Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
Thanks to Nancy for her help as always!
FLAMES OF BETRAYAL
Ron staggered up the steps to the inner part of the bank. He was glaring at the innocent looking Harry. "What? I didn't do anything," Harry protested.
"I hate you!" Ron hissed. His face was still a little green and Harry held in a snicker. "I didn't say a word to Ghistpok. It was all his idea. Isn't that right, Ghistpok?"
"Of course, Mr. Potter," the goblin replied smoothly, amusement dancing in his eyes.
"See!" Harry retorted.
Ron growled and walked past them, ignoring the snickering he could hear coming from Harry. He hated it when Harry got bored since he was normally on the receiving end of any prank or adventure that Harry thought up. As they walked into the large room, Harry heard a goblin yelling for Ghistpok. Harry turned towards the goblin and smiled. "It was a pleasure doing business with you, Ghistpok."
"And you as well, Mr. Potter. May the powers grant you more gold," Ghistpok intoned with a small bow.
"And you as well, Ghistpok. I'll see you later," Harry replied and stuck out his hand and Ghistpok took it. They shook, and with a respectful nod towards Ron, Ghistpok turned, and walked off.
Harry and Ron watched him leave then Harry turned towards Ron. "I like that goblin. He's nice. Come on Ron, let's get out of here. I need to get an owl and some clothes." As they were walking towards the entrance of the bank Harry paused, turned, and glanced around. He suddenly smiled then in a loud voice he called out, "Bye, Susie! You take care now. Remember not to lie about your name anymore."
Glixx looked up at the name and he snarled when he saw Harry waving at him. Ron began to laugh and they walked out of the bank together. They went down the stairs and paused at the bottom step.
"Now where to?" Ron asked.
"I need some clothes, and then I need to get another owl. Hedwig is too recognizable and we can't use Dobby for everything."
"All right, lead on."
Harry looked at him with a smile. "You know you can buy things too. Merlin knows you have enough money. Why don't you get something for yourself? Make it extravagant, something you always wanted, but could never afford to get. Indulge yourself, my friend."
Ron looked surprised for a moment before he grinned. "Huh...I forgot about that. I'm so use to not having money that I forget I have some now. I'll have to think about what to get."
Harry smiled happily, grabbed Ron by his shirt, and began skipping down the road.
"Come on Ron, sing it with me," Harry said excitedly and the redhead looked on in horror as Harry began to sing at the top of his lungs.
"Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Follow the Yellow Brick, Follow the Yellow Brick,
Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
We're off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was.
If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because.
Because of the wonderful things he does.
We're off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Harry warbled with a light baritone voice.
Ron was beginning to think that the months in Azkaban might have screwed Harry up. Of course, he could just be happy that he was out of Azkaban and that his godfather was alive. Whatever the cause, it was making Harry act a little quirky. Ron sighed in resignation and followed Harry down the street. If he could put up with the twins, he could surely put up with Harry.
Elizabeth Cameron leaned back in her chair after her talk with Dumbledore. She had been expecting his call ever since she learned that the youngest Weasley wanted to have the Rite performed. She knew that Dumbledore had not been happy when he had lost his control over Harry Potter. Her spy in the Order had commented that Dumbledore had been livid at the news of the youngest Weasley's departure from Hogwarts, taking Potter and a house-elf with him.
Lizzie had laughed herself sick when she heard the news. Too bad William was dead. She had a feeling that he would've liked his grandson's best friend. She sighed wistfully then frowned at the thought of William Potter. In 1907, just after graduating Hogwarts, she had met a wonderful older man and fell in love. He had been forty-nine years older than her, but she hadn't cared. She remembered how she would get lost in his twinkling blue eyes and things would just disappear around her. She had thought she had found her prince charming. She had been wrong.
