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Trust is a Delicate Thing

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The Dursleys hadn't come.

His expectations for them were low but even this seemed a step below their usual behaviour. Sure they treated him badly when he got home but at least he got home. They hadn't even bothered to pick him up this time.

He could feel Moody grumbling beside him as the sun started to set. He had volunteered to stay with Harry to ensure he got home safe. Or, more accurately, he had volunteered to stay with Harry to give the Dursleys a good talking to - to make sure they treat him nicely after everything that happened with Sirius and the ministry. God, what a complete shit show that was. Speaking of, he needed to get back there to finish cleaning up the aftermath. The political storm that was brewing was far worse than anything anyone had seen before and Moody knew he needed to be there to make sure the dust settled in the right cracks. He didn't have time to babysit the boy for much longer.

He checked his watch again. 20:03. That's it.

"Harry," he calls to grab the boy's attention, "I can't wait around all night for your relatives to show up. You know how important it is that you stay with them this summer, given everything that's going on. Is it far to walk from here?"

Harry shook his head knowing full well it takes a good hour or so by car. He has no intention of staying at the Dursleys. Not after everything he'd discovered this year.

"Good, well then. I'll be off. I'll have another order member come by later on to make sure you're not still here. Someone will be by the house tomorrow to make sure you're alright. Just don't do anything stupid boy, that house is the only place on Earth we can ensure your safety."

So the fact that he spends 9 months out of the year away from the house definitely proves it's the safest place on Earth. Although, for the first time ever, he didn't want to stay at Hogwarts over the summer. Getting as far away from Dumbledore as possible seemed like a good idea. He needed a break from everything. After -

Moody popped away without a second thought. Well. Good to know how much his safety means to them. Is it far to walk from here? Are you kidding? Sure the death eaters probably aren't scouring muggle London trying to find him right now but that doesn't mean he should take a 9 hour stroll back to the Dursley's at night. Good to know that the concern stopped at the train station. What could Moody even be doing that was so important anyway? He could have apparated to Surrey in a second!

With a glare at the ground Harry felt his mind switch off. It was all too much. He was tired and hungry and alone. He didn't care that they had left him - good riddance! To the Dursleys and the Order! He doesn't care about them and they certainly don't care about him. After everything that's happened they just leave him here? Well, fuck it. He's not going back. He's going to explore his other option. An option Dumbledore had specifically warned was a plan B only but what did Dumbledore know? Hiding things from him constantly. He doesn't care about Harry, he doesn't care about what's best for Harry, he just wants his little puppets to live and die for him.

A bright light momentarily blinds him.

"Oi! What are you doing hanging around here?"

Harry raises a hand to shield his face in a poor attempt to stop the torch's beam. He sees fragments of navy blue and instantly recognises the police. This could either be the luck he needed or the worst thing to happen all day.

There's no more time to ponder on it as the policeman hoists Harry up by his arm, a tight ring of purple already appearing on his bicep.

"You're coming with me! Can't have lost boys hanging around the place. Too many complaints of little thieves and dirty rats scurrying around. You'd know all about that wouldn't you boy? Sleeping on all your possessions. Although it is a nice trunk you've got - I'm sure I'll get much delight giving it back to the real owner. HJP. Well, Henry whatever is going to be very happy when I track him down."

Harry's eyes grow wide in alarm.

"No! Sir! Please! You misunderstand! I was waiting for my family but they never came-"

"That's Officer Bernard to you boy. I've heard it all before. You'll have plenty of time to construct your story while we sort it all out. Now shut up before I do something we'll both regret. It's too public to make a scene here."

"But you don't understan-"

"I said BE QUIET." He growled, shoving Harry to the floor. He grabs the handle of Harry's trunk and snags Harry's other arm up to drag him to the holding area. He storms across the station, ignoring the pitiful cries of the boy and the second glances of the public. None of them stop him on his way. Just as he knew they wouldn't. Society is all high and mighty until it's right in their face and they avert their gaze to avoid feeling guilty that they agree. Because although he might be rough around the edges, this police officer knows the truth. And any one of these averted gazes will be looking at him dead in the eye tomorrow complaining about a stolen watch or bag or wallet.

He reaches his officer and throws open the door to find his manager, Robb. Robb is an uppity 36 year old that thinks he knows everything. He preaches all the new dignity guidelines and what not. Treating criminals like they're innocent. Bernard had seen the worst of the worst, he had been working this station for 40 years - well before this little snot was out of nappies.

"Bernard.."

