Chapter 14 – Meeting the House Elves
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 14 – Meeting the House Elves
Harry led Professor McGonagall and Remus to chamber seven that opened into a large wooded spaces with just a nip of fall in the air.
"Harry," Remus said, "If you could ward the portals so that nothing could get in or out of here, this would be a perfect place for my monthly … 'problem'."
"I'm glad you said that, because this is one of two rooms that could be used for that."
"What do I do to call all of the house elves here Sassy?" Harry asked.
"Just concentrate on wanting all the elves belonging to the House of Potter to attend a 'General Meeting' and they will come to your call."
Harry starts to think about all the house elves that belong to the House of Potter over and over in his mind, but somewhere along the way, he started thinking 'All house elves that want to belong to the House of Potter – I, Harry James Potter Head of the House of Potter call a general meeting'.
There was a tremendous rushing sound as hundreds if not thousands of house elves appeared suddenly in the open spaces. "Oh my word, do all of you work for the House of Potter?" Harry asked.
"Not all sirs, some of us is being free elves who is looking for a noble house to be bound to." Answered one of the older elves dressed only in a dirty hand towel. "We's is being thrown out of others homes because our old masters wanted us to do what isn't right. Mostly, if we's disobey our masters they just kill us outright, but some of us was smart enough to get cloths to become free before they could kill us, so we's escaped! Word had spread from the other elves that the House of Potter has a new Head and that he is a kind and great wizard. We's is wanting to be working for you if you will have us."
Harry, Remus and Professor McGonagall were in shock at the shear number of 'free' house elves there were and that they all wanted to be part of the House of Potter.
"Hum, could you give me a minute to talk and think about this. I'm sure we'll be able to come up with something. In the meantime, could all of the current house elves of the House of Potter please come forward?" About a hundred fifty house elves came forward and formed a little circle around Harry and his group.
"Thank you all for coming. I didn't mean to mess things up though." Harry started out, "Do you have a leader among you?"
An elderly house elf came forward and bowed, "My name be Mika. I is the eldest house elf of the Potter clan. I is remembering when Harold Potter is be needing his nappy changed. That makes me very old indeed." Harry and his group smiled at Mika and the little joke she told, motioning for her to continue she went on. "Each home, manor, or property of the Potters is needing house elves. At each place there is an overseer who is being responsible for the work and repair of the property. A group of overseer will form a committee to be seeing if all of the work is being done right, or if more worker is being needed. If some places have too many workers and other places is not having enough workers, then they is being transferred to where the job is needing to be done. All of this has to approved by the Master or Mistress of the house. We is not wanting to split up families of elves, but this is giving the younger elves a chance to see other places and be meeting other elves, and maybe becoming a pair, and starting a family. Does this help Master Harry understand his house elves?"
"Yes, very much, thank you Mika. Mika, can you tell me if all of the Potter properties have enough house elves to take care of the work? By that I mean, enough to keep the homes and manors clean and running properly? Taking care of the animals and grounds?"
Mika lowered her head and ears, and said quietly, "No Master Harry, there be not enough house elves and there be not enough money. Since Master Harold passed away, there is not being a head of the Potter house to allow the house elves to be getting any money from Gringotts. There be many places of the Potters that have not been visited by a family member for many years. No Head of House has asked about all of the Potter properties for many years." Then Mika reached up and started to pull and twist her ears in a most painful manner.
"MIKA, STOP THAT THIS INSTANT!" Said Harry with a great deal of authority. "Why did you start hurting yourself? It's not your fault some properties have been kept up. I am not holding you responsible for that. You will not hurt yourself for something that is not your fault." Harry raised his voice so that all the elves could hear, "From this time forth, no elf is to cause intentional injury to themselves is that understood? No ear pulling, head banging, finger smashing, wall hitting, or anything else. If there is something wrong, we will fix it. If discipline is needed, you will come to me. You will not punish yourselves just for failing in a task. And by the same token, you are not to allow any other person to hurt you. Do you understand?"
"Yes Master." All the elves said.
"And another thing. I'm Harry. I may happen to be your master, but I would also like to be your friend. In informal settings, please call me Harry okay? One more thing, this is Professor Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. They are my guardians. You will follow their direction as you would follow mine."
"Mika, do you think you could use all these free house elves to help get all the Potter properties cleaned up and livable?"
"Well, most of them Master Harry, it is being a very large task, and most house elves be working very hard."
'Harry, aren't you forgetting something? You are not only the Head of one House, but also two permanently, and if you include the Black's that would be three. But if the Potter estates have fallen into disrepair after just a few generations, think how the Ravenclaw estates must be. Why don't you call a general meeting for the Ravenclaw house elves also? Maybe between the two Houses, you will find a home for all of the house elves?' Ma suggested.
'That's a great idea 'Ma' thanks!'
Harry turned to his guardians and said, "I need you to swear an oath on your magic and your life that you will not reveal any of my secrets."
"Now Harry, that's a little bit serious don't you think? What could an eight-year-old boy have or know that would require that serious of an oath?"
"I require the oath or I cannot reveal my secrets." There was a level of serious that neither Remus nor Minerva had seen in any person. Not even Dumbledore.
After a few moments, both gave their oath to Harry. He then turned and addressed all the elves in the chamber, "Do you swear, that even if you do not join my House, you will always keep my secrets?"
In one voice all of the elves answered 'Yes!' and the magic flared sealing the magical oath.
Harry then centered his mind on any house elves who belonged to the House of Ravenclaw and cried out. 'All house elves that belong to the House of Ravenclaw – I, Harry James Potter Head of the House of Ravenclaw call a general meeting'
Harry was surprised when it seemed nothing happened. 'Well, I guess all of the house elves have passed away. We may never find any of the Ravenclaw estates' He thought.
Slowly, a bright light started gathering in front of Harry. All of the other house elves divided into two groups, as if dividing a great sea. Remus and Professor McGonagall both had their wand out and at the ready.
"I really do not think that will be necessary." Came a calm voice from the portal and with a subtle flash, Remus and Minerva found that their wands had been returned to their wand holders.
