An AU of a Sixth Year AU Story: What would have happened if two liberal American druids had taken Harry to America, before returning with him to Hogwarts? In this chapter, Harry is orphaned.
Monday, September 28, 1981
"Lily, I really shouldn't be here."
"I know, darling, but we have to talk."
"About Harry, about his future."
James frowned. "What do you mean? We're going under the Fidelius next week. We'll be safe."
Lily shook her head. "I know Divination isn't very accurate. . . ."
"It can be," James said, "but there's it rare for a Muggle-born witch or wizard to have any real talent in that area. Your feelings are just feelings."
"Don't you dare give me that line, James! This is our children we're talking about. I. . . ."
"I'm pregnant, about six weeks along. I felt its magic, her magic, actually, when she was conceived. And last night, last night she came to me."
"Darling. . . ."
Lily sat down, tears running down her cheeks. "She had my eyes, just like Harry, but her hair was auburn. She changed, from a toddler, to a child not quite old enough for Hogwarts, and then a younger teen, maybe fourteen or fifteen. She alternated between those forms, but she spoke consistently. She said that she was never going to grow up, because Voldemort would find us. She would die as a fetus or as a toddler, depending on who we choose as a secret keeper. We would die with her. Harry would destroy Voldemort, either in his first or last year at Hogwarts. If Petunia raises him, it will be in his last year. If Tabitha raises him, it will be in his first."
"Sirius. . . ."
"Face facts, James! If we're killed, do you think Sirius would likely live long enough to raise Harry? Peter would be a worse parent than Petunia, and the Ministry would never allow Remus to do it."
"We're not going to die, Lily. Well, not for a hundred to a hundred and fifty years, anyway."
"Then why not let me have my way on this, James? If it won't happen, why worry about it?"
James switched arguments, having lost the first one. "Why Tabitha? She'd likely marry Henry, and he's sworn primarily to the Longbottom baby."
"Neville is the same age as Harry," Lily reminded him.
"Whatever. Until they talk in complete sentences, they're babies. Anyway, Tudor looks more like Harry."
"It would be easier to explain away Harry's black hair than his green eyes," Lily retorted. "And I trust Tabitha. Please James! Before we go under the Fidelius, let's change our wills."
James frowned. There was a thousand years of family pride involved in what he felt, but knew it would be difficult for a middle-class Muggle-born like Lily to understand. On the other hand, there was just that small chance Lily might be right.
"I can't let them adopt Harry," he finally said. "Lily . . . pretend for a moment, we're Muggles, back hundreds of years ago. I'm James, Earl Potter. Harry has been born to a position in life. That position is important. We can't give up his birthright."
"But. . . ."
James held up his hand. "I will agree to Tabitha having Harry's guardianship under the following conditions. One, his name must legally stay as it is. They may disguise his surname until he is eleven. Two, they tell him our story by his eleventh birthday. Three, they don't try to pass off any living person as Harry's father. Four, unless Dumbledore or a Hogwarts professor designated by Dumbledore says differently, Harry must attend Hogwarts, and under his real name."
Lily thought about that. It offered Harry slightly less protection than her ideas, but probably fit in with her child's prophecy better. "All right," she said. "I'll tell Tabitha. You tell Dumbledore and change the wills. We'll sign them before we go into hiding."
Thursday, October 1, 1981
"I'll miss you," Lily told Tabitha and Tom.
"We'll miss the two of you," Tom said, shaking Harry's hand, which made the toddler giggle.
"You're a very happy baby, Harry," Tabitha said softly, tears forming in her eyes. "Try and stay happy. Here," she said to Lily, handing her a conch shell.
"What does this do?"
"Well, right now, if you hold it to your ear you can hear the ocean," Tom said. "We want you and Dumbledore to go over it, to show that there're no enchantments on it right now. We'll enchant it, and five others. We'll keep one, Lloyd will take one, Dumbledore will take one, and you can give the fifth one to one of James' friends. These will only work one way. If you or James call for help -- the phrase will be 'goddess, help us' -- we will be able to reach you despite the Fidelius. We cannot trace you unless it sends out an alarm, and it will not work at all in the other direction."
"And, if any of the three of you are seriously injured, you have twenty minutes to prevent it from calling out a distress call. The phrase is, 'goddess, hold back,'" Tabitha instructed. "If . . . should anything worse happen, the alarm will go off automatically."
"Do you remember all the rituals we've taught you?" Tabitha asked.