He instantly loosens his hold on the boy, subtly pushing him to the ground. Robb has a real soft spot for kids. Even the roughest delinquents that are going to grow up to murder somebody. Bernard can already taste the blood in his mouth. He steps over the boy, allowing his steel-toed boot to dig in to the boys ribs on his way past. The boy bites back a groan. It fills Bernard with rage that he didn't elicit a stronger response.

"Bernard!"

"It was an accident!" He growled and glared. They both new full well it was intentional but Robb knew that he needed Bernard at Kings Cross. There was only so much he could do. "Get in boy," He says as he approaches the rusted cage in the far corner. It's too small for a child, let alone a teen, but it's policy to hold all minors in the cage until a suitable decision is made for what to do with them. Bernard likes to drag the process out so he can see them huddle with the shoulders hunched, forced to cower in his presence.

Harry looks at the cage and feels bile start to rise in his mouth. Are they seriously going to lock him in a cage for sitting at the station? For doing nothing? This can't be happening. He wishes he had run when he had the chance.

He turns his head to the other man, this one seems nicer. Younger too.

Robb melts instantly upon seeing those big green eyes turn on him. He sees the pain and the loneliness. He feels the ache in his bones.

"I'm sorry son but it's policy to hold all minors in the cell until you're either released, sent to child protective services or to jail." He had been petitioning for years over the treatment of individuals in holding cells, particularly minors. He knows that many sees it as a necessary evil considering most of the people are re-offending criminals but his heart aches for the innocent few who are scarred for life.

Harry resigns to his fate quickly. The past week has been miserable. The past year has been miserable. His whole life has been miserable. What's one more day of adults not believing him? Maybe if he ended up in jail he'd be so well contained at least Voldemort couldn't get to him.

He struggles to his feet still feeling a burn in his rib where the first officer had kicked him. His arm feels like it's been wrenched out of its socket from being dragged across the station but at least he can walk with his head high.

Until he has to bend it to get in to the cage.

He can feel the first officer grinning smugly beside him, watching Harry struggle into position. Watching him fidget, trying to find a comfortable spot. Bernard knows well that there isn't one. He watches Harry realise that the bars are slightly too close to sit down, forcing him up and hunched over. He smirks. He loves his job.

"Now son, can I have your name to begin with?" Robb calls picking up a pen and paper and meandering his way through the stacks of boxes to get closer to Harry.

"Harry."

"Any last name?"

"None I'm willing to give." That answer gives Robb pause.

"So I'm guessing you're an orphan?"

"My uncle was supposed to pick me up from the station, like he does every year when I get back from boarding school. But he didn't show up. That's why I was waiting on my trunk. I wasn't hanging around to steal anything or anything. Please you've got to belie-"

"I caught him eyeing up a lady. He was staking his target. I arrested him for harassment." Bernard pipes up with a grin.

"THAT'S A LIE! I-"

"Now Harry. There's no need to shout. We can confirm everything on CCTV. That's not a problem. Is there anything else you'd like to tell me before I review the tapes? Any relatives I should call?" Robb asks politely.

"I don't have their phone number…" Harry mutters, eyes locked on the floor. Suddenly regretting his stubbornness in refusing to remember their numbers. Not wanting anything of the Dursleys. Well guess that worked out well for him.

"That's ok. I need to go review the tapes as the manager in charge of this branch. It's all procedure stuff, I always have to do this so don't worry you're not in any trouble yet. My colleague will watch over you while I'm gone so don't worry about anything. We'll sort this out."

Harry locks eyes with Bernard as Robb leaves the room. The temperature drops several degrees as Bernard eyes Harry's stiff figure.

"You know he'll find out you lied? I wasn't doing anything. I don't even think there was anyone near me!" Harry bursts out viciously.

"Oh I know…" Bernard beings slyly, "I just wanted some alone time with you. I always get some one on one time with the criminals but this will give us some extra time."

"What are you going to do? Beat me? Pretty sure your manager won't like that." Harry growls.

His eyes widen as Bernard nears the cage, towering over the steel bars.

"No.. Nothing that will leave a mark… You see, I'm a business man at heart. I can help you get a lesser sentence if you do something for me…" He presses himself against the bars, sliding his hand between the top bars to gently cup Harry's head. He revels in the wide eyes staring back in disbelief. His tongue darts between his lips as his thumb comes around to brush against the boy's lips. Digging his nail into the bottom lip he forces the boy's mouth open and presses the pad of his finger to his tongue.

