Notes: set during fourth year after it's all done. Jai Velazquez gave me the idea to do a childhood story set in Harry Potter. Not quite like the other childhood stories.
A Child to Bring Them Together.
Harry Potter, semi-special student and young wizard, woke up and blinked. There was something off in his room. Either one of the other boys in his dorm was cooing in his sleep or one of the girls had snuck in again to coo at them while they were sleeping. He opened his curtains and looked around. No girls. Most of the boys were asleep, though he could hear Neville up and in the bathroom. The cooing took on a happier sound so he checked the windows. No strange birds or floating girls out there. He looked at the next logical spot. No floating girls on the ceiling watching them sleep - which was nice, the last one had stuck herself to the ceiling and it had taken six days to get her down. He looked around his bed, nothing. He looked beside his bed and the nicest pair of brown eyes stared back at him then the baby cooed. "What are you?" he asked, looking confused. He heard the bathroom door open. "Neville?" He came over to stare at the baby. "Can you maybe wake up Ron and then go find ...someone?" The other boy slowly stepped backward until he got to Ron's bed then shook the frame until their friend woke up, then he went running from the room.
"Why did Neville wake me?" Ron whined from his bed, opening his curtains. Harry opened his and motioned him over so he flopped across Harry's bed so he could look where he was. "Hello," he said, blinking. The baby cooed back. "You're adorable." He picked him up.
"Ron, are you sure...."
"I don't think it's anything other than a baby, Harry. Most creatures turn into scary things and babies are only a little bit scary. You can ask Hermione later though." He looked at the baby. "Where did you come from then?"
Harry shrugged. "His cooing at something woke me up." Someone stomped in. "I thought the stork was a myth here too," he complained dryly. The baby giggled at that.
"It is," Ron assured him. "Mum said if the stork brought us, she'd have more of us and would've had less pain having us." He held up the baby to the old caretaker of the castle, making him back away and go pale. "It's only a baby." He turned and fled. "Neville?" he called, making him peek in. "Go get Ginny up and then McGonagall." He nodded, going to do that. He looked at the baby again. "So, how did you get here?"
Harry shrugged. "Not a clue." He looked at the baby, who smiled at him. "You're adorable. Are you thinking really hard?"
Ron wrinkled his nose. "No, that's not what he's doing. Another good reason to get Ginny up. She's *so* much better at nappies than I am when the cousins come over for a visit." Ginny ran in. "Slow up. Little one. Making *that* face." He handed him over. "There you go. He was beside Harry's bed."
"Aren't you adorable!" she cooed, taking him into the bathroom. "Ron, do we have any butt cloths?"
He looked in the carrier, then shook his head. "Nope. No note either." McGonagall stormed in. "Ginny needs a nappie. He was...thinking." She went that way and came back pale. "So, who went missing one?" he asked, looking amused. For people who dealt with children all day every day both adults who had seen him were freaking out in a very good show. He looked at Harry. "Go floo Pomfrey? The old girl might have some since this one's frozen in shock." Harry nodded, going to do that, finding Neville doing that. The nurse nearly ran him over before he could get back up there. Ron smirked at him, taking the baby once Ginny had swatted the nurse and changed the diaper. "There, better, little one?"
"He's a boy, his name's Tim, it's written on his chest," Ginny reported. "On his back it says the mother couldn't deal with it." She smirked at Harry. "She must've been cute. He's absolutely precious."
"I've never even kissed a girl yet, Ginny." Both adults stared at him. "I haven't!" he defended. "There's nothing wrong with that at my age! I'd surely remember having sex with someone as well!"
Ginny giggled. "Maybe she found something of yours and did a potion then. Stranger things have happened. We *are* wizards," she said dryly. She took the baby back. "Get dressed, you two. Meet me in the Common Room in ten. He shouldn't have to...." Ron took him back. "Hey! I was going to bring him to Hermione."
"He doesn't need to see that many naked girls. It might warp him," Ron complained. "We'll meet you down there with him." She huffed off, muttering about Ron becoming like their mother. "Take that back!" he called after her. He looked at Harry. "Clothes?"
"Clothes," he agreed, grabbing some and heading into the bathroom to change. He came out and took the baby carefully, smiling at him when he got comfortable in his arms. "Well, that'll work for now," he decided, walking downstairs with him once his shoes were on and he had his wand in his pocket. Hermione nearly ran him over this time. "Easy!"
"Sorry. What's this about a... Baby," she cooed, taking him to hold.
"Thanks, arms were getting tired. I woke up and he was beside me. He's got a note written on him." The two older females came down before Ron did. "Can we see if he's healthy?" The nurse took him and sat down with him to perform the checks over him. He looked at his head of house. "How did she get him in here?"
"I have no clue but I'll be finding out," she assured him. "Then we'll be talking!" She stomped off.
"Not like I'm going to be sending him to the Dursleys," Harry said once she was gone. He took his baby back from the nurse. "He good?"
"He's just fine, Harry." She smiled. "We'll figure it out. Don't let anyone railroad you."
"Oh, I don't plan on it," he promised, looking at Hermione. "Brekkie?"
"Food is probably a good idea. Is he old enough to have mush?" she asked the nurse, who nodded. "Then I'm sure oatmeal should be fine as long as you don't load it down like Dean does." She got up and followed Harry out like a guard, walking them down to the Great Hall. They sat down and the other students in there all stared.
"The stork delivered him to my bedside," Harry announced with a grin. "Not a clue how he got in otherwise." He looked at the table. "Dobby?" he called quietly. The house elf appeared, looking happy, squealing at the baby. "How did he get in?"
"Mistress Mean One bringed him, Harry Potter sir," he said happily. "She is being saying so." He patted the baby's hand. "Dobby will get baby food." He disappeared and came back a minute later with some plain oatmeal and a bit of mushed up fruit. "There, that should be good for baby Harry Potter. You is being eating," Dobby told the baby. "It's good for baby Harry Potter."
"His name is Timmy," Harry told him. "It's written on him."
"What Mistress Mean One?" Hermione asked. Dobby covered his ears and left. "Well!"
Harry shrugged. "We'll find out I'm sure." He sipped his juice with one hand then spooned up a bit of the oatmeal, letting the baby suck it off the end of the spoon. "That's good, right?" The baby spit half of it back out. "Don't blame you, it has no taste. Still have to eat it." He wiped it off with the spoon and fed it to him, then some of the fruit. That got a loud pitched squeal. "Ah, good, we like that," he said happily, letting him have more.
"What the bloody hell is that noise?" Draco Malfoy said as he stomped in. He stopped when he saw the addition to the table. "A baby? Here?"
"He got dropped off by someone who said he's Harry's," Hermione said with a smug look. "He's already becoming an *excellent* father." Draco sniffed then stomped off to inform his head of house. "Good riddance. Can I?" Harry swatted her hands and finished feeding him the fruit, giving him some oatmeal every few bites so he'd eat it too. When both bowls were empty he handed him over. "That's fine then. We'll snuggle up and you can watch me eat while Daddy has some of his own," she said with a smile for him. The baby beamed back and belched on her shirt. "Well, that's nasty." She wiped it off and did a cleaning charm. "Better. You?" she asked with a smile. The baby smiled back. "He does like me."
"I.... I guess he does," Harry agreed, not mentioning that his son had just vomited on her. He wasn't sure that meant he liked her or not. He only puked on people he didn't like if he had the choice. Maybe that was a baby thing instead of a boy thing. He ate quickly and took him back, watching the teachers stomp in together. "Hurry up," Harry said quietly. She made a sandwich of her breakfast and followed him out when they all stared at him. "I know, the office," he sighed. "Not like I'm sure how he came to be since I haven't slept with anyone."
"It means you're a really potent wizard, mate," Ron called as he walked past him. "Only had to look at her and she wanted you badly enough to instantly get preggers from a look."
"Mr. Weasley!" McGongall chided. "That is impossible!"
"Then you explain it," he snorted, taking the baby back. "Come on, let's eat and let the adults talk for a bit."
"He just ate some fruit and oatmeal," Harry told him.
"Even better. Neville!" He came jogging up behind him. "Come help me guard the little one here from the Slytherins while the adults talk." That got a nod and they walked back into the Great Hall, earning a shocked look. "Babysitting while Harry deals with the Headmaster. One's gonna end up yelling and it's not something he needs to hear." Ginny came in, followed by his big brothers the twins, who were looking furious. "Not mine!"
"Heard," they said. They sat on each side of him with his sister across from him.
"Did he eat yet?" Ginny asked.
"Harry said he had some mush and some fruit."
"Oh, good," she said happily. "Now we need to work on a bottle." She looked at a cup and filled it with milk, warming it a bit before her brothers took it and transformed it together. "That'll work." She took the baby to hold and eat. "Learned it from Auntie."
"You and Mum both," Ron said dryly. "I can hold him."
"Eat, Ron. It's going to be a long day," one of the twins advised.
"Meetings with Mum and Dad, the Ministry, all sorts of yelling folk," the other agreed.
"Dobby?" Ron called. He appeared, cooing at the baby. "Any idea how he got next to Harry's bed?"
"Mistress Mean One brought him to Harry Potter. Mistress Mean One was smiling and cooing at the baby, Harry's Weasy. Mistress Mean One more scary than usual when she coos. It nearly scared Dobby this time." He disappeared again.
They looked at the twins. "Any idea?" Ron asked.
They both nodded and got up. "We'll be back. Guard him." They headed up to the office, finding some shouting. "We have a clue,"one shouted.
Everyone stared at him. "We talked to Dobby," the other said.
"He said Mistress..."
"Mean One brought him," they finished.
The Headmaster groaned. "A vengeance demon, here?" Snape demanded. "Why on earth.... What did Potter do to draw one?" he demanded of the twins.
"Probably nothing," McGonagall said dryly. "If she was dropping off the baby and Harry hasn't had sex yet, then that means she's probably taking it from someone who shouldn't have his child." She looked at the headmaster. "We still have to report him, Albus. He's much too young."
"If he's mine, he's staying with me," Harry said from his seat in the corner. They all glared at him. "Bugger off." He stood up. "I'm not sending him to the blasted arseholes who had me. I'm sorry, I don't want him killed by them."
"What about the war?" Dumbledore said gently.
Harry stared at him then at McGonagall. "I'm going to go sit with my son now before I lose my temper. While I'm gone, can you please point out that I'm not the *only* one fighting this war? Or why I'm not sending him there? No social worker would *ever* send a baby there. Not even when they were charmed to keep me there." He walked off. "Fred, George, can you yell on my behalf? I'll send Ron to swear for me. He does it better." He went down to the Great Hall, taking his son back. "Ron, go swear for me?" he asked nicely. Ron nodded, going to do that. He took his spot and sat down, looking at the sleeping baby. "Can someone please bring me his carrier?" he asked politely. "Got my hands a bit full and he's ready to nap." One of the seventh year girls did that for him. "Thank you." He put him into it and walked him off, taking him outside to Hagrid's hut. "Hagrid?" He looked over, then gaped in awe. "Yes, he's mine. Somehow. They're all yelling in the office. Can I use your floo?"
"Sure 'Arry. Go right ahead. He's an adorable little one."
"Everyone seems to think that," he said happily, heading into the oversized hut. He tossed in a bit of powder. "The Burrow." Molly Weasley's head popped up. He held up the baby. "Dobby said a Mistress Mean One dropped him off for me last night. I'm letting Ron swear in my place at the headmaster at the moment. Would you please come help? I think they're lacking some sense. They wanted to send him to the Dursleys."
"I'll be right there, Harry. You wait on me."
"I'm at Hagrid's. He doesn't need to hear that sort of language. That's why I sent Ron."
She smiled. "You just wait there." Her head disappeared and she called her husband. "Arthur." His head appeared in her fireplace. "Dear, a vengeance demon dropped off a baby for Harry last night. They're trying to send him to the Dursleys. Harry's letting Ron swear in his place while he holds his son."
"I'll be right up there with the proper authorities, Molly. You keep the poor boy calm." His head disappeared and he called someone up the hall and two floors down. "Department of Mysteries, Brian Tallhook." A sour-faced, dark skinned, Italian man appeared with greasy short, black hair. "A vengeance demon dropped off a baby at Hogwarts last night." The man scowled. "She gave him to Harry Potter."
"Blast!" The fire around his head went up higher and brighter. "I'll be right there. The baby?"
"With his father I'd imagine. Molly said Harry's letting my son Ron swear at someone in his place so the baby's ears aren't singed. They're probably trying to make him send the baby to his relatives."
"I'll be damned. Join me there, Arthur." He disappeared and gathered three people to go with him. One of them an auror. She could do the official paperwork, make sure everything was in order, and no one was going to block her access. He came out of the floo in the office, the other two behind him, Arthur a moment behind them. "The baby?" he demanded coolly.
"Who called you?" McGonagall complained.
"Molly," Arthur told her. "Harry did the right thing in calling her. You know very well vengeance demons are covered by the Department of Mysteries. Now, where is Harry? We need to make sure of what she did to him."
"In Hagrid's hut," Ron told him. "I saw him hiking down there through the window, Dad." He looked at the others. "I've held him, Ginny's held him, the nurse checked him, Harry and Hermione have held him. Neville may have for a second." That got a nod and they checked him over, and the twins just in case, leaving them alone to go hunt down the boy and his son to make sure they were fine. He looked at his father and smirked. "I'm here to swear at them for stupidity. You wanna help?"
"Oh, I intend to," he assured him, clapping him on the back. "There is no way you are sending a precious child to those muggle bastards, Albus. Not with how they've mistreated Harry for so long. I won't have *this* one locked in a cupboard for daring to think!" He went pale. "Am I clear?"
"There may be...."
Ron shook his head. "Mum would gladly take the baby in if we had to," Ron reminded him. Both twins nodded. He looked at them. "Get Mum?"
"I don't think we need that level of screaming yet," Arthur assured him. "Thank you, boys. Go guard Harry?" They headed off to do that and he looked at the teachers again. "If they brought the boy here, there's got to be a reason."
"Especially since Harry's still a virg, Dad," Ron said dryly.
His father looked at him. "Then how did the baby...." Ron shrugged. "I see. Then perhaps there's a greater reason here." He looked at the headmaster. "Leave the child alone, Albus. And his father." He walked Ron off to go see the baby, smiling at the cooing boy who was floating a piece of stone for his amusement while the adults talked to Harry. "Any idea who his parents were originally?" They all paused.
The auror looked at Harry. "You didn't sleep with his mother?"
"I haven't even kissed a girl yet," he said grimly. "I thought for a second the stork was real."
"Damn it," Tallhook said, going to run his wand over the baby again. The baby screamed and Harry came over to take him. "I'm not hurting him. I'm only looking at his health, Harry," he said calmly. Harry scowled at him. "You can hold him. I'll need to scan you as well." He did it again, then Harry, then looked at Arthur. "You're right. Whoever got the vengeance demon down did make sure he was Harry's son." He looked at him. "He's yours."
"I figured as much with the writing on him. Who's his mother?"
The man looked then shrugged. "Won't matter. The vengeance demon took him out of harm's way while she dealt with her, son." Harry gaped. "She's in vengeance, Harry. She was called for a reason."
"Death Eater?" Ron asked. They all stared at him. "Not like we haven't seen a few."
The auror looked then nodded. "Suspected. That would probably be why she had *Harry's* son." She gave him a look. "We'll figure it out."
"He's not going with my aunt," Harry said firmly. "I don't care how, he's not. I won't have him hurt or possibly killed."
"Good," the auror agreed. "Let's go talk to the idiot in charge." Arthur coughed a bit at that. "He may be a great man but he's still a man and he's still a hidebound arse at times." She walked him back up there, coughing to get the attention. "His mother was a former death eater," she announced. They all gaped. "He's right, the boy's not going to his Aunt's ever again and neither is the baby. Since she had him without Harry's cooperation, he's his and only his. This gets him around some very odd laws at the moment. We'll be arranging things." She walked the boy out with the baby, smirking at him. "They'll come yelling in a few," she assured him. She walked him back outside. "Told 'em. They're not happy." A window blew out in the office and they all stared.
Harry shrugged. "I've done worse than that," he said grimly, looking at Ron and Arthur. "I have no idea what I'm doing."
"We can help with that. We've had a bit of experience," Ron promised with a grin.
"Bit," the twins agreed dryly.
Ron smirked. "I let Ginny change him earlier since she's so much better at it than I am."
His father patted him on the back. "We'll let you all help him, that way you know what we went through and you're a bit ready when yours come," he said happily, taking the baby to hold. "There, now, Timmy. Are you feeling better?" The baby beamed at him and bopped him on the cheek with a tiny fist. "Good coordination, lad. We'll see what we can do for you today." Professor Snape stormed out. "Severus, are they done talking?"
"They're trying to do what's best for the child," he said coolly.
Harry took off his shirt. "How is the baby getting scars like these best for him?" Harry shot back coldly. He got a horrified look. "The baby leaves my sight by my permission and my permission only. I don't care if I have to drop out of school and go work muggle fast food!" Snape stepped back so Harry put back on his shirt, calming himself down. "They can like it or not," Harry told him. "I don't bloody well care at the moment. If he's my son, he's my son and he's staying with me."
"I'll inform him you said that," Snape said, taking another step back. He looked at Tallhook. "He's been examined?"
"Yes and the demon didn't do much to him. Made sure they were reunited mostly." That got a nod and Severus stomped off again. "I forgot how good he was at huffing off like a girl," he said dryly.
Arthur coughed then looked at him. "I dare you to say that to his face, Brian."
"Have in the past. Half the time his robes look like a dress anyway. Prim little school marm."
Ron shuddered and rubbed his eyes. "I have mental images I don't want," he complained, walking off in another direction. "Hagrid, can something eat me so I don't have to see Snape as a girl anymore?" he whined.
Arthur shook his head. "Sometimes Ron is just like his mother." The gong rang to start the school day. "We should probably get out of harm's way. What do you have first, Harry?"
"Hagrid. Hey, Hagrid, for obvious reasons I'm going to be out of class today," he called. "You can see the baby at lunch." That got a beam and a nod. Harry looked at the adults. "Do we go up to the office and stop the scheming?" He looked around. "Weren't there three of you that came with Mr. Weasley?"
Mr. Tallhook smirked. "He's still in the office and he's told me what's being said. We need to go to the Ministry for a bit, Harry."
"As long as they don't send him to my aunt."
"There's no way we'd let that happen," Arthur assured him. He gave him a pat. "Come on. Portkey?"
"Are they safe for babies?" Harry asked.
"They are," Arthur assured him. They walked further down to the barrier around the school and took off using the baby's blanket as the portkey. They headed up to the Minister's office, getting the secretary to call a few others. Then they walked in, Harry with the baby again. "Ah, Cornelius." Minister for Magic Fudge gaped at them then at the baby, starting to splutter. "A vengeance demon brought him to Harry last night for his own safety. He's Harry's son." He sat down with Harry beside him and the baby cooing at the others who rushed in, though he did slam the door in front of one of them. He smiled at the boy. "That's not nice. You can react in other ways, Timothy." She walked in and shut the door behind her. He smiled at the woman. "His mother was a former death eater we missed in the last war."
"There's no such thing," she started.
Harry glared at her. Then snorted. "Yeah, and I'm Mary Poppins." He looked at his son again, making him smile. "You'll be just fine, Tim. We'll get along very well and it'll be great."
"You're too young," she complained.
Arthur pulled his wand. "Do not come near the child." She backed off. He looked at the others that had been called. "Well? It's your show, Brian."
"It is." He looked around. "We've tested the baby. A vengeance demon by the name of Anyanka brought him for some reason. She's over women scorned usually. No idea why she deviated yet."
Harry coughed. "Anyanka? Can I have a word? It's about the baby you brought me?" he called. It seemed like the sensible course of action to him. She appeared and smiled. "They want to know why and who the mother was and how he came to be? Please? I'd like to know as well."
She kissed him on the head. "I'm doing a favor for one of the others, Harry. Simple pick up and delivery." She smiled at the Minister, then at the huffing woman. "You're one of us but I don't know in what department." That got some horrified looks then she shrugged. "Oh, well." She smiled at Mr. Tallhook. "Nice to see you again."
"You as well. Favor for who?"
"Favor for a few. This one's got a very bright future." She laid a hand on his forehead to show him. "She had him brought into being," she said quietly, letting him see how the witch had called him back to life to start over again. "No idea why yet but very odd and we had to interrupt since it's such a bad thing. There's another one but he's safer where he is." She stepped back, smiling at him. "So when they went to stop her plotting for power they asked me to bring the poor little one to Harry since she made him the father."
"He didn't do it naturally?" Fudge asked.
"No, someone stole something of his," she said dryly. She looked at him again. "Now, up to you and all but I can hear Hallie getting interested in this one. Hallie?" She appeared behind Harry. "Since that's all I can tell them, you can work from here." She smiled and disappeared.
Hallie looked at the same woman her best friend had accused, then around the room. "Hmm, three of you in here. Interesting." She looked at Harry. "Harry, do you know how vengeance demons work?"
"Hermione mentioned you once but she never said how," he admitted, looking up at her. "How do you work?"
"We work on the wish principle."
"Then I could wish that I get to keep him, we'd be safe, and never have to go back to the Dursleys again?" he asked.
"I'd be more than happy to grant it."
"Now see here!" Fudge started.
"Then I wish we were safely together, that I'd get to keep him, and that we'd never have to go near the Dursleys again. I can only imagine the torture they'd put *him* through with what they've done to me," he said while Fudge blustered and stood up.
She gave him a hug around the shoulders. "Granted, dear." She kissed him on the head. "Now, if you need tips on how to help him, you talk to the people beside you. They've done it quite often." She smiled at Mr. Tallhook. "He'll be very safe. It's not a problem." She disappeared.
Tallhook smiled at Harry. "That safe part was a good amendment." He looked at Fudge. "I didn't know you're demonic too." He pulled his wand, checking him. "Well, you're a halfie," he said happily. "No wonder!" Fudge turned purple. "Must be a species trait." He looked at the huffing woman. "Lizard demon, Umbridge? Well, I guess that makes sense since you're always wearing a sweater. Must be the cold blood." He tested the others and laughed. "Ah, she was talking about my taint. That's fine then." He smiled at Harry. "I ran into a few of them out partying when I was a bit older than you are. They were not all that pleased to be interrupted but they were nice about it once they saw it was an honest mistake." He looked at Fudge. "So, now we have to give him permission to raise his son, keep his wand, and make sure he's got the necessary thing set up somehow. Amelia, you know the person in WPS, right?"
"Yeah, I know Cal. Why?"
"Can you get her here?"
"I can try. She has a court date today. She'll at least have the list we can borrow." She went to floo her. "Cal, sweetie, a vengeance demon dropped a son off with Harry Potter at Hogwarts last night," she said quietly. The woman gave her a horrified look. "The baby came to be without his input. We need the list at the very least."
"He's too young," Fudge shouted. "He can't possibly raise a baby at Hogwarts!"
Tallhook looked at him then at Harry. Then back at him. "So far he's doing all right. He's had a bit of Weasley help this morning but nothing too outrageous."
Harry grimaced. "He could use a change. Ginny did it earlier but I guess it's my turn if we have diapers?" He looked at Arthur. "Or can you teach me how to change things to diapers?"
"I can and will," he promised, picking up some blank parchment. "Now, this is one transformation where what you start with will matter in the finished product. If you use something like a tissue, it won't last as long." He showed him the transformation and Harry did another one for later. "Good job." He let Harry change him, grimacing a bit. "I forgot how gross those were." He created a wet cloth too. "There, clean him up a bit." Harry did that and the baby giggled. "It's good he's making you happy, Tim." He showed Harry how to fasten the diaper back on. "There, good job. Now, toss that one out since we don't have a way to clean them at the moment. Usually you can wash those." He nodded, doing that and then fixing the baby's clothes again. "Good job." He patted him on the back. He looked at the others. "We do have things to get when the paperwork is done."
"He's a year underage by our standards," Amelia Bones said, looking over from the fireplace. "If he were a fifth year...."
Harry coughed. "Mr. Weasley, Remus?" he said quietly.
"That's a good idea." He went to call him, bringing him running with the simple statement of 'Harry's in Fudge's office about a problem'. He walked in with him. "One of his godfathers. We all know Harry's in a bad spot at the moment. What with those relatives of his who like to lock him in cupboards and things."
"Harry?" Remus asked.
"Don't know, I woke up and he was beside me. A vengeance demon brought him to me, but he is mine," he offered, letting his uncle hold him.
Remus smiled at the baby, getting one back. "Aren't you precious," he said, smiling at Harry. "So you need a legal guardian?"
"At this point it can only help." Amelia got out of the way and the other woman came through the floo. "Lupin."
"Bones," he said politely. "No Albus?"
"No, we walked away while they were plotting," Mr. Tallhook told him. "Anyanka did her brethren a favor by bringing the baby to Harry. The former death eater had him come into being."
"Charming," he said grimly. "He's not going back to the Dursleys. If someone should try they're getting my wand up their arse." He looked at the Wizard Protection Service witch. "Cal."
"Remus." She kissed him on the cheek and looked at the baby. "Well, you're a bit tiny but look healthy."
"Fully," Tallhook told her. "By our scans and Pomfrey's."
"Good." She smiled at Harry. "I know it's a challenge but there's many things we have to make sure of before you get official custody of him. For the moment I'm going to keep him with you, because you've got a lot of help. All right?" Harry nodded at that. "Good boy." She kissed him on the head, then frowned and ran a check over him. "How did we miss you?"
