Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or affiliated characters, places, and things. They all belong to J.K. Rowling and affiliated companies. This particular plot is mine however. And to make it seem more cohesive to the original stories I am using some of the lines from them, but they are not my material. They came for the excellent mind of their owner.
A/N: Italics mean parseltongue, and assume all s sounds in parseltongue are prolonged. Bold text is from the Philosopher's Stone. Read and Review please. This fic will be updated as much as possible, but it is being hand written first so updates will be infrequent until From Dawn to Darkness and If At First are done.
Minerva McGonagall was sitting there across from Number Four Privet drive watching its residence having 'fun' at the expense of a thin raven haired boy. The boy was marketedly smaller than the other two males in the house in both height and girth. One of the women was easily two times the weight of the boy while the other woman was a gargantuan seven times his weight.
At the moment the boy was running from what appeared to be a bull dog. Even though she was in her cat form the witch wanted to charge the beast. Minerva watched as the dog tore into the boys flesh. He did not scream out in pain even though his face could not hide the agony he must be feeling. The older man, who looked more like a walrus than a human, sauntered up to the boy, and proceeded to drag him back into the house. This was not the first time Minerva had seen something like this, but she would be damned if she let it happen again.
As she made ready to head to the alley to return to her normal form the large boy and his friends saw her, and started running after her. She had to scale more than one fence to get away from the boys. Sure one fence would have been enough, but with that lot she would take no chances. Once she was certain the boys had lost her she came to rest upon a fence.
As she sat on the fence board she pondered how she could check on the boy tonight without alerting Albus. She deemed that pointless due to the squib across the street. At least she cared for the boy's well being unlike the boy's relatives. Minerva was certain that neither of the two muggles, nor the squib aunt of his would take him to the muggle equivalent of a medi-witch tonight. She had told Albus nine years ago that they shouldn't leave the boy with these people, and here she was being proven right… again. Her worst fear thankfully never happened, nor did they place him in an orphanage which in retrospect would be a hundred times better than this. She had been horribly wrong about the outcome of him staying with his relatives, and she hoped that one day the young man could forgive her. She had seen them use him as a slave, and now this!
She walked off the fence, and headed for the alley way she had apparated from all those years ago. She was bound and determined to save Harry Potter's life.
Iris Greengrass sat there reading the Daily Prophet. She was reading the latest article in which Dumbledore was reassuring everyone that her godson Harry Potter was safe in the custody of unnamed family members, and doing very well. What bothered her is that the only family he still had alive was Lily's sister, and that squib would just as soon throw a wizard off a bridge than care for him. It bothered her that Dumbledore would not let her take custody of Harry. The wills demanded it, but as the Chief Warlock he sealed the wills stating it was for Harry's safety. Sure this family member might be a 'blood relative' of Harry's, but that didn't mean they were the ideal person to be raising him. If Dumbledore had indeed left him with Petunia there would be Hell to pay if that is where Harry was. She prayed that her fears were unfounded, and that Harry was living a good life.
The arrival of the family house-elf Tatters brought her focus back to the here and now. "Yes Tatters?"
"Tatters, is terribly sorry to disturb you Mistress, but a Miss McGonagall is here to see you." The elf bowed her head in respect.
"Thank you Tatters. Let Professor McGonagall in please." Iris stood and left for the main hall to greet her old professor. As she walked down the stairs Iris saw something she had not seen in thirteen years: an angry McGonagall. "Whatever it is Professor I swear I had nothing to do with it."
The older witch just smiled "If it were only that simple Iris." The look on her face was a mixture of tartness and rage. "What has Dumbledore told you about Harry?"
Iris was taken aback by the question. "He told me that Harry is doing fine. Why do you ask?"
Minerva's expression hardened at this revelation. "He lied."
Iris had just sat down, and the only keeping her from leaping to her feet was the hot cup of tea she held in her hand. "I swear to you Minerva I am going to kill that squib."
"Calm down Iris. Think of your child." At hearing this, the Greengrass matriarch took a deep calming breath. "Do you think that Jacob can return so I can tell you both what is going on with Harry?"
"Tatters go get Jacob would you please." The roar of fire that followed Tatters disappereation reminded Iris of their scheduled weekend visitor. "Crap I forgot about Hermione." Even though she whispered this her old professor still gave her a chastising look.
Iris looked over her shoulder at the fire place and saw the bushy haired brunette standing there with her school bag and a small suitcase for the weekend. She could also hear the clamor of her children rushing to meet their friend.
"Hey 'Mione how was school." Astoria asked as she lightly hugged the brunette.
"It would be fine if the stupid kids would leave me alone. I swear most would live better lives as pigs or toads." Hermione shrugged as she said the last part.
"Hermione Jean Granger your parents raised you better than that." Iris glared at the young girl. She just looked down at the ground, and nodded. "Look Hermione just because they pick on you doesn't mean you can do the same thing." Iris placed a hand on the girls shoulder. "Now is your father home there is something we," she gestured to McGonagall and herself "…need to talk to him about."
"Not yet ma'am, but he should be home soon."
"Alright then you and the girls are free to go." Iris smiled at the young girl.
"Not so fast Ms. Granger." Professor McGonagall said. All eyes turned to her. "I was wondering how the muggle education system works exactly."
The next thirty minutes were filled with McGonagall asking questions and Hermione answering them. As the two of them covered grading systems and course makeup Iris found her mind drifting to thoughts of her godson. Her mind was filled with ideas of the kind of life Harry might be living. The fears of her mind ranged from all forms of abuse to slave labor. The thoughts of abuse made her shiver, and if it was one form of abuse then there would be no place safe enough on this Earth for that squib and her husband to hide. Minerva seemed to catch these dark thoughts flashing through her eyes and simply shook her head. The girls looked over in her direction, and all she could do was let out soft sigh and smile.
The sound of the floo igniting turned every ones attention to the fireplace. As Iris looked at her husband's soot covered face she could only smile. She stood up and greeted her husband after wiping the soot off of his left cheek before kissing it. She looked over at who she figured set up this little prank: Daphne and Hermione looked innocent. Ria on the other hand was whistling to herself, and kicking up dust with her feet. Jacob then walked over and gave their girls a hug, said hello to Hermione, and then told them to go on as they need to discus something.
Once the girls were gone Iris said "I hope we didn't interrupt anything important dear."
"No interruption dear. What did Ria do now?" Jacob asked while waving a hand in the air.
"Aside from covering your face in soot nothing," the smile faded from her face as she thought of her next sentence. "This is about Harry."
"Your godson," Jacob asked with a raised eyebrow.
"You both might want to sit down for this." The look on Minerva's face showed the gravity of the situation.
Iris found it hard to sit there and listen as Minerva described Petunia's husband. She in no flattering details described the level of disparity between the man's weight, his son's weight, and Harry's own apparent weight. The man appeared to treat her godson as slave labor and his son and the boy's friends used him as some form of sadistic entertainment. One look at her husband told her he was feeling the same amount of anger she was, and she prayed he kept a calm demeanor about this. Heavens knows she wasn't.
When Minerva got to the events of today she herself started to clench her fist. Harry was fixing the front flower bed as per usual, but about an hour and half into it Petunia's sister-in-law stepped out and started yelling at Harry about something in her room. When Harry made a gesture towards the flowers the woman seemed to lose it, and walked over and grabbed the boy and dragged him back inside the house. Minerva said she wanted to intervene then, but the squib that lives across the street was trimming the tree in her yard and would have told Dumbledore of her presence at the 'safe' house Harry was living in. She then said that about ten minutes later Harry came running out of the house followed by a bull dog. The events that followed caused Jacob to jump to his feet, and it was all Iris could do to hold her husband there in hopes of preventing even more problems.
"Why hasn't anything been done about this before today, and does Dumbledore know of this?" Jacob screamed.
"I am afraid that the headmaster cannot be trusted regarding Harry Potter's well being." Iris heard a noise from the hallway. One look in that direction showed her three silhouettes on the wall. The sound of Minerva's voice returned her to the matter at hand. "As you can no doubt tell his relatives have been abusing him. I have told Albus numerous times, including the night he left the boy there, that it was a bad idea to leave him there."
Iris asked in a tentative voice. "Is there anything we can do? I know Jack Granger should be home by now, and we could see if Madam Bones is still in her office. We could also…" she was cut off by her husband.
"Iris calm down." Jacob placed a hand on her shoulder. "Now you go talk to Jack, and Tatters will go inform Amelia that we need to speak with her immediately. Minerva could you stay and keep the kids company during this time," Iris had to suppress a laugh when the old professor raised an eyebrow. "Let me explain. Two of them have been looking into advanced transfiguration, and I just want to curb any dangerous experimentation."