Harry bites down harshly, furious. He can't believe what's happening right now. Trapped in a cage at the mercy of this vile beast. Fuck, maybe he should've begun the 9 hour trek to Surrey instead.

No time to ponder his poor life choices as the hand yanks his hair back exposing his throat and forcing him to his knees. A second hand wraps around his neck and squeezes.

"That was a silly thing to do boy… Look at you baring your neck to me. You're making me hard."

Harry wheezes for breath, bringing his hands up to claw at the offending appendage. He backs in to the corner of the cage in a desperate attempt at escape. Bernard retrieves his left hand, tightening his right in the boy's hair until he can feel the threads tug loose.

"Look at you choking for breath. I'm just helping you practice for the next part…" He reaches for his zipper, popping the button and dragging the little piece of metal down.

The door flies open and Robb enters the room.

"Bernard.." He sighs resigned. Bernard stands and zips himself back up, knowing full well that although Robb doesn't report his behaviour to head office he's not going to stand back and let him take the boy's throat in front of him. Pity. The boy certainly had a good mouth on him when he was screaming earlier.

"I've looked over the security footage and there was no woman near you at the time of your arrest. However, we can't just let you go. You're a minor and thus, we need to ensure you have somewhere to sleep tonight. Bernard, call Helen."

"Roger that." Bernard bites out reaching for the phone.

"Now Harry.. I'm sorry that this has happened to you but we're going to make sure you get home safely, ok?"

"What is that supposed to mean? That officer just tried to rape me!? You're not going to, I don't know, arrest him?"

"Harry," Robb says sternly, "I was here the entire time and didn't see anything happen. It's a crime to declare a false statement. I wouldn't want to have to arrest you tonight."

"You already have!" He growls angry and bitter. Seems like corruption doesn't just exist in the Wizarding World. Turns out humans are shit no matter where they come from.

"Helen will be here in 10." Bernard states before getting to his feet, "I'm going to start rifling through this box of stolen toys.."

"Bernard. We checked the tapes. The trunk came with him, it's not stolen. It's against policy to go through an innocent man's items without due cause. I think it best if we just leave it alone until Helen gets here."

Bernard turns with a sigh and storms out of the room.

"I'll just head back to patrol then." He grumbles leaving Harry and Robb in silence.

Harry relaxes minutely seeing the beast leave his lair. He shuffles until he's able to pull his knees to his chest, hugging himself and resting his head.

Silence descends in the damp cell.

"I'm sorry." The whispered words make him lift his head. He knows he should be surprised but he's so exhausted he can hardly make sense of the words. "I know what Bernard did was wrong but you have to understand. He's been here forever. He rules this station. I might have the seniority to keep him in line. But if I ever actually piss him off and it's his word against mine… the force can't afford to replace him."

"That's a bullshit excuse and you know it." Harry snarls, turning his head away.

He just wants to leave. He wants to grab his trunk and run. Anywhere that's away from here. Hell, he'd even choose the Dursleys over whatever's happening here.

A knock at the door interrupts his miserable musings. The door opens without permission and a kind face peaks through the crack.

"Robb, I heard you found another stray? Oh! He's already in the room! Um yes. Hi, my name's Helen! I'll be your social worker for the next couple of days as we figure out how to get you home. Bernard didn't mention your name..?" She says cheerfully as she opens strides into the room and opens the cage with a practiced ease that gives away the sheer number of times she's been called here to do this.

"It's Harry, and look - I have family waiting for me. They live at number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. I don't have their number but if you can just take me there-"

"Not to worry, my dear, we'll call the house phone. What name should I ask for?" She asks, already whipping out her phone and pressing a button, "Hi Roger, yes it's Helen, I just have a child here saying his family live in 4 Privet Drive, Surrey. Can you find the number and call them? The name is-"

"Dursley, Vernon and Petunia Dursley."

"-Drizzley, yes D R I-"

"No Ma'am it's Dursley. D U R S L E Y." Harry says with a roll of his eyes. Honestly this whole process has been a complete mess and now he's starting to shake from the thin jacket he had wrapped around his shoulders on the heated train that barely stops the wind from hitting his bones.

"-Scratch that it's DURSLEY. Yes, D-"

Harry starts over to his trunk and kneels on the ground. Popping it open to start ruffling through his few possessions. Still not quite believing there's ever a moment in his life where he actually wants to go to the Dursleys'. The horror.