"Dumbledore," Harry said dryly. "The one time a muggle social worker showed up she was hellbent on getting me out of there one minute and then soft, fluffy voiced, and praising my relatives for locking me in a cupboard."
She glared. "I'll deal with him later." She gave him a short hug. "So far you're doing good. Let the Weasleys help you with this, Harry." She straightened up and looked at Remus. "At his age he still needs a guardian of his own."
"I can do that," he agreed.
"Good!" She smiled at Fudge. "In this matter I do overrule you. You will leave the boy alone. Especially since he wasn't part of the conception." She went back through the fireplace. "I'll be up at Hogwarts in a few days to talk to you, Harry." The floo shut off.
"Okay," he said, nodding a bit. "If you want." He took the baby back, getting a loud squeal. "Happy are we?" he teased with a grin. "Good boy to be happy." He looked at Remus. "Well," he said dryly.
"Agreed," he said, patting him on the back. "I'll set you two up a room at my house for this summer. We've got a few months left." He looked at Arthur. "You're more than welcome to come over as well."
"Of course Molly will," he agreed dryly, cracking Remus up. "You'll see more of her than we will for the first few weeks. Ginny too probably."
Remus laughed. "That's fine." He looked at Harry. "We'll work on it, nephew." He looked at Tallhook. "Paperwork?"
"Later on. Head to Hogwarts, wait on us. We'll bring it all back. You too, Arthur. By now, your wife probably needs a drink for her sore throat." He nodded, going to do that, and most of the ministers writing out what they needed to know before leaving. He looked at Fudge. "Now, if you'll sign the paperwork."
"I will not."
"You will because the Prophet has your office bugged," Tallhook said dryly, smirking a bit. "Which means they already know about your parentage."
"And what would the big snakey one think of that?" Harry asked quietly, staring him down. "Doing his work for so long and not one of his kind." Fudge went very pale and backed away from him. Harry stood up. "Do remember that I will protect my son like I do everything else that's good in my life, Fudge. As I have in the past." He looked at Tallhook. "How much paperwork is there?"
"About ten forms." He went to get them from the secretary, bringing them back. "There, sign," he said, staring Fudge down. "Don't make us call a quorum to overrule you." Fudge's hand shook as he signed but he did sign all but the last one. He looked at that one and took his pen to sign as a witness then handed it to Harry. "You sign as well."
Harry looked then nodded, signing that he agreed to take custody of his son. He handed the quill back. "Anything else?"
"Not yet. Though you will need to do a bit of shopping for him. Molly should take you later, lad." He bundled up the papers and walked off with him, smiling at Lucius Malfoy when they ran into him. "Harry's son was brought to him this morning by a very powerful vengeance demon. Isn't he adorable?" he asked with an evil smirk.
The blond man looked at the baby then at him. "For being so small I suppose he'll do."
"Already manifested as well," Tallhook said proudly. Lucius looked sick at that. "Have a better day and if you're going to see Fudge, he's a bit under the weather."
"The vengeance demon did hurt his career with the talk of his real parents," Harry agreed. "Sorry about that but she'd know. Who was that huffy thing?"
"Umbridge," he said grimly. "No wonder he took the little half lizard demon as his second-in-command." He walked Harry off, leaving Lucius stunned before he stormed off to report. "Good job," he said quietly once they were in the elevator. "Very good job."
"Ron's always trying to teach me strategy," Harry said with a grin for him. "He's great at Wizard's Chess."
"I'll keep that in mind," he said happily. They portkeyed back to the school and walked up to the office, walking in amidst some shouting. "Shut up," he said calmly.
"Shut the bloody hell up!" Harry shouted.
Everyone stared at him in horror.
The baby made pleased and happy baby noises.
"Thank you, you were upsetting my son," Harry said dryly. He looked at the man beside him, who was chuckling. "It is."
"It was," he agreed, handing McGonagall the paperwork. "From now on his official guardian will be Remus Lupin."
"We'll get Remus to come get the baby tonight," Albus told them.
"No, Harry's his guardian, Remus is Harry's," Tallhook told him. "By the way, Cal at WPS wants to talk to you sometime soon, Albus. She was not amused." He looked at McGonagall. "Did you know that Fudge was part demon?"
"I didn't have a clue," she admitted, frowning some. "What sort?"
"I don't know but he has this tendency to turn purple so I'd guess that was a family trait." He sat down and let Harry sit again. "Let someone else hold him, Harry, your arms are shaking."
"Thank you." Molly snatched him to cuddle and coo over. "Sure, you can hold him. Mr. Weasley did earlier and Ginny changed his first diaper here in the school."
She smiled at him. "It's a good thing you didn't ask Ron. He always gets them too loose." She sat down to hold the baby. "You are precious. What's his name?"
"Tim by the writing on his stomach," Harry offered.
"Tim. Such a good, strong name," she promised, smiling at him. The baby squealed and wiggled and a dish floated over. "Oh, are you hungry?" She put it down and got a bottle from her purse. "I thought you might need one of these today." She let him have it, making him a happy baby. "Good boy, Tim." She smiled at Albus, who groaned and put back his candy dish.
McGonagall looked up from the papers, handing Tallhook back one. "I don't think that comes to us." She handed the rest to Albus. "Here you are. All in order so Harry can keep the baby with him while he's in classes." Tallhook looked at that one and tossed it into the fireplace. "Any other revelations?"
"Well, we did introduce him to the elder Malfoy bit of hair," Tallhook said dryly. "He was lurking. We also informed him of Fudge's descent. He was not amused and that'll keep him busy for a few weeks at the very least. Umbridge too if I didn't mention it. WPS will be up to talk to Harry in a few days about what he'll have to set up. Molly, I'll expect you'll be shopping with him?" She nodded at that. "Good idea. Remus will set up a room for the summer holidays." He looked at Albus again. "Did I forget anything?"
"No, I think you got the paperwork all done for us," he said blandly.
Harry looked at him. "The nice wish demons who showed up explained to him how my son came to be. The witch had him made?"
"His mother had him made," he agreed. "Probably to get power over Harry or some such nonsense. When they went to deal with her, Anyanka brought the baby for him as a favor to her sisters. Halfrek also showed up. Quite a woman. Agreed with us totally about Harry not going back to the Dursleys." He stared Albus down, making him go pale. If she knew, he was in for hell for putting Harry there and Albus knew that. "So I'm off, back to my office. Hodges?" His man in the corner followed, taking the bits and pieces of that paper with them so no one could reconstruct it. Fudge had signed an order to jail Harry for underaged sex. That would not go very well.
Harry took his son back. "We had to change a piece of parchment for a diaper earlier," he said quietly. "Can Molly and I go now while you finish screaming at each other? That way we don't have to hear it."
"I think you should," Dumbledore told him.
Harry stared at him. "And I think my son is the most precious and important thing I've ever done in my life, Headmaster. The one thing that I will destroy everyone over." He stood up. "Besides, it's not nice to yell around babies. They get upset and scream back from what I've seen so far today. And I did promise Hagrid could hold him at lunch."
"It won't take us that long to pick up some pacies, some nappies, a few bottles, some clothes, and a few other things," Molly promised.
Halfrek phased in. "Hello, sorry to interrupt. Would his things from his home nursery help? Not like her family is going to want the baby things if she has any family left."
"It could, yes," Molly agreed. "Save him some money before the next round of nappies need bought."
"That's fine, I can do that." She smiled at her. "I know you'll be checking over both of them for me, dear. You do my job so well." She faded out then popped back with a full crib. "There we are. We'll need to strip the spells off the crib but otherwise everything seems all right. It'll do for a few days until we can get him more clothes at the very least."
"Thank you," Harry said with a smile.
"Not a problem, Harry. What she did was wrong and I won't have people doing things like that. Not without a very excellent reason." She smiled at him. "You'll do fine. Every parent has worries at first. All babies make parents want to scream at them as well. Those are the days you ask for help," she told him, getting a small grin and a nod. "Good boy. If you need help, ask. If you need me, summon me. I'm sure the little bit of fluffy hair that helps you can find how to do that." She smoothed down the baby's hair. "He is very special, Harry, but he does not have a destiny yet. He'll make his own." Harry relaxed fully and beamed, nodding at that. "Good boy." She faded out.
Harry looked at his son. "That makes me very happy, Tim." He looked at his head of house. "Are we staying in the dorm?"
"We'll try it for now," she agreed, standing up. "Albus, I'll take him and Molly back up there then let Hagrid hold him for a bit before I excuse him for shopping." She walked them out, smiling at Harry. "You had a civil conversation with Lucius Malfoy?" she asked once they were out of the curved stairwell.
"No, Mr. Tallhook shared what had went on and how Tim's already manifested," he said happily, grinning at her. "I mentioned his part lizard demon second in command."
"Ah." She smirked at him. "Who outed him?"
"That was charming of her." They walked past Draco Malfoy and Harry beamed at her. "I do think it speaks well of his father that he's already manifested, Harry. He'll be a strong boy who'll hopefully play quidditch as well as you do." Harry beamed at her.
Draco glared at the retreating women and boy. "We'll see about that." He went to find Snape in his classroom. "The baby manifested?" he sneered quietly since it was lunchtime and they were alone.
Snape looked at him. "He has?"
"McGonagall said he has." He walked closer. "The Weasel breeder was walking them up there with the little snot."
"I heard my father's named mentioned. Apparently they outed someone and a half-lizard demon at the Ministry."
Snape looked at him. "That may be even more interesting." They both stared as a sparkling started, Snape glaring at her. "How dare you come in here."
"Shut up, Severus," Halfrek said dryly, staring at them. "You want gossip? We can do that. Fudge is a half-demon." Draco gaped. "So is Umbridge." She smirked a cold, cruel smirk at him. "Then there's the fact that Dumbledore kept WPS away from Harry's home life by magic." She moved closer. "And the fact that the child's mother took things to have him created. Without Harry's help," she finished with a smooth, cruel smirk. Snape gaped at that and Draco snarled. "He'll be raising his own son."
"In the school?" Draco demanded.
"Yes, snotty, in the school." She looked at him. "Do you *really* want to be someone's familiar?" He backed up quickly. She looked at Snape again. "There's an earthquake coming, Sevvie." She leaned down to get into his face. "The smelly mistress is already banished to her just desserts. Others will be following. She created the one thing that will make Harry fight this war and win even if he has to destroy both sides," she hissed quietly. "Then she stupidly tried a sacrificial rite to enhance his power."
"Which?" Severus asked quietly.
"Read the paper, baby. She pissed off a few of us," she said with a mean smirk for Draco. "By the way, your daddy is about dancing in fear at the moment. His master's not happy with his paid help."
"Well, they do say it's so hard to find good help that's not a house elf," Draco said pragmatically.
Snape looked at him. "Shut up." He looked at the demon again. "Am I to act?"
She shrugged. "Who can say? This just screwed everything all to hell and back. I should know." She winked then disappeared.
"I must talk to some others," he said. "Get out." Draco fled. Severus locked his door on his way out, heading up to the impromptu meeting in the office. "Halfrek was in my classroom," he said as he walked in. Dumbledore moaned. "This botched your precious prophecy." Dumbledore stared at him. "She said it, and I quote, screwed everything all to hell and back." Dumbledore shuddered and so did Remus. "She also pointed out that Potter will be like every other parent in the world. He'll be willing to kill anyone and everyone who comes near his child to harm them - friend or foe." Remus smirked at that bit of news.
"We were told the child doesn't have a destiny set," Arthur told him happily. The crib and pile of things in it disappeared. "They must've found a good spot for it." He looked at Severus again. "Was there other news?"
"She called her the Smelly Mistress."
"Abington," Arthur agreed. "Did she tell you about Fudge?"
"Yes, and that the elder Malfoy had already reported that bit of news."
"Couldn't happen to a nicer man," Remus said dryly, sipping his tea.
"She also said that she tried a sacrificial rite to make the boy stronger," Snape told them.
"Which could be why he's already manifested," Arthur agreed. "Tried to pull over Albus' candy dish to have some." He beamed at Remus.
"He did it in Fudge's office a few times too I'd suppose?" Arthur smiled and nodded. "Good." He finished his tea and put the cup down, watching as it disappeared. He looked at Severus. "How bad of a shakeup is this going to cause?"
"She called it an earthquake. She also threatened to turn Mr. Malfoy into a familiar."
Arthur snickered a bit. "He'd be the most disagreeable toad ever." He stood up. "We'll be taking Harry and little Timothy shopping later today for the rest of the necessary items, Severus. Calm down and watch the fallout for a few hours. I'm sure we'll be meeting tonight while Molly gushes over how happy a baby Tim is."
"Quite charming," Remus agreed.
Severus stomped out. He would not stand for such giddy headed stupidity around himself. It might be contagious.
"Mr. Potter," Snape snapped a few days later. "What is that on your chest?"
"That would be a shielded and comfortable stomach carrier for my son, Professor, plus my son riding in it. A pram wasn't practical with all the stairs around here." Snape's face turned red. "Are you all right?"
"Out!" he bellowed. "I will not have that...thing in here being exposed to poorly done potions!"
"We're still trying to decide on a sitter," Hermione told him.
"Eighty points from Gryffindor for sheer stupidity and trying to kill the child. Out!"
"I'll talk with McGonagall about a sitter for your class," Harry said calmly, picking up his bag and a few things, then heading out.
"You may not come back until he is off school property, Mr. Potter. He does not belong in this classroom!" He slammed the door and glared at them. "Anyone else?"
Ron raised his hand. "Should someone take him when you, Professor McGonagall, and the headmaster have a conference? Because I'll have a free period then and I wanted to know beforehand."
Snape sneered at him. "That's another forty points from Gryffindor for mouthing off," he said, turning around and huffing back to his desk.
Ron looked at Hermione and shrugged. There had been worse days in potions.
Harry walked up to Transfiguration, sneaking into her office. She saw him moving and looked in there but he waved her off, sitting down with the baby, calming him down again. He hadn't liked the dungeon or Snape. He had fussed the whole way down there. She finally got the students started on their work of the day and stomped in. "Got kicked out of Potions and told I couldn't come back until he was off school property."
She gaped. "We'll see about that!"
"Maybe I can have Hermione tutor me after hours?" he suggested. "He did have a point about all the explosions we have down there around him."
"What did he say?"
"That, that I was stupid and trying to kill him, then he took eighty points. I did tell him upfront that the snuggler is shielded."
"We'll talk to him later. You have to have that class."
Harry shrugged. "Not like I don't blow in it," he said pragmatically. He sat up, making Tim fuss. "Hold on, let me find you something to suck on." He pulled a pacifier out of his pocket and make sure it was clean before handing it over. "There you go." He leaned back again. "Should we head outside to enjoy some sunshine?"
"Go ahead. I'll talk with the other teachers between classes."
"So far he's the only one who's complained, Professor. Even Trelawany adored him and cooed about a bright future after I died."
She rolled her eyes. "She would. How were Herbology and Creatures?"
"Cuddle time and cooing by the girls," Harry said with a smirk. "One of the plants got near us and Neville nearly killed it by blasting its roots. Professor Sprout cooed at her poor plant but moved it. I've now got a pretty clear spot to work in."
She nodded. "That's an excellent way to handle that."
"Hagrid's creatures might mind but Fang watched him the last class we had with him. He laid down and slobbered all over his stomach to make sure he didn't move from the bit of grass I laid him on." She smirked and nodded at that, pleased with that report. "Otherwise we're fine so far."
"Good." She kissed him on the forehead. "Take him to the sunshine and play, Harry."
"It's double potions," he complained, getting up and grabbing his bag. "If we're going to have a conference let me know so I can hand him off. Snape seems to be nauseated by young children." He walked out, heading to lounge in the courtyard for a little while. The baby bounced and waved his arms at the sunlight. "I do think you like daylight," he teased gently, stroking over his nose. "Such a good boy, Tim. You're my good little boy. Even if you did crap and stink up the dorm at three and five this morning." He sat down with him, reading him the next class's homework. That way he finally got around to it. Molly had said reading to babies made them smart later on. Best get a headstart on his son since he was already brilliant.
McGonagall sent a note to the headmaster with a house elf then went back to her students. She'd deal with Snape later.
Harry walked into the meeting with Ron and Hermione. "They insisted," he noted at the odd looks. He handed Ron the baby when he coughed. "Fine, you hold him."
"Getting in practice so I don't have to have any right off," Ron quipped, sitting down to hold the baby. "Hello, Timmy." Timmy stared at him then smirked. "I swear, Harry, he's smirking again."
Hermione looked then nodded. "It does look like it." She sat down beside Harry. "If he's being kicked out of Potions I've got to tutor him in the after hours," she told Snape. Who glared. "Well, someone has to. He still has to take it for the Ordinary Wizarding Levels, doesn't he?" She looked at their head of house then the headmaster. "We made sure that the carrier was shielded so nothing that Neville or any of the Slytherins exploded would hurt him. We were very careful about that."
"Which is a good idea," Dumbledore noted. "There's still safety issues with having a child here." Timmy let out a loud squeal so he looked over. "Dobby, please leave the baby alone for now?"
"No." He went back to playing with the baby. "Missus Nurse said Dobby is to make Timmy Potter mooshy food. Dobby came to see what Timmy Potter would like for meals like a good house elf does."
"He'll eat nearly anything but carrots," Harry told him with a smile. "He loves the fruit mash you've been doing, Dobby." The house elf beamed and nodded at that, the socks on his ears flopping with his head. "That and some oatmeal mash?"
"Dobby will do that."
"One or two a night," Hermione ordered firmly. "We don't want to overstuff him."
"Dobby takes good care of Timmy Potter," he said firmly, then kissed the baby on the head before disappearing.
Ron smiled at the baby. "Next time I sneak down for cookies, I'll have to bring you with me," he teased, getting that same smirk. "Good boy, Timmy. It's good you love house elves and Dobby especially since he dotes on Harry." He looked at them. "If Harry's getting taken out of potions can you give 'Mione a free class so she can tutor him, Neville, and me in there please? That way we might pass something?"
"I teach Potions," Snape reminded him coolly.
"No, you glower and huff like my mum while she still had girl issues most of the time, Professor," he said bluntly. It was a good time for it. "We love you for it but I haven't learned a bloody thing in three years." Snape gave him a glare. "Plus, it'd mean we couldn't make things explode again either. Keep us out of the way of your Slytherins, that way they wouldn't feel the need to break out in problems that you'll blame us for anyway." Timmy patted his nose. "Yes, love?" He smiled at him. "Do you like Slytherins?"
"He about tried to eat Malfoy's hair the other day," Harry admitted. "He was behind us and I didn't realize until he grabbed a handful to suck on. Goyle told him the baby thought he had pretty hair." He looked at the teachers again, noticing McGonagall looked very disturbed at that thought. "Could've been worse, Professor. Could've been Bulstrode or someone."
"Good point. All babies love to play with hair. His is extra shiny so it attracted him for that reason I suppose." She calmed herself down again. "What happened?"
"He shrieked like a little girl and it took three of us to remove the tiny fingers from his hair," Hermione told her dryly. "He was fully swearing by then. That's why Goyle told him the baby thought he had pretty hair."
She just nodded at that. "I'll make sure the other students know that babies grab shiny things, hair, and glasses." She made a note of that. "Severus, we must work out the problems of Harry in Potions. Would it be acceptable if he had a sitter for that class?"
"No. I do not want to see him in my classroom until that thing is out of Hogwarts. There's no telling what he'll drag into my classroom that could react with the potion of the moment. He's brought in spitup, extra hairs, and all manners of germs."
"Then it comes down to me tutoring Harry so we don't get busted by the Ministry," Hermione told him. "I don't want them in here looking over everyone's shoulder any more than the headmaster does," she said at the heated look Snape gave her. "Do you?"
"No," he admitted. "You are not qualified to teach Potions." She took something out of her pocket and slid it down to him, letting him look at the small vial. Then he stared at her. "When did you do this?"
"First year," she said dryly, staring back. "I'm more than good enough to get Harry to OWL standards using your curriculum, Professor Snape. I've brewed harder since then. I can also help Neville so you don't have a headache any longer."
"He'll never be suitable."
"I don't know. Sometimes he does do what's necessary," she said dryly, pushing some of her hair back behind her ear. "I'd be following along with whatever you've done in class."
"You didn't get a few right either," he noted.
She snorted. "Closer than Malfoy did. I also came back to correct myself after hours until I got it right." She dug into her school bag and tossed those down to him too. "The last one is in a safe vial so it won't explode when shaken."
He examined them then nodded. "Agreed." He put them into his pocket. "Though you are over confident and obnoxious."
"I've been called worse things," she said patiently, still staring him down. "Anything you want him to learn, you pass it on and I will. I can guarantee you they won't be slacking off for me."
Ron nodded. "She's a right general most of the time about revising and things," he agreed. "Makes schedules for us even when we don't want 'em. She's pushier than my Mum." He looked at the baby. "You like my mum, right?" The baby sucked on his finger. "Good, Mum wants to come visit this weekend. She's missing babies and started to wail on the older ones for grandchildren." He turned him around, letting the baby beam at the teachers. "If that's all right, Headmaster?"
"Better her than half the Ministry," Harry pointed out dryly. He looked at McGonagall. "Would that work for you? We do have the same time off later in the week."
She nodded. "I can see that working for you and Neville, Harry."
"Me too?" Ron asked. "Keeps me from pasting Malfoy again."
She looked at him. "There would have to be a *good* reason."
Ron stared at her then got up to hiss in her ear, getting a simple nod. "It'll be soon too," he told her, sitting back down. The baby looked at him. "I know you know. You know most of what goes on in the Tower since you never sleep, Timmy." He looked at Snape. "By the way, you might wanna check Parkinson's backside. One of the seventh years caught her sneaking in to snog one of the sixth years and got her with a hex." He got up and stomped out. He looked at McGonagall. "They were not amused either," he said dryly, cracking Harry up. "They weren't. The twins begged to have that stopped before ugly babies came from her and them." He looked down at Timmy. "Not you, love. You're pretty enough for a pageant now." He gave him a squeeze, getting a pat to the arm. "There, until Mum can sing and dance with you this weekend." He handed him back to Harry, getting a happy son snuggling into his arms. "Good. Now that that's settled.... Can we please talk about him crapping and stinking up the tower?" he asked McGonagall. "I love Harry and Timmy. I adore them both. I have no idea what makes babies crap worse than bigger kids but they do. It smells worse. Even the poor sod who sleeps next to the bathroom said his diapers smell worse than the loo." He crossed his feet, putting his hands on his stomach. "We want Harry in there but can they have their own room?"
"There is that storage area," Hermione offered. "Under the stairs? Then the common room bathroom?"
"No tub," Harry told her.
She looked at him then sighed. "I thought that might come up but I was expecting it over the crying issue."
"He doesn't cry that often," Ron told her. "He's downright quiet most of the time. He coos all night sometimes." She smiled at that. "Neville's started to snore in harmony with him now and then too." Harry snickered at that. "Then Harry stays up all night trying to get him to nap."
"I take him out for a quick fly now and then," Harry told him. "It works wonders." He looked at her. "I know he can be annoying now and then," he offered. "I would accept being moved so the others aren't offended."
Hermione smiled. "There's the option of attaching a single room to the tower. With the way the castle shifts there's probably one nearby."
McGonagall considered it then looked at the quiet headmaster, who nodded. "We can do that." She looked at them. "We'll make sure it has a bathroom for him too." That got a grin and a nod. "He likes to fly?"
"Loves to fly at night," Harry agreed happily. "Loves to fly during the day too. Has this thing about sunlight most days." He looked down, finding him asleep. "First time today, Timmy. Thank you." He looked at her. "It is cute when Neville snores in key with him."
She smiled. "I'm sure it is." She stood up. "We'll arrange that. You three take him to dinner." They nodded, getting up and heading out. She looked at the headmaster. "See, not as much of a problem as you thought, Albus."
"He's still causing problems."
"We needed to get Longbottom away from Snape anyway," she noted dryly, heading off. It wasn't that hard to get the castle to move a small room with attached bathroom to the Gryffindor tower so Harry could have a room with the baby. It wasn't that hard to put on muting charms so any future screaming wouldn't bother anyone. The upperclassmen in the common room came over to help. By the time the rest of them headed to dinner it was a great looking room and Harry could only complain about the leather straps and things in the closets. Which she wasn't aware of until Harry brought them down and handed them over to her in the Great Hall. Then he walked off again. She looked at them then at Albus. "I thought you got rid of those."
"You never know when something might come in handy," he said grimly. He summoned a house elf and made them take them to put them somewhere else. He saw Professor Snape looking down at him. "I had them stored in the closets there, Severus."
He shook his head, going back to his dinner.
Everyone looked up at the screaming going on out in the main hall. Then most everyone left got up and backed away as the banshee came floating through the doors.
Dumbledore stared at her. "Who?" he asked.
"Doom!" she wailed, crying over them.
McGonagall got up and pulled her wand.
Harry came in with his already pulled. "She was sent after Timmy." He cast the capturing charm, pulling her into someone's glass. Then he covered it with a plate and stomped off. A few of the teachers hurried after him but he let her out in the woods and cast spells at her until she was driven off. "Leave my son the bloody hell alone! Tell your masters that too!" he shouted after her. He turned and walked around the teachers, heading back to the tower. A few of them gave him pitied looks. "She was sent. She was a messenger," he said coolly. "The one who sent her will be a sorry bastard when I'm done with him." He went to do that in his room with his son. Hermione came in a few minutes later and took the books from him. "I need that."
