Like a ripple on a still pond, one action changed the progression of Harry's life. A simple action like raising his hand.
I do not own the Harry Potter universe nor anything related to the Harry Potter universe. If we did, I do not think that I would be struggling through college now. Any resemblance to ideas, names, thoughts, theories or situations in another story written on FFN is purely coincidental.
I would also like to state that this is an answer to a challenge put on by the last of the pendragons at FFN.
AN: Yes, I realize that I have moved the Trial from the beginning of August to the beginning of July. It fits with my time line of this story better.
Harry Potter and the Lords Lament
12 Grimmauld Place, London
Friday Afternoon, 4:15 pm
Dumbledore stormed into Number 12 and slammed the door. Old Mrs. Black screamed obsceneties from behind her curtains.
“Shut up Hag.” Dumbledore raged. Ginny peaked over the railing from the second floor at him. Her eyes widened as he shattered and repaired many of the heirloom pieces in the dining room. As he stomped down the stairs towards the kitchen where the adults were meeting she followed closely, purposefully thinking about getting biscuits. As she reached the bottom of the stairs and walked towards the biscuits plate near the table Albus turned towards her. “Ginevra, is there something that we could help you with.”
“No Headmaster. Mum, could I take some tea and biscuits upstairs for the rest of us?”
“Of course darling. The tray is over there on the counter. I'll start some tea. Take a seat for a second.” Molly bustled around the stove while Ginny stacked some biscuits and a few small sandwiches on a tray so that she could take it to the others.
“Actually Molly, I need to discuss things with the Order and would prefer if young Ginevra was not present.”
“Of course Headmaster. Ginny, I'll send the tea up with Kreacher. Go on upstairs.” Ginny smiled at her mother and walked up the stairs. As she turned the corner on the stairs she paused to listen to the tell tale signs of the floo being opened and people filling the kitchen. Turning back around Ginny almost walked head on into Sirius and Remus who were walking down the stairs for the meeting.
“Ginny, you know that you aren't supposed to be hanging around down here when we are having a meeting.” Remus said.
“I think something is up with the Headmaster. When he came in he was throwing things and threatening Lady Black's painting. Something isn't right.” Her eyes told them that she was more than worried about the Headmaster's behavior.
“Don't worry about it Ginny. We'll take it from here. I'm sure he just had a bad day at court. What with Harry being prepared to fight the charges and all that.” Sirius smiled kindly. Ginny nodded and continued up the stairs to where Ron was waiting with Hermione.
As Sirius and Remus entered the kitchen they were greeted with the smells of fresh baked breads. Molly was bustling around the kitchen handing out glasses of tea or coffee and there were trays of biscuits and baked goods trailing behind her. Sirius spotted his cousin Andromeda and walked over to sit in the empty seat near her.
“Has he said what this meeting is going to be about yet? I want to be upstairs when Harry comes home from court.” Sirius gave her a hug as he sat down. Albus Dumbledore walked to the head of the table and stood regally.
“Good Afternoon everyone. I am sorry that we all have to be late for dinner but I shall try to make this as quick as possible. First thing first, is there anyone missing?”
“Nymphadora has fire called me and said that she will not be able to be here tonight. She is on high profile protection duty at Lady Amelia Bone's Manor.” Andromeda said as she settled back into her chair. To her it was always a little difficult to come back to Number 12, her Family's ancestral home.
“Remus, Sirius you two are not needed for this meeting, you are free to go. This is just going to be a small business meeting. It won't take long.” There were strange looks directed at Sirius and Remus as they rose and walked towards the stairs. Molly handed them each a plate of biscuits and snacks before shooing them up the stairs to relax.
“Keep an eye on the children for me. Check on Harry. He might be needing to talk to someone after the ordeal that he went through today.” Molly smiled, she had always felt like Harry was one of her own. As the door at the top of the stairs closed silenced reigned in the kitchen.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight's meeting is going to cover a few very delicate topics.” Headmaster Dumbledore paused to take a sip of his tea. “It seems that young Mister Potter has been cleared of all the charges against him.” There was a smattering of applause, Minerva McGonagall smiled very secretly. She had great faith in Harry, there was nothing that he could do that would make her truly angry at him.
“Once again, Mister Potter gets away with bad deeds.” Severus Snape said with a growl.
“Hush up Severus. Harry has done nothing to you.” Mrs. Tonks said putting a small amount of butter on a scone and pouring a cup of coffee.
“During his trial Mister Potter chose to ignore my consul and speak for himself to the Wizengamot. He barely managed to get himself out of trouble.” The Headmaster paused to drink some more tea. “I think that Harry needs to return to his family. I am sure that they are very worried about him.”
“But why would we send him back now. Its mid way through the summer and we just went through of the trouble to get him here.”
“It’s a waste of our resources.”
“I'm sure that our coffers will be able to cover returning Harry to his relatives home.” Dumbledore gave everyone a secret smile. As long as Harry didn't know that he was paying the Order for his 'protection' they would have all of the money that they wanted. If Harry went back to the Dursley's house he would not be able to make it to the bank to look into his investments. If he tried to look into things at Hogwarts there were already safeguards in place.