Helen ends the call quite abruptly and turns to find Harry on the floor, elbow deep in shirts and trousers. A frown covers her face at the sight of his torn clothes. Not fully believing this boy has any family left and clearly carrying all his possessions in one bag. Typical orphan behaviour, she thinks as she smooths a kind smile onto her face.

"Now dear, how about you come with me and I'll drive you to Surrey in case your family's there. I've just got a colleague trying to contact them now. If we can't reach them then you'll have to be put in an orphanage for the night, nothing to do about it, but no matter what we'll get this sorted by tomorrow." She places her hand on his shoulder gently and helps him pull on a second jacket. Even though it's coming in to summer now, it's still cold out at 10 at night, no time for any child to be running around without a proper jacket on. She eyes the rips at the bottom, mentally adding to the evidence that the child is lying.

Unfortunately, it's all too common for her to hear the children whine their stories. It was a trap she fell in to many times when she was just starting out. Taking a child back to their 'homes' and dropping them off outside a nice house. Believing them when they said their parents were out for the night but their older sibling might be there to take care of them so she didn't need to wait. Driving off with a smile on her face knowing she helped only to run in to the same child sleeping rough outside a bank not two days later. Never again, she vowed. You never can trust what they say.

She helps guide the boy - Harry, she reminds herself - out of the filthy police holding area. It breaks a piece of her heart every time she sees a child huddle in that prison they keep in there. She's been trying to lobby for years but 'no funding' is the constant evil breathing down her neck and forcing the shackles over her hands. She tries to do what she can to ensure the kids get out as quickly as possible and in to a nice home. Her throat tightens at the thought of the children stuck in the foster care system that can't quite seem to find a good match. There's nothing for it though because what's the alternative to a child with nothing? She won't let them freeze to death on the streets. At least in foster care there's a chance for a better home.

She feels Harry tense under her hand as they approach the exit. Following his gaze she spots a short man huddled over what appears to be a bird cage. The man looks up and stares at Harry for a moment, dragging his eyes up and down the boy's slight frame before scurrying into the shadows. A frown crosses her features. That's another reason she likes to keep children in foster care. At least they're not out there doing things for money to survive. At least they get a bed and some food even if they are bounced between homes more often than laundry in a washing machine. At least they retain some innocence when they turn 18 and can find a place for themselves.

She pushes firmly on his shoulder to get him moving again. She thought she heard him mutter something like "Mundungs" or "mundane" maybe? A vicious looks crosses his face before he catches her staring and forces it blank again. That's another thing she mustn't forget. For as many innocent children as she saves she also saves the bad ones. It can't be helped that there are a few rotten apples that scare their foster parents into submission or break things and cause havoc. She mentally makes a note to place him with a family she knows is not afraid to give a firm hand when needed. Never excessively, but certainly enough to pull them in line.

They finally reach her car and she helps him lift the trunk into the back seat. It's surprisingly heavy and makes her wonder how he was planning on rolling it all around the city.

They silently move into the front seats of the car and pull out from the station. After a few moments she switches on the radio to drown out the unbearable silence. She much prefers the chatty kids that at least give her hints into their lives.

"So, want to tell me what you were doing at Kings Cross?" She asks brightly, flashing a smile in his direction.

Harry searches her eyes for a beat before she has to turn back to the road, pulling on her indicator to get in to the left lane.

"I go to a boarding school in Scotland. The train brought us back here this morning. I've been waiting for my aunt and uncle to pick me up ever since."

Boarding school in Scotland? So not poor, obviously. But what about his torn clothes… he could be lying?

"Do you like the school? Make many friends?"

"A few." He states sharply. So not a conversationalist then. She tries again.

"Well that must be nice! I always wanted to go to boarding school but my parents could never afford it. It must be fun to spend all day with your friends. It's like having a hundred sleep overs in a row!"

"Yeah. It's good." He mutters.

The sharp ringing of her phone interrupts any further attempts at conversation. She hesitates briefly knowing Harry will be able to hear everything but then chooses to answer her phone, it's definitely Roger calling to confirm whether they found his family so he has every right to hear it anyway.

"Hi Roger! I'm just in the car with Harry on our way to Surrey. I'm assuming you have good news?" She's actually assuming he has bad news but she appears optimistic for the child. No point telling him to his face that she knows he's lying through his teeth.

"Unfortunately not, we were able to get the home phone number for 4 Privet Drive but the someone by the name of Sarah Kell answered the phone. Said she'd never heard of the Dursleys' before."

