Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the Harry Potter Universe, just playing in the sand box as it were.
A/N: I'm back with another Harry/Bella Fic! I love this pairing too much to not do another. This is an AU/ OC fic so some of the cannon characters will be out of character. I will post the first two chapters together and then expect an update in two weeks. I have four chapters already written and four more already outlined. I was going to wait until I had ten chapters completely written but decided to go ahead and start posting.
Description: Hogwarts Castle decides to interfere in the lives of two of its students to change the past and future and giving the pair an opportunity to find something more than just protection within it walls.
Chapter 1: The Outcast
September 1, 1995, Hogwarts Express:
The gentle swaying of the heavily warded passenger compartment was not at all comforting for the solitary occupant. His eyes stared unfocused at the passing landscape just outside the window of the old steam engine; the sun was high and presided over a beautiful clear blue sky. The perfect weather however was a stark contrast to the dark and tempestuous ruminations of Harry Potter.
He doubted that his life could get much worse, abandoned by those he thought were friends, vilified in the daily news, and then the death of the only family he had left. He wondered while he sat alone in his compartment what he had done to piss off fate so badly. He had known all of his life prior to Hogwarts what it was to be truly lonely and ostracized. Growing up with the Dursleys had ingrained those feelings deep within his psyche.
But when he came to Hogwarts, for the first time in his life he had made friends and had found joy and happiness and learned how wonderful it could be to have people that cared for you. Then it all went bad, so terribly bad, and once again he was alone and ostracized. Not having known what friendship or happiness was before Hogwarts was difficult, but to have learned what it was to be cared for and liked and then to have it ripped away from you was almost debilitating in its ruthlessness.
It had all started October 31 of last year, with the announcement of the champions who would represent their respective schools in the historical Tri Wizard Tournament. It had all gone swimmingly at first as the Beauxbaton's Champion was named, and then Durmstrang's, and finally Hogwarts which had been Cedric Diggory; a handsome seventh year from Hufflepuff House, who also happen to be that house's seeker and a competitor of Harry's who played the same position for Gryffindor House.
So it was with a sense of foreboding that Harry watched as a fourth name was spat out of the ancient chalice that was the Goblet of Fire, this primeval relic that would choose the champions from the three competing schools, a relic that could only choose three champions. Dumbledore had snatched the paper from the air and read the name aloud in a disbelieving voice. "Harry Potter!"
The rest of the school year from that moment on was a complete nightmare; Harry beat his previous record of hospital visits per year by a landslide. He had been hexed and jinxed no fewer than sixty-two times. Not only from Hufflepuffs who felt slighted at the attention seeking Boy-Who-Lived, but from the other houses as well, even his own. Everyone had believed he had cheated, even his best friends. Hermione tried to be objective but he could tell that she was having difficulty believing him as well.
There was a not so secret pool of when the student-body and some members of the faculty thought He-Who-Sought-More-Fame would finally snuff it. He thought that Hermione was finally coming around to believing him at the beginning of the third task when she nervously wished him luck.
But fate would not be so kind to Harry Potter. She and his former redheaded friend had begun dating and Ronald Weasley being the jealous berk that he was made Hermione choose between the two. A combination of low-self esteem and a desire to be loved and accepted by others caused the bushy haired bookworm to ultimately choose Ron and sided with him and the rest of the school against him.
His reemergence from the graveyard with a dead Cedric Diggory clutched in his arms, and the outrageous claim that somehow Voldemort had been resurrected from the dead with Harry's blood, was too much for the student body to take. Those who had been sitting on the fence about Harry moved against him in mass.
It was now widely believed that somehow Harry had most likely killed Cedric either on purpose or by accident, but either way they saw it as an attempt to add to his fame, but to claim the rebirth of Voldemort as the cause of the handsome boy's death was more than they were willing to take. It would be the last time that Hermione and most of the school would speak to him in any manner considered congenial.
