Chapter 4 And then along came Harry
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 4 - And then along came Harry.
Lily could not believe the pain she was currently in. It was almost unbearable! Why had she agreed to have the baby this way just to try to appease Vernon and Petunia?
She had convinced James to let her have this baby 'naturally' in a muggle hospital using a birthing technique called 'The Lamaze method' in a 'birthing' room as opposed to an operating room.
She and James had even gone to the muggle classes for six weeks with Petunia so that Lily could be Petunia's 'coach' and James could act as her 'coach' and she could experience the 'wonders' of childbirth without drugs or charms.
Too bad that Petunia had to have an emergency C-section when her little Dudley was born.
Right now, she wasn't having such a good time.
"You did this to me! If you EVER touch me again you're a dead man" Lily screamed.
James was sitting there at the side of his wife not knowing how he should feel. On the one hand, he hated to see Lily in so much pain; but on the other hand, her hormones were so far out of whack, that the mood swings she was having almost made him laugh... but he would never do that to her, she was in too much pain.
In the mean time, all he could do is feed her ice chips, wipe the sweat off of her forehead, rub her arms, back and belly with one hand, help her change position while his other hand was being crashed in a death grip by Lily.
He was trying to remember all the information the instructor had given them in the Lamaze class… Have the patient focus on her breathing – long, relaxing breaths, in and out: in and out. Call a count for the breath. "Breath in – one, two, three, four, five. Breath out – one, two, three, four, five. Concentrate on the breathing."
"I don't care if they say it is impossible. You're having the next baby. Let's see how you like pushing a bowling ball out from between your hips." Lily yelled back to James. "Ah! I can't believe that humankind has to go through something like this to perpetuate its kind! They'd be extinct if this is what it is like all the time! How do those Weasley's do it?" The Daily Prophet had just had an article about a wizarding family that had just welcomed their 6th child into the world. An oddity in the magical world where most families had 3 or fewer children.
"Come on honey, you were the one that wanted to do it this way." James felt a little bit guilty bring this up, but he was trying to do anything that would help Lily at this point in time.
"And you didn't try to talk me out of it! I thought you said you loved me!"
"Come on now Lily, let's try to concentrate on the breathing. Listen to my voice - Breath in – one, two, three, four, five. Breath out – one, two, three, four, five."
"Listen to your voice? How do you think I ended up like this? By listening to your voice – and see where it got me?" Lily was just a little hysterical.
Flashback – Earlier that Morning
Earlier today, July 30th 1980, Lily had witnessed Alice give birth at St. Mungo's in about 30 minutes after Frank finally got her to the hospital. Alice had been in light labor for about two hours while Frank ran around their apartment trying to get everything packed that they would need when she got to the hospital, but her contractions where still more then 10 minutes apart.
The mediwitch walked in, cast a numbing spell, a relaxation spell, a baby monitoring spell, and a light contraction spell on Alice, and it seemed like it was all over in no time.
After the birth, and delivering the placenta, there where just a few more spells to clean up Alice, and Neville before Neville was presented to Alice and Frank for bonding. If you looked at each of them you could see the pure white aura of love surrounding this new family.
Neville was a beautiful, loving bouncing baby boy: 19 and a half inches long, 7 lbs. 10 oz., ten fingers, ten toes, and an adorable little button nose. But he did seem to be a bit fidgety. That is until his mother took care of the situation.
After Neville's feeding and rooting around, he fell into a peaceful sleep on top of his mother, with his father gentle rubbing small circles on his back.
Lily's water broke at 1:30 PM after she had returned home from visiting Alice. She had to floo-call James to tell him to come home NOW and take her to the muggle hospital. Lily was upset now that she hadn't used St. Mungo's, but hey, after seeing how easy it was for Alice, Lily felt confident that things would go well for her also. Soon her little Harry would be here.
It was now 9:30 PM. Lily had only dilated to 7 cm and the contractions were almost constant.
"I think we are going to have to help things along here." The attending physician said. He gave instructions for the nurse to set up 'the pit'. A Pitocin drip would help intensive the labor contractions and hopefully allow the birth to occur naturally. "We may also want to get an epidural ready in case Mrs. Potter wants something for pain. As is, I'm going to be ready to do an episiotomy if we can't get things moving along by midnight or if the baby shows any signs of distress."
For the next two hours Lily suffered while James tried to comfort her any way he could by continually holding her hand, rubbing her arms and belly, feeding her ice chips, and helping her reposition herself for more comfort.
Lily had to fall back to her occlumency training to separate the pain from James voice.