“Who is going to take him back? I'm sure no one wants to be around that brat more than they have to.” Severus said with nothing but distaste.
“Shut up Severus.” A few voices yelled. Dumbledore gave a general glare to the entire room to get them to quiet down.
“I will take him back with just a few people. The journey will be tomorrow evening. We will also need to plan to collect him on the thirty-first of August so that he can catch the train on the first with the rest of his classmates. Is there anything that anyone else would like to discuss at tonight's meeting?”
“At a recent meeting someone mentioned that they could no longer remember where they grew up and they are mulling over the idea that this is where we are stashing the brat and his friends.” Severus added with a smirk. He would enjoy it if something happened to these little brats. If something happened to all of the little brats at Hogwarts it would be a glorious day. To him, children should be locked away until they were ready to be useful to society.
“Albus should Arthur and I take the children back to the Burrow?” Molly asked.
“No, that will not be necessary. But, I do see another reason why Harry needs to go home. It makes this house more of a target if he stays than if he goes back to his Aunt and Unlce's house.” Dumbledore seemed pleased with himself. It was pure luck that Severus had mentioned to him before the meeting that Narcissa Malfoy had mentioned something about needing to check in the Black Library for something and couldn't remember where the house was. Now all he had to do was get the damn boy to not put up a fight when he sent him back to the Dursley's.
The meeting continued for another thirty minutes. They passingly discussed where Voldermort could be hiding, but there were no plans to even look into the places that were mentioned. In two weeks he would just mention that the search at all of the sights had turned up negative. No one would question what he said. They also discussed the possibility of having guards on the Hogwarts Express as the students returned. The Express was an easy target but not one that they needed to expend resources to watch over. Children were replaceable to Dumbledore, because parents could have more when ever they wanted. The Headmaster dismissed the gathered members of his Order of the Phoenix and disappeared to Hogwarts in order to plot for the upcoming year.
Upstairs at Number 12
Sirius was silent as he walked up the stairs towards the second floor, intent on flopping into his chair in the Sitting Room near Harry's new study. Sirius and Remus set their trays of snacks in the middle of the room and flopped into the deep reading chairs in a forest green with small brass beads on the arms. After a what seemed like an eternity of silence for both men Remus spoke.
“Why would Albus ask us to leave the meeting?”
“I am more worried about Harry. Ginny heard Dumbledore throwing a fit in the entry hall before calling the meeting.”
“Why don't we take Molly's advice and talk to Harry.”
“I'll go get him Remus. He is probably looking for an excuse to get away from the other kids after everything that happened today.” Sirius got up and walked towards the Study that Dobby and Kreacher had put together for the four kids. The door was opened enough for Sirius to hear what was being discussed.
“Harry didn't come back yet. Did he tell you guys he was going somewhere else after the trial?” Ginny asked playing the braid of hair that hung down over her shoulder.
“Nope, as far as he told me this morning he was going to come back here.” Sirius could hear Ron taking a bite out of a sandwich. Sirius knocked on the door, there was a rustling of papers and the sound of a few drawers being shut. Hermione pulled the door open a little more and stuck her head out.
“Oh, Good afternoon Sirius. Is there something that we could help you with?” To most adults the Hermione's question would have sounded innocuous, but Sirius could hear the nonverbal plea for him to go away so that she could get back to the others.
“Can I come in?”
“Um... we are kind of in the middle of a study session right now. I really don't think that the boys need to be disturbed, they are so hard to keep on track as it is.”
“Hermione,” Ginny said from within the room, “I'm sure Sirius is on our side. He told me that he would help figure things out.” The door was pulled open from the joint effort of Ron pulling on the door and Ginny trying to wrestle Hermione out of the way.
“Sirius, do you know where Harry is?” Fred asked.
“No, I thought that he would have come back with Dumbledore.” Sirius shook his head as he looked around the room at Harry's closest friends. “Can I ask you all a few questions?”
“Sure Sirius.” Ron said putting the book down that he had been reading. Sirius glanced at the cover before speaking. Ron had been reading a book on chess that looked vaguely familiar.
“Have any of you noticed any changes in Harry since the end of the school year?”
“He seems to be thinking a lot more lately. Not in any mean way, but he wanders off to be by himself and tells anyone that asks that he just needs to think.” Hermione said blushing slightly in response to her fumble.
“He has been reading a small green journal every time I see him. He puts it away when he sees me though. There is only a small lily embossed on the cover but no other writing.” Ron added, startling Hermione and Sirius with his observations.
“I think that is his Mother's diary. I wonder where he found that. I thought it went missing right before that last Halloween.”
“Well he has only ever been at Hogwarts and Privet Drive. Maybe his Mum hid the book at her sister's place.”
“Maybe. I will leave you alone to 'study'. If he comes home, please send Harry to my Sitting Room. Thank you.” Sirius left and walked back across the hall. When he had entered Remus looked up at him in surprise. Before he could sit down and pour himself another cup of tea Andromeda Tonks pushed the door of the sitting room open and joined them.