Most of the school had already judged him a liar, a thief, and a manipulator, adding the title of murderer was not a far leap for most. He had been banned from sleeping in Gryffindor Tower by its residents; all his belongings had been tossed out of the tower and had lain in a heap outside the portrait of the Fat Lady, who had left her frame in disgust at seeing him approach. His father's invisibility cloak and the Marauders map were conspicuously missing from his torn and broken possessions.
He had spent the last week of school sleeping in a far corner of the Hospital Wing. Dumbledore tried many times to pacify the school by showing tepid support for him at best, but his words fell on deaf ears. Since there was no hard proof of foul play against him, the school governors could not expel him, but it was not for a lack of desire. At the end of the school year there were many whispered plots to seek justice against Harry on the Hogwarts Express back to London. Dumbledore, not wanting his weapon too damaged, apparated him back to the Dursleys' avoiding the train altogether.
Harry was stunned at the indifference that Dumbledore had shown him the last two weeks of school. He of all people knew that Voldemort was attempting to return and his reluctance to stand by Harry and declare that he was telling the truth was utterly puzzling to the young raven haired boy. Why hadn't he at least stood up for Harry during the school year and punished those that had hexed or cursed him.
The lack of support from the headmaster and those he had once considered friends was excruciatingly painful. Malfoy and his cronies took advantage of the turn in public opinion; their assaults on the former golden boy of Gryffindor were now seen as just desserts for the attention seeking brat.
Most of the student body guffawed as Harry was blasted off the staircase by a combined banishing charm by Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson which had him falling four floors to the hard flagstone floor below. Harry spent the next three weeks in and out of consciousness in the hospital wing recovering from multiple fractures and deep tissue injuries.
This incident made a small group of students rethink their treatment of Harry but they remained silent and did not speak out against the horrible conduct of their fellow students. They feared the repercussions of speaking up for the widely unpopular boy. What angered Harry the most was that no one was punished for all the attacks on him. No one spoke up on his behalf, not even his own head of house.
Harry was left at the Dursleys a broken and tortured young man. The Dursleys like sharks smelled the blood in the water when they saw him. Vernon Dursley wasted no time in physically demonstrating to Harry his displeasure of having him in his home again.
Just one week after being dropped off at Durzkaban another piece of Harry's heart would be ripped out of his still wounded chest caused by the betrayal of his friends. Unbeknownst to Harry, Sirius Black had come to visit his godson in Little Whinging to try and cheer him up, and was horrifically overcome by two Dementors and was kissed, having his soul sucked from his body. Harry who had been in another altercation with his cousin at the local park had felt the presence of the Dementors and had grabbed his cousin and fled the area.
He remembered hearing the agitated barking of a dog when the intense cold came and then it was suddenly silenced. It would be much later that day that Harry would be informed by Dumbledore that Sirius had been killed by the soul-sucking creatures. Harry was inconsolable for several days.
A week later, Harry found himself at Gringotts listening to the will of his godfather much against the advice of the Head Master, who had strongly suggested that Harry let him take care of it himself. He assured him that if there was anything important that he needed to know he would let him know immediately. This just did not set well with Harry who firmly told the old man that he would be going.
Surprisingly, Sirius had left Harry everything including the title of Lord Black which according to the Black family charter automatically emancipated him because of his new status as Lord and Head of House. This emancipation led to harry finally hearing his parents will and receiving the Lord Potter title as well.
Not wanting to spend another moment with the Dursleys and having several properties to choose from, he decided to leave the suburban prison. A goblin provided port-key later and he stood in front of an old building in a rundown urban part of London.
Harry immediately moved into Number Twelve Grimauld Place wanting to be close to anything that reminded him of Sirius. And as this was the former home of his late godfather, as dark and depressing as it was, it was still a connection to the old marauder. The day Harry took possession of number 12 Grimauld Place had been an eye opener. The only other magical home he had been in had been the Burrow but this was something completely different.
The Burrow was what Harry would call 'homey chaos', there was no rhyme or reason to the modest home but it felt comfortable and lived in. Grimauld Place however felt like a Gothic museum with its antique furniture, ornately decorated rooms and portraits of various past family members in almost every room. Harry jumped as he saw at least a dozen severed heads of house elves leading up a staircase to the upper floors.
