Harry settles into his new life, but all is not well.
The following story is based on situations and characters owned by J.K. Rowling and/or her publishers/WB.
If I owned the characters and situation I'd be filthy rich and the ending would be completely different. :p
Spoilers for all seven books including the vile OBWF and crapilogue. :(
Warnings: Character deaths and scenes of suicide.
Thanks to my Proof readers:Muggledad & Tumshie
Thanks to IronChefOR for the use of Hermione's address in this story, it comes from his wonderful story Their Way found on Portkey and FF.n
He says that he has not abandoned it, " The last year and a half have been difficult for me, to say the least, so while I have not been able to provide any updates, I have promised myself at least that I will not give up on it."
My apologies to those living at the addresses mentioned in this little story.
Needless to say, this story occurs in fiction, any resemblance to reality is a mistake.
Wednesday, Fifth of November, Nineteen Eighty Six.
Harry held Rose's hand as they walked down Regent Street in London. He was enjoying his shopping trip with Rose greatly. Preoccupied with what had happened earlier today, the wet weather did not dampen his sprits. After learning Wingardium Leviosa this morning, Rose made dinner. Harry was delighted to be fed during the middle of the day as this was an unusual occurrence. If he was still with the Dursleys, he would have had to wait until after he prepared his Uncle's dinner in the evening before he could feed himself. After a dinner of potato waffles, beans and chicken, Harry helped to tidy up. Rose then said she had to go shopping for some clothes for Harry. Harry was stunned that he would have his own clothes; he would never have to wear hand me downs from Dudley ever again. No more underpants with loose elastic waists that would always slide down his legs, no more socks pooling around his ankles, no more trainers taped up and stuffed with bum fluff.
Rose took Harry to Wandsworth High Street for clothes shopping and he was also fitted for his school uniform. Harry had learnt that he would be attending Brandlelow Primary School in Putney starting from tomorrow. Harry was happy that the clothes shopping had only taken two hours as he found it a chore to try on so many different outfits. As a treat Rose decided to finish the day by taking him in to see some of the sights in London.
Harry was jolted out of his thoughts when Rose stopped outside a large shop. The shop had large plate glass windows with toys visible in each of the window displays. The windows were separated by granite piers darkened by the rain. Harry looked wide eyed at the colourful displays, but one in particular caught his attention. The display that caught his attention appeared to be a small toy city made out of little studded blocks. The city had a fire station, police station and an airport. There were three trains running around on separate railways. The lowest railway ran beside a loading yard with loads of toy cars and trucks made from the bricks. Above the lower level, about a third of the way up the window, was the second railway running around the perimeter was a fast looking red and black train. The third railway line was in the very back of the display and Harry could not make it out clearly due to his poor eyesight. Some of the toy trucks in the display had flashing lights. Harry was mesmerised by the display of so many toys in one space. Harry pressed his face against the window to get a better look. If Rose hadn’t known better, she would have sworn that she was watching a modern day Oliver Twist longing for ‘more, please’.
"Harry, do you like what you see?" enquired Rose as she sat on her hunkers to be level with Harry.
Harry nodded wide eyed.
"Let's go in and get you some toys. It is not fair, that a nice boy like yourself is without any toys to play with." stated Rose with a mock frown.
"You mean I get to have toys?" asked Harry in a small voice.
"Yes, Harry, I will buy a lot of toys just this once to make up for the last five years. After that you will get one or two toys on your birthday in July and a few at Christmas. Okay?" replied Rose.
Harry nodded eagerly, Rose stood back up and took Harry's hand and led him into the shop. Harry looked around him in shock there were toys everywhere, he had never even seen a toy store before, much less been inside one. Rose told him to go and explore and find five toys he liked. Harry slowly moved among the shelves of toys with Rose following behind him by two or three paces. On the ground floor Harry discovered that most of the toys were of stuffed animals and he picked out a stuffed brown bear with a pirate's hat and a black eye patch. Harry liked the stuffed bear as the bear had the same eye colouring as he did.
Rose told a wide eyed Harry that there were more toys upstairs. Harry climbed the stairs hugging his new bear. Rose bought a wooden chess set made from stained walnut and beech, the set also came with draughts pieces (AN1). At Harry's questioning look Rose explained that her father and uncle played chess and she would teach him the game. While Harry was busy looking Rose purchased some sweets from the sweet shop on that level.
Harry found nothing of interest on that floor so the pair went upstairs. The baby toys did not interest Harry on this level so they went up again to the third floor which was laid out for girls.
"I don't think you want anything on this floor?" joked Rose.
Harry frowned and said "No."
"The toys for boys are upstairs" answered Rose smiling at the typically male reaction at seeing so much pink.
