Hermione begins to learn about her hosts in the strange world of magic and steam while harry begins to learn of the power and nature of his family and its retainers.
By deathblade2584 aka Bloodylord
Disclaimer: see chapter one
Title: Seeing Harry’ home for the first time.
Hermione Granger looked around as the party waiting at the entrance to the Potter Minor. She had never seen men dressed in livery that the men waiting wore but they had to be sworn retainers of the Duke of Griffins Hollow, James Potter. She wondered if the presence of six liveried men in London was intended as show of wealth or if they were there to protect the house or maybe his son. She had not seen anyone dressed in black pants and a dark red jacket with dark green trim following Harold. The car slowed pulling to a perfect stop in front of the party waiting by the huge doors. One of the liveried men opened the door to the car. The main doors opened themselves at the same time.
Lord Harold exited the car first, followed by his wife, Hermione exited last. She had been lost in thought about the house and was wondering if Harry had one like it in London. The men held their post as they entered the house, and after the lord’s party was in grand entrance hall the doors closed by themselves. Two stairs descended from the first floor, meeting with the wide hall below, flanking a door in the opposite wall. There were four doors off on each side leading to other rooms. The hall was decorated with paintings, both wizarding and mundane. A pair of lions craved from stone with ruby eyes stood guard at the door on the opposite wall, looking behind her she saw two more loins flanking the door that they had entered thought. The surprising element of the decoration is that there were four snakes, made of a black metal with emerald eyes that coiled next to the lions guarding the doors. The hall was high ceiling; it was clearly as tall as the first floor. On either side of the hall there were first floor rooms visible though arch ways and over a low railings. All in all the entry hall was impressive, the only structure that she could compare it to was the entry hall at Hogwarts, which was more impressive, but only because of its more massive scale.
Lord Harold looked at his guest and smiled at the look on Hermione’s face, an expression of surprise and admiration. He looked at his wife and fought back a laugh at her expression, which seemed to say God it is me. He spoke up breaking the silence.
“Hermione my dear, do you think one of your old dresses would fit Miss Granger?”
“Most of them should, I am sure we can find something for her to wear. After all, I have been storing my old cloths have been stored here since I was fifteen, all because your family refuses to throw anything out.”
“Good, I will have Edward find some and you can help Miss Granger find a dress for the dinner party on Friday, we don’t have enough time to get a dress made. Beth, please shows Miss Granger to the Blue Lady’s room, and draws a bath for her and sees to her needs. A dress for dinner will be sent over in an hour.”
Hermione was surprised to see that a young woman in a black dress with a white apron had appeared through the door on their left. Beth she guessed walked over and said in a clear alto voice “Please follow me Miss Granger, you look like you could use a good bath and some clean cloths.” Hermione looked at her dress and saw that there were blood stains from a fight in the deep colored cloth.
“Thank you, a bath you be nice.” Hermione said feeling that a reply was needed and believing that cooperation would get her answers faster then fighting. Besides she could ask Beth some of her more basic questions. Both servant and guest walk up the left side stair to the first floor.
BREAK BREAK BREAK
Home Reality Griffin’s Hollow
Harry Potter looked up at the huge the black iron gates, each easily large enough to admit a giant. To his left was a small door in the wall guarded by a party of men in black pants and a dark red jacket with dark green trim. Two held what looked like shotguns and the other two held wands drawn. As they were merely watching him and not aiming there weapons at him, he continued to look around. To his right was a well made road with that lead to a train station that was maybe half a mile away. Off the road were a number of planted fields, but there were no barns or other structures outside the wall except for the train station and its surrounding buildings. Harry decided to look up at the wall one more time and saw that the archway above the door was flanked by a pair of large carved Griffins, with a crave banner reading Griffin’s Hollow. He also noticed that the wall continued another forty feet above the fifty foot tall doorway. The wall was topped with battlements and atop the battlements were craved gargoyles. Harry quickly decided that it was time to move along he needed to get inside and find a place to stay, the excitement of the day had been draining and it was getting late, the sun was starting to set, and it would be dark soon. He did not know where the day had gone but night was quickly approaching.
