Chapter 16 – Letter from Hogwarts
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?
Chapter 16 – Letter from Hogwarts
Lupin Manor – A few weekends later
Professor McGonagall was more then a little upset with all the magic Harry was learning at such a young age.
"Remus, he shouldn't be learning any of this until he gets to Hogwarts!" She exclaimed.
"But Aunt Min, I have to be ready to fight Him when he comes back." Harry explained.
"Fight 'Him'? Who's 'Him'?" she asked.
"Voldemort." Harry answered.
Professor McGonagall jumped at the mention of the name. "Don't be silly Harry. You've already destroyed him. He won't be coming back surely."
"He is not destroyed – just displaced. I know at least one part of his magical core is active because I've had it in me since the day he attacked my family. If he were really gone, the core would be gone also."
Professor McGonagall was shocked at that information. "We have to let Albus know at once! He'll know what to do!"
"Professor Dumbledore already knows about the situation. He's known since the 12th of September. There is nothing he can do with this – yet." Harry said. "Right now the core fragment is shielded, and no magic is being channeled to it. It's my hope that sometime with in the next ten years, the fragment will be to a point where I can take care of it."
"Why can't you let the adults take care of Voldemort if he comes back?" Professor Flitwick asked.
"Because there is a prophecy that says I'm the only one who can. Didn't Professor Dumbledore tell you about it? My mum wrote about it in one of her journals: 'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies...' That's all the Headmaster would tell my parents and the Longbottom's. Apparently they have a son, Neville that was born one day before me, so the prophecy could have been about either one of us."
"So that's why Albus brought Sibyll to Hogwarts. She actually got one right! I remember him saying she had given an 'honest to goodness prophecy' just like her great, great, great grandmother use to do. He also said that he would be going to the Department of Mysteries to have the prophecy duplicated and stored."
"If the prophecy does regard you Harry, we should be able to go to the Department of Mysteries and listen to the full recording. I doubt I would be able to get away long enough during the school year, but we could do it during the summer. How does that sound?"
"That would be great Aunt Min! Could Uncle Remus and Uncle Filius could come with us?"
"I'm sure we can Harry. Now, let's talk about how your training is coming along…"
Harry and Remus finally convinced Professor McGonagall that he needed to train as much and as hard as he could until the time Voldemort returned. They explained how using flextime they could cover a maximum of 10 days studies in one eight hour period, so that they didn't spend all day down there.
Harry still hadn't told anyone about 'Potter in the Mind', where time was slowed down even further. If Harry were able to spend a full day (outside time) in 'Potter in the Mind', it would be the equivalent of 100 days. That was how Harry was able to study seven 'years' as a page, and another seven 'years' as a squire with Durendal teaching him the requirement to be a true Paladin.
Over the next three years, Harry would continue to learn and grow both mentally, physically and emotionally.
Department of Mysteries
During the first summer at Lupin Manor, Professor McGonagall took Harry and the others to the Department of Mysteries. All but Harry went in disguise so others could not tell whom they were. Professor Flitwick even wore a glamour that made him look six feet tall.
They were escorted to the Hall of Prophecies by a faceless Unspeakable. When they turned down a row of shelves holding hundreds of glowing orbs. The Unspeakable stopped in the middle of the row, and pointed to something on one of the upper rows.
Carefully Harry reached up and pulled down one of the small flasks that had his name on it. After the Unspeakable had cast a privacy dome around them, Harry opened the flask and watched as a spectral image of Sibyll Trelawney ascended out of the flask and began stating the prophecy:
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...
Everyone stood still for several minutes. No one knew what to say. If this prophecy was about Harry, it meant he was the only person who could possible 'vanquish' the Dark Lord.
Harry calmly placed the cap back on the flask then suddenly threw the flask on the floor as hard as he could. Everyone else jumped. The spectral image of Sibyll Trelawney again began to state the prophecy, but without energy from the flask to support the matrix, the image dissipated into the ether.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING HARRY?" Remus yelled.
"This is so no one else can learn of the prophecy. Right now there are five, maybe six people in the world that know what was contained in that flask. I know my mind is occluded to where no one can get it from me. I will insist that each of you also learn how to prevent someone getting this information from your mind as well."
"I do have a question though; what does 'vanquish' mean exactly?"
It was Professor Flitwick that answered Harry. "It is to completely conquer or overcome someone in battle. To gain Mastery over or subdue them to where they can not be a threat again. Does that answer your question?"
"I think so for the most part. It would seem that if there is some way for me to beat Voldemort – without killing him – he has to be in a state where he would no longer be a threat to me or the Wizarding world."
"But what if he refuses to submit or admit defeat?" Harry asked.
Remus came over to Harry and placed a fatherly hand on his shoulder. "If he refuses to stand down Harry, there is only one thing that you can do. That is to send him on to the next great adventure and let him be judged there."
Harry lifted his face to looks at Remus. "You mean kill him don't you? You want me to become a murderer just like him?"
This time it was Professor McGonagall that stepped forward to address Harry. "No Harry! You will never be 'just like him', or even like him. You hold the sword of Prince Roland, the great Paladin. In order for you to do that, your heart must be pure."
"Harry," she continued, "Since you've received this sword, have you read anything of the life of Roland? It's last master?"