When Harry reached the top of the stairs his eyes widened at all the boys toys laid out before him. Rose smiled at the joy in Harry's face. After half an hour Harry had selected some small Matchbox cars and two Transformers, the first was Optimus Prime and the other was Starscream. Harry seemed to be happy but Rose could tell something was wrong so she asked him.
"What's wrong Harry?" quizzed Rose as they queued to pay for the toys.
"I am happy with my toys, but I would like some of the bricks in the window display, they look like fun." whispered Harry afraid he would appear ungrateful and upset Rose.
"Okay, we’ll make it six toys then. I'll ask where the Lego is, when we pay." said Rose.
"Lego?" asked Harry.
"That is the name of the bricks, did you not see the large red, white and yellow logo on the top of the window?" asked a puzzled Rose.
Harry shook his head wondering, did he see the sign in the window?
Rose frowned in thought but said nothing. Harry looked at the back of the box that contained Optimus Prime. Rose gently pushed Harry to a cashiers desk to pay for the toys. Once the transaction was completed Rose asked the lady behind the counter where the Lego was on sale. The lady handed over the plastic bags to Harry with Hamley’s written in red down the side and replied that the Lego was stocked in the basement beside the play area. Rose thanked the woman and headed for the escalators.
Harry looked wide eyed at the large play area to the left of the escalator as he rode it to the bottom. There was about twenty circular tables with hollow basins in the centres, each table stocking something different. Harry noticed that some of the tables contained Lego blocks, some tables contained brightly painted wooden blocks and some contained Play-Doh. Harry knew that it was Plasticine as he saw it in his old school. Harry ran over to one of the free tables of Lego. Rose followed at more sedate pace, smiling at Harry's reaction, it was good to see him behave like his age and not as a little slave working for the Dursleys.
Rose patiently watched Harry play with the various toys laid out on the tables. It was obvious that Harry enjoyed playing with the Lego bricks as he spent the most time at one of the Lego tables building houses and making cars. After letting Harry play for an hour, Rose decided that it was time to go home. At Harry's crestfallen expression Rose caved in to his desires, muttering about “green puppy dog eyes.” She agreed to buy him some Lego sets. Harry even used his woeful expression so that Rose would buy a couple of the more difficult Lego Technic sets.
Harry left Hamley’s a very happy boy, Rose left slightly concerned feeling that she was wrapped around Harry's finger.
That evening Harry was allowed to play with his new toys until nine o'clock before he had to go to bed as Rose intended to take him to school tomorrow. Harry tried to beg for some more play time but he yawned loudly at the end of his protest. Reluctantly he went to bed clutching his new teddy bear.
Rose felt like her body was moving through treacle. She was hurrying to save a woman's life but she knew instinctively she would not make it. The woman, had long wild brown hair and was sitting in a Victorian bath which was in the middle of a black and white checker board tiled floor. Rose could not see the walls, the bath stood in the middle of the vast floor. A light grey fog limited visibility to about sixty feet. Rose drew closer to the woman in the bath.
Rose felt a lump rise in her throat as the woman picked up an old fashioned straight razor. The woman's hand was obscured by the rim of the bath as her hands went into her lap. Rose felt her throat constrict as the woman lifted the razor, the blade red with her blood. Rose rushed forward to try and stop the insane woman. She felt like she was moving in slow motion. Shocked and dismayed, she saw her mother's pale face come into focus on the woman in the bath tub.
Rose redoubled her efforts to reach her mother but the distance seemed to have suddenly doubled. Hermione lifted the blood soaked blade one handed and the blade bit into her other wrist, blood flowed freely and splashed the polished marble tiled floor. Rose screamed, "NO!"
Her heart was thumping hard in her chest threatening to burst through her ribcage. With tears streaming from her face she lunged for the bath. A minor victory, as she grasped the rim of the bath. Rose fastened her hand around her mother's hand holding the razor to stop her from inflicting more self harm. Rose forced the implement from her mother's hand, the bloody razor clattered to the floor. Rose clamped her hand onto the wound on her mother's wrist.
Her efforts were futile, though. Slowly, the bath began to fill with blood from the wounds on Hermione's thighs. Rose wailed as she failed to save her mother - again. Feeling her mother's body begin to grow cold, Rose raised her head after a time crying to look at her mother's face.
Seeing her face obscured by her mother’s wild hair, Rose gently took the brown hair from her face and gasped when her own face stared back at her. Backing up in shock that her mother had morphed into herself she began to look about frantically. There was something very strange going on. Rose started to panic, felt weak and about to faint. Her eyesight began to dim. When she began to feel pain in her legs, Rose looked down. She did not remember stripping out of her clothes. Blood was flowing freely from two deep gashes on her upper thighs, just like her mother’s corpse. Shocked and weak from blood loss, she collapsed onto the white floor.
