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 learns his true name.
Saturday, August 28, 1982
"Harry! Get back here!" Henry demanded.
Harry, a normal two year old, didn't listen. His toy broomstick couldn't go fast, and only flew two feet above the ground, but Harry's concentration was totally on his flying.
Tom and Lloyd laughed, and Lloyd summonsed boy and broom together. Many children would have screamed, or at least protested, such treatment, but Harry was laughing the whole time.
"Again!" he demanded.
"Maybe later," Lloyd said.
"Didn't you hear me call you?" Henry demanded.
"No," Harry answered honestly.
"Didn't you have news?" Tom asked.
"What? Oh! Right! Come on, Harry," Henry said, holding out his hand. "You have to go meet your sister."
"Oh . . . all right."
Saturday, July 7, 1990
"My," Albus Dumbledore said as he came into the conference room, "this is quite a reception committee."
"Mister Dumbledore," a late middle-aged wizard in dark orange robes said, rising, "I am Jacob Trowbridge, a member of the Leadership Council. You believe you know Tudor Myrddin (our new chief hit wizard), Henry Dorff, Thomas Lawrence, and Lloyd Trowbridge. This is Mari Lloyd, a member of the Council of Druids, and Cadfael ap Tudur ap Mawrth ap Rhys of the Hidden."
Dumbledore greeted them in Welsh and then sat.
"What is it you need to know, Mister Dumbledore?"
"First of all, the obvious. Have there been any Death Eater activities anywhere near Harry?"
Myrddin answered that. "No, sir, there has not been. There have been twelve attempts to locate Harry in North America over the last eight years. Six were intercepted at the borders. Two tried to investigate the area in and around the Capitol, while two others tried to investigate around Newton. We had to let them investigate the Capitol, but stopped them as soon as they tried to move outside the city, while the other two groups were stopped in Newton. A fifth tried to start in Florida, because they could get in through the Caribbean. The others were also stopped immediately."
"Those I knew of," Dumbledore said. "And the final attempt?"
"This was made last year," Cadfael said. "They attempted to come in via what they thought was empty territory, after a stop in Greenland. Our dragons caught them. We questioned them, and then . . . disposed of them."
Dumbledore repressed a slight shudder at the man's tone.
"The leader of that group had a fair amount of information, which we did not pass on to your Ministry, because no one quite knew how to word it," Cadfael went on with a chilling smile. He slid some parchment to Dumbledore. "There is a summary. In short, they are still primarily checking in Britain. They satisfied themselves that Harry was not with these Dursleys, but had them executed anyway. As two of the ones we captured were amongst the executioners, we took that into consideration in their executions."
Cadfael went on, "We did send the heads and a skin back to their patron in Britain. We told Lucius Malfoy that if he ever stepped foot on to our lands, we would skin him alive."
Dumbledore shuddered openly this time. American wizardry was such an odd combination of modern openness and ancient harshness.
"I really do not think you need worry about Harry while he is in North America," Trowbridge stated. "Why should he go back next year?"
"Because that is what his parents wanted, and that is what the Dorffs agreed to when they took him," Dumbledore answered. "Harry was prophesied to kill Voldemort -- in short, only one may live. Harry's mother prophesied that if Tabitha Dorff raised him, he would face and destroy the Dark Lord at the end of his First year. He can not do that in North America. He must come to Hogwarts. If he does not, then Voldemort will likely rise again."
Trowbridge looked at the grim-faced Myrddin and Dorff, and knew they agreed, but would never admit to it. He therefore turned to another pair for judgement. "Cadfael, Tom, I trust your knowledge and interpretive skills. Do you agree?"
"Yes," Cadfael said.
Before he could add more, Tom jumped in. "I also agree, but Harry does not go back alone. Are there any positions opening up at Hogwarts next year?"
"No," Dumbledore said. "We have a temporary Defense teacher this coming year, but our regular professor will be back next July."