Finally at around 11:30 PM the doctor came in and said: "OK, that's better, you're fully dilated to 10 cm and ready to deliver."
Remembering their breathing technique, they started with some short breaths so that Lily wouldn't fell the desire to push. "OK now, remember, short, short, long… short, short, long." James kept repeating. Even going so far as to blow in Lily's face to help her remember her breathing technique.
It must have worked. Lily was able to work with the nurse and doctor in getting ready to deliver. There was still one problem. It seemed that Harry wasn't quite ready to come out now, and had started to turn while in the birthing canal. The doctor acted quickly by grabbing part of the forceps and using it, got Harry turned the right way.
Just as the clock in the birthing room struck 12:00 Midnight, the doctor said: "I see the head crowning! OK now Lily, just one more good push!"
Taking a moment to compose herself, Lily took a big breath and then 'bore down' as hard as she could.
The head came smoothly out. With a slight turn, the right shoulder popped out – and after that the rest of Harry.
"TIME!" the doctor called.
"23:59:59 seconds – July 31st." the nurse replied.
"Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Potter. You have a fine, strong, healthily boy."
The doctor had James tie off and cut the baby's umbilical cord.
It took a bit longer to deliver the placenta and get Harry cleaned up then it did for Neville. But Lily and James didn't notice. Lily was now on a super natural endorphin high from the birthing rush. James just set there telling Lily how proud he was of her over, and over again. Any husband that has seen his wife go through childbirth knows; they have married far above their station in life to have someone willing to go through that much pain to bring another life into this world.
A short while later, the nurse returned with Harry and placed him on Lily's chest. The feeling of love and family that they felt was almost overwhelming.
"Oh, look at him James! He's so perfect! I can't wait until he has a little brother or sister to play with. How soon do you think it will be before we can start working on that?" Lily asked dreamily as Harry nursed.
James, knowing better then to answer just now, so he just said: "We'll see honey; we'll just wait and see."
With all three Potter's present, they too started to bond together as a family, but the aura that shown around them wasn't just the pure white as with most wizarding family's; This aura had red, gold, and blue highlights at the extremity of its edge. A powerful feeling of contentment came over the family, as if the song of a phoenix were present... but not heard by anyone there.
'All my love I give to thee, Harry', Lily thought. Feeling her heart, and love reach out and encompass the newborn babe. After the better part of an hour, the nurses came and placed young Harry in the nursery, and each family member slipped into a peaceful rest.
Early the next morning, a loud, excited godfather bounded into the birthing room waked James up.
"Where is he? Let me see him! James, I can't believe you didn't tell us where you were having the baby here. We knew you left work early, but we all just expected to see you later that day at St. Mungo's when we went to check on Frank and Alice. We had these announcements made up to give to all your friends:"ANNOUNCING THE FIRST OF MANY PRODUCTS FROM THE WORKSHOP OF POTTER/EVANS ENTERPRISES THEIR LATEST PRODUCTION MODEL
Model Name: Harry James Potter
Size: 21 inches long
Weight: 8 lbs. 6 oz.
Features: Dual lung powered air horn
Interchangeable cloth or plastic seat covers
Quadra track movement (arms and legs)
Messy Black soft-top covering (Soon to grow thick and hard)
Beautiful green dual optical scanners
And the cutest godfather anyone could ask for
Mother and baby are fine. Father can be found in the long-term care area at St. Mungo's
"Well, what do you think? Ah, that doesn't really matter we've already sent this out to everyone in the Aurors department."
"What? Please tell me you didn't! It's too early in the morning for this Padfoot. Don't you know that Harry didn't decide to show up until after Midnight this morning? And one more thing, if you wake Lily up, you'll have to answer to her!"
"That's OK honey, I'm already awake. Hey Padfoot, are Moony and Wormtail coming?" Lily asked.
"Moony's still a bit tired from the full moon on the 27th, but he should be around here soon. As for Wormtail, I don't know, he sort of disappeared after you and Alice delivered this morning. I'm sure he's around. Probable didn't want to see all that blood and stuff," Sirius stated. "So, where is the little tike, I've got to start spoiling him as quickly as I can."
"The nurse took him just a few minutes ago to give him a checkup and his first serial of immunization shots. Then, after they check to see if I'm OK, we should be released and able to go home." Lily said.
"Give me five seconds and a good healing charm and I'll have you out of here even quicker" said James.
