Chapter 22: Surveying Properties
“Alright, first stop, Potter Manor, choo choo,” Sirius called out as they stepped out of 12 Grimmauld Place. “Here,” Sirius said as he held out his hand for him to grab onto.
“That is a whole lot of distance to cover,” Harry commented as he did as bidded. “Are you sure it is not better to take a Portkey?”
“Don’t worry,” Sirius said as he waved off his worry. “It would be easy, peasy for me to cover that distance.”
Nodding his head, Harry made no comment but to hold on tighter. In his mind of mind, he knew Sirius could make the jump since he was obviously an Elite wizard.
From all the reading he has been doing, he found out that wizarding-kind does have some semblance of order and hierarchy. It is a very loose system that has stood the test of time for millenniums.
This is a system that takes into consideration multiple things from magic power, skills, expertise, knowledge, experience, and a whole lot of other things.
At the lowest of the ranking are Apprentices this is basically the level that Hogwarts students are all mostly at. Apprentices are budding wizards and witches who are still learning the many arts of magic.
Then there is Journeyman, this is the level of most adult wizards and witches are at, a few very skilled Hogwarts students in their 6th or 7th year may be at this level as well. Journeymen are people with a common understanding of magic, they can get by with what they know, bandstand far above the common man.
Next are Adepts these are people who are pretty skilled at their line of work. These can be anything from hit wizards, Aurors who have gone through strict training, or just talented people in their field
Following them are Experts who are wizards and witches with a very comprehensive understanding of magic. These can be Unspeakables who care out god knows what in the Department of Mysteries or top specialists and pros.
After that, there is Elites the crème de la crème, the top dogs of the magical world just like Sirius. These are people with a very keen understanding of magic, they have overwhelming power, and extensive knowledge and skill.
Then there are the Masters, these are people who are true authoritative figures in their respected field and grasp a very profound understanding of magic. Surprisingly Harry found out in his readings that Professor Flitwick, Professor McGonagall, and a former Professor named Slughorn are among the ranks of Masters.
Next are Sorcerers, these men and woman are illustrious folks who formidable forces to be reckoned with. Only a handful of them appear each generation standing at the zenith of pure might and awesomeness. Among their ranks are people like Dumbledore and Voldermort.
Finally, there are Warlocks, legends among legends, myths to never be forgotten, monuments that stand the test of time, people who go down in history as Supreme practitioners. These are people like Merlin who are known far and wide, by both muggles and wizarding-kind.
Anyways back to the topic at hand, people like Sirius who are Elite wizards and witches are able to Apparate anywhere in all over Great Britain with their large reserves of magic. Journeymen might be limited to a city, Experts could be limited to an area the size of Ireland, while Masters could Apparate anywhere in al of Northwestern Europe.
Sorcerers could be limited to only Europe and Warlocks could have all the world as their playground.
“Its best to close your eyes,” Sirius advised as they disappeared with a slight pop.
Then all of a sudden they appeared far, far away in a wide-open plain and from the distance, he could make out a castle far off into the distance. The castle rested upon the foot of an enormous mountain which reached high into the sky and from the tippy top he could see snow covering it.
The castle had over a dozen long white and blue pristine towers, shimmering walls surrounding it from all sides, and even a moat with rapid flowing water was located around it.
Beyond the castle gates and moat was an orchard with neat, perfect rows of trees laid out in endless lines. He could see tiny creatures at work in the place.
It was like a picture from a fairytale where a price charming resided or even a kind, powerful king.
However, Harry did not have time to pay attention to the wonderful scene since he dropped to his knees and retched his breakfast al over the ground.
Sirius said nothing, but just patiently waited as he finished up his vomiting.
“Ahh,” Harry moaned as he spat on to the floor to get the taste of vomit out of his mouth.
“Here,” Sirius called out as he made a silent gesture and a orb of clear blue water appeared before him.
Harry made no comment about the wandless magic preformed right before his eyes, but just simply used the water to rinse his mouth and clean his face.
“I so hate Apparition,” Harry muttered as he got up from the ground. NOw that he really thought about it, he hated all forms of wizarding travel. There was just something about them all and his stomach not agreeing
“Don’t worry,” Sirius said as he helped him dust off, “You will get used to it over time.”
“I doubt the day would ever come,” Harry groused as he started to travel down the soft sloping hill.
Turning around he saw that Sirus wasn’t coming after him, so he walked up the hill and asked, “What’s wrong? Let’s go.”
“I can’t,” Sirius answered with a shake of his head. “There is a barrier in place that doesn’t allow me to enter,” he added as he tapped on the air right before him and Harry was surprised to hear a glass noise echo around the area.
