Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry's Second Chance


by DrT 11 reviews

The Last Battle has been fought, and Harry Potter has won. The price, however, has been high. Nearly every person Harry cared for is dead, maimed, or otherwise injured. The magical culture of Bri...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Dumbledore, Harry, Hermione - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006-07-07 - Updated: 2006-07-07 - 3213 words

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters, ideas, and situations created by JR Rowling and owned by her and her publishers. I own the original elements & characters. No money is being made by me, and no trademark or copyright infringement is intended.

Chapter XX

Remus and Sirius denied any knowledge of the posters or the ideas which lay behind them, or that they had anything to do with the article in The Quibbler. In addition, as Harry's legal guardian, Sirius would know if Harry tried to withdrawn any sums over 100,000 Galleons (or amounts totaling that amount over six months or less) out of his current account, and Harry had not. Of course, Sirius did not know that Harry had withdrawn 90,000 Galleons out of his account in September 1990, and that his information from the future had already made that amount to grow to nearly three quarters of a million. Harry had given some hints that his information was very much insider trading, in which goblins were firm believers. They had made a killing and had even cut Harry in on one percent of their net profit as a formal thank you, to encourage him to share just in case he came up with any more information.

Harry had already done so, and had two more tips to go, both for his slush fund and for the goblins.

Since no one had any clue as to how Harry might have pulled off the posters and the rewards (Gringotts had notified the curious press that the reward money was already being held in trust by the bank, along with a statement that they were doing this as a public service and would only act in such a capacity when the rewards were for wanted criminals -- the fact that some of the Death Eaters had been cleared by the Ministry was of no concern to the goblins) no one mentioned the episode to Harry. Even Snape did not want to believe it possible that Harry could be that devious or ruthless.

Unspoken was the thought that if Harry had pulled all this off without any of them having a clue to his doing it, it might be best to stay well out of his way, at least for the moment.

Meanwhile, the public debate over the 'wanted posters' raged all through the Yule holiday. All the Ministries of western and central Europe howled in outrage, none more so than the British. Fudge's first thought was 'Dumbledore,' but the Headmaster denied all knowledge of the posters and, while verifying all the information in The Quibbler (to Fudge, The Daily Prophet, and to the International Confederation for dissemination to the other governments) he also denied all knowledge of how the newspaper story came across any of its facts.

The Ministries also all protested formally to Gringotts. The official reply, sent on behalf of all the branches, the central office, and the chief advisory council of all the goblin clans (known as the High Hullabaloo), boiled down to a statement that said 1) if the Wizarding governments could not police themselves, they shouldn't reject any private initiatives; 2) any attempt to extract information from any branch of Gringotts on this matter would result in the start of the next goblin rebellion; and 3) a long word in gobbledegook which, when idiomatically translated, could best be rendered as 'screw you and the broomstick you rode in on'.

Outside of Europe, especially in the powerful North American Confederation, newspapers derided the helplessness and disunity of the European Ministries, and noted how there were more ministries in Europe than in the rest of the world combined (the rest of the magical world had combined into just eighteen confederations between the late 1700s and the early 1960s, while there were twenty-one Ministries which covered Europe and the former Soviet Union). Most of the non-European Governments issued statements by New Years' condemning the isolationist practices of the Europeans in general and the British in particular, and trying to show that the British had refused all offers of aid (when in reality, no one had actually offered them much aid to begin with -- still, the Press did not let that stay in the way of beating the Europeans in their editorials).

The International Confederation, of course, was merely a clearing house so that general policies of Muggle/Magical relations (meaning keeping the magical world secret) could be standardized. The Magical world had many rules and regulations devoted on how the various governments would work together to keep the magical world secret, even to allowing agents of one government to use memory charms etc. on the Muggle population outside their own territory if convenient. They had no such rules on magical law breakers.

The first editorials demanding such rules started appearing in African newspapers by December 28. While the Muggles of the continent were suffering political and economic troubles, the magical communities weren't, and they wanted to keep things quiet. The four Confederations in the Americas conferred, and joined for the call in early January. By May, all of the non-European confederations had joined in a new law-enforcement agreement, which spelled the end of any large dark movements in their territories ever again.