"No you don't. I need that." She kissed him on the temple. "Have a good playtime with Timmy in the bath tonight." She walked out, closing the door behind herself, smiling at the headmaster. "Who sicced a banshee on him as a messenger that they were going to attack a helpless baby?" she demanded nicely, staring at him for a moment before walking around him and heading to the library. She knew there was a telling spell there somewhere. She knew which book it was in, but she hadn't copied it down last time. She hadn't thought anyone would be that stupid.
Dumbledore looked at the worried students. "She is correct, it was sent, not a natural occurrence." They all relaxed and nodded, smiling again. He tapped on the door before walking in. "Harry?" The baby scowled at him. "I need to see him," he told the baby.
"It's his bath time," Harry said from the small bathroom. He came out and grabbed his son, taking him in there. "You can come in. He won't mind once he's in the water." He stripped him down and put him into the water. "There, clean water so we have a clean baby," he said, smiling at him. The baby patted the water, then looked at him. "Yes, it's clean, Timmy. I promise you it is." The baby splashed and let him clean him. He looked over from scrubbing his back. "Hermione wouldn't let me cast the telling charm so we could paste the little bastard in Ravenclaw who's being blackmailed." Dumbledore looked stunned. "Heard it at dinner. They were telling her she had to act tonight or they were going to expose her cheating." He just nodded, going to check on that.
Harry went back to scrubbing the tiny body. "Feel better yet?" The baby cooed and beamed at him. "I know, a bath is a good thing." He rinsed his back off and got to work on his legs and feet. "There, how's that? Clean toes? Soon you'll be walking and that'll be important." He laughed at the peeing going on. "Feel better, Tim?" He banished it to the toilet and flushed it, coming back to finish cleaning him. "There, still clean water, only a few bubbles." He did his hair next-to-last, then his butt last, right before he got out and got put into a clean diaper. "There, all clean. Let's go figure out what you're wearing tonight." He went to look at the available clothes. A gown was held up and the baby fussed. "It's comfortable. Wizards, even big adult wizards like Snape, wear robes that look like this." He put it on him. "Not that I don't think you'll be cuter than he ever was," he assured him. "If only because you like to bathe, love."
Ron laughed from the doorway. "Trying to convince him nightgowns are good for wizards?"
"Yup. He hates anything that's not pants." He settled in on the bed, opening his Transfiguration homework to read it to him. "What's going on out there?"
"A few of the girls wanted to snatch him to cuddle. You mind?"
"We can go read out there." He tucked the book under his arm and took his son out there, sitting down by the fireplace to read to him. He was stolen by someone floating him off a minute later. "Mother complaining about grandchildren?" he asked the twins.
"No idea," the twins agreed in their usual fashion.
"Ginny got a letter last night asking if she was dating yet," Ron joked. "Oh, Harry, Mum spilled about him to the older two too. So expect cards too, mate." He grinned at the comfortable baby. "Feel better, Timmy?"
The baby looked over at him. "Mama!"
Harry looked at his son, watching the snickering twins. "Well, he does like to help you, but he's still a boy, Tim. Some day he'll make someone else a good mum." He went to gather his precious one but one of the younger girls stole him instead to coo and cuddle over him. The baby scowled at her so she did a breath freshening charm and went back to cooing over him. Harry sat back down. "He goes down in forty minutes, even if you don't like it," he noted patiently. The other girls came over to coo and read to him too. It was a babble of sound but the baby had his favorites already. McGonagall came in with a tray and paper. "My son's brilliant."
"He's a bit warped, Harry," Ron said dryly. He looked at the confused professor. "Called me mum."
"I'm sure it's because you've been very helpful, Mr. Weasley." She put the papers down beside Harry. "From Remus and WPS, Harry."
He looked, taking it to look over. "They want a lot of stuff."
"Most babies do take a lot of things," she said dryly.
He looked at her. "I've noticed that. He still hates gowns." He went back to reading. "What do we already have?" He went to check, marking off the list. He came back. "Well, we've got half already," he announced. That got a smile. "So as long as we can move the crib with us it'll be fine." She nodded at that. "Remus say anything?"
"He's stocked up on cloths for diapers," she said dryly.
"Thanks. He needs it usually," he agreed, looking at the clock then at the girls hovering protectively around his son. "Put him down," he ordered. They all went in there to do that. He went back to the second page of the list. "Most of this is for when he's older?"
"He'll be walking this summer. Some of it is suggested," she offered. "Those have the dots next to them."
"I was hoping that's what that was. What's a walker?"
"A baby jail so he can walk around and not get up the stairs," Ron said dryly. "Used to run over Ginny with mine."
"You used to...."
"Run over all of us," the twins assured him. They went to shoo the girls out, carrying their little sister out and one other girl who wanted to stay and hum to him before closing the door. "Have some...."
"Make the wizarding world happy," they ordered, shooing them off.
McGonagall snickered quietly. "Some year I'm sure they shall."
"We can only hope," Harry agreed. He looked at the forms again, taking the next-to-last one to read over. "Why would I want to allow Malfoy visitation?"
"The mother was one of his cousins."
"Hell no," he said, writing that on the bottom. "No way in hell." He handed it back and got the last one, nodding at it slowly. "If he wants a visit, he can call up and we'll come visit," he said, handing that one back too. She smiled at that. He looked around. "We'll be with Professor Lupin *all* summer," he announced. That got some smiles. "Call before dropping over. He's a bit of a grouch now and then first thing in the morning according to him." He looked at the professor. "When do I have to get the other things?"
"Soon. You can shop your next time in town or wait."
"Muggle?" he hissed.
She nodded. "That could be much cheaper," she agreed. "Also give you more options." He nodded at that. "Remus hasn't seen the list. I wanted to make sure of what you had before he did."
He made notes about the clothes, carrier, and all the things he had on the back, handing them over. "There you go. When is she coming up again?"
"Next week sometime." She patted him on the head. "Good boy, Harry, and good job with him speaking already." She got up and headed back to the office. "Albus, he said he's not going to allow Malfoy to visit. It would upset him and Remus." She handed that over. "He said if you wanted to see his son, call him and he'd bring him for tea." She handed over that paper. "The list of what he has," she said, handing it to Remus. "All the ladies have been doting on him tonight and put him down to bed. Though he has picked someone to call Mother. Mr. Weasley was amused but not totally impressed with his new name."
Remus smiled. "As I expected." He looked at the list. "So we'll need more clothes?"
"Indeed, but he did think about going to some muggle stores to get some of the basics cheaper."
"That would be fine with me," he agreed, smiling at her. "I'm sure Molly knows where they are." He put the list into his robe pocket. "How are they?"
"They're fine. Harry's studying. The twins are making sure all the girls let the poor baby sleep. The banshee earlier was taken care of by Harry. We did get the young lady, Albus?"
"We have and she's in quarantine until we can make a decision about her tomorrow. The Malfoys can complain about him not having visitation rights."
She snorted. "With the way we're all inbred like dogs around here, so can half the wizarding community, Albus. I doubt Harry needs the stress of a Malfoy this summer." She patted Remus on the arm with a smile. "Want walked up?"
"Please." He followed her back, smiling at the staring students. "I'm the same as the year I taught you lot," he assured them, giving Harry a hug. "You look exhausted."
"He wouldn't sleep last night." He shrugged, looking at him. "He likes to go for midnight flies."
"That's fine, Harry. That'll work itself out. Can I peek in?"
"Go ahead. Ginny already snuck in."
He smiled and went to check on the poor baby. He was curled on his side sucking his thumb. Ginny gave him a look. "He'll be very safe this summer," he reminded her gently. She nodded, heading out so he could coo over his great-godson. "Your grandmother would've thrown a fit, young man, but your grandfather would've walked the floors all night with you. He did with your father all the time when he had colic." He smoothed down some of the messy dark hair and smiled when the baby blinked at him. "Go back to sleep, Tim. I'm sorry I woke you."
The baby yawned and blinked his heavy eyes a few times before falling off again. McGonagall led him back to the common area. "He's still sleeping, Harry."
"Thank you," Harry said, looking up. That got a few laughs. "He clearly won't have a problem sneaking around the castle at night when he attends," he said dryly, making the teachers both laugh at that. Remus gave him a hug. "I'll bring the crib home."
"That's fine, Harry. I can agree to that." He gave him a wink. "See you soon?"
"Of course," he agreed happily. They met monthly in the Shrieking Shack using the old tunnels and Harry's invisibility cloak. "If he'll stay quiet." That got a nod and he walked out, heading back to his house to share the news. Harry stretched out, then got up suddenly. "Be back. Listen for him, he should stay asleep. No waking him up again, Ginny." He headed out, sneaking down toward the dungeons. He ran into Malfoy's goons on their path of nightly terrorizing the younger students. "Can you tell Malfoy I'm not sure why his father wants visitation with my son but I think he's a bit freaky and his son should probably get him help?" he asked from the shadows. They spun, glaring at him as he stepped out. "Really. Why would he want to visit *my* son?" He gave them a look. Then Draco when he walked up behind them. "Your father's gone round the bend."
"I knew that," he said dryly. "Why now?"
"He wants visitation with my son."
Draco blinked. "Why!" he demanded.
Harry shrugged. "Thought you should know so you could crucio him or something to get him normal again. I'm too tired to deal with your Dad's hair." He walked off shaking his head, relishing the confused look both goons and Draco wore. It wasn't often he could needle Draco Malfoy without a hex. This had almost been priceless.
Draco looked at his goons, then shook his head. "I should tell mum Harry Potter suggested a good crucio to cure my father. Just to watch their faces." He went to write that missive. The spying charm on it let him see what was going to happen.
Ron opened up the Daily Prophet the next day, frowning at the headline. "Hmm. An attack at Malfoy Manor." He read it, then giggled. "Hey, um, Harry?" Harry looked over, still half-asleep. He handed over the paper. "Read it."
Harry read, then nodded. "Well, I did suggest one or two might cure his barminess," he offered, handing it back. "Visitation with my son? Do I look stupid?" He went back to his breakfast. Tim was still asleep so he could feed him in a bit. He managed to shovel down two servings since he had a lunch appointment with the nurse and wouldn't get to eat before his son woke up. "Morning, Tim. Hungry?" The baby yawned then opened his mouth and made begging noises. "Sure. We'll eat." He found the bowls of mush, tasting it first. He grimaced. "What is that?" Ron took it to taste, then spit it out and coughed. "Bad?"
"Professor!" Ron yelled, bringing her down from the head table. He handed it to her. "Tastes worse than polyjuice and definitely tastes like a potion."
She sniffed then grimaced. "It is. Did he eat any?"
"I tasted a bit to make sure it was the right temperature," Harry told her. "Poison?"
"Not really." She took it to Snape, putting it down in front of him. "Which one?" He sniffed then glared at a student, who shrunk down in her seat. "Thank you. Dobby, Harry's son needs good food. Someone mixed a potion into his." The house elf popped off to get something else for the baby while Harry let him have some oatmeal for now. She grabbed the girl before she got the bright idea to run and drug her off to have a long talk with her and her parents.
"Should Harry hit the infirmary now?" Ron asked, walking up there. "He ate a dot to make sure it was all right."
"He should be fine. It may give him an upset stomach but nothing further. It's meant to start the runs."
"Babies already have that," he said dryly, going back to the table. "Gives you the runs, Harry."
"Charming." He looked at his son. "Good thing I ate a lot then, huh?" Dobby popped back with a new bowl. "Thank you, Dobby."
"Welcome. Dobby likes Harry Potter's son. Harry Potter's son is very nice." He patted the baby and disappeared again, letting Harry taste this one and then feed it to the demanding one on the bench next to him. He took the other tainted food up to Professor McGonagall. That way she could spank the others too. She came back with him and he pointed out who had been in the kitchen. Ginny was relieved when she wasn't taken but they all knew she wasn't going to hurt the boy. Dobby got in another pat on the way past and the baby cooed at him, making him smile. "Timmy Potter is very special. Very strong wizard." He went back to his duties, cleaning up the head table.
Harry fed him another bite. "He's very good to you, son. You should appreciate him." He kept up until the bowl was empty then fed him more oatmeal when he kept demanding more food. "Hungry this morning are we?"
Ron smiled. "They take moods like that according to Mum and our aunts." Dumbledore stood up and they all watched as he made an announcement about the tryouts for Quidditch. "Looks like this year's clear. If not, at least Ginny can babysit."
"And a few of the other girls," Harry agreed, nodding at Ron to pick up his books for him while he got the carrier on. Tim snuggled in to nap off his huge breakfast while they headed out to Magical Creatures.
It was Ron who noticed the incoming visitor. "Hey, Harry? Incoming problems."
Harry watched who got out of the car, staring at one of them until they looked over and motioned him closer. He pointed at the baby and got a nod. "Hey, Hagrid, I have the feeling I'm being summoned into that meeting," he called, taking his books with him. He walked them up there, nodding at the ones he knew. "Needed to see Tim?" he asked Mr. Tallhook.
"Well, yes. Someone's made a claim that you're not the only one who was used and the mother wasn't the biological mother, Harry."
"Interesting. Was that why Lucius Malfoy wanted visitation?" The adults coughed. "I told Draco that his father had gone off his nut again, suggested that a few crucios might put him back to rights, but I didn't know she'd do it."
"Narcissa is the one making the claims," Mr. Tallhook admitted. "She's claiming only a Black could manifest that early and/or not die from the rite she tried to use."
"If she is I'm sure Tonks can assure her he's fine now and then," Harry said dryly. "They did such a bang-up job with Draco that he's exactly like his father. I don't think my son needs minions."
Mr. Tallhook nodded. "We've seen that. May I check him?"
"Sure, as long as he doesn't fuss." He let him hold his books so he could undo the straps, exchanging books for baby. He put the books down and sat down, rubbing his shoulder. "He ate a huge breakfast this morning after we found the attempted potion attack." The ministry officials looked at him. "One of the Hufflepuff girls. Supposed to give him the runs but I tasted it first. I'm a bit paranoid about his safety. Seems to be working for us."
Mr. Tallhook gave him the baby. "There's a good reason for that. They tried to use Draco Malfoy's blood to sacrifice him for the blood rite." They all groaned. "We'll need to talk to him."
"That doesn't make him the mother, right?" Harry asked. "Because I'd like my son to be a *good* boy."
"No, that means someone tainted his blood with him, Harry. It's sometimes done during adoption rites so the child's at least partially part of the new family."
"So I'm his stepfather?"
Dumbledore looked at him. "I don't want that put around, Harry."
"The git deserves it," he noted dryly, smirking at him. "Only the once, Headmaster." The adults gave him worried looks but Harry smirked at Draco when he came in. "Found out why your Da wanted visiting rights. You're my stepson."
Draco went red in the face. "What are you talking about?" he ground out.
"It appears that the sacrificial rite that was done on the baby to make him stronger was using your blood, Mr. Malfoy," Dumbledore told him.
"Since your blood tainted my son's, you're about like my stepson now," Harry said dryly, still smirking. "Don't worry though, won't spank you when you misbehave."
Draco glared at him. "I will eliminate you in the most messy way possible," he sneered coldly, stomping off. He stomped into potions, glaring at the teacher until he walked him back into the hall. "I was just informed that my blood is tainting Potter's child," he sneered coldly. "He called me his stepson!"
"They were going to sacrifice you and bind your soul and blood to the baby's to control Potter?" he asked. Draco quit pacing to stare at him, mouth slightly open. "I will deal with Mr. Potter."
"No, I'll deal with Potter, you deal with the Ministry twerps in the office." He stomped off, going to make plans. This deserved retribution. An owl dropped off a note beside him in his room and flew out the window again, letting him read it. "The mother of my son did it, not me. I had no idea until today what the rite used. I'm sorry your father tried to kill you to make my son stronger. By the way, your mother wants visitation as well," he read. He crumpled up the note and threw it into the fire. "My whole family needs to die," he decided. "Then Potter. I'll turn on him after he helps me eliminate my parents." He started making true plans instead of the daydreams he'd had for years about how to get rid of his family. How dare they try to sacrifice him to make some part-mudblood baby stronger!
Then he got a wicked idea. He knew someone who would be *very* interested in the plan to make Potter's son, and therefore Potter, stronger. His father's master was newly returned and was not going to be happy with them.
Harry woke up two nights later panting in agony, holding his head while his scar throbbed and the images droned on. He barely heard the baby screaming. He didn't hear someone breaking into his room. He only felt it when someone cast a sleep hex on him so he got some relief from the horrible visions.
"I had hoped we'd have at least a few weeks respite," Hermione said grimly. "Someone get the nurse! Tell her Harry had a vision!" She picked up the baby, but he was still crying. "Shh, Tim. It's all right." Ron pushed his way in and took him, walking off with him. "He's fine, Ron. Another scar vision."
"Of course it was," he said grimly, taking him back up to his sister. "Can you sit with Gin-Gin for a while?" he asked gently, getting him calmed down. The baby got down to hiccups and snuggled in. "Shh, we love you. Let us take care of your Da and we'll be right back, Timmy." He kissed him on the head, then pounded on his sister's door, getting one irritated roommate. "Harry had a scar vision."
"Let me have him," she said, taking the baby. "It's all right, Timmy. You can nap with us tonight, loveling." She carried him over to her bed, snuggling in around him and making sure she only had a sheet over them while he went to help Harry with whatever was going on. "Shh, love. Your father is very strong and he'll do just fine. He'll win this battle too if there is one." Ginny opened her bed's curtains. "Scar vision."
She nodded, coming over to lay on the baby's other side, on top of the covers so no one would make any insinuations in the morning. He went back to sleep snuggled and loved between them.
Harry was allowed to wake up once he was in the infirmary and the proper people gathered around. "Harry, what did you see?" Hermione asked gently next to his ear. "We need to know who it was."
"He's mad," he said weakly, holding his scar. His hand came back wet so he looked at it. "I broke open?"
"You did," Ron agreed, pressing a cold cloth to it. "Who was it this time, Harry?"
"Voldemort." He looked at them then at the teachers behind them. "The last thing he said was 'happy fatherhood, while it lasts'." Dumbledore went a bit pale and McGonagall's hand went up to hold her throat. "He heard about the rite." He sat up with help. Mr. Tallhook ran in. "Someone told Voldemort about the cocoon. He went to check it and then told six people that they had children who better served his cause. That one had turned them in for having Tim made. He was punishing them for giving me a better reason to fight and a reason to be stronger." He looked at McGonagall then at Tallhook again. Then at Tonks since she was in there. "Both Malfoys. The odd looking woman who dropped off Previa in Hufflepuff this last year to start school. Two other women, one man I didn't recognize." He looked around. "Where's Tim?"
"Gin and her roommies have him," Ron soothed, patting his back. "He's safe, Harry."
Harry slumped, looking at them again. "Woods. They were in some woods. Not very old. The trees weren't any bigger than the whomping willow around the place where it first branches off. It was all oak and beech trees I think. All pale bark. No pine trees. One large stone. He was sitting on it when they were brought before him. I think he said they were getting a reward or something. Not really sure." He looked at Dumbledore. "I didn't see *him*."
"He's in his office," McGonagall assured him. "Did you recognize anyone else?"
He thought back. "Someone else was watching. Someone young. Someone not in the group. He was off to the edges. I think it was a boy. Barely school age, eleven. He was hiding. I'm not sure if a parent brought him or not, but he was scared stiff. He knew but he was showing his power and command so he didn't bother the child as far as I saw." He moved the cloth off his scar, looking at it. "Hasn't bled in a while."
"Could you get a sense of direction?" Tallhook asked.
Harry slowly shook his head. "No. I don't get that. The blasted scar connects us now and then. It's like I'm some horrified angel on his shoulder or something when he connects us."
Dumbledore nodded. "I've been working on how to prevent that," he admitted. He looked at the Ministry official. "I'm sure we'll hear."
"He poured something on Lucius' body," Harry told him. "He kinda turned into goo. Like the potion in third year when you added too much beyberry. I didn't see him use it on anyone else. He left his wand in the middle of it. It wasn't being eaten for some reason." He felt Ron shudder and patted him on the hand. "Go check on Tim?"
"Sure, Harry." He walked around them to do that.
Hermione looked at the man from the Department of Mysteries. "Do we keep wand resonances from past school years?" He nodded slowly. "Can we get the one from when Lucius was a student and track it that way?"
"I don't know. I don't think we've ever tried it. Let me check, Miss Granger. Very good reasoning." He went to check in and tell someone what Harry had seen. Plus the idea.
"Harry, was his snake thing there?" Hermione asked.
Harry looked at her, then frowned. "I didn't see her. The snake woman he feeds off of wasn't there," he said, looking at Dumbledore. "Would he need her in battle?"
"I.... I do not know," he admitted. "It's something to look into. Good thoughts, both of you. Twenty points to you both for the very good ideas." Ron walked in with the sleepy baby. "You could have left him, Mr. Weasley."
"He'll calm Harry down and he needs to know his Da is all right. Ginny said he was having nightmares." Harry took his son to snuggle and sniff, letting him calm down and they both fell asleep curled up on the cot. Ron pulled a chair over. "Let him sleep," he ordered. They all left, going to talk over the new vision while the nurse spread something on the scar to heal it and gave them both a better pillow to rest on. Ron grinned at her. "I've got 'im."
"That's fine, Mr. Weasley. I'll be in my office if he needs anything." He nodded and she left.
He put his feet up on the bed, relaxing, watching father and son nap together. They were very cute. He got up and summoned his camera from the hall, coming in to take pictures for his mother. Someone had to start his scrapbook.
Draco Malfoy came out of the office the next morning much happier than he had went in. He passed by Harry, Ron, and the baby, only sneering a bit he was so happy. "Have a bad night?"
Harry looked at him. "Not even pretending to mourn?" he shot back. He walked on.
Ron looked at him. "Feel better now that you turned 'em in?" he asked dryly, making Draco gape. He smirked. "Try to mourn, Malfoy. You can leech it for more sympathy than you can a fake bite." He followed Harry up to the office, nodding at the officials in there. "Dad." He handed over the camera. "For Mum."
"What kept you?" his father asked.
"Telling Malfoy not to wear pink around the baby, he'll scream if he does," he said with a small grin for his father. He got a parental look of disgust back. "Not like he's not dancing around the dorms."
"Is there any idea of who the other child was?" Harry asked everyone. Remus leaned closer so he let him have the baby, earning a smile. "Everyone else wants to hold him too," he quipped. "You have more cuddle rights than the average student. Though Ron's above you since he calls him Mum," he said with a grin.
Arthur Weasley laughed. "Ron did that to the twins for a while. Made them whine for weeks about not being icky girls."
"No wonder they pick on you more than the others," Hermione said, giving him a small smile. She sat on Remus' other side, smiling at the boy. "Good morning, Timothy." He growled at her and she smiled. "I'm sorry. Hungry, dearling?" She summoned a bottle from the bag she had dropped by the door, handing it over. "Want that?" He took it and sucked hard, turning his head away from her. "Fine, you be grumpy. It was a long night." She looked at the adults. "Did we find them?"
"We did," Tallhook said, smiling at her. "Your idea was tweaked a bit but it essentially worked." She beamed at that. "To answer yours, Harry, he was a muggle born and he's fine. We're debriefing him and getting him help. He was only scared, not hurt." He looked at the baby then at Harry. "We'd like to use your link to stop him faster."
"Is it dangerous?" Remus asked calmly.
"A bit," Arthur told him, giving him a look. "It would let us give him false information and lead him into something." Hermione opened her mouth. "We specially shielded the office this morning, Hermione. Even if he's lurking in Harry's head he won't hear."
Harry shivered. "I'm not sure I can initiate contact. I always get it from him, not the other way around."
"We've got other methods of getting stuff to him," Ron pointed out. Everyone stared at him. "Who tipped him off to the plan for Harry's son?" They all looked clueless. "No one but Draco gained from that, did they? He stomped off in a huff after we told him he was almost sacrificed. Harry sent him an owl."
"Apologizing and telling him I wouldn't call him stepson again," he told him. "It's gotta be horrible to have parents like that. At least the Dursleys thought I had some worth as a house elf."
Remus patted him on the hand. "You're worth a lot more than that, Harry." He looked at Ron. "You're suggesting that we use Draco to help us?"
Ron nodded. "He's got everything to gain, including all his family's money. After all, his father was a suspected death eater. The Ministry is used to confiscating things from them." He looked at his father, whose face lit up. "Play the little ferret."
"That's highly unethical," McGonagall protested.
"So's making Timmy an orphan," Ron pointed out, getting a nod at that. "If the Ministry isn't going to take it anyway, how would he know? It'd give him the shot at the power he desperately wants."
Harry nodded. "He's probably had some dreams of overthrowing Voldemort."
"He's smarter than Lucius was too," Hermione agreed. "If we present it right, what makes you think he wouldn't?" An owl floated in and she caught it, taking the message. "Thank you." It flew off again. She read it and smirked, handing it to McGonagall. "He said he'd love to be the newest Dark Lord. He'll wait until he is to turn on the rest of us."
"At least he's ambitious," Ron said dryly, looking at Harry, who smirked back and nodded. He looked at the others, who groaned and nodded at that plan. "Are we putting Remus' house under Fidelus charm this summer?"
"He can move into Grimmauld Place," Dumbledore offered.
Harry looked at him then shook his head. "I don't want the insane, pureblood, and dangerous things there near my son, Headmaster. Not with Sirius' mother still shrieking, Kreecher wandering around trying to kill us all, and the various problems we've had with the hidden artifacts."
Dumbledore sighed. "It would be safer, Harry."
"So would me taking him to Europe for the summer." Remus nodded at that. "Or America."
"We need you here, Harry. Something in you can defeat the Dark Lord."