Rose gasped in shock as she felt a stabbing pain in her left wrist. She looked at her wrist in shock at the new wound that suddenly appeared. Rose looked around her wildly, her mother’s corpse had vanished and so had the bath. The walls and floor were white. A large circular drain was to her right. Rose looked up and gasped as she realised that she was in a giant bath. The floor was stained red as her own blood flowed towards the plug hole. Rose needed to get out of her predicament. Terrified, she screamed "NO".
With a start Rose sat bolt upright in her bed. Her nightie was soaked with sweat and her heart was beating wildly in her ribcage. She was hyper awake. Reaching out, her wand snapped into her hand, the end glowing brightly which bathed the room in a soft white light. She played the light over her wrist and thighs finding no wounds, just unblemished skin. Whipping the bedclothes off of the bed, looking for bloodstains, she sighed in relief, it had only been a very vivid nightmare.
Reality slowly dawned on Rose. She was in Wandsworth and safe. A glance at the clock indicated that it was almost half four in the morning. Sighing in relief Rose extinguished her wand and placed it on the bedside locker. She slowly lay back down as her nightmare continued to insistently play through her mind. Rose was restless and finding it difficult to sleep as the memory of the nightmare just would not leave her. It had been all so very vivid, Rose felt like she had been actually there. Her eyes eventually grew heavy and Rose slipped into a fitful slumber.
Rose awoke feeling uneasy, there was something wrong: she felt uneasy right down to her bones. Looking around the darkened room, she lit her wand and saw the clock read a quarter past five. It was less than an hour since her nightmare had awoken her. A feeling welled up in her she had to check on Harry. Silently, she slipped out of the bed and summoned her dressing gown. Slipping it on, Rose silently padded out of the room to check up on Harry.
Harry's bedroom door was closed. As Rose approached the room she felt oppressive magic emanate from behind the door. Rose slowly opened the door and entered the room to find Harry was sleeping fitfully in his bed, Rose was surprised that he was still asleep with all the tossing and turning he was doing. Looking around the tidy room his new guardian tried to determine the source of the malicious magical energy she was feeling. The air in the room was oppressive, pushing against her. Shaking her head, Rose tried to control the instinctive feeling for her magic to react.
Rose slowly sat on the bedside and gasped. The light from her wand illuminated Harry's face and she saw his famous scar was an angry red colour and was bleeding freely. To her horror, she saw that some of the blood had run into Harry's eyes. The poor boy was crying and grimacing in his sleep. Rose silently left the room feeling weak at the sight of blood.
Rose made her way to the bathroom and rinsed a facecloth in cold water and rung it out. She returned to Harry's bedroom with the damp facecloth and the first aid kit she had bought yesterday. Harry was still sleeping fitfully, tossing and turning. The blood weeping from his scar was now smeared on his face like gruesome war paint. Steeling herself, Rose lit Harry's bedside light and used the facecloth to wash Harry's face cleam of the blood. Harry awoke with a start and backed away from Rose in shock.
"What's wrong, Harry?" asked Rose.
"It hurts" whimpered Harry.
"Where?" asked Rose in concern.
"Here." said Harry as he gestured to his forehead.
Rose carefully wiped Harry's forehead and whispered encouraging words of comfort to calm him down. Harry was surprisingly docile under Rose's ministrations. In short order Harry's weeping scar was bandaged. The lad winced as he lay back down in the bed.
"Still sore?" asked Rose in concern.
Harry nodded with pain filled eyes.
"Does it happen often?" quizzed Rose wondering if Harry had suffered under the Dursley's care.
Harry shrugged, as he tried to make himself comfortable in the bed.
"Every day?" quizzed Rose.
Harry shock his head in the negative.
"How often does it happen then?" asked a puzzled Rose.
Realizing his distress, Rose climbed into the bed and hugged Harry to her. Harry stiffened at the physical contact, after a while he relaxed when he realised that Rose was offering physical comfort. The comfort a mother would give, he felt a pang of loss for his dead mother. She asked Harry to explain as she gently stroked Harry's head, trying to ease his suffering.
"It seems to happen every couple of days, as a splitting headache. Normally it would dull to a bearable pain but this is the first time my scar has bled. Usually it just becomes itchy and if I rub it, it might bleed and become sore. But I haven't scratched it for a week, so I don't know why it’s bleeding now. I've got used to the pain, though. When I told my Aunt about the pain she said it was; 'Good enough for a freak like you to be in pain'. I thought it was normal," said Harry glumly.
"Oh, Harry, that's not normal, in the morning we’ll go to the healer and have you checked. Having headaches like that is not normal at all." answered Rose as she kissed Harry on the forehead beside his bandaged scar.
