Chapter 13 – Results of the Inquiry
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: What is 'The power he knows not' and how did Harry get it? How did Harry survive the killing curse and what does Sirius Black have to do with it? Who is the voice Harry is hearing in his head?
Essences of Lily – Chapter 13 – Results of the Inquiry
Number Four Privet Drive Evening of August 28th, 1988
Harry 'slid' back to Number Four Privet drive exhausted and sad. Going into his bedroom, he locked the door, threw himself on his bed, and started to cry uncontrollable.
He felt betrayed, he felt lost, and he felt like an eight-year-old boy who had just had his world torn apart.
The person his parents trusted more then anyone else in the world had completely betrayed their trust. What would have happened if Hagrid hadn't taken him away from Sirius? Or if Sirius had followed Hagrid to Hogwarts? Or if Harry would have been returned to Sirius on the morning of November 2nd before he had found Peter?
But none of that mattered any more. All of that was in the past and nothing he could do could change that.
And now his future seemed to be set as well. He had decided to be a Paladin, when most kids his age are thinking about being a fireman, or a policeman, or a schoolteacher. He's eight-years-old for crying out loud! Not 18!
He had even performed his first few tasks as a Paladin – He had pledged on his life and his magic to help and support the goblin nation; and he had challenged, and he had 'judged' Professor Dumbledore's intent as to his actions regarding his parents Will.
Did He even realize what the pledge meant? What if Professor Dumbledore would not have been 'light' in his intent? What would he have done as a Paladin? Could he have 'stricken down' Professor Dumbledore? Could he kill if called upon?
Harry knew he did not have the life experience, knowledge, judgment or training to really know what he would be required to do. It must not have been too bad since 'Ma' didn't try to stop him from saying the pledge, but Harry was now trying to figure out what it really meant and he knew that he couldn't do it by himself.
"It's not fair!" He said to himself as his little fist hit the pillow. "When am I going to get a 'normal' childhood? Why do I have to be the one that grows up so fast?"
"First my parents are killed, then I get sent to this hell hole, then I find out I have all of these neat powers, but I can't use them in front of the muggles.
Harry hadn't changed out of his cloths after coming from the bank. As he lay on his bed, he slowly cried himself to sleep.
'Ma' for her part also felt sad at Harry's loss of faith in humanity. She had tried to comfort him by singing lullabies as she had when he was younger. She didn't like seeing Harry having to grow up so fast. She had been very proud of him for the way he handled the situation with the Goblins, but looking back on it now, she could see how that act had robbed a great deal of his childhood. She understood the pledge. She had been sure that Dumbledore would pass the judgment of Durendal, but she could see the situation Harry was currently in. 'What if Dumbledore would not have passed the judgment? What would have been expected of Harry then as a Paladin, and a sworn ally of the goblins?' 'Ma' found herself trembling at the thought.
'Ma' was aware that Harry was asleep now. His mind was still worried over the actions of the day, but very soon, he would be with her in his subconscious where she could hug him and hold him and talk to him about all everything that had happened that day. At least, that is what she had imagined would happen.
'Ma' notices that Harry was sleeping deeper the usually. There also seemed to be another power completely surrounding Harry. 'Ma' noticed on the edge of the landscape she created in Harry's mind a 'fog' starting to develop. There was nothing malevolent regarding the fog, just the opposite, there was a calming, peaceful feeling coming from that direction. It seemed to radiate the purest love and power she had ever felt.
Slowly, in the midst of the fog, 'Ma' saw the tower of a medieval castle slowly materialize. The landscape expanded to include a mote, drawbridge, road, and items from a time long since pasted. After a period of time, 'Ma' became aware of a solider, or more specifically, a knight walking out of the fog, down the path towards her.
'Forgive me fair Lady. It seems that I have waken from a long slumber. Could you kindly tell me, I pray thee, what year this may be? Where is this place; how did I come to get here; and how pray tell did you come to be in this place also. For I know this much, it is a place of the mind, for I had long ago dwelt in a place like this to help my friend Prince Roland.'
'Ma' was in shock for a few moments before reality struck her. This was Durendal – or the essences and power that resided in the sword.
Curtsying low 'Ma' addressed the knight before her, 'My lord. You are in the year of our Lord 1988. This place is the mind of my son, Harry James Potter. You are here now because my son currently holds 'Durendal', the sword of power given to the famed paladin Roland. In life I was known as Lily Evens Potter, I am the essence of her thoughts, knowledge, and experience. I was created here as a dark wizard killed my person in life.'
'You have answered well Lady Potter. I knew of you and your son when he extended is magic in the shop prior. Please forgive me for testing you this way.'
'How should I address you kind sir? I know you are not Roland, but are the essences and power of the blessed sword Durendal.'
'That issue shall be addressed later when your blessed son joins us. If you will forgive me, I have placed him in a well-deserved dreamless sleep. It is you I wish to talk to first.'
'In life, you were his mother, and loved him deeper then all but a few women have ever loved their sons, however, I am concerned for his welfare. He has taken upon his small shoulders a task that he is ill prepared for. It is not that he lacks power, desire, drive, or determination. It is simply that he has not been schooled in the way of the paladin yet. He has not studied as a page or squire yet he strives to do the work of a knight, and while he has acquainted himself well so far, there is still much he does not know and understand. I do not fault you in this matter, I know it was but a few days previous that you had even thought of him as a paladin, but I ask that I be permitted to help teach and train him.'
