Magnolia Crescent, Little Whinging
Moon, stars, and streetlamps burst back into life. A warm breeze swept the alleyway. Trees rustled in neighboring gardens and the mundane rumble of cars in Magnolia Crescent filled the air again. Harry stood quite still, all his senses vibrating, taking in the abrupt return to normality. After a moment he became aware that his T-shirt was sticking to him; he was drenched in sweat.
He could not believe what had just happened. Dementors here¸ in Little Whinging…
Dudley lay curled up on the ground, whimpering and shaking. Harry bent down to see whether he was in a fit state to stand up, but then heard loud, running footsteps behind him; instinctively raising his wand again, he spin on his heel to face the newcomer.
Harry saw two people running towards him, both with their wands drawn and both wearing dark cloaks. If not for the fact that they are not wearing masks, Harry would have mistaken them for the same Death Eaters that he had had the displeasure of meeting less than two months ago.
Now that he can see the faces of the two men approaching him, he was also able to note that the robes that they are wearing, though as black as the ones that the Death Eaters are wearing, are subtly different. The Death Eater cloak was plain black, with nothing else on it, but these cloaks, while the same shade of black, have a crest on the left chest, just above the heart of the wearer.
The two men paused as they looked at the incident in the alley. The first person stopped closer to Harry than his companion, who promptly turned his attention outward, wand at the ready as if he was expecting the dementors to have some sort of reinforcements coming.
The person who had stopped closer to Harry was a person that Harry recognized Remus had been one of Harry's favorite professors in Hogwarts and, thanks to the rumored curse on the DADA post that saw a new occupant every year, he is also Harry's favorite defense professor. It also helped that Remus had been a childhood friend of Harry's father James.
Though still quite young, Remus looked tired and rather ill; he had more graying hair than Harry had ever remembered, but he managed to smile enthusiastically and warmly at Harry.
"Sweet Merlin Harry" the defense professor commented, he seemed to take into account the mess that was left behind and the corporeal patronus that was still pacing around Harry, "But you sure did a number on them"
Harry nodded; he motioned for his professor to help him with his cousin, but before Remus can reply, the other man, in a strangely youthful sounding voice, said, "Remus, we do not have time"
"We cannot leave his cousin behind Al" Remus replied to his companion, he glanced towards Dudley and added, "I would have wanted nothing more but to leave him here with a bloody new memory, but we need to be responsible here"
The man that Remus called Al turned towards Dudley, allowing Harry the time to study his features. He was a tall man, taller than Remus, but he was obviously younger-looking. It did not help that Remus has graying hairs, while this man had a deeply intense black hair that is the same hue as Harry's. His eyes are black, though, and he is not wearing glasses.
The man approached Dudley and inspected him, "Shock" he said, "No other external injuries" he looked at Remus and announced, "I can send him over to his bed with new memories, save young Harry here the time to return to those awful relations of his"
Remus looked first at the man called Al, and then at Harry, with a questioning look. Upon seeing the questioning gaze of his professor upon him, Harry nodded, indicating that he would want that.
The man called Al nodded once, he pointed his wand at Dudley, but he did not say anything or move his wand about, he just pointed out, and with a tiny, barely audible pop, Dudley disappeared.
"That takes care of that" the man called Al said, he looked at Harry and smiled at him, before looking at Remus and announcing, "I see what you meant when you told me that I would recognize him, Remus" he said, he smiled at Harry and the young wizard can feel the genuine warmth and enthusiasm in that smile, something that Harry is not used to when a person smiles at him, "He looks exact like James"
"Excuse me" Harry began, looking at the man called Al, "how exactly do you….'