"No James, we talked about this before. No spells at least until we get home. Then I have a whole list of healing and cushion charms I want to use. Remember, this will probable be the last time I come to a muggle hospital. I mean I can't believe the difference in the birthing procedure. Alice was in the birthing room for only about four hours total, where as I just went through eleven hours of hard labor for the same results!" Lily pointed out.
"Just remember, this is what you ask for." James stated defensively.
"Yes, it is. And even though I hear the time between labor and delivery is much shorter on subsequent deliveries, I think I can find other things to keep me happy then going through that again."
Sirius was starting to get restless when the door opened and a nurse appeared carrying a small bundle rapped in a receiving blanket. The only thing exposed was a tuft of black hair sticking out the top.
"Here you go Mrs. Potter, your new baby boy. I must say, he is one of the cutest, and strongest little baby we've see in here for quite some time."
"Thank you," said Lily, as she took the small bundle in her arms. Harry was asleep. He looked so peaceful there – without a care in the world. Lily couldn't help but smile as she looked down at him, humming a lullaby, and trying to straighten out his messy hair. "He defiantly has your hair James." Lily said lovingly.
James was at his wife's side looking down at Harry. A feeling of sheer joy and amazement filled his soul as he beheld the tiny miracle. He leaned over to kiss Lily again, thanking her for allowing him to be a part of this miracle. Then he leaned over and kissed Harry on the top of the head, and said: "Hey little guy, welcome into the world. May you find peace and love all your days."
All of this was just a little bit too sappy for Sirius as he stepped forward, as said: "All right, all right, break it up, godfather coming through to spoil his godson. Lily, would you be so kind as to introduce me to this fine young man?"
Lily laughed at Sirius' antics. Actually, when they ask Sirius to be Harry's godfather, she felt that he might not take the job 'serious'. But now she could see the love in his eyes, and just a little quiver in his voice. He was truly touched to be trusted with something this precious. "Sure Sirius, here ya go. Harry, this is your godfather Sirius Black. Sirius, this is your godson, Harry James Potter." With that she gentle placed Harry in Sirius' arms.
Sirius carefully took the little sleeping bundle from his mother's arms, and thought for a moment. 'What am I doing? I don't know how to hold a baby. I don't know the first thing about babies – well, except how to … never mind. I know that if I drop him, if James doesn't kill me, Lily will.'
He looked like he was holding a fragile china doll. "Don't worry Sirius he won't break – at least not like those china dolls we practiced with." James joked.
Sirius turned his head and smirked back at James. Then, getting a little bit more comfortable with little Harry in his arms, started to talk to him.
"Hey there Prongs junior." Sirius whispered so as to not wake up Harry, "I'm your godfather, Sirius. I plan on being the best godfather anyone could have. So expect to be spoiled. I have a lot to tell you about you old man, and old lady."
"Sirius!" Both James and Lily half shouted, half laughed.
"Just kidding folks. I wanted to see if you were listening to me or too busy making plans for the future."
Lily and James just rolled their eyes and groaned.
"Honestly Harry, you come from two of the finest people I've ever met and you will have a lot to live up to if you want to honor and respect their standards."
Sirius looked up from Harry and asked, "James, Lily, would you mind if I gave Harry an ancient Black family blessing? This is something I found years ago before I even went to Hogwarts."
"Just before I turned eleven, I went with my father to Gringotts, and snuck through the old family vault while he was looking for something for the Dark Lord. I had been thinking how one day I would be the head of the ancient and noble house of Black, and I knew that there would be several people who wouldn't be too happy with that. What I was looking for is a charm or a potion, or something that could protect me from those who were more powerful then me. I found something that was called 'The Blessing of the Heir' that was used by the Head of the House, and by the matrons as a blessing of protection over their own children. This was before I went to Hogwarts and was disowned after being sorted into Gryffindor. They sealed the vaults up after that so I couldn't enter them anymore, well, at least until my mother passes away, then I became the Head of the Black Family and can enter all the family vaults again."
"Sure Sirius, we would be an honor to have you give Harry a blessing like that. Are you sure you should do it? I mean it is from your personal family's archive. Usually those are meant only for family or heirs."
"I know, but this charm hasn't been used in my family for hundreds or maybe even a thousand years, since they turned their back on the 'light' side."
"The blessing is: meum affectus serpire thee ex noceo ac ex mortis."
"It means: May my love protect you from harm and death."