For over a year, she had dated Albus Dumbledore and it had been wonderful, but then things had started to change. He kept missing their dates, and then his personality started to change. He became more controlling and his manner had become harsher. It was a couple years later that he had hit her for the first time. She had been shocked and so apparently had he. He had apologized profusely and Lizzie let it go, thinking it had been a one time thing. It hadn't and whenever he got gruff, she knew that he was going to hit her. She kept hoping that he would change, that he would turn back into the man she had fell in love with, but he never did.
The last straw came after she came home from work and found Albus beating up a whore. She watched in shock as he starting spitting in rage at the woman. She had stunned him, took the poor woman out of the house, and sent her to St. Mungos. After that, she'd packed up all her things and left. She finally realized that behind the happy, kind facade beat a heart of an evil man.
She had been devastated, but relieved after she had left. She couldn't imagine what her life would have been like if she had stayed with him. She'd already wasted five years on a man who didn't love her. For years, she had watched as Dumbledore gained more power in the Wizarding World. Everyone believed that Albus Dumbledore was a kind, benevolent man and she had tried to tell people what the man was really like, but they all scoffed at her, believing her to be a bitter woman. She eventually learned not to say anything. Thirty-three years later, Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald and Lizzie watched with dread as the man gained even more power.
Several years later, she had been approached by a couple of gentlemen who had been watching Dumbledore for years. They had offered her a position in a very secret group created to investigate Dumbledore. They had noticed that some very suspicious activities happened around him. They had yet to find anything to prove his involvement, but they were still watching diligently. Years later, when there had been talk of another Dark Lord rising, everyone had looked towards Dumbledore to save them.
The Watchers, as the group called themselves, had been lucky in finding the perfect agent. William James Harold Potter had joined the group after being convinced of Dumbledore's true nature. He had eventually found something that would've been detrimental to Dumbledore, but he had an "accident" before he could tell anyone what it was. The night before he had died, Lizzie received a note from him telling her that if anything happened to him, he had hidden the information and only his heir could find it. The group suffered a major setback with the loss of William. They were certain that Dumbledore had killed Potter, but they could never prove it. They began watching James Potter carefully in hopes that Dumbledore wouldn't harm the boy.
When James Potter died, the group had been devastated. They had never approached James to retrieve the information that his father had hidden as he was too close to Dumbledore. When they found out that Harry Potter had lived and defeated Voldemort, they had feared for the boy. Lizzie knew that Dumbledore would not take kindly to a loss in status. The Wizarding World had a new hero, and it was no longer Dumbledore.
But it looked like as if Dumbledore had other plans for the boy. The Watchers had watched as Dumbledore gained control over the boy's estate. He had then placed the boy with his Muggle relatives with hopes of controlling the boy. They had been horrified to realize that Dumbledore planned to regain control of the Wizarding World by controlling the new hero. The first several years at Hogwarts showed a Harry Potter that had been submissive to Dumbledore. Then Sirius Black died and Harry Potter began to break away from Dumbledore's control. The group had sighed with relief. Then the murders happened and Harry Potter had been thrown into Azkaban.
The Watchers couldn't do a thing to help. They had looked for evidence to prove the boys innocence, but they had found nothing. There had even been talk of breaking him out of Azkaban, but it never came to fruition. When the Ministry arrested the Malfoys and they had confessed to the murders, the Watchers celebrated. Though saddened by the news of young Harry Potter's condition, it still gave them hope for the future. They needed to find the evidence that William Potter had gathered because if what Lizzie's spy said was true, then Dumbledore was losing patience with Harry and Ron, and things were going to get ugly fast. Lizzie had laughed herself silly when her spy told her about the contract that Dumbledore had unwittingly signed. To know that a couple of fifteen year-old teenagers had outsmarted Dumbledore did the Watchers spirits a great deal of good. Lizzie had gotten a lot of enjoyment over it.
The fact that another Weasley had broken away from Dumbledore had also helped. There had been talk about approaching Ronald Bilius Weasley, now known as Ron Black, but no one could find him. Wherever Ron had hidden Potter and himself, he had done an excellent job.