Out of the portal stepped the oldest house elf anyone had ever seen. He was neatly dressed with brown pants, simple white shirt and a gold tunic. He had a very proud bearing about him. He leaned very heavily on a full-size staff of whitest ivory with gold thread interlaced around its full length. In his other arm, he carried a large leather bound tome with gold gilded edges. On the cover was clearly the crest of the House of Ravenclaw. As he made his way towards Harry, the portal slowly closed on its self.
Everyone in the chamber was in awe of the house elf before them. The other house elves in the chamber instinctively went to their knees before the ancient elf. As he came in front of Harry, he stopped, and bowing deeply said, "It is with great pleasure I present myself to the new heir, and Head of the House of Ravenclaw."
Harry was in shock. He could feel the power, love and wisdom radiating off of this old elf. "I welcome you here noble elf. How should I address you?"
"It has been so many years I do not remember my name. But you may call me 'Raven'." The elderly elf stated.
"Welcome noble Raven. I am Harry James Potter, Lord of the Houses of Ravenclaw and Lord of the House of Potter."
Professor McGonagall gasped, and Remus' knees almost buckled underneath him at this news.
"I bid thee welcome young Master. I pray, please allow me to complete my task so that I can be on to the next great adventure." Receiving a nod from Harry, Raven continued, "For nearly nine hundred years, I have been charged with the duty of bestowing two items upon the next Head of Ravenclaw. The first is the staff of Ravenclaw. It holds the key to the Coronet of Ravenclaw, better known as the Coronet of power and knowledge; for it will bestow on its worthy heir the knowledge and power of the founders."
"The next item is the Journal of Ravenclaw." Here the old elf motioned to the bound tome in his arm. "It contains key information concerning the founders, Hogwarts, and the prophecies recorded by Lady Ravenclaw herself. It can only be read and understood by those who shall prove themselves worth." With this the old elf handed the items over to Harry. He was amazed at the power he could feel from both the staff and the book."
"Thank you noble Raven, you have proven yourself faithful in the extreme, and have preformed your task exceptionally well." Harry said as he bowed to Raven while he held the articles of Ravenclaw.
"Lord Ravenclaw, as I have completed my commission, I pray that thou wouldst release me from the house of Ravenclaw that I may go to the next great adventure as a free elf."
The other elves gasped that such an old and noble elf would want to be freed.
Harry look at Raven for a few moments before doing anything. He didn't fully understand why Raven would be making this request of him, or in fact, how a person went about releasing a House elf. He had just heard some of the 'free' elves state how they had been released by receiving 'clothes', but what did that all imply?
Deciding to use this as a learning experience, Harry handed the Ravenclaw tome to Remus, and taking the staff of Ravenclaw in one hand, placed his other hand on Raven's shoulder and turning to face the elves. Harry looked again into the face of the ancient elf, searching for some clue as to what would motivate this house elf to take this action.
Speaking to Raven, but loud enough for all the elves to hear, Harry asked the ancient elf, "Raven, why would you ask this of me? You have been a most faithful elf, and have completed your mission with honor. Why do you now wish to be free?"
Raven looked up at Harry with a kind and gracious smile. He knew Harry was asking because he really wanted to know, but also Harry wanted to use this as a training example to all the house elves that would choose to bind with him this day, or in the future.
Raven took a few moments to compose his thoughts, and then, looking back up at Harry, and speaking loud enough so all could hear him he replied.
"My lord, for low these eight hundred four score and eight years, I have been privileged to serve one of the most ancient and noble houses in the wizarding world."
"While I was in my mistress' presence, she showed me what kindness and loyalty that can be found within the human heart; the wisdom that can come from a well developed mind; and the peace that can come from a spirit free of offense before my Maker and man. She showed me the joy that can be had when right prevails over wrong, and the misery that is to be had when the people are oppressed by evil men."
"But most of all, she showed me the importance of duty and responsibility. Duty to myself, duty to my mistress, duty to my people, duty to my house, and duty to my Maker."
"I have completed my mission here in this realm of existence and I am looking forward to moving on to the next great adventure. It has been many years since I have had anyone with whom I could talk. I am looking forward to the time when I can meet my mistress again, and as a free elf, pledge to her a new my life, and service as a friend and grateful servant of my own free will and choice."
Harry and the others in the chamber, both elf and wizard, took a few minutes to think about what the ancient elf had said.
Harry remembered the one elf talk about giving the elf cloths to make them free. He looked around trying to find some article of cloth that he could give. Finding none, Harry sat down on the floor, put the staff down, and proceeded to take his shoes off. After that he took on one of the socks, and standing, handed it to the ancient elf. The old elf held the sock reverently and bowed to Harry.
"Thank you Lord Ravenclaw. These many centuries I have prayed for release, yet I knew I had a task to complete and would not be turned from it. You have allowed me to fulfill my mission with honor. I am now ready for the next adventure, to see my loved ones once again. I leave my thanks and blessing on you and your friends Lord Ravenclaw. May you be successful in your fight against evil."
With that, the old elf simply faded from before everyone's eyes.
There was complete silence in the chamber for several minutes as each person and elf reviewed what he or she had just witnessed. There was no doubt in anyone's mind this was a great house elf.
Harry finally said "I would like this spot of ground set aside as a memorial to the great elf Raven."
Sassy stepped forward and with a few waves of her hands, a white fence was erected around the ground that Raven had walked. In the spot where he vanished from, a marker was at the place he vanished from. It said: "This spot is where the great and noble house elf Raven departed this world for the next great adventure."
"Thank you Sassy."
Harry spoke to all the house elves present in the chamber.
"You have just seen the degree of dedication and loyalty the house elves of old had. Can you be as loyal and dedicated as Raven? Could I be a Master worthy enough to deserve that type of loyalty? I will try to be. I pledge to treat each of you kindly and fairly. In return, I expect you to do your best. That is all that can be asked."
"Now we have the properties of two Houses to take care of. Before you decide if you want to be my house elves, I will expect each of you to come forth to this monument, and think about what you have seen and heard this day. Then if you feel you can live up to the example you have seen here tonight, I will be willing to accept you as a member of one of my house. I will expect you act the part of a member of a noble house. You will wear uniforms suited to your station and task. I will have material provided that you may create your own uniforms. The uniforms will include the noble house you are serving, be it Potter or Ravenclaw. You will take care of yourselves. You will not injure yourself, or allow any injury to come upon you. If there are problems, I want to know what they are so that I can help solve them. And I want to get to know each of you – but that may take time."
