"I knew they didn't treat you the same as they did their own son." Albus admitted, "But none of us realized the extent."
"Who was the squib?" Harry asked wondering if he'd ever met the person.
"Arabella Figg." Albus informed him.
"You're kidding." Harry's voice dropped all emotion, "She's blind as a bat, I see better without my glasses than she sees with hers."
"No she's not." Albus argued.
"If she thought the abuse had just started then she had to be." Harry said, "I was at her house one time because I was too beat up to go to school and my Aunt wanted to go to her garden club meeting. She told Ms. Figg I was ill and the woman never noticed I was black and blue all over. She kept trying to give me chicken soup."
"Now Harry." Albus tried to stop the argument.
"I had a black and blue hand print covering the side of my face." Harry wasn't about to let it go, "She either didn't see it or she didn't tell you. Are you sure she's on your side?"
"I'm sure that's the way you remember it." Albus tried to wave it off.
"Its they way it was." Harry stated, "I can show you the memory. I have an excellent memory. I can remember clearly things that happened when I was five years old. I even remember a few thing from earlier. For instance I have a reoccurring nightmare about a high pitched laugh, a woman screaming my name and a flash of green light. I have a very good idea of what it is I'm dreaming about do you professor?"
"That's impossible." Snape gasped.
"You'll find many things thought to be impossible are most assuredly possible." Harry said, "No one can live though a killing curse, no one can live a good life with a werewolf and an ex-convict and no one would ever abuse a family member."
"Why you insolent little…" Snape growled
"Silence." Albus raised his voice, "Obviously Remus and Sirius have coached him."
"We have not." Remus said, "I didn't even know about his nightmare."
"Let's use truth potion." Harry suggested, "It makes you tell the absolute truth doesn't it. It even makes you tell the truth when you've convinced yourself the truth is something else."
"It's not meant to be used on a child." Albus demurred.
"Of course not." Harry said, "But you won't believe me otherwise will you. Remus has me convinced that you really aren't as evil as I thought you were. But he has not convinced me that you aren't so set in your ways that you refuse to see the truth when it's laid out for you."
"Albus one drop would work for a child of his size." Severus offered, "I do have some with me."
"Sirius I would have to have your approval." Albus turned to see the man looking curiously at his Godson.
"Harry is this what you want?" Sirius asked.
"Not really." Harry said, "I'd prefer they believe me because I've never given them reason not to. However to possibly repair the damage they've done I would submit myself to this. I expect you and Remus to make sure they don't venture outside this realm of questioning. I don't want every secret I have revealed."
"We'll keep it to your relatives, nightmares and memories." Remus promised.
"I'm ready then." Harry scooted back in his chair and got comfortable.
"I don't think you should do this." Minerva interrupted, nods of agreement came from Flitwick and Sprout.
"We must." Albus said, "He must realize that his imagination has run away with him. If this is the only way to convince him then so be it."
"I believe him." Minerva stated for the record, "I have no doubt it was as he said."
"You judged those people by what you saw one day." Albus admonished, "I've spoke to her on several occasions and I assure you she was not as bad as some would have you believe."
Sirius noticed Snape blanch at that comment. He knew how bad Petunia was Sirius was sure of it. Lily had told him once when he had asked her how in the world she could ever have been friends with Snape. During the explanation she told him how Petunia had been jealous of her magic and wanted to go to Hogwarts and when she found out she couldn't go she got ugly. Snape was then her only friend at home. Albus had his hand out at Snape waiting for the potion. The man reluctantly gave him the vial then sagged in his seat. Sirius tried to hid the smirk that was forming on his lips. Very soon the Headmaster would be humbled, Sirius knew the man was not as all knowing as he wanted to be.
"Sirius if you would please." Albus handed him the vial.
"Are you sure Harry?" Sirius asked one more time as he took the container from Dumbledore.
Harry tilted his head back with his mouth open and his tongue sticking out. Sirius carefully placed one drop on his tongue and waited until his eyes were dilated, "What nickname do you hate being called the worst?"
"Prongslet." he stated.
"It's working." Remus laughed, "He never willingly says that name."
"Did your relatives ever hit you in anger?" Albus asked his first question.
"Yes." Harry replied.
"Did they hit you hard enough to leave marks like bruises or welts?" he ask his next question thinking it would clear things up.
"Yes." this was not what the headmaster wanted to hear and he sat back.
"Did they ever break a bone? If so which bone and who did it." Remus asked.
"Uncle Vernon broke my right arm and left ankle once when he was mad. He threw me into my cupboard and I hit the wall with my arm and the shelf with my ankle. Dudley broke the other arm when he hit me with a stick." Harry's voice was emotionless, "Aunt Petunia cracked my skull once hitting me with the frying pan. Aunt Marge broke my collar bone when she pulled me out of the tree so that her dog could bite me."
"Who is Aunt Marge?" Snape asked Remus.
"Uncle Vernon's sister." Harry answered.
"What is your earliest memory?" Sirius asked making sure all the things Harry had said were covered.
"Voldemort murdering my Mum." Harry said, "I don't remember it clearly though. I mostly remember the green light that hurt, him laughing and her screaming."
"Anything else you don't believe?" Remus asked.
"I don't believe those people cared about me. I don't believe that Professor Snape has a real reason to hate me. I don't believe I like being here at this school." Harry answered.
"You can stop now Harry. How about you Albus?" Remus chuckled, he hadn't meant for Harry to answer the question.
"No." the man whispered.
"Antidote?" Sirius held out the vial to Snape to exchange for the antidote. Wordlessly it was exchanged, "How much?"
"One drop." Snape whispered.
After having the antidote Harry looked at the Headmaster, "Satisfied?"
The man only nodded in reply.
"Now what are the arrangements for our safety?" Remus asked changing the subject.
"I have arranged a house I'm sure Sirius has told you about." Albus had pulled himself together somewhat, "Filius is willing to help you with a fidelius charm. Moody has set up a variety of wards and protections. The protections extend out enough to cover an area for playing outside."
"Flying?" Harry asked.
"Yes you can fly your broom." Albus answered, "We have not included the Ministry in any of your protections. I've only had people I trust do the work."
"Moody is an ex-Auror." Sirius told Harry, "One of the best in the business. If he's applied the wards they will be secure."
"I've also had a curse breaker come and add a few nasty surprises should anyone try to tamper with the wards." Albus smiled.
"Who did you use?" Remus asked.
"Bill Weasley." Albus smiled, "He's been working for Gringotts in Egypt for several years."
"I didn't know that." Remus said.
"He's great." Sirius added, "Also has a bit of a sense of humor so I'm betting whatever surprises he has they'll be humorous for everyone except the victim. Which reminds me. I want to have Harry meet the Weasleys. They have a son his age and I think it would be great for him to know someone before he starts school."
"Alice's son too." Remus added, "Harry and her son would have been as close as brothers had the four of them not been attacked."
"Neville." Minerva stated, "His name is Neville and I agree."
"Didn't you say the Weasleys had several children?" Harry asked, "How about the Longbottoms?"
"Weasleys have seven kids." Albus smiled liking this side of Harry much better, "The Longbottoms only had one child before they were attacked."
"Neville is a orphan too?" Harry asked.
"No." Snape answered this time, "They are in the long term ward at St. Mungo's. Over exposure to a dark curse."
Several of the adults in the room had started to object to him saying anything but stopped when he held back from the worst of the information. They were shocked he was actually sounding rather kind to the boy.
"That's terrible." Harry gasped, "I think that's probably worse than having them die. I want to make friends with Neville."
"I'll arrange it." Albus agree immediately, "We'll do it here. I don't want anyone to know where you live until we have to. Who will you have as your secret keeper?"
"Remus." Harry stated before anyone else could talk, "I know he'll take care of me. He always has."
"I would be your keeper if you'd like." Albus offered.
"Thanks but no." Harry said, "I'd prefer Remus."
Sirius had a huge grin on his face and Remus was trying to hid his own. They understood that Harry did not trust the headmaster and wouldn't until he proved himself. Whatever progress Remus and Sirius had made in getting him to believe that the headmaster had his best interests at heart had been destroyed by the man's refusal to believe Harry's side of the story. Albus knew it too.
"Where are you staying tonight?" Minerva asked.
"We were hoping to stay at the new house if we could." Remus stated, "Can we do the charm this evening?"
"Yes I can do that." Filius said readily, "Is the floo on the network?"
"No." Albus answered, "I wasn't planning on hooking it up."
"I'll need a portkey then." Filius nodded, "I won't be able to apparate back. Takes too much energy."
"If it is alright with you and your secret keeper I'd like to come along." Albus said to Harry, "I would like to know where you'll be living. Then I'll make sure you get back Filius."
Harry shrugged at Remus indicating he didn't care. Remus nodded back and said, "Alright. Minerva and Pomona can too if you like but not Severus. You have enough to hide now we don't want to add to it. We are sure You Know Who will try to return when he finds out that Harry's back."
"I agree." Snape nodded, "I don't think I need to know anything more than I do now."
Minerva's eyebrows shot up at the lack of malice in the tone of voice he was using. Obviously this meeting had affected him more than she had thought. Her look was mirrored on the other three faces of the professors.
"I'd rather not know." Pomona Sprout added, "I don't believe there is any way he'll end up in my house so I don't really see a need to know."
"Alright, I believe we are all in agreement here." Albus said, "I'll just make a portkey and we'll be off."
"I hate portkeys." Harry grumbled.
Severus left the office along with Pamona and the rest took the journey to see Harry's new home. They landed just outside the wards of the property and Harry sucked in a breath.
"Wow. I was expecting something smaller." Harry said, "This isn't my definition of a guest cottage."
"You should have seen the manor house before it was destroyed." Sirius muttered.
"This has had some work done to it." Albus stated, "It had been in a state of disrepair but it was in better shape than the other two."
"Right." Harry said realizing the other two were the destroyed manor house and the guest house that was closer to Godric's Hollow, "What's the history of the house?"
"Your Grandfather had it built for your father." Albus told him as Remus and Filius began the work on the charm to hide it, "He was still in school and they were building it as a surprise for his seventeenth birthday. They wanted him to live close so they could see any grandchildren they might have. Before it was completed Voldemort started attacking more often on more important families. They decided to use it as a safe house until James was ready for it. It was the last day of his seventh year when the wizard attacked your grandparents. James was devastated and couldn't bring himself to live in the new cottage. The manor house was destroyed so he lived with Sirius for a while. He only decided to use the Godric's Hollow house when they needed to hide."
"So all my family died on this piece of land?" Harry asked wondering if it was a good idea to live here after all.
"No." Albus understood what he was thinking, "The land belonging to those two places is five miles away at its closest. James would have come here instead of that house but the man who was the secret keeper had been attacked and was in a coma. He eventually died but I knew the approximate area the house was in and when the charm faded I was able to save it for you."
"How long are those charms good for?" Harry asked as the house blinked out of sight.
"As long as the caster is alive it holds until it is removed." Albus smiled at the intelligent question, "If he dies without removing the charm it will fade with time. This one only lasted ten years but the caster meant for it to be less."
"Who did it?"
"Your grandfather was the caster and his good friend Reginald Prewitt was his keeper." Albus sighed, "I was going to help with it too but I had been called to the Ministry to help with a problem."
"You knew my Grandfather?" Harry was astounded.
"Albus was our professor of transfiguration when we went through Hogwarts." Minerva smiled, "I was a few years behind him and your grandmother."
"What were they like?" Harry asked excitedly, "What classes did they take? Were they any good?"
"Hold up there." Minerva laughed, "They were some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet and they were good at magic. Your grandmother enjoyed Arithmancy and Runes while your grandfather preferred Defense, Charms and Quidditch."
"Thanks." Harry gave her a huge grin, "Maybe we can talk about them again sometime. Remus and Sirius have told me some but it's all from a kids point of view."
Remus came over and handed Harry a slip of paper. He read the address and looked up to see the house pop back into existence. Each of the others in the group got to look too. Walking to the house Albus gave Filius a Portkey and then gave them some more information while the diminutive professor left to rest.
"I have a backup escape plan just in case of trouble. I want one of the Hogwarts house elves to be here whenever Harry is." he continued to go on about the protections and other things that had been set up.
Harry grabbed Sirius' hand and slowed to let the group get ahead, "I hope you aren't mad that I chose Remus instead of you."
"I'm not." Sirius smiled down at the boy, "I understand, he's been more of a father to you than I have."
"It's not your fault you know." Harry said, "I don't blame you for anything."
"I have the blame for suggesting Peter as their keeper and my choice to go after him." Sirius sighed, "After that someone else can take it."
"Thanks Uncle Sirius." Harry hugged him.
"For being you." Harry grinned.
"Don't be too hasty." Sirius grinned and reached for him, "We still need to have that tickle fight."
"Good luck." Harry yelled as he turned and ran for Remus.
He realized quickly Sirius had transformed and was chasing him so he added a burst of speed trying to hold in his laugh as he knew it would make him slower. Remus chuckled as he heard them nearing. Albus and Minerva turned back to see Harry running at them full tilt and being chased by a dog. They were ready to pull their wands when Remus started laughing. Using Harry's momentum Remus spun in a circle as Harry grabbed his arm. The swing made him able to lift Harry up onto his shoulders out of Sirius' reach.
"That looked like that has happened before." Minerva smiled, "Who is this?"
"Padfoot." Harry informed her as the dog stood up.
"When did you…" Minerva waved her arm at the younger man.
"Promise not to be mad?" Sirius asked.
"No." she snorted.
"Fine, we did it during fourth and fifth year." Sirius shrugged.
Minerva blinked slowly before sending an amazed looks at Albus. After several moments she asked, "Who helped you?"
"James helped me." Sirius grinned, "I in turn helped him."
"Are you registered?" she asked.
"No." Sirius grinned.
"He's going to." Albus interrupted the tirade before she could start, "He is going to say he started before going to Azkaban and finished during the years since being acquitted."
"You better." She glared, "Fifth year?"
"They did it to help Moony." Harry offered, "Being an animal around a werewolf is pretty safe. Even better if your form is strong enough to get his attention."
"Peter wasn't?" She asked without knowing what the consequences would be.
"Rat." was all Sirius would say.
"Let's talk about this inside." Albus patter her arm.
Once inside they took a tour of the house. It was a moderate sized four bedroom home with a quidditch pitch in the back yard. There was also space in the back to grow a garden if they wanted and then other chairs and things to make you comfortable while outside. They went inside to enjoy the dinner House Elves had dropped off before they placed the charms on the house. Once dinner was finished Minerva looked expectantly at the group.
"Yes Peter is an animagus. You know how I was finally given a trial because of Harry's disappearance and proved my innocence." Sirius said, "I was rather surprised when you didn't asked who the secret keeper really was."
Minerva's mouth dropped open, "I didn't think about that. Who was it?"
"Peter." Sirius answered in a growl, "That's why I went after him to kill him."
"He's an animagus rat." Remus grumbled along with him, "We're going to start looking for him as soon as Harry is at Hogwarts."
"That's why Sirius' release wasn't in the papers." Albus added, "Or known by many order members. He's been running around disguised any time he's out in public. We don't want Peter to know he's coming."
"I won't just try to kill him." Sirius promised, "Harry needs me here not in Azkaban. We'll capture him."