“Sirius, I think that something is horribly wrong with Dumbledore.”
“Why would you think that? Other than he has been treating Harry like a toy.”
“When you guys were kicked out of the kitchen he went on and on about how we need to send Harry back to his relatives to learn his place.” Andromeda looked like she was going to cry if she kept thinking about it.
“He can't do that. I am still technically Harry's Guardian. Harry hates those nasty muggles. He even said the other day that he would rather stay here with me, locked in this dank house, than return to their house.”
“I think he is going to use that he is not only the Headmaster of Hogwarts but also as the Chief Wizard of the Wizengamot in order to get his way.”
“I am not sure that, that will be completely possible.” Andromeda said with a small secret smile. “Nym told me that she was doing high profile Ministry Protection detail for a few members of the Wizengamot. The person she is watching is Harry. Apparently he not only got out from under the bogus charges but also walked away with his Father's seat on the Wizengamot, and had the hunt called off for you.”
“Why didn't he know about the seat before hand? He should have been going to meetings for years and taking his seat next year.” Remus asked eating a chocolate chip cookie.
“The better question is why did you and I never think to talk to him about the fact he was to be looking at that seat and all of its responsibilities since he turned eleven. Technically, he could also be voting my seat.”
“Sirius, do you realize that this is the first time that I have heard you talk about both your seat and James' on the Wizengamot. You have always broken off and talked about the weather or some other inane topic.”
“Dromi, do you think that maybe we were placed under a memory charm? I mean, I can remember now that James asked me specifically to ensure that Harry was ready by the time that he was eleven to face his Social Peers”
“When Nym gets here later tonight I'll have her do the same scan she learned when they covered confronting witnesses and criminals that cannot remember things.” Andromeda said sipping on her tea. They talked for more than three hours, planning on how they were going to give Harry a crash course in being a noble before school started. They knew that if he had regained his seat in front of his social peers then they would be expecting him to be up to date on all of the Traditions and expectations before the year started. Tonks bounced into the room at nine thirty will a smile one her face that could out shine half of the stars in the sky.
“Hi Mum, hows dad? I didn't think that you would be here.” She said changing her hair from a dark brown to her current favorite color of purple. She plopped into one of the chairs and grabbed a scone.
“Your dad is fine. I felt like coming to the Order meeting tonight and it was a good thing that I did.”
“Why, what happened tonight. I'm sorry that I missed the meeting but Amelia asked a few of us to provide armed escorts for her dinner guests.”
“Did those dinner guests include Harry?” Sirius asked.
“Yep, he is in the classroom with his friends. He has been bouncing off the walls to talk to them since I picked him and Neville up from Longbottom Manor.”
“Good. No one knew where he was and we were a little bit worried.” Remus said as Sirius collapsed back into his chair in relief.
“Nym darling. Could you cast a memory charm detection spell for us. For some reason none of us remembered that James was a noble before this afternoon. We wanted to make sure that there wasn't anything else that we were being forced to forget.” Andromeda asked.
“Sure. Hold on a second everyone?” Tonks waved her wand in a complicated pattern over everyone. “This is odd. There are multiple layers of memory charms placed on everyone. Most of them were created by one person and tied to specific bits of information. There are a few tied to places and events. I can't break any of them.” Tonks wrote down a series of runes on a piece of parchment and rolled it up before sticking it in her pocket. “Let me talk to a friend of mine that works at St. Mungos in the mental health office.”
“Ok. Whatever it takes Nym. I think that we need to have this figured out as soon as possible.”
“We will have it figured out before Dumbledore goes to his trial.” Tonks said with a devious smile.
“What do you mean Dumbledore's trial?” Remus said almost spitting his tea across the room.
“Oh, during Harry's trial it came out that Dumbledore ignored James and Lily's wills and has been voting his seats horribly. Apparently he is also voting the Prewett seat. Harry made this small speech about the war orphans being put through horrible things a second time by being taken advantage of. So the Wizengamot voted to look over how every single orphan from the first war was being looked after.”
“So Albus is going to trial in order to pay for some of his manipulations.” Sirius said with a grin.
“Yep.” Tonks said with a smile.
“That's good. Help us come up with a way to quickly train Harry in all that he needs to know.” Sirius said and with that the four of them would be in the study well into the night planning how they were going to accomplish things with Harry.
Number 12 Grimmauld Place
Harry sat down at the desk in his room with a stack of parchment paper. He was thinking about the multitude of letters that he needed to write. The voice and him had been reviewing things that he needed to accomplish before school started now that he had regained his family's seat in the Wizengamot. He sat for a few extra seconds trying to figure out how he was going to sign his name. He had always gone by Harry, it was strange to go by Harrison James. He understood that he needed to use his legal name and not the name that he was used to going by. He decided that Harrison James was how he would sign letters that were not personal and personal letters and notes would be signed from Harry.
Dear Grand Lady Longbottom,
I hope that this missive finds you well. It was a great pleasure to converse with you over tea yesterday. I would like to thank you for your generosity both before my court appearance and after my innocence was proven. It was reassuring that people had faith in my when you invited me to stay at your beautiful manor.