Harry shook his head 'yes'.
"I'm sure you will remember that Prince Roland's life was not an easy one. As the chief Paladin, he had to set an example to all and make decisions that affected the rest of the paladins and the people around them. He was involved in many battles to guard and defend King Charlemagne. Do you think he did all that without killing people? The only people he killed were those who were found worthy of death. Who's hearts were so dark that they were past feeling and past any point of redemption."
"When you face Voldemort, Durendal will be there to help you see if there is any good left in him and if he can be redeemed or if he must be dispatched to the next great adventure."
"I know you have already used the sword one time to judge the Headmaster and the intents of his heart. What would have happened if Durendal would have found him wanting? Would you have been able to kill him at that time?"
Harry hung his head. He had already this discussion with 'Ma' and the essences of Durendal and had come to realize just how just HOW lucky he had been.
He knew he was not ready to take on the role of a Paladin now, but he was much closer. But back during the time of the Board of Inquiry, there would have been no way that he would have been ready to pass judgment on someone.
What if he had struck the Headmaster down at that time? How would that have effected the mind of an eight year old boy? What would Remus, Professor McGonagall, and Flitwick's opinion of him be if he had done something like that? What would the Goblins think of him? To have had the 'leader of light' killed while in their jurisdiction? Surly a new war would have erupted and the wizarding and goblin world made weaker, easier for Voldemort to come in and take over.
The only thing that Harry could have hoped for is that Madame Bones or Auror Moody would have taken the Headmaster in for further questioning at the Ministry, or Ragnok and Stonehand would have taken him in for questioning by the Goblins.
Now though, the main question was how to safeguard the contents of the prophecy.
"Well, I will admit I was very lucky with the Headmaster at the Board of Inquiry. And I hope it is a very long time before I am placed in that type of situation again. Right now, however, I want to talk about safeguarding the contents of the prophecy. All of us need to learn how to block our minds so others can not find out the contents of the prophecy.
Remus and I can take you to a special chamber where time is slowed down greatly if you need time to study and practice. Either that, or agree to be obliviated."
Harry's voice and manner was very cold and 'matter-of-fact'. Each of them would agree to learn occlumency or be obliviated.
"I'm with you Harry, but you should know, that a werewolf's mind is naturally occluded due to the nature of the illness. However, I will learn more traditional occlumency since I hear it is a great aid in studying and learning." Remus announced.
"I already have the basics of occlumency learned. One does not work closely with the Headmaster year after year, and keep anything private if you do not learn how to shield your mind. However, I would be most interested in seeing how you have built your shield." Professor McGonagall said.
"I feel I am in way over my head," Professor Flitwick started, "I have tried to occlude my mind many times before, but I find the constant need of keeping the shields up bothersome. I honestly feel it would be better if I were obliviated."
"I understand how you feel Professor, Aunt Min, could you please obliviate Uncle Filius? Maybe just plant the memory in his mind that he came with us, but just stayed outside the Hall of Prophecies?"
"That shouldn't be too hard Harry. Are you sure about this Filius?"
"Yes Minerva, I think it's for the best. Just make sure you get the charm right." Professor Flitwick said with a smirk on his face
Over the course of the next few years, Remus had taught Harry and Sassy all seven years of Hogwarts lesson material.
In addition, Harry had gone through all of his fathers Auror training manuals, and his mothers Unspeakable training manuals. He had read nearly all the books in the Potter Library relating to his studies.
Remus would no longer duel with Harry 'for real', but would animate up to 10 training dummies – half at a senior auror level, the other half at a hit wizard level. It took quite a while, but Harry got to the point where it seemed he could do anything regardless of the situation. Some of this was due to the fact that Harry developed a very useful shield.
alere roboris – (Feed Core Shield). If Harry were getting weak during a battle, he could invoke this shield, which would in essences, take the power behind any spell cast against him, and 'block' or more correctly 'decompile' the spell, and channel the energy in the spell back into his core. It wouldn't work on any of the Unforgivable curses, but just about everything else would feed energy back into Harry's core. Of course Harry still had to be strong enough to put up the shield in the first place and hold it against what ever spell thrown against him. If he waited too long, the shield wouldn't be strong enough to decompile the spell, and it would come through and hit him.
It would seem that the effects from 'The Blessing of the Heir' continued to fade over time with no one to renew the charm. That and Harry's little stunt with the blood rune stones from earlier in the summer had cost him dearly with regards of the protection that Sirius and his mother had given him.
The only reason he could absorbed the energy of the spell into his core was because he had been use to receiving 'power transfers' since he was a young baby. His core was flexible enough to take a sudden influx of power – like the first time he tried drawing power from the blood rune shield around Privet Drive, and brought the whole shield down for a few moments.
But the most important thing Remus taught Harry over this three year period was; how to be a Marauder – and an animagus.
April, 1991 – Lupin Manor
Harry had been interested in becoming an animagus ever since he read about them in the Potter Family Library.
It seemed that the type of animal or animals you could change into were based on several factors: your raw magical power – the more power the larger the animal: your intellect – the smarter you were, the more complicated the animal could be: your moral compass – you could be something 'good', 'bad', or 'neutral' and your basic elemental – Earth, Wind, Fire, Water. Earth and Wind forms were very common. Fire forms were rare, and Water types were almost non-existent.