'It would normally take seven years to teach and train your son in all the duties of a page, but we do not have that much time, do we milady?'
'No sir, you speak the truth. Harry is also a child of prophecy. It would seem that he is the only person who can possible vanquish the Dark Lord who will return, Voldemort.'
'Ah yes, this Voldemort represents to evil what your son represent for good. Yet I also sense a small part of the anti-paladin here in your son. Could you please show me the source?'
'Ma' took Durendal to look at Harry's magical power core. He was impressed with the size of the core for one so young. When he saw where 'Tom Riddle's' power core fragment had attached it's self to Harry's he was concerned.
'The fact that the core is still valid proves that this 'Tom Riddle' is not fully passed from this world.' Durendal said. 'This will be a source of great knowledge and greater temptation for young Harry as he grows older. I wish it were simply a matter of removing this vial poison from your son, but this is something that he will have to overcome by himself. It will be our responsibility to see that he is trained and knows well the difference between good and evil – even the gentle shades of gray such as the ones which the once great wizard Dumbledore has succumbed to.'
'If Harry cannot avoid these things, I fear he will be far worse then either Dumbledore or Voldemort.'
'Lady Potter, though I am but the essences of thy son's blade, I offer myself to also be his mentor and teacher. To help led Harry on the true path of a paladin.'
' I have noticed in his mind that we are currently residing in a magical object of many chambers and that in one of these chambers, you have the ability to slow the affects of time by many fold.'
'Yes my lord, chamber eight; the rites and rituals chamber. Slowing time is only one of its functions. Right now Harry is too young to participate in any of the rituals.'
'I would encourage you to use caution when performing rituals in this chamber. Young master Harry has already expanded his core and mind to the point where it may actually be harmful to do it more using another ritual. Just continue using the spells he has in the past and he should be alright.'
'I have taken it upon my self to include the time dilatation function in the formation of the castle you see yonder. While young master Harry is there, he will experience a similar affect while here in his mind. That is to say, of every eight hours he spends here, it shall be ten days in the castle. He will only be able to use this function once in a 24 hour period. That will give me time to teach him the ways of the paladin from a youth and to provide him with a strong body as well as a strong spirit.'
'I think that Harry should be the one to make that decision. I of course will support him in whatever he decides. I do feel that it is in Harry's best interest to learn the basics before goes much further. Could you please let him come here now?' 'Ma' asked.
Almost before 'Ma' had finished asking Durendal to let Harry come up and join them, she saw him walking through the fog into the clearing close to her.
'Wow 'Ma'! I love what you've done to the place! Neat castle. Who's is it?'
'Yours my Liege.' Answered Durendal. Harry had not noticed him at first. When Durendal spoke, Harry reacted by getting into a defensive stance, ready for action as his 'Ma' had taught him.
'Please be not afraid young master. I mean neither you nor Lady Potter any harm. I am the essence of the sword formerly known as Durendal. Since I am in your possession, you are my master, and as such, have the right to either pronounce a new name that I will be known as, or you may retain my current name.' Durendal said with a bow.
'I think l like your current name. It sounds pretty cool, and I liked the goblins reaction when they saw that I was carrying you.' Said Harry.
'Thank you my lord. I have grown rather fond of the name to tell the truth.'
'Now, how about the castle. 'Ma', do you know of any other castle's owned by the Potter's?'
'I believe there is one in Scotland, and possible the old family fortress somewhere in England.'
'So why don't we call this castle 'Potter in the Mind'? I know it sounds corny, but what do you expect from an eight year old?'
'That will suffice for now my lord.' Came Durendal's replied.
Durendal and 'Ma' then told Harry everything they had talked about, and how time would be slowed down even further in the castle. It would still take a little more then 255 'outside' days to accomplish the seven years worth of training as a page, and another 255 'outside' days to complete the training of a squire – or as Durendal referred to them 'Shield bearer' or 'arms bearer' meaning that he would have to learn how to take care of, and properly use many different types of weapons. If Harry were to take advantage of the time dilatation in chamber eight, it would take a full factor off of the training time from 255 days to 25.5 days! And since he could only use the chamber for eight hours a day, he would still have time to a kid and experience a 'normal' life. Harry was thrilled to actually receive training from Durendal.
Harry woke from his nap feeling more complete. He now had someone who could actually show him what it meant to be a paladin, and how to train for it. The only setback being he would have to be in a meditative state to go to 'Potter in the Mind'. Now if he could just get someone in the 'outside' world to help him as a young boy and wizard.
The Board of Inquiry
All the people in the Conference room holding the Board of Inquiry were looking in awe at the place young Harry had stood just a few moments ago. The goblins in the group knew that Harry could use some house elf magic, and had surmised that he has just thought that he had 'modified' the way the house elf's become invisible, and then 'slid' home. Professor Dumbledore was shocked greatly, and was lucky to have made it back to his chair before collapsing into it.
