Learning the horrible truth of what the future holds Harry begins his quest to become the perfect wizard and change the future of death and destruction he's foreseen. Not realizing just what the co...
Harry was a little nervous about seeing Katie again after their kiss, and even more so since Sirius' talk, but still thought it'd be fairly easy. After all, he'd known her for nearly four years, ate quite a few team meals with her and already met her family.
Unfortunately the entire evening started on a rather bad note when he arrived at Katie's and found they were going to a fancy Muggle restaurant, not a wizarding one. This was a bit of problem since he'd worn the formal dress robes he'd bought for school earlier that summer, not Muggle clothes.
Thankfully Katie was still getting ready and he quickly Floo'd to Diagon Alley. After twenty minutes, a quick stop at Gringotts, and a conversation with a woman from the nearest Muggle clothing store he could find, he floo'd back to Katie's wearing a nice Muggle outfit that was only slightly too big for him.
Harry knew Katie was a girl, if nothing else their first study session earlier this summer convinced him of that. He'd seen her in dresses before too, but nothing had prepared him for this. He was stunned at the sight of her and took the time to look, really look, at her.
Katie was pretty in an athletic sort of way. Her dark blond hair was streaked light by the sun and her skin tan. She wore a short black dress that showed off her toned body perfectly. He couldn't decided what he wanted to look at more; her long athletic legs that seemed to be begging for attention in the black high-heeled sandals she wore, or her neck and shoulders, which were bare save for a silver necklace and a few wisps of her dark golden hair. That she wore her hair up, and not in a loose pony-tail like normal, only added to the effect by accentuating her neck and shoulders.
She was attractive, there was little doubt about that, but he knew there were quite a few girls in Hogwarts who were stunning in comparison. Her smile, on the other hand, took his breath away. She was smiling at him, he knew it. It wasn't a smile of being in a good mood, it was a smile for him, of being happy to see him. It made him want to smile back. A true, genuine, smile.
It's was only Mr. Bell's slight cough that brought Harry out of his stupor. Blushing, he managed to tell both Katie and Mrs. Bell they looked wonderful, and thanked them for inviting him. He'd have to thank Sirius for the advice on complementing Mrs. Bell; her smile grew and seemed friendlier almost immediately.
Harry was used to being able to talk to Katie like he could with Hermione, but her new look was throwing him completely off balanced. Next to how she was now he felt like he normally did with the Dursley's, a freak who didn't deserve happiness.
It was when they were waiting to be seated at the club that the real problem began. Mr. Bell ran into a family friend who moved away a few years back. Since they hadn't seen each other in so long, and the friend would be leaving the country next week, Mr. Bell invited the man and his family to join them for dinner. At first Harry thought this was quite nice of Mr. Bell, it was something the Dursley's would never consider doing. That changed rather quickly though.
Stephan, their 17 year old son, was handsome, tall, and seemed to mix Oliver Wood's body with Malfoy's arrogance. Harry could tell right away he wouldn't like him and was proved correct when, only a few minutes after being introduced, Stephan began flirting with Katie. Harry tried to stay involved in their conversation at first but found himself constantly being dragged into a mostly one sided conversation by the eldest brother, Michael.
Unfortunately things only became worse when they got to their table and Stephen pulled out the seat for Katie, leaving Harry to sit across from Katie and next to her little sister.
While he liked Alexia and, under normal circumstances, would have enjoyed talking with her, he couldn't stand the sight of Katie and Stephen together. Watching her laugh at something Stephen said caused his emotions to run wild.
He didn't know exactly what he was feeling and didn't really care. Everything else in the world disappeared; all he could think of was Katie laughing with Stephen. The pain welled up inside him and was threatening to spill over, into what he didn't know. Gasping for breath he excused himself and fled for the bathroom.
He groaned as the cool water splashed onto his face as he tried to calm himself, to get his act together. His face was flushed, his heart pounded in his chest, and he felt like he could barely breathe. There were so many thoughts and emotions whirling through his mind that he couldn't think straight, could barely think at all.
"Katie!" Harry exclaimed, as he turned around to face her. "This is the Men's bathroom!"
"You left so quickly, I wanted to make sure you were alright."
"Oh, so now you decided to care." Harry shot back at her, the confusion of his own emotions settling on anger at such a convenient target.