The most surprising had been the painting of a woman who he would learn was Sirius' mother, Walburga Black. When he had first entered she had noticed the mantle of House Black upon Harry and the Black signet ring on his finger. She asked solemnly about her son Sirius and how he had died. She crumpled at hearing that Dementors had taken her last child. Harry and Walburga spoke for nearly six hours about Sirius and his childhood that first night, and found to his utter surprise a source of comfort in the former matriarch of the Black Family.
Walburga, Harry had learned, had never truly hated her son but had merely disagreed with him philosophically, but that all seemed so unimportant to her now. Although the Blacks had allied themselves with Voldemort at the beginning of his rise they became silent opponents of the Dark Lord's methods and had severed all ties with him when their son Regulus had been killed by the Dark Lord himself.
In Harry she saw a chance to redeem herself as a mother and redemption for the House of Black and began to instruct Harry immediately in how to be the Lord Black that he needed to be, to bring honor back to the family.
Walburga went from portrait to portrait introducing Harry to the various former heads of the family and informed him that they all would help him to adjust to life as Lord Black. He became privy to all the secrets of Number 12, concealed rooms, and hidden knowledge of spells, curses, and hexes developed by the Black Family over the centuries, and of course the powerful offensive and defense wards that only the head of house could activate or deactivate.
Dumbledore had asked Harry if he could use Grimauld Place to hold meetings for the Order of the Phoenix, a vigilante group Dumbledore had created during the first war against Voldemort. Harry refused flatly after learning that Snape and the Weasleys were part of that organization. Harry had also exploded at the headmaster for his audacity in asking him to house an organization to fight Voldemort when the old bastard did not lend a hand to support him at the school.
The Weasleys had all but abandoned him and he didn't want to be reminded of that bitter betrayal every time a meeting was held. The public Howler Harry received in the Great Hall from the matriarch of the redheaded family his last week in school had been traumatic, telling him he was a disgrace to the Potter name and was not to darken her doorstep again.
Kreacher the House Elf, receiving orders from his beloved mistress to be the best house elf he could be to the new Lord Black seemed to snap out of his own depression and began to get the ancient house back in order. Dobby the House Elf somehow learned of Harry's emancipation and figured he could use his services as well.
Harry learned from the crazy elf that he was already bound to Harry without his knowledge when the boy-who-lived had freed him from the Malfoy's. Harry was bemused to learn that instead of freeing the elf he merely transferred ownership. Dobby had conveniently not mentioned that part.
Harry welcomed Dobby officially as part of the House of Potter-Black .Within days Kreacher and Dobby had the old house in immaculate condition, the House Elf Winky was also added to the Black Family, her addition requested by Dobby. Soon the old manor became a house that was befitting of a Noble family once again.
It was Walburga that convinced Harry to return to Hogwarts much to his objectionable tirade. She had told him that he needed a proper education and the training that the school would provide, to be a proper lord. He was all set to leave the school behind him and isolate himself from the rest of the magical world, but Walburga nixed that idea quickly and tried to instill a sense of pride and purpose back into Harry's life.
He spent two months under the strict tutelage of Walburga Black and the other former heads of house, who was quite pleased that Harry was such a quick study. She taught him many of the Black Family spells, spells that were only taught to family members.
She taught him simple warding that every Black should know to keep him or herself safe from others. She taught him occlumency to protect his mind, which surprisingly came easy to Harry. Having the large house all to himself, and with nothing to distract him he found it easy to focus. He had formed a good solid foundation in the art prior to his return to Hogwarts.
He was taught about the Potter and Black genealogy, he was surprised to learn that his grandmother Dorea Black was actually Walburga's aunt. He was taught about the place that both families held in Pureblood society.
He was shown the family tapestry and where his line fit on the family tree. He felt a wave of sadness when he came to Sirius' face on the tapestry. Apparently Kreacher was told to repair all the damaged faces of members who had been blasted off for one reason or another.
He recognized the face of Narcissa Malfoy, nee Black, but didn't recognize the other two women who were her sisters. There was an Andromeda Tonks, nee Black, and a Bellatrix Lestrange, nee Black. Harry was surprised to see so many beautiful looking women on the ancient tapestry and above average looking men as well.