He turned to Cus and asked, “Now where do we go, Cus?”
“Follow me, Young Duke. I will lead you to Potters Hall.” Cus said as he led the way to the doors where the guards where not critically examining Harry, he saw the oldest of the guards look at the scar on his forehead. For once the look did not stop there the guard examined his eyes, his face and his hair as well as his clothes and looked critically at Cus as well. He then drew himself to attention and asked in a very respectful tone “are you Harold Potter, one of James and Lillian Potter, Duke and Duchess of Griffins Hollow?”
“Yes, I am Harry Potter, son of James and Lily.” Harry responded not enjoying the attention, but at least there were no reporters and no one was calling him the boy-who-lived.
“My Duke, it is good to have you home, please enter gate, it is good to have you home. I am glad to know that you are safe from that madman Thomas Riddle and his Death Eaters.” The guard said, pointing to the small door in the larger date. “Erik please lead the Duke though the gates and call for his carriage. Let get hi home as smoothly as possible.” The guard continued pointing to one of the wizards.
Harry quietly followed both Erik and Cus though the gate and found him self in a lone tunnel, with weapon ports on both sides and in the roofs there were two portcullis in the ceiling and then another door, followed but two more portcullis and finally a one more tall door. Then he found himself in a killing field, a cleared paves space between two sets of walls the inner even taller then the outer walls. It was at least thirty years wide and there were no obstructions in this wall space. He was led to anther gateway that was offset form the door that they had just left buy fifty yards. Harry was led though another tunnel and past various defenses and out into a city street and to a café where the guard turned to harry and said “My Duke, if you will wait here, I will see about getting your carriage for the ride to Potter hall, it will be a bit of a wait but it is better then a five mile walk up hill.”
Harry nodded at sat down to wait unfortunately he was soon mobbed by the staff of the café and the dinners wanting to get a look at the new duke. The chef insisted that he eat, and since he had not eaten since lunch Harry did so. He was surprised at how respectful everyone was, he was mobbed but not like when he when to the alley, instead, it was a constant steam of people, two or three at a time walking over to speak a few words of welcome.
Soon after he was finished eating the carriage arrived, an actual carriage. It was drawn by a pair of horse like animals that stood at least eighteen hands at the shoulder and had dull gray horns and reddish coat, with black mane and tails. Harry climbed into the dark green red trimmed carriage and rode into the night. He missed the guards riding the same animals and the armed guardsmen riding the carriage, one had played footman and opened the door, but harry had missed the armed guard riding shotgun and the other guard riding as the second footman. Harry was so exhausted from his day that he fell asleep missing one of the most fortified palaces in Europe. Only china’s Forbidden City had heavier defenses.
BREAK BREAK BREAK
Justin Bluum watched as the Malfoy brat got his, but it was of little satisfaction because of the punishment that he had earned for his failure. The only good news was that the girl had not appeared anywhere else so the dark Lord had not killed him. The Dark Lord believed that the half formed portal had killed her, a theory that the Dark Lord’s spy confirmed that Dumbledore believed as well. Only the fact that he was one of the few tactical leaders left within the ranks of the Death eaters had saved his life. Most of the remaining Death Eaters were followers, incapable of leading or creating a new plan when the old one failed.
Break Break Break
STEAM WORLD Potter House London
Hermione Granger enjoyed a long soak in a pool sized tub that was bigger the perfect’s bathtub at Hogwarts. When she left the tub she had found Beth waiting to dry her off and do her make up and hair. Beth then helped her into a multi layer dress. As Beth helped her into the corset Hermione decided that it was time to ask her questions.
“Beth, tell me about your self, where are you from?”
“I am from Griffin’s Hollow, in Wales; my family has been Potter family retainers since the 16 century.” Beth said pulling on the corset lacings, tightening the corset around Hermione’s chest. “my family are part of the yeomen class, free holding towns folk but the title is also used back home to refer to free farmers as well, the Potter family has always disproved of serfs and slaves, too much trouble.”
“So you work as a maid because you are a family retainer?” Hermione asked attempting to understand this strange culture that she had found herself in.