"How about a competent, living History teacher?" Lloyd asked. "I understand that has been a problem this entire century."
"I find having a ghost on staff has a few advantages," Dumbledore temporized.
"Is he any good?" Tom demanded.
Dumbledore sighed. "No, not really. However, if I replace him, it should be with someone who intends staying longer than Harry's First year or so at the school."
"We'll look into it," Trowbridge said.
"Perhaps you might be willing to entertain an experiment?" Mari Lloyd suggested.
"Such as a druid, teaching an optional class to all interested students on the Belief. At no cost to you, other than their room and board, of course." The British wizarding culture was rather famed for its stinginess.
"That might work," Dumbledore conceded. While he knew he had legal right on his side, Dumbledore also knew that the Confederation would be unlikely to force the Dorffs to yield Harry if they wanted to fight badly enough.
"How good is the primary school in Hogsmeade?" Henry suddenly asked.
Dumbledore frowned. "Primary school?"
"Isn't there some sort of school for students under eleven?" Henry asked.
Lloyd smiled while Tom rolled his eyes. "The British barely believe in secondary education," Lloyd said. "Children are either home-schooled, tutored, or sent to Muggle schools before the age of eleven. Hogwarts is the only major school in Britain, although there are a couple of state-operated schools in Britain that go through the Fifth year, and one in Ireland that goes on through the seventh."
"We thought Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley would be exceptions to that," Henry confessed.
"Unfortunately, they are not," Dumbledore said. "I take it you have other children?"
"Two, Sabrina who'll be eight next month, and Henry, who's five."
"There is a small group of parents who teach their children in a co-op," Dumbledore said. "I'll put you in contact with them."
"We also want information on each of Harry's teachers and yearmates," Henry went on.
"That is not usual," Dumbledore pointed out. "We also do not allow parents to interfere with their children's education or to harass the teachers. We must not allow Harry to be thought of as special."
"Really?" Myrddin said in mock surprise. He 'tsked' several times, and then gave Dumbledore a look which would have shaken the average wizard. "Harry is special, even if he doesn't realize it. And we are sworn to Harry on many levels."
"And the entire Community of Faith have joined in that commitment," Mari Lloyd added quietly.
"And she does mean the entire community," Cadfael added. "We will be with Harry."
"Now wait j. . . ."
"No," Cadfael interrupted. "There is the remains of a circle near Hogwarts, in what you term the Forbidden Forest. We still have the agreement we made with your Founders. If we are forbidden access to it, or for the use of the area near it, we may reclaim the territory of the entire Forest, Hogwarts, the lake, and Hogsmeade."
"But. . . ."
"We have a fully binding magical contract. We would be able to drain the entire area of its wards and magic, which only exist because we have agreed that they should exist."
Dumbledore was speechless.
"We are willing to risk Harry for the greater good," Tudor said quietly. "That does not mean he will face the danger alone, with no resources. He may not know that we are there, ready to help, but we will be. Take our offer, or leave Harry here."
"How do you expect Harry to cope?" Dumbledore asked.
"How do you?" Henry asked in return. "Do whatever it is you're planning on. We'll help Harry and try not to directly interfere."
"We have studied the boy long," Cadfael said. "It is good that we have been able to do so. He has reserves of power greater than any wizard we have studied since Merlin. He is very intelligent, very athletic, very brave, and above all, he has a heart that is ready to encompass the world with his love. That love may have prevailed in the environment you prepared for him, Albus Dumbledore, but it would not have been powerful enough to destroy this Dark Lord of yours, who is powered by hate."
"Really?" Dumbledore asked, skeptically.
"Certainly not in his first year," Cadfael answered. "It would have needed to wait until he found love. You would have sent him to a loveless home."
"If you hadn't taken him in, would I have had a better choice?"
"Perhaps not," Trowbridge said. "Growing up in the British magical world, he could easily have been spoiled, and perhaps even discovered and killed."
