The Lion And The Snake Scales Of Justice
A Few Days Later
Needless to say Harry took a while to get over the will reading, never stopping to think, immersing himself in his studies to cope. Having no kids, no family left he'd given Harry, his godson nearly everything. Leaving a small lump sum to Remus Lupin and Albus Dumbledore. Which really turned Harry's stomach, but it was nothing on the look on Remus' face. He'd look disappointed with the amount, Harry had bolted out there unable to stay as soon as it was over. He hadn't spoken to anyone since, his friends were all concerned for him and tried to get him to talk.
"I know I didn't get on with Black, but this isn't what he would have wanted for you, you know that." said Severus, leaning causally against the doorjamb. Observing Harry cautiously, he'd avoided mentioning the wizard for fear Harry would explode. On one hand he needed to do it, on the other he really didn't want to be on the receiving end. Harry had come into his powers and was a formidable wizard whether he liked to see it or not. He was grateful not for the first time, that Harry had a very strict sense of right and wrong. Which was surprising given how he was raised, but yes he was thankful for his outlook on the world. He was trying to help those in Knockturn Alley, and the funny thing was whether Harry realized it he had the balls and the connections to pull it off.
Harry looked up, staring at Severus, blankly for a few seconds until what he said penetrated his mind. "I know." he whispered hoarsely in the end.
"Your friends are trying to do the right thing, be there for you, give you space…you are hurting them by locking them out." said Severus. The boy's friends meant the world to him, he could see it the way he protected them. If there was any way to shake him out of the flunk he was in, well it certainly would be them.
Harry stared at the bed, his fingers drawing around the pattern unconsciously. "Remus and Dumbledore were disappointed." admitted Harry, his face filled with haunted wariness.
"Disappointed?" asked Severus his eyes narrowing slightly not sure what Harry was getting at. He was beginning to feel as though he'd misinterpreted the meaning surrounding Harry's depressive state. It heightened further upon seeing Harry becoming more agitated.
"When the will was read, I think they wanted more from him." said Harry, the thought that they'd used Sirius hurt a great deal. Well maybe not Dumbledore, but Remus, well that had hurt him ten times worse. The werewolf hadn't even looked at him after the will reading started, never spoken a word to him during the tense five minutes silence.
"Lupin did?" asked Severus almost gaping in his surprise, he didn't doubt Harry, but the Lupin he knew didn't seem to care for money. People changed through, Severus' mind drifted to the robes he'd seen Lupin wear to the will reading. He knew better than most how people liked to put on fronts, even Muggles did it for money, marrying a conveniently rich guy and getting what they could out of it.
Harry solemnly nodded his head, his green eyes clouded in confusion and hope even he knew to be false.
"I see," said Severus, but he truly didn't know what to make of this conversation. He'd expected to rile Harry up a little, lift him out of the depression and start living again. "Everyone grieves differently Harry; no two people are the same."
"Why would he be disappointed though?" asked Harry sighing, rubbing his temples in an agitated manner. He'd been thinking on it for the past few days without fail, coming up with no explanation.
"It's bothering you a great deal," said Severus as he observed the sixteen year old.
"It's bugging me to such a degree I cannot think of anything else!" growled Harry, scrunching a piece of paper in his hand. Then gasping, he flattened it out obviously regretting his loss of temper on the parchment. Severus could see from where he stood it was a letter, perhaps from Black? He could think of no other reason for his care about a missive.
"I must admit I am surprised, I had no idea you held Lupin in such high regard." said Severus smoothly, ignoring the jolt of jealousy that Lupin might have placed in Harry's life.
"I don't," admitted Harry, he was just angry at the thought of his godfather getting used. "I've never really spoken to Remus since third year. He didn't even talk to me during the will reading…I don't know if he blames me or something."
"Let me ask you something, I would like a truthful answer." said Severus sitting down on the edge of the bed. "Why do you care what he thinks?" he's seen Lupin for one year, three years ago, then once in a blue moon glimpses at Grimmauld Place.
"I guess I felt the need to…cling on to any connection to my parents." admitted Harry, "I mean…I don't know anything about them. Ironically enough they'd never really told me anything I didn't know. All the years I've known them…it was always the same thing. You have your mums eyes and look like my dad…it became a broken record."