"What?" Katie asked, reflexively backing up a step. "What did you mean by that? Of course I care!" She told him, all the while trying to figure out what was happening here and why Harry, of all people, was snapping at her.
"Hard to notice when you've barely taken you're eyes off Stephan the entire night!"
Jealousy? Was that what this was? He didn't know for sure.
Softly Katie told him after a moment, "I'm sorry if I appeared to be ignoring you. I didn't mean to Harry. It's just that I spent hours getting ready for this and you've barely talked to me all night. I haven't seen Stephan in a couple years and when he started flirting it surprised me, but it felt nice that he even noticed me. I guess I just got caught up in the excitement."
Harry wasn't sure what to say to that, he barely even knew what to think of it. He had been ignoring her, but couldn't she tell the affect her new look had on him?
"Were you really jealous Harry?" Katie asked coyly, a smile appearing on her face at the thought of him liking her enough that he'd be jealous.
"You don't have to be you know," She whispered to him as stepped closer to him. "I didn't say anything, but I was really happy when mom told me you'd be coming tonight."
Harry gasped, his entire body frozen as she pressed herself flush against him, her hands winding around his neck.
"I haven't been able to stop thinking about that kiss." She whispered as she closed her eyes.
Her lips pressed softly against his, released, then softly pressed against his again. Harry opened his mouth and their teeth clanked causing a moan to escape her lips.
The door opened abruptly and they jumped apart quickly, leaving Harry a wreck of emotions. Desiring more, mortified at thought of being caught, and confused by his emotional turmoil earlier.
An older man with balding grey hair stood at the doorway, his eyes wide and mouth open, gaping at the two teenagers.
They left quickly and made their way back to the table. Both trying, unsuccessfully, to keep themselves from laughing at the look on the old man's face.
Thankfully, the rest of the dinner went well for Harry. Katie still talked to Stephan, but made more of an effort to talk directly to him as well. Talking with Alexia actually turned out to be quite a bit of fun. Harry never had much of a chance to talk with other kids when he was younger and wasn't sure what to talk to her about, so he talked with her like he would any of his other friends. The younger girl really seemed to enjoy this, if the smile on her face and more exuberant attitude was anything to go by.
Alexia was happy when they finally got home. She'd been looking forward to the dinner all week, but then her dad had to go and ruin it all by inviting those... people, to eat with them. All she really wanted was to talk with her sister!
Actually talking to Harry towards the end was nice. He was funny and wasn't anything like what she thought he'd be. She'd heard of him growing up of course, and overheard a few stories of him while listening to Katie and her friends talk, but she didn't expect him to be so, normal.
He was nice and didn't talk to her like a little kid as Katie's other friends often did. Especially those two red-headed boys, she hated when they came over. As nice as it was talking to Harry though, he wasn't the one she wanted to talk to and they couldn't talk about what she wanted to talk about, Hogwarts.
She loved Katie and missed her. There were plenty of times she hated her sister, mostly when Katie was hanging out with her friends and told Alexia to scram, but that didn't matter now. She'd been praying to go to Hogwarts for as long as she could remember, and her wish had finally come true. That she couldn't talk to anyone about it was driving her insane!
All she wanted was to talk to Katie, ask her about Hogwarts, about what to expect. She'd never even known she could do magic. What if she couldn't, would they make her go home?
This is when she needed her sister, but she'd barely been around this summer and it felt like Katie didn't even know she existed. Didn't she know how much she needed her sister, how much she missed her. Why'd she have to go?
Once they were back at the Bell's house Katie went to change into more comfortable clothes to walk back to her tent in. Harry vividly remembered how it felt like to be so unprepared and nervous about going to Hogwarts and began telling Alexia what to expect the first few days of class.
When she admitted that she was afraid she'd be sent away for not being magical he felt for her. She seemed so innocent and so scared that he couldn't help but want to help her. For the first time he talked about what happened when he got his letters, how his family wouldn't let him read the letters, how he didn't even know magic existed, and how he'd been so worried that he wouldn't be good enough, or know enough, to be at Hogwarts.
Katie arrived during their conversation and took a seat next to him on the couch. She added her own stories about her fears the first few months in the castle, and all the mistakes she made.