When Harry asked Walburga about this she revealed to him a family secret that had been kept for more than a thousand years. Twelve hundred years ago, the then Lord Black, had fallen in love with and married a Bulgarian Veela, and since then all children born with Black heritage inherited this particular gene of beauty. It was also rumored that some even were born with the ability albeit minimal of the Veela allure.
Walburga listed all the Black members who were still alive and Harry was surprised that there were actually quite a few still living. He was also worried when he learned several had been followers of Voldemort. He received a measure of comfort though when Walburga explained some of the special nuances associated with being the head of the Black family.
One of these nuances is that no member of the Black family can knowingly do any harm to the Head of House. It was a spell put on each child born into the family. But she assured him that most Blacks did not follow Voldemort anymore but with a few exceptions.
By the time September first rolled around Harry was determined to not let others dictate his life, and although he may not have a friend in the world that did not mean he would hide himself away. He was the Lord of House Potter and Lord of House Black, he came from two noble houses with a long and infamous history and he would not be ashamed.
Walburga had taught him, "Harry, never show weakness in front of others. There are those who would pray upon your weaknesses and try and use them against you. Make alliances with those who will make our house strong irrespective of which Hogwarts house they are from."
The problem though for Harry, was a heart crushing loneliness. He would mask it with an air of indifference while at school and in public, but beneath was a hunger to be accepted for who he was, to be believed, but most of all to be loved.
A tall lanky redheaded wizard and a bushy brown haired witch made their way down the corridor of the Hogwarts Express. Each had on the typical Hogwarts robes with red piping that suggested they were in Gryffindor House. And over the left breast of each was a shiny silver 'P' indicating that they were school prefects.
"I tell ya 'Mione, I don't think he even has the guts enough to show up for the train let alone come back to school." Ron Weasley guffawed as he and Hermione Granger made their rounds.
"Well a second year Puff said that she definitely saw someone who looked like him get on the train." Hermione replied to her boyfriend.
"Potter is too much of a coward to show his face! Besides, the House voted at the end of term last year to ban him from the tower. He has no place to go so why would he come back?"
"He does need to finish his schooling Ron." Hermione commented with a huff. "And maybe we should re-vote, I mean cooler heads might rethink what we have done, now that a couple of months have passed." Hermione stated with a little bit of hope.
"Not likely, I'll make sure the glory hog never sets foot in Gryffindor Tower again!" Ron stated heatedly. "Besides I doubt Seamus, Dean, or Neville would want to share a room with a murderer, not to mention the rest of the house." Ron snorted.
"B-but what if Harry was telling the truth? What if it was You-Know-Who that killed Cedric?" Hermione asked softly.
"Are you joking, who would believe that Harry could best You-Know-Who in a duel?" Ron chuckled mirthlessly. "The best dueler next to Dumbledore and on top of that somehow miraculously escapes under the nose of You-Know-Who and a dozen Death Eaters! Come on Hermione use your brain, you're the smartest witch of our age! Do you honestly think that Harry would have survived if all that he said happened was true?" Ron spat at her challengingly.
Hermione ducked her head and looked at the floor, her shoulders slumped. "I-I guess not." She shook her head slowly and let out a sad sigh. "I guess I just don't want to believe that he would make all that up. He's been our best friend since first year."
"All he did was use us Hermione! He copied mine and yours homework. If not for me and you getting past the traps in first year the stone would have been stolen. It was me who stopped Lockhart from obliviating us."
"But Harry did kill the basilisk." Hermione put in.
"So he says! No one knows for sure do they? He could have made the whole thing up! Ginny was too far out of it to really know for sure." Ron retorted.
"But something was petrifying the students, and I-I remember the glowing yellow eyes and did the research and everything pointed to a basilisk." Hermione tried to defend Harry albeit weakly.
"Did you actually see a basilisk Hermione?" Ron asked haughtily
"Well no, it's like I said, I just saw a pair of yellow eyes." She whispered.
