Hello, here is the promised sequel to Champion. For now I'll keep the story under the title Champion 2, but that can change once I think of a better one.
As always I don't own anything of the HP universe, I just get to play in JKR's sandbox.
Harry and Sirius sat at the breakfast table at Potter Manor, enjoying the breakfast Nella, the house elf in charge of the kitchen, had prepared for them. Both had tanned skin and in Harry's eyes, if you looked closer, you could see a content sparkle. Sirius was very happy seeing his godson like this as he had been quite down when he had returned from Hogwarts. No wonder after what he had gone through at the end of the last school year. Having to see one of your teachers brutally slaughtered by a Cerberus wasn't something any eleven year old boy could easily take and get over.
Sirius had organized a four week holiday for him and Harry and both had just returned to England two days prior. Thanks to Sirius working the whole time, including weekends, while Harry had been at school, Amelia Bones had permitted Sirius to take four weeks off from his job. Sirius had taken Harry to a Black property close to the beach in Apollo Bay, Australia. They had visited the Otway National Park which was close by, Sirius had taught Harry surfing and swimming, both had taken a muggle diving course and explored the reefs around Australia, which was very easy after having leased diving equipment in a shop. Sirius could after all, apparate them everywhere they wanted to go to.
Harry had loved seeing kangaroos, koala bears, alligators, wombats and other native Australian animals. They had watched a sunset over Ayer's Rock, visited the big cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, and of course made a lot of photos. Harry intended to make a whole album with just the photos from the Australia trip. For Harry's birthday in a few days a party at Potter Manor was planned. Harry's friends would arrive by floo which would be opened just for that day.
On all other days the floo only allowed a speaking function. It was one of the security measures that had been placed on the property to grant Harry the best possible protection. The wards around the property were old and really strong ones combined with the best ones the goblins had. The one reason why James and Lily hadn't hidden here when Voldemort was after them was that a property as big as this one couldn't completely be placed under a Fidelius charm and they didn't have the goblin wards at that time. The charm only managed to cover a certain area, like the manor itself, but not the grounds.
Harry, after hearing that reason asked if one charm wasn't enough, why not us more that overlapped each other. Sirius and Dumbledore had been baffled by the idea and were trying to work out if that would be possible. Dumbledore promised that if it was possible he would place the charms over the manor himself.
"You're not stealing Master's letters." They suddenly heard Rollo, one of the male house elves shout.
They looked at each other and stood up to look what this was about. From the door of the dining room they could see Rollo tagging on two letters and an unknown house elf in a dirty pillow case on the other side.
"What is the matter?" Sirius asked sternly.
Both house elves looked at Harry and Sirius.
"He's trying to steal Master Harry's letters, Master Sirius." Rollo said, not letting go of the letters.
"Dobby has to protect Harry Potter; he can't go to Hogwarts this year." Dobby said.
"And you really think stealing my mail would achieve that?" Harry asked sarcastically.
"Dobby thought if Harry Potter thought his friends didn't write him he wouldn't want to go back. He mustn't go back. It's too dangerous." Dobby said frantically.
"Why would going to Hogwarts be dangerous for Harry?" Sirius asked.
"Dobby can't say. But Harry Potter mustn't go to Hogwarts." Dobby insisted.
"If you don't tell me why I shouldn't go, I won't listen to you. I have certain things to learn and I don't intend to leave my friends that I finally have on their own if there really is a danger to them." Harry stated.
"So noble, he is thinking more about his friends than himself. But Harry Potter mustn't go back to Hogwarts. He is too good to lose. Dobby will find a way to keep Harry Potter safe." The elf said and popped away.
"Strange guy." Harry said.
"Not stranger than Kreacher. But I'm concerned about this warning. I'll inform Professor Dumbledore and Madam Bones that something will probably happen this year as well. At least this time we have a better warning. Even if I don't know how a house elf could go against his master's orders to not tell about what is going to happen in this way. Rollo, can you and the other house elves make sure that no elf that isn't a Potter elf can get through the wards?" Sirius asked.
"Of course, Master Sirius. We will take care of it and set up house elf wards." Rollo confirmed.
"Thank you, Rollo. I never thought about warding a property against house elves. How many more wouldn't think about it?" Sirius pondered. "We should also tell the goblins. They wouldn't like to know that a house elf that doesn't belong to House Potter could get through without being called."