The witches and wizards though had no idea Harry could do that. After several minutes, Tiberius Ogden cleared his throat, and continued. "There are still a few issues that have not been covered from the content of the Will."
"Professor Dumbledore, have you had any contact with Lord-Baron Potter since his eighth birthday to discuss the management of his families businesses?"
"I am sorry to say, no."
"Have you been using the right of Lord-Baron Potter to vote for him in his stead?"
"Alas, that is the only point that I can answer – yes – to."
"Professor Dumbledore, do you have anything to say for yourself with regards to your actions as executor of James and Lily Potter's will?"
Looking unfazed and sure of himself, Professor Dumbledore looked at the members of the Board of Inquiry with his usual twinkle in his eye. "I know it would appear to those not aware of all the facts, with regards to young Mr. Potter, but I feel that under the circumstance that provisions stated in James and Lily's will were not in the best interest of the wizarding world, or of the greater good. It was with great thought and consideration that I placed Harry in a situation where he could grow up as a normal young man and not feel the weight of the entire wizarding world on his young shoulders. I can assure you that I have always had only Harry's best interest, and those of the wizarding worlds at heart."
The members of the board were shocked and a little taken back at the brazen attitude displayed by the one wizard, who, more then most, was looked upon at a leader of the light, and doing what was right.
"How many times have you visited Lord Potter at his current location since you have placed him there? Madam Bones asked.
"Alas, I have only had occasion to visit Mr. Potters abode once in the past seven years, and that was at night."
"Were you able to talk to Lord Potter at that time? Where did you find him located at? What was the reason for the visit?"
"Again, Mr. Potter and the rest of the residents of the house were sleeping at the time of the visit, so no, I did not have the opportunity to talk to him at that time. As I recall, young Mr. Potter must have fallen asleep prior to making it to his room, for I found him in one of the cupboards directly under the stairs. He appeared to be sleeping quite soundly at the time. As to why I was there, one of the main wards around the house had indicated that there may have been some problems at the residence, but again, when I arrived, I found all to be quite and peaceful."
"Professor Dumbledore, would it surprise you to know that the cupboard you found Lord Potter in was in fact his assigned room at the Dursley's?" Ragnok asked. "We have irrefutable evidence that the Dursley's have been using Lord Potter for their personal house elf since he was the age of three."
Both Remus and Professor McGonagall gasp on hearing this. What had Albus done to that sweet young boy? Minerva thought back to the time she spent watching the Dursleys before Albus brought Harry there. Hearing this just confirmed that indeed, they were the worst type of muggles if they would treat their own flesh and blood no better that a house elf.
For his part, Dumbledore looked shocked – but only for a moment. "I'm sure there must be some misunderstanding. Family does not treat their members that way."
"And what do ya base that notion on Albus?" Moody asked. "Min, didn't you say you watched those muggles before Albus brought young Potter there? What was your opinion of them?"
Shifting nervously, Professor McGonagall stood up from her chair, stepped forward, and addressed the board.
"Yes Alastor, I spent the entire day watching them to see what type of people they were. To see if they had changed any since I met them during a baby-shower that had been held for both Petunia and Lily. I observed that they were still just as petty, just as closed-minded, and just as mean if not more so now than they were then. I argued with Albus not to leave him there." She lowered her head, and a tear started rolling down her cheek. "But Albus assured me that Harry would be protected there, and would grow up loved. I'm sorry Lily, I failed your son."
Turning and looking at Albus she fixed him with the hardest, coldest stare she could. "I would have taken him in an instant as raised him as Lily and James would have wanted. BUT YOU DIDN'T EVEN GIVE ME A CHANCE! I WOULD HAVE SHOWN HIM LOVE! I WOULD HAVE RAISED KNOWING WHO HIS PARENTS WERE, AND HOW THEY LOVED HIM! BUT YOU DIDN'T EVEN GIVE ME A CHANCE!"
Minerva broke down and started to cry uncontrollable. "You didn't give me a chance!" She said weakly. Remus stood up and gathered Professor McGonagall by the shoulders and just held her. She fell into his grasp, and he helped her back to her chair. The look he was giving his old headmaster was one of hate and great disappointment. If Dumbledore would have been watching, he would have noticed the same look from Professor Flitwick as well.
During this time, Professor Dumbledore kept his grandfatherly appearance, with an expression that would say that he didn't understand why Professor McGonagall and Remus would be so mad at him. He was doing what was for the Greater Good. Surely they understood that.
After thing were settled down, Goldridge addressed the other members of the Board. "Normally at this time the Board of Inquiry would dismiss to see if just cause exists for the guardian to be removed having failed in their fiduciary responsibilities, or if the executor has failed to uphold and execute the terms of the Will. However, I do not believe such a break is necessary in light of the evidence presented. I now poll the other Board members to see if they feel that such a recess is warranted.
Ragnok? Do you feel that Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore has faithfully fulfilled his responsibility as executor of the James and Lily Potter will, and as such, should remain in that position?"
"Most defiantly not!"
"Sorry Albus. No."
"Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, you are hereby removed as executor of the Will of James Harold, and Lily Evens Potter. You are also released of your duty as magical guardian of Lord-Baron Harry James Potter. All rights, privileges and duties are revoked. Custody of any and all documents, keys or artifacts belonging to the Potter estate is to be returned to this Board of Inquiry by the end of the day. You are bound by your magic to see that this is done properly and correctly. Not as you see fit, or what you believe is in the interest of the 'Greater Good', but to be fully and completely accomplished. You are also to be placed on probation with Gringotts for an undetermined time."
"You will not be recognized as a trustee or executor in any further business dealing from this time forth."
"If at some future time, Durendal, the sword of Roland… the sword of Lord Potter, finds you worthy, these restrictions will be lifted. Do you understand the ruling of this Board?"
Professor Dumbledore was shocked at the ruling of the Board. Indeed, it seemed that he aged fifty years as he heard the decision of the Board announced. He slowly lowered his head into his hands as the magnitude of the wrongs he had committed became apparent to him. Not only against James, Lily, and Harry, but against many – like Remus Lupin and others who had looked to him for help and guidance, and had placed him on a pedestal. It would now appear that that pedestal was made with a base of sand.
However, there was another part of Professor Dumbledore that felt like a little spoiled brat that had just got his hand caught in the cookie jar for the first time after many, many years. That it was not fair for others to correct HIM. He felt to some degree that HE knew what was best for them all. But as he reviewed his activities over the last fifty plus years, he recognized he had been wrong.
In somewhat of an epiphany (an 'Ah ha' moment for you and me), Albus could see that he did not have the right to make decisions for others. He saw how he had adversely affected many people, even entire families for generations and most of the time, for the worse – just for his personal gain, power or prestige.
This had to stop. He would have to find someway of making restitution for everything he had taken. The first step would start today, with the Potter's and their estate.
"Yes Goldridge." He said quietly.
"Then, so mote it be." Goldridge stated.
"So mote it be." The Headmaster repeated and a flash of magic acknowledged the oath he had taken. "Now, if the Board will excuse me, I have many items that need to be returned. With that, the old Headmaster arose from his chair, bowed to the Board members. Turned to the other three people in the chamber he said, with a genuine tear in his eye: "I pray in time you too will be able to forgive me of the shortcomings you have seen this day. I pledge to improve in the way I live my life." With that, a chastened, and slightly humbled Headmaster left the conference room.
Professors McGonagall and Flitwick just stared at the Headmaster as he left, not knowing what to think of the man who had been their Headmaster and friend for over 50 years. Why had they not seen it before? They know there were times where he did things for the 'greater good' for Hogwarts, but had he also done it to individual people and families? They both wondered, 'How much has he manipulated ME over the last 50 years?'
Remus, for his part could not even look at the Headmaster. Any respect he had for the man had just been destroyed over the course of the last 30 minutes. He had ignored James and Lily's wishes in their will; he had placed Harry with the worst type of magic hating muggles he could find. He had kept him in poverty so that he would be 'forced' to do his bidding with the werewolves. Had he known about the secret keeper switch? If he did, he basically killed James and Lily, and had Sirius shipped off to Azkaban just to get him out of the way.
He wanted to rip the Headmaster limb from limb for hurting so many people he knew and loved, but he knew that the person who had first claim on the Headmaster would be Harry. He wanted to be with Harry so bad right now. How was this young boy holding up with everything go to hell all around him?
"There will be a twenty minute break after which a new executor and magical guardian will be appointed for Lord-Baron Harry James Potter.
You will find some tea and biscuits on the table in the back of the room." Goldridge announced. He and the other Board members retired to the observation room to have their own tea and biscuits and to talk about the next part of their meeting.
Professor McGonagall got up and went to the back of the room. She conjured a smaller table and chairs and levitated the refreshments to it, then poured three cups and looked back at the others.
"Come on you two, we don't have all day. I'm just as shocked as you are… devastated really," she said sadly, "but we have to move on and see what we can do that is in Harry's best interest. May James and Lily forgive me for not checking on him sooner."
"You're right of course Minerva. I just can't get over it though! I thought I knew Albus, but to see what he has done as executor of the Potter's will… its downright criminal! I'm surprised Amelia, or Mad-eye didn't come down here and arrest him!" Professor Flitwick said.
"I don't know about you two, but I'm still thinking about what Harry said regarding Sirius not being the secret keeper." Remus started out, sipping his tea.
"Lily and James had three possibilities for their secret-keeper, Sirius, Peter, and me. Lily wanted me, but James thought Sirius would be a better choice. James was hesitant with me due to my condition, and the fact that Voldemort was so active in recruiting my kind. The only thing I can think of is that Sirius must have suggested a 'diversion'."
"Now, tell me Professor Flitwick, if you were He-who-must-not-be-named, and one of your enemies were going into hiding, and using one of the three mentioned individuals as a secret keeper, who do you think he would use?"
"Why, Mr. Black of course. Those two were more like brothers then friends… not meaning to hurt your feelings Remus, but you know what I mean… don't you?"
"Yes Professor, don't worry about it, I know exactly what you mean."
"Professor McGonagall, who do you think James would pick?"
"Why Black of course. I must agree with Filius, those two were brothers in every way but blood."