"Exactly!" Ron stated triumphantly. "That could have been anything, an illusion or glamour to disguise the real culprit!"
"But, what about all the other…"
"No buts Hermione!" Ron growled. "All Potter wants is to become more famous and get more money! And he'll do anything to get it, even if he has to hurt or kill others like poor Cedric." Ron stated with finality. "Now I'm tired of talking about the git. How's about we kip off to our compartment and you can show me how much you like to kiss me?" Ron stated creepily waggling his eyebrows.
"We have to finish our rounds Ron! We have the rest of the train to walk." Hermione stated in a businesslike manner.
"Fine, but afterward you're gonna have to really make it up to me." Ron smirked lasciviously. Hermione rolled her eyes surreptitiously and the two resumed their patrol.
Ron and Hermione had come nearly to the end of the train when she noticed a compartment that had the shades pulled down and the door locked. She knocked on the door to find out who had locked the door since it was a train rule that all compartment were to remain unlocked.
"Excuse me!" Hermione called through the door. "You are not allowed to lock your door. Please unlock it now." She waited for an answer that would not come. Knocking again she demanded entrance.
"We are school prefects! And you will open the door now or lose points for your house!" Again there was no response.
"Fine!" Hermone replied in a huff in exasperation. "We'll just have to inform the onboard professor to deal with you!"
"I'll take care of this Mione, no need to get the professor. Besides they usually sleep during the trip anyway." Ron stated confidently.
Ron removed his wand from his robes and pointed the magical foci at the lock on the door and incanted the unlocking spell in an attempt to open the door. "Alohamora!" Ron voiced. The spell left his wand and connected with the lock. There was a backlash as the spell was exponentially reflected back at the caster and threw the tall redhead back and into the compartment across the corridor. He hit the ground with a heavy thud and had scared a group of second year Puffs who had been chatting.
"Ron!" Hermione screamed as she rushed to the side of her fallen boyfriend. "A-are you okay?!" She asked worriedly at the dazed redhead.
"Ugh! What happened?" Ron mumbled his head spinning from the returned spell.
"Your spell was deflected. I'm guessing that some seventh year put a repelling ward on the compartment." Hermione replied helping Ron to his feet.
"That's illegal!" Ron yelled.
"Well, I don't think it is illegal, but definitely against the rules." Hermione corrected him.
Harry had heard the disturbance and had pulled up the shades covering the door window to see who had tried to enter his compartment. He saw his two former best friends; Hermione was helping Ron to his feet. He felt a pang of sadness as he stared at the two but it was quickly suppressed when he saw the rage in Ron's eyes as his own met his former friend's.
"Potter! You'll pay for that Potter! You'll be in detention for a month if I have my way!" Ron Weasley yelled, spittle flying all over the compartment, yells of anger from the Puff's ended his little tirade.
Before Hermione could say a word Harry had closed the shades again and resumed his seat. Any hope of reconnecting to his friends he felt was truly gone. Harry reflected back on the words of Walburga on showing weakness. 'Do not let them see you any way but strong Harry. Show strength in your words and actions. Do not make promises that you do not keep whether those promises are made to an ally or an enemy. You control your destiny Harry; never let anyone tell you otherwise.'
"I control my destiny." Harry whispered as his eyes returned to the passing countryside. "But it seems that destiny has something to say about that. I have a madman out for my blood, and I don't even know why. I'm alone and isolated, hmpf, if I survive another year it would be a miracle. I don't see as if I have any control over my destiny or anything else for that matter."
Again that feeling of loneliness rose within Harry's chest. It was a burning ache that just seemed to grow bigger and bigger as the days went by. He was under no illusion that he would be received warmly at the ancient Wizarding School, but he knew Walburga was right, he needed the education and training and he could only get that from Hogwarts.
He had become such a societal pariah that finding tutors willing to train him along with what the Ministry and Daily Prophet were saying about him was near impossible. In the end Hogwarts was the only option left to him and begrudgingly he was returning.