They talked for a while about what she should expect and ended up promising to show Alexia around the castle until she got the hang of where everything was. Harry even promised to show her a few secret passages.
When Mrs. Bell finally told Alexia it was bed time Harry was quite surprised, he'd been enjoying talking with them so much and hadn't realized how much time passed.
"Nonsense," Mrs. Bell replied when Harry tried to say goodnight. "Alexia has a much earlier bedtime than Katie. You two enjoy some time together, and I know you weren't thinking of letting Katie walk all that way to her alone."
"Of course not," Harry said, kicking himself mentally for planning to do just that. Thinking quickly he added, "I just thought we'd start walking to her tent. With all the extra people there for the World Cup I didn't think it'd be a good idea to be out in the woods that late, you can never be too careful."
"That was quick thinking," Katie commented after they floo'd to the field.
"Relax." She said, noticing Harry stiffen. "It's not the first time I've seen you come up with a fib quickly. You're one of the few people in Gryffindor that can come up with excuses that work on Professor McGonagall."
"Actually, it's always amazed me, how you can think on your feet so well. I freeze up anytime I'm doing even the tiniest thing but I've seen you act perfectly natural when you've pretty much been caught red-handed. And even the twins break when dealing with Snape, but you'll have him breathing down your neck and still stand by those outrageous stories of yours."
Harry idly wondered if he should mention that those outrageous stories were true, some of the time at least. The thought was thrown out of his head though when she reached over and took his hand a moment later. Her skin was soft against his own, the metallic feeling of her two rings contrasted wonderfully with her warm hand.
Harry's mind was at war as they were neared Katie's tent. He knew he didn't want the night to end, but didn't know what to do. Should he go inside the tent with her to talk? Could he kiss her? Should he kiss her? They weren't actually dating, so should he ask her to be his girlfriend? Had this been an actual date?
As they reached her tent Harry threw all thoughts aside, gathered up his courage and leaned forward, touching his lips to hers. When she didn't pull away, he deepened the kiss, relishing the feel of her mouth against his.
Her eyes widened slightly and looked right into them. He couldn't tell her what he wanted, didn't know what he wanted himself, but he could show her. Show her his desires, his feelings, his pain and his need. Show her everything that coursed through him.
He felt her respond, felt her exploring his mouth and a wave of heat rushed through his body. He wanted nothing more than to hold her to him, to feel, to be lost in such wonderful feelings.
She moaned into his mouth and he let himself go, sinking into the sensations, loosing himself completely in the kiss. He barely noticed his hands moving, exploring her back, pulling her closer to him. There was nothing else except her, the feeling she gave him, the affection she felt for him.
She pulled back gasping for air, but he kissed her again. She was awakening something in him, something primal, something powerful. He needed it, needed to loose himself in the feeling, to awaken it once and for all time. To become whole.
It disappeared and Harry moaned into her mouth at it's loss. He was shocked, could barely move. Separating his mouth from hers, but staying only a millimeter away, he stood there. Panting heavily to catch his breath, his mind racing trying to figure out what happened, why it stopped, why he stopped. Katie moaned softly at the loss of the kiss and moved her head to shoulder, holding on tightly to him.
Reality came crashing back to Harry as the sound of clapping and catcalls filtered into his thoughts. Standing less than two meters away where Alicia, Angelina, Lee, and several other students he barely recognized.
"Not bad Harry." Lee commented with a grin as Katie was dragged off by Alicia and Angelina.
"Don't worry. They're just heading to the party. You'll get your chance for more fun in a minute but first we need to grab some stuff."
"Party?" Harry managed to ask, his thoughts still swirling from Katie.
"Not much of one really," Lee told him with a shrug. "Some more students arrived when they opened up another section of the campgrounds earlier today. So we're having a bit of a get together over by their tents."
Harry helped grab the supplies and carried them over to the other side of the large grass fields. About two dozen Hogwarts students and maybe a half dozen foreign kids were hanging around a group of tents when they arrived carrying food and drinks. The party wasn't nearly as large of most of the Gryffindor parties, especially those after a Quidditch match, but it was larger than many of spur of the moment ones.