"WHAT!" Harry screamed from the passenger seat, a look of panic painting his face, "No, no, no. They definitely live there.. Can't you find where they went? Maybe they sold their house!"

"Son… the new owners would have signed a deal with the Dursleys if that were the case. Mrs. Kell confirmed they had only been living there for a few months but they didn't buy it from the Dursleys."

"Well call who they bought it from! The previous owners must have bought it from the Dursleys! I was just there last summer! I can prove it! Ask if there were padlocks on the upstairs bedroom! Or.. Or drawings in the cupboard under the stairs! Oh! The floorboards in the second bedroom are loose! There should be some canned food in there! Please!"

At this point, Helen reaches over and puts a comforting hand on his shoulder to stop the chaotic sounds tumbling out of him. Senseless rambling will get them nowhere.

"Roger, we understand. Thank you for trying. Even if the Dursleys had been there before, they certainly aren't there now. I'll take Harry with me to Genevieve for the night."

"NO. They're there. You have to help me. You have to believe me!" Harry cries putting his head in his hands. If the Dursleys have left that means the blood wards have fallen which means Voldemort can find him anywhere which means-

"No problem Helen, I'll ring Gen to let her know you're coming."

"Thanks Roger."

A sharp click ends the conversation and the car descends into silence once more.

"I'm sorry we couldn't find your family," Helen says, trying to put as much sympathy in her voice as possible. Even though she knew this was coming it still hurts to see the boy so lost. It's almost like he really believed the Dursleys would be there. But she's seen the act before and she knows her part to play. If she calls him out on his lie now he won't speak to her again, knowing she won't believe him. She has to keep the act up to stay his confidant.

"Is.. Is there anyone else we could try? Who would take you in for the night?" The question is just a formality. Any name he gave now wouldn't be worth her time trying to find.

"Ah Mrs Figg lived a couple of doors down, she would babysit me some times as a kid. She would take me in for the night for certain." He says thinking quickly. He just needs to get in to the area and then find the Order member on duty outside the house. They'll be able to take him back to the Weasleys now that the blood wards aren't an option. He just hopes Mundungus isn't on duty. The little shit would demand some kind of payment for his services and Harry spent the last galleon he had on sweets from the trolley.

"Ok honey, well we'll look into this Mrs Fig tomorrow. It's much too late to do anything more tonight."

"No, please! I need to get there today."

"Young man. You are in need of a shower and a bed. You are not in need of gallivanting across England looking for every name you can think of." She huffs pulling up to an old building. The paint is peeling off the front and the sign says Opanage rather than Orphanage but Gen's the nicest out there and the only one she trusts to give the kids a firm hand when needed.

She helps Harry with his trunk, knowing full well it'll be confiscated on sight. The children often steal from each other so possessions are kept for safe keeping in a separate room away from everything. This is particularly necessary as they often find stolen jewellery in the bags the children bring with them, such treasure that would be broken or lost if left in the hands of the children. Helen remembers being disgusted with the process at the beginning but begrudgingly accepted that selling of the children's goods was the best way to put food on the table and keep Gen happy.

She ushers him inside and leaves his trunk just inside the door.

"Don't worry you can pick it up later. Let's go find Genevieve. Remember to always refer to her as Madam. She won't tolerate any disrespect in her house." She says sternly, pushing him into a separate room.

The brick walls enclose the hallways with as cold, detached coating. Mysterious stains mar the floors and ceilings and a soft odour permeates the walls.

Harry feels instantly alone.

He glances back at his trunk lying at the front door and startles when he sees a tall, lanky man drag it away. He doesn't believe Helen for one second that he'll be seeing it any time soon.

He has to get out of here.

He tracks the man's retreating form and begins mapping out the layout of the house. He starts to plot his next move. There is one thing he hasn't tried yet. He didn't want to acknowledge the information but perhaps if he can use it to get out of here then at least he has room to move around…

They stop before a short frail woman. Her skin sags around her arms and face in a way that shows many happy moments in the sun. She gives Harry a warm smile and wraps her arms around her. Harry can't help but think if he breathed out too harshly he'd accidentally knock her over. He forces himself to return the hug, snaking his arms around her slim figure in a way he hopes will get him on her good side.

"Oh honey you look in need of a good feed! Let me get you a bowl from dinner while we wait for Gen to come downstairs - she's just puttin' some of the lil uns to bed now. She'll be down in a tick. What's your name son?"