This is where the information in James' trunk proved to be priceless. It seems the real Arithmancy formulas are a closely guarded ministry secret. It was during a prank while the then Minister of Magic had come to inspect Hogwarts that Sirius was able to switch the Minister's valise, copy the information that was there (including the animagus formulas), and return it without the Minister or his guards knowing.
When the Marauders saw what they had, they immediately swore each other to secrecy that they would never 'tell' anyone the formulas. Everyone but Peter was smart enough to make a copy of the formulas for future generations of Marauders. They could not 'tell' them the formulas, but there wasn't anything to stop them from having the future Marauders 'read' and 'memorize' the formulas.
There were a series of Arithmancy formulas that you had to go through to find out the level and class of animal you would be compatible with.
Then there were other formulas you had to uses to compute your basic elemental classification: orange for earth, white for wind, red for fire, and blue for water. The only problem with Harry, his results always came out 'Black'. What was the meaning of that?
What Harry decided to try is to put each of the elements into the next equation to see what his primary form would be for that element.
With the Earth element, the primary form came out as Chimera – Head of a lion, body of a goat, and tail of a serpent. Besides being very mean, and very hard to kill, their breath was described as a 'terrible blasts of burning flame'. All Harry had to worry about is having a block of lead shoved down his throat.
With the Wind element, the primary form came out as a Hippogriff – The result of mating a Griffin with a horse mare. They were said to have the head, wings and front feet of an eagle, and the body of a horse, but it was actually the head, wings and front feet of a Griffin. Very proud, strong animals, they were also known for their loyalty.
With the Fire element, the primary form was a Bennu– An Egyptian stork like creature that had all of the same characteristics as a phoenix – Carry large, heavy loads, use 'fire-travel', their song encourages the light wizards, while bringing fear and dread to the hearts of the dark. It also had the ability to be re-born through fire. It is said that the first Bennu came from the soul of the Egyptian sun god Ra.
When Harry tried the Arithmancy equation with the Water element he was surprised that it too came up with a valid animagus form. The Hippocampus was a water creature with the head and front legs of a horse, and the tail of a serpent. It was said to be very swiftness and power. The Merpeople were said to breed and use them as steeds.
"Well Harry, that's quite impressive. Which one do you think you'll try first?" Remus asked.
Harry just sat at his desk looking at the different formulas. How could that be correct? No one had four different animagus figures based on the each of the different elements! And that was just the beginning! There were other sets of equations where you would put in the animal type, and come up with the requirements for the witch or wizard to meet if they wanted to become that type of animal.
"Sorry Remus, this is just a bit much to take in all at once. How many other people do you know of have an animal from more then one elemental group?"
"With the possible exception of Merlin… none. I'd say that was a very unique situation in the current wizarding world. So, which on do you think you'll try first?" Remus asked again.
"Well, I'd like to try the Bennu first since it seems to be related to a phoenix, but I have to get more information on it first, so I think I'll do the Hippogriff first. Then if I get the hang of things, I'll probable do the Chimera since I think I'll need a strong presence on the ground. By that time I should have enough information to try for the Bennu, and then the Hippocampus. I just don't know where there are large bodies of water to practice that form though."
"Just wait until you get to Hogwarts and see its lake! I'm sure the giant squid would share it with you, and the merpeople will be thrilled to see another Hippocampus down there. Who knows, they might even set up a breeding schedule for you!" Remus said laughing.
"Gross Uncle Remus! Are you trying to get me sick! Don't even think that!" Harry shivered at the thought.
"Just had to get in my digs while I can Harry. You'll be going to Hogwarts this year, and I don't know how often I'll be able to see you there."
"I know Uncle Remus. I'm getting a little excited about it. I can't wait being with kids my own age – not that you and Aunt Min, and Uncle Filius aren't fun to be with, but, you know, after a while…" Harry said with a sad smile on his face.
"Kids your own age? What age would that be Harry? The almost eleven years-old that you are by the calendar, or the thirty-something you would be if you took into account all the time you spent in flextime?"
"I'm looking forward to meet other preteens that are wide-eyed and ready to learn magic at one of the greatest schools in the magical world. I'm looking forward to not being pressured in to getting up at 5:00 o'clock in the bloody AM to go out running, and fighting for what seems like days on end. I'm looking forward to just sitting back and reviewing a book I've already read five times to answer a series of questions some great teacher thinks will tax the mind of a first-year student. I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet – when ever I'm not pulling a prank."
"Oh, I don't think that will last for very long Harry. You're too much a man of action. You'll get bored soon and go looking for some trouble to get into before too long."
"We'll just have to see about that. Right now, I have some studying to do. Sassy! Could you please bring me all the books you can find about Hippogriff's and Chimera's please? Then if you and a few other elves could look for any information you can find on Bennu it would be great! Look all over the world, but I think you'll probable have most of your luck in Egypt and the area around there. If you need money, you know you can draw on the Potter family trust okay?"
"Okay Master Harry, I understand, I will use eleven other elves working in teams to make sure everything gets covered. How soon do you think you will need it?" Sassy asked.