She remembered the shock she had felt when she had found out that Ron had gone through with the Rite. Like the others, she hadn't believed he would do it even if Percy had insisted that he would. When Percy was informed of the abuse that his brother had gone through, he insisted that there was no way that Ron would stay with the family. Lizzie had been skeptical until Percy had stumbled into her office earlier today.
Percy came stumbling into her office, looking haggard and pale. Lizzie looked at him, concerned, and watched as the young man threw himself into the chair across from her desk.
"Percy, dear boy, are you alright?" she asked, her intense brown eyes looking him over.
"Ron went through with the Rite," the pale man said.
She looked at him, her expression shocked. "What? How?" she exclaimed.
Percy winced as he moved in the chair. "I received a portion of his magic about an hour ago. I was sitting on the couch, reading a magazine when I looked up and noticed a small red ball of energy forming in my living room. It was still for a few minutes before it pulsated, shattered, and entered my body. The bloody thing knocked me unconscious. I was out for a good forty-five minutes. I think I hit my head on the way down because it hurts dreadfully and there's a knot on the side of my head," Percy said ruefully, rubbing his head. "I came over here as soon as I could to let you know. I thought Dumbledore was going to try to delay things as much as he could. You haven't received the paperwork, have you?" he asked.
Lizzie shook her head, a puzzled look on her face. "No, nothing has come through this office about your brother's Rite," she said. There was a pop and sitting on her desk was a rolled up parchment. She looked at Percy with an arched eyebrow. "Speak of the devil," she quipped and unrolled the parchment. She read the parchment and started to laugh. She looked over at Percy, a grin on her face. "He had it done at Gringotts. That boy had the Goblins perform the Rite. He didn't wait for Dumbledore to file the paperwork. Oh, I'll be expecting a call later today. This is great. Your former brother got another one past Dumbledore," she said and started to laugh uproariously.
"Huh," Percy muttered. "I wonder how he knew to use the Goblins for the Rite. I thought that was an obscure law that hardly anyone knew about."
Lizzie looked thoughtful. "It may be an obscure law, but you can find about it if you read the right documents. Your brother is a very smart young man," she commented with a smile.
Percy snorted at that. "Ron would hate for you to tell him that. So, what's his name?" Percy asked curiously.
"Normally I wouldn't give anyone that information, but since you're a fellow member of the Watchers, I'll let you know. His name is Ron Black."
"Black? But how?" Percy asked, bewildered.
"You know that Sirius Black was Potter's godfather. Well, when he died, Potter inherited everything; the name, the money, the businesses, the voting rights under the Black's name. As Head of the Black line he would have the right to give Ron the name."
"That's great, but I thought with Harry's condition, he wouldn't be able to give Ron the permission he needed to do the Rite," Percy inquired, confused.
Lizzie paused as she considered the question. She began to grin then chuckle. "Those sly dogs."
"What?" Percy asked.
"Harry Potter is no less aware of his surroundings than I am. He had to have been faking it. What better way to fool everyone. If Dumbledore isn't aware of Potter's true state, then he won't be fighting as hard as he could be to find Potter. Right now he thinks that Potter is catatonic and he thinks that gives him some time to plan," she told him with a gleeful smile.
"If Harry is awake and aware of Dumbledore's shenanigans, then he can plan too. Do you think he is aware of Dumbledore's true nature?" Percy asked.
Lizzie nodded thoughtfully, tapping her lips with her finger. "Yes, I think he knows. The proof is in the fact that at fifteen, he had Dumbledore sign a contract disguised to look like something else. He also made Ron his caretaker should something go wrong. From what my spy tells me, Ron is no longer enamored of the Headmaster. Apparently, your family didn't approve of his support for Harry. They treated him badly, Percy. There were beatings from the twins and he was belittled by every member of the family. He was ignored, and treated rather cruelly, I was told."
Percy looked livid at that information. He had already been told, but it still angered him to know that his family had been so cruel to one of their own. He shouldn't really be surprised. Looked how they had turned on him when he didn't agree with Dumbledore. He shook his head, resigned to the fact that his family was too much under Dumbledore's thumb to think for themselves. He hoped he had a chance with Ron.
