The Last Christmas Keeperoliver Chapter 10
A/N: Well, here it is people, the last chapter of this story. I hope to tie up some loose ends, and set up what happens in the Hogwarts years. Don't expect a long story there either. More than this one, but by how many I don't know. Hope you all enjoy this as I will try to capture all the things I have been neglecting. Some how I will make it seem plausible. At least I hope so anyway. Trying to set up Harry's adversary has taken me away from the comedy that this story started out to be and for that I am sorry.
I think it odd that after I added Harry's animagus form to the story, the powers that be have decided to create a cartoon based on the Honey Badger. How strange is that? Could it be? No that is just to vain on my part. But still! LOL.
Enjoy. As always, Ollie the Keeper of the Quill.
Waking up to strange dreams has become a common practice for Harry. This time it had to do with Fred and George. For some reason he felt it was important he talk to them, and if agreed upon, with Professor McGonagall. Things needed to be in order, when he started his school years at Hogwarts.
Harry got dressed, and headed down for Breakfast. He found his mum and dad sitting at the table drinking coffee and talking about their family life. With Jasmine now being apart of it, the situation has changed. Harry was no longer their baby, not that he felt that way. But Sirius was concerned that Harry would feel neglected because of the attention they needed to show her. As Harry walked into the kitchen, the two looked up at him. "Harry, could we talk with you for a moment?" Sirius asked.
Harry smiled at his dad, "Wow, this sounds serious, Sirius. Is Sirius being serious for any particular reason, or is this just Sirius being serious for a single moment, as Sirius has never been serious in his life."
"Huh? What?" Sirius muttered. Lily was laughing at the exchange. Harry had just used Sirius' name joke against him once again. She could see that Harry had completely confused him.
Harry just laughed, "I'm sorry dad, I couldn't help it. Please go ahead with your talk, and I promise to try and be serious for a moment."
"Please stop with the serious/Sirius thing for a bit, would you. It gives me a headache when some body else does it. Am I really that bad?"
Harry and Lily shouted "YES!" at the same time causing them all to laugh.
"OK, I will try to slow down on them, but not completely. They are too funny. Seriously though." and this brought another rounds of snickers from Harry and Lily. "I didn't mean that to be funny, even if it was. What I have to say Harry, is Lily and I don't want you to feel that we are neglecting you if we are spending too much time with Jasmine. She needs our attention constantly, and her demands are our first priority. We need you to understand that Harry."
Harry cocked his head to the side, as if looking at his dad for the first time. "Dad, mum, I could never feel neglected. I know Jasmine needs more attention from you both. She should be first in your minds.
She needs your love and devotion in her time of infancy. I had my time there, and it is now hers. You know Sirius, I have been meaning to talk to you about something, and this is as good a time as ever to bring it up. I am sure you have noticed that I have never called you father. I don't know if this has bothered you or not, but I want you to know I don't mean anything by it."
Sirius had a big smile on his face, "Oh goody, this is the father son talk I have been waiting to hear. Do make it interesting Harry. I hate long boring stories."
Harry snickered once again, "OK DAD. Here goes. You have been my dad from the beginning Sirius, and for that I will always be grateful. However, I could not call you father, because I need to reserve that for the person that sired me. James was my father, Sirius, but you will always be my dad. Does this make sense?"
"No, but when have you ever made any sense, Harry. You start talking from the first moment you were born. You make friends and tell them they need to prepare for things that will happen to them in the future. You become an Animagus before you start Hogwarts. You become something I didn't even knew existed. You eat snakes, RAW, after you kill them. And now you ask me if you make sense? Actually what you said did make sense Harry. I understand what you mean. James was my best friend, almost like a brother. I would never dream of taking his place as your father. I am just happy that you accept me as your dad. There is not a man on this planet that is more proud of his son, than I am of you."
"Thanks dad. Now, I have a question for the two of you. How do I get the sorting hat to change his decision?"
Both Lily and Sirius broke down into laughter. "How the hell do you ask something like that with a straight face Harry?" Sirius continued laughing.
They both stopped when Harry answered, "Because it could mean saving someones life, or many lives."
Lily looked curiously at her son, "Harry, this doesn't sound like you. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine mum, but I had another strange dream, and it told me that Fred and George need to be resorted. I need to talk to them first, before I do any thing. They have to see that something is going on, that no one can explain. Doesn't it seem strange that all of us have the same Animagus form. Doesn't it also seem strange that the form is that of a House symbol. Hufflepuff had the Badger as it's familiar. True they didn't have their form until after they entered the school, but they do now, and they need to be in Hufflepuff, as all the rest of us will be there as well."
"Are you sure of this Harry?" Lily asked.