"If there are any who cannot live up to these standards, you may leave now, but remember, you are under oath not to reveal what you have seen or heard today." Harry waited for a few seconds to see if anyone would leave. When it appeared that no one was going to leave, he asked, "What do I do now? How does a house elf join a new family, or a new house?"
Professor McGonagall said, "Just search your heart and you will know. I don't think anyone has ever been bound to a thousand house elves at once before."
After a moment, Harry remembered what he had seen on an American police show on the Tele one time when the judge swore in a witness.
"All of you raise your right hand." Harry waited while the elves figured out what was their right hand.
"Do you, and each of you, solemnly swear to uphold the standards of the Houses of Potter and Ravenclaw to the best of your ability, and keep all your masters secrets?"
In one voice the house elves said "YES".
There was a tremendous thunderclap and a brilliant flash of light as the magic of all the house elves, and Harry's own magic combined to seal the oath.
Minerva and Remus were shocked that the boy was still standing after binding with over a thousand house elves. The house elves for their part looked invigorated and renewed after the binding. Many started to clean themselves up, feeling a new sense of pride and purpose.
Harry turned to Mika and said, "Mika, I would like you to get with the other overseers and come up with a list of ALL of the Potter and Ravenclaw properties and what you think it would take to get them livable again. Then you and the overseers are to evaluate the former free elves to see what their skills are. Sassy, Will you please go back to Diagon Alley to get enough food and cloth to make uniforms for all the elves. Remember you have two houses to buy for now. Take some others to help you if you need."
"You other house elves, as soon as Sassy gets back with the material, I want you making uniforms for yourselves, at least three house uniforms for each house, and two work uniforms for each house. If some of you have special skills, such as healers, and such, please let Mika know. Professor McGonagall, Mr. Lupin, and I have to step out for a few minutes, but we will return soon."
With that, Harry motioned for them to follow him to the chamber five and the manor.
Harry groaned as he fell into the first couch he found in the manor. "Never let me try something like that again! I can hardly hold my arms up after binding with so many house elves!"
"In other words, you had to come in here to save face with the house elves, right?" Remus asked.
"Of course Uncle Remus, what would your opinion of your new master be if he fainted right after a simple binding ceremony?"
"I would hardly call that a simple binding ceremony Harry. I don't think anyone in the WORLD would have been able to remain standing after something like that... Dumbledore included." Professor McGonagall added.
"Thanks... What am I going to call you Professor? I mean I don't mind calling your Professor McGonagall, but after a while, I bet even you get tired of hearing that."
"Well I was thinking that while we are in private, or any of your properties, you can call me Aunt Min. However, in public, like at Diagon Alley, please refer to me as Professor McGonagall. After all, I do have an image to maintain."
"And such a fine image it is." Said Harry without thinking.
Minerva blushed, but tried to look stern.
"Oh no! We have another James Potter on our hands!" Said Remus laughing. "He used to say that to Minerva when ever he got in trouble."
Harry smiled at first, and then frowned. "I wish I knew what my father was like." He said sadly.
"I'm sorry Harry; I didn't mean to cause you to feel bad. I promise I will tell you all kinds of stories about James and Lily when we get things settled in."
"That would be great Uncle Remus, thanks."
After Harry had rested for a few minutes, he suddenly sat straight up on the couch.
"What's the matter Harry?" Minerva asked.
"I have just been notified by one of the wards that I put up around Privet Drive that a very powerful wizard is coming to the front door. On a scale of one to ten, he's about a nine. That means it could only be one of two people, and frankly, I don't think Voldemort could have made it back from the world of spirits yet. You two please stay here. I don't want him to know you're here, or that we have a way of getting you through his wards. I also don't want him knowing about the results of the Board of Inquiry and who my new guardians are. I'll be back in just a few minutes."
Harry quickly cleaned up, changed cloths, and came out of his cupboard under the stairs, just in time to hear Uncle Vernon start in on a tirade of having to have another 'freak' in his house.
"I assure you Mr. Dursley, you will be most pleased by the time I leave here today. Could you please call your lovely wife and son to come in also. Ah, Harry, it is good to see you again. Thank you for being strong enough to stand up to me and show me the failures I have made along the way. I assure you, I have many, many things to rectify and it will take some time. But I intend to see it through to the end."
Petunia and Dudley Dursley had come in on the middle of Professor Dumbledore's speech. Both were mystified how this little runt of an eight-year-old boy could have a full-grown adult apologizing to him this way. But what shocked them even more was Harry's reaction to him.
"Professor, do not come here trying to show me how kind and benevolent you are. You have done more damage to the wizarding world the Voldemort could even think of. You have taken away the opportunity and right of the children to grow up strong by binding their power. You have taken that which is not yours from three of the four founder families, and while I am glad in the case of Salazar Slytherin's heir, the other two families have suffered greatly."
"Do not come here to 'show' how great and good you are. Do not come here to ask forgiveness for taking something that never belonged to you. What you will do is, as soon as you are through with you 'business' here today, you will depart from this place with a vow never to interfere with the Dursley's again."
Harry was standing straight and tall, while Professor seemed to be getting smaller and smaller the longer he talked. You could feel the power coming of from Harry and you could feel the truthfulness in his words.
Looking properly chastened, Professor Dumbledore began again looking at all of the Dursley's, but especially Petunia.
"Yes, Harry is right. I have done a great harm against you. I 'forced' you to take Harry against his parents wishes, and I withheld the stipend that was to have gone to the family that raised him." Here Professor Dumbledore took a small valise out of his pocket and placed it on the table. As soon as the valise touched the table, it expanded to normal size. All of the Dursley's jumped back as if something was going to attack them. When nothing did, they sat back down and looked again at the valise.
Professor Dumbledore opened the valise and turned it around so that the Dursley's could see the content. When they did, both Vernon and Petunia gasped, and Petunia quickly fainted. After Professor Dumbledore revived Petunia, he explained. "According to the terms of James and Lily's Will, the person or family raising Harry was to receive a stipend currently valued at two thousand galleons per month. At a conversion ratio of one to five, that is equal to ten thousand pounds Sterling each month. There is approximately 800,000 pounds in this case. It was meant to be your, it now is yours. As long as Harry stays here, your will receive ten thousand pounds per month adjusted yearly."
