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A Fathers Love (1.0)

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The day that Lily Potter née Evans learned that she was pregnant was one of the happiest of her life. Her future was secure.

Lily had always been ambitious, it had been why the sorting hat had considered putting her in Slytherin, but she had forced it to put her in Gryffindor. There was no way she was going to be in a house that had such a bad reputation. No, she wanted to go far in this world and she needed the benefits that came from being a Gryffindor.

At first, she had thought Severus would be the best help to raise her up, but then he was sorted into Slytherin and she learned that his mother had been disowned. Lily wanted a title, and Severus Snape couldn’t give that to her.

But, she had remained friends with him as long as it served her well. Which was until fifth year.

By then, she had finally seen a use for that idiot, Potter. James Potter had had a massive crush on her for years. She had overheard a few of the girls talking about how amazing his family manor was and had started to plan.

She couldn’t accept him immediately, she didn’t want him to think she was easy. Instead she had slowly allowed herself to grow closer to him over the next year before agreeing to go out with him at the beginning of their seventh year.

James had been a pretty good boyfriend. He was attentive to her needs. Gave her all kinds of presents just because. And he gave her a way into the higher social circles that, up until that point, she had been frozen out of.

His parents had been a bit more difficult to sway. Lord Fleamont Potter and Lady Euphemia Potter had just been too old and stuffy for Lily’s liking. Both came from old pureblood families, and, despite their support of the light, they still followed those ridiculous olde ways.

When Lily had been planning their wedding it had been unbearable. Both the Lord and lady had wanted to use the old ritual bonding, but Lily wasn’t going to have any of that. She had forced James to make his parents hold a traditional wedding at the same church her own parents had married at.

Throughout the entire time between the planning of the wedding and the service itself Lily had seen the glances they had shared. It was clear they hadn’t fully approved of Lily’s choice of how things were done. James had sworn up and down that they weren’t supremacist and holding her blood status against her, but Lily hadn’t agreed. But in the end, she had won, on that at least.

The one thing Lily hadn’t managed to stop was a ridiculous prenuptial agreement. At first James’s parents had proposed a bonding contract, but since they were using a muggle marriage it wouldn’t have worked. But Fleamont Potter had refused to allow the wedding without a prenup. He had stated in no uncertain terms that if they were to marry without one then he would be cutting her and James off from the main vaults and that only their children would have access to those vaults when they were of age.

Lily had been furious, but she had signed the stupid thing. She had been secretly relieved when both of the elder Potters had been killed in a Death Eater attack only a few weeks after the wedding. 

James had been heart broken of course, but Lily had stood by him and supported him in his time of need. Never telling him that she was just glad they wouldn’t be there to meddle in her life and marriage anymore.

And even better, Lily had gotten to become Lady Potter. She loved all the prestige that came with wearing the Ladyship ring and getting to use the title. Everyone paid attention to her then. And her child would fulfil the child requirement from that stupid prenup.

Lily wasn’t actually fond of children, but she had to have at least one to ensure her place in the family. And that was why, only 4 months after her wedding, and 5 months after graduating Hogwarts Lily Potter née Evans was pregnant. She would be a mother 5 months before she turned 20.

Now the only real problem she had was James’s friends. She didn’t really have any issues with Peter, she actually kind of liked him. Peter always had the latest gossip because no one really paid attention to him. No, her issues were with Sirius and Remus. She just didn’t like them.

Sirius came from a well known dark family. Sure, they were rich, but they were dark, and in Lily’s mind, that made them worthless. He was also just so immature. And Remus. Lily really didn’t like him. He was a dark creature. She didn’t understand why the Headmaster had allowed something so dangerous around students.

Lily hated everything dark. Albus Dumbledore had been her mentor for years, and he had showed her what it meant to be a good light witch, and that was what she wanted. Lily didn’t think they should even allow the dark in their world. A law should be made to stop them from entering polite society, since they clearly weren’t capable of upholding any form of decorum.

But none of that mattered right now, because Lily was pregnant. This child would make sure she got everything she wanted.

 


 

It was only a week after learning that she was pregnant that Lily proudly announced it at an Order meeting. She had been a little annoyed that Alice had announced her own pregnancy at the prior meeting a few days before and had had to delay her own announcement because of it. Lily had never liked to share the spotlight.

Then, things got even better. Albus had asked her, James, Alice, and Frank to stay and meet with him after the initial meeting. After all the others left Albus told them that a prophecy had been given.

Either she or Alice would be the mother of the Saviour. One of them was carrying a child that was prophesied to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Lily was positive it would be her child. All of a sudden motherhood hadn’t sounded so bad.

After all, there was no way someone as soft as Alice and as plain as Frank could ever have a child like the one that was needed. Only she and James could have a child with that kind of power.

The only problem was that the other side also knew about at least part of the prophecy. And that meant there were people out there that were already plotting the death of her poor, innocent, baby.

 


 

Albus had been furious when that foolish woman had spoken a prophecy during her job interview. Not only that, but what the prophecy had entailed. Albus had been sure that he would be the one to defeat Tom, but now that couldn’t be.

No one could defeat Tom but the child, or at least, until after Tom had killed the child. And that hadn’t been part of his original plan, but it did allow for new plans to form.

As much as Albus hated to admit it, they were losing. Tom and his followers gained more power every day while his people were losing it. They needed a decisive moment. 

And the birth of a saviour just might be that moment. It would give his people someone to rally around other than him. That way, if the child failed and died the blame wouldn’t be on him. That and he would just be able to pick up where he left off in his attacks on Tom.

But he needed the child to be someone he could mold. Someone he could control and came from the right kind of family. But more than that, the child needed to have power and influence, and access to a great deal of money could only be beneficial.

When two of his faithful Order members announced their pregnancies Albus had been ecstatic. Both the Longbottoms and the Potters were old wealthy families with a great deal of influence in their world.

Now all he had to do was select the right child. It had taken a great deal of thought, but in the end he had chosen the Potter child.

The Potter child would be classified as a half-blood, like both himself and Tom. While there were those that might not accept him as much as if he was pureblood, those people didn’t matter to Albus’s plans. He wanted to get away from those old pureblood beliefs, and a half-blood hero would assist with that.

That and Lily was completely devoted to him and his cause. Of course she was, he had groomed her and most of the children, muggle-born in particular, to see him as a wonderful grandfatherly wizard that was always right and always did what was best for their world. The only ones that really questioned him were the purebloods, and only those in Slytherin really bothered to argue.

As for the Longbottom child, Albus wasn’t quite sure. Alice and Frank followed him, but both were purebloods, and more prone to questioning him. That and they were just too mild mannered. He couldn’t imagine a child of theirs having the strength of will to assist him in fixing their world.

Not that he was going to completely discount the child. Both had the potential to be a child of prophecy, and children like that were always special in some way. 

No, the Potter child would be his priority, but he would do what he could to keep the Longbottom child close. It wouldn’t be too bad to have a backup around just in case…

But now he needed to ensure that the Potter child could succeed. And for that he would need something that would ensure the child was powerful. After all, he couldn’t have a weak weapon, it would be like fighting with a dull blade.

And that was why Albus had gone to an old potions master that he knew Gellert Grindelwald had used during the last war. He knew enough about the mans deeds to ensure that he would do what he wanted and never tell another soul.

Only a week after learning about Lily’s pregnancy he returned to speak with her with an incredibly complex potion with him. The potestas de maiores potion would help to increase the childs core size.

 


 

Lily sighed as she sent James away. Ever since learning of her pregnancy the man had been hovering. It was nice to have her every whim catered too, but it was getting on her nerves. The man had a full time job for Merlins sake, but it was still like he was always around her, she needed her own space.

And that was why when the full moon arrived she had sent him off to play with the werewolf. While she didn’t want to encourage that friendship to continue for much longer, she didn’t want something like that around her baby, it was a way to have at least one night to herself.

Albus had sent her a message saying that he needed to speak with her privately that night, so it was even more important that James left. He had wanted to stay with her, but Lily had practically forced him out the door saying that once the baby arrived they wouldn’t have as much time for their friends so it was important that they spend time together now.

“Lily my dear.” Albus greeted when Lily opened the door to find him on their doorstep only half an hour after she had finally gotten James out.

“Headmaster.” Lily smiled. “Please, come in.”

The two went into the sitting room where Lily served them some tea, decaf, much to her annoyance, due to James’s having removed all caffeine from the house after he heard caffeine was bad for a baby.

“What is it that you wished to speak with me about Headmaster?” Lily questioned.

Albus doctored his tea to his liking before looking to one of his most loyal, only Molly could rival Lily in devotion. “Yes my dear, I wished to speak to you about the prophecy.

After further examination it is my belief that the child you carry is the chosen one. And that is extremely good, the baby will be living proof that purebloods aren’t always the most powerful. As a half-blood, he or she can lead the next generation away from the dark and the ideals of Voldemort and the Death Eaters.”

Lily preened to know that her baby was going to be born to save them all, but flinched when You-Know-Who’s name was mentioned. “That’s wonderful Headmaster. You know I will do anything we need to help make our world what it should be.”

Albus smiled happily. “That is wonderful my dear, and that is why I am here. I have found a way to ensure that the baby is everything we need it to be.”

Albus pulled the vial of potion out of his robes. “This is a potion that is very rare, very expensive, and very powerful. It will magnify the babies power. It will ensure the baby is safe from Voldemort until it’s old enough to protect itself.”

Lily took the vial, not hesitating at all, this would protect them all. 

“Now, before you take that, there is something you should know.” Albus was surprised at just how willing the foolish woman was, she prioritized his desires over the safety of her own child, that proved just how much control he had over her to him. “It needs to be taken under a full moon, and that is why I am here tonight, but it isn’t going to be an easy night.

Your body won’t be used to the influx of power so you are going to feel extremely sick for the next day or so, but don’t worry, you and the baby will be fine. 

That is why I requested to speak with only you. Don’t misunderstand, I know that James is devoted to our cause, but he has always been a very sheltered pureblood child, he doesn’t really understand everything it takes for those that aren’t born in his position. I have my doubts that he would be able to do what needs to be done, so I think it would be better if we keep this between the two of us.”

“Of course Headmaster.” Lily agreed. “I understand exactly. I love James, but I have no illusions about who he is and how he grew up.”

Albus just smiled as he watched Lily uncork the vial and take it all in one swallow. He watched in interest as Lily went extremely pale and her entire body started to shake. It was clear she was feeling more than a little sick. 

Not that it really surprised him. Albus knew very well that there was no guarantee that the woman was going to survive the night, he just couldn’t risk the child not being strong enough. Even if Lily and the baby died he still had the Longbottoms as back up so he was willing to take the risk.

Albus helped the foolishly trusting woman up to her bed and let himself out of the house. All he could do now was wait and see if the child was strong enough.

Chapter Text

If Lily had ever bothered to ask, or even do her own research, she would have learned the truth of the potion she had taken. The potestas de maiores potion roughly translated to power of the ancestors potion.

Very little was known about it though, and no one had ever accurately manage to determine how it worked since its creator died after taking it and being overwhelmed by the power and his core ruptured.

In her ignorance and blind trust in Albus Dumbledore, Lily kept sending James away during the full moon and would take another vial of the potion. Every time was worse then the last, but Lily was not going to stop following the request of the great Albus Dumbledore himself. The man was only trying to ensure that her child was safe, who was she to question that?

One of the things that Lily didn’t know was that Dumbledore had had the potion keyed to James’s blood, so it would only effect the child and not her. That was the only reason she was still alive. Children, especially infants could adapt much faster to things. And since the baby’s core hadn’t yet settled, it could accommodate the sudden influxes of more power.

Another thing that she didn’t know was that she was being observed. When a witch or wizard died they didn’t just cease to exist, most just moved on to the next plain. 

This plain, often referred to among wizards as the Fields of Asphodel, was where they went. Most remained there for a while to watch over their children and families. It usually took time for them to let go of their mortal lives, and only once they did that could they move on to the Fields of Elysium and find true peace.

Amongst those watching over their descendants was none other than Euphemia and Fleamont Potter, and they were both furious with what they saw.

In life, neither had felt truly comfortable with Lily Evans, but upon seeing just how happy she made their son they overlooked it. But not anymore. For you can not hide anything from the dead.

They watched as Lily took the potion that was risking the life of their grandchild. And that just wasn’t acceptable.

The reality of the potion was that it in itself wasn’t what caused the increase in core strength, it was merely the catalyst. It was the souls of the dead that supplied the power. The person taking the potion would only survive so long as their ancestors were watching and had enough strength to help stabilize them by giving them some of their own power.

And that was what had happened the first two times Lily had taken the potion. Euphemia and Fleamont had both used what little remaining power their souls had to support the child.

But by the third time they were getting too weak. That was when they turned to their other family members. Between this war and the last almost their entire families had been wiped out, only James and the baby survived from the Potter line, and as tragic as that was, it meant there were many souls around that could help support the child.

 


 

 As the months went by more and more relatives came to assist James Potter’s unborn child. But as the due date was closing in, they were all getting too weak. 

That was when Lady Euphemia Potter née Fawley decided it was time to stop playing around and get serious. When she had been living Euphemia had compiled the family history of the family she had become a part of, having always had an interest in history and genealogy. Because of that she knew just who it was her husband was descended from.

When most moved from the Fields of Asphdel to the Fields of Elysium they were ready to move on, that meant they could not return for the most part. This was not true for the truly infuriated woman. She was going to save the life of her grandchild if it was the last thing she did.

As another full moon approached, and she watched as her trusting son was once again sent away Euphemia knew what was going to happen next. Leaving her husband and the others to watch over Lily and hopefully sustain the baby until she got back, Euphemia crossed over to the next plain.

Going high up into the mountains she found the temple where the most powerful witches and wizards to ever live had taken up residence, and she stormed in.

“And just who are you?” An imperious woman demanded. She was a stunning woman dressed in a jewel bright purple dress with light blue sheer sleeves wearing an emerald green over cloak that perfectly matched her eyes. Her dark hair was up and twisted around a tiara that sat upon her head. She looked both like a delicate beauty and warrior queen all at the same time.

“My name is Euphemia Potter née Fawley and I have come to request your aid.” Euphemia stared down the other woman whose eyes reminded her of the hated Lily Evans.

“And why do you come to us?” Asked a man that seemed both young and old. His dark hair framing his face with beautiful blue eyes.

“My son is currently the last living descendant of Ignotus Peverell and last living descendant of the main line of Godric of Gryffindor. But there is hope that he will not be the end of the lines. My sons wife is with child, but the child is in grave danger.” Euphemia started to explain. “In life I never fully trusted the girl, but I held my tongue when I saw how happy she made my little boy, now I wish I hadn’t.

That… Woman has taken potestas de maiores every month for the last six months. We have done what we can to save the child, but she is planning to do it again… this very night. We no longer have enough power, so I have come to you for aid. Help me save my grandchild.”

“Why has your son not stopped her.” The green eyed woman demanded in a fury. Any form of harm to a child enraged her, as it always had.

Euphemia glared back. “One of my son’s best friends is ill. Every month she sends him away to help care for his friend under the guise of kindness.”

“You seem to dislike my friend, may I question as to why that is?” Another man, dressed in green and silver questioned.

“It is her eyes. They remind me of that womans.” Euphemia all but snarled.

“She has my eyes?” The green eyed woman questioned in interest. “Come, you will take me with you. If she has my eyes she may be a descendent of mine. And, despite how distasteful it might be to be connected to such a loathsome woman, no matter how far removed, then I too may offer magic and assistance to the child.

The rest of you will be coming with me.”

None of the others even tried to argue with the imperious voice that the woman had employed to command them. The blue eyed man in particular seemed to find it entertaining based off the smile he wore. The same was true for the blond with blue eyes, he wasn't a wizard himself, but he was a loving brother and wanted to see the chaos his half-sister was about to cause.

 


 

 Morgana Pendragon, more commonly known as Morgana Le Fay, was incensed as she looked down upon a woman that was indeed descended from her. How could one of her blood have sunk so low?

Reaching her hand out over the viewing pool that they were using to watch the scene unfold Morgana was ready to punish this despicable creature. But, before she could, her arm was yanked back by her blue eyed companion.

“You mustn’t Morgana.”

“Why ever not Merlin?” Morgana demanded in a hushed tone. “This woman is harming a child. I will not allow her to share a connection with me.”

“If you strip her of what little of your family magics she may have now then the child shall suffer too. All I say is be patient, for once. Wait until the child is born. Then you may strip her of the connection without risking the child.”

Morgana huffed a sigh, but accepted the advice from a man she had almost never listened to in life.

Everyone watched as Lily got comfortable and once again took the potion. And like always, they fed their power into the core of the child to stabilize it. And again, the child survived the night.

 


 

 Only four days later they all watched as the ever trusting James Potter called to his friends as he helped to get his wife to the hospital. 

The time had finally arrived for the child to be born.

Chapter Text

James Potter was extremely worried as he escorted his wife to the hospital. While Lily had pretended to be up beat and happy through much of the pregnancy James had seen the illness she had been trying to hide from him.

He had asked her about it a few times but it would only agitate her more, and James didn’t want to risk the child. Pregnancy for those in the magical world was a complicated thing and he didn’t want to cause any problems. All he could do was try and be there for his beloved Lily and ensure she had everything she needed.

When he arrived at the hospital Sirius and Remus were both already there having gotten their faster since they didn’t have to help a woman in labour down two flights of stairs to reach a floo. They had already spoken with the healers and a private room was already prepared.

 


 

Lily was pleased despite the pain. The day had finally arrived to get this blasted pregnancy over with. She was exhausted from pretending to be happy all the time. 

She really didn’t understand how Alice had seemed so happy throughout her pregnancy. It was just so hard. The weight gain, the nausea, the weird cravings, the hair loss, the acne, the swollen ankles, and back pain just to name some of the issues. There was really nothing she had liked about being pregnant other than the fact that her child was going to be famous. If James thought he was getting a second child he had another thing coming.

That made her think of Alice. Only the day before the other woman had delivered a healthy baby boy. Lily was just pleased that the child had been born earlier than her child since it showed her baby was the prophecy child.

 


 

At 11:42 pm a woman scream could be heard just before a baby took its first breath and wailed out in displeasure. Lily was exhausted, but pleased. It was done.

The healers announced she had had a son and Lily could not have been happier as the little bundle was placed in her arms.

“What will his name be?” One of the healers asked, ready to put the name on the birth certificate for the new family.

“His name is Henry Albus Potter.” Lily said proudly, never taking her eyes off the scrunched up red face of her new son.

James had wanted to name their son Harrison, after one of his ancestors, but Lily had refused. She had insisted that they name the boy after her own father, Henry. In the end Lily won, as she always did. Since she was doing the hard work, like growing him inside her own body, James agreed that she would get to name their first born and he would name their second.

Just as Lily started to relax she felt a wave of pain that she had not expected. Gasping in agony, she doubled over. Only James’s quick reflexes protected little Henry as Lilys hands clenched into fists in pain. 

The healers started to move quickly trying to diagnose what was wrong. Now, a lot could be said of what magic could do, but one thing magic hadn’t yet managed was something similar to an ultrasound. It wasn’t until the diagnostics came back saying Lily was still in labour that anyone living realized that she was in fact, carrying twins.

James was thrilled as he once again started to try and soothe his wife through a contraction. He couldn’t believe it, he was going to be a father of two all in one night.

Lily was absolutely furious. She didn’t want more kids. All she wanted was her Henry and those stupid healers were keeping him away from her.

As Lily screamed all the lights in the room flickered. The older healers in the room recognized it as a magical flare that could occur if the baby was in distress and they started to get ready for anything.

The magic built as the dead watched as the child was born. The thing about power, was that it sought power. When the potion had entered Lily’s system and searched for James’s blood, it found not one, but two sources. Since it could not divide itself, it went to the child that had the larger core.

And that child wasn’t Henry Albus Potter, instead, it was the smaller child that was to be second born.

As a little boy with jet black hair made his way into the world at 11:59 pm, Morgana took her revenge. She would not allow that woman any claim to her power, and as such, she stripped the woman in the bed of her right to inherit.

Lily screamed as she felt something within her tear as a second child was born. She hated that child from the moment she had learned of its existence.

“It’s another boy.” The healer announced happily, unaware of the new mothers anger. “Do you have another name picked out?”

“Yes.” James smiled as he stepped away from his wife to take his second born in his arms. “His name is Harrison James Potter.”

Once the healers settled Lily back down, placing Henry back in her arms, they called in the visitors that had been waiting.

“Well…? Tell us Prongs. Tell us, tell us, tell us.” Sirius bounded into the room.

Remus, Peter, and Albus following at a much more sedate pace.

“Lily is holding the first born son of the Potter family, Henry Albus Potter.” James smiled at his brothers in all but blood. “And this little one is his younger twin brother, Harrison James Potter. Harry Potter for short.”

Albus and Peter went over to Lily, smiling down at the baby in her arms. Albus more so than Peter as he had felt the surge of power before and could feel the ancient magics that were permeating the room. He knew that the potions had worked, the boy would be strong enough to save them from Tom.

Sirius and Remus meanwhile were staring down in wonder at little Harry Potter.

“HEALER!” James called out in a panic as he saw his son’s lips turning blue.

The healers quickly converged, taking the young boy from his father’s arms to start running checks.

“James, come over here and see Henry.” Lily called, but James just stared in the direction the healers had taken his little boy. “JAMES!”

James didn’t even flinch when Lily shrieked his name, Henrys cries being added to the noise as he was startled.

Lily huffed in annoyance. She didn’t care what happened to the runt, all she cared about was her little Henry. “Fine then. Albus, I was hoping that you would agree to be Henry’s godfather.”

Albus was pleased, that would give him even more of a connection to the boy. “Of course Lily, nothing would make me prouder.”

Lily, Albus, and Peter kept their attention on little Henry, none really paying attention to the three marauders that were waiting to hear the results from the healers.

 


 

It was over an hour before James learned of the fate of his younger son. Peter had had to leave since he had work the next day. Albus too was gone by then. And both Lily and Henry were sleeping.

But James just stared, still standing where he had been when his son had been taken from his arms. 

“Lord Potter?” The older healer in lime green robes came into the room, keeping quiet so as not to wake the new mother.

“Where’s Harry?” James asked in a dead voice.

The healer took a deep breath and got ready to explain, it was always hard to tell a new parent something was wrong with their child. To go from a moment of such joy to such terror was horrible for all involved.

“Lord Potter, your younger son has been born with an unstable core. Right now he is in a magic free room to stop any interference with his core settling. Now, we are hopeful that his core will, in time, settle on it’s own and everything will be fine. But for now he is going to have to remain here.”

“For how long?” Remus questioned for his friend who seemed to have lost his voice. 

“There is no real way to tell.” The healer said. “With an unstable core there is no exact timeline. It could take a few days, weeks, or even months. You will, of course, be able to visit him in a few minutes. The healers that specialize in this are just running a few more checks and then you can go in. But I warn you, you will have to leave your wands outside. We need to try and limit his exposure to any other magics.”

“What happens if his core doesn’t settle?” Sirius questioned.

“His core would rupture, and that leaves two possible outcomes. Either he becomes a squib or… he dies. But, that is worst case scenario and right now, we have no reason to believe it will go in that direction. You need to stay positive right now. Both for the rest of your family, and him.”

James just nodded, his eyes snapping up as another healer came in and said they could go see Harry.

 


 

The next few months were the hardest of James’s life. There was just so much to do.

Every morning, James woke up and had breakfast with Lily and Henry. Then he would make a quick stop by St. Mungo’s to check in with Harry. After that he was off to work. Whenever he got a lunch break, which was rare with the war, James would spend it in St. Mungo’s with Harry. After work it was once again back to St. Mungo’s to spend a few more hours with his little boy before going home. At home he would have dinner with Lily and Henry and then spend an hour or two in the evening trying to play with Henry. And in between all that he still had Order duties and his family was still being targeted by Death Eaters and Voldemort personally.

The reason he could only try and play with Henry was because Lily didn’t seem to like anyone else holding him, not even James. This had caused a great deal of friction between the two new parents. But the thing that made things the worst was that Lily refused to even go and spend time with Harry. She acted like he didn’t exist, going so far as to refuse to even say his name.

The saving grace for James was his friends. Sirius, who up until then had been his partner switched shifts so that he worked nights and had days off. While James was at work he would often go to the hospital and stay with Harry.

But the Marauder that did the most with Harry was Remus. Since he couldn’t get work due to his furry little problem Remus was almost always at the hospital. 

The healers were thrilled. Other than doing their hourly checks they didn’t have to do anything. The three men had worked things so that little Harry was never alone. They bathed him, fed him, changed him, put him to bed, and even just sat there to watch him sleep.

As thrilled as they were, many of the healers were a little disappointed. Harry was such a sweet boy. He almost never cried and always had a happy grin for them when they did his checks. They all swore they had never seen a cuter baby, with his thick dark hair and his big emerald eyes.

James just kept hoping that Harry would get better.

 


 

As James was stressed with everything, so was Lily. She hated all the time that James was spending with that other boy. Now, she was a good woman, so she would never wish harm on a child, out loud, but there were times Lily secretly wished the other one hadn’t survived.

James never gave her Henry the attention he deserved. Henry was the Potter heir after all, he should come first.

Then there was how her magic was acting. Ever since that other one was born her magic had just felt off. She really didn’t seem to be any less powerful, but her magic felt different.

And then there were the changes in her looks. Her once bright green eyes seemed to have dulled to a moss green bordering on hazel. And her thick, fiery auburn red hair had done the same, taking on more of a brown tone to it, but that may have come from her not being able to take time in the shower anymore. It never seemed to fail, as soon as she got in the tub Henry would start crying. Most would just think that it was part of being a new mum and the exhaustion that came with it, but Lily didn’t like it.

She just wanted her husband back to how he had been. Ever since that other one had been born James had been pulling away from her and Lily was annoyed. After everything, James owed her his love and devotion, she had given him a son after all.

 


 

Eventually James got the good news. After seven long months of worrying, Harry’s core was completely settled. Over the final few weeks they had been weakening the magic dampening field slowly, just to see how Harry’s core reacted to outside magical influences, and he had been fine.

Harry was finally ready to come home. Even better in James’s opinion the healers had given him the go ahead for his plans. James had already asked both Sirius and Remus to be Harry’s godfathers, both had of course agreed, but James was going to take it a step further. 

James wanted Sirius to do the godfather blood bond ritual with Harry, and he wanted Remus to do the magical godfather bonding ritual. It would help him to protect his son.

Over the past few months James and Lily had to move twice after their location had somehow leaked to Death Eaters. If the worst happened, James knew he was going to do everything he could to make sure his boys got out alive. Henry would have Albus, so he wanted Harry to have Sirius and Remus. Those two bonds would ensure that Sirius and Remus would always be able to be there for his youngest son.

James knew he would do whatever it took to protect his sons, like any father would.

Chapter Text

James was on edge after he had finally brought Harry home. He just didn’t know what to do anymore. 

The first time he had come home from work after bringing Harry home he had found Lily in the living room playing with Henry. When he had asked her where Harry was she had just said he was being a brat and was in time out in his crib.

James had run up to see his younger son. Harry had been sobbing his little heart out, but it couldn’t be heard from the living room since Lily had silenced the room. 

What was worse was that Harry was still in the pyjamas James had left on him after changing his diaper and going to work. After checking he found Lily hadn’t even bothered to change him, and he was willing to bet she hadn’t fed him either.

After checking the stuffed bear that was actually a monitor James saw that Lily had put Harry back in his crib just after James had left and had left him there alone all day. He couldn’t believe that she would do something like that to her own child.

James hadn’t spoken a word to Lily until both boys had been put down for the night. After that he put a silencing ward up and went to speak with Lily. As he had expected it had quickly devolved into Lily screaming at him that he was never around. She went on and on about how much work Harry was. When James had pointed out that Harry had only been home for one day and she hadn’t bothered to do anything with him so she couldn’t claim he was too much work, it had just lead to Lily storming out.

In the end James had had no other choice. Every morning when he left for work he would take Harry over to Remus’s. Making sure every time that Lily knew just how angry he was with her for her neglecting their son.

 


  

By the time of the twins first birthday the house was practically a war zone. James tried to keep his temper, but Lily just knew where to push to get a reaction. They hadn’t even gotten to have a proper party due to the danger, and Lily had naturally blamed him.

In the end, James had no other choice. He had gone to Barty Crouch and explained that he was going to have to take a leave of absence. He had used the threat to his family as a way to get time off, which turned out to be a good thing as they had been forced into hiding only a few days later after another attack.

There were of course a few people that knew the truth. Sirius and Remus naturally, but James had also spoken with the head of the auror office, Amelia Bones. She had recently come into custody of her young niece after her brother and his wife were killed and James had a few questions. He just couldn’t rationalize how Amelia could be so capable of loving a child she hadn’t given birth to when Lily didn’t seem capable of loving one of her own. Amelia had suggested he monitor the situation, but had also suggested he give her some time. It took a while for a womans hormones to settle after childbirth and it might just take a bit more time since Harry had been in the hospital for so long.

 


 

By the time Samhain, or Halloween as Lily insisted on calling it, arrived, James was at his limits. He and Lily had been practically prisoners in the little cottage for three months and they were both at the end of the tether. 

He had already decided he was going to be filing for divorce. Being in that house was driving them both crazy. James was just grateful Sirius and Remus still came to visit from time to time to give him news from the outside world.

James had wanted to use Sirius as secret keeper, but he had been outvoted by Lily and Albus. They had chosen Peter claiming that Sirius would be too obvious. When they had implied they couldn’t trust Remus because he was a dark creature James had told them both off. But, he had eventually given in just to shut them both up and agreed to using Peter.

And that was some thing that worried him. Peter had been one of his best friends in school, but since graduation they had drifted apart. There were times the other man just disappeared and it worried James.

 


 

That night James was home alone as the sun was setting. He and Lily had gotten into another argument and she had stormed off. She had claimed that she needed to attend one of the Order of the Phoenix meetings even though she hadn’t gone in months.

There had been a large scale attack on a small mixed magical/muggle village that day and Albus had wanted to discuss it with everyone. But since Lily was going James couldn’t.

The boys had just been put down and they didn’t want to wake them. Even Lily wasn’t willing to risk waking Henry since he took forever to get back down once he was disturbed.

James was just on his way up to do another check on the boys since he knew Harry often times just lay there watching the enchanted images they had put on the ceiling and didn’t want to risk him waking his brother when the door shattered.

Glancing back James saw the now recognizable creature that was Voldemort. Running up the stairs he went into the boys room and started throwing every locking and sealing spell he knew at the door. Turning, he looked at his boys. 

There was no way out and he knew it. They hadn’t wanted anyone to be able to get into the room other than the door so there were anti-apperation wards covering the entire house. The only access or exit point other than the front and back doors was the floo that was downstairs. They were locked in with no way out. Doing the only thing he could James sent a patronus to Sirius and Remus and hoped they got there in time. He couldn’t even warn the DMLE since he wasn’t the secret keeper so they wouldn’t know where to find him.

Clutching his want tightly in his hand, James got ready to die defending his boys.

 


 

Voldemort cackled cruelly as he got through the last enchantment keeping him out. Slamming the door open he stepped into the cheery little nursery that would prove to be a death chamber for his prophesied enemy.

It took a bit of fancy spell work to disarm the desperate father who stood guard, but he managed it in the end. James Potter was a top notch auror and dualist, but he himself had almost 50 years experience in killing. No one knew the things he did, not even Dumbledore.

Deciding to be that extra bit vicious, he cast a spell to force the mans soul out of his body. It would take about half an hour for his body to die without intervention and only then could his soul move on, that meant he would have to watch his child die.

Once the man was dealt with Voldemort turned to examine the room and froze. Looking around, he saw something he hadn’t expected. There were two cribs.

He had thought the Potters had only one child, so who was the second child?

Looking at them both, he saw they looked similar, but were both clearly different. The one that was screaming and wailing in its crib had lighter hair. But the one that caught his attention was the other one.
A little boy with messy black hair and glowing green eyes just kept glancing between his fathers body and him. This child seemed to radiate power, and he was clearly the most Potterish of the two.

 


 

 James watched as Voldemort looked at his boys before he turned and started to move towards Harry.

“Please no. Not Harry. Please, not Harry.” James cried as even in spirit form he moved to shield his son.

But Voldemort didn’t seem to be able to see or hear him.

He listened as Voldemort spoke the curse. Watched as the green light left the tip of the wand. It was like everything had slowed down for him as he stood there, directly in the line of fire.

Even in this form he felt pain, then he heard an explosion and everything went dark. Not even the sounds of his sons cries got his attention.

Chapter Text

Sirius and Remus were just sitting down to dinner discussing the days events. Neither had been informed of the meeting that was taking place at that moment. Sirius because he was supposed to be at work but had been sent home due to taking a bad cutting hex to the side earlier. And Remus because Albus was mad at him since he refused to return to the werewolf packs after he had almost been killed last time, he had a cub to look after now and couldn’t take risks like that.

Things had been calm until the arrival of the patronus. Both men panicked but pulled themselves together quickly. Sirius apparated to the DMLE to gather aurors for back up, while Remus went for healers.

 


 

“Sirius?” Amelia questioned when the man suddenly showed up in front of her, she had been on her way home.

“Amelia, I just got a message from James. Voldy’s there.” Sirius all but screamed, catching the attention of every auror in the room.

“WHERE IS HE!” Amelia demanded.

“I CAN’T SAY!” Sirius tried to say.

“SIRIUS BLACK YOU TELL ME RIGHT NOW!” Amelia screamed at him.

“NO, I REALLY CAN’T SAY.” Sirius screamed to be heard over the chatter. “JAMES AND LILY ARE UNDER THE FIDELIUS CHARM.”

“WHO’S THEIR SECRET KEEPER?” Sirius’s own training auror, Mad-Eye Moody barked.

“IT WAS PETER.” 

“THEN HOW DO WE GET THERE?” Crouch demanded pompously, not that he was personally going to go, no, he would send the underlings and only go once the fighting was over.

“I take an apparition guide. Amelia, Frank, Mad-Eye, you follow me.” Sirius started to make up a plan. “There is one loophole that I know to the charm. I can’t tell you wear it is, but I can pull you across the ward line. But be warned, it will be painful.”

“We don’t care, let’s go.” Frank announced as he grabbed one of the apparition guides and threw it to Sirius.

And with that, Sirius was gone to Godric’s Hollow.

 


 

 

While Sirius was dealing with the aurors Remus was gathering healers. He didn’t know what he would find at the cottage, but he had to be hopeful.

He managed to gather a few emergency healers together, including one of the ones who had previously treated Harry and, like Sirius, took an apparition guide to get them just outside the wards of the cottage in Godric’s Hollow. 

 


 

 Sirius and Remus arrived at almost the same instant, both triggering the apparition guides. The guides acted like a homing beacon allowing a person to apparate to somewhere they hadn’t ever been or seen before.

It felt like an hour for both men as they stared at the smoking, partially destroyed house as they waited for the others to arrive, but it was actually only a few seconds.

As soon as the others arrived they grabbed hold and dragged them across the ward line before taking off running towards the house. Remus got there first due to his werewolf speed.

Going through the already open door he took the steps three at a time. A part of him felt a small bit of relief as he heard a child crying. At least one of the boys was alive.

Reaching the nursery door, Remus froze, Sirius running right into his back. The others all doing the same, pushing Remus into the room.

James lay motionless in front of the door where he had fallen while trying to keep Voldemort away from his boys. But Voldemort himself lay only a little further in the room, also unmoving. Henry was in his crib screaming bloody murder as blood dripped from a cut on his cheek. 

They all moved forward at once. Sirius went to check James. Remus went to check Harry. Frank grabbed Henry to take him to a healer. And Amelia checked Voldemort.

“He’s dead.” Amelia gasped when she found no pulse on one of the most feared people of their time. That was when she saw a rat grab Voldemort's wand in its teeth and run for the door. “What the…?”

Sirius turned back just in time to see the rat and fire of a quick homorphus charm at it. Everyone stared for a second as Peter Pettigrew was forced into human form. Unfortunately he jumped down the stairs, shifting as he went and was gone before anyone could stop him. Instead they focused on those already in the room. They could arrange the man hunt later.

“I have a pulse.” Sirius shouted in joy as the healers rushed into the room to start treating James.

“Me too!” Remus sobbed out as he looked at his little godson laying so still in his crib. Like his brother he was bleeding from a cut on the head.

Healer Tristane, who had previously treated Harry rushed forward, casting diagnostics as she went. “I need to get him to St. Mungo’s NOW!”

“Take James and the boys. Sirius, Remus, you're going to have to stay for a bit. We need your statements. Then you can go to the hospital.” Amelia informed them, seeing the clear desire to be with the boys on their faces. “I know it’s hard, but we need this sorted, now. It’s going to be chaos as soon as word gets out.”

Sirius and Remus had to reluctantly agree. They would give their statement and then go to James and the boys, it should only take an hour or so.

 


 

 Lily was sitting in a boring Order meeting wishing she hadn’t bothered to come. Nothing was really getting done. Not only that, but she also had to be around Severus. The man may be a spy, but Lily still didn’t trust him.

They may have been friends when they were younger, but Lily had learned what a big mistake that was. Now she wanted nothing to do with the other man. Even though he was under glamours she still knew who he was and didn’t like him being there.

“LILY!” Kingsley Shacklebolt ran into the room. The man was just a junior auror at the moment and had only joined the Order a few weeks earlier.

“What’s the matter my boy?” Albus questioned, annoyed at the interruption.

“There’s been an attack. I don’t know what happened, just that Amelia, Frank, and Mad-Eye, were taken by Sirius somewhere. They said the attack was on your house.” Kingsley rushed out.

“HENRY!” Lily screamed as she jumped to her feet.

“Go to St. Mungo’s. If he’s anywhere, he’ll be there.” Kingsley said before the woman could go running to her house, wherever that might be.

Albus moved quickly. They were meeting in his office at the school, and as Headmaster, only he could apparate on school grounds. Grabbing the hysterical woman’s arm, he went directly to St. Mungo’s.

Dumbledore knew he needed to get control of the situation. This was his prophesied child after all, only Albus could handle this properly.

Chapter Text

When Lily and Albus arrived at St. Mungo’s they were surprised to learn that James and both boys had survived. That hadn’t been Albus’s plan.

In truth, Albus hadn’t planned for any member of the family to survive except for the child. If he had known the attack was going to take place that night he would have sent Lily back. She might be loyal to him, but he would do whatever it took for the greater good. 

He had assumed both James and Lily would die to protect their boys and only one of the children would survive. With James and Lily gone Albus could use his connections in the government to seal the will and claim custody of the child. It wouldn’t be overly hard to make sure the wolf and Black were barred from seeing their worlds hero.

The child would be sent to live with Lily’s muggle sister. From everything Lily had ever told him he knew that Petunia hated magic with a passion, and so did her husband. They would undoubtedly abuse the child and keep him away from the magical world.

Once the child turned 11 Albus would arrange for his ‘rescue’ from the muggles. The boy would see him as a mentor and hero and would have done whatever he could to stay in the magical world. The boy would be easy to control.

But that wasn’t what happened. Instead, all four members of the family had survived. Yes, James was on magical life support and the healers had said they weren’t sure if he would ever wake up, but Albus figured he could use that. Sirius and Remus were now free of suspicion since they had been the ones to get help and save their friend and the children.

The main issue was the boys. Both boys had survived. Now he had to determine just how it was that they had survived. Then he needed to figure out what to do with them.

 


 

 Lily was nearly hysterical as she reached the ward where the boys were. Running in she pushed a healer out of her way to gather Henry in her arms.

Knowing that he needed to keep control of the situation Albus convinced Lily that they needed to move the boys to Hogwarts. The healers had all protested since Poppy Pomfrey was only a medi-witch and not a fully qualified healer. But since Lily was their mother she had every right to remove them and transfer them somewhere else.

 

Poppy Pomfrey had always been a force to be reckoned with and that wasn’t going to change any time soon. As soon as the two young boys were brought into her ward she got to work. Head wounds were always dangerous, even in the magical world there was no perfect cure for a concussion. The brain was just too complex to accurately predict.

But she did what she could. As Poppy was treating the boys Lily was hovering over Henry while Albus worked on a new plan. With Lily alive he couldn’t just take control.

Once Poppy was done, Albus moved forward to check on the boys.

“Albus!” Lily smiled at her old mentor. “He did it, my little Henry stopped him.”

Albus smiled. He too was surprised that it had been managed so easily. He had thought they would have to wait until the boy was older, but it did make things easier now.

“Yes Lily. Henry truly will be a great wizard when he grows up.”

“Headmaster?” Lily fidgeted slightly, she didn’t want to seem like a bad mother, but she needed to speak up. 

“What is it my dear?”

“I just don’t think I can keep him.” Lily pointed towards where her other child lay. “Raising Henry alone is going to be so hard.”

Albus looked between the two boys. It was true, the younger one did still have the potential to be a child of prophecy, but he really wasn’t useful at this point. Henry was the famous one, Henry was the one he needed to ensure he was connected too. If they sent Harry away and the boy did prove useful Albus would just be able to work his original plan on the boy.

“I feel I must agree. Henry is going to need a lot of attention. Between the fame and his training I just don’t see where Harry would fit in. He would undoubtedly become jealous of our dear Henry.

I think it might be best if we send Harry to live with your sister. I’m sure she will be able to take proper care of him. It will keep him out of the spotlight and allow him to grow up as normally as possible.”

“Exactly.” Lily sighed in relief. She was glad the Headmaster understood.

“But we must work quickly.” Albus got up to grab quill and parchment.

“Headmaster?” Lily didn’t understand that.

“Remus and Sirius will be here soon, and we can not risk their interference with our plans. They will surely try and take the boy, and that just won’t be right. Harry must be kept away from negative influences like that. Henry needs the attention more right now.”

Lily just nodded. She didn’t want those two dark wizards to have custody of the boy. They would try and make him just as famous as her precious Henry. No, the boy couldn’t know of their world.

Internally Lily smirked. Her sister would make sure that useless brat learned his place.

Once Albus had finished the note he picked up the younger twin and immediately apparated away. He wasn’t going to let anything stand in his way.

 


 

In a dark muggle neighbourhood, a man in a purple hat and cloak moved down a street where he was not welcome. Finding the right address he moved up the garden path and lay a bundle on the step.

“Good luck Harry Potter.”

With a wave of a stick that would make those in the neighbour hood question his sanity even more than his choice in outfit, the man muttered a few words. The child glowed for a moment.

With a calculating smile, the man left the sleeping baby on the steps and left the area he had never been welcome in to begin with.

 


 

 It took close to three hours, but eventually Remus and Sirius finished giving their statements. Already news of Voldemorts defeat was spreading. There were tears of joy on many faces as the two men left the ministry and went directly to St. Mungo’s

“Cory!” Sirius called out when he saw Corinne Tristane who had been a few years ahead of them in school and had been one of Harry’s primary healers since he was born.

“Oh thank Merlin you're here!” Corinne was practically pulling her hair out.

“Cory, what’s happened?” Remus questioned, trying to keep himself from panicking. “Is James ok? The boys?”

“James is in a coma. The healers can’t figure out what’s wrong. There’s some kind of spell residue on him, but no one can figure out what it is yet. Right now all they can do is keep him comfortable.” Cory explained quickly.

“That’s not great, but it could be worse.” Remus said in a thoughtful tone. Surely given time they would figure out the spell and be able to counter it.

“What about the boys?” Sirius questioned, looking for them.

“That’s just it.” Cory almost shrieked. “That… That woman took them.”

“WHAT!” Sirius and Remus cried out.

“As their parent she withdrew them from our care. She’s taken them to Hogwarts.” Cory told them, fire in her eyes. She couldn’t stand Lily and had refused to say her name since she never visited Harry when he was in the hospital.

“But Madam Pomfrey is only a medi-witch. A skilled one I grant you, but that isn’t enough. Those boys deserve the best.” Remus was shocked Lily would take such a risk.

“Exactly.” Cory huffed. “Maybe you can go and talk some sense to that idiot woman.”

“Don’t you worry, we will.” Sirius growled before Grabbing his best friend and dragging him back to the apparition point.

 


 

 When they arrived outside the gates of Hogwarts the two men moved as fast as they could up the front path. Their fury at the risk Lily had taken with the boys clear on their faces.

Remus didn’t want to admit it to Sirius, but he was worried. As the magical godfather he knew when Harry was in distress. Only a few moments after the arrival of James’s patronus he had felt the bond strain sharply. He could only assume that was when Harry was hurt. 

And right now the bond was screaming at him. Something was very very wrong.

Arriving at the hospital wing they rushed in and looked around. They could see Lily resting on one of the beds, a cot placed next to her. Going over they saw it was Henry sleeping inside, bandage covering his left cheek. They didn’t understand why it hadn’t just been healed, letting it heal the muggle way risked a scar.

Looking around the rest of the ward they tried to find where their godson was, but all the other beds were empty.

“Ah, my boys. I was wondering when you would get here.” Albus swept into the hospital wing behind them. He had been woken when the wards told him that Sirius and Remus had first stepped foot on the school grounds.

“Where’s Harry?” Sirius demanded, turning on the man.

“About that…” Albus started.

“He’s where he belongs.” Lily said, sitting up, placing a charm over Henry’s cot so he wouldn’t be disturbed because of that runt.

“And just where is that?” Remus demanded, his eyes shifting to a glowing amber momentarily as Moony pushed his way forward in concern for their cub.

“Henry is going to be famous now. It’s for the best if that boy isn’t around. We sent him away somewhere he can be cared for as one like him needs to be.” Lily snapped.

Sirius and Remus just stared for a moment before Sirius snapped. “YOU DID WHAT?”

“Come now my boy…” Albus started, he might not like the Black family, but their money would be very beneficial for their cause, and Sirius was the heir of the Black title and fortune so he didn’t want to alienate him too much.

“DON’T YOU MY BOY ME.” Sirius turned on a man he had once thought the world of. “WHERE IS MY GODSON?”

Lily just stared down her nose at him in disgust.

“Of all the despicable things, this was one I had never thought either of you capable of, apparently I was wrong about just how low you could sink.” Remus growled. “Are you really telling us you abandoned your own child? Headmaster, how could you allow something so disgusting?”

“You must understand my boys, we are only doing what needs to be done. Henry is going to need a lot of attention. Have you not heard, the press has already dubbed him the Boy-Who-Lived.” Albus smiled gently, he had come up with the title himself and passed it off to one of his people at the paper. “It wouldn’t be fair to Harry to allow him to grow up pushed aside while all the attention is focused on Henry. It’s for the best he be given a normal childhood. Surely you see that?”

“Then we will take him if that pathetic woman is to stupid and selfish to care for him.” Remus snapped. The moment those people abandon his cub any loyalty he had once had to them was destroyed.

“I will not allow the likes of you to have any child of mine.” Lily shrieked. Not realizing that that was the first time she had ever even acknowledged she had another child.

“HE ISN’T A CHILD OF YOURS, YOU ABANDONED HIM!” Remus shouted back.

Sirius was startled. He had always known Remus had a bit of a temper when it came to those he cared about, but never thought it went this far.

“What is the meaning of this!” Poppy Pomfrey kept her tone low, but hard as diamond, as she came out of her room to glare at the four adults in her ward.

“Where is Harry? Headmaster? Lily?” Sirius ignored Poppy, but didn’t yell since he had enough experience with Madam Pomfrey to have a healthy amount of fear of the woman.

Both just remained silent.

“And just what are you going to tell James when he wakes? What do you think his response will be when he learns what you did to his son?” Sirius demanded.

“James will understand.” Lily shrugged. She knew they had been having issues recently, but she was sure she could get him to see things her way.

Since the runt was now gone she would have all of James’s attention again. She had hated to see him dote on that boy and almost completely ignore her precious Henry. 

“How could someone who was once so clever be such a complete idiot?” Remus was astounded by that claim. “James loves BOTH of his boys, unlike you. He will never just accept what you did. For Merlin’s sake you delusional witch, you abandoned his child. He will see you for exactly what you are… A pathetic, horrible, monster.”

“Remus.” Albus snapped sharply. “Do not speak to Lily like that. She has always been forced to make the hard decisions to protect her family, and that is all she has done now. James will understand.”

Sirius held Remus back when he turned on the old man. “We are not school children anymore Albus. You can’t give us detention or deduct points. Remus only spoke the truth.

But let me make this clear, you will tell us where our godson is or so help me I will make it my mission to make you pay.”

When they both once again remained silent Sirius was coldly furious. “Then have it your way. Come Moony, let’s go find Harry on our own. Theres no need to waste anymore of our time on this trash.”

With that Sirius and Remus stormed out of the ward.

Chapter Text

The years passed extremely slowly for Remus and Sirius, but they did pass. It had taken months for what had happened to really sink in. A man they had once seen as a hero and their best friends wife had abandoned their godson to Merlin knew where.

They always held out hope that they would find him, but after almost 3 years of near daily searching they still hadn’t. By this time little Harry would be 4 years old and the two were miserable they couldn’t be there to help him celebrate.

A year after the attack Sirius had quit the auror office so he could focus more on trying to find Harry. But it was still no use. No matter what spell or ritual they used they couldn’t find a trace.

The most surprising thing was the truce they had made with none other than Severus Snape

 


 

 *Flashback: Six Months After the Attack*

Sirius was just leaving a potions apothecary with a collection of ingredients needed for the latest tracking spell he and Remus were going to try when he walked directly into a man in black.

“Watch where you’re going.” Snapped a familiar voice.

Sirius all but snarled. “Well, if it isn’t Snivellus.”

Snape forced his anger at the childhood taunt back as he dragged Black to a sheltered corner and threw up privacy wards so no one would see or hear them.

“What do you think you’re doing? I have absolutely no desire to be in dark corners with the likes of you.” Sirius growled.

Severus gave the fool a disdainful look. “Oh trust me, neither do I.”

“Then why are we here?”

“I..” Severus really didn’t want to have to do this. “I wished to express my… gratitude for what you did in informing the DMLE I was a spy.”

 

*Flashback within Flashback*

 

Just after the death of Voldemort Severus had been arrested as a Death Eater. He knew very well that Albus had allowed for it to happen. He wasn’t a fool, he knew the man was allowing his arrest for a reason.

Sirius had been in the auror office when Snape had been marched through to the cells. Sirius still disliked the other man, but he also knew he had been a spy. It had been Severus that had warned them of Voldemort targeting the Potter’s. That very night they had strengthen the wards due to his information, only for there to be an attack a few hours later. Sirius knew that without the warning there was a good chance James and Lily would have been killed before the twins were even born. And for that, he felt like he owed the man. 

He still had no idea that Severus had been a spy for both sides. And that, although he had brought the warning, he had also been the one to give Voldemort the first part of the prophecy that had caused the attack.

Sirius had gone out on shift, assuming that Albus would arrive and get his spy out of trouble, but when he came back from shift he saw that he was still in the holding cells and Dumbledore had never shown up.

Most in the Order didn’t know of Snape. Whenever he had attended meetings he had always done so under glamours so strong not even Mad-Eye’s magical eye could see through them. Only Dumbledore, James, Lily, Frank, Alice, Remus, and himself knew who he really was. And they had only known because of the mess with the prophecy and Moony recognizing the mans scent.

Frank and Alice were both still on leave so they couldn’t have said anything. Only two days after the attack at the Potter cottage the Longbottoms had been attacked. But Frank, alice, and Neville had been at the school visiting Lily and Henry, Alice trying to convince the woman she had once considered her friend to tell them where Harry was.

The only one home had been Franks mother, Augusta Longbottom. The only good thing was that Augusta had been so startled to have Death Eaters in her house she had slipped on the stairs and fell, breaking her neck and killing her instantly. It didn’t change that Frank had lost his mother, but at least she hadn’t suffered. Everyone knew just how skilled Bellatrix LeStrange was at torturing her victims to the brink of death but keeping them alive.

Seeing no other option, Sirius called Amelia and Mad-Eye into a private room. With the arrest of Barty Crouch Jr. at the Longbottom attack his father, who up until then had been the Head of the DMLE, had been force to switch departments and Amelia had been promoted. Mad-Eye had been forced to take over as head auror, although he said it was only until a better one could be found, he was a man of action, not paperwork.

“What ya want Black?” Mad-Eye questioned.

“It’s about Snape.” Sirius sighed not really wanting to do this.

“What about him. Man’s a Death Eater, gonna have him transferred to Azkaban until his trial.” Mad-Eye said.

“That’s just it… Snape was a spy.” Sirius explained.

“What?” Amelia gasped.

“Mad-Eye, you remember that bloke with the light brown hair that just sat in the back of every Order meeting, never saying anything but always staying after to speak with Dumbledore, that was Snape under strong glamours.

He was the one who told us about different attack plans. Including the plans to attack James and the Longbottoms. Just ask Frank, he and Alice both knew. If not for him, we could have lost a lot more good people.” Sirius told them.

“This changes things.” Amelia took off her monocle and rubbed her eyes. “If he is a spy we can’t just send him to Azkaban to wait for his trial. We’ll have to keep him here. I’ll see what I can do about getting him a trial as fast as possible.

“You sure?” Mad-Eye questioned.

“Yeah, I’m sure. Trust me, I’m no fan of the man, but he did the right thing when it counted and I won’t let him go down for it.” Sirius told his mentor.

Mad-Eye trusted Sirius. In recent months he had been pulling away from Albus more and more. He knew what Albus and Lily had done with getting rid of the Potter twin and he didn’t like it. As he trained Sirius, he had also trained James, and out of loyalty, he just couldn’t accept the abandonment of his child.

 

*End Flashback within Flashback*

 

Severus had gotten his trial only a few days later. Sirius, Remus, Frank, Alice, and Dumbledore had all spoken for his actions as a spy. Although Severus had clearly seen Albus didn’t want to.

It had taken a bit, but he had seen the old mans plots. Have him spend a few weeks in Azkaban and then rescue him. It would make Severus feel like he owed him. Too bad for the man someone else had gotten there first.

Severus was now conflicted. He had been a spy for both sides. It had ensured that no matter what he would end up on the winning side. He supported much of the agenda of the Dark Lord, but not the methods used to achieve it.

He had gone to Albus only out of loyalty to his old friend. They may not be friends anymore, but for a time Lily had been the only good thing in Severus’s life. But the Dark Lord hadn’t killed Lily, so he wasn’t as fully against the man as he would have been if he had.

“I only told the truth.” Sirius shrugged. He had more important things to do than hold a grudge against this man. His godson was missing.

Severus looked at what Black had, the man had never really been the best at potions so it was a surprise to see him leaving an apothecary. “Ashwinder eggs, lovage, thyme, pearl dust, and fire seeds. Why are you making a tracking potion?”

Sirius should have known Snape would figure it out. “Remus and I are looking for someone.”

“Yes, I have noticed the issues you have been having with Albus and the mother of our precious ‘Boy-Who-Lived’.” Severus’s tone was mocking when he spoke the moniker. “What has happened? And just who are you looking for?”

“Harry, we’re looking for Harry.” Sirius sighed just saying his beloved godsons name.

“And just who is Harry?”

Sirius transferred his purchases to one arm and used the other to grab the photo he always kept in his breast pocket, showing the photo of Harry he had taken on his first birthday.

Snape took the photo and examined it. “This… This is Lily’s child. But this isn’t the Potter boy.”

“Yes, he is. That is Harry Potter, Henry Potter’s twin brother. After the attack Lily and Albus did something with him.” Sirius took the picture back and just stared for a few moments.

“What do you mean ‘did something with him’?” Snape questioned.

“Lily never liked Harry. I don’t think she has ever even said his name.

You see, when Harry was born he was sick, an unstable core, he had to spend months in St. Mungo’s. Lily refused to visit or even acknowledge him. James, Remus and I looked after him.

After the attack, while Remus and I were giving our statements, Albus and Lily checked both boys out of St. Mungo’s and took them to see Poppy. By the time we got there Harry was gone.

They said they didn’t want Harry to have to grow up in the shadow of Henry so they had sent him away somewhere to grow up. They said he was fine, but he’s not. Remus and I know it. We don’t trust Lily, her behaviour towards him never made sense. How could she love one and not the other?”

“Guilt.” Severus said in a thoughtful tone.

“Guilt?” 

“The most common cause of an infant being born with an unstable core is if the mother took certain potions while pregnant. Lily was skilled enough to know the risks, and all expectant mothers are warned about it.

If she took a potion she knew she wasn’t supposed to take, and one of her children suffered because of it it might make her feel guilty. Lily could never admit when she did anything wrong, even as a child. If she had done something wrong she would always just act like it didn’t exist until it went away.

From your description, that sounds like what she did with the boy.”

“When we were at the hospital when the boys were born…” Sirius said, remembering that day. “I remember them asking about certain potions, but Lily swore she hadn’t taken anything. We believed her since we hadn’t thought she would do anything to the boys at the time.” Sirius was stunned. If it was true then Lily’s actions made a bit more sense, not much, but a bit.

It really wasn’t the truth, Lily had never bothered to look into the potion Dumbledore had been giving her so she didn’t think she had done anything wrong. She just didn’t like Harry because it had been just after he was born her ancestor had taken the magic away.

“I hate owing anyone anything.” Severus sighed. “I will brew any tracking potion you might need until you find your godson Black. Then we will be even.”

“Agreed.” Sirius wasn’t going to turn that offer down, Snape had just managed to get his mastery. Surely a tracking potion brewed by a master, rather than two mildly confused men, would be stronger.

Both Sirius and Remus may have managed to get their NEWT in potions, but they still both struggled with them. Severus wouldn’t have that issue.

 

*End Flashback*

 

Ever since then Severus had been assisting them in trying to locate Harry. But they still weren’t having any luck.

Remus could still feel Harry through the bond so they knew he was at least still alive, and relatively healthy, but that was the only positive they had. Remus could feel the bond pulling every day.

Wherever Harry was, he wasn’t happy, that much they knew.

 


 

 And that wasn’t where their issues ended. Lily, being the horrible person she apparently was had publicly denounced them in the press. Going so far as to announce Remus’s werewolf status claiming she didn’t want a creature like that around the precious Boy-Who-Lived. 

And the people had given her their full support. Now Remus was shunned almost everywhere he went. It was destroying the little confidence he did have. The only thing keeping him going was Sirius and his desire to find Harry.

Then Lily had gone even another step further. She had barred the two of them from visiting James at St. Mungo’s. The two had been visiting their old friend almost daily until then. Lily only bothered to go once a month, and had always made sure the press took photos of her and Henry when they visited. Playing up the roll of the distraught wife who only stayed strong due to her little boy.

It was disgusting to see the pictures in the paper to the point Remus and Sirius had cancelled their subscriptions.

Thankfully, they still had friends. Cory in particular went above and beyond. While she was still working in paediatrics she helped the two sneak in once a week to visit. They couldn’t stay long, but it was better than nothing.

Then there were those like Amelia, Mad-Eye, Frank and Alice, as well as the St.Mungo’s healers who had known about Harry. They couldn’t openly speak against Lily or Albus, but they always made sure to show Sirius and Remus their support.

The main issue was that no one really knew Harry had existed. James and Lily had been in hiding since before the twins were born and had never publicly announce the fact they had twins. The names Harry and Henry were so close that most just thought they had misheard if they had heard James speaking of Harry.

And Sirius and Remus couldn’t even announce it. Because Harry was underage, and they weren’t his parents or legal guardians, they couldn’t give permission for his name to be put in the paper. Only Lily could, and she never would. She had, of course, given the papers her full permission to speak of Henry Potter, but not Harry. She had even gone so far as to negotiate a book deal.

There were now an entire series of Henry Potter Adventure Novels. They were all nonsense of course, but most actually believed that the four year old was off battling ogres with his best friend, Ronald Weasley.

Life was just so hard for the two former marauders, and they weren’t sure how to fix it.

Chapter Text

Life was going fairly well for Lady Lily Potter and her son Henry. They were famous and adored. 

But not everything was what Lily had expected.

 

*Flashback: 1 Month After the Attack*

 

It was a month after the attack on her sweet baby boy when Lily had gotten a letter from the bank asking, although it was worded more like a demand, for her to attend a meeting with the Potter account manager. Not really liking or trusting Goblins she had requested Headmaster Dumbledore to go with her.

“What is it you wished to speak with Lady Potter about?” Albus questioned as soon as he had taken a seat, not bothering to wait for permission before doing so.

Ironclaw raised an eyebrow, he was not used to being treated so rudely. He had been the Potter account manager for 27 years, and his father had been so before him. The Potters were always polite to the goblins. Apparently that would change for the next child if he was raised by these people.

“Lady Potter was requested to attend this meeting so we might go over what is to happen now that Lord James Potter is incapacitated.” Ironclaw stated.

“And just what is that supposed to mean, nothing is changing.” Lily huffed out.

“That is where you are wrong.” Ironclaw started laying out files on his desk. “Former Lord Potter left specific instructions if an event like this were to happen.”

“James never made a will.” Lily said.

“That is correct, Lord James Potter never made a will. He did once schedule a meeting to make one, but had to cancel siting his wife, Lady Lily Potter, not wanting him to do it.” Ironclaw stared the woman down.

“There wasn’t a need.” Lily hadn’t wanted James to do anything stupid like leaving anything to the runt.

“Clearly.” Ironclaw’s tone was flat, he was far too dignified to admit to the use of something so human as sarcasm. “But, former Lord Fleamont and Lady Euphemia Potter did indeed leave instructions for the estate should anything happen to their son.”

“What? They can’t do that.” Lily shouted.

“They can, and did. As I was saying clear instructions have been left in the event of something like this happening.” Ironclaw wanted to smirk, he had known that the former Lord and Lady hadn’t approved of this woman and they had shown it in their instructions, it wasn't as harsh as it could have been, but it would still be a major step down in comparison with what she had had before. “The medical care for Lord Potter will of course be paid for in full by the Potter estate. So, let us start with the children.

Now, it has been brought to my attention that you no longer retain custody of the younger Potter child, one, Harrison James Potter, is that correct?”

“Yes, Harry was sent to live somewhere safe.” Albus answered.

“It was for the best.” Lily nodded her agreement.

“So noted.” Ironclaw made a note on the file. His dislike grew knowing it was indeed true they had abandoned one of the Potter twins, he hadn’t wanted to believe it when the information was brought to him by the boys godfathers. “As guardian of a son of House Potter you will receive a stipend of 500 galleons for living expenses per month for the care of your son Henry Albus Potter. This money will be paid out only in the form of reimbursement.”

“What does that mean?” Lily questioned in confusion.

“That means, you will bring the receipts here for verification and then the money will be transferred into your account.” Ironclaw said. “It is to ensure that there is no fraud or embezzlement of the money intended to care for the child. 

This will last until the Potter child is 7 years old. At that point a trust vault will be opened in his name, a vault that only he will have access to, and half the amount, 250 galleons, will be added each month as an allowance, the remaining 250 will remain for his care and can be accessed in the same manor as before. This will carry on until he comes of age at 17.

His education will be paid in full once the receipt is filed. I believe that covers everything in regards to the children. The guardians of Harrison James Potter will need to present themselves to us to receive access to his finances.”

“I can take it and pass it to them.” Lily smiled sweetly, although inside she was seething.

“No.” Ironclaw stated bluntly. “As you do not have custody you have no right to access his money.

Now, we shall address your finances.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Lily demanded, a slight fear in her voice. She wanted that money.

“Like the children, an allowance was set for the Lady Potter in the event of the Lords incapacitation.” Ironclaw pulled out another file. “You have taken up residence in the Potter Penthouse here in London, is that correct?”

“Yes.” Lily answered. She had moved her and Henry to the lovely flat the day they left Hogwarts. She would have liked to go to Potter manor or one of the more luxurious estates, but she hated the portraits of James’s ancestors that were always telling her how to behave like a proper Lady.