I would like to ask you a few small questions. Would you be able to recommend a tutor in order for me to become more acquainted with pure blood Society? I would prefer not to make a spectacle of myself in front of the Wizengamot. Neville, is a dear friend of mine and I would like to organize a joint birthday for him and myself this July.
Thank you for all of your generosity in the past weeks. I look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Sincerely, Harrison James, Lord of House Potter
He blew on the ink of his signature to dry it faster so that he could fold the parchment. When every word was dry Harry folded and stamped the back of the letter with his seal. Putting it aside he set to work on the rest of his letters.
'How do I write an apologetic note for something that I did in a moment of immaturity.'
'Tell her that you were disrespectful to both her and her family.'
'That should work. I really don't want her to be mad at me.'
Dear Miss Pavarti Patil,
I truly understand if you do not which to hear from me. I am hoping though that you will accept my deepest apologies for how I treated you at the Yule Ball this past December. I realize now how horrible it was for me to be disrespectful to you and your family. It was horrible of me to invite you to be my date for the Ball and then ignore you the way I did. I would like to thank you for putting up with me at the Ball as much as you did. Allow me to make this up to you in the near future. Please do accept my apologies.
Sincerely, Harrison James, Lord of House Potter
Harry put the letter aside to dry while he thought of what to say in the next letter.
'Ah, Young Love...'
'Don't start with me. I'm not in love, I just think that she is beautiful.' Harry admitted to himself and the voice.
'Well then, she is a Lady correct?'
'Yes, she is her Father's heiress.'
'Then this must be worded as eloquently as possible. Also know that her Father or Mother might be reading this letter before she gets it.'
'Okay, then what should I say.'
'Thank her and her Father for standing up for you at the trial. Say something about the party you are planning for both you and Neville. End the letter with a small note of how beautiful she is.'
Dear Miss Daphne of House Greengrass,
Good day, I hope that this missive finds you well. I would like to formally introduce myself to you. Please accept an invitation to my Current Residence for a combined Birthday Party for both Neville, Scion of House Longbottom, and Myself. The small soirée will be held on the thirty first of this month.
I would also like to thank you and your father for standing up for my privacy during the recent Wizengamot meeting.
Without seeming forward I would like to say that your hair was beautifully done at the Wizengamot meeting. I would like to apologize for not noticing you amazing and exotic beauty within the dark and dismal walls of Hogwarts Castle.
Sincerely, Harrison James, Lord of House Potter
'That doesn't look to bad. I think you inherited some of your Father's romanticism, on top of our Family's dashing good looks.'
'I would like to think that some of this is me. Not my Father's sly tongue.'
'Do not rely solely on your Mother's vision of your Father from her early diary. They were like oil and water until I got a hold of him. He was more mischievous than any Potter I have ever had the honor of talking to.'
'How many Potter's have you talked to?'
'I have been the guiding light of almost every Potter since the twelve hundreds. From the age of thirteen till marriage. I cannot tell you their inner thoughts but I can use them as reference for helping future Potters'
'That's a lot of Potters. Anyway, back to my letters.'
Dear Neville, Scion of House Longbottom,
How are you doing mate? Thank you for your advice during my trial. I am staying at the home of a friend of my Father's. I have found a beautiful garden and attached greenhouse at his residence that is in desperate need of identification and proper maintenance. I would like to know if you would like to come over to assist me with making sure that every plant is OK. My elves are new and are not quite sure what is being raised.
On a more personal note, did you see Susan Bones at Dinner on Friday? She was stunning. I also think that she likes you. Perhaps there is something there.
Sincerely, Harrison James, Lord of House Potter
'Now a thank you note for last nights dinner invitation.'
Dear Lady Amelia of House Bones,
Please accept my most appreciative thanks for the dinner invitation on Friday night. After all of the day's tribulations it was good to be able to spend time with dear friends in a non school atmosphere. Also, I would like to thank you for standing up for not only me but for justice. Is it possible for me to know who is on my Grandfather's case in your department? Should I be able to find anything on either his whereabouts or Peter Pettigrew's I would like to know who I should send said information to.
Please pass on my most sincere appreciation for a wonderfully cooked meal to your staff.
As a side note Aurors Tonks and Shacklebolt, the aurors that escorted me home, were very efficient in ensuring my safe arrival at my current residence. There are in my opinion, very good aurors, having swept the house and street before leaving me to my Guardian.
Sincerely, Harrison James, Lord of House Potter
Dear Minister Fudge,
I do hope that this letter finds you well. In our conversation yesterday, you insisted that I write you with any questions or concerns that I may have. Through much soul searching I have come to the realization that our Hogwarts education is not fully preparing students for life in the Wizarding world. Perhaps you, as the Minister, could recommend classes for all incoming students to take. This may also alleviate some of the Muggleborns that feel woefully lost in that first year. There are time honored Wizarding traditions that many only learn about on accident. I feel that it may create a less volatile environment, involving relations between Pureblood and Muggleborn parts of Society, if the following classes were added to the Hogwarts Curriculum.