Severus felt a twinge of regret at that, but realized Harry knew everything about his mother. She'd had the forethought to leave him a pensive filled with memories. Memories that had in the end that had torn down his defences when it came to James Potter's son. It was almost as if Lily was still watching over him, making sure she had her part in raising her son right. Had she known she'd die? Or was Lily always thinking five steps ahead as usual? Neither would surprise him, Lily had always been too clever for her own good.
"I have a building I want to turn into a school or a small place where they study anyway." said Harry changing the subject abruptly.
"Am I to assume you are talking about those down in Knockturn Alley?" asked Severus surprised, Harry had been so depressed lately, he'd assumed it had been swept under the rug.
"Yeah," said Harry, "See this place here? It's big enough for the number of underage wizards and witches we suspect to live down there."
"How many do you think there are?" enquired Severus curiously, he already knew the answer to the question, but wanted to see if Harry was anywhere close to that.
"Twenty nine and that's just within the ages of eleven to eighteen years old." said Harry leaning back thoughtfully.
"You'd pay for their wands? Books? Equipment they'd need?" asked Severus in dark sardonic amusement as if he didn't think anyone was truly that generous.
"I actually I'm putting the price for the Basilisk scales up, just a few sickles, it will get everyone their wand. Not only that I'm going to start a charity, the Potter foundation, they won't care what its for if my names on it." said Harry staring at the bed as if waiting for more scorn to come his way for wanting to help disadvantaged kids. He was with the wrong person if he suspected Severus would, since he to, had been a disadvantaged kid.
"A charity?" enquired Severus interested.
"Yes, to help disadvantaged kids get an education and things they'd need for it." said Harry.
"It will take years for you to amass the kind of support you'd need for twenty nine students." said Severus.
"Yup, which is why I'm setting up a small school for them to learn the basics at least." said Harry adamantly.
"It could work," admitted Severus, especially without the tuition fees Hogwarts required to educate the students, a day school could be exactly what Knockturn Alley needed. "The school would need protected very heavily, if the Auror's get wind of it, they'd burn it to the ground claiming they didn't want more 'Dark wizards' rising."
"There's so many plans involved isn't there? It's not just buying a building and getting enough money for wands." said Harry, at first it had sounded so simple, now he realized the extent his involvement would be needed.
"Indeed, it's why nobody has gotten far, they realize how much they have to do, how long they have to fight and how much it costs." said Severus darkly. "You aren't alone; your friends have been digging into research as well if I'm not mistaken."
"They are great," said Harry smiling bitter sweetly. Draco said he'd put as much money as was needed into helping, he had changed so much since the beginning of the summer. It was as though he was finally seeing the real Draco Malfoy, not the one he showed the world.
"Yes they are, and you also have very loyal house elves, who I am sure will knock over themselves to help." smirked Severus wryly. "The key is to keep it as low key as possible for as long as possible. The less people that know what you are up to the better. Thankfully most people in Knockturn Alley don't talk much."
"True," said Harry his smile turning into a wicked grin as he thought of the house elves. Dobby had bonded to both him and Severus. He wouldn't be against doing anything, such as getting things they needed from Hogwarts to set up the small school.
"You can even get the house elf's at Hogwarts to help, there are thousands of unused desks around here." added Severus thoughtfully. "If you don't mind I'd like to keep up with what's happening." he'd been helping them as best as he was able, for years so it was a subject close to his heart, or as close as anything got to his heart these days.
"Of course," said Harry nodding his head he'd like someone else's input, especially a Slytherin's. "I'm going to need help after all."
"Indeed." said Severus, but he didn't believe that true, if Harry put his mind to it, he could have done it himself. Yet he knew deep inside Harry felt insecure making his own decisions, all because Dumbledore had manipulated him so long. Harry would eventually spread his wings, he had already begun in fact, but this charity just may be the thing to send him on his flight. "Now go spend some time with your friends before they break down my door." he added before making his way out.
"Severus?" called Harry as the teacher made his way out.
"Yes?" replied Severus turning to face the sixteen year old curiously.
"Thank you." said Harry.
"You are welcome." said Severus surprised, his piece said he left the bedroom and down to his lab, a place he always went to think or when he was troubled.
"I'm sorry guys," said Harry joining them in the library having used the map to find out where they were. He sat himself down looking contritely at the group.
"Its okay Harry, we knew you needed time to come to terms with it," said Hermione soothingly, starting at him with her doleful brown eyes filled with understanding.