"Like you said, it is usually meant for family or when the head of the family selects his heir. Most of the times it is the mothers that would pronounce the charm or blessing on the child. Now, can you see anyone of the Blacks stating something like that on their child? I mean we're talking about Cissy Malfoy and Bella Lestrange here. Well, Andy might do something like that over Nym, but like I said, this hasn't been used in several hundreds years, so I would guess that Andy doesn't even know about it, and I think Nym's a bit too 'old' to feel comfortable having her mother running around saying this at her all day." Sirius laughed at the thought of his second cousin running around trying to get away from her mother, with her hair changing all types of colors.
"Lily, James, this is my gift and bequeath to you both and Harry. You have my permission to use this charm and blessing on Harry as much as you would like. They say that the protection grows in strength over time the more times you use it."
"Sirius, I don't know what to say." Lily said in a shocked voice. Being a charms mistress she realized the importance of an old family charm such as this one and was humbled that Sirius would be so thoughtful and allow it to be included in the Potter family archives. She never knew that Sirius could be so - 'serious'.
"That's OK," Sirius said, "This way I won't feel so bad when I give him is first broom!"
"Sirius Black! You better not even think about getting a broom until he's at least 8 years old! I will not have you endangering my son like that!" Lily shouted out.
"But don't you see that is what the charm is for. If you do the charm properly, there will be nothing to worry about!" Sirius was only half 'serious' at this time, but he did have a reputation to up hold, and he wasn't going to let Lily relax just yet. "Besides, what would I do with this bag of toys that I have for Harry now?" Asked Sirius with a serious look on his face, holding up a magically shrunk bag of toys.
"There better not be a broomstick in that bag Mr. Black, or you might end up being the last of the Black line!" Lily stated.
"Then it's a good thing then that I have already selected by heir then isn't it Lily."
"You couldn't have meant that! Besides, I'm sure that sooner or later there will be someone who will drag your sorry butt to the alter."
"I know Lil. I'm just not ready to settle down yet. You have to remember, this is the closest I've gotten to a baby since Nym was born six years ago – and then Andy wouldn't let me hold her."
Sirius looked down as Harry slept. He couldn't help but feel drown to the little man. 'He's so much like James. But I'll almost bet he has Lily's heart. I hope James realizes how lucky he is to have Lily and Harry.' Sirius thought.
Just then Harry stated moving his mouth with a small sucking movement. Not really opening his mouth, just moving his mouth up and down. Sirius took one of his fingers to feel down one of Harry's cheeks to see how soft they were. As soon as Harry felt the finger, he opened his eyes and turned his head trying to catch Sirius' finger, and started to suck on it.
"Whoa little buddy, wrong equipment… My lands! Look at those eyes! James, he may have your hair, but he definitely has Lily's eyes! Here Lily, I think he wants some breakfast. Come on James let's step out for a second and give them some privacy."
"Ah, no thanks Padfoot. Now you know one of the advantages of be the father – I get to stick around for feeding time." Teased James.
"Oh go with him James, or else we'll show him another one of the privileges of being the father – when you change your son's first diaper!' Lily threatened.
Padfoot laughed, as he and James made a hasty retreat.
Scene – Lord Voldemort's current headquarters
A short, rotund young man shackle enters his lord's throne room.
"M. My Lo. Lord, I bring you the news you were waiting for." He hurries forward to kneel and kiss the hem of his master's robe.
"Well, Wormtail, what is it? I haven't got all day you know." Stated Lord Voldemort coldly.
"N. No my Lo. Lord. It is regarding the Potter's and the Longbottom's my Lord. Both women have delivered baby boys m. my Lor. Lord. Neville Franklin Longbottom was born at 10:30 AM on July 30th, while Harry James P. Potter was born just after midnight on July 31st. There are no other births planed for the remainder of the day." Peter Pettigrew took a deep breath having delivered is message to Lord Voldemort without getting cursed.
"So, they have finally delivered their baby's? Why does it have to be those two? They are a constant pain in my side. Catching my followers, interrupting my raiding party and recruitment meetings. How is it that they seem to be the first two to almost every sight? Would you like to answer that question Wormtail?"
Wormtail started shacking. "N. No my Lord! I have told them nothing! They do not know that I have sworn allegiance to you and serve you the best I can. They continue to ignore me, and have belittled me for too long thinking that I should be honored to be in their mere presents. I want only to serve you, both against them, and against the Order of the Phoenix!"
"Yes, Wormtail, I know why you are here. Power. Pure and simple. But you must remember that you must earn the right to have such power. But I digress. Tell me Wormtail, if you were to analyze what we know of the prophecy, which one of these children would you say was the one 'born as the seventh month dies'." Asked Voldemort as he gently tapped his wand in his hand.
"W. Well, my Lord, I would have to say the one that is born closet to the end of the month?" Wormtail stated unsure as to what to say.
"Very good Wormtail!" Voldemort said condescendingly. "Now I want you to get back to your 'friends' and keep a close eye on them. See if you can continue to sow seeds of doubt in their minds regarding their werewolf friend, and see if you can get closer to the Longbottom family if you can. I must know when they come out in the open so we can eliminate them. Especially their young son Harry."
"The Longbottom boy will be taken care of also, but I feel that I have to take care of the Potters personally." Voldemort laughed as he thought of taking out this stumbling block on his path to immortality.
"You may go now Wormtail, but first, before you go, let me remind you what will happen if you fail… CRUCIO!"
Scene – Godric's Hollow
Lily and James were glad to be home. They had been so overwhelmed, and full of joy that for a few days they had forgotten all about the prophecy. But all too soon, the reality of the prophecy, and Lily's own premonition started to hit home. For her part, every time Lily went to pick up Harry she would recite the blessing she had been given by Sirius (meum affectus serpire thee ex noceo ac ex mortis - May my love protect you from harm and death.) with all the feeling she had in her heart. Every time she would do this, she would get a warm feeling in her heart. A feeling of peace and contentment came over her; she felt happy.
One evening after Harry had been put to bed, while James and Lily were sitting in front of the fireplace, Lily broached the subject again with James. "James, I'm scared." Was all Lily said.
"I know sweetheart. I am too. But I just don't know what else to do. We have the wizarding lawyers getting everything set up legally, we have the goblins at Gringotts setting up the Family account and Harry's trust fund, we're still have to select which of our friend we think would be the best for the secret keeper for the Fidelius Charm, I mean, what else can we do?"
"I have one more thing, well, two more things really. As you know I have been working on charms and rituals to help the Aurors learn faster, and be stronger don't you?"
"Yes, I remember you telling me about them. But I thought you said the Ministry rejected them because they were considered 'Dark Magic' because of the blood required. I also thought you stated that the results were only temporary unless the witch or wizard worked hard to keep it up for a full lunar month."
"Yes, you're right on both counts. And here I thought you didn't listen to me when I talked to you about work."
"Hey, just because you don't get a verbal response from me doesn't mean I'm not listening. It just means… I'm not listening very well. But this was all you talked about for the last four months, so something had to stick." James tried to defend himself.
"Don't worry honey, I still love you. But I think I have found a way around the problem."
"It a couple of charm, like the one that Sirius gave to us. It can be used over and over again, and has a compounding influence. The only shortcoming that I have come across in them is that it is most effective during a new moon. It's during a new moon that our minds are more open to shaping new ideas. It is when we are most predisposed to receive new information and new energy. It is a time of purity. You can look at it as a time of starting a new project. The other shortcoming is that it has to be done before the individual reaches their magical maturity, so it wouldn't be of any value to the Aurors."
"Well, it sounds pretty good so far. Is it very hard, or very difficult?" James asked.
"No, it's not that hard at all, and as far as I can tell there is no risk to harming Harry at all."
"The incantations are: exporrigo magus umbilicus to expand the magical core, and exporrigo affectio meminisse to expand the mind. The body will not let the magical core expand beyond what it is capable of. I think we can start trying to expand Harry's magical core as soon as next new moon on August 10th. I know Harry will only be a few weeks old, but like I said, this will not harm him in any way."
"I would suggest only using the magical core charm on Harry until he is at least one year old, so that his mind can develop normally and become more stable."
James still looked a little bit worried. "I know honey, but… do we even know if he is magical or not?" There was a great deal of fear and trepidation in James' voice as the said it. As far as the family records were concerned, there had never been a squib in the Potter line, but there was always a first time, and it seemed that the rate of squib's born to pure-blood families was increasing at an alarming rate.
"Well, you happen to be in luck then dear." Lily said. "This is why it's good to have a wife that worked in the Department of Mysteries. There happens to be a simple spell, magnitudo de magica that is used in the department to see if someone is magical or not. Depending on how a person rates on the magic scale determines how your rank."
"When measuring an adult we basically, follow a simple scale:
Lower limit - Upper limit-Classification
0 – 50 - Squib
51 – 100 - A Squib that may have psychic abilities (Mr. Filch rates a 90)
101 – 500 - A Low power Wizard
501 – 1,500 - A Standard power Wizard
1,501 – 3,000 - A High power Wizard
3,001 – 5,000 - A Low Sorcerer
5,001 – 7,500 - A Sorcerer
7,501 – 10,500 - A Grand Sorcerer
10,501 – 15,000 - Mage
15,001 – And above - An Arch Mage
"Of course, this doesn't take into account any special abilities that the person might have like animagus, metamorphmagus, seer, elemental, or others."
"For children, we simply divide the number in the table by 20 to give a general indication to see if they are a squib or not, so, what we're looking for as a number over 5 for a newborn. That would indicate that you could expect a low powered wizard by the time he entered into Hogwarts. The basic Arithmancy equation is (Base power Rate plus ((Base power Rate times 2) times (number of years of the child)) = Current power rating. This also let's you know when to expect your child to start doing accidental magic."
"Let's say that Harry has an initial base power rating of 15, then, at age 3 his power rating would be 105 and we could expect to see some accidental magic after that. By the time he enters Hogwarts at age 11 his power rating would be about 345. That would mean he would be strong enough to do the simple spell like Wingardium Leviosa which requires someone with at least a power rating of 110 to perform it."
"After Harry enters Hogwarts, it will be harder to compute his power rating. This is because now he will be 'exercising' his magical 'muscle', but let's say that he just progresses at the same rate. That would mean that when he is 17 would be 525. But you know that at 17 you also receive your magical maturity, essentially doubling your magical core's size and power from 525 to 1,050. Close to the middle of the Standard Wizard's power chart."
"After a person has gone through his or her magical maturity, it is much harder to expand the size of the magical core with out using rituals like Anthrokrak."
James really did love his wife. But sometimes when she got into one of her 'lecture modes' it was hard to stay awake. He did find it fascinating that there was a 'ranking' system for how powerful a witch or wizard was, and he was even a little curious as to how powerful he and Lily were, but what he had ask was about the two new charms Lily was proposing to perform on Harry. How would that influence him?
"Dear? Honey? Stop… stop for a minute. All of this is fascinating, but how does that affect what you were talking about doing to Harry?"
"Well, since the magical core is more pliable before the child goes through his magical maturity, there is a good possibility that we could influence the size of Harry's core and his mental capacity, to where he could end up as a Grand Sorcerer, or even a Mage!"
"Think about it James. If Voldemort does get his hands on the Cauldrons of Chaos, he won't hesitate to uses the ritual to increase the size of his magical core and even though you waste about two thirds of the added core in the power transfer, he still has the chance to be totally off the chart as far as power goes. He'll be the most powerful wizard since Merlin!"
"Let's say that Voldemort lets five of his inner circle goes through the Rite of Anthrokrak five times. Let's assume that those in the inner circle are already on the upper end of power of a High Wizard (3,000) and he allows them to bond with five other wizards of similar power. Even if they only increase their power by 1,000 points per transfer, that still puts the five inner circle wizards at around 8,000 – that's in the Grand Sorcerer range!"
"It is assumed in the Department of Mysteries that Voldemort already has a power rating between 8,000 and 9,000. If he were to add five additional cores of about 2,600 each… well, you can see, we wouldn't stand a chance. The only reason Voldemort is afraid of Professor Dumbledore is because of his skill in transfiguration, dueling, and as a Grand Sorcerer he does pack quite a punch."
"Okay, but now you have me wondering, what is my power rating, and for that matter, what is yours?" James asked.
"Well, why don't you put Harry down and stand in the center of the room so that I can get a clear shot at you."
James did as he was told, as Lily took out her wand. When he was in position, she gave a small twist of the wrist, and a 'poke' straight at James while giving the incantation "magnitudo de magica!" Above James' head appeared a smoke sigh with the numbers '2,780' floating in the middle of it. "Not bad. That puts you in the High Wizard's category. Now, did you see what I did? Do the same thing to me."
James repeated the hand motion and the incantation while pointing his wand at Lily. The same smoke sigh appeared over her head with the numbers '2,950' floating in the middle of it.
"That can't be right!" James said almost under his breath.
"Just because I have a higher number then you doesn't mean that I could beat you in a duel." Lily reminded him. She was smirking just a little seeing that her number was higher then his. "You still have more combat training than I have."
"Yes, but you just sit around all day thinking up newer and better ways of hurting people. I don't think I would like to be on the receiving end on one of those new curses." James said in defeat.
"Okay, enough of this. Why don't you test Harry now? We didn't have a chance to do this since we were at a Muggle hospital." James said.
It was common knowledge in the Department of Mysteries that most new born babies were coming in with an initial power rating of 40 and below. Lily had looked through some of the historical records to see if the trend was heading up or down. She was quite shocked to see that since the mid 1940's the power rating of new born's was down dramatically.