Harry felt the love in Rose's gentle hug and slipped into a peaceful slumber as his head hurt less than earlier. Rose frowned about her current situation as she felt Harry relax as he fell asleep. Harry had fallen asleep in her lap, and they were half sitting, half lying on top of Harry's bed. Rose decided she would bring Harry to the healer surgery in St. Mungo’s later this morning.
Rose glanced at the clock on Harry's bedside locker, the face read quarter to six. Harry was sleeping peacefully on her lap. She was reluctant to disturb his sleep but she needed to return to her own bed as the position she found herself in was uncomfortable. In fact, her back was killing her. Reluctantly she gently tucked Harry in to his bed and slipped out. Harry shifted groggily at the manoeuvre but quickly settled down. Rose went back to her cold bed and found that she could not sleep, so she decided to get up and make an early start on the day.
Since it was going to be a long day with the planned visit to the healers, Rose decided to let Harry sleep in. Harry awoke at five past nine and was dressed and ready for their trip to St. Mungo's by a quarter to ten.
Dressed in his new clothes that had been bought yesterday, Harry was pleased that he no longer had to wear hand me downs anymore. The breakfast dishes were clean and the kitchen was tidy. Having forgotten about the night-time discussion, Harry thought that he was starting in his new school this morning. Rose reminded him that they would be going to the doctor this morning. Besides he’d slept in too late to make it to school. That is how Harry found himself, dressed and waiting in the Sitting room.
Rose entered wearing a travel cloak and held in her hands a smaller cloak for Harry to wear which she fastened it around his neck. Once she was happy with Harry's appearance she lit a fire in the grate of the ornate fire place. Harry looked puzzled at her actions, he thought that they were going to the doctors.
"Harry, as a wizard you have many options when it comes to going on a journey which you will use as you grow. You remember the trip on the Knight Bus? Well this is the second form of magical travel. It is called Floo travel, you say your destination in a clear voice, throw some of the Floo Powder into the fire and step through once the fire turns green. Here I'll show you." explained Rose.
Harry looked a little worried at the thought of stepping into the fire. Rose picked up the urn that contained the Floo Powder on the hearth and showed the contents to Harry. Harry fought down a sneeze, as the silvery powder dust irritated his nose. Rose picked up a handful of the powder and threw it on the fire. The orange and red flames changed colour to a brilliant green. Rose turned to Harry and said.
"As you can see the fire is green, now you say your destination clearly, tuck your elbows into your body and step through, bending your knees slightly on the exit."
Harry nodded to show he understood the instructions so far. The fire's flames returned to their normal colours of reds and oranges. Rose turned, offered the urn of Floo Powder to Harry and directed him to use the powder. Harry grasped a handful of the magical powder and threw it onto the fire, again the flames turned green.
"Before we go one more thing. Our Floo connection, . . fire place has a password protecting it like a front door key. Keep it too yourself and don't tell anyone, Okay?" stated Rose in a firm voice.
Harry nodded to show he understood the seriousness of the situation.
"Good, anytime you return home say; 'Grey Residence', followed by: 'Books and cleverness' The first part is the name of the house, a magical address if you will. The second part is the password in memory of my mother." explained Rose with a hitch in her throat as she thought of her dead mother.
Harry wondered why Rose seemed to be sad. Maybe she was like him and no longer had a mother. Harry wondered if he should hug her but he was afraid of angering his new guardian. The green flames roared from the reinvigorated fire, pulling Harry from his thoughts.
"Okay Harry lets go. Step in and say ‘St. Mungo’s’ clearly and wait for me on the other side. Understood?" instructed Rose.
Harry steeled himself for this new experience, clearly stating the destination and stepped forward into the green fire, Marvelling at the fact that the green flames did not burn him, he felt sucked into the Floo Network. Harry was peripherally aware of other fireplaces flashing past at speed before he was spat out at his destination at a fair speed. The boy-who-lived exited the fireplace in St. Mungo’s with legs bent as Rose had instructed. He staggered forward from the momentum a couple of steps, but managed to stay up right.
Looking around curiously, he found that he was in a very large room almost as big as a train shed. It was a long narrow room, which had three sets of double doors painted white with illegible writhing over the doors at one end. The opposite side held two sets of double doors and a reception desk between the doors. The two long walls connecting the doors had numerous fireplaces spread equidistant. Every so often, a fire place would erupt with green flames and a witch or wizard would step out and dust themselves down. Harry looked up and was amazed to see floating white candles providing the room's illumination.