Etiquette and Deportment: Many muggle families no longer rely on these ways of proper behavior so some incoming Muggleborns are not prepared for any invitations into the world that most Pure and Half bloods have grown up in. This class could also cover the Wizarding Traditions that relate to relationships and the progression between being friends and wanting to begin a courtship.
Wizarding Government: A class that will prepare all of those who wish to seek career placement within the Ministry. This way you only have people that already know how the system works and how certain things need to be handled, applying for jobs within the Ministry. I see this as beneficial for you because it is sure to cause a drop off in the number of unprepared applicants who baulk against how things have been done and seek to change them.
I also quietly suggest that the classes in Wizarding History and Muggle Studies be revised. There are many advances in Muggle Society that are not even touched on in the Muggle Studies classes. And while it has become tradition for a ghost to teach History of Magic it is not conducive to real learning. Perhaps, a living breathing teacher that will help explain things other than the Goblin Wars would be more beneficial to the students.
Sincerely, Harrison James, Lord of House Potter
To whom on the House Elf Council it may concern,
I, Lord Potter, request a list of approved and available Ladiesmaids and two other strong house elves of either gender to be employed between my two properties.
Harry took all of the letters and folded them before sealing the centers with green wax. After he pressed his family crest into all of them he took a deep breath and sighed. Thinking of Hedwig, he opened the window to his room and waited for a few minutes. The beautiful snowy owl drifted through the window and landed softly on the edge of Harry's desk.
“Hedwig, could you please deliver these letters for me?” The look from Hedwig was one of concern that Harry would question her delivery skills. “These are for Neville Longbottom, Susan Bones, and Daphne Greengrass. I will have the others sent off individually.” Hedwig flapped her wings gently, as not to muss any of the papers on the desk before flying back out through the window. “Dobby.” Harry waited a second for Dobby to appear.
“Yes, Lord Potter, sir.” Dobby appeared wearing a small pair of black pants with a forest green vest that had the Potter crest stitched in gold on the back. His appearance was more dignified and clean then it had been before Harry had asked for Kreacher's help in retraining him.
“Please have these letters sent off with separate owls at the earliest possible moment. I would like them all delivered by this afternoon.”
“Of course, Lord Potter.” Dobby popped back out of sight.
Harry left his bedroom and ventured down the stairs, planning on going out into the garden and sitting amongst the plants. He planned to do some of the calming and mind clearing exercises that the voice and a few books on Occlumency had recommended. He was beginning to think of the voice as not only his mentor but as a reminder of his family. One that could be counted on to explain things and then to tell him the benefits to the Potter Family that could be taken from doing certain things. Three steps from the kitchen door he was seen by Headmaster Dumbledore. The first thought to cross Harry's mind was 'Crap! I don't want to talk to him.'
“Ah, there you are Harry, my boy. I wanted to talk to you.”
“I'm sorry Headmaster but I was just on my way out of the house for a little while.”
“Harry, you aren't allowed to leave the house.” The Headmaster stated, the look on his face was one of pure annoyance.
“Headmaster, I am afraid that since you aren't my legal guardian you cannot tell me where I can and cannot go while I am not in school. And I was just going out into the Garden for some quiet contemplation.”
“Harry I am afraid that this house has been compromised. You will need to be returning to your Aunt and Uncle's house. It has come to our attention that some of the Death Eaters have been attempting to find the location of this house.” Dumbledore said with a grandfatherly smile.
“Are you going to be sending the Weasleys, Sirius, Hermione, Remus and the rest to a safer place? Or are you just sending me to the Dursley's because you are disgruntled that I not only earned my freedom by defending myself but I discovered your ploy to keep my Family's Wizengamot seat from me?”
“Its for your safety. Everyone else is moving back to the Burrow.”
“So a place whose address was printed in the Daily Prophet two years ago is safer than a house under the Fidelius Charm.”
“Stop arguing with me Harry. Go up stairs and pack your things. You are going home.”
“Headmaster, why is it that you send me back there every year? Some odd blood wards? What would happen if Voldermort had my blood in his veins? He got it during his Resurrection. Makes them pretty useless doesn't it.
“Harry him having your blood doesn't matter. You need to go home to your family. I'm sure that they are concerned about how the trial turned out.”
“I'm not sure they would be concerned about me unless I left them my entire fortune. And one other thing: never call that prison my home. I have never thought of that place as my home. Do you even read the Hogwarts letters that are sent out?”
“You need to stop being unreasonable. They are your family. You are overreacting and being childish. Why would it matter what was on your letter?”
“Because my first Hogwarts letter was addressed to the 'cupboard under the stairs'. That was my bedroom till I was eleven. You tell me if there are any real reasons why in a house with four bedrooms and four people would have the fourth living in a cupboard?” Harry turned from Dumbledore and walked down the stairs to the kitchen and out into the back garden.
Harry walked down the small stairs to the kitchen early Sunday morning. Mrs. Weasley was bustling around the room preparing enough breakfast to feed an army.
“Mrs. Weasley, can I talk to you for a second?”
“Of course Harry, What is bothering you?” She wiped a bit of flour off of her hands and onto her apron.