The pounding on his compartment door resumed. He heard Ron's voice bellowing out a command to open the door. Underneath his loud tirade he barely made out Hermione's voice trying to calm the redhead down. Her efforts finally won out when she had whispered something to the prat that Harry was unable to hear.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. The train pulled into Hogsmeade Station and Harry waited patiently while the train emptied. He didn't want any confrontations either from his so called former friends or anyone else. He knew that they would come soon enough and he wanted to enjoy the peace while there was any to be had.
The noise had almost died out signifying that the train was near empty. He slowly slid open the compartment door and made his way off the train. There was only one carriage left, as he made his way to it he jumped at the sight of a skeletal winged horse or something horse-like that was attached to the carriage by a harness.
He eyed the animal cautiously but it did not seem to be hostile at all, in fact it appeared quite docile. He reached out gently and placed his hand on the neck of the animal. It felt cool and surprisingly very soft to the touch. The animal turned its head toward Harry and nuzzled his shoulder with its nose. Harry smiled at the beast and rubbed the long snout which seemed to be the perfect thing to do, the animal let out a contented whinny.
"Well, I guess I have one friend again." Harry chuckled mirthlessly. Harry stepped up into the carriage and sat, it immediately made its way up to the castle.
Harry stood just outside the Great Hall; he could hear the loud chattering of the students within. "This is it." He sighed to himself. He took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. He adjusted his cloak which was made up of the finest acromantula silk. Walburga had insisted that as a lord he should dress the part.
He took one more breath to steady his nerves and then strode into the Great Hall with his head held high, shoulders back and a gaze of indifference on his face. He took even strides as he made his way to the Gryffindor table.
It was eerie; the whole hall fell silent and all eyes were upon him. The only sound came from the heels of his custom made dragonhide boots as they impacted on the flagstone floor. Harry came to the end of the table closest to the door and prepared to sit. Those who had been sitting there quickly shuffled further down the table distancing themselves as far as possible from the deranged killer.
"Oi! Potter! We don't want your kind at our table!" Ron Weasley bellowed but was completely ignored by Harry who did not even acknowledge that he heard the boy.
"Potter! You're not wanted here! Dirty up someone else's table! OI POTTER!"
"Mr. Weasley that is quite enough." Dumbledore had risen from his seat and spoke.
"But professor he's a murderer!" Ron yelled out getting nods from several students, including the majority of Hufflepuff.
Harry sat stoically, not looking at anyone. "Mr. Potter is no murderer Mr. Weasley, Cedric's death was tragically caused by Voldemort." Dumbledore stated getting gasps and squeals from the majority of the students and not a small few of the faculty.
"You weren't there headmaster; you can't know what really happened!" A blonde Hufflepuff named Hanna Abbott yelled glaring at Harry. Several voices added their agreement to hers.
"All we have is his word Headmaster." Marrietta Edgecombe stated from her seat at the Ravenclaw table. "Even if it were true, I hardly think Potter could match an adult wizard especially You-Know-Who!" She spat. More voices of agreement began to join the rising tide.
Amidst the continuing back and forth amongst the students and the headmaster, one member of the staff was smirking to herself. 'This will be much easier than I thought' she mused as she plucked a piece of lint from her pink cardigan.
A loud bang from Dumbledore's wand brought back order to the Great Hall as students retook their seats, but the barely restrained hostility would not be denied for very long. And the target of that hostility was one Harry Potter. Plans were being made by every house to take out their anger on the fame seeking brat.
The rest of the feast and sorting was a blur to Harry, his thoughts and attention was turned inward as he tried to push down the anxiety and sadness and yes the loneliness that he was feeling. He was grateful however for the extra defensive enhancements he had placed on his cloaks and robes by Madam Malkin. The extra twenty galleons would be well worth the price. He knew that those enhancements would soon be put to the test.
He was brought back to his senses as he heard the scraping of benches being pushed. The four houses had gotten to their feet and were now making their way up to their respective dorms. Harry felt a presence behind him and immediately stiffened preparing for an attack. When none came he turned around to see Albus Dumbledore standing behind him.
"Harry my boy; I wonder if you wouldn't join me in my office for a moment. There are some things I wished to discuss with you before you head back to the dorms.