"Then Talk to the twins, and I will set up a meeting with Minerva. Albus will probably need to be informed as well, but only after we have talked. He still annoys the hell out of me." Lily finished.
Harry got up and went to the floo. He called the Weasley's and asked to speak to Fred and George. Molly yelled upstairs for the twins, who came stomping down the stairs to see what see needed. They saw Harry's face in the flames. "Hey little bro. What has you in such a snit?"
"We need to talk. Bring Ron and Ginny as well. I will get hold of Hermione, Luna, Neville, Susan and Draco."
Fred looked to George, and then they both looked back to Harry, "Will do Harry. See you in a bit." and the connection closed.
Harry contacted the rest, and soon they were all gathered in the living room with Harry, Sirius, Lily and Jasmine. The girls went right after Jasmine to hold her. Lily laughed at the four girls, but gave Jasmine up to them.
Finally they were all settled and Harry began, "Fred, George, are you happy where you were sorted?"
"Of course we are Harry, It is the house where the Weasleys have been sorted for generations."
"So you don't wish to break tradition?"
"We didn't say that now did we? We are always up to breaking something." George answered.
"Good, because I had another dream this morning, and it concerned you two. It told me that we are all fated to reside in Hufflepuff. I think we all can see the reasoning behind it. I think we are all Badgers in our forms for a reason, and with the House familiar of the Puffs being a badger says something."
Fred replied, "Didn't really think about that. It make's sense, but aren't we a little late? I mean we have already been sorted."
George added, "Besides, we didn't know our form when we were sorted Harry, or we might have figured it out"
"True, that is why we have to speak to Professor McGonagall. You need to be resorted."
Before any one else could speak, Draco made a comment, "Harry's right. We all have our Badger forms for a reason. Being Badgers, we need to be in the House of the Badgers. Malfoy's have always been in the house of the Snake, but I think that tradition ends here, with me."
Neville then took over, "I always thought I was meant for the Puffs. Even though My parents were Lions, I didn't think that was for me."
Susan agreed to what her friends said, "I think I was meant for the Puffs as well. Mother, Father, and My Aunt were all Puffs, and I think I was already destined for them."
Lily took over from there. "I have already talked with Minerva, and she has agreed to listen to all of you. She knows you all will be starting together, and thinks you all should be housed together. She doesn't know if the Hat will listen to reason though. It is after all, a Lion in it's thinking, stubborn until the end."
"Then we will just have to make it listen to reason." Harry ended the conversation.
The group were gathered around Minerva, and as Lily feared, Albus was there as well, holding the Hat. Being the Head master, he had to be aware of any changes that were to be made. Lily just hoped he wouldn't stick his nose in where it didn't belong.
This wasn't the case as he started the conversation, "It has come to my attention that you wish to have a resorting for the Weasley Twins. Is that correct?"
Harry answered, "Yes sir, it is."
"Might I ask why?"
Harry told him, and Lily was surprised when he answered, "A very good reason indeed. May I see your forms to prove your point."
The ten stood up, and and transformed into ten Honey Badgers, each with their distinctive markings.
The gleam in His eyes showed that Albus was delighted at what he saw. "Alright then, I will allow the resorting, as well as the sorting for you all. I know it is unusual to do this, but never has there been a case as unusual as this. I think that when the time comes for the sorting, you will all take your seat, and the Hat will already know where you will be going, and just call it out, before setting on your head. This will take away any thoughts that others might have."
Albus put the Hat on George's head. "Why is this Dumbledore, this boy has already been sorted? I refuse to resort this... wait, what is this I see? Is this true, boy, are you an animagus with the form of a Badger?"
"Yes sir, as is my brother Fred."
"I will see to him after you. Show me your form in your mind." George thought of his form, and the Hat made his decision, "For the first time ever, I have to agree that with your form being what it is, you should be in Hufflepuff. Now let me speak to your brother."
The hat did the same for Fred. The Albus asked the Hat to do the rest of the group. "These are strange times we live in. To resort two students, and to sort eight students this early, is unheard of. However, I will agree to what you ask. All I ask in return is that you each show me your form for confirmation."
Harry let Ginny go first, as she was the youngest, She placed the hat on her head, and it saw her form. "Hufflepuff!"
Luna was next, "Hufflepuff."
Draco, "Is this right? A Malfoy that wishes to be different? Strange times indeed. Hufflepuff."
The ten then stood and slapped their hands together in unity. They were all a family in the same house.
Their last year in muggle school was filled with tears at the end of the year. The group of friends that banded together at the start, were splitting up. Eight of them were going to a boarding school where they had been accepted, after being tested. When asked the name of the school, they agreed to call it Founders school of the gifted. It was in Scotland.