The Dursley's were stunted by this revelation. TEN THOUSAND POUNDS PER MONTH just for looking after the brat. Well, they felt that they deserved every pence on it. They were already thinking of all the things they could do with that kind of money! It didn't mean that Harry would get out of the cupboard anytime soon, but... TEN THOUSAND POUNDS PER MONTH! They could hardly believe their ears.
They were brought out of their daydream with the Headmaster clearing his throat.
"As Harry has requested, I, Albus Dumbledore pledge upon my life and upon my magic, not to adversely interfere with the Dursleys again. So mote it be." There was a brief flair of magic to signify the acceptance of the oath.
"Well, I have overstayed my welcome here; I must be on my way. Please forgive me for what I have done, and take good care of Harry. Please."
With that Professor Dumbledore got up and saw himself to the door. Looking back at Harry, he said, "I am sorry Harry, I will try to prove it to you and maybe someday I can receive your trust and forgiveness." Then he turned and walked out the door.
Harry went back into the front room where his 'family' was. He found them looking through the money and counting it to make sure it was all there. He thought this might be the best time to break the news to them about his new guardians.
"I wouldn't get too use to the idea of this kind of money coming in every month for much longer now." Harry said.
"What? What are you talking about boy? Didn't you hear the man? Whoever is raising you gets TEN THOUSAND POUNDS PER MONTH!" You could see the greed in Uncle Vernon's eyes. "And we plan on raising your for a very, very long time!"
"That's not going to happen Uncle Vernon."
"IT'S NOT? WHY NOT YOU NO GOOD FOR NOTHING BRAT?" Uncle Vernon was starting into one of his tirades again. He stood up and was coming over to Harry in a very threatening manner and his face turned a deep purple and the vein at the side of his neck looked like it was going to escape and leave his body.
Harry simply raised his arm, and the Sword Durendal appeared. Vernon stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the blade, and started to back away.
"What ya going to do now boy? You going to kill us all and take the money for yourself? You won't get away with it ya know, you have nowhere to run and nowhere to go. You'll be caught within a week!" Vernon was talking brave, but he was scared out of his wits.
"Oh, sit down and shut up Uncle Vernon!" Harry said. With a wave of his hand Durendal was gone.
"I'm not going to kill you... unless you force me to."
"The reason I'm saying don't get too use to the money, is because new guardians have been appointed over me. It's like Professor Dumbledore said. I was never to have gone here. I was only to meet you once after my eleventh birthday."
"The only reason why Professor Dumbledore is giving you this money now is because it was to have been yours in the first place. Nothing more, nothing less. I will be leaving here as soon as the old Potter Manor is rebuilt in Wales."
"Rebuild a Manor! That could take years to complete!" Petunia said.
"No Aunt Petunia, I have an army of about a thousand house elves that will be doing the rebuilding, it will probable take weeks or on the outside months to complete. But there is one thing I want to know before I go."
Harry decided that he would try to find the reason behind Uncle Vernon's anger towards him.
"Uncle Vernon," Harry asked softly. "Why are you so mad and angry at me? What have I done to you to make you hate me so? If I know what I've done, maybe I can change my actions." He had played his opening cards.
"What have you done? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE! YOU EXIST! Because of you and your kind my mother and father are dead! Can you undo that oh high and mighty mister wizard? NO YOU CAN NOT!"
"The world was deprived a great man when those 'Death-watcher' or whatever they are called came here and just started killing people. YOUR mother takes it upon herself to throw ME in to a cupboard and prevents me from going out and protecting my Petunia and my parents… Then YOUR father grabs my Petunia, and pull her back to start fighting those Death-thingys and he had the nerve to tell her that SHE owes HIM a life-debt? Do you know that's why you're here? Because my parents were killed by your type?"
Harry was quite shocked. Uncle Vernon had actually stated the reason for his loathing of Harry. As hard as it was to hear, at least now he knew why.
"I didn't know Uncle Vernon, I am sorry for your lose. I know it may sound hollow right now, but I am sorry. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to have met them."
"Huh, spare me your pity boy. My parents would have never liked you. You were just a freak to them, someone who's not even all HUMAN. If I had my way, you'd all be hunted down and disposed of"!
"You mean … Killed?" Harry asked coldly.
"Ya… Killed." Vernon had a sick smile on his face.
"That's interesting," Harry started, "You see, the person who sent those 'Death-eaters' here has the same goal. He wants to see anyone who isn't a pure blooded wizard … killed, also. The only difference in your list of people to kill, is on one side you say 'magical', and on the other side you say 'non-pure blood'. Between the two of you there would be a total annihilation of everyone on earth! Well, don't worry I won't be here for much longer, and then you can spend your money any way you want." With that, Harry turned around and went back into his cupboard under the stairs.
Headmaster's Office at Hogwarts
Professor Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk with his fingers steepled in front of him. He had just returned from the Dursley's and another encounter with Harry Potter. He had gone there to help ease his mind by paying the stipends he had taken from them over the last seven years. It really didn't matter now; the money he had received over those years had allowed him to invest in successful businesses that now would generate a steady stream of income that he could live off of for the rest of his life.
What surprised him though was that Harry knew about the core binding in the new-born's that was over a power rating of forty or above, and also what he had done to the other heirs of the founders. Where had young Harry heard these things? He thought he had covered his tracks to the point that no one knew he had done this.
Harry also apparently knew about him taking heir's of the founders key possessions, but did he know why? Did Harry know that all he needed was Ravenclaw's Coronet and he (Dumbledore) could clam ownership of Hogwarts? No more answering to the School Board and their petty pure-blood request. No more answering to the Ministry of Magic and their corrupt administrators. For the first time in many years Dumbledore ask himself if he was still the only one who knew what was right for the wizarding community. What was it that Harry had said at the Board of Inquiry, 'You do believe in your heart that you are doing the right thing. But be warned; your time is passed. A new generation will rise to take care of the current plague. So says Durendal of Roland.'