"Well, I should be in the time chamber at least a week. That should give me time to read all the books and do the meditation I need to get the characteristics imprinted in my mind before I try a transformation. Don't worry Uncle Remus; I won't try the transformation by myself. I know too many things could go wrong, and if I don't have someone there to help me with the counter spell, I may be stuck in there as a Hippogriff forever."
"I will come out of the time chamber for every meal to give you an update on how things are going, and also in case Aunt Min happens to come by on the weekend. I hate keeping so much from her, but I'm just afraid she's a little too close to Professor Dumbledore."
"Well, I better get going, I've got a lot of reading ahead of me."
"Okay cub, good luck to you." Remus said as he gave Harry a hug.
"Now cut that out, I'm getting too old for hugs!" Harry struggled against Remus.
"Just wait, soon you'll just be craving hugs!"
"Ya, maybe, but not from you!" Harry turns, and ran away laughing before Remus can respond.
Headmaster's office Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
"… 28, 29, 30, 31. I think this is the smallest class we've ever had Minerva. I can only hope that the class size starts growing in a few years." Professor Dumbledore was getting ready to send out the invitations for the class of 1991 to Hogwarts.
"I wouldn't worry Albus, remember, it was only ten years ago that young Harry Potter displaced He-How-Must-Not-be-Named. I'm sure if you checked St. Mungo's maternity records, you'll find the numbers will be moving up nicely over the next few years. Speaking of Mr. Potter, I don't seem to see his letter in this group. Albus, are you going to deliver his letter to him directly?" Professor Minerva McGonagall, deputy-headmistress of Hogwarts asked.
"Alas, no. I haven't seen or heard from our Mr. Potter since the 12th of September nearly three years ago when I met him at Privet Drive. I have had no correspondence with him or his guardians. None of my instruments have been able to locate him, and none of the school owls or Fawkes has been able to find him and aside from the odd sighting of Mr. Potter in Diagon Alley maybe once or twice during that period of time, I must therefore conclude that Mr. Potter has no intentions of coming to Hogwarts this year."
Professor McGonagall knew that school owls could reach Harry. She had been writing him ever since he moved into Lupin Manor over two and a half years ago. She had to be very careful how she addressed this problem. After all, she WAS Harry's Guardian, and she DID want him to go to Hogwarts. There must have been something other problem.
"That's preposterous Headmaster! You know as well as I do that Mr. Potter's name has been on the rolls of Hogwarts since he was born! James and Lily even set up a trust fund for him to pay for his schooling."
"How would you know this Minerva?" Professor Dumbledore asked as he looked over the top of his half moon glasses.
"I happened to visit Lily when she was at Godric's Hollow after she had come home with Harry to talk about his education." She said. It wasn't a total lie. She had visited Lily, and they had talked about his education. Lily just didn't mention anything about a trust fund. That was something she found out after she became Harry's guardian. But if the Headmaster was going to use half-truths, then so would she.
"Tell me Headmaster, just how many owls did you send to Harry over the last two and a half years?"
"Well, none directly. I thought it would be more appropriate to address them to his guardian."
"And just how many owls did you attempt to send to his guardians then Albus?"
"It doesn't matter how many owls I sent to his guardians. The fact of the matter is they have not seen fit to contact me with regards to their wishes regarding Harry's education in that period of time. I must therefore conclude that they have made other arrangements for his education!" The Headmaster was getting a little annoyed by his deputy's questioning his handling of Mr. Harry Potter.
"Is that a fact Headmaster?" Professor McGonagall was getting annoyed at the Headmaster's handling of this situation also. "Tell me, how many of these other students or their guardians have personally contacted you about the educational arrangements of their children? Certainly none of the muggle born student's or their parents, and I don't recall any of the purebloods sending a letter stating that their little children would be coming here have they?"
"Are you still upset with Mr. Potter calling that Board of Inquiry three years ago? Oh, good grief man! Grow up! He was just an eight-year-old boy that you had seriously wronged! No one outside of that room has any idea what happened in there, and if you're big enough to admit it, you brought that all on your own head by not following James and Lily's Will. You cannot take your grudges out on a little boy for something YOU did! That's not the great Albus Dumbledore that I know! Now tell me Albus, what is really going on?"
"Alright! I'll admit it hurt me greatly when I was stripped of my powers and control over Mr. Potter three years ago, but that is not all. You'll remember that one of the areas of probation was that I could not be a trustee or executor in any further business dealing with Gringotts? That one statement has forced me to have to turn down several request from some very powerful families that would have been very beneficial for all persons concerned."
"'Beneficial to all persons concerned'? Isn't that just another way of saying 'it would have put more coin in my pocket?" Professor McGonagall was just about ready to start spitting nails at the Headmaster.
"I suggest you go over to your pensive and take another look at the Board of Inquiry. None of that was young Mr. Potter's fault! All of that was of your own doing! Now I'm going to my office to draft an admissions letter to Mr. Potter, and I suggest after you review the Board of Inquiry in the pensive, you write a real letter to Harry's guardian. I will be back shortly to mail it and ALL of the admission letters and the letter to his guardians. AM I MAKING MYSELF CLEAR HEADMASTER?"
"Yes, yes quite clear Minerva, there's no need to shout."