“No, I am working as a maid because Lord Potter needed a maid and I was accepted to the Royal University of London on a scholarship but was unable to afford room and board. By working for Lord Potter, I am provided with room and board as well as a small salary for the work, it is not hard, I work both Saturday and Sunday and four hours in the evenings. Besides I could not allow Lord Potter to hire some London girl with no sense of duty to the family.”
“Beth, Are you a witch?” Hermione asked, trying to get a feeling on the jobs that the magical individuals were willing to take.
Gods and Goddess no, I am a mundane or normal human, witches and wizards are wander rebels, scum fit only to hang or be beheaded. They are traitors and terrorists and should be shown no mercy. Lord Potter and Lady Hermione are both Magi, a Magus is an individual that was born with the ability to use the magic field and to control it. They are rare and powerful, and the title magus refers to a magic user that is loyal to the Queen and Country. If you call a magus a wizard or witch, be prepared to either duel or back up the charge, it is a major and often fatal insult in this nation.”
Hermione was asked to step into the petticoats and they were quickly pulled up and fastened. Hermione asked her next question “How old is the Potter Family, how long have they rule Griffin’s Hollow? What is the proper form of address for Harold and His father?”
The potter family is old and powerful, they have ruled Griffin’s Hollow for more then 3000 years. They are one of the most powerful families ruling both magi and mundane and rule over a Huge portion of Wales. The direct from of address for James Potter is Duke Potter of Griffins Hollow. Harold Potter is addressed as Lord Potter, Duke Potter’s daughter Iris is lady iris. The title holder is addressed with the title and last name, the heir is addressed with lord or lady and the last name. This is the traditional magical way of addressing nobles and was used by those mundanes that were ruled by the magical families.” Beth said finishing adjusting the dress that Hermione was wearing, she handed Hermione a pair of gloves and said “Please follow me to the dining room, Lord Potter said that diner would be severed at eight and you do not want to be late.”
Dinner was served in a small, formal dinning room, there were only eight places set. Harold and his wife, the Patil twins, the two troll like individuals from earlier and a younger woman with green eyes and dark brown hair were already seated, the last place was clearly intended for her. Harold turned to her and said. “Miss. Hermione Granger it is my pleasure to introduce my other guests. These two lovely ladies are Parvati Patil and her sister Padma Patil. These gentlemen men are Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe, members of the Wild Hunt. Finally, the young lady is Lady Iris Lillian Potter, my younger sister and my current heir.”
Dinner started with a collection of small dishes, all served by two different maids under the direction of the man that Hermione assumed was the butler Edward. With the food served the small talk began.
“Hermione are there any questions that we can answer for you?” Lady Potter asked.
“Yes, I have a great many questions, first I am surprised the meal did not just appear on the table. Do you no own house elves?” Hermione responded.
“We do not own house elves, which is slavery and illegal, outlawed under royal law through out the empire. Ownership of a sentient being has been outlawed in Briton since 1903. However, the Potter family does employ a number of house elves, at negotiated wages and conditions. These are in addition to the large number of house imp that we employ. We also employ human servants as they do not scare the mundanes, and it provides the family a way of supporting bright stubborn individuals while they attend university.” Harold responded learning a great deal about her world just from the question.
“Thank god, they are finally free, that must not have been popular with the pure bloods.” Hermione responded without thinking.
“They screamed bloody murder, and then they learned to live with it. Only traditionalists still remark on it. The rest of the wizarding world has concluded that house elves are dangerous. The death of those who refused to free their elves proved just how powerful and dangerous elves can be. The ones refused were of course the families which abused their elves. The elves did not escape but attacked killing their oppressors. The abusive families died during the Night of Fear, which is what the day when the house elves took their freedom is called. When the King signed the declaration of freedom, it gave the families four months to free their elves, on the first day of the fifth month it dissolved all ownership and protective bonds. Most of those who owned elves did free them in time provided, those that refused to do so died during the night of fear. Both house elves and house imps have no ability to use defensive magic, but there offensive magic is very strong. With out the protective bonds placed by wizards the elves were free to attack, and did so.” Vincent responded.