“So noted.” Ironclaw wrote on the top of the file. “The other Potter estates have been placed into lockdown for the time being. You are entitled to the use of three house elves, do you have a preference which ones you would prefer?”

“I will not use slaves.” Lily snapped.

“Noted. The elves will remain in residence in the other Potter estates.” Ironclaw never understood the way those raised in the muggle world never took the time to learn the truth about house elf service and just jumped to conclusions. “As Lady Potter, and mother and custodian of a Son of House Potter you are entitled to a living allowance of 30,000 galleons per year. The equivalent of 150,000 pounds per year. This will be paid out in monthly instalments of 2,500 galleons per month. This will be transferred directly into the personal account of Lily Potter née Evans that was opened when you married the Heir, now current, Lord Potter.

There will also be a budget of 2000 galleons per year for maintenance and upgrades on your chosen house of residence. This will be handled like the child care allowance. You will have to submit the receipt of services rendered and will be reimbursed after completion. There are stipulations in what the money can be used for in here.”

Lily stared down at the folder the goblin pushed across the desk to her. She just couldn’t believe this was happening. She was Lady Potter, she was entitled to more than this.

“Do you understand what I have stated?” Ironclaw asked.

“No.” Lily turned her attention from the file to glare at the goblin. “I AM LADY POTTER! You do not get to deny me access to my husbands estate.”

“Yes, you are Lady Potter, but that is in name only.” Ironclaw interrupted.

“What do you mean by that?” Lily snarled.

“The Potter estates and vaults are sealed. Only those of Potter blood or magic may access them without express permission from the Lord. You married into the family using a muggle tradition rather than the magical way.” Ironclaw explained.

Albus sat back in slight shock, he saw the mistake. “Surely that doesn’t matter, she is the mother of Heir Potter.”

Ironclaw looked at the old man that most of the goblin nation couldn’t stand before shifting his eyes to the young boy sitting on his mothers lap. “The heirship can not be determined until a child reaches the age of seven. That child is not seven. As such, there is currently no Heir Potter.”

“What of the Potter seat?” Albus questioned, he wanted to use the Potter seat to push through his preferred bills. He had been serving as proxy since Fleamont Potter had died.

“The Potter seat has been placed in dormancy until it is reclaimed by a Lord of House Potter.” Ironclaw informed him.

“And what if the worst were to happen and James were to perish due to the actions of Voldemort?” Albus questioned. He didn’t want to lose James, but if it served the greater good then he would willingly suffer the mans loss.

Ironclaw raised a bushy eyebrow at what could be considered an implied threat. “As previously stated Lord James Potter does not have a legally binding, magically certified will. As such it will trigger the Potter family charter.”

“And what does that mean?” Lily was confused, she had never bothered to learn about any of this.

“The Potter family charter is a private document, but I shall give you a basic outline.” Ironclaw told them, he felt it would offer the current Lord more protection. “In the case of children of House Potter, nothing will change from how it is currently.

However, things will change in regards to the current Lady Potter. As she was not magically married into the family and chose the muggle marriage rites, she will cease to be Lady Potter and will only be known as Mrs. Potter, widow of former Lord James Potter.

As a widow of House Potter she will be required to move out of the penthouse which will go into lockdown like the other properties. Only the widows estate will remain open to Mrs. Potter.

She will be given the widows pension which is 25,000 galleons per year, the equivalent of 100,000 pounds. This will be paid out in quarterly instalments.”

“And the title and Wizengamot seat?” Albus asked in a hushed tone since Lily appeared to be in shock.

“The title and seat shall be held in dormancy until a new Lord takes them up.” Ironclaw stated, understanding that was the mans only real interest. Normally he wouldn’t be entitled to that information, but since he had been brought by Lady Potter he could know.

“Wouldn’t Lady Lily Potter be granted regency? She is, after all, the current Lady, and mother of the future Lord of the house.” Albus tried to argue.

“No. Only a Potter by blood or magic can hold regency unless stated otherwise. As we have already covered, Lord Potter has no will so he could not have named a regent, as such, there will be no regent for House Potter if Lord Potter should pass to the next life.” Ironclaw actually enjoyed stopping these people at every turn.

Lily couldn’t think straight. This wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. She was Lady Potter, she should have access to the properties and money. She deserved them.

“I will be bringing this up with the Wizengamot.” Albus threatened.

“Do as you wish, but it will change nothing. The Potter Charter was established under the original family name long before the Wizengamot was founded. They can not alter or stop its decrees being carried out regardless of their delusions of grandeur.” Ironclaw actually grinned at that point. “If that is all, you are free to go.”

Lily finally managed to come back to her senses. “You will pay for this insult. My son is the Boy-Who-Lived and the future Lord Potter. He will make you pay for treating me like this.”

Ironclaw shifted to glare at the woman. “You would do well to remember Lady Potter, this is goblin territory. A perceived threat can be retaliated against in any way the Goblin Nation sees fit. I would recommend you leave before I choose to take offence.”

“Come Lily.” Albus grabbed hold of the woman. Albus greatly disliked goblins, but he also knew just how vicious they could be when crossed.

 

*End Flashback*

 

Lily often complained about the goblins, but it didn’t change anything. The only thing that came from the meeting with the goblins was the assurance that James Potter received the best medical care possible, Lily didn’t want to lose any more money.

Despite not having everything she wanted Lily’s life was extremely comfortable. The penthouse she had claimed for her and Henry was very nice.

It had two floors, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining room, and living room. The colour scheme followed a more neutral style. Focusing on more light and airy tones.

That and thanks to all of Henry’s fans they almost never had to pay for anything. Henry received hundreds of gifts each year from people he had never even met. The money he was given was limited, but there was still some.

As Henry grew Lily found herself more and more please with the boy her baby was growing up to be. If he was a little on the chubby side it was only baby fat. If he threw fits from time to time it was because he deserved to have whatever he wanted. To Lily, he was perfect.

Henry had even made a best friend that Lily was glad for. Ron Weasley came from a good light family that, although pureblood, didn’t follow any of that foolishness. They might not have all that much money, but it allowed Lily to show off her own comparable wealth.

When Lily had negotiated for Henry to be used as a character in a series of books she had Molly at her side since Ron was Henry’s sidekick. Both women had become the closest of friends just like their boys.

In truth, Lily only ever thought of the runt when she wanted to blame things on him even if he had nothing to do with it. Lily was just glad she didn’t have to raise him, she sometimes even found herself feeling guilty for her sister having to raise a child like that.

Then there was Sirius and the werewolf. Lily had taken great joy in turning the public against them. Now, even if James recovered, he would have to avoid them. He wouldn’t want to risk the public thinking he was endangering her precious boy.

She would have liked to go after Sirius and destroy him like she had done to Remus, but Headmaster Dumbledore stopped her. He said that Black had money and a title they would need later so they couldn’t go after him anymore then she already had.

In all, life was going well for Lily and Henry, but like often happened to greedy people, it just wasn’t good enough.

Chapter Text

Petunia and Vernon Dursley were two exceedingly normal people thank you very much. They had a perfect and normal son. And they lived in a normal house in a normal town.

But there was one thing in their lives that was not normal. 

Harrison James Potter was not normal in the slightest. Since the moment he had arrived in what he referred to as Durzkaban he had known just how unwelcome he was by everyone.

There was just something about the boy that put everyone in the neighbourhood on edge. It might have been his gravity defying black hair that had deep red low lights streaking through it that could grow back over night no matter how short it was cut. Or it might have been the vivid green eyes that most swore could glow in the dark. Or, possibly it was that the boy was speaking in full sentences before the age of two. The boy was just too smart to be normal.

But, the thing that was probably the weirdest about him was something that no one knew. Harry James Potter was not alone in his head.

On the night his family was attacked the soul of his father had tried to shield him, and it had worked…mostly. The soul of Lord James Fleamont Potter had been blasted back into his son, and he had become stuck. That was what made Harry the way he was.

To accommodate for the fact that he was sharing his mind with an adult man, little Harry’s mind had been forced to expand. Now his intelligence was far more advanced than was normal for someone his age. 

 


  

The Dursley’s did everything they could to make sure that Harry knew that he was not welcome in their home. And one of the worst ways they did that was the difference in how they treated the two children in the house. 

Dudley was given no responsibilities at all. He was also never told the word no. 

This led to a child that was extremely over weight and threw fits at the drop of a hat if he even thought he was going to be denied.  His parents praised every little thing he did, even when he hadn’t been doing anything.

And during all of this, Petunia and Vernon made sure that they told Harry what a burden and waste of space he was.

Thankfully, with his dad in his head telling him they were lying, Harry never believed a word they said. James made sure to praise his son when he had done something worthy of praise, which was pretty much every day that he didn’t snap and kill the cruel muggles.

Unfortunately his parents actions did have an extreme effect on Dudley. The boy actually believed that he would be able to get by with doing nothing. He also thought he could do no wrong.

James knew that this was not going to end well for Dudley if his parents didn’t shape up. Dudley would be starting school in just over a month and if he couldn’t do the work then he was going to be held back. There was also his bullying antics. 

He might not know all that much about the muggle justice system, but James did know that when, not if, Dudley seriously hurt another child he was going to get in real trouble. He was still to young to send to prison, but he had heard about things like muggle juvenile detention facilities. And it was already clear that that was the direction Dudley was heading.

But despite everything, James actually found himself thinking better of the Dursley’s than Lily. They may not care for Harry the way James felt he deserved, but at least they hadn’t abandoned him. It might not be the best, but Harry was still fed and clothed.

That was something Lily hadn’t done. During the entire time Harry had been living with Lily, she had never once fed him.

The Dursley’s could have just left him on the doorstep of some orphanage. It’s what Lily would have done if Petunia had abandoned her son with her.

James couldn’t believe that he actually found himself liking Petunia and Vernon more than the wife he had once adored. He often wondered if Lily had always been like that, and if so, then how had he missed it.

But it wasn’t something he could address until they managed to get away.

In all life was not fun for Harry in the boringly normal house. And James liked it even less.

James had to watch through his sons eyes as his child was barely fed. As he was forced to wear the hand-me-down clothes of a baby whale. Starting at the age of only two years old he was given chores. But it wasn’t the normal types of chores given to a child. 

Just after his second birthday they had given Harry a bucket and rag and he had been made to scrub the floor every other day. He was also supposed to take the laundry out of the dryer, fold it, and then put it all away, and the only reason he wasn’t the one that was putting them in the wash was because he was still too short to reach the top of the washer.

Only a few weeks earlier Petunia had brought home a stool from a local rummage sale and put it in front of the stove. Now Harry was expected to help her with the cooking. Again, being so small he couldn’t yet manage it all on his own, but he was still doing the bulk of the work. He had even received a few burns from it, not that his so called relatives had cared, instead he was just sent back to the cupboard he was forced to call his. Thankfully James knew a few basic healing chants and had walked Harry through them.

Life was not going to get any better for he and Harry in that house and he knew it. So they were going to need to escape, and the sooner the better.

 


 

 In the almost three years since their arrival in that place James and Harry had been working on plans to escape. Their main issue was that although Harry was far more intelligent than children his age, he was still just a child.

And toddlers just didn’t have the dexterity to pick locks or the stamina to run away vary far. They also still required things like food that they wouldn’t generally be able to get on their own.

But as Harry’s fourth birthday approached he and James were finally ready to put their latest plan into action.

Since Harry had been forced to clean the house, he had started to gather any change he could find. And luckily, there was a lot of it.

Vernon never bothered to clean the change out of his pockets so it was always falling-out and into the couch cushions when he was watching tv. And, Petunia didn’t bother to clean out his pockets either so there was often at least a few pounds in the dryer after every laundry day.

It took a few months, but eventually Harry had managed to save up 26 pounds. They figured that would be enough to get them a train ticket out of that dismal town.

Chapter Text

On the day of Harry’s fourth birthday he and James decided to give him a present. They were going to escape.

Getting up before the sun rose Harry managed to slip silently out of the house. They had to get up so early because the local train station was a couple kilometres away and it was going to take them hours to walk there.

Harry was just glad he knew the healing spells and chants his dad had taught him because he had to wear Dudley’s old shoes that didn’t fit right so he knew he was going to have blisters.

 


 

The escape attempt was not as successful as they may have hoped. They had forgotten to take into account that ticket sales ladies would not be willing to sell a train ticket to an unaccompanied 4 year old. Something that was more than a little foolish to have forgotten.

James had just been used to how things were done in the magical world. It was perfectly normal for a child to floo on their own, so he hadn’t expected the reaction they had gotten.

In the end Harry was escorted back to his prison by two amused officers. He had told them that his aunt and uncle had promised that they would take them camping before school started and hadn’t wanted to wait.

Thankfully it was a weekday and Vernon was at work. Vernon had never hit Harry, but James had seen the desire to do so building up. It was one of the things that made him want to get out soon.

Another good thing was that Petunia wasn’t as dense as her husband. When Harry had announced that he had just been going camping like they had promised since he didn’t want to wait for the weekend Petunia had been quick on the uptake. She had scolded him and told him they would be having a long discussion about his actions before telling him to go to his room.

Harry and James both knew that she didn’t mean the cupboard so he stomped up the stairs to wait in the hall. He knew once the officers were gone she would be screeching at him to explain.

As he had been expecting, only a few minutes after he had heard the door close Petunia shrieked.

“BOY, GET DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!”

Harry walked down the stairs like a man condemned and went into the kitchen.

“What did you think you were doing you little freak?” Petunia hissed as soon as he was in the room.

“I was leaving.” Harry announced.

“What stupidness is this? We never said we would take you camping. Freaks like you…” Petunia was clearly getting ready to do the usual you're a freak and don’t deserve anything rant.

Harry knew that he needed to interrupt her unless he wanted to listen to her vitriolic rant that lasted an average of 24 minutes, he  knew, he had timed the last 6 of them.

“Just stop Aunt Petunia.” Harry sighed out, almost smirking at the look on the womans face when he interrupted her in such a board manner. “I get it, you don’t want me here, but really, what has ever made you think I wanted to be here.

Why would I want to spend time in your bland little world when I have one of my own that is so much better. You see Aunt Petunia, I remember. I remember my life before Lily sent me to live here. And I think you are well aware of what else I remember…

If you must know, I was trying to escape this prison you call a home.”

“And just where do you think you would go. No one wants you, not even your own parents.” Petunia sneered viciously. Even just the implication that this boy could remember magic was real frightened her. She didn’t want it around her baby boy.

Harry actually flinched at that, although his dad was in his head saying he was loved and wanted. “If you must know, I have a godfather. I remember visiting him with my dad when I was small. He lives in Arundel, that’s where I was going.”

“You can’t just disappear like that.” Petunia argued.

“And why not?” Harry and James were both confused. “I don’t want to be here. And you certainly don’t want me here. So why can’t I leave?”

“Because people know you’re here.” Petunia said like she thought he was an idiot, disregarding, of course, the fact that he was still only technically 4. “If you just suddenly disappear people will ask questions. Not only that, but you are registered for school already. If you don’t show up then they will report it.”

They had known people would ask questions about his disappearance, but they hadn’t thought about the school thing. James had been homeschooled as a child so it had never come up. They needed to think of a plan.

It only took a few moments until they had a new plan. “We use that reputation you have not so subtly been creating. As far as most in the neighbourhood are concerned I am a problem child.

It wouldn’t be too surprising if you sent me to live with someone that could handle me. You could talk with Mr. Reso down the street. He’s a barrister. Ask him about what you would need to transfer my guardianship saying that I am becoming violent or something and you are worried about Dudley. Tell him you have arranged for me to live with my fathers family.

Once you have that you can go to the school and withdraw my registration saying that I’m moving in with a new family.”

“And just why should I do all that work for you?" Petunia was back to sneering.

“Because your other option is that I live with you until I get my Hogwarts letter.” Harry said bluntly.

That stopped Petunia cold. This was a chance to get rid of the freak years before she thought they would. She had figured he would be there until he was 11. If she did this she could get rid of him 7 years early.

In the end she didn’t really see there to be any other choice.

 


 

 Four days later was a Saturday and Harry was happily sitting in the kitchen as the sun rose.

Dudley had overheard Harry and Petunia talking about going camping and had decided he wanted to go. Since Petunia and Vernon didn’t know how to say no to their son Vernon had been forced to agree and they had left the day before. Petunia had stayed behind saying she didn’t want Harry to ruin Dudleys trip.

Petunia had done exactly what Harry had told her. She even had the change of guardianship forms filled out and signed. All that was left was for Sirius or Remus to agree to be his guardian and that would be that. 

Although Harry, and James, were already getting ready to curse his two godfathers out for their lack of interest in his life. It was just that they were his only chance to get away, so he would use them… As long as it served his needs.

Just after Petunia finished her breakfast she and Harry got in her car and drove away.

 


 

Harry and James were both surprised at just how short the trip was. It was literally only an hour later that they were driving past Arundel Castle.

It was a little difficult to pick out exactly where they were going from there. When James had visited he had always apperated or flooed. But they knew the general location and that was enough.

Remus didn’t live in town, but instead down one of the side roads. Once they found that one they were fine. Petunia drove slowly down the road that took them deep into the woods. When they came to a fence that barred entrance she stopped and refused to go any further, but that suited Harry and James just fine.

“Get out.” Petunia had snapped. “I don’t care if they decide they don’t want you, you will not be coming back.”

“Don’t worry about it. I would rather live in the woods than with your family.” Harry said just before he got out. “You want to know the best part, you no longer have your scapegoat.”

“And just what is that supposed to mean?” Petunia had demanded.

“Simple. All these years every time something happened you blamed me. Something broke, Harry did it. Vernon didn’t get a promotion, Harry must have done something. Dudley’s rooms a mess, while clearly Harry must have snuck in and done it. Neighbour says they saw Dudley kick their cat, they must have seen wrong since it was obviously Harry. I mean, honestly, you lot blamed me because there was a heat wave last summer.

Now you will have to deal with it yourselves. You can’t put the blame on me anymore. When Vernon finally has a heart attack because both he and Dudley eat like pigs, you won’t be able to blame me. When Dudley gets arrested because he is a violent bully or fails out of school because you never bothered to teach him anything you won’t have anyone but your self to blame. I think the only thing you will be able to blame on me is the mess the house will become since you have been using me to clean it for the past year.”

After finally having gotten to say his piece after all those years Harry got out of the car. Petunia didn’t even waited until he had closed the door before she put the car in reverse.

Harry turned away with a smirk on his face and started walking down the path. It was finally a good thing the Dursley’s hadn’t gotten him anything since it meant he didn’t have to carry anything.

Chapter Text

It took Harry just over 40 minutes to reach the end of the road that was overgrown to the point it barely qualified as one. He had been worrying that they may have gotten the wrong place, but when they saw the little wooden cabin James relaxed.

‘This is it.’ James assured his son. ‘Try the back, Remus never bothered to lock his back door. Always said anyone fool enough to break into a werewolfs home got what they deserved.’

James proved to be right when he found the doorknob turn easily allowing Harry to enter the cabin. 

James wasn’t surprised to see there weren’t many changes since he had last been there. Remus had always known what he liked and didn’t like to change it.

The only real differences James could see was that it looked like someone had moved into the second bedroom and there was now a small potions lab in the back room. Remus may have gotten his NEWT in potions, but he had never been that good so it was a surprise to see the lab. Further investigation showed that there was an old motorbike in the process of being fixed in the extra room. James immediately recognized it as Sirius’s bike he had enchanted to fly. It didn’t surprise him that Siri was still working on his bike, he had never seemed satisfied even when he had gotten it to fly, it did surprise him that he was living with Remy rather than his own flat.

Choosing to focus on more important things Harry went into the kitchen and started to make them something to eat. Petunia hadn’t let them have breakfast this morning so Harry’s body had started to tremor from hunger and low sugar levels.

 


 

Harry had just finished the first half of the sandwich and soup he had made when he heard three pops of apparation on the front step.

Getting ready for a confrontation three years in the making Harry crossed his arms and glared at the door. He was not going to let them get away with their behaviour. His dad had been devastated that they hadn’t been there to raise him all these years.

It was startling to see just who walked in.

 


 

Remus opened the front door and walked in closely followed by Sirius and Severus. They had just been out gathering supplies for another attempt at a tracking potion that could be safely mixed with the ritual. Their last attempt had blown up, but they weren’t going to stop trying.

All three of them moved in to put down their things. Severus started taking the ingredients into the makeshift lab they had set up for him. He and Sirius weren’t barred from the lab, but they were discouraged from entering so Severus was in charge of putting things away.

“Well?” Harry demanded as he glared as they ignored him. “Do either of you have anything to say to me? And why is Snape here?”

“Sirius, what have I told you about cleaning up after yourself?” Remus called out when he saw the food on the table. “You know you shouldn’t leave food out, it will attract pests.”

“Is that how you ended up with the mutt living here?” Severus smirked as he came out of the lab. “You left some food out and he just showed up?”

“Shut up Snivelly.” Sirius snapped as he came out of his room. 

“HEY!” Harry shouted when Remus took the plate away from him. “That’s mine! And stop ignoring me.”

“That isn’t mine?” Sirius was confused when he saw half a sandwich and some soup.

“It’s mine!” Harry announced in annoyance.

“Who else’s could it be?” Remus rolled his eyes at his friend. “Stop whining and just clean up after yourself next time.”

“It isn’t mine!” Sirius shouted in exasperation.

‘Dad?’ Harry called in his own head. ‘I don’t think they can see us.’

‘I agree.’ James was stunned. He had never thought of this. He remembered all those years ago when Dumbledore had dropped them off he had cast some kind of spell, but he hadn’t known what it was.

“If you two are done, we need to get to work.” Severus told the bickering mutts. “I only have a few hours before I have to be back at Hogwarts to start setting up. Once the school year starts up again it will be harder for me to get away.”

“We know.” Remus was ready to cry. “I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I feel him pulling on the bond every day. I hate not knowing what that woman has done to him. We need to find him.”

“We will, we just have to keep going Remy. I swear, we will find him.” Sirius tried to comfort his friend, but knew it wasn’t going to be that easy. Nothing but having Harry in their arms again would help.

“Like I said, this potion should help narrow down the area he is. Let’s just hope we don’t end up wandering around Surrey again.” Severus didn’t want to have to listen to another emotional speech about how much they missed the boy.

‘Dad, they’ve been trying to find us!’ Harry was jumping up and down in joy. They hadn’t forgotten him.

James would have cried in relief if he could have. ‘I heard baby. Now we just need to let them know we’re here.’

‘How?’ Harry didn’t know how they could communicate with people that couldn’t see him.

‘They can’t see us, but they did see your food.’ James started to think quickly and the pieces fell into place. ‘Snape can’t see us either, and there would be no reason for Dumbledore or Lily to spell us invisible to him since it probably would never occur to them he might try and find you.

I think we are invisible to everyone magical. But, if anyone would be able to see through it it would be the goblins. So we need to get them to Gringotts. The goblins would be able to remove the spell, for a price.’

Harry looked around trying to figure out how to get them to the bank. Spotting a piece of parchment and quill he wrote a simple note saying they needed to floo to Gringotts now. When no one noticed he tried grabbing Remus only to find that he couldn’t touch him. It was like there was a force field keeping them apart.

Picking up the note he threw it at his head.

Remus flinched when he was hit in the back of the head with a bit of balled up parchment. Looking around he was confused. Sirius would do something like that, but he was sitting on the couch in front of him. And Severus was to his left.

Turning around he couldn’t see anyone, so who had thrown the parchment. Opening the sheet he saw a note telling him to go to Gringotts in a messy scrawl.

“Guys, I think you need to see this.” Remus held out the sheet to them.

The other two were just as confused as he was. And that confusion only got worse when they saw the floo flare green. Someone had been there, but they hadn’t seen anything.

“What do we do?” Sirius questioned in confusion.

“We go to the bank.” Severus said like he thought the man was an idiot, which he did. “It’s the only way we are going to get answers.”

Chapter Text

Harry stepped out of the floo and looked around the main atrium of the goblin bank. He knew from his dads lessons that he needed to be careful. The goblins would not like an invisible human in their bank. If they thought he was attempting to steal anything they may get violent.

Deciding the direct approach was the way to go Harry found a goblin that was standing on its own over where the carts were.

“I greet you this day master goblin. I wished to know if you can see or hear me.” Harry stated in a formal voice, keeping his posture straight but nodding in deference.

The goblin narrowed his eyes. The human young was blurry, but still visible. “Yes.”

Harry let out a sigh of relief. “That is perfect. Some idiot wizard spelled me invisible and I can’t figure out how to fix it. I decided it would be best to come here since the goblin curse breakers are the best in the world and if anyone could help, they could.”

“We do not fix the petty little issues of every wizard young that steps foot in our bank.” The goblin sneered.

“And I would not ask you too. My name is Harrison James Potter, second born son of Lord James Potter. I would request that you allow me to meet with the Potter account manager Ironclaw, and I will be able to arrange proper compensation for the Goblin Nation.”

Griphook looked at the young thoughtfully. This could go very good or very bad for him. If this boy was who he claimed to be it would allow him to gain a debt from a very powerful wizarding family. It would also allow him to get the attention of the higher level goblins which would help him rise higher in the ranks. But if he was lying and Griphook wasted an account managers time he would lose his head.

Deciding to take the risk, Griphook went to a small desk and wrote out a memo to Account Manager Ironclaw.

As Harry was speaking with the goblin Sirius and the others had arrived. The three of them had no idea what was going on so they just went to the centre of the lobby and started looking around like they might be able to find a clue. A few minutes after their arrival they watched as Ironclaw stepped out onto the main floor and  walked over to where another goblin stood and talked rapidly in gobbledygook.

Going over, they waited until he was finished, hoping he would be able to explain what was going on to them.

 


  

Ironclaw was annoyed to be called down to the main lobby. He didn’t have time to waste on frivolous issues and if it wasn’t important there was going to be one less goblin in the bank by the end of the day.

Spotting the young cart driver that had sent him a note claiming a child of House Potter was requesting to see him he went over.

“Griphook, what is the meaning of this?” He demanded in gobbledygook. 

“I apologize for taking you away from your ledgers Account Manager Ironclaw, but this human young claims to be Harrison James Potter of House Potter. He has further stated that he has been bewitched invisible and has come here for aid.

He said that he would be willing to provide proper compensation should we assist him in removing the bewitchment, but would need to speak with you first as you manage the family accounts.” Griphook quickly stated. At that point he really was wishing he had just gotten rid of the young human.

Ironclaw looked over at the boy. After a thorough examination it was clear he at least looked like a Potter. And it would be hard for anyone else to make a claim like that since most in the wizarding world didn’t even know of the boys existence.

“You will follow me and we shall see if your claim is true.” Ironclaw announced to the boy.

“I thank you for your assistance this day Cart Driver Griphook.” Harry nodded to the goblin before turning back to Ironclaw. “I would request that Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Severus Snape be included in this meeting as well Account Manager Ironclaw.”

Ironclaw glanced around and saw the three standing off to the side looking at them with confusion written on their faces.

“You three will come with me.” Ironclaw told them gruffly before turning and escorting the four to his office.

 


 

“Ironclaw, can you explain to us what is going on?” Remus asked once they were in the office and sitting down. He didn’t understand why Ironclaw had summoned a fourth chair, but Moony kept trying to push him towards it.

“Yeah, we just got a random note saying we needed to come here.” Sirius said, just as confused as Remus.

Ironclaw glanced to the boy sitting in the chair he had placed between the two men.

“I went to see them, but they couldn’t see me. I wrote a note telling them to come here and threw it at them since I also seem incapable of touching them.” Harry explained.

“We shall start this off with verifying your identity.” Ironclaw decided as he reached into his desk and pulled out a piece of lineage parchment and a basic identification potion. “You will need to put three drops of blood in here.”

Sirius, Remus and Severus looked at the goblin in confusion as he pushed everything towards the empty chair. That confusion just increased when they saw the dagger rise up into the air.

Harry sliced the tip of his finger and added the blood to the potion before pushing it back to Ironclaw. Ironclaw placed a quill into the potion and then placed it hovering over the lineage paper where it started writing. They all noticed when the sheet flashed gold for a few seconds.

Ironclaw was interested in what had happened. He had been at the bank since he was a youngling and never heard of something like that happening. He was going to have to look into it.

“Well it seems you really are who you say you are. I welcome you home Mr. Potter.” Ironclaw nodded at the boy, smirking at the confusion on the faces of the three adults. 

Remus was the first to take the parchment when Ironclaw pushed it forwards so they could see it. He started whining in the back of his throat as he saw what it said.

 

Name: Harrison James Potter

 

All but shoving the parchment to Sirius, Remus tried to reach out to his cub who was sitting right next to him. But he was stopped by something. The harder he pushed against it the more it hurt. Sirius started trying to do the same from the other side but seemed to be having the same issue.

“You will find yourselves incapable of touching him I believe.” Ironclaw stated blandly. “He has informed us he has been spelled invisible and untouchable to wizardkind.”

“Can you fix it?” Remus whined. He wanted to hold his cub.

“For a price.” Ironclaw stated.

“Anything.” Sirius said instantly but whined when he was smacked by Severus.

“What do you ask for this service?” Severus was glad he wasn’t a Gryffindor idiot like Black clearly was.

“Luckily this sort of thing is an easy fix. All he needs is a little water from the Thief’s Downfall. The price will be 20 galleons.” Ironclaw stated.

“Take the money from my vault.” Sirius informed him. “The sooner I can see my godson the better.”

Ironclaw nodded and sent off a quick memo. They all waited, the only sound being the desperate whimpers coming from Remus. Moony was not handling the knowledge their cub was so close yet they still couldn’t touch him well.

Thankfully it only took about 3 minutes before a goblin carried a jug into the office. Ironclaw pointed directly at Harry.

“Do I need to drink all that or…” Harry let out a little shriek as the liquid was dumped unceremoniously over his head.

Ironclaw smirked. Severus did the same as a boy that looked far too much like Potter Sr. came into view looking like a drowned rat. But he didn’t have a clear view for long as both mutts bodily threw themselves at the boy.

“You are aware that smothering the boy to death just after you finally got him back would be a bad thing, right?” Severus drawled as he saw the mutts practically slobbering on the boy as they cried.

Sirius pulled back just enough to glare at the other man. In the end they compromised, Harry was placed in Remus’s lap since Moony wasn’t going to let him out of reach for awhile and Sirius moved into the chair Harry had previously been in.

“I have a question, just how did you know to go to Remus’s and then to come here?” Severus asked once the others had settled, it was something that had been bothering him.

“Daddy told me what to do.” Harry stated simply, enjoying the cuddles he was getting. This was the first time he had been held by someone who cared about him since his dad had put him to bed the night of the attack.

The three adults and the goblin all froze and gave the boy odd looks.

“What do you mean by that cub?” Remus questioned hesitantly.

“The night of the attack something happened.” Harry started to explain. “Voldy cast some kind of spell at dad that forced his soul out of his body. When Voldy shot the killing curse at me dad got between me and him. He was thrown back into me and just kinda… got stuck. He’s been living in my head ever since. He teaches me things.”

Once again everyone just stared for a moment.

“What do you mean when the Dark Lord fired the curse at you?” Severus had latched on to that bit of information.

“Exactly what I said.” Harry was confused by that reaction. His confusion only grew when Snape started to chuckle lowly.

“Sev?” Remus questioned in concern.

“It never made sense.” Severus looked to the others. “After we learned the Dark Lord was planning to attack the children Albus made me swear an unbreakable vow that I would protect the boy that survived.

Over the years Lily has often brought the Brat-Who-Lived to the school. I have never for a moment felt the need to protect the boy. But the moment you showed me the picture of this one I felt an overwhelming need to help you find him. 

Don’t you see? Albus got it wrong. He picked the wrong twin.”

The others just gaped for a second before they too chuckled. They really wanted to be there when the Great Albus Dumbledore learned he had been wrong. It would be even better when Lily learned she didn’t have the Boy-Who-Lived with her and that it was instead the boy she had abandoned.

“What’s a Brat-Who-Lived?” Harry questioned.

“It’s what Sev calls Henry.” Sirius explained, he fully agreed with the moniker himself. “After the attack Dumbledore came out claiming that Henry had been the one to defeat Voldy. The press gave him the title Boy-Who-Lived. Sev just changed it to fit a little better.”

Harry was going to keep asking questions, but there was a knocking on the door. When Ironclaw invited whoever it was in and elderly goblin in fine chainmail walked in. He and Ironclaw talked in gobbledygook for a few minutes before Ironclaw turned to Harry with an unreadable expression on his face.

“Young Mr. Potter, there seems to have been some sort of anomaly with your inheritance test. Lord Goldsword has requested that you allow him to witness you take another inheritance test so he can confirm the anomaly.” Ironclaw’s voice was just as stony as his face at that.

“Is something wrong?” Remus held Harry closer in fear.

“No, the anomaly seems to show Mr. Potter comes from an old bloodline that has been missing for a long time. Lord Goldsword just needs to verify it.” Ironclaw reassured them before handing Harry the necessary implements once again.

Harry shrugged and took the test once again. And, like before the parchment flashed gold a few times. The old goblin nodded his head and turned to Ironclaw and spoke for a few more minutes before taking the test and leaving after nodding in deference to Harry, something that confused the humans in the room since goblins never bowed to humans.

“Ironclaw?” Sirius questioned.

“Just another complication, but this one is a good thing rather than a bad one.” Ironclaw turned back to the humans, pushing back his own surprise. “I feel we must address the fact that Lord Potter is potentially living in his son’s head.”

“Ok.” Severus agreed cautiously. “That is something that concerns me as well. How are we to verify that it is indeed Potter and not some sort of malevolent attempt at possession?” 

Harry glared at the suggestion. “Because I know my dad. He says that he and the other marauders became animagi in their fifth year to help Moony with his furry little problem. He says that he knows you were decently talented at legilimency so you can look and see for yourself, but you would need to be careful.”

That was enough to convince Remus and Sirius that James really was there, but Severus was still suspicious. 

“And why does he say I need to be careful. I am a master of the art, I know how to do it.” Severus didn’t take well to anyone questioning his talent.

“Because dad isn’t alone.” Harry shrugged. “There is a malevolent force that has attempted to possess me, but dad has been keeping it away.

When the curse backfired a piece of Voldy’s soul broke away and tried to latch on to me. Dad forced it to stay back, but he doesn’t have the strength to expel it completely. But he has managed to quarantine it in my scar. We’ve kept it locked behind occlumency barriers and just don’t want you to go trying to break through them.” Harry smirked as he threw Severus’s own words back at him.

And once again everyone was back to staring. Harry was starting to get a little self-conscious.

“What scar?” Severus asked, he had more experience with dark curses than the other two even if Sirius was from the Black family.

In answer Harry just lifted his bangs, showing off the lightning bolt shaped scar that was still red and looked like it was still healing. Severus reached out to see if he could get a feeling for the curse but pulled his hand back with a hiss when his dark mark burned. Harry too let out a sound of pain.

“We will need to remove that.” Ironclaw said seriously.

“Can you do something like that?” Remus questioned hopefully.

“We can, but again, it will have a price.” Ironclaw reminded them.

“And just how much of a price is it this time?” Severus questioned.

“That is difficult to say. He will need to be examined by our healers to determine how large the soul shard is to see how much it will cost. While we do that we might also be able to help Lord Potter.” Ironclaw stated.

“How can you help dad?” Harry questioned in confusion.

“Your fathers body is currently in a long term care ward at St. Mungo’s. He shows no signs of life, but they have managed to keep his heart beating. If we could find a way to transfer his soul back into his body he may wake up.” Ironclaw told the child that had managed to make his life very interesting.

“I’ll do it.” Harry said, agreeing to the examination.

“I’m sorry Mr. Potter, but that isn’t up to you.” Ironclaw said. “Despite you having your father in your head you are still only 4. Legally there is nothing I can do for you. However, since your mother willingly gave up custody we may be able to get your godfathers assigned your custody and then they will be able to agree to a medical exam.

The only reason I was able to remove the spells was because they paid for it and it was just dumped on you. If you had needed to take a potion of some sort there would have been nothing I could have done.”

“How do we get his custody?” Remus questioned.

“That would unfortunately require going through the government unless his custody was assigned to you, something Lady Potter would never agree to.

“Oh, I have these.” harry pulled out the change of guardianship papers Petunia had given him. “They sent me to live with Lily’s sister, Petunia. We were in a small town in Surrey.”

“That’s why those blasted spells and potions kept taking us there.” Severus said in annoyance. He was pleased to know that he had been successful in getting the potions and spells to work, but it had been annoying to go walking up and down those streets in that boring area trying to determine why they were there. Over the past years Severus thought he and the mutts must have walked 1000 km in that blasted place.

Harry smirked. “Aunt Petunia had to get my custody legally assigned to her through the muggle government when she was registering me for school. She signed these so I could stay with Remy and Siri.”

Ironclaw took the papers. “These are exactly what we need. Nowhere does it say they have to have your custody through the magical government.

As you were sent to the muggle world as a ward of a non-magical relative you can get the transfer of custody done through the muggle government. They won’t have the same issues the magical one would. There also is less of a chance of Albus Dumbledore finding out. 

It will still take a bit of time, but it should only be a week or so if you sign and file those papers by Monday.

If you can show you have legal custody in the muggle world then I will be able to add you as his legal guardians in his file making it legal in the magical world too.”

While the others were happy Severus was unsettled. The boy was showing far too many Slytherin qualities for him to be exactly comfortable with it. The last thing this world needed was a Slytherin marauder.

Choosing to give legilimancy a try to verify it really was James Potter in the boys head. Severus looked into the boys eyes. He felt him self slip seamlessly in only once the boy had lowered his shields. And that had been a surprise. It usually took a minimum of a decade of practice to form shields that strong, but Severus assumed it had something to do with James being there to protect the boy. And it was indeed James as Severus found from only a little poking around before he pulled out.

In the end it was agreed that Sirius and Remus would apply for Harry’s custody in the muggle world. Once they had it they would return to the bank and deal with the soul issues.

Chapter Text

When they had left the bank that day they had gone back to the cabin they had been living in, but had known that they couldn’t stay there much longer. It was just too small for two adults and a child. 

To that end, Sirius was having one of the more protected Black properties cleaned and readied for them to move in, but it was going to take time.

The Black’s were known for their love of dark magic so Sirius wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything dangerous around. To ensure that he had hired Gringotts curse breakers to sweep the house before he would let Harry set foot on the property.

“Do you two have a timeline on when you think would be good for dad to wake up?” Harry had questioned later that day.

“We were thinking it might be poetic if it happened in a few weeks, on Samhain.” Remus smiled. “There is always a victory ball held by the ministry. Lily and Albus always make a big deal about Henry being the Boy-Who-Lived that day so we should be able to get into the hospital unnoticed.”

“Why would you have trouble getting in to visit him?” Harry questioned for his father.

Remus and Sirius exchanged a look, Sirius chose to answer. “After you disappeared and your dad was put in the hospital Lily went off the rails. She announced Remus was a werewolf to the press and barred us from visiting the hospital.

Cory, one of the healers that helped care for you when you were a baby, thankfully, was sympathetic to us and has been helping us sneak in to see him.”

Remus and Sirius watched as a shocked look appeared on Harrys face as his eyes got really big. The boy tipped his head to the side a bit, like a dog would when trying to hear something.

“Cub?” Remus questioned after a few minutes of silence.

Harry’s shocked eyes snapped to them. “Daddy’s saying really bad words.”

Sirius chuckled at that.

Remus shock exasperation. “James Fleamont Potter you watch your language. You are in the head of a four year old, act like it.”

Harry broke down giggling at that. “Daddy says I’m supposed to stick my tongue out at you for being a… poopy head and to tell you you are more chihuahua then wolf.”

Sirius laughed so hard he fell out of his chair as Harry and Remus had stared each other down.

 


 

As they had hoped it had been easy to transfer custody in the muggle world. The muggle government hadn’t seen a problem with him being moved to a different house so long as the Dursley’s had willingly agreed.

They had had to meet with a child services worker, which meant they had had to clear the road to the house, but it hadn’t been an issue. Once they showed that Harry was their godson, and Harry had explained a little about his life with the Dursley’s she had been happy to give them approval. The only problem had been the house being to small but once Sirius explained that he was having one of his family properties fixed up it had been fine.

The three had all taken great enjoyment when the worker said she had spoken with the Dursley’s and found their behaviour to be disturbing and had made a note of it in the file and arranged for them to have a meeting with another worker to verify that Dudley was safe. It would do plenty of damage to their reputation if people knew they were being looked into by social services.

After that it had just been about getting everything in order. James was finally relaxed. He watched through the eyes of his son as his best friends got to work making Harry part of their family. After all those years of thinking such horrible things about his friends abandoning his son he was glad to know he had been wrong.

They had just moved into the large Black estate that Sirius had inherited. The estate was massive. Most days Harry, Sirius, and Remus just explored and played, but Remus had already started working up a teaching schedule.

Remus felt Harry needed to receive a proper education. At first he had wanted to enrol him in a local muggle school so he could also socialize with kids his age, but had agreed to wait. Things were just too complicated at that point. 

They still had to remove James from his head. That, and despite the fact that learning how to socialize properly would be a good thing, Harry just wasn’t like kids his own age. He had agreed that it might be best to wait until after the adult was out of his head so he might stand a better chance of connecting to other children without his fathers influence.

James knew that Harry was going to need to eventually make his own friends, but he also knew that it was going to be hard. Because of everything that had happened he just wouldn’t be able to connect with others the way a normal child would.

It was nice for James to see his son finally getting to act like a kid, or as much like a kid as he was capable.

 


 

The week after Sirius and Remus had managed to retain custody of Harry they once again returned to the bank. Griphook escorted them to Ironclaw’s office.

The young goblin was quite pleased with how things had worked out for him. He had been promoted to working as Ironclaw’s assistant. It wasn’t much of a promotion, it only got him a little extra gold per week and most of his time was spent going and collecting different paperwork, but it at leas got him away from having to drive the carts. Griphook had hated working the carts, but since he was still young it had been the only position he could get.

Since he had assisted the young Potter the boy and his guardians had requested his advancement in gratitude. It didn’t make Griphook any nicer than any other goblin was to wizards, but he wasn’t any ruder either. He was actually rather polite by goblin standards when he had escorted them to Ironclaw.

After the greetings were done they got down to business. Ironclaw took them through the bank to a healing ward.

“What exactly are you checking if I might ask?” Harry questioned as he laid down on the bed as instructed.

“The first thing will be your general health. If you are ill the procedures will have to be postponed to make sure you survive.” Ironclaw explained from where he waited with Sirius and Remus. “Then you will be checked for the size and exact location of the extra souls in your body. We know both seem to be in your head, but we will need an exact location to remove them without risk of brain damage.

And the last thing you need to be checked for is anything in your blood. The test that Lord Goldsword witnessed showed signs of something in your blood and magic that shouldn’t be there so we just wish to verify it won’t cause any problems.”

“And how much will this cost?” Remus questioned. 

“The health and soul location tests will cost 10 galleons a piece. The blood test however will be covered by the bank as it pertains to a bloodline that was declared goblin friends.” Ironclaw told them.

“And what bloodline is it that has been found?” Remus questioned as the healer started working on Harry.

“I am not yet at liberty to discuss that yet.” Ironclaw said. “I actually haven’t even been fully informed myself.

All I have been told is that the bloodline was declared friend of the goblin nation. It is a highly sought after line and the majority of the family was exterminated in a series of attacks. The Goblin King himself helped to arrange the hiding of the last heir but the line was thought lost in another attack.

Lord Goldsword is arranging for a meeting with the king to be held so that we may inform you of what is going on.”

“Is Harry in any danger?” A little of Moony’s growl seeped into Remus’s tone as he thought about anyone harming his cub.

“At the moment, no. As I said, not even I have been informed of which bloodline he comes from. Only those at the highest level of the bank know of the bloodline. The goblin nation itself is sworn to protect the secret so it will not get out. Not a single witch or wizard knows what is happening. And the only ones who know of the test showing the bloodline exists is you and Severus Snape.

I will contact you once the meeting has been arranged. It will be a while yet as the King wishes to wait until the young one is healthy and has his father back.” Ironclaw told them

Just as they finished talking the healer cleared her throat. “The only issue I have found is he shows minor signs of malnutrition but he already seems to be being treated for that.”

“Yes. His former guardians didn’t feed him properly. Potions Master Severus Snape mixed up a large batch of nutrient potions to counteract any issues that might arise in his growth due to it.” Remus said.

“Good.” The healer said in a gruff voice. “I have the locations of each soul. We can remove the smaller one now, but I want him in better health before we do the big one.”

“And for that we have these.” Ironclaw stepped in and showed two crystals one large and one small.

“What are those?” Sirius asked the question Harry was wondering.

“These are what is known as soul crystals. They are very rare and very expensive, but I feel they might just serve our purpose. You see, they can contain a soul for a time. If we transfer the portion of the Dark Lords soul to this small one we would be able to destroy it, but as I said, it will be expensive. 

As for the large one, we can transfer James Potter’s soul into it, you could take it to the hospital and transfer the soul back into the body. According to the reports the spell residue from whatever spell was used that night has long since faded away so Lord Potter should be able to remain in his body.” Ironclaw told them.

“We’ll do it.” Sirius announced, but stopped when Harry held up his hand.

“And just how much do you consider expensive?”

Ironclaw could really get to like this wizard… if he wasn’t a wizard. “Since the smaller crystal will have to be destroyed, 15,000 galleons. But, that includes the use of the ritual room to conduct the transfer as well as all other incidentals. 

As the larger crystal is only being used temporarily you may rent it for 500 galleons, per hour. And that also covers the ritual to remove the soul, the spell to transfer the soul back to its original body, as well as the cleansing of the crystal after its return.”

“I can pay that.” Sirius assured.

Harry was quiet for a minute. “Daddy’s wondering where you got that kind of money?”

“Dear old Great Grandfather Arcturus finally kicked the bucket. As the last surviving Black of the main line I got it all. The family magics even accepted me, much to my surprise. I just haven’t announced it publicly or taken the seat since my banshee of a mum is still alive and I don’t want to have to deal with her knowing that I got the title and all the money.” Sirius smirked.

“I would recommend that the smaller one be done today.” The healer stated. “It’s placement has it too near the optic nerve and it risk damaging the boys eyesight permanently if it is left.

The larger soul that belongs to the father is layered in a protective manner so it is causing no harm so it can wait.”

“Have you figured out a timeline of when you wish to return Lord Potter?” Ironclaw asked.

“Yes, we decided to wait until Samhain. We all felt it would be poetic if he woke on the third anniversary.” Sirius smirked.

“It will also allow for enough time for Harry to recover from the malnutrition.” Remus added in.

 


 

After that they made quick work of removing the piece of Voldemort’s soul and destroying it. Harry was exhausted afterward so they took him home to let him rest and recover.

Anything else they had to do could wait, Harry was their priority, as he had always been.

Chapter Text

The next few weeks past quickly for the new/old family. With the potions Severus had left before he had had to return to teaching Harry had started to become a more healthy weight. It would still take time, but they were well on their way. In just the past months Harry had grown a full 2 cm now that his body was gaining the right nutrients. 

But as time went by James found himself beginning to worry. The thing that weighed on him most of all was that in only a few days they were going to try transferring him back to his own body. 

He was both excited and weary. He wanted to be in his own body again. He wanted to get his chance at revenge on Lily and Albus for what they had done to Harry, and he wanted to get to know Henry. But most of all he wanted to finally get to hug the son he had been raising to the best of his abilities all these years.

But he also knew anything could go wrong. There was no guarantee that their plan would work. And if it failed there was no guarantee that they would be able to go back and put his soul back in Harry's body. If things went wrong it could kill him. And then he would never get the chance to be there for his children.

James knew he couldn’t let that hold him back, he needed to do this, for his boys. He also couldn’t let his feelings and fears bleed over into Harry’s mind anymore then they already had.

 


 

But no amount of worrying could make time stop. On the evening of Samhain the family once again returned to Gringotts. The time had come to separate father and son.

Just after the ritual was finished Harry was once again laid out on one of the cots in the healing ward. He was unconscious this time without the need for any potions. Having an entire soul removed had been excruciating.

Sirius and Remus wanted to stay and wait for Harry to wake, but they couldn’t. They had a brightly glowing soul crystal that needed to be dealt with.

So with much worry, the two friends left their godson in the care of Ironclaw and set off to St. Mungo’s.

 


 

Cory met them at the back door that they usually used. Both men wore long cloaks and used the hoods to cover their heads. This would hide their identities from many nosy passersby.

Sneaking into the room was easy as they had been doing it for years after all. And James was laying there, just as he had the past three years.

Double checking the door to make sure they were alone, Remus placed the crystal on James's chest. Then they both triggered the release and watched as the colour faded from the crystal. James glowed briefly for a moment before he returned to normal.

“Hey Remi, are we sure that was James's soul and not Harry’s?” Sirius question thoughtfully as they waited.

“Shut up Sirius, now is not the time.” But now he couldn't get that thought out of his head.

It only took a few moments for them to determine that the plan had been successful. They both watched with excitement as James slowly blinked his eyes open and smiled at them.

“It's good to see you two again through my own eyes.” James croaked out, his voice hoarse from years of disuse.

“It really is you, right, James?” Serious asked.

“Who else would it be you idiot?” James looked up in confusion.

“The idiot was just wondering if the ritual had taken Harry’s soul and we were wondering if it left you in Harry's body.” Remus smiled at his friend, glad to see him back to his old self, literally.

“Well that’s a scary thought.” James looked at his friends and smiled. “Go back to Harry. I’ll be fine here on my own, just let Cory know I’m awake as you go.”

“Hope to see you soon Prongs.” Remus smiled as he and Sirius pulled up their hoods and left the room.

“Pst, Cory.” Sirius said when they got close.

“I thought you two would be in there longer.” Cory was confused. It hadn’t even been ten minutes, usually they tried to stay for an hour.

“Slight surprise.” Sirius gave her a blinding smile. “He’s awake and talking.”

Cory’s mouth dropped open. “Are you serious?”

“Both always and as little as possible.” Sirius smirked.

“Get out of here, Lily can’t know you were here.” Cory pushed the two away. “I’ll go see James.”

 


 

Remus and Sirius practically skipped into the bank. It had only been half an hour since they had left and they couldn’t be happier. James was back in his body.

Their smiles disappeared immediately when they got back into the ward to see their godson laying in the fetal position sobbing.

“Hey cub, what’s wrong.” Remus questioned as they both ran over to cuddle him.

“I… I… I miss daddy. He’s gone.” Harry sobbed even harder.

“Oh come here pup.” Sirius cuddled the boy in his arms like he was still a baby. “We can’t even begin to imagine how hard this is for you. But it’s going to be ok. Your dad’s already awake. He will get out of the hospital soon and then you will be able to see him. He will even be able to hug you.”

Harry nodded, he knew the plan, but he was still just a kid that was without his dad for the first time in three years.

Chapter Text

James sat calmly in his hospital bed as the healers ran test after test. They kept going on about how it made no sense, they just couldn’t figure out how he had recovered. And he wasn’t going to tell them.

They had already sent someone off to go and find Lily. She hadn’t been home, so they had decided to try the ministry ball.

That was something that concerned him. Henry was only 4, and it was already past 10 pm. Where was he, surely Lily knew better than to let a child stay up that late, he needed his rest more than he needed to attend some boring party.

The good news was that the healers had said that it looked like he would be able to go home within the week. They had said they wanted to monitor him for a few days just to be careful, but other than just waking up from a 3 year coma he was in perfect health.

 


 

Lily was enjoying herself. This evening was the third anniversary of the attack that had made her son famous. 

Her little boy was a hero and everyone knew it. She and Albus had made sure to keep Henry in the paper as much as possible. She had always arranged for it to leak to the press every month when they went to visit James. Between that and the events they were invited to she and Henry had their pictures in the paper at least twice a month.

At that moment she was enjoying being the centre of attention, other than Henry himself of course, he always got more attention, as was his right. There were so many people that were doing everything they could to get her attention. Tonight, she was enjoying the attentions of Patrick Boot in particular.

Patrick was a half-blood from a wealthy family. He had been in Gryffindor a few years ahead of her. Currently he was the assistant to the undersecretary to the head of the Department of Magical Catastrophes.

Lily had decided that it was about time that she got back into dating. James had been in the coma for 3 years now and she was a beautiful young woman, she had her needs. Lily missed going out on dates and having fun. She needed more from life, and it was time she get it.

Glancing over, she checked to make sure Henry was fine. Henry didn’t like it when she paid attention to anyone else. But he was good and distracted, being watched over by Molly. Lily had convinced Molly to attend and bring some of her children, only the youngest two and Percy had been able to attend.

Both Bill and Charlie, who were 13 and 11 respectively, had been at school and couldn’t leave. And Arthur had stayed home to watch the twins Fred and George who were 6. Neither Molly or Lily wanted the twins out in public, they just caused chaos wherever they went.

Percy was an extremely well behaved 8 year old and had been happy to visit the ministry. Molly was pleased that the boy had sense  unlike the twins and Charlie. 

And then there was 4 year old Ron and 3 year old Ginny. Ron was Henry's best friend and the two boys always had fun together, something Lily was happy about. And little Ginny. There were times Lily wished that she had a daughter to dress up, but she didn’t want to have anymore kids so she instead helped Molly shop for things for Ginny. The girl was only three but both Molly and Lily were already discussing how perfect Ginny and Henry would be together.

Since it was a party, Lily decided to enjoy herself and do a little dancing.

 


 

Lily and Patrick were sitting cuddled in a corner sipping on some lovely wine laughing together when there was suddenly a commotion in the middle of the hall. Getting up, Lily went to see what it was about when someone started calling her name.

Moving forward she saw it was a healer from St. Mungo’s. She grabbed Henry as she moved, worried that they were about to announce her poor James had died.

“Lady Potter, we have been trying to reach you.” The healer announce when they saw her.

“Why? What has happened? Has James…” Lily added a quiver in her voice for extra effect.

“I am pleased to inform you that your husband has woken up. It’s a miracle.” The healer smiled.

Lily froze in shock. “James… James is awake?”

“Yes, if you and your son want to follow me he has been asking to see his family.” The healer told her as she started to guide Lily and Henry towards the floo.

Albus quickly followed. He needed to keep control of the situation.

 


 

James was sitting comfortably in his bed eating the food that had been delivered. He hadn’t realized just how much he missed actually eating for himself rather than just getting the echo of taste that he had been getting when he was with Harry.

It wasn’t until he heard his door open that he looked away from his food. It was surprising to see the changes in Lily. She was still beautiful, but that beauty had changed. When they had been younger Lily had seemed to be effortlessly beautiful, favouring more modest clothing and understated makeup. It had shown just how naturally beautiful she was. 

But right now her face was covered in makeup, her hair was perfectly styled, and her dress left practically nothing to the imagination. There was no denying she was stunning, but it wasn’t how James remembered her.

“JAMES!” Lily ran forward and threw herself at James. “It’s so good to see you awake. Have they told you what happened? Everything has just been so crazy these last few years without you.”

“Yes, they explained things to me Lily. Albus.” James nodded to the man he now hated before he looked to the little boy. “Hello Henry. I’m your dad.”

Henry stared at him for a moment before stepping into the room. Slowly walking forward and climbing up onto the bed when he was invited. 

“You must be exhausted, it’s so late.” James had tears in his eyes as he saw and held his elder son for the first time since he was a baby. He had always known that Lily would look after Henry, but he had still feared the worst. But Henry was still just a little boy.

James looked away and glanced around the room, acting like he had just noticed something was missing. “Where’s Harry?”

“Let’s just focus on you getting better right now.” Lily forced a smile, unhappy James was already thinking about the other one.

“Lily, where is our son?” James’s voice was deadly serious.

‘I’m right here.” Henry announced.

“I know you are sweet heart, but I was wondering where your little brother is.” James explained to the little boy.

“I don’t have a little brother.” Henry looked confused at this information.

James slowly looked up to Lily. “What does Henry mean he doesn’t have a little brother? Lily, what have you done?”

Lily was startled by the tone of voice James was using to address her. Lily wanted to lie. She wanted to say the runt was dead, but knew she couldn’t get away with it. 

James was going to have to go to the bank to reopen the vaults and estates so Lily could have full access once again. And as soon as he did that blasted goblin would surely mention the runts continued existence. It would do it just to spite her.

And if James learned that Black and Lupin were still looking for the runt from that creature he would be angry. No, it was better she deal with it so she could spin it properly since she knew the other two would do anything to portray her in the worst possible way.

Lily looked to the headmaster for assistance. James had never been willing to listen to her about the runt but she was sure he would be able to get James to see sense.

“Now my boy, things were just so chaotic with the end of the war. It is just too much to cover right now. You’re still healing and we don’t want to overwhelm you with everything right now. 

Why don’t you focus on getting better and we can all sit down and discuss it once you are home?” Albus twinkled merrily.

“No. We will not.” James glared at the two before turning and kindly looking at Henry. “Harry is your younger twin brother.”

“James stop this now, the headmaster has said we should wait until you are better and we’re at home.” Lily glared.

“I am not a school student anymore. I don’t have to do what the headmaster says.” James glared right back. “Now I will ask you again, where is Harry? And even more, why doesn’t Henry even know about his brother? What stupid thing have you two done now?”

Albus was highly offended at that. “Now my boy, Lily has only done what needed to be done.”

“And just what is it you two thought needed to be done?” James questioned.

“Fine, if you insist.” Albus said in a disappointed voice. “After the attack Henry suddenly became famous. Lily just didn’t have enough time to care for both boys.

You see, Henry needs to be trained for his new station in life. He is the Boy-Who-Lived and needed to be ready to accept that responsibility as he grew up as there is a chance that Voldemort has survived. Henry needed a great deal of attention so he could be the hero our world needed.

And it just wasn’t fair to Harry. We worried that he would become jealous and resentful of all the attention that Henry got for being the Boy-Who-Lived so it was decided to send Harry away somewhere safe where he could grow up away from all this.”

“Of all the stupid things you have ever said, that has to be up there with the stupidest.” James snarled. “Are you telling me that the two of you threw away one of the twins because he wasn’t famous enough for you to actually care about?”

“Of course not my boy.” Albus tried not to bristle at the reaction. “It wouldn’t have been fair to Harry to grow up constantly pushed aside.”

“So rather than even making the slightest effort to be a parent, you threw him away?” James demanded as he looked to Lily.

“I didn’t throw him away.” Lily had, and she knew it, but he could have phrased that nicer. “Like the headmaster said, it was just better for him to grow up away from the fame.”

“And just why is that?” James questioned. “Why couldn’t he be around your so called fame?”

“Like I said, it would just cause resentment. Really my boy, I’m sure you will see that it was for the best once your thinking clearly.” Albus assured him.

For the best. Yeah, just like the two of you suggesting using Pettigrew would be for the best. Remind me again, how did that turn out?” James sneered. “Why don’t you contact Sirius and Remus and tell them to bring Harry?”

Albus and Lily shared a look, just like James had known they would.

“Harry is with Sirius and Remus, right?” James knew better, but he really wanted to see what they would say. “They are after all, his godfathers. If Lily was simply too incompetent to actually be a mother to her children then I am sure Sirius and Remus would have stepped up and demanded they get him.”

“I am not incompetent.” Lily snapped.

“Lower your voice Lily. In case you haven’t noticed the child you have kept up far to late has fallen asleep.” James motioned to where Henry had fallen asleep laying next to him.

“I didn’t keep him up to late.” Lily argued.

“Oh, so he was at home in bed when the healers contacted you? Because I was informed that you were at a party. It is almost 11 o’clock at night, he is 4 years old. That is too late.” James informed her. “But, like I have repeatedly asked, where is Harry? Is he with Sirius and Remus, as he should be?”

“After a long discussion Sirius and Remus agreed with…” Albus started.

James chuckled humourlessly. “Don’t even try that Albus. Remus and Sirius would never have willingly agreed to send their godson away. For Merlin’s sake, Remus is magically bound to Harry, so he would die before willingly allowing Harry to be taken away.

I think it is time you leave Albus. This is a family matter. And you are not family. I would thank you to keep your nose out of my family affairs in the future.”

Albus was furious at the dismissal.

“Don’t you talk to the headmaster like that.” Lily all but shrieked.

“As I said, he is no longer my headmaster. And I will talk to him any way I please when he tries lying to me. Now, hush, you’re disturbing Henry.” James started rubbing Henry’s back, soothing him after Lilys shout had disturbed him.

“Do not worry about it Lily my dear. I’m sure James is just having a bit of trouble acclimatizing to all these changes. I will speak with you both in a few days.” Albus reassured Lily before leaving in a huff, although he returned his face to a pleased smile before he passed the press that was in the waiting room.

“You should be ashamed of yourself James.” Lily looked away from the door to glare at her husband. “The headmaster is a great man and has been a great help to Henry and I over the years. He has only done what needed to be done.”

“I don’t care about the bloody man right now Lily, where is Harry?” James said again.

“And I have told you, we sent him away somewhere where a child like him could be cared for in the way he deserves.” Lily said. She knew very well just how her sister would treat the boy, and it was far better than he deserved. 

“I think you too might want to leave Lily. It wouldn’t be healthy for either of us if you were to stay here right now, but trust me, we will be discussing what you have done with my son when I am released.” James leaned down and kissed Henry on the head before Lily could grab him.

Like Albus before her, Lily was furious but still managed to maintain her press smile. She just said they were happy about James’s miracle recovery and she needed to get Henry home since he was so overwhelmed about his dads recovery he had fallen asleep.

Chapter Text

Only a few days later James was released from the hospital and went to the penthouse where Lily and Henry had been living. Things between Lily and James were extremely tense, but they both managed to play it off in front of the press. James didn’t want the press to turn against him yet so he knew he needed to act like everything was fine and only confront Lily in private. 

Lily had been bringing Henry to visit him every day since he had woken, but she had absolutely refused to listen to him or speak of Harry. James had taken great joy in telling Henry about Harry.

When they had been little Lily had tried to keep them apart, but James had still let the two play together. The two had actually gotten along fairly well. Henry had always been a bit more outgoing so he had taken the lead in showing Harry how to do things.

The only issue James had been having with Henry was the attitude he displayed on occasion. There were just times he behaved like a brat. When Lily and Henry had arrived early once while James was eating his lunch Henry had demanded he get James’s pudding. When James had explained that that was his and Henry had already eaten the boy had shouted at him and then stolen it saying that it was his. When James had tried to scold the boy Lily had yelled at him for being mean. It was clear to James Lily was spoiling Henry the same way Petunia had Dudley.

Henry seemed to like hearing about his brother however. There were still moments where Henry would get jealous thinking that James cared for Harry more, which usually happened in the beginning since Lily had been encouraging that idea each night, but James was quickly able to soothe that idea away.

While James knew that Harry had a special place in his heart, he still loved both his boys. 

 


 

James had only been home for a little while before he felt the need to go and visit his friends. He desperately wanted to see Harry.

Lily didn’t want him to go but he just ignored her. He figured he was going to have to do that a fair amount over the next few months.

When she brought up the fact Remus was a dark creature and Sirius came from a dark family he had snapped at her about being so prejudice. He compared her to a Death Eater much to her horror.

After checking in with Henry who was playing in his room, James left. 

 


 

James was excited as he stepped through the floo and into the Black Estate. He was finally going to get to see Harry with his own eyes. He had seen his reflection in mirrors, but it just wasn’t the same.

Calling one of the elves he was told that Harry, Remus and Sirius were out on the veranda eating lunch. They hadn’t been sure when he would get out of the hospital or be able to leave Lily so they hadn’t made any plans.

Going out, James froze. His little boy was perfect. Tears quickly formed in his eyes.