Harry and Sirius had arranged to go shopping for Harry's things together with a few of Harry's friends. Terry and Neville would be there as would Hermione with her parents. Neville was glad to do his shopping without his grandmother and Terry's mother was okay with letting Terry get his things without her as long as Sirius was close by in case the kids needed help. They had organized to meet at the Leaky Cauldron at eleven. Harry's birthday had been one week prior and had been a great party. He had invited his friends and the ones he was on friendly terms with. So that came to his classmates from Ravenclaw, Susan and Hannah from the Hufflepuffs, Neville Hermione and Miranda from Gryffindor and Daphne, Blaize, Theodore and Tracy from Slytherin. Sirius had teased Harry that he was inviting more girls than boys.
He had got many happy birthday cards. Harry had the impression nearly all the former first years had sent him one. Some probably to keep appearances for being on friendly terms with him. He was sure that was what Draco Malfoy's card was about. Well, it was what he would do too in their position. He had a planer with all the dates for the birthdays of his friends and friendly acquaintances. He didn't plan on spending a lot of money on presents, just like a token that he thought about them. He had found out about a few traditional things that wizards gave to each other to show that the other was appreciated but no closer friend. For the girls Harry had, with the help of Neville, planted a batch of flowers. Neville said the flowers would tell the girl that got one that she was a cherished friend in case she was knowledgeable in those things of course.
Harry was lucky that none of the girls he planned to gift with such a flower had a birthday coming up before September. The flowers needed to grow first after all.
Now it was five minutes to eleven and Harry and Sirius arrived at the Leaky Cauldron. They looked around and saw Neville sitting at a table.
"Hey Neville." Harry called out. Neville looked up.
"Hi Harry, hello Mr Black. How are you?" Neville asked.
"Good, and you, Neville?" Harry asked.
"Good as well. I'm just glad to be away from home for a while. If I didn't have my greenhouses I would go stir crazy. Gran didn't like that I refused to follow her ideas how I had to be anymore. I have decided that I need to be my own person no matter what she thinks. It's hard and I sometimes fall back into old habits, but it's getting better." Neville said.
"I'm glad to hear that, Neville. I'm sure your parents would be proud of you, no matter what you decide you want to do." Sirius said.
"Thank you, Mr Black." Neville said, giving Sirius a small smile.
The floo activated again and Terry stepped out. Sirius quickly got rid of the ashes on him.
"Hi, guys, great day, isn't it?" Terry asked.
"Hi, Terry, yes it is. How's your family?" Neville asked.
"They're well. My little sister is a bit of a handful at the moment. She just doesn't seem to be able to sit still for five minutes. I think Mum was glad that I could get my things with you as she really is busy keeping an eye on Fionna." Terry said.
"How old is Fionna now?" Harry asked.
"Five. I'm the oldest, then the next one is my brother Alan and then the youngest Fionna. Alan will come to Hogwarts next year. He'll turn ten at the end of August. I wanted to look for a present for him while I'm here." Terry explained.
That moment the door to the Leaky Cauldron opened and Hermione and her parents stepped inside.
"Good morning, everyone." She greeted.
"Good morning Hermione. Good morning, Mr and Mrs Granger. I'm Sirius Black, Harry's godfather and guardian." Sirius introduced himself and shook the Grangers' hands.
"Good morning, nice to meet you, Mr Black. I'm Daniel Granger and this is my wife Emily." Hermione's father introduced himself.
"Mum, Dad, these are Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom and Terry Boot some of my classmates. Neville is in Gryffindor like me and Harry and Terry are in Ravenclaw." Hermione said.
"Nice to meet you all." Emily Granger said and got similar replies from the boys.
"So, what do you think about the booklist?" Terry asked Harry. The Hogwarts letters had come in yesterday and the amount of books for Defence was a bit strange.
"Except for the Lockhart books it seems pretty normal. It was to be expected that we needed the Standard Book of Spells: Grade 2 now that we are second years. But I wonder who in their right mind puts adventure books as the books for Defence Against the Dark Arts on the list." Harry said.
"Huh, they are adventure books?" Hermione asked surprised.
