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Ah, Screw It! By mjimeyg

Chapter Text

*Chapter 1*: Chapter 1
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Stargate.

A/N:

I've read a fair amount of stories where characters get a 'do-over'. Most of my stories are attempts to re-write the originals by inserting a new factor. In this story Harry goes back in time. However, instead of attempting to be subtle... he pretty much says: Ah, Screw It!

This time round is for his enjoyment... as far as he is concerned at least. The universe doesn't totally agree.

The crossover doesn't fully take off until about fourth year.

"Ah, Mr. Potter, back again I see!"

"Huh? What?" Harry asked as he tried to look around blindly. Something was on his head; it felt heavy yet cloth-like. He reached up and lifted the blindfold… he froze at the sight before him.

It looked like the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Students seated at the long tables looking at him expectantly. But he knew these students, a glance at the Gryffindor table showed no sign of Ron but… a young Hermione… Hagrid like hair and all, then he noticed the few students standing directly in front of him, Ron and Zabini to name two. This was unusual as the last thing he remembered was falling asleep in a Hogwarts' bed having just defeated Voldemort… seven years in the future. Of course he had been dead an hour or two before that… but he was sure he got better.

"Oh god. What happened?" Harry mumbled. He dropped what he assumed was the Sorting Hat back over his eyes before raising it again to make sure he wasn't imagining it all.

"Mr. Potter, if we could continue?" Came the same voice.

"Sorting Hat?"

"Indeed, I realise that it must be rather boring to go through it all again, but we shouldn't keep everyone waiting."

"Did I just dream the last seven years of my life?" Harry hissed angrily under the hat.

"Of course not. It rarely happens but you seem to have been given the opportunity to have a second go at making things right, Rowena Ravenclaw and Arthur Dunwall are the only two I know of personally. I'd advise you not to waste it, I have never heard of someone having a third chance." The Hat warned.

"So I'm not about to wake up and find that Tonks and Remus are dead?"

"Lord no!" The Hat laughed in his head. "In fact, if you use what you know then you stand a good chance of saving even young Mr. Diggory over there."

Harry quickly popped the brim of the hat up and suddenly felt a rush of hope and joy as he saw the former/future Hogwarts Champion staring back at him like everyone else.

"They can't hear us, right?"

"Did you ever hear me talking to any of the other students I sorted whilst you were here? I had a rather long discussion with your young friend, Miss Granger, on why she would do better in Ravenclaw than Gryffindor!"

"Then why didn't you put her there? She's always been the smartest."

"The same reason I put you in Gryffindor." The Hat returned smugly.

"Because she asked you to." Harry sighed.

"Indeed. So, Mr. Potter, would you care to trust my judgement this time round and enter the House of Slytherin? After all, you are the rightful Lord of Slytherin."

"I am?"

"By right of conquest, in this timeline you have defeated that young upstart, Riddle once. In your last timeline you did so nearly once a year! Magic will recognise you as such. Speaking for myself and Hogwarts, we definitely acknowledge your Lordship."

"Wait… I'm only eleven in this timeline, and only barely, aren't I too young?"

"Only by mortal human standards, and magic does not care one whit what mortal humans think. Neither do we for that matter. But we digress, shall you enter the pit of snakes?"

"Would it really make that much of a difference?"

"Mr. Potter… may I call you Harry?"

"Erm… sure."

"I could help you sit here and go through the pros and cons of Slytherin versus Gryffindor, instead I shall give you the one piece of information that will be of most importance to you:

"Slytherins have their own private rooms."

"Sold!"

"SLYTHERIN!" Boomed the Hat into the Great Hall.

Harry grinned and took off the hat and headed for the house of green and silver as his own uniform adopted the trim.

As he sat down to watch the rest of the sorting he noticed the room was absolutely silent and everybody was staring at him in shock.

"What?"

"Headmaster, this is outrageous!" Snape said as he stood angrily.

"I must confess; I am at a loss, Severus." Dumbledore said quietly.

"Potter's just a half-blood! He doesn't belong in our great house!" Came the snotty voice of an eleven-year-old Draco Malfoy.

Harry was now beginning to remember why he fought so hard last time against Slytherin. He looked at the Hat only to see it chuckling on its stool.

"I demand he be resorted!" Snape said loudly causing a stir amongst the students and professors.

"Here! Here!" Came a chorus of agreement from around the room, but most notably from his new fellow Slytherins.

Harry had had enough. He wasn't going to be the meek little boy like last time. He had all the knowledge he needed, he knew their mistakes (even if they hadn't made them yet), but he also knew their histories.

"HEY!" Harry shouted causing the hall to fall silent and return its attention to him. "So, you think that because I am a half-blood I don't belong in Slytherin, right?"

"Exactly, you are a disgrace to the wizarding world." Malfoy snarled.

"So… that would mean that Professor Snape should be removed from Slytherin as well. He's a half-blood after all."

There was a rush of wind caused by every Slytherin head snapping to the staff table and Professor Snape. The look of betrayal was present on most, but not all, students in his house.

"POTTER!" Snape screamed. "Cease your lies!"

"What lies? Your mum was a witch, Eileen Prince. Your dad was a muggle, which I guess makes you even more of a half-blood than me. It's in the school records, Dumbledore can confirm it and so can probably most of the older professors." Harry shrugged with a grin. He was definitely enjoying himself.

"Why you insolent-"

"Professor Snape!" McGonagall snapped angrily, halting the greasy wizard's descent towards the Boy-Who-Lived.

Snape turned to Dumbledore. "Aren't you going to do something about this?" He demanded.

Albus Dumbledore was truly at a loss. Never in all his decades at the school, even as a pupil, had the Sorting been interrupted. "I'm afraid I don't see what I can do."

"Potter is clearly spreading lies and has no place in the noble house of Slytherin!"

Albus' head snapped round to glare at Snape. "I believe it would be in everyone's interest to let the matter drop." He said seriously. He refused to lie just to protect Severus' ego.

"I object!"

All heads snapped back to Harry. "He called me a liar. He also called me names. I demand sanctions!" Harry said as he banged his eleven-year-old fist on the table. He was actually enjoying himself. He hadn't felt this good since he took the luck potion.

"I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding." Albus said diplomatically.

"A 'misunderstanding'?" Harry laughed. "Sure, I'll accept that on two conditions, one, all the other professors agree that they can see how Severus calling me a liar was a 'misunderstanding', two he swears on his magic that it was a 'misunderstanding'."

"But to what end, Mr. Potter?" Dumbledore asked in his grandfatherly manner.

"Justice! My safety! Considering he was about to assault my person I think it is a pretty damned safe bet to say that he is not the best choice for being a professor."

"Language Mr. Potter!" Came the largely ignored verbal admonishment from Professor McGonagall.

"I'm afraid now is not the appropriate time to be discussing this." Albus said as he indicated the students, focused on every word and action.

"So, what? You want to give it a week? Wait until he's had a chance to really beat me into submission?"

"I was thinking that we could wait until after the feast." Albus laughed.

That one stumped Harry. "Oh… yeah, ok." Harry went to sit down and everyone sighed in relief… until he shot right back up again. "Just one cotton pickin' minute! What about these bigots?" He asked indicating his fellow Slytherins. "Aren't you going to punish them for what they said?"

"Again, Mr. Potter, perhaps after the feast?"

"Fine… but I expect detentions to be handed out!" Harry grumped.

The last surprise came for Harry when a shell-shocked Blaise Zabini eagerly hurried over to the Hufflepuff table instead of being sorted into Slytherin. Harry just shrugged; he was more interested in the fact that he was practically hairless. He kept going to scratch his stubble but when he came across his smooth pre-pubescent skin he would think about the other places he was supposed to have hair. It was fairly embarrassing.

Albus was trying to figure out what had gone wrong. He had left Harry with his mother's family in the hopes that he would not suffer an over-inflated ego from his fame. He knew full well that he would not be well received by Petunia and Vernon, but it was a sacrifice that had to be made.

Instead, Harry appeared far too well versed in the wizarding world's history and culture than he would expect for someone raised by people who even refused to say the word 'magic'. He wondered if perhaps Remus had not heeded his warnings and had been visiting the young lad over the years. He would have to check with Petunia and see.

Minerva was devastated that little Harry Potter was not one of her lions. She had been looking forward to this day for over eleven years ever since James placed his son in her arms and told her she was holding her next Quidditch star. That said; she was livid at Severus and the rest of his Slytherins and how they had received him. She was not happy about him staying in Slytherin.

As Dumbledore finished his post-feast speech Harry stood up. "Let's get to it then." He said as he walked up to the staff table.

"Of course, Harry. Let us adjourn to my office."

"What? Hell no! He-" Harry pointed viciously at Snape. "-insulted me in front of all these people. I want this done in front of all these people, seems only fair to me."

"Mr. Potter, this is hardly the plac-"

"It's the perfect place! Why? Are you afraid of the truth? If you have nothing to hide then do it here. I am perfectly willing to accept if I am wrong." Which was a complete and utter lie. Harry was a stubborn idiot at the best of times. He just didn't care as he knew the truth.

"I am afraid I must insist that we take this somewhere more private."

"Fine, then I am going to call an advocate from outside the school." Harry declared as he raised his nose in the air like a snotty little eleven year old. If he was going to have to go through puberty again he was damned well going to make the most of it.

"I'm afraid muggles are incapable of entering Hogwarts." Dumbledore said apologetically.

"Muggles? Why would I want a muggle? They wouldn't know anything about Hogwarts in the first place… well, unless I asked a muggleborn's parents I guess… but no, I will be asking for an official from the Ministry of Magic!" Harry declared triumphantly. "Possibly two." He considered as information from his past years at Hogwarts and the war came to mind.

Dumbledore saw this as an opportunity to find out who had been teaching Harry about the wizarding world. Hopefully it wasn't someone with ulterior motives that would see the prophecy come to a less than optimum resolution.

"Very well. Who do you wish to call?"

"Amelia Bones and Alastor Moody."

Harry was quite pleased to see Snape pale even further. Harry had remembered that Moody had it in for Snape last time and would love to have a chance to re-investigate him. Bones was the only person in the Ministry to actually give him a fair shake.

Albus managed to hide his own dismay. The last thing he wanted was Harry Potter in the same room with the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. There was no way Amelia Bones would simply accept his word of what happened without investigating herself. The first question out of her mouth was bound to be: 'Where have you been since that Halloween?'

"I am sure Madam Bones is far too busy-"

"I am a citizen of the British Magical World. A world she is duty bound to protect, I am sure she can make the time. Besides, it can't hurt to ask."

"Very well, I will go and ask her."

"Yeah, right!" Harry scoffed. "I am the one who will ask."

"Don't you trust me Mr. Potter?" Dumbledore asked slightly hurt, despite the fact that he had no intention of calling either Madam Bones or Alastor Moody.

"Give me one good reason."

"I am a well respected member of the Wizarding community."

"So am I, but you don't seem to trust me. Try again." Harry grinned.

Albus was becoming frustrated; the boy was far too savvy for a mere eleven year old. He would just have to let things play out and see what he could learn.

"Very well, Harry. Come along and you can make your call." Albus sighed.

"I think I will wait here until she arrives."

"But how will you call her?" Albus frowned.

"Perhaps Professors Sprout and McGonagall would be so kind as to escort Susan to the Floo so she can connect them." He smiled.

"You trust them but not me?"

"Professor McGonagall has already spoken up to defend me from physical harm from Snape, what have you done?"

"Perhaps, Albus, we should acquiesce to Mr. Potter's reasonable demands?" Professor Flitwick suggested in his squeaky yet wise voice. "I, for one, am appalled by what I saw here today. Lily would be furious and as one of her mentors, I feel infuriated on her behalf."

"Thank you Professor." Harry said respectfully.

"Typical Potters. Always getting their way." Snape spat.

"That would be another insult, Severus." Filius said sternly. "If you will excuse me, I believe I shall retrieve Madam Bones and Mr. Moody myself!" He declared before he angrily stomped over the table sending plates flying before heading out Great Hall doors.

Everyone watched in awe at the spectacle.

Harry felt great joy that the professors were sticking up for him this time round. He wondered just how much Dumbledore had hid from them last time around. He moved from around the table and picked up the Sorting Hat.

"Mr. Potter?" Professor McGonagall asked.

"I just wanted to talk to the Hat about some stuff he mentioned." Harry shrugged before he sat on the stool and placed the hat on his head again leaving the whole hall staring at him.

"Perhaps the brat has some sense after all and is begging to be resorted." Snape sneered.

"Shut up Severus!" Albus snapped angrily.

The students gasped as the Grandfatherly figure vanished in a moment of anger. Albus quickly collected himself.

"I apologise children." He said genially, his grandfatherly mien settling back in place.

Meanwhile Harry was having an interesting conversation.

"Did you know that me going into Slytherin was going to cause this much trouble?"

"Of course not! I knew that Mr. Malfoy was an arrogant brat but I had expected more from Albus. I was also disappointed that Minerva was not more aggressive in her defence of you." That Hat said disappointedly.

"Am I even going to be safe in Slytherin?"

"As safe as you were in Gryffindor." The Hat shrugged. "There are a lot more differences between yourself now and yourself the last time round. You will fly through your practical classes because you have seven years of experience. You are far more confident and have knowledge to hold over people like Severus.

"I am quite sad to say that the friendship you had with Mr. Weasley last time will not happen this time, it was quite distasteful sorting him after reading his head. I was tempted to put him in Slytherin just out of spite… or Ravenclaw, I would love to see the little tosser flounder amongst the brains of the school."

Harry sighed. "I suppose it is to be expected. He feared me when they suspected I was the Heir of Slytherin and he actually believed I put my name in the Goblet of Fire."

"This is a chance for you to make new friends and help them. Besides, if you actually wind up in the tournament again you could enjoy it this time."

"I suppose. What about Quirrell and the rest? Can't you tell the headmaster about it?"

"He already knows but refuses to do anything… wants to try and redeem the bastard."

"Fine, so I just have to try and reveal his little friend some other way." Harry considered.

"I might have a suggestion for that." The Hat offered. "Take up your father's mantle of pranking."

"Of course! Sirius! I have to get him out of Azkaban!" Harry said frantically.

"Slow down, Harry! There is little point going off half-cocked. I put you in Slytherin for a reason, use that cunning you tend to shy away from.

"Now, I believe Filius has returned with your requested advocates."

"Thanks, if I get the chance I'll try and visit at some point."

"That would be lovely, life is so boring sitting on the shelf." The Hat said wistfully.

Harry raised the brim of the hat to watch as an enraged Amelia Bones stormed up to the staff table with Flitwick hurrying behind her and Moody clumping along. He was pleased when she began whispering harshly with Dumbledore instead of shouting and bellowing for all to hear… like the Greasy Git.

Eventually she turned to Harry. "Mr. Potter, a pleasure to finally meet you. I am Amelia Bones and this is retired Auror Alastor Moody, you requested we come and be involved. Perhaps we could take this to a more private setting?"

"Sure, but I expect there to be sanctions for Malfoy at the very least." Harry shrugged as he slipped off the stool, still holding up the brim of the hat.

"Perhaps you should leave the hat?"

"Nah, he's finished the sorting, he said he gets bored so he can be my advisor."

"Why thank you Mr. Potter, that would be wonderful!" The Hat said cheerfully.

As Dumbledore led Amelia, Moody, Harry, Flitwick, Minerva and Severus to his office, Pomona Sprout was left to send the rest of the children to their dorms. It was the most exciting and eventful Welcoming Feast she had ever witnessed. She couldn't help but wonder what that meant for the rest of Harry's next seven years.

Once the prefects had cleared the students from the hall the betting began.

"One galleon on Snape getting fired tonight!" Poppy chirped happily as she slapped the large gold coin on the table.

Sinastra just scoffed. "There is no way that Dumbledore lets that happen. I've got a galleon that says when Snapey goes, Dumbledore follows soon after."

"By choice or by force?" Pomona asked.

"Force. Both are stubborn. The Board of Governors will kick them both out."

"I think Dumbledore's got just enough self-preservation instincts left to cut Snape loose." Vector argued. "I think Dumbledore will be the one to fire Snape."

"I have a galleon that says Potter is the one who gets Snape fired." Charity Babbage giggled.

"NO BET!" Came the collected response.

"Charity, that - as the Americans say - is a Sucker's Bet. We all saw what happened here today and we can all agree that young Mr. Potter will be a force of change in this school… a force neither Snape nor Dumbledore will approve of." Pomona pointed out.

"'E seemed so meek an' quiet when I took him his letter." Hagrid frowned.

"Took him his letter?" Poppy asked.

"Apparently 'e didn't respond to them. 'eadmaster Dumbledore asked me to go an' deliver one in person and take 'im to Diagon Alley."

"What about his guardians? Why didn't they take him?" Pomona asked.

"'Is guardians are muggle. They didn't even want him to come to 'Ogwarts. Poor little tyke was sleeping on a dirty floor whilst they all 'ad beds." Hagrid said in disgust.

"WHAT!" Came the collective outburst of horror.

"Why the devil wasn't Minerva sent? She deals with all the muggle raised student's inductions to the magical world." Pomona asked.

"Dunno, Dumbledore just asked me to go."

"If you will excuse me, I believe I should be joining the meeting with Mr. Potter." Poppy announced as she left the table. "Oh, and I have a galleon that says I'm the one who gets Albus and Severus fired." She added as she slapped another coin on the table.

"Mr. Potter, would you care to explain why you felt it was important for the Head of the DMLE to come out in the evening to deal with this?" Amelia asked as she sat down in a conjured chair.

Harry was sitting in a very large chair with the Sorting Hat on his lap, he looked so very small. "Because I fear for my safety and do not believe I should have to walk around looking over my shoulder constantly. You are also the only person I can think of that won't be intimidated by him." He said jabbing a thumb at Albus.

Albus looked highly offended… even more so when he realised everyone agreed with Harry… including Snape.

"Very well, please outline what occurred."

"Wouldn't it be much easier and quicker to observe Professor Flitwick's memories of the event in the Headmaster's Pensieve?" Harry asked innocently as Albus' eyes flew wide open.

"How do you know about that?"

"I have my ways." Harry shrugged. "OW!" Harry growled at the Hat as its mouth frowned at him having bit his hand. "I also know you have my dad's invisibility cloak, which I need back."

Albus really didn't feel comfortable handing that over. Harry was far too well informed and far too cocky. There was no telling what trouble the boy would get into.

"Perhaps when you are older." He said apologetically.

"Hmm, I see." Harry mused before turning to Amelia. "I would like to press charges against Albus Dumbledore for the theft of a family heirloom."

This had everyone's eyebrows shooting into the hairlines.

"This is highly unusual." Amelia remarked; she turned to Albus. "I would advise you hand the cloak over, Dumbledore. Mr. Potter is well within his rights, especially as you have essentially admitted to having it."

"I'd also like to have anything else of mine he is holding… and those charms removed from it and me."

"Charms?" Moody asked.

"I'm fairly certain those little trinkets are tied to me." Harry said pointing to a nearby table.

"They simply keep me informed of your health and safety, my boy." Albus reasoned.

"Which is an invasion of my privacy and-" Harry stopped as the door opened and Poppy Pomfrey entered.

"I just learnt some news from Hagrid and felt that I should attend… before this goes any further I would like a few moments alone with Mr. Potter as the school nurse."

Harry sighed. He knew where this was going. "Madam Bones might as well come too. You'll probably want to tell her what you find." He said as he stood and put the Hat back on his head, holding the brim up so he could see.

"I was having so much fun too." He thought morosely.

"Not to worry Harry, at the very least you will get justice for what happened to you and you won't have to go back to them." The Hat told him.

%

Back in the Headmaster's office Snape was his usual belligerent self.

"I can't believe you are giving into the brat's demands! He is clearly nothing more than a pampered little prince like his father."

"Shut your mouth Severus or I will shut it for you!" Filius snarled.

Snape was shocked at the vehemence the tiny charms master was showing. Filius Flitwick was generally a jovial person.

"I agree." Minerva scowled. "You have crossed a line today and as I have never supported your appointment due to your clear bias, lack of experience and juvenile attitude, I will personally be lobbying to have you fired!"

"Now, now, Minerva. You know as well as I do that all staff appointments are under my purview." Albus reasoned.

"Yes, Albus. But your appointment is under the purview of the Board of Governors. So in reality, all I need to do is have you removed so I can have Severus fired." She said sweetly.

"Minerva!" Albus said mournfully through the shock of betrayal. "Severus has my deepest trust. I assure you-"

"All that means is you are not trustworthy." Minerva said dismissively.

"We both watched you allow Severus to insult the young man and then do nothing as he moved to attack him." Filius growled angrily. "I for one will be asking Madam Bones to see if she can begin an investigation into Mr. Potter's accounts."

"Why on Earth would that be necessary?" Albus asked.

"If you can't be trusted with a young boy's health, what about his money, especially as you seemed inclined to deprive him of a family heirloom?"

"The cloak is far too precious and potentially dangerous to give to a rambunctious young man such as Mr. Potter."

"That is not your call. Additionally, I find your assessment of Mr. Potter to be highly lacking." Minerva responded.

*BANG*

Everyone turned to see an enraged Amelia Bones storm in with an equally peeved Poppy Pomfrey guiding a sombre Harry Potter carrying the Sorting Hat.

"I am launching a full investigation into the handling of Harry Potter's placement since October 31st 1981." She said as she angrily placed her fists on Dumbledore's desk and glared at the man.

Albus just sighed in resignation. "Is that really necessary? I can vouch for the people I placed him with… they were family."

"Congratulations, Albus. You have just put yourself at the top of my interrogation list as a co-conspirator." Amelia smiled evilly.

"I can also testify that I was watching the house for the entirety of the 1st of November 1981 and that I warned Mr. Dumbledore that these people were not appropriate." Minerva said with her head held high as she stared down her nose at Albus in disgust.

"Do what you must, Amelia." Dumbledore shrugged. He decided not to worry about it; he could protect himself if he needed to.

Amelia just snarled at the man.

Filius decided to try and move things along. "Perhaps we can deal with the more immediate concerns of Mr. Snape's actions. I can bring Mr. Potter to the Ministry tomorrow evening if necessary or you can visit yourself, Madam Bones."

Amelia gave a sharp nod and sat down in a conjured chair.

"I'm afraid there is nothing to talk about." Albus smiled genially. "Professor Snape is protected by blanket immunity."

"WHAT!" Came the outraged screams.

"It is necessary that he be able to maintain his cover as a spy, and sometimes that means being a little… rough."

"Is this why you allowed him to torment anyone not a Slytherin?" Minerva demanded.

"It is for the Greater Good, Minerva. Surely you can understand this?"

"No Albus, I can not! And I definitely don't support it." She shook her head sadly. "After this meeting I will be contacting the board about your actions."

"I believe Pomona and myself would appreciate being a part of that, Professor." Filius scowled at Albus.

"You have built yourself a house of cards and it is about to come tumbling down." Amelia warned.

"Excuse me, but what does this mean for Mr. Potter and his safety around… him?" Poppy asked pointing disgustedly at Snape and unable to bring herself to say his name.

"If what Mr. Dumbledore says is true then there is nothing I can do." Amelia sighed. "I might just petition to remove him and Susan from the school and have them home schooled or send them to the States or Australia. Canada might help them learn French and a second language is always good."

"You are free to remove your niece, but Mr. Potter is my charge and he will be remaining here."

"Harry, a word?" The Hat said quickly.

Harry quickly put the Hat back on his head. "So everything we wanted to achieve today is going to fail?"

"Of course not. There are two things you and I know that can help you. Now, here's what you will say…"

Eventually Harry removed the Hat with a huge smile. Albus began to worry what the Hat had told him.

"First of all, I am Lord Slytherin by Right of Conquest. This means I can select my own guardians and can control my estates… which, as Lord Slytherin, the last of the heirs of the Founders, includes Hogwarts and Hogsmede."

There were gasps of shock at this revelation.

"I need to remain a student and resident of the School in order to protect it. So I will be living here from now on. I actually own a castle! How cool is that?" Harry said in a manner that truly portrayed an excitable eleven-year-old.

"You will need to return to your Aunts home during the summer, Harry."

"Like hell, and to you it's either Mr. Potter or Lord Slytherin." Harry snapped angrily his mood switching faster than a captured Death Eater's loyalty.

"I must agree with Lord Slytherin." Amelia added. "Like hell! By the time I am finished with his 'family' they will be rotting in muggle prison… personally I am hoping to get them into Azkaban!"

"It's Mr. Potter or Harry to you!" Harry snapped at Amelia… before breaking out into a teasing smile.

Amelia was shocked at the boy but figured he must be riding high on excitement by now, it was good to see him having fun considering what she had just learnt about the last ten years of his life.

"Mr. Potter, as much as I would love to see you matriculate these halls-" Minerva had to stop as Harry raised a hand.

"What's 'matriculate'?" He asked innocently.

"Learn here." She explained with a kind smile, it was the kind of smile that Harry recalled with fondness, it was very rare to see Minerva McGonagall smile. "I fear it is too dangerous to leave you near Mr. Snape or Mr. Dumbledore."

"That's the beauty of my next two bits… although I don't agree with the first one." Harry smiled. "If Madam Bones and yourself could arrange an interview with the Daily Prophet we could seriously damage his reputation." Harry explained as he jerked a head at Albus. "Legally, as a Lord, he can't touch me. If he does the rest of the Lords out there would lynch him!"

"It's a good idea, Mr. Potter, but why do you not like it?" Filius asked.

Harry gave a nervous look at Poppy.

"Harry, I am quite capable of giving the information required without giving the details." Poppy assured him.

"What is the second thing you were going to mention, Harry?" Amelia asked, trying to redirect the conversation away from anything that would make Harry sad.

Harry grinned… it was not a pretty sight. "Did you know that Severus Snape owed my father a life debt?"

There was sharp intake of breath from the greasy haired git.

"Really? Whilst it is true that you would inherit the debt if left un-repaid, I don't see how that would help." Filius frowned.

"Yes, but what is also important to know is that there is a prophecy about me defeating Voldemort-" Harry rolled his eyes at the additional gasps. "-Severus Snape is the one who revealed the prophecy to Voldemort and brought-"

"Mr. Potter! You will say no more!" Albus said sternly as he rose from his chair and moved for his wand.

"Expelliramus!" Harry was quicker and the wand soared into his hand.

Albus was white as a sheet. "Harry-"

"Tut tut! Lord Slytherin." Harry said mockingly. The others just stood there, shocked that an eleven-year-old boy had managed to best the Great Albus Dumbledore.

"You must return my wand to me!"

"This isn't your wand." Harry shrugged before he snapped it.

"NOOOO!" Albus leapt forward but was sent flying back by five separate stunners where he hit the wall and slid to the ground in an unconscious heap.

Harry took his own wand and incinerated the remains of the wand that caused a small explosion of smoke. "And thus ends the legend of the Elder Wand." Harry said highly satisfied.

"Mr. Potter, the Elder Wand is a myth." Minerva admonished lightly.

"Nope, it was real. Dumbledore won it from Grindlewald." Harry shrugged.

"If that was the real Elder Wand, why would you destroy it?" Filius asked.

"Well, if Dumbledore could win it from Grindlewald and I could win it from Dumbledore, what's not to say that someone couldn't win it from me? This way the wand can't be used by someone bad… like Snape."

"Insolent whelp!"

"Silence Snape!" Moody spoke up at last, he had had his wand out and trained on Snape ever since Albus drew his. "I wanna hear what you were saying before Albus lost the plot." He told Harry.

"Right… erm… where was I?" Harry muttered to himself.

"Severus owes you a life debt which you inherited and he led You-Know-Who to target you." Filius supplied.

"Right! Which means that he violated a magical contract and his life is forfeit."

"You mean to kill him?" Amelia asked worriedly. As a Lord there was little she could do to stop him, but she hated to think that this young boy would do such a thing.

Severus knew much about life debts having researched them when James Potter had saved his life. He had hoped that either Dumbledore had lied to him or that he could find a loophole to allow him to escape. Ignorance was the only hope he had. So long as Potter and his family didn't know or acknowledge the debt he would be safe. Now he knew he was screwed.

"No, not kill him, but his life is now mine. Severus Tobias Snape, I, Harry James Potter claim your life as payment for the life debt you violated."

Severus screamed in pain as he fell to the ground on his knees his fingers clawing at his throat as his breathing became restricted. A ring of red light shone around his neck. And then it stopped and Severus fell to the ground in a panting heap.

"Sweet Merlin! What just happened?" Minerva gasped.

"Magic acknowledged my claim." Harry smiled. "Severus Snape is now a slave of House Potter."

"Merlin!" Amelia whispered as they all stared at the prostrate Snape.

"That does seem rather fitting." Filius grinned wickedly. "He has simply exchanged one master for another. But are you sure you are up for the responsibility?"

"I'm just going to make him do his current job with some modifications… like not being a big meanie!"

"I would suggest you let us help you plan your commands for now, Mr. Potter." Filius suggested. "I would hate for there to be a loophole for him to exploit. He cannot harm you, but he can still harm others and his actions reflect on you."

"Legally, even more so. There hasn't been a slave binding in over half a century! I doubt the laws have changed. Fortunately you don't need to inform the Ministry so we can keep this quiet." Amelia told them, still slightly dazed.

"I hate to ask this, but could you remove the knowledge of this meeting from Dumbledore's mind? He'll only keep on bugging me about how I know about things like the prophecy, I could order Snape to protect me but it will become pretty obvious I now own him."

"I believe I have the closest authority to do this." Poppy said stepping forward. "He has knowledge of private information regarding one of my underage patients, this gives me the right to remove the information."

"How do you know about the prophecy, Mr. Potter?" Minerva asked.

Harry looked at the hat wide eyed.

"Oops." It shrugged.

Harry just scowled and quickly began to think.

"It's that scar, isn't it." Poppy said sadly. "I knew it was dangerous."

Harry fought the urge to sigh in relief. "Voldemort transferred some of his memories to me when he died." It was a near perfect solution… despite the groan of the hat.

"I must insist that this be kept confidential!" The Hat exclaimed. "The last thing Hogwarts or myself wants is for Lord Slytherin to wind up as an experiment in the Department of Mysteries."

"I believe we can all agree to that." Amelia nodded slowly. "Of course this means that we can't use any of the knowledge that Mr. Potter possesses, like who the real Death Eaters are."

Harry shuddered. "They all are. You can't take the Mark unless you want it."

"Damn." She muttered. "See, now we don't have any chance of using that knowledge."

"You need to find a low level Death Eater, someone who isn't on Fudge's list of benefactors and wait for them to commit a crime." Filius suggested. "Then question them with Veritiserum and use the knowledge to reopen all the cases."

"I suppose catching Lucius Malfoy would be improbable." Minerva sighed.

"Catching him is easy, holding him is the problem. Fudge keeps bailing him out." Amelia said.

"These are all things we can discuss later. It is getting late, Severus has been neutralised but he still needs instructions." Poppy interrupted as she noticed Harry yawning.

"We also need to deal with Albus." Filius added.

"I was just going to have Snape continue as before but make sure he ensures the safety and education of his students. Also make sure he doesn't tell anyone our secrets." Harry explained.

"That would be best, but what about Albus?" Amelia asked repeated Filius' concern.

"We could just erase the whole meeting and make him believe he won the argument." Harry suggested.

"And his wand?" Filius asked with a small smile as he indicated the burnt ashes.

"Erm… he's so powerful he accidentally exploded his own wand?" He offered lamely.

"That actually might work." Poppy smiled causing everyone to look at her as if she was crazy. "It is a legitimate problem for exceptionally powerful people or people who don't take proper care of their wands." She explained.

"In that case, we will remove Albus to the Hospital Wing and wipe his memory of the event, we can then tell him that his wand exploded throwing him against the wall and he hit his head… hence the memory loss." Amelia decided.

"Snape, bring Albus and follow us." Harry ordered.

An extremely angry Severus Snape rose from the floor and obeyed. It was obvious he was not enjoying himself or operating under his own will.

"Students, assemble in the common room!"

Hearing the call from their Head of House the Slytherins quickly made their way. Usually Professor Snape didn't bother with addressing the students until the morning where he gave a short sharp speech that amounted to: "If you give me more work I will have you licking my potions classroom clean!"

"First of all, Mr. Malfoy, because of your outburst regarding Mr. Potter's sorting and heritage, you will serve two day's detentions with Professor McGonagall.

"Secondly, there will be no further bullying, intimidation or anything that resembles less than civilised behaviour towards Mr. Potter or anyone else not a Pureblood or Slytherin.

"Thirdly, anyone failing to do so will serve detentions with Mr. Hagrid cleaning up the dung from the Hippogriff herd… with their bare hands. Further infractions will lead to eventual expulsion.

"That is all. I will see you in the morning."

With that Severus Snape turned and exited the Slytherin common room leaving Harry Potter to face the horde alone.

Harry now realised that he missed a step in his instructions to his slave.

"You wait till my father hears about this!" Draco snarled snottily. "Half-bloods in Slytherin… it's an outrage and the Malfoy family won't stand for it!"

"Shut up Draco." Harry sighed. "If you have a problem, you deal with it, or aren't you man enough to handle little old me?" Harry asked innocently.

Draco bristled, his hand snapping to his wand but not drawing it. It was so quick it made Harry wonder why it seemed so natural considering students didn't get their wands till they were eleven.

"Perhaps you would like to duel, Potter?" He spat.

"Not really." Harry shrugged. Draco looked ready to crow in triumph but Harry went on. "But if that's what it takes then I'm game. After we set some conditions and stakes."

Draco looked a little worried. "Like what?"

"Well, the duel should be public… either outside or in the Great Hall. Also, the loser of the duel will leave the school." Harry was too tired to think up anything too clever, he didn't really want Draco around but he knew that he was pushing it.

Draco on the other hand was pissing his pants mentally. Those were some very high stakes, leaving the school meant attending another school in another country. He was fairly certain he could wipe the floor with Potter but it still was a big risk.

Suddenly he had an idea on how to get out of this. "You're not worth the hassle, Potter."

"Strange, Voldemort thought I was."

There were gasps and screams as Harry uttered the most feared named.

"What a bunch of losers." Harry rolled his eyes. "The idiot got himself killed by a baby and you lot are afraid of his name? Are you really telling me you are afraid of a baby?" He challenged Draco.

"Of course not!" Draco said indignantly.

"Show some respect, boy." An older boy sneered. "The Dark Lord was the Greatest Wizard alive!"

"Again… he got defeated by a baby… a baby who probably had a limited vocabulary and definitely no wand."

"B-b-but he killed all those p-p-people!" A second year girl stuttered fearfully.

"Did he? How often was Voldemort- shut up! How often was the idiot actually sighted? The way I hear it people were found the next day with the Dark Mark over their homes… all the battles that were recorded where with the Death Eaters… sounds more like he was too afraid to handle adults, when the opportunity came along to kill a baby he managed to screw that up as well!"

"You lie!" Scowled a prefect.

"We have back issues of the Prophet in the school… check them out. Not very cunning or ambitious to follow a weak, incompetent scaredy cat." Harry grinned.

"Watch your tongue Potter or I might challenge you to a duel myself!" Warned the prefect.

Harry just shrugged. "Fine by me, but you might want to reconsider. It's a lose-lose situation for you."

"Is that a threat Potter?" He demanded his hand going for his wand.

"If you beat me, you will be mocked and no one will respect you for challenging a firstie who hasn't even had a lesson yet. If I beat you, you will be shamed beyond belief for being beaten by a firstie who hasn't even had a lesson yet." Harry yawned. "'Scuse me all, been a long day. Time for bed." Harry walked past them leaving them standing there slightly confused.

"Crap… where's my room." Harry wondered.

"Psst… this way My Lord." Came a deep and foreboding whisper.

At the end of the hallway was the Bloody Baron.

"Did you just say 'psst'?" Harry asked incredulously.

"Quickly!" The ghost hissed.

Harry shrugged and followed his spectral guide. The Bloody Baron led him up a long flight of circular stairs much like the ones that led to the Headmaster's office. At the top was a portrait of a large cobra, coiled, resting in the shade of a tree in the midday sun.

"The Lord of Slytherin is not available, turn back hatchling." The snake hissed.

"Erm… I am the Lord of Slytherin by Right of Conquest." Harry offered.

"A speaker!" The snake's head rose up in surprise. It tilted its head as though listening. "Ah yes, the Great Mother acknowledges your claim, hatchling. Welcome home."

The snake lowered back to its resting state and the portrait swung open.

Severus Snape was furious! He refused to accept his enslavement and vowed to himself that he would find a way to break it. He had even drawn his wand to make a magical oath… but found he couldn't.

First it was The Dark Lord, then Dumbledore and now, worst of all, Potter was his master. It would not stand and he would see the boy dead at his feet by his hands.

He spent the better part of the night trying to concoct potions and poisons to use on the boy but his body just would not comply, it would stand there impassively as he raged impotently in his mind.

Eventually he decided to retire for the night and approach his dilemma in the morning with a fresh mind. Infuriatingly his body was once again under his control… until he decided to plot his revenge.

*Chapter 2*: Chapter 2
Chapter 2

Albus Dumbledore was thrust, unceremoniously, into the waking world. He had no idea where he was, the last thing he remembered was having to have a meeting with his Heads of House and Potter, Bones and Moody. After that… nothing.

Looking around blearily he saw Madam Pomfrey had just thrown open the curtains causing sunlight to pour in and result in his awakening.

"Poppy? Why am I in the Hospital Wing?" He asked.

"You don't remember?" She asked worriedly.

"I seem to be missing a rather large section of memory… nothing since the end of the feast last night." He frowned.

"I'm not surprised really, you hit your head fairly hard." She admonished.

"Did I fall?" He asked, although it was more of a verbal wondering.

"Of course not, no, you managed to over power and explode your wand… you're lucky you still have most of your fingers!" She wagged a finger of her own at him.

Albus quickly looked at his hand and saw that the index and middle finger where missing off his right hand. "By Merlin… what happened?"

"I thought we covered that, Albus, your wand exploded." Poppy began running her wand over him. "Are you experiencing short term memory problems? Are you focusing properly?"

"What? Of course I am." He said angrily. "Wait… my wand?" His face paled.

"Complete ashes, I'm afraid you will have to see Ollivander about a new one." She said absently. "Now, if you will excuse me, I need to get the Wing ready for the day."

Poppy hid a smirk as she bustled away. She hadn't lied, as his wand had exploded slightly when Harry destroyed it. He was lucky to have most of his fingers as Moody and Filius were arguing over how many they should blast off and who got to do it.

Albus was not really focused on his fingers. Granted it was a huge loss, but his real worry was his loss of the Elder Wand. He felt that he needed all the help he could get as he knew Voldemort would return.

But then he realised something… he had overpowered the Elder Wand… he must be incredibly powerful. He doubted that Tom Riddle could do such a thing, even after all his power enhancing rituals. Potter may have to be the one to deliver the killing blow but it would be Albus Dumbledore who beat him into submission!

Harry sat down at the Slytherin table the next morning still trying to figure things out. The Bloody Baron hadn't given him any information but simply led him to what turned out to be Salazar Slytherin's old chambers. The Baron had stated that if he was to be the new Lord he would live and act like one. Then he had left. Harry had been too tired to care and just flopped down on the bed and nodded off in his clothes.

This morning he had discovered just how weak his body was after ten years of neglect and abuse by the Dursleys. His seven years in Hogwarts had allowed him to repair some of the damage but his little eleven-year-old body was barely functioning. He had headed straight to Madam Pomfrey who gave him some potions, which helped make him a little stronger for the day. She had warned him that he needed to exercise and eat right so he could stop using them.

All around him the students of all houses where whispering and pointing at him. The Boy-Who-Lived was a Slytherin. It was the biggest scandal of the century.

He could see Snape eating sullenly at the staff table. The Hat had been quite clear about what the bond entailed, there was nothing he could do to harm Harry or even his reputation on his own. He had only the freedoms his master allowed him.

There was a sudden commotion at the entrance to the hall as Draco and several other Slytherins marched in and headed straight up to Snape.

"Professor Snape, we demand Harry Potter be expelled. He has dishonoured the House of Slytherin, he entered our Lord's chambers." Said the eldest boy pompously.

Snape was desperately trying to do something to make this possibility real but before he could do anything Professor Flitwick intervened.

"Before we investigate your claims, are you aware of the bylaws of Hogwarts regarding such accusations?" He asked calmly, but there was a hint of annoyance in his eyes.

"We know that if he breaks certain bylaws he can be expelled."

"But are you aware that if your accusations are proved unfounded and the accused wins, you will suffer the punishments demanded by yourselves? In other words, you could be expelled."

"My father would never allow that." Malfoy said dismissively.

"Your father would have no say in the matter." Severus said, in his mind he was seething at his traitorous body. This was not happening to him and he would end it… somehow.

"Professor Snape is quite correct, Mister Malfoy. Hogwarts herself would deny you entrance; the bylaws are a part of her wards." Flitwick agreed.

"I believe what my colleagues are trying to say is, are you sure you wish to carry on with your current course? Especially as you will be expelled if you fail." Minerva explained.

"But he disgraced Slytherin and violated the sanctity of his chambers!" One girl said passionately. "How could he possibly get away with that?"

"The solution is obvious if you would just use your brains!" Snape snapped. That was actually his own willing contribution.

"But only Lord Slytherin can enter…" The prefect trailed off.

"Ah, I see the penny has dropped." Filius smirked.

Snape was fed up with this. "How many of you have approached the cobra portrait? How many have been allowed entrance? How many do you think have tried to force their way in? Only one student in the past century has gained access other than Potter, that student could speak to the cobra and it granted him access because he was the Lord of Slytherin. Now cease this foolishness and return to your morning meal." He dismissed them angrily before turning to his bacon and eggs.

The older students paled and began to move off, one of the prefects had to grab Draco before he could continue his protest.

Back at the Slytherin table the other first years and those that had not participated were staring at Harry.

"What?" He asked uncomfortably.

"Are you really the new Lord Slytherin?" Daphne Greengrass asked.

"Apparently." Harry shrugged unconcerned.

Tracey Davis was white as a ghost like most of her classmates. "But… that means…you…"

"Means what?" Harry asked with a raised eyebrow.

"You're related to You-Know-Who!" Pansy Parkinson hissed.

"Who?"

"You know! You-Know-Who!"

"I don't know who. Last I checked I was related to the Potters… hence my name." Harry said as he put another spoon of porridge in his mouth.

"She's talking about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Daphne explained.

"If he can't be named then how am I supposed to know who she's talking about?" Harry frowned. He was really enjoying himself.

"V-V-V-V-"

"Vonder Voman?"

"Who? No! V-V-V-V-"

"Valentino?"

"She means Voldemort!" Came the highly irritated voice of Professor Snape.

The Great Hall was filled with screams and gasps with some people actually diving under the tables and running out the doors.

"Thank you Severus, for that." McGonagall said dryly she said as she stood to go and corral the frightened children.

Harry smirked quietly at the chaos before turning back to his classmates. "I'm not related to Voldemort and stop gasping, he's gone, pitiful excuse for a human that he is."

"If you are not related then how are you the new Lord of Slytherin?" Marcus Flint asked.

"Easy, I kicked his butt as a baby, and now, by Right of Conquest, Magic recognises me as the new Lord Slytherin."

"Hmph, so I just have to defeat you and I will be the new Lord of Slytherin!" Malfoy grinned.

"Mister Malfoy, you do not have the authority to initiate such a duel, only a Head of House may make such a challenge." Snape said as he handed out the timetables.

"Then how did Potter do it?"

"Isn't it obvious? I thought everybody knew what happened that night." Harry rolled his eyes. "First he killed my father, that made my mother the Head of House. Then he killed my mother, making me the Head of House. Then I destroyed him, making me the new Lord of Slytherin." Harry looked at Draco with a curious smile. "Would you like me to inform your father that you wish to challenge him for the Headship of your house?"

At this point Severus Snape once again found himself a passenger in his own body as it betrayed him. "Actually, all Death Eaters entered their houses into a Vassal arrangement with the Dark Lord in his role as Lord Slytherin. Mister Potter has inherited those arrangements."

Everyone including Harry looked at Snape in surprise.

"Wow! I really need to go speak with the Hat some more." Harry muttered.

There were two lessons on his first day that Harry enjoyed. Potions… because he could see Snape seething in his head whilst his body provided a lesson on safety and brewing that surpassed all previous lessons… by any potions professor… ever.

The other was Transfiguration.

Harry made it to class with time to spare. As with his first time as a firstie the Professor was sitting on her desk as a cat. Seeing as they were nearly all there… barring Ron who still managed to be late… Harry decided to have more fun.

"Well my fellow students. It seems that we are currently without a teacher." He smiled as he walked up to the front of the class.

The cat watched him curiously.

"But, I actually know some transfiguration!" He beamed a Lockhart grin. "First of all we need an object as this will be transfiguration and not conjuration. Everybody take out your Transfiguration text book."

There were wary looks between the students.

"Come on, come on! No dilly-dallying! We don't have all day. Get out your books." He ordered as he gave his best impression of a teacher.

Eventually everyone had them ready.

"Excellent now the incantation is 'Continenfors'. This will be cast at our books turning them into a bowl. The important things to remember are to imagine what the bowl will look like and to be firm in your incantation. Remember, this is your magic, your wand and your book. You own them all and they will obey you. So be forceful without being violent. Like so:

"Continenfors!"

The class watched in amazement as the boy-who-lived-and-had-never-had-a-lesson-before turned his book into a simple metal bowl approximately fifty centimetres in diameter.

"Go on then, give it a shot. Weasley, get in and sit down. You're late." Harry snapped at the tardy boy.

He was so believable as a teacher that Ron didn't even question being taken to task by another student.

"Come on, remember, its 'Continenfors'." Harry instructed.

All around the room students started incanting. This went on for several minutes. Harry absently began stroking the cat.

The cat gave a sudden squawk as Harry picked it up and cradled it whilst still stroking it. He began walking around the room whilst giving advice. Quite a few students had managed to get the book to take the shape of the bowl but none had managed to get it to be metal or solid. They were simply bowl shaped books.

"Ok! Wands down everybody." Harry instructed. "I said wands down!" He said with a slight snap. "Now then, some of you had a good start and some of you got nowhere. Let's start with those first.

"Seamus, you didn't get any change. Explain to me how you tried to cast the spell. What did you say?"

"Ah' said 'Continenfors'." The boy scowled in his thick Irish brogue.

"Excellent. Now, what were you thinking of?" Harry asked.

"Making ah' bowl." There was something about Seamus' body language that made him look guilty.

"Really?" Harry asked sceptically. "Was there anything else going through your mind?"

"No." He said petulantly.

"If you aren't honest then I can't help you, you will forever fail because of it. You won't lose points or marks for telling me what was going through your mind, but I need to know before I can help you succeed."

Seamus huffed. "I was thinking about filling tha' bowl wi' rum, ok?" He snapped.

Harry tried to smother a smile. "How many of you were thinking about uses for the bowl you were going to make?" Harry asked the class.

A few hands went up.

"An important rule for casting is that your mind must be focused on the task at hand. If you are trying to transfigure a book to a bowl and are thinking about chicken dinner you are more likely to wind up with a chicken shaped book! Your sole focus should be the bowl. Its look, its feel. All of you; try again."

The classroom was again filled with sound of young voices incanting.

The results were much better this time. A lot of the bowls were nearly wooden but a few had a nice metallic finish.

"Wands down!" Harry instructed. "An excellent improvement." Harry praised them. "I suggest that you practice so that you can achieve better results. You can then use what you learnt about focus from this spell and apply it to others." Harry put the cat down and picked up his wand.

"I will now demonstrate a charm." Harry informed them. "Aguamenti!"

He pointed his wand at his own bowl and filled it with water.

Once full, he turned back to the class. "The wand movement is that of a wave." Harry demonstrated. "With these two spells you will never be without water to drink. An important survival tip for you.

"Now, I will show you a very unique technique." Harry said seriously. "Animal to human transformations. It is more of a ritual that requires a transfigured bowl and conjured water."

"Mrow?" The cat said with suspicion.

"We take an animal, such as this delightful little kitty, and we bathe it in water, like so."

The cat screeched and leapt out of his arms, transforming into Minerva McGonagall as it landed.

"And there you have it class! A perfect animal to human transformation!" Harry crowed triumphantly.

The class was looking on in awe… except Hermione who was viciously flipping through her textbook looking for the documentation.

"Mister Potter!" Minerva screeched.

"Class, as you can see, the specimen now has all of the speech and mental abilities of a human as though it were that human."

"Potter!" She took a step closer.

"In fact, the specimen has no idea it ever was an animal."

"Sit down Mister Potter!"

"Catnip?" Harry asked innocently as he held up a hand holding the feline addictive substance.

Minerva involuntarily moved forward to sniff his hand.

"As you can see, the specimen retains some of its natural instincts." Harry lectured.

Minerva raised her wand with difficulty and vanished the source of her addiction. "Harry Potter, take your seat now!"

"Does anyone have any questions?" Harry asked as he ignored the fuming teacher. "Pavarti, yes?"

"How do you reverse the process?" She asked curiously.

"Oh for Merlin's sake." The Professor groaned.

"It's difficult, but it can be done." Harry nodded gravely. "Often you need to just wait for the specimen to revert on its own. But otherwise…" He raised his wand quickly and cast a transfiguration that turned the Professor into a cat that largely resembled the Professor's previous feline form.

The cat started to growl at him.

"Erm… that's it for class today." Harry said hastily as the cat backed down into a pouncing position. "Your homework is to be able to complete the book to bowl transfiguration, research animagus or ask Granger about it and finally… ask the Weasley twins about the perils of pranking teachEEERSSS!" Harry practically screamed the last bit as he ran from the room with an angry cat on his tail.

The rest of the class turned to Hermione who started to giggle in realisation.

"What's so funny?" Neville, her table partner asked.

"I think Professor McGonagall is a cat animagus. She can turn herself into a cat. Harry knew this and took over her lesson."

"Why is that funny?"

"Because right now Harry Potter is being chased through the school by a professor in the shape of a cat."

Harry ran to the only place he could think of. The hospital wing.

Madam Pomfrey was shocked as the school's celebrity student came barrelling in before darting behind her.

"Protect me Madam Pomfrey! An evil cat is after me!"

Poppy could see the laughter in the boy's eyes and wondered what was going on.

Her answer arrived in the form of her colleague in cat form.

"Is there a reason you are stalking Mister Potter, Minerva?" She asked as she valiantly tried not to smile.

Valiant though her efforts were… she failed.

The cat began meowing and hissing and growling.

Poppy raised an eyebrow at the fact that Minerva had not transformed to human form. She took out her wand and cast some diagnostic spells.

She then determined the problem and reversed the transfiguration.

"Really Minerva, beaten by a first year?" Poppy chided teasingly.

"That… first year is a menace!" She hissed. "He not only took over my class but he threatened to… bathe me in some fantasy ritual." She said bathe like a curse.

"Minerva! Harry is only eleven, I doubt he has those urges yet." Poppy scowled.

Harry looked a little green as Minerva was outraged.

"As a cat! He was going to bathe me as a cat."

"Perhaps one of you could give me a full accounting of what has occurred? As enjoyable as hearing snippets is, I believe I need the full story."

"The Profess-"

"I will tell the story Mister Potter." Minerva said warningly.

Poppy chuckled as she pulled up a chair and indicated for Harry to sit on a nearby bed. She then listened to Minerva's tale with much enjoyment.

"Do you agree with Professor McGonagall's recounting, Mister Potter?" She asked as Minerva finished.

"She forgot the homework I set, but that's about right."

"Homework?"

"To be able to perform the book to bowl transfiguration by the next lesson, to ask or research animagi and to ask the Weasley Twins about the perils of pranking a teacher." Harry shrugged.

"Harry, did you know the cat was Professor McGonagall at the beginning of the lesson?" She asked shrewdly.

Harry looked sheepish. "Yes'm."

"How many of your fellow students managed to complete the book to bowl transfiguration?"

"None of them. They all managed to make something that will hold water, but only a few had anything near metallic."

Poppy nodded. "Minerva, what were you planning to do to Mister Potter?"

"Aside from getting him to change me back?" She asked with a sarcastic sneer.

"Minerva." Poppy said warningly.

"The boy will be serving detentions, that is for certain."

"Good, then give him some points and make him your assistant in class."

"The boy is a menace worse than his father!"

"Yes, and quite the prodigy." Poppy said calmly. "Personally I think he would give James a run for his money in raw talent. Even if most of his knowledge does come from that blasted scar, he still has the skill to use it. Give him his detentions and make him work on OWL level spells. Maybe if you get him to pass his exams early you can be rid of him."

"Aww… more work?" Harry groaned. "I already had to teach a class today."

"Silence Harry, you brought this on yourself." Poppy chastised, she was enjoying herself far too much.

At dinner that evening things became quite awkward when Seamus Finnegan wobbled unsteadily over to the Slytherin table and up to Harry with a ridiculous dopey grin on his face.

"You're a'righ' Po'er." The boy slurred. "You know your stuff… best… day… ever."

Seamus then collapsed in a heap on the floor.

Severus and Minerva quickly rushed over.

"Disgusting. The boy is drunk." Severus sneered.

"Impossible! Where would he get alcohol?" Minerva challenged.

"I blame those reprobate twins of yours." Severus smirked.

"Perhaps Seamus could use a sobering potion?" Harry suggested pointedly to his Head of House.

Of course from Severus' point of view it was more of an order and he merely turned on his heel and left to carry it out.

"Erm, Professor, I think Seamus managed to transfigure the water into rum." Tracey Davis said hesitantly.

"How on Earth would he know how to do that?"

"I don't know Ma'am, but I overheard him talking about it as we were leaving class."

Harry had to bury his face in his hands as he tried not to laugh. Apparently he was so good a teacher that whereas in his previous time round Seamus had blown himself up, this time round he had the focus to actually make the rum.

Quirrenus Quirrell was truly nervous. Not the simpering, stuttering fool he played to trick Dumbledore and the rest of the school, no… he was beginning to get truly worried. He was seated at his desk and pulling yet another nail from his purple turban. So far he counted ten, and that didn't include the ones he had seen embed themselves in doorframes, walls, blackboards and other surfaces.

He was beginning to think his cover was blown.

"Cease your infernal worries, you fool!" His master hissed into his mind. "It is clearly some childish prank, your act as a bumbling idiot is clearly working and some of the more rambunctious children are capitalising on it."

"As you say, My Master, but should one of these nails hit their target, I may be forced to seek medical attention and that would risk exposing you!"

"You truly are a pitiful creature that a tiny piece of metal scares you." The Dark Lord hissed in disgust. "A simple Obliviate will deal with anyone who discovers me."

"Of course, My Lo- OW!"

Quirrell suppressed the urge to moan in further pain as he rubbed his ear where it seemed one of the nails had hit its target.

Harry was having the time of his life. His first week back at Hogwarts and he was top of the year academically. His professors commented that he had a very mature essay writing method. Harry didn't care, he did his homework as soon as he got it, he knew he would have to start studying by third year but for now, first year work was boringly easy.

His current project was Quirrell. He couldn't just kill him, but it was on his list of backup plans. No, what he wanted was to expose Voldemort; so he had taken to banishing nails at Quirrell's turban to try and unwrap it.

His aim sucked.

He decided to take a break for a few days, after he had actually got one on the man's ear, to avoid drawing suspicion. But it was still fun. He also had plenty of ideas.

Over the past week he had been presented his cloak by a suit of armour that had apparently marched into the old man's office and taken it whilst the old man fired spell after spell at it. He had followed the armour all the way to the Great Hall where the students were having lunch.

The students watched in amazement as the suit marched up to Harry and bowed low.

"Mister Potter, you must return that cloak to me!" The Headmaster ordered.

"Why? Is it yours?" Harry asked.

"You know full well that it is not, but you are clearly not ready to handle such a responsibility."

"If it's not yours then you don't have the right to say that." Harry shrugged as he carefully placed the cloak in his bag.

"I am far older and wiser than you are and-"

"Prove it." Harry interrupted.

"I beg your pardon?" Albus asked taken aback.

"Prove you are older and wiser."

Albus was slightly flustered for a moment before he rallied himself. "The fact that you even asked such a thing shows I am."

"How?"

"What?"

"How does it prove it?" Harry rolled his eyes.

"I'm afraid you wouldn't understand." The aging Headmaster said sagely.

"Well… there are over two hundred people here right now ranging from me and my fellow firsties up to Professors McGonagall and Flitwick. I'm sure someone will understand and be able to dumb it down for me."

Dumbledore then realised that he had an audience… and some of them were livid.

"This is neither the time nor the place, Mister Potter. Now, I will just take that cloak for saf-"

*CLANK*

"AH! MY DOSE!"

"EWWWW"

The assembled Slytherins quickly backed away as they were splattered by blood flying from the Headmaster's nose thanks to the metallic fist of the suit of armour impacting with his face.

"Midder Potter! Dat wad uncalled for!" Albus said angrily as he held his fractured face.

"I didn't do it! He did!" Harry said pointing accusingly at the suit of armour.

Unfortunately the armour merely turned and bowed to Harry.

"Albus! Cease this ridiculous farce!" Minerva ordered angrily as she stormed down with Poppy. "You were warned by Mister Potter and Madam Bones that you would be charged with stealing if you didn't return his family heirloom. Now go with Poppy and get your nose fixed."

"Midder Potter id clearly do immadure do be trudded wid de cloak!"

"Dat is- THAT is not your decision."

"Maybe he could use an escort to the Hospital Wing." Harry muttered.

To Harry and the student's amusement the suit of armour bowed again before grabbing the Headmasters elbow and frog-marching him away and ignoring the protests of his captive.

"Are you sure you didn't have anything to do with that?" Tracey Davis leaned over and asked as they watched the Deputy Headmistress and School Nurse follow the unusual pair out of the Great Hall.

"I don't think I did." Harry scratched his head thoughtfully. "I didn't even ask the suit of armour to get me my cloak."

"What's so special about a cloak?" Daphne asked.

"It was my father's. It's his invisibility cloak and it's all I have left of my parents." Harry said sadly.

Both girls and Pansy gave Harry a look of sadness. With Draco temporarily neutralised things were rather nice in Slytherin. He still tried to lord over everyone and insult their social standing and bloodlines, but he was rather ineffective.

The other thing that happened was Harry had confronted Hermione. He actually found it cute this time round, how she would try and answer every question. Unfortunately she was very annoyed with him because he was ahead of her on winning points and grades. But Harry didn't want her to suffer the same way she did last time so he cornered her one afternoon when classes had let out.

"You have to stop trying to answer every question." He said bluntly.

"What? Why? I suppose you want to be the one to answer them." She sniffed indignantly.

"Have you seen me putting my hand up?" Harry asked pointedly. "No, I know that I know the stuff. The teachers know because they have seen my work."

"Then why don't you put your hand up if you do know the answers?" She asked doubtfully.

"Because the questions aren't meant for us." Harry smiled. "They are meant for the rest of the class who might not know the answers."

"That doesn't make any sense!" She argued. "If they don't know the answers then why would they try to answer?"

"Professor Flitwick says that they ask the questions so that the students can think about the question and work out the answer. You and I know the answer and don't have to work it out. We have it committed to memory already. So… by answering the questions we are hurting our classmates' chances of learning."

"What about questions about facts? Like history questions, or names of plants and their attributes?" She asked, she was having trouble believing a teacher wouldn't want them answering questions.

"Apparently it is to do with helping them remember stuff. If we let them try and focus, they might remember. If they give the right answer then they will remember it because they are praised, if they don't they will remember because they are told they were wrong. Professor Sprout told me that one."

"Why did you ask the Professors these questions?" She asked suspiciously.

Harry just smiled warmly. "Because I saw that your actions were making you unlikeable. You should see the looks Ron Weasley gives you.

"You really should go to Ravenclaw, you will have a much better group of people to study with."

"Maybe if I stay in Gryffindor they will learn better study habits." She countered primly.

"Or you could damage their self-esteem and force them into habits that don't work for them.

"Why did you want to go into Gryffindor?" Harry asked. He knew the answer from his first time in Hogwarts, but the answer might not hold water at this point.

"It's where Headmaster Dumbledore went."

"And he's such a great role-model." Harry laughed.

Hermione was livid. "Headmaster Dumbledore is a great man! He has done so many things!"

"That just makes him experienced, I would have thought that having seen him around me, you'd realise that he's not the best person. Besides, if you want a role model, follow Professor Flitwick."

"I want more than just academia." Hermione sighed unhappily.

"Then Professor Flitwick is your man." Harry declared. "Did you know he is a Champion Dueller?"

"Of course I do!" She said indignantly.

"Right… what was I thinking." He sighed with a smile. "Go and talk to Professor Flitwick, tell him about everything we talked about and you might find life becoming a bit nicer here."

The next day Hermione had sought him out and thanked him. She still answered a lot of questions but she only put her hand up if it seemed that no one knew the answers.

Harry was now sitting in his room with the Sorting Hat trying to get some answers.

"It's only natural that the Castle wants to aid and protect you. You are the Master and she is your very willing servant." The Hat assured him.

"Was it like this for all the heirs… what about Riddle?"

"Ah… Riddle." The Hat spoke with some shame. "It seems that we might have aided in the making of Voldemort. The power and prestige the Castle granted him amongst his peers only fuelled his ego.

"Make no mistake, he was a sick minded little boy when he got here, but we didn't help."

"But it's ok to help me?"

The Hat laughed. "You aren't a greedy little eleven-year-old with no compassion. You have lived seventeen years and subconsciously dedicated your life to helping others!"

"I have?"

"Professor Flitwick has been around to ask if I would talk to Miss Granger about the houses again. Something about a green-eyed boy discussing the important things in life with her?"

Harry blushed. "I just wanted her to have a better start to her schooling than she did the last time."

"And you helped her, even if you weren't intending to be altruistic, you were."

Harry sat there for a moment. If he was honest with himself then, yes, he did seem to go out of his way to help people.

"So I should expect the castle to be keeping an eye on me?" He asked warily.

"Think of it like a child wanting to make sure it's parent is ok."

"Don't you mean a parent wanting to make sure it's child is ok?"

"Usually, but the Castle is unique with its regard for you. To everyone else it is motherly, but from you it seeks love and comfort."

"Really not sure I'm the best person for the job." Harry muttered.

"Tough! Now, let's focus on more important things." The Hat said sternly. "Are you really going to spend all year firing nails at Quirrell just to try and expose Voldemort?"

"Of course not, in a few weeks I was going try fire. I also have a plan that involves Cornish Pixies!" Harry declared proudly.

"By the mercy of the gods." The Hat groaned. "Why don't you just report him to Madam Bones?"

"And how am I going to explain that I knew he was carrying Voldemort around?"

"Because the Castle told you?"

"Wait… are you asking me to lie or are you telling me that the Castle actually knows that Quirrell has Voldemort because it can sense it?" Harry asked suspiciously.

"I think we are well past the point of caring about lying, Harry." The Hat chuckled. "The Castle has wards to detect dark magic… Voldemort is as dark as they come. I told you we knew about Quirrell at your Sorting, the Castle and myself are not able to communicate with the outside world, especially against the wishes of the Headmaster. But you, as Lord of Slytherin, can hear what we say and speak on our behalf."

"Why doesn't Dumbledore just deal with him?"

"He wants to try and save Quirrell, remember?" The Hat scoffed.

"Save Quirrell? By putting temptation at his front door?" Harry asked incredulously.

"Indeed, and that doesn't even take into account that you and I know he is committed to his master."

"Is Dumbledore clinically insane?" Harry asked.

"I wouldn't know, he certainly acts like he has lost his marbles at times."

"Wow, and I still have to deal with the Basilisk, Pettigrew, Sirius, the Tri-Wizard Cup and the horcruxes." Harry sighed.

"Nobody said you have to do this alone, Harry." The Hat said soothingly.

"Of course not, I just have to convince people to help me without telling them everything I know!"

"Let's deal with Quirrell first and handle the rest later."

Convincing Amelia Bones was actually fairly simple. Harry had gone with Professor Flitwick to see Professor McGonagall who had invited Amelia Bones to Hogwarts. The word of the Sorting Hat was enough to convince them all. It also begged the question from Amelia:

"Why the devil hasn't Dumbledore done anything about this?"

"He's on this whole redemption thing." Harry shrugged as they sat in Harry's chambers. Being the Lord of Slytherin came with a few perks like access to the outside of the Slytherin Dorms directly from his room and Floo access.

"Albus Dumbledore would do well to remember his place!" Amelia fumed. "It is my job to handle crimes and the punishments befitting them!"

"Why is Voldemort even hiding in a school professor?" Filius asked.

"The Philosopher's Stone." The Hat said solemnly.

"I beg your pardon?" Amelia asked.

Minerva sighed. "Albus decided to remove the Philosopher's Stone that belongs to Nicholas Flamel from Gringotts and hide it in the castle. He tasked various teachers with creating traps and tasks to protect it."

"Including Quirrell." The Hat added.

"WHAT?" Came the collective response from the adults.

"Why the devil would he do that if he knows Quirrell is possessed?" Minerva asked.

"I don't know about the rest of you, but a first year, Harry especially, could easily get past my task. Albus refused to let me install some active protection wards that even You-Know-Who would falter at." Filius admitted.

"Why 'especially Harry'?" Pomona asked, she had been updated on the situation with Harry, Snape and Dumbledore as everyone thought she was trustworthy and deserved to know.

"Young Lord Slytherin here is quite the Seeker." Filius grinned. Harry looked a little shocked. "I quite enjoy an early morning walk around the grounds, my boy. I've seen you practising."

Harry was very relieved, but so was the Hat as both were worried that the tiny charms master had discovered Harry's true secret.

"Harry's future in Quidditch aside we need a plan to deal with the You-Know-Who."

"How about Lord No Name?" Harry piped up.

"I beg your pardon?" Amelia asked.

"Everyone is afraid of his name, but he was beaten by a baby and lost everything. The Hat was telling me about how Draco could be cast out of his house for challenging me because it would be seen as challenging his father and that would make him 'Draco No Name'. So call Voldemort 'Lord No Name'. Seems fitting."

"And quite the slap in the face." Filius giggled.

"And legally binding." Amelia mused. "Anyway, regarding Lord No Name… we need a plan."

"Why not just stun Quirrell?" Minerva asked.

"Quirrell was not given the post of DADA professor lightly, Minerva. He was highly skilled, I trained him myself at duelling." Filius warned.

"Would you like to have some fun with some people?" Harry asked the adults with a cheeky grin as a plan formed in his mind.

*Chapter 3*: Chapter 3
Chapter 3

Harry had to beg and plead with the adults to let him do it his way. In the end he had stuck out his bottom lip and looked up at them with soulful eyes.

When that didn't work he sulked causing them to laugh and decide to give him a shot.

Harry's plans wouldn't come to fruition until Halloween and several key events occurred before then.

The first was the flying lesson. As with his previous first year, poor Neville had fallen from his broom, broken his wrist and dropped his Remembrall.

Draco had remained true to form and stolen it and climbed his broom and flown away.

Harry changed tactics.

"Everyone follow me and look upset and angry!" Harry ordered the other students before he ran after Draco. "THIEF! MALFOY! GIVE THAT BACK YOU THIEF!" He yelled.

Behind him Hermione, Daphne, Tracey and the other Slytherins followed along with the Hufflepuffs. The Ravenclaws and Gryffindors hung back, still not trusting the current Lord Slytherin.

"What's up Potter? Too scared to challenge me on a broom?" Draco taunted as he flew lower.

"MISTER MALFOY! LAND THAT BROOM IMMEDIATELY!" Came the angry shout of Minerva McGonagall.

Malfoy looked fairly ill as he lost control and fell the five feet to the ground.

"Flying without a Professor to supervise and stealing to boot? Outrageous! Wait till your father hears about this!" She ranted as she grabbed him by the shoulder and hauled him away.

Harry stood there grinning as the other students watched the spectacle in shock.

"Did you plan that, Harry?" Hermione asked.

"Not exactly." He shrugged. "I just knew a teacher would come and he would get in trouble for flying. It will be even worse when his father finds out his son is now branded a thief!"

There were several pureblood gasps. "His father will disown him!" Pansy whispered.

"I doubt it. He will probably throw money at Minister Fudge to have it go away." Harry sighed.

"That's terrible!" Justin Finch-Fletchly said angrily.

"Nope, that's the Pureblood way." Harry quipped.

Within the school, Draco's reputation plummeted. He was suspended from the school for two weeks.

There had been an interesting incident when the Minister of Magic had arrived in the Great Hall with a group of uniformed men who were not Aurors.

"If everyone would please line up over here we will have you back to your meal as quickly as possible." Fudge ordered pompously.

"Minister Fudge, what is the meaning of this? Why have you brought Obliviators to the school?" Dumbledore asked highly irritated.

At the Slytherin table Harry's eyes widened in shock. Having his memories altered could be a very bad thing. "Ah shit!"

"Language!" Pansy snapped.

"Why are they here?" Millicent asked worriedly.

"Draco." Daphne snarled. The girls looked around for the currently missing student.

"She means they are here to remove the knowledge that Draco is a thief." Harry sighed. "I'll be right back." He said as he stood up and made his way to the arguing Minister and Headmaster.

"You can not come in here and assault my students on the whim of a disgruntled father!"

"It's just a few harmless memories, Albus!"

"If they are so harmless then why remove them?" Filius countered snidely.

"I… harmless to them, this is a matter between those of a higher station and has already been decided." Fudge said sternly.

There was a sudden sound of metal clanking and approaching metal footsteps and they all turned as fifty suits of armour marched into the Great Hall and proceeded to place themselves between the adults and the students.

"What is the meaning of this? Albus, cease this at once!"

Albus Dumbledore was a little worried. The last time he had an encounter with one of the Hogwarts' suits of armour he came off with a broken nose.

"Go away Fudge, you're not wanted here."

Albus sighed in frustration.

"Who is that?" Fudge demanded as he tried to peer past the suits of armour.

"Oi, announce me!" Came the same voice as it hissed to its neighbour.

There was an aggravated growl before Professor Snape's voice was heard. "Make way for Lord Harry Potter of Slytherin!"

Two of the suits of armour turned to the side revealing the Professor and a small black haired, green-eyed boy with glasses.

"Who the devil is that?" Fudge asked as he got even more annoyed. Lucius had been very firm, if he got the job done his donation would be… excessive, fail and… he'd remove his support altogether.

"That is Lord Harry Potter of Slytherin." Filius grinned. "Incidentally, as the last Heir of the Founders, he owns Hogwarts."

"What? I never read that." Albus objected.

Filius shrugged dismissively. "You are a Gryffindor, it's expected that you make these kinds of simple mistakes."

Dumbledore's eyes narrowed slightly at the insult… but had to let it slide to deal with more pressing matters.

"That's Harry Potter? A bit on the scrawny side isn't he? EEP!" Fudge jumped back as one of the suits of armour took a menacing step forward.

"What's the big idea bringing Obliviators to a school?" Harry demanded as he crossed his arms and tapped his foot imperiously.

Everyone who could see him thought he looked absolutely adorable.

"Don't you worry Mister Potter, we'll have it all sorted out soon." Fudge said with a patronising smile.

"That's Lord Slytherin to you Fudge. Now answer my question." Harry glowered.

Minerva was having a hard time not picking the boy up and squeezing the life out of the cutie pie.

"Just some memories that need to be dealt with, nothing to worry about."

"If it's nothing to worry about… leave."

Fudge was a little taken aback by the boy's attitude.

"Just as soon as we wipe those nasty memories away." He assured him, still smiling falsely.

"Let's see your paperwork then." Harry held out his hand.

"Paperwork?"

"Every Obliviator needs to present the required authorisation papers to the wizard or witch being Obliviated." Filius groaned. He was kicking himself for not thinking of that himself.

Harry was just grasping at straws, he had no idea that there was required paperwork; he just wanted to keep the argument going till he could get Fudge out of the school.

"Well, Cornelius? We wouldn't want to breach Ministry Laws now, would we?" Albus asked with a slight smugness.

"I believe my presence is authority enough!" Fudge puffed up pompously.

"I don't." Harry retorted. "Get out before the castle kicks you out." He ordered.

"Now see here boy- GURK!" Fudge was suddenly grabbed by the throat by one of the suits of armour before being dragged away, the Obliviators quickly followed of their own accord when it appeared the rest of the suits might try the same with them.

The school watched as the Minister and his Obliviators were chased out by suits of armour.

"Do you think he'll have the Obliviators erase each other's memories of his embarrassment?" Harry wondered.

"Hopefully one of them will erase the Minister's memory." Filius remarked dryly.

"Mister Potter, you cannot keep using the castle's armour for your fun and games." Dumbledore said wearily. "Furthermore, you must cease your claims that you are the owner of the castle!"

"I didn't make them do anything!" Harry said defensively. "And I'm not the one making the claims about owning the castle, the castle is."

"It seems Professor Snape was correct. You do have a tendency to tell lies." Albus sadly.

"Now see here, Headmaster! You had better have some proof to back up those accusations." Filius bristled.

"Filius, surely you can see that the lad has developed a nasty habit-"

"Of being falsely accused." Minerva interrupted. "I am getting a little bit fed up with Mister Potter being maligned like this in public! It is bad enough seeing as he is a student but even worse as he is a noble lord!"

Albus looked a little chagrined at that. "I do apologise, Mister Potter. I am of course wrong to bring this up in public, but at some point we need to sit down to try and sort this out."

Harry felt a little appeased. The apology was honest and sincere. But it didn't deal with the overall problem. As the American's would say, you can't un-ring the bell.

"Fine, make an appointment with my counsel."

"Your counsel?"

"Madam Bones." Filius supplied. "She has offered to aid Harry as he deals with his family estates and new Lordship."

"That won't be necessary, I will handle those as his Magical Guardian." Albus said dismissively.

"I'm an emancipated minor by merit of my Lordship. And Madam Bones is my appointed regent at my request." Harry frowned. It seemed the Headmaster was still too controlling, his previous apology quickly forgotten.

"Just talk to Amelia, Albus!" Minerva snapped. "And do it privately." She then grabbed the aging Headmaster and like the suits of armour before her, frog-marched him back to the table.

"Everybody! Your attention please!" Filius called out as he climbed on the staff table so he could be seen. "In order to prevent a repeat of today's little fiasco with the Obliviators, I am advising all of you to write to your parents immediately after the meal. Tell them about Minister Fudge's actions and the Obliviators and also tell them about why they were here: To erase any knowledge of Mister Draco Malfoy's actions as a thief.

"If your parents know then they can file a complaint and tell others, this will make having your memories erased, pointless."

Harry, who was still standing gave a pointed look at Hermione. Hopefully she would see the half-goblin as a much better role-model.

The Obliviators were not seen again. This may have had something to do with the Daily Prophet's headline the next morning:

'MINISTER FUDGE LEADS OBLIVIATORS IN ATTACK ON OUR CHILDREN!'

It was safe to assume that Fudge had his hands full with other matters.

The day after that headline Harry was treated to the most surreal moment of his new lease on life.

Pansy Parkinson, the girl whom he assumed was born with a sneer on her face, came bouncing into the Slytherin Common Room with an honest to God smile on her face. She actually looked like a pretty eleven-year-old for once.

Furthermore she was squealing with happiness as she literally jumped into Harry's lap and hugged him and peppered his face with kisses.

Harry just sat there stiffly… completely unsure what he should do as the other students watched in confusion.

"Erm… Pansy? What the hell?" He asked calmly.

"You freed me Potter!" She declared as she jumped up and began dancing around the room with her arms in the air, her head tilted upwards and a grin on her face.

Harry didn't have too much of a muggle education, but he had heard rumours that women burned their undergarments during the women's rights era to 'gain their freedom'… well, that was what he thought they did… Harry was certain he hadn't touched Pansy's undergarments.

"I didn't do it!" He said frantically.

Pansy stopped and look at him, still smiling. "Not directly, but because you got Draco suspended and branded a thief, my father withdrew the marriage contract! I'M FREE!" She squealed.

"Pansy, what if he arranges one with someone else… like Nott, or Crabbe or Goyle?" Millicent asked nervously.

Pansy stumbled mid-twirl as her face paled. "Merlin... please, no!" She whispered as she fell to her knees.

"Are all you girls in a similar situation?" Harry asked the room at large.

"Some of us, but not all." Daphne admitted. "My parents would never do that." She said primly.

Harry pursed his lips in thought. "Ok, all the girls follow me." He ordered as he stood and made his way to the exit.

Surprisingly all the girls followed, some out of hope and the rest out of curiosity. Harry led them to a nearby classroom.

"Ok, everyone who is bound by a marriage contract stand over there." He instructed as pointed to his right.

To his horror, ten girls of varying ages moved.

"Ok, you lot stand over there." He told the rest as he pointed to his left. "Now, any of you who want the marriage contract, join the those on the left."

Two girls moved, both sixth years, but neither looked truly happy.

"How many of you have Death Eaters for fathers?"

Six hands went up hesitantly.

"Ok, good news… I should be able to get the girls from Death Eater families out of their contracts easily, you will be free to marry who you want." Harry sighed.

One of the sixth year girls ran back across the room sheepishly.

"The rest of you I will investigate the contracts if I can and see what I can do." Harry promised.

The last sixth year ran back across along with a third year girl.

Harry turned to the un-betrothed on his left. "If you find yourselves in their situation then come and see me. Remember to support each other and look out for each other. I suppose I need to speak to the girls in the other houses as well."

"They should be proud to continue tradition!" A seventh year girl from the left argued.

"Really? How would you like to be betrothed to Hagrid? If your dad was a Death Eater I can arrange it, you know?"

"How can you arrange it?" Tracey asked.

"All Death Eaters swore an oath of vassal servitude to Voldemort." Harry rolled his eyes at the gasps. "Except they actually specified 'Lord Slytherin', which is now me."

"No true Pureblood would do that!" A fifth year girl snarled. "Especially to a lowly Halfblood."

"Well, Voldemort's true name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, his mum was a Squib and his dad was a muggle… so yes, a 'True Pureblood' would do that."

"You lie!"

"Don't believe me? Ask Dumbledore, he was one of his teachers." Harry shrugged as he walked out of the classroom.

Halloween saw the return of Draco and the fruition of Harry's plan for Quirrell. Although the adults involved didn't realise how much of it was actually part of his plan.

Harry had asked Minerva and Amelia to invite the Minister and the Board of Governors to the Halloween Feast at the request of Lord Slytherin. Filius had out done himself with the decorations. He was especially pleased with the floating Jack-O-Lanterns that Harry had suggested.

Much to Harry's pleasure, seated at the Staff table was Lucius Malfoy and Cornelius Fudge. He knew Fudge wouldn't miss the chance to rub elbows with the rich and/or famous.

Harry had taken great pains to ensure Hermione was in the Great Hall. This had meant surreptitiously hexing Ron to prevent a repeat of what happened last time.

Harry was seated at the Slytherin table with the Sorting Hat balanced on his head as he nibbled at his food waiting for the main event.

"TROLL! TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!" Quirrell screamed as he burst into the Great Hall. "Just thought you should know." He said weakly before collapsing near Harry.

There was a sudden uproar amongst staff and students. Harry ignored it all as he covertly used his wand to guide a Jack-O-Lantern over to himself.

"SILENCE!" Dumbledore roared causing everyone to freeze. "You will remain calm. Prefects will escort the students to their dormitories whilst-"

"Are you trying to get my students killed, Headmaster?" Snape asked calmly. Internally Snape was once again not in control. He had no idea why.

One of Harry's instructions had been: Ensure the safety of the students.

"I beg your pardon?" Albus asked, taken aback at someone, especially Severus, questioning his orders.

"Professor Quirrell just stated that the Troll is in the Dungeons. My students' dorms are in the Dungeons." Snape explained, much to his own surprise. "It would certainly be more prudent to have everyone remain here until the Troll is dealt with, perhaps Lord Slytherin could request the Castle lock down the Great Hall for protection.

Even Harry was surprised at that suggestion. He was so surprised that he lost his concentration and prematurely tipped the Jack-O-Lantern, which spilt its flame on Quirrell's turban.

The whole thing went up with a flash… helped along by Harry having dribbled a flask of flammable fuel on it whilst Quirrell was playing possum.

Poppy and Filius quickly jumped over the staff table as Harry began putting the flames out and removing the turban.

Quirrell had abandoned his act and was screaming.

Eventually Quirrell stood there… turban-less.

There were gasps from behind him.

"Foolish boy!" Came the hoarse hissing voice of Voldemort. "We are discovered!"

"Master! Forgive me!"

Amelia led the staff with wands drawn as they slowly approached the possessed professor.

"Minister, Mister Malfoy? Surely you will aid us in defending the children from the Dark Lord? I would have thought you would be anxious to prove yourself, Mister Malfoy." Minerva prompted.

Lucius paled at the thought of turning on his Master.

Fudge… nearly fudged himself. He sat there like a rock… a shaking rock of fear.

Lucius knew he had to make a choice, he drew his wand, prepared to turn it one way or the other depending on who appeared to be the stronger.

"Surrender yourself, Quirrell, you too No Name." Amelia ordered. "We will not hesitate to use lethal force."

Quirrell reached out and grabbed Harry by the robes with one hand whilst the other drew his wand, aiming at the Hufflepuff table nearby.

"Potter and I will be leaving with my Master. I suggest you lower your wands or I will kill your precious little children." Quirrell snarled.

Harry rolled his eyes from his position as 'hostage'. He knew he could get out of this situation without even drawing his wand. He decided to engage in a little of the bad guy bantering that Voldemort was so fond of.

"There are an awful lot of Purebloods at that table, Quirrell. I doubt Lord No Name back there would appreciate you destroying what he stands for."

"DO NOT CALL ME THAT!" The spirit of Voldemort raged. "I am Lord Voldemort, the Heir of Slytherin!

"No, I'm the Heir of Slytherin, I became Lord Slytherin when I beat you as a baby."

"LIES! No mere child could defeat one as powerful as I!"

"Then why does the castle consider me the heir?"

"LIES! Lucius, come, we are departing."

All eyes turned to the platinum haired man.

"I heard he finally broke free from your Imperious Curse after I defeated you." Harry grinned, still held in Quirrell's grip.

"A ruse, no doubt, to evade capture. Show them your true self my servant."

Lucius was clearly fighting an internal battle, beads of sweat were forming upon his elegant brow.

"Surely you aren't going to succumb to this monster again, Mister Malfoy!" Harry asked in his most innocent eleven-year-old voice… which, in hindsight, would have been more effective if he hadn't used the big word: 'succumb'.

Lucius just stood there, shaking slightly with indecision.

"So you would betray me, Malfoy? I will remember this, your once great house will lie in ruins and it is all your own doing."

"But he's a Pureblood! I thought you wanted all Purebloods to rule over everyone else. You can't do that if you kill them all!"

"Silence boy! Severus, my faithful servant, you will aid your master."

"My allegiance lies with Lord Slytherin."

To be honest, Severus didn't care one way or another. He was fairly happy to sit back and let the servant bond guide his body. He still wanted Potter dead, but he had no desire to go back to regular torture curses with Voldemort.

"I AM LORD SLYTHERIN!" Voldemort roared.

"Ok, I'm bored. Have we all heard enough?" Harry asked.

"I believe you have made your point, Harry." Filius said with steel in his voice. Harry had informed them he had a special method for taking care of Voldemort, but he still worried for what was becoming his favourite student.

"About time too." Harry simply raised his hand to touch Quirrell's hand that was attached to the elbow around his neck. The sound of burning flesh filled the air followed quickly by the stench of the same.

"AHHHHH!" Screamed Quirrell as he tried to release Harry. But Harry's hand snapped out and grabbed his wand hand and both quickly turned to dust as Quirrell screamed in fear.

"RUN YOU FOOL!" Voldemort screamed.

Harry dropped to his knees and began grabbing for Quirrell's ankles, again turning them to dust.

"FOOLISH BOY! YOU CANNOT DEFEAT ME! I WILL RETURN AND I WILL SEE YOU DESTROYED!"

Harry watched as Voldemort's spirit rose from the screaming Quirrell's head and charged for him. But Harry just side-stepped.

"Ole!" He cried happily as the Spirit turned and fled. Harry turned back to the assembled teachers and visiting guests, the students cowered against the wall in fear, especially the Slytherins. "Well that was fun!"

"Amelia, perhaps you should do something about Quirrell?" Minerva suggested as the man continued to scream.

A quick stunner allowed a tense silence to fall over the hall.

"Where's Fudge?" Harry asked.

All eyes turned to the staff table. Very cautiously, the Minister raised his head from his position hiding behind the Headmaster's throne like chair.

"Is he gone?"

Dumbledore at his patronizing best addressed the Minister. "Yes, Cornelius, Lord Voldemort-"

"Lord No Name." Harry corrected.

"I beg your pardon?"

"He has lost his titles and holdings to me, hence, he is Lord No Name… or more accurately, Mister No Name." Harry explained.

Dumbledore rolled his eyes, he was not going to argue again in public over whether or not Harry was Lord Slytherin.

"He is gone. All that is left is his victim, Professor Quirrell."

"Victim? He wasn't a victim, he was a very willing servant." Harry scoffed.

"Now, now Harry-"

"Lord Slytherin." Harry corrected.

"That remains to be seen-"

"Not to the Ministry, I checked the records. Lord Harry Potter of Slytherin was entered into the books on Halloween in '81." Amelia countered.

"Regardless-"

"Regardless you should show respect where appropriate." Filius said sternly. "It was Lord Slytherin who arranged for us to all be here to capture Quirrell after the Hat and Castle informed him of Mister No Name's presence."

"The Hat also informed us that you were made aware of these facts and chose not to report them." Amelia scowled. "There will be an investigation!"

"I was within my rights as-"

"You had no right to interfere in the course of justice!"

"Nor the right to purposefully endanger innocent children." Harry added.

Again, Albus was taken aback at being admonished by an eleven-year-old.

"Quite right Milord." Amelia agreed.

"Excuse me, I apologise, but do the children need to be here for this? They should really return to their rooms but the troll is still out there." Professor Vector interrupted timidly.

"Of course, thank you for reminding us, Professor." Amelia said sincerely. "Minerva, could you call some of my Aurors in to aid with Quirrell, I trust you can handle a simple troll, Albus?" She asked pointedly as Minerva left.

"The troll is under control… and I didn't mean for that to rhyme." Harry frowned.

"How do you know?" Filius asked.

"I told him." The Hat spoke up from the floor where he had been knocked after Quirrell grabbed Harry.

Harry quickly retrieved him. "Suits of armour have him corralled and neutralised. Someone will need to clean up the mess."

"You killed it!?" Hagrid asked in horror.

"What? No! We fed it." Harry assured him.

"You fed the troll?" Filius asked in suppressed amusement.

"The way to control any creature with limited intelligence, is through its stomach… provided it has one." The Hat said wisely.

"Too true." Professor Kettleburn grunted.

"And you doubted me." Harry smirked at the Hat.

"I don't have a stomach so I wouldn't know, Harry." The Hat said defensively.

"That was your idea, Potter?" Kettleburn asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Yes sir. I read a lot." Harry and the Hat had come up with this excuse for a lot of his advanced knowledge.

"Humph, come see me next week, we'll see how much you actually know." He grunted before limping off.

Quirrell was levitated off and arrested by Amelia's Aurors despite Dumbledore's protestations. Harry had a feeling he was more worried about what he would reveal under Veritiserum… like horcruxes.

Over the next few days things began to calm down. Harry was excused from answering questions regarding Quirrell as The Hat was able to claim knowledge.

Hagrid and Silvanus Kettleburn had taken to feeding and caring for the troll. At Harry's suggestion they were trying a reward and punishment system. Ice-cold water sprayed on its face when it was bad and food if good.

So far Professor McGonagall had been down to Hagrid's hut five times in two days to fix it.

By the end of the following week Harry was called into a meeting with Professor Flitwick.

"Harry, thank you so much for coming." Filius said sincerely.

"Wait… I'm not in trouble?" He asked, he was generally only called to a teacher's office for getting in trouble. In his previous timeline it was by McGonagall.

"Of course not, I… that is to say, we the teachers, need your help."

"You want the armour to help in class?"

"No, we-"

"Want larger classrooms?"

"N- actually we wouldn't say no to that one but that's not why I called you here, we-"

"Want a pay rise… you know I don't actually control that sort of thing?"

"Harry!"

"Sorry."

Filius snorted at the far too innocent look on Harry's face. "I highly doubt it. It's about Miss Granger."

"She seems to be doing well does she-"

"Harry! Don't get going again!" Filius warned.

"Sorry."

"Again, I doubt it. Look, she keeps handing these essays in." He said as he handed over a rolled up piece of parchment.

Harry unfurled it slightly. "I remember this one. What was it… ah yes, two feet on why we can't use the levitation spell on ourselves."

"Open the whole thing." Filius instructed dryly.

Harry released the bottom and raised an eyebrow as six feet of parchment fell to the ground.

"Huh… with this amount I would have thought she had actually found a way to disprove the topic." Harry muttered.

"You have to help us, Harry. We can't be expected to let her do this but we don't want to ruin her record by marking her down for it. She could well be the smartest witch since your mother!"

"Can't you just talk to her?" Harry asked.

"We are worried about hurting her and making her lose the will to work to her usual standards."

Harry just stared at the diminutive professor.

"What a load of sh-"

"Harry!"

"Well it's true!"

"It is not." Filius said petulantly.

"What's the real reason? We both know that a student often needs a kick to the ego, what's so different about Hermione?" Harry challenged.

Filius shuffled like a five-year-old caught with his hand in the biscuit tin. He mumbled something.

"What?"

"I said she always manages to argue her point." He huffed.

"Are you telling me, that an eleven-year-old girl manages to outsmart a group of highly educated professors with decades of experience dealing with people like her? What did you do about my mother?"

"Lily was completely different. She didn't come to us with all the knowledge, she came to us for the knowledge. She soaked it up and quickly understood it and then proceeded to move forward on her own.

"Miss Granger has read all the books and has a fairly decent understanding but she tends to simply regurgitate facts at a rapid pace. We wondered if perhaps she was a natural Occlumens."

"Are you telling me you are afraid of her ego?"

"That girl is scary!"

Harry couldn't help but being reminded of Ron in his previous timeline.

"Look, if you want, I'll hold your hand whilst we confront the big bad school girl." Harry teased.

"Watch it Potter, I still control your grades." Filius glared with the same light-heartedness in his eyes.

"Pfft, like I have any intention of working anywhere but here. I intend to be a full time landlord." Harry said dismissively.

"Hi Harry. Come to study?"

"No Hermione, I have been sent by Filius to talk to you." Harry said as sat down in the library at her table.

"Who's Filius?"

"I mean Professor Flitwick." Harry said as he realised his mistake.

"Harry! You should treat the Professors with respect!"

"I do, I just have a different relationship with them." Harry shrugged.

"Is this about your being Lord Slytherin?"

"No… well, partly. This has more to do with the favours they keep asking of me."

"Like what?"

"Well, talking to you for a start."

"You only talk to me because the professors asked you to?" Hermione's insecurities were highly evident.

"Nope, I meant they asked me to talk to you about something specific. They seem to think that because we are friends you will listen to me more than if they tried it." It was a blatant lie but Filius had threatened him with all manner of hexes if he said the teachers were scaredy cats.

"Oh… what did they need?"

"You to stop writing mammoth sized essays."

"I write what they ask about." She said defensively.

"Hermione, do you consider yourself a good and well behaved student?" Harry asked.

Clearly offended she replied. "Of course I do!"

"And what does it mean to be a good and well-behaved student?"

"Learn what you are taught and follow the rules set by the teachers." She recited.

"That includes following basic instructions?"

"Absolutely."

"Then can you explain why you can't follow a simple instruction like 'write two feet' for an essay, why do you write six feet?"

Hermione bristled. "I wrote what I felt was necessary!"

"You were showing off." Harry said bluntly.

"I was not! I was showing that I had learnt what I was taught."

Harry laughed. "I read that essay you gave Professor Flitwick, there was fourth year work in it. If you want to be moved ahead a year then talk to the Professors. At the moment you are more likely to be kept back a year."

Hermione was horrified. "What! Why?"

"If you can't prove that you can follow simple first year instructions, how can they believe you will be able to follow fourth year instructions?"

Hermione paled at that.

"Besides, it's very unfair and rude to the teachers."

"How?"

"Because you expect them to dedicate extra time to your work and ignore the other students. If a teacher says do two feet and you do six, that means that at least two other students might suffer as a result of your over-achieving and showing off."

Harry knew he was being fairly blunt and abrasive, but he was also annoyed that Filius had done a runner at the library entrance. Of course by now the half-goblin should have realised that the Castle wouldn't let him into any of the rooms.

"But I enjoy writing more! I want to learn more." She cried. Fortunately Harry had thrown up the muffliato and a few privacy charms so no one noticed.

"Then ask the Professors if you can test out of the first year." Harry shrugged.

"Are you going to do that?" She asked as she wiped her eyes.

"Nope." Harry grinned. "I am going to enjoy the fact that I am ahead and relax and enjoy being eleven. I never got to be a child growing up so I want to enjoy what I can."

"How can you not be a child growing up?" She asked.

"You may learn that when you are older, it is not something that someone learns before a certain age, it has nothing to do with intelligence." He said warningly.

Harry didn't really believe Hermione wasn't ready to learn about his history, he just didn't want to talk about it and felt he could use it as another lesson for her. She had always shown advanced mental maturity in his previous time, and he had seen glimpses of it this time.

"Actually, just a thought, but why don't you ask Professor McGonagall and Flitwick if you can start the third year elective courses now. That way you can be ahead in some of the exams."

"Why not do all of them now?" Hermione asked with an unholy gleam in her eye.

"Jeeze, 'Mione, don't over achieve so much. Take the time to be a child."

"Why? It won't help me later on in life." She huffed.

"Really? What if you decide to have children? What if you decide to work in a field that involves interacting with children? You won't do very well if you don't know how to be a child." Harry had a thought that made him smile triumphantly. "This is your research project! Learning how to be a child. You seem capable of memorizing facts and even do pretty well at casting spells, but now you need to learn how to enjoy life."

"Is this like when Mum said I had to take P.E. classes because it would help me grow as a person?"

"Sort of, although there is less changing clothes in changing rooms and climbing of ropes." Harry admitted. "And there is no real grading system."

Harry couldn't help but laugh at the look of distaste on her face.

*Chapter 4*: Chapter 4
Chapter 4

Having dealt with Quirrell, Harry realised he had most of the year to try and deal with the more important things, like Sirius. He also wanted to try and grab some of the horcruxes including the one Lucius had.

The one in the Room of Requirement was fairly simple for him to access but he decided it was safer where it was for the moment until he could deal with the Basilisk in the Chamber of secrets.

So he focused on Sirius and decided to leave horcruxes as a summer project. As long as it didn't interrupt his fun.

The thing was that he needed a way to reveal Pettigrew. The little rat bastard was comfortably relaxing in the luxury of the Gryffindor Boys Dorm whilst his godfather wasted away in hell.

Of course Peter did have to deal with Ron's snoring, but it wasn't that much of a consolation.

Harry had the start of a plan. He needed to get access to the Map and Remus Lupin.

First step involved getting hold of the Map. Fairly simple.

He just had to corner the twins and convince them it was his.

Harry knew he had to act quickly and quietly. He needed the element of surprise.

Silencing charms on the unsuspecting targets followed by two stunners.

He then levitated one target on top of the other and then levitated them both into a nearby classroom.

Now he had to do the hard part. Talk to them.

He chickened out.

Fred Weasley groggily sat up from the cold hard stone floor of the classroom he found himself in. He rubbed his eyes as he tried to work through the headache. He heard a groan to his left and noticed his twin.

"George, wake up." He muttered tiredly.

"Tell mum I'm sick." George groaned as he rolled over.

This made Fred wake up a bit more so he jammed a finger in his brother's side. "Get up you great pillock! We aren't at home."

"We aren't?" He asked as he sat up and looked around. "Oh, right. What happened?"

"How would I know? I just woke up!" Fred snapped irritably. "Where are we?"

"Hogwarts."

"I was thinking a little more specific." Fred said dryly.

"A classroom."

"Merlin you're useless. Check the bloody map."

George slowly went through his pockets until he found a piece of parchment.

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good." He intoned. "Fred… either this isn't the map or something went drastically wrong."

"What?" Fred asked as he looked over his brother's shoulder.

There on the parchment was a letter. Not the usual greeting or the familiar animated map.

'Dear Fred and George,

First, allow me to congratulate you on continuing the proud tradition of pranking at Hogwarts. You have brought laughter to these halls and that is the code of a true prankster.

But I must warn you not to be malicious with your pranks, a prank that causes pain, be it emotional or physical, is no prank but an act of assault and bullying.

I apologise for the way in which I have retrieved the map, it is a family heirloom and I prefer to remain anonymous at this time. If I manage to duplicate this map I will happily supply you with a copy.

I look forward to more of your work.

Sincerely,

Son of Prongs

PS: Have you ever thought about pranking each other?'

"Sweet merciful Merlin!" Fred gasped. "We were in the presence of the Son of a Marauder!"

George was a little more annoyed. "But he took the map!"

"Technically it was his, we were just lucky to use it all this time."

"But we need that map!" He whined.

"We survived before we found it and we can survive now. Pull yourself together man!" Fred snapped as he shook his twin by the shoulders.

Harry snarled as he watched the little footprints of Peter Pettigrew remain stationary in the boy's dorm. It was obvious the little bastard was sleeping peacefully.

Harry had decided that now was the time to enact the next part of his plan.

Harry knocked on the door of Professor Flitwick's office.

"Come in!"

"Professor? Do you have some free time?" Harry asked nervously.

Filius gave him a shrewd look. "School work or personal?"

"Personal sir."

"Then drop the meek little boy act and get in here." He smirked.

Harry just rolled his eyes. "It is not an act." He said as he slouched over to the chair opposite the desk.

"Around me it is and definitely around the Headmaster. Now, what brings you to my office this evening?"

"Well, you've said a few times that my parents were favourite students of yours, that you were my mother's mentor. But other than Hagrid telling me they were heroes and not dead-beat drunks who died in a car crash like my uncle said… I don't know anything about them." Harry said timidly.

Filius could see that Harry was sincere. He could also see a trip to Harry's uncle in his future… possibly with a large contingent of the magical population wanting justice for their saviour. But he realised Harry wouldn't want his life story spread all over the world.

He would just enlist Amelia and Poppy… maybe Minerva.

"You are unusual in the Wizarding World Harry. Not because of the fame and fortune but because you are the only orphan of the war that was not placed with magical relatives or magical guardians. You should never have been placed with muggles… Albus Dumbledore has a lot to answer for." He groused. "I could tell you plenty about your parents. Especially your mother. Minerva would be better to tell you about your father though as she was his godmother."

Harry saw an opening. "Did I have a godmother or godfather?"

Filius scowled. "Your godmother was Neville Longbottom's mother, a lovely girl and although she was incapacitated in the war, by rights you would have grown up with Neville under his family's care, Augusta Longbottom is a formidable woman who would have treated you well and raised you right."

Filius paused, looking for the right way to continue. "Your official godfather was Sirius Black. He was like a brother to your father, thick as thieves and twice as crafty!" He smirked. "He was cast out by his own family and the Potters took him in as one of their own. Which is why the world was stunned when he betrayed you and your parents!" He finished as he slammed his tiny fist onto his desk making Harry jump. "I'm sorry, Harry." Filius said weakly. "Lilly was my apprentice, she was going to be my replacement here at Hogwarts, we loved her so much and it hurt us all deeply when she was brutally taken from us." Filius wiped a tear from his cheek.

"Do you have any pictures sir?" Harry asked after a while.

"I might have some somewhere." Filius frowned. He slid off his chair, which was piled with books to make him tall enough to see over his desk. He moved to a door behind his desk.

Harry sat there waiting for a few seconds.

"Do come in Harry." Filius' voice sounded.

Harry left his own seat and walked into the room. He soon realised it was the Professor's living quarters. Harry suddenly felt like an intruder.

"Over here." Came Filius' choked voice.

Harry looked and saw the tiny professor sitting on a stool and staring a baby's playpen. There were stuffed toys, educational toys, even a baby bottle.

"Professor?"

Professor Flitwick's voice was raspy and chocked full of emotion as he spoke. "You were such a wonderful distraction Harry. We would happily ignore her studies whilst we entertained you with magic. Our own theoretical discussions on charms would devolve into how they could be applied to make your toys dance and live just to see you giggle."

The tears dripped silently onto the hard stone floor as Harry stood there in shock. He had come to get information on his godfather but he had discovered a lost uncle instead.

On the mantle of the fireplace were pictures of Filius and baby Harry, Filius, baby Harry and Lilly, Lilly and baby Harry, James, Lilly and baby Harry and so on.

Harry gingerly stepped forward, he felt like he had invaded the inner sanctum of a holy place.

Then the smell of the baby toys and playpen hit him.

His scent memory was triggered.

"Mama." He whispered in awe.

Filius looked up at the childlike utterance. He put an arm around the young boy's shoulder and pulled him against his much smaller frame. "We missed you both so much, Harry. Come, let me show you my memories."

When Filius retired for the evening he was physically and emotionally exhausted. He had reconnected with his long lost honorary nephew and it had been something he needed as he felt refreshed now.

But he had found his plans to visit the Dursleys had been cast in steel as he discovered that the photos in his personal rooms were the first time Harry had ever laid eyes on his parents.

After the emotional turmoil of discovering the close familial connection he held with Filius Flitwick, Harry decided to wait a while before trying to get more information. He didn't want to push Filius.

He was fairly surprised when at breakfast just before the Christmas Holidays, a suit of armour came marching up to him and deposited a small cloth bag in his hand.

Harry frowned but inspected the contents by peaking in.

Harry gulped. "Don't suppose you could explain the whys and wherefores of this?" He asked hopefully.

To Harry's amusement, the suit tilted its head as if thinking before raising a metal gloved finger in the universal sign of 'wait a moment'.

At this point Dumbledore decided to make a nuisance of himself again. "Harry my boy, might I enquire as to what the castle has delivered you?" He asked in his grandfatherly manner.

Harry sighed before he looked over to Professor McGonagall at the staff table. "Professor, he's being rude again!"

"I was quite polite!" Albus declared offended.

"Albus Dumbledore, why are you bothering Lord Slytherin again?" She demanded as she stormed over.

"I was merely enquiring as to what the suit of armour had given him." He explained calmly.