 


 

Harry felt odd. His mind felt… light. He really couldn’t remember life where he had been alone in his own head. So this was something that was completely new to him.

And he wasn’t sure he liked it.

While he was happy that his dad was going to be able to get better and return to his own body, he still missed him. Harry hadn’t been alone for a single moment since that night. His dad had even shared his dreams with him. 

But now he was.

Remus and Sirius were always around, but they couldn’t read his mind like his dad could. Harry had never gotten used to having to tell anyone anything. For him, the only one who had ever cared what he thought was his dad, and he had known what he was thinking as soon as he thought it.

It had been almost a week now, and he felt so alone.

Then he heard a sound behind him and saw the smiles on his uncles faces as they looked towards the door. Turning he saw a man that he recognized.

Harry had been able to view some of his fathers memories so he knew the basics of what he had looked like when he had been younger. And that was what this man looked like. 

He was tall, in comparison to a 4 year old. He had Harry’s messy dark hair and the aristocratic features that were already starting to show on the childs face. 

But unlike Harry his almond shaped eyes were a soft honey brown rather than Harry’s bright emerald. His lips were thin and his skin was a few shades darker.

Despite all the little differences, it was clear where Harry got a majority of his looks. It was his dad.

Like his dad, Harry started to tear up. Getting up, Harry ran full speed at him.

Jumping up just as he reached him Harry wrapped his arms around his dads neck as he was picked up and held tight.

 


 

James just stood, holding his son as tightly as he could without hurting him. He had his little boy in his arms again, and he wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to let go.

It was like coming home.

Since the day the boys had been born James had always tried to not play favourites. But the consequences of Lily’s refusal to care for Harry was that James naturally became closer to him. And then with them sharing a body for three years it was only natural that he would feel a stronger connection with him than Henry who he hadn’t seen since that night.

James felt his shirt get damp as Harry began to cry. This just made James hold him closer.

 


 

It took almost half an hour for Harry and James to separate even slightly, although they didn’t let go of each other. Instead James just placed Harry on his lap so the boy could keep eating his lunch.

“So how did things go?” Sirius questioned once James and Harry were settled.

“About as good as you would expect.” James smirked. “I may have lost my temper with them slightly.”

“Figured you would.” Remus smiled. “I haven’t seen  either of them in person for over a year, and I think that might be for the best. Moony has a tendency to feel very violent whenever I even think about them.”

“I have nothing to blame my violent tendencies on, just the Black blood in my veins that demands some form of retribution.” Sirius grinned, he had accepted long ago that he had more than his fair share of the Black Madness.

“How is Henry?” Harry questioned. 

Harry had always wondered about his brother. He knew that what Lily and Dumbledore had done wasn’t Henry’s fault, he had been just a baby too. He wanted to see his brother again, but he was also worried to, what if Henry was like Lily, she had been the one raising him after all.

“He’s a little boy.” James knew he had to try to explain things to his son in a way he would understand. “You need to remember, Henry wasn’t put in the same situation as you. His mind wasn’t forced to expand. So, he is only four years old in both mind and body.”

“What are you hiding?” Harry had glanced at his dads face and recognized he was hiding something, even if he had never actually seen the reaction on his face.

James sighed and ruffled Harry’s hair, he should have known better. “Henry reminds me a fair amount of… Dudley. He seems to be just as spoiled, although he is a fair bit lighter.”

Harry crinkled his face. He knew Dudley’s behaviour was very much the fault of his parents, but he still hadn’t been particularly fond of the boy.

“Don’t worry. I already have plans to start teaching him proper behaviour. He’s still just a little boy and probably just hasn’t been exposed to things like rules yet.” James wasn’t going to let Henry behave like Dudley, there was just no way he wanted a son of his to be like the little bully.

 


 

The rest of the afternoon was spent with James and Harry trying to get used to this new situation they found themselves in.

They had discussed things before James returned to his body and had formed a plan. James was going to work on getting closer to Henry while still visiting Harry with Remus and Sirius. This was mainly because James wanted to be sure to try and protect his elder son as much as possible.

It would also allow him to establish his presence in the public’s eyes. They knew as soon as he did anything against Lily or Albus they would work to turn the public against him. He didn’t really care all that much, but anything was better than nothing.

To that end, James was going to have to stay with Lily for a few months at least. And that meant he wouldn’t be able to be there for Harry all the time. James was just glad that Harry was as mature as he was since he could understand what was going on better, but he also knew that Harry was still going to have a hard time with it because although he was as mature as he was, he still had the emotions of a child.

In the end all James could do was hope that time went by quickly.

Chapter Text

The next month was complicated. James tried to divide his time equally between his two boys but it was hard. Especially since Lily couldn’t know that he was seeing Harry.

As far as Lily knew Harry was still hidden away at the Dursley’s. It was something that made her feel safe because she thought if James got to out of control she could use that information to force him to do what she wanted.

Things had gone back to how it was when they had been locked in the cottage in Godric’s Hollow. James and Lily just could not get along. It was startling for James to realize that the woman he had once loved was now a complete stranger to him, and he may have never known her to begin with.

James had enjoyed getting to take Henry to see a quidditch match. It was something he had dreamed about since he learned he was going to be a father. He just wished that he had been able to bring both of his boys.

 


 

Lily didn’t like how things were going. She had figured that she would be able to get James back under control. But nothing she did was working.

For so long she had had James wrapped around her little finger, but not anymore. And it all started the moment the runt was born. That was when James started turning against her.

Like she did often Lily wished the other child hadn’t been born.

James no longer listened to a thing she said and seemed to go out of his way to do the opposite of what she wanted. And every single day he brought up the runt. 

If Lily had to listen to him go on about how she needed to tell him what she had done with that one she was going to start pulling her hair out.

And she didn’t know how to make him do what she wanted. In the recent years Lily had been using the press to force people into compliance. But the press adored James.

Every time he went anywhere with her Henry they ended up in the paper. And the stories were even more glowing then hers had ever been.

Even when James refused to get Henry extra dessert people fawned over him. Rather than acknowledging that he had made her poor baby cry they had gone on about how he had been trying to teach him about good eating habits.

To the people James was presented as a perfect father. Lily hated that. Especially since he wasn’t doing what she wanted.

She was Lady Potter, he should do what she told him to, she knew better after all.

 


 

Albus was having just as many problems with James as Lily was. James just wouldn’t listen to him either.

The man was always going on about the useless child. Albus knew that Harry was still a potential child of prophecy, and he had plans to use him once he entered Hogwarts, but the boy didn’t matter to them right now. It was going to be a while before he would be useful.

It was like the man no longer understood that everything Albus had done was for the greater good. Albus was thinking he might need to start using potions or spells. 

He hadn’t been able to yet because James was reopening the Potter vaults and was meeting with those goblins every week. And he couldn’t be sure the goblins wouldn’t detect any changes he made to the mans mind. It would be just like the goblins to demand an examination for outside influence every time. He had heard of them doing so before, Severus had mentioned it to him whenever he accessed the Prince Vault.

What Albus didn’t know was that Severus had made it up just to keep Albus from trying to force him to allow him access to his vaults. Albus still wasn’t aware Severus had taken the title and had just assigned one of his distant cousins as his proxy. He had known that Albus would try even harder to control him if he had known.

Albus needed to figure out how to regain control. He was just glad that Lily had so much control over Henry, the last thing he needed was for James to turn the boy against them and make him just as difficult as he had become.

 


 

After much thought, and a few irate floo calls from Lily, Albus had decided the time had come to intervene a few weeks after James woke. He needed to get the man to listen to them. 

To do that he went to Remus and Sirius’s place. He knew the two had moved into Remus’s little shack a few years ago, so that was where he went. As far as he knew that was where they still were.

He hadn’t bothered to pay much attention to them over the past few years, they just weren’t important to his plans anymore. They might be useful in the future but he had no doubts that he would be able to get them back in his control once that time came.

But for now, it was James he needed. He needed to get James to see sense.

 


 

Arriving at the shack Albus looked around. It looked abandoned almost. And that didn’t make sense. A werewolf like Remus Lupin couldn’t get a job so he shouldn’t be able to afford anything else. The only reason he even had this place was because James and Sirius had secretly paid the realtor to offer it to him at a lower price.

But his thoughts were proven correct when he stepped up on the porch and saw through the window that the house was dark and the furniture was all covered in dust cloths.

A crack came from behind him and Albus spun around.

“Is there something I can do for you Albus?” Remus questioned. The wards he had set up around the property had alerted him to the fact that someone was at his place.

“Ah, Remus my boy.” Albus glanced over the wolf and didn’t quite like what he saw. The once shabby man now wore properly fitting new clothes. “I was just stopping by to check in. There have been some things occurring that have raised my concern and I thought I should discuss it with you and Sirius.”

“And just what might those things be headmaster?” Remus questioned blandly.

Albus was annoyed with how the werewolf was treating him. He had allowed this creature to get a proper education, he had allowed it around good light children. And now this creature was showing him nothing but disrespect.

“I thought we should speak about the situation with James.” Albus smiled in his typical grandfatherly way.

“I don’t see what about James you would need to talk to me, or Sirius, about. James is a grown man, not some errant child. If you need to discuss something about him, then wouldn’t you need to speak to him about it?” Remus stated as he slowly moved around the old man, like a predator stalking it’s prey.

“Before we get to that, I was wondering just where it is you are living now?” Albus wanted to know so he could always find him and Black when he needed to.

“Not that it is really any of your business but Sirius and I moved out a while ago.” Remus wanted to rub it in that Albus had lost access to more power and money when he had gone against Sirius. “As I’m sure you know Lord Arcturus Black passed recently. 

As the last male in the main line of the Black family Sirius decided to try for the Black Lordship. He was accepted. Sirius gained access to all the money and estates so we decided to move to one of the manors.”

Albus was furious. Black was now a Lord and had never come to him to get his advice. Black should have come directly to him to get his orders. Albus knew what was best for their world  and Black of all people should know that. Since he hadn’t been able to use the Potter title to force through his bills in the Wizengamot, having the Black title would have been almost as good.

“Sirius is Lord Black?” Albus asked in a soft voice, only getting a nod from Remus in response. He would have to address that, but he had other things to focus on now. “I will have to speak with him later, but right now I feel we need to address the issues James has been having.”

“And just what issues are those?” Remus growled slightly.

“James seems to be having a hard time adjusting to what has happened.” Albus started, realizing that the wolf wasn’t going to invite him to where he and Sirius were living. He would just have to find out from James once he got the man back to acting like a proper light wizard. “He has been pulling away from Lily and it is causing her and Henry great distress. 

I know that he has been going to visit you and Sirius for an hour or so every day and I think it is an action you should discourage. He needs to spend time with his wife and son. He isn’t a young boy anymore, he needs to be a husband and father.”

Remus sneered. “The reason James comes to see us so often is so that he doesn’t say something he might regret. He finds the fact that she chose to abandon Harry abhorrent. He finds her actions despicable and disgraceful. And it isn’t anything new. James never approved of her actions in regards to their younger son.

You say he needs to act like a father, well he is. He spends as much time with Henry as he can without Lily’s interference. But he also isn’t going to pretend that his younger son doesn’t exist like you and Lily want. He is a father of two children, not just one.

Maybe if you want him to be more accepting of yourself and Lily you could tell him just where his son is? He might be a little less hostile. I mean, he will probably still be furious that you abandoned his son in the first place, but it might be a little less intense.”

“As I have already explained to you and him, it is best for Harry to stay out of the public eye.” Albus hated the constant whining about where the boy was he had to listen to every time he saw the three men. “It wouldn’t be fair to him to always be pushed aside in favour of Henry. He would just become resentful.

Lily and I made sure he is in an appropriate environment for him to grow up properly.”

“And that is why James is so angry.” Remus snarled. “You have no right to deny him his son. Lily has no right to keep refusing to tell him where Harry is. Harry is James’s son. James has every right to know where he is.

Just because Lily is incapable of caring for more than one child at a time doesn’t mean James is as well. He was always able to care for both boys, and that hasn’t changed.”

“It really is for the best my boy for…” Albus started again, trying once again to make the other man see sense.

“Please just stop Albus. Allow me to make this perfectly clear. Until you and Lily finally accept that abandoning Harry was the wrong thing to do and tell James, Sirius, or I what you did with him, there really is nothing else to say.

You might think you can convince James to just accept the abandonment of one of his boys, but it will never happen. You are supposed to be a brilliant man, where you got such a hairbrained notion that child abandonment was acceptable is beyond me.

So, until you are willing to tell us where he is I think you might just want to go back to ignoring Sirius and I, as you have done ever since Lily decided to attack us in the press because she couldn’t accept she was the one that did something wrong.

As for James, he is his own man. And we will not be turning on our friend because Lily is whining to you that she is finally being held accountable for her actions by someone. If she wants James to trust her and care for her the way he once did, then she should tell him where is son is, although I have my doubts he will ever fully forgive or trust her.

Good-day Albus. And may you get everything you deserve for your treatment of my godson.”

With that Remus apparated out right in front of the man.

 


 

Albus glared at the spot Remus Lupin had previously been. He hated having so many people questioning his actions. He had only done what had needed to be done. The boy would just be too much of a distraction.

Maybe he had no choice, potions or spells might just be the only way to get James Potter to see sense. There was always a chance it may be discovered, but he wasn’t seeing any other option at the moment. He needed to get James to behave.

Lily was driving him crazy with her constant whining about James. The woman wanted full access to the Potter vaults and estates back but James was refusing to give it to her. Then there was the time he was spending with Henry and she wasn’t allowed to go. She didn’t want to leave James alone with him since she was worried he would turn him against them, and that was something Albus worried about too.

Albus was going to need to sit and think about this. He needed to get things back to his plan, there hadn’t been much of a deviation yet, but it would only be a matter of time if James kept going like he was. The wizarding world could never know what he and Lily had had to do.

Chapter Text

The first week in December the day arrived for the meeting with Goblin Lord Goldsword. Sirius and Remus had flooed through one of the private floos that were reserved for only the highest level clientele that required privacy. It had surprised them that they had been allowed, even the Black family with all its wealth normally had to use the public floos. But it allowed them to keep the fact that they had Harry with them a secret.

James had made up an excuse for Lily and Albus, who was now stopping by every day, so that he could get away. As far as they knew it was just an investment meeting.

 


 

When they arrived in the meeting room they were all surprised at what they found. It was not a normal office that they were brought to. 

Both the Potter and Black families were old and wealthy families, each having had their own account managers for generations, but they had never been on this scale. The offices their account managers had were nice, but this was opulent.

The room was large with high vaulted ceilings. In the usual account managers office the stone was simple dark stone that had been polished, but this was immaculate marble with veins of what was most likely real gold breaking through it. It was light and airy, something that had to have been hard to do since this room was deeper in the bank than any of the others had ever been before and had to be at least 5 stories underground. 

The furniture was of the highest quality dragon leather. The main focal point of the office was a large wood table that was a highly polished mahogany, also with gold inlays that formed intricate designs.

And sitting at that table were three goblins and three other humans. Two of the goblins were Ironclaw and Lord Goldsword, but they couldn’t identify the third. All that they did know about the third goblin was that he was connected to the goblin royal family based on the royal seal that adorned his chest. The humans however were all complete strangers.

“Please take a seat.” Ironclaw invited. He had been selected to speak as he knew the four the best. “Allow me to introduce you to Prince Diamonddagger, second son of King Ragnock. And, as you know this is Lord Goldsword. Young Harrison, we will need to conduct your lineage test one last time now that we have the appropriate witnesses.”

Harry just silently agreed and once again went through the process. Like every time before the parchment flashed gold.

Ironclaw smiled slightly before he calmly turned and looked to the goblins and other humans in the room. “Is the bloodline verified?”

The royal goblin grunted what appeared to be agreement.

“The verification is complete.” The elder of the three humans agreed before turning to Harry and his family. “It is an honour to meet you all. My name is Lord Ethan Summerset. To my left is Lord Mathew Lane, and to my right is Lady Elsie Rains.”

After James had introduced himself and the others he looked to them, confusion clearly written on his face. “Can someone please explain to us what is going on. I have never heard of any of you and I’m trying to figure out why you are so interested in my son.”

“You most likely wouldn’t have heard of us because our titles come through the muggle world.” Lord Summerset said. “And as for your son, that is a complicated story. I feel I should start at the beginning.”

“Oh fun, a history lesson.” The youngest of the three, Lord Mathew Lane, said.

“What is it that you know about the origin of the Sacred 28?” Summerset questioned.

“The Sacred 28 are 28 bloodlines that were granted special gifts by lady magic for their service in the court of Camelot.” James said, remembering the lessons he had been taught as a child. “They were the original knights of the round table.”

“Correct. But over the centuries there has been a bit of a misunderstanding. The knights served a Pendragon ruler, but it was not King Arthur. They served Queen Morgana.” Lord Summerset said.

“Wait a minute, Morgana was a Le Fay, not a Pendragon. And wasn’t she an enemy of King Arthur, Merlin, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table?” Sirius questioned.

“No.” Lord Summerset smiled. “I can only assume that you were educated by Cuthbert Binns at Hogwarts. He has been teaching only about goblin wars for the past century he has been there and the result is that most are ignorant of the truth of our own past.

The true history has been mostly lost to rumours and lies created by those who sought to serve their own desires by misleading everyone. Morgana had many enemies in her time, and ours, so many have sought to destroy her reputation and legacy with their lies.”

“I remember reading that Morgana and Arthur made peace in their later years.” Remus said thoughtfully. “The book it came from was ignored mostly and labeled false by the ministry.”

“And I’m sure you know just how much truth is in the words of the ministry.” Lady Rains smirked. 

Remus just nodded his agreement with her statement. He had heard all the things they said about those like him so he knew just how honest the ministry was.

“Although most now believe that Morgana and Merlin, and by extension Arthur, were mortal enemies their whole lives they weren't. They did make peace, but it wasn’t when they were nearing the end of their lives, instead it was when they were in their 20’s.

Despite their issues, Arthur and Morgana were raised together. When she was forced to choose between Arthur and Mordred in their final confrontation, she chose Arthur. In repayment for that Arthur formally recognized her as the daughter of Uther Pendragon. Thereby allowing her to be called Morgana Pendragon.

As Arthur tried to unite his kingdom he had a problem though. After the actions of his father, those with magic were more than a little mistrustful of him. To solve that problem he made a compromise. Arthur would rule over the non-magical people, but Morgana would rule the magical world. 

The Sacred 28 were 28 knights who, at Arthur’s request, transferred their loyalty to Morgana to make up her own round table. They helped her keep the peace in the magical world.

Of course, there were those that were weary of Morgana as well, so Arthur asked Merlin to call on Lady Magic. They asked her to judge the validity of Morgana being queen. And, obviously, she was accepted. Queen Morgana, as well as her knights, were all granted gifts from Lady Magic that have passed down the family lines.” Lord Summerset carried on.

“That’s all well and good, but I still don’t understand?” Remus was interested in the true history, but was still confused what the point of this history lesson was. “We already knew that Harry was descended from the Sacred 28. Most may have forgotten that the Potter name was originally Peverell, but many still remember.

Other than that I don’t see the connection. He can’t possibly be connected to the Magical Royal Family, they no longer exist.”

“Why not?” James questioned. 

“Because the Magical Royal Family was killed on the orders of the Dark Lord Barnabas Deverill in 1698.” Remus explained.

“Not exactly.” Lord Summerset smiled. “First of all, Deverill never actually claimed to be a Dark Lord. He called himself an emperor due to his, admitted extremely distant, connection to the royal family that ruled modern day Russia some 100 years before his own birth.

The first reference to him being a Dark Lord didn’t appear until less than 100 years ago. Those who know the true history theorize that it was a way to paint the world in black and white. Anyone who does evil things must be dark, and any who do good must be light.”

“You seem to know a lot about this.” Sirius said suspiciously.

“I am a historian with a focus on the royal family.” Lord Summerset smiled. “It is my job to know these things.

As for the deaths of the royal family, yes, most were killed, but not all. There was a young woman, Antonia Petters, she worked as a nanny in the palace. In particular, she was the nanny assigned to the youngest child, Princess Evelyn. The night of the attack Antonia managed to escape the massacre with 11 month old Princess Evelyn in her arms. 

The magical world was in chaos with the murder of the King and Queen, but luckily, Antonia was a muggle-born and chose to take the Princess to the muggle world where they would be safe.”

Lord Summerset then looked to the goblins in the room and Prince Diamonddagger was the one to speak next. “That is where the goblin nation became involved.

The primary royal families that currently reside in Great Britain are the goblin, wizarding, and muggle. Our dynasties have had a pact of mutual support for over 500 years. If any member of the royal families seek out help from the others, so long as it doesn’t violate any laws, we are required to assist.

Witch Petters got into contact with the goblin nation and explained what had happened a few months after the massacre once she had deemed it safe enough to risk entering the magical world for the short time it took to reach us. Once the identity of the child had been verified, much as yours has been, we assisted putting her into contact with the muggle royal family.”

“Princess Evelyn was declared a Royal Ward. While the king of the time, William of Orange, couldn’t publicly admit to her existence, he arranged for her to receive everything that befit one of her station.

She was placed into the custody of the Lord Lane of that period, Mathew is his descendant.” Lord Summerset smiled.

“Why wasn’t the public ever made aware of this. Deverill has been dead for a very long time, he wasn’t a threat anymore?” James questioned, still trying to get over the fact his son was related to the Magical Royal Family, and that meant so were Henry and Lily.

“Deverill ruled magical Britain for 39 years. When the Princess was of age the situation was explained to her. She knew that if she was ever discovered she would be killed, and so would anyone who had protected her. To stop that, she went to the goblins for assistance.” Lord Lane said.

“She requested a ritual that would bind her magic.” Prince Diamonddagger informed them, all of the humans flinched at the idea of having their magic bound. “We informed her that to regain her magic she would need to come to us to get the rituals counter, but she never did. And neither did her descendants.”

“Descendants? Why would their magic be bound too?” Remus asked.

“The ritual that she requested was the strongest one. It didn’t just bind her magic, but the magic of her entire family. All of her children and grandchildren were born squibs.” Goldsword said.

“She was warned.” Prince Diamonddagger reiterated. “The ritual can last anywhere from 100-500 years. Clearly, it has worn off.”

“By the time Deverill was finally defeated Princess Evelyn was a mother and happy with the life she had built for herself.” Lord Lane said. “According to the information my family kept she felt she didn’t have the right to rule over a world she hadn’t been a part of since she was a baby. And both of her children felt the same.

After Deverill was defeated the magical world once again fell to chaos but by the time another heir was old enough to take the crown it had started to correct itself.

Prince Thomas felt it was better to allow the people their chance. He felt that him stepping forward would just destroy what little stability that had been achieved. He placed the needs of the people above personal power.”

“So, if you know all that, how come you are just coming forward now? Shouldn’t you have stepped in when Lily first entered the magical world?” Remus questioned, although he shivered at the idea.

“While my family did protect the heirs for a time, the bloodline was once again lost.” Lord Lane said sadly. “Although it was far more common during World War 2 with the Blitz, there were many air raids during World War 1.

In February 1915 it was decided to get my family, and the remaining Magical Royal Family out of London after the docks and Charing Cross were bombed. Unfortunately there was another attack and the train carrying them away was destroyed. The only reason my grandfather survived was because he was already fighting in the trenches so wasn’t on the train.”

Lord Summerset pulled out a file. “It was believed that the rest of the royal family perished. It would seem they were wrong.

At the time a full investigation was conducted, but it was war, and it would seem some things were missed. They were able to locate most of the bodies but there was extensive damage. The only one that was never located was Prince Theodore, he was 5. It was just assumed his body had been consumed in the fire.

Once we were contacted by the goblins about the test we started researching and we think we know what happened. A few days after the attack a young boy who appeared to be suffering from amnesia was found wandering in the nearby town, Surry. There had been another attack the night before so it was just assumed the boy had been injured in that attack rather than the one on the train.

They tried to locate his family, but since he didn’t even know his name, there wasn’t much they could do. He ended up being adopted by a local mail man and his wife and given a new name, Edward Evans. He was the grandfather of Lily Potter née Evans.”

“So, all of this is leading up to the fact that Harry is a Prince, and through that that Lily… Lily, is the queen of magical Britain. We’re all going to die.” James muttered in exasperation and fear.

Lady Rains smiled. “No. Yes, Harrison is indeed a Prince, but that does not make Lily queen.”

“How so?” Remus questioned.

“My job is to keep track of heirships within the royal line. Basically, I make sure no one is lying about their title.” Lady Rains pulled out a file of her own. “If you will look at these you will notice a difference.

This first picture was taken prior to your marriage. If you see, Lily’s eyes were emerald green. It was a hallmark of the Le Fay family to have emerald eyes. Queen Morgana inherited them from her own mother.

Like with those descended from the Sacred 28, Magic herself determines the heir for the royal family. More often than not, the chosen heir has the Le Fay eyes.

This means, she had the potential to become an heir. But, if you look at the second photo, which was taken just after the birth of the twins, her eyes have changed.”

James was slightly disturbed as he saw a photo he himself had taken of Lily holding Henry the day after he had been born. He chose not to question just how they got that photo as Lady Rains continued.

“King Arthur may have made peace with Morgana, but she never forgave King Uther for how he treated her. To try and stop a descendant of hers going through what she did, Morgana left clauses in the royal charter. 

No one could claim or keep the crown if they were guilty of child endangerment or child abandonment. If the family magic found them guilty of such an act they would be stripped of their right to inherit.”

“So Lily lost the right when she abandoned Harry.” Sirius said thoughtfully. “But her eyes changed before?”

“As I told you, Prince Harrisons blood test showed signs of something that shouldn’t be there.” Ironclaw leaned forward. “What it found was a potion called potestas de maiores. It is a highly forbidden potion that has been banned by every government in the world for over 1000 years.”

“The potion is known to be quite lethal. It kills by destabilizing the core causing it to rupture. The main intent is actually to expand the core, making the drinker far more powerful, but most can’t handle having their core forcefully expanded like that. We believe that is why Prince Harrison was born with an unstable core. But, since he was so young, his body was able to compensate and he somehow survived.” Lady Rains told them. “Lady Potter would have had to take it while she was pregnant, and it harmed her child.”

“She was sick during the pregnancy. I asked her about it but she would just brush me off. After Harry was born she was asked about any potions she may have taken but she denied taking anything she shouldn’t. She lied. She almost killed my son.” James said in growing horror.

“Taking that potion would have constituted child endangerment. According to the record from St. Mungo’s just as Prince Harrison was born their was a spike in ancient magics. We believe that to be when the family magics rejected her. They would have stayed with her to support the child during her pregnancy, but once he was born…” Lady Rains shrugged. 

“What about Henry?” James questioned.

“That is a little more complicated.” Lady Rains said thoughtfully. “While child endangerment strips a person of the right to inherit, the abandonment makes things different.

Queen Morgana stated that in the case of a child being abandoned, be it by leaving them with others or simply refusing to acknowledge them, that child would automatically be made heir to everything.

So, Lily lost the ability to become queen when she took that potion, and Prince Harrison became the heir. Henry is guilty of none of that, but he still has no right to inherit. It will be up to Prince Harrison if he chooses to recognize him as a Prince or not. But he can’t do that until he takes the throne at 16.”

“Don’t you mean 17?” Sirius asked.

“No. As you know, you have to be 7 to claim an heirship and 17 to claim the full title for the Lords and Ladies. But the Princes and Princesses follow different rules.

When Prince Harrison turns 6 he will need to come here to Gringotts and he will be eligible to claim the title of Crown Prince. Now, he may be rejected if the family magics do not approve, but the chances of that are slim to none. 

Then, he will be able to claim the title of King at 16. Once he does that he will be in charge of the Ministry of Magic.” Lord Summerset explained.

They then spent the next few hours going over different aspects of being a member of the royal family and the rights and responsibilities that came along with it.

Chapter Text

James was still trying to process what had happened in the meeting in Gringotts by the time Yule and Christmas arrived. Since Lily refused to celebrate Yule it allowed James to spend it with Harry, Sirius, and Remus.

He had tried to explain the traditions to Henry, but it hadn’t gone well. While Henry liked the idea of more presents he didn’t really care for the rituals. And Lily had flipped on him claiming he was trying to make Henry a blood supremacist by teaching him those pureblood beliefs.

James had tried to explain to her that he himself had always celebrated the olde holidays growing up, but that had just made her angrier. Lily just couldn’t accept the culture of the magical world.

But James just brushed her off as he had been doing more and more. He had instead spent an amazing day with Harry and his friends. James had forgotten just how relaxing it was to celebrate in the olde ways. By the end of the day he had felt calm and refreshed, and he had seen the others had felt the same.

Harry in particular seemed to be happy to celebrate properly with his family. James had explained all about the olde ways like his own parents had to him. He had wanted Harry to understand the different aspects of their world.

And now that Harry knew he would more than likely one day be king he was even more interested. He wanted to learn everything he could, something that had thrilled Remus.

Luckily, Lord Summerset had been happy to arrange for them to have access to all kinds of different books that the ministry had restricted. Most days now Remus could be found in the library with Harry as they went over the different books.

Harry was insistent to do as much reading as he could because he wasn’t going to have a lot of time after Yule. It had been decided that Harry would be starting school in the town near the estate when the holidays ended.

Now it was just hard to figure out who was more nervous, the child or the adults. Harry was worried that he wouldn’t be able to make friends since he was so different. James, Sirius, and Remus weren't just worried about that, they were also worried about having him so far away from them.

Harry had already had to threaten Sirius multiple times about how he wasn’t allowed to visit the school in his Padfoot form. He understood they did it out of love, but he at least wanted to try and be normal. He also didn’t think the school was going to react positively to a massive black dog stalking one of its students.

James was happy that Harry was finally getting a chance to try being normal and making friends. But he also wasn’t sure it was a good idea since Harry would have to leave them once he turned 11. All he could do was leave it up to him. He had made sure Harry understood that if he found he didn’t like going to a muggle school then they would be happy to pull him out and let him be home-schooled.

 


 

But, once Yule had passed, Christmas had arrived. James was happy that he was going to get to celebrate with Henry, but that also meant celebrating with Lily.

Ever since he had gotten the conformation that Harry’s unstable core had been most likely caused by a potion that Lily had taken while pregnant he had been furious. Just being in the same room with her put his teeth on edge. That woman had risked the life of both boys with her actions, and she hadn’t even had the decency to own up to what she had done when Harry had been sick. For all she had known there may have been a way to treat Harry’s illness if she had just told the truth, but she had protected herself rather than Harry and James just couldn’t forgive that.

And he knew that this wasn’t going to be a calm holiday. Lily had insisted that they spend Christmas Eve with the Weasley family. James had no problems with Arthur, but he had never really liked Molly. The woman was just too loud and controlling for his taste. He knew she was going to badger him all evening with what she thought he was doing wrong as a parent, all the while her kids would be running wild.

Over the past few weeks, ever since announcing where they would be going for Christmas Eve, Lily had been shooting him smug looks. James could tell that Lily and Albus had most likely spoken with Molly in the hopes she would be able to get to him.

Not that it was going to work. James had never done what Molly said just because she said it. The only reason people generally did what Molly wanted was because it was the only way to shut her up, but James didn’t have to spend much time around the woman so he really didn’t care.

He just needed to get through the day and things would be fine.

 


 

As James had expected it was turning out to be a long day.

Like he had thought was going to happen, Molly followed him around giving him detailed lists of everything she thought he should do, and everything she thought he was doing wrong. Arthur had seen his irritation and tried to get her to stop, but James had told him not to bother. After all, James only had to deal with the woman for the evening, Arthur lived with her.

The best part of the evening James had had was whenever he was able to talk to Fred and George. Those two were hysterical. But, again, Molly always interrupted. He could only talk to them for about 5 minutes at a time before the woman bustled over and scolded either him or the twins for their laughter and plans.

But James was going to get his revenge. James knew that Molly didn’t really approve of Arthurs interest in muggle things which was why he had gotten the other man the entire series of the ‘How It’s…’ books. It was a a collection of over 100 books that covered everything from how electricity worked to how to set up a campsite. Arthur had been thrilled when he saw them, Molly not so much. James and Arthur had even spent a good half hour talking about how Sirius had made his motorbike fly, something that fascinated Arthur.

And that wasn’t the end of it for James. Since he didn’t know the children all that well he had gotten them gift vouchers to Diagon Alley. He knew very well that Fred and George were going to buy plenty of prank supplies, and he couldn’t be more pleased.

 


 

Fred and George were having fun sneaking around out of their mothers sight when they heard a bit of an argument brewing. Being the mischief makers that they were, they were always drawn towards chaos.

When they heard the mention of twins they hurried up. They were the only twins they knew and wanted to know what was being said about them.

But it wasn’t their parents arguing about them like usual, it was the Potters. And that just confused them even more. Why would the Potters be arguing about them.

Moving as close as they could without being spotted, the two sat back to listen.

 


 

“Lily, they’re twins, they have a right to see each other.” James snapped, frustrated with the argument they had been having for the past 5 minutes.

“Henry is better off without him.” Lily hated that James was once again thinking about the runt when he should have been focusing on her and Henry.

“No, he isn’t Lily. You took his twin brother away from him. You are denying him what could be an amazing connection. You’ve seen how Fred and George are. That could be Henry and Harry… If you would just tell us what you did with Harry.” James practically pleaded.

Lily turned up her nose. “Henry is better off not having to deal with that one. And using Fred and George as an example about the benefit of having a twin isn’t going to help you. Those two are a nightmare.”

“No, those two are fun and actually have personalities. But that isn’t the point. The point is that it is time Harry comes home. Henry has been asking me more questions about him, he wants the chance to know his little brother.”

“Only because you are constantly going on about it. That and Henry doesn’t know what that other one is like.”

“Neither do you. You abandoned him when he was one. You have no clue what he is like.”

“And that’s for the best. Headmaster Dumbledore agrees, it is better to keep that one away from Henry’s fame. It would just make him resentful and jealous and Henry doesn’t need that in his life.”

“He deserves to know his brother. And Harry certainly deserves to know his family. Even if Henry didn’t want to know his brother it wouldn’t matter. He is 4, and Harry is my son just as much as he is Henry’s brother. It is Christmas, please Lily, If you ever cared about me at all, just tell me where you and Albus put Harry.”

“NO! I have told you this over and over, that boy needs to be where he is, I will not let him ruin Henry’s happiness.” Lily reached out to smooth James’s hair. “Honestly James, if you would just let it go things would be so much better. We could go back to how things were before, wouldn’t that be nice?”

James snarled as Lily touched him and pushed her hand away. “Things will never be like they were before because you abandoned my child. I swear to Merlin woman, you will tell me where Harry is by New Years or so help me I will file for divorce.”

With that James turned away and stormed back into the house. Lily just glared after him, fury clear on her face. She wasn’t going to let him get away with threatening her like that.

 


 

Fred and George just stared once the two adults had gone back inside. Fred, as the elder of the two, had his arm wrapped around his younger brothers shoulders for protection, George had his arm wrapped around Freds waist seeking the support of his older brother.

What they had just heard horrified them. How could the great Albus Dumbledore and the perfect Lily Potter be so cruel as to separate twins.

Fred and George had never been overly fond of their younger brothers best friend, but now all they could feel was pity. His twin had been taken from him.

They couldn’t imagine having something like that done to them. There would be nothing worse then being separated.

And how could they do that to Lord Potter. It was clear that James Potter loved both his boys. They could only imagine just how their dad would react if one of them had been taken, at least, they hoped.

They both looked at each other and swore that they would start looking at things more closely. If Albus Dumbledore and Lily Potter could do something so terrible then the light side clearly wasn't as good as they claimed to be.

Chapter Text

As James had said, only a few days after the new year began he filed for divorce. 

This was one of the times he was actually grateful that Lily had refused to have anything to do with magical traditions. In the magical world, bonding was for life. There was no divorce ritual or process that could break a marriage in the magical world since the marriage rights involved the mixing of magics, something that couldn’t be undone.

But since Lily had insisted on using the muggle traditions it was easy enough to file for divorce there. And the magical government didn’t have any say or control over the outcome so Albus couldn’t use his name or influence to slant anything. Albus Dumbledore might be one of the most influential people in the magical world, but he was no one in the muggle world.

James had made sure to hire the best barrister he could. There was no way he was going to let Lily get any of his family money. He would ensure that there was money to ensure Henry was properly cared for, but he wasn't just going to hand money over to Lily.

The barrister had gone over the case and said there really wasn't anything Lily could argue. She had abandoned his child and that was more than justification for him to leave her. Plus there was the prenup she had signed. 

Lily was going down.

 


 

When James and Lily stood before the judge to get their divorce James was ready. It could have been simple, but Lily had refused to sign the divorce papers. Since James wanted the divorce and Lily didn’t it took time.

James had known that Lily didn’t want the divorce, but he had warned her. He wasn't going to let her get away with what she had done to Harry.

When he had stood before the judge and explained what was going on and just why he wanted the divorce the judge had been horrified, just like James and his barrister had known he would be. Normally, given the time, mothers were given more rights when it came to children of divorce, but it was clear it wasn't going to be like that this time.

James had just sat back and smiled as the judge tore into Lily for her actions towards one of her children.

 


 

Lily was still absolutely furious when she arrived at the Headmaster’s office a week after. She had never been so angry and insulted in her life.

How dare that judge say things like that to her. She was the mother of the Boy-Who-Lived. Even if he was just an ignorant muggle she deserved his respect.

Lily had never even heard the term custodial interference and didn’t like it effecting her life. The judge had said that she had no legal right to deny James access to his children. He said her getting rid of the other one and refusing to tell James where he was was criminal and she could go to prison if James filed charges, something he had encouraged him to do.

She had thought James might be coming to his senses as he said he wasn't going to do so. Lily had hoped that he was finally coming around to her point of view.

Then he had spoken again, and the judge had agreed.

Lily was getting no spousal support. She was also going to have to move out of the penthouse.

Instead, James had made arrangements for her to have a different property, he said it was just so he could ensure Henry had proper accommodations when he was with her since James didn’t believe Lily was capable of taking proper care of him.

And that was the worst thing of all. Lily wasn't going to have Henry all the time. The judge had ordered shared custody. Since Henry was homeschooled he was going to have to switch homes every other week. Lily couldn’t believe James was being so cruel as to take her baby boy from her.

Lily’s life had just taken a turn for the worse and she was furious. She was no longer going to be getting any money from the Potter vaults. She no longer got to live in the pent house. And she no longer had soul custody of her son.

She was going to have to find a new way to get money since there was no way she was going to get a job. James had arranged for a house for her and Henry to live in, but it was no where near what they were used to. It was a simple two bedroom cottage out near Ottery St Catchpole, it didn’t even have space expansion charms on it so it was small. She knew Henry would like living closer to Ron, but not the change. 

The penthouse was beautiful and luxurious, and best of all, the building had a staff and they could order room service whenever they were hungry, Lily hadn’t had to cook since moving in. The cottage was nothing like the penthouse. She had been given a file on it when she was ordered out of her home. The cottage was simple and small. There was no one that would do the cooking or tidy anything for her. Lily still refused to use house elves, but thought she might need to reconsider slightly. She would never approve of slavery, but she really didn’t want to have to cook or clean.

And the little money she was getting for Henry wasn’t enough to cover everything they needed. She was going to have to speak with the Headmaster about how they were going to fix this.

 


 

Albus wasn't overly pleased with what was happening. He couldn’t believe James had actually gone through with divorcing Lily.

How had he gone so out of control? James had been head over heels in love with Lily Evans since he was 11 years old. And now he had divorced her. And all over the younger Potter boy. The boy didn’t even really matter, it was Henry that they needed. How could James do something so foolish?

Albus needed the Potter’s to appear to be the perfect family. And a perfect family didn’t have the parents get divorced.

And it was how the divorce was done. If Albus had known about the type of wedding Lily had been planning he would have advised her differently.

He had been at the ceremony, but he had thought they had gone through with the magical binding privately. He hadn’t thought the elder Potters would have allowed them to only use the muggle tradition. They were well known traditionalists. Surely they would have insisted.

He had first heard about the lack of bonding when he had visited the bank with Lily years ago, but he had brushed it off. He hadn’t thought it would cause any other issues. But now it was.

All this trouble simply because Lily hadn’t wanted to use the magical traditions. And Albus had no one but himself to blame. He had been the one to teach Lily the magical traditions were bad, he had apparently just done too good a job with her. Even Molly had been smart enough to use the magical bonding to ensure Arthur could never leave her.

And the fact that it was all done in a muggle court was infuriating. Albus had had absolutely no control. Albus did not do well when he didn’t have control. It made him angry to not have people listening to him. He was Albus Dumbledore, he knew best.

Now he was having to deal with the fact that there was no way he could gain access to the Potter fortune until after James had died and Henry had become Lord Potter. He needed that money, wars were not cheap.

So far he had managed to keep everything quiet, but that wouldn’t last forever. People were going to find out about the divorce eventually, and he needed to make sure that he remained in control of the narrative.

To make sure he was in control, Albus had invited Lily to the school to work out what they were going to tell the paper that would make James the bad guy and ensure that the ministry stepped in and gave Lily full custody.

 


 

Severus let out a sigh as he made his way up to the headmasters office. He really didn’t like being a teacher, the children just seemed to get dumber and dumber each year.

And it wasn't going to get any better since Albus had been changing the curriculum each year and was dumbing down his lessons. Soon enough the NEWT level students wouldn’t even be able to do the material he had needed to know for his OWL.

Normally he avoided Albus as much as possible, but he needed to hand in his reports on his problem students, mostly Gryffindors so he knew nothing was going to be done. He just hoped that he could get in and out without having to talk to the man. It would be perfect if Albus was out of the office so he could just leave the paperwork on his desk.

But luck wasn't on Severus’s side that day, in fact, it was truly against him. Not only was Albus in the office, but so was Lily.

“Ah, Severus my boy, what is it that I can do for you today?” Albus smiled genially. “Lemon drop?”

Severus sneered down at the proffered sweets. “No. I just came to drop off the reports on the students you requested.”

“Thank you.” Albus smiled as he returned his sweet bowl to where it had been before, completely ignoring the reports he himself had requested. He had just wanted to keep Severus busy, he didn’t really care about the reports, he didn’t like the man having too much free time since he couldn’t control the mans actions as much as he had hoped he could.

Severus was going to just leave, but then he glanced down and saw what the two were working on. There were dozens of pages with different ideas that they could use against James, there were even a few mock articles that had clearly been written by Lily. 

“It won’t work.” Severus said blandly.

“What won’t work my boy?” Albus questioned, slight annoyance in his voice.

“Whatever you are trying to do against James Potter. I can only assume this is about the divorce.” Severus smirked when he saw the two exchange a worried glance. “Yes, I know about that. For Merlin’s sake, I was a spy. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice the changes in your attitudes? That and Lily has never been a quiet person. I’m surprised everyone doesn’t know with her incessant whining about it.”

“And just why won’t it work?” Lily demanded, not liking what was said about her. “James is the one who is wrong. He had no right to treat me this way.”

“I don’t know what happened, and I don’t care.” Severus held up a hand when it looked like Lily was going to launch into a rant. “The simple fact is, you can’t attack James Potter.”

“It’s so nice to see you have put aside your childhood rivalry.” Albus said, but to anyone who knew him it clearly was a lie.

“Oh, I haven’t. I still can’t stand the man. But that isn’t what we are discussing.” Severus brushed off, really he was now neutral in regards to Potter. “I had assumed you two would understand what you had done to yourselves.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?” Lily questioned, not liking how things were sounding. “The papers were more than willing to help me make sure nothing as dark as Remus came near my baby boy. Why wouldn’t they help me to protect him from James?

“It was easy for you to target the werewolf, but that is because people have been hearing nothing but about how dangerous and evil they are for generations. But James Potter is an entirely different story, and it is all your fault.

During the last war both you and Albus made sure to play up his so called heroics in the papers. So whenever people looked at, or thought of, James Potter they saw a hero that would defend them.

Then the attack happened. And he became the man willing to fight and die for their hero. You made sure to tell everyone about just how great a father he was and how hard it was raising Henry without him. 

And then… Potter woke up. He recovered from an attack that everyone else thought would have killed him. And you both made a big deal about it and how wonderful it was. Then there was Potter’s behaviour in public. He showed himself as a loving father that was willing to teach their hero right from wrong.

As far as the people are concerned, James Potter is the perfect man. Loving husband, doting father, and all around hero. And it’s all thanks to you.” Severus sneered. “The people won’t believe a bad word about him right now. You made sure of that.”

“But I’m Lily Potter. I’m the mum of the Boy-Who-Lived. They will trust my word more than his.” Lily gave a bright smile.

Albus just sat back in his desk. Severus was right. They had made James into the peoples hero, now they were going to have to tear him down.

“No, they won’t. If anything, they will blame you.” Severus stated. “Just last month I went to visit my godson. Narcissa was having tea with a few of her friends, and your name was brought up.”

“And just what do those dark witches have to say about me?” Lily was once again demanding, she hated those purebloods like Narcissa Malfoy.

“They were discussing how James Potter must be embarrassed to have you as his wife.” Severus said in a bland voice, pleased to see the rage written all over his former friends face. “There were even a few discussions about possibly approaching him to see if he could break whatever bond the two of you did on grounds of infidelity, or at least separate from you even if he couldn’t get a divorce.”

“I never cheated on James.” Lily screeched. “Besides, we didn’t use those stupid bonding rituals.”

“Yes, without the bonding rituals it was just that much easier for him to leave you, wasn't it?” Severus quirked an eyebrow. “And whether you cheated on him or not, it really doesn’t matter. People think you did. 

Need I remind you that as your husband was waking up in the hospital you were off with another man. It doesn’t matter if nothing happened. The papers made sure to print pictures of you with different men.

As far as the people are concerned you were cheating on your hospitalized husband. And given the previous insults you have publicly levied against Narcissa and Sabin Zabini, they will be more than happy to feed the gossip. By the end of the week they could probably have you having an affair with half the wizarding population.

If you attack Potter now, you will lose. Your best bet is to play it off as amicable. Just say that Potter needs time to adjust to all the changes that have happened over the past few years. It will take years for either of you to even begin to make a dent in that reputation you personally crafted for him.”

Spinning on his heel, Severus glided out of the office. His first stop was going to be his floo. He might not really care for Potter, but he was still going to warn him about Albus and Lily’s plans. No one deserved to have to deal with those two in manipulation mode without any warning.

Chapter Text

Only about a month after James and Lily’s divorce was finalized everything started moving forward again.

When they had met with the goblins about Harry being a Prince they had told them more than just the family history and what they were worth. They had explained the family’s safe haven.

The Royal Family had had a large area of land that they had built into an estate that was to serve as a safe place to go if they were ever in too much danger. The wards were supposedly some of the strongest in the world and had held for over 1000 years. The only reason they hadn’t helped to protect the family during the Deverill attack was because they had moved out of the warded estate some 100 years before.

No one really knew why they had done something so foolish. The only justification that had ever been found was that things at the estate, people especially, had become to familiar. That is to say, when they lived at the estate the royal family lived amongst the people and the King at the time felt that that wasn't appropriate. To be royal meant you were above the common folk.

To solve his issue he had had a large palace constructed just outside of London and he had moved his family there. He had wanted to make his subjects acknowledge that he and his family weren’t like them.

But this had meant they didn’t have the protections of the wards that kept out all who meant them harm. The family had only used the place as a vacation home after that and everyone living in the area had had to move because the wards were shut to them.

After the Deverill attack and the subsequent binding of the family magic the wards had remained shut. It had been almost 300 years since anyone had been able to access that area. And many really did want access.

The goblins had had a very lucrative celestial silver mine on the property. If the wards were opened once again they would be able to return to mining it.

Then there was all the information. The Royal Family archives were also within the wards. Along with the primary library.

The problem with living in a world that had as much conflict as theirs was the loss of knowledge. They only had books to pass down what they knew, and with all the fighting many books had been lost completely as peoples home libraries were destroyed. Then there was the issue of those in control wanting to control information and doing so by ordering the destruction of certain books.

The entire history of the silky clan that had lived on the Welsh coast had been lost in such a manner. Now people didn’t even realize that there had once been a large silky population in the country. The same was true for the histories of vampires, werewolves, naga, imps, and harpies. The books may still exist in other countries, but since Britain was so isolated the British people had no idea.

Both the goblins and the humans they had met with had encouraged them to try reopening the wards. And now they were ready to try.

 


 

Harry was slightly nervous as he stood in what appeared to be an open field. In front of him there was a path that led into a valley with mountains on each side. He knew this was where the Royal Families estate was supposed to be located, but with the wards up none of them could see anything.

“Do you understand what you need to do Prince Harrison?” Lord Summerset questioned.

“Yes.” Harry nodded. “I need to go through the wards. Once on the other side that thing Lord Goldsword has will guide me to the ward stone.

Then I need to add my blood and open the wards to those I invite.”

“Very good.” Lady Rains nodded.

“Are you sure we can’t go with him?” James questioned for what seemed like the thousandth time. Neither he nor Sirius or Remus were comfortable with allowing Harry to go alone. They had no idea what could be waiting for him on the other side.

“Unfortunately yes.” Lord Summerset said. “Only a member of the royal family by blood may cross the ward line. If any of us tried we would be thrown back.”

“I’ll be ok dad.” Harry assured his father.

“I know, we just worry.” Remus smiled. “It is the job of parents and adults to worry about the young.”

Harry rolled his eyes before turning to the path in front of them. None of the others could reach it, but they thought Harry would be able to.

Walking forward, Harry had no problem getting on the path. Turning back and waving one last time, Harry started walking.

 


 

Just a few feet down the trail Harry started to feel like he was walking through water. He felt slightly cold and damp and there was a slight pressure all around him.

He could feel the wards as they judged him. But he was found worthy and the stifling feelings went away.

Looking around, Harry was startled. There was still a path leading him, but now it wasn't just a forest he was surrounded by. He had thought that the estate would only be a castle and a few small buildings for staff, but he had apparently been wrong.

It was huge. There were hundreds of small cottages dotted up and down the mountain sides and along the path. This wasn't some small estate, it was a town.

Before Harry could go any further there were a series of pops and Harry found himself looking at a half dozen house elves in formal uniforms with the royal seal over their hearts. Each went to their knees in front of him.

“Master has returned to us.” One of the older elves said, keeping his head bowed.

“Please rise.” Harry said, feeling more than a little awkward, but he had already been taught that much. “I am Prince Harrison James Potter.”

The elf that seemed to be in charge rose. “I am Gauntlet. I am head elf of Magics Royal Family here in the estate of Avalon. You are my master, Master Prince Harrison.

How might I serve?”

Harry was slightly surprised. The other elves he had met had very poor language skills. “How many elves live here?”

“I am Primrose, I am in charge of those maintaining the fields, greenhouses and forest. There are 87 elves under my instruction.”

“I am Sallet, I am in charge of those maintaining the royal house. There are 12 elves under my instruction.”

“I am Scribe, I am in charge of maintaining the library and archives. There are 63 elves under my instruction”

“I am Tannar, I am in charge of maintaining the school. There are 59 elves under my instruction.

“I am Song, I am in charge of maintaining the town. There are 145 elves under my instruction.”

“That’s a lot of elves.” Harry muttered in shock. “How is it you’re all still here? The wards were closed.”

“House elves are immune to most wards Master Prince Harrison. Our ancestors were instructed to remain and maintain the valley until we were given new orders, the orders have been passed down as we have waited for your arrival.” Gauntlet explained.

“I need to find the ward stone so I can let my friends in, can one of you show it to me?” Harry asked, remembering why he was there. This way he wouldn’t need the tracker Goldsword had given him.

The other elves excused themselves and returned to their work, Leaving just Harry and Gauntlet. Gauntlet just popped Harry to the ward stone.

It only took Harry about five minutes to figure out how to alter the wards. Once his blood had been dripped on the stone the wards seemed to sing with his magic and responded more to his desires than his words.

With that done Gauntlet popped him back to the path and he went to let the others in. During the short amount of time with Gauntlet he had explained the basics of what had happened with the royal family and his life up to that point.

Gauntlet had been less than pleased to learn that his new Master Prince Harrison had been treated so poorly by his own mother but was glad he still had a family that loved him. He silently swore himself, and all those under his command, to the task of protecting the young Heir as well as punishing any and all who would harm or mistreat him.

 


 

When Harry stepped back out from the wards only a short time after he left the others were confused.

“Did everything go ok cub?” Remus questioned as James rushed forward to check his son over.

“Fine.” Harry smiled at his uncle before shooting his father an exasperated look. “Apparently when the wards were closed the elves were ordered to maintain everything so when I entered they came right to me. Head elf Gauntlet just popped me to the ward stone and back.

And I’m glad he did, it’s huge in there.”

“Huge?” Lord Lane questioned. “What little information we had just said it was a royal estate.”

“It must have been big since it housed a goblin mine.” Lord Goldsword added.

“It isn’t just an estate, it’s an entire town.” Harry waved his arms to indicate a large area. “Come on, I’ll show you.”

Harry then invited the others in and they stepped across the wards.

 


 

Like Harry had been, everyone, even the goblins, were startled at just how large the area was. When they questioned it Gauntlet appeared and explained that the entire valley was under space expansion charms making it much larger.

It had apparently been originally built as a safe place to protect not only the Royal Family, but all the noble families along with their staffs. Each of the cottages, like the valley had space expansion spells so although they may look like relatively small cottages many of them were actually large manor homes.

The Valley had been designed to house over 10,000 people. And given the fact that the current magical population of Britain only numbered a little over 30,000 that was a substantial amount of their population.

As they were walking up the path towards the town Harry had skipped by using Gauntlet last time Harry suddenly had a thought.

“You said that this area is not under ministry law. That it is an independent area and follows the Olde Laws. Correct?”

“Yes.” Lord Summerset agreed, remembering when he had explained that to the child. “Why do you ask?”

“Well, why not open the town.” Harry shrugged. “I’ve heard it from everyone. The ministry is as racist as it is possible to be. Voldemort may have lost the war, but his ideals are still being implemented, at least in part.

The goblins are restricted in how they interact with other races and the bank hours are controlled. Werewolves, vampires, and pretty much every other creature is constantly targeted to the point it is practically legal to simply walk up and murder them. Most muggle-born end up having to go back to the muggle world since the only major employer is the ministry and they actually say muggle-borns need not apply for any position above secretary on the job applications.

If we opened the town, and got people to live here then they wouldn’t be held to the ministries rules. Werewolves could get jobs. Vampires could have blood donors. Muggle-borns could get work.”

“You also might consider opening the school.” Lady Rains added. “The ministry passed a law stating that no other schools could open, but the school here was opened before Hogwarts was and is therefore grandfathered in. You wouldn’t have to follow the foolish guidelines Hogwarts has.

It would be nice if children like me were allowed to attend a formal school.”

“What do you mean?” James questioned.

“The year before I turned 11 the new headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, passed a rule about who could attend his precious light school. The only children with dark cores that are accepted to Hogwarts are those connected to noble or old pure blood families. So a muggle-born like me, with a dark core, didn’t make the list so I had to be homeschooled at my parents expense.”

“And that’s still happening.” Lord Lane added. “I have a grey core and my year was one of the final ones grey cored muggle-borns were welcome. I think that rule was changed about 5 years after I started. My youngest brother, Owen, for instance, wasn't accepted because he has a grey core and is 7 years younger than me.”

“Are you serious?” James, Remus, and Sirius all questioned at the same time.

“But that isn’t a proper way to learn.” Remus was startled by this, education was very important to him. “It’s just asking for us to be outed.”

“Yes and no.” Lady Rains shrugged. “It’s basically a three strike policy. If a muggle-born uses magic around a muggle, accidentally or on purpose to many times, their memory is modified to make them forget about magic and their core is bound.”

“That’s barbaric.” Harry said, stunned.

“That’s the ministry of magic.” Lord Lane said.

“I think it might be a good idea.” James said thoughtfully. “If we open the town and the school then Harry won’t have to attend Hogwarts but will still be able to attend school like a normal child.”

“The goblin nation might be willing to assist in the matter… If Prince Harrison were to consider allowing us to open a Gringotts branch here that is not subject to the ministries laws.” Lord Goldsword said thoughtfully. He was sure the King would enjoy something like that, he would have to speak to him. “I can arrange a meeting to negotiate terms if you are willing.”

The others all look to Harry for a moment who was startled. He might be intelligent, but he was still a child. But then he remembered he was also the Prince and this was his land. But it was still odd to have so many adults, including his own father, looking to him for permission for anything.

“I think it would be a good idea.

 


 

After a bit of exploring, Harry slowly made his way up to the school.

The town was a bit of a misdirection. Most would think coming in that the large intricate palace was where the Royal Family lived, but it wasn’t, it was the school. The royal house, although quite grand, wouldn’t classify as a palace and was more like the estate house Harry already lived in. He hadn’t managed to go inside yet though.

There was just something about the school that drew him in. It just kept pulling him, it was like it was tugging on his magic. In the end, Harry decided to stop fighting it and just trust the feeling.

His family followed behind him, not wanting to leave him alone. They really were overprotective. Or at least, what he thought was over protective.

Walking slowly through the school, he found his way to a door in the basement. It was large and intricate, inscribed with all manner of animals. When he reached out, it opened on its own.

Going in, Harry didn’t even notice when the door snapped shut behind him, leaving three very worried adults in the hall. But Harry was too lost in the feeling.

“Hello young Prince.” Came a woman’s voice.

Harry looked up and saw three paintings. On the left was a beautiful woman with dark hair and green eyes. Sitting behind her was a large and beautiful white dragon with blue eyes. In the centre was a handsome man with blond hair and blue eyes wearing a kind yet arrogant smile. And on the right was a blue eyed man with messy dark hair and a large dark dragon behind him.

“Hi.” Harry whispered shyly. He felt a little embarrassed. He had just wandered into some random room without any thought.

“That isn’t proper.” The woman scolded, but there was laughter in her eyes.

“Oh play nice ‘Ganna.” The blond joked. “Hello prince Harrison, I’m King Arthur Pendragon. The judgmental woman is my  sister, Queen Morgana, and the one who is being surprisingly quiet is my advisor Merlin Emrys.

If you are wondering why we know your name it is because Gauntlet came to us and gave us a basic overview of what has been happening.”

Harry could only just nod. These three were legends. He couldn’t believe he had just walked into their room.

“I don’t really understand why I’m here.” Harry finally managed to get out.

Morgana smiled, she thought this boy might just be the sweetest thing, they would need to work on his manners, but he couldn’t be blamed given his early life and the abandonment of his own mother, something that infuriated the woman.

“This is the familiar hall. If you are here, it means your magic has sensed your familiar. It is a little surprising given how young you are, but it is something to be proud of.”

Harry stared at the queen for a moment. “Familiar?”

“Yes, I am sure they still have them in your time.” Merlin smiled kindly. “I for instance had Kilgharrah.” Merlin moved his hand to the large dark dragon that lay behind him.

“And I had Aithusa” Morgan gently pet the head of the pure white dragon that was with her.

“And I had Merlin for a pet.” Arthur joked.

Merlin sputtered but Morgana just smirked in the direction of the painted men. Harry had a feeling she was used to their antics by that point.

“So what do I need to do?” Harry questioned.

“Just let your magic continue to guide you.” Merlin looked away from his annoying best friend and King. “A true familiar always comes in the form of an egg. You will have to keep it with you at all times. Over the next year or so it will feed off your magic until it is ready to hatch. But there is no guaranteed time it will take, some familiar eggs don’t hatch for years.

Up until that point there is no way to determine what sort of creature it is. A true familiar is created from your magic so it can be anything, even something that has never existed before.”

Harry nodded and turned where his magic told him. That was when he noticed the walls had a honeycomb pattern. Inside each area was a small white egg. Walking around he found the egg that called to him.

The small egg was resting in a corner cell just above the floor. When Harry picked it up he couldn’t help but smile as his magic tingled.

“How odd.” Merlin whispered.

“What’s odd?” Harry questioned him.

“You are so young. Most children’s cores don’t stabilize enough to be able to form a familiar bond, let alone even recognize a potential bond, until after their 11th birthday.” Merlin was watching the boy in interest, his curiosity had always been an issue.

“I think…” Before Harry could explain slamming on the door caught his attention, he could hear the panicked voices of his dad and uncles.

“Go, we will discuss this later.” Morgana encouraged him. “We have portraits in the royal house so we will meet you there once your exploration is done.”

Harry bowed quickly before turning and rushing to the door. He knew his dad and uncles were going to be very difficult about his wandering off.

As Harry had expected, it took over an hour to calm them down, and he knew he wouldn’t be allowed to roam on his own for at least a week.

Thankfully, he had the distraction of the familiar egg and the existence of the portraits. They were all fascinated by both egg and portraits. After a thorough scolding, the four returned to the royal house to speak with Arthur, Morgana, and Merlin.

Chapter Text

Everyone was just packing up the Black Estate when the floo flared and out stepped Severus Snape. The man showed absolutely no decorum as he walked straight to the liquor cabinet, pored himself a shot of scotch, downed it in one, refilled his glass, and all but flopped into the chair nearby.

“Rough day Sev?” Remus asked with a smile.

“Albus.” Severus growled before taking a large sip that was more of a gulp.

“What’s the idiot done now?” Sirius questioned. While they weren’t friends, they still enjoyed complaining to one another.

“The usual, it’s just more annoying this time since it was one thing after another.” Sev sighed. “One of his favourites blew up another potion. I’ve tried to get the boy out of my NEWT class, he didn’t even manage to pass his OWL after all, but Albus won’t let me. Apparently he wants to be a healer and needs potions for that. I pity any patient that boy may get, he will poison them within an hour.

I was just finishing another useless argument with Albus, honestly, that man needs to learn he isn’t some all knowing god, when he told me his latest idea.

He’s decided that we will no longer spend the first semester going over proper techniques, like how to cut versus dice, different stirring methods and the reasons behind them, ingredient prep, ingredient interactions, and how to properly clean up. Instead we are just going to throw them right in and expect them to be able to brew.

Starting in my first class next year my first years will be required to start brewing. It is going to be a disaster.”

“How can they be expected to brew if they know nothing of potions. Many of them are muggle-born or half-bloods that don’t even know the basics. I know many purebloods get the basics at home, but even that isn’t enough.” James was confused.

“He’s just trying to get the curriculum reduced again.” Sev rubbed his temples. “If there’s an increase in accidents then he will be able to cut some of the more dangerous potions from the upper years. I swear, that man is trying to dumb down the population.”

“He is.” Remus shrugged, continuing when the others all looked to him. “Most higher level spells have been removed over the past few years. What better way to show you are smarter and more powerful than anyone else than to be able to do things they can’t? It isn’t like most people realize that most of what he knows was actually just standard material from when he went to school.

Just look at the patronus charm. Everyone acts like it’s some amazing thing Albus can produce one. In some ways it is since it takes a lot of magic, but I looked it up when the dementors first switched sides. The charm was standard 7th year material up until a few decades ago. Now it generally isn’t even taught to the students, as a result of him claiming that it’s just too difficult for them.”

“Great, an entire generation of dunderheads.” Sev sighed.

“Why do you keep working there?” Harry questioned as he looked to the dour man.

“My contract. I originally just agreed to assist, but, much to my shame, and annoyance, Albus managed to slip in some fine print that trapped me in the contract and forced me into the roll of professor.

I’ve searched for loopholes, but haven’t found anything yet.”

Harry went silent for a few minutes in thought before jumping up saying he needed to do some research and running off.

“Are we sure he isn’t Remus’s child?” Sev asked as he watched the boy run towards the library.

“Have you met Lily?” James questioned mockingly. They all now knew how she felt about anything dark. “I wonder what he’s doing now?”

“He’ll tell us when he’s ready.” Remus said sagely.