"Yes. I wouldn't believe too much what is written in those books. If Gilderoy Lockhart is only half as bad a liar as his brother Romanio, he can't be very impressive. My barrister sued that fool to kingdom come for publishing those Harry Potter story books and made people believe they were true and not fiction. That being next to the fact that I never allowed anybody but the goblins to use my name to advertise products." Harry grumbled.
"Oh. But why would anybody put them on our list then?" Hermione asked.
"I don't know. But perhaps the new Defence teacher is a fan of the fool; I heard many witches fancied him. The man is good at promoting himself." Terry said. "Dad thinks his books are rubbish."
"That's an understatement. I doubt he did any of the things he is praised for. He was a Slytherin two years below me. He couldn't even perform the easiest spells correctly. He was good at research though. He barely passed his OWLs with just A's in all the practical classes as far as I know. The theoretical ones were okay though. He behaved like a peacock at school. Talking about how he would become famous one day." Sirius informed them.
They went to the back to enter Diagon Alley. They first needed to get some gold from Gringotts. When they passed Flourish and Blott's they saw an announcement that Gilderoy Lockhart would be signing his new book from half past twelve to half past five.
"Damn, I don't have enough money on me to just get our books now. I first need to go to the bank and when we return the ponce will be here." Sirius said whining.
"Too bad. We will just have to keep to the back. They should keep up their normal business despite the book signing." Terry said.
"No need. I can forward the money and you can pay me back later." Harry said and held out his Gringotts Credit Card.
"You have credit cards in the wizarding world too?" Emily asked surprised.
"It's a new product Gringotts brought out around Easter. I am the poster boy for the cards. That's what I meant when I said I only allowed the goblins to use my name for advertising anything. And as it was my idea I get a share of the winnings." Harry explained.
Terry shook his head.
"Only you, Harry. How does this work?" He asked interested.
"You can pay with this card in a shop, from what I was told all the shops in Diagon Alley and the main ones in Hogsmeade agreed to offer payment with the card. For example if you want to buy new robes at Madam Malkin's. You use the card and the amount they cost will be transferred from your vault to Madam Malkin's vault at the end of the month. For adults that costs a fee of three per cent of the price, but no more than five galleons totally per purchase. Two per cent go to the goblins as they are the ones transferring the gold and one per cent to the shop. For students that attend a magical school the fee isn't taken. The purchases are listed in a file for each client and at the end of the month the gold is transferred. That's also why it is called a credit card because you only have to pay the gold at the end of the month. You can't use more gold though than is in your vault." Harry explained.
"And everybody can get such a card?" Neville asked.
"You have to be eleven at least. But otherwise, yes." Harry asked.
"What if anybody stole the card?" Sirius asked.
He hadn't researched Harry's involvement with the goblins in details. He had only made sure that everything was going right and that Harry wasn't in over his head.
"It's keyed to your blood. You bind the card to you with one drop of blood when you get it. I don't know how it really works, that's a secret of the goblins. I only supplied the idea, the system from my studies of Financial Management and my name for promoting it." Harry answered.
"Just how much do you earn with that?" Terry asked.
"I get fifteen per cent of the profit. The other eighty-five per cent stay with the goblins." Harry said.
"That's still very good. One of the better deals I know anybody made with the goblins. Dad said normally nobody gets more than ten percent. And that is if the goblins like you." Terry said.
"I can be very convincing. The key is to respect the goblins and really know what your idea is worth." Harry said.
The others nodded.
"So I guess we should just get the books over with. Let's make our visit to Flourish and Blott's and get away before the crazy housewives come here." Sirius said.
The boys laughed and everybody followed into Flourish and Blott's. They quickly got their books.
"Quite pricey those Lockhart books." Neville commented.
"Indeed. I'm just glad that we don't need more than one set for my family just now." Terry said.
"You're right. For families with more children this will be a real strain on the finances. How would the Weasleys do it?" Neville asked.
"I don't know. But why is one teacher allowed to demand so many expensive books? I mean think about the third years. They also need to get the books for their new electives." Hermione said.
"It shouldn't be that way. For this year we can't do anything anymore. The booklists are out already. I think I should see about that seat the Blacks had on the Board of Governors in the past. This is something they should prevent." Sirius said.
Harry paid for all the books with his card.
"Ah, yes the new credit card system from Gringotts. I didn't think much about it in the beginning, but it really pays off. It also is much safer than keeping so much money here in the shop." The man manning the cash-register said.