All the Europeans, worried about their freedoms and influenced by the Pure-Blood groups which dominated their Ministries, held out.

As for those Pure-Blood groups, they not only stood together to oppose any greater cooperation between the European Ministries. They also closed ranks against any further cooperation with Voldemort. Most of their members had heard of rumors of Voldemort's background, but it was uncertain how many of them had believed the rumors but had disregarded them. In any case, the secret was out, and they preferred having no dealings with Tom Marvolo Riddle. Half-bloods who knew their place and were ashamed of their immediate Muggle ancestry might be admitted to these groups, but they were certainly NOT allowed to lead such movements. The leading Purist newsletter (located near the German/Austrian/Swiss border) also announced in the mid-January issue that any of those people on the 'wanted posters' could surrender themselves to one of the movements' representatives by March 1 and that they would be protected, provided they were willing to publically renounce Voldemort. After that date, they would join in the hunt.

Some were even serious about the idea of joining in the hunt, now that Voldemort seemed weakened.

Voldemort had been as shocked by the wanted posters as everyone else. He knew that he could not punish the goblins, at least not until he took over the wizarding world, or at least wizarding Britain -- having a Goblin rebellion on top of everything else would not be a wise move. All of his unMarked contacts had been as surprised and even more shocked by the posters than Voldemort had been. Most had dropped all contact with him.

All Voldemort could do was grit his teeth, prepare to welcome any of those Marked supporters who made it to him, and hope that the remaining plan he had in motion would hold up.

Wednesday, December 23, 1992

Harry had enjoyed watching the start of all that fuss the previous few days. There had been a great deal of fire-calling to the Dumbledores' cottage over the previous few days, and several times Remus, Sirius, or Mad-eye had started to ask him what had happened, but refrained at the last minute. Tonks (who had been let in on the location, the only new addition to the Fidelius) had also started to ask Harry, but said nothing when Remus grabbed her and kissed her, the only way he could think to keep her quiet.

Tonks hadn't minded.

"Are you ready, Harry?" Tonks asked as Winky cleared off the breakfast dishes.

"Absolutely," Harry answered. They had to floo through to Hermione's in the short window the connection would be open. Hermione and Harry were going Christmas shopping, with Tonks as bodyguard. Harry would again be spending Christmas Eve and most of the day at Grimmauld Place, Christmas night with the Weasleys, and Boxing Day with the Grangers.

Tonks left the pair at the Grangers in the late afternoon. Harry would have dinner there and then the floo would be open that night between 8:35 and 8:40.

Hermione had promised her parents that she and Harry would stick to the ground floor of the house if they stayed inside and had promised Tonks they would stay inside or perhaps at most go into the back garden, so they kicked their shoes off, curled up together on a sofa, and waited for the Grangers to arrive with pizza.

"Harry," Hermione asked tentatively.


"You've heard all about these wanted posters I take it?"

"Of course," Harry answered. "There's been an awful lot of whispering about them the last few days."

"Did you see the copy of one that was in the paper Monday?"

Harry made an affirmative noise.

"Interesting, that of the fifteen people, ten were all valued at the minimum amount," Hermione remarked after a moment of silence.

"Why?" Harry asked. "Whoever posted the rewards must think some are more dangerous that others. Remember, Lestrange is the one that cut herself to bring the loony back."

"True," Hermione agreed. "She's also one of the people who tortured Neville and his parents, and in the other life she killed Sirius." Hermione felt Harry's arms spasm a bit at that.

"True," Harry agreed. "Still, the poster's creators aren't likely to know that, are they?"

"Maybe not," Hermione agreed. "Dolohov was another who tortured the Longbottoms, and he has a high reward, too. And Greyback bit Remus."

"And in the other life," Harry said slowly, "Dolohov hurt you."

"I see," Hermione said thoughtfully. "It's also interesting that Ted Nott's father is worth more than the other Death Eaters."