With over 80 kids in Gryffindor tower it was easy to find reasons to throw a party. The End of Term and Quidditch Victory parties were easily the largest, normally involving every member of the house and lasting until the early morning hours. Officially birthday parties were combined to one Saturday each month, but most people held a small party with only their close friends on their birthday. First Friday of the month, Only Saturday of the week, Last Test until the Next Test, and Thank Godric We're Not Slimy Slytherin's, were some of the more common reasons used to justify a party when the older years became bored or stressed.
Harry knew only a handful of the people there but that didn't matter too much, he wasn't in the mood to really enjoy the party as it was. The only thing on his mind was the kiss, or more specifically, the feelings he felt during the kiss. Unfortunately Katie was clustered away with a group of girls. What was it with girls always staying in groups?
He grabbed a drink for himself, though he didn't plan on drinking all that much. Having been on the Quidditch team since his first year Harry was used to being with older students and knew better than to drink much of the stuff. It wasn't nearly as strong as some of the things Oliver got his hands on, but it was more than enough to affect most the kids here, including him.
He grimaced, remembering the practice after his first victory in Quidditch. Everyone was so thrilled at finally beaten Slytherin that the next practice was scheduled late in the evening and turned quickly turned into a party. Oliver acquired the drinks and the twins brought the food. It was one of the better moments, one of the first times he felt like he truly belonged. It didn't matter that he was a first year or that he was Harry Potter, he was a member of the team and they'd won, together. And the next morning they paid the price for the celebration together.
Harry found himself talking with Lee Jordan and a few others he didn't recognize, though that didn't matter much to him, he wasn't in much of a mood for talking anyways. He carried on with the conversation without really trying, nodding and saying a few words every now and then, but mostly he thought of only one thing, the kiss.
Finishing his second drink he took another glance towards Katie. What he even was doing here? He'd gone along with everyone to see more of Katie, but hadn't even spoken a word to her yet. Was she mad at him for kissing her? She enjoyed it as much as him, hadn't she?
"Wait a minute, what are you on about?" Harry asked, the switch in conversation finally catching up to him.
"Think you need to slow down on the drinks." One of the boys said with a laugh.
"Or spend a little less time staring at your girl." Lee added with a grin, though it only lasted for a moment. "This is serious, they're canceling Quidditch!"
"The World Cup?"
"No, worse. Hogwarts! They're canceling the tournaments this year."
"What? Why?" Harry nearly shouted, gaining the attention from everyone nearby. "They can't, we finally won the cup last year! And we have a great team. No way Slytherin can beat us this year!"
"They're having some sort of tournament with France and Bulgaria." One of the other boys Harry barely recognized as a Ravenclaw said. "I was visiting Mike at the Ministry last week, he's got an internship there, and it's all the talk over at the Department for International Co-operation. He didn't know the details since all the meetings were closed doors, but he managed to overhear a few things he shouldn't have. They're canceling all Quidditch for the year."
The shear variety of curses that followed amazed Harry. He'd never heard of half of them before, and couldn't even recognize the language of a few.
Glancing at his watch Harry cursed silently, he'd have to leave now if he wanted to get back to Ollivander's before it was too late. Grabbing another drink Harry said goodbye to Lee before heading over to Katie's group. He'd have enough to drink to settle his worrying and now only felt annoyance at having to leave so early.
"You should go after him." Lee said as he encircled Angelina within his arms.
"What?" Katie asked, blushing slightly as she forced her gaze away from Harry's retreating figure.
"He's had at least three older, and rather fine looking girls hitting on him over the last hour but blew them off to gaze at you. You should go after him before one of the others do, if they haven't already."
"Did they really?" Alicia asked him after Katie left.
"Not really," Lee admitted. "A couple seemed interested enough, not that he noticed though. He really did spend most his time looking at Katie."
You so owe me Harry.
"Wake up Harry!" Sirius shouted as he pulled the sheets off a tired and groggy Harry.
"Eww... Maybe you should go back to sleep after all. That hair, it scares me!"
Harry groaned and managed gathered up enough energy to shoot a glare at Sirius.
"If you didn't want to be so tired in the morning you shouldn't have spent half the night snogging your girlfriend." Sirius teased, a smile on his face. "I have something to show you so hurry up and get dressed. I'll be in the kitchen."
"What's this?" Harry asked as he walked into the kitchen a few minutes later.
"It's your birthday breakfast of course!"
