Content Harry Potter Trixie Belden Star Trek: TNG My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
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Author Notes:

Once again, The Ubiquitous Note:

Some of you may recognise this story as looking just like one that a writer named Liz Harrison wrote. Same name, even! The reason is that she has given me the story to see what I might do with it. She has dropped off the 'net for a while, and wanted to see this one finished.

In other words - I have her permission to be working with this story.

The first chapters are the ones written by Liz. From Chapter 8 on, you begin to see my work. (I picked up from where she left off in Chapter 8.)

Wishful Thinking

Chapter 2 — To Set the Record Straight

"Aaaah!" Remus screamed, and Tonks jumped back, staring at the wall as the second glass shattered against it.   Eyes flashing, Remus screamed again, snatching up another glass.   Hurriedly, Tonks ran forward and grabbed his raised arm, pulling it down to his side and taking the glass from his hand.  

"Easy there, Remus," she said quietly.   "Calm down, or you might spontaneously transform.   Can’t have that, can we?   You’d get fur all over the floor."

Remus stared at her, his breath still coming in ragged pants, then looked almost hungrily at the glass in her hand.   Following his gaze she set it down and steered him into the living room.   Away from the breakable objects, he seemed to deflate, and when Tonks pushed him gently onto a sofa, he cradled his head in his hands.  

"That was a bit frightening, Remus," she said softly, lowering herself down next to him.   "I’ve never seen you in a rage like that."

"I’ve never been in one like that," he replied, his voice muffled by his hands.   "Even when Lily and James died, I didn’t scream, didn’t let it out — I’m always so afraid to let it out…"

He was silent for a moment as he raised his head, staring off into space.   "Neville was always such a sweet kid," he muttered.   "So timid, so unsure… but such a sweet kid.   He was one of my favorites — and I had a great class."

"And he nearly died!" Remus screamed, shooting to his feet.   "He nearly died of a heart attack, for the love of —"

"Hey!" Tonks jumped up, grabbing his arm again.   "Easy, Remus!"   She pulled him back down to the couch and kept a firm grip on his arm.   "Calm down," she pleaded, gazing at him.

"He’s such a sweet boy," Remus murmured, "such a sweet boy…"     Glancing up, Remus met her gaze, tears sparkling in his eyes.   "He owled me after I resigned in his third year, you know.   Said he wanted to check up on me.     He… he thanked me for helping him find a little confidence…

"And Dumbledore nearly killed him!"

"Arthur said Dumbledore’s horrified," the metamorphmagus pointed out quickly.  

"He still did it," Remus growled out.   "Don’t go telling me to forgive and forget."

Tonks drew back, glaring at him. "When did I say that?   I’m as angry at him as you are!   I don’t know Neville at all, and I wasn’t the best friend of Harry’s parents, but I still care about them!   How dare—"  

"I’m sorry," Remus said, and her voice trailed off as she blinked in surprise.   "I know you care — I had no right to — I’m sorry," he finished helplessly.  

Tonks was speechless for a few moments, opening and closing her mouth repeatedly.   Finally, she huffed out a breath and folded her arms across her chest, glaring at him.

"What now?" Remus asked, bewildered.

"What did you have to go and do that for?" she demanded, a scowl on her face.   "I had a perfectly good rant worked up!"


Four hours had passed after Madam Pomfrey had left, suggesting that Neville simply take it easy for a few days.   After much fussing from both Molly and Ginny, he was finally allowed to return to Ron’s room.   Neville trudged wearily up the steps to the top floor, Ginny hovering beside him warily, and collapsed into the camp bed at the foot of Ron’s bed.  

The lights were out, but he could see the gleam of Hermione’s eyes in the darkness.   Claiming the students would benefit from solidarity, Arthur Weasley had somehow convinced his wife to let all five students stay in Ron’s room for the night.     Though somewhat offended by the impromptu co-ed sleepover, Molly had agreed, on the condition that the children behave and Ron’s door be left open.

As Ginny fell into her bed by Hermione, which Arthur Weasley had levitated into the room an hour before, a voice sounded through the darkness.

"We going, then?" Ron asked sleepily.

"Tomorrow," Neville agreed, and Hermione smiled in the darkness.


The sun had just risen over Privet Drive when the scowling man appeared, looking most uncomfortable in Muggle clothes.   Pulling a wand out of his sleeve, he waved it in complicated motions, incanting quietly under his breath.   After a moment he paused, surveyed his work and nodded in satisfaction before striding down the street.

At number four Privet Drive, rather than knock on the front door, he went around the side of the house.   "You’re relieved, Fletcher," he hissed as he drew even with the boy’s window, and sure enough, an invisible man disapparated with a pop, leaving behind an empty bottle of whiskey.  

The man sighed as he lifted the bottle and vanished it.   What a wonderful guard Fletcher makes…

In a rare show of sadistic humor, the man smirked slightly as he conjured a large, flat wooden board and stepped onto it, levitating it carefully.   Hovering before the boy’s window, he rapped sharply on the glass, smirking yet again as the boy started and awoke.   Predictably, the boy’s eyes widened in shock before his scrambled out of bed and opened the window.  

"I… I’m sorry, sir, Hedwig didn’t go out last night or I’d have—"

"Quiet, Potter," the hovering man said immediately.   "Step aside."

Gulping, the boy moved out of the way, and the hovering man stepped through the open window, bending at the waist to fit through.     He shut the window behind himself and looked at the boy, frowning.   "Straighten up, Potter, I haven’t got all day.   Dumbledore has ordered me to teach you Occlumency so we can protect whatever’s left of your mind from the Dark Lord.   I warn you now, I will tolerate no disrespect or laziness on your part.   Since I am given the unenviable task of cramming knowledge into your worthless cranium, you will simply have to keep up with me."

As Harry stared, open mouthed, Snape continued, "And perhaps when we’re through, you will show me how the television works, eh, Harry?"   The man winked and smiled — a rather frightening sight to see on Snape’s face.

Harry’s mouth opened and closed several times.   "Mr.… Mr. Weasley?" he asked, gaping.

The man grinned.   "What do you think of my new look, my boy?" Arthur asked jovially.   "Watch this…"   He straightened his back, folded his arms slowly across his chest — being sure to drag his fingertips along his robes — and scowled down at Harry.   "Mr. Potter, I will not tolerate such abysmal performance from you.   Even our new celebrity must perform up to Hogwarts’ standards."

Relaxing his posture, Arthur smiled at Harry from behind his curtain of greasy black hair.   "Well?"

"The scowl needs a bit of work," Harry told him, smiling broadly.  

"What?" Arthur thundered.   "I worked hard on that!   Oh, how you wound me, Potter! Hours of practicing in front of the mirror, wasted!"  

Harry’s smile broadened.   "Do you think he really does?"

Pausing in his rant, Arthur blinked, confused.   "Does what?"

"Practice in front to the mirror."

"Well…" Arthur replied slowly, "yes."

Harry burst out laughing.   Smiling, Arthur waited patiently for him to settle down before saying, "I’m afraid this isn’t purely a social call, Harry."

"Oh, I know," Harry replied.   "I knew there had to be a reason for you to come—"

"Oh no, you misunderstand me, Harry!" Arthur cut in, looking faintly alarmed.   "I would come see you for a social call if I could, Harry, but the way things stand right now, there is so much going on that there isn’t going to be a day that goes by — for quite some time — when there isn’t some news we have to bring you.   And I’m afraid today’s news is rather poor."

Immediately, Harry paled.   "Who’s hurt?"

"He’ll be fine, Harry," Arthur tried to reassure him, but —

"Remus?" Harry asked, suddenly looking quite lost.

"No, Harry," Arthur replied, wincing.   "Neville."

"What?" Harry drew back, reaching behind himself to find his bed, and sank down onto it.   "What happened to Neville?"

"Well," Arthur said slowly, "you see Harry, Luna, Neville and Hermione are all staying at the Burrow — they arrived yesterday.   We felt you kids needed some time to connect after what happened last month.   We wanted to bring you too, Harry, but Dumbledore refused.   Anyway, last night Dumbledore showed up and warned the kids not to owl or contact you, and he said something that made Hermione realize he’d had Neville under a binding spell since he was one.   I’m not sure how she figured it out, but she did."

Taking a deep breath, Arthur plunged on, well aware that Harry was growing paler by the second.   "What you need to understand about binding spells, Harry, is that they trap or bind a person’s magic within himself.   They’re horrible to experience, I’m told, because they close off a part of oneself that a person needs to function.   For witches and wizards, magic is natural, and having it stripped from you is horrible.   And it’s very dangerous to do a binding spell — people have died because too much of their magic was bound for them to survive, or the binding was botched somehow.   But while their magic is bound, they never really feel whole, and most people under binding spells are very timid and have little self-esteem.   And it’s incredibly difficult to cast spells with what little magic is left free of the binding spell.

"Unfortunately, removing the spell is even more dangerous.   We had to make Dumbledore do it, of course, when we found out that he had done such a thing to Neville, but… the sudden surge of power when Neville’s bindings broke free... Harry, it made him have a heart attack."

When Harry’s head shot up, tears in his eyes, Arthur hurriedly continued.   "He’s all right, Harry.   Hermione recognized it for what it was and Charlie knows CPR.   He managed to revive Neville, and he’s doing all right — he’s just very tired.   It turns out that Neville’s mother asked Dumbledore to place the binding spell on Neville — he just never removed it."

"But Neville’s okay?" Harry asked hopefully, having seized on to that portion of Arthur’s news.  

"He’s fine," Arthur agreed, smiling slightly.   "We’re keeping Hermione for the summer — her parents are on a second honeymoon in Athens — and Molly and I plan to owl Luna’s father and Neville’s grandmother and ask to keep them, as well."  

At this, Harry frowned, glancing down at the floor.  

"I promise we’ll do whatever we can to get you out of here, Harry."

"I know," the black-haired boy sighed.     Standing, he rubbed at his forehead in what Arthur hoped was merely a nervous gesture.   "I suppose you’re here to make Professor Dumbledore think I’m having my Occlumency lessons?" he added.

Arthur smiled.   "Not quite," he murmured.   "I’m here to give you your Occlumency lessons.   You see, Snape wants to teach you about as much as you want to learn from him, so I struck up a bargain with him.   He’s teaching me — and I will pass the knowledge I glean from him on to you."

"You’d do that for me?" Harry asked, awestruck, and he stared in confusion at Mr. Weasley.   He knew what Snape’s crash courses in Occlumency were like.  

"Of course, my boy!" Arthur exclaimed.   "Now, I want you to brace yourself, and I will explain everything I am doing to you aloud.   Pay attention to what I’m saying and try to block me from seeing certain memories at the same time, all right?"  

The lesson passed very slowly, but they made a considerable amount of progress, even with Arthur’s break halfway through to take his second dose of Polyjuice.   Arthur’s method of explaining what he was doing and all the ways to counter it helped Harry a great deal, but Arthur was too distressed by Harry’s memories to attack with much force.   He didn’t feel that was a horrible thing — in the first lesson, he hoped to ease Harry into the different Occlumency techniques, rather than take him by the ankle and toss him upside down into the deep end as Snape had done.    

But the final memory Arthur had broken into had been one that utterly horrified him.   Harry had fought tooth-and-nail to keep Arthur out of that particular memory, but his exhaustion from two hours of Occlumency finally caught up with him.  

The Dursleys, it seemed, had not bothered to tell Harry his parents were dead until Harry was eight years old.   Until that point…

He didn’t even want to think about it.


It was only seven o’clock in the morning and already, Tonks had been dragged out of bed by an angry Gryffindor girl.

Immediately upon discovering that the Floo network did indeed connect to Grimmauld Place, Hermione had floo’d over to headquarters and ran straight to Tonks’s door, knocking frantically.   When Tonks had stumbled out of bed, she had found Hermione demanding to be taken to see Harry.   Groaning tiredly, Tonks had tried to turn to go back to bed, but Hermione had seized her arm and dragged her downstairs, where a very amused Remus stood over a pot of coffee.

Within two minutes of Hermione’s arrival, the other students had found their way into Grimmauld Place and had all gathered around Tonks’s chair, swarming like an angry pack of bees.   Remus simply walked up to Tonks and passed her a cup of coffee before disappearing up the stairs with his cup of tea, humming all the while.  

"Thanks for the help, Remus!" Tonks shouted after him.

"Any time!" he shouted back, and Tonks fumed.

She could just hear the smirk in his voice.

Gulping down a swallow of coffee, Tonks sighed and gave in to the anger and determination of Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Neville — and Luna’s oddly intimidating stare.


Tonks’s voice emanated from his mirror as Harry slipped back into the room, having left to go to the bathroom.   Sighing, Arthur lifted the mirror from his pocket and activated it.   "Yes?" he asked calmly, ignoring the gasps that sounded from behind Tonks as his face came into view.    

"They want to see him," Tonks said frantically, looking rather harried.   "Arthur, they’ll kill me if I don’t at least let them talk to him.   I don’t want to die!"

"I have another hour, but I think we’re done here anyway," Arthur said, and he hesitated, thinking carefully.   "Look, send Moody over as the guard so he can keep an eye out for everyone, and send… send two of them over to Figg’s house.     Use the disillusionment spell on them and have Moody walk them over, all right?"

"Okay, but you choose which two," Tonks warned him.   "I don’t feel like risking my life right now."

"I have a better — Harry?" Arthur asked quietly, turning the mirror over and pressing it into the bed, so their conversation would be neither seen nor heard.   "Listen, we can bring two of your friends over for about an hour — but only two, and no longer than an hour.   Who do you want to see?"

"Hermione and Neville," Harry replied immediately.   "I’d love to see Ron and the rest but I need to know that—"

"I understand," Arthur smiled.   "And what’s more, Ron and the others will, too."   He raised the mirror once more and said quietly, "Send Hermione and Neville on over," adding before Ron could protest, "He needs to see that Neville’s okay, Ronald."   When his son nodded, Arthur said goodbye to Tonks and cut the connection, replacing the mirror into his pocket.

And he settled in for a long and uncomfortable ten-minute wait.


Hermione tapped her foot impatiently, staring steadily at Moody as he gazed out from behind the bushes.   "I don’t see why we’re back here," she said finally.

"Watching for any obstacles, girl," he explained.   "Got to get you to the house in one piece."  

Neville gulped.  

"Oh, honestly," Hermione rolled her eyes.   "Professor Moody, your eye can see through just about any material, is that right?"   Moody’s fake eye swiveled to face her.   Undaunted, Hermione continued.   "Neville just recently had a heart attack, it’s highly unlikely that there are any Death Eaters out for an early-morning stroll down Privet Drive, and any attacking Death Eaters would attack at night to make it harder for them to be detected — they do wear black robes, as I’m certain you recall."

"You listen here, missy," Moody began, but Hermione shook her head.  

"Come on, Neville," she said, turning to the tired boy.   "Let’s go see Harry."

Neville nodded once, and they walked away.

"Blast it," Moody muttered, and he darted out from behind the bushes and chased after them, brandishing his wand left and right all the while.

Hermione sighed.

It was a very short walk from Magnolia Crescent to Privet Drive, and within several minutes, they had arrived, Moody ushering them to stand below Harry’s window.   Conjuring up a large plank, he levitated them up through the window, but only after steadily gazing through the walls of the house.   As the board drew level with the window, Hermione jumped off it and into Harry’s room, drawing an angry shout from Moody below.   Ignoring both Moody and the startling sight of Snape sitting on Harry’s bed, she threw herself at Harry and began to talk very quickly as she hugged him.

"Oh, Harry, it was awful, he came into Ron’s room and told us we couldn’t contact you all summer!   He had Newville under a binding spell!   He was going to put you under one too but your parents refused and we made him take it off and Neville had a heart attack and then he wouldn’t let us take you away from here, it was awful!"   Hermione stopped speaking and gulped in air, whimpering slightly, and clung to Harry.  

"Wait… what?" Harry asked, and Neville grinned as he stepped into the room.   Carefully, Harry pried Hermione off of himself and held her out at arm’s length.   "Once more," he said, "slowly."

"You already know everything she said, Harry," Arthur spoke up, and Hermione blinked, staring at him.

"You’re not Professor Snape," she spoke up.   Studying his posture carefully, Hermione blinked in surprise.   "Mr. Weasley?" she asked, a slight smile on her face.  

"Hello, Hermione," Arthur smiled, and Neville gaped — it was an odd sight to see on the Potions Professor’s face, even if it wasn’t really Snape.   "I’ll leave you to your visit, shall I?   Coming down, Moody!" he called out the window, and stepped onto the platform, which Moody slowly lowered down.   "Remus will come get you two in about an hour, Neville, Hermione.   See you in three days, Harry!" he called as he sank out of sight.

"How are you, Harry?" Hermione asked as soon as Arthur was gone.

Harry smiled half-heartedly.   "I’m all right?   What about all of you?"  

"I’m all right, mate," Neville said wearily.   "Just tired."   Moving slowly, he sank down onto Harry’s bed, and Harry shifted slightly to allow Hermione room to join them.   Looking slightly nervous, Hermione perched on the side of the bed by Harry’s hip, watching Neville anxiously.  

"Madam Pomfrey was furious," she said in a low voice.   "It was bad enough that he’d had a heart attack, she said, but only a month after being hit by the Cruciatus Curse — she was furious."

"Dumbledore looked right shocked, too," Neville murmured, and Hermione nodded.

"He was horrified," she agreed.   "But that doesn’t make up for—" Swallowing, Hermione shook her head.   "So," she asked, "what have you been up to?"  

"Not much," Harry replied woefully.   "There isn’t much to do around here.   The Dursleys have been leaving me alone — they’re all out of here by seven every morning — and haven’t made me do any chores, so I have nothing to do, really.   I’ve started revising to occupy myself."

Neville winced.   "Oh, dear," he muttered, and Hermione shrieked, a delighted smile spreading across her face.

"Oh, Harry, I always knew you’d do wonderfully if you just applied yourself!   You’re quite brilliant, you and Ron both, you know, just lazy, the both of you!   Oh, Harry, I’m so proud!"

Harry stared at her, slightly overwhelmed.   "Well, it’s… it’s not so bad," he said slowly, "in small doses, I mean, I just do a little at a time—"

"But that’s exactly it, Harry, that’s what you’re supposed to do!   A little at a time!   Oh, Harry, I’m so pleased!"  

She beamed at him.   Neville snickered.  

Harry sighed.


The house was silent as Arthur slipped through the door, trudging wearily down the hall.   In the kitchen, Remus leaned over the stove, glancing up as Arthur entered.   "Morning, Arthur," he said cheerfully.   "Cup of tea?"

"Please," Arthur asked tiredly, slowly lowering himself into a chair at the table as the Polyjuice Potion wore off.   Remus handed him a cup, a look of concern on his face, and sat down opposite the older man.  

"Are you all right?" he asked, frowning.

Arthur didn’t answer, gulping down a long swallow of tea.   Setting the dup down with shaking hands, Arthur closed his eyes.   "I can’t believe—" His voice shook and he opened his eyes again, staring almost pleadingly at Remus.   "We knew it was bad.   The summer after Harry, Ron, Neville and Hermione’s first year, my boys had to pull bars off Harry’s window to get him out of there.   And so many times, I almost stormed over there to take him away, but Dumbledore always stopped me — Every time I look at that boy, I remember every day that I almost went and saved him, but didn’t.   And every time I look at that boy, I hate myself."

Remus didn’t want to ask, but— "Was it really that bad?" he asked in a small voice, and Arthur snorted.

"Of course it’s that bad," Arthur replied.   "He’s Harry bloody Potter, what else would it be?   I don’t understand why nothing can ever go right for the boy."

"Some things have," Remus pointed out.   "He has a lot of people who care about him."

"And have done nothing," Arthur replied.   "Yet."  

Sitting up straighter, Arthur continued.   "Hermione came to me last summer, practically begging me to get him out of that house.   Did she get you, too?"

"Yes," Remus winced.

"She was right, too.   She warned us — she warned us all — that he’d feel be furious and feel betrayed.   She told us what that place does to him.   And I — I couldn’t listen," Arthur said wearily.   "I couldn’t stand to hear it, because I knew she was right, and I knew that Dumbledore would never let me get Harry out of that place.   I think I forgot for a while that I was my own man…"   He picked up his cup again, gazing off into the distance.   "Not Dumbledore’s."

"What we really need," Remus said mournfully, "is the legal standing to get Harry away from him.   If Sirius left guardianship to any of us—"

"I know," Arthur agreed.   "The answer is in that will."   Sighing, he drained the last of his tea and stood.   "Let me show you something."

He led Remus to a room on the top floor, just below the attic, where the Order stored one of its many pensieves.   The viewing room was usually used for reporting to Dumbledore, as a private place for a more thorough debriefing.   Entering the smaller viewing room, Arthur locked the door behind Remus and keyed it to himself.   Often, after stressful missions, Dumbledore would allow the members of his order to choose a viewing room in which to store their memories, and would block it from entry by others.   With a few simple spells, Arthur set the room up so only he, Remus, Bill, Charlie, Fred and George, Tonks, Kingsley and Moody could enter.   Standing over the pensieve, he placed his wand against his temple with a shaky hand.   He withdrew over three dozen memories, placing them all in the pensieve.  

When he had finished, he and Remus stared at the pensieve with haunted faces.   "I don’t want to go in," Remus said finally.  

"Neither do I, son," Arthur agreed softly, and they both stepped forward, touching the silvery substance.

They were hurtled, headfirst, into a small, empty crawl-space.   As they watched in horror, Petunia Dursley opened the door of the space, an infant dangling from her hand, and shoved the black-haired baby in.   Glaring at the child, she slammed the door, and the baby cried. Harry Potter was only one year old.

It was Christmas, and a small boy peeked around the doorway to the living room, watching as the happy family exchanged gifts.   "Why don’t I get any presents?" he whispered, and Vernon Dursley looked up.   As Petunia looked away, the large man slapped the boy across the face before ordering him back into his cupboard while the "good people celebrate!"   Harry Potter was three years old.

"My parents love me," a crying little boy exclaimed, "and they’ll come get me and put you in jail."  

"No, they don’t," Vernon Dursley replied, laughing cruelly. "If they did, they would BE HERE!"

"They love me," the boy said stubbornly, and the man cuffed him across the face.  

"Make my breakfast!" he roared.

Harry Potter was five years old.

Staring at the little boy, Remus whimpered, and the memories sped up.

"What’s this I hear about you turning your teacher’s wig blue, boy?" Vernon Dursley boomed, and the child cowered.

"I didn’t do it!"

"DON’T YOU LIE TO ME BOY!" Dursley screamed.   "Cupboard!   Now!   One week!"

Harry Potter was six years old.

Harry Potter was six years old, and crying in the corner of his dark cupboard as a small mouse scurried across his foot.

Harry Potter was seven years old and ducking as Dudley Dursley swung a bat at his head.

Harry Potter was seven years old and watching as Dudley Dursley told the police that Harry, not Dudley, had broken the old lady’s headlights.  

Harry Potter was eight years old, locked in his cupboard for three days without food because he aced his tests.

"They’re — they’re really dead?" the boy asked, his voice quavering.   "But — but you said —"

"We lied," Vernon Dursley grinned.   "Don’t ask questions — go to your cupboard."

Harry Potter was eight years old.

"What did my parents do for work?" a frightened little boy asked.

"Your mother was a prostitute and your father was a drunken bum," Vernon Dursley replied from behind his newspaper, smirking slightly.

"My mother was beautiful," the boy insisted, his voice shaking. "She was smart and funny and nice, and she loved me."

"Your mother was a whore, boy, don’t question me.   Go to your cupboard!"

Harry Potter was nine years old.

Harry Potter was ten years old, and locked in his cupboard for two weeks, forced to catch and eat spiders to survive.  

Harry Potter was ten years old, lying on Mrs. Figg’s floor and looking through her photo albums, wondering why he wasn’t good enough to go with the Dursleys on their vacations.

Harry Potter was eleven years old, running to his cupboard after returning from the zoo, not to be let out until school was over.  

 "Is it done yet?" Remus whispered, tears running down his face.

"No," Arthur replied shortly.

Harry Potter was eleven years old, struggling as his uncle dragged him to Dudley Dursley’s second bedroom and locked him in.

Harry Potter was twelve years old, wondering why no one was coming for him.

Harry Potter was thirteen years old, shaking as Marge Dursley slandered his parents.

Harry Potter was fourteen years old, watching Cedric fall again and again.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, hearing Mr. Weasley’s shouts as Nagini bit him.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, writing again and again, "I must not tell lies."

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, watching in horror as Ron came stumbling through the Department of Mysteries, giggling madly.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, watching Ginny sink to the floor of the Department of Mysteries with a broken ankle.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, watching Luna fall to the floor of the Department of Mysteries, stunned.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, watching as Hermione fell to the ground and Dolohov smiled.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, watching as Neville screamed and writhed under the Cruciatus Curse.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, watching as Sirius fell through the veil.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old, raging and screaming in Dumbledore’s office as the old man watched him serenely.

"No one will come for you, boy," Vernon Dursley said angrily. "They’ll leave you here, to be a burden on us.   All you are is a burden.   Sooner or later, they’ll realize that, and when they do, they won’t be rid of you soon enough."

"Moody will come for me," the boy rounded on his uncle angrily.   "Remember him?   What about Arthur Weasley — he blew up the living room, as I’m sure you recall.   Or Professor Lupin — he was my dad and my godfather’s best friend, you know… Maybe Tonks, she had pink hair — she’s an Auror, you know.   They’re like the police and the military all in one!"

Paling, Dursley stared at the boy.   "Your godfather’s better off dead," he spat finally.   "All of you are.   Parasites on the good, hardworking, normal people.   Good riddance to all of you."

The man stormed away, slamming the door.   The boy listened carefully, flinching as he heard the locks slide home, and a tear slipped from his eye.

Harry Potter was fifteen years old.

Remus felt a hand on his shoulder and he was pulled from the pensive, landing hard on the floor.   Wincing in sympathy, Arthur looked down at the younger man, who stared off into space.   "I left him there," Remus said brokenly.   "I left him — I could have taken him away… So many times, I tried to go to see him, but I just couldn’t face him, knowing I’d have to leave him there, I just couldn’t… I left him there, I LEFT HIM!"

"We all did, son," Arthur said sadly.   "I didn’t know him as a baby, but the second he stepped foot through my door I should never have let him go back to that place.   We listened to Dumbledore, and that was a mistake.   But we don’t have to anymore, Remus."  

The younger man shook his head and bit his lip, tears still running down his face.   "I’ll show this to the others," Arthur said.   "We all need to understand what he’s been through.   We won’t show it to Dumbledore, he has no right — but we’ll talk to him, Remus.   We’ll make him understand, and if in two weeks, he hasn’t given in, we’ll just take Harry anyway.   But we need to find that will, Remus.   The answer is in the will."

When Remus nodded, shakily, Arthur stood up and moved over to a smaller pensieve sitting in the corner.   "Come on," he said quietly, after adding a few memories.   "You need a pick-me-up."     And they stepped into the pensieve to view some of the truly happy memories Arthur had managed to glean from Harry’s mind.

There were none from before Harry’s first year at Hogwarts.


It was a somber group that gathered in Sirius’s bedroom that night.   When Moody, Kingsley, Tonks, Bill and Charlie had returned home from work — or in the case of Charlie, his missions, and Moody, his rest — Arthur had taken them all into the pensieve to view the things he had seen during his Occlumency lesson with Harry.   Even after taking them into the happier pensieve, the group was still shaken.   Tonks was on the verge of tears, Kingsley looked horrified, Bill and Charlie were white with rage, and even Moody, the eighty-plus year veteran Auror, looked ashen.

But it was Remus who worried Arthur the most.   Remus looked as if he’d been shattered.

"Remus, are there any things in this room that won’t open?" Tonks asked after an hour of searching, brushing her long blue hair out of her face.   "Maybe you need a Marauder password to find it."

"I don’t think so," Remus frowned, "he couldn’t be sure I’d be the one searching for it, after all."

"Are you certain he would have thought far enough ahead to realize that?" Kingsley pointed out.   "You were his best friend, he may have assumed—"

"No, I doubt it," Remus murmured.   Spinning around, his gaze landed on the bed and he froze.   "Harry," he murmured, a dawning awareness coming into his eyes.

"What?" Arthur stared at him, his brow furrowed.

"Last summer," Remus began, "Harry told — told Sirius and me that he has a loose floorboard under his bed at the Dursleys.   He hides his school things and prized possessions—"

"Which is all of them, and few there are," Tonks added darkly.

"—under there."   Staring steadily at the bed, Remus took a step forward.   "Move the bed."

They complied, Bill, Charlie, Kingsley and Moody moving to stand on different ends of the bed and levitating it several feet to the right, with Moody staring out the back of his head all the while.   As the bed moved, a square mural came into view — an image of the lake at Hogwarts, with a stag, a werewolf and a large black dog standing together by its shore.   Remus stared at the picture, tears coming to his eyes, as the image shimmered slightly.  

"Like I thought," Tonks murmured, watching Remus worriedly.   "He left this with you in mind."

Remus nodded mutely before speaking, choking slightly on the words.   "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."

The stag bowed, and the other two animals in the image sank into a crouch.   When they stilled in those positions, the floorboard lifted to reveal a small hideaway big enough for several boxes to be stacked side by side.

"Blimey," Charlie breathed, staring down into the hole.  

There were hundreds of rolls of parchment stacked in a pyramidal structure on the bottom of the hideaway, all tied with red ribbon.   Next to the parchment rolls were several crates full of Muggle notebooks, as if Sirius had abandoned parchment for a more expedient manner of recording.   And lying atop the crates was a single roll of parchment, tied with a silver ribbon.

Sirius’s will.

Remus reached for it with trembling fingers, lifting it from the hideaway.

He didn’t think he’d give it to Dumbledore just yet.

"This is incredible," Tonks whispered.   "How much does he have on…?"

"It’ll be interesting reading," Kingsley agreed, and Remus stepped aside so they could begin to gather the documents.

"Excuse me," Bill murmured, slipping around them, and he reached for the tenth roll of parchment on the bottom, unrolling it slowly.   It looked slightly more worn than the others, as if it had been handled many times.     As Bill scanned the roll of parchment, he paled, and his eyes flashed with rage.  

"Bill?" Arthur questioned anxiously, and Bill shook his head.  

Looking up, Bill stared at them all.   "Why didn’t anybody tell me that the wards on Privet Drive are blood wards?"

"What do you mean?" Charlie questioned, his brow furrowed, but Remus froze.   Blood wards…

"No," he muttered.   "No, no, no…" Snatching the roll of parchment from Bill’s hand, he read it hurriedly, cringing at the line written in a heavy hand.