Could it be true? Could his time really be passed as far as leading the light side of the wizarding world? Did Harry really possess the sword Durendal of Prince Roland? If he did, that would make it more difficult to control Harry in the future… Wait, why was he still having these thoughts of controlling people and of gaining power? Had he really gone that far from the light side that he would be found unworthy by the blessed sword of Prince Roland?
Professor Dumbledore knew there were many, many more of his actions that he would have to review in his pensive to see just where he went wrong, and how far away was he from the side of light.
Privet Drive – the cupboard under the stairs
Harry was quite upset. He had just had another meeting with Dumbledore in front of the Dursley's. WHAT WAS THAT HE THINKING? THAT HE COULD JUST WALK IN HERE AND BUY HIS FORGIVENESS BY GIVING THE DURSLEY'S THE MONEY THAT WAS DUE THEM FROM THE BEGINNING?
At least Harry had gotten the old fool to give a magically binding oath that he would leave the Dursley's alone from now on.
Returning back to chamber five and the Potter Manor, Harry was brought out of his mood when he saw Remus and Professor McGonagall talking together in the kitchen over tea.
"What did the Headmaster want Harry?" Professor McGonagall asked in a sincere voice.
"It appears that Professor Dumbledore is trying to right some of the wrongs he has committed in the past. He brought the stipends the Dursley's should have been receiving for the last seven years and gave it to them all at once. You should have seen the greedy look on Uncle Vernon's face when he saw that briefcase open up with almost 800,000 pounds in it! You could just see his little greedy mind trying to figure out ways to get more money out of me."
"Imagine his surprise when I told him that I wouldn't be staying here that much longer. I plan on moving out with you, Uncle Remus, as soon as we can get the Manor rebuilt. I hope I'm not making too much of an assumption?" Harry added as an after thought.
"Not at all Harry," Remus said, "I'd love to have you come and live with me as soon as I have a suitable place to live. That is, if it's alright with your legal guardian?"
Professor McGonagall smiled. This was exactly what she wanted. She knew that on paper, she was Harry's guardian. But it would be in fact, Remus that would raise and teach Harry. She had always had a soft spot in her heart for Remus. She had known about his 'problem' during his days at Hogwarts, and was pleased when James, Sirius, and Peter had befriended him.
Remus had always been the level-headed one in that group. And it pleased her to no end to see him so happy now that he was close to Harry.
"No Remus, I don't have any problem with you keeping Harry at your home once it gets settled. It will make it much easier for me in fact. I have been at Hogwarts for so long, that my little cottage would need major updating if I were to bring Harry back there. I doubt very much that he would want to spend all of his time a Hogwarts with Professor Dumbledore and myself." She stated lovingly.
"No offense Aunt Min, but I think you're right. It's going to take a lot for me to be ready to deal with Professor Dumbledore when I get to Hogwarts in three years. I don't know how I would handle being with him daily, especially right now." Harry replied.
"Alright, it's decided, Harry will move in with me as soon as I have a suitable place to live." Remus announced.
"Great!" said Harry, "And in the mean time…" Harry looked at Remus with pleading in his eyes, "Could I talk you into staying here in Potter Manor in chamber five? I really would like to get to know you better, and to hear some of those stories you have about my parents."
"Sure Harry, that's the least I could do for you." Remus said with a tear in his eye.
A small old ship sits in its slip of an old run-down marina in northern Scotland. The fog seems so thick and cold you aren't sure of the time of day or season of the year.
'Mad-eye' Moody appears to walk out of the fog, heading toward the ship. As he gets closer, an old man can be seen in the aft part of the ship. "Do ye seek passage over the river Styx to Hades and your final rest?"
"Nay Charon, I seek passage to Azkaban," as he handed him a Knut.
'Man, I'll never make it rich on this route.' Charon thought to himself.
The ship started sailing as soon as Mad-eye was on board. For the next several hours there is nothing to see or do as the fog continues to envelop the ship on rough seas.
Finally, the shores of Azkaban could be seen, and the old ship silently pulled into port.
"Thank ye greatly Charon, I'll be back in a few hours." Mad-eye said as he exited the ship.
Walking up to the fortress prison on Azkaban, Mad-eye began to feel the effects of the Dementors. 'They must be feeding now. I hope Sirius is still in his right mind.'
Finding the warden of the facility, Mad-eye presented him with a set of orders.
"By order of Madam Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, I am placing the prisoner Sirius Orion Black under the Theta Protocol, and instruct all human contact with him to cease and decease as soon as the prisoner has been informed of this development. House elves are to see to his needs, and at the appropriate time, he will be returned to the mainland to face final judgment of his case and crimes." Mad-eye read from the declaration.
To say the warden was shocked would be putting it lightly. The Theta Protocol was only used on those inmates that were marked for death.
The archaic way of writing the Theta symbol was a circle with a cross or 'X' through it. It was said to be the 'inspiration' for the 'skull and crossbones' used by the pirates.
"You will take me to the prisoner now, and leave me there while the Theta Protocol is activated around him." Mad-eye stated coldly.
The warden for his part knew enough not to question Auror Moody if he was here on assignment.
"Ye… Yes Auror Moody. Please, follow me." He said, as he picked up his wand and started out of his office.
Down the corridors they went, deeper and deeper into the bowels of the fortress, closer to the 'home' of the Dementors.
It was not too surprising that Sirius' cell would be the closes one to the Dementors quarters. Here, you felt like saying 'Abandon hope all ye who enter here' – this was surly what Hell would be like. The warden was having a hard time keeping the Dementors effects at bay. He almost stopped functioning at all.
"Don't ya know how to do a Patronus man, or how to shield your mind?" Mad-eye asked. In a flash, he whipped out his wand, and shouted "Expecto Patronum!" A small cat, looking quite a bit like Professor McGonagall's animagus form, shot out of Mad-eye's wand, and lit in the hallway next to the door. Almost immediately the hallway felt warmer, and the effect of the Dementors was greatly diminished.
The warden regained his wits about him, and opened Sirius' cell door. Looking in the cell, he could see Sirius curled up in a ball in the far corner. "Are ya sure you'll be alright with this one Alastor? I hear he's as loony as they come."