"Oh, yes," Lily said. "I hope I don't need any of them."
"We hope you won't, either," Tom acknowledged.
Lily turned to Tabitha. "Remember your promises."
"I swear to them all," Tabitha affirmed. If worse came to worse, she would raise Harry.
Saturday, October 31, 1981
"Is somethin' wrong, Professor Dumbledore, sir?"
Dumbledore had been walking around the castle since the end of the Feast. He had been troubled all day. Although he knew his gift in divination was tiny, he did not think he was being paranoid. He looked up, surprised to see Hagrid.
"I cannot believe anything is wrong. However, I cannot shake the belief something is about to happen, or perhaps is even happening."
"Is there anythin' I can do, Professor?"
'Why not?' Dumbledore thought. "Do you have your, well, your umbrella with you?" He led Hagrid back to his office.
"Bit of a raw night, I thought, sir," Hagrid said, although both men knew the night was cold and clear.
"Good. Sugar Quill," he said, giving his current password. "I shall make a portkey for you. If everything is fine, you will appear in what will look like an open field. If everything is fine, keep holding on to the portkey. If everything is not alright . . . access the situation. You will be able to tell, because there will be a small house . . . or its wreckage. If no Death Eaters are outside, drop the portkey instantly and look for survivors."
"Who might I be looking for?"
"What, not James an' Lily?"
"If you see anything other than an empty field, it is unlikely that there will any survivors, from either side. The most we could hope for is young Harry. Now remember, the portkey will return two minutes after you arrive. Are you ready?"
Hagrid disappeared. At the same moment, the conch shell the Potters had given him began to blow the alarm that signaled at least one of the Potters had been killed.
Dumbledore's face turned ashen, but he hurried to the fireplace to put out the alarm call. The North Americans would be there soon after Hagrid, but it would best if he could signal a general alert.
Hagrid arrived approximately 10 seconds after he had left Dumbledore's office. As far as he could tell, he was standing near a large larch, facing an open field. "Good," he muttered, "no problems."
But about thirty seconds later, there was an explosion which blew Hagrid back into the tree. A lesser man would have been knocked out, and probably seriously injured. Hagrid managed to pick himself up within seconds. He was shocked to see the remains of a small house lay in what had been the open field. He threw down the portkey, and approached cautiously, his umbrella out and at the ready. He couldn't notice a large rat scurrying out of the opposite side of the wreckage and head into the woods.
At that moment, he heard a child crying. Hagrid tore through the rubble, tossing sections of wall as he did so. In less than two minutes, he had uncovered toddler Harry, who was clutching on his mother's robe. There was a jagged cut bleeding on his forehead. A few feet away there was a robe that Hagrid knew instinctively knew had been Voldemort's. "You!" he growled. Had Harry's crying not intensified, Hagrid would have torn through the rubble, looking for Voldemort's body and James'. He flipped another wall out of the way to make certain the rubble wouldn't fall on them, and he saw James' lifeless body. "Poor tyke," he said softly.
Hagrid started to carry the crying toddler out of the wreckage. As he did so, he heard another sound, and looked up, umbrella again at the ready.
"Oh, it's you," Hagrid said as Sirius Black landed.
"Damn!" Sirius swore. "The rotten bastard! I'll kill him! Did you see the rat?"
Sirius meant Peter, but of course Hagrid thought he meant Voldemort.
"'Aven't seen anyone alive but Harry."
"Give him to me. I'm his godfather. I'll take care of him."
"Dumbledore said I was to take him if I were to find him."
Sirius looked torn for a moment, then decided to go after Peter first, since Harry was safe. He would come to regard that as the second worst of idea of his life, after suggesting that Peter be the Secret Keeper in the first place. "Fine. Take my bike, then. It'll adjust for you. To ride it like a broomstick, the command is 'Snivellus blows.' To turn it back into a Muggle cycle, the command is 'Snivellus sucks.'"
Hagrid shook his head at that. "Go on," Sirius commanded. "Make sure he's safe, if you're not going to turn him over to me."
"Alright." Hagrid made his way over to the motorcycle. He turned to ask Sirius a question, but he had seemingly disappeared. He had, in fact, transformed into his dog form. Sirius was already trailing Pettigrew's trail into the woods from the other side of the rubble, out of Hagrid's line of sight.
"Where'd he go?" Hagrid asked the still whimpering Harry, suspicious. Hagrid was about to mount the enlarged motorcycle a few moments later when he heard a deep voice say, "Move and you're dead."