"I'll still be safer; I want my son to be safer than I am," Harry told him. Not that he minded seeing Sirius all summer long. "With all the Order members who know, it's like the Platform there some days."
"True," he decided. "We can hide Remus' house easily enough I suppose."
"Not like anyone comes to visit me," Remus reminded him. "I can get started on them tonight."
"I'll help and ask Bill if he's busy," Arthur assured him, getting a nod. He stole the baby. "There you are. Time for my cuddles, Tim." The baby smiled and snuggled in, liking how he smelled. "Such a good, quiet boy."
"He's used to going to class with me," Harry told him. "Likes to be napped on by Fang during Creatures about now." That got some smiles. He looked at Remus. "You sure?"
"Very. It would keep out most of the Order unless we were called for and make me feel a bit safer anyway, Harry." That got a nod. "Good. Then we agree." He patted him on the back. "School ends in a few weeks. We'll do the rest of the shopping that day then head home."
"Sounds good to me," Harry agreed, looking at Arthur Weasley, who nodded. "Then I can handle that." He looked at Ron. "Step one is already done?"
"Should be," he agreed. "We need to plan what to give who and how." He looked at Tallhook, who was smirking at him. "Know your enemy works in chess too. Like how Harry hates sacrifice plays. That's why he never wins."
That got a nod. "That does work for me. We'll let you into the planning, Ron." He shook his hand. "We'll be talking about a job in a few years if you survive that long."
"I'd better. My mother would yell loud enough to bring me back," he joked with an easy grin, even if his father was scowling. "She would."
"She'd be louder than that," Hermione assured him. "You'd never hear the end of it even after you were back."
"See, then I walk in with Timmy and she'll goo and go melty brained. It'll fix that for a while," Ron said happily.
Harry looked at him. "No making your mother yell at my son, Ron."
"Yes, Harry. I wouldn't do that to him."
"Thank you." He looked at the adults. "Do we need us more? If not, I need some tea." Dobby popped up with a mug for him, earning a smile. "Thank you, Dobby." He disappeared again. He sipped it and moaned. "Oooh, good and strong." He leaned back. "Do we know which house elf the Dark Lord has in his service beyond the one we got from the Crouches?" He took another sip. They all gave each other horrified looks.
"We know it's not Dobby," Ron told him. Harry nodded at that. "He'd kill others for you."
Harry smiled. "He would. Especially if they touch the baby. He smacked Madam Sprout the other day for picking him up when he was sleeping." He took another drink. "Glad we got that straightened out too. He was beating himself up over it."
Tallhook looked at Dumbledore. "They're good."
"Have been for a few years now," Ron said happily, waving a bit. "Headmaster told us not to worry about the reason Harry was having splitting headaches in his scar our first year and then didn't seem to be doing anything." That got a groan from the headmaster. Professor Snape stomped in. "Want some tea?" Dobby popped up to give him some. "Thanks, Dobby. Needed that." He scratched his head and let him pop off again. "Hey, Dobby?" He came back. "Which house elves report to someone other than the headmaster or McGonagall?"
Dobby considered it. "Five or six house elfs talk to others outside the school, Weasy sir." He looked at the headmaster. "You need to know who they talk to?" He nodded. "Dobby will find out for you. Otherwise could endanger Timmy Potter and that is bad. Especially for house elf." He disappeared again.
Snape gaped at Ron. "He's got house elves spying?"
"They're everywhere, no one but Hermione pays any attention to them, they're in our things, our classrooms, seeing what we know and do, and yes we knew the Crouch's one was telling someone something. She admitted it while drunk a few weeks back," Ron told him, sipping his tea. "She was sobbing about not being able to poison the teachers like she had been ordered to and she was punishing herself for that." He finished his tea and put down the mug, watching as it disappeared. "Most of the time we don't even realize they're around and listening."
Snape sat down. "When did you talk to her?"
"Two weeks back?" he asked Hermione, who nodded.
"I went down for some tea for some late night reading," Hermione told him. "She was drunk and crying. Beating her head on the fireplace. I stopped her and demanded she talk to me what was wrong. I confiscated the poison and it's been in my bag since then, Professor."
"You couldn't tell us?" McGonagall demanded.
She looked at her. "You've all been very busy. That was two days after the final trial, Professor. I figured I'd tell you the last week, when things were calmed down and you had time to do that. She did promise to come talk to me if she got given another order like that. That way we could stop her and she wouldn't have to punish herself. She agreed it wasn't bad if she let me know since I'm not a teacher and couldn't directly stop her. Logic helped with that."
Ron nodded. "Talked her to death." Harry pinched him. "She did."
"She probably did, like she does to us when we don't agree with her." He looked at the Professor. "Heard from Draco yet?"
"Twice," he said blandly.
"Use him and Harry's link," Ron told him. "You in or should we tie you up and let someone use polyjuice to be you for the last few weeks of school?"
Snape gaped at him. "How dare you!"
"Hermie could fill in," Ron offered with a big grin. "There's a few who do a good impersonation of you, Professor." He stomped off.
Timmy spit. "Baba." He put his head back down while the adults all stared at him.
"Yes, he's bad," Harry said with fond tolerance, smiling at his brilliant son. "So very smart. Some year you'll be smarter than Hermione." She snorted but shook her head. "He will! He already knows about people." He smiled and took him back to cuddle. "That's my good boy, Timmy." He looked at the amused looking adults. "Don't you agree he's very bright?"
"I certainly do," Remus agreed, humoring him. "We'll nurture his mind so it's one of the best of his generation, Harry. Now, give me the godson." He let him have him. "Hello again, Timmy." He snuggled him and let the baby smile and fall asleep that way. "Are we done? The children should be in class soon."
"Go," Dumbledore agreed. They left, Harry looking at Remus, getting a nod. "Babysitting?"
"Of course. It's good for him to get used to me and me to get used to his schedule." He settled deeper into the couch, smiling at the boy. "You don't mind, do you?" The baby blew a spit bubble then yawned and let himself fall asleep there. "Good boy."
Harry hovered and watched, waylaying Tallhook on his way out. "I want you to use the tracking to track someone for me. No questions asked," he said quietly.
"He's dead, Harry. Sirius Black killed him."
"Ron and I saw him last year. He was pretending to be Ron's pet rat." The man looked horrified. "Missing part of his foot too. Please?"
"If I can," he agreed. "He might not have his wand."
"He was the one doing the spell at the cemetery. He's missing a hand now," Harry told him. That got a nod. "Please?"
"I'll do what I can, Harry. How do you know?"
"Sirius wasn't the secret keeper. He's my godfather," he said quietly. That got an understanding look. "Please?"
"I'll do what I can," he promised. He walked off thinking about that, starting that process as soon as he got back to his office. He found the wand. It was on a dresser. The user was nearby. He set up a containment area with his assistant while he waited. As soon as the wand was picked up he pulled the person back, looking at who he got. "I'll be damned. The boy was right." Everyone stared. "Mr. Pettigrew. How nice to see you again," he said grimly, staring at him. "Surely you remember me from your sixth year? I tutored you in Transfiguration."
He backed away, looking around, then tried to transform but a spell stopped that and he screamed in pain as he came back to human form. "How dare you! I'll be rescued!"
"Not by the Dark Lord you won't," Tallhook sneered, waving a hand. "Cuff him, drag him somewhere *safe*. I think we need to look into the Sirius Black matter." They all stared at him in horrified shock.
"Why? He was in it with me."
"Really? That's not what Mr. Potter said," he said dryly. The other man blanched and tried to get away again but he was stopped and hauled off to the proper office. Truth serum would get some good answers out of him. Then Harry's faith might be vindicated.
Harry came in to dinner that night, staring at the people staring at him. "What?" He checked himself then Timmy then the others. "Are we having problems?"
"No," Ron called. "Special edition of the Prophet, Harry. They found Pettigrew."
"Good! About time." He walked over there to read over his shoulder, letting Ginny steal Timmy to feed. "Test it first, Ginny."
"Already did, Harry." She smiled at the baby. "I'm going to miss you all summer long, Tim. What am I going to do without your cuteness around to make me look ravishing?" He spit and sucked on his finger until she fed him some of the fruit mash. Harry sat down and went back to reading, finally bursting out laughing. "Thought you might like that."
"Does this mean he's free?" Harry called.
"There's an inquest. If we can find him, he's most likely going to go free," McGonagall agreed.
"Hmm. Last time I heard he was going to be in London in three weeks."
She smiled. "As I had heard as well, Harry. It'll be handled." He nodded at that. "Do eat. Final exams are in a week you know."
He groaned, digging in to eat. He needed a lot of late night studying coming up. This year had been insane and he hadn't had a lot of energy for studying. Though now it looked like things were starting to pick up again.
Harry walked off the train at Platform 9 3/4, looking at the paper boy there. 'Sirius Black a free man' was in four-inch tall letters across the headline. He smiled and took a copy to read while he waited on Remus or someone to come get him. He saw Draco walking off the train and nodded at him. "Should I expect you'll want to take your barmy father's place and ask for visitation?"
"Hell no," he said dryly, sneering at him. "The first visit I make will be the last I have to make there, Potter. Remember, this is only a truce." He strolled off, sneering at his driver when he saw him. "The trunk is on the platform." He went to get it and take the boy home. He had all summer to make evil plans and to make sure that his father's legacy was erased and his new one got glorious notes made by others. After all, he knew he could beat Potter when he ascended. It was only a matter of time and letting Potter do all his dirty work for him. Then the next Dark Lord would be a Malfoy, as his father should have been when the last one died at the hands of an infant. Though he would learn from their mistakes and he would definitely be dressing better than either Voldemort or his father.
Harry smiled when Remus appeared, nodding him over. "He likes noise now and then."
He looked at the baby. "He does look comfy. Ready?"
"Sure. Let's go." Remus shrunk the trunk into his pocket and led Harry out to take him shopping for the baby in Muggle London. They had a lot more baby clothes than Diagon did. Also a lot cheaper at some of the stores. When you only had one baby store they hardly ever had sales. Muggle places had sales at the drop of a hat to get people to shop there. The rest of the list was quickly gotten within three stores and then they headed home on the Knight Bus. Harry put his feet up, handing his son a bottle when he fussed. "We even got you pants since you don't like robes or gowns, Tim. How's that?" His son cooed at him, making happy faces. "I knew you'd like that." He handed Remus the paper. "He dancing?"
"Dead drunk at home tonight in celebration," Remus admitted happily. "He'll come growl in the morning. I haven't told him yet. Didn't have a chance to." Harry smirked at that. "I didn't." They got off when the bus stopped at his town, walking Harry and the baby to his house. "Here we are," he said once they breached the field protecting it. "Into the living room so he can get down on the floor. I'm sure he'll like the rug. It's a bit furry and I do most months." Harry put the baby down, watching as he petted the rug. "That'll work. We're going to put things up, Tim. Holler if you need us." He led Harry up to their room, making the boy beam at him. "I know it's not much."
"I love you," he said, giving him a hug. That got a smile and the bag was unshrunk, the crib shrunk inside it unshrunk and put in its spot too. Then a good unpacking spell and they were done. They went down to find a big black rottweiler looking dog sniffing the baby. "Padfoot, off my son," Harry said patiently. He sat down on Tim's other side. "Tim, this is your Uncle Padfoot. You can spit at him if you want." The baby cooed and grabbed his nose to pull on, getting a huff of noise from the dog. The dog stared at him. "Don't look at me! Some witch had him come into being without my being involved. I woke up with him on the floor next to me one morning. Dumbledore still doesn't like it."
The dog changed back to Sirius Black. "Excuse me? He came into being *how*?" The baby spit at him and giggled, rolling over to kick his feet. He smiled. "You're very adorable..."
"Tim," Harry supplied. He played with his stomach. "We heard Uncle Sirius was drunk off his bum."
"I slept it off earlier." He looked around. "Remus?" He came out of the kitchen, giving him an amused look. "The witch who assaulted our godson?"
"She took some of his hair from a fangirl," he told him.
"Is that how she did it?" Harry complained. He nodded. Harry shook his head, sighing a bit. "Wonderful." He looked at Tim. "Well, let's hope you're the only one. I don't think I could deal with a sister for you." Tim giggled when he tickled him and kicked his feet some more. "Soon you'll be into everything. Ginny warned me about that." He picked him up so he could stand, holding him there. "There, now try to walk?"
"Don't push him. We'll be thankful for these carrying days soon," Remus advised, going back into the kitchen. "My office, Sirius. I got the official transcripts since I'm Harry's official guardian."
"Thank you, God and Merlin," Harry said dryly.
Sirius gave him a hug. "I'm glad you're safe but we'll be talking, Godson," he said quietly. Tim poked him in the throat with his bottle, staring at him. He stared back. "I can talk to him and hug him."
Tim spit and glared. "Bahbah!"
"No, he's not bad. He's just confused," Harry promised, setting him down so he could sit again. "I promise, he's a nice doggy." He looked at Sirius, grinning. "A vengeance demon brought him to me while some of her kin dealt with the mother."
He whimpered, going to look at the transcripts. Halfway through he bellowed in outrage.
"They all died," Remus called. "The Dark One found out."
"Good!" He went back to reading, coming out finally. "So, we have a great-godson." He sat down, picking up Timmy to look at him. "Think we can get along?" Timmy shook his head. He smiled. "Not yet, huh?"
"He thinks Ron's mum," Harry shared with a wicked smirk. "Still calling him it."
Sirius shook his head. "You called my motorcycle Mum a few times, Harry. Sometimes kids like some strange things." He looked at Timmy again, watching him stare at him. "Am I fascinating?" The baby sucked on his first two fingers, staring at him. "I'm not that entertaining."
"Read to him," Harry said quietly, getting up and heading to the bathroom. He came out to find Sirius and the baby still staring at each other but Sirius was talking to him about him as a baby. He smiled and looked at Remus, who winked and let him help in the kitchen. "When is the WPS witch coming?"
"Sometime this week." He gave him a hug. "You're doing fantastic as a father, Harry. I'm very proud." Harry beamed and helped by chopping veggies for him. Sirius finally came in without the baby. "Napping?"
"Sucking on his toes on the rug." He gave Harry a hug. "It's shocking but you're a good father so far," he said. "Damn better than I'd be." Harry beamed at him for that, giving him a proper hug. "Now, who's coming to see him?"
"Molly probably," Remus told him. "Ginny and Ron have been lifeguards when Harry got stuck. Molly and Arthur have been doting relatives to help as well. She took him shopping the first time." Harry nodded at that, making them laugh. "Ginny nearly didn't let the baby go from what I heard."
"Ron reminded her she could cuddle him most of the summer if I was going to be doing something." He looked at his uncles. "For some reason she thinks I'm going to start dating." They snorted at that. He nodded. "Definitely not ready for that yet. Did you tell him about the plan?"
"I have," he agreed happily, smirking at Sirius. "Getting the one involved was Ron's idea."
"He wants us to do his dirty work so he'll help and then we'll deal with him," Harry told him. "It gives us a bit less pressure now. He told on his parents too." He handed over what he had chopped, getting back to it. "Tim, you all right?" He heard the coo and smiled. "Good. Let us know if you need something." A few minutes later Remus and Sirius both sniffed and made disgusted faces. "Need a diaper?" he called as he walked out there, taking him up to their room to change him. "We can handle that." He got him cleaned up and changed then back down to the living room, letting him go back to playing again. There were some toys that had been spread out by Remus earlier. He touched each one, making sure they weren't portkeys, then let the baby play with the rings and soft bear.
"You're a bit paranoid, Godson," Sirius pointed out.
"After the year I've had? Hell yes!" he snorted, going back to the kitchen.
"Don't swear around the baby," Remus ordered gently. "He'll start to swear too, Harry."
"We'll figure that out for Ron and me then," he said dryly. "Ron's first few sentences around him contained a swear if I remember right." Tim yelped so he went to look. "That's the floo, Timmy. It's how we talk to other wizards." He looked at the witch in there. "You are?"
Remus came out. "Oh, Tonks, good disguise today."
"Thanks. Can I come through?" That got a nod and she came through, staring at the baby. "I've heard about you but you're a bit smaller than I'm used to." He spit at her then cackled. She grinned. "A boy after my own heart, huh?" She picked him up to kiss him on the cheek, then put him back down. "Play with Dad there, Tim. He needs to play." She walked into the kitchen with the adults. She came back out. "Two more death eaters have been found dead."
"Did they piss him off too?" Harry quipped.
She nodded. "Apparently." She looked at the baby, who was staring at them. "Relax, Tim. It's all right. You and your Da are safe here. Only me, Ginny, and Molly know where you're at." She patted Harry on the head. "Everything will be fine, Harry. Relax and be a dad this summer." She went back through the floo, heading to make her formal report.
Remus smiled at Harry. "Dinner will be in about thirty minutes if you want to get him to take a nap."
Harry gave him an odd look then shook his head. "If I do that he'll never sleep tonight. We'll be flying him all night." That got a smile. "He usually eats at the table with us. Something mashed up or pureed." He got up to fix his son dinner, coming out to set the table while the two adults finished the rest. Then they came in and Harry pulled an extra chair in for Timmy to sit in his carrier on. "There, now let's eat." Timmy squealed and waved is arms. Harry grinned. "Yes, you, eat." He stuffed his mouth, getting a happy boy. He fed him, eating bites between his son's sucking down his beets. At the end Timmy was giving him a pitiful look. "Still hungry?" He pulled him onto his lap, letting him have some of his potatoes to gum on. "Try that. It's a bit more solid than your usual but it should be okay as long as you don't choke." Timmy beamed at the two men, getting smiles and waves back while he gummed the piece of fried potato until it was soft enough to swallow. He looked at the plate and grabbed another one for himself. Those were tasty. Harry kissed him on the head. "Sure, we'll share." He finished what he wanted and let Timmy steal whatever he wanted to nibble on, finishing the rest when he gave up. "Full?" he asked him. The baby cooed and reached over to Sirius, letting him take him. He stole some of his potato with a bright grin. "Ah, sampling. You do that to Ron."
"Yup, him," Harry agreed happily. "He'll tip the plate too," he warned, still smiling. Sirius finished his dinner and Timmy beamed at Remus, who took him so he could sample his plate too.
"It's the same thing, Timmy," Remus assured him. "I made all of it." Timmy cooed at him. "I know, it tastes different from each person. Harry did the same thing when he was little." Remus poked him on the stomach, earning a smile. Timmy held up his prize. "No, you eat that." He stuck it into his mouth, watching as he gummed on it and then stared at his father. "What's next?"
"Some play time until bath time around nine. Then thirty of calming down and then bed." Timmy spit at him. "Not yet. After your bath, like usual." The baby squealed at that, earning a smile. "Liking that thought tonight? Does that mean I should check your diaper again?" The baby beamed and sucked on Remus' finger. "Is he wet?"
Remus patted his butt then shrugged. "Not a clue. Didn't squish."
Harry reached over and took his son back, looking inside the plastic cover pants. Then at his son. "How did you sneak that out without us smelling?" He took him to change, bringing him back down with only the diaper and plastic cover on. "There. Be naked until bath time. It's warm today." Tim laughed and hooted until Sirius came out to play with him too. Then he took his attention until Harry went to do dishes. Sirius turned into a dog, letting Timmy squish his fist in the short, coarse fur until he yawned. Harry came back. "If you nap now, you'll get up later." He got him a soft toy, watching as he beat the dog with it until his godfather walked out of range. Timmy scowled at him and threw the toy, then wailed for it back. Harry gave it back and he threw it at the dog again. Harry looked at the dog. "Might wanna change back. He likes this game a lot apparently. I think it's the baby version of fetch."
Sirius changed back, weathering the claps the baby gave him and the huge grin that spoke of intelligence and a smartass nature. "Why do I think your mother is laughing her arse off over this one, Harry?"
Harry looked at him and shrugged. "Who knows. I didn't know her that well." He looked at his son. "Ah, you have Ginny's smartass grin again," he said dryly. "So yes, Mum is probably snickering somewhere at you," he said with a grin of his own for his godfather.
Remus snickered and took a picture. "Serves us right, huh, Timmy?" He picked him up, taking him back into the kitchen. "Every wizard should know what goes on in here. We'll start you now, that way you can cook as good as any house elf when you're bigger." The baby beamed at him. "That's my good nephew." He gave him a cuddle and showed him how to wash dishes the wizarding way and then the mundane way when his wand movements with his off-hand meant that one of the plates broke instead of stacked neatly.
"Having problems?" Sirius called.
"Using my off hand," he called back, looking at Tim. "He's fussy. You get used to him being grumpy and fussy. I'm sure you will when he does it to you a few times." He kissed him on the head and sniffed. "Did you pee on me?" he asked dryly.
"Probably," Harry admitted, taking him to change again. He looked at his son. "If you were a bit older and potty trained, I'd let you go naked if you wanted, Tim." His son fussed at that. "Well, as soon as you're potty trained you can decide that for yourself. All right?" He did up his diaper and then put on the rubber overpants, taking him back downstairs. Sirius stole him and he shrugged. "Okay. Until nine. Then it's time for his bath." That got a nod and Sirius sat down to talk to the baby, letting him know who he was and how nice Remus was to make him cookies. Harry shook his head, going to help with the dishes. Sometimes his godfather was a bit odd. "Cookies?"
"He's got a sweet tooth," Remus admitted with a smile.
Timmy let out a shriek so they both looked out in the living room. "Son?" Harry asked dryly, walking out to find him floating and babbling at the ceiling's shadows. "Son?" He looked at Sirius, who was knocked out on the floor. "Interesting. Any ideas?"
"Not a clue," Remus said, working to get Sirius up. "Can you get him from the couch?"
"Nope." He went up to his room to get his firebolt, bringing the broom downstairs so he could float up slowly and ended up chasing the baby around the room until he finally caught him by one foot and hauled him in. "We should talk about your flying skills, son. Ron was right, you'll be an excellent quidditch player." He landed next to the fireplace, letting his broom rest there for a bit. He checked his son. "No bruises or bumps."
"That's good but I still can't get Sirius up."
Harry held Timmy so he was facing him. "Scream at him," he ordered patiently. Timmy let out another shriek and Sirius sat up, glancing around quickly. "Thanks, Tim. Bath time." He walked him up the stairs, shaking his head. "I've got to ask Mrs. Weasley about that before you get hurt," he said quietly. "We don't want the nice WPS witch to say that I'm mean to you." He smirked at his son. "Though it was brilliant, Tim. I was a lot older before I learned how to fly." He kissed him on the forehead. "I love you no matter how often you bump into the ceiling without a broom. Or how often you knock Sirius out." He got them down beside the tub, starting the water and plugging the tub up. "There, we'll bathe and then we'll go kiss Uncle Sirius so he knows you still love him. All right?" Tim smiled at him, sucking on his thumb. "That's my good boy." He checked the water temperature then looked at the baby again. "You're going to be so spoiled this summer," he teased. Timmy grinned at that and Harry got him out of his diaper, tossing it into the wash basket in there as well. Tim went into the water and Harry summoned a small cup to help him with his bath. He even checked it first, in case it was holding something.
Remus came up and switched out cups with him. "Sorry, your mum gave that to me, Harry." He smiled at Tim. "You are brilliant." He walked out, going to put that back and check on Sirius again. He was in the backyard relaxing. "So what happened?"
"The first thing I knew, Tim was suddenly light and then I saw stars. Maybe he kicked me."
"Or maybe however he was floating knocked you out, like a broom backwash," Remus said thoughtfully. "We know that she did something to him but we don't know what. He's very active magically."
"Can we restrict that a little bit?"
"I'm not sure," Remus admitted. "We'll ask Molly tomorrow. She's already vowed to come check on him right after breakfast." Sirius smiled and nodded at that. They both looked up at the screaming going on but it sounded like fun yelling instead of angry yelling. Ron came out the back door. "Visiting already?"
"Mum's driving me nuts," he complained. "Harry said to blow off some of it." He grinned slightly. "Can I hide on Harry's floor?"
"Sure, Ron," Remus agreed, smirking at him. "Hide away but she'll be here tomorrow."
"I can hide in a closet then," he said with a cheeky grin, heading in to help with the bath time rituals. Tim was a stickler for some things happening. Like Daddy had to wash his hair then his back or he scowled. The kid was already a bit odd, but he was a wizard so he supposed that was something that was natural in Harry's family. All wizards were a bit off and the way you were off tended to run in your family.
The two adults shared a look. "I'll make sure she knows he's here," Remus said, going to do that and put on some water for tea. They'd want some after the baby went down.
Ron watched Harry and his son float around the backyard on his broom, smiling at the happy squealing Tim was doing. He loved to fly. He was flying when he woke them up this morning at three with his happy squeals and doing it the normal way was apparently just as good for him. He looked over as his mother came out of the floo. "Did I float too?"
"Percy did if I remember right," she admitted. "A bit older than him though. He is?"
"Knocked Sirius out and started it last night," Remus called from his study. "Woke us all up this morning being happier with it than his diaper."
Molly smiled. "Well, I suppose it would get that off his bum." She smiled at the happy family. "Harry?" He landed next to her, automatically handing her the child, as he should. "Hello, Tim. Are we having a good morning?" The baby beamed and babbled noise at her so she took him inside to look him over and figure out what was going on. She'd had seven, she should be able to figure it out.
Ron looked at Harry. "Think he'll play keeper or seeker?"
"Probably keeper since I'm shite at it," he admitted, sitting down on the lounger next to him. "Where's the adults?"
"Hiding from his messy bum. Again," Ron said fondly, smirking a bit. "See the paper this morning?"