"So it is," Harry said.

Hermione decided that she had enough of an answer, and asked nothing more about the subject of the posters.

Since she had co-wrote The Quibbler article with Harry, she didn't have to ask about that.

Meanwhile, John Nott was having a very quick talk with his son, Ted. Two wizards had already tried to kill him, and Nott had little doubt that the wizards gathering just outside the family's house would soon have the wards down. He had to take an emergency portkey to a safe location and hope he could make his way to his Master.

First, however, he needed to arrange something.

"So," Nott told Ted a second time, believing in learning by repetition as he did. "Memorize this spell. At some point between mid-March and the end of term, you hold this little device in your left hand and cast the spell at Potter's face. You make certain no one sees or hears you do it. You can whisper or even just mouth the charm if you want. Understand?" Ted nodded.

"Good. When you're alone, open the lid and check to see if this light which is glowing red has turned green. If it is, you were successful. Understand?"

"Yes, sir," Ted said in a small voice. He only had a vague idea of what was happening outside, but it was frightening, to say the least.

"Then owl the device to the location on this bit of parchment. Don't lose it."

"No, father." Ted frowned, "But what will happen?"

Nott considered that. He decided to tell his son part of the truth. "The charm connects the device with whatever it was cast upon, so long as it's not living tissue. Potter won't feel a thing. You're casting it at his face because what you want is his glasses."

"That makes sense," Ted agreed. That meant whoever had the little device could locate Potter, probably for up to six months. Ted smiled grimly.

"I see you understand," Nott said.

"I believe so, father," Ted said.

"The charm is invisible," Nott reminded his son. "I suggest a star-lit night atop the astronomy tower as one possible attack point."

"Yes, sir," Ted answered. "In fact, in every class I have with him. . . ."

"Try and sit within his field of vision, so he gets used to you being there," Nott finished. "Good lad. Beyond this assignment, feel free to suck up with the Malfoy boy or ever Potter if you wish. This will cover you with the Master."

"Yes, sir."

Nott's head jerked up as an alarm screeched for a second. The outer ward was down. "Goodbye, son."

"Goodbye, father," Ted said. 'Someone is going to pay for this,' Ted thought as his father disappeared. He hoped that the nine wizards breaking into the house wouldn't trash the place looking for father. He had already called for the aurors, and he saw with relief that the group just appearing were in fact from the MLES.

"Could you help your father with the groceries?" Emma Granger asked Hermione.

"I'll help," Harry said. He and Hermione got off the sofa, slipped their shoes back on, and went out to help.

Just shy of the Grangers' car, Harry suddenly grabbed Hermione and pulled her to the ground, calling out, "Everyone down!" The door of the Fiat exploded as a hex hit it.

Harry had managed to fall on top of Hermione. He spotted the attacker in the shadows of the back garden and directed all his anger into one voiceless attack.

The man's chest exploded just as four figures apparated in. "It's us!" Tonks called before Harry could attack any of them. Harry recognized the other three people as Order members he had not yet met in this time stream. He helped Hermione get up, and they carried in the groceries while Tonks and the Order members tidied everything up.

"So let me understand this," Dan Granger said slowly forty minutes later. "Someone has offered rewards for the fifteen major followers of this Riddle fellow." Tonks and Harry nodded. "Eleven of them were freely roaming around the country, having bribed and lied their way out of trouble back in 1981." Tonks nodded. "One of them. . . ."

"Peter Yaxley," Tonks supplied.

"Attacked us, and Harry here killed him."

"Sorry," Harry muttered.

The Grangers looked at their daughter's bondmate with a touch of fear, which Harry's Legilimency picked up. He flushed a bit.

"He saved us," Hermione pointed out.

"So he did," Emma conceded. She looked at Tonks. "And the other ten?"

"John Nott just escaped a group of bounty hunters a few hours ago," Tonks answered. "Jack and Darlene Avery were killed by bounty hunters yesterday. Joyce Wilkes has been given asylum in the Albanian embassy Monday night. Jacob Gibbon turned himself in to MLES this morning; he had two narrow escapes. No word on any of the others."