"Apparently he is no longer friends with Granger either," she informed him, watching for Percy's reaction.
Percy grimaced at the name. It was a well-known fact in the Watchers that Percy never liked his brother's friend. He found her know-it-all attitude to be annoying. Percy had his role to play, and while he had to act stuck up and annoying, he couldn't stand people who were truly like that. Percy had broken away from his family when it had come to his attention that the Weasley's were a little too close to Dumbledore.
Percy had realized that Dumbledore controlled his family, even if the rest of them couldn't see it. Dumbledore needed the reputation of the Weasley name to keep him looking good since everyone knew that the Weasleys were a family of only light wizards and witches. It hurt Lizzie to see what the pain of being away from his family caused Percy, but it had been the young man's choice. He needed to be able to do his job without his family reporting everything to Dumbledore.
"Percy, have you thought about approaching Ron?" Lizzie asked.
Percy nodded his head. "Yeah, both him and Harry. I know that technically Ron is no longer my brother, but I still consider him one. If there is even a remote chance that Ron is no longer under Dumbledore's control, then I want to talk to him. I want to let him know that he has a least one Weasley in his corner."
"If you get a chance, then take it," Lizzie said. "We have no idea where they are at right now, but if you spot him, then take the opportunity to talk to him. Let them both know that there are people out there willing to help them. They are not alone in their fight against Dumbledore or Voldemort."
Percy nodded in understanding and got up to leave. "I'll talk to you later, Lizzie."
Lizzie watched as the young man left her office. She wrote a note to the heads of the Watcher group to let them know that about Ron's Rite. She was distracted out of her thoughts when she heard her name. /Ah, just the jackass I have waiting for. /She sighed and answered Dumbledore's call.
She hadn't been too worried about Dumbledore's threats. She was 109 years old and while that was still young for a witch, she had lived a full life. She wasn't afraid of death. She just didn't want to die before Dumbledore was taken down. She had hopes that young Potter and Black would be up to the task. She just hoped that she was there when it happened. Until then, she would do what she could to help them.
Harry and Ron entered the castle exhausted beyond belief. Harry more so than Ron since he still hadn't healed fully from his stint in Azkaban. Harry yawned widely and glanced over at Ron. "Is it dinner time yet? I'm starved."
"I sure hope so. I could eat a hippogriff," the redhead replied as his stomach began to growl.
Harry snorted, amused. "You better not let Buckbeak hear you say that." The hippogriff had been released back into the wild after Sirius's death. It was the least Harry could've done for the animal that had kept Sirius company.
They made their way into the game room. They sat down on the couch and yawned again.
Harry called for Dobby. The house-elf popped into the room and he had a large smile on his face. "Harry Potter and Wheezy is back."
Harry sighed and looked at Dobby sternly. "What did I tell you earlier, Dobby?" he asked. "Call me Harry."
"Dobby will try Harry, sir. How was Harry and Wheezy's day?" he asked.
"Exhausting, yet informative. How did things go with Snape?"
Dobby gave Harry Snape's note. He read it and smirked. "Thank you, Dobby. Is there something wrong?" Harry asked the nervous looking house-elf.
"Dobby did something that Harry might not like, but the Headmaster deserved it," Dobby stated firmly while fidgeting nervously.
That comment caught Harry and Ron's attention. "What did you do, Dobby?"
Dobby began to wring his hands in agitation. "Dobby threw the Headmaster against the wall with his magic and knocked him unconscious. Dobby was not pleased with the Headmaster. The Headmaster tried to hurt Dobby, but Dobby is a free elf now. Dobby doesn't need a stick to work his magic." Harry looked intrigued, and Ron looked positively gleeful.
"Dobby, why don't you tell us what happened," Harry requested.
Dobby nodded and began to his tale of his visit to Snape's office. When he finished, Ron was on the floor laughing hysterically. Dobby looked at the grinning Harry and relaxed; he obviously wasn't in trouble. Ron couldn't breathe and he was holding his stomach.