"Are you going to tell him before you come to Britain?" Dumbledore asked, deciding he should cut his losses before more conditions were thought of.
"Yes," Henry answered.
"Don't be surprised if you don't find a perfectly matched wand for Harry," Dumbledore said as he stood. "I believe his match is waiting for him at Ollivander's."
"We'll keep that in mind."
Wednesday, July 3, 1991
Harry stepped out of the fireplace on the porch of Lloyd Trowbridge's cabin on the mountain late in the morning. His mother followed him out.
"Why are we here?" Harry asked as Tabitha brushed off her robes. "You said you would explain."
"I will," Tabitha answered. "Come in to the cabin."
Harry went in and sat down. Tabitha smiled at the boy who had been her son for almost ten years. He was slightly above average in height, and even though he played and exercised hard, he was lanky rather than very muscular. With their matching eyes, none had ever doubted he was her son by a previous marriage, or at least a previous relationship.
"It's time to tell you about your heritage, Harry. The first thing I need to say is how much I love you."
"I know you do, Mom, you don't have to make a big fuss about it."
"I do, because you're going to hate me."
Harry looked puzzled. "Why would I hate you?"
Tabitha handed Harry a small photo album. Harry frowned, but opened it. He saw a man who looked a lot like him and a very pretty woman in each of the early photos, along with an infant, which he realized must be him. A number of other photos had him and the red-haired woman as well as the pair with his parents and other people he knew.
"Is that my real dad?" Harry asked. He wondered why his mother had told him she didn't have any photos of his father, when she obviously did.
"That's James, yes."
"Who's the woman? Your sister?" Harry frowned. He knew his mother's life well enough to realize she had no full sisters. "Who is she?" Harry whispered, scared of the answer.
"That's your real mother, Lily."
"I . . . I'm totally adopted?" Tabitha nodded. "Why didn't you ever tell me?"
"Think, Harry. Think about what you learned in school last term. James and Lily who?"
"James and Lily? You mean . . . I'm Harry . . . Potter?"
"Yes, dear. You're the Boy-Who-Lived, savior of the European, or at least British, wizarding world. I did fight in Britain, along with your fa . . . step-father, Tom, Lloyd, and Tudor. I worked with Lily and another woman named Alice Longbottom as an intelligence officer. Lily convinced James that if anything happened to them and you survived, that I could raise you as my son."
Harry sat there, stunned.
"Why me?" she went on. "Because I loved you, and because I look like I could have been your mother, and because I am a very powerful witch. I do love you, Harry. Lily, and James, also loved you."
"Tell me about them," Harry said quietly, tears running down his cheeks.
"Anything," Tabitha said. "Just never, ever doubt that we love you as much as we do Sabrina and Henry." Tabitha opened her arms, and Harry fell into them, crying more openly. No, he would never doubt that Tabitha and Henry loved him. He knew he would never survive without that love.
Even though days are fairly long along the Pennsylvania/New York border in early July, dusk wasn't far off by the time Tabitha had finished telling all the stories she felt she could tell Harry. They ranged from her own experiences, to stories of Harry's parents, to their deaths, to background information.
"This Sirius Black doesn't sound like the type of person to betray his friends," Harry was saying.
"No, he doesn't," Tabitha agreed. "He was never tried, so it's possible something else happened. Still, it's more likely his darker nature prevailed. He was raised in a very Purist household, from what I was told."
"Do I really have to go to Britain?"
"It was what your father wanted," Tabitha said reluctantly. "It was a condition we had to agree to in order to take you away. Britain will be a dangerous place for you, Harry. There are still Death Eaters and pro-Death Eaters and Purists who will hate you and try to hurt you, and no doubt their children will dislike you at school. Your life may lie either there or here, that's up to you, but your heritage is there."
"I knew I'd have to go away to school," Harry said, "but I didn't think it would be so far away from you."