"But if what Harry said is correct, and Sirius was not the secret keep, then who was and why? Why was Sirius caught after he had 'cornered' Peter two days later?"
"They changed secret-keepers?"
"They changed secret-keepers!"
"Oh my word! Sirius is innocent! We've got to get him out of Azkaban, but how? Without Peter's body there isn't a way." Minerva stated sadly.
"That's a problem we can take on later. Right now, we have another problem before us. I'm assuming both of you would like to involved in raising Harry wouldn't you?" Ask Professor Flitwick.
"Of course Filius, you know James and Lily were not only in my house, but they were also two of my favorite students and after graduation, I would have liked to have considered them good friends" answered Professor McGonagall.
"You don't have to ask me twice. James and Lily were two of my dearest friends. I loved going to their house and playing with Harry. It was some of the only times I didn't feel alone. Harry and his family made me feel complete." Said Remus with a tear in his eyes and a lump in his throat as he thought about the time he had spent with the Potter's.
"Well then, I have a proposal for both of you." The diminutive Professor said.
"When the Board of Inquiry comes back in, they will have two functions: one, to appoint a new executor over the Potter's Will, and two, to appoint a magical guardian for Harry. I propose that we work together so that we can all have an active input into his life."
"That sounds great Professor, what do you have in mind?" Remus was concerned about the extent he could really be in Harry's life because of his Lycanthrope.
"I want you both to listen to everything I have to say before you interrupt alright? Good. Now, according to the term of the Will, the executor cannot be considered for the position of guardian, but must meet with Harry often to talk about his business holdings, and train him in business management and the wizarding world in general. Since there is still a bias against those of us who are not 'normal' by wizarding standards, Remus and I would have a hard time being accepted as guardian."
"What I propose is that Minerva, you be appointed as Harry's guardian and I be the executor of the will."
Remus was feeling a bit left out at this point, but Filius quickly added, "Remus, I will not leave you out. You see, even though the wizarding world will hear that Min is Harry's new guardian, she is going to need a great deal of help in watching a young child as she must also fulfill her responsibilities as the deputy headmistress, and transfiguration professor, and may only be able to spend oh, I don't know, maybe six to eight days a month with the young man. Now who do you think she could get to watch Harry that knew both of his parents, and would make sure the young man grew up knowing all about the 'alleged' pranks they pulled while at Hogwarts?"
By this time Remus was smiling. He knew exactly what Professor Flitwick was doing. The wizarding world would never accept a werewolf as guardian over Harry, but he could 'visit' Harry as much as he wanted or have Harry over with Professor McGonagall as the guardian of record. He looked at both professors to make sure he had heard everything correct. When he saw they were both smiling, Remus sat down his cup and put his head in his hands and started to cry. Professor McGonagall got up and came around to Remus to see what the matter was.
"Thank you." He whispered. "Thank you so very, very much!"
As the members of the Board of Inquiry entered the Observation room, a general sigh of relief was has from the wizards.
"I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Albus Dumbledore, the pillar of all that is good, caught failing to perform his duty to a family of the light!" Tiberius Ogden stated.
"If these matters had been brought out in the Wizengamot he would be stripped of his position, arrested, and in all probability, sent to Azkaban." Said Madam Bones coldly. "To think that he was completely above the law as to not even make the attempt to execute the Potter's Will! And why do I get the impression there is much more to the story then you are letting us know Goldridge?"
"Because you have a keen mind and an incredible intellect." Replied Goldridge as he directed the party to the table with the tea and biscuits."
"If ya don't mind, I'll just keep to my hip flask." Said Mad-eye. "I thought Albus was playing fast and loose with some of the rules, but I had no idea it had gone this far. Ha, it looks like this little Potter's going to be one to look out for. If he can face down Dumbledore at eight, maybe he can face down ol' snake-face by the time he graduates Hogwarts, if not before."
"Goldridge, what did the Potter boy mean when he said that Black wasn't a Death-eater, or the Secret Keeper for the Potter's?"
Goldridge set down his cup of tea and looked at the witch and wizards in front of him seriously.
"Information has been brought to our attention from Lord-Baron Potter that clearly shows that Sirius Black was not the Secret Keeper of the Potter's, and is, in fact innocent of the crimes he was accused of, but never put on trial for."
Madam Bones, Mr. Ogden, and Mad-eye all put their drinks down, and looked at Goldridge with a very shocked expression on their faces.
"I presume you have this evidence here?" Madam Bones asked.
Goldridge smiled, showing his pointy teeth, and with a nod, had Griphook bring over the Auror Pensive, placing it on the table.
"I can attest to the contents of this pensive as being a true and accurate recording of the selection of the Potter secret-keeper, and of the evening of October 31, 1981. These memories were taken from Lord Potter in my presence, and a copy has been stored in this pensive since that time. Before allowing you to view these memories, however, I must have you each swear an oath that you will not disclose any secrets you may find out regarding Lord Potter. That is the only condition he has placed on viewing the contents of this pensive."
The three quickly gave their oath, and were permitted to enter the pensive to review the events of that day.
The first on out was Tiberius Ogden. He was looking pale and white as he came face to face with the image of Lord Voldemort. He took out a bottle of 'Ogden's finest Firewhiskey' from his robe and poured himself a large drink.