"Then get over to that pensive to remind yourself just what happened, and then get that letter written to Harry's guardian's. I'll be back in twenty minutes to pick it up!"
Professor McGonagall got up out of the chair, headed out of the Headmaster's office, and slammed the door shut on the way out.
"I do believe I have some memories to review…" Professor Dumbledore said to himself.
Lupin Manor – July 24th, 1991
Harry had been working hard the last few weeks. In that period of time, he had completed his animagus training as a Hippogriff and a Chimera. The information on the Bennu was very hard to obtain, but his faithful elves had retrieved text not only from Egypt, but also from Turkey and surprisingly China.
Harry was having a great time looking at, and learning all the new languages. He made extensive use of the translation spell on the 'knowledge sphere' to translate the foreign language texts into English. When this was done, Harry would then use a Quick Quote Quill to transcribe the book into English to be placed into the Potter Library.
Harry had been meditating on his last primary form – the Hippocampus, when he came out of the time chamber for lunch.
"Mail call Harry!" Remus said as he came into the kitchen area.
"Anything from Aunt Min?" Harry asked, sitting down and picking up a sandwich.
"In a manner of speaking, yes." Remus said with a smile on his face. Remus then handed Harry a heavy parchment letter written in green ink.
"IT CAME!" Harry exclaimed, "MY HOGWARTS LETTER! IT CAME!"
Harry grabbed the letter and started jumping up and down, and dancing around the kitchen like a kid on Christmas day who just got everything on his wish list.
Remus couldn't help but laugh at the sight of his all-but-godson acting like an eleven year-old child.
"Well, you going to jump around all day, or are you going to read it?" Remus asked.
Settling down, Harry returned to the table and gently opened his letter:
HOGWARTS SCHOOLof WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore(Order of Merlin, First class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins September 1. We await your owl by no later then July 31.
In a hand written note on the bottom of the letter, Aunt Min had included the following.
'I'm sure your parents would be very proud of you and all the hard work you have put in to get to where you are. You should know the Headmaster did not want to send this letter out. He tried to tell me that since your 'guardians' had not attempted to get in touch with him, they must have made other arrangements for your training. I think he is still upset at you for what happened at Gringotts. I made sure that it was pointed out to him that what happened at Gringotts was NOT your fault, but his own.'
'I have set aside July 31st to take you to Diagon Alley for you to pick-up anything you do not already have. I hope you understand if I going covertly, I do not want Albus to know who your guardian is… yet.'
'But never doubt my love for you as if you were one of my own.'
'Love, Aunt Min'
Harry didn't know how he should feel. On the one hand he was very upset that the Headmaster would be holding a grudge against him like some little child. On the other hand to hear someone say that they loved him in writing, gave him a strange warm feeling inside. Harry was looking forward to being with his Aunt Min on his birthday.
July 31, Diagon Alley
As Harry and Minerva walked down Diagon Alley, Harry was taken back at the number of people that were there that day. He had been to Diagon Alley before with Remus, but they always tried to arrange their time there when there would be a minimum of people around for several reasons, not the least of which was Harry's famous scare.
"Come on Harry, I think all you really need is a set of school robes, your pointed hat, and a new set of books. Let's go to Gringotts first and get what money you'll need for your supplies and the school year."
Walking to the bank, Harry noticed a group of boys gathered around the Quidditch supply store looking at the new Nimbus 2000. He just smiled at the excited group of young men. He knew that it was the flier, as well as the broom, that made a winning pair.
Arriving at Gringotts, Professor McGonagall held back a little. "Oh, my word, it's Hagrid! He many not recognize me in my appearance, but as soon as I move or say anything he'll know who I am, and I'm afraid he'll tell the Headmaster."
"Hagrid? Rubeus Hagrid? Keeper of the Keys and all that rot of Hogwarts?"
"Yes Harry. How did you know?"
"My Mum wrote quite a bit about him in one of her journals. Said that I should get to know him once I got to Hogwarts. Maybe I can solve our problem… Wait here for just a moment okay Aunt Min?"
"Okay Harry, but don't get into any trouble."
Harry walked right up to the side of the large man and cleared his throat. "Ah, excuse me sir? But would your name happen to be Hagrid, Rubeus Hagrid? Keeper of the keys and groundskeeper at Hogwarts?"
Hagrid was a little surprised that someone would be talking to him. Looking down he started to answer: "Why yes I am, and who might you b… Oh bless my soul! Harry? Is that you?"
"Yes sir. I came to Diagon Alley today with my guardian," pointing back to where Minerva stood, "to get my supplies for Hogwarts today. I read about you in my Mum's journal about how you were one of her few friends when she started at Hogwarts and told me to get to know you as soon as I got to school. I hope you don't mind me getting started a little early."
Hagrid laughed hearty. Everyone in the bank to look at him, and then quickly looked away. "Your mum was one of the finest people I ever met. She did more for me, then I could every say. She says I was one of her few friends? The truth of the matter was she was one of my only friends. She was one of the only people – other then the other staff members that would come and visit me. She helped me so much in learning more magic. She was quite a young lady." Harry could see an unshed tear in Hagrid's eyes.
"Hagrid? I know this isn't really fair, but could I ride down to the vaults with you? I'd like to get to know you a little bit better before getting to school."