Turning away from the direction the odd child had run they sat back for a few minutes to relax and talk. It was an odd sort of relationship that had developed between the former enemies.

 


 

About a week later James smiled as he stepped through the floo and into Albus Dumbledores office. It was time to mess with the man a little more.

The day before Harry had finally come and told them about the plan he had been working on, and they had to admit it was brilliant. It had just been even better that Harry finally figuring things out had coincided with James being invited to a meeting with Albus, and unfortunately, Lily.

James had sent a quick letter to Sev telling him to make up some excuse to come to the office at some point during the meeting and to play along. James knew if he just tried what he was about to without warning Sev in some way he wouldn’t survive.

Now he just had to stay in the office long enough for Sev to arrive. And that was going to be hard.

 


 

Severus was less than pleased as he made his way up to the headmasters office. He didn’t really understand why James wanted him there, or what it was he had to play along with. Whatever it was, he was sure it was going to cause chaos, that was what James Potter excelled at.

Walking into the office he was almost bowled over by the sound. Lily was in the middle of a screaming fit about how useless the other one was. Severus really didn’t understand why the woman couldn’t even be bothered to call her younger son by his name. In his opinion the younger boy was much better than his twin.

“Ah, marital bliss.” Severus sneered. “Or, I guess… Former marital bliss.”

“Severus, my boy. What is it I can do for you?” Albus sighed out. He never thought he would be grateful to see the other man, but right now he was interrupting Lily’s latest fit so he was.

“I just came to drop off some more of these useless reports that you demand I do.” Severus tossed the papers on the desk before turning to the others. “Potter. No longer Potter.”

James couldn’t help but smirk as he saw how Sev’s words infuriated Lily even more. But he didn’t have time. This was exactly what he had been waiting for. Spinning on his heel James glared at Albus.

“I swear Albus, you tell me where my son is or I will take something you want from you. It might not be something you love like I love my son, but you will at least get to know what loss is.” James stated.

“James, my boy, you need to calm down.” Albus tried to placate the man, something he had been trying to do since he had woken up.

“I will not calm down. You stole my child from me.” James looked around the office, a wild look in his eyes before breaking out in a devious smile. “I think I know what you will miss.

I James Fleamont Potter do call upon the life debt owed by one Severus Tobias Snape. I bind him to my word until the debt is satisfied starting July 1, 1985. So mote it be.”

With one last smirk sent to Albus James quickly flooed away. He had seen the rage in Sev’s eyes and knew he was going to suffer if he remained there any longer.

It took Severus’s mind a few moments to catch up with what happened before he turned on Albus and spoke in a menacing hiss. “What did you do?”

Albus just stared, open mouthed. This couldn’t happen. He needed Severus.

“It isn’t a big deal.” Lily brushed off, she had never bothered to learn about things like life debts so didn’t understand why the two men in the office were reacting the way they were. “You just have to put up with James for a few weeks during the summer until school starts again.”

“Do you know anything about life debts?” Severus snapped. When Lily shook her head he sneered. “Then shut up you ignorant child.”

“There is no need to take that tone with Lily Severus.” Albus admonished, falling back into the routine of defending one of his Gryffindors.

Severus turned back on the old man, choosing to ignore the annoying woman. “Well Albus? Just what great plan do you have now.

After all, this is all your fault, so you need to fix it. You were the one that forced me into that life debt. Now I am stuck serving the whims of Potter until the debt is fulfilled.”

Albus knew what Severus said was true. He had been the one to force the life debt.

Life debts could be both very complicated and very simple. For adults, a life debt occurred when one saved the life of another without any thought of compensation and at the risk of their own life. Each persons magic automatically acknowledged the life debt.

To repay the debt the one owing must then save the one who saved them in a similar fashion, no thought to their own safety or thought of repayment. If they can’t, or haven’t managed it, then the life debt could be called in. Under the control of a life debt a person could be made to do almost anything. The only hard limits magic set was that they could not murder anyone or kill themselves. The only good thing was that the repayment had to be completed within 5 years of the start of the repayment period.

When it came to those under 17 things were a little more complicated. Their magic wasn't yet stable enough to just acknowledge the debt. That meant that they had to verbally acknowledge it as well.

And that was what had happened to Severus. After James had saved him from Remus in his wolf form the Headmaster had laid an epic guilt trip on the terrified teenage boy. All but forcing Severus to acknowledge that he owed James Potter a life debt.

Albus had planned on using it during the war if he had had too. But then Severus had come to him on his own offering information in exchange for his former friends life.

And that left Albus with a problem. He no longer controlled James Potter so he had no way of controlling what Severus was required to do. And given James’s antipathy towards him the chance of James allowing Albus to keep using Severus as potions professor were slim to none.

Unless he could get James to release the debt then Severus was no longer under his control. The contract he had tricked the man into signing was no longer valid.

“Albus.” Severus snapped.

“Don’t speak to the headmaster like that.” Lily chastised.

“I will speak to the man any damn way I please. Thanks to him your ex-husband just made me his personal slave for the next five years you idiot woman.” Severus glared before turning to storm out. “I guess I will have to go and see if I can find my new… Master since it’s clear you both are useless.”

“Headmaster?” Lily questioned hesitantly a few minutes after Snape left the office.

“I will have to look into this Lily my dear.” Albus finally looked up. “I did not realize just how far James had fallen into his anger or how far he would go. I’m sure he will see the error of his ways soon.

The good news is that once Harry turns 11 and we can bring him back into the magical world James should calm down some. It should help us to regain some control over the man.”

Lily wasn't so sure, but she trusted the headmaster completely.

 


 

Severus once again stormed into the Black Estate. This time his rage was directed at one of the men inside rather than the one he had just left. But the estate was locked up. Severus wondered if James had gone so far as to shut the place down to avoid him.

Then there was a crack behind him and he spun to see a slightly wary Remus.

“Where is he?” Severus hissed.

“I’m here to bring you. Put this on.” Remus held out a pendant. “We moved to a new place and the wards are extremely strong, until we key you in this pendant will let you pass the wards without killing you.

All I ask is that you wait to get an explanation before you murder James.”

“I make no promises.” Severus snapped as he placed the chain around his neck.

Remus had figured that so just took him to the valley.

 


 

Severus was going to try and be calm. He really was.

But then he saw Potter. Pulling his wand he started throwing curses on instinct. The only thing saving the other man was his fast reflexes allowing him to dive behind the couch.

Remus moved almost as quickly and snatched Severus’s wand out of his hand from where he stood next to him.

“I said wait.”

“No, you asked I not kill him. I was aiming to hurt, not kill. And, as I told you, I made no promises.” Severus responded to the wolf, trying to take his wand back.

“It wasn't my idea.” Came a shout from behind the couch, James deciding it was best if he just stayed out of sight for a bit.

“Then whose idea was it.” Severus demanded, glaring at the other two adults in the room, along with the three laughing figures in the large portrait.

“Mine.” Came a small voice from behind him.

Severus spun, ready to yell, but froze when he saw the four year old Potter child. Severus may be a snarky bastard, but, given his history, he wouldn’t harm a child.

“And here I thought i might be able to like you.”

Harry smiled. “Would you like me to explain? Or would you rather just keep trying to curse my father?”

“I’m good at multi-tasking, I can do both.” Sev smiled viciously.

There was suddenly loud laughter from the blond man in the portrait. “Are we sure he isn’t related to ‘Ganna? I swear she once said the exact same thing to me.”

The woman with dark hair swatted the back of his head but had a soft smile on her face and a slightly mad twinkle in her eyes.

“Sit small human.” Severus demanded of Harry. “You will explain.”

“And they say Slytherins are supposed to be cunning.” Harry smiled when Sev just glared. “It’s simple. You didn’t want to be a teacher, now you don’t have to be, at least, for the next few years.

I looked it up and a life debt overrides any other contracts. Starting July 1st the contract you have with Hogwarts becomes null and void. It will only last 5 years, but that’s 5 years of freedom.”

Severus took a moment to think, sitting down on one of the couches as he did so. “But I am still a slave.”

“Did you use the wording I gave you?” Harry called out, getting an affirmative from where his dad still hid. “No, you’re not. He only bound you to his word, he didn’t label you a slave. Binding you to his word just means that you have to do any direct order you are given. If he had bound you to his will then you would be a slave to every whim that entered his mind, but his word is something different.”

“And just what is it you had planned. I know this isn’t just about freeing me, you want something.” Sev looked to the child, even more startled now when he saw just how deep the Slytherin trait ran in Potter’s child.

“Come.” Harry beckoned before he walked to the front door and out onto the step.

The royal estate, that they now knew was named Heartstone Manor, sat at the highest point on the northern end of the valley. The way the valley was laid out it formed a large U. The mountains on each side forming protective walls with a large open field between them.

The central area was where the fields and farms, along with the town centre was. Somehow a large lake had also formed in the valley, Harry thought it might have had help from magic, since the only source of water would be rain and melting snow. From the river a small stream made its way around the farm fields and out of the valley beside the southern path.

The houses and cottages dotted their way up the sides of the mountains. But none were higher than Heartstone.

The only way to reach Heartstone was to get past the town, and past the school. Just past the school there was a thin road that zigzagged its way up where the two mountains met until it reached the manor.

This meant that when Severus stepped out on the front step he could see the entire valley.

“What is this place?”

“Welcome to Avalon Valley.” Harry smiled. “This is the safe haven created by the royal family of magical Britain.”

“The royal family’s dead.” Severus said blandly, to focused on looking around at everything.”

“Not so much.” Harry smiled. “Basics are the nanny managed to save one of the children the night of the attack. The last remaining heir of the royal family chose to bind her magic, and the magic of her future children, and remain in the muggle world for safety.

Lily was actually the first magical descendant of the royal family. But… Since she abandoned me she was stripped of any right to inherit anything and I was automatically declared the heir. I am now Prince Harrison. And this is all mine now.”

Severus blinked at the child a few times. This was insane. Lily could have been the queen, and that sent a shiver down his spine. Now, due to her own actions, the child she hated was going to be king. He couldn’t help it, Severus broke down laughing.

“So what is it you want from me?” Severus questioned again once he got his laughter under control.

“This land is outside ministry control since it belongs to the royal family. That means, any on this land follow the Olde Laws rather than the ministries idiocy.

We’ve decided to reopen the town to certain people, and the school.” Harry indicated the large building below them.

“So I am to go back to teaching.” Severus grumbled.

“No.” Harry smirked up to the man. “Like any town, we are going to need potions. I asked dad to invoke the life debt so you could help us here. You could claim one of the shops and open a potions apothecary.

We will be opening the town to those who have been discriminated against by the ministry, and that generally means they won’t be in the best of health. And your potions would help. I also wouldn’t be opposed to you doing more work on the wolfsbane potion. From what I’ve heard from Remus it’s great that he retains his mind but he still suffers a great deal of pain.”

“So all you want from me is to open a potions shop.” Sev was startled, that was actually what he had wanted to do once he finished school but he had gotten caught up in the war and never managed it.

“Pretty much.” Harry shrugged. “And, good news, there’s all kinds of potions books in the library that have been thought lost. You would be more than welcome to use them for research purposes. And you wouldn’t be restricted by what the ministry deems light enough to use in potions.”

Severus was thrilled by that idea. Over the years the ministry, under the guidance of Albus Dumbledore of course, had banned all kinds of potions and different ingredients claiming they were too dangerous. This just might be the best thing that ever happened to him. Not only was he getting to do what he loved, no longer having to deal with school children, for at least five years, but he would also have the support of the future king. And that was what Severus wanted, he was a Slytherin after all, he knew how to protect himself, as evidenced by the fact he was still alive and free.

“Are you two done scheming?” Remus questioned as he stepped out to join the two. “Lord Summerset just arrived, he wanted to speak with you some more about how we would locate the muggle-borns with grey or dark cores to invite them to Albion Academy.”

“Just copy the Hogwarts book of names.” Severus shrugged, looking back at the man.

“But it only names those going to Hogwarts.” Remus said in confusion.

“Not originally.” Severus countered as they started to walk inside. “Sirius’s great, great, great, great grandfather, Phineas Nigellus Black, has a portrait down in the dungeons and often comes to complain to me about everything he feels Albus is doing wrong, so he’s there pretty much every day.

One of the things he mentioned once was that Albus had edited the spells around the book so it would only list those muggle-borns he approved of. If we copied it we could just change the spells to list all the students that aren’t going to Hogwarts.

You shouldn’t just limit it to those with dark or grey cores either. The tuition for Hogwarts is startlingly high. About a quarter of all muggle-born students that are invited don’t actually attend since they can’t afford it and the tuition assistance offered isn’t nearly enough.”

“Would you be able to do that?” Lord Summerset questioned. The two having arrived in the sitting room where he was just as they started discussing the Hogwarts book of names.

“I might, but then there’s the issue of the portraits of the former headmasters reporting it. Former Headmaster Black may come to me to complain a lot, but his loyalty is still to Albus. They would report me as soon as they saw me.” Severus said.

“Not if you weren’t seen.” James said thoughtfully. “I might have an invisibility cloak that you could use to sneak into the office.”

It had taken a bit of work to get the cloak back from Albus. Apparently Lily had thought she could just give a Potter heirloom to the other man. James had corrected that misconception but had ended up having to threaten to file charges for theft of an heirloom from an ancient and noble family before Albus would hand it over.

“I knew it.” Severus said in vindication. “That’s how you were always sneaking around.”

“Yes, congratulations Severus, you caught me.” James said in a droll voice but had a huge grin on his face.

“If I had the cloak It would be possible.” Severus said.

With that, they got back to their plans for the new/old school.

Chapter Text

Despite it being partially his idea, Severus was surprised at just how easy it was to get a copy of the Hogwarts book of names. He had managed it only the day after they had thought of it.

Knowing what he did, he knew which professor would be dropping off whatever paperwork Albus had requested and when. Severus really didn’t understand why Albus kept asking for reports, it wasn't like he bothered to read them, he only checked on his favourites and the rest were completely ignored. He thought it just might be his way of pretending he actually served a purpose at the school.

Following the idiot that was that years DADA professor, Severus was able to slip into the office easily. The man never bothered to close doors behind him. Once the man left Severus silently cast his spells, the only reason he had waited was because the man claimed to be magic sensitive. Severus didn’t believe him, but still hadn’t wanted to take the risk. With that done he had just walked right back out, the door having been left open just as he had known it would be.

Then he took it to Harry and the others. In the end, they had had to take it to the goblins since apparently Albus had made such a mess of the spells and enchantments on the book. But it had been done.

Only two weeks later, they had a fully functioning book of names. It even identified which students were in the Hogwarts copy. And that had turned out to be something they needed.

Lord Lane’s younger brother, Owen Lane, was a barrister and they had gone to him with a few basic questions. The man had then had to sit them down and explain a few things. A few centuries after Hogwarts was established it had barely been getting any students since many parents wanted their children to attend school with the Princes and Princesses.

The minister of the time had been more opposed to the control the royal family had and had managed to pass a law that stipulated Hogwarts would get first choice of students. Any other school, Albion Academy included, could only approach students if they had rejected their admittance to Hogwarts. The King hadn’t had an issue with it since is would allow Albion to have fewer students and there would be less people throwing themselves at his children so he had signed off on the law.

That meant if a students name appeared saying it was also in the Hogwarts book they couldn’t approach them about Albion. They all felt a little bad for them, but there wasn't really anything they could legally do for them at that time.

After a great deal of discussion, it was agreed that there was no reason to wait until a muggle-born was 11 to inform them of the magical world. Their magic started to develop when they were children for Merlins sake, the least they could do was warn the parents that strange things were going to happen and explain why.

The only reason Hogwarts waited was because it was a safety measure taken in the early 1500’s during the witch hunts to try and hide the magical children, it hadn’t really worked. To that day Hogwarts didn’t contact it’s students until the day they turned 11 and that meant there were disparities about what people knew even amongst the muggle-born.

A child could only attend a magical school after they were 11. That meant a child who’s birthday was in September would have almost a full year to prepare while a child who’s birthday was at the end of August only got a few days to acclimatize to an entirely new world.

But their name appeared in the book after their first bit of accidental magic. And that usually occurred around the time of their third birthday. If they were approached as toddlers they would have a much better grasp of what was coming.

 


 

The next big thing they had needed to address was what would be taught. Like Severus had complained about often, Hogwarts had been systematically removing certain spells and potions, and in some cases even entire classes, for a long time. In all it only had less than half of the courses that were originally taught when the school had opened.

To figure out what they should teach Lady Elsie Rains had secretly gotten in contact with a friend of hers that served on the ICW in the education department. It had to be done secretly since they didn’t want Albus or the ministry to find out what they were doing.

One of the things they wanted to do was to try and train more masters of different fields. Thanks to Hogwarts declining standards there were fewer and fewer people being able to achieve masteries. In total there were less than 10 potions masters, 7 history masters, and only Albus had a mastery in alchemy in Britain. Their country was falling way too far behind and they needed to address that. And the only way to do that was to start from the bottom and work their way up. 

With the information they got from the ICW they decided to completely revamp both the curriculum and methods of teaching.

There was just so much information that they needed to cover. In the end they decided to start with general information and get more specific as the years went by.

An example was what they did with potions, at Severus’s recommendation. First and second years would focus on the basics, the types of ingredients, preparation, different stirring techniques and their results, and basic brewing. Third through fifth year would be more advanced potions. And sixth and seventh year would allow students to pick a specialization. While they would still be covering the same material, including the most advanced of potions like felix felisis, one class would focus more on healing potions which were highly volatile, and the other would be more focused on potion creation. There would also be a side class that focused on ingredient gathering that would cross over with care of magical creatures and herbology.

DADA would be broken down after third year allowing the students to choose if they wanted to focus on curses, defensive spells, dueling, or battle magics. There would also be side classes that focused on magical creatures that crossed over with care of magical creatures that would cover things like dementors, boggarts, and ghouls.

After third year transfiguration students could choose to focus on the more advanced transfiguration, conjuration, or human transfiguration. Students in upper year herbology classes would get to decide if they wanted to focus on things like farming or general plant growing. They would also get to choose between magical or nom-magical plants. The students in charms would also be able to switch over to focusing on bewitchment, the art of longterm charms. And history would separate into British history or global history with a focus on either recent or ancient history.

Care of magical creatures could be started in first year and by fourth year the students could choose to work with magical creatures or mythical creatures. A magical creature were things like hippogriff and thestrals, a mythical creature were creatures like dragons and sphinxes.

They would also have classes that covered astronomy, arithmancy, ancient runes, muggle studies, wizard studies, magical theory, law, politics (British or global), math, english, muggle science, foreign languages, art, music, and physical education where the students could choose between sports, dance, or both. Upper years would get to take classes in enchantment, spell weaving, healing, and warding.

Then there was the fact that some children were blessed by magic with gifts. To deal with that they would offer extra classes each month in shadow magic, elemental magic, mind magics, and different magical languages. They would also be willing to work with students that had the rarer gifts like metamorphmagy.

And rather than separating classes based on the arbitrary personality traits 11 year olds had they would be broken down by skill level and learning style. Some students just learned better from books while others did better in practical lessons when available. They would teach to the students rather than just at them.

From the muggle schools they chose to allow skipping grades in individual classes. At the beginning of each year a student could request to take the end of year exam, if they passed with over 90% they would be able to start the next year rather than just waste their time relearning what they already knew.

This meant they could take tests like OWLs and NEWTs in different years than the Hogwarts students. And this would allow the more advanced students to take WOMBATs, Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test, that were administered by the ICW. It would allow their students to prove they were on the same level as the students around the world.

The largest determination of when students could take their exams was their core size. OWLs were done in the fifth year since that was when the average core strength was high enough. But they were planning to use a core exercise program in their teaching that had been developed in Japan over 200 years before. The program proved to naturally strengthen a persons magic without causing any of the problems things like potions did. A student would be able to take the test once they had the right grades and a high enough core level rather than when the average students core was large enough.

And, after a bunch of whining from James, it was agreed the school wouldn’t be strictly a boarding school. First through third year students would go home after classes each day. Fourth through fifth would get to go home on weekends. And only sixth and seventh would stay there full time.

The only reason this was an option was because they had found information on something called mirroring. Apparently, there had once been a way to transform full length mirrors into a portal that would open a way between a pair, or series, of mirrors.

They had decided to set up a series of mirrors. When it came to a series each mirror that was connected to the mirror would require a different type of stone(s) or magical trigger. So, if the primary mirror was paired with a secondary mirror using a piece of star amethyst when the person carrying that particular piece of star amethyst walked through they would come out through the paired mirror rather than any of the others that were connected. It was to keep people from ending up in others homes.

It was actually much safer than using the floo system. Something that had surprised everyone. There was no chance of getting lost using the mirrors, while people often got lost in the floo, young children in particular.

The primary mirror was going to be placed in a central location in town, they had selected to use what appeared to be the farmers market for that. It was only a few hundred feet from the entrance to the school so the students would be able to arrive there and then walk to school each morning.

In the case of muggle-born students the mirror would be hidden and spelled to be unnoticed. They would just have to be careful to make sure the magic mirrors were well protected in the homes.

One of the good things was that the mirrors had magic all their own. When it came to flooing, the magic that powered it came from the person traveling. That was the reason stronger individuals tended to spin much faster and had a tendency to fall out. But the magic was in the mirror so even a muggle or a squib could use them. This would allow for muggle parents to attend things like parent teacher conferences or bring their children to town to do things like shop or visit friends. Since they were planning on informing parents before the children reached school age it would help with integration.

In all, they believed they had everything on the academic side of things done. Although they knew they might have to change certain things as problems arose. Now all they had to do was prepare the school for habitation. And, of course, find teachers and start informing their potential students.

Chapter Text

Remus was surprised at just how quickly things had started to move. It had only been a month and a half since they arrived in the valley and they were prepared to start bringing people in.

They were even making decent headway on getting the school ready. At first they had wanted to move quietly so as not to alert the ministry or Albus what they were doing but then they realized something, there was almost no one qualified to teach what they wanted in Britain. And that meant they needed to go international. And, despite Albus playing up being the head of the ICW, which sounded really important, it was more of a ceremonial roll and there were many countries that didn’t like him.

Because of that they were able to hire teachers from places like Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Canada. None of those countries were particularly fond of Albus or the British government which was known for its isolationist policies so they didn’t have to worry about word getting back to them.

They even now had the most surprising people agreeing to teach some students.

 

*Flashback*

The family of four had just finished their lunch on a Saturday afternoon when something odd happened. One of the elves came to tell them that two people were walking up the southern path towards the ward line. Not sure what to expect Remus was left in charge of protecting Harry while James and Sirius went down to see who it was and question how they knew about the valley.

Arriving at the path Sirius was the one to step out and greet the clearly elderly couple. “Hello, how can I help you?”

“Bonjour young man.” The elderly gentleman greeted. “My wife and I just came to investigate this momentous occasion.

Allow me to introduce us. I am Nicolas Flamel and this is my beloved wife, Perenelle Flamel. Just last week when we were sitting down to tea we were alerted that the wards around our estate here had once again become active.

And that was just too interesting to ignore. After all, the only way that could happen was if a member of the royal family of Britain had been found. And, we had heard the last members had died in that horrible attack during world war 1.”

“Most would say they died after the attack by Deverill and his forces.” Sirius said suspiciously.

“Mon cher, that is only for those who did not know all the people we knew. Nicolas was dear friends with young William, that is to say, William of Orange who was king at the time. We were often invited over so the boys could go on hunting trips together.

You see, I was dear childhood friends with Isabella Brodeur who grew up to marry King Andrew of Britain in 1325. I was even godmother to their daughter Arabella who succeeded her father to the throne and became queen in 1447.

Even a few generations later I was still dear friends with many members of the royal family. The moment I saw young Princess Evelyn I knew who she was. William made us swear to never tell anyone that did not already know the secret, which you clearly do since you are here.

We stayed in contact secretly until that horrible day in 1915 when the train was bombed.” Perenelle explained.

Sirius excused himself for a moment and went back to where James was. After a few moments of conversation they went to Harry who suggested inviting the couple in just to see.

Sirius returned with the pendants that would allow them in and the three returned to Heartstone Manor.

“Well hello.” Nicolas smiled at James when he saw him sitting with Remus. “I believe you already know who we are, but I feel it would only be polite to ask your names, although it is obvious who you are.”

James liked the mans polite yet blunt manner. “I am James Potter, the man who escorted you here is Sirius Black, and sitting here with me is Remus Lupin.”

“Are we to assume one of you is the royal who opened the wards?” Perenelle questioned.

“No, he isn’t here at the moment.” James stated, they had sent Harry to visit with the portraits since they didn’t want to risk him. They knew very well that Nicolas Flamel was a teacher and dear friend of Albus’s.

“You seem to be nervous.” Nicolas stated.

“It is well known how close you are with Albus Dumbledore. And none of us are feeling particularly fond of him at the moment.” Remus said.

“Ah, and what is it that Albus has done to cross you?” Perenelle questioned. She had been fond of the man in his youth, but over the past century he had gotten on her nerves a bit.

“He abandoned my son.” James stated.

“That can not be.” Nicolas said as Perenelle gasped. “You are James Potter, your son is Henry Potter. From everything I have read Albus dotes on your boy. Going so far as to bestow the title Boy-Who-Lived on him.”

“It’s true, he dotes on Henry. But you have not been given all the information. You see… Henry is the elder of a set of twin boys. After the attack Lily and Albus decided having two boys to worry about would be just too much work so they threw Harrison away.” James said.

“HOW DARE THEY?” Perenelle demanded in a fury. Perenelle had always had a soft spot for children. She had never been able to have any of her own, but she had adopted and raised many over the centuries and she still loved each and every one. To abandon a child was one of the worst kinds of crimes to her.

“That was our response.” Remus agreed. “Harry was our godson so we of course had an issue with it.”

“And that is what led to them attacking you in the press I am sure.” Nicolas nodded sagely. “But you already know where he is.”

James tensed. “And what makes you say that?”

“After over 600 years it becomes easy to read peoples body language.” Nicolas smiled. “Your rage when you spoke of the abandonment was clear, but you are not worried. If the boy was still missing you and his godfathers would be out searching, not sitting here enjoying a spot of tea.

That tells me he is here. And, given the fact that I know that the royal charter stated any child who was abandoned would automatically be made the heir, and we are standing in Heartstone Manor, which is the home of the royal family in the valley, I think it is safe to say young Harrison is the lost Prince.”

The three men remained quiet for a moment, not sure if they should confirm it, deny it, or go for their wands and try and erase their memories.

“You are correct.” Came a voice from the door and Harry walked in, giving a bow to the two newcomers and kissing the air above Perenelle’s hand when it was offered just like Morgana had instructed.

“Harry, aren’t you supposed to be in your etiquette lessons with Morgana now?” James asked in exasperation.

“Not for another 15 minutes. And it would be rude to arrive too early and interrupt her private time.” Harry smiled charmingly. “Besides, I trust them.”

“And what makes you think you can trust us?” Perenelle questioned.

“I saw the look in your eyes when Albus was mentioned. You aren’t as fond of him as he would have everyone believe.” Harry answered.

“Oh you are a clever boy.” Perenelle smiled. “Yes, I am not an admirer of the great Albus Dumbledore.”

“Indeed.” Nicolas agreed. “He had such potential in his youth, but he made the two largest mistakes it is possible to make.”

“And what were those mistakes?” Remus questioned, trying to draw attention away from his cub.

“The first mistake was caring what other people thought of him. And the second was starting to believe what they said.

When a person cares for others opinions they limit themselves. They are less willing to take risks and push boundaries. And when they start to believe what they say then any and all potential is lost.

People said that Albus was the greatest and smartest man around, and he believed them. And with that he stopped being willing to learn anything new. There is always more to learn. I am over 600 years old and I still learn new things everyday. But Albus is trapped in a world where he thinks he knows everything and anything he does not know must be evil. He will ultimately destroy himself as a result. I have unfortunately seen it many times before in others who had great potential.”

“So you aren’t going to run to him and tell him about Harry being the prince?” Sirius questioned just to be sure.

“Never.” Perenelle straightened her already straight back more and stood as tall as she could. “Prince Harrison is a descendant of my beloved goddaughter, my loyalty is to him.”

*End Flashback*

 

Both Nicolas and Perenelle had agreed to become teachers.

This annoyed Harry slightly as Perenelle had joined Morgana in teaching him etiquette which was just something no 4 year old really wanted to take the time to learn. He wanted to be out exploring or playing quidditch now that they had gotten him a broom.

 


 

But none of that mattered at the moment. Right now Remus was on his way to visit a pack of werewolves he had met during the war.

At the time he had first met them he had been Albus’s loyal lapdog and had tried to get them to join the side of the light but they had refused. That had been something Remus hadn’t understood. It wasn't until later he figured it out.

The first thing that had helped to change his view was when Harry was born. He hadn’t wanted to go on any overly dangerous missions as he had a cub that was relying on him. The wolves hadn’t wanted to risk the children of the pack.

And now he understood even more. At the time he had been a fairly well respected member of the Order. People had been kind to him. It was only after he was publicly outed that he got to experience the full extent of the cruelty and bigotry that people displayed to werewolves. And the only ones who had known at the time that he was a wolf were those he had worked closely with, those he considered his friends. Why should they risk their lives for people like that?

“Lupin.” A voice called.

Remus turned and saw the pack alpha, Simon Graham. “Graham. Thank you for meeting with me.”

Simon waved for Remus to follow him. “You sounded like it was important in your letter. And I’m assuming it’s not an attempt to get us to follow that old headmaster of yours given the treatment of you in the press in recent years I’ve heard about.”

With most wolves not being able to get jobs they generally didn’t waste money on rags like The Prophet. So all they really had was word of mouth.

“Not to worry, this isn’t about the old fool. I finally got to see the side of him you warned me about and didn’t like what I saw.” Remus agreed as they walked up to the shack that served as Simon’s home.

As they walked Remus saw the level his people had been forced to. This was one of the larger more affluent packs in the country and they lived in squalor. The homes were more rough shacks or in some cases just teepees.

Glancing over he saw a small girl sitting under a board that was propped up against Simon’s shack. The girl was covered in dirt and looked like she hadn’t had a good bath in months. Her thick dark hair was tangled and matted. Her clothing was worn and patched and was clearly becoming to small for her. The only good thing was that she seemed to have a few decent blankets to keep her warm, it was may, but it could still get rather cold at night. But the most startling thing about her were her eyes, the right one was a dark chocolate brown, but the left one was a vivid silver.

Looking away  he followed Simon. Even if things didn’t work out with Simon he was not leaving that girl in these conditions.

Inside the shack was a little better looking, but still wasn't that great. It was a single room. Two beds were pressed against the far wall, on one of the beds sat two small children, a young girl Remus remembered was born a year or so before Harry named Zara, and in her arms was an infant boy. Simons mate, Wendy, was at the rickety table but quickly moved to the beds with her children when the two men entered.

Like Simon, Remus had the potential to be an alpha wolf. But he had never chosen to follow that path, happy with the life he had. But the fact that they were both alphas was why Simon had always been standoffish. Simon didn’t want to chance Remus attacking him in an attempt to take control of the pack he had made for himself.

“So, what is it?” Simon questioned.

“I have an opportunity for you.” Remus gave a soft smile, trying to get Simon to relax.

“And what is it this time?” Simon didn’t understand why Remus was always trying to change things or find something better. They were cursed, may as well accept it.

“The wards around a safe haven were recently opened. The one who opened it is planning on opening the town for everyone. In particular, he wants to welcome those that have been discriminated against by the ministry. And that means werewolves.” Remus smiled.

Simon let out a sigh. “Why can you never be satisfied with our lot in life Remus?”

“Because we deserve better. And I’ve found it.” Remus argued, it was something they had often argued about in the past.

“And why do you think this safe haven of yours would be any better?” Simon asked, not really wanting to but knowing it was the only way he was going to get the other man out of his home.

“Because the land it’s on isn’t under ministry control. It used to belong to the royal family of magical Britain and therefore is independent. The town is under the Olde Laws.

That means, there are no restrictions on getting a job, no restrictions on getting married, and no restrictions on having children. If you moved there then the kids wouldn’t have to hide Simon, they could be free to just be kids.” Remus’s passion was clear in his voice.

Simon sat back and thought for a moment. It all just sounded to good to be true.

“And what is the price we must pay? Nothing comes free.”

“The thing is… Currently only 3 of us are living there full time, and none of us know how to farm. I know that farming is something your pack has always done quite well so figured you might be willing to help in exchange for a safe home for your family and your pack.” Remus said.

The Flamels only came over from time to time since their home was in France but were planning on moving over when the school year began. And James only stayed every other week. Since James had shared custody of Henry he got him every other week and decided it would be better for Henry to stay with him at Potter Manor rather than Heartstone. They wanted to give Henry a chance to grow up a little more before he and Harry met.

“If there isn’t any farms currently then where are you getting food?” Simon didn’t want to risk moving his pack if there wasn't any food.

“The land has been under the care of the house elves since the wards were originally shut. They harvested the last crops themselves and placed everything under stasis. It’s still fine, but eventually we’re going to need to start growing more. I mean, with what we have from the last harvest it could last the 3 of us over 100 years, but we want more to move into the area so we are going to need to get the farms up and running.” Remus said.

Wendy, who had been listening closely as she distracted her children, got up and moved closer, laying her hand on her husband shoulder. “Simon, it wouldn’t hurt to just check. I can watch things here for a bit.”

Remus smiled at the kind woman. Wendy had always been someone he liked. She was sweet and generous, but when angered she could be downright vicious.

“Can I do that?” Simon asked.

“Here.” Remus handed over the pendent he brought with him. “Like I said, it’s meant to be a safe haven, and that means there are strong wards up to keep everyone else out. the pendent will let me bring you through the wards. If you agree to move in we will add you and the rest of the pack to the wards so you can all come.”

Once Simon had the pendent on and had given his approval Remus apparated the two of them to the valley.

 


 

They arrived right in front of the homes Remus had picked out for Simon and his pack. The homes weren’t overly large on the outside, but had plenty of room thanks to the expansion charms.

There was one slightly larger home that would be for Simon as alpha, and multiple other smaller homes for the rest of the pack. These homes were slightly more secluded but Remus had thought it better for them since they were used to living separate lives in forested areas where they could set up camps. The homes backed up onto three large fields that were ready for planting.

Simon looked around in shock. This place was amazing. It was more than he had ever thought an old wolf like him could get. He listened as Remus explained that the agreement he had reached with the prince was that one of the fields would be strictly for his pack, and the other two would be for the towns people, any excess they grew could be sold by his pack.

That wouldn’t be an issue. The single field was more than triple the amount they usually planted. It would feed them all without any issues.

Looking around Simon spotted the palace. “And that’s where this Prince lives is it?”

Remus smiled. “No. The royal home is Heartstone Manor, it’s the one high up on the hill just behind it.”

Simon looked to the much smaller home in slight shock. Why would a royal choose to live in a home like that when there was a huge palace right there? “Then what is that?”

“That, is Albion Academy.” Remus said with pride. “Right now we’re in the process of hiring teachers. It should be open by September.

And, it’s a school meant for all magical children. That means, when Zara turns 11 she will be able to attend. We’re thinking about possibly opening a school for children, but most prefer to educate their own children at home so that’s less of a priority.”

Simon just stared. A school. A school that his little girl might just get to attend.

Seeing that Simon was having some difficulties trying to work through everything without appearing weak Remus chose to just carry on. He went on to explain about the area and the real history of the royal family. Even going so far as to explain about his godson being the prince. Both James and Harry had given him permission for that since Simon and the wolves were going to be living there and they didn’t want to start off by lying to them.

Simon was a cunning man. If he had been allowed to attend Hogwarts there was no doubt he would have been a Slytherin. And he saw the benefits. The prince was still a child, and they needed to make sure he stayed on their side as he grew. Having Remus around as his godfather would help that, but they would need more. If he and his pack moved here then they could make sure to show the boy that werewolves weren’t monsters. And, when he came of age he could help them.

“We’ll do it.” Simon said suddenly. “We’ll move here.”

Remus smiled. “Wonderful. Now, I have a question for you. Who is the girl living next to your house and why is she there?”

Simon sighed. “That’s Jacqueline Vera. Jacks mum was a member of the pack years ago but left after she met Jacks dad, he had elf blood and lived further south. But he died about two years ago and Betty moved back. But then she died winter before last.

We do what we can for Jack, but we just don’t have enough. I can’t take food out of my own kids mouths for her, but we try.”

Remus sadly nodded. He knew what it was to struggle, but he had never been that bad off since he had had James and Sirius around to help if things ever got that bad.

“Would you mind if I took her in?” remus asked suddenly, not really knowing where the idea came from but knowing now he said it he meant it. “There’s just something telling me I have to protect her.”

Simon let loose the first laugh he had ever managed in Remus’s company. “It’s your alpha instinct. It’s telling you I’m failing her and pushing you to protect her where I have not.

Don’t feel bad about it, you’re right. I’ve failed her. I know I’ve done my best, but she deserves better. Even now, if we moved here and I could properly look after her she would never fully accept me as alpha. It probably would be for the best if you took her.”

Remus was both pleased and saddened by that. He was glad that he was going to be able to help the girl, but he still felt bad for Simon. For a man who had always prided himself on his ability to care for his pack having to admit he had failed a member had to be hard.

Leaving the conversation there Remus first led Simon to Harry so he could welcome him and the rest of the pack into the wards. Remus also having to make a little side trip to inform the others that he was bringing home an orphaned girl. After that they went down to the town centre.

Since the pack was fairly large, 46 including Simon, they had decided to use the mirrors. Remus shrunk down one of the mirrors and grabbed the associated stones before he took Simon back home.

 


 

Arriving back in the small shack Simon went out and got Jack.

Jack was a world weary 7, almost 8, year old. She was not the most trusting person so when she was suddenly invited into the alphas house she was on edge.

“Jack, I would like you to meet Remus Lupin.” Simon smiled, trying to calm the mistrustful child.

Jack just nodded in acknowledgement, doing her best to keep everyone in sight.

“Jack, I know I have failed you, and you really have no reason to trust me.” Simon said sadly. “But I want to do what’s right for you like I promised your mum I would. After everything I know that you will never accept me as your alpha and that would always keep you isolated in the pack. That’s why Remus will be taking you. Now, don’t panic. Remus is a good man and he will take good care of you, and so will the rest of his pack.”

Jack was stunned. Simon was right, she never really trusted him, but even so she couldn’t believe this. He was just getting rid of her. He said he had promised her mum to look after her and now he was doing this. But Jack hid her anger under a blank face, there was nothing she could do now and she knew it. Both men in front of her were alphas and although she was jaded, she was still just a kid. All she could do right now was accept this, just as she had accepted everything else life had thrown at her.

 


 

After explaining things to Jack, Simon went outside and called the rest of the pack to him. He then explained that Remus had found them a safe haven and the pack was moving. Any who wanted to stay where they were could if they wanted, but that meant they were out of the pack and on their own. None chose to stay so everyone went to pack.

Being werewolves and outcasts of society they were used to having to move often so it didn’t take long to pack. In all it was only a half hour later that everyone was packed and ready to go.

Remus had set up the mirror and explained how to use it. Simon went ahead to meet the others in the valley and Remus guided them through.

After everyone was gone Remus reshrunk the mirror and apparated to the town centre.

 


 

Remus guided everyone to the homes that were now theirs, being thanked more times than he could count. After that he left, escorting a still silent Jack with him. He knew the girl wasn't exactly pleased with how things had worked out for her, but he really did just want to help her.

Remus practically froze in fear as he walked onto the grounds of the manor. He had spotted Harry spying from behind a tree on the way up but hadn’t really thought much of it. Now he knew what the brat had wanted to witness. There, standing front and centre in front of the doors was Perenelle Flamel. And there was a mad gleam in her eye that would have frightened even Bellatrix LeStrange.

“H… Hello Perenelle.” Remus forced out. Pretending not to notice the look Jack sent him.

“Hello Remus.” Perenelle smiled, enjoying the fear she could see in the mans eyes. “And are you going to introduce me to your young friend?”

“This… This is Jacqueline Vera. Jack. She’s going to be staying with us now.” Remus said.

“How wonderful. Hello my darling. I’m Perenelle Flamel, you can call me Aunt Perenelle if you want.” Perenelle recognized the look in the childs eye, she had seen it often enough in the children she had adopted over the years, times may have changed but the look in the eyes of a child who had seen too much hadn’t. “Now, Remus, do you have everything ready?”

“Everything ready?” Remus asked in confusion.

“Yes, which room is Jacqueline’s?” Perenelle questioned.

“Whichever one she chooses.” Remus answered instantly, not knowing what else to say. He hadn’t really planned taking in a child when he had left that morning.

“Good answer.” Perenelle conceded with a ladylike smirk. “And what about clothing? Bath products?”

“Bath products?” Remus questioned.

“Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, body lotion, face lotion, hair products.” Perenelle explained.

“There’s a difference between body and face lotion?” Remus cocked his head in confusion.

“Oh Remus, you sweet summer child.” Perenelle shook her head in exasperation. “Yes, there is a difference. Why don’t you go clean something or read a book, leave the real work to the women.

Jacqueline and I will figure things out.”

“Are you ok with that?” Remus questioned Jack.

She wasn't exactly sure, but seeing the sheer terror on the mans face she decided to show mercy and just nodded her agreement. Although, a part of her wanted to join him as she watched him all but run from the intimidating woman. Like him she was slightly confused. She had never even used body or face lotion, and no one had ever told her anything about whatever conditioner was.

“As for the rest of you…” Perenelle called out, startling Jack. “Harrison, eves dropping on me terrifying your uncle is very unbecoming of a Prince. I would recommend you get a move on, you have a lesson with Morgana starting in three minutes and you better not be late.

James, Sirius, I would recommend you go and join Remus in hiding from me in his room unless you want me to think up a task for you.”

Jack watched with a smirk as a young boy ran full pelt from behind a tree to the door, only hesitating for a moment to send her a shy wave. Once he was gone two men, one who was clearly related to the boy, slipped through the front doors.

“Does everyone just do what you say?” Jack spoke for the first time in over a month.

“If they ever want to know peace again, yes.”

“Wicked.”

“Very.”

Chapter Text

It was early June when Severus made his way into the manor in exhaustion. He had spent another long afternoon arguing with Albus.

He didn’t even notice Jack and Harry sitting on the couch going over the work Remus had assigned them to do. It had surprised most when Harry and Jack had become practically inseparable over night. The odd little 4 year old boy that knew too much and the almost completely silent 7 year old girl that had seen too much just seemed to understand one another the way no other child either had met really could.

Anyone who looked at Jack now would have a hard time connecting her to the girl she had been only a few weeks before. The only thing that remained the same was her two toned eyes. Gone was all the dirt that had obscured her surprisingly sharp features. And gone was most of the hair.

After over an hour of Perenelle working to untangle Jack’s hair Jack had suggested they just cut it off. In the end that had been what they had to do. Now her dark brown hair was in a short pixy cut that framed her angular face and made her eyes appear even larger.

And her clothes actually fit. Perenelle had taken it upon herself to make sure everyone who had just moved to town had at least a basic wardrobe and gone to speak with her great granddaughter who had a small tailor shop in Paris. The woman had been happy to send over a great deal of clothing. Jack had absolutely refused to wear a dress, saying it would just get in her way. Despite Perenelle being old fashioned when it came to things like manners and etiquette she was a staunch supporter of womens rights and had no problem getting Jack clothing that she liked better.

Perenelle’s great granddaughter used a heavy muggle influence when it came to her clothing so it would allow the wearers to fit in both worlds. Because of that Jack was wearing a loos pair of tan cargo pants with  a tunic style top that lengthened in the back like a cloak would.

“The old man bothering you again?” Harry questioned eventually.

Severus’s eyes snapped up, he hadn’t even realized he wasn't alone in the room. “You could say that. It’s just an old argument. The old man just refuses to listen.”

“What has he done this time?” Remus questioned as he walked into the room.

“I had a meeting with him and Poppy, again. 4 more first years are showing signs of abuse but the old fool just keeps saying it’s a misunderstanding and that were blowing things out of proportion.” Severus growled.

“Can’t you just speak with the childrens welfare office at the ministry?” James questioned as he and Sirius joined them, along with Perenelle and Nicolas.

“We have.” Severus wiped his hand down his face. “He always counters our requests to visit the homes. On the few times we have actually managed to force it he’s there waiting and escorts them through the home, making excuses for every little thing.

I swear, that man wants children to suffer.”

“I think you're going about it wrong.” Jack piped up.

Remus was pleased by that as the girl had been starting to speak more over the past week. “How so?”

“Well, from what Harry has told me, and what I’ve over heard the man has near complete control of the magical government. So, stop going to them. Abuse is also a crime in the muggle world, isn’t it.

I mean, it’s too bad for the pureblood children, but you can at least help the muggle-born and half-bloods.”

Severus sat up a little higher. “That just might work. But we would need to make sure he can’t intervene. On the few times that has happened he’s just gone and memory charmed the investigators and forced the kids back.”

“Then talk to Lord Summerset or the others. Surely they know people in muggle child welfare. There has to be a few muggle-borns or squibs in that department.” Harry added.

Severus looked between the two children for a moment. “I just don’t get it. How did three Gryffindors end up with two such Slytherin children?”

“It keeps me awake at night wondering the same thing.” Sirius joked.

 


 

They did decide to use the kids idea and went to speak with Lord Summerset. It had been a bit of a surprise to learn the true extent of the mans job. Despite his degree being in history that wasn't his occupation.

Lord Summerset was classed as the Queen’s Wizard. That meant he was responsible for keeping the Queen up to date on what was happening in the wizarding world.

When they explained their ideas to him of using the muggle childs services to get children they knew were in abusive homes without the interference of Albus Dumbledore he was more than willing to help. As Harry and Jack had predicted he knew plenty of people in that department.

Lord Summerset sent them to speak with a muggle-born woman that managed the group of muggle-born and squibs in her department to try and help the magical children. Miranda Cane had been a Hufflepuff when she had attended Hogwarts and was a strong driven woman. Her own parents had been extremely religious and as a young girl she had been subjected to multiple exorcisms. She had joined social services in the child welfare department after she finished school wanting to try and protect other children like her, but it was hard.

The magical branch of the muggle government had done a study a few decades before and found, even with just the limited amount of information they could get their hands on, that muggle-born children were over ten times more likely to be abused than a pureblood.

There were also plenty of muggle-borns and squibs working for social services. Many had themselves been victims of abuse and were attempting to protect other magical children from the same fate as them like Miranda. But their biggest problem was that it was extremely hard to identify which children were magic at such a young age. The only foolproof way they had was if the child used accidental magic in front of them.

But, using the book of names they now had they would be able to identify the children as soon as they showed signs of magic and would be able to monitor things. After a bit of talking the small group of Sirius, Severus, Lord Summerset, and Miranda agreed that it might be for the best if they were to create a separate office that would be specifically tasked with monitoring magical children in the muggle world and offering support to the parents.

After all, magical children were susceptible to different kinds of illnesses than muggle children. Then they could also offer assistance on parenting techniques for a child that could defy the laws of nature, and on occasion, gravity. They could even put parents in touch with other parents so they could form a support group of sorts.

 


 

The next issue they had had to go over were the Hogwarts students. Over the past years it had been Severus, working off tips from Poppy Pomfrey that had been trying to help the students. They were going to need to find a new way to get the information out of the school.

He had been made the head of Slytherin once Horace had left and had implemented health exams for his students. Albus had tried to stop it, but Severus had refused to listen. Most of his students had been fine, but there had been a few minor issues.

When Severus had confronted Poppy about it, questioning why she hadn’t reported anything or tried to get the children out of those homes the woman had broken down. A part of the contract she had signed when she started working at the school stated that she could only report issues to the headmaster or a member of staff, she couldn’t go to an outsider like those who worked in the child protection offices at the ministry of magic. Over the years she had tried but everyone trusted the headmaster too much.

But Severus wasn't barred from getting the information out. That was why he started trying to report the issues to the ministry and when that failed went to visit the heads of the family with endangered children from pureblood homes since the head of family could override the decisions of the parents.

Since most in Slytherin came from old pureblood families, it had served to protect them. And with his reputation of being trusted by the Dark Lord they were more willing to listen. A few still questioned him about having been claimed as a spy by Dumbledore, but many also knew that the Dark Lord had ordered him into that roll and believed he had just shown his Slytherin nature in protecting himself.

Because of that, when he went to the heads of some of the older families and explained that a child from their families was showing signs of abuse they quickly addressed the issue. Often times issuing family punishments like restricting the parents ability to leave the house. That was one of the reasons his students trusted him the way they did, they knew he would do whatever it took to protect them.

But now he was leaving. And they were going to need a new way to get the information.

Severus decided he would need to think on it a bit but handed over the list of children he and Poppy had identified that year. Miranda assured him that she would ensure an investigation would be conducted within the first few days of school being let out so they could speak with the children as well as see the home.

 


 

Severus was back in his office at the school as the final week of classes came to a close. All they had left was the last week of final exams and then it was done and he was free. But he hadn’t forgotten about the children he would be leaving behind.

He had met with Poppy just after his return and explained that he wasn't going to be at the school for the next 5 years. The two had sat down and gone over the staff members that might be willing to help them without drawing too much attention to themselves. In the end they had come up with only one name. Someone who would protect and fight for the children no matter what.

“Hello Pomona.” Severus smiled as the woman came into his office.

“I have those fireball leaves you asked for.” Pomona smiled happily, as she always did.

“Please, have a seat.” Severus encouraged before casting multiple locking and privacy charms around his office.

“Severus, what is going on?” Pomona questioned worriedly.

“There are a few things we need to talk about.” Severus said gravely.

Over the next half hour Severus explained about the issues with child abuse, the headmasters disregard for it, and how he and Poppy had been secretly trying to work around him. Pomona was furious as she looked through the paperwork Severus had gathered. She had sent in a few requests to have families investigated when she had concerns. She had trusted that it had been done, but looking at the paperwork in front of her she saw that the headmaster had retracted each and every report she had made. That meant her students had been left alone and undefended, something no badger would tolerate.

“Why bring this to me now? What can I do?” Pomona was both heartbroken and furious. She had failed so many of her students because she had trusted Albus.

“I am leaving.” Severus said. “I will not be here for the next 5 years, and Poppy needs someone on staff that she can pass the reports to.”

“I’d be happy to accept them, but you’ve already shown Albus will stop anything we try.” Pomona said.

“When it comes to the purebloods what we do is try and contact the head of family, they usually address the issue fairly quickly if only to avoid the scandal.

The main issue is the half-blood and muggle-born students. But, luckily things are changing. Many muggle-born students end up going to work in the muggle world and a few have joined their child welfare department.

Just recently, a former Hufflepuff, Miranda Cane, was placed in charge of a new department meant to monitor magical children in the muggle world. Our ministry trusts too much in the word of Albus, but there is no such issue in the muggle government.

I passed her the list of students whose home lives we were worried about this year and she has already scheduled visits just after the children arrive home. If you can get the information to her then it will be handled by the muggle side of things.

Child abuse isn’t treated the same way on their side, but at least they were willing to do something.”

Severus handed the contact information he had gotten for the woman over to Pomona.

“I can promise you Severus, I will handle everything while you are away.” There was a fire in Pomona’s eyes that assured Severus he had nothing to worry about.

Chapter Text

By the middle of July everyone was a little startled at just how quickly things had started to move again. It was surprising just how much was needed to get a town up and running, and just how many people were needed too. But they were moving along admirably.

After Simon and his pack had settled in they had started getting into contact with other wolves they knew that might be able to find a home there. Although they always made sure to never contact any that were involved with Fenrir Greyback. Greyback was responsible for turning a majority of werewolves in Britain and they didn’t want him knowing anything about what they were doing until they were safely behind the wards.

With the werewolf angle being handled by Simon and his pack, they started reaching out to other creatures. Sirius knew of a clan of vampires that he had met when he had still been an auror. The ministry had been cracking down on anyone that willingly fed a vampire which they had decided should be illegal. Sirius had gone in but rather than arresting anyone he had helped them to hide better.

When Sirius had explained things they had been happy to move. Despite what people had been taught by the ministry vampires only needed a mouthful of blood every week or so and didn’t need to kill their donors to get it, because of that when they were well fed they generally weren’t a threat, unless you angered one.

With the promise of being able to feed without being threatened with death the vampires of Britain were quick to move. And they were also willing to put them in contact with other creatures they crossed over with. That included the small pockets of silkies, nagas, imps, veelas, and even a pair of mngwa.

And then there was the human population moving into the valley. The first to arrive were the teachers and staff who were going to be helping to run the school. Then there were a few of the muggle-borns and squibs that worked for Miranda Cane wanting to live in a magical village.

In total, in the 2 months since opening the valley to others they went from 3 people living there full time to over 300. And there were more people getting into contact each day. Many of the muggle-born who had already moved in got in contact with others so word was spreading quickly.

 


 

But with the end of the school year came another issue. What to do with any school aged children the needed to be re-homed as a result of abuse.

It had taken a bit of work, but they had managed to figure out what they were going to do. They reached out to the residents of the valley and requested that a few of them go through the process to qualify as foster parents. This would allow them to place the children there, at least for a little while.

The valley’s new residents had gone above and beyond. Rather than just the three or four families they had wanted, almost every single viable adult in the valley had signed up to be foster parents.

And it had proven to be a good thing.

The list Severus had handed over had had not just the new first years showing signs of abuse, but the students in all years. That meant they had had to investigate 17 different homes. Of those 11 had qualified for emergency removal while the other 6 were on warning notice, they would get surprise visits every week over the next 3 months and if anything was found the children would be removed.

Those in the valley were more than happy to welcome the students. But that led to another issue.

When the students learned that another school was being set up in the valley, one that offered a lot more courses and a wider variety of magic, many wanted to attend. They weren’t exactly happy with how Hogwarts was run since their abuse had been brushed aside for so long by the staff.

In the end all they could do was leave it up to the children. If they wanted to they could withdraw from Hogwarts and attend Albion. It might draw a bit of attention, but they weren’t going to force kids to attend a school they didn’t like just to stay hidden a little longer.

The only real reason they wanted to keep the secret a little longer was so that more people could arrive without being harassed. They knew as soon as the ministry finally noticed that people were disappearing they would start picking people up and trying to figure out where they were going. That was the odd thing about the ministry, they didn’t want those like werewolves in society, but when they separated themselves the ministry became convinced they are planning something so tracked them down to harass them for avoiding being a part of their society.

But they didn’t have to worry about anyone that was already living in the valley betraying them thanks to the wards. When people had first started moving in James and the others had been worried about someone spilling their secret. Thankfully Ironclaw had laid their worries to rest with the report the goblins had compiled for them.

According to the goblins the towns wards were intent based. All  Harry would need to do was access the wards stone and edit them so they would block anyone who entered the wards giving out any information on the Royal Family.

And that was what they had done, but Harry had gone even further. Once someone passed the wards and returned to the outside world they would be incapable of giving any specifics on anyone without express permission. It went so far as to stop them from giving specifics on anything really, not the area the town was, not how many people were living there, not even the layout of the town.

It would ensure privacy for everyone and not just Harry. It also kept information from being leaked through process of elimination and narrowing down the available information by asking what appeared to be wide sweeping questions.

 


 

Security and privacy was something that everyone was taking serious. And to do that they had had to start their own auror office to keep the peace. They were sure to bring in those from all different backgrounds.

While werewolves and vampires weren’t the natural enemies that most people were told they still didn’t like each other all that much. And to deal with that they had had to make sure those in charge of keeping the rules included both species.

It had fallen to Sirius to be in charge of that. Sirius may have quit being an auror, but he had still had the longest experience with being one. Apparently his 3 years was the longest anyone in the valley had managed to be involved with law enforcement, on the side of the law anyway.

But he didn’t mind, he actually generally liked it and was having fun. He had taken on a duel role of head auror and Harry’s head of security. Sirius took his role as godfather seriously and wanted to make sure Harry was protected no matter what, and not just because he was the Prince, so having both titles made it that much easier.

And they weren’t very hard jobs in the valley at that point. Most that were just moving in just needed rest and peace. Everyone wanted to be safe and didn’t want to risk being kicked out.

But Sirius figured crime would start to occur eventually. Everyone just needed to grow comfortable with their surroundings and their little bad habits would resurface. He just hoped they managed to keep anything to crazy from happening.

He had only spent 3 years with the aurors after all, and 6 months of that had been in training. Plus it had been a war going on for the first 2 years. He knew how to handle a murder or torturing, but had never had to deal with something like theft.

 


 

It seemed the town was already developing it’s own style as small towns often do.

For many of those of creature heritage they were used to being scorned and reviled. This was the first time they were ever welcome somewhere and safe. And because of that the atmosphere tended to be more hopeful and welcoming.

There had been a few slight issues with the fact that many of the muggle-borns still had the prejudices and fears from the muggle world in regards to many creatures but it was made perfectly clear to them, if they weren’t comfortable with anyone due to who or what they were then they would be the one leaving. It had been decided that they were going to need to try and educate those from a non-creature background so they didn’t fall into old patterns they had developed in the outside world.

There was a hesitant acceptance of different people and beings growing in the town. Something everyone was happy about since the last thing any of them wanted to do was have to deal with discrimination again.

The day Simon and his pack had done the first planting there had been a celebration. The day the first seedlings were spotted there was a celebration. On the summer solstice there was a celebration of both that and Litha.

Everyone was taking every chance they had to celebrate their good fortune. Especially since they could now actually celebrate the magical holidays properly and publicly. While they weren’t strictly forbidden in the outside world they were still frowned upon and any public celebrations were always interrupted by aurors claiming they were taking part in dangerous activities.

 


 

As for the goblins, they were as happy as goblins ever allowed themselves to be. The thing about those in the ministry of magic was they had a tendency to be petty.

When a minister of magics family business had ended up going bankrupt and been seized by the goblins when they hadn’t bothered to repay loans they had taken out the minister had gone after the goblin nation in retaliation. Using the overall dislike of creatures to his benefit he had managed to get multiple bills passed that greatly restricted goblin freedom. All that the goblins were able to do now, 200 years later, was run a bank, mine, and invest. They were only able to offer a few basic extra services to those of ancient and noble families, like they had with Harry when he had first arrived at the bank.

For most goblins that was fine, but for others it wasn't. Many goblins were great craftsmen and they had been barred from selling what they created. But in the valley they weren’t.

A few weeks earlier the Goblin King had met with Harry about opening a bank in the valley in exchange for their assistance in setting up the school. It had been an easy deal to make on both sides and they both benefited. The goblins got a new source of income in a place where they were far less restricted and Harry got assistance with the school plus the towns people wouldn’t need to go to Diagon Alley anymore and it would help to stimulate their economy.

The bank building had gone up in its entirety almost overnight after the agreement was made. And as predicted it ended up helping to stimulate, really start, the local economy in even less time. The first things the goblins did was start to help set up small businesses in town.

It seemed a bit altruistic of them but it really wasn’t. The towns people needed to make money so they could put it in the bank. Goblins only made money if gold was moving around.

One of the first shops to open up was Severus’s potions shop. The man was in what counted as his happy place. He brewed basically from the moment he got up until the moment he went to bed. The only times he wasn't brewing was when he was eating or researching. The shop was managed by someone he had hired because he just wanted to brew, not deal with others.

Severus greatly enjoyed being able to brew as he saw fit. When he had been at Hogwarts the ingredients he had were closely monitored and so were the potions he made. He was only allowed to brew what he was instructed. Albus Dumbledore was a very controlling man meaning Severus had almost no ability to just brew for the love of it. Now all he had to do was brew.

In all, Avalon Valley was a happily growing little town. Which was exactly what everyone wanted.

Chapter Text

James arrived back at the manor in Avalon Valley in a complete rage just a week before the first anniversary of his waking up.

“Aren’t you supposed to be at Potter Manor?” Remus questioned from where he was sitting with Sirius going over some of the paperwork that came with running a town and a school. 

It had been decided that James and Remus would be co-headmasters of the school. Neither of them really had any idea how to properly run a school but so far they were actually doing a good job since they didn’t get bogged down in the details or the politics of the situation. They simply did what they thought was best for the kids.

“That… That woman.” James snarled out.

“What has she done now?” Remus and Sirius questioned as one.

“She… Where’s Harry?” James was getting ready to get absolutely furious, but he wanted to make sure his son wasn't around first.

“He and Jack went down to town with Nicolas to get some supplies for his latest experiment.” Remus supplied. “They won’t be back for at least a few hours since they were planning on dragging Nic to that new restaurant that was just opened.”

“Good.” James threw himself down on the couch, his anger giving way to sorrow but he knew it was only a matter of time before the rage returned. “I swear, the woman has lost her mind.

On Monday, just after I picked Henry up he threw a fit about not wanting to eat his vegetables. I told him he had to. And when he started throwing things I sent him to his room until he could calm down. 

When I went to the kitchen to make him up another plate he snuck out and to the floo and went and told Lily I was starving him. Lily threw a complete fit. She went to the child welfare department.

This morning I was told I needed to attend a meeting with them to explain my side. But that isn’t what happened.

When I got there I was directed to a sealed courtroom. Lily was there with Albus and Elphias Doge. They held a trial right then and there. Albus as judge and Doge as Lily’s lawyer. Even after I explained what happened and even supplied a pensive memory and offered to take veritaserum Albus declared me guilty of child abuse.

I have had all parental rights to Henry magically stripped. I have no legal claim to him at all.”

James got up and started to pace. He couldn’t believe just how hateful Lily had become. How had he missed this when they had first started dating? Was she always like that or was it a new development? Thoughts like that started to spill from his mouth as his anger returned.

“I just… I just can’t believe all this. What is wrong with that woman? As far as she knows she has now taken both of my boys from me. Was she always this vindictive?

How could she be so cruel? I understand she is possessive of Henry, she’s his mum, but to be so horrible as to lie to keep him from me. I’m his father, I have just as much right to him as her. What level must a person sink to that they would lie about child abuse just so they don’t have to share custody?”

Remus and Sirius chose to sit back and allow James to get it all out. Like their friend they were righteously furious with what Lily and Albus had done now. Wasn't taking one of James’s sons enough for them? Yes, they knew that James had Harry back, but Albus and Lily didn’t know that.

And the cruelty wasn't just too James. Henry was still James’s son, but he was Lily’s responsibility. Now he wouldn’t get to spend time with his father and get to know him just because Lily thought what she wanted was more important than trying to give Henry a stable life.

“Why would they do this? What is so important about having complete control of Henry that would make them be so horrible? And how…?” James froze mid step.

“James?” Sirius questioned. “What is it?”

James turned to the others, contemplative look on his face. “They shouldn’t have been able to do so much so quickly.

You remember what the ministry was like Siri. I swear, it was filled with more gossip and rumours than Hogwarts. Everyone was watching what everyone else was doing and it usually ended up in the paper.

So how did Albus and Lily manage to arrange a trial like that so fast without anyone noticing. They couldn’t. It would have taken weeks of subtle moves to just get the courtroom booked. Not to mention getting a sealed session. If a sealed session had suddenly appeared without a decent explanation for what it was about the press, Rita Skeeter in particular, would have been camped out outside the door.

They had to have been planning this for months to be able to get us in and out without anyone noticing.”

Sirius was startled. James was right. There was no way everything could have been managed so fast without drawing attention.  And that made him hesitant.“Do you think Henry knew?”

“I think so, but I doubt he fully understood what was going on. He’s only 5.” James really hoped Lily hadn’t used their son like that but knew she probably had. “Most likely he just did what he was told and didn’t understand the consequences.”

“Can you counter it?” Sirius questioned. “Like, go to the ministry and have the trial investigated and the outcome reversed. Then you could have Henry again and draw attention to the fact Albus and Lily aren’t following the laws.”