"I won't have any problems with prisoner Black, Jake, besides, where would he run to? Now remember, after you close this door, no other person is to have any contact with this man is that understood?"
"Yes sir, perfectly sir! How long should I leave you in there with him?"
"Never you mind. I'll be able to get back out and put the seal on the door. I should be visiting you again in your office when I am finished."
The warden took the hint that he was being dismissed, and closed the door behind Mad-eye after he entered Sirius' cell. Quickly Mad-eye put up several locking and privacy charms on the door and around the room.
"I must thank you Alastor; I haven't felt the effects of a fully formed patronus for many years. Do you think I'll ever have the opportunity to tell Min she's your patronus?" Sirius whispered as he slowly straightened out from the fetal position he was in.
"Aye, ya just might at that." Mad-eye answered. He laughed to himself as he saw the shocked look on Sirius' face. Getting serious, Mad-eye said: "Prisoner Sirius Orion Black, by order of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, I hereby place you under Protocol Theta." There was a flash of magic, and all at once, the cell Sirius had spent the last seven years of his life became bright, and clean. It looked more like a single room apartment than a cell in the bowels of the most feared prison on earth.
"Wha…" was all Sirius could say. He slowly stood up and looked around his former cell. "Is this the some kind of cruel joke? Let a man start to dream of a better life before you take it all away just to break him? Come on Alastor, out with it! Remember I was an Auror too; I know what the Theta Protocol means – death penalty! So are you here to kill me then? Just let me tell you this; I was not James and Lily's secret keeper! I am not now nor have I ever been a Death-eater! You may kill me now, but I have unfinished business here in this world; I will see that Harry James Potter is taken care of and loved and treated as best a ghost a Godfather can do! This I swear on my magic!
There was a surprisingly bright flare of magic sealing the oath of Sirius Black. His eyes wet with tears of remorse for not having been there for young Harry. For the pain he felt for having let his dearest and best friends down by being too impatient and chasing after Peter and not taking care of Harry, as he should.
He should have never let Hagrid take Harry from him!
Standing as straight as he could Sirius turned and faced Mad-eye full on. "One more thing Moody, if you ever see a rat missing a finger on its paw – kill it! And I can leave this world in peace."
Sirius stood proud and tall. He looked Mad-eye in the eye (the good eye), and waited.
Mad-eye for his part just stood there and listened with a crocked smile on his face. This was a good sign! Sirius wasn't out of his mind! He was still a strong (emaciated) man with a good soul and spirit.
"Ya are so willing ta die right now, but are ya willing ta live?" Moody asked.
Sirius looked at Moody with a question on his face. He didn't understand what was going on. Why didn't Alastor just finish him off?
"What? You want me to fight you? If I thought it would get me out of here and back to Harry I would do it in a minute! But you're just getting your jollies by teasing me now. If you're going to kill me, then kill me Moody and be done with it!"
"Ya always were an impatient pup ya know that Black. I'm not here to kill ya, or tease ya. I'm here to save ya."
"What? Am I going to be walking out that door anytime soon? How are you going to save me?" Sirius was still mad and upset. And right now, he was also getting confused.
"No, ya ain't going to be walking out that door just yet. But it has been brought to the attention of Madam Bones and a few of the powers that be that ya ain't guilty of betraying the Potters or of being a Death-eater."
"Ya only heard what you wanted to hear when I mentioned the Theta Protocol. Now, if I had been invoking the protocol under the direction of the Minister of Magic or the Wizengamot, then yes, ya would be under the sentence of Death. But the DMLE has a separate protocol Theta. It refers to the 'soul' of the individual."
"The Director and me both know you're innocent Black, but until we can bring proof to the Wizengamot, our hands are basically tied, but what we can do is make your place someplace where you can start restoring your 'soul' and body until we get ya out. And we will get ya out. Either that, or your godson Harry is going ta come out here and take this place down stone by stone until he finds ya."
Now Sirius was really confused. What did Harry have to do with this? He was only eight years old. What was Moody talking about? He started feeling dizzy and had to sit down. Moody conjured a table and chair for Sirius. Sirius stumbled over to and sat down. He looked up at Mad-eye with a questioned look on his face. He didn't have the strength to ask the questions running through his mind though.
Mad-eye took pity on him as he gave out a little laugh and walked over to where Sirius was now sitting. "Let's start out with some of these." He said as he produced several vials of potions from under his robe. There were pepper-up potions, nutrition potions, and calming drafts … enough to last for several weeks. He made Sirius take two of each.
"I may not be able to get ya out of this hellhole, but I can take the hellhole out of this cell." Mad-eye took a small box out of another pocket and opened it up. Almost immediately the effect of the Dementors was removed. Sirius looked up at Mad-eye in disbelief. "The muggles have a technology called 'white noise' that removes the noise from the work area. This does the same thing for Dementors, basically canceling out their effect. This is new stuff Black; I think this is the first time this little box has been used in fact. Now, I've got to get busy, I've only got a little time left before I have to leave."
Mad-eye proceeded to transfigure the one-time cell into a livable one-room apartment complete with bed, dresser, proper WC facilities, table, and chairs – even reading material. "Take another one of those pepper-up and nutrition potions; I still have a few things for you do before I have to go." With that, Mad-eye took out another little box and placed it on the table he had conjured expanded it. Sirius watched as Mad-eye took out two pensives, both Auror type, capable of duplicating and storing memories.
"I know ya didn't get a trial before they placed ya here, so one of these is for you to put your memories in relating to the selection of the secret-keeper of the Potters, what happened to you on the night of their attack, and what happened when ya cornered Peter."
"I also figured ya be wondering about what happened to little Harry, so I've put some memories in here that show what happened in a little meeting I was present at with him. You'll be damn proud of him Black." With that Mad-eye pulled one last long box and placed it on the table. Reaching over, Sirius' hands were shacking badly as he open the box and pick up his wand.
"I thought they had snapped my wand." Sirius said quietly.
Just as it did all those years ago when he first picked up his wand at Ollivander's, gold and red sparks shot out of the tip as he gave it a wave. All of this was too good to be true. Sirius was sure his mind had finally snapped, and he was imagining all of this. He dropped the wand on the table and just collapsed on the floor crying uncontrollable.