"Of course, headmaster." Harry stated as he stood and walked out of the Great Hall with the tall man. Harry noticed that there were several disappointed looks at him as he walked next to the headmaster. Apparently the impromptu meeting with Dumbledore had ruined a few plans against the dark haired boy. Harry sighed resignedly as he kept pace with the older wizard.
Ten minutes later Harry sat in a chair facing the headmaster who was sitting behind his desk with his fingers steepled in front of him and his light blue eyes twinkling. Harry knew that the headmaster was waiting for him to speak, it was a game Harry had picked up on over the years, he who cracked first lost the battle of wills. Harry was determined not to lose this battle; it seemed childish but whatever victory however small was what Harry needed to keep his spirits up.
"Harry I'm pleasantly surprised how you managed to hold your temper during the feast, I was sure that you would have been on your feet challenging everyone." Dumbledore stated with half a smile.
"And what would I have accomplished with arguing Headmaster? Their opinions are what they are and no amount of me saying otherwise would do any good. And when you consider that my closest friends have that same opinion of me, it is very unlikely that others who do not know me would change their minds." Harry replied flatly showing no emotion, hiding his true feelings behind the mask of indifference that Walburga had taught him to use.
"I'm sure your friends don't subscribe to what was said in there." Dumbledore began.
"Are you serious Headmaster? Were you not in the Great Hall earlier?" Harry answered in disbelief. "Ron was leading the charge against me."
"Well you know very well how impulsive Mr. Weasley can be, I'm sure that deep down he believes you. He's just going through a difficult time. But I'm sure you'll be best mates again by tomorrow."
"He led the group that kicked me out of the tower last year!" Harry stated a little more heatedly than he wanted to. He quickly schooled his features again and stared coolly back at Dumbledore.
"That was last year; I'm sure he doesn't feel the same way now, and I know that Ms. Granger is quite fond of you and has always supported you."
Harry stared at the headmaster without blinking. "She stands with Weasley headmaster. She abandoned me at the beginning of last year like the rest of the school. If she was so fond of me and supported me, then she has an odd way of showing it. No one forced her to wear those blasted badges, I'm sure she just radiated fondness when the 'Potter Stinks' message flashed across the badge." Harry said softly but the underlying anger was there.
"I'm sure it was just a momentary lapse in her judgment Harry." Dumbledore tried to justify her actions. Harry just shook his head. "All I ask is that you give them another chance." Dumbledore smiled, but Harry said nothing and an uncomfortable silence soon filled the room.
"Well then, on to another topic. I'm worried about your safety Harry, being alone at Grimauld Place is not the best place for you to be. I would like you to reconsider returning to your Aunt and Uncle's house at the end of the school year…at least for part of the summer!" Dumbledore added quickly.
Harry started to laugh, it started soft and low but quickly turned into a full on belly laugh. "There is no way, no way headmaster that I will ever EVER return to that place." Harry stated firmly ceasing all laughter.
Dumbledore continued undaunted, he figured that the Dursleys would be a no go but using that as his opening he was hoping that Harry would be more pliant for the next suggestion.
"I suggest a compromise then Harry." Dumbledore started. Harry raised an eyebrow readying himself for the line of crap that was about to spew from the headmasters mouth. "I will allow you to leave the Dursley's and stay at Grimauld place if you allow some of the order to stay there as well. They will just be there to protect you and keep you company." Dumbledore smiled magnanimously.
Harry slowly stood from his chair at met the twinkling blue eyes of Dumbledore with his own killing curse green eyes. Harry placed both hands on the large desk and leaned forward his eyes staring through Dumbledore's and spoke softly but sternly through his teeth.
"Let me make this perfectly clear headmaster. You no longer dictate to me how I live my life; you do not get to decide where I go or what I do outside these walls. In case you have forgotten I am an emancipated minor and seen as an adult in the Wizarding World with all the rights and privileges associated with being an adult.