“No. The trial was magically binding.” James sighed. “I will never again be able to have Henry’s custody. I mean, I can still have the trial investigated and have Lily and Albus sanctioned, possibly force them to have to pay compensation, but the verdict can’t be reversed.”

“So they win.” Remus was annoyed.

“For the moment, but no one will know. Since it was a sealed trial they won’t be able to tell anyone. So they did manage to convict me of child abuse, but they can’t tell people.” James was relieved by that.

“They’re going to try and find a way around that.” Remus told him.

“I know.” James smiled viciously. “And when they do they will have broken the seal. And that means people will learn that Albus and Lily set me up and stole custody of Henry from me.

It will be seen as the act of a selfish woman that doesn’t care about denying a child his father and a father his son. I may have to put up with a few weeks of bad press, but then I can turn it back on them.”

“What about the people here?” Sirius questioned. “I know that most have pretty much cut off contact with the outside world, but there are still a few that will hear you were found guilty of child abuse.

The last thing we need is having to deal with people in town worrying about their kids because one of the headmasters has been found guilty. It could cause a lot of issues.”

“I know, which is why as soon as they break the seal I’m going to release it here first. From what I’ve heard a few are trying to get a community paper going. When Lily and Albus release it I will sit down with them and tell them everything.

It will take a bit of time for Lily and Albus’s story to filter in here so everyone would already know my side of things before they hear theirs. It will allow everyone to see that it’s just Lily being petty and vindictive.”

“That should work. But that leaves us with one more issue.” Remus said sadly. “Harry.”

James rubbed his hand down his face. “I know. He really was looking forward to getting to meet Henry. But we just can’t risk it, especially now.”

They had been waiting for Henry to grow up a bit more before they brought him to the valley. James had wanted him to understand just how important it was to keep the secret even if the wards would prevent him from talking about anything he saw.

Lily and Albus couldn’t know that James had already found Harry. And after what had just happened he was more sure of that than ever before. He couldn’t risk them doing the same thing and taking Harry away from him completely. And they would do so just to hurt him he knew.

In the end there was nothing they could do immediately. This was another one of those times that they were going to have to sit back and wait.

Albus just had too much control. No one would be willing to believe he had done something wrong for any nefarious purpose. To the people he was a hero, and they wouldn’t want to believe anything bad about their hero. 

No, they would wait, and while they did they would start to work on destroying Albus Dumbledore and Lily Evans’s pristine image.

 


 

As the new year drew closer Lily was relatively happy. The year had started out pretty bad, James filing for divorce and everything, but it seemed to be ending on a high note.

Henry was all hers once again. Lily had hated having to share her sweet boy with anyone, so having to let James take him for a week at a time had infuriated her. Henry was hers, James had no right to him.

And now she didn’t have to share him. It annoyed her that Albus hadn’t been able to force James to start paying her support since it had just been a trial in regards to child abuse. 

So even though she was still stuck in the tiny little home James had forced her to live in she was still mostly satisfied, they would just need to work on the money issue over the new year. And that didn’t seem like it was going to be that difficult.

After the trial the headmaster had told her that she couldn’t talk about what they had done. He had said that they needed to keep it secret, at least for a year or so so people would lose interest in why James Potter didn’t spend time with his son anymore.

But Lily just hadn’t been able to help herself. She had been really good over the first few weeks, but in recent weeks she had been speaking about it more and more. Just the day before she had given a full interview to The Prophet. Not with Rita Skeeter of course since although Rita had written plenty of positive articles about her and Henry, she had also slipped in multiple insults towards her each time.

She didn’t understand why the headmaster had been so hesitant. The people were foaming at the mouth in hatred of James Potter. She had gotten so many letters of support. Everyone loved her once again and James was going to get to join that wolf friend of his as a social pariah.

The way Lily figured it the headmaster could use the Wizengamot to strip James of his title, child abusers didn’t deserve such an honour. Then, since Henry was the eldest he could take the title. She, of course, would serve as regent for the title until Henry came of age. Then she would be able to sit in the Wizengamot and help the headmaster to fix their world.

She and Henry deserved to be the head of the Potter family after all. James was just making a mockery of such a powerful position. Lily knew that she wasn't technically a Potter any more since the divorce, but she was still using the last name for the influence it held. Besides, they still hadn’t released the news of her divorce, as far as the people were concerned she and James had just been on a break while he found his place in this new world he had woken up in, although now it might be a good idea to let people know they were divorced since they now thought he was a child abuser.

And that brought up another issue for Lily. At first she had been planning on getting back together with James and playing it off as true love finding a way, it would sell a lot of papers and she might be able to turn it into a book deal. But now James was damaged goods in the publics eyes. That meant she couldn’t get back together with him.

Lily was going to need to see about finding a new man.

 


 

Just as Lily was finishing reading the final letter of support Henry stumbled into the kitchen.

“I’m hungry.”

Lily smiled indulgently at her son. Glancing at the clock she saw that it was just after 2, but that was to be expected, he had been up late playing with some of the toys he had gotten for Christmas.

“Of course sweetie.” Getting up Lily went to the kitchen and poured a big bowl of his favourite colourful and sweet cereal and grabbed the sugar bowl for him.

“When am I going back to dads? I want to play with my toys.” Henry whined.

Lily forced a smile. This was a nearly daily question now. She hated that Henry kept wanting to leave her to go and stay with James. She wanted to know just what kind of toys that man had gotten her baby to make him willing to spend time with him.

Because clearly, he wasn't bribing him anymore. For Christmas James hadn’t even sent anything good. All he had gotten Henry was a bunch of books. Some were work books to teach him things like reading and writing, some were stories, and some were even on pureblood culture. She couldn’t believe James had sent books about how to behave in pureblood society, her baby didn’t need to know any of that.

The only things she had bothered to keep were the story books, although she told Henry they were from her. She didn’t want James getting credit for getting her baby presents when all they were were books.

But the absolute worst thing was that he hadn’t gotten her anything. She knew that they were divorced but at least he could have sent her a card with some money or something. 

She deserved a little recognition given everything she was doing to raise his son.

 

Chapter Text

The next month and a half went more or less smoothly for Lily and Albus. James had completely disappeared from the world they lived in. They believed that the man had been forced to hide with Remus in the muggle world.

In truth James was patiently living in the valley. Like planned he had met with a reporter who worked with the towns new paper and answered any and all questions he had, even giving the memory of what happened. Most in the town just saw James as being like them. They knew what it was like to be used as a scapegoat or to have someone take their issues out on them.

Albus had been worried when Lily had first started speaking out. The last thing he needed was anyone knowing what they had done. It wasn't that it was illegal, well it did stray into the grey area of the laws it was still acceptable, so he didn’t need to worry about getting into trouble. But if the people knew it would still make them look bad.

Thankfully James hadn’t retaliated. Albus wasn't sure if it was because he hadn’t heard what Lily was saying since he didn’t seem to be in the magical world anymore or if he didn’t know just how much damage he could do to them now.

Either way he was pleased. He had control of Lily, the Boy-Who-Lived, the ministry, and the school. In effect, he controlled the entire magical world of Britain and that was how he liked it. Albus was the one who knew what was best, and he was the only one who could fix the mess their world had become.

Over the years Albus had seen more and more just how much the people needed him. Whenever he had started to give the people a little more control they did the wrong things. He had seen all the damage they had done with the power they had gained during the last war.

Tom’s forces had even managed to gain control in the Wizengamot for a few weeks, and they had done nothing that benefited their world. While Albus did actually agree with some of the finer details, like tighter controls on creatures, he hadn’t approved of the pureblood message.

If anything, Albus felt they should be adopting more of the muggle ideals, they seemed to better understand that dark was evil, like their devil, and that you couldn’t let people like that be in charge regardless of which family they were from. Getting rid of the entire lord system and adopting pure muggle democracy was the way to go in Albus’s opinion. Albus had always resented that he didn’t have a title of his own, he was the defeater of Grindelwald after all, surely that was enough to earn a title.

As it was only the position of minister and chief warlock were voted on. And to even be allowed on the ballot a person had to first be nominated by a Lord or Lady. Despite all the power Albus had managed to amass, there was still those that threatened his position. Albus hated that the older pureblood families had so much power, especially since the more influential ones were those that tended to question his plans the most.

After seeing all the death and destruction they had caused Albus knew that he just couldn’t let them regain control. They needed to start to adapt to the muggle way of life. Albus had plans on reintegrating their worlds. Since most of the muggle world no longer relied on noble families for running their governments it would allow Albus to gain the positions he deserved without having to deal with the nobles that had stood against the progress he had been trying to bring about for so long. 

With the image he had cultivated of a kindly old man that always had the answers and was more powerful than everyone else Albus knew it wouldn’t take that much work for him to gain power in the muggle world. Muggles had always just been so easy to lead. He had been using the muggle-born students to refine his techniques for decades after all. He had been using them and their reactions to determine the biases and beliefs from the muggle world that he could use to get his way.

Albus had everything all planned out, and so far, everything was going just as he wanted it too, mostly. The issue with James had developed, but he had managed to defuse it before it could cause too much trouble. He just hoped James didn’t start making waves. 

He knew that things weren’t going to keep going perfectly, there were always going to be small problems cropping up, but he was sure he would be able to handle them. His plans for their future was just too important to allow to fail.

There had been issues besides things with James, but Albus had always been able to spin them in his favour. Tom wasn't supposed to be as strong as he had been, Albus had only planned on that war lasting a few years, but he had managed to use the drawn out conflict to gain even more favour with the government and the people. 

Albus had originally planned on him being the one to defeat Tom, but then that prophecy had been given. Since Albus wouldn’t be the one to defeat him he had decided to be the one guiding and training their hero. He knew Tom had made ways to survive so he would just train Henry to defeat him again.

The entire Potter family surviving had also gone against his plans, but Albus had managed to keep control even then. Getting rid of the younger boy had served to keep Lily happy and devoted to him. When the younger one arrived at Hogwarts Albus was already working on plans to gain control of him, after all, wouldn’t want a scandal attached to the Potter name. It might be a little difficult now that James was awake, he would try and gain custody of the younger one and turn him against them but Albus was sure he could deal with it. After all, James had already been convicted of child abuse, it wouldn’t be hard to have him stripped of custody of the younger boy as well.

But none of that mattered right then because Albus Dumbledore was in control and had years to plan to deal with the next issues.

 


 

For over a month Sirius all but twitched constantly. He hated having to hear all the horrible things Lily, and Albus, were telling the public about his brother in all but blood. He had wanted to come out swinging the first day, but James and Remus had held him back.

Most of the time they sent him in to work or had him watch the kids. Not that that was too much of an issue. He really enjoyed the time he got to spend with Harry and Jack. The two of them were both far too smart for their age and far too devious. They at least helped him work out his frustration by pranking his other friends.

Harry was a brilliant planner, but the issue was after so long in his head James knew all of his tells. And that was where Jack came in. The girl gave almost nothing away about how she was feeling and what she was doing. Together, Sirius provided the ideas, Harry handled their planning, and Jack dealt with setup.

It had greatly helped Sirius to deal with his frustration, and mess with his friends, but he had still wanted to act. Patience had never been Sirius’s strong suit. He wanted to defend James from what he knew were lies.

And finally he was going to get to do so.

James had finally decided it was time to act. Albus was planning a vote on a bill that alter the definition of child abuse. After going over it thoroughly they found that although it would make it sound like they were taking child abuse more seriously, it actually weakened restrictions.

This was the perfect time for them to release the truth about what happened. It would show Albus’s failure to acknowledge or respect the laws around child abuse. If he couldn’t manage to do the right thing when no one was looking, how could the people trust him to be in charge of the laws.

 


 

Getting up on a Friday afternoon in the first week of December Sirius was ready to get the ball rolling. He couldn’t out the two of them on his own, thanks to the attacks over the past years he was seen as just another dark wizard even though he had been on the side of the light and an auror.

To that end he was going to have to get someone on his side, someone he really didn’t want to have to deal with.

Rita Skeeter.

The gossip journalist had always been someone Sirius had avoided. She would do anything for a story and had a tendency to go out of her way to destroy the people she was writing about with half truths and full lies. But for some reason she was still one of the most popular writers in the magical world, it seemed witches and wizards enjoyed drama with the news.

 


 

Sirius kept his face blank as he walked through the Leaky Cauldron, stopping to share a joke with Tom, before making his way out into the alley. Knowing just how much witches and wizards loved to gossip he knew that Rita would know he was there within only a few minutes.

While Sirius had always tried to avoid Rita, she had always sought him out. She loved to stir up conflict and drama so she wanted him to give her an interview about Albus and Lily. Lately, every time she had seen him, she had tried to get him to give her inside information on the relationship, or lack there of, between James and Lily. So Sirius knew she would track him down.

As expected, Sirius had only been in the alley for about 5 minutes when he saw the vivd blond hair and magenta robes. In the muggle world her clothing choices would be horribly out of place, but in the magical world it was completely normal.

“Hello Sirius.” Rita purred as she sidled up to the man. “What is it that brings you to the alley today?”

“Hello Rita.” Sirius greeted politely, immediately alerting Rita something was going on. “I just came to do a little shopping before getting lunch in one of the private rooms in the Cauldron at 1.”

Rita was smart enough to take the hint. Giving a sickly sweet smile, Rita slipped away. She went towards the Cauldron and slipped into the area where the private rooms were. She had about 10 minutes until Black arrived, so she may as well check on who was in the other rooms.

 


 

It was no surprise to Sirius that as he entered the room he had reserved for himself to see Rita sitting there.

“Hello again Rita.”

“Hello again Sirius. So, are you going to answer my questions now?”

“Of course not.” Sirius grinned.

“Then why tell me about you being here? I want a good story.” Rita pouted. She was confused, but wouldn’t admit it.

“Oh, I’m going to give you a good story.” Sirius assured the woman. “But, you can not mention that it came from me.”

“Agreed.” Rita sat up taller, reaching for her quill.

“No Rita, I’m not going to tell you any information myself.” Sirius stopped her from grabbing that blasted quick-quotes quill. “You are going to have to work for it after all the nasty lies you have been spreading.”

Rita sat back with a huff. “Then what is it you want me to know about but not mention I learned from you?”

“Did you know Rita dear, that in the event of a sealed session, if the one who requested the seal then goes on to publicly speak about what happened the seal will break?” Sirius questioned.

“No, I was not aware of that.” Rita was shocked by that, usually she found information by sneaking into the records room in her beetle form, but sealed sessions had always been her downfall.

“Oh, yes.” Sirius smirked. “Did you also know that our dear Chief Warlock is the precious Boy-Who-Lived’s godfather?”

“That I am well aware of.” Rita said. “Both Lily and Dumbledore had always been very proud of that fact. What does that have to do with this story?”

“Oh, not much.” Sirius shrugged. “I just wanted you to remember that little fact when you looked over just who was involved in the sealed session.”

“Why are you giving this to me?” Rita questioned, slightly suspiciously, Black had never willingly given her a story before.

“I just think it would be a public service to ensure that everyone knows just what the ministry classifies as child abuse. After all, they are set to be voting on a law, that if read in its entirety, changes the definition of what constitutes abuse. Everyone will need to be warned to be on their best behaviour.

With all that said, off you go. I’m hungry, and you have a story to sink your wicked little fangs into.”

Rita smiled and slipped out of the room. She needed to get to the ministry as quickly as possible, she knew this had to be a good story. It would also allow her to get a bit of revenge on Lily Potter and Albus Dumbledore, the two had always been disrespectful to her.

Sirius was happy. He wished he had been able to do more, but setting Rita on Albus and Lily was going to have to be enough for now.

 


 

Albus rubbed his hands down his face before looking back at the weekend edition of The Prophet. This was exactly why he hadn't wanted Lily speaking about the trial.

Sitting front and centre was the latest article by Rita Skeeter.

 

Just Who's Guilty of Child Abuse?

I, your intrepid reporter, decided to take a deep dive into recent developments in what our ministry considers to be child-abuse. It was an extremely interesting experience and now I wish to share my findings with all of you, my faithful readers.

One of the first things I wanted to look into was what must be the most famous case of child abuse in our world. The case against Lord James Potter.

More than a few of us have often questioned, how could we be so fooled? All we saw was a talented Quidditch star, head boy, turned amazing auror, devoted husband, and loving father, and then a wounded hero who protected our Boy-Who-Lived, his son, with his life who made a miraculous recovery only last year. 

He was a hero, every womans, and many mens, dream guy. How were we all so blind? How had we missed the signs?

Here is a little-known fact in the event of a secret session or trial. If the one who requested the session starts to speak publicly about the results and the seal is broken.

And that is exactly what has happened. The seal broke on the session where Lord James Potter was found guilty. 

I had to know. Over the past weeks, even as I wrote about how Lord Potter had done something truly deplorable a part of me couldn’t help but to think of him as the great man I once had seen him as. So to counter this I went to investigate what he had done so that I could force myself to see the true man that had been lurking under the surface.

And what I discovered was shocking.

There were only a few days between the first report of abuse and the trial taking place. And that seemed slightly odd. Yes, in the event of abuse an investigation must be done quickly, but that seemed to be too quick.

And the reason for that was because no investigation ever occurred. That’s right my dear readers, whatever had been done was so bad that neither the Child Welfare Office, or the Auror Office deemed it even worthy of an investigation.

The day of the trial Lord Potter was actually at the ministry under the false belief that he was to be answering questions in connection to the investigation. Instead he was rushed directly into the court room without ever even being told what was happening or given the chance to hire a barrister.

In the courtroom he was faced with a surprising site. Rather than a traditional trial, he was isolated with Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore, who served as judge, Lily, and Elphias Doge, who served as Lily’s representation. 

Now, I’m sure you will have noticed the problem with that. Our Chief Warlock, Albus Dumbledore, is well known for his friendships with both Lily and Elphias. Elphias Doge and Albus Dumbledore have been the closest of friends since they were in school together. And not only is Albus Dumbledore friends with Lily, he is also the godfather of her son, Boy-Who-Lived Henry Potter, who was also the victim in this case.

Under normal circumstances Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore would be barred from standing as judge since there was a conflict of interest. Only Lord Potter questioned this but his concerns were overruled by the judge, Albus Dumbledore, the very man he was concerned about having a conflict of interest. Naturally, neither Lily nor Elphias had a single issue with their close friend settling their disagreement with Lord Potter.

With that issue out of the way, I feel it is time to discuss just what it is that Lord Potter did that horrified Albus Dumbledore, Lily, and Elphias Doge so much that they would willingly ignore rules and laws to such an extent.

And I warn those with weaker constitutions, they may wish to stop reading here as the next bit of this article becomes graphic. I will be giving a detailed description of just what was done. So here we go.

It was a Monday afternoon in the middle of October when our Boy-Who-Lived, Henry Potter, arrived at Potter Manor to spend a week with his dad. Apparently after the separation of his parents it was decided that little Henry would split his time between his parents, as often happens with separated parents. To do that Henry switched parents each week.

As evening arrived, it was time for dinner. Lord Potter served his son a healthy balanced meal of chicken, potatoes, and green beans. And, like happens often with 5 year old children, little Henry Potter didn’t want to eat a healthy dinner, he wanted ice cream.

After Lord Potter calmly explained to his son that he would get his dessert only after he finished his dinner, the young boy threw a tantrum. When the food had been thrown to the floor and the Boy-Who-Lived was also on the floor kicking and screaming that his mum would let him have ice cream for dinner, something which is concerning, Lord Potter had had enough.

He walked over, picked up his son and took him to his room. There he explained to his son that he could stay there until he had calmed down and got hungry. When that happened he was welcome to return to the dining room to eat his dinner. After that, Lord Potter returned to the dining room and served up another plate, placing a preservation and warming spell on it, and placing it at Henry’s spot at the table.

But after his father had left, little Henry snuck out of his room and to the floo in his fathers office and went crying to his mum. Rather than taking the time to learn what had actually happened Lily immediately filed charges.

That’s it my readers. Lord Potter acted like a parent and sent a child throwing a tantrum to his room. He never yelled, he never struck the boy, he didn’t even send him to bed without dinner. But that was enough for him to be charged and convicted of child abuse in a clearly dishonourable trial.

And that is where this ends for Lord James Potter. His story as the loving father of his son, Henry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, is effectively over. Because it wasn't just a typical trial, this one was bound in magic. 

For those who don’t understand the difference, that means that Lord James Potter has been magically stripped of all legal claim to his son, and he will never be able to hold it again. There is no way to reverse what was done. 

James Potter is now a father in name only. 

And that also means that Henry Potter has effectively lost his father. 

I know that many will question if all this information was just what James Potter claimed without evidence, but there was evidence. During the trial Lord Potter provided a pensive memory and even offered to take veritaserum. And, the courtroom pensives used in the ministry are warded so that they will only show memories that are completely unaltered. 

All this happened because Albus Dumbledore, Elphias Doge, and Lily didn’t feel they had to follow the law in regards to what they wanted. Lily explicitly stated during the trial that she shouldn’t have to share her son with Lord Potter, even though he was the boys father.

But we have learned some interesting information from all of this that isn’t tied to the abuse claims. It would seem, that Lily and James Potter are not just ‘taking a break’ while James adjusts to getting out of the hospital. After talking to a few people who attended the wedding I learned that Lily insisted that they only use the muggle marriage ceremony and completely refused the magical bonding traditions that the Potter family had wanted. Out of love for his soon to be wife James Potter agreed to let her have her wedding the way she wanted it. But there were consequences to that for her.

As a result of that, James Potter had no issues when he filed for divorce in the muggle court system. It was the muggle judge who set the shared custody and the amount of spousal and child support that was required based off the case both had given. That’s right my dear readers, Lady Lily Potter is no longer Lady Potter. Despite her still using the name, she is in fact, Lily Evans, formally Lady Lily Potter.

They lied and misrepresented what happened to get what they wanted, only giving us the information they wanted. And what they wanted was to have complete control over Henry Potter. It didn’t matter to them that they were denying a son his father and a father his son, it was what they wanted. And now it is too late to correct their actions.

So, to all of you, I give my warning. If your child wants ice cream for dinner, give it to them. If not, then the ministry, lead by Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore will take them from you, without bothering to do any form of investigation.

There is a bill that is set to come up in the next few weeks to allow the ministry to redefine what child abuse is, are these the standards we can now expect? Is our ministry making it illegal to act as parents? Because it is clear that is what they seem to think using what happened to Lord James Potter as evidence.

Use your voices my readers. Do not let the Wizengamot criminalize teaching your children. Do not become the next James Potter by having your child stolen from you as a result of greed and cruelty of a jealous ex.

Child abuse is a horrible crime that we should all take very serious. It should never be lied about for personal gain as was clearly done in this case.

And I shall close this article with something I have never really had to do but feel is important now.

To Lord James Potter I offer my sincere apologies. I mistakenly believed what I was told and wrote and thought about you accordingly. I can only hope that one day you can forgive the magical community for its rush to judgment as a result of lies and mistruths made by others.

I offer my regrets that it is too late to help you retain your rights to your son and can only hope that you will still be able to see him whenever you would like. You were simply acting like a father and trying to teach your child, and it is clear you are needed in that role since, obviously, no one else has been doing it.

Tonight my readers, hold your children a little closer, it is becoming a dangerous time to be a parent. May something like this never happen again.

 Rita Skeeter

 

Albus glared. This was not going to go over well.

The new bill he had been working on was now effectively dead. He was also going to have to deal with many people trying to make him feel guilty about what he had had to do.

James Potter couldn’t have been allowed to keep control of the boy, why couldn’t everyone see that? They needed the boy to be a hero, and he needed Albus to learn how. And James just hadn’t been acting appropriately, it was better for Lily to be in control of the boy.

But worst of all, he was going to have to deal with Lily throwing a fit. She was not going to like what was said about her. Especially the information that she was no longer Lady Potter.

Just as Albus was thinking it, his floo flared green and Lily stormed though already screaming and shaking the paper at him.

Chapter Text

The next few months had passed rather uneventfully for those in the valley. Spring had come and the planting was done, every single field in the valley being planted this year.

By that time word had spread around enough that the population of those living in the valley had come to number just over 4000. So it was becoming more important to make sure the farms were working. It wasn't yet a necessity for all that planting since the land allocated to farming was intended to feed 10,000, but they still wanted to have a surplus rather than risk a food shortage.

For the most part, everyone was content living in the valley. For many, it was the first time in their lives that they were safe and accepted.

The very first school year had come to an end. It, like everything else, hadn’t been perfect, but it was getting there. The major issue that they were having was that many of the students that had started in the upper years didn’t have the proper foundation needed to do the work at the levels that the international teachers had expected. Because of this they first needed to get everyone caught up to the level they should be at.

When they had realized that, they had decided to start offering a few basic adult education classes so adults that had been under educated, or completely denied a formal education, could expand their knowledge. But all of that took time and required even more teachers.

But in all, everyone seemed content with the way things were moving along.

 


 

James was stunned as he was heading down to breakfast one day to realize that it was the second anniversary of the first attempt he and Harry had made to escape Durzkaban.

It was Harry’s sixth birthday. 

James couldn’t believe that so much time had passed already. Days seemed to have gone by so quickly. It barely seemed like any time had really passed since he had first gotten to hold his little boy in his arms.

He had, of course, sent off Henry’s birthday presents. He might not have any rights to him, but he still wanted Henry to know about his family and know that he loved him. This year he sent him a family photo album that included the past generations of the Potter family, a new toy broom sized for a child his age, and a collection of educational books.

He didn’t know if he would get it, but he had tried. The way James had sent it was specifically in a way to ensure that Henry got it. It was an attempt to make sure that Henry actually got to enjoy his presents knowing that they came from a father that still loved him in spite of what had happened. But James knew that more than likely Lily would try to do something in an attempt to keep Henry from getting them.

She wouldn’t be able to deny that they came from his father since James had arranged for it to be sent through Gringotts since mail from the bank couldn’t be tampered with. But he was sure that she would try and claim the credit for the gifts, if she didn’t just take them away. James had become a lot more sure that he had never known her and that she would do anything to keep everything focused on her.

He had gotten similar things for Harry, although he made sure that the education books were aged up to match Harry’s intelligence. James knew that Harry was going to love his broom. Much to James’s dismay, Harry was an absolute speed demon in the air.

It hadn’t been until he had seen his young son going as fast as he possibly could that James changed his view on flying. James had always loved to fly, but seeing that he was suddenly the person on the sideline calling for Harry to slow down his opinion changed. He could still remember his mother doing that when his dad had gotten him a broom, he had been so embarrassed at the time, but now he understood. Sirius and Remus had gotten Harry a broom the year before and the young boy liked to fly every day much to his fathers dismay.

And a part of Harry being six, was going to the valley’s bank and going through the rituals to determine if he was more than just a Prince, but the Crown Prince. Although everyone basically already knew that he would be accepted by the family magic, but they just needed to check with Lady Magic herself.

But first, they had to get Harry out of bed. The boy truly loved his sleep. And since it was summer he had gotten back into the habit of sleeping in until he couldn’t sleep any more.

Just as James was about to go into Harry’s room to wake him he saw a large black dog slowly slinking his way down the hall.

“You know he will get his revenge.”

Padfoot turned to his old friend with a goofy grin and his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth and gave his old friend a nod.

“Fine, but you are taking the blame for this.” James grinned as he silently opened Harry’s door.

“Wait for us.” 

Turning, James saw Remus and a sleepy Jack making their way towards him.

The three gathered around the door and watched as Padfoot slipped towards the bed where they could see the lump that was Harry laying perfectly still in sleep. With a mighty leap, Padfoot jumped directly on top of the sleeping boy causing him to let out a scream and shoot up into the sitting position only to get his face licked by the dog.

It took Harry a few moments of struggling to get out of bed, he had been wrapped up in his blankets from his rolling around while he slept. “You realize, this means war.”

Sirius turned back and grinned at the disgruntled look on his godsons face. “Of course, it wouldn’t be fun otherwise. Now, it’s time to get up, we have things to do today.”

Rather than answering, Harry reached over and grabbed the glass of water spelled to stay cold all night that sat next to his bed and dumped it over his godfathers head before quickly leaving the room. As he slipped past his dad he could hear him laughing softly.

Sirius was pleased as he watched Harry walk out of the room. Even as the water dripped into his eyes he laughed happily that his godson wasn't the type to back down. He was pleased that Harry was going to work to get his revenge, it would make the day that much more fun. Prank wars with Harry were always fun.

 


 

After they finally managed to finish their breakfast, which had included multiple food missiles, everyone took Harry to the bank in the valley. According to the goblins they had spoken with, the test that needed to be run would be quick and simple. It shouldn’t be drawn out or anything so they would have the rest of the day for fun.

James had arranged to take Harry and Jack, along with a few of their friends from town, to a bunch of different fun places around the UK. He wanted to give Harry a chance to just act like a normal kid, so they were planning on sticking to the muggle world. It would let him be just another kid, and it would also protect him from possibly running into anyone that would tell Lily they saw them.

He knew Harry and Jack were just excited to get out and have some fun, but they weren’t the only ones. Sirius had been bouncing around talking about the arcade James had said they would be going to. There were times where James was surprised at just how mature Sirius could act, but then, at times like these, he was stunned at how much of a child he could be.

 


 

The bank in the valley looked a lot like the one in Diagon Alley. It was a large marble building with many desks where goblins sat counting money and jewels. There was even a copy of the same warning on the doors.

But this bank had its differences. The goblins actually seemed more relaxed then they were in Diagon. Because the Valley followed the Olde Laws the goblins were far less restricted and although they still saw witches and wizards as an annoyance, they were less hostile to those in the Valley that showed them respect. It also didn’t hurt that there was a much higher population of creatures in the Valley.

As the family walked into the bank they were immediately escorted back to the office that Ironclaw had claimed. All the goblins in the bank knew who Harry was, and given that there was a chance that he might be the Crown Prince of magical Britain they weren’t willing to risk getting on his bad side unnecessarily. They all already knew that the young boy had met with their King, and their King hadn’t killed him so he had obviously liked the boy to some extent.

 


 

“Happy name day young Prince.” Ironclaw greeted Harry before turning to greet the others in the room. In order of greetings it was important to always acknowledge the person with the highest rank first.

“Hello Ironclaw.” James greeted. “We came to see if Harry is the Crown Prince.”

“Yes, please, follow me, things have been set up. Prince Diamonddagger, Lord Goldsword, and I will witness on behalf of the goblin Royal Family and nation. Lords Summerset and Lane, along with Lady Rains will be attending on behalf of the muggle Royal Family.

Is that acceptable?” Ironclaw looked to the young man that he may one day end up investing for and the King of witches and wizards.

“That’s fine.” Harry nodded his head. “We knew they were coming.”

It was just another short walk through the twisting and turning caves that dug deep into the mountainside. But they eventually came to a set of intricate doors made of celestial silver, most likely mined from this very place.

Through the doors was a large cavern. The walls were rough but the floor was smooth as glass. Sitting in the very centre of the room was a shallow pool that was sunken into the floor forming a perfect circle and was only a few inches deep. But it wasn't water in the pool, it looked like liquid diamonds.

“Happy name day young Prince.” Prince Diamonddagger offered in greeting like Ironclaw had done before him. “We shall do this quickly, there is no need to waste time.

All that you must do is go to the centre of the pool and lay down. The liquid is purified magic and it will judge you.”

Harry just agreed to do as he was told, he knew goblins weren’t known for their patients. He felt a little odd laying in a puddle in the middle of a room while fully dressed and with a bunch of people and goblins watching him.

Suddenly Harry felt like he was falling.

 


 

All of a sudden the sensation of falling disappeared and Harry found himself standing in an open field.

Harry only got to look around for a moment before someone threw themselves at him. All he really knew was that it was a woman and that they kept whispering his name over and over like a prayer.

“Euphemia, let the boy breathe. We might not need to, but he still does.” A mans voice laughed.

“We would also like to speak with him.” A womans voice said from somewhere else in the room. “He can’t remain here too long.”

“Fine.” The woman holding Harry sighed before tightening her arms one las time before taking a step back and giving the boy a blinding smile. “Hello Harry, I’m your grandmother, Euphemia Potter. This is your grandfather, Charlus.

And with us we have former Queen Morgana Pendragon, former King Arthur Pendragon, and Merlin Emrys.

And, of course, we also have Lady Magic and Lord Death.”

Harry made sure to give a proper greeting to everyone as they were introduced. As soon as he was warned that Morgana was present he wasn't going to risk her deciding he needed another lesson on manners and greetings, he really wanted to have some fun for his birthday.

“It is pleasing that my portraits lessons are being properly applied.” Morgana smiled at the young boy.

“You know about those?” Harry was a little startled, he just hadn’t wanted to offend a woman that he knew thought manners were very important. “I thought portraits were just copies of memories and a personality and not the person themselves.”

“Correct. The portrait of me that you speak with is just a copy of me. But, just because we are dead doesn’t mean we don’t know you. 

Those who have passed on often check on their descendants. We can’t see you all the time, but we watch over you when we can.” Morgana smiled.

The elderly looking man in the shimmering cloak that reminded Harry of his dad’s invisibility cloak gave a gravelly cough to get everyones attention.

“We do not have time to waste. The boy will need to return to his realm soon or risk getting stuck.” Death rasped.

Euphemia huffed out a sigh. “Fine. Let’s get this over with, I want to be with my grandson for as long as possible.”

Magic smiled, her purple eyes showing her entertainment. Stepping forward she placed a kiss on Harry’s forehead. “Harrison Potter, I give you my blessing as Lady Magic to be my King of Magical Britain in your realm.

I wish you to represent me with kindness and compassion to all of those in your world, and not just those like you as your government has done in recent generations.

I give you permission to call on me should your need be great enough.”

After she stepped back Death himself stepped forward and brushed his thumb across Harry’s forehead.

“I too give you my blessing. Like so many others of your line I can see that you are going to be difficult.”

Harry grinned, his dad had already told him the stories about his ancestors, the Peverell Brothers. From all the family history his dad had told him many of those in his family tended to live exciting and dramatic lives.

When Death stepped back Morgana stepped forward. “And, as previously stated, I am Morgana Pendragon. I was the first magical Queen selected by Lady Magic.

Like Lady Magic and Lord Death, I give you my blessing. Although, I am sure that you know that given how much time you spend with my portrait having her teach you to be a good king.”

“We support you too.” Merlin called out from where he and Arthur stood. 

“There is only a few minutes he can remain.” Lord Death called out.

Euphemia quickly rushed forward to take hold of her grandson again. “Harry, your grandfather and I want you to know just how much we love you. And your brother. I know that you don’t get to see him, but don’t worry, we are watching over him too.”

Harry hugged his grandmother back before turning to hug his grandfather.

“And tell your dad and uncles that we love them and are so proud of them.” Charlus smiled, he knew just how much his wife wanted more time. “Euphemia, you do remember we can’t keep him here with us, right?”

Euphemia hugged Harry tight once again. “I know. But I will hold on to him as long as I possibly can. We have been watching over him since before he was born, and now he is here with us, thankfully he is still alive though.”

“You’ve been watching since before I was born?” Harry looked between the two in interest. He had always wondered if it was true that Lily really had taken that potion that had hurt him when he was a baby.

“Yes.” Charlus rubbed his hand through his grandsons messy hair that was so much like his own.

“Did you see Lily taking any potions?” Harry questioned hesitantly.

“Yes sweetheart, we did.” Euphemia saw the sadness on Harry’s face when he truly understood just what his mother had done so she hugged him tighter, even though he was already struggling to breathe, but she wasn't going to lie to him. “She took the potion 7 times. Each full moon she would send your dad to go and stay with Remus.

It took everything we had to keep you alive?”

“What do you mean?” Harry was confused by that.

“The power that helped to stabilize your core came from us.” Charlus smiled at his grandson. “By the full moon before you were born we had the entire family working to keep your heart beating. Even Morgana and Merlin used their magic.”

“I offered moral support.” Arthur laughed, being joined by the others. Arthur may have been King, but Merlin and Morgana had worked hard to keep him humble, it hadn’t always worked, but they had always tried, not that Morgana had a humble bone in her body either.

“What you need to know is that you are loved. Whether we’re living or dead, we all love you.” Charlus reminded Harry.

“It is time.” Lady Magic interrupted the little group. “Harrison must return now or he will become trapped here, neither alive nor dead.”

“We love you. Never forget that.” Charlus told Harry as he hugged him.

Arthur, Merlin, and Morgana all wished him well, and then Harry turned to his grandmother. 

Euphemia smiled sadly at her grandson. She wished she had more time, but hoped not to see him face to face again for a very long time.

“Like your grandfather said, we love you with all our hearts. I want you to go out there and live a good life and no matter what, know that I am proud. Also, your grandfather and I had a portrait of ourselves made, but we died before we could collect it. It won’t be the same as having the real us, but it might be nice for at least some version of us to be able to speak with you.

Oh, and one more thing. In the Potter Family vault there should be a relatively small looking chest marked with my name. Inside is my jewelry. There is a star and moon pendant. I want you to give it to Jack for me and tell her she’s welcome to go through any of my jewelry and take anything she likes. And tell her that her parents are watching over her just as we watch over you. They are so happy that she’s with Remus and you guys. They want her to be happy.” 

Euphemia gave Harry one last hug before Lady Magic stepped forward and started escorting him away. Harry gave his family one last wave before he walked away. Eventually they came to what looked like a whirlpool.

“All you need to do is go into the pool and you will wake up back in your own body.” Lady Magic encouraged. “Have a fun day today. And when you get home, you will get another surprise.”

Harry had just stepped into the whirlpool when Lady Magic added that last part. His eyes snapped to her and he tried to ask her what she meant but he never got the chance as the falling feeling returned.

 


 

James and the others all watched as Harry lay down in the shimmering pool. As soon as he had laid down the liquid started to swirl around him. Going faster and faster as time went by.

“Where did you manage to get liquid purified magic?” James questioned the goblins in a hope of keeping himself from worrying about his son doing something he didn’t understand.

“This town sits on the intersection of three magical lay lines. Goblins often use magical lay lines to fuel our mining. This area was already here. According to the information we gathered that had been left behind, this area has always been where a potential Crown Prince or Princess were approved or rejected.

All we had to do was let the magic flow. Usually it takes months for this much magic to gather in our other mines, but since this area is so magical this only took a few days. Although we still haven’t found a reason for so many siphons existing in the area.” Prince Diamonddagger said in answer.

It wasn't nearly enough to get James to relax. Seeing Harry laying there so still had his parental instincts screaming at him to just go and take Harry away.

A few minutes later the water started to froth and churn around the small body still laying perfectly still. James had to be physically held back by Mathew Lane when he tried to move forward to grab Harry when the liquid started forming up around him, wrapping around his wrists and head.

As the last of the liquid wrapped itself around Harry, the boy twitched and then sat up. As Harry looked around at everyone the glowing liquid around his wrists formed leather gauntlets.

The animal that represented the magical Royal Family was a magical peacock. Magical peacocks were similar to their non-magical counterparts in some ways but very different in others. One of the main differences was that both male and females had the colourful display feathers. The primary colour in a non-magical peacocks was green, blue, and yellow, but the magical peacocks were mainly purple with green, blue and silver accents. But the main aspect that separated the magical from the non-magical was that the eye designs on the tail feathers were actually real jewels that the peacock grew and shed every year, which was why they were such valuable creatures.

On the gauntlets the peacocks were only lightly etched with colours and there were a glitter of small jewels on the tails, but the thing that showed they were the symbol of the Royal Family was that they wore a crown rather than the traditional crest of feathers. The gauntlets showed his connection to the Royal Family without being to gaudy.

But that wasn't where a majority of the magic went. The magic around his head slowly solidified into two separate crowns. The first part that became solid was a slim circlet of braided white and black celestial gold. Sitting on top of the circlet was a much larger crown. 

Like the circlet, the main crown was made of white and black celestial gold but rather than being a simple braid design it was far more intricate as it formed the traditional crown design that had seven peaks, leaving the top of the head bare. Unlike the circlet though it was studded with multiple different colours of diamonds and gemstones. It was a little gaudy, but no where near how bad it could have been.

As soon as the crown was fully formed everyone in the room bowed. Even Prince Diamonddagger. Although the goblin Prince was indeed a Prince, a Crown Prince outranked him meaning he had to show respect.

“I guess that explains the mystery of the lost crowns.” Lord Summerset said after a few moments of silence.

“Lost crowns?” Harry questioned in confusion.

“Yes, each and every crown of the Kings and Queens have been different. It has always been a bit of a mystery of why that was, and where the other crowns had gone. Most of the records of the magical Royal Family were destroyed so there are still many questions.

After the Deverill attack the only reference made to the crown was that it was swept away with the rain. It was always wondered how that could happen. But, if the crown was made of magic then it may have just returned to its liquid form and flowed away.”

“I hope I don’t have to wear this thing all the time.” Harry had a pout on his face as he reached up and took off the crown and circlet.

Lady Rains smiled. “Yes and no. You will have to wear the gauntlets everyday as they are the equivalent of an heir ring and signify your status as Crown Prince. From what little information I have on them they will grow with you and can be used as a wand holder.

The circlet is intended for semi-formal events. Things like garden parties or informal meetings with dignitaries or other Princes and Princesses. The full crown is only intended for formal events like your coronation, meetings with Kings or Queens that are formal, and any formal diplomatic situations.”

“So, what happened?” Jack spoke up, she was interested.

Harry smiled and quickly started explaining everything that had happened. James was pleased to know that his parents were still watching over him and the boys, Henry especially. He was glad they were proud of him and really wanted their portraits. But learning what Lily had done without even the slightest doubt angered him once again, but he was glad his family had banded together to save Harry.

Remus and Sirius had similar reactions to James. Sirius especially since Charlus and Euphemia had become his de facto parents after he ran away from his own family.

Jack curled in tighter to Remus’s side. She was both happy and sad. She missed her parents so much, but was glad they still cared for her. Over the past year, since moving in with Remus, Jack had always held herself back since it felt like she was being disloyal to her own parents as Remus had become more and more a part of her life. Now she was being told that her parents were actually happy that Remus was there for her. And knowing that Harry’s grandmother was in a way accepting her as a member of her family by giving her a family heirloom made her realize that this group wasn't just her pack, they were her family.

The goblins and other humans were just interested in what they had seen. The goblins were fascinated by how the liquid magic had allowed the boy to speak with the dead and were wondering if there was anyway they could make a profit off it. Ironclaw was pleased, his standing had just gone up a great deal, not only was he the account manager for a very wealthy ancient family, he was now the account manager for the future King of witches and wizards in Britain. The three were also interested in how it had been the power of the dead that had kept the Prince alive before he was born, that could have some interesting effects.

The other two Lords and Lady were just pleased to have been witnesses to such a historic event. This was the first time anyone had been put through a test such as this one in hundreds of years and they had gotten to witness it. What had just happened would go into history books and they were a part of it.

After James made a quick trip down to the Potter vault that they had had transferred over he got his mums jewelry box for Jack and they all went back up to the manor. Harry wanted to put the crown and circlet away. He had of course stopped to show the portraits of Morgana and the others the crowns and tell them that he had been accepted and gotten to speak with their souls. He actually liked how the gauntlets felt so decided to just keep them on. To those that didn’t know what they meant they would just look like thick leather bracelets. 

In her room Jack opened the box James had given her and looked through it. There wasn't much she would wear since she wasn't overly girly, but she did see a few things that she thought she might like when she got older. But she absolutely loved the pendent Harry had told her about. After putting it on she went back down to the main hall, ready to go and celebrate Harry’s, her cousins, birthday.

James had gone to send off a letter to the painter about his parents portraits. He didn’t understand why he hadn’t been informed about them. But regardless of that, he wanted them. Once that was done he too went down to the main hall and got ready to celebrate Harry’s birthday with him.

 


 

The day turned out to be just as much fun as everyone had hoped. Thanks to magic they were able to move all over the country visiting different famous landmarks and theme parks. Although, the giant arcade in London had been everybody’s favourite, Sirius’s especially.

But as evening drew in James was confused by Harry. The boy seemed to be searching through the house for something.

“Harry, what’s wrong?”

Harry looked over and saw his father watching him with a concerned look. “Nothing.”

“Then what are you searching for?” James moved closer.

“When I was on the other side Lady Magic said something was going to happen after we got home. But nothing has changed.” Harry looked around the room again.

“Why don’t you just take a seat and relax?” James smiled at the young boy. “If Lady Magic said something was going to happen, something will happen. You can’t force it by stalking from room to room.”

Harry pouted slightly, but did as he was told. Sitting down with a sigh. Instead he chose to pull out the new strategy game he had gotten for his birthday from Remus, naturally he had chosen to get the boy an educational gift, and he and Jack started to play.

They played for just over an hour before anything changed. Just as Jack was getting the last of her pieces in line for a sneak attack on Harry’s pieces there was a cracking sound. It wasn't overly loud, but it did catch everyones attention.

“What was that?” Remus questioned.

“I swear, if the something happening was the roof caving in I am going to find some way to curse her.” Sirius muttered, only to get smacked upside the head by James.

“It’s coming from your pouch.” Jack was staring at the soft pouch Harry had worn on a strap across his chest for over a year.

“My familiar is hatching!” Harry announced in joy as he jumped up and took the pouch off to take the egg out.

The small egg had changed a fair bit over the year. It had once been pure white and the size of a hummingbirds egg, but now it was about the size of a robins egg and was swirling blue and teal with a hint of purple. 

As soon as the changes had been noticed Harry and Jack had started going through every creature book they could, and the closest match to the colours they had found was an occamy. Occamy were serpents with teal and blue scales and large purple and blue feathered wings that allowed it to fly. Armed with that information as their best guess, the two had set to work getting everything ready for a baby occamy.

Everyone gathered round and watched as the little egg shook and more and more cracks appeared. It took almost another half-hour, but eventually the shell burst open.

“That is not an occamy.” Jack announced as soon as she saw the little creature that was revealed.

“Hello little one.” Harry didn’t care that they had been wrong, all he cared about was making sure the little baby was ok.

Harry gently reached out, the tiny little thing clumsily climbing into his hand. As soon as he had made contact Harry felt as the bond began to form between them.

Remus pulled out his wand and cast a quick species identifying spell at the little creature. For his efforts he got a snap of the creatures sharp little teeth and a glare/pout from Harry.

“Well, you two were partly right.” Remus announced looking at the results of his spell. “It’s a girl, and she is a cross between an ice dragon from the arctic and an occamy. She just seems to have gotten the occamy’s colouring and feathered wings.”

Harry smiled down at his new friend, not caring what she was, just that she was there. She was a tiny little four legged dragon with delicate curved horns on her head. At this time her tail was longer than her entire body and she was using it to hold herself stable in Harry’s palm by wrapping it around his finger.

“Do you have a name picked out Harry?” James questioned his son after a few minutes of Harry and the little dragon just staring at each other.

“Her name is Calypso, Cally for short.”

Chapter Text

After Calypso hatched, life carried on in the valley much the same as it had before. Everyone in the valley learned that Harry really was the Crown Prince, but the fact that he had a baby dragon familiar was actually the biggest news.

James had once again been infuriated when he had heard back from the painter who had done his parents portrait. According to the man after learning of Charlus and Euphemia’s death the painter had made their portrait a priority thinking that James would want it. But, after he had finished, he sent a letter telling James that the portrait was done. Rather than a letter requesting the portrait, he had received a letter from Lily stating that the loss was just to painful and James wanted the painting destroyed.

Thankfully the artist hadn’t listened to Lily. Instead, the man had stored the portrait. After James sent the final payment, the man had sent the portrait.

The portrait versions of Charlus and Euphemia were equal parts pleased and furious after everything had been explained to them. They were happy that after everything James and Harry had managed to find a good home. They were sad Henry wasn't there. And they were absolutely furious about everything they learned about Lily, their dislike of her from life grew into hatred after learning everything.

For the family, life carried on. 

 


 

Things changed as the new year arrived. It was the new season of the Wizengamot. And that meant it was time for them to make their next move.

Even though Harry had taken the position of Crown Prince, they hadn’t done anything to announce it yet, but now they were ready. Everyone was going to be watching the opening session of the Wizengamot. And the Royal Family had a seat.

Harry was still to young to sit in the court or vote, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t announce his presence without admitting his identity. As the underage heir to a family without a head of house, Harry could send an emissary to take notes and report anything back to him.

And that was what they had decided to do once the new season started. It would put enough time between Harry’s birthday and the existence of the Crown Prince being announced to keep anyone from connecting the two events.

After many discussions it was decided that Mathew Lane’s younger brother Owen would serve in that position. The first reason was that Owen was a barrister so he had a better understanding of the laws involved than many others. He was also a private citizen so it would be harder to connect him to anyone else. And, as a grey cored muggle-born, he hadn’t been invited to Hogwarts so it would be that much harder for Albus or Minister Fudge to get any information on him. Since the Wizengamot only met two days a month Owen didn’t have any issues with it since it wouldn’t interfere with his regular work schedule.

Owen was in his mid thirties and had a well established firm. Given the discrimination that was common in the magical world it was harder for him to practice magical law, so a majority of what he did was in the muggle courts. Luckily for him, since he came from a wealthy family, his parents had arranged for him to get the best private magical education possible so he wasn't undereducated like so many others. The chance to get a first hand look at the politics of the magical world wasn't something he could resist.

 


 

On the day of the first Wizengamot session of the new year Owen arrived at the ministry as soon as it opened at 5:30 am. He needed to be extra early so no one would notice him and he would be able to take his seat in the chamber without any trouble. If anyone in the ministry knew what was going to happen they would try and post-pone the session in an attempt to keep control. Everyone was sure neither Fudge or Dumbledore were going to like this loss of power.

Once in the ministry Owen slipped down to the Wizengamot Chamber and went in, closing the door behind him. Owen went over to the magical board that recorded all the Lords, Ladies, Heirs, and proxies. He placed a magical binding contract stating that he was serving as secretary to the Royal Family that was signed with only a spot of blood by Harry on the pedestal next to the board to be assessed, next to that he lay the family crest Harry had given him that showed his position in the royal house.

The entire room glowed as the magic of the chambers recognized the return of the Royal Family of Magical Britain. Once everything stopped moving as the chamber finished rearranging itself, Owen went up to the seat meant for him and waited.

He was slightly surprised as a group of Unspeakables rushed into the room only moments later. Owen nodded his greeting to them when they noticed him. The Unspeakables nodded in return before quickly turning to discuss things amongst themselves.

Only a few minutes later most of the Unspeakables left, only one remained and made his way up to where Owen sat.

“You speak for the Royal Family?” Questioned a gravelly voice.

“I sit as secretary for the underage Crown Prince until he is ready to take his seat.” Owen nodded, glancing over to the thrown that sat on the level above him.

“I shall remain here with you to answer the questions I can. There will be many questions coming your way.” The Unspeakable took the seat next to Owen. “I am Unspeakable Bode.”

“Pleasure to meet you. I am Owen Lane.”

 


 

Albus was pleased as he made his way through the ministry to open the new Wizengamot season. Yes, his reputation had taken a hit after James released the information about the child abuse trial, but Albus had worked diligently to make repairs. He wasn't quite there yet, but he was well on his way.

He was also still angry at not having Severus under his control, but it would only be a few more years. He was sure Severus would hate James even more than ever before after 5 years of being around him. Severus would surely have some very interesting information that he could use against James after so much time.

Walking into the hall that lead to the Wizengamot Chamber, Albus slipped into his political mode. Here he needed to portray the kind old man he had everyone believing him to be, but he also needed to be hard enough to ensure that none of his adversaries could get anything past him. 

Glancing around he smiled kindly at those that were allied to him, they, unfortunately, didn’t make up a majority of those present, but gave a stony look to those who opposed him. The opposition group was lead by Lucius Malfoy, and Albus hated the man and everything he stood for. 

To that day Albus was still trying to figure out just what strings Lucius had pulled to avoid Azkaban. Simply claiming imperious shouldn’t have been enough on its own and Albus was going to figure it out one day. If he could figure it out he was sure that he would be able to use that information to get the man in prison where he ultimately belonged.

As it stood, Albus benefited either way. With Lucius free Albus was able to show himself as fighting against the dark. Most no longer believed that the man had willingly served Tom, but Lucius still fought for many of his ideals. Getting rid of him would help to give Albus a way to say he was still successful in protecting their world.

Despite his joy at having achieved such an important position as Chief Warlock, Albus was still annoyed as he looked around. Even with all of his power these people got to vote on the laws simply because of the family they were born into. A majority of the noble families stood against his plans and the only reason he managed to keep control was because of his position.

Only the Chief Warlock or the Minister of Magic could present a new bill, so Albus kept most of the laws he disapproved of from even being put up for a vote. But on occasion someone would manage to convince, or bribe, Fudge to present a bill, and that would cause Albus some problems. He could sometimes pressure those in the chambers enough to vote against it, but not always.

It was that fact that made Albus even more sure that they needed to switch to muggle democracy. He would be able to get more of his people in positions of power that way. It was easy enough to get his people into good positions in the ministry as a whole, all he really needed to do was make a recommendation and they would get hired. But he had no control over who held a title and who didn’t.

Turning away from those that opposed him, Albus made his way towards the closed Wizengamot doors.

 


 

As soon as Albus and the others stepped into the chamber they froze in shock. The thing about the chamber was that it magically sized itself to accommodate the number of active Lordships or Ladyships.

At the session that closed the last year only two weeks before there had only been 41 active titles. The 82 seats, 1 for the head of family and 1 for the heir, sat above the ground seats where the heads of the different ministerial departments sat and formed a semicircle around where the Minister and Chief Warlock sat with the official scribe. The viewing section was sized to fit the room and sat to the left side with seating for around 50 people. Heirs could only take the heir seat in the chamber when they reached 13, so there was an area for underage heirs to the right, this area was hidden under multiple privacy charms so as to protect the children.

Now there were hundreds of chairs spread out across multiple levels. At the top level of the main seating area was the seats for the Sacred 28 and their heirs, each marked with their family sigil. A few of these were dark, showing that they were unoccupied, and the family rings sat on pillows on each seat, coat of arms still visible. Below them were 3 more layers of 28 seats plus room for their heirs. A majority of these seats were covered in a black sash signalling they were not in use. On the chairs with the black sashes there were also pillows, one on the Lord/Ladies chair and another on the heirs chair, on each of these pillows sat the family rings, but there were no discernible coat of arms on any of them. Then came the level where the heads of department sat. The viewing area for both underage heirs and the press and public were similarly enlarged.

But the biggest, and most noticeable, change was the area behind where the Chief Warlock and minister sat. Before they had been against the wall, but now they sat at the feet of a large seating area. The area was beautifully adorned with rich tapestries showing the sigil of the Royal Family in gold thread on a royal purple backdrop.

A large throne sat at the very highest level overlooking the entire room. Just a little lower and to the right was where the heir would sit. Lower than the heir seat on the right was a simple desk. And a few more seats were staged throughout the area.

And there was a man sitting at the little desk with an Unspeakable to his left.

Deciding to just push on like he knew what was going on Albus went and took his seat. After a few minutes of everyone milling around and gossiping Albus had had enough. With a few swift knocks of his gavel he called everyones attention and directed them to their seats.

“I, Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore welcome everyone back to the new year of the Wizengamot.” Albus announced to the clapping of pretty much everyone in the room.

 


 

“But that’s not…” Owen whispered quietly in shock as he looked down at the man.

“Not what?” Unspeakable Bode questioned.

“It’s not a formal opening of a new season.”

“No.” Bode agreed with Owen. “My department has sent multiple recommendations to follow the customs, but we are always ignored. We’ve even explained there will be consequences for disregarding Lady Magic in such a way, but we have always been brushed aside.”

“Fools.” Was all Owen could say.

 


 

Albus was ready to just carry on. He would start researching what had happened only once he was back in private, he couldn’t let anyone think that he wasn't in full control. But Fudge just couldn’t hold his tongue.

At least it made Fudge look incompetent and not him. For Albus, image was everything.

“Unspeakable.” Fudge turned to look at the cloaked and hooded figure. “Can you explain to us what happened to the Wizengamot Chamber? And who that is with you?”

When the Unspeakable cleared his throat Albus recognized the habit of Broderick Bode. “The Wizengamot recognizes Unspeakable Bode.”

Broderick let out a silent sigh, it seemed Albus was still as annoying as he had been when they were in school together. “Early this morning the Department of Mysteries registered a large surge of magic within the ministry. All appropriate departments were notified, though none bothered to respond to our report. Myself and a team of other Unspeakables investigated and learned that it was just the Wizengamot Chambers rearranging themselves.”

“They can’t just do that.” Fudge spluttered out.

“Yes, they can.” Broderick sighed. “The wards around this chamber are directly tied to the magic of those that sit in this chamber. That is why whenever a family line has died out or disappeared in the past the seats associated with them also disappear.”

“Then why did the magic of the chamber do all this?” Fudge said in exasperation.

Broderick just looked to Owen who stood to address the room.

“The reason for the change was because the magic of the chamber has recognized the return of the Magical Royal Family of Great Britain.”

This pronouncement was met with multiple gasps and shouts of shock, followed by a few moments of complete silence, and then a rush of whispering.

“And just who are you?” Albus questioned in a fake cheerful voice. He couldn’t have this, the Royal Family was dead and he liked it that way.

“I am Owen Lane. I am here as secretary to the Royal Family to take notes on Wizengamot meetings.” Owen explained.

“That isn’t possible.” The elderly Lord Shafiq, one of the Sacred 28, said. “Everyone knows the Royal Family was killed alongside so many during the purges ordered by Lord Deverill. Many of the Sacred 28 lost their Lords and Ladies in those purges.”

After Deverill had taken control he had gone after those who stood by the Royal Family, and that had included the Sacred 28. Many had been publicly executed. The only reason the families had survived was that the remaining family members had been exiled until after Deverill had died. Many had found refuge in countries like France and Italy during those years.

“That isn’t the complete truth.” Owen nodded to the Lord. “On the night of the raid, an under nanny, Antonia Petters, managed to escape with the youngest child, 11 month old Princess Evelyn, in her arms.

As a muggle-born witch she was able to successfully hide the young Princess in the muggle world to escape the purges. Once she felt it safe enough she reached out to those she could trust to still be loyal to the Royal Family and they made arrangements.

It was determined that the main priority was to ensure Princess Evelyn's survival. To do that they decided to allow for the story of her death to remain.

By the time the danger had passed and everything had settled down enough for it to be safe for the return of the Royal Family Princess Evelyn was both a mother and grandmother. A fragile peace had been established and the ministry was just getting itself back together. She, along with her children and grandchildren, ultimately felt that announcing their survival would just destabilize our world again so they stayed silent to give the people a chance to rule themselves for a while. They chose the needs of the people over personal power.”

“So why wait until now?” Rita Skeeter shouted out from the viewing area, being chastised for doing so, but not caring as she looked between her quill and parchment and Owen.

“The Royal Family isn’t like those with a granted title, where the heirship goes to the eldest child. They are more like the Sacred 28, where Magic determines the heir.

As many of the Sacred 28 can attest, Magic can be quite picky in who she accepts. In some cases many generations are skipped before someone is granted the title. And that is what happened to the Royal Family. None in recent generations have taken and passed Magics test to be her chosen ruler. Until now.”

“Then why isn’t the King or Queen here? Why just send you?” Lord Travers demanded.

“Because the Crown Prince only just took the heir test. He is still just a child and is not yet of an age where he can sit in these chambers. As I previously stated, I am here to keep records so I can explain to the Crown Prince the direction this government is going in.” Owen explained.

“And why does he need to know the direction of our government?” Fudge demanded pompously.

“Because when he is old enough he will become the head of this government.” Owen said.

“I am the Minster of Magic.” Fudge announced in aggravation.

“That may be. But the Minister of Magic serves at the pleasure of the King or Queen. It was written directly into the governments charter when the position was created.

It was designed so that the king or Queen can remove a Minister in the event of an emergency and force a new election. As was done in 1579 when then Minister Rodrick Borg took a bludger to the head and attempted to declare Britain at war with the moon.” Owen kept his voice hard, he was not going to let the other man run roughshod over him.

“So where is the Crown Prince now?” Came the silky voice of Lucius Malfoy. If he could gain access to the boy he could make sure that he was raised properly.

“The Crown Prince lives in one of the hidden royal estates.” Owen said cautiously.

“I feel that it might be beneficial for a few Wizengamot members to be assigned to ensure that the Crown Prince is being raised properly.” Lucius suggested.

“I quite agree. As Minister I feel we need to ensure the Prince is being taught what he needs to know and I would be more than happy to assist in that.” Fudge looked around the room like he was waiting for everyone to praise him.

“You can feel however you want, but you can not enforce your will on the Crown Prince. Despite still being underage, the Crown Prince is still the Crown Prince and outranks everyone here. No one here can dictate his life. The only one who has any say in how he is raised is his father.” Owen said in a strict voice.

“The Minister has the right to speak with the Crown Prince.” A toad like woman simpered from her place near the minister.

“No, he doesn’t.” Owen was surprised these people were willing to have this argument in public. “After plenty of discussions, the Crown Prince and his family have decided to remain anonymous until he is older. They want to give him a chance to be a kid before he is thrust into the public view.”

“I think the most important thing that concerns us all is if he is safe and well cared for.” One of the Sacred 28, Lady Wenlock, said. “We understand that this body is not his parent and we can’t control how he is raised.”

“The Crown Prince is happy, healthy, and well loved.” Owen nodded his gratitude to the woman. “As I said, he lives in one of the private Royal estates. He is under the care of his father and uncles and being raised alongside his cousin.”

“And what of his education?” Albus asked, like Lucius he wanted to control what the boy learned. He knew he was going to have to look deeper into what a King could do, it would be better for him to have control of someone with that kind of power.

“Again, his educational decisions fall under the purview of his father. Currently his father has arranged for him to have private tutors to ensure that he receives a well rounded education.

As for when he gets older, that is up to him and his family, no one else. When it comes to Hogwarts, that decision will also be up to him and his family. I know for a fact that both of his parents and his uncles all attended Hogwarts, but it will be up to him to choose if he wants to attend or seek an education elsewhere.” Owen said, knowing full well that he would not be attending Hogwarts and the tutors were actually just his family, Perenelle Flamel and the portraits.

“So why did the magic of the Chamber add so many seats rather than just those for the Royal Family? The dormant seats of the 28 and the other granted titles that no longer exist have not played a role before.” Lord Bones, the elder cousin of DMLE head, Amelia Bones, asked.

“Because those titles are once again active. When it comes to the Sacred 28, they’re just waiting for a member of the family to take the seat.” Owen explained.

“But the Carver seat is there. Everyone knows the Carver family was completely destroyed when their manor was raided and burned by Grindelwald’s forces.” Lord Selwyn said, his own sister who had been married into the Carver family had been killed that night.

“Not completely.” Owen told the man. “As we all know intermarriage between many of the titled families has been common. Over the centuries members of the Carver family married into many different families. Though they might not carry the Carver name, they still carry the blood, and family magic.

Many of the Sacred 28 have had their family name changed because the title was passed to a secondary or even tertiary family line.” Owen turned to the viewing area. “If you had a Carver anywhere in your family tree I would recommend going to Gringotts and requesting an heir test just to check. You never know who Lady Magic will find worthy of representing her.”

“And what of the other Lords and Ladies?” Fudge questioned.

Under the Sacred 28 there were another 84 titles. A majority of those seats were empty. These titles were granted titles and given to members of the family for a great service to the people or Royal Family. That usually meant the oldest of them were granted for defeating a great evil, but the newer ones, although it was a little odd to refer to a seat over 300 years old as new, came as a result of a large monetary donation, which was how the Malfoy family got a seat.