After hearing that house elves had killed Hermione was shocked but to cover it asked another question. “What happened to wands, I know that they are illegal but why?”
“First, Miss Granger, a wand is the symbol of the wizard not the magus and that is the first reason. The second is that a wand is both a focus and imperfect amplifier. Magic is like muscle, if not used it weakens; only those who continue to push their boundaries maintain their power after they reach their full maturity between 35 and 50 years of age. A wand requires a higher magic level to use the other focuses that do not amply the magic. In addition, the amplifying effective cause’s damage to the magic channels of the individual, this is caused by the feedback loop of magic. The magic that the wizard uses is forced though the natural magic of the wand and which forces some of that magic back into the individual that is using the wand, which damages the magical channels of that individual. In effect a resonance effect occurs with eventually permanently damages that individual’s ability to do magic. This effect is increased if the wand is not perfectly matched to the individual, which is virtually impossible. This is because an imperfect match will require the wizard to normally over power spells, which means that more magic is forced into the feedback loop. A magus foci, does not create the feed back look loop and acts as either a single point for magic to be focused by the magus. When using low power spells it does not amplify the magic which forces the magus to do the work themselves forcing them to exercise their magic it can also be set to act as a resistor, forcing the magus to over power their spells. When a magi foci is used to cast combat magic or high power spells the magi foci acts as the amplifier but it is a perfect amplifier increasing the power and precision of the spell by up to five hundred percent. Economics also played a part, a magus’ foci are easier to use and produce. They can be produced in a day, opposed to weeks that it takes to make a wand and are always perfectly matched and allow a magic user to safely use their maximum power. They also allow weaker individuals to channel magic. In fact, there are a number of magi who can use a ring or brooch but not a wand. They were at one point called squibs. They can use a mage glove but it is not needed. Those individuals mostly from magical families can now live normal lives.” Lady Iris said.
“Rings, brooches, gloves, how many different foci are there?” Hermione asked
“The foci are divided into three categories, gloves, jewels and war foci. Gloves, intended for heavy duty magic use or for casting multiple spells at once or for fine precision spell work, such as warding, are normally used by craftsmen and professionals who work with magic. Jewels are a single focus, used in place of a wand, one spell at a time. They are generally used for everyday magic. Multiple jewels can be used at once. To use multiple foci one must be able to multitask and spilt your concentration between two or more tasks. For example holding a light spell with a brooch and casting a fire lighting spell with a ring. Finally, there are war foci, which look like gloves, however they are greatly different. A war foci is designed to channel the highest levels of powers, and to amplify that power one hundred times what the cast pure into the spell. They also have fine control allowing the caster to completely determine the power level used in each spell. In addition, a war foci has power reserves, built into and linked to the caster, as long as the caster is wearing the focus the power reserves draw off a small amount of magic over time. Once activated this power is used to increase the caster pool of magic, basically increasing the caster magic core. A power reserve is a series of golden cores with storage gems set to either draw in the magic or to return it to the caster. All of these advantages allow the caster to seriously boast the power of their spells.” Explained George
“In addition, because they are specialized tools, gloves and war foci are restricted and the public is limited to less dangerous tools. The police and military have significant advantages over the average person. Any foci, even a mere jewel is capable of producing more powerful spells then a wand, less energy is lost as the spell is cased though the core as a starfire gem is created from its users blood, there is no foreign material to focus magic though. However, a focus is linked to its owner only they can use it and there are ways to identify the focus. We can talk more about them when it is time for you to select one.” Added Harold
Dinner continued on, Hermione asked questions and the natives explained the answers as best they could. Hermione was surprised to discover that the Crabbe family, master smiths were makers of weapons and metal statues for the Potters and the Goyle family, master stone cravers and masons were both from Griffin’s Hollow. Both families were powerful in their own rights but neither was willing to challenge the Potters. They both explained that the last family to directly challenge the potters had happened during the Rule of Duke Charles Potter, who kill Abraxas Malfoy for merely supporting the rebel Voldemort and destroyed most of his household. This act had the effect of convincing most of the purebloods families not to openly join Voldemort. This move severally limited his numbers, leaving him with only about 60 hard core followers, most of which were cast out of there families. More importantly it limited the money available to Voldemort. This left Hermione wondering whether Harry would need to do something similar to convince some of the pure bloods to side with them, it scared her. The Harry she knew was not that ruthless.