"He was far too familiar with me, called me 'Harry' and 'my boy'." Harry scowled. "Most unbecoming for the Chief Warlock if you ask me." He declared snobbishly.

There were times she thought Harry James Potter was a little too James-ish. But he wasn't wrong.

"Lord Slytherin is quite right, he has given you the option to call him 'Mister Potter' but you completely disrespect his station as a Lord and as a student. Furthermore, there are no laws or rules that allow us to inspect a student's belongings or mail without good cause. Do you have good cause, Albus?"

"Mister Potter is a well known celebrity, there is always a chance that he has been given something harmful, something booby trapped."

Harry started snickering. "He said 'booby'."

The other boys started snickering as the girls either rolled their eyes or scowled. Sometimes both.

Minerva just glared at Albus.

"If the castle is giving Lord Slytherin dangerous or harmful items then I think we have far bigger problems that would involve shutting down the school. Have you seen evidence that the school has begun hurting students?"

"Of course not! Hogwarts is perfectly safe-"

"Then bugger off!" Harry said exasperatedly.

"Language Mister Potter!" Minerva snapped.

At this point a second suit of armour arrived with the Sorting Hat.

"What is the meaning of this?" Albus demanded. "My office is private and locked!"

"Your office is part of the castle, you are granted access because the castle recognises you as the Headmaster. That can easily be changed." The Hat warned. "Harry, put me on please."

"I would feel much better if we could all hear what you have to say." Albus objected.

Harry glared at him. "Tough." He stated before he jammed the hat on his head. "Alright, why do I now hold the Philosopher's Stone in my hand?"

"The danger has passed and it poses too much temptation to keep it here in the school. Not that we approve of Albus' little trap. Far too reckless." The Hat said beneath the privacy charms.

"Ok, but why do I have it?"

"Because the castle cannot act outside of its own geographical area, it requires you to act on its behalf."

"So… what? Send it back to Nicholas Flamel?"

"I suppose." The Hat said airily. "Or you could keep it in your vaults at Gringotts or just destroy it. As long as it isn't here the castle will be happy."

"I definitely don't want another target on my back. I'll try and contact Flamel and see what he wants done. I also want to know why he agreed to this little farce."

Harry took the Hat off his head and shook out his hair.

He turned to address Professor McGonagall. "I'm going to need to visit Gringotts straight away, castle business."

"May I ask the nature of the business?" She asked with a frown.

"You may, in private, at the bank. I will need Madam Bones to be there as well."

"Perhaps I should accompany you as well." Albus offered, he really needed to get control of this situation. Whatever it might be.

"You aren't invited." Harry snapped. "Professor, we should leave now."

"I really must insist, if this is sch-" Albus quickly backed up when the nearest suit of armour took a menacing step towards him.

"MISTER POTTER! I insist you call off the armour!"

"Look, Dumbledore, you can't have it both ways. If I control the armour then I must be Lord Slytherin. But you keep saying I'm not, so that means I don't control the armour. Make up your mind but do it away from me!" Harry said angrily as he stomped off leaving his unfinished breakfast behind.

The Slytherin students had to smirk at the way Harry had put the Headmaster down. He had given him a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Potter currently held all the cards.

"Harry, why am I being dragged out of my office this morning?" Amelia asked wearily as she walked up to the young Lord Slytherin and Professor McGonagall outside Gringotts.

"Can't tell you until we get inside Gringotts and a private room." Harry shrugged as he lifted the brim of the hat up so he could see.

Amelia wanted to ask why, but she thought, after a moment's consideration that the answer was obvious, it was sensitive information.

The exact reason was revealed when they passed ten paces beyond the large entrance to hear a scuffle behind them. They turned to see Albus Dumbledore being held at spear point by a group of very irritated goblin guards. He had tried to sneak in invisibly and goblins really don't like that!

"Has Alastor Moody been by to visit you?" Amelia asked worriedly.

"Nope, why?" Harry asked with his perfected innocent smile.

"Because your paranoia seems like his fault."

"It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you!" Harry objected.

"You are far too young to have people 'out for you'!"

"Amelia! You do remember what happened on Halloween?" Minerva gasped.

"Right, of course." Amelia admitted with a sigh.

Harry just smirked and headed for the nearest goblin teller. "I need to speak to someone about claiming the Slytherin Vaults." He snapped in a very business-like fashion that bordered on rude.

Needless to say Minerva was about to reprimand Harry but Amelia laid a calming hand on her arm.

"You think you are the first human to come demanding such things? Do you know what we do to thieves?" The goblin snarled.

"No, but if you keep me from my vaults for any longer than necessary I'll find out when I have you branded a thief." Harry drawled.

That one brought the goblin up short. Normally the wizard would have started ranting about how they were superior and how goblins should be grateful for the honour of serving wizards.

None of them ever actually threw goblin threats straight back at them.

"I've got the Head of the DMLE and the Deputy Head of Hogwarts here. I'm sure they will be happy to testify about how I was accused without evidence." Harry continued. "Now either you do your job or you… well… I'll let you know when I figure it out, but I doubt it will be good for you!"

The goblin was about to make another comeback but Amelia stepped in. "Master goblin, Hogwarts herself has declared Harry James Potter the Heir of Slytherin. Surely that will be enough to see the vaults to check his claims."

The goblin would have rolled its eyes if it were human. If the wizards weren't insulting them and looking down on them they were being sickeningly polite. It was a trait often seen in first generation magicals who thought goblins might respond better to politeness.

"It's that or I'll put the Sword of Gryffindor through your throat and find another teller." Harry snarled.

"You would challenge me to a duel?!" The goblin asked in shock. "A duel with melee weapons?"

"Are you deaf? Look you stupid idiot, get a move on or-" Harry paused as he whipped the Hat off his head and plunged his hand into it withdrawing the gleaming silver sword.

Amelia gasped.

Minerva fainted.

The goblin gulped as it found the sword pressed at its throat.

"Yes or no, you gonna be more helpful?" Harry demanded.

"Y-Y-Yes!"

Harry leaned in menacingly. "Then why are you still here?"

The goblin squeaked before backing away carefully then turning tail and running.

"Harry James Potter! What the devil did you just do?" Amelia demanded as she tried to revive Minerva.

"I am not a fan of goblins." Harry stated dryly.

"And you felt the need to start a war with them? You do realise the penalty for drawing a weapon in Gringotts is death?"

"Actually, the penalty is for drawing a wand." The Hat corrected. "Drawing a sword is a whole different kettle of fish."

"By Merlin, the Sword of Gryffindor!" Minerva gasped in awe as she finally came too. "Where did you find it? It has been lost for centuries."

"That is a question I want answered as well." Came a high pitched voice. Harry turned to see a very well dressed goblin with guards surrounding him. "That sword is Goblin property and you will return it at once!"

"Like hell! I found it and I'll keep it, that or you will give me a replacement sword of equal value." Harry objected as he swung the sword back round to point at the new goblin.

Minerva's hand went to her wand as the spears the guards held were instantly lowered threateningly towards Harry, but Amelia quickly stayed her hand.

"I'm sure Lord Slytherin doesn't mean to offend-"

"Oh yes I do!" Harry interrupted Amelia. He was still sore over being betrayed by Griphook. The little bastard. "In fact, if you don't start showing some respect I'll challenge you directly to a duel. No seconds or champions, just you and me, to the death!"

"HARRY!" Minerva screeched.

Harry wasn't being entirely reckless. He had just taken the time to assess the goblins as warriors since their betrayal during his horcrux hunt. Even at eleven years old, he still towered over them, his arms and legs were much more suited to physical combat. He couldn't understand why Wizards got caught up in so many wars with them when they could pick them up by the scruffs of their necks and toss them in the sea.

Whilst this was going on, the tellers had ushered the other customers out of the bank and sealed the doors. The mighty thump of the doors closing caused Amelia and Minerva to jump.

"Oh Merlin, we are going to die." Minerva whimpered.

"Well goblin? Will you show me a little respect and honour or shall we throw down and duel?" Harry asked.

A slow smile crept onto the goblin's face. "I like you. Most human children are scared of us. They think of us as villains. The adults think of us as servants.

"But tell me child, do you honestly think you could defeat all of my guards to get to me?"

"Yeah, I do. But your question makes me doubt your honour. I thought goblins were all about honour. You wouldn't be very good bankers without it."

There was a loud groan from the Sorting Hat. "Harry, don't you pay any attention in A History of Magic?

"The reason for all the goblin wars is because they kept trying to cheat and steal wizard's money!"

"Then why do we keep giving it back?" Harry asked incredulously. He was not ashamed to admit that the only attention he paid in that class was to the back of his eyelids.

"Because goblins are formidable warriors, their battle magic's are too powerful for ours!" Amelia snapped. "Every time we draw up a peace treaty they demand to be in control of our gold!"

"You should listen to your females child." The goblin sneered. "Drop the sword and leave, we will take your gold as recompense and we will spare your lives."

Minerva and Amelia didn't like the sound of that. "Surely we can come to an agreement, Master Goblin." Minerva pleaded.

"Yeah." Harry nodded, his sword never wavering. "How about this, you give me everything that is in every one of my accounts and I won't chop off your head." He pushed the sword forward quickly and it dug into the goblin's throat causing his eyes to widen.

"You wouldn't dare!"

"Why? Afraid to die? I thought you were a warrior." Harry taunted.

"My guards will cut you down."

"But you'll still be dead."

"You value your life so little human?"

"No, I just value yours far less." Harry smiled.

"What about the lives of your females?" He moved to snap his fingers but Harry jerked the sword.

"Ah! No, you move you die." Harry warned.

"Madam Bones and Professor McGonagall are about to be rescued by the armies of Hogwarts." The Hat spoke up.

"Hogwarts has no armies, it's a school!"

"You keep telling yourself that." Harry laughed. He was bluffing at this point. He didn't want to, but he would kill the goblins. He had no idea what the Hat meant by armies of Hogwarts though.

*BOOM*

"There they are now." The Hat said blandly.

*BOOM*

"I imagine it will only take them about twenty minutes to break down the doors."

*BOOM*

*RUFF RUFF RUFF* *AAARRRROOOOGGGG*

"Is that-"

"Fluffy and the troll."

"I'M A COMING HARRY!"

"And Hagrid, apparently."

"So the army of Hogwarts consists of a Cerberus, a troll and a half giant?" Harry asked.

"Not to mention the one hundred and fifty odd suits of armour." The Hat corrected. "And Albus Dumbledore… for all his faults he takes his role as Headmaster seriously."

"Thank Merlin." Minerva breathed.

"Well, what do you think? Gonna start behaving now?" Harry asked.

The goblin growled. "Fine! Put the sword away and we will discuss terms."

"You first. And send someone to open the doors or they will keep banging away!"

"Why should we move first?!"

"Because you still have the home advantage, my army is stuck outside, plus I am the only one on my side willing to kill you.

"And I have a sword at your throat." Harry twisted the blade a little just to put a little point on his argument.

"How about an Unbreakable Vow?" The Hat suggested.

The goblin grimaced. "We do not sully ourselves with human magic."

"A blood contract?"

"We could agree to that." The goblin said grudgingly.

"Then send one of your goblins to bring the required instruments and we will draw up a simple blood contract." The Hat ordered.

The goblin gave a slight jerk and another goblin ran off.

"What will the contract say?" Amelia enquired.

"Simple is best. That if either party attempts to act against the other in a detrimental way then they will forfeit their life." The Hat explained.

"He signs on behalf of the goblin nation." Harry demanded.

"And you sign on behalf of yours."

"I don't have a nation. So I can't."

"You claim to be Lord Slytherin, you can claim to sign on behalf of all your holdings."

"In that case we need to put in a clause about individuals acting without the knowledge or approval of the signatories." Amelia warned. "Some of Harry's vassals are the worst type." She said as she thought of all the people who swore allegiance to Lord No-Name.

"Deal!" Both Harry and the goblin agreed.

Outside the bank Severus Snape was having a very conflicted time. On the one hand he was infuriated that his slave bound body was forced to head to the bank in order to save its new master. On the other hand, he was actually enjoying using some of the most vicious spells he knew to try and break down the doors of the most loathed creatures on the planet just shy of the Dementors.

What made it worse was the proud and approving smile that Dumbledore had given him when his body had opened its mouth and told the aging man that they were there to rescue Potter. He had never wanted to die so badly before in his life.

"THA' DOORS ARE CRACKIN'!" Came the jubilant cry of Hagrid followed by an answering roar of simple enjoyment from the half-giant's pet troll.

Whilst Albus and Severus along with a contingent of Aurors cast all manner of blasting hexes and the like, the suits of armour had brought a battering ram with them. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the castle, the weapons of war still sat. How they got to the bank was still a mystery.

"JUS' A FEW MORE WHACKS!"

*BOOM*

*BOOM*

*BOOM*

*BOOM*

*THUD*

There was a cloud of dust that gradually settled revealing that they hadn't so much as managed to smash the doors open as blast them off their hinges. There was a cheer of triumph from the Aurors, although truth be told, they hadn't been very effective as the doors were warded against magic.

Severus wanted to curse as his traitorous body didn't wait but sprang through the massive doorway. He might have actually succeeded in dying of shame had he seen the beaming smile on Dumbledore's face. The old man truly believed that Severus had grown beyond his petty grudge and had come to care for the son of his late rival.

"Stand down! Stand down!" Came the voice of Amelia Bones as she walked through the dust.

"Is 'Arry alright?" Hagrid asked.

"Lord Slytherin is perfectly alright. He has arranged a treaty with the goblins and he is taking care of some personal business. He should be back shortly."

"Thank Merlin." Albus sighed.

"Why did the goblins attack him?" Auror Shacklebot asked.

"They didn't, he attacked them." Amelia growled.

"Is he insane?" Another Auror asked incredulously.

Amelia was about to scold the Auror… but she couldn't really justify it considering Harry's actions.

"Alright, everything's sorted." Harry said as he walked out of the bank with a very pale and shaky Minerva McGonagall trailing behind him.

"My b- err… Mister Potter, what exactly happened here?" Dumbledore asked.

"Goblins tried to cheat me I negotiated an agreement. Fairly simple really." Harry shrugged.

"You negotiated with the goblins?" Shacklebot asked sceptically.

"Sure, once they saw my point they were quite eager to talk." Harry grinned.

"I need to get back to the castle." Minerva muttered. "I need a stiff drink."

"Well, I'm finished here. Let's get going then." Harry said as he clapped his hands.

"Harry, I'll be round tonight so you can tell me what you were going to." Amelia said.

"Sure, I'll be waiting." Harry nodded as he took Minerva by the elbow and led her back to the Leaky Cauldron and the floo.

"Uncle Fil, you in here?" Harry called as he entered the charms classroom.

Since the revelations about how close he and his mother had been to Professor Flitwick Harry had begun calling him 'Uncle Fil' in private. Filius had just laughed and hugged him, it still brought a tear to his eye.

"In here Harry." Came the reply from his quarters.

"Hi, I need some help." Harry said as he plopped onto the edge of the bed.

"I believe the long term ward at St. Mungo's might be able to help." Filius said dryly.

Harry winced. "Heard about Gringotts, huh?"

"I can't believe you actually challenged the king… and to not only come away without a scratch but with all your money and a treaty? It beggars belief Harry."

"I also found the Sword of Gryffindor?" Harry offered appeasingly.

"What do you need help with, Harry?" Filius decided to change the subject.

"Right, did you know some of the girls are in marriage contracts?"

"Yes, it's a custom used by purebloods to ensure their inbred-ness." He said dryly.

Harry just smiled widely at his uncle's joke. "But did you know most of the girls don't want to be in those contracts?"

"Of course. We've all seen the change in Miss Parkinson."

"I need your help to communicate with the Death Eater fathers and force them to cancel the contracts and prevent them making new ones."

Filius had a very serious look on his face. "Harry, as noble as that is, the only way around that is for you to take the contracts for yourself."

"Couldn't I buy the girls or adopt them into my family so I control who they can marry?"

"You'd have to spend a whole lot of money and I doubt there is much in the Slytherin vaults."

"Well… I can easily make money." Harry said hesitantly. "I did just acquire the Philosophers Stone after all."

"Ah! So that is why you decided to turn the Goblin and Wizarding worlds on their head this morning." Filius smiled. "Do the goblins know you have the stone?"

"No, and they won't." Harry said adamantly. "I don't keep any of my stuff at Gringotts anymore."

"What about all your money, your family's belongings are in one of the vaults there."

"Not anymore. I took it out of the vault this morning. It's sitting in the room where the Stone was being kept and guarded by some armour. I'm not letting those cheats get the better of me!"

"Do you know how to use the Philosophers Stone to make gold?"

"Not a clue!" Harry grinned. "But I figure Flamel owes me for putting my school in danger."

"I'll draft a letter." Filius sighed.

*Chapter 5*: Chapter 5
Chapter 5

Harry had forgotten about some upcoming events from his first year. Specifically Norbert. Everything was piling up and he was limited by the fact that he was stuck in an eleven-year-old body with next to no authority. Not that he ever had any authority before.

He needed help and there was only one person he trusted.

"Uncle Fil?"

"Come in Harry."

Harry hoisted his satchel, set his shoulders and marched into the private quarters of the charms teacher.

"What can I do for you?" Filius smiled.

"I need to tell you some things, but first… I need you to follow me." Harry said seriously as the Sorting Hat sat on his head.

"Follow you where?"

"Just follow the boy Professor. All will be explained." The Hat said firmly.

Filius frowned but nodded. "Very well, lead on."

Harry and the hat led Filius to the first floor girl's bathroom.

"Harry, we can't go in there!" Filius admonished.

Harry smiled sadly. "Only Myrtle will be in there." He said as he pushed open the door and entered.

Filius was surprised when two suits of armour moved to either side of the door and took up guard positions.

He scurried in quickly and froze as he heard a strange hissing noise come from Harry's mouth. He then stumbled backwards as the sinks slid away to reveal a large gaping hole in the ground that led into nothing.

"Merlin's beard!" Filius exclaimed.

Harry grinned at him. "Come on Uncle." He then jumped into the hole.

"Oh… bugger." Filius grumbled. "Oh well, in for a Knut in for a Galleon." He said before he followed his honorary nephew into the hole.

Filius was surprised to find his descent slow when he hit a smooth pipe that acted like a slide. It was a long ride that ended with a lot of bone crunching. Fortunately they weren't his bones. All around him were the bones of small animals.

"Harry, where are we?" He asked cautiously as he pulled his wand.

"Could you cast a light and then check for listening charms on us both and down here. I'm just going to close the entrance." Harry said seriously.

Harry was rarely serious. Even when dealing with idiots like Fudge and Dumbledore he had a hint of mischief in his eyes.

He quickly conjured some candles and lit them before checking himself and Harry for charms. He could hear the sound of grinding stone as the sinks way above them moved back into position.

"We are clean, now what is going on." Filius demanded impatiently.

"I am from the future." Harry said simply. "Something happened to me and I was thrown back to my younger self. I am actually eighteen years old but in an eleven-year-old body."

"Time-Turners don't have that range." Filius countered.

"He didn't use one." The Hat spoke up. "What happened to him is a rare occurrence. The likes of which have only happened to Rowena Ravenclaw and one other, as far as I know. He has been given a second chance to correct the mistakes of his first attempt at life."

"What mistakes?" Filius asked warily.

"Doing things without the right information for starters." Harry shrugged. "In my original life I never knew about Quirrell until I had to stop him at the end of the year, three first years with only a year's training had to defeat the world's most evil wizard.

"This time I made the plan."

"That was a terrible plan." Filius said firmly.

"But it was a fun plan!"

"Harry… you have proof?"

"Well, I have knowledge." Harry said carefully. "Hopefully I have enough knowledge to convince you I'm not lying."

"I don't believe you are lying Harry, I just need proof that you are not suffering a form of insanity." Filius said seriously.

"Would knowledge of the Chamber of Secrets and its monster be proof enough?"

"This is the Chamber of Secrets?" Filius asked incredulously.

"This is just the entrance. The Chamber is behind another Parselmouth door down that tunnel."

"Parselmouth! That's what the hissing was." Filius said excitedly.

"Yes, I can talk to snakes. When everyone finds out they will think I am the Heir of Slytherin." Harry rolled his eyes in annoyance.

"You are the Heir or Slytherin." Filius pointed out.

"Yes, by conquest, not because Tom had a kid… not even sure if he could have a kid. Ew! Now I have images of Snakey and Lestrange getting it on!" Harry started jumping around and gagging in disgust.

"Focus Harry." Filius admonished.

"Right, well the basilisk is this way." Harry said as he marched off.

"BASILISK!"

"Shh! These caves aren't that steady. Last time I was here there was a cave in." Harry cringed as he fearfully watched the ceiling, expecting it to fall at any time.

"Why the devil are we going in to face a Basilisk alone?" Filius hissed as jogged up to Harry. "How in Merlin's name did you manage to defeat one?"

"Well last time I was twelve, this thing is a thousand years old, sixty feet long and was being controlled by the shade of a very young Tom Riddle.

"I also had the Sword of Gryffindor and Fawkes."

"And me." The Hat added.

"Oh yes, Hat was here too, he came with Fawkes and the sword." Harry nodded causing said hat to bob on his hat.

"So it was Fawkes who defeated the snake." Filius sighed in slight relief.

"Gods no!" The Hat chuckled. "Fawkes simply blinded it. Harry stabbed it in the mouth with the sword."

"That really hurt." Harry grimaced. "I really don't want to try that again." He said as he rubbed his arm.

"Again, I must ask why we are going alone!" Filius demanded as they passed a really big snakeskin.

"Wouldn't want anyone else to get hurt. Besides, without Tom here I am hoping to reason with it." Harry admitted.

"What about the armour? They could be a great asset." The sound crunchy bones under his feet was not helping Filius' courage.

"Don't worry, this is just a test run so we can feel the basilisk out. If we need backup we can use a rooster."

"Why didn't you use a rooster last time?"

"There was a student possessed by Tom. They killed all the roosters." Harry shrugged as they came to a stop outside the large vault like door. "Ok eyes down. The Hat is going to be our eyes."

"This is the most ridiculous and ill-conceived idea I have ever been a part of." Filius muttered unhappily. He still closed his eyes though.

Filius shivered as he heard the snake-like sounds coming out of Harry's mouth. He nearly wet himself as he heard the grinding of the door as it opened.

"Horrible idea."

"Come on, it won't be too hard to deal with." Harry insisted.

They walked a few metres before Harry scared his uncle again with Parselmouth.

"Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four. Bloody egotist." Harry muttered in English as the stone mouth of Slytherin's statue opened with a horrific grinding noise.

"What?"

"The pass phrase to open the snakes home is 'Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four.' Like I said, he's a bloody egotist."

"Language Harry. That is what I was referring to."

"Oh it's called Parselmouth only-"

"You know quite well I was referring to your swearing, young man." Filius interrupted.

The entire conversation was being made with bowed heads and a lack of eye contact.

Filius thought he had heard the last of the terrifying noises for the day. Crunching bones, grinding stones and his young adopted nephew hissing like a snake…

Of course he'd never heard the sound of a sixty-foot snake slithering out of its hidey-hole before.

"WHO ENTERS MY MASTER'S CHAMBER?"

"Harry?" Filius queried nervously.

"I do, the Heir of Slytherin and now Lord Slytherin." Harry answered proudly. "And stop shouting."

"Harry, what is going on?"

"I'm just introducing myself."

"You do not smell like my master." The snake hissed slightly quieter.

"I defeated him. Many times, now magic has bestowed me with all that was his."

The god-awful sound that Filius heard next was that of a sixty foot, thousand year old basilisk chuckling. Filius had no idea that that was what was happening.

"What do I care what your petty little magics say?" The snake asked snidely. "I am the King of Serpents! I would have crushed Salazar under my tail if he was not the one who hatched and raised me. It is a shame you are so small… I have not had a tasty meal in centuries… but now that I know my master is dead I am not bound by his laws. I will feast on the animals above us."

"I was afraid of this." Harry muttered.

"What?! What were you afraid of?" Filius squeaked in demand.

"Snakey doesn't recognise me as the successor. Wants to eat us." Harry shrugged nonchalantly.

"EAT US?!"

"Hush, I'm not finished." He chastised. He turned back to the snake. "Are you certain you don't want to serve me?"

"I will serve no one. Salazaar's blood bathed my egg and I served him. But I do not recognise your blood so I will consume you."

"King of the Snakes huh?" Harry asked as he started rummaging around in his bag. "It's sad that something that claims to be so powerful can be taken down by something I eat for dinner." Harry pointed his wand in his bag and shouted. "SOLARIS!"

"COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOO!"

*THUD*

"*cough* You can look up now Uncle Fil, but mind your eyes, there's a lot of dust."

Filius Flitwick cautiously raised his head only to see a great big yellow eye looking back.

Filius Flitwick fainted.

"Come on Trev, I know it's not the best job in the world but surely you can do this one thing for me?"

Filius had no idea why Harry was in his chambers. He had no idea who 'Trev' was or why he too was in his chambers. He also couldn't fathom what job Harry wanted done in his chambers.

Filius made the mistake of opening his eyes.

He quickly shut them again.

He peeked through a cracked eyelid… nope, still there.

He'd thought the whole debacle of Harry taking him to the Chamber was a nightmare of some sort. It was a nightmare, just a real life nightmare if the dead eyes of a sixty-foot basilisk staring at him meant anything.

He realised that everything must be safe if Harry had left him there to sleep and was now conversing with another student. He gingerly picked himself off the floor.

"Harry… why do you have that toad… is that an egg? By Merlin what are you doing?"

Harry was sitting at a desk with a makeshift straw nest surrounding a chicken egg. Perched on top of the egg and held in place by Harry's hand was a toad. The whole mess was bathed in blood.

"I am trying to make a Basilisk. Trevor isn't being very cooperative though." Harry grumbled.

"Harry, please tell me that there is a logic behind this insanity."

"Probably, but for now I want a pet snake that can defend me." Harry said as his tongue poked out the side of his mouth in concentration whilst he tried to keep Trevor in place. "Hedwig is great and I love her but… I don't want to watch her die again. I just want an extra layer of protection and a basilisk is like a sentient weapon."

"And the blood?" Filius asked wearily as he conjured a chair opposite Harry at the desk.

"Old Snakey over there said something about Salazar's blood and how it recognised it. So I am bathing this egg in yours, mine and Neville's in the hopes that it will obey our instructions… or at least not attack you and Neville, it his toad after all."

"You took my blood?" It was more of a statement than question… and not a very appreciative one at that.

Harry just rolled his eleven-year-old eyes. "It's not like I was going to use it in a ritual to give Lord No-Name a new body because, trust me, been there, done that and it was sooo not worth it."

"I need Firewhiskey." Filius groaned as he let his head fall to the desk with a thud.

"Now, now, Uncle Fil. You can't drink alcohol around young children."

"I'll let you have some."

"Forget I said anything."

There was a sudden green glow emitted from the egg.

"Excellent! I was hoping that things would be sped up by magic." Harry said happily. "Nice work Trev."

Filius' head shot up. "How long have we been down here? It takes nearly three weeks for an egg to hatch."

"Can you imagine trying to keep a toad on a chicken egg for three weeks, Uncle Fil?" Harry scoffed. "I don't think Trevor would survive that long with the heat needed."

"Shouldn't we have some sort of protection though? We don't know anything about basilisks… not to mention the fact that this is all very illegal." Filius began to panic.

"Too late for that." Harry said with excitement as the egg began to crack.

Filius debated trying to grab Harry and run. But he decided that there was no way he could manage it even if he was able to stun the boy. Especially if he was as old and experienced as he claimed.

"Here little snakey." Harry hissed. "Come out and meet your new family."

"What are you saying Harry?" Filius asked nervously.

Harry wasn't sure how to answer that. "I'm… offering encouragement?" He tried.

"Papa. Papa." The little snake cried as it pushed its way out to the egg.

Harry was filled with pride. "Aw… it knows who his Pappy is- crap." Harry scowled. "I sound like Hagrid."

"Keep smiling Harry, you don't want to upset your new… child." Filius said as he stretched his mouth into the widest and fakest smile possible.

"Papa, hungry!"

"Ah… slight problem."

"For Merlin's sake! Keep smiling!" Filius hissed in a panic.

"We just need to find some food, something I seem to have forgotten."

"Didn't you have a rooster in your bag?"

"This little guy is only thirty centimetres long… how is he going to eat a whole rooster?" Harry argued.

"Cut it into smaller pieces Harry! For goodness sake! Do something!"

Harry started to grumble quietly at the panicky half-goblin as he cast a stunner into his bag quickly. He had put a silencing charm on it already as he didn't want it accidentally crowing and killing his baby basilisk.

He then took it out and put it on the table and started cutting it up.

Which was probably not smart as it was still alive and the blood spurted everywhere. He and Filius were covered in blood.

"Tasty!" The little snake hummed as its tongue flickered out.

Filius looked to Harry with a curious glare.

Harry looked very sheepish. "You erm- really don't want to know what he said. Heh heh heh." He giggled nervously.

"Give me that damned bird." Filius hissed as he conjured a knife and started cutting it up.

A few minutes later and the ruler long snake was greedily working a leg into its unhinged jaw.

"Thank you Papas."

"Aw, he said thank you and thinks we are both its Daddies." Harry cooed.

"Harry, we need to have a long and serious talk." Filius said firmly as he cast cleaning charms on himself and Harry.

"Uncle Fil, do you really think I would do something as reckless as creating a basilisk without researching it thoroughly?" Harry sighed. "The Hat and I went through all of its knowledge of Salazar as well as the personal libraries in my quarters where Salazar's journals are kept."

"Salazar's journals?" Filius asked with wide eyes.

"Yes, and he was as twisted as you all believe him to be." The Hat said sourly. "I don't know what the other Founders were thinking when they decided to keep his house in the school. We should just be glad that Godric made me and defined the house traits otherwise Slytherin House would be full of psychopathic lunatics with a penchant for torture."

"Hat… that is pretty much what you've got now." Harry said slowly. "You just get the occasional good egg."

"They don't start off that way when I put them in the House." Hat grumbled. "Well… that's not true." He admitted. "The Slytherins have just had to listen to their parents go on and on about Pure Blood superiority."

"Maybe we should introduce a little muggle culture then." Harry grinned.

"Something for later." Filius said as he readjusted himself in his seat. "What I actually wanted to talk to you about was you being from the future."

"Oh… right, I kinda forgot I mentioned that." Harry laughed.

"How could you forget?"

"There was this giant snake and then a little snake and then you were blubbering-"

"Enough!" Filius said in exasperation. "Now… from what I understand, you have already begun changing the events. Just how much has changed?"

"Tons! I was a Gryffindor last time. I wasn't the Lord of Slytherin. I defeated the troll with Ron Weasley last time. I didn't face Quirrell till the end of term. Oh and I wasn't from the future last time." He finished with a grin.

Filius rubbed his temple. He could feel a headache coming on. "Are there any other major incidents coming up that we will need to deal with?"

"Well, we need to get Ron's rat, Scabbers, as he is actually Peter Pettigrew. Then we need to get Sirius out of Azkaban as he is innocent."

"WHAT?!"

"Oh and I'd really like to get Gilderoy Lockhart to admit that he's a fraud. Smarmy bastard has been stealing people's accomplishments and memories for years."

"Sweet Merlin."

"Let's see… after that the Tri-Wizard Tournament was in fourth year… I don't care about that one way or the other as long as I don't get entered again against my will. I do not want to have to deal with the ritual that gave Voldemort back his body again." Harry said adamantly. "And I definitely don't want Cedric to die as a result."

"Die?!"

"Fifth year I was attacked by Dementors and the school was invaded by the Ministry. I can't see that happening again though. I think I've changed too much."

"One of the big things we have to do is find old No Name's horcruxes and destroy them so that the next time I see him I can kill him."

"Horcrux! As in a soul container?"

"That's the one! I know where most of them are. The hard part is going to be breaking into Gringotts and stealing the one in Bellatrix Lestrange's vault."

"Merciful Heavens."

Harry grinned at Filius. "You seem to be taking this rather well Uncle Fil."

Filius was feeling fairly weak. He knew he looked it as well, even as he glared at Harry.

"You aren't screaming and throwing up after all." Harry shrugged.

Harry, Filius and the Hat relocated to Harry's chambers with the yet-to-be-named baby basilisk. Filius had objected to having the basilisk so near to other children but Harry and the Hat had argued that Harry needed it close by to teach it things… like not killing the children.

A comfortable nest was set up for the little guy on the opposite side of the bedroom to where Hedwig's perch was as the proud bird was eyeing the newcomer suspiciously and they didn't want any accidents to happen.

"Alright Harry, we need to decide what we are going to tackle first on your list." Filius sighed as he sank into the large armchair. Harry kept a footstool in front of it especially for his little uncle to use as a step.

"Sirius." Harry stated firmly. "We need to get him out of that awful place."

"Do you have a plan? As I am sure the Hat has pointed out already, you can't just tell people you have knowledge of the future."

"I do indeed!" Harry said as he produced his map with a flourish. He unrolled it on the coffee table and tapped it. "I solemnly swear I am up to no good!" He intoned.

"Good gracious! This is Hogwarts!" Filius was off the chair and leaning over the map. "Is this accurate?"

Harry pointed to his chambers on the map where he and Filius were labelled. "Watch."

Harry stood up and began running around the room randomly. He went to the bathroom, the bedroom, the library…

"That's enough Harry. I can see it works. I can also see Pettigrew." He frowned.

Filius conjured a small stool so he could sit at the table. "We will need to reveal this map to Minerva and Amelia." He warned Harry. "Where did you get it?"

Harry pointed to the four names at the top of the map. "Prongs is James Potter. Padfoot is Sirius Black. Moony is Remus Lupin and Wormtail is Pettigrew.

"I consider it a family heirloom but I want Sirius and Remus to duplicate the map for security. Also as I promised the people who had it last that I would get them a copy if I could."

"Who had it last?" Filius asked curiously.

"It would be safer for your sanity-"

"Haaaarryy…" Filius drawled warningly.

"The Weasley Twins."

Filius chuckled. "That explains their success in pranking. Not to mention your father's. Your mother would have loved this." He mused as he touched the map fondly. "It is a charms masterpiece."

Filius stood up and adjusted his tiny waistcoat. "Alright, I will go and find Minerva. You contact Amelia and ask her to come straight here to your quarters."

It was nearly an hour later and nearly time for dinner when Amelia and Minerva were both free to meet with Harry and Filius.

"Harry! Do you realise how dangerous something like this is?" Minerva scolded the seemingly eleven-year-old boy.

"Of course I do. Which is why I am glad it has a decent security system on it." Harry said with a small frown. He hated when people doubted him and questioned his judgement, especially after all he had done.

"Minerva, Harry has proven himself quite responsible over the past few months." Filius chided. "He successfully captured Lord No Name's minion and ran the bastard off, he ran the Minister and his Obliviators out of the castle and he has managed to not abuse his position over Snape."

"Yes, but he also nearly started a war with the goblins this week." Amelia glared at Harry.

Ok, so Harry had to admit that maybe they had sufficient reason to question him when it came to responsibility.

"How about we focus on the fact that my godfather is innocent and suffering in Azkaban whilst the real criminal is relaxing in luxury in the Gryffindor Tower?" Harry suggested as he poked a finger at the label of interest.

"Pettigrew?! But he's dead!" Amelia exclaimed.

"The map never lies." Harry said seriously.

"Where did you get the map?" Minerva asked. She was still having trouble believing what she was seeing.

"From the Weasley Twins." Filius smirked at her.

"Those little repr-"

"Minerva!" Amelia gasped as she glanced at Harry.

"I nearly killed a goblin king this week and started a war and you are worried about me hearing bad language?" Harry grinned at the ridiculousness of the idea.

"And I still haven't dealt with you for that!" Minerva glared at him.

"Actually, I believe you should know some secrets about Harry before we continue." Filius stated solemnly.

"Fil!"

Harry was ignored except for the raised eyebrows by Minerva and Amelia at the very informal manner that Harry addressed his Professor.

"The three of us will need to take an Unbreakable Vow that we will not reveal the secrets of Harry James Potter." Filius continued.

"Unbreakable Vows?" Minerva gasped.

"Those are not something to bandied about lightly, Professor. I trust that Harry knows as well as you do the consequences of breaking an Unbreakable Vow?"

"In 1995 Severus Snape swore an Unbreakable Vow to Narcissa Malfoy that he would kill Dumbledore if Draco failed to." Harry said with a calmness that cooled the room.

After a few moments Amelia broke the silence. "1995?"

"If you want to know more you will have to take the Vow." The Hat spoke up. "If you refuse then I must highly recommend that you allow yourselves to be Obliviated of what Harry just told you."

"Minerva, Amelia, you should know me well enough that I would never even suggest something as barbaric as a vow with a mortal sentence if there was another way." Filius pleaded with them.

Amelia was not happy as she looked between Filius and Harry.

Minerva gave a resigned sigh. "You are quite correct, Filius. I will swear the Vow."

"Minerva!"

"Amelia, you were our student so you haven't had the same relationship as Filius and myself." She explained. "But I can swear that Filius is one of the most honest and trustworthy people I know. Forgive me for revealing this Filius," She looked apologetically to her friend, "but I believe this is in part due to his fervent desire to separate himself from the reputation and stigma his half goblin side brings him."

"It's quite alright Minerva." Filius said with a hint of shame.

"Why doesn't Madam Bones wait outside whilst Professor McGonagall takes the Vow." Harry suggested. "We can give her a brief overview of the secret and then she can confirm to Madam Bones if the information is worth the Vow."

Amelia looked each of them in the eyes carefully. She saw determination in Filius, resignation yet trust in Minerva and casual apathy in Harry behind which she could see a spark of fear.

"I'll take the Vow." She said finally.

Ten minutes later and they were seated there each bound to Harry by the Unbreakable Vow.

"My name is Harry James Potter. I was born July 31st 1980. I died May 2nd 1998. I was returned to life minutes later and defeated Tom Marvolo Riddle, also known as 'Lord Voldemort', in mortal combat minutes after that. That night I went to bed only to find myself sitting under the Sorting Hat and being sorted for my House in my first year… for the second time in a row." Harry said blandly.

Minerva and Amelia were looking at Harry suspiciously. Minerva turned to Filius.

"He has provided me with plenty of proof, Minerva." Filius assured her.

"I trust that you will share that proof considering the very dangerous Vow we just took?" She said archly, her Scottish brogue becoming slightly thicker.

"He showed me the Chamber of Secrets and defeated the Basilisk inside."

"Basilisk?" Amelia gulped.

"Sixty feet long, over 900 years old and now as dead as a door nail." Harry grinned. "It was much easier this time." He said with a bit of relief.

"This time?" Minerva nearly screeched.

"Last time I had to use the Sword of Gryffindor, the Sorting Hat and Fawkes. This time I had a rooster in my bag." Harry explained.

"Please… I've seen that beast Harry. Don't make me imagine you trying to kill it with a sword." Filius begged.

"I find it hard to believe that it didn't kill you!" Amelia argued.

"It nearly did!" Harry countered. "Fawkes took out the eyes but when I stabbed it through the mouth my arm was impaled on a fang. Fortunately Fawkes was able to heal me with his tears."

"I suppose you have more outlandish stories as well?" Amelia scoffed.

"Got any veritiserum?" Harry asked tiredly.

"What?"

"Truth potion." Harry said with a cutting tone. "I could sit here all night and tell you the truth but you won't believe a lick of it unless you can prove it."

There was a bright flash of flame above Harry's head as Fawkes appeared in the room and slowly landed on his shoulder.

"Show off." Harry muttered to the fiery avian on his shoulder.

"I believe that will do to verify Harry's honesty." Filius laughed.

"I still have my doubts." Amelia sighed in resignation. "But even I won't argue with a Phoenix."

"If Fawkes is vouching for you, why haven't you told Professor Dumbledore?" Minerva asked.

"Because he is an idiot of the highest order." Harry grumbled.

"Mister Potter!"

"Minerva, do show some common sense." Filius rolled his eyes. "Albus may have been a great leader once but he has proven time and again that he has issues with allowing others control."

"The man keeps too many secrets." Harry nodded. "Like the fact that Voldemort is a half-blood or his real name or the fact that he was sitting in the back of a teacher's head inches away from the very children he would enjoy torturing and killing."

"It doesn't matter." Filius said as he sat forward. "The three of us can safely use Harry's knowledge to prevent Voldemort's return to power and other disasters. He has already dealt with Quirrell and the Chamber of Secrets, but now we need to deal with a great injustice. Namely Pettigrew and the wrongful incarceration of Sirius Black."

They all gazed at the map where Pettigrew was shown.

"How come we have never noticed him?" Minerva asked.

"Remus Lupin was a werewolf. His friends knew this and became illegal animagi to help him on the full moon. James was a stag, Sirius a huge black dog and Peter was a rat. Ron Weasley has a rat for a pet." Harry said with a calmness that was all he could manage to maintain at this point.

"But Black is in Azkaban." Amelia pointed out. "Why would Pettigrew need to hide?"

"Because the bastard was actually the Secret Keeper. He killed the muggles and cut off his finger to escape. Sirius is completely innocent and was never given a trial." Another memory hit Harry at that moment. "Actually, Crouch was the one who sentenced Sirius to Azkaban without trial. But at this very moment he is hiding his son in his house and controlling him with the Imperious Curse."

"How did you find all this out?" Filius asked curiously.

"The Weasleys were in the paper at the end of my second year. Sirius got a hold of a paper and saw Pettigrew and broke out to protect me. Last time round I was a Gryffindor and sleeping just feet away from the traitor.

"Crouch lost control of his son at the beginning of my fourth year and was instrumental in giving back Voldemort his body."

Harry rubbed his arm in memory of that horrible night.

Amelia sat back and put a hand to her temple in thought.

"Just how do you expect to solve all these problems without revealing you came from the future?" Minerva asked.

"I just need a few people who won't need to dig too deep in to their sources. Uncle Fil and I already know about the map. He can say that he was holding onto it for my Mum and that they were examining it as part of her Charms work. Then he can say he saw Pettigrew on the map when he shared it with me and called you and Madam Bones in. From there it is a hop, skip and a jump to getting Sirius out."

"It's the 'hop, skip and a jump' that has me worried." Amelia admitted.

"We haven't planned those yet as we needed your input." Filius explained.

"I suppose we could capture Pettigrew and interrogate him, but he was awarded an Order of Merlin! We can't just pour veritiserum down his throat." Amelia said in disgust.

"What rights do the dead truly have?" Filius said as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

"Uncle Fil?"

"Pettigrew was awarded the Order of Merlin posthumously. He was declared dead nearly a decade ago. He has been hiding in a house where he would have heard all of this before. Can a dead man really object to what is done to him? Does he have any legal rights?" Filius continued his musings.

"The public will still see him as a hero." Amelia shook her head.

"Unless we accuse him of being a disgustingly morbid con-artist trying to make money off the name of a late hero. Then you could shove veritiserum down his throat and 'accidentally' expose the truth. The short hop, skip and a jump suddenly becomes merely a skip and a jump."

"Yeah!" Harry said excitedly. "If you make it a big public deal, go to Fudge and claim you found this imposter trying to get close to me, you could play his ego about protecting 'The Boy-Who-Lived'."

"Do you really think the Minister will be so easy to manipulate?" Minerva queried.

The response was a snort of derision from the others. "I could turn him into a paranoid little idiot who would refuse to come out from behind his desk with a few well timed comments." Harry sneered. "I wouldn't even have to lie. Insinuate? Maybe."

"Minerva, having informed you of the discovery regarding Peter Pettigrew made by Lord Slytherin and myself using his family heirloom, would you be so kind as to accompany me to the Gryffindor Dorms to apprehend this despicable individual?"

"NOW!? You want to do this now?" Amelia demanded.

"Every second we waste is another second an innocent man suffers in Azkaban." Filius glared at her.

"Madam Bones, whilst I am glad to see you here to continue our discussions of my family estate, a situation has arisen. A man has been discovered in the castle using the identity of one of the most beloved heroes of the war. I would ask you to accompany my professors in your capacity as the head of the DMLE as they apprehend this evil man."

Amelia glared at Harry.

"Innocent man in Azkaban, Amelia." Harry said with a hard look.

If there was one thing in his life that he hated, it was being forced to sit on the sidelines and not be able to do anything. It was what had happened during his fifth and sixth years. The fifth year had ended with Sirius' death and the sixth with Dumbledore's.

At least this time he could watch what was happening and he knew why things were happening. He sat in his quarters as he watched the Marauder's Map. The three sets of footprints moving through the Gryffindor Tower towards their target: Peter 'Wormtail' Pettigrew.

Judging by the lack of movement from the footprints, the little bastard was napping. The dorms were also empty due to dinner currently being served.

Harry suddenly realised there was a flaw to him having the map. He gathered it up and quickly ran through the castle, he reached the portrait of the fat lady and came to screeching halt.

"Bugger!"

"Language young man!" The portrait scolded. "That is not the behaviour one expects of a Lord."

"Sorry, look I really need to get into the Gryffindor tower. The professors are about to make a huge mistake! But I don't know the password."

"Well why didn't you say so." She said primly as she swung open.

Harry raised an eyebrow at being let in but chalked it up to him owning the castle. He stormed up the stairs to the boy's dorms just as they were about to burst in.

"Harry, you were supposed to wait in your rooms." Amelia scolded.

"Which would be fine except I had the map. You can't just go in there and stun the rat because you have no way of knowing Wormtail is the rat. You need the map to find him." Harry said pointedly. "If Pettigrew gets interrogated by Veritiserum and he says you knew he was a rat you will have to lie about how you knew. At least take the map."

"He is right. We nearly made a huge mistake." Filius nodded as he took the map. "Follow my lead. Harry stay by the door."

Minerva went in first with her wand out and ready to attack. Filius went in second with the map as Amelia brought up the rear.

Filius walked towards the bed, which the map said Pettigrew was on. "The map says he is here." He announced quietly.

"Homenum Revelio." He cast at the bed.

The rat in the cage began to glow.

"Animagus!" Amelia feigned shock.

Filius picked up the cage with the now agitated rat and walked around the room. "This is definitely him." He confirmed. "Madam Bones, this man is likely an unregistered animagus claiming to be Peter Pettigrew. I trust you will see it is investigated thoroughly."

"We should return to my quarters briefly." Harry spoke up. "Perhaps you should stun the intruder as well."

They were soon settled back in Harry's quarters.

"If you are going to take Pettigrew in you will need to do it through the front door of the Ministry in full view of the public. A leak to the Prophet wouldn't go amiss either." Harry explained.

"You fear assassinations and cover ups?" Filius asked.

"Better safe than sorry. That and Fudge did it last time and doomed the country." Harry shrugged.

"Then we will march him from your quarters to the gates before taking him to the Ministry steps." Amelia sighed. "I clearly have no choice but to accept that you know the truth."

"Dinner should be over by now. I'll have Severus accompany you as a guard." Harry nodded.

The group were causing quite a scene as they marched down the staircases and towards the entranceway. Portraits and paintings were running off to share the news that a strange man that resembled Pettigrew had been caught in the castle.

By the time they reached the entrance way Albus was standing there with the rest of the staff and their wands out. Hagrid had his crossbow in hand and Fang at his side.

"So it is true then." Albus said seriously. "Peter Pettigrew was alive and hiding in Salazar's quarters."

"Merlin bless the rumour mill." Filius snorted. "Once again you have proven why you are not a Ravenclaw, Albus."

Albus frowned. For some reason Filius had become slightly hostile towards him. Demeaning even.

"We discovered Pettigrew elsewhere Albus." Amelia interrupted quickly. "We can't say more without compromising our investigation."

"Did you know that Sirius Black didn't get a trial?" Harry asked curiously. "When I discovered the name Pettigrew I researched him. I discovered my connection to him and Sirius Black. Madam Bones did some digging and there are no records of his trial. Just his arrest and subsequent incarceration by Barty Crouch."

Albus' had a look of outrage and shock. He turned to Amelia. "In the interests of justice I would like to perform legilimancy on your prisoner to determine certain facts quickly, such as his identity and possible guilt. I am of course licensed and registered to use legilimancy in this manner."

"Of course Chief Warlock." Amelia said formerly.

Albus quickly got to work, drawing his old wand having lost the Elder Wand, he cast the spell verbally.

A few seconds later he withdrew from Pettigrew's mind.

He was not happy.

"Madam Bones I will need to accompany you. I have need of some of your Aurors to transfer Sirius Black to a holding cell in your department. His guilt is officially in question.

"Minerva, I will need you to see to the castle in my absence. You should consider me out of pocket for the next few days."

"Of course Albus."

Harry watched in surprise as Albus Dumbledore strode out of the castle with Amelia, Severus and Pettigrew in tow.

"Huh… I wasn't expecting that."

"Harry, I know you have issues with Albus, but at heart he is a good man." Filius said sternly.

"A good man who treated one boy with mistrust that helped push him further down the path to the dark side and another like an unwanted problem that left him severely malnourished, abused and so many other things." Harry scowled. "I won't deny that he has his good points but all things considered… I feel perfectly entitled to take this personally."

"Quite." Minerva agreed. "Especially as I personally warned him against leaving Harry with the Dursleys having watched them for a whole day."

"You did?" Harry asked.

"I did. There were plenty of other more suitable candidates for adopting you. I would happily have taken you. James himself placed you in my arms the day you were born. Lily was quite content to leave you in Filius' care if she had errands to run." She said hotly.

"Did you know that the first time Harry ever saw his parents was in my quarters a few weeks ago?" Filius said sadly.

"First time this time round." Harry corrected. "The first time round I didn't see them until the end of my first year, Hagrid gave me a photo album he made for me."

"Even worse!" Minerva hissed. "In some ways I wish we could tell Albus the truth about you just so he knows why I am hexing him! But your memories and our own experiences support your current course of keeping this from Albus."

"Still, this is pretty much what he did to me. Hid things from me."

"The difference Harry, is that you are not making the decisions by yourself. You have willingly confided in me and listened to my advice to confide in Minerva and Amelia. Albus has shown himself to be leaning towards a dictatorship more than a democracy." Filius assured him.

"So what do we do now?" Harry asked. He was a little lost as he had expected to have to wait for Pettigrew's trial before getting to Sirius and his innocence.

"Nothing. Aside from answering any calls from the DMLE as witnesses, we have done our part." Filius stated. "Sirius will be out of Azkaban within the hour and free within a month… if not sooner. This part of your mission is a success Harry. Take pride in your accomplishment and a well deserved break." He said with a proud smile.

"What about the other parts?"

"There is time. We should have a plan in place for just after Christmas for dealing with the marriage contracts and we can focus on the… Riddle side of things during the summer."

It was Christmas Eve.

Harry was seated at the end of a table in the Great Hall.

It was a small table placed slap bang in the middle of the spacious room. It was maybe two meters in length.

There were only two people in the expansive room. The doors were sealed shut and being guarded by suits of armour on the inside and out.

At one end sat Harry Potter in his eleven-year-old body wearing his school uniform and an unimpressed look.

At the other end was a very old and very decrepit looking man with a walking stick.

"So you're the famous Nicholas Flamel." Harry clearly didn't think much of the man.

"And you're the alleged Heir of Slytherin." The man said disdainfully

"Actually, I'm the boy who has your precious stone." Harry smirked.

Flamel's eyes narrowed. "What are you talking about boy?"

Harry dropped a red crystal on the table.

Flamel's hand snapped out and the crystal flew into it.

"You were saying?" The old man smirked triumphantly.

"Sad thing really. That little stone can extend your life but it doesn't seem to let you keep your youth or fix senility." Harry sighed.

Flamel kept his smirk as he waved a hand over his face and revealed a youthful young man with blue eyes and blonde hair who appeared to be in his late twenties. "After six hundred years I've learnt that people usually show you more respect if you look your age."

Harry stifled a snort of laughter at the irony of Nicholas Flamel saying that to him of all people.

Instead he smiled slightly. "And yet… you haven't noticed the obvious." He said as he placed an identical red crystal on the table.

Flamel scowled and quickly summoned the new rock. "And you don't seem to learn." Harry added.

He pulled out the first stone from his pocket and was about to vanish it when he realised something.

"These are both fakes!"

"About bloody time!" Harry said in exasperation. "Did you honestly think I would bring my Philosopher's Stone into a meeting with someone as corrupt as you?"

"It is my stone boy." Flamel growled. "And I am as light as they come."

"Says the man who allowed it to be used as bait to lure a mass murderer into a school of innoc- erm… school of children."

"I did no such thing. Just how did you get the stone?" Flamel asked curiously. "I heard word you entered into a contract with the goblins but there is no way they would cross me."

"Dumbledore had Hagrid retrieve it. You didn't know?" Harry queried.

Flamel was flabbergasted. "I need that stone to live! You need to take a dose of the elixir once a month and each batch only lasts around a year.

"Why would that foolish boy be so reckless with my life?" He said angrily.

"Well… in all fairness, there was a break in at the bank shortly after he had it removed." Harry allowed. "But then he put it in a room in the castle where any bunch of first years with a brain could reach it."

"There is no reason to believe the break in was to get my stone. Only Albus, and myself knew it was there. Even the goblins had no idea what I was keeping in there.

"Which, considering I rely on the stone for living, leaves only one place for a possible blabbermouth." He scowled.

"Hagrid seemed to know there was something important in the vault." Harry added. "And the only thing in the vault was the stone."

"I will be having some very serious words with that boy." Flamel snarled. "Playing with my life like that."

"Well, there was a good chance old Voldemort was getting pretty close to it here as well." Harry told him. "But don't worry, I stopped him and there is very little chance of him getting his mucky mitts on it." Harry assured him.

"You stopped him from trying to get it whilst in the act?" Flamel said slowly.

"Yeah. He had let a troll into the castle as a distraction, I knew what he was planning and who he was disguised as and I managed to get some friends at the Ministry to help me take him down." Harry grinned.

"So you didn't do it alone? You didn't plan it or cast the final blow?" He tried to keep the growing panic out of his voice.

"Well, I was the only one who knew. It was my idea to call in the Ministry, they let me run with my plan. Lord No Name took me as a hostage and was threatening to blow up the Hufflepuff table so I took him out."

"You killed him… again?"

"Well, he's not easy to kill as he put protections on himself. But I destroyed his current body and made him… impotent." Harry said the word with relish.

"Sweet Merlin boy. Do you know what you have done?"

"Saved your life and that of the school's there by invoking a life debt from all involved?" Harry asked innocently.

Flamel paled drastically.

"That was what you were referring too, right?" Harry maintained that eleven-year-old innocence.

Flamel sat up as he realised something. "If you keep my stone then you will effectively kill me. You won't be able to claim a life debt."

"Yes, but you are assuming I am that callous. Thanks." Harry said sarcastically.

"Then why haven't you returned my stone?!"

"Because it is dangerous and you owe me and everyone else for allowing it to be used to put our lives in danger!" Harry retorted. "You can still use it to make your elixir, I just want you to do it in secrecy where no one will know."

"I could do that at home. My house is under a very special ward." He insisted.

"Fidelius?"

"Oh, you've heard of it." Filius asked, impressed.

"Yes, only as good as your secret keeper." Harry grumbled. "Who is yours?"

Flamel paled again.

"Really?" Harry asked in disdain at the guilty look on the older man's face. "Do you at least have a loyalty oath from him?"

The six-hundred-year old man turned pink with embarrassment.

"Like I said, the elixir can't cure senility!" Harry said in exasperation.

"I suppose you could do so much better?" Flamel snapped impatiently. "And why am I arguing with a child?" He asked himself.

"Because this child has out smarted you ever since he heard of you. This child not only holds your stone but also your life. This child… " Harry paused in his little rant before he sat back in his chair and just smirked at the older man. "This child holds all the cards. This child wants to see if you are worth giving it back to."

"Who are you really?" Nicholas Flamel asked carefully as he leaned forward. "You are far too savvy for just some snot nosed eleven-year-old firstie."

"I am Lord Harry Potter of Slytherin. You have endangered my home and those that reside there. Who I am is severely pissed off. The question you need to really ask is: Do you want to be the person who increases my anger?"

Nicholas sat back and scrutinised Harry calmly.

"'Lord Slytherin' eh? That's an… interesting name." He offered.

"If it was just a name then I would be just a boy." Harry countered. "We both know that is not the case."

"And what does the name mean to you?"

"Not half as much as it means to others." Harry snorted.

"So you intend to abuse your title?"

Harry took on a sage air. "One man's abuse is another man's… something an eleven-year-old should know nothing about." He finished quickly and uncomfortably.

Nicholas leaned for. "Are you really Harry Potter?"

Harry matched his movement. "Are you really that stupid?"

Nicholas huffed as he sat back. "So what is it you intend to extort out of me so I can get my stone back?"

"The basics. Gold and possibly the elixir." Harry said as he sat back himself calmly.

"You really are just eleven. And greedy."

"Well… I will settle for a stupid amount of gold, but I would prefer you join my group. Or at least become my partner in starting up a wizarding bank."

"Oh? Is that all?" Nicholas was laying the sarcasm on thick.

"Or we could wait for the goblins to cheat us again." Harry shrugged. "I keep all my money and stuff out of Gringotts."

"Where would that be?"

"What would be the point of telling you? I'm keeping it safe remember?

"Look, if you aren't interested in preventing a goblin war and making sure that people aren't charged half their wages each year just to have a vault, then fine. I'll do it all myself. But I'll still want a lot of gold and the elixir."

"Why do you need the gold to start a bank? Wizards aren't like the muggles. They expect to pay interest, not be paid it." Nicholas pointed out.

"Oh I don't want the money to start the bank." He said dismissively. "I want the money so I can buy wizarding Britain and rule it properly."

Nicholas stared at Harry for a full ten seconds before he broke down and practically sobbed. "Can't I please just have my stone back?"

Harry looked at him with disgust. "What a baby."

Chapter Text

*Chapter 6*: Chapter 6
Chapter 6

It was an impressive group of people that sat around the large table that had been conjured in Harry's living room.

Amelia Bones, Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, Harry Potter, the Sorting Hat, Nicholas Flamel and finally Severus Snape.

There were piles of books around the room on the law, contracts and history.

On the table, between them, was a long parchment on which was written a new contract that would be sent to the heads of each of the houses under Vassal Oath to Lord Slytherin asking for their daughters.

"The only part of this contract I can understand is the part that says 'sign here'." Harry sighed.

"I can get the gist of it but it would take me hours, possibly days to try and decipher most of it." Filius nodded.

"Most of it contains Latin terms." Nicholas shrugged. "I am fluent in Latin but I think the inclusion of Celtic terms puts it over the edge of easy comprehensibility."

"I believe the small print in Parselscript will be a deciding factor in some cases." Amelia added. "Whether for good or bad I cannot say."

"Severus, any additions, suggestions or criticisms?" Harry asked his slave.

Snape scowled. "The contract is solid. It is unbreakable. The issue is not whether the contract will hold up but whether the targets will sign.

"The letter you have crafted to accompany the contract appeals to their egos, their sense of Pureblood superiority and their greed. I predict that less than five will hesitate to sign and only two may require… additional incentives."

"Define 'additional incentives'." Minerva scowled. She wasn't used to Severus being so helpful and she didn't want Harry being put in any danger.

Severus hated being of any use to a Potter. "You will either have to resort to underhanded methods such as blackmail, threats or assassination or you will have to offer something more. Specifically a marriage contract to be fulfilled as early as your fourteenth birthday or once the girl has begun her menses." He explained blandly.

"There will likely be a clause demanding that pregnancy be achieved-"

"Yeah, we'll just kill the bastard who demands that." Harry said quickly as he began to blush.

"Please do not discuss assassination and murder so casually in my presence." Amelia groaned.

"Don't worry, it will be an honourable duel." Harry shrugged. "Fully compliant with the law."

"Still… leave me out of it."

"Severus, I want you to hand deliver these contracts." Harry instructed. "Deliver them formally in my name. You may answer simple questions but do not reveal my secrets, anyone else's secrets or imply anything about my intentions. Do you understand?"

"I do." Internally Severus was cursing his traitorous body.

Minerva, Filius and Amelia had convinced Nicholas to take the Unbreakable Vow.

Nicholas had introduced him to his wife, Perenelle. She declined to take the Vow simply because she didn't believe she needed to be privy to whatever secrets were being discussed. She had complete faith and trust in her husband.

Harry was beginning to hate being stuck in this eleven-year-old body more and more after Perenelle had taken one look at him and squealed in delight.

It doesn't matter how young they look… women old enough to be grandmothers insist on pinching your cheek.

The contracts were sent off.

Pettigrew was spilling his guts.

Sirius was in St. Mungo's under Ministry protection.

The basilisk was dead.

Harry figured he would have a boring six months until the summer when his little group would start on the horcrux hunt.

His main focus would be trying to take over the British Wizarding World.

He didn't honestly see it as much of a problem. He already had control of Lucius Malfoy and Malfoy had control of Fudge. Many of the Wizengamot members were his vassals.

All he had to do was convince the rest of them to swear loyalty to him.

Or over power them.

There would be a few problem people like Dumbledore, but if he could sway most of the rest then Dumbledore would just have to fall in line or at least not cause problems. He'd just cross that bridge when he came to it.

It was currently New Year's Eve, a few minutes to midnight, and the castle was practically empty of students and staff. Harry had spent Christmas Day with Filius, Minerva, Susan and Amelia at Bones Manor at the insistence of Amelia. She was intent on ensuring that Harry experienced some normal childhood experiences, even if he was mentally eighteen.

It was a clear night sky that Harry was looking at. He could see every star with clarity. The moon was beautiful.

His previous Astronomy lessons meant he could spot the major planets and constellations.

There was the creak of a door and Harry turned to see Professor Sinastra enter the tower.

"Oh, Mister Potter. I wasn't expecting to find anyone else up here." She commented easily as she conjured a chair next to Harry's. "Looking for a star to wish on for the New Year?" She asked teasingly.

"No. I just wanted somewhere quiet to sit and it was such a nice night that I decided to enjoy the night sky." Harry said as he turned back to his view.

"It is very relaxing. As much as I enjoy seeing the sky through a telescope, sometimes I like to sit back and take in more than that tiny hole can see."

"It would be nice if we could use muggle telescopes." Harry sighed. "These brass ones aren't good for much. Muggle ones can see actual galaxies and planets!"

"Oh, you don't need to tell me." She said with passion. "Every year I put in a request for modern muggle telescopes. But the second they hear it they laugh and start going on about how muggles don't have the intelligence to make something like a telescope." She scoffed.

"I hope you didn't try and tell them that muggles have been to the moon." Harry laughed. "You'd be in St. Mungo's lickity-spit."

"I almost did once. Minerva cast a silencing charm on me though. She always tries to look out for us younger teachers." The young black woman said appreciatively.

"Something really needs to be done about those idiots in charge of our education." Harry grumbled. "Maybe we could put an article in the Prophet and Quibbler."

"A nice idea Harry, but it could lead to political problems. Purebloods like the status quo. That and the Prophet is firmly in the Ministry's pocket." She smiled sadly.

"Really…" Harry mused. "I wonder if I can change that."

"You aren't going to get up to mischief are you, young man?" She admonished teasingly.

"Me?" Harry said innocently.

"Enjoy the stars Harry Potter. There are only a few seconds left of this year. Find a star and make a wish." She laughed.

Harry turned back to the starry vista and smiled to himself. "No Professor. I won't make a wish. Instead I will make a resolution. I intend to see to it that Hogwarts doesn't just get to see the stars I am going to help them walk amongst them."

"Hermione! I think there are some people from your school to see you!" Dan Granger called over his shoulder worriedly. He really hoped they were from Hermione's school. There was the dwarf, the older woman dressed as a witch, a younger woman in jeans, a blouse and a jacket and a young boy about his daughter's age.

"Actually Mister Granger, we came to see all of you." Professor McGonagall explained respectfully. "Allow me to introduce my colleagues: Professor Filius Flitwick, the Charms Professor, Professor Aurora Sinastra, the Astronomy Professor and Harry Potter, a friend of your daughters."

"Daddy? Who is it?"

Dan turned quickly to let his daughter see their guests.

"Professors!" She gasped.

"Good morning Miss Granger." Filius beamed. "We apologise for arriving unannounced but we need some help in the non-magical world and Harry suggested you would be able to provide it."

"In the non-magical world?" She asked in confusion.

"We want to buy telescopes." Harry grinned that cheesy grin of his. "The best ones on the market. We're going to the moon!"

Hermione could see that Professor McGonagall's eye was twitching as though she had a headache… the young witch had a feeling she would be experiencing the same thing before the day was out.

"This is impossible. It has to be magic." A fifth year Ravenclaw declared authoritatively as he pulled out his wand and ran diagnostic spells on the large white telescope that had been mounted in the middle of the darkened courtyard.

It was the first day back after the holidays and Harry and Professor Sinastra had set telescopes up in an easy to access area for the evening so that everyone could get a good look at the available stars that night.

"And you believe that your skills and experience in magic are somehow better than Professor Sinastra's, Flitwick's and McGonagall's?" Harry sneered. "And I thought Ravenclaws were supposed to be intelligent."

"Harry." Sinastra said warningly. She turned and addressed the Ravenclaw. "Muggles have much more powerful telescopes. This specific telescope is capable of getting a good view of many objects in our solar system and beyond but the small ones we have purchased will allow us to view nearby celestial bodies much better than the pathetic examples we have been using."

"If it was possible to view the planets like this why didn't magicals do it?" A Slytherin fourth year demanded.

"Because-"

"Harry!" The Professor snapped before he could get started again.

Harry just pouted.

"The reason that Magicals have never done this is because they never look beyond what they have." Sinastra explained. "Brass telescopes worked at the time and they never thought to try and improve on it.

"Muggles have been improving their ways on a daily basis. Several decades ago they actually travelled to the moon."

"Why would they do that?" A fifth year Hufflepuff asked in confusion.

"So they could learn more about the world we live in."

"But we don't live on the moon." A Ravenclaw pointed out.

"We do live in the same universe as the moon. The moon is responsible for the tides. Muggles know that you can't breathe on the moon. But you can jump very high and lift incredibly heavy things with just your hands.

"By understanding the way the universe works, muggles have managed to do things we can only dream of. And they do it all without magic. Imagine if we magicals pushed ourselves as hard as we could like the muggles… what could we achieve?" She challenged.

"If a muggle does it, it is probably dirty and beneath a magical." Draco sneered. "I, for one, will have nothing to do with anything a filthy muggle touched." He waved disgustedly at the telescope.

"Then you will fail my class, Mister Malfoy." Professor Sinastra said sternly. "And if I find you spouting such bigoted drivel again I will have you in detention."

"My father wouldn't hear of it." He said as though the Professor were beneath him. "I have a fine telescope crafted by magicals and I will use nothing else."

"Then you will have detention for every lesson you break my class rules. Starting tonight. You will report to Mister Filch for an hour's detention as you help him with his duties." She glared at the little ponce. "Off you go Mister Malfoy."

"My father will hear about this!" Malfoy shouted angrily.

"And you can write him after your detention."

"This is ridiculous." Harry grumbled as he sat in his sitting room with Filius and the Hat. "I've offered them a ton of money but they still want to renegotiate for marriage contracts instead."

On the coffee table were responses from three of the families sworn to Lord Slytherin. There were likely to be more on the way but these three each wanted their daughters to marry the young Lord.

"At this point Lucius Malfoy is regretting not having a daughter." Filius mused. "Whilst having Draco ensures that his property stays within his family and that his line continues, he cannot hope to gain a hold of one of the coveted Founder's Lines. He can't offer a daughter so he can't claim a familial connection which would raise his social standing even higher."

"Unless he wants to undergo an old barbaric ritual to alter Draco's gender." The Hat chuckled.

Harry paled. "Just how old are we talking?"

"It was lost when the Romans invaded, Harry. You have nothing to worry about." The Hat assured him.

"The method for creating horcruxes was also supposed to be lost." Harry retorted.

"It doesn't matter, Harry." Filius said dismissively. "You are the one who has to accept the contract. If Lucius was able to change Draco's gender it would simply mean that he has lost his heir."

There was a knock at Harry's door that led to the Slytherin Common Room.

Harry sighed as he got up and opened it.

"Pansy?" He asked. The ebony haired girl was looking very timid as she stood somewhat nervously outside his door.

"I- I- I-" She stuttered.

"Miss Parkinson, is everything alright?"

The girl jumped at Filius' voice, not having realised Harry had company.

Harry stepped back and indicated for her to enter.

Instead he found himself with an armful of Slytherin and his lips trapped by hers as she tried to kiss him.

"MMMMMHMMM HHHHMMMM!" Harry tried to speak as he frantically gestured to Filius.

"Miss Parkinson! Please, a little decorum!" Filius snapped… he was desperately trying not to laugh at the sight of Harry struggling with the girl.

Harry was having more than a little struggle. Pansy was a well fed and healthy young girl.

Harry was a malnutritioned little runt. He had no chance of winning a physical battle with anyone over the age of ten. Goblins notwithstanding.

There was a flash of red light between the pair and Pansy slumped in Harry's arms. He glared at Filius and the Hat. "A little help would have been nice."

"You seemed to have things well in 'hand'." Filius smirked as he watched Harry send a messenger spell.

"Just help me put her on the couch." Harry snapped.

Filius drew his own wand and levitated her.

A few seconds later Snape ran into the room.

"Severus, good. Do you know why Pansy just jumped me?" Harry asked his slave.

"In what manner did she 'jump' you?" He asked snidely.

"She kissed him rather vigorously." Filius said smugly.

Snape rolled his eyes. "I cannot say for certain but it is possible that she was instructed to woo you."

Harry looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "I think she skipped a few steps."

There was another knock, this time on the door leading to the halls. Harry quickly let Minerva in.

"What is the emergency, Harry?" She asked quickly.

"Really, Harry? This isn't all that of a big deal." Filius sighed.

"She didn't even talk to me!" Harry argued. "She just… kissed me!"

"Who? Miss Parkinson?" Minerva asked curiously. "I thought you weren't interested in the girls because they were too young for you."

"I am! I mean… they're cute and pretty… but I'm eighteen years old trapped in an eleven-year-old body! I assume paedophilia is regarded as disgusting in the magical world as it is in the muggle world?"

"This is a fairly grey area, Harry." The Hat spoke up. "You have the knowledge and memories of your last life, but you've also been given a fresh start. Also… I highly doubt you are going to attempt to engage in sexual activities with these girls before they are older."

"And I will still be some seven years older than them, mentally."

"Again, a grey area. You will be growing up with them." The Hat returned. "You are not an eighteen-year-old wandering through the common rooms and looking for an eleven-year-old bride. When they are fourteen, you will not be a twenty-one-year-old. You will be more experienced and hopefully more understanding."

"You will also have to suffer through puberty again." Severus spoke up with a slight glint of enjoyment. It pissed Harry off, but not in a mean way. "You will be surrounded by young and nubile flesh that is readily available and yet- arrgghh!" Snape fell to the ground in agony as his neck glowed red.

"Insulting your master and getting off on his suffering is not how a slave should act boy." The Hat said smugly. "I bet you won't be making that mistake again."

"Perhaps we should return to the issue of Miss Parkinson?" Minerva suggested as they turned their backs on Severus and ignored his pain. "You can't just go around stunning potential suitors simply because you are not ready for a relationship."

"Alas, I do not believe she was acting entirely of her own free will." The Hat offered. "She was entirely too nervous when she came here and she was surprised to discover Filius and myself here. Yet that did not deter her from… what she did."

"You think Severus was right? That she was instructed to engage Harry?" Filius asked.

"I think she might have been more than 'instructed'." Came the grave response. "I believe she may be under some sort of oath or compulsion. She clearly didn't want an audience when she came here, yet she acted anyway instead of leaving and returning later."

Filius drew his wand and began casting spells over the unconscious girl on the couch. "Oh dear." He muttered. "It is definitely an oath and not a compulsion charm." He informed them. "Her magic is literally fighting against her."

"Severus, get Poppy." Harry ordered. "And try not to hurt yourself on the way." He taunted.

Snape stormed off in a huff.

"Hat, the Parkinsons are my vassals, what rights do I have?" Harry asked. "Can I go through her belongings?"

"You own the castle, Harry. You can go through anyone's belongings."

"Professor McGonagall, I am ordering you to search through Miss Parkinson's belongings to see if you can find any clues as to what oath she took and the details. Take Professor Flitwick with you."

"Someone should stay here with Miss Parkinson." Minerva objected.

"Aunt Minnie, we've just been over this. I'm not really eleven. I can look after her until Poppy and Severus get here."

There was another knock at the door and Harry quickly answered it, hoping it was Poppy.

"Oh for Merlin's sake." He grumbled as he cast a quick stunner.

There was a thud as a blonde haired girl in a very skimpy negligée fell to the floor.

"What on Earth is Miss Farley doing here dressed like that?!" Minerva demanded.

Harry just looked at her incredulously.

"Honestly Minerva." The hat said in exasperation. "I would think it was fairly obvious. Gemma Farley, like Pansy Parkinson, has been coerced into snagging the young Lord Slytherin."

"I have a feeling this is going to be a long night." Filius sighed as a similarly attired Tracey Davis arrived.

She quickly fell to the floor from a stunner.

"Archibald Farley, Gregory Davis and Waylen Parkinson. You are all officially being charged with attempted line theft." Amelia said sternly as she surveyed the three men sitting in the interrogation room before her. "Your daughters were all found to have been bound by similar oaths. The question now is not whether you will be convicted, but how much you will suffer for your crimes."

"This is outrageous!" Archibald said indignantly as he tried to stand. He failed due to the chains holding him down. "I demand to be released at once!"

"Criminals don't get to make demands." Amelia retorted. "Gentlemen, it seems Mister Farley isn't interested in any form of leniency." She addressed the other two men. "Do either of you wish to turn it down as well?"

"We are each the head of a noble house, Madam Bones." Waylen said smugly. "As such, we demand that you send for the Minister so that we might deal with him directly."

"What about you, Davis?" Amelia challenged.

"The DMLE has no right to interfere in matters between noble houses." Gregory stated firmly. "You can be sure that we will be bringing up your conduct before the Wizengamot."

"The DMLE has no right to interfere in matters between noble houses?" She parroted. "I guess Lord Slytherin was right all along." She moved to the door and opened it. "I have been informed by no less than four Heads of Noble Families that I am prohibited from interfering. I suppose I have no choice but to leave this matter in your hands." She said as Harry and Severus walked in.

"Don't worry Madam Bones. I'll make sure to clean up any blood." Harry grinned as he sat down opposite the three men.

Amelia nodded and left, closing the door behind her.

"Gentlemen, this afternoon when your daughters came to me and attempted to fulfil the oaths they had been forced to swear, I thought that you had made my life a living nightmare. An attempted line theft! There hasn't been one of those in centuries!" Harry grinned.

The three men were confused by the happy eleven-year-old in front of them and their former fellow Death Eater standing in the corner.

"I thought I was going to have to take drastic measures to save those girls from losing their magic and dying because I wouldn't let them fulfil their oaths. Let me assure you… that made me very angry." He said with a humourless smile.

"However!" He said suddenly, causing the men to jump. "After discussing my options with the Sorting Hat, Severus here and a few trusted advisors, I discovered that you have actually done me and the girls a huge favour!

"You see; you have betrayed your Lord."

"You are not our Lord." Waylen sneered.

"Magic says otherwise." Harry shrugged. "Interestingly enough; so do your highly vaunted Pure Blood laws." He smiled dangerously. A disturbing sight on an eleven-year-old.

Harry turned to Snape. "I'm sure you are all acquainted with Severus Snape from your days kissing a half-blood's boots. Here are a few pertinent facts about one Severus Tobias Snape. The self-proclaimed Half-Blood Prince!"

Snape's eyes widened in shock. He had no idea how the little bastard had managed to find out that particular piece of information. His family history was a matter of public record, but that title was something he had made up in school and he had told no one.

Harry enjoyed the look on Snape's face, but ploughed on regardless.

"Severus once got himself into a very sticky situation. My father, James Potter, saved his life. Magic recognised a debt. A life debt." Harry turned back to the three, chained men. "Years later, having failed to repay the debt, he betrayed my father and my family by delivering them to Lord No Name."

The three men bristled at the insult to what they considered the greatest wizard of all time.

"Severus Snape is now my slave. A slave enforced by magic." Harry grinned.

"Impossible!" Archibald scoffed.

"Prove it then." Waylen smirked. "The only thing you can truly prove is that Severus is weak willed and has chosen to obey you."

Harry just shrugged. "Ok, I can prove it. Archibald Farley, Waylon Parkinson and Gregory Davis, I, Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin, claim your lives and property as payment for the oaths you have broken."

Just like Severus back in Dumbledore's office, the three men fell to the ground in pain and wheezing as a light shone around their necks.

Harry walked to the door and opened it. "Madam Bones, could you bring in the others?"

He moved back to his seat as Madam Bones, Professor Flitwick and Professor McGonagall levitated the unconscious bodies of Gemma, Tracey and Pansy.

"Gentlemen, I order you to release your daughters from any and all oaths and compulsions you may have placed them under." Harry said sternly as he enervated the three girls but petrified them at the same time so they couldn't 'attack' him again.

Very stiffly and clearly trying to struggle against the orders, the three men released the girls from their oaths.

Harry smiled and turned to Flitwick and McGonagall. "Could you get them back to Poppy and Hogwarts, please?"

The two professors nodded and levitated the students out.

"Now then, gentlemen." Harry grinned maliciously. "As you have no doubt realised, I own you. You have lost everything. But your suffering doesn't end here!

"You are being officially charged with line-theft and attacking your Lord. You will confess everything to Madam Bones here in her position as the Head of the DMLE. If she asks you a question you will answer truthfully and conceal nothing. You will not fight or struggle against her or the Aurors.

"Finally, other than myself, Madam Bones and Severus Snape, no one else is allowed to know that I have claimed you as my slaves because of your actions. You will simply not mention it."

Harry nodded to Amelia before snapping his fingers for Severus to follow him and walking out.

Harry and Severus were standing in front of three beds in the Hospital Wing. Gemma, Pansy and Tracey were lying down and looking fairly glum.

"Good news, bad news situation I'm afraid." Harry sighed. "The good news is that you won't have to worry about your fathers trying to force you into anything. They have just confessed to their crimes and are due to go to trial within a month.

"Bad news: The houses of Farley, Parkinson and Davis have been eradicated. Your fathers broke their vassal agreements and the price was… everything.

"As of the moment they bound you by those oaths and compulsions everything that made up their houses became mine. As a result you are currently without house or family and are relying on my good will.

"We are working on getting you into my house."

"Quick and dirty involves concubine contracts.

"Long and arduous requires me to try and rebuild your houses from the ground up."

"So… you aren't going to keep us as your sex slaves?"

Harry looked at the fourth year girl with a bit of worry. She sounded almost… disappointed.

"I am not a fan of slavery." He said slowly. He then glared at Snape who had snorted a scoff. "But it does have its uses." He allowed. "It would be better for the three of you if we could make sure you have some sort of freedom. Slavery would mean you have no rights. The Ministry wouldn't acknowledge you. They wouldn't let you take your OWLS or NEWTS. You wouldn't even be allowed to attend Hogwarts.

"Don't forget how stupid some of your friends might be as well. If they hear you are slaves they won't want to be associated with you."

Harry was thankful that Gemma seemed to realise the predicament she was in.

He didn't want to deal with fan girls.

Although she had never exhibited those traits before.

"Anyway, we are working on adoption procedures for each of you. We are also investigating your mothers. If they are as guilty as your dads then they will probably join them. If not then… I'll consider offering them a place in one of my houses."

"What about my baby brother?" Gemma asked worriedly. "He's the heir to the Farley family."

"Really?" Harry said in surprise. "How old is he?"

"Five."

"I'll have to speak with my advisors. We'll try and do what is best for all of you." He promised.

Harry was not getting married at the physical age of eleven.

He had made that quite clear to an amused Filius Flitwick.

The Hat had tried to point out that Gemma was fourteen.

That hadn't gone over well.

Harry had spent ten minutes sitting on the hat.

Until it managed to wiggle enough to bite him on the bum.

That had been nearly a week ago. Harry and Filius had worked with Amelia to get the proper documentation to have the girls and their mothers adopted into the House of Slytherin. It was still a work in progress.

The delay meant there was more time for a leak… and when the leak occurred… all hell nearly broke loose.

"You, girl. You're mine now. I am publicly claiming you and no one else can touch you."

Harry looked up from his dinner in the Great Hall to see Marcus Flint standing several meters down the table behind Gemma Farley with his hand on her shoulder in a tight grip.

She was clearly in pain.

"Uncle Fil, you might want to call Amelia… there is about to be a bit of blood spilt." Harry said loudly as he stood up from his chair between Pansy and Goyle.

"This doesn't concern you Potter." Flint sneered through his large rotten teeth. "The girl has no family and no standing. She has no guardians. I am within my rights as the Heir of a Pureblood House to claim her as mine."

"Actually, you stupid little dickhead, she has a family and a temporary guardian. Both of whom are me." Harry said as he stomped up, Severus quickly on his heels. Not of his own volition of course.

Filius had already fled the hall to get Amelia.

"Harry, don't do anything until Madam Bones arrives." Minerva warned. "The rest of you can finish up and leave. Mister Flint, you will come-"

"Sorry, McGonagall." Flint smirked. "This is a matter of Pureblood Houses. School rules don't apply here."

"Fine by me." Harry grinned darkly.

Seconds later several suits of armour marched in and grabbed Flint by the arms. They dragged him, kicking and screaming, out of the hall.

Of course the rest of the school followed to watch.

"Mister Potter! You must stop this." Albus said sternly. "You cannot manhandle students this way. Mister Flint has the protection of the school and I will be-"

"He already denounced that protection when he insulted Aunt Minnie." Harry scowled. "He stated that this is a matter between Pureblood Houses. So I, as the Head of House Slytherin and Potter, am evicting him from my home. If he wants to continue a Hogwarts' education then he will have to do so by correspondence."

Albus scowled as he could only watch as Flint was booted through the gates by the armour. It was one thing for Harry to make claims about owning the castle or even having the armour defend the students… but he couldn't let the boy use this unusual ability to abuse others. He stormed off to his office. He had calls to make, there would be fall out over this.

The fall out came the next day at breakfast when a very worried Albus led a smirking Marcus Flint senior and junior into the hall.

"Mister Potter, your actions-"

"Out of the way Old Man." Flint Senior said as he barged past. "This is a matter between families."

Dumbledore quickly spun in front of Flint in a move that showed that despite his advance age… he had lost none of his speed and reflexes. "This school is my responsibility, Marcus." Albus glared angrily at the man. "If you place a single one of these children in unnecessary harm then you will answer to me."

It was clear that Flint Senior remembered how powerful Dumbledore was as he actually shrank back.

Dumbledore gave a sharp nod of approval at the other man's subconscious submissive action. He then turned to Harry. "As I was saying, Mister Potter. Your actions have had repercussions. As a result of you expelling Mister Flint Junior from the castle yesterday, his father has come to challenge you."

Harry frowned. "This is my home. I can expel whom I want. I could expel you all right now and there is nothing you could do about it. How about you tell me what this is really about?"

"The girl, boy." Flint Senior sneered. "My son made a claim on the bitch and you tried to block him."

Harry slowly stood up, his face a thundercloud.

Unfortunately, he was only a fresh-faced eleven-year-old and Flint really didn't see him as a threat.

"You claimed your place as the Head of Slytherin. You made a big deal about it. So, I can legally challenge you for interfering in the Flint Family Affairs. When I win, I will be the new Lord Slytherin."

"Challenge me how?" Harry asked with quiet anger.

"A duel, whelp. Wands to the death. The way it should be."

"That's barbaric!"

Everyone turned to the outraged Hermione Granger who, despite being embarrassed by her outburst, was still horrified by what she was hearing.

"Shut up Mudblood. I'll claim you in a minute." Flint Junior sneered.

The air began to crackle as Flint Junior found himself staring down a wand held by a three fingered hand. "Miss Granger is a Muggleborn. As such, I am her Magical Guardian. It won't be Mister Potter you face, but me, if you continue your current path. As it stands, you are officially expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

Junior backed up behind his father.

"Get out of my castle." Harry ordered quietly. "If you want to duel we will do it outside."

"It is pouring with rain outside." Senior scoffed.

"Then the rain will wash away your blood." Harry said sarcastically. "Hogwarts! Remove them!" Harry ordered loudly.

Junior gulped as he knew what was coming. "Father, we should wait outside."

Senior was about to berate his heir when the sound of clanking feet was heard.

Harry ignored the indignant squawks as he turned to the Staff Table and met with Minerva and Filius. "Anyway out of this?"

"No Harry." Filius said gravely. "At this moment in time, Miss Farley is without a name and a house. Having had someone publicly try to claim her, she is little more than property up for grabs."

"Harry, I hate to say this but if you had signed a marriage contract-" Minerva stopped when Harry glared at her. It was different now that she knew the truth about Harry's history. She could see the older boy in those green eyes. She could respect him as an adult.

"Severus, go to my quarters and get the contracts. Have the other two sign." Harry ordered. As Severus left he turned back to the others. "So, I have to kill Flint Senior?"

"I'm afraid so." Filius nodded. "You should be fine as long as you keep your wits about you."

"Wits? I'm eleven! He has decades of magical power over me!" Harry exclaimed.

"And you have nearly a decade of experience fighting against the odds. You've faced people well beyond your power, you've been outnumbered and unarmed and you still managed to win." Filius chastised sternly. "Focus on the fool in front of you and the duelling arena and you will be assured a victory."

"Yes Uncle Fil." Harry sighed.

"Filius, you should go and set up the duelling platform. I will bring Harry." Minerva assured him.

"Dumbledore, maybe you should ask Madam Bones to come and witness. Someone is about to die after all." Harry called over to the man who was actually talking to Hermione and answering the clearly awed girl's questions. Dumbledore nodded in agreement and hurried off.

"Miss Davis and Miss Parkinson have both signed."

Harry turned to see Snape standing there holding two long pieces of parchment. Harry had noticed that Severus wasn't sneering as much these days.

Harry took the parchment and proffered quill. He hissed as he was reminded it was a blood quill.

He slammed the parchments on his slave's chest angrily. "Don't think I didn't notice those were concubine contracts." He hissed quietly.

"The girls know." Severus shrugged. "They have no family so legally they cannot marry. Concubines are as good as they will get. Of course, there is no obligation for them to sire your children… they don't even have to sleep with you. But they do have to be seen as yours."

"I hate this society." Harry scowled.

"Let's head outside." Minerva suggested.

As they walked they were joined by two suits of armour, one of which placed the Sorting Hat on his head.

"What are my chances, Hat?" Harry asked grimly.

"Use your head and you will win. Give in to your more Gryffindor tendencies and you will not have to worry about tomorrow."

The Hat ignored Minerva's glare.

"Why does everyone assume I'm going to just start hurling curses at the git?" Harry grumbled.

"We've seen your memories." The Hat said with a smirk.

"I'll make Snape wear you." Harry threatened.

The Hat quickly shut up. He had no desire to find out what that much grease would do to him… Dumbledore used open flame candles in his office.

Outside, on the castle grounds, Flint Senior and Junior were standing in the pouring rain whilst scowling. Neither seemed to know the Impervious charm. Even if Flint Junior did get back into school, Filius would give him hell for not knowing the simple spell.

Coming up behind them with a scowl that put theirs to shame was Amelia Bones. "Flint! What the devil do you think you are playing at?" She demanded.

Senior turned and looked at her with disdain. "Family matters, woman. You have no purpose here." He said dismissively.

"Listen very carefully Flint. If you manage to kill that boy then you might as well turn your wand on yourself. Because I will make your life living hell!" She hissed into his face.

"Remove yourself from my presence woman. Once I have finished with the boy I will put you in your place." He threatened.

"Only if the boy doesn't end you first." She snapped before spinning away.

"Harry! What the devil happened here?" She demanded of the apparent eleven-year-old as she approached him and privacy charms were erected.

"The bastards found out about Farley and that his daughter was now without a house. Junior tried to claim her so I booted him out. They came back today to settle it with wands." Harry said glumly.

"I've erected a regulation duelling platform." Filius informed them as he walked up. "Albus has inspected it but perhaps you should take a look and explain the rules of the duel?" He told suggested to Amelia. "Although the final outcome will be someone's death, the manner and method of their death must conform to the law. In other words, no Unforgivables, dark or illegal spells." He explained.

"In other words, you just clipped their wings." Amelia smirked evilly.

She turned and mounted the stage before facing the contestants and students. Albus hadn't wanted them to see this but he had no right to stop it. He had reluctantly agreed that they might actually learn from the experience. Perhaps none of them would be as foolish as Harry about challenging the old laws.

It would be a dark day though. One of the wizarding world's greatest heroes was about to die a needless death. In all honesty, Harry Potter was more popular than Dumbledore. A decade of children's stories and celebrations of his vanquishing of the Dark Lord had seen to that.

"Listen to me very carefully." Amelia spoke loudly. "The Ministry of Magic has no right to interfere with a duel between families." Both Flints smirked superiorly. "However! The use of Unforgivables and the Dark Arts is still illegal." Now it was her turn to smirk at the Flints. "The usage of any of those spells will earn you the full sentence. If I have my way you will get the Dementor's Kiss.

"Duellers, take your positions." She instructed.

"Do you honestly think he can win?" Minerva asked Filius fretfully as Harry trudged up the steps.

"You've seen his memories, Minerva. He's stood up to Lord No Name, Bellatrix Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy, a troll, a basilisk, a dragon, a whole nest of acromantulas and those god awful things that Hagrid bred in his future.

"An inbred pureblood with delusions of grandeur shouldn't give him much trouble."

"Duellers, bow." Amelia instructed.

If anyone other than Amelia had given the instruction then Harry might have refused. But he wasn't going to disrespect her.

Flint on the other hand just sneered.

"The challenger enters the duel without honour." Amelia declared.

Flint looked surprised. He hadn't expected that. It was a clause though that was upheld at tournaments. If the duellers refused to show respect for each other then their honour was called into question.

This meant that even if he won, someone else could challenge him.

And there appeared to be a long list of people vying for the position.

"Duellers! Begin!" Amelia declared before jumping back and out of the way.

"Diffindo!"

Harry leaned to the side as he dodged the cutting curse. The incantation was a relief to him as it meant that Flint couldn't silent cast.

He quickly cast three disarming spells but each was either dodged or deflected.

"Bombarda!"

"Protego!" Harry's shield barely held against the blasting curse and he was still thrown backward three feet.

Flint definitely had the advantage of raw power.

He cast five more disarming charms but they were all deflected with a look of disdain.

Harry needed a new plan. He would definitely lose if he tried to take on Flint by firing single spells at him. He needed a way to out manoeuvre him.

He made a point of remembering to tell Filius to re-watch his memories. A lot of the times he had been out numbered… he had run.

He took a step back, a pause.

Flint hesitated… unsure what the boy would do next. In theory the boy should have gone down to his first curse. He had no training after all.

Harry shook his head to clear the water from his face. It was literally tipping it down. It fell like sheets.

A slow grin spread across Harry's face. He pointed his wand at the ground and conjured a half-foot thick slab of glass that he stood on.

Once again he pointed his wand at the platform. "Fulmentius!"

Lightning poured out of his wand and struck the flooded platform. Fifteen feet away Flint began convulsing as he was electrocuted.

Harry ceased his simple charm and Flint dropped to his knees, dazed and smoking, the tip of his hair and wand was smoking.

Harry aimed his wand and quietly and firmly incanted. "Diffindo."

*Thud*

Flint Senior's head rolled off his shoulders and hit the platform with a wet splash.

"The winner is Harry Potter." Amelia said as she swallowed her rising bile. She knew the truth about Harry being from the future… but it didn't help her deal with the fact that this eleven-year-old boy had decapitated someone in a fairly cold and methodical manner.

"I'll kill you Potter! Avada Ke-"

*Thud*

Flint Junior fell to the floor unconscious due to a stunning spell from Albus Dumbledore. He looked very sombre. "Amelia, please take Marcus Flint Junior into custody for the use of an Unforgivable." He requested calmly. "And have your Aurors collect the body of Marcus Flint Senior."

Amelia just nodded, she didn't know what else to say after what she had seen.

Harry woodenly descended the steps of the platform to the waiting arms of Filius and Minerva, they tried to rush him quickly into the castle but were stopped by Severus.

"Sign here." He instructed.

Harry signed the contract for Gemma Farley.

He made a new promise with that signature… he would bring the wizarding world to its knees. They would pay for what they made him do.

*Chapter 7*: Chapter 7
Chapter 7

The following few days after the duel were sombre affairs for the school.

They had all witnessed two people try to kill each other and the winner was now walking among them. A killer walked among them.

Harry hated the stares, the murmurings… it was exactly like his previous time in Hogwarts.

Filius had recommended that they release the information regarding the status of Tracey Davis, Pansy Parkinson and Gemma Farley. It would eventually become common knowledge that their fathers were in Azkaban and that they were without a family. Revealing the concubine contracts would prevent anyone from trying to claim them and forcing another duel.

Trying to claim a person who was already claimed was theft. Harry could simply report this and have them charged by the DMLE.

Harry had stood up in front of the Great Hall at breakfast the day after the duel with the three girls at his side. He had been very firm that anyone who treated them as less than a fellow student would be booted from his home.

Much to Dumbledore's annoyance, Minerva had stood behind the girls nodding in approval to Harry's word. He had a feeling that he might lose a few more students.

It was nearly February before anything of note occurred. Harry continued with his stargazing and his plans to explore space.

The lightning charm he had used in his duel was a result of researching ways of duplicating electricity. Apparently, the creator of the spell was also very intrigued by this naturally occurring energy. Ben Franklin, after many close calls with natural lightning strikes, had decided to develop a spell to achieve the same effect.

Harry often occupied an armchair in the Slytherin Common Room. It was one he conjured himself, much to the amazement of his housemates. At first he had only done it so he could keep an eye on the students and stop any bullying, but his clear advancement over his peers had made him something of a tutor.

This was something that really pissed Draco off. Especially as two certain Slytherins were now advancing beyond him.

"Excellent work Greg." Harry nodded approvingly to the larger boy who was grinning proudly. "Now, go break it and repair it five more times so you know you've got it down pat." He said as he handed the boy his stuffed hippogriff.

Gregory Goyle looked a little crestfallen at that. This was one of his cherished childhood toys.

"Greg," Harry said softly. "If you can manage to repair Mister Griffy every time then it won't matter when someone tries to hurt him. You can always make him better."

That seemed to steel his resolve.

Harry wrinkled his nose thoughtfully.

"Vinny, have you got that severing charm down yet?" He called over to Greg's constant companion.

Vincent Crabbe simply held up a half torn First Year Book of Spells sadly.

"Right. Greg, go repair Vinny's book. He breaks it, you repair it. We'll let Mister Griffy have a rest for now."

Greg just nodded in relief as he headed off to help his friend.

"You think you're so smart, don't you Potter?"

Harry just sighed at the annoying voice that came from his side. He looked up to see Malfoy standing there, sneering as usual. "Have you mastered the charms, Draco?" Harry challenged lightly.

"I could perform those long before I came to Hogwarts." He boasted.

Whilst Harry had no doubt that his family flaunted the law and let him play with a wand, he doubted that Draco could do more than swing the stick.

"Then when we complete our end of year exams, our marks will show just how smart we really are." Harry said. "Maybe we could ask the teachers to publish a ranking list? Then you can show everyone that you are the best in the school?"

"Everybody already knows I'm the best." Draco frowned in confusion.

Harry just chuckled. "Draco, so far I have completed every piece of homework before you. I have earned more points for Slytherin than you. I know for a fact that most first year Ravenclaws (and a certain Gryffindor) have already started working on second year spells.

"The teachers have had to constantly correct your work in class and your grades are only just average.

"You are the only one who thinks you are the best."

Draco turned red with indignation. "Shut up Potter! I'll not have you spreading your lies about me!"

"Careful there, Malfoy." Came the warning voice of the current Slytherin Seeker, Terence Higgs. He was sitting at a nearby table with his homework, but like most of the students, he was watching the current conversation. "You are about to insult the Head of an Ancient House. Being called a liar is almost as bad as being called a thief."

Draco bristled at this but turned and stomped off.

"Thanks Terry." Harry said quietly.

Terence just gave a little snort. "I don't want to have to worry about another visit from the Obliviators. Even if the first one was entertaining."

"You know he isn't going to stop, right?" Adrian Pucey asked the young lord from his seat at the same table with Terence. "His little suspension hasn't curbed his ego one bit. He's already talking about how he intends to be the Seeker next year."

"If his father has his way he'll get it." Terence sighed in frustration as he threw down his quill. "Flint was already receiving letters from Malfoy Senior."

"Snape won't allow it and neither will I." Harry said firmly. "I like the way you two play. You never cheat." He gave a glare at the other three remaining members of the team that were at a nearby table.

"If I find that the three of you are cheating come the next game I will have you removed from the team and new tryouts will be held." He said warningly.

The two beaters and the keeper glared murderously at him.

"We still need a Captain and a new Chaser." Adrian pointed out.

"You two can hold a joint Captaincy for now." Harry suggested.

"I'm the senior player." Lucian Bole said heatedly as he stood up and stomped over. "The Captaincy goes to me."

"The Captaincy goes to whoever our Head of House says it should go to." Adrian and Terence tried to hide their smiles as Harry was clearly un-intimidated by the towering beater. Harry continued on. "You are hanging onto your position by the thinnest thread possible. If it were up to me I would have you booted already."

"Harry, we're already down one player, we don't need to lose any more." Adrian chided teasingly.

"Sit down Bole." Cyril Meakin, the current seventh year prefect ordered. "We can excuse Draco because of his youth and naivety. You have no such excuse."

Reluctantly the large boy returned to his table. But not without glaring at Harry.

"Potter, don't go around making threats like that. If you are going to talk to Professor Snape then do it and do it privately. We don't need to be creating unnecessary rumours for the rest of the school." Meakin instructed sternly.

Harry wanted to grumble and pout. He was eleven so he could get away with it… but not after he had just put Malfoy in his place.

"Alright. I'll go see Professor Snape." Harry said as he levered himself out of his chair. "Anyone want to use my chair? It will last till about midnight." He offered.

"A bit small for most of us Potter." Adrian smiled. "But thanks."

"Can I use it?"

Harry turned to the fairly quiet Millicent Bulstrode. "Sure Millie. Just remember, it will be gone by midnight… so don't fall asleep in it."

"I'm warning you now Mister Black, none of us who know Harry are pleased with you." Minerva stated angrily as she led Sirius Black and Amelia Bones up the path to the gates of Hogwarts. "Much of the horrors he's suffered could have been avoided if you hadn't shirked your responsibility that night.

"Harry doesn't say anything about it and I doubt he blames you. But those of us who know him and love him hold you at least partially responsible." She said as she stormed onwards, never looking back.

"I think I've paid enough for my actions that day." Sirius grumbled.

That was not the thing to say to Minerva McGonagall. She spun on her heel to face him, a look of righteous fury on her face. "But you weren't the only one who paid for your stupidity, were you?" She demanded. "Because you weren't there to take care of your Godson, he was consigned to a living hell."

"There were plenty of other people he could have been placed with!" Sirius retorted angrily. "You and Flitwick were two of the people that James and Lilly recommended I turn to if the worst ever occurred."

"Enough!" Amelia said as she elbowed her way between the pair. "I will not have you fighting in front of Harry. He's been through enough in just the past few days. I do not want him having to re-hash the past decade in its entirety!" She stepped back and took a calming breath. "Now, we will go and find our young Lord and you will be polite and courteous. You will let him set the tone for your meeting." She warned Sirius. "Are you both ready to continue?"

Sirius nodded ashamedly. He had come to see Amelia as something of an angel. She had been the one to drag him from his cell on Azkaban. She had been there and believed every word he said. Something that no one had done since Halloween 1981.

Amelia gave a pointed nod to Minerva and they continued their trek up the hill.

They were greeted at the gates by Albus himself.

"Sirius, it is good to see you free." The old man twinkled. "It was quite the horrifying shock to discover that not only where you innocent, but that the real traitor was living amongst us."

"Bet it wasn't as shocking as waking up in Azkaban without knowing why or how you got there." Sirius countered dryly.

"Quite. I believe Madam Bones is investigating charges against Barty Crouch for his crimes against you."

"Expect to be very busy very soon, Chief Wizard. You will be required to examine the case of every prisoner in Azkaban personally."

"As time permits, Amelia." Albus assured her.

"I'm sure the Prophet and the Ministry will be interested to hear that you are willing to let innocent men suffer because you are too busy." She retorted scathingly. "If you are having trouble balancing your roles then maybe you should relinquish a few?"

"A discussion for another time." Albus said dismissively, but there was a hint of annoyance. "I believe the young man you are looking for is this way." He said more jovially as he led them towards the Quidditch Pitch.

"There's no match today." Minerva frowned.

"No, but with the… loss… of Mister Flint, the Slytherin Team needs a new member. Professor Snape decided to have all the members of his house try out… even the first years."

"Still can't believe little Harry is a Slytherin." Sirius grumbled. "James must be turning in his grave."

"I would hope not." Minerva scowled at him. "Harry has done more for Slytherin in a single term than Salazar himself in his entire lifetime. Slytherin House is finally respected instead of despised."

"But it's Slytherin!" Sirius wined childishly.

"And Peter was a Gryffindor."

Sirius immediately clammed up. It was a sore point. Below the belt in some ways, but all things considered, he appreciated that Minerva was so protective of his godson.

As they reached the pitch they could see the Slytherin students in the stands whilst the hopefuls trying out were in the sky on their brooms.

"I will leave you to it. Sirius, I would appreciate it if you would come and see me in my office before you leave. I have some things I need to discuss with you." Albus excused himself.

Sirius nodded absently. He was more focused on trying to find Harry in the stands.

He was jogged out of his search as Minerva bustled past towards a nearby Filius who was watching the flyers with clear excitement.

"Isn't he amazing, Minerva?" He bubbled. "It's like he was born with wings!"

High above the other flyers, a small figure could be seen tumbling in the air, performing barrel rolls, diving, soaring, banking at extreme angles.

"Merlin! Is that our Harry?" Minerva gasped.

All of a sudden the flyer nose-dived.

"He's falling!" Minerva cried out as she pulled her wand.

"No!" Filius placed a restraining hand on her arm. "I've seen him do this before."

As the flyer neared the ground (at what was at least terminal velocity) it became clear that it was indeed, her Harry.

"He's going to kill himself!"