"No, it was mysteriously eaten before we made it down." Ron handed over his copy and let Harry read the editorial saying he should have to marry someone to give the child a second parent, just in case you know. He looked at Ron then inside. "Mrs. Weasley, someone in the paper wants me to marry your son or Hermione again!" he yelled.
"I've already sent her a howler, Harry, dear," she called back. Tim came floating out, wiggling to 'swim' so he had some momentum going. "Well! Timothy, get back here!" She got handed Harry's broom so she could catch him, letting the boys giggle about it. "You look like a very pale toad when you do that, Tim."
"Don't listen to her, we think it's brilliant of you," Ron called.
Harry swatted him. "I might but it's not a good thing. Who knows how high he'd go. He could be worse than a snitch to find if he keeps it up."
"Nothing's worse than the shiny gold ball, Harry," Ron said dryly, smirking at him. "Really. He can't play hide and seek yet."
"I'm sure he'll learn. He might even do it to taunt Draco next year."
Ron burst out giggling at that image. "I can see that," he laughed.
Remus came to the door. "You can see what?"
"Him playing hide and seek to drive Malfoy junior insane," Harry told him.
Remus walked back inside shaking his head. "I'll watch him while you take a nap, Harry."
"No need, I'm fine," he called after him.
"Take a nap, Harry," Remus ordered from the kitchen. "Now please."
"Yes, Uncle Remus." He shrugged at Ron and went to lie down for a bit. Tim was wearing him out.
Ron took the baby so his mother could land. "Remus made Harry take a nap."
"That's fine. I did much of that with all of you," she assured him, taking the baby back inside to see if they could restrict the magic just a tiny bit.
Ron took the opportunity to giggle himself to the point of getting sick. It was very cute of the boy.
Sirius walked Harry and the baby into the bank a few weeks later, waving at the goblin who handled the Black family accounts. "We've got to do an accounting." The goblin nodded and led him to his office so they could do that. He smiled at the baby, who was giving the goblin a confused look. "He's a goblin, Timmy. They run the banks and things." The baby reached over to play with his ear, making the goblin flinch. "Sorry."
"He's used to Dobby's house elf ears," Harry offered with a shy grin. "He's confused why you don't have the same ears probably."
The goblin looked at the baby. "Goblins are smarter than house elves, young man. That's why we have different ears." The baby beamed and grabbed it again, pulling him closer by it so he could suck his thumb with it.
"Oh, no," Harry said, making him let him go. "It's not nice to grab the goblins. They don't like that." He stared at his son, weathering the fussing. "Keep it up. See Dumbledore today." The baby quit fussing and snuggled in again. "Good boy." He smiled at the goblin. "He's sorry."
"You did the same thing a few times," Sirius assured him dryly.
"Many children have," the goblin admitted, sitting behind his desk. The baby was still staring at him. He smiled and the baby spit then giggled. "It's clear who your grandfather was, young man. He did the same thing to me when I was younger." He looked at Sirius. "Do we think some of the family's accounts were taken?"
"Yup. I'm wondering which sister got them and where's Harry's trust account. I set up one for him when they went into hiding so his parents didn't have to use theirs and get attention."
"Interesting." He went to pull the records from back that far, coming back with a thick book. He set it on the desk and paged back, finding the entry. "I do see it here." He went forward, frowning. "It appears to be in his vault. It looks like it was transferred to vault 4568."
"That's not mine," Harry said calmly, producing his key. "I had to have someone retrieve that from Dumbledore's office while he was gone. That's my key."
The goblin looked at it then looked up that vault. Then him. "That should not be."
"How many other vaults got displaced?" Sirius asked.
"Let me examine things." He went to get another few books and trace the vaults in that one instead. He finally looked up, finding the baby playing with Sirius' hair while napping on his shoulder. "The Black family accounts were consolidated when a good bit was taken out for inheritances."
"Neither sister got more than a dowry by the will," Sirius noted.
"I know. Which is why it's odd. Also, his vault was moved after it was depleted as well." He grimaced. "I will be looking into this. Let me get someone in here to help me." They nodded so he went to find his boss, who came in to look over the entries and what wills they had on file.
The more senior goblin finally looked at them. "Narcissa Black-Malfoy did take out ten thousand gold the year you went away, Mr. Black."
"Which wasn't allowed," he told him. "I had a will stating that everything of mine was to be handled by Remus Lupin or the Potters."
"Shortly afterward the werewolf laws were started," the goblin explained.
"I saw, it pissed me off," he admitted, shifting some. The baby lifted his head. "It's all right, Tim. Go back to sleep." Tim put his head back down and closed his eyes but didn't start to really sleep, just rest. Harry took him back. "I can hold him."
"You're tense. Let me hold my own son." He looked at the senior goblin. "Who else took things out? With the way Sirius was talking, ten thousand would've made a small dent but not what he thinks he saw."
"Indeed," the senior goblin agreed. "The rest was confiscated by Headmaster Dumbledore for the benefit of any heirs."
Sirius raised an eyebrow. "What heirs?"
"He said he thought there was one but he never filed statements with us about that. The vault was to remain locked until such a statement was filed. It's still locked."
"Though there have been monthly withdrawals," the first goblin noted calmly. "We're not sure why."
"He's been using the Black and Potter monies to fund the war?" Harry asked.
"That is one possible explanation and a more humane one than what we'd usually suspect first," the senior goblin agreed. "As for your trust...."
"His parents left him much more than what Molly said he had in his vault, and I set up a trust for him and his family," Sirius told him.
"Which is in the same vault," the senior goblin told him.
Sirius nodded once. "Then switch it back please. As far as I know, I have no heirs outside of my godson and great-godson, plus Remus Lupin."
"We can do that. It'll take us a few days to get everything set up. There's some paperwork that's been signed by the higher ups."
"Then please do so," Sirius agreed, standing up. "If there's more problems, let me know. Also about what Narcissa took. She wasn't to have access to the money at all by my mother's will."
"I will look into that as well," he agreed. "It appears the same goblin handled it." They nodded and Sirius left with the boy and his son. He looked at the lesser goblin. "It was wise to call me. This is going to cause a stink."
"I didn't want to tell him that they only had ten percent of the family's wealth left in their vaults." He handed him the books. "Should I write a report?"
"Please. I'll take it to the bank's counsel tonight." That got a nod and he sat down to do that, handing it over once it was dry and signed. He walked everything off, taking it to the legal counsel for the bank, handing it to him. "We have irregularities." The goblin lawyer winced. "It's gone back a few years." He showed him where it started and built the chain of evidence with him. That one goblin was going to be defending himself to the Elder's Council for his last few days.
Harry came out of the bank's floo a few days later. "Did we find it all?" he asked the goblin meeting him.
"We did. We needed to see you specifically about some of it." He led him back to his office, where Dumbledore was waiting. "He also wanted to talk to you."
Harry looked at him. "You took my inheritance to fund the war?"
"I kept it away from your aunt and uncle."
"They never knew I had any. I've never told them. They would've sucked my original vault dry if they had been told about it."
"I was paying them a small check a month for you out of it," he admitted, handing over the paperwork. Sirius walked in. "Sirius."
"Albus." He looked at the papers, then at him. He coughed, smiling at the goblin. "Can you show Harry his current vault please?" The goblin knew that they wanted some privacy so he did that. He looked at him, glaring. "They said fairly often that they were only getting state payouts for him, Albus. They would've noted the other source when they sneered at him. Snape's not the only one who can use occulmencary. I'm more subtle than he ever was with it." Albus swallowed. "Now, enough shite. You took mine. You took Harry's. You probably took a few others too."
"We needed it to stop the rest of the death eaters."
"Albus, they went into hiding when he died," he said bluntly. "Don't make me call someone at the Ministry." That got a tight-lipped look. "Especially not about Harry's vaults. You'll find I'm going to protect him now since I couldn't before. If you don't remember, I'm the one who growled at everyone."
"I do remember. It was not done to hurt the boy."
"And I believe that," he said grimly, staring at him. "The house in Goddric's Hollow?"
"Really?" He pulled out a picture, handing it over. "Looks habitable to me. Looked like it was destroyed the same as Hogwarts does." Harry and the goblin came back. "Who's living there?"
"I suppose a muggle."
"Uh-huh. We'll be seeing tonight." Albus backed away from him. Sirius looked at the goblin. "So?"
"The goblin who facilitated it thought he was doing something humane and good for the world at large. We've made him retire and backed out of all agreements he made on such matters. Your family was not the only one that was used that way. Mr. Potter's vault will be restored this afternoon. The Black family vaults will be restored within ten days. We're waiting to hear back from the Malfoy family attorney."
Siirus nodded. "That's reasonable. Is Draco being reasonable?"
"He sneered and said that it proved he was better than his parents since they were only minor thieves." He grimaced, then it cleared up. "The other families are being notified and their vaults put back to right." That got a nod. "Thank you for bringing that to our attention."
"Thank you for fixing it," Harry told him. "And for giving me what it should be." He patted Sirius on the arm. "Can I stop to get a few new shirts?"
"Of course, Harry. Did you take any out?" He held up the bag. "Good boy." He looked at the goblin. "I'll await statements. Remus and I are Harry's legal guardians." That got a nod and a note was made. "Thank you. We'll see you when school starts again, Albus." He walked Harry off, taking him out to Diagon. "How much did he say?"
Sirius walked back inside, going back to the office. "I put more than a hundred thousand into his trust vault."
"The rest was used and we're debating if we are liable for those or if the headmaster is," he noted calmly.
"As long as someone gives it back. I want Timmy able to afford school when it's his turn." He walked out, heading back to help Harry pick out a few shirts. Plus other clothes that fit. The kid's hand-me-downs annoyed him. He looked at the pants and the belt he had on then at Madam Malkin. "He's wearing his lardass cousin's hand-me-downs. Fix it, please?" She nodded, taking Harry to outfit him for real. Sirius even paid for it. He let Harry pick up a new outfit for the baby and then headed to get some ice cream and go home. He walked into Remus' office while Harry was upstairs. "Albus raided over two- thirds of Harry's vaults." Remus moaned. "There's only seventy thousand left."
Remus stood up, staring at him. "You gave him over a hundred thousand, Sirius. His parents were worth four times that!"
"The goblins are debating if they're liable for it or Albus is," he said, leaning on the wall. Harry came in. "He napping?"
"Happily on Ron's stomach on the bed," he said, smiling some. "As long as it gets fixed and I don't have to deal with a headmaster who acts like a teenager, Sirius. Please. He's always plotting something."
"Uh-huh. Usually how to get you to do his job," Sirius complained, looking at Remus. "He really told Harry to not worry about things?"
"A few times," Harry admitted.
Remus nodded. "Harry had to find out what this year's plot was by himself too. Albus didn't find out who put the name in the goblet until after the third trial."
Sirius growled. "Someone needs my foot up their ass all the way to my tail." He gave Harry a hug. "You've got us now, kiddo. We're helping."
He looked at him. "I'd rather you two watch the baby if it's a battle. I know he'll be tried for and it'll keep him safe. By the way, Ron plans everything. I'm not as good as he is at it."
Remus smiled. "I can agree to that idea. Sirius?"
He nodded. "We'll guard the little bit, Harry. You're right, he'd be a target but we'll make sure he's fine." Harry smiled and nodded so he gave him another hug. "We'll get Dumbledore straightened out as well. I've had enough of his problems. He could have brought in Pettigrew and didn't."
"We'll do what we can without harming the school's reputation," he said calmly. Both adults gave him a dirty look. "The people need to believe in something. Like they need to believe that the Ministry is effective and working for them, even if there are idiots in charge and they don't agree with them. People lose hope when they don't have that."
"Good point," Sirius agreed, calming himself down. "It's not the school's fault Dumbledore's in charge."
"It's him or McGonagall and can you imagine what problems we'd have?" Harry said dryly. "We'd never get fun again. Her first year she'd crack down harder than Filch."
"Hmm," Remus said, nodding a bit. "She might loosen up in a few years but her first year would turn the school into a jail." Sirius shuddered at that. "We'll do what we can, Siri."
"Fine, Remus." He smiled at Harry. "Going to fly with the little one today?"
"Ron and I planned on doing that but they're napping." He grinned. "It's so nice he's napping! I'm so proud of him for it."
Sirius laughed. "Your father said the same thing when you had colic, Harry. Every parent probably does." He went to check on them and get something to nibble on, watching as Harry pulled out another textbook to read. "That's not my idea of fun reading."
"No but it's important reading. I can read comics once we've won."
Sirius took the textbook. "Go read comics now. Remus can run drills later this week." Harry gave him a hurt look. "He does teach defense. Go read a fun reading book. Be a boy, Harry." Harry grinned and went to find Ron's stash of comics to read. He shook his head, handing Remus the defense book. "I made him do some fun reading."
"I can agree. The boy needs to be a boy, not a savior." He went into the kitchen to see what he was fixing for dinner, smiling when Harry took the comics outside to look through. It was a good thing for him. "Damn you, Albus," he muttered. "You'll pay for that too."
Harry walked along the streets of Hogsmeade, smiling at the people who smiled at him. Or probably the baby on his stomach. Timmy was facing outward today so he could see the sights. "See, that's Madam Rosemerta, she makes very good butterbeer. You'll like her when you're in school," he told him. She stopped to stare at him. "This is Timmy. Timmy, this is Madam Rosemerta. Can you say hi?" The baby smirked and waved. "Good boy."
"He's a darling little one, Harry. Getting in a lot of good family time before you've got to head back up the hill?"
"He's coming back with me. Remus agreed," he said with a grin. She gave him a horrified look. "He'll be fine. We've already arranged for things like babysitting times. Professor McGonagall arranged mine and Ron's schedule so we could have a few different free times for the more dangerous classes."
She shook her head and clucked her tongue. "He's too young."
"But he enjoys the plants in herbology," he offered with a grin. "Madam Sprout calls him a little ivy."
She giggled. "She would. Well, he's smart looking and acting so far."
"He's also learned how to float. Keeps hitting the ceiling when he's got a dirty diaper."
She let out a loud guffaw of laughter, patting him on the shoulder. "Only your son, Harry." She walked off. "Coming in for lunch?"
"We were ordered to come find some fun reading and Diagon is a bit crowded at the moment."
"That's fine. I'll expect to see you both during town weekends then." She went back into the Three Broomsticks to share the gossip. It meant the boy was going to be a very strong wizard some year.
Harry beamed at Timmy. "See? She likes you too." He walked into the bookstore, getting a few odd looks. "Fun reading time." He went to find himself some and then looked at the children's books. Timmy reached for them so he got closer, letting him pick out what he wanted to see. He came out with a huge stack he had to float. "Let's price these before I have to buy the whole section," he told his son. "Then you can get Sirius to read you whatever we can afford today."
The shopkeeper looked at the boy then at Harry. "He likes to be read to?"
"Apparently. I read him my assignments. Ron reads him his. Ginny just talks to him. Sirius tells him stories as long as he can play with his ears." He shrugged a bit. "I think he'll like books and he grabbed those."
The shopkeeper let out a small smile. "It's a future genius who likes books this early, Mr. Potter."
"I'd love him even if he was illiterate," Harry admitted. "Though I hope he doesn't have learning problems. If so, we'll get him help immediately."
"Good." He priced them then looked at him. "How much do you have on you?"
"Um, ten galleons?" he said hesitantly.
"Children's books are 5 sickles each new or 1 used." He pointed at that bin. "Half of them are in the used one." Harry beamed and went to search in there, letting him sort out the titles. "That'll come up to just over nine galleons with tax and yours." Harry beamed and handed over the ten gold coins, getting the change back. "Get him a treat too. He should have one his first time in Hogsmeade."
"We're going to Honeyduke's next," he admitted sheepishly. The shopkeeper smiled and let him have the bag, so he waved Timmy's hand. "Say thank you, Timmy." Timmy giggled and beamed, waving both hands.
"You're welcome, young man." He watched the small family walk out smiling but shaking his head. "He's a fussy father. Hate to see that kid find a library."
Harry walked them into Honeydukes and weathered the cooing over his son. "He needs a treat for his first time in town and Ron wanted a few chocolate frogs," he said. They smiled and decided on a huge sucker for him and a stick of rock candy that wouldn't be coming apart but he could suck on for a good, long time. Harry decided on grape and a mild cinnamon for the rock candy after letting Timmy sniff and see what he liked. That and two chocolate frogs and he was broke. He put that bag into his other one and waved. "Thanks." They walked out, heading home with the portkey Remus had made. They landed in the backyard and Ron got the frogs since he was out there. "He picked out books."
"They do that."
"No, I mean he grabbed books and pulled them off the shelf then almost refused to let go." He walked him inside, smiling at the adults and the WPS witch in there. "Hi. We went to the bookstore." He put down the bag and then the baby, letting him play on the floor for now. "He grabbed the books and didn't want to let go, but thankfully the shopkeeper had most of them in the used bin. Or else I'd be totally broke." He handed Sirius the stick of grape rock candy. "I asked the witches at Honeydukes, she said it wouldn't come off the stick very easily."
"That's a sensible precaution," the WPS witch assured him, looking at the books, handing him what were obviously his. Timmy squealed and wiggled to pounce one, laying on top of it, cooing and patting it. "You're going to love learning, young one."
Remus took the baby, his treat, and his book, settling into his usual reading chair to read to him. The baby gave him adoring looks around his candy. "You're a good boy," he whispered, making Timmy beam and hold up the candy. "No, thank you. You eat it. I'll steal part of Ron's frog later on." He grinned and the baby nearly put it up his nose but with a bit of help it went back into his mouth to be drooled into nothingness.
"He's got a large sucker that he can't hope to choke on or fit in his mouth at once and another of those in a mild cinnamon," Harry told him. Sirius grinned at that. "He likes them. I made sure first." He looked at the witch. "Another check?"
"Another check, and to let you know we've been working with McGonagall on next year's plans." Harry nodded. "So far it looks good, all but for defense, Harry."
"He likes defense."
"Next year you're going to have a lot more demonstration models if the teacher's any good," she warned.
Harry gave her an odd look. "Only if the Ministry leaves off," he said dryly. "Or didn't you hear that their next teacher isn't going to be teaching us more than theory and she's already mad at me and trying to say I lied?"
She moaned. "She is?" He dug out the paper, handing it to her. It was nice how the new defense teacher had put a few editorial letters in the Prophet with her plans. She read it then groaned. "Okay, I'll deal with this. A half-demon is not an appropriate teacher for you kids. I'd rather have Remus back."
"He was a great teacher," Harry assured her. "He had plans in place for any dangerous times."
"I'm aware of that, Harry. We checked that when we heard that Dumbledore had hired him. We have a few other children in our rolls there." She smiled at him. "Don't worry so much. Worry about Tim and your OWLs, young man." She stood up. "Are you going to need help school shopping?"
"Probably not," Harry admitted. "I know he'll need more clothes about then so I was going to combine them."
"Good idea. Take your guardians or Molly Weasley with you, dear. She'll help you with all you'll need." She smiled at the adults. "I'll see you in a few weeks, gentlemen. Good job so far, boys." She left, heading back to her office to start a protest over the Ministry's new plan for the school. That was not something that Wizard Protection Services would tolerate!
Harry looked at Remus. "Have any letters appeared yet?" he asked quietly.
"They're due out this week," Sirius said, looking outside. "Ron, did you get your school letter yet?"
"Yeah, yesterday." He walked in and Timmy babbled and waved his stick of candy. "That's a good treat for you, Timmy," he said happily, smiling at him. "Such a good boy." He flopped down beside Harry. "He didn't get his?" Harry shook his head. "Let me call Mum, see if she got it." He grabbed the floo powder and tossed some in. "Molly Weasley." She appeared. "Mum, do you have Harry's school letter?"
"No, dear. Doesn't he?"
"Nope," he said dryly, giving her a look.
"I'll beat that man," she vowed, disappearing and heading to the school to start screaming at Dumbledore again. Something had to be done about him and his plans!
Harry looked up as Sirius came back from his meeting at the Ministry. "Let me guess, the same idiots who decided I'm lying have kicked me out for having Tim?"
"Are you psychic?"
"The look on your face, Sirius." He gave him a long stare. "Besides, it's typical. Am I reinstated or am I learning things at the kitchen table this year?"
"Probably at the kitchen table. The Wizengomet is in it now. We had to point out repeatedly that you didn't sleep with someone to have the baby, the mother was gone, and that WPS had you monitored in case something happened."
Harry just nodded at that. "You know, some day soon the Dark Lord is going to show up there and then they'll be stuck with him." He went back to his reading of the defense textbook. "Did you get to see the prophecy yet?"
"I have and it sucks, kiddo," he assured him. He sat across from him. "Want to change schools?"
"While I'd be safer, it'd leave Ron on the front lines and they'd have to send for me anyway thanks to that prophecy," he pointed out, putting his book down to stare at him. "Can't we preemptively strike or something?"
"That's not how good guys do it," he explained.
"And?" He shrugged. "Not like they're going to attack openly for a little bit."
"Good point." He considered it. "If we knew where they were."
"Ask Professor Snape."
"I'm sure someone has," he agreed.
Harry leaned closer. "We all know what he does," he said quietly. Sirius grimaced. "By the way, leave the man alone. Please? You're only making him be more of an arse to me."
"Fine." He cleared up his grimace as Ron and the baby came in. "How was he while I was gone?"
"Fussy." He handed him to Harry, watching as he still fussed. "Something's going on. He didn't even fuss that much before your last scar thingy, Harry."
Harry looked at Tim then at Sirius, handing him over. "Grab his bag, Ron." Ron nodded, going to pack it for him. "Have a good trip. I love you, Timmy, you stay safe with Uncle Sirius." Sirius gave him a horrified look. "I'll be here with Ron and Uncle Remus if you insist, but I want him safe. Ron's right, this is the same sort of fussing," he said blandly.
Sirius nodded. "Okay, we'll go hide." He took the bag from Rom. "Remus is staying, Harry. You need an adult here."
"Sure." He smiled at his son, getting up to smooth down his hair. "Daddy loves you and you'll be a good boy for Uncle Sirius tonight, Timmy. Daddy will be fine and loves you." Sirius smiled, punching him on the arm before leaving. Harry rubbed his arm. "Okay, Ron. Call Hermione. Get the practical application stuff here. We need a quick cram session." Ron nodded, going to call her and get them through the floo. She had a portkey to where they were already and knew the location thanks to Remus being nagged by Ron for a few days after the spells went up. Harry went back to his cramming more spells into his head.
Ron came back. "I had a thought." Harry gave him an odd look. "They do happen now and then."
"Usually about girls and food," Harry joked.
"This time it's a bit more important than dinner. They expect to face a fully trained wizard, Harry. They expected someone to teach you to their level already." Harry burst out laughing. "I know." He shrugged. "They do so they haven't made plans for lesser things."
"True," he agreed, smiling at him. "Do what we have to, Ron. I'll handle the lead position."
"You're children, you shouldn't have to," Remus said as he walked in the back door.
Harry looked at him. "Prophecy," he said dryly. Remus blanched. "So we'll handle it. We have been handling it, Remus. Even if we do have a few less than stellar moments, we've handled it each year until now. Though Ron's probably right. He probably thinks that Dumbledore's been teaching me extra lessons in Defense and things."
Remus groaned. "Harry!"
"Uncle Remus, I love you, but you can be in the same spot as Ron is, right behind me." He went back to his reading as Hermione walked in. "Hey."
"Good evening," she said cheerfully, handing over a stuffed backpack. "There we are, Ron."
Ron looked inside then handed it back. "Our other emergency kit, Hermione." She smiled and handed that over instead. "Thanks." He looked at it then nodded. "Where's the other potion?"
"Still brewing. The last one expired and it's about two hours from being done." She took a small cauldron off her charm bracelet and enlarged it, putting it over the fireplace. "There, let's work on this out here. Ron, go do the grounds with Remus?"
"Sure." He nodded and took Remus with him to lay traps around the house.
Harry cleared his mind, calming himself down. He was not going to let more of his family get hurt. He refused. So when one of the alarms he had laid around the perimeter of the protection spells went off, he was ready. He came out with Hermione behind him. They walked into the back yard, the only big enough spot for a fight, and waited. Two forms materialized and dropped their portkey. "How pathetic. You had to portkey like students?" he joked.
"You're to die, Potter. The Dark Lord said so," one sneered, pulling his wand.
"Enflame," Hermione cast coldly, focusing on his wand. It went up and he yelped. "Do they not teach you *anything* in Death Eater school?" she demanded dryly. "Really! Even Neville can protect his wand!"
Remus looked at her. "You're a bit scary, Hermione."
She smiled. "You say some of the sweetest things, Remus, but I'd never consider crushing on you."
"Yeah, she had bad taste and wanted Lockhart," Ron told him.
Remus shuddered. "I'm sure she's grown up since then."
"Probably," Harry said dryly. "Focus, kids. They hate it when you don't pay attention to their petty demands." He cast a hex at them, bringing them down. "Anyone else?" he asked, feeling more magic around them. "Ron, there's a shield."
"Which don't hold up when you expose them via light bending around them," Hermione instructed, shooting a lot of fireworks around. It hit the shield and the person let it drop, showing a few other death eaters there. "See? All you had to do is show where it was. It renders it futile."
"Thanks," Remus said. "Leave my house, people. You're not wanted here."
"Trespassing is wrong," Ron agreed. "Can get you eaten."
"Oh, really?" a cold voice sneered back. "By what?"