Remus cut him off, "Not here, Harry" he said, he glanced about and said, "Too unsecured, we can talk about this in a much more secured location" he reached into his cloak and pulled out a pewter key which he promptly handed to Harry, "Take this, point your wand in it and say 'Potter Manor', and we'll see you in a bit" Remus smiled at Harry and added, "Sirius is waiting for you at the other side Harry, tell him that we are coming shortly"
Harry nodded, he took the key from Remus, and then did as he instructed. It took two seconds after he stated his destination, but after those two seconds, there was another barely audible pop before Harry disappeared, leaving just Remus and the man called Al on the alley.
Once Harry was gone, Remus looked at his partner and asked, "I don't suppose that you can find evidence in here that would prove that Harry was attacked by Dementors?"
The man called Al actually laughed as he shook his head, "That patronus was powerful, Remus, if he had continued his attack, those buggers would be dead even before they knew what hit them," and then he stopped laughing and continued in a more serious tone, "I doubt that we would find anything, but all the same, let's take position and see if the idiot ministry is actually going to make an appearance"
Harry popped into existence in the middle of a location that he had never seen before. As soon as he got his bearings straight, he looked around him, and found himself in a rather large living room, complete with three sofas arranged around a rather large glass table. A nice and comfy looking fireplace was burning to the side of one of the sofas, warming the room, while on the on the far wall of the only side of the table where there was no sofa hanged a rather large television set.
On either side of the hanging television, Harry espied two pointed arches that must be at least nine feet high. From one of those arches, specifically, the one to the right of Harry walked a figure that Harry was missing since his return to Privet Drive.
"Sirius!" Harry yelled.
Sirius Black smiled at the young man in front of him. This was, after all, the young man that he had nearly given his life for, and not for the first time since he was released on his own recognizance from Azkaban prison, he wondered how his, and Harry's, life would have been different had he not lost his temper and went after Peter.
"Hey pup" Sirius said, greeting his godson, he was wearing a rather ridiculous white oversee cap over his head and had a white apron that was three times his size covering his shirt, he was holding a bowl on one of his hands and what looks to be an eggbeater on the other. It was not far fetched to claim that the wanted criminal who has been accused of killing thirteen men with one curse was actually trying to cook dinner.
With a smile, Sirius handed the bowl to a house-elf that suddenly popped beside him, instructing the creature to make sure that the other elves follow the instructions on the book, before Sirius removed the apron and the ridiculous oversee cap that he was wearing, "I found this great book while I was out shopping this morning, Harry" Sirius explained, "It had this great pictures of food in it and then the writer of the book assures me that I can do it as well when I read it, so I decided to buy it and see for myself"
Harry smiled, "It's called a cookbook Sirius" Harry replied, he motioned for one of the seats and silently asked permission if he can sit down.
Sirius looked at him and rolled his eyes, before realizing that Harry still has no idea where he is, he smiled at his godson and then said, "Harry, I think that I should be the one asking permission" and at the blank look on the face of his godson, Sirius said, "This is Potter manor, Harry" he announced, while pointing at a crest that was hanging above the television.
Harry had missed the crest a while ago, but now that someone is pointing it at him, he saw it.
The first thing that Harry noted about the crest were the words that were engraved on the bottom of it, 'Honor Clarissima Gemma', and then the words engraved upon them on the top part of the crest, 'The Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter'.
The crest itself was a shield that appears to be held by two creatures. On the right, Harry saw a white unicorn, while on the left, there was a golden lion. On top of the shield itself, there was another golden lion, but unlike the lion that was holding the shield, the lion on top has wings, making it a griffin. The shield itself was black, with an orange X crossing from one side to the other. In the middle of the orange X were five red roses, with the third rose set on the middle of the X.
Sirius nodded, "The Potter family crest" he explained, he smiled as Harry took a seat on one of the sofas. At that moment, there were two audible pops and the two men that had rescued Harry earlier this evening, Remus and the man called Al appeared on the room.
Al noted that Harry was already sitting, but since Sirius was still standing, he correctly surmised that Sirius had not yet begun the briefing.