"Harry, ma'am. Thank you for looking after me for tonight but I do have family waiting for me out there-"

"Yes, honey no need to get in to that tonight. It's much too late! Just sit down and have a cuppa." she presses her hand on his shoulder, guiding him to sit at the table. Helen slides in to the seat beside him, a cup of tea miraculously in her hand already. She smiles warmly at the old woman.

"Thank you, Eve, Harry's just in a bit of a pickle so he'll stay here while we try to find someone he might know that is willing to take him."

I do have someone that's willing to take me. Harry thinks of the Weasleys. Of Molly practically shoving food into his mouth telling him to fatten up. Of Arthur's booming laugh and merry wonderment at the tv remote Harry stole from the Dursleys last time he went to the Burrow. Of Fred and George starting food fights at the table and looking suitably chagrined when Molly yelled but continued their antics at the next meal anyway. Of Ginny's sly glances at him from the table, asking if he'd like more of this or that and sternly keeping her brothers in line. Of Ron, his best mate, patting him on the back and letting him know he's always welcome.

But, enough of that. He needs to get out of here first. He needs to get away from Helen in a way that will ensure she doesn't hang around long enough that he can call the Knight Bus or contact a member of the Order to come pick him up. He's going to have to use his plan B. Or, more accurately, his plan Z that he had never planned on going anywhere near because the whole concept is just too difficult to wrap his head around-

A bowl of sludge is placed before him. It's cold and brown with a mysterious lump in the corner. It looks like the consistency of porridge and his stomach immediately turns at the sight. A brief thought of more willing to starve than eat this flashes through his mind before he's instantly hit with a wave of shame over the memories of actually starving in his cupboard or the second bedroom and his wishes for anything, anything, to get it to stop.

He lifts his spoon and digs in quickly. It slides down his throat like glue but it's better than the sharp stabbing ache that he'll get in his stomach otherwise.

He's halfway through his meal when the door creaks open and a slim figure steps through. Madam Genevieve has beautiful, long blonde hair flowing to her waste and bright blue eyes. Her dress hugs her figure in a way that leaves nothing to the imagination and Harry gawks for a second before giving himself a mental slap. She glides into the room smoothly and props herself on the chair opposite Harry.

Immediately reaching for his left hand laying on the table uselessly, she holds on to him and gives him a warm smile.

"Harry. I've heard you're going to be spending some time with us. It is such a pleasure to have you with us and we're so glad you could be with us rather than out there in the cold catching god knows what illness! Thank you lord for bringing us this strapping young man and keeping him healthy and safe so that he could be here with us today." She ends with a playful wink that leaves Harry unsure if he should be feeling flattered or weary.

"Thank you for the hospitality ma'am. This will only be for tonight, I do have people that I can go to-"

"Yes, yes, of course, of course. We know that we're only a pit stop for young men such as yourself who have more important things to do than stay with us poor women haha." Her laugh tinkles in the damp room. Her entire character so at odds with the entire house.

"Ma'am I promise… I… I-"

"It's alright, find the right words hun." She says sweetly. Pressing her thumbs into the back of his hand, unknowingly digging in to the scar left by his detentions this year. He wonders if she can even see it or if the glamour spell he had been using was still holding strong.

"I.." This was the moment he was going to let it all out. He was going to tell the truth. Everything.

"I have a dad who I've never met before. He left me with my mum and I was left with her sister when she died. I don't know how to get in contact with him but I know he's my dad because my aunt told me. I didn't believe her at first but I did a paternity test this year and found it to be true…"

Not quite the truth but not quite a lie either. It was a potion's lesson he'd never forget when Snape had them prepare arbor familiae, a potion that shows an individual's family tree. It was a complicated potion that Snape thought would help teach them to feel the rhythm of the brewing process as it required exact stirs to get right. Instead when Harry had added a hair from his head to test the potion, it had taught him that his father was not in fact James Potter. Much to the surprise of everyone in the classroom.

The subsequent bark of Go to the headmaster Mr Potter had left him scrambling to run away from it all. The tense discussions about why Harry still had to go back to the Dursleys rather than hunting down his real father and having a home had erupted into a dramatic storming out of the office by Harry. He hadn't really had the time to process the whole ordeal however as at that moment he had collapsed to the ground from searing pain in his scar. All of his exams had then been upon him, and then he had gone to the ministry to rescue Sirius and then he had failed and then - and then -

"Well, what's his name? Maybe we could look him up and try to get in contact with him tomorrow?" Helen says kindly, a soft smile stretching across her lips.

"His name is Tony Stark."

Sharp barks of laughter echoed in his ears.