"We've been reading about the terms of educating students…people," said Luna deciding to bring Harry up to speed on what they'd been doing. "Only for Draco and Ron to remind me the restriction on magic has been lifted until further notice…which means nobody will know if we teach people there."
"You want to teach them?" gaped Harry surprised.
"Of course, now you'd be better of placing them into groups of five, starting with just one day of being educated…and the library open for anyone wanting to use it all the time." said Luna.
"Eleven and twelve's together, thirteen and fourteen year olds and so on." added Hermione.
"That's only four days," Harry pointed out.
"Yeah we were thinking of using Friday as a day for all of them to come in." said Ron.
"You realize we will be in classes?" said Harry.
"Actually between all of us, we have times of we can fill in slots," said Draco imperiously, handing over a timetable.
"And the library?" asked Harry bluntly.
"Well Hermione was against it, but we suggested a house elf to keep order. If anything happens we can come and deal with it." said Draco.
"House elf's can look after themselves, defend themselves and their territory no problem. Dobby could throw anyone doing anything to the library out on their arse." said Harry thoughtfully warming up to the idea.
"They deserve better than that!" groaned Hermione against it.
"Dobby gets paid, he wouldn't accept the holidays," said Harry wryly.
Draco didn't look shocked he already knew. A summer of watching Harry Potter treat Dobby his old servant house elf like a human had opened his eyes.
"Alright," said Hermione grudgingly when she realized Dobby was at least treated fairly.
"You do realize this will all probably begin when we need to start studying for our exams?" said Harry mostly to Hermione knowing how much a control freak she got around that time of year. "It's going to take a lot to get everything in order…we will even need a ward caster, to make it safe."
"My brother could do that, I'll drop your name and probably get it done cheaper." said Ron. "I've been thinking about mentioning him."
"Doesn't he only destroy and dismantle wards?" asked Harry surprised, curse breaker he was, he'd always assumed it meant him removing harmful wards.
"No," said Ron giving Harry a weird look. "Curse breaker is the technical term for his job, what he chooses to do but not his ability. He is really good at warding, he even did the burrow, but even at that it wasn't safe enough."
"What he means is you will need at least two different warders, each has their own speciality unless you want to put the school under the…erm…Fidelus Charm." said Draco finishing delicately, remembering just how Harry's parents died belatedly.
"It would be the safest wouldn't it? But it would also complicate matters…" said Harry scratching his neck thoughtfully. "I'll think about it."
"What about books?" asked Ron "Can't fill a library without them. They can have mine." volunteered Ron cheerfully.
"To start with just the basic books, nothing that costs money or is valuable. In fact there's a few Black books I could sell to get money started into a vault for the school." said Harry.
"Why not use your own money? It's not as if you don't have enough." asked Draco cautiously, "I'll match whatever you do."
"It would be less complicated to do it that way, but I was hoping to avoid it. If I start I might not stop, plus my own money is going into buying the place…and for whatever refurbishment it's going to require. Then I'll need to pay the workmen to put the wards up keep it secure." said Harry.
"I'll start up a campaign, get money started up, and turn it into the charity you want. Everything needs advertised otherwise it's a waste of time starting anything up." said Hermione sitting up straight.
"That's the thing, I'm not sure if it's a good idea…if they figure out what we are doing…they might stop us." said Harry, not just Dumbledore but the Auror's and everyone.
"I won't tell anyone what the inevitable goal is, I'll let them assume it goes towards a Hogwarts scholarship for disadvantaged kids." said Hermione.
"Alright, that would work, I'll get a vault opened tomorrow, I'm going to see about the Black vaults and get them sorted." confided Harry pain flickering over his bright green eyes.
"Let me know the number to the vault, I'll put some in, the quicker money goes in the more interest gets started." said Draco confidently. "I'll even get one of my house elf's to look over books we might have double off, add it to the box we can use for the library."
"I'm not much help that way," said Ron he didn't have anything to give.
"That's fine Ron," said Harry regarding Ron solemnly, he didn't hold it against him. "You have connections, you are helping."
"We are all in this together." said Draco surprisingly the others, Ron and Draco tolerated each other for Harry's sake. They barely said a kind word to each other. Yet Draco always seemed to know what to say. Whether to rile them up or sooth their ruffled feathers.
There we go finally updated this :) so far im living up to the promise of updating the one updated last :D R&R PLEASE!