Harry noticed that the odd person would fall out of the fireplace. This made him feel strangely good as he felt foolish for having stumbled out of his own fireplace. Just as Harry turned to look back at the fireplace he came from, he witnessed Rose's graceful exit. He hoped that one day he could exit the Floo just like Rose had just done. His guardian hurried over and began to clean the soot off of Harry's clothes and face. Harry grinned and bore it, as Rose cleaned his face with her handkerchief. At least she hadn’t licked the handkerchief before applying it to his smudges. He’d seen Aunt Petunia do that to Dudley once and it had almost made him gag. Once Rose was happy with Harry's appearance, she grasped his hand and guided him towards the reception desk as she put the soiled cloth back into her handbag.
Harry held Rose's hand as they approached the reception desk. He silently watched as Rose asked the receptionist for directions to the Surgery. Eventually, they began a short journey that took him up two flights of stairs and down three corridors. He was thoroughly lost and desperately hoped that Rose remembered how to get out of the Hospital.
When she entered the waiting room of the Surgery, Rose remembered the first time she visited the Healer Surgery in St. Mungo's. She had gotten sick when she was seven, and after being bedridden for two days her mother had decided to take her to see the Healer, Healer Driscoll. He had been a large kind man with a funny accent. Rose was diagnosed with a nasty strain of Wizard flu which nearly killed her. Unfortunately, she had missed two weeks of school due to quarantine as it was feared that this new strain was contagious.
Rose was pulled from her memories when she felt Harry squeeze her hand. They were stood in the doorway of the waiting room. Rose just hoped she managed to find a good Healer for Harry. She moved forward briskly with Harry trotting beside her. The receptionist looked up as Rose reached the reception desk.
"Which Healers are on this morning?" asked Rose.
"Let's see." said the receptionist as she rifled through a large book. "Healer Manmalis is booked solid this morning, but is free in the afternoon. Healer Driscoll is a new healer from the States. He started just last year and comes in at ten. He’s free ‘til this afternoon. Healer Baker is currently not available as he is working the spell reversal ward in the main hospital. Finally Healer Frasier is on maternity leave."
"Okay, I'll see Healer Driscoll, please." said Rose.
"Name?" asked the receptionist.
"Grey, Rose." stated Rose as the receptionist entered Rose's name into the book.
"Take a seat, the Healer will call for you." stated the receptionist as she returned to reading Witch Weekly.
Rose guided Harry over to the rows of seats and picked up and old dog-eared copy of Which Broomstick. Rose frowned there was nothing else left to read. Harry nudged Rose when he saw a table of magical toys. Rose nodded and said he could go play, Harry smiled in thanks and rushed over to the table of toys.
Sean Driscoll was a large man, over six feet high and broad across the shoulders. He could of easily played American Football or become a Wrestler like Hulk Hogan on television. Sean had piercing blue-green eyes and dirty blond hair and had come over to England with his English wife Anne four years ago. Anne's parents were murdered during He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's reign of terror. When Anne received a letter from her sister saying that the terror had passed, she convinced her husband to take her home. Sean, wanting to please his wife, agreed and the young couple had moved to London.
Sean had been taught under the American approach to learning advanced magic such as healing, through an apprenticeship. The American model for healthcare used a Healer's surgery modelled after the muggles to free up the magical hospitals He had approached Healer Manmalis with the idea of setting up this style of surgery at St. Mungo's. The new surgery would deal with the minor cases to free up the accident and emergency department. Healer Manmalis agreed and the surgery came into existence last year. Unfortunately take up was slow as most patients wanted to see the established Healers like Manmalis and Baker. As a result, Sean was pleased to see that he had a patient this morning. The young healer had just donned his white robe and called in his first patient of the day, a Mrs. Grey.
A woman with auburn hair stood up and called to a small black haired boy to come to her. She grasped the boy's hand and both approached him. He was puzzled as normally the parents booked in their child's name if it was the child that needed to see a Healer. He led the pair to his office and directed them to the chairs in front of his desk.
His office was fairly typical of both Doctor and Healer surgeries across the planet. There was a padded examination table along one wall, with a light on a moveable arm attached to the wall. Beside the exam table was a hand basin and cabinet of potions which was flanked by a small potions lab behind a cloth screen. In front of a magical window showing a beach scene somewhere in the tropics, was an office table and three chairs. The Healer's chair was upholstered in fine worn brown leather. The two chairs in front of the desk were simple wooden chairs with the seat and backs upholstered in a tough well worn fabric. On the opposite wall to the exam table was a small play area for little witches and wizards to play while the parent could talk to the Healer.
Sean sat at the desk and directed the young woman and boy to sit. He guessed the woman, Ms. Grey was in her mid twenties and quite pretty. The young boy looked to be about five maybe six and had an underfed look about him.
"Good morning my name is Healer Driscoll and how may I help you?" enquired Sean as he introduced himself.