"It's all right, Henry," a deeper voice said. "That's Hagrid, one of Dumbledore's people."
"Still, don't move." Four people came around to the front.
Hagrid recognized one of them. "Yer the American's," he said, his accent thickening.
"That's right," Tudor Myrddin answered. "Harry, Johnny, check the parameter. Tabby, check the bodies. Hagrid, tell me everything you know."
In less than five more minutes, fifteen members of the Order and nine more of the Americans. plus Dumbledore and Alastor Moody, had arrived. Hagrid had repeated his tale, and Dumbledore had told them about the Fidelius, plus the fact that the last he knew, Sirius Black was to be the Secret Keeper.
"So that's why he wanted Harry!" Hagrid roared, nearly waking the exhausted Harry up. He had refused to allow Harry out of his massive arms.
"Sirius Black? The spy?" Henry said. "That's hard to believe."
"Do you doubt it?" Tudor asked.
"A little, but if he wasn't, then he certainly knows what happened," Henry retorted.
"Either he is guilty or he knows who is, and went after them," Tabitha stated. "Either way, we must find him. Either way, someone will pay for this. And there is only one treasure that this crime may be redeemed in!"
"Gwaed!" John Alden, one of the druids who had sworn to protect Harry shouted.
"Ni!" Tudor shouted. "GWAEDOLIAETH!"
"GWAEDOLIAETH!" John, Henry, and Tabitha all screamed. All four Old Believers then raised their wands, and again shouted, "GWAEDOLIAETH!" Four bolts of jagged lightening flashed into the sky. "GWAEDOLIAETH!" and all the Americans had joined in.
Tudor turned to Dumbledore. "For the moment, we shall protect the child. None but us, save you, shall approach him without instant death. Henry! Tabitha! I charge you with his life!"
"Our lives are forfeit, should we fail," they answered.
"I want Hagrid with him," Dumbledore stated. "And this is only until Black is found."
Tudor stared at Dumbledore, who stared back. Tabitha and Henry joined their leader and glared at Dumbledore. Dumbledore backed down for the moment, reluctantly.
Tudor turned away. "Henry, fly that thing to your house. Hagrid, please carry Harry on the back. Tabitha, return now and guard. Contact Tom and Lloyd. There are to be two of you with Harry at all times."
Tudor turned to the other Confederation members. "You know who we are looking for. Find him!" As the motorcycle took off, all the Americans disapparated.
Alastor Moody turned to Dumbledore. "What was that all about?"
"They have been challenged to enforce what to them is a sacred contract. Their charge, Harry, has been orphaned and hurt. This act can only be paid for in blood. But not just blood, that is 'gwaed'. That is any blood. No, they swore by their blood, the blood of their families, their faith -- it is the blood of the killers or their own. Now, let me try and deduce what happened here tonight."
Monday, November 1, 1981
Dumbledore stood in the parlor of the house used by one of the Confederation teams. Tom Lawrence, Tabitha, and Henry were standing behind Tudor, ready to back him up. Tabitha held Harry in her arms. Tom and Lloyd came in to lend further support.
"The Ministry will not allow you to have Black, let alone allow you to execute him," Dumbledore repeated. "He is captured; Voldemort is disembodied. You are not foresworn. Now, let Hagrid have Harry. We need to take him to his relatives."
"No," Tabitha stated. "We have a copy of the Potters' will. I am Harry's guardian. Lily said her sister loathed her, and loathed magic. How can you allow her to have custody of Harry?"
"You taught Lily the ritual that protected Harry," Dumbledore pointed out.
"Yes, the Mother's Sacrifice," Tom agreed. "I am not so certain that placing Harry with his mother's family will be as effective as you think."
"Especially not when we have a better, and legal, alternative," Tudor added.
"Why do you believe it is better?" Dumbledore demanded.
"On the one hand, we do not believe Lily's sister would be a fit guardian. We base this on Lily's opinion. On the other hand, Harry needs to be protected. There are still uncaught Death Eaters, and we totally agree with you, Voldemort is more likely disembodied than destroyed. That means he will likely come back. Harry is now the symbol of his downfall, and so will likely be a target. While the Sacrifice will partially protect Harry against the Death Eaters, it will also only partially protect him against Voldemort, whenever he is re-embodied. If Harry is raised with love, the Sacrifice will be stronger in him against Voldemort, although non-existent against the Death Eaters," Tom explained.