"But it's not my birthday." Harry said, slightly confused as to what was going on. He was tired from last night, but not this tired...
"I know, but I wasn't there for your birthday. So while you went out yesterday I went and picked up a present. You don't have to do your morning practices and I won't be filtering through my memories today either. We'll have most the day together."
Harry was stunned. Sirius went out special for a present and even made a special breakfast... for him?
"The presents and cake won't be till tonight though, after Ollivander gets back."
"You can't celebrate a birthday with out cake!" Sirius said with a grin. "You're getting a special birthday cake made by Florean Fortescue himself."
After breakfast they spent much of the day just talking and learning more about each other. Sirius told more stories about his adventures in Hogwarts and Harry explained a few of the things that he'd gone through so far. It was all the talk about what he went through his second year that gave Harry the opportunity to bring up something that had been in the back of his mind, nagging him, every since.
"I think something may be wrong with me... I know I should've been scared fighting the Basilisk, and I was, in a way at least. I know I shouldn't have enjoyed it, but I did Sirius. I did."
"There were nightmares for months afterwards, even a few this year. A small part of me was terrified but in a sick way, I've never felt better then when I was fighting. I felt like I could do anything, like I was... Alive! Everything was so real. I thought faster, reacted quicker, I could hear the Basilisk slither in the darkness. Even the shadows seemed to lessen, making the world much more visible around me."
"More than that though, it felt good. Later that night when I was in the Hospital Wing, I smiled. I was happy!" Harry all but cried out. "It could talk, the Basilisk. It was alive and knew what was happening, and I killed it!"
"There's nothing wrong with you Harry."
"I nearly died, Ginny nearly died, and I was happy Sirius. I laughed!" Harry shouted.
Sirius walked over and placed his hands on both sides of Harry's shoulder. "Listen to me Harry, there is nothing wrong with you."
"The reason you felt so alive is because you knew you could die and your body and magic reacted with out you realizing it. You enhanced your abilities to give you a better chance to live. It's a defense mechanism and it happens to everyone, not just to you."
"Really?" Harry asked, sounding lost but hopeful.
"Really, it's completely normal. So is your reaction later that night."
"No buts, Harry." Sirius said firmly, cutting him off. "You were stressed and pushed your body well past its normal limits. Your emotions could have easily spiked and slumped because of it. Some people laugh, not because it's funny, but because they're alive."
"But they're dead Sirius. Dead. And I killed them! How could I be happy about that?"
"People react different ways Harry. Some people cry and seek comfort from others, some want to laugh and remember the goods times, while others become silent and want to be by themselves. I become active. I work out, train, run, and do pretty much anything I can. Does looking to feel alive out of adventure make me a bad person? I thought it did the first time."
"It was during my fourth month of training as an Auror. I was tagging along on a routine reconnaissance mission, feeling cocky, like I was actually good enough to actually be there, when all hell broke loose. The routine mission turned into a fight for our lives and I killed someone. After we finished our mission we made it back to the Ministry and the rest of the team carried on like normal, like it was no big deal."
"I couldn't though. The next day I trained with another group, ended up laughing and having a great time with them. That night I found an ex-girlfriend and slept with her. I continued like that, all the while disgusted at myself for acting the way I was. It disappeared after a few days though and things went back to normal, or as normal as things could be."
"But it still there Sirius, even now." Harry whispered. "I still feel happy that I killed them. How can I feel like that?"
"Are you sure that's why you're feeling the happiness? Because you killed them. You did the right thing Harry. You didn't run, you didn't cower, and you didn't stop just because you were young. You did the right thing, no matter that it might cost you your life. You made the right choice Harry, the moral choice."
"You should be proud Harry, not beating yourself up over it. Proud of your actions, proud that you saved her life! Every breath that girl takes, every laugh and every smile is because of you. Because of you Harry. Remember that."
"What was it like, becoming an Auror?" Harry asked, suddenly wanting to get off the topic.
Sirius sighed. He knew what Harry was doing and wanted to talk about it, to help him, but didn't know what else to say.
"Hard. Long and hard." He answered, deciding to let the subject drop, at least for now.