"Morning, Healer, before we begin may I ask a question?" stated Ms. Grey with an intensity that surprised Sean.
Sean nodded curious to what the woman's question could be.
"I would like you to swear a confidentiality oath, for my young charge, I would also trust you to hear me out before you begin your diagnosis, okay?" responded Ms. Grey.
Sean frowned in thought, but took another look at the boy. The boy was looking at him in shy curiosity, with brilliant green eyes. Green eyes, Sean's eyes widened in understanding, he could see a white bandage on his forehead with blood seepage visible. Maybe the child was the famous Harry Potter. If so, it would explain the request for the oath and the reason Ms Grey used her name instead of the boy’s name. The visit was probably regarding the famous wound on the boy's head.
"Okay Ms. Grey I'll do it even though it is unusual." responded Sean.
"Thank you and my young charge is Harry Potter." replied Ms. Grey.
Sean nodded as his suspicions were confirmed and dutifully swore the oath protecting the information that he was now young Harry's Healer. Once the oath was sworn Ms. Grey introduced herself as Rose Grey.
"What seems to be matter?" Asked Sean of young Harry in a pleasant voice.
"Head hurts." whimpered Harry.
"Well let's get a look at you then." replied a smiling Sean.
"I think there is something seriously wrong with Harry. He woke me last night from his room and there was oppressive, almost suffocating, magic emanating from his room. I got up and checked on him to find him tossing and turning, moaning in his sleep. His scar was bleeding." explained Rose.
Sean frowned at that piece of information. He ran through his standard diagnostic spells and charms. The results were puzzling to say the least. He decided to visually inspect the scar, so he slowly and carefully removed the bandage on Harry's head. Despite being an American, Sean was aware of the legend surrounding Harry and the night his parents were killed. Frowning, he was surprised that the wound looked fresh on the young boy’s forehead. It started weeping blood the minute the bandages were loose. Sean conjured up a wad of cotton gauze and pressed it against the wound. Harry whimpered in pain. Sean turned to Rose and asked to be told Harry's medical history.
"Sorry, I don't know his medical history. I know that he was placed with his mother's sister. I was informed that he was not being looked after and was that I was to be his guardian. I rescued Harry from his Aunt and Uncle two nights ago. I had intended to bring him to a Healer for a medical but Harry seemed to get a good night's sleep on the first night.” Looking at Harry with a caring, concerned expression, she continued, “But last night was very bad for him."
"Who placed him with his Aunt and Uncle and why?" asked Sean as he peered closer at the wound.
"I don't know who placed him with his Aunt and Uncle, but I do know there were Blood Wards around the house that were not working properly. I knew how to transfer them to Harry's new home, but I haven’t checked them yet." replied Rose.
"Damn! Transfer of Blood wards is not common here in England but back home in the States it is pretty common for the Native nomadic tribes. It’s known back home that after shifting the wards, there is usually a twenty four to thirty six hours waiting period before they come to full power. Usually a night watch is put in place over the subject or subjects of the ward. Now normally Blood Wards are benign to the rightful occupants. The fact Harry had difficulty last night indicates that the Blood Wards are trying to protect Harry from something." Sean trailed off in thought, he got up suddenly and went over to his bookcase and took down a large black book. The book was from his medical library back home in Massachusetts.
As Sean looked through the book he asked, "Let me guess the Blood Wards did not work as his original guardians did not love him?"
"I guess so." replied Rose.
"Well, back home in North America the native nomadic tribes use the wards due to their strength, effectiveness and ease of transfer. It's only since I moved here that I have learnt they way you, what I mean is, European witches and wizards regard blood wards as dark magic. It is unusual for Harry to be protected by a Blood Ward, but according to the legend surrounding that night, his mother sacrificed her life for Harry" said Sean as he teased out his thoughts aloud.
"That matches what I've been told. Lily sacrificed herself for Harry. That protection caused the killing curse cast at Harry to rebound. That sacrifice was then used to erect the Blood Wards but I was not told who erected the wards or why." replied Rose thoughtfully.
"The sacrifice used in Blood Wards by the tribes in the states are usually provided by a minimum of three witches. It is the norm that the Blood Ward acts as a community protection. And due to this it is not seen as dark magic, instead it helps to strengthen the community."
"Oh, but what about individual families?" quizzed Rose
"Well in the tribes I studied, the Blood Wards kept anyone out you wanted to do harm or steal from anyone in the community. But for added protection the head of an individual family would erect their own ward over the family's tents or tepees." answered Sean.
"So you are quite familiar with Blood Wards?" asked Rose.
"Yes, I studied them for my warding class. It is only recently that I have found information on European Blood Wards." replied Sean.
"Okay, so do know of a reason why the wards were not working properly at his old residence?" asked Rose.