Iris looked back to where the children were hiding and a broad smile crawled across her face. "I have a better idea how about they stop eavesdropping and help get things ready, and then they can talk to her about their pre-Hogwarts activities." She said all of this loud enough for the girls to hear, and the end result was scampering feet and a grinning McGonagall. Iris then walked into the fireplace and looked over her shoulder before tossing powder into the floo "Granger Grotto." As images of other places flashed before her eyes Iris prayed that they would not be too late to save Harry's life.
Harry wrapped a torn old sweater of Dudley's around his injured leg. Aunt Marge's new bull dog was worse than the last one, but that thankfully was the worst part of today. The rest was quite normal, well normal for him anyway. He had to make breakfast for his 'family'. Then he was asked to clean Aunt Marge's bedroom, then clean the backyard of all of Dudley's toys, and then pull the weeds in the front flower bed. He did all of that, but in the middle of pulling weeds from the flower bed Marge came out front complaining about how her bed was not 'nice enough', and when he said he should finish the flower bed first she dragged him back inside the house. He was taken to her room and asked about the comforter which had somehow been torn to shreds. When he said that he had no idea how that happened Marge told her dog to chase him. This resulted in him running out of the house followed by everyone else. The dog did catch up to him. This of course resulted in Uncle Vernon getting angry with him, and him being thrown in the cupboard for 'freakish behavior'. Harry was thankful that it was Saturday so he didn't have to come up with an excuse tomorrow as to why he was limping. He had the entire weekend to come up with a plausible reason for the injury.
As Harry tied the last knot into the 'bandage' he heard what sounded like an explosion. This was swiftly followed by his uncle screaming about him. Dudley stated that he was not Harry for some reason, and the young boy figured he was pulling an act to get him into more trouble. He could hear footsteps heading in his direction. His aunt was screaming that he was not here, and for someone to leave, and the sound of something falling with a loud thud outside his door made Harry swallow hard. He backed himself against the far corner of the cupboard, and braced himself for the beating he assumed his uncle was going to give him. When the person stopped Harry could hear someone hissing like a serpent when they talked on the other side of the door.
"He is in here Iris." The sounds of the locks on his door being undone caused Harry to curl into a ball. When the door opened the person was neither his aunt nor his uncle, and defiantly NOT Aunt Marge. This woman was shorter than Aunt Petunia, her face was heart shaped, and the smile on her face seemed warm and welcoming. There was a pained expression in her jade green eyes. Her blonde hair fell in front of her eyes as she knelt down and extended her hand to him. "He is a small one Iris."
"Be quiet I think your scaring him." The woman said this looking at the ground for some reason. When she looked back at Harry she seemed to study his appearance, and when her eyes fell on his leg he could swear he heard her growl. She looked back into his emerald eyes. "Can you stand Harry?"
Harry tried to back further into the cupboard. "Who are you?"
The woman smiled. "I am Iris Greengrass. I am your godmother Harry."
Harry's heart jumped a bit at the possibility that this woman knew his parents, but there was this part of him in doubt of it all. "If you're my godmother then where have you been, and why didn't you come and visit?"
Mrs. Greengrass winced at these questions. "I trusted a man who said you were living a happy life." Harry's eyes nearly bulged out of his head. "Because of what he let happen to you I will never trust him again."
The sound of three people arguing tore Harry's attention away from his godmother. An old man walked up behind Mrs. Greengrass. His long grey beard and half-moon spectacles gave off this grandfatherly aura. It also made the man seem really old. When the man finally saw Harry his eyes widened to size of saucers, and his complexion seemed to pale. A stern looking woman with close-cropped brown hair, her navy blue eyes carried this serious tone in them and the monocle on her left eye only add to this. Once she saw the condition Harry was in she looked ready to kill someone, and Harry hoped it wasn't him. The woman looked pointedly at the old man.
"This does not seem like a 'clerical error to me Professor Dumbledore." The venom in the woman's voice was almost palpable.
The old man let out a sigh before responding with a simple head nod. "No Madam Bones I don't believe it is." The old man looked over at Madam Bones he looked over to the woman his posture took on a look of providence and grandeur. "As his magical guardian I will…"
"You are not his guardian!" Iris snapped. The rage in the woman's voice was matched by the glare she was giving the old man. "I am his godmother, and will be taking him home with me. Madam Bones if you want confirmation of my claims you can ask that squib there." Misses Greengrass pointed towards the front door.