Harry looked at Ron, who shrugged. "Time?" He ducked a thrown hex and threw one back, then took something off his neck and tossed it at them, watching as it broke. Smoke floated up and shrieking started. "That." He shot a few more hexes at the ones escaping, running after a few he missed. "Ron! Hermione, stay with Remus!"
"Sure," Ron agreed, taking off after him, leaving Remus staring in horror at the cloud.
She patted him on the arm. "Harry's a bit tired of this after four years," she said patiently. Remus glared at her and pointed. "Don't ask me. He found it in the library." She shrugged. "I hadn't been over that section yet. I was planning on getting to it this coming fall after the harder Charms sections." She cast the canceling spell at the fog, watching as the bodies that had been inside were unfrozen. Those few that were able to walk took off to escape. "Stay, Professor!" She took after them. "Harry, six running!" she called. Ron came back to help her while Harry got the first few on his own.
Harry drug one of the ones he had been able to capture back, tossing him down onto the pile of others in the back yard. "Okay. I'm tired." They all smiled at him. "Do we want aurors or not?"
"Aurors are nice," Ron offered. "Tonks has permission already and she's an Order member."
"Point." Harry looked at Remus, who growled. "It's our fight." Remus stomped off muttering. "I'll get yelled at later," he muttered, getting nods from the others. "Hermione, you want to deal with this at the Ministry?"
"Sure, Harry. I've seen what they've started and we'll handle this one very well I think." She smiled at Tonks when she got there. "Help me build the transport ring."
"Hold up," Tonks ordered.
She looked at her. "They're trying to say Harry lied, Tonks," she said patiently. "The only way to fix this is a bit of shown knowledge."
"It's almost dawn," Ron pointed out. "Courtyard of the Prophet in Diagon?" He started to work on the circle. Hermione got her side and meshed them. He checked his watch then nodded. "Have a good rant, dear," he said with a smile, setting it off. Tonks squeaked and went after it, calling in reinforcements once she got there.
"I'm glad Hermione's not on the wrong side," Harry said dryly. "Her PMS moments are very mean."
"You're telling me," Ron complained. "Last month she tried to make me a bludger, Harry. Literally." They walked inside, finding Remus drinking. "Not like we've had help so far," he pointed out dryly. "I'm for a shower, Harry."
"Save me some hot water, Ron. I should look better than this when people show up to nag and complain." Remus gave him an odd look. "I'm sure someone will. Probably by making Tonks drag them." Ron nodded, heading up the stairs. "Ron plans very well and he pointed out it could happen, Remus."
"You could have told us."
"I did tell you that I was putting alarms around the edges of the protection."
"I remember that discussion. Nothing was said about battle plans, Harry."
Harry grinned at him. "I'm a bit paranoid, Remus. I've got good reason to be." Ron got out of the shower and he went up to take his own, coming down redressed in time to get some tea for breakfast and to greet Tonks when she was drug back by her boss. "Morning. Tea, Tonks?"
"Thanks, Harry. For some reason it's been a long morning."
Harry smiled. "I have the best mates in the world behind me. Have since my first year." He sipped his tea, looking at the head auror. "Did you think I lied too?" He spluttered. "Well, proved I didn't, huh?" he asked dryly, taking another sip. "The reporters get them too?"
"A few got them before we could get them away," Tonks admitted. "There's going to be some unhappy families later when their kin's pictures are in the paper." She took a large drink of the tea Remus had doctored for her, getting a nod of thanks for the rum. "Harry, it could cause a panic," she chastised.
"As opposed to what? Not doing anything, saying he lied, and letting people believe they're safe until they attack something too big to be hidden?" Ron asked. He snorted. "I'm sorry but most people would want to take precautions if they knew. Now they know and now we know that people will turn in the buggerers when they're spotted gathering. That way the war isn't one huge battle but a mop-up effort. Like getting brothels arrested." He finished his tea and looked around. "Remus, can I make some toast? I'm starved."
"Go ahead, Ron. I know you can cook."
Ron grinned. "Thanks. Am I cooking for anyone else?"
"Just some toast please, Ron," Harry said quietly. "My stomach's upset."
"Sure, mate. Remus, any word from the growly one?"
"He called while Harry was in the shower. They're at the Leaky having breakfast," he sighed, looking at the two aurors. "I want to beat them. They kept me in the background."
"We've been doing this now for four years, Remus," Harry said gently, patting him on the arm. "We need you to do the more adult and the higher things. Let us handle the running battles. We do it with Malfoy in the halls often enough. It's been great practice." Tonks snickered then turned to cough at her boss's dirty look. "We do." He shrugged and took his toast. "Thanks, Ron. You're the best mum yet," he teased.
"Only your son gets to call me that, Harry." He shuddered. "I just had the picture of me in Mum's favorite dress. Eurgh." He got back to making himself breakfast. "Everyone else sure?" They all nodded slowly. Their faces all said they thought the boys were insane.
"I've got to say, it's nice to not wake up in the infirmary after a fight," Harry said, nibbling on his toast. He frowned. "Ron, what did you put on this?"
"Cinnamon sugar, Harry. You needed the sugar so you won't fall asleep when more ministry twerps show up in an hour or so." He brought his plate over. He looked at the head auror. "Not that we think you two are, but we're expecting someone like Fudge."
"If that man shows up here we'll help you de-evil the house again, Remus," Harry quipped. Tonks burst out laughing at that. "We will. He's a half demon." He ate another bite of his toast. Ron plopped some of his eggs onto Harry's other piece. "Ron!"
"Eat, Harry. Remember, Tim'll want to play and fly today too."
"Good point." He dug in, eating his other bit of breakfast with his toast. He got up to do the dishes when they were done. "What did you want us to do, scream and cry?" he asked finally. "I nearly died facing him in our second year to save Ginny. Our first year was close. Last year was worse." He shrugged. "I did what I had to do and I have some great backup in my mates, Hermie and Ron." He ran the water into the sink and added wash soap, getting down to scrubbing things. "Ron, you made a mess on the stove."
"Sorry, probably used too much oil again," he admitted. He looked at Remus and grinned. "Want us to go so you can throw a fit with the other adults?"
"Please," he agreed. Harry finished up the dishes quickly and they headed out. "Go find Sirius and Timmy," he called after them.
Harry gave him an odd look. "Where else would we go?" He disappeared with Ron behind him.
Remus turned and kicked a wall. "Does anyone else want to beat them black and blue for that?"
Tonks raised her hand. "Yeah, I can say I do. Especially for Hermione taking them to the Prophet's courtyard."
Her boss nodded. "That is going to be a nightmare to manage."
"Let it go, boss. The boys were right about that much. People need to know so they can take precautions."
He grimaced but nodded. "Fine. Remus, we need to check on his training. A few were fairly juvenile hexes."
"Ron said that they expected them to be fully trained wizards, not children," he said grimly. "They weren't expecting the childish ones."
"We're so getting Ron one way or another," Tonks sighed, giving her boss a begging look. "Please? Someone's got to take my spot."
"Gladly." He looked at Remus. "Coming to the meeting?"
"I should. Sirius went off with Timmy." He gathered up what he'd need and followed them back to the Ministry, getting a few odd looks as he walked into the meeting area. "I *am* Harry's guardian, people. I was also there last night, even if the children did push me out of the way." He sat down next to Snape. He looked at him. "Ron suggested we clean them out like you would a brothel."
Snape gave him an odd look. "Someone go in and give details and then arrest them while they're doing nefarious things?" he said dryly. "I thought we were."
"All but the arresting part," Tonks agreed. "Think it'd work, Severus?"
He shrugged. "Perhaps some of them. Some don't go on raids."
"Point," she agreed. "Then again we can get them planning things if people turn over. Like the muggles do drug lines." She sat down, looking at everyone. "Okay, so now what?"
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Were there any injuries?"
"Harry couldn't eat," Remus told him. "Joked it was nice not to end up in the infirmary this time." Dumbledore sighed. "Sirius took Timmy off, Albus. By the way, we wanted to talk to you about what I'm teaching Harry this year since you're not allowing him to come back."
"This is not the forum for that discussion."
"That's a later point for this meeting," the head auror told him. "We'd like Potter and his crew to be somewhere they could work together and be protected together, plus it would give the school another set of protectors." The door slammed open. "Minister Fudge." He looked at Dumbledore again. "Besides, you can't toss him out for having his son, Albus. It's against the law. The Wizengomet said so." He looked at Fudge. "When did you want to hold the trials for the ten Death Eaters we captured this morning?"
"They were not!" Fudge said firmly.
"They bloody hell were," Tonks assured him. "In masks, had the dark mark, all of it. Beaten by a few teenagers and Remus Lupin when they attacked his house to get Potter." She looked at her boss again. "I'd say tomorrow, boss. Soonest better. I'm sure we can get enough truth serum."
Sirius Black walked in and smiled at them. "Thought I should be here too. What about Voldemort calling the dementors again?" he asked as he sat down in an open seat.
"He's not back!" Fudge shouted.
Sirius looked at him. "Really? Are you sure? Not seen him yet?" Fudge went pink and raised a hand to hit him. "Try it, Cornelius. I know where your loyalties lie. Remember, dementors whisper because they don't think the prisoners listen." He backed up, then turned and fled. "By the way, his mark is on his left arm instead of his right and it's up near the top so he could hide it easier." He looked at Dumbledore. "We should talk later."
"We will be," Remus assured him blandly. "Now what do we do since the boys think we're here to back them up?"
"Harry's a smart boy," Sirius told him. "Ron plans very well. They know the adults will be needed for the higher end battles. Not a single raid on a house." Remus nodded at that. "By the way, Timmy refused to sleep without his Da there. Knew he was getting into trouble. Wouldn't quit fussing until nearly dawn for some reason," he said, staring at Remus, who moaned.
"So, the vengeance demon who brought him back linked him to Harry's well being?" Tonks suggested.
"I think so," Sirius agreed. "I've already agreed that I'm taking the grandchild and protecting him if we're attacked again. It worked well last night." They all nodded. "But I do agree that we need to do some planning now, people. Instead of letting Ron have all the fun?"
Remus nodded. "I agree." He looked at the head auror. "Can we do as they suggested?"
"Get them when they go to raid and then raid the meetings? It'd be best if we could. Less trauma for the normal folk," he agreed. He looked at Snape. "We know, Severus. Can you?"
"If you could find a better way of finding where we are. There are spells in place to block eavesdropping and things."
"I've got a few we can try," he offered. "If it's caught, you can say that we think you're one so we mined you without you knowing." That got a nod. He looked at his flunkie. "Get me the blue and maroon book from my office for him." She nodded, going to do that. He looked at Dumbledore. "All right." He looked at the rest of them. "We captured ten this morning. How many got away, Lupin?"
"Probably four or five. Six at the most," he admitted. "Harry had this fog thing that was making most of those scream. A few got free and ran, a few ran anyway when things started to go bad. The boys chased after the runners. Hermione ended the fog and a few more ran that could. We only got a few of those last ones."
"Then we can look for injuries coming to the hospitals?" the head auror suggested.
"I'm not fully sure what the fog was beyond demonic," Remus said. Dumbledore went pale. "All I know is that Harry had it around his neck and threw the vial at them. It broke, fog came up, it did something to make them scream. The ones that we bound had bite marks."
Tonks walked back in reading the book. "Harry found it in Knockturn a few weeks back," she said dryly. "He found what it was in the black section of the defense area in the library at school."
"Hermione told me she hadn't found it, Harry had. She said she hadn't gotten to that section yet, she planned it this fall after she got done with the charms section."
"That's one scary brain under that bush of hair," Ron said as he walked in, smiling at them. "Harry sent me before someone decided he's the scary sort again. Because we know it's happened before and Fudge just put out a call for his arrest for attacking citizens who came to protest he had a son. The reporter got shot down by Hermione already and the call was withdrawn by the guys in Law Enforcement." He pulled over a chair and sat down, looking at the head of the aurors. "Okay, now what?"
"Now, we see what you three really know."
Ron pulled out something and unshrunk the bag, sliding it down the table. "Our emergency traveling pack for assaults. 'Mione carries it with her. Along with a few things to create banishing potions and the like on the run." Snape let out a strangled sound. "She said she'd tutor us so you didn't have to look at us, Professor. She meant it, even though she is the scarier and more perfectionist teacher among you two." He looked at the head auror pulling out vials and things. "That wrapped book has the thing that Harry used earlier tonight but he says the cover has something on it that can eat into your skin."
The head auror nodded, carefully flipping it open with the gloves that had been in the bag as well. He found it and read over the fog. "It'll taint them. We can trace the taint of any that got away." Ron slid down something else. "What's that?"
"Hermione crafted it to trace the taint in case something like that happened or one ran while being nibbled on. She said to activate it the normal way and it'd turn those bites painful and purple. Probably make 'em get help or let others know."
The head auror looked at him. "Did you want my job some day?"
"I'd like *a* job some day," he said dryly. "I can't do that with that snakey one running around nursing on his snake and shagging her. After all, Harry can't plan a night off, much less a battle."
The head auror nodded. "That makes sense." He repacked it and handed it to Snape when he held out a hand. "The potions were all sealed in traveling bottles, Severus," he said quietly.
"We'll see if she bollixed something else up," he said grimly.
Ron gave him an odd look. "I doubt it. Hermione's better than Malfoy in Potions if you're being honest, Professor."
"I'd take points but we're not in school," he sneered. "Expect to lose some the first day back."
"As always," Ron said dryly. He shrugged. "We'll make 'em up in quidditch."
"Mr. Potter was not invited back," he sneered.
Ron snickered. "Uh-huh, and you're going to protect the school full of little kids?" he asked dryly. "That would require us having a defense teacher who actually had a clue, taught us how to defend ourselves instead of the basics of classification, and the students realizing what they knew when the time came instead of being stone stupid or freezing. We've only had one teacher that taught us anything and he only did basic classification, even with the seventh years." He looked at Remus. "Which was probably a bright idea given some of them."
Remus nodded. "I thought so. Harry's been studying some older books."
"Yeah, he found 'em in an old house he likes to go think at when he runs away for a night." He looked at the head auror again. "Speaking of, can Harry be given that house? It'd give him a safe place to raise Timmy since it's nearly the middle of nowhere."
"Where?" Sirius asked.
Ron looked at him. "Show you later. They're there now. It's under better secret keeping than Remus' was." He looked at Remus, then at Tonks. "Who was the leak anyway? They portkeyed in. Bill said he made it unplottable and that would've kept portkeys from going in unless you knew where you were going."
Tonks gaped. "It wasn't me!"
"I know it wasn't you. It wasn't me, it wasn't Mum or Ginny. It wasn't Remus, Sirius, Harry, or Timmy. So where was the leak?"
"I'll find out and beat them," she promised.
Ron grinned. "Good! Saves me for Malfoy this year." She burst out in giggles. "Does." He looked at the head auror. "Now what?"
"Now, we get Harry done with his shopping for the year. We get him reinstated in school," he said, glaring at Dumbledore. "Since the Wizengomet said so." He looked at Ron. "Then you three relax and let us know what you can do and what you've planned. That way we can help."
"As soon as you fix your leaks, you'll have it," Ron assured him. "Until then, Timmy's too precious to risk."
That got a short nod. "That's a reasonable request. I can see why Harry sent you."
"Harry loves me," Ron said with a grin. "Besides, it's letting him nap for a while with the little flying monster. Plus it keeps him from calling me mum for a bit longer." He stood up. "I'm going to head there. Sirius? Meet me after lunch so I can bring you up?"
"Sure, Ron. You sure you'll be awake?"
"I've got my school alarm in my bag, Sirius. I shrunk my school trunk and brought it with me." He smiled and waved. "Call when you're ready. Timmy's floo listed but no one else of us." He walked out, heading to get a few treats, another book Hermione had on order, and then head back to that house.
Sirius looked at Tonks. "When you find that leak, let me know, niece?"
"Of course, Sirius. You should get a few hits in too." She looked at her boss, who nodded. "Thanks." She looked at the kit then at Sirius. "Bring it back to 'em?"
"I will." That got a nod and she left to start that investigation. Sirius looked at Snape. "Did she make them correctly?"
"She did, though I am appalled at some of what she created. Some of them are restricted to Ministry use only or simply restricted and forbidden."
"Sometimes you've got to use those in a war," Remus said quietly. He took the kit to look over. "Vertiassium. They're planning on capturing and questioning then handing them over." He and Sirius both relaxed. The boys weren't planning on going on a vendetta killing spree or anything. They'd still be okay when the war was over with. "Albus?"
"I'll see what we can work out," he ground out. He had no choice. The court had been clear on that point. "Did they find him doing magic?"
"No," Remus said, frowning some. "How did the Underage department not find him?"
"I'll ask Ron and Hermione," Sirius said dryly. "Or Tallhook, he might know what they did."
"I'll look into that from this end," the head auror promised. "When's the next meeting?"
Severus grimaced. "Probably tonight or tomorrow night."
"That's fine. We'll let you go over the charms so you can have Flitwick cast 'em. Make it look like Dumbledore has." That got a nod and a smaller grimace. "Everyone go do what they need to. When he's called off, we'll gather again." That got a nod and Sirius and Remus left first. "Think the boys have this well in hand?" he asked once Dumbledore was gone as well.
Snape grimaced. "I think they've had to. Albus hasn't been very forthcoming about certain things. The first year he told Potter not to worry about why he had pain in his scar. Then he had us hide the philosopher's stone behind some mazes and puzzles. Which the boy found his way through."
They all moaned at that. They knew they were going to be avoiding having Dumbledore in charge from now on.
Sirius took off his blindfold, looking at the house in front of him. It was enormous, clearly a former mansion. It was also ancient; a few places looked less than stellar and about ready to fall in. He looked around. The grounds were shielded by some trees and there was enough lawn there to keep nosy people from making it past the trees to see the house. He walked up to the front door, smiling at the girl who answered his knock. "Hermione." He handed over the bag. "Snape kept something."
"I'm sure he did," she sighed. "Not like I can't make more." She led him to the library, where Timmy was napping on a very old couch next to his father, who was reading. "Harry."
Harry waved a hand absently. "Give me a few, Sirius." He turned the page and continued on then put it down. "Sorry, needed to finish that section." He grinned. "Hi."
"Hi. Where is this?"
"I found this my first year when I needed to get away from some of the evil looks I was getting. I was wandering around at night in my invisibility cloak and found the doorway here. Since that night I've had it locked against others and been portkeying in. That way I can hide here when I need to get away and have some quiet."
"Where is here, Harry?"
Harry smiled. Then he pointed at the bookshelves. "Should be evident, Sirius."
He walked over to look at the books Harry had pointed at, frowning at the names on the family albums. "Potter?"
"Yup," Ron agreed. He looked back at him. "Ancient Potters but yup."
He pulled down the first book to look at, frowning at the family tree. "It... It stops at James' grandfather."
"It does," Harry agreed happily. "I'm guessing that's why I found the door instead of so many generations of other family's kids."
Sirius looked at him. "Your father never mentioned this place."
"His grandparents died when his parents were in school according to the family information available at the Ministry and the Daily Prophet," Hermione told him. "It's possible his parents abandoned this house due to the structural problems and never told him."
"Damn it," Sirius muttered under his breath. "How bad is the structure?"
"Well, we have a swamp in one room that probably should've been a swimming pool," Ron admitted. "Including some wildlife that came in through some broken windows to nest. There's a few rooms on the second floor on the east end that are caved in. The west side's generally okay. The kitchen's fine and all that back in the center of the house. It's just the east side of the house that's ready to cave in."
"And I was wondering if we could claim it," Harry told him. "I know it needs work but I can learn construction spells too."
Sirius blinked a few times. "We'll see, Harry. This is a big undertaking."
"So's a child," he said dryly. "I'm doing okay with that one. Besides, if I survive the war, I want to be somewhere random reporters and people can't get to. I already want that after last year."
"I can understand why," he admitted. He sat down, looking at the baby. "He's happy?"
"He's tired. We let him float around in here for a few hours while Harry slept," Hermione said dryly. Sirius gave her an odd look. "I'm crap on a broom, Sirius."
"Oh. Couldn't catch him?" She shook her head. "That's understandable. He got away from Molly a few times too." He looked at Ron. "Who else can get here?"
"Only us unless we bring someone. Even with you being here, you still can't find here again. It's got better spells than Hogwarts for that stuff. That's why it's safer to have Harry and Timmy here."
Sirius nodded at that. "I can see why. We'll see what we can do about the house going to Harry and Timmy." He looked at the baby again then at Harry, who grinned. "Comfy?"
"Very. I've been working my way through the defense section in here too."
Hermione nodded. "They had some good taste in books."
"Plus some muggle literature so I'm not bored too," Ron agreed dryly. He grinned at Sirius when he burst out laughing. "So anyway. See, he's safe."
"He's apparently very safe. Though the house is going to need a construction crew in spots. Show me around, Ron." He stood up and let him take the baby to walk off with him.
Harry looked at Hermione. "You were worried," he snorted.
"I still am. We know he's not a leak and we know tracking charms can't follow here, but that doesn't mean that someone hasn't come up with something that's not in the books and wasn't covered by the shields, Harry."
"Point but I doubt Flitwick is in league with Voldemort."
"True, but he's not the only charms master in the world. The same as there's more than one defense teacher."
He nodded. "Then we'll deal with it, Hermione." She nodded at that. "Go play or something. You wanted to see if that pony had come back." She headed outside to find the horse again. He went back to reading. It was a fascinating book. He smiled when Timmy landed in his lap, summoning a bottle and settling in to read to him. Timmy patted a few pictures so he explained them but otherwise he was content to sit and sip in his lap.
Sirius and Ron shared a smile and went to find Hermione and talk to her.
Sirius walked into the bank, looking at his usual account manager. "Got promoted?"
"I did but what can I do for the Black family?"
"Actually, the Potter family." He handed over the book. "Harry found a doorway that lead to a house that had that book on the shelf. Clearly near the middle of nowhere. Clearly falling in on one side."
The goblin hummed while he looked at it then frowned and looked at him. "He found Haven?"
He pulled out a miniature painting from a file, getting a nod. "That's his family's home. It was abandoned by his grandparents for nearly falling in on top of them one night."
"The east wing is nearly caving and there's a swamp in there with animals," he admitted, sitting down across from him. "Harry wanted to know what he had to do to claim it as his. Apparently he's hidden there a few times. Though he did want to know if you knew if there was a leak in the bank?"
"There had been but it was solved last night," he said grimly. "We found a young one being blackmailed and handled it efficiently." That got a nod. "So his location will be safe and if I remember right, the house is harder to find than Hogwarts if you only have a clue what continent it's on."
"It's not in Britain, is it?" The goblin shook his head. "What would he have to do?"
"He and his son are the last heirs of it. It shouldn't be that hard." He went to find the legal counsel for the bank, coming back with some forms. "Here, have him fill these out. Bring it back to us. Also, have him find a good contractor. Even the more sturdy parts are probably about to fall in. His great-grandparents didn't have any work done on the old place. It probably hasn't had much work done on it since an older relative decided to strike out on his own and go somewhere he didn't have brothers or sisters. Apparently he made a deal with the natives or something back in the thirteen hundreds."
"I can do that. Thank you." He got up and walked out, going to find Ron in the sweets shop. Ron took him back there and he timed the apparation. It was clearly not in the closer parts of Europe either. He looked at him. "Which continent are we on?"
Ron shrugged. "Not a clue. Geography's not my strong suit. Ask Hermione."
"I have the paperwork and the name of the house. It could be found," he decided, walking inside. "Harry?" He came out of the kitchen area with a bottle and no son. "Food?"
"Getting there. Making some for later." He led him back into the kitchen, going back to his bottle making. Timmy squealed at Sirius, earning a smile. "Yes, he's back again. Find anything good?"
"The house's name is Haven. Your grandparents abandoned it because it started to cave in on top of them one night." He handed over the papers, letting Harry look at it. "I was warned that it was in dire need of restoration even in their generation."
"We know. I had to shield the kitchen so it'd stay up," Hermione admitted grimly. "It's too handy to have it instead of improvising." She took a bottle and handed it to Sirius, who settled in to hold Timmy. "Are there back taxes?"
"Not a clue," Sirius told him.
Harry looked at the forms. "Well, it does answer some questions. We're in the US."
Ron grimaced. "Really?"
Harry nodded. "We're just outside Miami, which explains the heat." Timmy let out a massive squeal and wiggled. He looked at him. "Seems you like Miami?" He did it again. "All right then. We'll see if we can wander around a bit then." He went back to his reading. Then he settled in to sign things. He finally got done and let Hermione sign where she needed to as a witness and a notary. Sirius gave her an odd look.
"It came in handy at school for paperwork and it's only a form and a few galleons," she quipped. "That way things that have to be sent to the bank don't have to be sent somewhere else first. Professor McGonagall was very much for the idea when I asked her." She finished it up and handed it to Ron, who sighed and went to do that. "Get me some mugwort too please?" she called after him. "Snape kept the invisibility potion."
"Sure, Hermione." He disappeared, heading back to the bank. He smiled at the goblin who met him. "Sirius Black and Harry Potter wanted me to hand these to the goblin who handled Sirius earlier."
"I have that account," one said.
Another coughed. "I have been handling the irregularities," another said dryly. This one took the papers. "Thank you." He looked it over. "I see Miss Granger is with you and not missing after all. Someone should note that to her parents." Ron sighed but nodded. He handed over an address. "They're there, Mr. Weasley."
"I'll send Mum. She can calm her mother down and yell back if there's screaming." He grinned. "Anything else? She asked about back taxes."
"No, that's paid out of a trust in the estate." He looked at him. "Does young Timothy like it?"