Break Break Break
Griffin Hollow Wales, Home Reality
Harry had been so tired that he had just walked into the bedroom and fallen asleep. Now it was morning, he walked over to the bath and showered and then dressed. He was in his family’s home, in the town that his family had ruled from for at least four generations and no one had told him of this. Now that he was up and awake he needed to see to what he was working with, but first breakfast.
He walked out the door and was shocked to see a man waiting for him. “Master Harold please follows me to the dinning room. Breakfast is ready and waiting for you. I have asked Kell the Potter Family Record Keeper history to meet you for breakfast.”
“Thank you… hmm. Who are you?” a very confused Harry Potter said. “Please call me Harry.”
“I am Edward Casper, I am the majordomo, I was promoted by you father. I will call you Harry, Master Harry, but only because your mother order it so.”
“Thank you, I wish to ask a simple question. Where were my parents staying and why did they not stay here?” Harry said
“They stayed at a small cabin at Grodic’s Hollow Wales, which your father had bought, he was uncomfortable living at Potters Hall, and he saw it as his father’s house. He and his father often fought over the morality of the Potter family approach to handling enemies and war. It was simple, leave no living enemies on the field, James was uncomfortable as this was the opposite of the new morality that he had been taught at Hogwarts. In addition, he was concerned that staff would be harmed if Voldemort attacked; he chose to hide at Godric’s Hollow over the objections of the staff, Dumbledore and Black, all of whom believe that this was the safest location. Your father and mother were trying to keep the staff safe. Master James he did not understand the people the worked for him, they were retainers in the true sense of the word. He was too young to be a proper Duke. He never understood the commitment of the people who severed him. He ordered the staff and Potter guard to stay out of fight, afraid that by having them join the fight Voldemort would attack Griffin’s Hollow. He was unwilling to directly challenge the Death Eaters. to force them to attack Potter Hall or even the city of Griffin’s Hollow, the fortresses that has broken armies and who’s very strength was such that William the Conquer had made Harold Ericson Potter the Duke of Griffin’s Hollow rather then attempt to storm the Potter Hall and leave him self open to attack by the Wild Hunt.” Edward said.
They reached a small informal dinning room, their were two places set and a man, about two inches over six feet tall was seated at the round table which looked like it would hold about ten. He was dressed in a black modern cut suit; it looked like his uncles three thousand pound Savile Row suits. The only color was a red tie and a pair of green tinted wrap around green sunglass. As Harry walked in he stood and bowed to Harry.
“I am Kell, the Potter Family Records Keeper and have been since 994. I am pleased to see you again.”
Harry looked at him in shock, 994, only one creature could live that long, a vampire. Harry again proved that he had the ability to think before acting, and merely sat down and pick up the cut of tea and drank. His actions having bought him time to think, he reached two conclusions, one that he was being rude to an old family retainer and two, that if this was his family’s record keeper he must be safe. After all Professor Lupin was a werewolf and safe to be around. Those conclusion reached he decided to treat Kell with respect and finally he had someone who could and would answer his questions. He put down the glass Russian style tea glass and extended his hand and spoke.
“It is nice to meet you, I am sorry but I do not remember meeting you before. May I ask how you have lived so long?”
Kell took his hand and gave him a firm handshake, remembering the small boy who had asked him to tell him stories. Young Harold had seen him in his hellhound form not been afraid but had crawled over to him and petted him. Other memories of the children and heirs of the Potter family past through his mind as he considered how best to respond to the question.
“I am a nosferatu, the one of the no life kings, the true vampires. The other breeds are mere pretenders, fools claiming to be something they are not. Please eat, Toil the head house imp, is quite concerned that you have not been eating enough, Toil is of the line which has served the Potters since they where druids, casting in the groves and in the caves by the spring, they are creative and very good at showing displeasure.”