James and Lily stood in front of Harry while he rested on the couch. Once again Lily took her wand and wave it in its pattern while saying the incantation. "magnitudo de magica."
"No, no, no, this can't be right." Lily said. She tried the spell again, and got the same results.
"James, you try the spell. I must be doing something wrong."
James took out his wand and repeated the incantation for the third time over the sleeping baby.
'130' was clearly seen in the screen of smoke.
"What does that mean Lily?" James asked.
Lily took a few moments to try to phrase this in a way that wouldn't scare her husband.
"Let's just say that you are not to leave your wand lying around any where. Harry already has the magical power to do a Wingardium Leviosa, and will probable be able to Accio things that are small and close to him."
"If my calculations are correct, Harry will be entering Hogwarts with a power rating of (130 plus ((130 times 2) times 11) = 2,990! That puts him in the High Wizard range – he'll have more raw power then me when he enters! He may be the first wizard in over one hundred years to graduate from Hogwarts as a Grand Sorcerer!"
"Who was the last one to do that dear?" James asked.
"Why, Albus Dumbledore, of course." Came Lily's reply.
"What about Voldemort? I thought you said he is currently at a Grand Sorcerer or Mage power level?"
"That may be true. No one has been able to directly measure his power level for a long time. But it is thought that most of his power increase is due to all of the dark rituals that he has preformed on himself."
"I have a question though. It seems that most of the reports that come in from St. Mungo's on the new babies, have a power rating of 20 to 50. Do you think that they could be putting on a 'block' on the baby's power core so that they don't grow too fast or do as much accidental magic?" Lily wondered.
"Without the parent's consent! That… that would be criminal!" James spouted.
"Look at it from the Ministry's point of view. If you don't have a strong wizard, you have less chance of them over powering the law enforcement or becoming the next dark wizard. I'm sure the power block comes off the child before their 17th birthday, but by that time the damage is already done!"
"I'll bet that if more information were known about Voldemort, you would find out that he wasn't born in the 'magical' community, but rather in a muggle setting so no record of his initial power rating was ever recorded, and the ministry didn't have an opportunity to put a power block on him. By the time he entered Hogwarts, or whatever school he went to, he would have already been at a wizard or high wizard power rating. Now wonder he's so powerful."
"This also means that we can expect a visit from a mediwitch from St. Mungo's sometime soon to 'check-up' on Harry, and put a power block on him! James, we can't let that happen! If Harry is the child of the prophecy, he will need every advantage he can get!" By now Lily was getting quite frantic.
James walked over to her and took her in loving embrace. "Don't worry honey; nothing is going to happen to our Harry. We probable have a little bit of time to come up with a charm, or an amulet that will protect Harry's magical core. Failing that, we'll come up with a charm to get rid of the block as quickly as possible."
Lily fell comfortable into her husband's arms feeling safe and secure.
Several days later, just as Lily was putting Harry down for a nap, she received a floo-call from St. Mungo's.
"Hello there Mrs. Potter, my name is Healer Patterson. Our records indicate that you recently gave birth to a baby in a muggle hospital. Is that correct?"
"Hello Healer Patterson. Yes that is correct. Would you like to come through now? I just put Harry down for a nap."
"Oh, I can check him while he is asleep," she said after stepping through the floo. "Do you have the birthing information from the muggle hospital? I should be able to get most of the information I need from those documents. Then I just run a few test to see how he is doing."
"Yes, I'll have my husband get that information for you. James! Could you bring Harry's birthing information in here for Healer Patterson?" Lily yelled out.
"Be there in a minute!" came the reply.
Healer Patterson started running her test on Harry by passing her wand over him while muttering different incantations.
"That is certainly a lovely amulet Harry has around his neck. Is that a family heirloom?"
"Yes it is." Lily answered, "It's for protection."
"It seems to interfering with some of my diagnostic spells. Do you mind if I take it off?"
"Why don't we wait for my husband, so that he can make sure he takes it off correctly without hurting you or my son?" Lily responded.
Just then James came in with all the paper work from the Muggle hospital, and was introduced to Healer Patterson.
"Okay, Healer Patterson, why don't we start with copying this information?"
With a swish of her wand the information was copied, and transferred to her documents. She didn't even see James take out his wand, or hear the curse "Stupefy".
Healer Patterson slumped down onto the couch. James ran over and took out a vile of clear liquid and tipping her head back, administered 3 drops to the stunned healer.