“It is nothing that is bothering me. Does it bother you that Percy is being distant and not associating with the family?”
“It does, but I am trying to let him take his own path in life.”
“What if he was to come home?” Harry asked trying to sound hypothetical.
“Then he would be welcomed with open arms.”
“Mrs. Weasley, Percy will be here for dinner tonight, if you will have him. He would also like to introduce you to his beloved Penelope.” Harry said with a smile on his face.
“Percy is coming here? He is coming home? And bringing a girl?” Mrs. Weasley's heart was racing. “What am I going to do. We are not prepared for this. It has to be extra special, nothing can look ordinary. What is this Penelope girl like? Will she be a good fit with the rest of the family?”
“Let me handle the others. You work with Kreacher and Dobby on the menu and preparing amazing food. Everything will be fine. By the way, Penelope is not allergic to anything.”
“Thank you dear. Can you gather everyone else for breakfast?”
“Of course.” Harry left the kitchen to knock on the bedrooms doors to wake everyone up. Once everyone that was still in the house had gathered in the kitchen for breakfast Harry stood to make an announcement. “I need to ask a favor of all those gathered at Lord Black's table. We have company coming for dinner that will require that everyone is on their best behavior.”
“Who is coming?” Ron asked knowing that unless it was important Harry would not be speaking to his friends like he was addressing a room full of adults.
“Percy is coming home to apologize to the family for being distant. He is also bringing his beloved Penelope with him.” A look of understanding washed over everyone's face. Harry saw that Hermione was still a bit lost and decided to pull her aside later and talk to her. “Thank you all. I thought that by warning you all early that no one would seek to hurt me later.” Harry sat down and breakfast was eaten in silence.
That day passed in a flurry of activity as every room was straightened, the bedrooms cleaned to spotless, the three guest bathrooms were sparkling with the amount of cleaning solution that was used on them. Harry was going from room to room adding personal touches. Standing in the foyer he decided to keep Mrs. Black from scaring Penelope when she arrived. Taking three safety pins that he had found in his trunk he attached the edges of the curtain to each other. After a splash of inspiration he asked Tonks to cast a silencing spell over the entire portrait. The house took on the appearance of being gone over with a pair of white kid gloves. Lunch was a small and brief affair of sandwiches and butter beers in the garden before everyone went back to work.
Hermione was running around the upstairs attempting to see if she had any clothes that she could wear for a nice dinner. Sitting on the floor in her room with the entirety of her closet dumped on the floor in front of her, she came to the realization that she would need to have something picked up from her parents house. Writing a quick note to her parents to place one of her semi formal dresses into the spelled box, that they normally sent her goodie packages in, and send it back with Hedwig as soon as possible, she dashed into Harry's room before anyone could see her. Harry saw her leaving his room with a small smile and pulled Hermione into their small classroom/study area. After locking the door Harry turned to her.
“Hermione, I know that you are a little confused with what is going on tonight. Would you like for me to explain as much as I know about tonight's dinner to you?”
“Yes, I don't want to sound like an idiot or say something to Ron that I shouldn't, like I did earlier.”
“You need to assume that everyone is going to be speaking about traditions like you should already know what is going on. Let's go through the facts. Percy is a pureblood from a family that has a long history of being purebloods. Penelope is a half blood like me. Penelope has caught Percy's eye. Percy is not one to go against Tradition.”
“But what Tradition. This is a dinner with family right?”
“There are guidelines to dating that should be followed, when a couple decides to become serious. It is a bit archaic but you can over come it when you do some research. Which, I know that you love to do. This is just prior to step one of beginning a Courtship style relationship. Tonight's dinner is the first time that Penelope will meet the Weasleys. Within the next week Percy must sit down with his Parents and they will discuss very frankly if they think that Penelope will be good for the future of the Family Weasley.”
“Shouldn't that be Percy and Penelope's decision?'
“Hermione, every time you walk into the Wizarding world you are greeted with the facts that the Wizarding world is still stuck somewhere in the Dark Ages.”
“I think I understand a little.”
“Why don't we pick up one of the Muggleborn Guide to Wizarding Culture when we go to Diagon?”
“That sounds good. So tonight's dinner is basically going to be a discussion of all things Penelope so that the Weasley's can decide if they want to allow Percy to pursue her hand?”
“Just about right. Now, I think that we need to get back to work before anyone thinks that something sneaky is happening. I can't risk both of our reputations by keeping you behind a locked door.” Harry grinned.
“I guess we must be mindful of our reputations.” Hermione smiled back at him. “I sent Hedwig to my Parent's house to collect something nice for me to wear.”
“That was a good idea. So that is why you were sneaking out of my room?”
“Do you think that you could help me pick my clothes before tea time. Percy is coming for tea to help me wrap my head around somethings.”
“Sure. Have you bought new clothes or should I ask Tonks to take us shopping?”
“I went with Neville on Friday before Dinner at House Bones.”
“Ok. I'll come find you at three so you can get ready.”
“Thanks Hermione.” Harry wrapped his arms around her and squeezed. They opened the door and left the little classroom.
Sirius took Buckbeak for a trip to the Forbidden Forest. This way neither of the two fugitives was in the residence. Harry fished around in his desk for the scrap of paper that had allowed him to see the house that he was standing in. After spending ten minutes searching for Remus he found him sitting in the Library.
“Remus, I've been meaning to ask you. If this is the Black Family Library and you have to be a Black or be the Godchild of a Black to get in, how can you and the Tonkses get in?” Harry asked as he sat down next to the fire.
“Well, the Tonkses are easy. They are related by blood to Sirius. While Matriarch of the family, Sirius' mother, can disinheiret someone but cannot fully remove them from the family. Sirius, James and I did something kind of dumb when we were in sixth year. Sirius' mother had kicked him out, they had almost completed their animagus transformations. We wanted to prove that the three of us would be friends for ever. We became blood brothers. It was only after we had exchanged blood that we remembered that I am a werewolf. I could have cursed both of them without meaning to. So I do have some Black Family Blood running through my veins.”
“Ah, just wondering. Do you think that you can do me a favor?”
“Sure cub. What is it?”
“Could you change some of the words on this scrap of paper for me?” Harry showed him the page with the address on it. “I want Percy and Penelope to be able to actually get into the house. If this just said that this is the address for Harry Potter's Current residence.”
“Harry that is a good idea. Do you think that it will work? This house is under the Fidelius.”
“Well technically Headmaster Dumbledore wrote the original note. I mean if you think about it. He didn't come outside to give me the note, someone else did. So that means that this note can be given to others because he wrote it the first time.”
“That creates a quandary about what we have been doing with those scraps that the Headmaster has written this address on.”
“I'll talk to Moody about it later.” Harry said handing the scrap to Remus. A few seconds later there was a small glow of light and there was a new location with the same address on the scrap of paper.
At exactly three in the afternoon Hermione dragged Harry and Ron into Harry's room to find him clothes to wear. After she had laid out his clothes she dragged Ron from the room and told Harry to get a shower. When he had finished his shower he dressed in the clothes that Hermione had picked out for him. Harry was wearing a pair of gray dress pants and a bronze shirt with black leather shoes. Putting the scrap of paper in his pocket he walked down stairs to the foyer. At exactly four pm there was a small cracking sound from the park across the street. He walked out of the house and into the park to greet them.
“Good afternoon Mister Weasley. It is good to see you.”
“It is good to see you too Lord Potter. This is Penelope Clearwater. Penelope this is Harrison James, Lord of House Potter.” Harry kissed her hand.
“Please do call me Harry, dearest Penelope. Will you both please read this note for me.” The house appeared behind Harry. “Off we go.” They entered the house quickly so as not to be outside any longer than necessary. “Welcome to my current residence. I would like to introduce you to Remus Lupin, he is my current guardian of choice due to my guardianship being contested in the Wizengamot.” Remus shook Percy's and Penelope's hands.
“Welcome to our home. Percy it is good to see you again. Let us retire to Lord Potter's study. Penelope, would you like to join us in the study or would you prefer to enjoy the company of Hermione and Ginevra in another room?”
“I will remain with you; if that is okay.” She answered, not sure that she wanted to be in a strange home without Percy near by. The group walked up the stairs and into the study that was across from the small classroom. Once everyone was situated Harry rang the small silver bell on the counter for Kreacher and Dobby to bring up a small tray of tea and another of sandwiches and biscuits. Percy talked about anything and everything that he thought Harry would want to know about the Wizengamot and the Ministry in general. Harry took notes with a Bic and a spiral notebook of paper. Remus laughed at the small joke of Harry taking notes on being a Wizarding Lord with a cheap muggle writing utensil and paper not a quill and parchment.
“Thank you for you help Percy. Would either of you like to freshen up before Dinner?” Harry asked at six forty five.
“I would like to Lord Potter.” Penelope said as she stood.
“You may use this bathroom in here.” Harry opened a door to a small powder room in the corner of the study. Five minutes later Penelope reentered the study. “Let's go down to the dining room.” As they left the room Harry knocked on the bedrooms and classroom doors across the hall and informed both Ron and the Twins that it was dinner. They entered the dining room with five minutes to spare before the food would be served. The dining room was sparkling with dozens of floating candles casting a flickering glow on the crystal stemware and vases on the table. The long table was covered with a forest green satin tablecloth, there were single bud vases in front of the seats for every female attending the dinner. Each vase held a solitary Prisim Rose gleaming in different colors as the lights flickered. The gold tone flatware was tucked neatly into crimson napkins and laid upon white porcelain plates. There were small name cards in ivory in front of each plate, a hippogriff rampant pressed in gold and in emerald green name of the person who was to sit there.
“Please have a seat. There ware two more guests that are arriving by floo.” Harry left them to find their seats as he went into another room to fetch Bill and Charlie. The three entered the dining room to see that everyone including Mrs Weasley was already sitting at the table. Harry sat in his chair, that had somehow moved to the head of the table. When everyone was ready Mrs. Weasley took a small bell from beside her plate and summoned the two elves to bring dinner to the table. A standing rib roast complete with roasted vegetables entered the room first followed by a tray of mashed potatoes, cheese biscuits, a pasta salad and a large tureen of summer squash soup.