"Just watch, Minnie." Filius begged, still smiling.

Harry was nearly a foot off the ground when he suddenly veered up and began flying parallel to the ground… still only a foot high.

"HARRY JAMES POTTER YOU GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!" Minerva screeched.

Unfortunately, this broke Harry's concentration and he took his eyes off what he was doing.

"Dammit Minerva." Filius hissed as he watched Harry dip too low, his feet touching the ground causing him to start to tumble head over heels at a speed that was fatal in car accidents.

Harry was just lucky he was a wizard and a bit sturdier than the average human.

He groaned from his tangled position on the grass.

He was currently staring at his own butt, which was above him as his head was on the ground looking up. His broom was passed between his right arm and chest up between his legs.

He was fairly dazed and had no idea where to begin to untangle himself.

"Harry? Are you ok?"

"Fil? Did I win?" Harry asked groggily, even though he couldn't see his tiny uncle.

"It seems to have been a tie between you and the ground." Filius said dryly. "The judges may call for a re-match due to interference from the spectators." He glared at Minerva who was busy ignoring him as she cast diagnostic spells at him.

There was a sharp crack.

"Merciful Merlin! What on Earth where you doing, Harry?" Poppy Pomfrey asked as she saw the tangled body.

"Crashing… I think." Harry said thoughtfully. "Oh, hello Sirius." He said as he saw the familiar face appear high above him from between his legs.

"Poppy, is it safe to… straighten him out?" Minerva asked.

"In more ways than one." Poppy muttered with a glare at her patient.

Working together, Poppy, Minerva and Sirius carefully began laying out Harry until he was lying staring straight up at the over cast sky.

"Hold on a second, Harry. I need to pop your hip back in." Poppy said soothingly.

"Yeah… gonna need that later." Harry said absently. "Urg!"

It was a small sound… accompanied by a slight widening of Harry's eyes.

"You could have at least given him a pain relieving potion first, Poppy!" Minerva scolded.

"Regrettably, Harry is more than experienced with dislocated joints." Poppy said sadly. "He barely noticed. I'll take him straight up to the Hospital Wing and put him to sleep. He'll be fine in the morning."

With that she placed a small disk on Harry's chest and the pair of them vanished.

It was something Harry had worked out with the Hat and the castle to allow Poppy to get to emergencies quicker.

Poppy was very pleased… even more so as she had just won a fairly large bet stating that Harry would be her first call out.

"Is he insane?"

The two professors turned to the wide-eyed Sirius Black.

"Professor! Is Potter ok?" They were interrupted by Terence and most of Slytherin running up to them.

"He should be fine Mister Higgs." Filius assured them. "He took a nasty tumble, Madam Pomfrey may keep him in overnight but I'm sure he will be up and around by morning."

"Thank Merlin. I'm not sure what we should do for now. Harry is definitely our new Seeker, I'll quit the team if I have to."

"Well, you do still need a new Chaser. From what I witnessed you are still one of the best flyers in your house. With a bit of practice you could take up that position." Filius encouraged.

"Seekers make better back up Keepers." Sirius piped up. "Why am I helping the Slytherin Team?" He asked himself.

"Because your godson is their star player?" Minerva scowled.

"Keep running your housemates through the drills, Mister Higgs. I will have Madam Hooch come and supervise. Perhaps you should take a short break until she arrives?" Filius said.

Higgs just nodded at the suggestion/order.

"So… you're a Slytherin."

Harry's eyes narrowed as he regarded his newly released godfather from his hospital bed. "No. I am the Slytherin." Harry corrected. "I am the Lord of the House of Slytherin and I determine what a Slytherin is."

That one took Sirius aback. It wasn't the response he was expecting from an eleven-year-old. Especially a muggle-raised eleven-year-old.

"Erm… your dad was a Gryffindor?" Sirius offered uncertainly.

"As was my mother, my godfather, my godmother and countless others." Harry rolled his eyes. "Is this going to become an issue?"

"No! No, no… it's just… I remember decorating your room in Gryffindor colours… it seems… pretty darn strange to see you sporting Slytherin colours." He nodded to Harry's tie. Poppy had promised he could sleep in his quarters so he hadn't put on his pyjamas.

"The room that I spent maybe a year in? The one I slept in before I spent ten years in a room with no colour?"

"Erm…"

"Is that your catchphrase? Did my parents have one?" Harry asked innocently.

"Err-" Sirius winced and silently cursed himself as he repeated himself. But he looked up and saw the twinkle of humour in the boy's eyes. Sirius leant back in his uncomfortable chair thoughtfully. "Your parents did have one each… from what I remember. Your mum's was something along the lines of: 'James Charles Potter! When I get my hands on you…'

"Your dad's was sort of a response. 'Lily! No! Please! Noooooo!'" Sirius mimicked hiding behind his hands from an unseen assailant.

"Ah… how sad… my mother was abusive to my father." Harry shook his head mournfully.

Sirius' eyes widened in horror. "What? No!"

"Harry, do behave. Give the poor man a chance." Filius chuckled from the end of the bed.

"But he's so easy." Harry whined.

"Wait… you were having me on?" Sirius asked doubtfully.

"Well… that all depends on how much trouble you have with me being a Slytherin." Harry said seriously. "That one is a deal breaker. I have put a lot of work into my house and I'm not-"

"Whoa! Easy there!" Sirius said quickly as Harry built up steam. "I had Slytherin friends. Not as many friends as I had enemies." He admitted. "But they were good people. When you think about how dangerous it was to be a Slytherin back in the 60's and 70's you begin to realise just how good they were. Positively Gryffindor-ish to stick it out."

"Hey now! No need to be insulting." Harry snapped.

Sirius checked and was relieved to see that spark in Harry's eye.

"Fine, I won't call the slimy snake a lion." Sirius said blithely. "So tell me, Great and Powerful Lord of Slytherin, what have you been up to since you arrived at Hogwarts?"

Harry looked at Filius. "You didn't tell him anything about me?"

"You'd have to ask Amelia or Sirius. I only saw him today." Filius looked to the former inmate.

"Amelia told me a lot of what happened to you between that Halloween and you arriving at Hogwarts. She mentioned a few things about you claiming the title of Slytherin… nice one by the way… but other than that… Professor McGonagall has been going on about how I abandoned you and that the Dursley's are my fault."

Harry just snorted dismissively. "You certainly didn't do me any favours by running off instead of doing your duty to me… but I would say most of the blame rests with Dumbledore. He's the one who placed me with those… people. He's the one who didn't stop them fr… well… I blame him." Harry clammed up.

"Sirius, perhaps we should let Harry rest." Filius interjected before the dog in human skin could press on what Harry was going to say. "Harry, Mister Higgs was insistent on you taking up his role as Seeker." He said smugly. "I believe he even threatened to break his broom if you refused."

"You're a bastard Uncle Fil." Harry glared at him.

As Filius and Sirius reached the door they were met by several first years. Most of them were Slytherins but there were at least two Gryffindors in the mix.

"Erm… can we see Harry, sir?" One of the Slytherin girls asked meekly.

"Of course Miss Parkinson. Miss Farley, I am placing you in charge of this group. Mister Potter needs his rest and I don't want you disturbing Madam Pomfrey or spending too much time with him and wearing him out."

"Yes Professor." The fourth year sounded like she was making a solemn oath.

Filius had escorted Sirius to Dumbledore's office after being informed that he was expected. Sirius entered alone and took the offered seat but not the offered lemon drop.

"Sirius, I feel that the recent revelations of your innocence will have a larger impact on Harry than most people will understand." Albus said solemnly. "I don't know how much Amelia has told you but Harry has become… unruly."

Sirius frowned. "What do you mean? He seems to be well respected by his fellow housemates and his Professors."

"Yes, he has become something of a beacon… a charismatic leader." Albus allowed. "But he has developed a tendency to flaunt the rules. He doesn't just ignore the authorities, he makes outlandish claims and then goes on to attempt to perform ridiculous feats based on those claims."

Albus sighed and continued. "I don't know how this has happened but it seems that his… ego, has managed to grow beyond reasonable proportions. His actions alone have cost three girls their fathers, the life of a man on these grounds and the theft of a very valuable artefact.

"That doesn't even begin to take into account the fact that he put a sword to the neck of the King of the Goblins."

Sirius laughed… then he noticed that Albus didn't appear to be laughing with him. "You're joking?"

"I'm afraid not." Albus said gravely. "He directly put the lives of himself, Amelia Bones and Minerva McGonagall in danger as they were with him at the time. His actions could have started the next Goblin rebellion."

"Sweet Merlin… and the Ministry hasn't stepped in?"

"Madam Bones has managed to keep things fairly quiet. I don't understand why she is insistent on catering to the young lad's every whim, but it isn't helping."

"Alright…" Sirius said slowly. "I can accept that Harry might be… eccentric, but why are you telling me? He doesn't even know me."

"It might be possible, with support from myself as his Headmaster and the Head of the Wizengamot, to enable you to have him declared too young for his titles. This would simply mean that he could no longer wield the power until he came of age.

"You would then be able to direct his affairs yourself. One of the most important things, and most dangerous, is he has stated he will not return to the home of his mother's sister this summer. There are ancient and powerful protections there that will keep him safe. I also believe that it might help curb his ego if he were denied the privileges he has experienced these past months."

"Amelia said that the Dursleys were abusive." Sirius said suspiciously.

"Amelia is not a mother. Her only experience of dealing with children is her niece Susan. The Bones family are fairly wealthy and as such, Susan would have been raised by the family elves.

"She has no idea how to reprimand a child and so she sees the punishments that Harry received as Draconian." Albus said dismissively.

Sirius just gave a non-committal nod. "I'll discuss it with Harry first."

"I fear that may be a lost cause, my boy." Albus said wearily. "I have tried for months to get the lad to calm down and be more respectful but alas, he seems to take it as a challenge to be even more… rambunctious."

"Don't try, won't know." Sirius said, paraphrasing something that Lilly would often say. She would probably hex him silly for mangling the English language though.

"As you feel best Sirius." Albus said as he calmly rose, an unspoken signal that the meeting was over. "Regardless of this, it is good to see you free. It was heart wrenching to see Peter being walked through these halls and realising it meant we had wronged you so."

Sirius just gave another tight nod. He was still a bit peeved over his 'little vacation'.

Sirius had gone to Professor Flitwick as soon as he had left Dumbledore's office. He had noticed that Harry and the tiny professor had developed a bond of some sort so he reasoned that Flitwick might have more insight into Harry's… 'rambunctiousness'.

Filius had listened calmly as Sirius related the contents of his meeting.

"I can safely say that it is a good thing that Minerva isn't here." Filius said with a disturbing calm. "No doubt she would already be halfway to Albus with a nasty hex or two waiting at the end of her wand."

"You mean instead of me?" Sirius said sourly.

Filius raised an eyebrow at the remark but decided not to pursue it at this time.

"Tell me, Mister Black, was the Sorting Hat in the room?"

Sirius blinked at the question that came out of the blue. "I… erm… possibly?"

Filius nodded, understanding that Sirius probably wasn't all that focused on his surroundings. He was likely still trying to convince himself that this wasn't a dream and that he was actually free.

Filius hopped off his little armchair headed to his fireplace.

"Slytherin Common Room."

As the fire erupted in green flames he put his head in. "Ah, Miss Farley, perfect. Could you find Harry and ask him to have the Sorting Hat brought to my quarters? I just have a few curious questions to ask. Just ask him to humour a nosy Ravenclaw." The jovial man winked at the girl.

Receiving a reply he stepped out of the fire and returned to his seat. "And now we wait." He told Sirius.

"What will the Sorting Hat do?" Sirius asked.

"The Hat is part of the connection to the Castle. It will tell us its and the Castle's opinion of your meeting with the Headmaster."

"Oh." Sirius felt a little uncomfortable with the revelation that he was being watched by a giant building.

The two men sat in an uncomfortable silence for several minutes before there was a small knock at the door… not the metal clang of an armoured fist that Filius was expecting.

On opening the door Filius sighed as he saw Harry standing there with the Hat on his head. "Nosy Ravenclaw?" Harry said dryly. "Leave the slyness to the Slytherins, Uncle Fil."

Filius just rolled his eyes as he let Harry in.

"So, Sirius, you actually believed the cock and bull story Albus was spinning?" Harry glared at the man as he conjured his own armchair. Something that Filius and Minerva insisted he do to keep up practice.

"I wouldn't say I believed it outright." Sirius insisted. He couldn't help but feel intimidated by this eleven-year-old. "But he mentioned events and I wanted to get a different perspective on what he said."

"The old coot was playing you Black." The Hat spat from his new perch on Harry's lap. "He doesn't like the fact that Harry has near complete control of the castle and that he spoiled his little game of cat and mouse with Lord No Name."

"Lord No –"

"Formerly known as Voldemort." Filius said tiredly as he settled into his own armchair.

"None of that really matters, Black." The Hat said sternly. "What matters is that you even considered trying to take things from Harry that were rightfully his. Harry has already had Draco Malfoy branded a thief for stealing another student's Remembrall… the Castle would have no trouble supporting Harry in branding you a thief. And you don't come with the protection of bribing the Minister."

"What about the deaths, the thefts and the… goblin incident?" Sirius asked curiously.

"Deaths? I only know about one death." Harry frowned.

"Something about three girls and their fathers."

"Those gits?" Harry said with a hint of incredulity. "They aren't dead. They're just enjoying the hospitality of Azkaban for attempted line theft."

"But there was a death?"

"I was challenged to a duel. The duel was to the death. I won." Harry shrugged.

"You can read the details in the paper or get them from Amelia." Filius warned as he knew Harry didn't like to think about that day.

"And the theft?"

"Sure, the thief was Dumbledore. The victim was pissed and has threatened to tell the world about the true Albus Dumbledore if the geezer steps out of line… I guess we should give him a call tomorrow." He said as an aside to Filius.

"And the goblin thing?" Sirius asked.

"They were being difficult. However, being the cunning and exceptional epitome of a Slytherin that I am, I managed to withdraw all my gold and belongings and get a blood contract stating they will never seek to harm me." Harry said smugly.

Sirius looked to Filius who just shrugged to confirm.

"I can read about this?" Sirius asked carefully.

"Or speak to Madam Bones." Filius added. "She is aware of everything and can reveal any information that isn't considered confidential."

Sirius stood up slowly. "I'll bring myself up to speed then. I still feel that I am too far behind everyone else. I don't like the feeling that I am being manipulated." He said with steel.

"A wise move." Filius agreed.

"Just a warning though, Sirius, if you do betray me… I'll never forgive you." Harry said softly.

It was at that moment he saw what he hadn't been shown since he first laid eyes on Harry Potter the first year. He finally saw the eleven-year-old boy who had been betrayed and abused for all of his life and was scared he was about to suffer it all again.

Sirius knelt down quickly and grabbed him in a hug. "I will never betray you Harry. I might fail you. I might not understand you. But I will never ever betray you."

He felt his heart break a bit as he felt the young lad begin to sob in his shoulder. Sirius held him tighter, letting him ride it out.

Eventually the sobs subsided and Sirius held at arms length to look the red eyed boy in the eyes. "You are mine, Harry James Potter. You're mum and dad gave you to me. When we are old and grey you will still be mine and I will still remind you of that fact.

"When you finally get snagged by a girl I will remind her that you were mine first and I still have the right to protect you. Your grandfather was the one who taught me that parenthood doesn't end when a child grows up. It is a role that we fulfil till we have both passed on."

Harry visibly shuddered.

"You go on, Sirius." Filius said softly. "Harry can stay here for the night. I'll take care of him."

Sirius reluctantly headed to the door as Filius tucked Harry's head onto his own shorter shoulder. When the door closed and they were alone, he looked down at the boy. "Harry?"

"The last time I saw him… he fell into the veil." Harry sniffled. "It all came back… the pain, the loss, the anger… it was all Dumbledore's fault… that…bastard!" Harry hissed as he moved away sharply from Filius. "And he's doing it again! Playing with my life, using me like a chess piece!"

Filius glanced around the room as items and furniture began to vibrate. Harry's anger was being translated into the easiest form of energy he had access too: magic.

"Not. Any. More!" Harry shouted angrily as he turned and stormed to the door.

"Filius, put me on and follow him!" The Hat ordered.

It was fortunate that it was the end of the day and curfew was fast approaching. If the students had been in class they would have noticed the small form of Harry James Potter stomping through the hallways as more and more suits of armour and ghosts fell in step behind him.

"Harry, please calm down!" Filius pleaded as he struggled to keep up. Harry might only be eleven but he still had longer legs than his half-goblin uncle.

"Not this time Fil." Harry growled, not slowing down.

"Eeek!" Filius Flitwick squealed as he was scooped up by a suit of armour and carried along behind Harry.

He quickly pulled his wand and sent a messenger spell to Minerva and Amelia… after a moment's consideration he sent off a third message.

Filius was shocked when they reached the gargoyle that guarded the stairs to the Headmaster's Office and it hopped off its plinth and actually led the way up the stairs.

When the doors to the office slammed open of their own accord to admit the stone gargoyle followed by Harry Potter, Filius Flitwick and nearly twenty suits of armour… Albus Dumbledore was understandably surprised and confused.

Unfortunately his first thought for action was probably his worst. "Mister Potter! I have repeatedly told you that you cannot use the castle- oof! What is the meaning of this?" He demanded as he was shoved into his chair by two of the suits of armour and held firmly in place.

The gargoyle stopped in front of the desk and crouched low as Harry used him as a stepping stone to stand on the desk.

Harry's wand zipped out and cast a silencing charm at the elderly man.

"Listen carefully Albus Dumbledore." Harry seethed angrily. "You have gone too far. Trying to manipulate Sirius into betraying me!

"You will stop trying to interfere in my life or I will destroy you. I will tell the world about the secrets of Albus Dumbledore. The truth about why your dad killed those kids. The truth about you and Grindlewald. The truth about Ariana. The truth about the Philosopher's Stone and the truth about how you treated myself and Tom Riddle!"

With each statement Albus grew paler. He struggled and tried to speak but the armoured hands were far stronger and the silencing charm meant he couldn't even hear his own voice.

"All this time you thought you'd been dealing with a little boy who had stumbled upon some power and was using it like a kid with his daddy's wand…

"The truth is that I am a freed slave who has been granted power and intends to use it to save others from my fate. I am nothing like you Dumbledore. I don't have any grand plans of enslaving muggles. I just want to see my friends live happy lives. I just want to live in peace.

"You are currently my biggest obstacle.

"Understand this, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, step out of line one more time and I will challenge you to a duel to the death."

Albus' expression turned stony and he stiffened under the grasp of his restrainers. He lifted his chin to indicate his voice.

Harry just smirked and released the silencing charm. "Whatever you say had better be sensible, Albus."

"Do not challenge me, Harry." Albus warned sternly. "I do not want to kill you, but in a duel I would have no choice. Nothing you have said to me here tells me you are ready to handle the responsibilities of power. You dish out threats like I hand out lemon drops." He chastised angrily from his forcibly restrained position.

"Kill me?" Harry smiled darkly. "But I've already beaten you, Albus. Did you really buy that story of you over powering the Elder Wand?" He chuckled. "I took it from you and destroyed it!" He hissed.

"But-"

"Poppy obliviated you because you found out information that pertained to me that she deemed confidential. Uncle Fil and Moody took turns blasting off your fingers." He smiled with glee.

"Alright lad, take a step back now."

Harry turned and saw Minerva had arrived with Nicholas Flamel, Amelia Bones, Alastor Moody and Aberforth Dumbledore.

Moody had his wand out and was the one who had spoken.

Nicholas, who was wearing his aged glamour, stepped forward. "Have you actually thought through what you are doing Albus?" He asked gravely. "Our Harry here actually owns this castle. He would be well within his rights to kick you out. He could very well close the school and choose to use the castle as his private residence.

"But that is what Harry could do." He said. "Let's talk about what you are doing. You are trying to tear the boy away from the only family he has ever known. Filius and Minerva. You want to send him back to people who have tortured him severely and you tried to use a man he is supposed to call his 'father' to do it.

"What exactly is your justification for that?"

"There are blood wards that are empowered by his mother's sacrifice. Harry will be safe there."

"Hmm… blood wards… if these wards are so important, why did you even bother sending him an invite to attend Hogwarts?" Nicholas queried.

"Hogwarts is one of the safest places on the planet. He can attend school here before returning to his relatives in the summer." Albus explained.

"Why couldn't he stay here in the summer? If Harry's safety is really that important then why would you risk sending him out of your sight?"

"He needs to spend time with his family. He needs to learn values." Albus lectured.

"Values? From the family that locked him in a cupboard for ten years?!" Minerva screeched. "From the family that beat him, starved him and showed him nothing but hate?"

"It was for the Greater Good." Albus said, practically pleading with them to just accept his word.

"What Greater Good?" Amelia asked curiously. "I take great interest in history, Dumbledore. As the head of the DMLE I have travelled to many countries and met with many of my foreign counterparts. Only once have I come across that phrase."

"Nurmengard." Moody growled as the memory hit him. "Grindlewald's party line was: 'For the Greater Good'. He had that same phrase carved over the gates of the prison."

"By the gods boy! What on Earth would possess you to follow the ways of that genocidal little runt?" Nicholas demanded in disgust.

"I am no fool, Nicholas." Albus said defensively. "You know full well I do not subscribe to Gellert's ideals. I work for the Greater Good of all." He said proudly.

"Perhaps we should carve that over my cupboard?" Harry said snidely.

"If it teaches you a little humility-"

"Albus Dumbledore!" Minerva exclaimed in shock.

At this point Aberforth stepped forward calmly. "Tell me, Brother, young Harry here has called forth quite an impressive array of people that are all supporting him. Myself included.

"Your own mentor is here and questioning your actions.

"Who could you call to speak on your behalf that has half as much experience as the Sorting Hat or Nicholas? Who could you call that knows you better than Alastor, Minerva or myself?"

Albus honestly didn't have an answer for that.

"You see, Brother, each of these people are good upstanding citizens with morals that compel them to protect others. Wouldn't you agree?"

"Of course." Albus wasn't sure where this was going.

"Then why is it, that in the face of condemnation of these seven beings who you acknowledge as good and decent, do you insist on staying your path?

"The last time you acted so foolishly it cost us our sister."

Albus flinched at that.

"Actually, the last time it pushed Tom Riddle into becoming Voldemort." Harry spoke up, still clearly angry.

"Yes… that's right." The Hat nodded in agreement. "You treated young Tom in much the same way. You sent him back to that orphanage, knowing how he would be treated. You knew he was heading down a dark path and there was a chance you could have stopped him with just a few acts of kindness."

"Tom was consumed with hatred long before I met him." Albus insisted sternly. "He hated his parents because he believed they abandoned him and he hated his fellow orphans because they abused him."

"And you knew this." Harry stepped forward next to Aberforth. "You knew he was abused and you sent him back to that orphanage. Just like you keep trying to send me back to be abused by the Dursleys.

"All you had to do was reach out to Tom. He would have still hated them, but you could have helped him."

"You could have given him something to distract him from his hate. A reason to love." Nicholas added. "A little compassion, having him placed with a loving family instead of being sent back to that hell hole and he might have grown to be a great man."

"And no." Harry added quickly. "Sending me to live with the Weasleys for a few weeks after suffering months with the Dursleys each summer is not enough."

Albus' eyes widened in shock. He had no idea how Harry knew that that was his intended plan.

But he rallied himself. "It is very easy for you to all judge me in hindsight. The benefit of being able to look back as an uninvolved party. But you were not there. You did not see his eyes, the way he sized people up. The look of satisfaction after a student was murdered."

"So you admit you made a mistake?" Nicholas queried.

Albus nodded sadly, still held in place by the suits of armour. "I am only a man."

"Yes, but you are repeating the exact same mistakes with Harry." Amelia snapped irritably. "A young man who seems to exhibit none of the signs that Riddle did. This is a child who has willingly placed himself between the students of this school and Lord No Name himself!

"He did so in front of all of us and yet you still seem to treat him like a misbehaving child."

"He tortured that man! He killed Flint!" Albus said angrily as he tried to stand.

"He defended himself you stupid fool." The Hat snarled. "He didn't cast the first curse at Flint or call for the duel. He wasn't the one who knowingly let the bastard Riddle into the castle. That was you!

"You are responsible for endangering the lives of all these students and teachers."

"And for nearly destroying my stone and killing myself and my wife." Nicholas said stonily. "Harry's actions have literally saved hundreds. And that was just since he arrived at Hogwarts.

"So, boy, are you prepared to admit you are wrong? Again?" Only Nicholas Flamel could get away with calling a one hundred and ten year old man: 'boy'.

And Albus knew it.

"I will admit that maybe there are some things I do not have the full details of." He said with a shrewd look at the people in his office, willingly protecting the boy who was clearly unafraid. And it wasn't due to the adults protecting him or the suits of armour standing just behind them. "I will admit that maybe I need to re-think my current plans.

"But I believe you all have a lot more to answer for." He glared at them. "It has become clear to me over the past months that Harry knows far more than he should.

"At first I believed someone had been visiting him at his family's home and teaching him. But he also knows far too much about myself and my past."

He allowed a small look of triumph to cross his face as the adults tightened their grips on their wands.

"Something is very wrong here. If you want my cooperation then you will need to tell me everything." He leaned back and relaxed into his chair, ignoring the two arms holding him down.

There was a good few second's silence as the adults shared looks.

"I say we just obliviate the old goat." Harry piped up calmly.

"Short term solution to a long term problem, lad." Moody growled.

"Silence! All of you!" Nicholas barked as he began to pace.

The others all just complied.

After a few turns along his pacing path, Nicholas turned to group briefly. "Filius, please contact my wife, ask her to join us." He ordered before returning to his pacing.

Harry just shrugged as he tossed another silencing spell at Albus before conjuring chairs for everyone so they could sit whilst they waited for Perenelle to arrive and Nicholas to finish his pacing.

It only took ten minutes for Filius to return with a very curious and extremely peeved Perenelle Flamel. She walked regally into the room whilst allowing Filius to lead the way. She did not attempt to walk faster than the tiny man's legs would allow but she still seemed to walk with purpose.

Unlike her husband, Perenelle didn't bother with aging glamours to hide her youth. She looked like the same beautiful blonde haired twenty-something that she was when she had her first dose of the Elixir of Life.

Nicholas said nothing as she walked up to him. He merely turned and looked her straight in the eye.

After a second Perenelle raised an eyebrow and turned to Harry. "I will take the Unbreakable Vow."

Harry was surprised at this. Harry was more than happy to offer Perenelle the chance to take the Vow and learn his secrets. She had just laughed and claimed that she trusted her husband and didn't need to know. She was more interested in making sure that Harry was taken care of.

"Are you sure?" Harry frowned. He didn't want to burden the woman who he wished was his grandmother.

She smiled and knelt down to hug him. She whispered in his ear. "I have seen eyes like yours before, Harry. I know you are older than you seem, I will still love and care for you."

Harry was literally speechless as he stood there, mouth open.

Perenelle shuffled back and took Harry's wrist in hers and wrapped his fingers around hers. "Filius, would you officiate?"

Filius just nodded and pulled his wand as he stepped up to their joined hands. "Perenelle Flamel, will you keep the secrets of Harry James Potter so long as he requests it? Sharing it with none but those he allows?"

"I will." She said solemnly.

Filius tapped the joined hands and thin stream of fire, like a piece of string or wire, wrapped around the joined hands.

"Will you aid him in his tasks if he asks so long as he does not seek to harm the innocent or hurt others for his pleasure and benefit?"

"I will."

Another tap and another flame of binding.

"Will you care for him like family? Loving him as he should be. Chastising him when he is truly wrong and helping him to stay on the path of light?"

"I will." This time she smiled fondly at the boy who blushed at having another person willingly claim him as family.

Filius tapped their joined hands and a final tongue of fire wrapped around them.

"Welcome to the family, Perenelle." Filius smiled at her as the flames disappeared, sinking into their skin.

"I haven't had a grandson in a long time." She said as she pulled Harry back into a hug.

"Harry, do I have your permission to share all my memories of your secrets with Perenelle?" Nicholas asked as Perenelle released him.

"You do." Harry said sadly. It wasn't that he didn't trust the woman… she had just sworn an oath to him. He feared her looking at him in a different light. She would know he wasn't really eleven. She wouldn't treat him like the child she loved. He would become another soldier in this fight to her. He knew she would still care… but that…innocence in the way she cared would be lost.

"Why you unmitigated little bastard!"

Harry looked up to see Perenelle with her wand pointed just millimetres away from Dumbledore's nose.

Safe to say… she wasn't happy.

"You have the gall to try and play god?" She demanded. "I have seen a lot of people try to control others. I have seen them do everything from magical oaths to simple imprisonment.

"But I would never have expected it from someone like you!

"Hat, tell me, was Gryffindor your choice for young Albus?" She asked without moving her wand.

"I know what you're thinking my dear, but that is not the case." The Hat chuckled from Harry's head. "Albus is not a cunning snake hiding in the lair of lions. He is a simply an arrogant lion who thinks he knows better than everyone else."

"And where would you have placed me?" She asked, just out of idle curiosity.

"Hufflepuff, sure and true." The Hat said firmly. "Harry could have gone anywhere. But I pushed him into Slytherin as I thought he was worthy of claiming the titles and power he won from Riddle."

"You are responsible for his placement in Slytherin?" Albus asked in shock. "I thought it was because he chose it!"

"Well of course he chose it. Every student has the right to question my suggestion and reject it. Many do it in the name of family tradition."

"Perenelle, do you have any suggestions on how to handle this situation?" Nicholas asked his wife seriously. "I was attempting to think of something he had done that would allow Harry to call in a debt, but I couldn't."

Perenelle was, as Albus would put it, crafty. Sure, she would have been the ultimate Hufflepuff, but that doesn't stop one from exhibiting the traits of other houses. Harry was the best example of that, Hermione was another good one.

"Albus has become so mired in his plans and subtle manipulations that a blunt course of action would be best." Perenelle said with a calculating glare at Albus that made him very uncomfortable.

"Whilst you could ruin his name in the papers, drive him from the castle or even have him charged, it would not solve the problem of Albus himself."

Albus very much looked like he wanted to object to being called 'a problem'.

"I recommend a couple of choices be put to him:

"One: He takes the same vows that we took.

"Two: We obliviate him of this latest meeting and simply inform young Sirius of the situation and ensure he helps keep Harry safe from Albus' machinations.

"Three: He signs a contract, similar to the one Harry signed with the goblins that prohibits action against each other."

Nicholas nodded and turned back to the still restrained Albus.

He was interrupted by Perenelle. Apparently she wasn't finished,

"Four: We kill him.

"Five: You call in the Life Debt he owes you and that he violated when he used our stone as bait in his little games." She sneered.

As surprised as everyone was at that revelation, it was clearly Albus who was shocked the most.

He went so pale that it looked like he might be opting for a voluntary variation of Option Four as he might drop dead from the shock.

Nicholas was looking at his wife in disgust at the thought. "A slave?"

"As we have recently learnt, Husband, a slave has the freedoms you grant it." Perenelle still stood with her wand, unwavering in front of that old hooked nose. "You can simply order him to keep your secrets, leave Harry alone but live the rest of his life as he wishes."

"Still… a slave?" He reiterated.

"I would say we should only consider death and slavery options if Albus refuses the other three." Filius offered.

"Yes." Nicholas said quickly. He very much didn't want a slave. He had worked hard with the French and British to abolish slavery in all forms over his six hundred years. "Quickly Albus, make a decision. Take the vows, be obliviated or sign the contract."

"And what if-"

"There is no negotiation here, boy!" Perenelle snapped. "You are defenceless, our prisoner. You live and die at our pleasure. You should be grateful that we are allowing you a modicum of choice.

Perenelle was Nicholas' reason for hating slavery. He had seen her as a young maiden, captured from the Norse seas, awaiting to be bid upon. He had sunk every possession he had into purchasing her and then spent the rest of the next few centuries accumulating wealth to buy more that he would free and protect.

Most of his work on building wealth led him to the creation of the Philosopher's Stone. His work in France and Britain was made easier when they declared that any slave that set foot on their land became free.

As it was, Perenelle still had nightmares of waiting to be sold like cattle. She herself owed Nicholas a Life Debt and would gladly pay it if she ever had the chance.

Albus, meanwhile, was thinking of a way out of this. He was running through the wording of the vows they had used and if there would be a way around them.

"The contract." He said finally.

Contracts could be broken by either party invalidating them. He would just have to bide his time to see if the boy would break it first. He doubted that there was much the child could do in the wizarding world that wouldn't affect him. His roles in the school, the Wizengamot and the international stage meant that sooner or later their paths would cross.

Filius quickly pulled out a piece of parchment. Nearly every Ravenclaw had an enchanted pocket that held several pages of parchment, a quill and an inkpot.

The muggleborn's also had a notepad and biro. Occasionally a fountain pen. It was a huge joke amongst them that the stupid wizards couldn't tell the difference. A few of the sixth and seventh years had cast charms on their fountain pens so no one would suspect otherwise if they were seen.

Even Filius didn't know.

"I assume I will not be permitted to add my own terms?" Albus asked hopefully.

Perenelle just scoffed. "I don't know what happened to you Albus, but you have fallen very far."

Albus just looked pointedly at Fawkes who was sitting on his perch, calmly watching.

"Ha! You think that because you have a Phoenix familiar you can claim it as proof that you are right?" Nicholas laughed. "A Phoenix is loyal and good. But he won't ever betray you unless you betray him. Even then, the most he will do is leave you."

"Hedwig always tells me when I am wrong." Harry frowned. "Usually in the most painful way she can." He said as he rubbed his shoulder where she would squeeze him with her talons.

Harry's expression dropped as he realised that currently, Hedwig didn't do that. Their relationship was too new. His only truly faithful friend had given her life to save him… when compared to his known actions of Fawkes, future and past, Hedwig might as well have been a Phoenix herself.

"I have finished." Filius announced. "Madam Bones and Professor McGonagall have both inspected it. Lord Slytherin, if you would sign please?"

Harry didn't bother reading it. Everyone in the room, save Albus, Fawkes and the Hat, had taken the same Unbreakable Vow Perenelle had.

It was then passed to Albus who grimaced as the first thing he saw was Harry's signature:

Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin, Head of the House of Potter.

He then read the rest of the contract.

"If this contract is broken it will result in death!" Albus exclaimed.

"Then don't break the contract." Harry said with a smirk and shrug.

"Surely that is a touch extreme?"

"We could just kill you now." Perenelle offered casually.

Somehow, she was still standing there with her wand pointed at him… didn't she ever get tired?

"You were given options Albus." Nicholas warned. "You picked this one. I believe Harry will allow you to take one of the others if you've changed your mind."

Albus visibly scowled but took the blood quill and signed with a flourish.

Albus Percival Brian Wulfric Dumbledore

Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Chief Wizard of the Wizengamot

Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards

It took a good minute for Albus to finish signing.

Perenelle finally relaxed her stance and picked up the contract. She read it over and laughed as she took Albus' quill and signed as a witness before passing it to Amelia to sign as the second witness.

"You are not as cunning as you thought!" Perenelle said in fits of giggles.

"Darling?" Nicholas curiously queried.

"Look at what the fool used as his signature." She instructed.

Amelia had finished signing and handed it to Nicholas, she had no idea what was going on.

As he read, his face developed a huge smile.

"Oh Albus. People made a truly heinous mistake when they appointed you to positions of power." He chuckled.

"Explanation? Please?" Harry asked.

"The fool has let his ego over take him." Perenelle explained. "By signing as the Head of the ICW, Wizengamut and the school he has signed on behalf of the positions themselves. Whoever takes over from him will also be bound by this contract."

"Hmm… it also means that Harry's heirs will be bound by the contract." Moody frowned thoughtfully as he recalled seeing Harry having signed as Lord Slytherin and Head of House Potter. "That could be a double edged sword."

"A problem for the future." Perenelle said dismissively. "Albus I can't tell you how pleased I am by your 'generosity'." She told the scowling man mockingly.

As the group left the room laughing… laughing at him… he was released by the armour who also left.

Once he was alone he turned to the portraits. "Armando, I require you to keep a record of what has occurred here today. I may be bound from interfering but that won't stop others from continuing the fight."

He was met by the sound of mocking laughter as the portraits broke down in hysterics.

"You stupid little brat!" Phineas laughed. "We are Hogwart's portraits. We are bound to serve the castle. As such, we are bound to serve its owner. You are the one we will be spying on!"

Albus suddenly felt the need to relocate his office.

*Chapter 8*: Chapter 8
Chapter 8

Whilst Albus was stuck trying to think of ways out-manoeuvring Flamel and his cadre without going against the contract, Perenelle was gloating over the fact that Albus was a literal fool as he hadn't taken into account that the contract did not include anyone but Harry.

Whilst it was true that anyone under Harry's authority was forbidden from acting against Dumbledore, people like Filius and Perenelle were not included as they had only taken vows to support him and care for him. They had not sworn themselves to the house of Potter or Slytherin.

Minerva had become quite irritable recently as Albus had requested that she swap offices with him. He refused to quit or relinquish his position as Headmaster but wanted her to take the office.

He had refused to say why.

Minerva had also refused as her office was close to her classroom and that made it easier for her students to find her.

Albus had tried to make it an order. He had backed off when a nearby suit of armour had stepped off its pedestal and stood threateningly behind the Deputy Head.

When Minerva had asked Harry if he had ordered the castle to do that he had denied it.

Minerva knew he had no reason to lie and was more likely to actually smirk mischievously if he had.

This had led to a discussion between Harry, Filius and Minerva about the locations of their offices and their House Common Rooms.

It was all very well for them to be available in their offices after class, but what if students needed them after curfew?

So that discussion led to another discussion.

"So, Sirius, Agatha, how would you like a job?" Harry asked the two adults seated in his quarters.

Agatha Farley was a lovely woman who should have been allowed to marry who she wanted. But she was born to a Pureblood family and traded like cattle to the bastard who called himself her husband. What Harry liked about her the most was that she loved her daughter and son unconditionally.

She was the only parent of the girls who had been worth saving, Harry had signed a contract for her as soon as he had signed the ones for the girls. She was fully aware that Harry would do nothing with it lest she ask.

"Job?" Sirius asked.

"Yeah, I was talking to Aunt Minnie and Uncle Fil and I pointed out how they weren't available after curfew. Students can't reach them without getting in trouble.

"I thought the two of you might be a good start on recruiting some sort of House Carers. During the day you would be free to do what you want. But from curfew onwards you would be in the common room or in quarters attached to the common room so you could be reached by students.

"You wouldn't need to be awake all night, just willing to get up if a student needed you."

"Why would they need us at night?" Sirius couldn't figure that one out.

"Didn't you ever have nightmares when you were a first year?" Agatha asked with a shudder as she recalled her first months as a student. "There are other reasons why an adult should be available."

"If you say so." Sirius shrugged without malice. He couldn't think of them but wasn't going to question them. "But we would only be able to reach one common room." He pointed out. "The houses are all too far away to link them to a single room."

Harry frowned as he remembered the Vanishing Cabinet. He shook his head and decided to leave that one for now.

"I want you two to get together and think of other people who might be able to work with the other houses. A man and a woman for each house."

"Pup, I'm a little behind the times at the moment." Sirius said uncomfortably. "And if you hadn't noticed, she's not exactly comfortable simply sitting next to me." He said as he jabbed a thumb to his left where Agatha was sitting as close to the other end of the sofa as possible.

"Suck it up Sirius." Harry scolded. "People won't change if you don't help them change."

"I would prefer a man to be present to deal with male students." Agatha admitted. "I can assure you that the girls would prefer a woman's touch."

"Then think up some names and we'll contact them." Harry nodded.

Agatha smiled at him softly. Harry Potter was the cutest eleven-year-old she'd seen. He was sitting in a regular sized armchair that seemed to be ready to swallow him whole as his legs dangled over the edge.

And he was always trying to act so grown up.

"I guess I can ask Professor McGonagall and Flitwick." Sirius shrugged.

"Whilst you're at it, find Moony and work on duplicating this." He said as he tossed the Marauder's Map to his godfather. "I'll want the original back but I also want a copy for the Heads of House, Filch and the House Carers. Hagrid could use a copy too."

"What about Dumbledore?" Sirius asked with a bit of grimace.

"Pfft! The old man is an administrator. He doesn't patrol the hallways. He doesn't deal with the students."

"And you don't trust him." Sirius finished with a knowing smile.

"Is it that obvious?"

Sirius and Agatha worked together to pool a list of possible candidates for House Carers. The wizarding world was quite small so Agatha knew most of the eligible candidates and all of the ineligible ones.

What she wasn't used to was being given the full authority to recruit who she felt best. As a pureblood wife her purpose was simply to look pretty and provide the heirs.

Harry had definitely charmed her when he assured her she had easily achieved both and now was her time to achieve more.

Harry continued his work on space flight with Professor Sinastra. They brought in Bathsheda Babbling, the Ancient Runes Professor and Septima Vector, the Arithmancy Professor.

Harry very nearly kicked Vector out of the project when she started to deride the very notion that muggles could do something as impressive as land on the moon.

Aurora had kicked him out of the room and told him she would sort this out.

The next day, Septima had apologised and insisted that she and Bathsheda begin tutoring him on their subjects if he was intending on doing something as dangerous as leaving the safety of the planet.

Norbert hadn't turned up, much to Harry's dismay. But then he realised that the dragon egg had been given to Hagrid by Quirrell in disguise. Quirrell had been gone since Halloween, he just hoped the egg was safe and being cared for.

Sirius had finally tracked down the elusive Remus 'Moony' Lupin. Moony had been full of apologies for not being there for Harry and for doubting Sirius.

Sirius had whacked him and chastised him for blaming himself when even Dumbledore didn't know.

Harry had simply promised to change the wizarding world so that he wasn't discriminated against.

Remus was confused by the calm yet self-assured manner that the eleven-year-old had made his promise.

Sirius had just shrugged it off having become used to Harry's frequent personality changes and attributing it to his time with the Dursleys.

Eventually the summer arrived.

Harry would have happily stayed at the Castle, but Ministry law dictated that all students travel back to London via the Express.

Unfortunately Minerva had confirmed this.

Harry had then gone on a rant about how the steam train was only two hundred years old so the tradition couldn't be that important. He demanded to know how things were done before the Express was built.

Apparently it involved lots of wizards and witches apparating their children to Hogsmede.

When the portrait of Walter Aragon, the Headmaster in office during the instigation of the Hogwart's Express, informed Harry that the train was technically stolen from muggles, Harry had nearly blown his top.

Especially when it was revealed that it was supposed to be a better method of transporting hundreds of students and not raising the suspicions of muggles.

"You really think the muggles don't notice that several hundred children enter their station and never leave?" Harry demanded incredulously.

"I made the same arguments." Walter sighed as he watched the young Lord pace before him in frustration.

"Besides, it's a muggle device. Why would the purebloods have anything to do with it?"

Walter actually chuckled at that. "Yes, back then things were quite different. Muggleborn were more in charge. Laws were passed that forced the Purebloods to comply.

"It was a bit heavy handed and probably one of the contributing factors to the rise of the Pureblood Agenda."

"But why not just set up a Floo Station, like the one in the Ministry?" Harry tried to reason.

"My Lord, you seem to be acting under the assumption that wizards and witches are sensible folk." The portrait smirked at him.

"Well… I am going to bloody well rub it in their faces." Harry said firmly.

"Language Harry!" The hat chided from its shelf.

Harry had picked a compartment and he was joined by Gemma, Tracey and Pansy, each of whom would be flooing straight back to Hogwarts with him.

Hermione had also joined them along with Neville who was getting to know Harry through Hermione.

The shy Gryffindor had been very wary of anything Slytherin. Given his personal history, Harry couldn't blame him. He was slowly getting this younger version, of what he considered 'The Epitome of a Gryffindor', to open up.

Harry could only hope that his trip to London would be peaceful.

He realised he shouldn't have wasted his time when the compartment door slid open and revealed Malfoy standing there with a very uncertain Crabbe and Goyle behind him.

"Potter." He sneered. "Consorting with slaves, mudbloods and blood traitors. You should be ash-"

"Vinny, Greg, would you take young Draco back to his compartment please? Make sure he doesn't leave unless it is to use the bathroom."

"Sure Harry." Greg shrugged as Vinny casually grabbed a shocked Draco and pulled him out of the compartment.

"Why are they still following Draco around?" Tracey asked curiously. At Harry's advice, she ignored nearly everything Draco said. That or she reported it to their teachers.

"I don't know." Harry sighed. "Maybe they just don't know any better."

"They didn't used to follow him." Pansy offered. "They were never at Malfoy Manor or any of the functions. Their families weren't considered important enough."

"Meh. I'll look into it at some point. Maybe the start of next term when I see them again." Harry sighed as he settled back into his seat.

As Harry stepped off the Express, he spotted his target.

He called on all his knowledge and memories of Vernon glad-handing with people he was buttering up, Percy Weasley at his most officious and Justin Finch-Fletchley. The boy still sounded like he would have preferred Eton.

"Ah! Lucius, my good man!" Harry said loudly. The sound of such mature words coming from a squeaky eleven-year-old caught the attention of everyone. "I just wanted to congratulate you once again on managing to resist Lord No Name. It speaks wonders to your character that you were able to do what many others, including yourself at one point, were unable to."

Lucius looked like he had just swallowed a very large lemon. It wasn't like he could dispute the boy's assertions as that would leave people questioning his strength… they already questioned his morals.

"I did what was necessary." He demurred with a very slight bow to acknowledge his lower standing with regards to Harry.

"Yes, if only others were as capable of such." Harry frowned. "Unfortunately I must speak with you on another matter."

Lucius tried to maintain his calm expression. Inwardly he was begging for the brat to leave him be.

"Something must be done about this travesty!" Harry said pompously as he gestured to the Hogwart's Express.

"I'm not sure I follow." Lucius said tiredly.

"Students being forced to ride a muggle contraption for nigh on an entire day to a magical school? What sort of message are we trying to send when young first years arrive and discover that, not only are they not travelling via broom, magic carpet or any of the other wonderful methods we have, but that they have to use an antiquated machine that the muggles themselves would laugh at?"

"Antiquated?"

"This machine must be nearly two hundred years old!" Harry sputtered. "The muggles have versions that run more than twice as fast, twice as big and far more luxurious!

"Whilst the Express is a fine piece of history, it is a sad testament to the fact that wizards fail to adapt. I dread to think what other countries must think of us as a people."

"Potter? What are you doing talking to my father?"

Harry turned and looked at Draco with a raised eyebrow before turning back to Lucius. "Another thing I feel we must discuss." He said as he took a step closer and lowered his voice slightly.

The other students and parents unconsciously took a step closer to hear better.

"Your son… I know he is your only child and you wish to… indulge him, but… his manners are atrocious. Why, just today he barged into my compartment and started slinging around aspersions and insults as though he were Lord of the Train!

"I trust you will attempt to rein in his, shall we say, boisterous ways? I would hate to have to step in to deal with it myself."

Apparently Draco had opened his mouth. Lucius shot the boy a look that would burn through metal.

"Of course… my Lord." He employed a near Herculean effort in not vomiting the title. "I will ensure that Draco's lessons on etiquette and comportment are refreshed."

"Glad to hear it." Harry said sternly. "Anyway, think on the train, and once again, I commend you on how you faced that No Name Bastard."

Lucius bowed so stiffly and jiltedly that the parents were having a hard time not laughing.

Harry spun on his heel and headed over to the waiting Nicholas and Perenelle.

"Enjoying yourself, Harry?" Nicholas smirked.

"It is never a joy to have to tell a parent their child is a lout, Nicholas." Harry said pompously.

Perenelle's hand shot out at Harry's side.

"Eek! Cut it out Penny!" Harry shrieked in laughter as she tickled him.

The parents that were heading for the portal smiled at the happy sight.

"At least you lost that awful attitude." Perenelle sighed.

"Well… I was still pi- erm, miffed about having to ride the train." He admitted. "Then Draco decided to try and insult us… not my favourite day."

"Never mind Harry." Nicholas said. "We'll all floo back to Hogwarts from the Leaky Cauldron. For now I would like you to meet Kalep and Sabeena Patil, the parents of these lovely two gems here." He indicated Pavarti and Padma Patil. "Kalep and Sabeena are good friends of ours from India, they've agreed to let us stay with them when we travel to India in August."

"Why are we going to India?" Harry asked warily.

"That is a surprise… but it will be worth it, I promise." Nicholas winked.

"What about Tracey and Pansy? Gemma has her mum but they don't have anyone."

"Any member of your house is welcome, Lord Harry." Kalep smiled from behind his bushy beard. "Our apartment is large and the land is like paradise. You will find plenty to keep the interests of these young ones."

Despite being a stubborn little git who had already made some plans of his own, Harry had far more manners than a Malfoy.

"Then I guess that for the first time in my life I will be leaving Britain." Harry smiled. "Thank you for putting us up sir." He said.

"It is an honour." Sabeena bowed.

Harry's smile froze slightly. He really hoped they weren't going to be like this whilst they were living together.

Sirius and Filius had been a little put out by the fact that they wouldn't get to spend the whole summer with Harry. They endeavoured to spend as much time as they could with him.

Unfortunately for Harry he wanted to continue working on his space adventures. The trio of female professors already helping were doing an amazing job as they had managed to acquire the necessary sheets of metal using Harry's funds and the aid of various muggleborn student's parents for help in navigating the muggle world.

They were currently working with a titanium alloy that had put a huge dent in Harry's finances. Nicholas was hard at work trying to build them up again. For some reason nobody had the heart to call Harry's strong desire to reach the stars, frivolous. They seemed just as invested as him.

Sinastra provided the other two with the details of what the spacecraft would encounter as it left Earth and travelled the vacuum. Vector worked on the best equations to apply to the craft, which were passed onto Babbling who began carving the runes.

The carving had managed to stump them as the titanium alloy was not designed to be etched into.

This had led them back to the muggle world for more information.

Harry was physically dragged away from the castle and his project by Nicholas and Perenelle. He spent the entire time shouting more suggestions to his three project partners whilst Filius, Minerva, Sirius, Agatha and Gemma all waved.

Pansy and Tracey were walking calmly and sensibly whilst Tracey carried Hedwig on her shoulder and Pansy carried a special glass box for Blinky, Filius had tried to talk Harry out of calling the little basilisk that but the time traveller refused to be moved. Of course it didn't help that the basilisk considered Harry's word law (mainly because he couldn't understand anyone else yet).

Only Filius and Harry knew that Blinky was a basilisk, the pair had worked on charms that would hopefully prevent anyone from recognising his species.

The trip to the Patil's Indian home was made by Portkey.

Neither Harry, Hedwig nor Blinky were happy when they landed.

No one but Harry could hear Blinky's cursing and Hedwig simply ruffled her feathers.

Harry had to suck it up and greet his hosts.

"Mr. and Mrs. Patil, thank you for inviting us into your home." Harry said with a slight bow.

The young couple bowed eagerly. "It is we who are grateful for you gracing us with your presence."

Harry struggled to keep his expression neutral… he hated having to bandy back and forth the subject of was grateful to whom… especially in this case when Harry was literally an imposition caused at Nicholas' request.

"Kalep, Sabeena, you don't need to worry about all these rules of etiquette when it is just us. Harry hates them, he'd much rather you treat him like a friend of your daughters." Nicholas said as he moved forward and hugged his young friends.

"But at the train station-" Kalep tried to whisper discreetly.

Nicholas just laughed. "Harry was simply using his titles and power to put Lucius and his son in their place. You remember how I warned you about the bigotry in England? Lucius is one of the worst." He finished with a frown.

"Lord Potter… is everything ok?" Sabeena asked cautiously.

Harry was currently standing at a very large window that looked out onto the majestic city of Mumbai. It was readily apparent that they were in one of the cities taller skyscrapers.

"It's amazing!" Harry whispered in awe.

Perenelle smiled and joined him. "Mumbai is one of the greatest cities on the planet. Girls, come and see." She gestured to Tracey and Pansy.

Tracey was fairly outgoing, that had been quelled a fair bit by her father's actions, but she was slowly regaining her spirit.

Pansy was scared stiff as she could see they were very high up.

"You are quite safe, my girl." Nicholas assured her. "Muggles are very good at building things. They managed to get to the moon after all. This building is simple by comparison." He said as he gently took her by the shoulder and guided her.

As a Pureblood girl, Pansy was raised to obey the elder man in her life. Especially one who was taking on a familial role like Nicholas. She let him guide her to the window.

As the magnificent view of the city below filled her vision she felt dizzy and began to stumble.

The next thing she knew she was looking up at Perenelle and trying to stop her vision from swimming.

"What happened?" She slurred slightly.

"You had an attack of vertigo, dear." Perenelle said kindly. "Your body doesn't seem to handle heights very well. We will try and get that sorted out as quickly as possible." She promised as she squeezed the young girl's hand.

"We have covered all the windows for now." Sabeena said over Perenelle's shoulder. "We'll leave them like that until we get you well or until you leave." The Indian mother promised.

"How do you feel?" Perenelle asked.

"Sick." Pansy swallowed uneasily.

"Sabeena, take the girl down to the park." Kalep instructed gently. "Solid ground beneath her feet and fresh air in her lungs might be just what she needs."

"Yes husband." Sabeena nodded.

As Perenelle and Sabeena helped Pansy up, Sabeena apparated the three of them away.

"I know she wants to stay, but it might be better if she went home." Harry said thoughtfully.

"She'll be very upset." Tracey said sadly. "She's never been outside England before. I've been to France and Spain, but… Scotland is the furthest for her."

Harry turned to Kalep. "Are there any luxury hotels that are near areas with good views of wildlife?"

"Ah, a jungle experience." Kalep said with a knowing smile. "I know quite a few."

"Good. If you can find the one you think the girls will all enjoy best then the whole lot of us will go and stay there. I'm sure you and your family would like being waited on by hotel staff."

"My Lord-"

"Harry." Said Harry glared. "Just for that… book the honeymoon suite for yourself and your wife."

Kalep had no idea how to respond to that.

"Harry, go and spend some time with the girls. Maybe check on Pansy." Nicholas chuckled. "Kalep and I will sort out the hotel."

Pansy had been on the brink of tears downstairs in the nearby park. She thought she would be sent home because she was diseased. Perenelle had quickly put paid to that line of thought.

But it was the news from Harry that really cheered her up. Especially as there was a chance she might get to see a real live elephant. Most young witches wanted to see unicorns, hippogriffs and ponies.

Pansy wanted elephants.

Like most cultures on the planet: Money gets things done.

It didn't take long for Nicholas and Kalep to get their reservations booked. They could be moved in immediately.

Pansy took one look at the object of her desire and…

"WEEE-umph!" Her eyes darted from side-to-side to try and see the owner of the hand clamped over her mouth.

"Most animals tend to flee at loud noises." Came Harry's whispering voice in her ear. "Look now, squeal with joy later?"

She nodded against his hand.

As soon as she was free she was practically a silent bundle of joy as she bounced from Harry to Sabeena to Perenelle to Tracey to… well, she managed to make the rounds, the joy at seeing her childhood dreams was enough to completely open her up.

"Come girls, let's go and set you up in your rooms." Perenelle said as she beckoned them to follow her.

"Are you alright Harry?" Nicholas asked quietly as the boy stood there staring at the family of three elephants.

"I've seen basilisks, phoenixes, dragons, hippogriffs, sphinxes and much more… but I never seen anyone as happy to see them as Pansy was to see these." He said with a small smile. "Wizards are the most stupid people on the planet."

"I couldn't agree more." Nicholas nodded.

Kalep stood there, he wondered how a young boy, who hadn't even spent a year in the wizarding world, had managed to see all he had listed.

"Nick… I hate to sound like the eleven-year-old I am but… how much further?" Harry grumbled.

Harry and Nicholas had left the hotel after the second day and headed for the area of Himachal Pradesh in the far north of the country.

They had taken a Portkey to the base of the mountain range before beginning their hike.

The area was beautiful.

Trees, rivers, birds, animals… beautiful.

But after hiking for nearly five hours it was enough for Harry to question his guide.

"Can you hear that?" Nicholas asked.

"The waterfall?"

"That's our destination." Nicholas promised.

"And then you'll tell me why we came all the way to India to climb a mountain?"

"You'll know when you see it." Nicholas said with an evasive smile.

It took them a further twenty minutes to reach the waterfall. They arrived at the top of the waterfall itself, which poured into a small lake at the bottom of a fifty-foot high cliff that completely encircled the lake and a fair bit of land populated by close growing trees.

There was a loud crack and Harry spun around with his wand out. Nicholas quickly grabbed Harry's wand hand to restrain him.

Standing in from of them was an Indian male with a beard wearing a black military uniform and red turban. He too had his wand out but was not pointing it at them. He had it ready though.

"Easy Harry, he's part of the security here."

Harry had no idea what happened next as Nicholas and the man began to converse in Hindi.

By the end of the conversation the man was smiling and looking at Harry with approval.

"Come on Harry. We can continue on." Nicholas said as he led him away from the man who just stood there.

"We can?" Harry asked suspiciously.

"We can. I explained why we are here."

"But you won't explain it to me." Harry groused.

"I'm about to show you." Nicholas smirked. "Look down there, to the left of the waterfall, what do you see?"

"Top, bottom or mi- whoa! Is that a Phoenix nest?!" Harry asked in amazement.

"It is indeed." Nicholas nodded with a content smile. "This entire cove is a sanctuary for Phoenixes. There are usually thirty Phoenixes here at any one time. That number can change based on the whims of the birds themselves."

"They like to travel." Harry nodded cheekily.

"Actually, yes." Nicholas remarked. "You see, there are also rarely more than thirty Phoenixes on the planet. These birds have homes here and in Egypt and China. Dumbledore met Fawkes in Egypt during the war."

"I thought he was in Europe fighting Grindlewald."

"The Great War, the First World War." He corrected. "Albus and I were doing research on the twelve uses of Dragon's Blood. We interfered here and there and Albus managed to catch Fawkes' eye."

There was a flash of fire and Harry jumped slightly as a very large red and gold Phoenix appeared, hovering just in front of him.

"Erm…"

"Relax Harry, she's just making sure we aren't a threat." Nicholas assured him. "Hello my friend." He said to the bird. "It's been a while."

The bird hovered over to Nicholas in a manner that was clearly not achieved by its wings as they were held in more of a gliding position.

The bird seemed to chirrup at Nicholas with a glare.

"You move around too much. How do you expect me to find you?" Nicholas laughed. "You know you can always visit me."

The bird seemed to just huff before floating back to Harry. It gazed at the small boy intently and chirruped.

"If you are going to just go rummaging through my mind then I am not going to bother answering questions." Harry grumbled.

"Chirp!"

"You know what I've done. You know I've committed crimes." Harry said sadly.

"Chiiirp." The bird said sadly.

"You know I have big plans, right? I am going to conquer wizarding Britain at the very least." Harry said warningly. "If the rest of the world pisses me off then they'll be next."

"Chirp chiiirp chip!" It said brightly.

Harry stared at it widely in awe. "Seriously? Wow… that's… wow." Harry muttered.

The bird seemed to chuckle before it turned away and quickly flew down the waterfall.

"Did you know they travelled the universe?" Harry turned to Nicholas.

"No… but then, it never came up." Nicholas shrugged. "Most of my interactions with the phoenixes have been to protect them and the areas that they live in."

"You don't have a phoenix familiar, which I assume is the point of bringing me here."

"No I don't, but then again, the phoenixes instantly recognise me as a friend. I visit as often as I can and they are happy to chat… so to speak.

"And yes, I have brought you here to see if there is a phoenix that might consider you a worthy companion."

"Why? Am I getting that bad?" Harry grinned proudly.

Nicholas ignored him. "In the wizarding world a phoenix is a sign of great respect and that you are fully aligned with the Light. Having a phoenix vouch for you would go a long way to keeping people like Albus off your back."

"Ok… then why does that New Zealand team have a phoenix for a mascot?" Harry asked shrewdly.

"Because Sparky is about as eccentric as they come." Nicholas grumbled, referring to the mascot of the New Zealand Moutohora Macaws Quidditch Team.

There was a flash of fire that startled them both as the first phoenix returned with a slightly smaller phoenix carrying a hatchling in its claws.

"Chirup chirp." The first phoenix declared.

Nicholas glared at the large bird whilst Harry just smirked.

"I guess they figure you need the guidance more, eh Nicky?" Harry said.

Apparently the hatchling would eventually be Harry's familiar, the one carrying it, the mother, would join them both to care for her daughter and to stay with Nicholas.

That wasn't really the problem. What got up Nicholas' nose was the condescending way the first phoenix had glared at him. As though he should have expected this for a long time.

"How am I supposed to keep up my image of mischief if people see me with a phoenix?" He grumbled. "I won't be able to use glamours to hide and travel incognito. I've just been given a ball and chain! Ow!"

Nicholas glared at Harry who had kicked him in the shin.

"Show some respect." Harry chided.

Nicholas was going to get him for this. It had to be Harry's fault.

Without a doubt, Pansy had the most fun on their holiday. Most of her time was spent just watching the elephants.

This was when she wasn't riding them, washing them, feeding them, talking to them… yes, there had been a slight incident where she had tried to sneak out at night to sleep near them.

Despite her obsessive fascination with the gentle giants, Pansy did take the time to enjoy the other aspects of India. The waterfalls, the jungles, the wildlife… along with Tracey, Harry and a newly arrived Gemma, she saw so much.

Padma and Pavarti enjoyed showing them all around, even though they themselves hadn't seen all of it, they took it upon themselves to act as translators when talking to people and coming across signs with no English writing.

They were only scheduled to be in India for three weeks. This was extended to four as there was so much to see.

During the fourth week Harry nearly killed Kalep.

Kalep had requested a private meeting with Harry. He had taken him back to their apartment in Mumbai.

Harry was naturally cautious after dealing with Crouch junior disguised as Moody but Nicholas had assured him that their new phoenix companions would have warned them if there was a problem.

So Kalep had invited Harry to sit on the couch as he sat opposite.

"Lord Potter-"

"Oh Merlin." Harry groaned.

"I wish to discuss my daughters."

Harry's eyes narrowed. "What about them?" He asked suspiciously.

Kalep took a deep breath, he was still a fairly young man, only thirty-one years old. Sabeena was a mere twenty-eight.

"As you know, England is not hospitable to those of 'impure blood'. Our family have been magicals since before British rule. But as foreigners, foreigners who are not white, we are still afforded less rights."

"Has some idiot been harassing them?" Harry demanded as he stood up.

"There have been… allusions… to the fact that we have fewer rights and that my daughters… they have no sponsor."

"I really hope this conversation doesn't end with you trying to get me to sign a contract to marry your daughters." Harry glared at the man.

Kalep gulped.

Harry closed his eyes and counted to ten.

Well… he tried.

Harry pulled out his wand and pointed it at the man who looked a little worried. Harry might be eleven, but he also had a phoenix, three concubines, the unconditional support of the oldest man on the planet and most importantly… Perenelle Flamel, who looked at him like her grandson.

"Get on your knees and grasp my wand." Harry ordered.

Considering his position (at the end of a wand held by the only person to actually defeat Voldemort twice), Kalep complied.

Once Kalep had the tip of the wand held in his hand… and was beginning to sweat… Harry began to speak.

"Do you, Kalep Patil, accept the Oath of Vassal on behalf of your family to myself, Harry James Potter?"

Kalep opened and closed his mouth several times, unsure what to do… then Harry glared angrily at him.

"I do! I do!"

"Do you swear to uphold the values and virtues of Harry James Potter as your Lord?"

"I do." Kalep said quickly.

"Do you swear to abide by the laws and rules laid down by your Lord, Harry James Potter?"

"I- I do."

"Then I, Harry James Potter, accept your Oath of Vassal and swear to treat your family as my own and to protect them and care for them when they need me."

There was a flash of light from Harry's wand under Kalep's hand and he felt the power of the oath.

"Get off the floor." Harry rolled his eyes at the sweating man. "You've just been intimidated by an eleven-year-old."

Harry moved back and slumped into the chair. "One of the primary rules I lay down is that none of my vassals may sell, barter or force their family members to do anything that will drastically alter their current state unless I approve." He told the man sternly.

"That means you are magically prohibited from being forced to do anything to your daughters unless I approve it. And I really don't want to become involved in that sort of thing." Harry sighed.

"Are- Are there any other rules I should know, My Lord?" Kalep asked with his head bowed.

Harry looked at the man with narrowed eyes. "Yes. You are to treat me like an eleven-year-old friend of your daughters. You will not refer to me by titles or show deference that my title demands unless we are in a position where I must act as my position demands.

"In other words, look me in the eye and call me Harry." He said with slight exasperation.

"Wh-What should I tell my family? My daughters?" Kalep wondered nervously.

"You can tell them that this was all your idea. Tell them that you have great respect for Nicholas and Perenelle and they advised you to do this."

"Ah… a half truth." Kalep nodded in understanding.

"And on that note I need to go and find Nicky and kick him in the shins." Harry said as he stood.

*Chapter 9*: Chapter 9
Chapter 9

"Harry, if this Lockhart is so bad then why don't we do something about him?" Filius asked as they stood outside Flourish and Blotts watching the shoppers line up for Gilderoy Lockhart's autograph.

"That's Amelia's job. She's got his books and knows what to look for." Harry shrugged.

"Still… the thought of that fraud being around children… especially given his propensity to erase a person's memories." He shuddered.

"The Castle will keep a close eye on him." Harry promised. "I'm just dreading having to listen to him blather on about his 'exploits'."

"Here comes Malfoy." Filius changed the subject as they watched the blonde man walk up with his son.

Man and son parted ways as Draco entered the bookstore and Lucius approached Harry.

"Ah… Lord Slytherin, I had intended to owl you soon." Malfoy said with something that bordered between respectfulness and a sneer.

"Oh?"

"Yes, I have a… family matter I wish to discuss with you."

"Interesting." Harry said non-committedly.

"Perhaps you could see your way to meeting with me this coming Monday?"

"No." Harry shrugged. "I'm afraid I shall be far too busy that day." A complete and utter lie… but he wasn't going to let Lucius dictate things. "You may attend me this Friday. Two days hence. Nine in the morning at Hogwarts. Don't be late." Harry said warningly.

Filius struggled at keeping his expression neutral… but the sight of Lucius Malfoy biting his cheek to prevent himself from speaking out of turn was hilarious.

"Of course, My Lord." He practically spat, but just managed to maintain decorum.

"Until Friday then, Lucius." Harry said dismissively.

Lucius quickly turned on the spot and left before he did something stupid.

"Breathe, Uncle Fil." Harry sighed as he noticed the small man turning blue.

Filius burst out laughing as he gasped for breath.

Harry just stood there patiently whilst Filius got it all out of his system. It was fairly embarrassing as people would quickly scurry by at the sight of their old Charms Professor laughing like a maniac.

Eventually the old half goblin got himself under control.

"Are you done?" Harry asked dryly.

Filius glared at him, even though the smile was tugging at his lips. "Harry, you have spent the past year doing things purely for your own amusement whilst causing me to age drastically due to the stress of your actions. You'll forgive me if I take the time to enjoy what I can."

"Can you just get on with it? I want to get out of here before Lockhart loses patience and comes out here to try and use me." Harry grumbled.

Lockhart had indeed spotted Harry outside the store and had gestured excitedly for the young celebrity to join him. Harry had pretended to not notice him.

This had been going on for about ten minutes but Lockhart was torn between leaving his adoring fans and grabbing Harry to try and increase his fame.

Fortunately he wasn't smart enough to ask someone to approach Harry for him.

Filius raised his wand and pointed it at a group of red heads that were walking away from the store. The patriarch of the group was trying to fend off his wife's prodding of his split lip. A result of a physical altercation with Malfoy Senior.

"Accio Riddle's Diary." Filius intoned quietly.

There was a cry of shock from the youngest redhead as her small cauldron jerked in her hand and caused everything to spill on the ground.

Fortunately, no one noticed the small book fly to the half-goblin's hand.

"And we are done." Harry sighed in relief.

"We should probably leave now." Filius said as he slipped the book into his robes.

"Huh?"

Filius pointed at the bookstore where Gilderoy Lockhart was emerging with a huge smile and clear intent.

Harry grabbed Filius' arm frantically. "Apparate! For the love of God, apparate!"

Harry sat in his private quarters with Filius, Minerva, Moody and Amelia.

On the small coffee table sat the remains of Ravenclaw's Diadem and Tom Riddle's diary.

Curled up next to them was a very smug little Blinky the Basilisk. He was currently attempting to swallow a large rat whole.

"Two down, three to go." Moody noted with satisfaction. "The sooner we get the other two the better."

"Nicholas says he has the ring well in hand." Filius informed them. "But I cannot think of a good way to get the cup from the Lestrange vault."

"My goblin contract means I can't do what I did last time." Harry sighed.

"Thank Merlin." Minerva glared at him. She'd seen those memories.

"Do you have any idea what Malfoy wants to talk to you about?" Amelia asked, changing the subject.

"As long as it isn't a marriage contract with his gender changed son… I don't care."

"You have a problem with being under my protection, Lucius?" Harry asked with an amused look.

"Over the past year since you have taken up your mantle as the Lord of Slytherin, I have come to realise that our goals are very different." Lucius stated diplomatically. "I believe that… a 'parting of the ways' would be beneficial to us both."

Harry tried hard not to laugh at that. He was currently sitting on the throne like chair in the very empty Great Hall. Lucius was standing at the bottom of the dais like a peasant begging his king.

Harry loved it.

"Still… it is a bit insulting." Harry mused as he glanced to his left where his new baby phoenix familiar was resting comfortably in a nest of fire-proofed cushions. Apparently phoenix burps and sneezes were a bit of an issue.

Blinky liked it though as he enjoyed the heat.

"I assure you. No insult is intended." Lucius said in a manner that was oh so patronising.

"And how do you intend to ensure the people realise this?" Flitwick asked from where he stood at Harry's right. "When they learn of your… 'parting of the ways'… they will leap to assumptions. You will cause great insult to Lord Slytherin."

Lucius had that look again… the one that said he had accidentally swallowed something nasty and that manners wouldn't let him spit back out.

"Perhaps… Perhaps a gift, to show my appreciation for all that the House of Slytherin has done for my family?" Lucius really didn't want to part with money. It was bad enough paying Fudge.

Harry donned an expression of distaste. "Money? How… pedestrian." He said snootily.

Filius made a mental note remind Harry not to try and use all these grown up expressions so often.

After he'd shared his memories with others for a good laugh of course.

"Of course My Lord, of course." Lucius had no idea how this child could make him seem like a newcomer to the ranks of the elite. If you offered Fudge a bribe he stumbled over himself to grab it. Offer it to the brat and he seemed to consider it an insult.

"However, a statement from your family that says you merely wish to gain more independence would be useful." Harry said thoughtfully.

Lucius was sure he had misheard that. The boy just wanted him to make a statement? A statement that, from the boy's perspective, was factual? Certainly this was all a lie from Lucius' point of view, he wanted out of the boy's grip so he could bring him down… but… he could lie… it wasn't like he actually knew how to tell the truth.

"Of cou-"

"And a more suitable gift." Harry interrupted with a nod. "Money is so blasé. No, for an event of this magnitude… one that will signify how well you think of my generosity, the gift would have to have more thought behind it." Harry said with an air of wisdom.

Filius really needed to have a word with his adopted nephew.

"I believe your house elf would be appropriate." Harry decided.

"My house elf?" Lucius was confused.

"Yes, you have had him for many years now. He is well trained, experienced and has clearly served the House of Malfoy well. It would be a perfect gift that shows you have respect for the House of Slytherin. You can gift me with your elf as you know it will serve me well and will ensure my health and safety."

"My… house elf?" Lucius wasn't sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing. House elves were very hard to come by. You had to inherit them as they were protected by the ICW. But if you had more than one you could breed them and your family would never run out.

Nobody could tell you how to treat a house elf, you could use it for anything that wasn't official.

But Lucius wouldn't be able to get another one as people would question where he had got it from. His own elf had been handed down from the offspring of the Malfoy family elves.

The rest of those where dead. Killed by his own hand when he had taken over the Family after his father's death as he deemed them too old.

It wasn't until weeks later that his best friend found out and laughed at him for ruining his chance at more elves in the future.

That friend was never seen again.

On the other hand, a house elf had no real value. You weren't judged by whether you had an elf, just by your money and titles. Lucius knew that Potter could easily ask for a hefty sum for the privilege of being released from his vassals.

"Lucius, I really don't have all day." Harry said tiredly. "School starts up on Monday and I still need to make sure the castle is ready. If you can't make the decision then perhaps you aren't ready for the trials and rigours of independence."

At that point Lucius realised that the boy was too dangerous. Potter was far too savvy for a twelve-year-old, there was no way a child should be able to paint him in a corner.

He needed to get out from under the control of the Boy-Who-Lived so he could finally work to his own goals. Especially as his Master would soon return thanks to the little 'gift' he had slipped the Weasley girl.

"Of course. I would be honoured if you would accept such a humble gift." Lucius bowed low.

"Excellent." Harry gave a regal nod. "This Monday we will complete your request on Platform 9 ¾."

Lucius hid his scowl. He had hoped to keep this as low key as possible. He would have sent in a letter to the Daily Prophet as Potter wanted but he would have given strict instructions to print it as small as possible on the inside of the back page.

"Alright Dobby, I'd like you to meet Tracey, Pansy and Gemma." Harry told the little creature as they sat in a compartment on the Hogwart's Express. "They are part of the family. They can ask you to help them with things if they like but remember, you are part of the family first." Harry said sternly.

"Dobby had heard Master Harry was great… but he never knew he would be so kind!" The elf said in awe.

The 'ceremony' between Harry and Lucius had gone over quite smoothly.

For Harry at least.

Harry had invited the Prophet to be present and to record the day that 'the House of Malfoy ventured into the world on their own'.

Then Harry had explained in excruciating detail to everyone present what was happening.

He had made comparisons to the House of Malfoy's new path and that of baby bird leaving the nest. A wondrous and beautiful thing.

The parents and children had lapped it up.

The Purebloods at least.

The muggleborn like Hermione had looked at him like he was insane.

Lucius had gone through the whole thing looking like he was made from granite as he tried to control his expression.

"Your main duties will be to make sure that Blinky, Hedwig, Ember and the rest of the familiars are all taken care of. Make sure they have food each day and can go out when needed."

Dobby looked hesitantly between the basilisk, owl and recently named little phoenix. "Will they eats Dobby?" He asked nervously.

"Of course not!" Harry said as though he was offended by the very thought. "Blinky currently likes rats and chickens. Hedwig likes mice and Ember likes… well, just give her different fruit each day until we know what she likes. She doesn't have much experience."

The door to the apartment suddenly slammed open.

"Ah, Potter. I see you are finally where you belong. With the slaves and servants."

"Go away Malfoy, before you actually manage to piss me off." Harry growled.

"You can't touch me now, Potter." Draco said smugly. "My House is now free of your filthy mudblood loving hands."

"I challenge you to an Honour Duel." Harry said in a low and dangerous voice.

"What?" Draco wasn't expecting that.

"An Honour Duel, Draco. You know what that means right? You have insulted my honour and I have taken offence." Harry said seriously. "To phrase it in the appropriate parlance… I will have satisfaction."

Draco wasn't expecting that. He had come to the compartment to insult the half-blood, to put the boy in his place after a whole year of being told to mind his tongue by his father.

"You- you'd never win!" Draco's bravado was undermined by his voice hitching.

"I will accept nothing less than a duel or a very public apology along with an appropriate gift." Harry said firmly as he looked down his nose at the boy. "You have until we reach Hogwarts to decide." Harry said before shoving the boy out the door and closing it.

"Are you really going to kill him?" Gemma asked worriedly.

"Nah… but he will learn his lesson and I will do my best to make sure he never forgets it."

Harry allowed the Sorting to finish and Dumbledore to give his usual speech before he stood up.

Dumbledore was once again annoyed as the food had failed to appear at his command. Now he just looked foolish.

"Draco Malfoy, you insulted my honour and the honour of my houses on the train. I offered you the option to provide the houses of Potter and Slytherin with satisfaction through apologies and appropriate gifts… or an Honour Duel.

"Have you made your decision?"

Draco looked shocked. He had thought Potter was just blowing smoke.

Of course Draco tended to forget anything that didn't please him pretty quickly. So he had already forgotten the duel where Harry killed Flint Sr.

"Malfoy, your decision?" Harry prompted as he looked down the table to where Draco was seated between Crabbe and Goyle.

Draco Malfoy had already proven he was an idiot. He had insulted a legitimate killer just hours ago. He had been warned many times by his own father and Slytherin housemates that Harry could wipe the floor with him politically and magically.

But Draco believed his own hype. He believed that, because he was a Pureblood and that his family was so well placed in the world, that he could easily handle this jumped up half-blood.

"I would be happy to end your pitiful existence, you filthy half-blood." Draco sneered as he stood.

"Fine. Then enjoy your meal. It will be your last in Hogwarts." Harry said as the food appeared. "We fight at the conclusion of the feast, here in the Great Hall."

Dumbledore really wanted to intervene, but this had been declared a matter of honour. He had no right to interfere. That being said, he could still inform certain concerned parties. He stood from his chair and left the hall as the feast began. The children were already discussing this latest bit of news. The Half-bloods and Purebloods were informing the muggleborn about what had happened, who Harry and Draco where and what was about to occur.

The elves would be very distraught that the students hadn't eaten much of their food later.

"Lord Harry. Up here please."

Harry turned and walked up to the staff table and his Uncle Fil.

"Minerva, would you please contact Amelia?"

"Of course, Filius." Minerva agreed as she stood and left.

"You, sit." Filius pointed to the Headmaster's chair.

Harry rolled his eyes and walked all the way around the table and plonked himself in the large throne. He was still only twelve and hadn't grown much yet. He looked quite comical.

If Minerva or Perenelle had seen him they would have demanded he wait for them to get a camera.

"What happened?" Filius asked as he began to cut his food.

"The usual." Harry said as his food reappeared in front of him. "Malfoy came into the apartment, uninvited, where I was introducing Dobby to Pansy, Tracey and Gemma. He insulted us all by calling us slaves and servants. He called me a 'filthy mudblood lover' and gloated over the fact that he was no longer a part of my house."

"And you picked this occasion to challenge him to a duel because… ?"

"Because I'd like to enjoy at least one peaceful school year. Draco already managed to ruin that for this year, so I am taking pre-emptive steps for my third year." Harry shrugged.

"You aren't gonna kill 'im, are ya 'Arry?" Hagrid asked worriedly.

"Nah, it's an Honour Duel. First blood will do for me or until one of us is incapacitated. To the death would mean a challenge between houses and I doubt Lucius Malfoy wants to put his newly gained 'freedom' on the block." Harry grinned easily at his large friend.

The meal progressed for a few more minutes.

"Nott! You better have a damned good reason for pointing your wand at that boy." Harry suddenly called out.

The new second year quickly put his wand away and all the first years edged away from the boy.

"Good catch, Harry." Filius nodded.

A minute or so later they were approached by a certain bushy haired girl. "Professor Flitwick, could I speak to you and Professor McGonagall sometime before classes, please?" She asked nervously.

"Of course my dear." Filius beamed. "You've come to a decision then?"

"Y-Yes sir."

"Professor McGonagall will be devastated to lose you but she and I have discussed this and she agrees this would be best for you. Take your seat, I'll talk to the Professor and we will call for you, it might not be until tomorrow though considering Lord Harry's latest adventure." He glared at his nephew.

"Well done Granger." The Sorting Hat said approvingly from the edge of the table where Harry had placed it when he had joined Filius. "Attention students!" It said loudly as it spun itself around to face the masses. "Over the course of her first year, Miss Hermione Granger has discovered that she would be better suited to Ravenclaw than Gryffindor."

Hermione was blushing madly at suddenly being in the spotlight.

"This does not mean that she does not belong in Gryffindor." The Hat warned. "She showed the courage of a Gryffindor when she made her choice and approached the teachers here at the Opening Feast. She is one of the few who may claim a place in two houses. For the purposes of her education though, she will now reside and learn with the Ravenclaws."

Hermione and the school were stunned when the trimming on her robes and tie began to change. But instead of the Gryffindor colours being replaced by Ravenclaw, the simply merged.

"Hermione Granger has free access to Gryffindor and Ravenclaw common rooms." The Hat declared.

Harry suddenly stood up and put on a deep voice with his twelve-year-old tones. "So let it be written. So let it be done."

Filius just chuckled as Hermione glared at Harry. She knew that letting her dad show him classic movies would be a bad thing.

It was towards the end of the meal that Albus and Minerva both returned. Minerva was looking quite smug as she led Moody and Amelia whilst Albus was trying not to look peeved as he led Lucius.

"Potter, what is this about you challenging my son to a duel?" Lucius demanded.

Harry looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Lucius, you might have chosen to depart from my house… but I am still owed the respect due my title. Don't make me toss you out like I did with Fudge."

"I know exactly what you are boy." Lucius sneered. "Now that you can no longer control me I intend to show the world the truth about you.

"We will start with this duel you requested. It will be to the death and the winner will claim everything of the losers."

"So… you don't care that people will look at you in disgust for having children try to kill each other?" Harry asked calmly as he sat back in the throne. The rest of the teachers were outraged by Lucius' behaviour. Filius and Minerva looked ready to commit murder.

"What do I care about the opinions of peasants?" Lucius sneered.

"Well, your terms for the duel are denied." Harry shrugged. "Draco is not the head of his own house so I will gain nothing by killing him. Besides, I only require satisfaction for the slight against my honour. A duel to first blood is good enough for me."

"But not for me!" Lucius looked down his nose at the young boy in the big chair. "I will fight in Draco's place. The House of Malfoy will be wagered against the House of Potter and Slytherin."

"Still… your house isn't worth much compared to two of mine." Harry pointed out. "Honestly, what do you really have to offer except a manor, money and your apothecary business?"

"Harry has three houses." Came a new voice. They all turned to see an enraged Sirius Black storming in through the doors. "He is the heir to the House of Black. This is a new low for you Malfoy." Sirius accused as he reached the staff table. "But considering your Death Eater activities during the war, I guess attacking children isn't all that new for you."

"This has nothing to do with you Black." Lucius said dismissively.

Sirius grabbed the man by the throat and pinned him to the table. "That's 'Lord Black', you peasant." Sirius snarled. "You and your family have insulted my godson. You will get your duel, Mister Malfoy, but you will face me. It is my right to stand for Harry. But it won't happen today. No, it will happen this coming weekend.

"In the meantime, you get to go home and watch as all your misdeeds come home to roost." With that Sirius flung Lucius down onto the floor between the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables.

"Hey! You can't-" Draco stopped with his hand to his wand as many of his housemates pulled their own and pointed them at him.

"Lucius Malfoy, remove yourself and your son from my home. You may consider yourselves cast out of the House of Slytherin. You may not claim any affiliation with the name of Slytherin." Harry said firmly.

As he spoke the sounds of armour approaching were heard.

"You'll pay for this Potter. You as well Black."

Lucius rushed over to Draco and quickly dragged him out with the armour hot on his heels.

"Leave this one to me, Harry." Sirius said as he glared after the pair of blondes. "I have big plans for that Death Eater and his scum."

Harry looked ready to object but Filius came a sharp look.

"If you're sure, Sirius."

Harry was adamant about not telling Sirius the truth about his time travel. He felt that his godfather had suffered enough and Harry intended to stomp on Voldemort and the wizarding world long before anyone realised what he was doing.

As far as Sirius was to be concerned, Harry Potter was a young boy with a sad past and devious streak of mischief.

That first week of term was filled with a lot of gossip. Harry had suggested that Filius give a school lecture on duels. Everything from why they may be demanded, what the terms may be, who can demand them and anything else that might put them off.

For instance, Harry had only claimed a duel to first blood or incapacitation. That meant that if Lucius had killed him Lucius would be put to death and everything he owned would go to Harry's next of kin.

At the moment that was Filius Flitwick, according to his will.

Outside of Hogwarts, Lucius was feeling the wrath of Lord Sirius Orion Black. Sirius was giving interviews in The Daily Prophet, The Quibbler and the Wizarding Wireless.

In every interview he referred to Lucius as 'the father of Draco the Thief'. He gave detailed accounts of Draco's actions against Harry over the past year thanks to many of the Slytherin students actually liking Harry or simply despising Draco.

Lucius had gone to Fudge to demand something be done… but it didn't matter how much money Lucius threw at him, Fudge was too scared to go against Lord Black.

Harry had spent the week with Filius, training, just in case something cropped up and it turned out he did have to duel Lucius or Draco.

When he had the time he would spend his evenings sitting atop the Astronomy Tower watching the stars. The work on his space ship was on hold as his partners in the endeavour were far too busy with classes.

But that didn't stop him from dreaming.

On his way back to his chambers from a night of star gazing he came across a rather odd sight that jogged a memory… and caused his blood to boil.

"Miss Lovegood, yes?" Harry asked with a dark look.

Eleven-year-old Luna Lovegood was standing in the cold stone halls wearing nothing but a thin nightgown.

Her feet were turning blue along with her lips. Next to her was a suit of armour, clearly trying to guide her back to the Ravenclaw Common Room.

"Mister Potter, no?" She responded dreamily.

"You are out of bed, after curfew, and severely underdressed." Harry said sternly. "Where are your shoes or slippers? Where are your robes?"

"I believe the nargles may have stolen them. It's sad really. They could have had them if they'd only asked." She said with a look to match.

"And if you saw these nargles again, could you identify them?"

"No one else has ever seen a nargle." She lectured lightly. "My father and I have searched for them but they are very illusive."

Harry conjured some slippers for Luna before taking off his robe and putting it over her shoulders and wrapping it tightly. He then applied a warming charm.

"Follow me." He ordered. As he moved he sent off a messenger spell.

He moved quickly… or as quick as his twelve-year-old legs would let him. He only had an inch or so on Luna but it was still something. Only a few more years to go before he had an adult body again… well… late teenage body.

But he'd have hair dammit!

They reached the Ravenclaw entrance with the suit of armour following dutifully along. The door swung open without challenging them.

They were met inside by Filius Flitwick, Doreen Bard and Benjamin Borth. Doreen and Benjamin were the house carers for Ravenclaw as recruited by Sirius.

"Harry, Miss Lovegood, what on Earth are you doing up at this late hour?" Filius asked sternly.

"I was taking some time to relax on the Astronomy Tower. On my way back to my quarters I discovered Luna here, walking through the halls in nothing but her nightgown. Her feet were turning blue."

"Miss Lovegood? What on Earth were you thinking, child?" Doreen scolded as she knelt in front of the girl and began checking her hands and feet for frostbite.

"The Wrackspurts said I should tour the castle." She answered as though it was obvious.

"Wrackspurts?" Benjamin frowned.

"Luna, tell them the truth." Harry ordered.

"I believe I can deduce the truth, Harry." Filius scowled. He placed his wand to his throat and cast a Sonorus. "ALL STUDENTS TO THE COMMON ROOM IMMEDIATELY! I REPEAT: ALL STUDENTS TO THE COMMON ROOM!"

Luna cringed away from them all.

After a few seconds the Ravenclaws began to file down in their pyjamas and nightgowns.

"Which of you stole Miss Lovegood's belongings and locked her out of the Ravenclaw rooms?" Filius demanded of the assembled 'Claws.

There was a lot of shared looks of confusion between the students.

Doreen shared a look of disgust and anger with her colleague, Benjamin. She pulled Luna closer to her protectively.

"Do not make me find the answers myself." Filius warned when no one spoke up.

Still no one said anything.

"Very well." Filius said as he brandished his wand, causing some of the students to flinch reflexively.

"Fures Revelio!" He incanted as he waved his wand around the room.

Immediately, several of the student's eyes widened and then they began to glow with a green light.

"Miss Johnston, Miss Alton, would you care to explain why you stole Miss Lovegood's belongings?" Filius asked tightly.

The two first year girls looked completely ashamed. Probably because they got caught but not because they thought they did wrong.

"You could have seriously injured Miss Lovegood. I will be writing to your parents about this and severe punishments will be involved. Your behaviour is abominable." He scolded them.

"Are you Purebloods?" Harry asked quietly from just behind Filius.

Both girls frowned, not understanding the purpose of the question.

"Somebody should educate them on what it means to be branded a thief in this world." Harry mused.

"You can be sure I will be doing that tomorrow night." Benjamin declared with a dark look. "All students will be here immediately after curfew. Before you head to bed I will give you a refresher course in Wizarding etiquette. I suggest you research one Draco Malfoy."

"Johnston, Alton, with me." Doreen ordered. "You will hand Miss Lovegood's belongings to me immediately."

The result of the whole incident was that the two girls were given a month's detention and all their personal belongings were sent home. The only things they were allowed to keep were their school clothes, school books and equipment and their pets, because that would have been considered unfair to the pets.

Padma Patil took a closer interest in Luna Lovegood as she felt an obligation to continue watching over her on Harry's behalf as part of his house.

She also made sure that either Doreen, Benjamin or Filius were able to witness any bullying, especially as Hermione was beginning to receive a bit of attention because of her intelligence.

Padma was definitely in the lead for being a prefect when the time came.

On the Saturday, the duel was set to take place. Harry had refused to hold it at Hogwarts and instead demanded it be held in Hogsmead.

This was a duel between the notorious Lord Black and Lucius Malfoy, a supposed close confidant of the Minister.

Anyone who was anyone was there.

And so was everyone else.

The Minister was supposed to be there as an impartial observer, but it was clear he was supporting Malfoy.

That was fine as far as Harry and the others were concerned. It would just put Fudge in a bad light when he lost.

Nicholas and Perenelle were there and were supporting Sirius and Harry. Harry had Hedwig on one shoulder and Ember perched precariously on the other. She was still very young and hadn't started to learn to fly yet.

Nicholas had Phoenix on his shoulder. The much older and clearly more powerful looking bird instantly made people want to back Sirius.

Nicholas had taken the annoying route of calling his phoenix: 'Phoenix'.

Harry was simply annoyed he hadn't thought of it first.

"Remember Sirius, put him down hard and fast." Harry lectured. "Don't toy with him. Don't mock him and don't acknowledge anything he says. Let your wand do your talking for you."

"Are you sure you don't want to duel him yourself?" Sirius asked with a bemused look. Inside he was very nervous. This was a fight to the death and he hadn't been in a battle in over ten years.

"Yes, I do." Harry said.

"Oh… well, tough." Sirius said, a little taken aback by Harry's firm declaration. "This is my duty."

"Then make sure you take your duty seriously- and don't make that joke, it is not the time."

"Harry, you should always make the time for a joke." Sirius grinned.

Harry looked fit to explode in anger.

"Filius, take Harry to cool off." Nicholas ordered as he grabbed Sirius by the shoulder and marched him off. "Alright young man, I realise that you are nervous and need to cope in your own way, but you also need to remember that Harry has already lost his parents. He lost his godfather, uncle and aunt for over a decade and has only just got them back.

"I think the boy has gone through enough that you can cater to his needs in this matter. Especially as he is looking out for your well-being."

Sirius would have pushed his own argument that Harry needed a laugh, but he had to admit, the boy spent most of his time doing things that would make the Marauder's seem like amateurs. Which they were… being unpaid and all.

"Alright, I'll lay off the jokes. I don't suppose you have any additional advice on how to beat the albino git?"

Nicholas thought for a moment. "Remember the strategy that Harry used against Flint. Don't waste your energy trying to break through his shield and defences. Turn the environment to your advantage.

"And like Harry said, don't toy with the man. Put him down hard and fast, he is no lightweight when it comes to wand work."

Sirius nodded and the pair turned to re-join Harry.

"Any last minute tips?" Sirius asked Harry nervously.

"If you die… remember that my parents are on the other side. I doubt they will be too pleased if you screw this up." Harry said with pointed look.

"Fear of Prongs and Lilly… got it." Sirius nodded.

"Also… the floor of a duelling pit isn't protected against spells. A few well-placed Reductos and Lucius won't have a place to stand."

Sirius nodded with an impressed look… then it fell into a suspicious one. "How do you know so much about duelling?"

"I've knocked off Lord No Name twice and duelled Flint to the death. I doubt I will manage to make it through the rest of my school years without another duel… let alone my life."

"Ah… I have no response to that." He admitted.

"I do. It's called being prepared."

Their attention was drawn to the pit where Dumbledore was calling for everyone to gather.

Sirius hugged Harry and turned to enter the pit.

The pit was different to the duelling platform. Instead of a raised platform that meant most spells went over the spectator's heads, it was very much like the roman fighting arenas where it was dug into the ground. Stadium seats had been arranged around the outside of the fifty metre wide fighting pit. As a lord, Sirius had the right to demand the form of the duel, especially as Harry had called it for insult against his honour and Malfoy had then compounded his position with his insults and attempts to kill Harry with the duel.

"This is a duel to the death between the House of Malfoy and the Noble and Most Ancient House of Slytherin. The named individuals are Draco Lucius Malfoy the Thief and Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin."

Lucius bristled at the title given to his son by Dumbledore, but not even Fudge could wipe out the taint after the articles in the Prophet.

It wouldn't matter, after he defeated Black, he would have command of the House of Slytherin. He would be a noble lord and he would have the boy's magic bound, his wand snapped and thrown into the wilds of one of the barbarian lands.

Then he would force Fudge and Dumbledore to clear his son's name.

"The winner of the duel will earn those they fight for, the spoils of their victims. Their House, status, money and anything else of value including members of the family."

Albus was disgusted at having to preside over this despicable event. There had only been one other duel of this magnitude. It had occurred when he had called Gellert out during the war.

Although he had defeated his former love interest and ended his reign of terror, he had failed to officially end the duel by not killing him. It was a stain on both men's honour, but he had made the challenge out of ear shot of anyone. His final spell had been a memory charm that removed Gellert's memory of it being a duel to the death.

As such, magic would not accept any claim he had over the Grindlewald House. Only his brother knew the truth. Aberforth hated him for it because it meant that he could not marry or have children. The Houses of Dumbledore and Grindlewald were in limbo until the duel was ended.

In the months following the duel, Albus had travelled the world, placing charms and compulsions on anyone tied to the Grindlewald family, as well as his brother.

It was Albus' intent that both Houses would die with him and Gellert.

"Lord Sirius Orion Black, you will now swear your oath of honour in this duel to Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin."

It was necessary for this to occur so that the Seconds couldn't turn on those they fought for and steal what they had offered to win. You couldn't be forced to be a Second.

"I, Lord Sirius Orion Black of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, swear fidelity and honour to Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin, Head of the Most Ancient House of Potter, the Noble House of Parkinson, the Noble House of Farley and the Most Ancient House of Davis.

"I so swear as the Head of the House of Black."

As Sirius spoke there were gasps throughout the crowd. Sirius had essentially sworn the House of Black as Vassals to Lord Harry James Potter.

He had also just revealed that Harry was the head of numerous houses, only Farley was known to have been under Harry's control due to the duel between Harry and Flint. But the revelations regarding Davis and Parkinson would be Earth shattering for the Wizarding World.

"Mr Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, you will swear an oath to Draco Lucius Malfoy to honour your position as fighting in his stead."

It was different for Lucius, he was Draco's father. Draco would inherit everything anyway, but he was still only a child and all his assets were held and managed by his father.

Draco would become the heir to the houses and lordships if Lucius won.

"I, Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, do swear to fight for the honour of my son."

"This duel is to the death. In the event that both participants are unable to continue, then the primary participants will be required to enter the arena.

"The laws of the land still apply. You may not use any Unforgivables or illegal spells. Use of such spells will result in criminal prosecution and forfeiture of the duel.

"Duellers, face each other."

Sirius and Lucius glared at each other with thirty feet between them.

"Duellers, bow."

Both gave very slight bows, but it was enough to satisfy etiquette.

"Begin."

Sirius didn't hesitate, his wand was out and pointing at Lucius and a torrent of spells headed his way silently. Many were deflected, but Sirius was a powerful wizard and he had magic to spare. He was also sending out a very simple spell: Reductos.

He had utilised a strategy that meant that Lucius was always on the defensive and would back the man into a corner. For every spell he sent at the man himself, he sent two more at the man's feet.

Lucius was caught between trying to deflect and shield the spells coming directly at him and trying to find more steady footing as the ground vanished beneath his feet.

Lucius was a skilled duellist. He had even taken a turn on the professional circuit. But in a battle to the death he was useless without the ability to apparate and use dark curses.

The arena was sheathed in anti-apparition and anti-portkey wards to prevent acts of cowardice by fleeing. Had Dumbledore fought Grindlewald in a pit like this he would have had no choice but to kill his former lover.

Of course, Sirius' skills were honed on the battlefield during a war. He knew how to fight in a proper duel, but he also knew how to bulldoze his opponents when fighting for his life and the life of his loved ones.

And Harry's life was on the line as well as his own. He couldn't lose.

Eventually the strain of focusing on both deflecting spells and watching his footing became too much for Lucius and one of Sirius' Reductos slipped through, breaking his leg.

He fell to the ground in pain, never seeing the final spell speeding towards his head… which promptly exploded into a gory mess.

Sirius Black stood over his opponent's corpse breathing heavily, his wand still pointed just in case.

"Lord Sirius Black emerges triumphant in the service of the House of Slytherin. To the victor go the spoils." Dumbledore announced gravely.

"The Ministry of Magic demands an investigation!" Fudge piped up, he was looking fairly pale.

"On what grounds?" Dumbledore asked.

"Use of illegal magic."

Albus sighed. "Lord Sirius Black, please present your wand for inspection."

Sirius sent a hateful look at Fudge but quickly exited the pit and approached Dumbledore at the judges platform.

Albus cast a few charms as well as the Priori Incantatem. "I find that Lord Black has acted honourably and within the bounds of the law. The decision is final."

"But-"

"If you continue to insult Lord Black's honour, and mine, then I will have to challenge you to a duel." Harry glared at the man.

Albus hurriedly cancelled his sonorous charm. "Enough!" He hissed. "There will be no more killing! No more duels! It ends here!" He said angrily. "All I have fought for and sacrificed… I will not have you blackening it with your greed and misplaced pride." He glared between the three males.

"Then I suggest you reign in the Minister… Chief Warlock." Harry said mockingly before he turned and left. "Sirius, do something with Draco. I don't care what, just make sure he is out of the way." He called as he walked away, not looking back.

*Chapter 10*: Chapter 10
Chapter 10

Harry spent the next few days in funk. He didn't care that Lucius was dead. He wasn't ungrateful for what Sirius had done. But he was fed up with Dumbledore.

The following morning Dumbledore had approached him at the breakfast table.

"Mr. Potter, please report to my office after breakfast."

"Why?" Harry asked bluntly.

"I believe there are some things we should discuss." Albus said calmly.

"Can't. Busy." Harry said as he tore a large chunk out of his toast.

"I must insist." Albus frowned.

"Is it about my school work?" Harry asked as he shunted his food to his cheek but kept chewing.

"It is about what happened yesterday, as I believe you are smart enough to have determined." Albus said in frustration.

"Oh, are you going to apologise for nearly getting myself and Sirius killed or making Sirius a killer?" He asked calmly.

By this point the entire school was paying attention. If anyone had looked at the staff table they would have seen Filius desperately trying to hold Minerva back from throttling Dumbledore.

"That was a disaster entirely of your own making." Albus admonished.

"Really?" Harry asked sarcastically as he threw down what was left of his toast and stood up. "Because I was scheduled for a simple duel between myself and the Thief, Draco Malfoy. It wasn't until you brought in his father that death was introduced and my life was put at risk.

"Be warned Albus." Harry snarled. "Next time you interfere in my business I will challenge you… and remember, I already beat you once."

"It is sad that you feel the need to resort to such barbaric methods." Albus said with patronizing disappointment.

"Enough! Remove yourself from this hall immediately, Albus!" Minerva had taken the very rude method of picking Filius up and placing him back in his chair.

He was now glowering at her back as he followed her down.

"I will not have you making such disgusting insinuations against Harry like that."

"Minerva, my place is here with the children. You don't have authority over me."

"Meh… if Aunt Minnie wants you out of the hall… I recommend you hike up your robes and run." Harry grinned. The sound of stomping metal feet could be heard approaching.

Albus Dumbledore had a hard time getting into any room in the castle that day. The stone gargoyle refused to move and suits of armour wouldn't let him access any classrooms. He was forced to spend the day with Hagrid.

It was an annoyance but not necessarily a hardship considering his friendship with the giant.

On the Monday of the second week, Harry was approached in the Common Room by Terrence.

"Harry."

"Terry." Harry returned slightly mocking the solemn tones the boy used.

"Mind if we talk privately?" He asked quietly.

Harry just shrugged and conjured a chair opposite. He then cast the muffliato. "What's up?"

"AHHHHHHH!"

They turned to see a new first year bolt out of the room in terror. Fortunately Mrs. Farley was present and was quick on his heels.

The two boys returned their attention to each other and tried to forget the weird spectacle.

"So…?"

"Have you had your first lesson with Lockhart yet?" Terry asked.

"Yep. The git tried to make me act out his 'adventures'." Harry grinned. "He changed his mind about acting when I had a suit of armour stand in for me."

"He does the same thing in all his classes." Terry nodded. "And it is becoming a problem."

"I tend to just tune him out and read my books."

"Harry, I'm studying for my exams." Terry said with a slight pleading. "All of the fifth through seventh years are. Lockhart isn't teaching us a thing that will help us."

"You do realise that I don't have any say over the educational matters in the school? I just control the castle."

"We were hoping you could talk to the Heads of House."

"Why not go to Snape yourself?"

Terry grimaced. "Professor Snape has become… excessively grumpy."

"What do you mean?" Harry asked seriously as he sat forward. "Is he not teaching properly? I thought he had stopped being biased."

"That hasn't changed." He assured the young Lord. "But… he always has a scowl and looks… scary. I'm not sure he knows he's doing it."

"He's always like that."

"He's gotten worse."

"Alright Severus, what's got you so grumpy that you are taking out on the students?" Harry demanded.

They were sitting in his chambers with the other heads of house to discuss this and the DADA issue.

"Other than the fact that I am a slave?" Snape returned snidely.

"Yes." Harry said, ignoring the man's sarcasm and attitude. "And I order you to tell the truth."

Severus' eyes widened at that. But he answered anyway. "Last year's exam results were the highest in potions for decades."

"And…?" Harry waved his hand leadingly.

Snape struggled as he didn't want to answer… he also didn't want to have to deal with any pain the slave binding might cause. "I- I hate that it is because you ordered me to change how I teach." He bit out.