The reason most of those seats had gone dormant was because while a magically gifted title could pass to any member of the family deemed worthy, a granted title was required to pass to the eldest child regardless of any other issue. Many of the families had tried to work around that rule by disowning any children older then the Lord or Ladies chosen heir, but that hadn’t worked. They could name another child Heir, and that child could sit in the seat while the Lord or Lady was alive, but as soon as they died they would be in violation of the rules and the family would lose their title. Over the three centuries since the last title was granted, almost all had lost their seats due to little known technicalities like that.

Broderick cleared his throat again to gain attention. “Those seats are from granted titles. Now that the Royal Family has returned they can be granted once again. Either to the family that originally held them, or, more likely, to new families that have been deemed deserving.”

Each of the three main players, Albus, Fudge, and Lucius, all suddenly saw opportunities. They all wanted to make sure it was those on their particular political side that got those seats.

“Wonderful, wonderful.” Fudge was the first to speak as he puffed up happily. “The Ministry shall get to work collecting all worthy candidates and figuring out who should get what.”

Owen let out a deep sigh before calling everyones attention. “Only a King or Queen may grant a title. Again, when the Crown Prince comes of age it will be up to him who is granted a title. You may of course offer your recommendations, but it will be his decision, not yours, or anyone else’s.”

“Surely older and wiser individuals should have that authority.” Albus smiled benignly, he saw this as his opportunity to get the title he knew he deserved for all his work. “It would only be responsible to assign such a prodigious responsibility to those with a better grasp of all the different issues involved.”

“As I have previously stated, you can feel however you want, but you can not supersede the authority of the Royal Family.” Owen said in a strict voice, these people just really weren’t getting it. “As written in the founding documents of this government, only the King or Queen may grant or strip a Lordship or Ladyship. By law, only the King or Queen may grant a title, any granted by anyone else will not be legally or magically binding.”

“Laws can be changed.” Lucius drawled softly.

“Not that law. As I said, it is in the founding documents of this government. The only way to change that particular law would be to completely dissolve this government. And if such a thing were to occur, the country would revert back to the complete authority of the Magical Royal Family of Great Britain and no one in this chamber would have a say in the laws regardless.

So you have a choice, follow the laws, or dissolve the government and lose any position or authority you have in governing this country.” Owen decided to just lay things out in the bluntest terms possible, hopefully these peoples self interest would make them see sense.

The chamber was filled with muttering and whispers. Everyone was shocked by everything they had just learned. But, thankfully, it seemed to finally get through to most in the chambers that they didn’t have control over the Crown Prince and that they couldn’t try and force their will on him.

“Hem, hem. That is absolutely ridiculous.” The woman in pink next to Fudge glared at Owen.

“That’s the law. This Ministry only exists because the Royal Family allows it. It was also a part of the negotiations involved in the Statute of Secrecy for Great Britain. So, not only would dissolving the government not give anyone here any more control, it would also endanger that.

If anyone has any further questions on the rules and regulations that are now in effect they may owl my law firm, Lane, Teller, and Maddox. Any letter addressed to myself will be answered as swiftly as possible, but it will most likely take time since I believe there will be a large volume of questions since the people were apparently never properly informed how their own government functions.

I will note, no letters addressed generically or specifically to any member of the Royal Family will reach them. They are protected by mail wards. Any and all letters will be redirected to my firm and legal actions may be taken if the letters are deemed threatening or dangerous.” Owen explained.

“The Department of Mysteries would also be happy to answer any questions we can in regards to this particular issue. It would be beneficial if everyone were to go over all rules and regulations about  the Wizengamot. We shall also send every member serving in these chambers a copy of these rules and regulations in the hopes they will begin to follow them.” Broderick spoke up, irritation clear in his voice as he addressed the Wizengamot members.

With that said both Owen and Broderick retook their seats and waited for the session to begin properly.

Chapter Text

For months after the announcement of the Royal Families return the whole of magical Britain was in chaos. Everyone was trying to figure out just what was going on.

And the government was of no use in answering the peoples questions since a majority of them also had no idea what was going on. The only department that functioned as usual was the Department of Mysteries. The DoM had always operated to the standards dictated by the guidelines that had been established when their department was opened so they hadn’t needed to address any issues.

Not that the rest of the ministry showed any signs that they were going to start following the rules or customs that they were supposed to. For the most part the rules and customs weren’t very large, but they were still very important. The DoM had sent out guidelines, once again, to each department to show the policies they were supposed to follow, but like usual they were largely ignored. Fudge, Dumbledore, and their lackeys, had even gone so far as to issue instructions to just ignore certain rules, something they didn’t have the authority to do.

The Ministry was running much as it always had. Those at the top simply refused to accept that they didn’t have the authority they had always assumed they did. And those who worked under them who might actually care about following proper procedure were ordered to ignore it.

The only real difference was a new office that was created. It was given the very pompous name of the Office of Royal Affairs. Officially the office was promoted as serving as a liaison between the Ministry and the Royal Family, but mostly they were just working on trying to figure out who the Crown Prince was.

Fudge was pleased with the new office because he thought it would get him control of the boy. He assumed that once they managed to figure out who he was he would be able to work his charm and get the boy to look up to him and follow his lead. Fudge just really didn’t want to lose control, if he could find a way to legally make himself minister forever he would, he was already secretly finding ways to remove any who might oppose him for his position. Despite not being the brightest or most powerful of wizards Cornelius Fudge was a brilliant opportunist and he had no intention of willingly giving up the position of power he had found himself in.

When Lucius had heard of the plans to form an office to locate the Crown Prince he had immediately gotten to work. Officially Lucius was labeled as an advisor to the Minister and he used that position with vicious skill. Although he had publicly claimed he had been under the imperius curse and that he didn’t support the Dark Lord it had all been a lie. Lucius had always been, and always would be, a true supporter of his Lord and would do whatever it took to promote his ideals.

He knew that his Lord was still alive in some form or other since the mark on his arm still existed. Lucius knew enough about the magic involved in creating the marks to know that they would exist so long as his Lord did. His Lord was going to return to them one day, and he was going to make sure he had the Crown Prince for him. He knew his Lord would be angry about his disloyalty in denying his loyalty, but Lucius believed that he would be able to avoid punishment if he had a thoroughly impressive gift, and the loyalty of the Crown Prince would be perfect.

So far the only issue that had arisen was that he hadn’t managed to gain control of the office himself. Dumbledore had moved to quickly and by the time Lucius had even heard about the opening of the new office Dumbledore had arranged for one of his people to be in charge. But, Lucius did still manage to get some of those loyal to both him and their Lord into the lower level positions. Clementine Parkinson, sister of Lord Walter Parkinson, was well placed as secretary to the deputy-head of the office, she had access to almost every piece of paperwork that went through the office. And Wilber Edgecombe was one of the main researchers. Few knew that the Edgecombe family had secretly supported his Lord, Wilber had still been in Hogwarts at the time the war ended so there were no negative associations or suspicions about him. 

Albus, for his part, was also happy. The moment he had heard about what Fudge was planning he had moved quickly. He had needed the person in charge of the office to be loyal to him so that he could reach the Crown Prince first. To ensure that happened he had arranged for Arthur Weasley to be placed as the head of the office. He knew that Arthur wouldn’t be able to hide anything from Molly, even if he had wanted too, and she would immediately go running to him if she learned anything interesting.

Albus couldn’t risk the Ministry, or worse, Lucius Malfoy, reaching the boy first. Only Albus could guide the boy in the right direction. The last thing their world needed was for someone with so much political power being swayed to the dark. No, Albus needed to control the boy.

Between Henry Potter and the Crown Prince Albus would have everything he had ever wanted. Henry would show the world that Albus was their hero, and the Crown Prince would give him the power and title he had always deserved. He might have to see if the Crown Prince would be able to arrange for him to be placed above the Sacred 28, that would show them for always getting in his way when he was trying to fix their world.

Arthur hadn’t been overly sure about taking the new position, he was just to fascinated with that muggle trash, but Albus had gone to Molly and she had made it happen. Molly, like Albus, saw the use of being the ones to locate the Crown Prince. She was already planning for Ginny to marry Henry, but she was open to changing that plan if she needed to.

But the primary reason that Molly had made Arthur take the new position was because of the elevation in status and the increase in pay. She loved to brag that her husband was the head of the Office of Royal Affairs, it was just so much more prestigious then having to say her husband worked in the useless department focused on muggle stuff. And the money was far better, Arthur was now making over 5,000 galleons a year more than he had been. As the head of the office the ministry would provide scholarships that would cover half of the tuition for the children, and that was good because Hogwarts was just so expensive and they had so many children. 

It wasn't that money was overly tight anymore, but you could never have enough money. With Ron being so close to Henry Potter, and being a character in the books, Molly had managed to make sure they got a decent amount of money. She had even negotiated for all of her children to be in a few of the books and getting paid for it, although she had been annoyed when Arthur had insisted that they open an account for each child and had half of the money they made automatically deposited. Molly reasoned that it would be better for her to have control of all the money since she was much more responsible and it would allow her to get them better clothing and food. The last thing she wanted was for the twins to waste all that money on useless prank things, but Arthur hadn’t been willing to budge. Molly had even managed to use Rons growing fame to put out her own cookbook that also helped to ease the financial strain.

Arthur hadn’t been overly excited about his new position, but he hadn’t been able to deny Albus and Molly when they worked together. Although he now had a large private office and personal secretary, Arthur found himself missing the messy little office buried in a back corner that he had shared with Perkins. But even he couldn’t deny having a better pay check made life easier for the father of 7.

The reasoning Albus had used to get Arthur the position was pointing out that the woman who had saved the Princess had been a muggle-born and had taken the girl into the muggle world. Obviously that was where the child and her family had been hidden. That meant they needed to have someone who knew about the muggle world in charge, and Arthur was the best they had.

Fudge had been easy enough to sway. Albus trusted in the loyalty of Arthur due to Molly, and Fudge had seen a life time employee of the ministry and had decided that would make Arthur loyal to him instead.

 


 

During the months after the release of Rita Skeeters article about what actually happened during the trial Lily had had many issues. All the sympathy she had gotten when she had first told everyone about James being found guilty of abusing her poor baby boy had gone away overnight. So many actually seemed to think she was the bad parent for some reason. They just didn’t understand she had just been doing what she had to do to protect Henry.

Although she had no evidence that James was abusive she had convinced herself that he was. Lily would never accept that she had done the wrong thing, and she was sure she would be able to convince everyone of that fact.

And once they all saw just how wrong they had been she was going to make them grovel for her forgiveness for treating her so cruelly.

She continued leaking out little things that were meant to make James look bad, but none of the reporters she had used for going after others were returning her owls at the moment and none of the stories ever made it to the papers. How was she supposed to show just how horrible James had been to her if no one was willing to report it?

On an individual level she had been having a bit more success. Molly was on her side, she hadn’t liked how James had behaved during their shared Christmas, so she was willing to help her make others see she had just been protecting her son. Thanks to Molly’s forceful personality and Lily’s perceived sweetness they were starting to get others to see things their way, but it was going too slowly for Lily’s taste.

Then there was Henry. She loved her son, really she did, but he was driving her crazy. The boy wasn't handling being told he couldn’t go and play at his dads well. James had taken to sending howlers rather than normal letters so Henry would hear. 

When the quidditch season started he had gotten season tickets and sent a letter before every game asking her if he could take Henry to the game. Henry, of course, heard and wanted to go. But Lily wasn't going to let that happen so she would refuse. This would just send Henry into a fit about how she never let him have any fun. Lily had even had to go out and buy quidditch tickets, a game she completely hated, so she could take him to a few games and that just wasted money they didn’t have.

And money was another issue. Now not only was she not getting any support from James, she wasn't getting as much from Henry’s fans. They thankfully still had the profits that came from the books and toys of Henry Lily had allowed, and the money that came from the Potter vaults for Henry, but that was going to be being cut soon. Henry was going to be 7 soon and then Lily wouldn’t have access to half the money anymore either.

No, things just hadn’t been going Lily’s way, but she was sure she would be able to turn it all around.

 


 

For Severus Snape, life was good. It was closing in on 2 years since he had been free of Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts, and all those dunderheaded students. And it couldn’t have been a better 2 years.

He had his potions shop that turned a surprisingly large profit, even if he didn’t charge nearly as high as he could. He only charged a little above the cost of making them since he knew what it was like to struggle, that and he knew that although James and his little buddies might not be smart enough to figure out if he was overcharging, Harry certainly would, and he didn’t think he wanted to cross Crown Prince Harrison Potter.

Another benefit that came from not having to be at Hogwarts and under Albus Dumbledore’s watchful eye was that Severus actually got to spend time with his godson. Draco was at such a vulnerable age, and Severus didn’t want it to be Lucius that moulded his opinions. Thankfully, for him at least, neither Lucius or Narcissa were overly interested in the day to day aspects of raising a child.

Severus had managed to convince the two to send Draco to him each day so Severus could tutor him. Since Severus was known for his intellect the two thought it was better than having to do it themselves or pay someone to do it. Lucius had at first questioned how Severus had escaped Albus, but Severus was able to use the story of the life debt, making sure the other man thought Voldemort had been aware of it. 

He just used the excuse that James had said he was bound to his word. Severus had had a good laugh with Lucius about how Severus would be able to avoid having to do anything just so long as he stayed away from James for 5 years. Lucius had said it just showed how much of a foolish Gryffindor James was.

Now each day while Severus worked on research Draco would be there. It was hard to do everything he needed to do in a day, but it would be worth it if he could protect Draco.

Thankfully, the people he employed to run the shop were actually surprisingly competent. Something Severus was grateful for because he could have them brew the simple everyday potions so he could focus on the more complex ones, his research, and teaching Draco properly. He also hadn’t forgotten Harry’s request to look further into the werewolf issue and see if there was any way to make it easier.

And that was why in early April Severus had convinced Lucius and Narcissa to allow him to take Draco on a trip. Not that it had taken much convincing, the two had thought a month to themselves would be wonderful. And they didn’t mind it since they were going to Prague and the Czech Republic tended to lean more towards the darker aspects of magic so they thought it would continue to educate their son in the way they wanted.

Prague was where what passed for the Governing Council of the wolves was. Traditional werewolf society was generally fairly regimented and based on the seniority of the different members. The way the werewolf Governing Council was set up was that a representative to the 12 larger packs made the major decisions that would effect wolves on an international level. Of those 12, 1 held the primary position and officially led them, that wolf got their position based on a fight for the position and any of the others could challenge them for the spot if they lacked trust in the leader. For the most part, fights weren’t actually physical, the wolves that sat as representatives tended to be older and more level-headed, so a fight for position instead relied on getting a majority of the others to back them.

Currently the representative of the South American packs from Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru was in charge. This helped Severus as he was more willing to assist the British based wolves than a few of the others were. He was also willing to acknowledge the old alliance that had once existed between the Werewolf Council and the British Magical Royal Family. And that helped get Severus access to the hall of records that was maintained in Prague.

Each day Severus would send Draco off with a children’s group, the boy really needed to learn to deal with other children, and then Severus would go and research the history of werewolf transformations. From the older records he found that the transformation was far less painful in the past, and he wanted to know why. 

Since Severus had the support of the Crown Prince, he was granted diplomatic access not just to the public records, but the private one that was generally only allowed to be accessed by the Council members. It was there he found the reports of the pain first starting. It struck him as odd that it was just after the deaths of the British Royal Family.

Finding that information he went to the historians that maintained the records. They told him an interesting story. According to them it was actually a direct result of the deaths.

The reason that Britain had always had such an important place in magical world history was because of the amount of magic that had previously permeated that land. Despite places like Greece and Egypt being much older, it was Britain that had had the most ambient magic. Even now, with the Ministry seeming to go out of their way to restrict all forms of magic, Britain was still more magical.

The magic came from where different magical lay lines crossed. In general, most countries in Europe only had one or two lay lines even going through the country so most didn’t have one of those intersections, but Britain had over a dozen.

That hadn’t made much sense to Severus about how that would effect something like a werewolves transformation. And that explanation was both expansive and indirect while still explaining things.

According to the information he was given, all magical creatures both rely on ambient magic, while producing it. Simply by living in an area magical creatures helped to make it magical. Creatures like unicorns and dragons in particular shed magic every day.

But they also needed the ambient magic to support them. And most got that magic through eating the magical fruit and berries that grew in the areas where the lay lines met. Without that magical food they would be weaker and less plentiful. It was one of the reason so many magical creature numbers had diminished over the recent centuries, not the only reason, but one of them.

For creatures like vampires they did get some magic when they drank magical blood, but not enough to properly sustain their systems. That was why they struggled with control. 

And something similar was true for the werewolves, except it was even worse for them. They couldn’t get that magic from another source like the blood of a magical blood donor, and that meant they were in effect, starving.

The records showed that as the amount of magical foods dropped off, that was when the worst aspects of being a magical creature started to develop. And the primary source of those magical foods had been the Magical Royal Family of Britain. And a majority of what Britain used to export came from Avalon Valley.

It was then explained to Severus that no one had ever found out how to cultivate magical fruits and berries. They only grew in the wild. And apparently they once grew in abundance in the Valley.

By the middle of May Severus was back in the Valley trying to figure out why the magical foods didn’t seem to be growing the way they once had. It wasn't just about doing as Harry had requested, now it was a real interest.

And there was only one group that might have the information he needed, the house elves. They were the only ones that had been there prior to the Valley being re-opened, and they might know why the supply had dropped off.

When Severus spoke with them they were able to answer. The elves in the Valley had been protected from what had been happening to the elves outside. About 150 years before, the Ministry had passed a law that made it illegal for house elves to receive any education other than how to do what was classified as their kinds of work. That included making it illegal for them to learn things like how to read. Outside the Valley, most house elves were kept as ignorant as possible, some families still allowed the elves to learn, but most didn’t even realize they might want to, and elves generally were too mild mannered to request it. But inside the Valley that systematic suppression of house elves had never occurred, and that was why they still had copies of their own history and were well educated.

The elves that lived in the Valley now weren’t the same elves that had been there when it was occupied before, but they were more than happy to allow Severus to go through all the records the elves of that time had kept, and they had kept very good records. It took a fair bit of work sorting through all the different information, but Severus eventually found it.

The Valley sat directly over where multiple lay lines met. Because of that there were much higher levels of ambient magic. But to take that even further, the royal herbologists had tapped directly into the lay lines and allowed magic to flow freely into the surrounding ground. This caused the growth of thousands of bushes and trees while also imbuing everything grown in the Valley with magic. They grew so much that they had exported the excess all over the world.

The reason that wasn't happening anymore was because the taps that had allowed the flow of the magic had been turned off after the Valley was closed up and most people left. Since there was no longer enough people to properly maintain the area having so many magical plants had become dangerous on the few occasions the Royal Family returned. When the magic was left to flow unchecked the plants had started to grow far to large and unruly and could become a breeding ground for dangerous creatures, similar to what had happened to the Forbidden Forest around Hogwarts.

Putting all the information Severus had gotten together he had known what he needed to do. At the end of May, just as the first crops were starting to come up, Severus, and a few volunteers used the maps the elves had kept to track down the dozens of magic taps and opened them. It took less than an hour before small streams started making their way, along what had once been dry stream beds, down into town.

Within a week the large park in the centre of town was filled with flowering bushes. The old trees that had before been mostly barren were also covered in new blooms. At the rate things were growing the towns herbologists said they thought the first fruits would be ready by the end of June. It wouldn’t be an immediate fix, but it may possibly help in time. Knowing the facts helped to provide hope for many within the Valley, as well as outside of it. Severus had brought back letters from the Werewolf Council for harry and the hope was they would soon be able to start exporting again.

Magic had truly returned to the Valley.

Chapter Text

As the end of July arrived everyone was busy. And this time it wasn't just because it was Harry’s birthday.

Remus was stressing out because Jack was set to start at the academy this year. And that meant that the devious girl was going to be getting her first wand, something that terrified him slightly. That, and he was having to come to terms with the fact his little girl was growing up. Even if she was going to be coming home each evening, it was a major change, at least for Remus it was.

But the biggest change, and trouble, had arrived a few months earlier. Each month, members of the school staff and members of the magical children welfare office in the muggle government would visit the different names that showed up in the book of names as young children had their first burst of accidental magic. The member of child welfare would return and visit every few months to make sure the child was safe and there weren’t any issues with their magical development while also making sure the parents were coping. For the most part the meetings went fine and there had only been a few minor issues with the care of the children.

That was until they had had to bring Sirius, as a member of the local law enforcement, along with them because one of the children they were monitoring had started to show signs of serious abuse after the first meeting. In the end the young boy had had to be removed. And Sirius hadn’t been able to bring himself to let him go.

Sirius chose to adopt the young boy, Asher. 

Asher was 3 years old. For the first few weeks he had been weary, but by the end of the month he had grown comfortable in his new home, and that meant he went back to acting like a toddler. James had joked that although Asher wasn't Sirius’s son by birth, he was in spirit. The little boy loved to cause chaos just as much as Sirius always had.

Since the day Asher had arrived, they hadn’t had a day without something breaking or the young boy getting into some kind of trouble. He had some how even managed to get up on top of the bookshelves in the library without anyone seeing. Sirius had had a near panic attack as he ran along the shelves when Asher decided it was a game and started making his way from shelf to shelf. It wasn't until Harry and Jack, both in near hysterics, reminded him that he had magic that he realized he could just levitate the boy down.

The thing was, none of the three adults really had any experience with toddlers. James may have been sharing a body with Harry when he was that age, but Harry had always been older in his mind. And they hadn’t had Jack until she was well past that stage. James had only ever been around one other toddler, and that was Dudley, and they all agreed they didn’t want to let Asher behave like Dudley had, and even then, Petunia and Vernon had always tried to keep Dudley away from him and Harry.

For both Harry and Jack, having another child in the house was proving to be very entertaining. They had both always been extremely mature for their ages, so watching the adults try and contend with an average child was very enjoyable. It didn’t help Sirius, James, and Remus that the two of them had taken to assisting Asher with getting into things while also teaching him the way of the prankster, of course making sure their new little cousin stayed safe. Harry in particular had set Cally to watching him.

The dragon was still only little. When she had hatched she had fit in Harry’s palm, and she still could, but now she wrapped her tail around his wrist to hold herself up rather than his finger. Although she was small, she had doubled in size. When she had been about 6 months old she had taken her first flight and now she was zipping all over the place and would always go directly to Harry if Asher was getting into something too dangerous. Although she hadn’t spoken the way Merlin’s familiar Kilgharrah could, she still managed to get her point across.

But none of that was the focus as the end of July arrived and Harry was turning 7. And Cally would be 1.

And that meant Harry was going to have to return to the bank once again. This time he was going to be tested by the Potter family magic to see if it would accept him as the heir to his fathers family.

They had already checked in with everyone about if Harry even could hold the Potter Heirship. Given the fact he was already Crown Prince they didn’t know if he could have any other positions. And the answer had been yes, he could. But, if he ever took the Lordship he would have to have a proxy in the seat since he would always be required to sit in the highest ranking seat he had which went with the royal title.

For the most part Harry didn’t really care if he was the Potter Heir, it just meant there would be more responsibilities, but he also knew how much it would mean to his dad. He just hoped that it wouldn’t really matter. Magical people tended to have extended life spans, so Harry hoped that on the sad day when his father finally passed there would be someone else that could take the responsibility. Maybe by then they would be closer with Henry, or James could have another child, or even Harry’s own kid.

It was decided that they would celebrate first, and then go to the bank afterward.


 

Lily was all dressed up as she escorted her baby boy past the people and the few reporters that were in the Alley. Today her baby was going to become an Heir. Maybe then she would finally be able to force James to give them the money they deserved, Henry was going to be the future Lord of the Potter family, he deserved far more than James was giving him.

It took them over an hour to get from the Leakey Cauldron to the bank since everyone was taking time to wish her baby a happy birthday. Lily had seen Rita Skeeter hovering around, but she always made sure to steer Henry away from her, Lily still hadn’t forgiven her for the articles she had written. While Lily directed him, Henry just kept going, making sure to smile at everyone just like his mum had taught him. He had learned young that the more he pretended he cared about all these people that randomly came up to him the more presents he got.

Arriving at the bank Lily was frustrated that she had to wait in line like everyone else. Henry was just as annoyed since he couldn’t have fun while they waited, he hated having to wait, but his mum had told him he had to behave and then she would get him ice cream when they left. Neither noticed that those around them were irritated at Lily’s constant huffing and tapping her toes and Henrys running around and pushing others out of his way.

After another ten minutes of waiting Lily and Henry were finally guided back to meet with Ironclaw. With the opening of the bank in the Valley, Ironclaw had transferred over, but he still had a small office set aside in the Diagon Alley branch of Gringotts for on the rare occasion he still had to meet with anyone about the elder Potter boy. Ironclaw was not looking forward to this meeting, having worked for the Potter family for so long he knew there was little to no chance that the boy was going to be accepted as Heir, and that meant the boys mother was going to throw a tantrum.

“It’s about time.” Lily glared at the goblin as she took her seat in front of the desk, directing Henry to the seat next to her. “We are here to get Henry his heir ring.”

“I shall send for the box.” Ironclaw said, he hadn’t brought the ring with him just for the slight satisfaction of annoying the woman. “In the mean time, there are a few things that we must go over.

Mr. Potter, as you are now 7 your trust fund has been opened. You will be given an allowance of 250 galleons each month. This is your key. If you lose the key you will have to come here to retrieve a new one at the cost of 10 galleons per key so I recommend you keep track of it. This vault is meant for you and you alone, do not give your key to anyone unless you are willing to allow them to take your money.

Now, your father tried to arrange visiting you for your birthday but was denied by your mother so he requested that I pass on your present.”

Ironclaw passed over a large box with a card sitting on top.

Henry didn’t bother to wait, he jumped up to stand on the chair so he could rip the paper off and flip the box open. Inside was a bunch of different games, and a few books but Henry didn’t pay any attention to those. He just wanted what he saw as the fun parts of the present.

As Henry was pulling the toys out of the box to examine them further a goblin arrived carrying the box that contained the Potter Heir ring. The box was made of black onyx and shaped like a round diamond. When placed on the desk it sat with the point on top. Each of the facets was engraved with the family crest.

“What is this?” Lily demanded as she picked the box up and tried to figure out how to open it. “You were supposed to get Henry his ring.”

“That is the ring box.” Ironclaw glared at the womans actions. “Only the rightful heir of the Potter family can open it. As you are not a Potter, it will not open for you.

Young Mr. Potter must prick his finger on the top and allow a drop of blood to flow down the side. If the Potter family magic accepts him it will open. If it does not then the box will remain closed and he will be able to come back and try again next year on his birthday.”

“Henry, open the box.” Lily thrust it over to where Henry was trying to open a new model quidditch set.

“But muuuummmm.” Henry whined. “I’m playing.”

“If you do it now, then we can get ice cream and go home and you can play there while we wait for your birthday party to start. I’ll even let you invite Ron and Ginny over early.” Lily bargained.

“Fine.” Henry pouted but went and grabbed the box. When he couldn’t get it open, he hadn’t been listening to Ironclaws explanation, he started banging it on the desk. “It won’t open.”

Ironclaw was angry. Not just because of the child’s whining, but because he was hitting his desk. “As I stated. You must prick your finger on the top and let a drop of blood fall on it. If you are accepted it will open, if not then you will have to try again next year.”

Henry huffed, much like his mother, but sat down and put the box on the desk. Reaching forward he pressed his finger on the point, flinching back when he felt something push out and nick his finger. As he pulled his finger away a drop of blood slowly rolled down one of the facets. Each of the cress began to glow, but it only lasted for a few seconds before they returned to how they had been before.

Lily and Henry sat staring at the box, both confused by why it wasn't opening. Henry was the Potter Heir, Lily had been telling him that for as long as he could remember.

Getting annoyed henry reached out and grabbed the box and started slamming it on the desk again. “Open you stupid thing. Mummy, it’s broken.”

Ironclaw waited a few moments to see if the woman was going to correct the childs behaviour, but when it became clear she wasn't he snapped his fingers, causing the box to fly from the childs hands and into his own.

“HOW DARE YOU?” Lily screeched. “You have no right to take Henry’s ring from him.”

“I did no such thing.” Ironclaw sneered. “If that boy was the Heir then the box would have opened. Since it did not, he is not. Given that it was clear you were not about to address his poor behaviour I dealt with the issue before anything could be damaged and you would be charged for those damages.”

“Henry is the Heir.” Lily growled.

“No, he is not. The box is not open. The box will be returned to the Potter Vault. He may try again next year. Maybe by then he will have grown up some and the Potter magic will find him more acceptable.” Ironclaw stated.

“James can’t do this to Henry. He has no right to deny him his rightful title.” Lily snarled, her mind instantly jumping to the idea that James was doing this as revenge for her getting rid of the runt.

“Lord Potter has done nothing.” Ironclaw defended his employer.

But Lily wasn't about to listen to a creature, she was sure James had done this to her and her poor baby. “You will get James here now.”

Ironclaw raised a brow at the womans demand. “Lord Potter is not currently available. If you wish to meet with your former husband you will have to arrange it, I do not work for you.”

Lily hated being denied. “Henry. We’re leaving.” Lily walked over and grabbed her son, shrinking the boys present, she wanted to leave it but knew Henry wouldn’t let her, and left.

Ironclaw smirked as soon as the witch had left. He really could get used to infuriating that rude and disrespectful woman.


 

For Harry, his birthday was perfect. This year they had decided to only go to one place, and that was to the circus. Harry and his friends and family went on nearly every ride and were pretty sure they ate more then their weight in junk food.

Harry had had a lot of fun, liking that no one really knew who he was so he didn’t have anyone, other than his family, watching him out of the corner of their eyes. Harry loved getting to be just another kid. While most in the Valley understood he didn’t want to be treated differently, they still instinctively did.

By the time they arrived home everyone was exhausted. And the day still wasn't done. James still had to take Harry to the bank to check and see if he would be accepted as the potter Heir.


 

“Happy name day Crown Prince Harrison.” Ironclaw greeted as James escorted Harry into their appointment.

“Thank you Ironclaw.” Harry smiled  at the goblin.

“Lord Potter, you should expect to hear from your ex-wife soon. She was less than pleased when your elder son was denied the heir ring.” Ironclaw warned the man.

“I figured.” James sighed. “The elves currently have three howlers being held in stasis back at the manor, but we didn’t want to be late so I didn’t bother to listen to them.”

Ironclaw smirked as he pushed the Potter Heir ring box across the desk to where the child sat patiently. “Do you know what to do young Prince?”

“Yes, dad explained everything to me.” Harry smiled at the goblin.

Harry reached out and pressed his finger to the point of the box. He flinched slightly as he felt the sharp sting and his finger was nicked. Cally, who was resting on Harry’s shoulders hissed at the box that had dared harm her child.

Like had happened when Henry had added his blood earlier that day, the crests began to glow with power. But, unlike with Henry, the glow didn’t stop. They all watched as the facets separated and opened, creating a star shape with the ring sitting on a black satin pillow in the centre.

“Congratulations Crown Prince, Heir Potter.” Ironclaw said.

“Well done Harry.” James hugged his son.

“I didn’t really do anything.” Harry wondered why he had been found worthy but Henry wasn’t. What about them was so different?

“I know.” James ruffled his sons hair. “I always wondered what about me made the family magic believe me worthy. And you have done things that make you worthy Harry. You are a genuinely good person, and that is more than many can say.”

Harry gave his dad a small smile. “But what about Henry? He can’t be that bad.”

Ironclaw cleared his throat. “Your brother is still very much a spoiled child. When the box wouldn’t open he started slamming it against the desk, and that might be just why he wasn't accepted.

He seems not to have taken any time to learn of what it means to be a Potter. How can he be the Heir of a family he knows nothing about?”

“You’ve studied the family history Harry, Henry hasn’t it would seem. I have been sending him the same books I have given to you. You chose to read them, he hasn’t. It doesn’t necessarily make him a bad person, but he just isn’t mature enough.

Like Ironclaw said, he can’t be expected to lead the family if anything were to happen to me without knowing anything about who we are.”

Harry had to agree. He just hoped that Henry was ok, he didn’t want anything bad to happen to his brother because of Lily’s failures as a mother.

Chapter Text

Harry and James had discussed it, and Harry had chosen not to take the ring. He knew that he had been accepted as Heir, and that was enough for him. If it ever came down to it, he knew he could just go and collect the ring if he had too. But he wanted to leave it there just in case Henry managed to earn it more. Harry really did want to give his brother a chance to prove he was worthy.

After leaving the bank with Harry, James had had to return to the manor, but he still refused to listen to Lily’s howlers. He didn’t want to let her ruin Harry’s birthday with her dramatics. But he did eventually have to open them the next day, along with the 5 others that arrived in the interim.

Lily was furious that Henry hadn’t been accepted as Heir and was blaming James for it. She had been demanding that he meet them at the bank and give Henry his Heir ring personally and an apology for his cruelty.

James had wanted to see Henry again, but he hadn’t wanted to let Lily think she could have her way just by sending him howlers. If she believed that that would work she would never stop.

After a tense exchange of over a dozen letters, a meeting time was set. James would meet Lily and Henry at Ironclaws office in the Gringotts in Diagon Alley on Monday at 3.

James was sure it wasn't going to be that easy though. He may not have known Lily as he once thought he had, but he had learned enough about her to know that she was going to do something she thought would make things hard for him for his imagined slight.


 

James let out a sigh. He had been sitting in Ironclaws office in Gringotts for just over 20 minutes waiting for Lily and Henry. They had finally arrived, but they hadn’t come alone. None other than Albus Dumbledore was with them.

He knew he should have seen this coming. Albus would naturally want Henry to be named Heir. He had near complete control of Henry, it would give him even more power if he controlled James’s Heir. Using Henry he would have had at least basic control of James himself, it was how he had managed to control his own father when Charlus had been Lord Potter and James had been the Heir.

“Hello Henry.” James smiled kindly at his son before shooting Lily an exasperated look. “You’re late. And why are you here Albus? You have nothing to do with this.”

Lily bristled at the tone. “The Headmaster is here because I invited him in hopes he will be able to keep you in line.”

“Keep me in line?” James chuckled humourlessly. “What am I going to do? Falsely accuse you of child abuse and then set up a fake trial through corruption. Oh wait, that’s what you do. I’m only here to see my son… And deal with your latest meltdown.

How have you been Henry? Did you have fun on your birthday? Did you like the presents I sent?”

Henry didn’t really care about what his parents were fighting about now, he just liked talking about himself so he went over and hopped up in the chair next to his dad. “Yeah, it was fun. But I really wanted to go to a quidditch match, but mum said there weren’t any going on so we couldn’t.”

“Well, I always get season tickets so if you want to come to a game with me you will just have to convince your mum to let you.” James smiled over at a furious Lily.

“Shut up James.” Lily snarled. She didn’t want Henry to know something like that. She was struggling enough as it was with the howlers inviting Henry that he sent every few weeks. The last thing she needed was Henry thinking he could go to every one of those stupid games.

“Haven't you been hearing any of the letters I’ve been sending you Henry?” James questioned is son.

“Mum said those letters we’re about how you don’t want to be my dad anymore and that’s why I live with her.” Henry said in confusion. He had gotten to hear the invite to a few of the games, but recently his mum had always kicked him out of the room as soon as she saw the letters.

“What is wrong with you?” James looked at Lily in horror of her sheer cruelty. “What kind of monster says something like that to a child?

Henry, just ignore what your mum says. I am your father, and I will love you no matter what. I may not always approve of everything you do, but never doubt, I love you. None of those letters were about me not wanting to be your dad, they were me inviting you to attend quidditch matches with me. I had even managed to get us tickets to last years quidditch world cup but had to go without you when I never heard back.”

Henry looked to his mum in horror. He had missed the world cup because of her.

“You’re just trying to take him away from me.” Lily whined.

“No, I just want to spend time with my son.” James argued back.

“I believe we are getting off track.” Albus smiled genially. “We came here to discuss Henry’s position as Heir.”

“Oh yes, because I want you even more involved with my business than you are now.” James curled his lip at Albus. “What do you want to steal now Albus? You’ve already committed multiple crimes in stealing both of my boys from me, what else do you want?”

Albus bristled at the tone. “I understand you’re displeased my boy, but it really is for the greater good, one day you will understand that.”

“I’m not ‘displeased’ Albus. I’m furious and heartbroken. And I will never accept what you and Lily have done. As far as I am concerned, and the law would consider, you are both guilty of kidnapping.” James glared.

“Oh get over it.” Lily huffed. “Now, give Henry his Heir ring.”

“Someone stealing your children isn’t something you just ‘get over’.” James gave Lily a disgusted look. “As for the Heir ring, there is nothing I can do.”

“Henry is your son my boy, as the eldest the position of Heir is his.” Albus said calmly.

“Wow, you just admitted Henry is my son, funny coming from a man who stripped me of all parental rights.” James looked at Albus. “And, as I said, there is nothing I can do to make Henry the Heir.”

“All you have to do is declare him your Heir. It is his birthright.” Lily shrieked at James.“What right do you have to deny my baby boy anything?”

I haven’t denied our son anything Lily.” James wished he could spend more time just talking to Henry, but knew Lily wasn't going to let that happen, she wanted James to be the bad guy in his eyes.

“Yes you have my boy.” Albus said sadly. “He is the rightful Heir.”

“No, he isn’t. Tell me Henry, did you read any of the books I’ve sent you over the years?” James smiled softly as he looked back to the child.

“Like I would ever let him read that bigoted trash.” Lily glared.

“And there is one of the reasons he wasn't granted the heirship. Those books aren’t ‘bigoted trash’, as you put it, they are history books. They cover the formation of the Wizengamot, the traditions involved in having a title, manners, etiquette, and the history of the Potter family. If he doesn’t know any of those things then he will never be accepted.

I sent them to him so that when he was tested to be the family Heir he would stand a better chance of being accepted. You can’t expect him to be accepted when he has no idea what is going on.”

“He’s the oldest. He’s the Heir.” Lily screamed.

“No, that isn’t how it works. Her ignorance I can understand, Lily never bothered to learn anything about what it meant to be a witch. To busy trying to force the magical world to comply to the muggle traditions like her opinion mattered. But you. I actually thought you were decently intelligent. A corrupt kidnapper, but intelligent.” James looked to Albus in disdain. “Maybe you both need to read through those books too since you are clearly clueless.

The Potter’s are a part of the Sacred 28. That means that the Heirship doesn’t go directly to the eldest. Magic determines who is worthy. And, apparently Magic doesn’t approve of how you have been raising Henry.”

Albus was startled. He had, of course, known that the Potters were a part of the Sacred 28, but had forgotten the aspects of how an Heir was selected. He had assumed that Henry would be accepted because he was the chosen one. Magic had already selected him to be her champion against dark magic, surely she would let him be a Lord too. But he had forgotten to make sure that the boy was taught about his responsibilities in that regard.

“I must admit that James is correct Lily, Henry will need to learn about the Wizengamot before he can be accepted as an Heir to the Sacred 28.” And Albus hated having to admit that.

“And I will be more than happy to teach him.” James offered. He saw this as a way to start getting to spend time with Henry again.

“I’m sure we will be able to handle it just fine.” Albus smiled at James. He didn’t want James to be able to influence the boy against them, and he knew he would.

“Oh yes, I can see that in just how your other blind sheep have received the heirship to a magically granted title.” James rolled his eyes.

“And just what is that supposed to mean?” Lily demanded.

“Simple. The Weasley seat has been empty since the death of Arthurs Uncle. They have 7 children, but none of them have been accepted as Heir. I can only assume that is because none of them have been taught about what it really means to be a functioning member of our society. Molly has been trying to force them to follow muggle customs for as long as I can remember, on your direction I’m sure Albus.

I remember sitting and talking with Arthur during an Order meeting during the war about it. He said he had no desire to be Lord Weasley since it would just draw attention at a time when that was dangerous. But he told me he had tried to teach Bill and Charlie the proper ways so that one of them could be the future Lord, but Molly had thrown one of her typical fits and refused to allow them to learn. Apparently you yourself Albus had shown up to insist he not teach the boys anything about their own families history much to Arthurs irritation. He was afraid that it would mean none of the children would be accepted as Heir or Lord, and obviously, he was right. 

If you refuse to allow them to learn what they need to know, then they won’t know it when it matters.”

And once again Albus was stunned. He had actually forgotten all about that. But now that he thought about it he remembered that the Weasley seat had been sitting dormant for years. It had just never served his purpose to have it filled. He knew Arthur would never be accepted as Lord, but one of the children could be.

Arthur wouldn’t be accepted because of something he had known Molly had done. Molly had given Arthur a mild love potion when they had been younger, it was why they had started dating in the first place. Arthur had learned what she had done, but he had forgiven her and decided he really did like her. But given that he was married to someone who had drugged him the family magic would never let him hold the title because it would see him as being under the control of another through magical means.

Albus had never wanted anyone else in Arthurs family to try because they weren’t as devoted to him as Arthur and Molly. But Bill was already 16, so if he was accepted he could be Lord Weasley the next year. The boy was intelligent and responsible, Albus had arranged for him to be Head Boy after all, so surely he would follow Albus’s instructions. And if not Bill, then Charlie would be of age in a few years, or even Percy. The Twins didn’t stand a chance, and Ron and Ginny were just as ignorant as Henry so they wouldn’t be able to be the Heir yet.

He was going to have to address the issue. He currently didn’t have any control over any of the Sacred 28, but with a Weasley, he could.

“But I want to be the Heir. Mummy said I could.” Henry pouted to his father. He didn’t really understand what being Heir meant, but he didn’t like being told no about anything. As soon as he had been told no, it had become the most important thing to him.

“I’m sorry Henry, but there’s nothing I can do. An Heirship isn’t something you can just demand, it has to be earned.” James told his son.

“But you got to be the Heir.” Henry started to whine, forcing his eyes to tear up. His mum gave him whatever he wanted when he cried.

“Oh baby, it’s going to be ok. You’ll be the Heir.” Lily rushed forward and hugged Henry. Lily glared at James for making the boy cry.

“Yes Henry, I was the Heir. But do you know what? When I was your age I came here just like you did. And just like you, I was denied.

Like you I was a spoiled little boy that thought I could be named Heir just because I wanted to be. And like you, I was wrong.

So I’m going to tell you the same thing my dad told me. If you want to be the Heir, you need to grow up. I never paid attention in my lessons about the family history or politics. And because of that I didn’t know anything I needed too. The books I sent you are the same ones I had to read.

I came here every year to be tested. And I was finally accepted when I was 10. Only after I finally started to pay attention.

So stop those tears. All they show is that you aren’t mature enough to handle the responsibility. Over the next year you need to start to learn, you could even get your mum to read the books to you, or come and see me, and then you can try again on your birthday.”

“You weren’t accepted either?” Henry questioned, pushing his mum off him.

“Not until I was 10. My best friend, Sirius Black, he’s your brothers godfather, he tested every year from the time he was 7 until he was 15. And he was never accepted. But when he decided to try for the Lordship a few years ago he got it. So he’s a Lord that was never an Heir.” James smiled at Henry. “Just because you didn’t get it this time doesn’t mean you never will. You just have to earn it.”

Henry sat back in thought. He didn’t want to have to waste his time on stupid books, but he wanted to be Heir. He was going to have to see about getting his mum to do something.

“You will give Henry what is his.” Lily demanded like she hadn’t heard a thing.

“As I just told Henry, he needs to earn it. There is nothing I can do. You need to accept that you are a witch and stop trying to live like a muggle. If you want him to be the Heir, then he needs to know what it means to be a wizard.” James told her stonily.

Lily couldn’t believe that this man was speaking to her like this. She was the mother of the Boy-Who-Lived. She didn’t have to put up with this.

“Henry, we’re leaving.” Lily grabbed Henry and all but dragged him towards the door. “You will pay for this James Potter.”

James sighed. “First of all, don’t hurt Henry by dragging him around like that, he isn’t a rag doll. Second, do I need to remind you what happened the last time you went after me Lily. 

I have done nothing wrong. If you attack me again like you did last time I will only retaliate to defend myself, but I will retaliate. You are not as untouchable as you might think. Remember, I know you, and I know what you’ve done.”

Lily glared, but loosened her hold on Henry when he stomped on her foot. She didn’t say another word as she stormed out.

Albus let out a sigh, this was just going to be more trouble. Lily wasn’t able to control her temper. She was going to attack James again, and James would retaliate. And James never pulled his punches, if he retaliated Albus knew he would make it brutal. And that meant that Albus was going to have to clean up the mess.

He needed to try and get Lily under control. Despite him and James having their issues at the moment, he knew James was on the right side of this issue. There really was nothing James could do that would get Henry the Heirship, other than teaching him, but neither Albus or Lily wanted to risk that.

“Are you ready to tell me what you did with Harry?” James stood staring directly at Albus.

Albus startled slightly, he had gotten lost in his thoughts. “I understand you are upset my boy, but this is how it has to be for now. It is the only way to keep him safe. You will get to see him again in just a few more years once he starts at Hogwarts.”

“Just get out Albus. I don’t want to have to spend any more time around someone as despicable as you.” James gave him a disgusted look.

Albus bristled, but decided just to leave. He would make the man pay for his behaviour later.

Chapter Text

After the meeting at the bank life returned to normal for James. Lily did try to go after him, but most of the papers were still not willing to openly attack him yet, so the attack was blunted. There had been a few little digs at him, but none of them had been overly serious or done any damage to James’s reputation.

And now James was excited as he met up with Anna Barrow. Anna was a member of the Childrens Welfare Office who assisted in informing families that they had a magical child. Just that day a new name had appeared on the list, Willow Attwell. And James was going to be accompanying Anna to inform the parents as a representative of the school. James enjoyed these sorts of meetings, it was generally very entertaining to try and explain that magic was real.

Arriving at a perfectly average house at the end of a cul-de-sac they nocked and were allowed in. Willows parents turned out to be a lovely young couple named Grady and Marie. Grady worked as a realtor, and Marie worked at a local day care. Willow herself was just a few days shy of her 3rd birthday on August 30th.

When Anna mentioned where she worked both parents both became worried and defensive. They swore they would never harm their daughter.

Anna laughed softly as she hushed them. “That isn’t why we are here.”

“Then why are you?” Grady questioned, his arm wrapped protectively around his wife’s shoulder while she held the little girl.

“We are here because your daughter is a very special child.” James smiled. 

“Your daughter is a witch.” Anna smiled.

“I beg your pardon?” Marie was shocked at these people insulting her little girl.

James laughed as he understood what the couple was thinking. “Not like that. We mean an actual witch. Like, the magical kind. That’s why I’m here. I am the co-headmaster of a magical school.”

Grady and his wife exchanged concerned looks before Grady spoke in a soothing voice like he was trying to placate them. “Ok. Is there anyone you need us to call to come get you?”

James laughed, this wasn't the first time someone thought they had escaped from the loony-bin. “Allow me.” James pulled out his wand and made the tea tray Marie had set out levitate up to eye level before gently placing it back down.

Grady and Marie just stared at their tea service. Willow clapped and demanded James do it again.

“Magic is real.” Anna said in her own calming voice. “And, every now and then, a magical child is born into a non-magical, muggle, family. That is the situation that has occurred with your daughter.

Willow’s name appeared on our records this afternoon. That means she has done her first bit of accidental magic. Did something surprising or unexplainable happen today?”

Marie got a thoughtful look. “We’ve been weaning her off her pacifier. I put her down to nap without it, but when I went to get her up, she had one. I just thought you gave it to her when you checked on her Grady.”

“No.” Grady confirmed his wife’s suspicion.

“And there it is.” James nodded. “The summoning of a favourite toy or a pacifier is one of the most common first bits of magic a child performs generally.”

“So, what does this mean for us?” Marie questioned, worried they were there to try and take her little girl from her.

“It’s ok, we aren’t here to take her.” Anna assured, she had seen that fearful look many times over the years. “Raising a magical child comes with it’s own set of issues and problems. It can be difficult to deal with a child that can occasionally defy the laws of nature.”

“And gravity.” James added.

“Gravity?” Grady questioned fearfully.

“Yup. My godson Asher, who’s a few months older than Willow keeps randomly getting on top of the bookshelf and we know he can’t have been climbing them.” James said. To this day they still couldn’t figure out how Asher was doing it, so they had settled on saying he was levitating himself up there.

“Hush James, don’t panic them. Yes, strange things can happen, but it isn’t too bad.” Anna smiled. “We are here to make sure you understand what is happening with your daughter and offer assistance. 

We have what we call parental support groups where you can talk about any issues or funny stories with other parents like yourselves. And we offer educational seminars where you can learn about how your child is developing. Magical children are susceptible to different types of illnesses so we also offer medical support.”

“Medical issues?” Marie questioned.

“Well, as a magical child Willow is immune to the chicken pox. But the magical world has it’s own variation called dragon pox, where the rash turns green and it will not go away on its own, it requires treatment. Now, since you live in the muggle world, non-magical, the chances of her getting it is very slim, but it’s better to be aware. 

There are also different inoculations she will need to get that will protect her from things like dragon pox.” Anna pulled out a few brochures and handed them to Grady. “We will also be stopping by from time to time just to check in. 

We have no reason to suspect abuse, but we are still required to keep an eye on the situation. Many muggle parents can struggle in dealing with a magical child.”

“We would never harm Willow.” Marie was back to being defensive.

“And we aren’t accusing you.” Anna assured. “But the thing is, children have a talent for finding your last nerve and trampling it. With a magical child it can be even worse, especially if accidental magic is involved. 

The thing is, accidental magic is just that, accidental. They have absolutely no control over what they are doing. But, when your tired and it’s late it can seem like they are doing something just to annoy you.

When my daughter was 7 she hated vegetables. It was a fight every single day. And usually about once or twice a week she would banish them off her plate and then smirk at her father and I. For some reason they always ended up in my husbands shoes, and we still don’t know why. The thing is, we knew although she was happy about it, she hadn’t done it on purpose, but it sure seemed like it at the time. 

There were days I was at my wits end. And we knew what to expect. This policy of checking on the children has only been happening for the past few years. It was implemented after studies found that a child from a muggle home was over 10 times more likely to have been abused than a child from a magical home.

Now that you know what is going on the chances decrease, but we still can’t take the risk. In the magical world child abuse is considered worthy of a life sentence.”

“That seems a bit extreme.” Grady said. “I know it’s bad, but a life sentence.”

“Like we said, magical children develop differently. Willow, as a child in a happy home, will have accidental magic like summoning a favourite toy, or banishing food she doesn’t like like what happened with Anna’s daughter. The reason for this is because accidental magic is directly tied to the childs emotions. It just tries to make the child happy.

But for a child in an abusive home, their magic will lash out in an attempt to protect. Children in those situations have a tendency to light fires or make things explode. In more severe cases they can end up killing themselves or others.” James explained. “We aren’t accusing you of anything, but we need to ensure the childrens safety. Not all families are as accepting as you are being.”

“What kind of person would hurt their child just for being different than them?” Marie questioned horrified. She had just learned her daughter was different, but that didn’t change how she felt about her.

“Many.” Anna sighed. “Some just lose their temper in a moment of frustration, and we address that with them, not taking the child away, but keeping a closer eye on things in case we have to. Sometimes there are issues with drugs or alcohol abuse in the home. And on some unfortunate occasions we have had to deal with a magical child being born into a family of religious fundamentalists.

Just a few months ago we had to remove a young boy from one such home after they subjected the toddler to an exorcism and then denied him food for two days because they thought they could get rid of his magic like that.”

James just nodded along. Both he and Anna knew that the boy she was referring to was none other than Asher.

“We just want to help and make sure Willow has the best chance at a good life.” James assured.

“And what about you?” Grady looked to James, having come to understand why home checks would be needed sometimes. “You said you worked at a school.”

“Yes.” James was glad to be off that topic. “I am co-headmaster of Avalon Academy.”

“Will Willow be attending when she’s old enough?” Marie questioned.

“She is on our list, but the choice will still be yours. Now, you don’t need to worry about it overly much at the moment. As we said, Willow has no control over her magic right now and she won’t be able to learn it.” James nodded.

“Like I said, magical children develop differently. Right now, Willow is right on track for a child like her.” Anna said.

“A child like her?” Grady repeated.

“Yes. The thing is, the magical core is like a muscle that can be inherited. When a child of two magical people is in the womb they actually absorb the magic of their parents. This means, when they are born they naturally have more magic and their core is more developed. Because of this they usually start having bursts of accidental magic around their first birthday.

A child with only one magical parent will still absorb the magic of that parent, but since they only get half as much their magic usually first presents between the age of 2 to 2 ½ years old. And a child from a muggle family, since they can’t get magic from their parents, will have their first accidental magic around their 3rd birthday.

This doesn’t mean anything later in life. By the time they are school age the children will all generally be on equal footing magic wise.

Now, since her magic just presented, you will have to deal with random flare ups over the next few months or so. After that her magic will settle down. Think of it like this being growing pains for a new muscle that is just developing.

When she reaches the age of 7, like all other magical children regardless of parentage, she will go through another growth spurt as her core expands again. And that will mean another 6 months or so of random magic, but it can be a bit more intense.

And that is why we give you contact information for us. If something major happens that you need reversed, get in contact with us and we can deal with it.”

“What’s the worst that could happen?” Marie laughed.

“My daughter got the hiccups at school and started bouncing three feet off the ground each time.” Anna deadpanned.

“My niece got annoyed with her teacher and turned the man into a flamingo.” James laughed remembering what had happened to the teacher that had insulted Jack about her different coloured eyes. “My son just turned 7 a few weeks ago, and since then he has gotten stuck to the ceiling, caused all our lights to explode when he sneezed, and caused a mini snow cloud to form over the house. We are still trying to figure out how he did that, and possibly replicate it.” 

Marie and Grady shared a slightly fearful, slightly humorous, look before looking down to their daughter.

“Just get in contact with us if anything big happens.” Anna said. “After those 6 months things will settle down again until she turns 11.

At the age of 11 a childs core, where their magic is held, is large enough for them to start to learn control. Now, you are lucky, Willow just makes the cut off. Magical children can’t start attending a magical school until they are 11 and the cut off day is September 1st. So she can start two days after her 11th birthday rather than having to wait an entire year where you will get to deal with a growing magical core.”

“The summer of her 11th birthday she will receive her formal invitation to attend the Academy. That’s just the formality, like I’ve already said, she’s on the list. Then it will be up to you to decide if you want her to attend the school or if you want to home school her.” James reiterated.

“Where is this school?” Marie knew it was a long way off, but she didn’t like the idea of her daughter going far away even when she was older.

“The Academy is in a hidden valley in Wales.” James told them.

“That’s really far away.” Marie said nervously. They lived a few hours away from Wales.

“You are forgetting something.” James smiled. “Magic. We have ways of traveling long distances in only a moment. If she attends, Willow will be able to leave here in the morning and come back when school is out without any issues.

During the first three years the students go home each night. For fourth and fifth year they stay in the dorms during the week and come home on weekends. And their final two years are full boarding, although they can still come home if you request it for anything important.”

“Why is it set up like that?” Grady was slightly confused by the odd schedule.

“The first reason is age. I have my own son, and even working at the school I would miss him too much.” James grinned remembering when he had argued to be able to have Harry come home each day when they had been just thinking of opening the school. “The reason things change after third year is that is when the major exams can start.

There are two sets of major exams. The Ordinary Wizarding Level, OWL, which can be taken at the end of their fifth year. And the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test, NEWT, which can be taken at the end of seventh year. And I say can be taken, because that isn’t when they have to be taken. Many of our students find that they excel in certain fields, so we don’t hold them back. If they are advanced in a subject they can take the tests early if they want. If they do that then they can take the internationally standard tests, the Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test, or WOMBAT. If they want to work internationally they are required to have WOMBATs.

You see, there are two major schools here in Britain. The other school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, barely qualifies to be internationally recognized and the Ministry sets our education standards to them. Our school is set up to not just meet the international standards, but exceed them. So our students have a tendency to find the exams easier, they can still be difficult, but not in comparison to the international exams.

So our schedule is set up for those that only want to do the bare minimum and still be able to get a decent education. The higher the grade, the more work they have, naturally. It’s just easier for the upper year students that are prepping for exams to be at the school so they can have access to the professors and the library.”

“Do you have any other questions?” Anna asked.

“Not really.” Grady said, but it was clear he was just overwhelmed and wasn't really sure.

“Wonderful.” James grinned, he loved this next part. “If you would like, we can go and visit the valley where the school is.”

“Why do that now? I mean, Willow’s still to young to go to school.” Marie said.

“Because we encourage early integration. It will be easier for Willow to acclimatize to magic if she knows about it early. It will also give her a chance to make friends and for you to meet other parents like yourselves.

One of the ways we travel is through mirrors. When we leave today we will be leaving one here with you so that you can go and visit the Valley whenever you want. The Valley isn’t just for the school, it’s a town. And there are always things like play groups or activities going on for the kids.” Marie explained.

“Mirrors?” Marie said, shock in her voice.

James just smiled. After that they went down to the basement. In a hidden out of the way corner they set up the mirror, covering it in all kinds of secrecy spells that would ensure no one outside the family could find it.

Then they gave each member of the family a pendent and guided them through.


 

James grinned as he got to see the shocked look on the faces of the two parents as they came out of the mirror and directly into the valley.

“Welcome to Avalon Valley.” James gave a flourish.

“But… We…” Grady stuttered.

“Magic.” James grinned even wider. “Come, I think this will make everything sink in a little faster.”

Anna laughed as she knew where James was leading them.

Moving just outside of town they came to a tree line. James grabbed an apple off one of the trees and guided the young family past the tree line.

“Oh my god.” Marie gasped.

They came through the tree line and found themselves standing at the edge of a field filled with a heard of 2 dozen unicorns. Noticing that they had visitors a few young unicorns made their way towards them. They had no fear of humans and had learned that they would generally get petted or given snacks.

“Here.” James held out the apple that he had sliced up with his wand.

Marie passed Willow off to Grady and took an apple slice. She felt like a little kid as she held it out to the nearest unicorn. When it took it she squealed and jumped up and down. “I just fed a unicorn. Did you see that Grady, I fed a unicorn.”

Grady laughed at his wife’s excitement. “I saw sweetheart, I saw.”

They spent the next few minutes petting the unicorns and feeding them the rest of the apple. When they gave Willow a slice she had chosen to take a bite first, resulting in Marie telling her that she needed to share with the unicorn. Which just resulted in her laughing hysterically when she realized she had just told her daughter to share with a unicorn.

But eventually Grady started thinking straight again. “If unicorns are real, how come no one has noticed?”

“Simple. Muggles can’t see them.” James said. “Those pendants you are wearing, they are enchanted to not just allow you into the Valley, but to let you see it. If you weren’t wearing them you wouldn’t have even been able to enter the valley. Without them, you wouldn’t see anything.

When our worlds separated, wards were erected that made magic effectively invisible. Only something truly extraordinary would be noticed.”

“Worlds separated?” Grady said in a questioning voice as they turned to leave the field and go back to town, much to Marie's sadness.

“Yes. The muggle and magical worlds used to be combined. That’s why you have legends of people with magic and magical creatures like unicorns and dragons. 

But, with the rise of many different muggle religions that saw magic as the work of the devil, resulting in multiple witch hunts, things became complicated between our two peoples. In 1589 the magical people had had enough and our world separated itself through what is known as the Statute of Secrecy. It was an agreement with the muggle governments all over the world granting magical beings the right to govern themselves and create wards that would hide us.

The Ministry of Magic, our equivalent of your government, and our largest hospital are both in the centre of London, but you can’t see it. And if you did see anything, the magic would make you more likely to just ignore it. Again, without those pendants you’re wearing, a dragon could stand directly in front of you and roar and you wouldn’t hear or see a thing. Every now and then someone will manage to see through the spells, and that’s where those old stories like the Loch Ness Monster come from.”

“That’s one of the reasons we encourage early integration of children like Willow. She is a child of two worlds, and they are very different.” Anna said. “Since the signing of the Statute, our worlds have developed separately. You may have noticed the different fashion sense that people have here.”

“Oh, I noticed.” Marie laughed as she thought of the man she had seen walking down the street in a long red cloak that had been paired with what looked like a purple pant suit.

“Also, electricity doesn’t mix well with magic.” Anna continued as she guided them through town, pointing out different shops and the community calendar. “If we brought a phone here it would explode before it even made it into town. 

Because of that we don’t have phones, computers, or TV’s. A few people have managed to combine magic with cars, but it is extremely difficult. All those things are things that have helped define muggle culture since they were invented and they haven’t had an impact on us.

I myself am a muggle-born like Willow, my parents were like you. And when I was a kid, they didn’t inform us about what was coming. The first I heard of the magical world was when I got invited to attend Hogwarts when I was 11. It was a massive culture shock. The only thing I recognized was the radio, but I didn’t know any of the songs.”

“No TV?” Grady said, stunned and horrified.

“Nope.” James smiled. “Some of us still do things like go to the movies, but other than that…

Mostly for entertainment kids play games or fly.”

“Fly?” Marie questioned.

James waved his hand over to where they could just see the edge of a quidditch pitch where the summer camp teams were practicing. “In the magical world, riding a broom is the equivalent of riding a bike. Most kids start early. My own boys got their first brooms for their first birthdays.

Those are the school students. They are playing a game called quidditch. In the magical world it is the equivalent of football. And we don’t do any of that separating the girls and boys when they play.  Magic doesn’t discriminate based on gender, so neither do we.”

“Good.” Marie smiled. She hadn’t had to deal with too much discrimination based on her gender growing up, but she had still had to deal with her fair share. The idea that her daughter would automatically be seen as equal was nice.

After a bit more exploring Anna and James decided it was time to let Willow’s parents just sit back and let things sink in. For that, they guided them back to their nice safe home. 

Anna gave them the information package that covered not only everything they had just explained, but much more, and she and James excused themselves and left.

Chapter Text

With the reemergence of the Royal Family, Albus knew he had to move quickly. As everyone was making their way into the session that would start yet another new year, they still hadn’t had any luck at even getting a hint on who the Crown Prince was. It had been a full year, and they still had nothing.

And that meant no one was yet able to influence the boy properly. Albus just couldn’t trust that the child was being raised to understand just how dangerous dark magic, and all those who supported it, were. He needed to keep control.

The thing was, they didn’t really know anything about the Crown Prince. Not just his name, but his age as well. Most children of the Sacred 28 weren’t actually accepted the first time they took the Heir test, it was something about them lacking the maturity for it or something. And since the royal title acted like one of the Sacred 28, the boy could be, and more than likely was, older than they thought.

The boy could be anywhere between the ages of 7-12 since they could take the test when they were 7 and could sit in the Heir seat starting at the age of 13, as far as Albus knew. The man that had been appointed as Royal Secretary had said the year before the boy was too young to take the Heir seat so he had to be younger.

But all that meant was that he was under 12. For all Albus knew the boy could be waiting for them in the chambers, he had no idea about the actual rules he followed as there were no books he could find that had anything about the Royal Family charter.

And that was where the urgency came from. Since he had no control over the child he needed to get as many laws that supported his plans passed as possible before the boy took control. When he sat in the chambers when he was 13, he might not be able to vote, but he would be able to voice his opinions, and those trying to suck up to him in hopes of gaining his favour may follow his ill-advised lead. And Albus couldn’t trust they would be the right opinions. And then, when he turned 17 he would become the head of the government and could cause him even more issues than the Sacred 28 did. 

The boy would be the King. He would be able to stand against everything Albus knew needed to be done if he wasn't guided right. Albus needed to get as much of a safety net in place as he could should that horrible day ever come to pass.

He had tried to get one of his own people in the Sacred 28 by encouraging Molly to get the children all tested to be Heir, but all had failed. Albus was actually surprised that every single one had failed. But, he also knew that Molly had never let them learn anything about the Wizengamot or wizarding traditions. 