"You know I could lose my job over this." James told his wife.
"I know, but I have to know if they plan to block Harry's Magical Core." Lily said.
James wakes up the healer with "Rennervate" and then places her in a full body bind so that she cannot run away. As she comes around, she is a bit surprised to see that she has been stunned. Lily takes care of the questioning.
"What are the nature of the spells you were casting on my son?"
"Most of them are just standard spells to check height, weight, and general health of the baby."
"What are the remaining spells you were trying to cast on my son?" Lily asked with a bit more 'bite' in her voice.
The healer tried not to answer the question, but could not resist against the Veritaserum.
"It is a base-line power spell. If an infant has a base-line reading above 40, we are to place a power block on them to reduce it by one half. The spell is designed to decay over time after the child reaches 11 years old, and is completely gone by their 17th birthday." She answered.
"The other is a marker type spell that shows that the witch or wizard has been tested."
"WHOSE BLOODY BRILLIANT IDEA WAS THIS?" Lily screamed.
"As I understand it, the Ministry put it into place at Professor Albus Dumbledore's request after He-who-must-not-be-named first rise to power five years ago, but it was a common practice much before then, the only difference is that the base-line reading had to be above 100 before a power block was placed on an infant."
"That's why all of the older Auror's kick the young guy's butt during training." James stated. "It's not just their experience; their cores haven't been blocked during their formative years."
"That may also explain why my power level was higher then yours. I may not have had my core blocked, but I also didn't 'exercise' it for the first eleven years." Said Lily.
James stunned the healer again and administered the Veritaserum antidote. He then removed the bindings, revived her and obliterated her memory of the stunning, binding, the Veritaserum and the Obliviate charm.
"Okay, this is what you are going to do. You will write down that you tested my son, and that he rated a 39 on the scale so no core block is required. You will then cast the marking charm on him to show that he as been tested. You will not remember anything else; you will only remember putting the charm on him. As far as you remember, everything went routinely here."
The healer was coming around just as Lily was conjuring some tea and biscuits to eat.
"Thank you for coming to our home and taking care of this. Are you sure you wouldn't like to rest for a bit and have some tea?" Lily asked, being the perfect host.
"No, thank you I really must be on my way. I must say, you have an adorable son there Mrs. Potter, Mr. Potter."
"Thank you." They both said smiling. And with that the Healer walked back to the fireplace and was gone.
The smiles immediately faded from Lily and James face.
"So it was Albus' idea to put a block on all the children." James thought out loud. "I'm sure he did it for the 'greater good' as he always says."
"You do realize that if we were able to figure this out, others have also.
"What? And that relates to us… how?" James asked.
"How many of Voldemort's follower's would do what we just did if they were aware of the power block? Probable every single one of them! When these children grow up and enter into Voldemort's service, who do you think will have the advantage in a fire fight? They will!"
"James, we have to do everything we can to give Harry a fighting chance. Expanding his magical core; expanding his mind and mental capacity, anything that we can do, so that when we aren't here to teach and train him, he will still be able to survive and win against the odds!" Lily was very passionate in her arguments.
James was still not 'at easy' with Lily's premonition with regards to they early demise, but he recognized that they had to treat every day as if it were their last and prepare Harry accordingly.
"Lil, okay, I agree with you. But we need to do more then just expanding the magical and mental centers. We have to make sure there is something to put in there once they are expanded. I am going to get some of the house elves working on making a copy of all of the textbooks we had when we went to Hogwarts. I think I have an old copy of the Auror's training guide that can be included, and several other DADA and transfiguration books that he should have. I will also make sure that Harry has a copy of the journal the Marauders wrote when we were there."
Lily was about to object. She did not want her son to be preoccupied with pranks and such. But James stopped her.
"Now Lily, there's a lot more in there then just the pranks we pulled off. It also includes all of the errors we made in our animagus training, how we made the Marauders map and the different paths in and out of Hogwarts, and the location of all of the entrances to the four houses common rooms. This could be very helpful in helping him get out of trouble at Hogwarts!" James argued.
"Okay, but I get to write a letter that will be put in the front of the book," was Lily's reply. "And while we are at it, I can include my extra charms and potions books along with the Unspeakables handbook."
"I would also like to include some history books in this selection, so he can learn some lessons from the past." Lily said.
"Fine, but please, not 'Hogwarts, a History' we don't want him scared for life now." James joked. Lily just hit him on his shoulder and finished making a list of books that she thought would be helpful to Harry in the coming years.
End Chapter 4