"Ahhh." Harry said with an understanding nod of his head. "Well… get over it." He said bluntly "And I order you not to take out your anger on the students or anyone else. Find an empty classroom, conjure some targets and blow them up if you want to vent."

Snape very nearly pouted… he managed to keep it to a scowl.

Harry turned back to the other heads who were trying not to laugh at the sight of twelve-year-old Harry berating thirty-something year old Severus.

"Now, Lockhart. What are we going to do about him? I've got students complaining that he isn't preparing them for their exams."

"I suppose I could sit in on a lesson or two and see how he does." Minerva said thoughtfully.

"We could just send a report to the WEA." Pomona Sprout suggested.

"Wizarding… ?"

"The Wizarding Examinations Authority." Filius supplied for Harry.

"We would need more than the student's complaints." Minerva shook her head. "I will attend a few lessons first and then submit a report to Griselda Marchbanks."

"Is there a reason we aren't simply approaching Albus with this?" Pomona asked curiously. "I ask only because I believe the WEA will want to know as well."

"I suppose we should at least attempt to talk to the old goat." Filius sighed.

"Oh Albus… you really are a complete idiot, aren't you?" Filius said disappointedly as he sat opposite the Headmaster in Albus' office with the other Heads of House.

"I beg your pardon?" Albus said, taken aback with surprise and offence.

Filius sighed.

Having been confronted by his Heads of House over Lockhart's poor attempts at teaching, he had tried to claim the man was merely finding his feet after just a few weeks.

Minerva had pointed out that the OWL and NEWT students deserved better and threatened to call in the WEA.

As a result, he had informed them of the fact that he suspected Lockhart was a fraud as he knew for a fact that several of the events described in his books were actually performed by friends and acquaintances of Albus'. He had invited Lockhart to teach, with the incentive of getting close to The Boy-Who-Lived, so that he could find a way to prove it.

"Aside from the fact that Harry will be livid that you attempted to use him in such a manner, I do not believe Madam Marchbanks or the Board of Governors will feel any different.

"You are playing with the welfare and education of our charges."

"There is no reason for them to be involved. Especially young Harry." Albus said dismissively.

"You have already involved Harry, Albus." Minerva scowled. "We will be involving the WEA. We will not allow you to play with the futures of our students."

"Why must you be so confrontational these days, Minerva?" Albus sighed. "The students are perfectly safe as is young Harry."

"The man released a swarm of Cornish Pixies in a class and then abandoned them." Pomona scowled. "If I hadn't been walking down the corridor nearby then Mister Longbottom could have fallen and broken his neck due to that foppish fool's incompetence."

"An isolated incident, I'm sure." He said dismissively.

Severus scoffed. "Headmaster, I fail to see how you can sit there and expect us to believe that for a second. We four are senior teachers at one of Europe's most prestigious schools. We are much smarter than you appear to give us credit for.

"As gullible as the drooling masses are, even they will soon come to realise that you are slowly losing control. You allowed Quirrell to enter the school last year, you consistently butt your nose into Lord Potter's dealings and as a result you have nearly caused his death several times.

"The citizens of magical Britain will eventually take note… and then you will have to answer."

"As much as I agree with Severus, I have no intention of allowing it to go that far." Filius said sternly. "Either he goes or I will tell Lord Potter that I was wrong to stop him from having you ejected from the castle. I believe you will be gone by breakfast."

"It is sad that you-"

"Save it Albus." Pomona snapped as she stood up. "You heard Filius, either Lockhart goes or you go. I'm fairly certain that Lockhart will go either way."

Two days later and Albus was once again locked out of his office.

He became fairly annoyed when he discovered suits of armour removing his personal belongings from the room but wasn't allowed past them.

He realised that this was probably only the first step towards being booted from the castle so he knew he had to fix it.

He stormed into the DADA classroom to find Lockhart standing at the head of the class with his wand brandished in a most flamboyant attacking posture that would certainly get him killed in a real fight.

Opposite him was a clearly grumpy looking third year boy who had his arms weakly in the air as though he might be trying a half-hearted attempt to scare the man.

"Professor Dumbledore! What a pleasant surprise." Lockhart beamed.

"Professor, I'm afraid I need you to dismiss your class. There is a matter we need to discuss." He said gravely.

"Really?" He asked excitedly. "Perhaps this would be a good teaching example for my class. Is there a monster that needs dealing with?" He laughed. "A fair maiden that needs rescuing?" He said with a sly wink at two girls in the front row who tittered.

"Children, your class is dismissed. Please return to your common rooms until your next class." Albus interrupted. "Quickly now." He clapped his hands sharply as they seemed to hesitate.

Once the last student was gone he turned to Lockhart. "Gilderoy, I'm afraid that circumstances have arisen that are forcing me to terminate your position here."

Lockhart laughed… until he noticed Dumbledore wasn't laughing with him. "Why on Earth would you do that? These young minds need my expertise."

If he weren't in such a bad mood he would have laughed at the fop in front of him making such a ridiculous claim.

"Please pack your bags, Gilderoy. You will need to be out of the-"

*BANG*

The door to the classroom smashed open to reveal an enraged white male in wizarding robes with his wand out. He had dark hair, a goatee and silver eyes.

"Lockhart!" He spat with an Eastern European accent. "Did you really think you could get away with this?"

"Garabed!" Lockhart said with clear fear.

Albus had his wand out but was not sure how his old friend, Garabed, had gotten onto the school grounds. Or how he even knew to confront Lockhart. The last he had heard Lockhart had obliviated the man of ever meeting him.

"I challenge you to an honour duel, Gilderoy Lockhart." Garabed snarled with his wand raised. "In Diagon Alley."

"Surely you jest!" Gilderoy laughed nervously.

"You stole my reputation, my money, my honour and my memories." Garabed growled. "Why would I jest about such a thing?"

"I assure you I have no idea what you are talking about!" Gilderoy tried to claim.

"Then you can swear an oath about it before we duel." Garabed sneered. "We go now. Lord Slytherin has offered the services of his castle, I owe him a huge debt, but the boy is too noble and only claimed that I repay him by revealing the truth about you and getting you out of his castle."

Garabed stepped aside and four suits of armour clanked in. Gilderoy clumsily drew his wand only for it to clatter to the ground before he was seized by the armour and marched out, all the while protesting that they were wrinkling his clothes.

As the armour marched their prisoner off, Albus turned to Garabed. "I don't understand, I thought your memories had been removed."

Garabed shook his head in disappointment. "Hearing you say that Albus… you have fallen so far that you knew this to be true and did not come to my aid."

"And do what, my friend?" Albus said chiding like a grandfather. "Tell you that you had been wronged and couldn't remember it? What good would that do? You are a good man but you would have immediately sought out Lockhart and challenged him, just as you have today."

"It is not your place to control my actions, Albus." Garabed frowned. "It is your duty as my friend to come to me and warn me I have been wronged. It is my place to decide what action to take.

"Lockhart was evil in his actions to rob me of my memories and deeds, but you were party to it. All these years that I have been suffering and it took the actions of a boy and a hat to save me and help me regain my memories and honour."

"To what end though?" Albus argued. "Now that you have those memories you are going to kill a man!"

Garabed looked at him with slight disbelief. "Is that all you care about?" He asked. "The life of the man who ruined mine? The fool left me a near drooling mess in the gutters. Where were you in my time of need, Albus? Especially as you claim you knew what he had done.

"The boy and the hat were right, your ego has overtaken you. You not only attempt to do everything yourself and 'unwittingly' claim the credit, but you also believe yourself to be the ultimate judge.

"I wonder how many of those 'Imperioused' victims that bribed their way out of Azkaban could have been stopped if the Chief Warlock stepped up?" He said pointedly.

Albus looked like he had been slapped.

He never realised that Garabed had left.

Once Albus had realised he was standing alone in the classroom he had managed to remember that Garabed kept talking about a 'boy and his hat', he realised just who was responsible for all of this.

Albus stormed through the halls of the castle until he reached the Charms classroom. He burst in angrily and… suddenly remembered that he and Filius were not exactly on good terms.

The half-goblin was glaring at him.

"Can we help you, Headmaster?" He asked tightly.

Albus quickly looked contrite. "I apologise for interrupting, I require Mister Potter for a while."

"For what reason, Albus? We are in the middle of a lesson."

"It shan't take long, I assure you."

"If it shan't take long, then it can surely wait until lessons have finished for the day."

"Regrettably, there is an element of urgency involved, Filius. I will have to insist that Mister Potter accompany me."

"This had better not be about Garabed and that fraud Lockhart." Harry glared at the old man.

"It is a matter that should be discussed away from young ears." Albus said sternly.

Albus was suddenly confronted by two burly young boys.

"Lord Harry is a young ear." Vincent Crabbe stated with a scowl.

Gregory Goyle's eyes widened slightly before he quickly whispered in his friend's ear.

"I mean he has young ears. If you can talk to him you can talk to us all." Vincent said firmly.

Filius and Harry exchanged a surprised look. They never would have expected this from the two boys. They had taken to following Harry around like they had Draco, but Harry and Filius just assumed it was because they didn't know what to do with themselves.

"You are quite right, Mister Crabbe, but this is still a private matter between myself and Mister Potter."

The two boys were pushed apart as a scowling ebony haired second year girl stomped forward. "If you wish to speak with Lord Slytherin please make an appointment for a more appropriate time. Please also supply the purpose for the meeting. Interrupting Lord Slytherin's education is highly inappropriate."

Albus was shocked.

It was amazing that Crabbe and Goyle had actually managed to string together such a coherent sentence between the two of them… but for Miss Pansy Parkinson to actually stand up to him…

It was only last year than every first year student entered and left Hogwarts completely in awe of him. Now they seemed to regard him with… Sweet Merlin! Disgust!

"I shall return for Mr. Potter later." Albus said quickly before turning and heading out. He had to investigate why the student's opinions of him had so radically changed. He couldn't risk the dark families not fearing him, there was no telling what they might attempt against the innocent if they didn't care about risking his ire.

"Excellent work Mister Crabbe and Mister Goyle, and of course, Miss Parkinson!" Filius beamed as the door slammed shut. "Five points apiece to Slytherin."

That evening Albus tried to get Harry again, but he was most upset to hear he was not in the castle.

"Mister Potter is a student here and he has a responsibility to follow the rules as a student!" Albus angrily told Filius as they stood in Filius' classroom.

"He also has a responsibility to his various houses." Filius responded calmly. "A responsibility that supersedes those as a student."

"He should have informed me if he was leaving so he could be escorted."

"He informed his Head of House and is adequately escorted. There was no need to inform you."

"If Mister Potter fails to respect the rules of the school he may well find his time at Hogwarts coming to an abrupt end." Albus threatened.

Filius allowed himself a small smirk. "At that time, the school of Hogwarts may find its time here in the castle coming to an abrupt end."

"Regardless of whatever fantasies you and Minerva are indulging with the boy, he doesn't have that sort of authority." Albus shook his head. "Now, where has he gone?"

"None of your business." Filius said bluntly. "Oh, and I believe your escort has arrived."

Albus paled as he turned to see two suits of armour standing in the doorway. How had he not heard them?

Whilst Albus was being dragged off (again) by the castle's armour, Harry and Sirius were on a mission of their own.

"I'm a Malfoy! You can't put me in here!"

Harry and Sirius shared a look of amusement at young Draco's protests of horror.

"It won't kill you, Draco. But you only have limited options." Harry pointed out.

"But… it's unsanitary!"

"No. Wizards are unsanitary. Not only do they have no concept of sanitation beyond indoor plumbing, they also engage in acts that pollute their blood."

Draco looked insulted. "My family would never marry muggles."

"Exactly. There isn't a pureblood witch in Hogwarts that you aren't related to." Harry said in disgust. "Hell! Pansy is your second cousin."

"Actually Draco, your Aunt Andromeda married a muggleborn. James Potter was also one of our cousins and he married a muggleborn." Sirius smirked.

"Blood Traitors and stricken from the family records." He said snootily.

"Alright… so you don't want to stay with muggles." Harry shrugged as he turned away from the very upscale Victorian Era, three storey home in London's West End that happened to belong to the parents of a muggleborn. "We'll just have to look at your other options."

"I belong in Hogwarts." Draco said heatedly. "It's my birth right!"

"Which you and your father forsook when you were defeated in duels." Sirius said warningly… not that Draco heeded it.

"Yep, I have your wand and you will not be getting it or another until you have completed your education as per the laws laid down by the Ministry of Magic."

Draco didn't get a chance to respond before Sirius' hand clamped down on his shoulder and he was forced into a side-along apparition.

When they emerged Draco didn't recognise where he was… but he knew he didn't like it.

A dark forbidding tower that rose high into the sky, sat upon an island less than a mile off the shore. The winds were wild and the seas were rough.

"Welcome to Azkaban, Draco." Harry said as he stepped forward and gestured to the feared fortress prison that held only the worst of criminals. "By all rights I could have you sent here because you are a thief. I could also have you sent here simply because I am a Lord and you insulted me. There's an old law that is still on the books." Harry added conversationally.

"You wouldn't… Dumbledore wouldn't let you!" Draco had paled considerably… which was impressive considering his natural paleness.

"Do you see Dumbledore here, boy?" Sirius growled as he grabbed Draco by the shoulders and stared him in the face. "I spent ten years in that hell hole. Dumbledore didn't raise a finger to help me. Why would he help you?

"Take the damned deal you fool." Sirius said angrily. "Your house is gone. Your money is gone. Your father is dead. All of these things have happened because you are a bigoted fool.

"Now you could lose what is left of your freedom… your life, because you are too stubborn and foolish to accept what is being offered."

"But they're muggles!" Draco whined.

Harry and Sirius shared a look of exasperation.

"I'll call for the ferry." Harry said.

The following morning Albus once again approached Harry at the breakfast table.

"Make an appointment, Albus." Harry said firmly without looking up.

"I would, but there is urgent business regarding a missing student." Albus responded tightly. "Draco Malfoy has not appeared for breakfast and I cannot find him anywhere."

"Huh… so there is another student you share an unhealthy interest in other than me." Harry smirked. "Have you spoken to his Head of House or any of the other teachers?"

"As the Head of his family I thought I should approach you first."

"There are procedures to follow, Albus." Harry lectured sternly.

Up at the staff table Minerva thought her little lion in snake's skin was adorable.

"First you should check with his Head of House. Should he or she not be able to help you then together you come and inform me of the situation so that the appropriate authorities can be alerted."

Albus found himself getting increasingly frustrated these days. Usually because of Harry. He had currently been relegated to a small room off the entrance hall to the castle. He was locked out of his office and Minerva had again refused to swap with him.

Fawkes didn't seem to mind, even though there was very little room and no window. But Albus found it very annoying whenever Fawkes decided to flame out of the room… which he did frequently.

Despite these issues he had been unable to discover the fate of Draco Malfoy. Sirius Black had accepted responsibility for the boy on Harry's behalf. He had accepted Narcissa back into the family so that she could keep her son but they would not be together until Draco changed.

Andromeda Tonks was also accepted back into the Black Family. Sirius assured her it wasn't going to be easy as he had ordered her to use her position as the elder of the Black Sisters to keep Narcissa in line.

After the public accusations against Harry by Dumbledore, Harry felt he needed to blow off some steam. That evening he and Filius had met Nicholas on a lonely country road outside a small town called Little Hangleton. They stood in front of a small abandoned shack that reeked of dark magic.

"Did you bring it?" Harry demanded.

Nicholas looked down at the large, long box he was holding and tried not to shudder. "There has to be a better way, Harry." He pleaded.

"This isn't about better! It's about fun!" Harry grinned.

Nicholas carefully placed the box on the ground, backed up two steps and moved around. "Filius, I don't know what Harry has told you but… it might be best if we moved further from the area."

"You mean just down the road?" Filius asked curiously.

"I was thinking Hogwarts… but that will have to do." Nicholas sighed. "Harry… will I at least get my stone back if you die?" He pleaded.

"You are such a worry wart." Harry scoffed.

"That wasn't an answer." Nicholas said urgently as Harry knelt down and pried open the lid of the wooden box. "Harry?"

Harry ignored him as he gently lifted a long, curved horn with ridges out of the box.

"What is that?" Filius asked.

"An Erumpent Horn." Nicholas said as he began backing away.

Harry walked towards the door of the shack and gingerly placed the horn on the doorstep.

"Erumpent horn? But those are rare… and highly volatile." Filius frowned.

Harry had backed away and drawn his wand.

"Nicholas?" Filius, receiving no response, looked around only to see Nicholas Flamel legging it down the road. "Oh dear." He said weakly.

"BOMBARDA MAXIMA!"

Filius just sighed as he conjured his strongest shield and watched the horn explode, taking the entire shack with it.

Harry just stood there with a huge smile as he let the rush of wind and debris blow around him.

As the explosion subsided, Filius approached his dust and mud caked nephew… who was still grinning wildly despite numerous cuts to his face, clothes and torso.

"Satisfied?" Filius asked dryly as he conjured a small awning that would protect them from the debris that was still falling.

Filius received no response. "Harry?" Again, no response, so he prodded him.

"HUH? WHAT WAS THAT UNCLE FIL?"

Filius closed his eyes and tried not to blow a gasket.

Ten minutes later (having retrieved the worry wart of an alchemist) Harry was fully healed with his hearing back at a hundred percent thanks to little Ember flaming in.

Unfortunately, Nicholas had admitted there was nothing to be done about the boy's sanity.

"Well congratulations, Harry. You have successfully demolished the Gaunt shack." Nicholas said sarcastically. "What will you ever do for an encore?"

"You know, you say things like that and it just makes me sad that I signed a non-aggression contract with the goblins." Harry grumbled.

"Was there a purpose to all this destruction?" Filius demanded irritably.

"Accio Resurrection Stone." Harry incanted as he held out his wand. There was a slight grinding sound before something shot out of the debris and into Harry's hand.

Harry dropped the object quickly and stepped back, pulling Filius and Nicholas with him.

"That is one of Riddle's horcruxes." Harry informed them as they stood there staring at the ring with the stone in it. "Albie didn't tell me too much about how he got it, but he did say it was well protected and layered with enchantments. It cost him his arm and essentially his life."

"The fool boy went after that thing alone, didn't he." Nicholas sighed. "At the very least, Perenelle and I have each other to back the other up."

"Well, there are three of us here now. One of you two can check it out and the rest of us will try and pull you away if we need to." Harry explained.

Filius straightened his shoulders and drew his wand. "I believe I am the most expendable of the three of us. I will-"

"Expendable my arse!" Nicholas snapped. "The gods alone know what Harry will do if something happens to you Flitwick. Besides, I have the most experience and knowledge. I also have the best chance of defending myself."

Nicholas didn't wait for a response as he moved forward and began casting diagnostic spells at the ring.

Then he began to cast more obscure spells.

Finally he cast a severing charm that caused the stone to separate from the ring.

"Avada Kedavra." With a sigh of relief he picked up the stone and ring and walked back to Harry and Filius.

"One destroyed horcrux and one Resurrection Stone." Nicholas said with a tone of satisfaction as he dropped them in Harry's hand.

Harry simply dropped the stone on the floor and pointed his wand at it. "Reducto."

The stone exploded into dust, which Harry then vanished.

"Why are you so insistent on destroying the Hallows?" Filius asked with a frown.

"Do you really want to find out what would happen if someone mastered them?" Harry asked pointedly. "Technically I owned all three just before I arrived back in this time."

"You did?" Nicholas asked. He didn't know that bit.

"In a purely technical sense. I owned the cloak. I had found and used the Resurrection Stone that was given to me by Albus and I was the master of the Elder Wand… even if Riddle was the one holding it."

Nicholas gave a frustrated sigh. "You really are an impulsive little twit. Did you not think for one second that this might be the reason you were able to come back in time?" He asked waspishly.

"Erm…"

"In Harry's defence, there hasn't been any previously documented owners of all three Hallows." Filius spoke up with an amused smile.

"And everyone who owns the Elder Wand or Resurrection Stone winds up murdered or committing suicide." Harry added defensively. "I'm just performing a public service."

"Are you going to destroy your cloak then?" Nicholas asked with a hint of an annoyed sneer.

"I'm considering it." Harry said. His expression became very downcast as he turned and walked off.

Filius slapped Nicholas on the arm. "Well done." He hissed. "The boy has spent most of his life trying to do the right thing. He has lost nearly every one he ever loved and everyone who should have loved him. What do you do? Ask him if he is going to destroy one of the last links he has to his father."

"Bother." Nicholas swore lightly. "I'd forgotten about that."

"Mister Potter!"

"Oh god." Harry groaned as he slumped onto the bench at the Slytherin table. "Can't he just leave me alone?"

"Of all the inhumane things a person can do, you sent Mister Malfoy to Azkaban?" Albus accused loudly.

There were gasps of shock from around the room.

"Albus Dumbledore." The calm stoniness in the Deputy Headmistress' voice caused everyone to turn to her where she was stood behind the staff table. "You have gone too far. As permitted by the bylaws of the school and the castle, we the teachers declare that you are no longer fit to serve the school in any manner.

"Leave now, of your own free will, or we will evict you forcibly."

"Minerva!"

"NOW!" She roared.

"I'm sorry Minerva. This is a matter that has consequences that reach far beyond the school." Albus said as he drew his wand. "Mister Potter has sentenced an innocent young man to the horrors of Azkaban without even a trial and I cannot let that stand. It is my duty as Chief Warlock to take him into custody."

"Aunt Minnie, it's ok." Harry said tiredly as he stood up. "He can stay."

"Harry! The fool is trying to turn you over to the Ministry for nothing that concerns him!" Minerva argued.

"I know." Harry said simply. "But that doesn't matter. We aren't going to throw him out… he'll have to quit. Every time he is seen by a student they are going to look at him pityingly as they see a fool."

Harry stepped onto the bench and sat on the Slytherin table, staring at the Headmaster. "You have no right to interfere in family matters, Albus. You certainly don't have the right to advertise the private matters of a family to the entire school.

"Now… I refuse to accompany you. Your move." Harry offered as he crossed his arms with a small smile.

Albus gave a sad and disappointed sigh as he aimed his wand at Harry. "I take no pleasure in this my boy. You could have been a truly great person in our world. Inc-urk!" Albus dropped his wand as though it burned him and he clutched his chest.

Harry nodded slowly. He then stood up and mounted the table. "My fellow students, what you are witnessing here are the effects of someone trying to go against a binding magical contract.

"Albus Dumbledore and I both signed a contract that stated we would not attempt to harm one another or work against each other.

"By attempting to take me prisoner he is doing just that.

"Albus Dumbledore is an Oath Breaker. A liar. An untrustworthy old fool."

As the children gasped in shock, Albus was cursing himself for forgetting about the contract. He had honestly only been interested in following the law and rescuing Draco, he had not been intending to control or harm Harry.

The pain receded slightly and he was able to stand. As he looked up he saw Harry holding his wand out to him for him to take.

"Of course, the Board of Governors will need to be informed, as well as the Ministry." Harry shrugged as Dumbledore took back his wand. "They might kick you out anyway."

Albus wasn't too worried about that. With Lucius gone the Board would listen to him, as would Cornelius.

"This… does not… change the fact- ugh- that you have condemned Mr. Malfoy to Azkaban." Albus gasped through pain-laboured breaths as he tried to stand.

"Draco Malfoy is a thief. He challenged the Houses of Potter, Slytherin and Black." Sirius said as he stood from the staff table. "He was offered many alternate forms of punishment but he refused each one. There were many decent families that were willing to take him in and house him.

"When none of those were deemed acceptable by him we decided to give him a temporary taste of Azkaban. Hopefully a few days in hell will convince him to change his disgusting ways."

"If you will excuse me, I need to contact the DMLE and the Board of Governors about this incident."

"Maybe you should go to St. Mungo's." Harry said with a hint of a smirk. "You seem to be in a fair amount of pain."

"I'm sure Poppy can aid me." Albus said as he tried to straighten up. The pain was too much though.

"I'm eating." Came the fairly uncaring response from the staff table. "If you want me to help you then you will have to wait. Although, I fail to see what I can do. You have attempted to break a magical contract, you are lucky that the writers of the contract were kind enough to put a warning clause in. If anyone else had written it you would already be dead."

"Penny and Filius wanted Albus to suffer for his crimes." Minerva explained. "They had some hope that he might learn the error of his ways and be capable of…redemption."

The look of utter smugness on Minerva's face was enough to break Albus' heart. They had been close friends and colleagues for decades… but now… he could feel the hate she had for him.

Albus silently turned and left.

"Everyone back to your meals." Severus ordered as the doors to the Great Hall closed.

Harry was skipping his classes for the day. It was a combination of DADA, transfiguration, potions and charms. None of the teachers would bat an eye at him being absent. Remus was temporarily filling in as the DADA professor.

Harry was in a lesson though.

"Binns, take a hike. Go and research recent history." Harry barked as he walked in holding a large rectangular tray covered in a fine cloth.

"I beg your pardon?" The deceased professor asked in slow confusion.

"The syllabus has been changed. You are teaching the students the wrong topics." Harry said loudly and slowly, as though Binns was old and senile.

Binns actually huffed. "Well it is about time." He said as he floated up. "I've been teaching about goblin wars for centuries now. I've been dying to research that little scuffle with the Germans back at the start of the century."

Harry just stared in disbelief at the ghost as it floated out indignantly.

Harry turned back to his class of first years who were just watching the whole thing curiously.

"Erm… I actually thought that would take longer." Harry muttered. "Oh well." He shrugged.

He placed his package on the desk and conjured a stand for it. He then removed the cloth to reveal a very old wizarding portrait.

"Students, this is Headmaster Leonus Alvard. He is the first Headmaster of Hogwarts and served under the Founders themselves. He will be serving as your History of Magic Professor for the next few sessions. He is to be treated with the utmost respect. If you fail to do so then you will face the wrath of each Head of House.

"Am I clear?"

"Yes Sir." Came the unified response.

Harry tried not to roll his eyes. The amused look on Leonus' face did not help.

"I believe the students and I will do just fine, Lord Harry." He managed not to chuckle.

With his first task of the day done, Harry met up with Sirius and they headed for a tiny office on the ground floor. Sirius knocked.

"Come in!" Came a rather haggard response.

The door swung open to reveal Albus Dumbledore in a room that barely classified as a broom closet. He was sitting at a student's desk on a tiny stool… there wasn't any room for a teacher's desks.

Perched on the old man's hat was Fawkes.

"Chirp!" The phoenix greeted them happily.

"Alright there Fawkes?" Harry smiled.

"Mr. Potter, you are supposed to be in class."

"Now, now Albus. Lord Slytherin and I are here with an offer." Sirius interjected before Harry could do something… Harry-Like.

Albus highly doubted that they were going to offer anything he would want to accept.

"As you should be fully aware, the Board of Governors has summoned you to a hearing this evening." Sirius continued. "I have spoken with some of them and they have agreed that should you accept our offer they will issue you a warning and probation, if you will, and let the matter lie."

"And the offer?" Albus asked, not that he had any intention of accepting.

"Draco Malfoy is due to spend four days in Azkaban. In the event he has not changed his mind at the end of those four days he will have his wand snapped and his magic bound. He will then be tossed onto the streets of muggle London and left to the mercy of the non-magical world."

"And you have the gall to wonder why I consider your actions despicable." Albus spat.

"Actually, we are just following your example, Albus." Harry shrugged.

"I would never-

"You repeatedly sent Tom Riddle back to the muggle orphanage where he was frequently abused. You sent me to live with my Aunt and Uncle who also abused me. Neither of us was allowed to use magic." Harry said calmly. "The difference between Tom and myself compared to Draco is that at the time neither Tom or I had committed any crimes."

"That was completely different!" Albus objected.

"That is what Lord Slytherin just said." Sirius rolled his eyes. "You knowingly subjected innocent boys to hell. We are assigning suitable punishment, as prescribed by the laws of the land, to a criminal."

"Draco Malfoy has committed no crimes." Albus said as he stood up quickly.

"SQUAWK!"

Albus quickly sat down again. He had forgotten Fawkes was on his hat… the room had a low ceiling.

"He is a thief, a bully and he challenged Lord Slytherin. He insulted a Lord and as such he should be spending a lot more than four days in Azkaban."

"Anyway!" Harry broke in quickly. "Here is the offer: Draco Malfoy will serve the remainder of his time in Azkaban. When he is released on Friday he will be given the choices again. If he refuses then his wand will be snapped and his magic bound. I suppose we could be kind enough to hand him over to the police.

"If you wish, you may join him in his cell. You will not be allowed to take your wand, but you will be allowed to comfort him and perhaps try to convince him to change his ways."

Albus frowned. He felt he had a duty to try and redeem these poor souls. He still held out hope for Gellert.

"Would Fawkes be permitted to accompany me?"

"That's up to him." Harry gave a nod to the bird.

"And I have your word that this is not some ploy to trick me into trapping myself in Azkaban?"

"No." Harry scowled. "Because you were the only one to think of doing that."

"It is quite offensive that you would accuse us of such underhandedness." Sirius sneered.

Both were trying not laugh… they had no intention of doing it… but they had joked about it. Fantasised would be a more apt description.

Albus wasn't easily fooled and just looked at them through narrowed eyes.

"So…" Harry moved them on. "If you believe you can do a better job of dealing with Draco than we can, then you are free to go and stay with him and try to help him mend his ways."

"Not that your record gives us much hope." Sirius scoffed.

"Very well." Albus said as he awkwardly crab walked out of his 'office' so as not to smash Fawkes on the ceiling again. "I will head to Azkaban immediately." He said as he stood up straight.

"Wand." Harry said as he held out his hand. "I promise not to destroy this one."

"I will need it to get to Azkaban." Albus frowned.

"Fawkes can drop you off."

Albus sighed as he drew his wand and handed it over.

"Ember!" Harry called out.

The little phoenix flamed in six feet above the group before plummeting into Harry's waiting hand.

"You really need to work on your destinations." Harry sighed as he stroked the hatchling's beak. "Here, take this to our room… just try and aim for the bed." He added.

"See you later Albus." Sirius waved as Fawkes flamed him off.

As they stood there, staring at the barren and cramped office of the Great Albus Dumbledore, Harry spoke up. "I had another idea of what we could offer Draco."

"Oh?"

"Well, we would actually be offering it to Albus. We could offer him guardianship of Draco."

"I'm fairly certain that Draco would kill Albus. But not on purpose. Just through stress."

"Nah… that's my job." Harry grinned.

"Take heart, Mister Malfoy. I have come to help you." Dumbledore announced as he opened the door to the cell.

Inside, Draco Malfoy was hunched in a corner. His clothes were disgusting. His hair was caked in dirt. His eyes were haunted.

He'd only been there for sixteen hours.

"It's about time someone realised who I was." Draco snarled weakly as he tried to stand. "There had better be a bath and my wand waiting for me."

"Ah, I believe you have misunderstood my reason for being here." Albus said as he closed the door, locking them both in. "I have come to keep you company whilst you serve your time. It was the only concession I could negotiate from your guardians."

That was a bit of a lie, but Albus felt the boy needed to feel someone was fighting for him.

"But I'm a Malfoy!" The boy half-whined and half-declared.

"A house that is all but dead." Albus said sadly. He reached for his wand to conjure a chair.

Then he remembered he didn't have it.

He gave a little huff of frustration before he slowly eased himself down to sit on the floor. He was certain he could hear his old bones creak.

"The House of Malfoy has been declared extinct." Albus explained. "It was conquered by the House of Potter. The only reason you have been allowed to keep the last name 'Malfoy' is because Lord Sirius Black didn't want you having the name of Black; despite the fact that you are essentially a ward of his house.

"Your mother has sworn oaths and has been allowed back into the House of Black though. I believe, if you are able to change your ways, that you will be given the same opportunity to swear the same oaths."

"I could be the Heir of the House of Black?" Draco asked, a gleam appearing in those formerly defeated eyes.

"No." Albus said firmly. "Harry Potter is the designated Black Heir. And that is only if Sirius sires no child of his own."

"They can't do that! Potter is just a filthy half-blood!"

"Mister Malfoy!" Albus snapped. "It is that attitude that has landed you here in Azkaban. Sirius Black has informed me that if you do not change your ways you will have your wand snapped, your magic bound and you will be tossed into the muggle world to fend for yourself."

"Th-The Minister would never let that happen!" Fear began to override arrogance.

"This is a private family matter. The Minister has no say."

The air suddenly began to grow cold. Draco began to shiver and the fear in his eyes turned to panic.

"No! Not now! Not again!"

"Easy Mister Malfoy." Albus soothed as moved to place a comforting arm around the boy. "Fawkes, would you please sing for us?"

Fawkes seemed to find that amusing… but he began to trill and sing.

"MERLIN MAKE IT STOP!" Draco screamed. "IT'S HURTING ME!"

Albus was feeling rather good. He couldn't understand why Fawkes' singing wasn't helping his innocent young charge.

Fawkes tried not to giggle as he sang.

Chapter Text

*Chapter 11*: Chapter 11
Chapter 11

"Harry, this is totally reckless! You could very well die!"

"Phoenix was fine."

"You are not a phoenix."

"Which is why I was smart enough to take added precautions, like a Portkey."

"But not smart enough to not shoot yourself off the planet!"

Harry was currently arguing with Aurora Sinastra on the grounds of Hogwarts.

They had quite the audience, the entire school was there, pupils, staff, ghosts… the portraits were crowded into various frames that looked out the windows.

Nicholas and Perenelle were there as was Amelia and Moody.

They were currently watching the Astronomy Professor argue with a second year in front of a large metal sphere. It was big enough to fit maybe three adults.

"You've seen me float around in this thing." Harry reasoned, or more accurately; whined. "I can go higher than any broom or carpet."

"We don't know what will happen when you hit the outer atmosphere!"

"Now would be a good time to find out." Harry said decisively.

Aurora growled in frustration and turned to the adults. "Mister Flamel, Filius, can you talk some sense into him?" She practically pleaded.

"Aurora." Harry said solemnly as he reached up and placed calming hand on her shoulder. "It's for the Greater Good."

Aurora was completely confused as several adults burst into giggles.

Perenelle took pity on the young teacher and shoved Harry gently out of the way. "Have faith in your work, my girl. You have done an amazing job. Let Harry have his fun. He is far more capable than we give him credit for." She smiled reassuringly.

"I can't believe you are letting him do this." She scowled.

"Phoenix! Ember!" Nicholas called out.

The mother and hatchling appeared in front of him, hovering in the air.

"Harry is going to test his little space machine. Would you go with him and make sure he doesn't kill himself?"

Phoenix gave a chirp of confirmation whilst Ember seemed fairly excited and started flying happily around Harry's shoulders.

"I guess it will have to do." Aurora said morosely.

Ember picked up on the woman's worry and landed on her shoulder and began to sing softly whilst rubbing her head against Aurora's cheek.

It had a calming effect on her and she began to relax.

"I'm not finished with you." She said calmly with her eyes closed and still enjoying the presence of the young phoenix.

Harry paused, his foot just inside the circular opening into the spherical capsule.

"But if you come back with a single scratch I will never let you hear the end of it." It was a little unnerving to hear her say that with both complete serenity and conviction.

"Erm… see you in a bit then." Harry gulped as he stepped in. Phoenix swooped in after him but Ember stayed on Aurora's shoulder.

Nobody backed away from the magical craft as it lifted off.

Unlike muggle space rockets this vehicle didn't use explosive combustion to fly. It used all manner of flight runes that were normally found on magic carpets, brooms and a certain Ford Anglia and Triumph Motorcycle.

So the take-off was completely silent, completely vertical and… relatively safe. It was Harry's idea after all.

The entire school watched in awe as the twelve foot in diameter sphere ascended into the sky gaining speed as it went.

Making a broom go fast was not a problem. Making a broom go fast and not break into little pieces or throw the rider off was.

But Harry's little sphere didn't have those worries. It was made from the same material as the muggle spacecraft and was engraved with runes and covered in enchantments that made it nearly indestructible.

That was the easy part.

The hard part was making sure the occupant of the sphere wasn't squished by G-Forces and that there was enough oxygen.

A bubble head charm was fine in the short term but limiting in the long. They didn't want to try carrying oxygen though as that meant there would be a limit on how long a person could stay up there.

So Harry had sent the 'Space Engineering Team' (also known as Aurora, Septima and Bathsheda) to Knockturn Alley where they purchased a certain Vanishing Cabinet from Borgin and Burkes.

The three 'Engineers' began investigating the process used to transfer items and created a similar system that would allow a continuous stream of fresh air to be transferred to the sphere.

"Hello? Sirius?"

Sirius pulled his communications mirror out of his robes. "Harry? Is everything ok?" He asked anxiously.

"Sort of-"

"What the hell have you done Harry?" Aurora demanded as she ripped the mirror from Lord Black's hands. "Activate your Portkey immediately!"

"Would you relax?!" Harry said in exasperation. "I just realised a flaw in our design and need your help."

"If there is a flaw then abandon the sphere and we can fix it in the next one!"

"The sphere is fine! For Merlin's sake! I have a full grown phoenix up here! I'm in more danger from you than I am from this trip!

"Just get your telescope and try and find me. We forgot to put windows in this thing so I have no idea if I have reached space yet."

"Oh… that does seem like a rather silly oversight." She said with slight embarrassment.

"Wait- I think I hit space."

"What happened?!" Aurora asked frantically.

"Zero gravity is wicked!" Harry shouted happily.

"I'll go and get my telescope."

"How is he going to get down if he can't see where he is going?" Sirius wondered as he watched Aurora walk off with his mirror.

Floating above the Earth (literally) was Harry Potter. His only source of illumination was a set of glowing runes that were used in certain ancient ruins.

Next to Harry was Phoenix who was also enjoying the ability to fly without using her own power.

"The next model definitely needs a window." Harry told his companion resolutely. "Just think, I'm probably the first wizard to ever go into space!" He declared with excited glee.

"The first in several thousand years in this galaxy."

Harry frantically tried to spin himself around at the sound of the new voice. Phoenix gently nudged him so he drifted to the wall of the sphere where he could steady himself.

Sitting across the way was a dark haired woman wearing a white dress.

Harry stared at her for a few moments. "What the hell?" He asked casually. "I doubt you're an enemy or Phoenix here would have acted."

"You call your phoenix… 'Phoenix'?" The woman frowned in confusion.

"No. I wasn't quick enough. This is someone else's companion."

The woman smiled approvingly. "You understand the nature of a phoenix."

"Ember?" Harry called out.

There was a flash of fire and the little phoenix appeared.

"This is my companion." Harry explained. "So, now that you know who we are… who the hell are you?"

"You assume I know your name."

"You aren't surprised to be in this little ship which means you meant to come here. You aren't surprised to see me so that means you were expecting to meet me… you can see where I'm going with this, right?" Harry asked with a bit of sarcasm.

"For one so young, you are quite astute." She said wryly. "But yes, I know who you are Harry Potter. I have been watching you ever since you sent your last vessel with the phoenix into orbit."

"Watching or spying?" Harry asked.

"So suspicious." She said chidingly.

"Says the woman who has been watching me in secret, hasn't given me her name and somehow managed to get into my sphere." Harry countered.

She chuckled at that. "I have gone by many names but you may call me Ganos."

"I don't recognise that name, or a country it might come from." Harry shrugged. "How about another name?"

"Later… perhaps." She said carefully. "For now, I wanted to meet the child who has inspired those far beyond his age and experience to venture beyond the bounds of their planet."

Harry stared at her for a moment. Then he waved. "Hi!" He said with fake cheer.

She laughed. "You are quite the young scoundrel, Harry. I hope you will allow me to visit more often. I cannot tell you much or help you, but I would very much like to encourage you to chase these dreams you have of travelling the stars.

"One day, when you have travelled far enough, I will be able to tell you more."

"How far?" Harry asked warily.

She handed him a piece of paper. "When you can decipher this you will know where to go. When you get there, I will be there waiting to greet you and tell you more."

"Why?" Harry asked as he stared at the strange symbols on the page. "Why approach me? There has to be more to this than pure curiosity."

"Much more." She admitted. "But I can only tell you more if you meet me there." She pointed at the paper in his hands. "I can tell you that the future of this entire galaxy rests in your hands at this time."

"I'm twelve!"

"And you are the only one of your kind to have come this far."

"What about the muggles? They've been all the way to the moon." Harry practically pleaded.

"They have come far with their own technology." Ganos admitted. "But at their current rate they will not be ready to meet the challenges that await. With your magic you will be able to do so much more in so little time."

"How little?" Harry asked.

"Years… a decade at the most."

"Fine. I'll be there." Harry scowled.

"And I will be waiting. Until then, Harry Potter."

Harry merely raised an eyebrow as she began to glow bright white and her body from the neck down began to lose definition and appeared to be made of light.

She then floated up through the top of the sphere.

Harry turned to Phoenix. "Is she really gone? Or just spying?"

Phoenix gave an uplifting trill.

"Let's get back to the surface then. Some of us need to have a long talk."

"Whilst I can honestly say I have never come across beings like you have described, I can recognise these symbols." Nicholas said gravely as they sat in Harry's rooms.

"Ganos said they were the details of where I need to go." Harry reminded him.

"Harry, I believe that Aurora may be of more help here." Nicholas sighed. "These symbols often have vocalisations based on Latin, but at the same time, these specific symbols are constellations. I have seen them rarely but… I have seen them."

"So Harry wasn't hallucinating? He really did see alien creatures?" Minerva was shocked.

"Phoenix has probably seen plenty of aliens." Harry shrugged as he nodded to the bird perched on the back of Nicholas' chair. "They can move between planets. Ganos seemed to recognise them as phoenixes."

"I am less worried about this particular alien and more concerned with her dire proclamation that the fate of our galaxy rests on Harry's shoulders." Filius said angrily. "Harry has done more than enough. He has so far had to do it twice!" He squeaked.

"We could talk to the centaurs." The Sorting Hat offered tentatively. "They may have seen portents of the future."

"We might as well go into the Department of Mysteries and grab all the other prophecies that refer to me." Harry snorted.

"We should do both." Amelia said decisively. "Tomorrow, Filius and I will take Harry to the DOM and we will retrieve the prophecies. This weekend we will talk to the centaurs."

"Again, Harry, I would suggest bringing Aurora in to our group. And… others." Nicholas said pointedly.

Harry scowled. He didn't want Sirius involved. He didn't want him knowing he was actually closer to twenty than thirteen. "Fine." He spat unhappily. "But someone else can take their oaths. I don't want anymore."

Everyone in the room had sworn an oath to him. He hated having that sort of responsibility to others.

And that was what made him nothing like Riddle. Harry would consider these oaths his responsibility. Riddle considered them power and control. It was why, even at that moment, a certain Indian couple were extolling the virtues of their lord to their friends.

"Harry, put me on and do as I say." The Hat instructed.

Harry frowned curiously, but complied. A few seconds later he stood up with a shrug and summoned the Sword of Gryffindor.

"Nicholas Flamel, Amelia Bones and Filius Flitwick, kneel before me." Harry instructed.

"Harry!"

"Hush Minnie!" Perenelle chided with a look of glee.

Seeing Nicholas also smiling and moving to kneel, Amelia and Filius both moved to join him. Amelia was a little hesitant, but she wasn't going to argue with the Immortal Alchemist or the Sorting Hat.

"Each of you has proven your loyalty and your worth in my lands." Harry said officiously. "You have defended my honour and my people. In return for your services, I hereby dub thee my knights." As he spoke he tapped each one on both shoulders causing a light to rest upon their backs. "You are granted authority to act in my name. You may enforce my laws. You may claim my favour in your dealings.

"Rise my most loyal servants."

Again, following Nicholas' lead, they stood and bowed.

"Thank you my Lord, we are most honoured." Nicholas said with a smile.

Harry just slumped on the chair and took off the Hat. "I hate doing official stuff." He grumbled.

"What just happened?" Amelia asked.

"Harry has just appointed the three of you as… well, his stewards. You are knights of his lands and as he said, you may act in his name." Perenelle explained. "This means that you may accept the oaths of others on behalf of your lord. To put it in the terms of the past; you may raise up armies in his name."

"And we will." Nicholas said with an authority that forbid objection from Minerva or Amelia. "But there are some you must accept personally. Such as Aurora and Sirius who both care for you greatly."

"Fine." He said sulkily. "I really doubt that Riddle is a 'threat to the galaxy', so we should probably put extra effort into squashing him. We've got everything but the cup and Riddle himself."

"We'll never get the cup, not without Bellatrix herself." Amelia shook her head.

"We can always steal it again. Harry did it once." Nicholas said dismissively. "Leave it to me."

"Just don't do it in my name." Harry warned. "I don't want that contract coming back to bite me."

"Relax, just because I can act in your name doesn't mean I always act in your name."

"Wow."

"You said that already."

"1998?"

"For God's sake! Yes!"

"And you're quite sure it wasn't a dream?"

"I swear that if you three don't pull yourselves together I am going to tell Ember to use you as part of her training when she flames around the world.

"She still hasn't gotten the height issue down."

Harry was sitting in his armchair in his quarters whilst Sirius, Remus and Aurora sat on the couch opposite. On a small table next to Harry sat the Sorting Hat.

"I- But-" Remus stopped, like the others he was completely befuddled by Harry's revelations. "I have no idea what to do with this… information." He admitted.

"You aren't supposed to do anything." Harry said firmly. "I never wanted you to know but Nicholas and Fil were… pushy." He scowled.

"Why wouldn't you want me to know?" Sirius asked slightly hurt.

"Because you suffered enough in Azkaban!" Harry exclaimed with angry frustration. "I wanted you to enjoy the rest of your life and just assume I was… eccentric. But now you know that I am not twelve but instead I'm… nineteen!"

"I told you we aren't counting those years, Harry." The Hat said sternly. "You never had a childhood and so you are going to enjoy this one."

"Harry… do you remember what I told you when you warned me not to betray you?" Sirius asked with a sad yet compassionate look at his godson. "It doesn't matter how old you are, you will always be my godson and I will always look after you and love you."

"I know that Padfoot. But I didn't want you to have to deal with the stress of trying to stop Riddle and everything else. It was hard enough just trying to get you out of Azkaban. At least this time we did it legally."

"It doesn't matter." Aurora interrupted with a frown. "It's happened and we can't change it."

"Well, that might not be entirely true." Harry said as he shuffled in his chair. "I've already changed it once."

Aurora glared at him and he quailed appropriately.

"You said that you had dealt with these horcruxes except for one, right?" She asked.

"The cup is in Bellatrix's vault."

"I can get it easily enough." Sirius waved a hand dismissively. "All her possessions were returned to the family when she was expelled from the House of Black."

"Take Nicholas with you." Harry ordered. "There are a lot of enchantments and it could take control of you and kill you."

"I'll be careful, Pup." Sirius promised. "I'll even take Remus."

"And then, what will happen to No Name?" Aurora asked. "With his anchors gone will he just die?"

"That is a hard question to answer." The Hat sighed. "We have never dealt with something like this before and there are no records."

"Then we should save the horcrux until we can confront No Name and confirm it works." She said decisively.

Harry fought to hide his emotions and thoughts. He had planned to do that anyway… just not with this particular horcrux. He had the one in his head to deal with after all.

"Aurora, you don't need to worry about Riddle and all of that." Harry changed the subject slightly. "We need you to work on the symbols I was given. I need to get there soon. Ganos told me I had a decade at the most. But she seemed to imply it was a lot less."

Aurora looked down at the piece of paper in her hand. "I know where it is… but it is three million light-years away! The only thing magicals have that travels at anywhere near the speed of light… is light."

"There has to be a way." Harry said with conviction. "Ganos said that wizards travelled in space thousands of years ago. We just need to work as hard as we can."

"Alright, here it is." Sirius plonked a trunk down on the coffee table in Harry's living room the following day.

Harry looked at the large school trunk glibly. "It seemed smaller last time."

Sirius grinned. "Sure, but this Bellatrix's trunk! I thought we could have some fun and go through her stuff. Maybe look at her diaries." He waggled his eyebrows.

"You're a sick, sick man, Padfoot." Harry said gravely. "Remus, maybe you should take him to the V-E-T?"

Remus' lips quirked slightly. "Your mother once tried to set up an appointment for him. Regrettably the war intensified and we were unable to keep the appointment."

"Might want to set up a new one."

Sirius looked between them in confusion.

"Nicky Old Boy, Old Chum-"

"What now Harry?" The Ancient Alchemist sighed as Harry flooed into his home.

"Is your better half here?"

"She's shopping. Shouldn't you be in class?" He asked as he put down his book.

"Been there and done that. I have something I need to discuss with you and it is very sensitive so please put up every privacy charm you can."

"Is this more sensitive than your last big reveal?"

"Yes."

Nicholas scowled as he stood up. "Follow me."

Nicholas led Harry to a bookshelf. He pulled on a book and the bookshelf seemed to dissolve to reveal a hidden room behind it.

"You watch a lot of movies, don't you?" Harry smirked.

"Of course!" Nicholas smirked back. "Do you like my secret little room?"

Harry looked inside and saw that there was a complete potions lab. There was a large safe in the wall.

"Very nice. But clearly not where you keep the stone."

"What gave it away?" Nicholas smiled.

"You told me it is under the Fidelius. You haven't told me the secret so I shouldn't even be able to assume it is in this room… or even see the room."

"You clearly have plenty of experience with the Fidelius, but not much finesse. Come here." He instructed.

Harry moved to stand next to Nicholas so they were exactly where the bookcase had been.

Nicholas suddenly began stamping vigorously on the spot.

Harry was about to ask if he had lost his mind when the floor beneath him vanished and he fell into the abyss.

Harry felt like he was falling forever. He could see absolutely nothing. Wind was rushing in his ears and he couldn't find anything to grab onto. Not a floor, not a wall… not even a ceiling!

"The Flamel's secret room is beneath the bookcase."

The rushing wind turned into a vicious vacuum that dragged colours and shapes before Harry's eyes, quickly forming into a comfortable living room.

He gasped for air as he fell to a knee.

"Sorry about that Harry." Nicholas clearly didn't mean it as he smiled. "So, take a seat and tell me what ails you." He offered as he sat in front of a comfortable chair in front of a fire.

Harry grumbled as he took the opposite chair. "I'm offering you the chance to pay up the life debt you owe me."

"I assume this doesn't include me wasting my time making gold and elixir for you?" He asked dryly.

"You only make me gold. You only do that because you agree with me. It's the only reason there is this debt between us.

"I'm offering to help you pay off the debt with a single spell."

Nicholas wasn't sure he liked this. Harry was being far too serious. There was no spark of mischief in his eyes like there normally was.

"What spell?" He asked cautiously.

"The Killing Curse." Harry said with a sad shrug.

Nicholas closed his eyes, took a deep breath and sat back. "Killing you would be the same as Severus Snape betraying your family."

"Not if you're doing me a favour and I might survive it." Harry said as he also sat back. "There are a few things that I haven't told anyone. Not even Filius. I don't want them to have to deal with it."

"But you are happy to lump it on me." Nicholas said sarcastically.

"Payback for everything that happened in India." He smiled… but there was no happiness.

"Tell me the reason." Nicholas instructed. He was not pleased.

"There is a piece of Tom's soul here." Harry tapped his scar. "The only way to remove it is to hit me with the Killing Curse. Last time I came back to life and the curse just killed the soul fragment."

"You stupid child!"

Harry was startled as Perenelle burst out from behind Nicholas with tears in her eyes. She stormed forwards grabbing Harry in a crushing hug. "You are wrong, Harry." She said as she sobbed, holding Harry's head to the crook of her neck. "There is always another way."

"It would appear, Harry, that I will have to find another way to pay off the debt." Came Nicholas' dry yet amused voice.

Harry and Sirius stood outside the cell of Draco Malfoy. Inside the boy was clinging to the aging Headmaster and shivering.

"What happened to Fawkes?" Harry asked as he looked around the cell.

Dumbledore glared at the annoying brat. Brat? Oh dear. He'd been in the cell too long.

He shook his head to clear himself. "Fawkes was unable to help Mr. Malfoy so he headed back to the castle."

"Did Draco come to a decision?" Sirius asked sternly. "He can either stay with a muggle family, perform menial labour at the Hogshead or we can cut him loose in the muggle world with his wand snapped and his magic bound never to return to the wizarding world."

"I-I- I am a-a-a M-M-Malfoy! A-A-Any p-p-pureblood f-f-family wo-ould be proud t-t-to have me live with t-t-them."

"Tough. It isn't a choice you have, Thief." Sirius sneered. "Albus, you can take him to the docks. You have until he gets there to help him make his decision."

Albus really wanted to argue but he had no legal standing in an internal matter of A Most Ancient and Noble House. He dragged the shaking Draco to his feet and led him out of the cell.

He frowned as he looked around. "Where are the Dementors?"

"They were never here." Sirius shrugged. Albus looked at him in surprise and Sirius looked affronted. "Do you take me for a monster or something? I would never condemn a child to a life of torture and enslavement! I would never lock someone in a cupboard that barely fit them just because they were born or treat them like a house elf to sate my hate!"

Albus scowled as he quickly led Draco away.

It wasn't so much that he hated the way Black was accusing him of treating Harry… it was the fact that he had thought that his mind and spirit was so strong that the Dementors didn't affect him.

Except the Dementors weren't even there.

He looked down at the shaking boy… Draco Malfoy was honestly a spoiled brat… even Albus couldn't deny that.

Draco Malfoy was currently in the bathroom used by the guards.

Albus had just been made an offer by Sirius.

"How do you expect me to look after the boy if I can't have him near me at Hogwarts?" Albus argued.

"You didn't feel the need to have me at Hogwarts." Harry said snidely. "You were happy to leave me in a cupboard with my abusive family. You left Tom in an abusive orphanage."

"Those were entirely different circumstances." Albus said as he drew himself up importantly.

"How?" Harry asked simply.

Once again Albus was infuriated by the boy. Most people would have accepted his statement as it came from the Great Albus Dumbledore.

Harry felt the need to press.

"I'm afraid a young child such as yourself wouldn't understand." He tried out his grandfatherly mannerisms again.

Sirius raised a hand with a smile and waved. "Hi. I'm an adult. Explain it to me."

Albus gave a long suffering sigh. He sometimes regretted his part in getting Sirius out of Azkaban.

"I refuse to be drawn in to a pointless debate with you, Sirius." He said sternly. When in doubt, pull out the disappointed teacher routine.

"If you are unable to explain yourself then we won't be able to consider what you have to say." Harry retorted. "Anyway, offer stands. If you are so desperate to 'save' Draco then you can assume responsibility for him. If you can get him to behave and respect others, then we will see about letting him back into wizarding society as a student."

"For which I need to have him with me at Hogwarts." Dumbledore reiterated.

"You could always quit." Sirius offered. "That or you could arrange a nanny and only stay at the school during the day."

"No one said you had to have your eye on him twenty-four hours a day." Harry pointed out. "You can arrange for carers or minders, but you are responsible for him and his actions and the resulting consequences."

"And if I refuse to take on, Mr. Malfoy?"

"He gets to choose from one of the other options." Sirius said firmly.

Albus gave another sigh. "Then I see I have no choice but to take responsibility for Mister Malfoy."

The following day was a Friday, the year sevens had their Muggle Studies lesson with Charity Burbage.

She had just finished taking the class register when the door opened and Harry Potter marched in with two first years.

"Mister Potter! Regardless of your station and ownership of this school, it is still polite and good manners to knock and await invitation before entering a room." She said sternly.

Harry actually blanched at that. "Sorry." He said sincerely. "I've just been used to dealing with idiots like Dumbledore for a while now. I promise to try and not do it again."

"Thank you." Charity said with a bit of relief. She had lost her temper a bit otherwise she would never have questioned a lord in his own castle. "Now, why are you here with Mister Creevey and Miss McCallister?"

"Well, let me answer your question with a question." Harry said as he led the two firsties to the head of the class. "When was the last time you actually went into the muggle world?"

"Goodness!" Charity said breathlessly as she patted her chest. "I used to go every summer. Not for extended periods, of course, but just to see how things were cha- Mister Potter, are you intending to commandeer my class as you did with Professor Binns?" She asked archly.

Harry gave her a sheepish smile.

"Surely my class cannot be considered in the same sentence as History of Magic?" She asked aghast.

Harry turned to the class. "How do muggles get to America?"

"By boat of course." One Ravenclaw boy declared. "They had that big ship. It sank though. I guess they learnt their lesson and make them small now."

"What about aeroplanes?" Harry asked.

"They use those like primitive broomsticks… right?" Another Ravenclaw asked uncertainly.

Harry turned back to Charity. "And your answers?"

"Similar to theirs." She admitted. "But I know they have made great strides with their cars and bikes. Anyone can see the massive lorries and buses they use to transport people."

Harry nodded, he was quite pleased with that answer. "You sound more open minded than most purebloods… but you are fairly out of date.

"Non-magicals now have ships more than twice the size of the Titanic, the ship you were talking about." He told the boy. "The Titanic sank nearly a hundred years ago and since then they have improved in nearly every way.

"Their planes can carry up to six hundred passengers! That is the entirety of Hogwarts and Hogsmede with room to spare.

"Muggles have been to space and landed on the moon.

"They can talk to each other across the oceans without needing to put their head in a fire and get sooty.

"Which brings us to why Colin and Morag are here." He indicated the two firsties who were waiting patiently, if nervously. "Both are first generation magicals. They have spent eleven whole years in the non-magical world getting a non-magical education.

"If you want to learn about the non-magical world then you should make use of the best resources Hogwarts has to offer." He said firmly.

Charity sighed. "Mr. Potter, as admirable as your idea is, how do you expect them to help without a lesson plan."

Harry picked up the class text book on Charity's desk and handed it to Morag. "What page are you on?" He asked the Professor.

"Thirty-eight."

"Look it over, teach them what the subject says. I'll stay with you for now to make sure you stay on target." He assured them.

Despite their nervousness the two young students opened the book to page thirty-eight.

Everyone waited quietly.

Harry tried to supress a smirk at the looks of outrage and confusion on the two first year's faces.

"This says we still use a horse and cart!" Morag exclaimed. "But everyone can see the cars on the streets. All you have to do is walk outside the Leaky Cauldron!"

Charity couldn't help but put a hand over her face in dismay. "Class dismissed for the rest of the day." She sighed.

Harry had suggested that Charity contact a few parents of muggleborn and ask them to show her around. He told her to take the textbook with her and show them… but not to take offence when they laughed.

Albus was out of the castle for a few more days. He was having a hard time finding someone to board Draco whilst he was in school. It was bad enough that his brother, Aberforth, refused to help, but every time he took Draco somewhere the boy kicked up a fuss and managed to insult his would be carers.

The irony was lost on Albus when the only person who capitulated was Mrs. Figg. She did so under duress, but she felt she owed Dumbledore and Albus was not adverse to guilting her into it.

The hard part was trying to get Draco to behave.

Harry, on the other hand, had his own miscreant to deal with.

"I hate it here." Was the sulky declaration from the twelve-year-old Dudley Dursley.

"That's the idea, Dud." Harry shrugged.

"Daddy said I could go to Smeltings."

The pair were sitting in the visitor's room at a Secure Children's Centre near the edge of London. It was a lovely place that made you feel at home.

Unless you were sentenced there… because a prison is a prison no matter how nice it looks.

Vernon and Petunia had been arrested for child abuse after Amelia had worked with her muggle counter-parts to bring them to justice. Dudley was too young for prison but not suitable for society.

"They don't let me have sweets. They don't let me watch cartoons. They make me eat… vegetables!" He whispered the last part with terror.

Harry tried not to laugh… it was hard enough not to smirk. "Do you know why you are here, Dudley?"

"Because I'm a 'bad boy'." Dudley sneered. "I'm not dumb."

"And you don't believe that?" Harry asked calmly.

"Who cares?" Dudley through his hands up angrily. "Mum and Dad are in jail and I'm here. Just because the little liars said I beat them up and took their money."

"But you did."

"They shouldn't have said anything… fucking little squealers. OW!"

Dudley rubbed his arm fearfully as he saw Harry holding his wand pointed at him.

"That is the sort of behaviour that keeps you a prisoner here." Harry said sternly. "Foul language, bullying… it's disgusting."

"You're not the boss of me!" Dudley whined.

"Actually, I am." Harry said as he sat back and fiddled with his wand thoughtfully. "Who's your favourite super hero?"

"Huh?"

"Batman, Superman, Iron Man… who's your favourite?"

Dudley had a greedy… almost evil grin. "Wolverine!"

Harry wasn't entirely familiar with comics and heroes. He didn't have much exposure beyond what Dudley talked to his mother about. As a result he had had to research the various heroes and villains before visiting Dudley.

"What does Wolverine do with his powers and abilities?"

"He kills people! Slices 'em up! Woosh! Woosh!" Dudley animatedly swung his fists as though the fictional claws were poking from his own knuckles.

"Does he kill children?" Harry asked.

"'Course not!" Dudley said indignantly. "He kills the bad guys. Like Sabertooth and Sentinels."

"Why doesn't he kill children?" Harry asked curiously.

"Because he's a hero. God, I knew you were dumb."

"If your hero, Wolverine, doesn't hurt children… why do you?"

Dudley shrugged uncomfortably. "So they give me their stuff and do what I want."

Harry had no idea how to respond to that. Well… he considered finding Vernon and Petunia and torturing them for what they did to their son.

He was practically a psychopath.

"But I don't like it when they do it to me."

Harry raised a surprised eyebrow at the quiet admission.

"Someone's been hurting you?" Harry asked softly.

"No… but they said they would if I didn't let them have my pudding."

"But that's how all the kids you bullied felt." Harry reminded him. "They didn't like it when you hurt and stole from them. They were afraid when you threatened them.

"Now that you've become the victim to bullies… do you still want to be a bully?"

Dudley just shrugged. It was a bit strange to see the normally boisterous Dudley Dursley so subdued… scared.

"Do you know what is better than being a bully?" Harry asked.

Dudley gave a half-hearted sneer. "Being a goody-two shoes?"

"Being the hero." Harry said simply. "Being the person who protects the victims and stomps on the bullies and makes sure they aren't making people feel like you do now."

"Like Wolverine?" There was bit of curious hope.

Harry leaned forward and looked at Dudley intently. "Wolverine, Batman, Superman, Iron Man… each in their own way looks out for the little guy. What do you think Wolverine would say if he saw you bullying someone else?"

Dudley gave another half-hearted shrug. Harry was relieved to see shame on his cousin's face.

Harry leaned back again and played with his wand. "Do you remember when Hagrid gave you a pig tail?"

Dudley's face was a mixture of anger and fear as he squirmed in his seat.

Harry ignored it. "Hagrid was wrong. He shouldn't have done that to you. He certainly should have reversed it before we left you."

"I couldn't sit down for month." Dudley grumbled.

Harry knew the doctors said he would be fine after two days… but as usual, Petunia and Vernon had spoiled the brat. He let it pass though.

"Magic is one of the most wonderful things in the world." Harry declared as he pointed his wand at the drinking glass on the coffee table between them and turned it into a little Labrador puppy. It immediately began yapping happily and jumped on a terrified Dudley's lap.

Well… it tried to. It was too small and young to be able to climb the chair.

Harry ignored Dudley's fear and attempts to climb over the back of his sofa chair. He tapped himself on the head and disillusioned himself.

Dudley didn't notice Harry had vanished until the puppy, that was desperately trying to climb onto his chair, began to float.

All of a sudden Harry seemed to melt into view, his image pouring down like a waterfall. He was sitting on the side of the table nearest Dudley with the puppy on his lap.

"Invisibility, teleportation, mind reading, making things from nothing, turning things into other things… and that is just what a wizard or witch can do!

"I haven't even started on things like dragons, unicorns, mermaids, centaurs… the magical world is full of amazing creatures."

Dudley seemed to have calmed down a bit having seen the puppy was quite friendly in Harry's hands enjoying a tummy rub. Harry slowly handed the puppy across to a tentative Dudley.

Harry sat there patiently whilst Dudley stroked the puppy's tummy like he'd seen Harry do. The only other dogs that the two had been exposed to were Marge's. They were all the same. Vicious things that were unsafe around decent humans.

"I've seen a dog that is taller than Hagrid. It has three heads and loves to play fetch." Harry said with a small smile as he watched Dudley's mood improve as the puppy rolled over and tried to reach up and lick his face.

"I've seen a snake that is longer than a bus."

Dudley looked up in amazement.

He suddenly frowned.

"Why are you telling me this? Trying to make me jealous?" He asked with a scowl.

"If your parents had been good people, they would have stopped you from being a bully." Harry said seriously. "You and I would have been raised like brothers."

Dudley looked at him with curious disgust. "But you're just a freak."

"Why?"

"Because Dad said you were."

"You're Mum and Dad are in prison for calling me a freak, for beating me, locking me in a cupboard and barely feeding me. You are in this place for calling me a freak. For beating up me and others."

Harry leaned forward intently. "If I'm the 'freak', why are you the one in here?"

"Maybe you tricked them." Dudley clearly didn't believe that.

"Dudders, I'm going to leave you now." Harry said as he stood up and smoothed his clothes. "I'll be back… maybe next week. I want you to think about magic and superheroes.

"I would be very happy to show you magic and let you enjoy it… but at the moment you don't deserve it. Prove you can be a good person and-" He vanished the puppy causing Dudley to look shocked and upset. "-next time things like that puppy might be more permanent."

Harry didn't say anything else as he turned and left, leaving a confused and somewhat sad Dudley Dursley alone in the visitor's room.

*Chapter 12*: Chapter 12
Chapter 12

There was a lot of gossip at dinner that night. The Headmaster was back and he did not look well. He looked like he had been held hostage and fed bread and water.

Which wasn't too far from the truth.

After dinner Harry cornered his new minders.

"Greg, Vinnie, take a seat." Harry instructed as he conjured a pair of arm chairs in the common room for the boys. He then threw up a Muffliato.

"AAAAHHHHHH!"

Everyone in the room turned as the same boy screamed and ran out of the room.

Agatha, who was sitting at a table helping some first years, immediately ran after him.

Harry shook his head and returned his attention to Gregory and Vincent.

"So… boys! Why have you taken to following me around like you did Malfoy? Not that I don't appreciate the company, that is! I'm just curious." Harry asked with a smile. He didn't want to hurt the boy's feelings if they just wanted to be his friends.

Greg and Vinnie (and they really liked the nicknames Harry gave them) shared a look.

Greg looked at Harry and stated simply: "It's what we're supposed to do."

Going out on a very slight limb, Harry asked. "Because someone told you to?" He received a confident nod from them. "Alright, tell me the details. Who gave you the instructions and what did they entail?"

Vincent sat up straight and said with pride. "Our fathers instructed us to guard the Malfoy Heir until the Dark Lord returns."

"Ooookay." Harry drawled. "So why are you following me?"

"Our fathers said we had to watch Draco until you killed him or tossed him out of Hogwarts."

The two boys seemed so… innocent, to Harry.

He couldn't help but wonder if their dads had more brains than them.

"Are your dads Death Eaters?" He asked casually.

Both boys nodded.

He was beginning to doubt it.

Harry leant back in his chair tiredly and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

Harry had a thought and dropped the muffliato.

"Guys, being a Death Eater is about the most horrible thing a person can be." As he had hoped, people began to pay attention. "I'm not talking about the murders they commit or the torturing they do… I'm talking about what they go through themselves.

"Lord No Name enjoys torturing people himself. He likes to do it to his Death Eaters. Ask your dads if he ever used the Crucio on them.

"But that's not the only downside. You see, being a Death Eater means that you are a criminal. Like Draco. You can't go out in public. You can't go and have an ice cream at Fortescue's or a Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.

"You spend your life on the run or in hiding… waiting to be told who to kill or to be summoned before Lord No Name and tortured… just because he's bored.

"And what about when you are told to kill someone? It could be anyone. It could be Millie, or Missus Farley… and he won't put them back together like we did with Mister Griffy."

"You keep talking about the Dark Lord, Potter. What about the rewards?" Lucian Bole challenged from one of the sofas. "What about what the Dark Lord stood for?"

"What did he stand for?" Harry asked calmly.

"Purity of blood! He stood for Purebloods everywhere to make sure that we aren't overrun by mud-" Bole froze as Harry's wand appeared in his hand and pointed at him. "Muggleborn."

Harry's wand relaxed… but he didn't put it away.

"They are a plague trying to steal our magic and our way of life!" Lucian finished passionately.

"Lord No Name was born to Merope Gaunt, a squib, and Tom Riddle, a muggle. He was less than a half-blood. He was also raised in a muggle orphanage."

"You can't prove that Potter! I've checked your claims. There is no record of Tom Riddle Junior changing his name to Lord Voldemort." Lucian smirked triumphantly.

Harry tried not to laugh as Terence dropped his head onto the table he was sitting at with a loud thud. "Of course he didn't you plonker!" His muffled voice said in irritation. He then sat up and glared at Lucian. Well… he did after he ripped off the parchment stuck to his forehead. "Voldemort is a made up name! Even his followers had to know that."

Harry spoke up before Lucian could undoubtedly say something to Terrence that would get him hexed. "If you want proof then ask Dumbledore. He taught Riddle and he met with him when he started going by Voldemort.

"I think Professor Snape might be aware of this too."

"All people who opposed the Dark Lord." Lucian dismissed his reasoning.

Harry changed track slightly as he realised that Lucian would never believe him. "Why did he keep killing Purebloods then? Bones, Prewitt, Longbottom, Potter… there were plenty more. When he was here last year at Halloween he threatened to kill Hufflepuff Purebloods.

"He's not interested in blood purity. He just wants power."

"Nothing wrong with power, Potter. But it should be wielded by those who deserve it."

"Like Purebloods?"

"Exactly."

"And why do Purebloods deserve it?"

"We are the original magicals!" Lucian snapped irritably. "We have been magicals for generation upon generation!"

Harry wrinkled his nose in thought for a minute. "Dobby?"

*Pop*

"Yes Harry Potter Sir?"

"Could you nip up to my library and get me the book on the table?"

The elf vanished and reappeared so quickly that there was only one pop.

"Thanks."

Dobby nodded and vanished.

Harry held the book up for all to see. "Do you recognise this, Lucian?"

The older boy smirked. "That is the Pure-blood directory. It contains the names of The Sacred 28. The Noble and Most Ancient Houses that have not dirtied themselves with mud- muggles."

"So this book contains the names of those who are entitled to magic?" Harry queried.

"Exactly."

There was another thud and Lucian had a slight doubt about his air-tight argument as he saw Terrence with his head, again, planted on the table.

He turned back to Harry and his worry increased as he saw the boy smirk.

"So, Millie, Daph, your names are in this book." He smiled at the two girls, Bulstrode and Greengrass. "Lucian's isn't. Bit of a disgrace really, that a Bole, an 'un-pure' is not only attending our school but is also standing in our noble house, wouldn't you say?"

Millicent Bulstrode was just a few shades smarter than Greg and Vinnie. She also had a lot of respect for Harry; He treated her like an equal, even though she was one of his vassals.

This meant she was intuitive enough to let Daphne respond.

"Whilst I have nothing against muggleborn and no particular desire to… deny or restrict their access to our world, I do find it to be very poor taste for such a minor family (not even a true House) such as Bole to be dictating the wishes of such great institutions as The Sacred 28."

As it was the heiress to one of Bole's precious Pure-blood families that had spoken, he had very little choice but to keep his trap shut on the matter.

Harry sat there with a thoughtful frown. Daphne was not being rude or condescending. She wasn't a bigot or held to any of the Pure-blood superiority… but something she said didn't sit right with Harry.

"Harry?"

The displaced time-traveller looked up, he realised that they were waiting on him.

"Well… Lucian, even if you have no respect for myself and my position, by your own word you should respect the opinions and decisions of a member of The Sacred 28."

There were a few frowns. Harry was now very subdued. There was none of the charisma that had been there when he had begun to talk with Greg and Vinnie.

Harry stood up and patted the two boys on the shoulder before walking off to his quarters without a word.

Filius flooed into Harry's quarters a few minutes later to find him working on carving runes into a simple wooden chair. He was hissing away as he talked to Blinky. The conversation seemed to include them all. Owl, basilisk, phoenix and human.

"Harry?" He asked softly. "Is everything ok? Your housemates were worried about your… departure."

"They were?" Harry frowned.

"Apparently Mister Higgs suggested that Miss Davis ask Dobby to get me to come and check on you."

Harry shook his head in mild frustration. Mainly at himself. "Ember, why don't you go and visit Tracey and tell her to let everyone know I'm fine, just thinking."

The little phoenix jumped off her perch and vanished in a flash of flame. Ember was a big hit with the decent members of Slytherin house.

The rest were very uncomfortable around her… especially when she sang.

"So what are you thinking so hard about?" Filius asked as he settled into his armchair.

Harry sighed, pausing in his carving for a moment. "We were having a discussion on Riddle and blood purity. Lucian was arguing for Tom and Pure-bloods. I pulled out the Pure-blood Directory and pointed out that his family wasn't in it. I put Daphne and Millicent on the spot about what they thought of Bole's attitude and presumptions."

"And the girls crumbled under the pressure of dealing with a much older student." Filius nodded in understanding.

Harry laughed. "No, Daph put Lucian… well, she practically buried him under his place.

"No… Daphne didn't do anything wrong… but something she said. She commented on how she had no prejudice against muggleborn and muggles, but… what she actually said was something to effect of having no desire to restrict or deny their access to: 'Our World'." He finished with finger quotes.

"You have a problem with her phrasing?" Filius asked, he didn't understand what Harry was having trouble with.

"Uncle Fil… you were born and raised with magic. So was Daphne. I have absolutely no problem with you and those like the two of you claiming a sense of ownership of your way of life.

"But it means that first generation magicals are being forced into the role of immigrants. Leaving the non-magical world for the magical. They don't have a choice.

"And because they weren't born into this world of magic they are looked upon as parasites and thieves who steal the jobs, the houses… the potential spouses."

Harry stopped and went back to his carving… just for something to do.

"Are you upset because you have just realised this or because you don't know what to do about it?" Filius asked quietly.

Harry gave him a small smile. "I already know what to do about it, Uncle Fil. I'm just… annoyed that it exists."

"I dread to ask… but what do you plan to do?"

"Conquer Magical Britain."

Filius couldn't bring himself to believe Harry was joking. It wasn't the first time his adopted nephew had made such a declaration and despite his obsession with going into space, he was very careful to pay attention to his role as Lord Slytherin.

He didn't get a chance to question further before there was a knock on the door to the common room.

Dobby instantly appeared. "Mrs. Farley is here sir."

Harry rolled his eyes. In many ways Dobby was dead useful and a godsend. But he was very selective in which orders he chose to follow. Harry had told him that other than making sure the animals were all good, he could do what he wanted as long as he helped now and again.

'Now and again', for Dobby, translated into 'all the time'.

"Let her in."

"My Lord." She said with a curtsey.

"Agatha-" Harry growled out. He was constantly telling her to drop the formalities. He gave a resigned sigh. "Have a seat and tell me what I can do for you."

In the manner of a true lady, Agatha Farley settled herself primly on the edge of the sofa with her knees together and slanted slightly and her hands folded in her lap.

"It's about Jonathan Dempsy, My Lord."

"Harry."

"My Lord Harry."

Harry was banging his head against his project so he missed the shy smile of amusement she sent to Filius who was trying hard not to laugh.

"Is there a problem with our young first year, Mrs. Farley?" Filius asked. "I understand he is a half-blood, but I assume he is not being harassed, someone would have painted the Slytherin Common Room, Gryffindor Red with blood!"

"No Professor. Nothing as serious as that." She assured them. "Jonathan was the boy who ran out of the common room screaming, Lord Harry. I checked on him and he told me that he has a crippling fear of bees and wasps. He heard a loud buzzing and panicked."

Harry began banging his head on his chair again. "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

"Harry!"

"Not Johnny, Uncle Fil. Me." Harry assured him. "Agatha, can you go and bring Jonathan up here, please."

She quickly stood, curtsied and left.

"Dobby!"

*Pop*

"Yes Master Harry Potter Sir?"

"Can you go and ask the Sorting Hat if he wouldn't mind joining us here for a quick meeting, please?"

"Yes Master Harry Potter Sir."

*Pop*

Harry spent a good thirty minutes with the poor boy explaining that it was just the muffliato charm. He also promised not to use it if Jonathan was around. They also spent some time with Filius and the Sorting Hat explaining how to add his own charms and wards to his room and clothes so he would be safe from the evil little kamikaze bastards.

"WOOOOOHOOOOOO!"

The first years in the courtyard turned in wonder to see Harry Potter go flying past on a floating chair whilst he screamed in joy.

"I'LL KIIIIILLL YOOOUUUU POOOTTTTEEEERRR!"

The first years in the courtyard turned in wonder to see Hermione Granger go flying past on a floating chair whilst she screamed death threats at The Boy-Who-Lived.

"Heh heh. This is fun."

The first years in the- ok so now it was getting ridiculous as Crabbe and Goyle floated by on chairs at a rather sedate pace.

"Mister Crabbe! Mister Goyle!"

The two boys stopped their forward momentum and turned to see Professor Sprout marching up.

"What on earth are the four of you doing?" She demanded.

"We're testing Harry's chairs." Vincent answered politely.

Pomona Sprout was a little taken aback at being addressed like that by a boy who rarely spoke and was sitting with perfect posture in a floating table chair.

She quickly rallied herself though. "I assume you agreed to aid Mister Potter, but what about Miss Granger?"

"She agreed as well." Vincent nodded.

"I think Harry… fiddled with hers." Greg frowned.

Considering the screams and death threats echoing back over the castle grounds… she was hard pressed to disagree.

Pomona knew there wasn't any way she would be able to talk the rambunctious young lord into a more reasonable set of actions… so she sent a messenger spell to Filius.

She passed the buck.

"Honestly Harry, involving the students in your… 'projects' is really a bit much." Filius chided as he helped a shaky Hermione from her chair.

She seemed to be having trouble standing.

"It's perfectly safe and fun." Harry said obstinately.

"Miss Granger would appear to disagree." Filius frowned as he saw the girl still trying to stand.

"This is part of her 'extra tuition'." Harry explained. "I've assigned her a project: To Learn to Have Fun!"

"She seems to be failing." Filius retorted dryly. "Miss Granger!" He snapped lightly. "You can't be that traumatised!" He said as the girl still couldn't stand.

At this point Greg and Vinnie had rolled up.

"Did you remember to release the safety rune, Hermione?" Greg asked curiously.

Hermione's flushed face turned even redder as she reached over her right shoulder with her left hand and tapped a glowing rune on the backrest.

"Harry, can we… ?" Vincent asked with clear childlike hope.

"Have fun boys. Just remember to come tell me all about it and to tell me if there is anything wrong with them." Harry grinned.

"WOOOHOOOO!"

Filius looked on in shock as the two Slytherin boys shot off far faster than Harry or Hermione had been travelling. They also weren't flying at ground level as they shot into the sky and began spinning in any direction they could.

"Harry… what safety features did you add to those chairs?" Filius asked as he swallowed hard.

"Well, you saw the safety belt rune. The chairs are also charmed unbreakable. There is a monitoring set of charms that will portkey them straight to Poppy if their health fails for any reason."

"Could someone call Madam Pomphrey please." Hermione said as she stood shakily on the firm ground. "I might need a healer."

"There are also charms to negate the effects of gravity: G-Forces." Harry added, ignoring his friend.

Filius looked Hermione glibly. "Suck it up girl. If you are this queasy with Harry's chairs, you'll never survive the Floo or Portkeys."

Albus was sitting in his office.

Well… it was the small broom cupboard he had appropriated.

He was currently reading over the latest reports from the ICW. He would have a meeting to attend the following week and he wanted to make sure he was up to date on everything.

Magical Britain was completely ignorant of the world beyond its borders. Not by choice, precisely, it was more that the papers and wireless didn't print anything.

As such the general magical population had no idea that the magicals of Tibet were still working on their resistance against the Chinese.

They didn't know about the issues between the US Magicals and the US Muggles.

But it was Albus' job to not only know these things, but to be able to mediate between entire countries and civilisations to prevent war.

He was jerked from his musings as the door opened to reveal a fairly sheepish Argus Filch.

"Need the plunger." He explained shortly. "Bloody third years have gone and clogged the second floor bathrooms. There's shi-"

"Thank you! Argus." Albus interrupted quickly.

Argus just shrugged and pointed to the corner behind Albus. "Need that one."

Albus tried not to grimace as he picked the clearly 'used' plumbing apparatus up with two dainty fingers and handed it over.

Argus left without a word, closing the door.

Albus turned back to the papers detailing the troubles in the world he would need to fix.

"Sweet Merlin!" Albus dropped the papers and ran for the bathroom as he realised his hands were not… clean.

Harry was sitting in his quarters late in the evening and reading a fifth year text on Ancient Runes. Lying in a messy pile across from him was a third year text on Arithmancy.

He had thrown it there when he couldn't understand a single thing and his frustration got the better of him.

There was a knock at his door so he calmly, yet tersely put his book down and answered it.

He was met by a very stern and tense looking Minerva and Filius.

"Oh for Merlin's sake!" Harry exclaimed in exasperation. "She's a bloody twelve-year-old girl, not the Queen of England! Learn to say no!"

Both professors visibly sagged as they rolled their eyes.

Filius gently pushed Harry back inside.

"We aren't here about Miss Granger, Harry." He assured him.

"Right." Harry clearly wasn't convinced.

"However, we are here about another student and would like your input and opinion." Minerva admitted.

Harry was curious… but wary. "Alright, I'll bite. Who?"

"Ronald Weasley." Filius said with a tired sigh.

Now Harry was confused. "I barely even know him this time."

"Which may be part of the problem." Minerva explained. "His grades are abysmal. He rarely hands in homework and spends most of his evenings in detention."

"He was always a bit of a slacker." Harry admitted.

"A bit? Harry, the boy refuses to do the work. He actually puts more effort into trying to convince others to do his homework for him!" Filius exclaimed.

"Well... usually Hermione would badger us into doing our homework. Although Ron still had barely passing marks."

"So perhaps a tutor would help?" Minerva asked hopefully.

Harry just laughed. "Nah, he would drive a tutor nuts. A tutor won't fix his apathy and laziness. Plus… Ron always had a sense of entitlement. He was always jealous of my wealth and fame despite the fact I lost my parents to get it. He doesn't realise his brothers work hard for what they achieve, but he's seen his sister doted upon by his parents."

"We need to do something or Ron Weasley will be the first student in a century to be expelled for failing grades!" Minerva exclaimed.

Harry sat thoughtfully for a while. His honorary aunt and uncle knew this look… usually it led to stress for them… but they gave him the benefit of the doubt this time.

"We could do a Malfoy on him." He eventually suggested.

"Draco or Lucius?" Filius asked quickly.

"Draco. We give Ron a taste of what his slacking and laziness will get him."

"We'll need to discuss this with his parents first." Minerva said in resignation. She never enjoyed a meeting with parents like this. Especially not when Molly was one of them.

"Ron, do you realise how much it costs us to send you to Hogwarts?" Arthur asked his son. He was disappointed at what he had heard from Professor McGonagall but had no trouble believing it. "The cost is why we can only afford second hand things."

"Bill's got money. Why doesn't-"

"Ronald!" Arthur barked angrily. "Both your brothers willingly give money towards supporting their family. Money that they earned through hard work!

"How do you think you will get by in life if you don't earn a living?"

"You mean 'work'?" The look of horror and shock on Ron's face would have been hilarious if the situation wasn't serious.

"Where do you think your brothers and I get the money to keep us fed?" Arthur asked, he couldn't believe his youngest son was this… dumb.

"A suggestion was made on how to teach Ronald the lesson he has failed to grasp, if you are interested, Arthur." Minerva offered from behind her desk.

Arthur looked at her and gave a sharp nod.

"At his current rate of effort, when he leaves Hogwarts he will be lucky to have achieved even a single OWL. The most he could hope to achieve in life is a position as a cleaner. Probably for one of the seedier establishments in Knockturn Alley." She didn't bother to hide her muttered opinion. "It has been proposed that Ronald be assigned as an assistant for Tom at the Leaky Cauldron. He will be paid one sickle an hour for every hour he works."

There was a greedy little gleam in Ron's eyes.

Minerva quickly moved to stomp on it.

"That money will be used to pay for food. The rest will be used to pay for his room at the Leaky Cauldron."

"Why can't I live at home for free?" Ron whined.

"Because this is about teaching you to what will happen if you don't buckle down and start working!" Arthur said irritably. He turned to Minerva. "I will need to speak with Molly and Tom but the idea has my support. I will try and get back to you by this evening."

Christmas finally arrived. This time Susan and Amelia spent their holiday at the castle with Harry. It was simply easier when you considered he now had several families to look after.

On Christmas Day he made a special trip to see Dudley. The boy was doing a lot better. He was far from happy as he was well aware that he was a prisoner, but he was no longer being bullied and had actually made a few friends who shared an interest in comics.

"Whoa! You lost a ton of weight!" Harry exclaimed as he entered the visitor's room.

Dudley was clearly pleased about this but also embarrassed. "Yeah, they don't let us have too many snacks and the food… it's not as good as Mum's." He said with a hint of a conspiratorial whisper.

"I think they do that on purpose so you don't over-eat." Harry admitted.

Dudley was shocked and exclaimed in quiet awe. "Diabolical!"

Harry tried not to laugh. He had never in his life (both of them) heard Dudley use such a fancy word. "Come on Dud', let's get your shoes and coat. I managed to convince them to let you spend Christmas Day with me. Just have to have you back by tomorrow evening."

"Really?!" Dudley was clearly excited.

"'Course! Just remember, you're going to be with my sort of people."

Dudley's hands unconsciously moved to his buttocks.

Harry frowned. "Dudley, if anybody tries to use magic on you then they will have to deal with me. You have my word that I will protect you."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

Of course, Harry wouldn't have been able to take custody of Dudley himself as he appeared to be only twelve. He had enlisted Sirius and Filius to come with him.

Most people tended to ignore Filius' size. A simple charm on his coat made people think he was simply a Little Person.

Dudley was obviously nervous at the diminutive professor, he was easily able to figure he was one of the 'special people' from the magical world, as Harry liked to call them.

They were soon spinning like a top as they portkeyed back to Hogwarts where Dudley stayed glued to Harry's side.

He might have been nervous around Filius, but he was clearly terrified that someone was going to pull a wand on him.

Harry led him up the path towards the castle, the Christmas snow crunching under their feet. As they reached the walls they heard laughter and screams of delight. They soon saw the students who had stayed for the holiday having a snowball fight and thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Minerva and Pomona were nearby, bundled up in furs and nursing steaming cups of hot chocolate.

Warming charms were convenient but they ruined the winter atmosphere.

The trio's approach was soon noticed and several of the children ran up to greet them.

"Easy there." Harry warned his friends. "This is my cousin Dudley. He's never really seen magic and he doesn't know any of you."

"Is this the same Dudley that used to beat you up?" Terrence asked with a dark look.

Dudley was once again feeling that fear as he cowered behind Harry.

"How did you hear about that?" Harry asked with a scowl.

Terrence looked at Filius and Sirius with a nod. "What happened to you was bad enough that we could hear Lord Black shouting angrily when he met with some of the professors in his quarters."

Harry turned and looked at Sirius with an angry glare. "What else have you discussed at volumes perfected for eavesdropping?"

Sirius stood there, his mouth opening and closing like a fish. He was shocked at this revelation.

"We'll discuss it later." Harry said curtly. He turned back to Terrence. "Yes, this is the same Dudley. He is trying to change, which is why I brought him here. He's been doing good but I wanted to show him what the world has to offer.

"Now, Dudley, why don't you go and have some fun with this lot. Greg, Vinnie, you keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't get lost or get into trouble."

The two hulking boys towered over Dudley, despite being the same age. Dudley was big… just horizontally as opposed to vertically.

Terrence released a breath of displeasure before he turned and followed the others. Dudley was being led away by the two larger boys to where there was a pile of perfectly formed, cricket ball sized snowballs.

"Are you sure he'll be safe?" Sirius asked worriedly. "It's bad enough he's a muggle, there are a lot of pure-bloods there."

"The magic and blood issues won't be a problem." Filius shook his head. "The… fierce loyalty of the Slytherins to Harry, however, might be."

"Greg and Vinnie will keep him safe." Harry had complete confidence in the two boys. He had spoken to the Hat and discovered they were more suited for Hufflepuff, they were only placed in Slytherin to protect them from their fathers.

That was something Harry intended to deal with soon. He hated being connected to these despicable people who would hurt their own children and sell them like cattle.

Harry sat with the other professors and Sirius as they watched the children enjoy themselves. It was Luna who was the most influential in getting Dudley to relax.

In a typical 'Dudley Moment', he had looked at Luna as she said something about something infecting him. "You're weird."

There was no malice, just confusion from Dudley. But he had spoken without thinking and everyone stopped with the snowballs and waited for a reaction.

Luna just smiled. "Thank you!"

She then tossed a snowball at his chest.

And the snowball fight resumed and the moment was forgotten.

Except by Dudley who subconsciously realised that Luna wouldn't get mad at him when he was stupid. He stayed near her… just in case he had another brain fart.

Eventually dinner arrived and Dudley was once again scared stiff. He was confronted by the man who gave him his tail.

"Mister Dursley, Sir. I just wanted to apologise for hexing you. Was a terrible thing to do to a child and I am rightly ashamed of myself."

Despite the very contrite, nervous and embarrassed person in front of Dudley… it was still a bloody giant who gave him a tail.

He stayed cowering behind Harry.

Sirius saw this but also knew that Hagrid was sincere and would never hurt anyone… unless they threatened someone he cared about.

He immediately threw an arm around Hagrid (he only reached his stomach) and began joking and laughing.

Luna was still with him along with Greg and Vinnie so he began to relax.

Harry was leaning against the wall of the Great Hall closest to the Slytherin table and watching Dudley interact with the students. He smiled slightly, there was a hint of relief and hope that maybe Dudley wouldn't need a dementor to make him see the error of his ways.

"I am quite relieved to see you put your animosity for your family behind you."

Harry's hope and relief pretty much packed up and moved to cooler climates.

"Albus, you are a sanctimonious arsehole. I hate my uncle and aunt. They are sitting in prison, rotting away like they deserve. Dudley, however, is young enough that he can be rehabilitated. It helps that he can't really be blamed for the way his parents raised him.

"That blame rests entirely with you." Harry turned and glared at his arch-nemesis. Voldemort was just a pest compared to Albus Dumbledore.

Albus chuckled in amusement. "I fail to see how I had anything to do with how young Dudley turned out. I'd never met the boy."

"No, but you placed a magical child with his parents. Parents who had made it very clear they hated magic and anything to do with it… including Petunia's own sister.

"As a result, they went out of their way to treat their son like a prince so he would know he was better than the 'problem' they kept under the stairs.

"If I hadn't been forced to live with them then they would have treated Dudley like a regular child. Despite how they raised Dudley and treated me, they both had a strong work ethic. Dudley is a… nearly as lazy as Ron Weasley.

"So yes, Albus. It is entirely your fault that the Dursley's are the way they are."

Albus gave a sad sigh.

Harry tried to refrain from punching the bastard.

"It is sad that you seem to feel the need to assign blame to me for things beyond my control."

"So, Albie." Harry was getting very snarky. "If I could get the Dursleys out of prison and back home, would you still make me live there?"

"Ah, Har- Mister Potter." He quickly corrected himself as he saw Harry's glare. "You underestimate both the danger you are in and the strength of the wards that I erected."

"You mean like danger from Death Eaters?"

"Exactly."

"And Lord No Name?"

Albus gave a tired sigh. He thought that name was entirely too childish. Even if it was legally apt in the Pure-blood world. "Yes, Mister Potter. Even Tom Riddle."

"And you were responsible for those wards and me being there?"

"Again… yes. I erected the wards based on your family's love and the blood that you and your aunt share."

"And you are responsible for my safety here?"

"That is my duty as headmaster to all students who attend Hogwarts." He corrected.

"You seriously can't see where I'm going with this?" Harry asked in disbelief.

"I assumed you realised that everything I have done is to keep you safe." Albus frowned.

"Unbelievable!" Harry exclaimed as he stomped off leaving a confused Headmaster wondering what he said wrong.

Albus looked around and saw Minerva and Filius glaring at him before they too stomped off.

He decided to retire to his broom closet to review his memory of the conversation in his pensive… provided Fawkes hadn't 'used' it again.

"So, you had a good time, Dud?" Harry asked as they arrived back at the special home the following day.

"It was… epic!" Dudley grinned. Then he looked around and the sadness came over him. "But I'm back here."

"Dudley, I am not a cruel person. I didn't show you my world today just so you could see what you couldn't have. I showed you everything to give you a reason to be the best person you can be.

"You are getting good reports here. Your work is average but that isn't an issue as far as I am concerned. The reports that interest me are the ones on your behaviour. My people are talking to the people in charge and we reckon that you could be out of here by July. After that you could come live with me."

Dudley looked like he would burst with excitement. "You mean live in the castle?"

"Live in the castle but attend a normal school." Harry nodded with a smile. "I want you to get the best normal education you can so that when you get older you can help other people like me who don't understand how the normal world works."

"You want me to be a teacher?" Dudley, like most children, only went to school to be with his friends… he'd much rather not go at all.

"I want you to be whatever you want to be, Dud. But if you have a normal education then you can help magicals fit in with the normal world. Just like my friends were trying to help you fit in the magical world today."

Dudley frowned thoughtfully as he nodded.

Harry chuckled. "Relax, Dudley. I'm not asking you to decide now. You're stuck here till the summer. Use the time to make your decisions and work towards being the best human being you can be.

"I'll be back next week for another visit."

A few weeks after the New Year, Harry approached Albus in his broom cupboard… office.

"Albie!" Harry greeted him cheerfully.

Said Albus just sighed. "It is common courtesy to knock before entering a person's office, Mister Potter."

Harry just shrugged. "This is my castle and this is certainly not your office."

Albus still refused to go back to the Headmaster's office whilst the portraits would be spying on him. Of course Harry had no interest in having them spy.

"What do you want Harry?" He asked tiredly.

"A bit informal there." Harry chided with a grin.

"You called me 'Albie'." Dumbledore retorted dryly.

"Well… since it's just us, I'll allow it." Harry kept his grin. "Next year you are being banned from the castle." Albus was about to argue but Harry jumped in. "It's just for the year. You will still be headmaster but I want you to take a sabbatical."

"And just why are you so concerned about me all of a sudden?" He asked suspiciously.

"Because everyone says you are a good man. Unfortunately, everyone also says you are making some really dumb mistakes and looking like a fool.

"So, you are taking a sabbatical. I recommend leaving the country and having a long lie on a hot beach.

"I suppose you could also focus on your roles at the Wizengamut and ICW."

"And who do you intend to take over my responsibilities whilst I am gone?" Albus was more amused than insulted.

"Aunt Minnie can handle most stuff. Uncle Fil will pitch in. I can even get Nicky to help out. He does still owe me after all." It was true. Perenelle had threatened bodily harm on her husband if he ever tried to fulfil Harry's request to cast the Killing Curse at him.

"You could go and visit other magical schools and see how they do things. The Quidditch World Cup is in '94, you could start working on making sure it goes smoothly."

Albus examined the young lord shrewdly. "I'll think about it."

Harry laughed. "Albie, come August you will be out of the castle for a year. The only decision to be made is whether you leave voluntarily or you get the boot."

Albus was suitably stroppy for a few days. Mainly because he was given an ultimatum. In reality he was actually looking forward to doing a few of the things that Harry had mentioned.

There were some things that could use his undivided attention in the ICW so this would be the proper opportunity. He would also enjoy visiting other schools.

Ron Weasley had returned to the school a changed person.

He was terrified.

"It was horrible! There was glass and blood everywhere! And the vomit! Oh- gurp!"

The students in the Great Hall watched as Ron ran from the hall with his hand over his mouth as he tried to hold in the puke.

"Where was he to see all that?" Tracey asked Harry, she was a bit shocked herself by Ron's story. He was not known for speaking quietly.

"The Leaky Cauldron." Harry smiled. "New Year's Eve is pretty… exciting."

"That would scare me straight." Pansy said with a shudder.

"Nah, he was shook up by the night but that isn't what woke him up." Harry grinned. "Whilst he was working for Tom he met the manager for the Chudley Cannons. The man laughed in Ron's face when he said he would give up school so he could replace the current Keeper.

"Andy, the manager, told him that all his players had at least Acceptables in five OWLs. He also pointed out that as they were at the bottom of the league, they didn't make much money and they all had to hold down a steady day job."

"Really?" Blaise asked from the Hufflepuff table, this was news to them all.

Harry chuckled. "The Chuddley Cannons' players are the worst Quidditch professionals in the country. But they are some of the best at what they do in their day jobs.

"Apparently the Keeper is a solicitor and their Seeker is a Hit Wizard. There are even rumours that one of the Chasers is an Unspeakable."

"Wow." It was an expression that was mirrored in all their faces. They were astounded at what they were learning.

"Yeah, it's only the higher league players that don't need a second job. But they still have qualifications to fall back on." Harry nodded.

The year trundled on without much bother.

Remus was a hit with the DADA. On those specific days when he needed a break his classes were covered by Sirius or Albus.

Harry worked hard with his team of professors to create a viable space craft. They had everything they needed to make a trip to the moon. The plan was to create a base there and then spend their time trying to develop a method of travel between galaxies.

Harry had forbidden Aurora from telling Bathsheda or Septima just how far it was to another system… let alone another galaxy. He didn't want them hindered by thoughts of 'impossible'.

Towards the end of the year he received a knock on his door.

What greeted him made his blood run cold.

"Hi Harry!"

The six chirpy voices of the Padma, Pavarti, Luna, Tracey, Pansy and Gemma did not help.

"What do you want?" Harry asked cautiously.

"Can we talk?"

Harry was now mentally planning his escape from the situation. He had heard horror stories from Dean and Seamus about those three words.

Pavarti rolled her eyes at his indecision (and blatant fear) and pushed past him.

The three Slytherins timidly followed as Luna skipped ahead, dragging Padma with her.

Harry was extremely nervous as he sat in an armchair facing the array of girls on his couch.

"Do we have plans for the summer holidays?" Pavarti asked, clearly the more outgoing of the group. Also one of the few who took Harry seriously when he said he didn't want them treating him like he was a lord… just a twelve year old boy.

Who owned a castle.

"Not as a group." He answered slowly. "I have some things I need to do but nothing set in stone."

"We want to go to Africa!"

Harry looked at Pansy with amusement. He could relax now.

"Let me guess… it's got a big nose and floppy ears?"

Pansy blushed as the other girls tittered.

"I can set something up for you." Harry promised. "I'll talk to your parents and some of the adults and see if they can take you."

"My Lord-"

"Tracey… it will be a very bad day when you need to use my titles in private." Harry interrupted her. "I'm still just Harry and I am still your friend first. Ask me what you want and I'll consider it and if appropriate, I will make it happen."

"Well… see… IwashopingtoinviteDaphneandBlaise."

Harry had to take a moment to process what she had said. He then shrugged. "Let me see if I can arrange the trip to Africa first, if I can then I'll get the adults to talk to their parents, ok?"

She was still a bit flush from nerves and embarrassment but she had a big smile as she nodded.

"I'm assuming you will be coming too?" He asked Luna.

"Yes please." The young blonde said meekly. "Could we invite Hermione and some others?"

Harry sat back and let out a large breath. "Wow… that's a lot of people." He admitted. "And all of them are underage so far."

Harry felt so guilty when the girls began to look crestfallen.

He was just happy they weren't pouting.

"At the moment, the number of people you are looking to invite would make this a school trip. But that would be unfair to the professors as this is their holiday as well.

"Let me talk to the adults and see if they can work out a suitable amount of responsible adults for a trip. Okay?"

Apparently the girls had no idea just what they were asking for when they said they wanted to visit 'Africa'.

They had quickly pulled out an old atlas from the library before running off to Professor Flitwick in a panic.

"Calm down girls!" Filius pleaded as they stormed into his office. "Now, Miss Farley, please explain what has you all in a tizzy."

"Sir, we asked Harry if we could visit Africa this summer." She explained. "He said he would look into it. We went to the library and found this atlas… but the drawings are all wrong."

It was clear the girls were upset about this. They had been so excited to start planning, they were going to put a presentation together to convince the adults if they needed to. But when they saw the ridiculously inaccurate drawings they realised they didn't have any other books to use.

"Could we go to Diagon Alley to get a proper book, Sir?" Tracey practically pleaded.

Filius frowned as he thumbed through the pages. "I can't see a problem with this book. Granted there is no colour and the entire thing appears to have been drawn with a quill… but the information is accurate enough."

"But Sir! Look! According to this England is… an ant to and elephant!" Gemma argued.

Filius looked at them and frowned. "You mean because the book says that Africa is so much larger than England?"

"Exactly!"

The half-goblin let out a tired sigh. It was hardly the children's fault that they weren't taught basic geography. But to not even know the basic shape of the planet? He was tempted to ask if they knew the Earth was round… but decided he probably wouldn't like the answer.

Harry was going to be so smug about this.

The summer holidays rolled around and quite a few people were experiencing mixed emotions about it.

The girls were ecstatic as they were going to Africa and most of their friends would be going with them. They were a little apprehensive when they heard how big Africa was and that Harry wouldn't be there the whole time.

Harry was being unbearably smug about the state of the British Wizarding World's education system but he was also fairly tense about some of his up coming plans.

Filius was exceptionally grumpy due to Harry's smugness but he was looking forward to the trip to Africa.

Albus was feeling melancholy due to his impending one year exile. But at the same time he was looking forward to accompanying the children to Africa. He would enjoy the chance to just be a teacher again… he just hoped Draco would behave.

Harry was currently dealing with a nervous Dudley Dursley.

"You're sure it won't leave part of me behind. Gemma said that that could happen."

"What? No! That's only with apparition and only if the person doing it isn't focusing. What you will be using is… think of a rollercoaster. You will be taking a rollercoaster to Africa." Unfortunately, Harry's metaphor was not well received.

"But that's thousands of miles! I don't think I can ride a rollercoaster that long." He then looked a little embarrassed. "What if I need to pee?"

Harry couldn't help the fond smile he had for his cousin. Over the months of weekly visits they had developed a brotherly relationship. Harry was clearly in the role of the older brother (despite being physically younger), they were finally becoming what they should have been during Harry's first time through.

Family.