Even as he had been encouraging Molly to get the children tested she had argued with him. He thought he may have done too good a job on her. Molly may love prestige, but she hated anything that was traditionally magical. And it didn’t help that the Wizengamot was made up of people that had stood against him and those like Malfoy, she had been worried about them corrupting her children. She had ultimately done what he wanted, as she always did, but she hadn’t overly approved, only doing so because he said it would secure the children a good future and help to better their world.

Albus was conflicted after that. He wanted to have control of a Lord Weasley, but he also wasn't sure about allowing the children to learn the magical traditions. Both Bill and Charlie were just to wild and free thinking. Percy would be a decent choice given his devotion to authority, but he also insisted on learning everything he could. The twins, like their elder brothers, were too wild. Of all the children the most malleable were Ron and Ginny, and he wasn't sure they had the intelligence for it. Both were babied by Molly far too much.

In the end he had just encouraged her to get the children tested each year just in case. If any were accepted he would use them, if not, then oh well.

He had also had to have a few meetings with Lily and Henry about Henry getting the position of Heir. Lily hadn’t liked it, but Albus had finally impressed upon her the importance of Henry going through the books James had sent him. Albus was sure that if Henry put in the effort he would be easily accepted.

On the occasions he had met with them he had found himself becoming more and more dissatisfied with the boy Henry was going into. He was far too demanding and not in the slightest bit humble. Albus knew what it was like to be great, so he didn’t begrudge the boy his ego, but he had encouraged the boy there was a time to be proud and a time to at least pretend humility. Nobody liked an arrogant hero.

He had gone over his schedule looking for times he could start Henry’s lessons, but they were few and far between. While Albus enjoyed all his high powered positions he regretted his lack of free time. He wasn't going to have a single day free to begin working with Henry to start turning him into the hero he wanted until well into the new year.

Albus knew he was going to have to find a way to make time. Lily just didn't seem capable of turning Henry into the hero he wanted.


 

Albus wasn't alone in those thoughts as the new season of the Wizengamot was called to order. Many looked up and to see that the two thrones still remained empty.

Lucius was frustrated by the lack of momentum on discovering the Crown Prince’s identity. Not that he was overly surprised. They had put that fool, Arthur Weasley in charge after all. A waste of a wizard if there ever was one.

He too wanted to get the laws his Lord would support through before the boy came to true power. He knew with a Weasley in charge of the search Dumbledore would be informed first. And they couldn’t risk such a powerful child in the clutches of such a fool to do the right thing. 

No, he was going to need to redouble his peoples efforts in finding the boy first. But he would be a fool not to secure his position first.

Lucius had been a Slytherin. He knew how to word things in a benign way to make it more palatable to the dim masses. He could probably even get Albus Dumbledore to vote for his ideas just so long as it was worded properly and he had one of his unknown allies present it.

Fudge too had realized he needed to secure his position. They just couldn’t trust the Crown Prince yet. 

His undersecretary had pointed out that the boy was being hidden away so he wouldn’t understand the true importance of the Ministry. The boy was just a child, he wouldn’t understand just how much of a revolutionary Minister Fudge himself really was. They needed to ensure that the Ministry, and more importantly, the Ministry officials, remained in charge and they didn’t fall to the whims of a foolish child.

Deloris had pointed out that if the boy proved to be intelligent and understood just how important it was to let the Ministry continue to be run by those like him and her then all the better. They wouldn’t need to rely on any new laws that would ensure they retained their powers. But, if the boy showed himself to be disloyal, then they would have a system in place to make sure he had limited power.

Fudge had agreed with her completely. He had assigned her the task of drafting a collection of laws that would make sure they protected their world from foolish children that were given too much power.


 

With the three most powerful political figures in Britain all in partial agreement about what needed to be done the laws started passing fast and furious. Each was encouraging their allies to vote in favour of most things. And each law passed served each individuals personal agenda. Within a year they had made more changes and laws than they had since the start of the last war.

It was Fudge that got the least of his bills passed. Despite his position, he didn’t have enough control over the Lords and Ladies to sway enough votes. But he did still get many things done. Not all of them doing what he intended as Deloris had slipped some of her own pet projects into the mix of laws she had drafted.

He had managed to get laws passed that would restrict how much power a person had based on their age. It specifically stated that someone must be a minimum age of 30 before they could author or present any laws or changes to laws. He thought that would at least keep the boy out of his way for a few decades.

Another law also served to restrict who could make policy decisions. It stated that only someone who had served within the Ministry for a minimum of 10 years could make policy decisions. They had already restricted the Crown Prince’s ability to create the laws, this one would stop him from making any decisions that would alter the way the Ministry was run.

The third major law that he had passed was one that Deloris had added. It was written in sweet flowery words that made it sound like it was keeping creatures classified as half-breeds, specifically creatures like centaurs, away from areas that were populated with humans, but what it really did was make it legal to hunt them if they were within 100km of any other life forms. Deloris hated creatures like centaurs and would be more than happy to have them wiped out.

Lucius had managed to also get a few major laws passed. And, just like he planned, they were worded in a way to make people think them fine, but they would actually serve to make things that much easier for when his Lord returned.

The first thing he did was the issue of a new census. It didn’t seem like a big deal, which was one of the reasons it was passed so easily, but Lucius had managed to get a few extra questions added. And the most important question for his needs was that everyone had to answer was their blood status. Having a record on who was what and having detailed information on where they lived, where they worked, and any other magical family members they had would serve his Lord greatly when they took control.

Then, after that he passed a smaller law that required proof of pureblood status. Lucius had convinced many in the Wizengamot that knowing a families history was important. Given that those in the chamber had inherited their positions family lineage and history was seen as highly important so they were more willing to encourage others to know their own histories. For Lucius, it would mean that every one who claimed to be pureblood would be required to show proof back four generations. It would keep anyone from lying to improve their own positions. It would also help to build a detailed list of the different families alliances based on who married into which family.

The third thing Lucius got passed was the removal of a tax cut for muggle-borns that started businesses. This one didn’t seem overly important since the only major shopping area was Diagon Alley and every shop there had been owned by the same families for generations so there was no room for them to work. But, it also had small print that would actually raise the taxes on any future businesses that were started.

And Lucius’s last major bill was a restriction on who could hold certain positions of power. Officially, it looked like it was to just restricted creatures like werewolves and vampires from working in areas populated with people, but it went a bit further. It also served to restrict just what kinds of positions half-bloods and muggle-borns could get. With that law he made it illegal for any muggle-born to head a department, not that he thought it would ever happen, but it was better to be safe than have one of those sorts get so powerful.

Albus was the one that got the most done. In his usual style, he hid what he was doing by using a multitude of small laws. Each law on it’s own seemed innocuous, but when put together they basically rewrote the fabric of their laws.

The first group of laws he got passed served to restrict the movement of those classified as dark creatures. But, they also served to expand the definition of ‘dark’ creature to include most, if not all, creatures. Any one with any amount of creature blood could be arrested if they were seen doing anything the auror felt was suspicious in Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and any other community where witches and wizards lived. They didn’t even had to be breaking the law, the auror just needed to say they were suspicious and they could be sent to Azkaban for up to 6 months.

The second group of laws were actually inspired by the work being done by Fudge’s undersecretary. Albus really couldn’t stand Deloris, but he did feel she on occasion did have some good ideas. The outcome of those laws was to create a registry of those with creature blood using the data that was collected from Lucius’s census. He made it look like it was Lucius and Deloris advocating for it because he didn’t want people to think he was doing anything discriminatory, but he was still the driving force behind it.

Once he had the registry in place that would make it easier to track those with creature blood, he set about changing the laws that affected them. In particular, it completely removed their ability to work in any job that would require any contact with normal witches and wizards. Albus just feared there was too much of a risk of transferring their diseases to the general public for those like werewolves and vampires who’s conditions were contagious.

That wasn't to say that he wouldn’t accept them on his side during the upcoming war he was already preparing for. He would much rather it be those with creature blood that die if they needed to accept the loss of life.

After that he decided to target the goblins. Over the years Albus had learned to truly hate goblins, they just didn’t respect him and seemed to go out of their ways to deny him everything he wanted. The fact that they had chosen to remain neutral in the war had infuriated Albus, and he was still angry to that day, and this was his chance at revenge.

Using his position, Albus decided to take some control. The first thing he had done was remove the goblins ability to carry any weapons in the public areas of the bank. They didn’t want to expose children to such open threats of violence after all. Since the goblin guards at the bank weren’t allowed to carry anything to ensure security, they were barred from using wands after all, it would only make sense to assign aurors to assure the public of their safety and the safety of their money.

The goblins had been furious, but they had had no recourse as the Ministry owned Diagon Alley and could force them to move their bank if they wanted to. In the end the goblins were forced to allow the bank to be guarded by members of the Ministry, much to their rage.

After that was done Albus went to work adding more spells, potions, and rituals to the banned list. Over the years Albus had been meticulously adding two or three things to the list that were banned every couple months, but now he was doing it by the dozens. They needed to purge their world all the faster now that the future was unsure with a new Crown Prince and the potential return of Voldemort.

And while he was doing that, he also added more laws about what those in Knockturn Alley could and couldn’t do while also raising their taxes, again. Those shoes were just far too dangerous in Albus’s opinion. The dark witches, wizards, and creatures that lived in that area shouldn’t be able to exist around the good, light, people of Diagon Alley in Albus’s opinion. If they weren’t forced out of business by the restrictions on what they could do, then Albus trusted the taxes to wipe most of them out.


 

Overall, it was an odd sort of truce that had formed between the three powerful men. Each supporting the others to get their bills passed while still publicly decrying any law that they themselves didn’t want to be seen supporting.

The bond between Lucius and Albus was particularly complicated. Lucius secretly assisted all laws that stripped the rights of creatures because he knew his Lord would actually support them. And he helped the restrictions on certain aspects of dark magic to pass because he knew that all those who supported his Lord, himself included, would just do as they always had regardless of the law, but banning it would anger many and when his Lord returned he would take over and repeal those laws, making his Lord seem like their protector.

In turn, Albus supported getting the census passed because it would allow him to identify creatures. And, when it came to the restrictions Lucius proposed he supported getting them passed for two reasons. First, he strongly supported anything that would restrict creatures, and it was worth it to temporarily restrict the rights of muggle-borns to get them, he would just lift those restrictions once the future war was over. And second, the restrictions on muggle-borns would make more followers and supporters for himself because as he was secretly helping them pass he was publicly against them.


 

And through it all, life carried on.

The thing was, most people had been effectively trained to be completely apathetic to anything the Ministry did that didn’t directly effect them. The Ministry had gotten very good while under Fudges control at controlling the narrative that was put out in the press. 

While they were passing new taxes, removing tax deductions, and restricting the rights of a large amount of the population, most of it was never publicly announced. Those like Fudge, Lucius, and Albus released some information, but knew well enough to keep the worst aspects of the new laws to themselves.

The only ones that were vocal about the new laws were the goblins. But, for a population that had only learned about goblin rebellions in their history class, it didn’t seem odd for the goblins to be angry. All they really knew about goblins was that they often rebelled. And since they were only taught about what happened from the views of the wizards involved, who would never admit to doing anything wrong, it always seemed like the goblins had been angry over nothing.

It would be a few months until the new laws started to be implemented so most weren’t even aware that anything had really changed for them.

Chapter Text

As those in the outside world began to realize just what kinds of laws were being passed, those within the Valley prepared. They knew that as those new laws took full effect they were going to have more people searching for a safe haven, and the Valley was really the only one there was unless people wanted to leave the country. And they were more than willing to allow more people to come to their happy little town.

Harry and his cousins continued to grow. Jack had gotten her wand and started school, and she loved it, as much as any kid could love school. Harry was still Harry, the boy excelled at everything he tried but still worked hard rather than just relying on his own natural talents. He attended the public school in a near by muggle town, like most of the children in the Valley did, and his teachers had had him skip a grade since they felt he needed to be challenged a little more, something James was happy to brag about to everyone he saw. And little Asher finally got to stop being referred to as the toddler of the family as he turned 4 in February, much to Sirius’s dread, Asher would be starting at school with Harry in the fall and Sirius was being as dramatic as ever about his little boy growing up, not that he was causing any less chaos.

The economy of the town was really starting to get up and running as more and more people started to open businesses. There were now a dozen different little restaurants that ranged from little tea shops to formal dining. There were also crafting shops that made everything from fabric that they then sold to the shops that made and sold clothing, furniture shops, 3 different grocery stores that carried all different kinds of food, toy stores, and of course Severus’s potions shop, and many more. They were also in the process of opening a fully staffed medical facility since many didn’t want to go to St. Mungo’s, and those with creature blood couldn’t.

But for James, there was one annoyance, Lily. After months of trying to go after him in the press, she had finally found an attack that stuck. She was going off about how he wasn't paying her any spousal support. She was also saying that he wasn't paying any child support, and in the strictest terms of the words he wasn’t, it was the Potter Estate that paid for Henry’s care.

And that attack was starting to get her some traction. To the point that Harry had gone to him and asked him to fight back. Harry, being the odd child that he was at only 8 years old, kept up with the news and had a tendency to pay close attention to what the adults around him were saying and understanding the connotations of different things. And he didn’t like what was being said about his father.

In the end, James had made his decision about what he was going to do, he was going to do as Harry asked, he was going to fight back.


 

Sirius was once again excited as he made his way through Diagon Alley. Everyone knew that Rita Skeeter always ate lunch at the Leakey Cauldron every weekday so she could get the gossip of everyone when they came for their lunch breaks. He made no attempt to hide as he strode through the pub, nodding to Tom as he went, before going up the stairs. Allowing his eyes to sweep over everyone in the room, making sure to catch Rita’s eyes.

It took a little over half an hour before the door to his private room opened and Rita Skeeter slipped in. The woman knew enough about subtlety to not just get up and follow a potential source. She had waited for the largest amount of the lunch rush to leave and she walked out with a group towards the Alley before transforming into her bug form and slipping back inside and up the stairs.

“Hello again Sirius.” Rita purred as she joined him at the table. “It seems like I never get to see you anymore, you wouldn’t be avoiding me now would you Sirius?”

“Of course I would Rita, we both know just who and what you are.” Sirius smiled.

Rita smirked. “I’d be careful if I were you Sirius, you just might hurt my feelings.”

“Maybe, but we both know I’ll make it worth a little suffering.” Sirius smirked back.

“So tell me, what is your opinion on these latest series of stories about your dear friend not paying his spousal or child support? By all accounts the Potter family is incredibly wealthy, why isn’t he ensuring they are taken care of?”

“You’re asking the wrong questions Rita dear.” Sirius said.

“And just what do you think are the right questions?”

“What happened? If you talk to anyone who knew Lily and James they will tell you the same thing. James fell head over heels in love with Lily Evans on their very first train ride to Hogwarts when they were 11. He practically worshiped the ground she walked on for years.

So, what happened? What could have been so horrible as to turn him against her? By all accounts he was a loving and devoted husband up until the attack. So what changed when he woke up that would make him divorce the woman he had loved for over half his life?”

“It isn’t just about having the right questions Sirius, it’s also about having the answers. Or, at least, knowing where you can find them.” Rita was thinking about what sort of story Sirius was pitching to her.

“Well, I’ve noticed you have yet to get your hands on the muggle court documents from the divorce.” Sirius leaned in slightly. “Remember, it was a muggle judge that set the support payments since it was done through the muggle courts. If James wasn't keeping up his end, all Lily would have to do was inform the judge and James would be legally forced to comply.

But, to know what the deal was, you need those records. It just so happens I know of a particularly bright and ambitious young muggle-born witch who recently started working in the court records department of the muggle government since she was blocked from working for our own government due to her blood status. If you were to offer her a little incentive, and anonymity, I’m sure she would be willing to owl you a copy of the divorce decree.”

Rita looked down at the slip of paper Sirius pushed towards her like it had the answers to life written on it.

“But, as we all know, paperwork takes time. It usually takes a week to 10 days to get any kind of documents or files in the muggle world since they can’t rely on magic. And, I wouldn’t want you to be bored while you wait.” Sirius smiled as Rita slipped the parchment into her pocket.

“And what would you suggest I do to fill my time?” Rita smiled, showing all her disturbingly white teeth.

“First, I think you might want to make sure both James and Lily have given you the approval to write about an underage member of their family. You could do that by just sending a generic permission form stating they are giving permission to the paper to write about their family, just to be on the safe side of course. Although, I would recommend you have another writer send it to Lily since she doesn’t seem overly fond of you.

Then, I seem to remember you got your start writing the obituary column for the paper. Being the sentimental woman I’m sure you are you might find your way down into the Hall of Records at the ministry to look over old death certificates of those you wrote about. 

And, given the importance of the Potter family in recent years you might just look up all the magical death certificates for the Potters for the last…say… 10 years.

But since that might be a little depressing you would want to cheer yourself up. And what is more cheerful than the birth of a new child. So, it would only make sense if you were to find your way over to the birth records. And given that you had just been looking at the Potters, you might look up all Potter birth certificates for the same time period.

And that in turn might take you to St. Mungo’s to look into the visitors log. You would have a good grasp on any important dates I’m sure. You might even want to spend a few days talking with a few nurses that worked in certain areas of the hospital to get their view not only on their patients, but those that visit them.”

“That seems like a lot of work.” Rita said thoughtfully.

“But, like me, I’m sure you’ll find it worth it.” Sirius gave her a cocky smile.

“We shall see.” Rita nodded her farewell and slipped out the door. Transforming once she was in the hall, she had work to do.


 

Rita was frustrated as she made her way through the Hall of Records to where the birth certificates were filed. She had already sent off the letter to the witch Sirius had said could assist in getting her the divorce decree, and now she had spent hours going through death certificates. It brought up so many old memories, and Rita hated those memories, she had hated being relegated to the obituary detail. She often blamed it on the fact that she had been a Slytherin while the editor was a Gryffindor that was loyal to Dumbledore.

The problem was that she couldn’t just summon the records she wanted. It was possible to do so, but if she did her magical signature would register. And she didn’t want that, what she was doing wasn't illegal or anything, but she knew that high ranking members of the ministry she had written about before did everything they could to keep her out. They would go out of their way to stand in the way of her getting a story just out of spite.

And that meant that she had had to search through the records by hand, and there were a lot of them. The Hall of Records kept the magically produced records on every magical being that had lived in the country dating back over 1000 years. To find death certificates for a single family, in a single set of years had taken her over 3 hours, and that was only half of what she needed to do.

If she learned that Sirius Black had just been messing with her, something she knew he might just do, she was going to make him pay. She would write such a scathing article about him that he would never be able to show his face in public again.


 

It was another 4 hours later, Rita cursing the name Sirius Black under her breath for the last hour, that she finally found something. In the year span Sirius had given her there was only one folder. On the top it was dated July 31, 1980. 

It was exactly what she had expected.

But then she opened the folder and grabbed the birth certificate. And all kinds of stories started to form in her head. This changed everything.

Rita Skeeter smiled as she looked down at the birth certificate she held. One in each hand.

Chapter Text

Rita’s first little write up was published in the Monday paper two weeks after her meeting with Sirius.

 

Hello my darling readers. I, journalist extraordinaire, Rita Skeeter, have spent these past few weeks buried deep in research gathering everything I can to keep all of you informed on something that I found both equal parts surprising and horrifying. 

For the next four days I will be printing a series of five stories, one each day and two on Friday. Each shall tell the part of a story that I feel everyone needs to be aware of so that they can fully understand just what is going on with a few very well known members of our society.

Rita Skeeter


 

The next day the first article, and the paper it was in, was delivered into the hands of Rita’s devoted readers. As soon as she had teased a series of articles it had become the biggest bit of gossip in the magical world. Everyone knew that if Rita was doing an entire series on something it was going to be extremely dramatic, and they couldn’t wait.

The only ones not overly excited were the powerful members of their society, all worried that they would somehow be dragged into it. Many had contacted the Daily Prophet as soon as they had seen the little blurb the day before. But, only Rita had the information on what the story was about, she hadn’t even told her editor since she didn’t trust him not to kill the story, he didn’t know what she had written until the morning when she hand delivered it to the printing press, when it was too late to stop it. Now, if the story was killed after everyone had been informed she was writing it, it would make the paper look horrible, and there would be a large open section that they wouldn’t have time to fill so it would be obvious if it was cut.

The only issue Rita had was that since she and the editor had always had such a contentious relationship he hadn’t been willing to give her the top half of the first page. She still got the front page, but it was on the lower section below the fold.


 

Invisible Child Part 1 of 5

The Unknown Child

For me, this whole strange journey began when I finally manage to locate the divorce decree between Lord James Potter and his former wife, Lily Evans. As I was going through it I found many things that greatly concerned me so I spent the recent weeks gathering everything so I could lay it out for you in a coherent pattern. 

So let’s start at the beginning.

It was during the hight of the war with You-Know-Who when a newly graduated James and Lily married in the small muggle church that Lily’s own parents had married in. 

After speaking with multiple classmates of the pair they painted the same picture. James Potter had fallen in love with Lily Evans on the very first ride on the Hogwarts express. Then after waging a 6 year campaign to win her heart, Lily Evans agreed to go on a date with him in their final year. And then, agreed to marry him. And all was well.

We all know what happened next. On the evening of Thursday July 31st James Potter rushed his beloved wife to St. Mungo’s. And after hours of labour, at 11:42 pm Lily Potter gave birth to Henry Albus Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived.

And that is the story we have always known. It’s in books and reports. But, what happened next is something that has never before been spoken of. And, just so we get this out of the way, I had letters sent to both James Potter and Lily Evans to get their permission to discuss their family, including underage children, so I am not violating any privacy rules.

The story carries on from where the rest of us always believed it ended. After the birth of little Henry Potter, something else happened.

At 11:59 pm, Harrison James Potter was born.

Our precious Boy-Who-Lived is actually the elder of a set of twins. It was most likely a moment of pure joy for the two new parents, each holding a baby boy in their arms.

But, that joy was shattered. Specialists were called in as little Harrison started to struggle to breathe.

And that is where this article ends, with little Harrison Potter being rushed away from the arms of his terrified parents.

Rita Skeeter


 

By the time Wednesday arrived there were many different reactions from those waiting for the next story. A vast majority of the public had, naturally, responded with sympathy for James and Lily believing Harry had died. Many we furious with Rita for bringing up such horrible memories for parents they believed had lost their child. But they were all eagerly waiting for the next story, unable to resist the drama.

Lily and Albus, however, were furious and terrified. The worst part for them was that Rita had mentioned that she had the divorce decree, something neither wanted getting out. Both had tried to force the Prophet to stop the articles. But, Rita’s plan had worked. The editor of the paper had known if he tried to stop now it would end his career, he was trapped either way as Albus had informed him he would have him fired if he didn’t stop Rita. In the end he decided to go out with a bang rather than a whimper, in true Gryffindor style, and allowed the story to continue.


 

Invisible Child Part 2 of 5

Who is Harrison Potter?

Last time we stopped with a new born Harrison Potter being rushed away from his parents to receive treatment. 

Now, I’m sure you all fear the boy perished, but that does not seem to be what happened. As we all know, medical files are private, especially those in regards to a child, but your intrepid reporter has managed to piece together what happened next.

After being taken from his parents Harrison Potter was diagnosed with what is known as an unstable core. What this means is that his core couldn’t regulate his magical levels. When it comes to an unstable core there are a number of outcomes that are possible. 

I spoke with an expert on the subject and they explained what could happen. The first, and most desired outcome, is that the core stabilizes on its own over time and the child will be perfectly healthy and magical. But, there is also the risk of the core completely destabilizing and rupturing. In that event there are two potential outcomes, either the child will become a squib, or they die.

To treat an unstable core the patient must be isolated away from all external magic as it can be dangerous and slow down any potential healing. For situations like that St. Mungo’s has a magic free ward that blocks all magic. And, that room became active on the 1st of August.

As I previously stated, a patients medical records are private, but the visitors logs, and the nurses and healers opinions on the visitors, are not. So, my next step was to examine the magical visitors log and speak to a few of the healers. Few know that their magical signature registers every time they enter the hospital and where they go and how long they stay is detailed.

After the birth and subsequent hospitalization of his younger son, James Potter became a frequent visitor. Always going to the magic free room. Each morning he would arrive and stay for about a half hour before going to report for duty at the auror office. He was then recorded as returning to the hospital for 2-3 hours after his shift ended before he would go home to his wife and elder son.

At the time, there was a bit of a scandal made about the fact that James Potter and Sirius Black, two well known friends and auror partners requesting not just to change partners, but for Sirius to switch to nights. Everyone who was paying attention wondered just what it was that could have happened to turn these two men against each other. But now we know.

It wasn't that they were turned against each other. It was that they wanted to stagger their shifts. Each day, after James would leave the hospital to go to start his shift, Sirius would get off his own shift and would then arrive at the hospital where he would stay for a few hours before going home. Then, just before starting the night shift Sirius would return to the hospital to check in again, followed by James getting off his own shift and returning to the hospital.

And through it all, Remus Lupin, a close friend of the two men would come and go. Between the three they managed to ensure that little Harrison, more commonly referred to as Harry, was never alone.

It should be noted, as many have already realized, Remus Lupin was outed as a werewolf by Lily only a few years ago. He was a werewolf at the time. I know there will be a few worried he somehow would infect Harry, but there is no need for that worry. 

Due to his condition, Harry was under constant monitoring and was checked by nurses every hour and healers every 4 hours. After speaking with a healer that knew about unstable cores I was informed that due to the instability, if Harry had been infected he would have died instantly as it would cause the core to effectively implode from the added magic.

I also spoke with a few of the healers that were registered as working during that time and all had the same things to say. When questioned if they had feared for the childs safety being around a werewolf they laughed it off. According to them Remus Lupin had been completely devoted to the child and cared for him as if he were his own. None felt for even a second that he was a danger to the child.

Many of you may also notice that what they were doing didn’t fall under the rigorously enforced visiting hours. After speaking with administrators at the hospital I was informed that in the event of an infant receiving on going medical treatment the visiting hours are not enforced. It is seen as such a vulnerable time for a child that need for emotional support and comfort is deemed more important. So, as long as those visiting the child are not causing problems or getting in the way of the healers and nurses as they carry out their jobs, they are allowed to stay.

But a few of my more intelligent readers amongst you may have noticed something, I have yet to mention Lily. And there is a stunning reason for that. Over the months her younger son was receiving medical treatment she never once registered as visiting the child. I can understand that she had to care for her elder son, but to go so far as to completely ignore the younger… I’ll let you all make of that what you will.

As for Harry Potter, all I spoke with had the same things to say. From all accounts Harry was an adorably sweet little boy that always had a cheerful grin for those caring for him and rarely ever cried despite his illness.

And I will close this article with good news. After 8 months and 2 days, Harry Potter was discharged from the hospital a perfectly happy, healthy, magically strong baby boy.

James Potter, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black were all at the hospital to collect the little boy they had watched over for so long to escort him home where he could get to see his mother and twin for the first time since he was born.

And, for the first time since the day Lily went into labour, the entire Potter family was back together under the same roof.

Rita Skeeter.


 

By the time it was Thursday and the third article was set to come out pretty much the entire wizarding world of Britain was gossiping about just what it was that Rita had said and speculating about what she was going to reveal next.

Lily was completely outraged and threatening all kinds of legal action, but none of it was working. She had signed off on Rita’s permission form that gave the woman free rein to write about her underage children, Harry included.

Albus was stuck and he knew it. He couldn’t stop Skeeter now, she had already gone to far and if she suddenly stopped it would look like a set up. It would make him look like he was hiding something. All he could do was brace for what was to come and mitigate as much damage as he could.

For Harry and James the response was odd. Despite those in the Valley already knowing that Harry was James’s son, many seemed to have somehow missed that that made him Henry’s brother. To them, he had always been just Harry Potter, Crown Prince, not Harry Potter, brother of the proclaimed Boy-Who-Lived.

Rita was just enjoying all the chaos she was causing.


 

Invisible Child Part 3 of 5

After the Attack

After Harry Potter was released from the hospital it becomes harder to track what happened. There was no way to directly determine just how much time James and Lily spent with each child as there was no visitors logs to check.

What I have been able to discover is that there was a great deal of tension in the home. According to multiple aurors that were working with James Potter at the time, he was growing frustrated with his wife’s behaviour in the home. All made clear that despite all the issues that were growing in the home, James was still in love with his wife and when questioned on it stated that what was happening hadn’t reached the point where he was willing to leave her. He still loved his wife, and just wanted to work to fix the issues they were having. But, all agreed that James was growing more worried and concerned just before he took a leave of absence after a direct threat to his family was established and they went into hiding.

During the months the young family remained in hiding I have not managed to get any inside information. After reaching out to James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin I received similar answers. All said they were too busy to focus on the past and didn’t feel comfortable addressing what happened during that time.

Another thing I did learn was that in gratitude for all the care that Sirius Black and Remus Lupin had shown in assisting in caring for his son, James Potter named them both Harry’s godfathers. Sirius Black, a man who was often referred to as James Potter’s brother in all but blood, was requested to agree to the blood bond. For those who don’t know a blood bonded godfather ritual includes giving a child a weak version of a blood adoption. It doesn’t make the godparent the equal of a parent, but if the child was given a blood test the godparent would show as an aunt or uncle.

Since Remus Lupin was incapable of using the blood bond given his illness, James Potter found a way around that, requesting the other man to agree to being named Harry’s magical godfather. Again, for those who don’t know, a magically bound godparent is bound by magic itself to the child. For many, it is considered to be one of the greatest acts of trust to name a person a magical godparent. The reason for this is it connects the godparent and child through magic. From the moment the bond is made, the god parent can feel the godchild. In the event the child is hurt or feels threatened, the godparent will feel it and know their godchild needs them.

But I was able to pick the path back up on the night of the attack by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. On the evening of October 31st, 1981 You-Know-Who arrived at the home the Potter family was hiding in in Godric’s Hollow. That night Lily Potter was reported to have gone to attend a meeting held by her good friend and ally, Albus Dumbledore, and the group who had supported him and his own actions during the last war. James Potter had remained home to care for the, as we now know, two children that were sleeping in the house.

That evening, James Potter reportedly managed to get word to his two closest friends, Sirius and Remus, that they were under attack. It is interesting to think that another way the two men may have been alerted to what was going on was that as magical godfather Remus would have been made aware the moment Harry Potter was injured. The two men jumped into action. Sirius went to the auror office to gather back up while Remus went to St. Mungo’s to get any healers that may be needed.

When the two groups arrived they found the cottage smoking. Inside they found James on the floor just inside the nursery where he fell using his own body to attempt to shield his children.

But the thing that made this different than so many other tragic scenes from during the war, was that just a little further in the room was the body of You-Know-Who himself.

James Potter, and both boys, were then rushed to St. Mungo’s under the care of the healers on site. It took a fair bit of work to piece together what had happened to the two young boys since we had never even been informed there was a second child.

Both Henry and Harry Potter were both taken to the paediatrics unit, both to be treated for head wounds. But they never fully received that treatment.

After the arrival of, then, Lily Potter and Albus Dumbledore, Lily removed the children from the care of the healers under the encouragement of Albus Dumbledore. Instead, they chose to take the two boys to the hospital wing in Hogwarts to receive treatment from Poppy Pomfrey.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me, as any student that ever went to the hospital wing and was treated by Madame Pomfrey can attest, Madame Pomfrey is a brilliant medi-witch. The woman is a miracle worker when she is dealing with potions and quidditch accidents that are common amongst school age children. But, what she is not, is a healer trained to deal with potentially severely injured toddlers that had just survived an attempted murder. Especially since one had previously suffered from a serious medical condition that had the potential to cause major complications.

But that is what happened. 

I reached out to Madame Pomfrey about what happens when patients are brought to her that are not school students. She explained to me that it is actually more common than we would suspect. Since St. Mungo’s is so far away she is often contacted by residents of Hogsmeade to assist in stabilizing any major issues before helping to transfer the patient to the hospital. She said that she always makes sure to impress upon her patients that she is a medi-witch and that they should seek the care of a full healer.

Looking over her qualifications I can tell you that she is perfectly within her rights to do so. Madame Pomfrey is certified as an emergency medic. That means she can legally provide emergency assistance. But the aid she can provide doesn’t necessarily equal formal treatment.

It was that very night, while the two young boys were under the care of the inimitable Madame Pomfrey, Albus Dumbledore personally began to inform people that Henry Potter was the Boy-Who-Lived.

Back at St. Mungo’s, Sirius and Remus arrived to check in on the boys after having gone to the DMLE to give their statements about what happened. They arrived only to learn the boys had been removed from the care of the healers by their own mother and the headmaster of a school. A few people that were there at the time noted that many of the healers weren’t just insulted, they were furious about the endangerment of the two children. 

They also remembered Remus rubbing at his chest and saying that something was wrong. I can only assume that he was feeling his connection to his injured godson straining.

Both men left the hospital to seek the boys at Hogwarts. And that is where things get even more complicated.

The partying had already begun so there were people in the streets of Hogsmeade that saw Sirius and Remus leave Hogwarts in a rage. According to those I spoke with both were angry, saying that Albus and Lily had no right to do what they did, that James would never forgive them, and that they needed to find him.

And that is where I must leave you today my readers. Come back tomorrow to finish off our tale with a double article.

Rita Skeeter


 

Invisible Child Part 4 of 5

I wish to welcome my readers back for the final two articles that will lay out the rest of what I have managed to learn, as well as a few questions that I have. It has been an odd journey to go from simply questioning why an incredibly wealthy father wasn't paying spousal or child support to learning all of this.

I can’t speak for any of you, but I never would have considered any of this a possibility when I first started, but here we are. Without further ado…

 

What Happened to Harry Potter?

We left off yesterday following the attack by You-Know-Who on the Potter family. James Potter was non-responsive in St. Mungo’s and, after being removed from the care of highly trained specialists, Henry and Harry Potter were taken to Hogwarts, but that was where we lost track of Harry Potter.

We all know what happened to both James and Henry Potter. James spent the next three years unresponsive in St. Mungo’s. Henry was released from Hogwarts hospital wing 2 days later and Lily took him to one of the Potter properties. The young boy became a media sensation practically overnight and Lily and Albus were happy to encourage the story.

During that time Sirius Black and Remus Lupin seemed to have become the enemies of their former friend and headmaster. Despite his reputation as a good man and a fantastic auror Sirius was painted as just another dark wizard. The man who had actively fought against and arrested Death Eaters, while also being a member of the headmasters private group fighting against You-Know-Who, was blamed for the crimes of members of his family. And while Sirius was struggling with the attack on his reputation by people he had once trusted, Remus was treated even worse, Lily Evans personally outed him as being a werewolf.

Understandably, many were frightened by that fact. Our Ministry has been telling us nonstop for years that werewolves were monstrous and couldn’t be trusted not to infect people and couldn’t function in society. But I have learned something rather surprising, Remus Lupin was attacked and turned by Fenrir Greyback when he was only 6 years old. So to everyone who attended Hogwarts with him, who saw him as just another classmate and friend, he had already been a werewolf for half of his life. He attended Hogwarts for 7 years and in that time no one even guessed of his condition. But the moment his condition was known, I am embarrassed to admit, that many who had once called him friend turned their backs on him. Despite his aiding Albus Dumbledore in fighting in the war and serving as a liaison between the Headmaster and the werewolf population that stood against You-Know-Who and Greyback, he was treated with revulsion by people he had once seen as his friends.

And those who remember reading the paper during those times will know, during all the attacks on their reputations, Sirius and Remus were oddly quiet. Instead, spending most of their time going to different potions shops, something I will address in the next article.

But, all of this leaves the question asked in the beginning of this article unanswered. What Happened to Harry Potter?

And that is a question I myself can not answer. 

From what I learned happened directly after the attack, the boys location and condition was known until he arrived at Hogwarts. Now, knowing Madame Pomfrey and her integrity and skill, I know that she would never do anything that wasn't in the best interest of a patient, especially a young child. So that leaves us with Lily Evans and Albus Dumbledore. 

At some point during the 4 hours they were behind closed doors, Harry Potter disappeared.

Now, I know many would worry that the child ultimately succumbed to his injuries from the attempted murder, but I can assure you, that isn’t the case. I personally went into the Hall of Records and meticulously searched, by hand, through every magical death certificate issued to a member of the Potter family in the last decade, and nothing was there. As far as Lady Magic herself is concerned, Harrison James Potter is alive to this day.

So I must ask again as I end this article, what happened to Harry Potter? How could a child simply just disappear?

Rita Skeeter


 

Invisible Child Part 5 of 5

A Divorce Decree and the Boy-Who-Lived

And now we are back to where this all started. After covering the background that had been hidden it is finally time to address a few issues.

The first thing, why is James Potter not paying spousal and child support? By all accounts, the Potters are amongst the wealthiest families in our world, surely he could easily afford to make sure that his family was well taken care of. Understandably, he may be holding a grudge for Lily and Albus falsifying child abuse charges and then stripping him of all legal rights to Henry Potter, but wouldn’t he still want to ensure the boy was cared for?

From reading the divorce decree I found that it is true, James Potter would not personally be paying child support. So, from a literal interpretation of what Lily has stated, James Potter has indeed not paid any child support.

But, the reason for this is that child care is not handled directly by the parent in this situation. To ensure that there are no personal issues getting in the way, it is the Potter Estate that deals with child support. All children born into the Potter family are automatically given access to support payments if they are not in the custody of their parent who is of Potter blood.

Because of that, although she has been receiving child support payments, Lily has indeed not been receiving child support from James. Instead, any money she has received has been doled out by the Potter account manager at Gringotts as an impartial arbiter. The reason an impartial arbiter is needed is to ensure there is no mismanagement or embezzlement of funds intended for the child. Child support is paid after receipts are handed in to ensure every galleon spent is on the child rather than something for the parent. This money has been available to her from the day after James Potter was hospitalized and continued until he woke, and again after the divorce was finalized and will continue until Henry Potter is of age. It should also be noted, the Potter estate will pay for the childs education in full.

The next issue to address is the lack of spousal support. And to fully understand that, we need to go back to Harry.

When James woke up in St. Mungo’s, everything had changed. Three years had passed. But more importantly, when his wife came to see him, she only brought one of his sons.

One can only imagine the fear he must have felt when he first saw that his younger son wasn't there. How he must have feared he had failed and the infant had been killed, only to learn that he was simply not there for another reason.

A few I spoke with at the hospital remember James asking Lily every single time she visited him over the few days he was there where his son was. At the time, most were confused as Henry had always come with her. There were, of course, a few who had been there and treated, or at least knew of, Harry that understood what was going on.

Upon learning that the reason his younger son wasn't there wasn't because of the attack, but that he had effectively been removed from the family by his wife’s choice, he was understandably furious. According to an old work associate that spoke with me on the condition of anonymity, after months of begging and pleading with his wife to just let him see Harry, James had reached his limit. Apparently James gave Lily an ultimatum, either she tell him what she had done with his son by the start of the new year or he would file for divorce. And, when Lily continued to refuse, James saw no other choice, he just couldn’t stand to continue to be around a woman that had abandoned one of his children.

When everything was explained to the judge, a decision was reached. Lily Evans had no legal right to deny James access to one of his children. So James would begin to pay spousal support to his ex-wife only after she told him what she had done with their younger son.

While the judge, as evidenced by his own words during the divorce hearing, was horrified by Lily’s actions in regards to her younger son, he agreed with James to split custody of Henry between the two parents. Despite the fact he wouldn’t have to pay spousal support until he was told the location of his missing son, James still decided to arrange for the Potter Estate to purchase a house for Lily to live in so he could be assured Henry would have a place to live when he was with his mother. It might not have been as lavish as Lily felt she deserved, but it was a perfectly acceptable home for a young mother by anyone else's standards.

After separating from Lily, James seemed to throw himself into searching for his younger son. And, he was not alone.

One of the things that was used to target the reputations of Sirius and Remus was all the potions ingredients that they were purchasing after the end of the war when the rift had formed between them and Albus and Lily. Records of what they were purchasing was publicized, and it was often pointed out just how those ingredients could be used in illegal and dangerous potions if they were combined with other ingredients. The two were even investigated a few times, it should be noted nothing ever came of those investigations, the auror office could not find evidence they were creating those illegal potions or taking part in dangerous rituals.

But, after speaking with a potions master, it was explained to me just what the purpose of those ingredients were. Yes, it is true that when combined with other ingredients, which there was never any evidence they purchased, they could create dangerous potions. However, using only the ingredients they purchased there was a type of potions and rituals that could be created. And, all of them were in the tracking branch. Every single ingredient purchased is a part of creating tracking potions and location rituals. It seems, the two were more focused on trying to find their godson than wasting their time protecting their reputations.

And James seems to have joined them in their search. Up until the falsified abuse reports, James would spend the week he had Henry in Potter Manor and seemingly spent all his time bonding with his young son. On the week Henry was with his mother, Potter Manor would close up and James would be seen with Sirius and Remus joining them in their search for Harry Potter.

But all of this does lead me to a question. And yes, I do understand how many will find this almost sacrilegious, but, I must ask it. Is Henry Potter really the Boy-Who-Lived as we have been led to believe?

Just looking at everything now that the truth is known, there are many things that just don’t add up.

There were three Potter’s alive within the Godric’s Hollow cottage when You-Know-Who arrived that Samhain night. And, there were three Potter’s alive after his defeat.

Yes, James Potter was critically injured and spent three years recovering, but he did indeed recover. And, both Henry and Harry suffered head trauma, but both survived.

Yet, we are asked to believe that the war was ended by only one of the three. That Albus Dumbledore examined everything, even though he wasn't at the cottage after the attack, and was able to figure out what happened simply from looking at the two injured children.

Isn’t it odd, or ironic, depending on your view point, that Albus declared it was his own godson that we had to thank and then made the other child disappear and pretended like he never existed. Over the years Albus and Lily have basked in the glory of their connection to Henry while acting like Harry didn’t exist and repeatedly attacking his godfathers. How are we supposed to believe what they say given just how much they have to gain, not only fame and political power, but also money, let’s not forget the two were both involved in making Henry into a character in a fictional set of books?

I looked at the report that was actually filed by the aurors that were at the cottage that night, and they were never able to determine just which of the children was the target. The backlash from You-Know-Who’s spell caused an explosion that brought down part of the roof. And, there was debris in both cribs which could justify both head wounds. And You-Know-Who was in the centre of the room, both cribs rested against the back wall. It could have been either child.

So, was the story we were told by those that had the most to gain the truth. Was it Henry Potter that stopped the feared Dark Lord?

Or, was it the child that was made to disappear? From everything I have learned Lily never really connected with her second born son, and Harry had a closer connection to Sirius and Remus. So did Lily and Albus lie to make sure they had complete control?

Or, was it a third option? Do we have Boys-Who-Lived rather than a Boy-Who-Lived? Was it the combined power of the twin Potter boys that brought down such a powerful wizard?

Regardless of the answer to those questions, there is only one way I can end all of this. And that is with a message to Harry Potter.

If he ever reads this or hears about it, I wish for Harry to know that, despite the actions of Lily Evans and Albus Dumbledore, he is loved. He has a father that would willingly accept his own death if it meant protecting him and two devoted godfathers that would rather allow their reputations to be destroyed than stop trying to find him.

He is not forgotten. He will not be ignored. And he will no longer be invisible. I myself, and many others will join me I am sure, in preying to Lady Magic herself for his safe return.

Wherever you are Harrison James Potter may Magic guide you home.

Rita Skeeter

Chapter Text

After the articles were printed, James and Harry continued to live their lives much the same as they always had. Neither really were bothered overly much by what was written.

The only real difference for them was that people seemed to realize more just what had happened to lead James and Harry to where they were. To them, it just made the father son duo something to be admired. Harry for what he had been through as a young child, and James for just how far he was willing to go for his son.

Like James, both Sirius and Remus were seen as worthy of admiration. Their devotion to their family had never been questioned, but the fact they had stood up to Albus Dumbledore himself just made it that much more impressive.

But, it didn’t really change anything for them.


Outside the Valley was a different story. For many, the story of Harry Potter was seen more as an allegory. For so many, it was a reminder of times in their lives they were pushed aside for another.

For the children born into noble families, that weren’t members of the Sacred 28, and that weren’t first born, they understood. The title in their cases always went to the first born, so the eldest was always prioritized. Many who had been in any house other than Gryffindor had often felt pushed aside by other staff members, the Headmaster especially, so his connection to what had happened brought up that old resentment. 

Many felt a deep seated connection to Harry Potter. And because of that they were angry about the treatment the innocent child had been subjected to by his own mum. And that was the driving force behind their anger.

People were starting to look at Lily and, although to a lesser degree, at Albus with contempt. The two were working on making all kinds of excuses, but many weren’t buying it, yet. It was still just too fresh an issue for the general public.


 

Lily couldn’t believe how people were treating her. Sure, she had gotten rid of the runt, but what did that matter? Why couldn’t people just see what a waste it would have been to have to look after him? 

He was just in the way of her baby boy. Henry was the special one. Didn’t they get that all her attention needed to be on her special little boy? 

Lily would never accept that she should have kept the other one. She had done what she needed to do to make sure Henry had everything he needed. And what he needed was to not have anything to do with that waste of space. Henry deserved the best, and the other one would have just gotten in the way.

She still couldn’t believe that Skeeter had managed to do this. How had the woman managed to find out about the other one? Lily had never let so much as a hint slip about the other one. And that meant someone had to tell her.

And she was sure that had to be James, or he had at least had one of those pathetic little friends do it for him. He just couldn’t let things be, he had to make this pathetic attempt to force her to tell him where they put the brat. It was never going to happen.

With how everything was going, Lily was just digging her heels in deeper. There was no way she was going to let him win like this. Lily was not going to tell that man where to find that brat.

Before she had just been trying to protect Henry from the runt, but now it was more than that. Now she couldn’t let James win. James had already taken so much from her, she wouldn’t let him have this. If he could deny her the money she deserved for raising his son, then she could deny him his other son.

But right now, the first thing she needed to do was try and get the public back on her side. Lily had learned enough from her time in the spotlight to know that you need the publics support if you want to keep control. 

And that was going to be difficult since Lily didn’t even understand why the people were angry.


 

Henry was confused by everything going on. His mum had always told him that his brother wasn't a good person. She had told him that Harry would just be jealous of how much better he was and get in his way from getting everything he deserved.

And for the most part, Henry preferred being an only child. He didn’t like having to share attention. He knew that his mum wouldn’t have ignored him, but he didn’t know about the press. Henry liked all of the presents he got from people he had never met, he worried that if Harry had been there then Henry would have had to share, and Henry hated sharing. Then there was things with his dad. Henry had resented the fact that his dad was so focused on trying to find Harry.

But, there was still a small part of him that wondered about his brother. It wasn't very big, but he thought it might be nice to have someone around he could talk to. It would at least give him someone to blame if he ever got in trouble for something.

The thing was, Henry was now 8 years old. It had been just over a year now since he had first tested for, and been denied, the Potter family Heir position. His mum had taken him again on his birthday, and again he had been denied. 

And again his mum had demanded his dad explain why. Henry knew that he hadn’t done any of that stupid work his dad had told him to do, but it still wasn't fair. He didn’t want to have to do all that stupid stuff, he just wanted what was his. His mum had told him his entire life he deserved anything he wanted, and he wanted to be the Heir, so it should be his.

Over the past few years, Lily’s treatment of Henry had started causing more and more of an effect on him. As a little boy, Lily had treated him like he could do no wrong, now, not only was she continuing that behaviour but she was also telling him that he deserved everything he wanted just because he was who he was.

And that treatment was really doing damage. Even though he hadn’t done any of the work, Henry still felt like he deserved to be the Heir. More than that, he was beginning to resent his father for telling him he needed to work for anything he wanted. 

He was Henry Potter, Boy-Who-Lived, he deserved what ever he wanted.


 

Albus was frustrated with this latest turn of events. He had warned Lily. He had told her over and over again to be careful, they both knew just how much James would be able to hurt them.

But Lily just hadn’t been able to control herself. No, she just had to keep going until James retaliated, just as he had threatened.

And Albus had no doubt that it was James that had arranged for that story to leak. He knew James hadn’t been the one to tell Skeeter, the man hadn’t been in the magical world other than to meet with Lily at the bank. Remus had likewise been absent from their world. But, Sirius had been spotted from time to time, and Albus knew that Sirius would be more than willing to try and destroy him and Lily for James and as punishment for getting rid of his godson.

Looking at things clearly, Albus had to admit it looked bad. He had never expected the public to learn the full truth about what he had had to do. But looking at it from the perspective of the people that were just to simple minded to be able to understand the lengths to which he had had to go he could acknowledge that it made him seem cruel.

This was going to make things very difficult for him for a minimum of a year. Under normal circumstances, if it was just something small, like it had been with the facts about the false abuse trial, Albus could have just worked his way through it in about 6 months. The thing was, outrage is hard to sustain. Most people get board and just move on after a surprisingly short time. People were surprisingly easy to control, especially in the wizarding world.

The issue with the story of Harry getting out was that because it involved a child, and given childrens importance in the magical world, it wasn't going to be that easy to get people to move on. People were going to hold on to this longer than most other scandals. In truth, they seemed to be furious about what he had had to do.

And that meant Albus was going to have to try and distract while also keeping his head down. At least for the next few months he was going to need to pretend that the school was his main focus. He couldn’t draw attention to himself at risk of reminding people of his involvement with Harry. He had no great ill will towards the child, he honestly didn't even care about him, the boy just wasn't important to his plans and would be in the way if Lily had kept him. Lily's desire to get rid of him had never made much sense, but it had worked with his plans at the time. And now they couldn't bring him back, Henry needed all the attention and focus, having the boy suddenly return would make people shift their attention to him and that wouldn't work. It was best the boy stay lost, at least until he turned 11, then they could fix things up with him and no one would care. He just needed to get the attention off himself.

Luckily for him he knew Lily well enough to know that she wouldn’t keep her head down. She would go out of her way to draw the attention to herself. But that also served to cause problems because everyone knew of the connection between the two of them, and Lily would naturally bring him up over and over again. Because of that he was going to need to try and get her to stay quiet, at least for a few months, and that wasn't going to be easy.

He knew he was also going to have to speak with Arthur and try and encourage him to locate the Crown Prince faster. That might just be the only story that could suppress the story about Harry from completely taking root. Having the Crown Prince at his side would remind everyone of his greatness.

If they could not find the Prince it was going to be a very difficult year for Albus. If things stayed as they were, it would take a minimum of a year for Albus to be able to act freely again. Anything major he tried to do now would just be too toxic for even some of his more devoted followers to support. At least he had managed to get so many of the laws he wanted through the Wizengamot because he wasn't going to be able to do much for a while.

For now, his best bet was to stay low. Thankfully for him, a new school year was starting so he could easily just brush people off saying he was focusing on his students. And then, at the end of this year it would officially be 5 years since James had invoked the life debt owed by Severus. And that meant Severus would be free to return to the school during the next school year, and bring with him all kinds of information Albus could use against James hopefully.

Albus just had to get through this like he had everything else he had had to in his life. With his head held high and plenty of distractions.

Chapter Text

Fred and George Weasley were excited as they finally got to get on the Hogwarts Express with their elder brothers rather than going home with their mum after waving their brothers off. They were so glad they were going to get out of the house and away from their mum and younger siblings.

The attention from having Ron be friends with Henry Potter hadn’t done their family any good. If anything, it was a bad thing.

Molly, who had always been overbearing, had just become that much more controlling. She was always going on about them embarrassing the family. Nothing they ever did seemed to be good enough, so the two had just stopped caring, not that they really had cared much about others opinions in the first place.

Then there was their dad being pressured to take that new job. Their dad may have never been the most influential person in the Ministry, or had any influence at all really, but he had loved his job. It had been hard work, but he had enjoyed it. That was no longer true, the twins had seen it every morning at breakfast, their dad dreaded going to work now and that translated to him starting to shut himself off more, even from his kids from time to time as he just locked himself in his shed for hours at a time.

And there was also the effects it had been having on their siblings. Bill was so frustrated and annoyed with how things were going that he was going to leave. He was in the middle of his training as a curse breaker for Gringotts and had privately told them that he had already put in a request to be positioned out of Britain. Bill just didn’t want to stay anywhere close to home. And Charlie was planning to do the same. Charlie had already told them privately that he just couldn’t stay at home. Their mum was just putting too much pressure on the two older boys to get them to fall in line with what she wanted, and what she wanted was to make them members of the Ministry that were married well, something neither wanted.

Ron and Ginny were both absolutely out of control. They had both become popular characters in the books and seemed to actually have started to believe that they really were like their characters. Ron was portrayed as a supporting hero and because of that he had developed a massive ego and even said he was a hero despite the twins continuously pointing out that it was fictional and he had never even seen a yeti. And Ginny, who was the damsel in distress in many of the books acted like she couldn’t do anything and was always trying to get others to do it for her. She was also acting like a diva/princess. It wasn't just that she wanted people to do things for her, she acted like she deserved it. And their mum just seemed to encourage that behaviour a lot. She still made them do things like clean their rooms and set the table for dinner from time to time, but as she did that she praised them for every little thing they did, even if they didn’t do it properly.

The only one that hadn’t really been effected by any of what was going on was Percy. And that was because of his love of books and being alone. Whenever anything happened that Percy didn’t really like he would just make up an excuse and go to his room to read. The twins were actually slightly jealous of how Percy knew who he was and never allowed anyone to change him. Percy loved books and rules, and he never let anyone get in the way of that.

With the way things were at home, the twins couldn’t wait to get to school.


 

Of course, the first thing that happened when they got to school was their sorting, and that caused a major uproar. Because the twins had started to feel so disconnected from their own family they had been focusing more and more on their dream of opening a joke shop.

So, when the sorting hat sat on their heads, it didn’t see two boys from a devoted family that they wanted to make proud, it saw two very ambitious young boys. 

When the hat first sat on Fred’s head and shouted out Slytherin there was complete and utter silence until Charlie and Percy clapped for their little brother. And then George was called up and he too was placed in the green and silver house and there was even more silence.

Everyone knew it was going to be a crazy year. No born Weasley had been in any house other than Gryffindor for hundreds of years. And no one could remember a single Weasley ever being placed in Slytherin.


 

The drama kicked off the very next day as a howler arrived for the twins from their mum. And then another the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that.

Molly sent the twins a howler every morning for the entire first month. In each she berated them and demanded that they get resorted. She even came to the school and demanded the twins get resorted, something Dumbledore was happy to do. But Fred and George refused. And, when Molly forced the resorting to happen the hat just put them right back in Slytherin, much to Molly’s rage.

But all the howlers and harassment had the exact opposite reaction than Molly had intended. Rather than pushing the twins away from the Slytherins, it drew them closer.

In the beginning, the Slytherins hadn’t been sure how to handle the twin red heads that came from a well known light family. In a private meeting that first night the upper years had just agreed to ignore them. The twins year mates had ultimately decided to do the same thing.

In Slytherin, there were rules. Amongst those rules was that no matter how much you might hate a house mate, outside the house, Slytherins stuck together. And inside the house, there was a pecking order. The thing was, the first time one of their year mates had chosen to go up against the twins they found themselves soundly defeated. And if there was anything a Slytherin respected it was power, and the twins had that in spades.

But the constant harassment made them see the twins in a different light. They may be from a light family, but they were being turned on by a member of their own family. And, for members of a house that were used to being targeted and seen as evil just because of their house, they felt kinship to the twins.

And then there was the twins methods of revenge. They learned quickly that another one of the rules in Slytherin was that they weren’t to get caught, so the sneaky twins set about getting their revenge on anyone who targeted them in secret. No one who went after the twins got away with it, but the twins made sure to never leave evidence. They toned down on their dramatics and started to pick up on the calm blank faces of their housemates. They were still wild pranksters who loved to laugh and have fun, but they also learned when it was time for stoicism.

They also had support. The only other Weasleys at the school were Charlie and Percy, and the thing was, although they were both proud Gryffindors, Fred and George were their brothers. And for them, family was more important than house. When older Gryffindors started targeting the twins along with the other younger year Slytherins, Charlie was more than willing to be their inside man.

Since as far as any of the teachers were concerned there was no way Fred or George would be able to gain access to the Gryffindor common room they weren’t even suspected when those who bullied them were changed colours, covered in feathers, or spoke gibberish for days on end. And anyone who tried to blame Charlie or Percy just had even more problems because Percy’s rule loving was well known, and Charlie was a seventh year, quidditch captain, star seeker, and very popular. No one was willing to go up against the burly boy, regardless of what they thought he may have done.

Percy might not have been willing to break rules for the twins, but that just served to mean he followed the rules. Anyone who targeted his little brothers found themselves getting in trouble for every little thing they did wrong. Percy was very good at informing professors he knew would actually do something every time they set a toe out of line, and even arranged for professors to be in specific areas when he knew something was going to happen. All those who drew Percys attention found themselves losing dozens of points and getting weeks of detention.

And through all this, the Slytherin house gained more and more respect for the red headed first years for their abilities. But the twins didn’t stop there. Because of their more effervescent personalities, and the more taciturn personalities of their housemates, Fred and George went out of their way to get to know others outside of their house. 

The Hufflepuffs found the twins hysterical, helped along by the fact Cedric Diggory, a very popular Puff, had known them for years and vouched for them to his housemates. The Ravenclaws found some of the work they did brilliant. Fred and George needed all kinds of magic to pull off their pranks so they were often running into the Claws in the library and were always happy to talk to them. They had even managed to befriend a few of the Lions. Because of Charlie, members of the quidditch team had known the twins for years, so they had Oliver Wood. There was also another first year, Lee Jordan who had a very similar mindset as them when it came to pranks that worked with them from time to time. 

And the simple fact of the twins popularity was that they found school very enjoyable, much to their mums distress.


 

When Christmas break arrived though, the four Weasley boys at Hogwarts found themselves worried. Molly had finally relented on the howlers, she only sent them once a week rather than every day, but she was still angry. And they all knew that would most likely mean a less than pleasant break.

But even they underestimated just how bad it was going to be.

Molly went out of her way to find reasons to yell at the twins. It was like every little thing they did was the equivalent of murder. She had even set their homework assignments on fire multiple times claiming that they were really making some kind of horrible plan or something.

And Ron and Ginny fell right in line with their mums behaviour. They were constantly teasing the twins and never got in trouble for it. And they were always running to Molly saying the twins were doing something wrong even if they had just been sitting still.

Arthur and the older boys did what they could, but it just wasn't enough. The agreement between Arthur and Molly had always been that Molly ran the house and Arthur worked. Because of that Molly had always been in charge of punishment and wasn't willing to listen to Arthur.

Bill, Charlie, and Percy tried to run interference, but Molly just wouldn’t stop. For every thing they managed to cover, she would find two more reasons to yell at the twins.

But Fred and George just didn’t care. After the first month of daily howlers they had lost any form of respect they had ever had for their mum. They still loved her, she was their mum, but that just made it worse to them. If she was going to treat them like that regardless of what they did, they may as well earn the punishments.

The house became a war zone. A day didn’t go by where Molly, and those loyal to her, weren’t pranked. They let their dad and older brothers off the hook mostly, but they still occasionally got hit.

Throughout the entire holiday the twins ended up getting sent to bed without dinner every night, whether they had done what they were being accused of or not.

By the time the twins returned to school the battle lines were clearly drawn, and Fred and George were nothing if not persistent.


 

As the end of the school year drew close the three older Weasley brothers were concerned. Bill had just been told he was being stationed in Egypt and was going to be leaving only a few days after his brothers got home. Charlie had already warned Bill and Percy that he had been accepted to work as a dragon handler in Romania and would be leaving only two days after Bill.

And that meant Percy would be the eldest of the boys at home.

Percy was actually the best at getting around their mother because he was perfectly happy to just remain in his room away from her. But, if the Christmas holidays had shown them anything it was that Fred and George were not just going to avoid Molly, they would go out of their way to drive her as crazy as she drove them. And Percy and the others knew that Percy alone wouldn’t be able to protect their younger brothers.

None of them had ever thought it would reach the point where they were actually worried about leaving their brothers with their own mother. But they were.

Given Molly’s reactions over the two week break that they had had, they worried about what would happen over 2 months. They didn’t, or at least hoped, that Molly wouldn’t actually hurt the twins, but they weren’t certain, and that was the issue.

They knew their dad would try, but he just wasn't there enough. He worked full time and that would leave Molly with the boys all day. He also seemed to lack the ability to stand up to their mum for the most part, they had seen him try a few times over the holidays, but it hadn’t been near enough. Arthur tended to just work around Molly by doing things like sneaking the twins their dinner after Molly had sent them to bed without it, and that really just wasn't enough since it would be months rather than weeks this time.

And that meant they needed someone that could stand up to Molly in a way that they couldn’t. And there was only one person any of the three of them could think of that could nag at the same level as Molly.

Bill knocked on the door in front of him and was invited in. Following the elderly house elf through the lavishly appointed cottage style home, Bill entered the sun room.

“William.” 

“Hello Aunt Muriel.” Bill smiled at his mums Aunt.

“You said in your letter that there was something that you needed to speak with me about?” Muriel questioned as she waved for the boy to take a seat, pleased he had learned enough manners to wait.

“I came to ask you for a favour.” Bill sat and took the cup of tea as it was handed over, the small pink floral cup looking absolutely minuscule in his large hands.

“I will not lend you money. As I often told your mother, if you want something, you must work for it.” Muriel raised an eyebrow at the young man.

Bill laughed softly. “That isn’t it. I have actually just finished my training as a curse breaker for Gringotts and have been assigned to work in Egypt. I leave in a few weeks.”

Muriel was pleased, she knew very well that Gringotts only accepted the very best. “Then what is it you need?”

“It is Fred and George.” Bill sighed.

“They are in school now, aren’t they?”

“Yes. And that is the issue. Fred and George were both sorted into Slytherin.”

“And?” Muriel didn’t understand what her Great Nephew was getting at.

“To put it simply, mum has gone completely round the bend. She’s acting like them being Slytherins is the equivalent of getting the dark mark. She sent them howlers every single day for the entire first month of school and has still been sending one every week at least. She’s gone to the school and forced them to be resorted and then lost it when the hat put them right back in Slytherin.

And that’s why I’m here. I’m leaving a few days after they come home. Charlie’s got a job in Romania and is leaving just after me. That leaves just dad and Percy there to try and protect them. Dad tries, but mum runs the house and bullies him into giving up. And Percy… There’s only so much he can do, he’s only a kid himself.

We just don’t know what to do. When they came home for Christmas she was horrible to them. She sent them to bed every single night without dinner, even if they hadn’t done anything. She yelled at them constantly and it’s just not right.”

Muriel was furious to hear that. She knew that Molly had always been self-righteous, but she never thought she would treat a member of her own family so poorly. 

“Do not worry yourself William. I will meet you at The Burrow after you pick up the boys from school and have a few words with my niece.”


 

Bill, Charlie, and Percy kept glancing between the twins and their mum as they arrived home. They had used the floo so they were able to be home only a half an hour after the train had arrived.

And their mum was already berating the twins for not living up to the family name because they had dared to say goodbye to some of their friends before they left. She had had no problem with them saying bye to Oliver or Cedric since she knew them, but she had gotten more and more huffy with each person from another house they spoke too, especially those from Slytherin, or those she assumed were in Slytherin since none of the students were still in their robes so there was no way to identify which house they were from. 

The three were just waiting for the twins to blow up at her. Their dad was trying to get their mum to calm down, but it wasn't doing any good.

“…And another thing…” Molly was just getting ready to start on the next leg of her speech when there was a knock on the door. Going over, Molly was surprised when she opened the door and saw her Aunt. Molly had never been overly close to her. “Muriel? What are you doing here?”