Mad-eye picked up a calming drafts potion and got Sirius to take it. "Come on man, ya got to stay with me. Ya can figure it all out later. Now pick up that wand and let's get those memories extracted before ya fall apart again." Mad-eye firmly, but gentle help Sirius back up to the table, and picked up the wand again and handed it to him.
Sirius looked back up at Mad-eye, and then down at his wand. Gingerly he again reached his hand out and picked it up. "It's been so long." He said. "Let me practice for a second."
With that Sirius looked at the wand again and said: "Lumos". A faint light glowed at the end of the wand. "Nox", he said, and the light went out. Sirius took a deep breath. "Lumos", he said again, this time a little more forceful, a little surer of himself. The light was much brighter, and you could see the joy running through Sirius' sunken eyes as the spell did what it was meant to do.
For the next few minutes Sirius went through as many spells as he could remember. It felt great to have his wand again. He even tried to send a tickle charm over to Moody, but he just blocked it. "'Constant Vigilance' Moody, just seeing if you were paying attention".
He then extracted the memories regarding Peter, the Potters and the night they were attacked, what he found when he arrived and Godric's Hollow, and his encounter with Hagrid, and then what happened when he caught up with Peter, and his 'trip' to Azkaban.
"Here, ya go in these memories that I brought while I review yours. Then I'll make sure I have a copy of them, and return the originals to ya."
With that, Mad-eye, and Sirius entered their respective pensives. Moody was first to return, and was quite upset with what he had seen. If the Ministry had bothered to give Sirius his day in court, this would have never happened. But the Ministry was too concerned with their 'image' to let something like the 'facts' of this case get in the way. They had to be seen 'doing' something. "Useless bureaucrats." Moody whispered.
A few minutes later Sirius came out of the other pensive looking mad as hell and ready to fight. "I'll kill him! I swear Moody, if I ever see Albus Dumbledore again, I'll kill him! Putting Harry with Vernon and Petunia WHAT WAS HE THINKING!" Sirius staggered over to a chair and sat down nearly tired out. He took another vial of each potion without being told and then looked up at Moody again.
"That meeting – that was a meeting at Gringotts about Albus and James and Lily's Will, wasn't it?"
"Ya it was. Goldridge asked me, Madam Bones, and Tiberius Ogden along with Ragnok and Stonehand to be part of a Board of Inquiry. We striped Albus of his roles in the Potter Will and appointed Flitwick and McGonagall to take his place. It seems that they have also recruited Lupin to help out so that the young man will have some connection with his past, and so he can tell him stories about James, Lily and the rest of the Marauders. But you don't have ta worry about killing Dumbledore. I think Harry did a fine job putting him in his place."
"He looks so much like James… but he has Lily's eyes – and her temper!" Sirius said mostly to himself. Then looking back up asked: "Moody, where did Harry get that sword? I've never seen anything like it in any of the Potters vaults, and I think James and I visited them all while we were growing up."
"Aye, the sword, ya noticed that did ya? I'm not sure how Harry came by that sword, but it ain't just any sword now is it? Harry called the sword Durendal – the sword of Prince Roland."
"Roland? As in Paladin Prince Roland?"
"Aye lad, that's the one. It seems our little Harry has taken a huge responsibility upon his shoulders. I don't think there has been anything close to a paladin in England for almost a thousand years! But ya should have been there to see young Harry! The pensive can't do the meeting justice. He was so powerful, so brave, so pissed at Dumbledore! He was acting as if he were already an adult. Just in a kid's body. I know his power was that of an adult! Ya remember at the end of the memory when Harry just faded from view and left the room? That shouldn't have been possible! An eight-year-old doesn't have the power, and doesn't know how to apparate! But he did it! I checked and there were anti-apparition ward and anti-portkey wards all around that room, and they were still intact after Harry left!"
Mad-eye then took a few minutes to explain to Sirius the current condition of the wizarding world, and the fact that without the body of Peter Pettigrew there was little chance of them getting him out soon, but that now the truth was known, they would be looking for an illegal animagus with the form of a rat.
"Just a few more things Black, you'll have a house elf to help you get the things you need and to keep you company as long as you are in here – Simons!"
There suddenly appeared a proud looking elf dressed in a neat uniform with the House of Ravenclaw crest on it. "Master Moody, you called?" Simons said with a deep bow.
For his part Mad-eye just looked at the house elf for a minute and blinked. "Simons, I didn't know ya belonged to a house. I thought ya were a free elf."
"I was a free elf for many years sir; however, Lord Ravenclaw has invited all free house elves to join him as a member of one of the two houses he holds. He has bonded with us, and has given us instructions as to how to act in representing his house. Azkaban still recognizes me as one of the house elves who worked here. That is why I still know where it is, even though it is unplottable. I did not have to return here now that there is a new Lord Ravenclaw; however, I will help you as a friend."
Moody's mind was spinning. He had never seen a house elf act like this. But what really got him was that the little elf had called him is 'friend'. It reminded him as to how Harry had treated his house elf when he was at Gringotts. He had always tried to treat the house elves with respect, and it could be said that he even 'liked' the little house elf, but to be called a 'friend'? Mad-eye knew he would have to meet with this new 'Lord Ravenclaw' to make sure he wasn't just building an army of house elves.
Simons continued: "We have also seen the example of one of the ancient house elves, and have seen the degree of faith and loyalty that they held. It is an inspiration to all house elves to strive to be worthy of such trust from our Masters."
"Your master is head of two houses? What is the other house if I may ask?"
"You can ask, however, I cannot answer. To do so would reveal too much information regarding my master, and he does not want the wizarding world to know who he is just yet."
"Since ya are no longer bound to Azkaban, I do not know if I can ask ya to help me. I was hoping ya could aid in keeping Mr. Black here company and looking after him."
"Black? Sirius Black?" Simons asked, looking over for the first time to the other occupant in the cell.
"Ya, Sirius Black. The Department of Magical Law Enforcement has placed him under a Theta Protocol, which in this instance means to 'restore the soul' and he'll need help with potions, food, cleaning, and the like. Do you think Lord Ravenclaw would allow ya to do this for him? It would not only be helping me and Sirius out, but also a young man named Harry Potter. Ya see Sirius is Harry's Godfather."