"Quite a lot," he said dryly. "We said Miami and he squealed and wiggled like he'd been plugged in to those muggle socket things my father likes so much."
That got a smile and a nod. "Have fun with the renovations."
"Ooooh, yay," he said grimly. "That'll be a later project, maybe while we're at school or something." That got a nod. "Do you know why there was a link to the school?"
"Hmm. Yes. His great-grandparents decided to move there full time but wanted their children to come to Hogwarts. The headmaster at that time agreed to let them create a small portal to the house for ease of travel. It was only to open to the family. Is that how he found it?" Ron smirked and nodded. "That boy needs to sleep more."
"Can't now, Timmy keeps him up." He waved. "Anything I need to take back?"
"I can send an owl with it," the goblin assured him, getting a nod. "Do tell your mother where you are as well."
Ron snorted. "Yeah, right. I'm going to Remus' house and flooing. That way I don't get yelled at by either mum." He walked off, leaving a snickering goblin behind him. He did portkey to Remus' house, waving at him. "Calling Mum." He got down in front of the fireplace, smiling when his mother's head answered his call. "I'm with Harry and Hermione. We're safe. Sirius has been in and out a few times but it's under such heavy shielding I can't tell you where it is. By the way, Hermione's mum has decided we kidnaped her. Can you calm her down?" He grinned. "Timmy's fine and Harry's studying hard. Sirius might be staying over tonight, not real sure yet. Harry's filed to own the house too." He waved and cut it off before she could pull in a breath to start yelling. He grinned at Remus. "Hi. Has WPS been back?"
"Once to make sure Timmy had been safe during the raid. Where is it?"
"Sirius said it was somewhere called Haven?" He shrugged. "Ancient Potters lived there." Remus moaned. "Before his Dad's time." He waved. "Gotta go back. I'll send Sirius to give you new news. We're safe. Tell her that and that we'll bring her over soon. Oh, Timmy's hooked up to the floo for calling. So call him and we'll come get her." He disappeared from right there, heading back to the house. He landed and walked inside. "I told my mum to tell yours that you're safe, Hermione. She thought you had been kidnaped." She moaned and slumped, shaking her head. "So she'll talk to her. I cut her off before I could get screamed at. I told her we were safe, Sirius had been here, and he could tell Remus everything." He clapped Sirius on the back. "Though if you want to stay and avoid the screaming tonight there's a few spare rooms."
"I probably should," he admitted, shaking his head. "School shopping?"
"All done except for robes for them," Hermione said cheerfully. "We don't start school for another six days."
Harry nodded. "If we had to, we can go back through the doorway." He looked at Sirius. "Am I going back?"
"You should be. I don't know if you are or not yet. I'll find that out when I go home." He took Timmy to hold since he was still wiggling. "Calm down before you fall and bounce, Tim. You can go wander around soon." He looked at Ron and grinned. "She's going to send a howler to you."
"I've had others," he sighed, shaking his head. "Should've heard it the year we had to take the flying car." Harry moaned but nodded. He looked around. "We need to get food anyway, Harry."
"I've only got galleons, Ron."
"There's got to be a wizarding section with as large of a city as Miami is," Hermione said. She went to find the floo fireplace they had set up in Timmy's name and call the bank. "Gringotts, London Branch." A head floated up, a human one. "Floo information?" she guessed.
"You're trying to make a long distance call on a local-only and incoming only floo port," she said patiently.
"That's fine then, you might know what I need anyway. I'm in Miami and we're British wizarding students. Where's the local wizarding area and Gringotts please?" She found some paper and a muggle pencil to take notes while the information witch looked it up.
"I see a small shopping area in Miami. It's listed as wands-only." She nodded, making notes of that. "As for Gringotts, I don't see one. I do see a bank listed there."
"That should do. They would probably be able to do a money exchange?"
"Probably," she agreed.
"How do I get there?" The head handed over a piece of paper that turned out to be a map. "Thank you. You're much nicer than British Floo Services." That got a smile and the head disappeared. "We're in luck, there is one, and no Gringotts, but a wizarding bank anyway," she called. "We have a map and it's about a mile away."
"Can we get a bus or something?" Ron asked, coming out to look. "Wands only? Bill said something about Cairo having those sections. Something about nature witches who were coming back in style again." That got a nod from her. "Harry?" He came out with Timmy in his carrier and Sirius behind him. "It's a good walk."
"I'm sure we can handle it," Harry said. They headed out, taking the directions on the map. It was sweltering hot outside but it was a pretty day. Even if Hermione did subtly turn her overshirt into a hat for Timmy to wear, making him grin at her. "Thank you."
"Welcome, Harry." They continued on, finding the edge of the area first. Harry found an opening and walked up to the man playing the guitar in front of it. The man stared at him then gaped in awe. "I'm on vacation," he said quietly. "Bank is which way please?" He pointed behind him. "Tap pattern?"
"Three, two, three, blue brick, Mr. Potter."
"Thank you." He walked that way, the others following him with a nod. They walked into a busy open-stall market area. Harry headed for the bank since he had money on him. "Give me a few, guys." They shrugged and followed, looking around. He found the bank and smiled as he walked in. "Money transfers?" he asked the reception desk.
"Are you transferring over here?"
"I'm on vacation and we're British wizards."
"Ah, so exchange instead of transfer. Desk six on the right please, sir." He nodded his thanks and headed that way.
Harry handed over the change in his pockets. "Can I please change that to local money?"
"Muggle or wizarding?"
"A bit of muggle, enough to get us home, but whatever is accepted in the market," Ron told him. That got a nod. "Are you guys affiliated with Gringotts?"
The goblin looked at him. "They're a separate company and a competitor."
"Interesting. My brother's a curse breaker and he never said there was another bank. That Gringotts was everywhere."
"We're making inroads into the foreign markets presently," he admitted. "You have a vault?" He pointed at Harry, who held up his key. He checked it then gaped at him. "You're at Haven."
"I am. I just filed the paperwork to get it back," Harry admitted, glancing around then back at him. "I'm in on vacation before I die."
The goblin nodded quickly. "There's a few pieces of paper we'd need you to sign locally as well. We hold the trust account that pays the taxes and things, Mr. Potter."
"Quietly, please?" he begged.
"Of course. We rely on our discretion." He looked at a page. "Get me Gorth." He nodded and jogged off. He finished the exchange. "There you go. These paper ones are muggle. That's fifty dollars. It should be more than enough to get you back to the house after you're done shopping. The other is local wizarding money. It's roughly a two-to-one exchange today." That got a nod. "Where you looking for something in particular?"
"Dinner," Ron said dryly, earning a small smirk and a look from the goblin. "The baby's hungry."
"I can see why that would happen." Timmy blinked at him. "We have heard rumors of you, young man." Timmy gave him a shiteating grin and reached for his ear. "I know, they're fascinating." He let him feel it for a minute then gently pried him off. He looked over at the senior goblin coming his way. "This is the heir to Haven," he said quietly.
"Interesting. Come with me please, Mr. Potter, and your friends if you want." He nodded and followed him. "I suppose you don't want anyone to know?"
"No. I'd like it to stay my refuge," he admitted quietly. "It's where I go when I need quiet and peace."
"Understood." He let him into his office, getting more chairs from a young goblin, then sat himself down. "Who is with you? I'm assuming they're set so they can come in?"
"I have no idea how I let Hermione and Ron in, but this is my godfather, Sirius Black. The other two are Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger."
"Charmed," the goblin said with a nod. He found the file he needed and handed it over. "This is an accounting of the trust vault we have for Haven." Harry gaped at it. "You're from which one?"
"He's James' son," Sirius told him. "That's *the* Harry Potter."
"Very interesting. James wasn't the only child."
"His sister died when he was nineteen," Sirius said quietly.
"Ah. We had not heard. She would've been eleven?"
"Six days before. She fell riding a broom."
The goblin nodded. "Then no heirs." Harry pulled out something and handed it over, making him smile. "An accounting of your heir?" Harry nodded. He read it over then gaped at him. "They're gone?"
"Fully," Ron agreed. "And we're in the beginnings of a new war."
The goblin gaped. "They brought him back!"
"During the third challenge of the Triwizard tournament," Harry said grimly. "Which is why I need the peace, quiet, and security. Especially since the Ministry wants to cover it up."
"Agreed," he said firmly. He pulled out another file. "This is how you set it so someone can get in, Mr. Potter." He smiled at Timmy. "You will like growing up there." The baby squealed and wiggled. "You like Miami?" He got a beaming smile from the boy. He laid a hand on his head then smirked at him then at Harry. "You do know about reincarnation?"
"Vaguely," he admitted. "I'm not religious, truthfully."
"He's an old soul, Mr. Potter. He has no destiny that I could find, but he is an old soul. His original life came from nearby."
"Will that cause problems?" Sirius asked.
"Probably not more than nosy former family." The baby wailed. "You, quit." He quit, staring in shock at the goblin. "Thank you." He looked at Harry. "Should we tell them?"
Harry shrugged, looking at Sirius, who shrugged. "Will it help them?" Harry asked.
"It could, though it would mean you'd have many more nosy people around you."
"As opposed to nosy reporters and nosy fellow students and nosy ministry people?" Hermione suggested.
The goblin smiled. "To them, he was like family. They are all very protective people."
"Hmm." Harry scrunched his face up while he thought. "I'd rather do that myself. See if they realize it first. Maybe a meeting in a park so there's less yelling?"
"Agreed." He watched him read and then sign the fairly clearly stated documents. "Have you considered who you want to do the renovations?"
Harry shook his head. "I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going to be let back in school in six days," he said dryly. "Dumbledore doesn't like my son."
"I've heard of your headmaster," he admitted. "I like trolls more." Sirius gaped. "He had an account with us long ago and tried to push his weight around to get access to others' funds."
"He did that with mine and Harry's at Gringotts, told a goblin he was using it to mop up the last of the death eaters during the last war," Sirius told him.
"I should probably contact them to see what was done." Sirius wrote down a name. "Your manager?"
"The one I went to about the thefts," he admitted. "He started the investigation."
"I'll check with him tonight." He looked at Harry. "Do you care if it's muggle and wizard or just wizard construction companies?" Harry shook his head. "Then I do have a few good recommendations." He pulled out two business cards. Harry looked at one and pushed it back. "Don't like the family?"
"Not particularly. Does Draco know he has relatives?"
"Probably not. They were disinherited years ago. Though they do live up to the family name in other ways."
"We're in the same year as Draco," Hermione said dryly. "I'm muggle born."
"Ah! I can understand the conflicts then."
"Malfoy junior's in charge of the family estate since his parents were killed by Voldemort for plotting about Timmy," Ron offered.
"I'll have to let them know." He smirked. "You don't like him either?"
"Can't stand the prat," Ron agreed. "More power to whoever kicks his arse."
The goblin smiled and nodded. "I can understand after having dealt with the ones here. The other company is good and they do hire legal immigrants." Harry shrugged. "That's a big consideration locally."
"Okay. I'll take your word for it," Harry said with a grin, getting a nod back. "Anything else? Ron's going to be starving soon and I'd rather he not try to bite me again. It started rumors the last time."
The goblin laughed. "I do like you, Mr. Potter. No, there's no more forms. Do let us know if you're not going back to school right away. That way we can make arrangements for things like a cook and the renovations to start sooner." Harry nodded and shook his hand, letting the others do that then follow him out. He smiled and went to tell his superior that the house had been taken over finally and that Gringotts was having a scandal. It would only help their bank gain more of the market share. Though they did check on that theft and the other issues with that other goblin, who told them what he knew when he told him that Dumbledore had tried it with them as well.
Harry smiled at the older man who he met at the door. "Hello. Mr. Delko I assume?"
"Indeed," he said, shaking his hand. "This was a beautiful house, Harry."
"It was. I love everything about it so far."
"All but the falling in?" he suggested with a smile. Harry grinned and nodded. "So you don't want to change anything?"
"I'd like the swamp to not be in the swimming area," he offered. "Let me give you a tour." He walked him around, letting him see everything. "I'd like electric lights. I grew up muggle."
"I can do that," he agreed. He pressed on a few walls and they kept going. He carefully looked at the rooms that were falling in, nodding a bit before backing out to look at the more healthy part of the structure. They ended in the kitchen. "I can fix this so it's as beautiful as it once was," he promised, smiling at the baby crawling around in there. "Hello, tiny one."
"That's Timmy. He's mine," Harry said with a grin. "He just figured out how to be mobile this morning."
"That's a precious age," the older man assured him. "I've got three daughters and a son."
"I've got him but he thinks my friend Ron's his mum."
He burst out laughing. "I'm going to enjoy working for you, Harry. Now, how much did you want to spend?"
"How much am I going to have to? I'd like as little as possible but there is a good trust to take care of this issue."
The older man smiled and sat with him to work out an estimate while Harry held Tim and let him play with his fingers for a bit. Harry looked then gaped. "Too much?"
Harry squeaked. "That's about half the remaining trust." He looked at him. "Any way cheaper?"
"Two ways," he admitted. He amended it. "If we go with doing it this way it'll be cheaper. It'll mean we won't be fixing anything but the dangerous walls and the dangerous parts of the roof. The rest looked all right for now. Hurricanes could change that however."
"I've heard of them."
"You'll probably experience one soon, son." He patted Timmy on the head. "That'll be baseline fixing. Nothing too spectacular, nothing too outrageous. It will fix the structure, it will fix that swamp and the area it's eaten in the foundation. It'll also preserve the spells on it." Harry nodded at that. "But it'd mean we'd be running wires behind baseboards instead of inside the walls. That'll make it easier to upgrade later on but could leave it more open to damage during a bad hurricane if the house is damaged again."
Harry considered it. "Is it going to stand up to living in?"
"As long as a hurricane doesn't tear it down. The spells on the house have prevented it so far."
"Will that cover upkeep on the spells?"
"They're set and sunk into the local power areas. They won't be budging. We'll have to nudge some aside to do some of the fixing, but they'll be snapping back once it's fixed."
"Then can we do the second please?"
"Sure, I can do that. Now, I do work a mixed crew." Harry shrugged. "Including immigrants." Harry shrugged again. "That's fine then. Are you moving here full time?"
"Maybe once school's done. I'm supposed to be going back soon but it's being argued over."
"Your headmaster doesn't like your son?" he guessed.
"No, he doesn't. Plus my people are at war again. It's just restarted and I'm a figurehead." He slumped and nodded. "This is my peace and sanity," he said quietly.
"We'll make sure it stays that way, boy. Don't you worry about my people talking. We don't do it when we fix starlette's houses, we won't be doing it here." Harry beamed and nodded. "Good boy. Want me to update in here too? New appliances and things?"
"Sure, but can we keep the fireplace and oven?"
"If you want. They're trendy again," he said with a small grin. "Now, take him out to play in the sunshine. We can start tomorrow once you tell the bank."
Harry went to the fireplace. "First Miami, trust division." Their goblin's head popped up. "He said he can start tomorrow as long as you agree."
The goblin smiled at him. "Mr. Delko. I knew you could be trusted to handle this delicate domicile." He took the estimate through the floo to look at it. "The second?" he guessed. Harry nodded. "That's more than reasonable." He handed it back. "We'll set up the draw from his trust today, Mr. Delko. Come sign papers tomorrow morning." That got a smile and a nod. "Harry, you need to call your head of house. She's put out a call to find you. Also, you're not starting right away."
"Great, and this is OWLs year. I'll be behind anyway," Harry complained, getting a nod from the goblin. "Thank you. I'll call in a few." That got a nod and his head disappeared. "Do I have to do anything special?"
"We'll start work on the east wing first, Harry. We'll only annoy you with the noise." Harry beamed at that. "When it's time to get to the more populated areas, we'll let you know and help you move anything that needs it to somewhere safer." They shook hands and he walked out, heading to his truck so he could go to the bank. He walked into the bank and the goblin met him at his office door. "The boy seems nice, a bit sour now and then."
"He was raised with some fairly intolerant relatives," he admitted grimly. "I've gotten his history for our records and it's not pretty."
"I figured that much. I've seen it before. His son's cute."
"Very. Very strong as well." He handed over the forms. "There, that should cover it. Let me know if you run over."
"I can do that. What about all those antiques he's got in there? He has insurance on the stuff that got crushed when the roof fell in?"
"He does and we've had someone out to look at it before. We were waiting on an heir to show up."
"Well, you've got two and the baby's adorable. Just learned how to crawl." He stood up and shook his hand. "I can start work tomorrow. I'll make sure none of my people talk."
"Thank you. Things are a bit touchy over there with the war restarting. Their ministry isn't admitting it yet."
"Of course not. It loses them power over the people." He walked out, heading home. He smiled at his family, including his wayward son, as he sat down. "There's an heir for Haven." His son choked. "Calm down, son. He's a nice young man. I met with Harry and his infant son earlier. He's adorable, just started to crawl today. Haven's in bad shape but it'll take a few months to get it back into good shape. He's got some sense too. Didn't want to bankrupt his trust to fix everything right away, just make it liveable and then he'd do other stuff later."
His son Eric stared at him. "Harry Potter is in Miami and we weren't warned?"
"Haven's his sanctuary, son. He didn't want me to know he was there."
His son whimpered. "The war restarted?" His father nodded. "He's got a son?"
"Just crawling. His name's Tim." He grinned. "He's a little smartass too. Gave me this smug little grin that made me nearly laugh."
Eric stared at him. "No way." His father nodded, looking a bit smug. "He's been reborn already?" His father nodded again. "Can we meet him?"
"Up to Harry I'd guess. I'd want to make sure he knew who to go to if he needed protection."
Eric nodded. "I'll get with H in the morning," he promised. "Is he staying?"
"Depends on his school. They're doing something over there. He had to call over to check on things." His wife handed him a full plate. "Thank you. A new full crew job. It's a beautiful house. One wing collapsed in on itself but it's a beautiful house and grounds."
Eric smiled. "Then hopefully he'll appreciate it."
"He said it's his peace and sanity, Eric."
"Then I'm sure he will," his mother said happily. "Eat boys. Girls, no gossiping at all. It'll only bring danger to Miami if he's found to be here." They nodded, digging in to eat.
Harry walked out to meet Mr. Delko's truck the next morning. "I'm going to be here for the next month. Someone sent a threat to the school if I returned. They said it'll take a month before they figure out which Ravenclaw's offspring sent it."
"That's fine, Harry. You know I don't care." He smiled at the baby at the doorway. "Letting him wander?"
"We were sleeping in the library again," he admitted dryly. He went to pick up Tim, bringing him back. "There, happier?" The baby cooed at Mr. Delko, getting a smile back.
Harry stared at him. "You knew him."
"The goblin at the bank told me. I knew his mother made him come into being without my help. Started to do blood magic on him to make him stronger."
Mr. Delko groaned. "Doesn't really surprise me. Evil is lazy, Harry."
"I know." He grimaced. "But you did know him?"
"I did. He was my son's friend." He patted the baby on the head. "Eric wanted to see you, Tim. You mind?" The baby cackled. "Sure, you can even make him change your diaper, son." He smiled at Harry. "My boy's an officer with the local department and someone who handles things when necessary." Harry relaxed. "That good with you?"
"I'd rather meet them somewhere neutral."
"I understand why, Harry. Let me arrange it. My boys'll be here in a few." He called his son. "Eric, Poppi. Harry said he'd be more than happy to let you see Timmy somewhere neutral. Because he's still being hunted, son, and you being what you are means that people want to hurt you to keep you from finding out they did stupid things," he said bluntly. "That's why I didn't want you to become a cop. Sure, that's a good park." He hung up. "I'll bring you over later, Harry." Harry beamed and nodded. "Can you drive?"
"I'm not old enough to apparate yet."
"We get learner's permits at your age, kiddo. It'll be fine." He patted him on the back, smiling as a few trucks of men came in. "This is my senior crew. They'll be here every day." They piled out of the trucks. "Boys, this is Harry and his son Tim. This is their place."
"You're a bit young," one said bluntly, staring at him.
"His mother made him without my consent," he said grimly. "I wasn't even in the same county."
That got a nod. "That sucks for you but he seems happy. You'll keep him out of our way?"
"Of course! He's much too young to learn construction!" Harry said firmly, making them all smile. "Though you might run into him in the kitchen if you wanted to put stuff in the old fridge Hermione put in there."
"Sure," Mr. Delko agreed. "Let's go look at the east wing, boys. It'll be some cleaning up soon." They nodded, following him that way while Harry and Tim went back to the library. He smiled at his boys. "He's a good kid, but kinda young." They all nodded. "Might as well be an orphan. Being raised by relatives." That got another nod.
One coughed. "Some of us know who the house used to belong to, Poppi. That why we're under orders to watch for flapping lips?"
Mr. Delko nodded. "They're to be fired if they do. This is his sanctuary."
"Good enough," the one who had questioned Harry said. "How ancient is this house?"
"About as old as the state," another said. "And the roof shows it. How long has it been caved in?"
"Years," Mr. Delko said. "The boy's grandparents were living here when it caved." That got a mass groan. "He just found it recently." They nodded and got to work mapping out what each room would need, in what order, and how many men to call for the first week's work.
Harry smiled as Timmy crawled off from his seat in the park. "Not too far, Tim," he said quietly. Tim grinned at him and crawled on, finding someone he knew. He waited until he was past him then crawled after him, pouncing his ankle to gnaw on. The guy squeaked, earning a chuckle from the baby. "I think that was a 'you taste good'. Tim, you're not a cannibal," he protested. "Leave the nice man alone."
Tim spit at him then grinned at the man. "Er!"
"Speed," he said, picking him up to hug him. "You're damn small, buddy." He walked over. "Hi, Eric Delko. My dad's fixing your house."
"Harry Potter, his new father. Are you weirded out by this?"
"Definitely but we knew he had been reborn somehow." He sat beside him, holding the baby, letting him cuddle. "You should know he likes books," he said.
"He grabbed a good few the time I took him to the bookstore," Harry agreed happily. "We came home with nearly eighty for him."
Eric laughed. "Oh, yeah. That and motorcycles."
"Which is probably why he likes to fly. By the way, he floats when he's dirty."
"That's fine, Harry. I've got nieces and nephews." He looked at the happy baby. "You know, I could be mean and tell Calleigh." The baby spit at him. "You sure? She's having a bad week." Tim poked him on the nose, then spit again. "Okay, if you say so." He pulled out his cellphone to push a few buttons. "Hey, H. Found him." He hung up and went back to cuddling him. "H was wanting to see him too if you don't mind, Harry."
"I don't mind as long as he's not in danger. He's got enough of that from me."
Eric gave him a look then sighed. "When do you go back to school?"
Harry shrugged. "Someone sent a threat to blow up the school if I went back. They're saying at least a month." His son let out a loud squeal and hooted, making begging noises and holding his arms up as an older redheaded man walked out of the trees shading the walking path.
"You...you are quite loud today, Speed," Horatio said with a grin, taking the baby from Eric.
Speed grinned at him. "Mum!"
Harry snickered. "Sorry, but my best friend is a redhead too and he calls him that because he helps me."
The other man smiled at him. "No, he's picking on me. He used to tell me I'd mother the world if it let me." He smiled at the baby. "We do miss you, Speed." He sat down on Harry's other side. "Mr. Potter."
"Horatio Caine." He shook his hand. "Speed's former boss and friend." He smiled at him. "You've taken good care of him so far."
"He's got his book fetish again too," Eric told him.
Speed spit at him then grinned at Horatio. "Ooooh!" He floated.
Harry jumped up and caught him. "Not around muggles, son," he said patiently, sitting down to check his diaper. "Sorry, he does that when he dirties one." He grinned at Eric. "Your father said you'd like to change them?"
"I'm good at it," he said dryly, taking the baby to change. "It's a good thing you'll grow, Speed. You'll never get girls if you stay that size."
"Eric!" Horatio chided.
Harry shook his head. "Ron said the same thing," he sighed, looking at Horatio, who was laughing. "I do the best I can with him."
"I'm sure you do." He smiled. "We might consider babysitting now and then since it's clear he has his old memories."
Harry nodded. "When I'm in town." Horatio stared at him. "I'm being kept from starting school on time due to a small threat."
Horatio moaned. "You're that Potter, right?" Harry nodded once. "Then you're at Haven?"
"My dad's renovating it for him," Eric agreed, pulling Speed's pants back up so he could toss out the nasty stuff and sit down with him again. "There, clean butted again."
Harry took him back to cuddle. "Are you tired? I know you cooed at the books all day." Speed spit at him and cackled, reaching for Horatio's sunglasses. "No, that's not nice. Do not take glasses."
Horatio took them off to look at the baby. "Better?" The baby beamed and held up his hands so he took him back. "There you go, Speed." The baby snuggled in against his shoulder and was asleep within minutes. He looked at Harry. "How often are you going to be down here?"
"Probably at least most of my holidays. I have godparents that'll probably want me around more often. Plus he'll be around when I'm in the middle of a fight." Horatio quirked an eyebrow up. "I'm still *that* Harry Potter," he admitted grimly. "We defeated a raid on the house I was at before I came down a week ago. Voldemort came back almost four months ago now. He's not been not particularly happy with some of his followers."
"I see," Horatio said, considering it. "Why do *you* have to go back?"
"A prophecy," Harry sighed, slumping some. "Only I can kill him and until I do, I don't have a life."
"Well, duh," Eric said. "You're driving yourself toward that battle. Of course you don't have time to date or do normal things."
"I'm not sure I like girls anyway. They fuss and they flutter, and they seem to know everything. They're always there and half the time they want confusing things. Plus kissing wasn't really that great when I tried it. Not that Hermione isn't great, but I don't think I could be more than friends with her."