Harry looked around and picked up a small rock. "You see that wall over there?" He pointed to a castle wall that was about twenty metres from where they were sitting in the middle of the courtyard. "Run over there as fast as you can. I'll time you."

It showed how far Dudley had come in the past year that, despite Harry holding a rock in his hand, Dudley began running.

Once he arrived, Harry called him back over. "Ok, under five seconds. Now, throw this rock at the wall hard. I'll time it."

Dudley threw the rock as hard as he could.

"Less than a second." Harry announced.

"Harry! Is there a reason you are throwing rocks?" They turned to see Minerva marching up.

"I'm just explaining Portkey travel, Aunt Minnie."

Minerva gave a little huff. "This ought to be good."

Harry rolled his eyes and turned back to Dudley. "You running to the wall is like taking a plane or broom. It takes a while. But Portkeys are like the rock. A fraction of the time."

Dudley looked at the remains of the rock dubiously. "I won't smash like the rock, right?"

*Chapter 13*: Chapter 13
Chapter 13

It had almost been a tearful goodbye when the large group left for Africa. The Slytherin girls were so sad that Harry wouldn't be there with them.

But Harry had business he had to take care of and that was why he was currently seated in a cave with Sirius and Nicholas either side of him at a long conference table whilst King Ragnok of the goblins sat at the other end with five 'advisors'.

Said 'advisors' were carrying very large weapons.

"Well? You asked for this meeting. What do you want Whelp?" Ragnok sneered.

Sirius growled at the insult but Harry just placed a calming hand on his arm.

"I wanted to offer you a chance to create an alliance and perhaps offer you some things. But if you are going to be insulting then I'll just leave and let you be."

"You're just a child." Ragnok sneered. "What could you offer?"

"How about the chance to live above ground? Own wands? Walk amongst wizarding kind as equals?"

Ragnok laughed. "And you think a child can do all that?"

"Well... when you consider the fact that I am going to conquer magical Britain… yes." Harry said casually.

Ragnok looked at him with narrowed eyes. "You're serious."

"No, that would be me."

Everyone glared at the idiot.

"We are entirely serious, King Ragnok." Nicholas confirmed solemnly. Despite the use of a respectful title, you could hear the steel in his voice. They weren't about to be intimidated.

"And what is to stop me from going to your Ministry and telling them all of this?" Ragnok smirked.

"Well, first of all, it would be considered a breach of the contract we signed." Harry reminded him. Ragnok scowled. "Secondly, do you honestly think the Ministry will give you the time of day… let alone anything I'm offering?"

That scowl deepened.

"And if we choose not to agree to an alliance?"

"Then you stay on your side of the doors of Gringotts and we'll stay on ours. If you or your people decide to venture into our lands then they will be subject to the same laws as the rest of wizarding kind. They will be treated as equals."

"You think you can just confine us to Gringotts and that won't be a breach of the contract?" Ragnok scoffed.

"No. Like I said, your people can enter my lands… but they will have to abide by my laws. Essentially it will be the same as it is now, except goblins will be treated better."

"And what assurances will we have that you will not betray us?"

"A magical treaty signed by both of us. Unlike the last one we will put more into it. More provisions and the like. I propose we get our smartest minds to work on a treaty we can both agree to." Harry offered.

"Potter! There you are!"

"What treachery is this?!" Ragnok demanded as he and his guards drew their swords.

Everyone was staring at the ghost of Professor Binns who had just floated into the cave.

"Cuthbert… I'm kind of in the middle of something." Harry tried not to whine.

Cuthbert Binns surveyed the scene. "Ah… you are beginning your attempts at conquering magical Britain." Cuthbert said approvingly. "I still say you should just take over the entirety of England and be done with it." He sighed.

"Bert... we've been over this." Harry scowled. "I don't even really want to conquer magical Britain."

Cuthbert rolled his eyes and turned back to the goblins. "Take whatever deal he gives you." He advised. "He will be completely fair… if you avoid deception now he will be more inclined to make more concessions later.

"But… as an added incentive: Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin has enemies- not the half-wit Voldemort. I'm talking about armies that he will have to face before they come to us and attempt to enslave or destroy us. I'm sure Harry would be happy to point you in their direction."

"More fairy tales?" Ragnok sneered… it was a bit forced and the fear was creeping into his eyes.

"I wish it was." Harry sighed.

"I don't care what anyone says. Elephants are the best animals on the planet."

The rather snotty nosed declaration was met with amused smiles as Pansy Parkinson stood there with her nose in the air as they stood outside a pen of unicorns.

"I like lions." Dudley declared into the silence. "They can fight, eat all the meat they want and sleep all day."

"Honestly, if I didn't know the boy's ancestry myself, I'd swear he was related to Ron Weasley." Minerva commented to Filius as they stood nearby.

The large group was visiting a Kenyan Magical Preserve. It contained both magical and non-magical animals. It was a beautiful safari experience… despite Pansy's irritation at not being allowed to get closer to the elephants.

"Now, Minnie, Dudley is nothing like Ronald." Filius countered. "Dudley is looking to improve himself. According to Sirius and Harry, his marks are barely average but he puts everything he has into what he does get."

*BOOM*

It was the sound of an explosion that tore through the sky and sent both animals and humans panicking.

It was only one Severus Snape who was instinctively aware of what had happened as he felt it and looked to the sky.

"EVERYONE CALM DOWN." He ordered with a Sonorus. "IT IS JUST LORD SLYTHERIN ARRIVING." He pointed to the sky where the spherical craft, that was instantly recognised by the Hogwart's alumni, was hovering.

The Hogwarts crowd quickly calmed. This had a similar effect on the other patrons of the preserve… but they were still a bit wary.

The spherical craft began to lower to the ground and landed before the sides split to allow a very shaky Aurora Sinastra to exit the craft and proceed to kiss the ground.

"That was so exciting!" Bathsheda Babbling exclaimed as she practically skipped out followed by an amused but more reserved Septima Vector. "You simply have to teach me to fly, Harry. I've never been that interested in brooms before but if they were like that-"

"You are never doing that again." Aurora interrupted as she rounded on the emerging Harry Potter.

Harry looked a bit worried at the angry woman. "We were fine!"

"You broke the damned sound barrier! You scared maybe twenty different countries!"

"Aurora… if the idiots think they can build an airport near residential homes then they can suffer a little bang when we pass them." Harry argued calmly.

Auror raised her hands to near Harry's neck as though she were about to strangle him. She let out an inarticulate growl of frustration before stomping off.

"Did you have to make such a racket when you arrived?" Filius asked as he and Minerva approached.

"According to what we have learnt about super-sonic speeds, we certainly had the ability." Septima said with that same amused smile. "But Lord Slytherin here wanted to 'test the braking charms'."

"I wouldn't worry about it." A still grinning Bathsheda said dismissively. "With the right charms and runes we can eliminate the effect entirely."

"Well that doesn't sound like fun." Harry grumbled.

"Harry, if you wouldn't mind, could you give me a lift back home?" Remus asked as he approached with Sirius. "Tonight's the night." He said cryptically.

Harry grinned at him. "I want to conduct a little experiment."

Remus was instantly wary.

"Aaaannnnd… the full moon has officially passed." Harry grinned more than twenty-four hours later.

He and Sirius turned in the craft to a large cage where Remus Lupin sat in nothing but a pair of shorts. He was gobsmacked.

"But… that's impossible!"

"Ok… explain to me how it is impossible if it just happened, Professor." Harry said sarcastically.

"But- But- Harry, do you know what this means?" Remus asked as he grabbed the bars of his cage eagerly.

"That you need to learn the difference between boxers and shorts?" Harry asked as he pointedly looked up.

Remus look down and gave a full body blush as he tucked himself back in. Sirius was rolling on the floor laughing. It was spurred on by the euphoria of knowing the last of his adopted siblings wouldn't suffer every month.

"Harry, it means that anyone infected can escape the change by racing the sun! We can use the floo or portkeys!"

"Or… you could buy a cruise ship and race the sun." Harry grinned.

"I don't think we'd want to take the risk of losing that race." Remus said firmly.

"Well, all we need is a few houses with large grounds at various places around the world." Harry shrugged. "We can then set up some portkeys for travel back and forth."

"Your mother would be so damned proud of you Pup." Sirius said with happy tears as he gave him a bear hug.

Harry was spending a lot of time with a large A4 notebook and a pencil. Even Hermione, who was with the group at Luna and Padma's request, thought he was spending too much time working.

But, like with his attempts to go into space, he had had an idea and refused to stop or slow down.

"Har-ry."

Harry's blood practically froze in his veins at that half whining/half pleading tone.

He slowly looked up from his notepad to see Luna, Hermione and Su Li standing there in light summer dresses.

"Girls… I'm twelve. Have you tried asking an adult?" Why did they always have to gang up on him like this?

"They said you are in charge of summer holidays." Hermione answered.

"Someone is getting locked out of their office this September." He grumbled. "What do you want?"

The girls shared a look before non-verbally agreeing to let Hermione take the lead.

"Next summer, we were hoping we could go to China."

Harry looked at Su with a raised eyebrow. "If you want to visit someone I can easily arrange it."

Su looked embarrassed and shy. "I wanted to show them Pandas."

Harry couldn't help the amused smile that crept onto is face. It was good to see Hermione and Luna with friends and doing things that children should do. Unlike his last time round where Luna had been ostracized by the school and Hermione's only friends were him and Ron.

"I think I can arrange that." He assured them. "But!" He interrupted their attempt to squeal like the happy girls they were. "I am putting you three in charge of arranging the locations for the following summers. Talk to the rest of the people here, children and adults, and ask them for suggestions. We can always visit more than one place during the summer.

"Put my suggestion down for Japan." He said after a moment's thought.

"What's in Japan?" Hermione asked.

"A certain type of fox I want to introduce to my godfather." His grin was near Machiavellian… his expression changed to one of worry. "But don't tell Sirius I said that!"

Harry had had a very busy summer. It was filled with tasks that were nigh on impossible. From negotiating with goblins to avoiding the wrath of Aurora Sinastra.

But now he had to deal with his greatest and most difficult mission of the summer.

"I absolutely refuse to do this willingly."

Harry sighed as he looked up at the black clad and scowling Severus Snape. "I don't want to order you to do this Sev. But you need to do this."

They were currently standing on a muggle street in Peckham, London.

"I have survived more than thirty years. I can survive thirty more." Severus said firmly.

"Yeah, and I'm not supposed to be able to live while Tom 'survives' and vice versa. You deserve better. I take my responsibilities seriously. Regardless of why you are my slave, you are still a sentient being, muggles have laws about how even their worst criminals are to be treated with a modicum of dignity."

"Does this mean you are going to release me?" Severus asked sarcastically.

"You're still serving your time. Ask me again in say…seven to nine years." Harry smirked. He couldn't actually release Severus, but he could give him permission to live as though he were free.

Severus looked at him with a confused frown. "You'd really release me?"

"Sev, you can't lie to me." Harry sighed. "I'll know when you are ready to be free. When you've let go of your anger and hate and learnt to actually enjoy life, then you'll be ready."

"And in the mean time you take pleasure in subjecting me to these… tortures." He spat.

"You are such a goddamned baby. Get in there!" Harry barked.

Around them, the various passers-by and shoppers chuckled as they watched a thirteen-year-old boy order a very dour thirty-year-old into a muggle barbershop named 'Desmond's'.

Two seconds later an older black man with a scraggly beard, rumpled clothing and a distinctive hat ran screaming from the small shop.

Inside the shop Harry turned and glared at a rather smug Severus. "That is why you are getting an image fix."

"Ignore Porkpie." A thin, older black man said dismissively. "He'd jump at his own reflection. What can we do for you here at Desmond's?"

The man had a strong Caribbean accent.

"There is an old African saying-"

"Not now Matthew!" The older man snapped at a young black man sitting on the waiting chairs behind the barber's chairs.

"Matthew, why don't you go and see if Porkpie has stopped running and make sure he hasn't had a heart attack." A woman instructed.

"Fine, but I'm not going to the hospital with him. I have class this afternoon." The man was dressed like a student.

Eventually it was just Harry, Severus, the man and the woman in the shop.

"So, I am Shirley and this is my husband, Desmond." Shirley introduced them with a smile. "What would you like?"

"Sev here needs a haircut." Harry said bluntly.

"A haircut? Looks like he's gonna need a whole lot more than just a haircut." Desmond said as he eyed the scowling man warily. "Is that… oil in your hair, boy?"

"The name- oof" Severus glared down at the thirteen year old with the wandering elbows.

"Sev works as a chemist and… he spends too much time with the fumes." Harry explained.

"Shirl', you better take him first. Get him cleaned and then we can talk styles." Desmond instructed his wife.

"I'll just take a seat." Harry went to sit down.

"Oh no you don't young man." Desmond quickly grabbed him by the shoulders and ushered him into the barber's chair. "You look like you could use a trim for that mop top you got going. You also look like you're becoming a man! Need to start shaving now." Desmond said proudly. "I'll treat you to your very first shave whilst my wife deals with your friend."

Harry was pretty pleased with that news. He was finally getting the rest of his hair.

"So, Matthew, where in Africa are you from?" Harry asked as Desmond prepared his tools and the young scholar returned with a very flighty Porkpie.

"Gambia." The man said proudly.

"Ah. I just came back from Kenya."

"Just a hop, skip and a jump from my homeland." Matthew smiled.

"Wha'?" Porkpie looked at him as if he was nuts. "You think you're Superman now? I don't know much but I know Kenya ain't nowhere near Gambia."

"It's all Africa my friend." Matthew said with a dismissive smile.

"I doubt I'd be able to get from Kenya to Gambia before school started up again." Harry chuckled.

"Ooh sweet Merlin!"

Everyone turned to look over at the groan of ecstasy to where Shirley was massaging shampoo into Severus' scalp.

"Sounds like Shirley's found a new man!" Porkpie laughed.

"Watch your mouth 'Augustus'." Shirley warned.

"Augustus? That's a big jump from 'Porkpie'." Harry remarked.

"We call him 'Porkpie' 'cause he's always wearing that Porkpie hat." Desmond explained as he began to comb and trim Harry's mop of hair. "His full name is: Augustus Neapolitan Cleveland Grant." Desmond managed a pretty decent British accent for that mouthful.

"Wow… I think Porkpie suits you better." Harry told the now grumpy looking man as he looked in the mirror. "Of course I know a man called Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore… I call him Albie for short."

"Dear God I can't believe I've been missing out on this!"

Severus was now becoming a bit disturbing.

Shirley just smirked.

"Shirl, put me down for after him." Porkpie said with complete sincerity.

She sent him a look that promised nothing but suffering.

"So, Sir, were you born in England?" Harry asked Desmond.

"Sir?" Porkpie laughed.

"Porkpie! Shut up or leave." Shirley snapped.

Severus appeared to have fallen into a trance.

Or he'd drifted off to sleep.

"No son." Desmond shook his head. "I was born and raised in Guyana. One day I dream of going back there." He said wistfully.

"Where's that?" Harry asked curiously.

"Where's that?!" Porkpie exclaimed indignantly. "What they teach these kids nowadays?"

"Oh? And I'm sure you can name every country on the planet and point them out in an atlas." Shirley challenged.

Porkpie backed off a bit but looked like a sulky child. "At least I know where Guyana is." He said moodily.

"Got any good animals in Guyana you wouldn't find in India or Kenya?" Harry asked.

"None that a young man such as yourself should go searching for." Shirley admonished.

He looked at her with a wry smirk in the mirror. "Answers like that are what make young men like me go looking for them."

About two hours later Severus and Harry left the barbershop. Harry had to practically guide Severus as he was so relaxed. He had given Desmond a thousand pounds and told him to consider it pre-payment for future visits.

Harry made it his mission to pay close attention to Severus' hair and to send him back to Shirley on a regular basis.

Despite Harry's adventures, the summer holidays came to an end and the new school term rolled around. It was now his third year.

Harry was hoping for a nice quiet time. In his previous time through, Sirius and the Dementors had been his annual challenge. Sirius was now free and if the Dementors decided to put in an appearance then Harry would probably kill Fudge.

Albus had announced his sabbatical at the end of the previous year and Minerva was now in charge.

She had her first fire to deal with at the Welcoming Feast when the doors to the Great Hall opened and Delores Umbridge marched in with a smug look on her face and a troop of six Aurors in her wake.

Before Minerva could deal with the intrusion a voice piped up and she placed her head in her hands and tried not to sob as Filius patted her back.

"Oi! Who the devil do you think you are? Barging into my home without so much as a 'by your leave'?"

The sight of a thirteen-year-old Harry Potter standing in the path of the ugly woman in pink made sure everybody was paying attention.

The older years were excitedly telling the new firsties that they were about to get some real entertainment now.

"Out of the way boy. This is official Ministry business." Umbridge said dismissively as she tried to push past.

Harry, however, was no long eleven. He was a thirteen-year-old and he was fairly fit and healthy.

Umbridge was a pudgy little inbred woman.

Harry easily pushed her back into her Aurors.

The evidence that Umbridge was nearly universally hated was shown by the fact that the Aurors did not catch her. They did manage not to smirk or smile as she glared up at them.

"Arrest that boy!" She ordered.

Harry just looked at the Aurors expectantly.

They looked between the creature in pink and the young lad.

"For what?" One of the braver men asked.

"He just assaulted me!" Umbridge exclaimed angrily as she struggled to her feet.

"You just attacked my godson and heir in his own home." Sirius answered loudly from the staff table. "I recommend apologising. The castle really doesn't like it when people hurt Lord Slytherin."

"I do not have time to play childish games with a boy." She said as she stepped around Harry. The Aurors looked at Harry and just shrugged. They didn't move from where they were.

Harry suddenly realised that these Aurors were there when he had confronted the goblins in his first year.

His second first year. The one that… two years ago. When he confronted the goblins two years ago.

"Aurors, arrest the werewolf."

The Aurors looked unhappy. The lead Auror looked to Harry. "I'm sorry Sir, but the law is on her side on this one. Werewolves are not allowed around children and they aren't allowed to hold positions of authority."

"That's fine." Harry shrugged.

Everyone in the hall looked shocked… except Umbridge who looked very smug.

"Everyone, I'm sorry, but you will need to get your belongings and head back down to the station. It seems the school will be moving elsewhere."

There was the sound of a thud.

Remus was at the staff table with his head smacked onto the wood.

Sirius and Filius were just grinning.

Delores just ignored him. "Aurors, what are you waiting for? Arrest him!"

Severus, meanwhile had pushed his chair back and was muttering heatedly to Dobby behind the massive bulk of the seated Hagrid.

"You're not taking Professor Lupin!"

Harry was surprised.

The Aurors were amused.

Delores was outraged.

More than ninety percent of the school had risen from their seats and pointed their wands at the confrontational group.

"For Merlin's sake Lupin! Just drink the damned potion!"

Everyone turned at the sound of Professor Snape's irritated voice. He was thrusting a vial at Remus who looked at it suspiciously.

Harry frowned. "Remus, drink it." He said firmly. He had no idea what the potion was but he knew Snape couldn't do anything bad because of his instructions and he couldn't do anything to hurt Harry… poisoning Remus would definitely hurt Harry.

Remus sighed and downed the potion.

Sirius was looking murderously at Snape. If this hurt Remus in anyway then he would kill the bastard.

Remus began to look a little green.

His cheeks puffed out as if he was trying to hold something in.

Then it happened.

*BURRRRP*

Everyone laughed as the pink mist erupted from the Professor's mouth. Even Sirius.

Severus sighed in relief and turned to Harry. "Situation resolved. There is no werewolf at Hogwarts."

"I… erm… huh?" Harry asked with the eloquence of a man of his station.

"I was able to develop a cure for lycanthropy." He explained as he sat down. The emotional and mental stress of the situation had really taken it out of him.

"Wait! That's Snape?!"

Everyone turned to the irritating red head at the Gryffindor table.

"Ronald Weasley! You will mind your manners!" Minerva barked. "Just for that you have detention tomorrow with Mister Filch."

Ron sat down grumpily.

"For your information," She addressed the rest of the school. "Yes, this is Professor Snape."

Considering his much shorter hair which was slightly wavy and in no way limp and greasy, not to mention the fact that he wasn't dressed in his customary tailored robes but instead was wearing trousers, a shirt and a blazer… people could be forgiven for not recognising the man.

Sirius had been right pissed at Harry for taking away all the ammunition for snarky remarks about greasy gits.

Harry had left him hanging from the Astronomy Tower by his ankles for about ten minutes.

"Preposterous!" Oh yes. Umbridge. "There is no cure for being a werewolf. Nothing short of death will cleanse the taint!"

"It can easily be verified by the standard methods." Severus said dismissively.

Poppy was immediately out of her seat and running spells over Remus.

"When did you manage this?" Harry asked Severus incredulously.

Severus Snape actually blushed. "Desmond's."

Harry tried not to laugh. He really did.

He really failed.

Severus scowled… but couldn't stop the blush.

"You- oh god! You have to go back every weekend! Who knows what else you can come up with!" Harry managed through his laughter.

"Enough of this ridiculous fairy-tale!" Umbridge screeched. "Remus John Lupin is-"

"Not a werewolf."

Everyone looked at Madam Pomfrey in amazement.

"Short of waiting for the full moon, I have no reason to believe Professor Lupin has lycanthropy. The laws regarding werewolves do not apply to him."

"Impossible." Delores hissed.

This was not going the way she had envisioned it. She had expected to come to Hogwarts, reveal that Lupin was a werewolf (unintentionally scaring the 'poor' children) and then cart him off to be held pending a trial.

She would then use her heroic actions to push through a law that called for the death penalty on any werewolf that broke the law.

Nope… this was not going the way she wanted.

"I don't care what they say!" She was shouting now. "There is no cure for lycanthropy! Aurors, arrest him and we will have our own aspects verify his condition."

"Fair warning: We've proven he isn't a werewolf." Harry calmly spoke up from between the Aurors and Umbridge. "I can testify that I was with Remus John Lupin for the entirety of the last full moon and he didn't turn into a wolf of any kind.

"As such, if you try to take Remus John Lupin from this castle it will be considered kidnapping and you will be booted… literally, from the castle."

The Aurors tried not to cringe as they heard the sound of metal boots on stone floors approaching.

"Madam Umbridge, Lord Slytherin is right. We have no proof that the Professor is a werewolf and plenty that he isn't." The lead Auror tried to reason. "At this point it is a case of mistaken identity and we will need to consult with the Head Auror and possibly Madam Bones."

"Oh yeah, Amelia." Harry said in realisation. "Hey, Ember?"

The little Phoenix flamed into the Great Hall high in the air where she sailed down into a controlled landing on Harry's shoulder. She was about the size of a small cat now.

"Can you go and get Amelia?"

The bird tweeted and then vanished in a burst of flame.

Harry was left to grumble as he tried to put out his burning robe.

Two seconds later and Ember returned with Amelia.

She had clearly been sitting down on her sofa judging by the fact that she was in the right position for it.

"What the devil- Harrry." She drawled dangerously as she took in her surroundings.

"Seriously, you couldn't have asked? Maybe have given her a little warning?" Harry asked the phoenix defeatedly as Amelia picked herself off the floor. He turned to the aforementioned Head of the DMLE (or as Sirius liked to call her 'The HOT Cop'). "This sad excuse for a human is trying to take Remus away for being a werewolf. Poppy just ran all the tests short of the full moon and he came back clean."

Delores was outraged… but she wasn't going to try and take on Amelia Bones, Head of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Bones.

Amelia turned her glare on Delores before moving over to the Aurors. "Robards, can you confirm that Madam Pomfrey performed the tests and Professor Lupin passed?"

"Yes Ma'am." The lead Auror said with far more respect than he gave Umbridge. "Lord Slytherin also stated that he spent the last full moon with the Professor and didn't witness a change."

"Show me the paperwork." She instructed.

"Madam Umbridge has them."

She turned and held out her hand. "Well?"

With clear reluctance she handed them over.

Amelia carefully went through each page of parchment. Her frown getting more severe as she went.

Then she got to the end.

She couldn't help the snort of laughter that escaped. "Robards, arrest her." She said without looking up.

"How dare you!"

"You are the biggest fool in the Ministry." Amelia smirked at the outraged Under-Secretary. "These papers are perfectly arranged. They would stand up without challenge at trial.

"But you made one fatal mistake, Delores. Can you guess what that is?" She asked patronisingly.

"You are the one making a mistake, Bones!" She screeched as Robards cuffed her.

"Harry, who signed these papers?" She asked as she handed him the sheaf.

Harry quickly went through them. "Delores Jane Umbridge… she signed on both lines." Harry chuckled. "Does she get paid for doing two people's jobs?"

"It's worse than that, Harry." Amelia shook her head as she allowed herself a fairly sadistic smile at Delores. "The Under-Secretary does not have the authority to sign arrest warrants. The Minister can do it but it requires my signature as well. At a push the Chief Wizard's signature would do in place of mine.

"Delores Jane Umbridge, you are being charged with forgery of Ministry documents, attempted kidnapping, trespassing, falsifying an arrest warrant, endangering children, defamation of character and give me enough time… attempted murder." Amelia was clearly enjoying herself.

"You'll regret this Bones!" Umbridge yelled as she dragged away in restraints.

Amelia ignored and turned to address the school. "My apologies to you all. Especially Professor Lupin and Lord Slytherin. I may require statements from you regarding this incident."

"Thanks for coming." Harry smiled. "Ember, can you give her a lift home?"

The school's proper first day ran pretty well. Amelia sent a quick message that Delores was stuck in a cell and the Minister was desperately trying to find out what happened to her.

Fortunately, anyone who knew the answer to that had been sent out of the Ministry building on an errand that would take all day.

Amelia herself was sequestered in her office going over the parchment trail Delores had left.

The History of Magic classes were the only real surprise. Cuthbert had returned from his investigations and practically demanded an assistant to help him do simple things like turn pages in the new books he wanted. Until a witch or wizard showed an interest in history, he was assigned a house-elf.

Students were torn between happiness that Binns was actually interesting now and fear and disbelief at what he claimed other magical cultures, and even muggles had achieved.

He was making wizards sound… medieval.

*Chapter 14*: Chapter 14
Chapter 14

Neville Longbottom was thrilled to be back at Hogwarts after the summer. He loved his Gran but she was just so stifling and always seemed disappointed with him.

Returning to Hogwarts always made him a little sad as well. He got to hear what his fellow students and friends had been up to. Potter and the Patils had travelled to India in his first year. Pavarti had spent days in the second year telling stories of showing the English contingent around their homeland. Pansy and the elephants, Harry and his Phoenix, Nicholas getting pranked six ways from Sunday by an irritated Harry.

Now he was hearing tales of Africa. What was worse was that even his own friends had gone. Hermione had sent him regular letters and as much as he appreciated that she remembered him, it still upset him that he was stuck at Longbottom Manor because his Gran didn't trust him not to get hurt.

"Nev!"

The aforementioned boy turned to see Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin jogging up to him as he approached the Gryffindor Tower.

Potter was a bit of an enigma for Gryffindor. Sure, he was the Boy-Who-Lived, defeater of Voldemort… twice… once right in front of them. But he was also a Slytherin… he was also The Slytherin.

The confusion didn't end there. He had defended a young witch from being claimed as little more than a slave… but he had killed to do it.

He now had three concubines. But he didn't treat them any differently than he treated them before.

It boiled down to this: The Gryffs were grateful for all he had done, but they were waiting for the other shoe to drop. Neville had a bit more exposure due to Hermione's friendship with him.

"My Lord." Neville gave a formal bow.

Harry skidded to a stop. "Huh? Did I do something to annoy you, Nev?" Harry asked curiously.

"I- erm-" That one stumped the Gryffindor. He had thought he was being polite. Neutral, but polite.

Harry seemed to just shrug and grabbed Neville's elbow. "Come on, I've got a surprise!" Harry saw the look of trepidation. "Relax! You'll love it!" Harry grinned.

Neville was dragged by Harry through the halls of the castle. They passed several students who, rather than aid the scared Gryff, chuckled at the antics of the young Lord Slytherin.

"Are you ready for the best news of your, to date, very short life?" That grin was still plastered there.

Harry didn't wait for a response as he opened the large wooden door in front of them and dragged him in.

"Aunt Alice, Uncle Frank, I brought you your present as promised!" Harry called out.

"Wait… what?" Neville asked as he took in the view.

Sitting on a two seater sofa in a bright and airy lounge were his parents.

They had a large book on their laps and they were staring dully at it. At the entrance of the two boys Alice looked up but Frank was still catatonic. Alice had a small smile of curiosity.

"Harry… what is going on?" Neville asked tightly. As much as he wished his parents were well, he could easily see nothing had changed.

Except their clothing and location.

"Well, as you know, I am an orphan." Harry knew he was about to lay it on thick, but considering Neville's expression went from pissed to shame in a split second… he was just going to keep dolloping. "I lived in a cupboard without anyone to love me and take care of me."

If Filius or Minerva or… god forbid, Perenelle, heard him… they'd probably tan his hide for putting Neville through a guilt trip.

"Now I have lots of people to care about me. But! I discovered from Sirius that my mum was your god mother and your mother is my god mother.

"Now, I guess it isn't really your fault that no one told me and introduced me-" Someone up there had to prepping a lightning bolt to smite his devious arse. "-so I decided to introduce myself."

Neville struggled with words as he tried to think of a way to continue this discussion without coming off as an insensitive git.

"But… But why would you kidnap them from the hospital?"

"Why were they in the hospital?" Harry countered with a snort. "They weren't being given medicine to cure them. They weren't meeting with counsellors to help them. They were just dumped in a hospital and left there for someone else to deal with them." Harry had accidentally dropped his 'poor orphan' persona as anger made an appearance.

"But-"

"It's not your fault Nev." Harry assured him. "It is a problem with the wizarding world. If you can't fix it with a spell or potion then it isn't worth your time." He said in disgust. "With Uncle Frank and Aunt Alice here, you and I can see them every day. So can Sirius and the Professors. Poppy will make sure they are healthy and the elves will take care of their needs.

"Maybe, if we actually put the effort in, they might eventually remember themselves."

Neville sighed. He didn't want to argue. He not only agreed with Harry, he dreamed of it constantly. There was just one minor detail he didn't think the young Lord had taken into consideration.

"Gran is going to go… mental."

Harry turned to the boy with an evil grin. "If Regent Longbottom wants to take on the noble houses of Potter, Black, Slytherin, Flamel et al… bring it on!"

"At least she won't notice until Christmas, unless the Healers tell her." Neville muttered.

Despite Neville's fear and reluctance (of both Harry and his Gran), he managed to visit every day all the way up to Halloween.

Neville rarely had any time alone with them as there were always plenty of people in the tower that Harry had assigned as their living space.

It was off limits to the student body but he made an exception for his family. He asked Tracey, Pansy and Gemma to spend time in the living room so they had more exposure to people.

Halloween turned out the way it inevitably would.

Harry was in a fair amount of danger.

"You arrogant little cur! I have half a mind to take a cane to your bare backside! What do you have to say for yourself?"

Augusta Longbottom had stormed into the Great Hall at dinner time on Halloween and headed straight for the black haired boy at the Slytherin table.

She had then laid into him with a verbal tirade that made the boy struggle very hard to keep his underwear clean. He was pale and shaking and looked ready to throw himself on his own wand to end it.

"Are you finished terrorising my friend Terry or do you need a few more minutes?" Harry said as he stood up from near the staff table. "I could certainly use the time to call the DMLE."

Whilst Augusta was looking between the boy she had been haranguing and the boy who had spoken, a flash of fire erupted from Pansy's shoulder as Ember vanished.

Seconds later she reappeared.

"Merlin's sake, Potter!" Amelia grunted as she landed on the floor.

"Wasn't me! I was going to use the floo!" Harry said defensively. "Are you trying to get me in trouble?" He glared at the hovering bird.

Ember tweeted happily before soaring back to Pansy's shoulder. Ember liked the attention and the people, Hedwig preferred the peace and quiet. Blinky… liked to sleep.

"Ah! Madam Bones!" Augusta turned to the Head of the DMLE triumphantly. "I want this insolent brat arrested for kidnapping."

"Shut up you old hag!" Harry snarled. The occupants of the hall gasped.

"Harry!"

Everyone gasped again as quiet, timid Neville Longbottom stood up angrily and snapped at Harry.

"Sorry Nev, but her behaviour is unacceptable!" Harry shook his head with a scowl. "Amelia, this…'woman', broke into my home, which is filled with innocent and vulnerable children." There were various snorts from around the hall… mainly from the staff table. "She then immediately began to verbally assault Terrence Higgs, a fine and upstanding man who holds both the position of Headboy and Slytherin Quidditch Captain.

"I requested your presence as I want her arrested for trespassing, child endangerment and assault."

"Harry." Neville was a little more plaintive this time.

Harry turned to Pansy and Ember. "Keep him company for me?"

Although he was actually talking to Ember, Pansy decided to take the instructions as hers and stood up and walked around the hall to the Gryffindor boy. It was a testament as to how much the stuck up little pure blood princess had changed.

"Amelia, arrest this boy." Augusta ordered. "He has kidnapped my son and his wife and is holding them hostage."

Amelia couldn't resist the amused look as she slowly turned to Harry. Harry, despite now being thirteen, looked like a seven-year-old caught with his hand in the biscuit tin.

"Harry?"

"Not hostage… it's not like I'm asking for something for their return." Harry said as he shuffled his feet.

"How the devil did you manage to sneak them out of the hospital?" She asked with amused disbelief.

"Have you met my friend, Ember?" He asked cheekily. "Besides, I signed all the papers and had the appropriate witnesses."

"Is this true, Madam Longbottom?" Amelia turned back to the dowager.

"Irrelevant!" She cried indignantly. "I was not consulted and my permission was certainly never given."

"Madam, if the law hasn't been broken then I am currently unable to assist you. If you wish, you can petition the Wizengamut for arbitration in this matter."

"This is an outrage!"

"I agree!"

Amelia tried very hard not to roll her eyes as she turned back to Harry.

"And why do you consider this an outrage, Lord Slytherin?" She asked wearily.

"I was the one who requested your presence due to a danger to my home and its residents. But this… harridan-" "Well I never!" "Well maybe if you did you wouldn't be so stuck up!" Harry retorted.

"Haaarry."

Ok, so maybe he was crossing a line if Sirius was giving him a warning.

"Regardless, I called for you and you have ignored my urgency and worry to placate the very criminal I called you here to protect us from!" Harry was in full 'Lord' mode. It was a good thing Nicholas, Perenelle and Sabeena weren't there, they found him hilarious or adorable, depending on the number of X chromosomes they had. Sabeena still teased her husband for frequently being intimidated by Harry when he pulled rank.

For her part, Amelia was unsure on just how serious Harry was. The problem was that she couldn't take the risk he was joking around as if he wasn't, he would want Augusta to see him as respected.

"I apologise my Lord." She said with an incline of her head. "Madam Longbottom, I'm afraid you will have to come with me till I can sort this out."

"Madam! You can not be serious?" Augusta said indignantly.

"I am. Please come quietly or I will have no choice but to restrain you."

"This is outrageous!" Augusta steamed as she began marching out of the hall.

Amelia turned to Harry. "I'll need a copy of all the paperwork." She informed him before following in Augusta's wake.

As the doors to the Great Hall closed Harry turned to the students, and addressed the new first years with a mischievous grin. "Welcome to Hogwarts!"

Amelia had tried to explain to Augusta that she was the one in trouble, but she was so focused on the fact that the Potter boy had kidnapped her son that she refused to listen.

In the end she had walked away from a gobsmacked Augusta Longbottom as she sat in one of the Ministry cells. Amelia just hoped that a night in custody would hammer home the trouble she was in.

The following day she returned to the cell and found an extremely haggard, tired and livid Augusta Longbottom.

"You may consider your job gone and your standing in society destroyed." The Longbottom Matriarch growled.

Amelia just sighed and began to walk away. "And you can stay in that cell for another day." She said clearly as she walked.

"Harry, are you really going to press charges against my Gran?" Neville asked worriedly as they sat in the living room of what was becoming known as 'Longbottom Tower'.

Alice was sitting on the other side of the room as Tracey and Pansy played with her hair. It was weak and lank after years of neglect. She had a small smile on her face, but no other sign of alertness or recognition.

Frank was sitting quietly next to Neville, unmoving, just staring at Neville's hands as he played with his wand.

"Harry?"

Harry looked up suddenly, he had been lost in his own thoughts. "Uh… sorry Nev, I was thinking." He stood up and walked over to the father and son, his face was a mask of concentration, his eyes flickering between Frank's eyes and Neville's wand.

"Neville, give your father the wand." Harry instructed. It was times like this that everyone saw that Harry was far beyond his mere thirteen years. The girls had paused their work on Alice and were quietly paying attention. "Quickly Neville!" Harry pushed.

Neville jumped at the authority in Harry's voice and complied, taking his father's hand and wrapping it around the wand.

"Lumos, Uncle Frank."

"Harry-"

"Not now Nev."

Everyone but Frank, Alice and Harry gasped.

Harry grinned happily as Frank lit the tip of the wand. "Nice work, Uncle Frank. Now, make it flash twice. On-off, on-off."

"Merlin!" Gemma gasped as Frank did just that.

Harry knelt in front of the true Head of the House of Longbottom and looked in is vacant eyes with seriousness. "Uncle Frank, very soon we are going to have long and meaningful conversations." He promised. "For now, one flash for 'yes' and two for 'no'. Do you understand?"

The wand flashed once.

"As an addendum, keep flashing rapidly to get our attention."

The wand flashed once.

"Neville and I have to go. Pansy, get Filius and have him stay with you."

"Harry! Where are we going?" Neville asked as Harry dragged him from the tower.

"I need some books, but they aren't at Hogwarts." Harry explained without slowing down. "We are going to get Aurora to escort us to the muggle world."

"But it's eight in the evening. Won't everywhere be closed?"

This time Harry did pause. Then he shrugged and began dragging his god brother again. "It's open hours somewhere in the world."

Aurora had made the same argument as Neville before Ember took it upon herself to flame the trio straight to Australia. There were a good few hours of shopping left in Sydney.

There had been a few issues with trying to convert pounds to dollars but they managed to find a few people to point them in the direction of the right banks that could do it.

They even managed to find a magical district and were able to return with the books Harry wanted and a new wand for Neville.

All in all it only took them two hours, by which time Neville and Aurora were exhausted. Harry was still on an adrenaline rush and had locked himself in his quarters.

Over the next two days the Healers from St Mungo's were called in to witness and hypothesise on what this new revelation regarding Frank would mean. Could they help him or would he be restricted to flashing his wand for the rest of his life.

There were plenty of new theories now that they were actually able to ask various questions, but as Harry had used both his position as Lord Slytherin and the fact that Alice was his godmother to obtain legal guardianship for them, they weren't able to do anything until he permitted it.

And Harry was still locked in his room.

After two days of no sleep and only liquids, Harry burst triumphantly from his room.

"Done!"

He stopped in amusement as he found Aurora, Filius and Sirius standing outside the portrait to his quarters engaged in what could only be, a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

"If you are looking for a little privacy for whatever games you are playing, then I can recommend some much more suitable places than here." He said patronisingly.

"What the hell are you playing at, Harry?" Aurora demanded. She was one of the few people who had no issues with losing and displaying her temper with Harry. "You've been locked in your room for more than two days! Have you even eaten?"

"Erm…"

"If you have to think about it then you probably haven't." Filius sighed.

"Merlin, Harry! Are you trying to kill yourself? Gemma! Go get Madam Pomphrey." Sirius called down the stairs to the Common Room.

"Tell her to meet us at Longbottom Tower!" Harry added.

"The only place you are going is bed!" Aurora snarled.

"I've lasted two days, I can last an hour more." Harry shook his head. "Ember!"

Filius and Sirius grimaced as Aurora growled in frustration after Harry and his phoenix vanished.

Despite this being his second time through life, he hadn't learnt that women are not to be trifled with. They wouldn't care if he was Merlin himself… they would rip him to shreds.

The trio made their way to the tower where they found an excited Neville hugging Harry.

Unfortunately, Harry was passed out as exhaustion caught up with him.

Fortunately Poppy was right behind them and portkeyed him to the Hospital Wing.

Harry was asleep for a lot of the response to his invention for Frank. Poppy was shoving sleeping potions down his throat to prevent him from waking up.

Frank was now able to 'talk'.

Regrettably he did so with Harry's pubescent breaking voice… but he had a method of communication.

The device Harry had created was a glove with a sleeve that went up to his elbow. There was a hole in the palm for Frank to hold his wand and there were inscriptions on the sleeve of the glove.

"Harry called it 'Morse Code'. I've heard it was used by muggles." Frank explained as Harry's voice sounded from his unmoving form. "By flashing my wand I can spell out words and they are spoken."

Frank's current level of 'speech' was very slow. It took him time to form a word. Fortunately Harry had created the device so it would save the words Frank wanted and would speak them when he told it to.

All the instructions were on the sleeve with the cheat sheet for Morse Code.

Despite the slow and cumbersome manner of communication, Frank had nothing but praise for it. Harry had given him a way to speak whilst trapped in his body.

Every professor wanted to inspect the device but Filius and Sirius had been adamant that they would have to wait until Harry woke up and explained it.

Two days later, Poppy stopped feeding Harry sleep potions and he woke up.

Harry was pretty peeved.

Unfortunately he was outnumbered by everyone from Pansy to Perenelle.

Even Frank wasn't able to reign the women in… of course, judging by the slight light in his eyes, he probably enjoyed it.

"Look, enough!" Harry stopped them as they sat in the living room of Longbottom Tower. "I couldn't sleep until I had finished. Ask Sirius, if Frank was in Azkaban and you had a way to get him out, would you be able to sleep or would you have to do it straight away and damn the consequences to temporary health?"

Sirius just nodded gravely. He knew Harry was hinting towards his own incarceration at the Dursleys. "I'd hex each and everyone of you out of my path.

"Harry is fine. He is healthy and rested. I suggest we focus on Harry's amazing work and the fact that we have Frank back… sort of."

"Agreed." Came Harry's voice from Frank. His communication was becoming quicker due to his familiarisation with Morse Code.

"Harry, could you provide us with another… translation device, one that we can examine?" Filius asked.

"Yeah, there are three in my quarters."

"Three?" Tracey asked curiously.

"Well, if one breaks it would take a few hours to make a new one. This way, Uncle Frank won't have to worry about not being able to communicate."

Harry stood up and stretched. "Well, if you will all excuse me, I need to contact Albus. Need to ask for a fav-"

Harry vanished in a plume of fire as Ember took him away.

"I think… not certain, mind you, but I think Harry was planning on writing a letter." Sirius said as they all stared at the spot Harry had been standing.

"That bird is far too much like Harry." Aurora scowled.

Harry found himself standing in a restaurant full of people.

Every one of them looking at him in awe.

Albus was seated at a table with a man about his age but clean shaven and a slightly darker skin tone.

"For the love of God! Tell me this is a wizarding restaurant!"

Albus chuckled at the wide-eyed and harried looking bane of his existence. "You are in a magical Italian restaurant." He confirmed.

"In Italy?"

"Where else would you find an Italian restaurant?" Albus' dining companion asked with a raised eyebrow and heavy Italian accent.

"Everywhere." Harry shrugged. "Well, in the muggle world."

"Take a seat and explain why you felt the need to have Ember bring you here." Albus instructed.

Harry took the seat with a grump. "Wasn't my idea. I was going to write you a letter. Miss Fancy Pants here decided to make it personal." He said as he gently poked Ember in the chest as she perched on his shoulder.

The trill she let out could only be a giggle.

Both older men tried to hide their smirks but Harry saw and glared.

"Armando, meet Harry Potter, Lord of Slytherin." Albus smiled. "Harry, this is Armando Abate, he runs the Italian Education System."

"Nice to meet you sir." Harry held out his hand and Armando smiled and shook it.

"So, Harry, what did you need to talk to me about?" Albus asked as he signalled a waiter.

"All I wanted to do was borrow your pensive." He said as gave Ember another glare.

Albus and Armando frowned. "You wish to review your own memories?" Albus asked.

"Yeah, but also… well, I managed to create a device for Frank Longbottom to communicate with us. Unfortunately the device uses my voice. I wanted to-"

"Forgive me, Harry… did you say Frank Longbottom can talk?" Albus asked, bushy white eyebrows combining with his white hair.

"Yeah… it's a whole thing and everybody is pi- angry at me." Harry said dismissively.

"He has a knack for understatement." Armando chuckled.

"Harry, I'm going to need more than that." Albus said in exasperation. Despite the trouble Harry caused him, he really did love him, he had the fun and easy going side of James but the caring and meticulous attributes of Lily.

Unfortunately for Albus, Harry also had Lily's lack of awe regarding him. James, like most pure bloods, grew up on stories of his deeds. Anyone who doubted his word was a fool.

Harry took that lack of awe and combined it with his father's… mischievousness.

Then he pointed the whole mess at him.

"Frank was trapped in his body. Near catatonic but not quite. I could see his eyes were always on Neville's wand… his old wand. I told Neville to give it to him and told Frank to cast a lumos. It worked, so I created a device based on Morse Code. It takes him a minute or so to create sentences but he can now communicate with us.

"I wanted to borrow your pensive as the device currently uses my voice. I need someone's memory of Frank talking so I can change it to that. I also want to see some of Frank's memories in case I can help him further."

Armando snorted. "I remember, many years ago, Albus was scouring the globe trying to find anyone that could help the Longbottoms. They are almost as famous as you and Albus now."

"Seriously? And no one could help them?" Harry asked incredulously.

"I had everyone from Poppy Pomfrey to the head of International Magical Healer's Council." Albus sighed. "It doesn't matter." He shook his head. "You have done something incredible. Come, Armando and I are finished here, we will get you your own pensive. I will even give you my memories of Frank and Alice as well as my discussions with Healers.

"Augusta Longbottom should have plenty of memories too."

Harry grimaced.

"What did you do?" Albus asked with a resigned sigh.

"Weell-"

"Harry."

"Look, she signed custody over to St Mungo's. Apparently it's the norm for life time patients so that the Healers can make important decisions for them."

"Yes, I signed as the witness." Albus confirmed.

"Right… but I claimed familial privileges and removed them from the hospital. They are living in Longbottom Tower… well, Hogwarts, an empty tower."

"How are they being cared for? What about their potions?" Albus asked worriedly.

Harry was clearly unimpressed with the Headmaster. "You've just heard that I managed to legally gain custody of them and developed a method for Frank to talk… but you still think I haven't thought of the little things?"

Ember began trilling at Albus… nobody doubted she was scolding him.

Armando just laughed as he paid the bill the waiter had brought and stood up. "Come, Harry, I know a Rune Master who will be able to sell you a pensieve."

Albus had a thoughtful look as he walked behind the two males. He had finally managed to put aside his belief that he needed to be responsible for Harry. He certainly didn't need the protection of the blood wards as he had proven himself able to care and defend himself.

But there was still something… he didn't know what… and he didn't have a clue what it might be.

Harry arrived back at Hogwarts in his quarters in the early evening. He stretched before heading down to the common room, it had been nearly a week since he had just relaxed.

Harry was greeted by most of the Slytherins, only a few older pure bloods still wanted him dead.

It probably had a lot to do with the fact that Dudley was staying in the dungeons with them.

What caught Harry's attention was the fact that Dudley was sitting at one of the tables with Terrence, Pansy and Greg. Nothing unusual there as he often did his homework with others. Terrence had taken Dudley on as a mentor.

No, what caught Harry's eye was the rather guilty look on their faces as they tried to look innocent and continue working.

Harry sighed. He hated being the responsible one. "Alright, what did you lot do?"

"Do? We wouldn't do anything Mi'lord!"

Apparently Pansy lacked the ability to lie to Harry.

"Terrence?"

Terrence gave his own sigh of defeat and nodded to Dudley who put a book on the table.

"Ancient Runes." Harry nodded. "I'm familiar with this book. Care to explain?"

"I- I was reading it." Dudley said with shame.

"And…?"

"Erm… I'm sorry?"

Harry was getting a headache already. He should have stayed in his rooms. "You're sorry for reading a book?"

"He promised not to draw any symbols or anything." Terrence offered. They were becoming more worried as Harry pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Let me get this straight… all you were doing was reading a book? And not even one from the Restricted Section."

"We'd never do that!" Pansy was scandalised.

"Dud, if you want to read a book, then go for it. Learning isn't going to hurt you. As long as you don't go near the Restricted Section you will be fine.

"Trust me, some of the books in there can physically hurt you." Harry shuddered. "Dobby?"

There was a small pop.

"Could you get me my Monster Book of Monsters?"

Dobby looked terrified.

"Never mind… I'll get it." Harry couldn't blame him,

"Dobby is brave and good elf!" Dobby exclaimed before popping away. It was clear he was horrified that his master would have to do his work.

Dobby quickly reappeared.

He was rolling across the floor in a life and death struggle with the book. Harry stepped in and separated book and elf.

"Dobs, all you need to do is stroke the spine." Harry explained. He then showed him how.

"Is still evil." Dobby glared at it before popping away to lick his wounds… and possibly contemplate revenge on the book.

Harry chuckled as he plopped the book on the table. "I give you a book that can physically hurt you." He declared.

"And there are books in the Restricted Section that can do the same?" Pansy asked curiously.

"Sure. They're not all like that but they are dangerous."

"But it's ok for Dudley to read the books we have?" Terrence asked for clarification.

"Yes!" Harry laughed. "Look, there is only one rule for muggles reading wiggle books. If the book has some form of magical ability then a wiggle has to be with them at all times. OK?"

"One thing… what's a 'wiggle'?"

Harry was about to answer Terrence when Professor Snape entered.

"Potter, we need to talk." He ground out.

Now, it was possible that Severus was in a bad mood… but the only time he wasn't in a bad mood was when Shirley was working on him. So… he was probably in a worse mood.

"I'll see you later guys. Dudley, if you get any ideas from the book, write them down and we can try 'em out!" Harry said enthusiastically.

Harry waited patiently as he sat in his arm chair opposite Severus. He had a feeling that his slave actually liked his new attire and style. His hair was no longer long and greasy, Harry had been miffed that he had slept through the weekend and missed a visit to Desmond and Shirley.

Severus was still decked out in wizarding robes, but under that he wore trousers and a shirt. The shirt was always dark like the trousers, but never black. As per Harry's orders.

"You have to let me go back to my previous… style." Severus practically demanded.

"Why?" Harry asked.

"It is causing…problems."

"Explain."

Severus growled in annoyance. Harry had a feeling he was going to enjoy this.

"I am garnering… 'unsavoury' attention."

Harry just raised an eyebrow.

"Many of the female students have been purposely getting detentions and coming to me after class with pitiful excuses for questions. I never had this problem before." Clearly Severus was disturbed by this.

"Sev, I can think of plenty of solutions to your 'problem' and they won't have Shirley demanding an explanation." Harry smirked. "Send the girls to detention with a female Professor. Take your best sixth year students and have them form some sort of support group that younger students can approach for help."

"What about the sixth and seventh years? They are the most… zealous."

Harry tried very hard not to laugh as Severus shuddered. "Post hours when you will be available after classes and then hold those times in the Great Hall or arrange an area in the library with Madam Pince. Or you can talk to Aunt Minnie about arranging to hold the times with her… so you have a chaperone."

Severus glared at him. "You are enjoying this." He accused.

"Yep." Harry grinned unrepentantly.

"I hate you."

"Love you to, Sev."

*Chapter 15*: Chapter 15
A/N: An additional disclaimer I forgot to add. Desmond's is a British sitcom from the early 90's about a small barber shop in South-East London. It is run by a husband and wife. Porkpie and Mathew were two characters who spent most of their time sitting on the waiting chairs and nattering with their friend Desmond.

Chapter 15

Harry had grudgingly accepted a grudgingly given apology from Augusta Longbottom.

Amelia had escorted Augusta from her third day in the cell to Hogwarts to talk to Frank. It had taken a lot of convincing on Frank's part to prove it wasn't a trick but he knew things about the family that no one else would.

Albus and Armando had thrown a spanner in Harry's plans for the pensive. They had successfully purchased one but pointed out that you needed to be an Occlumens to withdraw your own memory or allow a legillimens do it.

"Alright, hold up." Harry huffed as he caused his teacher to pause with wand poised in front of his face. "Just how do I clear my mind?"

Severus grumbled and lowered his wand. "Everyone is different. They have their own methods that work for them."

"What do you do to your mind, when you 'empty' it, would a legillimens see it?"

"They would see what you want them to see. The true master Occlumens does not keep intruders out but deceives them into believing they are seeing what they want to see."

"So… the whole thing is about lying?"

Severus gave a long suffering sigh. "No. It is about hiding your thoughts-"

"Which is the same as deceiving people about where they are… so… lying."

Severus leaned forward on the couch. "You can order me to teach you this and I will have no choice. But it will be your own fault if you destroy your brain because you weren't listening properly when I instructed you-"

"Whoa, hold up there Sev." Harry laughed. "Now, I understand that the mind arts are a delicate and dangerous subject. But you started your lesson with the instruction: Clear your mind.

"And that was it.

"I had to ask you for further instruction, so I don't really think you have a leg to stand on when blaming me for not listening."

Severus could only grumble. It was going to be a long few hours.

Despite the fact that Severus was a reluctant and grumpy teacher and that Harry was an annoying git, the occlumency training went pretty well.

Unlike his first attempts he was able to stop Severus and get him to explain. Harry was now able to hide his thoughts from Severus for quite some time. He would need more practice to be able to withstand a sustained assault.

It was currently the weekend and Harry had managed to annoy Severus even more. He had brought Frank and Alice with them to Desmond's.

Alice was able to walk as long as Harry kept a firm hand on her. Frank was in a wheelchair that Harry had added some transfigured bits and pieces to that would make it look like Frank had a machine to talk for him.

Severus was fairly put out when Shirley paid far more attention to Alice than him. He was also made to wait until she was finished with Alice.

Something that Porkpie took great pleasure in ribbing him about.

Unfortunately the conversation took a bit of a downer when Porkpie asked about Frank's condition.

"My wife and I were kidnapped and tortured." Frank explained. "I lost the ability to control myself and Alice… we don't know what happened." He explained.

"Porkpie!" Desmond hissed.

"It's ok." Frank assured them. "If it wasn't for Harry we would be stuck in a hospital with nothing but white walls. Harry is the one who figured out I was actually aware in here. Just seeing Alice smile is enough to help me forget the torment."

Alice was currently luxuriating beneath the tender ministrations of Shirley's talented hands.

Severus was still pouting next to Porkpie.

"And how you know young Harry?" Porkpie asked Frank as he indicated the thirteen-year-old to his right.

"He's Alice's godson. He should have lived with us but the bastards got to us and now we aren't even fit to take care of ourselves."

Desmond could see the self-recrimination in the mirror as he cut the man's hair. "Don' you go taking on blame for what those fools did." He admonished. "If you are still sane after all these years trapped in your head then you are stronger than most."

Porkpie shuddered. "Don' think I could last with nothing but me thoughts for a decade."

"Neither could anyone else." Desmond muttered sarcastically, but it took some of the sadness out of his customer's eyes.

"So what happened to you last weekend, Harry?" Shirley asked as she continued her work on Alice. "Severus said you slept for two whole days!"

"Ha! Even Porkpie can't manage that." Desmond laughed as the man in question looked indignant.

"Yeah, I managed to wipe myself out whilst I was doing some work. I accidentally worked for nearly two days straight and forgot to eat and sleep."

"How can you forget dat?" Porkpie scoffed. "If I forget to sleep me body will just fall on the spot."

"Yes." Matthew drawled. "And if he forgets to eat his belly clearly alerts the rest of us."

"Harry was working on his theory that I was conscious in here. He was getting a way for me to talk."

"You didn't just alert the adults?" Shirley frowned.

"Erm…"

"Harry grew up with bad examples of adults." Severus answered. "His parents were killed by the same people who tortured Frank and Alice. As much as I hate to admit it: he is far more mature than most adults."

"Well there's no need to be insulting!" Harry said indignantly.

The following day Harry walked into the offices of the Daily Prophet with Sirius and a small trunk.

"Tell Cuffe that Lords Slytherin and Black are here to see him." Harry instructed the secretary with his best Lucius Malfoy impression.

"Of course Mi'lords! Right away Mi'lords!" The middle-aged woman was practically genuflecting as she hastened to fulfil their every whim.

"So… is this what happens when you go out?" Harry asked Sirius.

"It depends on where I go. But I do try and stick to the muggle world or… never mind." He suddenly looked very guilty.

"Where do you go?" Harry demanded.

"Just to some… places that don't know me or care about my status in British Wizarding Society." Sirius said trying to be dismissively nonchalant.

"Have you been stealing my spaceship to travel abroad?" Harry demanded as he invaded his godfather's personal space.

"What do you want? I'm a busy man." The pair turned to see a slightly overweight man standing at the door to the office. He was clearly not as impressed by who they were as his clearly embarrassed secretary was.

"Let's talk in your office." Harry said as he marched past Cuffe.

Sirius grabbed the Editor-In-Chief of the Daily Prophet by the elbow and led him in. Barnabus was not used to being bull-rushed like this. He was usually the bull.

Harry turned to Barnabus as Sirius closed the office door and put up privacy wards. "Here's the deal, Cuffe: This trunk is filled with pure gold. Not galleons, gold. You can have it all if you agree to sign over ownership of the Prophet to us and agree to step down."

Now you might think that a man like Barnabus Cuffe, a man who was not afraid to print stories about powerful people even if he didn't have any evidence, might not be swayed by riches.

No, he was a greedy bastard like every other wizard out there.

Of course, that meant he would try and fleece these fools for all he could.

He waved a nonchalant hand. "I can tell you right now that there is no way that box holds enough to cover the worth of my paper."

"Oh well. We tried." Harry said as Sirius picked up the small trunk.

Barnabus was stunned and confused. This was not how negotiations went. "Wait! Maybe we can work something out."

Harry and Sirius paused at the door. "The offer is final, Cuffe." Sirius informed him. "Did you honestly think we would negotiate with you?" He said with a hint of disgust. "We have read your paper, you know. We've seen the lies you've printed about us and our friends.

"We want you gone and were willing to pay a substantial amount to see it happen. But if you aren't willing to cooperate then we will seek other methods."

Barnabus scoffed. "You've been listening to those damned mudbloods you always have at that school. There is no law against what we do. The Wizengamot won't listen to your claims of libel and slander."

"No, but wizarding society does have its own set of available actions for disagreements." Harry smiled nastily.

"A Wizard's Duel!" Barnabus gasped.

"Well, considering some of the articles you've written about myself and my godson, the houses of Black, Potter and Slytherin can demand nothing less."

"Not to mention the insults written about my vassals." Harry added. "Calling myself and Lord Black murderers for winning a legal duel that was supervised and approved of by the Ministry… we are not happy."

Barnabus was greedy, but he was not an idiot. "I'll take the deal."

"Good. One additional thing, you will leave the country. It's not like you can't afford it." Sirius allowed no room for argument.

Barnabus knew he didn't have a choice.

Barnabus Cuffe had agreed to leave the country within the week. Harry had even offered a generous additional amount for the man's house and assets on the islands.

Now Harry had a paper with no Editor-In-Chief.

It also became clear that he had no intention of appointing one.

"You cannot just quit your education!" Minerva ranted in exasperation as she paced in Harry's quarters.

"I did it once. I don't see why I can't do it again." Harry pouted from his armchair. Filius was in his own armchair whilst Aurora, Sirius and Remus were on the sofa.

They had decided to stage an intervention when it was clear that Harry had stopped attending classes.

"He did say he passed his OWLs the last time through." Sirius pointed out.

He cringed behind Remus as Minerva turned her furious glare on him.

"Aunt Minnie, is there anything you teach in your classes, to any of your seven years, that I don't already know?" Harry reasoned.

Minerva's expression fluctuated rapidly between annoyance, frustration and careful thought.

She was interrupted by a knock on Harry's door to the Slytherin Common Room.

"Come in!" Harry called out.

The door opened to admit Dudley and Gregory.

"Oh, sorry Harry." Dudley said with a slight blush as he backed out.

"Come in, guys." Harry insisted. "You just saved me from a very pointless conversation." He grinned, completely ignoring Minerva's death glare.

"Can we… erm…"

"Let's step into the study." Harry nodded at his cousin's apprehension.

This left the adults alone in the room.

"You could try and be a bit more supportive." Minerva glared at them all.

Filius chuckled. "My dear, we are being very supportive. Of Harry."

"You cannot honestly believe-"

"Minnie." Filius interrupted her softly. "Harry has been through his Hogwarts years already. He spent most of that time nearly getting killed. I can't in good conscience ask him to go through it all again. He's earned his chance to enjoy life, we should be happy for him and support him."

Minerva sighed as she sat on the edge of one of the other armchairs. "It is not his education I worry about. It is his personal life. From what he has told us he had only two friends at Hogwarts. Now he has friends in every year in Slytherin. Not to mention a few of the other houses.

"I just want to make sure that he doesn't lose those friends."

"Minerva, I don't think Harry has any intention of leaving Hogwarts, or these quarters." Aurora offered. "I just think he intends to use the time that classes are in session to work on other projects. Like the spaceship. Which I think we can all agree is far more important than sitting in class."

They ceased their discussion as Harry returned with the two boys. "Alright, what do you lot know about dyslexia?"

He was met with a bunch of blank looks.

"Is it a form of plant?" Remus asked hesitantly.

Harry's eyes narrowed. "I wasn't asking for a guess."

Remus sat back, admonished.

"So, based on the fact that the Deputy Headmistress of Great Britain's only magical school doesn't know of it, I'm guessing no one else will. Bloody brilliant." Harry grumbled as he conjured another sofa and indicated the now nervous boys to sit. "Dud, could you please explain, briefly, what you know about dyslexia?"

Dudley was now very nervous. He hated being the object of attention for teachers. "Erm… it's when someone can't read or write properly 'cos the letters get all jumbled. They thought I might have it at school… but I'm just dumb." He said with his head down in shame.

"Bullshit!"

"Harry!"

"Fine: Bovine Excrement!"

Minerva just glared at him.

"The only way you would be dumb is if you refused to learn." Harry told his cousin with authority. "You've been reading tons of books on space travel and I know you probably know more than me now."

It was true. Harry had put his arm around his cousin one day and promised that this summer they would both be standing on the moon. Dudley had begun reading every book in his school library on the subject.

"I will handle Dudley's problems at school later. At the moment, Dudley has discovered that Greg suffers from dyslexia. He showed me Greg's latest homework and it is clear that his spelling is not the issue. He simply gets letters mixed up."

Filius cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Forgive me for asking, Mister Goyle, but Harry, is there any chance that this is simply an 'intelligence' issue?"

"No, Greg can cast spells when I teach them, he just has trouble with reading and writing and attempting to put things in his own words. I don't know much about dyslexia, but I do know that a symptom can be reversal of letters and the like."

"How do you know about it?" Aurora asked.

Harry looked a bit embarrassed. "My primary school teachers thought I might be dyslexic."

"Well, what do you recommend we do?" Filius asked, moving the topic away from Harry's discomfort.

"The Grangers. They are medical professionals and will be able to point us towards someone who might be able to help."

"Muggle methods?" Minerva frowned. "Aren't there any wizarding methods?"

"You're a teacher and you've never heard of it." Harry shrugged. "I guess I could write to Albus and- No! Ember! Not NO-"

Harry vanished in flame.

"Harry should take her out more." Dudley winced. "Maybe then she wouldn't keep… kidnapping him."

Albus had moved on from Italy and was now in Egypt. A very disgruntled Harry had had a brief conversation with a very amused Albus before a very chipper Ember took him back home.

Albus had promised to talk to his contacts in various countries and to learn about dyslexia.

In the meantime the members of Slytherin House had rallied together and now they took turns helping Greg with his homework. With the teachers now aware that Gregory Goyle's abysmal grades were due to something beyond his control, they took this into account when marking his work. He was marked on content as opposed to presentation.

Filius had taken to speaking with Greg between classes and testing his knowledge in lieu of requiring written homework.

Severus had refused to let his student near a cauldron unless he had a suitable partner that could make up for his student's issue. Harry had suggested Hermione would make a good partner as it would also help her learn to communicate information better instead of her normal method of recitation.

Severus didn't care. He was just relieved that he didn't have to keep waiting for the boy to blow them up. He was actually worse than Neville.

But now things were improving. Gregory smiled more often, he also talked a bit more. This had an effect on his best friend, Vincent Crabbe, who also became happier and more verbose.

Once again, things calmed down. The only issue occurred just before Easter when Luna started screaming in her dorm room. Harry was called in because Luna refused to talk to anyone but him… despite the fact that she was ensconced in Doreen's arms.

"They tell me you had a bad dream." Harry said softly as he knelt in front of Luna and Doreen as they sat in an armchair in the Ravenclaw Common Room.

Luna shook her head vigorously but remained mute.

"Can you describe what you saw?"

Luna shuddered and looked away.

"Was it a person?"

She shook her head slowly.

Harry thought for a moment. "Luna, would you mind if I took a copy of your memory so I can see what you saw?"

She gave an apathetic shrug.

"Uncle Fil, could you ask Severus to join us please?"

"What in Merlin's name is that?" Severus was dumbfounded by what he was seeing in the pensive as they viewed Luna's memory.

"Probably a wrackspurt or nargle." Harry shrugged. "It clearly isn't what scared Luna."

Severus looked at him like he was insane. "The girl clearly has mental problems if she is imagining these things."

They were currently looking at some sort of yellow and blue insect. Giant yellow and blue insect. It was at least foot long.

"Ho-ly crap!" Harry said with wide eyes. Poking its head through the walls of Luna's dorm was an actual giant bug. It was like a cross between a leech and a worm. It had a large red opening filled with suckers and its body was mottled green. It filled the entire wall.

"Good Merlin!" Severus nearly screeched.

The memory of Luna suddenly noticed the creature and she began to scream.

"You might be right about the mental problems, Sev. But I don't think the creatures are part of the problem."

"No, because it is completely normal to imagine disgusting monsters that no one else can see." Snape said sarcastically.

"Let me put it to you this way: Could you put a copy of your imagination into a pensive?"

The Potions Master frowned. "Hmm, perhaps you are correct. But that would mean the girl is actually seeing these things and not imagining them… which would mean they actually exist."

"There are more things in heaven and on earth…"

For once in their time as companions, Harry had actually asked Ember to take him to see Albus.

"Albie… you're flaming."

"Harry, that is not appr- oh- oh my!" Albus began patting his beard as he noticed the flames Harry was indicating.

He was hit in the face with a blast of water and began spluttering.

When he caught his breath he sent a withering glare at his student. "I had it under control." He said tetchily.

"Fire retardant charm?" Harry asked.

"Excuse me?"

"You used a fire retardant charm."

"Ah… I suppose that would have been prudent." Albus admitted somewhat chagrined as he looked down at the glass containing the flaming topped beverage that had been the culprit of his Flaming Facial.

"Moron." Harry muttered as he sat down at the table in what appeared to be a restaurant, the other patrons were laughing at the spectacle. "So, where are we now?"

"New Zealand. Can I interest you in a Kiwi Cup?" Albus had a small smirk as he indicated the fiery beverage.

"I'll pass." Harry would never understand wiggles and their ridiculous obsession with things that could kill them.

He ignored the fact that he was attempting to travel to the moon.

"I've got another problem with a student, but this is a little more serious than helping with the Three R's."

"Three R's?"

"Reading, Writing and Arithmetic."

Albus frowned. "Arithmetic starts with an 'a'."

"Considering the wiggle world doesn't teach any of them as a matter of basics, I don't think you get to comment." Harry said blandly.

Albus sighed. "Must you continue to use that word?"

"I'll stop saying 'wiggle' when wiggles stop saying muggle." Harry grinned.

"What is your student's problem?" Albus changed the subject uncomfortably.

"Luna Lovegood can see things we cannot. We all thought she was talking about fantasies she created… then she woke half the castle with screaming. I looked at her memory with Sev and she was not imagining them."

"You are referring to the creatures that her father writes about in the Quibbler?" Albus frowned.

Harry nodded. "I went back over a few editions that Luna pointed out and they describe what she sees perfectly. But her dad can't see them. He just believes her."

"And some of these creatures are… terrifying enough that they are now becoming a problem for Miss Lovegood." Albus sighed.

"I think she's suffered enough having spent her life with this ability." Harry said seriously. "Especially as she has been scorned and ridiculed as a result.

"I need a way to either supress her ability or grant it to others. I was hoping you might know some people who know something about this."

Albus stroked his beard thoughtfully. "As of this moment, no. But, let me talk to some friends. We will discuss the situation and get back to you."

"Thanks, after her scary encounter I've had to ask Padma to keep a closer eye on her. It's not fair to Padma but she is willing."

Harry placed a small wooden box on the table. "These are vials of Luna's memories of various creatures. There is a small book which has a few notes from Luna."

Albus took the box and tucked it in his robe. "Is everything else going well at the school?" He asked conversationally.

"Sure, Greg is coping with his literacy issues, and he has a lot of support from the staff and students. Some of the Ravenclaws have started making tests for him so they can try and get an accurate picture of how he sees things. They keep chucking Dudley back into London or Glasgow to get more books on the subject."

Albus chuckled at the grumpy young lord. "And have you finalised your plans for this summer's excursion? I would gladly offer my services again but there are some big events occurring this coming school year and I will need to be available to deal with them."

"The Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament." Harry sighed.

Albus was shocked. Everyone knew about the QWC, but the Triwizard Tournament was only known to himself and his fellow school heads. He had approached them and gotten an agreement and promise to approach their government heads.

That was merely a courtesy though.

"And how do you know about that?" Albus asked sternly.

Harry looked at him and waggled his eyebrows with a mischievous smile. "Considering you didn't ask if you could hold a potentially life threatening event at my home… I think I'll keep that titbit to myself.

"So, how's Draco?" He asked before Albus could press.

Albus just huffed at the dismissal before he sighed. "Draco is currently residing with some individuals in Australia."

Harry frowned. "You do realise that although I gave you some authority over him, you do have to check with me if you want to let him stay with friends. I am technically his guardian."

"They aren't… 'friends'… per say." Albus said uncomfortably.

Harry looked at him with narrowed eyes. "I think you had better start talking… and quickly."

Albus sighed resignedly. "Draco is currently saying at the Melbourne Home for Boys."

"He doesn't have a wand and he wouldn't survive in a non-magical place without getting everyone obliviated because he couldn't keep his trap shut." Harry reasoned.

"It is a wig- Magical home." Albus glared as Harry grinned at his slip up. "It is a school for children who… are not ready for civilised society."

Albus really hated that smug look on Harry's face. "I had no choice!" He said defensively. "The boy wouldn't listen to me or anyone else. He kept trying to steal people's wands!"

Harry gave a pleased sigh. "Oh Albie. You've made my day. Let me know when you get some word on Luna's situation. Ember." Albus glared as boy and Phoenix flamed out.

He picked up his glass and downed it quickly.

He was hit in the face with another blast of water.

He looked at the middle-aged man at the table opposite who had his wand pointed at him.

"The kid did warn you about the flames."

Albus looked down… for the first time in his life he had black hair… it didn't smell good.

Harry Potter slumped back into his chair slightly out of breath.

"No luck?"

Harry turned to his Uncle Frank (Who's translator now had his own voice). Harry had been using his fledgling skills at legilimancy to try and learn more about Alice's condition.

To Frank's left was Neville, to his right was Augusta… who still took every opportunity to glare at him.

"I think she's hidden all her memories." Harry frowned as he reached for his drink. "She only has one memory and one real association: Neville."

"Me?!"

Harry smiled at him softly. "In her darkest hour, when she knew she was about to die, her only thoughts were for her son and his happiness. It's why she always approaches you."

"And you can't find the memories?" Frank asked.

"I'll have to get Severus, and possibly Albus, to check, but I think she has pretty much set up a form of occlumancy. She is using her memory of Neville to hide everything else.

"I might need to see if there are better methods of accessing the mind."

"I do not approve of allowing that... 'man' anywhere near my daughter-in-law." Augusta said stiffly.

"Lucky for Alice, it's not up to you." Harry and Augusta just couldn't help antagonising each other.

"Oh dear!"

Harry turned to see Albus standing behind him with Ember bouncing happily on his shoulder.

"You are a bloody menace!" Harry glared at Ember.

Albus looked at Harry with a gimlet eye. "You do realise that the young tend to take on the traits of others, especially in magical companions and familiars."

"So, what? Does that mean Ember is taking after the girls?" Harry scowled.

"Erm… Harry… I think he means you." Neville whispered loudly and nervously.

"Huh?" Harry said in confusion.

"The Headmaster is saying that you are the reason for the Phoenix's eccentric ways!" Augusta snapped in irritation.

"Nuh uh!" Harry shook his head in vigorous denial. "If anyone is corrupting her it's Nicky!"

"Grow up and take responsibility for your mischief, Harry." Frank stated. It was lucky that Harry had refined the translator so that Frank could convey an element of emotion.

Harry pouted at Frank's teasing voice. "Albie, just try and see if you can find any of Alice's memories, will you."

"Well I never! Such utter disrespect!" Augusta began to build up steam.

"ENOUGH!"

Everyone jumped, including Alice.

Maybe adding the ability to shout was something he shouldn't have given Frank.

"I have had it with your bickering." Frank stated. "Mother, Harry has done more for this family than anyone in the history of the Longbottom family.

"I am aware of all that the Headmaster has done to try and help us, but Harry is the one who has saved me and likely is our best hope for saving Alice.

"You disgrace the name of Longbottom with your constant belittling of Lord Slytherin.

"And Harry… grow up. Stop rising to her taunts and stop throwing them at her yourself."

"Sorry Uncle Frank."

"And don't pull that malarkey on me."

Harry moved from timid school boy to pouty teenager.

"I certainly look forward to my return this coming year." Albus chuckled. "Harry, I will take a look at Alice now, would you mind if I stayed a while after to talk with Frank? I would have come earlier but… you exiled me."

"Mother." Frank's warning voice caused the two to look at Augusta who was about to comment on that.

"Sure, I'll make myself scarce. Just let me know what you find?"

"Of course."

Harry just sighed as Ember appeared on his shoulder and flamed out with him. She just seemed to have no impulse control.

Of course, he didn't have long to ponder this fact before he realised that he was staring at a standing and smiling Frank Longbottom.

"Hey son." Frank croaked with a voice that hadn't been used for more than a decade as it became clearer to Harry that he was only standing with Neville's help… who was also smiling.

"You found a way out!" Harry said with a look of shock.

"Actually, it was Albus." He nodded to the old man in a conjured armchair.

"How'd you do it?" Harry asked excitedly. "Can we use it on Aunty Alice?"

Albus smiled gently. "I merely followed your lead. I searched for Alice, but like you discovered, she has hidden her memories.

"Frank allowed me to enter his mind. I was able to go deep enough in his memories to pull wisps from his childhood. Memories of learning to walk and talk. From there I pulled them to the forefront and forced Frank to experience only those memories. For a few moments he was much like Alice. Hidden behind a few memories."

"So you tricked him into think he was a toddler, a toddler who wanted to walk and talk like his parents." Harry nodded.

"Yes, essentially. It is a little trickier and not something I suggest you try yet." Albus warned with a nod to Alice who was sitting on the sofa next to a beaming Augusta. Alice was still her semi-detached self.

"Did you have any luck with Alice?" Harry asked with troubled look.

"None, aside from confirming your own theory." Albus shook his head. "But that should be enough to get me started on new investigations."

Chapter Text

*Chapter 16*: Chapter 16
Chapter 16

"Don't we need spacesuits?" Dudley asked nervously as he stood next to Harry on the grounds of Hogwarts, staring up at the latest model of Harry's spacecraft.

This one was the size of a house. It had the interior of one as well, although there were hand holds and railings everywhere so that they could move around in zero-g… they still hadn't fixed that issue.

"We're wearing them Dud." Harry said as he patted his cousin's shoulder.

The pair were dressed in a set of red jumpsuits. They had helmets… technically they were just large fish bowls charmed and enchanted six ways from Sunday.

Septima Vector had threatened him with bodily harm if he kept calling them that. It was bad enough that Charity Babbage and Bathsheda Babbling refused to call them anything else.

"Dudley, relax." Harry said soothingly and completely sincere. "I've been in space numerous times now. The only difference for this time will be that we are going to land on the moon.

"Got your camera?"

"Yeah… and the camcorder." Dudley said absently, his eyes never leaving the spacecraft.

Harry turned to face the assembled crowd. It was the day before everyone boarded the Hogwart's Express to go home for the summer holidays. Harry had agreed to hold his mission today so they could all witness.

"I promise to bring back enough cheese for everyone!" He declared solemnly.

Harry broke into a grin as he heard several people chuckle.

That wouldn't have been so bad except he also heard a few students comment that they wondered what it would taste like. Purebloods were so gullible.

Filius and Aurora covered their faces in shame at their fellow wiggles.

As Harry ushered Dudley onto the spherical ship, flash bulbs went off as select reporters from the Daily Prophet and Xenophilius Lovegood documented the event.

There were also camcorders and one very high quality film camera. A few of the older muggleborn students had gotten together and asked Harry if they could create a documentary about Harry's project. They had interviewed everyone involved from Dudley to Septima.

At the moment, the revelations of Harry meeting an alien and that there was imminent danger from the stars, was being kept very quiet. It was considered part of Harry's secrets and so only those who took the oaths knew about it.

"Erm… Professor Lupin, Sir? This is Dudley."

Remus and Dudley were the official communications officers.

Mainly because Sirius couldn't be serious and Aurora was likely to try and strangle Harry through the communication mirrors they were using.

Harry was forbidden due to the fact that it was unlikely he would say thing useful. Entertaining for the muggleborn? Sure.

"I can see you Dudley. The sphere is closed and sealed out here. You can take off when re-" *WHOOSH*

Remus and the rest of the closest spectators where staggered backwards as the sphere shot into the air from zero to more than a hundred miles in less than a second and the vacuum left in its wake was refilled.

As they regained their footing, Aurora grabbed the mirror from Remus. "Dudley, this is one of those times when you can hit Harry." She growled.

She had taken the boy aside and instructed him that it would be up to him to keep Harry in check. Yes, Harry was in charge, but he really needed a babysitter.

"Wow."

Harry smiled at the back of Dudley's head as his cousin stared out one of the many windows. "Wait till we get further out. You'll be one of just a few people who have seen the Earth so small and is still alive."

They were travelling at speeds that far exceeded anything muggles could achieve.

"How long till we reach the moon?" Dudley asked, never looking away from the window and the planet falling away behind them.

Harry looked at the various displays that had been set up. Magic still did nasty things to a lot of electronics, but that was changing thanks to a lot of work by Harry, Septima and Bathsheda.

"Well… maybe an hour?" He shrugged.

This did make Dudley face Harry. "But it took Nasa three whole days to get to the moon!"

"First: That was decades ago. Second: Magic!" Harry grinned that annoying grin of his.

What he wasn't telling Dudley was that they weren't even travelling at top speed. They could easily make the trip in under an hour.

"Harry… what happens if muggles see us? Like NASA?" Dudley asked with a frown.

"Gotta be honest, Dud... I really don't care." Harry sighed.

"But won't they try and shoot us down?"

"Well… 'try' is the right word. We are moving faster than anything they can build. Their fastest bullets couldn't hit us. But, ultimately, why should we hide what we are doing? Just because we are using magic?"

"What about the Ministry? Terry said that there was a global government."

"Meh. Leave the politics to me." Harry said with a dismissive wave. "I've got it handled." He grinned.

Dudley looked at him carefully. "Professor Sinastra is going to kill you."

"So, where are the parts for the base?" Dudley asked as they finished landing on the moon. He was currently putting his fish bowl on.

"You're standing in it."

"We're leaving the whole ship here? How are we getting home?"

"Phoenix power!" Harry declared as Ember flamed in, trilling excitedly.

"Oh, ok. And Ember will be taking us back and forth." Dudley nodded in understanding. "But what about others? She can't take everybody all the time."

"Just Septima and Bathsheda." Harry assured him. "They are going to be working on the vanishing cabinets to make sure they can handle the distance."

"Right… so… why are we going outside?" Dudley asked as he tapped his fish bowl.

"Come on Dudley! We are going to be the youngest people in the twentieth century to stand on the moon! We could be breaking plenty of other records as well!"

"I am going to bloody kill that boy!" Aurora growled as she peered through her telescope.

Filius sighed. "What's he doing now?"

Aurora stepped back from the eyepiece and tapped it with her wand. It was one of Bathsheda's alterations that allowed it to project the image into the air for others to see.

Minerva's lips were pressed together so tightly as Filius just covered his face with his hand and shook his head. Remus and Sirius were laughing… and desperately trying to avoid the wrath of Aurora.

Many of the students found it hilarious as well.

Seemingly carved into the surface of the moon was a phrase that would be clearly visible to anyone with a telescope.

'H&D WOZ ERE'

"Yeah… looks pretty good, right Dud?"

Everyone turned to see Harry and Dudley standing there with their fishbowls under their arms. Harry was admiring the view on the telescope and Dudley was desperately trying not to laugh.

"Potter!" Harry blanched at the venomous hiss.

"Aurora… take a breath and think for a moment." Harry began to panic as he backed away from the seething Astronomy professor.

"You defaced the moon!" She snarled.

"I just… spruced it up- shiiiIIIITTTT!" Harry turned and fled.

Aurora was about to chase but found a pair of fairly strong arms trapping her.

"Run Harry! I'll hold her as long as I can!"

Harry just ran faster as he shouted thanks to his cousin.

"Professor, he put a spell on your telescope." Dudley said quickly before releasing her. "We honestly didn't do anything but jump around up there."

"Finite." They turned to see Filius had cast a cancelling charm on the telescope which caused the whole image to disappear. He then reactivated the projection and it was obvious that the moon was unscathed.

"Of course, Harry doesn't know that you know so… " Dudley gestured after his cousin with a grin.

Aurora returned the grin. "You're a good kid, Dudley." She then took off, hitching her robes up and screaming threats at the young lord.

Dudley actually blushed and smiled. He wasn't used to being told he was good by anyone other than his parents. He found he liked it a lot more from the professors and his teachers.

"Dud, we're gonna have to think about letting you join the Marauders if you keep this up." Sirius smiled as he patted him on the shoulder.

"What about Harry?"

Remus scoffed. "Harry is not a team player. Sure, he can work with others, but most of the time he goes off and does the impossible on his own."

"Like with Mister Longbottom?"

"Exactly."

"So… what you're saying is; you're afraid of him."

"Hey!" Sirius objected.

Dudley just grinned and strolled off. He now had some pretty good blackmail material on those two.

"Albus… what is Draco doing here?"

They were currently standing in the Panda Observation Area at the Beijing Zoo in China. Many of the girls were cooing over the black and white cuddly creatures.

Albus had just arrived with Draco who had marched off in the direction of his former fellow students.

"I decided to follow your example with Dudley and afford him some time away from his current abode." Albus answered calmly.

"And is Draco actually earning this trip with improved behaviour and attitude like Dudley did?"

Albus looked decidedly uncomfortable.

"Has he made any improvement?"

Albus sagged defeatedly. "No. In fact, he has gotten worse. If I can't manage to change his ways this summer then he will be asked to leave the home he was in."

Harry sighed. "Albus, some people don't want to change. Some can't change. Draco falls somewhere between the two. He was raised to believe he was better than everybody else."

"HERMIONE!"

Harry and Albus spun to the horrified scream. The students were gathered closely around the tiger enclosure, some were leaning over.

"What's going on?" Harry asked as he ran up. "Shit!"

Hermione was lying on the floor nearly twenty feet below, unconscious.

"Draco pushed her in!" Dudley said angrily. "Can't you levitate her out?"

"The tigers!" Someone screamed.

Harry looked and saw that several of the tigers were approaching Hermione.

"If it isn't bloody trolls…" Harry grumbled to himself. He stunned everyone by turning on his heel and apparating to the girl silently.

"Ember! Phoenix!" Harry called out as he drew his wand and stunned the approaching tigers with impressive speed.

Ember was instantly on Harry's shoulder as a perturbed Nicholas Flamel was dragged along by his 'minder'.

"Dammit Harry! Amelia said you had a habit of doing this." Nicholas scowled.

"Help Hermione." Harry ordered, never taking his eyes of the now unconscious tigers. "She fell from up top."

"Really?" Nicholas said in surprise as he knelt next to the girl and began casting diagnostic spells. "She seemed far more responsible than that."

"Apparently Draco pushed her."

"Ah… that I can believe. She seems ok, but I'll take her to my home so my wife can make sure."

"Thanks Nick." Harry said. As he heard Phoenix flame out with her two passengers, Harry apparated back up top to where the others were waiting.

Unfortunately, Harry had forgotten this was a muggle zoo and Albus was busily obliviating people whilst Minerva and Filius did their best to set up aversion wards.

"Who stunned this?" Harry asked as he prodded the face down body of Draco.

Several fingers pointed at a certain muggle.

"He called Hermione the 'M' word." Dudley said defensively. "He was smiling. Said I was next."

Harry gave his cousin a firm approving nod. "Then you probably saved me. I would have done a lot worse."

"Harry, are the Aurors going to arrest you?" Pansy asked worriedly.

"That will not be a problem, Miss Parkinson." Albus informed her as he walked up with Minerva and Filius. "The Chinese Government does not have a magical population so they have no way of detecting magic."

"How come? Every where we've been has had magicals." Padma frowned.

"You really don't want me to answer that." Harry shook his head sadly. "Come see me in private if you really want to know."

The truth was that there was a magical population but they were completely insular as the Chinese Muggle Government would kill any magical they came across. They were attempting genocide.

Draco's head and nose were killing him when he finally woke up. His limbs felt exceptionally heavy.

"Can you hear me, Mister Malfoy?"

"Dumbledore? Where are we?" Draco asked as he looked around. "Why do I have these chains on?"

"You are currently in Azkaban." Albus informed him sadly as he sat on a conjured chair. "You tried to murder Miss Granger, it was a callous and despicable thing to do and I cannot find it in myself to argue against your sentencing."

"Poppycock." Draco said dismissively, more focused on trying to remove the manacles. "Mudbloods are just animals."

He never noticed that Albus had left. His shouts and calls were answered only by the screams of his fellow inmates as the Dementors arrived.

"You can't save everyone, Albie. You of all people should know that." Harry was trying to comfort the man as they sat in a drinking establishment in magical Japan.

Albus had returned from Azkaban and clearly was wallowing in depression. Harry had grabbed him and Sirius so they could drown their sorrows in Sake.

They had been there an hour. Sirius had already passed out and Albus was getting tipsy. He had six of the little cups in front of him.

Three of those were originally Harry's, but Albus was not going to let his student get away with under aged drinking… so he drank them before Harry could.

Which was pretty much Harry's plan from the get go as Albus had been reluctant to partake of the beverage.

"I have lost many friends to death, be it illness, war or crime… but it is those who have lost themselves to the darkness that hurts the most." Albus said morosely. "Even Ariana's death didn't hurt as much as I took solace that she no longer suffered."

"Like I told you, some people don't want to change. All we can do is hold them responsible for their actions."

"I just wish I could do more."

"The problem was that you did too much." Harry scoffed. "You are partly responsible for the problems with people like Tom and Draco."

"Tell me how you really feel." It was clear that Albus was being affected by his drink considering he had devolved to snarking.

"You spent so much time watching Tom. You didn't trust him.

"You, the man who single handedly defeated the greatest and most evil dark wizard of the century, the very Bastion of Light that was revered by all wizard-kind… didn't trust a ten year old boy.

"And you weren't exactly subtle.

"What did you think that child would do when someone, who is recognised as the very definition of 'light', doesn't trust them? Sees them as a problem?"

"Tom was headed down a dark path long before I met him." Albus said gravely.

"And your actions just helped him on his way. You didn't discipline him. You didn't correct him. If you had taken your fears about Tom and turned them to fruitful actions then you would have had him as your apprentice, just like Nick did for you."

"I was not-"

"Harry! They took Daphne!" Dudley said as he gasped for air, running into the bar.

"Who?" Harry asked as he quickly stood.

"I don't know!" Dudley was clearly distraught. It looked like he had a black eye forming. "There was these men, they had guns and tattoos. They just drove up and grabbed Daphne. I tried to stop them-"

"Dudley, you have a black eye. You clearly did all you could. Leave this to me." Harry said calmly as he comforted his cousin. "Albus, please take care of Dudley and take him back to the others. I need to go and deal with some bastards. Ember!"

"Harry, wait!"

But Harry was gone before Albus was finished talking.

There was a sleepy snort. "Where 'Arry go?"

Albus grumbled as he sent a sobering charm at Sirius.

From what Dudley had described, Daphne had been kidnapped by muggles. Many of the people that travelled with them to China and Japan garnered a lot of attention. Westerners were a novelty in the Orient with their different coloured eyes and hair and fair skin.

Daphne was one of those that was the biggest draw along with Luna. Their blonde hair and pale skin made them stand out in the land of the dark hair and eyes.

The good news was that Daphne spent enough time with Ember that the little phoenix could easily find her.

The bad news was that Harry wasn't expecting this to be a trap set especially for him.

He woke up tied to a very familiar gravestone.

He didn't even remember being knocked out.

He was clearly in the graveyard at Little Hangleton, it was night-time which likely meant he hadn't been unconscious that long as it was daytime in Japan. The only light came from the huge cauldron on flames in front of him.

"Finally awake are you, Potter?" Came the sibilant, high pitched voice that still haunted his nightmares.

"Working with muggles, Tom? I thought that was beneath you." Harry tried to remain calm. Sure, he was in England and at the mercy of the same fool that spent years trying to kill him… but he had prepared for this. Plus he needed to find and rescue Daphne.

"MY NAME IS LORD VOLDEMORT!" Came the scream of anger.

Harry ignored it. "So, who have you conned into doing your dirty work?"

"There are always those who are willing to serve someone as powerful as myself." The voice said smugly.

"Can we get on with this? I have an appointment that involves my godfather and a trickster." Harry said impatiently.

"Show some respect, boy!"

Harry was surprised at the new Eastern European voice that snapped at him. Especially as it was a woman's voice.

"Look, I really do have places to be. I assume you've set up wards and defences against phoenixes as I wouldn't be tied to this rock if you hadn't.

"It looks like you are about to perform a ritual, based on the cauldron. Why don't you come out so I can see you and then you can get started?"

"Once I have regained my true form I will curb that insolent tongue of yours." Came the snarl.

A figure dressed in dark, ragged cloaks stepped out of the shadows. He assumed it was the woman who had spoken. She was carrying that same small bundle that haunted his nightmares still.

She lowered the bundle into the cauldron before drawing her wand.

She began waving it at Harry and the gravestone. Harry smirked, knowing what was coming. This caused the woman to falter… the brat was supposed to be terrified.

She set her shoulders and continued. A thin trail of dust rose up from under the gravestone and she guided it into the cauldron. "Bone of the father, unwillingly given. You will renew your son."

She stepped back in surprise when a bright light erupted from the cauldron with sparks. The purplish flame that floated on the surface of the potion was really confusing for her.

She then held her arm over the cauldron. "Flesh of the servant, freely given." Surprisingly she simply sliced her along her arm as though she were peeling a vegetable. Still, a large piece of flesh plopped into the cauldron. "You will revive your master."

She began to approach Harry. He knew exactly what was coming next. She began to roll up his sleeve.

"Here, let me help you." Harry gave the woman a winning smile as he relaxed his arm so she could pull his sleeve out from the ropes that bound his wrists.

Harry couldn't see her face, but he could tell she was baffled as to how to continue. "Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken." She dug the knife into Harry's arm and he tried hard not to react.

"You're welcome." He told her happily.

"You will resurrect your foe!"

The purple flame that had been wavering over the potion now exploded upwards as the cauldron itself exploded outwards. The woman was thrown backwards by the blast and Harry was covered in shrapnel.

As the smoke cleared, Harry could see the thin pale form of Tom Riddle hunched naked on the ground. His body was emitting a lot of smoke.

"Robe me!" Came the order. The voice was hoarse and filled with pain as the self-styled 'lord' tried and failed to stand.

There was no response.

Unfortunately, Harry was still stuck.

"Something wrong, Tom?" Harry asked before coughing in pain. He looked down and saw a large piece of cauldron sticking out of his stomach.

"What- what happened? Olga!" Riddle rasped.

"Put some *cough* damned clothes on! *cough*" Harry was struggling to breathe now but he couldn't resist taunting Riddle.

"It burns!" Riddle screamed as he suddenly burst into purple flame. The burning figure stumbled over to the fallen woman and grabbed her wand, setting her alight in the process.

"I am immortal, Potter! But you will die today!" Riddle screamed in pain and anger. "Avada Kedavra!"

There was a flash of green and Harry died.

"Had I known you would continuously be in life threatening danger, I would have kept a closer eye on you."

Harry was lying on a cold hard floor with his eyes closed. He recognised that voice and simply cocked an eyebrow without opening his eyes. "I really hope you don't. I do like privacy."

The voice laughed. "I am not spying on you, Harry Potter, but you are important. That much is obvious."

Harry sighed and sat up to find himself lying on the floor of the Chamber of Secrets whilst Ganos stood over him in her long white dress.

"Am I dead?"

"You stand on the threshold." She said simply. "There are a few choices for you now. I hope you will pick the right one."

"Right for who?" Harry challenged mildly as he stood.

"Right for the people of Earth and many others who need you."

"So dying isn't something you recommend." Harry nodded. "Are we in my mind?" He asked curiously as he looked around.

"In a sense, we are. But at the same time, we are not."

"I hate cryptic." Harry glared at her.

"We are on a higher plane." She smiled indulgently. "But you are shaping it with your mind."

"Hmm… I'll have to see if I can come here again."

Ganos' smile widened. "I would be very happy to see you attain access to this plane on your own. It will mean a step closer to your ascension from the physical world."

"But I like the physical world!" Harry whined.

"Eventually your body will wither and die, but your mind and soul, they can continue on, just as I have."

"Well, hopefully I have a good few decades before then."

"Agreed." Ganos nodded.

"So… " Harry said as he looked around curiously. "I don't suppose there was an ugly evil baby like thing around here when I arrived?"

Ganos grimaced. "Yes, and I disposed of it quickly. I do not know how a sliver of soul became attached to you but it was one of the most vile things I have ever seen…and I am millennia old."

"You look good." Harry assured her. "Anyway, can you tell me what the situation is back in the physical world? Am I still tied to the gravestone?"

"Your body was found by your sallow faced friend. Severus, I believe. He managed to take you beyond the wards that prevented your phoenix companion and myself from reaching you.

"Your body is fully healed and your friends and family are waiting for you to awaken."

"Do you know what happened to Daphne?"

"She is the one with the fair hair that was kidnapped?" Harry nodded and Ganos sighed. "She was rescued… but not before certain 'things' occurred.

"She is unharmed!" She said quickly as the Chamber began to fill with fire. "I do not know exactly what happened but I do know that aside from taking some blood, she was untouched. But there is more that I do not know. You are both in your castle and I can not enter there."

"Why?"

"Your wards are able to keep my kind out. It is one of the reasons why I didn't contact you until you made your first trip off planet. There are other reasons, but they are not important right now.

"You should wake yourself and reassure your friends."

Harry did not look pleased, but he nodded. "Fine, but you and I need to determine a better method of communication." He said before turning and walking off to the entrance of the Chamber."

Harry was instantly awake. "Where's Daph?"

Unfortunately no one was expecting him to wake up like that and everyone began screaming and panicking.

"SILENCE!" Harry shouted.

Everyone froze.

"Now… Where. Is. Daphne. Greengrass?"

"She." "Ow." "Is." "Ow." "Fine." "Ow!"

Harry grimaced as Perenelle flicked him on the forehead with every word.

"Perhaps you could tell us what happened?" Nicholas suggested from the end of the bed.

Sirius, Aurora, Filius and Flitwick were all in the room and clearly very worried.

"Lord No Name is now Lord No More." Harry shrugged with a forced grin as he shuffled back in the bed to sit up. It appeared he was in his quarters at Hogwarts.

"He performed the ritual?" Filius asked curiously.

This time Harry's grin was easier. "It was quite the show."

"Your plan worked? Amazing!"

"Well… there was a slight snag in that I was ambushed, kidnapped, mutilated and then killed… but sure; my plan 'worked'."

"Killed?" Perenelle growled.

"I was tied to a gravestone, I didn't have much choice. Is Ember ok?"

Perenelle gave a frustrated sigh as she ripped the covers back to reveal the little Phoenix.

Harry almost cried at the sight. Someone had clearly tried to kill her as she was back to being a chick. He gently picked up the sleeping chick from where she was ensconced on his lap.

He stifled an amused snort as he noticed Blinky coiled at his feet. The basilisk was now ten feet long. He got fairly grumpy when told he couldn't accompany his daddy everywhere now.

"Ow!" "What." "Ow!" "Happened." "Ow!" "With Riddle?" "Ow! Would you please stop doing that?!" Harry scowled at the near immortal woman.

"Answer the question before she does it again, Harry." Nicholas smirked.

"Ember took me to find Daphne… next thing I know I wake up tied to a gravestone in Little Hangleton. Deja vu! Anyway, Tom was there in his baby form with some unknown woman. She never said much apart from a few threats and the words for the ritual.

"When she completed the ritual the cauldron exploded and possibly killed her?" He looked to Nicholas who nodded in confirmation. "Riddle was currently on fire and looking ready to explode himself, when he manages to get a wand and send the AK at me. I've got to give the fool credit for being able to withstand that much pain."

"Why did all that happen? According to your memories, he should have been reborn and quite powerful."

"Probably because I replaced the bones of his father with potassium."

Everyone but Nicholas looked confused and lost.

"Because you couldn't find another Erumpent Horn?!" He demanded.

"I didn't want it to explode before it hit the potion Tom was swimming in!" Harry countered defensively.

"Can someone please explain this: potassium?" Minerva demanded.

"It's a substance that tends to go boom when added to water." Harry shrugged. "I knew about the possibility of him trying to use the ritual again so I sabotaged it."

"Let's just do this the easy way." Sirius chuckled at Minerva's befuddled look. He pulled out a small empty vial and handed it to Harry who put his memory of the even inside.

"Aunt Minnie, Penny, Aurora… word of warning, Riddle is naked… but has no bits."

"They're all dead, right?"

"Filius and myself killed them personally after I signed the contract."

"How did she and her family take it?"

"Not too well. Her mother collapsed in shock and her father went into a rage and tried to attack me when I told him what I had done."

"And Daphne?" Harry looked up at Nicholas as the Alchemist sat in the chair next to his bed.

Nicholas let out a sigh. "Confused and distraught. Although physically unharmed, she went through a traumatic experience that will give her nightmares for years to come.

"She seems to take solace that she is now, essentially, under your protection."

Harry looked down at the contract in his hand with disgust. It was a slave contract that was blood bound to Daphne. Apparently she was the payment promised to the Yakuza for helping Riddle capture Harry.

As soon as Ember had been 'killed' by the members of the Japanese mob, Phoenix had known and taken Nicholas and Filius to aid her chick.

On seeing the unconscious Daphne in chains and bleeding, they had been enraged. Phoenix herself had attacked the fools after she had secured Ember and Daphne.

They had been too late to stop the binding of the contract but early enough to prevent it being sold.

Nicholas had signed the contract on Harry's behalf with a vial of Harry's blood, knowing Harry would hate it, but would take the responsibility with the utmost seriousness.

"Make sure Mister Greengrass knows I will be extremely displeased if he upsets his daughter. Where is she now?"

"Agatha and Sirius set them up in private quarters in Longbottom Tower. Frank has taken responsibility for them. He booted Derek Greengrass from the castle when he began to get too much for the women to cope with."

"He's still tottering around like a newborn!" Harry exclaimed. "How did he manage to kick anyone out?"

"Three certain behemoths of young men have taken to acting as his personal bodyguard." Nicholas chuckled. "Vincent, Gregory and Dudley can easily handle a fully grown wizard when they act as a unit, which they do with scary proficiency."

"I'll sort something out for them later. For now, get the girls who have a contract with me, in here now. We should have a talk about what these things will mean." He said as he brandished the slave contract for Daphne.

"In that case, you might want to do it in the sitting room, so as not to give the wrong impression." Nicholas said with a pointed look at the bed.

It was clear that the four girls were exceptionally nervous. But what brought some pride to Harry was the fact that they had rallied around Daphne.

The only other people in the room were Minerva and Perenelle. Despite the fact she looked barely out of her early twenties, Perenelle had become like a grandmother to the girls and they loved her.

"Alright, all of you are bound to me by a contract of some fashion." Harry said seriously. "Hopefully you have realised I have absolutely no intention of enforcing those contracts in any manner. If you find a guy you like then we will work something out. Provided I and a few others approve of them.

"Now, I know that you all think that you will never find anyone who will accept you in spite of the contracts I hold over you. But that is just because of how wiggle society thinks of people bound by contracts."

There was a deep exhale of Scottish disapproval for the term 'wiggle' and a giggle of Scandinavian amusement.

Harry ignored both even though the girls struggled to figure out who was right… the deputy head of their school, or the woman who was more than six times her age.

"Staying on track!" Harry said with a bit of volume. "What I am about to tell you is top secret. So secret that I will need an Unbreakable Vow from you not to tell anyone before I can tell you!"

The girls gasped at that. Unbreakable Vows were rare for a reason. It was easy to be killed by them.

"The information is exceptionally important." Perenelle explained kindly. "But it is not necessary for you to know. Harry simply wants to tell you as it will give you some hope for the future."

Despite the rather dramatic nature of the discussion, the girls' decision came down to two things: They trusted Harry and Perenelle completely.

Perenelle performed the ceremony for each of them to Harry. Until they got to Daphne.

"I don't need to take the vow." She said. "As his slave he can just order me to keep his secrets."

"Daphne, as far as I am concerned you being a slave is just a bunch of words on a piece of parchment." Harry said kindly. "I will always treat you as a regular girl, just like everyone else. As such, you take the oath because it is voluntary. I refuse to impose my will on you because you were forced into a slave contract.

"So… that means you have the right to refuse to take the oath and to not hear what I have to tell you."

Daphne just sighed in mild exasperation. "You just have to do things the hard way, don't you Harry?"

It was an hour later that Harry finished his tale. Perenelle had insisted that he tell them the whole story, including the time travel.

Pansy had the first question. "So when you looked eleven… you were actually-"

"Seventeen." Harry nodded. He rubbed the stubble on his chin appreciatively.