He put the card on the reading device and got the confirmation that everything was in order.
"Thanks for the purchase, Mr Potter." He said handing Harry his card back. "If you want to get the books signed, we have Mr Lockhart here later."
"No thanks, I have had enough trouble with one brother; I don't need the other one." Harry said.
He got a puzzled look, but Harry didn't say more about it.
The rest of the shopping trip was really nice. After they had avoided the publicity event at Flourish and Blott's they went to Gringotts where Sirius and Hermione got their own credit cards. As the system was based on the gold that was in a vault and there was no risk of Hermione falling into debt, Hermione's parents had no problem opening a vault for their daughter. They thought it would be much easier than always exchanging money.
"Is there a possibility for us to transfer money from a muggle bank to our daughter's vault without having to come here? Without her we can't even see the pub." Daniel asked.
"Certainly. We have a muggle dummy branch of Gringotts. You can transfer money from your account to your daughter's account there. It will be exchanged to galleons automatically." The goblin teller informed them. "These are the account number and other data you will need." He handed them a piece of parchment with the necessary information.
"Thank you. We would like to exchange some pounds into galleons as well now." Daniel said.
The transaction was quickly handled. Harry had been greeted with great respect by the goblins, which shocked many others that were getting gold. They had never seen the goblins treat a wizard like that. Harry thought it was funny. While Hermione and her parents took care of their business, the others had been taken down to their vaults to get some money as well. Neville and Terry had to first get the signatures from their parents or guardian to get the credit card. They had been given a pamphlet that explained the functions of the card and the costs with the form to give their parents or guardian. They both intended to get one. After all, as long as they were at school they were for free and they were really handy.
The whole visit took forty-five minutes and Harry also arranged a meeting with Corpnik to discuss new investment plans for in a week's time. Harry got the files for the enterprises Corpnik thought would be good to invest in to study them at home. After leaving Gringotts they saw a huge crowd around Flourish and Blott's and were glad they had dodged that bullet. They went to Madam Malkin's to get new robes, they all had grown out of their old ones and Harry led them to the apothecary that was run by Miss Ranamis.
"So you're buying your ingredients here?" Terry asked impressed with the much more appealing apothecary.
"Yes, Hagrid took me here last year. He overheard Professor Snape talking about always buying his ingredients here as they are of higher quality and still reasonably priced. Miss Ranamis was also the one who informed me about the two books." Harry said while looking at his list of ingredients he needed.
"Hello. Ah, Mr Potter, nice to see you again." Miss Ranamis greeted them.
"Hello, Miss Ranamis. How are you doing?" Harry asked politely.
"I'm doing fine, thank you, Mr Potter. Who are your friends?" She asked.
"These are Hermione Granger, Terry Boot and Neville Longbottom. The adults are my godfather Sirius Black and Hermione's parents Emily and Daniel Granger." Harry introduced them.
"Nice to meet you. I guess you are here to get the second year ingredients kit and replenish a few other things." Miss Ranamis said.
They all nodded.
"Well, let me see." She said and took out a folder with different lists in it. "Ah here we have it."
She took out four boxes with thirty partitions each and waved her wand. From the shelves little bottles, tins and paper-packs came flying towards the counter. She swished her wand and they sorted themselves into the compartments of the boxes.
"Wow, that's a useful trick." Daniel said impressed.
"Yes, I dislike the smell that storing ingredients in the open produces, therefore I have them in specially made smell-absorbing storage drawers. I know exactly where which ingredient is stored, so with a modified summoning charm I can call them all out as the drawers are keyed to my magical signature. The last one is a common packing spell." She informed him. "Are there any other ingredients you want besides the standard list?"
"Yes, I would like to get these ones." Harry said and handed her the list.
She had a look at it and raised an eyebrow.
"Ambitious to try brewing a fourth year potion as a second year. Are you sure you can handle it, Mr Potter?" She asked.
"I think so. I looked up the brewing process and while it requires a high level of precision I'm sure I can handle it." Harry said.
"Alright. But don't get reckless. And before you do anything with the potions let Professor Snape or Madam Pomfrey declare it correctly brewed." She advised him.
"I'll do that, Miss Ranamis." Harry promised.