Hagrid looked proud enough to burst right there on the spot. "Of course you can Harry. I haven't seen you since that night I took you from…" Hagrid's whole expression fell when he remembered that first time he had seen Harry.
Seeing his discomfort, Harry rested his hand on his new friends arm and said: "That's okay Hagrid, you did what you were asked to do, and I don't hold that against you. I fact, it shows how much trust other persons put in you to take care of such a delicate situation."
Hagrid blushed at Harry's praise. At that time they reached the front of the teller line.
"Morning, we've come to take some money from Mr. Harry Potter's vault." Hagrid announced as they came up to the teller.
"You better have Lord Potter's permission to say something like that." The goblin said looking fiercely at Hagrid.
Harry stepped out from behind Hagrid and said "Don't worry Sharphit, he does."
"Oh, Lord Potter! I'm sorry, I didn't see you there."
"Forget about it. Here's my key."
"Oh, and I have a letter from Professor Dumbledore. It's about you-know-what in vault seven hundred thirteen." Hagrid had whispered the last part of his message to the goblin, who looked at the letter and then returned it back to Hagrid."
"Very well, Griphook! Could you please take Lord Potter and Mr. Hagrid down to their vaults?"
"Certainly Sharphit, Lord Potter, Mr. Hagrid? This way please. Good morning Lord Potter, it is good to see you again."
"You too Griphook how is your father?"
"He is doing quite well thank you. Your last visit here was quite profitable for him."
"I'm glad to hear that Griphook, please give him my regards."
"Certainly Lord Potter, now, it you and Mr. Hagrid would be as kind as to get into the cart."
Harry got right in. It took Hagrid a little longer to get his frame into the cart.
"'Lord Potter? That has a nice ring to it Harry. How long have you been Head of your family's House?"
"About three years now. It's a lot of work. I'm glad I have some good advisers and guardians to help me with it."
As the cart started to rocket down the tracks, Harry turned to Hagrid and asked: "What's this 'you-know-what' in vault seven hundred thirteen?"
"Can't tell ya Harry, that's Hogwarts business. Dumbledore trust me. It's worth more then my job to tell ya. Great man Dumbledore."
Harry had to bite is tongue not to say something about Professor Dumbledore. "That's alright Hagrid I wouldn't want to get you in trouble with Professor Dumbledore."
The cart came to a halt, and Harry passed his key to Griphook, who quickly unlocked the vault. Harry stepped out of the cart, picked up a few bags with a mix of Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts, before jumping back into the cart.
"Do ya think we could go a little slower to the next stop?"
"One speed only." Griphook said, with a little smile on his face.
When they got to vault seven hundred thirteen, Griphook got out of the cart and warned everyone else to stand back. Running his finger down the center of the door, Harry could hear a series of gears, locks, and deadbolts turn and slide back as he feels the presence of a magical 'vacuum cleaner' activate that would have 'sucked in' any wizard that would have been standing on the platform.
When the door opened, Hagrid went in and picked up a grubby little package, and put it in his coat. "Best not be telling anyone about that okay Harry?"
Harry shook his head 'Okay', and Hagrid got back into the cart. Harry could feel the power radiating off the little package. It was far more intense then anything he had felt before including the blood rune stones.
As they got back up to the bank lobby, Hagrid said: "Well, it is good to know that you're all right Harry. I know the Headmaster has been worried something terrible over how you were being brought up, but now I can just tell him that you're alright, and you'll be at Hogwarts in just over a month now."
"Ya that will be great Hagrid." Harry said as he bite his tongue again. "I hope you'll let me come and visit you when I get to Hogwarts?"
"Anytime Harry, anytime. I've got a few stories I could sure tell you about your mum and dad, but mostly about your mum."
"I'd like that a lot Hagrid, thanks." Harry held up his hand for Hagrid to shack it.
Hagrid looked at the hand, and ignoring it, took Harry into a big bear-hug, patting him on the back. "Friends don't shake hands Harry, they hug."
Harry tried to return the hug. "Thanks Hagrid." This time there were tears in Harry's eyes.
Walking back up to where Professor McGonagall was standing Hagrid looked up and even though he couldn't see her face, said with a strong voice. "You've done a fine job of raising young Harry here, and for that I thank you." Hagrid held out his hand, but wisely, Professor McGonagall didn't accept it. She knew if she did, she would be found out, and the Headmaster would know. After an acquired moment, Hagrid removed his hand, and turned to Harry and said: "Well, then, ah, I guess I will be seeing you on the first of September then right?"
"Right" Harry said.
"Right then, I'll be seeing ya Harry." And with that Hagrid walked out the bank door.
Professor McGonagall waited a few moments to make sure Hagrid had gone before she put up a privacy dome and said anything to Harry. "Well, what did you think of Hagrid Harry?"
"I can see why my mum would have really liked him. But he seems to think that the Headmaster can do no wrong, and when you're that big, not many people are going to argue with you." He said with a slight smile.
"Yes, Hagrid is rather fond of the Headmaster. He's the one that got him his job at Hogwarts after he was expelled for being accused of something he did not do."
"Come on Harry, you still need to get your robes while I get you a new set of books for your class."