"And now you are-"

"Fourteen." Minerva said firmly. "Harry's body is only fourteen years old. His mind and experiences are a few years older but we believe that Harry should base most of his personal life choices based on his physical age."

Minerva and Perenelle were seated slightly behind Harry, so he missed Perenelle's saucy wink at the girls.

He didn't miss the giggles.

Harry didn't bother to turn around. He just slumped his shoulders and sighed.

"I have a question." Gemma spoke up. "Why haven't you told Dumbledore?"

"You have seen how he treats me? You do remember what I told you about his cockups last time round?" Harry said with a hint of disbelief.

"But you've done everything." She explained. "Riddle is dead. Those soul thingys are also gone. Pettigrew is in Azkaban, the basilisk has been dealt with… there isn't anything left for him to meddle with."

"He he he." Harry chuckled nervously.

"Did he make that noise before he tried to kill the goblin leader?" Tracey asked Minerva.

"No, he just insulted them." Minerva shuddered in memory.

"Harry intends to take control of Magical Britain." Perenelle explained. "He has plans in motion that will give him full control of the country and the Ministry."

"That's why I was saying the slave stuff won't matter. I'll make it illegal for anybody to treat you differently." Harry smiled, still nervously.

"Oof!"

Harry was dog piled by four very happy witches.

"And you have proof of all you have told me?" Albus asked the young lord as they sat in the Headmaster's Office.

"By the gods, Albus! The boy just told you everything!" The Sorting Hat exclaimed vehemently. "I can personally vouch for him and so can Fawkes! You can consider this your final test. If you make the wrong choices here then you will be obliviated of this knowledge and fired as headmaster!"

Albus was a bit peeved as he turned to the Sorting Hat where it sat on its shelf. "I have just been told that a student of mine has been transported through time. Regardless of what that student has revealed, it is still going to take a fair bit of time and perhaps proof that he is correct and telling the truth!

"Now, considering he took an oath stating that he would tell me the truth before he began, I can believe he thinks he's telling the truth. But at the same time there are other considerations. Perhaps it was a dream, a hallucination or even a prophecy!"

"Alastor Moody was your choice of Defence teacher for the fourth year. The first task of the Triwizard Tournament involved getting a golden egg from a nesting mother dragon, the second was rescuing something from the Black Lake and the third was a maze.

"Barty Crouch is hiding his son at his home and using the Imperious Curse on him."

Albus looked at Harry with narrowed eyes. "Whilst I have no need to currently hire a new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, I had planned on having Alastor on site as extra security." He admitted.

"Mad-Eye knows more than you do about my knowledge and history." Harry shrugged.

"How much more?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "He knows more because he has been heavily involved with what I've been doing. Various topics and events eventually get discussed. You could have been involved as well if you hadn't screwed up everything the last time round."

"Stop being so defensive and suspicious, Albus." The Hat scolded.

"Why are you telling me this now? Why not tell me when you 'arrived' during the Sorting?"

"Because you were the cause of most of the problems last time." Harry snorted. "You were so focused on 'The Greater Good', making sure no one else knew of the dark depths Riddle had gone to and ensuring that your plans went in order that you ignored important things.

"You left me alone and helpless for years. You gave me nothing but cryptic clues about how to possibly defeat Riddle.

"You refused to punish people for misdeeds and it led to them believing they could do what they wanted.

"My first time through Hogwarts was a bloody nightmare." Harry scowled. "Is it any surprise that I've taken every opportunity to have some fun?"

"Perhaps if you were to-" *thud*

Albus jumped as Harry placed a small chest on the desk.

"That was another one of your problems. You were too predictable. I'll see you later Albus. Just remember the contract is still in effect."

Harry apparated on the spot. Something that annoyed Ember as much as it did Albus. The thought that someone could apparate in Hogwarts.

Fortunately it was just Harry.

Albus opened the chest carefully and was surprised to see vials of memories. Was he really that predictable?

Harry and the girls had returned to Japan to continue their holiday. Sirius and Remus had done a good job of keeping up the spirits of the rest of the kids. They arrived to find them all handing out potion vials to various Japanese people.

"Are those pranks?" Harry asked with a raised eyebrow that begged the question: 'Am I going to have to tan your hide?'

"It's Severus' Werewolf Cure." Remus chuckled. "The kids needed something to distract them so we got them helping to hand it out."

"We really need a better name for this stuff though." Sirius grimaced. "'Severus's Werewolf Cure' just puts me right off."

"Because it has Sev's name in it?" Harry asked with a smirk.

Sirius just grumbled and turned away.

"I was thinking we could call it 'Snape's Lupine Banisher'."

Remus tried very hard not laugh at Sirius' outraged expression.

"Excuse me?"

They turned to see a timid young Japanese woman standing there with an empty potion vial in her hand.

"Everything ok?" Harry asked kindly.

"I think… potion wrong." She said in broken English.

"I knew that bastard had pois-"

"Shut up Sirius." Remus sighed. "What happened?" He asked the woman gently.

She turned around with an embarrassed look.

"Oh my." Remus exclaimed quietly.

"Bloody hell!" Sirius was less quiet.

Harry was just grinning at the woman.

Hanging down beneath her long skirt was a long bushy tail.

Harry caught the woman's eye and winked. He saw a response… very slight but it was there.

"But werewolves don't have long tails." Remus frowned. "This looks like a bad case of contaminated Polyjuice."

"Unbelievable!" Harry suddenly exclaimed heatedly. "Did either of you two morons mess with the potions?" He demanded of the remaining Marauders. (Peter was no longer considered.)

Sirius was outraged. "We would never do something like that! After all Moony has been through?"

"Then I will have to go and deal with Severus."

Sirius brightened up at that.

"You two help this young lady until I can get details from Severus." Harry turned to the woman and gave her kindly smile. "These are good men." He then lowered his voice so only she could hear. "Have fun… but not too much fun." He gave her another wink before marching off.

"Sev! How would you like to beat the Marauders at their own game?"

The smile on Severus Tobias Snape's face made every ghost in the castle head for the highest tower.

"Of all the incompetent- I would expect this lazy sort of behaviour from Black, but I thought you were better than this Lupin!"

Harry stood back from the ranting and practically frothing Severus Snape as he laid into the two Marauders. Standing next to Harry was the young lady. Now she was sporting a further two tails.

"I swear, Severus, no one has tampered with these vials!" Lupin tried to placate the man.

"And yet you don't have a tail yourself!"

Harry leaned over to the woman. "How's your English?" He whispered.

Keeping her image of a timid young Japanese woman she responded. "Pretty good. Foreigners are the best targets."

Harry was impressed. Despite her current demeanour her voice sounded like she was really enjoying herself.

"So how many tails have you got then? Just three or do you have the whole set?"

"Just the three. Hopefully I'll get my fourth soon. You seem pretty well informed about my kind for a Gaijin."

"The two that are being yelled at consider themselves a couple of tricksters. I've been planning to introduce them to a real trickster for over a year."

"Glad I could help."

"Perhaps we should go all the way." Harry mused.

"What do you mean?"

"When you shift forms, is it gradual like an animagus or werewolf or instantaneous?"

"Gradual."

"Then make it look like you are struggling against the change… we can really scare them."

"You would have been a great Kitsune!" Harry could hear the awe even if her expression hadn't changed.

"I know you rarely wash, Black, but when handling delicate potions it is imperative that you not contaminate them." Severus sneered. He had been going all this time and Black actually looked like he had been caught doing something wrong.

"Uh oh! Sev! Problem here!" Harry called out worriedly.

The three 'adult' men turned to see the young woman shaking as she began to morph.

"Merlin!" Sirius cried as he leapt over the small table that had once held the potions.

Remus was frozen, not in shock, but in thought. As the transformation finished he had to struggle to hide his smirk.

"Not a word, Lupin." Severus muttered quietly so only the lapsed werewolf could hear him. He then marched over to Harry and Sirius who were fussing over the former woman. "Look at what you've done to the poor girl." He snapped at Sirius.

"Can you understand me?" Sirius asked the canine creature loudly.

It looked at him curiously.

"Oh Merlin! We might have to put it in a cage." Sirius said worriedly as he backed away.

"Well I say! A kitsune!"

Harry and Severus sighed in disappointment as they heard Albus Dumbledore approach them.

"Albus! Great! We need help. She had a bad reaction to the werewolf cure." Sirius said desperately.

Albus just frowned. "Why would a kitsune need that potion?"

"Kitsune?"

"You might as well change back." Harry grumbled to the multi-tailed fox like creature. "His majesty here has gone and spoilt our fun."

The kitsune slowly morphed back into the pretty young woman… only now she had a playful pout. "He was so easy, too." She said. "Typical gaijin, doesn't learn about local culture."

"Oh… I apologise, Miss." Albus said sincerely. "I had no idea you were in the middle of prank. I remember when I was tricked by a kitsune years ago."

"After the laws… yes?" She asked nervously.

Albus chuckled. "I'm not quite that old. I believe it was during the fifties." He turned to Sirius and Remus. "A kitsune is a trickster. It used to be that their tricks could be malicious, but laws were passed in magical Japan to ban them from harming others in anyway."

"It is much better now." The woman grinned. "Children love our tricks and we often stay around schools."

"You- you were pranking me?" Sirius was incredulously.

"I can't take all the credit." The woman smiled, very pleased with herself. "These two young men saw my plan and escalated it beautifully." She indicated Harry and Severus.

"From the look of shock and fear on Sirius' face, I would have to say you were very successful." Albus said happily. "But, I must borrow Harry for a while."

"Then this one can come with me and tell me more about his tricks and how he has done them." She said as she latched onto Severus' arm.

Remus tried not to laugh as he saw both Sirius and Severus looking equally shocked as she led the Potions Master away.

"What do you mean?" Harry demanded harshly as he sat in the same bar as before with Albus.

"I went to the Hall of Prophecies to make sure. It is still active." Albus answered. They were covered by a privacy ward but they still kept their voices low.

"But the bastard is dead! Even the fucking horcrux in my head is gone!"

"Harry! Language!" Albus chastised him. He then sagged tiredly in his seat. "Harry, you have no idea how relieved I was to hear that you had survived the abduction. But then, when I watched the memories and saw that you knew far more than I did… I had more hope than ever, since the night I placed you on that doorstep.

"If the sphere still glows then the prophecy is still active. Tom still lives."

Harry was beyond frustrated. "Why are you telling me this? Usually you don't tell anyone anything."

Albus gave him a sad smile. "I've seen your memories. I have no intention of having so many people die. I still have trouble believing that in that timeline I had intended to send you off to hunt the horcruxes alone and without help.

"Besides, I believe you have given me a taste of hope and I have become addicted. I will do all I can to ensure I get more."

Harry just gave small nod. "I can think of two possibilities. One we can easily check. The other… is impossible to prove and has many additional possibilities.

"First, we should question Trelawney under veritiserum to see if she gave a true prophecy or if she faked it."

"A seer never remembers their own prophecy-"

"We only have to ask her if she faked a prophecy to you. We don't have to mention real ones."

That one took Albus aback. "Huh… impressive. Where was this guile and cunning in your last timeline?" He asked accusingly, the humour was clear in his twinkling eyes.

"You saw my memories… do you really want me to answer that?"

Albus cleared his throat uncomfortably. "What was the second possibility?"

"We completely misinterpreted the prophecy and applied it erroneously."

Albus looked to object but Harry spoke again.

"There are no names actually mentioned in the prophecy. There are no specific dates, just 'the seventh month'. This prophecy could be talking about some other Dark Lord years in the future. Hell! It could be talking about Gellert!"

Albus paled at that, but didn't comment.

"Nick is gonna be so smug about this." Harry grumbled. "If I hadn't destroyed the Resurrection Stone we could have used it to see if the bastard is dead!"

"Sev… are you 'smiling'?" Harry asked warily as the usually dour man entered the hotel they were staying at in Japan.

Severus actually-

"And now you're blushing!"

Severus straightened and cleared his expression as he saw Albus was also smirking from the small table in the hotel lobby. "Am I not entitled to be happy?"

"Sure… for me, it's just the fact that you actually are happy." Harry scoffed. "So, what's her name?" He finished with a 'shit eating grin'.

Severus seemed to struggle before Harry realised what he'd done. "Sorry! You don't have to answer."

Severus relaxed as the order from his master was cancelled. "Yoshiko. Her name is Yoshiko." He answered warily.

"And will you be seeing her again?" Albus asked with a small smile.

"I- I do not know." He admitted. "I have no means of contacting her and… I am unsure if I would be able to do so."

Harry saw the subtle glance towards him. "I say that if she finds you or you can find her then you have as much happiness as you can." Severus nearly sighed in relief. "But-" Severus stiffened at the warning tone. "If you hurt her, I'll make you pay myself."

Severus straightened and gave a nod before heading for his room.

"I can acknowledge that you have a different relationship to Severus compared to other students, but he still deserves your respect." Albus chided.

Harry just smirked. He might have told Albus everything about his last time through, but he certainly hadn't told him everything about this time. Especially the fact that Snape was essentially his slave.

Or that he was planning to overthrow the Ministry of Magic.

*Chapter 17*: Chapter 17
Chapter 17

Unlike the last time, Harry didn't stay in a tent at the campsite for the World Cup.

He hadn't really wanted to attend as he had already seen it once before.

But he had something he needed to do and so he had acquired tickets that would put him back in the top box.

"Alright there Tracey?" Harry asked his companion for the evening.

Tracey was the only one actually interested in Quidditch, the rest had begged off and planned on enjoying a nice night in with some sappy movies.

He really regretted buying that house in Glasgow just so they could have electronics.

It would be even worse soon as some of his fellow Slytherins had teamed up with a few Ravenclaws to try and create a magical television that could receive the transmissions like a non magical one.

"Yeah… I'm fine." She said, but it was clear she wasn't entirely happy.

"Don't you pay any attention to our git of a baby brother." George Weasley told her firmly as he sat in the seat next to her. "If he keeps up that attitude then pretty soon he's going to find himself in really hot water."

Ron Weasley had seen Harry and Tracey in the Top Box. His father had managed to snag the tickets, just like the first time.

Normally, Ron simply ignored Harry. Not in a malicious way, but it was simply the fact that their paths never crossed so he didn't really have a reason to consider him.

As long as Ginny wasn't gushing about him, which really annoyed Ron.

But, every other Slytherin was on his radar and he sneered and insulted the members of the 'Dark House'.

Ron hadn't had to say anything as his family had walked past Harry, Tracey and Sirius, but the expression on his face was beyond insulting and it was directed straight at Tracey.

Harry leaned into Sirius and whispered. "Sirius, do me a favour. Go and buy some Omniculars for Tracey, Fred and George. I think the git needs to have his nose rubbed in the mud a bit."

"Merlin Harry, that's damned petty." Sirius frowned.

Harry just leaned back so he could see the very sad face of Tracey as she tried to ignore the evil Weasley.

"Hmmph, forget I said anything." He scowled before leaving.

Harry looked over his shoulder to the row behind. "Would you like some company?" He asked as though talking to a child.

Winky, the House Elf of Barty Crouch was sitting on her chair with her hands over her eyes.

"Winky is a good elf!" She squeaked nervously, her hands never leaving her eyes. "Winky must stay here like Mister Crouch says."

Harry just gave a sad sigh.

Sirius returned with his arms full of various paraphernalia that he happily gave to Fred, George and Tracey. He had even gotten Ginny a pair of Omniculars.

Despite Winky sitting there with her eyes covered, shaking like a leaf, she would occasionally look to her left at the empty seat. This was the reason that Harry had decided to attend the match. He had managed to sneak in earlier with Ember and replaced the seat with a modified one.

There was no magic involved in case Winky detected it, but it's affect would be interesting when one Barty Crouch Junior finally broke free from his father's Imperious and tried to steal his wand.

Eventually the mascots came out as the pregame entertainment began. Harry shook his head as he saw Ron stuffing his pockets with leprechaun gold. He passed the message to George through Tracey that the gold would vanish in an hour.

Just as the Bulgarian Veela were coming onto the pitch he cast a few sticking charms at Fred, George, Sirius and himself.

They looked at him questioningly as they wriggled in their seats.

"Trust me." He said as he nodded to the beautiful women who began to dance.

Harry felt the allure of the Veela as it washed over the stadium. But he was able to push through it when it began to remind him of the Imperious.

It was lucky he did as he realised that Tracey was in her own trance and headed for the railing. He quickly summoned her back and held her in place.

When the Veela stopped she looked very embarrassed. Harry just patted her hand and said nothing. Fortunately no one else had noticed.

That was when Harry felt it. His wand was removed from his back pocket. He never did that nowadays… he had a standard wand holster that was covered in runes added by his own hand.

There was a shout of pain from behind him.

"Master Barty! Master Barty!" Winky cried frantically. "You must stay hidden!"

Barty Crouch Junior had stood up quickly but his invisibility cloak had stuck to his chair thanks to the fly paper that Harry had covered the edge of the seat and the back and floor with.

He was dancing around as he tried to avoid being bitten by a rather angry looking snake.

"Stupefy! Incarcerous!"

There was a massive commotion in the Top Box as Sirius was found standing there with his wand out and pointed at a man who was supposed to be dead.

"Th- That's Barty's son!" Ludo Bagman, the games announcer and head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, declared in shock.

"He was jumping about like he was being attacked." Sirius explained, his wand never moving. "Elf, what is he doing here? Why isn't he dead?"

The little thing looked like it might have a stroke as it pulled at its ears. "Winky cannot be saying. Winky is a good elf and Mister Crouch is saying Winky is to keep quiet about Master Barty." She said quickly.

She then proceeded to repeat that over and over again.

"Stupefy." Winky fell to the floor from Sirius' stunner. "Somebody should find Crouch and take him into custody."

"We have thousands of wizards and witches here from around the world!" Fudge exclaimed. "We can't just arrest the man in front of all of them! Think of how it would look on the Ministry!"

"Right, so we should leave the man who tortured two of the war's greatest heroes into insanity there on the floor whilst his dad, who probably helped him escape, gets his own chance to escape."

"I will not run from justice."

The group, except Sirius, turned to the new voice to see Barty Crouch Senior standing there looking resolute as he held his wand out to a nearby Auror.

The wand was quickly taken and a messenger spell was sent off to Rufus Scrimageour and Amelia Bones. Not only was this above their pay-grade but they also needed someone to come and take over their duties or take custody of the Crouches and their elf.

Things were forcibly calmed down so they could return to the game. Ludo Bagman was the commentator after all.

The game went pretty much the same as last time. The twins managed to help Tracey enjoy herself and soon they were all cheering as Krum caught the snitch even though Ireland were too far ahead.

Much to Fudge's annoyance, Harry had eventually swapped seats with Sirius as he had struck up a conversation with the Bulgarian Minister. Harry was curious about Durmstrang as he knew Viktor Krum was a student there.

He managed to learn that it was in Northern Europe and that it was considered the best place for families who had political aspirations. The Minister was a former pupil of Durmstrang himself.

There wasn't too much to tell. But the Minister was able to disabuse Harry of the idea that it was a 'dark' school.

The match finally ended and Harry, with the help of the Minister was able get Tracey a personal introduction to Krum. Fortunately she was used to famous people so she didn't gush.

Ron didn't help himself any when he tried to push Tracey out of the way so he could get there.

Fred and George grabbed him and dragged him away as Arthur glared at his youngest son.

Harry had no intention of hanging around for the after party. He had only attended so he could deal with Crouch and his son. If any Death Eaters decided to 'celebrate' that night then he would deal with them in the morning… possibly permanently.

Fortunately the Death Eaters had no leadership with Malfoy now dead and the Dark Mark a mere outline with Riddle's demise. The after party passed with nothing more than a few arrests for drunken misdemeanours.

School started up again and that was fine for everyone else. But Harry was getting fairly bored. He still didn't attend classes but he had taken his OWLs over the holidays. He honestly couldn't be bothered to sit for the NEWTs, his OWL results were good but not perfect.

He spent his time travelling back and forth between Earth and the moon, setting up larger buildings and the like.

He did get a fairly pleasant surprise when he found the recent school leaver, Terrence Higgs, sitting at the staff table. Sirius had recruited him to take his place as the Slytherin male chaperone. It was something the other chaperones were also considering for recent leavers.

The news of the Triwizard Tournament went down like a ton of bricks for the Quidditch fanatics. Normally Albus would be able to pass off their outrage with some benign comforting assurances.

But his reputation in the school had taken a hit and it took Harry's intervention.

"SILENCE!"

The entire occupancy of the Great Hall obeyed. Even Peeves.

"Alright then." Harry nodded approvingly as he left his seat with Dudley at the Slytherin table and marched to the dais and the staff table.

"I forgot to talk to the Headmaster about this, but I can't honestly see the logic in cancelling the Quidditch Tournament because of the Triwizard Tournament."

Harry had his back to the staff table so he missed Albus' glare.

"However, it would be unfair for us to have a tournament but leave the other schools wanting." He turned round to Minerva. "Professor McGonagall, could you arrange something for an inter-school tournament? Maybe allow each school to have four teams like Hogwarts does?"

"Mister Potter, you do realise that the Triwizard Tournament is very intensive?" Albus argued.

Harry tried not to roll his eyes. "There are three competitors taking part in three events that last less than four hours each. The events are held over the course of a nine month period.

"So, what exactly are the rest of the non-competing students supposed to do for the rest of the eight months and twenty-odd days when the Triwizard Tournament isn't running?"

Albus flounder for a mere moment. "There are preparations that will require staff assistance."

"The only participation that the school's staff are allowed is to provide judges for the events. Everything else is handled by the Ministry." Harry countered. "Besides, I'm sure we can find plenty of student volunteers to help Professor McGonagall."

"I have no duties in the Tournament, I would be happy to help." Filius piped up, much to Albus' annoyance.

"Likewise." Severus drawled.

"I doubt I'll have much to do with it." Remus agreed. "In fact, the only person who I can see needing to help with the tournament is Hagrid."

"Ain't much to be done, ta be honest." Hagrid shrugged. "The dragon pens are all ready and the handlers will do most of the work."

Albus hid his face in his palm.

"I don't think you were supposed to mention that." Remus whispered from his seat next to the half giant.

Poor Hagrid looked completely aghast. "Dragons?! I meant… nifflers! Yeah, gotta fight them nifflers to steal the shiny things back." He said hastily.

Harry just grinned. "Now that would be a challenge."

Unfortunately the pupils were used to Hagrid's slip ups and where now eagerly discussing the roles of dragons in the tournament.

"Leave the Quidditch situation with me, Harry." Sirius spoke up. "I can be the point of contact and sort something out."

Harry shrugged and turned back to the students. "There you go, situation solved." He grinned.

He was rewarded with the whole school cheering. Even those who didn't exactly enjoy Quidditch.

Eventually they quietened down.

"The foreign schools will be arriving on the 30th of October. Whilst they are here you will treat them with respect. If any one of you causes problems I will boot you out of my home so fast that you'll have to send an owl back to collect your wand."

Nobody really understood why the students seemed to respect Harry more than Albus. Some thought it was because it was clear he owned the castle and that the armour did what he said.

Others thought it was because he did amazing things like going to the moon, taking them around the world or having a companion like Ember.

A few thought it might be because he was Lord Slytherin. Most people just laughed at that. Harry only pulled that card on Albus and idiot adults who threatened them.

There wasn't much going on during September and October. There were a few birthdays, Hermione's for one.

Harry was more focused on two things: Developing a method of inter-galactic travel and getting back to that plain of existence where he last met Ganos.

He had seemed to have plateaued on both fronts.

He had split the 'faster-than-light' issue into to two problems: The first was simply how to achieve speeds greater than light. The second was how to bypass speed using methods such the Vanishing Cabinets and apparition.

The second method showed more promise if he could figure out how to set a destination without having a matching cabinet.

Eventually the 30th arrived. Dumbledore had the whole school assembled on the grounds of the castle.

In the middle of October.

If it hadn't been for Harry arranging the fifth through seventh years to cast warming charms on those who couldn't, Poppy would have been inundated with hyperthermia patients.

Things pretty much went the same. Durmstrang arrived by ship from under the lake and Beauxbatons arrived by horse drawn carriage from the air.

The only real surprise was that Karkaroff wasn't there.

"Penny?" Harry said in surprise as he saw Perenelle leading the Durmstrang students. Like the young men and women, she was dressed in thick furs.

"Hello Sweetheart." She grinned as she leaned in and hugged him.

"What happened to-"

"Fired." She interrupted his query. "I had him arrested for being a member of a terrorist group."

"But the Ministry-"

"Is British, Durmstrang is not." She said with a superior smirk.

"Ok… but why are you leading them?"

She gave him a taunting grin. "Who do you think founded Durmstrang? I needed a place to send rescued slave children to safely learn."

"Cool… we both own schools." Harry grinned.

Perenelle took Harry's arm and walked into the castle with him, Beauxbatons having already entered to escape the cold.

When he had tried to break off to sit at the Slytherin table Penny had dragged him onwards. "Your girls were quite insistent that you be recognised as Lord of the Castle." She whispered. "Something I happen to agree with. I only wish we could get Albus to give up his throne."

"But I was gonna sit with Dud. I was-"

"Dudley is quite happy with Gregory and Vincent. Now, take your seat." She pointed to the spare chair between herself and Filius.

Harry just sighed and caved.

Crouch was currently in custody awaiting trial so Amelia had taken his role until a new Head of Department was appointed. Unfortunately Ludo Bagman was not in jail so he was there. Fortunately Amelia had him firmly under control.

Eventually the feast ended and Albus gave his speech as the Goblet of Fire was wheeled in. When he finished, he groaned loudly as Harry stood up.

The Hogwarts students tittered, they were quite familiar with the antagonistic relationship between the Headmaster and Harry.

"As you might have guessed, I have a few adjustments to make." Harry said seriously. "First, screw the age line."

"Language." Filius muttered from his seat.

"The goblet will be in a locked room and only the Heads will be allowed to access it. If you want to submit your name then hand your parchment to them.

"The age limit still stands, but your Heads will be able to advise you if they think it is a bad idea. But don't let that stop you from entering. The cup is supposed to be able to pick the best for each school from the names submitted.

"In case you are wondering why I am doing this, it is because I don't want people putting other's names in. Right, I think that will do. We'll see you tomorrow night for the choosing."

To the surprise of the visiting students, the Hogwarts pupils took Harry's final words as a dismissal and began to leave.

Harry was pleasantly surprised to see Viktor sitting with Tracey and the others.

A glance at Ron saw he was clearly not happy about that.

The following day, the students of Hogwarts began handing their slips to Headmaster Dumbledore at either breakfast, lunch or dinner.

At the conclusion of the evening meal the Goblet was brought back in and the Heads placed the final slips in.

Then came the inevitable wait and showmanship from Albus.

Harry wished he was sitting at the student's table but he wouldn't object to being seated with Penny and Fil. They were each eagerly awaiting the results, mainly because they wanted to see if the same names were picked.

Things went much the same as last time. Viktor and Fleur were both chosen.

Harry was confident that all his extra precautions would prevent his name being called. Moron.

"The Champion for Hogwart's School of Wizardry and Witchcraft is: Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin!"

Harry just sat there numbly, staring at Albus who looked at him expectantly.

He suddenly stood up and marched over to Moody who was standing in a corner acting as security for the event. "Prove your identity." He challenged harshly.

Moody's good eye rolled. "I'm petrified of your snake." He said quietly.

Harry grunted and turned on his heel. "Which of you bastards put my name in that cup?" He demanded.

"Language, Harry!" Penny chided.

"Fuck that!" Harry was going for broke. "Only four people had access to that cup. You Heads and Hagrid."

"I swear 'Arry-"

"I trust you, Hagrid." Harry said with a dismissive wave. "It's-" Then he noted the smug look on Albus' face. "You?!"

Albus simply inclined his head. "I assure you it was simply idle curiosity on my part. I added your name to the others to see what the Goblet would do. You are the lord of the castle and have a fair amount of achievements under your belt already."

"Albus!" Minerva screeched in disgust.

Harry just sneered at him. "Oh you are just the worst sort."

"Mister Potter, perhaps you should focus on the fact that out of all the students who entered, you were chosen." Albus reasoned.

"How about we focus on the fact that I am underage?" Harry countered.

"You are considered an adult due to your emancipation and Lordship." Albus shrugged.

"I was entered against my will!"

"Hogwarts deserves the best it can provide. The Goblet considers you to fit the criteria."

"This all just a big dollop of revenge for you, isn't it?"

"Oh no, My Lord." Albus said, his voice so patronizing a two year old could hear it. "It is far more than that." He finished with a grin that unnerved the first years.

"Harry, just go in to the ante-chamber." Filius sighed. "We can torture Albus later. We need to wrap this up for the night."

Harry sent one last glare at Albus before he stomped off.

Albus watched him go with a smile on his face… until he saw the glares of his Professors.

"I hope you haven't gotten too comfortable back in the Head's office." Filius warned.

Harry banged into the room causing the two foreign Champions to jump.

"You are… "

"The Hogwart's Champion." Harry grumbled in answer to the French witch. "Bloody Albus Dumbledore put my name in."

"Are you not too young?" She asked cautiously.

"Yes. Yes I am. But the bloody git doesn't care." He said as he walked up to the fire where Viktor was standing.

"Tracey say you are very skilled." Viktor commented. "Is it really a… trouble?" He asked, searching for the foreign words.

"I can handle the tasks." Harry confirmed. "I can even provide you with a bit of competition to keep you on your toes. But I am very busy. I have projects and plans that I need to handle and this Tournament was not one of them."

"You can really keep up weeth us?" Fleur asked doubtfully.

Harry turned to answer and frowned. He took two steps towards her so he was nearly in her personal space.

"This is wrong." He muttered. He began looking her up and down as if examining her. "This is very wrong."

Fleur was beginning to look nervous, neither of them noticed that Viktor had drawn his wand.

The doors banged open again and the three heads walked in with Amelia and Ludo.

Harry made a bee-line for Penny. "This is wrong." He declared as he dragged her over to Fleur. "Look, see? Wrong."

He gestured to the beautiful witch who was quickly beginning to take offence.

"Eez there a problem weeth my student?" Madame Maxime demanded dangerously.

"Her? Probably not." Harry wasn't really paying attention and didn't realise people were ready to hurt him.

"Harry, what is the problem?" Penny asked.

"Well look at her! Look at me! I'm bloody taller than her! I can see the top of her head! This is wrong!" He was gesturing so wildly between himself and Fleur that she took an involuntary step back.

There was silence for a good ten seconds.

*thwack*

"OW!"

Harry rubbed his shoulder from where Filius had sent a stinging hex.

"Stop messing around, Harry." He glared at his adopted nephew.

The three champions listened whilst Albus and Ludo informed them of the first task. Albus had wanted to keep to the tradition of maintaining secrecy but Harry had said he would just tell the champions anyway, this was before Albus' treachery.

It was clear that the two foreigners were shocked by the news that they would face dragons.

"Relax, you know what the challenge will be, it will be easy to try and work out a solution."

"You- You have no fear?" Viktor asked incredulously.

"Harry has dealt with one Dark Lord, a thousand-year-old basilisk and Albus Dumbledore." Perenelle said dismissively.

"I say!"

Ignoring Albus she continued. "A nesting dragon in controlled circumstances really won't stretch his abilities."

"Says you." Harry grumbled. "It doesn't matter. There will be safety measures in place. Hagrid will be there, and dragon handlers. The most that will happen is you get a few burns or broken bones… or a spike to the shoulder." He added under his breath.

"You have plenty of time to prepare." Penny assured them. "Whilst the Champions are not allowed assistance from others, the wording is such that there is no reason for you not to collaborate amongst yourselves." She gave them a knowing smile.

"But this eez a competition!" Madame Maxime objected.

"A competition designed to promote relations between the schools." Harry added with an agreeing nod to Perenelle. "I have access to plenty of resources and you are welcome to use them." Harry told his fellow champions.

"Ve champions must discuss something, privately." Viktor said with a dour expression.

"Of course. I'll see you back on the ship Viktor. Gentlemen, I expect you to see Miss Delacour to her carriage." She informed Harry and Viktor before she took Madame Maxime by the arm and led her away… it was like watching a little girl lead her mother, with the height difference.

The half-giantess was clearly too befuddled to object to her pupil being left to the mercies of the 'enemy'.

"Come along Albus." Amelia ordered. "Our work is done."

Filius ushered Ludo out the door as Albus was nearly dragged along by Amelia.

Once the door was closed, Viktor immediately moved between Fleur and Harry, keeping the French witch behind him. He looked at Harry challengingly. "You have problem vith Veela?"

Harry was a bit surprised by that. "No. I know Fleur is one, I can feel her… 'allure' but, it is much easier to ignore than the Imperious." Harry mused.

"Sacre bleu!" Fleur swore. "What… fils de pute used zat disgusting curse on you?" She demanded.

"Meh, Old Lord No Name did it a time or two." Harry shrugged. "But it's not really important." He ignored Fleur's look of disbelief and turned to Viktor's look of disbelief. Which he also ignored. "I assume you have no problems with Fleur being a Veela?"

"Da. Have Veela in family." He nodded as he stood up straighter. Clearly proud of his family's diversity.

"Any werewolves? We have a cure for that now."

Viktor actually smiled brightly at that. "Da! Mistress Flamel says it come from Hogwarts."

"Yeah, Professor Snape created it. Our Defence Against the Dark Arts professor was the first to use it when our Ministry tried to arrest him for being one."

"Are you not scared?" Fleur asked with concern. "There 'as been word zat rogue werewolves are seeking revenge."

Harry just scoffed. "What are they gonna do? Bite us?"

"Kill you." Viktor's serious face was back.

"Sure, if they can get past our protections. Even if they do they will get themselves killed. We put anti-werewolf wards up on the school. If they want to get in then they have to take the cure." Harry said firmly.

There was a few moments silence as none of them had anything further to say.

"Right, well, if you are convinced I don't care about your heritage…" He nodded to Fleur. "I guess we can head off. Besides, I need to see my half-goblin adopted uncle. I'm sure my half-giant friend will want to congratulate me and assure me again that he didn't put my name in the cup. My former werewolf-"

"I believe we understand your point." Fleur giggled as Viktor smiled, slightly embarrassed at what now seemed like ridiculous accusations.

The two boys escorted Fleur to the Beauxbaton's carriage and Harry then accompanied Viktor to the Durmstrang ship.

He then went to bed where Ember sang for him as he tried to fight the urge to strangle Albus Bloody Dumbledore.

Harry woke up the next morning and found the members of his house waiting expectantly for him in the common room. Harry was now very worried.

"We drew up a training schedule." Pansy acted as spokesperson for the students. "The upper years will teach you advanced spells and we lower years will provide you with training partners."

A touched smile grew on Harry's face. "You are all very special people. Thank you. But… the Tournament rules don't allow for outside help with the tasks."

"Oh, we aren't helping you with the tasks." Gemma grinned. "We're just helping you with your education."

"You are all very devious Slytherins." Harry said in the same tone. The older students chuckled. "I will appreciate the help, but I warn you now, my current education level exceeds seventh year."

"Oh, we know." Terry said ruefully. He was dressed casually, but smartly. He was also someone that Harry had helped a time or two with his NEWTs.

"Well, I appreciate this very much. But just so you know, in the spirit of cooperation, I have offered access to all my resources to the other two champions."

"Doesn't that make the idea of 'competition' pointless?" A seventh year boy asked.

"Not really. You all know that the first task involves dragons, right? Well we will each have our own dragon, that means that each champion will have their own response. Then there are the differences between we champions specifically.

"My dad was supposed to have excelled at transfiguration, Mum was a charms prodigy. They would both rely on their strengths as they faced the coming tasks.

"The same will be true for the three of us."

"You know, if we gave the other two champions the same help we give Harry then we might actually learn something from them." Daphne mused.

Harry just chuckled as he headed for the door and breakfast. They were definitely Slytherins.

The following day, Harry continued his habit of not attending classes. Much to the annoyance of his fellow students he wasn't even preparing for the first task. Instead he was focusing on reaching that higher plane again.

"This really sucks."

"I don't know how to suck."

Harry ignored Blinky's common response to Harry's oft declaration.

"What is it that 'sucks' now?" The basilisk in disguise queried.

"I still can't reach that other realm. I can feel I am leaving my body-"

"You didn't leave, you just began to glow."

"My mind, Blinky."

The young basilisk sighed. He still didn't get the human expressions and such. But he loved his 'daddy' and his 'daddy' loved him… so he indulged the 'old man' as he often called him. Something that Ember and Hedwig agreed with.

"I am going to hunt." Blinky declared as he uncoiled himself from his nest of pillows. "If you are trying to do what Ganos did, then you are an idiot."

"Gee, thanks." Harry said sarcastically as he watched the snake head for a nearby hole in the room that acted as a portal for the snake to the forest.

"You said that Hogwarts prevents Ganos from visiting you here. It makes sense to me that the reverse would be true." Blinky explained before vanishing.

Harry sat there, crossed legged on the floor running his long and slinky friend's words through his mind.

Then it hit him.

"Mother fu-"

"Prek!" Harry had forgotten that Hedwig was still in the room.

*Chapter 18*: Chapter 18
Chapter 18

After the evening meal, Fleur and Viktor met at the entrance to the Great Hall.

"I cannot see Lord Harry." The Bulgarian Seeker commented in French. He was much more comfortable using French than he was English. He only started to learn English when he entered the professional circuit.

"Perhaps one of the professors can help us." Fleur suggested.

"Excuse moi, erm… vous est- erm-"

"Ve can speak some English." Viktor smiled at the bushy haired girl who had approached them.

"Thank goodness!" She laughed. "I spend some holidays in France but I am still learning. I'm Hermione Granger, are you looking for Harry?"

"Da, ve are looking for Lord Harry." Viktor said formerly.

Hermione just giggled. "Don't use titles around him. He gets annoyed. If he is with the Headmaster or government officials then you should use them… he really likes to annoy those sorts of people." She said with an exasperated roll of her eyes.

"You are a, erm, first family witch?" Fleur asked with interest.

Hermione blushed. "What gave me away?"

Fleur just gave a small laugh. "You called eet a government. Not many magicals use zat term."

"Can you lead us to- Harry?" Viktor looked like he struggled to not use a title.

"Of course, follow me, he's probably in his lab."

Hermione led them to the third floor corridor. "Alright, now just be very still, don't be scared."

The two Champions thought that was quite amusing, but they held their tongues.

But then the door opened and they nearly bit their tongues.

Lying in a giant dog bed was an even bigger Cerberus. At the opening of the door one of the dog's three heads rose up lazily and began moving to Hermione.

Viktor made to move forward and pull Hermione back but Fleur held him in place, she was just as worried for the girl but she could also see that the girl was not afraid.

The giant head began sniffing Hermione… "Ewww! Do you have to do that every time, Fluffy?" She grumbled as she pulled her wand and cleaned the dog slobber off. "These two are ok. They are friends of Harry. Go on, give them a sniff." She instructed.

Both older teens tensed as the other heads began to move and the Cerberus stood to reveal its full, terrifying height. It moved forward and the three heads began roaming over the three.

Eventually there was a sudden change in the heads as their tongues began to loll out the side of their mouths happily. Then two of the heads began nuzzling the teens.

"Alright, that's enough." Hermione sighed as she put her hands on the side of one the giant muzzles and pushed it away. Not that she could actually physically move it, but the canine liked to play along.

As Hermione walked past the three-headed mutt to the door it was guarding, Fleur and Viktor gingerly cleaned themselves of slobber.

As they walked through a corridor they could head a noise that grew louder.

"mwhahaha!"

"Harry."

"Mwhahaha!"

"Harry!"

"MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-gurk! Damn it Dud! I should never have made that thing for you."

The three students walked through a doorway into a very large chamber filled with all sorts of objects. Standing near a large cabinet was a drenched Harry Potter and his clearly unamused cousin, Dudley Dursley.

"You didn't make it. Terry and Andy did." Dudley retorted as he patted a leather wrist band on his right arm.

"Oh! They actually got one working!" Hermione exclaimed excitedly as she rushed up to the young muggle.

Harry pouted as he was ignored in favour of his cousin. He sighed and approached Fleur and Viktor.

"Welcome to the lab." He smiled as water dripped down his face and onto the floor.

"You vet." Viktor commented dryly.

"Yes. Yes I am." Harry nodded.

"I can dry you, eef you want?" Fleur offered as she pulled her wand.

Harry chuckled. "You can try, but it probably won't work. The device Dudley used was designed for emergencies. The 'water' is actually more of a potion that won't dry up in heat or due to magic unless a special counter-potion is introduced. It was designed by Professor Snape."

"Vhy vould you make something like dat?" Viktor frowned.

"To deal with certain fires that might be too wide spread for simple water to handle. The gauntlet is really first step to giving muggles access to magic." He gestured to where Hermione was examining Dudley's wrist.

"Muggles can do magic?" Fleur asked in shock.

There was a small pop as Dobby appeared. "Master Harry Potter Sir, I have prepared the special bath."

Harry's shoulder's drooped and began to shake as he nearly sobbed. He then abruptly turned to Dudley and Hermione. "I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS DUDLEY!"

He then stomped off towards the back of the large room.

The remaining two champions approached the younger two teens left in the room.

"You didn't spray him with that did you?" Hermione asked Dudley with a wince.

"He was doing that mad cackle again." Dudley scowled. "I should never have let him watch the cartoons on Saturdays."

Hermione gave a weary sigh. "Dudley, he has to use a magically nullifying solution to get that 'water' off. He won't be able to do magic for at least an hour or until he is dry again."

Dudley smiled proudly. "I know. But this way he can't do something stupid before Uncle Fil or someone else gets here." He then scowled again. "The only good thing about his cackle is that it means he is about to do something stupid, it's an early warning system."

"You are, Arry's family?" Fleur enquired. "And a… erm, 'muggleborn'?"

"Me? I'm just a regular muggle. But I am Harry's cousin. His mum and mine were sisters."

"But you did magic." Viktor pointed out.

Dudley showed them the leather wrist band. "Harry had the idea to store magic in crystals… or something like that."

"Harry heard some muggleborns talking about muggle magical lore and gaming." Hermione said with a hint of exasperation. "He heard them talking about using gems as focuses instead of wands.

"He then decided that he would see if certain gems or crystals could channel magic. It turns out that they can."

Dudley chuckled. "Aunt Minnie was so mad at him for blowing out the wall of the castle."

"Yes." Hermione said dryly. "They don't just channel it, they can amplify it.

"But that didn't interest Harry, he still wanted to store spells or magic." Hermione moved over to a nearby cupboard with glass panelled doors, those typically found in school laboratories. She opened it and removed a large white stone that was glowing.

"The same nullifying powder that Harry is using to get the water off is now coating this piece of quartz. It is preventing the magic from escaping."

"'Ow much magic is in there?" Fleur asked. Both she and Viktor were in awe of what they were seeing.

"And vat spell is it?" Viktor added.

"Apparently you can't store individual spells." Dudley shrugged. "That crystal contains raw magic, or energy. But it can be used to power this." He unclasped the leather from his wrist and turned it over, he then pulled open a small flap to reveal a fairly flat piece of crystal that was glowing.

Leading away from the crystal were various glowing runes.

"Arry made this?" Fleur was near flabbergasted… Viktor was.

"He made the crystal. He was too busy to be able to make the actual bracelet so he just explained it to some older students and now they are guaranteed an A+ in Ancient Runes."

"An 'O', Dudley."

"Dumbest. System. Ever." Dudley declared in a nasally voice.

"Do you do anything but watch cartoons at that house?" Hermione grumbled.

"Of course. Harry bought a few computers and we are trying to figure them out." He grinned.

"I need to sit down." Fleur muttered.

Hermione drew her wand and summoned four fifty centimetre cubes from the corner that she transfigured into comfortable armchairs. It was Harry's rule, unless you were working on something very sensitive you had to create your own chairs and desks. He had placed the cubes there for people like Hermione who couldn't handle conjuration yet.

"Vhy- Vhy ve no have these?" Viktor asked hesitantly and with confusion.

"You mean this?" Dudley asked as he strapped the leather band back on. "For starters, it's not for wiggles. It's for muggles."

"Wiggles?" Fleur asked.

Dudley just grinned as Hermione huffed.

"Harry has decided to try and get everyone to call magical humans 'wiggles'. He says that if non-magicals have to have a ridiculous name like 'muggles', wizards and witches should have one too."

Fleur and Viktor shared a look and a shrug. "Eet must be an English thing." She said.

"Ve do not have those vords in our language. Ve simply call them… er… 'people'." Viktor explained.

"Yeah, but do you still call yourselves that?"

They turned to see Harry walking up, rubbing his wet hair with a towel.

"Of course." Fleur nodded.

Harry gave an impressed nod. Then he turned to Dudley with a serious look. "Why do we still live in this god forsaken country, again?"

"Because you own the castle and don't want to give it up." Dudley replied. "And you can't stand the thought of abandoning all your friends."

"God damned morals."

"Language, Harry." Hermione admonished the grumpy young lord.

"So, what brings you to my evil lair?" Harry asked the two foreigners as he rubbed his hands together maniacally.

"You said ve could use your resources." Viktor said as politely as possible.

"Oh, yeah. Not a problem." Harry nodded. "What were you thinking of?"

"Perhaps ve could use your library, read about dragons." Viktor suggested.

"Yeah, sure. Of course I'll get you a pass to the restricted section. I also know of a Dragon Handler. I'll see if I can't get him here." Harry said thoughtfully.

"Harry, you moved the restricted section." Hermione reminded him.

"Oh yeah. Never mind, Dudley can show you the way. I have a meeting I have to get to."

The four stood. Harry was between Dudley and Fleur. He looked at Fleur and frowned. "This is very wrong." He muttered as looked at the top of her head before storming off.

"I do not understand." Fleur frowned. "Why ees my height wrong?"

"I don't know. Maybe someone in Slytherin can tell you." Hermione said apologetically.

"Are you coming Hermione?" Dudley asked.

"No, I have my own homework to do. I'll see you all later. It was nice to meet you." She told Viktor and Fleur.

"Ah… so these are my future minions!" Harry was about to cackle with glee when he heard a wand being tapped on the palm of a hand.

"I'll be good." He said quickly.

Minerva just expelled an annoyed breath. "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for agreeing to meet us here." She addressed the various adults with children ranging from newborns to ten year olds. "I realise that you have all been given a rather nasty shock when we came and told you that your children are actually capable of magic, but it was felt that it was necessary for you to be made aware as soon as possible before your children started performing accidental magic."

"Then why were we only told a few months ago?" An annoyed father asked as his ten-year-old son sat next to him.

"Because the idiots who were in charge decided that you shouldn't be told until you were about to enter Hogwarts." Harry snarked.

"Still not sure I like the sound of that place." The man grumbled.

"Then leave the country." Harry challenged. "Just remember that your son will still be a wizard and he will still need to be registered in a magical school."

"Can't they just… not do magic?" A young woman of Indian descent asked worriedly as she held tightly to her two-year-old daughter.

"No. If she hasn't started already then she will eventually begin performing accidental magic." Minerva said compassionately.

Harry was becoming annoyed and exasperated. It was something Minerva hated as it led to… 'excitement'. Like declaring war on the goblins.

"Look, stop thinking of magic as a bad thing!" He said heatedly. "These are still your children. They are innocent. But they are gifted."

Harry drew his wand and waved it through the air creating a rainbow of multi-coloured sparks. All of them were in awe, but Harry could still see some fear.

"Magic is capable of so much, if you know how to use it. If you don't, you can do some serious damage." Harry lectured. "In my first year I knew a boy who managed to literally blow up a feather because he screwed up the spell.

"I personally teleported onto the roof of my school building by accident to escape bullies. They had to call the fire brigade to get me down.

"If you want your children to have happy and fulfilling lives then you will start trying to treat this with an open mind."

Minerva grabbed him by the shoulders and spun him so they were face to face. "Sit!" She ordered.

Harry's shoulder's sagged but he turned and conjured a fully reclining armchair before slumping into it, crossing his arms and pouting.

A few of the assembled parents and older children found this funny.

"Now then, all of you have seen examples of how useful magic can be. But you have yet to see that it can be destructive."

*BANG*

Every jumped, including Minerva.

She turned to see Harry sitting in his armchair and twirling his wand. Sitting to his right was a smoking wooden log… with a whole the size of his hand in it.

"Bottom line: If your kids don't get training then they could end up doing that accidentally."

Minerva sighed, Harry could be so impulsive.

"Don't worry, Blinky is harmless."

The words of assurance from Daphne Greengrass did not, in anyway, help the two frozen champions as they stood nose to nose with the now twenty-foot long basilisk masquerading as a python.

"As long as he doesn't try and curl up on you." Tracey grumbled as she pushed past the two petrified students and tapped the large snake on the nose. "Go on, you're scaring them." She shooed it off.

"Is Ember here? I think we might need her." Pansy frowned as she prodded the Bulgarian Seeker on the shoulder. She got no response from him, but Ember, ever alert for her name to be called, flamed in and landed on the ebony haired girl's shoulder.

"Mon dieu." Fleur muttered weakly.

"Was that the effect you were hoping for?" Tracy asked curiously.

"Let's just leave them there till they snap themselves out of it." Daphne sighed. "Merlin knows how they will cope when facing a dragon."

Harry returned to his quarters just before curfew to find them packed.

Dudley, Vince, Greg, Neville, Hermione, Luna, Daphne, Tracey, Pansy, Gemma, Fleur, Viktor… and that was just a fraction.

"What the hell?" Harry asked calmly.

All of the students looked up from their text and note books.

"Harry! Grab a book. We're looking for information on dragons." Padma smiled.

Harry sighed. "Of course you are."

"Oh… wow… I didn't realise we had let so many people up here." Harry turned to see Terrence standing in the doorway looking a bit sheepish.

"Maybe you should keep a pencil and notebook nearby so you can keep a tally." Harry snarked.

Terry cleared his throat authoritatively to hide his embarrassment. "Alright you lot. It's nearly curfew. Back to your dorms. I'll speak to someone about getting you a classroom or something to study in."

The students began closing their books. Hermione and Padma stood by the table and began putting them back into their assigned spaces on the library shelf.

As they left, Harry stopped one or two of the girls and boys. He would grab them by the shoulder and look them up and down with a curious look.

Most of them looked at him slightly confused, but they were used to the madness of Lord Slytherin.

Gemma, Tracey, Daphne and Pansy just giggled. They didn't leave the room but went and sat on the couch. It was something they always did before going to bed. They wanted to make Harry feel like he had family, especially after the way he treated them so well.

Viktor and Fleur were the last to head for the door. They had tried to help Hermione and Padma, they felt it was the least they could do as this whole night had been dedicated to helping the Champions.

To Viktor's surprise, Harry actually grabbed him by the shoulders. But he gave them the same look he gave the others.

When he did it to Fleur, he scowled unhappily.

"What ees ze problem?!" She demanded as she shrugged out of his grip. "You say you do not 'ate Veela but you look at me like you do!"

"You're too short!" Harry exclaimed. Fleur flushed a bit. She had never had her appearance criticized by anyone (except her mother and grandmother).

The four girls on the couch broke down into laughter.

"Honestly Harry!" Hermione admonished. "Fleur is the perfect height for her age and weight! It is also very bad manners to comment on a lady's… vitals." She blushed as she tried to think of a word other than 'attributes'.

"She asked." Harry defended himself. "It's not my fault one of us is the wrong height." He mumbled.

Gemma extricated herself from the mess of giggling limbs on the couch and approached the group by the door. "Hermione, Padma, you head off now." She ordered. "Fleur, we'll have a little chat with our Lord and try and sort him out. I can promise you that he means absolutely no offence."

"Well-"

"Not now Harry." Gemma said without looking at him.

"We'll come find you tomorrow and see if we can't work something out." Daphne promised the French witch as she approached with the other two.

Pansy walked the foreigners to the door as Tracey grabbed Harry and pulled him to the couch. He was soon trapped between Daphne and Tracey.

"So, you have a crush on the Veela, master?" Daphne smirked.

"I have a wand and I am not afraid to use it, young lady." Harry said warningly.

"I bet Fleur probably hopes that's true." Tracey laughed.

"No, I do not have a crush on Fleur." Harry sighed as he saw that none of the four girls believed him.

"You spend an awful lot of time looking at her." Pansy said innocently as she sat in Harry's armchair.

"She has made me realise something." Harry grumbled. "I'm physically different this time than I was the first time I met her."

"Because you are taller." Gemma stated.

Harry sat forward contemplatively. "I would probably have the same reaction to Bill or Charlie Weasley. Hell! I'd probably have the same reaction to Riddle!"

"But not the rest of us?" Tracey asked.

"He's been growing up with us. Physically speaking." Daphne explained. "Everything has been happening over a period of years, and it isn't very noticeable as he doesn't tower over us."

"Speak for yourself." Pansy muttered. She was the shortest of the five at a mere 5'4". Harry had currently hit 5'9" and he was still growing. Poppy had told him he could possibly hit six foot but was more likely to stop growing at 5'11".

The last time round Harry had been a mere 5'4", an inch shorter than Fleur's 5'5". He now had four inches on her.

"So why doesn't Viktor bother you?" Gemma asked. "He's shorter than you now, isn't he?"

"We're about even." Harry answered. "I guess it doesn't strike me as much because I don't look down on his head and I didn't spend as much time with him as I did Fleur. I spent time with her before she married Bill in the Summer."

"Well, unless you intend to let Fleur in on the secret you need to get over it and stop staring at her." Daphne instructed.

"Yeth Mithtreth." Harry lisped in his best Igor impression.

"Or you could just court her." Gemma added casually.

"And we are done!" Harry declared as he quickly stood. "Get out, the lot of you!" He shooed the giggling witches out of his rooms.

Over the following few days the four girls began a secret campaign of harassment against Harry. It made him very grumpy.

He noticed that the following day after their discussion, the girls removed their ties when they entered his quarters to do their homework.

They also began to stand fairly close to him. Not touching (usually), but enough that he had to look down to see them.

Over the following days an increasing number of shirt buttons were opened along with the removal of the tie.

Harry could see what they were doing and he held out as long as he could.

"Alright! Either button up or get out!" He said in frustration as Daphne stood toe-to-toe with him. He had to look down at her and he could see straight through her open collar, past her bra and cleavage to her bare feet.

"But it's so hot, Harry." Tracey said teasingly as she stood from the table and sauntered over.

"It's nearly winter." Harry retorted. "If you want we could turn down the fire."

Tracey began to pout, but Pansy perked up at that. "Great!" She moved to the fire and called for Dobby. There were some things that Dobby could do better than them.

Like adjust the fire without burning the castle down.

Gemma still hadn't been forgiven for that one by the poor elf who had to fix the rug. Not when it was his job in the first place.

Thirty minutes later and the homework was finished. Harry would glance across at the table now and again as the girls kept whispering.

Then they acted.

He found his armchair had been expanded. Pansy was in his lap, Daphne curled on is right, Tracey on his left and Gemma… had somehow squeezed behind him so he was lounging against her.

Harry gave a long-suffering sigh. "Now what?"

"We're cold. This is a good way to keep warm." Pansy pouted before burying her face in his neck.

"I hate you all." He muttered.

The girls didn't believe him.

Hell, even he didn't believe himself.

"'Arry, you still have not decided what your plan will be."

Harry looked up from the piece of wood he was etching runes into. "Piss it off, make it chase me then grab the egg and run."

There was a repeated thudding as Tracey banged her head on the table as Gemma patted her back.

They were currently in an unused classroom with Viktor, Fleur and a few students from all the schools.

They were all suddenly very interested in Harry and Fleur's discussion.

"You can out run dragon?" A Durmstrang boy asked doubtfully.

"Well… it's more that I can out fly it."

"You make it sound like you've done it before." The accent was French, but the boy from Beauxbatons had no problem with English pronunciations.

"Err…" Harry wasn't sure how to answer that one. "Let's just say I've seen a lot of dragons in flight."

"I am best Seeker in Europe. Even I would not fly against dragon." Viktor said with a hint of worry about Harry's plan.

"Well, I can fly where a large dragon can't. I can also manoeuvre better."

Viktor nodded thoughtfully.

"And can you outrun eets flame?!" Fleur demanded.

"Harry, maybe you should leave that as the backup plan." Dudley suggested from where he was working on his non-magical homework. "You know enough about runes, dragons and spells that you can find another way."

Harry was about to object, but then he saw the glares coming from the four girls.

He had to do a double-take at Fleur as he was sure he could smoke coming off her hands.

"Fine." He capitulated with a pout. "I'll make another plan." With that he leant his chair back and closed his eyes.

"Va-"

"He's thinking." Dudley assured Viktor with a chuckle. He was used to Harry doing this in the lab.

The door to the classroom slammed open, startling Harry who fell backwards off his chair.

"Harry! Come quickly!" Filius said frantically as he rushed over to his nephew.

"Are we under attack?" Harry asked in annoyance.

*BOOM*

Students fell from their chairs, books off the table, paintings off the wall and dust from the ceiling.

"Lead the way." Harry gestured.

"Wonderful! Wonderful! But let's try for a more potent combination!"

"Bert!"

"Harry! Excellent timing!" Cuthbert Binns exclaimed as he turned from a soot covered Argus Filch to Harry and Filius in the doorway. "We were just-"

"Scaring every living thing in the castle!"

"Not to mention the rest of us!" Came an irritated female voice from a painting outside.

"What the hell are you doing?" Harry asked in disbelief as watched Argus pour white powder into a cauldron.

"We are preparing to demonstrate the power of muggle bombs!" Cuthbert declared proudly.

Harry dragged his palm down his face. How did he manage to inspire this much insanity?

"Alright, Argus, very carefully, put that down." Harry instructed. "Bert, I can see you've had someone ward this room from damage, but it hasn't stopped the explosion being heard or felt throughout the castle!"

"It can't have been that bad." Binns argued weakly.

"Indeed, I have had both Professors Maxime and Flamel on the floo, demanding to know why Scotland was experiencing an earthquake." Albus said dryly from the doorway. "I'm afraid you will have to halt your experiments until we can arrange something better."

"But- but- this will show those fools just what they are risking when they bait muggles!" Cuthbert sputtered. "Have you seen the devastation they caused in Japan? They did the same thing on accident in the Ukraine!

"If we don't educate our children now, then they will follow in the foolish steps of their parents and the muggles will bite back!"

"Bert! Relax!" Harry ordered. "Leave it with me and I'll sort it all out. I'll just need a week or so."

"I suppose I'll just have to make do with the photographs I obtained." Bert mourned.

Harry enlisted the aid of Neville, Dudley, Vincent and Gregory. Or as he called them: 'The Wrestlers'. This was mainly because Dudley had begun teaching the boys how to box, when they had visited Japan the three had begun observing martial arts. Harry had Sirius and Filius sign them up for classes in Japan, just so they could also learn a new language.

Neville was dragged in by Dudley who said he was beginning to bulk up like a fighter so he should join their group. Augusta was mortified… even more so when Frank had offered to chaperone them to classes.

But for this task of preparing a room to withstand Professor Binns demonstrations, he wanted the brawn of The Wrestlers. That being said, he still had Greg, Vinny and Nev all use magic.

They actually used two classrooms. One was for the observers and the other was for Bert and his explosions.

In the end there was too much for just Harry to do in carving runes so he enlisted a few sixth year students with the understanding that Professor Vector would count it towards their end of year marks.

*Chapter 19*: Chapter 19
Chapter 19

The day of the task arrived and Harry was in hot water with nearly everyone.

He refused to tell them what his main plan was to get the egg. Fleur had been coached into a repeat performance of her sleeping charm (with added fire protection this time) and Viktor was encouraged to use transfiguration as a distraction (to avoid breaking eggs).

Harry had listened to all the ideas from trying to learn to become a dragon animagus to bribing it with gold. He didn't tell anyone his plan though.

And that pissed off everyone from Hermione to Filius.

Fleur was also annoyed, but Viktor found it amusing.

They were in the Champion's Tent, Fleur and Viktor were a little nervous and Harry was reading a book. Then the heads entered along with Amelia and Bagman.

"Excellent!" Bagman exclaimed in his annoyingly jovial way. "You're all here. Now in this bag are identical miniatures of what you will face in the arena. They will also determine the order you go in."

"Non." Fleur said defiantly. "'Arry goes last. Zat way Viktor and I can watch him."

"B-B-B-"

"That's perfectly fine." Amelia interjected whilst Bagman tried to remember how to talk. "The order you go in doesn't matter, it is only the choosing of the dragons that we want to be fair."

She took the bag from Bagman and offered it to Fleur and then Viktor. She then handed the bag to Harry.

"Miss Delacour, you will go first and face the Common Welsh Green. Mister Krum, you will go second and face the Chinese Fireball." She then turned to Harry. "Harry will have to go last anyway as he will be facing this."

Harry looked up from the empty bag he was peering into. Sitting in Amelia's hand was a pale blue wingless dragon.

"A Japanese Water Dragon." Amelia smirked.

"That bastard Albus arranged this, didn't he?" Harry scowled.

"Actually, it was a recent acquaintance of yours." She gestured to the mouth of the tent.

Harry turned to see a very smug Yoshiko standing there in a knee length skirt and t-shirt topped off with a light jacket.

"What the hell did I do to you?" Harry asked indignantly.

"I'm a trickster Harry-kun, you couldn't really expect me to turn down the opportunity to play a prank on the son of a prankster, could you?" She pouted.

"I am going to learn some nasty words in Japanese just so I can call you them." Harry warned her with a maniacal glare.

"I would be happy to teach you some." She smiled. "But I must go and find Severus-kun. It is cold and he needs to keep me warm." She said as she left the tent.

"I didn't need to know that!" Harry called after her.

Amelia had been tempted to alter the tasks after seeing Harry's memories of them. But she decided that it was hard enough for the teens to face down a nesting dragon on their own when even an experienced Dragon Handler wouldn't try.

Fleur's attempt went much the same as last time, only she dodged the snort of flame that the dragon let out in its sleep. It wouldn't have mattered as she had charmed her outfit to be flame proof.

Viktor's was a big improvement. No eggs were crushed. Instead he transfigured one rock into a tasty looking cow and another couple into wolves. The result was that he was able to slip past the dragon and take the egg whilst it fended off the wolves so it could take the cow.

Then there was a half hour wait whilst they set up the arena for the Water Dragon.

Harry had no idea what to do so he spent the time meditating and trying to reach the other plane.

Eventually he was roused from his peaceful contemplation. Amelia sent him out into the arena.

The arena was now a small lake.

"Do I still have to get the egg?" He sighed.

"Yes. I trust you've been studying the bubble head charm." She asked.

"You are enjoying this far too much." Harry grumbled.

"Consider it payback for all you put me through." She smirked and strolled off back into the tent.

Harry stomped his way down to the water's edge, muttering death threats all along.

Now, Harry hadn't done much in the way of researching spells and plans, but he had read a lot of books on dragons.

He closed his eyes and imagined a snake in his mind before saying loudly in Parseltongue: "Mighty dragon of the waters, I beg an audience if you have the time."

So it wasn't the most flowery of pleas, but it did the job.

The crowd began to mutter as they heard the Boy-Who-Lived speak a dark language.

Harry just turned to them and glared. "I AM LORD SLYTHERIN, YOU KNOW." He shouted at them.

Unfortunately that made them mutter more.

They were interrupted as a pale blue head, larger than Harry himself, emerged from the lake slowly.

"Are you aware you are speaking the language of snakes?" The dragon asked, one eyebrow raised in a very human manner. It definitely sounded female to Harry.

"I know two languages. Neither of them are Japanese, so I picked the one I figure you might be familiar with." Harry shrugged.

"Well, it is a magical language." The dragon mused. "And we are both magical beings."

"True. Anyway, I was wondering if you could give me that golden egg that is not one you laid."

The dragon looked at him, amusement in her eyes. "Aren't you supposed to use your magic and skill to best me and steal the egg?"

"Yeah, but I want to get Yoshiko back for trying to prank me. Besides, I did study dragons, and I met a few humans who have had dealings with Japanese dragons. I know that you aren't opposed to helping humans."

The dragon chuckled. "It would be amusing to see a kitsune have the tables turned on them. But won't you get in trouble for not participating properly?"

"I was entered without my knowledge or consent… screw them!"

The dragon laughed loudly, of course it looked to the contestants that it was roaring and preparing to toast Harry… with fire, not wine.

She dipped her large head beneath the water before re-emerging with the golden egg in her mouth that she dropped on the shore.

"It has been far too long since I birthed my only child." She sighed. "Still, it was fun to be amongst you humans again."

Harry picked up the egg and bowed very low. "You will always be welcome in my home, Toyotama-hime. I invite you to stay and dine with us this evening and perhaps you might stay a few days. I believe Yoshiko will be staying a while."

The dragon froze and stared at him.

"You are far too perceptive, Little One." It muttered.

"As I said, I researched dragons for this task." Harry said as he rose.

The dragon seemed to become incorporeal as its blue scales became less defined and faded. It's being swirled smaller and smaller until it was replaced by a short Japanese woman in her early twenties wearing a pale blue kimono.

"I accept your gracious offer, Little One." She gave a small bow.

Harry offered her his arm which she took and walked her back to the tent.

The crowd watched in shocked silence that wasn't broken until the pair disappeared into the tent.

Then they broke into loud arguments over what they had seen.

Some claimed that Harry had been given a false task and there never was a dragon.

Others said he had managed to transfigure the dragon into the woman.

There were a host of other theories being bandied about as well.

"What is the meaning of this farce, Dumbledore?!" Fudge demanded as he sat in the top box with the judges. "The boy was supposed to defeat the dragon, not seduce it for his bloody harem!"

"I would be very careful, Minister." Filius scowled at the portly man. "Harry has taken every care to ensure that the girls that he is responsible for are treated with the utmost respect. 'Harem' is a term he finds offensive when used by the English for his family."

"Irrelevant." Fudge waved dismissively. "The boy has multiple concubines. That is the very definition of a harem."

"And just how, pray tell, do you know that?" Perenelle asked with a smirk.

Cornelius blushed and began to stammer. No one had ever actually used the term 'harem' around or about Harry in public. The knowledge that he had several concubines was not a secret but it certainly wasn't spoken of or announced in public.

Fudge certainly didn't want to admit that he had been investigating how to get his own harem.

"That has nothing to do with this farce you call a tournament!" He deflected.

"Monsieur Potter may not 'ave acted physically, but 'e stood nose to nose with a deadly beast and walked away with 'is prize." Madame Maxime mused. "'Aving seen 'is performance today, I am now much more comfortable with Fleur being a part of 'is study group."

"Yes, but if Harry keeps performing like he did today then neither of our students will stand a chance." Penny scowled. "I have no choice but to give him full marks for what he did."

"I will probably agree, but first, I wish to speak with the champions to find out about their tactics." Albus smiled. "All three children were quite impressive. It is unheard of for all three champions to complete a task without even a bruise!"

The three heads along with Amelia, Fudge and Bagman entered the medical tent where Harry was sitting at a conjured table and dealing out playing cards. Also around the table were Fleur, Viktor and Poppy.

"You're going down this time Frenchie."

"Zat is what you said last time." Fleur said as she flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulder.

"I won the first round!"

"Because we did not know the rules." She retorted.

"Enough!" Poppy admonished. "Fleur, you won the last round so you go first."

The judges watched as card were slapped down one after the other, face up. They took turns until-

"SNAP! Ha! Take that Blondie!"

"A lucky win." Fleur sniffed.

"I still say this isn't real Snap." Poppy grumbled. "The cards don't even explode!"

"Stop complaining. It's not our fault you haven't won yet." Harry admonished her.

"Harry? Could we perhaps have a word with the three of you?" Albus asked politely.

"Great. Now I'm going to get told I didn't complete the task properly." Harry muttered as he tossed down his cards.

"Actually, Monsieur Potter, we merely wish to discover 'ow you all completed ze tasks so we can… assess you better." Maxime assured them.

Harry gave a nod that showed he understood. "Well, ladies first I guess. But… all we have is her, so go on."

Fleur glowered at the insolent Englishman before turning her ire on the snickering Bulgarian.

"You should not be so tense." Viktor was un-phased by the glare. "It is good to laugh. Do not take things badly from Potter. Give them back."

Fleur frowned, not understanding.

"Give as good as you get." He explained in French.

Harry actually felt a sliver of fear at the smirk she turned on him.

"You can roast him later." Perenelle laughed. "Fleur, how did you put the dragon to sleep?"

"I used ze most powerful sleeping charm we could find in 'Arry's library. It was not difficult." She had a confused look as she was unsure what they wanted to hear.

"Plus there were a few fire proofing spells." Harry added as he played with the cards, shuffling them in his hands. He then paused and looked at the cards with a frown. He put them down and pulled out a pencil.

"Preposterous!" Fudge blustered. "No mere girl could charm a dragon to sleep!"

"Zen it is a good thing that Mademoiselle Delacour is no 'mere leetle girl'!"

Harry glanced up from his cards at Madame Maxime's retort. That sounded familiar. But he had better things to do and went back to his cards.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Fudge demanded.

"None of your business, Corny." Harry said without looking up. "Move on."

"Yes, of course." Albus spoke up before Fudge could get himself eviscerated by an enraged Veela. "We would appreciate it if we could examine the charm."

"Family magic." Harry said simply. "Penny can take a look if she wants."

"If foreigners can see this special charm then so can I!" Fudge said importantly.

"Family. Magic." Harry enunciated as he looked up at Fudge mercilessly. "That means that it is protected by your own laws. The only people allowed to access it are those granted permission by the Head of the Family… me."

"Mister Krum, you managed quite the feat of transfiguration today." Amelia quickly directed their conversation. "Even Headmaster Dumbledore would have trouble finding the raw power to do what you did."

"Harry. He makes me new vand." Viktor said proudly. "It helps me."

"May we see your wand?" Albus asked politely.

"Ne!"

Albus actually took a step back. "I promise we won't-"

"Ne! Vork vas done by Lord Slytherin. Only ask that I keep it… "

"Private." Harry supplied.

"Da, private."

"Don't be stupid boy. Give us the wa- eep!" Fudge went from blustering little fat man to scared little fat girl in a split second as he found himself staring down several wands.

In fact, the only wand he wasn't staring down was his own.

"Cornelius, you are about to breach several international and British laws." Albus said gravely. "Unless you intend to charge Mister Krum with a crime then you have no right to demand his wand."

"The most you could do is declare him a suspect, which would allow you the right to perform the Prior Incantatem." Amelia added. "Of course, you would have to resign as the Minister for Magic and apply for my job as only the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement has that authority."

"Not to mention that as a foreigner he is afforded the right to have representatives from his own country."

They current occupants of the tent turned to see the Bulgarian Minister and his entourage at the entrance. "You are not trying to accuse the Hero of Bulgaria of cheating, are you?" He asked with a look that threatened personal and international action.

"You've got a title too? That's brilliant!" Harry laughed.

"I am still not 'Boy Hero of Bulgaria'." Viktor gave a little sneer.

Harry scowled. He was often the butt of jokes for that title from the Bulgarian students. They weren't mean, but they found it amusing.

Harry responded with his usual come back. "At least I have my own castle."

As usual, Viktor just grinned superiorly. Harry's tone and bearing when he said that always seemed rather… lame. He simply didn't sound like he believed it was an even trade either.

"Harry, how about you?" Penny asked as the conversation was once again redirected. "What happened between you and your dragon?"

Harry's eyes widened in worry. "For god's sake, don't call her 'my dragon'! All I did was talk to her."

"There is no record of Parselmouth's being able to communicate with dragons." Albus frowned. He would know after all, he did all that work with Nicholas on their blood.

"I only used that because I don't speak Japanese." Harry shrugged. "Yoshiko made an error when she suggested using a Japanese Water Dragon." He said with a smug grin. "She didn't think I would have read about them, so I knew that they were as intelligent as humans."

"Preposterous!" Fudge exclaimed. "Dragons are mere beasts! They have all the intellect of a House Elf."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Fudge, I can guarantee you that the House Elves in my family are more intelligent than you. I would be happy to prove it if you like."

"Da, my family's elves teach me when I was small." Viktor nodded.

"'Ow did you change it into a 'uman?" Maxime asked curiously.

"I didn't. I didn't even ask her to change. She decided to do that herself." Harry turned back to his cards but was interrupted again.

"Harry, are you saying that all you did was ask the Water Dragon for the egg?" Albus asked with an amused raised eyebrow.

"Well… I did also invite her to stay for a while. Incidentally, she is a princess. I expect her to be afforded the respect that position demands or there will be trouble. If you want more info I suggest you go and talk to Yoshiko, it was her suggestion after all."

The judges exchanged a look. "I believe we have heard all we need to. We will head outside and give our marks." Albus answered for them. "If the three of you would also join us?"

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, after much deliberation and consideration we have awarded the following to the champions." Dumbledore announced to the audience via a magical amplification spell.

"Each champion was able to attain their egg in a different way. But each champion also managed to do so without incurring injury to themselves, the dragons or the eggs.

"They utilised their own talents and research and did so flawlessly. As such, we feel we have no other option than to award each champion the full marks of fifty points." Albus was smiling happily.

"BUT POTTER CHEATED!"

Albus' smile vanished.

"You know, after everything I've shown you, you should have expected this." Harry said smugly.

Albus knew he was referring to the memories Harry had allowed him to view.

"GET DOWN HERE BOY!" Perenelle shouted at the seventh year Slytherin.

Lucian Bole suddenly looked very nervous.

"NOW!"

Lucian was on his feet and stepping on everyone else's as he hastily made his way to the end of the row.

As he arrived at the judge's platform Perenelle cast some charms on the area so everyone could hear them.

"So, boy, you say Potter cheated." She sneered at him, which was quite amusing as Bole was over six feet and Perenelle Flamel was barely five-ten.

"W-We all saw. He didn't do anything. He just stood there and the dragon gave him the egg." He started off flustered but soon found his ground.

"So if I was to have the dragon brought back in, do you think you could get it to just 'give' it to you?"

"I- I-…" Lucian frowned, but then it came to him and he schooled his features into that of respectful conversation. "I'm sure that if Potter told us how he did it I would be able to do the same."

"So you don't already know how he did it?" Perenelle queried.

"Of course not." He rolled his eyes.

Perenelle moved in closer, her voice lowered to a growl, but still heard by the audience. "If you don't know how he did it, how can you say he cheated?"

"Because that's what Potter does." He sneered. "How else would he manage to have concubines and a castle? How else would he be able to defeat the Greatest Wizard of our time?"

"I am over six hundred years old. Headmaster Dumbledore has more than a century of experience. You have not even taken your NEWTs. And yet you presume to know more than us?"

"Everyone knows you're part of Potter's group." Lucian said smugly.

There was a sudden gasp from everyone except Perenelle who was smirking and Lucian who didn't know what was going on.

"My friend has heard your accusations and considers them a personal insult."

Lucian turned to see a young Japanese woman marching towards them. Although that didn't really register as much as the massive pale blue dragon behind her.

"She challenges you to succeed just as Harry did." As she spoke the dragon moved, almost like a snake into the water where it rested with just its eyes above the water line.

Lucian paled… he may have also peed himself… just a little.

But then he realised what she had said and turned back to Perenelle as the foreign bint wasn't worth his time. "So you want me to defeat the dragon like Potter did? And Potter will tell me the spell he used?"

This was important. Lucian Bole could have access to Slytherin's personal spells, or at least one of them.

Penny looked to Harry, who just shrugged. "As long as you make it worth my while for dragging me into this."

"I don't believe this is really necessary." Albus winced. "As you said, Headmistress Flamel, we have more than enough experience to dismiss Mister Bole's claims."

"Certainly." Penny nodded. "But that would only matter if he had come to us in private. Instead he opened his rancid mouth in front of all these people. Lord Slytherin's reputation is at stake here. This fool has made claims and thrown about aspersions. He can do this or face Lord Slytherin in an Honour Duel."

"I'm sure Lord Slytherin would be content with a public apology." Albus insisted, he looked to Harry for help.

"As long as it appears in The Prophet and he makes it in person on the WWN." Harry was pretty apathetic, he didn't really care. Lucian meant very little to him and so did the opinions of the public.

Lucian Bole was a proud Pure Blood. Sure, his name wasn't listed in the Sacred Twenty-Eight, but his family went back for generations with only Pure Bloods, not Half Bloods and Mudbloods like Potter.

Of course this was all very evident from the way his mouth would open and get him in trouble.

"Apologise? Before the hour is up, Potter will be shown to be the cheat he is!" He turned to Potter, still sneering. "Well, Potter, are you going to tell me how you defeated the dragon or will you let the world know you really are a cheat?"

Harry looked at him, unimpressed. "I asked her. In Parseltongue."

At this point Lucian began to get irritated. "A cheat and a liar! There is no way a dragon would do something like that! Besides, Parseltongue is for snakes, not dragons."

"Well, that's what I did." Harry responded with a calmness that was annoying Lucian but worrying Albus.

"Swear it." Lucian challenged.

Now Harry was getting annoyed. "Look, I honestly don't care what you say or think. As far as I am concerned you are leaving the castle once this is settled. I've had it with you.

"You heard Perenelle, we can settle this with an Honour Duel. Every second you stand there hurling accusations at me is another second that an Honour Duel feels more and more appealing."

"Of course, this is the same Lord Slytherin who defeated Marcus Flint Senior in a previous duel and managed to vanquish Lord Voldemort… twice." Amelia had a vicious looking grin.

Lucian swallowed, he'd forgotten about that. "Still, it won't clear the taint from his name. He will still be a liar and a cheat."

"Can't I just boot him from the castle?" Harry whined. "He's worthless. He barely passed enough OWLs to sit NEWTs."

"How dare you!"

"So you can insult Harry but he can't insult you?" Perenelle asked archly. "Now, we could easily prove Harry's claims. Can you prove yours?"

"Monsieur Bole, eet would appear you 'ave three options. You can face ze dragon, face Lord 'Arry or apologise." Olympe Maxime was irritated that this boy would behave so disgracefully. "Monsieur Fudge, you 'ave nozing to add?"

Cornelius Fudge was caught off guard. He had been too busy watching young Bole put Potter in his place. Well, that was his delusion and he was sticking to it. He certainly wasn't expecting to be dragged in himself.

But still… "Mister Bole makes a valid point." He tried for wisdom; he achieved gas. "Unless Potter can prove he did not cheat then at the very least he should be disqualified from the task."

Harry sighed before he stomped off to the water's edge. He paused after a few steps. "Are you coming?" He asked testily.

Perenelle was curious, Olympe was confused, Albus was worried, Lucian and Fudge were hopeful and pleased.

Either they proved Potter a fraud or they learnt ancient magic from the Founders.

When they were all assembled behind Harry they heard him begin to hiss. Then the dragon growled before hissing back.

Harry stepped to the side as the dragon raised its upper body out of the water and used its front claws to snatch up a screaming Fudge and Bole.

"Like I said, I asked the dragon and she agreed." Harry said loudly over the shouting and crying of the two men. He hissed at the dragon who dropped the screamers from over ten feet.

They landed in the water with a splash.

Then the dragon did something that had everyone gasping in fear and amazement.

It spoke.

No one could understand what it said but the words where fairly easy to hear.

There was a small puff sound and Yoshiko appeared next to Harry.

She began conversing with the dragon, rapidly. Harry knew it was Japanese but it was too fast for him to pick any actual words from his limited vocabulary.

Of course, even Harry was surprised when Perenelle and Albus joined in the conversation. Albus was clearly stilted and at the very least, out of practice. But Perenelle was as fluent as Yoshiko.

"Aurors! Aurors! Destroy that monster!" Fudge cried as he struggled to exit the lake.

"Stand down!" Amelia countered as the men fingered their wands nervously. She turned to Fudge angrily. "Did you really just try to order my people to engage in a suicidal attempt to kill an endangered and protected animal?"

The dragon morphed back into the beautiful Asian woman and stepped out of the lake, completely dry. She turned Yoshiko and spoke primly before she glided to Harry and took his arm, leading him away.

Yoshiko looked at Dumbledore with disdain. "You understand? I will leave it to you then." She then vanished.

"Dumbledore, who was that woman? Was she responsible for that creature?" Fudge demanded, still dripping.

"Miss Yoshiko is a friend of Harry's and Princess Toyotama. You are less than a hair's breadth from starting a war with Japan." Albus answered sternly.

"Preposterous! Tha-"

"Albus, I recommend you use your position to deal with this imbecile." Perenelle sneered at Cornelius. "If Japan takes offence because of him then I can guarantee that there will be many nations that will support them."

As Perenelle strode off, Albus took Fudge by the arm and marched him to castle. "Come along Cornelius, you've caused enough problems today."

This left Olympe, Amelia and Lucian standing there.

"I believe Lord Slytherin ordered you off his property." Amelia said archly. "I suggest you comply before I have you arrested for trespassing."

Lucian was about to sneer and insult the Head of the DMLE… but then he heard the sound of clanking footsteps… his blood ran cold… the rest of him ran for the castle gates.

Whilst Harry was enjoying dinner at the staff table with Yoshiko on one side and Toyotama on the other, Fudge was fuming in his office about the disrespect he was shown and the attack on his person.

"Things are completely out of control at that school!" He ranted to his most trusted department heads. "That Potter boy- a disgrace to the name of Hogwarts! Consorting with creatures and foreigners and flaunting his harem! And he is responsible for the death of at least one Pureblood.

"We are close to becoming the laughing stock of the Wizarding World!"

"The boy has proven his claims. There is little we can do." Ludo said as he fiddled with his fingers nervously.

"NOT GOOD ENOUGH!" Fudge screamed.

The heads exchanged worried looks.

"Minister, anything we do has to make it past the Wizengamut." An older lady tried to reason. "If it doesn't then the members will have you out of office before the end of day."

"The solution is quite simple." They turned to the oily and confident middle-aged man in the corner. "Potter has stated in front of witnesses that he owns the castle…not the school. Hogwarts is regulated by the Department of Magical Education. It shouldn't be too hard to declare the need for tighter control and the assignment of… 'Ministry Moderators'."

Cornelius sat down in his chair with a thoughtful look. "It sounds promising. What sort of role would these 'moderators' take?"

"To be honest, it barely matters. The boy has already threatened to close the castle to the school. This is merely a means to get the case in front of the Wizengamut. There we can argue that Hogwarts Castle is the school and has been for a thousand years. Some jumped up little pest has no standing to claim a national treasure."

"Hmm, write up a brief. Outline the roles that the moderators will fulfil. Even if this is just a legal ploy, we might as well have them do some good." Cornelius mused.

Theodore Nott Senior smirked as he exited the Minister's office. He was a low level employee… but his family was one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, his son gave him regular updates regarding Potter and his desecrations of the majesty of Pureblood society. If he played this right he would be able to eliminate Potter and claim the Slytherin Lordship for himself. The House of Nott would rise to its rightful place.

*Chapter 20*: Chapter 20
Chapter 20

Toyotama returned home to Japan the same day despite enjoying her time with Harry and his friends. Yoshiko requested rooms close to Severus.

Harry had simply thrown the Sorting Hat at Severus and ordered him to sort it out before running from the room. He didn't want to know about the man's love life.

"It's Mermish and it will probably be under the Black Lake." Harry said calmly as he wiggled his finger in his ears to stop the ringing.

They were in the classroom that had been appropriated for the Champions with most of the students who were helping them. A lot of them were also rubbing their heads as Viktor closed his golden egg with a grimace.

"WHAT?"

Harry rolled his eyes. Apparently Tracey was sitting too close to the egg.

After a few minutes they could all hear well enough and Harry had conjured a large tub of water and had dropped his egg into it and opened it.

Harry chuckled at the sight of ten people kneeling over a massive tub with their heads in it whilst others waited their turn. He thought about modifying the tub so they didn't have to stick their heads in… but he was enjoying the amusing sight.

"It's the same?" Harry looked to his right where Daphne had knelt down next to his chair to whisper.

Harry just nodded.

Daphne did not look happy as she went to sit with Gemma, Tracey and Pansy.

"You have to rescue something within an hour from the merpeople in the lake?" Hermione asked as she cast a drying charm on her soaked head and cardigan.

"Knowing the Ministry's need for drama, I imagine it will be a person, someone close to us." He indicated the other Champions.

"My family. They are safe in Bulgaria." Viktor said with a hint of relief.

"Gabby!" Fleur cried as she rushed from her seat and pulled the eight-year-old into her arms protectively.

"Fleur! I am fine!" The little girl complained. "The task is after Noel."

"They will not 'ave 'er." Fleur glared at Harry. "You will make sure of this."

"Me?"

"Oui! You control this castle. You can keep Gabrielle away from them." She said adamantly. Harry really didn't like that look, it spoke of retribution… on him.

"I'll speak to Albus and Penny." He agreed reluctantly. "But at the end of the day, it might end up being safer for her to spend the month of February back in France, up until the day of the task."

"Non!" Gabby cried. "I want to stay!"

Fleur grabbed her by the shoulders sternly. "Think of Maman, 'ow it would upset her if something 'appened to you."

"You are doing dangerous stuff." Gabby countered. "You stole from a dragon!"

At this point the pair devolved into an argument in rapid French.

*PHWEEEEEEEET*

Everybody winced at the loud whistle.

"You bastard."

Harry just grinned at his cousin. "Best thing you ever taught me."

"You bastard."

Harry chuckled. "I promised I will deal with it. If necessary I will have a suit of armour follow her around. Hopefully I will be able to convince the Heads to use something that won't cause non-champions (like parents) to suffer from whatever might be lost.

"Besides, there will be a ton of safe guards in place."

"It will be fine Fleur." Daphne assured her. "Harry will make sure of it. But we have more important things to discuss." She grinned at Harry. "The Yule Ball."

Dudley yelped in pain as Harry trod on him in his attempt to escape the room.

As with the first task, Harry's participation in the study and research sessions was minimal. He was usually in his labs working on various projects. He had also taken to spending time at the house in Glasgow where he could do his meditation outside of the wards of Hogwarts.

This was the home that allowed Dudley to attend non-magical school, it gave him an address for his records and he could invite friends over.

Still, Harry was surprised when he came down to hear Dudley and an unknown girl's voice. A Scottish voice.

He entered the kitchen to see Dudley pottering around and pouring some fruit juice into glasses. There was something in the oven as well.

Seated at the table was a willowy red headed girl about Dudley's age.

"Oh!" She said in shock as she quickly stood up and moved to Dudley's side, clearly unsure of this unexpected stranger.

"Hey Dud." Harry smiled.

Unfortunately, Dudley wasn't expecting Harry to be there and he dropped a glass causing it to shatter.

"I'll get the broom." Harry sighed.

"I thought you said no one lived here!" The girl whispered as she whacked Dudley on the arm.

"No one does!" Dudley hissed back as he carefully picked up the larger pieces of glass.

"But the house is owned and used." Harry said as he came back in. "Harry Potter, Dudley's cousin." He held out his hand to the pretty red head.

"Fiona Macdonald." She said as she warily took the hand. "Dudley mentioned you a few times."

Dudley turned slightly red.

"Every day."

He quickly turned away to the sink.

"For the past few years." She was looking at Dudley's back with a bit of a smirk.

"Well, we were raised together." Harry shrugged as he began sweeping.

Fiona noticed Dudley's shoulders sag. "That's not the way he tells it."

"We lived in the same house, ate at the same table, went to the same school."

"Fiona knows the details, Harry." Dudley sighed as he turned around. "Terry warned me about being truthful about being at the Home. I didn't want to be friends with someone and then have them hate me because they found out I was a criminal."

"Dud, you were a child." Harry said sternly. "You don't get to accept all that blame. You do get to accept responsibility for turning your life around."

"I still have nightmares."

"Well you should have said. We'll have someone see if they can't do something to help you sleep better."

Not wanting to embarrass Dudley further in front of his friend, he turned to Fiona. "So, are you in the same school as Dudley?"

"Yes." She said, still a little wary.

"Take a seat, you too Dud, I'll get drinks and stuff." Harry insisted.

"I-"

"Now!" Harry ordered with an imperious look and finger pointed at the table. "So, Fiona, what brings you here? Just visiting or something else?"

"Dudley wanted to know more about how to help people with problems like dyslexia, I help in some of the first year support classes." It was clear she thought it might have been a bit of a ploy on Dudley's part to spend time with her, but she didn't seem to object.

"Cool, if there are any books or resources you can recommend just give Dud a list and we'll get them for Greg." Harry answered before taking a swig from his glass.

"Greg? You mean there really is someone with dyslexia that Dudley is trying to help?" She was genuinely surprised, much to Dudley's embarrassment.

Harry laughed. "Trying to help? Dud was the one who recognised the problem and brought it to our attention."

"But why not take him to a professional?" She asked curiously.

"Does the name 'Hogwarts' ring any bells with you?" Harry asked, he ignored the wide-eyed and shocked look from Dudley.

Fiona just shook her head.

"Then I can't really explain due to confidentiality and security. Suffice to say that Greg is part of a fairly insular society. We have to make do with what we can."

Fiona didn't seem to like that explanation but she didn't press, she just changed the subject. "So what do you do for a living?"

"I'm still in school."

"Oh? What university?"

"Still in Secondary School."

"But… don't you own this house? I thought you were Dudley's guardian."

Harry looked at Dudley curiously. "Do you know how hard it is to explain our situation?" Dudley said grumpily.

"Dudley is older than me." Harry explained. "When we were eleven, I was sent to a private boarding school that my parents had signed and paid for when I was born. Whilst I was there the abuse I suffered was discovered. Dudley's parents were sent to prison and Dudley was sent to the Home.

"He had been conditioned to be a bully by his parents just as I was conditioned to be…"

"A fucking slave." Dudley swore viciously.

"Dudley!" Fiona chastised.

"The important thing, is that both Dudley and I have broken our conditioning. We are both well rounded individuals." Harry said firmly. "So, what about you? What does Fiona Macdonald do?" Harry smiled as he redirected the attention.

That blush returned. "I'm just a fifth year student at Dudley's school. I am hoping to work in education with children who have learning disabilities. Which is where I met Dudley. I help at the school's classes for special learning, I was assigned to help him when he came in last year to ask for information. At first I thought he had come in just to flirt." Now Dudley blushed. "But the teacher said he approached her first."

"Like I said, Dud was the one who determined that Greg had a problem. We've consulted professionals around the world, but Dudley and Gregory are good friends and Dudley is a good man." Harry said with clear pride.

"I agree." Fiona said with a small smile at Dudley. "Although he is a bit rough around the edges at times."

"Gives him character." Harry grinned. "So, Dud, are you going to be working in education for a career?"

Dudley gave him a dry look. "I think I'll have my work cut out for me just trying to keep you out of trouble."

"Moi?"

"Trouble?"

Dudley ignored the 'innocent' looking Harry and turned to Fiona. "Aside from all he suffered with my family, his parents were murdered by a maniac. That's how he came to live with us. That same maniac tried to kill him again in his first year. Fools have been trying to steal his inheritance. Last summer a friend of ours was kidnapped and that idiot went storming after them. Turns out it was a trap for the same maniac to kidnap him and try and kill him!" Dudley was huffing a bit at the end.

Fiona turned to look at Harry shrewdly. "What was her name?"

Harry laughed at Dudley's gobsmacked look.

Harry and Dudley returned to Hogwarts after a fairly pleasant meal with Fiona. Harry was able to determine that, whilst they were not currently in a relationship, they were clearly engaged in the 'mating dance' that teenagers often performed.

The male would be fairly calm and placid, often relaxing against walls, fences or tables. He would be serious, funny, whatever the situation called for.

The female would spend a fair amount of time on the border of the male's personal space. Often she would encroach by simply standing next to him. Shoulders would touch and neither would look at the other. There would be a tenseness mixed with excitement at the proximity of the other. It would be very confusing.

Over the coming days, the male and female would flit in and out of each other's personal space. They would discuss serious topics on everything from future plans, careers and dreams to the weather, sports, and music.

This would continue until one of them broke and made the initial move. Often in the form of a kiss.

Harry had observed this many times in his near eleven years at Hogwarts. He also knew to keep his bloody mouth shut.

Unfortunately it wasn't always possible, especially if you were friends with one of the parties involved. Definitely impossible if you knew both.

Which is what led to Harry sitting in his armchair in his pj bottoms and t-shirt at midnight with an irate kitsune pacing in front of him.

"He is just so stubborn and pigheaded!"

"Yoshiko!"

The Kitsune stopped and looked at Harry in shock. She had almost forgotten she had someone to rant to.

"You really don't have to list Sev's faults to me. How about you start with what exactly got you all upset?"

"Upset? I'm not upset!" She said indignantly.

"Just tell me the problem." Harry whined.

"Severus refuses to commit to a relationship and he won't even consider a little 'play time'."

Harry paled. "Don't tell me anymore." He said as he gulped.

"I'm hundreds of years old, Harry." She scowled at him. "I can be patient… but if he doesn't get a move on… I'm breaking out the restr-"

Yoshiko smirked as Harry ran for the door.

Harry was banging furiously on the door in front of him. He needed this sorted.

It was flung open to reveal Severus Snape with look the promised a very painful experience for whoever was disturbing him. Then he noticed who it was. "Oh… it's you." He sneered.

"Listen Sev, we need to have a talk." Harry told him as he barged in, much to the Potion Master's annoyance. "Sit." Harry ordered.

Severus had no choice but to comply, but he had a feeling that the boy didn't realise he had ordered him. He had to admit that Harry rarely ordered him to do anything beyond those first orders back in '91. He certainly didn't do it on purpose.

"What the hell is wrong with Yoshiko?"

Severus immediately became worried and a bit panicky. "Is she hurt?"

"Yes. She was up in my rooms-"

"Who hurt her?!" Severus was on his feet, wand in hand and a righteous fury on his face.

"You ya big idiot! Now sit back down and tell me why you refused to be in a relationship with that goddess when you both clearly love each other." Harry ordered.

Severus scowled at Harry hatefully. "She deserves better than a slave. Better than a murderer. Better… better than me." He rubbed his left arm subconsciously.

"Severus, whilst I can't release you from being a slave, you have shown that you are a changed man." Harry said firmly. "Over the past four years I believe you have managed to become the same Severus Snape that my mother called 'friend'.

"When I claimed you as my slave it wasn't so I could make you suffer; it was to prevent you from making me suffer."

Severus scowled. He knew the story of Harry's time travel. When Black and Lupin had learned the whole story, including his treatment of Harry, the only thing that stopped them from beating him to within an inch of death was Harry.

"You've changed Severus Snape." Harry said impassioned. "Granted you won't win 'Saint of the Year', but you will definitely be welcome at Hogwarts as a Professor or just as a friend visiting.

"You don't seem to realise, but you have actually made friends with several of the other professors. Let's not forget Shirley and the gang at Desmond's."

Severus couldn't really refute that. Even Black and Lupin had been far more than civil on occasion, most of that was a combination of him curing lycanthropy and his part in Yoshiko's prank on them back in Japan. Harry had refused to allow anyone to tell Black or Lupin about Severus being a slave.

"But I'm still a slave and a murderer." Severus sighed.

"And I'm still being looked on to fight an enemy that isn't even in this galaxy. As far as I am concerned you have at least earned a form of parole. Also, I don't believe Yoshiko should suffer for your past.

"Consider yourself free to do as you wish, the only thing you can't do is reveal my secrets."

Severus looked somewhat torn. "She doesn't know I'm a slave."

"Bloody hell!" Harry cried in exasperation.

Yoshiko had a near evil grin when Harry ordered Severus to get out of the castle and resolve his situation with the Kitsune. Harry had been careful to suggest that Severus tell Yoshiko the truth about his status.

Nicholas was pretty pissed though. Severus being gone meant they needed a new Potions Professor to stand in. Albus didn't have the time with the tournament in full swing so the Immortal Alchemist found himself drafted.

It was even more annoying as Harry didn't attend classes so he couldn't get his revenge there.

He did, however, over hear a few of 'Harry's Girls' (as they called themselves) talking about something that gave him an idea.

A mean idea.

An idea so evil that Perenelle actually caught him cackling over a cauldron.

Unfortunately for Harry, Penny actually liked the idea and so they both ended up cackling over the cauldron.

Dudley had brought Fiona to the house again, she had found some information on the Internet for him. Harry had the whole house kitted out with the best technology he could find so they had a computer and a state of the art ISDN Internet connection.

Unfortunately, Dudley's skills with a computer started and ended with the power button.

They were surprised to find the house was once again occupied.

"Uncle Frank?"

"Dudley! And you must be Miss Macdonald." Frank smiled.

"What are you doing here?" Dudley asked.

"Dudley, manners first." He scolded lightly.

"Erm, right. Fiona Macdonald, meet Frank Longbottom, he's… erm… "

"A family friend." Frank supplied as it was clear that Dudley had no idea how to describe him without something as long winded as: My cousin's godmother's husband.

"What are you doing here?" Dudley asked again.

"Harry wanted to get Alice… 'out'." He said cryptically as he remembered his was in the muggle world at the moment. "He's upstairs with her now."

"Neville isn't here?"

"He has classes, otherwise we all know he would be here."

"And… Madam Longbottom?" Dudley asked with a wince.

Frank just grinned. The animosity between Harry and Augusta was still going strong. "We decided to tell her after the fact."

Dudley gave him a dubious and almost pitying look. "Good luck with that."

"Miss Macdonald, a pleasure to meet you." Frank turned to the redhead. "I understand you are responsible for much of the knowledge Dudley acquired to aid his friend Greg."

"You know this 'Greg'?" She asked sceptically.

"I do. Gregory Goyle has been a friend of Harry's since they were about eleven. Regrettably, Gregory's intelligence isn't very high, quite frankly it is a miracle that Dudley sussed out the problem."

"Greg's smart enough." Dudley said defensively.

"It's not an insult Dudley." Frank assured him. "We all expect him to do well when he finishes school, but he will never be able to handle a job that requires an intelligence like, say… Hermione."

"No one is as smart as her." Dudley said with fond exasperation.

"And who is this 'Hermione'?"

Frank picked up his drink and hid behind it as he tried not to laugh. Dudley had been adamant that they weren't dating.

Frank was beginning to wonder which of them was deeper in denial.

"She is a friend from… " Dudley sagged in defeat. "She's like Greg. We're not supposed to talk about them too much."

"I might be able to arrange for you to meet a few of Dudley's friends." Frank offered.

"Unless it's Hermione or Terry… that would be a bad idea." Dudley said with worry.

"Let me work on it, Dud." Frank assured him.

"Work on what?"

"Harry! Any luck?" Frank stood quickly and eagerly.

"A bit… I think we made our first big step." The Lord of Slytherin smiled as he led his docile godmother down the stairs.

"Erm… Ganos?" Dudley queried as he saw a familiar brunette descend the stairs behind Alice and Harry.

"Greetings Dudley Dursley." She smiled at the boy. She was quite familiar with Dudley as it was easier for her to approach Harry when he visited his base on the moon. Dudley often accompanied him and Harry insisted on introducing them.

"Where did you come from?" Frank asked in surprise as he took Alice from Harry and seated her.

"I came to aid Harry as he seeks to heal his guardian." She informed them.

"You remember me mentioning Ganos, right Uncle Frank?"

"Well, yes Harry… I just didn't think I was ever going to meet her in person." Frank was a bit flustered. No one doubted Harry's tale of the glowing woman in white, but they never expected her to actually appear to anyone but him.

"I am limited in what I can do and who I can appear to, but I have decided to take Harry as my apprentice."

"An apprentice of what?"

All eyes turned to Fiona… the one they weren't allowed to tell certain things.

They were given a reprieve when Alice walked over and began stroking her hair. "Lil's." She said fondly.

Frank breathed in sharply as Harry just smiled sadly.

"Lily Potter, my mother, had red hair. She was also Alice's best friend. Alice is suffering from a form of brain damage and is essentially in a 'fugue' state." Harry explained.

It was a credit to the girl that she didn't even flinch from the strange woman. Instead, she took the woman's hand in hers and placed it on her chest. "Fiona." She said firmly yet softly.

"Now ain't this a touching sight?"

Everyone but Alice spun to see three large men standing in the hallway leading to the front door.

"It's taken a lot of work to track you down Potter. But you were sloppy, you thought we couldn't find you in the muggle world."

Dudley and Frank moved over to Alice and Fiona.

Ganos had seemed unconcerned, she just watched Harry carefully.

Harry and Frank both recognised the signs in these men. Haggard, scarred, manic… they were werewolves.

As such, Frank went for his wand, Fiona's presence be damned.

"Ah ah ahh!" The lead man warned Frank as his hand reached for his inner pocket. The man had his own wand out along with his two cohorts.

"Let me guess, you want to cry and moan because I've been curing werewolves." Harry said mockingly.

They scowled. "We are going to spend every day from now until the full moon torturing you before we eat you." The man on the left snapped. "And we'll make you watch whilst we play with the women."

Fiona gasped but Dudley just pushed her further behind him.

"Harry." Frank said warningly.

"Relax, Uncle." Harry tossed a grin over his shoulder. "These sons of bitches seem to have forgotten one very important fact."

"Yeah? What's that?" The third man asked sneeringly.

Harry turned his grin on them. "I'm Harry Potter."

Behind Harry, Fiona was incredulous, Frank was keeping his focus on the men, Ganos was amused and Dudley… sighed and simply sat down at the table.

In front of Harry, the three men were speechless before they burst out laughing.

"All that fame's gone to your head, boy!" The first man roared in laughter.

"You walked into the home of the Lord of Slytherin and thought you could do as you wanted?" Harry asked, unconcerned by their reaction. "I have defeated people in duels. I have out manoeuvred some of the greatest minds in the British Magical World. I defeated the most despicable Dark Lord since Grindlewald.

"What makes you think that three mongrels like yourselves stand a chance against someone like me?"

"You were lucky." The third man sneered. "I saw the memories of the duel between you and Flint. He was useless with a wand and that is why you won.

"I'm more than willing to bet the same happened with the Dark Lord."

"Actually, it took planning." Harry told them conversationally. "I took in the situation and made decisions. Just like I've taken in this situation and made a decision."

The men were a now more cautious and gripped their wands tighter.

"You see, you are in front of me. My friends are behind me. Just by entering this home you have angered my house elves and they are now hidden around the room. Severus Snape is standing behind my friends wearing my father's invisibility cloak. Albus Dumbledore and Perenelle Flamel are at the front and back doors respectively.

"But you see… none of that really matters. None of them are going to touch you.

"You see, I have Phoenix for a companion. I also have an owl and a very special snake.

"Ember, bring Blinky." Harry said calmly.