At this the house elf's eyes grew large. "I will ask Lord Ravenclaw presently." And with that the house elf disappeared.
Both Mad-eye Moody and Sirius Black looked stunned for a few moments after the little house elf had left. Who was this new Lord Ravenclaw? Why had he invited all the free elves to bond with him? Why did Simons eyes get so big when he found out that Sirius Black was Harry Potters Godfather?
Coming out of his stunned state Mad-eye continued his instruction to Sirius. "Now Black, while Simons is away let me tell ya the last few things. Even though we have marked your door as being under the Theta Protocol, if any of the guards look in, all they will see is the same old dungy cell. No one but a senior member of the DMLE should be able to open the door."
"I want ya to be careful and take care of yourself. Harry knows ya didn't betray his parents and he still loves ya greatly. Don't worry about Dumbledore, I think Harry has him on probation, but we'll see if that ol' leopard can change his spots. We'll keep looking for Pettigrew, and when we find him, we'll have everything we need to set ya free from this hellhole. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back up to the warden's office and then home. Take care of yourself Black." And with that Mad-eye got up and shook Sirius' hand, turned and headed out the door.
After talking to the warden, Mad-eye found himself back on the docks ready to board the rickety old ship back to the mainland. Handing Charon a Galleon, he said: "Home Charon, with all due speed."
After Mad-eye Moody had left, Simons returned to Sirius' cell.
"I bring greeting from the Lord of the House of Ravenclaw. He bids the Lord of the House of Black welcome, and offers you the service of this humble house elf for as long as you require." Simons said with a bow. "I have been instructed by Lord Ravenclaw to take care of you the best I can."
"Thank you Simons, and thank Lord Ravenclaw when you see him. But right now, what I really need is sleep, and afterwords, maybe a simple meal."
"It shall be done Master Black." Simons said with a bow.
"Please, while it's just the two of us, call me Sirius."
Simons smiled, "As you wish … Sirius".
Under the cupboard at Number 4 Privet Drive.
Harry and the others were still in chamber five talking about Professor Dumbledore.
"Try not to be too hard on him Harry. Even though now I'd like to skin him alive if I could..." Professor McGonagall said. "All this time that I could have been telling you about your parents and the wizarding world... Oh well, what's past is past, at least for now it sounds like he might try to do the right thing. Let's just see if everything works out in the end."
"Ya I know. But it seems to me that there are at least three different 'levels' of doing the right thing."
"First, you do the right thing because you're afraid of what will happen if you don't do it. I guess you could say you fear what would happen if you didn't do the right thing."
"Second, you do the right thing because you feel it is your duty to do it. Regardless as to how you really feel about it."
"And third, you do the right thing out of love. You do it because it is the right thing to do. You don't need any outside motivation. Right now I'd say Professor Dumbledore is doing what he is doing out of a bit of fear and duty. We'll have to see if that can change in the future."
Just then a house elf appeared in the room with them. You could tell that he was very excited.
"Please forgive my interruption Lord Ravenclaw, my name is Simons. Before I came and joined your house, I was a free elf working on Azkaban, the wizarding prison. An old friend, Auror Alastor Moody, had just summoned me there. He asked me to look after a prisoner there named Sirius Black, to help him overcome the effects of the Dementors and the general conditions at Azkaban. I told them that I would have to ask you, since you are my new master. I promised to return to give them your reply."
The others in the room were stunned to hear Simons report. After a few moments Harry just walked over to a chair, sat down, put his head in his hands and started to cry. This brought Remus and Professor McGonagall out of their stupor, as they hurried over to help calm the boy.
"Shhh Harry, it's going to be alright. At least Mad-eye is trying to do something right." Remus said.
"How did Sirius look?" Professor McGonagall was almost afraid to ask.
Simons lowered his head, and answered softly, "He looked almost like a human skeleton." Harry's cries increased. "But from what I heard, he is still in his right mind and Master Moody brought a box with him that seems to block out the effects of the Dementors so Master Black's mind should be able to heal completely after a while. It is quite remarkable since his cell is the closest to where the Dementors reside."
Harry sniffed, trying to get control of himself. "Dementors? Remus, what a Dementor?"
Remus' face went white, as did Professor McGonagall's at the mention of the Dementors. "They are some of the most vial, dark creatures in the wizarding world. No one knows where they came from, but they 'exist' by sucking all of the joy and happiness out of a person. They are also used as one of the most vial punishment the Ministry of Magic can pronounce – The Dementors Kiss. It is where a Dementor is brought a prisoner, and is allowed to 'suck' the soul of the person out. It doesn't 'kill' the person per say, it just leaves them a soulless husk that will eventually die."
Remus looked over at Harry and realized that he had probable said too much. Harry's eyes were again glowing like a high-powered searchlights, and the magic in the air was getting more and more intense.
"Simons, can you take me to Azkaban?" Harry said. It was not really a request, more like a command.
Simons lowered his head, his ears drooping lower. "I am sorry my Lord, Azkaban is unplottable, and has many ancient wards around it that prevent all but a few to go there, even house elves. I fear I have failed you." You could see that Simons was truly sorry that he couldn't do as his new master had asked. He really liked Harry. Right now though, he was having a hard time not pulling his ears, or punishing himself in some other way.
"It is not your fault Simons. You are doing as much as you can right now. But keep looking and seeing if there is anyway you can take me there, or bring Sirius here." Harry said.
Harry thought for a while, and then looked back at Simons. "Simons, you have my permission as Lord Ravenclaw to aid and assist Sirius Black in any way possible. Send greetings to the Head of the House of Black from the Head of the House of Ravenclaw. Do not let him know who I am yet. I think the stress and strain may be too much for him right now. You are to provide him what ever he needs to get better, and you are to keep me informed as to his condition. And remember, please call me Harry, and … nice uniform."
Simons smiled, and bowed his head to Harry. "Yes… Harry, thank you. It shall be done." With that, Simons disappeared, to go back to Sirius at Azkaban.
It took Harry a few more moments to get settled down. After a while, he looked up to Remus and Professor McGonagall and said, "Let's go back and see how the house elves are getting on shall we?"
End Chapter 14
Next Chapter – The Rise of the House of Lupin