"Dobby, how come you didn't just disappear when the Headmaster came to Snape's room?" Harry asked. "You know as well as I do that he never would have even known you were even there."
Dobby began to look shifty. "Uh, Dobby wanted to help Snape?" he said making it sound like a question. Harry looked at the house-elf suspiciously. "Dobby?" he asked sternly.
Dobby stood up straight and looked him right in the eye. "Dobby needed to teach the Headmaster his place. He needed to know that Dobby protects Harry and Wheezy. Headmaster knows this now. Besides, Dobby had fun," he said with a feral grin.
Harry couldn't hold it any longer. He burst into laughter at Dobby's smug tone. He fell back into the couch and laughed. A few minutes later, he finally calmed down. "Oh, Dobby, you're priceless. I'll have to make sure that I ask Snape what Dumbledore's reaction was to being shown up by a house-elf."
Ron looked amused and glanced at Dobby. "Next time Dobby, make sure I'm there," he said. "I would've loved to have seen that."
Dobby grinned at Ron. "Dobby wills Wheezy."
"Ron and I would like something to eat. Please serve it here, as I'm feeling too lazy to get up and go to the dining room. I'm going to go to bed early tonight. I'm still not exactly in the best of shape right now." Dobby nodded and disappeared.
"I think the best thing you could have done was free Dobby," Ron said with a snicker.
Harry laughed in agreement. "Yes, indeed. That image will keep me entertained for years. I'll have to be sure to get the image from Snape so that I can watch it. I also want to share it with Sirius if we ever find him."
Dobby popped back in with some food. He transfigured a footstool into a table and laid down the tray.
"I know, Harry. That old mutt would love it. Your godfather was always one for pranks," Ron said.
Dobby froze a second and gave Ron a sharp glance. Harry noted Dobby's odd behavior, but ignored it. "Are you kidding? Sirius would kill for a chance to see Dumbledore taken down by a house-elf. I hope to show him soon, but I have no idea where Dumbledore has him. He could be anywhere," Harry sighed.
"Well, obviously he can't transform into his animagus form and escape, or else he would've done it, so wherever he's being held has to be warded. Merlin, Harry, he could be at any of Dumbledore's holdings. I'm positive that not all of them are known," Ron said with a frown.
Harry nodded unhappily, leaning back on the couch. "And if that old mutt can't be found, then you know the Fidelius spell is being used, plus Dumbledore's home is probably unplotable."
"Dobby is begging Harry's pardon, but why is Harry calling his godfather a mutt?" Dobby asked curiously.
Harry glanced at the house-elf and noticed that Dobby was looking at him intently. Bewildered by Dobby's odd behavior he answered, "It's an affectionate name I call him. You know that his animagus form is a black dog, right?" Dobby nodded. "Well, I started calling him mutt after I heard the Headmaster calling him that. Of course, now that I think about it, he wasn't saying it affectionately at the time."
Dobby nodded in understanding. "Does Harry need anything else? Dobby has an errand to take care of."
Harry and Ron shook their heads. "Go ahead. I'll have Sage clear this up. You go ahead and do whatever you need to do." Dobby thanked him then disappeared.
"Was it just me or was Dobby acting a little odd? Well, odder than normal," Ron inquired.
"I was just about to ask you the same question. Who knows what's going on? Dobby has become a different elf since he gave me that oath. Personally, I like it."
Harry finished his dinner and yawned. He leaned back against the back of the couch and sighed. "I'm knackered. I think I'm going up to bed now. I'm beyond exhausted. Are you going to be all right by yourself?"
Ron was still eating, but he waved Harry off. Ron swallowed his food and answered, "Go ahead. I think I'll explore the castle later, then maybe use that new chess set I bought today. By the way, where is that new owl of yours?" Harry had bought a brown barn owl. It was small and nondescript. It would hardly catch anyone's attention. Harry had named her Amber after her large amber eyes. "I sent her to owlrey. You can use her if you need to."