Harry ate as Kell explained that the Potters had been titled by William the Conquer and answered only to the Queen. In addition, he explained that the family was rich, investing money in many different things to increase their wealth and aid friends in their quests and business. He explained that Hogwarts was Potter land, warded by Potter family magic and wards, and guarded by magical guardians created by partners of the Potter family. The founders had gone to Charles Potter to get funding and had sold him the idea. The idea was that the great leader of the dark court, Salazar Slytherin, known as William Potter and the leader of the light court, Godric Gryffindor, originally called Thomas Longbottom would train students together. Their names and power meant that no one would dare attack the school. Such attacks often occurred during a family or clan feud, Charles then convince the other leaders of the dark court and light court to go along with the idea. In exchange for his funding and land, which came from the dowry of his mother, Charles received ownership half the school and a third of the profits. With Williams’s death his share of the school passed to Charles.
Harry had been shocked to learn true names of the founders. Only the names that they used when they rode as members of the wild hunt were remembered. The Wild Hunts, Kell had explained, were a collection of organizations of wizards and witches. One such group had been led by the Potters who hunted church officials responsible for witch burnings and other tortures. He was further surprised to learn the great feud between Gryffindor and Slytherin was over Slytherin killing of several pure bloods who attack one of his students, a muggleborn, during winter break. Their deaths were a clear message that such activities would not be tolerated. The Weasley family, once rich and powerful had never recovered. He was also shocked to discover that the wizarding world was not hidden in Griffin’s Hollow, the town was merely not noticed by outsiders there in affect a permanent do not notice charm on the town.
He also discovered that Kell and others had been unable to track him. This was due to the spells that his parents had cast on him when they when into hiding. Hogwarts mail wards the wards that the headmaster had created at his aunt’s house had prevented them form being able top contact him. Finally, when he was at Hogwarts the wards of the school were sufficient to stop them and made it impossible for them to confront the headmaster. The Headmaster of Hogwarts controlled the powerful Potter family wards that were the basis of the castles defense and the castle would not allow anyone to harm its students or so they believed. They did keep a watch for him at platform 9 and ¾ and at the alley but where not able to find a way to contact him as there were always a great number of ministry guards around him, which would have prevented them from contacting him, with out violence. They had tried several times in summer before his third year. This was most likely the work of the headmaster as he was known for casting additional protections on the platform to protect the students. Finally, when they had attempted to gain custody through the courts Fudge and Dumbledore had worked together to prevent the Potter retainers form gaining custody over him. The headmaster had believed that Harry should not be raised by servants or wizards but by family and had done everything in his power to ensure that the Potter family retainers could not gain custody of him. Dumbledore believed that his father’s cruelty in his pranks was due to the fact that he was effectively raised by servants. Dumbledore feared what Harry would have been like if he was raised the same way and believed that a close family was the best way to raise a child, and refused to be convinced over wise. Unfortunately Dumbledore had put his trust in the wrong family. Kell claimed that they had tried to convince several of the other professors to allow them access to Harry but it was forbidden as none of the professors were willing to go against Dumbledore.
After Harry called an end to breakfast, the food was never ending. This forced Harry to conclude that Kell was right; the house imps were smart and creative. He had spent about an hour trying to eat that last bite, only to see another. Harry then went to the kitchen and met the nine house imps that were currently minding Potter Hall. He was told that the rest would return tomorrow to begin preparing the hall and its buildings for the coming war.
Kell said that he would explain his duties and see to the hiring of a staff, and said that he had received a letter form Bunisi concerning an appointment at noon. Kell also said that Bunisi had mentioned that Harry intended to get revenge for Hermione. He said that he would arrange for several important individuals to come to Potter Hall the next day to help him plan out his attacks and the coming war. Kell told Harry that the key person to speak to was the Potter family Master at Arms, and owner of the local pub the Golden Griffin, Mark Smith. He said that Smith would know how to go about contacting the individuals that made up the Wild Hunt and that the Hunt was perfect for Harry’ purposes, as only the old ones and the nobles still remembered the Wild Hunt as it had not needed to ride since the 1650s. harry began to believe that he could actually avenge Hermione, and not die trying.