Dumbledore had still not said anything about the Prophecy. "Explain that, please."
Tudor went on. "You believe the Sacrifice will protect Harry. We have doubts about its strength, considering Petunia's feelings towards magic. In addition, we agree that it would not be a good idea to raise Harry in the general British magical community. It could be dangerous, it could be almost as bad for his ego as being raised by his aunt, if in the opposite extreme."
"I believe you exaggerate his aunt's disdain," Dumbledore said.
"We do not," Tudor said firmly. "Like it or not, Tabitha is Harry's legal guardian, not you. Anyone trying to harm him or separate them will face the wrath of all the Old Believers."
"I don't have any real family I have to explain my self to. I shall say I married a fighter named John Evans," Tabitha said. "That was Lily's father's name. He was killed before Harry was even born. Henry and I will marry, and live in magical territory. We will raise him to know magical and Muggle culture. After he leaves school in 1991, we will tell Harry the whole truth. We will bring him to Britain, to be educated at Hogwarts unless you believe it will be too dangerous. If so, we will send him to the Ysgol."
"We will come with him, of course. We shall live in Hogsmeade, to help him," Henry added.
Dumbledore bowed his head, knowing this was a fight he could not win. These few he could defy, but they could, and would, invoke all of the Old Believers, and no doubt most of the North American Confederation, and finally, both magical and Muggle law.
"No one else in Britain today is to know," Tudor warned. "We five, plus Tom and Lloyd. Perhaps we can tell Lupin later on."
"And Professor Minerva McGonagall," Dumbledore added.
"Very well," Tudor agreed.
"Remember, not one word to any else," Tabitha warned. "Harry is Henry Evans at least until the moment he steps aboard the Hogwarts Express."
"Why then?" Tudor asked.
"The scar," Henry said. "It was already in today's Prophet. Unless we can disguise it, Harry will be recognized on the train. Americans will probably ignore it, but here, people will be looking for it."
"Very well," Dumbledore agreed, reluctantly. "I am compelled to go along with you. I shall have to meet with you when you return. In the meantime, I shall let it be known that since the Dursleys hate magic so much, Harry has been placed with some Muggle cousins on his mother's side."
"I shall make the other arrangements," Tudor said. "John Evans needs a history."
Tudor Myrddin commanded a lot of authority. A history of John Evans was created which would satisfy all but the most determined researcher. Tabitha's home near Boston was sold and a new house was purchased in the magical village of Carantouan, in northern Pennsylvania.
Confederation Law Enforcement juggled its personnel, and ex-auror Henry Dorff was now the lead sersiant of the five person staff for the area around Carantouan. Of the many magical towns and villages in North America, this was picked in part because the town apothecary was elderly and willing to sell out. Tabitha took over the shop, and would also serve as the druid for the area, a position that had been open for a few years.
Tom Lawrence bought a small cottage just outside of town. No one was quite certain where his money came from, but since he was Muggle-born, they didn't question it.
Tom's good friend Lloyd Trowbridge was from Carantouan. While he would spend a few months of every year in Britain, he would come back home, building a cabin on the high ridge that formed the eastern side of the valley, which he had just bought. Unknown to all except Henry, Tabitha, and Tom, the Confederation Secret Service (the Wyverns) had in fact purchased the mountain in his name, and were hollowing it out, to create one of their communications centers, combining magic and advanced Muggle technology. Tom and Lloyd were both working directly for the Wyverns.
Henry and Tabitha had been married as soon as they returned to North America. They, and Harry John Evans, moved into their new house on the second Saturday of December, 1981 (December 12).
Harry had been a bit confused these six weeks or so. By now, however, he was calling Tabitha 'Mom'. If he sometimes looked around for a different redhead called 'Mummy,' none of the good citizens of Carantouan ever noticed. With Tabitha, Henry, Tom, and Lloyd vouching for Harry's history (and changing his birthday to July 4), no one would ever make the connection between Henry Evans and Harry Potter.
That first Saturday night, as Harry slept in his crib with the two stuffed dogs he called 'Pa-foo' and 'Moo-y,' his adoptive parents smiled down at him, as their house elf, Petal, looked on. They loved Harry, and loved each other.
"Would you like some more good news?" Tabitha asked.
"Sure," Henry answered. His attention was starting to stray towards starting his job Monday.
"I missed my period, so I tested myself. I'm pregnant."
"Wow," was Henry could say. He hugged Tabitha, glad they could be together.