Much later, Madam Bones and Mad-eye Moody came out also looking pale and shaking. Mad-eye grabbed a glass and pushed it towards Tiberius as if asking for a drink. Tiberius looked up at Moody since he never drank from anything but his hip flask. "Shut up and just pour," was all Mad-eye said.
Madam Bones also accepted a glass of Ogden's finest gratefully saying, "Thank you Tiberius, and bless your great, great grandfather for coming up with such a fine beverage."
"Auror Moody, I have a special assignment for you when these proceedings are complete. You are to travel to Azkaban Prison and interview the prisoner Sirius Black. Take an auror pensive with you so that you can capture his memories of the items in question, that being; was he, or was he not the Potter's Secret Keeper. If he is not, does he know who the Secret Keeper was? And is he now, or has he ever been a Death-eater. If he answers these questions to your satisfaction, I am authorizing you to invoke the Theta protocol. We may not be permitted to take Mr. Black from Azkaban yet, but we should do everything we can to see that he is protected from the affects of the Dementors. Of course, no one outside of this room will know of this."
"Aye, I'll do that as quickly as I can."
Madam Bones then turned to Ragnok and Goldridge and said, "It is obvious that there were two different people's prospective of the attach in this pensive from slightly differing points of view. My main question is… How are the memories of Lily Potter clearly present here? We see her being killed right in front of us, but we also see the killing curse from her perspective. How is that possible?"
Ragnok smiles as simply states, "That is for Lord Potter to address, not us. But now maybe you can see why we asked for an oath before going into the pensive."
"Indeed. I must remember to keep an eye on this young Lord Potter. I have a niece about the same age as him; she should be starting Hogwarts in about three years. It would be well for her to keep an eye open as well on this young man."
"Oh Amelia, don't you think it's a bit early to start setting up Susan with a prospective boyfriend? They're only eight! Not eighteen!" Laughed Tiberius.
"Never you mind, by the looks of things Lord Potter would be a fine catch for any family. I was just thinking… Why not mine?" They all laughed at the moment of levity. However, things turned serious again as those who had just viewed the memories in the pensive thought about what they had just seen.
"Why didn't Lord Potter continue the memory to include how he was able to banish the Dark Lord all those years ago? Is there something he is hiding? How has he survived with those muggle relatives for so long? I remember meeting them several years ago after Death-eaters attacked a baby-shower that was being held at the Dursley's home just before Lord Potter was born. I must say, they were two of the most self-centered, repulsive individuals I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. If they treated a full-grown witch as poorly as they did me, then how would they have treated a magical infant? I shutter to think of the life he has had to lead these last seven years." This was as maternal as Madam Bones had ever felt. She didn't know why, but something about this young man drew her to him.
"We still have to determine who will be the new executor of the Will and Guardian for Harry." Tiberius said.
"If you will excuse me," Griphook said, "I believe the others may have come up with a viable solution for that." He then went on to explain the proposal Professor Flitwick had made to the others, and what their reaction had been. After he had finished his observations, he found Mad-eye looking at him very carefully.
"What? I was just standing close to them in case they needed any further refreshments. Is it my fault they didn't notice me?"
Moody just smiled, "You must be Ragnok's son."
"H… how did you know?" Griphook asked.
"Well, let's say the fruit doesn't fall to far from the tree with this one." Moody replied.
"Well my Lady, gentlemen, it is getting late and we still have to formally finish up some business before dismissing this Board. Shall we return to the Conference room?" Goldridge asked.
With Griphook holding the door open, the members of the Board of Inquiry reentered the Conference room.
Remus and the two professors had been so busy planning and visiting with each other, that they were not aware of the additional time the Board had taken reviewing the memories in the pensive of the Potter's downfall almost seven years ago.
"Please excuse our tardiness. A matter of great importance came up that had to be dealt with immediately. Now, if you all please sit we have a few questions we wish to ask each of you."
Goldridge then asked each candidate in turn if they were aware of Professor Dumbledore's scheming, how they felt about Harry and how they felt they could be of the most help in raising him.
Remus and the others were excited to answer the questions that Goldridge had for them. In the end, it was just as they had wished. Professor Flitwick was appointed executor of the Will, and Professor McGonagall was appointed as his magical guardian. Remus was encouraged to stay as close as he could to Harry during the coming years, as he would need a 'father figure' to help raise him.
Professor Flitwick was about to fulfill his first act as the executor of the Potter's Will when Ragnok stopped him.
"I think it would be wise for us to call Lord Potter here so that he may witness what is about to take place. Sassy?"
Immediately Sassy appeared in the center of the Conference room facing the Board of Inquiry. This time she was dressed in a formal robe bearing the Potter seal on it. "My lords and ladys", she bowed, "How may I help you?"
Ragnok continued, "We were hoping Lord-Baron Potter would be available to talk to us before we conclude these proceedings. Could you please bring him here? We have come to a decision as to who will be the executor, and his guardian, and request his person so that he may be introduced to them."
Sassy bowed again and was gone. Within a minute, both Harry and Sassy returned. Everyone could tell that Harry had been crying, but decided not to bring it up at the time.