There was a flash of fire.

The three men had been prepared for the Phoenix and immediately cast the killing curse.

Unfortunately for them, they didn't pay any attention to the massive snake that was now curling around Harry protectively, hissing at the men.

They paled as Harry calmly hissed back.

Then they fell to the ground, stiff as boards.

Blinky curled down and relaxed with a bit of a huff.

"Are you sure I can't eat just one of them?" The young basilisk asked with a bit of a whine.

Harry leaned down and picked up the tiny phoenix chicklet with a put upon sigh. "Remember the rules. No eating things that can talk to you or me."

That was about all that Fiona could take as she fainted. She was caught in mid-air by the invisible Severus.

"Longbottom, a little help please." Came the disembodied voice.

"Fi-o-na." Alice said sadly as she reached out and caressed the girls face. She turned to Frank. "Help."

Frank was shocked. She never spoke and yet here she was saying this strange girls name and mistaking her for Lilly Potter.

"Come on Aunty Alice, we'll take her upstairs to one of the bedrooms." Dudley offered as he easily picked up the sleight frame of the girl.

"I'll come as well." Perenelle said as she and Albus entered the kitchen from opposite ends of the house.

"That is a basilisk." Albus commented as he looked at the massive snake.

"What gave it away?" Harry grinned.

"The dead yet unmarked bodies." Albus glared at him.

"They're not dead, Albie." Harry said in exasperation. "Blinky can control his gaze."

"How have you managed to hide this?" Albus demanded. "This snake doesn't look like a basilisk."

"First of all, no one really knows what a basilisk looks like as the last one was made and killed several centuries ago. Second of all, I just used a few charms so no one would realise what he is." Harry grinned as he scratched the top of Blinky's head.

He looked down at the featherless chick in his hand. "Are you ever going to reach adulthood?" He asked in a put upon manner. "Phoenix!"

There was a flash of fire and Ember's mother appeared.

"She really needs to learn to check her surroundings before she flames in." Harry told the mother phoenix.

Phoenix also seemed to sigh before plucking her chick from Harry's palm with her feet and flaming out.

"I will speak to you another time, Harry." Ganos said before vanishing in soft glowing light.

"Harry… was that-"

"Yes, that was Ganos." Harry confirmed for the headmaster.

"I will contact Amelia to send aurors to collect these… individuals." Frank sneered disgustedly at the three petrified werewolves.

Chapter Text

*Chapter 21*: Chapter 21
Chapter 21

Fiona Macdonald was a very sensible girl. She was smart, well read and able to think calmly and rationally in stressful or urgent situations.

Of course, being confronted by three men who threatened unspeakable horrors on her as well as seeing a large bird and snake appear in fire from nowhere is enough to test the constitution of any human, so fainting was understandable.

She awoke to find herself in a strange room constructed with bare stone bricks and filled with medical beds and privacy curtains. Dudley was there with Harry as a woman in a turn of the century matron's uniform waved a stick over her.

What followed was an in-depth discussion on the magical world.

Fiona was constantly sceptical, but polite enough to hold her tongue. She was hard pressed to argue against what she was witnessing.

Until now…

"He's so gorgeous!" She practically squealed.

It never failed, show a girl a unicorn and they'll forget whatever scepticism they had before. Of course that was Pansy and Tracey's idea and they were smirking smugly at him as they stood outside Hagrid's hut.

Dudley was watching nervously next to him.

"Harry!"

The two boys turned to see Neville, Gregory and Vincent jogging up.

"Hey boys." Harry called back.

"Are you ok?" Neville asked as they reached him.

Harry frowned. "Yeah, why?"

"Why?" Neville was stunned. "Dad said you were attacked by three rogue werewolves!"

"I wouldn't call it 'attacked'… " Harry said with look of disgust. "They didn't cast a spell or touch us."

"They were in the house though?" Gregory asked.

"Yeah, you know that we can't put wiggle security on a muggle house so they had easy access."

"Wait… if there wasn't any magic then how did everyone know you were in trouble?" Neville asked.

"I was not in trouble!"

"You will be!"

The warning from the girls was ignored except for a playful sneer from Harry.

"How, Harry?" Neville pressed.

"Do you remember the mirrors that Sirius and my dad used to talk?" Harry held up his wrist to show his watch. He placed his thumb on the glass face and spoke clearly: "Sirius Black."

They stood there waiting… the boys were looking at each other and wondering if they should take Harry to see Poppy.

"Sirius Black!" Harry was getting irritable. "Alright, that does it." He ran a finger from the bottom of the watch face to the top.

A second later and an image of a scowling Sirius appeared on the small face. "Harry? What the devil was that?"

"A personal feature I added." Harry grinned. "I figured I'd need it if there was an emergency."

"Well it bloody well hurt! I'm in the middle of a meeting here!"

"And I had to deal with three idiot werewolves earlier. We must simply learn to adapt to what life sends our way." Harry said sagely.

Sirius just glared at him. "What's the emergency?"

"I just wanted to show the boys the new watch. Thanks! See ya later!" He then tapped the watch and the image vanished.

"He is going to be… miffed at you." Dudley carefully censored his words.

"Who else has one of those?" Neville asked curiously.

"Just me, Sirius, Remus and Penny. Probably some others. We're still testing them. There are a ton of bugs to fix."

"'Arry! 'Arry!"

Everyone turned to see Fleur, Viktor and several other students from the various schools running up.

Harry was shocked and confused when Fleur grabbed him in a hug. He just stood there awkwardly, looking between Viktor and the boys for help.

They weren't very helpful as they just smirked.

He raised a stiff hand carefully patted her back. "Erm… there, there?"

That seemed to trigger a new reaction as she pulled back and grabbed him by the shoulders, looking him over. "You are well? Not 'urt?"

"Erm…"

Viktor laughed. "Ve heard you vere attacked. Vanted to make sure you vere vell." He explained.

"For the love of- look! It wasn't a big deal! No spells, no physical violence! Just a couple of werewolves who weren't happy about the cure!"

"Three, there were three werewolves." Dudley corrected.

"How did you defeat them?" Viktor asked curiously.

Harry wasn't quite sure how to answer that.

"Classified." Dudley said quickly. "Harry used a new item he made and called in a… specialist."

"Yeah… specialist." Harry chuckled.

"The snake is a specialist?"

Harry and Dudley grimaced as they heard the curious voice of Fiona Macdonald behind them.

"Snake?!" And there was the incredulous Hermione Granger. "Haaarry." It wouldn't take her long to put the clues together.

"We'll discuss it later Hermione." Dudley said firmly. "Let's just say that both Ember and Blinky were part of the rescue mission."

"You're Hermione?" Fiona asked with ill-disguised curiosity.

"Hermione Granger, I'm a student with Ha- well, I'm a student here." She said as she held out her hand. No one was comfortable calling Harry a student when he never attended class.

Fiona was feeling quite intimidated. If it wasn't the beautiful Daphne, the feisty Pansy or the goddess that was Fleur, it was the pretty Hermione and many others.

And they were all hanging around Dudley… she couldn't figure out why that bothered her.

"What's the plan, Harry?" Dudley asked his cousin, completely unaware of Fiona's current internal dilemma.

Harry looked at his watch. "Well, dinner is almost done, so I assume Fiona will need to be home soon before her parents get worried. Sirius can always take you back to the house."

"I meant about Fiona knowing about magic. And the fact that we were attacked." Dudley groaned. He knew Harry liked to be obtuse on purpose at times.

"Seriously! Do you want to see what happened when I dealt with Riddle? That was an attack. Hell, what he did on Halloween in '91 was more of an attack than what happened today."

"Harry! Riddle had you hostage!" Hermione gasped at his attitude. "He threatened to kill the whole of Hufflepuff!"

"Pffft!" Harry said dismissively. "I've been attacked worse by flobberworms."

"And Flint."

Everyone turned to Vincent. "Flint tried to kill Harry."

"Yeah… that one I'll give you." Harry said with a little shudder.

"Goblins too."

Harry grimaced at Gregory's attempt to 'help'. "That was more my own fault. But yeah, that was a bad one."

"The people who kidnapped me. They attacked you as well." Daphne said pointedly. "The whole setup was to get you to Riddle."

"Look, you are all proving my point." Harry sighed. "Today, compared to the crap I've dealt with, was barely a schoolyard argument.

"Ember and I have bigger fights when she keeps transporting me with asking."

Harry really didn't have the heart to chastise his tiny, immortal friend. He just made sure that Phoenix kept tabs on them.

"Alright, that's enough." Neville stepped in, breaking up the discussion. "Harry is just a student. It isn't his job to handle things like this, we should go to Professor McGonagall or Headmaster Dumbledore."

Harry raised his watch and pressed it. "Albus Dumbledore."

"Harry? Is there a problem? I'm a bit swamped in paperwork and meetings."

"Fiona Macdonald. Some adult decisions need to be made about how to handle her parents. One thing: Her memory is off limits."

Albus deflated. "These meetings are about your little adventure today. Bring Miss Macdonald to my office. I will contact Amelia."

Albus closed the connection from his end.

"Thanks Nev." Harry said sincerely. He then turned to Greg. "Why don't you escort Fiona and Dudley to the Headmaster? You and Fiona can talk as she is the one who has been training Dudley to help you."

Nicholas and Amelia took Fiona home themselves with Dudley and explained the situation in full to the Macdonald family. Fiona was the youngest of two children, her older brother, David, was currently serving in the Black Watch of the Royal Scottish Regiment. His posting was currently in Hong Kong.

It was a very tired Dudley that came home to the castle that night as the constant arguing and yelling between the adults took a toll on the two teenagers.

At present, Fiona's father had banned her from seeing Dudley again.

Everyone could see Dudley was heartbroken.

And that was something Harry could not abide.

Fiona had had a very bad night. Her father had ranted all evening whilst ordering her to stay away from Dudley. She had gone to bed in tears and only fallen asleep when she had exhausted herself by crying.

As a result she was fairly dehydrated in the morning when she woke up. She headed down to the kitchen in her pyjamas.

"Morning Fi!"

The redhead froze. That was not a voice she expected. "Ha-" Looking around she saw Harry standing at the cooker and making a fried breakfast.

That was strange.

What was scary was that her parents, Mark and Andrea, were sitting at the table… completely still apart from their eyes which were darting around fearfully.

"Take a seat! I've got everything ready but the bangers."

"What's wrong with my parents?" She asked suspiciously.

"They are stupid idiots who think that just because they are your parents they have the right to completely destroy your happiness for their own small minded ways."

Harry hadn't turned around as he was flipping an egg. He also didn't sound like he was upset, angry or… he sounded quite chipper.

"I meant; why can't they move?" Fiona clarified.

"They got a little pissy last night when I came here and woke them up. Your mum tried to whack me with a frying pan… this one actually." He gestured to the sizzling sausages.

"You broke in and tied up my parents?" She asked slowly and cautiously… just in case. Dudley often said his cousin was insane. She thought he was joking.

"Sure. I was having a bad night. Dudley was having a worse night and I assume yours was just as bad. I decided that as your fools of parents were the source of all the badness, they should suffer too."

"Does Dudley know you're here?"

"Nah, last I heard he was locked in one of my spare bedrooms and trying to come to terms with never seeing you again."

Fiona felt her heart crack a little bit more. She hoped that Dudley felt the same way about her as she did about him, this was more proof that this was true.

Then she remembered that her parents had threatened to move to another country if she ever went near the boy again. She started to sniffle as she tried not to cry.

"No need for that." Harry admonished gently as he put the plates on the table, one for each of them. "Dudley is the last of my family. His mum and dad don't count. His happiness is my happiness. My girls tell me that he is absolutely besotted with you. My boys tell me something quite similar.

"The girls also said that you seemed to feel the same way about him, based on the few hours they spent with you yesterday."

She blushed, she didn't realise she was so obvious.

Harry just grinned triumphantly. "Right, so I want my cousin happy. He wants you to be happy. Your parents want happiness for just themselves."

Harry took out his wand and waved it at the petrified couple.

They slumped slightly as they were released before tensing at the threat in front of them.

"When I am finished with you-"

"Take a look behind you." Harry calmly interrupted the enraged father.

They were all a bit jumpy and turned.

And screamed.

Staring at them at their head height was a massive snake.

"That is my pet snake, Blinky. He's been curled up in your living room for the night. He's the one who saved your daughter from those werewolves yesterday.

"Let me tell you something, Mark: You should be afraid of me." The two adults looked at him sceptically. "I entered your house without anyone knowing. I could easily kill you right now and there would be no evidence." He waved his wand at their plates causing the food to vanish and the plates to become spotless.

"Your daughter is a good person who has been helping some friends of mine. Her happiness is now important to me and my friends. And we won't even mention my cousin.

"I suggest that you take a long hard look at yourselves and determine whether I should bring your daughter back this evening or simply… make you vanish. Phoenix!"

There was a flash of fire and Harry grabbed Fiona's hand before they vanished, leaving a stunned pair of adults behind.

They sat there for a few minutes before they heard a hissing noise. They slowly turned and realised that Blinky was still there… still staring at them.

"What the hell was that?!" Fiona demanded as she found herself in a strange lounge.

"Phoenix Fire Travel." Harry said with a firm nod. "Much better than anything a wizard can come up with."

Phoenix floated down on to Harry's shoulder and began trilling.

"Well sure… but you don't get that nice warm feeling when you do it." Harry grinned at the bird. "Hey!"

Harry stumbled back as Fiona gave him an angry shove. "You know what I meant! What was with the intimidation act and kidnapping?"

Harry gave Phoenix a nod and she flamed out. He then turned to Fiona, completely serious.

"That wasn't an act. That was the truth of the matter. I will not abide the abuse of children… certainly not by their parents."

"But-"

"Tell me, Fiona, how long did you cry last night?" Harry asked, his expression stony.

"I- I-"

"When you came downstairs your eyes were still wet and red."

"I- I-"

"Whilst you were with me or Dudley over the past year, how much danger have you come across? Not counting yesterday's little encounter."

"None!"

"Have you had sex with Dudley? Has he tried to hurt you?"

"Absolutely not!"

"Then can you give me one good reason for your parents to forbid you from seeing Dudley?"

Fiona had been stunned nearly speechless by Harry's blunt and personal questions, but now that anger returned. "They were just scared Harry!"

Harry took a firm step forward. "Yes. Scared. But they were scared of nothing. Scared of threats that don't exist. All I am doing is giving them something to truly be scared of. Me. Hopefully, by tonight they will also be scared of losing their daughter, scared that they will ruin their happiness."

"Fiona?"

Fiona spun around to see a shocked Dudley standing in a doorway. She never realised she had sprinted to him and was hugging him tightly.

Dudley was still shocked.

"Out of the way Dud."

Dudley awkwardly shuffled himself and Fiona out of the doorway to let Daphne and Pansy through.

The two girls were smirking at the sight. "You called, Harry?" Pansy asked.

"I sort of kidnapped Fi." Harry said sheepishly. "Can you sort out some clothes for her?"

He was met with a pair of scowls.

"You handle Master. I'll deal with Fiona." Daphne instructed Pansy as she sent another glare at Harry and marched off to try and separate Fiona from Dudley.

"Well, My Lord? What have you done this time?" Pansy asked with a raised eyebrow.

They knew Harry hated titles. He definitely didn't like it when Pansy, Tracy, Gemma or Daphne called him 'Lord'. He despised when Daphne called him Master.

It was even worse as Severus had started to do the same when he noticed Daphne using it to show her displeasure or annoy him.

"I am simply working to ensure an optimum outcome for Dudley, Fiona and her family." He said as he took a seat in his armchair. If they were going to force these titles on him then he was going to take up the act.

"Uh huh." The sarcasm was strong. "One question, My Lord, where is Blinky?" She jabbed a thumb over her shoulder to where the basilisk usually rested on a conjured dead tree.

"Ah… knew I forgot something." Harry muttered.

Pansy had refused to let Harry go and retrieve Blinky, instead she had sent Gemma. She had then sat there silently staring at Harry… Harry sat there squirming.

Dudley was confused and worried. He wasn't sure what Harry was doing and he was worried that Fiona would take this as a sign and stay away from him.

So Tracey was called in and she took Dudley up to the Ravenclaw Tower to find Luna. Luna and Dudley were unusual friends, he insulted her (unknowingly) and she would smile and take it as a compliment. But if someone else insulted Luna… they had to run and hide and hope Dudley never caught them, it wasn't as if Greg and Vinny would let him get into a fight.

Not alone at least.

Fiona eventually emerged from one of the spare bedrooms that the girls used as a wardrobe. Harry just smiled and said he'd let Dudley know she was ready.

As they reached the Great Hall they were approached by a veela with a stormy look.

*SLAP*

*THWACK*

*THUD*

"HARRY JAMES POTTER! What the devil do you think you are doing?" Hermione demanded as she stomped up and started to tend to Fleur's broken and bleeding nose.

"She slapped me." Harry shrugged as he rubbed his red face.

"And you decided to retaliate by punching her in the face?" Hermione sneered.

"If you can't take it, don't dish it out." Dudley, who had just come up behind them, commented. "Now why would Fleur attack Harry? Is she under one of those mind control curses?"

"No idea, but I doubt it." Harry answered. "She looked livid but she also looked completely in control."

"Salop!" Fleur spat at Harry.

"Fleur!" Hermione gasped.

"You are aware that you are insulting a man in his own home, no?" Daphne asked with narrowed eyes. "One where you are a guest?"

"'E is bastard! 'E… 'E sends me things!" She struggled with her anger and English.

"I don't think I've ever sent you a damned thing." Harry said calmly, but it was clear he was far from happy. "The worst I've sent you is a nasty look."

"Que?"

Harry rolled his eyes and then flicked off a spell. "Let's just wait for a translator."

"I speak perfect French, Harry." Daphne informed him.

"Huh… learn something knew every day!" Harry grinned.

Daphne stepped forward and addressed Fleur in the girl's native language.

"What did he send you?"

Fleur was a bit surprised that the English girl spoke with a flawless Parisian accent, but she quickly regrouped. "He sent me lingerie and photos of himself… nudes!"

Daphne completely and utterly failed to hide her smirk. She simply burst out into hysterical laughter, much to the annoyance of Fleur and the consternation of Harry and her friends.

Fortunately Perenelle turned up. She took one look at the laughing girl, one at the girl with the misshapen nose and one at Harry.

She then knelt next to Fleur with a sigh and fixed Fleur's nose, putting back into its former perfect condition. "What did you do Harry?"

"She slapped me, so I punched her."

"Yes, but why did she feel the need to slap you?"

"The bastard sent me lingerie and nude photos of himself!"

*SLAP*

*THWACK*

*THUD*

"For god's sake, Harry! Stop hitting people!" Hermione shouted in frustration as she now moved to tend to Penny.

"Sure, just as soon as people stop hitting me." Harry was now rubbing the opposite red cheek.

"It's what you deserve for sending those things to the poor girl!" Penny scowled as she healed her own nose.

"First, I have no idea what 'things' you are talking about. Second, I have never sent her a thing! Hell! I've never even farted in her direction! Ow!" Harry glared at Tracey as he rubbed the back of his head.

"Why didn't you hit her?" Hermione asked.

Harry just shrugged. "Because I know Tracey had reason and that she wasn't being malicious. That was a playful tap."

"Well... turn the other cheek!"

"Hermione, he's already been slapped on two, are you sure you want him to turn to those cheeks?" Dudley asked dryly.

Hermione turned red in embarrassment.

"Fleur said you sent her lingerie and nude photos of yourself." Daphne informed them as she finally caught her breath.

Harry calmly drew his wand before sending a flurry of hexes at Perenelle Flamel. "That's right! You keep running! You tell that old goat of yours that I'll becoming for him as well!"

Harry watched Penny run as she laughed, her wand deflecting what she could and reversing what got through.

"So you didn't send those things to Fleur?" Hermione asked suspiciously.

"Do you want to be kicked out of Ravenclaw?" Harry threatened before he stalked off. He had an alchemist to eviscerate.

"'E did not send me zose things?"

"Fleur, if you asked anyone in the school if Harry would honestly do something like that, you would get laughed right out of the castle." Gemma assured her.

Harry's girls had taken the young veela to a private classroom where they were attempting to explain things.

"Do you have those pictures with you?" Pansy asked with serious curiosity.

Fleur reached into her school bag and handed a fancy cardboard box. Inside was some elegant lingerie. Until you inspected them closer to realise the panties had no crotch.

Sitting on top were photos of Harry, nude, but moving so he didn't show the full goods.

"That is not Harry." Pansy said firmly before she incinerated the photos. "Trust me, if you ever see Harry without a shirt on you will understand why those were not real pictures of Harry."

"Pansy?"

She saw the others looking at her with worry.

"A lot of 'detail' was missing." She said cryptically.

The other three Slytherins shuddered.

"How the devil did you get so good with a wand?" Nicholas scowled as he and Perenelle were stuck to the walls of the potion's classroom.

"Necessity." Harry shrugged. "So, I have a few questions." He said conversationally as he sat on one of the student desks. "How did you manage to do this to me despite the vows you took, and what should be your punishment?"

Penny gave him a fond smile. "Nothing we did was with malicious intent. The worst we could be considered to have done is to have made your life more 'interesting'."

"You sent someone nude pictures of my body." Harry scowled. "You've clearly seen it, you can understand why-"

"We applied glamours to Nicholas." She said quickly. "We did use Polyjuice, but we made sure your scars and blemishes were hidden as well as your privates. The whole picture deal was made to be cheesy."

Harry let out a sigh of relief. "Of course, now Fleur thinks I am a bloody pervert. I won't blame her if she takes this up with her government."

"She won't." Nicholas smiled. "We intend to tell her the whole truth. By now your girls will already have explained they are fake."

"How would they know?"

"Because you have spent several days unconscious and in medical care. They were the ones who changed your clothes, as a good concubine or slave should tend to her master."

Harry grimaced.

"Those girls love you, you know?" Perenelle said softly. "Not like that." She said quickly at Harry's black look. "At least, not quite yet. But after all you have done for them, how could they not?"

"It was just a joke, Harry." Nicholas tried to assure him as he and his wife hung, spread-eagled on the wall.

"A joke?" Penny winced, she did not like that calm tone of Harry's. A flick of Harry's wand and the pair were stripped to their under clothes. "You have a class in ten minutes. I guess I'm going to get to enjoy my version of your joke." He smiled humourlessly.

"Harrry…"

"What's up Nicky? Aren't you laughing yet? Can't you feel the anticipation?" Harry said with a mocking laugh. "If you want, we can go the whole hog… you are still wearing clothes after all."

"That's enough Harry."

Harry didn't even turn at the sound of Albus' calm voice. "Really? All the shit I have to go through… I've already lost Ron this time round and now they want to take Fleur as well. Molly, Arthur, Ginny… Gryffindor. I sacrificed a lot when I chose Slytherin and I knew that my friends from Gryffindor would be a part of that."

"I'm sorry Harry." Albus said with sadness for the young man.

Harry didn't even flinch as he felt the spell coming at his back.

"Of all the inconsiderate things that can be done to a person you went and did it to Harry! As if that wasn't enough, it was you Perenelle! He looks to you like a Grandmother! The only way this could have been worse is if Filius had been involved!"

Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel sat in the Headmaster's office uncomfortably as Albus ranted at them. He had been going for nearly twenty minutes. He had been especially hard about the fact that they were part of the group who had taken him to task for trying to get Sirius to betray Harry.

"Look, we realise this was a mistake-"

"A mistake?! Nicholas, say what it truly is! A grave injustice!" Albus had a face like thunder, the air crackled with magic. "Harry gave me all his relevant memories up until he faced Tom in the graveyard for the second time. The boy had intended to complete his mission on his own! Even his memories from the first time showed that I did give him some aid!"

"Albus!" Nicholas snapped. "I understand! Truly." Nicholas calmed himself. "You ranting will not help. Us sitting here and being treated like naughty children will not help. Ah!" He held up a hand to stave off Albus' scathing retort. "We may not be able to fix this, but there are certainly things we can do to try and make amends.

"Now, Penny, if you would go and apologise to Fleur on our behalf, I will endeavour to do something for Harry."

"What do you intend to do?" Albus asked warily.

"That I cannot say. It is protected by oath. But I can guarantee that it will take an immense pressure off of Harry."

"Ragnok… be prepared."

The goblin king sneered at the old alchemist who had dared to enter his chambers. He began to get dressed in his armour as he made plans in his mind. The first being to have anti-phoenix wards installed.

"Nicholas Flamel, you must take Harry Potter to the Glastonbury Tor. There he will find all he needs to legitimately claim this kingdom."

Nicholas blinked at the white robed and glowing woman who appeared in front of him, delivered her message and then vanished.

He began to make plans in his mind. The first being to have wards to prevent people like her getting in.

"Seigneur Potter, I apologise-"

"Don't worry about it, Fleur." Harry said tiredly. "It was in no way your fault or mine. But if those two fools who were responsible don't apologise to you on their hands and knees… let me know and I'll rectify it."

Fleur looked a little confused until Daphne stepped forward and gave a translation.

"Ah, eet 'as been done." She assured him.

"Then take a seat and try to forget what the bastards did."

Fleur was worried as she sat opposite him at the Slytherin table. Harry was usually full of life and bursting with things to do. Even his girls and friends looked worried.

"Lord Potter, could I have a word with you at some point?"

Harry looked up with a frown. "Professor Babbage, is there a problem?"

"No my Lord, I just have a few ideas about my classes and I was hoping to run them by you." She gave him a smile.

"Albus is in charge of the curriculum, you'd get more done through him."

"I did speak to him and he was unable to help. He suggested speaking to you as a means of bypassing the ICW set curriculum."

"Do we need to do this in private or can we talk whilst we eat?"

Charity shrugged and curtsied before taking a seat next to Fleur.

"For the record, if you call me 'Lord' again during this meal… I will tell the Weasley Twins that it is open season on you."

The Muggle Studies professor blushed. "We are in public."

"Yes, but there are no Ministry idiots here and Albus is behaving." Harry smirked. "So, what's your plan?"

"Albus has made it clear that we can't change my class curriculum. If we do that then my students will never pass their OWLs."

"I hope you have a solution because I now have the urge to go and yell at the ICW." Harry grumbled.

Charity just smiled. "We need a new class. We can call it 'Muggle Studies' but rename mine to 'Muggle History'. Muggle Studies will be mandatory for all students. Muggle History will be an elective, as the Muggle Studies OWL and NEWT is."

"So we would need a new teacher."

"And regrettably they would have to be independently funded as Albus is certain the Ministry wouldn't approve." She said unhappily.

"You have someone in mind?"

Her smile returned. "Mister Creevey's mother is working a low paying job. But she is very easy to talk to. She has had a fair few jobs and as a result, she has a good understanding of muggle culture and work."

Harry nodded thoughtfully. "I'll have something drawn up as soon as I get a chance. In the meantime, feel free to make her the offer. Take Aunt Minnie with you, and preferably Albus."

Harry suddenly had an evil smile. "Make sure you get Mrs Creevey to critique their ability to dress like muggles!"

Charity laughed. "If she does that they might not give her the job!"

"Pfft. I'm the one paying her. If she does that I will guarantee her the job."

Charity laughed again. Harry had made her job so much better. Before she had been looked down because she even associated with muggles. Now though, she had third year muggle born wanting to join her classes, and it wasn't because it was supposed to be an easy pass.

"You might want to get together with Bert as well. In fact… consider yourself the head of a new department in the school. Within the next few years your department will be made up of lots of other departments and you will be in charge of them all."

"Do I at least get a pay rise?" She groaned.

"Considering you will be working for me and not the school? Damn straight."

Everything began to return to what laughingly passed for normal. Penny was still distraught over the pain she had caused Harry and only stopped apologising when Harry threatened to have Ember use her for flaming practice.

Nicholas was running himself ragged between classes and his other mission. Harry took pity on the man and sent a request to Yoshiko and Severus hoping they would return.

"Married?!"

The kitsune was clearly on cloud nine as she happily bounced next to Severus.

Severus was trying very hard not to smile.

"I am now Snape Yoshiko!" She squealed before pouncing on Harry and hugging him tightly.

Harry just stood there.

"This is the natural conclusion of what you instructed me to do." Severus frowned as he saw Harry did not look happy.

"Did you do this because I gave you a command?" Harry asked with a bit of worry.

Severus straightened and stiffened. "No. You gave me the freedom of choice. This is what I have done with that freedom."

Yoshiko backed away with an unhappy look. "Aren't you happy for us?"

Harry's bottom lip began to quiver, his eyes to water. "Why didn't you invite me?" He sniffled.

Yoshiko gasped in horror before she hugged him again.

Severus just gave him a disgusted look. He knew full well that Daphne had taught him how to cry on command.

It was only a few days before Christmas and Harry was exceptionally perturbed as he stood in his living room.

"I'm sorry, could you repeat that?"

"Harry, just say what I say: Fleur Delacour, I would be honoured to take you to the Yule Ball." Daphne said with a hint of exasperation.

Harry looked from the increasingly embarrassed Fleur and the increasingly annoyed Daphne. "Is this another 'Flamel Joke'?"

"No Master, it is not." Daphne said firmly.

Harry's eyes widened as he heard Fleur gasp. "You really want that out there?" He asked incredulously.

"I trust Fleur. You trust Fleur. All four of us have been open and honest with her. Now… do as I say Master!" She pointed at Fleur with a manic look.

Harry quickly turned to Fleur. "I'd be honoured!" He said a bit panicky.

"There, wasn't that simple?" Daphne smiled sweetly, as though she hadn't just been a raging loon.

Harry glared at her. "Sit!" He pointed at the couch.

She immediately sat, this was about as much of an order as Harry had ever given.

Harry turned back to Fleur. "Is this what you want?"

"I- Yes!" Fleur said after a moment's hesitation as she realised what was being asked. "Daphne and 'er friends, they…"

She turned to Daphne and the girl nodded before Fleur began to speak.

Daphne translated. "You are interesting and fun, even when you are annoying. You do not act like you are fourteen."

"Merci." Fleur said to Daphne.

"Master, let Fleur take the oath." Daphne was practically pleading.

Harry's first instinct was to immediately reject Daphne's suggestion with an unfortunate amount of vehemence.

But his common sense kicked in just in time. Daphne was bound to him as a slave. It was impossible for her to hurt him in any manner without causing herself pain and death.

There were also other factors that stopped him from a knee jerk dismissal of the suggestion, those factors would soon come into play.

He turned slowly to Fleur. "Do you know occlumency?"

She looked to Daphne curiously.

Daphne explained in French.

"Non, it is not needed for veela."

"Alright…" Harry sighed in frustration. He then made a decision. "Daphne, go and get the girls and Dudley."

Daphne was engaged in an intense conversation with Fleur. She had taken the news about Harry and his time travel with a fair amount of shock.

Dudley just sat there, frowning thoughtfully.

"Dud?" Harry asked hesitantly. "I always wanted to tell you. I just couldn't, you don't know occlumency and I don't know how to protect your mind."

Dudley gave him a curious look before realisation spread across his face. "I'm not worried about that. You told me everything you could."

"Something's wrong."

Dudley didn't look pleased at all. It was clear he was upset. "You… you lived with me and my parents till you were seventeen."

"It wasn't like any of us had a choice. There were plenty of people who would have taken me in and your parents would have been happier." Harry shrugged.

Dudley just growled and sat forward. "You are talking to someone who lived with you for nearly ten years, Harry. For ten years we had you locked in that cupboard. For ten years you worked like a damned slave!"

The girls were now paying attention.

"There is no way in hell that you would have been treated any better when you started Hogwarts. How many times did they try to kill you?" Dudley demanded.

"Easy Dud-"

"No! I have nightmares about this! I dream that everything you've given me is a dream and that I'll be that fat little fucker and you will be trapped in the cupboard again."

"Dudley!" Harry got up and knelt in front of his cousin, placing his hands on his shoulders. "It's true, they treated me badly. They made sure I knew I was hated. But the day we went our separate ways… you and I, we may not have parted as friends but we damned well didn't do so as enemies!

"We had a modicum of respect for each other. That is why I came for you at the Home. That is why I have given you every chance I possibly could. Because I felt you could be better than your parents. You showed me that on the last night we saw each other.

"And look at you now! You are smart, handsome, you have a beautiful and caring girlfriend. You are respected by everyone from Dumbledore to Filch!

"Dudley… I only gave you chances. You were the one who did something with them."

Dudley looked at him, his face set in stone. "I swear, I will be the best that I can be. Whatever you need me to be."

*Chapter 22*: Chapter 22
Chapter 22

The Yule Ball. Harry had purposefully tried to repress the thought of it whenever it came up in the past four years. It wasn't just the fact that he didn't get to go with whom he wanted or that he had a bad time. It was simply the whole palaver of getting a date, learning to dance, turning up, being the centre of attention and… well, Harry hated the whole thing.

"If you do not smile, people will zink we are not 'appy."

Harry gave a snort as he turned to his beautiful date who had a smile forced onto her face as they stood outside the doors of the hall in their dress robes.

"Since September '91 I have been doing my best to make sure I am happy. Screw the rest of the world."

"What about my 'appiness? Or Dudley and ze girls?" She asked, maintaining that smile.

"Them being happy makes me happy. Nothing to worry about there." Harry said assuredly.

"And moi?"

Harry looked at her with a small smile. He could hear a hint of apprehension. "I have been looking forward to this year simply to meet you and Viktor. You were my friends. But… 'friends' doesn't quite seem to be our sole destination. But you won't hear me complaining."

"Awwwww."

Harry sagged defeatedly as he heard his girls behind them. They had declared their duty to attend their Lord and his Lady as their handmaidens for the night.

Except Tracey who had offered to accompany Viktor to protect him from the vapid fangirls.

"Aren't 'Handmaidens' supposed to be inconspicuous?" He grumbled.

"My Lord, you have never cared about 'supposed to'." Gemma grinned.

"Alright Ladies and Gentlemen." Minerva said briskly as she walked up in her own formal dress robes. Harry had tried to convince her to wear an actual dress, but she had insisted it was her duty to make sure students could find her. "Everybody is now waiting for us. Form a line of couples and I will announce you."

She indicated that Harry should join her for a private conversation so he slipped away with a nod to Fleur.

"Harry, Albus has gone missing."

"Kidnapped?" Harry asked as his body began to prepare for conflict.

"No, he said he would be leaving for a few days but not why. He always lets me know where he is going and how to contact him." She said with frustration.

"Phoenix." Harry called and the mother of his own phoenix flamed in. "Can you find out if Albus is ok? Aunt Minnie is worried about him."

Phoenix tilted her head, closed her eyes and let out a low note.

Then she opened her eyes and trilled to Harry before flaming out.

"She checked with Fawkes." Harry explained. "Albus is safe, and that was all she would tell me." He frowned. "She seemed to know more and wasn't too happy about calling him 'safe'."

"I do not like this, Harry."

"Me neither. But I trust Phoenix. Fawkes would sacrifice himself before he let Albus get hurt. We'll give him another day and if he isn't back we can ask Phoenix to deliver a letter."

"I'm beginning to wish Ember was old enough to flame. Her over eager manner of transporting you is what we could use." She said wryly.

"She is old enough to flame." Harry said with a grumbly pout. "She flamed on to my bed last night. Set the whole damned thing alight. I spent the rest of the night trying to sleep whilst Blinky laughed at me."

Minerva suppressed a smile, vainly. "Come, we should begin."

The ball managed to fair pretty well. The champions had opened the event with their dance and then the meal was served. Harry was seated between Fleur and Amelia so he was set for company and conversation.

But then Fudge decided to go and spoil the whole evening.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!" He said with a beaming smile. "I am happy to be able to give you some wonderful news."

Harry frowned. He didn't like this one bit. He had no idea what was coming.

"Due to the appalling standards of education found at Hogwarts these past few years, the Ministry is proud to announce that it has appointed Mister Theodore Nott Senior as the Head of Magical Standards."

Harry's expression darkened further.

"His role will be to ensure that the teachers are educating our children appropriately and that our children are aware of their place in our society."

Amelia and Fleur both hand a hand on Harry who looked like he was ready to draw wands and throw down.

Unfortunately for Fudge, someone very close to Harry could feel his emotions and did not like it.

The entire assemblage of magical humans gasped as Fudge was attacked by a very familiar tiny phoenix.

"Get off you bloody bird!" Fudge screeched as Ember landed on his head in a burst of flame and began pecking at his scalp. She couldn't fly yet but that didn't stop the determined hatchling.

Nobody moved to help Fudge. Nobody was dumb enough to be seen fighting a phoenix. A creature of light.

Due to Ember's immature body and lack of mobility, Fudge was soon able to make contact with the bird and Ember went flying over the tables and students.

There was a loud crack as Harry vanished from his chair only to reappear to catch Ember.

There were several flashes of fire and three phoenixes, including Ember's mother, appeared hovering over Harry as they glared angrily at Fudge.

Several students also stood and drew their wands as Harry's Girls took custody of Ember and began a thorough check up with her mother.

"Questions must now be asked, Cornelius." Harry enunciated slowly. "Not only were you attacked by a phoenix, you also attacked a phoenix.

"I am sure the citizens of Britain and the rest of the magical world will want to know if Britain is under the thumb of the Dark. Lord. Fudge."

Regardless of the gravity of the situation and the stoniness of Harry's voice… many attendees had to cover their mouths to laugh at Harry's insinuation.

Fudge was obviously flustered. "Outrageous! I was clearly unaware of who was attacking me!"

Nicholas saw an opportunity and pounced on it like a kitten with a piece of string. He just hoped he could hold onto it better than a kitten.

"Irrelevant!" He declared as he stood. "A phoenix has declared against you! Britain must take action immediately or they will face trouble from the rest of the world."

Nicholas was trying to surreptitiously catch the eye of one of his co-conspirators. Fortunately he got through.

Frank Longbottom, Lord of Longbottom stood gravely. "As a member of the ruling body of Great Britain, I call upon my fellow members to call for a vote against Cornelius Fudge. Furthermore, we throw our support behind Lord Harry James Potter of Slytherin and call for his ascension to the throne."

Now the gasps were for a different reason.

"Preposterous!" Nott Senior shouted angrily. "The throne has been vacant since Arthur died and the sword was lost. It is the very reason we have our illustrious Wizengamut." He said haughtily. "Perhaps your time as a vegetable has left your brain addled." He smirked.

"Oh Theodoooore." Harry cooed. "You just insulted my family in my home. Unless you want to face me on the piste, I suggest you hike up your skirt and run."

"I will gladly face you." Theodore said gravely. This was the opportunity he had been waiting for. His chance to defeat the boy and elevate the House of Nott to its rightful place. "You have insulted our Minister and made fraudulent claims to the throne. I will face you on behalf of the British people!"

"That is something you are unable to claim, Mister Nott." Came the snarling voice of Sirius Black. "You are not even a member of the ruling government. Furthermore, the children of Great Britain are all here now, along with many of our peers. Each of them would favour Lord Harry over you."

"This can easily be settled." Came the wizened tones of the elderly alchemist. "We will adjourn to the Glastonbury Tor. There Lord Harry shall retrieve the sword of King Arthur, proving his claim to the throne."

"Nobody has been able to find the sword!" Fudge scowled. "People have been searching for centuries, even to this very day!"

"Only the worthy may find and wield the sword." Nicholas said gravely.

"Sir Nicholas, I suggest you and I head to the Tor immediately and secure it from non-magicals." Frank spoke up again. "Lord Harry can stake his claim at sun rise and any who wish to witness may do so after a good night's sleep."

"And give you the chance to ensure that no one but the brat can find and wield the sword?" Nott scoffed. "No, we will go now and end this farce."

"Very well." Nicholas frowned. "But you will see that the majority of the Wizengamut is present to witness the event."

"I will send a messenger." Nott said, clearly not willing to allow them any advantage.

"Which of you two miscreants wants to fill me in on this whole Glastonbury sword deal?" Harry muttered quietly as he walked between Frank and Nicholas towards the castle gates. The entire school was following along with the guests for the ball.

"Don't you pay attention, Harry?" Nicholas snapped in hushed tones. "Ganos said that you needed to claim the sword if you were going to conquer Britain."

"You never mentioned that and neither did Ganos. Are you sure you didn't inhale a bad potion?" Harry asked him suspiciously.

"I certainly did! Frank was there. We had a whole discussion on whether or not to make the event public."

"Nicholas, Harry wasn't there for that." Frank pointed out reluctantly.

"But I remember him being there and being entirely inappro- oh." Even in just the light of the wands of the students and guests, the blush on Nicholas' face was evident. "We were testing the polyjuice… "

"You. Are. The. Absolute. Worst." Harry growled before stomping off ahead.

"What happened now?" Perenelle asked as she jogged up from behind. Unlike Nicholas, she didn't bother with aging glamours. She just slapped whoever questioned her and lectured them on questioning a lady about such personal matters.

"More repercussions from the polyjuice incident." Nicholas said unhappily. He was probably going to spend the next six hundred years making it up to the boy.

It was twenty minutes later and the professors were still bringing the children to the Tor via Portkeys provided by Frank, Penny and Nicholas.

"We don't have all night! Let's get this going." Fudge scowled impatiently. He wanted a crack at the sword and a chance to claim the throne.

"You are an impatient fool." Everyone gasped as Ganos appeared surrounded in a bright white light that lit up the area.

"Wh-who are you? I- I demand you i-identify yourself!" Fudge stammered as he tried not to look like the coward he was.

"I have gone by many names." Ganos looked at him as though he were a bug. "You would only have heard of me as Morgan Le Fay."

There were more gasps.

"PREPOSTEROUS!" Fudge screamed. "I have had enough of foolish claims of Arthur's sword and long dead witches! Aurors! Arrest this woman and Potter!"

"I had always thought humans were foolish and ignorant." Fudge turned on the spot. Arrayed behind them was a goblin army.

Ragnok was the one who had spoken.

"So far that seems to only apply to British wiggles." He sneered.

"What's a 'wiggle'?" Came the confused question from Bagman. The rest of the school was giggling away whilst the adults felt resigned to being called wiggles for the rest of their lives.

"Its short for witch or wizard." Frank spoke up. "And completely irrelevant to the here and now."

"Only the worthy may access Avalon." Ganos announced loudly. "Only the true king may pull the sword from the stone and claim the throne of Albion and her territories."

"Well? Where is it?" Fudge demanded impatiently. He didn't think it was wise to try and attack the woman or Potter. Not with an army of goblins and dragons looking for an excuse to act.

"If you do not know, then you are not worthy." Ganos informed him.

"Well you must have told the brat!" He accused.

"He knows only what you know with regards to the location." She said calmly, trying very hard to ignore his slights against her apprentice. "As my apprentice, he has begun to learn the secrets of Merlin and myself."

And there were more gasps at the revelation that Harry Potter was the apprentice of Morgan Le Fay. It was like all those fantasy books come to life.

"You've been teaching the boy the secrets of Merlin?" Nott asked incredulously.

"If you can teach the brat you can teach me! I am the Minister after all." Fudge said importantly.

Ganos glared at him. "Why would I trust you with the secrets of my family when you have so thoroughly managed to ruin the glorious kingdom that Merlin and I helped craft for Arthur?"

Fudge looked indignant but Ganos ploughed on, turning to address the ever increasing crowd.

"The kingdom of King Arthur ranged from the very south of the island to the very north. It spanned from the east of the main island to the west of the Celtic Isle.

"There were many fiefdoms, each ruled by their own king. But they all answered to Arthur Pendragon, The High King.

"There was much strife, as you should expect for a time when communication between settlements could take days and medicine was frowned upon, but Arthur's reign was steadfast and loyal to the people and ensuring their safety at the very least."

She turned back to Fudge and the Wizengamut who had gathered behind him. "What have you done except pocket the taxes of the people so you can live in luxury? You accepted bribes from murderers and let them walk amongst the weak and vulnerable.

"What have you done to earn my trust? To earn my secrets?" She demanded.

"You expect us to believe that a pubescent brat has managed what you claim we can't?" An old man asked with a sneer. "We have kept this country up with the very sweat of our backs!"

"There were no politicians or lawyers during Arthur's reign." She said sadly. "There was no one to twist the truth or spout lies. If the Knights of the Round Table were unable to resolve issues then it was brought before Arthur, Merlin and myself and magic was used to reveal the truth.

"Now you fools use gold to wash the truth away.

"Enough!" She said suddenly. "Enough of your manipulations. We are here to witness the return of the High King of Albion. We stand upon the Glastonbury Tor, resting place of Avalon. If you believe you are worthy you may try to access it and claim the sword."

With that she vanished in a slow bloom of light.

Once the expected gasps died down, everyone turned to look at Harry.

"Tell you what." He said as he twisted his mouth thoughtfully. "I'll give you all until sunrise. Anyone who wants to try and access Avalon can do so until then. At sunrise I will access it myself, claim the sword and head off to bed."

No one moved.

"That means you've got about eight hours." Harry said pointedly as he tapped his watch.

There was a sudden rush as wands were drawn by two thirds of the people there and diagnostic and revealing spells were cast.

Harry just snorted and turned away.

"What if one of zem gets in?" Fleur asked worriedly as Harry approached the group.

"Then they still have to draw the sword from the stone." Harry shrugged. "There are probably a bunch of other tests and conditions."

Fleur frowned before Nicholas translated for her.

"Did Ganos teach you how to access Avalon and claim the sword?" Tracey asked curiously.

"Nah, other than her dire warnings that I will be busy for decades, she has only been telling me what is possible. Not how."

"And have you achieved any of what she has alluded to?" Perenelle asked.

Harry grinned. "Now that would be telling."

"Potter! You're a bigger fool than I thought."

"Good to see you too, Ragnok." Harry greeted the Goblin King sarcastically. "Are you part of Nicky's conspiracy?"

Ragnok looked a bit confused. "You were the one who told me you were going to conquer the country."

"I'm talking about the whole Avalon bit."

"I thought that was part of your plan after the old fool came and warned me."

"No, the Old Fool needs to learn better communication skills." Harry glared at the Old Fool.

Despite the desire to watch the old men try and access the legendary Avalon, many of those present were very tired. Getting ready for the Yule Ball had been a lot of work and the following excitement took a further toll. So Harry enlisted the professors, along with the upper years to transfigure or conjure beds for people to nap if they wanted.

A few professors and prefects were tasked with taking students back to Hogwarts if they wanted.

"Harry… is that Sirius?" Dudley asked hesitantly.

Harry followed Dudley's pointing finger to where a large black dog was digging into the tor.

"I regret that you are correct, Dudley." Came the resigned sigh from Remus. "I don't think he believes he can get into Avalon, I just think he wants to be able to say he tried."

"Why don't you give it a shot, Moony?" Harry grinned at the former werewolf.

"Because even if I was worthy, I have no desire to wear the crown and rule the land. I just want to teach my classes and relax." He said wistfully.

"What about you, Dud?" Harry asked as he conjured a shovel. "You could be the next King of England."

"Don't you have to be a wiggle?" Fiona asked from Dudley's side. Harry had also had the professors transfigure the clothes of the Ball's attendees so they weren't in robes or fancy dresses. Fiona was in a comfortable jeans and blouse with a long coat to ward off the chill February air.

"Ganos says that it is all based on genetics. Dudley could have a recessive gene considering we are blood related. There is also a chance you could have one too. There are probably millions of people with the gene in Britain alone."

Fiona just snorted. "No thanks. Not unless you all agree to call me the High Queen of Scotland."

"You'd be the High Queen. You can order them to call you what you want." Harry pointed out.

The three males were amused as Fiona put on a mock thoughtful face. "Nah. Too much work."

"What are the Durmstrang students doing?" Harry asked curiously.

They were busy setting up tents and camp fires.

"Penny says it is going to snow soon. They retrieved their emergency supplies from their ship and are setting them up." Remus explained.

"I hope it settles." Dudley said happily. "Luna and I can continue our competition."

Fiona was lost so Harry explained. "When Dudley and Luna first met when they were about eleven, it was snowing at Hogwarts and the students were having a snowball fight.

"It was Dudley's first trip from the Home. Luna and Dudley wound up challenging the rest of the students into building the tallest snowman. They have yet to lose."

"Do they use magic?"

"Where's the fun in that?" Dudley scoffed.

"Actually, they are allowed to use magic, just not on the snow. They can use magic to ward off the cold and help them get higher but they can't use it to levitate snow or make it stick." Harry corrected.

"Yes, I remember the amusing sight of little Luna Lovegood levitating this monster of a young man high into the air to pile on more snow on their seven foot tower." Remus laughed. "Filius said he was accosted by Miss Lovegood after the last class of the Autumn Term and forced to teach her how to levitate people."

"Yeah, he spent a night in Poppy's care with a concussion because Luna used a bit too much power." Harry grinned.

By five in the morning the number of people trying to access Avalon had dwindled to around ten. Some of the older ones had collapsed due to simple fatigue. One had actually died.

A few, like Fudge, had managed to expend all of their magical reserves. They were currently at the level of squibs.

The rest had simply conceded defeat and conjured beds and chairs to rest on until sun rise.

Sirius was happily digging away.

Filius and Minerva had insisted that the children go back to Hogwarts. They had promised to bring them back before sun rise so they could witness Harry's attempt.

Even Harry had gone back to catch a nap.

At seven fifteen in the morning the students of all three schools began popping in via portkeys.

"You've got around fifteen minutes before I make my attempt." Harry announced.

Of the five individuals still attempting to find an entrance, four glared at him hatefully and the fifth whined pitifully from the bottom of a deep hole.

Harry just rolled his eyes at his godfather.

Fifteen minutes later and the armed goblins ushered the four Pure bloods to the side whilst Remus approached his friend with a leash. Sirius was so tired he didn't even bother struggling.

Harry walked over and looked down at his godfather's attempt. It was an impressive hole.

He jumped in.

Sirius transformed back into a human. "Looks like I got the closest." He said smugly. "Urk!"

Remus returned that smug look as he brandished the other end of the leash still attached to the animagus.

There was a sudden noise, a strange noise followed by flashes of light from Sirius' hole. Remus and Sirius ran to check on the boy.

"Harry?" Sirius called into the dark hole. It was nearly thirty feet deep. Remus had had to levitate him out.

"I can't see him." Remus said quietly. He then touched his watch and said Harry's name.

"Hey Remus, no worries. I am fine. Avalon is… a little bit dull." Came Harry's voice. The other spectators began to gather closer to hear.

"Dull?" Remus queried.

"There is a cave with bad lighting. There is also a sword embedded in a stone."

"I demand you open Avalon so the rightful leader of Magical Britain can claim the sword." Fudge said imperiously.

"Haven't you been paying attention you half-wit?" Sirius sneered. "The 'Rightful Leader' would have been able to get in themselves."

"I refuse to accept that that brat is- eep!" Fudge froze in fear as a goblin spear poked right up his nose.

"Potter doesn't have an army yet. But he does have allies." Ragnok said pointedly as he stood behind one of his guards who was holding the spear.

"You will violate the treaty!" A man in his forties said scandalised.

"The treaties were violated years ago." Ragnok scoffed. "As usual it wasn't the goblins who broke it, but the humans." He began smile evilly. "Of course, as per the treaty, we took recompense as permitted."

The man's eyes widened. "How much?" He asked in a hoarse whisper.

"If Potter doesn't claim the throne, you are all doomed." He said tauntingly.

"Ok, so Merlin left a message." Harry continued, unaware of the sweaty palms up top. "Apparently I have to pass a few tests before I can go for the stone."

"What sort of tests, Harry?" Filius shocked most of the group as they hadn't noticed him at their elbows. "Can you bring someone down to help you?"

"I can probably bring someone down, but I don't know if that would invalidate my efforts."

"Then at least maintain communication with us." Remus instructed.

"That's fine. I've reached what appears to be the first test." There was a sound of grinding stone. "Oh bugger."

"Harry!?" Sirius said frantically. The older men, not part of Harry's family were shoved aside as his girls crowded around in worry.

"There's a bit of a time limit." Harry was speaking loudly. "See if old Fudgy still wants to attempt this. The penalty for failure seems to be death by squishing."

"Squishing?" Gemma asked with fear.

"Harry, please!" Tracey pleaded. "Have Ember get you."

"Relax." The rumbling stopped. "All done, see? It was just a little mind twister. On to the next one. There were two corridors so I assume there are only two tests before I try the sword."

"But what if you can't figure out the next test?"

"Pansy! Are you saying you don't believe in me?" Harry said in mock hurt.

"I'm more worried about what happens to our contracts if you die." She sneered, but her fear was clear.

"That's my Pansy." Harry's grinning voice said. "Well, my will is up to date. All of your contracts will be passed to Sirius Black, Lord of the House of Black. In a sense he agreed to be your godfather."

The girls looked at the now slightly embarrassed man. "I couldn't just risk you being taken advantage of."

Daphne and Gemma smiled sadly and hugged him.

The rumbling stone sound came over the watch again. "Ok, second test."

Most of the crowd held their collective breath. Most in hope for Harry's success. A few in hope of his horrible and messy death.

"Seriously! I really should have let Fudge take this test. He'd be killed instantly and out of my hair. It's pretty much a morality test."

"Can you solve it?!" Filius demanded impatiently.

"Already have. The ceiling is now retracting. Time to try the sword."

"Make sure you stretch before you enter the room." They all jumped as Yoshiko spoke up with authority from behind them. "You should expect to be tested on using the sword."

"You might want to tell Poppy to prepare her bag then." Harry sighed.

"Maintain your focus, remember your training and above all… DON'T DROP THE SWORD!" She screamed.

"One time! It was one time! It was also the only time I beat you." Harry grumbled.

"The point of the lesson was to learn how to use a sword." The Kitsune grumped back. "It defeated the purpose when you stopped using it."

"Yeah, yeah."

They could hear Harry grunting as he stretched.

"You've been teaching him how to use a sword?" Sirius asked in amusement.

Yoshiko grinned. "And guns and spells. Harry gets into all those little adventures. I've been helping him train. When he goes on his next one I hope to come along."

"I was hoping he would grow out of them." Filius sighed.

"Alright, I'm pulling out the sword." There was the sound of blade on stone. "Bugger. There's a knight in armour. Talk to you in a bit."

"Harry!" Remus called into the watch.

"Let him be." Yoshiko said sternly. "He needs to focus. He is good with a sword. Not a professional or master, but he manages."

"How much of a problem will Fudge and the Wizengamut be if they oppose Harry's success?" Remus asked Sirius quietly.

"That depends on how well they think they will fare against a goblin army." Sirius snorted.

"Not to mention that Toyotama-hime instructed me to inform her if Harry needed aid." Yoshiko added. "She's taken a liking to the boy." She grinned.

Ten minutes later and there was a loud crack as Harry apparated up. He looked exhausted, but he was holding an English made, medieval sword. He marched up to Yoshiko with a scowl.

"This is not a katana." He grumbled as he waved the blade around.

"The basic principles are the same, Harry-kun. Pointy end goes in fleshy bastard." She shrugged.

"Aurors! Arrest him." Fudge had a smug grin as he marched up. "I'll be taking that sword, Potter."

Harry closed his eyes and breathed in deeply before releasing it. He then raised the sword and swung it at Fudge's neck. "YEEEEAAAARRRRRHHHH!" He shouted.

Nearly the entire population of magical Britain, as well as various visiting dignitaries and guests, witnessed Lord Harry attempt to decapitate the sitting Minister of Magic with a sword.

But nothing happened.

The sword passed through the fat man's neck.

But nothing happened.

Well, the area around Fudge grew particularly rank in smell.

"He attacked the Minister! Arrest him!" Nott Senior declared with smug look.

"Stand down Aurors." Sirius glared at them as he stepped forward in full 'Lord Mode'. "You stand before King Harry of Albion. He has claimed the sword of Arthur and with it, the throne of England." He turned around to face Harry and dropped to one knee with his head bowed.

Remus, Filius and the girls were quick to follow, most of the Hogwarts contingent followed suit, the foreigners merely bowed.

"Anyone who wants to end up a squib like Fudge… please, step up." Harry said as he brandished his sword.

"Everybody saw the Minister casting spells a few hours ago, Potter." Nott smirked.

"Behold, Caledfwych! Also known as Excalibur. It is the key to Magical Britain… or, the Key to the Magic of Britain." Harry grinned darkly.

The look of greed on the Pure blood's faces was disturbing.

"EXPELLIRAMUS!"

Harry just stood there looking Nott straight in the eye. The spell had hit Harry, but it did zip.

"Incarcerous."

Nott fell to the ground bound by rope.

They all turned to look at Pansy who stood there, wand out and no remorse. "That man is guilty of treason against the Crown. I believe the current laws mandate a death sentence."

"Absolutely correct, Lady Pansy." Frank stepped forward. "Aurors, you are expected to take into custody, anyone who defies the king. Unless of course you wish to join Mister Nott in his cell."

"What are you waiting for?" Nott snapped at the aurors from the floor. "That is the Minister of Magic." He pointed at Fudge who was staring at his wand with a look of horror. "And that is some upstart brat who needs to learn his place."

"Having a little problem are we, Cornelius?" Harry asked the sitting Minister with a grin. "Performance issues, perhaps?"

"M-M-My magic." Fudge looked completely lost and broken.

"Anyone who is willing to swear fealty to the crown, stand over there." Harry pointed to the goblins.

About fifty people moved, and rather quickly. A few were Aurors.

"Alright then. You refuse to respect the throne so you are banished from magical Britain. Your magic is forfeit." Harry raised the sword and charged.

The offending wizards were not idle as they drew their own wands and began sending curses and hexes at the charging boy.

Harry was hit by numerous spells, but not a single one had any effect. He ploughed through the crowd, swinging his sword as he went, the sword passed through each of them, seemingly harmless.

Eventually all that was left was a bunch of men and women shouting meaningless words at him. It quickly died down as they realised nothing was coming out of their wands.

"Aurors. Take them into custody." Frank ordered again. "They will be held until they have been charged or cleared by His Majesty's Courts."

This time the Aurors began to move.

"The rest of you, fix the surface of the Tor." Harry ordered the magicals that had moved. "I will make announcements over the Wizarding Wireless as needed."

*Chapter 23*: Chapter 23
Chapter 23

Harry had headed home with his sword, vanished his clothes with his wand and just collapsed into bed. He was dead to the world until noon the following day.

He was fairly confused when he woke up. Normally Dobby was there, waiting for instructions. Usually Harry's instructions were for him to go and amuse himself.

"What did you do with Dobby?" He asked raspily in sleepy voice.

"He's preparing your clothes… My Liege." Daphne grinned from the side of his bed. Pansy was next to her and Gemma and Tracey were on the other side.

"Why are you here?" He asked as he shuffled into a sitting position.

"As your Ladies, we are here to attend to your every need, Your Majesty." Pansy curtsied, all four of them were grinning.

Harry shuffled back down and turned over on his stomach. "I hate my life." He grumbled.

"You need to make an appearance Harry." Gemma chided as she pulled back the covers.

The girls gasped as Harry curled into a ball.

Harry hadn't had the energy to put on pyjamas.

"Jeeze! Can't I get a little privacy?" He snapped.

Pansy quickly took the blanket from the gobsmacked Gemma and re-covered Harry. "Tracey, get his dressing gown. Daphne, prepare his bath. Gemma, tell everyone we will be down in about an hour or so. I'll get his clothes ready."

"Alright! Enough!" Harry said with great irritation as he wrapped the blanket around himself and stood up. "Last night I pretty much conquered magical Britain and declared myself king. But I don't want to have that interfering in my personal life." He said heatedly. "Leave all that 'Majesty' stuff beyond the walls of my personal quarters or I will be… miffed.

"My only authority over you four in this home is as your Head of House. Otherwise, nothing has changed.

"Am I clear?"

Tracey sighed in disappointment. "I was so looking forward to giving the Crown Jewels a good polishing."

"I suppose we could just enjoy the rest of the day in bed." Gemma grinned before she dived onto the bed pulling Tracey with her. Daphne followed as she grabbed Harry and pulled him down. Pansy took a more sedate pace as she removed her slippers first.

Harry was wrapped in his blanket like a sausage roll. Daphne on one side and Gemma on the other.

"I hate you guys." He grumbled.

There was a knock on the door. "Yes! For god's sake come in!"

The door opened and Dudley looked in curiously. Then he saw the bed… Harry glaring from the middle of four grinning girls. "Oh… erm… I was… Fleur! Yes, Fleur is here!" He stammered.

"Oh good! Send her in." Daphne nodded.

"Erm… ok."

"Wait! Aren't you going to help me?" Harry asked frantically.

Dudley just glanced at the happy girls who were looking creepier and creepier to him by the second. "I'll… ask Fleur… to help." He said before quickly shutting the door.

"Get back here you bastard!" Harry shouted. "Your king commands it!"

"He's a muggle, Master." Daphne smirked. "He doesn't answer to the king of Magical Britain."

"I'm the High King of All Albion." Harry grumbled. "There was no division between wiggle and muggle in Arthur's realm."

"Oh… can we be there when you claim Buckingham Palace?" She asked with begging eyes.

"I am not interfering in the non-magical world. Not as the king, anyway."

"Oh Harry." Pansy sighed in disappointment. "Haven't you learnt that you don't really have a choice in these matters?"

"Of course I do! I'm the King!" Harry said indignantly.

"You told us that as soon as you realised that you were going to have to repeat several years of your life, you would only use your position as Lord Slytherin to stop people from controlling you." Pansy explained. "Within weeks you managed to put Draco in his place, acquire the Philosopher's Stone, sign a treaty with the goblins, claim three concubines and kill a man in a duel."

Harry lay there squirming for a few moments as he tried to come up with a retort. "I'm tired and going back to sleep." He then shut his eyes tightly.

That was when Fleur walked in.

Unlike Dudley, when she saw the grinning girls and the entombed Harry, she just smirked. "Are you a king or a sultan?"

Harry glared at her and said slowly. "I'm fairly certain that I am the punch line for everyone else's jokes."

At that moment, Ember woke up and was very agitated. She was chirping wildly as she hopped out of her nest and flew wonkily over to the bed on her young wings.

"No, no, no, no, No, No NO, NO!" Harry's frantic pleas were ignored by all as the little bird flew over Harry, dropped from the air and promptly vanished with her companion in flash of fire.

There was a moment's silence.

"He was completely naked under there… wasn't he?" Tracey asked Pansy.

Pansy and Gemma just nodded as Gemma tugged on the blanket Harry had been using to cover himself.

Harry landed on a hard wood floor completely naked with Ember hopping up and down on his chest.

"That bird is a bloody menace." Came an old chuckling voice.

Harry looked up. "Abe? You asked Em to bring me?"

"No, I think Fawkes did." Aberforth Dumbledore sighed as he pulled Harry up. He then pulled his wand and conjured a robe.

Harry was still uncomfortable as he was wearing just the robe. "Alright, so why did this little menace decide to kidnap me… again?" He pointed to the still agitated phoenix on his shoulder.

"It's Albus." Abe said gravely. "He's devastated and drunk and he won't speak to anyone. I guess Fawkes figured you might be more helpful."

"Take me to him." Harry instructed firmly.

Abe led Harry through to the back and up some stairs to a bedroom.

Harry was shocked and appalled. Albus Dumbledore was dressed in loose fitting trousers and a long untucked shirt. He was laying on the bed with one arm over his eyes and the other connected to a bottle of fire-whiskey.

Fawkes was singing mournfully on the headboard.

"Give us some space?" Harry requested quietly.

"Good luck lad." Abe responded in kind as he closed the door on his way out.

Harry marched over and snatched the bottle out of Albus' hand and tossed in the wicker rubbish bin by the door. On the table was a potion's bottle. He uncorked it and had a sniff. He was easily able to recognise a sobriety potion after having to shove a few down Sirius' throat a few times.

"Sit up Albus." Harry instructed firmly as he easily pulled the frail old man into a sitting position.

Albus groaned, it was pitiful and mournful. It was pain, but not physical.

"Drink." Again, Harry made no requests and didn't indulge Albus with coddling. He pressed the bottle to the man's mouth and tipped it, forcing him to drink.

Albus was too far into his misery to really fight. But he was soon sitting back against the bed's headboard and silently crying.

"What happened?" Harry asked in his calm, no nonsense manner.

"I killed him, Harry." He whispered in a hoarse voice. "I killed him and it was all for nothing. The prophecy is still active."

It didn't take much for Harry to put two and two together. He and Albus had discussed the prophecy many times, much to Harry's annoyance. Harry didn't care about it and was eager to simply destroy the orb in the Department of Mysteries. Albus had managed to dissuade him as it was a useful means of keeping track of when it was fulfilled.

They had talked about possible candidates for the 'Dark Lord' and the 'One with the power to vanquish him'.

Gellert Grindlewald was the only dark lord currently known. Harry had successfully pointed out that if it was Gellert then he himself couldn't be the one to vanquish him. Harry didn't fulfil the parts about being 'born to those who thrice defied him'.

But Albus had always been troubled and reluctant to dismiss any candidates. He still held both Harry and himself as remote possibilities for being the ones in the prophecy. Harry knew that Albus had been researching survivors of Grindlewald to see if he could find someone who did fit the prophecy.

"How many people know what you've done?" Harry asked gravely.

"No one. I made it look like natural causes." Albus said, wiping tears from his cheeks.

"You know you're a bloody idiot, right?" Harry sighed as he pulled up a chair and sank onto it. "I told you he wasn't the one. I even told you that the prophecy is irrelevant.

"Have you ever thought you or I could be the 'dark lord'?"

Albus actually laughed at that. "Despite my fears about you in your earlier Hogwarts years, I very much doubt you could be a dark lord."

Harry gave him a sad smile. "Albus, where do prophecies come from?"

Albus frowned, he didn't understand. "Seers are the ones who-"

"Yes, yes!" Harry waved his hand. "Seers are the ones who relay the words of the prophecy. But who or what creates them? Is there a god or gods that send them to us? Are the Fates real or is Fate an actual entity?"

Albus spoke carefully. "Harry, you are asking questions that all sentient beings have asked at some point. No one has a definitive answer, but there are many theories and even religions based around those theories."

"The prophecy was given to you. A recognised member of the 'light'. But, you weren't the only person to hear it. What if you weren't supposed to be the recipient?"

"You believe it was meant for Severus?" Albus clearly didn't believe that.

"What I am trying to say… and failing badly at… is that unless we can confirm where a prophecy comes from then we can never know if they are meant to aid the light or the dark.

"'Dark Lord' is subjective. Imagine two civilisations, locked in combat and war for centuries. Neither side remembers why their war started.

"Both receive the same prophecy we did."

"I understand your point, Harry. But… the only person I can think of that would have considered me a dark lord, is you."

"Albus, you're not dead yet. You've got plenty of years left to piss off some kid and his parents." Harry smirked.

Albus snorted at the audaciousness of young man. Then he remembered why he was drinking. "I'm a murderer." He said quietly.

"I prefer the term 'executioner'." Harry countered. "I'm not going to think any less of you, morally speaking. I do think you're an idiot, but that should be a given by now."

Albus glared at him.

"Deal with your grief over his death, but don't bother drowning in guilt because of your part in it. You have much more important things to do." Harry warned as he stood up.

Harry headed for the door, he opened it and turned back to Albus. "Incidentally, as the King of England, you are relieved of your role as Chief Wizard and Supreme Mugwump of the ICW. You are also relieved as Headmaster of Hogwarts. You are now assigned as the Transfiguration teacher in Minerva McGonagall's place as she will be the new Head."

Harry didn't wait for a response. He closed the door.

All though he didn't know it, his little parting speech had exactly the effect he wanted. Albus was utterly befuddled. 'King of England', fired from all roles?

Albus grabbed his wand and began to dress.

The Great Hall of Hogwarts was nearly unrecognisable. Gone were the tables and chairs where the students sat and ate. Gone was the staff table where the teachers did likewise.

Thousands of chairs were now arranged with a red carpet down the middle.

Yes. Thousands. The Great Hall, created a thousand years before by the founders, was showing the true ingenuity and ability of ancient British Magicals.

There was at least ninety percent of the British Magical population present and seated as well as the students and faculty of the guest schools and the senior members of their countries governments.

It was January 1st 1995. Just a few days earlier, during the cold morning of Boxing Day, many of the assembled had witnessed Harry claim Caledfwych.

The doors banged open.

"All rise for his Royal Highness Harry Potter, Ruler of Great Britain and all her territories." Frank Longbottom stood tall and proud in his finest robes as he announced his wife's godson.

Harry marched through the doors wearing a black shirt, trousers, boots and a red cape. On his head was a golden circlet. Behind him were the girls, walking in pairs. Gemma and Pansy and then Daphne and Tracey. The girls were dressed identically in ankle length, emerald green dresses.

Behind them came Nicholas and Perenelle and then Sirius and Amelia. Each dressed in their finest robes.

Harry reached the golden chair that usually sat the Headmaster, he turned and faced the assembled audience, standing in front of the throne. Once his entourage had positioned themselves to his sides, he took his seat.

"You may sit."

At Harry's command the hall was filled with the near thunderous sound of several thousand individuals sitting on wooden chairs placed on stone floors.

"This Boxing Day I claimed the throne of Britain." Harry said calmly and in a quiet voice. The charms on the throne and the hall meant that every person there heard him as though he was speaking solely to them. "Many people opposed me before I even made my personal attempt. They opposed me even after.

"I did not claim the throne simply to satisfy some teenage fantasy. I did so because the Ministry of Magic was corrupt and it was seeking to sink its corrupt fingers into my home." He gestured around him to the castle.

"So now I control every aspect of our country. I control education, government, law enforcement, finances… and justice. There will be many changes.

"I have been in negotiations with my friends at Gringotts. They have agreed to turn over all banking duties to my government. One of the primary reasons is that we will be adopting a new currency.

"Amelia Bones will serve for a period of one year from this day as my Prime Minister.

"Augusta Longbottom is appointed as the Chief Judge of the Royal Courts. She will appoint other judges who will answer to her.

"Together, those two honourable ladies shall raise up a new government in my name. To insult them is to insult me. To disobey them is to disobey me.

"To disobey me is treason. The penalty for treason is death.

"I sincerely hope that I never have to sentence someone for treason." Harry said gravely.

He shook his head to clear his thoughts and allowed himself a gentle smile. "Let us talk of the future. Of hope.

"We live on an island, there is plenty of room for expansion but we confine ourselves to a few places. Diagon Alley, Hogsmede, a few small villages.

"We live like we are invaders, hiding so that we won't be detected before we begin our occupation." Harry was clearly disgusted.

He stood up and continued his address, his tone was more forceful. "Every single magical person on this planet is descended from muggles." Slight grumbling could be heard. "There was a time when there were no wiggles."

"Preposterous!"

Harry's hand shot out, his wand instantly there. The old fool who dared speak out was flipped upside down into the air.

A furious Hagrid, dressed in a brand new long coat and suit made of thick basilisk hide, reached over the other audience members and plucked the man out of the air. He then carried him by his feet and tossed him at the foot of the red carpeted dias.

"What is your name, fool?" Sirius demanded as he stepped forward, casually disarming the man.

The man was now beginning to pale as realised that he had really screwed up… royally so. "Reginald Gamp, Head of the House of Gamp." Despite his fear, he would not show it. He stood and held himself proudly.

"You dare to call me a liar, Reginald?" Harry asked darkly.

"I did no such thing."

"Everyone here heard you decry His Majesty's declaration that everyone descends from muggles." Sirius snarled.

Reginald was now going snooty. "I merely claim that the boy is misguided."

*THWACK*

Reginald went spinning to the ground from Sirius' backhand. "You will show the King respect or you will suffer!"

Harry placed a calming hand on Sirius' shoulder. The older man scowled, but took a step back.

"Sir Hagrid, please hold Mister Gamp over there."

"'Course 'Arry… I mean-"

"My personal friends and family can always call me Harry." The king smiled at his first friend.

Hagrid still blushed as he hauled Gamp to the side.

Harry addressed the crowd. "Is there anyone here who holds the same views as Reginald Gamp? Someone capable of respectful discourse? It is not a crime in my kingdom to have an opinion or belief. It is only a crime to use that opinion or belief as an excuse to harm and persecute others."

A man near the back stood up. "I would be willing to debate, Your Majesty."

Harry squinted at the man who was quite far away. He gave a curious smile. "Please, come forward and we will discuss and debate my claims."

The man began walking towards them. Nicholas decided to spare the man the indignity of the long walk and had Phoenix flame him to the throne.

Now that he was closer, Harry could tell a lot more about the man. He was of Hispanic descent, mid to late forties, dressed in a suit and tie that marked him as a muggle or muggleborn.

"Could you introduce yourself?" Harry prompted as he conjured two chairs and indicated for the man to take a seat.

"Damien Martin. I'm a muggle and the father of a first generation witch who finished her schooling last year."

"And your profession?"

"I teach science at a secondary school in Birmingham."

"Cool!" Harry smiled happily. "This will be an intelligent discussion on your part then."

Damien wasn't quite sure how to respond to that. He knew from his daughter's stories that Harry Potter was, to put it nicely, eccentric. But the new King of Magical England had just made a deprecating joke about himself.

"So, Damien. I say that all wiggles descend from muggles. You claim otherwise. Why?"

Damien took a second to translate the question. His daughter and wife found the term muggle to be insulting. They adored the term wiggle.

"For a start, there is no definitive way to prove your claims." Damien began. "My wife and daughter are both interested in history. They were able to trace one family's magical lineage back by three thousand years before it vanished."

"So you don't know whether the previous generations were muggle or wiggle." Harry interjected. "Tell us, Gamp, how far back can you trace your lineage?"

"The Gamps can be traced back to the time of the Founders." Reginald declared snootily. He winced as Hagrid's grip on his shoulder tightened.

"Yeah… so what about before that?" Harry rolled his eyes. "Did the Gamps just appear out of thin air?"

"History is largely unrecorded before then." Reginald sneered at the imbecilic brat.

"My family can trace its origins back to the early Bronze Age." Nicholas spoke up. "In theory we could go further, but naming conventions were too different for the lineage ritual to map out."

"My wife's is the same, as is his Majesty's." He gave a brief bow.

"Of course, Husband, we should point out that King Harry can trace his lineage straight back to King Arthur, before that it goes through Ignotus Pervell to Godric Gryffindor himself."

"Wow, magicals way back in the Bronze Age." Harry's awe seemed a little forced. He then turned to the audience. "That is about four thousand years for you Purebloods who like to claim a thousand years of history."

"Actually, Your Majesty, we could only trace my magical lineage back as far as the Iron Age." Nicholas interjected. "Before that we were non-magicals. Perenelle's line of magicals reaches back to the end of the Bronze Age and your own line to the end of the Iron Age, which is still a good two thousand years of magical history."

"Ok, so that makes three families that can prove their ancestry started with muggles before they became wiggles." Harry said to Damien.

"Out of a population of several thousand, three is nowhere near enough to be conclusive evidence, Your Majesty." Damien said respectfully.

"Oh… well, what would be conclusive?"

"Unfortunately, due to the amount of variables, such as the sheer number of… wiggles," Harry grinned and gave Damien a thumbs up. "It isn't feasible to test them all to see if they all have muggle ancestors. And that doesn't even begin to take into account any lines that may have died out and, therefore, can't be tested."

Harry nodded thoughtfully. He then turned to Gamp. "Well Mister Gamp? What does that say to you?"

"It says that you cannot prove I have mudbloods in my ancestry." He smirked. Then he winced as he felt that half-giant hand tighten on his shoulder. "Regardless, it simply means that you cannot make those claims without insulting my honour and calling me a liar."

"Only if it can't be proven you are a liar." Harry pointed out. "Should I call you a liar, then it will be up to you to prove me wrong. I already have one way to do that."

"Or you could face me in a duel." Reginald said with narrowed eyes.

"Trial by Combat is now illegal. All disputes shall be resolved within my courts. The innocent will no longer suffer because they are bullied by those with more power." Harry said firmly.

There were murmurs amongst the Purebloods.

"You have no right to throw away centuries of glorious tradition!" Gamp shouted angrily.

Harry looked around the room with a glare. He stood up and drew Calydfych threateningly. "My word is law. Anyone who wishes to disagree may challenge me to a duel."

That shut them up. Most of them had witnessed the confrontation between Harry and the Minister. They had seen the spells hit Harry with no effect.

There were still mumblings about several upstanding members of the Ministry who could no longer perform magic.

"From this day forth, no one is allowed to make claims about blood, heritage or power without providing absolute proof. All Lordships and honours are hereby revoked." There were shouts of outrage. "SILENCE! Those who believe they have a legitimate claim to a title may petition the Crown to hear their case.

"Your ancestors may have distinguished themselves in the past, but that does not mean you have earned the right to coast on their deeds.

"Anyone who is eligible to claim their lordship or honours will be required to swear an oath of loyalty to the throne.

"You will notice that I say 'the throne', not myself. In one year's time I will stand before you. I will swear an oath that I will defend and serve my lands. That oath will be made upon an artefact that will hold this sword. In the future, my successors and heirs will not only have to be capable of drawing the sword from the stone, they will also have to swear the same oath that I will."

"This oath will be crafted by myself and others." Nicholas spoke up. "When it is complete it will be posted in its entirety in the Daily Prophet and The Quibbler. I have spoken with the Phoenixes and they have agreed to act as insurance for the country. Nobody will get near the throne if the Phoenixes don't approve."

Harry tried vainly to suppress his smile as he saw a hand raised timidly. "Get up here Hermione. Any question you want to ask is probably one that everyone will want to hear."

Hermione was now wide eyed with fear and shaking her head vigorously.

Unfortunately for the girl, Ember was ready for action. There were shrieks from the girl in question and those around her as she vanished in a pillar of flame.

Harry grunted a he caught the girl. Ember was once again trying to perfect her arrival height.

"I- I- I just wanted to know what happens if no one can claim the throne." Poor Hermione looked completely lost and confused in Harry's arms.

She didn't even put up a fuss when Harry passed her into the arms of a now equally confused Nicholas. The audience was in awe that the old man had the strength.

"It is my duty, as the Monarch of this land, to ensure that in the event I am unavailable there are trusted stewards who will be capable of leading in my absence or until my heir can be found.

"For now, Lady Amelia Bones and Lady Augusta Longbottom hold that responsibility. Things get a wee bit more complicated than that, but, this is how things are gonna be." Harry shrugged as he addressed the audience.

Harry moved back to his throne and sat down, crossing his legs and steepling his fingers. Nicholas and Sirius stepped back as well, Nicholas realised he was still holding Hermione bridal style and let her down gently.

Sirius gently guided Damien Martin back with him. Hagrid literally dragged a squawking Gamp off of the dais.

"I realise that some of you will be thinking: 'he's just an arrogant boy'. You've seen my sword and think that if you caught me off guard and without it then you could defeat me. Perhaps some poison, a blade in my back." Harry's eyes sought out those of the racist purebloods.

"Perhaps you need a final lesson in what I am capable of." He pulled a wand from his sleeve. "This wand belonged to Tom Riddle. He preferred the name 'Lord Voldemort'." The mutterings began again. "I relieved him of this wand after I killed him for a second time last year when he attempted to regain his body.

"But this is just a trifle." Harry shrugged and tossed the wand over his shoulder carelessly. "Riddle was a petulant child who thought he was better than everyone else. Beating him was child's play. Quite literally, I used a piece of information that most muggle children learn at school after the age of eleven.

"It was actually fun to watch the bastard burn!" Harry was grinning madly. He was scaring his subjects.

"So, if Riddle was so easy to defeat, why can't you defeat me?" Harry asked rhetorically. "Let me show you a true challenge." He said with a dark smirk.

People jumped and shrieked as the doors to the Great Hall opened with a bang. The shrieks continued as two suits of armour marched in, straining under the weight they were tugging with ropes over their shoulders. The ropes were attached to a series of linked floating boards.

On top of those boards was a giant snake.

"This is a thousand year old basilisk." Harry announced loudly. "Dead, of course." He added as an after-thought. You could never count on the intelligence of mobs. "I killed this particular creature back in '91. Uncle Filius was with me at the time. What you are looking at is Salazar Slytherin's personal basilisk. The Monster of the Chamber of Secrets."

The snake was in perfect condition, the way the floating boards moved made the body undulate, as though the snake was still alive. It was terrifying, especially to those who actually understood the danger of the creature if it had been alive.

Eventually the suits of armour stopped with their burden in front of the throne and kneeled.

As Harry had often said in his defence, he had no real control over Hogwarts or the armour. So it was a surprise when the two suits knelt before him.

He managed to hide it and continue his address.

"This is the second basilisk I've defeated. The first I defeated in '92." Harry watched the crowd carefully. "Yes… some of you picked up on that. The first in '92 and the second the year before, in '91.

"That's what happens when someone decides you didn't do a good enough job and throws you back in time."

Now the murmurs were starting up again.

"I originally killed Voldemort in '98. It was a hard battle and many, many, many good people died. Hogwarts was nearly demolished. Albus Dumbledore, Amelia Bones and many others were murdered by that monster or at his command."

The enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall ceased to show the sky outside. Instead, there were images from Harry's memories. Images of the battle, of the headlines he had seen in the Daily Prophet, of the people who had died, their bodies and the gruesome manner in which they met their end.

"I was mocked and ridiculed because of the stupidity of the British Wiggles. I won the Tri-Wizard Tournament with Cedric Diggory. It was a trap and we were taken to witness Riddle's rebirth.

"I returned, badly injured and with Cedric's dead body… but you all called me delusional.

"And despite that, despite all the hate that was heaped on me, I still spent the better part, of what was supposed be my seventh year at Hogwarts, on the run because the pitiful Ministry simply laid down and licked Riddle's boots.

"But I defeated him. I had earned my rest.

"Until some bastard decided I hadn't done enough and sent me back." Harry snarled.

Nicholas stepped up and placed a calming hand on Harry's shoulder. Ember wonkily flew to his opposite shoulder and lightly cooed.

With a very slight gesture from Nicholas, Harry turned and sat on his throne, leaning backwards in an almost slump.

Nicholas took up the responsibility to address the crowd, he casually twisted his wand and dispelled his glamour, revealing the true effect of the Elixir of Life. "Harry Potter is family to me and my wife. To you he is king. He didn't need to tell you that he had traversed time, but he did it so that you could understand him. Understand why he does things.

"Aside from the Hogwart's suits of armour, Harry has no army."

There was a loudly cleared throat.

"You're not my army, King Ragnok." Harry rolled his eyes. "You're my friends and allies."

"We signed a binding treaty. You provide us with political representation amongst the rest of the world and we fight alongside you against the enemies you find for us." Ragnok then gave a bloodthirsty grin. "I think we came out best in that negotiation."

"My point is that Harry has no intention of subjugating his people through fear and suffering. Those he is forced to care for are treated with great care, and even love."

"His Majesty, Harry Potter, won the houses of Parkinson, Davis and Farley when their Heads betrayed their oaths to their Lord Slytherin." Gemma spoke up, surprising Harry. "In order to save us from becoming slaves to men who wanted nothing more than to use our bodies for their pleasure, he faced one man in a duel and signed concubine contracts for us.

"His Majesty has never even asked to see our bodies." She said firmly.

Behind her, Tracy, Pansy and Harry were all blushing. Harry had no idea what was happening so had no idea what to do.

Then it got worse.

Daphne stepped forward. "Two years ago I was kidnapped. I was tied to a slave contract to be sold to the highest bidder. Sir Nicholas saved me before I could be signed away. He signed my contract on behalf of his Lord, Harry Potter.

"I am the slave of Harry Potter. Again, he has never even asked to see my body and has never demanded or commanded me. Not even my attitude or behaviour."

Harry now had his hands buried in his face in embarrassment.

Then it got worse.

"I owed James Potter a life debt." The smooth baritone of Severus Snape filled the hall. "I betrayed that debt when I told the deceased Dark Lord a prophecy that got him killed.

"When His Majesty arrived at Hogwarts in 1991, I had every intention of treating him in ways that would see me locked in Azkaban. His Majesty had suffered at my hands previously in his first time as an eleven-year-old.

"His Majesty declared the Life Debt broken and claimed me as his slave. In all the time I have been bound to him, he has only ever commanded me to keep his secrets and improve my teaching.

"Hogwarts is now the foremost institution in the world for potions lessons. It was his methods that have enabled me to create the cure for werewolves and this." Harry looked up and saw Severus holding a potion's phial.

Severus walked over to Sirius and handed it to him. He then shuddered and stepped back.

Sirius gave him a quizzical look before downing the potion. He knew that Severus was incapable of harming him.

The crowd gasped as Sirius rippled out of sight.

There was then a moment's silence.

"You do have an antidote, right?" Came the worried query from the disembodied godfather of the reigning monarch.

He was ignored by everyone… except Hermione who was prodding at the 'empty' space.

"Despite being a slave, my Master has given me the freedom to act as I wish within the bounds of the law. He even gave his blessing for my marriage." He indicated his grinning bride in the front row with a certain water dragon and various powerful allies.

"Anybody? Antidote?" *splat* "Oh come on Harry!"

The crowd burst into laughter as their new king casually tossed a spell at the area where his godfather's voice came from. Sirius Black was now covered in black tar.

"I've got feathers if you want." Harry offered without looking.

Hermione was now shaking her hand vigorously as she had been prodding the man at the time.

Harry stood up and stepped forward. Severus instinctively took a step back.

"Things are going to change. Finance, education, welfare. By the end of the year there will be many changes. The only people who will complain are those who are greedy or enjoy the suffering of others.

"For now, I will see your children back here tomorrow to continue their schooling. Happy New Year to you all."

And with that, Harry turned on the spot and vanished.

*Chapter 24*: Chapter 24
Chapter 24

Harry had insisted on normality for the rest of the year.

He was then required to define 'normal'.

"If someone isn't about to die, don't bring it to me."

Amelia was not impressed, but she didn't bother Harry with the finer details of governing a country.

Harry had more important things to do. Like protecting the galaxy from threats that didn't even know Earth existed.

"Harry, are you sure about this?" Dudley asked with evident trepidation as he stood in front of a very special portal door. It was after school and they were in Harry's lab, just the two of them.

"Definitely. I tested it several times." Harry said as he continued to throw things into his bottomless rucksack.

"Still, shouldn't we wait till the weekend?"

Harry chuckled. "Dud, trust me, the bad guys aren't considerate enough to 'wait for the weekend'."

"We could at least take some backup."

Harry zipped up the bag and slung it over his shoulder. He was dressed in tough jeans, a t-shirt and an open shirt. He had his wand in a holster on his wrist. The same holster was designed like Dudley's bracer. It could act as a focus.

He also had a katana over one shoulder and Caledfwych over the other. He was trying to get his hands on some firearms, not an easy feat in England.

"Look, just give me an hour, 'kay?" Dudley begged.

Harry sighed and put the backpack back on the table. "One hour Dud."

"This was supposed to be a quick trip! Not a bloody expedition to the New World!" Harry exclaimed.

"I just asked David and Uncle Fil if they could spare an hour or so." Dudley said defensively.

"And Fiona? This isn't a romantic-"

"If you think I'm letting you take my brother and my boyfriend to the end of the galaxy without me, you've got a 'nother thing comin' ya mincey heid!"

Harry took a step back at the irate red-head. Her brogue got stronger the more emotional she was.

Then he saw Minerva looking quite pleased with the girl. "What about you?"

"Harry, like tha lass said, you've got a mincey heid if'n ya be think'n I'ma missing tha chance to see Atlantis."

Harry took a moment to process that statement. He really needed translator for this sort of thing. He was relieved to see several of the others looking just as confused.

"She wants to be one of the first to see Atlantis." David chuckled. At least he knew how to speak properly. His commanders wouldn't accept local slang and colloquialism in his verbal or written reports so had to learn pretty quick to enunciate.

"Fine, what about the rest of you?" He asked the girls, Neville, Greg, Vinnie, Hermione, Fleur, Hagrid, Severus, Yoshiko, Aurora and Sirius.

"Most of us have a duty to you, Harry." Gemma spoke up.

"Technically, the only ones with a 'duty' would be Daph and Sev. And I certainly didn't order them to come."

"Suck it up, Harry-chan." Yoshiko smirked. "You're about to do something world changing and we want front row seats."

Harry just grumbled. "Fine. Just remember, this isn't all fun and games. I'm doing this because of a real threat that I need to be ready for. Once we are through, don't touch anything and don't cast any magic."

He stopped and looked at Hagrid. "You realise you are going to a place designed for regular sized humans? It might get cramped."

"I jus' wanted to see what critters were there." Hagrid looked a little forlorn.

"Trust me, Atlantis has been abandoned for years. Everything should be nearly sterile. Stay here this time Hagrid. I'll have someone get you if we find any animals." Harry assured him with a kind smile.

Hagrid nodded, clearly disappointed, but understanding.

"Alright people, we are heading into the unknown!" He announced loudly. "We might know we are going to Atlantis in another galaxy but we have no more details than that.

"Hagrid, as you are here you can act as ground control."

Hagrid shuffled nervously. "I dunno Harry. I can barely conjure a cuppa tea. I ain't ne'er tried to control the ground."

Those that understood the term 'ground control' tried not to laugh at Harry and Hagrid.

"Just stay here and keep in contact with us in case we have an emergency." He pulled out a mirror and tossed it to Fiona. "Here, you've just been designated as our Uhura."

Fiona jabbed her brother in the gut as he snickered.

"Everyone line up in single file. Put your hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you. Follow my instructions to the letter or I will chuck you back through the portal as a transfigured bouncy ball."

Sirius actually paled slightly. Dudley had been playing with one of those rubber balls in the hallway with the other guys.

That's a very bouncy ball in a space with four surfaces made of stone. It flew like a bullet and took an age to stop. Neville had to summon it because they kept losing it.

They quickly shuffled into a line with Harry in the front.

"He said shoulders."

"This is softer."

"Are you calling me fat, woman?"

"I'll have to do a further investigation befo-"

"Some one split up the newly weds." Harry sighed.

"God it's sickening." Sirius grumbled.

"Grow up Black." Aurors snapped. But she did slip between an embarrassed Severus and a pouting Yoshiko.

"And we are moving!" Harry declared loudly from the front where Dudley had his hands on his shoulders. Anything to stop the children from bickering.

The trip through the portal door took them from a brightly lit lab into darkness.

"Are we all through?" Harry asked.

"I'm the last." David announced.

"Lumos."

The area was suddenly lit up to reveal a large room with a brownish red floor and blueish metal walls and columns. All around them, more of the room was revealed as lights began to come on.

"Alright! Which bastard did that?" Harry demanded.

Standing there in the middle of the now huddled group was a very embarrassed Hermione Granger.

"Very disappointing, Miss Granger." Severus said sternly.

"It was dark." She said lamely.

"My instructions were few and simple." Harry said in exasperation.

"Harry, calm down. It was just a light spell." Minerva said warningly.

"No it wasn't just a light spell." He hissed. "It was a light spell that activated the automated systems. Automated systems that use power. Power that is being used to keep the shields up. Shields that are keeping the ocean above us from crushing the city into dust!"

"You have a little time, Harry." Ganos said as she appeared. "I cannot help you but you have everything you need to fix this problem."

"Fine. Daphne, make sure Hermione doesn't do anything else other than breathe. Sev, you're in charge. Make sure no one leaves this spot. No exploring, no spells. Just take this and set up the return portal." He handed Dud his backpack.

"Uncle Fil, David, go with Harry please." Dudley ordered. "Just in case he needs backup."

Harry spent so much time grumbling as they began walking through the dark corridors that Filius eventually got fed up with him.

"It was an honest mistake! Leave the poor girl alone."

"It was bloody careless! I want Hermione to be a part of whatever this fight against evil becomes, because of that I need her to feel bad and understand that not following orders or using caution could be disastrous!

"We could have lost the entire city."

"That is highly unlikely, Harry." Ganos assured them. "The city is extremely low on power at the moment but a few lights won't cause any problems."

"I'm thinking long term." Harry shook his head. "Imagine we got information on a place. If the first thing she does is start casting spells then the next thing she does will be waking up in the afterlife. Always assume you're walking into a trap."

"Does that mean you thought I was setting a trap for you?" Ganos asked curiously.

"Thought? No. But that doesn't mean I won't be prepared for anything." Harry shook his head.

"That's a good way of thinking if you are going to be heading into hostile territory." David spoke up. "You will meet all sorts of people, but you can't take the risk that they might be out to hurt you or others so you be careful what you reveal or how freely you trust them."

"I suppose you are correct." She said unhappily. "We had our own problems with betrayals. Eventually you may have to deal with them as well."

Harry stopped and turned to the ancient woman. "Ganos, have you just unilaterally appointed me the caretaker of the universe?" He glared at her.

She gave a sad chuckle. "In all the time I have existed I have seen people brought back from the dead, travel through time, destroy entire galaxies, create brand new life and even sacrifice themselves for their enemies… but I have never ever heard of someone being sent back in time to inhabit their old body just so they could do things better.

"I only approached you because of your drive and ambition. After hearing your recent confession regarding time travel, I am coming closer and closer to the conclusion that you are meant for even bigger things than I imagined."

Harry began stomping off as he muttered murderously. "If I ever find the bastard that sent me back…"

"Do try and relax, Miss Granger." Minerva sighed as the poor girl fretted away. "Harry will be far more disappointed if you fail to remember this event and repeat the mistake in the future."

"Future? What future?" She was near hysterical. "He'll kick me out of Hogwarts and magical Britain for sure! Ow!"

Daphne glared at her. "Harry would never do that. It is insulting for you to even suggest he would. It was just yesterday that His Majesty invited you to stand beside him in front of his subjects and he treated you as an equal."

"But he just-"

"Hermione, you don't know a single thing about what has happened or what is happening." Sirius broke in quietly. "It isn't written in books and it hasn't been taught to you by teachers.

"You don't have empirical evidence to allow you to make any guesses, predictions or assumptions on what Harry will or will not do.

"The rest of us, on the other hand, know Harry a lot better than you. We know a great deal about his reactions to various situations.

"So, how about you trust those of us with the knowledge and experience instead of coming up with wild and unfounded theories?"

Surprisingly, his speech actually calmed the girl.

Until a certain Astronomy Professor had to ask: "Where the devil did you learn a term like 'empirical evidence'?"

It was nearly an hour later that the lights started to come on.

"I didn't do anything!"

"Calm yourself Miss Granger." Severus sighed. "If anyone is to blame it is probably Black."

"Hey!"

There were two pops and Harry and Filius reappeared with Harry bringing David.

"Alright, it should be safe now. Just, do not cast magic at anything. A lumos should be fine. A warming charm on yourself will also be ok. But don't go casting diagnostics spells or cleaning and reparo spells at anything." Harry informed them.

"Hermione, grab a pen and paper and follow me. You will be writing labels to translate things."

"I- I will?"

"Have you seen what this lot laughably call 'handwriting'?" He waved at the teachers. "Yours is like a work of art by comparison."

"Harry!" Minerva scolded.

"Of course it is just proof that you have zero chance of being a doctor." He grinned at her.

It was a bit later that Harry was dictating to Hermione whilst the others explored.

"How can you understand all of this? It looks like a bunch of lines to me." Hermione frowned as she used a bit of blutack to attach another sheet of paper over a console.

"Hermione, English is just a bunch of lines." Harry grinned. "But, to answer your question, Ganos has been teaching me."

"Ah. Is it difficult to learn?" She asked as she looked at the markings on the console.

"No different than any other language, Hermione Granger." Ganos said with a smile as she appeared.

Hermione became flustered, dropping her paper as she tried to curtsy.

Ganos seemed amused as the girl hastily retrieved her implements whilst still trying to bow or curtsy… it was really more of an epileptic fit.

Harry looked at her dryly. "You were resting in the arms of a king yesterday and even berated him… but for her you'll roll out the red carpet?"

She managed to simultaneously blush and glare at Harry.

"Harry, come with me. There is something you need to see." Ganos instructed.

"We call it the 'Portia Astria'." Ganos waved to the free standing ornate circle that looked like it was made of stone and embedded sapphires.

"Star Door?"

"Very good, Miss Granger." Ganos nodded approvingly to the girl. "Harry, I cannot tell you how to use it, but I will tell you there are two older versions on Earth. One is in the hands of humans but has no controlling device. The other is buried in Antarctica with the control device.

"It is imperative that you find it and get it working. If the other humans get theirs working they will invite chaos and death to your planet."

"Ganos, it's January." Harry moaned. "Couldn't you have sent me somewhere warmer?"

Harry was told to shove off when it came to retrieving the Portia Astria from Antartica. Dudley told him to spend more time with his friends and the other champions to prepare for the upcoming second task. Dudley then gave the task of going to Antartica to Frank.

In retaliation, Harry kidnapped Dudley's girlfriend.

"I'm not your subject ya know, Harry?" Fiona grumbled as she followed him through the castle.

"Well, I need you for this as you are invested in it."

Fiona frowned as they arrived at Longbottom Tower. They went inside to find Fleur, Pavarti and Lavender giving Alice a good pampering. Neville was not around so Harry assumed he had fled at the sight of the females.

"Carry on ladies." Harry told them casually.

They gasped in shock as he pulled a sword out of thin air and rammed it through Alice's chest. The gasps quickly subsided as they realised it was Caledfwych.

That was when Lavender rounded on him angrily. "How could you do that? You made her a squib!" She tried to hit him but was pulled back by Pavarti, aided by Fleur.

"Relax, it's Harry." Pavarti said soothingly. "He loves Alice and he never harms those he loves."

"But her magic!" Lavender began to cry.

"Lavender, you're a pureblood. You were born into a world with magic so you have no idea what it is like to live without it." Harry said compassionately. "I lived for more than ten years without magic, Fiona for all her life. Do you think her or Dudley are unhappy?"

"But Alice's magic was part of her! It- It's like cutting off a limb."

"She's right Harry." Fiona said as she moved forward and comforted the girl. "I've seen you and the other adults use magic… you use it like it is just another appendage or sense."

Harry looked at here with narrowed eyes. "Did you just call me an adult?"

"'Arry!" Fleur chided. "Explain why you did zis to Alice, I know you 'ad a reason."

Harry smiled at her. "Thank you Fleur."

She looked a bit unsure at that. "Que?"

Harry stepped forward and hugged her, she stiffened, still off kilter. "You gave me the benefit of the doubt." Harry said, still hugging her. "You didn't just assume I was a rampaging loon."

Fleur laughed and relaxed, returning the hug. "Zat is what comes with being an adult! Eeep!"

Harry gave her a mock glare as he pulled away. Fleur just rubbed her bottom with a real glare.

"Fiona, take a seat next to Alice." Harry instructed.

Fiona complied without question.

"Fiona." Alice said slowly, a smile on her face as she stroked the girl's red hair. It was a custom she had developed, like giving sweet wrappers to Neville.

Fiona returned the smile and held the older woman's hand.

"Aunty Alice, take a look in my eyes. Your world is about to become very exciting." Harry said with a happy grin.

"You are amazing."

It was the first coherent sentence that Alice Longbottom had said in well over a decade. The fact that it was directed at her godson had the girls around her nodding in awe.

"What was different?" Fiona asked as she tightened her grip on the woman's hand.

"She had no magic. Aunty Alice had a different response to Uncle Frank. She didn't just build walls and hide behind them. She built invisible walls. Walls so well designed that neither Sev nor Albus could see them."

"But you could?" Pavarti asked.

"God no! I didn't know that there were walls. I didn't know what was wrong. I simply made an educated guess that magic was involved and that without it, she would be easier to help.

"Pav, would you go and find Nev?"

Pavarti just nodded before rushing off.

"So you didn't know that taking her magic away would help her?" Lavender looked like she was brewing up a storm.

"I knew that taking away her magic would cause her no harm or discomfort if I was wrong." Harry said firmly.

"But now she is… sane and has no magic."

"Lavender, thank you. I know you are concerned but it is much better to be without magic and lucid and able to know my family than to have magic and be…insane." Alice stood shakily with Fiona's help to hug the blonde haired pureblood.

"Did you know that this is not technically a weapon." They turned to see Harry looking at Caledfwych closely. "It is actually a key. A key to the magic of Britain. I can manipulate the magic of any British citizen or even the magic of the islands themselves. That includes those of Britain's foreign territories."

He then stuck the sword into Alice's chest again.

"Harry!"

"Lavender! Calm down." Fiona admonished. "Think about what Harry said."

"I don't give a damn what he said." She scowled. "Sticking someone with any kind of knife is always bad."

Harry removed the sword from a completely unconcerned Alice and handed her his wand. "Go on then, give it a swish."

Alice smiled at Harry as she conjured a small flock of birds. "You. Are. Amazing."

"This is what Ganos and her people used to travel the universe?" Frank asked sceptically.

It was a largish group that was in the Chamber of Secrets, standing in front of the Portia Astria.

"One of the methods. This particular portal will take us to any planet in this galaxy that has a similar device on the surface. The one in Atlantis actually has the ability to connect with other galaxies. I'll probably replace this one with a newer model."

"You know how to make these?" Alice asked in amazement.

"Meh." Harry shrugged. "Atlantis is a massive flying city. It has homes, schools, hospitals, government buildings and factories. There is a factory for making these portals and one to make more power devices that I used to repower the city.

"There are plenty of other factories and labs as well."

"But it just seems so… cumbersome." Frank complained. "And you can't use it like the door you made that doesn't require a partner at the destination."

"Well, Ganos' people didn't have magic."

"What? I thought they created humans." Sirius frowned.

"They seeded life in this galaxy, but we evolved on our own. Some of our magic might be related to their abilities as they did breed with us, but they were just as baffled by our abilities as we were by theirs.

"Granted, we had just learnt to smelt ore…"

"If we have different abilities, how were you able to make Atlantis work?" Hermione asked.

"Because Harry has been learning how to ascend."

They all turned to see Albus and Ganos walking in.

"Ganos? How did you get into Hogwarts?" Harry asked in surprise.

"The same way the rest of us do." Albus said in amusement. "She used the door."

"But the wards-"

"Stopped her because she was attempting to circumvent them." Albus interrupted Hermione with a smile. "But, if one opens the door to allow a person entry, that person is implicitly given permission. Miss Ganos will still need to leave by the front door, but she will no longer be restricted from communing with us here."

The look that Harry gave Ganos showed that he was truly not impressed.

"In my defence, I have spent very little time in mortal form over the past thousands of years." Ganos said, clearly embarrassed.

"Anyway!" Harry rolled his eyes. "I was able to make Atlantis work because I can read the Alteran language, thanks to Ganos. Magicals have a gene that the Alteran's had that allows them to control and activate Alteran technology. It prevented invaders from appropriating their technology and using it against them."

"So… could Fi and I use it?" Dudley asked.