“What do we do then?” Harry asked.
“I can’t do anything,” Sirius replied, “only you can.”
Giving the old trickster the stink eye, Harry voiced in a slightly annoyed tone, “Can you please stop acting so mysterious, it is really not working for you. Just tell me what I have to do.”
“Kids nowadays,” Sirius sighed, “no patience at all.”
“Old people,” Harry muttered, but still loud enough for to be heard “they go senile by the day.”
“Oh, why you little,” Sirius growled playfully. However he could not pass the barrier just as he said, and Harry got a good laugh at his expense.
“Alright, listen up,” Sirius said, “you are the master of the castle so you can let in people as you wish.”
“Okay,” Harry said, “so how do I go about doing that.”
“Repeat after me,” Sirius said.
Nodding his head to show he was paying attention, Sirius began with, “I,”
“I,” Harry repeated.
“Harry James Potter.”
“As Master of this House and Family.
“Do allow Sirius Black,
“Into my home.”
“So mote it be!”
Suddenly there was a flash and without a word, Sirius stepped through the barrier and into the castle’s ground. “Ahh,” Sirius said as he took a deep gulp of fresh air, “it is so good to be back here again.”
“You stayed here with my father and his parents right?” Harry asked as he briefly recalled Sirius mentioning the time he ran away from home.
“Yep,” Sirius said with a happy smile, “it was the best two years of my life.”
“So how was it like here?” Harry asked as glanced over at the older wizard while they came closer and closer to the orchards.
“Ahh, it was mighty fun,” Sirius replied as he got a far off look in his eyes.
Shaking his head, Harry knew he wouldn’t be getting any real answers from his godfather, whenever he gets like that he either clamps up or goes off into his own little world.
Harry knew he couldn’t blame the man since he basically lost everything during the war, whether that be his freedom, his best friends, his fiance, and so much more. All he had at this point where memories of much better times.
Sighing he turned his sight to the orchards now coming up ahead, seeing one of the figures he saw from the hill, Harry called out, “Hey,” in greeting.
He really wasn’t sure what kind of magical being it was, but it stood at 2 feet tall with pointy ears, brightly colored attire that appeared to be made of plants or leaves, and it wore a belt lined with many pouches and tools.
As soon as the creature saw Harry lumbering over to it, it shouted in alarm to all its brethren and dropped its tool then ran away in a speed far beguiling its stature.
“What? Hey, wait, I am not trying to hurt. I just wanted to take to you.” Harry called out to the creatures back as it disappeared into the orchard trees.
Now that he had a better look around, all the creatures he saw from the hill disappeared and fled to all corners.
“Sirius?” Harry inquired, “what were those creatures?”
“They were Brownies,” he answered, “they are a shy race, and very friendly and peaceful once you get to know them. They are most prized because of their green thumbs any piece of land you give to them will flourish under their hands. Also, they are very handy repairman that could fix nearly anything and can work with leather, metal, and especially wood.”
“I thought...” Harry said as he tried to form the words, but felt very confused as he gazed at the plantation grove. Then forming the nerve he spilled out all at once, “My family did not keep any slaves of magical beings?”
“Oh no, no, no, they are not slaves. To make matters short your great-great-great-great-grandfather Edmund Potter gave this small tribe sanctuary when their burrow was taken over by a Dragon. To repay him they decided to cultivate the land for him. So for many generations the pact stayed.”
“Oh,” Harry simply said as his cheeks brightened a bit.
Not noticing his embarrassment or just giving him the decency to ignore it, Sirius picked up one of the fruits from the tree and tossed it to him. “They grow the best magical fruits and vegetables. YOu should try that, it is a Golden Apple, heals all wounds and adds a few years to your life.”
“It adds a few years to your life?” Harry repeated after him as he looked down at the golden apple which was aptly named because of its shiny golden color. Still, he could not believe the words that just came out of his godfather’s mouth. An apple that extends your longevity, he recalled the legend of Idun and her Golden Apples of the gods.
It had to be bullshit he thought, but why would Sirius lie to him. Yet at the same time, it was so magical. At that thought, Harry remembered which world he was in, the wizarding world, not the muggle world. Of course, there was a fucking apple that extends your longevity.
Shaking his head, Harry was about to take a bite from the apple until he heard a shout.
“Drop that right now you thief, or else things will get bloody awful for you.”
Turning to the speaker Harry saw a much more mature female Brownie who looked to be in her late fifties come up to them with a frying pan in her hand. Coming out of the orchard trees were also more Brownies to back her up and they all held different kinds of tools and utensils in hand.