"Not all girls are like that, Harry," Horatio said.
"Some play dumb. Some only want sex. Some think you're a slave to them," Eric agreed dryly. "Then again, it could be your age, Harry. You're barely into puberty it looks like."
"I'm told I'm not growing any further," he said grimly. They both stared at him. "My relatives weren't exactly...sharing with things like food. My godparents are good to me now though. It's much nicer. Remus gave us a room in his house without any pushing and he got pushy with others when they complained."
"It sounds like your godparents and you two need to move to Miami," Eric told him.
"Once I'm finally finished with the war I will," Harry said, looking at him. "Until then, my people need me. Even if I am still in school and going to be behind on my OWLs this year. Hermione will help but I'm only really good at quidditch in school."
Horatio nodded once. "There's ways around that, Harry. You can study in your private time."
"I do. I do a lot of reading in defense."
Horatio nodded. "Probably necessary but there's other things that you can study." Harry gave him a confused look. "Is your evil power using muggle weapons?" Harry shook his head. "Why not?"
"He's a pureblood snob."
"That's one way of defeating him then."
Harry grimaced. "The Ministry would lock me up if I shot him. Not that I haven't thought good thoughts about blowing him up but they'd lock me up if I did it."
Horatio nodded slowly at that. "Your Ministry is very behind the times."
"Yeah, some of our people wear Victorian clothing, but you can't really change that."
Eric shook his head. "I can't imagine not seeing mini-skirts, bikinis, and high heels."
Horatio hit him on the arm behind Harry. "Shut up, Eric." Eric grinned at him. "How about we come over to Haven tonight, that way we can find you? We'll see what you have, what you have planned, and see if we can help."
"Ron plans," Harry told him. "I do, Hermione researches."
"What happens if Ron gets hurt?" Eric asked.
Harry grimaced. "I can almost plan and there's aurors and others behind me."
"Harry, you're fifteen," Horatio told him. "You should be behind them, not the other way around."
Harry stood up. "I'd love to be, but unfortunately that prophecy says I have to kill him so I can live. I can't get around that."
"That doesn't mean you can't have competent help that doesn't want you to be God," Eric said gently. Harry nodded, sitting on the ground. "Not criticizing your people, Harry. I'm not. We're not." Harry looked at him again. "But we protect others for a living. We'd never let a kid your age help us. Give us information. Tell us what's going on. Some geniuses even work in the lab at your age. But we'd never let you lead an assault. We'd never put you somewhere dangerous. You're too young."
"If I can stop it this year, less people will die than if I wait until I'm legal in two years," Harry told him. "I turn legal the summer before my seventh year."
Horatio handed Timmy back to his father, watching him cuddle him to calm himself down. "Then we'll help, Harry. We can do things your people can't." Harry gave him that confused look again. "I know the British standard is set high."
Harry snorted. "In four years of defense, I've learned a year's worth of stuff. We had Lockhart teaching my second year," he said at the shocked looks. Eric whimpered. "My godfather was the best teacher we've had yet and he was run off because he's a werewolf."
"That's not an issue over here," Horatio told him. Harry gaped. "We don't have registry lists, Harry." Harry gaped more. "Really." Harry suddenly hugged him, letting him have Timmy back. "Thank you for not dropping him."
"He floats," Harry told him. "Often." Horatio smiled at that. "He does. He loves to fly on my broom too."
"Who were your other defense teachers?" Eric asked, stealing the baby for his own cuddles. Tim grumbled but let him do it. "It's my turn. H was hogging you."
"Let's see. First year we had Quirrel. He had part of Voldemort attached to his body as a ghoul. He was feeding off unicorn blood in the Forbidden Forest around the school."
"You have a dark forest around your school?" Eric demanded. Harry nodded. "Why?"
"They defend the school." At the horrified looks he shrugged. "We're not allowed in there unless we're in detention with the caretaker. Then we had Lockhart, who asked us questions out of his book and was scared of pixies. He took the bones out of my arm the quidditch match he refereed. He claimed he was trying to heal it and did that. Then again, he was using memory charms to claim other people's deeds. He's still in St. Mungoes from where he tried Ron and I and it backfired on him. Ron handled him while I went to deal with the basilisk. Then we had Remus, who was great. I learned a lot, and still do, off him. He's one of my godfathers with Sirius Black. He's how I met Sirius and he's free now," he said at the odd looks Horatio was giving him. "Then there was Mad Eye Moody, or supposedly Mad Eye Moody. He was a death eater in disguise. He wasn't *too* bad. I learned a lot. Especially about unforgivables." He shrugged a bit. "He was always telling us to be vigilant and then he turned out to be the pathway to the problem so I got kidnaped, another student got killed, and I had to duel Voldemort." He turned pale and went to puke in some bushes. "Sorry," he called back.
"No, that is a reaction I wanted to see," Horatio assured him, getting up to follow him. He patted his back and helped him back to the bench. "That is a normal reaction, Harry. I had it when I had to shoot someone in the field to save others. I have most of them since then," he said gently. Harry gave him such a trusting look. "It'll be okay. Those are normal reactions. Though I do believe someone needs to go shoot some people at your school."
"Who's your defense teacher this year?" Eric asked.
"She was appointed by the Ministry. Even though she's a half-demon who was pressuring others to say I lied. Even after Hermione moved all the captured death eaters who came for us the other day into the open and let the Prophet have them while the aurors ran to clean up." He looked at Horatio. "It's normal to be sick?"
"The taking of a life should never come easy, Harry. Or else you've crossed over," Horatio offered gently. Harry nodded, slumping down again. "It's all right. You...you have been pushed to do things no child your age should ever have to do." He made Harry look at him again. "I would like to shoot some of them."
"Can you start with the Headmaster? He's not telling me stuff again. The first year, he told me not to worry about why Quirrel was giving me splitting headaches from my scar. It took almost all year to figure out what was going on and stop him."
Horatio gave the boy a hug. "Shh. It'll be fine, Harry. We'll help you."
Tim woke up and yawned. "H!" he squealed, waving.
"Hi, Speed." He reached over to pat him on the head, then looked down at the young man against his shoulder. "We'd help you even if it wasn't for him," he said quietly, getting a smile back. "Now, let's take you both home. I'm sure he's hungry. Alexx always had to nag him to eat."
"He likes fruit," Harry offered. "He's always eating fruit mash." He stood up and took Tim back. "Come on, let's go home."
"Carseat or carrier?" Eric asked. Harry picked up the stomach carrier and wiggled into it then put Tim inside. "That's not really safe, Harry."
"You can't put a carseat on a broom," he teased.
Eric moaned, shaking his head. "Have you ridden in a car? I know a few of my fellow classmates thought they were fairytales."
"I was raised muggle until I got my letter." He grinned. "Now I don't have to go there ever again."
"Good," Horatio told him.
"WPS came and dealt with them when I got Timmy."
"WPS?" Eric said. "Is that like Child Protective Services?"
"Yup. Wizard Protective Services. I've got a caseworker thanks to my age and Timmy but she's pretty nice. She helps me and she answers questions. She went to chew Dumbledore a new one for trying to kick me out of school." He grimaced then cleared it up. "Where can I get good rock candy on a stick? Tim seems to like it while he's read to."
Eric grinned. "I can show you how to make it, Harry." Harry beamed and nodded, letting them walk him back to the hummer. Harry frowned at it. "That's a hummer. We use them on the job. Horatio's always in his."
"That looks like a military thing I saw when I snuck some tele one night," he said.
"It originally was," Horatio admitted, letting him into the back. "Buckle up around him." Harry nodded, doing that. Eric got into the front passenger's seat. Horatio climbed in to drive. "We're going back to Haven, right?"
"Yup," Harry agreed. "Which is nearly across the city."
"That's fine, Harry. It's a good area to live in. It's nearly outside of Miami and well away from the crime-laden areas." He started the engine and Tim cooed, reaching forward to pat Eric's seat. "Yes, Speed, this is my hummer. Behave." He pulled out of the parking spot and drove off. "Can you drive yet, Harry?"
"I'm only fifteen. I can fly on my broom but I'm not old enough to apparate yet. Not that I can't but if they catch me I'm toast."
Eric looked back at him. "Dad said we should teach you to drive too. It's a good skill to have." Harry shrugged and grinned. "We'll work on it." He turned back around, grinning at Horatio. "Can we let Calleigh teach him gun safety?"
"That might be a good idea in case he ever has to grab one. Harry, would that interest you?"
Harry shrugged. "I don't know. I've never seen a gun in person."
"We'll figure that out later," Horatio decided. He and Eric shared a look. Someone had to help the boy to protect their friend, and Harry seemed like he could use a few more people who gave a damn about him. Horatio found the gate and drove them through, making Tim pout. "We'll go in with you, Tim." Tim quit pouting and let his father carry him inside and let him down in the library, watching him crawl off. "Tim?" Horatio called. Tim looked at him. "Bring me a book?" Tim beamed and went to his new shelf of books, dragging one back in his teeth so Horatio could read to him.
Harry grinned. "Anyone need anything to drink?" Tim made begging noises. "I knew you were hungry, Tim." He went to fix him something to eat and a small dinner for the others. They were probably hungry too he decided. He brought it out, putting it down in front of Eric. "There we go, dinner." He heard a pop and looked back. "Ron, bring out some tea?"
"Sure, Harry." He went to grab some, bringing it out. "Here we go. I see he found a new slave." He grinned at Horatio. "Ron Weasley."
"Horatio Caine." He shook his hand. "Tim used to work with Eric and I."
"Ah. That reborn stuff. That's fine I guess." He looked at Harry. "Umbridge is trying to ban you from coming back to Britain."
"Then she thinks she's the one in the prophecy?" Harry asked grimly.
"Apparently so." He smirked. "Dumbledore is not amused."
"Which is shocking considering he didn't want me back either," Harry pointed out.
"Uh-huh." He hauled him up and to the kitchen again, looking at him. "They're serious."
"Then let Sirius kick their asses," Harry said grimly. "Or I can stay down here and study in whatever sort of American schools there are. There's probably one not too far away."
"There's a boarding one downtown," Eric called. He walked in. "Horatio wanted to know if he could go talk to them too since Tim's scowling at the name Dumbledore."
"The headmaster kept trying to make Harry give him up," Ron said then shrugged a bit. "We know he's a bit manipulative." He looked at Harry again. "Call Gringotts, Harry."
"Going," he said, moving over to the floo. "Gringotts, London division." The same head popped up. "I know, connect me anyway, I can pay the surcharge," he offered. "It's important. It'll probably be more than this call tonight." She nodded and disappeared, giving way to a goblin head. "I need to speak to whoever's handling the Potter account and theft please?" The goblin nodded and put him on hold, as evidenced by the light music flowing out of the plain flames. Then another goblin's head popped up. "Need to see my key?"
"No, Mr. Potter, we know who you are. What's wrong?"
"Umbridge is trying to get him banned from Britain," Ron told him. "Dumbledore doesn't really want him back either."
"And was his theft fixed?" Harry asked.
"Not fully. We've decided he's liable and we have started a suit on behalf of all the inflicted parties. It'll be decided relatively soon by Ministry standards."
Harry nodded slowly, thinking. "Umbridge is one of those people who's decided I was lying about how Cedric died." The goblin groaned. "She's said so in the press. She's been trying to get rid of me or silence me for a while now."
"Where are you?" he asked.
"There's a non-Gringotts bank down there." Harry nodded. "I can transfer your accounts down there for a while if you want, Harry."
"I'm not sure that's wise," Ron said. "If he has to rush back...."
"We will accept a draw slip from their bank but if it's in ours, the Ministry can try to have it confiscated again," the goblin said simply. "Especially if they're going to try to charge him with something."
Harry considered it. "Then you think it's best?"
"I think it's best that you activate all the shields on Haven, Mr. Potter, and study as much as you can without teachers there to guide you."
"There's a school in the city," Harry told him.
"Then I wish you much luck. Should I do the transfer?"
"Please, all of it, including my trust account?" The goblin nodded. "If I can, I'll bring it back with me."
"I understand. For now, do what you can. Your godfather should probably be told."
"Remus and Sirius can now pop in," Harry told him. "They're the only two allowed outside of Ron and Hermione. Anyone else has to be specially allowed for."
"Excellent. I'll have the transfer done tonight, Mr. Potter. Call your godparents anyway?"
"I'll do that right now." He nodded and signed off. Harry took a deep breath and called Remus. "It's me. I just heard." Remus opened his mouth so he looked behind him, finding Horatio there with Timmy. He grinned at Remus. "He knew Timmy in his last life."
"I've heard that a lot about that subject," Harry said dryly.
Ron nodded. "We have. Remus, I had to tell him about Umbridge."
"I'm staying here," Harry told him. "I'll study locally if I can. I'm told there's a school in town."
"Miami has a very good school," Remus agreed.
"And no registry in the US," Horatio told him simply.
Remus smiled. "If we can, Mr. Caine. If not, I will expect someone to watch over our godson?"
"Of course. Even if it weren't for Tim." He patted Harry on the head. "He has a large burden to bear already. He doesn't need this one as well."
Remus nodded. "Good enough. Harry, the bank?"
"Coming here," he told him. "The goblin said it'd be safer in case Umbridge did other things and tried to confiscate it."
"I wasn't sure but he was," Ron told him. "Sounded like he knew something was coming."
"They take those moods at the Ministry," he sighed. "Sirius and I can get down here?"
"You're both allowed through the shields or the doorway," he promised.
Remus smirked. "I'll have to remember that. Study hard, Harry, and call often. All right?" Harry nodded. "Good boy. We love you. You two be safe down there. Ron, you can't skip school. Your mother would have conniptions."
"I know," Ron told him. "I'm still trying to see what's going on. I might transfer."
"Check before you do anything rash," he ordered.
"Good boys." He smiled at Horatio. "Make him fly more, Mr. Caine. He's very good at it. So is Ron." He signed off, heading to tell the other Order members what had happened. He cleared his throat and everyone stared at him. "The goblins have convinced Harry he's not safe to come back at all thanks to Umbridge. It sounded like they're trying something with the bank again."
"I'm moving my accounts tonight," Sirius said, heading to do that. Tonks headed after him since he was her uncle and it was her money too.
Remus sat down. "Harry's got some good guardians. Tim's former life apparently led back to Miami." McGonagall spluttered. "I just saw Mr. Horatio Caine in his house. Plus Miami does have a very good school. Ron was saying he might like to transfer down."
"I'm sure he would," McGonagall agreed. "I'll get with the school down there to make sure they take Harry in." That got a nod. "Ron too if it comes to it." He smiled a bit sadly. "You can go."
"Once this is done with," he promised. Severus walked in. "Good news for you. The goblins have told Harry it's not safe to come back. Ever."
"It's not. Umbridge and Fudge are trying to have him arrested for attacking the Death Eaters and you for having a protected area."
"Hmm." Remus sighed, standing up. "Perhaps I will do a bit of traveling."
"Germany," McGonagall told him. "We know there's been Death Eater activity that way. He was going to send you and Sirius anyway."
"Agreed," he said. "Give us a target, we'll be gone tonight." She nodded, letting him go pack and warn Sirius.
Hermione looked over from her seat in the corner. "She hasn't twigged to me yet. I'm staying until it gets too dangerous here," she told McGonagall before she could ask. That got a nod. "Thank you." She went back to her reading. "Professor, I have at least another six bottles of invisibility potion if you needed to swipe some more."
"Not cute," McGonagall warned her.
Hermione smiled. "Someone has to fill in for Ron's bad jokes." That got a snort. "Though I do if we need it." That got a nod and they sat down to discuss plans. Something was going to have to be done about the Ministry.
Harry smiled at the man who met him at the school's front doors the next morning. "I'm looking to transfer in from Hogwarts since I've recently learned I have a house down here. May I please speak to the Headmaster?"
"Headmistress," he corrected. "Let me see if she's in yet, sir." He let Harry into the courtyard, smiling at the baby he hadn't seen. "He's adorable."
"He gets told that quite often. He's going to get a swelled head," Harry said with a grin.
The guard snickered. "Most babies are. Then they learn how to talk back." He went to find the headmistress, bringing her out. Harry and the baby were looking at some plants from a bench safely out of harm's distance. He coughed and Harry stood up with a smile. "Here you go, Headmistress."
She smiled. "Harry. Your head of house called me last night, dear. What's going on?"
"The Ministry decided I'm too stupid to know why a fellow student was killed in front of me and I've had to fight for the last four years," he said bluntly. "They're now trying to arrest me for defending myself and my son when we were attacked by Death Eaters."
"But... They're not back," the guard said. "That one boy...."
"Was Harry Potter," Harry told him. "I'm pretty sure I know Voldemort when I see him being raised." The guard went pale and backed up. "And the whole Ministry is like that," he told the Headmistress. "It's taking their power."
"I hear that a lot recently," he said dryly, grinning a bit. "Mostly about my son."
She laughed. "I'm sure you do. Come to my office, Harry." She looked at the guard. "We will not be talking about Harry Black at all."
"Of course not." He let Harry inside the school and followed them up there. "Are you local?"
"Haven's his natal family's home," she said with a small smile. "I've heard there's work going on?"
"Most of the east wing caved in long ago," Harry agreed. "Timmy loves the library." She smiled at that. "I know I'm probably behind by local standards. We've had problems with the defense teachers. Repeatedly. All but Remus Lupin really."
"I've heard. I have your transcripts. Not the best grades. We do expect better work here."
Harry nodded. "I'm not the most bookish. That's Hermione. Ron's very good at planning and I'm very good at doing, but I can only mildly plan or research. That and bad teachers mean I do all I can but I can only do so much."
"I can understand that." She sighed and looked at the baby. "We do have a daycare here." Harry beamed at that. "He's healthy?"
"Very. He's just learned to crawl. He floats now and then when he's dirty or bored." She smiled and nodded. "His mother...." She held up a hand. "You got that rant too?"
"I went to school with Minerva, dear. I heard all about it when it happened." He grinned at that. "Are you running?"
"I'd rather be safe until it was time to go back," he said. "I know I have a duty over there, but I'm not going to be a pawn and I'm not going to be looked at like I'm evil again. I've had four years of that. I'd probably have better grades if I hadn't been fighting Malfoy and then the Dark Lord every year, and then having to defend myself against the bad issues in the school of thinking I'm evil, thinking I'm bad, Ron being jealous whenever something happens and I get noted in the press or something. Ron and I are friends but now and then he gets a bit jealous."
"I've heard. We had a three hour long call last night." Harry winced. "The school paid for it," she admitted with a smile. "Hers. Not ours." He relaxed at that. "What can you do in defense?"
"A lot more than I probably should be able to but a lot of it's been studying when I had time to open a book by someone other than the teacher. Lockhart's books weren't exactly instructive."
"I figure not since they're so full of it," she admitted. "Minerva knew a lot more than you thought, Harry. Including your home life."
"I figure someone did even if nothing was done. I know they did after WPS got done with Dumbledore for keeping me there." He shifted some. "I like and admire Professor McGonagall but I doubt she knew all of it. Did she hear when Hermione brewed polyjuice so we could talk to the Slytherins about the Chamber of Secrets?" She gave him a horrified look. "That was our second year."
"Oh, dear. She was hoping you'd calm down."
"I'd love to not be in danger," he told her. "Once I am, I'm going to be calmer. Except maybe about quidditch."
She smiled. "We'll love you for that much alone around here, Harry. We could use a good seeker. Around here we don't have houses, we play school against school." He nodded. "You'd be willing to play?"
She smiled. "That'll do too." She leaned forward. "By our standards, you're barely hitting second year, Harry." He winced. "I can put you in the fourth years." He nodded at that. "But you're going to have to catch up in some things. Some of Dumbledore's choices for teachers are a bit odd. Not that I haven't heard that Hagrid's a nice man."
"He does know what he's doing, he simply likes the dangerous things," Harry told her. "And Flobberworms."
"I've heard. You've already covered the seventh year creatures class here." He smiled and nodded a bit. "And most of the sixth and part of the fifth," she admitted. "But none of the first except for Flobberworms." He nodded. "We do not like the defense curriculum either."
"There is one?"
"Not since Professor Lupin apparently."
"I can agree to that. The Moody impersonator taught us some. Including unforgivables."
"Which are still illegal over here."
"He was a Death Eater in disguise as an auror."
She whimpered. "Minerva needs to kick him."
"Horatio said he'd like to shoot him."
"You met Horatio Caine?"
He patted Timmy on the head. "This is my son, Tim. Formerly Tim Speedle apparently."
"Oh, shit," she muttered. Then she cleared her throat. "Sorry."
"I say it now and then too. He's used to it from Ron."
She smiled. "She suggested he might be coming too." She leaned back. "Technically, our median level student is like your Miss Granger." Harry gaped in horror at her. "Though we do have those who are more handy at learning things in a practical way instead of doing theory."
"You can do that?"
She nodded. "You can do that."
"Can I please do that?"
She smiled. "You can please do that, Harry." He beamed at her and she realized now why McGonagall loved the little boy, even if she did want to kill him about every week. "Come on, we'll get you set up. I'm assuming that you're not boarding?"
"No, I have a house. I love my house. Mr. Delko is fixing the parts that're falling in and so I have electricity. Also, I was raised muggle until I went to Hogwarts, so I'm okay with muggle things."
"Good! Though we're probably a bit more computerized than you were there." She got up and led him around, taking him to the daycare first. "Holiday," she called. An older African-American woman with graying brown hair came out of a back room. "This is Harry Black and his son Timmy. Harry's going to be starting in the fourth year because Hogwarts sucks."
"I've heard they've had problems keeping defense teachers."
"No comment," Harry said grimly, making her laugh. He pulled Timmy out. "Tim, this is ...."
"Holiday. I take care of any babies around here." She took Tim to hold, smiling at him. "Well, you're well fed, dressed, and obviously like to play."
"He likes books," Harry told her. "Plus he floats when he's bored or dirty. Oh, and he likes rock candy to suck on."
"That's fine, Harry." She smiled at Tim. "Come meet the others, precious. We're back in the padded room right now." She walked him off, letting Harry poke around to make sure it was good enough for his son. All the new parents did that. Though she did notice he touched a few of the toys and tasted a bit of the food too. She looked at him then leaned closer. "I can see the scar, young man." He groaned. Timmy giggled. "He'll be safe here. Nothing like what happened back there."
"Thank you. There were some people who wanted him as a toy there."
"I understand. He'll be fine, Harry. Go tour and see where you're going." He nodded and patted Timmy on the head, leaving him with her. She smiled at Tim. "Well, that's better, huh? No hovering parent." She put him down onto the floor. "Go pounce someone." He gave her a wicked looking smirk and went to pounce a young girl further in the room, taking her toy to chew on. She swatted at him but let him play with her for now. "That's a good start, kids."
Harry went back to his tour, finding the rooms nice, open, and not dingy. No irregular rooms with odd seating. They looked like muggle classrooms only with tables instead of individual seats. He got introduced to a few teachers. The defense teacher frowned at him and said he'd have to do something about his clothes, Miami would not put up with such shabby attire. Harry ignored it; he was comfortable, who cared but him. They kept going, finding all the classes, and eventually the quidditch coach, who knew who he was and hugged him. He grinned at that. "She said I could play."
"You will be," he assured him. "When is he starting?"
"Two days. Monday."
He beamed. "Good, we have practice Wednesdays, Harry." He patted him on the shoulder. "We'll make sure you can play with our team too." He hummed as he went back to his shop class. They were using power tools and magic together. He needed to be in there before someone got a bright idea.
Harry grinned at the headmistress. "Can I never go back except for my duty?"
"If you want," she promised, leading him back to the nursery. "I'll expect you Monday morning at eight, young man."
"Yes, ma'am. Uniforms?"
"Harry, the blue things you saw were jeans, dear."
"I didn't know if it was a dress down day or something."
She shook her head. "Wear clean clothes that won't get you picked on. Let Horatio tell you what to wear." He nodded and smiled. "Good boy. Now, let's make sure the bus can reach you."
"You mean we have a bus?"
"Of course we have a bus. I'm not making you cab in, Harry." She went to talk to the driver, who knew where the house was. He and Harry agreed on a time to meet and he told Harry he had to get a carseat for the baby but that was fine. Harry went home much happier than he had come in. Bending the rules would work fine this time. Especially to keep the supposed dark lord over there and not messing up her pretty city. Then again, no child deserved a sub-standard education.
Harry smiled at Horatio when he saw him. "They admitted me."
"Congratulations," he said.
Harry could tell his mind was on something else. "You're working, huh?"
"For a bit longer. Why?"
"Because they suggested you help me shop? A bit? Because apparently they all decided I'm a slob or something."
Horatio laughed. "You'll find many like that in Miami, Harry. I can do that Sunday if you want." Harry smiled and nodded. "Good boy. Now, where's Timmy?"
"Sleeping." He unhid him, getting a smile from the new 'uncle'. Tim continued to snore. "They have a daycare."
"Wonderful. He'll get to torment other children." Harry nodded at that, earning a smile. "Anything else go wrong?"
"She swore at Dumbledore. I told her you wanted to shoot him."
"Indeed I do," he muttered, making Harry laugh. "We'll work that out later this weekend, Harry. Go home, unpack, celebrate."
"Yes, Horatio." He waved and left, disappearing once he was out of sight.
Horatio shook his head, getting back to work on his present case. The boy needed attention and affection. He'd get it from them but he'd have to make sure the others knew that they needed to like Harry for Harry, not for being Tim's father. It'd hurt the boy more.
to part 2: