Remus and Sirius lend a helping hand to the Grangers.
As they were placing the last of the hide on a shelf Sirius muttered, “How big was this thing?”
Lupin paused a moment, calculating the beast’s size; “I think it was around twenty meters long snout to tail. It was a full grown, nesting, mother dragon and the largest any of the champions had to face.”
Sirius shook his head side to side in dismay as he thought ‘Why Harry?’ Looking back at Remus, he asked, “Do you think we could have some protective clothing made for Harry using the hide?
“Sure, Winky made a really good set of tournament robes for Harry so I’m sure that she could whip up something for him.” Remus said while fingering the rough hide.
“Winky!” Sirius called out to the elf.
She appeared with a small pop and an eager look upon her face. “What can I do for you today?”
“Would you be able to make Harry and Hermione some protective clothing from this dragon hide?” Sirius asked the little elf.
“Of course. Winky will get started right away!” With another small pop she was gone, off to collect some materials and tools needed for her work.
Smiling at Winky’s enthusiasm, Remus and Sirius headed up to the kitchens to grab some lunch and to discuss the Grangers new house and the protections that they were going to put in place later that evening.
John and Annabelle Granger had been quietly changing all of their business and personal affairs. They had arranged to have all mail sent to a service that would then forward things appropriately. A business manager had also helped set up their new practice. He used multiple corporations and business entities to further protect them from discovery.
They were sad to close their business and sell their home but the Grangers were also very practical people. They knew that Professor Dumbledore and the Death Eaters would do everything that they could to locate Harry Potter.
With those thoughts on her mind, Annabelle turned to her husband and asked, “Is it going to be enough?”
John knew what his wife meant because he was having some of the same fears. “I hope so. Remus said that he would come by the new house tonight and place the wards and any other protections that they could think of. Once he is finished, he will bring us their and then we can complete the sale of this one.”
Annabelle came over, hugged her husband of twenty years, and settled into his embrace. “I’m going to miss this house. There are so many good memories here.”
Gently rubbing her back he replied “Yes, there are; but we will make some new ones and hopefully provide Harry with a few as well.”
They were startled out of there reverie by a small pop in front of them. Dobby had appeared with two large trunks.
“Hello, Dobby.” Said the Granger’s to the smiling elf. They had grown fond of Winky and Dobby once they had gotten over their initial shock. Now they were very thankful for all of their help.
“Hello. Dobby is here to inspect and pack your belongings.”
Annabelle kneeled down to inspect the trunks and then looked up at Dobby. “Aren’t you going to need more trunks?”
“Oh no, Miss.” Dobby giggled. “These trunks are much bigger on the inside.” Dobby said as he opened one of the trunks so that the Grangers could peer inside. “These trunks will hold all of your belongings. The furniture will be moved separately.”
“Thank you Dobby. If you need any help please ask.” Annabelle said as she stood back up shaking her head at the feats, that Magic was capable of.
“Will you and Winky have time to stop by after you are finished moving our things?” Annabelle asked the small elf. She had been teaching the elves proper English since she had met them. Surprisingly, the elves lessons in English Grammar had turned into Magical Culture lessons for the Grangers. They were able to gain some valuable insight into the magical community while getting to know Harry’s elves.
“Dobby and Winky will be there later this evening. We are really enjoying the lessons!” Dobby said enthusiastically.
Smiling to herself, Annabelle took John’s hand and said, “Let’s get some lunch at our favorite restaurant.”
They had agreed with Remus and Sirius that their move would have to be sudden to lessen the chance of revealing their plans to anyone. Therefore, they did not tell any of their friends, neighbors, or employees about their plans.
When they returned from their lunch, they discovered that their house was empty except for a small table and chairs in the living room. Evidently, Dobby was very good at his job.
“It looks so different without our stuff.” John commented.
Annabelle nodded her head in agreement, as she pulled out a chair and sat down. “He even painted the walls.” She said in wonder.
“Amazing isn’t it?” John commented.
“We should get him a gift for all of his hard work. Hermione said that he really likes mismatched socks for some reason. Why don’t we pick up a few pair for him?” Annabelle said with a sly grin on her face.
John caught his wife’s expression and groaned, “Not shopping? Can I at least go out for a pint afterwards?” he said hopefully.
“If you help me pick out the socks we can go to a pub afterwards.” Annabelle replied before muttering something that sounded suspiciously like “after we go to a few other stores too.”
“Okay, but I get to pick the pub.” John replied with a smile as they completed their shopping ritual bargaining.
They chatted amiably until the doorbell rang at half past five.
John opened the door and said “Hello Remus. Please come in.”
Once everyone had taken a seat around the tiny table, they began to go over the details of their move and Harry’s relatives move as well.
Pulling out a small slip of parchment from his pocket, Remus handed it over to the Grangers and said; “Please read and memorize that.”
The paper read, “The Grangers live at Number Two, Kensington Gardens, London.” Confusion and then comprehension dawned on the Grangers faces and Remus smiled at them.
“What was that?” John asked.
“That is called the Fidelius Charm. We used magic to hide your house. Only the secret keeper can reveal the location in order for anyone to know where you live. For everyone else, the house doesn’t exist.” Remus explained.
“Who is the Secret Keeper?” Annabelle asked.
“I’m sorry, but it’s safer if you don’t know. That way no one can pull the information from your mind.” Remus stated in a sad tone.
Annabelle noticed that something was bothering Remus. “Are you okay, Remus?” she asked, reaching out a hand to grasp his on the table.
“Hmm? Oh, yes. I was thinking about Harry’s parents. Their secret keeper betrayed them to Voldemort.” Seeing their shocked and apprehensive looks Remus quickly explained what steps they had taken to prevent history from repeating itself. “Don’t worry, we made the secret keeper take an Unbreakable Vow to never betray you, and we will demand the same vow from everyone before we reveal the secret to them.”
Both Grangers looked a bit surprised at this revelation. Remus gave them a moment to compose themselves before he continued explaining the additional protections on the house.
“Anyone given the secret can’t share it but we want to err on the safe side, hence the Unbreakable Vow. I have also put up a variety of other wards, both offensive and defensive in nature. The house is Unplottable, meaning that no one may Apparate or Portkey in without receiving the secret. Hedwig will be the only post owl that will be able to get past the wards as we keyed her into them during construction. We made your new house one of the safest places in England. Currently only six people know of its existence, the two of you, Winky, Dobby, Sirius, and me. We will tell Harry and Hermione when we are somewhere safe and can’t be overheard.”
Both Grangers were shocked when Remus was finished with his explanation. Annabelle was the first to recover and she thanked Remus with a hug and a kiss on his cheek, leaving him red faced and John laughing at his blush.
Recovering from his blush, Remus stood up and said, “Well, if you are ready to go, I’ll take you both there now.”
Both Grangers took one last look around the house before nodding to Remus.
“Okay, grab onto my arm and I’ll Apparate us over there. This is going to feel a little weird, but don’t let go.” When they grabbed onto his arms he turned on the spot and vanished with a pop.
When they arrived, Remus had to stifle a laugh as both of the Grangers were rubbing their ears, glaring at him. “Please follow me and concentrate on what you read earlier.”
The Grangers followed Remus through the small park and when they reached the row of townhouses, they stared in awe as a building appeared on the end of the row. Remus ushered them inside quickly and the house faded from view to the outside world.
John and Annabelle stood in the entry hall of their new home still adjusting to their surroundings. There was a pair of small pops as Dobby and Winky appeared in front of them.
“Welcome to your new home Mr. and Mrs. Granger.” Winky said while Dobby smiled and nodded in agreement. “Would you like a tour of the house?”
“Yes, please.” Annabelle said automatically.
Remus called out; “Dobby and I will be in the kitchen putting together a snack. When you are finished with the tour I will answer any questions about the house and the surrounding area for you.”
“Okay, thanks.” John said before they followed Winky on a tour of the house.
The tour started in the sub basement. There was a door to their underground parking garage and their two spaces, which were also under the Fidelius Charm. There was an indoor pool with a hot tub and a fitness room located in the sub basement. The basement proper had a large office, the laundry, a guest bedroom and two full bathrooms. The basement floors were a light travertine and the rooms were a myriad of warm colors to brighten them up.
The ground floor had a comfortable family room with a large fireplace that connected only to Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. A modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops took up the back half of the house. The dining room was between the other two rooms for easy access. With the high ceilings and warm colors, the whole floor had a very homey feel to it.
John and Annabelle were following Winky in stunned silence. The house was simply amazing and they had only toured half of it so far.
The first floor held the master suite. It was ‘simply beautiful,’ thought Annabelle as she looked out the window overlooking Kensington High Street. She noticed that there was no sound coming in from the outside and she guessed that it was something magical that Remus, Sirius, or one of the elves had done.
Turning her attention back to Winky’s explanations of the rooms she stopped cold when she realized that she was standing in a vast library. There were floor to ceiling shelves along the walls in a rich walnut color with matching wood paneling on the lower portions of the walls. There was even a window seat with pillows and a large fireplace on the far wall with comfortable looking chairs and a sofa arranged around it. There were a few magazines placed upon the coffee table in the center. The writing desk was located in the opposite corner underneath the other window looking out onto the park.
John Granger was having a hard time not laughing outright. He knew the moment that he saw the library that Annabelle and Hermione would absolutely love this room. He reached over, closed his wife’s mouth with a single finger, and said, “No drooling please. At least I know where to look if I cannot find you or Hermione in the house. This place is enormous!”
Annabelle blushed when her husband closed her mouth. She had not even realized that it had fallen open. She had always wanted a library in her home but they never had the space for a proper set up. She wanted to grab a book, sit in the window seat, and forget the rest of the tour.
It took her a moment to realize what John had said and then her blush intensified. With a tiny scowl on her face, she turned to him and said, “I don’t drool!”
John’s only response was a raised eyebrow and a smirk before he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the room after Winky.
She was still spluttering and muttering under her breath about; “payback and not drooling” when they reached the bedrooms located on the third floor.
After viewing the bedrooms, they headed back down to the kitchen to chat with Remus. Once everyone was seated around the table, snacking on the food that Dobby had provided, Remus intoned; “I’m sure that you have a few questions for me. Please ask away.”
John spoke up first. “Remus, since I know that we couldn’t afford a place like this, would you please explain it to us?”
“Of course. Sirius took care of the financial arrangements by paying for the house using multiple companies as a front. We are trying to put as many obstacles as possible between you and anyone that may try to find you through normal or magical means.” Remus paused as he gazed into the Grangers eyes.
Seeing that they understood he continued; “Most wizards wouldn’t know how to sort through dozens of dummy corporations to locate your new home. The ones with contacts in your world will still have a hard time because of all of the entities that a law firm helped to set up. When they were finished we removed all of the records and Obliviated the staff.”
The Grangers were a bit shocked, and a bit impressed, by this revelation. The complexity of the entire scheme was amazing. The regular government would have trouble sorting through all of the corporations, meaning that a wizard would have almost no chance at all.
The enormity of everything came crashing down on the Grangers; this was what it meant to be involved in Harry Potter’s life. “Harry really is in danger isn’t he?” Annabelle asked with in a small voice.
“Yes.” Remus answered honestly. There was no getting around that problem and the Grangers needed to know everything since they were taking him in at great personal risk to their family.
“Why purchase such an expensive house?” John asked.
“Well, your family is being uprooted and forced into hiding in a sense. This house has underground parking, twenty-four hour security and an alarm system with hidden surveillance cameras. In addition, it is in a very busy, non-magical, section of the city. Most wizards and witches avoid areas like this one and they don’t blend in well when they do venture out so they are easy to spot. We tried to use every advantage that we could to make you as safe as possible.” Remus answered.
“Thank you, and please thank Sirius for us too.” Annabelle said while grasping one of Lupin’s hands in gratitude.
“You are welcome. We would do anything to keep all of you safe. Harry has had such a hard life and your family is very important to him, and us. I do not have many friends because of my condition and you two have accepted me anyway. That means a great deal to me. So, thank you.” Remus said while returning the gentle squeeze to Annabelle’s hand.
The Grangers were both smiling at Remus after his declaration. “You’re welcome. Thank you too. Your help and friendship is important to us as well.” Annabelle said as John reached over and grasped their hands at the same time.
With a warm smile not often seen on his weathered face, Remus changed the subject. “I have another gift that I think you will both like.” He said while pulling out one of the communication mirrors and passing it across the table.
“What is it?” John asked as Annabelle picked up the mirror and turned it over in her hands, inspecting it.
“That is a communication mirror. Just say the persons name into the mirror and theirs will vibrate letting them know that someone is calling.” Remus said as he pulled his own mirror out of his coat pocket and called out “Annabelle!”
The mirror in her hands began to vibrate and she looked over at Remus with a questioning expression.
“To answer it, simple pick it up and say, hello.” he explained.
With a smile, she said “Hello?” and instantly Remus' smiling face replaced her reflection. “Wow, it’s like a cell phone with a video screen.” Annabelle said with a touch of wonder in her voice as she handed the mirror to John.
“To end the conversation just say good bye. Harry and Hermione have their own mirrors so you can talk to them too. They may not answer right away though. These mirrors are a banned item at Hogwarts. It may take them a few moments to get to a secure place to talk.” Remus explained to the Grangers.
“Thank you. We missed talking with Hermione during the school year.” John said excitedly, surprising Remus and Annabelle. “What? I can’t miss talking with my daughter during the school year?”
Annabelle looked over at Remus and mock whispered “He gets really bad separation anxiety when Hermione goes back to school each term.”
“What?” John spluttered before seeing the teasing smile on his wife’s face. “Why you little...”
“Ah, ah, ah; dear. You don’t want to finish that sentence in front of Remus now do you?” Annabelle said mockingly before breaking out into giggles, which in turn set off Remus' own laughter.
“What is this, pick on John day?” John asked with a mock pout that sent Annabelle and Remus into further gales of laughter at his expense.
They spent the rest of the evening chatting with each other about Harry and Hermione, the results of the first task, the magical world’s prejudices against non-magical people, and exactly what the wards on the house could really do to an intruder.