Already from their stance and their inadequate weapons and armor, he could tell they were not a martial race, but they looked ready to die to defend this land.
“Mal Mal, Mal,” Sirius called out as he walked towards the woman with open hands. “Did you already forget about poor old me?”
Turning to look up at him with her mean, hardened expression it went from confusion, to doubt, and finally full-on recognition. “Sirius?” the Brownie asked unsure of herself.
“Yep, it is me in the flesh,” he answered in a barking laugh.
“It really is you, is it. I heard...”
“It is not true,” Sirius quickly pronounced.
“I know it is not true,” the woman said as she lightly tapped him with the pan in his foot. “I knew the boy who used to ran around these orchards, and he would never betray a dear friend.”
“Thanks,” Sirius said as he looked like he really needed that. “Oh, yeah,” he said as he turned around and gestured to Harry, “You should meet someone.”
Walked up to Sirius and the gather Brownies, his godfather pushed him forwards and presented him. “Harry, meet Mal the Matriarch of the Greenhill tribe. Mal meet Harry Potter, my godson and new Lord of house Potter.”
“Potter? Potter! Potter,” the name echoed in the group as they all gazed up at him with fixed eyes.
“I will be damned,” the woman said as he saw a tear in the corner of her eye.
“Ahh... Hi,” Harry greeted with a weak grin. “Here is your apple back,” he said as he prested her the fruit, “you should know it was all Sirius’s idea,” he quickly blamed the older man.
Laughing uproariously the woman nearly bent over in fits of laughter, and was only able to get out, “You are the owner of this orchard, you could do as you damn please!”
“Well that doesn’t mean I should,” Harry remarked.
“Ah, you are right,” the Matriarch said as she collected herself. “It is very good to see you, Master Potter. I remember when you were just a wee little baby all bundled up in your mother’s hand. Now,” she said as she turned more serious, “there is much we need to discuss. Nothing has been exported for over a decade, and as best as we tried to preserve everything some goods have started to rot and spoil. We really need to start operation back up now that you are here. ”
“Why don’t we discuss this another time?” Sirius asked, “right now we are here to just see the castle.”
“Yea,” Harry said with a nod, “why don’t you start organizing everything that needs to be shipped out, and I guess I just can sign off on it.”
Nodding her head in answer, the older brownie said, “We will get to it, see you later Master Potter.”
With that, Harry and Sirius walked the brownies goodbye and started to make their trek towards the castle. As they did, Sirius introduced him to all the fruits and vegetables that the orchard gave bear to. By introduction, he meant the older wizard pilling all the plants on to him to try.
Just as they were nearing the castle and Sirius pilled another fruit into his arms, Harry saw something flitter at the edge of his sight.
“Hey, Sirius, do you know what’s flattering about. I swear that is the fourth time I noticed it today.”
“Oh, you are talking about the Golden Snidgets?” Sirius replied. “Yea, they live here in the orchand and eat all the insects and pollinate the trees.”
Watching as another Golden Snidget zip by, Harry’s Quidditch reflects kicked in and in a blink of an eye, he reached out and caught the creature. Turning it in his hands, he got a good view of the small magical beast.
The Snidget was completely round, fat, and covered in golden feathers. It had bright red eyes, a long thin beak, three tiny feathers on its head forming a crown, and a whisker thin tail. It kind of reminded him of a fat, golden hummingbird. But beyond that, it also held a shining elegance. Plus there was denying that is was hella cute.
“You sure as hell got quick reflects like your dad,” Sirius commented with a whistle. “Fun fact,” he said while Harry turned the bird around in his grasp. It was strangely very still like it was awaiting its faith, “these creatures are some times called the Fortune Bird. It is highly prized above all because of its golden feathers.”
“Why?” Harry asked as he let the bird go to which it darted away in a zip.
“Well, not only are they the key ingredients to the Felix Felicis, but it is said if you catch one it will bring you luck.”
“I just caught one and... I really do not feel any different.”
“That is exactly it, the myth is false, nevertheless these creatures were driven to near extinction because of that rumor. That is why it is here in the Potter land and a few handfuls of other places can you find them.”
“Dang,” Harry said as they finally came out of the orchand field and walked into the clearing beyond the castle. Harry had to say the castle looked a lot more imposing from the faraway view on the hill.
From very up close it looked like it was ready to devour you and could stand the attack of any army.
Just then as they were nearing the moat and closed bridge, Harry heard a loud, thunderous trill cry.
Turning to look up at the sky, Harry nearly shit his pants at the thing that passed far above in the clouds.
Golden Snidget: https://www.deviantart.com/justmick/art/Fake-Tastic-Beasts-Golden-Snidget-681991914