June 24th, 1995

H kidnapped by LV in final task of Triwizard Tournament.   Used H’s blood in restoration potion.   Successfully touched H without feeling any pain. Now has H & L’s blood in his veins.

D says wards on PD are blood wards.   Can be breached by LV.   Demanded H be moved.

D refused.

Shaking, Remus dropped the scroll.   "I forgot," he whispered.   "Oh lord, I forgot!"

"We have to get him out of there," Bill said.   "Now."

"Let me see that," Moody grunted, and he took the parchment, reading it aloud.   "Albus, you old fool," he muttered when he had finished.  

"I agree with Bill," Charlie said, gulping.   "We have to get him tonight."  

"Not necessarily," Kingsley said slowly, and the others stared at him.   "It has been over a year, and Voldemort hasn’t touched him there.   Maybe he doesn’t know.   Look," he continued.   "We have a lot to go through here.   We have to figure out where to put Harry and how to placate Dumbledore when we take him anyway.   Bill, on Moody’s next shift, go over to Harry’s house and set up some more detection wards.   Tie them to you and set up a time-delay on Dumbledore’s wards so we’ll be notified first if anything happens. Let’s wait two weeks like we were going to do.   We need to figure everything out, first."

"Fine," Remus said slowly.   "Fine.   But I want to go stay with him until we get him out."

Arthur shook his head.   "Not you," he said.   "I’m sorry, Remus, but we’ll need your help to get through all of these documents.   You know Sirius better than we."

"Fine," Remus bit out again.

"Charlie can go," Arthur said.   "You wouldn’t mind, would you?"

"Not at all," Charlie agreed.   "My last mission is over and Dumbledore hasn’t assigned a new one to me yet, and I have nowhere else to go besides the Burrow.   I’ll see what I can do to get assigned there."  

"Thank you," Remus breathed, and Arthur smiled.  

"Keep him sane for us, eh?" Arthur asked his son, and Charlie nodded.  

"When we bring the will to Dumbledore, I’ll ask him about it," the second-eldest Weasley son offered.

"Good, good," Moody grunted.   "See, Remus?   We’ll take care of our boy just fine.   Now, let’s take a look at that will."

Nodding, Remus unrolled the will on the bed and bent over it, the others gathering around him.


Dated July 17, 1995

To Whom It May Concern:

I, Sirius Orion Black, being of sound mind and body, do hereby bequeath my estate in the following manner:

To Remus John Lupin, I leave one thousand galleons.

To Nymphadora Tonks, I leave one thousand galleons.

To Arthur Weasley, I leave one thousand galleons.

To William Weasley, I leave one thousand galleons.

To Charles Weasley, I leave one thousand galleons.

To Kingsley Shacklebolt, I leave one thousand galleons.

To Alastor Moody, I leave one thousand galleons.

To Hermione Jane Granger, I leave five hundred galleons.

To Ronald Bilius Weasley, I leave five hundred galleons.

To Ginevra Molly Weasley, I leave five hundred galleons.

The remainder of my estate, including all properties, titles, and possessions, I leave to the current head of the House of Potter.  

The guardianship of Harry James Potter, I leave jointly to Remus Lupin and Arthur & Molly Weasley.

Signed 17 July 1995,

S. Orion Black

"That’s odd," Remus frowned.   ""The Head of the House of Potter"?   Harry’s the only Potter left."

"It’s not that unusual," Tonks corrected him.   "A lot of families use formal language like that for the main beneficiary.   The Blacks certainly did.   Mum told me that there was even some sort of spell which would make the entire will invalid if it wasn’t written in that manner.   He had to do it that way, or Harry would inherit nothing."

"Mmm…" Remus agreed after a moment, setting the will aside.   Sighing, he rolled his shoulders before kneeling before one of the crates and pulling out a notebook.   Leaning back against the wall, he sat down and opened the notebook to the first page and began to read, and all the others did the same.

July 15th, 1995

Asked D to move H again.   Another refusal.   Think Hr is going to go crazy.   Says H will be furious, feel betrayed.   She’s right.  

July 16th, 1995

Talked to D again about blood wards. Claims perfectly safe, LV can’t get through.   Don’t think so.   Can’t find that old tome from Black library.   Think Kreacher stole it.   Must find it.   It had the answers.

July 17th, 1995

Found book, found wards.   Called Ara Sanguinis — Protection by Blood.   Uses the shared blood between L and P to protect H as long as he calls PD HOME. Second he speaks of it as the D’s home, not his, protection disappears.

"Charlie," Remus spoke up, wincing.   "I think we need to go see Dumbledore now."  

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