"Even helping each other James and I barely made it through. Half the time we wanted to do nothing more than to walk away, but we never could. It had us before we even joined. In ways it's truly indescribable. It takes everything you ever thought about yourself, throws it out into the wind, and leaves you to pick up the pieces. If you make it to the end though, you know who you truly are."
"Of course, it's getting to the end that's the hard part. The Magical Combat Training is six months long and routinely stresses its students to such a degree that there is over an 80 drop out rate. In our year only 8, of the 60 trainees who started finished. And that was just the beginning. Following MCT we went through two years of vigorous training, spending at least six hours every other day in practical sessions."
"Auror training wasn't all practical work though. We also attended advanced courses in charms, transfigurations, wards, and potions. Along with more specialized courses like group tactics and strategies, magical and Muggle transportation, foreign language and cultures, reconnaissance, communications, and first aid and field healing."
"By the end of the program each trainee earns their Mastery in Magical Combat. Since Auror's normally aren't accepted into the program until after they've been in another field for a few years, the majority become Sorcerers before the end of training."
"Sorcerers?" Harry asked. "I thought that was just another name for a witch or wizard."
"In a way. It's the next level above being a wizard," Sirius explained. "You're an apprentice to Hogwarts now, but when you graduate you'll become a Wizard. Hogwarts is the only school in England to offer NEWT classes for your sixth and seventh year, by the way. The other British schools only teach students to their fifth year, when they take they're OWL's. In those schools each witch or wizard has to take an apprenticeship afterwards, until they're ready to take their NEWT's in the fields they chose. Apprenticeships normally last from two to five years and grant up to four NEWTs, whereas Hogwarts offers its students four or five NEWT's in two years. Either way, once you get at least two NEWTs you're considered a wizard."
"For most people that's fine, but If you want to go further than being a wizard the next step is to get your Mastery in a field. Which is basically just like it sounds, you've become good enough to master that area of magic. There's a bit more to it than just that though, you need to do a lot of academic work and make some sort of contribution. Most the time it's by making a new spell, altering an existing one or coming up with a new magical theory for that field."
"Once you earn two Masteries you're considered a Sorcerer. Its possible go further than a Sorcerer, though it becomes much harder. There are two different titles for the next level, Scholar and Master. A Scholar is someone who earns a Mastery in seven separate fields, whereas a Master makes seven significant contributions in a single field. Each has to be nominated by seven Scholars and seven Masters. And for those few poor sods who become both a Scholar and a Master, they become a Sage."
"So, you and dad became Sorcerer's?" Harry asked, eager to draw out even a little bit more information about them.
Sirius grinned to himself hearing the excitement in Harry's voice. He might not know what to say to make Harry feel better about himself, but at least he could do this. "No, James and I were accepted to the Auror program right from school. We earned the one mastery in combat magic but never bothered getting a second. Things were a bit different than then, the war had taken a turn for the worse and the Aurors, along with most the ministry, were being overworked. Lilly was a Sorceress though, earned her Masteries in Charms and Spell Design."
"I always thought James and I were about as stubborn as they came," Sirius said with a laugh. "But Lilly... When she thought she was right, she took stubbornness to a whole different level. That's actually how she ended up becoming a Sorceress really."
"She disagreed with an accepted theory in charms and had to prove it wrong. They actually ended up giving her a job as an assistant professor because she spent so much time at Hogwarts researching it. It took her nearly four years after graduating to prove her theory, and then another year to convince everyone she was right, but she did it in the end." Sirius laughed a bit before adding, "The fact that she earned two Masteries and became a Sorceress was completely incidental to her stubbornness."
"PRESENTS!" Sirius yelled, jumping up from the kitchen table.
Harry laughed as he finished the last of his cake, there were times when Sirius was more of a kid than he was.
"Come on Harry, open mine up!"
Harry opened the large box, his heart pounding in anticipation, but was confused when he peered in. Instead of one large item like he expected, the box was filled with at least a dozen items. Books, parchment, pamphlets, and a few other items he wasn't sure of.
"The Quidditch books and game pamphlets were James'." Sirius said, his voice tight. "They're signed, all of them. Mostly just one or two of the players, but twice he managed to get the entire team, even the managers."
"All the notebooks belonged to Lilly. I'm not sure what all is in them, probably class notes and research, but I thought you'd like to at least see them. She used a Quill and Parchment for anything official but used a Muggle pen and notebook for her own notes, said it was faster and more efficient."