Goldridge welcomed Harry back, and introduced him to Professor Flitwick as the Executor, and Professor McGonagall as his guardian. For her part, Professor McGonagall came over and hugged Harry as if she really loved him, a tear escaping from the corner of her eye. Harry didn't know what to do since no one had ever physically given him a hug.
"Harry, I knew your parents the whole time they attended Hogwarts, and afterward when they were married before you were born. I have some wonderful stories that I could tell you about them as they were growing up." She smiled as she looked down at him. Harry also smiled, but the smile didn't quite reach his eyes. He was looking over at the other wizard who was in the room.
Professor McGonagall let him go and whispered in his ear, "I hope you'll forgive me Harry, but I will be spending a lot of time at school teaching. So I've made arrangements with Remus to look after you while I'm gone."
Since he had seen Remus, he had felt a close connection to him. He had memories of Remus when he came over and played with him while for hours. But did Remus remember him? After all he was just a little baby when Remus had last seen him. He wondered it Remus remembered him from Diagon Alley when he came out of Ollivander's so quickly that he and knocked him down?
Harry did want to get to know Remus. He had known his parents. He had played with him as a little baby, but did he want know Harry now? Would there be too many bad memories about his parents? What did the future hold for Harry and Remus? But Remus still stood there smiling at him like he just won the Lotto.
Harry looked over at her and saw a big smile on her face. It took him a few moments to realize what they were trying to do. Slowly, Harry walked over to Remus and extended his had to shook Remus'. "Hello, Mr. Lupin, My name is Harry, Harry Potter."
Remus looked at Harry, then he looked at the hand that was extended, then he looked at Harry again, then stepped forward, scooped Harry up in his arms, and lifted him up in the air and hugged him as if his life depended on it.
"Oh Harry! I've been so worried about you! You look so much like James… But you have Lily's eyes!
Remus buried his head in the young boy's shoulder and cried.
Remus needed this cry to cleanse his trampled soul and allow it to heal.
"Oh Harry, you don't know how long I looked for you after Sirius was sent to Azkaban. Professor Dumbledore would only tell us that you were being well taken care of. And then when I saw you in Diagon Alley, I couldn't believe it! I called out for you, but when I got around the corner, you were gone." Getting a little more control over his emotions, he let Harry down and wiped his eyes.
"Sorry about that. I just never thought this day would really come about. I thought I would have to go through out the rest of my life bereft of friends and loved ones. I just feel so good right now. I didn't mean to make a scene."
"That's quite alright Remus. It's completely understandable after the life you've had to led because of you condition." Professor McGonagall said.
Remus panicked looked at Harry to see if he was aware of his problem. Harry just looked up at him smiled, and said, "I know about your little 'furry' problem once a month, and it doesn't bother me a bit. I just hope that some time soon I can learn how to change so I can keep you company too."
"We'll have no illegal animagus running around here young man." Professor McGonagall said in her best teacher's voice
Harry looked at Remus, smiled and said, "Then I guess we won't tell her about Mom, Dad, Sirius, and …"
Harry stopped as he thought about Peter Pettigrew. He looked down, and started to feel the rage build up inside him. The others in the room could also feel the added tension and power start to build up. Before it got too far along, Remus put his hand on Harry's shoulder and said, "We'll get him Harry. We'll get him and get Sirius out of Azkaban and make him pay for what he's done to you."
Harry looked up into the face of Remus and saw how important it was to him to find Peter. Peter was responsible for his parent's death; he was responsible for Sirius being in the wizard's prison. He would pay. It was just a matter of time. Harry settled back down, and lowered his head: "Sorry about that."
"Don't be Harry. I feel the same way."
"Tell me what?" Professor McGonagall asked.
Small Professor Flitwick cleared his throat and spoke to Harry and Remus. "As the newly appointed executor of your parent's Will, I wish to begin performing my duties by bequeathing to Remus that had been held from him for so many years."
Remus tried to refuse the money, but all Professor Flitwick did is read from the Will… 'This is not charity Moony. Think of it as payment for putting up with James for so long.' "They loved you Remus. Please let them do this for you and for Harry." Filius said.
Humbled by the thoughtfulness of his friends, and for Harry's sake, Remus accepted his portion of the Potter estate.
Goldridge stepped forward and handed a parchment containing the 'patent' and title for the land.
"This land has been held by the Potter's for over a thousand years. You are now the lord of the manor. Unfortunately, the manor was destroyed when the elder Lord and Lady Potter were killed. It is said that an exact model of the manor exists somewhere, and when this model is returned to the land, the manor will rise again, but this time as the Noble House of Lupin and you will be able to claim certain rights and privileges based on the old law governing landlords."
Harry looked excited at what Goldridge was saying. "Uncle Remus, I think I know where the model is! Could you come back with me to Privet Drive? I want to show you something."
Before Remus could respond, Professor Flitwick interrupted him. "I'm sorry to intrude at this point Harry, but there is something very important that I would like to do that is in opposition to your parent's will. We have figured that your parents must have switched Secret keepers before going into hiding. So with your consent, I would like to strike from the Will the bequest that was scheduled to go to Peter Pettigrew. If this is not done with your consent, and in the presence of other witnesses, should he ever show up, he would have legal claim on the money and the land."
