire and his blood boiled as he trashed and spasmed on the floor like an animal.
The Dark Lord lifted the curse again, "You're lucky I need you for the moment Severus," said Voldemort. "Otherwise I'm not only tempted to kill you, but torture you into insanity."
"You are very… generous my lord," rasped Severus.
"Indeed I am," replied the Dark Lord with a bit of pride creeping into his price. "Now, get out of my sight!"
With his lords order Severus Snape crawled as best he could off the floor. Getting on his very shaky feet, he cobbled his way to the door. Once there he squeaked it, open and left the presence of his master. Edging his way to the outside of Malfoy manor he then apparated to his home.
As his potions master left, The Dark Lord Voldemort thought of his plans. He intended the truth serum Severus was brewing to poison the Potter child. Though he would have loved to kill him himself, it was becoming quite tiresome dealing with the brat. Even if the tainted potion didn't kill him, it would severely weaken him for future attempts on his life. He had also needed a large batch of the potent potion for… other plans to deal with Potter.
It was a very distressing night for the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore led the order members summoned that night and led them to the secondary building in Hogsmeade. He was unsurprised to see Remus and Tonks there. Thought they left the order they still occupied the reserve headquarters and would until they found residence somewhere else.
As the Order entered they were surprised to see the two 'traitors' as they came to think of them. Even though they no longer considered the pair allies, they were still reasonably amicable to them. They followed their glorious leader to the secure meeting room and sealed the door. Many of the order members gave the pair dirty looks behind their backs as they entered the room.
The meeting that followed was… chaos. Even almighty long beard was unable to restore order. The Order members were in chaos over why they lost Number 12 and how to find the youngest Weasley. Molly Weasley was the loudest of the group with her banshee howl. There were several order members strangely silent that night however.
One was Arthur Wesley. He knew where his daughter was, well at least had a good idea. He was not about to tell the Order that he knew either. After what Molly did to his youngest, he could not let her be exposed to such a monster again. He was unsure when he started to think of Molly as a monster, but he could no longer deny that Molly needed help. For now, he was reserved to do nothing until he could restore and heal his family.
Another silent participant was Kingsley Shacklebolt. He was indifferent to the goings on of the night. That's not to say he didn't care, he just had nothing to add. It also didn't help that he was wondering why they were there. The entire Order was called to search for a little girl. A little girl who he could tell ran away. Until it showed up that there was death eater involvement, he thought this was all a waste of time as it was a job for Aurors, not the Order.
The third and last was Alastor Moody. He really couldn't care less about why they were called. What he did care about was the story how Ginevra had fled the Burrow. The girl was underage and as such, it was illegal for her to use magic. Yet, she was able to not only use magic and not get caught but also out duel her mother. This whole situation ran a whole lot deeper than a simple run away girl and he would find out.
The night before Harry had claimed Number 12 Grimmauld Place. After doing so and avoiding the order, He wished Ginny goodnight and returned to Privet Drive. It hurt to lever her alone there, but there was no other option if he wanted their status and dealings a secret.
It was because of this Harry waked up to the pain of being alone. When they first stared to sleep separately at their respective… beds, Harry thought it wouldn't be that hard. He was very wrong. Waking up with Ginny in his arms, smelling her brilliant scent before he opened his eyes, enjoying the warm feeling of her close to him, was better than anything else he could experience.
By contrast waking up without her was the worst feeling. He was cold and alone. The space Ginny usually occupied was empty and void. The warmth that once surrounded him was gone and he was cold. With a disappointed sigh, Harry got out of bed and prepared for the day. It did not take long from him to shower and dress.
Once he had done that, he left via the back yard. One his way out he passed his aunt and uncle. His uncle was just coming out of his room when Harry was coming out. When Vernon saw Harry, he backed away quickly and fell down in fear. His aunt had much the same reaction except the falling down part. She was cooking in the kitchen and when he appeared, she backed up knocking several bowls of foodstuff and plates.
In the back yard Harry disapparated with a soft pop. He then reappeared at Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Kreacher was still bound in the entryway from last night. Apparently, the elf sobbed himself into a daze overnight. The disgusting creature was on the dirty floor, still bound; around its head was a semi-dry puddle of tears and saliva.
Harry frowned at the sight of the disgusting creature. He had forgotten to deal with it before he left. Sighing, Harry ignored Kreacher for now and moved to the kitchen of the house. Since he arrived he heard noises coming from there and the clang of dishes.
When he arrived at the kitchen, he noticed that Dobby and Winky were there, along with Ginny. The two elves were going between cooking and cleaning. The kitchen was already spectacular looking as the elves went about their jobs.
"Hello love," said Ginny upon seeing Harry.
"Hello to you to," he replied from the door. Harry then walked up to her and leaned down to kisser her before taking a place next to her. "How was your night?"
Ginny smiled gently, "fine," she started "but it was a bit… creepy being the only one here."
"I'm sorry I had to leave you here…" Harry frowned.
Ginny reached over with her left hand and gently rubbed his cheek, "It wasn't a problem, Harry, so don't worry about it."
Harry nodded, "I see you got Dobby and Winky to help."
"Yes, they have," she said watched the two elves on the other side of the room. "I called them last night to help get a bedroom cleaned up properly and this mourning the kitchen. So, what's the plan for today?"
"We got back to Gringotts for some business and a, proper look around the vaults," said Harry explaining the day's activities. "We should also try and find a construction company and renovate this place."
"Sounds good, Dobby, Winky?" said Ginny.
"Yes mistress," sounded both of the elves.
"Don't clean the rest of the house," at this bit of news the elves looked depressed. It was rare that an elf got to clean up the level of grim that this house did. "We will probably be gutting the inside soon, after than you can clean to your heart's content."
"Oh no, no, Masters mistress," said Dobby "We must be cleaning."
Ginny game a small smile, it was hard enough to clean the kitchen only. When she called them over, they wanted to start cleaning the entire house last night. It took an order to get them to clean only her room, the kitchen, and to get her belongings.
"Very well," sighed Ginny, Harry smiled brightly at the elf. He was all too aware of their need to clean everything. As he laughed, Ginny gave him a faux death glare that only made the pair laugh hard.
"There is one thing the both of you can do," said Harry.
"Yes Master?" chorused the elves again.
"You can either take all the stuff in every room into my vault at Gringotts, if you do please keep what was in each room together and separate from the rest," Harry paused, "The other option is to pack up what is in each room, shrunken, into its own labeled box and shrink those down as well."
The elves told Harry they would do the second option. Apparently, it was quite a hassle to clear elves to enter a vault, even if the vault was the vault of the elves master, and under orders. The goblins required the elves to be registered with them, tagged with a special collar that would track them and what they did within Gringotts walls, and suppress their magic in such a sway that they could only preform basic tasks.
After that and eating her breakfast, Ginny left the kitchen to prepare for the day. Not before another, quick kiss. It did not take long to get ready and soon they were off.
Diagon alley was empty when they arrived. Not totally, but compared to when they were there before nobody was shopping. It was a complete turnabout as the people walked as quickly as possible to their intended destinations. Those that were shopping with others spoke in hushed tones to each other, keeping their business to themselves.
Quickly throwing up a pair of hoods, Harry and Ginny quickly made their way through the alley. The whole area was a lot larger than he thought. Upon entering, a person would find Diagon alley. Diagon contained all the shops for Hogwarts and a few others. Near the middle of the alley was the entrance to Knockturn alley, the dark arts shopping center. At the end of Diagon alley, where Gringotts was located, was a fork. Both splits had more shops but were residential areas rather than commercial.
At the end of the alley at Gringotts, the pair searched down the right path and found their way. It did not take much searching to find what they were looking for. The magical construction company was the only shop for a short walk down their chosen path. Most of the alley they now travel was wizarding homes. Harry was gob smacked at how actual wizarding homes looked. None of them was nearly as ramshackle as the Burrow, but no less eccentric.
The shop they were looking for was smaller than expected. It was a simple one story building marked as Corstaffs Construction. The building was painted a simple white wash. The sign that marked the building had the letters painted in gold on a black background.
Upon entering the building, they clocked the door shut behind them. The floor was covered in a lush red carpet. To the right of the entrance of the shop was a small waiting area. It was filled with rich, wooden chairs, with brown pads full of stuffing making them look quite comfortable. Between each of the chairs was a matching small table. Some of the tables had books on them while others had wizarding magazines.
They waited for a moment before realizing that nobody was coming to help them so they took a seat. The moment they took them, the door to the left of the entrance opened and an older man came out. He was dressed in a brown suit with a bright neon green shirt visible underneath and, with its sleeves slightly longer than the suits. He was also wearing a bow tie, in bright purple with brilliant blue cows wandering around it.
"May I help you," asked the man.
Standing up from their very quick sit, the pair approached. "I believe you can, we're looking forward to renovate the entire inside of a building, but keep the outside structure the same, as well as expanding the interior space."