"Lord Potter" the man called Al said, looking at Harry and bowing towards him, then he dropped to one knee before him and continued, "My Lord, I am Sir Alvin Charles York" he glanced at both Sirius and Remus, both of whom had taken their seats and are now sniggering at the display being shown by the third man, and then scowled.
Before Alvin York can say anything else, however, Harry said, "Okay, Sir York, I do not really like it when people kneel on one leg before me, and please call me Harry"
"My Lord…" Al started to protest.
"Can it, Al" Sirius said, "I told you that he would not like it" he motioned for Al to take a seat on the other sofa since he and Remus had already taken the other one and Harry had taken the other one, before saying, "I think that we should do what we came here for, Al, and we cannot afford to waste time on formalities that my godson cannot stand upon"
Al actually smiled, "Padfoot" he began, "Why don't you begin the brief then?"
Sirius scowled at Al, but then he nodded and turned to Harry, "Harry" Sirius began; his gaze bore into the eyes of his godson as he continued, "Have you ever wondered why Voldemort wanted to kill you while you were a child? Ever asked Dumbledore about it?"
Harry cannot help but notice how Al, and even Remus, scowl at the mention of the name of the headmaster of Hogwarts. Even when Sirius said his name, there was a healthy lack of respect when he did so.
Harry shook his head, answering the first question, and then he added, "After the debacle at the Third Floor Corridor during my First Year, I tried to ask Dumbledore why Voldemort wanted to kill me, he told me that I am not yet ready to know the answer"
"My Lord…." Al began, but then he smiled and shook his head, amending his address to "Harry" he paused for a few moments, as if he was getting accustomed to the use of the name, before adding, "Before you were born, there was a prophecy made regarding you, and Voldemort thought that he was fulfilling it when he attacked you that night" he sighed once and then added, "Have you taken divinitation?"
Harry nodded, "It's rubbish though" he said, "All we do is attempt to read tea leaves and then look at the stars"
Al actually laughed, "I would not have expected anything else from a hag" he replied, he looked at Harry and said, "Sibyll Trewlany is actually my cousin, albeit very far. His mother married my father's cousin" he shook his head and then added, "Am I to assume that you never even got to know that there are two kinds of prophecy?"
"I did not even know that there are classifications" Harry replied, he looked at Al and said, "As I had said, the only thing we do is read tea leaves, the ones who die the most painful deaths get the best grades when she checks the dream diaries that she gave us as our home works"
Al scowled, he glanced at the direction of the two marauders, and then back at Harry, "Harry" he began, he paused once again, it was clear that he was still trying to get used to using the name, and he is pushing himself by repeatedly using his name, "The two kinds of prophecy are the real prophecy and the self-fulfilling" he looked at Harry, who nodded, indicating that he, Al, should continue, "Real prophecies are so rare, in the last one thousand years or so, there had only been five, out of a total of the recorded eighty nine thousand plus prophecies that are reportedly stored in the Department of Mysteries all around the world.'
"Self-fulfilling prophecies Harry" Remus said, getting back to the discussion, "require a bit of action, usually, from the ones that are involved in it"
"And this prophecy that involves me is self-fulfilling?" Harry asked. He wished for a glass of water, and all of a sudden, four glasses appeared on the table in front of them. Harry picked one up, drained it and then returned it to the table, only for it to be instantly replaced by a new glass that is again filled with water.
"Yes" Remus replied, he sighed and then said, "It basically said that the one that would vanquish Voldemort is approaching, that he would have powers that Voldemort does not have, and that Voldemort would mark him as his equal. It went on to say that one of the two, the person being referred to and Voldemort, would have to die for the other to live"
Harry nodded, "And how is this self-fulfilling?" Harry asked.
"Well, a thousand years could pass and there would be no person of the prophecy if Voldemort would not mark him" Remus said, he smiled as he saw Harry's hand shoot up to his forehead and to his scar, "that's right, Harry, if Voldemort did not attempt to kill you that night, he would not have marked his eventual destroyer"
"Then I have to fight him?" Harry asked.