Again with the mention of Peter's name the light in Harry's eyes started to shine brighter. "Please Professor Flitwick; you have my permission to strike that clause in the Will. Goldridge, since you were one of the original people to witness the Will, would you please initial the change to the document?"
Goldridge smiled a crooked smile, and answered, "Gladly."
"Sirius' portion of the estate will be held in trust until he is released from Azkaban." Professor Flitwick said, and with that made arrangements to meet with Harry back at Gringotts next Saturday to begin to review the family finances and to start his 'schooling' in business. He then excused himself, and returned to his home.
One by one the other members of the Board of Inquiry came up and congratulated Harry, Professor McGonagall, and Remus on their new situation.
As Madam Bones came up to Harry, she said, "I'm going to be keeping my eye on you young man. You show great potential. We shall expect great things from you."
"Thank you Madam Bones."
"To conclude this Board meeting, let me remind you that the proceedings here are not to be disclosed with any other individual. The new executor and guardian of Lord-Baron Harry James Potter is not to become common knowledge. Thank you for your time and service. May your gold always flow to you and may your enemies tremble in your presents. Each of you will be compensated for your time and service this day. This Board of Inquiry is now closed." Goldridge brought down a gavel to end the meeting.
"Okay Harry, where do you want to go to talk?" Remus asked.
"Why not come back to Privet Drive with Sassy and me?"
"Oh, I don't think you Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia would be too happy with having an adult witch and wizard show up at their house, besides, didn't you say that there were wards around the area that prevented us to apparate to the home?" Asked Professor McGonagall.
"I don't know about apparition, however… Sassy, can you please take Professor McGonagall to the cupboard, just outside of the trunk, I'll take Uncle Remus."
"Sure Harry," said Sassy.
Without warning, Harry and Sassy grabbed on to their arm, and before they knew what had happened, Remus and Minerva found themselves in a magically expanded cupboard under the stairs at Number Four Privet Drive. It was lit with only one dim 25-watt bulb.
"My word Harry! What did you just do? No one can apparate out of Gringotts!" Remus said in shock. For her part, Professor McGonagall has holding on to her chest as if she were expecting to have a heart attack.
"Like I told you Uncle Remus, I don't know how to apparate. That was called 'sliding'. It is how the house elves move around without making a sound."
"Well, it is much quicker and more comfortable then apparating," said Professor McGonagall. "Do you think you can show us how to do that?
"That is not for me to say or to teach. The elf magic belongs to Sassy. It will be up to her to see if you learn how to 'slide'. But right now, I would like to take you into chamber five of the trunk my grandfather had built, but never used. Would you please come this way?"
Harry led his little group in to the fifth chamber of his grandfather's trunk.
"Remus, Professor McGonagall, welcome to Potter Manor."
Harry stood back so Remus and the Professor could get a good look at the manor and surrounding lands. Needless to say they were speechless. Their eyes were bugging out trying to look at everything, while their mouths were opening and closing like a goldfish in a fish bowl.
"Harry! This is fantastic!" Remus said still trying to look around at everything.
"Come on inside, I'll show you around."
Harry brought Remus and Professor McGonagall inside and gave them the grand tour of the home and grounds. After a light dinner fixed by Sassy, Harry gave them a tour of the rest of the trunk chambers, and made a suggestion that when they go to rebuild the Manor for Remus, an addition room be added either on the ground floor, or in the basement for each of the chambers in the trunk.
As they were talking about rebuilding the manor, Harry had an idea. "Sassy, are there any other house elves that are bound to the house of Potter?"
"Of course Harry, I have been visiting with them all, telling them that they have a new master, and generally what a great guy you are."
Harry heard Remus snicker, while Professor McGonagall gasped at the type of language Sassy was using in Harry's presence. Harry looked at both of the adults in the room and got just a little upset. "I'll tell you what I told Mr. Ogden before the Board meeting today. Sassy is my friend and a fellow magical being and will be treated fairly, equitable and with respect, like any other magical being."
Remus held up his hands in surrender saying, "Lily tried for years to get the house elves to act like that, and you've done it in just a few weeks."
"Yes Harry, it is refreshing to see a wizard actually treat another magical being as an equal," was Professor McGonagall response. Then looking at Sassy, said, "I hope in time I can be your friend also."
Sassy blushed, and curtsied to Professor McGonagall and said, "That is my wish as well." Then looking at Remus, she said, "You too Moony."
Remus laughed being called by his old Marauder name. When Professor McGonagall looked at Harry, he quickly said "I'll explain later."
"Master Harry," Sassy started. Harry quickly looked at her. She knew he hated to be called 'Master' so she thought she would explain things better. "With more then just the Master of the House present, I should show you a bit more respect so that we don't have the same problem as we did with Mr. Ogden."
"I think I understand what you are saying Sassy, but remember, these people here are now part of my family… or I am part of theirs… whatever… just treat them like you would like to be treated."
"Alright Harry. Harry, before we call the other house elves here, I think we should go to chamber seven or nine where we will have a little breathing room."
"Okay, let's go!"
End Chapter 13
Next Chapter – Meeting the House Elves.