"I think we can do as you ask, follow me into my office and we can go into better detail."
Following the man into the room they sat down in two chairs in front was what appeared as the man's desk. Apparently, the man had a taste for brown and wood. Everything in the room appeared to be made from wood or have wood as a part of it, and all stained brown.
"Now, down to business," said the main taking his seat and sealing the door with his wand. "Do you have the original or current plans for the house?"
Harry and Ginny had no idea they would need such documents. They also had no idea where they could possibly get them. "I'm afraid we don't," said Harry, "is that a problem?"
"No not at all," said the man waving it off. "Just means I have to go find the plans from the archive."
"Archive?" inquired Ginny.
"Yes, all construction firms in the magical world," the man started to say, "are required to contain a self-updating archive of all buildings within the territory. We are also required to make said plans available to the public, with the correct credentials. We also provide building plans to the aurors if they should be needed."
"Do people often come in requesting building plans?" asked Harry as the man got up and moved behind his desk. There, several filing cabinets were located. Each was labeled with five letters in alphabetical order.
"Now what's the address of the building you wish to renovate?"
"Number 12 Grimmauld Place," Harry said clearly.
The man nodded and went about looking for the plans. "To answer your question, we typically don't see many people coming in and requesting their blueprints. Although in the last year or so we've seen, the aurors come in a lot more. Does me proud knowing the ministry is cracking down on crime."
Harry and Ginny exchanged a worried glance. As if reading Harry's mind, Ginny voiced a question. "Tell me sir, what exactly is the procedure for an auror to get blueprints?"
"Hmm…" he thought as he was still searching for the proper documents. "The auror making the pickup must me at least a grade 3 in rank. They also have to have the approval of either the head of the DMLE, the Minister, or one of his secretary's."
"Do you mind telling us what plans and what auror got said plans?" Ginny asked in a sickly sweet voice.
As she asked the question, Harry sent a subtle probe of legilimency at the man. The man refused to answer the first part of the question but answered the second. Though he refused to answer the first, Harry was able to pick up the answer from his unshielded mind.
'Lovegood, Longbottom, Weasley, Granger, and Dursley'
Harry was able to pick up further details as well. The man was telling the truth when he said that it was one John Dawlish, personal body guard of the Minister of Magic, who picked up the plans every time. Even with the brief look at the plans from the man's memory, Harry was astounded by the level of detail.
"Ah, here we are," said the man in jubilance from the cabinet as he found the plans. He then slowly walked back to the chair behind his desk making sure he had everything. In his chair once again, he looked over the current architecture while making small noises to himself. "Hmm, how strange," he commented out loud after several minutes.
"What's strange?" asked Harry "Is something wrong with the plans?"
"Well... yes," the man commented slowly. "Building plans always show the current owner and residents of the property as well as any of the wards around the house." At this, Harry and Ginny were ever more worried but they showed no outward reaction. "However, the plans here indicate no residents, and unknown wards."
After discussing it with the man further, they discovered that was a problem. Since they were unable to confirm who lived there, the man was unable to work, as he did not know if he was talking to the actual owners. Even if their identity's were confirmed, because they did not know the specific wards around Number 12, the ward breakers could not make a hole so the owner did not have to allow everything and everybody to enter.
The problems were easily fixed however. While Harry was talking to the man, Ginny cast a discrete confundus charm. The confundus charm was under used in her opinion. The spell was capable of so many things. Not the least of which was fooling magically binding contracts and oaths, but ancient and powerful artifacts as well.
The man, believing something other than what he was seeing, agreed to remodel the interior of the house. As Harry soon realized it would not exactly be cheap. To ensure the home had the proper space for their agenda; they needed to use copious expansion charms. The most expensive that could be preformed was able to expand the interior space of a building or room 575%.
In the end, the home would be comprised of seven levels. The first five would all be above ground and hold the dining areas, library, a few offices, and a few sitting rooms in formal and informal just in case the need arose, and enough bedrooms for a large company or small battalion with bathrooms to match. The dining room would also be turned from its current, small state, into something more like the great all. The same could be said for the kitchen and the food stores. Harry was not expecting 300 or more people to join them, but he wanted to be prepared nonetheless. He also wanted to building to last for as long as it was needed, weather it was him or somebody else using it.
The last two levels would make up the basement. The first level, or first basement, would be the training area. The floor would have a large practice area and several smaller ones for individual practice. The floor would also contain another library. This one however would focus more on offensive and defensive magics, wards, potions, tracking, concealment, and various other subjects needed for a combat force.