Once the summer began, Harry asked his cousin to spend the summer with them and to share in their summer fun. Dudley didn't need to be asked twice. He loved the things the group got into. This summer turned out no different. They visited the Beach, saw movies, roller skating, bowling, and more. Then Harry decided to visit the Zoo. He had been there before, but it was years ago. Many, many years ago.
He told Dudley of his past experience with the zoo, and Dudley about died laughing. "You're kidding me right? You actually did away with the glass, causing me to fall in the tank with the snake?"
"Yup. You should have seen the look on your face when it crawled over you to escape. I thought you were going to have a heart attack. Aunt Petunia looked the same. Uncle Vernon was the only one who didn't look like that. He had that look that told me I was in trouble. Like I said, those were different times, and you were different people."
"I'll say. I must have been a real prick. Glad I am not like that now."
Harry smiled, "Who said you aren't."
Bid 'D' hit Harry on the shoulder, "Arse Hole. Come on let's get the gang and get some breakfast before we go, I'm starving"
After they all ate, they walked the two blocks to the train station, and took it to the stop for the zoo. It was just as Harry remembered it. This time, the reptile house didn't hold much interest for the gang. With out the ability to talk to the snakes, it was just another attraction. However, when they were outside, and the gang walked up to the Badger cage, they were all surprised when the Badgers all turned towards the newcomers, and made their way to the fence. Both sides of the fence had a group looking at the creatures on the other side, acknowledging each others presence. It was a strange meeting, with no words passing between them, yet feeling as though they understood each other, except for Dudley. How ever, he saw the reaction of both sides of the fence, and knew that somehow they were communicating.
Once they saw each other, Harry knew that what ever happened in the future, he would have others there should he need them. It was if they understood each others thoughts. When the time arose that Harry and his friends needed help, the Badgers would be there to assist them in what ever was needed.
They left the Badgers after one last attempt at communicating. Each having felt that this was not goodbye, but so long for now. We will meet again. Harry smiled at the attempted smile of the badger on the other side of the fence. It was like a growl. Harry knew right there, that the gang minus Dudley would visit the Badgers one more time before Hogwarts, in their Badger forms. They had much to learn from the fierce animals.
Once they got home, Harry told his mum and dad of their encounter, and each member of the group, including Dudley told them of what they got out of the chance encounter. Mostly it was about understanding, and a willingness to survive. Harry told them that the group had to go back, in their forms, to train with the natural animals to learn what it meant to actually be a Badger. How to use their abilities to their fullest.
Dudley told them of how he wished he could go with them, to feel what it was like. Lily looked to him and saw he was serious about what he said, "Dudley, if you promise not to tell your mum and dad, I can make your wish come true just this once."
Dudley's eyes got big, "Really Aunt Lily? How?"
"Like this, Dudley." and she used her wand and transformed Dudley into a Badger. Harry and the rest saw this, and changed as well. The difference was though he looked like a Badger, Dudley was still Dudley, and had a hard time keeping up with the rest. He wasn't as strong as them, and didn't react as fast as they did. But, it was still fun being able to move with them in this form. They ran around for an hour, until the spell Lily put on Dudley wore off. It was all Dudley talked about for the rest of the day.
Lily did it for him two more times that summer, but not when the rest went back to the Zoo. The real Badgers may not have accepted him. It was good that she didn't, as what they went thru may have got him hurt. They were at it all night, using the different strategies of the Badgers as they worked. Harry knew that these beings were so well organized. He asked them if they were happy here at the zoo, and he received a reply he did not expect. "Am Happy Now. Before boring. Nothing to do. Now we have meaning. We have a mission. We stay until call. You come get us, and we join fight. Many are our numbers on the outside. They join too. Not just Badgers, but many like us. Any who hate the serpents. They are cold creatures that care not who they hurt. There is one with you who knows this." The badger said as it turned to Draco. Draco bowed down to the badger, acknowledging the statement.
The gang did not return the rest of the summer, but looked forward to meeting them again.
There was one last thing to to do, before school started, and Harry made sure that Dudley would join them on this one. It was their trip to Diagon Alley.
When they arrived with his mum and dad, the first place they went to was Gringotts. Harry needed money to purchase what he needed. He also got money for Ginny, Ron, Dudley, and Luna. He wanted to get the rest some as well, but they had everything they needed.
Once inside the bank, Dudley looked in wonder at the Goblins. At the splendor of the fittings that surrounded him. At the amount of gold that was being handled. He didn't miss a detail. Then when Harry grabbed his arm and pulled them towards a teller, Dudley looked gobsmacked at him, as he looked down from his desk at those that gathered there. "What can I do for you?"
"Hello sir, my name is Harry Potter, and I am here to take money out from my account for school. I have my key right here."
"Thank you. If you will wait right here, I will get you a helper to assist you." and he hopped down from his stool and left, returning a minute later with Griphook.