“Penelope, please do tell, what are you doing now that you have graduated from Hogwarts?” Mrs. Weasley asked ladling some soup into her bowl and beginning the first round of questions.
“Currently, I am interning at the Division of Families while pursuing a muggle Bachelors degree in Social Work.” Penelope said adding a small pad of butter to her cheese biscuit.
“What drew you to Social Work as a muggle degree?” Hermione asked, still in the thinking stage about pursuing a muggle degree.
“I want to be able to help children and families work through difficulties that they may face.”
“I find it fascinating that Penelope is looking for a degree in the muggle world. From our conversations she plans on using that knowledge to work with children that are placed in magical and muggle orphanages after they are discovered to be magical.” Percy said, pride in his voice.
“That seems like an honorable task Penelope. I admire people that see a need and then seek to alter their path in order to help that need.” Harry said causing Penelope to blush. She flicked her long brown hair over her shoulder.
“What made you want to enter into a relationship with a pureblood, knowing the requirements of said relationship?” Ron asked, popping a chunk of bread into his mouth.
“Ronald.” His mother hissed from her chair while Penelope turned pink again.
“It’s a decent question Mum. Miss Clearwater is a halfblood. Is she looking for political advancement by marrying into a pureblood house or does she really love Percy?” Charlie defended his youngest brother’s question.
“I am in love with your brother. I wanted to be with him regardless of his blood status. If it was just the two of us poor as dirt I would still want to be with him.” Dinner continued on with Penelope answering a question every few minutes and keeping a smile on her face the whole time. As dessert was served, a flaming plum pudding, Percy stood behind his chair.
“Dear Family. I would like to propose a toast to all of you. I am sorry that for last few months I have been distant for the last few months. I have been allowing my want to be an integral part of the Ministry to overshadow my responsibilities to House Weasley. I would also like to thank Lord Potter for inviting me here, so that I could ask forgiveness from my family. Harry you really are a better person than most say you are.”
“To Harry.” There were raised glasses around the table.
“Well I would like to answer that toast with one of my own. To Penelope, a beautiful, socially minded, young woman who is seeking to change the stars of those around her. We are very grateful that you came to know our Percy and came to dinner tonight.”
“To Penelope.” Was the second and last toast of the night. Percy pulled Penelope's chair out and helped her to her feet. The pair said their goodbyes to everyone before walking towards the door. Harry followed them into the foyer.
“Thank you both for coming tonight. Penelope, I know that I speak for the whole assembled group when I say we look forward to seeing you again in the future.
“Thank you for having us Lord Potter.” Penelope said with a smile. “I mean thanks Harry. I knew that you were a great guy.”
“Talk to you later Harry. I have to get Penelope home. I'll be back later tonight.” With that Percy led Penelope out the door and they were gone. Harry returned the dining room to see everyone still sitting at the table discussing the small interrogation that they had just put Penelope through. An hour later they were still discussing the finer points of Penelope's answers and the six school aged children crept out of the dining room and headed up the stairs. They all dressed for bed and gathered in Harry's room.
“Harry, why did you invite Percy to dinner?” Ron asked.
“Percy is helping understand the Ministry. And we made a deal.”
“What kind of deal did you make with him?” George asked digging through a bowl of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans.
“During my trial it was announced that Dumbledore is voting the Prewett seat in the Wizengamot.” Harry waited to see if any of them understood it. “Percy asked me to look into it after I was inducted as a Lord. The seat should be your Mother's. Especially since she is the only member of her family left.”
“But why is Dumbledore voting the seat. And doesn't that mean that there is a Family Vault somewhere with family stuff in it?” Ginny asked. After her ordeal in her first year she was very leery of Dumbledore.
“There should be. I told him that I would have it looked into as long as he apologized and came back to the family.” Harry said. Stiffling yawns the girls left the room to go talk in their own room. Ron snagged a bowl of chocolate frogs and left to go to his room. That left Fred and George with Harry.
“Can we talk to you?” Fred asked as George shut the door and they gathered near his desk.
“Sure. Whats up?”
“You know how you gave us the money from the tournament?” George said.
“Yeah. What's up with it?” Harry asked hoping that it wasn't Bagman that had secured the money and it hadn't disappeared on them.
“We are going to open our joke shop after school is over and we wanted to go ahead and have you sign this form.” Fred handed Harry the form, not really explaining what the form was.
“Guys I won't sign anything without knowing what it is.”
“Its just a form saying that you are going to be the co-owner of the joke shop with the two of us.” George answered.
“Why do you want me to be a partner? This has always been your dream?”
“Because, you gave us the way to start up our dreams. This would be years and years down the road instead of being able to start in two years, right after graduation.” Fred said popping a few beans into his mouth.
“Ok. I'll sign it but we will continue you to talk about it later on. Just don't let your mum find out. If she comes after me I'll just say you tricked me.” Harry said with a laugh.