The bottom most level would contain the primary command center. The room would be rather large and capable of displaying many maps of England at once. Harry wished he could make one large map similar to the Marauders Map, but he had no idea how to accomplish such an object. The command center would also have several large shoots to allow owls to travel to and from the room to communicate with others. The command center would also have several other rooms and a sublevel. The purpose for said rooms would be to interrogate and hold prisoners.
Once the final renovations were decided upon and layouts and materials selected, Harry asked the man a question, "How long exactly will it take to complete the new plans?"
"Oh not long at all," waved the man dismissively, "One would think you weren't a wizard asking a question like that," the man mumbled under his breath. "While you've been here deciding to have either a stone or brick dungeon, our workers already got to work, should be done by early this evening."
Harry was shocked; he thought it would take days or even weeks to get this type of renovations done. "I see," he said simply. "Is that all we need to do here today?"
"All we have left to do Mr. Is arrange payment," said the man.
"Very well," Harry smiled from under his hood. "We will come back when the job is done tonight with payment, also could you have any and all who worked on it here as well. I would like to thank them for their work."
"That's no problem at all," said the man as harry and Ginny got up to leave. "One problem however, I never told you how much this is going to cost."
Harry strode from his chair to the door with Ginny following just behind him. As he opened the door, he turned to face the man, and answer his question. "The amount is irrelevant." With that, Harry left the building.
Ginny however lingered behind for a moment to ask the man a question. A question that had puzzled her ever since the man ushered them into his office. "Not once did you ask for our names or why we were hooded, why?"
"I get hooded people in here all the time," he replied kindly. "They always ask me to build them this here or that there. And always under the name of Tom Riddle," Ginny froze at the name, a name that had chilled her soul for the last four years, a name that nearly killed Harry, Herself, Hermione, and several others with a mere memory, a name that was now the worst dark lord in history. "Never met the bloke myself, but the people he sends always threaten to kill me if I don't, All in good fun I'm sure."
Ginny just stared at the man for a moment and realized that he was slightly crazy. Turning around she sped out of the building to rejoin Harry. He was just outside of the door waiting for her when she came out. As she exited the building, she placed her right hand on his left shoulder and said, "We have a problem."
"I know," he growled. "I've already sent a patronus message to Remus and Tonks. We need to deal with this as soon as possible."
"No, I meant we have another problem." Ginny hissed, "Tom has been sending his people here, not only get the plans for buildings. He's been sending his followers here to get the old man to build them things. I'm thinking safe houses."
"Damn, we'll deal with that issue later. Right now I'm more worried about what they intended to do with those plans." Ginny nodded, "Lets head to Gringotts now, I'm rather curious as to what's in the vaults."
Departing from the magical construction firm, the pair made their way to Gringotts. The pair took their time on their way so not to arouse suspicion. On the way they were sure they caught a glimpse of Mad-Eye roaming the alley. Though they went around the area a few times to be sure, they were not being followed and had nobody watching them that they could see.
The truth was they were being watched. Under Great Beards orders, Moody and Emile Vance took watch in Diagon Alley. The rest of the order was searching at any of Ginny's friends' houses. They were focusing most of their efforts on the homes of the DA members, and four of those who were at the ministry. There was no need to watch over Harry's home for Ginny, as the nature of the monitoring equipment around Number 4 meant she would be detected before she even approached the house.
Moody had been following the pair ever since they walked back into the Alley. Of his generation, Mad-Eye was one of the best aurors ever produced. He was deadly with a wand and had a solid defense. However, it would not appear as such if you looked at him with his injuries. The truth was if not for his defensive skills he would be worse of then an injured eye or leg.
Another one of his skills was his proficiency with silent casting, as well as mild skill with wandless casting. Wandless casting was an incredibly hard skill to learn. To preform even basic spells, the caster had to have intense focus, will power, and patience. First results with the skill often resulted in… unintended consequences. When Moody had first begun to practice preforming the skill, he started chameleon spells, he accidentally vanished himself from the waist down. Thankfully, the medic-witches and wizards at St. Mungos were able to fix him up.
Moody had only expanded his repertoire of wandless casting to spells useful to hiding. However, because the spells were wandless, they did not have the proper focus to work completely. The degree to which they did work however allowed him to disappear in crowds without the telltale sings of casting with a wand.
It was because of this that Mad-Eye Moody, the man with a crazy eye and a peg leg, was able to follow and watch one Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. The benefits of having the magic eye were not only to see through stuff, but also to be able to follow somebody from in front of them. Seeing as how he could see out the back of his head, which was very possible for the retired auror.
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