Aunt Min took Harry to 'Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions'. As they entered Madam Malkin herself met them. "Hogwarts dear?" she asked. "I've got another one in the back here just finishing up. Come on, up you go."
Harry found himself standing on a stool with a very pale and a pointy face.
"Hello", said the boy, "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes," said Harry.
The boy had a huge arrogance streak in his manner Harry could 'hear' him talking down to him in his tone of voice and an aura that defiantly was not 'clean'
"My father's next door buying my books and mother's up the street looking at wands," said the boy. "Do you know what house you'll be sorted into? I'm sure I'll be going to the great house of Slytherin. If I were to be sorted in to Hufflepuff I think I'd have to kill myself. Ha, ha, ha, ha"
Yep, this kid was definitely a stuck-up creep. But what did that poem say? '…listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.' But then it also said: 'Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.' Harry was pretty sure this kid fell into this category. He was brought out of his thoughts when he saw Hagrid walk down the street, outside the store.
"I say, look at that man!" The pale boy suddenly said.
"Huh, Oh, that's Hagrid. He works at Hogwarts."
"Hagrid, I've heard of him. Isn't he some kind of servant?"
"He's keeper of the keys and groundskeeper."
"Ah yes, the savage."
"I think he's brilliant from what I've heard."
"You do? Well, I think he is a clear example of the type of people who should not be permitted in wizarding world – half-breed. At least he's not a mud-blood. They don't have any place in our world! Don't you agree? I can tell you're a pure-blood aren't you?"
Harry stood there dumbfounded. He didn't know if he should laugh in the boy's face, or knock it off his head. Fortunately he didn't have to answer since the person working on the pale boys robe told him she was through.
"Well, I guess I'll see you on the Hogwarts Express then. By the way, my names Draco, Draco Malfoy."
"Good for you Malfoy, I'm sure I'll see you there." Harry really didn't like this boy.
Harry quickly got his robes and supplies and headed back to Lupin Manor with Professor McGonagall.
Headmaster's office – Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
As soon as Hagrid returned to Hogwarts from Diagon Alley he headed straight to Professor Dumbledore's office.
"Headmaster! Headmaster! I saw him! I saw him! In Gringotts! He came right up to me and told me how he had read about me in some of his mum's journals!" Hagrid was defiantly excited.
"Slow down Hagrid, slow down. Now, whom did you see at Gringotts?" The Professor asked with a twinkle in his eye. "Lemon drop?"
"No thank ya sir. Harry Potter sir! He came right up to me and asked if I was Rubeus Hagrid and told me how his mum had written in her journals about me! We rode down to the caverns together and talked about him coming here to Hogwarts! He seems quite excited to be able to come here. I told him he could come and visit me when he had a free moment. I tell ya Professor, he may look like James, but his eyes, and his heart are just like Lily's."
The twinkle went out of the Headmaster's eyes as soon as he heard the words 'Harry Potter'. He turned his body so Hagrid couldn't see. He was craving any information he could get on young Mr. Potter.
"Tell me, Hagrid, how did Mr. Potter seem to be to you? Was he well cared for? Well mannered? What type of aura did he exhibit? Can you tell me anything about his guardians."
"Well… he looked very well cared for. Well feed, clothed, very well mannered. I couldn't tell you about any aura, I didn't notice any. One thing that was strange though was that it seemed like he knew every goblin in the bank, and they all knew him. They would call him 'Lord Potter'. I guess that would be right if he was the head of the house of Potter."
"As far as the guardians, ya, I did meet one of them, but I couldn't see their face, and when I offered to shake hands, they refused. They looked kind of small; maybe they thought I would break their hand or something."
"Oh, before I forget…" Hagrid started searching through his coat pockets before he took out the grubby sack that he had taken from vault seven hundred thirteen.
"Thank you Hagrid, you have been most helpful today. When young Harry gets here, please keep an eye on him, and let me know if there are any problems."
"Sure enough Professor Dumbledore, but I'm sure you won't have any trouble with him."
'I hope not Hagrid, for all of our sakes, I surly hope not.' Professor Dumbledore thought.
Returning home, Harry quickly sorted out everything that he and Professor McGonagall had purchased at Diagon Alley. Harry put the things he needed into his multi-chambered trunk.
He told Remus and Professor McGonagall about his talk with Hagrid, and how he was glad to meet someone else who knew he parents. He also told them about the snotty pale boy in the robe shop – Draco Malfoy.
"That sounds just like what Lucius Malfoy's son would say." Professor McGonagall stated.
"Harry, remember the followers of Voldemort?" Remus started.
"Ya, Death-eaters right?"
"That's right Harry. It was thought that Lucius was in Voldemort's 'inner circle' before you removed him from power. Lucius had lots of money and spread it around before his trial. He claimed he had been held under an Imperius curse and that he couldn't help doing all the bad things he did. To say the least, he was found not guilty and escaped doing any jail time in Azkaban."
"The Malfoy's are all about blood purity. They feel that only pure-bloods should be taught magic, and that all others should be 'eliminated'."
"That doesn't make any sense Uncle Remus." Harry said. "If you have a closed society like that, I don't care how diverse they begin, if you don't allow any 'new stock' from time to time sooner or later your gene pool will no longer be viable. You'll have cousins marrying cousins! Soon you would breed the magic right out of the population, and they would get to the point where the whole society would become sterile."