Miss Ranamis took out a smaller box and waved her wand again and ten new containers for ingredients came flying to her. She sorted them into the smaller box and then wrapped everything up for all of them. They all paid for their purchases and left the shop again.
"What potion are you going to brew that is fourth year level, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"The Elixir of Clairvoyance. I want to know if I have the gift of sight. If I don't have it, taking Divination next year will be pointless." Harry informed her.
"Oh, okay, that makes sense." Hermione agreed. "Can I help you? It would be fascinating to brew such an advanced potion and to know if I have that gift." She asked.
"Sure. Though I doubt you have it as a muggleborn. It's one of the hereditary gifts and there really, really aren't many muggleborns that have any of those gifts. If you have any magical ancestors way back it could happen, but those cases as I said are really rare, so don't be disappointed." Harry said.
"Okay, that's good to know. Just out of interest, are there ways to find something like that out?" She asked.
"There is a test at Gringotts that you can take for a fee of ten galleons. The goblins will then create a family tree for you going back five centuries. Any more centuries and it costs extra. Though it wouldn't tell you anything about abilities." Harry said.
"I'll keep it in mind." She replied.
Their next stop was to stock up on parchment, quills and ink. Harry only used parchment and a quill for his essays and tests. For his notes in class he had cleared with the Professors to use a fountain pen and muggle notebooks. Even Professor Snape after seeing how well-structured Harry's Potions notebook was allowed him to use it in his class. Harry had started to build his own reaction table. He thought it would make learning easier if he had those together and could look them up easily instead of searching in books.
"Huh, why aren't you getting more parchment?" Hermione asked. As she didn't sit close to him in classes normally, she didn't know about his normal working procedures.
"I use muggle notebooks for taking notes in classes. It's much easier than handling mountains of loose parchment. I cleared it with the Professors and they didn't have a problem with it. I just need to use parchment and quill for my essays and tests." Harry explained.
"You should see his notebooks. This guy here is a perfectionist. If he wanted to he could make copies and sell them to others for preparation." Terry said grinning at Harry.
"It's called time management, Terry. If I keep my notes structured I save time looking up things in books during exam preparation. Why do you think I don't stress out at the end of the year?" Harry said.
"As if you didn't know those things anyway. I don't remember you answering any question wrong during our quizzes. Even in the beginning when we just had started reviewing the things we had learned until then." Terry replied.
"Merlin, give me a brain like that!" Neville theatrically exclaimed raising his hands over his head.
The others laughed.
"Hey, you didn't do badly at all at the end of year exams, Neville." Hermione said.
"No, I guess that's true. Coming in eleventh is pretty good." Neville said.
"It definitely is, Neville." Sirius confirmed.
Neville beamed. He didn't get much praise over his grades at home. Even with his good grades his grandmother didn't stop thinking he should be more like his father. Neville had ignored her and his uncle Algie. The last year at Hogwarts with finally making friends had boosted his confidence. Not returning for Christmas and Easter had also helped him. He intended to do it this year as well. Not being belittled during the break was great. And Christmas at Hogwarts was always good.
When they passed Flourish and Blott's again, they saw that the twit Lockhart was about to make an announcement.
"It is with great pleasure to me to announce that I have accept the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts from this September on." He just said, making Harry stop in his tracks.
"Tell me that isn't true." He said emotionlessly.
"I fear it is. Now I know why he put those ridiculous books on the booklist. Though I think it is definitely shameless to force families to get seven books for one subject." Sirius said.
Some people in the back heard Sirius' words and began whispering. The reporter from the Daily Prophet was also writing the comment down.
"Let's just go, we have better things to do than watching a fool that's in love with himself." Sirius added and led the children away before the twat could spot Harry and try to use him to get more publicity.
What none of them had noticed was that Rita Skeeter was present as well. Her fine-tuned reporter instinct told her that there could be a good story for her here. Since she had taken to properly research and write her articles truthfully, her loyal readers had multiplied and she got many favourable letters telling her how much her readers now enjoyed her articles. She had heard the comment about Lockhart putting seven of his books on the booklist for Hogwarts. She could vaguely remember Lockhart from Hogwarts. He hadn't been impressive back then. She would have to do some research again. And she would begin with the books. Perhaps there was something in them she could use.
Okay, that starts this part of the story off. Till next time.