"Well let's look at the facts and work from there. Someone erected Blood Wards based on the sacrifice Harry's mother made. Due to the nature of European Blood Wards it is likely that whoever erected the wards placed Harry with Blood relatives. You were given enough information to successfully transfer the wards over to your new address. Correct?" theorized Sean.
Rose nodded in agreement.
"Harry, did you consider your old house as home?" asked Sean.
Harry shook his head in the negative.
Sean followed the first question with "Do you consider your home to be with Rose?"
Harry smiled and eagerly nodded his head.
Sean frowned in thought before turning to Rose and said. "Well it looks like the key to the wards where Harry considers home is. And since that was not the old house, maybe they never activated fully. If they never activated fully that could mean they have only just activated. I think that the Blood Wards are the family variant and historically family variants are very powerful." said Sean.
"Sounds plausible" agreed Rose.
"I think that if the wards had worked before they could of fixed whatever was wrong with Harry gradually and not cause Harry any pain at all. The fact that it looks like they never activated is a mute point now as Harry is now suffering. It is worrying that the Blood Wards are reacting so strongly after we have just determined that they just activated." replied Sean gravely as he perused the book.
Sean found the spell he wanted and read the passage three times to make sure he understood the wand motions of the spell he intended to use. Once satisfied he turned to Harry and said. "I am going to cast a spell, it may hurt a little but I am using it to try and discover what is wrong, Okay?"
Harry trembled in fear, but nodded stiffly. Sean sent his wand through a complex series of motions before a dull white light issued from the wand which connected to Harry’s forehead. Harry felt intense pins and needles all over his body before the headache became noticeably more painful. Biting back a groan of pain, the boy glowed for about five seconds before a large ghostly white ball formed over his head. The ball of energy slowly rotated clockwise.
Sean frowned when he saw a smaller pitch black ball of energy stuck to the white ball in the upper hemisphere. Sean gestured with his wand and the spinning stopped. Another gesture and the area affected by the pitch black ball grew larger, as if in magnification. Sean frowned in thought as he examined the area around the black ball. The black ball was barely attached to the white ball, it was as if the two ball were glued together and then a force had tried to rip them apart. The rip looked to be about half way done. Sean paled as he had an inkling of what the black ball of energy represented. Sean cast another spell at the black ball of energy and sat back heavily as the new spell confirmed his suspicions.
Sean collected his thoughts before gravely offering, "I think I might have an idea of what happened to Harry, now it is only my speculation, you understand."
"Okay, continue please." replied a now nervous Rose.
"I think that whatever He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did that terrible night left behind a piece of himself. That fragment of himself attached to Harry, maybe through the scar but that isn’t really relevant. Since that night, the fragment or soul shard has lain dormant like a sleeping dragon, causing Harry some background pain which would explain the intermittent pain and itching he experiences.
“The only recent major change in his life is that Harry moved to live with you. The Blood Wards are charging to full power for the first time since they were cast because you love Harry. They have sensed something attacking Harry and are trying to banish the perceived attacker. Unfortunately for Harry, if the Blood Wards are allowed to continue, Harry would suffer greatly. I fear that in their efforts to protect him, the Wards may very well cause more harm than good. Worst case scenario is that Harry could lose his magic and become a Squib or possibly even die," concluded Sean.
The healer flicked his wand and the ghostly image of the two balls of energy disolved. Sean cast another spell at Harry, ghostly runes appeared over Harry's head.
"Unfortunately for Harry the soul fragment is binding Harry's magic and must be removed. I am not qualified or trained to even attempt the task. Fortunately, I have a friend studying Ancient Egyptian magic in Cairo and more than likely he could help Harry. He is busy and would probably be available over the Christmas holidays. I’ll owl him to confirm that he can and will help. In the mean time I will have to mitigate the Blood Wards effects on young Harry. It will be a stop gap solution, but should provide some relief," said Sean as he went to his small potions laboratory.
Sean used a number seven potions base to create a potion for Harry's unique situation. A cloud of blue-purple smoke rolled out of the caldron when it was finished. Sean placed a large pad of Griffin wool into the caldron to soak. As Sean worked on the potion he explained what he was doing to Rose and Harry.
"Rose, I will give you the recipe and directions for this potion. To save time I have also included the short form that is based on base number seven. At first glance it will appear to be toxic so be careful to not inhale the fumes. The Griffin wool mitigates the toxic effects and is used for cursed scars and wounds inflicted by the blackest of Dark Arts." explained Sean as he handed over a four foot roll of parchment.