"I will not return to the Dursleys and I will not allow anyone from your bird watching club into my current home. Any attempt to usurp my rights as not only a legal adult, but also as a Lord to two Ancient and Noble Houses and you will find yourself answering to the Wizengamot. Now, if that is all headmaster it is late and I wish to retire." Harry then turned on his heel and walked out of the door and made his way to Gryffindor Tower.
Ten minutes later Harry arrived at the portrait of the Fat Lady, the guardian of Gryffindor Tower. Harry sighed heavily as he saw his trunk once again sitting on the floor. "I suppose I'm still not welcome into the tower?" Harry asked the painted woman.
"As if we would allow someone like you into the house of the brave and noble" The fat woman sniffed and then stepped out of her portrait.
"Just bloody fantastic!" Harry spat as he sat down heavily on his trunk. At least he had put protections on his trunk to keep it from being broken into or damaged.
"Now what am I supposed to do? Maybe McGonagall will over rule them? On second thought 'Fuck em!' if they don't want me then I sure as hell don't want anything to do with them." Harry spat and although his words were strong, Harry could not help the few tears that escaped from his eyes.
As he sat there mustering the courage to go and ask Madam Pomfrey for a bed again in the Hospital wing he noticed a glowing light just around the corner from where he sat. A gentle voice seemed to echo 'follow me.'
"Hello? Hello, who's there?" Harry called out but received no answer. Harry got up quickly shrunk his trunk and placing it in his pocket he followed the light and the voice. Gryffindor tower was located in the west wing of the seventh floor of the castle. The light was directing him toward the east wing of the seventh floor. It was an unused and rarely traveled part of the castle.
"Hello? W-who are you?" Harry called out to the ethereal voice that kept beckoning him to follow.
"Where are you leading me?" Harry asked getting a little worried. He drew his wand from his cloak and held it tightly in front of him.
Hogwarts students were used to seeing moving and speaking portraits and the many ghosts that inhabited the ancient school, and although the majority were benign…well no-one knew for sure about the Bloody Baron, but on the whole the ghost did not bother the students.
But Harry had yet to see a floating light that could speak to him and lead him to a seldom traveled part of the castle. But Harry being a curious sort and never afraid of an adventure followed the floating orb, keeping himself however prepared for anything.
Harry found himself in a corridor devoid of portraits, statues or any other form of decoration except for one solitary tapestry depicting the attempt of Barnabas the Barmy to teach trolls ballet. The orb stopped in front of a large section of wall.
The orb floated in front of him and spoke again in that gentle feminine voice. "Speak thy need young wizard and three times pass this wall of stone and I will provide thee with that which you require."
Harry raised an incredulous eyebrow at the orb and then at the wall. "What the hell does that mean?" Harry murmured. Shrugging his shoulder he began to pace back and forth in front of the bare wall and speaking his need. "I need a safe place to stay and while you're at it I could use a friend." Harry stated almost sarcastically but that was a true desire of his heart. Yes he needed a place to stay but he desperately wanted someone he could talk to, someone he could confide in, someone who understood what he was feeling inside.
Harry was so lost in his own thoughts as he walked back and forth in front of the wall, he didn't see the appearance of a large oak door until he heard the creak of the door opening. Harry stopped and stared at the formerly bare wall and gawked at the door that was slowly opening.
Harry cautiously poked his head through the door and saw a room very much like the Gryffindor common room but smaller and much cozier. There were medieval tapestries along the sides of the room a large hearth with a fire blazing in it. Above the hearth was a large portrait but apparently with no one in it. Two large comfortable looking chairs were facing the fire their backs toward Harry as he still looked in from the door and two comfy couches on either side of them.
To the left of the chairs along the wall were two other doors, he would have to find out what lay behind them. To the right was a medium sized table and along the wall a large bookcase with several dozen books. The room was dimly lit and warm and inviting.
Harry stepped into the room placing his wand back into his robes. His wonder filled eyes were roaming everywhere as he took in the decor. He approached the two chairs deciding to take a seat in front of the glowing fire. As he reached the chairs the door closed with a faint click which caused Harry to turn toward the door. Harry shrugged his shoulders and turned back around only to find a wand pointed straight at his face and a feminine voice growling at him…"Who the hell are you!?"