Al nodded, "I am afraid, Harry" he said, "that there is no other way" he looked at Sirius and Remus who both nodded, before continuing, "We are still tying to find out why he did not die that night when his curse rebounded on him, but rest assured, that we would find out why he did not croak that night" he paused before adding, "in the meantime, we would train you in some basic magical disciplines so that when the time comes, you would not be as helpless as Voldemort and your headmaster would have wanted"
"Professor Dumbledore?" Harry asked.
Sirius nodded, "If not for Al here showing up one day, we would not have figured it out ourselves" he replied, he looked at Harry and said, "Al here descended from a family that have served your family for over sixty generations, Harry, since the time of the founding of the Potter family, his family had protected the Potter family"
Harry looked at Al with disbelief, until Al said, "I was supposed to protect Lord James" he admitted, and then he shook his head and said, "but he ordered me to protect you instead" he looked at Harry and said, "I apologize, Harry"
"You would not have been able to do anything" Harry said, he looked at Al and said, "I do not need your protection, but I could do well with your friendship"
Al looked at Harry for a few moments, and then he smiled before nodding, "So be it" he said.
"That's good" Sirius said, he looked at his godson and said, "because we do not know how many of your friends in Hogwarts are really your friends pup"
Harry was about to reach for the glass in front of him when Sirius said that, his hand stopped halfway to its destination, and he looked at Sirius, "What are you talking about?" he asked.
"Harry" Al said, "to understand this, you must first understand that the Potter family has been one of the richest and most influential families in the whole of the magical world." He paused before adding, "this is Potter Manor in Britain, it is your ancestral home, this might not be the house where the first Potter Lord was born, but this is the land, though through the years, the Potter family had spread out all around the world"
"You are the last of your family, Harry" Remus said sadly, "Although your roots have spread out all around the world, the two great wars that have been fought at the muggle world have taken their toll on your family, most of your would-have-been grandparents were killed during the Second World War, while the rest were killed during the war against Grindelwald and Voldemort."
"All of their remaining earthly goods are now in your hands Harry" Sirius said, "We have no idea as to the real extent of your financial holdings since the goblins would only release that information to you." Al said, "Even if I am descended from a family that had served yours over the generations, I do not, nor would I wish, for that authority" he glanced at Sirius and added, "Sirius, even as your godfather, is also not privy to that information, and I would daresay that perhaps not even your father, Lord James, is aware of that"
"We have scheduled a visit to Gringotts for you to go over everything Harry" Sirius said, "in the meantime; let us return to our discussion"
Al nodded, he looked at Harry and said, "Just because we three, Remus, Sirius, and myself, have no power over your accounts, does not mean that we do not know their existence" Al explained, "Other people are not only aware that they exists, they are plotting to take it for themselves"
"Dumbledore?" Harry asked. He had made the connection after he realized that there was very little respect for the headmaster of Hogwarts between these three men.
Sirius nodded, "We think that he appointed himself as your guardian, illegally, if I might add, so that he can access his vaults" he shook his head and said, "He already has access of the Black vaults and is pulling funds left and right, ostensibly so that he can fund the Order, but that is bullshit"
"We think that he is using the funds to buy, supply, and train his own army" Al said, at the look on the face of Harry, Al added, "No, not the kind that he would use in fighting Voldemort, but rather, the kind that he would use to take power after he kills you" Al looked at Harry and added, "Lemon-Drop is aware of the prophecy, he was there when it was made, and he is convinced that you are the only one that can take care of Voldemort, now, he cannot allow Voldemort to live, but he also cannot allow you to live and take control of your money, he needs it, more, he knows that he cannot kill Voldemort since the prophecy prevents that, and he knows that if you were to take care of Voldemort, your legend would eclipse his"
"We think that he plans to have you killed after you take care of Voldemort" Remus said, "Trial or outright assassination, we do not know"
Harry nodded, he looked at the three men, and then cleared his throat before saying, "So, let me get this straight, Dumbledore has been stealing from me because I have money and he wants me to take care of Voldemort, kill me after that, so he can use my money in peace and conquer the world?" he asked.