Rose quickly scanned the document and her eyes widened in shock as she saw the potion's list of ingredients, she understood the reason for the warning but fortunately she had studied this potion for her NEWT in advance potions. From her studies, she knew that the potion could be used with three different materials, Griffin wool, Acromantula Silk, and Unicorn hair. Griffin wool was used for bandaging wounds as the wool transformed the potion into a powerful healing cloth. The Griffin wool was the easiest to acquire as it came from the underbelly of a Griffin, and there was one source of good quality wool from China.
Acromantula Silk also created a powerful healing cloth but as the silk was much more expensive it was rarely used. While the Griffin wool cloth was used for most wounds, the Acromantula Silk was used for delicate areas on the skin and inside the body to heal organs. When specially treated, Acromantula Silk could dissolve inside the body after a period of a few days. Unfortunately it was a rarely used practice in Europe or else people like Mad-Eye Moody might have retained the use of catastrophically wounded limbs.
The practice of using Acromantula Silk in Europe was introduced by Rose's mother when she was in fifth year when the silk had saved her father's liver. He had been hit with Sectumsempra while on a stakeout of Knockturn Alley. The counter spell died with the spells creator Severus Snape, but Hermione Weasley would not be beaten by a dead man's spell.
Unicorn hair is never used as it is considered Dark magic to harvest the hair of a Unicorn. Unicorn hair can only be harvested from a dead animal or leavings from shed mane or tail.. Rose had learnt of this particular combination from Headmaster Snape's personal notes that she found in his old quarters beside the Slytherin common room. Unfortunately Rose only discovered Snape's notes in sixth year, otherwise her father would never had to give up alcohol.
As Rose studied the roll of parchment and her subsequent trip down memory lane, Sean removed the potion laced Griffin wool and applied it to Harry's forehead. A roll of bandage held the cloth in place. Sean stepped back and asked Harry, "Is that better?"
Harry shrugged, he was not sure.
"Give it a little time, but it should help. The fact that the bandage is in place should help relieve the pain inflicted by the Blood Ward's trying to help you." said Sean.
Rose looked up and asked, "How often should it be applied, Healer?"
"Sean, Please, we are all friends, right?" replied Sean, but then answered Rose's question, "The bandage needs to be applied every twelve hours until the fragment is removed from Harry's magical core. If the headache's don't lessen or get worse come back and we'll try something else."
"Thank you Sean, can you now give Harry a physical? I don't think he has ever had one with his former guardians." replied Rose.
Sean nodded and conducted a full physical. Once Sean was finished with his examination he pointed Harry towards the small play table, and Harry happily started to play leaving the two adults to talk.
"How is Harry's health?" asked Rose in concern.
"Surprisingly better than expected considering what you hinted at earlier." replied Sean.
"Huh?" startled Rose as Sean's response caught her unawares.
"Harry lived with relatives of some description that were not looking after Harry. You stepped in and your visit today confirms that you care for him. His glasses prescription is wrong for him which may be contributing to his headaches. He is malnourished but fortunately we have caught it in time, if left longer his core would have had to make up the difference and thus stunted his magical growth. Once that soul fragment is gone he should grow up to be a strong young wizard.
“I have cast a spell on his glasses that will alter the prescription automatically to suit his eyes. Pretty handy that. You’ll need to update the charm once a week until you visit the optometrist and get a proper set of glasses. I have started Harry on a three month potions course for his various issues. The potions course consists of three potions, two to be taken orally and the third applied to each eye by a dropper.
The first is a nutrient supplement to help his diet. The prescription is for three weeks, after which he should be fit and healthy. Of course, the nutrient potion should be complemented with a balanced diet. The second potion is to reinforce his magical core as it fights the soul fragment. This will only need to be taken until the fragment is removed. Unfortunately, his core will need all the help he can get. It won't make his core any stronger, just increase his chances of survival. I must warn you, there is a very slim chance that the removal of the soul fragment could kill Harry.
The third potion is for his eyes. For the last two hundred years North America has been world leaders in repairing the senses, such as hearing and sight. I am using a well understood method of healing, for Harry's sight. It would appear that as well as having a pair of lazy eyes, that resulted in his short-sightedness, Harry has slight damage to his irises. It would appear that this might due to spell fire. I have seen it before in battlefield triage. Before becoming a civilian Healer I was part of the Auror Corps," explained Sean as he passed over the first dose of potions and the scroll of parchment containing all the relevant information Rose required.
"Thank you, I hope your friend in Egypt can help Harry." said Rose as she grasped Sean's hand in thanks.
"Is that it?" asked Sean.
"Can I get a health exam and then I will leave you to see your other patents." said Rose.
Sean smiled at Rose's comment, but fulfilled Rose's request. He smiled as he saw the pair to the door after giving Rose a clean bill of health. His grin grew at the wave Harry gave him as the young boy left the room.
AN1 Draughts is the English name for a board game known to Americans as Checkers.