"Do I want to know where you read that from Harry?"
"Don't worry Aunt Minerva. That came mostly from some of my muggle reading that I would do for a change of pace from all the boring magical books that were in the Potter library."
"Alright then. Oh my, look at the time! I have to get back to Hogwarts before the Headmaster suspects anything." She walked over and gave Harry a sweet hug and a kiss before heading to the fireplace. Turning around just before going in, she said: "Harry, know that I love you, and can't wait until you come to Hogwarts. You behave and I'll see you in a month." Then she threw in the floo powder, and called out "Professor McGonagall's office Hogwarts," and was gone.
"I do miss having a woman around the house." Remus said.
"Me too" said Harry.
Hogwarts – Main Hall
It was just a few days until the students would be showing up at Hogwarts again. All of the instructors had now reported in at the school. They were finishing up lesson plans, and were now getting use to the responsibilities they would be assuming in just a few days.
The Headmaster came in after breakfast had started and looked quite unkempt and confused. His Deputy Headmistress was keen to the fact that he had missed the last few days of preparation. In fact, this was the first time she had seen the Headmaster in some time.
"Professor Dumbledore are you alright?" She asked.
"Ah, Minerva, sorry, I just seem to be a little under the weather lately. Ever since Hagrid came back from Diagon Alley stating he had seen our young Mr. Potter I have had a very uneasy feeling." He sat down and started picking at the food on his plate.
"What would you be feeling uneasy about? I thought Hagrid said Harry looked fine."
"Oh yes, yes, Harry looked fine, it's the guardian that they have placed him with that has me concerned. Did I tell you they refused to shake Hagrid's hand when he offered it to him?"
"Really? I wonder why? Maybe they were afraid Hagrid would break their hand if they shook it."
"No, no, that can't be it I think the goblins have place our Mr. Potter with some Death-eaters."
Professor Dumbledore was serious when he said it. Professor McGonagall dropped her fork and just looked at him in shock.
"And just how did you come to this conclusion Headmaster?" Professor McGonagall asked.
"Isn't it… Isn't it clear? They have made no attempt to contact me regarding Harry, they refuse to shack Hagrid's hand, and they have kept Mr. Potter almost completely out of the wizarding world. What other conclusion could it be? They are obviously a dark family that does not want to deal with any part of the light! I must stop them and save Harry!"
Minerva was quite beside herself. Being called 'dark' was one thing, but trying to 'save' Harry was not a good idea. She got up and placed her hand on his shoulder.
"Albus, I think you need to come with me for a few minutes. You haven't had any sleep for quite some time, and I can tell you haven't been taking care of your self. You need to see Madame Pomfrey to get some rest before the children come here. Mr. Potter will be here in just a few days, then you will have him here for the next nine months, but I would advise you not to try to 'save' him when he first shows up. Get to know the young man first, and see how he is. Remember if he is holding the sword of Roland, there is a very good chance that he is not dark or evil. Now, come on, let's go see Madame Pomfrey."
"Of course Minerva, of course you are correct. I do need my strength before the children show up." Professor Dumbledore slowly got up and allowed his friend to help him up to the hospital wing. The other teachers were confused at the current condition of their Headmaster – all except one. Could he use the weakened Headmaster to get what he wanted? Only time would tell.
Lupin Manor – September 1st Early Morning
"Come on Harry your going to be late to the Hogwarts Express." Remus yelled.
"Oh, come on now Uncle Remus, I'm so close to getting it. Can't we go down to the lake and try it just one more time? I'm sure I can do it this time?"
"Okay, but only if you have your trunk packed and ready to go and with you."
"Great! Here, let me 'slide' us down to the lake."
Before Remus even has a chance to say anything, Harry grabs his arm, and all at once, they are standing on a lake in the southern part of the Lupin estate.
"Okay Harry, now remember, you have to accept the personality and characteristic of the Hippocampus. Now let's see it."
Harry wasn't listening to his Uncle Remus. He was running full speed down to the water. Entering the water, he allowed the Hippocampus persona take complete control. As he dove into the water, he felt the change take place. His head stretched, and he grew a long mane down his neck. His arms became powerful front legs with webbed hooves. His legs became a long powerful serpents tail that he could use to propel him through the water. Then, the moment of truth came. He was completely under water now. He opened his mouth to take in his first 'breath'… SUCCESS! He was breathing under water! He felt complete! He headed for the surface of the water as fast as he could swim. As he broke the surface he keep going up and up. He felt like shouting for joy. Which came out sounding more like a horse whinnying.
Harry could see Remus on the shoreline looking just dumbfounded. As Harry reached the peak of his jump, he twisted to the side, and was surprised to see the height of his jump. Turning further, he plummeted back down into the lake.
Harry knew he should be getting back out of the lake, but he just had to swim around for another fifteen minutes.
Coming out of the lake, Harry turned back into himself and started jumping up and down. "I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it! All four before going to Hogwarts! Come on Uncle Remus! Let's get going to the train station!"
With a thought, Harry's cloths where clean and dry. He ran up to Uncle Remus, and 'slid' them both to an abandoned street next to Kings Cross.
End Chapter 16
Chapter 17 – Taking a ride on the Hogwarts Express.