Wanting to fool with the Goblin, Harry went to him and said, "Griphook, it's good to see you again."
Harry about passed out when Griphook replied, "It's good to see you again Harry Potter, although I can't understand why you remember me?"
"You mean to say we met?"
Griphook looked at Harry, "You tell me? You were the one that acted like he knew me."
'Son of a bitch, pranked by a Goblin.' Harry thought. "No, Griphook, we never met, not in this life time anyway. Maybe in a past life?"
"That is possible Harry Potter, we Goblins have been known to live long lives. Now, shall we visit your vault. Is this someone who doesn't need to see the contents?" Griphook asked of Dudley.
"No, it is alright, He's my cousin. I don't think there is anything in there he shouldn't see."
"Why would you think that Harry Potter?"
"It's just a trust vault, isn't it?"
"No sir, it is not. Why would you think a trust vault?"
Harry wasn't expecting this. He thought the trust vault would still be his. "Sorry Griphook, I thought I would have a trust vault set up in my name."
"Just a thought. I thought that mum would have it set up for me to use during school."
"That would be a waste of money Harry Potter. Vaults do not come cheap, although you could well afford it. We could set one up for you, if you wish?" Griphook grinned.
Harry passed on the offer, and they went down to the family vault. When inside the vault, Harry had to catch Dudley as he fainted when he saw all the gold in the vault. Harry was impressed as well. The amount of gold in the vault was more than the last time he saw it, which seemed like a lifetime ago.
Harry got five bags, and filled them for himself, Dudley, Ginny, Ron and Luna. He also found something with his name pinned to it. A diary of some sort. He asked if he could take it, and Griphook once again laughed, "Harry Potter, this is your family vault, what is in it is your families property. I hardly have the right to tell you no. You are a strange creature Harry Potter. Very strange indeed. "
After they caught back up with their friends, the made the trip around picking up what ever they needed. Harry was most happy when he once again had Hedwig in his possession. She stayed on his shoulder for their whole trip.
Ollivanders was their last stop, and it hadn't changed at all. It was still dark and mysterious. Harry waited as the rest got their wands. Harry watched as they were each selected by the different wands. Draco, Ron, Hermione, Neville and Susan went quick. Then Luna took quite a while. Ollivander found her a difficult person to match. He finally decided to go with an oddball wand. Monkey wood, with a Nargle heart core. Hermione snickered at this, "Are you sure that is real sir?"
Ollivander looked at Hermione, "Miss Granger, I take my business very serious. If you want a toy wand, then I suggest you go to the prank shop down the street. Now Miss Lovegood, if you would, give it a wave." Luna waved her wand, and a trail of stars and moons was left behind, twinkling in the gloom of the room.
Ginny stepped forward to find her wand, but Ollivander waved Harry forward as well. Ollivander pulled down a pair of wands that were covered with dust. He blew the dust off, which caused a cloud, setting off a string of sneezes with the two customers. He pulled the wands from the boxes, and handed one to each of them. They waved their wands together, and a heart formed before them. The heart grew bigger, then moved to rise above their heads, then when it was directly over them, it lowered itself down and around them. When it was all the way down, the heart vanished. The two wands were holly, with a Unicorn heart string from the Same Unicorn.
Ginny looked at her wand tip. "That was just weird."
Harry grinned, "Prophetic is more like it, don't you think Ginny?"
Ginny just looked at Harry, "Weird knows what weird is. Doesn't it Harry?"
Still grinning Harry said, "Touche."
They were all about to leave when Ollivander spoke out, "What about you last friend? Can't you wait for him?"
They all looked around, then they remembered, Dudley. "Oh, sorry sir, he is not a wizard, he is my cousin." Harry said.
"Well, why not let the wand decide this. Step forward young man, even a squib can get a wand to twinkle."
For over forty minutes they went at it. Ollivander was about to give up, and bow to Harry's comment. The Dudley picked up the wand that was in the window. "What about this one sir, can I give it a try?"
Ollivander could not believe that someone would have the audacity to pick up Merlin's wand. No one had been able to get even one spark out of it. It had sat in his window for generations.
"That is not the wand for you young man. But, just to show you, go ahead, give it a wave."
Dudley did, and nothing. The wand did nothing. He went to give it back to Olivander, but gave it one more try. Still nothing. He sighed and handed it back to Ollivander. Ollivander just smiled. "I am sorry to say your cousin is right. However, don't feel bad young man, as I have seen some wands attack a non magical for even trying to own it."
"Thank you sir, for even caring. It was a long shot at best."
"Not a problem sir, not a problem at all."
As they made their way out of the store, Dudley made one more look back, and sighed. He was just a non magical, in a magical world.