"Fuck that!" Harry replied, looking at the three men in front of him. Harry might not know Al that well, but he knows Remus and Sirius, and he knows that the two men would never lie to him. He just has to accept their explanations, and besides, it made sense to his mind that the Headmaster is doing something behind his back. Some of the dealings that he, Harry, had with the Headmaster had been strange, after all, and it had started since he was in his First Year.
How Dumbledore never figured out about the Voldemort-Quirell combination was a mystery. Second year saw a monster in school that Dumbledore not only knows about, but is already aware about since he was there when the chamber was first opened, third year, how can Dumbledore agreed to have Dementors on the castle grounds when he could have easily refused them as he is headmaster, and finally, fourth year, how could the Supreme Mugwump and Head of the Wizengamot not know that the names that the Goblet of Fire would give can be vetoed if three of the five judges refuse to honor the results, but more importantly, how can Dumbledore fail to notice that his supposed 'old friend' whom he had retained to teach DADA to his pupils was actually a Death Eater in disguise?
"Dumbledore is not the only one is he?" Harry asked.
"I am afraid not" Sirius replied, he looked at Remus, and then Al, before looking back at Harry, "His number one supporters and partners in stealing from you are the Weasley's, though we are sure that the two eldest would have nothing to do with it. The twins also strike me as the kind who would not even think of making an enemy out of you"
"Ron and Ginny?" Harry asked.
Remus was the one who answered this, "Harry" he began, "The two of them stands to gain the most from betraying you" he looked straight at Harry's eyes, "We have uncovered their plan to douse you with love potions that are supposed to make you fall in love with Ginny"
Harry nodded; he sighed once and then asked, "Hermione?"
Remus shook her head, initially, Harry thought that the muggle-born witch whom he found had been the subject of most of his recent dreams would also betray him, but when Remus said, "She would never betray you willingly" Harry's heart did not just jump, it did a somersault, and would have attempted a break-dance as well, "Which is why Ronald is planning on dousing her with love potions as well"
Harry stood up, "We have to rescue her then" he said.
Al nodded, "We know, Harry" he replied, he waited until Harry was sitting down again, before adding, "She has been contacted by Ronald and she already knows that you have a hearing" at the blank look on the face of Harry, Al added, "The ministry is trying you for use of underage magic, but we can get to that later, anyway" he paused, partly to see if Harry would rather have the discussion about his coming underage magic hearing, and partly because he needed to. When Harry did not open his mouth to say anything, Al continued, "Hermione is planning on moving to the headquarters of Dumbledore's group, the Order of the Phoenix, on Friday, four days from now, we" he smiled as he indicated himself, Remus and Sirius, "are planning on surprising her and her parents tomorrow"
"Her parents?" Harry asked. It was clear that he was unsure if involving Hermione's parents is the right thing to do. He was about to voice his opinion on the matter when he saw the gleam on the eyes of Al, which prompted him to ask, "You know her father?"
Al nodded, "Served with him for a few years with the Royal Navy" he said, "I was with the SBS, he was a flight dentist aboard HMS Hermes, he remembers me, so it would be easy for me to talk to him rather than Sirius or Remus here, but I think that you need to come just in case Hermione puts up a fight"
Harry readily agreed, "Good" Sirius said, he sighed and then stood up and said, "We leave early tomorrow, Crawley is a good five hour drive from here, and I would not put it past the Supreme Obliviator to have his men guarding Hermione by now, we may have a fight on our hands by tomorrow" he looked at Harry and said, "Your room would be shown to you by" he smiled and a familiar elf popped into view, "who else?" Sirius asked, and the elf in front of Harry suddenly began jumping up and down like a kid, "Dobby"