"The tome is something special, it holds the details for all the major pranks we played. It's spelled up to read like a normal text on wards unless you say the password, then it'll change to the real plans."
"The pocket watch was made by your great-grandfather, Edward. Story is he went a bit stir crazy after retiring and ended up making all sorts of bizarre items. He specialized in clocks though, not a single of which ever told time. I'm not sure what all that one does, but it seems to tell you about your surroundings, what's around you, the temperature, if it's going to rain, things like that. It even told me exactly how far below ground I was when I grabbed it from the vault."
Harry look at the watch a moment before spotting a picture under it that looked familiar. He'd seen them before.
"The picture is of your grandparents, Elise and Mason, and your granduncle, Henry. A wonderful woman Elise was, as sweet as they come and loved to spoiled us rotten. Mason was a great guy too, a powerful man. You didn't break his rules, at least not while he was around," Sirius said with a grin. "I didn't know Henry that well he moved to be with is new wife during our second year. James really looked up to him though."
Harry stared at it as Sirius began talking again.
"There are a few other pictures in there, also some miscellaneous books and items of your family's. I don't know the stories on all of them though."
"Sirius... I..." Harry said, his voice clouded by emotion.
"You're welcome Harry." Sirius said as he moved closer to give him a hug. "Happy Birthday."
"How, where did you find them?"
"James' vault," Sirius answered. "Most the family heirlooms are in the manor or the family vaults, but James had a few things stored in his. He considered me his brother in all but blood and made sure I could access his personal vault when he opened it after fifth year."
"But how did you get to Gringotts? They could've arrested you!"
"I was fine Harry. Really, there's no reason to worry. Ollivander disguised me to get through Diagon Alley but once I was in Gringotts I spoke to the manager, proved who I was, and everything was fine. All Gringotts locations are part of the Goblin Nation and as such are consider international ground. Gringotts isn't bound by the laws of Brittan, or any other nation, the Goblin's have full autonomy there. It's part of the peace treaty after the last Goblin rebellion."
"So once you're in Gringotts you're free?"
"Well, I still have to be disguised. If any of the other customers found out they'd have the Ministry waiting for me leave the building, but the Goblins and all the employees won't say a thing, to the Ministry at least. I'm sure the Goblin's reported it to it to their superiors."
"I have a gift for you as well Mr. Potter." Ollivander said as he walked over carrying a thin box.
Peering in the box Harry saw, well he didn't know what it was exactly. It almost looked like a Quidditch armguard but instead of leather, it was made of golden hair intertwined with pieces of deep black glass.
"A wand holster Mr. Potter." Ollivander stated, obviously understanding Harry's confusion.
"Oh, wow! I've seen a couple in your shop, but never anything like this."
"I would be shocked if you had. I enchanted it for myself many years ago. Chimaera mane and Obsidian, a testament of a misspent youth. I don't think anyone will try to remove your wand with out your permision, at least not twice."
"Chimaera mane?" Sirius asked.
"Indeed Mr. Black, a very difficult fight that was."
Harry gasped. "You killed a Chimaera?"
"Not by myself Mr. Potter. Seventeen of us were there that day and still it nearly ended in defeat, which of course only added to the victory. That was a very long time ago though mind you."
"I have always been somewhat of a malcontent," Ollivander added with a devilish grin. "Wanting to beat my own trail even when I knew someone else's would lead to the same place. There are times when it doesn't feel right to take the easy way."
"I have a present for you as well Mr. Black. While it has taken longer than I would have liked due to the need for secrecy, I have arranged for a professional to assist in your recovery."
"Help?" Harry asked before Sirius could finish thanking him. "I thought all those trances in the morning were helping him?"
"The trance allows Mr. Black to navigate through his memories without the interference of the outside world and, while necessary, it is but one of many steps that must be taken. For such a complex situation a professional Healer with experience in psychological traumais required."
The rest of the week was a bit different for Harry. The healer used The World Cup as an excuse for her change in schedule and started treatment immediately. As Sirius was gone all day Harry found himself spending most his time in Ollivander's shop again.