At that moment Iris was helping Harry get out of the cupboard. Looking towards the front door he could see a man with slicked back black hair was glaring at his aunts and uncle. Looking around for Dudley revealed to him that his whale of a cousin was lying on the ground with his arms held fast to his side, and his eyes were wide open. The look within them was one of pure fear. Harry looked over at his godmother who just smiled at him.
The woman wearing the monocle looked towards his aunt and uncle. "Is this true?"
Uncle Vernon responded. "Yes it is you FREAK! That boy's mother sent this letter saying so; the bitch!"
"What kind of letter was it?" asked Dumbledore.
"It was a Howler. It caused poor Duddikens to cry for hours." At that moment Aunt Petunia's face paled.
"Who is 'Duddikens'?" Madam Bones asked.
Aunt Marge answered that question "He is the brave young man who tried to stop this woman from opening the door. I want to know what you did to him you whore!"
The woman holding Harry flicked her wrist and slender piece of wood fell from her sleeve into her hand "Silencio!" With a flick of her wrist his godmother seemed to have silenced Aunt Marge. Even though she was somehow mute Aunt Marge was still going through the motions of talking and/or screaming. Iris once again turned to the man known as Dumbledore. "He will be coming home with me," the blonde haired woman patted his shoulder. "… and Jacob here will be making sure he is all right."
The man who had been glaring at Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia looked over his shoulder and nodded his agreement to the situation. One look over at his relatives showed how fearful the walrus and horse actually were, but Aunt Marge looked very cross. She was still 'screaming' at them, but without her voice she just looked foolish. Jacob walked over to them and took up Harry's left side, and with Iris started to walk out of the Dursley's house. Once outside Harry was stunned at the crowed that had gathered in front of the home he was nearly blinded by all the flashing cameras. Some was shouting for him to look off to his right, but Iris told him not to pay them any attention. The neighbors were glaring down at his leg, and one of them said something about him being nothing but a trouble maker, and his parents being nothing but drunken fools. Upon hearing that Iris seemed to have snapped.
"Who said that!?" Iris started looking around, and one of Aunt Petunia's book reading friends started smiling. "You listen to me you crazy bint James and Lily Potter never once drove a car while intoxicated, and never once endangered the life of their beloved son. They were murdered on the thirty-first of October nine years ago, and if it weren't for them their own son would be dead as well." The woman who lived to the right of them looked taken aback by this news. "That's right you lot you have been lied to over the last nine years."
With that Iris and Jacob started walking towards a nice looking car. Jacob opened the rear passenger door, and Iris helped him into the car. Before she could climb in the old man stopped her, and she told Harry that she would be right back. She closed the door behind her. Harry looked back hopefully for the last time at number four Privet driver. He could see Aunt Petunia trying to convince a neighbor of something (presumably himself), but it didn't look like she was doing a good job of it.
He looked over to where the old man and Iris were arguing. The old man seemed to be acting stoic, but his godmother was moving her arms in a very wild fashion. She would gesture repeatedly to the car, and Harry wondered if this was the man that had lied to her. When the argument seemed over a woman with what looked to be a feather and a note pad walked up to them. The three of them talked for a little while before Iris stalked back to the car. When she climbed into the car he noticed that the car had two back seats one facing the other. Looking around revealed the inside of this car was easily twice the size a normal one, and the leather seats felt different. Yes it was still 'soft' to the touch, but it felt almost scaly. The logo embossed upon the seats was of a snake in front of a green shield.
The sound of the car starting snapped Harry's attention back to his current situation. Before he could ask Iris about the car a green and black colored snake slithered out of her sleeve causing Harry to jump just so. The snake seemed to look over at Iris, and then he heard the voice that came just before the cupboard door was opened. "I think I frightened him Iris. Tell him I mean him mean him no harm."
Harry could not stop the words that came out of his mouth. "Please tell me, I didn't just hear that snake talk."
Iris stared at him for a second before answering. "They can indeed talk Harry. Did you hear what Iolis just said?"
The snake looked in his direction, and waved its tail at him. "Hello young one."
"I must be freak." He said dejectedly.
"You are no such thing young man." Iris said this sternly, and just looking at her told Harry she was not angry at him, or at least he hoped she wasn't. "What makes you think such a thing?"
"Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon always called me that, and weird things happen around me." At that moment Harry felt a hand cup his chin, and lift it gently. Iris' eyes carried such hurt in them, and Harry wasn't sure if he had done something wrong. "I'm sorry ma'am I won't…"
"You have nothing to be sorry for Harry." She leaned forward, and Harry tensed just a little. Instead of a clenched fist or the back of her hand hitting him Harry felt her gently rub the side of his face. "As for hearing Iolis here that is an ability called Parseltongue. It is a rare ability amongst wizards and witches." Harry's eyes went wide at the mention of wizards and witches. "You would make the third one, aside from myself, that I know of Harry."
"Iris," Harry said quietly. "I think you must have made a mistake. I don't think I can be a wizard."
Iris just smiled.
"If you aren't then I am Marry, Queen of Scots." Harry raised an eyebrow at this statement. "Never made anything happen when you were angry or scared?"
As Harry thought on her question he realized that every weird or freakish thing that made his aunt and uncle mad happened while he was angry or scared. Dudley and his friends doing 'Harry Hunting', or chasing him round the school. The latter of which had made him end up on the roof of the school this past Wednesday. The other day his aunt had given him a dreadful haircut so he 'look decent', but left him with just enough hair to cover his scar. The following morning found him with a full head of hair once again. Hadn't he also gotten revenge on Dudley yesterday, sort of? He had taken some of Harry's lunch and as he and his friends walked away laughing a chair slid out and tripped him. All the food Dudley had been carrying had somehow landed on his head the last of which was a small carton of chocolate milk.
When he looked back at Iris she had this impish smile on her face.
"You see Harry your aunt is jealous of you and me, and your uncle is just a flat out bigot." She gently messed up his hair. "If I had my way with them your uncle would be a walrus, your cousin the pig I assume he is, and your aunt a bloody horse." She looked maliciously happy just thinking about what she had just said. "I don't know what I would do to the fat sow, but I grantee you one thing it wouldn't be pleasant."
"And for all of those things you at the most would be in jail, or the least you would be fined." Jacob said from the driver's seat.
"Be quiet you." Iris said looking over her shoulder. "Well Harry with your help I can finish something your mother and I started when you were still in nappies." Iris smiled at the light blush that crawled across his face.
"What do I need to do?" He asked leaning forward. He was unsure of the woman's intention, but the excitement of finishing something his mother started made him overlook his fear, if only just.
"I need you to unwrap your leg seeing as it is already bleeding." Harry's eyes went wide at this statement. "I need just a little of your blood to complete a ritual your mother and I started the day before they passed on." Iris' head fell at this statement. "We became blood sisters which in magical terms is the closest we could get to actually being sisters. And to become you blood aunt I will need a drop or two of your blood." At this she took out a small knife and cut the palm of her hand.
As Harry watched her put away the knife he started unwrapping his injured leg. He watched as drops of blood fell from his leg and landed on the carpet of Iris' car. He looked up at her and she just waved her hand as if to indicate the stain to be was nothing. She closed her eyes and breathed across her open hand.
"Bound by blood within," her hand then began to glow a bluish green colour. "Sworn by blood given, and promised by blood taken do I take you as my next of kin."
Harry's eyes went wide as a pale blue light filled the car. He could feel warmth pass through his body, and he somehow felt a peaceful feeling well within his chest. He looked at his leg to see it was still dripping blood on to the floor, and one look to Iris showed she still didn't care about it. The smile on her face was nearly blinding.
"Next time warn me when you are going to flood the car with light Iris." Jacob said with mirth in his voice.
"Again quiet you." She waved the stick used earlier and Harry watched as his wrappings were cleaned and began to wrap themselves around his injured leg. One more wave of the stick and the floor was cleaned of blood. "Let us see what you do now Albus scion of the light Dumbledore."
Hogwarts, Headmaster's Office
Dumbledore was pacing in his office trying to figure out where he had gone wrong. Petunia Dursley was Harry Potter's biological aunt and would protect the boy, or so he had thought. Seeing the young man lying in the cupboard with a severely injured leg was unsettling. Also the size of the cupboard was not as big as he envisioned.
A buzzing sound from one of the instruments monitoring Harry drew Albus' attention. The first thing he checked was Harry's life signs, but they were fine. After checking all of the instruments he found the alarm's source. It seems that young Harry had a new relative: Iris Kelly Greengrass 'nee Dagworth. He couldn't believe that Lily would do something like this without consulting him first. He could not remember much about the woman from her school days, but he knew the Greengrass family was historically neutral. Perhaps with just a few changes his plans would still work, and the wizarding world would no longer have to deal with the threat of Voldemort.