"Thanks, but there isn't anyone I need to owl. Go to bed, you look tired."
Harry nodded and stood up. He swayed for a second then left the room. He made his way up to his room, entered it, and headed for his bed. He sat down, took off his shoes and clothes, leaving him only in his boxers. He took off his glasses and laid them down on the nightstand next to the bed. With a large yawn, he got under the blankets and lay down. Harry glanced out the window and looked at the starry sky. "Goodnight, Sirius. We'll find you soon." Harry closed his eyes and was asleep in seconds.
Dobby popped into the kitchen at Hogwarts and looked around. He found Winky sitting on a chair, looking depressed.
He walked over to her and poked her. She looked up at him in surprise then squealed. She threw herself at Dobby and he caught her.
"Winky so glad to see Dobby. Winky has been sad that Dobby is gone."
Dobby pulled back from Winky and asked, "How is mutt?"
Winky's eyes filled up with tears and she began to sob. "Winky is so sad. Dumbly ordered Winky to feed mutt only once a day. Mutt can only have gruel and water. Mutt will die!" she wailed.
"Winky, Dobby must ask you a question. What does mutt look like?" Dobby asked.
"Mutt is tall, with black hair and blue eyes. Mutt is very nice to Winky. Sometimes he plays with Winky as a doggie. Winky likes Mutt. Winky doesn't want Mutt to die," she said in agitation.
Dobby looked grim. "Dobby needs to talk to Winky. It is important. Dobby must ask for oath of silence from Winky."
Winky blinked at him, her expression surprised. Asking for an oath of silence meant it was extremely important. It was the one of the few things that the Wizards couldn't overcome, not that they even knew about it.
"Winky gives Dobby oath of silence." They both felt the magic of the oath flow over them.
"Dobby knows a way to save mutt. Mutt is Harry Potter's godfather. Harry not knows where mutt is. Winky knows, but is bonded to Headmaster. If Winky were to leave something lying around telling Dobby where mutt is, Dobby can save mutt."
Winky blinked at him then grinned. "Winky can do this. Mutt must be saved. Harry Potter is a good wizard. Dumbly must pay for forcing personal bond on Winky. Dumbly shall lose Mutt," she said adamantly.
The two house-elves grinned at each other, both understanding that Dumbledore was a bad wizard and he must pay.
Sirius looked out into the night sky and sighed mournfully. It had been little over two years since he last saw his godson and he missed him dearly. Dumbledore, the damn bastard, wouldn't tell him anything about Harry.
Winky had been forbidden to speak to him about Harry, but she had managed to leave a couple of newspapers lying around when he had first been locked up. Sadly, Dumbledore found out and punished Winky, forbidding her to even talk to Sirius. Again, they had found a way around that and Winky talked to him when he was in his dog form. She still couldn't speak of Harry, but she did tell him about other things that were going on. He was grateful. He would have gone mad if he hadn't had someone to talk to. His twelve years in Azkaban had made him dislike being by himself. He was a people person and being alone was slowly driving him mad.
Winky had come by earlier and had been wailing. He had transformed into Padfoot and she cried over him. She had informed him that he would only be eating once a day and only then, it would be gruel and water. He had come to the realization that the Headmaster was going to kill him slowly.
He must have lost control over Harry, /he thought. /Why else would he risk killing me? He doesn't need me anymore, but he doesn't want to kill me right away in case he can use me later. I hope that Remus is taking care of Harry. He had better because if I ever get out of here and find out otherwise, there will be hell to pay.
Sirius gasped as he heard Harry's voice in the room. "Goodnight, Sirius. We'll find you soon." Sirius looked around, but found nothing. He thought for a moment then began to smile slowly. Harry knew he was alive and he would stop at nothing to save him. Sirius shrugged to himself, or you could be losing your ever-loving mind. Either way for the first time in two years, Sirius had hope that soon his time here would be over.
Then he would make the Headmaster pay for ever locking him up. "Soon, Dumbledore, soon," he whispered angrily, his eyes glowing blue with rage.
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