Dan Granger looked at Tonks. "I know Harry was going to travel by floo tonight, but could you escort him home early? There are some things we need to talk about as a family."

"Alright," Tonks said.

"Don't worry," Dan said to Harry. "We still want you here Boxing Day."

"Thank you, sir."

Despite Mr. Granger's assurances, Harry did not have a very pleasant Christmas season. He knew that Hermione's parents were frightened, and not only that, they had good reasons to be.

Harry's equilibrium was not helped when Hedwig showed up in the early afternoon of Christmas Eve with a request that Harry arrange for Professor Dumbledore to visit the Grangers on Boxing Day. While there were no attempts on Harry's well-being at the Burrow this year (unlike the year before), Ginny's blatant cold shoulder did not help settle Harry down in any way. Molly and Percy were shocked at the news of Harry's execution of Peter Yaxley, which was made worse by the twins' mock worship of Harry for the same act.

Harry arrived at the Grangers' at 9:31, practically the instant the floo connection opened. He saw that Dumbledore was already waiting with the Grangers.

Harry sat on the sofa next to Hermione. At Hogwarts, they maintained the illusion that they were 12 year olds playing at dating. Here, they looked like what they were -- an established bonded couple in miniature.

"The people you have protecting us tell us there is very little they can do to really insure our safety," Dan put out to start the conversation.

Harry looked at Hermione's strained face, and the fatigue on the Grangers'. He saw that Dumbledore was almost as in the dark as he was as to where the conversation was going. "That's true," Harry finally said. "That's true of every society, of course. If some nutcase wants to kill you, there's little that can be done to stop an attack. You could be killed by a deranged patient," he pointed out.

"True, but society puts in safeguards to lessen the probabilities of that happening," Dan retorted. "I don't see many safeguards in magical Britain."

"That's true," Harry agreed.

"Harry!" Dumbledore objected.

"What?" Harry asked. "It's certainly true. Maybe you just don't know Muggle society well-enough to understand how exposed the Grangers feel."

"That's true," Emma agreed while Dumbledore was trying to think of what to say. "From what we can learn, Australia would be safer for us, and for Hermione. There must be a magical school for her there."

"There is, but. . . ." Dumbledore protested.

"But we can't take her, since she won't go willingly," Dan agreed. "We can go, however, and are. My brother-in-law is in practice in Perth, and we have arranged to join him in March. Hermione will spend her summer vacations with us. Harry is welcome to spend any or all of his summers with us. If that is not satisfactory, then we go to court."

"We might lose," Emma said quietly to Dumbledore, "but we doubt you would welcome the publicity."

"True," Dumbledore admitted.

"May I offer you the reward money I got for Yaxley to defray your expenses?" Harry asked.

Dan and Emma looked at each other. Emma then said, "Please put twenty thousand of it in a vault for Hermione. You can use the rest for transportation costs to visit us."

"Alright," Harry agreed. He turned to Dumbledore. "Wouldn't it be easier, and cheaper, for some Order members to move the Grangers magically? And give them protection on the trip?"

"Yes, it would," Dumbledore agreed. He turned to the Grangers. "May we help?"

The two looked at each other again and then Emma agreed to the magical help.

Hermione leaned back. She was sitting on the vanity bench in front of the small vanity her parents had bought for her when she had been five. She had been examining the latest 'treatment' Harry had given her teeth. They were still too large in her opinion, but were almost down to a size that didn't embarrass her. She picked up a hair brush and started brushing her hair.

She smiled when she saw Harry come into her bedroom, dressed in plain blue pajamas and a new dressing gown. She was dressed in a short electric blue nightgown with spaghetti straps.

Harry came up behind her and kissed her bare shoulder. "Let's get some sleep," Harry suggested. As a concession to their bonding status, Harry could sleep with Hermione. As a concession to their age, they had to keep the bedroom door open.

It was a solution that all of them could live with.
Sign up to rate and review this story