“Hello Margaret.” Muriel knew how much using her Nieces full name annoyed her, she never claimed she wasn't petty. “I felt it was time we had one of our heart to heart meetings.”

Molly withheld a growl. Whenever Muriel said they needed to have a heart to heart it was all about the older woman ranting at her over what Molly considered to be trivial things.

“Kids, go to your rooms.” Arthur instructed, he knew Muriels code word for screaming match.

“Fredrick, George, stay. William, Charles, Percival, you may stay if you would like. Ronald, Ginevra, you may go play in your room if you wish.” Muriel kept staring at Molly as she gave her instructions to the children.

All seven took their seats at the table. None of them wanted to miss what was coming. Even Arthur just sat down silently, watching his wife and her Aunt with trepidation.

Molly huffed out in annoyance as Muriel thought she had the right to intervene with what she and Arthur told their children.

“So… Now that you have the audience you so clearly want, just what is it that has gotten you to come and visit? You obviously have a purpose.”

“Indeed I do.” Muriel chose to not react to the rudeness that was implied by the lack of offer for tea or even to take a seat, it was probably better not to waste time with the social niceties, she knew Molly had never been good at those things. “I am here about Fredrick and George.”

“So you’ve heard the horrible news.” Molly was surprised she and Muriel might actually agree on something. “The shame of having those two in such a dark house. I can’t believe two of my own children would turn their backs on our family house. They should have been in Gryffindor.”

Fred and George glared. They hated having to deal with the constant attacks on their house and the reminders of which house they should be in according to their mother.

“Oh hold your tongue Margret.” Muriel held up a hand. “That is complete and utter nonsense and you know it. You and your brothers were Gryffindors, yes. Your father, my brother was a Gryffindor, yes. But it is not the grand tradition you seem to think it was. 

I was a Ravenclaw. And your father, and my, parents were a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw. The Prewett family has never had a house they were traditionally sorted into.”

“But they aren’t Prewett’s, they are Weasleys.” Molly argued.

“They are just as much Prewett as Weasley.” Muriel reminded her. “And as for the Weasley Gryffindor connection. I can agree. It has been tradition for those born into the Weasley family to be Gryffindors, but that does not mean anything. It was only a matter of time for a Weasley to get into another house. Born Weasleys may tend to be Gryffindors, but those who marry into the family haven’t been.”

“No Weasley would ever be connected to a Slytherin.” Molly crossed her arms.

“What?” Arthur was confuse by his wife’s words. “That’s not true.”

“Allow me to burst that little bubble.” Muriel stepped in. “I’m sure you remember your mother-in-law?”

“Of course. Ella was a wonderful woman. What does she have to do with anything?” Molly was confused.

“I happen to have gone to school with Ella, but back then she was using not only her maiden name, but her full name as well. Your mother-in-law, your childrens grandmother, was born Cedrella Black. And she was a very proud member of Slytherin house.”

Molly gasped in horror.

“Grandma was a Slytherin?” “Guess we fit in the family after all.” Fred and George grinned. 

“I thought you knew that Molly.” Arthur said looking to his wife. His mum had never hidden her Slytherin ancestry and often wore green as a symbol of her former house.

“So no, I see no issue with Fredrick and George’s sorting. If anything, I am proud they chose to follow their hearts rather than tradition and be sorted where they truly belong.” Muriel gave the twins a rare, true, smile. “What I am here about is your behaviour following the sorting of your sons.”

“And just what behaviour is that?” Molly snapped. She would deal with the fact Arthur had never told her about his mother, although she understood he might have been ashamed.

“Did you really think I wouldn’t find out about all those howlers you have sent. Honestly, daily howlers. Going to the school to force a resort. I have rarely been so embarrassed by your behaviour Margaret.” Muriel looked down her nose at her Niece even though they were almost the same height. “And that is before we even get into how you treated them over the Yule holidays.”

“And just how would you know anything about what happened in this house during Christmas? You weren’t invited.” Molly snapped back, irritated about her Aunts interference.

“I told her.” Bill said calmly.

“YOU DID WHAT?” Molly turned on her eldest son. “HOW DARE YOU?”

Bill just looked at his mother, unimpressed by her temper. He had seen it often enough. “I’m leaving.”

“You… What?” That stopped Molly cold.

“I’ve finished my training at Gringotts, I’ve been assigned to Egypt. I’m leaving next week. It’s a 5 year contract.” Bill explained. “To be frank, and I never thought I was going to have to say this, I don’t feel it’s safe to leave the twins in this house.”

“And I feel the same.” Charlie added.

“Charlie?” Arthur looked to his second eldest. “Are you leaving too?”

Charlie gave his dad a small sad smile. “Yes. I wrote and told you guys I got a job. I may have left out the fact that that job is in Romania. I leave two days after Bill. And like Bill, I don’t feel comfortable leaving the twins here without protection.

Percy may still be here, but he’s still just a kid himself. He shouldn’t have to spend all his time trying to protect his younger brothers from his own mother. It isn’t fair to him, and it isn’t good for the twins.”

“YOU CAN’T LEAVE!” Molly shouted at her sons, horrified that they would choose to leave her. She had told them for years that they needed to get a good job at the Ministry and settle down to give her grand-babies.

“We can, and we are. We’re both legal adults, and the choice to stay or leave is ours. And we have chosen to leave.” Bill said softly. He knew his mum really did love them, but she could just never accept they weren’t children anymore.

“You are supposed to work at the Ministry. I’ve been telling you for years that curse breaking idea of yours is nonsense.” Molly glared at her eldest. “And look at this, now you’ve dragged your brother away from a wonderful career so he could try and be like you.”

Bill sighed, this was an ongoing argument that had started the very day he had graduated two years before. “What I choose to do for a career is not your decision mum. I have been telling you that for years. I want to be a curse breaker. I have just finished my training and have no intention of giving it up now just because you decided to throw another fit. And I haven’t made Charlie do anything. He’s doing what he wants.”

Molly turned to Charlie in a huff. “Charlie, you need to stop trying to be like your brother. You need to stay here and get a good job. You and that Tonks girl would make a wonderful couple.”

“No. To both of those ideas. First off, Tonks is my friend, and that’s all it will ever be.” Charlie shivered at the thought of a relationship with Tonks, he liked the girl, but not like that. “And second, if you think working at the Ministry is so wonderful then you go work there. I have no intention of wasting my life working in a boring office surrounded by a bunch of inbred morons who only got their position because of their blood status and their family connections. No offence dad.”

Arthur smiled at the apologetic look from his son. “No offence taken. I happen to completely agree with you. There are a lot of people there that have no right to be and wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the bigotry that is still rampant in our world.

No Molly. Neither Bill or Charlie would do well at the Ministry. It’s better for them to follow their dreams rather than yours.”

Muriel cleared her throat to draw attention back to herself before Molly could start ranting again. “It would seem we have wandered away from the reason for my visit. So I am going to make this plain.

Fredrick, George. I will be expecting a letter from you two at least once a week during your summers from now on giving me any information you feel I might need to know. Percival, I would also like for you to send me letters each week just incase your brothers are too embarrassed or fearful to say anything. To ensure that none of you are threatened into silence, or your letters aren’t forged I will be dropping by for tea from time to time from now on so I can meet with each of you personally.

Arthur, I would recommend you step up. I understand you work full time and that Molly has always managed the household, but it might be time for you to take responsibility for anything involving the twins until such time as Molly remembers she should put the love of her children before her own bigotry.

I feel I need to be perfectly blunt. If anything else happens. If these boys are denied food, if they continue to be punished for nonsensical reasons then I will have no choice but to act. If it comes to the point where the twins are not safe in this home I will not hesitate to file for emergency custody and have them removed from this house.”

“YOU CAN’T STEAL MY CHILDREN!” Molly screamed. 

“Then you had better shape up young lady. If you want to keep your children then you have to treat them the same as you treat your other children. Double standards are simply not acceptable.

With that said, I shall show myself out. Boys, I will be expecting your first letters by the end of the week.” With that, Muriel turned and walked out of The Burrow with her head held high and her shoulders thrown back.

Molly just stared, open mouthed, at the door as they heard the crack of apparition.

Fred and George looked at each other in slight shock. They had never been overly fond of their Great Aunt, she had always just been so stuffy, but now they were impressed. She had managed to make their mum speechless. More than that, she had found a way to ensure their summer wasn't completely horrible. They had been dreading this summer, but now they knew they had protection from their mums insanity.

Arthur sighed. “She’s right.”

“WHAT?” Molly spun to stare at her husband in shock.

Arthur really couldn’t believe it had come to this. “I have always allowed you to manage the house, but this is just too much. I had hoped that you would come to accept the boys were their own people and love them regardless of their house, but given just what has happened since we picked them up it is clear you aren’t there yet.

So… Like Muriel said, it’s time for me to step up. If my mum was still alive she would have boxed my ears for allowing you to treat the boys like that over the holidays. I think, for now, it would be better if I were to take over any discipline in regards to Fred and George. If you have any problems with them, I will handle it when I get home from work.”

“But Arthur?” Molly said in a scandalized voice.

“But nothing.” Arthur held up a hand and continued in a tired voice. “I would have to be blind not to have seen the disparity in how you treated any misbehaviour by the children over the holidays, and I am many things, but blind is not one of them. Until I can trust that you will treat the boys the same way you treat the others, I will handle them.”

“You know what… Fine.” Molly huffed before taking hold of Ron and Ginny and headed to the floo. “If you think you can manage those two then they are your problem. But don’t come running to me when they end up in Azkaban. Ron, Ginny and I have things to do.”

“Thanks dad.” The twins said at the same time after their mum had taken the kids away.

“No thanks needed.” Arthur smiled at his boys. “I’m sorry it took all of this to make me see straight and step in to keep you two safe. Your grandmum would have been proud of you for being in her old house. She always used to say that people were too quick to judge. She always told me Slytherin is the house of the ambitious, but that there are many different kinds of ambition. Some seek power, yes, but others want to be great teachers, others want to be great travellers. She herself wanted to be a great healer, and she was.

So… Tell me… What is your great ambition?”

Chapter Text

As another summer was drawing to an end there was something going on at Hogwarts, and no one could miss it. At first it had been little things. The stairs had started to move slower. Then certain classrooms seemed to have shrunk, if not disappeared all together.

For the most part, the staff of the school brushed it off. Hogwarts had always been an odd building that liked to change. They were sure they would locate the missing rooms eventually.

Many were just too distracted by other things. They needed to get ready for the return of the students in only a few days. And Albus was distracted by the fact that he finally had Severus back.


 

*Flashback*

Severus was less than pleased as he made his way towards the headmasters office. The terms of the life debt had only finished a few days previous and Albus had started sending him owls almost every hour. It was getting rather annoying.

He knew there was no real way out of it for him. That damm contract was still valid, in a way at least. He would still be required to teach at Hogwarts for another 5 years, but he wouldn’t be as trapped as he had been before. The way the contract was set up was that the conditions could be renegotiated at the half way point, a point that had passed while Severus had been in the Valley. And that meant that although he did have to return to the school, he would be able to alter his working conditions, and this time Albus didn’t have all the power.

“You demanded my presence Albus.” Severus stated as he entered the headmasters office without bothering to knock. He was a little surprised to see Minerva there.

Albus was irritated at the confidence the other man seemed to have developed. He had figured James would grind him down the same way he had when they were teens. “Severus my boy, such a pleasure to have you back. Lemon drop?”

Severus felt his eye twitch. Five years and the man was still offering everyone those stupid muggle candies. “No.”

Albus smiled benignly at the refusal, he had known it was coming.

“Welcome back Severus.” Minerva smiled at her former co-worker, although they had never been very close. She didn’t like how he had always treated her students.

“Minerva.” Severus nodded to the woman. “Well, it would seem it is time to discuss my teaching contract.”

“Yes.” Albus agreed, pulling out the old contract. “If you just sign here your contract will come back into effect and we can just carry on like these last few years haven’t happened.”

“No.” Severus said simply.

“What do you mean ‘no’. You have a contract to fulfill.” Minerva was scandalized.

“Yes, I have a contract that requires me to teach here for another 5 years. But, since the half-way point of the contract term has come and gone I can now renegotiate certain aspects. I will not be signing the same contract as I was forced to accept last time.” Severus kept his voice calm.

“But my boy, you must.” Albus didn’t like this confident version of Severus.

“No, I am not required to. If we can not agree to the details before the start of the new year then it will invoke a typical teaching contract.” Severus allowed a small smile.

“And just what aspects could you have problems with?” Minerva huffed. She always had been blindly loyal to Albus.

“The fact that the old contract states I would be required to do twice the amount of nightly and weekend rounds as other teachers. The fact that I was required to not only arrange the purchase or collecting of the schools potions ingredients, many I had to collect or pay for out of my own pocket since the budget wasn't nearly enough, but that I was also required to brew all of the potions the hospital wing needed on my own time.

When I worked here it was normal for me to work 18 hour days just to get everything done. I have no intention of being trapped like that again.

If I am responsible for getting the ingredients then the school will pay for them. If I need to collect them myself then I will be paid for the extra time. I will not do more rounds or detentions than my co-workers do. And, I will no longer be brewing all the hospital wings potions for free, if I brew them I will be paid for both the ingredients and time.”

“Come now Severus…” Albus said, he really didn’t want to have to pay that much to Severus.

“No. If I am a professor here then I expect the same respect every other professor gets.” Severus wasn't going to back down.

“Of course you are respected my boy.” Albus said.

“Then we should have no problem with writing up my new contract.” Severus kept his back straight.

Albus didn’t like how this was going. “I just think it would be better for you if your contract was strong. Then no one could accuse you of anything.”

“What would there be to accuse me of? Everyone knows I was a spy for you during the war. There was even a trial that proved that. And I have no problem with a strong contract, but I will no longer be working for free.” Severus allowed his lips to tip up momentarily.

“But who knows what James may have asked you to do while you were under the control of that life debt.” Albus said sadly.

“I’m sure James wouldn’t have had you do anything too horrible.” Minerva said, partly defending her former student, but she also knew that James had never been that innocent, and she also wanted to help Albus. “But given your history it could be misconstrued.”

“Actually it really wasn't that bad. For the most part all Potter wanted me to do was brew the occasional potion. Other than that… I just wasn't allowed to work here or be in contact with you. It would seem you angered him with your actions over the last few years and he was feeling a little petty. I will tell you, none of the location spells, rituals, or potions worked. Whatever you did to the younger Potter child blocked everything Potter Sr. and his band of mutts thought of.

Most of my time over the past few years has been spent on my own personal hobbies and privately brewing for an apothecary to earn money. I got a lot of reading and potions research done without the constant interruptions that would have happened had I remained here. I of course also spent a lot of time with my godson teaching him so he would be ready for school once he was old enough.” Severus smiled minutely. He needed to make sure Albus would believe Harry was still where he left him.

Minerva pursed her lips at that. She hadn’t approved when she learned of Albus’s actions in regards to James and his children over the years, but Albus had managed to explain away any guilt for his behaviour… for the most part. While she didn’t like it, she wasn't ready to turn on Albus because of it.

Poppy hadn’t felt the same. She had been furious when she learned about the children first having been removed from St. Mungo’s and brought to her, she had always just assumed they had gone to her first and were going to bring the boys to the hospital once she discharged them. And then there was Harry. Apparently Albus and Lily had told her they were moving Harry over to St. Mungo’s because of his illness rather than just getting rid of him like they had. Poppy had been tolerating Albus recently, but always made it clear that she still wasn't willing to forgive him for lying to her about a patient. 

Albus gave a pained grimace. That was the last thing he wanted. He had never wanted Severus to learn just how much he could make away from Hogwarts. He hadn’t wanted him to continue his research, especially out of his purview, now Albus couldn’t get the credit or royalties for any potion Severus created from that work. And he especially hadn’t wanted him spending time with the Malfoy child. In his opinion it would just be better for everyone if the child was left ignorant, who knew what the child could do with the knowledge Severus gave him.

“I’m sure we can work something out.” Albus gave a forced smile.

 

*End Flashback*


 

In the end Severus had gotten his way. He didn’t have to do any extra rounds or monitor more detentions than any other teacher. And, he also didn’t have to do anything involving potions that wasn't paid for. The budget for the school ingredients would be required to pay for all the extra ingredients used for the students, as well as everything needed for the hospital wing. He was even going to get paid for brewing the potions for the hospital wing.

None of the other teachers had ever seen Albus come out the weaker in a negotiation so they were understandably distracted from all the changes going on in the school during the summer. Since it had all started with little things, none of them really noticed that it had been going on for months before larger things started to happen.

But eventually, something happened that caught everyones attention. It had been just 2 weeks before the new year started that Hagrid had made his way to breakfast in a very confused state. He had noticed that when he had been walking up from his hut the giant squid hadn’t greeted him as he always did. None of the teachers had any answers.

After they had finished their food, most gathered together to go out and see if they could figure out what happened to the squid. After a few of the teachers went out over the water on brooms and found nothing, everyone started to get concerned. Going into the school they started checking around to see if anything else was missing. 

And that was when they finally realized just how much the school had changed when they weren’t paying attention.


 

After a week of trying to figure out what was happening Albus called a meeting for the staff. They had only a week left to finish getting ready for the students, but they still hadn’t figured out why things were disappearing. And the students would notice the missing squid almost immediately everyone knew, and that was the last thing anyone wanted happening. None of them wanted to admit to not knowing what was happening to Hogwarts under their watch.

“Wha’ could ‘ave happ’nd ta poor Nemo and ta others?” Hagrid half said half sobbed. The half giant was not handling the disappearance well. It had gotten even worse when he started looking around and noticed that more and more of the creatures were disappearing. Just in the past week the number of remaining unicorns in the area had gone from 3 to 0.

“Who would steal a giant squid?” Arithmancy professor Septima Vector asked.

“Better question, how would someone steal a giant squid.” Ancient runes professor Bathsheba Babbling said.

“Does anyone have any information about just what has been happening?” Albus questioned. He hated having to admit that he didn’t know what was happening to his school, but after all the research he had done, and questioning the former headmasters and mistresses, he was no closer to figuring out what was going on. And he didn’t need the students telling their families he was losing control of his school.

“I think we have the answer.” Filius Flitwick announced as he entered the staff room, later to the meeting than even Albus. Drifting along behind him was the Ravenclaw ghost, the Grey Lady.

“You’re late.” Minerva huffed, disliking the disrespect that was shown.

Albus decided to play the role of genial old man, and chose to overlook the disrespect he had just been shown, he could always punish Filius for it later, and he would. “And what is it that you think is going on?”

Filius walked to the front of the room with his typical smile present. “Allow me to first properly introduce you to the ghost of Ravenclaw.”

“We are all aware of the Grey Lady.” Minerva raised a severe eyebrow at her colleague, not liking the wasting of their time.

“You know of the Grey Lady. And that is who she is in death. But most are unaware of who she was in life.” Filius said. “So, allow me to introduce everyone to Helena Ravenclaw, daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw.”

Everyone, even Albus, was startled by that. No one had ever considered someone that had actually known the founders remained at the school. Most didn’t pay attention to the origins of many of the ghosts that resided in the school.

“My Lady.” Albus suddenly became far more formal, he could see how he might be able to use her to gain more power. If he could get her to agree and say that the founders would have preferred his ways of running the school it would give him even more control.

“I was speaking with Lady Ravenclaw about what was happening to the school.” Filius told everyone.

“Are you aware of what is happening here?” Albus questioned.

Helena hovered over to the front of the room and gave a sad sigh. “The balance of the school has fallen too far out of line.”

“What do you mean by that?” Severus questioned, he was actually interested in something going on in the school for once.

Helena looked over with her general melancholic disinterested look on her face. “The school was built here for a reason. The reason is not just because it is a protected location where multiple lay lines cross, but also because of the forest and the lake.

Up until recently, the forest and lake served as a magical sink. They both produced and contained the extra magic that the school used to maintain many of its more magical aspects. The access to the lay lines was lost centuries ago, but the forest and lake made up for it, but not anymore.”

“Why would we need the forest and lake to contain magic?” Pomona questioned.

“There is a balance that needs to be maintained. The castle itself is powered by magic, from the stairs to the ceiling in the great hall. The magical creatures that have always lived in the forest and lake have provided that magic.

Then there is the apprentices. The reason it was so hard to form a magical school was because when the children are in the school there is a large quantity of ambient magic. Every spell cast leaves behind residue. Over time that residue can build up and make things extremely dangerous. To stop that the magic is siphoned off to be held in the lake and forest, which again, is maintained by the magical creatures living there.

But, with the magical creatures leaving the area, that magic is no longer being maintained or produced. Because that magic is no longer accessible, the school is running out of magic.” Helena explained.

“So once the students return the balance will return.” Albus smiled happily thinking it would work out.

“Not necessarily.” Helena slowly started to drift away, she didn’t like being this close to others for this long. “Yes, the ambient magic will be able to sustain most of the school, but not all. There is also the problem that the lake and forest are no longer producing the levels of magic they once did. There is no guarantee. With the changes in the area, over time, the magic in the area will begin to fade.”

“Was happ’nen wit’ ta’ creatures?” Hagrid asked in a worried voice.

Helena was just getting ready to flote away but waited, she had no problems with the kind man. “They are leaving. Laws have changed and they no longer feel safe, so they have been going to places where they are.

The centaurs were the first to leave. Since then, many others have followed. Just last week the last of the lakes merpeople left as well.”

“Did they steal the squid?” Pomona asked.

Helena sighed, she just wanted to leave. “No, they did not steal the squid. The squid is theirs, they care for them. When they left, they took him with them. That is another problem for the school.”

“Please my Lady.” Filius quickly added, he could see the ghosts desire to leave. “Why would the merpeople taking the squid cause problems?”

Helena sighed again. “The ambient magic from the children isn’t always safe, as I said. Miscast spells can create what used to be referred to as feral wild magic. To deal with that the merpeople used to feed that magic to the squid since their systems can break it down and refine it. The same is true from the forest. The centaurs used to feed the feral magic to some of the creatures and the forests whomping willows. 

Now that that magic is no longer being refined it can be dangerous. As to the effect it will have on the school… You would have to address that with Lord Bayler, he was one of those who helped secure the school and design its ward schemes.”

“And who is Lord Bayler?” Filius quickly asked as the ghost started to drift towards the door.

“Lord Waldo Bayler was one of my mothers liegemen. You would know him better by the moniker bestowed upon him by the living residents of this castle. The Bloody Baron.” And with that Helena drifted through the door and was gone.

This was bad, and even Albus couldn’t deny it. Who would have thought that those disgusting magical creatures had actually served a purpose? No one could know about what was happening at the school. No one could know that those creatures fleeing his laws were the reason the school was reacting the way it was.

Albus quickly called the attention of his staff to assure them that he would make sure everything worked out. He was going to have to go over the schools wards and see if there was any way he could alter things. At least once the students returned they would have their magic to make the school run properly.

He would just tell the students that the ward scheme was being updated and that was why things were working a little slower.


 

When Severus returned to his private quarters he couldn’t help but laugh. The same day the squid had disappeared he had received a letter from the Valley.

 

Severus

Did you somehow misplace a giant squid? Because we somehow have one hanging out in the lake here that wasn't there before.

And Sirius and James swear they didn’t steal it.

Remus

Chapter Text

The summer in the Weasley house had been surprisingly decent. Of course, that was only if you took into account just how bad the kids had thought it was going to be when the summer started.

Molly had still had multiple meltdowns, but there was just so much going on that she hadn’t been able to focus on just one thing for any real length of time. First it had been her sons going behind her back to her Aunt to tell on her. After that Bill left, quickly followed by Charlie. And then the new Potter adventure books had come out and she had taken over making sure Ron and Ginny attended all kinds of public events with Henry and Lily.

Because she was so busy Percy, Fred, and George managed to have a relatively peaceful summer. There had been a few issues, but thankfully Arthur had quickly stepped in and reminded Molly of their agreements. The primary issue had actually had to do with the new Potter book. All three of the older boys were mentioned in it, and because of that they each received a payment. Molly had, of course, not approved of what the boys wanted to do with their money, but Arthur, who had surprisingly started to stand up more, had put a stop to that.

Then there had of course been issues with the twins pranks, but since it wasn't any different than years previous it wasn't too big of a deal. Arthur had found that it was just easier to take the twins with him out to the back shed where he spent a lot of his evenings. He would tell Molly that it was a form of punishment since they both enjoyed being left in their rooms without supervision, but mostly they just worked on their own hobbies. Percy had even started to join them from time to time.

As the summer came closer to an end, the three boys that would be returning to school were still rather excited to get away from home.

 


 

Arthur was concerned as he sat in the kitchen of The Burrow with both Molly and Lily. Percy had asked to speak with the three of them. Arthur couldn’t figure out just what it was that Percy could have to tell them.

When Percy came in Arthur became worried. He knew when something was bothering Percy just by the look on his face, and he had the look.

“Percy, what is this about?” Arthur asked.

“I wanted to talk to the three of you about Henry, Ron, and Ginny.” Percy told his dad.

“And just what could you have to say about my Henry?” Lily said, annoyance evident in her voice.

“And what is this about your little brother and sister?” Molly was just as defensive as Lily.

“Fred, George, and I were talking with them about the new book, and some of the things they said just seemed odd.” Percy started slowly. “We started talking more and more about the other books and subtly tested them.”

“And just what could you test them on?” Molly huffed. “Percy, they are just children. You had better not have been trying to make them feel bad because they don’t know everything you do, you are starting your fourth year.”

“We weren’t trying to make them feel bad. We were just asking questions.” Percy defended himself, then he pulled out three sheets of paper and pushed them over. “I told them I was going into town this evening and asked them to give me a list of anything they might want as another test, this is what I got.”

Each of the three adults took the sheets. Lily had Henrys, Molly had Rons, and Arthur had Ginnys. All three lists were completely illegible. None of the words could be understood, the only thing that was even slightly understandable was the crudely drawn little pictographs.

“What is this?” Arthur questioned.

“Those are the lists they wrote.” Percy said matter of factly. “Ron and Henry are 10, they will be starting school next year. Ginny is 9, she will be starting school in two years. And they can’t read.”

Arthur was startled by not only what Percy was saying, but how he said it. He had heard Percy get exasperated before, but never this much.

“That can’t be.” Molly was startled as she looked at the lists. “I have taught all of you everything you need to know. And Henry and Lily often join us for lessons.”

“I talked to the twins about that.” Percy nodded. “According to them, at least, before they started school last year, you never taught Ron or Ginny with them. They said they always had their reading, writing, and math lessons in the morning. After lunch you would spend an hour or so going over different ways magic can be used.

Apparently, you always let Ron and Ginny sleep in saying that they had been just to busy being fictional characters in a book. Because of that they only attended afternoon lessons so they never learned reading, writing, or math. And on the occasion that you actually did teach them anything, you would stop once they got board. They also said Ms. Evans only brought Henry over after lunch so he wouldn’t have gotten any of those lessons either. 

The end result is… You never made them sit down and learn, so they don’t know anything. That’s why I wanted to talk to you now. You only have a year left to teach Ron and Henry not just how to read and write, but also how to study, manage their time, and even just getting up on time. If you don’t, then their time at Hogwarts will be short since they will fail out.”

“Molly?” Arthur looked to his wife in surprise. “You always said you would take care of teaching the kids while I was at work. Did you not bother to make sure Ron and Ginny attended their lessons?”

“They are just so young.” Molly defended herself. “They have so much pressure on them because of the books they needed to sleep more.”

“Molly, those are books. They aren’t real. Nothing that happened in those books actually happened. There was no pressure on them to do anything, they are kids. Any promotion they did was because you allowed it. Are you telling me that you allowed them to skip lessons so they could just go and spend time with their friends so they could get their pictures in the papers.

I honestly don’t know what to say about this. They are our kids, their education needs to be more important than some so called fame.” Arthur was startled, he really needed to get more involved and stop just trusting Molly to handle things with the kids. He had always just assumed she did as she had told him she was going to do and taught the kids while he was at work.

Lily too was struggling to understand all this as she looked down at the list from Henry. The only thing she could understand on it was that he wanted a new broom, but that was because he drew it. Lily may have been a Gryffindor, but she had always maintained grades that could Rival a Ravenclaws while she was at school, always finishing in the top 10 each year. She couldn’t accept that Henry might not be as smart as she had been.

But, Lily had never bothered to have any real lessons with Henry. The only words she had taught him to write were his own name so that he could sign books. It had never occurred to her that she was even going to need to teach him, she had known all that stuff before she started at Hogwarts, but that was because she had attended muggle primary school.

Both Lily and Molly knew that they were going to have to work hard to catch the children up to where they should have been. And they both knew that the kids were not going to like it. They had gotten so used to just being able to have fun and having to spend time learning and practicing was going to be a nightmare for both the kids and them.

Arthur thanked Percy for bringing everything to their attention and dismissed him before he turned to his wife and Lily. The three of them then spent the next hour working out a schedule to teach the kids. Both Molly and Lily thought the boys might be more willing to attend their lessons if they had each other around.

Regardless of their plans, they knew that the next year was going to be hard.

Chapter Text

Remus smiled as he made his way into the small house of the Volk family. Marcus Volk had turned 11 the day before, but had chosen to reject his invitation to Hogwarts. They could finally tell him about their school, and not a moment too soon, they were only a few days until the start of the new year. On this particular day Remus was working with Anna Barrow, the same Childrens Welfare Office worker that James often worked with. 

When they had arrived at the house they were met at the door by a slim little woman named Lena Volk. Lena was a single mother of three who worked at the local grocery store. Marcus was the middle of the three children. He had an older brother, Nicolas, 14, and a younger sister Irina, 7.

“What is it that I can help you with?” Lena asked. She was still flustered from the day before when she had been informed magic was real. The stern woman who had come to tell them her son was a wizard had tried to pressure her to just send her son off to a magic school. Lena would have loved to let Marcus go and learn magic, but it was just too expensive. Now she had a pouting 11 year old that was trying to pretend that it was fine and that he understood the families finances just didn’t make it possible, but she could see how much it upset him.

“Hello Ms. Volk. My name is Remus Lupin. I am the co-headmaster of Albion Academy. I’ve come to invite Marcus to attend the academy this year.” Remus said.

“I’m sorry you came all this way, but I have to tell you the same thing I told that woman yesterday, we just don’t have the money for a private boarding school.” Lena said, slightly embarrassed.

“Not to worry. Albion is far more affordable than Hogwarts. Plus, we offer a multitude of scholarships and cost deferment methods. Many of the students we meet that have rejected their acceptance to Hogwarts do so because of the cost.” Remus handed over the information on cost and the list of available scholarships and how much they were for.

Lena looked over the list in pleased surprise. “This would be much easier for me to manage. I know Marcus really wanted to learn magic.”

“If you want to call him down here we can go over a few details and see if he would like to attend this year.” Remus wasn't surprised by Lena’s reaction, it was one he often got when he showed the cost of attending the Academy.

While they waited for Marcus to come into the small sitting room Anna introduced herself and explained her role. Lena reacted like usual, but she was quickly soothed with Anna’s explanations.

“You wanted to see me mum?” Marcus questioned, pout still evident though he was trying to hide it.

“Yes dear, come here and sit with me.” Lena motioned her son over. “Marcus, this is Mrs. Barrow, and Mr. Lupin. Mr. Lupin is the headmaster of a school called Albion Academy, it’s a magical school.”

“But you said we couldn’t afford magic school.” Marcus said, his cheeks tinging pink.

“The Academy tuition is much more reasonable and if we apply for a scholarship it would be easy for us to afford it.” Lena smiled as she saw her sons eyes light up.

“I get to go to magic school!” Marcus was thrilled.

“If you really want to, but why don’t you talk to Mr. Lupin to see if you really want to go? I’m sure his school isn’t the same as the school you were told about yesterday.”

“Is Albion Academy like Hogwarts?” Marcus asked instantly, he was a little weary about having to leave home for so long, he’d never been away from his mum and siblings for more than the length of a sleepover.

“It is the same in the idea that we teach magic, other than that they are very different schools.” Remus told the boy. “One of the main ways the Academy is different is that it isn’t a full boarding school. For the first 3 years you will be able to come home every night if you choose too. The two years after that you can come home on weekends, and your final two years will be full boarding, but you will still be able to come home if you need to.”

“So I don’t have to just leave? How will I get to school? Is there a bus or something?”

“Or something.” Remus laughed. “We use magic mirrors that work like teleportation. One moment you're in one place, and the next you’re somewhere else. I brought yours with me and I can set it up for you and teach you how to use it before we leave. Your mum and brother and sister will be able to visit.”

“We can visit the school?” Everyone looked over to see a little girl peaking around the corner from the kitchen.

“Irina what have I told you about spying? I thought Nick was watching you.” Lena sighed.

“He is.” Irina said matter of factly.

“Shhh.” A male voice whispered.

“They can come in here and talk if they want.” Remus told the exasperated mother.

“Are you sure? The other professor seemed to want to keep them out.” Lena said.

“Can we visit the school?” Irina questioned with the intensity only a child could.

“Well, you can’t just show up at the school whenever you feel like. But, the reason I said you can visit is because the mirror won’t take you directly to the school, but to the town where the school is located. The school is a 5 minute walk from where you arrive.” Remus told her. “Albion Academy is located in Avalon Valley which is in Wales. It’s an entirely magical village.”

“Can I…” Irina started, but was quickly grabbed by her mum.

“This isn’t Irina asks a hundred question time.” Lena ruffled her daughters dark hair. “This is about your brother. Marcus, any other questions?”

“Are there any other differences other than just getting to come home?” Marcus questioned.

“Yes.” Remus agreed. “We also offer different, and more, classes. And there are multiple extra curricular activities you can sign up for if you are interested. Now, unfortunately, you will be starting out behind most of the other students.”

“Why would he be behind?” Lena questioned instantly, she didn’t want her son to be set up to fail.

Remus hated having to explain this, so Anna spoke up. “There is a law in our world that gives Hogwarts first choice in students. We are magically barred from speaking to any student on that list, as Marcus was. We can only reach out after you reject Hogwarts acceptance, that’s why we had to wait until today.

But, a students name is added to the acceptance list by magic when they have their first burst of accidental magic, and that usually happens by their third birthday. While Hogwarts has a policy to not contact its potential students until they turn 11, we have a policy of informing the families as soon as their names appear on our list. It makes things easier for everyone.

Because we have had to wait so long to speak with Marcus, he doesn’t have the same background on the magical world most of his classmates will have.”

“What sort of background?” Lena questioned worriedly.

“The magical world separated itself from the muggle world hundreds of years ago, our worlds have developed differently ever since. Because of that our societies and expected behaviour is very different. Manners and certain levels of formality are generally expected. And our government operates more as a feudal system that has limited democracy.

Then there is education. In this Marcus may actually be ahead in certain subjects. There is no primary schools in the magical world, because of that most children from magical families tend to be homeschooled. That means the children generally only know what their parents can teach them, so if a parent is bad at math, then the child will be as well. A few do send their children to muggle primary schools, but not all.

But, many of the children do receive tutoring in magical subjects. Now, they can’t do anything until they are in school, but they can still learn the background. Since most spells are in latin it is common for children to at least learn the basics. They also often get at least a basic background in the different subjects.” Anna explained.

“So what do I do?” Marcus was worried. He had always done well in school, he didn’t like that he was going to be so far behind.

“Try not to worry, we won’t leave you to struggle on your own.” Remus assured. “You aren’t the only one in your situation. We’ve already had to speak with 4 others who had a birthday this month and are in the same situation as you.

Since school is starting so soon we don’t have time to set you up with a tutor or quick study guide you will have to learn it at the school. All the students are assigned a staff advisor. Once you have your advisor they will be in touch with you about setting up meeting times to go over the basics with you.

I know it can sound a little scary right now, but it’s going to be fine, you aren’t alone in this and we are going to help you adjust. We’ve been through all this before, and most others in your situation are able to be fully caught up with their classmates by about half way through their first year.”

“Why was Marcus accepted to the other school?” Nicolas asked. “From what you said, not everyone is accepted, so why was he? Wouldn’t all the kids be on the same list.”

“That is a complicated and long explanation. First, I will tell you that there are all kinds of magic. Everything from elemental, blood, mind, and soul magic just to name a few. But all of these branches of magic fall into three main types, light, grey, and dark.

Now, dark does not mean evil, just as light does not mean holy. It’s just different types. Light magic usually requires more focus and theory, while dark relies more on emotion and intent, and grey is a combination of the two. 

Now, for a history lesson. Like any society, there is infighting in the magical world. Different groups feeling they are being unfairly subjugated and others feeling they have the right to rule.” Remus always went out of his way to be perfectly honest with this question, there was no point to lie since they would learn the truth soon enough. “In the 1940’s there was two world wars. The first was the one that you would know about, much of the world against the Nazi’s and Adolf Hitler. But, around the same time, there was a wizard named Gellert Grindelwald who referred to himself as a Dark Lord who led a magical army in a war against the magical world.

Grindelwald wanted to break down the barriers between our two worlds because he thought magicals had the right to rule over muggles. His army was relatively small in comparison to those who stood against them, but they did a great deal of damage. Ultimately, he was stopped when he was defeated by a man named Albus Dumbledore, he is now the headmaster of Hogwarts.

After that Albus was seen as a wise and benevolent man and many turned to him to guide our world away from the horror it had just endured. But, because Grindelwald was a dark wizard, people feared those with dark cores to a degree. Many like Albus believed that those with dark cores needed to be… constrained to a point. And to do this they restricted access to education for those with dark, and eventually grey, cores.

And things only got worse. In the 60’s and 70’s there was a civil war in magical Britain. A man who called himself the Dark Lord Voldemort rose to power on a claim of blood supremacy. He, and many who followed him, felt that only those with two magical parents deserved to be in charge. They would tolerate those with only one magical parent, but they were seen as lesser, and they felt muggle-borns didn’t deserve to even be allowed in our world.

Many didn’t agree, but there was such a fracture in our society that people found themselves pushed into factions. Those who had been denied access to education for themselves and their children may not have agreed with the blood supremacy issue, but they refused to support those who had denied them.

The war was… brutal. There isn’t anyone who was in the magical world during those years that didn’t lose someone. Be it friend or family member.

And again, it became a fight of dark against light in peoples minds, even if that wasn't true. Many who fought on the side of the so called light were themselves grey or dark. I myself am classed as dark but I was on the side of the light. 

The war ended in 1981 when Voldemort was destroyed. But, since the war was once again dark against light the restrictions have only been added too. Now, no muggle-born with a dark or grey core even appears on the Hogwarts list. They are still required to accept dark and grey half-bloods and purebloods, but the tuition is kept so high that only those from the wealthier families can afford to send their children. And, what little tuition assistance there is is restricted to light children only. They also bar all those with any form of known creature blood.

Marcus was on the list to attend Hogwarts because he meets their qualifications. He’s part of the small group who does. As it stands now, Hogwarts only educates ¼th of all magical children.”

“That’s insane.” Nicolas muttered. “What do you mean creature blood?”

Remus laughed softly. “Yes, I agree it’s insane.

And, magic is real, what makes you think magical creatures aren’t. There are vampires, silkies, sirens, nagas, elves, fey, and so much more. They all have human forms and are welcome to attend school like any other child. I myself am a werewolf.

For the most part, despite all the hysteria you might find on the telly or in movies and books, those with creature blood are just like everyone else. I’m forced to turn into a wolf for 12 hours a month, other than that I am as human as any other. Yes, vampires need to drink blood, but they don’t need to kill, and most prefer to actually just buy blood from a blood bank or use a willing donor.”

“Are unicorns real?” Irina demanded with what had to be the worlds most seriously hopeful look on her face.

Remus grinned at her. “Yes. And, when we take you to the Valley to gather Marcus’s supplies I can show you some. There are over 100 who live in the forests around the Valley.”

“We are going now!” Irina got up, and headed to get her shoes.

Lena laughed at her daughter. “It would seem it’s time for us to go to the Valley and collect Marcus’s supplies.”

“If you want to fill these out quickly, we will be able to file the paperwork once we get there.” Anna said as she handed over the scholarship applications.

Lena was surprised at just how simple the forms were. All they really needed was basic information about Marcus and how much she made each year. It only took her 10 minutes to fill out the different paperwork.


 

Half an hour later Lena was startled as she escorted her children out of the bank. She had thought the applications she had been filling out would just make it cheaper for Marcus to attend school, but apparently not.

According to Anna, since the school was sponsored by both the muggle and magical Royal Families, both offered support. Because of that not only was Marcus getting his tuition for half off, but he was also getting his school supplies covered, the basic versions at least, by the muggle side since he would require so much since he was entering a new world. He wasn't going to be able to buy the top of the line things, but all his gear would be of good quality.

Lena knew that they weren’t completely destitute, she did manage to always keep food on the table, but it would have been almost impossible for her to buy everything Marcus was going to need. And to that end, she had just gotten to open a bank account in a bank run by goblins. Lena had always considered herself to be an open minded person, but she was more than a little frazzled having only learned 24 hours before that magic even existed.

That afternoon was going to be equal parts interesting and bonkers. Just walking through the town she saw so many mind boggling things. Especially since her daughter was skipping at her side repeatedly asking when they were going to see the unicorns.

And as everything she had ever thought was impossible was proven true, Anna just patted her on her back and told her to just keep taking deep breaths.

Chapter Text

In a surprisingly short time, another year had flashed passed. As James watched the last of the graduating students leave the stage to go and celebrate with friends that they had finished school, he just couldn’t believe it. A new school year would be starting in 2 months, and Harry would be sitting amongst the first years.

He wondered how Henry was doing. Since everything happened with Lily he rarely got to see him. At most, he would see him once or twice a year for a few minutes. Usually, it was when Lily wanted to yell at him because Henry had once again been denied the Heir position. On those occasions he was saddened to see the changes in Henry.

The boy was becoming more and more like his mother every year. He was demanding and dramatic. He seemed to think everything should be his regardless of everything else. And, he was becoming just as bigoted and prejudice as Lily was. 

James had of course tried to get through to the child, but when he only had such a small amount of time, and Lily was around him constantly, there was little to nothing he could do. The only thing Henry had really wanted from him was the Heir ring and for him to make Lily stop forcing him to attend lessons. And James wasn't willing to do either. If anything, he was glad that Lily had finally decided to teach Henry something.

Every time he saw Henry and Lily he was glad Harry hadn’t had to grow up with them. Harry was clever, respectful, kind, generous, and above all a genuinely good person. James did have to admit to being a bit biased as he was raising the boy, but Sirius and Remus agreed with him so James believed it.

It was sad for him when he couldn’t help but compare the two boys. It always made him feel bad to think the way he was about one of his own children. He had always tried not to play favourites, but now he just couldn’t help it.


 

While James was conflicted about Harry starting school due to him not wanting his little boy to grow up too quickly, Harry was thrilled. Being as smart as he was was useful, but it also lead to a great deal of boredom. Nothing really challenged him.

He had hope that he would at least have to work hard to achieve his magical goals. After learning that his dad and uncles had achieved their animagus forms by 15, he decided he wanted to do it sooner. He also wanted to master at least one branch of elemental magic and make the quidditch team.

There was just so much he wanted to do that he would actually have to work for, and he couldn’t wait.

Then there was the fact that he was finally going to be able to get his wand. Harry had been completely fascinated by wands ever since he had gone with Jack when she got hers.

With all the restrictions going on in the outside worlds there were a few who had sought out the Valley for its freedom while still operating outside. One such person was Garrick Ollivander. The wands he sold in Diagon were required to only be made from limited ingredients that were still classed as legal. To counter that he opened a shop in the Valley where he could create more experimental and custom wands. Both the shop in the Valley and the one in Diagon were open 3 days a week.

Harry just couldn’t wait for his birthday since his dad had told him they would wait until then to get him his wand.


 

Harry was woken up as he usually was on his birthday, with Padfoot jumping on him and licking his face. Because this happened every year Harry had taken to making sure he had something for a counter attack ready. This year he had a water pistol filled with sleeping potion. 

As Harry expected, as soon as some of the liquid got into Padfoots mouth he collapsed, unfortunately right on top of him. After pushing his dogfather off, Harry grinned.

“Asher, are you ready?” Harry looked to the 7 year old.

“Yup.” Asher held up his bag and ran over to join Harry on his bed.

Remus, Jack, and James could only stand in the door and laugh as they watched Asher and Harry dress the sleeping dog in a hotdog costume. Everyone knew Sirius’s love of puns so it was perfect for him.

Once Padfoot was dressed, Harry gave him the sleeping potion counter. And then, before the potion took full effect he dropped a few drops of a sealing potion onto Padfoots tongue. It would lock Sirius in his Padfoot form for an hour.

Sirius stumbled as he tried to get up, his head all fuzzy. Looking around, he realized where he was and what had happened. He gave his best version of a doggy glare at his godson.

“I think the puppy needs to look in the mirror.” Harry smirked at the disgruntled look on the dogs face.

Sirius knew better than to trust that look. Then he noticed his son was sitting on the bed with them and started panicking. Jumping down he stumbled as he tried to coordinate his four limbs as he ran to Harry’s mirror.

The open mouths shocked look just didn’t work on the face of a dog. Everyone laughed even harder as they saw Sirius’s reaction to seeing himself.

Sirius spun to glare at his godson and his son for a moment before he tried to outsmart them by just shifting back. But it didn’t work.

Harry grinned as he heard the worried whimper come from his godfather. “Don’t worry Padfoot, the potion will wear off in an hour or so. Until then, you get to enjoy being a hotdog.”

“Potion?” James asked his son, trying to suppress his smile to give his son a stern look.

“Oh, I almost forgot.” Harry quickly grabbed the wizarding camera off the side table and took a few pictures of Padfoot as he tried to figure out how to get the costume off and then hid under the bed when he saw the camera. “Yes, I got the sleeping potion and a sealing potion from Severus. He told me the sealing potion would keep my dogfather in his form for an hour or so. But he made me promise to send pictures in lieu of payment.”

James actually fell to the floor as he laughed so hard he cried. Remus wasn't much better. From under the bed they heard Padfoot whimper and then growl.

“I think it’s time for breakfast.” Harry started to leave the room before stopping to whistle. “Come on Padfoot. Come ‘er boy. Don’t worry, Asher has a bowl just for you. We even got your name engraved on it.”


 

After breakfast was done, and the potion had finally worn off allowing a very disgruntled Sirius to turn back they were getting ready to start their day. Sirius had had a slight problem when he shifted back because he was still in the costume. It had fit the dog, but on the man it was skin tight.

But they didn’t get very far. The year before, when Harry had been going to visit his dad at the school he had found himself drawn back once again to the familiar hall. Morgana and Merlin theorized that because he was once again getting close to his magical maturation he would be able to feel another connection. The purpose of a familiar was to serve to ground a witches or wizards magic. And, since Harry was so powerful, it was only natural that he would need more than one familiar.

He wasn't the only one to have gotten a familiar egg recently either. In recent years everyone else had gotten a familiar other than Asher, and that was only because of his young age. James had a female thestral named Styx, possibly as a throwback to his Peverell heritage or because of the Voldemort attack. Sirius had a troublesome little niffler aptly named bandit, although he also responded to ‘you little thief’. Remus had a miniature zouwu, a cat like creature who could generally be the size of a large elephant but miniature versions only got as big as a horse, his name was Taz after the tasmanian devil Remus had seen on some of the kids cartoons Asher loved. And Jack had a beautiful juvenile thunderbird named Storm.

Everyone was wondering just what kind of creature Harry would get this time. And they were about to find out.

Just as they were getting ready to go and get Harry’s wand, they heard the now familiar cracking sounds that heralded the hatching of a new familiar.

Harry was torn, he really wanted his wand, but he knew he couldn’t just go while his familiar hatched. Turning from the door he went into the sitting room. Taking off the pouch that held the egg he slid the egg out and sat down to watch.

Cally, who at full size had reached the size of an average dog, shrunk herself down to the size of a cat and landed on Harry’s shoulders to watch too. Although the dragon was slowly getting bigger, she still preferred to be small so she could stay around Harry. She was just wondering what kind of creature was going to help her in stabilizing their human.

Like Cally, everyone else gathered around.


 

It took just over an hour before the egg finally opened. As they had learned with the others, when it came to mammals the egg would crack down the middle and just fall open to expose the baby animal. In this case it was a tiny silver kitten that was revealed, but unlike other kittens this one had soft downy wings coming from his shoulder blades. Other than that the kitten looked like any new born kitten with both its eyes and ears still closed.

“What is with you and the winged animals?” Jack asked.

“Let me see.” Remus cast the same species identifying spell as he had used on Cally. “Hmmm. According to this, this is no ordinary kitten. He is a nemean lion. Normally they don’t have wings, but I guess it’s just one of those oddities that happen around Harry.”

“He’s perfect.” Harry gently picked up the lion cub. He called for one of the elves to bring him a bottle for the kitten. 

“And what is his name going to be?” James asked as Harry fed the cub.

“Hunter. It’s a nice simple name.” Harry finished feeding the kitten and tucked him back in the pouch. It was spelled so it would keep him warm and safe while they took care of everything they needed to do that day.

“Hunter it is then.” James smiled. “Now, let’s go get you your wand. I guess it’s a good thing we only planned a simple birthday for you this year, I don’t think you’re going to want to do to much with your baby familiar.”


 

Harry was practically vibrating as he walked into Ollivander's shop. He was finally getting his wand.

“Ah, Harrison Potter, I have been expecting you.” Garrick stared across his counter at the happy child.

“Hello Mr. Ollivander.” Harry could feel the magic in the air, it felt amazing.

“Will we be trying wands, or would you prefer a wand custom made for you?” Garrick asked.

“Dad?” Harry turned to his father.

“I think a custom wand would be better.” James said. “Then it will match you perfectly rather than just work for you.”

“Then follow me into my workshop.” Garrick lead the group back. “I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of work for you today.”

Harry was confused by that, but just shrugged it off.

“First you must select a wood. Run your hand over the wood samples until you feel your magic connect.” Garrick instructed.

Harry did as he was told until he felt his magic spark over a piece of honey coloured wood.

“Oh, how delightful. Hornbeam.” Garrick smiled. “My own wand is made of hornbeam, and so it is with all due modesty that I state that hornbeam selects for its life mate the talented witch or wizard with a single, pure passion, which will almost always be realized. 

Hornbeam wands adapt more quickly than almost any other to their owner’s style of magic, and will become so personalized, so quickly, that other people will find them extremely difficult to use even for the most simple of spells. Hornbeam wands likewise absorb their owner’s code of honour, whatever that might be, and will refuse to perform acts – whether for good or ill – that do not tally with their master’s principles. It makes a particularly fine-tuned and sentient wand.”

Harry smiled, he was always fascinated by wand crafting. “What about the core?” 

“Test the cores the same way you did the woods.” Garrick showed him over to the core selection.

This time it took longer. Harry felt a light connection, but it wasn't overly strong. “This feels connected, but not very much.”

Garrick came over and looked down at a red phoenix feather. He knew that feather. It had come from Fawkes, Albus had sent it to him the night after the Samhain attack. Garrick was no fool, he remembered just what wand the Dark Lord had held, and he knew the connection. 

When he had made the feather into a wand, it had been paired with holly, but a few years ago, that holly wand had burst into flames. If he hadn’t moved as quickly as he had he could have lost every wand he had.

“That would be because you have a familiar, something rather impressive for your age.” Garrick nodded to the dragon that was wrapped around the childs shoulders. “Familiars serve to balance magic. The phoenix feather serves as the base, but you will need something added from your familiar.”

“Calypso?” Harry turned to look at her.

Calypso jumped gracefully onto the counter.

Garrick examined the dragon who allowed herself to return to her full size. “I know exactly what this wand needs. Calypso, please breathe your fire onto this feather. You all may wish to cover your eyes.”

Everyone watched as Ollivander first put on a pair of dark glasses, and then levitated the feather in front of the dragon before covering their eyes. When Cally breathed her blue flames there was a blinding flash of light. Even with their eyes covered, they still needed to blink a few times before they could see.

Hanging in the air was the red feather covered in blue flames. They could all feel the magic pouring off it.

“As an ice dragon Calypso’s flames turn things to ice rather than ash. The flames are trying to consume and freeze the feather. But this feather comes from a fire phoenix and can never be frozen.” Garrick had a maniacal grin as he moved the burning feather over the open wand and lowered it in. “Because they are opposites they will forever be battling for dominance. The core of your wand shall always be burning. The perfect balance of fire and ice. This shall be a wand like no other.”

Cally jumped back to Harry’s shoulders in her shrunken size to cuddle up, pleased to have helped. Harry pet her gently as he watched the wood close around the burning feather. The honeyed wood taking on the hint of swirling blue and red.

“Give it a try.” Garrick passed the wand over.

Harry took the wand and everyone felt the power. It was like every particle of dust had become statically charged.

“Something is missing.” Garrick said in slight confusion.

“It feels amazing.” Harry assured him.

“No, no, no. Something is definitely missing.” Garrick spun in circles looking around to try and figure it out, but froze when he saw the familiar pouch around the boys neck. “Mr. Potter, do you by chance have another familiar?”

Harry gently placed his hand over the pouch. “Yes, he just hatched this morning.”

“And what pray tell is he?” 

“Hunter is a nemean lion.” Harry said. “But he’s just a baby. I don’t think he can give anything for my wand yet.”

“True, familiars can not contribute to a wand until they are at least one as their own magic is not yet stable enough to support yours. But, you shall come and see me again next year and I shall update your wand.” Garrick smiled. “Curious?”

“Excuse me sir, but what’s curious?” Harry questioned.

“I remember every wand I’ve ever sold Mr. Potter.” Garrick stared down at the boy with a penetrating gaze. “It so happens that the phoenix who’s tale feather resides in your wand gave another feather, just one other. It is curious that you should be destined for it, while it’s brother supposedly gave your brother his famous scar.

It would seem, for once, Ms. Skeeter may have actually been correct about something.”

“Quick question, do all wands require a contribution if the witch or wizard has a familiar?” Jack spoke up as a distraction.

“Of course not. A wand will continue to work fine without the contribution. But, for those with familiars the contribution just tailors the wand to them and makes it even more powerful.” Garrick finally looked away from the frozen boy. “Why may I ask are you questioning this? Do you know someone with a familiar that hasn’t bothered to get their wand updated?”

Slowly Jack raised her hand, followed by the three men in the shop. “I don’t think any of us realized we would need to.” Jack smiled bashfully.

“I knew you were going to bring me lots of work today.” Garrick sighed before breaking out in a grin so big it looked like it would hurt. “How delightful.”

“Mr. Ollivander.” James spoke up, his hand gripping his wand at his side, ready to react if he needed to. “About Harry’s wand core.”

“No need to worry.” Garrick assured him. “I never give out peoples wand specifics. And the stories people believe are none of my business. No, my business is wand craft, not gossip. And to that end, shall we get to work.”


 

When they got home that evening everyone was tired. After leaving Ollivanders they had spent the day just enjoying the Valley. There had been quidditch games, and football games in the park. They had gone exploring in the woods to see what they could find. But mostly, it was just about having fun and enjoying where they were.

And they still had to eat cake and open presents. Harry had been getting little presents all day long from the people that he met, but it was just little things. Everyone in town already knew that Harry didn’t like overly exaggerated displays so they tried to avoid it. There were always a few who went big in the hopes that it would help them get in good with the future King, but they were few and far between.

The good thing was they didn’t even have to worry about Harry getting his invitation to Hogwarts so he could just focus on the school he actually wanted to attend. According to Severus who had checked the book for them after his return, Lily had removed Harry’s name. Since his name wasn't in the book Harry didn’t even have to refuse his acceptance, something he was glad for as it meant they wouldn’t have his address.

Just as everyone was getting ready to head to bed, Sirius called for Harry’s attention. “There’s one last present for you Harry.”

“But you already gave me my present.” Harry said in confusion.

“I know, but the other day when I visited Diagon Alley something caught my eye, and she wasn't going to let me leave without her.” Sirius went into the kitchen and came back out carrying a cage with a beautiful snowy owl. “I know you already got one new animal today, but you haven’t yet got an owl.”

“She’s beautiful.” Harry walked over and let the owl out of her cage. She flew up and rested on his shoulder, not paying any attention to Cally.

“At least she likes you.” Sirius smiled. “The man who sold her to me said she kept biting and clawing everyone who tried to buy her. But, she jumped on my head as soon as I entered the shop and refused to let me leave. She just kept digging her claws in until I took the hint. Guess she just wanted me to bring her to you.”

Harry smiled and held out his arm for the owl to hop over to. The owl and Cally instantly got into a staring contest. But it didn’t last long. The two seemed to understand one another and gave each other a small nod before looking away.

“You have the weirdest animals.” Asher muttered to his cousin before he stumbled off to find his bed.


 

For Henry, his birthday was both great and annoying. Once again he was denied for being the family heir, but his dad had had the goblin give him his birthday present. The present had been decent, but so much of what he was given was stuff for school, including a new quill set and potions prep books. Those just weren’t interesting.

He had really wanted another new broom. He couldn’t stand the fact that he wasn't going to be allowed to have his broom at school with him for the first year. But he and Ron were already making plans to just sneak their brooms in anyways.

While they were at the bank Henry and Lily ran into Hagrid who had been sent there to collect something for Albus. Lily had suggested that Henry go down to the vault with Hagrid since Henry had never gotten to ride in the carts before as Lily always just demanded the money be sent up since she hated those carts. Henry had actually enjoyed the ride and Hagrid had poorly tried to distract him from what he was there to pick up.

After leaving the bank his mum took him shopping for the school things his dad was to cheap to get him. The only thing that really annoyed him was the fact that the wand shop was closed so he couldn’t even get his first wand that day. His mum had talked with Dumbledore and they had tried to force the wand maker to open up specially for his birthday, but the man hadn’t listened to them.

It aggravated Henry to no end that anyone would dare deny him. He was the Boy-Who-Lived, he deserved to get what he wanted. His mum always told him that.


 

Two days later, after the usual meeting with his father at the bank where his mum yelled at him for denying Henry the Heir ring, Henry finally got to go and get his wand. The headmaster was even going to meet them in the shop just to make sure the stupid wand maker knew he was in trouble for denying him, Henry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived.

“Hello Headmaster.” Lily said cheerfully as they made their way through the crowds. She pitched her voice higher to gather attention, everyone should be paying attention, her little boy, the Boy-Who-Lived was getting his wand.

“Ah, hello Lily, Henry. Lemon Drop?” Albus offered a sweet to the boy who greedily took two. “I remember when I made this trip myself long ago. Are you excited to get your first wand Henry?”

Henry knew the game well, they were making sure the press could hear everything. “Of course. Although, it isn’t really my first wand. I’ve had one for training and practice for years, you know that since you were the one training me.”

Albus smiled at the boy, Lily had trained him well. Now everyone knew that Albus was training their hero. “Yes yes, but this is a wand just for you. The one you have been using is just a generic one, your skill has moved well beyond that now.”

Lily laughed happily, making sure to show off her best side for the photographer she had spotted as she reached down to lay a hand on her sons shoulder. “Let’s get you your wand. It’s just too bad he decided to stay closed on your birthday.”

“Indeed. After you two.” Albus held open the door for mother and son.


 

“Ah, young Mr. Potter. I wondered when I would be seeing you. Seems only yesterday your mother and father were in here buying their first wands.” Garrick started to say, but was cut off.

“I would have been here on my birthday but you wouldn’t open.” Henry sneered, there were no press in here so he didn’t have to play nice. “Now, get me my wand. Headmaster Dumbledore says it’s holly and phoenix feather.”

“The wand chooses the wizard Mr. Potter. You can not simply demand what you want.” Garrick said, he couldn’t help but compare this arrogant child to his kindhearted brother.

“That is the wand for him Garrick.” Albus assured. “It really was a disappointment that you couldn’t be bothered to be open for Henry’s big day.”

“Yes, well… I’m sure you are well aware of all these new restrictions brought in by the Wizengamot. It makes things hard on all business owners in the Alley. Unfortunately in a bid for control they are doing more damage than good, I’m sure you’ll speak with them about it. After that travesty that occurred at the bank I’m sure the goblins will be up in arms about it.” Garrick gave the other man a cool look. 

With all the laws Albus had helped to pass the Alley was changing. Since the goblins were now required to have auror guards they could only be open when there were aurors. But, the ministry had restricted the hiring of new aurors, leaving them with a shortage. Because of that Gringotts was only open 8 hours a day, 5 days a week rather than the 24/7 that they had used to work.

On Henry’s birthday Gringotts had been robbed. The goblins were blaming the Ministry for the fact that the thief managed to get away. Since they weren’t allowed to have goblin guards in the main area it had been the aurors who had failed. The ministry was struggling to come up with excuses as to how the very first successful robbery to ever occur in Gringotts happened when they were in charge of security.

There was also all kinds of paperwork and inspections that needed to be done in the shops to verify the origin of the supply for materials and to assure they weren’t using anything dangerous. Every single package Garrick got now had to be inspected. Even the origin of the ingredients used in Fortescue’s ice cream needed to be checked. Many shops now had to close for at least one day a week more just to do the paperwork.

“Of course.” Albus forced a smile. “Now, about Henry’s wand. It’s the holly wand I assure you.”

“Let’s see.” Garrick went and grabbed a random holly wand, he wasn't going to betray the younger Potter boy to Albus, the child had already earned his loyalty and he didn’t want to expose him to the kind of people that had raised his brother. “Here it is. Holly and phoenix feather. Pick it up and give it a wave.”

Henry smiled as he picked up the wand but it felt slimy under his fingers. When he waved it the vase of flowers shattered.

“I guess not.” Garrick took it back and indicated the other wands he had collected that he thought might be better for the child. “Give these a try, I think they might suit you better.”

“No, that’s his wand.” Lily insisted.

“No, it isn’t.” Garrick said, putting the wand back in its box and placing it under the desk.

“Garrick…” Albus said. He knew that had to be the wand for Henry, but it clearly hadn’t worked.

“I heard that you had a practice wand Mr. Potter.” Garrick looked to the child.

“Yes, I’ve been using it for years.” Henry smirked proudly.

“And what are the properties of that wand?”

“It’s aspen and unicorn.” Albus said, it was just an old wand he had taken from his brother when they had been kids.

“Then his core may simply have tuned itself to that. It is one of the reasons it is discouraged for a child to use a wand until they are old enough. Not only can it risk the cores development, but it can make it overcompensate at a time when it can’t.

For now, because of his previous wand use Mr. Potter will be incapable of using that particular wand. He will need a wand that will allow his core to shift back into the appropriate alignment, something that may take years if he has been using that wand for any length of time. He may come back and try that wand again once his core is more stable and mature. Until then, he needs to get a different wand.

You of all people should understand why children are not supposed to use a wand until they are 11 Albus, it’s why students can’t attend school until that time.” Garrick raised a bushy eyebrow at the man. “Try the wands Mr. Potter.”

Lily was furious. That was supposed to be Henry’s wand. Albus had assured her of that.

Henry was annoyed, but also glad he wasn't going to have to use that wand, it felt wrong. 

It took 20 minutes, and multiple broken things, but Henry eventually found his wand. Henry picked up a brown tinged wand and it emitted a soft light.

“Well done Mr. Potter. 12 ¾ inches. Hazel wood and unicorn hair. Hazel wands are known to be very sensitive and respond to its holders emotional state.” Garrick smiled.

Lily huffed, but paid for the wand. Henry was going to need one if he was to show everyone just how great he was.

She was excited that Henry was going to be starting school. But that also meant that her little boy was going to be leaving her. 

Although, he wasn't going to be that far from her. She had spoken with Albus about it, and he had agreed to hire her. Starting in September she would be the assistant to the headmaster and would have quarters in the school. 

It would allow her to be at the school whenever she wanted to be so she could make sure no one was picking on her baby boy because he was so much better than them.