Tabitha laughed. "Silly boy! We've already sold the shop. We're moving to Hogsmeade, less than a mile from the grounds. Now, you won't be able to see us, except at Quidditch games and such, but we'll be near by."
Harry was shocked. "I'm glad, but . . . why?"
Tabitha turned instantly serious. "Because like I said, Britain can be a dangerous place. Voldemort was not killed, Harry, he was disembodied. Our information is that he is still disembodied, but may have gathered enough strength to try to recreate himself sometime over the next few years. That may or may not be accurate. Now, you will be as safe in Hogwarts as you would be at the Ysgol, but we will be near by, just in case."
Harry frowned, "What will you do?"
"I'll be making potions for a commercial firm. I know your father will be keeping busy as well, plus we'll be keeping an eye on your brother and sister."
"Sabrina and Henry are going, too?" Harry slapped his head lightly. "I guess they'd have to."
"Exactly, and Tom and Lloyd are coming, too. Tudor has arranged to have himself assigned to Britain as an international operative along with your father, and even Cadfael . . . do you remember Cadfael ap Tudur ap Mawrth ap Rhys?"
"He's that Hidden druid that visits on the spring equinoxes right?"
"Exactly. He and some of his people won't be too far away, in the other direction."
"You think this Voldemort, or some his people, are going to try and hurt me, don't you?"
"It's possible, Harry."
Harry looked her straight in the eye. "If he tries, you'll get him, won't you, Mom?"
"We will get him, my darling."
"Then I want to go to Hogwarts. We'll get him, this time."
The pair flooed back to their own porch. Harry had just stood up when Sabrina flung herself on Harry. "I don't care what anyone says. You're my big brother!"
"That's right," Harry said, hugging her back. "I am." Then Harry frowned. "I forgot to ask, when are we going?"
"We're leaving Sunday. Your father has been officially reinstated as an auror. Everyone in town will think we're on vacation until your father takes up his new duties. They'll only find out in September what the real story is. We'll be in London Monday."
"So I can still have my birthday party tomorrow?" Harry asked.
"Of course, although I should tell you your real birthday is the Thirty-first."
"So, do I get two parties?"
"I doubt it," Tabitha teased back. "If you're good, you'll get another cake, though."
"When isn't he good?" Sabrina demanded. She stuck her tongue out. "Goodie-goodie!"
"Can't catch me!" And the two were off, playing a favorite game.
Tabitha leaned over the bed. "Yes, darling?"
"What's it going to be like?"
Tabitha sighed. "It's not going to be easy, dear. You're going to be famous for something you can't remember. Lots of people are going to gawk. Some people are going to expect too much from you. Others will dislike you or be jealous of you. In some ways, of course, that's true no matter who we are. People have opinions and prejudices. It's just going to hit you harder."
Harry frowned. "Why will they dislike me?"
"Some will dislike you because you're famous. Many people loved your parents, but not everyone did. Some people will dislike your heritage. . . ."
"What do you mean? My parents were both magical!"
"They were, and that's usually what matters here, except in some of the Old Colonial families. But your birth mother was Muggle-born, and so some British Pure Bloods will look down on you as being a Half-blood."
"It is, but telling them so won't make things any better."
"I suppose not," Harry said a bit doubtfully.
"You also have money of your own, now. Some will want to be your friend because you're well off and famous, others will dislike you or be jealous for the same reasons. And. . . ."
"There are some families that supported Voldemort. They all claimed to be under the Imperius Curse or something similar, but very few actually were. There are Dark families everywhere, of course, but there are more in Britain than there are in North America. Some will openly dislike you; others will try and pull you to them."
"How can I tell which is which?"
"You can't always. Most of the Dark families are usually sorted into Slytherin -- remember, there are only four Houses at Hogwarts."
"I don't like the sound of Slytherin," Harry said. "Gryffindor or Ravenclaw sound better."
"Well, we'll see what the Sorting Hat has to say."
Harry smiled. He was looking forward to the adventure.