"You can Dud. You have the gene. Fiona doesn't. But, I am working on that."

"Are you going to stab me with your sword like you did to Alice?" The red head glared at him.

"My dear, as much as Harry would argue against me, he is a being filled with love." Albus told her with a fond smile for the glaring king. "He can be very ruthless in his actions, but, after examining those actions in hindsight, everything he has done has been to protect those who could not protect themselves."

Albus had insisted that Harry postpone any experiments with Portia Astria until after the second task at the very latest. Ganos had assured Harry that the galaxy was unlikely to collapse in on itself in that time.

Harry didn't spend time in classes so he quickly found himself becoming bored.

The only thing he was allowed to work on was the Second Task.

Boredom + Harry = Havoc.

Of course there were simpler things that distracted him from time to time. Alice spent a lot of time listening to Harry tell stories about himself and Neville, especially ones from his first time through. Fleur spent the evenings with himself, the girls and Dudley. Fiona was often there as well when the couple weren't out at a movie. Frank and Alice often chaperoned them as it gave them the chance to reconnect.

There was one event, soon after school restarted, that he didn't expect.

There was a knock on his door one evening and Tracey went to answer it. She was, as always, beaten by Dobby. But it was bit of a game between the pair.

"Hey Hermione, you ok?" Tracey asked the clearly nervous girl.

"I… I would like to beg an audience with His Majesty, at his convenience, of course." She added a curtsy as an afterthought.

Tracey looked amused. "Harry, do you have some time to talk to Hermione?" She called over her shoulder.

"Of course." Came the reply.

Hermione was not expecting for anyone to do anything except make an appointment… or arrange to make one at least. She also wasn't expecting to hear desperation in Harry' voice.

As she entered the living room behind Tracey she noticed Daphne and Pansy were adjusting their skirts and blouses. Fleur and Gemma were laughing at Harry who looked very harried.

"Girls, come on." Tracey ordered. "I think Hermione wants to speak to Harry alone."

There was a lot of frowning and pouting but they all left until Hermione was standing in the room with just Harry in his armchair. He still naively thought it would keep the girls off him due to the small amount of room.

He underestimated them.

"Sit down Hermione. You're making the place look untidy."

Hermione was taken aback by the idiom. "Have you been talking to my mother?" She asked.

"I've been talking to a lot of mothers. I met with all of the families of new magicals."

Hermione nodded and took a seat on the sofa. "I… I want to talk about Draco." She said with gravity.

"And I would prefer to pretend he never existed." Harry groaned.

"Please, Your Majesty." Hermione pleaded.

"Here's the deal. You can talk to me about him so long as you drop the honorifics." Harry glared at her.

"But I want to talk about his sentence." She reasoned.

"The one he got for trying to murder you?"

Hermione blushed but nodded. "It's just… Azkaban, even away from Dementors… it's too harsh for a boy. For any child."

"Yes, but he forfeited the right to be considered anything more than a human. He willingly and without reservation attempted to kill someone for no reason other than her birth.

"He wasn't afraid of you. He didn't see you as a threat. He didn't perceive some form of insult from you. He tried to kill you because he felt he was entitled to end your existence."

"But-"

"He was given years to change. Even at eleven years old. But he refused."

"His father-"

"Was as bad as Vernon Dursley. But Vernon's son, Dudley, changed.

"Dudley hated and feared magic.

"Malfoy hated muggles.

"I showed Dudley magic and introduced him to wiggles. Dudley cautiously began to accept them and his first real friend was a young witch who, to this day, he still manages to insult.

"I showed Draco muggles. I introduced him to them and their ways. Draco continued to belittle them and attempt to hurt them, even when he was threatened with execution.

"What has Draco done to deserve any sort of clemency?" Harry asked Hermione calmly.

She sat there, lost and forlorn. "It just seems so wrong." She said quietly.

"Draco was wrong. And we would be wrong to imprison him in Azkaban." Harry admitted. "But two wrongs don't make right. And, we have magic."

"So, he's not in Azkaban."

"No. Not for a while now." Harry paused in thought. "Do you remember what happened to Gilderoy Lockhart, what his crimes where?"

"He was killed in a duel and it was proven he had been obliviating people and claiming their deeds." She said with a shudder. Garabed had been merciful in that he had killed the man in two spells. He had disarmed and then killed the fake with a piercing hex to the heart.

"During my first time through Hogwarts, Gilderoy tried to obliviate my memories as well. Fortunately for me he was using a broken wand. It back fired and erased his entire identity.

"He knew how to walk, talk, eat and communicate. But he forgot other skills like reading and writing."

Harry chuckled at the predictable look of horror on his friend's face.

"But he also forgot who he was. As far as I know, he was still in the long term ward at St. Mungo's during the final battle."

"And you did this to Draco?" Hermione wasn't sure what to think of that.

Harry sat forward, his hands clasped together, resting on his knees. He chose his words and phrasing carefully. "Hermione, when you kill a person, you are not just affecting your target's life. You are always going to affect others as well. Your target might have a wife, children, siblings. They will certainly have had parents, even if it is only for a few moments.

"But you also affect yourself. You make yourself something that a lot of people have trouble being around. A killer. Your friends and family will look at you and judge you. Even if they don't hate you or think you were wrong. It is a life changing event. I imagine there are a few events that are similar, such as a girl becoming a mother, someone getting married. These are things that change your image as seen by the rest of the world.

"If I had killed Draco, Narcissa, his mother, would have been heartbroken. The public would be outraged over the murder of a 'child', even though said 'child' was guilty of trying to murder another child.

"Draco Malfoy forfeited his right to live. He had proven himself a viable and persistent threat to the safety and freedom of innocent people.

"But, instead of removing his stain by cutting him out of the cloth of life… I bleached him. I reset him. He and his mother are living quite happily in France with the main line of the Malfoy family. I hear he is still a bit stuck up, but the head of the family is a good man who would happily tan the brat's hide if needed."

Hermione couldn't help the giggle. But then she grew melancholy and thoughtful.

"Death of a person or death of character." Harry said with a sad smile. "It's a lot to take in. Even harder to have to choose. If you want someone to talk to, I recommend Albus. He's familiar with these moral quagmires."

*Chapter 25*: Chapter 25
Chapter 25

It was the week before the Second Task. Albus had convinced the Champions and those involved that the hostages would be perfectly safe. He had apparently enlisted Toyotama to provide assistance by watching over the hostages with the merpeople. Also the hostages would be awake and able to assist on the return.

Gabrielle was thrilled, she was going to be a part of the tournament.

Tracey had agreed to play Viktor's hostage.

But that left Harry and his hostage.

There was a lot of discussion over who it would be.

Harry knew he shouldn't have been surprised when he returned back to his quarters at the end of the day. It was quite in character really.

He just stood there watching as Gemma, Daphne, Pansy and Tracey wrestled with each other in string bikinis… covered in jam.

Fleur was happily cheering them on from his chair.

He didn't bother stopping them or questioning them, he simply headed for his bedroom to shower and change for the evening.

As the bedroom door closed with a click the girls ceased their grappling.

"That bastard." Pansy growled. "He didn't even take a proper look! I'm sitting here, covered strawberry jam, wearing scandalous clothing, groping my beautiful friends and he just walks past!"

"Well, I don't know about you four," Daphne said as she casually stood up. "But I need a good shower." She peeled off her bikini with a grimace. "Coming girls?" She asked with a smirk as she strutted towards Harry's bedroom.

"I do not need a shower." Fleur pouted.

Pansy rolled her eyes as she stood up, marched over to Fleur and shoved a jam covered hand up her shirt causing the French girl to squeak. "And now you do."

There was quick round of shared looks before they all squealed and took off after Daphne and Harry.

Into the silence of the aftermath, Dobby became visible. He surveyed the room, the carpet had jam crushed into it. The ceiling was splattered with it. The furniture- Dobby began to vibrate on the spot.

"DOBBY IS LUCKIEST ELF IN WORLD!" He squealed in delight before he got to work.

"I like idea."

Everyone stared at the grinning Bulgarian in disbelief.

"But she would be doomed to finish last!" Amelia tried to reason with the Champions.

They were in Albus' office (he had finally moved back in) and discussing the hostages for the Second Task.

Which was tomorrow.

"Miss Delacour cannot be 'ostage and Champion." Madame Maxime frowned.

"She can if we change the method of timing." Harry grinned.

Fleur did not look happy. She also didn't look sad or angry. She looked unimpressed but resigned to her fate.

Behind the Champions stood the girls and Gabrielle. The girls were pouting and Gabrielle was grinning like a loon.

After ambushing Harry in the shower (and Harry subsequently fleeing) they had explained that the jam wrestling was how they were trying to decide who would be Harry's hostage.

Tracey had just grinned impishly when Harry asked why she was involved as she had already agreed to be Viktor's hostage.

"It's simple. Instead of using an allotted time of one hour, we judge the Champions on how long each of them takes to complete the task." Harry reasoned.

"Which will still mean that Fleur will have to spend a lot of time doing the task after you and Viktor have finished." Amelia argued.

"Hot babe in a bathing suit." Harry shrugged, ignoring the elbow from Fleur. "You've gone mental if you think anyone will be watching me and Vik."

It certainly didn't help that Viktor was nodding thoughtfully as well.

That evening, Harry and Fleur went out for a meal. They were chaperoned by Sirius and Minerva a few tables back.

It was a muggle restaurant.

So Sirius and Minerva were chaperoned by Dudley and Fiona.

Harry decided that next time he would just order in.

"'Arry, you do know you are 'urting your girls, non?" Fleur asked seriously as they waited for their order. "You keep ignoring their advances. They are thinking you do not see them as beautiful."

"Well that's bloody ridiculous!"

"Language!"

Harry ignored the hissed admonition from the older Scott behind him. "Those girls are stunning!"

"Then why do you not return their affections?"

"You mean other than the fact that you and I are courting?" He asked pointedly.

Fleur just scoffed. "You know that I am veela. All veela are women. If I couldn't find a man I would have found a veela."

Harry's face twisted into one of confusion. "So… that means you are open to relationships with women. I assume that you are also implying you do not mind relationships with multiple partners."

"Yes 'Arry." She said simply. "Now answer my question."

"How old am I Fleur?"

"Fourteen."

Harry paused at that. "Wasn't expecting that response." He muttered. "Anyway, we both know that that isn't true. The girls are only fourteen, sixteen in Gemma's case, but still, they are not of the age to make them legally eligible to participate in sexual relations."

Fleur's English was improving a lot, her accent was getting better too. But still… "Que?"

"They are too damned young."

"You are king. You make the rules." She pointed out.

"I am not going to have one set of rules for me and one for the rest of the country." Harry shook his head. "Like I said, they are only fourteen, they should experience as much as they can whilst they are still children."

"Even if what they want is you?" She continued before he could answer. "Your girls 'ave been faithful to you since they were eleven. They 'ave never wanted anybody else."

Harry just sighed.

"I know you love them, 'Arry." Fleur said kindly. "Just as you love me. And although I 'ave only known you for a few months, I am falling in love with you as well."

Harry looked at her with a sad smile. "You looked beautiful on your wedding day. You smiled so happily. It was a bright spark in the darkness of the war."

"We were married?" She asked in surprise.

Harry laughed. "Absolutely not! We were friends, but the first time we met you called me a 'little boy' in a very derogatory way. Do you want to know who you married?"

"Non." Fleur said fiercely. "Zat Fleur is gone. Zere is only me and I love you." Her accent got heavier as she got more passionate.

There was moment's silence an awkwardness. It didn't help that everyone at the table behind them not only heard but understood what was happening. They felt dirty for hearing it.

"Ok."

Fleur looked Harry warily. He said that so casually.

"So, do you think Gabby will be asleep by the time we get back?" He asked with a grin.

"Not unless ma mere has used her wand." Fleur said slowly, trying to ease out of the tenseness of the previous conversation.

"You know, I had to rescue Gabby in the second task last time."

"Non! Why would she be your 'ostage?"

"She wasn't. You got ambushed by grindylow. You couldn't reach her. I didn't know that the hostages weren't in danger and refused to leave until they were collected. I waited for Cedric and Viktor to get their hostages, when you didn't turn up I took both mine and yours."

"I bet Gabby was impossible to separate from you after." Fleur giggled.

"I never saw her again until your wedding."

"That is terrible!" Fleur scowled. "She adores you, how-"

"Fleur, last time I wasn't the official champion. I was entered against my will. Nobody believed me, even after I was abducted by the bastard and Cedric was killed."

"So-"

"So I was a pariah. Only Hermione really stayed with me."

"You were a couple?" Fleur asked sadly.

"No, just very good friends. She was one of the most important people in my life. She never abandoned me."

"She-"

"Ember! N-"

Everybody sighed as Harry vanished in flame.

"Blimey! We thought there might be an attempt, just never thought it would be his phoenix." Fleur jumped as the man at the table in front of her turned and waved his wand at her in greeting.

"God damn you!" Harry ranted at the chirping bird.

Ember was highly agitated and flew off.

That's when Harry realised he was in the Chamber of Secrets.

And that the Portia Astria was activating.

"Shit!" Harry tossed off a patronus messenger. The various suits of armour that had been placed as security were moving into formation around the stone looking circle.

"Ember, get Blinky." Harry ordered as he readied his wand.

It was only seconds after Ember vanished that the portal connected and exploded in what looked like a bomb under water.

By that time Blinky and Ember where back.

"Blinky, petrify only." Harry instructed.

Seconds later six well-built men dressed as soldiers came tumbling through the portal in a heap.

"I want you to think very carefully before you decide to even blink." Harry said dangerously.

The men looked up slowly. "Colonel-"

"Easy men." Another man said cautiously.

"Now, very slowly, stand up and raise your hands very high in the air." Harry instructed.

"As the boy said." A completely different man ordered as he stood slowly. "On your feet and hands in the air."

Harry ran a cursory eye over the men. They were wearing packs, guns and knives. Two were wearing helmets. The one who ordered them to follow Harry's orders was wearing a beret with a badge that Harry didn't recognise.

But Harry did deduce a few things just from the few words they had spoken and how they acted.

"So, how about you explain how a group of American soldiers managed to find themselves tumbling out of my Portia Astria?" Harry calmly asked, never taking his wand off them.

"This is the twentieth century?" The leader asked in surprise.

"Despite the suits of armour, the portal does not have a built in time travel feature." Harry rolled his eyes.

"But- How did you get the stargate from the-"

"Soldier! Stow it!" Barked the first man who spoke.

"Stargate? I suppose that's an acceptable translation." Harry mused. Then he looked at them with a smirk. "So, the American military has managed to activate the portal from Africa."

The soldiers tensed.

"I'm going to need four things from you, gentlemen. Name, rank, serial number and the name of someone who can vouch for you."

At this point a whole multitude of people came barrelling down the corridor leading into the Chamber.

"Really? It's still 1995?" The leader asked disbelievingly as he looked at the people in long dresses straight out of a Renaissance Fair.

Harry rapidly fired off stunners at the six men, by the time he had finished, the last man had barely raised his foot.

"I want them placed in a secure room with round the clock guards." Harry ordered. "Contact Amelia and have her begin talking to her American colleagues. I want to know who they are and what they were doing before they came through the portal.

"I'll interrogate them tomorrow."

"Second Task." Sirius coughed pointedly.

"That's gonna take a few hours. I'll have plenty of time to compete and return."

"We can begin the interrogations whilst you compete." Sirius assured him.

"Sirius, these men are muggles. They won't understand what you are asking and you won't understand how they answer."

"I'll start the interrogations."

Harry looked at his cousin with a raised eyebrow. Dudley, like himself, was just fourteen. But the truth was that there was no one else who knew more about the portals and what was beyond the planet except Harry and Aurora.

"Ok Dud. But Hagrid stays in the room with you."

"David can help." Fiona offered.

"No Fi, David is a good man, it's bad enough that he associates with what is essentially a foreign power, he will get in a lot of trouble if anyone finds out he was meddling in their affairs."

"Harry, leave this in our hands." Frank said firmly. "We'll get the initial information and start immediately on contacting the Americans."

"Alright." Harry agreed reluctantly. "But before you do anything, get Sev and have him strip search the men. Check for any foreign objects that they might carry or have inserted in them."

"Their soldiers, Harry. Not double-0 agents." Dudley's smirk lasted about a second. Harry's glare was enough to remember that he shouldn't assume anything.

The Second Task… boredom personified.

Even the Champions were bored.

"Was no challenge." Viktor grumbled as they sat in the medical tent. Harry had rescued Fleur by calling in his ship. It took him five minutes.

Viktor made it back just a few seconds before Fleur.

"I think Toyotama-hime scared off most of the dangers." Harry stage whispered, said Water Dragon was standing next to Gabrielle's bed and brushing her hair.

"I am just a simple girl from a simple family." She hissed in parseltongue primly.

"And I'm just a fourteen year old boy." Harry retorted sarcastically.

Viktor had managed a full transformation into a shark as opposed to his partial attempt during Harry's first time through. Fleur took a similar route to Harry.

She enchanted a glass bowl to provide air and be unbreakable. She also fashioned a triangular piece of wood that would drag her where she wanted.

Pretty much the underwater version of a broomstick.

"You should try and do a transfiguration as a dolphin." Tracey piped up next to Viktor. "That way you can travel underwater but also breach the surface. Plus, I bet Gabrielle would enjoy swimming with dolphins." She grinned as the little girl's face lit up in excitement.

"Have you planned our summer getaway yet, Harry?" Tracey asked.

"You know I don't arrange that sort of thing. Besides, I was planning on seeing if Luna wanted to explore the planet Lantea, I was checking the city's sensors and there is a large landmass nearby."

"That sounds amazing!" Tracey beamed. "Maybe some of those animals she can see will be there too."

"Possible, but unlikely. Still, we all know Luna will go searching." Harry chuckled.

"Can I come 'Arry?"

"Gabby, put those away." Harry ordered the little girl with the large soulful eyes and pouty lips. "If I want a puppy I'll go play with Fluffy.

"As long as your parents say it ok, then you can come to Atlantis." He assured her.

"Ah! Ladies and gentlemen!" They turned to see Albus entering with the other judges. "A wondrous performance you put on!"

"Albie, it was the most boring thing I've ever been a part of." Harry said slowly and pointedly. "And I spent ten years living in a cupboard."

"He's right Albus." Amelia snorted. "We completely failed to give them a challenge."

"In Dumblydoor's defence, we were not allowed to use dangerous creatures." Madame Maxine said unhappily.

"It's a sad day when the professors of three schools can't put their heads together to come up with a decent challenge that will test the students' brains and ingenuity." Harry shook his head.

"Watch it mister!" Penny grinned as she ruffled his hair. "I've already commandeered the third task. Toyotama-hime and Yoshiko have agreed to help. I'm going to see if I can rope Ganos in as well."

"Sounds interesting." Harry mused.

"You have our scores, professors?" Fleur asked respectfully.

Amelia took up that duty. "Harry is of course in first place. There was some argument over whether he cheated by using his ship but that was put to rest by the fact that he created it and built it.

"We queried the professors and they say they had no part in this particular vessel."

"You created a new ship?" Tracey asked.

"I wanted a much smaller version." Harry explained. "It wouldn't be fair to the squid, merpeople and other creatures in the lake if I dropped the original ship in the lake."

"'Ow did Fleur fit in?" Gabrielle asked curiously.

Harry grinned. "It's bigger on the inside."

Tracey just groaned. She would be having words with Dudley and Fiona. The pair were avid Dr Who fans and they had clearly infected Harry.

"Staying on track!" Amelia glared at them. "Viktor is in second place by a single point, simply because Fleur was only fractionally slower in her completion.

"Madam Maxime, Penny, please speak to the heads of your school's countries. Tell them that I would be willing to host the Tri-Wizard Tournament on a regular basis so long as certain rules and regulations are put in place.

"The main one being that the Goblet of Fire is never used again. Students should participate in internal school competitions to determine the champions."

"Oh Harry!" Penny squealed as she grabbed him in a hug.

She eventually released him to reveal a very red and grumpy face. "Why doesn't Ember ever rescue me when I need it?"

"Colonel Jack O'Neill, United States Air Force."

"What did you do to my men?" The Colonel demanded as he sat at a table in a simple apartment with stone walls.

"Nothing."

"I want to speak to someone in charge. Stop sending kids in to do adult work."

"Colonel, I am the highest ranking person in the country." Harry responded calmly. Behind him were Dudley and Severus, standing quietly.

"What are you? Barely sixteen!?" The Colonel said in amusement.

"Fourteen. And please address him as his position deserves, King Harry or 'Your Majesty'." Dudley said firmly.

"Kid, I know for a fact there aren't any reigning monarchs under twenty in any country."

"Welcome to Magical Britain." Harry said with a hint of sarcasm. "Colonel, I don't want any classified information from you. I just want to know who to contact so I can turn you over.

"I know all about the Portia Astria, or Stargate, as you called it. I've used it to travel to a few planets. To be honest I prefer my own portals."

"The stargate only goes to one place. There was only one address." O'Neill frowned.

"No, there are plenty of stargates in systems throughout multiple galaxies." Harry corrected him. "Now, we have tried to make contact with the US Air Force but they deny knowing about you. I don't suppose you know anyone in the British Military?"

"Why?" The Colonel asked suspiciously.

"Because I might be able to get them to come and take you off my hands so they can hand you back to your government."

Colonel Jack O'Neill stared at the boy in front of him. The kid was relaxed, unconcerned and didn't consider him a threat. He actually looked bored.

"Where am I?"

"A castle in Scotland. The precise location is secret but that's just because the castle is also a school and we keep it secret to protect the children."

"You have an inter-planetary portal stored in a school?" O'Neill was sceptical of that.

"It's actually the most secure place on the islands."

"You are damned lucky we just took out Ra." O'Neill breathed out with a shudder.

"Ra? The Goa'uld?" Harry sat forward, O'Neill now had his full attention. "You killed Ra? The Sun God?"

"Yeah." He knew he shouldn't be revealing this information but it wasn't really relevant to America so it wouldn't compromise their security. "Our mission was threat evaluation. We had a nuke, Ra turned up and we had to blow his ship to save the locals and prevent him accessing Earth through the stargate."

"Shit!" Harry slapped the table angrily.

"Harry?" Severus finally spoke up with concern.

"I told you about the Goa'uld, they have a loose alliance and hold themselves up as gods. Ra was their leader. When they find out about his death they will track down everyone involved."

"There's more of those creepy bastards?" O'Neill asked in surprise.

"Millions of their species, thousands who have taken human hosts and hundreds vying for positions of power." Harry growled. "And you just managed to point them all at us."

"How soon will they find us?" Dudley asked.

"I have no idea. Ra was pretty much the only thing holding the Goa'uld together as an alliance. With him gone they will start fighting for dominance.

"At best, we have a year."

"Their ships can reach Earth?" O'Neill asked.

"Yep. They only use the stargates for cargo and cattle. They don't trust that it will be safe on the other side, ambushes and whatnot."

"Wouldn't moving animals from one planet to another risk endangering the local ecosystems?" Dudley asked. He was often reading the latest protocols that Harry's teams were developing for when they began interstellar travel.

"By 'cattle', I mean slaves, human slaves." Harry grimaced.

"How do you know all this?" The Colonel asked.

"I read."

"He's not talking about books found on Earth." Dudley quickly added. "Harry already has one alien ally."

"You've made contact with extra-terrestrials?" O'Neill asked dubiously.

"Sure. Technically they made contact with me. They saw me starting to travel in space and-"

"You can travel in space? We've been travelling in space for over three decades! Why didn't they come to us?" He demanded indignantly.

"Probably because of that type of attitude." Severus sneered.

O'Neill winced. "Sure, not exactly a good example." He admitted. "But still, why wait until a kid can do it?"

"Perhaps because he achieved this as a child." Severus was beginning tire of this conversation.

"It's irrelevant!" Harry interrupted. "We need to focus on the immediate threat. We need to come up with a plan." Harry said as he stood in frustration. "Severus, he has ten minutes to give you the name of someone who will acknowledge his existence and get us in contact with the US Government. If he still refuses, take the information."

O'Neill's blood ran cold at that statement, but he remained impassive.

"It is a shame my allure does not work on him." Fleur commented to Filius as they watched Harry pace back and forward in the Chamber of Secrets. "'E needs to relax."

"It is not just you he is immune to, my dear." Filius sighed. "Since he claimed the sword and throne, he is immune to nearly all magic."

"Que?"

Filius chuckled. "I've been throwing calming charms at the lad since I arrived." He showed her his wand, held surreptitiously under his arm.

"That was you!?" Harry suddenly rounded on him. "Well… stop it! It itches!"

"Wait, the magic does affect you?" Filius asked with worry and interest.

"Only in so far as I know a spell hit me. Nothing more." Harry waved a hand nonchalantly.

At that time, Severus entered the Chamber. "I have the names of several people. Madam Bones has them now and is contacting the muggle Prime Minister."

"Alright, that's good."

"There is another piece of information I gleaned from his mind." Severus winced. "They left a man behind. Specifically the man who deciphered the portal and managed to activate it. The one who managed to send them back and subsequently, through our portal."

"Fu-"

"Harry!"

"Did you get the location of the planet they went to?"

Severus handed Harry a piece of parchment.

Harry took the parchment over to a wooden desk which was inlaid with coloured crystals. There were symbols etched into the wood. He tapped a few of the symbols and an image of the Milky Way appeared over the desk.

"This day just gets worse and worse." Harry sighed as he used the desk to zoom in on the image. "This planet, it's the closest planet to Earth with a portal."

"What do you intend to do?" Filius asked.

"Travel to the planet, find the man they left behind and try and sort something out that will prevent him and the people there being a liability to Earth."

"Harry! This whole fiasco is spiralling out of control." They turned to see Amelia storming up with Kingsley Shacklebot and his rookie, Nymphadora Tonks. They were Amelia's security as the Prime Minister of Magical Britain. "The muggle Prime Minister is threatening military action against us. He is accusing us of sedition and treason for acknowledging you as king."

Harry looked at her in disbelief. "You did mention that whole deal with the possible extra-terrestrial threat?"

"Of course I did! But he wasn't in the mood to listen. I introduced myself as soon as you appointed me. I gave him a run down of your story and our new government. It seems he has been making plans with the muggle queen since then."

"I don't need this!" Harry was near screaming. "This is why I hate politic-Mphfff!" Harry's tirade was halted by a pair of lips pressed against his, a tongue soon demanding entrance.

"I thought her allure didn't work on Harry." Filius was surprised as he watched Fleur passionately kiss his honorary nephew.

Amelia just snorted. "She's a woman, Filius. She has more than magic at her disposal."

"As… effective, as this is, we still need a plan." Severus turned away from the sight of his master getting the stuffing snogged out of him. "I managed to catch glimpses of this 'Ra' that the Colonel says they defeated. His technology is beyond anything the muggles have. If they come to Earth then we are doomed."

"I am not personally worried about these so-called 'gods'." Filius said thoughtfully. "Harry is more than capable of having a plan in place. The immediate issue is the muggle threats."

"Filius, I only made it out of the Prime Minister's office because they wanted me to deliver the message." Amelia shuddered. "They were more than willing to imprison me. They easily disarmed myself and my aurors." She indicated her bodyguards who also looked concerned.

"That's because you underestimated them." Severus fought not to sneer. "You also assumed they would not take offence to the fact that you declared there was new king ruling on British soil."

"Well what would you suggest then?" Tonks did sneer. She was one of the last students to have to deal with the pre-enslaved Severus Snape.

"We must persuade His Majesty to allow us to handle the muggles. He should focus on the aliens." Severus said thoughtfully.

There was a flash of fire and they all turned to see Harry and Fleur had vanished. Nobody doubted for a second that a certain mischievous phoenix was involved.

"Filius, I will require yourself and Minerva in order to perform reconnaissance so that we can determine the reality of the threat the muggles pose to us." Severus addressed his colleague.

"I will fetch Minerva. Meet us in my quarters."

"No, mine." Severus corrected.

Filius simply nodded and headed off.

Severus turned to Amelia. "For the time being, do nothing about the muggles. Appear to ignore them. But increase your security. Contact the goblins and have them improve your wards, explain the situation and request a goblin guard. This situation is a threat to all magical beings."

"Dudley, we are about to embark on a mission which, whilst will require your expertise, will pit you against your girlfriend's brother."

Dudley looked at the dourer than usual Potions Master with a raised eyebrow. "I know Harry said you could have your freedom, but you are still bound not to hurt him, right?"

Severus actually chuckled. "I am. The muggle British Government has made substantial threats against the King and his people. The five of us will perform reconnaissance and try to determine if they are a truly viable threat or if they are merely posturing."

Dudley looked at the four adults, Filius, Minerva, Severus and Yoshiko. "You do remember that I didn't travel through time? I am still fourteen."

"Dudley, despite Severus and Yoshiko's experience in the non-magical realm, we are still not completely conversant with their technology." Filius explained. "Every time you bring something new to Hogwarts you leave us baffled and confused." He said with a chuckle. "We do not require your infiltration skills, simply your knowledge and ability to identify things."

Dudley let out a sigh. "Alright, but just don't ask me how it works or operates. Fiona still has to remind me how to get my emails."

When Harry and Fleur exited his bedroom, they were fairly rumpled. Harry looked a bit dazed and Fleur had a satisfied smile.

They were met by four unhappy and pouting girls.

"Look, I will talk to Sirius and Agatha about formalising a relationship when you all hit sixteen, but not before." Harry said in exasperation. "In the meantime I will take you out and court you like you deserve. Physical contact will be carefully monitored until you hit sixteen."

"Great! I have to wait till next March!" Tracey complained. She was silenced by a hand on her shoulder from Gemma. "But I can be patient." She pouted. "As long as I get some alternate action to hold me over."

Gemma had pointed out that she was already of age. Harry didn't want to show preferences so he lumped everybody together, including Fleur.

"Trust me, 'e might need some… encouragement, but 'Arry can definitely 'old you over." Fleur looked a little unsteady on her legs as she moved to sit down.

The girls, bar Pansy, joined her as Pansy herself pulled Harry onto his chair and sat on his lap. He had a feeling the girls had worked out a rota.

Gemma pulled out a notebook she always carried. She had taken on the role of Harry's secretary. "Severus stopped by and said he was handling the 'Muggle Situation'. He suggested that you should focus on the 'Gold'?" She frowned at him.

"'Goa'uld'." Harry corrected. "Those soldiers who came through the portal in the Chamber killed one of them. The problem is that the rest will come looking for some payback."

"I'll ask Terrence to create a briefing on the various projects." She said as she made a note.

Terrence Higgs had created a small club that consisted of all years and backgrounds. The muggle raised would bring technical devices for the wiggle raised to try and recreate with magic. The wiggle raised would bring magical devices for the muggle raised to emulate.

Terry took great pleasure in naming it 'The Pottery Club'. Harry objected due to there being no pots or clay involved but Terry said that all they were doing was 'pottering about'.

"I'm going to have to spend more time on Atlantis." Harry grumbled. "I didn't want to research Alteran technology until our own was up to par. But if the bastards are coming soon then I can't risk the wait."

"If I were you then I wouldn't risk trying to get into any building until we can test the technology against magic." Dudley said gravely.

They had just exited Albus' pensive filled with Severus' memories as he toured a few buildings such as Scotland Yard.

"There were cameras everywhere, plus the metal detectors."

"And you are sure that charms and cloaks will not be enough?" Minerva asked with concern.

"Some of the cameras used in the military can view heat. They can see the hot areas of your body. We need to find out if cloaks and charms will hide more than just what humans can see.

"I'll talk to Harry and ask him to get me some simple gear that we can easily test."

"Not to worry Dudley my boy, I will get funds from Aurora, she is always interested in new imaging techniques and will appreciate the chance to experiment as well." Filius assured him.

Chapter Text

*Chapter 26*: Chapter 26
Chapter 26

"Ok Jack, this is how the world stands at the moment." Harry started as he sat down opposite the US Colonel in his assigned rooms. "You just got back from poking the hornet's nest and as soon as they figure out you came from Earth, they'll be coming for their honey.

"You also left behind on the planet you called 'Abydos', the key scientist who managed to figure out how to work the portal and the 'address' of both our planet and Abydos.

"Back here on Earth, your government is still refusing to acknowledge you exist. You are in legal and political limbo, as my Prime Minister put it.

"Also, the British non-magical government and their queen has started to make threats against myself and my government."

"And…?" Jack prompted.

"That's up to you. We got everything we needed from you and your men. We intend to head to Abydos and retrieve Daniel Jackson. We will also see if we can't offer the locals some protection.

"Here are your choices:

"One, you come with me and help me convince Jackson to leave peacefully and perhaps act as a liaison to the locals.

"Two, I have you and your men shipped to America. From there you can do whatever you want.

"Both options have major downsides." Harry folded his arms and leant back.

"What downsides?" Jack asked in consternation.

"Coming with me has a high risk of death. Going to America also has a high risk of death, or at least long term imprisonment as they try and figure out how we compromised you."

"Can I talk to my men?"

"Sure. That door leads to a connected room where you can all meet. They've got their own rooms that connect to it." Harry stood up. "Please make a decision quickly. If you aren't going to help then I at least want you out of here so I have one less thing to worry about."

"Blinky, very soon I will have plenty for you to hunt and eat. For now, we are going to see if there is a possibility of a practice run."

Blinky was nearing twenty-five feet and very thick. He hissed gleefully as he coiled around and around himself.

"I'm sorry, ok! How was I to know they would be a bunch of pansies?"

Harry and Blinky had returned after less than half an hour. They had arrived at the acromantula colony only for Aragog and his kids to take one look at the hungry looking basilisk and his human pet and pelt it out of the forest.

Harry and Blinky had chased after them, they couldn't risk them preying on muggles.

Fortunately for Harry they were headed north, they arrived to discover that acromantulas, when faced with a choice between a basilisk and suicide, chose suicide.

They could only watch as the giant spiders threw themselves off the cliff and into the North Sea.

"Anyway, Magorian promised you a feast every year to mark the anniversary of the day you cleansed the forest." Harry said proudly.

Blinky was still sulky. "There had better be spiders. You said they were tasty."

"What did you do to poor Blinky?" Pansy said accusingly as she walked up and gently caressed the snakes head.

"I didn't do anything!" Harry objected. "We were going to clear out the acromantula colony but they cowards all scarpered when they saw Blinky." He grumbled as he sat in his chair. He was soon weighed down by a one Gemma Farley.

"No notebook?" He asked the girl.

"Professor Snape said that he would bring anything of importance to you directly. He suggested that you split your time between relaxing and preparing for the aliens." She smiled.

He gave a laugh of disbelief. "Did I ever tell you what he was like last time and before we started Hogwarts?" He asked the other girls. At their shaking heads he continued. "Severus Snape hated me. You see, he loved my mother but my mother loved my father… obviously. This was all back when they were students.

"Anyway, Severus Snape and Lily Evans were childhood friends. When they got to Hogwarts Severus fell in with the bad crowd. My dad and his friends considered themselves pranksters, which they were, but they were also bullies."

The girls' eyes widened. "But everyone says they were wonderful people!" Tracey objected.

"Sure, but James was a Gryffindor and a Pure blood from an Ancient and Noble house. Severus Snape was a Slytherin and the half blood son of a pure blood witch and a muggle.

"Anyway, the problem was that Severus saw James chasing after Lily when he wanted her himself. Severus was alone against my dad and his three friends, it all came to a head when they severely humiliated Severus in front of everyone. Lily tried to defend Severus but, Severus was angry and ashamed and he lashed out at everyone, he called her a 'mudblood'."

Harry got his expected gasps.

"So, moving forward, James and Lily fell in love and got married. Severus hated my father for getting Lily and himself for driving her away. Halloween of '81 comes around and James and Lily are dead. September '91 begins and Severus Snape sees the same eleven-year-old boy who taunted him when he was a firstie.

"He was filled with so much hate by this point that he took it all out on the miniature version of his old nemesis. He took points for breathing, assigned detentions for the slightest mistake, he took every opportunity to belittle me and my father, especially in public.

"As Gemma and other older students will be able to tell you, he would heavily favour Slytherin and penalise the other houses, more so for Gryffindor as that was the house of his arch-enemy."

"But you said he was a spy for Dumbledore. He died and you saw him-"

"Tracey, just because someone is a bastard, doesn't mean they are completely evil." Harry said softly. "Severus Snape deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison for what he put me and other kids through. Especially for his part in my parent's murder."

"But- then- " Tracey couldn't figure out what to ask.

"Why is he so different this time?" Pansy did know.

"We can never know for sure, Miss Parkinson." The three girls on the couch jumped at the deep and calm voice of the subject of their conversation. They turned and glared at Harry who had a small smile. "I can only guess that it was a combination of a fairly severe punishment and effective rewards and lessons."

"You mean the slave thing for the punishment, right?" Daphne asked.

"I do." Severus nodded as he pulled his wand and conjured a chair.

"But Daphne said it wasn't bad being a slave." Tracey frowned.

"Miss Greengrass was made a slave against her will, but a majority of the… 'unpleasantness' was mitigated by the fact that her 'owner' is someone she knew she could trust."

"I still had nightmares… and bad days." Daphne said with a very depressed and sad look. It was a secret she kept from everyone but Harry. He had kept a close eye on her at the beginning as he assumed she was in denial. "But Harry took care of that too. I still get scared and have those bad days, but…" She trailed off and shrugged.

"You should have told us." Gemma said softly as she climbed off Harry and moved to sit on the couch with the others to comfort the enslaved girl.

"It's not that simple Gem." Harry said with quiet authority. "Just remember how you felt when Flint made his mistake in Great Hall. If you had the chance you would have told no one. Daphne also had that chance. She freely shared it with you three, but it is a whole different kettle of fish to talk about it and the consequences."

"And we did talk about it." Daphne said as she leaned into the older girl. "We would sit up at night and discuss our fate." She looked at Harry sadly. "We weighed the pros and cons of being subservient to you. In the end all we could do was hope you were as good as you appeared."

"As much as I abhor stroking his ego, Harry has clearly proven himself." Severus said with distaste. He ignored the grinning idiot in the armchair. "I am happier, content with my life. My reputation and career has never been better. I am married to a beautiful woman.

"All these are things he could easily have denied me with just a few words."

They were quiet for a few moments as they each contemplated the 'what ifs' of their personal situations.

It was Harry who eventually broke the moment with a muttered comment of self-loathing. "I should've had you churning out felix felicius day and night."

The girls giggled as Severus glared at him. "I did come here with a reason." He said indignantly. "Dudley is aiding us ably with our assessment of the threat posed by the muggles. Whilst it appears that they do have methods for detecting us through our invisibility methods, they have no such techniques that can defeat polyjuice, glamours or… metamorphs."

Harry wrinkled his brow in thought. "Tell Tonks that she is to be replaced as part of Amelia's immediate bodyguard. I want her to report to me-"

"Give me your idea in brief and I will handle it. You must learn to delegate." Severus interrupted with a hint of passion. "Amelia is more than capable of handling herself and the safety of the country. That is, after all, why you appointed her as Prime Minister.

"None of us, however, have the knowledge or understanding to deal with extra-terrestrial threats. You must focus on that."

Harry sat forward and looked at Tracey with a serious look. "Tell me truthfully; Am I really the one in charge?"

"They tell me you've made a decision." Harry said simply as he took a seat at the long table, opposite him were the Colonel and his men.

"We'll help you with Jackson and Abydos." O'Neill said gravely. "But that's it. We can't take any action that violates our military oaths."

"Yeah, I read your oath." He chuckled at their looks of surprise. "I research as much as I can, the Internet is growing at an exponential rate and information is exceptionally easy to obtain.

"Just remember how you end your oath." He said seriously. "'So help me God.' Now, I'm not religious myself, but you need to ask yourselves whether your God is only interested in America or if he cares about the rest of the planet too."

"What about the rest of our oath?" One of the men, Kalwalsky, demanded. "We swore that oath to God to uphold America."

"First of all, I have no intention of asking you to fight for or against America or Britain.

"Second of all, you should bear in mind the following: No planet, no America, oath broken."

At that point, Dudley, who was still their primary source of information on muggles (even though it was mostly from movies), stepped forward. "We aren't interested in America's secrets. We don't care about any black ops you took part in, who you may have assassinated and so on.

"What his Majesty wants, and to be honest, what the planet needs, is your skills and experience. His Majesty is more than capable of handling this threat but that does not mean he won't be in mortal peril."

'Mortal Peril'. Harry had had the Marauders create a new map based on the clock in the Weasley's home and the holographic map in the Chamber of Secrets. In the event that someone on a specific list was in danger or needed aid then they would be highlighted.

What really annoyed Minerva was that it relied on the arts of divination and scrying. Sybil Trelawney was now sober and enjoying her work.

What really got in Minerva's craw was that Sybil's star student at scrying was one Hermione Granger.

Of course, Hermione was a bit embarrassed too having apparently made the same scene in her first Divination class this as she did in Harry's first time through.

"Gentlemen, at this point in time you are in political limbo." Amelia was also present at this meeting. "All we are offering is the chance to do some good rather than waste what could be anything from weeks to the rest of your lives sitting in these apartments."

"Alright!" Harry said as he stood up briskly. "You've already agreed to help with Abydos. We will head out tomorrow so rest up. We will take the future on a case-by-case basis, fine?"

O'Neill looked to his men before turning to Harry. "But we have the right to refuse."

"Deal." Harry hated meetings.

"I thought we were going straight to Abydos?" O'Neill gestured to the portal that Harry had marched past.

"We are!" Harry called back without stopping.

The men jogged to catch up. "You have a second stargate?" Kalwalsky asked.

"Nah, but you said the gate was going to be buried on Abydos. Besides, I'm not a fan of those portals. I tried it a few times and discovered that they aren't entirely safe. For instance, if you were to step through that thing and someone followed but you didn't move, then that person is likely to get knocked back into the portal… they would be killed instantaneously because they are one way only."

"You'd be lucky to still be standing after coming out. You saw how we came through." O'Neill reminded him.

"Erm, Sir, I'd been meaning to ask something."

"What's that, Freeman?" O'Neill asked one of his men.

"When we came back, to Earth. We weren't frozen." The soldier said leadingly.

"Why would you be frozen?" Harry asked as they approached his ship.

"When we arrived on Abydos we were covered in ice. Abydos is a desert planet." Kawalsky explained.

"Maybe the gate you went through was damaged." Harry shrugged.

"A lot of it was jerry-rigged together and they didn't even know how to use it till Jackson came along." O'Neill allowed.

Harry stopped suddenly and turned to them. "What do you mean 'jerry-rigged'?"

"Lots of computers to dial the gate and monitor it."

"You used computers… to 'dial' it?" Harry asked dubiously. "Like… you had a robot arm to spin it?"

"I'm no expert but they were hooked straight into the guts of the rings-"

"Bloody hell! You lot are damned lucky you didn't wind up spread across the galaxy as cosmic dust!" Harry exclaimed. "Honestly! All you had to was give it some power and then spin the inner ring like a telephone dial."

"It didn't exactly come with a manual." Feretti grumbled.

"Yeah, but it doesn't sound like Americans come with common sense." Harry muttered. He ignored the glares as he touched the side of his shiny metallic sphere and the seamless shell revealed a large square hole.

"What is this?" One of the men asked as they followed Harry in.

"My space ship."

"Feretti, before you ask him more, remember that his answer is going to be 'magic'." Kawalsky warned.

None of them had been exposed to the knowledge of magic before they met Harry. It was actually Severus who convinced them it was real. Being left to spend the night as a slug was not something they intended to repeat… but it was very convincing.

Still, the men had to hold their tongues with great effort as Harry led through a 'ship' that looked more like a home. Things got a little easier when they moved through what would be the back door to a garden on a house, a door that led to a large familiar room.

Again, they held their tongues as they tried to accept the fact that they were now standing on the bridge of James T. Kirk's Enterprise.

"How fast will this thing go?" O'Neill asked.

"It can get to the moon in under an hour." Harry shrugged.

"It'll still take years to reach Abydos!"

Harry just chuckled.

"You have a warp drive?"

"Nah. We are still working on FTL."

"FTL?" One of the men asked.

"Faster Than Light." Kawalsky answered. One of the others began explaining a bit more over to the side.

"Where's your crew?" O'Neill asked as Harry sat in the Captain's chair.

"I am the crew." Outside the large window the wall of the cave slid apart to reveal an inky black chasm. "Each station can control everything and I can do the same from here. Feel free to take a seat."

Despite the view outside showing the ship had risen slightly, they felt no effects of inertia. The window was huge though and that made the sight a little disorientating.

"We are about to be moving at speed. I recommend you sit down or hold onto something until we hit space. The sight of the planet rushing past will affect your balance." Harry warned as they slowly moved forward.

"Grab your seats people." Kalwalsky ordered at a nod from O'Neill. Aside from the four main stations on the Enterprise, Harry's ship had a row of seats along the back wall.

And by seats I mean reclining armchairs with seatbelts and lap tables.

O'Neill took a seat at what was navigation on the show and Feretti took weapons. The rest headed for the armchairs.

"Here we go people!" Harry grinned.

The ship entered the black chasm and the screen went dark. A few seconds later…

"Wh- how did we hit space already?" Feretti demanded.

Outside they could see a planet spinning slowly.

"That's not Earth." O'Neill said gravely.

"Nope, that should be Abydos." Harry confirmed.

"Erm… how?" O'Neill queried in confusion.

"That wall we went through? It's my version of a star portal." Harry grinned.

"You managed to reverse engineer a stargate?" Kawalsky asked sceptically.

"No he did not."

Harry was wishing he had had the soldiers stow their guns whilst on the ship. As it was, he couldn't blame them for the unannounced appearance of Ganos.

"Afternoon Ganos." Harry said a little gruffly, but not unkindly.

"Time is relative for mortals." She smirked at him.

"Yep, this is my afternoon. You don't have a real concept of time so we'll stick with mine." Harry said matter-of-factly. "Ganos, meet Colonel Jack O'Neill and his team. They are American soldiers that-"

"Albus informed me of the details." She assured him. "I was just there and upon hearing of your mission I thought I would come to observe your first trip beyond your world."

"Ganos, I've been to Atlantis already."

"But there was little for you to do."

"You mean other than saving the city from being crushed by the ocean?"

O'Neill was getting annoyed by this point. "Ex-cuse me!"

"Oh, right. O'Neill, guys, meet Ganos. She's a… friend and the one who warned me about the evils in the universe." Harry said absently as he began to move the ship closer to the planet.

The Colonel moved closer to Harry and asked quietly. "Are you sure she's not one of those 'evils'?"

Harry looked at him with an unimpressed expression. "A few days ago you came barrelling through my Porta Astria and invaded my home. You refused to explain yourselves. Do you honestly think you're in a position to run background checks?"

"If it involves the safety of the planet then yes. It's my responsibility."

"No. It's mine." Harry said firmly. "And if we wanted to compare track records… I think you get the picture."

O'Neill wasn't pleased to have that brought up again. But he turned his attention to Ganos.

"Why approach the kid?" He asked.

"Are you referring to the High King of Britain?" She asked with a slight glare. "A man who has faced things you have heard of only in horror stories? Who had responsibility thrust upon him before he had even reached puberty? Who has proven himself again and again that he is honourable?"

"Erm… yes?" He looked suitably sheepish at that.

"And you would prefer I approached you and your people?" She continued. "A people known for subjugating those who differ from themselves. For wiping out entire cities of civilians. Who, in their arrogance, ventured through a portal to another world… and carried a weapon that would annihilate all who lived there?"

O'Neill stood there, his mouth opening and closing. "I… I need to check my gear." He said before walking off hastily.

"You enjoyed that." Harry said with a smirk. He didn't look up from the large slab of crystal that acted as a display.

"I have been watching humans since I ascended. I felt it was our responsibility, unlike my fellow ascended." She said with a hint of disgust. "The problem with humans is the same as it was with Alterans. The leaders are always, as your people would say, politically minded. In my time watching humans evolve, the only leaders who do not care about politics are kings and dictators. As the ultimate authority they have no need to pander to the needs of others."

"And them?" He gestured behind him.

Ganos paused, choosing her words carefully. "Many of them are good men. They wish to serve their people and aid others. Unfortunately, ego prevails. As you saw with their leader just now, he felt a sense of entitlement that he should be in charge of humanities safety."

"Instead, you lumped it all on a twelve-year-old."

"Harry, I was not expecting you to have to deal with this for decades." She said sadly. "I told you what was out here because I hoped that it would push you to new heights. I wanted to see you create more wonders and explore the universe. That is why I sent you to Atlantis and the Pegasus Galaxy. The threats there are currently dormant."

"Still… twelve?" He repeated with a pout.

Ganos just chuckled and moved round to the console, nudging him out of the way. "Here, this is where you will find the Astria Porta and the man you are looking for." She said as she manipulated the data.

Harry looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

"You would have found it soon enough. I am just speeding things up." She smiled fondly at him. "But I should go. I will visit you later."

"Alright men, we're heading to the surface."

Harry had landed the ship a mile out from the tent city that the Abydonians lived in. He didn't want to scare them. This meant that they had to march through a mile's worth of sand.

"Hey, Feretti, look. It's Jackson's girlfriend." One of the men laughed as they pointed to a free roaming shaggy bovine type creature.

"Huh…" Harry muttered and walked off towards it.

"Harry?" O'Neill queried as he followed.

"It's domesticated." Harry commented without stopping.

True enough, the men could see it was wearing a harness that the creature could not have put on by itself.

Harry did stop about twenty feet from it. "Ember."

The little bird, who actually managed to reach its full size this time, flamed in, making the men jump. "Go and ask Luna if she would like to see this." He then reached out and gently snatched the little rascal out of the air by the neck. "Ask!" He reiterated.

Ember clearly pouted before vanishing.

"Do we have time for this sir?" Kawalsky asked his CO.

"It's only polite to bring a gift when visiting someone." Harry answered for him. "Trust me, even if this guy doesn't belong to your friends they will appreciate it and so will he. It can't be easy to survive in this environment but if he has then he can probably show others how to."

Before they could continue Ember returned with two passengers.

"Alright, which of you two invited Hagrid?" Harry asked wryly.

"Ember and I discussed it and agreed that he would both enjoy seeing it and be helpful." Luna said primly, as if she was daring him to challenge her and the flaming nut job's decision.

"Good call." Harry nodded with the same expression. "So, I will leave it to you two to introduce yourselves." He gestured to the nearby animal.

As it was a domesticated animal, it didn't take much for the unusual pair of tiny Luna and giant Hagrid (or 'Little and Large' as Dudley had dubbed them) to get the trust of the animal. It was only five minutes later that they were trundling along towards the tent city with Luna riding happily on her new friend as Hagrid strolled beside them.

"Huh. I was expecting it to be a good deal smaller." Harry commented as they crested a dune and spied the settlement. "Alright. You go ahead and say hi. Warn them we are coming and we will follow when you give us the signal."

"And what is the signal?" O'Neill asked.

"Just wave. I'll see you."

"Feretti, you and Adams stay here. The rest of us will go on." O'Neill ordered.

As they moved off they could hear a very put out Hagrid ask. "'E does know you're tha' king, right Harry?"

Twenty minutes later and the group was back together as O'Neill and Jackson introduced them to Jackson's new father-in-law, Kasuf.

Jackson was a nervous looking man with shaggy hair and glasses. He acted as a translator for the group.

"The Queen is dead?" Jackson asked as Hagrid corrected O'Neill not giving Harry's proper title.

"It's a whole thing, Daniel. Just make the intros." O'Neill sighed.

Suddenly Kasuf was bowing and talking rapidly.

Harry stepped forward and raised him standing straight. He then clasped the man's arm. "I am a leader. You are a leader. We are equals." Harry said firmly.

Jackson translated. Kasuf looked about to object but Harry gave a pointed look to the man's people behind him. Kasuf understood and was grateful. He added his other hand to Harry's arm and smiled gratefully.

Kasuf released Harry's hand and briefly clasped the hands of Hagrid and Luna. He then placed a hand on Harry's shoulder and guided him into the settlement.

"Word of warning." O'Neill muttered as he stepped up to Luna and Hagrid. "The last time Kasuf took one of us off like that, he came back with a wife."

Hagrid just laughed. "'E's got five girls back home trying ta tie him down and he's been friends with them for years. Can't see him being caught by some stranger."

"It will be fun to watch though." Luna smiled happily as she took Hagrid's hand and led him off.

They found Harry and Kasuf sat around a fire as Kasuf handed him a drink.

"Kid- I mean, sir, if that's what I think it is you might want to give it a miss." Kawalsky warned as he caught a whiff of the drink.

Harry gave it sniff… then took a sip.

The soldiers were sub-consciously backing off as they waited for… nothing?

"Not bad." Harry shrugged. He then took a bigger sip.

Kasuf and his people actually looked shocked.

"So, Doctor Jackson, you understand the situation?" Harry addressed the archaeologist and new son-in-law of Kasuf.

"You believe-"

"Doctor, try not to be condescending." Harry interrupted the man whose next words were clear to drenched in scepticism and sarcasm. "You might have managed to decipher the markings on the Astria Porta, but I have met with one of their makers. I've been to their city."

"What?"

"Yeah! What?" O'Neill parroted the man.

"Ganos is an Alteran. Her race created the portals and seeded life in this galaxy. They are our ancestors." Harry lectured.

"Ganos? Alteran?" Jackson frowned. "Can you say some more words related to them?"

"It is the root of Latin, Dr Jackson." Luna spoke up. "The correct name for the stargate is 'portia astra'."

"And you have proof?"

"Well! This was nice." Harry said as he quickly stood, a fake smile on his face. "I think I'll take a walk."

"Skaara!" Kasuf called out. A young man that was very happy to see O'Neill and his soldiers stepped forward. Kasuf gave him some instructions.

"He's told Skaara to accompany you and make sure you don't get lost." Jackson explained.

Harry turned to Kasuf and gave gentle and slight bow, he placed his palm to his mouth and gently swept it away. "Thank you." He said with a smile.

Kasuf hesitated for a moment before smiling back and nodding to both Harry and Kasuf.

It was only ten minutes later that a wave of excitement and amazement rippled back to the group.

"They are saying a miracle man has come." Jackson frowned.

"Harry prob'ly jus' found some things to fix." Hagrid shrugged as he took a sip from his cup.

Of course the cup was tiny in his hands and his sip drained it. He sheepishly held it out for more.

"You're going to drink all their water, Hagrid!" Luna admonished.

Hagrid laughed. "This? This is alcoholic. They drink this for fun, not because they're thirsty."

"But it's liquid." She frowned.

"Alcohol dehydrates you." O'Neill explained. "It's part of what causes adults to wake up with hangovers the following morning."

"Worth it."

The Colonel glared at Feretti.

"I think Mister Kasuf wants to go and see what Harry is doing." Luna smiled as she saw the man stand.

"Ah. I'll, er, just wait here." Hagrid said with embarrassment.

"I'll wait here too. Maybe Hagrid and I can do some of our own miracles." Luna smiled at him. She was well aware that Hagrid was worried that he would get caught on the tents and bring them down.

Kasuf and the Americans were surprised to see Skaara talking animatedly to Harry.

"What happened here?" O'Neill tried not to make it a demand.

"O'Neill! Harry taught me English!"

Colonel Jack O'Neill stood there, nonplussed. The gawky kid who seemed to idolise him and his men, despite not understanding a word they said to each other, had just spoken to him in pure English.

With an English accent.

His head turned slowly as he heard Harry's voice. Speaking Skaara's language with Skaara's accent to Kasuf.

"O'Neill! O'Neill! Can you understand me?"

Jack was broken out of his stupor when he found Kasuf holding his arms and looking at him in earnest.

"Err… yeah, I can." He looked at Harry. "How?"

"Similar to how Sev got contact info from your mind. First I put English in Skaara's mind and then asked him if I could copy his language." Harry grinned.

"You can just make someone speak another language?" Kawalsky asked incredulously.

"It's more like I can teach them. The mind works incredibly fast. I go in, find the sub-conscious, link it with mine and either prompt for teaching or initiate teaching.

"I actually got the idea from my godmother. She can speak German and when I was trying to help her I discovered that I had learnt the language as I tried to learn more about her."

"And anyone of you people can do this?"

"It takes a person trained and skilled in the mind arts." Harry shook his head. "Only Severus, Albus and myself know how. I think Albus wanted to teach his friends as he was big on the international arena."

"Is this the miracle they were talking about?" Jackson asked. He was a little put out that his skill as a linguist was suddenly rendered redundant.

"Miracle?" Skaara lit up with a smile. "Harry healed our wounded!" He led Jackson to a tent that was filled with the injured from when Ra had attacked them.

"I thought magic was a secret?" O'Neill turned to Harry.

"On Earth it is. Welcome to Abydos." Harry smirked.

"I know this is your home, but it is very dangerous. If these monsters come back then you won't stand a chance." Harry was seated around the fire in serious discussion with Kasuf. Luna and Hagrid had already returned home.

"O'Neill will defend us!" Skaara said confidently.

"O'Neill nearly got himself and everyone else killed last time."

The Colonel wanted to object, but he couldn't in good faith come up with a valid and truthful argument.

"Last time he got lucky. There was one ship and one goa'uld. O'Neill had one bomb. When these fools come back they will have more ships, more goa'uld… and O'Neill won't be here."

"Skaara, he is right." Kasuf chided his son softly. "Even if we were to stay and even if O'Neill was to defend us, remember that we lost many when they attacked the city. It is our duty to put the young and the vulnerable first."

"I'll come back tomorrow with a friend." Harry explained. "They will take a group you select to visit a few planets. You can then see if any take your fancy. Sound good?"

Kasuf gave a sad but appreciative smile. "It sounds necessary."

"Sir, I had an idea… about how to get back home… to America."

Colonel O'Neill turned to the man under his command. "Go ahead Adams."

"Well, we only came back through the other gate because it was activated. What if we deactivated it so we would have to exit through the other gate… our gate?"

O'Neill turned to Harry.

"It's possible. But, like I warned you, if they have the gate blocked you will simply die."

"We could send the probe through first." The soldier suggested.

"Adams, if you ever get bored with the Air Force, contact my cousin, Dudley Dursley. You can come work for me." Harry grinned.

"You realise that if you go through with this, your government could put you in a deep hole and throw away the map to find it?"

"You are really really weird." Jack sighed.

The American soldiers were standing in front of the activated portal on Abydos. They had managed to send the probe back through and received permission from the American installation to come through.

"Still. You sure about this?" Harry asked.

"We have a duty to report back. A duty to uphold our oaths. We'll just have to hope that our superiors are men of intelligence and wisdom."

Harry just smirked as several of O'Neill's men snorted.

"Move out!" Kawalsky barked. As the men jogged through the portal he turned to Harry. "It's been… something, kid." He held out his hand and Harry chuckled and shook it.

"Yeah, you're the most well behaved prisoners I've ever held."

Kawalsky laughed as he turned and followed them through.

"Danny, stay out of trouble?" O'Neill wagged a finger at the newlyweds.

"Erm… sure Jack."

As O'Neill stepped through the portal shutdown. Harry walked up to the portal and opened a panel, removing several crystals.

"How will we get to our new home?" Sha'uri asked curiously.

"I have my own portal. It is much more comfortable and safer." Harry assured her. He turned to Kasuf and Daniel. "I'll be back with a friend tomorrow. He will take you to visit a few planets."

The following day Harry introduced them to Frank and Alice. Frank had long since learnt how to use Harry's 'toys', as he called them, now he was going to teach Alice.

Harry spent the next two days just relaxing. He was a bit nervous about the upcoming tournament as he believed that Perenelle would do a better job than the old ministry.

He was actually worried that she would go overboard.

"Harry, it is good to see you relaxing, my boy." Albus smiled as Dobby let him in to the private rooms.

"Albie, it is usually a pretty safe bet that if you are voluntarily coming to visit me, then my relaxation is soon to end." Harry sighed as he turned off the television.

It wasn't really a television. It was a large piece of thin glass that was enchanted. Terry's little Pottering Club had managed to use spells, runes and even potions to intercept various radio signals and transmissions and convert them into something useful. It was similar to the consoles used to control Harry's ship.

"I can't see how the reason for my visit would cause that, but, we both know what they say about the best laid plans." He twinkled.

"Finally found time to read your retirement present form Aunt Minnie, eh?" Harry smiled. "So, your purpose?"

Albus wordlessly handed over a small pouch.

Harry opened the pouch and pulled out a pair of spectacles. He looked at Albus before putting them on. "Erm…"

"You can see the strange creatures?" Albus asked.

"Colourful bunch." Harry said dryly. "And familiar."

"Yes. I am afraid my contacts were able to create a charm to allow us to see what Miss Lovegood sees but not how to help her… not see." Albus was clearly disappointed.

"Albus, Luna knows quite well that these discoveries happen in phases. These things are amazing." He waved the specs at the old man. "These will validate every claim that Luna has ever made. People will finally have to stop calling her 'Looney' and call her what she deserves: 'Gifted'."

"Well, I will leave those with you. Along with this, it details all the spells and requirements to recreate the effect." He handed a leather journal to Harry as he stood. "I'm sure Mister Higgs' Pottering Club can take the concepts further." He smirked.

"Piss off Albie."

"Harry!" Albus couldn't keep the grin off his face. "Is that any way for a noble monarch to talk?"

"I'm the king, Albus. As was so recently pointed out to me, I make the rules. That means I decide how 'noble monarchs' talk."

Albus just chuckled. "Incidentally, how did things go with Colonel O'Neill?"

Harry grinned evilly. "I'm expecting someone from the American Magical Government to contact us very soon."

*Chapter 27*: Chapter 27
Chapter 27

"Harry, we're ready for… erm, that meeting?"

Harry looked up to see a very nervous Tracey at the door to his study. "I've spent the better part of my life trying to stop the bad guys." He said as he put down the journal on the spectacles Albus had given him. "Now I have to be one."

"You aren't the bad guy, Harry." She said seriously. "You are the one being threatened and attacked. You didn't threaten them, you didn't force them to do anything… that was all them."

"Still, it would be nice to be appreciated for something."

Tracey walked up to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She kissed him gently on the lips. "You have four girls who very much appreciate everything you've done."

Harry gave her a soft smile and kissed her forehead. "I suppose I should take more time to enjoy the good things in my life instead of focusing on the issues."

"Absolutely. Now, where is your cape and crown?"

"Dobby has King Harry Potter Sir's things." The little elf said eagerly as he popped in.

"I won't be needing those, but thanks Dobby."

"Harry, you need to make an impression!" Tracey argued.

"Oh, I will." He assured her. "I will."

"Welcome to the first meeting of the High Council of Great Britain and her associated territories. Allow me to begin the introductions:

"We have Magorian, Chief of the Great Britain Centaurs.

"Ragnok, King of the Great Britain Goblins.

"Amelia Bones, Prime Minister of the magical humans of Great Britain.

"Dobby, Speaker of the Elves of Great Britain.

"Fergus, Head of the Leprechauns of Great Britain.

"David Burns, Prime Minister of the non-magical humans of Great Britain.

"And finally, me! High King Harry, ruler of all of Great Britain, its lands and denizens and its associated territories." Harry smiled at the group seated around the round table in Hogwart's Great Hall.

None of those seated wanted to be there.

Except Ragnok who was looking forward to the fireworks.

"Now then, just so everyone is clear: I ascended to the throne on Boxing Day of last year. I did so when I claimed the lost sword of King Arthur, Caledfwych.

"I hope we don't have to cover a lot in this meeting, or future ones for that matter. If we have a lot to cover then that means there are a lot of problems.

"Now then, Magorian, are there any problems for your people or things that they need?"

"You mean other than freedom from humans?" The large centaur sneered.

"Ragnok?"

"Still waiting on those enemies you promised." The Goblin King tapped the table with a hooked finger.

"I've got a lead on them. We'll have to discuss tactics later though when we have more time.

"Amelia?"

"I have a list longer than this table, Your Majesty." She said irritably. "I can handle most of the items but the issues with the non-magical government are not within my remit."

"We'll get to that one in a moment then.

"Dobby?"

"Elveses are happy King Harry Potter Sir. We's is having lots of cleaning to dos." The little guy said nervously.

"Excellent. Speak up if you think of something. That's an order, Dobby." Harry said pointedly.

Dobby nodded reluctantly.

"Fergus?" Harry queried the short man in green.

"Is this an insult boy? Sitting me next to the Elf?" The red haired man demanded.

"Dobby is putting Lucky Mans there so he and Dobby can see. Prime Minister Bonesy and Prime Minster Burnsy are still too big to see past." Dobby said indignantly.

"David!" Harry chipped in before the pair could devolve to fisticuffs. "You don't get to make requests or demands today. You will be lucky if you leave here a free man." Harry was not smiling. "I can understand that you might be sceptical of me being the new King. Unwilling to acknowledge me even."

Now Harry was glaring angrily at the man. "But you do not get to make threats against myself and my people. You do not get to disrespect me or my government.

"You are guilty of sedition and treason. It is only the fact that I am fed up with all strife in this country that you are not languishing in my dungeons!"

"If I may, Your Majesty?" Amelia stepped in.

Harry huffed in annoyance but gave her the go ahead.

"Mister Burns, in the event that you insult His Majesty or his government, or if you make any move that he would not approve of, we will come after you. You will find yourself, inexplicably, a resident of Azkaban Prison.

"If this continues we will go after your deputy and all those involved. Even the Queen, if she is party to this."

"And you just expect the British people to just kowtow to your dictatorship?" Burns sneered.

"Bring in the golem." Harry barked out.

The main doors opened and Hagrid walked in flanked by Dudley and Neville. Vincent and Gregory were behind them. Hagrid was pushing a pallet trolley with a mannequin on it.

"Thank you gentlemen." Harry nodded to the group who formed a line behind the pallet. Harry walked around the table to Burns who flinched. He yelped when Harry reached out and ripped a tuft of hair from the man's head.

"I know you are aware of charms, potions, transfiguration and the like. I am also fully aware that you have the ability to detect individuals using invisibility cloaks.

"This golem is your replacement." Harry placed the hair in the mouth of the golem and tapped it on the head with his wand.

The terror was clear on the muggle Prime Minister's face as the golem took on his form, naked as it was.

"Your memories can be copied into this replica." Harry explained. "It can be programmed to be completely loyal to me.

"I don't want to do this David." Harry said with a tired and sad look. "I don't want to have to take away your freedom. But I also can't have you as a threat to myself and my people.

"So… you have a choice. You go back to Downing Street. You gather who you need to and explain the situation to them. Then you go to your Queen and explain the situation to her. And you make sure that this-" He gestured to the replica. "Is never needed."

"And- " Burns swallowed, his throat suddenly very dry. "And what is the situation?"

"I am the High King of Great Britain. You and your Queen serve at my pleasure. I have no real issues with how you have run your non-magical government but you failed abominably with regards to the magicals.

"Do something stupid and I will be forced to act. So, don't be stupid."

Harry tapped his wand on the man's chair, it glowed blue for a second before vanishing with its occupant.

"And this is what we can expect from humans?" Magorian sneered.

"Careful, I can always bring back the Acromantulas." Harry said warningly.

Harry was actually bored for the most part. Whilst he himself didn't attend classes the others did. He spent his days in the lab tinkering away whilst Terry would sit in the corner at a desk, reading the latest ideas from his club.

Speaking of the club, it had garnered international fame. The magical 'televisions' and other breakthroughs were spreading wildly. The inventors of the devices were signed into a special contract that protected their work and ensured they received royalties for anyone trying to sell it.

But it had gone further. Albus was receiving requests from his peers to join the club.

Harry, whilst pleased with Terry and the club's success, was not too thrilled about the name being spread. So he renamed it to the Royal Society of Innovation. When Terry had asked why it wasn't the 'Royal Society of Magical Innovation', Harry had pointed out that Dudley was a muggle and that a lot of the ideas were based on muggle inventions.

Harry's days weren't spent solely in his lab. He also spent time talking with Amelia. As she was already a fairly high-ranking member of the government before, she knew how things worked and was able to change things slowly but effectively.

There had been one small point of contention between the King and his Prime Minister.

"I don't bloody care if it's tradition! I don't want my face on that crap."

"Harry, I can swing a lot of changes, but having the muggle queen's face on our money is not going to go down well with those born into our world." Amelia glared at him as they sat in her office.

"So put something else on. Put a wand and sword on them. A picture of Hogwarts. Use Blinky, Ember and Hedwig. It doesn't have to be my face."

"Harry-"

"Amelia! In less than a century I'll be dead! You'll have to change the damned picture again! Phoenixes are eternal. Owls represent wisdom. Snakes… are pretty damned cool."

"Harry, I'm overruling you."

"Why do people insist that I'm in charge?!"

"Harry, Madam Bones just sent a message; Colonel O'Neill has just arrived at the Ministry with a bunch of politicians." Gemma informed him in his study. "Oh… I didn't realise-"

"Relax Gemma, meet the New Zealand Moutohora Macaws and their mascot, Sparky. This is their Captain, Hemi Pokana." Harry gestured to the large group of hulking men dressed in midnight black robes.

And their phoenix.

"This is Gemma Farley, part of my family and one of the people who holds my leash." Harry informed the men with a grin. "Gemma, tell Amelia we'll meet in the Great Hall in ten minutes."

"Yes Harry." She said nervously. She turned for the door before she turned back and quickly curtsied to Harry.

As the door closed he banged his head on the table.

"She is a very lovely child." The leader of the Macaws said with a confused look at Harry's actions.

"She's one of the best." Harry's voice was muffled by his face embedded on the desk. He looked up and brushed his fringe off his forehead. "But she should not be curtsying to me in my own home! Which is also her home!"

"Probably our fault boss." One of the older men addressed his leader with a grimace. "We did come here all gussied up."

"Well, you've made it clear how you want to be treated, so we can help set an example if you want." The leader offered Harry.

"Are you sure about this?" Harry asked gravely as he stood from his desk. "I haven't told the others, but I don't really expect to have a long life expectancy out there. I'm ill-equipped, ill-informed and ill-prepared."

"This is what we've trained for, Harry. We enjoy a good game of Quidditch but we are warriors. Sparky always warned us that being a part of this team was in preparation for something very dangerous yet very important. We might not know the details, but we certainly know the possible consequences."

"Well, then you can come and sit in on this meeting. Colonel O'Neill is one of the soldiers that came tumbling through my Astria Porta the other day. Incidentally, they call it the 'Stargate'.

"We had no luck getting a response from the Americans as they disavowed any knowledge of the men. One of them though, had the idea to send them back to their portal. I've just been waiting for them to get in contact with me."

Harry led them out of his quarters and into the hallway. They headed down to the Great Hall.

They were greeted by Amelia, O'Neill and the Americans.

"Your Majesty, may I introduce Ambassador Li of the American Magical Government, Ambassador Jones of the American Muggle Government and of course, you already know Colonel O'Neill, United States Air Force.

"Gentlemen, this is His Royal Highness, King Harry of Great Britain." Amelia and Jack both bowed, Ambassador Li gave a very slight bow and Jones remained rigid.

The men behind Harry scowled at the Ambassadors. "Good to see you made it home safely, Colonel."

"Yeah… thanks for that. Would have been nice to know you'd tied a message to me." Jack said dryly.

"Your Majesty?" Amelia queried.

"I wrote a message that pretty much said to contact the British Magical Government. I then tied a muggle-notice-me-not charm to it. I figured the Colonel would run into a magical at some point, even if he didn't realise it." Harry had a smug look on his face.

"You wrote it in permanent marker!"

"Well it would have been pointless if you'd washed it off too soon!"

"Could we move this along?" Ambassador Li said irritably. "I do have more important work to do."

"More important than protecting the planet, and thereby America, from alien invasion and subjugation?" Harry asked with narrowed eyes?"

Li just rolled his eyes, he was clearly unconvinced and unimpressed.

"Get out."

"Excuse me?" Ambassador Li was surprised at the flat order.

"Leave. Immediately. You are not welcome in my home or in my presence. Quite frankly I don't even want you in my country.

"Do something about that, will you Amelia?"

"Maaka, Jacobs, escort the Ambassador to the Ministry. Wait with him there until Prime Minster Bones and Ambassador Jones can join him." Hemi ordered his men.

"Amelia, gentlemen, this is Hemi Pokana, Captain of the Moutohora Macaws. They have volunteered to join my people in defending Earth from invasion." Harry introduced them.

Amelia recognised the Quidditch Team. But she kept quiet as to that fact.

Harry turned and entered the Hall, the large double doors opening on their own for him.

Instead of the Round Table there was a simple long table. Harry moved to the head of the table where a large ornate chair waited for him. Amelia sat at his right and he invited Hemi to sit at his left.

Hemi gestured for his men to sit on Amelia's side, this left his side for the Colonel and the Ambassador. They recognised the power play, but didn't comment.

"Well then gentlemen." Harry addressed the Americans. "Part of the reason I wanted you to contact me was to inform you that you cannot use your portal."

Ambassador Jones cleared his throat with a scowl. "Your Majesty, I'm not sure if you realise this but, the United States of America is a free and independent country. We do not take orders from others."

Harry saw that Jack was trying not to wince.

"I am well versed on history, Ambassador." He said with a smirk. "I suppose you could ignore my advice and continue to use your portal. Just bear in mind, it will be a one way trip through for those you send."

"If I may, your Majesty?" Jack spoke up quickly.

Harry nodded.

"Ambassador, King Harry has extensive knowledge of the Stargate system and how it works. So long as his gate is up and ready, all incoming connections will go to his gate. Anyone who we send through ours will arrive back on Earth through his."

The Ambassador frowned in thought. "My advisors did mention this scenario. They also recommend that you either turn your gate over to us or that you shut it down. America is better equipped to handle this type of technology."

"How would you know?" Hemi asked calmly.

Jones clearly thought it was obvious. "We have the money, the man power, the technology and the experience."

"I have no need to worry about money. I have entire species working with me. I understand and use the technology used to create the Astria Porta intrinsically and… I have far more experience than you and your government."

"We have been to the moon."

"So have I. I have a house up there."

"I wasn't joking, Sir." Jones said sternly. "The United States of America has one of the most advanced space programs on the planet."

"I wasn't joking either. I have a house up there. I can travel from Earth to the moon in minutes. It takes you days! You've been to two planets.

"I've been to two galaxies. I've visited numerous planets and met and developed relationships with two alien cultures."

"Think before you speak, Ambassador." Hemi said quietly. Everyone could see the man building up a head of steam.

Jones took a deep breath. "I don't think you understand the situation-"

"Sure I do. You Americans found the portal in Egypt decades ago. You recently managed to get it to work. Your first action was to send through a bunch of soldiers with a nuclear device.

"You then proceeded to pick a fight with the leader of the current rulers of the majority of the galaxy. You killed him and tried to go home. You didn't even begin to think that a species capable of interstellar travel would be capable of tracking down the miscreants who killed their boss. Who, incidentally, was family to some of them.

"Sound about right?"

"Without context, yes." The Ambassador muttered irritably.

"What was the context?" Hemi asked.

"Threat assessment."

"Threat assessment?"

"Yes. We need to determine if there were imminent threats to our safety on the other side of the stargate."

Hemi turned to Harry. "Decades ago?"

"In 1928, an American Professor had the portal dug up. It had been buried since about 3000 B.C."

Hemi turned back to Jones. "Imminent threats?"

"As Colonel O'Neill reported, mere days after he arrived this 'Ra' landed on the planet." Jones retorted.

Hemi turned back to Harry.

"It was a regular visit to collect the tribute from his slaves." Harry shrugged.

Hemi turned back to Jones. "Would it be possible to talk to someone from the American government who will speak plainly and not twist the facts?" He asked calmly.

"Are you calling me a liar?" Jones stood up angrily.

He was a bit worried when Hemi's men instantly stood up in response.

"If he doesn't, I will." Harry said calmly. "I honestly don't know why you are bothering to lie, though. I know everything that happened because I spoke to the Abydonians and Dr Jackson."

"Jackson is dead. You wizards think you can raise the dead now?" Jones scoffed.

The group turned in shock as one of the younger members of Hemi's team burst out into hysterical laughter.

The man next to him held him steady and looked deeply into his eyes, a smirk forming on his lips. "He was remembering the published story of His Majesty and the details surrounding the last Dark Lord that King Harry dispatched."

"There was only the one." Harry grumbled uncomfortably.

"You did kill him more than once." Amelia said sympathetically.

"Fine." Harry stood up abruptly causing the Ambassador to flinch. O'Neill stood in respect. "Ambassador, here is the bottom line: If you send your people through the portal, don't expect them to come back.

"Colonel, if you can find someone a bit more mature to talk with, feel free to make another appointment, otherwise, you and your men have a standing offer to work for me.

"Gentlemen, Lady Amelia, I will see you in a bit."

And with that, Harry apparated out.

"And that is why it is a bad idea to cater to the whims of a child." Ambassador Jones said smugly.

"His M- You know what, Harry was right." Amelia sighed before turning to O'Neill. "Come back when you can prove your government is worth talking to. In the meantime, Ambassador Jones and Ambassador Li are ordered to leave our lands."

"Madam Bones, we will be using our Stargate. We will expect our men to return home to us. Failure to do so will see relations between our countries deteriorate dramatically." Jones threatened.

"You made a comment about catering to the whims of a child, yes?" Hemi asked offhandedly.

"If you weren't trying to please the brat-"

"Yes, you made your views clear." Hemi interrupted. "This country is thousands of years old. The United States is just over two hundred. Tell us again how it is a bad idea to cater to the whims of children."

Jack O'Neill could only stand there and wince as the Ambassador dug his own grave. The Colonel was escorted off the grounds by Hemi's men. He felt very uncomfortable carrying the Ambassador in his trouser pocket.

"Lady Gemma, it is good to see you again."

"Oh, I'm not a Lady." Gemma blushed as she was confronted the large New Zealander. Fortunately, Hemi was on his own at the moment.

"His Majesty, I'm sure, would differ." Hemi just smiled kindly at her. "Speaking of the king, do you know where I might find him?"

Gemma frowned as she opened her notebook. "I thought he was in a meeting with Madam Bones and the Americans." She turned to the back where there was a copy of the Marauder's Map. It was a gift from Remus and Sirius to help her with her self-assigned role as Harry's assistant.

"Oh dear."

"Is there a problem?"

"I don't think Har- His Majesty will be up for meeting right now." She somehow managed to blush and pale at the same time.

"Should we call for help?" Hemi asked as he drew his wand.

"Oh no!" She said quickly. "He is just… blowing off some steam."

Hemi paused, he had a look of a man trying to figure out the best way to ask something. "Love or war?" He eventually asked.

Gemma lost the paleness and went for a full blush.

Despite being the reigning monarch, Harry still sat at the Slytherin table for meals. Of course, house tables didn't mean much as people sat with their friends.

Still, Harry tensed as two warm bodies plopped themselves on either side of him and chirped in unison: "Hello Harry."

"Honestly! I don't have anything to do the summer travel plans!" Harry told the two girls, Lavender and Pavarti. "I barely spend any time traveling with you anyway."

"Oh, we aren't here about that." Lavender said sweetly.

Harry looked from side to side at each of the girls. They were dressed in very flattering dresses with a fair amount of makeup. He was sure he had just seen one of them flutter her eyebrows at him and he knew Lavender wasn't wearing a bra.

"You know Harry, you and Fleur looked amazing at the Yule Ball." Pavarti commented. "So did your other girls."

Harry looked at her with narrowed, wary eyes.

"Did you think they looked beautiful?" Lavender asked, causing him to turn to her.

"Girls, before we continue this… whatever the hell you call it, answer me a question: During the past few summers, did you get to go to a place you chose?" Harry asked.

Lavender frowned, Pavarti looked a bit guilty.

"Of course." Lavender thought it was a dumb question.

"Right, so if you know I am not going to do something nasty when you ask for something, why not just get on with it instead of doing… this?"

"We want another ball!" Pavarti was blushing madly as Harry looked at her in amusement… as did most of the other occupants of the table. Lavender was glaring at her.

"You want dancing and all that?" Harry prompted.

She just nodded mutely.

"Well… I don't know a damned thing about that sort of thing." Harry rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Go ask Dumbledore or Perenelle. They might know how the one at Christmas was set up. That or they know who did it."

"It was set up by the Ministry, Harry." Pansy spoke up. "Likely by the Department of International Cooperation."

"Sounds like a bit much to have them involved." Harry commented. "Stick with Albus. You can use the castle as a venue as long as you make sure it isn't already booked. When were you thinking of?"

"We were hoping for at least two." Lavender spoke up eagerly, her ire at her friend forgotten. "Christmas and end of year."

"Yeah… see Albie."

Throughout the hall, murmurs spread and excitement grew as word of another ball was disbursed. Girls loved the dancing and dresses and boys had zero complaints about the dancing girls in dresses.

Harry was silently making plans to visit Atlantis on whatever dates they chose.

"The muggles are throwing another hissy fit." Amelia grumbled as she joined Harry in his study a few days later. "They are saying that we can't arbitrarily kick someone out of the country."

"Yes. I can." Harry said simply. "Might want to ask them if they want me to prove it."

"Politically, Harry. We all know that you have the means." She sighed. "The American government is demanding an explanation, both muggle and wiggle."

Harry allowed himself a small smile. His work on the word 'wiggle' was taking root. "This is a sovereign nation. They can 'demand' all they want. I'll think about answering when they start 'politely asking'."

"As my muggle counterpart pointed out, the Americans could retaliate with political moves."

"Like what?" Harry scoffed. "They can't do anything in the muggle world because they would have to reveal magic and the whole alien invasion deal. The invasion is why they can't do it in the magical world.

"If they attempt to place embargos and crap then they will have to explain why."

"And what if they do?" Amelia prompted.

"You saw those arrogant bastards, Amelia." Harry sneered in memory. "They think they are entitled. If they released that info then they would be in a political battle with every country for control of the portals. They won't want that. They want the gate for themselves, they probably think they can get advanced technology from it."

"It's a big risk Harry. We are already on edge with our own muggle government, we can't afford to annoy others."

"Honestly, what can they do? Invade? Secrecy destroyed. Embargos? I've got access to the entire galaxy to trade with. Political pressure? I can show the world my memories of what the Americans did with the Stargate.

"Now, think about what they lose out on: Access to technology and ideas that my friends are coming up with, access to the rest of the universe. As long my portal is active, they can't do a thing. I also don't need the portal as my space ships and portals can take me anywhere in the galaxy… or universe."

"And if they decide this is worth going to war over?" Amelia pressed.

"Then remind them that their strongest weapons would be incapable of avoiding civilians. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Americans did both of those.

"I don't have weapons, but if I had to, I could easily fly a ship into orbit and then drop heavy objects on their military positions and cause next to no civilian casualties."

Amelia sagged in the armchair, Harry could see this was causing her a lot of stress.

"It hasn't come to anything more than name calling." Harry assured her. "If necessary I can ask Hemi if he could get support from his government. I know Penny can get support from Northern Europe and Toyotama-hime and Yoshiko can work on Japan.

"By the time they are finished we will invite the Americans to the negotiation table and they will be on one side and we and our allies on the other."

"What if the other countries want to use the portal themselves?" Amelia asked tiredly.

"Denied. Point blank. The only reason I keep mine active is to prevent the other one being used and so I can study it. My own portals and ships are much safer. If they want to travel the universe they can go through my devices, as long as they follow my rules."

They sat there in silence for a moment.

"Amelia, stop doing this yourself." Harry chastised her gently. "Let me assemble a team to handle this part. They can report to you and make recommendations."

She looked at him with a glare. "I'll form the team. Knowing you it will consist of Hagrid, Ragnok and the fiercest creatures they can find."

Harry tried to look offended.

It would have helped if she hadn't been more than half right.

*Chapter 28*: Chapter 28
Chapter 28

"Welcome to the third task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament!" Instead of Bagman, it was Lee Jordan who had been allowed the honour of being the announcer for the third task. Harry had made the offer to all the students and teachers to share the languages of the three schools.

There were quite a few who declined when they heard it involved legilimancy but it was not held against them. Interacting with another person's mind was a very intimate and private thing.

"As you can see, Headmistress Flamel of Durmstrang has created a unique type of arena. We can only hope that she hasn't been giving secret tips to her school's champion."

"MISTER JORDAN!" Minerva McGonagall didn't need spells to be heard.

"Lee, keep it up and I'll make you take my place." Harry commented from his position with Fleur and Viktor.

"Erm…"

"Moving on…" Harry prompted the now worried commentator.

Lee went on to describe the seemingly transparent, three floor building. At the moment it was full of empty rooms, but once the champions entered, it would be filled with furniture, traps and enemies. The winning champion had to be the last one standing. All enemies had to be eliminated and so did the other two champions.

"When I win this, I expect a foot massage." Fleur commented calmly to Harry. With the ability to share languages, the trouble with pronunciations of foreign words was fixed.

"What do I get if I win?" Harry asked curiously.

"You get to massage my feet." She smirked without missing a beat.

Viktor laughed.

"I am not massaging his feet if he wins." Harry said adamantly.

"No, if Viktor wins then you will massage my feet and your girl's feet as well."

"GO VIKTOR! CRUSH HIM!"

Harry turned and looked at the stands incredulously. There were Pansy, Daphne Tracey and Gemma hollering and hooting. "Gee thanks for the loyalty." Harry grumbled.

"If you are all ready?" Albus queried. He was clearly amused by Harry's suffering.

"Just get on with it Albie." Harry made it a point to use his nickname for the old man whenever he irritated him.

"Very well, you may enter now."

What followed was something that all the spectators would remember for the rest of their lives. It made the previous two tasks look like a committee meeting… without the slide show.

For the first time in the history of the Triwizard Tournament, the names of the champions and the victor would go down in history. It finally delivered on 'eternal glory'.

Viktor, Fleur and Harry had entered the same door to the building, but they appeared at different points. Fleur was on the bottom floor, Viktor on top and Harry in the middle. Of course, the champions had no way of knowing this as from their point of view the walls, floors and ceilings were opaque.

Each had a different approach as to how they dealt with every room.

Fleur went for subtlety and stealth. She would cast various detection charms on the doors and walls before entering the room whilst disillusioned. Often she got away with it. If it was a creature the room contained then they were easily dispatched, they were simply confused by the self-opening door.

If the room contained sentient combatants then she had a good chance at defence and occasionally outright stomping on them. Sentient combatants consisted of either a pair or trio of seventh and sixth year students or a volunteer professor. Just not the defence professors, because that would be unfair.

Then there were the trap and test rooms. These rooms were placed so that the champion had to go through them in order to reach the room beyond.

Whilst there were no sphinxes, there were enchanted objects like the Ravenclaw knocker that challenged them with riddles. There were also logic and problem solving tests.

Traps consisted of things like door handles that would knock out whoever touched them. Considering Fleur was casting detection charms on everything, she didn't have a problem.

Viktor's approach was similar to Fleur's. He would cast detection charms but he wouldn't go invisible. Instead he would burst into the room start throwing curses at anything that might resemble an enemy. Quite a few free standing lamps were found to be sporting boils and tentacles later.

Viktor struggled with the tests a bit. He wasn't unintelligent, but Fleur was fairly gifted.

Then there was Harry…

Harry had instantly sealed the room he had appeared in. He cast charms on the door walls ceiling and floor. He raised wards to prevent apparition, portkeys and the like. Sure, he knew they weren't supposed to be possible on the Hogwarts grounds unless the owner (him) gave permission, but he wasn't going to take the chance.

Sure, Voldemort was dead, but he was not going to risk a repeat performance of the last time he finished the tournament.

"Is he really going to just sit there and wait?" Madame Maxime asked in her deep and now perfect pronunciation of the English language.

"I truly believed he would put some effort into winning." Albus frowned. "He is a legitimate champion this time. He has the complete support of the school."

"He is trying to win." Perenelle assured them. "This isn't just a test of magical strength and knowledge. This is also a test of intelligence, cunning and strategy."

"But if he stays in the room he won't encounter the tests or traps." Amelia was confused.

Penny just smirked. "Of course not. But you heard the rules. The winner is the last person standing in the building. No one said the winner was person to take out the most obstacles."

"So he is just going to wait for the other champions to clear the building and eliminate the other? He will then only have to deal with one champion." Amelia smirked as she worked it out. "It looks like he is taking the complete Slytherin approach."

"Then what is doing at the desk?" Maxime asked.

Harry had transfigured some of the furniture into a chair, desk, quill, ink and a lot of paper.

Albus sighed. "I would hope that he is creating some sort of rune scheme or working on an arithmantic equation to help him win. Alas, after four years of his habits, I fear he is more likely writing a very long letter or list about why he hates me."

Everyone knew that Harry no longer hated Albus Dumbledore for what he put him through as a child. The pair were actually friends. Granted, Harry was often snide and mocking to Albus, but the old man accepted his mistakes and was very fond of the man Harry had become.

"Ok, so he has finished memoirs." Amelia snarked as they watched him stand up. "What is he doing now?"

"It appears to be some form of enchantment." Albus said as peered through his glasses. Harry was casting over various knickknacks in the room, lamps, chairs, pictures… etc.

"Fleur has cleared her current floor." Maxime said proudly.

Sure enough the young witch was examining the stairwell that led to the next floor, Harry's floor.

"How long would you say Viktor will take?" Amelia asked Penny.

"Maybe ten to twenty minutes. He is intelligent in his own right, but he does not have the same mental prowess as young Fleur."

*BOOM*

There was blinding light that caused panic among the spectators. The sound of the explosion temporarily deafened everybody. Fortunately for the judges, Albus and Penny had them fixed up.

"What happened? Did Harry do that?" Amelia asked as she tried not to panic.

The entire middle floor of the building was missing. In its absence the top floor had fallen heavily onto the ground floor. The building was soundly made and there was no collateral damage. Both the remaining champions and the other participants were stunned but unharmed.

"This is not part of the task." Penny growled. "Harry's nightmare has come true… again."

Harry stumbled.

To the naked eye it didn't appear as if anything had changed. The room hadn't even shuddered.

But Harry felt something very specific.

He wasn't in Great Britain anymore.

On his first trip off planet after becoming king, Harry had noticed a sense of loss. There was a dip in his power. He had cast a few spells and discovered that it wasn't noticeable.

When he got back to Earth and Great Britain he noticed the feeling vanish. His power felt normal as well. He checked his spells and cursed when he blew out a crater in the castle grounds. After discussing it with Penny and Ganos, they had determined that the land of Great Britain, the magic of the very country, was aiding him.

Harry had just sighed and passed it off as another quirk of his life.

But now… it was suddenly very useful.

He quickly sent a spell at the walls, floors and ceilings to activate the wards that would prevent others from seeing in. He hadn't intended to use it during the task and only put it up in case. But now, he didn't want his kidnappers to see him.

The next thing he did was cast another spell at a painting on the wall. Again, the charms were already in place, just not activated. He had enchanted the painting with a cut down version of the Marauder's Map. It couldn't show the names of the people outside but it could map the local area and mark out the positions of any individuals. Dudley and David had likened it to SONAR.

"Well… shit." Harry could see over twenty people outside. There didn't appear to be any walls so either he was in a large spacious building like a warehouse or outside.

*Knock Knock*

Yep, there they were, someone standing right outside the door.

"What to do, what to do?" Harry muttered as he looked around. He knew that his friends would be preparing to rescue him, but how long would it be before they got to him? Would his wards still be up?

Probably not.

He immediately began casting at everything he hadn't cast at before.

"We know you can hear us, Potter. Open the door and come quietly and you won't be harmed."

Harry raised an eyebrow, but didn't stop. He didn't believe a word the man said.

"How about you explain yourselves?" Harry called out.

"Just doing a favour for some colleagues. If it helps restore the status quo, all the better."

Harry hadn't expected an answer. So they were working for or with someone. If they were 'doing a favour' then they probably weren't mercenaries.

"They want you alive, Potter. Personally, we don't care and won't shed any tears either way."

"You don't think your friends will retaliate if you kill me?"

"They can try." Came the amused reply.

Arrogance. They were probably pure bloods. But who were they working for? If they were pure bloods they wouldn't work with anything other than other pure bloods. There were 'factions' in wizarding Britain, there were simply those for and against. Foreigners. It was the only way that pure bloods would find other pure bloods to work with.

"The Americans are that pissed off at me?"

"Very clever, Potter." Came the sarcastic response. "Did you work that out all on your own?"

"Well, no." Harry's voice was laced with so much condescension that even Dudley as a prepubescent could have picked up on the fact Harry was calling him a moron.

"Enough stalling. Open the door or we open it ourselves and kill you." Came the angry voice.

"Alright, alright." Harry sighed as he gave his work a once over. "Give a girl a chance to fix her hair, will you?" A phrase he often heard these days.

He calmly walked up to the door and opened it.

"An Unspeakable?" Harry was not impressed.

"You actually opened the door, Potter? You are either incredibly stupid or very afraid of death." The man's face was hidden behind an obscuring charm.

"Erm… stupid I guess." Harry mused. "I've been dead a few times; can't really see what the fuss is all about."

"Step outside and hand over your wand." The man ordered as two other robed individuals stepped up, their wands trained on him.

"I have a better idea." Harry said as he stepped back. "Why don't you come in here and get me?"

The man audibly growled. "Break his arms and his legs, then drag him out by a foot and a hand."

The two men stepped forward into the room and jumped as the door slammed shut behind them.

Outside, the first man was banging on the door and yelling. He was surprised when the door opened on its own.

It was a good thing the man had his face hidden. He was deathly pale as he saw Harry sitting at his desk. In front of him were two pairs of severed hands. Stuck, spread-eagled to the wall were the robed men, naked and exposed.

"Next!" Harry called out sharply.

"You four! Get in there and kill him!"

The four men entered. The leader shoved his foot in the door.

*CRUNCH*

The scream was horrific. Blood poured from his boot.

His foot was still trapped in the firmly shut door.

Mercifully the door opened. The thirteen remaining Unspeakables were crowded around their leader and trying to free him.

Harry was still calmly sitting at his desk. "Here's the deal. You can willingly tell me everything you know or I will remove your hands and rip the knowledge from your minds."
"T-T-Together!" The leader stuttered through the pain. "Attack him tog-g-gether!"

They shared a look and charged.

Wands were out, spells were cast, magic flew from wands…

And Harry calmly sat there.

Eventually the men stopped as it was obvious they were ineffective.

"You know, just because we aren't in Britain, doesn't mean we aren't still British." Harry said conversationally. "I am the King of Britain. You are my subjects. Your magic is British. I'll give you a moment to figure it out."

"We still out number you." One of them sneered.

"Reducto." The calmly spoken spell hit the man in the head.

And then he was headless.

"If you want to live then I suggest you put your wands on the table and strip naked." Harry waved his wand at them meaningfully.

The others shared a look and dropped their wands. They knew that Potter was not only powerful, but fast. He could easily take them out without their magic.

"Oh Bulstrode. I am now furious. Before, I was merely annoyed. But now I have to tell your daughter, my friend, what you've done." Harry glared at the large man.

"Like you said, Potter. We're British. We can't harm you. Our allies though…" The man smirked, despite his fear.

"Congratulations Bulstrode, you have now made it so that I will be ripping whatever information I want from your minds." Harry smirked as he saw the other (now naked) men glare at their colleague.

Twenty minutes later and Harry knew everything they knew. They had approached the Americans with a deal. The Unspeakables would capture Harry, drain him of all his knowledge and study his connection to Britain's magic.

The American's could have the stargate as long as they ponied up the resources to capture Harry.

Of course, the Americans had demanded Harry as well, the British just needed him gone after all. But the British wiggles were not known for their honour and honesty.

So now Harry was stuck in his little room in a warehouse at a secret military installation in the Nevada desert.

At least he knew how they had breached Hogwarts' wards and transported him across the ocean so quickly. He was going to need to do a thorough search of the Department of Mysteries and research everything they had on Time. Apparently wards were ineffective if frozen in time. They had managed to use modified time turners to take themselves out of time so they could enter the grounds and kidnap him.

He checked his watch. He still wasn't able to make a connection to other watch wearers, and according to the memories, he only had five minutes before the time the Unspeakables agreed with the Americans, came to an end. Then they would come in and try and get him themselves.

That was the good news.

The bad news was that he wasn't their only captive. They had managed to snag Ganos as she was leaving after one of her visits. This did explain why she wasn't at the tournament today. Harry didn't feel so bad now about her not turning up to support him.

Harry looked at his watch and scowled. He took it off and turned it over. He placed his little finger on the metal casing and it vanished under his touch. A hidden compartment.

Filius and Nicholas had insisted that they let him put it there, it held something that he was still conflicted about: The Cloak of Invisibility.

The last of the Deathly Hallows and one of his few connections to his father.

He pulled it out and put it on, vanishing from sight. Having examined the cloak closely, Nicholas and Filius had removed all the charms that others had put on it. Albus had admitted to putting special tracking charms on it connected to him, just in case Harry decided to run off. Other charms had been added by one or two patriarchs of the Potter family; just so they could keep track of their little rapscallions when they played.

Harry put his watch back on and pushed the little knob on the side. Again, he placed his little finger on the glass face.

This activated a set of charms initially suggested by Dudley after his evaluation of the non-magical threat. It was expanded on by Filius and Terry's little club. His body temperature was now masked, all sound was stopped ten centimetres beyond his body. There were a multitude of charms and tricks on his watch that meant he was completely undetectable.

As he exited his room, which he hadn't actually left since he began the Third task, he came to a decision as to a course of action. Rescue Ganos… then send out the call for help.

He had considered doing it the other way around, but he didn't trust the Americans to try and scarper with Ganos when his friends attacked. He bypassed the soldiers who were waiting outside the large warehouse he had been transported to.

The military installation he found himself in was quite big. There were armed soldiers everywhere. He had yet to see any wizards. He performed a brief legilimancy scan of all the people he passed, so far none had any knowledge of himself, Ganos or magic.

Five minutes later and he wanted to kick himself. He already knew where to find people who knew what he needed. Back in the warehouse like building he had arrived in. He had been so eager to get Ganos and get out that he had rushed things.

He quickly made his way back.

"Where the hell is he? I want these idiots awake and blabbing five minutes ago!"

Harry stayed just outside the door to the warehouse, listening as an American in uniform barked orders angrily. Still, no wizards in sight.

There were quite a few soldiers and men and women in lab coats going over the strip of the building that Harry had arrived in. They were also wheeling out the Unspeakables.

There was suddenly screaming and shouting coming from the room. Soldiers and scientists came running out. The soldiers already outside pointed their weapons at the door to the room.

"It's a trap!" One of the male scientists said frantically. Following the last scientist out came a stream of white, angry, paper birds.

Harry had completely forgotten about the defences he had made to deal with his fellow champions. The ream of paper he had worked on was now in action at the perceived threat as he wasn't there to deal with it first.

Harry used the commotion to send a silencer, disillusionment charm and finally a stunner at the man barking orders. He then darted forward to where he knew the man was and apparated him onto the roof of his room.

Harry disillusioned the man and began to enter his mind.

The man was a colonel in the Air Force and a member of a group called the National Intelligence Division (NID). Apparently the magicals of America didn't have the same autonomy as those of the previous British magical government. They also weren't trusted and were 'encouraged' to stay within magical communities.

Magicals were often conscripted by secretive agencies such as the NID and CIA.

This particular colonel knew the location of Ganos and the holding rooms for the magicals.

Harry quickly transfigured the man into a tennis ball and pocketed him. He might come in handy later.

Finding Ganos was easy. Freeing her was simple.

Getting her to cooperate was not.

"I honestly don't know of any other way to get you past all these soldiers!"

"I am hundreds of millennia old, Harry! I will not be carted around as a bauble in your pocket!"

"Fine! You come up with a plan." Harry said exasperatedly.

They were standing in a cell, two unconscious guards on the floor inside and two outside.

"I will simply wait here." She sat down at the table in the room.

"They'll be sending guards to check on you soon. When they find you are unguarded they will move you."

"Then I suggest you work quickly to take down the wards keeping me from leaving."

Harry stared at her for a full five seconds.

Then he stunned her and transfigured her into a Barbie doll. He was feeling a little vindictive.

His next target was the magicals on the base. He needed to interrogate them and find out how to take down the wards.

Fortunately, getting to them and freeing them was easy as freeing Ganos.

Getting them to help was, again, another matter.

"These are shock collars boy." One of the older men said snappishly. "All they have to do is press a button and we will be writhing on the floor in pain. Press another button and the explosives detonate."

"Let me see."

"Are you stupid you idiot! The last time someone tampered with one of these they set it off and died. Adam lost his ear in the explosion." The pointed to a heavily scarred man in his early thirties.

"Fine, just tell me how to bring down the wards." Harry ordered.

"Absolutely not! You have no idea what sort of punishment they use on us!"

There were three women in the group. Harry didn't want to think about it.

He slumped in defeat. "Fine. I'll do it all myself."

"Just don't mention us when they capture you boy. We were behaving and don't want to suffer their tender mercies." He said snidely.

Harry just stomped off. He could understand their fear, but they didn't seem to realise what he had been through. Torture, persecution, death. Harry didn't really care if he died again. He already knew his family was waiting for him. But he would be damned if he would let anyone hurt his friends or himself again.

As far as Harry was concerned it was kill or be killed.

Before Harry left the area, he put up a few wards of his own to keep anyone from getting to them. He then found a nice quiet room which he then warded as well and pulled out Ganos and the colonel.

"You will pay for that, Harry." The Ascended being growled.

"You know, all the people who say that to me- actually, never mind. Here do you know how to use this?" He handed her a wand.

She grimaced. "To a degree."

"Good. How about this?" He handed her a pistol.

"Where did you get these?" She asked as she shook her head, refusing the object.

"All the guards I've knocked out." Harry shrugged as he put the weapon on the table in the corner. "Dud likes to watch action shows and movies. I don't mind them, but we both agree on one thing: The heroes are bloody idiots for knocking the guards out and then leaving their weapons there.

"I learnt that mistake in my fifth year." He grimaced.

"Well, why did you wake me up?" She asked.

"The wiggles in this country are oppressed. They are literally used by the government as they wish. They are also too afraid to help me or themselves. I need to know how to take down the wards and this idiot might know how. He should also know how to deactivate the lethal slave collars they are forced to wear." Harry said in disgust.

"Harry, the best way to deal with the wards is to leave them. Use your cloak and leave the base. Send a message for help. I will get the information we need from this creature." She looked at the unconscious man darkly.

"You sur-"

"I came to Earth to flee a war. I am more than capable." She ended the argument.

The second that Harry made it past the ward line of the base, the