While Ollivander helped him earlier in the summer, he was never involved in anything to do with the shop. The moment a person came into the shop he was expected to be in the backroom. Harry completely understood this and it never bothered him, but that wasn't how things were this time. Ollivander seemed to go out of his way to involve him in nearly every aspect of the shop and introduced Harry to any friend or business acquaintance that entered the store.
Harry was cut out of his thoughts by someone calling him. Looking around he saw Mrs. Bell walking towards him along with two other women.
"Hello Mrs. Bell." Harry said as he took her hand in greeting.
"It's nice to see you again dear." Mrs. Bell said and introduced him to Alicia and Angelina's mothers, Bianca Spinnet and Illaria Johnson.
"It seems the girls are a bit tired of living in a tent by themselves, though personally I think they're just tired of cooking for themselves. I know the last dinner didn't go exactly as planned, but we'll be having one tomorrow night and you're welcome to come. I'm sure Katie would love to see you again."
"Oh." Harry said, a bit of disappointment leaking into his voice. "I'd really like too but I can't. I'm going to spend the last two weeks with my best friend's family tomorrow morning. His father managed to get tickets at the last minute and sent me a letter yesterday inviting me along."
"And you were planning to leave with out saying goodbye to Katie?" Mrs. Bell asked him. "That's very foolish dear. Are you still spending the day with Ollivander?"
"Err... Yes M'am, I was just getting a bit of lunch." Harry said, a bit confused by why going to the Weasley's was foolish.
"Very well. Now go tell Ollivander that you'll be spending day with Katie. Then head over to their camp site and explain how you won't be able to see her again till the first. As you mentioned before, the forest can be a bit dangerous at night, so I expect you to see her safely back tonight."
"Now run along dear, Katie will want to spend time with you before you leave."
Harry went back to Ollivander's, a smile forming on his face. This wasn't exactly how he planned on spending the day, but after the goodbye he received after the party last time, he was looking forward to seeing her again.
"You do realize you not only ordered that young man to spend the entire day alone with your daughter but also to see her back to her tent late tonight, which I might add, is unsupervised?" Mrs. Johnson asked, though her tone suggested it was more of a statement than question.
"I've been helping them get together since the beginning of summer, not that it required all that much help. They both showed interest in each other, but he's still very much a boy and Katie still very much a young girl. They needed a bit of guidance and opportunity to get together is all."
"You've been trying to get them together?" asked Mrs. Spinnet incredulously. "But you've always babied Katie, and you never seemed to care about name and wealth before. Aren't you still worried about her having a boyfriend?"
"Of course I worry, that's why I've been helping them along all summer. I'm a little surprised Katie hasn't had a boyfriend before now, but she'll be going to the Yule Ball with someone and I'm terrified she might go with those... twins. You two can't honestly tell me the thought of your girls dating them hasn't giving you nightmares."
"It's kept me up at night alright." Mrs. Johnson answered. "I barely slept for three straight nights when Angelina mentioned having a boyfriend in one of her letters. I didn't know much about that Lee boy then, but when she answered back saying it was him, I swear I could've kissed him. I'm actually glad those twins spend so much time on pranks, it's kept their interest off our girls."
"I can see why you worry," Mrs. Spinnet admitted. "I'll never think what happened to my Alicia as a good thing, but at least she knows better than to go out with boys like them now. Are you sure you're not replacing them with someone worse though? I've heard a few rumors about him."
"I've heard them too." Mrs. Bell admitted, "But I've talked to Katie about him several times and she's always said good things about him. I've talked to him myself a few times, to a few of the adults that know him around here as well. Everything points to him being a well mannered teenage boy who's very sweet and incredibly loyal. He went out to dinner with us last week and seemed a bit shy and unsure of himself at first, but very attentive and rather charming once he got past his nervousness. Nothing at all that makes me worry. If anything it'll be Katie who corrupts him."
"I'll talk to Alicia for you then." Mrs. Spinnet said. "She loves Katie's innocent outlook on life, maybe she can look out for them while they're at school. She'd help Katie anyways, but if she understands keeping them together will also keep her away from some of the other boys... I'm sure she'll do what she can."
"I'll mention it to Angelina as well. The two of them should be able to help Katie and Harry through any silly fights they might have."
Author's Note: Please Review with any comments, questions, suggestions you might have and let me know what you like or don't like about the story so far.